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'I am sure you are right.' Abigail set don, I could not without his knowledge or her seal to the statement, never thinking of consent: there would be neither law nor deprecating a compliment. And he has honesty in the proceeding.' He had risen been brought up a manufacturer, as the and was walking up and down the room. Ashley people have been brought up to the He stopped and looked at the thin, pleading, Factory. No doubt they could get other passionate face. · But at least you are a work, or go elsewhere for work, and it good wife to him.' would be kinder to let them do hard • No,' denied Abigail, with the tears for it would be for them at first, than to keep the first time starting to her eyes.
That on the Factory if it could not be made to pay is not it, but he is my dear husband.' I understand all that, but Tom does not think Humphrey stood gazing upon her, and it cannot pay. Will you tell me, Mr. Bing- twirling his watch-guard. She had a very ham, what the improvement would cost ?' sweet face, though she was not by a long
• Certainly. To introduce the change chalk so handsome a woman as Alice; but properly, which would be the only chance, he did not wonder now at her old attraction might cost five or six thousand pounds. for him. Would Alice have done as much But you do not think I would grudge the for him — Alice, who set so much store on sum if I saw my way clearly ?' he asked, her dignities, and required so many inpatting his hands into his pockets, unable dulgences as her right? Stuff! was he, so to help appearing nettled.
well off, jealous lest poor Tom Prior could • No,' answered Abigail slowly, as if she command more loyal duty, purer affection ? were reflecting Papa left me four thou- Alice had suited him perfectly, made him sand pounds; will you take that as Tom's an excellent wife, and she had never been share? You know business so much better tried, as he should be thankful. But he than I, you will be able to tell exactly what would try Tom Prior’s wife, Abigail Howe, I have only a vague notion of — I mean a grain more, and see if the additional that though I have not the money entirely straw would break the camel's back, though
my own disposal, I believe I can borrow he had always known her as an unworldly, upon it or sell my life rent in it, you know.' enthusiastic woman.
He was leaning back in his chair more But, Mrs. Prior, supposing the improveastonished than when he had seen her there ment on the looms should fail, and you have first.
no warrant against it, what would you do Borrow upon your fortune! sell your then?' And he glanced his eyes involunlife-rent in it! What are you thinking of, tarily round the library, with its marble Abigail ? Excuse me, but you are speaking busts, carved oak, and calf-skin, which he arrant treason — shocking nonsense,' he re- was sensible were more in Tom Prior's and peated, with his eyes still opened wide but a Abigail's way than in his and Alice's, but smile playing about his mouth. • Your which more than any room in the house infortune is the only thing you have to depend dicated the power and the refinement of upon should the firm be dissolved to-mor- the affluence of the owners. row, and Prior not get into another, or be • I cannot tell; but we would still have able to procure a subordinate situation. It Tom to work for us, as I dared not think we he were so left to himself as to consent to would a week ago,' Abigail maintained, so rash and reckless venture, it could not with undaunted courage. • Mamma would be allowed for a moment in your interest do what she could for us, and take us in, till and that of your children.'
we were established elsewhere.' • If Tom had the money of his own, do • Mrs. Prior, I see you have made up you think he would not risk it ?'
your mind,'broke in Humphrey, afraid to • I cannot say that he would not, because trust himself to hear anything further ; the man is possessed by the spirit of im- you are a dear, good little soul, the most provement; but that would alter the case regular brick. You have fairly conquered entirely.
We will say no more about business • I do not think so. Supposing I had just now, if you please. Only mind, I authorhappened to have no money, and he were ize the new machinery ; you may tell Prior spending all our worldly goods, would it not so whenever you like; and who knows, it have come to much the same thing? for inay be a spoke in my wheel if I try for the what is mine is Tom's, to use according to county ? At least many a smaller cotton his judgment, whether you and he think so spinner and calico printer than Cobden and
I desire you to take the money, Mr. Bright has sat under the roof of St. SteBingham,' she urged, with a dawning of in- phen's.' dignation.
Tom was well enough to begin and groan I will not, Mrs. Prior. I beg your par-lover his business.
