• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 I
 II
 III
 IV
 V
 VI
 VII
 VIII
 IX
 X
 XI
 XII
 XIII
 XIV
 XV
 XVI
 XVII
 XVIII
 XIX
 XX
 XXI
 XXII
 XXIII
 XXIV
 XXV
 XXVI
 XXVII
 XXVIII
 XXIX
 XXX
 XXXI
 XXXII
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: A peep at "number five", or, A chapter in the life of a city pastor
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002144/00001
 Material Information
Title: A peep at "number five", or, A chapter in the life of a city pastor
Alternate Title: Chapter in the life of a city pastor
Physical Description: 296 p., <1> leaf of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Trusta, H., 1815-1852
Flagg, John Dalton, b. 1823 ( Printer, Stereotyper )
Phillips, Sampson & Company ( Publisher )
Baker & Smith ( Engraver )
Publisher: Phillips, Sampson, and Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: John D. Flagg
Publication Date: 1852
 Subjects
Subject: Church work -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Family relationships -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
City and town life -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
General Note: Frontispiece engraved by Baker & Smith.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
Statement of Responsibility: by H. Trusta, author of "The sunny side," "Kitty Brown," etc.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002144
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238775
oclc - 03174443
notis - ALH9298
lccn - 33007791
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
    Frontispiece
        Front page 2
        Front page 3
        Front page 4
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Copyright
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    I
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    II
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    III
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    IV
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    V
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    VI
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    VII
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    VIII
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    IX
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    X
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    XI
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    XII
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    XIII
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    XIV
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    XV
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    XVI
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
    XVII
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    XVIII
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    XIX
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    XX
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    XXI
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
    XXII
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
    XXIII
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
    XXIV
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
    XXV
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
    XXVI
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
    XXVII
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
    XXVIII
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
    XXIX
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
    XXX
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
    XXXI
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
    XXXII
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
    Back Cover
        Page 298
    Spine
        Page 299
Full Text




















































SI 've been to pay my tax-bil, and It was twenty dollUar ls than
I expected."-Page 274.











1A4PEEr' AT Al. NUMBEREL





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BOSTON:

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A PEEP AT "NUMBER FIVE :"




OR,





A CHAPTER IN THE LIFE OF A CITY PASTOR.


BY
H. TRUSTA,
AUTHOz 0O THE SUNNYr SID," ITTT BBOWN," Cto.




TENTH THOUSAND.





BOSTON:
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY.
1852.































Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
AUSTIN PHELPS,
ln the Clerk's Ofce of the District Court of Massachusetts



















ANDOVER: JOHN D. FLAGG,
Stereotyper and Printer.

















CONTENTS.





CHAPTER L
TaE PARTY,.......... ...* ................ ......9

CHAPTER IL
THE COLLARS,...........*...............*.. .. 20

CHAPTER IT.
STRANGERS VISIT THE GREEN MOUNTAINS,. ...... 25

CHAPTER IV.
THE FIRST SABBATH, ............................32

CHAPTER V.
TAKING A HoUSE,..........G...................*40

CHAPTER VL
LETTER TO MARY JAY, ...........................47

CHAPTER VII.
"NUMBER FIVE" xx ORDE, ....................51
1*








6 CONTENTS.


CHAPTER VIII.
THE HOUSE-WARMING,.............................60

CHAPTER IX.
GOING INTO SOCIETY....... ..................... 72

CHAPTER X.
MAKING A SPEECH. MORNING MUSINGS,.......... 81

CHAPTER XI.
.MAKING CALLS. A LETTEB, ..................... 95

CHAPTER XII.
THE SEWING SOCIETY, ..........................99

CHAPTER XII.
THE QUILLINGS,................................110

CHAPTER XIV.
THE MATERNAL MEETING, .................... .118

CHAPTER XV.
ECONOMY,...... .................... ............ 130

CHAPTER XVI.
HARITY,....................................141

CHAPTER XVII.
TH MINISTERS' WIVES,........................ 150








CONTENTS. 7


CHAPTER XVIII.
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE,......................156

CHAPTER XIX.
Da. DODD,......................................168

CHAPTER XX.
NEW MEASURES, ..............................170

CHAPTER XXI.
DR. BmAB ows,............................... ...180

CHAPTER XXIL
GRACE WEBSTER,...............................198

CHAPTER XXIII
A STOR ......................................10

CHAPTER XXIV.
OLD Ma. WEBSTER,............................ *.

CHAPTER XXV.
INTERRUPTIONS, .................................81

CHAPTER XXVI.
MIss HUBBELL AGAIN,............... ..........950

CHAPTER XXVII
THE DINNER PARTY ...........................6.8







8 CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XXVIII.
FORGETFULNE88, ...............................267

CHAPTER XXIX.
A JOURNEY,... .................... ........... 273

CHAPTER XXX.
THE MOURNING MOTHER, ........................283

CHAPTER XXXI.
THE DowNS STREET PEOPLE IN COMMOTION,....288

CHAPTER XXXII.
L NUMBER FIVE IN THE DISTANCE, ...........294













A PEEP AT "NUMBER FIVE."




CHAPTER I.

THE PARTY.
THE moon was up, shining with a cold, beauti-
ful light upon a wintry spot. No one was stirring
there, and had not the wind moaned and groaned
through the huge tree-tops, the silence would have
been quite unbroken. This desertion of the streets
at so early an hour, was an unusual circumstance;
the reason of it was, that most of the people who
lived in this bleak spot were preparing for an
evening party.
On a little elevation there stood a brick building
with which the moon was coquetting. Now she
chased over it huge fantastic shadows; now she
silvered its old bricks, and now smiles vanished,
and frowningly she looked upon it as it stood, dark
and dreary, under the moaning elms. This build-
ing was a Theological Seminary, and lights, twink-
ling here and there in its windows, intimated that







10 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


probably there was more cheer within than with-
out. This was true, at least of one room, the cor-
ner room, third story, front, where Mr. Holbrook
sat by his little stove with his feet elevated, his
chair tipped back, and a book in his hand, taking
a student's comfort. This was disturbed by the
remark of his chum: That it was high time they
were getting ready." With a sigh the book was
put down.
I have no taste for evening parties, John," said
he, "I wish I need not go."
Neither have I," replied his chum. The fact
is, we go too little into society; it is quite an un-
dertaking for us. What we are to do by and by
when we are fairly out in the world, I do not
know. If we should chance to settle in a city, we
should be like a fish out of water."
"No danger of my settling in a city," said
young Holbrook, so that argument fails; but if
I must go, I must I suppose, but I declare, I'd
rather preach for the President next Sabbath."
It would n't kill you to do both," said Mr. John.
Holbrook laughed. "At any rate, I shall not
offer my services," said he; how is it out,- cold ? "
"Cold enough, and the moon seems to be in a
cloud just now, but I think we shall have a clear
evening."
"I wonder who is to be there," said Mr. Hol-
brook.






THE PARTY.


That is no matter, so far as you are concerned,
if Miss Lucy is one of them."
9" You are a famous man for taking things for
granted," said Mr. Holbrook, smiling, but prepar-
ing to make his evening toilette. He was soon
dressed, but if the truth must be told, not well
dressed. His rusty coat hung loosely and awk-
wardly about his fine figure, and his linen was
coarse and ragged on the edges, for he was poor,
and was struggling through his theological course
with close economy. Some aid he received from
the Education Society, but this was insufficient to
meet all his wants, as his wardrobe plainly showed.
Yet, poor as his dress was, it could not conceal a
certain nobleness of carriage, which, after all,
made him appear as well as some students who,
comparatively, were "clothed in purple and fine
linen."
By the time Mr. Holbrook and his friend went
out, the wintry spot, of which we have spoken, was
alive with people. The professors and their fam-
ilies, the students, the near and distant neighbors,
were moving in the same direction. Some were
riding, and merry sleigh-bells chimed a chorus to
merrier voices. The moon, growing good-natured,
condescended to enjoy the scene, and lighted up
the road and by-paths as bright as days The
winds, too, ceased their melancholy croaking, and


11






12 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


the huge elms, with softened temper, condescended
to wave gently their sparkling burden of little
stars, and to give graceful motion to the shadows
which were delicately crayoned on the pure, un-
broken surface of the snow. The keen, cold air,
exhilarated those who breathed it, and many a mu-
sical laugh came ringing out from under little
hoods. Even those who had come reluctantly to
the party, found themselves, before they were
aware of it, quite in the spirit of the occasion, when,
on suddenly turning a corner, they caught sight of
the house blazing with light.
Well, John," said Mr. Holbrook, I believe
I feel better already for coming out."
I told you so," said Mr. John, but this is the
best part of it; you must remember that we are to
play the agreeable for the next three hours."
"Ah me !" replied Mr. Holbrook, "this comes
tough on us poor fellows who pore over our books
all the week, this playing the agreeable What
shall we talk about? For my part, I never have
any small change when I want it. If they would
let us take up Decrees,' and discuss it, I should
get along bravely."
You ep try it if you wish," said Mr. John,
"but I fancy you will find the weather and the
moonlight much more to your purpose. You must
tell thWe ladies about the fine sleighing, and wind






THE PARTY.


off with a polite invitation for them to try it with
you."
"And pay their own bills?" said Holbrook,
laughing, and ringing the bell. The door was in-
stantly opened, and the two friends were ushered
into a side room where they found several students
in waiting.
What has brought you out, Holbrook ?" said one;
" I thought you had a mortal aversion to parties."
"My chum brought me out," said Mr. Hol-
brook, tossing up his glossy brown hair, and taking
a peep at the mirror.
"Of course you do not expect to be believed,"
said Mr. John. "That is not my concern," was
the reply, "but come; I think we shall pass mus-
ter; let us go in."
It was amusing to observe the magical effect
which the threshold of the drawing-room had upon
these young students. Their pleasant gaiety, and
easy, natural manner vanished, and with gravity
they paid their compliments to the lady of the
house in an awkward manner, which did them in-
justice. Going into a lady's parlor, was to them,
going into a strange world, and with an appearance
of great resignation to an evil which could not be
avoided, they stood for a few minutes near h
other, embarrassed, not knowing precisely whom
to address.
2


18







14 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


This is a very cold evening," said Mr. Hol-
brook, at length, to a lady near him.
Very cold, sir," was the prompt reply, as if
the lady rejoiced to break the silence. Mr. Hol.
brook dared not raise his eyes to Mr. John, who
still stood at his elbow. Not a word was spoken.
"Clear and cold to-night," said Mr. John, sud-
denly addressing another lady. "Yes, sir," was
the timid reply.
There is often a fascination about that which we
wish to avoid. Mr. Holbrook and Mr. John were
exceedingly anxious not to look at each other, and
yet, in spite of themselves, their eyes met, and
each moved quickly away to hide the smiles which
could not be suppressed. -
Mr. Holbrook looked about the crowded room,
but did not find the face he sought. He was more
disappointed than he would have acknowledged,
and in consequence became silent. Once or twice
a fellow student in passing would give him a
friendly knock, which was intended as a hint that
he should be more sociable, and he did at length
rouse himself and set the ball of chit-chat rolling;
but it proved a laborious undertaking, and soon
abandoning it, he stole into a corner behind a par-
ty, and ventured a sly peep at his watch.
The party who screened him from observation
were talking earnestly about the Education Socie-







THE PARTY.


ty, and the popularity of its secretary. Some of
the ladies were laughing at both, and now and
then a student joined them.
What is your opinion ?" said one, turning sud-
denly so as to bring him into the circle; "you, too,
have had some experience in the matter."
This question aroused Mr. Holbrook. He for-
got that he was in a party and among strangers.
" My opinion is," said he, that it is a noble enter-
prise. The churches are indebted to it for many
a minister whom they cannot afford to lose, and
many a minister owes to it more than he would
know how to reckon, and yet it is often w
ed even by those who receive of its bounty. 'f
its machinery, like all others, does sometimes work
with too much friction, it is but justice to acknowl-
edge that it does its work well."
Surely, Holbrook," said one who had joined
the ladies' side, and who now stood smoothing
down his coat sleeve; "surely, you do not like to
go through this ordeal?"
"That troubles only those whose character is in
their broadcloth," said Mr. Holbrook, with an ex-
pressive smile on his lip. In an instant it had
vanished, and the poor student stood abashed, find-
ing he had drawn the attention of the company
upon himself and the quality of his dress. He
sought a retreat, and as he turned, the light from







16 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


soft hazel eyes fell upon him, light full of sym-
pathy and love, there stood Lucy. Mr. Hol-
brook immediately joined her with such evident
pleasure, that it made her blush. He would not
again have left her, had not she, in the course of the
evening, delicately reminded him of his duty by
speaking of her own. She left him, to seek other
friends, and he was once more at the mercy of
strangers.
Attempting to make his way through the crowd,
he was at one time blocked in near the gentleman
of the house, and a very beautiful young lady with
whom he was conversing. This was Miss Hub-
bell, a city-belle. Her figure was large and com-
manding; her eyes were black, and yet so spark-
ling, that they seemed like lightning-flashes from
a dark cloud. Her head was finely shaped, and
in her soft raven hair, pearls were tastefully
braided. Ornaments of the same, also, covered
her bare white throat and arms. She was dressed
in crimson velvet, and made a more splendid ap-
pearance than any other lady in the room.
To Mr. Holbrook's surprise, he was introduced
to Miss Hubbell. He stood for a moment embar-
rassed, he had nothing to say to the proud beau-
ty. She stood perfectly self-possessed, carelessly
playing with her bouquet, and waiting for the pro-
found remark which was apparently on its way.






