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"Oil, I was only going to tell you what a scrape I got into about history, and how I came lo get rid of the study. Well, as I was saying, Cousin Harry took nie home, and obtained a governess, and was all enthusiasm about my 'intellectual advancement,' as he termed it. I suppose he nattered himself that I should loam something in process of time, and not disgrace the family by my ignorance, for I am a sort of forty-second cousin to the Cliffords; and he used to plan my studies, and praise and encourage me, and I generally satisfied him and Miss Jane—she was governess—in some way. But one day last summer I had a very long, hard history lesson, and Cousin Harry said if I would learn it before noon, he would take me with him to the city in the afternoon. I used often to go with Virginia and Mrs. Clifford in the family carriage; but when Cousin Harry took me in his own snug flyaway and fiery little ponies, I always had such a fine time. He always purchased everything that I asked for, and allowed me to drive, and made everything so funny and pleasant. Well, of course, my silly little head was full of all sport and no history, and after spending a half hour without an item committed, I lost all patience, and flung the book out of the study window, far out on the lawn, and threw myself on the floor, and cried with all my might. In a few moments I heard Cousin Harry say, 'Why, Willmette! what does this mean?' And, springing up, there, in the open door, stood my dignified cousin, with my torn history in his hand I 1 did not suppose that he was in the house; but he had been sitting directly beneath my window in the open door of the library. I had never seen him angry, and now he looked so frowning and astonished that he absolutely frightened me. Obeying the impulse of the moment, I started through an open window, pule and trembling, thinking only of escape, and Harry followed me. Scarcely knowing what I did, I leaped over the veranda railing. The grass was thick and soft, and the first story low, so I was not much hurt; and hopping up, sped away like the wind, for Harry had jumped, too, and was close upon my heels. Down through the garden walks and arbors I ran, scarcely eluding his grasp; then over the fence, across the meadow, and out into the woods. Before I knew it, I came right to the river's edge; he was just behind me, and without a thought I plunged into the water. Not a word had been spoken, but now I was arrested by his sharp ory—'Stop, Willmette, stop, as you value your life! The river is deep towards
the centre.' Perfectly shocked at what I had done, and entirely exhausted, I fainted away, and sank down into the swift current.
"I remembered nothing more until I found myself lying on the bed in my own room, and Virginia, Harry, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford, Dr. Clark, and three or four servants standing around me. 'You must sleep now, darling,' said Virginia, 'and not speak a word, or you may be very ill.'
"After a deep slumber of two or three hours, I opened my languid eyes, and Harry was reading by the bedside. Good, patient friend, thought I, as I studied his noble countenance, how impetuous and ungrateful I have been 1 'Cousin Harry,' said I, softly, my lips quivering and my eyes fast filling with tears.
"' Why, are you awake f What is it, dear f* said he, gently, taking my hand and putting back the moist curls from my forehead.
"' Am I forgiven?'
"' Yes, on condition,' said he, 'that you will in future use your best endeavors to leam history in the way I shall dictate.'
"'You are very kind,' said I, 'and I certainly will.'
"Well, the next morning at breakfast they all said that I was too pale to study, and in the course of the forenoon Harry called me to him, and told me a long story about the Creation, the Flood, the Israelites, the Egyptians, and Moses; and when he had finished, said— 1 There, that is your first lesson in history ; and to-morrow at this time you may come to me again, and I will give you another, and also question you about what I 've told you to-day. Don't you think you '11 like it?' I was perfectly delighted, and told him so. And since then I have never missed a history lesson until I came here. So, you see, I may some day know something about history—unless, indeed, Cousin Harry gets married and leaves us before long, and when he does I shall be so sorry."
"Is he engaged 1" said I.
"Not that I know of; but several of the planters' daughters around Clifford Pines are trying hard to engage him, and I suppose he will take some one of them. But I know almost nothing about love and marriage affairs, for Cousin Harry says it "is not well for young girls to trouble their little heads about such things; so he would never allow me to read a. novel, or to have much to say to any of those young gents who visit at the Pines. He has always been very strict with me, but I love him the best of any person in the world. And
so I ought, for I am quite sure he is the very best person in the whole world."
