Imágenes de páginas

her so. But, to speak my mind, I'm afraid she has met with those that uphold her in those ideas, or she'd never be so headstrong.

Mrs. Norris. Well, she's had a caution in Jack Wilton. That beggar-boy told the coachman the other day he wasn't going to be his slave. Master overheard him, and told him to pull off his livery that very minute, paid him his wages, and sent him off. I don't know what he put on to go away in.

Mrs. Smith. Served him right.

Mrs. Norris. It did ; but I felt sorry for the friendless boy, too. You see, this is what it is: girls and boys don't know what life is; they only care for the shoe that pinches at the moment, and don't look forward : but you and I were young once, and must make allowance for them. But what I came to say is, that we are going to the sea-side for a month, and mistress thinks Letty won't be wanted, as the under-housemaid will do for me there. She will give her board wages, but she thinks she had better come home; or, perhaps, you could find her a temporary place. And you'll tell her, that when she comes back, she must make up her mind to take orders from me without tossing her head, or flouncing about; for if she won't, there's others that will.

Mrs. Smith. Thank you, ma'am ; I think I know of a place-of-all-work, where she can go for a month; and that will bring her to her senses..

Letty. Oh, mother! when will Stanley's people come back ?

Mother. Who do you mean by Stanley's people ? Mr. and Mrs. Stanley ?

Letty. Yes, to be sure. I never thought to long so to get back to prim Mrs. Norris ; but I do think, if I'm much longer at the Badsdons, I shall go crazy.

Mother. What's the matter, now? are there too many rules, there?

Letty. Oh, no, I wish there were. There's ten children, who all do as they like, and I have to cook and clean ; my work is never done; and the place is always in a dirty muddle. The boys are so rude, and call me all the names that ever you heard. My mistress only laughs when I complain, and says hard words break no bones; and if the boys are tiresome, why don't I slap them ?

Mother. I hope you won't; they are more likely to slap you. But, my dear, you didn't like Mrs. Norris's way of bringing up children. Does Mrs. Badsdon please you better?

Letty. Oh, they are so many savages compared ; and so dirty! My back is almost broken with all I have to do. Mistress scolds at me all day, and I would give all the world to get back. Do you think Mrs. Norris will let me ?

Mother. Now, child, you have bought a little experience; and having paid for it, I hope you will keep it. You see that it may be a much easier and better thing to have a servant over you who knows her business, than a mistress that don't.

Letty. And this is the first five minutes I can call my own since I went there. Sundays are just like work-days, or worse ; for they have company,

pleasetty. Oh, they back is a

generally, and I have never seen the inside of a church since I went there. Do ask Mrs. Norris to let me go back; I will try to please her, indeed I will !

And so she did.


COME about the meadow,

Hunt here and there :
Where's mother's thimble ?

Can you tell where ?
Jane saw her wearing it,

Fan saw it fall,
Ned isn't sure

That she dropped it at all.

Has a mouse carried it

Down to her hole-
Home full of twilight-

Shady, small soul?
Can she be darning there,

Ere the light fails,
Small ragged stockings,

Tiny torn tails ?

Did a finch fly with it

Into the hedge ?
Or a reed-warbler

Down in the sedge ?

Are they carousing there

All the night through? Such a great goblet,

Brimful of dew!

Have beetles crept with it

Where oak-roots hide ? There have they settled it

Down on its side ? Neat little kennel,

So cosy and dark, Has one crept into it

Trying to bark ?

Have the ants covered it

With straw and sand ? Roomy bell-tent for them,

So tall and grand. Where the red soldier ants

Lie, loll, and lean ; While the blacks steadily

Build for their queen.

Has a huge dragon-fly

Borne it (how cool !) To his snug dressing-room

By the clear pool ? There will he try it on

For a new hat, Nobody watching

But one water-rat ?

Did the flowers fight for it,

While, undescried,
One selfish daisy

Slipped it aside ?
Now has she plunged it in

Close to her feet-
Nice private water-tank

For summer heat ?

Did spiders snatch at it,

Wanting to look At the bright pebbles

Which lie in the brook ? Now are they using it ?

(Nobody knows), Safe little diving-bell,

Shutting so close !

Did a rash squirrel there,

Wanting to dine,
Think it some foreign nut,

Dainty and fine ?
Can he have swallowed it

Up in that oak ?
We, if we listen,

Shall soon hear him choke.

Has it been buried by

Cross imps and hags, Wanting to see us

Like beggars in rags ?

« AnteriorContinuar »