THE PARTY.


"This is a fine evening for a social gathering,"
he stammered out at last.
," Very," said Miss Hubbell, lifting up her long
eye-lashes, and letting a laughing, flashing glance
fall upon the speaker; she was making merry as
she counted up the score of times in which she
had remarked on the "fineness of the evening."
She was, also, at a glance, taking in the student
from head to foot; ragged collar, rusty coat, and
patched boots! A certain curl in the corner of
her ruby lips, told tales which she did not mean
to have told.
She thinks," said Mr. Holbrook to himself,
"that I am only a poor 'Theologue,' and not worth
the trouble of entertaining." It was true, she did
think so. He was about turning away to leave
her undisturbed in her opinion, when he again
caught sight of those hazel eyes. This time there
was a peculiar meaning in them, they seemed
to say, stand your gi-ound," at least this was
his interpretation. His half-formed plan of re-
treat was abandoned; he turned, and once more
looked in the flashing eyes of the haughty beauty,
and this time bore, without wincing, their artillery.
He did, also, what required even more courage; he
kept his ground bravely against covert smiles of
contempt, and more undisguised expressions of
ennui. In a gentlemanly manner, and yet with
2*


I/






18 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


quiet self-respect, which even Miss Hubbell
acknowledged, he re-commenced conversation.
Again was he aroused, and now he displayed
some of that eloquence for which he afterwards
became distinguished. The beauty began to lis-
ten. Seizing this advantage, he pressed her
hard; he "sounded the depths of her philoso-
phy," he entangled her in the subjects on which
her professed knowledge was superficial, she
was compelled to expose her ignorance. Finding
herself drifting out to sea, she abruptly changed
the conversation. "The poor student, after all,
knows something," thought she, "he has made
me make a fool of myself." Her contempt for
him was converted into respect,- and a little fear
even, mingled with it. She was glad to retreat,
- and he, with glowing cheeks, came off from the
contest victorious.
The party broke up. The ladies stood in the
hall, closely muffled, but* Mr. Holbrook knew
Lucy, and joined her. On their way home, they
talked over the party, and his adventure with Miss
Hubbell. Lucy had observed it with much pleas-
ure. She rejoiced in every occasion which called
out her friend, and gave him more confidence in
himself.
When they reached her boarding-house, (for
she was at the Academy in S.,) she lingered on







THE PARTt.


the door-step. Evidently, there was something
on her mind, of which she wished, and yet was
afraid to speak. At length, as she turned the '
latch of the door, she summoned all her courage,
and said, with beating heart: Mr. Holbrook, I
see your collar needs a stitch or two. Will you
bring it to me some time ?"
I suppose I am shabby," said Mr. Holbrook,
in reply, "but I have no one to look after these
things."
"If you would let me put in a stitch," said
Lucy, stopping short, and leaving the sentence
unfinished.
Well, perhaps I will bring you one."
"'Bring all will you ?" said she, in a whisper.
Why, I have but four in the wide world,"
said Mr. Holbrook, laughing, and bidding her
good-night.


19













CHAPTER II.


THE COLLARS.

IT was not very long after the party, before
Mr. Holbrook called upon Lucy. Hearing that
he was below, she came immediately down to see
him, and as she passed through the hall, she no-
ticed that his hat was standing on the table.
With light tread she went to it and peeped in.
She found, as she hoped, a small roll of collars
there, which she quietly slid into her pocket.
Mr. Holbrook made no allusion to them, neither
did she, though they at first chatted freely about
'the party, and the encounter with the city-belle.
Lucy asked, -" What made her manner to-
wards you change so suddenly?" "I do not
know," replied Mr. Holbrook, "unless it was that
I led her to converse on subjects on which she
suspected her own ignorance."
"Perhaps she made the discovery that you
knew something," said Lucy. Mr. Holbrook
smiled in a way which gratified Lucy. She had
observed that at times he was sensitive to his
poverty, and awkwardness, and ignorance of the







THE COLLARS.


customs of society, and she felt that he was not
just in his estimate of himself. Lucy had a true
woman's heart, which finds out by instinct the
necessities of the one it loves. Sometimes the
young oak bears the blasts better, for the clinging
of the vine which it supports. Thus the young
man takes a new position among the fair, when
he is known to be a chosen one, a position
which puts him quite at his ease with them; and
as to taking a stand among men, that is not be-
ynd his strength.
When Mri. Holbrook first knew Lucy, he spoke
discouragingly of the prospect of his becoming a
preacher. He told her frankly, that in casting
in her lot with his, she had nothing to look
forward to but the very quiet life of a minister's
wife in some retired village. Yet obscure and
humble as was the work which, in his view, was
before him, he often felt unequal to it. It was
with a strange contradiction of feeling thatlbe
thought and spoke of it. Full of enthusiasm, he
was eager to enter upon his life's work, and yet
often was he overwhelmed by a sense of its im-
portance, and borne down by secret self-distrust.
Again, the cloud passed away, and latent powers
stirred within him, and with dim whisperings mur-
mured of some such future success in that great
work, as to startle him, and sometimes cause the


21






22 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


wondering student to bow, humbled and repentant,
on account of his pride. Thus he struggled on,
as yet ignorant of himself and of the world which
was before him.
Lucy, instinctively, sided with those whispering
voices. She feared despondency more than ambi-
tion for her friend, and she used gentle persuasion
to induce him to await in hope the decisions of
the future. Her cheerfulness had its influence
upon him, and gradually he ceased to look for-
ward with so much fear to that time when he
should be a preacher of the gospel. He began to
speak, not of the very retired spot," but of some
stirring village," which would now and then peep
into his visions. Perhaps he might do good, even
there. With Lucy, also, he forgot all about the
awkwardness, the ill-fitting, rusty coat, the
patched boots, -things which occasionally disturb-
ed his equanimity elsewhere. What did she care
for those?- she loved him for what he was, not
for what he appeared to be.
Never had he conversed with her so freely re-
specting himself and his plans as on this evening.
He expressed his deep convictions of the great
importance of his work, and his earnest desire
to consecrate himself wholly to it. He spoke of
the small parish which he hoped to take, and the
advantage it would be to him in giving him time







THE COLLARS.


for study, and this, for some years to come, seem-
ed to him of the utmost importance to his ultimate
usefulness. To Lucy, therefore, any place where
he could be making progress, looked attractive.
Time ran fast while Lucy and Mr. Holbrook
were thus conversing, and it was much later than
usual when he rose to take his leave. She held
the light for him in the entry. As he took up
his hat, he looked in it and smiled, which made
her blush suddenly, for she had, till then, forgot-
ten the collars.
She went up to her room. Her room-mate,
Mary Jay, had retired, and was more than half
asleep. Lucy stepped softly about that she might
not disturb her, and drawing the little stand be-
hind the head of the bed, sat down to make over
the collars.
By and by Mary awoke. "Why, Lucy," said
she, "what are you sitting up all night for?"
"I am sewing," said Lucy; and Mary returned
to her dreams. The next day she excused her-
self from school; she wished to do some clear
starching ;" and thus the collars were nicely 'done
up,' and Mary Jay was none the wiser for it.
Lucy looked at them with great satisfaction, for
they were smooth and shining, and who could tell
them from new ones? Gladly would she have
added to this little store, but she had her doubts


23






24 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


whether it would be altogether pleasant to the
sensitive feelings of her friend, if she should do
so, and her delicacy led her to a right conclusion.
He could more easily have done without collars,
than to have received them thus, -and who will
blame him ?
There is a rich and benevolent lady in our city.
She likes employment, but has nothing to do. She
has an abundance of nice linen on the upper shelf
in her closet, but no use for it. It is a stormy
afternoon, -no one will call, and she cannot go
out. The interesting book is finished, and time
is a burden on her hands. Why, now, cannot
she get that linen and cut out a dozen collars?
She can take those elegant worsteds from the
basket on her centre table and make room for
the collars, and she can stitch them nicely at her
leisure; and her laundress will do them up beau-
tifully; and, if she will but inquire, she can easily
find out where are those secret channels through
which her bounty will flow in to the "poor stu-
dent," and be received by him most gratefully.
Why will not she do it? As she stitches on them,
she can sing away for encouragement these words:
"Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of
these, ye did it unto me."














CHAPTER III.


STRANGERS VISIT THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.
THE theological student's senior year was a
short one. Summer, with her long days and glo-
rious nights flew by, and autumn came in with
her rich harvesting. On one of her bright days,
Mr. Holbrook and his class-mates sung their part-
ing hymn; and with much feeling, bade each other
farewell. The occasion was one of deeply solemn
interest. It was one of those transition points in
the student's career, at which he pauses and looks
back thoughtfully over the past, and prayerfully
girds on his armor anew, ere he steps forward
into the opening arena.
Nearly all the members of this class, had al-
ready found occupation; but a few, and among
them our friend, Mr. Holbrook, had been less for-
tunate. His diffidence prevented his seeking places,
and may have indirectly prevented their seeking
him. At the close of this eventful autumn day,
therefore, he found himself a licensed preacher,
without a home and without the prospect of a field






26 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE,


of labor. A small library, and six written sermons
comprised his worldly estate; and there seemed
to be nothing for him to do, but to retain the
"corner room, third story, front," and then trust
to Providence for such opportunities to preach
as would enable him to earn his daily bread.
Several Sabbaths passed, and he had received
no invitation to preach. At length, one of the
Professors sent him to supply a vacant church in
a very small village, which was perched up on
the Green Mountains. This seemed to be just
such a place as he had once thought would be his
future home; but of late his visions had changed.
Untried powers, half awakened, disturbed him
with their restless and mysterious calls for a some-
what larger field in which to exercise themselves;
it was not, therefore, with entire satisfaction that
he looked forward to the prospect of laboring there
permanently. But no other door opened for him;
and he felt that there was great significance in
the command: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to
do do." He accordingly was soon preaching
as a candidate to the villagers in the Green Moun-
tains.
On the second Sabbath that he spent there, he
observed, sitting in one of the front pews of the
church, a gentleman who was apparently a stranger,
and who seemed to be regarded with respect by







VISIT TO THE GREEN MOUNTAINS. 27

the people. After service the minister was intro-
duced to Mr. Kennedy. He soon learned, also,
that he was from city; had the reputation
of being wealthy, and, as he paid an annual visit
to his aged parents, gave liberally towards the
support of the little church of which they had
long been members.
On the third Sabbath, Mr. Holbrook was sur-
prised to see Mr. Kennedy in his seat again, and
two other gentlemen, also strangers, with him. In
the evening, while thinking over the labors of
the day, he was waited upon by a committee of
the people, who presented a formal request to him,
" that he would settle among them." As an in-
ducement, they told him frankly, Their folks liked
him right well; would give him a unanimous call,
and would pay him four hundred dollars a year
- and sass, which, considering their very peculiar
circumstances, they thought was a pretty good sal-
ary for them to offer."
Mr. Holbrook felt that this call, humble as it
was, required prayerful consideration; he told
them, therefore, he would consider it. Scarcely
had this committee left him, when Mr. Kennedy
and the two gentlemen entered. They came with
a proposition, and it was, that Mr. Holbrook should,
on the following Sabbath, go to the city to preach
as a candidate in the Downs Street Church. Had






