..... ...... .1
The Baldwin Library
h -t 1
THE HOP GARDEN:
A STORY OF
TOWN AND COUNTRY LIFE.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, PRINTED IN COLOURS
CASSELL BETTER & GALPIN:
LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK.
CHAPTER I. PAGE
A Visitor from France ... ... ... ... .. 5
About Hopping ... ... .......... 15
Mansell ... ... ... ... .. ... ... 24
The Arrival ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 31
Home Recollections... ... ... ... ... ... 40
Poor Peter's Distress ... ... ... ... ... 48
Annette's Devoir" ... ... .. ... ... 67
Snow Court ... .. ... ... ... ... 82
Hopping at Green Hollow ... ... ... ....... 91
The Wanderer Found ... ... ... ... ... 106
A VISITOR FROM FRANCE.
"I HAVE some news for you, Clara," said
Mr. Selwyn, as his little daughter took her
place by his side before a dessert plate, upon
which he had just laid a fine bunch of grapes
"Some news, papa! Is it something I
shall like very much ?" And Clara, with two
beautiful grapes suspended half-way between
her plate and her mouth, looked earnestly
into her father's face.
Well, I can't answer for what you may
think: I should think it very good news
indeed, if I were a little girl with no corn
panions of my own age," answered Mr.
6 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Selwyn, smiling, but looking provokingly
inclined to keep his secret a little longer.
Companions Am I to have somebody
to play with, papa? Are my cousins
Clara's papa and mamma looked at each
other across the table and smiled, before the
former answered, No, your cousins are not
coming, that I know of, my dear. Try
Clara looked rather disappointed, and she
ate her grapes before answering, in a much
more sober fashion, It is nobody to play
with, then, for there is no one except my
cousins and the Bernards, and they are gone
to the sea-side, I know."
"Is the young-lady world composed solely
of two Misses Bernard and four Misses
Selwyn? inquired papa, with an affectation
"Now, papa, don't be provoking. You
know there is no one else that I ever see,
except at a grand party."
Oh! there are some other little ladies
A VISITr'O FROM FRANCE. 7
in the world, then. Come, that is a com-
fort, even if they are only visible at grand
"Papa, you tease! Mamma, isn't he too
bad? And all this time I haven't heard a
word of the news. Now, please," and Clara
looked up coaxingly, in a fashion of her
own, which she had found by experience
was generally irresistible with papa.
"Well, to begin with-let me assure you,
my dear little daughter, that there really are
more young ladies of some five feet nothing
high, even in England, than you have ever
seen;" and Mr. Selwyn assumed a look of
profound gravity and wisdom, which, to say
the least, was rather exasperating under the
"Papa!" was all the indignant Clara
responded, while Mrs. Selwyn, though she
was laughing at her daughter's despairing
face, could not help coming to the rescue
with-"Now, papa, you are a little too
"How! I?" cried papa, with the most
8 THE HOP-GARDEN.
.innocent air in the world;" I declare it is
quite true. Even I have not seen ALL the
little damsels just about their teens, in Great
Britain and Ireland, without mentioning any
other European countries, and leaving all
the remaining quarters of the globe quite
out of the question, so I really don't think
I don't believe you have any news at
all, papa," cried that young lady, indignantly,
her patience fairly exhausted.
"Don't you?-then as a punishment for
your unbelief, suppose we leave the news
for to-morrow-eh ? However, I will be
merciful for once, and save that poor grape-
stalk from utter destruction if I can. Now,
prepare! for it is really great news, Clara.
Have you ever heard mamma talk of a dis-
tant relation of hers, Mrs. Howard, and
her daughter Louisa?"
Oh, yes, papa, the little girl that went
to France when she was quite a baby, and
has never been in England since. I
A VISITOR F1OM FRANCE. 9
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Howard have to go
to the West Indies for a time-perhaps for
two or three years; and as the climate is bad
for young people, they have asked us to take
charge of Louisa till they return."
Mr. Selwyn paused, and Clara, breathless
with eagerness, jumped up and went close
to him, putting her hand on his shoulder,
and murmuring, Yes, papa," almost in a
Should you like her to come and live
with us, and say lessons to Miss Johnstone,
and be your companion and playfellow all
Oh! so much," cried the little damsel,
with her hands clasped, and her eyes
anxiously watching papa's face, as if she
feared to lose the delight she had just had a
I am glad of that, my little girl, for she
will be here the beginning of next week; "
and Mr. Selwyn glanced at his wife, and
then lay. back in his chair to indulge himself
by watching his young daughter's face, which
10 THE HOP-GARDEN.
was speaking at that moment of every
And will she live here always? Never
go away, and always be with me?" she
queried at last, in eager tones.
Humph! that is rather a heavy list ot
questions to give an answer to in a hurry,
and all in the lump, Clara Let me think.
No, she will only live here till her own
parents can claim her again; but that may be
years first, as her father's prospects as to
returning home are very uncertain. For
your question Number two, my child, I
think, if you try very hard, you will find
the answer to Number one stands good for
both. And for Number three-why, yes, I
suppose, provided you don't begin to scratch
each other's eyes, or tear your hair out, there
will be no very insuperable objection to your
being always together."
Oh! I am so glad; won't it be pleasant,
Mrs. Selwyn said yes, she thought it would
be very pleasant, and addcd that Louisa
A VISITOR FROM FRANCE. 11
would be a great help to Clara in her French
difficulties. The young lady looked a little
grave at this, and after reflecting a few
moments, demanded anxiously-
But she isn't quite a French girl
mamma. She can speak English?"
Oh, yes; but she was so young when
she went abroad, that I dare say French
may be considered as much her native
tongue as her own."
There was some further discourse on the
coming arrival and all the joys to be ex-
pected from it, and then Clara went to
bed full of excited anticipations, and almost
too happy to sleep; only the fear of Louisa's
proficiency in French now and then dimmed
the extreme brightness of the picture just
a little; but it was a very small cloud, and,
on the whole, Clara had never felt so full
of joy in all her young life.
And while Clara is dreaming of Louisa
as a large giantess sailing towards her, on
the top of her very largest india-rubber ball,
and saying nothing but "Prenez-garde,"
12 THE HOP-GARDEN
" Prenez-garde," will you hear a little more
about Clara herself? You know already
that her name was Clara Selwyn, and per-
haps you may have guessed that she was
an only child, and had very seldom had
any playfellows or companions. How old,
did you ask? Well, her birthday, I know,
was on the 1st of May, because it always
came on "Garland day," which made it
a sort of double fete; but as to her exact
age I am not so sure. About the same
as that young lady's in the pink frock and
white jacket and black hat, I should think.
Thirteen, is she? Well, perhaps Clara was
about thirteen, or a little younger or a little
older; it does not very much matter, I sup-
pose. At all events, she was out of the
nursery, although Mansell, who had been
her nurse, still lived in the house, and
brushed her hair, and took care of her
clothes, and helped her to dress.
Being an only child, Clara was older in
some things than girls of her age usually
are, while in many others she was more
A VISITOR FROM FRANCE. 13
of a child. Her papa and mamma lived
in London, and Clara had very seldom
been out of the great city. Once or twice
she had gone to stay with her cousins, who
lived a long way in the country; but she
had never stayed very long, and real country
sights, and sounds, and doings were quite
strange to her.
The little French girl, Louisa Howard,
was very nearly Clara's age, but not quite
an only child like her, for she had a brother
some years older than herself, named Ed-
mund; but he was at a great school in
Germany, and was to remain there some
time still. Louisa had never been parted
from her papa and mamma before. England
was quite a strange land to the child. She
had quitted it before she was two years
old, and had never heard of Mr. and Mrs.
Selwyn, or of Clara, till her mamma told
her they would be obliged to send her to
these kind friends while they went their
long voyage to the West. It was a sad
time for both parents and child; and while
14 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Clara was rejoicing, and singing, and count-
ing the days to next week, poor little Louisa
was sorrowing, and grieving, and crying
herself to sleep in her little French bed
every night after her mamma's last kiss
had been given.
A DAY or two after Clara had heard the
great news, and while the excitement of
it was still so fresh that she could ap-
parently neither think nor talk of anything
else, she astonished her father one evening
by rushing breathlessly into the room, and
"Papa, what's hopping ?"
Mr. Selwyn put down his paper with a
very grave business-like air, and began
deliberately taking the round of the room at
a rapid pace, supported by one leg only.
Clara laughed heartily, but expostulated as
soon as she could speak.
Now, papa, it isn't that, you know.
Rachel's brothers and sisters are all doing it
16 THE HOP-GARDEN.
How very tired Rachel's brothers and
sisters must be "
But, papa, that is not it."
"Indeed! Then I can only assure you
that when I was at school, we boys always
called this remarkably active, but not very
elegant mode of progression, hopping."
Yes, yes, but that can't be Rachel's
hopping. They earn money with it."
