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man with the gruff voice, the blue rough
chin, the large eyes, whose knees comprise
such an inexhaustible supply of cock-horses
always standing at livery, yet always ready to
ride post-haste to Coventry: they love papa.
And, chiefest of all, they love her of the soft
voice, the smiles, the tears, the hopes, the
cares, the tendernesswho is all in all, the
first, the last to them in their tender fragile
happy childhood.

Mamma is the centre of love. Papa was
an after acquaintance. He improves upon
acquaintance, too; but mamma was always
with them to love, to soothe, to caress, to
care for, to watch over. When a child wakes
up hot and feverish from some night dream,
it is upon his mother he calls. Each childish
pain, each childish grief, each childish
difficulty is to be soothed, assuaged, explained by
her. They have no secrets; they understand
each other. The child clings to her. The
little boy in the Greek epigram that was
creeping down a precipice was invited to his
safety, when nothing else could induce him
to return, by the sight of his mother's breast.

You who have little children and love them
you will have borne patiently with me, I
know, through all these trivialities. And you
strong-minded philosophers who "celibate,
sit like a fly in the heart of an apple," and
dwell indeed in perpetual sweetness, but sit
alone and are confined and die in singularity,
excuse my puerility, my little theme, my
smaller argument, my smallest conclusions.
Remember the Master suffered little children
to come unto him; and that, strong-minded
philosophers as we are, we were all of us,
once, but little helpless innocents.

                   MORTON HALL.


UP to this time we had felt it rather
impertinent to tell each other of our individual
silent wonder as to what Miss Phillis lived on;
but I know in our hearts we each thought
about it, with a kind of respectful pity for her
fallen low estate. Miss Phillis, that we
remembered like an angel for beauty, and
like a little princess for the imperious sway
she exercised, and which was such sweet
compulsion that we had all felt proud to be her
slaves; Miss Phillis was now a worn, plain
woman, in homely dress, tending towards old
age; and looking—(at that time I dared not
have spoken so insolent a thought, not even
to myself)—but she did look as if she had
hardly the proper nourishing food she
required. One day, I remember Mrs. Jones the
butcher's wife—(she was a Drumble person)
saying in her saucy way, that she was not
surprised to see Miss Morton so bloodless
and pale, for she only treated herself to a
Sunday's dinner of meat, and lived on slop and
bread-and-butter all the rest of the week.
Ethelinda put on her severe facea look that
I am afraid of to this dayand said, "Mrs.
Jones, do you suppose Miss Morton can eat
your half-starved meat? You do not know
how choice and dainty she is, as becomes
one born and bred like her. What was it we
had to bring for her only last Saturday from
the grand new butcher's in Drumble, Biddy?"
—(We took our eggs to market in Drumble
every Saturday, for the cotton-spinners would
give us a higher price than the Morton
people; the more fools they!)

I thought it rather cowardly of Ethelinda
to put the story-telling on me; but she always
thought a great deal of saving her soul; more
than I did, I am afraid, for I made answer, as
bold as a lion, "Two sweetbreads, at a shilling
a-piece; and a fore-quarter of house-lamb, at
eighteenpence a pound." So off went Mrs.
Jones in a huff, saying "their meat was good
enough for Mrs. Donkin the great mill-
owner's widow, and might serve a beggarly
Morton any day." When we were alone, I
said to Ethelinda, "I'm afraid we shall have
to pay for our lies at the great day of
account," and Ethelinda answered very sharply
—(she's a good sister in the main)—"Speak
for yourself, Biddy. I never said a word. I
only asked questions. How could I help it
if you told lies? I'm sure I wondered at you,
how glib you spoke out what was not true."
But I knew she was glad I told the lies in her

After the poor Squire came to live with
his aunt. Miss Phillis, we ventured to speak a
bit to ourselves. We were sure they were
pinched. They looked like it. He had a bad
hacking cough at times; though he was so
dignified and proud he would never cough
when any one was near. I have seen him up
before it was day, sweeping the dung off the
roads, to try and get enough to manure the
little plot of ground behind the cottage,
which Miss Phillis had let alone, but which
her nephew used to dig in and till; for; said
he, one day, in his grand slow way, "he was
always fond of experiments in agriculture."
Ethelinda and I do believe that the two or
three score of cabbages he raised were
all they had to live on that winter, besides
the bit of meal and tea they got at the village

One Friday night I said to Ethelinda, "It
is a shame to take these eggs to Drumble to
sell, and never to offer one to the Squire, on
whose lands we were born." She answered,
"I have thought so many a time; but how
can we do it? I, for one, dare not offer them
to the Squire; and as for Miss Phillis it
would seem like impertinence." "I'll try at
it," said I.

So that night I took some eggsfresh
yellow eggs from our own pheasant hen, the
like of which there were not for twenty miles
roundand I laid them softly after dusk on
one of the little stone seats in the porch of
Miss Phillis's cottage. But, alas! when we
went to market at Drumble, early the next

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