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his real mother. For Jane had to go to mar- his large family made his means more limited, ket, to see after the cows and the dairy, to look and several of his sons went out as farm-serafter the sheep on the fell, and was a busy, vants. Old Hawkshaw tried to impress upon bustling, managing woman; the “gray mare" his sons the most prudent and careful habits ; some people said. If she had had time, she but for a time his precepts lay dormant and would have been fond of her children, but as it unproductive. Will Hawkshaw was a fine, was, on week days they were rather in her way. handsome young fellow, light-hearted and gay John Preston was reserved and quiet; a man in appearance; full of spirit and life, and of few words, but sensible, conscientious, and bringing a sort of sunshine with him wherever thoroughly upright. He never talked about he went, “at church or at market.” It was his duty; people did not in those days; but it the most natural thing in the world, that Marmight be seen that it was the rule of his life; tha, living in a green solitude with her father and as such, it impressed itself upon his daugh- and brother, (of like retired, unsocial habits,) ter's heart.
should be powerfully attracted by the young I do not know if you have ever noticed it, man, who (as the custom is) came to lodge and but it strikes me that a very active mother does board with them for the month; and thus was not always make a very active daughter. She thrown into intimate domestic communion with does things too cleverly and eagerly herself, to him. They worked together in the hay; they have patience with the awkward and slow ran after the truant sheep; and as Johnnie efforts of a learner. At least, such was the once innocently observed, “Martha had quite case with Jane Preston. Martha was too long learnt to laugh out loud since Will Hawkshaw in going to market with the butter; she would had come;" for before that, her smile had been rather go herself. Martha did not know how as noiseless as a sunbeam ; but now her laugh to get the “afterings" from the cow, and the gushed into music. The father saw all with best milk was lost; so instead of showing her calm approval. It was natural young men and how to do it, she did it herself. Martha made young women should take to each other. Will the clap-bread too thick,—the butter with the came of a respectable stock; and if he had not water not pressed out,-she folded up the much, why Martha would have a good piece of fleeces in the wrong way, so that they had to the money in Kendal Bank (the land went to be done over again ;-the end of it was, that Johnnie of course); so there was no let or Jane Preston did all the work in her own quick, hindrance to the growing attachment. Will sharp, clever manner, and Martha was left to was, in his way, attracted by Martha; he was nurse her little heart's darling, and roam about pleased to see his influence over her, and to the wood, and dream and think. When she perceive that he could stir the depths of that was about fifteen, her mother died, -quickly, soul, so still and calm in appearance. It must sharply as she had lived. It was strange to have been soon after that summer month, in know her dead, when to the last she had seemed 1818, that they were engaged, and Martha's so full of active, bustling life; but when she heart was full to the brim of happiness. There was gone, the husband and daughter she had was no definite plan for the future. Will was often worried and annoyed, missed sorely the to labour as farm-servant for a few years; to head and heart which were always full of save; and by-and-by, perhaps, some farm thought for others, never for herself. Johnnie might be to let, within their means. Such was missed her the least of the three, Martha was the most they looked forward to; Martha his all-in-all. But Martha had now to try and shrunk from too much looking into the future, take her mother's place in the farm; and had for now she was secure of Will's affection, she to see after sheep and cows, and go to market began to reproach herself for wishing to leave as well as she could. Johnnie was sent to her father and Johnnie; and the natural desire Grasmere school.
for a home and a husband began to be consiSo they went on for several years, till Mar- dered as a crime by her tender conscience, as tha grew up to be a fine young woman, quiet, she felt how necessary she was to their happisteady, and calm in her manners, but with a ness. In this way two or three years passed warm, sensitive heart, and a character full of by; Martha, cherishing the idea of Will with imagination. Heart and character were at the most faithful constancy, and hardly daring tracted, (as hearts and characters sometimes to show him the exceeding joy there was in her are,) by her very opposite; a certain William | heart when he came on his occasional visits ; Hawkshaw, who was engaged as “month's he, going from farm-service to farm-service, a man," (helper for a month in the busy sheep- favourite everywhere for his manly capabilities ghearing and hay-time,) by her father. He and cheerful social temper; and what faults was one of the many sons of a statesman on and temptations he had, known principally to the other side of Ambleside; his father pos- | himself alone, as hitherto they had borne no sessed more land than John Preston, but then l fruit whereby men should recognise them.
