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(fein XlJln@;Olt,HOW WE ALL GOT ON.BYELLINOR J. KELLY,AUTHOR OF "FRANCIE'S POCKET-MONEY," ETO."Let the child build his castles in the air; if the boy plays at nosuch architecture, the man will but grovel."LONDON:JOHN MORGAN, 10, PATERNOSTER ROW.
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EWIN LLOYD;HOW WE AL, GOT ON,ROW WE ALL GOT ON.-4--CHAPTER I.How we all got on! Am I right to call theinsignificant story of our youth by such a name?Or does it seem like beginning at the last chapter,which tells who married whom, and who did notmarry at all? winding up, nevertheless, with thefact that all the dramatis personac were to find lifego on serenely from that day onward. But, then,how many people do turn at once, on opening abook, to that last chapter of happiness-wiselysparing themselves the anxiety they might sufferif they began at the beginning and read straighton. So we believe that there is no reason to drawour pen through the title.And we have another reason for the name. Wehave faith in people " getting on;" not faith thatall do, but that the earnest, hopeful, and brave-spirited succeed in the end-those, we mean, wholook their difficulties in the face and set resolutely
2EWIN LLOYD; OR,to work them down; trusting to God, themselves,and their fellow-men; and not trusting God only,but trusting as Hezekiah did-taking their troublesand laying them all before Him, praying forHis help and guidance. Those who thus beginlife, and who thus meet its difficulties and trials,commonly do " get on." Yet we know right wellthat this "getting on" is often hard work forheart and head, to say nothing of the more ignobleflesh and blood; but when the paradise-land of suc-cess is gained, the repose is all the sweeter becauseof the toils and hardships by which it was reached.But this is a long preamble about a name.Pardon me, courteous Reader.My father was a small tradesman in a remotecountry town, and his life had been a struggle.He was the son of parents who had married un-wisely, or at least his mother had done so; herhusband was slightly her inferior in station, feeblein principle, and irresolute of purpose. Whethershe regretted her marriage or not I do not know;she died early, leaving a large family to be broughtup as such a father could; and this bringing upwas much like Topsy's: they grew-that issome of them, while others died in childhood-almost untended and uncared for.My father was the eldest of the survivors, andby honest efforts, which I shall not stay to tellhere, he struggled into an honourable independ-ence, and settled as a draper in the town of Weston,where he soon won the respect and confidence of
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.3all classes. In his case, the trials of boyhood andyouth had crushed out much of the evil of humannature, but I think destroyed also much of thathopeful buoyancy of mind which is an essentialelement of success; but to supply this defect therewas left an unconquerable spirit of perseverance,which enabled him to -work on amidst difficultiesand reverses.His chief object was to bring us up with goodhabits and sound principles, to put us forward in abetter position than his own, and to replace us inthe station from which his parents had fallen.Whether it was an advantage to us to have sprungfrom a better class of life, and to know that we didso, I can hardly say; but I imagine that a healthyambition is a good thing; and as all empty prideand weak efforts to outdo others by extravaganceor display were speedily checked, I think that thechief result of this knowledge was to give us aconscious self-respect, and to inspire us with anhonest wish to better ourselves as we grew up,My mother-I shall not say much about herhere-we all loved her; for though hot-tempered,she was passionately fond of her children, and (asis seldom the case with persons of such violentfeelings) she tried to train us well. But hers wasthe stronger will and the sterner voice in familycontroversies; and how many bitter tears wesecretly shed in our early years, when we with-drew from a sharp matrimonial controversy, shenever knew. These scenes my father commonly
4EWIN LLOYD; OR,avoided. Never, unless compelled by circum-stances that involved some principle or familynecessity, did he speak or act in opposition to mymother; never, when by quiet management hecould carry out his point without collision.But there was one bond of union-a commonchord such as often exists-and did we but knowit, or knowing, think more seriously of it, many,many angry words would be smoothed over, orperhaps not spoken at all. This was, a true andhonest purpose to live to God; perhaps with myfather more a principle, with my mother a feeling;but still there it was in both, a strong under-cur-rent in their lives.These were the impressions that dimly dawnedupon me when I was about ten years of age; andI could not have been much more when I under-stood that our business had been for some time onthe decline; for we depended chiefly on the farmingpopulation, and for some time there had been asuccession of bad harvests. There had once been anidea of educating my eldest brother for the Church,but this was no longer talked of; and perhaps itwas better so. Even to have gained the moderateamount of learning required at a TheologicalCollege would have been a tremendous effort;for the schools we attended were inferior, and therewere none better in Weston. Besides, he had beenaccustomed to business from his earliest years;his play had been to keep his own little shop,where he retailed threads and tapes to the cus-
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.5tomers, who, for the most part, humoured thechild, and, though doubtless at the cost of somepatience, bought their lesser wares from the smartlittle boy who was thus early initiated into business.My two eldest sisters were twins, and, like my-self, were of a more studious turn, and were, there-fore, called clever. But with Martha, the senior,books were for leisure hours. She soon began toserve in the shop and help my mother with theyounger children, and, in short, to make herselfuseful wherever she was needed; and this alwaysso cheerfully, that it began to be established thatshe liked to do the unpleasant things, because shedid them when no one else was willing to do so.She sometimes good-humouredly resisted theassertion, but they were still done by her-nay,left for her to do by common consent.Phoebe was more wilful, and fond of managingus younger ones, if not the elder too. She hadsome tact and some pretty ways, and was thegeneral favourite for sunshiny hours; but now,when I look from a distance of perhaps twentyyears, I see how the quiet and unselfish Marthahad a thousand good qualities which we all over-looked, because she overlooked them herself; everready to thrust her wishes into a corner, and followthe straight way before her.One evening in summer they came home fromtaking tea with one of our neighbours, both burst-ing with intelligence, which Phoebe, as usual, wasthe first to tell.
6EWIN LLOYD; OR,"0 mamma, do you know there is going to bea new school here ?-such a nice one; quite a lady-school, and so cheap. You know papa oftenwished there was a better school for us to go to.Mary Collins is to go, and she told us all aboutit. It will begin on Monday week, and we doso much want to go to a nice school.""I don't know," answered my mother, "andI can't attend to you now; you see baby is notto bed yet."" Where's papa ? we must tell him.""You'll do no such thing," said my mothera little sharply; " most like he's at his accounts;and at all events he won't settle it in such ahurry.""No; we don't want to be in a hurry," saidMartha quietly; " shall I put baby to bed?" andshe reached her arms to a child of two years oldwho sat on my mother's knee.He toddled over to her at the signal, whilePhoebe said, "0 yes, do, Martha; then motherwill have time to hear all about it "-it meaningthe new school.Off went Martha, and Phoebe began to managemy mother, prepared to meet all the difficultiesthat might arise; and these were not a few."Well, mamma, papa always says he willgive us the best education he can; he says heis often sorry he had not more schooling whenhe was young, and that education is the bestfortune that people can have."
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.7"It is not only the schooling, child-you'llhave to be nicely dressed.""Oh, I don't care about that, and I knowMartha don't either.""But you wouldn't like other girls to laugh atyou, or keep away from you because you werenot as good as they?"Phoebe gave a twinge. She had spoken with-out thought. Martha could have faced this;she certainly could not. But she was equal tothe emergency. "I can easily turn my twocommon dresses, and I am sure papa will letme have a new bonnet-ribbon from the shop.You know I want to get on with my learning;"then, looking archly at my mother, "you'd beproud of me if I was to turn out clever."This was enough. My mother did not answer;I knew, nevertheless, that Phoebe had gained herpoint."And Mrs. Ellis teaches Italian too," sheadded, seeing her advantage."Music and French will do very well for peoplelike us," returned my mother." But if I was a governess-you know I wantto be-and perhaps papa will manage to putEwin into the Church (this was myself). Youknow we ought to be ladies and gentlemen.""Not by my side; and-" But at themoment my father entered, and discussion onthe last subject was prevented, by Phcebe return-ing to her object and directing her attack upon
8EWIN LLOYD; OR,him. Her excitement had subsided, and shewent more coolly into details."That sounds well," said he quietly, whenshe had ended. "We must think about it; butremember, business has not been so good for along time, and we must not go beyond what wecan afford; but I will make inquiry about theschool, and try to send you both."I was sure now that they would be sent to thisgrand school, where they were to learn all sortsof lady-like accomplishments. But the conver-sation had given a form to vaguely conceivedideas in my own mind. "Perhaps papa willmanage to put Ewin into the Church." Thesewords came back upon me. I had never dis-tinctly thought what I was to be or not to be, butI felt suddenly inspired with an ambition to rise-rise to what, I did not say-it may have beento a bishopric, or even to the primacy; greatthings flitted before my imagination. Then camemy father's words, "business has not been sogood for a long time," but they did not fall witha chill upon my sudden aspirations; perhaps Icould do for myself what he could not do forme.From that moment I became conscious of aspirit of self-help; and though I have neverreached the primacy-nay, have never been inorders-the ambition that was then stirred, andthe energy that it awakened, have served mewell. I aimed high. I was young, almost a
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.9child, and my aim was all but indefinite; buthad I not aspired to something beyond my reach,in the struggles which followed I might havesunk lower, socially and morally, in the scale oflife than at the time I was.But I said nothing, and soon began to wonderwhether Mirtha cared to go to school; she hadnot even asked to do so. After a short time Ifollowed her to what we called the children'sroom-we did not aspire to a nursery proper.Baby was asleep, and she was sitting by the openwindow, enjoying the fresh air, and looking outinto a garden, small, but neat."What a nice evening!" she said, as I entered;"do come here and see how pretty it looks in thetwilight; and how sweet the scent of the flowers."I went over to the window. She placed herhand upon my shoulder-" Isn't it nice. Only don'tspeak loud, baby is going to sleep."It was delightful; and for a while I forgot whatI had come to say; till, after a few minutes'silence, I suddenly asked, "Don't you want to goto school, Martha?""0 yes, very much.""Yet you never asked !""I don't know whether papa can send us;business is not very good." She looked thought-ful, almost sad, for a moment; the cares of lifehad already fallen upon her." You don't care as much for books as Phoebe,"I said, feeling sure that I was right.
10EWIN LLOYD; OR,"I am very fond of reading."" She reads much more than you do.""She has more time; I can help in the shop,and help mother."" I thought you did not care much for books ?"" I must not care. But why do you ask all this ?""Only because I thought you did not want togo to school. Did you ever hear papa say Iwas to be a clergyman ?" I added abruptly."No, never. I believe he hoped to makeLawrence one once, when we were better off.""And he can't now ?""No, it would take too much money; besides,Lawrence would not be fit for one-not exactly.""He's a very good boy, but I suppose heshould know so much and-" Martha couldnot make it clear either to herself or me whyLawrence was not fit to be a clergyman now." I dare say it is very nice to be one," I saidslowly, after a short pause."Yes, I suppose so."" They are always so good, better than everyone else. Can other people be as good?""I don't know, but I think they can, at leastsometimes; I am sure papa is as good as Mr.Wickham.""Would I do for a clergyman ?"" I don't know," said Martha, smiling. "Evenif you were good enough, you should be clever, Isuppose, and very well educated; they seem toknow everything."
