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 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
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Group Title: The two apprentices : a tale for youth
Title: The two apprentices
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002625/00001
 Material Information
Title: The two apprentices a tale for youth
Alternate Title: Two apprentices
Physical Description: 175, 16 p., <2> leaves of plates : ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Howitt, Mary Botham, 1799-1888
William Tegg & Co ( Publisher )
Bradbury & Evans ( Printer )
Publisher: William Tegg & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Bradbury and Evans
Publication Date: 1852
Edition: New ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Apprentices -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mary Howitt.
General Note: The frontispiece, engraved.
General Note: Added t.p., engraved.
General Note: Publisher's cataglogues follows the text: Catalogue of instructive and amusing books for children and young people (p.1-8) -- Catalogue of standard school books (p.9-16).
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002625
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231899
oclc - 45712300
notis - ALH2286
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Frontispiece
        Page iv
    Half Title
        Page v
        Page vi
    Title Page
        Page vii
    Copyright
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
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    Main
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    Advertising
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    Back Cover
        Back cover 1
        Back cover 2
    Spine
        Back cover 3
Full Text







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O>N /T ILPEC









OA iIle for tMontt

m /A IR qJy "


T C] t










THE TWO APPRENTICES.




A alk for Youth.









BY MARY HOWITT,
AUtNHO 0 "' ITRIVl AND THIRIVY,0" U BOWING AND UAPIN~ O
**WOtK AND WAGIe," TeO. RTC.




NEW EDITION.






LONDON:
WILLIAM TEGG & CO., 85, QUEEN STREET,
CHEAPSIDE.
1852.










































LOMDOKZ
D3ADBU31 AXD EVANS, ]NINYUN* WNZITUINLAILS













CONTENTS.


~-4--

PART 1.
CRAP. rPA0
I. MAY-VWAr DAY AND THS GOOD MIss KBNDRICKS 1
II. THE OSBORNUS AND THUIR FAMILY TROUBLUs 20
III. THz Two APPRENTICE 38
IV. JESIN'S ACQUAINTANCe MADN .. 53
V. A SPOE IN THa Wal .- 66
VI. DzEPER AND DPrn. 79
VII. THn BUBnLz BURsT 97



PART II.

I. OLD ACQUAINTANCE AND Nzw .. 109
II. A CONTRa-TrEMS 115
III. AGAIN, OLD AND NNzw ACQUAINTANCE 127
IV. THEY ARE orr.-TuZy AR MARRIns 141
V. ANOTHER OLD ACQUAINTANCE 150
VI. MADEMOISBLL. AmNE 164


















































































r








































































































~











THE TWO APPRENTICES.


PART I.


CHAPTER I.
MAY-FAIR DAY AND THE GOOD MISS KENDRICOS.
IT was in the merry month of May, and the sixth
day of the month; the sun shone warm and bright,
and diffused a spirit of cheerfulness over the leafy
woods and the richly pastoral country that surrounded
the pleasant little town of Uttoxeter, or Utceter, as it
was, for the sake of euphony, commonly called. The
cuckoo had been up shouting for hours in the hedge-
row trees of the little convenient crofts, full of grass,
and enclosed with tall hawthorn hedges, now in full
bloom, which environed the town; and the blackbird
and the throstle were singing with all their might in
the abundant gardens, which intersected or lay behind
almost every house in the town. At six o'clock in
the morning, all that little town was astir, for it was
the morning of May-fair-an important day, for
Utoeter being, as it were, the metropolis of an exten-
sive pastoral and farming district, its spring and
autumn fairs were attended from both far and wide.
The roads leading to it from all directions had, the
preceding day, been filled with herds of cattle and






2 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
droves of sheep, and long trains of horses. Yellow
and green caravans, containing wild beasts and jug-.
glers, and fire-eaters, had driven through the neigh-
bouring villages, giving to their inhabitants a
foreknowledge of some of the wonders and attractions
of the Fair. In the market-place of the town itself,
all had been stir and bustle for four-and-twenty
hours at least, and the inhabitants of the market-
place shops declared it to be their opinion, that the
people, with their booths, and stalls, and caravans,
had been up and busy the livelong night. And it did
look like it; for when, on that morning, they ven-
tured their night-capped heads between their window-
curtains for a peep, the whole open space was full of
booths and stalls; and here was to be seen the tall
sign-post of Thomas Rigley, licensed dealer in stays,
from Whitechapel, London;" and here," James Ford,
cutler, from Sheffield;" there, "Morgan O'Grady,
the celebrated worm-doctor;" and beyond, Jonas
Solem, shoemaker, from Stafford," close by the side
of < Aaron Tagg and Son, earthenware dealers, from
Lane-Delf, in the Staffordshire Potteries:" whilst
behind all these, like a great yellow wall, on which
the morning sun shone dazzlingly, rose the four great
caravans of Roarem's Menagerie," flanked, on one
hand, by the blue caravan of the Fire-Eater, and on
the other, by the red-fronted tenement of the travel-
ling theatre. It was the beginning of a gay day--quite
a fete-day-and all looked so busy and wide awake,
that the night-capped heads were popped back again,
with the uncomfortable sense that they musthave over-
slept themselves, till a glance at watch or time-piece,
or else the sweet chimes of the church clock, told them
it was only just six, and there was no reason to hurry.





THE GOOD MISS KENDItCKS. 3
The cuckoo shouted from the elm-trees, and the
blackbirds sang in the pear-tree boughs; and the sun
shone, and the bells began to ring; and the public.
houses began to fill with farmers, clamouring for their
breakfasts; and the inhabitants of the streets in which
the cattle and horse-fairs were held, left their lower
window-shutters closed; and jockeys began to crack
off their steeds, and farmers began to handle prime
stock, and the Fair was in active operation. The
morning went on; the jockey's business slackened;
the fat stock and the lean stock had found pur-
chasers; and the more vulgar part of the business
drew to an end. In the meantime, the booths and
the stalls had arranged their wares. Thomas Rigley,
staymaker, of Whitechapel, hung out his corsets,"
in opposition to Stephen Udal, the old accredited
staymaker of the town, and laughed in his sleeve at
the old-fashioned cut of things which had been made
out of London. James Ford, the Sheffield cutler,
displayed his knives and razors in shining order;
while Moses Birch, the town-cutler, assured the world
around him, in a loud voice, that his wares were made
to cut, and not, like some other folk's, only to weU.
Morgan O'Grady exhibited horrid things in spirits,
and counselled all loving parents, in his little printed
papers, which flew about like leaves in autumn, to
purchase for their children a pennyworth of his
famous worm-gingerbread; and never since people
trod upon soling leather, had been seen such tempting
rows of shoes as those of Jonas Solem and' the seven
shoemakers of the town, who now, for the first time
in their lives, agreed all together in the declaration,
that if people wanted to buy shoes no better than if
made of paper, they must buy them from the Stafford






4 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
makers. The booths of toys were already thronged
with children, who, however, as yet, speculated rather
on what they should buy, than actually bought.
Farmers' wives were buying cheese-colouring, and
new milking-pails and butter-prints; and getting their
business all done before dinner, that they and their
daughters might in the afternoon have "a bit of time"
for amusement. The bells rang on more merrily
than ever; the streets, where the horse and cattle-
fairs had been held, were now all in progress of being
swept and cleaned; and now the roads and the town-
ends were all thronged again with cattle going out,
and country people-lads and lasses, and mothers and
children, and old grandfathers and grandmothers--
coming in, for the afternoon's fun and merriment.
The four big men, in beef-eater costume, outside the
wild-beast show, blew their trumpets, and the lion
within roared from time to time; the fire-eater's per-
formances began; and the red front of the travelling
theatre had been removed, and there was now seen an
open stage in front of a canvas screen, and gaily
attired nymphs, who looked to vulgar eyes as if stars
of gold and silver had been showered upon them,
walked arm-in-arm, to and fro, attracting the admi-
ration of village swains and big boys, who flocked
thither in crowds; whilst dashing, bandit-looking
men, in cloaks and plumed hats, cast half-gallant,
half-ferocious glances, upon the village maidens, and
thus excited in them the most charming, romantic
terror, which could only be allayed by their going
up, and seeing all the wonders of that enchanted
world which lay behind the canvas, and of which
these beings were the inhabitants.
It was now noon, and the public-houses were full





THE GOOD MIB KBNDRCIKS. 5
of dinners and dinner-eating guests, who did not
notice, as those did who were just coming into the
fair, how clouds had gathered from the south-west,
and threatened rain; a gusty wind, too, had arisen,
and whirled the dust along the roads, and made a
strange commotion among the booths and stalls in
the market-place. It grew cold and dull; and then,
just when dinner was over, and everybody was in the
fair, and wanted to enjoy themselves, it really began
to rain, and to rain in good earnest It was no
shower; there was no prospect of its soon being over;
the sky was all one sullen mass of smoke-coloured
cloud; and down, down, down came the soaking
rain. The kennels soon ran over; and the badly-
paved market-place was full of puddles, into which
people unwittingly stepped, ankle-deep. It really
was quite a melancholy thing to hear then the screech
of a tin penny-trumpet, or the bark of a woolly dog
in a little child's hand, as it stood, sheltering, with its
mother, in a crowd of people, under an entry, yet
never wondering, dear little soul, as they did, how in
the world it was ever to get home. People had not
brought umbrellas with them; and it was quite
pitiable for anybody, but those who sold ribbons, to
see smart girls walking along with pocket-hand-
kerchiefs over their bonnets, quite wet through, and
which now were all stained with the mingling and
dripping dyes of their so lately blushing or verdant
honours. People crowded into booths or under stalls
-not to make purchases, but to find shelter; and
went by throngs into the wild-beast show and the
theatre, not so much to be entertained, as to get out
of the rain; and all the time could think of nothing
but how wet they were, and wonder how, if it
B2





6 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
kept on raining, they were ever to get home that
night.
At four o'clock, at five o'clock, at six o'clock, it
rained just as hard as ever, and seemed as if it would
rain all night; and the public-houses were brimful:
in kitchen and parlour, and bed-room, and everywhere,
there was a smell of wet clothes and tobacco smoke,
and ale, and gin-and-water. What was to be done?
What indeed was to be done? For at that very time,
there came, slowly and heavily advancing into the
town, one after another, in long and weary line, seven
heavy baggage wagons belonging to a regiment which
had marched shortly before through the town, on its
way to Ireland. Wearily went onward the wagons
along the wet, grinding street, piled up, as high as
the houses, with baggage, and soldiers' wives and
children. The drivers were wet; the horses were
wet; the soldiers who attended the train were wet;
and so were the wives and children, who, wrapped in
gray woollen cloaks and coats, sat up aloft among the
baggage: the rain lay in large pools in the hollows of
the tarpauling, and rocked about, and spilled over, as
the wagons went along unsteadily up the ill-paved
street; and altogether, the whole train presented a
most comfortless and weary appearance. On, however,
it went, wagon after wagon; and cheerful families,
sitting at home by their warm firesides, were filled with
a kindly compassion for the poor strangers, who had
arrived thus disconsolately and thus inopportunely.
There was no room in the market-place for the
unloading of the luggage; so the wagons, having
made the circuit of the town, came at length to a
stand in the widest part of the widest street, and
began slowly to unload.





TBB GOOD MIm KENDRICKS. 7
Just opposite to where they halted, stood, with its
large awkward porch in front, and its large, pleasant
garden behind, the little, low, old-fashioned house,
inhabited by the Miss Kendricks, Joanna and Dorothy.
Their parlour lay a step below the street, and its
window was almost on a level with it; and, but that
the pavement was always kept so nicely clean before
it, must have been sadly splashed with the rain that
poured down from the clouds, and dripped from the
eaves above. The Miss Kendricks were, if not among
the richest, among the most respectable inhabitants
of the town. Their father, in their early youth, had
been the well-beloved curate of the parish--a man
so pure and good, and one who so nobly and beauti-
fully performed all his duties, great and small, that
God, to reward him best, took him home to himself.
His wife, heart-broken for his loss, followed him
within twelve months; and left four children, Rebecca,
Joanna, Leonard, and Dorothy, to the care of their
great-uncle, a small shopkeeper of the place. The
uncle was even then an old man-perhaps God spared
his life for the sake of the orphans; and why not,
when he cares even for the sparrows ? He himself
believed it was so; and he lived on, not only to care
for the orphans, but to become of no little consequence
in the place, from being for so long a time the oldest
inhabitant "-a sort of living chronicle of events; a
referee on all difficult or disputed questions of right
or usage. Alas! poor old man, however, all did not
go on so well and smoothly as he hoped and prayed
for: Rebecca, the eldest of the orphans, grew up
somewhat wild and wilful, and married sorely against
his will. It was a marriage of unhappiness and
poverty: she and her husband removed to a remote






U MAY-FAIR DAY AND
part of England, and vanished, as it were, entirely
from the knowledge of the family. The others, on the
contrary, grew up into the most steady and promising
manhood and womanhood. The girls he had educated
simply, as, according to his notions, might best fit
them for tradesmen's wives; but to the brother he
gave the education of a gentleman and a scholar, and
lived carefully, and almost parsimoniously himself, to
maintain him respectably at Oxford. As regarded
him, his wishes were all fulfilled; and on the evening
of the day on which the news came that Leonard had
received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, he died, as
he sat quietly in his chair. The business of his life
was done; and at the advanced age of ninety-five he
was borne to his grave, honoured by the whole town.
He left his house, and property to the amount of a
hundred a-year, to his nieces and their brother; the
house for them to live in as long as they needed such
a home, and the money to his nephew, subject to a
payment of thirty pounds a year to each sister. Miss
Joanna was seven-and-twenty at the death of her
uncle a plain, old-fashioned little woman, who
looked six or seven years older than she was; whilst
Dorothy, on the contrary, looked younger, and though
four-and-twenty, had all the bloom and liveliness of
eighteen. Prepossessing, however, as was Dorothy,
she, at the time of her uncle's death, had no accepted
lover; whilst Joanna had been engaged to a stationer
and printer of Lichfield, of the name of Allen, for a
couple of years, and had only deferred her marriage
from reluctance to leave her old relative in the then
declining state of his health.
In such a little town as Utceter, everybody knew
everybody's affairs; and therefore, no sooner was the





THE GOOD MISS KENDRIOK8.


old gentleman dead, than all said, that for a certainty
Miss Kendrick would marry, more especially as
Leonard, who was now ordained, had the offer of a
curacy in Derbyshire, and nothing seemed more
natural than that the lively Dorothy should keep his
house. Thus the world laid out things for them;
and thus also, in the quiet of their little back parlour,
they laid out things for themselves. The great-uncle,
as we said before, was a small shopkeeper. He sold
stamps and stationery, and small cutlery ware, and
tea in sealed-up packets, as it came from the India
House: he had, altogether, a nice little ready-money
business, which amply supplied every passing week
with cash for its current expenses, and some little
besides; and it was no wonder, therefore, that after
his death, several tradesmen of the place wished to
purchase the business at a good premium.
It is an old and true saying, that "man proposes,
and God disposes;" and it was so in this case.
Leonard went to his curacy, whence he wrote the
most affectionate and charming letters, full of the
most fervent desires to do good in his parish, and to
promote the happiness of his sisters. Joanna thought
of, and made preparations for her marriage, which
was to take place as soon as the time of full mourning
for the old gentleman had expired; and in the mean-
time she kept on the business, prudently anxious to
spare all, and save all, against the breaking up of the
family. The weeks and months went on, and Doro-
thy, in the summer, paid a visit to her brother-a
golden time to her, and an earnest, as she believed it,
of the life which lay before her. It was a quiet,
out-of-the-world, Peak village, where her brother
lived; beautiful in its locality, and inhabited by people


9





10 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
as kind and simple-hearted as soul could wish, who
received her among them as if dhe had been an angel
from heaven; whilst the few-families there, of higher
rank and intelligence, seemed at once to open their
hearts and homes to her.
How well you look, Dorothy!" said Joanna to
her, on her return: the Peak air agrees with you.
Your eyes look brighter, and your colour clearer than
ever !"
Dorothy looked at herself in the glass, and she
thought so too. Poor Dorothy! that was the last time
she ever saw herself. The next day she felt unwell
with headache and fever; she grew worse and worse;
a medical man was called in, and in a day or two
pronounced her to be ill of small-pox. We shall not
go through that long and severe illness. Dorothy lay
at the point of death; and her brother and sister,
unable to resign her into the hands of her Maker,
prayed that, at any cost, her life might be spared.
Their prayers were heard. She lived; but not alone
at the expense of her beauty; she lost, what was far
more, her eyesight. Well, indeed, may we aay, poor
Dorothy I Life had now hard lessons for her-patience
and submission. For herself, could she have chosen,
she would rather have died than lived. She had just,
as it werebecome conscious of the worth of her
beauty and T herself; and now she was a poor, blind
ruin-a spectacle to be shunned and pitied.
Come again to me," wrote Leonard; "the Peak
air will do you good: the people here all love you,
and will be kinder to you than ever."
I will not go there, of all places in the world,"
said Dorothy, with bitterness; I will not go there
to be.a burden to him, and a spectacle to the whole





THE GOOD MISS KENDRICKS.


parish! Life has become hateful to me-would to
God that I had died, or might die ere long!"
Joanna had the patience of an angel, and answered
her sister's repinings with loving and gentle words.
Winter came on; and then spring; and again the idea
was revived of Dorothy's going to Leonard, for change
of air; whilst Joanna, whose lover was impatient for
his marriage, made her preparations for this event.
But to this proposal the poor invalid would not listen.
She entertained the most fixed, and as it seemed ob-
stinate, determination not to visit her brother; nor
would she assign any reason for so doing. Everybody
but Joanna lost patience with her; but she, never.
She will become accustomed in time to her misfor-
tune," said she to her friends, and, above all, to the
mother and sister of her affianced lover; "and in
the meantime, we must have patience with her, as
with a sick child. She is now," said she, "suffering
from a mind diseased, which is worse than sickness of
the body. Let us only have patience with her;" and
from month to month Joanna delayed her marriage,
that she should not at least take so sad an invalid
into the house of her husband. Day after day came
his mother and sister, sometimes together, and some-
times alone, who lost no opportunity of dropping
hints to poor Dorothy on the Christian duty of sub-
mission to our affictions, and renunciati1t of our own
wills.
Go, and take a walk, and get a mouthful of fresh
air, for you look as pale as a ghost, with all this
watching and anxiety, night and day," said they con-
tinually to Joanna, in the hearing of her sister; "and
we will mind the shop, and talk to Dorothy, while
you are gone."


