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were pleasing in those that were so. Hence when he had taken his seat among them, they began to insinuate certain flatteries relating to those parts of his character and conduct, whereon they knew from experience that he prided himself, viz. his attention to the children of the servants, his care in catechizing them, and providing for their wants, and the earnestness with which he endeavoured to bring all parties together, to the promotion, as they chose to say, of kindness and brotherlylove, and of universal good: and thus while these young people were gratifying his feelings in one way, the mother was carefully administering to them in another, She well knew that he loved the velvet chair, with its downy cushion, which was always placed for hiin in the corner of the fireplace; and it was in that therefore that she caused him to sit, while she sweetened his beverage precisely to his taste, and took care that he should have the very choicest morsels; and when she found that he was in the highest state of enjoyment, stretching his legs before the fire, and regaling himself with that which she gave him, until the sweet liquor ran out of the corners of his mouth, she began to turn to the subject for which she had sought his company; and having informed him of my arrival, and spoken of me with some commendation, as of one who might, in good hands, be an acquisition in the family, she proceeded to the following effect-for the young man who was handing about the tea afterward related every word to me.
“Now, my worthy doctor,” said she, “you and I know that there are some subjects in which we do not entirely agree ; but again there others in which we wholly coincide; and certain I am, if all your party were as judicious, and candid, and benevolent as you are, and as ready to hold out the right hand of philanthropy to a fellow-servant, although he may not think with him in every point, there would not be the discords and differences in the family which now there are, to the great detriment of the household, and the injury of the Master's property; but inasmuch as that worthy man, the secretary," continued she (for it seems that this Madame le Monde has the custom, when it serves her purpose, to give the most respectful epithets to those she least likes), “this good secretary of ours is perhaps one of the most wrong-headed guides a young
man can have on entering first into life. I am very anxious that you, my excellent sir, should endeavour to form an acquaintance with the youth, and obtain his confidence as soon as possible, in order that you may guard him against the absurd notions with which his uncle will certainly inspire him, if he is not prevented. There is no need, I suppose,” continued the housekeeper, “ to point out to you, my dear sir, what those unsocial and very peculiar notions are to which I allude, neither can I doubt but that you are thoroughly acquainted with them already.”
" Assuredly so, undoubtedly so, madam," replied the doctor, “I perfectly know that very peculiar notion to which you chiefly allude, viz, that extraordinary and inconceivable idea, pretended to be gathered from our Master's letters, respecting his intention to return to this place, and to take the management of all affairs into his own hands, with the further singular notion built upon the former, viz. that none of those disorders of which we all complain, can be, or ever will be regulated until the Master comes; thus diverting the attention of the servants from their respective duties, and paralyzing the efforts of all parties, by endeavouring to convince each individual that none of his efforts will ever prove effectual in producing that reform of manners and morals which we all desire so ardently, and to which we are undoubtedly approaching.”
“Dear sir,” added Madame Le Monde," let the enemy say what he will, it surely cannot be possible that your labours, and exhortations, and instructions can be without their effect: not to speak of those of many others, who have been exerting their influence, and using their talents in every possible line, to improve the place, and add to the comfort of the family. What was this house, I ask, a few years since ? and what is it now? and if we look out of doors, has not every thing taken almost a new form ? and yet these people pretend that nothing can be done till their Master comes among us, and takes things into his own hands : but I have no patience whatever even to think of such absurdities. Has not every thing gone on* in the old course for years past, with the exception of the improvements spoken of above? and what ground then have we for their new whims? As I before said, I have not patience even to think of the folly of these people ; but their drift is easily seen. They are jealous of those who are in authority; they are envious of the good works of such as you, my worthy sir; and so they cry us all down together, and say that they expect no good until the Master comes in person to set all things to rights; and pray, my good sir, will you have the kindness to tell me whereupon they build these fancies ?"
*" And saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginping of the creation.” 2 Peter iii. 4.
