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in his own theological principles, could admit among his inmates. There was one book, which had a most disastrous influence on my dear aunt Hannah. It was Sir Charles Grandison. I verily believe that Harriet Byron's matrimonial felicity, made my aunt an old maid.

Hannah Oldbug was already verging to some of her latest blooms, when my earliest recollections are associated with her fate. I shall never forget her kindness to me-how she used to hear me say all Dr. Watts's hymns for children before retiring to bedmake me a turnover every Thanksgiving day-tie the little black ribbon around my Sunday-collar, before I went to meeting-comb my head before I went to school, and perform all the offices of a watchful and affectionate mother. She had one of the warmest hearts that ever beat beneath a female bosom; and, had she been left to the influence of her Bible and catechism, she might have lived and died contented and in peace. But she had a heart too susceptible to be exposed with safety to the fires of overwrought genius; and Richardson, I suspect, who, in his grave will always continue to speak, robbed her of her lover and her mental tranquillity. It is for this reason I have always had (except in one short interval of my life) a mortal aversion to long winded novels; I could never afford to cry over more than ten pages at a sitting.

I shall never forget the day when I was packed off

to the library with four books bound up in a checked handkerchief, and directed, with a solemn air of secrecy, to ask, together with Baxter's Saint's Rest and the Practice of Piety, for the first volume of the History of Sir Charles Grandison and the Hon. Miss Harriet Byron, and to say nothing to grandpa' about it. Who Sir Charles Grandison was, whether he was a pirate or a robber, and how a woman could have the title of Honorable, were mysteries of which I had no more conception, than of Hebrew or Arabic. However, I obeyed my orders, brought home the book, delivered it to my aunt Hannah, and found she read it more intently than the Bible itself. The first volume brought the second, and the second the third; and my poor aunt, though her cheese-press remained unscrewed, and her churn stood still, never left reading until she got through those interminable pages. As Othello says, "the work did oft beguile her of her tears; " it was the first time I ever saw her or any body else weep over a book; and I was astonished like Tony Lumkin, when she told me, she liked the book the better, the more it made her cry. Oft has it happened to us, that I sat on one end of the great meal-chest and she on the other, each with the favorite author in hand-my hair rising with horror, as I accompanied my poor persecuted pilgrim through the valley of the shadow of death, to giant Despair's castle; and she, pouring out her eye water over the sorrows of lady Clementina. I shall never

forget the speech she made when she bade me carry back the last volume (the twentieth I believe.) "Dear, dear Sir Charles Grandison! How soon are these short volumes finished! Why are there no such men now-a-days?"

I ought to have mentioned before, that my aunt had for some time been courted by Robert Crane, the son of old Col. Crane, whose house stood on the other side of the great fresh meadow, which lay before my grandfather's door. Robert Crane was a bachelor of about thirty-five, who went to meeting and went to mill in the proper time, and with about the same emotions; he had been incited to seek him a wife, by the death of his mother; and I must confess, he was not a lover for a maiden's heart to repose on, who had been feasting her imagination with the perfections of Sir Charles Grandison. He used to shave himself uniformly once a week; he wore a large pair of mixed blue stockings, drawn in wrinkles over his trowsers ; his coat was a homespun drab, with very large buttons, the two waist buttons behind set wide apart; his hair was braided and clubbed behind and tied with an eel-skin. He had an exceedingly hard hand, and, I believe, a very honest heart. Such was the lover, whose prudence or passion had been smitten by the charms of Miss Hannah Oldbug, daughter of Deacon Oldbug, and aunt to me, John Oldbug, the writer of this veracious volume.

My aunt Hannah had been pretty faithful to this

redoubtable beau; and all the town believed that they were soon to be married. The young men were waiting for the publishment-treat, and the young ladies were beginning to talk with my aunt about her wedding cake, when unluckily another accident happened, in addition to the reading of Sir Charles Grandison, to infuse jealousy into a heart where love itself had hardly entered before. There moved into our village, a Scotch schoolmaster, who taught one of our public schools, and boarded at the house next to my grandfather's. He was a short, chubbed man, with gray eyes, hazel hair, round cheeks rather inclined to the red, large calves to his legs, and a voice with a foreign accent, yet clear enough to be well understood. His dress was rather aristocratic; he wore a ruffled shirt, sometimes ruffles on his wrists, a crimson velvet waistcoat, trimmed with gold lace; and he had on his hand a ring with a stone in it, which, if not a diamond, shone almost as bright: Of all self-praisers he was the most skilful I ever knew. He would mention in the most incidental manner imaginable, some of the great men or families in the Old Country, to which he was related; he would weave into an anecdote some of his own sayings or exploits in such a way as to seem necessary to the story; and all with such an air of non-chalance, that we began to regard him as a superior being, graced with all the blood of all the Howards. He never seemed to be boasting; and yet none could hear him

talk for five minutes, without seeing that, like a balloon, he constantly went up by his own inflation.

Republicans after all love nobility; and Mr. MacFrail constantly gained on our admiration. He was a frequent visiter at Deacon Oldbug's; and for five Sabbaths in succession, he had been seen walking home from meeting, swinging his snuff-colored cane, and in close confabulation with my aunt Hannah. I was pretty sure there would soon be a racket; and that the fine cane and fine ruffles, aided by Sir Charles Grandison to boot, would be instruments. strong enough to eject Robert Crane from his premises in the heart, however much possession may be nine points in the law.

Mr. Crane was very regular in his attendance on my aunt on courting nights, which as he commenced on a Tuesday evening after a March town-meeting, (that being the time assigned by our rural beaux to the beginning of their love adventures,) we always expected him as much as the setting sun. It was our custom to sit and chat together until nine o'clock, then my grandfather took down his leather covered Bible, squeezed on his nose his branchless spectacles, washed with copper; read; prayed; and we all retired to sleep; leaving the sedate lovers to those important negotiations, supposed so necessary previous to an expected marriage.

It was the Tuesday evening after my aunt had walked home with the Scotchman for the fifth time,

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