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Barfoot's, in domestic arrangements, and so on; but I happen to know that she throws away hours every evening in teaching that mau Cooch's children to play, and sing, and all that sort of thing—and he only a clerk in my husband's office! I tell Mr. Carthew that he should speak to him of the impropriety of having his girls brought up like ladies, and if he continued it, I would turn him off.”
About the time when this conversation took place, some people of a somewhat different description—the same in the main, perhaps, but modified by circumstances-had met at Mrs. Cooch's. They were the members of what is called a “Dorcas Society," that is, a party of ladies, generally Methodists, who meet at each other's houses in rotation, at stated times, for the purpose of making garments, &c., for the poor. These meetings are not only beneficial to those for whom the garments are made, but pleasant to the makers, for the ladies' tongues are often as well employed as their fingers, and little pieces of news are told, and little bits of intelligence about their friends and neighbours communicated in a confidential manner quite delightful to listen to. Sometimes, however, they have a treat which is still greater than this, especially for the unmarried ladies, and that is when, as was the case on the evening in question, the young preacher can be got to read to them while they sew. (In small towns there are generally two Methodist preachers, one married, the other single, and the latter is always emphatically called “our young preacher.") The plan seems a very good one, and worthy of more extensive adoption.
The tea was over, the young preacher had not yet arrived, and the ladies-about eight or ten in number—were seated around a large table; a good fire was burning cheerily in the grate, and mould candles, in candlesticks of various shapes and sizes, were on the table. There had been a good deal of talk about the cutting out and putting together of the work which was scattered about ; there had been a silence of nearly a whole minute, broken only by the stitch-stitching sound of needles and the clicking of thimbles, when one of the workers looked up suddenly, with the question, “ Where are your daughters, Mrs. Cooch ?”
“Oh, dear me!" replied the lady addressed, in her usual crying tone, " you need not ask where our children are: they are at Mrs. Selby's, of course. You never find our children at home of an evening. As I tell Mr. Cooch, he has very little regard for my comfort, or he would not persist in sending my girls away from me every evening learning music, and drawing, and nobody knows what : but there, he will have his own way in everything I am never thought of. He thinks a great deal too much of Mrs. Selby; she is one of his none-suches, and all that she does must be right."
“ Indeed, I do not think so highly of Mrs. Selby as your husband does, then,” said one of the visitors ; " she seems to me to do very little for anybody but herself. She never distributes tracts, nor takes a table at any public tea ; and never goes to chapel. I declare it is quite awful ?"
“Mrs. Selby always goes to church, I believe," said, gently, a little pale woman, with a black gown, pinched white cap drawn with white ribbons, white hair, and very white teeth.
“ And suppose she does," replied Mrs. Cooch, in a voice pitched a note or two even higher than usual" and suppose she does, what good is that? That is but a white-washing of the sepulchre; a cleansing of the outside of the platter, I'm sure. Better she would go to chapel ; but even when the great Mr. Hollow was down from London, she never went, though I sent to say that she might sit in our seat.”
“On that evening,” said the quiet little lady, “ I happen to know that Mrs. Selby was with the poor woman whose child met with so dreadful an accident from the fire."
“ Well, I'm sure," said Mrs. Cooch, “I would not be uncharitable, but I must say it was an opportunity which I would not have missed for worlds. I was so happy! I was in such a heavenly frame of mind, that I seemed to forget the world and all belonging to it! Oh, he is a wonderful man! How anybody can refuse to go and hear Mr. Hollow, I'm sure I don't know! And his manner in the pulpit is so good !"
" Well,” replied the little white lady, “I must allow that I think Mrs. Selby might go to chapel sometimes, even if she prefers going to church. As for me, I am happy to say I have not entered a church for more than forty years, and I always feel sorry to see people preferring the cold, formal, printed prayers used there, to the outpourings of the spirit in our places of worship.”
" I think it is awful !” said Mrs. Cooch ; “ but, as I say to my husband, I trust no coldness will creep into our little favoured Zion--that we shall have no backsliders among us. As I tell Mr. Cooch, I hope we shall have a rattling of dry bones among us soon, for it is time. The last time I called at that Mrs. Selby's," she continued, “I found her reading a sinful book, called the New Monthly Magazine! I told her I hoped she would not put such things into the hands of my children; for no one ever came to any good who read such carnal-minded books as those ; and she smiled, and said she always attended to Mr. Cooch's wishes with regard to their education. I-I suppose--am of no consequence ; my opinions are not to be considered! Only last week, too, I found a piece of music in Emily's drawer, called “The Overture to Der Freischutz,' or some such worldly thing, with a most awfully sinful picture upon it of little imps and evil spirits dancing ! But I cut it out-yes, I cut off the picture, and burnt it before Miss Emily's face! She cried, and said it was Mrs. Selby's, and that I had destroyed a great part of the music with the picture ; and I was pleased that I had; for I was not at all sorry to give Mrs. Selby a hint of what I thought of her.”