The next event was the calm sinking into | ran about, after awhile, as if she had not been death of John Preston, the elder. He told there, so still and motionless was she through Martha, a few minutes before his death, what the night of inward agony. When it was light a comfort her engagement was to him in his enough to write, she took pen and paper and dying hour; and above all things, charged her desired Will Hawkshaw to come to her. She to be father and mother to Johnnie, now just could not express thoughts easily in this unsixteen; to see after his worldly affairs, but wonted manner, so confined herself to this one above all, to bear his soul up with hers to that request, reserving the reason till he should heaven where the household should meet once come. more. So for Johnnie's sake she calmed her- | The next Sunday brought him as she had self in her orphanhood; and for his sake she expected, and his quick eye understood the ruled her daily life, until such time as she trouble, before she, with her sobbing voice, should leave him for a home of her own. could put it into words. Then the tares sprang
Her share of her father's property was about up. The old worldly maxims sown by his £80; a bad year or two for stock had made it father covered and strangled the life out of less than was one time expected. Will seemed the wheat. If Johnnie were shut up in an a little surprised at this diminution, and for asylum, he and Martha might have the land, his sake she wished it had been more. The and marry at once. Thought of their marriage murrain among the cattle must have sprung had been in Martha's mind too, and all bashfrom some diseased state of the air, for human fulness forgotten in the sense of her exceeding beings began to be affected. A low kind of sorrow, she proposed it to him with a calm fever, (from the account I heard, a sort of | manner, only as her words struck 'upon her typhoid fever, I imagine,) became prevalent; own ear a maidenly blush covered her face. and to Martha's sickening terror, Johnnie “If you come here I can do all I need to do, caught it. When that danger came, it seemed and tend the poor lad too. The doctor gave as if her sisterly love swallowed up all other but little hope; but God is powerful for many lores; in his helplessness, and rambling uncon things, and I will never cease praying.” But sciousness, he was once more the little baby Will had other thoughts, the covetousness of she had carried about with the yearning love his heart was as a mail-clad man, and he beof a young mother. Kind neighbours, (neigh- lieved his power over Martha was enough to bours in the Samaritan sense,) came from persuade her to his views; but he was mistaken. Easedale and Skelwith, to help her to nurse She saw a great gulf between their souls that him for the twenty days of raging illness; the day—a greater, deeper gulf than that between doctor from Ambleside was sent for in distrust her and the poor innocent who causélessly went of the nearer Grasmere apothecary. And he in and out with mutterings and laughter, witrecovered! But oh, wo! as he recovered, his less of the misery of which he was even then wandering lost senses were not restored. The the occasion. Though Martha shrank and neighbours sighed and shook their heads, and shuddered as she first began to understand looked mysteriously, long before the idea of Will, she hoped for many hours that it might this sorrow darkened life to Martha. But be a mistake-a dream ; that he was only joking when he was strong enough to walk out, and (at a strange, sad, inappropriate time, to be when the stupor remained still upon his poor sure); and the sun set that October day while brain,-when the bright blaze of the wood- they were still discussing the matter. I believe fire called out a wild laugh of delight, at which Will had no idea but that she would yield if he he looked round affrighted at the noise himself was relentless and firm enough. He had made had made,-when he came cowering up to his many conquests among the farmer's daughters, sister for protection against the phantoms of and had a great idea of his own power; so his own conjuring up, then Martha knew the when they parted that evening (he had to go truth in her heart, that her brother was an to Patterdale to his work the next day), he idiot.
