Citation
Ashgrove Farm, or, A place for every one

Material Information

Title:
Ashgrove Farm, or, A place for every one
Portion of title:
Place for every one
Creator:
Bowen, C. E ( Charlotte Elizabeth ), 1817-1890
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Woodfall and Kinder ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
George Routledge and Sons
Manufacturer:
Woodfall & Kinder
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
160, 32 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Farms -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sick -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1875 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by C.E.B.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026514765 ( ALEPH )
ALF9105 ( NOTIS )
71439488 ( OCLC )

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ASHGROVE FARM;

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4 PLACE FOR EVERY. ONE,





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ASHGROVE FARM,



ASHGROVE FARM;

oR,

A PLACE FOR EVERY ONE,

BY

C. HE. B.,

AUTHOR OF “WORK FOR ALL;” “CHARLIE AND WALTER,”
“RICH AND POOR,” ETO, ETC.

LONDON :
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,

THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE,



ASHGROVE FARM.

CHAPTER L

Ir was a happy day at Ashgrove Farm -
on which Mrs. Elwood presented her hus-
band with a daughter! For thirteen years
had the worthy couple been married, and
all things gone on prosperously with them,
Riches increased, and so did the universal
respect in which they were held by their
neighbours; for Mr. Elwood was a liberal
man, as well as a clever farmer, and was
always ready to dispense to his poorer
neighbours some of the comforts which so
abundantly surrounded his own dwelling.
Both Mr, and Mrs, Elwood were great
favourites at the Hall with the squire and
his lady. At the yearly: entertainment
given by them to their tenants, none were
more cordially welcomed by the host and



6 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

hostess. Indeed, the special notice which
Mrs. Wentworth devoted to Mrs. Elwood,
sometimes excited a good deal of jealousy
amongst certain ladies, who had put them-
selves to no small amount of trouble and
expense in order to appear in what they
and their dressmakers thought was fashion-
able attire—whereas good Mrs. Elwood
came simply dressed in her Sunday gown.
She was, consequently, perfectly at her ease
as to her external appearance, whilst others
were in some trepidation as to the effect
likely to be produced by the finery so
rarely worn, and in which they felt far from
comfortable. Our worthy farmer’s wife
knew no such troubles. Her gown fitted
her as well at the farm as at the Hall, and
her delicately white cap, with its modest
trimming of white satin ribbon, was the
same shape that she had worn for years,
without giving any consideration to the
fact that it was no longer new.

Not, however, but that some of her friends
had tried to improve “her style,” as they
called her mode of dress. Pretty little
Mrs. Langton, of Acton Heath, a young



A Place for Every One. 7

wife of a year’s standing, andto whom Mrs.
Elwood had shown ancl matronly kind-
ness, came in one day and saw a cap lying
unfinished on the table.

Now Mrs. Langton had been brought up
in London, and moreover, had brought
thence on her marriage a very gay and
abundant trousseau ; she was therefore re-
garded by her country neighbours as rather
a standard of fashion.

She was not a little proud of the dis-
tinction, it must be owned; but she was
extremely good-natured, and always ready
either to lend her patterns or give her advice
any one. to whom they might be useful.
Her intimacy with Mrs. Elwood encouraged
her to ask who was her milliner ?

“My milliner ! My dear Mrs. Langton,
I never had one in my life!”

“ Did you not order this cap of one?”

“Why, I bought the back of it in the
market, of an old woman who has made
them for years ; and I plaited up the front,
and put it on and trimmed it myself”

“ Butit isn’t in the fashion, Mrs. Elwood ;
they don’t wear them plaited all round the



8 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

face; and no one ever hears of such a thing
as tying on a cap now-a-days.”

“ How in the world, then, am I to keep
it on my head?”

“Tt should be pinned on at the two sides ;
I can’t show you how with your cap, it’s
so stiff, and so unlike the right shape. If
you will let me, I will make you one that I
know you will like.”

“But the pins might fall out, and then
my cap would come tumbling off! I don’t
think a dozen of them would make me feel
safe.”

“They are not common pins that are used,
but very large gold ones which fasten into
the hair. I have a pair; which I shall be
glad to lend you; I willsend them with the
cap, and you must promise to wear them.”
So saying, little Mrs. Langton hurried home,
full of her scheme for making her dear kind
friend Mrs. Elwood a head-dress that would
cause her good-humoured face to look almost
handsome, she was sure.

And the next evening it arrived in a
band-box. When Mrs. Elwood lifted out
the smart-looking affair, made of lace and



A Place for Every One. 9

fringe, shaped so as just to cover the back
of the head, with a pair of large gold balls
peeping out at the sides, she almost dropped
it, from dismay at thinking it had been
made for her.

“Dear a me! to think of all the trouble
poor Mrs. Langton must have had over it ;
and yet wear it I can’t, that’s certain,”
said she to herself. But the thought of
appearing ungrateful vexed her, so she re-
solved just to put it on for a moment, that
she might be able to say she knew from
experience it did not suit. She was in a
little parlour which opened out of the
kitchen. There was an old-fashioned glass
over the mantel-piece, very high up ; but, by
standing on a stool she could make use of
it;.it was the first time in her life she had -
so elevated herself, except for the purpose
of dusting it. Having removed her neat
every-day cap, and taken the other in her
hand, she examined it attentively, by way
of ascertaining how it was to be put on;
and at length had succeeded in arranging it
and the pins, as she supposed was intended,
when suddenly a loud “Halloa!*” from a



10 Ashgrove Farm; or,

voice at the door, made her start so violently
that one of the pins fell out, and catching
in the fringe on the head-dress, hung
dangling from it, as she turned hastily
yound, with a halfashamed, half-amused
look, to explain to her husband what she
was about. It was no half amusement
with him, however. The farmer could
enjoy a joke thoroughly, when it came in
his way; and to catch his sober plain-
dressing Susan rigging out her head in this
guise, and standing on a stool to look at
herself, was to him something so perfectly
ledicrous, that his mirth knew no bounds.
One peal of laughter succeeded another so
boisterously, that poor Mrs. Elwood became
terrified lest her maids should mistake the
unusual sounds, and, coming to see what
was the matter, be spectators also of her
apparent folly. But in vain she tugged at
the delicate fabric of lace, fringe, and
flowers! The pin which had remained in
its place seemed as if it never meant to
quit it again, so firmly had it become fixed
in her hair ; and she was compelled to ask
her husband’s assistance in getting it dis-



A Place for Every One. 11

entangled! His clumsy fingers did not
much improve matters, and her looks of
dismay only causing fresh bursts of
laughter, she at length seized her scissors,
and respecting neither head-dress nor hair,
cut both away from her head. Then,
snatching up her own cap, she tied it under
her chin, resolving she never again would
try on new fashions to please anybody.
As for the farmer, he had not forgotten his
joke when seed-sowing time came on,
Putting his head in at the window, he
would say,—

“Susan, suppose you were to bring your
stool, and stand in the field with that head-
gear on for an hour or two? The birds are
uncommon troublesome to-day, and want
searing off sadly !”

So this was Mrs. Elwood’s first and last
attempt at trying new fashions; and in her
husband’s and Mrs. Wentworth’s eyes, at
all events, the plain cap with its white
ribbons suited her best, and set off her
pleasant features to the most advantage.
Year after year had passed on, till, as we
have before said, thirteen had been num-



12 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

bered since their marriage; and the secret
hope both had cherished that they might
have a family had passed away, when the
joyful event took place announced at the
opening of tke chapter, and which we left
in rather an unceremonious manner.

It is possible that Farmer Elwood might
have preferred a son, to take his place some
day in the farm ; but this is mere conjecture,
for no one ever heard him say so, nor would
anybody have judged that such was the case,
who saw his look of happiness on being told
his wife was doing well, and that the little
girl was as fine a baby as was ever born.
Perhaps a doubt as to the truth of the latter
part of the assertion crossed his mind, when
the novel sight of the little new-born creature
first met his eye; but there was true
fatherly tenderness mixed in the amazement
with which he bent over it and touched its
soft cheek with his great rough fingers,
saying, “1 don’t suppose I know much
about how ‘fine babies’ ought to look, but
I hope she’ll grow different to that after a
bit!”



A Place for Every One. 13

CHAPTER JI.

Farmer Exwoop was right in his conjec-
ture that his little Mary, as she was chris-
tened, would grow different-looking to what
she was when he first gazed lovingly, but
not admiringly, upon her features. A
prettier child could not be seen in the whole
neighbourhood, nor a happier one, as she
trotted by her father’s side about the farm,
or rode before him on horseback amongst
the fields and lanes. Certainly, no little
girl ever passed a pleasanter childhood than
herself, or one more free from nursery and
school-room restraints. A difficulty arose
when she was about six years old, as to
how she was to be taught to read and
write. Her mother undertook it, but soon
found that either she did not possess the
art of teaching, or Mary that of learning ;
for no progress was made. The farmer
himself, seeing how things stood, made a



14 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

few attempts at gaining her atteution, so
far as to make her master her letters; but
as the lesson was sure to end in a game of
romps before it was fairly begun, the
results were of course still unfavourable.
There was a village school; but, to her
father’s proposal one day. that she should
be sent there, Mrs. Elwood objected that
she should not like her to be so much
thrown with the village children. At last,
an arrangement was made with the school-
mistress that she should come over to the
farm, every day, after her scholars were
dismissed, and commence the work of
education in earnest. ‘The plan answered
tolerably well; and, by the time she was
ten years and a half old, Mary was by
no means deficient in such simple learn-
ing as could be given her by her instruc-
tress.

One evening, about this time, a conver-
sation passed between Mr. and Mrs. Elwood
which we will repeat, as it had an influence
on their daughter’s future life. The little
girl was asleep in bed. The farmer sat in
his easy chair, smoking by the fireside in



A Place for Every One. 15

the parlour before mentioned, whilst his
wife sat opposite, engaged in trimming one
of those very caps to which she had so
long before sworn eternal friendship. Mrs.
Elwood broke a silence of some duration,
by saying,—

“T’ve been thinking, John, that we
ought to begin and consider about giving
our Mary a genteel education.”

“What sort of a one is that, Susan? I
don’t quite understand.”

“Why, such as is given at boarding-
schools for young ladies, where they learn
music and drawing, and French and dancing.
I called on Mrs. Parker last market-day,
and saw her two daughters, who are just
come home from school. She showed me
their drawings. I don’t understand much
about it, but they looked to me as good as
what one sees in the shops. ‘Then, Mrs.
Parker says, they play and sing beauti-
fully.” oe

“But do you think, Susan, our Mary
will ever want these sort of things? To
be sure, she may be asked to a dance now
and then, for the matter of learning that ;



16 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

but if she drew a dozen pictures a week,
there would be no one to see them but
you and me; and J’d rather look at a
living horse or cow any day, than a likeness
of one.”

“Well; but there’s the French and
music. Mrs. Parker says all young ladies
learn foreign languages now-a-days, and
that at the school where her girls go, near
London, they never are allowed to speak
English except on Sundays, till at last
French comes so easy to them they talk
better in that than their own tongue.”

“Mercy on us, Susan! What should we
do if our little Mary went to school, and
came back talking that ontlandish jabber
like the Misses Wentworth’s governess ?
No, no, wife; depend upon it, God gave
her that tongue of hers to chatter English
with, not French, else she’d have been
born on the other side the water.”

“And the music; wouldn’t you have
her learn that either?”

“Why, where would be the good of it,
when we’ve got no piano ?”

“But one might be bought, surely; the



A Place for Every One. 17

money would be well laid out in giving
her such an amusement.”

This was a new idea to the good-natured
farmer, and touched him on a weak point.
We could withhold nothing from his child
that would give her pleasure.

Mrs. Elwood saw that she had gained
an advantage. She knew it by her hus-
band making no other reply than shaking
out his pipe, replenishing it from the box
on the mantel-piece, and then settling him-
self again in his chair, as if to continue
the conversation.

“You see, John,” she resumed, after a
pause, “ we've got but this one, and there’s
no need for her to be busying herself all
day long, when she grows up, as I do: so
why shouldn’t she go to boarding-school,
and learn to be a lady? We can afford
it well enough.”

“Yes ; it’s not the cash that’s wanting,”
replied the farmer ; “and therell be a
pretty penny for her some day when we
are gone, if things go on as they have
done.”

“That's just what Mrs. Parker was

Cc



18 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

saying to me. Says she, ‘Mary’s your
only child, Mrs. Elwood: why, people say
shell be quite an heiress; and, if so, she
may marry a gentleman some day; so you
ought to bring her up like a lady.’”

Farmer Elwood was silent, and puffed
away at his pipe, watching his wife’s
fingers as she dexterously stitched some
little white bows between the lace frills of
her cap.

“ Susan,” said he, at last, “do you re- *
member years ago my catching you standing
on the stool in your brown stuff dress,
with that queer thingamabob stuck on
your head by two great gilt knobs?”

“To be sure I do, quite well, John ; my
hair has never grown as long as the rest
where I cut it off in such a hurry: but
whatever makes you think about it now ?”

“ Because, somehow, it seems to me
something like what we are talking about.
I shall never forget what a rum figure
you cut when I came in, with all that
finery sticking above your plain dress.
Now, don’t you think that if we bring
up our Mary to live in this farmhouse of



A Place for Every One. 19

ours, which must be her home for some
years, at all events—by sending her to a
fine school to cram her with accomplish-
ments, as they are called, we are doing
somewhat as you did then? Sha’n’t we
be putting useless finery into her mind,
which we might be glad to pull out some
day, but which we shail find has got stuck
in as firmly as your gold knob was; and
will become her as ill, mayhap ?”

Mrs. Elwood did not immediately reply.
Two thoughts were struggling for the
mastery in her mind: the one was, that
there was a good deal of plain sense in her
honest husband’s remarks; the other, that
Mary had a pretty face, and would some
day have a pretty fortune; and, if she
were only brought up as a lady, might
have a chance of becoming one in course of
time. This last was by far the pleasantest
idea of the two ; and as we are all natu-
rally inclined to be most hospitable to
those we like best, so the good woman
quickly banished the disagreeable reflection,
and allowed the other to take full posses-
sion of her imagination. No one who saw

c 2



20 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Mrs, Elwood in her active discharge of
daily duties, her simple dress, and perfect
contentment with her lot, would have sup-
posed her liable to the weakness of castle-
building. It was one that had lain dorman$
hitherto : perhaps the extreme unselfishness
of her nature had been partly the cause ;
for on herself she had, from a child, never
been in the habit of wasting thought: the
pleasure and happiness of others had always
come before her own. But, when unselfish-
ness and want of judgment are combined
in a character, ib is apt to lead a person
into errors in the latter particular ; espe-
cially when affection steps in to bias it.
Thus it was with our simple-minded, warm-
hearted farmer’s wife; and so she rejected
the really clear though rough-set mirror
placed before her by her husband after the
first glance, and preferred using the less
true, but more gilded one, of her own
framing.

“TJ don’t see it as you do, John,” said
she, at last. “If we had a troop of boys
and girls to bring up and provide for, it
would be different; but, as Mrs, Parker



A Place for Every One. 21

was saying, it’s right that parents should
try to do the best for their children; and
I’m sure our Mary promises to grow up fit
to be the wife of a gentleman some day.”

“ Aye, Susan ; there’s what you women
always go contriving about—how to get
your daughters well married. To think,
now, of, you setting your brain to work on
the subject when Mary’s only ten years old!”

“Tf we wait till she’s grown up before
we settle what sort of an education she’s
to have, John, she'll never be fit to marry
any one; that’s certain.”

“Then the question now is, whether she
wouldn’t be better to be brought up as the
likely-to-be wife of a well-to-do farmer,
like her mother before her, rather than for
the possible chance of catching some young
fellow in the shape of a gentleman, whose
friends will look down on her, whilst he
spends whatever money she may chance to
have ?”

“That isn’t a nice way of putting it,
John; I wish you wouldn’t talk so. How-
ever, since you are against it, you shall
have your own way, and bring her up as



22 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

you think best. Perhaps you are right
and I am wrong about it, after all.”

Now, notwithstanding our real and sin-
cere liking for good Mrs. Elwood, we must
be honest enough to confess to our readers
that this concluding speech, so exactly
what sounds like “being subject to our
husbands,” was simply a cunning and
somewhat masterly move to win the game
she thought she was playing for Mary’s
good, She knew well, by experience in
simpler affairs, that there was no method
of gaining her own point like that of
seeming to yield it. Mr. Elwood loved
and looked up to Lis wife. In all do-
mestic matters she was an oracle to the
neighbourhood, and with these only she
had hitherto had todo. Asa wife, mother,
and mistress, her husband considered her
perfect. When, therefore, she so submis-
sively left this matter to his judgment, he
instantly felt as if he were intruding on
her particular province. Although he might
have claimed his right to share the govern-
ment of it with her, had she resisted ; yet
to have it thus meekly yielded to him,



A Place for Every One. 23

without one cross look or word, melted
his heart, and warped his better judgment
at the same moment.

“No, no, Susan,” said he, rising to lay
down his finished pipe; “I didn’t say you
are ‘wrong; for, after all, women must
know best about girls; so you settle it as
you like. Find a school, and T’!l pay the
bills for anything you want her taught.
So that you don’t learn music and drawing,
and French jabbering, Mary may try her
hand at what you please. But I tell you
what, Susan: I wonder whether they'll
make her, in the end, as useful and dear a
wife to another man as you are to me!
I doubt whether even our Mary will match
her mother!” And the rough but affec-
tionate farmer stooped from his six feet
height, and kissed away the tear that his
loving speech had brought glistening to his
Susan’s eye,



24 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

CHAPTER III.

Tue result of the foregoing conversation
was, that Mrs. Elwood again called on
Mrs. Parker to consult with her about
Mary’s education. That lady, who was the
wife of a thriving tanner in the neighbour-
hood, had great notions of the importance
of bringing up girls genteelly, as she called
it, and had acted upon them by sending
her daughters to what she considered a
fashionable school, where they were learn-
ing all those accomplishments which, she
had persuaded Mrs. Elwood, were indis-
pensable for her own child. Sheso strongly
recommended this seminary, that it was
finally decided upon for Mary; especially
as the Misses Parker would, Mrs. Elwood
considered, feel naturally somewhat inte-
rested in a companion coming from their
own. neighbourhood. The prospect of part-
ing with her was, however, so painful,



A Place for Every One. 25

when a consultation took place as to the
time of her going, and the child herself
was in such distress at the idea of leaving
her father and mother, that they both
agreed to defer the evil moment for ano-
ther five months, which would bring her
to the age of eleven years. She would
thus commence school life after the Mid-
summer vacation.

From the time that Mr. Elwood and his
wife had discussed the subject together, in
the conversation related in the last chapter,
he had never again attempted to oppose
the plan of sending Mary to school; and
had gradually reconciled himself to the
prospect of parting with her. Not but
that he would have gladly fallen into any
scheme that could have kept her at home.
Mrs. Wentworth often noticed Mary, even
occasionally asking her to spend an after-
noon with her children ; and was always
pleased with the bright-looking, happy little
girl, whose -hair was as soft and plain
white frock as spotless as her own young ©
daughter’s, though the fashion of the ar-
rangement of them was somewhat different.



26 ' Ashgrove Farm ; or,

She had on one occasion asked her parents
what they proposed doing about her edu-
cation, and had suggested the idea of look.
ing out for a sensible governess, who could
instruct her in all things necessary, and
who would be a companion to her in her
daily walks.

The farmer’s face lighted up at the
thought of keeping his child ; and he looked
anxiously at his wife’s countenance, in
hopes of seeing that she also liked the
proposal. But Mrs. Parker had so tho-
roughly convinced her Mary ought to go
to school, and associate with young ladies,
that she at once informed Mrs. Wentworth
of the decision they had made, adding that
she had been fortunate in hearing of a very
good seminary near London, where she
was told they had excellent masters for
everything.

The expression of Mrs. Wentworth’s
countenance puzzled her rather. She ex-
pected that she would at once allow the
advantages of such a plan; but, although
the squire’s lady was too well bred to say
anything, it was impossible not to see



A Place for Every One. 27

there was a doubt in her mind as to the
wisdom of the scheme; so much so, that
it left a feeling of something like dis-
comfiture over Mrs. Elwood for a litile
- while. She had often been much gratified
by observing that her child was evidently
a favourite at the Hall; and, probably, if a
peep were taken into some of the hidden
and weakest recesses of the mother’s heart,
we should see that her castles in the air
had sometimes arisen to the height of
wondering whether a knowledge of music
and dancing, and such things, might not
make her fit to associate pretty constantly
with the young ladies at the Hall, when
she and they should all be grown up! It
is, perhaps, hardly generous thus to bring
worthy Mrs. Elwood’s hidden foibles to
the light. If all mothers were as unfairly
dealt with, it may be doubtful, however,
whether they could stand the scrutiny as
well even as she could do,

It was a happy thing for the farmer that
the exciting and busy time of haymaking
prevented his having leisure to remember
often how near the day was approaching



28 Ashgrove Farm ; 07,

that was to take away his child, she who,
he used sometimes laughingly to say, carried
sunshine enough about with her to ripen a
whole field of corn. Mary herself also
enjoyed this season far too much to have
time to fret over the approaching separation.
She was as busy as a bee in her own
way in the hayfield, dressed in a large
holland pinafore and sun-bonnet of the
same material, made by Mrs. Elwood’s
careful hands—for she had had a hint from
Mrs, Parker that Mary’s complexion was
showing the effects of constant exposure
to the air, and spoke of the care that was
taken of her own girls in this respect at the
Misses Stanley’s seminary. Mrs. Elwood
remembered the pale-looking young ladies
whose sallow skins she had often thought
marred any beauty they might otherwise
have possessed, and wondered secretly of
what nature was the care that had pro-
duced such poor effects }

It was unusually fine weather, and the
hay crops were enough to gladden the
heart of any farmer as they were carried in
from the fields, scenting the air with their



A Place for Every One. 29

delicious fragrance. Mary, according to
custom, was seated in glory on the top of
the last load, and was joining in the full
chorus sung by the men, women, and
children who, some riding, some following,
were accompanying it home.

As it entered the farmyard, a fly was
seen standing at the door of the house,
from which Mrs. Parker and her daughters
alighted. They were met at the entrance
by Mrs. Elwood, who was busy super-
intending the preparations for the early
supper about to be given to the haymakers
in the kitchen; for Farmer Elwood always
ended his affairs in a hospitable manner.
Before we proceed it may be as well to
give the reader an insight into the motive
which caused Mrs. Parker and her daughters
to call at the farm on this particular evening.
Mrs. Parker looked upon herself, and was
generally looked on by her friends in the
neighbourhood, as a person of some im-
portance. Much more so than her husband,
who was a plain quiet sort of man. His
perseverance and steadiness during life had .
gradually brought him into the prosperous



30 Ashgrove Farm; or,

condition of one who could afford to build
a villa in the suburbs of the market town
of Dalemoor, ata considerable distance from
his own tanpits. This had been for years
the object of his wife’s ambition. Whether
her gentility or her olfactory nerves were
most offended by the vicinity of their
former small house to her husband’s
business, we cannot say; but certain it is
she gave him no peace on the subject. He,
however, being a prudent man, turned a
deaf ear to her entreaties for another abode
till he knew he could well afford it. Her
next object was to carry out the notions we
have seen she possessed with respect to a
fashionable education for her children, and,
in consequence, they were sent to the school
before named, with strict injunctions to the
Misses Stanley to take care that accomplish-
ments of all sorts were principally attended
to, together with a due regard to their
manners, carriage, &c. The eldest Miss
Parker was now considered nearly finished,
and in such a manner that her mother was
fully satisfied no young lady of their
acquaintance in the town of Dalemoor



A Place for Every One. 31

could rival her in certain things in which
she was pronounced by her governesses to
excel. Assuredly also the Misses Parker
were oradually acquiring notions of refine-
ment, as their mother called them, which
made their father sometimes wonder whether
their schoolmistresses had any peculiar ideas
on the subject of the tanning trade, which
they were imparting to their pupils. All
allusion to this business seemed strictly
forbidden in the house if any stranger were
present. Even Mr. Parker himself found
he must keep silence on such matters at
Laurel Villa, as their suburban house was
called. In vain he reminded his wife that
but for this despised business, she would
have had no Laurel Villa, nor the means
of sending their girls to a London school.
He found that he was expected to bea
tanner one part of the day, and a gentle-
man the other; and as habit had made the
former character infinitely the most easy to
him, he spent very little of his time at his
‘country abode,” as the clerk at the tan-
pits had been instructed to call Laurel
Villa, The servants at that residence were



32 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

with equal care taught to reply to any
inquiries there for their master, that he
was then at his “town house,” that name
being given to the dismantled abode the
family had formerly lived in, where one
room was left furnished for Mr. Parker’s
accommodation during the day. It will
be readily understood that between Mrs.
Elwood and Mrs. Parker there was not much
in common to draw them together. Business
between their husbands had first made them
acquainted in days gone by, when Mrs.
Parker’s residence in a small house and an
unpleasant neighbourhood made her only
too glad to accept an occasional invitation
to the farm to spend the day with her
children. Mrs. Elwood, in her turn, also
would sometimes step in to see Mrs. Parker
. on market days, and take an early dinner,
or carry a present of new-laid eggs and
fresh butter. Beyond this, they had little
intercourse, and it became still less frequent
when the Parkers removed from the town.
They still, however, met from time to time ;
and when Mrs. Elwood began to feel the
want of advice respectine her child’s educa-



A Place for Every One. 33

tion, it seemed to her that there was no
one so capable of giving it as the mother of
three great girls, who must already have
studied the subject. Mrs, Parker was
ready enough to advise, and enter into Mrs.
Elwood’s anxiety. She was by no means
above taking an interest in little Mary
Elwood. She knew that although her
parents were but plain simple people, they
were held in universal respect. They
tenanted one of Squire Wentworth’s best
farms, and she was aware that Mary had
been asked to the Hall to play with his:
children. She did not see, therefore, why
she should not go to the same school, and
be brought up in the same manner as her
own girls, She even thought it might be
an advantage to them in some respects, to
have her as an acquaintance after they
were all grown up. Her daughters felt
differently.

“She is so old fashioned looking,
mamma,’’ exclaimed Miss Parker, “and so
badly dressed. Her frocks come almost to
her heels, and her thick walking boots look as

D



34 Ashgrove Farm; or,

if they were made for her to follow her
father’s plough.”

“And she always calls her parents
‘father’ and ‘mother, instead of ‘ papa’
and ‘mamma,’” said Miss Olivia, the second
daughter; “only think how vulgar that
would sound to the girls at school.”

“ Besides,” said Miss Parker, “I think it
would be very disagreeable to have a girl
from the neighbourhood, who would tell
the others all she knows about us.”

“T am sure, my dear, for that matter,” re-
plied her mother, “there is nothing she can
possibly tell which we should mind. Your
father is respected by everybody, and we
never have a bill running on at any shop
What is there she could say against
us 2?”

“Oh, nothing of that sort, mamma, of
course; but, you see, we have always kept
it a secret that our papa is a tanner. There
was no need to tell them, so the girls think

‘he is a gentleman living at his own place.
Some of them at Miss Stanley’s hold them-
selves very high, because their fathers are



A Place for Every One. 35

private gentlemen, or else in a profession,
and they keep apart from those whose
parents are in trade.”

“It will soon be known that Mary El-

‘-wood’s father is only a farmer,” said Miss
Olivia. “She is too young to conceal it.
Helen would have let out about papa long
ago, if we had not watched her, and she
knew how angry we should be with her if
when she was asked what he was, she had
replied anything except that ‘he was a
gentleman.’ ”

“Tt won’t do for us to seem to know or
care much about Mary Elwood, if she goes,”
said Miss Parker; “so pray, mamma, do
not let her parents send her there be-
cause they think we shall look after her.
Helen, too, had better understand, from the
first, that she is not to make a friend of
her. I am afraid she will want to, for
they are so nearly of an age, and they have
always seemed so pleased to be together
when she has been asked to the farm.”

“Really, girls,” said Mrs. Parker, “you
have brought up difficulties which never
entered my head! I have said everything

D2



36 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

I could to persuade Mrs. Elwood to send
her child to Miss Stanley’s school. How
could I ever have supposed you would dis-
like it so? She might just as well have
gone somewhere else. But it’s too late
now; they have decided, long ago, to send
her to Clapham.”

“What a.pity we were not at home
when it was first talked about,” said Miss
Olivia; “but perhaps it is not toe late.
If Mrs. Elwood has not fairly arranged
with the Misses Stanley to send her, you
might think of some reason for advising
another school instead.”

“That would be no easy matter,” re-
plied her mother; “but as I want to call
at Ashgrove, we may as well go to-day ;
and, at all events, we can give her a hint
about getting Mary’s dresses made some-
what more fashionably. So send and order
a fly, and we will start after dinner.”

“Ts Helen to go, mamma?” asked Miss
Parker, doubtfully, as a young girl of about
eleven, or rather more, entered the room at
that moment. “ Perhaps it would be better
not.”



A Place for Every One. 37

“Go where?” asked the child ; and, on
being told, she exclaimed, “Oh, do let me
go, too—pray do, mamma! TI like Mary
Elwood so much, and it will be charming
to have a run in the hayfields, and see the
cows milked.”

“Tt would be a pity to leave her at
home,” said Mrs. Parker; “and, for my
own part, I can see no reason for it. You
may go, my dear,” she added, to the de-
lighted child; “so you had better keep
yourself quiet now, in the heat of the day,
that you may not be tired when you get
there.”

“And please to remember, Helen,” said
her sister, “ that you are not to go romping
about with Mary Elwood, as you did the
last time you were at Ashgrove. I declare
I felt quite ashamed of you. Any one
would have thought you were a farmer’s
daughter yourself, and had always lived
anongst hayricks and poultry.”

“Tam sure I wish I did!” said Helen;
in an under tone, but sufficiently loud for
her sister to hear, and, consequently, admi-
nister a sharp rebuke.



38 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

After dinner, the two elder sisters went
to dress themselves for their visit, and de-
sired Helen to do the same, Miss Parker
telling her the dress she was to wear, and
naming what she knew would make her
look the greatest contrast possible to Mary
Elwood.

Poor Helen was in despair, well aware
that there would be no comfort or fun for
her, under such circumstances. It was use-
less to remonstrate with her sister ; but she
was her mother’s favourite, and to her she
flew.

“Mamma! Sophy says I am to put on
my last new muslin frock with all those
flounces, and my best hat with the blue —
feathers. I know I shall spoil them! Do tell
her this dress will do; it was clean on this
morning, and is scarcely rumpled!” And
Helen shook out the nice tidy-looking lilac
gingham she was wearing, and turned her-
self round to show her mother how well it
looked on all sides,

Mrs. Parker could not but agree that she
thought it might do, and Helen was proe
-seeding to suggest that her large brown



A Place for Every One. 39

everyday hat would look best with it, when
she was interrupted by her elder sister’s
entrance, in a state of considerable indignae
tion at her authority being set aside, even
for her mother’s.

Helen, feeling there was no safety but
in flight, darted out, saying, as she passed
Sophy,—

“Mamma says I need. not change my
frock.” Then, quickly putting on the
brown hat, she ran into the garden, to let
it be seen from the windows she was dressed
and ready to start, hoping that even Sophy
would scarcely have the barbarity to call
her in again.