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.11"Yes, that must be very hard. But it wouldbe so nice to be good-and they must be, for theytry to make people good.""So do others. You know papa tells us thatevery one can help others. I don't know how,but I dare say w.) shall know when we are older.I suppose if we wish to do good God shows usthe way."She pronounced the last words almost in awhisper. Very seldom did the Sacred Namepass her lips-never but when we were talkingvery quietly, nor when more than two or three ofus were together."It would be nice to make people better.There are some very naughty boys at school Ishould "At the moment my father entered the room,and I stopped. He commonly went up to seethe younger children when they were in bed;the door was open, and as he came in softly, hehad overheard part of our dialogue."Every one may do this, my boy," he said,laying his hand upon my head, " though allperhaps in different ways. If you always holdout bravely against what is wrong, and set agood example, remembering that you must tryto do honour to your Master's name, and not beafraid of what people may say, be very sure thatthis will do good to others. We cannot make theworld holy--only God's Spirit can touch ourhearts-but all can set a good example." Then
12 EWIN LLOYD; OR,going to the beds where the little ones wereasleep, he bent down and kissed them each, Ibelieve always silently asking a blessing upon thesleeping children. IHe then returned to us, andsaying that it was supper-time, led the way down-stairs."Now," thought I, "Martha will ask to besent to school;" but to my surprise she did notmention the subject.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.13CIIAPTER II.SUPPER with us was a very simple meal, as weseldom indulged in anything more luxurious thanbread and cheese or butter-not both of the latter-sometimes a little milk; on very rare occasionsof extra fatigue some beer. My father had nevertaken " the pledge," but he was practically anabstainer, and brought us up in his principles andpractice-a branch of our education which has donefor us more than book-learning could have donewithout it.Notwithstanding the absence of dainties, we alllooked forward with pleasure to supper-time, asthe one social, undisturbed hour in the day. Myfather was warm-hearted and genial, and, till theembarrassments of his business began to depresshim, was commonly cheerful. He possessed, too,a refinement of mind, which enabled him to turnthe family chit-chat into a pleasant and improvingchannel. He was not, indeed, well educated,though had he been he would doubtless haveprofited by his opportunities; for I believe hewas naturally better fitted for the pursuit of lite-rature than of business. But business was hiscalling, and he applied himself diligently to it;
14EWVIN LLOYD; OR,and, if not rewarded with success, his failure wasowing to unfavourable circumstances, and not towant of zeal or industry.My mother, on the contrary, was more homely;and her mirth, sometimes noisy, though nevercoarse, was always well received by our littleparty. This evening she was in high goodhumour. She rallied my father, who was morethoughtful than usual, upon his serious face; thenturning to me, laughed at my grave counte-nance.The remark roused me to the discovery that Ihad been mentally looking at myself in our parishchurch, draped in hood, stole, and surplice, read-ing the lessons of the day to our admiring towns-men, and anon preaching an eloquent and stirringsermon to my envious schoolmates; and all to theimmense satisfaction of my worthy parents andour household generally." Eh, mamma?" I said, starting."What a brown study !" returned my mother;"a penny for your thoughts-come, Ewin.""People never get the penny," I answered."You shall," said my father, taking up the joke."I can't tell-I don't quite know," were mywords, and I felt myself reddening." Never mind, Ewin," said Martha, coming tomy help; "I guess them; and you need not beashamed nor afraid of my telling," she added, asI looked at her with alarm."What is this wonderful news you have
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.15brought from Mary Collins?" asked my father,turning to Martha." No great news-or, at least, I am afraid notfor us. It is about a new school, a very niceone;" and then she told what she had heard onthe subject.My father listened without interrupting her,and even checked Phcebe, who attempted to addher amendments." I should like to send you both, if possible,"he said, when she had finished; "you will allhave to make your own way through life, perhaps.I once thought I could do better for you thanseems likely; but we must not build upon per-hapses.""That's always your way," interposed mymother, looking annoyed; "you always look atthe dark side."My father's brow contracted, and a look oftrouble came over his face, and we dreaded one ofthose unhappy altercations that hindered ourhome from being the bright place it might other-wise have proved."No, mamma," he returned, quietly trying toavert the storm, " but we must look at probabili-ties. As we cannot give our children money, wemust give them the best education we can, and itmay be a better provision in the end."" Of course I mean to give them a good educa-tion (my mother always used the first personsingular, my father commonly employed the more
16EWIN LLOYD; OR,collective we). I shall see about the school assoon as I have time; I suppose there is no hurryto do so to-night."My father wisely made no answer, while Phcebe,looking very eager, said, "I should so like to begoverness; wouldn't you, Martha?""I should like learning myself; but I don'tknow whether I could teach or not.""I know I could, and I should like it too,"answered Phoebe quickly. She did like managingothers, and generally succeeded in doing so, too." No, no, girls; no child of mine shall ever bea governess," said my mother, " none of you shallbe snubbed by grand folks. It's not the place fortradesmen's daughters.""You have a right to be better," said myfather in a low voice, as if thinking aloud; "youhad no right to be only tradesmen's daughters ;"then, after a pause, "no, perhaps it would bewiser not-but they might keep a good school forpeople like ourselves."" I should like that," said Martha quickly, andexchanging a look with me." We may all better ourselves, and I hope weshall," said Lawrence; " we need not lie on theground like logs that can't lift themselves.""I hope you're not setting up to be a clergy-man," said my mother; "my grandmother usedto say, 'Set up for a silk gown, and you'll getthe sleeve of it.' Set up to be a bishop, Lawrence,and you may be a parish clerk or a pew-opener.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.17I don't want you all to be setting up for greatthings, to fail at everything."" 0 no, mother," answered Lawrence, cheer-fully. "I'm not going to aim so high. I'vebeen brought up to business, and I'll keep to it;but if I was brought up a chimney-sweep, I'd tryto reach the top of the ladder."" Quite right, my boy," cried my father, and weall echoed the approval; even if you don't reachthe top, you'll get higher up than if you were con-tent to stay at the bottom till some one lifted youup a step or two. Only remember there is anotherladder that we must all try to climb; rememberJacob's Laddel, and that this world is not all. Idon't want to check your young hopes and efforts,but never forget the world beyond the grave."It was my father's way to throw in a few wordsof advice or warning as he saw occasion; and itwas so done that we did not shrink from theadmonition, as I, at least, often did when comingfrom so-called wiser men. Perhaps the differencewas that my father spoke from the experience ofhis heart, not with the mere wisdom of the head,which is so often only borrowed lore. My mother,too, felt their force; the common chord had beentouched, she did not again check any of our eageraspirations, and the rest of the evening passedpleasantly away-we, the juniors, raising tinycastles, to the building of which the older heartsand heads lent their aid.And why should they not have done so ? Surely,cI
18EWIN LLOYD; ORt,if the young indulged in no such architecture,many a bold enterprise would never have beenachieved, many a priceless invention never con-ceived or accomplished. It may often need but amore experienced head to give solidity and con-dense, at least, a portion of the air. When thestrained eye of Columbus saw the first cloudystreak of the Western Hemisphere, who knows buthe may have looked back upon some cloud-builtcastle of his boyhood; and perhaps his heart leapedup to God, to thank Him for the realization of hisdream.Of this, at least, my own experience assures me,that had our young aspirations been checked orjeered at, the hard battle we have had to fightwould have been fought in vain; and as I lookback now, I find that in the very instances whereI have felt my powers strongest they have at timesall but failed me, from the effect of some heartlesstaunt or discouraging advice; and though I havefinally overcome the difficulty, the obstacles ap-peared tenfold from the moment that pooh-poohedmy purpose. Perhaps it was from an instinct thatit would be so that, even in boyhood, I was oftenclose and reserved except to the few who, I felt,would feel with me; and one of these last was mysister Martha.IIIiiIi- iII
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 19CHAPTER III.Mns. ELLIS, the new schoolmistress, was one ofthose people whom once seen we seldom forget.Her features were not handsome, and she was nolonger young; but there was a nobility of expres-sion in her face which more than compensatedfor the absence of beauty and youth. Evidentlyclever, the look of talent, which is often unat-tractive in women, was softened by tokens ofgrief and resignation; and some great strength ofmind must have been needed to bear the burdenswhich had fallen upon her-some few, perhaps,the result of want of judgment in domestic diffi-culties; the greater part brought upon her by theerrors of others, with whose fall she was involved.I will briefly tell, that of several children one onlysurvived, and he was a prodigal, following in thefootsteps of his father, who now, broken down incircumstances and constitution, had no longereither health or ability to support himself or her.In a few days it was arranged for my sistersto attend her school; and it would be hard to saywhether they were more pleased than wereLawrence and myself, as we determined to getsecond-hand benefit from their instructions. He
20EWIN LLOYD; OR,said they must give him French lessons in theevening."It might help me," he said, "if I wanted toget into a large house of business as a clerk, oranything that way-he was not clear how; butwe had all been constantly taught that educationwould help us to help ourselves. My imagina-tion also took a leap; I would learn French andmusic, from a vague idea that they would in someindefinite way put me on the road to holy orders;if clergymen know everything, I concluded thatthese accomplishments must be part of the every-thing they knew.But an unlooked-for difficulty arose. We werenot very quarrelsome children, but we were by nomeans perfect; little contentions and jealousiessometimes arose, and though not always smoothedover immediately, they were never of long dura-tion; for we had been taught to love each other,to bear and forbear. Now it was discovered thatMartha could badly be spared from the shopduring the afternoon.Lawrence had been attending evening classes,and he was commonly allowed two hours onalternate afternoons to prepare for his master,the only leisure he had had for a year or more.Both he and Martha could not readily be dis-pensed with, and here came a clash. It was allvery well to spare Martha in the forenoon, whensome of her household tasks could be donebeforehand, and others postponed or thrust into
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.21a corner. But this would not do for customersand business.Very meagre, indeed, were Lawrence's studies;but such things are great or small according tocircumstances; and perhaps if aught was wantingto prove the scanty nature of our education,the constant recurrence of our thoughts to thesubject would have been proof enough. Theywho live in the midst of abundance do notconstantly talk of providing for their daily bread,they take it as a thing of course; so they whohave been regularly taught from childhood taketheir education as a thing of course, withoutgiving the subject much thought or care.Yet our difficulties had one advantage, and nosmall one; they taught us to value what so manychildren despise or turn from. They gave us thehabit of seizing opportunities and turning themto advantage; and this is often more to the purposethan all the learning of universities, if pursuedwithout an object.The first week of the new arrangements did notpass without some scenes between ourselves, I fearnot without some inconvenience to customers. Imust tell one of the latter, as Lawrence so oftenspoke of the lesson he gained by it. He had justserved a customer, and was going out of the shopto take his accustomed leave, when anotherentered; my father and the two assistants wereengaged, and this lady was evidently in a hurry,and he was summoned to serve her.
22EWIN LLOYD; OR,Her shopping was of that kind that expendstime without leaving much money, and which Ibelieve buyers dislike as much as sellers. PoorLawrence! his patience was sorely tried, and Ifancy he must have betrayed some irritation.But at last the lady reached the end of her list,the little parcel was made up, and Lawrence wasabout to escape from the shop, when she sud-denly recollected three other things that had notbeen on her list." You are in a hurry ? " she said, as he jerkeda drawer of penny ribbons from its place and setit upon the counter."Yes, no," he answered, and then tried toapologize by saying he had an engagement for thattime. (He always considered his appointmentswith himself as engagements; it might be wellthat such a practice was more general.)"You are right, then, to respect your engage-ments, but (I am not quite ignorant of business)while you serve in your father's shop, at your age,you can scarcely have any engagement so importantthat it should interfere with your attention to yourcustomers."" I beg your pardon, ma'am-what can I showyou next ?"" Some cottons. I have an appointment, too,and I am also in a hurry. Answer me one ques-tion honestly: do you not think that ladies havetheir time quite at command-that they can dowhat they like, and do it when they like ?"
"You are ini a hlr-r ? "- she said, as he jerked a drawerof penny ribands frvm its place.-Page 22.