“ On certain passages in our Lord's letters, madan," replied the doctor, “ which passages they wrest to their own purposes. For my own part, I certainly do see in these writings a promise or promises, of certain privileges to be granted in the course of time to these estates whereby much prosperity and peace is to be secured to the people : and also a sort of prophecy, of great peace and happiness to be enjoyed by the servants, through the medium of the labours and care of the heads of this household: which heads, or rulers, under the direction of Mr. Interpreter, will be enabled to govern with more wisdom than they have hitherto done, and to correct old errors, and to introduce a new order of things. But as to any further inference to be drawn from these passages, touching the return of the Master in person, to live with us, and be with us, it is what I cannot see nor understand; and truly, madam, I entirely agree with you, in thinking the idea to be one of the most mischievous which possibly can be broached, for to what in effect does this suggestion tend but to render the servants dissatisfied with their present rulers, and lead them from the performance of their present duties to pursue speculations which have no foundation ?".
“Well, well,” said the housekeeper, “ we have had enough of this for the present, my excellent sir; and I have said enough, no doubt, to lead you to have an eye upon the young stranger, and to keep him, if possible, from falling into the follies of that pragmatical old fel, low his uncle; and now, if you please, let us call another question.” So she caused the cups and saucers to be removed, and because the doctor was not one who ever meddled with games of chance, which he counted unholy and unprofitable, the company had nothing for it till supper-time but conversation; but as the young
man who told me all this, had done his work in the room, he could tell me no more of what passed at that season, nor indeed was it till long after that I was made acquainted with so much as I have already related : for, while all this was going forward, I was shut up within my uncle's apartments, in a little chamber left in the thickness of the wall, having a casement and a lattice opening out upon a garden, where were all manner of pleasant trees, and a fountain which, at times, that is, at the period of the former and latter rains, and the melting of the snows, jetted forth in a wonderfully pleasant manner, often soothing me to rest with its agreeable murmurs, when I was fatigued and harassed with the troubles of my station. On the night I speak of, these waters playing in the moonbeam, soon contributed with my weariness to put me into a very sound sleep, which held me till morning ; at which time, whether sleeping or waking, in a dream or otherwise, I thought that some one was speaking softly in my ears, and the words which this person spoke were so extraordinary, that if I were to live for ever, I should never forget them: they were to this effect, that I should be up and doing, for that the time was short, and my Master would accept my services, * and that I ought to account this acceptation as the greatest of favours ; but before I could tell who it was that thus whispered in my ear, behold, a sound of cursing and altercation rose to my window, and opening my eyes suddenly, I saw no one by my bed, but some of my fellow-servants were under the window abusing each other, and using such ill language as I had little expected to hear in such a place as I then was in. There were two of them young lads, and they were contending with a fierceness which had caused the blood to mount to their very Brows, while their eyes shot fire at each other. What the cause of their dispute might be I know not, neither did I inquire, for it was no business of mine, I thought; but I was offended and displeased to think, that even my retirements were to be thus disturbed; and as I dressed
*" The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Rom. xii. 12.
“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee; behold, now is the accepted uime; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. vi. 2.
myself (for I found in my apartment a chest well provided with all things necessary for me, and suitable to my condition,* which provision, so much beyond what I had any right to expect, ought to have made me thankful), yet, as I was saying, even while I was putting these things on, I could not help thinking, where is the peace to come from which has been promised me, if the sound of brawls like these is to come into my very bedchamber? However, being dressed, and in somewhat better humour, from finding my figure much improved from what it had been the day before, by the various accommodations of clean linen and a new coat, I stepped out of my room into my uncle's parlour, where I found the old gentleman busy at his desk doing his Master's work, while waiting my appearance for breakfast ; and behold, the breakfast was set out in the room, and consisted of what was 'wholesome and agreeable. · While we were refreshing ourselves, my uncle failed not presently to fall upon that subject which was ever uppermost in his mind, viz. the return of his Master. “To-day, nephew," he said, “I hope that you will commence that work for which you have been called to this blessed service. We are, as it were, waiting for the coming of the best of masters, f and if we are here long enough, we shall assuredly have the pleasure not only of witnessing his approach, which will, as his let
*“ Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature ? And why take ye thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be cluthed ? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek ;) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the king. dom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt. vi. 27-34.
+ “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God, which is given vou by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ve are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. i. 4-7.