28 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


the city itself dropped down on the Green Moun-
tains, our young student would scarcely have been
more surprised than he was by this proposal. He
heard it in silence; indeed, he could not imme-
diately speak. When he did, it was with a voice,
which in spite of him betrayed his agitation, that
he endeavored to thank them for their expressions
of interest in his preaching. "But," said he," this
is so wholly unexpected to me, I cannot talk of it
to-night. Give me until to-morrow morning to
think of it."
Of course this was acceded to, and after having
again expressed a most flattering interest in the
preacher and the preaching, the city committee
took their' leave, promising to call early in the
morning.
Sleep was not Mr. Holbrook's business that
night, for he paced back and forth in his little room
until nearly morning thinking. It might be that
he should be called to settle over a city church, a
position which presented itself to his young im-
agination, as a post of command in respect to min-
isterial influence; he was called to settle in an
humble nest among the Green Mountains. What
now, said those restless voices, which so frequent-
ly had disturbed him, by what seemed to him am-
-ius whisperings ? Ah! now, they were timid
and silent, and the work for which Mr. Holbrook







VISIT TO THE GREEN MOUNTAINS. 29

thought himself best fitted, was the work of preach-
ing the gospel to the simple mountaineers. A
change came over him in this test-hour, and the
humbler sphere appeared the most alluring. He
shrunk from the more responsible position, he
felt every way unequal to it, and, had he followed
the bent of his feelings, the call to the larger would
at once have decided him in favor of the smaller
field. But feeling, alone, was not to be followed.
To him, the call to the city appeared one of duty;
it had come in a remarkable manner; he felt that
there was a Providence in it, and he wished to
follow its leading, suppress his fears, and trust in
God for strength. Many fears were to be sup-
pressed. He had but six sermons, -he wrote
slowly, he was without experience, even his
preparatory studies he considered as unfinished,
and had depended upon completing them after he
had settled over some small church. Another
view of the subject also disturbed him. Suppos-
ing that he should go, and yet fail of giving satis-
faction to the Downs Street people, would not
such a failure, at this period of his career, be a
disadvantage to him? But if duty called, this
anxiety also must be suppressed, -be must do
what seemed to him right, and trust God with the
future.
3*







80 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


The struggles of this eventful night resulted in
the calm conviction that he must go to the Downs
Street Church to preach as their candidate.
It was nearly morning, when he fell into an
uneasy slumber, from which he was soon roused
by the rumbling of the stage-coach, Mr. Kenne-
dy came to receive his reply. The invitation to
preach at the city church was duly accepted.
Much disappointment at this turn of affairs was
felt by the villagers. They had been much pleased
with the young preacher, and had fully made up
their minds that "he was just the man for them,"
and they parted from him, sorrowfully.
Mr. Holbrook returned to S., and on arriving
there, did not as usual go to his room, but with
carpet-bag in hand hastened to Lucy. When
alone with her, without waiting even to be seated,
he told her what had happened to him, with a
kindling eye, and yet with a blush upon his man-
ly cheek, as if he felt a little fear lest he might
seem to be trumpeting his own praises. In sub-
dued tones, and with deep feeling, lie expressed
his conviction, that "God was leading him, by a
way that he knew not," to a turning-point in his
life; and that the earnest cry of his heart was,
"Let me be still, and follow Thee." As for Lucy,
she stood near him, looking up to his earnest







VISIT TO THE GREEN MOUNTAINS. 81

face, her hazel eyes swimming in tears, and yet
beaming with love, happy indeed she was. But
of all this, it is not fair to tell. It was an hour
with which a "stranger intermeddleth not."












CHAPTER IV.

THE FIRST SABBATH.
THOSE six sermons which had won simple
hearts among the mountains, equally pleased the
more refined city people. Mr. Holbrook received
a call to the Downs Street Church, and was offer-
ed a salary of fourteen hundred dollars a year.
This call, after due consideration, he accepted,
on condition that six months should be allowed
him for preparation, which was granted. Deter-
mining to improve this time to the utmost, Mr.
Holbrook already saw in imagination a formi-
dable pile of sermons, which should be prepared
by the time appointed for his settlement.
This appointed time threw Lucy into great per-
plexity, for her regular school-course would not
be finished until then, and Mr. Holbrook wished
to be married as soon as he was ordained.
It is a great affair for a country girl to be mar-
ried,- there is so much sewing which must be
done before she can be considered ready." One
would alniost think it was to be Sunday evei
after the event, and the shops were to be closed,







THE FIRST SABBATH.


Lucy's mother would not think of less than six
months'time, and Lucy was therefore obliged either
to leave school at once, or to defer her marriage;
To the last proposition Mr. Holbrook would not
accede, and to the first he consented reluctantly;
so Lucy bade adieu to school and school-girls, and
went home, somewhat comforted for her broken
course, by a promise from Mr. Holbrook that she
should complete it with him.
Mr. Holbrook was so much occupied with ser-
mons and letter writing, that his six months
slipped quickly away. He was successful in both
these departments, though his sermons occasioned
him many hours of despondency. True, having a
"people" to write for, he wrote with more care
than he once had; but still he found it slow work.
Often he felt, that even at that late hour, he must
relinquish all idea of settling over a city church.
How could he write two sermons a week, such as
he should be expected to preach there, when be
frequently was obliged to spend three or four days
on the half of one? These fears and misgivings
found a place in his letters to Lucy. In replying,
she once said to him: Perhaps you will find that
you can work three times as fast, when you have
three times as much to do. I find it so sometimes.
We do not know what necessity will force from
us, until it has been tried."


38






34 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.

Mr. Holbrook smiled, as he folded her letter.
"Who would imagine," thought he, that Lucy
had so wise a head." He returned cheerfully to
his tasks; and the bare walls of that unfurnished
corer room, echoed again to profound discussion
and eloquent harangue; for the student preached
aloud to them, as he paced back and forth.
The six months were gone. The sermons, a
marvellously small pile after all, were carefully
packed into a portfolio. The books, from the
immovable old blue book-case, were boxed. The
clothing which had hung in the closet, was given
to a poor fellow who sawed wood about the build-
ing, the student no longer needed it.
In a handsome, well-fitting suit, the work of a
city tailor, which added much to the appearance
Sof the outer man, Mr. Holbrook bade farewell to
S., and started for the city, which he reached on
the day before his ordination. He went at once
to the house of his friend, Mr. Kennedy, where
he had been cordially invited to remain. He was
ordained, and, soon after, took leave of absence
for a short time, that be might bring Lucy among
his people. They were married, and after a short
wedding tour, returned to the city, and again,.
by special invitation, stopped at Mr. Kennedy's.
This afforded Lucy an opportunity of becoming at
once personally acquainted with Mrs. Kennedy,







THE FIRST SABBATH,


which she found a great advantage to her. Her
first appearance among the Downs Street people,
she has herself described in a letter to her old
room-mate, Mary Jay, from which letter the fol-
lowing extracts are selected.

MY DEAR MARY :- It was early on Saturday
morning when we arrived in this great city. They
say the "honey-moon" lasts but four weeks; if this
is the case, ours was then half over. Our journey
was a delightful one. We scarcely saw a cloiM''
until Friday afternoon, and were quite unprepared
to find it raining on Saturday like a flood. It was
so early when we came up from the boat, that I
was hardly awake, and my dulness and the rain
combined, gave me my first fit of home-sickness.
We drove slowly up a long street, and I looked
from the carriage window, trying to read the door
plates through the mist. Pretty soon I read the
name Kennedy, and here our carriage stopped.
I did not move, but looked at Charles and tried to
smile, as I faltered out: 'This is not home.' 'No,
he said,' but you shall go home next week if you
would like to.' This promise cheered me; so I
summoned all my resolution, and entered the
house as if I were pleased to get there. Mrs.
Kennedy met me as kindly as if I had been her
own daughter; she kissed me, and then turned to


35







36 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


give her minister a hearty welcome. I felt for a
moment that I had reached home. Pretty soon
Mr. Kennedy insisted upon it, that we should go
to our rooms and rest until breakfast. We found
our room in beautiful order. Vases of fresh flow-
ers were standing here and there; a white satin
toilette cushion, elegantly painted, ornamented the
dressing-table, and everything wore an air, not
only of beauty, but of comfort. We both felt its
Pleasant influence, and Charles seemed so glad
to return to his people that I began to be glad too,
and no longer wished myself back at school. I
do like though, to recall old school-times. By the
way, did you ever find out that I sat up one night
to make over collars for a certain student of my
acquaintance? I'll tell you all about it when we
meet, and we can have a laugh over it now.
Well, at length we were called down to break-
fast. Mrs. Kennedy met us at the foot of the
stairs, and invited us to step into the parlor
a minute. On the centre-table stood a basket
of fine grapes. I took up a card which was
lying on them, and found this on it, 'For Mrs.
Holbrook, with Mrs. Gay's love.' Was n't it a
pleasant attention? 'If your people pet me be-
cause I am the ministers wife,' said I to Charles,
'I am afraid they will spoil me; I am not used
to it.' Mrs. Kennedy was standing near me, and






THE FIRST SABBATH.


she laughed heartily at this remark. 'I do not
know,' said she, about their spoiling you, but I
sometimes tell them they must not spoil him, -
for they do make so much of him.'
"But there is no use in trying to tell you all
which has happened, I have not time; I must skip
all the rest that comes before the first Sabbath.
"Now this first Sabbath had been a great bug-
bear to me. I had thought of it with a beating
heart. I knew it would prove a trying ordeal.
To begin with, I was puzzled how to dress. I
supposed I ought to wear something a little bridish,
and yet I did not wish to dress on the Sabbath,
in any such way as would attract attention. I
wanted to ask Mrs. Kennedy's advice, but did not
exactly like to do it; so I did as well as I knew
how.
The rain had ceased the night before, and we
had a clear sky, though a cool day. While we
were walking to church, I wondered if the sun
shone on any happier hearts than ours,--we
were together and alone. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy
had slipped around by another way, designedly,
I have no doubt. When we reached the church,
Charles stepped forward, opened the door, and
then walked so briskly up the aisle, I could
scarcely keep pace with him. I had, at a glance,
view of a large, pleasant, well filled church, and


37






38 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


also noticed a stirring and turning of many
heads. All this time, I was very conscious that
I was making my entree 'on a hand gallop,' and
this, added to the novelty of my situation, struck
my ludicrous vein. I need n't tell you, Mary,
my infirmity about laughing. What would n't I1
have given not to have laughed then; but I did,
and I could not help it. I was glad, I can assure
you, when we reached the pastor's pew. This
pew, or slip rather, as they say here, is a fine one.
It is cushioned, carpeted, and furnished, and there
am I to sit alone. I got into the corner, and took
up a nice white fan, which was lying there, to
play with, for I scarcely knew where to look.
By and by, I ventured a peep at the pulpit, for I
did n't care if the pulpit did look at me. All I
could see was a little line of brown curls, just
above the big Bible. My heart was beating fast,
though I was trying to keep calm, and it was some
time before I was able to look about me. When
I did so, I observed that the gentlemen were
sedate, and apparently devotional; but the ladies'
bonnets were still in commotion, and now and then
I caught a glimpse of bright eyes peeping from
under them. I knew they were all looking at
poor little me, and it almost made me laugh again.
What do you think, Mary; shall I ever be sober
enough for a minister's wife ? You do n't know







THE FIRST SABBATH. 89

how much I wished, that day, that you were with
me.
After a voluntary, we rose for prayer, and
through this, and the sermon which followed, I
think the minister had all the attention. After
the benediction was pronounced, I remained qui-
etly standing in the corner. The ladies lingered
as they passed, evidently wishing to catch a
glimpse of me; and I made an effort to raise my
eyes and appear at my ease. A vain effort, I
imagine, for they soon passed quickly by, as if
they understood the reason of my embarrassment;
a courtesy for which I sincerely thanked them.
"Callers callers, I must run. Good-bye.
Will write more next time. Let me hear soon,
and believe me as ever,
Yours, LuCy."













CHAPTER V.