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HOW WE ALL GOT ON.23" Yes, ma'am, I thought so-I think so-I sup-pose they can.""When you are older you will perhaps knowthat they cannot. I am sorry I have detainedyou.""I beg your pardon, ma'am-I have beenrude. What may I show?-my business canwait-it is only my own affair.""Then remember that our engagements areonly our own affairs; they may sometimes wait withjustice, and must sometimes do so. Thank you-I have got what I wanted."And Lawrence did remember the lesson.By degrees, however, all inconvenience passedoff, and things found their own places, as they willdo sometimes when left to themselves; and we allderived indirect advantage from what my sisterslearned. Lawrence and I picked up a little French,not very badly pronounced; for Mrs. Ellis was noquack-what she taught she taught truly and fromthe foundation. A happy chance, which I havenever traced, threw a Latin grammar in my way;and this employed some of the time which I mighthave wasted or not upon music. I picked up alittle knowledge of the language then, and laterI added a little more; and though this smatteringof two tongues, a living and a dead, has not raisedme to the episcopal bench, it helped to expand mymind and give solidity to my thoughts, and thushelped me to earn my bread and butter.I had some advantage over my brother and
24 EWIN LLOYD; OR,sisters in being a few years younger, and thereforenot only able to go regularly to school, but atliberty to employ the intervals of school in prepa-ration and study if I chose. But study is toogrand a name. My lessons learned, I spent manyhours in reading; but without the choice or selec-tion of older heads, my reading was very generaland excursive. I borrowed books from whoeverwould lend. A book was a book, and as such wasdevoured with greediness; and though I wouldnot recommend others to follow this example, ifthey can find fit guides to direct their choice ofbooks and order of reading, still to a boy in myposition it proved of value. I gained much generalinformation-irregular and ill-ordered, it is true,but the corrective of a steady occupation and defi-nite purpose came in time.
IIOW WE ALL GOT ON.25CHAPTER IV.As Christmas approached a look of anxietygrew fixed upon my father's face; my mother'sjests were fewer, and sounded forced, even to uswho were young enough to laugh easily; theungracious bickerings grew more common, whileshe failed not often to remind my father that ifhe had known more about business and cared lessabout books, they would not now be on the wayto ruin.These were hard words, and unjust. If myfather was by nature more fitted for learning thanfor business, he yet never neglected the latter,either for books or amusement,-no, not even forneedful recreation; and now, when I look back,I feel assured that these depressing remarks wentfar to break his spirit, and hindered him seeinghis way clearly through the difficulties that werearound him, and the ruin that was impending.Ruin! How lightly do we use the word! Yethow little do we realize what ruin is until thecrisis comes, the thunder-clap that overthrows thetottering edifice by a single blow! We see thetower crumbling to pieces, we know that thefoundation is undermined; yet when the bolt has
26EWIN LLOYD; OR,descended, the lightning struck, and the turretfalls, we start back amazed, as if we had expectedit to last for ages." Ruin " my father repeated, "let us trust toGod to spare us from this; we must trust, Sarah,even when things look worst."" Yes, yes; that's very well, and no one can saythat I was ever afraid of anything I had to face "-(yes, my mother was very fearless, and I havesince learned to think that very managing womenoften are; those, I mean, who manage others,whatever they may do in this way for themselves)-" but we need not bring troubles on ourselves.""No," said my father, deprecatingly, "wemust try and stave off this if possible; there maybe a better harvest next year.""0 yes-always next year's harvest; but cus-tomers won't wait for that. Didn't Mrs. Newton(she's our best customer) leave the shop becauseyou hadn't a new pattern among your winterdresses?""I told her I'd have some down for her tochoose from in a few days."" As if people liked to wait two or three daysfor what might not suit them after all. When Iwas young, people used to lay in their stock forthe season, and then customers had goods tochoose from, and didn't need to walk out of theshop and get what they wanted elsewhere."" And so used we in better times, Sarah. Butwhat if the wholesale dealers refuse to-"
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.27"Oh, ho! it's come to this pass, is it, and Iknew nothing about it? I'm always kept in thedark, and no good ever comes of secrets. I knewthere was something astray; and you were hidingthis good news from me. So this is it, is it?Pretty business this, indeed, and me to knownothing about it! "" I did not want to make you unhappy, Sarah,about what cannot be helped," returned my father,very quietly." 0 yes, as if I didn't know that you hideeverything you can from me."But at this moment a noise of falling furniturewas heard; a cry followed, and my mother hurriedto the adjoining room. Teddie, with a knife inhand, had climbed upon a table, from which hehad fallen, oversetting a chair as he did so. Thechild was both bruised and severely cut. Thewhole tenor of my mother's thoughts waschanged; her better nature-and the better was thelarger part-was called into play. She was nowloving, caressing and gentle with the sufferingbaby, yet prompt, and without flurry or excitement."0 Edward, dear, do look," she said quietlyto my father, who had followed. "Poor littleTeddie!-such a gash! Hold this basin, dear,till I wash off the blood. What a good thingthat we were both at hand ""A good thing that you were, mamma; Ishould not have known what to do. You couldhave helped yourself without me."
28EWIN LLOYD; OR,My mother was not a person to apologize oradmit an error; but she generally did so in-directly. For a moment her hand was placedupon my father's, and a quiet smile passed overhis face. I believe she could have made himvery happy; we often feared that it was other-wise. But I must let this pass: enough that thepresence of children rarely checks the utteranceof words which should not be spoken beforethem.I need not detail a history of cuts and bruises.Every one knows that they are necessary atten-dants upon the upbringing of the genus homo, andthat a certain amount of these disasters must bestruggled through; the faculty, so called, maytell the consequences of these casualties upon theframe of the developed man-the future told (ifany of our readers are curious on the subject)how, in the face of all mischances, Ted grew upsound in mind and body, and as well able asmost others to take his part in life.Do you ask, Why, then, have I made mentionof a baby's fall? To show my mother's wholecharacter. I write my own story, and I mustwrite the truth. One side of a tale is often false-hood. The character and actions of our parentsare part of our history. These moments of sharpwords and jibing taunts roused bitter feelings inmy boy-nature-probably to the reader, too, theyspoke cruelly to my mother's disadvantage; hertenderness over Ted, and her soft words to my
IOW WE ALL GOT ON.29father, effaced the impression made upon my mind;I should wish them to do the same on his.But when Ted was duly patched, kissed, com-forted, and put to bed, the interrupted discussionwas renewed, though now in a different spirit.With a perplexed look, that was not common toher, my mother asked if it had really been impos-sible to lay in the usual stock of winter goods." Nearly so," was the reply; " even in summerHewitt made some difficulty about sending downour orders. They have a heavy account againstme-I dared not increase it; and so we could onlyhave a small supply from Tompkins and Pike."" But we shall lose custom if we have nothingto show."" We have done that already, I fear; but whatis to be done?"" One thing is certain, it won't do to be afraid.We must make our windows look smart, and keepour shelves filled too. If you're always afraid toventure anything, matters will soon grow worseand worse."" I know it, I feel it; but we must not riskother people's property to keep our own headsabove water.""Of course not; but every one in trade mustrun certain risks.""My risks must be my own," said my father,using the singular pronoun, as he seldom didexcept when a matter of conscience was in ques-tion. " My risks must be my own; with my eyes
30 EWIN LLOYD; OB,open, I will not hazard the property of any man.Hitherto I had hoped to battle out the storm; nowit looks very doubtful, and no one shall suffer anyloss by me that I can help.""And will you see your children brought tobeggary ? "" I would not spare them from it by dishonesty."My mother was about to add a warm rejoinder,but my father went on, " nor would you, Sarah-you would no more do so than I would;" and sothe thrust was parried."No, whatever comes, they shall never have toblush for their parents," she said."Norfor each other, Ihope," continuedmy father.We looked at our parents, and at one another;and even the youngest capable of understandingfelt, I believe, a conscious thrill of pleasure in thethought that we would do good too, and reflectgood upon each other. My father went on, " Onlydon't trust to yourselves; remember that Godalone can keep you frbm going astray. A spirit ofworldly honour goes a good way, but it does notlast out all the chances of life; it will not supportunder all temptations: you must have a higherstandard than this-the standard that God hasgiven. Follow one rule-as far as possible, neversay or do what you would wish to hide.""This is what Iand your father have done allour lives," said my mother." Nay, Sarah, I hope it is what we have tried todo; God only knows how grievouslyI have failed,"
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.31isaid my father. "Now we must bring our honestyinto practice; some change must be made. Ithink we must part with one of our assist-ants.""The shop will look so poor, and we shall losemore custom if we do."" There is not employment for those we have;and I can scarcely pay them. It will.be an effortto meet the salary of even one."Lawrence and my sisters looked troubled; per-haps they thought they must give up school andstudy. The conversation depressed my own spirits,but I still built castles in the air, and formed someimpossible plans of great things by which I couldhelp out the threatened difficulties. Family affairshad always been freely discussed before us, there-fore in a few practical things our minds weremature for our ages; while in knowledge of theworld, and the ways of life and society, we weremore ignorant than many younger than ourselves,who had been brought up in great towns, or thanmany, our inferiors in age and station, are now inthese railway times, when every one has beeneverywhere and seen everything.But my father continued: "We shall beginstock-taking in a fortnight, so we need decide onnothing till then. I hope I shall not have to takethe children from school.""0 no, papa! I hope you won't do that!"exclaimed Phoebe. "Mrs. Ellis says we aregetting on so well; she says I shall make a goodS
32EWIN LLOYD; OR,teacher-I asked her if I should. I couldn't bearto leave school."" Martha would mind it less," said my mother,"if one must leave."" I wish I could get into some house in Londonor Manchester," said Lawrence; "there's no usegoing on here always."" No, no," cried my mother, "I hope I needn'tlose my children, while we have all enough to doat home.""They won't be always children," said myfather; " even if we can keep on our business, theymay do better elsewhere.""Yes, there you are again-always preachingabout bettering ourselves; and I don't see muchbetter that has come of it."My mother's great wish was to have herchildren always about her, and she shrank fromthe separation that years must bring. It is notoften well that grown-up children should live toolong under the parental roof; perhaps the stormwas sent to scatter us and to heal the great homewound
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.33CHAPTER V.CHRISTMAS came and went heavily and sadly.The season was mild and unhealthy; sickness anddeath had been busy in the town and neighbour-hood. Others, besides ourselves, suffered from thedepression of business, though perhaps we the most.Christmas-day 184-! Shall Idescribe it? Wetand muddy without, sad and gloomy within!Protected by umbrellas and cloaks, my father andwe four elder ones got to church, where the dimlight of day scarcely made its way through thedark stained windows; and the two lights thatburned upon pulpit and reading-desk only con-trasted miserably with the twilight of noon.The worshippers were few, and the clergyman,worn out with attendance upon the sick, and hoarsewith cold, languidly went through the services ofthe day.My mother had stayed at home to take care ofthe little ones and the house, and we returneddamp and chill to find the parlour fire nearly out;for the great economy of the time did not suffer usto enjoy abundant fires-besides, to those who hadnot been chilled by the wet the day did not feelcold. My mother was unhinged by a series ofdomestic disasters; and Teddie looked dirty andDe
I34WIN LLOYD; OR,neglected; while Harry and the two little girls,who had been his accomplices in a little misde-meanour, were undergoing penance for theiroffence; and these circumstances did not add tothe social harmony supposed to prevail on the 25thof December.My father, already depressed in spirits, turnedfrom the cheerlessparlour and went to the kitchen todry his clothes, which he was unwilling to change;but there his presence was de trop-though we can-not much condemn either mistress or maid whoobjects to the intrusion of the master within her.temple of Soyer (not that Soyer, or rather hispredecessors, had ever much voice in our affairs ofthe kitchen). Exception might have been made,however, in the present case-perhaps it was; yetmy father stayed but a short time-only longenough to remove the extreme chill that makesdamp so dangerous-and then returned to theparlour. But the room was small and ill-lightedat best; and now it was very dark; and the on-goings may be shortly told by saying that every-thing was in a muddle.He loved quiet and order, though he took thereverse patiently; but to-day, this day of peace,quiet was perhaps indispensable to him; he tookup a book and newspaper and went into the closedshop, where the darkness was only relieved by suchlight as came through a back window near thedesk. But the place was quiet.There he stayed till I was sent down to call him4
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.35to dinner. When I opened the door he was sittingmotionless, his head buried upon his arms, whichwere leaned upon the desk. The book was closed,the newspaper doubled up as it was when he leftthe parlour: I believe neither had been opened.When I spoke, he looked up with a calm smilethat I felt to be a relief."You're not vexed now, papa?" I asked,smiling too." Vexed! No, my boy-I have not been vexed.You did not think I was cross, I hope ? "" No, I know you're never cross; but you lookedso sorry.""Yes, I was; come here, Ewin, and I will talkto you for a few minutes. There may be troublesbefore us; I have tried to give my cares to God.All seemed gloom around me, both out-doors andin. I felt irritated by everything; but this isChristmas-day, and with this thought came therecollection that Christ had come to suffer for oursakes, and therefore that our sufferings will neverbe greater than we can bear unless we make themso ourselves. So I have tried to trust myself, andyou all, to Him."" And are things very bad ?""I scarcely know how bad yet.""But I'm big enough to do something. I'mnearly eleven. Lots of boys are able to do forthemselves at my age. I dare say some of thepeople you get goods from would give me asituation if you asked them."