• If Bingham would look in and let me say | heard of the effects of a shock on an ina word to him on a change, in the valid: how such a one will rise from a sofa looms.
or even a sick bed, and minister to the • Humphrey Bingham has been here strong man or woman who has taken her often,' said Abigail, in an undertone. I place, to be ministered to instead of to saw him yesterday, and by-the-by, Tom, he minister; perform the most trying duties; desired me to tell you he agrees to the im- keep the most exhausting watch, while the provements you wish.'
world looks out for the break-down of the Tom drew a lony sigh of relief, turned to forced strength, till it is compelled to cry the wall, and pulled up the bed-clothes to A miracle !' Sometimes it is great Death shade his face; perhaps he was overcome at which is the shock, and the sufferer who the ga ning of his desire. Another chance was mourned over as bereft, indeed, when in the world, for he was weak, poor fellow; the friend on whom he or she leant, is reperhaps he wanted to thank his Maker for moved, is restored to life and the world by His boundless gordness. When he spoke the stroke — having only one regret - the again, it was to say gently,
eyes which would have shone brightest to My dear, if you had known what it was witness the resuscitation are closed in this to me to hear that word, you would have world. But what if spirit eyes beam from spoken it at once. Humphrey was always the stars on the last Lazarus. • His ways a nuble fellow, and see how he has got on are not as our ways.' He has prospererl as he deserves I hope I Abigail cast disgrace on Dr. Winkworth, shall be permitted to make this up to him.” after all his attention to her husband, by
Abigail pondered if Tom, lying there not taking his cold; and the strenuous exwasted and low, with much upon bis mind, ertions she employel against it, were harddrudgery and ai'xiety before him yet, and ly fair play. She snuffel camphor, she a weak pining wife all these years, could painted herself like a red Indian with think he had got what he had deserved; but iodine, she gargled. she steamed, she had she offererl no rimark, and the next speech recourse to hot water, she hard recourse to of Tom's was in a very cheerful key. cold, she turned out, to the delight of her
• I should not wonder though you got little boys, in masquerade, and they found your gre’n-hou-es after all, Abigail,' mamma made a very pretty guy with a he sail, looking up brightly.
coal-scuttle of an old opera-hood on her • Mrs. Prior,' said Dr. Winkworth, head, and a royal fur tipp t, like that of bluntly, turning from his patient to his the King Edwards’, round her shoulders. patient's wife,' you are in for one of your And when she did not take her cold, Abichest colds; I have been expecting it for gail smiled and sighed again. some tim“, and now you are loaded with it. When Tom was able to go to the FacHow could you bu so imprudent as to sit in tory again, he came home and took to a draught yesterdiy?'
studying, why his wife gave him so many Abig il rebutted the attack with a nervous, furtive, inquisitive glances, whethtwinkle in her eyes.
er they were all on account of his health, I assure you, D ctor, I did not sit much or had any other origin. It was a luxury on anything. I was out: I was busy yester- for bim to study Abigail -in a new light. day, and I am not going to have a cold ; do Notwithstanding her nervousness, her not say so.'