It strikes me, my dear, there is con-
siderable confusion among your pronouns
there. However, I believe I know what
S hopping' you mean; but I have not had the
luck to be in a hop-garden above once in my
life, and then it was when the plants were
invisible, and the poles dotted about in
pyramids like so many soldiers' tents. You
had better go to mamma for an explana-
tion; she lived in a hop country part of her
And Mr. Selwyn returned to his news-
paper, while Clara took a footstool and
seated herself by mamma's knee. It was a
very hot evening, and Mrs. Selwyn had 'er
ABOUT HOPPING. 17
easy-chair drawn close to the open window,
that she might enjoy to the full the little
breeze there was. The window had a balcony
which was filled with flowers and creeping
plants; so that, although it was in London,
the room was quite screened from the
Mamma's way of telling anything was
quite different from papa's. He, in his
joking manner, kept his young daughter's
mind ever on the stretch to find what was
jest and what earnest; while mamma went
on quietly, patiently answering all queries,
and never growing weary of their number.
Clara thought both ways delightful of their
kind, and could never quite make up her
mind which she liked best. She now settled
her head on her mother's knee, and then
looked up with a Well, mamma," as being
quite certain that her curiosity would be
Well, darling, what people call 'hop-
ping,' is gathering the ripe hops from the
vines on which they grow. A hop-garden,
18 THE HOP-GARDEN.
about this time of the year, is one of the
prettiest sights in England. Each vine has
a long pole, up which it climbs to the top,
and often beyond, and clings and droops
round and about it in the most elegant
festoons and garlands; while the hops them-
selves hang among the leaves, something like
bunches of grapes-only each hop, instead of
being solid, is composed of many little
leaves, and each cluster is farther from its
neighbour than is the case with grapes."
"And are there many of these poles,
mamma? and how high are they?"
"A great many hundreds in every
garden-and they are a good deal higher
than a tall man. The hills, as they call
the little mounds, out of which the hop-vine
springs, are only a few feet apart; and as
they lie in rows, the garden is crossed and
recrossed by avenue upon avenue of grace-
ful overhanging plants. In a good year
they not only cluster round their own poles,
but sometimes stretch across to the next
hill and form an archway, and often a
ABoUT HOPPTNG. 19
succession of archways, so that the avenue
sometimes becomes a beautiful bower."
How pretty they must be! how I should
like to see them!"
Yes, they are beautiful, my love; and it
used to be one of my great delights during the
two years I lived in the neighbourhood of
Farnham, in Surrey, to go into the hop-
gardens every day while their season lasted.
Sometimes I used to help the people to pick
How do they reach them, mamma? Have
Mrs. Selwyn laughed. No, my darling;
the vine, or, as the hop-pickers call it, the
'bine,' is cut, and the pole pulled up by a
man they call the 'pole-puller.' Each
picker (the pickers are generally women
or children) has a heap of poles laid by her,
and as she wants one she takes it up and
lays it across the 'bin,' which is a bit of
sacking fastened by wooden skewers to a
rough framework consisting of four sticks
"crossing each other at the corners, and having
20 THE HOP-GARDEN.
legs like a table. The sacking hangs down
in the middle of the four sticks like a
large bag, with a wide open mouth, and
into this mouth the hops drop as they
are picked from the pole lying across it.
Do you understand, dear ? "
"Yes, mamma, I think so. What is the
hop itself like?"
It will be difficult to give you an exact
idea of it, I am afraid, by mere description;
but I will try. A fine hop is a good deal
larger than a large Hamburg grape-some-
thing of the same shape-and consists of layer
on layer of light, thin, green petals, between
each of which is a reddish sort of seed and
a quantity of yellow dust, which has a
delicious scent-at least I think it so. People
consider hop-picking very healthy, partly
on account of this scent, and invalids and
children are often sent into the gardens on
purpose to inhale it."
"And when they have picked all the
hops, what do they do with them ? "
First, they are measured from each bin.
ABOUT HOPPING. 21
the pickers being paid according to the
number of bushels they have picked. Then
they are carried home in sacks to be put into
the kiln, or building where they are dried.
This kiln is a brick building, in the lower
part of which there are several little fires.
like those under a copper or in a brick-kiln.
From these fires the heat passes upwards
through a number of crevices to a flooring of
horse-hair cloth, on which the hops are spread
to dry. After that process is over, the hops,
now yellow in colour, are pressed tight into
enormous sacks, called hop-bags or pockets,
and then they are sold, and some of them
help to make what you drink for dinner
every day, Clara."
"What! beer, mamma? Oh! of course,
so they do; and this is hopping ?"
"Yes, my love-at least, hopping as
practised at Farnham. I believe they use
baskets in lieu of bins' in Kent; and
that there are other minor differences, in
the way of picking and drying, peculiar
to each county where they are grown.
22 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Many are grown in Worcestershire and
Herefordshire; but, oddly enough, Farn-
ham is the only place where they are
grown in Surrey."
How I should like to see some hopping,
mamma." And Clara's eyes opened wide,
and were fixed wistfully on her mother's
"Yes, my darling, I think you .would,
and enjoy helping to pick them too, as I
used. Perhaps, some autumn, papa may
take us into a hopping county for a few
weeks, if he can spare the time. Ask
Away flew Clara, and, after some difficulty
and a great deal of caressing, Mr. Selwyn
was brought to confess that he had not been
quite so absorbed by his paper as he had
appeared to be; but, on the contrary, had
heard and been interested in mamma's
account of the hops; and, finally, Clara was
dismissed in an ecstatic phase of delight,
with a positive promise that she should go
to see some hopping at some time or other
ABOUT HOPPING. 23
--perhaps even next year. Next year was
a long way off, it was true; but Clara knew
a promise was sacred, and she had learnt
by experience, before now, that even twelve
months do pass away eventually.
CLARA'S nurse, Mansell, was an old and
valued servant, and a very good one; but
sometimes, we are sorry to say, Mansell
fancied she knew better than her master
and mistress; and occasionally this brought
trouble, not only on herself, but some-
times also on Clara, who was very fond
of her. Now, when Mansell heard of
the young lady "from foreign parts"
who was to come and live with them-to
share Miss Clara's own dressing-room, to
be in the school-room every day, and also
to be looked after by herself-she was
greatly "put out," as she expressed it,
and felt "put upon." She also came to
the conclusion that Miss Clara was equally
a sufferer with herself, and she communi-
cated that opinion to h3r young mistress.
The result appeared by Clara's saying one
morning, after she had been standing by
the window in a brown study for an un-
usually long time-
Mamma, I suppose Miss Howard will
walk out with me, too?"
Certainly, my dear; I hope there will
be no reason for her being kept a prisoner,
while you are enjoying fresh air and sun-
shine." And Mrs. Selwyn looked with a
smile into her young daughter's face. To
her surprise, no answering smile was there;
on the contrary, a very sedate, not to say
sad, expression had stolen over it. A rather
deep sigh was at first her only response to
her mother's question; and after some
moments she said, half to herself-
"After all, I wish she was not coming
"And why, my love?" asked Mrs. Sel-
wyn, greatly surprised.
Oh, mamma-why, don't you see, I
like to have papa all to myself when he
takes me out; and it will be so different
"26 THE HOP-GARDEN
This hastily-finished sentence did not at
all explain matters to Mrs. Selwyn, who
said, more gravely than before-
I do not at all see, Clara, why having
another companion, even with papa, will
make your walks less pleasant."
Oh, mamma! yes it will. He can't
talk to me all the time, and there will be
somebody else to ask questions. Ana,
besides, as Mansell says, if I've nobody to
play with now, at any rate I've no one
to interfere with me."
A light dawned on Mrs. Selwyn. She
guessed in a moment that Mansell was at
the bottom of her daughter's sudden change
of opinion; and, although certainly vexed
that her little girl could be so easily influenced,
was at the same time pleased that the senti-
ments just expressed were not so entirely
from her own heart.
And so my little girl would rather have
only her own company to quarrel with! I
wonder if Toss, there, would rather never
have another bitten to play with, for fear
it should sometimes want a turn with his
own particular ball and string, or a little
milk out of his saucer. Would you,
Toss ? "
Toss was very sleepy, and only winked one
eye and gave a short purr in acknowledg-
ment of his mistress's caress; but Clara
hardly looked at him. She had caught
something of her mother's meaning, and
the quick colour tinged her cheek as she
exclaimed, Oh, it is not that, mamma!
Of course, I don't care about sharing
She stopped. Mrs. Selwyn was looking
very attentively at her, and before she could
find the last words, it began to occur to Clara
whether, after all, she was not objecting to
Louisa's company merely because she might
now and then take a share of her ball and
I am afraid my child does care about
giving any one else a share of her pleasures,"
said her mother, gravely, and added more
cheerfully,"You do not know yet, Clara, what
28 THE HOP-GARDEN.
it is to have a companion-a sort of dear
sister to help you to enjoy everything just
doubly-so I suppose I must not be very
serious with you for what you said just now.