TAKING A HOUSE.
MR. and Mrs. Holbrook were anxious not to
remain too long in their pleasant quarters at Mr.
Kennedy's; but from one.cause and another, their
visit extended over several weeks. Then they
made up their minds to commence housekeeping.
Lucy's father had given her a few hundred dol-
lars, her marriage dowry, and this, with what the
people were ready to advance of Mr. Holbrook's
salary, seemed to them abundantly sufficient to
fui'nish a house, for their habits and taste were
simple, and their wants few.
This plan being decided upon, both the young
minister and his wife were anxious to carry it into
effect; and the more they thought and spoke of
it, the more fascinating became the idea of having
a house of their own; and they were in a hurry
to choose the object upon which to bestow their
interest. The morning papers were carefully
searched, and the little words "To Let," never
failed of attracting attention. Afternoons were
devoted to long walks from one distant street to




-'







TAKING A HOUSE.


another, to travelling over houses, getting and
returning keys, and yet no progress was made
towards a selection. There was some difficulty
with all. This one was rented too high; that one
was too far from the church; the other one con-
tained no suitable room for a study.
Well," said Mr. Kennedy to Mr. Holbrook,
one day at dinner," have you found a house yet ?"
That is a question I cannot answer," said Mr.
Holbrook, laughing. House-hunting is not pre-
cisely what I thought it was; it is not easy to suit
ourselves, I find. Still, we have fixed upon two,
either of which will do. Can you go with us to
look at them before we decide ? "
Certainly, with pleasure," said Mr. Kennedy.
"So will I," said Mrs. Kennedy, "we are all
interested in our minister's house."
Immediately after dinner, they all went out on
this business. Passing up a narrow and rather
dark court, they first entered a small, new brick
house. Here they found a hall, small and irregu-
lar, a china-closet having been taken out of it.
On the lower floor was one parlor of moderate
size, and back of this a little room containing two
windows, which, Lucy remarked, "seemed to
have been made for a study;" a small dining-
room and kitchen below, which were damp, and
numerous small chambers, comprised the remain-
4*


41







42 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


ing accommodations. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy ex-
amined one room after another in silence. At
length Mr. Kennedy inquired, What strikes you
as being particularly desirable in this house, Mr.
Holbrook ?"
I hardly remember," said he," we have looked
at so many; what was it, Lucy ? 0, yes," con-
tinued he, laughing, "the paper and the little
study took Mrs. Holbrook's fancy."
Lucy admitted this.
"I suppose," said Mr. Holbrook, "as we have
been brought up in country farm-houses, we are
ready to think any of your modern improvements
in building very wonderful."
"Perhaps we had better go now and look at
the other one you have thought of," said Mr. Ken-
nedy.
You will not find that at all modern," remarked
Mr. Holbrook. In order to reach it, they left the
narrow court, and entered a wide street. Quite
at the head of it was another little court down which
they turned, and stopped, at length, before a wood-
en house which had a small side yard. Mr. and
VMrs. Kennedy looked at one another and smiled,
and Mr. Holbrook observed it.
I am afraid you will not like this as well as
you did the other," said he, opening the door.
"Let us see what it is," said Mrs. Kennedy,




I/







TAKING A HOUSE.


entering the parlor. What a funny old-fashioned
room, see! one, two four small windows,
and do look at those cupboards built in the cor-
ners! That is odd, I guess some old maid lived
and died here. What comes next ?"
"The kitchen," said Lucy, "and a snug little
room for a study beyond it." "1 never!" said
Mrs. Kennedy, looking in, "that was used as a
pantry when they pastured the cows in the street,
I know."
"It is quite as large as Pres. Edwards's study
was," persisted Lucy. "Yes, well, let us look up
stairs," said Mrs. Kennedy, -" take off your
hats," said she to the gentlemen, you cannot en-
ter with them on."
The ceiling is very low," remarked Mr. Ken-
nedy, "and what, sir, particularly pleased you in
this house?"
"The attraction here," said Mr. Holbrook, "was
that bit of a yard, with the elm-tree. Mrs. Hol-
brook was very willing to give up some comforts
within doors, for the sake of green without."
"This is not a suitable house for you," said
Mrs. Kennedy, it will not answer at all."
We are just where we started, then, said Mr.
Holbrook. I wish," said Mrs. Kennedy, -" you
would trust Mr. Kennedy and me with this busi.
ness. It seems a pity to have it take up any


43







44 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


more of your time. Our people are beginning to
call now, too, and they are disappointed to find
you not at home.'"
I must go about my work," said Mr. Holbrook,
seriously. Yes, you can," continued Mrs. Ken-
nedy, you are not to be disturbed mornings. I
have taken care of that. I told the people they
must keep away in the morning, for if they came
I should not call you down. For my part, said I,
I am not willing to lose my Sabbaths, and if our
minister will take charge of our Sabbaths, we
must take charge of his study-hours."
"I thank you for this," said Mr. Holbrook,
warmly; and he resolved that he would return to
his duties, and leave the house-hunting, with all
its interests, in the hands of his friends.
After this, for some time, Mrs. Kennedy was
out a great deal, and Mr. Kennedy appeared full
of business. The minister and his wife were
obliged to await results, patiently, and were at
length rewarded by hearing that two houses had
been found, pleasant, convenient, and suitable, and
they had only to make a choice between them.
They went to see them, and found them to be as
had been described.
"On the whole, I prefer this one," said Mr.
Holbrook, "what do you say, Lucy?"
"I prefer this, but "







TAKING A HOUSE.


But what ? "
The paper is so soiled and ugly."
"You always look at the paper the first thing,"
said Mr. Holbrook, laughing. "Why should n't
I?" said Lucy, "you know we have no pictures
to decorate our walls, and the style of the paper
can be made to add much to the cheerfulness of a
room."
"That is a mere trifle," said Mr. Kennedy,
"the house is to be repainted and papered
throughout, and Mrs. Holbrook can have her
own choice. Indeed, we can stop at a paper store
on our way home, if you have time."
Lucy was delighted by this proposal, and when
they entered the shop, and many rolls were
opened before her, her heart seemed to be in
her eyes, so interested was she. Her first choice
was for the study. She was intent on making
the study the pleasantest room in the house. Her
selections were made with good taste, but with an
utter forgetfulness of price.
Mr. Holbrook was the first to think of it. I
do not know," said he to Mr. Kennedy, "but that
we have selected too expensive paper."
Mr. Kennedy exchanged glances with his wife.
"No, sir, no difficulty on that point; take just
what pleases you."
This was done to Lucy's entire satisfaction, -


45







46 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.

and the house, "Number Five," was rented for the
Rev. Charles Holbrook.
Since many repairs were to be made before
possession was given, Mr. Holbrook proposed re-
moving to a boarding-house; but to this proposi-
tion his hospitable friends would not listen. They
kindly insisted upon his remaining with them
until his own home should be ready.














CHAPTER VI.


LETTER TO MARY JAY.

WHILE Number Five" was repairing, Lucy
wrote a few letters. As the one to Mary Jay took
up her new experience where the last one had left
it, a few extracts may not be uninteresting here,
and may serve to occupy the time while we wait
for the painters.

" DEAR MARY :-
*
and this brings me to the first church meet-
ing which I attended as a minister's wife. It is a
long walk you know from Mr. Kennedy's to our
vestry, at least I call it so; and that evening
it seemed to me the dim and narrow streets
through which we passed were interminable. I
do not know why Charles took me through them,
unless it was to make the walk still longer. I
was glad when we emerged into familiar places.
All at once it came over me like news, that here
was poor little I going with the minister, for the
first time on a week day, to show myself to his







48 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


people as his wife. I could not help recalling
those times when you and I used to go out of an
evening together. What a tremor I was in some-
times; how half glad and half frightened I used
to be when the meeting was over, do you re-
member? Ah! those were days of half-fledged
hopes, fluttering and not daring to take wing.
'Now,' thought I, 'much that I dreamed about
has proved true;' and the two parts of my short
history came together in such a way as set me to
thinking, and soon caused a re-action of spirits -
from being thoughtful, I became gleeful. But what
do you imagine my sympathizing companion did?
Why, wrap his cloak about his mouth, pull his
hat down, and bid me hush,' for he was getting
ready to speak. Alas! I could remember when
it was the gentleman's business to entertain the
lady he attended, but times are changed; and now
I have a new lesson to learn, to be sober and
behave with propriety on all occasions for I am
a minister's wife! I did try then, for full five
minutes, but all in vain. The robin in the spring
has not a heart more full of song than I had, and
as I could not sing in city streets, there was no
resource for me but a frolic. I had one all to
myself-- for he, you know, was about better busi-
ness. Pretty soon we came in sight of the vestry,
and I was at once sobered. I began to realize







LETTER TO MARY JAY.


where we were going, which, in the gush of feel-
ing, I had almost forgotten.
"We entered the hall, and the minister seated
me somewhere near the centre of it. The ladies,
who were in the slip, politely moved to give me
room, and I sat down, in the midst of our people,
as fresh in spirit as a child on a June morning.
I very soon became much interested in the ex-
ercises. I was particularly struck with the heart
that appeared in them. The singing I enjoyed,
and the plain remarks which plain church mem-
bers made, for they were made with much social-
ity and apparent sincerity. The crowded room,
the attentive faces, the earnest cheerfulness of the
place, took hold of my feelings. Our people seem-
ed to have come away gladly from the busy world,
to sit together, and talk and sing of that better
land.' I forgot that I was a stranger among them,
and they forgot it; for the time, I was as one
of them, and I felt that it was good to be in that
company of Christ's chosen ones. But, after the
benediction was pronounced, this aspect of affairs
changed. I was no longer one of them, I was
the minister's wife. Every head seemed turned
towards me, and I found myself in the midst of a
sea of eyes. Right left before behind, -
eyes, eyes, eyes. Never before had I such a keen
sense of the fact, that God has provided us with


49







50 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


a double share of these conveniences. In the gray-
ish light of the vestry, the effect of so many eyes
was exceedingly curious. Here was a sweet face,
and at half a glance I had its mild hazel eye; and
there, in the corner, a pair of coal black ones were
looking me through. I turned away, and the light
from two soft blues smiled upon me. I smiled in
return, and then caught an odd twain looking, one
at me, and one at the minister. All this passed
quickly. I said to myself, bear it bravely a few
minutes, and the worst will be over;' but the min-
utes seemed to lengthen, and the people were in
no haste to move. As it was not Sunday, they
were determined to have a good sight at me.
When Charles joined me, we were obliged to
make our way out slowly; but when we did reach
the door, I can tell you, I cleared the steps at a
bound. How glad I was to be through with it.
So, dear Mary, you see I have been exhibited as
a minister's wife, and have survived;- that, to
comfort you.
"We are going to house-keeping, have taken
'Number Five.' Come and make us a visit as
soon as you can.
Affectionately, yours,
LucY H."















CHAPTER VII.


NUMBER FIVE" IN ORDER.

WHILE the pastor's house was undergoing re-
pairs, Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were out most of
the time. Lucy wished to buy her furniture, but
she could do nothing without Mrs. Kennedy, and
whenever she mentioned it, Mrs. Kennedy imme-
diately advised deferring it until the house was
done; and, in addition to this, seemed very anx-
ious that Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook should not go to
"Number Five" until the landlord sent the keys.
"There is so much in first impressions," said
she, I do not want to have you go there until the
litter is cleared away." She was so urgent about
it, they consented not to go until she should give
them leave.
Yet Lucy was impatient to select her furniture,
and was therefore very glad when Mrs. Kennedy
said to her one morning after breakfast, -
"Now, Mrs. Holbrook, this is a beautiful day,
and I think your house will soon be done, and if
you please, I will go with you to the carpet-stores.







