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in turn with other ladies. We had also many borne duties, such as assisting in making preserves in the fruit season, also making and mending our own clothes, and repairing the household linen; all this we had been taught to do by our dear good mother. And as our father grew older, we had to help him to visit the sick and aged poor, &c.; and his sight not being as good as formerly, we had to copy out his old sermons in a large plain hand; so much for our occupations. As to my personal appearance, one great sorrow I have, and have always had. I am very plain: this, I must admit, has been, and still is, a great sorrow to me. I have large features, snub nose, wide mouth, bad complexion; certainly my eyes are not amiss in colour, being of rather a good hazel; but then, alas! they do not see quite straight. I have coarse, dark-brown hair, that cannot by any persuasion be made to curl, or even look smooth, though worn in bandeau; in short, it is mostperverse hair: do what you will, brush it ever so much, it always looks untidy; and a short stout figure finishes the picture of myself.

I could wish it to have been otherwise, but so it is, sod cannot be altered; it is no use wishing to be beautiful, for it will not remedy the case. I must also confess, however humiliating the confession, I have never had a tender word, or even a pretty speech, spoken to me in my life: it would have been pleasant just for once to have had it, but now that I am long past thirty years of age, I do not suppose I ever shall obtain any admiration. It cannot now be helped, and I must try to be as good-tempered as I can. People say I look cross, but as I love all my neighbours, I do not see why I should. By-thebye, there is one exception. I do not love Miss Patty Jackson, who is always talking to me of | the grand balls she goes to sometimes with her j sister, Lady Molyneux, in London. Miss Patty is ill-natured and fond of quizzing; she likes to talk about the brilliant offer of marriage she had made her one season in town from the

Honble . she will never divulge his name;

She refused him, she says, because she did not think she could ever like him enough to become his wife. How angry Lady Molyneux was with her! and her father was also displeased; but she frequently adds (and there is a little covert irony iu her tone of voice), "You have no doubt many such pleasant tender reminiscences of your youth to impart if you chose."

This kind of conversation always makes me feel a little angry. I fall back as quickly as possible upon the happy marriage my dear Priscilla, my only now remaining sister, would have made, but unfortunately the gentleman was drowned at sea in a frightful gale, and I describe how tall, handsome, good-tempered, and amiable he was, with such excellent expectations—in fact everything that could be desired.

Priscilla was for a long time very melancholy after her bereavement, and would never listen to i the entreaties of any other lover, though she' might have married well afterwards, having had two very good overtures of marriage; for'

Priscilla is pretty, she has light-brown hair, mild blue eyes, good nose, sweet complexion, elegant figure, and nice countenance. She also possesses the advantage of being many years my junior so, what with her engaging looks and comparative youth, everyone admires ber.

We keep one servant, who comes to us for five pounds a year and the privilege of the teapot ; but we nave had to teach her entirely; and I suppose, when she knows sufficient to render her a tolerable servant, she will leave us, as the others have done.

We take it by turns every month to be housekeeper, buy all articles of food required, make any puddings or cakes that are wanted, and occasionally give an eve to the preparing of our simple repasts, and instruct our little maiden Ellen, just as we did when our parents were alive, and we were taught all we know of household matters by our good mother.

Once a year we give a tea-party to all our friends, and are busy a whole week before it occurs. First of all, three or four rooms are well cleaned out, besides the kitchen; then we make a very rich plum-cake, also an almond-cake, and some sweet biscuits; then we buy some muffins, two or three nice fancy loaves, such bread as Ellen is not quite up to making, half-a-pound of plum drops, also a pound of butter, tea and coffee, and white sugar, whiter than we ever use at any other time, the tea being actually two shillings a pound more than our ordinary beverage. We also buy oranges, some ginger and cowslip wine, with one bottle of very tolerable sherry, and another of port wine; we also prepare some meat sandwiches, cut very delicately; these purchases are either made by us or by some trustworthy parishioner in Bridgeworth. We then get an old servant, who lived with us in our mother's time, to come in and assist us on the eventful day. She helps us to take all the covers off our neat chintz and Berlin-worked furniture, also in the washing of the best china tea-set—such china as is seldom seen now): it was our grandmothers. To save hiring a waiter, we have everything placed ready in the little back parlour, looking out upon our tiny flower garden.