11





12 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
For awhile Joanna obeyed, but presently she began
to perceive that the unhappy and distressful state of
her sister's mind was aggravated by these interviews.
Dorothy was no longer open towards her; there was
a coldness and a reserve which she could not pene-
trate, which only increased her silence. Light,
however, broke in, when the mother and sister,
having, as they thought, discharged their duty to
Dorothy, began to speak plainly to Joanna-she was
not doing her duty either to her sister or herself, thus
humouring her like a child; a degree of firmness, and
even severity, was requisite. Dorothy must learn to
submit; and when it pleases God to afflict us, said
they, we must not stand in the way of other people's
happiness with our whims and fancies. Leonard was
willing to have Dorothy, and to him she ought to go;
a quiet country place would furnish her with the best
home: Leonard had said that he would have a girl
to wait upon her; what did she want more? and
then Joanna must remember that she was not using
Allen well; he had had his house ready these two
months, and how long did she mean to keep him
waiting? If Allen had not told her himself, they
would do so, that he was tired of all this waiting and
waiting, and he had no notion of anything but
Dorothy's going at onceto her brother's, and submit-
ting to her afflictions as any good Christian ought to
do; and as Leonard, who was so good a man and
preacher, would soon teach her, &c., &c., &c. I
Joanna said but little in reply, but sent over to
Lichfield, to request an interview with her lover.
He came; and, as plain speaking had begun, it was
soon evident that he held the same opinions as his
family-perhaps, indeed, that they had been employed





THE 0OOD MISS KENDRICKS. 15
to speak for him. Joanna said, considering the
reluctance which her sister had shown to visiting her
brother, she had entirely given up the thoughts of
her ever residing with him; and that, in fact, wher-
ever her home was, there also would be Dorothy's.
Allen was silent. Joanna's spirit was roused; did he
then not wish her sister to live with them He
hummed and hawed, as people do who are ashamed of
speaking out their real minds. She then said, that
he was free to choose another wife; for without
she had his most full and free consent to Dorothy
living with them, and to her own share of whatever
the sale of the business might produce being settled
upon her, she would never become his wife.
Whether Alien looked for some such consumma-
tion as this; or whether he wished it-whether he
was tired of his old love, and wished to be on with a
new-is not for us to say; but on hearing these words,
he quietly rose up from his chair, and in a tone rather
of ill-humour than grief, said, "Very well; then I
suppose there will be an end of the matter."
I suppose there will," said Joanna, without the
least agitation.
"If you alter your mind before night,"said he, "you
can let me know; I will stay so long at my mother's.
"I shall not alter my mind," said Joanna; "and
I thank God that I have found you out before it was
too late."
Nothing more was said; Allen took his .hat, and
left the house; and Joanna did not alter her mind.
The next day the mother and sister came, and were
a deal more vehement on the subject than Allen had
been; they upbraided her and scolded her no little,
and had no mercy on the poor blind Dorothy, who,






14 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
however, did not hear what was said. It was a long,
stormy day; but, like all other days, it came to an end;
and Joanna, who in the course of it said that Allen
had not in truth shown much real love for her, and
could soon find another wife for his new house and
furniture, was right; for, within a month of that day,
he married a young lady of Lichfield; and this, his
mother and sister took care to say, was the best day's
work he ever did.
All this seemed easy enough for Allen; he suffered,
apparently, nothing. Joanna, on the contrary, suf-
fered much; she had loved sincerely and with her
whole soul, and she threw herself now on the kind
affections, and loving, though clouded heart of poor
Dorothy for consolation. Nor was she deceived.
Dorothy roused herself from her lethargy, and forgot
her own sorrows in alleviating those of her sister.
This was the really cementing bond between them.
Each bore the other's burden, and felt how good
sympathy was for a wounded heart. The reserve on
the part of Dorothy gradually gave place to confidence
and openness, and, in proportion as she came to speak
of her morbid unhappiness, it left her. One of her
greatest trials was to allow herself to be seen; and,
or this reason, she could not be induced to go out.
It was quite natural, perhaps, for she had been
reckoned very pretty, and had been greatly admired
by all the young men of the neighbourhood; and now,
though she could not see her face, she knew that she
had become very plain. Great, therefore, was the
good Joanna's delight, when one fine evening she
said, suddenly,
Tie that thick veil of which you have spoken on
my bonnet, Joanna, and take me to Bramshall Woods





THE GOOD MISS KBENRIOKS.


I long to hear the gurgling of the little brook there,
snd to smell the cowslips: you will gather me some,
and I know how they look."
Joanna could have cried for joy to hear her sister
speak thus, and went with her to the wood. They
sat down by the side of the little stream, the brightest
and clearest of little woodland streams, and listened
to the songs of the birds; and Joanna gathered
flowers, which she placed in the hands of her poor
blind sister.
"You have often thought me selfish and unrea-
sonable," said Dorothy, at length; "I know you have,
and so did Mr. Allen and Martha. I know I have
not been submissive," said she, preventing her sister's
interruption, "and let me speak, Joanna, now, for I
feel as if I could open my heart to you, and it will re-
lieve me of a great burden; for, though I have told you
many things, I have not told you all, and to-night I
feel as if I could." Joanna put her arm round her
sister's waist, and Dorothy continued :-
I was very happy, formerly, very happy indeed;
I wanted nothing that I did not possess; I had no
wish beyond my own sphere, and in that sphere I
possessed all that I desired, my uncle's love and
yours. I was happy, too, in the consciousness of
being good-looking; I felt that I had the power of
pleasing; looks of admiration met me and followed
me, and I was happy that it was so. Perhaps I
was vain. At that time, however, I should have
denied it, but now I think that perhaps I was so,
and God saw right to punish me; and oh, Joanna,
what a heavy punishment for so light an offence!"
God is good," said Joanna, with emotion, "and
his chastenings are only in love I"


15





10 MAY-FAIR DAY AND
"I believe it," returned Dorothy, "and I will not
repine; nor is it for this that I came here to-night. I
caine here to ask your forgiveness for many faults, for
much impatience, for much obstinacy, and perhaps in
part to explain what has not been clear in me, espe-
cially as regards my unwillingness to visit Leonard.
Ah, you will then see, Joanna, what reason I have
to sympathise with you, for I have suffered like you!
1 was very happy whilst I was with Leonard: you
know it; but neither he nor you know what it was
that really constituted my happiness, and then made
the bitterness of my misery. I loved-loved deeply
and truly. Nay, do not start, Joanna-the joy and
the misery are both past. I have resigned the dearest
hopes of my soul at God's requiring, and the time of
peace is now come!"
Dorothy was silent a few moments, and Joanna
wiped away both her own tears and those which
flowed from the darkened eyes of her sister.
You have heard of Henry Ashdown, the squire's
nephew. Leonard mentioned him in his letters- in
the first letter, I remember, that ever he sent to us
from Winston. He was a gay, but good-hearted
young man, Leonard said. On the very day of my
arrival at Winston, Leonard told me that Mrs. Ash-
down, Henry's mother, who had been for many years
a sad invalid, was then at the Hall, for her health;
that, for her piety and many remarkable virtues, he
had become much attached to her; and that it was
his wish that I should contribute as much as possible
to her comfort and amusement. I went often to see
her, and thus Henry and I met. I loved the mother;
but ah, I loved also the son. The mother made me
the minister of her mercies to the poor, for she was






THB GOOD MIS KBNDRICK8.


the most charitable of women; and whilst Leonard
read to her in pious books, I went on her errands of
benevolence: but I never went alone. Leonard is
simple-hearted and unsuspecting as a child, and never
seemed to notice the intimacy between Henry and
me. I was happy-oh, how happy !-in my love;
and, though Henry never formally avowed his passion
for me, his looks and actions bespoke it as plainly as
words. His uncle wished him to marry the daughter
of a rich neighboring squire: his mother also
acquiesced in it; for, as he was his uncle's heir, she
consulted his wishes in all things. He himself, how.
ever, did not second their plans--at least, he told me
so; adding, that he meant to marry to please only
himself, and would give his hand where he had
already given his heart. I left Winston, to return,
as I fondly hoped, in a fewr months; and ah, how
impatiently did I look forward to that time! Heaven
forgive me, if in it I forgot everything. All that
followed you know- Henry Ashdown never in-
quired after me; how was it likely that he would
marry me, disfigured and blind? Oh, Almighty
God, why was I spared to become the poor object
that I am!"
Again Dorothy paused, and agath the two sisters
mingled their tears. Yes, I know wlat followed,"
said Joanna, at length.
Leonard's letters," continued Dorothy, "told of
Henry's marriage and residence at the Hall. How
could I then go to Winston ?-how could I, blind
though I am, sit in the same church with Henry and
his bride? Oh, Joanna, what wonder then was it,
when your sorrows came, that I could enter into
your heart, and sympathise so deeply with you!
c 2


17






MAY-FAIR DAY AND


Hence is it that sorrow is so universal, that we may
have mercy and compassion on one another!"
Joanna drew her sister yet more closely to her, and
laid-her head upon her bosom, and kissed her blind
eyes, and felt that she had never loved her so tenderly
as then.
The little shop was continued as in the time of the
old uncle, and thus furnished constant occupation for
Joanna; but while yet there lay upon poor Dorothy
the languor of enfeebled health and of a cruelly dis-
appointed heart, the hand of God, which chastens
only in love, sent a new sorrow to bind her heart, as
it were, all the more to Him. Leonard wrote thus
to his sisters:-
"I am at length compelled to deal frankly with
you. I am not well. I have felt very weak and
poorly since the winter, when I suffered much from
cold. I have latterly been much at the Hall. Mrs.
Ashdown has been very kind to me, and has nursed
me like a mother. I have had a physician from
Ashburn, and he recommends a warmer climate.
Here, even in summer, the air is keen; and as I feel
myself now unable to preach, I have consented to
give up the curacy for the present. I do this with
the greatest reluctance, for I love the people, and I
see among them a sphere of great usefulness; and if
I am not able to return, I trust that God in his mercy
will send hither a shepherd, who will faithfully care
for his flock. At the present time, however, I yearn
to be with you. My heart's desire and prayer to '
God is that he may make me submissive to Hi~swill.
Farewell! The day after you receive this, I shall
be with you."
The anxieties and sorrows of his sisters were for-


18






THE GOOD MIN8 KENDRICKS.


gotten in the distress caused by this letter. Leonard
had hitherto said nothing of illness, and now they
knew indeed that he must be ill to give up thus
his pastoral duties. Dorothy roused herself in the
sad thought of her brother's illness, and with a pro-
phetic feeling, which she would not, however, avow
to herself, that he came home to die. Blind as she
was, she arranged the pillows for him on the sofa
which she had hitherto occupied, with a zeal and
activity of self-forgetfulness that made Joanna see
the truth of her own maxim, that with every mis-
fortune there came some compensating blessing.
Leonard returned, and even Dorothy perceived how
great was the change in him: he was far gone in
consumption, and the most inexperienced eye could
see that he had not long to live. But that short time
was as the tarriance of an angel, and left a blessing
behind it. The words of love and consolation which
fell from his lips were spoken in the spirit of his
divine Master: "Let not your hearts be troubled;
ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's
house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would
have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
The influence of the dying brother was good upon
both sisters, but most especially on Dorothy; she
never left her brother night nor day; she sat with
his hand in hers, like Mary at the feet of Christ, lis-
tening to his blessed words of salvation; whilst
Joanna, like Martha, though without her dissatisfied
heart, waited upon them both.
' Joanna feared greatly the effect which her brother's
death would have on Dorothy, but the effect was
different from what she expected. Whilst he lived,
her very breath seemed to hang upon his; but when


Is






20 THE OBBORNES AND
his blessed spirit had departed, like David of old, she
arose, and, as it were, girded herself to combat against
the weaknesses of her soul, and to practise all those
lessons of patience and submission, and trust in God,
which she learned from him.
From this time, in the true spirit of Christian
resignation, Dorothy, though blind and scarred by,
the ravages of a fearful disease, was never heard to
complain. She discovered in herself the most re-
markable sources of activity and amusement. Her
hands were never idle, whilst the cheerfulness of her
mind made her company really attractive. Years
went on; Dorothy's once rich black hair had become
white before its time; and when her sister, without
explaining the cause for so doing, placed a quiet cap
on her head, she submitted without remark, in-
stinctively understanding the reason why it was done.
Joanna, when arrived at middle life, contrary to
what she had done in her youth, looked younger than
she really was; and, small though her income was
(she had given up the shopkeeping several years
before), she was really a person of some consequence
in the town. In every benevolent scheme she was an
operator, managing or serving; and a never-failing
counsellor and comforter to the poor in difficulty or
distress.

