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ment, Mistress Miriam ; I try to do what little I can," he said, eyeing her from head to foot. “The poor girl is better; your medicines did her a vast deal of good. Will you just step in and look in upon
Miriam preceded the fat, round, little miller into a smart parlour, which had been furnished after the most approved taste, when its owner had been flattering himself with the hope of Gwenthlean's being oue day its mistress.
" What do you think of this little room," said the miller, looking complacently around him on the pink walls, four foot square carpet, round mahogany table, six green-painted chairs, dimity window curtains, chimney ornaments, and his own likeness in full, suspended over the mantelpiece.
“Think it quite tasty, indeed, Mr. Jenkins, should have imaagined that a lady had been in the case. People do say that Mrs. James, the widow "
“ No such thing-no such thing. Never thought of her,” said the miller, disdainfully. “ Not genteel enough for me."
“ Well, I always said so: but then there's no accounting for teeste. Some people think her handsome ; for my part, I never could admire those vulgar kind of women."
The miller invited Miriam to follow him to the sick-room, where she acquitted herself so well; administered the medicines so gently, and spoke so sensibly upon the subject of sickness, and the uncertainty of all earthly things, that the miller began to think she would be a capital nurse for the gout, to attacks of which he was occasionally subject. When they returned to the little parlour.
“ Did you ever see my house over ?" asked the miller.
Now Miriam had seen the miller's house over more than once, chaperoned by his ancient domestic, but she did not think it
prudent to admit the circumstance, therefore she simpered forth a negative.
* Perhaps," pursued the miller, “ you would like just to take a glance of it," and without further ado, he walked with her through the different down-stairs apartments of kitchen, back kitchen, and out-house, after which he trundled up-stairs, at which Bliriam's modesty and delicacy were a little shocked, but as her companion did not appear to share her fine feelings, she smothered them. There was a best room, with a four-post bed and curtains; bed-side carpets, and a real Marseilles quilt; and Miriam thought to herself what a nice chamber it would be with a few improvements, in the shape of a muslin blind, and a looking-glass; and if she had the arrangement of it, what a tasty place she would make.
It would be impossible to say what a variety of new ideas darted through Miriam's mind, during the space of time
that it took to parade through the house, and it would be equally impossible to describe the novel sensations of the miller, as he saw her tall straight figure gliding from one article of furniture to the other, with expressions of admiration, and an óccasional allusion to the great good luck of the lady, who, after so many reports, should be so fortunate as to obtain the miller's hand and heart. At last they landed in that elegant parlour with the glass-window above the door, looking into the kitchen, in which the miller's heart seemed always most at ease, and his person most important.
“So you think me not so bad off, after all then, Mrs. Miriam ?” he premised. : “I have lived too long in the world, and seen too much of good society-gentlefolks of all ranks—for that, I should think !" replied Miriam in a flattering tone.
That sentence was the luckiest hit she ever made, since the miller supposed it to contain an allusion to his being a gentle
man, a bit of flattery he could never resist.
“And you think then," pursued the miller, expanding himself something like a turkey cock, “that a lady might find herself comfortable or so here?”
“She must be a very unconscionable person indeed, if she could not, Mr. Jinkins," said Miriam, looking down upon the four-foot square carpet, with a modest simper.
“ And supposing you knew any such person, do you think there would be objections to her having a cumbrance along with this mill and its belongings ?”
" According to what sort of a hindrance, it was likely to be, Mr. Jinkins," said Miriam, affecting an arch look from the corner of her eye.
“Well now, we'll just suppose that it was the sort of 'cumbrance I might chance to be, Mrs. Howels-what would any lady say to that?"
The miller expressed this sentence with