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grandmother ; so she was quite silent on these occasions-or else the girl knew well enough herself, that she had only been sad to think of the desolate condition of her best friend, to see her, in old age, so infirm and blind. But she had never been used to make excuses, when the old lady said she was doing wrong.
The neighbours were all very kind to them. The veriest rustics never passed them without a bow, or a pulling off of the hat some shew of courtesy, awkward indeed, but affectionate—with a “good morrow, madam,” or “young madam," as it might happen.
Rude and savage natures, who seem born with a propensity to express contempt for any thing that looks like prosperity, yet felt respect for its declining lustre.
The farmers, and better sort of people, (as they are called), all promised to provide for Rosamund, when her grandmother should die. Margaret trusted in God, and believed them,
She used to say, “I have lived many years in the world, and have never known people, good people, to be left without some friend; a relation, å benefactor, a something. God knows our wants --that it is not good for man or woman to be alone; and he always sends us a helpmate, a leaning-place, a somewhat." Upon this sure ground of experience, did Margaret build her trust in Providence.
ROSAMUND had just made an end of her story (as I was about to relate), and was listening to the application of the moral, (which said application she was old enough to have made herself, but her grandmother still continued to treat her, in many respects, as a child, and Rosamund was in no haste to lay claim to the title of womanhood), when a young gentleman made his appearance, and interrupted them.
It was young Allan Clare, who had brought a present of peaches, and some roses, for Rosamund.
He laid his little basket down on a seat of the arbour; and in a respectful tone of voice, as though he were addressing a parent, inquired of Margaret is how she did.”
The old lady seemed pleased with his attentions -answered his inquiries by saying, that “her cough was less troublesome a-nights, but she had not yet got rid of it, and probably she never might'; but she did not like to teaze young people with an account of her infirmities.”
A few kind words passed on either side, when young Clare, glancing a tender look at the girl, who had all this time been silent, took leave of them with saying “ I shall bring Elinor to see you in the evening."
When he was gone, the old lady began to prattle.
“ That is a sweet dispositioned youth, and I do love him dearly, I must say it-there is such a modesty in all he says or does—he should not come here so often, to be sure, but I don't know how to help it; there is so much goodness in him, I can't find in my heart to forbid him. But, Rosamund, girl, I must tell you beforehand; when you grow older, Mr. Clare must be no companion for you-while you were both so young, it was all very well—but the time is coming, when folks will think harm of it, if a rich young gentleman, like Mr. Clare, comes so often to our poor cottage.--Dost hear, girl? Why don't you answer? Come, I did not mean to say any thing to hurt you-speak to me, Rosamund-nay, I must not have you be sullen-I don't love people that are sullen.” And in this manner was this
soul running on, unheard and unheeded, when it occured to her, that possibly the girl might not be within hearing. And true it was, that Rosamund had slunk
away at the first mention of Mr. Clare's good qualities : and when she returned, which was not till a few minutes after Margaret had made an end of her fine harangue, it is certain her cheeks did look very rosy. That might have been from the heat of the day or from exercise, for she had been walking in the garden.
Margaret, we know, was blind; and, in this case, it was lucky for Rosamund that she was so, or she might have made some not unlikely surmises.
I must not have my reader infer from this, that I at all think it likely, a young maid of fourteen would fall in love without asking her grandmother's leave—the thing itself is not to be conceived.
To obviate all suspicions, I am disposed to communicate a little anecdote of Rosamund.
A month or two back her grandmother had been giving her the strictest prohibitions, in her walks, not to go near a certain spot, which was dangerous from the circumstance of a huge overgrown oak tree spreading its prodigious arms across a deep chalk-pit, which they partly concealed.
To this fatal place Rosamund came one day
female curiosity, we know, is older than the floodlet us not think hardly of the girl, if she partook of the sexual failing.
Rosamund ventured further and further-climbed along one of the branches-approached the forbidden chasm-her foot slipped-she was not killedbut it was by a mercy she escaped-other branches intercepted her fall—and with a palpitating heart she made her way back to the cottage.
It happened that evening, that her grandmother was in one of her best humours, caressed Rosamund, talked of old times, and what a blessing it was they two found a shelter in their little cottage, and in conclusion told Rosamund, “she was a good girl, and God would one day reward her for her kindness to her old blind grandmother.”
This was more than Rosamund could bear. Her morning's disobedience came fresh into her mind, she felt she did not deserve all this from Margaret, and at last burst into a fit of crying, and made confession of her fault. The old gentlewoman kissed and forgave her,
Rosamund never went near that naughty chasm again.
Margaret would never have heard of this, if Rosamund had not told of it herself. But this