He could not help blushing, for he remembered, as well he might. And she could not help seeing, for she had eyes, very large ones, and at least as loving as they were large.

“Yes, she is very pretty,” answered Thomas; “but not nearly so pretty as you, Lucy.”

Thomas, then, was not stupid, although my reader will see that he was weak enough. And Lucy was more than half satisfied, though she did not half like that blush. But Thomas him

self did not like either the blush or its cause.

And poor Mary knew nothing of either, only meditated upon another blush, quite like this as far as appearance went, but with a different heart to it.

Thomas did not stop more than half an hour. When he left, instead of walking straight out of Guild Court by the narrow paved passage, he crossed to the opposite side of the court, opened the door of a more ancient-looking house, and entered. Reappearing—that is, to the watchful eyes of Lucy maneuvring with the windowblind-after about two minutes, he walked home to Highbury, and told his mother that he had come straight from his German master, who gave him hopes of being able, before many months should have passed, to write a business-letter in intelligible German.


More about Guild Court.

RS. BOXALL was the mother of Richard


Box all, the “ governor of Thomas Worboise. Her John had been the possessor of a small landed property, which he farmed himself, and upon which they brought up a family of three sons and one daughter, of whom Richard was the eldest, and the daughter, Lucy, the youngest. None of the sons showed the least inclination to follow the plough, or take any relation more or less dignified towards the cultivation of the ancestral acres. This aversion when manifested by Richard occasioned his father considerable annoyance, but he did not oppose his desire to go into business instead of farming; for he had found out by this time that he had perpetuated in his sons a certain family doggedness which he had inherited from one ancestor at least—an obstinacy which had never yet been overcome by any argument, however good. He yielded to the inevitable, and placed him in a merchant's office in London, where Richard soon made himself of importance. When his second son showed the same dislike to draw his livelihood from the bosom of the earth, and revealed a distinct preference for the rival element, with which he had made some acquaintance when at school at a sea-port at no great distance from his home, old John Boxall was still more troubled, but gave his consent-a consent which was, however, merely a gloomy negation of resistance. The cheerfulness of his wife was a great support to him under what he felt as a slight to himself and the whole race of Boxalls; but he began, notwithstanding, to look upon his beloved fields with a jaundiced eye, and the older he grew the more they reminded him of the degenerate tastes and heartlessness of his boys. When he discovered, a few years after, that his daughter had pledged herself, still in his eyes a mere child, to a music-master who visited her professionally from the next town, he flew at last into a terrible rage, which was not appeased by the girl's elopement and marriage. He never saw her again. Her mother, however, was not long in opening a communication with her, and it was to her that Edward, the youngest son, fled upon occasion of a quarrel with his father, whose temper had now become violent as well as morose. He followed his second brother's example, and went to sea. Still the mother's cheerfulness was little abated ; for, as she said to herself, she had no reason to be ashamed of her children. None of them had done anything they had to be ashamed of, and why should she be vexed ? She had no idea Lucy had so much spirit in her. And if it were not for the old man, who was surely over-fond of those fields of his, she could hold up her head with the best of them ; for there was Dick—such a gentleman to be sure ! and John, third mate already! and Cecil Burton sought after in London to give his lessons as if he were one of the old masters !

The only

« ForrigeFortsett »