The next morning, as I was out on the porch arranging flowers, the omnibus set a stranger down at the front gate; and, as he was coming musingly up the walk, little Willmette, with hersunny curls dancing in the wind, and her hat slung on her arm, came bounding out from among the bushes, right across the path, with my great Newfoundland dog in full chase after her. She did not notice the stranger, and was flying on. "Willmette !" he cried; and, turning short around, with a cry of joy, she sprang into his open arms. The fervent kisses that he imprinted upon brow, cheek, and lips doubtless seemed very kind and cousinly to the childhearted girl, but they told me plainer than words could have done where that gentleman's heart was. And when the little fairy came up to the veranda with his arm still clasping her slender figure, I was quite prepared to hear her gleeful exclamation—"Oh, Mrs. Arlington! Cousin Harry has come. Oh, Virginia! come out here!"
It was a pleasant surprise to us both; and a perfect torrent of questions and answers passed between brother and sister, Virginia having the world of news to tell him about the mutual friends she had met.
In the mean time, Willmette was becoming restless, and Bruno was tugging at her dress to renew the sport; and, adroitly twisting herself around behind her cousin's encircling arm, was starting off, when he called her to him, and taking her glowing face in both hands, looked steadily and sternly into her laughing blue eyes.
"Aren't you glad to see Cousin Harry, child?"
"O yes, indeed; you must know that I am very, very glad; but then you see I know nothing about all these stupid people you are talking about, and I just want to go and finish chasing Bruno; then I 'll come back to you when you have a little time to spend with the children."
"Well, ran along, you little sprite," said he.
She put up her cheery mouth for a kiss; but as he bent towards her, she threw her head down, dodged back, and sped away, shouting and flinging back kisses from the tips of her saucy little fingers.
"Pretty little darling," said Virginia. "But, by the way, brother Harry, you ought not to let the child romp so. She ought to be beginning to be a young lady. You remember she is fifteen years old this month."
"O shades of the prim !" said he. "I don't wae her to bo a 'young lady," I want her ally*
ways a child. Nature has made her near enough to perfection ; why set art to spoil the good dame's model?"
After we had talked about an hour, and Willmette did not come back, Harry and Virginia walked out into the garden to seek her. After a long search, they found her. The careless little beauty had flung herself on the cool green grass in the deep shade, and was sleeping soundly, with her curly head on one arm and her other hand on Bruno's shaggy neck. They made a fine picture, the lovely sleeper and the faithful watcher. "Beautiful!" exclaimed Harry and Virginia, in a breath. "But," said he, and a shade of vexation passed over his face, "why didn't she come back to visit me .' I'll play her a joke," said he. And, gently lifting her in his arms, he carried her into the house and up to the room where I had his trunks placed. Virginia and I followed to sen the sport. He bolstered her up, still apparently fast asleep, in his great arm chair; and, stepping quickly and quietly around, he soon had his smoking-cap on her head, his meerschaum in her hand, and the little marbletopped table wheeled to her side, and cigars, wine, and refreshments on it, and the great mirror placed directly before her.
We almost laughed outright, she looked such a jolly little picture of female "Young Americanism." And I rather suspected at the time, what I found to be the case afterwards, that the little mischief was not so wholly in the arms of Morpheus as Harry thought her. When he had completed her costume, he motioned us from the room, and, following, locked the door. "Now," said he, "come out on the west veranda, and I will read aloud, and when she wakes, she will hear through the open window, and will have to call to me before she can get out, for I have taken away the bell."
"Janet! Janet!" The maid started to hear her mistress's voice from the closed door of Harry's room. "I have waited to hear your footsteps in the hall, some time. Unlock this door; the key is on the outside there. Then turn your back, so that, when questioned, you can say that you have not seen me."
