« AnteriorContinuar »
think she was unhappy, and she forebore to say, how much of her heart she had left behind her at the Brow; and when they had passed the known limits of Esther's recollection, and were entering on scenes of novel interest, as Michael painted this little view, and that pleasant prospect, Esther endeavoured to rise above that oppression which rested on her heart.
But this good young man could account for it, and doubted not, but so duteous a daughter, would make a kind wife.
James Finch was pleased with the opportunity of making himself useful to Mr. Kemp, and his nice mother was delighted to see, that what was a season of gaiety to others, threw him into a state of restless activity; he seemed really to want to make business, and when he found little to do, was determined to signalize himself, and sending for some invisible green
from the next town, began painting the little trellis work at the door, and the arbour in the garden. “ Dear sir,” said Betty Smith, “I am sure master would be sadly grieved to see you at such a job as this. Why, William, you know as master gave you particular orders to pay all respect to Mr. Finch.” William scratched. his head, and declared it was no fault of his. Mrs. Finch said, it was no fault of any one's, for she loved to see her boy busy, and it was what he often did at home, and understood it very well. Betty Smith smiled in her good-natured way, and said, she thought the young gentleman went about it very handy. Fair warnings were given to all the inhabitants, not to paint themselves; and this goodnatured young man was highly_gratified, at the improvement of the Brow entrance. He would willingly have extended his labours, had not his mother and sister, voted against smell of paint, on the return of the bride and bridegroom. “ Well, what can I do then ?” “I tell
shall do; I have a present for Mr. Kemp, on his return, which I know will be acceptable to him, a folio Bible; and as you write a very good hand, James, you shall write, The gift of Martha Finch to Mr. Kemp, a memorial of her respect for his worth, and gratitude for many years of kind and faithful attention to her interest. And now there was not a pen good enough in the house for this writing, or a knife sharp enough to mend one. He prepared the paper with pounce, he ruled the lines with the greatest
exactness, thought his mother's sentence was not half so expressive as it should have been. She persisted in saying it expressed her meaning; and the restless lad was at last satisfied.
The kind attentions of Mrs. Finch and Mrs. Kemp were directed to soothe Mary; and every one agreed, that though the prospect of happiness was unclouded, still the breach upon her pleasures was very great. But grief, when slightly founded, where only our own pleasure is concerned, finds relief in tears; and when Mary weighed Esther's advantages against her own priyations, she was constrained to allow that her grief was selfish, and that conviction was sufficient for Mary. Fanny Meredith and Jemima now renewed their acquaintance, and all the little news at the Valley and at the Brow were communicated; and Jemima was equally astonished and concerned to find, that the young Mr. Jennings had taken a farm, and with a pomp proportionate to his insignificance, was continually thwarting Michael in every possible way
“ We suppose,” said Fanny, “ that the disappointment about Joe is at the bottom of it;" and here she related all the folly of the young people. " At the last vestry, he himself had pro
posed a measure, which Michael thought a good one, and immediately joined, very desirous of shewing nothing but Christian kindness towards one who had so continually opposed him in every way. But you know my brother: I need not tell you upon what principles he acts. Well, no sooner did he find that Michael agreed and thought it a good plan, but he found that, upon second thoughts, there were objections to it. And now there is another farmer come in, where poor farmer Newton lived; and there seems likely to be strong opposition in the parish, a thing never known before. However, Mr. Lascelles observed, when Michael mentioned it, I have long been afraid, our sea was too calm, and that we should find it good to be here;' and then, in his own delightful manner, he continued, " Let the winds blow, and the waters rage, we know who is in the vessel.'—And my dear brother came home quite in good spirits.
The summer glow was on Nature's beauties, the time of day was too warm for open travelling ; but some light showers had fallen the evening before, and very heavy rain in the night, so that, though very warm, it was not dusty. They drove slowly, and meant to take a quiet dish of
tea at a rural inn, whose windows overlooked a neat garden, and to proceed in the evening the last seven miles. “ How much cooler than I expected,” said Esther.
M. The light winds so fan the air, he holdeth
On the slope of the hill they were ascending, the slanting rays of the sun shed the strongest brilliance; the long bridge before them seemed to reach to the declination of two hills, and as it were, to span them, and between them a rivulet ran over a rocky bed, meeting considerable obstruction from rude masses of stone fringed with weeds of luxuriant growth: these combined with mosses, and a plant somewhat resembling the cole plant, (such as the poor sometimes boil when they have no other vegetable,) in rich profusion, and watered by the late rains, finely contrasted with the white substance of which one hill was formed, and the yellow loam of the other. The curling vapour of a wood fire in a cottage, which seemed almost a speck beneath, formed a picture of rural · beauty not unfrequent in the country through which they travelled.
But they had got out of the chaise, for the horse felt the heat and the hill; and they were slowly proceeding till they reached the