Imágenes de páginas

obliged to me,” but carefully noted whatever she did that was pleasing; and his praise was combined in four words, That's my good Peggy," words which distilled and dropped upon her young heart, and were a sufficient reward for any exertion; and he was very particular about whom she associated with. If he saw her getting intimate with any one whom he did not quite approve, he would say, “ Tell me your company, and I will tell you who you are ;” and this was one reason why he always shortened Nanny's visits. If Rose came, he would good-naturedly tell her he was glad to see her -- she was rightly named- and sometimes beg she would always wear the red rose. In short, he had always some merry little speech for her ; and one day went so far as to walk to the Brow to invite her, with the leave of her good master and mistress, and left some of his best tea for her, and went out himself, that the girls might enjoy themselves. He often glanced at a hope, that one day his sisters would come and dwell with him, but he fixed no time; and as these good women had lived so long and 80 comfortably together, though they determined never to resist his will, they were equally resolved not to hasten a removal. So month after month stole on, and no change took place in their domestic plans, and he was so amused with wandering from one house to another, that he began to be as happy in his country as he had been in his town residence.

It is not our intention to weary the reader with all the minutiæ of every-day life—we will merely touch a few points in their present state, and then pass over a few years, and view these young voyagers at a more advanced period.

One of Michael's plans for the happiness of his young family, as dictated by good sense and good nature, we will just glance at. He was quite firm in his resolves against pleasuring on a Sunday, as it was called, and he never allowed them even to go home on that day, unless illness or a visit from some distant friend seemed to render it indispensable; but then he took great care to employ them profitably: those who could read well taught at the adult school, beginners went to the infant school, and there was a secret understanding between Michael and the heads of those establishments ; so that he was sure to be informed if there was any gossipping or trifling on the part of his family. Ann Medway was soon discovered to be an errant gossip, and of very little use at the Sunday school, so that from that time

Esther took her with her to visit the sick, while the others were at the schools. She was not informed of the reason, the thing was done, she knew not why; what was at first unpleasant gradually interested her, to look on an old man whom they had assisted to read the Bible, '&c. ; an infant, whose dimple countenance was lit up

with smiles, while it repeated its Sunday hymn. These legitimate sources of pleasure left a harmless glow upon the mind, and they began to wonder how they could be so happy under restraints, which had at first been so unpleasing to them ; and we must say, that Nanny was really happy to carry a slice of meat to a sick man whom she had attended, and who was sufficiently recovered to partake of it.

As these laws of confinement to the Brow on a Sunday were unchangeable, Michael gave them Tuesday in case they had occasion to go out. I do not mean to say

that they went out every Tuesday, but this was the day on which they were allowed to see their friends. At first it occasioned great resistance; but when it was found to be a fixed principle they became reconciled, and even liked it better, such attention was paid to their comfort in every way, they were so well and plentifully fed; Michael helped them with such kindness at table, every thing provided was so clean and good, and such care taken that there should be no waste, that it may be truly said they lived in the spirit of that text, Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, let us do all to the glory of God.”

It pleased Providence to bless Michael, in the first four years of his marriage, with three infants: there was no want of kind nurses, no children had so many grandmothers; for besides Mary Humphries and Mary Kemp, there was Mrs. Beal, and Betty Smith pressing the young strangers to their bosoms. But Michael was called to resign, as well as to enjoy; for just as his eldest boy began to lisp his father's and mother's name, he was carried off by a sudden attack supposed to arise from the teeth. This boy, whose name was James, in honour of his late master, was laid in the ground with many tears; but we may truly say they were not rebellious tears, for a spirit of resignation pervaded the mind of each parent, though all the infantine endearments returned upon them with increased force, when they strove most to say, Thy will be done.

Poor Brownrigg alone would have it that the child was a delicate child, and in too sharp an air, and if he might have had it in his own little cottage, well sheltered



by the surrounding hills, it might have been alive and prattling at his knees; and Margaret was perpetually saying, My dear, do not say this to Esther, it is her only comfort to think that every thing has been done that could be done. Alas! my dear,” said the good old woman, must all go at some time, and who can tell but that God took him in great mercy. No doubt,” was her brother's reply; “ but yet I should like to have done what could have been done. I have no right to put my fingers in the fire to try if they will burn." The second child was a girl, and was named Jemima at the particular desire of Mrs. Finch, who stood for it with her daughter; and as she thought, from the principles of the parents, they would never buy it any thing very handsome, she insisted on always buying it pelisses and bonnets, which were accepted gratefully, only with this promise, that it should not be too costly. Pray, madam, remember,” said Mi

* when you are bestowing your gifts on this dear child, you are clothing the infant of your brother's stable-boy?” “ I will do all as you would like to have it done,” was the reply, “ but I remember that I am clothing the child of one of the best men I know, Mr. Kemp, one who has


« AnteriorContinuar »