36E.WIU LLOYD; OR,My father smiled. "We shall see about thatwhen you are older. But now mamma will wantus to dinner; and as it is such a happy day, letus put our troubles on the shelf."And so I believe my father did. He tried torestore cheerfulness to the party round the table,but his efforts met with little response. He uponwhose head the approaching tempest must fallmost heavily, and who must bear all the brunt ofthe storm, though by nature little fitted to struggle-he bore it with the utmost courage; and this, Ibelieve, because he had sought and found astrength greater than his own.In our younger minds resolutions were slowlyforming; in my own, the resolution became fixedthat I was old enough to work, and in my inex-perience I supposed that employment would easilybe found. But I had much to learn which booksand professors can never teach; but which, whenonce learned from that master, Adversity, throughwhose school the successful often have to pass, isso learned as rarely to be forgotten, and so learnedin that stern but invaluable school as it cannowhere else be learned. I believe my desire forwork-work by which I could live-was so greatthat I had no thought of choice, nor thought ofstation, as far as that is influenced by one's em-ployment. My idea was to work at whateverlabour I could find; and if this was socially low,to make it nevertheless one step of the ladder bywhich I could mount upward.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.37Lawrence, on the other hand, though as readyto take the field, was by nature more calculating.He would feel his ground first, and make sure ofhis footing; and having done this, scarcely any-thing could move him from his -purpose-hewould go steadily and warily along the path hehad chosen.Martha, with positive inclinations as strong aswere his or Phcebe's, could set them aside whenneedful, and pursue as earnestly the course im-pelled by necessity as if it had been adopted fromchoice. Her mind was one of those so broadlycast, that whatever became her occupation shewould love it and persevere with it. Mrs. Ellisfound it so with her studies; she threw herselfheartily into the one which employed her for themoment, and could apply herself to another withequal readiness when the hour came; a facultyoften found in volatile natures, but which, whencombined with steadiness of purpose, proves thehigh stamp of the spirit within. She was onewho would make great difficulties grow light;while Phoebe would magnify trifling ones, or evencreate them where they did not exist. Yet thelatter was capable of contending with and over-coming the hardships of her own procuring;never willing to relinquish her wishes or foregoan object, she could not fail to bring troubles onherself-nor did she often pause to consider howfar others suffered by her caprice.Next week stock-taking began; and evening
38EWIN LLOYD; OR,after evening did we watch my father's calm,patient face, in which the only difference was thatthe expression of patience grew more deeplymarked; and without any explanation we allseemed to know that the result showed a seriousloss. When it was over he told Miss Russel, oneof our assistants, of a situation that was vacant,and recommended her to apply for it, as he wouldnot require her much longer.It was settled that for the next quarter only oneof the girls should go to school, and the otherhelp in the shop; and as my mother said thatMartha cared less about school, and was moreuseful at home, this point, too, was settled.Martha offered no remonstrance; but had myparents not been so pre-occupied they might haveseen that she yearned for her studies, by her ques-tions when Phcebe came home each day, trying togain something of what she had learned, or byher seizing the school-books when there was aleisure hour in the evening. Yet she said nothing,but quietly did her duty, content to be set asidewhen the good of others needed that it shouldbe so.Thus six months passed without any eventsworth noting, except that our shelves grew moreempty, and we ventured on but few orders tofill the blanks. Then our customers dropped offone by one-we lost most of the better class; orif a few who penetrated the state of affairs still
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.39kindly continued their patronage, too often hadthey also to leave without buying, because we hadnothing that they wanted. Nay, sometimes havesuch kind-hearted persons asked for and boughtwhat they had not come to seek, because too con-siderate to give trouble for nothing.Still we tried to hope against hope-to hopeeven when few came near us but the poor servant-maids or the lowest classes, who wanted bargains,and to whom my father was glad to sell, and tosell cheaply, because if he did not we should havefound it hard to live, and harder still to keep upthe semblance of business.At last came the harvest-time that had been soanxiously looked for. It was very abundant,and prices were fair. The farmers' wives anddaughters, who had so long been practising com-pulsory economy in needful dress and needlessvanities, now launched forth into some extraindulgences, to compensate for past self-denial,much to the advantage of our more prosperousneighbours; but the reaction came too late for us.Our stock was very low, and what we had old-fashioned; our credit was all but exhausted, andwhere it was not so, my father was too honest torisk another man's goods. It would only havewarded off the crisis for a little time; come now itmust, that ruin which had looked grim in thedistance, but which when realized becomes amonster devouring all before it.Yet in this trial, as in others, the anticipa-
40EWIN LLOYD; OR,tion is in some ways worse than the actualmoment of the event. Then the positive businessof each hour absorbs the thoughts, and it is nottill a man is stripped of house, home, and pro-perty, and knows not where he or his are to goforth-not till then does he fully realize whatcommercial ruin is.Some men can become bankrupt and retaintheir goods and gear, and still be honest, orthought so. My father had not learned thismaster-stroke of business. He was allowed tokeep our unpretending furniture, it was all hehad asked for; and this, with a few pounds tocarry us where we chose to go, was all that wasleft from the wreck. This was my father's hireafter twenty years of hard and anxious industry,and these were the circumstances under which wefour elder ones made our entrance upon the world,to battle almost single-handed in the struggle forbread, independence, and prosperity-that strugglewhich sometimes goes on so fiercely and cruelly inthe dark and poor corners of this prosperous andwealthy land.I said single-handed, but not quite so. Wehad learned by practice and theory the fable ofthe old man and his bundle of rods, and we stoodfirm to one another.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 41CHAPTER VI.IT was the evening before the final crash.Every preparation had been made for the salewhich was to begin the following day. Myfather and Lawrence were to remain on thepremises till all was over; 'my mother was toleave with the rest of us at an early hour on themorrow for our new home. This home, was itwisely chosen? Yes, the issue at last proved itwas. But this home was one of those wherepoverty is hardest to be borne; where one isalmost trampled on in the crowd, and whereit is hard to make one's way among thethousands of every class who there strugglefiercely for the very bread they eat. This homewas to be in a town great and rich then, thoughit must be greater and richer now. We weredestined to live in Liverpool.Perhaps we who were young did not quite dis-like the idea of a change of scene-youth seldomdoes. We each built our castles in the air, sothat they might one day alight on terra firma inthe streets of Liverpool. The move was, in somemysterious way, to help me to the attainment ofholy orders, if not to a bishopric; while Lawrence------I
42EWIN LLOYD; OR,laid more reasonable schemes for gaining an inde-pendence in business."And we will set up a little school," saidPhoebe to Martha. "You know how I shouldlike teaching; and people always do a thing bestif they like it.""We can't do so yet," remonstrated Martha;"we might not get children to teach in a hurry.""Besides, you are both too young," suggestedLawrence."Not to teach little children. We are morethan fifteen; that is quite grown up.""I am sure you are not," said Lawrence."Martha may be; for she has got quite graveand business-like in the shop the last year.""Besides," said Martha, "Mrs. Ellis thinksshe can get me a situation with some one sheknew once in Liverpool. She has written aboutit. He is a Mr. Mares, and has a small shop.She has given papa the address, and I am to goand see about it as soon as we get to Liverpool:she says situations are picked up so fast.""There must be plenty more in such a bigplace," I suggested."Of course there are," said Phoebe; "youneed not be in a hurry to take the first you hearof. Of course you can take one after a while, ifwe don't get a school. There must be plenty ofothers if one is gone.""Perhaps not-at all events, I'll try if Mr.Mares will have me; and I'll go as soon as we
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.43get the new house a little straight. And if hetakes me, perhaps you could get in after a little.""Well, I don't know; you know I don't likebusiness.""Neither do- " but Martha stopped."You've been accustomed to it so long, andyou don't care about books; so of course it's bestfor you.""I tell you what it is," said Lawrence, "Idon't think we've any right to go picking andchoosing. You know I mostly take your part,Phoebe; but Martha is right this time. We mustall take whatever turns up first."" I don't see that. Of course papa will get asituation at once-he said he would-and he willbe sure to get two or three hundred pounds a-year;and he said he'd send me to school again."" Well, never mind that; he's not well now,and has had too much trouble," said Lawrence;" and perhaps he may not get employed as soonas we think. Any way, some of us must try anddo for ourselves-all that are old enough."" Of course, I mean that," said Phoebe; " butwe'll do better if we can follow our tastes.""Tastes! rubbish," cried Lawrence. "Tastesare very well for fine ladies and gentlemenwho can do as they choose; but people likeus must think of work and business, and nottastes."" But we needn't be vulgar," said Phoebe,looking a little fine.
44EWIN LLOYD; OR,"Lawrence is right," I said, looking, perhaps,very important."I mean to work at whatever I can get," saidMartha."So do I, too," persisted Phoebe; "only wemay as well do what we like best.""Well, I'll turn round and take Martha's side,if you talk that way," said I; "and I am sureLawrence will too.""I've done that already," he answered. "It'svery nice to do what we like, if we can. I wouldlike to get into a first-class shop; and I think Ishall in time, only I'd rather carry parcels-aye, or pick stones, if I could do nothing better-than see father fretted the way he's been this longtime.""And I'll take anything I can get," said I."You're all just talking that way to make meseem quite bad, and show off yourselves," re-turned Phoebe, losing her temper. "I thoughtyou were for learning, too, Ewin."" Well, so I am. I'll save money when fatherand mother are well off again; and then I can goto a night-school, and go to college, perhaps,when I'm older. They say there's a new onenear Liverpool.""Don't you begin to talk nonsense, Ewin," saidLawrence.I seldom told my thoughts or showed mycastles, particularly when their object was ofdistant realization. I now almost recalled my
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.45words: "Of course not; only, whatever I do,I may as well try to be at the top of the tree.""Yes, of your own tree; not of some otherperson's," said Lawrence.Whether this was his own or borrowed wisdom,I did not know; but I have remembered theadvice, and I believe it has often kept me fromsome act of absurdity or worse."0 no," I answered; "but, I say, do youthink you can get into that big shop where MissRussel's brother is ? ""I don't know. Russel says he has spoken tosome of the head people; but that it is not easyto get in. Boys-young men, he called them-often have to wait a long time for a vacancy.The worst is, they mostly want money-a pre-mium, I think, he said."" But you know something of the business; soperhaps they'll take you without.""Or if I could get into any common shop ofthe kind while I am waiting, then I should belearning all the time."Thus we talked on, thinking ourselves verywise in business; not knowing how different inmost respects was the world of a country town tothat of a great provincial capital, where trade andcommerce are the very life and soul of the city.Nor was my father himself much more expe-rienced. He, too, thought that situations, whichare always so numerous, are easily to be obtained;ignorant that for each of those vacant posts
46EWIN LLOYD; OR,there may be fifty or more competitors, and manyof them better fitted for the office than the fortu-nate man who gets it. He had already begun toanswer advertisements. He had written to mer-chants with whom he had dealt largely, askingtheir help in procuring a situation, stating thevarious ones that he felt he could undertake.Some deigned no answer, others wondered howhe could apply to them under existing circum-stances, and a few promised to remember Mr.Lloyd if they should have an opportunity ofserving him; and then either the promise wasforgotten or the opportunity did not come.But we were not quite without plans, thoughthese were too vague to be worth repeating. Theprospect of situations for Lawrence and Marthahad been partly the inducements for choosingLiverpool for our home; besides the reasonablehope that my father would be more likely to getemployment in a large business town than in aremote country place. But the most solid rea-son, as it proved, was the expectation of gettinglodgers. We had, as I said, been allowed to keepour furniture. By taking a better house than be-fitted our altered circumstances, my mother couldlet some of the rooms; and she hoped by thismeans to secure what would pay the rent. Thisproved to be no idle hope; for in an over-crowdedcity the supernumerary wanderers must be lodged,and in due time as many as we wanted werelodged with us.
