Lucy Ellen Guernsey.

Winifred, or, after many days online

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ing-maid in all but the name. But even let the
child do as she will ! She is a good girl, and has
worked hard this winter."

So it was settled, and Winifred went up to the
Hah 1 to stay for the two weeks that should elapse
before Lady Peckham went to London. Busy
weeks they were, and full of pleasant employment,
whether she worked at her embroidery, ran up and
down stairs for Mrs. Alwright and helped her in
the still-room and kitchen, where she learned to
make biscuits, and almond paste, and maukpane
15*



174 WINIFRED.

and saffron cakes, and all the other delicacies for
which that lady was famous, or whether she sat or
walked with my lady in the rapidly lengthening
twilight, talking of the things they both loved, or
read to her as she worked in her own chamber.
Many were the cabinet drawers and boxes she
helped to rummage, filled with all the accumula-
tions of generations of ladies famous for needle-
work and all such accomplishments, and many
were the precious presents she received, bits of
wonderful brocades and ribbons for her silk patch-
work (then a great fashion, as it was a few years
since), of ivory and tortoise-shell tatting-shuttles
and . netting-boxes, of pin-cushions and needle-
books, of embroidery patterns and silks, each and
all accompanied by the exhortation, " Take care of
it, child! It will come in use some day."

But at last all came to an end. The day of final
departure arrived. Winifred bade her friends
farewell, and stood at the hall door till the clumsy
coach with its six horses and outriders (not for
show, but use, ) drove down the lor g avenue and
disappeared. Then, feeling as though a part of her
life had gone away with it, she dried her eyes, and
turned back into the house to finish lip some last
things which had been left to her care.



THE BEGINNING OF CHANGES. 175

Later in the day, Winifred walked homeward,
followed by the herd-boy bearing her bundles, but
carrying herself, as too precious to intrust to
another, her chief treasures Hall's " Chronicle,"
some books of devotion my lady had given her,
and the "Arcadia" of Sir Thilip Sidney; "the
only romance," said Mrs. Alwright, "fit for a
young maiden to read." At the turn of the avenue,
she stopped and looked back. There stood the
old Hall, in all its quaint beauty, under the light
of the spring sunshine, but all the windows were
closed, and Winifred thought it already looked
desolate and forlorn. She gazed a long time, till
her eyes grew too full to see any longer.

" Well," said she, as at last she turned away,
" I have at least one comfort ! No one can ever
take from me the remembrance of the pleasant
times I have had and the things I have leari_ed of
my lady I"



CHAPTER XII.



R B I K T O L .



HERF is that child, poring over her book again,
wasting her precious time and eyesight! I
declare she is enough to try a saint ! After all I
have done for her ! I have a great mind to burn
up all her books except the Bible, that I have."

Winifred looked up wearily as these words were
spoken. She had grown tall and pale since we
last saw her in the avenue at Holford Hall, and
the expression of her face wears more of sadness,
but there are the same clear-cut features, tne
same large, steadfast gray eyes and marked eye-
brows which first attracted Lady Peckham's at-
tention to the child in the Blue-school at Holford.
But the window where she now sits and strains her
eight to catch the last daylight looks not into the
farm closes, but into such a narrow lane that the

'176)



BiUSTOU 177

opposite neighbors could almost shake hands across
it. For Master Simon Evans lives near the water-
side for the convenience of his business ; and even
the dog carts used in the wider streets of Bristol
cannot pass each other in Fish Lane.

Winifred looked up wearily as the shrill voice of
reproach sounded over her head. The speaker
was a sharp, energetic-looking woman, who seemed
to have worked off every inch of superfluous flesh
and to have nothing left but bone and muscle.

"1 have finished all the sewing you laid out,
aunt, and I have carried home Mrs. Bowler's ker-
chiefs, and put the money in your box. The
children are in bed and asleep, and I thought I
might read a little while."

" And how much did Mrs. Bowler pay you, child?
She ought to give you a good price."

" Forty shillings for the kerchiefs, aunt, and ten
for the apron."

"Well, well! It is a fair price, but they arc
well worth every farthing of it!" said Dame Evans,
slightly mollified. " I will say for you that there
is not a person in Bristol who can do cut-work ana
satin-stitch equal to yourself. But you mignt have
taken your knitting, child, if you had nothing else
to do. Beading is nothing but a waste of time



178 WINIFRED.

for folks like us, except upon Sundays and holidays,
when we can do nothing else."