She told her the joke they had played, and showed her the tableau she had arranged for them. "Now, Janet, as soon as the way is clear for me to leave the house and go over into the woods, without notice, come and tell me. And I will go down and stay with old Job and his wife in that pretty little cottage room of their absent daughter. They will help me to carry on the fun, and I won't let another person, except you three, know where I am; and I '11 stay away until I frighten these friends a little. Anil, Janet, be sure and come to me every now and then, and let me know what they do and say."
We read and chatted for two hours.
"Well, I know she's awake by this time," said Harry, impatiently—"and is too prond to beg release. But we '11 let her enjoy her silence for a time."
Noon came, the afternoon wore away, and the sun went down; but not? a sound from that room.
"I never knew Willmette to keep still a tenth part of this time, before," said Harry.
"Let ns go up," said I; "maybe she has taken a drop too much of the wine in her loneliness."
"Well, so do, Harry," said Virginia.
We unlocked the door, and stepping in all was as we had left it, except, in. Willmette's place, was a very prim effigy, accoutred in Harry's best clothes, and a striking resemblance to that young gentleman's face, done in charcoal, on the pillow which helped to make up his head. We searched the room carefully, thinking that the artist must be somewhere concealed. But to our perfect astonishment no trace of her could be seen. The house and grounds were subjected to a like thorough inspection, and all the servants questioned with no better success.
"Well, Missa Willmette, ain't youse a'most repared to come home? Ef you please, I recken you'd hetter; for they's mighty troubled 'cerning you, up at the big house. Now, ye receive, ye've done bin gone these four days. And I'm 'specting ebery minit Massa Harry '11 hev' the house depolished to askertain if yese ain't 'twixt the walls. He would hev' the hull garrit ramsackcd, 'cause why, he told Missa Arlington that you might be like some poor Gin-e-vy, that a spring lock held down forever and ever. I dun'no how deep a spring that look might have been, but I thought it was a mighty queer idea to hunt for a spring of water in the garrit. It looked more sensible like, when he had the river raked over. But, oh laws, missus, he looks so white and anshuks, like the goses 'peared unto him at night. And all of 'em looks so sad and white."
"Well, Janet, I'1l return soon now. You need not come again."
"Come out on the library porch, my friends,''
said Virginia, "and have your fortunes told by a young gypsy girl. I am sorry it is growing so dark, for she is very picturesque-looking. And what is wonderful, so modest she won't even raise her eyes, and has a very sweet voice."
So Virginia and I had our fortunes told, and the gypsy astonished us by her wit and knowledge. Mr. Clifford had eyed her keenly, the meanwhile, and as she took his hand to read his fate, he clasped it around hers, and drawing her towards him slipped the great scarlet hood from her head. Down fell the sunny curls! out flashed the bright eyes 1 and our lost Willmette stood before us!
She returned our badinage and reproach with true gypsy fire; and Harry drew her to her old time place upon his knee, and gently said, as the sad light in his eyes grew sadder, "How could you leave me, Willmette, before you had scarcely spoken a word to me?"
She had cried about this very fact every day during her voluntary exile, and now she felt more than ever grieved about it; still tried, in vain, to repress the rebel tears. But the bright young head nestled lower on "Cousin Harry's" manly shoulder, and the soft, low words were choked with sobs.
The next morning, as we—that is, Harry, Virginia, Willmette and I—were out in tlie garden, lo! a youth of goodly appearance advances up the southern walk. Miss Willmette steps down to meet and greet him, and presenta him as Mr. Ernest Ethelridge, an artist, whom she had met sketching old Uncle Job's cot tage.
"The dence he is," thought Harry, as the youth and maiden stood in animated converse.
After a few graceful compliments, the youth requested the privilege of sketching my house and grounds. "The dence he does," again thought Harry, as he watched Willmette, already deep in the artist's portfolio of drawings. But when young Ethelridge told Willmette that he would now like to request the fulfilment of her promise to sit for her picture, "the dence he would," Harry growled, almost audibly, while the clond on his brow showed the thunder in his heart. And the next morninp, as I was busy in the breakfast-room, while Willmette and Harry stood in the bay-window, I heard the report of said thunder, as follows
"Willmette, will you go back to Cbflbiil Pines with me to-morrow?"
