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consequence, the right thing for every young lady to do was to marry somebody.
The mother at the Home Farm loved her daughter-in-law for her womanly and wifely graces, for her industry and thrift; but did not fall in with these views of hers about the desirability of some sort of marriage for every one; neither was she overwhelmed with admiration for the Harley postmaster in particular.
This brings us back to the old porch, where Janet, who has come to pay an afternoon visit to her first and dearest home, is seated at “the mother's” knee, just as she used to sit down when she was a little girl; but she is telling a tale different to any she has ever told before. Mr. Arthur Frost and his persevering, affectionate attentions are the theme. And “the mother" divines that her adopted child's warm, true love is given in return for them. And with all her sympathy and tenderness, with all the warmth and still young life of the heart that has beat through sixty years and more, with all her fond solicitude for Janet's happiness, Mrs. Moss is not glad at the
A shadow of pain is on the motherly face; and Janet looks up with a little surprise and a good deal of disappointment in her clear, questioning eyes. But “the mother" thinks that she will not speak harshly or hastily; so she kisses the frank, upturned face, says “ God bless
“ God bless you, child!” and tells Jeannie that she must go and see whether Nellie, the maid, has looked after some young chicks that are just peeping out of their shells.
Mrs. Moss looks troubled as she makes her way to the poultry yard; but that Janet does not see. And she comforts herself with the thought that “Mother will be sure to like Mr. Frost when she knows him. Of course she will. Who could fail to do so? Is he not clever, kind, and good ? True," thought she," the dear mother does not seem very well pleased with my news. But things are sure to come right by and bye.”
Having thus summed up, Janet put on her hat, tripped lightly after Mrs. Moss, gave her a more than usually loving good-night kiss, and prepared to depart.
After her "good-bye,” Janet walked slowly along the garden path, through the swinging gate and down the green, hilly meadow, where, in peace and plenty, fat Alderney cows were ruminating through the long, bright hours; and where Peggy, the antiquated mare who had retired from business, was tranquilly cropping the luxuriant grass. Happy Peggy! She was one of the favoured few whose last days were spared a wretched condition of most miserable hackdom.
Her master (strange man!) thought that after she had used up her beauty and strength in his service, he had no right to sell her into a state of hard work, hard fare, and general discomfort. Somehow he had imbibed a notion that no man could, by any means, be a sincere Christian unless he was conscientiously, uniformly, and even selfdenyingly just and merciful to the lower creation.
Oh, strange, most strange John Moss! when he might have sold the mare for five or six pounds, and been all that the richer !-in his pocket.
In his pocket, not in his heart, not in his mind, NOT in the pure sight of the merciful Maker of
The sun shone brightly; and as the glowing light came streaming down upon Janet's face, her spirits, naturally elastic, rose again. She quickened her steps, and as she went along she sang softly to herself. The eyes of a sleek cow were fixed with a dreamy kind of pleasure upon her; and idle Peggy left off grazing to watch the retreating figure of her early and familiar friend, wondering, perhaps, why she had passed without the usual offering of a biscuit or an apple, for her special delectation.
At the foot of the hill Janet came suddenly upon a horse and rider, both well known to her. The horse was an Irish one, Barney by name, an
outragerous kicker," so the farm men said ; the rider was Mr. John Moss himself.
“Ah! Jeannie, my bonnie bird ! been to see “the mother'?” exclaimed the pleasant voice of the farmer. “ Woa, my laddie! steady, Barney!
-How are all the good folks down yon, to-day, lassie?"
Barney turned his head to take an observation of the person addressed by his master. Then, “vicious,” as some persons called him, he whinnied an affectionate salutation, and rubbed his long nose against Janet's shoulder, as she stood there to return the greeting of Mr. Moss.
A cheery "good-bye, father,” a pat for the neck of Barney, which curved proudly at the touch of her hand, then Janet was on her way again, with love in her heart, pure and soft as the air around her, with the velvety turf under her feet, and the long, swaying branches, just bursting into leaf, over her head. To her the world was glad, bright, and beautiful beyond description. And so it is where God's work alone is seen, or where God's glorious image is, in any good measure, reflected by man. So it is always, when not marred by erring, sinful humanity.
“ This child is not mine as the first was,
I cannot sing it to rest,
And bless it upon my breast;
And sits in my little one's chair,
J. R. LOWELL.
10 words but “the mother's own must be
used to tell how Janet Rushmere came
to live at the Home Farm. Even then the music of “the mother's" voice, and the tender light of her eyes are wanting. But, pray, imagine the sweetest of white-haired ladies, with earnest, clear, dark grey eyes, and a wide, full forehead; and in her busy fingers a half-knitted worsted stocking. That stocking may be for her husband, her son, her grandson, the cow-boy,