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watch me, for fear
dear, dear mother, you
shall be always my guardian angel!"
Mrs. Parshalls tried in vain to check the gush of Mary's awakened sensibilities. She told her she must look higher than to a poor worm of the dust for guardianship. She tried, by every love-taught art, to quiet the agitated spirits of her charge, and at last had the satisfaction of seeing her fall into a sweet sleep, clasping to the last those poor, wornout, shapeless hands which she had often looked on with such contempt and aversion.
Mary's new life dates from this awful crisis. Every day has improved her; and though the vehemence of her gratitude to her husband's mother faded with the unnatural excitement which attended its birth, the sentiment remains in undiminished force, and is exhibited in a thousand tender cares and dutiful offices. And as such feelings are happily contagious, we need not marvel that Henry's character seems to have undergone some sympathetic change, and to partake something of the warmth which appears so lovely in his young wife.
As for father Parshalls, I fear he is too old to learn. The last time I saw his "old woman," she was on the top of the hill again, and by way of adding to her height, already passing that of women, she had turned the dish-kettle upside down and was standing on it, a skeleton statue scantily draperied looking round the landscape with a searching glance.
"I do wonder," she said, "what has become of that heifer critter! If my old man comes home afore I find her, I shall get an awful talkin' to!"
Talk of the Venus!
The statue that enchants the world is not half so respectable as Aunty Parshalls standing on her dish-kettle!
"A creature not too bright or good
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles."
THE love of dress is said by some to be the ruling passion of the female soul. This is a slanderous accusation, no doubt; and one which is to be traced to the anxiety with which the stronger sex would fain fasten upon the weaker the imputation of a frivolity and feebleness of mind proportioned to their deficiency in bodily energy; and this in revenge for certain signal victories obtained by the weakest of the one over the strongest of the other. For myself, though no champion of "woman's rights "in a technical sense, and even a firm and submissive believer in the inferiority of the sisterhood in many essential points, I deny the particular imputation entirely, and defy those who write us down
popinjays to any thing like reasonable proof. So much by way of general protest.
A single instance proves nothing; if it did, I should not be disposed to mention, even in this confidential way, "to a few friends," the heart-breaking quarrel which divided pretty Candace Beamer from her faithful swain, and which began, as I must believe, however reluctantly, in the attractions of a string of blue glass beads, and other seductive appendages thereunto appertaining.
The parents of Candace are the plainest of plain people. They are of the small number
small even here- of those who do not make the slightest effort towards any thing beyond bare utility, who do not seem even to wish that the banks of life's muddy stream should be cheered by a single flower. They toil on and on, with the single object of acquiring an additional number of acres on which their children may toil after them.
Candace never in her little life wore any thing better than a shilling calico; but truly, if all girls wore faces like hers, silks might
go out of fashion. Yet I doubt whether her father or mother ever noticed the exceeding beauty of that rich cheek, with its twilight shadows of brown hair, or the grace of a person which, though petite, and unaided by the plastic art, asked nothing from callisthenics. They would be more likely to lament that such little hands could not accomplish half as much work as Nabby Gilkin's, whose fingers are long, and hard, and horny as the claws of an ostrich.
It is not to be supposed that Candace could be quite as indifferent on the subject of her own personal appearance as were her parents. There are some secrets that will not be kept, do what we will. But she was a sweet-tempered and submissive lassie, who took it for granted that father and mother must know best, being the oldest. And besides, Lewis Arden, who knew a good deal, had never hinted to her that she did not look as pretty as she ought.
But light will occasionally penetrate even the depths of the wilderness. A young lady came to make a visit at Mrs. Flyaway's,