Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Saviour, and to tread the wine-press alone.

Perhaps,” said he to himself, “ I might take comfort sooner, if I could speak to some one; but then I should not be so certain that my help came from above. No, I must not confer with flesh and blood; I must look to the hills from whence cometh my help;” and he did so, and the consolation which he received from this sermon was such, that it was long a support to his mind when clouds came over it.

His faithful partner was not insensible or indifferent : she saw that he struggled with something which he did not wish to communicate, but she had too much prudence and native delicacy to endeavour to penetrate what he sought to conceal; so in this instance he kept to his resolution, and laid his burthen only before the Lord. In all other minor matters, where their common interest was concerned, he was completely open, and he has been frequently heard to say, “ Thou art indeed a help-meet, my love.” Their union was so unbroken, that it interested the whole family when they saw the heads of the house living in the spirit of kindness and love, they could not with any shadow of propriety contend ; and indeed, Michael and Esther took good care that they should have very little opportunity, for their day was so employed that they had no vacuum. He thought there was great truth in that line of Dr. Watts :

• For Satan finds some mischief still,

For idle hands to do.” though they were very careful never to overwork them, or to appoint them more than they could perform with neatness and punctuality, and this orderly training was not confined to their own business, but they continued their care over the expenditure of those beneath their roof; persuading their servants to put aside some portion of their earnings in every year, and confide it in the savings bank, that they might have somewhat to bestow on their parents, and thus return those kindnesses received in infancy. Esther insisted upon their clothes being mended with neatness; she never gave them ribbons, lace, or any sort of finery ; but if there was any extraordinary care of her children, or herself, some solid, useful gift, was sure to be bestowed, and their stores were thus suitably increased, without receiving them by foolish gifts, which only serve to flatter vanity. And Michael, on his part, when the travelling tailor came his yearly round, offering to repair the damages

of time, Michael would insist upon having all mended that was torn, and usually paid the expense himself; and thus kept his family in economical order. Their care of their health was equally marked and judicious, the slightest cold was taken care of; and in the winter, if the younger ones walked at all carefully, as though they had chilblains, he immediately attended to it, prescribing simple remedies in time, so that, commonly speaking, they had a cleanly, healthy, domestic circle. He watched every countenance, and we may truly say, that he lived in the fear of God, and in love to his fellow-creatures,

At first, these peculiarities were wearisome, Master was a coddle, master was putting his finger into every thing;” but when the men found the maids employed in the long winter evenings knitting their warm socks, and the maids that they were well paid for this labour, to which at first they went very reluctantly; when they found, that as the tailor came, the oid clothes of their master, which he commonly wore pretty close, were cut into gaiters, and quilted thickly, laid by with care till the winter set in; when they found that his whole mind was employed in providing for every comfort, and fencing them against every danger, they became satisfied, and even thankful; and at those periods of the

year when different articles of the farm were to be delivered in, his excessive care for those who were to sleep out was unheard of before. He would say to the carter, “ If you are going some way, which will not permit your return to night, be sure to rest at the inn, and take care of yourself, and of the little lad that drives. Have a dry sleeping-room, and provide something warm for him and yourself; only avoid excess, my good fellow.” Often would the landlord of the different inns at which they put up, be surprised to hear those customers, who formerly were contented with an out-house or a ruinous loft, asking for a dry chamber for him and the boy, and a steak and a little good beer before they went to bed. “And who do you live with, pray?” says one to the little urchin who was warming himself by the fire. “ I live with a very good master and mistress,” says the boy; “I likes them uncommon, I would go through fire and water to serve them,-would not you, Giles ?” And the landlord winking, said, Well, and how much smutty wheat did you put off for him at the bottom of

your sacks.?

Smutty wheat,” said the carter. “ Smutty wheat,” responded the boy, “ master always keeps that at home if he

Oh, so you eat that, do you?" ?

has any.

66

[ocr errors]

“ Not I, because I'm an out-door servant, but master eats it in his own family, then he has it washed and cleaned, and kiln dried; and I heard him say, as it turned out beautiful.”

Why, it seems you are very fond of your master ?” · Yes I be, I never had a kinder, and never expect to get such another."

“ Oh! I suppose he lets you have your own way.

Why, not at first, but now I likes his ways so well, that I commonly mind he saves me time, he saves me labour, because he gives us all

us all a right way to do every thing.” “Well, this is a famous man, this master of your’s; pray, what is his name?” “ Kemp." Farmer Kemp. Oh, oh,” said the landlord, “ I have heard of him; that's he that wheedled his old master out of all his property, and cheated Moss's sister Farmer Finch's wife that was killed. Hardly could the carter wait the conclusion of this short speech.

My master wheedle, my master cheat; I'd fight the best man in England who should presume

it; I have known master ever since he was a boy, and I know all his outgoings and his incomings, and that is more than any body here does, I believe. I have heard them as knows very well, say that master fretted more when he got that money than if he had lost it."

to say it;

« AnteriorContinuar »