late fatigue and arrested cold, and the im• I think Mrs. Prior is looking very well,' portant circumstance that she was a woasserted Tom, from where he was laid on his man over thirty, Abigail was looking pretback, manfully standing up with weak bnt tier than she had done since she was a girl willing valour for his wife. To my mind, of nineteen, and Humphrey Bingham was nursing a sick man does very well with her.' in love with her. Tom fancied her ten
• Once on a time, Tom, for a change. times prettier than he had ever seen her. After all your bullying of me, it is a treat It might be because in laying aside the last to have you in my power,' answered Abi- alternative of the opera-hood and the fur gail, with a fall in her voice. Abigail had tippet, she had taken the opportunity of nursed her husband unweariedly, inde- discarding her shawl and lace cap along fatigably, with stores of tenderness, which with them, and appeared in her fresh sumhad not till now been set free in the bosom mer gown, with her pulled-out bronze hair. of the daughter, wife, and mother. What It might be because she had made a great had become of her bronchitis, pleurisy ? escape, and a new spring was given to her Vanished in smoke. Not that Abigail was life. Jak and Joe had told their father a monomaniac, though something of a val. that first when he had been ill, mamma had etudinarian. Most people bave seen or i been miserable, and then when he grew
better she had grown funny, and she had of the boys' clothes. Would he not bepromised to continue funny if they would lieve her ? Abigail at last besought Toin, be good boys, and not tease papa to draw getting desperate at the stony look of his for them, and go down on all fours to be face, while he resorted to the old dangerous the umpire in their games of marbles - habit of tugging whiskers, ragged, and as instead mamma had cut out in paper, girls' it sprinkled with ashes. She could do like things — but such jolly rows of dolls dan- other women with an experienced servant, cing arm-in-arm, and flowers in flower-pois. and a little assistance now and then. Poor
Abigail had become more interested in Mrs. Leech had to do with less since she housekeeping since she was under the had lost poor Captain Leech; so had the necessity of exerting herself, and walked new curate's young wife; and she was more about cogitating profoundly, with keys in highly connected than Abigail : would he her hands, or sat dipping into housekeeping not listen to reason ? manuals and cookery-books, in place of No, I won't,' Tom declined stoutly. 'I wise discussions on silver hairs and evening never heard a more preposterous proposal clouds. With the extravagance and im- in my life. It may do for poor Mrs. L'ech, petuosity of woman, she had tied round who cannot help hersell; or the curate's her still slim waist a bran new black silk wife, with love in a cottage for the hones
"yapron, as if there lurked sovereign virtur moon; but you have not lost your busband, in that terribly democratical, determinedly though you have been near to it, and we middle-class, and unflinchingly practical are an old married couple, with two great piece of wearing apparel. It amused Tom boys. I tell you I will not hear another immensely, to an extent no superior per- word of it. I never fancied you penurious son could conceive, to note these innocent before, but this is positively mean. Why, preparations.
I have a great liking for Dorothy, who, At last Abigail stepped up to him one young as she is, has made a good nurse to eveniny, when he was standing idle by the the boys; but I never thought of displaywindow, and impressed upon him solemnly ing it by turning the girl ofl. You yoose ! that she believed it was true wbat Ashley you goose! there is no call for curtailing said about the housemaid Dorothy, she was our extensive establishment and starving getting spoilt with too little work, and ourselves — that would be the next preDorothy's mistress had come to the con-vious move : women have no medium. clusion she ought to part with her do- Your poor little fortune has not been made mest ic.
away with, as you proposed (I heard all • But I thought you had a liking for Dor- about it from Humphr. y). Humphrey Bingothy, Abigail,' renionstrated Tom, checking ham advances the money; he can very an incination to cry out, You little humbug' well afford to do it, and the venture will
Abigail was taken aback, and smitten in pay him more or less. He said his eldust her coscience. Yes, of course she had a boy flattered himself he would die a fieldlikiny for Dorohy, who was an honest, murshal; but, for aught Humphrey himself warm-hearted girl, though a little wilful
, knew, clothing, not killing the enemy, and bad been very attentive and concerned might be the thing before Wakefield or when ber master was lying ill. She had little Humphrey were ready to leave Rugcried and declared he had never spoken a by, and either of them might have a greatrongh word to her, and however engross- er mania for usefulness than ever their ed, he had always found time for a smile, father had. Lord Rivers' eldest son was to and a • Is that you, Dorothy ?' when he head a steam-baking company: it seemed met her abroad.
the entire population were like to be poi• Ah, Tom, you did not know how much soned by a combination of the bikers, poor you were thought of,' in parı'ntheses. fellows, to buy up fusted flour, and be ex
But it was a losing of Dorothy to kerp cused from kneading! her there and not give her work to do. Tom was speaking for speaking's sake, for There was not sufficient work since the he was agitated, and he hate 1 'o show it; boys were all day at school, and Mrs. Prior but he had taken her two la di, and was was so well she meant to take more man- squeezing them tight. agement of the house. There was no one Abigail was agitated also. like the lady of the house in looking after • You are not angry with me for interferit: she was persua led that it would be ing, Tom ?' good for her now that she was straig Now, however Abigail had erred; she had enough for it. There was a young sister not been meddlesome or domineering: so of Dorothy's, who could come and heip. Tom protested her self-condemned whisper when they washed, and for the doing up I was the most unkindest cut of all.'
