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cane-seat, the tables of stained wood; but learned four new pieces since the baby in its cheerful aspect and its neatness, it was born. Indeed, we have quite a little shamed many a dining-room in palatial concert here every night. She plays and homes. The linen was not extra fine, but sings, and I have my fute and -- they're it was exquisitely white and had been so very pleasant, too ;” and a look of incarefully ironed that auntie afterwards tense satisfaction settled over his features. declared she believed it was folded by “ And how about that baby ; don't it the threads. There was only ironstone ever put in a solo ?” china, but it was fairly slippery with its "Seldom, auntie. Indeed, I don't bepolish, while the spoons and knives and lieve there ever was just such another forks glistened as though newly bought. child, though Mary says it's a mother's The repast was very simple, for our own fault that there are not more just friends were far from wealthy, but they like pet. You see she has a theory of had the luxuries which the owner of a her own, that a child should be managed garden and pasture can offer his guests, right as soon as it's born; and by that, I sweet cream, sweet butter, crisp radishes, suppose she means that it should be propand fresh strawberries, while such light erly washed and dressed and handled and and snow-white biscuits and such delicate- fed regularly, and put to sleep at set ly cured ham are seldom seen on the table hours. I don't pretend to know much of the moneyed rich. And then the tea, about it, but I do know ours has been - if there was anything Aunt Annie es- wonderfully little trouble. She's always pecially delighted in, it was a cup of good asleep at dinner-time, when Betsey is tea, and this to-night suited her exactly needed in the kitchen and couldn't be “ The water hadn't been just warmed spared to go up and tend her, and she's through, nor had it been boiled till the always awake at tea-time, when she can life was out of it, nor had the kettle been go as well as not. But here she comes,” filled with stale water either. You can't as Mary glided down the stairs with the make good tea, and there's no use in try- little one in its night-dress, and ran into ing to, unless your water is fresh from the parlor. the well, boiled on a brisk fire, and then There were a few moments of merry turned on to the tea just as soon as it's gambolling with papa, and then the carefairly a-bubbling. And then ten chances ful, thoughtful mother took the babe to one if the tea isn't spoiled, either again and, handing it around for its kisses, standing round till it's red and half cold went up with it. In less than five minor steeping till it smells like hay-seed." utes she was down again.
“ And now, Charles, you must sit with “ Baby asleep so soon ?” said Mrs. auntie awhile in the parlor, till I put Gray. baby to bed. Auntie will excuse me, I “ Asleep!” and Mary laughed. “No, know, if I keep up my rules even this indeed; she's wide awake in her crib, first night. These little pets are sure to cooing to herself like a little dove. take an ell if you give an inch ; and she's Asleep!” 80 good, now, I can't bear to have her “Why, you don't mean to say you put spoiled. I'll bring her down for her that six-months-old baby to bed awake !" kisses;" —and she ran lightly up-stairs, the exclaimed auntie. refrain of a sweet song floating through “ But I do. I've never rocked her to the hall.
sleep yet.” “She hasn't lost her voice," said Mrs. " Not when she's sick ?" Gray, as she lingered on the porch, “She's never been siek yet." watching the purple shadows that were “Hasn't ? Well, you're lucky; or creeping over the distant hills.
rather there's a providence in it.”
