« AnteriorContinuar »
THE MARRIED MAN;
THE SEQUEL TO
THE HISTORY OF
BY THE AUTHOR OF
SHADES OF CHARACTER,” HISTORY OF MICHAEL KEMP,"
PART - I.
955 W892 mic
THE MARRIED MAN.
It was about four years after the marriage of Stephen and Fanny, that I called to inquire after my old friends at the Brow. Betty Smith was going on in the quiet performance of the duties of her station, and continually saying, “ His goodness and his mercy hath followed me all my days;" and her master was sensible of her worth; still there was a vacuum in his evening hour, and he was often found wandering to the fire-side at the mill, and leaving his ample house to Betty Smith and his other servants. In the summer he saw his family, but, as the winter drew on, there was a loneliness about his dwelling, and he found the visits of his little nephew a most delightful solace. The reader is well acquainted with Fanny's devoted attachment to her brother, and will not be displeased to hear that this attachment increased as her own views opened, and the warm-hearted young crea
ture, when Mr. Lascelles said, “Name this child,” had forgotten that it was pot the mother's place, and exclaimed, “O! Michael, Sir.” The good man caught the mother's meaning, and the prayer of the parent and the pastor ascended together to the throne of grace. The little creature won daily on his uncle's affections; first, baby softness, and tenderness mixed with a sort of dependance; then the opening of his intelligence, and the endearment of infancy, and as soon as he could walk he was found clinging to his uncle's side, and lingering to go home with him.
It was shortly after his third birth-day, when a younger infant, a little sister, occupied the attention of his mother, that he was missing, to their great alarm. Michael called in as usual, and finding Fanny in deep distress, (for she greatly feared the millstream,) he intreated her to compose herself, and returned home, convinced in his own mind that he should find the little wanderer at the Brow, and so indeed he did. Betty Smith met him at the door, “ Dear me, Sir, if that bit of a baby b'aint come all alone,” and as he entered the room, after sending Betty down to let Fanny know the child was safe, he found him sitting very quietly on his little stool, taking the stones out of his shoes. “Come,
uncle," said the little truant, “ sit down by Michael." After taking him on his knee, and stroking his head fondly, his uncle looked gravely at him; “You have made your mother cry, Michael, she had lost you, my boy,"-"go home," said the child, and he slipped from his uncle's knee and put his little hat upon his head; "you shall go home," and he took him in his arms and carried him to the mill. I need not tell the greeting; mothers can easily conceive it, and those who are not mothers. may dispense with it. “ We must contrive some means," said Michael, “ to stop this runaway.
“I am afraid that will not be easily done,” said Fanny, « for he is too young to feel the sin of breaking his word, we must watch him carefully,” added she. It was long after this event, that Fanny continued to say, when he went to the door, “ Not to the Brow, my love, not to uncle Kemp's. “O no, no, no, was the constant reply.
In the circle of human pleasures, perhaps none are so pure and delightful as those of which infancy forms a part. Life is new, and the untried traveller has neither learnt to imitate the language of others, nor to court their approbation; all is original, all is natural and various; we are too apt to injure this by giving patterns and ex