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Sally's colour went and came, but she answered a sailor-like knock from the outside, and I believe Curry was very well satisfied with his reception.
This was Friday. On the following day the kitchen had an extra cleaning. I beat up a wedding cake, and we made busy preparations for Sunday evening.
The bride looked very sweetly in a plain white cambric frock, and as she stood beside Curry, reminded me of those beautiful figures we sometimes see painted on the sterns of vessels; while he appeared like the good stout ship, which, though destined to bear her through winds and waves, was powerful enough to do it safely.
When our good pastor, the Rev. Mr. Lathrop, asked him the customary question, “ Will you love, protect, and cherish this woman ?” &c., Curry was not content with the simple bowing affirmative. Something seemed struggling in his mind. He grasped Sally's hand, and with such an utterance as she told me he had used
on the night her mother died, said, “I will, so help me God.”
On Monday morning my husband presented Sally with a large brass kettle, a common NewEngland present on such occasions, and the happy couple bade us farewell. As they rode away, Curry waved his red handkerchief, and Sally put her new cambric one to her eyes, between tears and smiles. I never saw my pretty cook again.
How now, my headstrong ?
Romeo and Juliet.
The Twa Dogs.
I had become so much attached to my gentle Sally, that I was really quite dispirited at her departure ; but, not being provided with immediate assistance, was soon engrossed with household cares. And let no one underrate the value of those cares to an unoccupied or even a harassed mind, whose mental resources are limited. Who has not seen the tear of sorrow dry away amid their gentle but imperious demands ? Who has not seen oppressed and tender women forget, in the routine which constitutes the comfort of a husband, that husband's unkindness? And then, what
an admirable outlet are household cares for a scold! View that face screwed up to moderation and even courtesy at the breakfast table. How gracefully is that cup forwarded! What gentle accents accompany it! But the lord and master of the household departs ! Hear his last footstep, and then notice how the clouds gather round that delicate creature, until the brow is contracted, the voice is sharpened, the eye darts withering beams, and those lips open (shall I say it ?) for the unequivocal terms slut and hussy! While sometimes, rarely I hope, the tender palm comes vibrating in unthoughtof vigour on some uncovered ear, or (alas for delicacy !) that little implement which once won the heart of an Eastern Prince* is flourished over an extended and trembling hand.
My mother, with a mother's care, supplied me with new “help.” She was from Vermont, and as green as her native hills. Cinda Tyler was her name, though she took some pains to tell me she was christened Lucinda.
* See Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper.
What a contrast to my Sally! No one could look at her without thinking of strapper, bouncer, or some such inelegant association. She had carrot-coloured hair of unmanageable thickness, even when the experiment of a comb was tried, which was rarely done except on the Sabbath, when even the poorest in New-England feel as if the purity of the body should honour the day, whatever may be the undress of the soul.
Cinda's arms were bare and red, large and short. She had a perpetual look of eager curiosity. There were a few things I never could break her of. She invariably nodded her head to my visiters, even if she had a dish full of meat in her hand, and said, “How fares ye?" And say it she would, until an answer was extorted, whatever might be the repulsive dignity. of the person addressed. I endeavoured, at first by nods and signs, to make her understand that this ceremony could be dispensed with, but all in vain; with her eyes wide open, she stood at my parlour-door, “making her manners" (little