52 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


You can choose what you like, and Mr. Holbrook
can drop in, in the afternoon, and look at them."
Lucy was not long in getting ready, and they
went out at once. She soon found how necessary
it was to her to have Mrs. Kennedy with her, for
had she been alone, she could not have told what
did please her. One's mind gets into a tangle in
a carpet-store. Opinions and wishes run into one
another like the different patterns and colors of
the carpets. Here is this in these colors, how
very pretty; and there it is again in those colors,
and who can tell which is the prettier ?
Poor Lucy sat down on a roll quite in despair.
You like this ?" said Mrs. Kennedy.
"Yes, very much, and that too, and I do not
know which is the prettiest. What do you
think ?"
Roll away those," said Mrs. Kennedy to the
boy, "and then we can tell better."
With Mrs. Kennedy's assistance, and the final
sanction of the minister, the carpets were chosen,
and were to be left in the store until called for.
All this was done, and yet Mrs. Kennedy was
away from home more than ever.
One morning she made her appearance, looking
much pleased. "There!" said she, "I think
they will finish at "Number Five" to-day, and
to-morrow morning I shall run down and have it








NUMBER FIVE IN ORDER.


cleared up, and then in the afternoon we will all
go together and see it."
On the morrow, Mrs. Kennedy went out imme-
diately after breakfast, and was seen no more un-
til dinner was on the table. 0, I am late," said
she, well, never mind. The paint is dry, and
everything is ready. We will hurry our dinner,
so as to get off before any one calls."
"Why, you are in haste, wife," said Mr. Ken-
nedy, as she rang for the dessert before the meat
was carved ; "which shall we eat first ?"
No matter, both together, to-day; I prom-
ised we would be there in half an hour."
What did ail Mrs. Kennedy ? She was much
excited; had a fortune been left her ? Lucy, also,
became excited, without knowing why, no one
was disposed to tarry at the wine," so they were
soon on their way to "Number Five."
As they were going up the steps of the house,
Mr. Kennedy handed the key to Mr. Holbrook,
with a smile, and he, taking it, went in, with Lucy
close behind him. Lo there was Number Five,"
beautifully furnished. The chosen carpets had
been made and put down ; the furniture which had
been admired was all there, And.the choice paper
decorated the walls. A door, partly open, re-
vealed a well filled china-closet. A bright fire
burned in the parlor grate, and another in the
5*


53








54 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


convenient cooking-stove, and in the dining-room
stood the tea-table, neatly spread. Passing on,
hurriedly, up stairs, the party entered the study.
They found it pleasantly furnished, and the ad-
joining chamber, also, supplied with all things
needful.
Mr. Holbrook and Lucy stood still, silent with
astonishment. Tears were in their eyes, but not
a word did they speak. Mrs. Kennedy was
laughing at herself, because "she was such a fool
as to cry," and Mr. Kennedy, after stammering
some half intelligible sentences, walked away to
the window. Thus had the Downs Street people
given their young pastor a home; and very grati-
fying would it have been to them, could they just
then have taken a peep at Number Five," and
seen the deep feeling with which their kindness
was received.
"You will spoil us," said Lucy, turning to Mrs.
Kennedy. The minister's heart was still too full
for words, -so he walked quickly back to his
study, and entered it alone. He looked about
him; the carpet, window-shades, and table cover,
had been selected by an occulist, and selected
with special reference to the comfort of a student.
They were of that peculiar cheerful green which
refreshes the eyes and the spirits, like the green
of summer, and the paper, Lucy's choice, har-








NUMBER FIVE IN ORDER.


monized with them. Mr. Holbrook walked to
the window to view the prospect. In the distance
was the bay, and nearer, the old church tower;
and yonder, through the opening, might be seen
glimpses of sunset clouds. He stood a moment
lost in thought, and then returning to his study-
table, he sat down and leaned his head upon his
hands. The cheerful study, and the pleasant
prospect no longer filled his mind, for they had
led him to think of the great work to which he,
in God's providence, had been called. So impor-
tant did it now appear to him, and so dear seemed
the interests of his people, that he most fervently
and solemnly dedicated this room to their service.
Here would he labor and pray for them; here
should be the little Eden, into which the tempta-
tion of trifling pursuits should never enter. In
remembering the wants of his people, Mr. Hol-
brook forgot his own.
Charles, Charles," said Lucy, calling him from
the foot of the stairs, a carriage has stopped at
our door, will you come down ?"
Our door," thought he, as he obeyed the sum-
mons, "this is the first time we have ever said
that."
Mr. Kennedy had answered the bell, and was
waiting upon a lady into the parlor. She intro-
duced herself to Lucy, as Mrs. Talbot.


55








56 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


Your mother," said she to her, "was an old
friend of mine, and I wished to become acquainted
with her daughter; so I have called as soon as I
heard of your being here."
There was something in Mrs. Talbot's words
and manner which immediately put Lucy at her
ease, and she introduced her husband and friends
without embarrassment.
Mrs. Kennedy knew Mrs. Talbot well by sight,
though she had never before spoken to her. In-
deed, she was well known in the city, as the widow
of a wealthy and distinguished citizen. Mrs.
Kennedy was evidently pleased that it was Mrs.
Talbot, who made the first call upon their minis-
ter's wife in her new home; and that Mrs. Hol-
brook received her so prettily.
Have you been long at house-keeping?"
inquired Mrs. Talbot of Lucy.
"About an hour, I believe," said Lucy, laughing.
Then what did she do, but just tell Mrs. Talbot
the whole story. How Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy
had managed to keep them away from Number
Five," and succeeded so well, that they had never
mistrusted what was going on; how the people
had furnished the house, and done it liberally, in
good taste; and Lucy, in telling the story, became
animated and eloquent, and Mr. and Mrs. Ken-
nedy sat still, listening, and enjoyed it to their
hearts' content.







NUMBER FIVE IN ORDER.


I should like to show you my study," said
Mr. Holbrook.
"I should like to see it," said Mrs. Talbot,
rising and following him, as with evident pleasure
he led the way up stairs. He opened the door,
and then looked round with a countenance so
expressive and beaming, as to call forth intelligent
glances between Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy.
This," said he to Mrs. Talbot, "this is my
beau ideal of a study."
Mrs. Talbot praised it, and it certainly merited
praise; and if she was not as enthusiastic in her
admiration as the young pastor was, it must be
remembered that she had never seen that old
"corner room, third story, front," with which he
was constantly comparing it.
When the study had been thoroughlfb cussed,
Lucy opened the door into the adjoining room.
"And this, too, they furnished," said she, and the
kitchen, that is very complete; why, they have
even put up a clock."
"A clock is very necessary in a minister's
kitchen," said Mrs. Talbot, "for his minutes are
precious. But my dear Mrs. Holbrook, I do not
see but that you must have a house-warming."
A house-warming?" said Lucy, "what do
you mean?"
You must throw your house open, and invite
all your people to come and see you."


57







58 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


I should like to do that very much," said Mr.
Holbrook, "it would afford me such an opportunity
as I wish, to thank them."
Such occurrences are not uncommon among
you, I think," said Mrs. Talbot to Mrs. Kennedy.
0 no," was the reply, they are frequently
done."
Then why cannot we have a house-warming ?"
said Lucy. You can, if it would be agreeable,"
said Mr. Kennedy, smiling.
"Then we will consider that settled," said the
minister.
"And a very suitable way it will be of ac-
knowledging the kindness of your people," said
Mrs. Talbot.
After some further conversation on the subject,
Mrs. Talbot rose to leave. She gave a hand to
the minister and his wife, and said to them, kindly,
"We must be friends; come and see me soon,
and let me know of all which interests you. If
you have a house-warming, Mr. Holbrook, remem-
ber that I must have a finger in the pie."
Lucy stood at the window looking after her, as
she drove away. "It is very pleasant," said she,
"to meet any one who knows my mother. I feel
as if Mrs. Talbot were an old friend."
She is a very fine lady," remarked Mr. Ken-
nedy ; "distinguished for her active benevolence."







NUMBER FIVE IN ORDER.


"Yes," said Mrs. Kennedy, "I have always
liked her. She has a great deal of good sense,
and then her manners are, I think, a model for a
lady. There is nothing ceremonious, formal, or
artificial about her; and in regard to all the pro-
prieties of life, her judgment is excellent. Since
she has suggested the house-warming, I have been
thinking our people would be much pleased with it."
While they were talking, the afternoon slipped
away, and night fell on them, like a gray mantle.
We must go home," said Mrs. Kennedy, rising
suddenly. "It is getting dark."
We are at home," said Mr. Holbrook, "will
not you spend the night with us ?"
"No, I thank you," said Mrs. Kennedy, laugh-
ing heartily.
Still the minister and his wife lingered as if
reluctant to leave their new quarters.
"You wish to stay, do you not?" said Mrs.
Kennedy; well, your fires are burning nicely,
and there is an abundance here to eat, and I will
send Jane in to help you, so you shall stay if you
wish."
Gladly did Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook accede to
this. They wished to sit down with each other,
for the first time, alone in their own home. They
had much to say about the present, and many
plans to make for the future.


59













CHAPTER VIII.

THE HOUSE-WARMING.

THE Downs Street people had furnished Num-
ber Five" thoroughly, as far as they had furnished
it at all; but many things were necessarily left for
Lucy to add. She wished to complete it before
the house-warming, but soon found she could not
shop without Mrs. Kennedy. To her surprise,
Mrs. Kennedy was not as ready to go out with
her as she had once been. Lucy said to her, I
am afraid I tax you by coming so often, but the
" truth is, I do not know how to buy without you."
Not at all," said Mrs. Kennedy," I like to go;
but since I now no longer act as one of a commit-
tee appointed by the ladies, it will not do for me
to put myself forward. Some may say, I take
upon me more than I need to. We have to look
all about us when there are so many different sorts
of people to please."
This was all new to Lucy. "Ought I to ask ,
any one else to help me ?" said she.
"There is the deacon's wife, Mrs. Silas, she '
would be delighted to go out with you." *







THE HOUSE-WARMING.


"I am not very much acquainted with her,"
said Lucy, sighing.
"Never mind, then," said Mrs. Kennedy, "if
you wish it I am at your service, so do n't be one
grain troubled; I'11 see that it is all made right,"
- and they went out together.
Mrs. Kennedy managed so as to make Lucy's
money go far; she bought chiefly of their own
people, who gladly sold to their minister's wife at
cost. When all was completed, the day was fix-
ed upon for the house-warming, and notice of it
given. All the Downs Street people were invited
to call upon their minister and his wife, at any
hour of the day or evening of the following Thurs-
day.
Early on Monday morning, a little note from
Mrs. Silas arrived, saying,T "that the ladies wished
to send in cake and other refreshments for the oc-
casion, if it would be agreeable to the minister and
his wife."
Lucy did not know what to reply; she was per-
plexed by this proposal, for she had decided upon
a plan, which Mr. Holbrook had approved, that
was, to offer their wedding cake to their guests;
and she did not like to change this arrangement
without consulting him, and as it was study hours,
vshe would not then interrupt him, so she deferred
replying to the note till noon.


61







62 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


In thinking over the proposal, Lucy did not alto-
gether approve it. It seemed to her awkward, to in-
vite their people to their house, and yet permit them
to bring their own refreshments, and Mr. Holbrook
was inclined to take the same view of it. As they
could not arrange it satisfactorily, he proposed to
her to go around and get Mrs. Talbot's opinion of
the proprieties in the case, and she went.
When she found herself standing alone on the
steps of the great house, she felt somewhat timid,
but no time was allowed her to dwell upon it, for
her ring was immediately answered, and she was
conducted up stairs, and ushered into a suit of su-
perb rooms. In an easy chair, before a bright
wood fire which blazed in the back parlor, sat
Mrs. Talbot. She was reading when Lucy enter-
ed, but immediately put down her book and re-
ceived her guest with great cordiality.
At first, Lucy was awed by the splendor around
her, for she had never seen the like before; she
felt less at her ease with Mrs. Talbot than she had
done in the little parlors of Number Five;" style
seemed to come between them, and she hesitated
about introducing the object of her call. But Mrs.
Talbot's manner' soon re-assured her, so that she
spoke without hesitation of the little difficulty
which had arisen, and Mrs. Talbot entered into
it with unaffected interest.







THE HOUSE-WARMING.