thought he was only leaving her for a time to The doctor confirmed this with sad gravity. digest his words, and expected to be recalled, That night Martha never went to bed, but sat even with penitence on her part, before the alone mutely gazing at the gray embers among next Sunday. He went so far as to talk of his which the sparks ran to and fro. There was prospects to one or two companions; but the no doubt in her mind as to her duty, no per- letter from Martha never came. He had plexed struggling of that kind; but before her boasted of his power—and his power was eyes his life, from his babyhood upwards, was defied. Then anger took the place of the love displayed as in a panorama; and that memory he had had; and at the best of times his way of of the past and thought of the present, made | loving had been very different from Martha's. the tears roll unheeded down her cheeks, and And Martha lived alone with her idiot brodrop unwiped upon her lap. The very mice ther. She braced herself up to her life, and
said that with God's help she would go through | The boasts he had uttered in the early days of it. So she did. Something of her mother's his estrangement of his unlimited power over character came out in the energy with which Martha, cut off the vain man from any chance she devoted herself to the management of the of a retreat from his first avowed determinafarm. She got help at busy times, and always tion; if, indeed, he ever wished to change his the advice of her neighbours was at her ser- mind. But independently of the difference of vice; for though they said little, they felt deep love, arising from the difference of character, respect for her. Johnnie, too, could help a he was a man thrown abroad in the shifting, little, and liked to be employed by her. He vivid scenes of life ; she was a woman dwellwas as docile as a child in general, but some- | ing alone, with ample leisure during the long, times (old people have told me), he was rest- | long nights and solitary days, to nurse up his less, and wild, and irritable, and passers remembrance, or rather the remembrance of through the wood in dead of night heard his what she had fancied him to be. So it was not cries, and Martha's voice soothing him with without a shock, the depth of which was, I singing hymns,--her voice that never stayed suppose, known only to God, who searcheth all for all her anguish and anxiety, but went clear hearts, that, about three years after their last and bell-like up to God. That singing of hers interview, she heard of his intended marriage
--that homely loving music used to quiet to the only daughter of a wealthy statesman him; but for all that she might have been doing in Troutbeck. As far as I could make out and bearing through the night, she was abroad from the account, vague as to time, yet graphic as early as ever in the mornings, and used to say as to particulars, given me, it must have been to sympathizing inquirers that Johnnie was close upon this period that the farmer saw her much the same. They respected her uncom- abroad in the fields in such deep distress, after plaining reserve too much to tell what they had one of Johnnie's restless nights. heard; and the poor creature had received such Of course the marriage soon followed the a terrible fright from the proposal made by Will, public announcement of such intention; and of sending her brother to an asylum, (or as she henceforward Martha's life presented no outphrased it, a “mad-house,”) that I believe she ward variety for many years. Young children would have borne anything rather than have grew up to man's estate,-all was unchanged made revelations which should give any ground to her. Girls and boys became old married for such a proceeding. What she endured people; her days and nights had the only exactly can therefore never be known on earth. variety of Johnnie's being well or ill. At last Once, I was told, a farmer, rising more than a change came; the solemn change of life into usually betimes to look after a horse that was death. After a day or two of violent illness, ill, saw in the summer's dawn Martha walking Johnnie went to his long rest. Martha thought to and fro in a little paddock, with hasty, agi- | that in the speechless exhaustion which immetated steps, wringing her hands; and then he diately preceded death she saw sense in his thought he caught words of passionate prayer. eyes, and a composed intelligence in his face; But he did not go up to her, and passed on and certain it is, those poor eyes followed her unobserved by the wood-road near the cottage; moving form, as long as life gave them power as he saw the open door, his mind suggested to recognise her. that perhaps there might be some reason for After the funeral was over, the friendly her violent emotion, in some sudden illness of neighbours came in more frequently than the poor idiot, so he went in softly, and saw before, when their visits had been so unaccepJohnnie lying asleep on the settle, with flushed table. Still the nearest were far away; and face and disordered hair, as if he had been in their lives were busy: and many and many a great irritation; but he breathed as if in deep day, and many a week must have passed to sleep (probably from exhaustion), and was ten- Martha in solitude. She was asked again and derly covered up with Martha's Sunday cloak; again to the “gaieties” of the neighbourhood; 80 the man went on his way, and contented to the christenings at Christmas, the favourite himself with sending his wife in the course of time in that country, the mountain sheepthe day, ostensibly on some unimportant er- shearings. She was urged to accompany rand, but in reality to see how the sister and neighbours to the grand dissipation of sales by brother were going on. Johnnie then seemed auction, but all this she steadily refused. pretty well, but Martha looked haggard and Though she was more than a middle-aged worn. But to all inquiries respecting her woman now, her heart still beat, her face still brother she answered so curtly, and unwil-flushed at the thought that at some of these lingly, that no real information was to be gatherings she might meet the lover of her gained.