But we will remember this, my dear, and
by-and-by, some months or a year hence,
I will ask you what you think about a com-
panion then. Only I must say I am afraid
that Mansell and you have been taking a
very selfish, one-sided view of this matter
altogether. Shall I put another picture
before you ? "
Clara was looking down, feeling very
much ashamed of herself, and she only mur-
mured a half audible assent to her mother's
Well, then, we will think of a little girl
as fond of her papa and mamma as you are;
who would be just as unhappy away from
them, and who had never been separated
from them. After a time, it becomes neces-
sary that she should be taken away from
them, not for a little time merely, or for a
short distance, but perhaps for years, and
for a very long way over the sea. Do you
think she would be very happy, and not
want any comforting or kind reception when
she had said 'good-bye' to that dear papa
and mamma, and found herself alone among
strangers? How would my Clara feel?
Would she rather come to one who had some
thought for her griefs, and would feel with
her, and console her; or to one who could
not give any consideration to her forlorn
position ? Which of the two would you like
to go to, Clara?"
Oh, mamma, I never thought of that!
Indeed-indeed I will try and make her
happy." And Clara, with a half sob, threw
herself into her mamma's arms, and clasped
her hands round her neck.
From that moment, all Mansell's evil
prophecies and discontents were unheeded,
unless when Clara did stout battle against
them, which she did every now and then,
and got the victory, too; for Mansell was
very fond of her, and, besides, right was on
her side. And the days slipped by very fast,
30 THE HOP-GARDEN.
and our little friend was not only looking for-
ward to Louisa's arrival with the old delight,
but also thinking over everything she could
possibly do to make her happy, and lessen
the sorrow she must feel after that sad part-
ing from her dear papa and mamma.
SLOWLY as hours and days seem to pass
to anxious young people under eighteen,
and expecting some great event, yet they do
pass; and even next week came, though
Clara sometimes thought it never would.
It was well that Mrs. Selwyn had hinted
to her little daughter that the eagerly-
expected young stranger was not likely to
be in very high spirits after having just
parted from her parents, otherwise she would
have been grievously disappointed at the first
sight of the sad, weary little face which
caught her eye as she flew to the window on
hearing the cab stop at the door.
Mrs. Rockingham, being on her way home,
had kindly taken charge of Louisa, but was
in too great haste to continue her journey to
alight; so the poor child was lifted out by
Mr. Selwyn, and stood patiently by while
32 THE HOP-GARDEN.
her trunks were separated from those of the
lady who had accompanied her.
She was taller than Clara, and very slight,
and her face was so pale, she looked quite
ill, Clara thought. But this was only from
sorrow, and improved after a time. Then
her eyes were very large and dark; but so
sad, that tears came into Clara's for very
sympathy, as she caught their yearning,
Another minute or two, and Mr. Selwyn
was leading her into the house, saying
kindly, Now, my dear, let me take you to
Clara. She has been expecting you very
anxiously, I can tell you, and I hope you
will soon be very good friends."
Louisa murmured something, and tried
to smile; but it was a very watery affair,
and she would very likely have burst into
tears instead if Mrs. Selwyn had not that
moment met her and folded her in her arms,
with a warm, motherly embrace. Wel-
come to England, my dear child," she said,
adding in a lower tone, as they came up to
THE ARRIVAL. 33
Clara, How pleased mamma will be to hear
how bravely her little girl behaved."
Clara was beginning to think her turn
would never come, and yet she felt too shy
to go very boldly forward.
A very timid kiss was all the greeting
exchanged between the two sisterless children;
and but for Mrs. Selwyn, it seemed as if
Louisa would have had ample silent time to
think over all she had left behind her, and
to make the little pale face look sadder still.
After all Clara's longing for her arrival, it
seemed, now Louisa was really come, that
she could not find a word to say to her. In
fact, Clara had never seen any one looking
so very sad before, and it rather awed our
little friend, as deep sorrow will the young
who have never known it.
Mrs. Selwyn went on talking kindly, and
presently Louisa was able to answer so as to
be understood; and by-and-by Clara ven-
tured in a word or two, and at last the two
girls were sent up-stairs together for Clara to
show the young guest their rooms. She felt
34 THE HOP-GARDEN.
very shy for a few moments, and could not
think of anything to say, except to ask if
Louisa was very sorry indeed to come away
from her papa and mamma; and that, she
thought, would be a very foolish question
indeed, when she looked into her face, and
saw the tears trembling in the eyes, in
spite of all the heroic efforts to keep them
back. So she said nothing till they were
really in Louisa's own little room, and then
the sight of all the preparations she had made
came to Clara's aid, and she exclaimed-
"Oh! I do hope you will like this room,
and the flowers, and the books. I have
been so busy, you don't know, getting it all
ready for you! "
Louisa looked round with a faint smile.
"Thank you; O yes, I shall be certain to
like it by-and-by, only it is all so strange
and new." The poor child stopped to gulp
down a sob, and then said, How sweet the
mignonette smells! we had mignonette at
home." The pathos of the word as she said
it was so great, it went straight to Clara's
THE ARRIVAL. 35
heart, and seemed to tell her all in a moment
what the little companion at her side was
She threw her arms impetuously round
her neck, and, kissing her over and over
again, exclaimed-" Oh, dear Louisa, I am so
sorry for you, I can't tell you. I don't
know what I should do if I had to go away
from my papa and mamma,"-and she fairly
began to cry, and so did Louisa; and when
they had mingled their tears together for a
little while, all the shyness and form was
melted away somehow, and they began to
chatter quite fast. Indeed, before Mansell
came to tell them tea was waiting, Louisa
had absolutely smiled more than once.
After a week or so, Louisa began to re-
cover her usual spirits. Two or three letters
from her mamma, the last from on board the
vessel which was to take them to Barbadoes,
helped her on famously-they seemed to
bring mamma nearer; and now they were
really off, perhaps, as Clara gravely ob-
served, they would come back all the sooner.
36 THE HOP GARDEN.
Clara had had a fortnight's holiday in
honour of her guest, and one morning as
this was drawing to a close, Mr. Selwyn
proposed at breakfast to take both girls with
him for the day, sight-seeing.
You must see 'the lions,' as people call
them, of your own capital, Louisa," he
said, "and as I can spare the time, we
will begin with one or two to-day. Which
shall it be, my dear ?"
Louisa looked up eagerly. "Oh! if you
please, I should so like-" And there she
stopped, and looked hesitatingly at Clara.
Mrs. Selwyn guessed her thought, and
said, "Never mind Clara, my love; she has
often been to most of the London sights.
You are to choose; what is it you are
anxious to see ?"
The Tower, please ; I have longed to see
it since I read Sir Walter Scott's Tales of
a Grandfather' to mamma. Lord Lovat and
the poor Scots, the Traitor's Gate, and the
block-I have fancied them over and over to
myself:" and she looked more excited than
THE ARRIVAL. 37
they had ever seen their subdued little charge
"Very well, my enthusiastic little Jaco-
bite," returned Mr. Selwyn, smiling, "the
Tower be it, then; and I believe it is nearly
the only place you could have chosen that
would have been a novelty to Clara."
I have been once, papa, but I was very
little. I should like to go again so much,
and see Sir Walter Raleigh's writing on the
wall of his cell."
"So you are devoted to Queen Elizabeth's
gallant knight-eh, my daughter? Well, we
will start at ten o'clock, for I must go a
little round to get an order. It is one of the
quiet days at the British Museum, too, so we
will stroll through there as we come home,
and have quite an instructive, historical day."
"When shall we come home, papa?"
Not very early; why, pussy ?"
Not in time for dinner, papa ?"
"Well, yes, I hope so. I don't think I
can dine very comfortably off the Crown
jewels, or even an Egyptian mumuiny."
38 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Papa, I mean our dinner, you know!"
"Ah! to be sure, that is a grave consi-
deration. What do you say, Louisa-do you
think you can dine like a fairy, on air?"
Louisa laughed, and confessed her pre-
ference for something a little more substan-
tial; and Clara looked rather impatiently
towards her mother, who caught her anxious
look at last, and answered it, smiling Yes,
Clara, I believe there is no help for it; you
will have to dine with us to-day."
Oh! thank you, mamma; I was hoping
so all the time; that is so nice." As she scam-
pered up-stairs with Louisa, she said, That
is almost the best part of a going-out day,
as I call it; no one o'clock dinner, or tea
up-stairs, but with papa and mamma all
the evening till bed-time, just like Sunday.
Isn't it capital, Louisa, dear ? "
Yes, very, dear; but I can hardly think
of anything but that I really shall see the Tower
at last. I can scarcely believe I really shall.
I have pictured it so often. I am sure it must
be a great strong place-stronger than any-
THE ARRIVAL. 39
thing I ever saw in France." And so chatter-
ing, the little damsels prepared themselves
for their happy day.