But Helen did not quite know Sophy, if
she thought she would yield her point, espe-
cially where her authority over her young
sister was concerned ; she being precisely
at the age when a girl is most tenacious
about the exercise of it. An argument had
ensued with her mother, which had ended
as such arguments generally did, viz. in the
daughter gaining her wish. Mrs, Parker
was beginning to find that peace was too
often only to be obtained by yielding her



40 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

own will. In this instance she had the
-vexation of seeing from her window her
’ weakness rewarded by Sophy seizing the
_ mortified Helen by the hand, and carrying
her off in triumph to be decked out.

It was therefore rather a smart than a
happy party that entered the fly, half an
hour later, and, after a somewhat lengthy
arrangement of skirts and flounces, started
on their drive to Ashgrove Farm.



A Place for Every One. 4

CHAPTER IY.

WE left Mrs. Elwood receiving her visitors
at the entrance to her house, somewhat dis
concerted, it must be owned, at their unex-
pected appearance on such a busy occasion.
She, however, led them into her parlour,
and, having seated them, was hospitably
promising that tea should be brought in as

soon as the labourers were seated at supper,

when the approach of the hay-cart, with its
merry sounds, attracted every one to the
window. Being wide open, it gave a full
view of the whole scene, from the figure of
Mary, sitting perched on her elevated seat,
to the broad handsome face of the farmer,
who was riding his grey mare by the side
of the cart, and dividing his admiration,
us his eye glanced upwards, between his -
daughter and the hay.

“Tt is the last load that is being carried
home,” said Mrs. Elwood; “so they are



42. Ashgrove Farm ; or,

singing and rejoicing over it. And, see}
there’s Mary, the happiest of ther: all!”
And the fond mother kissed her fand to
her, as they drove along the road in front
of the window, on their way to the yard.

“Ts that Miss Elwood seated on the top
of the cart?” asked Miss Parker, in a tone
of voice into which she contrived to throw
a pretty considerable touch of amazement.

This was quite lost on Mrs, Elwood,
however.

“Yes! that is Mary, in the sun bonnet.
You see I have taken your advice, and pro-
tected her complexion,” she added, to Mrs.
Parker.

“And do you not object to her mixing
with all those people, and riding in that
manner in a hay-cart?”’ asked Mrs.
Parker.

“Qh, dear, no! She has always ridden
home with the last cart-load, since she was
two years old. Her father is there, you
see, to take care of her: and there is not
® man or woman about would let her come
to any harm.”

“No bodily harm, perhaps,” said Miss



A Place for Every One. 43

Parker, with an attempted air at dignity
and womanhood, and laying a peculiar
stress on the second word of her sentence.

Mrs. Elwood did not hear her. She had
stretched her head out of window to look
at the arrival of the cart at its destination.

“There she goes!” she exclaimed. “ Her
father has taken her down as easily as if
she were a, fairy springing into his arms.
Now, ladies, they are all coming in to their
supper, and if you will excuse me for a few
minutes, I shall be back again directly I
have seen them seated.”

So saying she quitted the room, leaving
the Misses Parker to comment without
restraint on the scene they had just wit-
nessed to their mother, who, knowing what
their opimion would be, and that she had
been instrumental in causing the young
heroine of the hay-cart to be sent to Elm
House Seminary, was feeling slightly in the
position of a culprit.

“Well, mamma, what do you think of
Mary now ?” exclaimed Sophy, as soon as
the door was closed behind Mrs. Elwood.
» Is she fit to be one of the young ladies at



4A Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Elm House School, and to be looked upon
as an acquaintance of ours?”

“I certainly wonder her mother suffers
a girl of her age to get on a hay-cart,”
replied Mrs. Parker. “ But you must
remember she has been used to it all her
life. That kind of thing will be broken
off by her going to school.”

“T suppose Jiving with girls like our-
selves would make her something of a lady
in time,” remarked Miss Olivia; “but I
would rather not be thought to know much
about her if she goes to Clapham.”

Helen, who had till this moment been
silently dividing her thoughts between the
delights of riding on the top of the hay
like Mary, and her wonder at where cou'd
be the great harm of it, here broke in with
an indignant exclamation of—

“Oh, Olivia! why should we not know
Mary at school? I am sure she is nicer
than almost any girl there, and much more
pretty.”

“ Be good enough to hold your tongue,
Helen,” said Miss Parker. “Really, mamma,”
she added, “you spoil that child till she



A Place for Every One. A5

gets most insufferably forward and inter-
fering.”

“ You must not interrupt your sisters’
conversation, my love,” said her mother,
feeling she was expected io administer a
rebuke to Helen. “ You know little girls
should be seen, but not heard.”

At this moment the door opened, and
Mrs. Elwood entered, bringing in Mary.

She had taken off her sun-bonnet, and
her soft golden-coloured curls, hastily
smoothed by her mother’s hands, clustered
in beautiful profusion round her head and
throat. No other change had been made
in her dress since she had descended from
the hay-cart than taking off her large hol-
land pinafore, which had kept her pretty
blue print dress perfectly clean and fresh.
A fairer picture of a simple country child
could not have been seen as she advanced
rather timidly to speak to the elder ladies ;
but her face lighted up with pleasure on
seeing Helen. Mrs. Parker secretly admired
her very much, and glanced at her daughters
to see what might be their impression ; but
having merely exchanged the necessary



46 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

civilities, they had turned away, and were
looking out of window.

“Tea will be in immediately,” said Mrs,
Elwood. “ Perhaps you will like to come
and take off your bonnets; and after tea
Helen might go with Mary to see the cows
milked.”

Helen’s delight at the proposal was a
little damped by the warning look given
her by her elder sister. Whether it meant
she was not to go, or only that she was to
take care of her dress, she did not clearly
understand. Preferring ignorance to know-
ledge in this case, she contrived to keep at
a distance from her till they re-entered the
parlour, and seated herself as far as possible
from her at tea, so as to be between her
mother and Mary. Mrs. Elwood was con-
scious of the presence of a certain degree
of restraint over her visitors, which she
could not account for, and was wondering
whether the fault lay in herself or in them,
when the good-humoured farmer entered,
bidding them his usual hearty welcome.

“Good evening, ladies. Glad to see you
all, though you'll have to excuse things



A Place for Every One. AG

being in the rough on such a merry-making
day. Ha! Miss Helen! pity you didn’t
come a little sooner, and you could have had
a vide through the field on the top of the
hay with Mary. Never mind, perhaps we
can find some other sport after tea.”

“We shall have to be returning soon, shall
we not, mamma?’ asked Sophy, anxious
to give her mother an opportunity of pre-
venting it. But Mrs. Parker felt Helen’s
hand steal into her own, and a succession of
eloquent squeezes spoke her anxiety the
other way. So she compromised the mat-
ter by saying they could not stay very
long, but there would be time for the
children td go out together for a little
while.

“Why, the evenings are the best part
of the day now,” said the farmer; “and if
you stayed till ten o’clock you couldn’t get
into the dark, for as bright a moon as ever
shone will be up by then. Besides, you
ought to wait a bit, so as to let the young
folks have a talk together, for I suppose
Mary has lots of questions to ask about
school. Eh, Mary? what say you?


48 Ashgrove Furm ; or,

you longing, now, to know how many les-
sons the Miss Stanleys will give you?”

This speech introduced the subject that
some of the party were pondering how to
commence, and a look from Sophy prompted
Mrs. Parker to say,

“Have you decided where Mary is to go
to school?”

“Qh, quite,’ replied Mrs. Elwood.
“After your high account of Elm House
Seminary we had no wish to inquire any
further ; so I wrote to Miss Stanley, taking
the liberty of using your name, as you were
good enough to propose. I have had one
or two letters from her, and she is fully ex-
pecting Mary in about a fortnight. I sup-
pose, young ladies, you will be returning
at the same time ?”

“It’s a good long journey,” said Mr.
Elwood ; “ only the railway laughs at dis-
tances. So will Mary when she sees how
quickly she flies from Dalemoor to London,
and from London to Dalemoor,” he added,
encouragingly, as he saw the tears start into
his little girl’s eyes at the mention of her
departure.





A Place for Every One. et)

“Do your daughters travel alone?” asked
Mrs. Elwood, “ when they go and return ?”

“They do now,” replied Mrs. Parker.
“Their papa took them the first time they
went.”

“JT mean to take Mary myself,” said
the farmer. “I shouldn’t know how to
think about her if I hadn’t seen the house
she'll be living in. Now, suppose we make
a party, and go all together. If we could
coax my wife there to come too, we should
just fill a carriage, and we'll take good care
of your young folks, and give them safe up
into Miss Stanley’s own hands. No chance
of their being able to run away from me.
Well, Miss Parker, what say you?”

But that young lady’s countenance, as
he turned to her, expressed anything but
pleasure or good humour. He caught her,
moreover, in the middle of making a sign
to her mother, which, as far as he could
judge from the frown and slight shake of
the head that accompanied it, meant she
did not wish her to accept his offer. His
blunt straightforward character made him
at once exclaim,—

E



50 Ashgrow Farm ; or,

“Ha! so you don’t want me? You
think now you are so nearly grown up you
can manage for yourself best? I suppose
young ladies at school like to feel they are »
their own mistresses during the journey
there, at all events; and what’s more, I
think if I were a schoolboy I should feel
just the same.”

“ My girls don’t find any difficulty in the
journey,” said Mrs, Parker, seeing she must
say something, and greatly relieved that
Mr. Elwood had no suspicion of the real
cause of her daughter’s unwillingness to
travel with him. “We cannot exactly fix
the day at present, but we are much obliged
to you all the same.”

During the last part of this conversation
Helen and Mary had slipped off together,
and were in a few minutes followed by the
farmer, whose presence was required by his
men.

The prim gravity with which the two
children had been sitting at table was a
great contrast to the hop, skip, and jump
with which both flew to fetch their hats
the moment they escaped from the parlour.



A Place for Every One. 51

* We shall just be in time to see the cows °
milked if we go directly,” said Mary ; “but |
IT hope you have thick shoes on, for itis |
very dirty where they stand.”

She looked in dismay as she spoke at
the slight drab-coloured boots that Helen
wore.

“Those would be wet through directly.
Shall I lend you a pair of mine? We are
just about the same size. I will fetch
them in a moment.” She was hastening
away for the purpose when the sight of her
sister’s bonnet lying on the bed reminded
Helen that she had better not remain in
quarters where her liberty might be inter-
fered with at any minute. She begged Mary,
therefore, to let her go with her to get them,
saying she could put them on anywhere.

The boots were in Mary’s own room,
with which Helen was so delighted, she
almost forgot she was going to see the
cows. It certainly was as pleasant an
apartment as any young girl could desire -
to possess. Its broad sash window looked
out on the hayfields, and the roses that
clustered around it scented the room with

E 2



52 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

their fragrance. There was a low window
seat in which Mary said she often sat and
worked, or learnt her lessons for the school-
mistress. The hangings of the bed and
window were of dimity, so snowy white
that even Helen’s child’s eye was struck
with it. A pretty writing-desk stood ona
small mahogany table which, Mary told her,
was a present from her father in return for
the first letter she had ever written him when
he went away from home. He had brought
her this back with him, filled with paper and
pens and everything for writing. Then
there was a carved bookcase hanging against
the wall, a present also from her father, who
had had it made out of some curious oak
carving that had Jain in a lumber-room for
years. The books that partly filled it
were mostly given her by her mother, but
there were several that were gifts from
Mrs. Wentworth and her children, with
her name written in them by Mrs. Went-
worth’s own hand. And there was a very
handsome Bible lying on the bottom shelf,
with gilt clasps and a gilt rim all round the
edges. This, Mary told Helen, was given



A Place for Every One. 53

her by her godmother when she was chris-
tened ; but she had never seen her because
she lived far away in Australia with her hus-
band. One other thing attracted Helen’s
admiration. This was a splendid array of
peacock’s feathers, so arranged on the wall
over the looking-glass as to appear exactly
like the. tail of that magnificent bird when
full spread.

Mary promised to save all she could find
in future for Helen, that she might orna-
ment her own room in a similar manner.

“T sleep in Sophy’s room at home,” said
Helen rather sadly, “and I’m sure she
wouldn’t let me stick them up on her wall ;
and at school we are not allowed to put up
any pictures even in the bedrooms. But I
know where I might have them,” she ex-
claimed, as a sudden thought struck her ;
“papa would, I know, let me have a pea-
cock’s tail on the wall of his room in
Dalemoor by the tan-pits ; so do save them
for me, Mary.”

The boots fitted very well, and Helen
felt the comfort of them when they got to



54 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

the place where numbers of cows were
being milked. An old woman after a time
brought her stool close to where the girls
were standing, and placed it by the side of
a fine animal who had been suffering Helen
to stroke her nose and ears. She longed to
try and milk her, and ventured to ask
Mary whether the woman would allow it;
but on being appealed to, the old lady
replied, with a look of extreme contempt
at Helen’s frock, that “it wasn’t no use
her trying, for the cow would never give
out its milk to any one dressed in such a
fashion as that!” Poor Helen was deeply
mortified at the speech, and longed to
tell the old woman that she hated the
blue flounces, and wanted not to come
in them, She did say something of the
sort to Mary as.they went away soon
after, who sympathized warmly with her
for having to wear such nice things.

“Are your best dresses made with
flounces, Mary?” asked Helen.

“No, I never had a flounce in my life, I
am sure; I have tucks, though, in some of



A Place for Every One. 55

my white frocks, but I hardly ever wear
those.”

“Shall you like going to school, Mary?”

“No, I am very sorry indeed to leave
home, only J am glad you will be there.
Shall we be much together ?”’

“T hope so. We are so nearly of an
age that ] dare say we shall both be in the
same classes, and as we are about of a height
we shall do to walk together, for we are
all paired by our sizes when we go out.”

“What do you mean?” asked Mary,
opening her blue eyes to their fullest ex-
tent.

“Why,” replied Helen, laughing at her
amazement, “I mean that when we take a
walk we are ranged by the teachers two
and two together. The tallest pair of girls
go first, and then the next, and soon, till it
comes down to little Alice and Frances
Neville, who are not more than seven and
eight years old. You must take care and
not walk too near or too far away from
the pair in front, or the teachers will come —
to tell you not to break. the ranks.”

“ But do you really mean,” asked Mary,



56 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

“that you never go into the fields and have
a good scamper ?”

Helen burst out laughing.

“Oh, Mary!” said she, “it sounds so
funny to hear you ask such a question.
Why, even in the garden we are not
allowed to run races, because Miss Stanley
says it’s vulgar and unladylike to run.”

“Then I must learn to walk,” sighed
Mary, who had rarely done such a thing
for ten minutes at a time without diverging.
with a skip or a jump to one side or an-
other. “Ido hope you and I shall be put
together, Helen; we can at least have good
long talks.”

“But it must all be in French,” said
Helen. “No one must speak English, or
she is fined, and there is a lesson given
for every fine.”

“French ! Why, I have never learnt a
word. How can I talk it?”

“Oh, but you will begin directly you
get there, and you will soon pick up a few
sentences. The way the girls manage (for
they none of them know much about it) is,
they chatter English in a low tone, and



A Place for Every One. 57

then, when they see Madame or a teacher
coming, they begin to talk French till she
is out of hearing again.”

“ Helen,” said poor Mary, “I don’t think
I shall like school at all.”

“TI am afraid you won't much,” said
Helen, “but Sophy and Olivia do, I think,
at least they like the dancing days, and
the party before the breaking up.”

“T shall not care for the party, but I
shall like the breaking up,” said Mary ;
“anything to get home again.”

“Don’t let us talk any more about
school,” said Helen, “we shall soon have
enough of it. Will you show me your
pigeons?”

They ran to the place where Mary had
a pigeon-house and a few special favourites
of her own. Two pairs were just hatched
which she was anxious to show Helen;
but she could nowhere find a short ladder
by which she was often in the habit of
going up to peep at them.

“Tt must be in the yard,” saidshe “I -
think it was brought for us to come down
from the hay-cart. There is another way



58 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

you may get at them, though, if ‘only you
can climb. You see, the pigeon-house is
placed close to a pear-iree; I have several
times climbed into it, and then from that
it is as easy as possible to lean forward and
peep into the hole nearest you.”

“ J could do it,” said Helen, “if I man-
aged to get up to the first branch; but
how is that to be done?”

“Oh, we can place a wheelbarrow, and
a flower-pot inside that, to stand on.” And
Mary ran off to put her plans into exe-
cution,

“Now, Helen, you have only to get on
the flower-pot, and lay hold of that branch
whilst you place your foot on the one below,
and it will pull you up; and after that
it is as easy as possible.”

Helen’s good will in the matter was
greater than her experience, and her first
attempt was rather clumsy. She did not
feel secure on the flower-pot, which only
comfortably admitted one foot at a time,
and she could not balance herself without
Mary’s help. When, at length, she managed.
to place her foot on the branch, she was



A Place for Every One. 59

afraid to draw up the other after it, and the
attitude being anything but comfortable to
remain in, she was obliged to give it up,
and jump to the ground, before beginning
her efforts afresh.

“J will go up first, and show you how,”
said Mary; and, springing upon the pot,
and from that to the branch, she was in
another second peeping into the nest.

“ There they are!” she exclaimed; “such
funny ugly-looking little creatures! What
a good thing their mother is away!”

“Oh, I must see them! Let me try
again!” cried Helen. “I shall manage it
now I have seen you get up.”

Mary descended as easily and swiftly as
she had ascended, and Helen proved herself
an apt pupil this time, having profited by
‘watching her teacher’s movements. She was
soon in the tree, peering with delighted eyes
at the young pigeons.

But, alas! poor Helen! Voices were
heard approaching, and her name was called
by Sophy. Better would it have been had
she remained where she was than to com-
mence her descent so hastily as she did,



60 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

under circumstances ill calculated to assist
her in the difficulty of the undertaking. As
the party of ladies from the house turned
the corner, they were just in time to see
Helen’s leg and foot, with a thick dirty boot
upon it, dangling from the tree, and making
frantic efforts to gain a resting-place.
Failing in its search, and conscious there
was not a moment to lose, she abandoned
all attempts to find the flower-pot, made a-
dash at the ground, and down came feet,
legs, body, and head, caught, at the last
moment of their peril, by the sturdy arms
of the farmer, so as to save her from a fall
which might have been serious.

But although she escaped without injury,
her fragile blue muslin was less fortunate.
The branches of the pear-tree seemed as if
they had conspired to rid her of the hated
flounces. Out of five, only one remained
uninjured and properly attached to the
skirt; and poor Helen had to endure a
merciless series of jokes from the farmer
about the finery which had already been
the source of so much annoyance to her.

Mrs. Parker was too thankful to find her



A Place for Every One. 61

child unhurt to be displeased, though her
daughters’ indignation was extreme; but
they kept it within bounds before Mr. and
Mrs. Elwood.

“You should have taken the ladder,
Mary,” said Mrs. Elwood. “Helen is not
accustomed to climbing.”

“We could not find it, mother,” replied
Mary; “and I thought it was such an easy
tree. Helen wanted so to see the pigeons.”

“But Pm afraid we interrupted her
view,” said the farmer, “judging by the
haste with which she came down. Never
mind, Miss Helen! Don’t be ashamed of
going up a tree. Why, my Mary, there,
climbs like a squirrel. I wouldn’t give a fig
for a girl that always runs on the ground.
You shall have a look at the pigeons,
though, from the top of a new sort of
ladder.”

So saying, the sturdy farmer whipped up
the astonished Helen from the ground, and
with one hoist of his powerful arms he
placed her—torn flounces, thick boots, and
all—upon his shoulder; then, stepping to
the pigeon-house, gave her such a close and



62 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

right good view of the young birds, as
made the mother, who was sitting on the
other pair in the adjoining hole, resent such
an impertinent piece of curiosity by sundry
angry sounds and vehement pecks directed
at Helen’s blue muslin cape.

' The poor girl only half enjoyed it. Her
alarm lest the mother pigeon above should
fly out at her, and her certainty that her
sister below was ready to do so the moment
she could, made her glad enough to be
placed on the ground again, where the thick
boots would be less noticed than standing
on the farmer’s shoulder. They were not
destined to pass unobserved, however, for
he, as he brushed off the marks they had
left on his coat, said,—

“You've got on famous boots, Miss
Helen. Now, they are what I call a sen-
sible and useful pair. Your mamma knows
better than to let you wear thin gimcracks,
I see.”

“They are Mary’s; she lent them to
me,’ said Helen, blushing, from the con-
sciousness she had had to borrow them
because hers were gimcracks.



A Place for Every One. 63

“We are going directly, Helen,” said
Miss Parker ; “you had better come in with
me, and get yourself fit to be seen.” And
she was carrying off her sister, when the
latter, dreading the private rebukes which
she knew would ensue, said to Mary,—

“Will you come with us, please? My
boots are in your room, and I am not sure
that I know the way to it.”

Her presence was a relief to Helen,
though a restraint to Sophy, who, in con-
sequence, expressed her disapprobation of
her tom-boy feat, as she called it, in much
milder terms than she would otherwise have
done.

The rest of the party followed them to
* the house, where the fly was waiting at the
door, and, in the slight confusion that
occurred in the passage, Helen contrived to
escape from Sophy, and run alone with
Mary to her room, to pin on her flounces,
and put on the despised “ gimcracks.”

“JT hope we shall see each other again
before we go to school,” said Helen, “but I
don’t think we shall; and being together
there, will not be the same as here.”



64 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

An impatient call to Helen to be quick,
stopped further conversation. There was
only time for the little girl to pull off the
button of her boot in her haste to make it
go into its hole, to kiss Mary affectionately,
and say, as they ran off,—

“Be sure, Mary, and do not forget to
collect me a peacock’s tail!”



A Place for Every One. 65

CHAPTER VY.

As the farmer closed the door of the fly on
his guests, and Helen and Mary exchanged
nods and smiles through the window, Mrs.
Parker, putting out her head, said, in rather
a confidential tone, to Mrs. Elwood,—

“Should you like to have any of Helen’s
things as patterns for Mary’s? I shall be
very glad to lend them to you.”

“What was that Mrs. Parker was say-
ing about ‘ patterns?” asked Mr. Elwood
of his wife, as they stood for an instant on
the step of the door, watching the fly roll
away. “I hope you are not going to dress up
Mary in such frippery as those girls have on.
Why, I shouldn’t know my own child !”

“Mrs. Parker has been advising me to
get a few things for her different to what
she has had,” replied Mrs. Elwood. ‘She
says that at school the young ladies are

FE

ie spaaiainle's



66: Ashgrove Farm ; or, -

expected to be very fashionably dressed.
There are a good many seminaries at
Clapham, and the Misses Stanley consider
theirs takes the lead in that respect. Mrs.
Parker saw I was rather puzzled as to
what she must have, so she good-naturedly
offered me patterns.”

The farmer mused for an instant, then,
laying bis hand on: his wife’s shoulder, said,
“Take my advice, Susan, don’t go filling
Mary’s head with love of dress, and rigging
her out like a merry andrew. Give her
plenty of good useful clothes, and then
never fear what Miss Stanley or Miss any-
body else says. She goes to school to learn
her lessons, I take it, not to be looked at
and called fashionable.”

So saying he walked off to the farmyard,
leaving Mrs. Elwood rather uncomfortably
perplexed between the opposite advices of her
husband and Mrs. Parker. She felt there was
plain sterling sense in what the former had
‘just. said, but then he could not of course
understand much about young ladies’ dress
at a fashionable London school. Something
seemed. to tell her too there was a good



A Place for Every One. 67

deal of folly and absurdity in the way in
which Mrs. Parker dressed her girls; but,
again, that lady must know much more of
:- what was required in such a new scene as
_that to which she was sending Mary than
; She could do. In fact, poor Mrs. Elwood
was experiencing some of the difficulties all
must feel who place themselves or those be-
longing to them in a false position. She
decided at last to go the next day to Dale-
moor, and put the affair mto the hands of
a dressmaker whom Mrs. Parker had re-
commended ; for there was no time to be
lost, as Mary must be ready to start in a
fortnight.
So the following day she and her daugh-
ter made their appearance at the door of a
red-brick house, having a brass plate upon
it, inscribed with the words “ Miss Styles,
Milliner and Dressmaker.” They were
- shown into a room upstairs, which had a
large table in the centre, on which was
arranged a variety of bonnets, hats, and
caps. She was reminded by them of her
own experiment before the looking-glass
long ago! There were also several dresses
F2



-68 Ashgrove Farm ; o7,

lying on chairs about the room, flounced and
trimmed. Miss Styles evidently under-
stood her business. She entered almost
immediately,and Mary was quite awe-struck
by her appearance, so entirely different to
that of the quiet unpretending person who
had hitherto always made her own and her
mother’s things. Mrs. Elwood herself was
doubtful whether the gaily dressed cour-
tesying lady before her could really conde-
scend to interest herself in the attire of her
little Mary. But she need not have feared,
Mrs. Parker had had business that morning
in Dalemoor, and as part of it lay with
Miss Styles, she had taken the opportu-
nity of informing her she had recommended
her a new customer; hinting that she
would find it necessary to metamorphose
Miss Elwood entirely in order to do herself
credit with her. that expense was no great object in that
quarter. Miss Styles liked nothing better
than to feel superior in her own particular
province to those who sought her opinion.
One glance at Mrs. Elwood’s gentle coun-
tenance, and at her daughter’s simple dress,



A Place for Every One. 69

showed her that here wasa field for her
skill, her authority, and her aggrandize-
ment.

Most condescendingly, therefore, did she
express her pleasure at seeing her visitor
and her desire to serve her.

“T must ask you, Miss Styles,” said Mrs.
Elwood, “ to be so good as to get one or two
dresses made for my daughter immediately.
She is going to school in London, and
although she has plenty of everyday frocks,
I think she will require some better ones.”

“Certainly, ma’am. Would you like to
look at materials? I can send for silks and
muslins directly.”

The proposal was a relief to Mrs, Elwood,
who rather dreaded going to the linendraper
to choose for herself, unaided by greater
experience than herown. The interval was
employed in discussing the necessity of,
qnd selecting, a new hat.

Miss Styles assured Mrs. Elwood that
one with a feather was indispensable, and
succeeded in persuading her to make a pur-
chase, in which she declared Mary looked
quite charming. Then came the dresses,



70 Ashgrove Farm ; ‘ov,

not at all alarming as to gaiety in them-
selves, but Mrs. Elwood was startled at the
idea of their being made with at least five
flounces. Mary had hitherto remained a
passive and indifferent spectator, and when
appealed to by Miss Styles for her opinion
had merely replied that she did not know,
or that she thought as her mother did ; but
when the flounces were discussed she be-
came suddenly interested and energetic.

“Oh, mother! do not let me have those
dreadful flounces like Helen’s. They would
always be tearing and plaguing me. — Be-
sides, I should look so odd in them, every-
body would laugh at me.”

“You only think that, Miss Elwood,”
said the dressmaker, “ because you have not
been accustomed to them. Now, at school
you would probably be the only young lady
without them, and the laugh would be quite
the other way.”

This seemed unanswerable. Both Mrs.
Elwood and Mary felt themselves conquered,
but not reconciled to the necessity.

The next affair was to take Mary’s pat-
tern, an infliction she bore with patience ;



A Place for Every One. 71

but when it came to measuring her length,
she touched her mother, and said, “She
is making a mistake, mother ; I never wore
a frock so short.”

“Do you make girls’ dresses no longer
than that?” asked Mrs. Elwood with
surprise.

«Never, ma’am, at her age. It would be
worse than having them without flounces
to make them any longer.”

“Then none of her underclothes can
be worn with them,” said Mrs. Elwood ;
visions of fresh work arising before her
in the shape of tucks to garments which
had heen put aside as finished.

“None of them,” replied Miss Styles,
decidedly. “Everything must be altered,
assuredly. It would be utterly impossible
for your daughter to appear in London as
she is at present.”

Then, as if afraid she might have
offended by this last speech, she added,
“When dressed fashionably, 1 am sure no
young lady will be able to compare with
Miss Elwood ; she may be sure of that.”

The flattery was lost on Mary, who,



.

72 Ashgrove Farm; or,

weary of the whole thing, had gone to look
out of window. Her boots attracted Miss
Styles’s eye.

“Do you want any French boots or
shoes, ma'am? We keep an assortment
now for our customers’ convenience.”

These were undoubtedly necessary, for
with muslins and flounces those she at
present wore would scarcely accord. Mary
remembered Helen’s almost with a feeling
of despair, but quietly submitted to what
seemed inevitable, and inwardly hoping
that neither Miss Styles’ dresses, hat, nor
boots, would ever be seen in the vicinity of
Ashgrove Farm.

A good long ramble with her father
over the fields in the evening, in her print
dress and double soles, made her almost,
however, forget there were such disagree-

_ables in existence as thin kid boots, muslin

dresses, and Miss Styles. But she was
reminded of them when, about eight or nine
days later, a large straw basket lined with
oil silk arrived, directed to Mrs. Elwood,
and ticketed “ With great care.” It was the
first time old Bailey—the carrier for years



A Place for Every One. 13

between Dalemoor and the surrounding
villages—had had to convey such a peculiar-
looking affair to Ashgrove, and he told the
maid to whom he delivered it that “he
supposed there must be some rare kind of
pigeons or fowls within, though as he
hadn’t heard no noise they’d better open
the cage quick and see how they were.”

Mrs. Elwood and Mary were in the
parlour, working and waiting tea for the
farmer, when the door opened, and to their
amazement there entered, not Mr. Elwood,
but a short, highly flounced muslin dress,
suspended in the air by its sleeves, which
were passed through a stout walking-stick !
The next moment the farmer’s laughing
face and portly figure appeared with a
small white straw hat and feather stuck on
the top of his head, a pair of rosettes and
long strings dangling on either side of his
ruddy cheeks,

“What sort of a bird do you call this,
Mary?” said he. “Sally stopped me as I
‘was coming in, to say there was a great
cage arrived with live stock in it, which old
Bailey was afraid were dead! When we



74 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

opened it, what should I find under a lot
of paper but this toggery—and there’s a
quantity more beneath. I tell you what,
Miss Mary ; I mean to part with the pea-
cock now; one’s enough about a place.”

Mary laughed heartily as she lifted the
hat from his head, and was about to carry
that and the frock away, when the farmer
insisted on her returning dressed in the
latter, that he might see how she looked in
it. It was no use arguing the matter ; he
wanted his joke, and he would have it, so
Mrs. Elwood dressed her in the muslin, and
she returned to the parlour to be well
langhed at. But the length! The farmer
stared in amazement.

“ Why, Mary!” he exclaimed; “ you’ve
outgrown the dress already !”

“My dear John, it’s the fashion,” said
his wife.

“Do you mean to tell me petticoats are
no longer to cover the legs? Then I sup-
pose, wife, you'll be showing yours when
you get your next new dress made—for
fashion seems to carry the day at present.
Trot away, Mary, and get on your other frock



A Place for Every One. 75

again. I like you best as I have always
known you. Keep your grand things for
Miss Stanley ; she'll like to see you in them
perhaps, legs and all.”

With this Mr. Elwood seated himself to
his tea : his wife thought him rather graver
than usual, but attributed it to the pros-
pect of so soon losing their child.



“76 Ashgrove Farm ; or, at

CHAPTER VI.