CHAPTER II.
THE OSBORNES AND THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.
I is a terrible evening for these poor people to
arrive on," said Joanna to her sister, who sat knitting
on the sofa, upon that rainy evening of May-fair day,
as the baggage-wagons were unloaded before their





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


windows, and one weary woman after another, stiff
with having sat so many hours up aloft among wet
boxes and tired children, was helped down from her
elevation, and seemed only to put herself in motion
with difficulty. The good Joanna was full of com-
passion, and pitied their having to find quarters in
the noisy and crowded public-houses, where they
would be unwelcome guests both to landlord and
landlady. Greatly interested as she was by the
whole arrival, her sympathies were presently enlisted
on behalf of a woman who, overcome by more than
fatigue, seemed unable to stand, and seated herself on
one of the chests; whilst a boy, of about twelve,
seemed to be the dnly one who took much thought
about her. She was wrapped in a large gray cloak;
and the hood, which was drawn over her head, par-
tially revealed a face which was pale and dejected,
The boy ran hither and thither to the various groups
of women, who began to move off in various direc-
tions, and then back again to the sick woman, for
whoso comfort he seemed very solicitous, for he
lugged along a small chest, upon which he made her
place her feet, and then wrapped her cloak about
her with the most affectionate care. All this Joanna
described to her sister, and then called her servant,
bidding her take her pattens and umbrella, and go
across, and ask if the poor woman would come in and
shelter. Instead of returning with her as was ex.
pected, Joanna saw her servant give her her arm, and
sheltering her with her large umbrella, move off
along the street, whilst the boy trudged after, carrying
a large bundle. On the return of the servant, it
appeared that the woman, who was delicate, had been
taken ill on the road; that she was billeted to the


21





t2 THE OBBORNES AND
Talbot; and, as there were two public-houses in the
town of that name, it was supposed to be the one
lying at some distance, whereas it proved to be the
one just at hand, and thither the maid had escorted
her. The woman, she said, seemed to be subdued
and spiritless, as if she cared not what became of her;
while the boy, on the contrary, seemed as if he would
move heaven and earth to get her attended to, for he
ran into the house, and demanded attention both from
host and hostess, and never rested till a comfortable
bed, in an upper room, was allotted to her, and then
set about opening his bundle, and getting her into
bed, just as if he had been a regular sick-nurse. The
woman had fallen into a fainting fit, she said, just as
she had told her that her mistress, Miss Kendrick,
had sent her; but she thought the boy understood,
as well as Mrs. Tunnicliffe, the landlady, that her
mistress, who was very good to the poor, would go
and see her if she was no better, and pray by her, or
she could have the clergyman, if she liked it better;
only he was such a young man, and many folks
would much rather have Miss Kendrick than he.
Miss Kendrick was very well satisfied with what
her maid had done; and commissioning her, the first
thing in the morning, to run over, and inquire after
the invalid, she went to bed. Scarcely, however,
was the servant down-stairs the next morning, when
a message came from the sick woman, requesting a
little conversation with Miss Kendrick; to which
was added, from the landlady, that she was so ill, she
could not last long. In half an hour, Miss Kendrick
was with her, and her first impression was that the
hand of death was indeed upon her. She was prop-
ped up in bed, and seemed feeble in the last degree.





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


"' Are we alone? asked she, casting her mournful
eyes round the room. We are, mother," said the
boy, throwing himself on his knees at the bed's foot;
"there is only the lady, and you and me."
She looked steadily at Miss Kendrick, and then
said, slowly and with difficulty, I am Rebecca--
your unhappy, outcast sister. God brought me here
to die. I knew it at I entered the town, when the
baggage-train could not enter the market-place, but
made halt before the very house where I had been a
child-from whence I set out when I took my fate
into my own hands "
Joanna, petrified with astonishment and compas-
sion, seized her hand and gazed into her face.
Yes," said the woman, I am Rebecca, your
sister, though you may not recognize me."
"My poor, unhappy sister 1" exclaimed Joanna,
embracing her with tears. "Thank God that you
are found at last! You shall live with une-with
Dorothy and me-you shall yet be happy 1"
Never more in this world I" interrupted she. "I
know I have not long to live, and yet I have muoh to
say-let me speak while I have the power.--My
first husband died. I thought to mend my condition.
I married a second time; but there was not a bless
ing on anything I did. I married yet more unhap-
pily. I have had nine children by my two husband&
The youngest child, a girl, is left behind with its
grandmother,-a good woman. This is my youngest
boy,-he is my Benjamin. The two older than he
died. It was good for them. Of the other six two
are married, two are beyond seas, and one-ok my
God, have pity on the outemts of society; for all am
thy children!" After a long pauue, she again pro-


23





24 THE 08BORNES AND
ceeded :-" My husband is a soldier,--/a private in the
d-- now in Ireland, and which we follow. He was
a very handsome man; and that was my bane. He
was of an unbroken temper, and was not loved in the
regiment. I suffered much from him; and yet I
would not leave him. I always went with the regia
ment; for the officers' ladies liked me. I was a good
laundress, and got up their fine linens to their mind;
and for this reason, spite of my poor health, was per,
mitted to accompany the regiment to Ireland. I was,
however, taken very ill on the journey. I began to
spit blood; and at Wolverhampton, I felt it was all
over with me; for a dreadful thing came to my
knowledge there." With these words she drew
from under her pillow a part of a newspaper,
which she put into Joanna's hand, and bade her
read, but not aloud. She read how one Peter
Reynolds, a private in the regiment of foot
soldiers, bound for Ireland, who had been guilty
of some misdemeanor on the march, had de-
serted immediately on their arrival in Dublin,
been retaken, and sentenced by court-martial to be
shot.
He is my husband," said the poor dying woman
after a time. "I thought I should have died as I
read the paper. 1 told nobody, however, but him,"
aid she, looking at the boy, "and he has the sense
of a grown man. I knew how little Reynolds was
liked in the regiment, and that there was no hope
for him; and for that reason I wanted all the more
to see him before it happened, I thought I might com-
fort him; for oh, it's a dreadful thing to die in tl
way, when a man's in his full strength." She could
say no more. Her distress of mind was excessive





THBIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


and one fainting fit succeeded another so rapidly that
she was unable to converse again through the day.
The boy in the meantime, who showed the strongest
affection towards her, and an intelligence and pru.
dence beyond his years, won the entire love of
Joanna.
In the evening, as the sick woman seemed some-
what better, she was removed on a bed to the house
of her sisters; and in three days from that time she
died. It was an event of course which made a deal
of talk in the town. Many people remembered
Rebecca Kendrick and her unhappy marriage; but
to the great joy of her sisters, the miserable and dis-
graceful end of her second husband was never or
scarcely known in the town.
I wonder whether Mr. Osborne would take poor
William as an apprentice," said Dorothy to her sister a
day or two after the funeral; "a chemist and druggist's
is a good business, and they are such kind people."
I have thought of that too," returned Joanna,
"for we will do all we can for him; what a clever,
nice boy he is! But it is odd that we have seen
nothing of the Osbornes for these three or four days;
nor have they sent down to inquire after us. How-
ever, when it gets dusk, I will put on my things and
go and have some talk with them about William."
The Osbornes were Miss Kendrick's most intimate
friends. He, as it may be inferred, was a chemist
and druggist. He had one of those dingy, old-
fashioned shops, saturated with the smell of drugs
and physic, which are only to be found in old.
fashioned places. His wife and he, who had no
family, were patterns of conjugal felicity; each
thinking the other as near, perfection poor human
I


25





THE OSBORNES AND


nature could be; and they were not very far from
the mark, for better people than they, making allow.
ance for some little intermixture of human weakness,
could hardly be found. They had been fast, life-
long friends of the Kendricks; and not a week
passed without their spending an evening together.
It was no wonder, therefore, that Joanna was sur-
prised that for the last three or four days they
had heard nothing of them. Joanna resolved to go
to them when it was dusk; but as it is not yet
dusk, we shall find the interval very convenient for
making the reader acquainted with some farther
particulars regarding them, which it is very import.
ant for him to know.
Mr. and Mrs. Osborne were now somewhat past
middle'life, and had been married nearly thirty years.
At the time of her marriage, there was a young
sister, the daughter of her father by a second mar-
riage, dependent upon her. The mother died in
giving birth to this child, who, however, never felt
her loss in the love and care of her elder sister. The
father died when she was about ten years old; and
soon afterwards the elder sister married; and in her
Husband the child found a second father. She grew
up gentle and beautiful; and the love of this affec-
tionate pair was lavished upon her. Never was girl
more tenderly nurtured, more beloved, or more in-
dulged. She had all her heart could wish; and she
appeared to deserve it.
The Osbornes, though tradespeople, were well to,
do, and the young lady was admitted to the best
society of the place; and as she advanced toward
womanhood, had the chance of making several ad)
vantageous matches. For some time she appeared


26





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES. 27
difficult to please, till at length a gay young stranger,
whom she accidentally met, with, fixed her fancy.
Her friends objected somewhat to the match. In
the first place, he was a stranger; in the second
place, he lived far off, that is to say, in Liverpool;
and to them, who wished to have their darling fixed
near to them for life, Liverpool seemed a long way
off; thirdly, and which was most important of all,
there was a something-an indescribable something--
about this Louis Edwards which was unsatisfactory
to the plain-dealing and straightforward sincerity of
Mr. Osborne. He was plausible, had a reason for
everything, and though he was an American by birth
and connections, he had lived so many years in Eng-
land as to be English in his feelings. Still for all that,
and though he was a broker by trade, and had a part-
ner,a man of reputation and substance, and had altoge-
ther a very imposing manner, Mr. Osborne never liked
him; and felt so strongly that there was a something,
though it was impossible to say what, which created
misgivings, that he and his wife refused their consent.
Edwards was dismissed; and the loving, gentle,
all-acquiescent Phebe promised to give him up. If
there be an occasion beyond all others which awakens
the affection of parents to their children-and the
Osbornes were as parents to Phebe-it is when they
see a child submissively giving up its beloved will
and wishes to their sterner reason and judgment.
The Osbornes felt thus, and thought that they could
not sufficiently show their affection to her; and were
devising a thousand little schemes for her happiness
and indulgence, when one dreary day in November
she was gone! They could not conceive whither,
till the second day's post brought a letter from her






beseeching their forgiveness, and saying that as she
knew they desired her happiness, they must allow
her to become happy in her own way, which was by
uniting her fate to that of Edwards. This she had
done, and must now throw herself on their mercy,
assuring them that her future life should prove how
grateful she was for all their former kindness.
A letter like this is at such a time a mockery.
Better by far is it to weep over a child borne to the
grave with all its young fair promise in the bud, than
to see one that we love as our own life running wil-
fully and headlong into ruin spite of all our warning
and our prayers! The Osbornes thought so. Her de-
ceit and disobedience cut them to the heart, and their
prejudices were only the more strengthened against
a match which had begun so badly. Grieved how-
ever as they were, from the bottom of their souls
they pitied her; for they felt sure that a time would
come when she would bitterly repent.
"Alas, Phebe," said good Mr. Osborne in his reply
to her letter, "what is this which you have done !
But we will not speak of the sorrow which we fore-
see. May God bless you, though you have grieved
us sorely! You are young, and life lies all before
you; be a good wife; be true to your husband in
good and in evil; atone for your want of duty to us
by your duty to him; and so may God Almighty
bless you !"
The Osbornes did not turn their backs on Phebe;
but remembered her in sorrow rather than in anger;
and this strong proof of their affection touched her
much more deeply than any evidences of their dis-
pleasure could have done. The match, however,
in a worldly point of view, did not appear so bad.


j


28


THE 08BORNES AND





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


Edwards lived handsomely; and, though Phebe could
never persuade her brother and sister to visit her,
she failed not to tell them of her prosperity, of her
gay life and acquaintance, and of her happiness as a
wife and mother. Whether, however, she gave a
brighter colouring to things than they deserved;
whether she wished to deceive others, or was herself
deceived, we cannot say; but at the very time when
she was writing of her happiness and prosperity, her
husband's name appeared in the gazette, and they
were deeply insolvent bankrupts.
"The world is not surprised, my dear Phebe, at
what has happened, however you may be," wrote Mr.
Osborne to her, "nor are we. The time of trial is now
come; faint not now, nor lose courage; and above all
things do not forget God,who chastises us only in love."
Poor Phebe! the time of trial was indeed come;
and, for the first time in her life, she learnt what it
was to deny herself and take up her cross daily.
Every one finds this to be a hard lesson; and Phebe
was one to feel it bitterly. Edwards removed from
Liverpool to London; had one clerkship after an.
other, and lived as he could, now with money and
now without; yet never losing his unabashed plausi.
ability, and buoying himself up with the notion that
after all he should do somehow or other.
Few and far between were the letters which Phebe
wrote to her friends; and though she never corn
plained of narrow circumstances, she wrote mourn-
fully of the sickness and death of two of her chil-
dren. The Osbornes on their part were extremely
anxious about her; and though she never solicited
aid from them, the five and ten-pound notes which
good Mr. Osborne occasionally inclosed were always
.D2


29





THE 08BORNES AND


thankfully accepted. They invited her and her one
remaining child to come and visit them,-to remain
through a long winter with them; but this she de-
clined, without assigning any reason for so doing.
Not long afterwards, however, she wrote to them
a humble letter, and one which bore evidence of be-
ing written with difficulty; it was on behalf of her
husband, to beg the loan of a few hundred pounds,
as he had the chance of entering into partnership
in a speculation which promised to return cent. per
cent. Mr. Osborne refused, on the plea of want
of confidence in Edwards and his schemes. The
next post brought a letter from Edwards himself, full
of the most plausible statements regarding his scheme,
and urging the loan of the money almost as a right
on behalf of his wife. This letter was immediately
followed by one from Phebe to her sister, begging her
in the most urgent and moving terms to use her in-
fluence with her husband, as not only Edwards'
worldly prosperity depended on this money being
raised, but her own happiness also. There was an
urgent tone of almost desperation in the letter, and
an instability in the handwriting, that showed the
most agitated state of mind. The Osbornes were
moved; and, accompanying the money with a letter
of grave tradesman-like advice to Edwards, Mr. Os-
borne remitted it on no other security than his note.
Within a few months, Phebe wrote again; the
cloud had evidently passed away; but from this time
the tone of her letters was much more serious than
formerly. She spoke little of her husband, but
much of her child, then six years old, of which she
seemed extremely. fond. A year went on, and letters
came but seldom; a second year, and then Edwards and


30





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES. a1
his partner were again bankrupt. Edwards accused
his partner of roguery and mismanagement, and some
person who accidentally had seen Phebe in London
brought news of her wan and care-worn appearance.
The relations thought more of her distress than of
the loss of their money. For two more years nothing
was heard of them; and how they lived never came
to their relations' knowledge. At length, one winter's
day, a woman wrapped in a large plaid cloak knocked
at the private door and begged to speak with Mrs.
Osborne alone. After some hesitation she was
brought in; and when they two were together, she
announced herself as Phebe Edwards.
"I know how shocked you are to see me," said
she, "I am greatly changed; but that is of small
account. I am become regardless of my looks."
The good people wept over her; and received her
as the father in the gospel received his prodigal son.
You are come to stay with us," said they, you
will never leave us again."
I am going again to-night," said Phebe, "my
business is urgent. I dared not write, nor would I
let Edwards come himself."
She then explained that by the kind interference
of a gentleman who had known her husband in
Liverpool, he had the chance of a situation in a
banking-house in London, provided some responsible
man would be surety for him to the amount of five
hundred pounds. Phebe paused; for the money
her brother-in-law had already lost by her husband
was in her mind, and she saw that it was in his also.
"I know your thoughts," said she, "and because
you have already suffered so much, I would not
write to you; but, brother, it is the privilege of the







good to forgive injuries-to return good for evil.
Forgive us, therefore, what you have already suf-
fered from us; I have prayed God to forgive us,
even as I knew you had done, and you will not
close your heart against us. Oh!" said she,
clasping together her hands, and fixing upon him
her large, sunken, and tearless eyes, "I have
made my child pray to God every night to bless
you; because I thought that the prayers of a
child most surely ascended to heaven! I know,"
continued she more calmly, "that you have very
little reason to trust either Edwards or me; but if
you cast us off, then are we lost for ever! I do not
pretend or attempt to excuse Edwards; but he is
heartily sorry for the past-he has been unfortunate,
we have all suffered much, and we are all humble
now; and from you we ask this one chance of re-
gaining our place in society !"
"Oh stay with us, Phebe," said Mrs. Osborne,
quite overcome by her sister's words, "stay with us,
and you and your child shall never want."
"The first letter," returned Phebe, "which I
received from Mr. Osborne after my marriage, con.
stained these words, 'atone for your want of duty to
us by your duty to your husband, and so may God
Almighty bless you!' these words I have never for-
gotten. They have been hitherto, and shall still be,
the law of my life; let my husband's fortune be
what it may, I abide with him to the last."
She is right, Sarah, she is right," said Mr. Os-
borne, wiping his eyes and rising from his seat; "and
I will be surety for Edwards for her sake. I will
give him this one trial more."
Poor Phebe, who hitherto had not shed one tear,