And a happy day it was! for, what with
the wonders of the streets, the wonders of
the Tower, the wonders of the British
Museum, and the nicest of tiny lunches,
to which Mr. Selwyn treated them at the
pastry-cook's, the girls, as they told Mrs.
Selwyn afterwards, never spent a more
delightful day in their lives."
CLARA and Louisa had each a pretty little
room, both opening into another larger one,
where they could sit whenever they liked,
and where Mansell sometimes finished dress-
ing them. She was doing Clara's hair there
one day, fondling and petting her, while
Clara chattered happily on, sometimes to
Mansell, now and then to Louisa, who was
in her own room, watching them with her
wistful dark eyes. Mansell had forgotten
all about her grievance by this time, and
was getting daily fonder of the "stranger
young lady," as she called her.
Presently Clara fancied she saw Louisa
wiping away some tears; and as her young
friend had for a long time now ceased to
shed them often, it quite disturbed her. So
she left off talking, and rather impatiently
waited for Mansell's last touches to her hair.
HOME RECOLLECTIONS. 41
"There, Mansell, I'm sure that 'll do; it's
quite tidy now," she exclaimed, at last,
and stopping the old woman's remonstrance
with a kiss, she hastily ran into Louisa's
Yes, she had really been crying; there
was the evidence of it still in two large
drops hanging to either eyelash. Loui,
dear, what is the matter? Ar'n't you well ?
Why, you were talking so merrily just now."
"Yes, I know, and I am very naughty
and silly; but when I thought of Annette I
could not help it."
"Annette who is that? I never heard
of her before."
No. She was my nurse. She came to
me when we first went to France, and I was
so fond of her, and so was she of me. She
used to pet me, just as Mansell was doing to
you just now, and that made me think of her
all of a sudden, and then the tears would
Poor Louisa! you have to part from
everybody," said Clara, compassionately.
42 THE HOP-GARDEN.
"But why could not she have come with
She would if I had had her still."
"Is she dead, then ?" asked Clara, in a
low, awe-struck voice.
"I don't know; I hope not. She went
away all of a sudden, and we have never
seen her since."
"But why? Was she wicked?" Clara's
only experience of a servant's leaving the
house suddenly was when one of the house-
maids had done something very wrong, and
Mr. Selwyn had turned her away directly.
Wicked !-Annette ? Oh, no, no; very
good. Mamma and papa were almost as
sorry as I to part from her, and tried to find
out where she was gone, but we never could,"
said Louisa, sadly.
Well, but I don't understand," said
Clara, looking puzzled.
No; no more do I, much, dear. It was
nearly two years ago, when one night as
Annette was sobbing and crying so, as she
undressed me, that I was quite frightened.
HOME RECOLLECTIONS. 43
I wanted to call mamma, but she begged me
not, and said she should be all right again
soon, only she had heard some bad news;
but she begged me, whatever I did, to say
nothing to madame. So I did not, and the
next morning Annette was gone, and she
had only left a little bit of a note telling
mamma she was "bien-triste," broken-hearted,
but that something had happened, and it was
her "devoir" to go, and she could not say
How very odd! Is that what French
servants always do?" asked Clara, still
Oh, no, they are very faithful; and,
besides, Annette was not quite French. Her
mother was, and she had never been out of the
country in her life; but her father was partly
English, if not altogether, I believe; and
I am afraid he was not a very good man.
Annette always seemed afraid when she
spoke of him, and so did her mother. poor
Was she very old ?"
44 THE HOP-GARDEN.
"Who? Nathalie? No, I believe not;
only she looked so, she was so withered and
No, I mean Annette."
Oh, she was quite young when she first
came to us, and, of course, not very old
when she went away. She had such a sweet
pleasant face, and such winning ways. Oh,
Clara, you don't know how I grieved over
losing her, and sometimes I am afraid I
shall never see her again."
Oh, I hope you will, and find out why
she had to go away. Should you not like
to know very much? I should."
Yes, but I care more for seeing Annette
again. She was more of an humble friend
than a servant, mamma used to say. We
were all so fond of her. Papa tried to
find out about her going, but he could never
discover anything more than that they were
all gone quite away from the town, nobody
"How very funny! It is just like a
story in a book, Loui dear; only to finish
HOME RECOLLECTIONS. 45
it up right you must meet her again some
I hope I shall; but I am afraid not, it is
such a long time ago now."
This story about Annette made a deep
impression on Clara. She told it to her
papa and mamma, with all her thoughts
and opinions about it, and her great curio-
sity to know why Annette went away; and
she was quite satisfied with the amount of
interest displayed in the matter by both her
parents-which is a great deal to say, con-
sidering how intensely she was herself in-
terested in it.
Don't you think, mamma, it was rather
her devoir to stay with Louisa?" she asked
at last, after they had been speaking of it
for some time.
"Well, I cannot say, my love; that quite
depends on what called her away. Certainly
it ought not to have been a trifle to occasion
her leaving in that way."
Oh! I am sure she was right, whatever
it was," cried Louisa, eagerly. "Annette
46 THE HOP-GARDEN.
thought a great deal of her devoir, and was
certain to do it."
By the bye," said Mrs. Selwyn, smiling,
" how does the French get on, Clara ? Miss
Johnstone says you are beginning to speak
without blushing now; and papa told me he
was quite pleased to hear two little tongues
talking French quite fast the other day at
Clara did blush a good deal then, and it
was Louisa who answered-
Oh, yes, that was because of the beef-
eater who was talking to Mr. Selwyn; he
was such a funny man. I wanted Clara to
observe all about him; but we did not like
to talk about him before his face, so that he
would hear us; so we spoke French, and
Clara got on famously. She knows I am
fond of speaking it, because it is like old
times; and so she tries to do it to please me,
and it isn't a bit difficult-is it, Clara
"It isn't quite so bad as I expected,"
returned Clara, who had recovered herself by
HOME RECOLLECTIONS. 47
this time; "but I don't think it is so very
easy, except when you are talking, and then,
you say it so-so just like English, that
I fancy I can too, till I begin to try."
And so you can-or at least you will be
able very soon, if you go on talking to me
as you have, and don't give up; and it is so
nice to be able to chatter French just as I
did at home. Is it not odd, dear Mr. Sel-
wyn," added the child, raising her soft
dark eyes affectionately to the face that
always looked so kindly and compassionately
at her, "I liked to talk English at home,
because it was like mamma's home; and here
I like to talk French, because it is like music."
It is very natural, my dear, and a very
good thing for both of you. You will find
it very useful in after-life to have, as it were,
two native tongues."
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS.
"MAMMA," cried Clara one morning, running
into the room where Louisa and Mrs. Selwyn
were sitting, there is a poor little boy in
the hall, and he says he wants to see you,
and Sarah can't make out anything about
him. Who can he be?"
I don't know, my dear, but the best way
of finding out would be for Sarah to bring
him to me, I should say." -And Mrs.
Selwyn rose to ring the bell when the maid
"Please, ma'am, there is a child below says
he was to come and see you," Sarah said, in
a tone of voice which seemed to express a
strong disbelief of this statement.
What sort of a child, Sarah? Did he
give his name?"
No, ma'am. There's a big strip of a girl
with him, and I hardly liked to leave them
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 49
in the hall at first, only Mrs. Mansell was
just going up-stairs, and I got her to stay a
minute and give a look to them while I
Very prudent of you, Sarah; but could
not the girl tell you more about his
No, ma'am, she didn't say anything,
except something about his not being used to
London yet; so she came with him to see
that he shouldn't be lost again."
Lost!" repeated Mrs. Selwyn, puzzled;
and then added after a minute, Oh! per-
haps it is that little fellow I met so long ago.
I had given up all idea of his ever coming
now. Show him into the dining-room,
Sarah; I will come directly."
Mrs. Selwyn put her work aside, and was
following Sarah out of the room, when she
saw two pair of wistful eyes fixed entreat-
ingly on her face. She paused, and smiling,
said, You may follow me, my dears, if you
like; but don't come into the room till I
see if it is the little fellow I fancy. Stop a
50 THE HOP-GARDEN.
moment behind, and if I don't sign to you
to go back, you may come."
"Oh, thank you!" cried both girls; and
Clara, who was close on her mother's heels
in a moment, added in a half whisper,-
"But who is the little boy you mean,
"I will tell you by-and-by: now do as I
To the children's great joy, no forbidding
sign followed Mrs. Selwyn's entrance into
the dining-room, and they too arrived there
in time to hear her say-
So you have found me out at last, my
little man. How do you do ?"
The boy she spoke to was rather a small
one of his age, dressed neatly, but very
shabbily, with a fresh-coloured round face
and innocent eyes, much more like a little
country fellow who has never been out of
his own village, than one of the quick-witted,
sharp-eyed London youngsters, who often
look more like a small race of men than
trusting, curious children.
