Beulah (Chapter 1, page 2 of 7)


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Chapter 1

At a first casual glance, one thought her rather homely, nay, decidedly ugly; yet, to
the curious physiognomist, this face presented greater attractions
than either of the others. Reader, I here paint you the portrait of
that quiet little figure whose history is contained in the following
pages. A pair of large gray eyes set beneath an overhanging
forehead, a boldly projecting forehead, broad and smooth; a rather
large but finely cut mouth, an irreproachable nose, of the order
furthest removed from aquiline, and heavy black eyebrows, which,
instead of arching, stretched straight across and nearly met. There
was not a vestige of color in her cheeks; face, neck, and hands wore
a sickly pallor, and a mass of rippling, jetty hair, drawn smoothly
over the temples, rendered this marble-like whiteness more apparent.
Unlike the younger children, Beulah was busily sewing upon what
seemed the counterpart of their aprons; and the sad expression of
the countenance, the lips firmly compressed, as if to prevent the
utterance of complaint, showed that she had become acquainted with
cares and sorrows, of which they were yet happily ignorant. Her eyes
were bent down on her work, and the long, black lashes nearly
touched her cold cheeks.

"Sister Beulah, ought Claudy to say that?" cried Lillian, turning
round and laying her hand upon the piece of sewing.

"Say what, Lilly? I was not listening to you."

"She said she hoped that largest robin redbreast would get drunk and
tumble down. He would be sure to bump some of his pretty bright
feathers out, if he rolled over the shells two or three times,"
answered Lilly, pointing to a China tree near, where a flock of
robins were eagerly chirping over the feast of berries.

"Why, Claudy! how can you wish the poor little fellow such bad
luck?" The dark, thoughtful eyes, full of deep meaning, rested on
Claudia's radiant face.

"Oh! you need not think I am a bear, or a hawk, ready to swallow the
darling little beauty alive! I would not have him lose a feather for
the world; but I should like the fun of seeing him stagger and wheel
over and over, and tumble off the limb, so that I might run and
catch him in my apron. Do you think I would give him to our matron
to make a pie? No, you might take off my fingers first!" And the
little elf snapped them emphatically in Beulah's face.

"Make a pie of robies, indeed! I would starve before I would eat a
piece of it," chimed in Lilly, with childish horror at the thought.

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