“ You were quite right-quite right," said the ladies. And one or two, heaving deep sighs very much like groans, said, “ It is a sinful world; it is awful to see the hardness of heart, the spiritual blindness around us."
“ But where can Mr. Thomas, our young preacher, be ?” said Mrs. Cooch; “I never knew him so late; he rarely misses the tea-hour. What a gifted young man he is! How beautifully he reads, and how gracefully he hands the bread and butter! I declare, I could scarcely help crying at hearing him read about the hardships that our missionary and his wife went through in the East Indies, and how the lions and tigers go roaming about the streets all night in Madras, and how the poor slaves have never anything to eat but boiled rice, without even salt, and how
they cannot go out all day long for fear of being roasted in the sun, or stung by adders! If Mrs. Selby would only have grace to read such books as that, it might tend to wean her from the things of this world. But here he comes."
And a tall, fat, pale-faced, whiskerless young man, with great eyes and a very tight white neckcloth, entered the room, and was greeted as Mr. Thomas. The younger ladies simpored and bridled the elder' ones made quite a bustle in getting the young man the most comfortable seat by the fire, the book was produced, and for the remainder of the evening Mrs. Selby's name was left at rest. ---
Happily, Mrs. Selby knew nothing of the kind things which these ladies said of her; her time passed quietly but contentedly away, and month after month glided on with but one or two events of any importance to mark their progress. One of these was the removal of the boys who had been entrusted to her care, and the arrival of others in their places ; the other was a visit which Mrs. Burrow, the rich aunt, paid to a friend in the neighbourhood of St. Bennett's. She called to see Mrs. Selby, dined with her once or twice, frightened little Nelly by the deep rough tones of her voice, scolded her for stooping and for laughing too loud, and accused Mrs. Selby of extravagance in getting for dinner a couple of roast ducks, with green peas. In vain did 'Mrs. Selby explain, in an apologetic tone, that poultry was cheap and plentiful in Cornwall.. .
"I call it extravagance, said Mrs. Burrow, in reply; " I never dream of such indulgences- I can't afford them.” deputeti i Pri
Mrs. Selby certainly did feel much put out, but she did not show it, and when the visit was over, she returned to her usual habits, and could describe laughingly to Dr. Barfoot what' pains Mrs: Burrow had taken to assure her that she should leave all her wealth to her late husband's relatives.
“She was quite right to tell you of it,” said the doctor ; "I was almost afraid that my little Nelly might be led to consider herself an heiress." ;
56 Oh! there is no fear of that," replied Mrs. Selby; “Mrs. Burrow took great care that we should be dispossessed of the notion if we had ever entertained it. She said, “My husband's relations are all rolling in riches, and don't want my money ; but they know how to take care of it, and they will have it among them.'”
“I am glad of it,” said Dr. Barfoot-"I am glad my little Nelly will not be spoiled by expectations of inheriting wealth, which might, after all, be disappointed. I would rather teach a child to beg its bread than to look forward to riches which can only be attained by the death of a fellow-creature. Mrs, Burrow did very wisely to guard against such an
CONTENTS. The MILITARY RESOURCES OF RUSSIA . . . . . 127 AN EVENT IN TAE LIFE OF LORD BYRON. BY THE AUTHOR OF
“THE UNHOLY Wisa” . . . . . . . . 138 LITERARY LEAFLETS. BY SIR NATHANIEL. No. XII.-PRO
FESSOR R. C. TRENCH . . . . . . . . 151 DISCOVERY OF THE BLUE GROTTO IN THE ISLE OF CAPRI . . 159 A DAY AT THE BARRICADES . . . . . . . . 172 THE CHINESE REVOLUTION . . . . . . . . 180 TALES OF MY DRAGOMAN. By Basil May . . . . . 199 WINE ADULTERATIONS AND DUTIES. BY Cyrus REDDING . . 201 RESIGNATION. BY W. BRAILSFORD, Esq.
. . . 211 THE PAIR WHO LOST THEIR WAY; OR, THE DAY OF THE DUKE's
FUNERAL. A SKETCH. BY CHARLES MITCHELL CHARLES . 212 AMERICAN AUTHORSHIP. BY SIR NATHANIEL. No. VII.-HENRY
WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW . . . . . . . 228 CHRONICLES OF A COUNTRY Town. Part II. . . . . 236
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MRS. BUSHBY. AMERICAN AUTHORSHIP. BY SIR NATHANIEL. No. VI.-OLIVER WENDELL
HOLMES. STORY OF THE CADI AND THE ROBBER. FROM THE ARABIC. BY A. H. BLEECK,
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