Your plan of simply offering your wedding
cake," said she, "would have been very appro-
priate, if the ladies had not appeared anxious to
provide the entertainment themselves; but since
they have done so, if I were you, I would accept
the attention."
She then entered fully into the detail of the ar-
rangements, telling Lucy how and where to set
her tables, and offered to send her own man to act
as waiter, a service to which he was accustomed.
Lucy left her, much relieved.
Through Mrs. Kennedy the ladies were in-
formed that their offer would be acceptable, and,
on Tuesday, large supplies of cake began to pour
in. Young ladies, with sparkling eyes and bright
cheeks, were on the wing, continually coming, de-
positing their cargo of sweets, then flying off again,
and by Thursday morning Mrs. Holbrook's china-
closet was laden. At an early hour in the morn-
ing, Mrs. Talbot's man came, and went at once to
work. By Lucy's direction he set the table in the
study. Lucy soon saw that John was in his ele-
ment, and understood the matter of arranging ta-
bles better than she did; she therefore left it
wholly to him.
John made his own selections from the cake in
the china-closet, laying by each dish the card
which accompanied it, when he could conveniently


63







64 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


do so. He displayed both taste and skill, and
when he had given the finishing touch to his table,
it looked elegantly. Mr. Holbrook and Lucy were
standing and admiring it, when Mrs. Kennedy
came in.
What! all through so soon," said she; why,
I came to help you. 0, the table looks beau-
tifully !"
John must be thanked for it," said Mrs. Hol-
brook.
John ? 0 yes; well, John, have you put on
all the cake ?"
No, ma'am," said he, there is as much more
in the closet; but then m9st of it is plain. I've
got all that's frosted."
Ah John," said Mrs. Kennedy, laughing, "I
am afraid that will never do. I'11 go and look;
it won't do to hurt people's feelings, you know; we
had better hurt our table."
Mrs. Kennedy looked into the china-closet.
"Here," said she, "is a plate of sugar gingerbread
from Mrs. Wood, a poor washer-woman; I dare
say, she sat up half the night to make it, for she
thinks everything of her minister. We must not
leave this out on any account. Here are buns
from the Pelham's, sewing-girls they are, who
have no home of their own, but very worthy girls.
Here, John,'we must find room for the buns, too."







THE HOUSE-WARMING.


SIndeed, madam," said John, there is no room;
the table is full, very full."
I'll tell you what we can do," said Mrs. Ken-
nedy, lifting up two silver baskets of her own
elegant cake, "mine will keep, Mrs. Holbrook;
just slip it into your cake-box; you will find it
convenient by and by, and we will put the buns
and gingerbread here. That is," said she, after a
pause, ( if you approve."
Certainly," replied Lucy, "I would not have
any of our people feel slighted; it is to be their
day, and we must do what will best please them."
John made the exchange, gravely and reluc-
tantly. Just then the door bell rang, and he took
his station below. It was Mrs. Talbot, who had
come to see what progress was made. John went
up stairs with her to show her his table, and Mrs.
Holbrook told the story of his choosing the hand-
some cake, and of Mrs. Kennedy's reasons for the
exchange. John stood in the entry, hearing this,
and, looking in and laughing, secretly hoping his
mistress would side with him, and advise the res-
toration of that elegant cake, the pride of his
table. Mrs. Talbot disappointed him; she told
Lucy, "by all means to do honor to the gifts of
the poor," so John was obliged to leave his treasure
in the cake-box.
Ring ring ring, the people meant to
6*


65








66 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


honor their pastor's invitation. And first came
the aged ladies, who wished, in their call, to an-
ticipate the crowd. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy intro-
duced those who were still strangers to the minis-
ter and his wife, and Lucy found herself among
many new friends. She was glad to see them,
and easily expressed this pleasure; but when the
first greeting was over, she found a difficulty which
she had not anticipated, in conversing with so many
different people. She did not know what topics
of conversation would interest them, and many
times was forced to be silent.
Such was not Mr. Holbrook's experience. He
was not now the shy, awkward student, in a rusty
coat, and ragged collar, but an ordained pastor,
appropriately dressed, and moving about among
his own people, who already regarded him with
respect and affection. This new position inspired
him with confidence, and he exhibited a versa-
tility of address and fruitfulness of resources which
he had never developed before. Lucy glanced at
him now and then, and wondered. Was he, and
that shy friend whom she knew at S., one and
the same ? She could hardly believe it. Once,
it required an effort on his part to converse with a
single stranger; now, he was entertaining a crowd.
Such a change had necessity wrought in him. Lucy
felt that she must rally her failing courage, and







THE HOUSE-WARMING.


she went and sat down on the sofa by some old
ladies who had been thus far, left pretty much to
themselves.
Do you enjoy good health ?" said she, kindly,
to one whose face was much wrinkled and time-
worn.
Tol'able," she replied, "seeing I am hard on
to eighty. But my race is e'en almost run; I
expect my summons now, every day. My sister
had her summons about a month afore she died.
I suppose you never hee'rd o'nt," said she, fixing
a singular eye on Lucy.
No," said Lucy, frightened, she scarcely knew
why. In addition to the cadaverous expression
of the old lady's countenance, there was something
mysterious in her tone and manner which indi-
cated that she was about to make an uncommon
revelation.
Well, she was summoned," continued she,
and I expect to be. It was about four o'clock
one winter morning. Dreadful cold it was; the
wind blowed and roared down the chimney, and the
blinds rattled. I lay in my bed, which it might be
stood there in this corner, with the head agin the
window, and the wooden shelters were shet. Well,
the clock had just struck four, when there came
three sich raps, as I guess you never heerd, right
agin that shetter, and upon that our light went out.


I


67








68 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


My sister, says she to me, says she, -'Hannah,
that's my warning; I never shall do nothing more.'
Says I, I am afeard it is.' We lay still, 'til the
morning broke, then I got up, but sister--she
couldn't lift her head, and she never did lift it
again; she died in jest four weeks. When she
lay a dying, she says to me, in a very solemn tone,
'Hannah,' says she, when your time is a coming
I'l warn you.' Now I am a looking for it every
day, for Hannah was always as good as her
word."
"That was very remarkable," said Lucy, half-
frightened; she did not know how to continue the
conversation. Mrs. Kennedy, observing her, came
in a few minutes, and took her away from the old
lady, into a little circle of young mothers, who
had stolen out while their babies were sleeping.
To Lucy it seemed like coming from a tomb into
a merry nursery, and she was delighted with the
young mothers, and they with her.
Ring ring ring still, all the morning,
all the afternoon, and by evening "Number Five"
was crowded with the Downs Street people.
John's table was cleared before sundown, and,
finding Mrs. Kennedy, he begged the handsome
cake for his second table, and obtained it. By
nine o'clock this was also cleared.
The evening drew to its close, and Mr., Hol-







THE HOUSE-WARMING.


brook, taking a position at the foot of the stairs,
thanked his people in a simple and appropriate
manner, for their kind and generous attentions to
him, expressed his pleasure at meeting so many
of them, and his deep interest in their welfare.
He then offered a prayer, and the people dispersed.
When Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, the last linger-
ers, had said "good night," John went about with
quiet tread, extinguished the lights, and then as
quietly departed; and the minister and his wife
were left alone, too weary, one would suppose, to
think of making a second such effort very soon
again. Yet the next morning, when Lucy saw
the abundance of cake still remaining, a bright
thought struck her; "why not invite the children
of the society to meet their pastor?" She would
do so, and accordingly it was done; and an after-
noon was devoted to their entertainment.
Mr. Holbrook was pleased to meet the children,
but Lucy was more than pleased, she entered
into their sports with as much glee as any of them,
and they thought they had a fine time of it.
There was one little fellow, with large blue eyes,
who claimed the minister as his particular prop-
erty; his name was Herbert. When Mr. Hol-
brook sat down, he came, without fear, and climbed
upon his knee; he put his arms about his neck,
and kissed him. "I love you," said he. "Why?"


69







70 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


said Mr. Holbrook. "Because you are my min-
ister."
When Mr. Holbrook walked about, Herbert
ran at his side; and if he could not get a hand,
held fast to his coat. When the cake was passed,
his share he broke in two, and gave the larger
piece to his minister. Lucy laughed heartily at
this.
"You must adopt him, Charles," said she.
"I hope to adopt them all," said he, with much
feeling. "I used to think, if I ever became a
pastor, I should make a great deal of the children.
We must nourish our buds, if we wish for choice
fruit."
"I love you," said little Herbert again. The
minister stroked his curly head, and seating him-
self in the midst of his flock, told them Bible sto-
ries. After this, he asked the children if they
could sing. They could sing some Sabbath School
songs which Lucy knew, so she stood a little aside
from the group, and commenced singing. Soft
young voices chimed in, and innocent eyes rested
upon the minister, who seemed like a good shep-
herd among the lambs of his fold. When the
music ceased, he prayed fervently. Nothing had
occurred since his ordination which made him feel
so sensibly that he was a pastor, as the look in
those innocent eyes. It seemed to him to be no







THE HOUSE-WARMING. 71

trifling part of his new duties to influence young
children; to lure the feet of those little ones,
whose "journey was but just begun," into that
strait and narrow path, which leads to eternal
life; and he prayed that this duty might never be
neglected or despised.















CHAPTER IX.


GOING INTO SOCIETY.

SOME little time after the house-warming, Mr.
and Mrs. Holbrook received an invitation to a
large party. They had as yet gone but little into
city society, and were not acquainted with the
formalities which the case required. Lucy had,
for some time, been wishing to take a present to
John, as an expression of their appreciation of his
services, and she thought this would afford her a
good excuse for calling upon Mrs. Talbot, from
whom she could learn just those things about a
city party which she would be expected to know.
Accordingly she went, and, as usual at that hour,
found Mrs. Talbot reading in her easy chair.
She was received kindly, and before long, was
induced to speak of the real object of the call.
Mrs. Talbot had also received an invitation to
this party, and when she found how matters'tood
with her young friend, she decided, though con-
trary to her habits, to go out on that evening with
her. She told Lucy that she would do so, and







GOING INTO SOCIETY.


would call for her. Mrs. Talbot made a great
effort to go out, for she was an invalid, but she
made the effort with a sincere desire to benefit the
new Comers; yet she was not aware how great a
kindness she was conferring upon them. Intro-
duced by her, the minister and his wife made their
first entrance into city society with a quiet self- ,
possession which otherwise they would not have
felt; they knew they could safely follow, where
she led the way.
During the evening Lucy was, at one time,
standing in a corner, silent; near her was a timid
young lady, who was, also, a stranger. Pretty
soon, Mrs. Talbot approached her, and said, in a
low voice: My dear, had you not better enter-
tain that young lady, she seems less at home than
yourself."
Lucy turned to reply, but Mrs. Talbot, smiling,
moved quietly away. Lucy profited by the hint
so delicately given. At the appointed hour, John
came, and Mrs. Talbot, with Mr. and Mrs. Hol.
brook, took their leave. Lucy felt that if invited
again to a city party, attendance would be a less
formidable task, for she had, through the evening,
carefully observed Mrs. Talbot, and had learned
much from her.
"I did not see any of our people there," said
Lucy, as they were riding home.


73







74 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


I did not," replied Mr. Holbrook.
"I suppose," said he, hesitatingly, "that we
have not many fashionable people among us."
This was new to Lucy; she did not understand
the nice distinctions of city society. Mrs. Talbot
understood better than either of them the relative
'position of the Downs Street Church, though, of
course, she in no way manifested this knowledge.
As the evening was dark, and John was a won-
derfully careful driver, it was late when the min-
ister and his wife found themselves set down at
"Number Five." Bridget was asleep in her
chair, and Mr. Holbrook rang several times before
he could waken her. "Ah, and indade," said she,
by way of apology, "I was thinking it was the
breakfast bell when you rung, and was going to
make my coffee."
It was late, and Mr. Holbrook sat down by the
fire and looked seriously at the coals.
"What is the matter?" inquired Lucy, "any-.
thing in there to trouble you ?"
No," said he, musingly, but I cannot afford
to give my time to parties; I have too much to
do. We must have some rule about going out."
"We shall not be asked to go out often," said
she, "we are invited now by Mrs. Talbot's friends
because we are strangers. I dare say, our people
never give parties."







GOING INTO SOCIETY.


