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"thou hast done well-and now will I redeem my promise, and bestir myself in thy behalf."

For the remainder of the evening Miriam and her daughter were left alone in the parlour. Jethro retired to continue and conclude his arrangements for his departure on the morrow, and Grimshaw absented himself, under the belief that his suit would be urged with more freedom and effect in consequence of his absence.

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CHAPTER II.

Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes.
Midsummer Night's Dream.

Sall never berne gar hreif the bill,
At bidding me to bow.

Mourning Maiden.

Anglice:-No one shall enrol the summons, which shall force me to yield to his suit.

MIRIAM was too well acquainted with her daughter's temperament to omit taking her measures warily, in approaching her upon the subject which Grimshaw had committed to her management. It was indeed a delicate task; and she feared that a proposition suddenly made and boldly advocated might frustrate the plan, which, with greater probability, would prove successful by a gradual development of her designs in favour of the lawyer. But a spark will spring a mine as easily as a brand.

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Why is it, Ruth," said Miriam, interrupting a long silence in the parlour, where both mother and daughter were intent upon their needlework," why is it, that to all the world else thou art obliging and courteous in thy speech and manners, while to Lawyer Grimshaw, the inmate of our house, thou art unkind and distant— nay, almost churlish ?”

Gentle as was this first demonstration of Miriam, an indefinable suspicion came over the mind of Ruth, upon the utterance of so unusual a query; and the keen glance of her eyes sought to penetrate the ulterior tendency of

her mother's speech. But Ruth discovered nothing in Miriam's countenance indicative of any latent design: it was calm and unruffled as usual; and Lavater himself must have used a lens of more than ordinary power, to detect the secret workings of her schooled mind upon her brow, or the trace of plot or scheme in her unbetraying eye. She contrived, however, carelessly to throw a sidelong glance at Ruth, while bending her head to bite off the thread of her work, in order to estimate the effect of her first attempt at breaking ground.

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Why dost thou ask that question, mother?" demanded Ruth, who was impressed with a vague belief that Miriam intended more than met her ear.

"Thou takest a curious method of replying to my question, by proposing another," said Miriam; "but I will answer thee;-nay, thou dost even now curl thy lip and contract thy brow at the very mention of his name. For shame, Ruth! Hath he not ever treated us, and thee in an especial manner, with becoming civility?"

"A plague on his especial civilities!" said Ruth; "the man annoys me over-much. I cannot endure him. If thou art curious to know some of the grounds of my dislike, I am free to say that he hath neither the grace nor the spirit of a man, or he would cease to haunt my steps, and to vex me with his drawling importunities to enter into conversation with him. Let me go where I will, he is sure to intrude his unwelcome presence. In company he is always at my elbow; if I move away from him he follows me; if I speak he is sure to put in his oar; at the meeting-house he places himself in a position to pester me with his staring saucer eyes; and at home he bores me to death with his twaddle upon the state of the weather;-in short, mother, he is particularly disagreeable."

"For my part," replied Miriam, "I can discover in all this nothing but a desire to render himself accept

able. Thou hast yet to learn, I perceive, that a professional man, like friend Grimshaw, may claim superior consideration in society; but instead thereof, thou hast uniformly treated him with rudeness and contumely. His attainments, which so much exceed those of thy other young acquaintances, should entitle him to thy respect at least; and, above all, while he is our guest, the bounds of hospitality ought not to be infringed in thy behaviour to him, lest the world should say that we do not practise common courtesy to strangers. It would be a grievous thing to hear our family alone censured for a departure from propriety of conduct in this particular. I do not ask thee to be overstrained in thy manners towards him, for that is a fault which savours of insincerity and hypocrisy; but I pray thee to be more civil in thy speech and conduct than thou hast heretofore been. It may profit thee much hereafter."

"Mother,” replied Ruth, “thou hast always taught me to be honest in my speech, and I will not now commence playing the hypocrite by deceiving thee. However favourably Grimshaw and his pretensions may appear in thy sight-with me neither his person nor his profession can have the least influence. His manners do not please me, though that may be matter of mere taste; but I am sure hat his professional abilities must be far below mediocrity, or he would not think of remaining at Nantucket, where his light must be for ever dim, for lack of the wherewithal to nourish the flame. Mother! there is more in this than thou speakest. Thou hast hinted that it may profit me hereafter to alter my demeanour towards Grimshaw: prithee tell me wherein it may advantage me to change my manner towards one so unworthy of a moment's notice."

"Thou speakest unadvisedly, when thou sayest he is unworthy of notice. The graces of his person do not commend themselves, I grant thee; for he is plain in all that may be termed outward comeliness: but dost thou estimate the cultivation of the mind as nothing?

Doth not à learned profession, as it were, ennoble the possessor? I will be serious with thee, Ruth. All women at some period of their lives think of marriage. Thou art yet young, but I have known younger women than thou to change their estate. When the proper time comes, or rather when the proper person presents himself, it is not meet to forego the opportunity and the advantage which may never again occur. Thus to throw away a pearl of price is a wicked slighting of the gifts of Providence. The young often look through a false medium in these important concerns, and suffer a wayward fancy or a childish conceit to control their election of a partner for life. The lights of age and experience should always be brought to their aid; nor ought they by any means to be slighted, for they show the way to permanent happiness and worldly honour. Grimshaw, though he be ten years thy senior, is the man whom I would select for thee-"

"What dost thou say-did I understand thee aright mother!" exclaimed Ruth in consternation.

"Hear me to the end. I would select him for thee, because of his station in life. To be the wife of Lawyer Grimshaw would give thee an ascendency in society which thou canst never hope to obtain by uniting thy destiny with any of the islanders. His title alone, to speak nothing of the wealth thou wouldst bring him, would place thee upon an enviable eminence, to which in our simple community all men would look up with respect and envy. What honour could a whale-fisherman bring thee?_"

"Enough-mother!-I have heard enough! And is it for this thou wouldst have me change my bearing towards him, and turn courtier to a spiritless fortune-hunter! And dost thou say that a whale-fisherman cannot bring honour! What!-not he that in noble daring challenges the world in emulation, and braves the dangers of the deep!-he that outstrips in

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