"And, aunt, I saw Lady Corbet at Mrs. Bowler's,
and she wishes me to come to her house every day
to teach her daughters and oversee their work. I
am to take my meals with the young ladies and
walk out with them, and she will give me ten
shillings a week. I am to begin to-morrow if you
are willing."

"Laws me!" exclaimed Dame Evans, quite daz-
zled at the prospect of such an honor. " What a
fine thing for you! Why, they are the richest
people in Bristol. Sir John entertained his late
blessed majesty when he visited the city, and was
knighted on that occasion. I have heard my Lady
Corbet was cousin to old Lord Carew."

Winifred's heart gave a bound at this news.
Might she not, through Lady Corbet, obtain some
news of Lady Peckham and Arthur ? It was nearly
three years since she had heard anything of Arthur,
but she had never once forgotten to pray for him,
night and morning.

" You are willing to have me go then, aunt ?"

" What does the child mean ? Willing indeed !
Sou ought to be thankful on your knees for such
an honor, and you talk about being willing, as



BRISTOL. 179

though /ou had asked leave to go to the fair! I
am only afraid you will not know how to behave
properly .with such grand ladies, having lived in
the couutry all your life. Yes, of course I am
willing, oaly be careful of your manners, and be
sure you say 'my lady' every time you speak to
her."

Winifred smiled rather sadly. She had not
many fears upon the score of manners. She had
been used to intercourse with a much greater lady
than Lady Corbet, the wife of a Bristol sugar-
refiner ; but she was glad of the employment, as
well as of the prospect of some change in her mo-
notonous and dreary life. She had entertained
serious thoughts of setting up a little school of her
own, and here was the work ready provided for
her.

The last two years had brought many sad re-
verses to Winifred Evans. The removal of Lady
Peckham to London had been the first of a series
of changes which had ended by bringing her into
the little brick-paved kitchen in Fish Lane where
we now find her. But a few months after Gilbert
Evans sailed, taking with him his son, came news
of the total loss of the ship and crew. Master
Evans, who had been for some time in declining



180 WINIFRED.

health, had a paralytic stroke upon hearing the
news, and lingered on a helpless and apparently
senseless invalid till the next year. Then came
one of the devastating epidemics of that period;
sweeping over Bridgewater and all the towns in the
neighborhood. The feeble old man and Dame
Magdalen, worn out with care and sorrow, were
among the first victims, and Winifred was left with
nobody to depend upon but her uncle and aunt in
Bristol, whom she had seldom seen, and Lady
Peckham, who was far away in London and
London, so far as communication was concerned,
was as far from Bristol in that day as it is now
from New Zealand. She wrote at once to my lady,
sending the letter by one of the grooms at the
Hall who was going up to town, and waited
anxiously for an answer, but none came ; and at
last the news arrive'd at the Hall that Sir Edward
had gone abroad, taking his family with him ! Here
was a death-blow to all Winifred's hopes ! She had
nothing left to do but to return to Bristol with her
uncle and aunt and share their home, at least till
some prospect appeared of independent occupation.
Dame Evans was on the whole a well-meaning
woman, but like some other well-meaning persons,
very intolerable to live with. Housekeeping was



BRISTOL. 181

her idol. She cared for nothing in the \vorld but
scouring and cleaning, cooking and washing, spin-
ning, sewing, and knitting. In her mind a house
was not a place to live and be happy in, but some-
thing whose use was to be kept clean ; to have the
bricks scoured, the woodwork waxed and rubbed
and polished endlessly, the windows brightened,
and the flies driven out. Comfort and shelter were
secondary objects. Clothes were made to be
mended and kept clean ; and as to books, they
had, according to Dame Margery, " no use in the
'varsal world but to waste people's precious time
and keep them from their duties." Dame Margery
was a steady keeper at home on week-days, and a
regular church-goer on Sundays ; she never went
to revels or merry-makings, or allowed her family
to do so, and she would have been both surprised
and indignant if any one had told her that she was
as much wedded to the things of this world as her
neighbor the goldsmith's wife, whose gay gowns
and frequent parties were the talk of the whole
street ; and that it was as frivolous and belittling
to set her heart upon pewter tankards and fine
linen as upon flounces and lace. It did not occur
to her to think that drawers and cupboards, kit-
chen floors and parlor windows, trenchers and

if;



182 WINIFltED,

napkins, were as much earthly and transitory in
their nature as fairs and revels. Simon Evans
was a master- workman and well to do in the world ;
L>ut Dame Margery saved every penny and every
candle-end as carefully as she had done when he
was living upon the wages of a journeyman. She
allowed her family no better food, and had no

more to give away. If people were poor, it was


their own fault. She was not poor why could

not they do as she had done ? The question,
" Who maketh thee to differ ?" was one which did
not occur to her.

