« AnteriorContinuar »
book that morning, but when my husband cut them, they were nearly raw; he gave a glance at me, I burst into tears, and was so much agitated that I was obliged to quit the table. He followed, and said every thing he could to console me, but utterly unable to command myself, I begged him to carry my apology to his guests, and I sobbed away the afternoon.
“My uncle has promised to look out for an experienced housekeeper for me, and I have engaged to take lessons of her, so that when he comes again I can show him my own cookery. I told him I should be more proud of serving up a well-dressed turkey for him, with all the accompaniments in good order, than in performing the most difficult piece of music. Both he and Henry smiled encouragingly on me, and said that with such a disposition to do right I could not fail of succeeding. But how much better would it have been to have been taught these things under the eye of a mother! My husband is very social in his disposition, and frequently brings home
guests unexpectedly, and I often see his brow clouded and his temper disturbed by the total ignorance of his wife. Not that he complains, for he knows how desirous I am to please him · ever to say a word to wound my feelings, but I can perceive that he is anxious, and instead of feeling light-hearted with his guests, is dreading blunders which will make me ridiculous.
“ And now, my dear and respected friend, let me ask
to come, and counsel and teach me. I find that wealth cannot produce order and comfort, and I long for your example and advice in the absence of my mother. Affectionately yours,
“ EMILY LAWRENCE."
A STRUGGLE FOR POWER.
“ He reprimands, by glancing with his eye
And she inflicts her soft reproach—a sigh.
THREE years passed quietly away before Lyddy gave her hand in marriage to Nathan Osgood. Notwithstanding her attention to the duties of my family, Lyddy made two quilts of marvellous beauty. One was in hexagon pieces, each the size of a dollar. The other displayed in the centre a tree, on which were birds larger than the limbs thereof, while each corner contained what I was glad to be informed was a shepherd with his flock. To accomplish these chefs d'ouvre I had seen several yards of good chints destroyed; but, as the gentlemen say,
de gustibus non est disputandum.
Lyddy's successor, Hannah Sanders' first request on becoming my help was, that she might attend night-meetings. I readily agreed to this thinking that she was attached to some church, and would be more conscientious from her religious profession; but she proved to be the mere child of excitement. She attended every denomination,—was out every evening. The tolling of a bell unhinged all her faculties. When I said to her, “Hannah, I should like to have you reflect one evening on what you have heard the evening before,” she answered, “Oh, Miss Packard, you don't know any thing about it. When I am at meeting I feel like a gill cup running over.”
But I must not omit to introduce at this period a department of my establishment which, though humble in itself, wrought important effects on my after happiness.
I carried with me from my mother's house a cat, which was so beautiful that I named her Fairy, in honour of the damsel who was changed to Grimalkin in the old romance. If I had a
prejudice, it was in favour of cats and against dogs; this was unfortunate, for soon after my marriage I was introduced to a mastiff of Edward's nearly as large as myself. I had often heard him speak of this dog, and praise the faithfulness with which he guarded the office. I was too busy in other interests to think much of Growler for some time. I only observed, that on his occasional visits (for the office was his head-quarters), Fairy's back rose indignantly, and I felt mine disposed to mount too. At length, Growler finding the house so comfortable, came home at night with his master, and daringly laid his unwieldy form on the centre of the hearth-rug, while Fairy, routed from her luxurious station, stood upon her dignity, hissing and sputtering in one corner.
For a long period a single look from me would make Edward banish Growler from the room; but a present of a new office-dog from a friend completely established him at home, and my husband became accustomed to my look and Growler's presence. When he grew in