When the genteel hour for taking tea arrives, we have only to enter this room and sit round the table. Martha Jones brings in the urn in her best gown, white apron, and cap.

We are always very glad when this, to us truly important day of the year, is over; for should any mistake occur, Miss Pym would look so at us. Mrs. Mark, good kind Mrs. Mark, would seem very sorry for us; but above all, we should see Miss Patty Jackson giggle to her next neighbour, and perhaps say some rude thing. The few gentlemen who are present are generally good-natured over any disaster; but still, when our annual tea-party is over, we rest most contentedly upon our oars, and are most thankful that the necessity of entertaining friends will not happen till another year arrives.

In Ackleton there lived such a dear old lady, Mrs. Mark, whose name I have recently mentioned. She had not very long been a widow, and still deeply felt her loss of a most excellent husband. She had always something pleasant to say to us of everybody, and also of ourselves.

She had, when young, been sent to a French convent for her education: there she learnt very good French, drawing, and very beautiful embroidery, many different kinds of fancy work, how to candy and crystallize dried fruits, &c, &c Fortunately, having had very pious parents, who bad taken great pains to instil good principles into her youthful mind, at their death, when left to the care of her guardians, who were not so particular, she derived no harm from the convent they consigned her to for some time. She was a little, beautifullyshaped woman, with small, pretty, regular features, most expressive dark eyes, always so cheerful, it was quite a treat to visit her. Sometimes she taught us a pretty kind of new knitting, and then perhaps a little of her French embroidery. All the time she was teaching us, she would amuse us by relating pretty stories of her convent life. Sometimes it was the great resignation of Sister Agatha, under severe bodily suffering and at last her beautiful death; the frequent misery of young girls being sent to convents, to be made nuns against their inclinations, in order to provide larger fortunes for other sisters; the attempted escape of one Teresa, who was caught in the garden, and was severely punished—a tale only heard by chance, and then told in a whisper; and she often spoke of the great differences in the customs, manners, habits, ways of life, food, &c, she had observed in France; for after leaving school, she had resided for a year or more, with one of her guardian's wives, in Paris. We always felt we returned home from Woodbine Cottage (the name of Mrs. Mark's house) the better for our visit in many ways. It had been our usual practice since our father's death, every other year to visit for three or four weeks, as we found we could afford it, some sea-bathing place: it was generally Scarborough, for though far distant from our quiet village, railways now bring most places near, even to poor people. Scarborough is such a beautiful place, the air so bracing, the surrounding country so pretty, altogether such a complete change from the softer air of our native village! The year we went to the sea-side was one of the greatest possible economy to us: if we, to any party, we bought no new dress, not even of the simplest kind; we curtailed for many previous months, some of our indulgences, we allowed ourselves nothing but the merest necessaries, no fish, no puddings,&c; then as the autumn advanced, and October drew near (the usual time for our marine excursion), we visited the dear old town of Bridgeworth, to buy each of us a new silk dress, also a muslin (or mousseline de laine, or grenadine), perhaps a cannalite, if our finances would afford it, and two new bonnets—at this time of year

