The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 567 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 2.
years absence from school, their eyes shining with pleasure, while they shake hands with their old master, bringing a present of game to me, or a toy to my wife, and thanking me in the warmest terms for my care of their education.  A holiday is begged for the boys; the house is a scene of happiness; I, only, am sad at heart—­This fine-spirited and warm-hearted youth, who fancies he repays his master with gratitude for the care of his boyish years—­this young man—­in the eight long years I watched over him with a parent’s anxiety, never could repay me with one look of genuine feeling.  He was proud, when I praised; he was submissive, when I reproved him; but he did never love me—­and what he now mistakes for gratitude and kindness for me, is but the pleasant sensation, which all persons feel at revisiting the scene of their boyish hopes and fears; and the seeing on equal terms the man they were accustomed to look up to with reverence.  My wife too,” this interesting correspondent goes on to say, “my once darling Anna, is the wife of a schoolmaster.—­When I married her—­knowing that the wife of a schoolmaster ought to be a busy notable creature, and fearing that my gentle Anna would ill supply the loss of my dear bustling mother, just then dead, who never sat still, was in every part of the house in a moment, and whom I was obliged sometimes to threaten to fasten down in a chair, to save her from fatiguing herself to death—­I expressed my fears, that I was bringing her into a way of life unsuitable to her; and she, who loved me tenderly, promised for my sake to exert herself to perform the duties of her new situation.  She promised, and she has kept her word.  What wonders will not woman’s love perform?—­My house is managed with a propriety and decorum, unknown in other schools; my boys are well fed, look healthy, and have every proper accommodation; and all this performed with a careful economy, that never descends to meanness.  But I have lost my gentle, helpless Anna!—­When we sit down to enjoy an hour of repose after the fatigue of the day, I am compelled to listen to what have been her useful (and they are really useful) employments through the day, and what she proposes for her to-morrow’s task.  Her heart and her features are changed by the duties of her situation.  To the boys, she never appears other than the master’s wife, and she looks up to me as the boys’ master; to whom all show of love and affection would be highly improper, and unbecoming the dignity of her situation and mine.  Yet this my gratitude forbids me to hint to her.  For my sake she submitted to be this altered creature, and can I reproach her for it?”—­For the communication of this letter, I am indebted to my cousin Bridget.

[Footnote 1:  Urn Burial.]

VALENTINE’S DAY

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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