THE Misses Stanley’s seminary was situated
in the middle of a high-walled square
garden, at the end of a row of elm-trees ;
from whence if derived its name of Elm
House. Although the garden was kept
always neat, and the grass well mown, no
attention was given to the cultivation of
flowers ; it had, therefore, rather a gloomy
appearance on first entering the high gates
that separated it from the road, which
was the general thoroughfare for carriages,
omnibuses, &c. The house was built of
red brick, with stone facings. Like the
garden, it was perfectly square, and its array
of windows on either side the door had
rather a prison-like appearance, owing to
the high wire blinds which were placed in
each. So effectually was the house con-
cealed by the walls around the garden, that
any one would have supposed this pree



A Place for Every One. 77

caution against prying eyes to be unnecese
sary. But a casual observer would not
be aware that the heads of the outside
passengers of the numerous omnibuses
rose superior to that obstruction, and were
apt to be directed, with some degree of
curiosity, in the direction of the windows
every morning and night. Much, there-
fore, to the disgust of the young ladies, to
whom this succession of swiftly moving heads
was the sole representative of the outside
world, they were suddenly and effectually
excluded by the introduction of the above-
named blinds.

It was on a bright July morning that
Mr. Elwood and Mary left Ashgrove Farm
to start for London. Mrs. Elwood had not
been well for a week, and had consequently
abandoned the thoughts of accompanying
them ; greatly to Mary’s disappointment,
who had looked forward to keeping both ,
her parents with her till the last moment,
With a heavy heart she passed by the farme
yard and all its objects of interest. Now ©
that she was going away from them, she
wondered it had never before struck her so



78 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

strongly what a very happy girl she had
been all her life.

All that had hitherto appeared matters
of course, now suddenly became precious.

The schoolmistress was waiting at her
door to bid her good-bye, and the tears
Mary had managed to keep back after the
first burst on taking leave of her mother
now poured. forth anew.

Her father kept saying kind things to
her, but he was himself out of spirits, and
not inclined for talk; so but few words
were spoken between them till they arrived
at the station, and found themselves in the
midst of the bustle attendant on a train
starting for London.

They had a long journey before them—
all the way from Shropshire to Middlesex.
Tt was not till quite evening they reached
Clapham, and Mary was beginning to feel
tired, both from travelling and the effects
of her astonishment at the sight of London,
which, in spite of all she had heard and
read about it, she had pictured to herself
as being a sort of Dalemoor on a very large
scale. If any of my young country readers



A Place for Every One. 79

are inclined to smile at her, let them try
and carry back their thoughts to the time
when they had never been to London, and
see whether they too used not to picture it
as resembling the largest town with which
they were acquainted. The travellers took
cab from the railway station, which set
them down at Elm House. The gate was not
opened immediately, and the driver rang
impatiently a second time. Poor Mary
wished he had not done so; she thought
she would willingly have sat there with
her father all night—anything rather than
be left inside those dreadful high walls!

‘The servant came hastily at the renewed
summons, and throwing open the gates they
drove to the bottom of the high flight of
steps leading up to the door of the house.
A head looked over the blind of a window
on one side, but retreated so hastily that
Mary had only time to have an impression
left of a bunch of flowers mixed with white
lace, which, she thought, was most likely
Miss Stanley’s cap.

» The next instant, with her hand fast
locked within her father’s, she was ushered



80 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

into the presence of those very flowers, and
found her surmise was correct. Nothing
could be kinder than the manner in which
Miss Stanley received her, or politer than
the. greeting given to her father. Yet,
when the first commonplace remarks were
over as to health, journey, weather, &.,
Mr. Elwood, usually loquacious and com-
pletely at his ease, felt as though words,
sentences, and ideas, had taken flight from
him, so entirely was Miss Stanley unlike
anybody he had ever found himself in com-
pany with before. Certainly it would have
been difficult to find any two human beings
more dissimilar than the blunt open-hearted
farmer and the smiling bowing schoolmis-
tress. Her sister, who at this moment en-
tered the room, seemed the fac-simile of
herself, with the exception of her being
some few years younger, and on the strength
of that privilege wearing no cap, but
only a very broad piece of black velvet
across her head, which, in after days, Mary
discovered was for use, not ornament, the
hair having quitted the parting in a most
unceremonious manner. Instead of her



A Place for Every One. 81

presence being a relief, it seemed to Mr.
Elwood as if his feeling of constraint was
instantly doubled by this duplicate of what
caused it. It was more than he could bear,
and he rose to go, seeing that as far as
Mary was concerned he could be of no fur-
ther use ; and the parting must come, so the
sooner the better, he thought. Miss Stanley
pressed him to take tea, but he declined,
and, turning to his daughter, said,—

“T must be off, Mary. You'll write and
tell us how you get on, and if, 8

The remembrance that the Misses Stanley
were present checked his finishing the sen-
tence which was about to escape him, viz.
that “if she didn’t like school she should
come home.”

Whether it was the awe Mary felt of
her future governesses, or that her misery
. had reached that extent which forbade any
outward demonstration of it, true it is that
she shed no tear, as she had done in the
morning. Yet her clasp round her father’s
neck was almost convulsive in its warmth,
whilst he pressed her again and again to
his heart. The next moment, and Mary

G





82 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

heard the slam of the cab door and the roll
‘of the wheels, and she knew she was alone
with the Misses Stanley, in a strange room,
strange house, and, as it seemed to her,
strange world altogether.

There are many kinds of desolate feeling.
A very acute one is that of a girl brought
up with parental love and care, who has
never before left home, and finds herself
suddenly thrown amongst strangers, who,
besides being such, are, she is conscious,
placed over her to instruct, admonish, and
reprove. The few words of kindly meant
but formal-sounding sympathy she receives
from her future governess fall coldly on her
ear. Without knowing they are hackneyed,
and used in succession to new comers, she
feels they are so. Then follows the ordeal
of the introduction to her twenty or thirty
future companions, who consider her for
the time fair game for such scrutiny and
remarks as the novelty of a new arrival is
sure to call forth.

And all this our young heroine had now
to pass through. It seemed to her as if
she never could swallow the tea which was



A Place for Every One. 83

immediately brought in for her, and was
relieved by the proposal to take her to the
schoolroom, for she thought anything must
be better than sitting quite alone with the
two ladies, and answering their innumer
able questions. But she wished herself back
in the drawing-room again when, after
ascending a wide uncarpeted staircase, Miss
Stanley threw open a door in a passage,
displaying a large, rather bare-looking room,
half filled with girls of every age and size.

No regular lessons had yet begun, and
they were all in groups, either working,
talking, or reading. The English teacher
was engaged in conversation with some of
the elder girls, and a French governess was
sitting at a small table by herself, engaged
in trimming a cap similar to the Parisian-
looking affair then upon her head. Mary
would have been thankful to have taken
hold even of Miss Stanley’s hand at that
moment, so greatly did she feel the need of
the semblance of a friend. But it was not
offered ; so, unaided, except by her own
inward resolve to be brave, she followed
Miss Stanley whither she led.

G@ 2



84 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

This was across the room to Miss Saxon,
the English teacher. Every one had ceased
speaking as they entered, and all eyes were
turned on Mary. Miss Stanley first intro-
duced her to Miss Saxon, and then said she
would leave her to make her acquainted
with the young ladies. She left the room, and
again Mary was feeling the horrors of being
turned adrift on strangers, when a young
lady in very deep mourning advanced
towards Miss Saxon, saying,—

“Do you wish me to take Miss Elwood
upstairs, ma’am, and show her where to put
her things?”

“Do so,” replied the teacher. “You
will be more comfortable when you have
got rid of your dusty travelling things,
my dear,” she said to Mary; “and Miss
Duncan will go with you, and show you
where you are to sleep.”

However Miss Stanley’s young ladies
might pride themselves on their politeness
in company, they did not seem to practise
it in their own schoolroom, for not one
came forward to bid her welcome or speak
a word of kindness. Miss Saxon herself



A Place for Every One. 85

seemed more intent on scanning her dress
and general appearance than thinking how
she could make the young girl feel less shy
and ill at ease. As for Madame, she was
contented with taking one long scrutinizing
look at ber from above her spectacles, and
then continued working away at her cap
without again raising her eyes.

Miss Duncan took Mary up a second flight
of stairs to a room furnished with several
beds, two large chests of drawers, wash-
stands, and looking-glasses. . She showed
her which was to be hers, and proposed
assisting-her to unpack her clothes, as her
box was already brought up and standing
in the room.

“Miss Stanley likes every girl to get her
things put away as soon as she arrives,”
she said, “as it saves much confusion ; but
if you are very tired I will do it for you
whilst you rest.”

“Oh, I can unpack them myself, without -
giving you the trouble,’ said Mary, pro-
ducing her key, and feeling very grateful
for the kindness of her manner.

“Tt is no trouble to me, I am used



86 Ashgrove Farm ; 07,

to it,’ replied Margaret Duncan; “it is
my duty to look after the clothes of the
young ladies.”

Mary gave a look of surprise, to which
Margaret replied by saying, with rather a
sad smile,—

“JT am not here exactly like the others,
nor yet as a teacher. JI am what is called
a half-boarder ; I mend all the little ones’
things, and see to the older girls keeping
their drawers tidy, and I help with the
younger classes.”

“Then you do not learn yourself?”
asked Mary.

“Yes, I take lessons of the masters, and
improve myself as much as possible. I
have not been here very long, and when I
first came I felt as uncomfortable and shy
as I know you are doing. You will soon,
however, get to know the girls, and then
you won't care.’ She shook out the
flounces of Miss Styles’ muslin dresses
as she spoke, and laid them carefully in
a deep drawer.

“T have had ail those frocks made to
come here with,” said Mary, “but I can’t



A Place for Every One. 87

bear them. [ like my print ones best.
I am sure I shall never wear these at
home; father says he shouldn’t know me
in them.”

«Where is your home, Miss Elwood ?”

“ At Acton, in Shropshire. Our house
is called Ashgrove Farm.”

“Do you mean that your father is a
farmer ?” asked Miss Duncan.

“ Yes, he has one of Squire Wentworth’s
largest farms,” replied Mary, with a slight
feeling of pride and dignity; “I forget
how many acres he has, but a great many.”

Miss Duncan was silent a minute or two,
and seemed busy in ee gloves and
collars in a small drawer. Then, suddenly
turning to her, she said with much sweet-
hess of manner,—

“The girls will be sure to ask you almost
first thing what your father is, You must
not mind if they say rather rude things
about your being a farmer’s daughter.”

“Why, what will they say?” asked
Mary, in extreme astonishment, “what
harm is there in it?”

“None at all,” replied Miss Dunean,



88 Ashgrove Farm ; ov,

“only some of the young ladies here hold
themselves very high, because they say
they are the daughters of gentlemen ; and
though I dare say your father is as much a
gentleman as any of them, they would not
allow it.”

“No, my father does not call himself a
gentleman,” said Mary. “I have heard
him say that he would rather be what he
is than the highest gentleman in the land.
But everybody who knows him likes him,
and Mr. Wentworth is always coming to
talk to him of things that he says father
knows about better than he does.”

Mary had got rather excited as she spoke.
Miss Duncan took her hand kindly.

“My dear Miss Elwood,” said she, “I
hope I have not vexed you; indeed I did
not mean to, but I know so well that you
will hear some remarks made, that I
thought it better just to prepare you. They
do not like me much, because I am poor,
and have no friends.” ‘Tears filled her
eyes as she spoke.

“T should have thought that would have
made them all the kinder,” exclaimed Mary,



A Place for Every One. 89

indignantly. “They must be very dis-
agreeable girls.”

“T should be sorry if I made you think
that before you even know them,” said
Miss Duncan. “It would be wrong of me;
and indeed some of them are very good-
natured.”

“May I be with you a great deal?”
asked Mary. “I should like it so much.
And will you give up calling me Miss
Elwood? It sounds strange and disagree-
able. I+ feel all alone here, but I am sure
I shall soon love you, if you will let me.”
Tt seemed as if the little girl’s warm-hearted
speech had touched a chord in Miss Duncan’s
heart, for again her tears sprang forth as
she put her arm round her, and kissed her
affectionately, saying,—

“YT sleep in your room, and shall often
have to teach you, I dare say; but you
will know better in a few weeks whom you
will like best to be much with.”

A great bell rang at this moment, and
she told Mary they must hasten down to
supper. This was a light repast, at which
the Misses Stanley did not make their ap-



90 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

pearance, but was presided over by Miss
Saxon and the French governess. Soon
afterwards Miss Stanley read a prayer in
the schoolroom, and then bidding them all
collectively good night, the younger ones
retired to bed. Mary, who had kept very
close to Miss Duncan at supper, was
delighted to find that not only she, but
Helen Parker, who had not yet arrived,
were to sleep in the room with her. It
reconciled her to the presence of two other
girls who were also to share the apartment,
and, wearied with the journey and the
strangeness of all things around her, she fell
asleep almost as soon as she laid her head
upon her pillow.



A Place for Every One. 91

CHAPTER VII.

THE ringing of a bell aroused the young
ladies from their slumbers, and caused
Mary to spend a few seconds in considering
where she was. Margaret Duncan’s re-
minder that she must get up quickly and
be ready to go downstairs in half an hour,
recalled her recollections, and made her
hasten to dress herself. There was no time
for conversation, and she was searcely ready
when a second bell rang to summon them
to the schoolroom, where Miss Saxon was
waiting to read prayers. These were
followed by breakfast, and immediately
afterwards the business of the day com-
menced ; for although there were still some
girls who had not arrived, no more time -
was to be lost by those already assembled.
Miss Stanley examined Mary, and found
that her acquirements, as far as they went,
were anything but despicable. Her atten-



92 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

tion must, however, she said, be immediately
given to music, French, and dancing. She
was forthwith handed over to Madame,
and found it extremely difficult to under-
stand the mixture of French and broken
English in which she addressed her. The
following hour was given to music, and
then amaster arrived, who divided two
hours between arithmetic and writing. By
the time he left, poor Mary’s head ached,
and she was wholly unable to eat any
dinner. Then came half an hour when they
could amuse themselves as they pleased,
and after that they all prepared for a walk,
as the afternoon was not wet. Mary was
put with a girl named Lucy Norton, a little
older than herself, who plied her with ques-
tions about her home, and in answer to
her straightforward replies said,—

“ Then it’s true what the elder girls were
saying, that your father’s only a farmer?
I would not tell them, if I were you.” ;

“T am not ashamed of it,” said poor
Mary, indignantly, “and I shall say the
truth when I am asked.”

Lucy said no more on the subject. She



A Place for Every One. 93

was provoked rather that. Mary would not
take her advice, and lost no time on their
return home in seeking some of the big
girls, and telling them that she had found
out from Miss Elwood herself that she was
not a real born lady. This led to a dis-
cussion as to whether Miss Stanley was
justified in receiving girls beneath what
they considered their own rank,

More lessons, and then fancy-work sue
ceeded ; after which, just as they were going
to tea, the Misses Parker arrived. Helen’s
delight at meeting Mary was open and un-
disguised, but the two elder sisters scarcely
noticed her beyond a cool “How do you
do, Mary?” They took an early opportu-
nity of confiding to their friends that they
knew very little of her at home, although
Helen had taken it into her head to like her,
because she was naturally a great romp and
had found out that Mary was the same.

One day of a girl’s school life is much the
same as another. The young ladies at the
Misses Stanley’s seminary were not allowed
to be idle ; and Mary’s bright roses began
to fade away from the effects of close study



94 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

and so much less air and exercise than
formerly.

She was a quick and painstaking girl,
and goon stood well in the estimation of
her teachers. In the girls’ favour she made
little progress. The fact of her being “ only
a farmer’s daughter” made many stand
aloof from her ; so exclusive was the system
on which these young ladies formed their
society amongst themselves.

Mary’s great friend, besides Helen, was
Margaret Duncan. She was an orphan,
and a very distant relation of the Misses
Stanley, who had offered to take her with-
out pay, on condition of her giving such
help as they required with the pupils. This,
as far as it went, was an advantage to Mar-
garet, who was anxious to fit herself for a
situation as governess. But the poor girl
had soon found that she was looked upon
ag a mere dependent by the Misses Stanley,
and was pretty constantly reminded of it,
both by them and the girls, who were quick -
enough in perceiving how she stood as to
her position in the establishment. She had
won Mary’s heart from the first, and a warm



A Place for Every One. 95

friendship soon sprang up between them,
notwithstanding the difference of their
ages.

Margaret was the daughter of a Scotch
minister. She had been tenderly brought
up, though in extreme simplicity of habits.
Her mother had been a delicate woman, and
Margaret had early learnt habits of useful-
ness and self-denial in her attendance on
her. She died when her daughter was
about fifteen, who, from that time, was her
father’s comfort and helper in every way.
But, four years later, he, too, was suddenly
carried off by disease of the heart, and
Margaret found herself without fortune and
almost without friends; for the secluded
village in which they had lived had cut
them off from the society of any who could
befriend her. The education she had re-
ceived from her father had been solid rather
than ornamental, and this was a consider-
able drawback to the likelihood of her
obtaining her living as a governess. .

A worthy farmer, who had been one of
the deceased minister’s most honoured elders,
had given her a cordial invitation to his



56 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

house, which was accepted by the orphan
girl with relief and gratitude, for a month
or six weeks, whilst her little property at
the manse was being disposed of and her
own future discussed.

But she was most anxious for aiaupens
dence. Her native delicacy made her shrink
from intruding long on the hospitality of
her warm-hearted friends, and she wrote to
the Misses Stanley, as connections of her
father’s, asking their advice how to fit her-
self to gain her own livelihood. Her letter
arrived exactly at a time when they were in
some perplexity as to a successor to the
young person who had hitherto acted in the
capacity of half-boarder. This was, a lady
to overlook the younger children’s lessons
and clothes, in return for such advantages
in the way of education and accomplish-
ments as they could spare her. It seemed
to them that Margaret might exactly suit
them, whilst they would appear to be doing
a kind act to a needy relation. The result
was, that they wrote and made her the
offer, giving her clearly to understand they
considered they were acting generously by



A Place for Every One. 97

her, though in a disadvantageous manner to
themselves by doing so, but that they were
willing to make some sacrifice, on the
ground of their connection with her.
Margaret did not hesitate a moment. She
wrote a grateful reply, thanking them for
their kindness, and promising to do all in
her power to show them it was not mis-
placed. Her simple affairs had been wound
up by the friendly farmer ; and, about six
weeks after the death of her father, with
very little money in her pocket and a heavy
heart, she bade adieu to the happy home
of her childhood and her kind-hearted host
and hostess, and started on her journey to
Clapham. She clung to the hope that
she should find in the Misses Stanley those
who would be to her as relatives, but in
this light they did not choose to be re-
garded, Her sensitive spirit) at once saw
that her position in their house was to be
that of, not even a hireling, but one who
was taken from charity, and from whom
much gratitude was expected. She could
not give it. One word of kindness, of sym-
pathy, or of interest in her welfare, would
H



67

98 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

have filled the orphan’s heart to overflowing:
but there was none. Cold, distantly given
information of what her duties were to be,
and what advantages she might expect in
return, fell like ice upon the heart that was
pining and yearning for something like the
love she had lost. She turned to those
duties with a high conscientious resolve they
should be fulfilled; but gratitude had no
place in their discharge.

By the teachers she was regarded as one
having no right to consider herself on
an equality with themselves, whose services
were of sufficient value tobe compensated
by payment. The elder girls treated her
with distant civility, intended to prevent
any approaches to familiarity ; and although
she was a favourite with the younger ones,
owing to her sweetness of temper and ready
attention to their comforts, her services
were regarded as their due, and taken as a
matter of course. But perhaps her greatest
trial lay with the servants, who, quickly

,. perceiving that Miss Duncan was subordi-
nate to the other teachers, and therefore, as
they ignorantly supposed, nearer to their



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ASHGROVE FARM,
ASHGROVE FARM;

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A PLACE FOR EVERY ONE,

BY

C. HE. B.,

AUTHOR OF “WORK FOR ALL;” “CHARLIE AND WALTER,”
“RICH AND POOR,” ETO, ETC.

LONDON :
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,

THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE,
ASHGROVE FARM.

CHAPTER L

Ir was a happy day at Ashgrove Farm -
on which Mrs. Elwood presented her hus-
band with a daughter! For thirteen years
had the worthy couple been married, and
all things gone on prosperously with them,
Riches increased, and so did the universal
respect in which they were held by their
neighbours; for Mr. Elwood was a liberal
man, as well as a clever farmer, and was
always ready to dispense to his poorer
neighbours some of the comforts which so
abundantly surrounded his own dwelling.
Both Mr, and Mrs, Elwood were great
favourites at the Hall with the squire and
his lady. At the yearly: entertainment
given by them to their tenants, none were
more cordially welcomed by the host and
6 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

hostess. Indeed, the special notice which
Mrs. Wentworth devoted to Mrs. Elwood,
sometimes excited a good deal of jealousy
amongst certain ladies, who had put them-
selves to no small amount of trouble and
expense in order to appear in what they
and their dressmakers thought was fashion-
able attire—whereas good Mrs. Elwood
came simply dressed in her Sunday gown.
She was, consequently, perfectly at her ease
as to her external appearance, whilst others
were in some trepidation as to the effect
likely to be produced by the finery so
rarely worn, and in which they felt far from
comfortable. Our worthy farmer’s wife
knew no such troubles. Her gown fitted
her as well at the farm as at the Hall, and
her delicately white cap, with its modest
trimming of white satin ribbon, was the
same shape that she had worn for years,
without giving any consideration to the
fact that it was no longer new.

Not, however, but that some of her friends
had tried to improve “her style,” as they
called her mode of dress. Pretty little
Mrs. Langton, of Acton Heath, a young
A Place for Every One. 7

wife of a year’s standing, andto whom Mrs.
Elwood had shown ancl matronly kind-
ness, came in one day and saw a cap lying
unfinished on the table.

Now Mrs. Langton had been brought up
in London, and moreover, had brought
thence on her marriage a very gay and
abundant trousseau ; she was therefore re-
garded by her country neighbours as rather
a standard of fashion.

She was not a little proud of the dis-
tinction, it must be owned; but she was
extremely good-natured, and always ready
either to lend her patterns or give her advice
any one. to whom they might be useful.
Her intimacy with Mrs. Elwood encouraged
her to ask who was her milliner ?

“My milliner ! My dear Mrs. Langton,
I never had one in my life!”

“ Did you not order this cap of one?”

“Why, I bought the back of it in the
market, of an old woman who has made
them for years ; and I plaited up the front,
and put it on and trimmed it myself”

“ Butit isn’t in the fashion, Mrs. Elwood ;
they don’t wear them plaited all round the
8 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

face; and no one ever hears of such a thing
as tying on a cap now-a-days.”

“ How in the world, then, am I to keep
it on my head?”

“Tt should be pinned on at the two sides ;
I can’t show you how with your cap, it’s
so stiff, and so unlike the right shape. If
you will let me, I will make you one that I
know you will like.”

“But the pins might fall out, and then
my cap would come tumbling off! I don’t
think a dozen of them would make me feel
safe.”

“They are not common pins that are used,
but very large gold ones which fasten into
the hair. I have a pair; which I shall be
glad to lend you; I willsend them with the
cap, and you must promise to wear them.”
So saying, little Mrs. Langton hurried home,
full of her scheme for making her dear kind
friend Mrs. Elwood a head-dress that would
cause her good-humoured face to look almost
handsome, she was sure.

And the next evening it arrived in a
band-box. When Mrs. Elwood lifted out
the smart-looking affair, made of lace and
A Place for Every One. 9

fringe, shaped so as just to cover the back
of the head, with a pair of large gold balls
peeping out at the sides, she almost dropped
it, from dismay at thinking it had been
made for her.

“Dear a me! to think of all the trouble
poor Mrs. Langton must have had over it ;
and yet wear it I can’t, that’s certain,”
said she to herself. But the thought of
appearing ungrateful vexed her, so she re-
solved just to put it on for a moment, that
she might be able to say she knew from
experience it did not suit. She was in a
little parlour which opened out of the
kitchen. There was an old-fashioned glass
over the mantel-piece, very high up ; but, by
standing on a stool she could make use of
it;.it was the first time in her life she had -
so elevated herself, except for the purpose
of dusting it. Having removed her neat
every-day cap, and taken the other in her
hand, she examined it attentively, by way
of ascertaining how it was to be put on;
and at length had succeeded in arranging it
and the pins, as she supposed was intended,
when suddenly a loud “Halloa!*” from a
10 Ashgrove Farm; or,

voice at the door, made her start so violently
that one of the pins fell out, and catching
in the fringe on the head-dress, hung
dangling from it, as she turned hastily
yound, with a halfashamed, half-amused
look, to explain to her husband what she
was about. It was no half amusement
with him, however. The farmer could
enjoy a joke thoroughly, when it came in
his way; and to catch his sober plain-
dressing Susan rigging out her head in this
guise, and standing on a stool to look at
herself, was to him something so perfectly
ledicrous, that his mirth knew no bounds.
One peal of laughter succeeded another so
boisterously, that poor Mrs. Elwood became
terrified lest her maids should mistake the
unusual sounds, and, coming to see what
was the matter, be spectators also of her
apparent folly. But in vain she tugged at
the delicate fabric of lace, fringe, and
flowers! The pin which had remained in
its place seemed as if it never meant to
quit it again, so firmly had it become fixed
in her hair ; and she was compelled to ask
her husband’s assistance in getting it dis-
A Place for Every One. 11

entangled! His clumsy fingers did not
much improve matters, and her looks of
dismay only causing fresh bursts of
laughter, she at length seized her scissors,
and respecting neither head-dress nor hair,
cut both away from her head. Then,
snatching up her own cap, she tied it under
her chin, resolving she never again would
try on new fashions to please anybody.
As for the farmer, he had not forgotten his
joke when seed-sowing time came on,
Putting his head in at the window, he
would say,—

“Susan, suppose you were to bring your
stool, and stand in the field with that head-
gear on for an hour or two? The birds are
uncommon troublesome to-day, and want
searing off sadly !”

So this was Mrs. Elwood’s first and last
attempt at trying new fashions; and in her
husband’s and Mrs. Wentworth’s eyes, at
all events, the plain cap with its white
ribbons suited her best, and set off her
pleasant features to the most advantage.
Year after year had passed on, till, as we
have before said, thirteen had been num-
12 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

bered since their marriage; and the secret
hope both had cherished that they might
have a family had passed away, when the
joyful event took place announced at the
opening of tke chapter, and which we left
in rather an unceremonious manner.

It is possible that Farmer Elwood might
have preferred a son, to take his place some
day in the farm ; but this is mere conjecture,
for no one ever heard him say so, nor would
anybody have judged that such was the case,
who saw his look of happiness on being told
his wife was doing well, and that the little
girl was as fine a baby as was ever born.
Perhaps a doubt as to the truth of the latter
part of the assertion crossed his mind, when
the novel sight of the little new-born creature
first met his eye; but there was true
fatherly tenderness mixed in the amazement
with which he bent over it and touched its
soft cheek with his great rough fingers,
saying, “1 don’t suppose I know much
about how ‘fine babies’ ought to look, but
I hope she’ll grow different to that after a
bit!”
A Place for Every One. 13

CHAPTER JI.

Farmer Exwoop was right in his conjec-
ture that his little Mary, as she was chris-
tened, would grow different-looking to what
she was when he first gazed lovingly, but
not admiringly, upon her features. A
prettier child could not be seen in the whole
neighbourhood, nor a happier one, as she
trotted by her father’s side about the farm,
or rode before him on horseback amongst
the fields and lanes. Certainly, no little
girl ever passed a pleasanter childhood than
herself, or one more free from nursery and
school-room restraints. A difficulty arose
when she was about six years old, as to
how she was to be taught to read and
write. Her mother undertook it, but soon
found that either she did not possess the
art of teaching, or Mary that of learning ;
for no progress was made. The farmer
himself, seeing how things stood, made a
14 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

few attempts at gaining her atteution, so
far as to make her master her letters; but
as the lesson was sure to end in a game of
romps before it was fairly begun, the
results were of course still unfavourable.
There was a village school; but, to her
father’s proposal one day. that she should
be sent there, Mrs. Elwood objected that
she should not like her to be so much
thrown with the village children. At last,
an arrangement was made with the school-
mistress that she should come over to the
farm, every day, after her scholars were
dismissed, and commence the work of
education in earnest. ‘The plan answered
tolerably well; and, by the time she was
ten years and a half old, Mary was by
no means deficient in such simple learn-
ing as could be given her by her instruc-
tress.

One evening, about this time, a conver-
sation passed between Mr. and Mrs. Elwood
which we will repeat, as it had an influence
on their daughter’s future life. The little
girl was asleep in bed. The farmer sat in
his easy chair, smoking by the fireside in
A Place for Every One. 15

the parlour before mentioned, whilst his
wife sat opposite, engaged in trimming one
of those very caps to which she had so
long before sworn eternal friendship. Mrs.
Elwood broke a silence of some duration,
by saying,—

“T’ve been thinking, John, that we
ought to begin and consider about giving
our Mary a genteel education.”

“What sort of a one is that, Susan? I
don’t quite understand.”

“Why, such as is given at boarding-
schools for young ladies, where they learn
music and drawing, and French and dancing.
I called on Mrs. Parker last market-day,
and saw her two daughters, who are just
come home from school. She showed me
their drawings. I don’t understand much
about it, but they looked to me as good as
what one sees in the shops. ‘Then, Mrs.
Parker says, they play and sing beauti-
fully.” oe

“But do you think, Susan, our Mary
will ever want these sort of things? To
be sure, she may be asked to a dance now
and then, for the matter of learning that ;
16 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

but if she drew a dozen pictures a week,
there would be no one to see them but
you and me; and J’d rather look at a
living horse or cow any day, than a likeness
of one.”

“Well; but there’s the French and
music. Mrs. Parker says all young ladies
learn foreign languages now-a-days, and
that at the school where her girls go, near
London, they never are allowed to speak
English except on Sundays, till at last
French comes so easy to them they talk
better in that than their own tongue.”

“Mercy on us, Susan! What should we
do if our little Mary went to school, and
came back talking that ontlandish jabber
like the Misses Wentworth’s governess ?
No, no, wife; depend upon it, God gave
her that tongue of hers to chatter English
with, not French, else she’d have been
born on the other side the water.”

“And the music; wouldn’t you have
her learn that either?”

“Why, where would be the good of it,
when we’ve got no piano ?”

“But one might be bought, surely; the
A Place for Every One. 17

money would be well laid out in giving
her such an amusement.”

This was a new idea to the good-natured
farmer, and touched him on a weak point.
We could withhold nothing from his child
that would give her pleasure.

Mrs. Elwood saw that she had gained
an advantage. She knew it by her hus-
band making no other reply than shaking
out his pipe, replenishing it from the box
on the mantel-piece, and then settling him-
self again in his chair, as if to continue
the conversation.

“You see, John,” she resumed, after a
pause, “ we've got but this one, and there’s
no need for her to be busying herself all
day long, when she grows up, as I do: so
why shouldn’t she go to boarding-school,
and learn to be a lady? We can afford
it well enough.”

“Yes ; it’s not the cash that’s wanting,”
replied the farmer ; “and therell be a
pretty penny for her some day when we
are gone, if things go on as they have
done.”