It may be guessed that Winifred and her aunt
<Jid not suit each other very well. Dame Evans
declared that the girl had been utterly spoiled by
poor sister Magdalen, who was nothing better than
a dreamer herself, for all her gentle blood, and
congratulated the child on at last getting into
hands that would give her some training and teach
her something useful. The training consisted in
toiling from morning till night to clean what had
just been washed and to wash what was already
clean ; in making garments which when done were
too good to be worn, and in being reminded every
day and all day long of her own deficiencies, and



BRISTOL. 183

of die goodness of her uncle and aunt in taking
upon themselves such a burden.

Winifred could not bring herself to feel that she
was a burden. She was well aware that she did as
much work as had ever been expected of Priscilla
at the farm, and since she had found fine needle-
work and embroidery to do, she had earned more
than enough money for her own support. More-
over she had taught the two girls to read and
write since she came to Bristol, rather, it must be
confessed, against the will of their mother, who
complained that Winnie would make Betsey and
Sally as idle and dreaming as herself. But here,
for once, Simon Evans exerted his authority, and
when he did, even Dame Margery had no choice
but to submit.

These were dreary days to Winifred. The
change was great from the open, breezy field and
heath, and the stately avenues and lovely gardens
cf the Hall, to the narrow alley where she now
lived. There was not a green thing to be seen
except from one window in the attic, where she
could catch a glimpse of some distant tree-tops ;
and at these tree-tops Winifred could gladly have
gazed for hours if she would have been allowed.
But it was hard for her tu find time even to think,



184 WINIFRED.

since Dame Margery's voice kept up an incessant
patter of small complaints and fault-findings,
email remarks and smaller gossip, for, although she
seldom went out, she contrived to pick up all the
news of the town. Her very voice grated on Wini-
fred's ears. She never spoke in a pleasant or
cheerful tone, and a stranger hearing her in an-
other room would be sure to think she was either
whining or b-colding ; while at the least annoyance
she took on a tone and expression of suffering
martyrdom. Koauing was out of the question, save
by fits and snatches, or on Sundays, when she was
not engaged in eookiug the Sunday dinner, or
keeping the little ones quiet, while their mothei
nodded over her Bible, under the idea that she
was performing a pious duty.

It was a great relief when Winifred found fine
sewing and embroidery enough to occupy her
hands for some hours of every day. The close
attention which this work required was a sufficient
excuse for not talking, and she was learning bj
degrees to listen to her aunt's voice as one lisiens
to the working of machinery or the patter of the
rain as a disagreeable noise which cannot be
helped. As she worked at the oimslm apron oj
the lace whisk which occupied lisr handc an^ eyes,



15HISTOL. 185

her thoughts were comparatively free, ana they
wandered backward over the past her pleasant
life at the farm, the hours spent at the Hall or with
good Dame Sprat, now enjoying that Heavenly
Inheritance to which she had so steadily looked
forward during her long and troubled life. She
called to mind her last precious conversations with
Lady Peckham, and the dying words of her
mother : " Winifred, lay hold on eternal life.
Whatever may be your lot here, never give up
your title to your Heavenly Inheritance. Re-
member always how He hath said, ( I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee :' and there is no
change in His goodness. I leave you in His hands
who never yet failed them that sought Him."*'

This was Winifred's only stay, her one source of
courage and comfort. Severe as was the change,
heavy as were her bereavements, weary and dull as
was her daily toil, fretting as were her daily trials,
it was her Heavenly Father who sent or who
allowed it all, and therefore all must be for her
good in the end, though it might be a long time
first. She was sure that there was waiting for her
a lovely, peaceful home, filled with all those beau-
tiful things which she loved, and many, many
others, far beyond anything she had seen or could
16*



186 WIN1F11ED.

conceive a home where all her dear ones were
waiting for her or would come at last, and where
there would be no more parting forever. "This
inheritance was hers prepared for her by her
Heavenly Father, sealed and made sure by her
Saviour's death and resurrection. It was to be hers
at last, however long she might have to wait, and
it might be hers any day. She might go to bed
any night in her little close bedroom, and awake
amid the unspeakable splendors of heaven.