HOW WE AIL GOT ON.47These were the slender landmarks that guidedmy father in the difficulty he had in decidingwhere we were to go. We had found it hard tosee our way; yet if only the faintest sign be actedupon, the path generally opens up more and moreclearly as we go on.It was now getting dark, and we went into theparlour, where we found Mrs. Ellis, who hadcome to say good bye. She was full of sym-pathy, yet without thinking it necessary to wear amelancholy face, which makes people feel theirtroubles tenfold. No; she was also full ofcheer." It will certainly be better for the young peopleto go to Liverpool," said she; " they are all cleverand enterprising. You must hope the best, dearMrs. Lloyd. It would be a pity to have theirabilities cramped, as they would have been in alittle place like this.""I hope it will prove so," said my father;"they are all good children, and we have donewhat we could for them. God must do the rest,I fear."" Not fear; you must trust them and yourselvesto Him.""Yes, you are right; and I try to do so.""And you will be a younger man in two yearshence," said our visitor cheerily. " When you havemade a fresh start, and some of these young peopleare off your shoulders, you will feel as if you werebeginning life afresh."
48EWIN ILOYD; OR," Not quite; but it will ease me of a load ofcare to see some of them independent."" And Martha, I have heard from Mr. Maresagain to-day. I think you are almost sure of thesituation. He likes my report of you; and I amsure you will do well, dear girl. I was sorry youhad to leave school; but you have done, and aredoing, what is right, and God's blessing will gowith you."Poor Martha She was overpowered by thesefew words; the tears came into her eyes. Shewent near Mrs. Ellis and took her hand. " Oh, Iwas so sorry to leave you," she whispered." And I was quite as sorry to part with you.Martha would have done me credit, Mr. Lloyd,"she added, turning to my father; "but she willdo us all credit yet.""Phoebe is our clever one," said my mother."There need be no rivalry," replied Mrs. Ellis,with wise discretion; "their abilities may be dif-ferent, but Martha's unselfishness is beyond allpraise."Martha crimsoned as if accused of a crime, andthe tears came very fast." She does her best, poor child," said my mother,"and I'm not sure that I care for all to be clever;"clever referring only to book-learning." But Martha is clever-quite as clever asPhoebe. Both the girls will do well, I am sure.Let them but pray to be helped to do their dutywhere God may place them. Phoebe, you will
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 49find it the hardest struggle, but you will be helpedif you try."" I don't think I shall find it hard, for I liketeaching," answered Phoebe."But you may not be required to teach; asyour father is situated, this is very unlikely."Phoebe looked annoyed, but had the prudenceto be silent. Mrs. Ellis changed the subject."And I understand Lawrence has some pros-pects before him.""Yes," returned my father, "but not veryimmediate, I fear."" But it is a great point to have even a distanthope to look forward to, so long as it does nothinder him doing the best he can meantime."" Well, I don't think he will give up the birdin the hand for all the birds in the bushes."" No, father, I hope not," answered Lawrence;"but if the bird in my hand is the wrong one,then I may let it go when I get the right one inthe other hand ? ""Perhaps so.""At least, you need not be quite dispirited, withall these brave young hearts around you, Mr.Lloyd," said Mrs. Ellis. " Not that I think lightlyof your trouble," she added, with a tone of richfeeling in her voice-" 0 no, I know too wellhow our trials press upon us. I know how wecling to the very stocks and stones around us, as ifthey felt for and with us, and would miss us whenwe were gone. But God's blessing will surely goE
50 EWIN LLOYD; OR,with you. You must hopefully look forward tobetter times."My father brightened as she spoke; so did weall. Would that the world knew more fully thevalue of true words of cheer, and how theystrengthen us to bear the present, and make usbraver to go forth and fight the hard battle of life !And good .wishes, are they only kindly words ? Orare they not rather another form of prayer ? Arethey not in unison with the will of God, who is loveand beneficence ? Often during the trials that fol-lowed did those words return to comfort us, andhelp us to endure, trusting to the better timethat was to come.Then came the leave-taking: for a moment theworld seemed darker when our kind friend wasgone; but our hearts were warmed with freshhopes and stronger courage to meet what mightbe before us.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.51CHAPTER VII.I KNOW not what was the appearance of theold home when the furniture was taken awayand we were gone, leaving only Lawrence and myfather, who were to await the result of the sale;but I have so often heard it described, that attimes I seem to have seen it all myself; and I havealways since been able to realize a picture ofcomplete desolation.But I must turn from this to our new home. Itwas a small three-story house in Wilton Street,not far from the docks. We were advised tochoose a situation suitable as a lodging for sea-captains, and others of the same profession, as themost likely means of keeping our rooms alwaystenanted.In the street of a small country town one feelshimself still in the country; but what was this ?Narrow and dismal-in front looking upon thedingy walls of the opposite houses; in the rear,upon more dingy courts, where our whole space,for all purposes of yard or garden, was limited toa few fathoms of ground, in which a grass plot ofsix or eight feet square was supposed to representthe latter, and serve the additional purpose of ableach-green.
EWIN LLOYD; OR,Within the reach of the thickest fogs from theMersey, and ever subject to an atmosphere ofsmoke, it was only when a high wind cleared offthese vapours that we could clearly see the lightof day; and cleanliness, in its strictest sense, wasa thing impossible. The house, though called ina state of tenantable repair, was in harmony withthe situation. Paint and paper soiled and faded,the wood-work decayed and imperfect, givingroomy lodging to specimens of animated naturenew to our acquaintance,-these things were to uslike alighting in a prison of horrors.Happily, the getting to rights gave too muchenmployment to allow us full time to realize allour surroundings. My mother set her dauntlessspirit to the task-not, alas! without occasionalhard comments upon the father who had broughtus to this; yet she toiled all the more vigorouslythat everything should be in order before he andLawrence arrived. But she did not even wait fora state of domestic organization of goods andchattels before a bill was up in the window; and" Lodgings to Let" invited the stranger to becomeour guest.The first day, several people called, looked, andwent away, not giving credit to the assurancethat the rooms (apartments we called them) theywanted could be prepared against the time theynamed. But on the day before my father arrivedone tenant was secured. He only required a bed-room, said he was not particular, and would not
IIOW WE ALL GOT ON.53ask for much attendance; and this was a con-sideration in his favour, as we were not now tokeep a servant.His appearance was at first unfavourable. Mysisters said they were afraid of him, and mymother admitted that she did not like his looks.But she braved the difficulty, saying, " We musthave a house to live in; the few pounds we havewill not last us long, and we must have lodgers topay our rent."The stranger offered a reference, but my motherdid not then know the necessity of using it. Ifshe had, it might have proved valueless, for theseare among the things that may be purchased bymoney or service. But, on the first night of hislodging, she regretted having acted so hastily,when she saw a man who was an entire strangerbecome an inmate of our lone and friendless house-hold; and more than once did she express a wishthat Mr. Nuney had not wanted to come beforefather was at home.I will briefly describe Nuney, whom we at oncepronounced to be a sailor, supposing that hiscareless air and dress, together with his weather-beaten face, were certain tokens of belonging tothe profession of the sea; and this the more posi-tively because we had adopted certain prejudicesrespecting soldiers and sailors, that imputed tothem nearly every attribute of recklessness anddissipation. Our new inmate was above the middleheight, strongly built, but ungainly in figure; his
54EWIN LLOYD; OR,face would perhaps have been handsome but forthe unpleasantness of its expression, which atfirst repelled; his bronzed complexion to an ex-perienced eye would have suggested only exposureto weather and variety of climate, and not southernbirth; but this, in addition to a large beard andmoustache (appendages less common then thannow), and the brilliancy of his dark, deeply-seteyes, made us pronounce him to be a foreigner;an opinion that was strengthened by his name,which at first we had some difficulty in catching.Thus much for his exterior; but the man himselfwas a riddle which we did not solve during thetime of his sojourn amongst us. First impressionsare very powerful; but, in spite of our impres-sions to his disadvantage, there was a ruggedcourtesy in his bearing that was not withoutits charm; and as he sat with us for a quarterof an hour on the evening of his arrival, theunpleasant impression had partly worn off, tobe again renewed on meeting him the fol-lowing morning, and again effaced before sepa-ration.When Martha had come down after carryingup his breakfast the first morning, we all assailedher with questions about Mr. Nuney."Was he civil? What did he say? How didhe look, and had he any odd, foreign things inhis room?"To the first question the answer was satis-factory. To the last, Martha answered that shea-----
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.55had not noticed; her attention was otherwise en-gaged." He won't give us much trouble, mother,"she said, when all questions had been answered,and she was able to speak for herself. "Onlythink, there was the room as straight and tidy asif no one had gone near it since we made it readyyesterday; the bed made up, and-""Bless me!" cried my mother, "you don'tmean to say the bed was tidy?""Just as if he hadn't lain down on it.""Dear me, child, that won't do. To think ofme having people in my house that don't go tobed of nights, like proper Christians; it's notrespectable-I declare it's not."" But he has been to bed-at least I could bealmost sure he has-for the counterpane was turnedthe other way round."" Then what do you mean?""Why, I suppose he made his own bed. Ihave a fancy that he has odd ways, and if he doeshis own work it will give us all the less trouble;he said he did not want much waiting.""But making beds ain't waiting on folks,"said my mother warmly, and looking very muchpuzzled. "I never shirked what I should do,and I don't mean to begin now, even though mywork's likely to be a pretty deal more than I'vebeen used to. To think of a man making his bed,and never turned it down to air, I'll be bound-No, no; let men keep to their own business, and
56EWIN LLOYD; OR,they'll find enough to do, and be the better ofsome looking after to keep their own share up tothe mark; but none of them shall help me withmy work while I've a leg to crawl on. But I seeit-he's not been to bed, and he turned the coun-terpane just to blind you. To think of any onebeing up all night in my house, and no sickness-I shan't stand that.""But, mother, I think he did make it. Youknow he's a sailor, and been used to do for him-self," expostulated Martha."You know, mother, they don't have house-maids in ships," I suggested."Well, you are a bit bright this morning,Ewin; as if I didn't know something about thesea. But I must see this matter out; and, anyway, I'm not going to have our beds covered uphot in a hurry the minute folks is out of them.Pretty deal of vermin we'll find here, I dare say,without making a nursery to rear them."" mother, look here!" shrieked Mary, sud-denly drawing back from the hearth, and pointingto a family of black beetles in full career to theirnursery at the opposite side of the fireplace." It's what you never saw in your own home,darling," said my mother, drawing the frightenedchild to her with one hand, while with the othershe attacked the enemy, who, however, made goodtheir retreat, and left her at leisure to caress thetrembling Mary, who was now so far recoveredas to be able to apply her hand to her neck, where
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.57an irritation of some sort demanded the remedy ofviolent friction." What's teazing you there ?" asked my mother."Dear me, what have you caught? it's most likethe nettle-rash, only it's not enough spread; blessme-if it's bugs!" but without adding the se-quence, she proceeded to a personal investigationof Mary's garments; and finding this search fiuit-less, was about to enter into a campaign amongstthe bed-clothes, when a quiet but decided knockat the door compelled to a temporary suspensionof hostilities.It was Nuney. " Good morning, Mrs. Lloyd."(I had expected him to say "Mistress," and Ibelieve I liked him the better for saying "Mrs.Lloyd" instead.) "I beg your pardon; perhapsI intrude too early."" 0 dear, no, sir. I'm glad you've looked in, forI wanted to say-Martha, my daughter, has beentelling me-""I generally lock my door when I go out,"interrupted Mr. Nuney; "but I understand youare not quite settled in your new quarters, andthere's a closet in my room that I shan't want;my stay is uncertain. If there are any vagariesyou would like to store away, you're welcome tothe use of it; only you can't come along to get atthem every day; only sometimes, and when I'm athand-you understand; no comings and goingsevery minute-to use, if you like, so long as thereis none of this work."