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 51
The big strip of a girl" was dressed no
better, and looked rather more dirty than
the boy; but she was evidently a much
Yes, ma'am," said the poor little boy
in a bewildered tone, while his eyes were
intently fixed on the bright gas chandelier
hanging over the dining-room table; but
he bobbed his head nevertheless, and put-
ting his hand up, seemed feeling on its
closely-cropped surface for a bit of hair
long enough to pull in reverence to the
"Well, but can't you tell me some-
thing about what happened to you, and
1ow mother is?" asked Mrs. Selwyn,
The eyes came down from the chan-
lelier at the word "mother," and were
fixed on the face of the speaker. She's
better, they say; but she can't walk, not a
Poor thing she has been very ill, I am
afraid; but perhaps she'll soon be well
62 TIlE HOt GARDEN.
again, my little man." And then turning to
the girl, Mrs. Selwyn asked, Are you his
sister, my good girl?"
No, I aint no relation-I'm not,"
returned the girl, with a sudden bob, but
I've been longer up in London, and so, as
we're neighbours, I come to take care on
"And where do you live, and what is the
We lives up a court near the Abbey, and
his name's Peter West. Peter Wide-
awake' we calls him, he's so mortal slow
learning our ways."
Well, perhaps you might have been as
long if you'd come up to London as young as
he is, poor child; besides, he has not been
long here yet. And now can you tell me a
little more about him and his mother and
father? for I could make out very little from
His father's been dead long ago, I
believe; anyhow, long afore Mrs. West come
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 53
Before she came to London ? Oh! she's
a country woman, then ?"
Oh, yes, like mother; they both come
Northampton way, mum."
And how long has she been in Lon-
"Mother? Oh, 'fore I can remember
almost. But you means Mrs. West? Why,
some four years agone, I think."
"And what does she do?"
Goes out washing and charming, and such
like; but she's not had much luck since her
brother was took bad and she had to tend
And where is she now, and her
The girl looked up at Mrs. Selwyn, as if
wondering at the question. She evidently
imagined that lady as well informed on Mrs.
West's history as herself, and therefore felt
rather aggrieved at being asked so many
apparently useless questions. She answered
Lor, mum, why he's dead. He died
54 THE HOP-GARDEN.
before her accident, you know, and now she's
come back to her room next ourn; but the
landlord says he can't keep out o' the rent
And she is ill, and not able to work,"
said Mrs. Selwyn; and, as the girl nodded
an affirmative, continued-" Well, I will come
and see her as soon as I can; and now you
shall go down into the kitchen and have
something to eat. Peter, are you hungry ? "
she continued, turning to the little boy, who
had been silently staring round and round
the room, at his old friend the chandelier, at
the bright cornice, the picture frames, and
now and then at our young friends Clara and
Lousia, who were standing rather behind
Mrs. Selwyn, listening with intense interest
to all that passed, and watching with great
amusement Peter's astonished examination
Peter said he was very hungry, and looked
brighter than he had yet done, poor child, at
the prospect of something to eat, and he was
following his awkward escort, the big girl,
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 55
out of the room, when something seemed to
come across his memory. He made a dead
stop at the door, grew very red, stammered a
little, then shuffled back nearer Mrs. Selwyn,
ducked his small round head till it nearly
touched his knees, and blurted out-
Thank you, ma'am, humbly. Mother
said I was to thank you with all her heart,
and she sent me to say that." And, fairly
frightened at his own long speech, little
Peter scampered as fast as he could after his
"Poor child! said Mrs. Selwyn, smiling.
" I do believe they are honest sort of people.
I must talk to papa about what to do for
them. And now go, Clara, and tell cook to
give them some cold meat to eat. And stay-
would you two like to pack up a little
basket for him to take to his sick mo-
Oh, so much! "
"Well, run up to my room then, Clara,
and get my little round basket with the
handle and lid from my closet, and then
56 THE HOP-GARDEN.
come to Louisa and me into the store-
Clara was scampering off, when a sudden
thought seemed to strike her, and she stopped
And you will tell us about him directly
after, mamma-won't you?"
Yes; but there is not a great deal to
The basket was nicely packed by the two
girls with a very acceptable supply of food
for the invalid-cold meat, arrowroot, tea,
sugar, and similar things, which Mrs. Selwyn
herself selected and gave them-and by the
time they had finished, the meal in the
kitchen was over. Then Mrs. Selwyn, with
some difficulty, got the exact address of
Peter's widowed mother from the girl, and
entrusting the basket to the care of both,
saw them safely off on their way home.
Now, mamma," cried Clara, when they
were once more fairly established in the
drawing-room. Come, Louisa, and bring
the other cushion. Mamma has two
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 57
knees, you know, and we can each have
Well, Clara, you dispose of my knees
very summarly," returned Mrs. Selwyn,
laughing; but you are quite welcome to
them, my love, in the way Clara meant,"
she added, turning to Louisa, who had hesi-
tated to appropriate it on Clara's invitation
alone. Thus encouraged, however, she
advanced; and with a child leaning against
her on either side, Mrs. Selwyn began-
"I wonder I never told you of my meeting
Peter before, Clara, but it happened when
you were staying at your aunt's for a week,
and then, just as you came back, we heard
of our dear little visitor here coming to us,
and we were so full of that, I suppose, the
whole thing went out of my head. How-
ever, I let you stay in Welbeck Street alto-
gether, you know, because my friend, Mrs.
Norman, was so ill they wanted me to go
and pass a few days with her if possible."
Oh! yes, I remember, mamma; and
I did not half like being away from you
58 THE HOP-GARDEN.
a whole week, though it was very good
fun staying with Carry and Julia in their
Well, Mrs. Norman lives out of town,
you know, and I went up and down on
business once or twice while I stopped
with her. One day I was rather hurried,
and there was a greater crowd than usual,
especially round the railings separating the
platforms at the railway station. I was
passing very rapidly along to meet papa,
whom I saw close by the railings near the
large waiting-room, when I heard a child
crying bitterly, and apparently almost
crushed in among some young men who
were leaning over the rails laughing and
talking. I looked towards the spot from
which the sound proceeded, but could not see
the child's face, and as papa had been
waiting for me some time, and we had
neither of us much time to spare that day, I
was just turning away, and we were leaving
the station, when some of the gentlemen
moved a little, and then I saw a little boy
"-,Asked the poor child what was the matter? -Page 59.
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 59
crying as if his heart was broken. Poor little
Oh, mamma and was that Peter?"
Yes, my dear, it was Peter; though till
to-day I had no idea what my poor little
friend's name was. However, I could not
go away without speaking to a poor little
child who seemed in such misery and with
nobody to care for him, so I begged papa to
wait a moment for me, and went back.
When I stooped down to speak to the boy
the gentlemen made way, and seemed then,
for the first time to be aware that they had
had so unhappy a little mortal hidden
amongst them. I asked the poor child what
was the matter, and had some difficulty in
making out the answer through his convul-
Poor little fellow !" ejaculated Louisa,
with deep sympathy.
"Yes, indeed, he was a pitiful sight,
my dear. At last I comprehended partly
that he had been sent there to meet some-
body, and that this somebody had not
60 THE HOP-GARDEN.
come, and he felt himself lost in all that
Was he quite alone, mamma, and with-
out luggage or anything ?"
Quite alone, dear, and all the luggage
he had was in a very small white bag, which
he held tightly clutched in his little hands.
He evidently understood he was to take great
care of it, and considered it quite a trea-
Well, I spoke to a porter whom I knew,
and he sent a police-officer, to whom I pointed
out my little friend, and he went up and spoke
to him quite kindly. He made out more
about him than I had been able to do, and
showed me his direction pinned on with a
His direction, mamma! What can you
Just what I say, my little girl: there was
the poor little fellow's address written in a
sprawling hand, but quite legibly, on a card,
and carefully fastened on to his waistcoat."
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 61
"What! just as if he had been a pack
age ? Poor child! how droll it must have
It would have done so, but it was hidden
under the front of his jacket, and I don't
think I should ever have found it out; but
the policeman seemed quite used to such
things, and so hunted for it. He made out
from the boy, and repeated to me, that he
had been sent up from the country to his
mother; that she was to have met him herself,
or sent a neighbour to do so, at the station,
but that no one had come; and the poor boy
must have been waiting two hours amongst
all the crowd of strangers at the railway
station, till, no doubt, he became thoroughly
frightened, and began crying bitterly, as I
"And what did you do?" asked Louisa,
earnestly fixing her large eyes, moist with
sympathy, on Mrs. Selwyn.
Why, I should hardly have known what
to do, but the policeman said he knew an
omnibus conductor who went close by the
62 THE HOP-GARDEN.
lane where the child had to go, and if he had
money to pay his fare he had no doubt Jem '
would give.an eye to him and see that he got
up the court all right. I spoke to papa; and
as it was quite impossible that we could see the
child safe, as we were already late for our ap-
pointment, we gave the policeman a shilling
for the boy, and begged him to see that
he was put in the way of getting safe
"And did you tell him to come and see
Yes, I wrote my full address on one of
my cards, and, on the back, that I wished
the boy to come on some future day, and tell
me if he got to mother' safely, and made
him put it away into the inner pocket of his
little jacket. He had left off crying by that
time, and promised me quite bravely that he'd
be sure and come if mother would let him;
and I saw him trotting along by the police-
man's side in one direction, looking tolerably
happy, while your papa and I went off in
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 63
"And now you will go and see his mother.