“That's just what Mrs. Parker was

Cc
18 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

saying to me. Says she, ‘Mary’s your
only child, Mrs. Elwood: why, people say
shell be quite an heiress; and, if so, she
may marry a gentleman some day; so you
ought to bring her up like a lady.’”

Farmer Elwood was silent, and puffed
away at his pipe, watching his wife’s
fingers as she dexterously stitched some
little white bows between the lace frills of
her cap.

“ Susan,” said he, at last, “do you re- *
member years ago my catching you standing
on the stool in your brown stuff dress,
with that queer thingamabob stuck on
your head by two great gilt knobs?”

“To be sure I do, quite well, John ; my
hair has never grown as long as the rest
where I cut it off in such a hurry: but
whatever makes you think about it now ?”

“ Because, somehow, it seems to me
something like what we are talking about.
I shall never forget what a rum figure
you cut when I came in, with all that
finery sticking above your plain dress.
Now, don’t you think that if we bring
up our Mary to live in this farmhouse of
A Place for Every One. 19

ours, which must be her home for some
years, at all events—by sending her to a
fine school to cram her with accomplish-
ments, as they are called, we are doing
somewhat as you did then? Sha’n’t we
be putting useless finery into her mind,
which we might be glad to pull out some
day, but which we shail find has got stuck
in as firmly as your gold knob was; and
will become her as ill, mayhap ?”

Mrs. Elwood did not immediately reply.
Two thoughts were struggling for the
mastery in her mind: the one was, that
there was a good deal of plain sense in her
honest husband’s remarks; the other, that
Mary had a pretty face, and would some
day have a pretty fortune; and, if she
were only brought up as a lady, might
have a chance of becoming one in course of
time. This last was by far the pleasantest
idea of the two ; and as we are all natu-
rally inclined to be most hospitable to
those we like best, so the good woman
quickly banished the disagreeable reflection,
and allowed the other to take full posses-
sion of her imagination. No one who saw

c 2
20 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Mrs, Elwood in her active discharge of
daily duties, her simple dress, and perfect
contentment with her lot, would have sup-
posed her liable to the weakness of castle-
building. It was one that had lain dorman$
hitherto : perhaps the extreme unselfishness
of her nature had been partly the cause ;
for on herself she had, from a child, never
been in the habit of wasting thought: the
pleasure and happiness of others had always
come before her own. But, when unselfish-
ness and want of judgment are combined
in a character, ib is apt to lead a person
into errors in the latter particular ; espe-
cially when affection steps in to bias it.
Thus it was with our simple-minded, warm-
hearted farmer’s wife; and so she rejected
the really clear though rough-set mirror
placed before her by her husband after the
first glance, and preferred using the less
true, but more gilded one, of her own
framing.

“TJ don’t see it as you do, John,” said
she, at last. “If we had a troop of boys
and girls to bring up and provide for, it
would be different; but, as Mrs, Parker
A Place for Every One. 21

was saying, it’s right that parents should
try to do the best for their children; and
I’m sure our Mary promises to grow up fit
to be the wife of a gentleman some day.”

“ Aye, Susan ; there’s what you women
always go contriving about—how to get
your daughters well married. To think,
now, of, you setting your brain to work on
the subject when Mary’s only ten years old!”

“Tf we wait till she’s grown up before
we settle what sort of an education she’s
to have, John, she'll never be fit to marry
any one; that’s certain.”

“Then the question now is, whether she
wouldn’t be better to be brought up as the
likely-to-be wife of a well-to-do farmer,
like her mother before her, rather than for
the possible chance of catching some young
fellow in the shape of a gentleman, whose
friends will look down on her, whilst he
spends whatever money she may chance to
have ?”

“That isn’t a nice way of putting it,
John; I wish you wouldn’t talk so. How-
ever, since you are against it, you shall
have your own way, and bring her up as
22 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

you think best. Perhaps you are right
and I am wrong about it, after all.”

Now, notwithstanding our real and sin-
cere liking for good Mrs. Elwood, we must
be honest enough to confess to our readers
that this concluding speech, so exactly
what sounds like “being subject to our
husbands,” was simply a cunning and
somewhat masterly move to win the game
she thought she was playing for Mary’s
good, She knew well, by experience in
simpler affairs, that there was no method
of gaining her own point like that of
seeming to yield it. Mr. Elwood loved
and looked up to Lis wife. In all do-
mestic matters she was an oracle to the
neighbourhood, and with these only she
had hitherto had todo. Asa wife, mother,
and mistress, her husband considered her
perfect. When, therefore, she so submis-
sively left this matter to his judgment, he
instantly felt as if he were intruding on
her particular province. Although he might
have claimed his right to share the govern-
ment of it with her, had she resisted ; yet
to have it thus meekly yielded to him,
A Place for Every One. 23

without one cross look or word, melted
his heart, and warped his better judgment
at the same moment.

“No, no, Susan,” said he, rising to lay
down his finished pipe; “I didn’t say you
are ‘wrong; for, after all, women must
know best about girls; so you settle it as
you like. Find a school, and T’!l pay the
bills for anything you want her taught.
So that you don’t learn music and drawing,
and French jabbering, Mary may try her
hand at what you please. But I tell you
what, Susan: I wonder whether they'll
make her, in the end, as useful and dear a
wife to another man as you are to me!
I doubt whether even our Mary will match
her mother!” And the rough but affec-
tionate farmer stooped from his six feet
height, and kissed away the tear that his
loving speech had brought glistening to his
Susan’s eye,
24 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

CHAPTER III.

Tue result of the foregoing conversation
was, that Mrs. Elwood again called on
Mrs. Parker to consult with her about
Mary’s education. That lady, who was the
wife of a thriving tanner in the neighbour-
hood, had great notions of the importance
of bringing up girls genteelly, as she called
it, and had acted upon them by sending
her daughters to what she considered a
fashionable school, where they were learn-
ing all those accomplishments which, she
had persuaded Mrs. Elwood, were indis-
pensable for her own child. Sheso strongly
recommended this seminary, that it was
finally decided upon for Mary; especially
as the Misses Parker would, Mrs. Elwood
considered, feel naturally somewhat inte-
rested in a companion coming from their
own. neighbourhood. The prospect of part-
ing with her was, however, so painful,
A Place for Every One. 25

when a consultation took place as to the
time of her going, and the child herself
was in such distress at the idea of leaving
her father and mother, that they both
agreed to defer the evil moment for ano-
ther five months, which would bring her
to the age of eleven years. She would
thus commence school life after the Mid-
summer vacation.

From the time that Mr. Elwood and his
wife had discussed the subject together, in
the conversation related in the last chapter,
he had never again attempted to oppose
the plan of sending Mary to school; and
had gradually reconciled himself to the
prospect of parting with her. Not but
that he would have gladly fallen into any
scheme that could have kept her at home.
Mrs. Wentworth often noticed Mary, even
occasionally asking her to spend an after-
noon with her children ; and was always
pleased with the bright-looking, happy little
girl, whose -hair was as soft and plain
white frock as spotless as her own young ©
daughter’s, though the fashion of the ar-
rangement of them was somewhat different.
26 ' Ashgrove Farm ; or,

She had on one occasion asked her parents
what they proposed doing about her edu-
cation, and had suggested the idea of look.
ing out for a sensible governess, who could
instruct her in all things necessary, and
who would be a companion to her in her
daily walks.

The farmer’s face lighted up at the
thought of keeping his child ; and he looked
anxiously at his wife’s countenance, in
hopes of seeing that she also liked the
proposal. But Mrs. Parker had so tho-
roughly convinced her Mary ought to go
to school, and associate with young ladies,
that she at once informed Mrs. Wentworth
of the decision they had made, adding that
she had been fortunate in hearing of a very
good seminary near London, where she
was told they had excellent masters for
everything.

The expression of Mrs. Wentworth’s
countenance puzzled her rather. She ex-
pected that she would at once allow the
advantages of such a plan; but, although
the squire’s lady was too well bred to say
anything, it was impossible not to see
A Place for Every One. 27

there was a doubt in her mind as to the
wisdom of the scheme; so much so, that
it left a feeling of something like dis-
comfiture over Mrs. Elwood for a litile
- while. She had often been much gratified
by observing that her child was evidently
a favourite at the Hall; and, probably, if a
peep were taken into some of the hidden
and weakest recesses of the mother’s heart,
we should see that her castles in the air
had sometimes arisen to the height of
wondering whether a knowledge of music
and dancing, and such things, might not
make her fit to associate pretty constantly
with the young ladies at the Hall, when
she and they should all be grown up! It
is, perhaps, hardly generous thus to bring
worthy Mrs. Elwood’s hidden foibles to
the light. If all mothers were as unfairly
dealt with, it may be doubtful, however,
whether they could stand the scrutiny as
well even as she could do,

It was a happy thing for the farmer that
the exciting and busy time of haymaking
prevented his having leisure to remember
often how near the day was approaching
28 Ashgrove Farm ; 07,

that was to take away his child, she who,
he used sometimes laughingly to say, carried
sunshine enough about with her to ripen a
whole field of corn. Mary herself also
enjoyed this season far too much to have
time to fret over the approaching separation.
She was as busy as a bee in her own
way in the hayfield, dressed in a large
holland pinafore and sun-bonnet of the
same material, made by Mrs. Elwood’s
careful hands—for she had had a hint from
Mrs, Parker that Mary’s complexion was
showing the effects of constant exposure
to the air, and spoke of the care that was
taken of her own girls in this respect at the
Misses Stanley’s seminary. Mrs. Elwood
remembered the pale-looking young ladies
whose sallow skins she had often thought
marred any beauty they might otherwise
have possessed, and wondered secretly of
what nature was the care that had pro-
duced such poor effects }

It was unusually fine weather, and the
hay crops were enough to gladden the
heart of any farmer as they were carried in
from the fields, scenting the air with their
A Place for Every One. 29

delicious fragrance. Mary, according to
custom, was seated in glory on the top of
the last load, and was joining in the full
chorus sung by the men, women, and
children who, some riding, some following,
were accompanying it home.

As it entered the farmyard, a fly was
seen standing at the door of the house,
from which Mrs. Parker and her daughters
alighted. They were met at the entrance
by Mrs. Elwood, who was busy super-
intending the preparations for the early
supper about to be given to the haymakers
in the kitchen; for Farmer Elwood always
ended his affairs in a hospitable manner.
Before we proceed it may be as well to
give the reader an insight into the motive
which caused Mrs. Parker and her daughters
to call at the farm on this particular evening.
Mrs. Parker looked upon herself, and was
generally looked on by her friends in the
neighbourhood, as a person of some im-
portance. Much more so than her husband,
who was a plain quiet sort of man. His
perseverance and steadiness during life had .
gradually brought him into the prosperous
30 Ashgrove Farm; or,

condition of one who could afford to build
a villa in the suburbs of the market town
of Dalemoor, ata considerable distance from
his own tanpits. This had been for years
the object of his wife’s ambition. Whether
her gentility or her olfactory nerves were
most offended by the vicinity of their
former small house to her husband’s
business, we cannot say; but certain it is
she gave him no peace on the subject. He,
however, being a prudent man, turned a
deaf ear to her entreaties for another abode
till he knew he could well afford it. Her
next object was to carry out the notions we
have seen she possessed with respect to a
fashionable education for her children, and,
in consequence, they were sent to the school
before named, with strict injunctions to the
Misses Stanley to take care that accomplish-
ments of all sorts were principally attended
to, together with a due regard to their
manners, carriage, &c. The eldest Miss
Parker was now considered nearly finished,
and in such a manner that her mother was
fully satisfied no young lady of their
acquaintance in the town of Dalemoor
A Place for Every One. 31

could rival her in certain things in which
she was pronounced by her governesses to
excel. Assuredly also the Misses Parker
were oradually acquiring notions of refine-
ment, as their mother called them, which
made their father sometimes wonder whether
their schoolmistresses had any peculiar ideas
on the subject of the tanning trade, which
they were imparting to their pupils. All
allusion to this business seemed strictly
forbidden in the house if any stranger were
present. Even Mr. Parker himself found
he must keep silence on such matters at
Laurel Villa, as their suburban house was
called. In vain he reminded his wife that
but for this despised business, she would
have had no Laurel Villa, nor the means
of sending their girls to a London school.
He found that he was expected to bea
tanner one part of the day, and a gentle-
man the other; and as habit had made the
former character infinitely the most easy to
him, he spent very little of his time at his
‘country abode,” as the clerk at the tan-
pits had been instructed to call Laurel
Villa, The servants at that residence were
32 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

with equal care taught to reply to any
inquiries there for their master, that he
was then at his “town house,” that name
being given to the dismantled abode the
family had formerly lived in, where one
room was left furnished for Mr. Parker’s
accommodation during the day. It will
be readily understood that between Mrs.
Elwood and Mrs. Parker there was not much
in common to draw them together. Business
between their husbands had first made them
acquainted in days gone by, when Mrs.
Parker’s residence in a small house and an
unpleasant neighbourhood made her only
too glad to accept an occasional invitation
to the farm to spend the day with her
children. Mrs. Elwood, in her turn, also
would sometimes step in to see Mrs. Parker
. on market days, and take an early dinner,
or carry a present of new-laid eggs and
fresh butter. Beyond this, they had little
intercourse, and it became still less frequent
when the Parkers removed from the town.
They still, however, met from time to time ;
and when Mrs. Elwood began to feel the
want of advice respectine her child’s educa-
A Place for Every One. 33

tion, it seemed to her that there was no
one so capable of giving it as the mother of
three great girls, who must already have
studied the subject. Mrs, Parker was
ready enough to advise, and enter into Mrs.
Elwood’s anxiety. She was by no means
above taking an interest in little Mary
Elwood. She knew that although her
parents were but plain simple people, they
were held in universal respect. They
tenanted one of Squire Wentworth’s best
farms, and she was aware that Mary had
been asked to the Hall to play with his:
children. She did not see, therefore, why
she should not go to the same school, and
be brought up in the same manner as her
own girls, She even thought it might be
an advantage to them in some respects, to
have her as an acquaintance after they
were all grown up. Her daughters felt
differently.

“She is so old fashioned looking,
mamma,’’ exclaimed Miss Parker, “and so
badly dressed. Her frocks come almost to
her heels, and her thick walking boots look as

D
34 Ashgrove Farm; or,

if they were made for her to follow her
father’s plough.”

“And she always calls her parents
‘father’ and ‘mother, instead of ‘ papa’
and ‘mamma,’” said Miss Olivia, the second
daughter; “only think how vulgar that
would sound to the girls at school.”

“ Besides,” said Miss Parker, “I think it
would be very disagreeable to have a girl
from the neighbourhood, who would tell
the others all she knows about us.”

“T am sure, my dear, for that matter,” re-
plied her mother, “there is nothing she can
possibly tell which we should mind. Your
father is respected by everybody, and we
never have a bill running on at any shop
What is there she could say against
us 2?”

“Oh, nothing of that sort, mamma, of
course; but, you see, we have always kept
it a secret that our papa is a tanner. There
was no need to tell them, so the girls think

‘he is a gentleman living at his own place.
Some of them at Miss Stanley’s hold them-
selves very high, because their fathers are
A Place for Every One. 35

private gentlemen, or else in a profession,
and they keep apart from those whose
parents are in trade.”

“It will soon be known that Mary El-

‘-wood’s father is only a farmer,” said Miss
Olivia. “She is too young to conceal it.
Helen would have let out about papa long
ago, if we had not watched her, and she
knew how angry we should be with her if
when she was asked what he was, she had
replied anything except that ‘he was a
gentleman.’ ”

“Tt won’t do for us to seem to know or
care much about Mary Elwood, if she goes,”
said Miss Parker; “so pray, mamma, do
not let her parents send her there be-
cause they think we shall look after her.
Helen, too, had better understand, from the
first, that she is not to make a friend of
her. I am afraid she will want to, for
they are so nearly of an age, and they have
always seemed so pleased to be together
when she has been asked to the farm.”

“Really, girls,” said Mrs. Parker, “you
have brought up difficulties which never
entered my head! I have said everything

D2
36 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

I could to persuade Mrs. Elwood to send
her child to Miss Stanley’s school. How
could I ever have supposed you would dis-
like it so? She might just as well have
gone somewhere else. But it’s too late
now; they have decided, long ago, to send
her to Clapham.”

“What a.pity we were not at home
when it was first talked about,” said Miss
Olivia; “but perhaps it is not toe late.
If Mrs. Elwood has not fairly arranged
with the Misses Stanley to send her, you
might think of some reason for advising
another school instead.”

“That would be no easy matter,” re-
plied her mother; “but as I want to call
at Ashgrove, we may as well go to-day ;
and, at all events, we can give her a hint
about getting Mary’s dresses made some-
what more fashionably. So send and order
a fly, and we will start after dinner.”

“Ts Helen to go, mamma?” asked Miss
Parker, doubtfully, as a young girl of about
eleven, or rather more, entered the room at
that moment. “ Perhaps it would be better
not.”
A Place for Every One. 37

“Go where?” asked the child ; and, on
being told, she exclaimed, “Oh, do let me
go, too—pray do, mamma! TI like Mary
Elwood so much, and it will be charming
to have a run in the hayfields, and see the
cows milked.”

“Tt would be a pity to leave her at
home,” said Mrs. Parker; “and, for my
own part, I can see no reason for it. You
may go, my dear,” she added, to the de-
lighted child; “so you had better keep
yourself quiet now, in the heat of the day,
that you may not be tired when you get
there.”

“And please to remember, Helen,” said
her sister, “ that you are not to go romping
about with Mary Elwood, as you did the
last time you were at Ashgrove. I declare
I felt quite ashamed of you. Any one
would have thought you were a farmer’s
daughter yourself, and had always lived
anongst hayricks and poultry.”

“Tam sure I wish I did!” said Helen;
in an under tone, but sufficiently loud for
her sister to hear, and, consequently, admi-
nister a sharp rebuke.
38 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

After dinner, the two elder sisters went
to dress themselves for their visit, and de-
sired Helen to do the same, Miss Parker
telling her the dress she was to wear, and
naming what she knew would make her
look the greatest contrast possible to Mary
Elwood.

Poor Helen was in despair, well aware
that there would be no comfort or fun for
her, under such circumstances. It was use-
less to remonstrate with her sister ; but she
was her mother’s favourite, and to her she
flew.

“Mamma! Sophy says I am to put on
my last new muslin frock with all those
flounces, and my best hat with the blue —
feathers. I know I shall spoil them! Do tell
her this dress will do; it was clean on this
morning, and is scarcely rumpled!” And
Helen shook out the nice tidy-looking lilac
gingham she was wearing, and turned her-
self round to show her mother how well it
looked on all sides,

Mrs. Parker could not but agree that she
thought it might do, and Helen was proe
-seeding to suggest that her large brown
A Place for Every One. 39

everyday hat would look best with it, when
she was interrupted by her elder sister’s
entrance, in a state of considerable indignae
tion at her authority being set aside, even
for her mother’s.

Helen, feeling there was no safety but
in flight, darted out, saying, as she passed
Sophy,—

“Mamma says I need. not change my
frock.” Then, quickly putting on the
brown hat, she ran into the garden, to let
it be seen from the windows she was dressed
and ready to start, hoping that even Sophy
would scarcely have the barbarity to call
her in again.

But Helen did not quite know Sophy, if
she thought she would yield her point, espe-
cially where her authority over her young
sister was concerned ; she being precisely
at the age when a girl is most tenacious
about the exercise of it. An argument had
ensued with her mother, which had ended
as such arguments generally did, viz. in the
daughter gaining her wish. Mrs, Parker
was beginning to find that peace was too
often only to be obtained by yielding her
40 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

own will. In this instance she had the
-vexation of seeing from her window her
’ weakness rewarded by Sophy seizing the
_ mortified Helen by the hand, and carrying
her off in triumph to be decked out.

It was therefore rather a smart than a
happy party that entered the fly, half an
hour later, and, after a somewhat lengthy
arrangement of skirts and flounces, started
on their drive to Ashgrove Farm.
A Place for Every One. 4

CHAPTER IY.

WE left Mrs. Elwood receiving her visitors
at the entrance to her house, somewhat dis
concerted, it must be owned, at their unex-
pected appearance on such a busy occasion.
She, however, led them into her parlour,
and, having seated them, was hospitably
promising that tea should be brought in as

soon as the labourers were seated at supper,

when the approach of the hay-cart, with its
merry sounds, attracted every one to the
window. Being wide open, it gave a full
view of the whole scene, from the figure of
Mary, sitting perched on her elevated seat,
to the broad handsome face of the farmer,
who was riding his grey mare by the side
of the cart, and dividing his admiration,
us his eye glanced upwards, between his -
daughter and the hay.

“Tt is the last load that is being carried
home,” said Mrs. Elwood; “so they are
42. Ashgrove Farm ; or,

singing and rejoicing over it. And, see}
there’s Mary, the happiest of ther: all!”
And the fond mother kissed her fand to
her, as they drove along the road in front
of the window, on their way to the yard.

“Ts that Miss Elwood seated on the top
of the cart?” asked Miss Parker, in a tone
of voice into which she contrived to throw
a pretty considerable touch of amazement.

This was quite lost on Mrs, Elwood,
however.

“Yes! that is Mary, in the sun bonnet.
You see I have taken your advice, and pro-
tected her complexion,” she added, to Mrs.
Parker.

“And do you not object to her mixing
with all those people, and riding in that
manner in a hay-cart?”’ asked Mrs.
Parker.

“Qh, dear, no! She has always ridden
home with the last cart-load, since she was
two years old. Her father is there, you
see, to take care of her: and there is not
® man or woman about would let her come
to any harm.”

“No bodily harm, perhaps,” said Miss
A Place for Every One. 43

Parker, with an attempted air at dignity
and womanhood, and laying a peculiar
stress on the second word of her sentence.

Mrs. Elwood did not hear her. She had
stretched her head out of window to look
at the arrival of the cart at its destination.

“There she goes!” she exclaimed. “ Her
father has taken her down as easily as if
she were a, fairy springing into his arms.
Now, ladies, they are all coming in to their
supper, and if you will excuse me for a few
minutes, I shall be back again directly I
have seen them seated.”

So saying she quitted the room, leaving
the Misses Parker to comment without
restraint on the scene they had just wit-
nessed to their mother, who, knowing what
their opimion would be, and that she had
been instrumental in causing the young
heroine of the hay-cart to be sent to Elm
House Seminary, was feeling slightly in the
position of a culprit.

“Well, mamma, what do you think of
Mary now ?” exclaimed Sophy, as soon as
the door was closed behind Mrs. Elwood.
» Is she fit to be one of the young ladies at
4A Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Elm House School, and to be looked upon
as an acquaintance of ours?”

“I certainly wonder her mother suffers
a girl of her age to get on a hay-cart,”
replied Mrs. Parker. “ But you must
remember she has been used to it all her
life. That kind of thing will be broken
off by her going to school.”

“T suppose Jiving with girls like our-
selves would make her something of a lady
in time,” remarked Miss Olivia; “but I
would rather not be thought to know much
about her if she goes to Clapham.”

Helen, who had till this moment been
silently dividing her thoughts between the
delights of riding on the top of the hay
like Mary, and her wonder at where cou'd
be the great harm of it, here broke in with
an indignant exclamation of—

“Oh, Olivia! why should we not know
Mary at school? I am sure she is nicer
than almost any girl there, and much more
pretty.”

“ Be good enough to hold your tongue,
Helen,” said Miss Parker. “Really, mamma,”
she added, “you spoil that child till she
A Place for Every One. A5

gets most insufferably forward and inter-
fering.”

“ You must not interrupt your sisters’
conversation, my love,” said her mother,
feeling she was expected io administer a
rebuke to Helen. “ You know little girls
should be seen, but not heard.”

At this moment the door opened, and
Mrs. Elwood entered, bringing in Mary.

She had taken off her sun-bonnet, and
her soft golden-coloured curls, hastily
smoothed by her mother’s hands, clustered
in beautiful profusion round her head and
throat. No other change had been made
in her dress since she had descended from
the hay-cart than taking off her large hol-
land pinafore, which had kept her pretty
blue print dress perfectly clean and fresh.
A fairer picture of a simple country child
could not have been seen as she advanced
rather timidly to speak to the elder ladies ;
but her face lighted up with pleasure on
seeing Helen. Mrs. Parker secretly admired
her very much, and glanced at her daughters
to see what might be their impression ; but
having merely exchanged the necessary
46 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

civilities, they had turned away, and were
looking out of window.

“Tea will be in immediately,” said Mrs,
Elwood. “ Perhaps you will like to come
and take off your bonnets; and after tea
Helen might go with Mary to see the cows
milked.”

Helen’s delight at the proposal was a
little damped by the warning look given
her by her elder sister. Whether it meant
she was not to go, or only that she was to
take care of her dress, she did not clearly
understand. Preferring ignorance to know-
ledge in this case, she contrived to keep at
a distance from her till they re-entered the
parlour, and seated herself as far as possible
from her at tea, so as to be between her
mother and Mary. Mrs. Elwood was con-
scious of the presence of a certain degree
of restraint over her visitors, which she
could not account for, and was wondering
whether the fault lay in herself or in them,
when the good-humoured farmer entered,
bidding them his usual hearty welcome.

“Good evening, ladies. Glad to see you
all, though you'll have to excuse things
A Place for Every One. AG

being in the rough on such a merry-making
day. Ha! Miss Helen! pity you didn’t
come a little sooner, and you could have had
a vide through the field on the top of the
hay with Mary. Never mind, perhaps we
can find some other sport after tea.”

“We shall have to be returning soon, shall
we not, mamma?’ asked Sophy, anxious
to give her mother an opportunity of pre-
venting it. But Mrs. Parker felt Helen’s
hand steal into her own, and a succession of
eloquent squeezes spoke her anxiety the
other way. So she compromised the mat-
ter by saying they could not stay very
long, but there would be time for the
children td go out together for a little
while.

“Why, the evenings are the best part
of the day now,” said the farmer; “and if
you stayed till ten o’clock you couldn’t get
into the dark, for as bright a moon as ever
shone will be up by then. Besides, you
ought to wait a bit, so as to let the young
folks have a talk together, for I suppose
Mary has lots of questions to ask about
school. Eh, Mary? what say you? 48 Ashgrove Furm ; or,

you longing, now, to know how many les-
sons the Miss Stanleys will give you?”

This speech introduced the subject that
some of the party were pondering how to
commence, and a look from Sophy prompted
Mrs. Parker to say,

“Have you decided where Mary is to go
to school?”

“Qh, quite,’ replied Mrs. Elwood.
“After your high account of Elm House
Seminary we had no wish to inquire any
further ; so I wrote to Miss Stanley, taking
the liberty of using your name, as you were
good enough to propose. I have had one
or two letters from her, and she is fully ex-
pecting Mary in about a fortnight. I sup-
pose, young ladies, you will be returning
at the same time ?”

“It’s a good long journey,” said Mr.
Elwood ; “ only the railway laughs at dis-
tances. So will Mary when she sees how
quickly she flies from Dalemoor to London,
and from London to Dalemoor,” he added,
encouragingly, as he saw the tears start into
his little girl’s eyes at the mention of her
departure.


A Place for Every One. et)

“Do your daughters travel alone?” asked
Mrs. Elwood, “ when they go and return ?”

“They do now,” replied Mrs. Parker.
“Their papa took them the first time they
went.”

“JT mean to take Mary myself,” said
the farmer. “I shouldn’t know how to
think about her if I hadn’t seen the house
she'll be living in. Now, suppose we make
a party, and go all together. If we could
coax my wife there to come too, we should
just fill a carriage, and we'll take good care
of your young folks, and give them safe up
into Miss Stanley’s own hands. No chance
of their being able to run away from me.
Well, Miss Parker, what say you?”

But that young lady’s countenance, as
he turned to her, expressed anything but
pleasure or good humour. He caught her,
moreover, in the middle of making a sign
to her mother, which, as far as he could
judge from the frown and slight shake of
the head that accompanied it, meant she
did not wish her to accept his offer. His
blunt straightforward character made him
at once exclaim,—

E
50 Ashgrow Farm ; or,

“Ha! so you don’t want me? You
think now you are so nearly grown up you
can manage for yourself best? I suppose
young ladies at school like to feel they are »
their own mistresses during the journey
there, at all events; and what’s more, I
think if I were a schoolboy I should feel
just the same.”

“ My girls don’t find any difficulty in the
journey,” said Mrs, Parker, seeing she must
say something, and greatly relieved that
Mr. Elwood had no suspicion of the real
cause of her daughter’s unwillingness to
travel with him. “We cannot exactly fix
the day at present, but we are much obliged
to you all the same.”

During the last part of this conversation
Helen and Mary had slipped off together,
and were in a few minutes followed by the
farmer, whose presence was required by his
men.

The prim gravity with which the two
children had been sitting at table was a
great contrast to the hop, skip, and jump
with which both flew to fetch their hats
the moment they escaped from the parlour.
A Place for Every One. 51

* We shall just be in time to see the cows °
milked if we go directly,” said Mary ; “but |
IT hope you have thick shoes on, for itis |
very dirty where they stand.”

She looked in dismay as she spoke at
the slight drab-coloured boots that Helen
wore.

“Those would be wet through directly.
Shall I lend you a pair of mine? We are
just about the same size. I will fetch
them in a moment.” She was hastening
away for the purpose when the sight of her
sister’s bonnet lying on the bed reminded
Helen that she had better not remain in
quarters where her liberty might be inter-
fered with at any minute. She begged Mary,
therefore, to let her go with her to get them,
saying she could put them on anywhere.

The boots were in Mary’s own room,
with which Helen was so delighted, she
almost forgot she was going to see the
cows. It certainly was as pleasant an
apartment as any young girl could desire -
to possess. Its broad sash window looked
out on the hayfields, and the roses that
clustered around it scented the room with

E 2
52 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

their fragrance. There was a low window
seat in which Mary said she often sat and
worked, or learnt her lessons for the school-
mistress. The hangings of the bed and
window were of dimity, so snowy white
that even Helen’s child’s eye was struck
with it. A pretty writing-desk stood ona
small mahogany table which, Mary told her,
was a present from her father in return for
the first letter she had ever written him when
he went away from home. He had brought
her this back with him, filled with paper and
pens and everything for writing. Then
there was a carved bookcase hanging against
the wall, a present also from her father, who
had had it made out of some curious oak
carving that had Jain in a lumber-room for
years. The books that partly filled it
were mostly given her by her mother, but
there were several that were gifts from
Mrs. Wentworth and her children, with
her name written in them by Mrs. Went-
worth’s own hand. And there was a very
handsome Bible lying on the bottom shelf,
with gilt clasps and a gilt rim all round the
edges. This, Mary told Helen, was given
A Place for Every One. 53

her by her godmother when she was chris-
tened ; but she had never seen her because
she lived far away in Australia with her hus-
band. One other thing attracted Helen’s
admiration. This was a splendid array of
peacock’s feathers, so arranged on the wall
over the looking-glass as to appear exactly
like the. tail of that magnificent bird when
full spread.

Mary promised to save all she could find
in future for Helen, that she might orna-
ment her own room in a similar manner.

“T sleep in Sophy’s room at home,” said
Helen rather sadly, “and I’m sure she
wouldn’t let me stick them up on her wall ;
and at school we are not allowed to put up
any pictures even in the bedrooms. But I
know where I might have them,” she ex-
claimed, as a sudden thought struck her ;
“papa would, I know, let me have a pea-
cock’s tail on the wall of his room in
Dalemoor by the tan-pits ; so do save them
for me, Mary.”