32


THE 0BBORNES AND





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


now overcome by the generous kindness ot her
brother, covered her face with both her hands and
wept like a child. How the rest of the day was
spent may easily be imagined; the best which the
house could offer was set before her; and her sister,
taking her into her own chamber, questioned her
closely of her wants and actual condition. But
whatever Phebe's sufferings had been, she kept
much to herself. To poverty she confessed, and to
all the hardships and anxieties which poverty brings
with it; but not one word did she utter against her
husband, although her sister never lost the impres-
sion that she had suffered much unkindness from him.
True to her first intentions, she returned by coach
that night to London, taking with her good store of
many things which the bounty and overflowing
affection of her sister heaped upon her.
Phebe's visit had entirely reinstated her in the
hearts of her relations, and the next year Mr. Osborne
did such an unheard-of thing as go to London him-
self, on business he said, but in reality to see her and
her children: for a second child, a little girl, was
now born to her. On his return, he related that
they were living quietly, and with some appearance
of comfort; but that there was still a look of depres-
sion and anxiety about her, while Edwards on the
contrary seemed scarcely changed, excepting that he
was grown slightly grey and much stouter than when
he married; but he was as well dressed as then; as
gay in spirits, as plausible; and to the conscientious
and somewhat suspicious mind of Mr. Osborne, as
unsatisfactory as ever. For his own peace of mind
as regarded them, it was a pity that he had ever been
to visit them. The only thing that gave them real


33





34 THE OSBORNES AND
satisfaction was that Edwards retained his situation;
and at the end of the second year received an increase
of salary, which Phebe did not fail to communi-
cate to her relations. Three years had now gone on,
and we are arrived at the period when our story opens.
The Osbornes and the Kendricks were, as we
have said, fast friends; the somewhat similar mar.
riages of Phebe and the unhappy Rebecca, had made,
for years, a great sympathy of feeling between them.
Mrs. Osborne was at their house, and sitting by the
side of Rebecca's bed when she died, and her husband
had attended her to the grave.
Much attached, however, as they were to their
friends, they said nothing of the disgrace which had
befallen Rebecca's husband and the father of the
nephew whom they had adopted, thinking, with a
natural and jealous feeling of family pride, that there
was no good in publishing the dishonour of one's own
connexions.
Some such feeling as this operated on the mind of
good Mrs. Osborne as she sat in the dusk of evening
in the little parlour beside the shop, with the candles
unlighted, and heard her friend Miss Kendrick in-
quire with astonishment about Mr. Osborn's sudden
journey to London, of which Mr. Isaacs the shop-
man had told her. <
Yes, said Mrs. Osborne, but in an incommuni-
cative tone, her husband was suddenly called to Lon-
don by a letter from poor Phebe. She feared things
were going on but badly with them,-how, she did
not say, merely adding, "but I wish nothing to be
said about it; the least said the better, as we all
know."
Joanna was a reasonable woman, and she excused





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


her friend's reserve, sincerely sympathizing with her
in having any new cause of anxiety and distress.
Leaving her, therefore, to open her business respect-
ing her nephew to Mrs. Osborne as a sort of prelimi-
nary step in the affair, we will communicate to the
reader that unhappy circumstance regarding the
Edwards's, which Joanna knew only later.
The letter which Phebe had written was rather
indefinite, but one which filled those to whom it was
addressed with horror. It spoke of temptation and
crime, of loss of character for ever, and of the severest
punishment of the law, and besought her brother-in-
law to hasten to them immediately. He did so, and
found his worst fears to be true. Edwards had been
again tempted to embark in some wild speculation;
money was wanted which his own means did not
supply, and having gained the confidence of his em-
ployers, he had taken advantage of it, and had, at
two several times, drawn money from the bank by
forged orders in the names of merchants who had
large dealings with the house. In the first instance,
six months had elapsed without detection; in the
second, to a larger amount, detection came speedily.
On the first moment of alarm, he had escaped on
board a vessel bound for Hamburgh; but had been
pursued and taken while the vessel was under weigh.
There was not a word to be said in his extenuation;
the fact was as it were proved upon him; he was in
the fangs of the law, and was committed to take his
trial.
Such were the facts respecting which Mrs. Osborne
might well be excused from saying much. In a
week's time her husband was again at home; and
Miss Kendrick made application on behalf of her


36






nephew being apprenticed to his business. Mr. Os-
borne said that he had just engaged a young appren.
twice, whom he shortly expected; that two at once
was rather too much; but considering the case of
poor Reynolds, and that it was to oblige Miss Ken-
drick, he would talk with Mr. Isaacs and see if it
could not be arranged; and that she should know in
a day or two. Within a day or two, Joanna and her
sister resolved upon going to Matlock for a few weeks,
and taking their nephew with them; so that there
was full time to deliberate. The season was fine.
Miss Kendrick found company to their taste at
Matlock; and to the great joy of the boy, who now
for the first time in his life knew what ease and
pleasure were, the stay was lengthened to the end of
July.
On their return, Miss Kendrick went to hear the
decision of her friend the druggist; again he was not
in the shop, but there stood behind the counter a
slim, gentlemanly youth, who, under the direction of
Mr. Isaacs, was folding up, very successfully, penny-
worths of Epsom salts and flowers of brimstone. This
was evidently the new apprentice of whom Mr. Os-
borne had spoken. On inquiring for that gentleman,
Miss Kendrick learned, to her surprise, that both he
and his wife were in London.
It must be about that miserable business of the
Edwards's," said she to Dorothy on her return. Of
course it was, and all the town knew it by this time;
for the newspapers had detailed the affair from one
end of the kingdom to the other.
The trial was now over. lEdwards had pleaded
his own cause most skilfully and eloquently, but is
vain; he was found guilty, and condemned to four-


36


THE 08BORNEB8 AND





THEIR FAMILY TROUBLES.


teen years' transportation. On hearing his sentence,
Edwards seemed to feel, for the first time, the crush-
ing weight of his unhappy circumstances. A paleness
as of death overspread his countenance; and, but for
the support of the turnkey, he would have fallen to
the ground. Mr. Osborne visited him the next day
in prison; and, for the first time in his life, felt com-
passion for him. Edwards was in fact a man of real
talent and great power of mind, with some tendencies
to good; but alas! he was one of those who have not
the ability to resist temptation. He was of a sanguine
temperament, and was always confident of success
When, therefore, humiliation and failure did come,
he was only the more cast down. His spirit was
now broken, and the better parts of his character
came forth. These, as it were, took the kind heart
of Mr. Osborne by surprise; and now, with a reac-
tion of feeling which is very natural to a generous
mind, he felt as if he must compensate for his hitherto
hard judgment; and this he did by more than free
forgiveness.
Phebe during the whole time had been calm ant
collected. The worst had come that could come;
and God and good men had not abandoned her.
That kind brother, who had been as a father to her
in her youth, stood by her in this hour of trial. He
had already adopted her son as his own; and thus
removed, as it were, from the knowledge and con-
tamination of evil, she trusted that his course through
life might be easier and happier than that of his
parents. Phebe's resolve from the first had been to
remove with her youngest child, a little girl of two
years old, to the land where her husband was now a
.banished man. Her brother made no objection; and
a


ay





38 THE TWO APPRENTICES.
he and his wife accordingly came up, two weeks be-
fore the time of her departure, to provide for her
comforts on the voyage, and to take leave of her for
ever. She sailed at the beginning of August; and
the convict ship in which was her husband at the end
of the same month.
Their careers seemed thus brought to an end in
this hemisphere; and therefore leaving them, the one
with his weaknesses and his misdeeds, the other expi-
ating the errors of her youth by a life of patience and
duty, we will turn more particularly to the son, who
will henceforth be one of the principal heroes of our
little story.


CHAPTER III.
THE TWO APPRENTICES.
Tea youth, like his father, was called Louis, with
the additional Christian name of William, which his
mother had given to him in love and grateful remem,-
brance of her brother-in-law Mr. Osborne; and now
his good uncle and aunt, anxious to remove from him
any infamy connected with his father's misconduct,
transposed and slightly altered his names, and called
him Edward Lewis Williams. Edward Williams
was therefore only an ordinary young apprentice--it
was given out that he was an orphan-with whose
history the world had nothing to do; and though
Mr. Isaacs and the whole household soon saw that l|
was not treated like an ordinary apprentice, the wor#K
did not readily conjecture that he was the son of the
convict Edwards.
Let Williams come into the parlour," sid Mr.





THE TWO APPRENTICES.


Osborne, as he was leaving the shop for the evening,
to his assistant Mr. Isaacs, "I would have a little
talk with him before his fellow-apprentice comes;
he seems a sharp, clever youth, I think," said Mr.
Osborne.
"A little too much of a gentleman at present,"
returned Mr. Isaacs, who was a thorough tradesman,
and had no patience with any dandyism behind the
counter, "and sharp and clever he is with a witness;
he has broken half a gross of vias, two graduated
measures, and a Corbyn quart, within the last fort-
night; but he has taken prodigiously to practical
chemistry, and so that he does not blow the house
up, he may be of some use in time."
"We must teach him to be careful," said Mr. Os-
borne, advancing to the door, "send him in as soon
as he comes," repeated he, and disappeared through
the half-glass door with the green silk curtain, that
led to the parlour where his good wife always sat at
her work.
Mr. Osborne had a little code of morals-it is a
thousand pities that it never was printed-which he
delivered orally to his apprentices many times during
the earlier part of their apprenticeship; and he now
wished particularly to insist on that part which re-
lated to "your duties towards your fellow-appren-
tices." This warned of bad example, either set by
themselves or followed in others; insisted on truth,
sobriety, kindness; on advising in love; on "doing as
they would be done by." Mrs. Osborne always cried
when her husband thus lectured his young appren-
tices. She felt as if the boys were her own children,
and she always said that no clergyman could preach
to them as her husband did. "And now remember,"


39





40 THE TWO APPRENTIOES.
concluded Mr. Osborne, "that the happiness and
well-being of your future life depend upon the dis-
positions you cultivate and the habits you acquire in
youth;-are you idle, wasteful, unpunctual, dilatory
in youth, it is vain to look for industry, frugality,
exactness, and promptitude in after-life. A religious,
active youth will ensure, as far as human means cas
do it, a respectable and prosperous age!" These hlt
words Mr. Osborne never failed to speak with re-
markable emphasis, nor did he omit it on this occa-
sion. Thus far, the young apprentice had been fed
with what may be called, in the style of Jean Paul
or our Carlyle, the common apprentice-bread; after-
wards came the cake-of-love which was broken for
his especial eating; and this was literally a love-feast,
at which the good aunt as well as uncle assisted.
Some little they said on his peculiar circumstances,
on the awful example which -would ever remain be-
fore him in his father's career; but oh, how tenderly
and lovingly was this warning enforced! The youth
-and he was a slender, handsome youth-sat with
his graceful head supported on his well-formed hand,
and his intelligent brown eyes fixed on the counte-
nance of his affectionate monitors. He looked hand-
some; and they saw in him the fairest promises of
good,-they saw in him the support, and comfort,
and pride of their old age. They besought him to be
steadfast in his duties both to God and man; they
besought him to deserve the love which they were
willing to give him; and in them, they said, he
should never want a friend. They spoke with tears,
and as the seal of the covenant between them, they
gave him a new Bible, which they prayed him to
study diligently. The youth began to say something





THE TWO APPRENTICE.


about gratitude; but his voice trembled, and he was
so much affected that he could not go on. The old
people gave him their hands, and said that it was not
needful; they understood his feelings, and were sure'
he would try to deserve their love.
Mrs. Osborne ordered in a very good supper that
ihtJt; the apple-pie that had been intended for the
ikow 's dinner was sent in, and cold beef, and
pickle, and roast potatoes with plenty of butter; and
then the smart young apprentice went out to put up
the shop-shutters, secretly rejoicing to himself that it
was for the last time, inasmuch as the new apprentice
would come the next day, and then, as the junior,
this would henceforth be his duty.
We have spoken of the Osbornes' love-feast; the
Miss Kendricks also made one for their nephew,
which they intended should last for a whole day.
They hired a post-chaise, and drove to the pleasant
village of Hanbury in Needwood Forest, where lived
some old friends of theirs,-a good farmer and his
wife. Their nephew walked about the farmer's
abundant garden, and ate fresh-gathered apples from
the trees, and strolled out by himself into the fields,
and came home just in time for dinner. And what
a dinner it was, with game, and hot apple-pie, and
cream, and syllabubs! and how merry the little fat
farmer was, and his wife too, and how they all ate,
and drank, and chatted, and laughed I Even Aunt
Dorothy, she was as merry as anybody.
After dinner, William went out again by himself.
He had been rather low-spirited the day before about
leaving the aunts that he loved so well and going
'prentice; but now all dull thoughts seemed driven
away. There was something inspiriting in the bright,
E2


41





THE TWO APPRENTICE.


breezy autumn air, as he strolled along through the
old pasture fields, and saw the feathery seeds of the
thistle and the great groundsel lifted up and carried
over his head by the wind, and the yellow harvest-
fields lying amid the deep repose of the woodlands
around, and the harvesters piling up the golden
shocks of corn on the heavy wain, which moved
ward now and then, silently as in a dream. i
down on the dry slope of the field, with the litte
shrubby tufts of the rosy-hued rest-harrow at his
feet; and thought about his past life and his future.
There was a deal of hardship, and sorrow, and trouble
in his past life, which was best known to himself and
to his Almighty Father; and which he someway or
other shrunk from telling to his kind aunts. There
.was no use in telling it to them, he thought, and he
was right; for it would have done them no good, nor
him either. All this now passed in clear review be-
fore him; it was like a procession of dark shadows;
one after another they went by, and ended in that
wet night of May-fair day and his mother's death.
But yet that death was not as sad as many things in
her life had been; and the boy thought of her grave
in the little churchyard of her native town as of her
truest resting-place. The only pleasant thought in
the past was of his little sister,-the little rosy.
cheeked Susan, who was left with the old Methodist
grandmother at Truro in Cornwall. Susan was very
happy; and above all things liked going with the old
woman to chapel, where the people all sang so loud.
It was a pleasant thought, that of Susan. Then came
his aunts,-Dorothy, blind, and with her hair like
snow, yet as cheerful as a lark, and so active No-
body that saw her at hocie could ever think her


42





?TH TWO APPRBNTICUE. 4
blind! And Joanna, who never thought about her-
self, but was always working or scheming for the
good of somebody or other; who was full of resources
for every difficulty, and who suggested good motives
for everybody's actions. Never in all this world,
poor William thought, were there better women
f his aunts; it would be impossible for him to
out badly, belonging, as he did, to such good
people. William thought of all the pleasure they
had given him, of the happy weeks at Matloek, of
the collection of minerals they had bought for him,
of the new clothes they had given him,-how they
were about to put him apprentice to a respectable
business, how they had given him a new Bible and
such a handsome prayer-book as would make it a
pleasure to go to church; and to wind up all, how
they had hired a chaise and brought him out into the
country, which he enjoyed so much, just on purpose
to make his last day of freedom pleasant. All this he
thought of, and then made a little vow with himself
that he would be very obedient and good as an ap-
prentice, and be industrious in learning his business;
and then, when he was a man and his aunts were
old, that he might be able to do something for them
in return. He grew quite in love with his good
resolves, and then fell into a charming day-dream of
happily-accomplished wishes, from which he was
roused by the sound of voices and the creaking of
a loaded wagon, which, with its piled-up sheaves,
went brushing slowly past the tall hedge-row trees
behind him. It was the wagon which, two hours
before, he had been watching in the distant fields; .
and then the thought first occurred to him that it
was time for him to go back to the farm-house. He





THE TWO APPRENTICES.


ran hastily back, buoyant-hearted with all his good
resolutions, and was a little alarmed to see the post-
chaise standing at the door. Aunt Dorothy and the
farmer's wife were seated on the horse-block, and
Joanna and the farmer were looking out from the
farm-yard gate; they evidently were looking for
him, and then, all at once, for the first time since
had been out, he remembered that his aunt Joai
had warned him not to be long, not above an hour;
for they wanted to be at home in good time-how
could he have forgotten ? Aunt Joanna looked dis-
pleased as he came up; he had never seen her look
displeased before.
Well, youngster, we've had a pretty hunt for
you," said the farmer, when he reached the gate.
You must have forgotten what I said," remarked
Aunt Joanna.
Ah, Master William," began the farmer's wife,
I've had a pretty time to pacify your Aunt
Dorothy; she thought you must have got drowned,
or some mischief."
"I am very sorry," said William; and felt quite
humble and submissive, but there was no time or
opportunity to say more. He hurried into the par-
lour to have tea, or coffee, or wine. There was
plum-cake, seed-cake, and bread and butter: he
must have something-he could eat nothing: he
wanted so much to make his peace with everybody.
But there was no chance for his getting in a word
his aunts, and the farmer and his wife, were at the
chaise-door, in the full energy and activity of leave-
taking. There was a basket full of eggs, a bottle
of cream, and some fresh butter to go into the
chaise; there was a hamper of apples and a couple


