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Fhose with whom the feeling of religion is only occasional, have it most when the awful or grand breaks out of the common; the mpek who inherit the earth, find the God of the whole earth more evidently present - I do not say more present, for there is no measuring of His presence — more evidently present in the sammonest things. That which is best He gives most plentifully, as is reason with Him. Hence the quiet fullness of ordinary nature; hence the Spirit to them that ask it. I

I soon came within sound of the mill; and presently, crossing the stream that flowed back to the river after having done its work on the corn, I came in front of the building, and looked over the half-door into the mill. The floor was clean and dusty. A few full sacks, tied tight at the mouth — they always look të, me as if Joseph's silver cup were just inside - stood about. In the farther corner, the flour was trickling down out of two wooden spouts into a wooden receptacle below. The whole place was full of its own faint but pleasant odor. No man was visible. The spouts went on pouring the slow torrent of flour, as if everything could go on with perfect propriety of itself. I could not even see how a man could get at the stones that I heard grinding away above, except he went up the rope that lyng from the ceiling. So I walked round the corner of the place, and found myself in the company of the water-wheel, upssy and green with ancient waterdrops, looking so furred and qyergrown and lumpy, that one might have thought the wood of it had taken to growing again in its old days, and so the wheel was losing by slow degrees the shape of a wheel, to become some new awful monster of a pollard. As yet, however, it was going round; slowly, indeed, and with a gravity of age, but doing its work, and casting its loose drops in the alms-giving of a gentle rain upon a little plot of Master Rogers's garden, which was therefore full of moisture-loving flowers. This pløt was divided from the mill-wheel by a small stream which carried away the surplus water, and was now full and running rapidly. 9. Beyond the stream, beside the flower bed, stood a dusty young man, talking to a young woman with a rosy face and dear honest eyes. The moment they saw me they parted. The young man came across the stream at a step, and the young woman went up the garden towards the cottage.

“That must be old Rogers's cottage?” I said to the miller. “Yes, sir,” he answered, looking a little sheepish.

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“Was that his daughter - that nice-looking young woman you were talking to?"

“Yes, sir, it was.”
And he stole a shy, pleased look at me out of the corners of

his eyes.


“It's a good thing," I said, “to have an honest experienced old mill like yours, that can manage to go on of itself for a little while now and then." This gave a great help to his budding confidence.

. He laughed.

"Well, sir, it's not very often it's left to itself. Jane isn't at her father's above once or twice a week at most.'

“She doesn't live with them, then?"

“ No, sir. You see they're both hearty, and they ain't over well to do, and Jane lives up at the Hall, sir. She's upper housemaid, and waits on one of the young ladies. — Old Rogers has seen a great deal of the world, sir.”

“So I imagine. I am just going to see him. Good morning.”

I jumped across the stream, and went up a little gravel walk, which led me in a few yards to the cottage-door. It was a sweet place to live in, with honeysuckle growing over the house, and the sounds of the softly-laboring mill-wheel ever in its little porch and about its windows.

The door was open, and Dame Rogers came from within to meet me. She welcomed me, and led the way into her little kitchen. As I entered, Jane went out at the back-door. But it was only to call her father, who presently came in.

“I'm glad to see ye, sir. This pleasure comes of having no work to-day. After harvest there comes slack times for the likes of me.

People don't care about a bag of old bones when they can get hold of young men. Well, well, never mind, old

The Lord'll take us through somehow. When the wind blows, the ship goes; when the wind drops, the ship stops; but the sea is His all the same, for He made it; and the wind is His all the same too."

He spoke in the most matter-of-fact tone, unaware of anything poetic in what he said. To him it was just common sense, and common sense only.

“I am sorry you are out of work,” I said. den is sadly out of order, and I must have something done to it. You don't dislike gardening, do you?”


“ But my gar




“Well, I beant a right good hand at garden-work," answered the old man, with some embarrassment, scratching his gray head with a troubled scratch.

There was more in this than met the ear; but what, I could not conjecture. I would press the point a little. So I took him at his own word.

“ I won't ask you to do any of the more ornamental part,” I said, -- "only plain digging and hoeing.”

“I would rather be excused, sir."
“I am afraid I made you think” –
• I thought nothing, sir. I thank you kindly, sir.”

“ I assure you I want the work done, and I must employ some one else if you don't undertake it." "Well, sir, my back's bad now — no, sir, I won't tell a story

about it. I would just rather not, sir.”

“Now," his wife broke in, “now, old Rogers, why won't 'ee tell the parson the truth, like a man, down-right? If ye won't, I'll do it for 'ee. The fact is, sir,” she went on, turning to me, with a plate in her hand, which she was wiping, “ the fact is, that the old parson's man for that kind o' work was Simmons, t'other end of the village; and my man is so afeard o' hurtin? e'er another, that he'll turn the bread away from his own mouth and let it fall in the dirt."

