You seem to take a great deal of comfort in your prayers, Esther, and always come down looking quiet and satisfied.
I witnessed her will, and it is to be so," whispered Esther smiling.
Esther fitted up the closet with a little table, placed a footstool before it, and over it a picture taken from one of the shut-up rooms.
As the General glanced back at Esther Dudley's antique figure, he deemed her well fitted for such a charge, as being so perfect a representative of the decayed past--of an age gone by, with its manners, opinions, faith and feelings, all fallen into oblivion or scorn--of what had once been a reality, but was now merely a vision of faded magnificence.
There was not, for many years afterwards, a Governor of Massachusetts; and the magistrates, who had charge of such matters, saw no objection to Esther Dudley's residence in the Province House, especially as they must otherwise have paid a hireling for taking care of the premises, which with her was a labor of love.
Forth went the sable messenger, with the starlight or the moonshine gleaming through him, and did his errand in the burial ground, knocking at the iron doors of tombs, or upon the marble slabs that covered them, and whispering to those within: "My mistress, old Esther Dudley, bids you to the Province House at midnight.
You are different from other children, Esther, because you were not born, like them, in common sinfulness and wrath.
Then she said in her naturally stern way of speaking, "This is Esther, sir.
Wished Esther only to know what would be serviceable to her.
I am not sure that you repay my care as it deserves, Esther," he declared.
I cannot say that I am glad to hear it," Esther replied quietly.
Doctor Sarson bowed to Esther, who scarcely glanced at him.
It is unaccountable that Asa should choose to be out of the way at such a time as this," Esther pettishly observed.
One after another disappeared, each seeking his or her rude dormitory; and, before many minutes, Esther, who by this time had scolded the younger fry to sleep, found herself, if we except the usual watchman below, in solitary possession of the naked rock.
Agitated by these reflections, which put sleep at defiance, Esther continued at her post, listening with that sort of acuteness which is termed instinct in the animals a few degrees below her in the scale of intelligence, for any of those noises which might indicate the approach of footsteps.