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"Oh!" observed one of the committee,
with a blank look, not altogether reassuring.

"We are a poor church, and it is a heavy
liability," I continued; "but we are heart
and soul with you, and I hope you will do
us the justice to believe that we are
incorruptible voters. For ourselves we would
not take a farthing" ["Not a brass farden!"
interposed Pincher]; "but for the church
we are bound to judge and act differently."

I stopped, falteringly, though Mary's
father said "Go on," and Pincher cried
"Hear, hear!"

It seemed to me that the committee fully
comprehended our position and their own.
They retired to the further end of the room,
where stood a table, on which lay a number
of papers; and then they entered into an
animated and protracted debate. I
wondered how it was going to end; but the
helm was out of my hand altogether, and
we were drifting I knew not whither. Was
it possible that I could endure the anguish
of seeing my own people go up like
reluctant martyrs to the Conservative booth,
and there offer up their dearest principles
as a sacrifice to the cause? For it was
pretty certain now that the chapel debt
would be paid off as the price of our votes
but by whom? If our own side would
but buy us in; I thought, with growing
antipathy, of the prim curate, and the
glances he had cast at my Mary when we
had met him once or twice in the lane.
Was his star or mine in the ascendant?

At this instant one of the committee
walked along the room, with loud and
creaking boots which set my excited nerves
all ajar. His countenance was sombre;
his mien, I thought, rejective.

"Do all your votes go together?" he
asked, gloomily.

"To a man," answered Mary's father,
with emphasis.

"Forty votes?" he added.

"Forty votes," repeated Mary's father.

I think I was very near dying of anxiety
at that moment.

"They must be ours," said the agent;
"four hundred pounds, you say, will pay
off your chapel debt. It shall be done.
You must give your votes to us."

I do not know how I got back to Little
Coalmoor. The change wrought in my
future prospects during the last six hours
had been wrought too rapidly. But I have
a distinct recollection of Mary meeting me
at her father's door, and testifying her
pleasure in a manner perfectly
satisfactory to myself. The next day I had the
gratification of conveying to the Conservatives
a dignified refusal of their offer; and
a few days after of seeing my people go up
like the honest and sturdy Britons they
were, to register their votes in accordance
with their own independent and
incorruptible principles. The Liberals won by
a majority of nineteen only.

Mary and I were married soon after;
and the chapel is called Election Chapel to
this day.


MRS. ELIZABETH CARTER died an unmarried
lady, aged eighty-nine, in the year 1806. She
was eldest daughter of the Rev. Nicholas
Carter, D.D., perpetual curate of the chapel
at Deal, afterwards rector of Woodchurch and
of Ham, and one of the six preachers in
Canterbury Cathedral. Dr. Carter was the son of
a rich grazier in the vale of Aylesbury, and in
his boyhood had looked forward to a milky-
way of life; but was sent rather late to
Cambridge, where he became hopelessly addicted to
Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He therefore took
orders in the church, and produced, instead of
tubs of butter, tracts on controversial theology.
Elizabeth was his first child by his first wife;
but he married twice, and had a variety of sons
and daughters, who were all reared on a diet
of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

Little Betsey, in her nursery days, did not
take kindly to her father's way of dieting his
children on dead languages. She suffered so
much intellectual congestion from them that
she became, as a girl, afflicted with frequent
and severe headaches, which were the plague
of all her after life. When a young lady, she
took to snuff to keep herself awake over her
studies, and relieve her head. For the rest of
her life she was a snufftaker. Mrs. Carter
was not one of the true blue-stockings, for
the characteristic of their coterie was not the
possession, but the affectation of, much learning.
Her early training bent her life in a particular
direction, but in that direction she grew

Elizabeth Carter in her youth learnt French
by being sent to board for a year in the house
of a French refugee minister, she gave all the
time required of our grandmothers to "the
various branches of needlework," and with
much pains learnt to spoil music with the spinet
and the German flute. She had been most
assiduously trained in Greek, Latin, and
Hebrew; in these studies she succeeded best, and
especially she took to Greek, which became a
living tongue to her, and which she conquered
without help of such Greek grammars as were
then in use. Dr. Johnson said in compliment
of a celebrated scholar, that he understood
Greek better than any one he had ever known
except Elizabeth Carter. Like other young
ladies, Betsey Carter wrote verse, and at the