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“I always do tell truth,” replied Colin, crying, “ without being frightened into it that way. I'm sure I had only been writing a letter to my mother and Fanny; and I stood there because I did not want anybody to catch me,"
And why did you not want anybody to catch you?” " Why, because I didn't," answered Colin,
“ Because you didn't!” exclaimed Sammy, as he emerged from out the shadow of Miss Sowersoft's figure; " what answer is that, you sulky ill-looking whelp? Give her a proper answer, or I'll send my fist in your face in a minnit!'
Miss Maria put her hand on Sammy's arm to keep him back,—not so much to prevent him carrying his threat into execution, as because his interference seemed to imply a doubt of her own abilities in worming all she wanted to know out of the boy before her.
“ But why didn't you?” she asked again, more emphatically. " Because, they might want to read my letter."
“Oh,—there's something in it, not to be seen, is there?” continued the inquisitor, as her cheeks reddened with fears of she knew not what.
" It is all truth,-every word of it ! contended Colin.
send a whole pack of falsehoods over to Bramleigh, and make as much mischief in my family as your mother made in Mr. Longstaff's. It is needful to look after your doings. Is the letter in your pocket?”
Having received an answer in the affirmative, she directed Palethorpe to search him for it; an operation which that amiable individual very soon concluded, by drawing the desired document from his trowsers.
• Oh, this is it, is it ?” said Miss Maria, as she partly opened it to assure herself. " Well, well,” folding it up again : “ we'll read this by and by. Now, what did you hear us talking about? If you say anything shameful, now,--and we shall know whether it is true or not, directly that we hear it,-if you do not say something-aYou know what Scripture tells you, -always to speak well of your mistress and master. Be careful now. What did we say?"
Please, 'um," replied Colin, “you said, that when people get married they strike a balance between them; and that if one thing was on one side, and nothing on the other, you should lose your resolution, and make a sacrifice of your little something, whatever it is." " Oh, you little wretch!” ejaculated Maria.
" Go on with your lies, go on! and you shall have it on your shoulders when you have done. What else, you vile toad ?”
Colin stood mute.
“ What next, I say!” stormed the lady, with a furious stamp of her right foot.
· Why, then, mum," added Colin, “I heard Palethorpe kissing you as hard as he could."
" Kissing me!-kissing me, you young rascal!" and the face of Miss Sowersoft became as red as the gills of one of her own turkey. cocks at the discovery." If you dare to say such a thing as that again, I'll strip the very skin off your back, I will, you caitiff! Kissing me, indeed! A pretty tale to tell, as ever I heard ! "
“ I'm sure it's true,” blubbered the boy ; " for I heard it ever so many times."
“Oh!” exclaimed the virtuous Miss Sowersoft, “ so we have got it out of you at last. What !—your mother has set you to watch your mistress, has she? That's all her schooling, is it? But Mr. Pale. thorpe shall learn you to spy about this house,-he shall, you dog!”
That worthy was now about to pounce upon his victim, but was again arrested by his mistress.
“Stop, stop !-we have not done yet,” pulling the letter before men. tioned from her bosom; "there is a pretty budget here, I'll be bound to say. After such as this, we may expect anything. There is nothing too bad for him.”
While Palethorpe held the culprit fast by one hand, and the lantern in the other, he and Miss Sowersoft enjoyed the high gratification of perusing together the authenticated letter which follows :
“ Dear Mother And Fanny,
“ As I promised to write if they would not let me come on Sunday, which they did not do, I take this opportunity after tea to tell you all about it. I like this house very well, and have caught fourteen rats with traps of my own setting, besides helping Abel to shoot foo. mards, which he fired at, and I looked on while. I can harness a horse and curry him down already. But when I first got here I did not think I should like it at all, as Palethorpe flew at me like a yard.dog because I spoke to him, and Miss Sowersoft was mangling, and as cross as patch. I did think of co:ning home again ; but then I said to myself, Well, I'll lay a penny if I do, mother will send me back ; so it will be of no use, and I shall have my walk for nothing. I do not like mistress a bit. When she was at our house, she told you a pack of the biggest fibs in the world. I never heard of a bigger fibber than she is, in my life; for all the good victuals she made such a bother about are made up for Sammy, and I have to eat his leavings. He is like a masterpig in a sty, because he crunches up the best of everything. Mistress seems very fond of him, though; for after we had had a shindy the first night, and Palethorpe made my nose bleed, I went to bed, and saw her tie her nightcap on his head, and feed him with a posset. I could not help laugbing, he looked such a fool. Then I heard her courting him as plain as sunshine ; for she tries as hard as she can to get him to marry her; but I would not have her, if I were him, she is
so very mean and pretending. But then he is a savage idle fellow himself: and as Abel said to him, said he, You never touch plough Dor bill-book once a week,'-no more he does. Our mistress backs him up in it, and that is the reason. I shall come over as soon as I can, as I want to see you and Fanny very much.
“ Yours affectionately,
" COLIN CLINK."
At all events the murder was out here, and no mistake. The letter dropped from Miss Sowersoft's hand, and she almost fainted in Mr. Palethorpe's arms, as she faintly sighed,
"Oh, Sammy, Sammy !-he 'll be the death of me!"
