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impure characters on those unsullied leaves ! Indeed, so sacred are they, that though folly often intrudes upon them, vice rarely profanes them,
The album sent us was elegantly bound, and enriched by contributions from native poets. Edward and I communicated our mite immediately. It is a good rule. The next day I looked at the book to review what I had written, but what was my dismay at finding its beautiful pages discoloured with lamp oil. Down it had streamed over a sentimental effusion of Wilde; Percival's wing was clogged, and even Bryant's purity was marred by the contact.
over my silk frock or Edward's coat, but this was really alarming. An album I could purchase, but how restore the handwriting of those poets on which I knew the enthusiastic owner loved to dwell with natural pride? I summoned Becky Rand, “my woman in the kitchen," (the New-England circumlocution for cook).
She confessed that after I had retired she thought it would do no harm to read a little,
and being "dozy,” she let the kitchen lamp fall” on the book and "il'd" it.
I suspected as much from Becky's literary taste. I had often observed a volume of “ Zimmerman on Solitude," covered with blue homespun, lying on the dresser, and once, being in want of a skewer, detected one put for a mark at the following anecdote.
“The celebrated Armelle, who died in the convent of Vannes, was placed by her parents, who were villagers, as a menial servant in the house of a neighbouring gentleman, with whom she lived five-and-thirty years (just Becky's age). During this time his groom, finding the kitchen-door fastened, had the curiosity to peep through the keyhole, where he discovered the pious maid in a paroxysm of divine ecstasy, spitting a fowl. The youth was so much affected by this religious fervour, that he devoted himself to a convent."
Becky was very sentimental, and usually had an interjectional remark whenever I entered the kitchen
“Oh, ma'am,” said she to me one day, pointing to a bean she had trained over her kitchen window, “how can the human natur's heart help for to see how miraculous beans is !"
I did not ridicule Becky's sentimentalities, but found pleasure in moralizing over the progress of her bean vine, and even kept my countenance when, the morning after a frost, she assumed a pensive attitude, and said, “ah, Miss Packard, so frail is the human natur's life of a bean!”
I heard, however, a conversation between herself and Polly, as we were preparing for a guest at dinner, that completely excited my risibility.
“Who is coming here to day ?" said Polly. “ A tutor from Cambridge,” answered Becky. “What is a tutor ?” asked Polly
“Mercy' child, don't you know?" said Becky, “why, a person that tutes !”
Becky's sentimentalism was not confined to her bean vine. She rarely took up the gridiron without a sigh over the remains of the beef and
poultry, and one would think from her looks she was about to bear the martyrdom of St. Law. rence on its well scraped parallels.
But the place where her mind was most under my inspection was the ironing-table, where, as Mr. Packard's shirts and cravats were my first care, I felt a feminine pride in smoothing their snowy texture.
Many were the experiences detailed by Becky as we gave the sheets a finishing snap in folding, or wielded our irons with the skill of artists.
And when on Tuesday evening every article was translated to its appropriate drawer, and Becky sat by the kitchen fire, at her pine table, with her mending, I have often heard her say,
“Polly, child, always regulate your concerns in the day, and then when you come to set by your taper (looking at the small tallow candle), you can have time to meditate on the human natur's heart."
Alas, for romance! Becky married my butcher, and became Mrs. Ichabod Whittemore!
As mine own shadow was this child to me,
THERE can be but few domestic trials, comparatively speaking, without children. In their absence, that combination of articles expressively designated clutter, seldom alarms the eagle-eyed housewife. From day to day, from week to week, from year to year, may she descend to the breakfast-table with her smooth morning dress, her well combed hair, and her face unwrinkled by nursing vigils.
Such was my happy predicament until Master Frederick Packard entered on the before tranquil scene, when forthwith appeared an accompanying train of vials, fennel-seed, and pap. He was blessed from the moment of his