58 EWIN LLOYD; OR,My mother thanked him, and apparently for-getting the subject of the hastily-made bed, askedhim when he would be home, and what she shouldmake ready for his supper."Back at ten o'clock to-night," adding the lastword slowly; " but I'm not tied to hours. I shallget a pass-key, that I may not disturb you.""Pass-key! We mean to keep regular hours,as we've always done before, sir. Whoever stayswith us must understand-- ""Pardon me, I must be master of my ownmovements. My room is my kingdom, while Ihire it, as much as if it was a palace. But youseem to be a stranger here; you will understandby-and-by." Nuney spoke with perfect cool-ness."Nay, sir; as you're a foreigner, you don'tknow English ways yet."A smile passed over his bronzed features as herepeated, " A foreigner!" Then, with a look ofmomentary sadness, and speaking to himself, "Yes,let it be so; but, Mrs. Lloyd, I know the ways ofmany countries. I was about to ask if I could doanything for you, as you are strangers here.""Thank you," returned my mother again;every attempt to attack him, on whatever sub-ject, disarmed by that courtesy which seemed somuch at variance with his general appearance."Thank you-I expect my husband to-day; notthat he knows much about Liverpool or town life.But as you're so kind, perhaps you could tell
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.59Martha how to find her way to Pollock Street,Manchester Road. She wants to go to Mr. Mare'sto see--"But Nuney having heard the name of the streetto which she wanted to be directed, cut short alldetails as to the business to be transacted there,ejaculating, " Whew! perhaps the child has neverbeen in a place with a dozen streets before. No, Ican't direct her further than to say, if 'she will goto the top of Water Street, and take the omnibusfor Manchester Road, and tell the conductor whereshe is bound for, he'll put her down as near asmay be, and she can ask her way as she goeson."" Where is Water Street? Is it far?" askedMartha timidly; for to us the very streets aroundus appeared a labyrinth which we must spendyears in learning to unravel." No, Miss, not very far. You go to the end ofyour own street; then turn to the right, keepingstraight till you take the fourth turn to the left;then the first again to the right, and-"But Martha looked mazed by the effort to followan interminable number of turns, first, second, andthird; one to the right, two to the left, and so onad infinitum.Nuney noticed her bewilderment. "I'm goingas far as Water Street now, Miss, if you'll be goodenough to let me show you."She looked positively frightened at the sug-gestion. "No, thank you," she answered, hastily;
60EWIi- LLOYD; On," I shall be able to make it out by asking. Besides,I am not ready to go yet."" Can you follow a map ? " and, before she hadtime to answer, Nuney spread a large, clearly-coloured map of Liverpool upon the table, wherethe breakfast things still lay in dire confusion.One might have expected the map to suffer fromcollision with remnants of tea and buttery knives;but no. With a care that now strikes me as singularin a man so apparently reckless, these impedimentswere quietly set aside with one hand, while he un-folded the map with the other." Here we are," he began, pointing to WiltonStreet with a handsome gold pencil-case, with aseal cut in ruby at one end; "here we are, andhere is Pollock Street. Now follow out the wayyourself, Miss, choosing the straightest and wideststreets." As he spoke, he placed the pencil-casein Martha's hand.She obeyed."Repeat the route," he said, when she hadended, " and name the streets you must passthrough."She did so; and a third time directed to retracethe course, obeyed as before." Do you think you can find your way now ?""Yes, I think I can," she replied, smiling asshe looked at the interrogator."Ha! yes; you have brains; you can do it, Isee," returned Nuney. Then tearing a leaf fromhis pocket-book, he wrote rapidly, and not illegibly,
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 61the names of the streets through which she mustpass. "And here, youngster," he said, turning tome, as I pressed near him to look at the map;"quite as well that your sister should not goalone till she is more at home here. So you gowith her; do you hear ?""Yes, sir, if mother can spare me.""Let him go with your daughter, Mrs. Lloyd,"repeated Nuney in a tone of authority whichstartled my mother, who was commonly the autho-rity in her own house. "Let him go; you haveanother chap at home to help you.""Yes, certainly, of course; and thank you foryour trouble," stammered my mother." It is nothing," he answered almost haughtily;"and here is the key of my room; and if youshould have occasion to go there, lock it when youleave."" There is no need," said my mother; "we haveno servant.""Mrs. Lloyd, I say, lock it," he replied curtly,as he left the room. We were perplexed tounderstand the strange manner and appearance ofour lodger, one so much at variance with theother.I must tell what followed, though even at thisdistance of time I blush while I do so.Scarcely had the door closed upon him, and hissharp, quick step had hardly ceased to be heardupon the pavement, when my mother, callingMartha and Phoebe to follow her, proceeded to
62EWIN LLOYD; Ol,investigate his room. The only excuse must bethat perhaps some curiosity was pardonable onaccount of our lonely and unprotected situation,and considering the air of mystery with whichNuney was surrounded; now that I know menand the world, I would not suffer such a thing tobe done in my own house; but then I followed,unbidden, to share the visit of inspection.As Martha had said, the room was in a stateof perfect order. The bed was made, and hadevidently been re-made, for the bolster andpillows had been changed, and placed so thatthe light should not fall upon his eyes. Besidethe grate was a small hearth-brush; and theroom had been swept, for a miniature dust-heapin the hearth could have originated no other way.The cup and saucer, plate and knife, that he hadused at breakfast were washed and laid asideupon a corner shelf, which seemed to have grownfrom the wall in the night. A large deal chest,the only luggage he had brought, stood in thewindow, and over it was thrown the fur of ananimal, dressed as taken from the carcase; forhead, tail, and limbs were still attached, and hungdown upon the floor. Some small bows, andarrows in a quiver, were hung upon the wall, aswell as two large maps, a chart of the SouthernSeas, and something which we knew not whetherto call a map or a drawing, but which now Ithink must have been a surveyor's plan of adistrict of country several miles in extent.---
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.63These were the wonders which occupied ourattention for perhaps half-an-hour, and affordedconversation for the day. We were about to leavethe room when Phoebe, turning for another survey,exclaimed, "0 mamma, I see you have left himsome pictures to ornament his walls; he doesn'twant them, I'm sure.""Mrs. Ellis's picture, and my flowers!" criedMartha, now for the first time noticing a blackprofile of our friend and a group of flowers thatshe had drawn and painted under her guidance."Do let me have Mrs. Ellis in the parlour," sheasked, going to the mantelpiece over which ithung. "It will do us good to look at her ifthings go wrong, or are hard to bear."My mother signed her consent."And my flowers?" said Martha."No, no, nothing more. Don't let him haveto say that he hired a furnished room and foundthings were taken out of it after. I'll tell himabout the portrait, and explain that it was afriend."-_-_
64EWTIN LLOYD; OR,CHAPTER VIII.WHILE Martha and myself, were on our way toMr. Mare's, another person engaged lodgings frommy mother. He .was described as quite thereverse of Nuney-older, and grave-looking, quietin manner, and orderly in his dress. He wantedaccommodation for himself and a friend-a bed-room, and a parlour with a sofa-bed. Little attend-ance was required in this case either; and mymother, encouraged by the prospect of success,named a higher rent than she had at first in-tended; and the bargain was readily concluded.Meantime, with some difficulty, Martha and Imade our way to Mr. Mare's, not a little proud ofan achievement which, to us, appeared almostadventurous. Everything went smoothly; I sup-pose Martha's manner and appearance were pre-possessing, for there was little said on either sidebefore she was accepted, though the terms seemedto us hard. She was not to receive any salary atfirst, but to serve gratis for six months or a year,according to her ability for business; but, as wewere now situated, it was of some value that sheshould be boarded and lodged. When she chose,she could go home from Saturday night to Sundaymorning.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 65On our way back we walked more leisurely,staying to admire the shops and public buildings;and it is needless to say how dazzling were thewealth and magnificence of Liverpool to ourinexperienced eyes. We at length came to theend of the gay streets, and were turning into onenarrow and dingy, when our attention was drawnto a group of persons, among whom was Nuney,in close conversation on the opposite side of theway.For a moment we stopped to look at them. One,as we judged from the after-description, musthave been Mr. Briggson, the person who hadengaged rooms in our house for himself and hisfriend a few hours before. The other two werevillains, if a child can read the human counte-nance; and perhaps childhood reads most truly,as it reads by an almost infallible instinct, that hasnot yet been warped by prejudice or passion.Beside his companions Nuney looked prepossess-ing. I fancied he appeared perplexed and troubled.We were unwillingly obliged to pass them; andwhen close to the group hindrances of variouskinds kept us still for a few minutes, and weheard part of the conversation that was going on."I have perhaps a right to desire, but I onlyask you to give up the idea. I will account foryour non-appearance," said Nuney."You are going back of-" answered one ofthe party; the rest of the sentence was lost in thenoise of the street.
66EWIN LLOYD; OB,"I am not, and I will not, till the period hasexpired, and you are safe; there are private ties,private claims belonging to each that we musteach respect. I have a reason."" Can we trust you ?""At your pleasure; those who have not trustedmay have found me false to--" but hurried onby the stream of people, as we had before beenheld back, we heard no more.On our return we found that my father andLawrence had arrived during our absence. Bothlooked weary and depressed; they had realizedto the full the shipwreck of our home, whilewe had but partly done so. I did not conceivethen, but I can well imagine now, what was theagony of the man's heart as, one by one, hispossessions were put up to sale, and brought downbeneath the hammer of the auctioneer; and then,when all was ended, how desolate must have beenthe feeling as he stood alone in the denuded,dreary dwelling! We had not witnessed this, buthad had the excitement of change, and the activebusiness of settling into our new home, to divertour thoughts from his trials and our losses.Our greeting over, the gush of voices went on,telling and asking the news on each side; and ourencounter with our new lodger was for a timeforgotten-not so his "droll ways.""You must come up and see his room, papa,"said Phoobe; "there are so many odd things. Hewon't be home till ten o'clock, so you must come."