youth. She had never been able to displace All this time Will Hawkshaw had not been her ideal by the thought of the man he really idle in his way of getting through the world. I was, and as she acknowledged him to herself to be. A neighbour took her produce to market, that she lost sight of Fly, and stood bewildered and made what little purchases she required; until he should return to guide her. The wind two or three kindly friends helped her at had ceased for a time, and the air was still and busy times; and were consulted as to the dis- | motionless,-every bird and beast was in its posal of her accumulating money, for Martha sheltering home, and the quiet on those moors was growing very rich in the simple estimation was almost awful. Suddenly a child's feeble, of the dalesmen; a circumstance about which wailing, hopeless cry smote her ear, and in an she scarcely thought herself; money had but instant she pressed on in the direction from little power to heal the deep, sharp sorrows of whence it came. As she gained upon it, she her heart. She was growing old alone; with heard Fly's loud howl for assistance; and that a most loving nature, she had none to love as gave her more guidance, for she was sure he she could have done, had God permitted her to was by the lost wanderer. At last, panting and have husband and children; and sometimes in agitated, she reached the spot where what the deep midnight she cried aloud to heaven in seemed in that obscurity to be merely a black her exceeding grief that she had never heard heap, was fast becoming whitened by the ceasea child's murmuring voice call her “Mother." | less snow. It was a child half asleep, in the fatal The late autumn, with falling leaves, and sleep which precedes death, but not yet unconpiping winds, and long rainy nights harmonized scious to the pain of the excessive cold which with her life, which like the year had had a bright was freezing up his life-blood, for though he calm spring, in the days now long past, when could not speak in reply to her anxious words, she strayed about the woods with little Johnnie. he moaned dreamily. Now came in the use She saw herself and him, happy wanderers; for the gin; she wetted his lips, she poured a she watched the two pictures in her mind's eye little down his throat; she raised him up, and, as if they were separate from herself, and so past youth as she long had been, she yet found they were by long years of sorrow and disap- strength to carry him a little way down the pointment.
hill; then she stopped, overpowered, for a One winter's night, when evening had shut short time; then again with desperate effort in unusually early, owing to the black snow she bore him on to the wood, where at any clouds that hung like night. close around the rate the cold was less piercing. Again she horizon, she sat looking dreamily into the fire; gave him a little gin; and now he was able to she saw in the blaze the two children of her walk a few steps; and so with passionate imagination roaming to and fro; her old sheep prayers to God, who looked down upon her dog, Fly, lay at her feet; the cows were fod that wild night, she dragged him along to her dered for the night; the sheep were penned up cottage; and laid him down within the warm in the outhouse close by. Fly had been with influence of the fire. She threw herself on the her while these duties were being done three ground in utter exhaustion for a minute or hours ago; what made the old dog so suddenly two; then she arose, stripped him of his wet restless then ? Why did he prick up his ears, things, wrapped him in her cloak, and began and go snuffing to the door; and then pace to chafe his limbs. Then presently he recovered back to her with such a meaning look ?