44





THE TWO APPBBNTIC T 4
of fowls to be stowed away, for all of which the
aunts had, first of all, to express astonishment, and
then thanks; and, amid all this, they and their
nephew seated themselves in the chaise, and off they
drove. William sat silent, and felt unhappy; his
heart trembled at the thought of anger; he had seen
Wnmuch of it formerly, and so little of it in the last
hpy weeks of his life. He wished his aunts
would but begin to talk; but for some time they
did not, nor did he.
At length began Aunt Joanna:-" My dear boy,"
said she, "nothing will be more necessary to you,
in life, than strict punctuality. Now, when I had
told you to be back soon, what could keep you out
so long-when you might see that it was getting
late, and the dew was falling. What were you
doing ?"
"Nothing," said he.
Nothing she repeated. "That is hardly
likely-an active boy like you must have been
doing something."
William might have said that he had been busy
with his thoughts, reviewing the past, and making
good resolves for the future. He thought of saying
so; but then it occurred to him that perhaps his
aunts would not believe him: he had often been
disbelieved in former days, when he had spoken the
honest truth. A sullen cloud, like the spirit of
those dark former days, fell upon him, and he again
replied to his aunt's question, three times repeated,
that he had been doing nothing."
His aunt said no more. Neither she nor Dorothy
said much during the rest of the drive homeward;
they were sorry to see him, as they thought, per-





46 THE TWO APPRENTICES.
verse and sullen, and not wishing to excite an
antagonist spirit, which they fancied they saw in
him, they sat silent, and mourned to themselves.
He, on his part, sat between them, dispirited and
out of humour. This was the end, then, of all his
good resolutions: nobody would give him credit for
meaning to do right-that was always the way.
His aunts, after all, were as unjust as anybody ebe.
All his good resolutions seemed folly and nonsense;
he despised himself for them, and said, in his own
heart, that it was no use trying to be good. The
dark phantoms which he had called up from the
past, and made to pass before him, seemed to have
possession of him, and he remembered mournfully
the chapter which, the evening before, he had read
in his new Bible to his Aunt Dorothy, of him who
took seven other spirits unto him worse than him-
self, and the last state of that man was worse than
the first.
So ended their Love Feast. But it was a real
Love Feast for all that. It was only as if the love-
cake had been a little burned in the baking-human
endeavours are so seldom perfect.
But now, for six months after this time. Mr.
Isaacs went to church every Sunday evening; and,
as the Osbornes pew adjoined that of the Miss
Kendricks, and they regularly attended church
twice in the day, which Mrs. Osborne did not,
because her husband only went in the morning, he
mostly walked home with them; and when there
was no moon, and the streets therefore as good as
dark-for the scanty oil lamps were not worth
speaking of-he offered an arm to each sister, which
had given rise, in the minds of the two most note-






THE TWO APPRENTICES


rious gossips of the place, Mrs. Morley and Mrs.
Proctor, that Mr. Isaacs had a liking for Miss
Joanna Kendrick. The report had even reached
the ears of the parties themselves; but they seemed
so amazingly indifferent about it, that people left
them to do as they would, only just speaking of it
now and then to keep the idea alive, as a town
corporation walks its parish boundaries every seven
years or so, to keep their memory from dying out.
And how does William get on," asked Miss
Kendrick, therefore, one Sunday evening, tn
Mr. Isaacs, on whose arm she leaned.
"Pretty well," said he, in a half-hesitating tone. "
"Only pretty well, still!" she returned.
"Why, you see," said Ismacs, "he has not the
natural facility of mind that Williams has. That
youth has something quite uncommon about him-if
he had but stability he might do anything. They
now take regular Latin leesons, and that prevents his
attending to many other things. Latin is abso-
lutely necessary, and they neither of them under-
stood a word of it."
What, then," began Joanna, somewhat cheered,
"had this clever youth been as much neglected as
our poor nephew F"
He has knowledge enough, and to spare," said
Isaacs, "but not exactly of the right kind; he is
prodigiously smart and clever, and knows how to
make the most of what he has. If he have but
stability and good conduct, he may get on won-
derfully."
These words sunk deep into the hearts of both
aunts How was it? Was Williams above the
average capacity of youths, or was their nephew


47





18 TUH TWO APPRENTICES.
below it? They were troubled and discontented.
They feared that he did not make all the efforts in
his power; perhaps he was careless and inattentive:
they must talk with him, and try to rouse up a
spirit of emulation in him. Next moment, they
were half-disposed to be out of humour with his
companion's facility of mind-it is so unpleasant to
be outstripped ourselves, or to see those one loves
and cares for outstripped.
The next evening, the aunts sent their compli-
ments to Mr. Osborne, and begged that he would
let their nephew drink tea with them. He came,
and by the gentlest manoeuvres in the world,
the affectionate aunts began to test the young
apprentice's knowledge and skill. How did he
like his business ?-did he feel that he was getting
on at all --did light begin to break in upon him in
any way ?-did he feel that he could keep up with
Williams? To these questions he replied, that he
did like his business-that he felt he was getting
on-light was breaking in upon him, even in Latin;
he had made up a prescription that very day-but
as to keeping up with Williams, that was not an
easy thing. Williams could make out a prescription
above a month ago. Williams was so very clever,
he could do anything that he liked; he learned
without the least trouble, and had such a memory
as never was I
Such was his report of his fellow-apprentice.
The aunts listened in silence, and concluded that it
must be as Mr. Isaacs had said; Williams was a
youth of extraordinary abilities. They sighed over
their nephew, who seemed to have but common
abilities, and were kinder to him than ever; per.





THE TWO APPRENTICZf. 49
haps to compensate, if they could, for Nature's
supposed unkindness. But long was the lecture
that they gave to him on patience and perseverance,
which, plodding on together, remove mountains of
all kinds, and make even ordinary abilities more
availing than the most meteor-like genius.
"Well, and how does Reynolds go on?" again
inquired Joanna from Mr. Isaacs, some twelve or
eighteen months later.
Exceedingly well!" was now the reply. "He
has stability and perseverance, he will make a good
tradesman. He is much more practical than Williams,
and thus much more useful." The aunts were well
pleased, and now could very well endure to hear
their nephew speak well of his fellow-apprentice.
The Osbornes, who had their reasons for being
particularly interested in Williams, saw his quick
abilities, and his attractive exterior, with uncommon
pleasure. As to Mr. Isaacs, he had begun some
time ago to have his own thoughts about the smart
apprentice, and let him now take his own flights,
satisfied to have the more helpful services of Rey-
nolds. Isaacs soon saw, what Mr. Osborne seemed
never to find out, that Williams, unstable as water,
'spite of his natural brilliant gifts, would, in the end,
excel in nothing. Besides this, there were slight
peccadilloes now and then, a missing half-crown or
so, which, while he never shut his own eyes to, and
always reproved in his own way, he never spoke of to
Mr. or Mrs. Osborne, unwilling to distress them, as he
said to himself, about the son of poor Mrs. Edwards.
Mr. Isaacs had mentioned to Miss Kendricks his
suspicion of the youth's parentage; and this suspi-
cion was confirmed to them by an accidental discovery
P





50 THE TWO APPRENTICES.
which their nephew made of what seemed to him'
the transposed name of his companion, written in
his Prayer-book, "William Louis Edwards;" and
which, on being shown to him, he immediately tore
from the book, saying gaily that it was only a joke.
But Williams's secret was safe, both with Miss
Kendricks and Mr. Isaacs; and, while the youth
did not trouble himself one jot about either the one
or the other, he grew tall and good-looking, and,
though he wore a shop-apron, had not at all the
look of a tradesman about him.
Time went on: the fellow-apprentices agreed
remarkably well together. Reynolds plodded on
at the quiet drudgery of his business, and Williams
took discursive flights of all kinds. Now he was
deep among gases, and now he was up in the clouds
among the fascinations of the circulating library;
now he dipped here and there into the Materia
Medical and Dr. Thomas's Practice of Physic; and
now he laboured for three months in learning to
play the flute. He certainly had a variety of tastes,
if not of talents; and the Osbornes, good people as
they were, saw this as something quite remarkable.
Mrs. Osborne was fascinated with his handsome
figure and gentlemanly bearing, wifh his amusing
conversation, and his variety of little social talents
and accomplishments. She contrasted him, in her
own mind, with the more homely, unassuming
Reynolds. "Poor Miss Kendricks," thought he,
"how proud they would be to have a nephew like
ours I"
She was the kindest-hearted woman that ever
lived, and she never thought thus without being
touched with compassion for the good, humbly-





THE TWO APPRENTICES.


gifted youth, as she thought Reynolds; and many
a little kindness and indulgence did he unwittingly
owe to this sentiment in her heart towards him.
Time went on, and yet on. The apprentices had
each gone on in their own way, and were both
nearly nineteen years of age. Williams was now
above the middle size, and seemed to have done
growing; while Reynolds, on the contrary, seemed
as if he had only just begun to grow, and was, as
his Aunt Joanna said, "coming on famously." She
began to think, after all, that her nephew would, in
his way, be every bit as good-looking as Williams.
He was.stouter built, to be sure, and would never
be so tall, but there was such a firm, manly air
about him, something so honest and good in his
countenance-it was quite a pleasure to look at him!
It was now the middle of winter-a cold, sleety
day, when no customers, saving such as wanted
physic, turned out of door. The shop-door was
shut, the stove was burning cheerily, and the two
apprentices were standing together, looking over a
play-bill, which had just been thrown in.
Players were "come to the town; a theatre was
opened, and that night the performances began.
"The Beaux' Stratagem :" it was a charming play,
said Williams; and read over the list of characters
and performers like a school-boy running over a
well-practised lesson. There was nothing in this
world that he enjoyed like the theatre; to see a
play well acted was the finest thing in the world-
the qext best thing was to see one badly acted.
Oh, a tragedy acted by strolling players, there was
something quite racy about it! He declared that
he should be a great patron of the theatre. He


61





6Z TME TWO APPRENTICES.
would take care, he said, and get Mr. Osborne's con-
sent to their going.
There was no difficulty about that. Mr. Osborne
was the most indulgent of masters; and the two
young men set off arm-in-arm, in the highest spirits,
intending to be very critical, and yet very much
amused.
A great club-room at one of the inns had been
converted into a very pretty little theatre, which was
well lighted, and tolerably decorated. Neither boxes,
pit, nor gallery had one seat to spare; the players
evidently had taken the little town at the right
moment. Williams, however, was at first amazingly
critical; found unmeasured fault, and ridiculed
everything. He had seen, he said, in his time, the
finest theatres in London, and he knew what good
acting was, too. The acting, however, pleased him;
above all things, the acting of Miss Jessie Banner-
man, who performed the character of Dorinda. He
declared that she was a goddess, an angel; so young,
not above sixteen; so divinely beautiful! she was
equal to any actress in genteel comedy that he had
ever seen. He must know something about her!
He was very fond of players, he said; loved, of all
things, to have the entree of the green-room; had
a vast fancy for acting himself; and ended by pro-
testing that he was deeply in love with that girl,
and would make her acquaintance, or know the
reason why.





JESSIE' ACQUAINTANCE MADE.


CHAPTER IV.
JESSIE' ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
WE must now pay a visit to the house of a clog
and patten-maker, and, without using any ceremony,
enter the little parlour, which is but very humbly
furnished, with its home-made listing carpet hardly
covering its brick floor, and its furniture of blue and
white check. In the middle of the room stands a
round table, covered with a coarse huckabacktable-
cloth, on which plates, knives and forks, and an
earthenware salt-cellar, with bread and cheese, give
intimation that supper is at hand. The homely
furniture, however, did not cause a moment's
uneasiness to the persons who were there, and
whom we may as well introduce to the reader.
First of all, a little old woman, in a night-cap not
remarkably clean, and a pink bed-gown, who sat
bending over the little fire-place set in Dutch tile,
cooking on the fire a quantity of tripe, in a sauce-
pan rather too small for the purpose, while within
the fender stood dishes and plates to warm. This
old woman, known in the, theatrical corps as
Mrs. Bellamy, though she never acted, seemed so
absorbed by her occupation as to take no notice
whatever of a young couple who sat together, in
very amicable proximity, on the sofa. These were
Jessie Bannerman, the fair prima donna of the com-
pany, and our acquaintance, Williams, who was now
paying by no means his first visit to the inmates
of the patten-maker's parlour. Williams was very
handsomely dressed in his Sunday clothes, for it
was Sunday evening; whilst the young lady, a
F2


63






4 JESSIE'S ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
alight, delicate young creature, was decidedly en
d6shabilM, a costume which, although it bore unequi-
vocal marks of having been supplied by a scanty
purse, was not unbecoming to her remarkably inte-
resting appearance.
The youth held both her hands in his, and gazed
with almost devotion into her face. She seemed to
have been weeping, but a faint smile, like April
sunshine, passed at that moment over her face, and
she replied, in answer to some remark of his, "Oh,
no, the dear old creature, she is very deaf; she
hears nothing we say, .nd if she did, she would not
interrupt us. Ah, she is a good creature!" ex-
claimed she, snatching away her hands from their
confinement; and starting up to the old woman's
side, she put them on her shoulder, and spoke in
her ear, but not loudly, I have been telling him
how good you are to me, and how much I love
you," added she, and kissed the old woman's
wrinkled cheek. The old woman understood the
action, if not the words, and gave several little,
short nods, without turning her head, or apparently
lifting her eyes from the saucepan.
The young girl sat down again, and continued,
"If it were not for her, my life would be worse
than that of a galley-slave. She is not as poor as
she seems, and has managed to make herself of
consequence to the company; and Mr. Maxwell,
the manager, consults her in everything. He hates
her, however, for all that, and they quarrel dread-
fully."
Whilst these few words passed, the old woman
had dished her tripe, which she covered up with a
basin, and set within the fender, while she went out





JESSIE 8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE.


for ale in a small jug. When she returned, and
showed what her errand had been, the youth started
up, exclaiming against his own forgetfulness, and
/ took from the pocket of his great-coat, which he
had laid upon the floor, two bottles of wine, which
he said he had brought for them, and which he
believed would prove good. The old and the young
lady both expressed surprise, and then they all
three sat down to supper with the most apparent
cordiality. The old woman's tripe was excellent,
and well cooked, and Williams's wine was as good
as need be drunk; but here, before it could be
drunk, there occurred a little difficulty. The wine-
glasses of the patten-maker's wife were locked up
in a corner-cupboard of this room; she would not
entrust her keys to her lodgers, nor would they
admit her into the room, lest she should recognize
Mr. Osbornue's apprentice, whom she well knew, in
the young visitor who usually came in so muffled
up and disguised that he passed for one of the
players themselves. Two little china cmps, there-
fore, that stoo& on the mantel-piece as ornaments,
were substituted instead; the old woman having one
to herself, and Jessie and her lover--for lover he was
-the other between them. After supper, which
all three had seemed greatly to enjoy, the old
woman swept up the hearth, cleared away the
supper-things, and sticking the corks into the
bottles, lest, as she said, such good wine should
spoil, seated herself in a low-armed chair, and,
throwing her apron over her face, lay back as if to
sleep; whilst Jessie and the young man resumed
their seats on the sofa, and shortly afterwards fell
into deep conversation.


