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were we satiated with its pleasures. There was ever a fount of gayety in our hearts, that threw its sprinklings over the deeper shades of parental consciousness, and gave that relish to the ludicrous which is almost always discernible in delicate minds.
But rides, like all things else, must end. Fred awoke, and began to grow restive beneath the « bonnet of blue.” I “shued” him as well as my strength would allow, but his clamour increased. Every father and mother, who have ridden through a populous city with a screaming child, will know how the perspiration stood on our faces at this awful publicity, and how we imagined that every eye was fixed on us, and every individual condemning the breeding of Master Packard. I
gave my hopeful baby into Polly's arms on our return, and reconnoitred my establishment below. A good-tempered woman was governing all its various departments. Mrs. Philipson was one of those who seemed to think the old allowance of a “peck of dirt” to a man was
too small, for her practical allowance was a bushel.
In vain did I seek for my own reflection in the dim looking-glass; a kitchen towel was thrown on the sofa; Edward, forgetful of all my hints and hopes, “ that every thing was in order down stairs," had suffered his slippers, coat, books, &c.: to accumulate with utter unconsciousness of the effect; no dusting-cloth had passed, like the wing of a good angel, over the furniture, and a waggish friend had written in plain characters on one of the tables, with his finger, “Mr. B—'s compliments."
Voyons donc, je vous prie ;
Vicar of Wakefield.
Mrs. PHILIPSON, the votary of the Penates mentioned in the preceding chapter, had been obtained for me by my mother at the intelligence-office. It often startles me when I reflect what unprincipled wretches may be brought into the very heart of our domestic circles, and how the pure minds of our children may be blighted in their very unfolding, by these necessary but vicious instruments.
Mrs. Philipson was a chubby woman of forty,
with a scarlet face and scarlet throat laid in fat folds. Her eyes were prominent and whitish. Her round elbows rested upon her hips, from whence her short arms projected, and her hands hung from her wrists with an imbecile air. She spoke softly, and was liberal in promises. Polly, whom my readers may recollect as the little girl of our establishment, was necessarily greatly under the influence of the cook, particularly as she occupied the same room. She was an orphan from the Female Asylum, bound to me until the age of eighteen. She was so docile and innocent, that could I always have sheltered her under my own wing, she would have been pure as a bird, and might have plumed her flight from me to Heaven; but after the birth of Frederick, new affections came to me and new cares to her. I could no longer confine her to the parlour, in her halfsized chair, with her calico frock and apron, and her hair simply parted. One morning I discerned a row of ambitious paper-curls on her head; soon, a soiled muslin frill was pinned round
her neck; and on the following Sabbath, when I was conjecturing what stranger was passing the window stealthily, a second look revealed to me Polly, with a bunch of faded flowers surmounting the simple green riband on her hat, and an old silk dress, which, hanging like a bag about her trim figure, betrayed at once the ungainly circumference of Mrs. Philipson. I called to her to come back. She blushed, and said the last bell was tolling."
“ Come in, immediately,” said I.
She walked slowly and sulkily back, and I asked her why she wore borrowed clothes ?
For the first time in her life she looked pertly as she answered, “I don't see why I can't dress as well as other folks.”
I reasoned with her, and used affectionate persuasions, but finding her obstinate, ordered her to take off finery so unsuited to her age and situation. My anger was new to her, and she obeyed. For several days she was sulky and silent; every action seemed forced, and she looked at me as if I were a tyrant. This ex