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ther's loaf, and drunk of his cup, for twenty years and more—to think that I am going to leave her—and to leave her in distress and dolour—No, Miss Lucy, you need never think it 1 You would not consent to put forth your father's poor dog, and would you use me warse than a messan?—No, Miss Lucy Bertram, while I live I will not separate from you—I'll be no burthen—I have thought how to prevent that. But, as Ruth said unto Naomi, 'Intreat me not to leave thee, nor to depart from thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou dwellest I will dwell; thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God. Where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried —-The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death do part thee and me."—
During this speech, the longest ever Dominie Sampson was known to utter, the affectionate creature's eyes streamed with tears, and neither Lucy nor MacMorlan could refrain from sympathizing with this unexpected burst of feeling and attachment. "Mr Sampson," said MacMorlan, after having had recourse to his snuff-box and handkerchief alternately, "my house is large enough, and if you will accept of a bed there, while Miss Bertram honours us with her residence, I shall think myself very happy, and my roof much favoured by receiving a man of your worth and fidelity."
And then with a delicacy, which was meant to remove any objection on Miss Bertram's part to bringing with her this unexpected satellite, he added, "My business requires my frequently having occasion for a better accountant than any of my present clerks, and I should be glad to have recourse to your assistance in that way now and then."
"Of a surety—of a surety," said Sampson eagerly, "I understand book-keeping by double entry and the Italian method."
Our postillion had thrust himself into the room to announce his chaise and
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horses; he tarried, unobserved, during this extraordinary scene, and assured Mrs Mac-Candlishitwas the most moving thing he ever saw; "the death of the grey mare, puir hizzie, was naething till't." This trifling circumstance afterwards had consequences of greater importance.
The visitors were hospitably welcomed by Mrs Mac-Morlan, to whom, as well as to others, her husband intimated that he had engaged Dominie Sampson's assistance to disentangle some perplexed accounts; during which occupation, he would, for convenience sake, reside with the family. Mr Mac-Morlan's knowledge of the world induced him to put this colour upon the matter, aware, that however honourable the fidelity of the Dominie's attachment might be, both to his own heart and to the family of Ellangowan, his exterior ill qualified him to be a "squire of dames," and rendered him, upon the whole, rather a ridiculous appendage to a beautiful young woman of seventeen.
Dominie Sampson achieved with great zeal such tasks as Mr Mac-Morlan chose to entrust him with: but it was speedily observed, that, atacertain hour after breakfast, he regularly disappeared, and returned again about dinner time. The evening he occupied in the labour of the office. Upon Saturday he appeared before MacMorlan with a look of great triumph, and laid on the table two pieces of gold. "What is this for, Dominie?" said MacMorlan.
"First to indemnify you of your charges in my behalf, worthy sir—and the balance for the use of Miss Lucy Bertram."
"But, Mr Sampson, your labour in the office much more than recompenses me— lam your debtor, my good friend."
"Then be it all," said the Dominie, waving his hand, "for Miss Lucy Bertram's behoof."
"Well, but Dominie, this money"
"It is honestly come by, Mr Mac-Morlan—it is the bountiful reward of a young gentleman to whom I am teaching the tongues—reading with him three hours daily."
A few more questions extracted from the Dominie, that this liberal pupil was young Hazlewood, and that he met his preceptor daily at the house of Mrs Mac-Candlish, whose proclamation of Sampson's disinterested attachment to the young lady had procured him this indefatigable and bounteous scholar.
Mac-Morlan was much struck with what he heard. Dominie Sampson was a very good scholar, and an excellent man, and the classics were unquestionably very well worth reading; yet that a young man of twenty should ride seven miles and back again each day in the week, to hold this sort of tete-a-tete of three hours, was a zeal for literature to which he was not prepared to give entire credit. Little art was necessary to sift the Dominie, for the honest man's head never admitted any but the most direct and simple ideas. "Does