65





06 JESSIE S ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
"And must I tell you all '" asked she.
"All, every incident from your earliest memory,"
returned he, passionately. "Whatever concerns
you, interests me."
Jessie heaved a deep sigh, and was silent for a
few moments.
I have heard her say," at length she began,
looking towards the old woman in the chair opposite,
" that my mother was the most beautiful of women,
and perhaps, also, the most unfortunate. She was
the daughter of a village schoolmaster, a man pos-
sessed of some little property; and 8he," said she,
again indicating the old woman opposite, "was, I
fancy, his wife, and consequently is my grand-
mother; but that she never will confess, although
I have besought her on my knees. My mother was
loved, or rather courted, by a rich gentleman. She
loved him-oh, too well: he deserted her, and
her father, who was a very severe, although in
his way a very religious man, never would forgive
her error. He turned her, one wild autumn night,
out of doors. It thundered and lightened, and
was a night on which to lose one's senses, or else
to do some horrid deed. Her mother prayed the
father to relent, and to open the door; for she
stayed wandering about the house till long after
midnight, begging and praying that he would not
be so hard-hearted and so cruel-but it was all in
vain! He was one of those men who think
that it was the woman only who fell; he thought
that the man was a superior being, whose place
in creation was to domineer over woman, and
Punish her, and subject her as much as he could.
It was a sort of virtue in his eyes, and so he





JMSSIS 8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE. 57
neither would listen to the prayers of his wife nor
daughter."
What a monster he was I" exclaimed Williams,
in a very audible voice.
The old woman put her apron from her head, and
said sharply to him, It is fine talking, young man !
but you are all tyrants by nature-every one of you
-for all you look so mild and gentle I Every one
of you !" added she, again throwing her apron over
her head.
I thought that she was deaf!" exclaimed Wil-
liams, amazed, and almost terrified.
And so she is," returned Jessie, "but you are
so violent."
"Well, go on," said he; "your story affects me."
"My grandfather," continued she, would not go
to bed till long after my mother's voice had ceased
outside, and then he took the key of the house-door
and put it under his pillow, to prevent his wife going
out. She was very much afraid of her husband, so
she waited till she heard him snoring in bed, and
then she got out at the kitchen-window; but no-
where could she find her daughter. She wandered
about all day, and went into the neighbours' barns,
and up and down the river-side; but she found
no traces, nor had anybody in the village seen
her. Towards evening, however, she met a wagoner
coming with his team towards the village, who had
been out with barley to a neighboring town; and
from him she learnt that, about three o'clock in the
morning, he had overtaken a young woman, who was
walking alone on the road, and who seemed very
much distressed. She begged him, he said, to give
her a lift in his wagon, which he did ; he had also





68 Js~sIE' ACQUAINTANCE MADE
given her part of the refreshment which he had
with him for himself, and had spoken a good word
for her to the woman of the house where he put
up; but that, after she left his wagon, which was
at the town's end, he had seen no more of her, nor
could he tell what it was her intention to do, or
where to go. My grandmother was so affected by
this mark of kindness, especially, as she said, in a
man, that she thought within herself, what could
she give him in return. She felt in her pocket, but
money she had none, excepting a crooked Queen
Anne's sixpence with a hole through it, which she
had kept many years. This she gave to him, and
begged of him to keep for her sake; and for her
sake, also, to be kind to poor women whenever he
met with them, and to take her blessing for the
kindness he had shown her daughter. Instead of
going home, she at once turned herself round, and
walked through the night back to the town, where
she arrived at daybreak. The woman of the
public-house could give no information respecting
her daughter, so at night she set off home again."
She spent that day, and the next, and the next
after that," said the old woman rapidly, interrupting
her, and throwing the apron from her face, and
sitting up in the chair; "three whole days she
spent in searching for her daughter! It was a
large town, and a wicked town, and nothing but sin,
and misery, and sorrow, did she meet with every-
where, wherever she sought for her poor outcast!
But she did not find her! Many a fair young
creature she saw, as desolate as her own child; but
*er own child she found not, and, with a bleeding,
downcast heart, and a weary body, she retraced her





.RSJf l'5 ACQUA!NTANOB M ADDL


steps homeward. Her husband, as she came back,
sat among the little boys in the school just as if
nothing had happened, and heard them read about
Mary Magdalene, in the Bible, that our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ himself had mercy on, yet he
never had pity on his own flesh and blood I If I
were to tell you," continued she, "of the tears,
and the heart-aches, and the prayers of that mother,
all in secret between her Maker and herself, you,
that are young, would maybe not believe me, so I
pass them all over. In a winter or two afterwards,
her husband got a rheumatic fever, and she then
had to wait on him night and day: he was as help.
less as a child, and was cross, and out of humour
with her, and with himself, too. She had a weary
life of it. The parson came to see him, and
preachers of all sorts, from far and near; for he
was reckoned a religious man; and being parish
schoolmaster, and a man of property besides, folks
thought much of him, and his wife got them to talk
to him of his daughter, now that he was sick and
helpless, and turn his heart towards her, if they
could. But he was as hard as iron, and he would
not even have her mentioned in his prayers. Well,
it pleased God to afflict him if many ways, and he
had fits and spasms, and was speechless for months.
"' Stephen,' mid his wife to him, one night,
SGod is punishing you for your hardness to poor
Mary. You deserve it! and I hope he will never
take his hand off you till you've forgiven her, and
acted as a Christian should do '
"He had not spoken for months and months, and
you may think what was her surprise when he lifts
im elf slowly up in bed, and fixing his llow


50





60 JESSIE 8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
eyes on her, says, He has punished me-punished
mne severely. I forgive her, and may God Almighty
forgive us both!' With these words he dropped
back on the pillow, and his poor wife was so over-
come by what she heard, all so unexpectedly, that
she sank down as if she had been smitten, and when
she had strength to rise again-lie was a corpse A
bitter feeling now came over her towards herself:
she had been angry with him-she had done her
duty to him only as duty, not as love. What would
she not have given then for one week, one hour, of
his past life Ah, children, children!" said she,
addressing the two before her, never grieve those
you love; never lose an opportunity of doing a
kindness to those you love; never give way to
bitterness and hardness, else you will lay up a
punishment for yourselves which will pursue you as
with a whip of scorpions!"
A silence of a few minutes ensued. Jessie had
thrown herself back in a corner of the sofa, and
Williams sat staring at the old woman, who now,
as if with all her faculties awake, continued :-
"Some indistinct rumour reached the mother,
some time after her husband's death, that her
daughter was in London; so she turned all the
little property that was left into money, and to
London she went. She went to London to find her
daughter. And how was her daughter to be found
among the thousands of other women's daughters,
that were outcasts in society-women with beauty,
talents, affections, all trampled under foot, viler than
the very mud of the streets! She went out on
thb evenings of summer days, when the birds of
heaven were singing, and the dew lay as pure as





JESSIE'8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE.


angels' thoughts on the grassy fields; and what did
she meet ? Women that the rich and pampered
daughters of untempted virtue loathed; but she met
not with her daughter. She went out on cold, deso-
late, pinching nights of winter, when happy fami-
lies sat round happy hearths--fathers, and mothers,
and little children, and blessed God that they lived
in a Christian land, where all misery was cared for;
and what did she still meet? Poor, unfortunate
women again--creatures that God had made a little
lower than the angels; for what ? To be the prey
of the vilest passions of man; to be despised,
scorned, pointed at, trampled on; to be miserable
and outcast! These she saw, winter and summer,
alike; these, beauty and misery, going hand-in-hand
down to the pit! Yes, young man," said she, lifting
up an admonitory finger, such as you it is that do
this work of death and the devil! and think not
ihat you shall come here, paying your flattering,
false attentions to that old woman's grand-daughter
unwatched and unprevented!"
"Upon my soul," said the young man, quite
taken by surprise, I am sincere as the very sun
in heaven! Only, you see, as yet, I am in tram-
mnels; I am not my own master."
Enough enough! said the old woman. But
I have not yet done. You asked for Jessie's history,
and we are not yet come to it. I had been out
one night to get a bit of butcher's-meat; I had not
had a bit for months, and somehow or other the
fancy took me to have a bit; so I went out that
Saturday night, and had not gone far, before I was
stopped by a crowd at the door of a househere
they said that a man was ill-using a woman. 'It's


61





62 JESSIE 8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
only his wife!' said somebody near me; just as if
he had said, it's only his dog. These were things
that I felt in my very soul; so I rushed into the
house, just as the brutal husband, mad with liquor
and cruelty, and with blood upon his clothes, threw
himself out of the door into the middle of the crowd,
which, 'spite of the attempts to seize upon him, he
struck off right and left, and made his escape. A
crowd of people beside me had rushed into the
house, and up-stairs where the woman was, whose
blood we met, trickling down-stairs, before we
reached the top. She was bleeding from face, and
neck, and arms, where she had many great gashes.
She looked as if she were already dead, and a little
child, not six months old, lay crying on the miser-
able bed beside her. The sight of the woman
caused a cry of indignation and horror in the people,
and half of them turned back to overtake and secure
the man whom they now regarded as a murderer.
From a feeling of pity which wrung my very heart,
I took up the child in my arms; it looked into my
face, and smiled I It was she!" said the old woman,
pointing to Jessie, who now, pale and excited, was
weeping again.
"They took the woman to the hospital," con-
tinued she. She was one of a travelling company
of comedians and horse-riders; her husband and
she acted the principal parts: she had been, and
still was, very beautiful. She was the school-
master's daughter-the daughter of that mother
who had sought her so long and so wearily! She
did not die. There were two children: the infant,
and a girl of seven years old, a young creature that
played night after night, and was the great attrao-





JESSIE S ACQUAINTANCE MADB.


tion of the company. She was ill, and'it had been
about her acting that the parents had quarrelled
that night. She was a wonderful child. Oh, why
are such gifts as hers given, when they can lead but
to misery and ruin! The little Fanny danced on
the tight-rope night after night, and performed the
most wonderful feats of horsemanship as the Flying
Circassian; and acted and sung to the delight of
crowds of thoughtless, admiring people. She played,
and danced, and rode, and grew weaker and weaker
day by day; but there was no pity either for her
or the infant, which, as soon as it could walk, was
made to ride and dance, and which promised to be
as great a prodigy as her sister. When the mother
was dead, I joined myself to the company. The
father hated me, but he could not get rid of me.
I stayed, because there was no law to take them
forcibly from the father. After I had been with
the company some years, things mended. All were
not as bad as he; poor they all were, but* many of
them had kind hearts, and there were those with us
who would take our parts; and besides, as Fanny's
health mended under my care, the father no longer
tried to make my life intolerable; besides which, a
cold which I took made me deaf, so that I could not
hear him. He married again, and then I took the
children to myself; the travelling life was not un-
pleasant to me, and Fanny was a very angel."
"And where is Fanny?" asked Williams. The
old woman made no reply.
Jessie took the handkerchief from her face, and
laying her hand on his arm, said solemnly, Fanny
is dead!"
He looked shocked, and she continued, "Had


63





64 JE88Im' ACQUAINTANCE MADE.
you known Fanny, you would never have loved
me. I am no more to be compared to her, than
the moon to the sun. She was nineteen when she
died; I was then twelve. She," said she, pointing
to the old woman, had much more reason to love
Fanny than me. She was much handsomer than
me, and was so witty and merry! Ill as she was,
it never cast her down; and her laugh! Oh, I
remember it now I never heard a laugh like it-
so sweet, so joyous, so musical! My father used to
say that her laugh would make her fortune; but
she took cold one night at the theatre, and in three
days she died! They think of making another
Fanny of me," said she; but it will not do. My
father is disappointed in me. I am not as brilliant
as my sister. My life is not happy-not at all
happy," said she, clasping her hands, and bursting
into a passion of tears.
"Adorable girl!" said Williams, quite beside
himself with love and pity, and throwing himself
on one knee before her. My whole life shall be
devoted to making your life happy !"
The fair Jessie bowed her face, and wept upon
his shoulder.
Hey-day! said the old woman, starting up from
her chair, what nonsense is all this I know what
it means when men talk of life-long devotion. And
what are you, young man ? Can you rescue her
from the life of misery that lies before her "
I am one who love her better than life," said
Williams, starting to his feet, and facing the old
woman with quite a theatrical air. "I love her.
and, were I but free, I would marry her to-morrow.'
"Fine talking!" said the old woman, with a





JESSIE'8 ACQUAINTANCE MADE. 05
sneer; "if I were but free! that is always the
way I f I were but free, indeed! Why, when
you are free, your mind will have changed. Then,
then! ah, I know you men! You are a pack of
designing, selfish knaves, and I'11 have none of you!
I '11 take care of Jessie Bannerman, if she cannot
take care of herself; and so you had better take
your leave, for the decent people at your house
must have been in bed these two or three hours."
"By Jove, and so they will!" exclaimed Wil-
liams, looking at his watch, and horrified to see that
it was past two o'clock.
"I shall never get in to-night," said he, almost
dolefully. For Heaven's sake let me sleep where
I am. I will lie on the sofa, or anywhere, and
early in the morning 1 will be gone."
The old woman was again deaf; and it was only
by his forcibly taking possession of the sofa, that she
seemed to understand him. Jessie laughed as merrily
and as musically, Williams thought, as Fanny could
have done, and applauded the idea. But the old
woman was inexorable, and turned him literally out
of doors.
Well was it for him that, in that quiet town,
every soul, excepting the watchman, was in bed.
The night was fine and starlight, and avoiding the
watchman, who made himself perceptible by his
cry, he walked through the town right into the
country, which was not inconvenient to him, as he
had excused his yesterday's absence on the plea of
spending the afternoon with some friends in the
country; and the next morning he entered Mr. Os.
borne's parlour just as they were about to sit down to
breakfast, nobody suspecting one word of the real truth.
G2





A SPOKE IN THE'WHEEL.


CHAPTER V.
A SPOKE IN THE WHERL.
Mr readers may imagine how confusing must
have been all the inquiries which assailed the young
man from Mrs. Osborne during breakfast. Well,
and how were the Yates's? Is he better? and is
John come from Birmingham ? And what news
have they from Mrs. Benjamin Are the children
better? And has Jenny had the measles ?"
Williams was not a young man to be easily dumb-
foundered; his replies really were all so straight-
forward, that nobody could have had the slightest
suspicion of all not being quite straightforward re-
garding them. All this, however, was nothing to
the difficulty he found after breakfast, when he was
told to assist in the putting up of a large order for a
country-shop. What room had he in his mind for
6 Ibs. of yellow ochre, and 2 Ibs. of camomile flowers,
and glue, and lamp-black, and syrup of squills, and
opium?
What, are not those things put up yet ?" asked
Mr. Osborne, looking down into the lower ware-
house, as he saw Williams by lamplight, towards
dinner-time, weighing out whitening, which he knew
came fourth in a list of seven-and-twenty articles.
No, indeed! they were not put up. Williams had
thought of nothing all the morning but the fair Jessie,
and her sad family history, and her deaf old grand-
mother, who, after all, was not deaf. He went over
the history, incident by incident, and asked himself
many questions. Who, then, was Jessie's father?
Was it that Mr. Maxwell, the manager, with whom





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.


she had said that the old woman often quarrelled ?
and if so, why was she called Bannerman I Was
that her mother's name ? and if so, why, then, was
the old woman called Bellamy t He could not
understand these things. One thing, however, he
could very well understand, and that was, that he
was desperately in love; should never love anybody
else as long as he lived; and if he were but out of
his time would marry her instantly, even if he had
to starve all the rest of his life for it.
What an awkward thing it is for a young man
violently in love, and a little headstrong into the
bargain, not to be out of his time-not to be at
liberty to do just as he likes He grew quite
desperate there, down among the whitening casks
and the hogsheads of oil and vinegar. He remem-
bered her tears, and that she had declared herself to
be unhappy; and that she had to display all her
charms and her powers of pleasing every night to
worthless crowds, whilst he was dying but for one
glance of hers. And then, how did he know but
that some young fellow who was out of his time,"
and his own master, might not fall in love with her,
and carry her off at once What so likely ? He
then laid a thousand impossible plans, which at the
moment he vowed to execute. He would join the
company, and travel with her. He would run off
with her, and get married; his uncle and aunt
would be angry, he knew, but in the end they
would forgive him. Jessie should throw herself at
their feet; they could never withstand her beauty
and her tears. In the midst of this scene he wag
woke to reality and a dinner of boiled beef and
turnips. Poor Williams! he had no appetite, and