goods are generally much diminished in price; we then returned often after an early dinner at our doctor's (not that he frequently attended us, for we were rarely ill), much pleased with our new purchases and wonderful bargains. We then busied ourselves in re-trimming our old cleaned straw bonnets with some cheap ribbon; some dresses are turned, others are washed, cleaned, or dyed as required; so in fact when the middle of October arrives, the so-longwished-for journey north takes place, and finds us tolerably furnished, as regards our wardrobe, and with a purse sufficient for our expenditure at the sea-side. At Scarborough we generally meet Miss Pym; sometimes Mrs. Mark, and almost constantly our father's cousin Mrs. Mowbray, who, with her husband, is always most kind to us, asking us to dine with them, driving us out, &c. She also frequently presents us when she leaves (which she generally does before we do) with the handsome present of a ten-pound note. The drives she takes us are generally to Oliver's Mount, or the beautiful Hackness: in short, our cousin much adds to the enjoyment of our excursion. In the autumn of 1860, in walking and driving about with Mrs. Mowbray, we often met with a young gentleman — perhaps thirty years of age—an elegant tall figure, of a thoughtful, though pleasing countenance, large, sad, dark eyes —yet they are fine eyes; be very striking a person, when once seen, not easily to be forgotten. We wondered who he could be ; we did not remember ever having seen him before at Scarborough, and if ever we caught sight of him the Spa, which place he seems seldom to frequent, he was always walking alone, quit from the busy crowd constantly'assembled there to hear the excellent music; usually we met this stranger walking up Oliver's Mount, or in some much more secluded part of Scarborough than thefSpa.^),Occasionally we saw him on the North Cliff; very rarely on the Esplanade; we tried in vain to find out his name, none of our friends seemed to know it. Sometimes we concluded, from not seeing himfortwo or three days, that he had left, but when we least expected it, we saw him again, and that perhaps in a most unlikely place—one day it was at a concert; still he was always the same melancholy person—always alone. I spoke so much to Priscilla about him, and my great curiosity respecting him, that she became almost angry with me, saying she wondered, at my age, my showing such childish curiosity to know particulars as to name, &c, respecting an entire stranger.

"But, dear Priscilla," I answered, "I cannot really prevent feeling most interested in this strikingly mournful-looking young man."

"Well, Tabitha, you had better, I think, allow your thoughts no longer to dwell upon this stranger, for I know not how you can ever ascertain his name even; the only certain way would be, you know, to walk straight up to him, the very next time you meet him, making one of your very best courtesies, and say, " Please, sir, my name is Tabitha Law son, of Myrtle Grove, Ackleton; may I ask the favour of your name, and where you reside?"

At this we both laughed, and I talked no more to Priscilla about my ardent inquisitiveuess respecting this young man. I was quite certain of one thing—he was the hero of some very romantic tale, though I did not for one moment think he had ever committed a crime: in short, in my own mind I wove many an imaginary web of his feelings, and of his former life, each new one, perhaps, more fanciful and improbable than the last. This year Mrs. Mark did not visit Scarborough: she wrote to say she was going intoWalesfora short time instead, so I was deprived of one who would, from her rather romantic turn of mind, have been a great help to me, in my hitherto fruitless inquiries, she would have warmly entered into all my wishes upon the subject, and would never have been weary: and then she has such a large circle of acquaintance and such a vast number of correspondents ; this of course makes her know much news that others cannot obtain.

The time now arrived for our leaving our cheap but comfortable little lodging, and we settled the day for our return to Ackleton. It would be the year 1862 before we again should visit Scarborough. During our absence we had carefully locked up our little cottage, sent Ellen home with board wages, giving her our tabby cat in charge, with also a small allowance for her daily food.

We found all right and pleasant upon our arrival at home, Ellen, with her bright face and clean apron, ready to receive us. The October sun was shining pleasantly on our cheerful home, and when we walked into our little sitting-rooms, all was nicely arranged. Some kind neighbours had weeded and attended to our tiny flower-garden. All looked (in spite of its being autumn, when leaves are so often falling) the picture of neatness, and showing that comfort that no place but home can really give us.