into my secrets a little. Just as soon as neck were the sweetest things on the I found out that God was going to give earth to look at; but I knew I should be me my little pet, I began to get ready for frozen in midwinter to go about the house the darling. I was always pretty healthy with a low-necked, short-sleeved dress ; you know, and from that time I took ex- and how must a poor little baby suffer! tra care of myself, — not coddling my- Mrs. Morse, my next-door neighbor, used self, but doing those things which I to say, You must toughen them, thought would strengthen me and act toughen them;' and she tried it with happily upon the nature of the little one. her baby, — it was born a fortnight after I ate only such food as I knew to be per- ours, -and it only lived six weeks'; took fectly healthy and at regular hours. I the croup and died.” She paused a few forced myself to get up at just such a moments, and then continued, in a plain time in the morning, to take a nap at just tive tone, “You mustn't think, dear. such an hour in the day, and I went to auntie, that I expect to always keep my bed at ten precisely. I never allowed baby because I've tried so hard to have myself to get tired ; I always stopped and her come into the world healthy and to rested when I began to flag. I went out keep well. I know she is liable at any every day. I studied some every day, hour to have the measles or whooping, and was very careful about my reading; cough or scarlet fever or diphtheria. I I never allowed myself to read anything know babies do die every day, in spite of intensely sensational, whether of love or all that is done to save them; but I do murder. And, above all, I never fretted. not want to feel when my little one is When anything happened to worry me, I gone that, but for my foolish pride of would run to the piano and play and sing show, or my careless neglect of her till I was good-natured again. And as health, she might have still been with me. soon as my little one was placed in my And while she does stay, I want her to arms I began to manage her. I made be happy; and I know a baby that is althe nurse wash and dress her and undress ways sick cannot be happy, and I know, her at just such hours. I had regular too, that a child who always has its own times for nursing. I never allowed her way isn't happy. The baby don't know to sleep on my arm, or in the same bed that, if I let it overload its stomach, it with me, nor would I let the nurse rock will have the stomach-ache, but I do, and or trot her to sleep. She had her little I know, too, that it will be cross after it; crib, and she has never been put into it and knowing that, I only let her eat when asleep, unless she happened, which was I know she's hungry. But there, I'm not not often, to fall asleep on my arm. I going to lecture any longer on the baby was careful of my own diet, that her food theme, though it isn't half exhausted yet ; might be healthy and free from anything but I'll reserve the rest for some one who that might worry her. And I dressed is likely to need it more than this blessed her, not as the fashion-plates dictate, but auntie;" and gliding from her chair, as the doctors say a baby should be he nestled down on a hassock at the old dressed. My neighbors all laughed at lady's feet, and putting off the matron as me when they came in to see her; for, easily and gracefully as she had left one instead of long white cambric robes, em- seat for another, she became a very child, broidered and fluted and tucked till a asking question after question about her laundry maid would be ready to cry out old associates. and wonder where to begin to iron, she “There's Betsey with the lights," said had little soft flannel slips — she was she to her husband, as a glimmer drifted born in cold weather — long enough to into the hall, “ Wont you please put up cover her feet, but not to be in the way, the bars ?” and made with long sleeves and high Before Betsey had fairly set down the necks. I'll own up, auntie, I did have lamps, the windows, all three, were to battle hard with myself to make them; screened, and a “mosquito door ”slipped for I always did think a baby's arms and over the front entrance.
"Well, now, that's nice,” said Mrs. goes out, and I like to have her look Gray. "You seem to think of everything sweet and pretty to him. We breakfast here."
at seven, auntie ; but if you feel too tired "Oh, we like to be comfortable, auntie; to rise early to-morrow, just lie still till and if there's anything worries me, it's you get rested. Charles has to be in the moths and bugs flying into the lights and office by eight, or I would put it off later buzzing around your ears. And now for while you are here.” some music;” and she opened the piano. “Sleeping after six o'clock on a sum
Her husband took his flute and stood mer's morning don't rest a body much, beside her, and for an hour there was a according to my notions,” said Mrs. Gray. little family concert; and many a passer- Ring the bell as usual." by lingered a moment at the gate to catch Precisely at seven the bell rang, and a snatch of the sweet sounds.
when Mrs. Gray entered the breakfastNow we'll have • Old Hundred," room, the meal was upon the table, and said the little wife ; "and auntie must the hostess ready to do the honors, her sing too.”
face fresh and smiling, her hair neatly So Mr. Seymour put down his flute, arranged, with a moss rosebud nestling and leading Mrs. Gray to the piano, the amidst the luxuriant braids. trio sung that blessed old hymn; and “Some of Charles's doings," she laughthough the treble voice was a little ingly said. “I never can teach him that cracked, no listener would have cared; it is not in good taste, or according to for the soul of the aged singer made itself etiquette, for a lady to wear flowers at elearly heard.
the breakfast-table. Just as long as “ And now auntie must go to bed, for there is a rose or pansy in the garden, I know she's tired ;” and she gently took he will have it for my
hair." her by the hand and went with her up- The morning-dress of pretty gingham, stairs.
fast colors, the white apron, yet in its Will you
at baby ?" she folds, the snow-white stockings and dainsaid, as they passed the nursery, which ty slippers, completed the costume, as bewas also their chamber.
