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The youngest of the two Miss Parkinsons, of Park Place, amazingly disobliged her family by marrying the Reverend Henry Wellford, vicar of · Summerfield, who had nothing on earth but good looks, good qualities, and four hundred and fifty pounds a year to recommend him. Alas! how did her father storm and rage, how did her mother fume and fret, how did aunt Diana congratulate herself that she had settled her thirty thousand pounds on Hannah her eldest niece, how did the aforesaid Hannah sneer and observe « she had thought how it would end,” and how did the good folks of Stoke Barton stare and sigh and shake their heads, and bless heaven that no poor

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VOL. I.

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VILLAGE BELLES.

VILLAGE BELLES.

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vicar had ever fallen in love with any of their daughters! Catherine Parkinson, who had refused Sir Robert Bosanquet! Henry Wellford, who might have had rich Miss Trotter for asking! So unadvised of both parties-nobody was surprised at old Mr. Parkinson's shutting his doors for ever against the young couple; or wasted much thought on the fate of the fine young man and the beautiful girl after the first excitement of astonishment was over, except Dr. Pennington, the rector of Stoke Barton; and he was second cousin to Henry Wellford, so no wonder!

Miss Hannah, having exhausted her spleen on the subject of her sister Kate's imprudent match, found herself in her twenty-ninth year on the verge of old-maidism, with

be good for her

, being cheerful, personable, and easy-tempered. The gentleman was acogled the marriage celebrated with all conte. beat speed; and the wedded pair went steadily bruge all the gradations customary in the byme. al state-exactly in the inverse order of those a te formd in a sonata. First they were “brilsatz " and even when the wedding clothes

grew 1st

, continued “allegro," then sank into “allepratunext to“ moderato"—then came “a-catrin,and at length a monotonous “andante, sisened only by a few of Mr. James Parkinson's

berts “ a furore." To say truth, if it had not

them for the gentleman's imperturbable good hu

Nobody coming to marry her, Nobody coming to woo;'

ww, her peevish, fractious temper would have was unbearable; and as it was, they went on like to performers on the piano-forte playing separate aby way of duet-he, in calm serenity, jogpag on with “ Just like Love" in the bass, while le in another key, and with shrill vehemence

te running up and down the indignant scales o

"Trifer, forbear!" in the treble.

not even a poor vicar; and the subject was beginning to give her considerable uneasiness, when her father's heir-at-law, Mr. James Parkinson, who for many years had regularly visited Park Place in the shooting season, came down for the express purpose of making her an offer. He was

The mind turns with pleasure from this matr

social concert to the neglected young pair

| Summerfield vicarage. Catherine Wellford, P.

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ac

only too good for her, being cheerful, personable, and easy-tempered. The gentleman was cepted, the marriage celebrated with all convenient speed; and the wedded pair went steadily through all the gradations customary in the hymeneal state--exactly in the inverse order of those to be found in a sonata. First they were “brillante," and even when the wedding clothes grew dirty, continued “allegro," then sank into “allegretto," next to “moderato"-then came a-capriccio," and at length a monotonous andante,” enlivened only by a few of Mr. James Parkinson's a furore.”

To say truth, if it had not been for the gentleman's imperturbable good humour, her peevish, fractious temper would have been unbearable; and as it was, they went on like two performers on the piano-forte playing separate airs by way of duet-he, in calm serenity, jogging on with “ Just like Love” in the bass, while she in another key, and with shrill vehemence, was running up and down the indignant scales of “ Trifler, forbear!” in the treble.

The mind turns with pleasure from this matrimonial concert to the neglected young pair in Summerfield vicarage. Catherine Wellford, per

bursts «

VILLAGE BELLES.

5

fectly satisfied with the companion and station she had chosen for life, yet felt a little natural compunction at having dared to make herself happy in opposition to the will of those whom nature had constituted her arbiters. She endeavoured, therefore, to atone for her breach of filial obedience by humble letters to her parents; but as they remained true to that inflexibility of purpose which, exercised in daily minutiæ, had in a great measure driven their daughter from her home, she at length abstained from appeals which she found to be useless.

Nothing could be much less inviting than the first appearance of Summerfield vicarage. It was a small, dull-looking, red-brick building, such as may often be seen inhabited by the curés of the French provinces, having a little inverted battlement-like brickwork ornament,—stay, what is the architectural word? dentilsa row of square teeth, as it were, running along the front; a tiled roof, and heavy latticed windows with deep seats; an ungainly looking house, in short, but one which like some plain women, might be rendered attrac. tive by dress and decoration. A smoky parlour on one side of the hall or passage, a small study

a he other, kitchen and et ceteras behind, stairs
q and down at every corner, and four oddly
bged bedrooms above. The garden, separated
ten the churchyard by a ruinous paling, was
Il on one side with potatoes, on the other with
realifowers run to seed; and the walks were rer.
bant with moss. Such was the home to which
Bay Welford, who had only been presented to
bie ricarage just before his marriage, brought the
pang bride who had hitherto been accustomed to
tely comfort except that of kindness. Without
isanpaiming of their lot, they immediately set
dont the improvement of the face of things

read them. The parlour chimney was cured of
auking

, the walls were papered, book-shelves and
matkins put up, the garden walks cleared, erer
pasus planted, and the palings mended and paint
છે.

Haring made this promising beginning, M
and Mrs. Wellford had leisure to study eac
mbet's characters and those of their neighbou
Heary found his wife possessed of an ardent,
yaring mind which had hitherto been little cu
taled, and a disposition which not even
skat irritation had been able to spoil, pron
spent of its hasty errors, and full of charity

on the other, kitchen and et ceteras behind, stairs
up and down at every corner, and four oddly
shaped bedrooms above. The garden, separated
from the churchyard by a ruinous paling, was
filled on one side with potatoes, on the other with
cauliflowers run to seed ; and the walks were ver-
dant with moss. Such was the home to which
Henry Wellford, who had only been presented to
the vicarage just before his marriage, brought the
young bride who had hitherto been accustomed to
every comfort except that of kindness. Without
complaining of their lot, they immediately set
about the improvement of the face of things
around them. The parlour chimney was cured of
smoking, the walls were papered, book-shelves and
curtains put up, the garden walks cleared, ever-
greens planted, and the palings mended and paint-
ed. Having made this promising beginning, Mr.
and Mrs. Wellford had leisure to study each
other's characters and those of their neighbours.
Henry found his wife possessed of an ardent, en-
quiring mind which had hitherto been little culti-
rated, and a disposition which not even
stant irritation had been able to spoil, prone to
repent of its hasty errors, and full of charity and

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