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he expected; and Mary said, they were uncommonly pretty. “Ah, so they are; but how do you know that my sister has not paid too much for them ?” « Oh,” said Mary, with a sneer, “ as if my sister did not know what to give for things;" and the word sister was spoken with so much endearment, that Esther could not find it in her heart to be angry.
The new bonnet and hat were sent home, and the little ones greatly delighted; and now, between the pleasure of the new dress, the delight of seeing brother Michael, and the new kind sister, the young things could hardly be persuaded to go to rest. Mrs. Spencer was not willing to leave her charge; and taking Michael aside, said, she thought her neighbour (i. e. Mrs. Kemp) would like best for her to stay, and boil the pot for them, and she should do it very willingly; adding, it would be awkward for Esther to find things. And Michael began to think his neighbour was in the right; so he thanked her for her good will, and strolled out that very evening, to give her an offering of gratitude; for he well knew this good creature would not accept any remunera
For many a kind turn had his mother done neighbour Spencer, and she was pleased with the opportunity of
tion in money
We are poor
showing her gratitude.“ How many weighty services may one poor woman perform for another, and how many do they perform, services which no money can repay. creatures after all; and those attentions which touch us most nearly, those indispensable attentions in the hours of sickness and pain, are claimed alike by rich
The clouds had thickened since their return to P., and the night was stormy, the Sunday morning showery and unpromising; but, by the help of umbrellas and pattens, they reached the church of P. without difficulty; and Jane Kemp looked towards her mother's seat during the service, to see who was there; and hardly could the honest girl sit out the service for delight. And Michael had heard so poor an account of Mr. Walker at the turnpike, that he was agreeably surprised to find him in the pulpit, and hear him preach from those words of the Psalmist, “ That whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper." He drew so fine a line between the prosperity of the wicked and the prosperity of the righteous, their opposite hopes and fears, and closed with the abiding prosperity of those who trust a Saviour and that fine peroration, “ I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things présent, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus." And now, as the congregation thickened in the porch, and one waited to pin up her apron, and another to put a handkerchief over her bonnet, Jane Kemp pressed through the crowd to welcome her brother Michael, and to speak to her new sister. But Johnny, with tenacity, kept his brother's hand, and scarcely suffered Jane to disengage him. “Oh, Michael, how are you, and how are they all at home?" and a hundred questions in a minute, as to when they came, and how long they would stay. As they passed down the path Michael had
so often swept, he said, “ Esther, my dear, this is your sister Jane.” Kind looks were exchanged, and the welcome to P. was given. run home, Michael,” said Jane," and get leave to come and wait on you to-day. You know, master never gives leave to go out on Sundays; but then he is so fond of you, and knows so well that you would do nothing improper, that I'm sure he would make no objections.”
And now again Johnny took his place, while Jane ran home, for every thing that was kind and good was so associated with
" I'll just
the name of brother Michael, that the very children were ambitious of sharing his favour. But they were not destined to reach home without interruption ; for, at the door of the Lion stood the redoubtable Mrs. Potter, and they were not able to pass her without manifest rudeness, which Michael could not practise. It was, “ Oh, Mr. Michael, you are welcome to P.; well, some people are in luck. Who should ever have thought that I should have seen you driving a fine horse and gig!” Michael was on the point of saying, it was not his horse and gig, when Esther pressed
Michael only replied, he hoped she was quite well. “Oh, quite well, she thanked him, better to live by spite ' than pity.” Michael was about to inquire what she meant, when Esther again pressed his arm; a motion which he now completely understood, and he could not help commending her, as she walked on, and so passed to the cottage of the Kemps.
Neighbour Spencer had laid the cloth, and produced some nice cold beef from a neighbouring eating-house, which, with a rice pudding, made up the dinner. Michael was much pleased to see Jane's attention to Mrs. Spencer, and that she would not suffer her to clear away, but did every thing herself. He thought it becoming,
and took an opportunity of commending her, dwelling upon the kind attentions of their neighbour; and before he went away, he again expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Spencer for her goodness. “You must not think that I cleaned up any thing since your mother went ; Jane would run down every evening to clean up. I don't know a cleverer or a steadier girl than Jane Kemp; she is mightily looked upon at the Rectory, I can tell you.” Michael observed to Esther “what a blessing had rested on their family, that their father and mother had brought them up in the fear of God; and he could say, that whatsoever they had done it prospered—that he had no fear for any but poor Joe.” Mrs. Spencer replied, Why, poor Joe does very well, I'm sure, at the nursery; he earns his money, and goes on steadily."
Michael thinking it best not to lower his brother in the eyes of his neighbour, said he was glad to hear it, and the subject passed. Esther stayed at home in the afternoon, while Michael and the little ones went to church ; and in the evening they all went up to the Rectory to Mr. Wi's lecture. After which, Michael had the pleasure of introducing his bride, and receiving blessings from his early friend. He found Mrs. Walker altered more than her hus