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sult Michael Michael liked the idea extremely well; he foresaw that Brownrigg would not quite approve it, he advised complete openness both with Mr. Lascelles and Mr. Brownrigg. So James took his opportunity, when his excellent lady was one morning in the green-house reading, to collect some of the very finest carnations, a sprig of cape jessamine, and as he placed them in a vine leaf, and laid them on a small table which stood before her, he bowed. His lady, in her sweet manner, said, “ Thank you, James; you do raise me the sweetest flowers, and the buds of your carnations are so perfect.” She saw he stopped, and looked as though he had something further to say; and this good lady was so much in the habit of inquiring into the wants and wishes of all her people, that she continued admiring the flowers to encourage him. He was encouraged. “You are so good, madam, so kind, and master is so good and kind.” you do not wish to leave us, James.” "I don't know, madam, not perhaps ;” and he seemed unable to go on.
At length, however, “ I had some wish to settle, madam, and Mr. Brownrigg's Peggy."
Ah!” said Mrs. Lascelles, “ very nice little girl, very suitable indeed.--Yes, yes, James; and what do you wish me to do ?” “Only
“ I hope
to advise me, madam. “ How long have you and Peggy had a liking for each other?” said Mrs. Lascelles. " Oh, madam, I have never spoken to Peggy; I thought it better not to unsettle her mind till I had spoken to her master. Well, that was very right, very honourable, just as it should have been. Then you are going to Mr. Brownrigg, are you
Madam, I have no acquaintance with Mr. Brownrigg.” Here his mistress could hardly suppress a smile.
“ What do you wish, then ?" “ I thought perhaps, as my master would be so good as to speak for me." “Very good ; but first, I think
should just mention the matter to Peggy.” Under this sanction James was not long ere he found an opportunity; he waylaid Peggy, who blushed, and feared, and objected; “ was sure master would never consent, he was mighty particular—it was not every body that would suit him, she knew his ways, he had been a father to her, she would not ill use him for the world. Master was comical, to be sure, but master was the kindest creature. Oh, he was so good to me when I was poor and friendless, and I have never wanted for kind looks and kind words since I knew him." But it all ended, that if master made no objection- James did not permit her to
finish, but thanked her, and immediately communicated the happy tidings to Mrs. Lascelles. The good pastor was of opinion that James had better himself call upon Mr. Brownrigg ; he thought, from what he had seen of that upright man's character, the more direct and simple people were in their dealings with him, the more they were likely to succeed. In short, he advised the most unreserved conduct.
So James that very evening called on Mr. Brownrigg, with some very fine seeds of the dark sweet william, a flower he was cultivating most sedulously, and had them in such rich variety as to equal the most beautiful exotics. He saw that James lingered, as though his business was not finished, and he said, “Is there any thing, James Brown, that I can do for you. James took courage.
Yes, sir, there is indeed; my happiness depends upon you, sir.” Brownrigg started as though he did not like to have it in his keeping, and asked him gravely what he meant, at the same time walking up to the glass in his own manner, pulling the folds of his neckcloth quite smooth, to wait James's reply. As soon as he came to the word Peggy, Brownrigg understood him. So, sir, you have brought me sweet williams, and you would take away my queen Margaret,
and you have been tampering with the girl, I know it; why, she brought my shaving cup full of cold water this morning, a thing I never knew her do in my life; left the stair-case window shut; in short, the girl's head seems good for nothing, and it is you, I suppose, who have turned her brain.” James declared he had only spoken to the girl the night before, and he had acted upon the advice of his mistress Mrs. Lascelles, or he should have spoke first to Mr. Brownrigg himself.
Well, well; why, all this is mighty fair, and very honourable ; but, for me, it is rather inconvenient, sir. Now observe, I have trained this girl since she was as high as my knee; she knows how to do every thing for me; I am a man of fixed habits, and if you have a mind to make me uncomfortable, if you had studied for a month, sir, you could not have done it more completely than to take my little Peggy away from me.-By the
By the way, what did she say to you when you made this foolish proposition? I dare say you told her, she was a very pretty girl. deed, sir, I did not. Why, perhaps there is no occasion, I dare say the girl knows it. Though, come, come, I won't say she is a vain girl, she is a very good little thing. But was she willing to
go away, tell me what she said, sir.' “ She would not leave you.
- Little cunning jade, she knew the way to my heart,
" and he whispered something about mother Eve. Well, sir, when people marry they have generally some plan to make the pot boil, unless perchance you are a poet, and live by your wits. What may your intentions be?”
Poor James suffered much during this inquiry, he was a generous lad, and he felt that what he had to offer was by no means equal to his own wishes; but he gathered courage. “ I have saved a little, sir, and my uncle has always promised me the cottage he lives in, and the one next door to it, sir. They are both his own, and when my uncle dies, he has often told me he will leave me all he has. pose, sir, as it's very much, but my uncle has always lived decent upon his little, and what he got by being clerk.” Well, sir, but your uncle must still live, you will not kill him out of the way; and while he lives, I want to know what you have got to support a wife.” Why, sir, I am making eighteen shillings a week, and my master is so very kind, that I have many little advantages in attending his house. Whenever he kills a pig, I have always a bit for my uncle; and then, sir,
I don't sup