We found awaiting our arrival a note, containing a kind invitation to spend the evening with her, from Mrs. Mark, begging us to take a tea-supper with her, or a serious tea, as some friends call it—good Mrs. Mark, thinking with her usual consideration, that upon our first coming home we might not find everything quite ready, telling us to come as we were, in travelling attire—that there would be no company. We therefore accepted her thoughtful kindness, and heard from her all the few great and small events which had occurred during our absence. How Jim Rug had left his home, and his poor mother could not even hear where he had gone to. He had left in the night—the neighbours did say that the reason of it was a quarrel with his sweetheart, pretty Nancy Mudge. That poor Susan Morrel, whom we left ill, had got rapidly worse, and had died the past Saturday—it was believed—of consumption. We much en

joyed our evening at Woodbine Cottage in spite of this last sad event.

Our life during the remainder of the autumn and winter sped on much as usual: we returned to our former home-amusements. The occasional tea-parties alone varied the monotony of our daily existence. We paced the Sun-dial walk at the dear old Rectory, and we often thought of the marine excursion we could only contemplate now at a long interval of time.

Chap. II.

In the spring of 1862 we were suddenly aroused by a most astonishing and pleasing piece of news, at least for myself. I received a very unexpected and charming invitation from our cousin Mrs. Mowbray, for the whole month of June, to visit her in a lodging she had taken in Brompton, and see with her the far-famed Exhibition, her husband preferring remaining at home, where a widowed sister, with her daughter, would keep him company during her absence. My only vexation was that this kind invitation was solely confined to myself, and did not include Priscilla, who, however, was most contented at being left out, and behaved very prettily on the occasion—did not at all mind being passed over, and expressed herself most anxious for my accepting this generous offer, for my seeing what she knew would afford me so much gratification. We called that afternoon, and told Mrs. Mark of it; she said she had not been feeling very strong lately, and her doctor had advised change of air, and she had been thinking of making a tour to the Cumberland and Westmoreland Lakes. She had much wished to ask Priscilla, but did not like to divide us: but now that that impediment was removed, she hoped to persuade her to accompany her in her journey. So my only drawback to Mrs. Mowbray's kind plan having vanished, I left early in June by train to London, and was met at the terminus by my cousin's maid.

Most affectionate 'was my welcome at Brompton, and I need hardly say how delighted the quiet inhabitants of a country village, like myself, was with the wonderful beauties of the great Exhibition of 1862, and also how charmed I was with the various curious sights of the great metropolis; much as I had often wished to see it, this was my first peep at London, and I can hardly now believe that my wish has been realized. We visited, of course, many times this wonderful exhibition, and Mrs. Mowbray took me to various pleasant evening parties, to many a dejeuner and excursion to Richmond, &c. Occasionally we visited the theatre and the opera, the music of which is indeed delightful.

When I had been about a fortnight in town, I received a very interesting letter from dear Priscilla; her former letters had contained little else but the account of common occurrences and a round of questions as to all I had seen, but this letter was quite a different one. I will therefore copy it: "Portinscale, Bertcent-water, Cumberland, "June 14th, 1862.

"Mr Very Dear Tabitha,—I have been rather longer than usual in replying to your last letter, owing to our leaving the lovely Lake of Windermere more suddenly than we expected; for Mrs. Mark got a terrible fright about small-pox; so here we are most comfortably located in Portinscale; the hotel is everything that can be desired—such charming rooms!

"The first day after our arrival, Mrs. Mark wished me to accompany her to visit an aged relative residing in Keswick, so accordingly, soon after breakfast we drove there, and found the dearest old lady, you can well imagine, so pleased to see Mrs. Mark, saying it made her feel quite young again to see her dear face once more; she was also quite agreeable to make the acquaintance of any friend of Mrs. Mark. This charming old lady was dressed in the handsomest of all black silks, with her white muslin apron, and if beautiful, rather old-fashioned cap of exceedingly rich foreign lace, such as is not often seen now-a-days. She was tatting as we entered, with a large book lying before her. She quite reminded me of a picture, her features were most regular, and very aristocratic; bright blue eyes, that even age could not dim, though still they were mild eyes, and benevolence and real goodness were depicted over the whole countenance.