coming as it was serviceable and approA night-lamp was burning dimly just priate. outside the door. She took it up and, Like the tea, the meal was frugal, but brightening its light, went in.
exquisitely appetizing: crisp toast, not a • Why, show cool and sweet it seems shade too brown, corn bread, golden as here!” said Aunt Annie.
the butter that flanked it, fresh eggs, · Yes, we keep a thermometer here radishes, strawberries, cream, and coffee summer and winter, and I never let anyo clear as wine, and with the true Mocha thing the least bit foul stay here a min. flavor. ute. See her, auntie ; don't she look The breakfast eaten, they repaired to sweet ? ” and if the young mother was a the parlor, and a moment after, Betsey little vain of her darling, it was certainly came down the stairs with the baby, excusable; for she did indeed look pretty as a picture in its simple white sweet,” using the word as it is defined slip fresh froin the drawer, and looking in the mother's vocabulary.
so contented and happy that, as Aunt An" And how long will she sleep so, Ma- nie said, “ it did one's heart good to look
at it." “I don't know how long she would ; While the father frolicked with the but I always take her up at ten and child, the mother ran over a new piece of nurse her and put her back, and again at music Mrs. Gray had brought her, saying four in the morning. At six, I take her as she did so, up and wash and dress her."
“I have to economize time nowa" What, before breakfast ? ”
days." Oh, yes! Her father always likes When Mr. Seymour was gone, she said to have a good frolic with her þefore he to her aunt, “Will you sit here or up
take a peep
stairs for an hour ? I have some things she frolicked with it for half an hour. to see to."
Then she nursed it and put it into the « Oh, let me go up with the baby !" crib, and drawing the window-curtains, and they repaired to the nursery. It was motioned to her aunt to come with her in perfect order, Mrs. Seymour always down-stairs. stripping the bed as soon as she rose, that “This is my den,” opening a door into it might be properly aired against break- a little room off the hall
. Here I cut fast-time, when Betsey made it and out and baste and mend and patch, and brushed up and dusted, the baby cooing this is the time I always take to do it. I to itself in the crib.
can't bear such kind of work around after Bringing from a closet a large bed dinner ;” and seating Mrs. Gray in a comfortable, the young mother spread it low rocker, she took her sewing-chair, on the floor, and laid the baby on it, first and darned stockings and sewed on butgiving it, as she said, its lunch.
tons and strings till the mending-basket “ By and by you'll be big enough to was empty. sit up, darling,” she said, fondly; “but, “ And pow I'll go and dress for dintill then, you must be content to lie here ner,” she said, laughingly. “I always and kick. And now good-by, pet.” do, even when there's no one here but
She was gone an hour. Her face was Charles ; somehow, I feel the better for a little flushed as she came back, and it.” quite wet with perspiration,
The change was only to a simple white “I hope you haven't been worrying cambric loose dress, with a black silk over the stove, Mary, this hot morning. apron ; yet it would have suited the most Pray don't make any difference for me." fastidious taste, so perfectly neat and be
"I wont, auntie; I never do for any- coming was it. She made a pretty picbody. What's good enough for Charles ture in her fresh, cool dress, fair counteis good enough for the next best friend I nance, and womanly grace, as she stood have. I have hardly been in the kitch- on the threshold, framed in with rose and en. Betsey takes care of that mostly, clematis vines; and Mrs. Gray did not that and the dining-room. I tend the wonder that the young husband bounded parlor and hall and stairs. It's weeding up the pathway like an impatient lover, makes me look so warm; I take all the and, barely waiting till he had drawn her care of the flower-garden. It's healthy, into the parlor, snatched half a dozen and then I love it. But how's this little kisses from her lips. She pretended not one ? Fast asleep as usual ?”
to see it, seeming to be busy picking up “Yes, I never saw anything like it! a dropped stitch in her knitting; but a She just rolled and kicked and cooed, and great tear slipped down her cheek, for it then dropped off to sleep in a moment. was just so he used to meet her, he Does she always do so?"
whose lips had ceased kissing these twen. “ Yes; but I don't let her sleep long ty years ago, and who lay under the sod this first nap, because I like to have her of the old burying-ground, waiting for her asleep at dinner, as we need Betsey in to come when life should be over, the kitchen then ;” and she proceeded to “Nay,” and she spoke softly to herwash her face and hands and smooth her self, “nay, waiting to kiss me in hair; then she knelt down by the side of heaven.” the child and began to play with its fin- As soon as dinner was over, Mrs. Seygers and kiss its face and neck, -gently, mour went to the nursery, and in a little very. It soon began to stir. She whis- time returned with the baby, who, goodpered in its ear, and then began to sing, natured with its long nap, was all ready
first softly, then louder and clearer. for a frolic with its father. He danced Ere the song was over, the baby, wide with it while the mother played, and awake, was looking up and laughing at Aunt Annie declared he'd have the house her.
down with his hornpipes and jigs and “ Now for a good time, Annie ;” and/reels.
