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“ But you won't say as Mrs. Finch was delighted with it, you won't say as Miss Jemima and Mr. James were pleased.” “Yes, I will say that; and for why? because I know it. Why, have not Mr. James been living at master's house for these three months? and have not Mrs. Finch and Miss Jemima just left? You know that, don't you, Tommy?” “ To be sure I do. And Giles, what do you think I heard Madam Finch say when she got on her horse; and I held 'em, you know ?” “ I can't tell,” said Giles. “Why, master was standing, putting things comfortable as she sat on her horse, gathering up
the bridle in her hand. . God bless you, Mr. Kemp,' says she; thank you for your kind care of me and mine. God will bless you, you good young man, “ Why,” says the landlord," that don't seem as if she was very angry, to be sure; but is not your master a Methodist ? Is not he one of the saints? Don't he pretend to be better than his neighbours ?” “ I don't know what he pretends to,” said Giles,“ but he certainly is better than his neighbours, I am sure there is no farmer like him in our parish, I thinks he is almost as good as the minister.” that's what I have heard,” said the landlord, " and I have heard that he and the
minister do take it by turns to pray, and that this Mr. Kemp can pray as long as the minister, and longer too sometimes; and I have heard say, as the minister's wife don't like it, she never goes nigh 'em, and that she was a genteel lady, and did not like to put up with such company.” Giles felt he was getting more and more angry, and Michael had often said to the men, “ Never answer when you are in a passion, lest you should swear; always wait a bit.” So he thought within himself he would take his advice; and at last he looked up, and said, “ Master Landlord, pray how old are you?” “Why, I think I'm fifty-six next Michaelmas." how many lies do you think you have heard in your life?” “Why, that I cannot say, a good many I don't doubt.” “ So I suppose,” said Giles, “and if you keep a list you may put down these along the side of 'em. If you have heard that the minister is very fond of my master, you have heard the truth; and if heard that the minister's wife cannot leave the house, you have heard the truth ; for why? because she is a delicate lady, and has not got her health : she comes to church in the chaise, and how often my master goes and opens the little door for her I cannot tell; many's the time I have
heard her say, “Thank you, my kind Mr. Kemp, thank you.' Now, this does not look like enmity and malice, I think.” “ Why no,” said the landlord.
The carter paid his expenses, and when he was just going to drive off from the inn, he said," Perhaps, Mr. Landlord, you would not object if all the farmers were Methodists, if their servants, instead of taking up their talots and leaving little but dirt behind them, would pay you as we have paid you, and give you as little trouble." "I can't say but what you have behaved very well, and I like
well, and I like to hear a man speak well of his master; I like to be well spoken of myself, and little dogs as will fetch will carry, for they as won't speak well of their own, are not likely to speak well of the stranger; and perhaps, when you are recommending a good inn, dry sleeping chambers, and a very decent cook, not forgetting the old October, it may come to your mind, Mr. Carter, to say a word for the Black Boar.” “ I have nothing to say against it, Master Landlord, only I shall take care not to send you any Methodists.”
It happened that year that Michael was chosen overseer ; his whole view of this office he had gathered from men of better judgment and information than himself. The system of the poor laws was a bad
system, and he could not help thinking, that though it was not in his power to change them, he might gradually bring his own people to live independently of the parish. Thus, for instance, he paid them good wages, and encouraged them by little presents now and then-one a pig, another a bushel of malt, and if ever they worked extra they were sure to be better paid than usual. In fine, the whole-of Michael's arrangements was gradually working to bring his people back to a state of feeling which leads to honest independence and sympathy for their natural connections.-But perhaps a dialogue between Michael and his shepherd may illustrate my. meaning, and shew the principle upon which he acted more clearly. “ Sir,” said this man,
my poor father has been sick this fortnight, and the parish doctor says there is no hope of him, if he can't have nourishing broths and other good things.” “As for broth,” said Michael, “it is not possible to get better than you can have at the soup shops in this village; Mr. Lascelles's cook buys meat, and old Norris's wife is employed in nothing else but making it, and most excellent it is. Well, I never did taste it,' said the shepherd, “I never had any fancy to it; I always had a notion that all the scraps in Mr. Lascelles's kitchen went to
the making of it; and though poor folks be poor folks, yet they are not cats and dogs.” *. You are in a great error, Mortlake,” said Michael; “ I believe no scrap but butcher's ever went to that soup shop, and it is a. sad prejudice you have all got. I am very certain there is no better
in this parish, not even at the Rectory. Suppose I send for a basin, or give you a ticket to go and fetch it?" “ As you please, Sir.” "Well, you shall go then,” said Michael. The soup was brought, and the shepherd confessed it was excellent."
« Well then, here is soup for your father, and as you have very good wages, Mortlake, I think it will be more for your credit to allow him from your wages so much a week.” The shepherd put his hat on one side, and scratching his ear, said, “ he did not know as his mistress would consent.” Michael. who thought he meant Esther, assured him that his mistress and he were talking of it together, and that they both agreed it was quite the duty of every one who could afford it do do every thing for their families without help from the parish.” “ But, Sir, I mean my wife, and I thinks she would object.” “Oh, Mortlake, I hope not. Your parents did not go to the parish to bring you up, Mortlake."
“ I can't say as they did, Sir; my father was a miller, and