"Nothing would satisfy this dearold lady but that we must dine with her at her early hour of two, so, after half-an-hour's conversation, she begged us to take a view of Keswick and then return to her; the air, she hoped, would give us an appetite for an early dinner. We obeyed her wishes, though, upon our return, we found her excellent dinner required no sharp mountain air to recommend it. In the evening we returned home to Portinscale.

"The next morning we hired a boat, and had a most delightful row upon the Dei went water, Mrs. Mark telling me how she often used to take an oar and row upon a small piece of water situated in her father's grounds, during the lifetime of her parents, her father sometimes taking the other oar: occasionally her cousin did— the one who has succeeded to that pretty place and all the entailed property. She added she had visited him and his wife a few times, but, seeing the home of her childhood awoke generally many melancholy feelings in her breast.

"After having had a row for about two hours, we landed to walk in a most picturesque wood, among some pretty trees; and now guess, dear Tabby, who did we meet there soon after landing? Why, no other than our mysterious stranger, who so particularly excited our curiosity at Scarborough in 1860. There he was, as large as life, fishing-rod in hand, looking

very handsome, but still as melancholy as ever. We walked on much enjoying the lovely situation.

"After we had again re-entered our boat, I could not resist relating to Mrs. Mark all we had observed respecting this young man, and your uncommon eagerness to know something about him, and that we had never even been able to ascertain his name. Next Saturday we are engaged to spend with Mrs. Spicer (Mrs Mark's relation in Keswick), and remain over Sunday, leaving on the Monday morning; but Mrs. Mark has not quite made up her mind yet to stay longer than the Saturday, fearing the fatigue may be too much for the old lady. I will, however, write to you next Tuesday, and tell you all the particulars. On Saturday the dinner is to be at five, a small party, and also friends in the evening—some young ladies, who play and sing well to amuse us, as Mrs. Mark is very fond of music; so I shall no doubt have plenty to tell you in my next letter. Hoping you are enjoying yourself at the Grand Exhibition, with kind love to Mrs. Mowbray, Ever your affectionate sister,

"priscilla Lawson.

"P. S.—We are to go early next Saturday to Mrs. Spicer's, and Mrs. Mark has at last determined to stay till Monday. Adieu, dear."

Chap. III.

This letter, of course, brought back to my mind the many idle conjectures I had formed concerning the interesting individual we bad seen in the autumn of 1860: but there is a little difference between the fanciful thoughts of a person in the country and one who is in the whirl and noise of London, however, moderately they may be indulging in the amusements of the capital. So I make no doubt that, h ell I at this moment been dwelling at peaceable Ackleton, I should have thought and ruminated much more over this letter—perhaps have worked myself almost into a state of nervousness over it; but, being in London, I took it much more quietly.

