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want wit, added, “ But, you see, Sir, as we were not present at your exhortation, we know not well how to profit by it.' " A very fair invitation, Madam,” said Brownrigg. “ Mr. Joseph will doubtless instruct you; but I am engaged, you see.'
Joseph neither understood nor relished the joke, but walked on pouting; and Brownrigg being a man of business, kept to his point, wished the ladies good afternoon, and brought Mr. Joseph safe to the Brow.
Joseph's understanding was too limited to perceive the guiding hand, and he was seriously displeased with Louisa, he thought she slighted him; and had no objection, in his present state of mind, to give her up. The only difficulty that remained, was to prevent the visit being repeated.
Brownrigg told the whole to old Kemp, who was very sensible of the kindness; and, in his plain, straight-forward, honest way, said, “ We must contrive to send him home; what could we do in such a cottage as ours, Sir, with such a young lady as that?"
“Dear me, no; unless Joe had sense to maintain himself, and get a cottage of his own.
No, no, Sir; whenever Joe marries, he must marry a sensible maid-servant, not a fine young lady. He
must have some one with more sense than himself, Sir. The lad's not ill-tempered, but so soon led astray.
After consulting with his wife, who said, “ You remember, my dear, what our Michael did before ; he sent Joe on some business, for the poor boy likes to be of consequence.” They turned to Fanny. “What could we employ Joe about, my dear, just to take him from these Jennings?" Jem Brown overheard this, and said, “When does Mr. Joseph go home ?” “He. came with the intention of staying till Monday,” said Mrs. Kemp; “ longer than that, we could not get leave for. Then Joseph must return to his business. Till then, the difficulty is so to engage him, as that he may not think we govern him.” “Pray, is'nt Mr. Joseph a nursery-man ?" “Yes, and he is really very clever at his business. His master is quite satisfied with him. If you could consult him about heaths, he understands their propagation, and all the American plants. His master is very much satisfied with his care; and Joe is very fond of being consulted.' His father turned away smiling, and the conversation ended with “poor dear Joe." But Brownrigg had a deep plot in his head, of which more at a future day.
How some days seem exalted above
others. Tuesday was a day looked forward to with delight, by all this party. “ Tuesday, I shall see my dear Esther again,” said Mary Humphries; “ And Tuesday we shall get home,” said Michael and Esther; and many hearts were longing for Tuesday: Last, not least, poor Betty Smith. It was long since her dear master had left home, and the house seemed unked without him. “ To be sure, old Mr. Kemp do read the prayer and the chapter, but my master makes so many pretty observations and seems to have such a fine experience.
But the village was not without its spite, though there was so little ground for malignity. Some reported that he had gone away, and never given the ringers; others, that he had run out of church, and never paid Mr. Lascelles for marrying him; and again, that Mr. Lascelles, with his two daughters, was obliged to go to the Brow after his money; that Esther's rich uncle, , was going to marry Miss Jennings, and had taken the opportunity of fixing the business, while his miserly nephew was out: it was true he had taken Mr. Joseph with him; but then, he was such a blockhead, he could not see an inch before him; that old Mrs. Kemp was left behind, to see that nothing was wasted; and that poor Margaret and Mary, were obliged to be dressed up by their brother, to make them fit to appear. All this was told to Betty Smith ; who, if she had a weak side, erred in this, that she was too willing to lend an ear to foolish reports. Michael always said to her, “Betty, wait till the news is cold; and then, I think, you will not find it worth bringing home.” She remembered her master's words, but was apt to forget to apply them. Dear faithful Betty; her heart was so warm with love to her master, that a word of disrespect to him was a sin she could not pardon.
There were a few gentle showers in the early part of the day, but never enough to make the travellers uncomfortable; and their hearts were turned to the praise of him, who had so eminently blessed them. “ I wonder what they are all about at home,” said Esther. (Michael smiling,) “I think some one is longing to see some one,' and the tear was in Esther's eye; and “she is a kind mother," convinced Michael he was understood. “ I hope all my friends at P- will be at home, Esther. I shall like to show you my dear Mr. Walker, to whom I so much.” “ Have you not some brothers and sisters at home still ?" said Esther. “Yes, one dear little sister about nine, and a brother
seven." “But they are not left at home alone, are they?” “No; my mother has kind neighbours, who takes care when she is absent, and it is a rare thing for her to come out.”
As they drew near the turnpike gate, of which the reader has so often heard, they found it a shelter from a violent storm which was just coming on; and they were obliged to rest longer than they could have wished in such a place; for several dropped in, whose conversation was far from pleasing. “ You have got a fine new road here,” says one to the turnpike collector. “ Yes; and a fine deal of money it has cost," says another. “Ah! that would never have been, if it had not been for the parson : his daughter is going to be married to a fine, dashing lawyer, a first cousin of hers : he comes down travelling in his town chariot, and expects to find all the roads just as they are round Lunnen.' “ I don't think the parson would ever have thought of it,” said another, “if it hadn't been for that flourishing sprig. He's quiet enough himself; and beside, he haven't been well enough to ride on horseback for a long time. I heard that our member's son was looking out for the living more than a year ago; but I believe it would have been a tight struggle; for the people