When Miss Maria was somewhat recovered, Palethorpe turned in great wrath towards Colin, uttering a more fearful asseveration than I can repeat, that if he could make no better use than that of his eyes when he went to bed, he would knock them out of his head for him. Seizing the boy ferociously by the nape of the neck with one hand, and a portion of his clothes with the other, he lifted him from the ground, like a dog by head and tail, and carried him straight into the yard, dashing him violently into the horse-trough, very much to the satisfac. tion of the indignant Miss Sowersoft, who had suddenly recovered on be holding this spectacle, and followed her favourite with the lantern. While Palethorpe held him down in the trough, Miss Sowersoft proceeded with great alacrity to pump upon him very vigorously until her arms were tired.
The boy's cries soon brought several of the domestics of the establishment together. Sally rushed out of her kitchen inquiring what Colin had done to be ducked.
"Spying after the private things of meesis !” exclaimed the wrathful Mr. Palethorpe.
"Spying !" echoed the maid.
“ Yes, spying !" added Maria, in corroboration of Palethorpe's statement. “ We have caught him out, according to his own confession, spying after the secrets of everybody about the premises, and sending it all in writing to his mother!"
“Ay! I'd souse him well !” observed Sally, who began to fear that some of her own secret interviews with Abel had very probably been registered in black and white, for the edification of the good peo. ple of Bramleigh.
“What has he been a.gate of ?" asked Abel, who had just come up in time to catch the end of the above conversation.
“Oh, he's been watching you come into the dairy when I was there !” added Sally, accompanying her remark with a broad simper, and a sly blushing glance at Abel, which caused Abel to shuffle on his feet, and dangle his legs about, as though at a loss what to do with them.,
“Then a sheep-washing will do him no harm for sheep's eyes,” re. joined Abel, rounding off his sharp-pointed wit with a broad laugh.
When the ducking was concluded, they drove him, bruised, diunched, and weeping, into the kitchen. Old George, who had been a distant and silent spectator of the scene, stood at the door as he entered.
“Ay, poor boy !” said he, pityingly, as the child passed by him they 'd more need to nurse him by the fireside than half drown him this way. It's sad wages—sad wages, indeed, for a nest-babe like him! But they don't heed what I say. I'm an old man, and have no right to speak.”
Miss Sowersoft seized the earliest opportunity she could to place Co. lin's letter upon the fire, which she did with a spoonful of salt upon it, in order that the flames should be of the same colour as its contents.
In the meantime Colin had shuffled off his mortal coil of wet clothes, and in a moist skin gone silently off to bed. At supper-time old George carried him up a pint of warm ale which had been served out for himself. Colin accepted it, less because he relished it, than because he knew not how at the moment to refuse the hand by which it was offered; and within ten minutes afterwards, notwithstanding all his troubles, he fell into a sound state of repose.
TO A YOUNG GIRL.
TRANSLATED FROM VICTOR HUGO.
“ Pourquoi te plaindre, tendre fille,
Yet, envy not, fair child, our riper years,
And e'en our smiles are sadder than thy tears.
Softly, as sighs that mingle with the breeze,
Or Halcyon floating o'er the summer seas.
But now enjoy the dawn' Enjoy the spring!
Spare them, till scatter'd by Time's blighting wing.
As for us all,-has deep regrets in store;
And worthless pleasures, that we should deplore.
No shade should cloud the azure of thine eyes !
Reveals thy spirit, and reflects the skies. M. T. H.
MISCELL A NY.
JACK SHEPPARD, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK,
BY W. HARRISON AINSWORTH
Epoch the Third—1724. Chapter V. The Disguise.
Chapter VII. Jack Sheppard warns Chapter VI. Winifred receives two
Thames Darrell. proposals.
Chapter VIII. Old Bedlam. THE OLD ELM,
BY J. N. M'JILTON THE DOG-HOSPITAL OF PARIS,
BY TOBY ALLSPY
RAMBLES AMONG THE RIVERS. NO. V.THE THAMBS AND HIS
BY CHARLES MACKAY Twickenham.—The Poet's Grave. Pope's Grotto.--Relics of Genius --Strawberry : Hill.-Etymology and Chronology.-The Heart of Paul Whitehead.-Swans upon the Thames.—The tragical story of Edwy and Elgiva.—An odd petition of the in
habitants of Kingston. THE CRAYON PAPERS,
BY WASHINGTON IRVING VINCENT EDEN; OR, THE OXONIAN,
BY QUIP Chapter VII. The Hierokosmion. An Avowal. A Nweham Party. The Brothers. RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ALHAMBRA, (THE ABENCERRAGE. А
SPANISH TALE,) BY THE AUTHOR OF THE SKETCH-BOOK LEGENDS OF THE LOCHS AND GLENS, NO. 11. -THE PHANTOM
FUNERAL, COMMUNICATED BY THE AUTHOR OF THE
BY CHARLES HOOTON
mens of Miss Sowersoft's moral excellence. An unlooked-for discovery is partially