67





68 A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
he looked as woe-begone as it was possible for any
young apprentice to look who was over head and
ears in love. He was not well, he said; he was, to
use the words of a country swain in love, hot and
dry, like, with a pain in his side, like;" and he pre-
scribed for himself a walk in the fresh air, which
Mr. Osborne freely permitted to him, deputing
Reynolds to finish his work below.
Williams dressed himself with great care, and putting
on his great-coat, made the best of his way to the
clog and patten-maker's, not failing to see, as he
passed along the streets, on every blank wall and
every projecting house-corner, the name of his fair
one in the play-bills for the night, "To be performed
this evening, the Fair Quaker of Deal, the part of
the Fair Quaker, by Miss Jessie Bannerman." Jessie
was the attraction of the company-the whole town
acknowledged it. The sight of her name added to
his impatience; he reached the house, and thinking
neither of the patten-maker nor his wife, rushed
through the kitchen, where they sat at tea, without
any precaution of concealment, and knocking hur-
riedly at the parlour-door, entered without waiting
for permission from within.
Why, that 's Osborne's smart apprentice, for
sure," exclaimed the patten-maker's wife; so, he's
smitten, is he, with that young player-wench ? "
"Why, how many young chaps are there after
her ? asked her husband.
Half-a-score," said the wife, "at least;" and
began counting them on her fingers.
Williams's entrance produced quite a sensation
among the three persons in the room. The old
woman, who sat with her spectacles on, sewing





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL. 69
white muslin cuffs into the slate-coloured stuff gown
which was evidently to be the dress of the Fair
Quaker of Deal, knocked down an old pasteboard
box which held her store of sewing materials. Jessie,
who stood en dUshabill, as yesterday, with her little
Quaker's cap in her hand, turned first red and then
pale at the sight of him; and a tall young man, of
perhaps two-and-twenty, who was at that moment
presenting her with a bouquet of splendid green-
house flowers, started back a step or two, as if a
snake had stung him, and then stood, with the flowers
in his hand, and a look of defiance in his eye, at the
unexpected rival, whom the lady might be supposed
to favour from her changing colour. A glance told
all this; and Williams, on his part, looked as much
taken by surprise as any of them. Here had he
flown on the wings of love and impatience only to
find a rival--a favoured rival his jealousy whispered,
and that in the handsome person of Tom Bassett, a
young man of family-an articled clerk of the first
lawyer in the place;-he was in love with her foo-
it was death and destruction!
Shall you see me to-night as the Fair Quaker? "
asked Jessie, with one of her sweetest smiles.
"Most certainly I shall," said Williams, who, in
the face of his rival, felt that it must be so.
She showed him the cap, and pointed to the dress
which the old woman was engaged upon for the
character; and while he turned to speak to the old
woman, who seemed now deafer than ever, Tom
Bassett again presented his flowers, which were
graciously accepted. Williams did not wait for the
old woman's answer, but was, the same moment,
at Jessie's side again, looking daggers at the free-and-





70 A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
easy young lawyer. With the air of a queen, Jessie
motioned the two to be seated. Bassett laughed
and talked with the most provoking ease and con-
fidence. In his eyes, evidently, Williams was a
rival not worth noticing. Jessie laughed at his jokes,
and seemed not to trouble herself about the other.
It was mortifying, it was provoking, it was enough
to make a saint swear, thought Williams. Here I
sit," thought he to himself, "like a fool, without
a word to say for myself! If he were to speak, he
knew that his voice would betray his feelings-he
wished his rival at the devil. We beg our readers'
pardon, but it is truth; he did so, and he wished
more than that-that he could challenge him, and
put a bullet through his body. It was a most
uncomfortable time to him. He called Bassett an
ass-a stupid, conceited ass-in his own mind; and
perhaps he might have been excited to call him so to
his face, if the old woman, who had finished her
work, had not got up, and shaking out the gown,
said it was now ready, and as it was five o'clock, the
gentlemen had better both take their departure.
" Did they hear she repeated, as if she thought
them as deaf as herself.
They both rose, and Jessie offering a hand to each
at the same moment, curtseyed them a graceful
adieu.
I must say a word to you," whispered Williams,
as Bassett left the room.
"To-night, after the play. I do not act in the
after-piece," said she, hurriedly, and closed the door
upon him. But that was enough; he wanted no
more; he felt as if wings had at once sprung from his
shoulders.





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.


The patten-maker sold tickets for the play, and
the words that he heard after the parlour-door had
shut were, "ten box-tickets for to-night."
The patten-maker counted out the tickets, and
Bassett, who had drawn forth a handsome scarlet
purse with gold rings from his pocket, laid down
a guinea, and without waiting for the change,
drew on his gloves, and pocketed his purse and the
tickets.
Ten box-tickets," said Williams to the patten-
maker, who looked as if he had expected it; and
thinking of a bootmakers bill, for the payment of
which he had received money from his aunt, drew
forth a very modest little brown purse, which Miss
Dorothy Kendrick had netted for him, and paid for
his tickets with a half-guinea, a half-crown, five
shillings, and four sixpences; the coin looked quite
beggarly, and the purse was left so empty that the
rings slid off as he put it again into his pocket. But
he was not going to trouble himself just then on that
subject. Tom Bassett also stood on the door-step as
he went out, and drawing forth an eye-glass, con-
temptuously surveyed him from head to foot. Eye-
glasses, in those days, were not as common as now;
and Williams, though he felt stung, as it were, from
head to heel, hummed, with a gallant, careless toss of
the head, one of Jessie's favourite airs; and recollect-
ing how inconvenient any public quarrel would be,
or, in fact, any quarrel at all, as it would bring more
than he liked to the knowledge of his uncle, turned
upon his heel and walked down the street.
Now came the consideration respecting the ten
tickets, and he almost thought himself a fool fot
having bought more than one for himself. What


U1






7S A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
was he now to do with them ? He walked across
the fields towards the Dove-Bridge, and came to the
very wise conclusion, that two of them he would
keep, and the other eight, wrapping neatly in paper,
he would drop, on his return, in the market-place,
where they would be sure to be found. As to the
two that he retained, he would boldly confess the
having purchased them, and ask permission for
Reynolds and himself to go to the theatre that night.
He did as he had resolved; and, after just about
as much reproof as he expected from Mr. and Mrs.
Osborne, tea was hastened, and, grateful to his com-
panion for having obtained for him this unexpected
pleasure, Reynolds ran up-stairs to prepare his
toilet.
The little theatre was crowded, and the fair Jessie
was received most enthusiastically. Williams thought
her lovelier than ever in her quiet Quaker costume.'
All the town is in love with her," said he to his
companion; "and is she not an angel "
It was quite a brilliant night. The very gentry of
the town were there ; and there, seated between the
two daughters of the lawyer, sat Tom Bassett.
Williams was delighted, for with these two young
ladies he was quite secure for the night.
SAnd now, my dear, good fellow," whispered
Williams to his companion, just before the curtain
fell, "you must stand my friend. You will; promise
me you will !" said he, laying his hand on his arm,
and looking quite agitated. I am in love with
Miss Bannerman; she knows it; she loves me, too,
and has promised me a little interview this evening.
She is a very angel: she is a good girl, I assure you !
I love her as my life, and I am sure you will be my





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
friend. She does not act again to-night," continued
he, rapidly, and not allowing Reynolds time to speak,
"but you will stay the after-piece-it is the most
amusing thing in the world; and if I am not at home
by the time you are, don't let anybody miss me-.
and I'11 do as much for you any time !"
"But, Williams," began he. Williams, however,
did not wait to hear. The curtain fell, and he was
goLe.
He knew perfectly the back-entrance by which
Jessie would leave the theatre; and there, at the very
moment of time, stood she, wrapped in a cloak, and
attended by the old woman with a lighted lantern.
'Spite of the lawyer's daughters, there also was
Bassett, making a thousand protestations of regret
and chagrin at not being able to accompany her.
"She wants no escort," said WiBams, rendered
bold by his good fortune; I shall have that hap-
piness," and taking Jessie's little hand, which he
drew within his arm, he walked off triumphantly.
The jackanapes the conceited jackanapes 1"
exclaimed Bassett; but not imagining for a moment
that Jessie would give a druggist's apprentice the pre-
ference over him, he went back to the theatre laughing
to himself at the youth's ignorant conceit."
Williams walked off triumphantly with Jessie on
his arm, and the little old woman trudged beside them
with her lantern; but scarcely had they gone ten
yards when they were stopped by a man who put a
small paper into their hands.
What had they here? They stopped; and, by
the light of the lantern, read the words, printed
in great, black, awful-looking letters, Tax DooRr
OP TRE PLAY-HOUSE LEAD TO HELL!"
19





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.


"It's the parson's doing!" said Williams, shocked
at what he had read aloud, and, crumpling it in his
hand, threw it from him. He is a narrow-souled,
bigoted, methodistical fellow, who sets his face
against every kind of pleasure It is just like him!"
This little incident, however, seemed to throw no
gloom on him, after the first moment; so, leaving
them to their full enjoyment, we will return to Rey-
nolds, who was thrown, by his companion's sudden
desertion, into a state of the most complete perplexity.
Reynolds was a good-hearted fellow; he always
looked upon Williams as much older in worldly
experience than he was; he, himself, was a child in
comparison of him, a mere apprentice; whilst the
other had been, as it were, "out of his time" this many
and many a day. He had long known that Williams
would never extl in his business; he had neglected
the study of every branch of it ever since the first
glow of novelty was worn off. He was frank in his
confession about it; he hated business, and would
never do any more than he was obliged; yet the
impulses of his nature were often good and kind; he
knew his own weaknesses and acknowledged them,
and was quite willing that Reynolds should stand
a long way before him in the good opinion of Mr.
Isaacs. Reynolds really liked him, and had so con-
stantly and for so long done his work, and hidden
all his misdemeanors, and made up for his short-
comings, that Williams had the fullest confidence
that he would befriend him also in this instance.
Betray him he never would; and he would smuggle
him, safely and unseen, into the house, if he sate up
the whole night for it. Yes; that was all true. But
for all that, Reynolds was not at all pleased with the


74





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL. 74
position he was now placed in. This, then, was
what he had been brought for; he had been made
a cat's-paw of, and he felt vexed; besides this, he
was very honourable and religious in his principles
and notions; and the hurried and candid confession
of his companion had utterly shocked and confounded
him. For his part, he would as soon have thought
of falling in love with his grandmother as with a
player-for so he called her, not "actress," as
Williams did, let her be as beautiful as she might:
and then to make appointments with her at night;--
there was something quite frightful to him in it.
And all at once the whole scene before him lost its
attraction. It was a wicked place! that which they
had just seen performed was low and disgusting-a
burlesque, a coarse caricature! He was offended
-ashamed-angry with himself'r having been
amused;---and now this after-piece" was worse
and worse-there was not even the beauty of Jessie
Bannerman to set it off; the women were painted,
gaudy creatures; the men fit associates for them.
It was in this spirit that Reynolds sat out the
" after-piece."
When the company dispersed from the theatre,
there was not one man but three who distributed their
little printed papers. Everybody had one, some two
or three; and everybody, on reading them, exclaimed
-" This is Mr. Goodman's doing;" or This is the
parson's doing;" or We shall have a sermon against
the players on Sunday:'
And all these exclamations were right. There
was a sermon against them on Sunday, and a severe
one, too; and not alone against players and play-
houses, but against all playgoers, also. But before






75 A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
Sunday, the clergyman, who was one of the best of
men, although one of the most rigid, called on the
Osbornes, as he had been doing for some days on his
delinquent flock, to remonstrate with so respectable a
man, and so good a church-goer as Mr. Osborne, on
allowing his apprentices to frequent places of such
awful wickedness as theatres !
Williams was faint with apprehension lest the
clergyman knew also of his passion and his acquaint-
ance with the fair Jessie ; the patten-maker and his
wife knew of it; Tom Bassett knew of it; oh, it
must come out I He felt quite ill, and went into
the upper warehouse, looking like anything but a
bold lover, where he sat down on a resin-tub,
waiting for the judgment which he feared might be
at hand.
Mr. Osborne ~s a very good, kind-hearted man,
good to the poor, and charitable in the gospel-sense
of the word to all mankind. He thought players
bad, low people; but, for his part, he saw no use in
commencing a crusade against them. We should
never exterminate them, they would exist 'spite of
us; and people, he said, would go to theatres to be
amused. People must be amused; he saw no harm
in it at all. He had had some thoughts, he said, of
going himself; and as to his apprentices-why, if his
young men were good and steady, and attended to
their business, he thought it only right now and then
to give them a bit of pleasure. He had always done
so; he had been forty years in business; had had
about seven-and-twenty apprentices, all of whom,
for what he knew, had turned out well. He thought
that was a proof that his system was not a very bad
one; and with all respect for the clergyman, whom





A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL. 77
nobody respected more than he did, he must still bo
allowed to pursue his own course.
The clergyman used his strongest arguments; he
knew nothing as yet of Williams's affairs, or he
would have had a famous argument in his hand; but
still Mr. Osborne adhered to the very last to his own
opinions-perhaps even went a little beyond them in
opposition to what seemed the ultra opinions of the
other.
All this went on in the parlour, and Mr. Isaacs
and a customer, who was of the clergyman's way of
thinking, discussed the subject in the shop, whilst
Reynolds went on with his weighing and labelling
and pill-making, and thinking that they were right,
every word they said. He did believe all players,
men, women, and children, to be a wicked, low,
dissolute, unprincipled set of peopj and it was not
his intention ever to go near them again.
Next morning, before church, came Miss Joanna
Kendrick to beg that her nephew might go to
church. She was warmer even than the clergyman
had been, and really censured Mr. Osborne for letting
his young men go to the play-house. If she had
been asked, she said, she should have prevented it,
at least as far as her nephew was concerned. Mr.
Osborne could do just as he liked with regard to the
other.
Mr. Osborne felt quite vexed-for the first time in
his life vexed with Miss Kendrick. He repeated to
her what he had said to the clergyman about his
forty years' experience in business and the manage-
ment of apprentices ; but it was quite in another tone
of voice, and Miss Kendrick was hurt. She replied
warmly, and so did he; and really these two excel-
H2





78 A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.
lent people might have quite come to a quarrel had
not a note at that moment, from a physician, required
Mr. Osborne's particular attention.
This note was an awkward affair, indeed; such a
thing as this had never occurred before in the whole
forty years of Mr. Osborne's practice. He started
up, and, with the note in his hand, went into the
back-room, which was appropriated to Mr. Isaacs
and the young men.
SWho made up that prescription of Dr. Chawners,
yesterday?" asked he.
Mr. Isaacs considered for a moment, and then
replied that Williams had done it.
Williams was sitting there reading a volume of
Massinger's plays, which he had borrowed from
Anderson, one of the actors; he started, and looked
frightened. V, what of the prescription he
asked.
"Did you make that up yesterday?" asked
Mr. Osborne, in an angry tone.
SI did, sir," he returned, submissively.
"And how came you, then, to put in 40 drops
tinctura opii and 6 tinctura scills, instead of 6 drops
tinctura opii and 40 tinctura scille ? "
Williams could not tell, unless he had mistaken it.
Mr. Osborne swore-yes, actually on a Sunday
morning. Williams's answer had provoked him to
it. Mistaken a physician's prescription! What
the deuce did he mean by mistaking a physician's
prescription, or anything else He would be poison.
ing people some of these days; what had he learnt
his business for," &c., &c.
Never had Mr. Osborne, in all his forty years'
practice, been so angry as then. It was the first





DEEPER AND DEEPER.


time in his life that ever a mistake had been made at
his counter in a physician's prescription.
Williams knew well enough the cause of his
blunder-he krew where his thoughts had been
when he made up the prescription. He had not a
word to say for himself.
Mr. Isaacs, almost as vexed as Mr. Osborne, made
up the prescription, vowing with himself that he
never would put another into Williams's hands.
Mr. Osborne wrote the best apology he could to the
physician, and Williams sat all the morning reading
Massinger's plays.