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.67The invitation was repelled with a look. " Weare beginning a new life, children," said my father;"if we let our rooms they are no longer ours; wemust no more pry into them in the absence oftheir owners than we should go into our neigh-bour's house to spy out his doings."" Quite right, Edward," said my mother, slightlyreddening; and she related the occurrence of themorning. She had high principles of honour;they had but slumbered in a moment of uncer-tainty about our doubtful guest.We were in the midst of a discussion on thissubject when a knock was heard at the house-door;and, after opening it, Martha came back into theparlour, saying that Mr. Nuney had come home,and wanted the key of his room." It is only six o'clock, and he did not intend tobe home till ten," said my mother, speaking loudlyin her surprise. "I like people to be regular, itsaves trouble andmistakes; and, dear me, I forgotto lock his door."" Never mind, mother; give me the key, please,"said Martha; " he is waiting in the passage."The parlour door was open-he had probablyheard every word my mother had uttered; forafter taking the key from Martha, he said, "Tellyour mother, Miss, not to let this happen again.Has she made use of the cupboard ?""No, sir.""Good; then she will not want the key.""Except to clean the room, sir."
68EWIN LLOYD; OR,"Once a month, then." He spoke in a quick,decided tone, that left no room for reply; butMartha still lingered in the passage.She was wanting to find courage to say some-thing; and at last got out the words, "I havetaken something out of your room, sir. I hopeyou won't be vexed with me.""Well, child," he answered in a softer tone,"what have you done?"" There was a picture over the mantelpiece-oneof my friends. I asked mamma to keep it in theparlour, where we might see it.""The old lady?"" Yes.""I like pictures; but let it be so." I thoughthis voice grew still softer while he spoke to Martha;but in all business transactions there was some-thing in her quiet, straightforward manner thatalways made her mistress of the occasion."I think he is very civil," she said, when shecame back into the parlour and had shut thedoor.There was still so much to be talked over aboutthe events of the last few days that we thought nomore of Nuney, till at nearly ten o'clock, just aswe were going to family prayers, he knocked at thedoor and asked to speak to my mother. My fatheradvanced and introduced himself to him.I must pause a moment to tell how the contrastin the two men struck me, as they stood near eachother. I had hitherto seen only men who had
----------------------------HOW WE ALL GOT ON.69lived in the quiet pursuits of trade and agricul-ture; therefore the strange man before me seemedto me more strange than he would have done hadI been accustomed to varied crowds in cities, oreven to the ordinary sailors coming to and fro at asea-side town. There he stood, tall and strongly-built, health and energy expressed in every muscleand in every motion, and with that air of carelessease that seems to say that sorrow, poverty, orhardship could not break his spirit or shatter hishealth; that if they assailed him their attackswould be almost unfelt. Beside him stood myfather-not above the middle height, and slightlymade-now thin and gaunt from the effects oflong-continued anxiety, his hair scanty and neg-lected, his face pale, and his whole appearanceshowing the signs alike of broken health andbroken fortune; while the very air of ease andindifference about Nuney added to his depression.But like a halo over all was that wonderful lookof patience, that I can still recall, as if it was thetoken that the God who afflicted him was sup-porting with His love the son whom He chastened.He was about to officiate as the priest of hishousehold. The large family Bible lay open uponthe table; our smaller ones were ranged beforeour places. Nuney's face darkened at the sight." I interrupt you," he said, drawing back abruptlyto the door. " I can come later, or the businessmay wait till to-morrow.""Or you can join us," said my father, who,
-70EWIN LLOYD; OE,whatever might be the occasion, never feltashamed of his principles, or sought either to hideor display his acts of devotion."Thank you-no," was Nuney's hasty reply." I will see you to-morrow. Do you go out early ?""I don't know. But stay-it is as well say notvery early; but I scarcely know what are myplans: but you will find me here in the morning.""Good," was the laconic reply; and bowingslightly, he retired." I fear he's not right; there is something astraywhen a man refuses to join in the daily worshipof God," said my father. "It will be our worsttrial if we are obliged to open our doors to who-ever can pay their way. But at least, Sarah, wemust keep our children apart from people we arenot sure of.""They shall have nothing to do with them,"answered my mother, in a peremptory tone, thatwas not unusual to her. Then after a fewminutes, and speaking with much satisfaction inher manner, "At all events, the new gentlemanthat's coming is a different-looking customer fromthis one-he is quiet and sedate-looking. Mr.Nuney had better be careful; we must be worse offthan we're like to be before I let a body stay inmy house if I don't like their ways."But our prejudices had been rekindled only tobe again dispelled when he came down the fol-lowing morning." I don't commonly interfere with other people's
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.71business," he began. "Your wife has hired herrooms to two gentlemen, who were to come here onMonday.""Which of you children has been talking aboutour affairs?" asked my mother, looking roundupon us." None of them," answered Nuney."Yes, two people have taken rooms here,"said my father; "we are necessitated to let lodg-ings.""It may be so-I do not wish to enquire intoyour affairs, I do not want explanations of yourreasons; but in a place like this you must be care-ful in your dealings with strangers.""I believe so-I am to see their reference to-day.""A reference may be the ally of the referee,and may be of little value. I have seen theperson-I know him. He may not come-he willnot; and it is better he should not."My father looked surprised; my mother irritated,and was about to speak.Nuney anticipated her: "You are not satisfied-you want an explanation; it is not in my power togive one-I wish it was; but believe me that Iwish to save you from a guest who might harm,and would not profit you." He stood near thefire-place while he spoke. Martha was near it too.Abruptly he changed the subject of conversation,and placing a finger on the little profile, whichnow hung over The chimney-piece, he smiled
72EWNI LLOYD; OR,pleasantly, and said, "This is the picture youstole from me, Miss.""I will leave it up-stairs again, if you like,"she answered."No, no.""She wanted to bring down the flowers too-the nosegay sle painted at Mrs. Ellis's," saidPhoebe, " but mother would not let her.""Did you paint that bouquet?" he asked ofMartha."Yes, sir." It was a group arranged withoutmuch regard to nature, as flowers of various sea-sons and climates were thrown confusedly together."You don't know all the flowers, I suppose,"continued Nuney; " some of them are foreign."" Are they ? " asked Martha."Of course, as you're a sailor, you know allabout these things," said my mother.He did not contradict the assertion, but neitherdid he admit it. Smiling with an amused look, hesaid, " I have certainly seen more countries thanEngland. But I see you are strangers here, and,what is more, strange to the world's ways. Use meif you will. You may easily be imposed upon bysharpers-be guarded; and if you are in doubt Imay be able to advise."" If we are in doubt about any one, we haveour doubts of you," returned my mother, in herblunt, fearless way. "I have never seen man norchild that-"" Trust me and you are safe," he interrupted,
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 73looking vacantly at the black profile while hespoke; "but at your pleasure-those who havenot trusted, perhaps, now rue it bitterly, thoughthey know not why." These were almost the samewords as we had heard him use the day before."We are willing to trust you and every one,"said my father." Retract the last two words-you must learnwhom not to trust.""You contradict yourself," answered my father."I think not-you must learn to discriminate.""Yet you would have us trust you, though anacquaintance of yesterday ? Well, we do, we willtrust you.""Thank you," said Nuney with marked em-phasis. He then looked at his watch-a hand-some gold repeater-and saying his time was justup, bade a hasty good morning, and quitted theroom, leaving us more impressed in his favourthan we had yet been." Poor fellow " said my father, "he is perhapsone of the many who have gone astray from wantof guidance."Then rose up again my visions of holy orders, andteaching.people to be good. I did not then knowhow much power for good or evil is given to thehumblest and most insignificant in every calling.But the wish drove me again to my interruptedstudies, and made me resolve more and more totry and get a situation, that I might save money togo to college.
74EWIN LLOYD; OR,CHAPTER IX.SOON after Nuney had gone, my father, takingme as his companion, set out to seek for thatemployment which he thought would be so easilyfound. He had one or two letters of introductionto business houses, upon which he built his hopes.At these places, one person was engaged, and bidhim call again; another had no situation to suitMr. Lloyd, nor was he likely to have; elsewhere, amanager in the establishment listened to what hehad to say, declared himself sorry there was novacancy in the house, but promised to keep him inmind, and even took the trouble of giving someadvice, adding, at the same time, that my father'sage was against him, and that men who had spenttheir lives in the country were seldom fitted forcity business.This would have disheartened many people,but did not quite daunt my father. While wait-ing at this last place, he had seen an adver-tisement for an accountant; the address wasgiven in full, and personal application should bemade.Weary though he was, he hastened to the place.It was late in the afternoon when he reached it,
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 75and then to his disgust found himself in a butcher'sshop. I believe his first impulse was to turnback; but during the moment that he hesitatedthe owner had come forward with "What d'youplease to want, sir? very fine beef, this 'ere-prize beef, sir; or veal, sir, fresh country veal-cut you a fine joint for the mistress to roast forSunday?""No, thank you, no," said my father quickly."You had an advertisement in a paper to-day-you want an accountant, I understand.""Very true, very good, sir; but I fear youwould not suit. I believe we have found onealready, sir, if references suit."And if not-""You needn't trouble to call; we want a youngerman, sir.""But if you do not find that those you haveseen suit you ?-there is no harm in calling onMonday or Tuesday to enquire ?""Not the least-only there ain't no use.""But, Mr. Simpkins," said a pretty youngwoman, appealing to her husband (butchers alwayshave pretty wives), "we want a boy for a fewweeks, till George is up and about again. Per-haps this gentleman's son, if he wants employ-ment-we want a lad to help in the office; Iget wore to death with accounts and the shoptogether."Mr. Simpkins scanned me from head to foot fora full minute without speaking; then in a decided
76 EWIN LLOYD; On,tone said I would not do-I was too young, and hedid not want a gentleman."But we want a respectable youth.""That is only a child." I was small of myage, and would not have thought of offeringmyself for this employment; but this conversation,of which I was the subject, made me questionmyself as to whether I could undertake theprobable duties, and I answered to myself, "Icould," and I left the shop with a feeling ofdisappointment.It was now getting late, and we were fartherthan we thought from home; it must have beennearly three miles, even if we had returned by thedirect way; but now for more than two hourswe wandered through a labyrinth of streetsand lanes in our weary effort to reach WiltonStreet. Talk of losing one's way in a wilderness-there there is, at least, the freshness, beauty, andglory of nature to cheer the wanderer, and hecan throw himself down upon the common sod torest his aching limbs; but the wilderness of acity, how worse than lonely is it! Men, women,children, in all the gradations of wealth, mediocrity,and poverty, pass and repass you unnoticing,unless hurriedly to answer when you ask the way.In the wild haunts of nature the wayfarer maylook up to God's own sun and stars to guide hiscourse; and they, as they look down upon him, donot scan his misery, while they inspire courage bytheir steadfast gaze; and as the poet says-
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.77"And earnest thoughts within me riseWhen I behold afar,Suspended in the evening skies,The shield of that red star." 0 star of strength! I see thee stand,And smile upon my pain;Then beck'nest with Thy mailed hand,And I am strong again."I was very hungry, but I did not say so; myfather must have been hungry too, for we hadeaten nothing since breakfast. I sniffed longinglyas we passed the luxurious hotels or well-stockedeating-houses and confectioners; but when thesesights or smells caught my attention I watchedmyself, lest my wandering eyes or lingering stepshould make my father think that I wanted aregale. Suddenly, however, he stopped before abaker's window."You must be hungry, Ewin," said he; "Ishould have remembered sooner, for I have two-pence in my pocket.""No," I answered, "not very-we shall behome soon; let us go on."Perhaps I looked tired, or spoke languidly; for,without answering, he led me into the shop, andbidding me sit down, laid the twopence upon thecounter, and took from a tray a couple of buns,both of which he handed to me. I knew thatremonstrance was useless, but I was neverthelessdetermined not to eat the two. One I devouredgreedily, I suppose, for the woman in the shopobserved, that the young master was tired and
78EWIN LLOYD; OR,hungry-" I fancy he's been out for a long holi-day."" We have been some time out," was myfather's evasive reply; and after allowing me tenminutes to rest, we set out again-I feeling moreweary and more conscious of the calls of hunger(the first sensation of the kind I had ever experi-enced) than I had been before. Yet my fathertried in vain to persuade me to eat the other bun.I was not to be moved. "Then put it into yourpocket for Ted." I was about to obey, when alittle urchin, not much bigger than he, snatchedit from my hand, and disappeared in an adjoiningcourt. I could have cried from very vexation;my tears were only kept back by the consciousnessof being in a crowded thoroughfare.We reached home at last, and gladly rushinginto the house, without uttering a word I threwmyself upon a chair and burst into a flood oftears; yet not without a sense of shame atbehaving so like a girl. My mother hastened tocomfort me, asking what was the matter, wherewas I hurt, or who had said a word to vex me.My only answer was to cry on, and say thatnothing was the matter, and beg to be let alone.And here Phoebe's pretty ways came to my rescueby her diverting my mother's attention to myfather, saying he was very tired, and askingshould she not get us some tea.The suggestion effected the desired end, andMartha now came still more effectually to my
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.79help, by taking my hand to lead me up-stairs.There she first washed my begrimed hands andface; then, brushing my untidy locks, she evenproceeded to take off my boots and wash myburning and blistered feet."And now, Ewin, you shall have clean stock-ings; it will rest your poor feet. It's only Sun-day's stockings on Saturday night, so it is notextravagant; though you know we must be carefulof washing now. Poor Ewin, you look better-do you feel better?"" yes. And may I have my old shoes ?""Yes, here they are."" How pleasant! I am almost rested already.And it was no use."" What was no use ? ""Father has not got a situation yet; and we'vebeen to so many places."" I was afraid not, when you staid out so long.And he's very tired too, and all for nothing.""Unless there would be any use in Lawrencegoing to the butcher's." Then I related our in-terview with Mr. Simpkins, and Martha thoughtit would be well for Lawrence to offer himself;for he had been unsuccessful to-day too.On our way down-stairs she said softly, "Doyou remember that this is my last Saturday athome? When I do come back I shall be only avisitor. It makes me very sorry; and yet I amglad too. It will be nice when I get a salary,even a little, and can help you all."
