Слике страница

but with strict injunctions never to change it. After they had been closered up

with the fortune-teller for some time, I knew by their looks, upon their returning, that they had been promised something great. -+ Well, my girls, how have you sped ? “Tell me, Livy, has the fortune-teller

given thee a penny-worth?" I protest, pappa,' says the girl, I believe she

deals with some body that's not right; ' for she positively declared, that I am to * be married to a 'Squire in less than a « twelvemonth!'--'Well, now, Sophy, • my child,' said I, and what sort of a • husband are you to have ?' Sir,' replied she, I am to have a Lord foon s after my sister has married the Squire.' --How,' cried I, 'is that all you are

to have for your two shillings ! Only

a Lord and a 'Squire for two shillings! * You fools, I could have promised you * a Prince and a Nabob for half the


[blocks in formation]

This curiosity of theirs, however, was attended with very serious effects : we now began to think ourselves designed by the stars to something exalted, and already anticipated our future grandeur.

It has been a thousand times observed, and I must observe it once more, that the hours we pass with happy prospects in view, are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition. In the first case we cook the dish to our own appetite; in the latter, nature cooks it for us. It is impossible to repeat the train of agreeable reveries we called up for our entertainment. We looked upon our fortunes as once more rising; and as the whole parish asserted that the 'Squire was in love with my daughter, he was actually so with him ; for they persuaded her into the passion. In this agreeable interval, my wife had the most lucky dreams in the world, which she took care to tell us every morning, with great folemnity and exactness. It was one night a coffin and crois


bones, the sign of an approaching wedding: at another time she imagined her daughters' pockets filled with farthings, a certain sign they would shortly be stuffed with gold. The girls themselves had their omens. They felt strange kiffes on their lips; they saw rings in the candle, purses bounced from the fire, and true love-knots lurked in the bottom of every tea-cup.

Towards the end of the week we received a card from the town ladies; in which, with their compliments, they hoped to see all our family at church the Sunday following. All Saturday morning I could perceive, in consequence of this, my wife and daughters in close conference together, and now and then glancing at me with looks that betrayed a latent plot. To be sincere, I had strong suspicions that some absurd proposal was preparing for appearing with splendor the next day. In the evening they began their operations in a very regular manner, and my wife undertook to conduct the fiege. After E 3

tea, 6 service

tea, when I seemed in fpirits, she began thus.--I fancy, Charles, my dear, we < fhall have a great deal of good company « at our church to-morrow.'— Perhaps ' we may, my dear, retu'ned I ; 'though

you need be under no uneasiness about • `that, you shall have a fermon whether

there be or not.'---'That is what I expect,' returned the: - but I think, my dear, we ought to appear there as decently as posible, for who knows what may happen?"

Your precauticas, replied I, are highly commend6 able.

A decent behaviour and appearsance in church is what charms me. . We should be devout and humble,

chearful and ferene.'--'Yes' cried she,

I know that, but I mean we should go " there in as proper a manner as possible;

not altogether like the scrubs about us.'

You are quite right, my dear,' returned I, • and I was going to make the very * same proposal. The proper manner of

going is, to go there as early as possible, to have time for meditation before the & service begins.'-.Phoo, Charles," interrupted fhe, all that is very true ; « but not what I would be at. I mean, • we should go there genteelly. You

know the church is two miles off, and « I protest I don't like to see my daughters

trudging up to their pew all blowzed • and red with walking, and looking for « all the world as if they had been winners

at a finock race. Now, my dear, niy proposal is this: there are our two plow horses, the colt that has been in our

family these nine years, and his compas ' nion Blackberry, that has scarce done an

earthly thing for this month paft. They ' are both grown fat and lazy. Why • should they not do something as well as 6 we? And let me tell you, when Moses " has trimmed them a little, they will cut

a very tolerable figure.?

[ocr errors]

To this proposal I objected, that walking would be twenty times more genteel than such a paltry conveyance, as Blackberry , was wall-eyed, and the Colt wanted

a tail:

E 4

« ПретходнаНастави »