The boots fitted very well, and Helen
felt the comfort of them when they got to
54 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

the place where numbers of cows were
being milked. An old woman after a time
brought her stool close to where the girls
were standing, and placed it by the side of
a fine animal who had been suffering Helen
to stroke her nose and ears. She longed to
try and milk her, and ventured to ask
Mary whether the woman would allow it;
but on being appealed to, the old lady
replied, with a look of extreme contempt
at Helen’s frock, that “it wasn’t no use
her trying, for the cow would never give
out its milk to any one dressed in such a
fashion as that!” Poor Helen was deeply
mortified at the speech, and longed to
tell the old woman that she hated the
blue flounces, and wanted not to come
in them, She did say something of the
sort to Mary as.they went away soon
after, who sympathized warmly with her
for having to wear such nice things.

“Are your best dresses made with
flounces, Mary?” asked Helen.

“No, I never had a flounce in my life, I
am sure; I have tucks, though, in some of
A Place for Every One. 55

my white frocks, but I hardly ever wear
those.”

“Shall you like going to school, Mary?”

“No, I am very sorry indeed to leave
home, only J am glad you will be there.
Shall we be much together ?”’

“T hope so. We are so nearly of an
age that ] dare say we shall both be in the
same classes, and as we are about of a height
we shall do to walk together, for we are
all paired by our sizes when we go out.”

“What do you mean?” asked Mary,
opening her blue eyes to their fullest ex-
tent.

“Why,” replied Helen, laughing at her
amazement, “I mean that when we take a
walk we are ranged by the teachers two
and two together. The tallest pair of girls
go first, and then the next, and soon, till it
comes down to little Alice and Frances
Neville, who are not more than seven and
eight years old. You must take care and
not walk too near or too far away from
the pair in front, or the teachers will come —
to tell you not to break. the ranks.”

“ But do you really mean,” asked Mary,
56 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

“that you never go into the fields and have
a good scamper ?”

Helen burst out laughing.

“Oh, Mary!” said she, “it sounds so
funny to hear you ask such a question.
Why, even in the garden we are not
allowed to run races, because Miss Stanley
says it’s vulgar and unladylike to run.”

“Then I must learn to walk,” sighed
Mary, who had rarely done such a thing
for ten minutes at a time without diverging.
with a skip or a jump to one side or an-
other. “Ido hope you and I shall be put
together, Helen; we can at least have good
long talks.”

“But it must all be in French,” said
Helen. “No one must speak English, or
she is fined, and there is a lesson given
for every fine.”

“French ! Why, I have never learnt a
word. How can I talk it?”

“Oh, but you will begin directly you
get there, and you will soon pick up a few
sentences. The way the girls manage (for
they none of them know much about it) is,
they chatter English in a low tone, and
A Place for Every One. 57

then, when they see Madame or a teacher
coming, they begin to talk French till she
is out of hearing again.”

“ Helen,” said poor Mary, “I don’t think
I shall like school at all.”

“TI am afraid you won't much,” said
Helen, “but Sophy and Olivia do, I think,
at least they like the dancing days, and
the party before the breaking up.”

“T shall not care for the party, but I
shall like the breaking up,” said Mary ;
“anything to get home again.”

“Don’t let us talk any more about
school,” said Helen, “we shall soon have
enough of it. Will you show me your
pigeons?”

They ran to the place where Mary had
a pigeon-house and a few special favourites
of her own. Two pairs were just hatched
which she was anxious to show Helen;
but she could nowhere find a short ladder
by which she was often in the habit of
going up to peep at them.

“Tt must be in the yard,” saidshe “I -
think it was brought for us to come down
from the hay-cart. There is another way
58 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

you may get at them, though, if ‘only you
can climb. You see, the pigeon-house is
placed close to a pear-iree; I have several
times climbed into it, and then from that
it is as easy as possible to lean forward and
peep into the hole nearest you.”

“ J could do it,” said Helen, “if I man-
aged to get up to the first branch; but
how is that to be done?”

“Oh, we can place a wheelbarrow, and
a flower-pot inside that, to stand on.” And
Mary ran off to put her plans into exe-
cution,

“Now, Helen, you have only to get on
the flower-pot, and lay hold of that branch
whilst you place your foot on the one below,
and it will pull you up; and after that
it is as easy as possible.”

Helen’s good will in the matter was
greater than her experience, and her first
attempt was rather clumsy. She did not
feel secure on the flower-pot, which only
comfortably admitted one foot at a time,
and she could not balance herself without
Mary’s help. When, at length, she managed.
to place her foot on the branch, she was
A Place for Every One. 59

afraid to draw up the other after it, and the
attitude being anything but comfortable to
remain in, she was obliged to give it up,
and jump to the ground, before beginning
her efforts afresh.

“J will go up first, and show you how,”
said Mary; and, springing upon the pot,
and from that to the branch, she was in
another second peeping into the nest.

“ There they are!” she exclaimed; “such
funny ugly-looking little creatures! What
a good thing their mother is away!”

“Oh, I must see them! Let me try
again!” cried Helen. “I shall manage it
now I have seen you get up.”

Mary descended as easily and swiftly as
she had ascended, and Helen proved herself
an apt pupil this time, having profited by
‘watching her teacher’s movements. She was
soon in the tree, peering with delighted eyes
at the young pigeons.

But, alas! poor Helen! Voices were
heard approaching, and her name was called
by Sophy. Better would it have been had
she remained where she was than to com-
mence her descent so hastily as she did,
60 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

under circumstances ill calculated to assist
her in the difficulty of the undertaking. As
the party of ladies from the house turned
the corner, they were just in time to see
Helen’s leg and foot, with a thick dirty boot
upon it, dangling from the tree, and making
frantic efforts to gain a resting-place.
Failing in its search, and conscious there
was not a moment to lose, she abandoned
all attempts to find the flower-pot, made a-
dash at the ground, and down came feet,
legs, body, and head, caught, at the last
moment of their peril, by the sturdy arms
of the farmer, so as to save her from a fall
which might have been serious.

But although she escaped without injury,
her fragile blue muslin was less fortunate.
The branches of the pear-tree seemed as if
they had conspired to rid her of the hated
flounces. Out of five, only one remained
uninjured and properly attached to the
skirt; and poor Helen had to endure a
merciless series of jokes from the farmer
about the finery which had already been
the source of so much annoyance to her.

Mrs. Parker was too thankful to find her
A Place for Every One. 61

child unhurt to be displeased, though her
daughters’ indignation was extreme; but
they kept it within bounds before Mr. and
Mrs. Elwood.

“You should have taken the ladder,
Mary,” said Mrs. Elwood. “Helen is not
accustomed to climbing.”

“We could not find it, mother,” replied
Mary; “and I thought it was such an easy
tree. Helen wanted so to see the pigeons.”

“But Pm afraid we interrupted her
view,” said the farmer, “judging by the
haste with which she came down. Never
mind, Miss Helen! Don’t be ashamed of
going up a tree. Why, my Mary, there,
climbs like a squirrel. I wouldn’t give a fig
for a girl that always runs on the ground.
You shall have a look at the pigeons,
though, from the top of a new sort of
ladder.”

So saying, the sturdy farmer whipped up
the astonished Helen from the ground, and
with one hoist of his powerful arms he
placed her—torn flounces, thick boots, and
all—upon his shoulder; then, stepping to
the pigeon-house, gave her such a close and
62 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

right good view of the young birds, as
made the mother, who was sitting on the
other pair in the adjoining hole, resent such
an impertinent piece of curiosity by sundry
angry sounds and vehement pecks directed
at Helen’s blue muslin cape.

' The poor girl only half enjoyed it. Her
alarm lest the mother pigeon above should
fly out at her, and her certainty that her
sister below was ready to do so the moment
she could, made her glad enough to be
placed on the ground again, where the thick
boots would be less noticed than standing
on the farmer’s shoulder. They were not
destined to pass unobserved, however, for
he, as he brushed off the marks they had
left on his coat, said,—

“You've got on famous boots, Miss
Helen. Now, they are what I call a sen-
sible and useful pair. Your mamma knows
better than to let you wear thin gimcracks,
I see.”

“They are Mary’s; she lent them to
me,’ said Helen, blushing, from the con-
sciousness she had had to borrow them
because hers were gimcracks.
A Place for Every One. 63

“We are going directly, Helen,” said
Miss Parker ; “you had better come in with
me, and get yourself fit to be seen.” And
she was carrying off her sister, when the
latter, dreading the private rebukes which
she knew would ensue, said to Mary,—

“Will you come with us, please? My
boots are in your room, and I am not sure
that I know the way to it.”

Her presence was a relief to Helen,
though a restraint to Sophy, who, in con-
sequence, expressed her disapprobation of
her tom-boy feat, as she called it, in much
milder terms than she would otherwise have
done.

The rest of the party followed them to
* the house, where the fly was waiting at the
door, and, in the slight confusion that
occurred in the passage, Helen contrived to
escape from Sophy, and run alone with
Mary to her room, to pin on her flounces,
and put on the despised “ gimcracks.”

“JT hope we shall see each other again
before we go to school,” said Helen, “but I
don’t think we shall; and being together
there, will not be the same as here.”
64 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

An impatient call to Helen to be quick,
stopped further conversation. There was
only time for the little girl to pull off the
button of her boot in her haste to make it
go into its hole, to kiss Mary affectionately,
and say, as they ran off,—

“Be sure, Mary, and do not forget to
collect me a peacock’s tail!”
A Place for Every One. 65

CHAPTER VY.

As the farmer closed the door of the fly on
his guests, and Helen and Mary exchanged
nods and smiles through the window, Mrs.
Parker, putting out her head, said, in rather
a confidential tone, to Mrs. Elwood,—

“Should you like to have any of Helen’s
things as patterns for Mary’s? I shall be
very glad to lend them to you.”

“What was that Mrs. Parker was say-
ing about ‘ patterns?” asked Mr. Elwood
of his wife, as they stood for an instant on
the step of the door, watching the fly roll
away. “I hope you are not going to dress up
Mary in such frippery as those girls have on.
Why, I shouldn’t know my own child !”

“Mrs. Parker has been advising me to
get a few things for her different to what
she has had,” replied Mrs. Elwood. ‘She
says that at school the young ladies are

FE

ie spaaiainle's
66: Ashgrove Farm ; or, -

expected to be very fashionably dressed.
There are a good many seminaries at
Clapham, and the Misses Stanley consider
theirs takes the lead in that respect. Mrs.
Parker saw I was rather puzzled as to
what she must have, so she good-naturedly
offered me patterns.”

The farmer mused for an instant, then,
laying bis hand on: his wife’s shoulder, said,
“Take my advice, Susan, don’t go filling
Mary’s head with love of dress, and rigging
her out like a merry andrew. Give her
plenty of good useful clothes, and then
never fear what Miss Stanley or Miss any-
body else says. She goes to school to learn
her lessons, I take it, not to be looked at
and called fashionable.”

So saying he walked off to the farmyard,
leaving Mrs. Elwood rather uncomfortably
perplexed between the opposite advices of her
husband and Mrs. Parker. She felt there was
plain sterling sense in what the former had
‘just. said, but then he could not of course
understand much about young ladies’ dress
at a fashionable London school. Something
seemed. to tell her too there was a good
A Place for Every One. 67

deal of folly and absurdity in the way in
which Mrs. Parker dressed her girls; but,
again, that lady must know much more of
:- what was required in such a new scene as
_that to which she was sending Mary than
; She could do. In fact, poor Mrs. Elwood
was experiencing some of the difficulties all
must feel who place themselves or those be-
longing to them in a false position. She
decided at last to go the next day to Dale-
moor, and put the affair mto the hands of
a dressmaker whom Mrs. Parker had re-
commended ; for there was no time to be
lost, as Mary must be ready to start in a
fortnight.
So the following day she and her daugh-
ter made their appearance at the door of a
red-brick house, having a brass plate upon
it, inscribed with the words “ Miss Styles,
Milliner and Dressmaker.” They were
- shown into a room upstairs, which had a
large table in the centre, on which was
arranged a variety of bonnets, hats, and
caps. She was reminded by them of her
own experiment before the looking-glass
long ago! There were also several dresses
F2
-68 Ashgrove Farm ; o7,

lying on chairs about the room, flounced and
trimmed. Miss Styles evidently under-
stood her business. She entered almost
immediately,and Mary was quite awe-struck
by her appearance, so entirely different to
that of the quiet unpretending person who
had hitherto always made her own and her
mother’s things. Mrs. Elwood herself was
doubtful whether the gaily dressed cour-
tesying lady before her could really conde-
scend to interest herself in the attire of her
little Mary. But she need not have feared,
Mrs. Parker had had business that morning
in Dalemoor, and as part of it lay with
Miss Styles, she had taken the opportu-
nity of informing her she had recommended
her a new customer; hinting that she
would find it necessary to metamorphose
Miss Elwood entirely in order to do herself
credit with her. that expense was no great object in that
quarter. Miss Styles liked nothing better
than to feel superior in her own particular
province to those who sought her opinion.
One glance at Mrs. Elwood’s gentle coun-
tenance, and at her daughter’s simple dress,
A Place for Every One. 69

showed her that here wasa field for her
skill, her authority, and her aggrandize-
ment.

Most condescendingly, therefore, did she
express her pleasure at seeing her visitor
and her desire to serve her.

“T must ask you, Miss Styles,” said Mrs.
Elwood, “ to be so good as to get one or two
dresses made for my daughter immediately.
She is going to school in London, and
although she has plenty of everyday frocks,
I think she will require some better ones.”

“Certainly, ma’am. Would you like to
look at materials? I can send for silks and
muslins directly.”

The proposal was a relief to Mrs, Elwood,
who rather dreaded going to the linendraper
to choose for herself, unaided by greater
experience than herown. The interval was
employed in discussing the necessity of,
qnd selecting, a new hat.

Miss Styles assured Mrs. Elwood that
one with a feather was indispensable, and
succeeded in persuading her to make a pur-
chase, in which she declared Mary looked
quite charming. Then came the dresses,
70 Ashgrove Farm ; ‘ov,

not at all alarming as to gaiety in them-
selves, but Mrs. Elwood was startled at the
idea of their being made with at least five
flounces. Mary had hitherto remained a
passive and indifferent spectator, and when
appealed to by Miss Styles for her opinion
had merely replied that she did not know,
or that she thought as her mother did ; but
when the flounces were discussed she be-
came suddenly interested and energetic.

“Oh, mother! do not let me have those
dreadful flounces like Helen’s. They would
always be tearing and plaguing me. — Be-
sides, I should look so odd in them, every-
body would laugh at me.”

“You only think that, Miss Elwood,”
said the dressmaker, “ because you have not
been accustomed to them. Now, at school
you would probably be the only young lady
without them, and the laugh would be quite
the other way.”

This seemed unanswerable. Both Mrs.
Elwood and Mary felt themselves conquered,
but not reconciled to the necessity.

The next affair was to take Mary’s pat-
tern, an infliction she bore with patience ;
A Place for Every One. 71

but when it came to measuring her length,
she touched her mother, and said, “She
is making a mistake, mother ; I never wore
a frock so short.”

“Do you make girls’ dresses no longer
than that?” asked Mrs. Elwood with
surprise.

«Never, ma’am, at her age. It would be
worse than having them without flounces
to make them any longer.”

“Then none of her underclothes can
be worn with them,” said Mrs. Elwood ;
visions of fresh work arising before her
in the shape of tucks to garments which
had heen put aside as finished.

“None of them,” replied Miss Styles,
decidedly. “Everything must be altered,
assuredly. It would be utterly impossible
for your daughter to appear in London as
she is at present.”

Then, as if afraid she might have
offended by this last speech, she added,
“When dressed fashionably, 1 am sure no
young lady will be able to compare with
Miss Elwood ; she may be sure of that.”

The flattery was lost on Mary, who,
.

72 Ashgrove Farm; or,

weary of the whole thing, had gone to look
out of window. Her boots attracted Miss
Styles’s eye.

“Do you want any French boots or
shoes, ma'am? We keep an assortment
now for our customers’ convenience.”

These were undoubtedly necessary, for
with muslins and flounces those she at
present wore would scarcely accord. Mary
remembered Helen’s almost with a feeling
of despair, but quietly submitted to what
seemed inevitable, and inwardly hoping
that neither Miss Styles’ dresses, hat, nor
boots, would ever be seen in the vicinity of
Ashgrove Farm.

A good long ramble with her father
over the fields in the evening, in her print
dress and double soles, made her almost,
however, forget there were such disagree-

_ables in existence as thin kid boots, muslin

dresses, and Miss Styles. But she was
reminded of them when, about eight or nine
days later, a large straw basket lined with
oil silk arrived, directed to Mrs. Elwood,
and ticketed “ With great care.” It was the
first time old Bailey—the carrier for years
A Place for Every One. 13

between Dalemoor and the surrounding
villages—had had to convey such a peculiar-
looking affair to Ashgrove, and he told the
maid to whom he delivered it that “he
supposed there must be some rare kind of
pigeons or fowls within, though as he
hadn’t heard no noise they’d better open
the cage quick and see how they were.”

Mrs. Elwood and Mary were in the
parlour, working and waiting tea for the
farmer, when the door opened, and to their
amazement there entered, not Mr. Elwood,
but a short, highly flounced muslin dress,
suspended in the air by its sleeves, which
were passed through a stout walking-stick !
The next moment the farmer’s laughing
face and portly figure appeared with a
small white straw hat and feather stuck on
the top of his head, a pair of rosettes and
long strings dangling on either side of his
ruddy cheeks,

“What sort of a bird do you call this,
Mary?” said he. “Sally stopped me as I
‘was coming in, to say there was a great
cage arrived with live stock in it, which old
Bailey was afraid were dead! When we
74 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

opened it, what should I find under a lot
of paper but this toggery—and there’s a
quantity more beneath. I tell you what,
Miss Mary ; I mean to part with the pea-
cock now; one’s enough about a place.”

Mary laughed heartily as she lifted the
hat from his head, and was about to carry
that and the frock away, when the farmer
insisted on her returning dressed in the
latter, that he might see how she looked in
it. It was no use arguing the matter ; he
wanted his joke, and he would have it, so
Mrs. Elwood dressed her in the muslin, and
she returned to the parlour to be well
langhed at. But the length! The farmer
stared in amazement.

“ Why, Mary!” he exclaimed; “ you’ve
outgrown the dress already !”

“My dear John, it’s the fashion,” said
his wife.

“Do you mean to tell me petticoats are
no longer to cover the legs? Then I sup-
pose, wife, you'll be showing yours when
you get your next new dress made—for
fashion seems to carry the day at present.
Trot away, Mary, and get on your other frock
A Place for Every One. 75

again. I like you best as I have always
known you. Keep your grand things for
Miss Stanley ; she'll like to see you in them
perhaps, legs and all.”

With this Mr. Elwood seated himself to
his tea : his wife thought him rather graver
than usual, but attributed it to the pros-
pect of so soon losing their child.
“76 Ashgrove Farm ; or, at

CHAPTER VI.

THE Misses Stanley’s seminary was situated
in the middle of a high-walled square
garden, at the end of a row of elm-trees ;
from whence if derived its name of Elm
House. Although the garden was kept
always neat, and the grass well mown, no
attention was given to the cultivation of
flowers ; it had, therefore, rather a gloomy
appearance on first entering the high gates
that separated it from the road, which
was the general thoroughfare for carriages,
omnibuses, &c. The house was built of
red brick, with stone facings. Like the
garden, it was perfectly square, and its array
of windows on either side the door had
rather a prison-like appearance, owing to
the high wire blinds which were placed in
each. So effectually was the house con-
cealed by the walls around the garden, that
any one would have supposed this pree
A Place for Every One. 77

caution against prying eyes to be unnecese
sary. But a casual observer would not
be aware that the heads of the outside
passengers of the numerous omnibuses
rose superior to that obstruction, and were
apt to be directed, with some degree of
curiosity, in the direction of the windows
every morning and night. Much, there-
fore, to the disgust of the young ladies, to
whom this succession of swiftly moving heads
was the sole representative of the outside
world, they were suddenly and effectually
excluded by the introduction of the above-
named blinds.

It was on a bright July morning that
Mr. Elwood and Mary left Ashgrove Farm
to start for London. Mrs. Elwood had not
been well for a week, and had consequently
abandoned the thoughts of accompanying
them ; greatly to Mary’s disappointment,
who had looked forward to keeping both ,
her parents with her till the last moment,
With a heavy heart she passed by the farme
yard and all its objects of interest. Now ©
that she was going away from them, she
wondered it had never before struck her so
78 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

strongly what a very happy girl she had
been all her life.

All that had hitherto appeared matters
of course, now suddenly became precious.

The schoolmistress was waiting at her
door to bid her good-bye, and the tears
Mary had managed to keep back after the
first burst on taking leave of her mother
now poured. forth anew.

Her father kept saying kind things to
her, but he was himself out of spirits, and
not inclined for talk; so but few words
were spoken between them till they arrived
at the station, and found themselves in the
midst of the bustle attendant on a train
starting for London.

They had a long journey before them—
all the way from Shropshire to Middlesex.
Tt was not till quite evening they reached
Clapham, and Mary was beginning to feel
tired, both from travelling and the effects
of her astonishment at the sight of London,
which, in spite of all she had heard and
read about it, she had pictured to herself
as being a sort of Dalemoor on a very large
scale. If any of my young country readers
A Place for Every One. 79

are inclined to smile at her, let them try
and carry back their thoughts to the time
when they had never been to London, and
see whether they too used not to picture it
as resembling the largest town with which
they were acquainted. The travellers took
cab from the railway station, which set
them down at Elm House. The gate was not
opened immediately, and the driver rang
impatiently a second time. Poor Mary
wished he had not done so; she thought
she would willingly have sat there with
her father all night—anything rather than
be left inside those dreadful high walls!

‘The servant came hastily at the renewed
summons, and throwing open the gates they
drove to the bottom of the high flight of
steps leading up to the door of the house.
A head looked over the blind of a window
on one side, but retreated so hastily that
Mary had only time to have an impression
left of a bunch of flowers mixed with white
lace, which, she thought, was most likely
Miss Stanley’s cap.

» The next instant, with her hand fast
locked within her father’s, she was ushered
80 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

into the presence of those very flowers, and
found her surmise was correct. Nothing
could be kinder than the manner in which
Miss Stanley received her, or politer than
the. greeting given to her father. Yet,
when the first commonplace remarks were
over as to health, journey, weather, &.,
Mr. Elwood, usually loquacious and com-
pletely at his ease, felt as though words,
sentences, and ideas, had taken flight from
him, so entirely was Miss Stanley unlike
anybody he had ever found himself in com-
pany with before. Certainly it would have
been difficult to find any two human beings
more dissimilar than the blunt open-hearted
farmer and the smiling bowing schoolmis-
tress. Her sister, who at this moment en-
tered the room, seemed the fac-simile of
herself, with the exception of her being
some few years younger, and on the strength
of that privilege wearing no cap, but
only a very broad piece of black velvet
across her head, which, in after days, Mary
discovered was for use, not ornament, the
hair having quitted the parting in a most
unceremonious manner. Instead of her
A Place for Every One. 81

presence being a relief, it seemed to Mr.
Elwood as if his feeling of constraint was
instantly doubled by this duplicate of what
caused it. It was more than he could bear,
and he rose to go, seeing that as far as
Mary was concerned he could be of no fur-
ther use ; and the parting must come, so the
sooner the better, he thought. Miss Stanley
pressed him to take tea, but he declined,
and, turning to his daughter, said,—

“T must be off, Mary. You'll write and
tell us how you get on, and if, 8

The remembrance that the Misses Stanley
were present checked his finishing the sen-
tence which was about to escape him, viz.
that “if she didn’t like school she should
come home.”

Whether it was the awe Mary felt of
her future governesses, or that her misery
. had reached that extent which forbade any
outward demonstration of it, true it is that
she shed no tear, as she had done in the
morning. Yet her clasp round her father’s
neck was almost convulsive in its warmth,
whilst he pressed her again and again to
his heart. The next moment, and Mary

G


82 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

heard the slam of the cab door and the roll
‘of the wheels, and she knew she was alone
with the Misses Stanley, in a strange room,
strange house, and, as it seemed to her,
strange world altogether.

There are many kinds of desolate feeling.
A very acute one is that of a girl brought
up with parental love and care, who has
never before left home, and finds herself
suddenly thrown amongst strangers, who,
besides being such, are, she is conscious,
placed over her to instruct, admonish, and
reprove. The few words of kindly meant
but formal-sounding sympathy she receives
from her future governess fall coldly on her
ear. Without knowing they are hackneyed,
and used in succession to new comers, she
feels they are so. Then follows the ordeal
of the introduction to her twenty or thirty
future companions, who consider her for
the time fair game for such scrutiny and
remarks as the novelty of a new arrival is
sure to call forth.

And all this our young heroine had now
to pass through. It seemed to her as if
she never could swallow the tea which was
A Place for Every One. 83

immediately brought in for her, and was
relieved by the proposal to take her to the
schoolroom, for she thought anything must
be better than sitting quite alone with the
two ladies, and answering their innumer
able questions. But she wished herself back
in the drawing-room again when, after
ascending a wide uncarpeted staircase, Miss
Stanley threw open a door in a passage,
displaying a large, rather bare-looking room,
half filled with girls of every age and size.

No regular lessons had yet begun, and
they were all in groups, either working,
talking, or reading. The English teacher
was engaged in conversation with some of
the elder girls, and a French governess was
sitting at a small table by herself, engaged
in trimming a cap similar to the Parisian-
looking affair then upon her head. Mary
would have been thankful to have taken
hold even of Miss Stanley’s hand at that
moment, so greatly did she feel the need of
the semblance of a friend. But it was not
offered ; so, unaided, except by her own
inward resolve to be brave, she followed
Miss Stanley whither she led.

G@ 2
84 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

This was across the room to Miss Saxon,
the English teacher. Every one had ceased
speaking as they entered, and all eyes were
turned on Mary. Miss Stanley first intro-
duced her to Miss Saxon, and then said she
would leave her to make her acquainted
with the young ladies. She left the room, and
again Mary was feeling the horrors of being
turned adrift on strangers, when a young
lady in very deep mourning advanced
towards Miss Saxon, saying,—

“Do you wish me to take Miss Elwood
upstairs, ma’am, and show her where to put
her things?”

“Do so,” replied the teacher. “You
will be more comfortable when you have
got rid of your dusty travelling things,
my dear,” she said to Mary; “and Miss
Duncan will go with you, and show you
where you are to sleep.”

However Miss Stanley’s young ladies
might pride themselves on their politeness
in company, they did not seem to practise
it in their own schoolroom, for not one
came forward to bid her welcome or speak
a word of kindness. Miss Saxon herself
A Place for Every One. 85

seemed more intent on scanning her dress
and general appearance than thinking how
she could make the young girl feel less shy
and ill at ease. As for Madame, she was
contented with taking one long scrutinizing
look at ber from above her spectacles, and
then continued working away at her cap
without again raising her eyes.

Miss Duncan took Mary up a second flight
of stairs to a room furnished with several
beds, two large chests of drawers, wash-
stands, and looking-glasses. . She showed
her which was to be hers, and proposed
assisting-her to unpack her clothes, as her
box was already brought up and standing
in the room.

“Miss Stanley likes every girl to get her
things put away as soon as she arrives,”
she said, “as it saves much confusion ; but
if you are very tired I will do it for you
whilst you rest.”

“Oh, I can unpack them myself, without -
giving you the trouble,’ said Mary, pro-
ducing her key, and feeling very grateful
for the kindness of her manner.

“Tt is no trouble to me, I am used
86 Ashgrove Farm ; 07,

to it,’ replied Margaret Duncan; “it is
my duty to look after the clothes of the
young ladies.”

Mary gave a look of surprise, to which
Margaret replied by saying, with rather a
sad smile,—

“JT am not here exactly like the others,
nor yet as a teacher. JI am what is called
a half-boarder ; I mend all the little ones’
things, and see to the older girls keeping
their drawers tidy, and I help with the
younger classes.”

“Then you do not learn yourself?”
asked Mary.

“Yes, I take lessons of the masters, and
improve myself as much as possible. I
have not been here very long, and when I
first came I felt as uncomfortable and shy
as I know you are doing. You will soon,
however, get to know the girls, and then
you won't care.’ She shook out the
flounces of Miss Styles’ muslin dresses
as she spoke, and laid them carefully in
a deep drawer.

“T have had ail those frocks made to
come here with,” said Mary, “but I can’t
A Place for Every One. 87

bear them. [ like my print ones best.
I am sure I shall never wear these at
home; father says he shouldn’t know me
in them.”

«Where is your home, Miss Elwood ?”

“ At Acton, in Shropshire. Our house
is called Ashgrove Farm.”

“Do you mean that your father is a
farmer ?” asked Miss Duncan.

“ Yes, he has one of Squire Wentworth’s
largest farms,” replied Mary, with a slight
feeling of pride and dignity; “I forget
how many acres he has, but a great many.”

Miss Duncan was silent a minute or two,
and seemed busy in ee gloves and
collars in a small drawer. Then, suddenly
turning to her, she said with much sweet-
hess of manner,—

“The girls will be sure to ask you almost
first thing what your father is, You must
not mind if they say rather rude things
about your being a farmer’s daughter.”

“Why, what will they say?” asked
Mary, in extreme astonishment, “what
harm is there in it?”

“None at all,” replied Miss Dunean,
88 Ashgrove Farm ; ov,

“only some of the young ladies here hold
themselves very high, because they say
they are the daughters of gentlemen ; and
though I dare say your father is as much a
gentleman as any of them, they would not
allow it.”

“No, my father does not call himself a
gentleman,” said Mary. “I have heard
him say that he would rather be what he
is than the highest gentleman in the land.
But everybody who knows him likes him,
and Mr. Wentworth is always coming to
talk to him of things that he says father
knows about better than he does.”

Mary had got rather excited as she spoke.
Miss Duncan took her hand kindly.

“My dear Miss Elwood,” said she, “I
hope I have not vexed you; indeed I did
not mean to, but I know so well that you
will hear some remarks made, that I
thought it better just to prepare you. They
do not like me much, because I am poor,
and have no friends.” ‘Tears filled her
eyes as she spoke.

“T should have thought that would have
made them all the kinder,” exclaimed Mary,
A Place for Every One. 89

indignantly. “They must be very dis-
agreeable girls.”

“T should be sorry if I made you think
that before you even know them,” said
Miss Duncan. “It would be wrong of me;
and indeed some of them are very good-
natured.”

“May I be with you a great deal?”
asked Mary. “I should like it so much.
And will you give up calling me Miss
Elwood? It sounds strange and disagree-
able. I+ feel all alone here, but I am sure
I shall soon love you, if you will let me.”
Tt seemed as if the little girl’s warm-hearted
speech had touched a chord in Miss Duncan’s
heart, for again her tears sprang forth as
she put her arm round her, and kissed her
affectionately, saying,—

“YT sleep in your room, and shall often
have to teach you, I dare say; but you
will know better in a few weeks whom you
will like best to be much with.”