"Why, Cousin Harry! and we have onlybeen here, together, one day!"
This was all the lips said, but the eyes looked astonishment and disappointment.
"Ah," said Harry, sarcastically, and eyeing her keenly, "is it then such a hard thing to leave your new acquaintances, and go back to the old home?"
"You must be aware, Mr. Clifford, that your suspicions are unjust," said lips again, while eyes showed the offended pride of a true woman.
A very quiet smile played over the fine dark features of Harry Clifford, as he .looked down upon the usually gentle, playful girl, and marked the carriage of the prond head and the little form d rawn up to the perfect erect. There was much going on in the gentleman's heart the meanwhile, but hearing Ernest Ethelridge coming through the hall inquiring for Willmette, he simply said—
".Won't my little girl go home with me tomorrow, just because I ask it, and require no reason?"
"Yes," she replied^ and turned to Ernest. "Mr. Ethelridge, Cousin Harry and I are going home to-morrow; so you will please excuse me from sitting for that picture."
"To-morrow! you astonish me, Miss Willmette! But, if yon please, I have set my heart upon painting your picture, and must have it, even if I must follow you to your home. If you will sit forme to-day, I can take a rough sketch and complete it afterwards."
"Oh well, then, I will. For it would be a pity for you to take a long journey for such a trifle."
"Thanks for that decision. And will you be pleased to ride over to my stndio now? My carriage is at the door."
"Yes, but let me first run and give Janet orders about packing my trunks."
"Cousin Harry!" But he had left the room, saying to himself, "So he '11 have it, after all. 1 've not taken her away soon enough, with all my haste. Follow her home, indeed! If he should, I'd take her to Maine."
She met him in the upper hall. "Cousin Harry, will,you drive over and bring me home towards evening?"
"Yes, indeed, and early too," said he. "And I wish that you were going to spend the day here with me."
"Oh, fie I" she laughed. "You '11 see enough of me when we get back to Clifford Pines. For you know Virginia is not intending to return for six or eight weeks, and she let Miss Jane go for the summer, so there won't be any one to hear my lessons but yon. Now, you know, I would not unnecessarily break my promise to Mr. Ethelridge. So, au revoir, mon cher ami."
But don't think, romantic reader, that Harry
let the cherry lips get away this time without paying toll.
"Thanks to my cousinly cloak," said he to himself, as he watched them drive away, "she has no idea how jealous I am of that graceful young scamp. And thanks, also, to my careful oversight, she knows too little of the world's ways to even dream that we are both desperately in love with her charming little self. Let me see, sixteen next May. Well, I must not wait long after that, unless I want rivals in the field thick as crows among the corn."
"Ah, Cousin Harry, how welcome the grand old home, looks again I It is, indeed, 'the dearest spot on earth to me.'"
A few months later, and "Cousin Harry" and his little " Ward" sat together on the banks of that river into which, three years before, she had plunged so fearless, still so fearful. They had talked over those long years, and much more besides. The earnest blue eyes were still gazing abstractedly out among the long shadows which the setting sun was throwing over the russet brown leaves; and the still more earnest black eyes were looking intently down upon the aforesaid blue.
The cltihl had been for some months past dreamily searching for her woman's heart; now she had found it; but lo! it was no longer in her possession. But, like the excellent Scripture example of "coat and cloak" notoriety, when she found who had taken away her heart, she gave him her hand, also.
Harry Clifford clasped the delicate gift in his own ample palm, and folded the fairy form to his own noble heart; and what was then said and done, kind reader, other authors can tell you much better than I; but I can tell you how, a few months later still, I was invited by Mrs. Clifford to attend the celebration of Miss Willmette Ward's sixteenth birthday, on the fourth of May, and ho.w I had been privately informed by Virginia and Mr. Vernon both that there was to be a double wedding at Clifford Pines that day, and two brides and grooms to start for merry old England together. And I well remember, when Willmette was telling me somewhat of the little scene I have related above concerning "hearts and hands," her bright blush as she said: "I could not doubt but that Harry had my whols heart, for his beat plenty strong enough for two."