80EWIN LLOYD; OR,"But when papa gets a good situation you cancome home, and go to school with Phoebe."" Perhaps so. But it is better not to think toomuch about that. I could not attend so well inthe shop if I did; and I want to please Mr.Mare. But say no more now. Let's go in. Ihope tea is ready."It was. The kettle boiled merrily upon thehob; and Phoebe had made some toast, whichsmelled invitingly. And in the enjoyment ofthese good things I soon forgot my troubles.Not so my father. I believe he was afraid toeat heartily. And it needed all my mother's per-suasion to induce him to enjoy fully our humblefare.During the meal the events of the day wererelated. Lawrence had been to see Miss Russel'sbrother, who told him he feared there would beno vacancy in the house where he was employedfor some time; but he promised to use everymeans to procure him a situation when the timeshould come. But Lawrence was not one to remainquietly idle while waiting for this future time;and he resolved to go again on Monday to seekfor work in this great city, where there must beso much for head and hands to do.We were all tired and weary on this first Satur-day night in our new home; and my father pro-posed that we should have family prayers half-an-hour sooner than usual. My mother at firstobjected; but when she noticed his troubled,i(
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.81weary look, and the flagging energies of allaround her, she told Martha to get the books.We were about to find our usual places, whenmy father said, "We shall not go on with St.Matthew to-night, children; let us read some-thing that may apply more particularly to oursituation." Then, turning over a few leaves ofthe Book, whose every page was familiar to him,he told us to find the twelfth chapter of Genesis.He read to the tenth verse, when he stopped, andbegan to explain how Abraham, like ourselves,was required by God to leave his home, and breakup old ties and early associations, and go to a farplace." How God spoke to Abraham we cannot posi-tively know," he said. " It may have been thatthe warning came by some occurrence that showedhim that the place of his birth could no longer behis home; and that he received this as the voiceof God speaking to him in His providentialdealings. It is enough for our purpose to learnfrom this that God, by His providence, has shownu8 that our former home can no longer be ourrest-we must go forth and wander till we fndanother. Abraham, trusting to God, obeyed; andHe led him safely through that pathless land, andcrowned his faith and his obedience with unlooked-for blessings. We have come into the vast wilder-ness of a crowded city; let us trust to Him to leadus safely too. We do not know our way-weknow not where to turn for bread to eat, if we doG
82EWIN ILOYD; OB,not find work to do very soon; but let us, too,have faith. We may be severely tried; perhapswe must be. But let us still trust to God-letus say with Habakkuk, 'Although the fig-treeshall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in thevines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and thefields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cutoff from the fold, and there shall be no herd inthe stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joyin the God of my salvation.' The prophet couldnot rejoice if he had not trusfed. Children, letus trust too, and believe that He does all thingswell."Gradually our heads bent upon the table, andwe hid our faces, and perhaps our tears too."Let us pray," said my father. He was astaunch Churchman; and though he commonlyused written prayers, yet he was not dependentupon them. This night his heart was so full thathis prayer was the pouring out of the full heartof the suffering child before the Father who hadchastened him in love. He confessed that ouraffliction was deserved, and prayed that the rodmight not pass without doing God's work withinour hearts and amending our lives. Then heasked for patience and strength to bear theburden while it lay upon us. And he prayed,too, for common things, and in common words-prayed that if it was His will we might not bedenied " our daily bread."When we rose up every face looked serene.
HOW WE ALL GOT ON. 83Martha was next my father. She was the first tospeak."I am very glad to-morrow will be Sunday,"she said-" my last day at home. We shall havetime to talk to each other. And if I can pleaseMr. Mare, perhaps he may take Phcebe whenhe wants another assistant."" My poor girl," said my father, putting his armround her, "I am grieved to send you from yourhome so young."" You are not sending me, papa; I am going ofmy own accord. I must not be a child any longer.I must be a woman, and make my way throughthe world, and try to help the little ones too.""' God bless you, my dear girl. And He will bewith you and keep you."" Amen," whispered Martha. And then she saidgood night to us all, and went away. I thinkshe wanted to be alone."And now," said my father, "since we haveasked God to strengthen us, we can venture tolook our trouble full in the face. Sarah," turningto my mother, "what 'have we in hand to beginthe next week, or we had best call it month?Not much, I fear. He drew some memorandumsfrom his pocket as he spoke, while my motherreckoned the money in her purse, and laid sevenand sixpence halfpenny upon the table."I have two pounds ten shillings in my desk,"she said; "and I suppose, Edward, you canscarcely have as much? "
__84EWIN LLOYD; OR,"No. I had only two pounds three shillingsand a few pence left when Lawrence and I gothere yesterday." This certainly was facing theenemy, and he looked more terrible than we hadimagined. "We can trust to Him who fed themultitude in the wilderness," continued my father;"but we must begin at once, and learn to lessenour wants.""We must do without meat dinners," said mymother."Perhaps we had better not do this too sud-denly. Let us have meat twice next week andonce the following. After that we must do with-out any, unless I have employment.""If we are to be beggars, let us begin withbeggars' fare at once," said my mother." We are not beggars, and I trust shall not be,though we may have to fare worse than they.""We've come to a pretty pass, truly," said mymother with some bitterness.My father quietly prevented what was to followby saying, "We will not add strife to trouble.God only knows how my heart aches to see mywife and children thus, and to think that, had Ibeen more clever and up to business, it mighthave been different; but I did my best. Only aman placed as I am can know what it is to see youall looking to me for the support I cannot give.""No, I know it was not your fault," said mymother, softened.Lawrence took up my father's last words, and,
HOW WE ALL GOT ON.85rising from his seat, said, in a calm, manly tone," Don't talk or think about supporting us, father.I hope it won't be long before you will haveplentyto do, and be well paid too. But there arethree of us old enough and able enough to workfor ourselves; and with God's help we will do so-and perhaps help you, too, till times mend. It'sbut fair we should. It will only be paying backa little of what we owe. Eh, Phoebe ? ""Yes, we will do what we can," she answered."' Will do' is better than can do,"' said mymother. "None of 'em wants the will.""And God will show us the way," said Law-rence, kissing my mother. "And now neither ofyou must keep fretting or laying out bad; forthat would hinder us more than all the frowns ofstrangers."I thought Lawrence grew taller while he spoke.Hitherto I had only regarded him as a boy biggerand older than myself; but from this time I felthim to be a man. There are instances when weleap from childhood or boyhood, and as if withone bound spring to man's estate. I believe thelast week had worked this change in him.
86EWIN LlOYD; OR,CHAPTER X.I BELIEVE we should have assembled cheerfullyon the Sunday morning but for the one thought,which all felt, though no one spoke of-viz., thatit was Martha's last day at home. To a familythat has never been separated the first breakcomes with some severity; and we had rarelybeen absent from home, even for a visit of afew days.Martha had imperceptibly become the stayupon whom we all leaned more than we knew of,till the time came when we were to lose her.Phoebe and her pretty ways would often whileaway some one's ill humour, or adjust a childishquarrel; but it was to Martha that all turned foradvice or help in practical cases, or in pain or realtrouble. And to-morrow she would be no longerone of us; she would have gone forth alone tobattle through life-for herself, I was about tosay; but no, it was more for us. Had it been onlyfor herself, I believe she would have chosen adifferent business; but as the strife was mainlyfor others, she followed that career which God,by His providence, chose for her. But it was,the hope of "helping at home," as she called it,
3HOW WE ALL GOT ON.87that gave her strength to go out into the world.Naturally, she was like a clinging plant-domesticlife seemed necessary to her happiness; but thereserve which made her shun strangers gave her,perhaps, some of the qualities which won theirrespect and good-will.During breakfast some thought seemed pressingupon her mind; I have since learned what it was.She had been attending classes preparatory toconfirmation, but we left Weston a few weeksbefore the time fixed for the rite. Could myfather have met the expense, he would have takenher back for the occasion. This was now impos-sible. But she had profited by the time ofpreparation; and if a faithful discharge of duty,as a debt to God and man, could be regarded asa token of fitness, she was prepared not only toreceive the apostolic benediction, but also topartake of the higher privilege which followsupon the lesser. She regretted the impossibilityof being now confirmed, all the more that she wasleaving home, and all the help that home gives informing and maintaining right feelings andprinciples.I don't know how she said what she hadto say-her humility and natural reserve musthave been sorely in her way; yet whatever wasto be said or done was generally accomplished,however great the effort. So she contrived tomake my father know that if it was CommunionSunday in the church they went to she would
88EWIN 'LLOYD; OR,like "to stay," if he thought she might. Hedid not object. He saw no reason to doso, as the Church has provided that if thosewho are willing to be confirmed are withheldby circumstances they may still receive thegreater blessing. And so she went as a guest-and surely a bidden guest-to the sacramentalfeast.I can partly understand now, what I could notthen, how by this leave-taking she sealed theresolution, which I am sure she had formed, ofdevoting her talents and industry to the familywelfare. She received this as her mission; norneed such a mission hinder the higher and morespiritual blessing. And if we regard the word"sacrament" as the heathens did-as a holymind or purpose, and the sealing one's self tokeep that purpose; or as the vow by which thesoldier swore fidelity to his standard and to hiscountry-if we so regard it, and add to this thefar higher meaning which has been given sincesacraments became a Christian rite, can we doubtthat God took my young sister under His especialcare, to guide her ways aright, and, doing so, tomake those ways smoother than they at firstpromised to be?After breakfast I was sent to ask Nuney to tellus the way to the nearest church. I expected tofind the door locked; but on my knocking, heinvited me to come in, without moving from hisplace. I found him seated in front of the large