Page:A New England Tale.djvu/127

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up. Jane seemed to find the task very difficult; for a little girl, who sat by the working stand, observed, "Miss Jane, I could take up the stitches better than you do; you miss them half."

"Give me my spectacles—I'll do it myself," said Mrs. .Wilson. "Some people are very easily discomposed."

It was a warm evening in the latter part of September; the window was open; Jane retreated to it, and busied herself in pulling the leaves off a rose-bush. Erskine brought matters to a crisis by saying, "I called, Mrs. Wilson, to ask of you the favour of Miss Elton's company to-morrow on the bridal escort."

"I am sorry," replied Mrs. Wilson, "that any young woman's manners, who is brought up in my house, should authorize a gentleman to believe she will, of course, ride with him if asked."

"I beg your pardon, madam," replied Edward (for he, at least, had no fear of the redoubtable Mrs. Wilson,) "I have been so happy as to obtain Miss Elton's consent, subject to yours."

"Is it possible!" answered Mrs. Wilson, sneeringly—" quite an unlooked-for deference from Miss Elton; not unnecessary however, for she probably recollected, that to-morrow is lecture-day; and, indifferent as she is to the privilege of going to meeting, she knows that no pleasures ever prevent my going."

"No, madam," replied Erskine, "the pleasures of others weigh very light against your duties."