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expression of consternation at the danger, and joy at her escape. It was one of those odd combinations in which the ludicrous triumphs over the fearful. As she rose from the tub, like Venus from her shell, or Cowper's Rose, "all dripping and drown'd,” I laughed until I brought upon myself her just indignation.
I do not feel myself called upon to say how many loaves of bread, under my apprenticeship, came out of the oven as heavy as a bad joke, or as sour as an unkind one; how my pickles turned soft and yellow; how I filled a bed without curing the feathers; how I put pepper instead of alspice into a batch of mince-pies; how many chemical separations instead of affinities took place in my baked beans and Indian puddings; and how my pan-dowdy disconcerted all the family, except my cousin Sam, a black-eyed boy, with a raging appetite, who dined with us every Sunday, and who affirmed that the paste was not tough, and that he did not mind if the apple cores did choke him a little. These mischances will happen in every department, and
I may claim the sympathy of the lawyer who blunders in his maiden speech, of the doctor who kills his first patient, and of the preacher who soothes his first hearers to sleep. This acknowledgment, however, I will make en passant, that my mother's persevering tuition in cookery has saved me a thousand mortifications, to which I have seen ignorant housewives exposed.
THE FIRST TRIAL.
It were a goot motion if we give over pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Page.
It was beginning to be a subject of deep calculation with me, whether a brunette should wear pink or yellow riband on her bonnet; and I had decided on the former, when one Sabbath, on entering the meeting-house, I observed a stranger outside the porch, and on glancing at the gallery, after I was seated, I again perceived him there. I thought he looked at our pew more than was correct, but, some how or other," I kept looking at him to see whether he would become more attentive to the exercises, and thus our eyes repeatedly met.
After service he came to the porch, for in New-England people retire from their pews
with a silent bow to their acquaintance, and introduced himself to my mother as Mr. Packard from Boston, the son of a friend. He remained a few days at the village on law business, for he was an attorney, and though my mother was one of the most unostentatious women in the world, yet before he left us she made him understand that I could skewer a goose, roll puff paste, complete a shirt, and make a list carpet, as well as I played on the spinet and worked tent-stitch. She was on the point of telling him that I could spin a little, but I protested against any thing so old-fashioned.
According to my motto, I “gave over pribbles and prabbles,” and married, at the age of seventeen, Edward Packard. I remember the moment, when, after a short ride, I first entered my adopted home in the North Square, one of the most genteel quarters in the then town of Boston. The new carpet, new chairs, and new mahogany, with its virgin hue, undarkened by wax and turpentine, are all before me. My mother was with me, and though she held one
of my hands, and my husband the other, I could not restrain my tears from falling, happy though they were.
I felt half ashamed to praise the parlour furniture, though I secretly said, “It is mine.” On recovering from my shyness, I visited the various apartments, and I think I was most attracted by the nicely sanded kitchen, not even excepting a closet, which I might now call a boudoir, fitted up expressly for me by my
husband. How bright were those new tins and brasses, arranged with ostentatious glitter on the walls and dresser! How comfortable that suspended warming-pan! How red and clean those bricks, that extended to the right and left, leaving space for a family in the corners. A settle, too, that glory of New-England kitchens, was there, now banished for the inhospitable chair, which accominodates one instead of three! I had often presided in a parlour, but never before was mistress of a kitchen!
A council had been called previous to my marriage, of the number of "help" which we