Before I could possibly hear again from the lake district we departed for Kent, to stay with a married stepdaughter of Mrs. Mowbray's. This visit was not to have takeH place till the month of July, when I should have returned home, but Mrs. Willis having to take her children in July for a month's trip to the sea, preparatory to some of them going to school, wished her mother to anticipate her visit, and spend a few days with her now in June, and then in August to promise to give her at least a month, begging her also to bring me with her; we therefore went to Westram, a mile from which town (so within an easy walking distance) is situated Mr. Willis's house, a very substantial, comfortable, roomy residence; he is in excellent practice as a physician. The garden here is so very pretty, quite a large one to be so near a town: we are to drive out to-day, , and one place where we are to be taken, is the nursery-garden in Westram, where there is an orchard-house, which will be quite a novel sight to me. There are here a merry party of wellbrought-up children, only three being at present at home, one a laughing little boy of five; we shall soon I think be great friends, and two nice girls a little older. They seem to have a quiet, well-informed governess, who appears to take great pains with them; the other two boys are still at school, and the eldest girl is on a visit to her aunt. Mrs. Mowbray is received with much affection, and evident pleasure, by the whole family, who seem to vie with each other who shall amuse her most; our visit is, in consequence, a most delightful one, for, as a relative of Mrs. Mowbray's, I came in for a large share of kind attention. Already little Robert and myself have our grave secret together: he has confided to me some of his childish sorrows, and taken me to see his pet rabbits and bantams. Just as I was leaving I received another letter from Priscilla, which astonished me not a little, expressing her surprise that I had taken no notice of the wonderful and interesting history she had been able to send me about Mr. Alfred Prior; she did certainly think that I ought to have made some observations upon the curious relation of facts she had been able to write to me, instead of which she had only received a short letter, in no way attending to the subject she thought would so interest me; and she now regretted to say she could hardly tell me where to address my letters, as they were going to leave Portinscale immediately, travelling about, remaining only a day or two in one place, making excursions to see the other smaller lakes and fine views; she thought, therefore, the safest plan would be for me to address my letters to the Royal Hotel, Bowness, Westmorland, as Mrs. Mark spoke of making a short rest there previous to their returning to Ackleton. She added she could never fully describe to me the pleasure and delight the lake-scenery had afforded her; that she had never been weary of climbing mountains, but that Mrs. Mark, though she was glad to say she was much benefited by the pure mountain air, had been unable to leave her carriage for many of those walks which add so much pleasure to the tourist; also where there were various pretty peeps at cascades and waterfalls that no carriage could reach, to very few of these had Mrs. Mark been able to accompany her. This letter of course excited my curiosity to a high degree, believing that the contents of the missing letter gave me some details respecting the stranger we had so often observed in the autumn of I860: it must have been lost or forgotten to have been posted by some of the hotel people.

{To be continued.)


{A Fairy Legend of the County of Cork.)

I tell you it happened in Boherabwee,
And, what's more, too, I tell you the babby was me.
The day I was born my father dhropped work,
And, to buy for the christening, rode into Kantork,

Where, 'twixt meeting width friends, why an' taking

the sup,
Be the time he was back, faith! the moon was well up.
'Tis often I hear my poor mother to tell
The whole story, and so I remimber it well.

That time (God help us, no one should talk stiff)
The ould place was standing close by the ould cliff;
And always at evening and soon after dawn
Twelve good milking cows would come in to our bawn. •

We'd Be good bit of bacon as heart could desire,
A fresh egg, too, and buther, and plenty turf fire,
A stout bit of frize, aye, and linen ho'-made,
Nor much of the gale t running on felt afraid.

A bit and a bed for the poor passer-by,

Mavrone I j: more's the pity such good times should

die; But famine, bad agints, hard landlords to poor, Tenant's trouble brought, black as what came to our

doore. The cabin is down, the ould people gone now, Through the ould sod black strangers are driving the

plough, While the childher that tilled it since first they dhrew

breath, Are in sthrange lands or sleeping the could sleep of


For my hire I now have to reap and to mow;
In the grave of our kindred the last one to go;
But whisht 1 $ this auld talk, 'tis the story ye want.
Though my heart's so fall sometimes that stop it I can't.

But, as I was saying, my father came in.
And wint down in the room, I faith I as right as a pin
With no sign of the drop as my mother would tell,
But able to do all his business right well.

"Yehl thin Shemus achree," ses my mother " you're

dead, You were up all the night, go away to your bed." "Yes," ses he, "fair and aisy, and for it I'll boult, When I go to the field first and chain that young


* In Ireland the yard where the cows are milked is called the bawn.

+ The current year or half year's rent.

j My sorrow. $Hush.

II Down in the room: the houses of the poorer, classes of the farmers in the South of Ireland usually contained two rooms—viz., a kitchen and bedroom and a loft. The women-servants and children occupied the latter, the " sarvint-boy" the settle-bed in the kitchen, which, folded up in the day-time, formed a sort of long seat, while the master and mistress slept "down in the room," au apartmsnt also used as a kind of parlour on state occasions.

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