Lancashire Idylls (1898) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about Lancashire Idylls (1898).

By this time Matt and his wife were on the threshold of their cottage, and the woman’s heart beat loudly as she felt the moment of her great confession was at hand.

‘Naa, come, Merry’ (he always called her Merry in the higher moments of their domestic life)—­’come, Merry, no secrets, thaa knows.  There’s naught ever come atween thee and me, and if I can help, naught ever shall.’

Miriam started, and once more wondered if the little life of which Matt as yet knew nothing would come in between herself and him, and divide them; or whether it would bind more closely their already sacred union.

‘Naa, Merry,’ continued he, seating himself in the rocking-chair, or ‘courtin’-cheer,’ as he called it, and drawing his blushing, yielding wife gently on his knee, ‘naa, Merry, whod is it?’

‘Cornd ta guess?’ asked she, hiding her face on his shoulder.

‘Nowe, lass; aw’ve tried th’ hens and mi mother, and aw’m wrang i’ both, an’ aw never knew aught bother thee but t’ one or t’ other on ’em.  Where mun I go next?’

Again there were tears in Miriam’s eyes, and with one supreme effort she raised her blushing face from Matt’s shoulder to his bushy whiskers, and burying her rosy lips near his ear, whispered something, and then sank on his breast.

Then Matt drew his wife so closely to him that she bit her lips to stifle the cry of pain that his love-clasp brought; and when he let her go, it was that he might shower on her a rain of kisses, diviner than had ever been hers in the seven happy years of their past wedded life.  For some minutes Matt sat with Miriam in his arms, a spell of sanctity and silence filling the room.  In that silence both heard a voice—­a little voice—­preludious of the music of heaven, and they peopled the light which haloed them with a presence, childlike and pure.  Then it was that Miriam looked up at her husband and said: 

‘Th’ promise is not brokken, thaa sees, after all.  It’s to us and to aar childer, for all thi mother hes said so mich abaat it.’

‘Ey, lass,’ replied he, his manhood swept by emotion, ‘o’ sich is the kingdom o’ heaven.’

And a gleam of firelight fell on the darkening wall, and lit up an old text which hung there, and they both read, ’Children are a heritage from God.’

* * * * *

‘An’ arto baan to keep it a secret, lass?’ asked Matt, when once the spell of silence was broken.

’Why shouldn’t I?  There’s no one as aw know as has any reet to know but thee.’

‘But they’ll noan be so long i’ findin’ it aat.  Then they’ll never let us alone, lass.  There’ll be some gammin’, aw con tell thee.’

’I’m noan feared on ’em, Matt.  I con stan’ mi corner if thaa con.’

’Yi, a dozen corners naa, lass.  Thaa knows it used to be hard afore when they were all chaffin’ me at th’ factory, but they can talk their tungs off naa for aught I care.  But they’ll soon find it aat.’

Project Gutenberg
Lancashire Idylls (1898) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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