Such thoughts gave Winifred courage to live
from day to day, making no plans, never looking
forward, but leaving all in better hands than her
own. They were no longer beautiful dreams, as in
the days when she walked over the heath or up to
the Hall. They alone were the living realities,
and all the rest was but a dream a weary, trouble-
some dream, which would pass away in the morn-
ing. She was careful to give no just cause of
offence, and when she was blamed unjustly, she
tried to accept it in the spirit of meekness, " know-
ing that the trial of our faith worketh patience,
and patience experience, and experience hope, and
hope maketh not ashamed."

It was with a thankful heart that Winifred
dressed herself next day for her first lesson at Lady



BRISTOL. 187

Corbet's. She thought it likely that she might
meet with some disagreeable things. Lady Corbet
evidently had a great idea of her own consequence,
and seemed to think she was conferring a favor on
Winifred by allowing her to teach her daughters.
It was very likeiy also tnat tne young ladies might
be proud and consequential. But at all events it
was a change. Sir John Corbet lived in the best
part of the city, on one of the hills upon which
Bristol is built. He had a fine house and also a
garden, and the very thought of seeing green and
growing plants was pleasant to one who had been
shut away from them so long.

" How pretty Cousin Winnie looks !" said Betsey,
gazing after her cousin as she tripped down the
lane with something of her old elastic step.

" Beauty is nothing, child !" said her mother,
though she herself was thinking at that moment
{hat Winifred was a very creditable young person
to have passing in and out of the house. " Good
looks are onlj skin deep ! Handsome is that hand-
some doesl"

* Then I tl}ink Winifred is the handsomest per-
Bon I know !" returned sturdy little Betsey ; " for
I am sure she is the very best."



CHAPTER xw.



THE CITY KNTGHT S FAMILY.

BRISTOL, at the time of our story, was the
second city in England, and was famous for
its wealth and luxury, for its West India trade and
its sugar refineries, and, alas ! also for the infamous
slave-trade of which it was the centre, and which
dealt in white skins as well as black ones, which
not only brought in negroes, but carried out white
boys and girls, stolen in the streets sometimes,
never to be heard of again. It contained some
splendid churches and several ancient endowed
schools and hospitals ; but the streets were so
narrow that no carts were used save those drawn
with dogs, and there was hardly a coach in tbe
whole city, for the simple reason that there was no
place in which to use one.

Winifred found Lady Corbet in her own private

088)



THE CITY KNIGHT'S FAMILY. 189

sitting-room, and was reminded at once of Mrs.
Alwright, not only by the basket of linen piled up
to be darned and the huge bunch of keys in its
little basket on the table, but even by something
in the lady's manner of handling her needle and
scissors.

" Ah ! so you have come betimes, Mrs. Evans !"
was her greeting. " I am truly glad to see you I
My girls are losing their time and running wild for
want of something to do. I have no time to teach
them myself, and my last governess has just mar-
ried Sir John's managing clerk and a good match
for her too, poor thing, for she was an orphan, and
Mr. Thomas Green is a good, kind, and steady
man, though perhaps a thought elderly. And
what can you teach, child anything besides tapes-
try and cut-work ? I suppose, for instance, you
don't know anything about figures ?"

"Yes, madam," replied Winifred she could not
biing herself to say niy lady " I know how to
cast accounts, and how to keep a household book."

"Dear me, how glad I am!" exclaimed Lady
Corbet, relaxing a little from the stateliness with
which she had met Winifred, and which did not
fieem in the least natural to her. "Then I am
sure you will help me now and then, won't you ?



190 WINIFRED.

Sir John he insists that I shall keep an account of
all the expenses of the house ; but what is the use,
when I never can make my sums come out twice
alike ?"

Winifred professed her willingness to render
any assistance which might be needed.

" Well, that is kind of you. You see, in such a
great household as this for Sir John he will have
all his clerks and 'prentices live in the family there
is a great deal going out all the time, and unless
some one looks after things, presently everything is
at sixes and sevens. Now I cannot make up my
mind to do like my cousin Norton the alderman's
wife she just spends and spends, and seems to
know no more what it costs to live than my Betty.
I cannot think that is right, somehow. It seems
as if one ought to give an account of one's steward-
ship, don't you think so, sweetheart ?" asked Lady
Corbet, who seemed quite delighted -at having
some one to whom she could talk freely.