I do not think they do," replied he, "and if
I knew this visiting would last but for a season, I
would cheerfully devote some time to it, for I
need to go more into society."
How much more you are at your ease than
you used to be," said Lucy. "Do you remember
that evening in S. ?"
When I met Miss Hubbell?"
Yes."
Remember it! to be sure. I was thinking of
it the other day, and of the collars you mended."
"Why do you not wear them now?" said
Lucy, laughing.
"Do you wish me to ?"
"No, for I do believe one reason why you feel
more at your ease than you used to, is because
you are better dressed."
It may be so," was his reply.
After this night's dissipation, the morning had
so far slipped away before Mr. Holbrook felt like
rising and going to work, that he was led to adopt
fierce resolutions against parties. Lucy thought
them superfluous, for she hardly expected to be
invited to another; yet, before long, a second in-
vitation came. Mr. Holbrook wished to decline
it; Lucy thought it prudent not to do so without
first consulting Mrs. Talbot.
Now Mrs. Talbot knew the lady from whom


75







76 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


the invitation came, and that it was her custom to
give parties only for ministers; and also that she
was particularly attentive to such as were stran-
gers. She thought one object in her giving a
party at that time, was to introduce the Downs
Street minister and lady; she therefore urged
their going, and again kindly insisted upon send-
ing her carriage. To this Lucy would not con-
sent; the evening was fine, and they should pre-
fer walking."
Well," said Mrs. Talbot, opening a drawer as
she spoke, and taking out a pair of soft, coarsely
knit stockings, "draw these on over your others
before you go out, your feet will be too thinly
dressed for walking."
When Mr. Holbrook heard Lucy's report he
looked grave; what would become of his fierce
resolutions if he went? yet it seemed necessary
that the invitation should be accepted, and he,
reluctantly, consented.
Mrs. Talbot was right in her opinion of the
party; it had been given for ministers, to most of
whom Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook were yet to be in-
troduced. Lucy felt like a stranger among them;
but remembering Mrs. Talbot's example, she en-
deavored to be social with those immediately
about her.
The evening was passing more pleasantly than







GOING INTO SOCIETY.


she had at first anticipated, when a venerable,
white-haired clergyman, who had been eyeing her
for some time, approached, and was introduced as
Dr. Graves.
He was a man of kind feelings, who was par-
ticularly anxious to make himself serviceable to
every young minister, or young minister's wife,
who fell in his way; he thought all such could
profit by his long and varied experience.
In a very formal way, he commenced conversa-
tion on general subjects. Pleased with the fresh-
ness and simplicity of his new acquaintance, -
he was soon led into particulars.
The duties of a minister's wife are new to
you, I suppose, my dear."
"Yes, sir."
"Doubtless, you find them very arduous, but
they are also exceedingly gratifying when rightly
performed.
"Yes, sir," said Lucy, again, but that was too
short, and she added, "I am but a new beginner."
Well, my dear," continued he, if you give
yourself up, heart and soul, to your work, you
will be guided safely. You have only to endeavor
to set your people such an example in all things,
as it will be safe for them to follow."
"Yes, sir," said Lucy, looking rather blank.
"It will give me great pleasure," continued the



A


77







78 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


old gentleman, to introduce you to a friend of
mine, Mrs. Lacy. She is a perfect pattern of a
Christian woman. She lends herself wholly to
every good work; 'in season, and out of season;'
she, indeed, 'does with her might whatsoever her
hands find to do.' If you can become acquainted
with her, and copy her in some of these things,
you will be eminently useful in your new posi-
tion; let me introduce you to her."
No, no, Dr." said a well known voice; we
want our minister's wife to be herself, and copy
after no one. Mrs. Lacy is a charming woman,
but we all like to have our own ways of doing
good."
"Ah, Mrs. Kennedy is that you ? Indepen-
dent as ever, I see," said the old gentleman, smiling.
Lucy turned, and grasped Mrs. Kennedy warmly
by the hand; indeed, she did not leave her again,
through the evening. She felt shy of such of the
clergy as showed the blossoms of the almond-
tree; she feared further enlargement on the awful
responsibilities of her new position; she scarcely
dared raise her eyes to that part of the room
where Mrs. Lacy stood, lest she should see such
glowing perfection as would completely over-
whelm her.
The old Dr. walked away and entirely forgot
his benevolent plan of making them acquainted,







GOING ITO SOCIETY
GOING INTO SOCIETY.


79


but he left poor Lucy full of serious thoughts, not
the most appropriate for the socialities of a draw-
ing-room.
What was before her? Was she expected to
be a "living example, known and read of all ?"
She, but just from school, new to herself and
all the world Was not she yet a learner in all
things; how then could she teach ? Mrs. Kenne-
dy observed the thoughtful expression of her
countenance, and kindly broke up her misgivings,
with many domestic inquiries. Did Bridget an-
swer their purpose ? How did their coal burn ?
-and the study stove, was it the thing they
needed there?
Lucy answered these inquiries, and as she en-
tered into the subject, the clouds began to dis-
perse; yet she was not sorry when the evening
had passed. Such a body of clergymen appeared
very formidable to her; it was a grave matter to
look upon them, and to feel that her young pastor
had now joined their ranks, and had his position
yet to take among them; she wondered what it
would be.
As she passed through the hall on her way out,
she saw Dr. Graves again. Afraid that by some
accident he might be thrown into their company
in their homeward walk, she slipped quickly
through the outer door, and would have gone








80 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.

down the steps with a fall, had not some one
caught her. It was John, who was waiting there
with his carriage ; for it had commenced raining,
and Mrs. 'Talbot had sent him. Lucy felt as if
she had a mother in Mrs. Talbot, and as if John
also belonged to them. Early the next morning,
before commencing the business of the day, she
slipped over to tell her about the party, and of her
interview with Dr. Graves.












CHAPTER X.


MAKING A SPEECH. MORNING MUSINGS.
THIS second party was also followed by a
broken morning, which Mr. Holbrook was too
wise again to mend with "resolutions." He
thought it over in silence; for lie was earnestly
seeking knowledge as to what a city minister's
life is, and what it can be made. To him it was
an unsolved problem; how was he to do justice
to himself, and yet do justice to his people. Thus
far, his miscellaneous duties had scarcely left him
time even for sermon-writing, but he hoped that
when he cea-ed to be a new man in his place,
many interruptions would cease.
Lucy was enlivening a fragment of the morn-
ing, by a graphic account of her interview with
Dr. Graves, when Mrs. Kennedy called. Her
object was, to inquire if Lucy would accept the
office of president of the Sewing Society; the
ladies were very anxious that she should do so.
Mr. Holbrook answered for her; No," said he,
decidedly, "Mrs. Holbrook ought not to undertake
anything more. It is not necessary that she should
be burdened with the care of my people. I am







82 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


sure that she will do all for them that she can con-
sistently with her other duties and her health, and
more than this ought not to be expected of her. I
am not at all of Dr. Graves's mind, that she must
be made a martyr, for the sake of becoming an
example."
Lucy, who was sitting in the corner of the sofa,
laughed merrily at this burst of eloquence, for
which she seemed indebted to Dr. Graves. She
was glad no one but Mrs. Kennedy heard it, for
it would have been an easy thing to have mis-
represented what was said; Mrs. Kennedy she
knew was a prudent friend, and would not repeat
anything which might be turned to their injury.
Mrs. Kennedy had no disposition to report this
remark. She had lived longer in the world than
Mr. Holbrook, and knew that time would modify
such opinions, or, at least, change the expression of
them. It was not the first instance she had met,
of a minister's being chary of his young wife, and
she could make allowances for him. She took
good care that no trouble should ensue from
Lucy's declining the office.
Before long, the anniversary of an important
local society called the minister and his wife out
on another evening. When they arrived at the
church it was late, and they quietly entered a fide
slip. The house was well filled, and the uatform







MAKING A SPEECH.


crowded with clergymen. Some of them were
literally "watchmen on the walls of Zion," for
with eyes fixed on the ever opening door, they
noticed all who entered. Mr. Holbrook did not
take his seat unobserved; neither was he long left
unmolested. The watchman came down, and held
a conversation with him at the pew door. Mr.
Holbrook looked disturbed; his brother ministers
insisted upon his making an address in the place
of an absentee. Lucy plainly read his distress
as he went to the platform. He was awkward at
extemporaneous speaking; he had never appeared
before such an audience; he was called upon to
speak without preparation on a subject, the local
bearings of which he did not understand. These
circumstances combined, made it a serious trial to
his feelings, and it was with a nervous tread, and
flushed countenance, that he went up and took his
seat among his veteran colleagues. Trial as it
was, however, he well knew that from it there
was no honorable retreat. The life of a city
minister is a life of emergencies to which he must
be always equal. Let no man despise thy youth,"
was an apostolic injunction of which Mr. Hol-
brook often thought; now he must obey it. Poor
Lucy seemed to know his feelings by instinct, and
sympathized fully with them. Her heart beat
violently; tears came to her eyes; she wished she
had st ed at home.


I


83







84 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


Bless his heart," said a soft voice back of her,
"it is too hard to make him go up there."
Never fear for him," was the quick reply, in a
well-known voice. Lucy turned, with a grateful
look, and Mrs. Kennedy bowed and smiled, so
the tears stood in the young wife's eyes, and did
not drop.
During the prayer, and the reading of reports,
Mr. Holbrook concentrated his thoughts on the
work before him. True, he knew but little of its
peculiar claims. But he knew, that strike a vein
of true benevolence where you will, it will be
found flowing directly from the great heart of
Christian love. On this he could speak, and wav-
ing all apology, with this he commenced. At first
he spoke with difficulty; his voice often trembled;
his glances over the great audience were transient;
his manner was diffident; but necessity was upon
him, and the reverence which he felt for the
preacher's work, drew forth in.this emergency t#
power that was in him. As he warmed with his
subject, words began to flow; and soon he almost
forgot the great audience, in his earnestness to do
his Master's work. In this desire his diffidence
subsided into a manly modesty, and he spoke as
one invested with authority. When his address
was completed, a general movement and ex-
changing of glances expressed the agreeable sur-







MAKING A SPEECH.


prise of the audience, while the bowed heads of
some indicated that hearts had been touched.
I told you so," said Mrs. Kennedy, trium-
phantly, to her neighbor. Lucy again turned, but
now she was smiling, though even when the clouds
were gone and the sun fairly shone, those way-
ward tears, like wayward showers in April, must
needs fall.
This evening's adventure excited Mr. Holbrook,
and gave him a wakeful night; the consequence
was another broken morning. Its results, how-
ever, were important to him; it served as an in-
troduction to the community, and gave him a
place among the ministers. Lucy, also, was led
by it to consider it desirable that one of them, at
least, should attend public meetings frequently,
and she resolved that she would go whenever any
meetings of importance were held in the day.
Before long, she had.an opportunity to attend
a quarterly "meeting ofq Children's Friend So-
ciety. It was to be held in the morning, and
therefore she was obliged to hasten away, and
leave'Bridget in charge of all the dinner arrange-
ment, which she had been prevented from making
by an early visitor. As she was walking rapidly
to the vestry, she heard some one call her, from a
carriage, and Mrs. Talbot looked from the win-
dow, and invited her to ride.


85







86 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


Lucy excused herself on the plea, that she
was going to meeting." Mrs. Talbot said, "she
would take her there."
"You are out early," said Mrs. Talbot, when
they were seated together.
"Yes, very early," said Lucy, but I thought
I ought to go. I had company before breakfast
was over, and I could not get time to see to any-
thing. I do not know what will become of my
house; I have to neglect it. Sometimes I think
it would have been better for us to have boarded."
Do not feel troubled, my dear," said Mrs.
Talbot, "your work will arrange itself by and
by, so that it will all come easier, and you will
also become accustomed to it. We are not re-
quired to do any more than we can do, and you
will soon learn to be content with this."
John stopped at the vestry of Dr. Graves's
church, and interrupted a pleasant conversation.
"0 dear," said Lucy, with a cheerful laugh, for
her spirits had risen as their burden had been
lightened; "0 dear, if Dr. Graves himself is
there, what shall I do ? "
John looked up at her with a serio-comical ex-
pression of countenance, as if he appreciated her
feelings, and yet had a joke ready to crack in his
teeth at the Doctor's expense. John and Mrs.
Holbrook were fast becoming friends.







MAKING A SPEECH.


