Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

wildest absurdity, and natural religion exhibits only the insane vagaries of disordered imagination. He who made the heart, who knows what is in the heart, can alone regulate and bring it back to him from whom it hath strayed. Oh, the mighty mischief wrought by man's disobedience, when he chooses not to retain God in his thoughts, given up to believe a lie, working all uncleanness with greediness, plunging deeper at every step in the awful ruin, till even the increase of the multitude strengthens the fatal determination to do evil. How common is the infatuated observation, “I do no more than others.” Little do these sad votaries of eternal ruin think how companionship in misery will aggravate their misery. Sinner, stop, ere the descent be too mighty for thee; it is truly said, that the first steps are the most important. It is vain to suppose we can pause in our midway course; no, the impetus is then too strong, and down they rush without power, I had almost said, without inclination to stop.

Jem's little ground was now in forwardness, he rose early and worked late ; and Peggy's dear friend, the kind Mr. Brownrigg, was indefatigable in his attendance on masons and carpenters. This good man had very correct ideas of any good he

[ocr errors]

was about to perform. Thus, for instance :
“I am not going to build you a drawing-
room, Mrs. Peggy, the room you will in-
habit will serve for kitchen, parlour, and
all;" but it was an ample kitchen: “and by
and bye,” said her kind master, “ when we
shall see Brown and Co. gilt and embla-
zoned with many a flourish, when young
apprentices pour in their hundreds upon
you for board and instruction in the art of
slipping and grafting, then my good Mr.
James

may
build

you a smart parlour if he pleases.” So the new house consisted of one large airy kitchen, with a washhouse on the one side, and on the other a pantry, in which to lodge every comfort of life; a most excellent cellar, two good sleeping rooms with attics over them: and as for the green-house, forcing-house, &c. it was very complete; and as this good man considered before he acted, he laid out his money in a spot where it might reasonably be supposed it would return him interest; that is, at that extremity of the parish where other parishes bounded, and might reasonably be

expected to come for those articles which James had to dispose of: it was equi-distant from three towns, and within a mile of the village church. Neatness pervaded every part, all was new and all was pretty, except the

garden — that was young, and a young garden is never pretty. And the bridal day came, and the young couple invited all that were dear to them on both sides; and their kind patron opened his cottage, and procured an excellent dinner, which was served up cold : he was an orderly man, and any thing like bustle destroyed his happiness; and he was determined, though parting with Peggy, to smile through the day.

Perhaps it might be as well to give the reader some account of his parting advice.

It was in the evening of the day before, with a voice almost tremulous, that he said, “ Child, step into the parlour,” and sitting down in his ample chair, and leaning upon a small table that stood before him, “ As you have no natural relations, child, to counsel and protect you, I feel every way responsible, and I shall not consider my duty towards you fulfilled without a parting word.” Peggy took up her apron, and began to wipe her eyes ; and Brownrigg, with his natural drollery, which even at this moment could not be conquered, threw his handkerchief at her, and desired she would not misapply things but put all things to their right use, The good girl smiled through her tears, took the handkerchief, and bent her attention while Brownrigg proceeded. “ I hope, I think, nay more, I really believe this young man will do all in his power to make you happy, and I am sure, Peggy, you will make him an excellent wife. Though I am a bachelor, I think myself qualified to give you some counsel; it is an old saying, that those who stand by see more of the game than those who play;' and if it is so, I am in this sense qualified. Now, child, women are very apt to be troublesome in trifles, and as trifles make up the sum of human life, and as they occur every day, they are very often troublesome. Thus I have seen a man almost worried to death, because he did not rub his shoes; and as we have all some foolish tricks or petty habits, which it is almost too late to think of correcting when we come to man's estate, these are things women must bear with, and if a wife is determined that a man shall not turn his cushion before he sits down in his chair, or scratch his head when he is thinking, or do any foolish trick he has been in the habit of doing when he was a bachelor; I say, if a man is to be tortured like a child, he will grow weary, and perhaps angry, and thus many a fool

[ocr errors]

ish female has thrown away her diamonds, and picked up buttons. All this while he sat with the fore-finger of his righthand pointing to the palm of his left. “ Now observe, child, do not, when your husband makes a litter in the room, which perhaps he may, for all men are not like your old bachelor master, do not, I say, make a parade of putting every thing in order, and run about with a duster in your hand as though you would say,

See what trouble you give me.' No, do all quietly and humbly. One thing by the way, child ; renember we are the lords of the creation, and it is your part to obey; and if we do let you govern sometimes 'tis a foolish mistake we make; so I say, Peggy, child, do you keep in your place. Ah, that is a good thought; I have seen men blowing the fire, there is nothing a man dislikes like a bad fire and dirty hearth. Now you see, child, when a man comes in from his business, he expects to be petted and made comfortable. Oh, there is another thing-but I must finish what I was saying about fires: mind to manage your fire well, you will be particularly well off in this respect, you may have all round coals; but observe me, be sure to let your fireside be very comfortable; the whole com

« AnteriorContinuar »