Abbildungen der Seite

as I am stout and hearty, to be able to maintain Patty without running a-beg. ging: for I don't care, an please you, how hard I work, so I can but get an honest living, as my mother desired me. Now, Sir, I have told the whole truth, and I hope you will be kind enough not to make us be sent back : for I am sure it would kill poor Patty to be put prentice to that wicked man who sold my father's goods."

Though you have acted very erroneously in running away,” returned' Mr. Richardson, “ I will not falsify the confidence you have reposed in me. Your affection for


sister is praise-worthy; but, as you have exerted it, so highly imprudent, that it might have plunged you both in ruin; - but tell me, have you now any settled destination ?”

“ I have lately heard, Sir, that there was some little work stirring in the villages round London, and so, as fast as Patty could walk, resolved to go there. Beside, another thing made me wish it,

I was told by the servant of a gentlewoman that once relieved us, that there was a number of ladies near town, who had established schools for poor children, and had them clothed, fed, and taught; nay, that they did not even scorn to look to their improvement themselves; - so I thought that God might lead us to some of these, who would even condescend to help my poor sister: for my heart bleeds for her when I think of the long winter before us."

“ It is true,” replied Mr. Richardson, «« that such women havę lately stepped forth, to the honour of their sex; ministering, like beings of a superior order, to the wants of helpless childhood ; but to these, some recommendation, on account of your past conduct, would be necessary.'

Ah, Sir!" returned the boy sorrowfully, “ I did not consider my deserving; I only thought of their goodness."

“ Well, we will speak more of this presently; but tell me, Patty, have you preserved your mother's prayer-book ?”

• Yes, an't please you,” dropping a short courtesy, and drawing it out of her pocket, wrapped first in a bit of white rag, and then in a paper ; “here it is, Sir."

Mr. Richardson took the book, and opening it, found written in a decent hand, the date of their parents' marriage ; likewise the time of the children's birth, and their names, - Francis and Martha Williams. “ Whose writing is this ?” said he.

My father's, Sir,” returned the boy ; I can write a little myself; I learned before his death: but perhaps I may almost have forgotten it; for I have had no pens or paper since.'

“ Well Patty,” said Mr. Richardson, returning the book, « properly in taking care of your mother's legacy; for the present go down and sit by the kitchen fire; I will order you some dinner, and if your dog, Shock, is still with you, pray let him be of the party."

“ Thank you, thank you, Sir," cried both, with great pleasure; 6 Shock is

you have acted

sure enough with us, and now waiting at the door."

Well, call him in, and let him be fed,” said Mr. Richardson; -“ I will see you again after dinner." He then rang the bell, and gave them to the care of the waiter.





On the departure of the children, both Charles and Mary expected their father to speak; but he remained silent, until Mary, whose heart, as well as eyes, was full, at length said, “ Poor things ! what will become of them? I wonder they have not died of hunger before this, and the weather now is growing very cold.”

Why, really, Mary,” replied Mr. Richardson, “ I don't think them impostors, though they certainly acted very wrong in running away, and unbecoming the religious education they appear to have received from their parents, which ought to have taught them to depend more on the goodness of God. However, as you proposed, I would have you give

« ZurückWeiter »