« AnteriorContinuar »
band, and was delighted to perceive how dutifully their son and daughter conducted themselves. They were invited to spend the following day at the Rectory, and that they might have no interruption, and feel no embarrassment, Michael was in the library with Mr. Walker, and Miss Sophia took Esther into her mother's dressingroom. This quiet, unaffected girl, begged she might be employed in some way, saying, she was so used to work that she was really uncomfortable without something to do. “ And now,” said Mrs. Walker, “ Mrs. Kemp, we are so fond of your husband, that you must tell us all about it;-how you were so happy as to meet with so good a husband, and he to find so nice a wife. So Esther, with her accustomed simplicity, told her story, and put Mrs. W. in possession of what the reader already knows.
“I am persuaded,” said Miss Walker, 66 that if we were to cast our cares, mamma, more simply on God, we should find him directing the minutest of our concerns.' Oh, my love, I have always told you so. Yes, mamma, you have indeed; but yet I don't know how it is, we never seem to take the experience of another.' “ Well, that is very true,
Sophia, and every generation knows somewhat of this: I can remember it myself, when my dear mother used to advise me, and I was not undutiful, Sophia, any more than you; yet I was too apt to think mamma viewed things through a dark medium, and yet surely there never was a more cheerful creature, nor one who looked on the world with a more loving eye. Alas! we sometimes see the excellencies of those we love too late.” Sophia looked as if she would have said,
" I am sure, mamma, I can see all your's;" and the returning look acquitted her of every thing but want of experience; and Esther understood it all, and began to esteem these dear friends, of whom Michael had so often spoken to her with that love and respect which they merited. She was trimming up a cap for Mrs. W., and it was done so neatly and handily, that Mrs. W. said, “ I should like to have you for a milliner of all things.” “ Oh, ma'am, I wish it were not so far, I should like to work for
you. dear girl, this is very kind of you; you will think of me, and wish me well, I know; and let your prayer be directed for me to the throne of mercy, that the truths I believed in my health may be my support in age, when the silver cord is loosed, and
the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern; then when this dust shall return to the earth as it was; then pray for me, that my spirit may return happily to God who gave it.” It was too much for Sophia; the tears were streaming down her cheeks, and she said, “O my dear, my precious mamma, don't talk so.' “ My love, my dear Sophia,” replied her mother, in all the beautiful parts of the Monument of Parental Affection, none ever struck me as so beautiful as that part where the excellent Joshua says, “ As we must all die, I think it unhappy when a man is approaching death, that either he or his friends should fear to make it the subject of conversation; to meditate and speak upon it is a duty even in the days of health.'
Too, too true, dear mamma, but I often wish I might be allowed to escape death, or rather that I might so pass from time to eternity as to take all my dear friends with me, never to experience the pang of separation. After having loved you, my dearest father, and my beloved brother, as I do love you, to think of being separated ; oh, I cannot bear the thought.”
“ Well, my precious girl, leave it, ' sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' But Sophy," said her mother, twisting the ringlets of
her hair between her fingers, " is there not some other person whom you would be very sorry to leave?” “ Yes, you little sly mamma; there is certainly, and what harm ?” “ None at all, my precious girl. Esther connected this with the story she had heard at the Turnpike, but she went on without betraying any symptoms of understanding what was said.
" How long are we to have you here, Mrs. Michael ?” enquired Mrs. W. “0, ma'am, we take leave to-day; we must be off early to-morrow, for our business requires us, and we left company at home.” And now Esther enquired respecting Jane, saying, that their neighbour had given her an excellent character. “ And she well deserves it,” said Mrs. W., “ she is quite a Kemp." “ It is a great advantage, ma'am,” said Esther, modestly, “ to have good parents.” “Ah, it is indeed,” answered Sophia; “ we shall never be aware of the advantage till we compare the effect of irregular principles.” Esther then mentioned the Jennings family, and observed, that without any particular vice, they were always uncomfortable and unhappy, and yet they were not wanting in affection; there was a feeling of kindness. replied Mrs. W., “this is all the cry of nature, but there is no Christian rule
“ Yes, yes,
66 it was my
teaching to bear and forbear, no plan going out in acts of kindness and consideration for others; it is all with impulse, soil without culture.” Mrs. W. enquired if Esther was not the niece of a worthy man who had called there some time since, and had gone on some business to a person who kept a public-house in that place? “Yes, madam,” said Esther, uncle; he knew Mrs. Potter's uncle, and now I think of it, he desired me to enquire how she was going on. She spoke to us in a very rough odd way.”
Mrs. W. I believe she goes on much as usual, we see nothing of her at church, and her distiller and her brewer have, I believe, set her up again for their own benefit. I hear she is obliged to give in her accounts every Saturday, and has only the pleasure of keeping a public-house for her pains.--" Dear me,” said Esther, looking up with natural astonishment, and Mrs. W, seemed to join in her wonder.
Sophia.“ But, mamma, if no one were to keep a public-house, would it not be very inconvenient?”—(Mrs. W.)
Certainly, my love, I can perfectly suppose a public-house to be kept without any ex
“ How could that be, mamma ?” “ Not without a man in it, my dear, and that man a resolute as well as a worthy cha