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generalstill most of the matters given
above have been gleaned from sundry little
almanacs purchased on the parapet book-
shelves of the Pont Neuf.

OUR FAMILY PICTURE.

IN SIX CHAPTERS. CHAPTER I.

OTHER heir-looms have come down to me
the large family Bible, my father's heavy
old-fashioned watch, a set of china that
belonged to my motherbut, much as I value
those dear relics, none of them are so dear to
me as our family picture.

It has hung above my chimney-piece these
many years, shedding a benignant influence
over a hearth long solitary and deserted. I
know not why my thoughts should dwell on
it to-night more than they usually do, nor
why my memory should at this time, more
than any other, take to itself wings, and live
again, for a brief while, in the pleasant days
ot my youth; except that this is the anniversary
of an event too sorrowful even to be
forgotten by me, which the picture serves to
bring more vividly before my mind.

It cannot boast of a very superb frame, this
dear old picture; and many people would
pronounce it to be little better than a
daub; for although the faces are beautifully
and carefully finished, each being a striking
individual likeness, yet the drapery of the
figures, and the accessories, have rather a
blotchy and slovenly appearance on close
inspection. It was painted, half a century ago,
by a wandering artista man of talent,
certainly, but a drunkard, as I have been
toldwho disappeared from the town before
he had quite finished it, having persuaded
my father to pay him in advance. Time has
imparted to it a rich mellow tint, turning the
white into light yellow, and deepening the
shadows.

It represents my father and mother,
their five children, and my cousin, Philip
Delmer. The first thing about it that
attracts the attention of strangers is the
quaint attire of the figures. It makes one
smile to see how the children of those days
were dressed; the elder boys in nankeen
vests, and trowsers of the same, short enough
to display their ankles; short-waisted, high-
collared, swallow-tailed blue coats with bright
buttons; high black stocks, frilled shirt
bosoms, white socks and pumps; the younger
lads in jacket suits of blue. But the girls
are the oddest figures. My sister Ruth, who
may be taken as a pattern of the rest, is
represented as a tall, thin girl, with her waist
two inches below her armpits; clad in a low-
bosomed, short-sleeved, white robe, rather
scanty in length, with none of that voluminous
width of skirt in which the young ladies
of the present day delightleaving visible
two pretty feet covered with red morocco
shoes. The hair, both of girls and boys, is
cut short, and combed straight down over the
forehead without either parting or curl, giving
them a strangely quiet, puritanical look.
The principal figure in the picture is my
father, seated, as I well remember him, in
his chair of black oak, with a volume of
Tacitus on his knees, and his silver snuff-box
in one hand. The artist has caught his
expression admirably. There is a long, thin,
scholar-like face, on which the memory of a
smile seems still to linger; the black hair,
prematurely thin and grey about the temples;
the very stoop is preserved. The
dress is such as he usually woreblack coat,
the collar reaching to his ears; black small-
clothes, nankeen vest, silk stockings, and
shoes with large silver buckles, with just a
hint of the queue that hung straight down
his shoulders behind. My mother comes
nextportly and comfortable in person,
cheerful and good-tempered in countenance,
as the mother of such a family ought to be.
She is painted in her wedding-dress, a silver-
grey silk. A muslin kerchief, fastened with
a gold pin, and surmounted by a thick crimped
frill, covers her neck and bosom; on her head
is a close-fitting cap, peaked up somewhat at
the crown, which I am not skilful enough to
describe, but only worn, as I remember, on
Sundays and days of high state and ceremony.
Six short glossy curls crown her forehead.
Without these curls I should hardly recognise
my mother, for they were as much a
part of herself as her good temper or her
pleasant smile. I never remember her without
them; for, even in after life, when the rest of
her hair had become thin and grey, the six
short curls still shone, firm and glossy, above
her silver-rimmed spectacles.

My father, Amos Redfern, was master of
the only grammar school in the little town of
Dingwell. It was a private foundation, the
result of a bequest by one John Dalrymple,
alderman and twice mayor of Dingwell; who,
dying without issue in the year fifteen
hundred and sixty-two, and having no relatives
to whom to bequeath his fortune, left it for
the endowment of a grammar school for the
education of thirty poor boys of his native
town. But the trustees of the charity, in the
course of the next generation, wiser than
simple John Dalrymple, and considering that
poor boys are better without a knowledge of
grammar, determined to send their own sons,
and the sons of their wealthy friends, to
partake of the mental loaves and fishes thus
gratuitously provided; so for a long time
before my father became master, it had
been considered as the fashionable preparatory
school of the district. My father often
deplored his inability to remedy this abuse;
although in the course of his long career he
did contrive to smuggle into the school three
or four poor boys whose abilities had attracted
his attention, by interesting some of the more
charitable of the trustees in their behalf, but
not without risking the favour of many
powerful friends.

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