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OUR FIRST FAMILIES.

A TALE OF RURAL SIMPLICITY.

CHAPTER V. - Poetry Composes.

"The mouth of babes."

TUE peeped in the door. Her father was sitting in a corner, his head bent in his hands, the very figure of grief. The girl's heart smote her; she rushed in, fell at her father's feet, and threw her arms around him.

"O father," she exclaimed, "forgive me! I did not mean to leave you so! Oh, have you suffered, dear, this night?"

Mnag lifted his face to his daughter's reproachfully. "I have not deserved to suffer this from you," he said.

"Father, do not look at me so! Do not talk to me so! It was not my fault; I was lost in the forest. I came back as soon as I could."

"I do not regret my pain," said the philosopher, "if it has brought you to reason."

Tue's repentance was now so great that she would have given up anything to her father. "I will do what you wish, father," she said.

Her father threw his arms around her, and pressed his lips to her forehead.

"My daughter, you make me very happy," he said. "I am now going to receive Yung's answer; and I am glad that I need not withdraw my proposal."

Tue grew pale as he left the hut; but by no other sign did she betray the anguish of her mind. When she was alone she sat down to think over the whole situation calmly.

She had become greatly attached to a stranger of whose name and character she was utterly ignorant. She had enjoyed one sweet second, but her joy had lasted no longer than that. Reason took the place of romance; she was pledged to another.

"Can I forget him?" she thought. Then the reflection came, "No pain is unbearable. The imagination of future sorrow is indeed sharp; but when sorrow comes, its sting lasts but for a moment, and is over before we feel it."

"Why, what a great thought!" she said proudly; "one might mistake it for my father's."

A restless impulse sent her to the door. Looking out, she saw a boy and a girl tripping merrily along, chanting gayly a sentence which she did not understand. She was in the mood to be amused; she therefore beckoned to the children, who came toward her rather bashfully.

"Do you like apples?" she asked.