“She's used to it,” he said, as he final. wanted to find me in the parlor always ly sat down; "we always have a time when he came home. But I was going after dinner; don't we, pet ?” and he to be very economical, and so wouldn't fondled the child tenderly. “ Don't you have one, forgetting · that money isn't the think I ought to be a very happy man, only thing in the world we should be savwith such a pretty baby and” - he ing of. Well, for a few days everything glanced roguishly at his wife, - "such a went on pretty well, only I couldn't, of pretty little mother for it."
course, be in the parlor when he came in “ Indeed, I do, Charles. The baby is to dinner, because if I was, the dinner a beauty, and so good; and Mary, why, burned up in the kitchen. And then I declare she don't look a day older than sometimes I'd be so busy there I'd forget when you married her.”
the fire here, and the room would be like “That's because I've such a good hus- a barn; and then, careful as I tried to be band,” said she, archly; but there was a of my dress, there would sometimes world of love in the look after all.
grease spatter over it, and I'd come to “ Not altogether, Mollie,” answered he, the table in a hurry and forget my check in the same tone ; “it's because you're so apron, or have my sleeves rolled up, or good yourself. I'll leave it to you, my hair would be tumbled, or my face auntie, if she isn't a pattern wife, mother, would be like a beet; and all such things and housekeeper.”
fretted Charles, though he didn't say a “Well, then, she is, Charles. But do word. You needn't say they didn't, you know I really dreaded to come here, now," putting her fingers over his lips, for fear I should find she wasn't? You" for they did, and I don't blame you for don't know what a relief it is to me” — feeling cross ; for when a man is able to
“ Not to find everything helter-skelter, hire help and wants to do so, he's a right - baby dirty and cross, mother snappish to expect his wife will come to dinner as and slovenly, husband sour and button. a companion should, neat and pretty, and less, girl sulky and greasy, and so on and not too hot and tired to feel like talking so forth !” and a merry laugh rippled pleasantly. And then, though healthy, I from Mrs. Seymour's lips. Own up, wasn't strong, and I did get so tired some now, auntie, didn't you always think I'd days, and then I was shiftless. I'd feel turn out a shiftless woman?”
too tired to do this to-day, and I'd say, “Well, I did, Mary. You were al- I'll wait until to-morrow;' but to-morways quick to learn things about the row brought its own work, and something house, and, when you had a mind to, no else was left over. But I wont tire you body could do better ; but — well — you telling you just how we lived the first weren't prompt, and that's the secret of three months. One morning Charles was good housekeeping. Things must be going out of town, and I was hurrying to done at the right time. I'm so glad get breakfast, when he came to the stairs you've learned the lesson, got it by and called, • Mary, haven't I got any heart, too, I guess ; for, old as I am, I shirts with buttons on?' I didn't say don't think I could improve anything I yes, for I couldn't have told for the life have seen yet.”
of me; but I ran up-stairs to see. There “ But oh, what a time I had learning wasn't one ; so I got my sewing-basket, it, auntie! Didn't I, Charles ?” hunted up some buttons, and sewed them
“ Yes, but don't speak of it now, dear; on, — he, poor martyr, standing there ail it's all over, and I don't like to think of the time in a 'shiver. Well, I ran down it.”
to find my ham all burned up, and the “But you must let me confess to kitchen thick with greasy smoke. I had auntie. You see, I made a mistake in just cut another slice when, Mary, have the beginning. Charles wanted a girl at I got any whole socks?' I ran to see. once, à competent woman. He said he No, he hadn't. I couldn't stop to darn a was able to hire one, and he didn't want pair then'; but I picked out the pair that me in the kitchen half the time; he had the smallest holes, handed them to