May we go with you, mamma? "
No, my dear, I think not; it is a very
nasty part of London, and you are too young
yet to be taken among such people as we
shall have to encounter to visit Mrs. West.
I shall not go myself without asking papa
But if she is a nice woman, why does
she live among bad people, mamma ?"
We are not sure yet, Clara, that she is
a nice woman, as you say; and besides, if
she is ever so nice, she is, no doubt, much
too poor to choose her own home just where
she would like. We can none of us quite
do that, and in London the very poor are
often obliged to live in the same house with
neighbours they would rather not be near if
they could help themselves. Not that I mean
to say all people who live near Mrs. West are
bad. I hope there may be many quite as good
as we are fancying her to be. However, it is
quite time you went out for your walk now,
my dears, so go and get ready. You may
64 THE HOP-GARDEN.
tell papa all about Peter's visit yourself to-
night, if you like, and we will hear what he
says about going to see his mother."
Mr. Selwyn was nearly overpowered that
evening, directly the children came in for
dessert, with the eager account of their morn-
ing visitor; and it was some time-atleast he
pretended so-before he discovered whether
little Peter was a living boy with a tongue
of his own, or a well-made figure obeying
certain strings pulledby the big strip of a
girl," who seemed to have no name at all,
so far as he could make out. However,
when the little voices were still waiting in
some anxiety for his fiat respecting the pro-
jected visit to Snow Court, he said, looking at
Well, I am glad your little friend has
turned up after all. I was very much afraid
the whole thing was an imposition, and one
does not like to think real distress could be
so well counterfeited. So this male Niobe
was bond fide what he seemed-a heart-broken
little boy, not over-gifted with sharpness. That
POOR PETER'S DISTRESS. 65
name of the girl's for him is not a bad one,
though it savours very much of the region
whence she sprang. Well, Clara, what are
you pulling my fingers off for, and both of
you looking so very eager about ?"
Mamma's going to see her."
Oh, certainly; but not till I can go too.
The first leisure afternoon I have we will go
and ferret out little Peter, and this charming
petticoat Mentor of his. But then, you two
must give up your expedition to Richmond,
perhaps till next year, for I may not have
another free day till the days are too short.
How about that ? "
Oh, we would much rather you went to
see Mrs. West, indeed," cried both girls
"Very well, then. Mamma and I will go
as soon as we can; she must not go alone.
I wonder how much snow we shall find,"
added Mr. Selwyn, laughing. Don't you
think it will be rather an unusual colour,
Clara and Louisa were delighted to think
66 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Mrs. West was to be visited, and that they
should hear all about little Peter; and though
they were rather disturbed at having to wait
for what they wanted to know that very
minute, still it was something to look
forward to, and, like good girls, they tried
to be patient, and submit to the delay
"4 CLARA, do look at that man," cried Louisa
one morning, as the latter stood by the
breakfast-room window; what an ugly dog
he is leading by the string. And oh!
look there, he has another--quite a little
creature, such a dear little mite, hidden
under his coat-in his pocket it is, I verily
"Yes, that it is," said Clara, running to
the window. "Mamma, do come and look
at him; and see, he has another on the other
side; he has just pulled it back through the
railings. What can he be doing with all
those dogs? I wish we could see that tiny
one he has in his pocket. Mamma, may
we call him in and ask him to show it
No, my dear, certainly not. I should
68 THE HOP-GARDEN.
like you to see the dogs very much; but he
is not a sort of man to have into the house.
I am afraid he is nothing else but a dog-
stealer. See, he is offering them for sale to
that gentleman. Now stand close to the blind,
my dears, and you will see that wonder of
yours; he is taking it out of his coat at this
"Oh, what a darling!" cried Clara;
"why, it is not much bigger than Topsy.
Do look at its tiny brown ears and tail,
Louisa; do look."
"Yes," said Louisa, musingly, and she did
peep through the blind. But she was evi-
dently thinking of something else; and
presently, when Clara was still lost in ecsta-
sies about the "wee doggie," she said, half
as if asking a question, half as though to
herself, "Then men do steal dogs in
Yes, my dear, I am sorry to say they
do," said Mrs. Selwyn, "and very often they
take dogs back to their rightful owners after
stealing them, pretending they have found
ANNETTE'S 4 DEVOIR." 69
them, just to get any reward that may have
How very wicked !" exclaimed Louisa;
" then perhaps what papa thought might
have been true."
What was that, my dear ?" asked Mrs.
Selwyn; and Clara turned hastily round in
the hope of a story.
Why, Annette one day brought a beauti-
ful little dog in to show us. It was such a
dear little beauty, and I wanted mamma to
buy it; but Annette said no. She begged
I would not do that; but she wished I
would keep it just for that night. She
seemed very uncomfortable, and ready to
cry, and as if she did not quite know what
she said, and then she asked to speak to
"Well?" said Clara, impatiently, as
Louisa paused for a moment.
Poor Annette! I was thinking how
often she used to seem in great trouble;
but I never thought about it then, ex-
cept to be impatient that she was not so
70 THE HOP-GARDEN.
amusing as usual." And Louisa sighed
"Ah! my dear child," said Mrs. Selwyn,
stroking her hair, you are not the only
person-no, not even the only little girl-
in the world who has to regret want of
sympathy with the sorrow of others,
and impatience at the effects of it. We
must have felt sorrow ourselves before
we can make allowance for its results in
"But about the little dog, Loui dear?"
said Clara, eagerly. What did she tell
Nothing, dear. She only asked mamma
if she would advance her a month's wages,
offering to leave her ear-rings in madame's
hands till the month was up."
Ear-rings !-a servant with ear-rings!"
Yes, my dear," said her mother; you
will not see the poorest peasant in France
without her ear-rings. They are not looked
on as mere finery there, but are a sort of
ANNETTE'S "DEVOIR." 71
badge of respectability; they descend from
mother to daughter, and are highly
prized. A French girl would as soon think
of going without her cap as without her
ear-rings, and both are distinctive marks
of the French bonne, or nursemaid. Well,
Mamma said she would let her have
her wages without keeping her ear-rings, and
then she seemed very glad and thankful-
only she stammered rather when she asked
mamma if she would let me keep the dog
in my room out of sight, till the next day,
when it must go home. She would be very
glad if chere mademoiselle might buy it;
but it must go home."
Yes," said Clara, eagerly; and did
you keep it?"
Only till the next day; then Annette
asked leave to go out for the afternoon, and
carried it away with her. Papa said he saw
some bills about, describing just such a little
dog as lost, and he thought it had been
72 THE HOP-GARDEN.
"Stolen! but who by? Annette?" asked
"Oh, no, dear Clara. Won't you under-
stand how good Annette was? No, but per-
haps by her father; at least, that is what papa
and mamma fancied, but we don't know at
all; only Annette seemed very poor for a long
while after, and they thought perhaps she had
paid her father for the dog and taken it back
to its owner, without asking anything for it
or saying anything about it. Mamma said
she was almost sure of it, because Annette
seemed so much more cheerful and happy
that night when she came home without the
dog and with no money. We knew she had
no money, for papa asked her next morning
to lend him two francs to pay a man, because
he had no change, and Annette coloured
and said she had only five sous in the
world. Mamma was quite sorry after-
wards she had been asked, but she seemed
too happy to think about it for long, and
they had not thought how it all was till
ANNETTE'S "DEVOIR." 73
"But what a shame it was," exclaimed
Clara, indignantly, for her to suffer for her
father's wickedness like that."
"Yes; but then, you know, it was helping
her mother," pleaded Louisa, gently.
"Yes," said Mrs. Selwyn; "and though it
does seem hard, my dears, it was her duty,
and depend upon it she has had her reward
in her own heart. She must have been a
very superior girl though, and I wish very
much there seemed any chance of finding
out where she is."
Louisa was much gratified by this praise
of her favourite, but inquired anxiously,
" Oh, Mrs. Selwyn, don't you think
there is any hope of her coming to us
My dear child, it is impossible to say.
There is always a possibility of such things,
but I would not have you depend on it too
much. One comfort for you is, that wherever
she may be, it is tolerably certain she is where
her duty calls her, and fulfilling it to the
best of her ability."