Lucy entered the vestry, and the first thing
which she saw was Dr. Graves, in the pulpit.
She quietly took her seat, and endeavored to lis-
ten to the remarks which followed his prayer;
but they interested her less than the novel scene
of a morning assembly, composed entirely of
ladies. She did not understand how so many of
them could leave home at that hour.
Dr. Graves having concluded his remarks, took
his departure, and much to Lucy's surprise, Mrs.
Lacy, clad in velvet and sable, rose, and took his
place. In a graceful and dignified manner, she
took charge of the meeting, and managed its
business. Lucy still looked upon her with won-
der; she, certainly, was a remarkable woman;
and she felt more fear of her than ever. How
could she stand up before so many people and
address them? Had Lucy been called upon to do
it, she certainly would have fainted away. Thus
reminded of her own inefficiency, her former mis-
givings returned to trouble her. How could she
ever perform the duties of a city minister's wife ?
She half wished Mr. Holbrook had settled on the
Green Mountains.
These thoughts were a little diverted as the
exercises proceeded, and yet, when the meeting
was over, Lucy was ready to hasten away, as if
she could leave them behind. A lady stopped


87







88 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


her; -it was the lady at whose house she met
Dr. Graves, and she was immediately introduced
by her to Mrs. Lacy. Lucy scarcely raised her
eyes.
"I have not seen you here before, I think,"
said Mrs. Lacy, kindly. No, I have never been
present before."
"I am happy to see you here, and it Will give
me pleasure to introduce you to some of our lead-
ing members. The wish has been expressed to
appoint you treasurer for the coming year." "I
do not think -," said Lucy, blushing and hesi-
tating, and leaving her sentence unfinished.
"You cannot have our minister's wife," was
said by a pleasant voice.
"Take the office yourself, then, Mrs. Kennedy,"
replied Mrs. Lacy, turning quickly.
Not I, indeed," was the reply. "I have my
hands full; you must give it to some young lady."
Just find us one, if you please." Lucy did
not wait for the final settlement of the matter, but
slipped out, and gladly turned her face home-
ward. She had not proceeded far, when she
heard some one walking quickly behind her. She
turned, and saw a lady whose face was familiar,
though her name was forgotten; yet, as she knew
her to be one of Mr. Holbrook's people, she felt
at liberty to shake hands with her, and inquire
after her family.







MAKING A SPEECH.


"They were all well, excepting Mr. Roberts;
he had a bad cold." The lady, then, was Mrs.
Roberts, and as she walked along with the minis-
ter's wife, she chatted on various subjects, and
among other items of news, she said to her:
"Yesterday I called on Mrs. Vinton, and I found
both she and her husband felt hurt because Mr.
Holbrook had not been to see them. They knew
he had been at Mr. Baker's, and that's only a few
doors from them; they never knew a syllable
about the house-warming, until it was all over, and
they were hurt about that too. And they say,
'if they are not of consequence enough to be
taken any notice of, it's no matter how soon they
leave, they are thinking seriously of going to
some other church.' I thought I would just tell
you," said Mrs. Roberts, for, perhaps, you and
the minister might find time to run in before they
go." Certainly," said Lucy, we will try to do
so." She was finding out that shadows fall, even
over the path of a city minister.
After leaving Mrs. Roberts, business detained
her, and she -did not reach home until dinner was
on the table. She found Bridget had roasted a
fresh piece of meat, of which there was no need,
for there was plenty left from the dinner of the
day before to have served them; but Lucy, in
her haste to be off in season, had forgotten to
8*


89







90 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


speak of it, and Bridget had done as well as she
knew how, and therefore was not to be blamed.
Thus the fifty cents were not saved, because of
the early quarterly meeting which the minister's
wife must attend. Lucy's thoughts were so much
occupied with Mrs. Lacy and Mrs. Vinton, that
the little matter scarcely troubled her, and her
husband insisted upon knowing why she looked
so grave. She gave him the history of the morn-
ing. He laughed that she was disturbed because
she did not understand parliamentary usage as
well as Mrs. Lacy, but was himself disturbed at
Mrs. Vinton's state of mind. He took out his
visiting list, which, as yet, was only alphabetically
arranged. True, Mrs. Baker lived in the same
street with Mrs. Vinton, and he had called upon
one, and not upon the other.
I cannot go to see her this week," said he,
"nor next either, I am afraid."
"I am sorry," said Lucy, for she was over-
looked in the house-warming, and has some reason
to feel slighted. I met her once at Mrs. Kenne-
dy's, and was pleased with her. I do not like to
lose her. Do not you suppose you could save a
few minutes just to run in with me before tea?"
"Possibly I may be able to; will you be all
ready ?"
Yes," said Lucy.







MAKING A SPEECH.


If I am not here at the appointed time, do not
sit with your cloak on. I will be punctual if I
can go at all."
The afternoon, if so we must dignify the short
space between dining and dark, was soon gone,
and the shadows of the brick houses fell black
and heavy across the street; the appointed time
passed, but Mr. Holbrook did not -appear. Lucy
sat a few minutes to consider. Should she venture
out alone ? Why not ? She knew just about where
Mrs. Vinton lived, and might soon be there. Yes,
she would go. She walked quickly, that the
darkness might not gain on her ; found the street
and the house, and was admitted to a back parlor,
where Mrs. Vinton sat, undressing her baby.
Lucy felt that her unseasonable call required some
apology, for Mrs. Vinton looked surprised.
I have come in very unceremoniously," said
she, pleasantly. "Mr. Holbrook and I were com-
ing in together, but he has been prevented, and I
thought I would not get cheated out of my call.
I have not seen you in a long time; you were not
at our house-warming, nor Mr. Vinton either; I
do n't know but I shall call you to account for it."
"My dear Mrs. Holbrook," said Mrs. Vinton,
"if you won't mind my baby, sit right down here,
and let me tell you all about it."
Lucy heard the whole story, and then explained


91







92 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


to Mrs. Vinton how it came about that she had
not been called upon as soon as Mrs. Baker.
"Well, I never!" said Mrs. Vinton, when she
had heard her through, we ought not to blame
our ministers until we know their side, as well as
our own ; and yet, a great many of us do. For
my part, I never did it yet, without having some-
thing turn up to make me sorry for it afterwards."
Lucy was much pleased by Mrs. Vinton's frank-
ness, and quite cheerful again; she took up the
baby, to have a frolic with him. As she did so,
her glove fell almost into a dish of pears which
stood by the stove, warming for tea.
What fine looking pears," said Lucy, as Mrs.
Vinton put them aside, "are they preserved, or
stewed ?"
Only stewed," said Mrs. Vinton; husband
is very fond of them. Do eat some, will you ?"
No, I thank you," said Lucy, "but I should
like to know how you cook them."
Mrs. Vinton explained the process with evident
pleasure ; she took a pride in nice cookery.
Darker and darker fell the huge shadows; now
Lucy certainly must go. She, therefore, kissed
the baby, shook hands with the mother, and they
parted good friends.
Darker it certainly was than when she came -
much. Here and there a lamp-lighter appeared







MAKING A- SPEECH.


with his blazing torch. It was late for Lucy to
be out alone, in the city, too. She began to walk
rapidly, and more and more rapidly as she heard
steps behind her a man's steps certainly, and
now, nearer and nearer, in spite of her exerion,
- a hand touched her shoulder. Why, Lucy,"
was said just in time to prevent the scream which
rose to her lips. Lucy was timid; she had exag-
gerated ideas of the wickedness which walketh in
darkness.
How you frightened me, Charles," she panted
out.
("Where have you been at this hour, Lucy ?"
To call upon Mrs. Vinton," said she; as soon
as I get my breath, I'll tell you about it, which
she did accordingly. Mr. Holbrook felt that her
call had done as much towards reconciling the
disaffected as his own would have done, and, per-
haps, even more. Of this he was convinced the
next morning, for, before Bridget had her fire
kindled, the door bell rang, and Mr. Vinton, who
was on his way down town, called to leave a jar
of stewed pears which Mrs. Vinton sent, with her
love. Those pears, which with many repentant
feelings at having unjustly blamed her minister
Mrs. Vinton had sat up half the night to cook,
linked her to him, and from that time the minis-
ter and his wife had no warmer friends than Mr.
and Mrs. Vinton.


93







94 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.

If you have aught against your minister, do not
treasure it up, at least until you have heard his
side of the difficulty. Is it a trifle, not important
enough to mention to him, which troubles you ?
bring him then an offering, which is to you a labor
of love, and it will set all right in your heart.
This is what Mr. and Mrs. Vinton will tell you.












CHAPTER XI.


MAKING CALLS. A LETTER.

DEAR MARY:- "I feel almost ashamed to
write to you again, your last unanswered letter
dates so far back; but the simple truth is, the wife
of a city minister has no time of her own. O, if
I had only known this before I came! I think it
would have scared away what little courage I had.
To-day it storms, fortunately. I cannot get out,
and no one can get in, so I have a chance to write
you a few lines."
After describing to her friend their house, man-
ner of living, etc., Lucy went on to give her an ac-
count of their making calls, in the following:-
I thought of you the other day, when I was
getting ready to go out with Mr. Holbrook to call
upon some of our people. As the street where
we wished to go was at some distance from Num-
ber Five," and I was not very well, we took a
carriage for a few hours. I dressed in my best,
and I thought we started off in great style. At
many places we found the people absent, and, to
tell the truth, our visiting list was so enormous, I
was not sorry to have it reduced in any honest







A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


way. At one time we drove up a very narrow
street, and entered a very old-fashioned house;
here we found the family all at home. They had
assembled to receive us in a plain parlor, the
principal ornament of which was a stand of house-
plants, mostly in bloom. The family party con-
sisted of an old gentleman, his wife, and two young
daughters; the latter so shy, they were afraid
even of me! I was put upon my wits to keep
up a conversation. I talked the flowers over, -
stalk, stem, leaf, and bud, and to all my profound
remarks I received only a whispered, -' yes or
no.' I began to realize what a great thing it is
to be a minister's wife, when even as such, could
awe people. It struck me comically; I felt as if
I must laugh, but I did n't dare to. The old lady,
after awhile, roused a bit. She would go into
the other half of the house,' she said,' and hunt
up sister Nanny.' This she did, and on her re-
turn came and sat still nearer me. Her counte-
nance wore its most Sabbath-day expression, and
I could not look at it. Do you like the city?'
she asked, in a very serious tone. Yes,' said I,
'and I presume I shall like it better and better
as I become more accustomed to it.' 'You have
never lived in one before ?' No, I am a coun-
try girl.' '! well, do you know many of our
folks ?' 'Not very many yet, I am getting


96







MAKING CALLS. A LETTER.


acquainted.' Here came an awful pause. I bit
my lip. It seemed to me as if the old lady were
waiting for words of wisdom, to fall like honey
from my lips. Now imagine me, Mary, if you
can, making wise remarks in a still room! I look-
ed over to Charles to see if the time of our de-
parture was not near at hand. He would n't look
at me, but kept on talking with the old gentleman,
whose tongue run like a mill-stream. On our
side of the room a new topic was introduced; it
was Becky, -Becky, the eldest daughter; and
from this time the burden of the conversation was,
'that Becky hadn't come, and she would be so
sorry to lose the call.'
4"I saw now that a city minister's wife must
have tact as well as good feeling, or she will never
make friends with such a variety of people. The
instant we rose to go, the spell of the parlor was
broken. The family crowded together, followed
us to the door, all talking at once, and telling
us how glad they were to see us, and begging us
to come again. As we stood there, it struck me
we should make a fine group for a picture. At
the parlor door was the old patriarch, with his
pale blue eyes and pleasant countenance, still talk-
ing fast to the young minister whom he held by
the hand. By his side was his wife; the deep
lines in her countenance indicated that she had


97







98 A PEEP AT NUMBER FIVE.


passed through the checkered experience of a
long life. She was reverently listening to the
remarks of her husband, when, observing a little
spot upon his coat, she wet her finger and care-
fully rubbed it out without disturbing him. Be-
hind her, the young faces of her daughters, stretch-
ed away into the back-ground, all of them with
pale blue eyes, and the father's mild look. They
waited only for him to say his last word, when
they all broke in together with their say. Their
eyes sparkled; their faces lighted up, and even
aunt Nanny, who might properly be called 'homely
as time,' looked animated and lively. The kind
gladness of their hearts and voices was contagious,
it was excited by love for their minister, and came
bubbling up, as soon as parlor restraint was re-
moved. I entered into full sympathy witl it, al-
most before I knew it. Who would not choose
to be a minister,' thought I, 'and have a people
to love him.' When we went out, they followed
us even to the carriage steps. I sprang up, exhila-
rated by the scene, and feeling, with the old lady,
truly sorry that Becky was n't at home.' There,
Mary, in spite of the rain I am interrupted, -
some one wi-hes to see me in the kitchen. If
anything occurs to detain me, so that I cannot
finish this sheet to-day, I shall send it just as it is.
Believe me, hurried or at leisure,
Ever your friend, LucY H."




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