CHAPTER VI.
DEEPER AND DEEPt.
TiE whole town talked of nothing but the players.
One half the inhabitants sided with the clergyman,
the other half with Mr. Maxwell's company. The
theatrical party was headed by the family of the
lawyer with whom was Tom Bassett; and this same
lawyer not only bespoke a play, but talked of giving
a supper to the principal performers.
The lawyer's daughters thought of nothing but
private theatricals; and Tom Bassett, who was hand
and glove with half the theatrical staff, as well as
desperately in love with the prima donna, borrowed
the actors' own copies of plays, and was au fait in
all that appertained to theatrical life.
On the other hand, among the persons most active
on the side of the clergyman, were the good Mis
Kendricks. It was as good as a sermon to hear
Miss Joanna talk; she really was more effective than


79





WI DEEPER AND DEEPER.
the clergyman, because she was less violent. He
talked of the theatre as the devil's house," called
theatricals the work of hell," and denounced all
such as, after thus being warned, wilfully aided and
abetted them, "as heirs of damnation." It was quite
awful to hear him talk. Miss Joanna, on the
contrary, spoke in love and tenderness, pitied the
"poor, benighted creatures," the players; who, she
said, were more to be lamented over than pagan
Hottentots, and she besought people, for the love of
their own souls, not to give them encouragement; nor
would she at all go the length that the clergyman
did, in saying that it would be a good thing if every
copy of Shakspeare had been burned publicly by the
hand of the hangman. No, Miss Joanna, in all her
zeal, talked like a tender-hearted Christian, and
people listened tdfer. But, spite of all that she said,
and spite of all the clergyman thundered forth, the
little theatre was crowded night after night. -
Mr. Maxwell, the red-faced manager, said that he
liked nothing so well as the opposition of a parson;
it always did the house good, and he did not know
whether he should not introduce Mr. Goodman some
night on the stage.
All this time the rivalry between Tom Bassett and
our apprentice went on as hotly as ever. Each
thought himself the favoured lover, yet still each
hated and feared the other. Between these two
young men, however, there was one great difference.
Bassett had plenty of money, Williams had none.
All that he had of his own had long been gone; the
pound that had been given to him by his aunt to pay
the poor bootmaker had been spent in tickets, as we
know. He had borrowed since then every farthing





DEEPER AND DEEPER.


of money from Reynolds, and which, being but a
scanty allowance, was always hoarded and husbanded
with the greatest economy. From Mr. Isaacs he
dared not borrow; nor, just then, when the memory
of his blunder was fresh in his mind, durst he ask
money from his uncle. There was, however, the
cash in the shop-safe. His uncle placed the greatest
confidence in him as regarded money-a great deal
more than Mr. Isaacs had done for a long time.
Shall I or shall I not I" questioned he with him-
self. Oh, how bad it is when we begin to parley with
principle !
No, I will not said he; but he said it feebly,
as if he were not at all sure-as if he wanted, if he
could, to deceive himself into a notion of his own
virtue. No, I will not! said he, again and again
-" at least, not to-day he should have added, to
be quite honest to himself.
The next week was Christmas week, and it had
been long an understood thing that Williams was to
have a holiday on Christmas-day: he ventured to
mention it to Mr. Osborne, spite of the unpleasant
'memory of the prescription. He had heard, he said,
how beautiful the gardens at Alton Towers looked in
the winter, with snow on the ground and hoar-frost
on the trees; he hoped he might be permitted to go
there on Christmas-day. He would be very indus-
trious," he said, in future;" and being once on the
subject, he launched out freely. He was so sorry,
so ashamed," he said, "of the blunder he had made.
Mr. Osborne had touched him so by his patience
and forbearance." Mr. Osborne, himself, thought
that he had not shown much; but so the young
man said-" and would he only grant him this


8r





5Z DEEPER AND DEEPER.
favour now, he would show how grateful he was:'
On Mr. Osborne plain, honest, straight-forward
man as he was, and with every tendency to the in-
dulgence of his nephew,-all this made the very
impression which was desired. Poor fellow,"
thought he, "he is so cut up about that blunder;
he has never looked like himself since-seems all in
a tremble and a dream; one must not be too severe
with him !"
"Yes, surely, he might go ;" but Mr. Osborne
could not imagine how there would be any pleasure
in going alone-could not Reynolds, too, have a holi-
day ? Williams, who did not by any means think
of taking a companion like Reynolds, reminded
Mr. Osborne that Mr. Isaacs went out on Christmas-
day, too, and Reynolds was to have his holiday on
Christmas-eve with his aunts.
Miss Kendricks had not been to the Osbornes' since
the little rencontre on Sunday morning; both they
and the Osbornes still let the little affair rankle in
their minds. It was that sort of quarrel which
sometimes the merest trifle occasions between friends,
and whether it shall be healed, or whether it shall
become a wide and lasting breach, depends upon one
or other of them on the first occasion of anxiety r
sorrow. As yet, however, that occasion had not
presented itself, and Reynolds went to spend Christ-
mas-eve with his aunts without being the bearer of
any message from Mrs. Osborne. Such a thing had
never happened before. The Osbornes, also, were
spending Christmas-eve out, and nobody was left at
home but Mr. Isaacs and Williams.
With Williams it seemed as if the crisis of his fate
were come; he had formed his own plans both for





DEEPER AND DEEPER. U
that evening and the morrow; as far as regarded that
evening, he had formed them in counsel with himself
and in desperation, and to the stifling of the voice
of conscience within him. "But what must be,
must," said he; go there with her I must and shall,
and to go I must have money."
His plans were, therefore, formed. Reynolds was
out of the way; his uncle was so, too; and he made
himself sedulously useful in the shop; he made pills,
and mixed emulsions for coughs and sold boxes of
issue-plaisters, and moved here and there with such
alacrity as astonished and delighted poor Mr. Isaacs,
who was racked that evening with toothache.
"Go and sit down by the parlour-fire," said
Williams, as the time for shutting up the shop
approached, "I '11 make up the books and see that
all is left straight, and you go and make yourself
comfortable."
Mr. Isaacs, well pleased to leave his post at the
desk, where a draught of cold air came in keenly
against his ailing tooth, went into the back-parlour,
and Williams had the shop all to himself. The
warehouse-boy put up the shutters, raked out the
fire, and was dismissed for the night. Williams
added up the day-book, counted the money in the
till, put three-and-sixpence in his pocket, and entered
the amount, minus this, in the day-ledger; and then,
unlocking the shop-safe with a trembling hand,
looked this way and that, and thought if Isaacs should
come in, or if Mr. Osborne should be returning early
by some chance, and peep through a crack of the
shutters. Oh, that miserable if! But why was he
so fearful! Alas, because he intended to take money
as he had already done from the till.





84 DEEPER AND DEEPER.
Once or twice before, Mr. Isaacs had found sonir
deficiency; Mr. Osborne had never even suspected it;
he would as soon have thought of his wife robbing
him as Williams.
The money was taken and dropped into the waist-
coat pocket; the safe was locked, and double-locked.
If he could have seen his own face at that moment
he would have started. But he did not; and, rallying
himself, he put out the shop-lights, and went into
the back-parlour, where the candles were burning
dimly with long, unsnuffed wicks, for poor Mr. Isaacs
was gone to bed.
There was nobody in the room; it was almost a
shock to be thus thrown, as it were, upon himself and
his own conscience.
Suppose," thought he to himself, "that, after all,
I have only taken silver, two shillings and sixpence;
should I then go back and change them, though I
know what a horror this stealing is? I wish one had
no need to do it !"
He put his hand into his pocket and drew the
money forth to the light. It was gold-two guineas
and a half. He- felt glad that it was so. The
next moment Reynolds returned--the gay, laughing,
unanxious Reynolds-Williams envied him his light-
ness of heart.
The next morning the church-bells rang; the sun
shone bright, and the slight covering of snow and
hoar-frost was like the festal garment of nature. The
houses were decked with holly and ivy, people were
moving briskly about-the whole town was merry;
even the paupers in the parish workhouse arose that
morning with cheerful expectation, for that day they
were to have roast-beef and plum-pudding for dinner.





DEEPER AND DEEPER. U&
Many people hired horses and gigs that day and
drove out into the country, so that there was nothing
at all remarkable in the circumstance of old Evans
driving one of his miserable hacks, which, however,
was made to wear its best looks that day, in one of
his smartest gigs, along the high street and half-a-
mile beyond the end of the town. Of this nobody
took any notice, and it was so contrived, also, that
nobody saw Williams, whose great-coat collar stood
up above his ears, whilst his hat was slouched over
his eyes, assist into the said gig Miss Bannerman,
dressed in a dark blue cloak trimmed with fur, and
a black velvet bonnet, and then take his seat beside
her, and drive off briskly. On they drove, and pre-
sently overtook two other gigs, in which were seated
five members, male and female, of the theatrical
corps, who, like them, were going to spend the day
in the gardens of Alton Towers. But as with these
other five persons we have very little to do, we shall
drop them for the present, and confine ourselves to
our young couple, just as if they were quite alone.
Williams was enraptured with his fair companion.
She looked lovelier than ever in that black velvet
bonnet; the walk in the clear winter air had brought
a colour to her cheek like that of the June rose. She
was, indeed, very lovely-but not with that vulgar
loveliness which alone consists of beauty of com-
plexion, hair as dark and glossy as "the raven's
wing," and dark, blue eyes, as soft as those of the
dove." These she had, it is true; but that which
constituted the real charm of her countenance was a
sentiment of tenderness, calm decision, and truth and
love. It was a face to fill with tears the eyes of any
beholder capable of appreciating qualities such as
I







these, in a being exposed to every temptation which
can assail beauty and taint the delicacy of woman.
Jessie Bannerman, though a "player-wench," as half
the town called her, was an extraordinary girl. She
knew her own personal worth, and her own dignity
as a woman, and she made her lovers feel it, too. It
is impossible to say what was the peculiar charm
which attracted her towards Williams, but to him she
had really given her affections ;-this she had never
denied, she was really in earnest in her love ;-and
Williams was never with her without feeling, as it
were, under the influence of a .superior nature. He
fancied that he adored her, that ho would have laid
down his life for her: he bought the pleasure of
being in her company at the expense of his own
probity; and yet he felt sure all the time that could
she have only known this she would have rejected
pleasure at such a cost.
Beautiful as were those magnificent gardens, which
are said to be laid out on the traditional plan of the
hanging gardens of Babylon, the lovers took but little
notice of them; he was engrossed by her, and she by
her own thoughts. At length they reached a pavi-
lion, which, lying in the full sunshine, was warm
almost as in summer. Here they seated themselves,
and Jessie, turning to the young man, said--
Now, we hav% had enough of flattery and non-
sense-we must talk seriously. You have talked
hitherto; you must now listen to me. My unhappy
family history, which you have heard, can only give
you the idea of me as of a creature sprung of
wretchedness and crime, to whom God has given, for
some mysterious purpose, remarkable gifts-gifts
worse than useless if I am to become only the poor


DEEPER AND DEEPE&


86





DEEPER AND DEEPERU 87
degraded being which my present life may seem to
foretell. But, Edward," said she, fixing her large,
calm eyes upon him, "it must not be so; our
destinies, after all, are, in great measure, in our own
hands; a spirit within tells me so, and that spirit
shall be my guide.
I have many lovers, but how few there are who
would marry such a one as me. I speak plainly,
Edward, for one of us must do so; and as I have so
much more experience in life than you, and under-
stand you better even than you understand yourself, I
speak to you openly. You talk of marriage: what
nonsense it is of you, who are as yet a boy, and do
not know even your own mind I believe that you
love me; but as yet you do not understand me per-
fectly, for you have seen only that which is idle and
trifling in me; but indeed I am capable of much that
is good and ennobling and valuable in life."
Oh, Jessie," said the young man impatiently, and
ready to throw himself at her feet, let us unite our
fates at once. 1 know what you are--I wish you
not other than you are-let me rescue you from a
fate which is unworthy of you! My aunt is good.
When she knows your excellence she will love you
as a daughter: they love me, but how much more
will they love you! "
All nonsense," returned Jessie; "you talk like
a child, as you are; you, that dare not even let
them know of our acquaintance, to talk thus! No,
no; we must have patience, and wait for the true
time. You must wait for me for five years."
I will go with you," interrupted Williams;
" what is all the world to me without you I I know
that I, too, have talents- I would be prompter





88 DEEPER AND DEEPER.
even, or candle-snuffer, or anything to be near
you! "
Jessie laughed and shook her head-" That would
never do," said she; that would not satisfy me.
My father," she continued, blames me for want of
ambition; but he mistakes me: I am ambitious--
ambitious of the greatest good which life can give,
and that is real love and domestic happiness I Not
such love as we act night after night, poor, unreal
love, all tinsel and glitter;-no, no, the love that I
mean is self-denying, long-suffering, unobtrusive, as
free to the poor as to the rich. Oh, Edward, I was
ill not long ago; the company went on without me,
and I and my good grandmother-for such she is--
remained in the house of a poor tailor. Would you
believe it, but it was truly in that house, and with
those humble people, that I first learned what true
love was, and what was the real meaning and worth
of life. Happiness there was a substantial thing, not
dependent on wealth or the world's favour, for of
these they had nothing; not wavering or uncertain,
according to the whim of the moment, but as real
and steadfast as life itself. Love was never talked of,
but they dwelt in its spirit; it was as if the atmo-
sphere of a better region filled the house; the children
were born in it, and breathed it as their native air,
and they were good and kind like their parents. A
light then broke in upon my rnind. My grandmother
saw and felt these things as I did;-she is not,
Edward, the deaf, stupid old woman which it is her
will to appear; but that is her secret-she and I
understand each other. The goal which I have set
before my ambition is a home of love, and my prayes,
Heaven knows, are, that I may be kept pure and





DEEPER AND DEEPER.


made worthy of it. This is, perhaps, my religion:
in the eyes of thousands of good people I am but as a
poor outcast child of perdition-worse than a pagan."
You are a real divine angel," exclaimed the young
man; Mrs. Osborne would love you-she must and
shall know you," cried he, for at that moment every.
thing seemed easy to him. When they know you
they will not oppose our union. I will steadfastly
stick to business; my uncle is not a poor man; he
will, I am sure, give me a share in his business. I
will work so hard for you, and we will be so happy.
I shall become good through you; I shall owe my
salvation to you !"
Amen !" said Jessie, solemnly; "but I, that am
wiser than you in some things, must guide you a
little. You are yet an apprentice-I am yet under
my father's control: a time will come when we shall
both be free. If you love me truly, you must wait
till then. Five years from now shall be our time
of trial. This is Christmas-day. You shall hear
from me on the fifth anniversary of this day, but
to me you shall not write. Five years from this
time our trial shall have ended. Can you be true
to me for so long ?-I know that I shall be true to
you !"
Lovers' vows sound foolish; therefore, we will not
write down the violent protestations with which
Williams responded to this singular proposal. He
swore that neither heaven nor earth could ever
change him-and at the time he thought so.

(For my part, I, that narrate this story, must here
put in, by way of parenthesis, that had I been present,
or had been in any way consulted, I should have
12


89






VU DEEPER AND DEEPER.
said that such a connection was of that doubtful
character, that, spite of Jessie's really superior nature,
the best thing would have been to have put an end
to the whole affair as soon as possible. But, as
neither I nor anybody else of great discretion was
present, the lovers made this compact, and then, the
rest of the party joining them soon afterwards, they
all adjourned to the village inn to dinner.)

It was as merry a dinner as ever was eaten by a set
of'poor players. They ate, and drank, and sung, and
told witty anecdotes, and were ten times freer and
easier than so many lords and ladies. The host and
the hostess came to the parlour door, and listened
and laughed too, and, spite of the really serious con.
versation which had passed between him and Jessie
in the garden, Williams caught the infection of the
company's mirth, and was as gay as any of them.
Something was said of Mr. Goodman, and Williams,
who had always maintained that he had some talent
for acting, began to mimic his grave and measured
way of speaking. His personation was called for
again and again, and he was declared quite a genius.
Bassett, they said, could not do it half as well. They
then revealed to him a secret. Anderson, who had
the talent for writing little comic pieces of one or two
acts, had written one called The Parson in Love,"
intended to ridicule Mr. Goodman: there was a
young actress in the piece, Lucinda, who was to
personate a puritan lady, Mrs. Tabitha Twiggem, who
was to inveigle the clergyman, and lead him into
endless fooleries. Jessie was to take this character
and Bassett was to take that of Parson Perfect-adA
.it was to be given out that he was a new actor from




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