A great bell rang at this moment, and
she told Mary they must hasten down to
supper. This was a light repast, at which
the Misses Stanley did not make their ap-
90 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

pearance, but was presided over by Miss
Saxon and the French governess. Soon
afterwards Miss Stanley read a prayer in
the schoolroom, and then bidding them all
collectively good night, the younger ones
retired to bed. Mary, who had kept very
close to Miss Duncan at supper, was
delighted to find that not only she, but
Helen Parker, who had not yet arrived,
were to sleep in the room with her. It
reconciled her to the presence of two other
girls who were also to share the apartment,
and, wearied with the journey and the
strangeness of all things around her, she fell
asleep almost as soon as she laid her head
upon her pillow.
A Place for Every One. 91

CHAPTER VII.

THE ringing of a bell aroused the young
ladies from their slumbers, and caused
Mary to spend a few seconds in considering
where she was. Margaret Duncan’s re-
minder that she must get up quickly and
be ready to go downstairs in half an hour,
recalled her recollections, and made her
hasten to dress herself. There was no time
for conversation, and she was searcely ready
when a second bell rang to summon them
to the schoolroom, where Miss Saxon was
waiting to read prayers. These were
followed by breakfast, and immediately
afterwards the business of the day com-
menced ; for although there were still some
girls who had not arrived, no more time -
was to be lost by those already assembled.
Miss Stanley examined Mary, and found
that her acquirements, as far as they went,
were anything but despicable. Her atten-
92 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

tion must, however, she said, be immediately
given to music, French, and dancing. She
was forthwith handed over to Madame,
and found it extremely difficult to under-
stand the mixture of French and broken
English in which she addressed her. The
following hour was given to music, and
then amaster arrived, who divided two
hours between arithmetic and writing. By
the time he left, poor Mary’s head ached,
and she was wholly unable to eat any
dinner. Then came half an hour when they
could amuse themselves as they pleased,
and after that they all prepared for a walk,
as the afternoon was not wet. Mary was
put with a girl named Lucy Norton, a little
older than herself, who plied her with ques-
tions about her home, and in answer to
her straightforward replies said,—

“ Then it’s true what the elder girls were
saying, that your father’s only a farmer?
I would not tell them, if I were you.” ;

“T am not ashamed of it,” said poor
Mary, indignantly, “and I shall say the
truth when I am asked.”

Lucy said no more on the subject. She
A Place for Every One. 93

was provoked rather that. Mary would not
take her advice, and lost no time on their
return home in seeking some of the big
girls, and telling them that she had found
out from Miss Elwood herself that she was
not a real born lady. This led to a dis-
cussion as to whether Miss Stanley was
justified in receiving girls beneath what
they considered their own rank,

More lessons, and then fancy-work sue
ceeded ; after which, just as they were going
to tea, the Misses Parker arrived. Helen’s
delight at meeting Mary was open and un-
disguised, but the two elder sisters scarcely
noticed her beyond a cool “How do you
do, Mary?” They took an early opportu-
nity of confiding to their friends that they
knew very little of her at home, although
Helen had taken it into her head to like her,
because she was naturally a great romp and
had found out that Mary was the same.

One day of a girl’s school life is much the
same as another. The young ladies at the
Misses Stanley’s seminary were not allowed
to be idle ; and Mary’s bright roses began
to fade away from the effects of close study
94 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

and so much less air and exercise than
formerly.

She was a quick and painstaking girl,
and goon stood well in the estimation of
her teachers. In the girls’ favour she made
little progress. The fact of her being “ only
a farmer’s daughter” made many stand
aloof from her ; so exclusive was the system
on which these young ladies formed their
society amongst themselves.

Mary’s great friend, besides Helen, was
Margaret Duncan. She was an orphan,
and a very distant relation of the Misses
Stanley, who had offered to take her with-
out pay, on condition of her giving such
help as they required with the pupils. This,
as far as it went, was an advantage to Mar-
garet, who was anxious to fit herself for a
situation as governess. But the poor girl
had soon found that she was looked upon
ag a mere dependent by the Misses Stanley,
and was pretty constantly reminded of it,
both by them and the girls, who were quick -
enough in perceiving how she stood as to
her position in the establishment. She had
won Mary’s heart from the first, and a warm
A Place for Every One. 95

friendship soon sprang up between them,
notwithstanding the difference of their
ages.

Margaret was the daughter of a Scotch
minister. She had been tenderly brought
up, though in extreme simplicity of habits.
Her mother had been a delicate woman, and
Margaret had early learnt habits of useful-
ness and self-denial in her attendance on
her. She died when her daughter was
about fifteen, who, from that time, was her
father’s comfort and helper in every way.
But, four years later, he, too, was suddenly
carried off by disease of the heart, and
Margaret found herself without fortune and
almost without friends; for the secluded
village in which they had lived had cut
them off from the society of any who could
befriend her. The education she had re-
ceived from her father had been solid rather
than ornamental, and this was a consider-
able drawback to the likelihood of her
obtaining her living as a governess. .

A worthy farmer, who had been one of
the deceased minister’s most honoured elders,
had given her a cordial invitation to his
56 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

house, which was accepted by the orphan
girl with relief and gratitude, for a month
or six weeks, whilst her little property at
the manse was being disposed of and her
own future discussed.

But she was most anxious for aiaupens
dence. Her native delicacy made her shrink
from intruding long on the hospitality of
her warm-hearted friends, and she wrote to
the Misses Stanley, as connections of her
father’s, asking their advice how to fit her-
self to gain her own livelihood. Her letter
arrived exactly at a time when they were in
some perplexity as to a successor to the
young person who had hitherto acted in the
capacity of half-boarder. This was, a lady
to overlook the younger children’s lessons
and clothes, in return for such advantages
in the way of education and accomplish-
ments as they could spare her. It seemed
to them that Margaret might exactly suit
them, whilst they would appear to be doing
a kind act to a needy relation. The result
was, that they wrote and made her the
offer, giving her clearly to understand they
considered they were acting generously by
A Place for Every One. 97

her, though in a disadvantageous manner to
themselves by doing so, but that they were
willing to make some sacrifice, on the
ground of their connection with her.
Margaret did not hesitate a moment. She
wrote a grateful reply, thanking them for
their kindness, and promising to do all in
her power to show them it was not mis-
placed. Her simple affairs had been wound
up by the friendly farmer ; and, about six
weeks after the death of her father, with
very little money in her pocket and a heavy
heart, she bade adieu to the happy home
of her childhood and her kind-hearted host
and hostess, and started on her journey to
Clapham. She clung to the hope that
she should find in the Misses Stanley those
who would be to her as relatives, but in
this light they did not choose to be re-
garded, Her sensitive spirit) at once saw
that her position in their house was to be
that of, not even a hireling, but one who
was taken from charity, and from whom
much gratitude was expected. She could
not give it. One word of kindness, of sym-
pathy, or of interest in her welfare, would
H
67

98 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

have filled the orphan’s heart to overflowing:
but there was none. Cold, distantly given
information of what her duties were to be,
and what advantages she might expect in
return, fell like ice upon the heart that was
pining and yearning for something like the
love she had lost. She turned to those
duties with a high conscientious resolve they
should be fulfilled; but gratitude had no
place in their discharge.

By the teachers she was regarded as one
having no right to consider herself on
an equality with themselves, whose services
were of sufficient value tobe compensated
by payment. The elder girls treated her
with distant civility, intended to prevent
any approaches to familiarity ; and although
she was a favourite with the younger ones,
owing to her sweetness of temper and ready
attention to their comforts, her services
were regarded as their due, and taken as a
matter of course. But perhaps her greatest
trial lay with the servants, who, quickly

,. perceiving that Miss Duncan was subordi-
nate to the other teachers, and therefore, as
they ignorantly supposed, nearer to their
A Place for Every One. 99

own level, made an attempt to show they
had measured the distance between them
and found it slight. Margaret’s quiet but
dignified manner, whilst it taught them
; their place with regard to herself, had also
the effect of rendering them her bitter .
enemies ; and who have such opportunities
of making the life of a dependent miserable,
through the accumulation of spitefully neg-
lected trifles, as servants? And so Mar-
garet Duncan, at the age of nineteen, was
living a life of utter lonelimess in the
midst of numbers. Day after day, week
after week, brought to her the same round
of duties, unlighted by the sunshine of
affection. The postman, whose energetic
ring never failed, every morning, to cause a
commotion in the hearts of the schoolroom
Inmates, was not aware even of the exist-
ence of a Miss Duncan, although the name
of every other young lady was well known
to him when the yearly Christmas-boxes
were asked for. For her, there seemed.
never anything to dwell upon but the
memories of the past: nothing to look
forward to but gloom, as concerned the
H 2
100 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

future. Truly, for Margaret, the light of
other days had departed !

She had been at Clapham about six
months when Mary arrived, Having no
home to go to nor friends to visit, she had
remained at the Misses Stanley’s during
the vacation in solitude, they having been
absent. So oppressive had been the silence
and want of life around her, that she had
looked forward to the return of the girls as
a relief. Yet she knew well it would be
but the exchanging of one kind of loneli-
ness for another. It was not surprising,
therefore, that her heart opened to receive
and treasure within it such warm and guile-
less affection as Mary’s. It was to her as
though a bright beam of the early sunshine
of her life had returned to cast a ray across
her path, and cheer her onward.

But Margaret had other rays, which no
one knew of, for they were seen to none
except in their effects. We have spoken of
her sorrows, her friendlessness, and the lack
of companionship with those about her.
But we have not yet told of hidden com-
fort, of a secret mainspring of happiness,
A Place for Every One. 101

which, although it could not prevent her
natural yearning for human sympathy,
taught her patiently to endure the want of
it, and to rise above the petty trials of her
everyday life. It enabled her to fulfil her
duties in such a manner that the Misses
Stanley acknowledged they were most fortu-
nate in having taken her into their house.
It threw a dignity over her deportment
which procured the respect of the very
girls who were unwilling to admit her to
any degree of familiarity, and it brought
the friendless orphan an amount of calm
inward peace, which more happy and prose
perous circumstances could not have given
without it.

Mary Elwood did not understand how
it was that she could be so resigned and
cheerful under circumstances that appeared
to her very dreadful. To have no father
or mother, no home or friends, no prospect
of ever quitting Elm House, even for the
vacations, was a lot that made her shudder ;
yet Margaret never complained or mur-
mured, and though never gay waa certainly
not sad habitually.
102 . Ashgrove Farm ; or,

One day, when, as occasionally happened,
circumstances had so fallen out ‘as to enable
her to walk with Margaret, Mary took
advantage of their. increasing friendship
to ask whether she did not extremely
dislike her present position. “I cannot
think how you endure it,” said she. “I
sometimes wonder you don’t run away,
and try to get another home.”

“Tt would not be right to do that,
Mary; this is the one that God has brought
me to, and so long as it is His will I
should stay here, I must be content. I
have much to be thankful for, and very
little really to complain of.”

“But you must feel vexed,” said Mary,
“that none of the great girls ever sit with
you, or take any more notice of you than
just to ask you a question now and then.
I am sure you are quite as much a lady
as any of them.”

“T used to feel it. rather lonely some-
times, but since you came, Mary, it has
been much better, because I know there is
one dear little heart that is loving me all
the time.”
A Place for Every One. 103

“T do, indeed, love you,” exclaimed
Mary. “Oh, how I wish father and
mother knew you; I am quite sure they
would like you so much !”

Margaret smiled, and said, “ You fancy
so, because you are fond of me yourself;
but you see, out of this large establish-
ment, there is not one besides you who
cares for me,”

“That is because they are all so proud.
If you were rich they would like you well
enough. I cannot bear them, or being at
school at all; everything here is disagree-
able but you.”

“ Mary, dear,’ replied her friend, “you
must not talk so. It is your parents’ will
you should be here, and you should try to
make it your pleasure to do their bidding
cheerfully in all ways.”

* But of what use to me, I wonder, will
be all these long lessons in French and
music, and that sort of thing? Olivia
Parker says I shall never want them at a
farmhouse after I leave school.”

“Your parents knew best about that,
dear,” replied Margaret, who perhaps her-
104 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

self wondered rather why this description
of school had been chosen for her. “I do
not think Olivia has any right to make
such remarks.”

“Do you know, Margaret, I am sure
that the girls here think the Misses Parker
are much greater people than they are.
They do not wish it known that their
father is a tanner. They have desired
Helen to say he is a gentleman, when she
is asked, because they consider he is one,
now they live in the country. They are
not very kind to me, except Helen. I
could vex them by telling about father
always selling his skins to Mr. Parker. I
think I would, if it were not for Helen;
but it would make her sisters so cross.”

“You had better say nothing on the
subject, my love. Of course, if asked, you
must tell the truth ; but as no one suspects
it, you are not likely to be questioned, and
I should be very sorry to think you would
purposely annoy them because they are not
kind to you.”

“T will not, then, Margaret, and we will
not talk of them any more: please tell me
A Place for Every One. 105

about your village, and your long mountain
walks with your fathea: when you were my
age.”

So, then, Margaret talked to her young
friend of the happy days of her childhood ;
of the poor people in her father’s parish,
every cne of whom she had known so
well from her birth. She told her of her
mother’s illness and death; of her father’s
piety and labours amongst his people, till he
too was called away, and she was left alone
to make her way in life asshecould. But
she told Mary, also, how good and loving
God had been to her, and how truly she
could say she had found Him to be the
“ Father of the fatherless.”

Mary listened with breathless interest ;
she thought it sounded like a beautiful
tale, only, knowing it was real made it so
much more interesting. Mary had been
carefully brought up. Her parents were
the most regular church-goers and most
charitable people in their neighbourhood :
high-minded and sincere, with an earnest
desire to do their duty in an upright
manner to all around them. Beyond this
106 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

their religion had not taken them. Mary
felt that there was something about Mar-
garet which was different to anything she
had known before. She wished to re-
semble her, and she resolved to try and
like school better, and work away diligently
at her lessons, because Margaret had shown
her that her duty to God and to her
parents demanded it of her.

In spite of all her resolutions, however,
she secretly pined for home. She had so
long been accustomed to free outdoor exer-
cise, that the confined schoolroom, and the
long tasks, told on her health. The one,
or at most two hours that were spent in a
monotonous even-paced walk on the high
road, were wearisome rather than refresh-
ing. She became pale and languid, and
was pronounced by Miss Stanley to have
greatly lost her hoydenish appearance, and
to be improved in general air and manner.
She wrote often to her parents, and they
heard also from Miss Stanley from time to
time of the progress she was making and
of her general industry and perseverance,

The holidays were approaching, and the
A Place for Every One. 107

usual preparations for the breaking-up day
were being made. A dance was always
given before the young ladies separated,
which entirely occupied the thoughts of
the teachers and theelder girls, Margaret
was unusually busy in looking over and
arranging the clothes of the younger ones
previous to their being packed. Everybody
seemed in high spirits, and was counting
the days that yet remained till the joyful
one of departure. letters were daily ar-
riving from parents fixing the day and
hour for fetching their children. All was
bustle, activity, and excitement. No one
would have detected in Margaret’s quiet
but cheerful manner that her heart was the
only lonely one among the happy group,
Yet her Christmas was to be passed alone
in that large empty house, for the Misses
Stanley were going to spend it with their
brother in the south of England. Mary
had written to tell her mother the day
fixed for their departure, and had in glow-
ing language expressed her happiness at
the prospect of her return to her beloved
home. Her anxiety for an answer was so
108 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

great, that Helen laughed at her, saying
it was just as if she were afraid her parents
did not intend to have her back again, At
last, amongst the daily budget delivered by
the postman, appeared a large blue-looking
envelope, which from the further end of the
schoolroom she knew to be her father’s.
Miss Saxon selected it from the others at
once, and handing to her, said, in a slightly
contemptuous tone,—

“ Your letters are always so peculiarly
large, Miss Elwood, there is no need to
look at the address to know whom they are
intended for.”

Large or small, Mary cared not for its
exterior so that its contents contained what
she wanted. About them her anxiety was
so great that she could not read at her
ease in the schoolroom, surrounded by her
companions. There was a window with
a seat in it on the staircase, which she
had often sought when the treasure of a
letter from home was placed in her hand.
Thither she now resorted, and read as
follows :—
A Place for Every One. 109

“ Ashgrove Farm, Dee. 11.

“ My dear Mary,

“ Your mother and I are delighted
at the thoughts of your return home.
With respect to your request that we will
invite the young lady whom you are so
fond of, I beg you will tell her from your
mother and me, that if she will do us the
favour to come we shall be rejoiced to see
her. We are quite sure, from all you have
told us in your letter, that she is one we
shall be proud to welcome. To think of
her having no home, and going to keep
Christmas all alone in that house, with not
a person, young or old, to speak to but
servants! ‘Tell her, welcome to the roast
beef and plum-pudding of Ashgrove Farm ;
and to as many long walks in the mud
and slides on the ice with you as she has
a fancy for. I suppose there’s nobody’s
leave but her own to ask? If there is, do
it in our name. I shall come for you both
on the 17th, so have all your traps ready,
and tell Miss Duncan she must bring good
stout boots for our fields and roads. Gim-
cracks won’t answer, as you know. Your
110 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

mother will have some news to tell you
about your godmother when you come.
She desires her love; and you are to tell
Miss Duncan we consider it a settled thing
she is to accompany you.
“ Your affectionate father,
“ JoHN ELwoop.

«PS. There is no need for Miss Duncan
to think about the expense of the journey
to and fro, for it, will just cost her nothing.
Find out some way of letting her know
this without any one else being told.

“PS. Your mother thinks she had better
not get any boots in London. They don’t
understand how to make them there. Old
Tomkins, in the village, shall turn her out
such a pair as will last her all these holi-
days, and do for her when she comes again,
at Midsummer.”

The reader will now perceive why
Mary’s anxiety had been so great to get
a reply to her last letter. She had con-
stantly spoken of Margaret to them in her
letters, and told sufficient of her history to
interest them in one their child was
evidently so fond of. When, therefore,
A Place for Every One. 111

the delightful idea occurred to Mary of
bringing her home, and was communicated
to them, they unhesitatingly agreed to in-
vite her, and Mr, Elwood took out his desk
on the instant and wrote as we have seen.

One bound, such a bound as Mary was
rarely now in the habit of giving, took her
from. the window-seat to the door of her
room, where she knew Margaret was en-
gaged, and a second brought her to her
side. She was seated at the foot of one of
the oeds, engaged with her needle. Mary’s
sudden movement had taken her by sur-
frise, and she could not conceal that tears
had been and were still flowing. It was
such a rare occurrence, that Marvy was
startled, and forgetting even her letter for
the instant, exclaimed,—

“ What has vexed you, dear Margaret ?
Why are you crying? Do tell me.” And
the child laid her head winningly on her
shoulder.

“ Nothing has vexed me, Mary,” replied
she, hastily wiping away the tears that
still, however, would come unbidden. “I -
am very foolish to-day, but my dear father
112 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

was alive and well last Christmas, and we
were so happy together! This year I shall
be quite alone, and I could not help think-
ing how different it will be. But, see!
the tears are all gone now,” she added, as
a sweet smile lighted up her face, and she
resolutely wiped away the last reinaining
one. “Now, I must stitch away at Lucy
Norton’s dress, for I have been sadly idle
this morning.”

“No, Margaret, dear; put away the
dress for a little while, and listen to me!”
exclaimed Mary, kneeling down before her,
and taking ber work from her with gentle
force. “ You are quite mistaken in think-
ing you are going to spend Christmas all
alone, for you will be with me and my
dear father and mother, who will love you,
I know.”

She then eagerly read her letter to the
astonished girl, whose tears fell afresh, but
this time from a different cause.

There seemed no difficulty in the way of
ber accepting the invitation, though of
course Miss Stanley must be consulted.
Mary could not rest till all doubt was
A Place for Every One. 113

removed, and entreated her to go with her
at once to the parlour. When they were
leaving the room for the purpose, Margaret
suddenly stopped.

“ Mary,” she said, “there is a reason I
have just remembered which must prevent
my going. I had quite forgotten. Never
mind why, dear, but don’t say any more
about it, except to thank your parents very
gratefully from me, and

She had proceeded thus far before Mary
divined the cause which obliged her to
decline the invitation, though delicacy pre-
vented her explaining it. The same feel-
ing had kept her from reading the post-
script to Margaret with the rest of the
letter. But with childish eagerness and
frankness she exclaimed,—

“T know what you mean, and father
thought about it. Look here.” And opening
the letter she showed her the postscript.

Margaret was deeply touched by Mr.
Elwood’s kindness, and the manner in
which it was offered.

“JT cannot hesitate to accept his re-
moval of the only obstacle to my going,”

I


114 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

she said, simply. “And I thank God for
giving me friends, such as you and your
father and mother, Mary.”

They found Miss Stanley and her sister
deeply engaged in making up the half-
year’s accounts, Mary’s awe of these
ladies was extreme, and she was astonished
at her own boldness on the present occa-
sion, as, advancing before Margaret directly
they entered the room, she said,—

“Tf you please, ma’am, here is a letter
from my father asking for Miss Duncan to
go home with me to spend the holidays,
He says he will fetch us both.”

Miss Stanley, who had looked up im-
patiently, with pen suspended in the air,
from the bill she was in the act of adding
up when the door opened, now laid it
down rather quickly, and pushing back her
chair a few paces from her desk, exclaimed,
in a tone of surprise,—

“What do you mean, Miss Elwood?
This sounds very odd, as Miss Duncan is an
entire stranger to your parents. I am afraid
you have been teazing them for an invita-
tion,”
A Place for Every One. 115

“Only read this letter, ma’am,” said
Mary, “and you will see how much they
want her.”

Miss Stanley read it throughout, then
giving it back to her, said,—

“ It is a very kind and handsome letter,
my dear, and J am sure Miss Duncan is
much obliged. Of course you wish to
accept the invitation, Margaret? Mr.
Elwood generously removes all difficulties.”

“IT shall be very glad to go,” replied
Margaret, quietly; there was too little
sympathy between her and Miss Stanley
for her to express her feelings more strongly.

“ You must be sure and be back to the
day, mind,” said her sister, “or there will
be no one to unpack the young ladies’
boxes. Miss Saxon does not consider it her
business, and J could not undertake it.”

“7 will return in time, ma’am,” said
Margaret, and she and Mary left the room
to talk together over the happy prospect —
before them.

Many of the girls were sincerely glad to
hear that Miss Duncan had been invited by
My. and Mrs. Elwood. Helen Parker was

12
116 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

delighted, and poured forth into her ear a
charming account of the farm, especially
charging her to take good strong boots
because of going to watch the cows milked.
“TI hope I shall see you sometimes,” she
said. “ How happy you will be together !”

“J will ask mother to invite you to
come and stay a few days with us,” said
Mary. “Do you think your mamma woule
let you?”

. “Mamma would, if Sophy would not be
against it,” replied Helen, “but she is sure
to say I shall get into romping ways.”

“Oh, for a good romp again!” exclaimed
Mary ; “but I think I have quite forgotten
how torun and jump, and my head so often
aches now I scarcely care about it as I used.”

Mary was not looking well, and so
Margaret thought, and had called Miss
Stanley’s attention to her languor and
frequent headaches. As, however, she did
not complain of anything else, and was
growing rapidly, no anxiety was aroused,
and the pure air and exercise she would
get at home were likely to make her quite
" strong again.
A Place for Every One. 117

CHAPTER VIII.

THE breaking-up day arrived at last, and
as they had so far to go, Margaret and
Mary were the first to leave. The Misses
Parker were going to stay a few days in
London with a relation of their mother’s
previous to returning home. Mr. Elwood
made his appearance soon after nine
o’clock, but early as he was, the girls
were ready, and anxiously listening to
the various rings in hope of hearing
the one that was to summon them. Mr.
Elwood seemed so to have measured his
time as to allow the smallest possible por-
tion of it to be spent in Miss Stanley’s
parlour. In fact, he had honestly declaréd _
to his wife the day before, as he was start-
ing, that he should take care only to be
just in time to carry the girls off to the
train. He felt, he said, as though his
lungs would suffer if he had again to ex-
118 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

perience the difficulty of breathing he had
found when last he sat talking to those
two fine ladies. His reception of Margaret .
was kind in the extreme, and at once placed
her entirely at her ease. There was no
time, however, for more than a hasty fare-
well to the governesses, and off they were
whirled as fast as a promise of extra fare
could make the driver urge his horse, for
they had barely time to catch the train.
Once seated, however, Mr. Elwood had
leisure to talk to his young companions
and notice Mary’s growth and appearance.
He looked anxiously at her pale cheeks,
and although she assured him she was well,
he secretly wished there were no such things
in existence as schools, at least, not for his
own Mary.

It was quite dark by the time they ap-
proached Ashgrove, so Mary could not point
out to Margaret the numerous objects so
interesting to her; but the dearest of all
stood in the open doorway, regardless of
the cold winter night, as they drove up.
Mary found she had not forgotten to jump,
_ as she supposed. One spring, and she was
A Place for Every One. 119°

in her mother’s arms, and they had indulged
in the luxury of a warm embrace almost
before Mr. Elwood had assisted their visitor
from the carriage. Then Mrs. Elwood
turned to Margaret, and a glance at her
gentle, rather mournful-looking face, in her
black bonnet, reminded her motherly heart
that she was an orphan; and, if with less
warmth than she had shown Mary, still,
with equal sincerity, she drew her to her
bosom, and bade her welcome to Ashgrove.
It was a cheerful party gathered round
the substantially covered tea-table soon after.
Margaret felt herself welcome. There was
no need to tell her she was so. It was
witha grateful heart she knelt that night
before lying down to rest, and thanked
Him who knew how greatly she had needed
such kindness as she was now receiving.
Changes had taken place in the neigh-
bourhood since Mary had left it. The old
clergyman who had held the living of Acton
for fifty years had died, and Mr. Went-
worth, in whose gift it was, had given it
to a young and energetic man, who was
interesting himself very much in the parish.
120 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Acton was a village of considerable size in
itself, and there were a great many cottages
scattered about ata distance. There was
also a hamlet attached to it at the ex-
tremity of which Ashgrove Farm was
situated. Mr. Seymour, the new clergyman,
was anxious to build a small chapel of ease
here, as the great distance from the church
prevented many of the people from attend-
ing divine worship ; and if he could aecom-
plish this, his intention was to keep a curate
who would perform the services thereat, and
assist him in other ways. Mr. Wentworth
had cordially entered into his views, and
had subscribed very liberally towards the
chapel. Mr. Elwood had likewise come
forward in a handsome manner, as well as
several other families, and it was hoped,
the requisite sum being nearly raised, the
building would be commenced almost im-
mediately. All this interested Mary very
much, but there was other news for her
which concerned her still more nearly.

We have already mentioned that she
had a godmother, a great friend of her
mother’s, who had been for many years
A Place for Every One. 121

living in Australia, and therefore Mary had
never seen her. She had, however, taken
great interest in her godchild, and from
time to time had written to her, and sent
presents of books, besides the Bible which
had been her christening gift. She had
become a widow some time before Mary
went to school, and, having no children or
ties in Australia, she resolved at once on
selling her property there and returning to
England, She had arrived some months ago,
and had been looking out for a place of
abode. All this Mary had known, but she
was greatly surprised to find that she had
actually taken and furnished a house which
had been vacant for some time in the neigh-
bourhood of Ashgrove Farm, being, in fact,
not more than a mile from it,

Mrs. Wythers had known Mrs. Elwood
many years. Indeed, they had lived near
each other when children, and the friend-
ship then begun had continued through
life, although their lots had been very
different. Mrs. Wythers had known much
early sorrow in the loss of both her parents
and her only sister, whom she had nursed
122 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

through a lingering illness to the grave.
A few years after, she had married a medical
man, who, incourse of time, had gone to Aus=
tralia to settle altogether. Now that she
found herself alone in her nativeland without
any near ties of relationship, she naturally
turned to the friend of her youth, who had
written to ask her to visit them on her
arrival. The invitation had been accepted,
and the result was that Mrs. Wythers had
become desirous of finding a residence in
that neighbourhood. The house we have
alluded to suited her in all respects,
and she lost no time in making arrange-
ments for immediate possession. Hvery-
thing was now ready, and she was expected
to arrive from London in about a week
after Mary’s return home. Mary had
naturally many questions to ask concerning
her, but thought from her mother’s answers
she should be a little afraid of her, because
she described her as so very good.

“And therefore you will be sure to like her
all the better, dear Mary,” said Margaret, to
whom she had expressedthis opinion. “From
what your mother has told us, she is one
A Place for Every One. 123

who has spent her time, even in a distant
land, in being useful to others. And only
think how much you may do, as you grow
up, towards making her life less solitary
than it must be now she has lost her hus-
band, and has to live alone.”

The next few days were spent in show-
ing Margaret the lions of the neighbour-
hood and all Mary’s favourite haunts, and
in the usual Christmas festivities, for at
that season hospitality was nowhere more
abundant than at Ashgrove.

Mr. and Mrs. Elwood could not, however,
but be struck with the delicacy of their
daughter’s general appearance, and began
to fear that the sudden change from her
former habits to the confinement of school
had injured her health.

Mrs. Wythers arrived on the expected
day, and Mrs. Elwood and Mary received
her in her new home. The latter had no
longer any fear that she should be afraid
of her.

“My god-daughter is not strong, I am
afraid,” said she to Mrs. Elwood one day
after she had dined at Ashgrove, when
124 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Mary and Margaret had left the room. “I
see she changes colour frequently, and looks
languid: has she always been thus ?”
“No,” exclaimed the farmer; “a more
rosy-looking girl you never saw six months
ago, before she went to that school. They
slave her there like one of my plough-
horses. I was asking her about it yesterday.
f can’t see the good of making furrows in
a plain country girl’s brain, in order that
fine notions may be sown in it. J say,
hang the whole affair—Miss Stanleys,
French governess, and all the rest of them !”
So saying, Mr. Elwood marched out of
the room, more inclined to be irritable
than was usual to him, He had always
secretly hated his wife’s plan for Mary,
which he said had been thrust at the top
of her better judgment by Mrs. Parker ;
and now that he saw his child looking so
unwell, he was more than ever inclined to
wage war with the system which he be-
lieved was the exciting cause. Nor was Mrs.
Elwood at all comfortable on the subject,
though less willing to believe that school
was the cause of the pale cheeks ; for,
A Place for Every One. 125

with womanly pertinacity, she clung to
her desire that their Mary should have
every advantage of a lady’s education.

“My husband has a great dislike to
Mary going to school,” said Mrs. Elwood,
rather apologetically for his last remark ;
“he did not take a fancy to her gover-
nesses when he saw them: he thought them
rather fine ladies.”

“Then it was your wish to send her,
Susan ?” said Mrs. Wythers.

“Yes; we have no advantages: here:
the masters at Dalemoor are very second-
rate I was told, by a lady who has sent
her daughters away for the same reason.”

“What masters does Mary require?”
asked her friend.

“JT wish her to learn everything suitable
for a lady,” replied Mrs. Elwood. “ Miss
Stanley, her governess, has commenced with
her in music, French, drawing, dancing, and
fancy-work. I must show you a footstool
she has worked for me. Next year Miss
Stanley wishes her to commence Italian
and German, as she thinks she should
begin foreign languages young.”
126 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

“ How long do you intend her to remain
at school ?”

“T suppose she will be fit to leave in
about four years: we shall be glad enough
to get her home to live, by that time.”

