child. The man sat down with him, dandling him on his knee as tenderly as any woman; the two little girls took their places one on each side.

‘Good-evening, William,’ said Shirley, after due scrutiny of the man.

He had seen her before, and apparently was waiting to be recognised; he now took off his hat, and grinned a smile of pleasure. He was a rough-headed, hard-featured personage, not old, but very weather-beaten; his attire was decent and clean, that of his children singularly neat. It was our old friend Farren. The young ladies approached him.

‘You are not going into the church?’ he inquired, gazing at them complacently, yet with a mixture of bashfulness in his look—a sentiment not by any means the result of awe of their station, but only of appreciation of their elegance and youth.

Before gentlemen—such as Moore or Helstone, for instance—William was often a little dogged; with proud or insolent ladies, too, he was quite unmanageable, sometimes very resentful; but he was most sensible of, most tractable to, good-humour and civility. His nature—a stubborn one—was repelled by inflexibility in other natures, for which reason he had never been able to like his former master, Moore; and, unconscious of that gentleman’s good opinion of himself, and of the service he had secretly rendered him in recommending him as gardener to Mr. Yorke, and by this means to other families in the neighbourhood, he continued to harbour a grudge against his austerity. Latterly, he had often worked at Fieldhead. Miss Keeldar’s frank, hospitable manners were perfectly charming to him. Caroline he had known from her childhood; unconsciously she was his ideal of a lady. Her gentle mien, step, gestures, her grace of person and attire, moved some artist-fibres about his peasant heart. He had a pleasure in looking at her, as he had in examining rare flowers, or in seeing pleasant landscapes. Both the ladies liked William. It was their delight to lend him books, to give him plants; and they preferred his conversation far before that of many coarse, hard, pretentious people, immeasurably higher in station.

‘Who was speaking, William, when you came out?’ asked Shirley.

‘A gentleman ye set a deal of store on, Miss Shirley—Mr. Donne.’

‘You look knowing, William. How did you find out my regard for Mr. Donne?’

‘Ay, Miss Shirley, there’s a gleg light i’ your een sometimes which betrays you. You look raight down scornful sometimes when Mr. Donne is by.’

‘Do you like him yourself, William?’

‘Me? I’m stalled o’ t’ curates, and so is t’ wife. They’ve no manners; they talk to poor folk fair as if they thought they were beneath them. They’re allus magnifying their office. It is a pity but their office could magnify them; but it does nought o’ t’ soart. I fair hate pride.

‘But you are proud in your own way yourself,’ interposed Caroline; ‘you are what you call house-proud; you like to have everything handsome about you; sometimes you look as if you were almost too proud to take your wages. When you were out of work you were too proud to get anything on credit; but for your children, I believe you would rather have starved than gone to the shops without money; and when I wanted to give you something, what a difficulty I had in making you take it!’

‘It is partly true, Miss Caroline; ony day I’d rather give than take, especially from sich as ye. Look at t’ difference between us: ye’re a little, young, slender lass, and I’m a great strong man. I’m rather more nor twice your age. It is not my part, then, I think, to tak’ fro’ ye—to be under obligations (as they say) to ye; and that day ye came to our house, and called me to t’ door, and offered me five shillings, which I doubt ye could ill spare—for ye’ve no fortin’, I know—that day I war fair a rebel—a radical—an insurrectionist; and ye made me so. I thought it shameful that, willing and able as I was to work, I suld be i’ such a condition

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