Page:Live and Let Live.djvu/191

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A HAPPY FAMILY.

191

with good people that behaved, some of them, I am free to own it, handsomer to me than I did to them; but never did I see a family I respected as I do Mr. Hyde's. It makes you feel like folks to have such a room as this, instead of a little stived up place, with just a nail here and there to hang your gowns on, broken chairs, a tottering table, and a bed that looks and feels any how. Such things show which way the wind blows; what rich folks think of poor folks. The ladies' rooms will be fixed off with everything, wardrobes, bureaus, dressing-tables, sofas, lounges, looking-glasses of all shapes and sizes, curtains, and piles of mattresses, perfumes enough to strangle you, and all sorts of notions that have no use but just to be taken care of and make work for us—something of a contrast to our sky-rooms! It gives one thoughts to think of it, and feelings too. Times are changed. It's no longer lords and ladies in the parlour, and slaves in the kitchen; but it's a kind of partnership concern, and in this family your share is fairly divided out to you; and I freely own, that if I could stay here, I should be contented to be help all my life."

"Contented and most thankful, I should think," said Lucy, availing herself of Martha's very first pause to express her sentiment.

"Why, yes, kind o' and kind o' not thankful, that, if you must live out, you live in such a place; but not thankful that you have not a home of your own—home is home, and we always hanker after it; but contented—yes—quite contented." How long Martha's garrulity might have led her on expressing, in her homely way, her not very dim perceptions of the present modification of the relation be-