“Indeed, I think you will,” said Mrs.
Wythers, thoughtfully. “Do you know,
Susan, I think if I had had an only daughter
I could not have made up my mind to
part with her.”

“Yes, you would, if you eo it was for
her good, Maria, I am sure.’

& Te I were convinced it was really de-
sirable, I might; but how difficult it must
be to make one’s mind certain of that!
French, and Italian, and all those things,
would not have been of much use to you
in life, would they, Susan ?”

“Not to me, certainly ; but Mary will
have a little money at her father’s death,
and may look higher than I did.”

“My dear Susan, what better lot could
Mary have than to become the wife of such
a man as your husband ?—for I suppose
you allude to her marriage some day.”

“To be sure, she couldn’t have a better,
A Place for Every One. 127

kinder, more indulgent one than mine,”
exclaimed Mrs. Elwood, tears of proud
affection springing to her eyes, glad
of an opportunity to praise him.

“ And as Mary is your child, and conse-
quently born in the same station as your-
self, do you not think that if she ever
marries, as she probably will do should she
live, it will be natural to expect her hus-
band willbe one of her own rank?”

“Probably ; we cannot tell,” said Mrs,
Elwood, who felt rather uncomfortable lest
_ her friend was approaching a weak point of
hers.

“We will hope so, at all events,” said
Mrs. Wythers ; “for, depend upon it her
lot would be a happier one than if she were
tempted to step out of the position in life
in which God has placed her.”

“But do you not think,’ asked Mrs.
Elwood, “that we have a right to do the
best we can for our daughter and try to
educate her for rising higher than we have
dove in the world?”

“My dear Susan, since you ask me the
question, I will answer it plainly, as your
128 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

friend, and as Mary’s godmother. To do
the best for your child you certainly ought ;
but the question is, what will be that best ?
Not, assuredly, in my opinion, to try and
prepare her for a different station to that
which her Maker has seen fit should be
hers, but to endeavour to bring her up in
such a way as to make her a useful member
of the society in which her lot is placed.”

Mrs. Elwood was silent. If not con-
vinced, she felt that there was a formidable
array of truth in these remarks, against
which it would be in vain to bring her own
weaker arguments to bear.

Mrs. Wythers, seeing she made no
reply, ventured to add: “My dear Susan,
far be it from me to seem to be finding
fault with your plans for Mary’s education.
But our long friendship, and the really
responsible situation in which you placed
me towards her at her baptism, embolden
me to be plain, now that our conversation
has turned on this subject.”

“ Tell me, then,” said Mrs. Elwood, “ how
you would say she ought to be educated,
Maria, supposing her father and I took your
A Place for Every One. 129

view of the matter? What would be the
chief object at which you would aim in
bringing her up, remembering there will be
no need for her to drudge in the household
affairs herself, but that she will always have
those under her who can take them off
her hands?”

“First and foremost,” replied Mrs.
Wythers, “if I were her mother, I trust
I should make her religious teaching of the
first consequence; and to ensure this, I
would have only those employed in her
education who felt its importance. Then
I think she should be thoroughly instructed
in solid and useful acquirements of all
sorts, not forgetting those household ones,
which, although she will be only required
to superintend the discharge of them by
others, she ought to understand thoroughly
in order to do even that duty satisfac-
torily. I would foster a love of reading 3
also such reading as would store the mind
usefully, and make it turn away from the
trash too often to be found in country cir-
culating libraries, I believe in most neigh-
bourhoods now there are book clubs and

K
130. Ashgrove Farm ; or,

societies, which enable the better class of
residents to enjoy the advantage of perusing
many of the numerous useful and interest-
ing works that are constantly appearing.

“Our new clergyman is about to esta-
blish one here,” remarked Mrs. Elwood.
“We asked us to join it; but, as I told
him, we are not much given to reading.
I have no time for it, and John finds the
two newspapers he takes in, and the
‘Farmer's Monthly Gazette,’ quite as much
as he can manage.”

“ But some day it may be a great acquie
sition for Mary to join such a club,” said
Mrs. Wythers.

“Then you would have her learn no accom-
plishments of any sort?” said Mrs. Elwood.

“T do not say that,” said her friend,
“although I would be careful how I
admitted them, as I believe there are very
few that a girl, in Mary’s future position,
would keep wp after she left school, and
then the acquirement of them would have
been waste of time and money, for both of
which account must be rendered hereafter.
Music is one, the pursuit of which, if she
A Place for Every One. 131

have taste and ear for it, she would be likely
to derive enjoyment from hereafter. Sacred
» music I should especially try to cultivate,

both because it is so beautiful in itself, and
also that in a country church every trained
and well taught voice is of the greatest con-
sequence.”

“But music and reading would not fill
up all her time,” persisted Mrs. Elwood ;
“do not forget how much she would have
of it at her own disposal.”

“T do not forget it,’ said Mrs. Wythers,
“because I look upontime as one of the most
important possessions we have. If Mary lives
to be a young woman, it is my earnest hope
that she may find many ways of spending
hers profitably. In a neighbourhood like
this, where, both in the village and all
around, there are so many poor, no young
person need feel the want of employment.”

“One would almost think that you and ~
Mr. Seymour had been talking together on
these subjects,” said Mrs. Elmore, smiling.
“He called here almost as soon as he
arrived, and one of his first questions was
to ask how old Mary was, for he had heard

K 2
182 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

we had a daughter. He said he ‘was
hunting up all the young people he could
find, who were willing to help him in some
plans he was hoping to form for the good
of the poor, He talked of a clothing club,
and night schools for teaching adults who
were engaged all day. I told him that
we would gladly subscribe to anything ;
and he said that when Mary got older he
should hope to enlist her to give some of
her time in assisting in these matters.”

“With such a clergyman as Mr. Sey-
mour, you need not fear that Mary’s hours
will hang heavy on her hands,” said
Mrs. Wythers. “Depend upon it, he will
find her plenty of employment.”

At this moment Mrs. Elmore was called
away, but the conversation recurred again
and again to her mind in the course of the
day. She felt the good sense of her friend’s
views, and almost came to the decision
that had she had her instead of Mrs.
Parker to consult at first, she should pro-
bably not have sent Mary to a school pro-
fessedly for girls of a different rank in life
to her own.
A Place for Every One. 133

CHAPTER IX.

MarGaret DUNCAN soon completely won the
hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Elwood, as she had
done those of their daughter. She became for
the time almost a new being. To find her-
self once more treated as on an equality with
those around her, and with a kindness and
consideration to which she had long been
a stranger, made her far more gay and
lively than Mary had ever known her.
The pure air and constant exercise invigo-
rated her health, and, but for the recollec-
tion that her happiness could last only a
short time, she was almost as light-hearted
as in former days.. Mrs. Wythers became
much interested in her, for she soon dis-
covered her quiet unobtrusive piety, and
resignation to her desolate condition. She
felt thankful that Mary had so valuable a
friend at a school which, from what she
heard of it, she could not but fear was one
134 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

ill adapted to have a desirable influence on
the opening character of her goddaughter.
Nor was her opinion of it improved by the
impression she formed of the elder Misses
Parker one afternoon and evening, when
she was invited to meet them at Ashgrove.
Their extreme affectation, extravagant style
of dress, and display of their various ac-
complishments, made her deeply regret that
Mrs. Elwood had consulted their mother in
her plans for Mary’s education. She could
only hope that Mrs. Elwood’s better judg-
ment would in time be led to see that
she had been mistaken and that mean-
while, with Margaret Duncan and the still
unsophisticated Helen for her chief compa-
nions, Mary might escape without irre-
mediable harm. But changes were at hand
she did not expect. When Mary had
been at home about a fortnight or rather
more, she awoke one morning, feeling so
extremely poorly, that she was unable to
rise. She complained of violent pain in
her head, similar to what she had often
experienced before in a slighter degree. It
continued all day and night, and the next
A Place for Every One. 135

morning she was so feverish that they sent
for medical advice from Dalemoor. Dr.
Simms at once pronounced it the commence-
ment of a low fever, which would probably _
be of a very lingering description. There
had for some time been a good deal of sick-
ness of the kind in the neighbourhood.

He was correct. Mary grew~ worse,
and was -in danger for several days.
Margaret was now able to be of . the
greatest use and comfort to Mrs. Elwood,
either in sharing her nursing or helping to
soothe the farmer,. whose distress was
pitiable to see.

Mary had a good constitutions She
passed the expected crisis favourably, and
before long, though the fever left her weak
as an infant, she was declared convalescent,
and requiring only care and nourishment to
restore her to health.

Return to school she never should, de-
clared Mr, Elwood, nor had his wife any .
longer a desire she should do so. Her
child’s illness had done much towards
removing her ambition that Mary should
rise above her present station. To educate
136 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

her in a way suitable to her position,
and so as to make her useful and beloved
amongst those with whom her lot would
probably be cast, was now her desire
and prayer. She felt she had been too
hasty in her choice of a school for her child,
‘and that, however the Misses Stanley’s
might be suited for young ladies of a
higher rank, she would have done well
to have sought one of a different character
for Mary, who might have there learned to
look down on her father and mother, and
their homely house and ways. The grati-
tude with which she received her child
from the borders of the grave was unsullied
by the slightest touch of ambition for her
future. How she was to be educated re-
mained for future consideration, and was
often a subject of anxious thought. Mrs.
Wythers reminded her that if she thought it
desirable to send her from home, there were
suitable schools of a higher tone than the
Misses Stanley’s, where she would be taught
every thing befitting her station, and where
her companions would not despise her as
being beneath them. “ Although you have
A Place for Every One. 137

been unfortunate in your choice in the first
instance,” said she, “it would not be fair
to condemn all seminaries of the kind;
for there are doubtless many most excellent
ones, conducted by those who are sincerely
desirous to bring up the young people com-
mitted to their care with far higher views
than merely making them accomplished.”

So to keep Mary at home, if possible,
was now as earnestly desired by Mrs.
Elwood as by her husband. The time was
at hand, however, for Margaret to leave
them. The affection between herself and
Mary was almost sisterly ; the latter clung
so much to her friend that they rather
dreaded the parting for her in her weak
state, and were relieved when they found
she herself reminded her of the day for her
return, for she was afraid of her getting into
trouble with the Misses Stanley.

“ How often I shall think of you, dear
Margaret!” she said. “I shall know all
you are doing so well.”

“JT shall miss you sadly,” replied
Margaret. “Iam afraid you have spoilt
me with showing me so much kindness.
188 Ashgrove Farm ; ov,

We must write often to each other, Mary.
It will seem quite strange to me to be
looking out for letters!”

A few days later, and the time arrived
when Margaret was to leave Ashgrove.
She felt as if she could not sufficiently
express her gratitude to her kind host and
hostess, who in their turn thanked her for all
her care of Mary during: her illness. “Re-
member, Miss Duncan,” said Mr. Elwood,
as he placed her in the train, “that you
have friends in this part of the world who
would be sincerely glad to have an oppor-
tunity of showing you they are such.
Don’t forget, either,’ he added, “that you
are to consider Ashgrove as your home
every vacation.”

. Mary’s recovery was slow. The winter
had passed, and the trees and hedges were
clothing themselves in their green attire,
before she was able to walk as far as her
godmother’s house. From this time, how-
ever, her strength returned more rapidly,
and by the end of May she was almost as
well and as bright-looking as before her
illness, Lessons of all sorts had hitherto
A Place for Every One. 139

been forbidden, but now she began to be
anxious to renew them.

“JT am leading such an idle life, dear
mother,’ she said one day, “I shall be
forgetting everything.”

“Dr, Simms ordered that you should
scarcely open a book for some months, my
love ; but now you are getting strong we
must begin and arrange maiters. We
have quite decided you are not to return
to school.’

“T am glad of that,’ said Mary. “I
never should have liked it. But, poor Mar-
garet ! how sorry she will be! Only think
of her drudging on there, year after year ;
no end ever coming, and no one taking any
notice of her, except-Helen !”

“What would you say, Mary, if it could
be settled for Margaret to come and live
altogether with us, and be your elder sister,
and teach you everything you are to
learn ?”

“Mother, are you in earnest,” ex-
claimed Mary ; “or only joking?”

“T am in sober earnest,’ replied her
mother. “Your father and godmother and
140 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

I have for some time been consulting about
the plan. If Margaret would like it, and it
could be arranged with Miss Stanley, she is
quite capable of being your governess,”

“T am sure Margaret would be glad to
come, and she teaches beautifully!” ex-
claimed Mary. “When will it be quite
settled, mother?”

“Your father is going to London next
week, and intends seeing Margaret and Miss
Stanley, and I trust there will be no diffi-
culty to prevent our scheme being carried
out.”

For the sake of securing so desirable a
companion and instructress for his child,
Mr. Elwood had actually undertaken once
more to breathe the ungenial atmosphere of
Miss Stanley’s parlour, and tell her that it
was his wish to make Margaret an offer of
the situation in his house as Mary’s gover-
ness. As it had always been understood

“that she was at present giving her services
to Miss Stanley, in order that she might
qualify herself for such a position, he thought
no objection could be raised, especially as he
proposed giving her a handsome salary.
A Place for Every One. 141

To do the Misses Stanley justice, we must
say that, although at first they were in-
clined to be displeased at the idea of so
useful and conscientious an assistant being
removed, their better feelings soon prevailed.
The advantages to Margaret over her pre-
sent situation were too great to admit of
doubt. Miss Stanley only regretted that,
although well informed and a fair musician,
she was not yet perfected in other accom-
plishments which she considered essential
for Miss Elwood, whose delicate health, she
deeply regretted, prevented her return to
school.

The farmer muttered something in reply,
which Miss Stanley did not clearly hear.
Perhaps it was as well she did not, for he
was at the moment in one of his strongest
hanging moods.

We need scarcely say with what joy and
gratitude Margaret accepted Mr. Elwood’s
offer, and ib was arranged that she should
take up her residence at Ashgrove as soon
the holidays commenced, which were then
not far distant.
142 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

CHAPTER X.

Srx years’ have passed away since we left
Margaret Duncan about to become an inmate
at Ashgrove for the purpose of superintend-
ing Mary’s education. She undertook it as
such a responsibility should always be un-
dertaken: by earnestly seeking a strength
superior to her own for its discharge ; and
her success had proved that it had been
abundantly granted. Her office was a very
pleasant one. Mr. and Mrs. Elwood placed
unbounded trust in her, and treated her as
an elder daughter. In Mrs. Wythers she
had an adviser and friend who was pecu-
liarly valuable to one so young, and whose
interest in her godchild naturally made her
anxiously watch the success of her efforts
to train her carefully.

Nor did Mary in any way disappoint
them. With good, though not brilliant,
abilities, she grew up a well-informed and
A Place for Every One. 143

intelligent young woman. As Mrs. Wythers
had predicted, Mr. Seymour gave her and
Margaret plenty of employment for all their
spare time. He used sometimes jokingly
to declare that but for the Sunday duty he
might dispense with a curate, so valuable
was their aid.

Amongst other services they were able to
render him, they undertook between them to
play the harmonium and conduct the singing
in the hamlet chapel of ease before mentioned.
They used to collect the children of the surs
rounding cottages once a week at the farm,
for practice; and as the farmer took care
these should never leave without a good
supper, it may be supposed that the evening
singing class on Friday nights became very
well attended.

In the Sunday school also which Mr.
Seymour established at their end of the parish
they were regular and valuable teachers.
So much did they take the scholars under
their own particular care, both as_to minds

. and bodies, that Mr. and Mrs. Elwood
themselves grew to feel more interest in
the welfare of their poor neighbours.
144 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

Formerly it was confined to merely their
own labourers. Such treats were given
twice a year to the Sunday scholars of
Acton hamlet that those at the larger
school became almost envious.

And thus the six years had passed away.
We wish we could say they had been as
pleasantly and profitably spent by the
Misses Parker. Sophy had left school at
the time of Mary’s illness, and Olivia about
a year and a half later. Their time at
home was spent in an incessant pursuit of
such visiting as a country town would
afford, after a vain attempt to get admitted
into a circle above their rank. The disap-
pointment soured the temper of Sophy
(which had never been of the best) to an
extent that embittered the domestic comfort
of both her parents. About three years
after leaving school, she engaged herself,
almost suddenly, to a travelling professor of
music from America—a man of whom they
knew nothing, but who thought her musical
acquirements might be turned to account.
Sophy, weary of her home and her neigh-
bourhood, where she constantly asserted
A Place for Every One. 145

her talents were thrown away, thirsting for
excitement and change of any kind, linked
her fate for life to one who proved a spend-
thrift and an infidel He returned to
America with his wife after a time, but
found himself disappointed in getting any
benefit from ler musical attainments. Sophy
could use them for display, but such per-
severance and drudgery as were required in
order to turn them to pecuniary advantage
it was not in her nature to bestow. Her
whole training had been unsuited to fit
her for anything like labour, either of mind
or body. Her husband’s habits were such
as to make money required faster than
it came ; and reproaches on his part and
ill temper on hers were the constant result
of their perpetual difficulties. To such a
state of poverty were they at length re-
duced that Sophy was compelled to gather
together the remnants of her own educa-
tion, and try to collect a few scholars to
whom to impart what she had imper-
fectly learnt herself. This lasted but for a
short time, it being soon found that neither
her accomplishments nor her temper were
L
146 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

suitable for the undertaking. Her demands
for money on her father had long been so
frequent that he had latterly refused to im-
poverish himself for the sake of encouraging
her worthless husband’s extravagance. At
last, however, on hearing of the positive
distress to which she was reduced, and that
she had been forsaken altogether by the
man who had sworn to love and protect
her, he relented, and offered to open her
old home once more to her. But Sophy
secretly recoiled from the proposal. Her
affections were not naturally strong, and
the society of her parents was not sufficiently
attractive to make her willing to brave the
shame of living as a dependent on them in
her former neighbourhood, where she had
once held herself so high, Seeing this, Mr.
Parker consented to make her a small
allowance. On that she lived in lodgings
in New York, in such constant dread of
being discovered by her husband that she
changed her name, and never remained long
in one place.

Olivia had always been of a more
amiable disposition than her sister, and
A Place for Every One. 147

when the influence of her example was re-
moved she became gradually disposed for a
quiet life. But although in this respect she
gave her parents no anxiety, they could not
but feel, as years passed on, that she led a
perfectly useless existence, without aim or
object in any pursuit—pwrposeless in every
sense of the word.

Helen was removed from Elm House as
soon as her sister married, being then about
fifteen years of age. Mrs. Parker had by
that time become convinced that she had
greatly erred with respect to her plans for
her elder daughters, and was disposed to
throw a greater share of blame on the
Misses Stanley than they deserved. Helen
and Mary had kept up their old friendship,
meeting in the holidays at the farm as often
as they could. She continued the same
simple warm-hearted child as ever, and
when Mrs. Parker, in the bitterness of her
grief over Sophy’s marriage, came one day
to pour forth her sorrows into Mrs. Elwood’s
ear, she spoke of her youngest as the only
one of her children from whom she looked
for comfort. Mrs. Elwood’s kind heart

L 2
148 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

sympathized deeply with her. She approved
her plan of removing Helen from Elm
House, but saw that it would be extremely
injurious to her to be living at home idly,
without any regular pursuits.

Several conversations on the subject
ensued between Mrs. Elwood, Mrs. Wythers,
Margaret, and herself. The result was
that an offer was made Mrs. Parker to
receive Helen at Ashgrove for a couple of
years, and let her continue her education
under Miss Duncan’s care.

Nothing could exceed the gratitude with
which her parents at once accepted the pro-
posal. Even Olivia no longer looked down
on Mary Elwood, but was obliged to confess
she was growing up a very genteel-looking
girl. As for Helen, she was half beside
herself with joy! And Mary declared that
if anything were wanting to complete her
happiness, it was to have Helen to live
with them altogether—learning, reading,
and helping them in all their plans for the
poor.

But the six years we have spoken of
passed away, and Helen, now eighteen years
A Place for Every One. 149

of age, had gone to live at home again, car-
rying with her the lessons of usefulness she
had learnt at Ashgrove, and anxious to per-
suade Olivia to unite with her in bene-
volent labours at Dalemoor. She could
never, however, manage to arouse her sis-
ters’ interests in any of her schemes. She
found much warmer sympathy from her
mother, whose disappointments and sorrow
had shown her the misery of looking for
happiness to the show and follies of this
world. She had fallen into a state of de-
pression, from which it seemed impossible
to arouse her, nor did Olivia take much
pains to do so. But Helen’s return gave
her new life. Her regular methodical ar-
rangement of her time and her energy in
whatever she undertook gave a different
tone to the house. The pains she exerted
to get her mother to take an interest in the
troubles of others was rewarded by seeing
her gradually listening to the cases of dis-.
tress she had found during her visits in the
district she had undertaken. Their allevia-
tion soon became her mother’s care.

And now that Mary had grown up, and
150 Ashgrove Farm ; on,

no longer required the services of a governess,
what was to become of Margaret ?

It was a question she had often put to
herself latterly. Ashgrove had been to her
a home of happiness, second only to her
early one. She had found a father and
mother again in Mr. and Mrs. Elwood, a
sister in Mary, and a friend of inestimable
value in Mrs. Wythers. Besides these
objects of affection, she had her interests of
no common depth in the schools, the poor,
and the many ways in which she and Mary
assisted Mr, Seymour and his curate, Mr.
Gordon.

But she knew her lot was not to look
below for a long continuance of such peace.
She had kept herself schooled, and had
borne ever in mind, that the home which
was Mary’s by birth was hers only for a
season. She could thank God for His past
mercies, and trust Him for the future,

which, with His Bee could never be
utterly dreary.

She thought she ould speak to Mrs.
Wythers, and ask her to aid her in seeking
a suitable situation. For this purpose she
A Place for Every One. 153

walked over to her house alone one day.
She felt she would like to tell Mr. and Mrs,
Elwood that her plans were formed, when
she spoke to them about leaving Ashgrove.
Mrs. Wythers received her with her usual
kindness, Margaret had become as dear to
‘ her as her own godchild, and it was with
almost a mother’s interest she listened to
her request that she would lend her assist-
ance in finding a new home.

“ T have no right to intrude my services
at Ashgrove any longer,” said Margaret.
“T know that my dear kind friends there
will never be the first to consider them
ended, and therefore I am anxious to be
able to tell them, when I begin the subject,
that I have arranged what I am going to
do. It will be more delicate than letting
them have.to think for me.”

“You are right, my dear,’ said Mrs.
. Wythers, “but suppose when you have
engaged yourself elsewhere you should
find they had wished you to live on with
them for many years ?—perhaps offer you
a permanent home ?”

“ T should not think it right to accept the
152 Ashgrove Farm ; ov,

offer, Mrs. Wythers, because I should not
like to be so dependent whilst I have health
and strength. There is nothing left for me
to do now. Mary is grown up, and is her
mother’s comfort and companion. It will be
a bitter trial to leave them and you and
all the poor people, but I feel the time
is come for-‘me to seek other work. The
longer I stay the more terrible will be the
parting.”

“ At all events,” said Mrs. Wythers,
wherever you go you will know you have
homes to come to, both in my house and at
Ashgrove. Our love for you will never
fail, you may rest assured. I will con-
sider the matter, and directly I can think
or hear of anything likely to suit you
you shall know. In the meantime there is
no immediate hurry. I need not tell you,
Margaret, to trust Him who has already
cared so much for you.”

About a fortnight after this conversation,
Mrs. Wythers came to spend an afternoon
at Ashgrove, as was often her habit. The
girls had been walking together, when they
saw Mrs. Elwood beckoning to Margaret.
A Place for Every One. 153

She found Mr. and Mrs. Elwood and Mrs
Wythers together, and the latter, as she
entered, said :—

“ T hope, Margaret, you will not think I
have betrayed any confidence, when I tell
you that I have mentioned to our friends
the conversation you and I had together
on the subject of your duties here being
ended. Having found a situation for you
which, if you like it, will, I think, suit in
every respect, I thought you would not
object to my telling them of the motives
of delicacy that made you consult me
first.”

Mrs. Elwood was about to speak when
the farmer stepped forward, and, in his
usual blunt but honest tone of voice, said
to Margaret :—

“My wife and I had no thoughts of
parting with you ; we like to have you with
us and our Mary; so don’t be for going
away, because you think we’ve done with
you. Your business with our girl is -
finished, it’s true, and well finished, two.
Now it seems to me you ought to be turned
out to grass for a few years at least, but
154 Asigrove Farm ; or,

that ours s houla to be the pasture on which
you must feed.’

“ ‘You can never be otherwise than wale
come here, Margaret,” said Mis. Elwood.
“Why not stay, and be to me a second
daughter still? As for Mary, I think it
would almost break her heart to part with
you.”

Margaret felt as if she could scarcely
find words to express her feelings, but they
flowed when she began to thank her kind
friends for their offer in most grateful
terms, as wellas for all their past goodness.
She, however, firmly refused it.

“T ought not to be turned out to grass
yet,” she said smiling, “like a very young
colt, or a very old horse, for I am in the
midst of my youth and strength. Besides,”
she added, “I really think it will in one
respect be better for Mary to loseme. She
leans on me so much in every way, that it
might almost lead to her wanting confi-
dence in herself and her own judgment.”

“Well then,” said Mrs. Wythers, “since
it is settled you are to go, you must listen
to the new home which seems to offer. I
A Place for Every One. 155

know the lady, and I am quite sure you
would meet with only kindness from her.
She is in want of a companion to live with
her, and cheer her solitary hours. Your
duties would chiefly consist in reading to
her, occasionally writing her letters,, and
being her almoner in such charities as she
has to dispense. She would also wish you
to assist in the Sunday school, and other
good works in the parish in which she lives. °
You have been so accustomed to these
things you would be quite at home in
them, Margaret.”

“Tt seems exactly what Ishould desire,
and be most grateful to obtain,” said Mar-
garet, “if only you think I should be liked.”

“JT have no fears on that head,”
replied Mrs. Wythers. “As I said before, I
know the lady well, and think you are just
the person to suit her. With respect to
your salary, she is able and willing to be
liberal.”

“Tf you will arrange it all for me I ©
shall be grateful,” said Margaret, ‘ and
I will do my utmost not to prove un-
worthy of your kindness, Shall I be
156 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

very far away from you all?” she added,
struggling to keep back the tears that were
arising at the thought of separation, and
not at all comprehending why the farmer
chose that moment to cast one of his most
roguish looks at his wife.

“Hang it!” exclaimed he, “I can’t hide
a thing like women manage to! You'll be
no farther away from us,” said he, address-
ing Margaret, “than one mile; which mile
you've been in the habit of trudging pretty
often. Now ask Mrs. Wythers there who
the lady is.”

“She is no other than myself, Mar-
garet,” said Mrs. Wythers, smiling as she
took the astonished girl by the hand. “TI
have long felt the want of some one like
yourself to live with me. The need will be
still greater as I advance in years, for my
health has not been strong enough since my

‘ return to England to enable me to be as
active as I once was. God seems to have
brought us together, Margaret, that we may
be respective blessings to each other: you
require a parent and a home, I greatly
long for the comfort of a daughter. We
A Place for Every One. 157

have known each other now for so many
years, that we need not fear but that we
shall get on together, I think.”

“Tf love, and devotion to your comfort,
such as a child of your own -would show,
can prove my gratitude, it will be yours,”
said Margaret. “In the meantime, I can
only thank you for all your goodness,
And you, also,” she added, to Mr. and Mrs.
Elwood, “for the unceasing kindness you
have shown to one whom you found so
entirely without friends as I was when
you first invited me to Ashgrove.”

“You seem to forget that you have all
the time been winning our affection by the
manner in which you have devoted your-
self to our child,” said Mrs. Elwood.
“We wished you to know that, as far as
‘we are concerned, we had no desire ever
to part with you. However, as you will
be a real comfort to Mrs. Wythers, and
we shall continue to see almost as much of
you as ever, we must be content to give
you up to her.”

_Mary entered at this moment, and for
"158 Ashgrove Farm ; or,

the first time heard of the proposed plan.
To her the loss of Margaret’s hourly so-
ciety could not but be great; yet she felt
it would be selfish to regret yielding her
to one to whom her companionship was
still more necessary.

So Margaret removed in the course of
a few weeks to her new home, and became
to Mrs. Wythers all, and more than all,
that had been anticipated. It was not
for very long, however. - That lady’s
health gave way in the course of about
three years. Margaret nursed her,through
a tedious illness, borne by her with the
resignation and hope of a Christian
who knew she was “going home.” She
bequeathed to Margaret an annuity suffi-
ciently large to keep her in perfect inde-
pendence and comfort for the rest of her
life. But that was not to be passed in
solitude: God still cared for His orphan,
and filled her cup with yet greater bless-
ings. Her piety, usefulness, and great
sweetness of disposition, had won the ad-
miration and love of Mr. Gordon the
A Place for Every One. 159

curate of Acton hamlet. Want of suffi-
cient means had hitherto prevented him
from declaring his attachment, but a living
which Mr. Wentworth’s interest procured
removed every obstacle. And with Mar-
garet and her faithful advisers, the Elwoods,
he had no difficulty. All rejoiced in the
prospect of the lot before her, which she
accepted as another proof of her Heavenly
Father’s love. They were married about
nine months after Mrs. Wythers’ death,
the interim being spent by Margaret at
Ashgrove. The wedding tour was to
Scotland, which had been the birthplace
both of her and her husband. Whilst
‘there Margaret had the delight of paying
a hasty visit to the home of her childhood,
and telling the worthy farmer and his
wife, who had shown her so much kindness
formerly, of her present happiness and the
past events that had led to it.

Mary and Helen both married in course
of time, and are happily fulfilling their
duties in the station of life in which God
has placed them.
160 Ashgrove Farm.

And now we must bid our readers fare-
well; summing up the moral of our tale
in two well-known lines by a_ living
author :—

“ Thou cam’st not to thy place by accident :

_It is the very place God meant for thee.”
(TRENcH.)

THE END.

—_—
Woodfall and Kinder, Printers, Milford Lane, Strand, W.C.


GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS’

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other Stories,

The Broken Pitcher, and
other Stories.
The Little Lychetts. By
the Author of *‘ Olive,” &c.
The Great Wonders of the
World.

My First Picture Book. 36
Pages of Coloured Plates.
z6mo, cloth.

sd.

A Visit to the Zoological2z o
Gardens.

The Richmonds’
Europe.

Aunt Bessie's Picture Book.
With 96 Pages of Plates.

Little Lilys Picture Book.
With 96 Pages of Plates.

The Story of a Nutcracker.
With 234 Pictures.

Old Mother Hubbard’s Pic-
ture Book. 36 Pages of
Coloured Plates.

Tour in



Gus-Suitling Gitt-Books,

With Illustrations, strongly bound in cloth.

Ten Moral Tales By
Guizot.

juvenile Tales for all Seasons

Conquest and Self-Conguest.

Evenings at Donaldson

Manor.
Praise and Principle. _
Grace & Isabel( M1‘ Intosh).
Charms and Counter-
Charuts.
Gertrude and Eulalie.
Robert and Harold.
Robinson the Younger.
Amy Carlton.
Robinson Crusoe.
Laura Temple.
Farry and his Homes.
Our Native Land,
Bundle of Sticks.
Family Pictures from the
Bible.



Lester and I; or, Beware2 0
of Worldliness. By Mrs,
Manners.