“Now, now, old ’oman, don't 'ee belie me. I'm not so bad as that. You see, sir, I never was good at knowin' right from wrong like. I never was good, that is, at tellin' exactly what I ought to do. So when anything comes up, I just says to myself, “Now, old Rogers, what do you think the Lord would best like you to do?' And as soon as I ax myself that, I know directly what I've got to do; and then my old woman can't turn me no more than a bull. And she don't like


obstinate fits. But you see, I daren't sir, once I axed myself that.”

“Stick to that, Rogers,” I said.

* Besides, sir,” he went on, “Simmons wants it more than I do. He's got a sick wife; and my old woman, thank God, is hale and hearty. And there is another thing besides, sir: he might take it hard of you, sir, and think it was turning away an old servant like; and then, sir, he wouldn't be ready to hear what you had to tell him, and might, mayhap, lose a deal o' comfort. And that I would take worst of all, sir."

“Well, well, Rogers, Simmons shall have the job.” “Thank ye, sir,” said the old man,

His wife, who could not see the thing quite from her husband's point of view, was too honest to say anything; but she was none the less cordial to me. The daughter stood looking from one to the other with attentive face, which took everything, but revealed nothing.

I rose to go. As I reached the door, I remembered the tobacco in my pocket. I had not bought it for myself. I never could smoke. Nor do I conceive that smoking is essential to a clergyman in the country; though I have occasionally envied one of my brethren in London, who will sit down by the fire, and, lighting his pipe, at the same time please his host and subdue the bad smells of the place. And I never could hit his way of talking to his parishioners either. He could put them at their ease in a moment. I think he must have got the trick out of his pipe. But in reality, I seldom think about how I ought to talk to anybody I am with.

That I didn't smoke myself was no reason why I should not help old Rogers to smoke. So I pulled out the tobacco.

"You smoke, don't you, Rogers ?” I said.

“Well, sir, I can't deny it. It's not much I spend on baccay, anyhow. Is it, dame ?

“No, that it bean't," answered his wife. “ You don't think there's any harm in smoking a pipe, sir ? ” “Not the least," I answered, with emphasis.

“ You see, sir," he went on, not giving me time to prove how far I was from thinking there was any harm in it, “ you see, sir, sailors learns many ways they might be better without. I used to take my pan o' grog with the rest of them; but I give that up quite, 'cause as how I don't want it now.”

“ 'Cause as how," interrupted his wife, “you spend the money on tea for me, instead. You wicked old man to tell stories!”

“Well, I takes my share of the tea, old woman, and I'm sure it's a deal better for me. But, to tell the truth, sir, I was a little troubled in my mind about the baccay, not knowing whether I ought to have it or not. For you see, the parson that's

gone didn't more than half like it, as I could tell by the turn of his hawse-holes when he came in at the door and me a-smokin'. Not as he said anything; for, ye see, I was an old man, and I daresay that kep him quiet. But I did hear him blow up a young chap i’ the village he come upon promiscus with a pipe in his mouth. He did give him a thunderin' broadside, to be sure! So I was in two minds whether I ought to go on with my pipe or not.”

“ And how did you settle the question, Rogers ?” “Why, I followed my own old chart, sir.”

“Quite right. One mustn't mind too much what other people think.”

“ That's not exactly what I mean, sir."
“ What do you mean then? I should like to know."

“ Well, sir, I mean that I said to myself, · Now, Old Rogers, what do you think the Lord would say about this here baccay business?'"

“And what did you think He would say?"

Why, sir, I thought He would say, · Old Rogers, have yer baccay; only mind ye don't grumble when you 'ain't got

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Something in this — I could not at the time have told what - touched me more than I can express. No doubt it was the simple reality of the relation in which the old man stood to his Father in heaven that made me feel as if the tears would come in spite of me.

“ And this is the man,” I said to myself, “whom I thought I should be able to teach ! Well, the wisest learn most, and I

, may be useful to him after all.”

As I said nothing, the old man resumed

“For you see, sir, it is not always a body feels he has a right to spend his ha’pence on baccay; and sometimes, too, he ‘aint got none to spend."

“ In the meantime,” I said, “ here is some that I bought for you as I came along. I hope you will find it good. I am no judge."

The old sailor's eyes glistened with gratitude. “ Well, who'd ha' thought it! You didn't think I was beggin' for it, sir, surely ?”

" You see I had it for you in my pocket.”
“ I
“ Well, that is good o' you, sir!”

Why, Rogers, that'll last you a month!” exclaimed his wife, looking nearly as pleased as himself.

“Six weeks at least, wife," he answered. “And ye don't smoke yourself, sir, and yet ye bring baccay to me! Well, it's just like yer Master, sir.”

I went away, resolved that Old Rogers should have no chance of “grumbling” for want of tobacco, if I could help it.


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