Janice Meredith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about Janice Meredith.

“What’s to do now?” cried the parent.

“A pretty to do, indeed,” his wife assured him.  “Dost want her running off some fine night with thy groom?”

“Tush, Matilda!” responded Mr. Meredith. “’T is impossible.”

“Just what my parents said when thou camest a-courting.”

“I was no redemptioner.”

“’T was none the less a step-down for me,” replied Mrs. Meredith, calmly.  “And I had far less levity than—­”

“Nay, Matilda, she often reminds me very—­”

“Lambert, I never was light!  Or at least never after I sat under Dr. Edwards and had a call.  The quicker we marry Janice to Mr. McClave, the better ’t will be for her.”

“Now, pox me!” cried the squire, “if I’ll give my lass to be made the drudge of another woman’s children.”

“’T is the very discipline she needs,” retorted the wife.  “But for my checking her a moment ago I believe she’d have spoken disrespectfully of hell!”

“Small wonder!” muttered her husband.  “Is ’t not enough to ye Presbyterians to doom one to everlasting torment in the future life without making this life as bad?”

“’T is the way to be saved,” replied Mrs. Meredith.  “As Mr. McClave said to Janice shortly since, ’Be assured that doing the unpleasant thing is the surest road to salvation, for tho’ it should not find grace in the eyes of a righteously angry God, yet having been done from no carnal and sinful craving of the flesh, it cannot increase his anger towards you.’  Ah, Lambert, that man has the true gift.”

“Since he’s so damned set on being uncarnal,” snapped the squire, “let him go without Janice.”

“And have her running off with an indentured servant, as Anne Loughton did?”

“She’ll do nothing of the kind.  If ye want a husband for the lass, let her take Phil.”

“A bankrupt.”

“Tush!  There are acres enough to pay the old squire’s debts three times over.  She’d bring Phil enough ready money to clear it all, and ’t is rich mellow land that will double in value, give it time.”

“I tell thee her head ’s full of this bond-servant.  The two were in the kitchen just now, talking about paradise, and I know not what other foolishness.”

“That” said Mr. Meredith, with a grin of enjoyment, “sounds like true Presbyterian doctrine.  The Westminster Assembly seem to have left paradise out of the creation.”

“Such flippancy is shameful in one of thy years, Mr. Meredith,” said his wife, sternly, “and canst have but one ending.”

“That is all any of us can have, Patty,” replied the squire, genially.

Mrs. Meredith went to the door, but before leaving the room, she said, still with a stern, set face, though with a break in her voice, “Is ’t not enough that my four babies are enduring everlasting torment, but my husband and daughter must go the same way?”

“There, there, Matilda!” cried the husband. “’T was said in jest only and was nothing more than lip music.  Come back—­” the speech ended there as a door at a distance banged.  “Now she’ll have a cry all by herself,” groaned the squire. “’T is a strange thing she took it so bravely when the road was rough, yet now, when ’t is easy pulling, she lets it fret and gall her.”

Project Gutenberg
Janice Meredith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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