To take sincere pleasure in the blessings and excellencies of others, is a much rarer mark of benevolence than to pity their calamities.
REMAKING AND MENDING.
Siiaksfkaub tells us that "an old cloak makes a new jerkin ;" and with such authority and sanction for turning old materials to new purposes, we will make no apology for giving onr readers a chapter of advice and instruction on some of the most feasible plans of turning old garments to good account.
Many are obliged by necessity, or as a matter of good economy, to do this; and those who are richer, and can afford frequently to purchase everything new for themselves, will greatly add to their kindness to their poorer neighbors, if, when they give a cast-off garment, it is accompanied by a little judicious instruction as to how to make the best of it.
We will suppose a poor woman receiving the gift of a lady's dress fully trimmed all over, and so near a fit, that she might think it had been made on purpose for her, if it was not a little too tight. Would it be the wisest thing she could do to take and wear the dress just as she received it? If she did so, the probability is, that she would do those about her, as well as herself and her dress, a great injury. She would most likely be very cross in her family, for that is often one of the ill effects of dressing too tight. She might, too, begin to think that she looked so like a lady with this full-trimmed dress, that sundry unbecoming airs would be likely to creep over her. And, as to the dress, nature would endeavor to free itself from restraint, and hooks and eyes would be bursting this way and that, and the flounces, that were very suitable to a lady's mode of life, would soon be torn and soiled in the household occupations of a poor woman. And in two or three weeks this dress, that might have been made to do her good service for months, will have such a slovenly and torn appearance, that it had better be put out of sight.
We should recommend, as a preferable course, that on receiving such a gift, all conspicuous and needless trimmings be taken off, and the body and sleeves be made a comfortable fit, by putting in pieces where they are needed, for which purpose some of the trimmings will be useful. Or, if it should be a very full skirt, it might be better to take a breadth from that, which will serve to make a fresh body. If it is too long, or if it is rubbed, and a little worn at the gathers, the skirt should be taken from the body, and sewed on again at the right length, at the same time placing the middle of a different breadth to the middle of the body, so as to put the worst worn part of the gathers to the
place where they will have the least wear. This will oblige running up the opening at the back of the skirt, and making a new one. All this trouble will, however, be well repaid by having a comfortable and suitable dress; and ladies are much more likely to repeat a kindness when they see that their gifts are well used and valued.
When a mother has worn a dress as long as she can, it will be strange if there is not enough which is pretty good left in the skirt, which will make a frock, or perhaps even two, for a little girl. It is well to bear this in mind in buying a dress, and to choose one of such a pattern that would not be very conspicuous or unsightly if it should afterwards be used for children.
Another good use to which to put an old dress is, by altering the body and sleeves, to adapt it for a petticoat. It is well, however, not to be in a hurry to do this. Two mothers had each a good black satin dress; in the course of time they became, as unfortunately all dresses will, too shabby or too old-fashioned for their wearers' use. One mother picked hers to pieces, washed and ironed it, and made from it two handsome-looking mantles for her daughters. The other adapted hers for a petticoat, and spent five-and-tweuty shillings in the purchase of new mantles for her two daughters. The mantles made of the old material were far the best-looking, and most serviceable. Now, five shillings would have bought a petticoat; and thus the saving of twenty shillings might have been made for the pocket of the husband.
Bonnets may be lined or made from the cuttings of old silk dresses. A lady benevolently disposed can find the means of assisting a needlewoman in want of work by employing her to use up odd pieces in this manner. She will thereby give the workwoman the means of earning a few shillings, and at the same time she will, at a comparatively little cost, enable herself to rejoice the hearts of *arious old women by the gift of a comfortable silk bonnet.
The remaining parts of some dresses will prove suitable for making aprons and pinafores.
But what can be done with dresses that are so washed and worn as to be of no service, even for a child's frock or pinafore? Why, they may be cut up for dusters, if they will do for nothing else, and they will serve nicely for the little girls to learn hemming upon. Indeed, it only wants an active, notionable mind to discover good uses for almost anything that may be at hand, and render it applicable to some of the requirements of the possessor.