" I do, indeed, madam !" replied Winifred, feel-
ing her heart warm toward the bustling lady, whom
she had at first thought she never could like. " I
shah 1 be glad to give you help about accounts or any
other matter. Mrs. Alwright taught me a good deal
about housekeeping when I used to go to the Hall."



THE CITY KNIGHT'S FAMILY. 191

"Mrs. Alwright!" exclaimed Lady Corbet.
" Dear me, child, you don't surely mean Hannah
AJwright she that was brought up by my old Lady
Carew, and afterward went to Jive with her daugh-
ter, Lady Peckham at Holford Hall ?"

" The same, madam," replied Winifred, her heart
beating fast. " My lady was the kindest friend I
ever had ; and I used to go to Mrs. Alwright two
or three times a week to learn fine work and other
things, and I stayed at the Hall for two weeks be-
fore my lady went away to London."

"Laws me! Do you know, my dear" Lady
Corbet's dignity had dissolved into thin air by this
time " I thought of Cousin Margaret the moment
I saw you at Mistress Bowler's the other day!
Not that you look like her, either, but you have
something in your manner and do you know any-
thing of my cousin, Mrs. Evans ?"

"Indeed I do not, madam," said Winifred, sadly.
" I hoped I might hear news of her from you."

"And 1 wish I had it for you, with all my heart!"
returned Lady Corbet. " But it is long since I
have had anything to do with the family. You see
I am related to the Carews by my mother's side,
and my old lady, she would have me to live with
her after my parents died It was good in her, no



192 WINIFRED.

doubt, but we did not get en well. My lady must
needs have everything in her own way, and she set
out to break cif my match with John Corbet, though
I had been betrothed to him in my parents' Ufa
time, and with their consent and to marry me to
Mr. Hervey, a cousin of her own, and a much
grander match, to be sure, as things were then,
than my poor John Corbet. But though I approve
of young folks being guided by their elders in all
such matters, I would not give up my poor John
for any Mr. Ilervey, so there was a breach directly.
My cousin Margaret took my part, though she
dared not say a great deal, for every one in the
house stood in awe of my lady. However, married
I was, and my lady would never see me afterward.
And how v/as my cousin, Mrs. Evans? Did not
poor Arthur's death break her down very much ?
Why, my dear, how white you are ! Is the room
too warm for you ?"

" I walked fast," said Winifred, recovering her-
self by a violent effort, though she felt stunned and
giddy.

<J Yes, I dare say, and you are not used to the
crowded streets. Here, take my smelling-} >ott]e.
Yes, poor Arthur died five or six years ago, so< >n
after he went abroad, and a pity it was. for he \* as



THE CITY KNIGHT'S FAMILY. 193

a likely youth, and they say the present lord will
never do any good. Well, my dear, your color has
come back, sure enough ; so if you are ready we
will go see my girls. Just let me lay out the clean
towels and napkins for the maids."

Winifred had time to recover the calmness which
had beeii so sorely shaken, while Lady Corbet
bustled about, arranging the linen. She under-
stood at once that the first report of Arthur's death
was the one to which Lady Corbet referred. She
was conscious of a mingled feeling of relief and in-
tense disappointment. She could not feel that no
news was good news, but at least it was not bad
news. She was quite her usual self when Lady
Corbet announced that she was ready to go up-
stairs. The school-room was in the upper floor
of a wing built out into the garden, and as they
opened the green baize door which separated it
from the rest of the house, their ears were met by
the sound of passionate crying.

"Ah, my poor Betty!" said Lady Corbet. "1
do hope, my dear Mrs. Evans, you will be able to
prevent that child's sisters from teasing her life
out. They dare not do so before me or their
father, but so sure as she is left alone with them
there is such a time ! Hevdav ! what does this



194 WINIFRED.

mean ?" slie exclaimed, as she opened tlie door.
" Betty, what are vou doing there I"

The scene partly explained itself. A pale little
girl of nine years or thereabout was perched very
insecurely, as it seemed, on the top of a high cab-
inet or chest of drawers. She had evidently
c 1 imbed to her elevation by means of a stool placed
upon a table, but the table had been pushed away,
and she had no means of descending ; while her
two sisters, twins of fourteen, stood laughing at


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