I am thinking of the first Abiagil, who sent in a pair of spring chickens with asparode out on her ass to meet King David ragus, and a cut of salmon and oysters for among the palm-trees, with the loaves and the occasion. And I am going home to get the bunches of raisins; but she was in terror my best cap: yes, Abigail, it is a great ocof her life ; and bound for the captivation of casion, the celebration of your dear husher second husband, — was not that it ? band's recovery — twenty times greater My wife, the simpleton, made a present of than a christening dinner. By the by, all she had, like the widow's mite, to a ten Abigail, I passed Jack on the way, and he years old husband, whom she is not soon to ran up and whispered to me that he was get rid of. We will want your poor little dux again. Mamma knew, but it was a sefortune yet, never fear, dear. There is the cret not to be told to papa till he was head interest to IIumphrey — we must and shall of his form for a week. What a scholar pay that, and the education of the lads — the boy is going to turn out ! I told him I we will have no stinting there - eh ? Angry was proud of him, and gave him a sixpence because my wife was good and romantic !' on the spot. You need not laugh and Tom was playing all manner of wild pranks; shake your head, Abigail, — you have two the fever might have returned and gone to very fine boys, and they have grown quite his brain, stroking the bronze hair, even the manly since their papa's illness.' flag of an apron, blessing his wife.
• I hope, mamma, their manliness will Yet Abigail felt a spasm of disappoint- last, and help to keep their hands clean, and ment and a little sense of failure. She was their jackets whole (though I sadiy fear it an unworldly enthusiastic woman. Ten will have the opposite result), and that it years and more before, the moral back-bone will progress till they take wives to themof her innocent, happy, hopeful, girlish na- selves and daughters to me, and save ture sustained a horrible injury, and al- further responsibility in their training.' though it had been set with splints very Time enough, girl; you will not like to soon — perhaps too soon afterwards - it see the day when other women come behad never recovered its vitality and elasti- tween you and your boys; the thought of city until Tom Prior's illness and Tom Prior's that always reconciled me to my only child wife's knowledge of his silent, self-ignoring being a daughter. But dear'dear! Jack cares and toils. To bring back Abigail
, and Joe's marriages are a long look forward, like Eurydice, from the brink of Hades, Tom and in the meantime you are well off with had to play Orpheus and go down himself, your boys and your busband restored to without grudging, among the shades. And you. And as to another ten years, though it was the sound of Tom's footsteps in her I may not live to see it, there will be plenlife which Abigail dreaded to lose if there ty of women to envy you. Three gentlewere no change in her habits — no obliga- men to wait on one lady, and two of them tion on her to do her duty. To be no poor- fine, strapping, smart young fellows, as I er, but with the prospect of becoming gra- know my grandsons will be. What a cheerdually richer, yet never so rich as to compass ful house they will keep for you! how much change of scene, travel, intellectual and they will make of you! Why, Abigail, if cultivated society like the Binghams — Abi- you don't take care you will be as full
of hugail dreaded the old bumdrum, moping, sick- mours as an heiress with a score of suitors.' ly feeling would steal over her again and she Abigail laughed at her merry old mother, would not have the strength to resist it. but the light words penetrated to her
Abigail was still struggling with the sense heart. She was well off — she knew it of discouragement and with the conviction now; she would not change grey Tom and that she was
an ungrateful woman, next the rough boys for all the florid Humphrey day, after Tom had gone to the Factory, Binghams and caressing girls in the world. when she was roused by her mother nod- It was fitter, too, that Tom should go on ding joyously to her as she rang the door bell. and win the battle for himself
, having the • My dear, I cannot stop a moment; I credit and the reward, and only giving met Mr. Prior at the end of the street Abigail ber share. It was far kinder to looking so much improved since Wednesday; Humphrey, to let him be generous to his but I took the precaution of hoping he was old friend, and retain the consciousness as able to go back and forwards and eat a a cool green spot in the blaze of unmingood dinner after it. " Come and see, gled prosperity, which is apt to scorch and grandmamma; we have not dined together harden God's garden of man's soul, till it is since I was on beef tea, and now I eat beef an arid wilderness. For her she had found like a grazier, and trot on my beat like a that · He maketh Him families like a flock. postman.” Of course I am delighted to He maketh the barren woman to keep house come; I only looked in to tell you I had' and to be a joyful mother of children.'
LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. — NO. 1133.-17 FEBRUARY, 1866.
From the British Quarterly Review. form the base, about 130 miles long, of a THE PENINSULA OF SINAI ; NOTES OF scalene triangle, the Suez Gulf forming the TRAVEL THEREIN.
longest side. North of the line so drawn,
the desert extends to the Mediterranean THESE notes of our journey through the Sea; westward to the Pelusiac branch of Peninsula of Sinai will be better understood the Nile; and eastward as far as the Persian by a brief preliminary indication of its gen- Gulf; wrapping itself round the mountaineral features.
ous slip of Palestine, this same desert waste Among the most remarkable of the physi- stretches away to the north nearly to the cal phenomona of our globe are the vast Black Sea; and to the north-east as far as wastes upon its surface, - its extensive Bagdad, Mosul, and the Armenian mountracts of water, steppes, wilderness, desert, tains. and mountain, — not only unreclaimed for The centre of the Peninsula itself consists habitable uses, but for the most part unre- of an elevated plateau or table land — the claimable. These are in perfect harmony well-known et-Tih, or desert of the Wanwith the grand economy of nature, — where- derings' - a name traditionally derived, by the balance of natural forces is preserved, probably, from the wanderings of the Israeland the fruitfulness, beauty, and utility of ites 3,000 years ago. This desert plateau, the earth, as a whole, are maintained, but which begins with the shore of the Mediterin themselves these are very remarkable. A ranean and extends about half-way down reference to the map will show that the des- the Peninsula, gradually rises, until, at its ert region of which the Peninsula of Sinai southern boundary, it attains an elevation forms a part, extends from Cape Blanco on of nearly 4,000 feet above the sea. This the north-west coast of Africa, to beyond makes the desert itself pleasant and breezy, the Indus in Central Asia ; a distance of so far, that is, as such an elevation can 5,600 miles — a vast sea of sand,' as He- attemper the fierce heat of an Arabian sun, rodotus calls it;- a desert belt of varying reflected from an arid and gravelly soil. depth, beginning with the Great Sahara, This plateau is thrust like a tongue into which stretches right across Northern Afri- the peninsula ; its boundary is an almost ca, and is separated from the desert of Suez perpendicular mountain wall, averaging beonly by the narrow valley of the Nile. That tween 3,000 and 4,000 feet in height, and again is separated by the Gulf of Suez from extending from nearly opposite Suez to’Akthe broad plateau of Arabia, and the desert abah. Ön the Suez side it runs parallel of Syria, which extend as far as the Persian with the sea for about sixty miles, at a disGulf and the rivers of Mesopotamia. Then tance of about fifteen miles from the marcome the vast wastes of Persia, as far as the gin of the latter ; then it trends away to the Indus, beyond which is the desert of Mool- east in a rough kind of semicircle, making tan; - a huge zone of desert links, vast, way for the highland district of Sinai,- the sterile, and burning, strung together by dia- vast mountain ranges of the Tûr. Mountain mond rivers or emerald valleys, and hung, ranges, property so called, vary in height and as it were, round the neck of the globe. Of outline; but this buge wall, which is simply this huge chain the little Peninsula of Sinai the precipitous termination of the desert is nearly the central pendant. It is formed plateau, is nearly uniform in its level; it vaby the bifurcation of the northern end of ries only with the undulating surface of the the Red Sea ; the eastern gulf running up desert. The mountains of Moab, on the to 'Akabah — the Ezion-geber of Scripture, east of the Jordan, form a similar mountain - its depression being continued in the deep wall
, seen from every part of Palestine. As desert valley of ’Arabah to the Dead Sea, the traveller to Sinai leaves Suez, le travand thence up the valley of the Jordan to erses the low belt of desert between the the Lebanon; the western gulf terminating plateau and the sea, having the latter on his just above Suez. Roughly speaking, a right hand at an average distance of four or line drawn from 'Akabah to Suez would five miles ; and on his left this magnificent THIRD SERIES.