Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/37

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37

THE ISLAND HOME.

great portion of the room, were of unpainted wood, and
owed their polish only to constant wear and indus-
trious rubbing. Rarely did a word from the lips of
the busy spinners break the silence, which was en-
livened only by the monotonous hum of the busy wheel.
And equally still sat the white shepherd dog upon
the window-seat, looking with his clear wise eyes out
through the small lead-bound window panes steadily
upon the sea, without any apparent object to fix his
attention.
Maria, too, when her work would allow it, threw oc-
casionally a glance at the sea ; for about this tune, after
nine years' absence, was Godber to return. He had
lately written from Hamburg, that he had earned a
small capital sufficient to redeem his paternal home-
stead, and that he now longed to come back to his
hallig, and his Maria. According to the custom of
the island, she had been betrothed to him from her
childhood ; and she had retained for him a calm and
true affection, which was indeed far removed from that
impatient passion that so many of our time seem to re-
gard as a necessary ingredient in love, but which not
the less by its depth and sincerity pervaded her whole
being, excluded every o|her passing inclination, and
had directed and fixed every thought and sentiment
of the girl upon her duty as the betrothed bride of
Godber. It is true there were many things in God-
ber's letter quite above the comprehension of his
simply-educated Maria, and she could not entirely
overcome a secret fear of him who had seen and
learned so much, that he could write such fine things.
But had he not thought of the happiness of leaving