74 THE HOP-GARDEN.
Louisa sighed; she knew this ought to
comfort her; but she would rather have
felt sure she should one day see her chMre
Annette again. Clara, in their private con-
versation over the matter afterwards, gave
it as her decided opinion that Annette
would come to light again somewhere or
other; she did not know why, she confessed,
and had no particular reason to give, only
she felt quite sure about it-it would be so
wrong and unfair if she did not." Louisa
hardly subscribed to her young friend's
logic; but it comforted her, nevertheless,
and though she hardly hoped for such
good fortune herself, it was a consolation
to know that some one had blind faith in
The Bernards had come back from the
sea-side a week or two previously to the
above conversation, and about this time
came an invitation from them for Clara and
Louisa, which was a subject of great felicita-
tion to both those young damsels. Clara
enjoyed anything out of the ordinary way
ANNETTE'S DEVOIR." 75
of every-day life, and Louisa was very
curious to see other little English maidens,
and to form one of an English party, though
a little timid at the prospect, nevertheless;
but, alas! a great disappointment was in
store for both. Just two days before the
Thursday, Louisa began to look very flushed,
and coughed a great deal. Mustard and
water for her feet, breakfast in bed, and
currant-jelly in hot water, were all tried in
vain. Wednesday evening she was no better,
and Thursday morning so feverish that Mrs.
Selwyn sent for the medical man, and his
sentence was, perfect quiet in bed for a day
or two at least."
Poor children! it was a sad blow to all
their joyous anticipations; and though Louisa
was very patient, and tried to be very con-
tented, a tear or two did steal down her
cheek, as visions of what was to have hap-
pened that eventful evening flitted before
her. As for Clara, when she heard Mr.
Drayton's fiat, she cried outright, and, asking
Miss Johnstone, very piteously, just to let
76 THE HOP-GARDEN.
her go and speak to mamma, ran headlong
into the drawing-room with red eyes and
swollen cheeks, exclaiming, Mamma-
please, mamma, if Louisa can't go, I
Mrs. Selwyn looked up from some house-
hold bills before her, rather bewildered,
and not quite understanding to what her
little daughter alluded: a light broke upon
her, however, after a moment, and she
"My dear Clara, you need not be so vehe-
ment. Louisa's illness is very unfortunate,
but still it is what no one could have pre-
vented. My little girl, you speak in quite
an injured tone. Mr. Drayton advises what
Oh! yes, mamma, I know. I didn't
mean that; only it is so provoking, and
when we had so depended on it too."
My dear child, illness and health are not
in our hands. Think, my Clara, and let us
rather be thankful Louisa's illness is no
worse than it is-a cold, severe for the time,
ANNETTE'S "DEVOIR." 77
but which will pass away, and leave her just
our own cheerful, happy Louisa again in a
Clara did not answer directly; she thought
as her mother bade her, and then her
disturbed face cleared a little, and it was
in a softer tone that she again pleaded
-" But I need not go, mamma, without
Mrs. Selwyn did not answer directly, she
was thinking of a certain conversation held
with her little girl not yet a year ago, and
how her views of companionship had changed
since then. Clara grew impatient at receiv-
ing no answer, and repeated her query with
the addition-" It won't be a bit of pleasure
to me without Louisa."
Mrs. Selwyn smiled. It was too good an
opportunity to be lost; so, though she felt
it a little cruel to remind Clara of that
day, in her present state of mind, she
resolutely replied, with a meaning smile,
"But you will have all the pleasure to
yourself, my dear, with no one to inter-
78 THE HOP GARDEN.
fere with you, or rob you of your full share
"Mamma!" and Clara's cheek flushed
"Then my Clara no longer thinks it
pleasanter to enjoy her pleasures all alone,
like a selfish little girl?"
A shower of passionate tears answered this
question, while Clara, with burning blushes,
poured forth half inarticulate assurances-
" How very, very happy she was with Louisa,"
"How impossible it was anything could be
really pleasant without her to share it," and
how she hoped "Mamma would not think of
her naughty selfishness any more, she was so
very sorry and ashamed, and she had been so
Mrs. Selwyn was very well satisfied, and,
seeing her little girl's distress came truly
from her heart, she tenderly folded her in
her arms, saying-
"Well, my darling, we will not allude to
this any more; only, if you remember, it was
agreed we should recall it once, though the
ANNETTE'S DEVOIR." 79
time is not half passed yet. My Clara
knows now how certainly a good heart
must always find its pleasures doubled by
participation, and the sympathy of real
Clara returned her mother's caresses
very energetically, and there was silence
for a few minutes, at the end of which she
Mamma, I should like to stay at home
with Louisa very much, if I may."
The substance of her request was the same,
but it was put in a much more humble
"And I should like you to do it, my
darling, if it were right, but I do not think
it would be. Thank God, our Louisa is not
seriously ill, and I don't think we have any
right to disappoint your little friends of the
pleasure of having one of you at least. No,
my pet, you must go."
Clara sighed deeply, but she did not utter
one rebellious murmur, and so her mother
80 THE HOP-GARDEN.
You may stay with Louisa instead of
going for a walk this afternoon, Clara, if you
like; only don't go too near her bed, dear,
for influenza is catching, and it would be a
terrible thing," she added smiling, for you
to be invalided just as Louisa is getting well,
Oh, there's no fear of that, mamma,"
replied Clara, dolefully; Louisa won't let
me come within a yard of her. She told me,
like you, she should give me her cold if I
did; and so she talked over Mansell to her
side, though she did not think so at first, and
I have to keep near the window all the
Mrs. Selwyn laughed. "A serious
penance, dear-very; but I hope you will
survive it. What a dear thoughtful child
Louisa is! And now go back to Miss John-
stone, darling, and think how pleasant it will
be to tell your little friend of everything you
see and hear to-night. I am sure it will be
of great interest to her."
Clara thought that would be but a poor
ANNETTE'S "DEVOIR." 81
exchange for seeing and hearing with her
own eyes and ears; nevertheless, the idea
cheered her up, and after kissing her mother
again, she ran back to the school-room con-
BEFORE Louisa was able to go out, or resume
her usual duties in the school-room, the after-
noon arrived on which Mr. Selwyn pro-
claimed himself able to take mamma to see
Mrs. West and her son Peter. Mrs. Selwyn
set off directly after luncheon; she was to
meet her husband on the road, and proceed
directly to Snow Court.
The little girls watched her departure from
the window with great interest, and awaited
the result of the visit with intense anxiety.
Mr. and Mrs. Selwyn only came home
just in time to dress for dinner, and Clara
and Louisa were feeling very disappointed
that their curiosity must wait till that meal
was over, when Rachel came in and said
with a smiling face-
Mistress says, young ladies, if you like
you may come into her dressing-room."
SNOW COURT. 83
Oh, how nice!" cried both girls. Just
like mamma!" "How good of Mrs. Sel-
And down from the window- seat, into which
they had been squeezed, they jumped, and
sped away to Mrs. Selwyn's dressing-room.
Well, my dears," she said, as they
entered, I thought I must have compassion
on you and tell you about Peter now, or you
would have fancied our dinner was going to
last till next week."
Yes, there's a good mother-now please
tell us all about it," cried Clara, pushing
Louisa into one corner of her mother's sofa,
and nestling herself into the other, that
article of furniture being in a remarkably
good position for seeing and hearing Mrs.
Selwyn at her dressing table.
"Am I to begin at the beginning, and
make what you call a real story, Clara,
while Rachel does my hair?"
"Yes, please, mamma; it can't be too
long, you know."
"Humphl I don't know what papa might
84 THE HOP-GARDEN.
say about that; he may be rather hungry,
you know, and not quite subscribe to that
"Oh, I forgot; but please do begin,
there's a dear mamma."
So Mrs. Selwyn began without further
"We found Mrs. West living in Snow
Court, as the girl told us, in one room, with
little Peter; and the girl, whose name is
Martha Crouts, lives in another room next
door to them. They all seem very poor, but
honest, and papa thinks Mrs. West a true
object of charity. She had lived all her
life in a little Northamptonshire village,
till about two years ago. She had lost her
husband a few months before, and found
it hard work to support herself and little
Peter down there, without going into the
workhouse, which she had a great horror
of doing. Then her brother, who was a
London workman, wrote to tell her he
thought he could find her plenty of work
if she would come up to town and live with
SNOW COURT. 85
him. The offer seemed a tempting one, so
up Mrs. West came- "
"What! without her little boy?" asked
Louisa, in dismay.
"Yes, without Peter. She told me she
was afraid of bringing him up to such a
'big, wicked town,' knowing that she
should be out all day working or sharing,
and have no one to leave little Peter with.
She found her brother doing pretty well as
a bricklayer's labourer; but I am afraid,
from what she let drop, he was not a very
steady man. However, they lived together
in Snow Court, and she made a tolerable
living, going out every day to work;
and, indeed, had put a little money by,
so that she might be able to have her little
son with her again, and send him to
But where was be all this time?" asked
Clara. Who took care of him ?"
"A cousin of hers down in the village
where he was born, and where he was very
happy, with all his old companions to play
86 THE HOP-GARDEN.
with, and where every one knew him and
were kind to him."
