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miss a workman. Esther's influence over her poor women was as complete and full as Michael's, and if she had not as much decision as her husband, she was aware of this defect, and acted in such a manner as to conceal it-quiet perseverance in what she knew to be right. They employed very few women on the farm, at least in labour. Michael had his own ideas upon this subject, he greatly preferred performing all that could be done by men and boys; he thought it made the women masculine and careless in their family, and destroyed that feminine decency which he so loved to encourage. It is true, he had a few stone-pickers in the season, and some hay-makers, but these women were mostly in their cottages, seeing to their husbands' and children's clothes, and providing for the general comfort of the family; so that the children were well nursed, and there was an air of decency in their dwelling which cannot be preserved while the wearied wife shares the labour of the day with her stronger partner. The lyings-in were provided for, and it was a regular custom at the Brow to lend a parcel for a month, and at the end of that term, when they came to return it, to keep them to dinner, and to converse with them on the necessity of devoting
themselves anew to God, who had brought them through danger and distress, and to give them such hints as might be useful for the training of the little ones. Thus feeling they had a Friend who attended them, and had a concern for their welfare, they were brought up to look to one head, and if their mistress was ill, or if they had not seen master for a few days, there was a sort of anxiety, a tender apprehension, even among the merely moral, which proved that they were sensible of their advantages, and feared to lose them.
Madam Lascelles was as much honoured, but then she was so much above them; that they could not so freely make known all that passed to her as they could to Esther.
It was in the evening of a very fine day, that the mother of little Thomas Southby came up to return her bundle, and to offer her thanks. The poor creature sat down in the porch to rest, Esther saw the shadow of something pass the window, and partly expecting Fanny, opened the door to welcome her. " Oh, Phæbe Southby, is it you?” Yes, madam; I beg your pardon for not coming in, but I was a little tired coming up the hill;" and Esther took the baby, who laid wrapt in sleep, unconscious of the fatigue he occasioned. Taking in the sleeping infant, and laying it safely, she returned with a cordial for the mother; and observing that all about her wore the appearance of care and industry, she said, “ “ How happy it is for you to have so kind a husband
*** Madam, Ì
am come to return you thanks for the nice caudle you sent me: I had it three times in the week, and I may justly say, I think it did Thomas as much good as me, for you know, madam, how poorly he was; I am sure we are bound to love you and pray for you, madam; and then the learning our children gets; why, dear me, there is my little maid, she can read and work,” and she began to feel in her pocket for a cap the child had made. “ The youngest Miss Lascelles gave me this muslin, and I thought I would cut it out, and see what Patty could do.'
Well, this is very neat indeed, and deserves to be encouraged ; send her to me to-morrow, neighbour.”
It is by intimate inquiry into the minuter concerns that we bind our connexions to us; in great matters they expect to be attended to, but in smaller affairs the heart is won by seeing that you are interested; for whatever shades of difference Providence may have seen fit to make in society, still each have a tender concern and an intimate feeling of small kindnesses
shewn them in the progress of affairs in their own little circle. Thus, Esther's observance of Patty's work, and the wife's neat mending; Michael's notice of Thomas's tidy pig-sty, and his care to keep his windows tight, and the small bits of wood nailed upon his cottage door; all these things led them to suppose they were regarded and even beloved. Oh, the power of this kind treatment over the human bosom, all feel it-it operates delightfully, it acts and re-acts, none lose by exerting this sweet principle, it descends from heaven to man, it operates delightfully on fellow-mortals, and rises again in oblations and in praise to Him who gave the principle; God is love, and he who liveth in love liveth in him.'
How much do those lose who bluntly and roughly treat their fellow-creatures worse than the animals who labour for them. There was not a man upon Michael's farm who would not have risen at any hour to serve his master or mistress; for why? because he knew that that master or mistress had a concern for every creature round them; that, in imitation of their beloved Saviour, following on to know him: in all their afflictions he was afflicted, so that the common occasions of life, which in other situations were passed
by or overlooked, were here noted, observed, and shared.
There was one fixed principle in Michael's mind, never to evade taxation; for he thought, how was it possible for government to effect its measures if every puny housekeeper, who shares the privilege of peace and protection, was to be endeavouring thus to deprive government of its resources. No, he thought it was money well spent which procured every man the benefit of sitting safe under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree. This operated in every way: the sly smuggler who came with a little piece of lace, or the more open evasion of giving in fewer windows than were in your house, were equally avoided here. Every species of dishonesty or deception was looked upon as sin against God, and avoided. Esther had no desire of finery, she had been brought up in habits of prudence, and they were so natural to her, that she could never feel easy unless the principle of economy were enforced. Her example was most profitable in her household, they were ashamed to be finer than their mistress; and the dear little children, neither seeing nor hearing any thing of false taste, were contented with the plainest appearance. It was this minute attention to