The Cherry Stones. By
Rev. H. C. Adams.

The First of Fune. By Rev.
H. C, Adams.

Rosa: A Story for Girls.

May Dundas; or, The
Force of Example. By Mrs.
Geldart.

GlimpsesofOurLsland Home.
By Mrs. Geldart.

The Indian Boy, By Rev.
H. C. Adams.

Lrnie Elton at Home.

The Standard Poetry Book
Sor Schools.

Try and Trust. By Author
of ‘Arthur Morland.”

Swiss Hamily Robinson.

Evenings at Lome.


{



16 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.



5, d, WO-SHILLING GIFT-Books—continued.
2 OSandford and Merton.

Ernie Elton at School.

John Hartley.

Jack of all Trades.
Miller.

The Wonder Book.

Tanglewood Tales.

Archie Blake.

Lnez and Emmeline,

The Orphan of Waterloo.

Maun Guinea.

oy pees es of Joseph Hawse-

Todd 'sLectures to Children.

Marooner’s sland.

The Mayflower.
Stowe.

Anecdotes of Dags.

Mr. Rutherford Ds Childs “en.

The Play-Day Book. By

Fanny Fern, With Coloured
Plates.

Lmma. By Jane Austen.
Mansfield Park, By Austen.

By T.

By Mrs.



Northanger Abbey. By
Jane Austen.

Pride and Prejudice. By
Jane Austen.

Sense and Sensibility. By
Jane Austen.

Village Sketches. By the
Rev. C. T. Whitehead.

The Boy's Reader.

The Girl’s Reader.

Spider Spinnings.

Stories for Sundays. By
the Rev. H. C. Adams, 1st
series,

Stories for Sundays. By
Rev. H. C. Adams. 2nd series.

Adventures among the In-
adians.

Cousin Aleck.

The Doctor's Birthday. By
the Rev. H. C. Adams.

Walter’s Friend. By the
Rev. H. C. Adams.

Little Women. st series.

Little Women, 2nd series.

Ue ou Autersen Witraey,

In 13 Books, feap. 8vo, gilt, 1s, 6d, each.

1 6 The Red Shoes.



The Silver Shilling.

The Little Match- Girl.

The Darning Needle.

The Tinder Box.

The Goloshes of Fortune.
TheMuarsh King’s Daughter.
The Wild Swans.

Each Volume contains a variety of Tales,

Lverything
Place.
Onder the Willow Tree.
The Old Church Bell.
Lhe Ice Maiden.
The Will o the Wisp.
Poultry Mleg’s Family.
Lut Offis Not Done with,

in its Right

a Frontispiece in

colours, and an average of 16 other Pictures, engraved by the

Brothers Daziet.


St Sains aati pe a Sig Se

wee

London and New York.



Routlelye’s Righteenpeny Drvenites,

In square 16mo, cloth, with Illustrations by GILBERT, ABsoLoN, &c.

Peasant and Prince. By
Harriet Martineau.
Crofton Boys. By ditto.

Feats on the Fiord. By do.

Settlers at Home. By ditto.

Holiday Rambles ; or, The
School Vacation.

Little Drummer: A Tale
of the Russian War.

Frank. By Maria Edge-
worth. £
Rosamond, By Maria

Edgeworth.

Harry and Lucy, Little
Dog Trusty, The Cherry
Orchard, &¢. :

A Hero; or, Philip’s Book.
By the Author of “‘ John Hali-
fax.”

Story of an Apple. By
Lady Campbell. ,
The Cabin by the Wayside.
Memoirs of a Doll. By
Mrs. Bisset.
Black Princess.

Laura and Ellen; or,
Time Works Wonders.

Emigrant’s Lost Son. By
G. H. Hall.

Runaways (The) and the
Gipsties.

Daddy Dacrés School. By
Mrs. Hall.

British Wolf Hunters. By

Thomas Miller.

Bow of Faith (The); or,
Old Testament Lessons. By
Maria Wright.

Anchor of Hope; or, New
Testament Lessons. By Maria
Wright.

Mrs. Loudon’s
Naturalist,

Young |



s. d.
Accidents of Childhood; or,1 ©

Stories for Heedless Children.
Annie Maitland; or, The
Lesson of Life. By D. Rich-

mond.

Lucy Elton ; or, Home and
School. By the Author of
“The Twins.”

Daily Thoughtsfor Children.
By Mrs. Geldart.

Emilie the Peacemaker, By
Mrs. Geldart.

Truth is Everything. By
Mrs. Geldart.

Christmas Holidays. By
Miss Jane Strickland.

Rose and Kate; or, The
Little Howards.

Aunt Lmma, By the
Author of ‘* Rose and Kate.”

The Island of the Rainbow,
By Mrs. Newton Crossland.

Afax Frere; or, Return
Good for Evil.

Rainbows in Springtide.

The Child’s First Book of
Aearetal: History, By A. L.

Bond.

Florence the Orphan.

The Castleand Cottage. By
Perring.

fabulous Histories. By
Mrs. Trimmer.

School Days at Harrow.

Mrs. Barbauld’s Lessons.

folidays at Limewood.

Traditions of Palestine. By
Martineau,

OK the Sea. By Miss Camp-

ell.

Games and Sports.

The Young Angter.

Athletic Sports.






18 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.

q VIGHTEENPENNY JUVENILES—continued.
S

1 6 Games of Skill. The Picture Book of Ant-
Scientific Amusencents. mals and Birds,
Miriam and Rosette. Boy Life on the Water.

Original Poems. Complete.
Ruth Hall. By Fanny Fern. By A. and J. Taylor. P

Ronttelye’s Sitting Sang-Baoks

{ EpITED AND COMPILED By J. E. CARPENTER,
Feap. 24mo, boards, with fancy covers.



ro Modern. New Standard.
Popular. The Entertainer’s.
Universal, The Comic Vocalist.
Comic. ; New Scotch,
National. New Lrish.
Flumorous. The Moral.
New British. The Religious.

| Ute Wevatee Hack Series,

In small 4to, fancy cover, each with 48 pages of Plates.



1 © Master Yack. The Enchanted Forse,
Mamma’'s Return. Dame Mitchell and her Cat.
Nellie and Bertha. Nursery Rhymes.

The Cousins. The Tiger Lily.
Tales of the Genii. The Lent Fewels,
Sindbad the Voyager, Bible Stories.
Robin Hood, My Best Frock,
Prince Hempseed,

on



i ce en tr


London and New York.

Routledge’s Gie- Shilling Prveniles,

In post 8vo, price 1s., well printed, with Illustrations.

Grace Greenwood’s Stories {

Sor her Nephews and Nieces.
Helen’s Fait. the
Author of “Adelaide Lindsay.”
The Cousins. By Miss
M‘Intosh.
Ben Howard; or, Truth
and Honesty. By C. Adams.
Bessie and Tom ; A Book
for Boys and Girls.
Beechnut: A Franconian
Story. By Jacob Abbott.
Wallace: A Franconian
Story. By Jacob Abbott.
Madeline, By Jacob Abbott.
Mary Erskine. By Jacob
Abbott.
Mary Bell, By Jacob Ab-
b

ott.

Visit to my Birth-place. By
Miss Bunbury.

Carl Krinken; or, The
Christmas Stocking. By Miss
Wetherell,

Mr. Rutherford’s Children.
By Miss Wetherell.

Ay, Rutherford’s Children.
and series. By Miss Wetherell.

Emily Herbert. By Miss
M‘Intosh.

Rose and Lillie Stanhope.
By Miss M‘Intosh.

Casper. ByMiss Wetherell.

The Brave Boy ; ox, Chris-
tian Heroism.

Magdalene and Raphael.

The Story of a Mouse. By
Mrs. Perring.
Our Charlie. By Mrs.

Stowe.

Village School-feast. By
Mrs. Perring. d

Nelly, the Gipsy Girl.





s. da.
The Birthday Visit. Byto

Miss Wetherell.

Stories for Week Days and
Sundays.

Magsie and Enma. By
Miss M‘Intosh.

Charley and Georgie; oY,
The Children at Gibraltar.

Story ofa Penny. By Mrs.
Perring.

Aunt Maddys Diamonds.
By Harriet Myrtle.

Two School Girls. By Miss
Wetherell.

The Widow and her Daugh-
ter. By Miss Wetherell.

Gertrude and her Bible. By
Miss Wetherell.

The Rose in the Desert.
By Miss Wetherell.

The Little Black Hen. By
Miss Wetherell.

Martha and Rachel. By

Miss Wetherell.

The Carpenter's Daughter.
By Miss Wetherell.

The Princein Disguise. By
Miss Wetherell.

The Story of a Cat. By
Mrs. Perring.

Easy Poetry for Children.
With a Coloured Frontispiece
and Vignette.

The Basket of Flowers.
With a Coloured Frontispiece
and Vignette.

Ashgrove Farin.
Myrtle.

The Story of a Dog. By
Mrs. Perring.

Rills from the Fountain:

A Lesson for the Young. By
Rev. Richard Newton.

By Mrs.



|




| 20 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.



nok ONE-SHILLING JUVENILES—continued.
10 The Angel of the Iceberg. | Child’s Illustrated Poetry



By the Rev. John Todd.
Lodd’s Lectures for Chil-

dren, 1st series.







2nd series.

Little Poems for Little
Readers,

Minnie’s Legacy,

Neighbourly Love.

Kittys Victory.

Llise and her Rabbits,

Happy Charlie,

Annie Price.

The Little Oxleys. By Mrs.
W. Denzey Burton.

Book of One Syllable. With
Coloured Plates.

Little Helps. With Coloured
Plates,

Uncle Tom's Cabin, for

\ Children,

Aunt Margaret's Visit.

Keeper's Travels in Search
of his Master.

Leichmond’s Annals of the

Poor.



Book.
The New Book of One Syl-
lable.
Blanche and Agnes.
The Lost Chamois Hunter.
The Gates Ajar.

The Sunday Book of One
Syllable.

rs. Sedgwick’s Pleasant
Tales.

Oncle Frank's Home Stories.

Village Sketches. Ist series.

and series.

Our Poor Neighbours.

Tales in Short Words.

Watts’s Songs.

Aesop's Fables.

Language and Poetry of
flowers,

Stuyvesant.

Susan Gray.

Original Poems. ist series.

—————- 2nd series.

Nursery Rhymes.











Price 1s, each.

The Nursery Library,

and series.

1 oDance Album. With Rulesand Music. Cloth, gilt edges.
12 Books in a Packet.

Ist and

Stories for Sundays. By Rev. H.C. Adams. Two series.

x2 Books in Packet.

houtledges British Reading-Book,

demy 8vo, cloth.

Routledge’s British Spelling- Book,
A Coloured Picture-Book for the Little Ones.

fancy cover.
Routledge’s Comic Reciter.



Ready-Made Speeches.
The Nursery Library.

Plate on every page,

Demy 8vo, cloth.
Small 4to,

Fcap. 8vo, boards.
—-—- Popular Reciter.

Feap. 8vo, boards.

Fcap. 8vo, boards.
12 Books in a Packet.




London and New York. 21



Givistnas Books,

Fcap. 8vo, boards, 1s. each, with fancy covers.

s.d,
Acting Proverbs for thei o
Drawing Room.
fly Notes on Conjuring.
| Original Double Acrostics,

New Charades for the Draw-
ing Roont. By Author of “A
Trap to Catch a Sunbeam.”

Riddles and Jokes.

The Dream Book and For-

tune Teller.



and series.

A Shilling’s Worth of Fun.

Routledge’s Rinepeniy Puveniles

With Coloured Plates, 18mo, cloth, gilt.



Ally and her Schoolfellow, | Cobwebs to Catch Flies. 09
Loyal Charlie Bentham. Barbaula’s Hymns in Prose. '
Simple Stories for Children, | Prince Arthur,
A Child’s First Book. A Winter's Wreath. i
Story of Henrietta. Twelve Links. ;
StoriesfromEnglishHistory. | Easy Talks. |
Life of Robinson Crusoe. Susan and the Doll. '
Little Paul and the Moss | fuvenile Tales.
Wreaths. Six Short Stories.
Watts’ Divine Moral Songs. | The Captive Skylark.



Hautledge’s isp

‘ Sion Boake,

Royal 32mo, with Illustrations.
These are also kept in Paper Covers, price 4d. each.



History of My Pets. Egerton Roscoe. 06
FHubert Lee. Lora Mortimer. :
L£llen Leslie. Charles Hamilton.

Fessie Graham. ; Story of a Drop of Water.
Florence Arnott, The False Key.

Blind Alice. The Bracelets.

Graceand Clara. Waste Not, Want Not.

Recollections of My Child-\ Tarlton ; or, Forgive and

hood. Forget.


| 22 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile. Books,

7 DIXPENNY Story Booxs—continued.

Ss
oO 6 Lazy Lawrence, and the
White Pigeon.
The Barring Out.
The Orphans and Old Poz.
The Mimic.
The Purple Far, and other
Tales.
' -The Birthday Present, and
i the Basket Woman.
Simple Susan.
The Little Merchants.
i Tale of the Universe.
Robert Dawson.
Kate Caupbell.
Basket of Flowers.
Babes in the Basket.
The Jewish Twins.
| Children on the Plains.
{ Little Henry and his Bearer.
\ Learning better than Houses
i and Lands.
‘ Maud’s First Visit to her
| Aunt.
i Easy Poems. Plain edges.
i The Boy Captive. By Peter
Parley.
i Stories “of Child Life.
{ The Dairyman’s Daughter.
Arthurs Tales Sor the
Voung.
Hawthornes Gentle Boy.
Pleasant and Profitable.
Larley’s Poetry and Prose.
Arthur's Stories for Little
Girls.
Arthur's Last Penny.
The Young Cottager.



re



AA)

Parley’s Thomas Titmouse.

Arthur's Christmas Story.

The Lost Lamb.

Arthurs Stories for Little
Boys.

Ar thar? 5 Book about Boys.

Arthur's Organ Boy.

Margaret F ones.

The Two School Girls.

Widow and her Daughter.

The Rose in the Desert.

The Little Black Hen.

Martha and Rachel,

The Carpenter's Daughter

The Prince in Disguise,

Gertrude and her Bible.

Bright-eyed Bessie.

The Contrast. By Miss
Edgeworth.

The Grateful Negro. By
Miss Edgeworth.

Fane Hudson.

A Kiss for a Blow.

Young Negro Servant.

Lina and her Cousins.

Lhe Gates Ajar. Plainedges.

Sunday School Reader.

Hearty Staves,

Contentment better than
Wealth. :

Robinson Critsoe.

Patient Working no Loss.

No such Word as Fail.

Tales of Truth & Kindness.

Edward Howard.

Ss








London and New York. 23



Hauleiige’s Weiniatnee Sibvaey,

In 64me, 64. each, cloth gilt, with Coloured Frontispiece.

Language of Flowers.
Ltiquette for Gentlemen.

Etiquette of Courtship and | Toasts and Sentiments.

Matrimony.

Etiquette for Ladies, —

Rowtledge’s Sispenty Sanngs,

EpIrep By J. E. CARPENTER.

Fireside Songster.

Llome Songster.

British Song Book,

The Select Songster.

The Convivial Songster.

Merry Songs for Merry
Meetings.

The Funny Mans Song
Book.

The FashionableSong Book,

Drawing-Room Song Book.

The Laughable Song Book.

The Sensation Songster.

Everybodys Song Book,

The Social Songster.

s. ad,
Ball Room Manual. 06
fHandbook of Carving.
How to Dress welt.
Fcap. 48mo, fancy covers.
Family Song Book. 06
Amusing Songster.

The Social Songster.
Songs for all Seasons.
The Droll Ditty Song Book.
The Whimsical Songster.
fighland Songster.

Blue Bell Songster.
Shamrock Songster.
Mavourneen Songster.
The Sacred Song Book.
The Devout Songster.
Songs for the Righteous.
Songs of Grace.






24 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.



Routtelge’s Siggy Handbooks,

In royal 32mo, 6d, each, with Illustrations, boards.

0 6 Swimming and Skating. By

the Rev. J. G. Wood.
Gymnastics.
Chess, With Diagrams, By
G. F. Pardon.
Whist.

Billiards and Bagatelle. By -

G. F. Pardon.
DraughtsandBackgammon.
By G. F. Pardon.
Cricket.
The Cardplayer. By G. F.
Pardon.
Rowing and Sailing.
Riding and Driving.
Archery.

BrotherSam’sConundrums.

Manly Exercises: Boxing,
Running, Walking, Training,
&c. By Stonehenge, &c.

Croquet. By Edmund Rout-
ledge.

Fishing.

Balt Games.

football.

Conjuring.

Quoits and Bowls.

Shooting.

Fireworks.

Skating.

Swimming.



Houtlege’s PF ounpenty Prveniles

For List see Sixpenny Juveniles, on page 21.

Witte Halder tf BE eaing,

Each Illustrated with 123 Woodcuts by JoHN GILBERT, HARRISON

WerR, and others. Crown 8vo, sewed, in fancy covers, 6d. each.

0 6 Things L-doors.

What we Fat and Drink,
Animals and their Uses.
Birds and Birds’ Nests.
Fishes, Butterflies, & Frogs.
Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers.
City Scenes.

Rural Scenes.

Country Enjoyments.
How Things are Made.
Soldiers and Sailors.
Science and Art.
Geography and Costume.





;


London and New York. 25





ROUTLEDGE’S NURSERY LITERATURE.

‘No firm surpasses Messrs. Routledge in Sixpenny and Shilling
Picture Story-Books. Could not be better drawn, printed, or
coloured, if they cost twenty shillings instead of twelve pence.”—
Standard, December 23, 1870.

owtletge’s Ghveepenny Goy- Books,

In fancy covers, with Pictures printed in Colours.

s.d.

Cinderella. Old Woman who Lived iz a0 3
Little Red Riding-Hood. Shoe. !
House that Fack Built. Little Bo-Peep. |
Cock Robin. Nursery Rhymes.
My First Alphabet. farm-Yard A BC.
Old Mother Goose. Sack and the Bean-Stalk,
Babes in the Wood. Sohn Gilpin.
This Little Pig went te | Old Mother Hubbard.

Market. Three Bears.

The following Volumes are formed from the above Series:~ |

In small 4to, cloth gilt, price 2s. each.

Old Mother Hubbard’s Picture Book. With 362 o
Pages of Coloured Plates.

My First Picture Book. With 36 Pages of Coloured
lates,
In cloth gilt, price 8s, 6d.

The Coloured Album for Children. With 723 6
Pages of Coloured Plates. |




26. George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.



Routledge’s Sisenty Gou- Boake,

Beautifully printed in Colours by Messrs. LEIGHTON BROTHERS,
Vincent Brooks, .DaizieL Brotuers, and EpmMunp



sd,
© 6 Cherry Orchard.
‘Bible Alphabet.
Cinderella.
Three Bears.
Nursery Alphabet.
Little Totty.
The Dogs Dinner-Party.
Puck and Pea-Blossom.
Puss in Boots.
Whittington and his Cat.
Punch and Fudy.
Fohn Gilpin.
Blue Beard.
Sindbad the Sailor.

Fack and the Bean-Stalk.

Hoitse that Fack Built.

Old Woman and her Pig.

A, Apple Pie.

Tom Thumb’s Alphabet.
Baron Munchausen.
Butterfiy’s Ball.
Picture Alphabet.

The White Cat.
Valentine and Orson.
Arthur's Alphabet.
Dorothy Frunp.
Singing Birds.

Parrots and Talking Birds.

Dogs.

Birds.

Cock Robin.
Railroad Alphabet.

Alphabet for Good Boys and

Girls,
The Sea-Siie Alphabet.

Greedy Fem and his Little

Brothers,

Pi ato a De in



Evans. In super-royal 8vo, Fancy Wrappers.

The Farm-Vard Alphabet.

Our Puss and her Kittens.

Lop o my Thumb.

Fack the Giant Killer.

Little Red Riding-Hood.

Beauty and the Beast.

Mother Hubbard.

Happy Days of Childhood,

Little Dog Trusty,

The Cats Tea-Farty.

The Babes in the Wood,

Wild Animals.

British Animals.

The Frog who would a-
Wooing Go.

The Faithless Parrot.

The Farm- Yard.

Fforses.

Old Dameé Trot.

Sing a Song of Sixpence.

The Waddling Frog.

The Old Courtier.

Multiplication Table.

Chattering Fack,

King Cole.

Prince Long Nose.

The Enraged Miller.

The Hunchback.

Low Fessie was Lost.

Grammar in Rhyme

Baby's Birthday.

Lictures frou the Streets.

Lost on the Sea-Shore.

Animals and Birds.

AChiia’s Fancy Dress Ball.

A Child’s Evening Party,

Annieand Jackin London.






London and New York. 27



SrxpENNY Toy-Booxs—continued.

Onz, Two, Buckle my Shoe. | Rumpelstiltsken. 0 6
Marys New Doll. Lhe Fairy Ship.

When the Cat’s Away. Adventures of Puffy.

Naughty Puppy. This Little Pig went to
Children’s Favourites. ‘Market. |,

Little Minnies Child Life, | King Luckieboy’s Party.

King Nutcracker. Aladdin. |
British Soldiers. Noah's Ark Alphabet.

British Sailors. Our Pets.

Pritish Volunteers. Nursery Rhymes.

Atng Grisly Beard.
Host of the above may also be had, strongly Mounted on Cloth, 1s.

The following Volumes are formed from the above Series, in super-
royal 8vo, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d. each ; or mounted
on linen, 5s. each.

HR ontlelye’s G atoiel ‘Pietnve Broke.

FIRST SERIES, containing

The Little Hunchback. Little Red Riding-Hood. 3 6
Old Dame Trot and her | Beauty and the Beast.
Wonderful Cat.
SECOND SERIES, containing

The Farm- Yard. Puss and her Kittens.
Greedy Fem and his Six | The Frog who would a-
Brothers. Wooing Go.
THIRD SERIES, containing

Happy Days of Childhood, | Hop o my Thumb.
Sing a Soug of Sixpence. Gaping, Wide-Mouthed,









Waddling Frog.
FOURTH SERIES, conthming
Chattering Fack. The Multiplication Table.
The Faithless Parrot, Prince with the Long Nose.
FIFTH SERIES, containing
How Fessie was Lost. The Babes in the Wood.

Grammar in Rhyme. Little Dog Trusty,


28 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books. |



COLOURED PICcTURE-BooxKs—continued.

Sd: SIXTH SERIES, containing
3 6 The Fancy Dress Bail. The Enraged Miller
Annie and Fackin London. | Old King Cole.
SEVENTH SERIES, containing
The Fuvenile Party. | History of Our Pets.
One, Two, Buckle my Shoe. | The Cats’ Tea-Party.

EIGHTH SERIES, containing



King Grisly Beard. Rumpeélstiltsken.

The Fairy Ship. The Adventures of Puffy.
ANIMALS AND BIRDS, containing

Wild Animals. British Animals.

farrots. Singing Birds.

BOOK OF ALPHABETS, containing

The Railroad Alphabet. The Sea-Side Alphabet.
The Good Boys’ and Girls’ | The Farm- Yard Alphabet.





Alphabet.
KING LUCKIEBOY’S PICTURE-BOOK, containing
King Luckieboys Party, The Old Courtier.
This Little Pig went to| Picture Book of Horses.
Market,

a RI

OUR PETS’ PICTURE-BOOK, containing
The History of Our Pets. Aladdin.

Nursery Rhymes. Noah's Ark ABC,
In super-royal 8vo, cloth gilt, price 5s. |

Walter Crane’s Picture-Book. Containing 64 Pages = |

of Pictures, designed by WALTER CRANE, Viz.i—
5 OKing Luckieboy’s Party. Chattering Fack.

The Old Courtier. Annie and Fack in London.

How Fessie was Lost, Grammar in Rhyme.

The Fairy Ship. The Multiplication Table in

Verse.


London and New York, 29

ROUTLEDGE’S

Hew Sutivs a Shilling Goa- Broke.

With large Original Illustrations by H. S. Marxs, J. D. Watson,
” Harrison WErr, and KeEvt, beautifully printed in Colours,
Demy 4to, in stiff wrapper; or Mounted on Linen, 2s.

Nursery Rhymes.

Alphabet of Trades.
Cinderella.

Alphabet of Pretty Names.
Old Testament Alphabet.
The Three Little Kittens.*
oe us ee ry of Five Little

To) oat "Ti hums Acphabet.
Nursery Songs.
New Testament Alphabet.
Our Farm-Yard Alphabet.
The History of Moses.
The History of Foseph.
The Alphabet of Flowers.
Nursery Rhymes.
The Life of Our Lord.
The Three Bears.
Little Red Riding-Hood.
New Tale ofa Tub.
Nursery Tales.
Old Mother Hubbard.
Pictures from English His-
tory. rst Period.
Ditto. 2nd Period.
Ditto. 3rd Period.
Ditto. 4th Period.
Puss in Boots.

Tom Thumb.

Babes in the Wood.
Jack and the Beanstalk.
The Laughable A BC.

Wild Animals. tst series.
Ditto. 2nd series,
Ditto, 3rd_ series.
Ditto. 4th series.

Tame Animals, ist series.

Ditto, and series.
Ditto. 3rd series.
Ditto. 4th series,

My Mother.

The Dogs’ Dinner-Party.
Little Dog Trusty.

The White Cat. -

The Ugly Duckling.
Dash and the Ducklings.
Reynard the Fox.
Alphabet of Fairy Tales.
Tittums and Fido.

Anne and her Mamma.
The Cats’ Tea-Party.
Baby,

Henny-FPenny.

Peacock at Home,
Sleeping Beauty,






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sd.
5 °The Henny-Penny Picture Book. Containing

30 George Routledge & Sons’ Juvenile Books.

The following Volumes are formed from the foregoing Series :—
Rontledge’s Five- Shilling Baohs

of Henny-Penny, *” Sleeping Beauty,” “ Baby,” and “ The Pea-
cock at Home.” With 24 Pages of Coloured Plates.

Routledge’s Nursery Book. Containing ‘Nursery
Rhymes,” “Mother Hubbard,” ‘Alphabet of Pretty Names,”
and ‘‘ Cinderella.” With 24 Pages of Coloured Plates.

The Poll Parrot Picture Book. Containing
““Tittums and Fido,” ‘‘ Reynard the Fox,” “Anne and her
Mamma,” and ‘‘ The Cats’ Tea-Party.”

Routledge’s Coloured A B C Book. Containing
“The Alphabet of Fairy Tales,” ‘‘The Farm-Yard Alphabet,”
** Alphabet of Flowers,” and ‘‘Tom Thumb’s Alphabet.”

My Mother’s Picture Book. Containing “My
Mother,” ‘‘ The Dogs’ Dinner-Party,” ‘‘ Little Dog Trusty,” and
“The White Cat.” “Large 4to, cloth.

The Red Riding-Hood Picture Book. Containing
“Red Riding-Hood,” ‘‘Three Bears,” ‘Three Kittens,” and
“Dash and the Ducklings.”” Large gto, cloth.

Our Nurse’s Picture Book. Containing ‘‘Tom
Thumb,” “ Babes i in the Wood,” “ Jack and the Beanstalk, ” and
“Puss in Boots.” Large 4to, cloth.

The Ghild’s Picture Book of Domestic Animals.
Containing Tame Animals, First, Second, Third, and Fourth

Series. With 12 large Plates, printed i in Colours by KronuHeim.
Large oblong, cloth.

The Child’s Picture Book of Wild Animals.
Containing Wild Animals, First, Second, Third, and Fourth
Series. 12 large Plates, printed in Colours by KronuEIm. Large
oblong, cloth.

Pictures from English History. Containing “ Pic-
tures from English History,” First, Second, Third, and Fourth
Series. 93 Coloured Plates by Kronueim. Demy ato, cloth.

Routledge’s Scripture Gift-Book. Containing ‘“‘The
Old Testament Alphabet,” ‘‘The New TVestament Alphabet,”
fe “whe Bistary of Moses,”’ and ‘‘ The History of Joseph.”? Demy
4to, cloth

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Saar
London and New York. 31
Price 3s. 6d. each. sod

For a Good Child. Containing “‘ The Alphabet of 3 6
Trades,” ‘‘ The Cats’ Tea-Party,” and ‘ Cinderella.” With 18
Pages of Coloured Plates,

Routledge’s Picture Book. Containing ‘‘ The Farm
Yard Alphabet,” ‘‘ The Alphabet of Flowers,” and ‘‘ The Pretty
Name Alphabet.” With 18 Pages of Coloured Plates. -

A Present for My Darling. Containing ‘“‘ This
Little Pig went to Market,” ‘‘ Nursery Tales,” and ‘‘Tom Thumb’s
Alphabet.” With 18 Pages of Coloured Plates.

The Good Child’s Album. Containing ‘‘ Red Riding-
Hood,” ‘‘ Mother Hubbard and Cock Robin,” and ‘‘ The Three
Kittens.” With 18 Pages of Coloured Plates.

Nursery Rhymes. With Plates by H.S. Marks.

Nursery Songs. With Plates by H.S. Marks.


|



Neen arn EnnTanER nan nanan aa

THE BEST MAGAZINE FOR BOYS

Is THE

| YOUNG GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE

Edited by EDMUND ROUTLEDGE.
MONTHLY, 6a.

The Parts contain 64 royal 8vo pages, from Eight to Twelve
Illustrations, and either a Coloured Plate or a Full-page Illus-
tration on plate paper.

Each Month about FIFTY PRIZES are offered for the Solu-
tion of Puzzles, and TEN GUINEA, and TEN HALF-
GUINEA PRIZES for Essays, Stories, Poems, Maps, Models,
Paintings, &c., &c.

The Annual Subscription for the Parts is 7s., on receipt of
which sum the Parts fo: Twelve Months will be sent, post free,
as they appear.

Part XII., the First Part of the New Volume, appeared on
the 28th of November, 1872.

All the Stories are Complete in the Volume in which they are
commenced,

The following Stories commence in early Numbers of the Volume i—

With a Stout Heart: A Story of a Boy’s Adventures in
India. By Mrs. Sate BARKER.

The Man-o-War’s Bell:
Chapters. By Lieut. C. R. Low, (jate) LN.

The English at the North Pole: A Naval Story, with
250 Illustrations.

A New Story of School Life. By the Rev. H. C.
Apams, M.A., Author of ‘The Cherry Stones,” &c., &c.



CONTRIBUTORS.

Rev. H. C. ADAMS. HENRY KINGSLEY.
THOMAS ARCHER. W. H. G. KINGSTON.
R. M. BALLANTYNE. Lieut. C. R. Low.
Lady BARKER. Professor PEPPER.
Mrs, SALE BARKER. CHARLES H, Ross.
J. T. BurceEss. Major Gen. Sir THOMAS
Colonel DRAYSON R.A. SEATON, K.C.B.
W. W. FENN. BARBARA SEMPLE.
SAMUEL HIGHLEY, F.G.S. DOUGLAS STRAIGHT, M.P.
Tom Hoop. Rev. J. G. Woop.

And others.

London: G, ROUTLEDGE & SONS, The Broadway, Ludgate.

New York: THe Wittmer & Rocers News Co., 47, Nassau St.,
And of all respectable Booksellers.



J. OGDEN AND CO,, PRINTERS, 172, ST. JOHN STREET, LONDON, E.C.

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