and was able to tell his short story. " Lie down, Fly-good dog!" said she, “Father had sent him up to the fells for a anxious to resume her dreaming. But Fly sheep that was missing; but their dog was not would not lie down; and she could no longer well broken in to the woods, and left him; and dream. Somebody, something must be abroad night and snow came on, and he got wildered in this heavy snow-storm; she said afterwards on the fells, for they had only lately come to to a neighbour, she felt as “if she must go up live near Rydal, and he did not know the landto the Fell;" and sure enough it was God's marks.” Something in his dark-blue eyes guiding which led her out. With the foresight prompted the sudden question, “What do they eonmon to the Dale's people, who know what call you, lad ?” The answer was, “ John mountain storms are, she took under her cloak | Hawkshaw.” a little vial of gin, which had long been “Is your father's name William Hawkshaw? stored up for any emergency. She set out | Did you ever live in Troutbeck ?" asked Martha, with Fly; the snow fell so fast she was almost as calmly as she could; for her heart gave a blinded at first, and the drifts lay thick where leap, a mist came before her eyes as she uttered the wind blew them. But she had long confi- the name once so familiar, but so long unspoken dence in Fly, and he ran straight up the little by her lips that the sound seemed strange and steep path which led through the wood to the wild. more open part of Loughrigg Fell. On she Yes! it was Will Hawkshaw's child she had went, her cloak white with snow, which fell on saved. She fed him and put him warm to bed, her face, her very eyelashes; when she emerged and placing the candle where the light fell on into the more open ground, it even fell so thickly his face, without awakening him, she sat down to watch him through the night. His mouth | grateful mother ; sent by his far-casting father, was very different from what Will's had been ; who thought in his heart that possibly Martha that feature he must have inherited from his might be induced to leave the land, he had so mother; and it almost seemed strange to her early coveted, to his son. But from whatever that she was not his mother; for the maternal motive he came, he was ever and always welbreast which is in every woman yearned after come, and his own sweet nature harboured no him.
selfish motives. He came as a child for the She sent word at break of day, by the nearest amusement and the variety of the thing, but he neighbours, to his parents living three miles came as a youth and as a man for the real love away; then she returned to watch him once and respect he felt for his aunt (for so she would more. He slept so long and so soundly that, have him call her). Such was the state of things when his mother came with all the speed of when first I saw the cottage, and heard the anxious love, she found him only at breakfast history. Martha had never cared for her -sitting like a little king, at a round table, wealth ; had never realized the power it gave covered with a clean coarse cloth, and feasting her. But all at once a bright light broke upon away on clap-bread and “sweet butter," that her, of the happiness it might create, when regular Westmoreland dainty, composed of rum, she learnt from “her boy” (a grown man he butter, and sugar, and made only for high days was), how he loved a poor girl in Grasmere; & and holidays. Mrs. Hawkshaw, bonny and good daughtor to her parents, and a braidbright, younger looking than her years, (happy sitter; but how they could not marry for many matron as she was,) little dreamed that she years, for she had nothing, and he was but one saw a former rival in the worn, sad-looking out of a large family. He looked forward to woman, who had saved her child's life. Mar- this long engagement with resigned regret, and tha's face hardly brightened as she listened to she said nothing at the time. But she made Mrs. Hawkshaw's overpowering gratitude ; she long inquiry about the girl ; all answers were longed so to retain the child, who was now to satisfactory. She surprised her nephew when be taken away from her. She refused all the next he came, with the statement of her propressing invitations showered upon her by the perty in the bank; she told him he should wife of the lover of her youth. She only said marry the girl, and bring her to the old woodvery earnestly:
house as to her home; and they should dwell “You will let the lad come and see me some with her, and be to her as a son and a daughter. times.”
Now she holds the honoured place of a “ To be sure! we'll all come. My master grandmother. She nurses a little Martha on would have been here by now to thank ye, but her knee, while a “Johnnie” (for whom she it's Ambleside cattle market, and he never puts up many an earnest prayer) strays out misses a market.”
with toddling steps, and makes that childish Martha wondered if any other reason hin- garden you saw, with many a crow of delight, dered him from coming on the very natural and call to “Granny" to come and look. errand of fetching home his lost child; but she There will not be a grave in Grasmere churchsaid nothing, and when left alone that day she yard, more decked with flowers—more visited dreamed more than ever of the days of her with respect, regret, and tears, and faithful youth.
trust, than that of Martha Preston when she John Hawkshaw often came—sent by his dies.
THE YELLOW DOCK.
BY HARRIET FARLEY.
ROUND the cotter's hut upspringing,
Fresh and green, the humble dock,
Clusters, like the grain in shock.
Yielding yet, to her in need,
In life's thoroughfares thick standing,
Simple, cultureless, and green,