The Moorland Cottage eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 163 pages of information about The Moorland Cottage.

The Moorland Cottage eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 163 pages of information about The Moorland Cottage.
little girl in white and that great tall boy lived.  Instead of staying there, or anywhere else, on Sundays, Mrs. Browne thought it her duty to go and cry over her husband’s grave.  The custom had arisen out of true sorrow for his loss, for a kinder husband, and more worthy man, had never lived; but the simplicity of her sorrow had been destroyed by the observation of others on the mode of its manifestation.  They made way for her to cross the grass toward his grave; and she, fancying that it was expected of her, fell into the habit I have mentioned.  Her children, holding each a hand, felt awed and uncomfortable, and were sensitively conscious how often they were pointed out, as a mourning group, to observation.

“I wish it would always rain on Sundays,” said Edward one day to Maggie, in a garden conference.

“Why?” asked she.

“Because then we bustle out of church, and get home as fast as we can, to save mamma’s crape; and we have not to go and cry over papa.”

“I don’t cry,” said Maggie.  “Do you?”

Edward looked round before he answered, to see if they were quite alone, and then said: 

“No; I was sorry a long time about papa, but one can’t go on being sorry forever.  Perhaps grown-up people can.”

“Mamma can,” said little Maggie.  “Sometimes I am very sorry too; when I am by myself or playing with you, or when I am wakened up by the moonlight in our room.  Do you ever waken and fancy you heard papa calling you?  I do sometimes; and then I am very sorry to think we shall never hear him calling us again.”

“Ah, it’s different with me, you know.  He used to call me to lessons.”

“Sometimes he called me when he was displeased with me.  But I always dream that he was calling us in his own kind voice, as he used to do when he wanted us to walk with him, or to show us something pretty.”

Edward was silent, playing with something on the ground.  At last he looked round again, and, having convinced himself that they could not be overheard, he whispered: 

“Maggie—­sometimes I don’t think I’m sorry that papa is dead—­when I’m naughty, you know; he would have been so angry with me if he had been here; and I think—­only sometimes, you know, I’m rather glad he is not.”

“Oh, Edward! you don’t mean to say so, I know.  Don’t let us talk about him.  We can’t talk rightly, we’re such little children.  Don’t, Edward, please.”

Poor little Maggie’s eyes filled with tears; and she never spoke again to Edward, or indeed to any one, about her dead father.  As she grew older, her life became more actively busy.  The cottage and small outbuildings, and the garden and field, were their own; and on the produce they depended for much of their support.  The cow, the pig, and the poultry took up much of Nancy’s time.  Mrs. Browne and Maggie had to do a great deal of the house-work; and when the beds were made, and the rooms swept and dusted, and the preparations for dinner

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The Moorland Cottage from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.