"I would rather have been with my
mother though," said Louisa, half aloud;
and Clara echoed energetically-
And so would I, I am sure."
He had not the choice, my dears," re-
turned Mrs. Selwyn, "and I think Mrs.
West judged very rightly, poor woman, in
not having him up to London till he was
old enough to go to school and take some
care of himself. Remember, she was out
early and home late, and had her brother
to see to besides. Little Peter must have
taken care of himself, and very hard work
he would have found it. Mrs. West did
quite right, though I dare say it was a hard
trial to her to live separated from her only
"Yes, mamma; well?" Clara was not
fond of any interruptions but her own to the
thread of a story.
"Things went on so for nearly a year;
then Mrs. West began to think she might
SNOW COURT. 87
venture on hiring a room all to herself, and
send for little Peter, when her brother fell
ill very suddenly. He got from bad to
worse, and she had to nurse him very closely.
She lost a great deal of her own work from
not being able to attend to it properly. Her
brother had not been at all provident; he
belonged to no club, and had not saved any
money, and his illness was of a very expen-
sive nature. Poor Mrs. West spent all her own
savings upon him, and when at last he died
she had hardly enough left to pay the rent
of the room. However, she began to work
again; some few of the people she had gone to
were willing to have her again; and after a
few weeks she got on so well that she thought
she might send for Peter. She did so long to
have him, she said, it seemed more lonesome
than ever without him now her brother was
"And she wrote, and they sent him up
by the railroad, and you met him. But,
mamma, how came they to send him alone?"
You jump to conclusions, Clara; but
88 THE HOP-GARDEN.
in this case you are right. She did write,
and her cousin sent him off very carefully
by the train, which his mother had agreed to
meet at London Bridge. There was no one
to go with him, and no money to pay an
extra fare if there had been; so his cousin
was obliged to send him alone."
"But how came his mother not to meet
him ?-how wicked of her."
Not so fast, my dear. You ask me for
a long story, and yet have not patience to
listen to half of it. If you interrupt me
much more, the dinner-bell will ring before
I can finish."
Well, mamma, I won't-please go on.
But why didn't she meet him ?"
"The very morning she expected him,
the poor woman fell down some steps and
broke her leg. She was carried to the
hospital, and for some time lay there quite
insensible; for, besides breaking her leg, she
had struck her head against a sharp stone,
and had suffered a slight concussion of the
brain. The people she was with knew no-
SNOW COURT. 89
thing of her expecting little Peter, and her
neighbours in the court concluded she had
gone to meet him, as she had told them she
should. When she came to herself, her first
anxiety was about Peter. The hospital nurse
was a kind-hearted woman, and seeing the
distress she was in, she sent off a messenger
to Snow Court, who brought back word that
little Peter was safe with the Grouts, though
broken-hearted not to see his mother.
Thanks to 'Jem,' the conductor, he had
arrived there safely about an hour before,
and put Martha and her mother in a great
taking,' as they called it, about what could
have happened to his mother. She, poor
woman, stopped in the hospital till she was
cured, Martha Crouts taking little Peter
to see her every visitors' day, and being
very good to him all along; and directly
Mrs. West came out and understood how little
Peter got home, and saw my card, she sent
him to see me, under his friend Martha's care."
"And who tacked the direction on to
him ?" asked Louisa.
90 THE HOP-GARDEN.
"( The cousin-very fortunately, as it turned
out. Mrs. West said she and her neigh-
bours would have made 'a sight of fun of it if
it hadn't proved such a providence like to the
poor boy;' and now they thought it quite a
a miracle of care. Peter would never have
thought of Snow Court by himself, she is
sure, and perhaps she would never have
seen him again, and then, poor woman, she
began to cry and express her gratitude."
And what will she do now, mamma?"
"Papa means to try and get her some
employment at home till she is strong enough
to go out again, which I hope she soon will
be now. She will get plenty of work and do
very well, I hope. But there is the bell.
Now I must go down, my dears;" and Mrs.
Selwyn hurried away, leaving her young lis-
teners quite contented with her full history,
to talk over little Peter and his mother to
their hearts' content.
HOPPING AT GREEN HOLLOW.
TIME passed rapidly on. Clara and Louisa
were both nearly a year older than when
they first heard they were to live together
for awhile; and now they had so grown into
each other's habits, and were so fondly at-
tached to one another, that they could hardly
realise the time when they were strangers to
The hot breath of summer was upon
London, heating the roofs of the houses
till they seemed as if they had just come out
of a furnace, parching up the trees in the
park till their poor leaves were of a slate
colour, and making every one who was so
happy as ever to have seen them, long
for shady country lanes and cool country
It was during this hot weather that Mr.
Selwyn suddenly asked Clara, one day, if
92 THE HOP-GARDEN.
she remembered her last year's anxiety to
see hops and hop-picking?
Oh, yes, papa."
"And is the longing as great still, or
has something else succeeded, and deposed
that year's old Queen of Wishes from her
No, papa," returned Clara, laughing,
" she is still in possession-no usurper has
even attempted to displace her."
"Well, then, shall we go hopping, or
shall we go picking up shells and seaweed ?
What say you, Louisa? Put it to the
Louisa looked up brightly. She had never
been by the sea-side, and had a great desire
to go there; besides, she always fancied
she should be nearer mamma, if she were
close by that sea which divided them. She
had not quite heard what had been said
before, as she had been reading, and was
now on the point of exclaiming "The sea,
please," when she caught Clara's dismayed
face. She paused for a moment, and then
HOPPING AT GREEN HOLLOW. 93
asked what Clara was so interested about.
That young lady instantly gave her the
whole detail of the hopping, word for word,
as nearly as she could remember, as she had
received it from her mother.
Louisa listened attentively; but the ideal
picture did not win her fancy so quickly as
it had Clara's. She still longed in her own
inmost heart for the sea-side, and was sorely
tempted to say so, as she thought of mamma,
and the charms beside of bathing, boating,
picking up shells-all she had heard so much
about, but never shared in. But Louisa was
the most unselfish of little girls; and though
it cost her a sharp inward struggle, by the
time Clara's glowing descriptions were ended
she had won her victory over herself, and
could say, quietly, but cheerfully, I should
like to see this hop-picking very much, I
Now, this was very good of Louisa, for to
be by the sea-side had been an early dream
of hers, and for many years had she coveted
this special pleasure, which was just offered
94 THE HOP-GARDEN.
her now, only for her to feel it right to turn
away from it.
Well," said Mr. Selwyn, "then that
is settled. I know mamma's taste," he
added, looking with a smile at his wife;
"c and what's more, I believe I know of a
snug farm-house, very near the place where
mamma used to live, where we shall be able
to get lodgings."
Oh, how delightful that will be! cried
Clara, full of pleasure, and looking eagerly
to Louisa for her ready sympathy-for she
had not seen the change on her friend's face,
and was quite ignorant of what had passed
in her mind. Louisa smiled assent, and
nobody knew the great sacrifice she had
made; but she was herself rewarded for it,
even at the time, by the feeling of having
acted as she ought, and as her mamma would
have had her act. So the disappointment
was soon smoothed away, and she was join-
ing as usual in Clara's eager anticipations and
The farm-house lodgings proved to be avail-
HOPPING AT GREEN HOLLOW. 95
able. Mr. Selwyn took them, and about a
week or two before hopping began, they found
themselves comfortably settled in a pretty
village on the Surrey borders of Hampshire,
full of hop-gardens, and, what was more,
the gardens themselves full of hops; for it
was a good year, and the people were looking
forward to their hop-harvest with great satis-
Oh! the many delights of the real country
to a little girl who has lived all her life in
London Clara was in what seemed to her
enchanted ground, and Louisa was hardly less
happy. Though she had been in the country
abroad, that was very different from the real
English lanes, and fields, and homesteads.
She almost ceased to think about the sea,
that great joy which she had only just
Every day brought some fresh wonder
of delight to the young ladies, and Mansell,
who thought London, in spite of the heat, a
far more comfortable home than Green Hol-
low, with its fresh breezes and sweet smells,
96 THE HOP-GARDEN.
sometimes thought her darling child was
gone quite crazy with the cows, and children,
And it must be confessed Clara sometimes
acted as if she was a little beside herself; but
it was all so fresh and attractive, and altogether
charming, that there surely was some little
excuse for her.
The first time Mrs. Selwyn walked with
them into a hop garden, among the elegant
festoons of leaves and fruit, the raptures of
both the girls were boundless. Clara stood
almost speechless with delight, holding one
beautiful drooping bunch in her hand, as if
doubting its reality, while Louisa, clasping
hers, exclaimed in French, as was her habit
when much moved, Ah! qu'ils ressemblent
A mes vignes."
Only we can't eat their grapes," said
Mr. Selwyn, demurely, more's the pity."
A daily visit to the hop gardens was now
a matter of course, and the girls hardly
knew whether they most wished for or
dreaded the time when the spoliation of their