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a serio-comic face, that would sadly have endangered the gravity of any less interested person than Miriam ; but which produced quite a contrary effect on her. She turned her eyes downward, and with becoming grace, simpered forth. . “Why, now, Mr. Jinkins, you really become quite personal—how should I know what any lady except myself would be likely to think—they are so different. There's my Lady Somerville's lady-inwaiting, now, who declared she would never marry any one but a gentleman, with such another nice little private property as yours—but then, she's married, I believe."
“But what's your own opinion, now Mrs. Miriam.”
“Why, if you come to the point, Mr. Jinkins, I can't but say that—upon my word you'll say I'm flattering you, butthat lady must be the most unconscionable of all persons who could object to such a hincumbrance."
The miller's little eyes twinkled with delight : he approached the gentle and amiable Abigail, and gazing up into her countenance, for he was the shorter of the two, said,
Then perhaps you'd have no objection to keep house for me yourself, Mrs. Howels, taking the name of Jinkins into the bargain ?
“Dear me ! Law Mr. Jinkins ! I declare you've quite flustered me, taking me by surprise so. I'm sure I never thought you meant me in any way at all : to be sure you're joking.".
“Never more in earnest, ma'am," replied the miller, getting bolder; and straining his very fat neck' upon a level with Miriam's chin, he attempted-Oh! ye modest maidens, spare your blushes !-attempted a salute! How he succeeded, not even cupid himself could tell ; unless in the confusion of the moment, Miriam bent her head downwards, in virgin bashfulness, and thus her swain, by raising himself a little on tiptoe, attained that summit of his hopes, the lips of his Dulcinea. Be it known in parenthesis, that Miriam was tall and thin.
“Happy's the wooing
The young couple had settled all but the wedding-day, before Miriam left the mill, and as she was a person of dispatch, she lost no time in informing her mistress of her good fortune, and it was as good as a farce to see her receive the congratulations of the young people one after another, each of whom had a jeu d ésprit to try upon the bride elect. In a day or two afterwards, the miller came in his Sunday's best, to ask Lady Llewellen's consent in form, to his espousing her house-keeper, as he was pleased to call Mrs. Miriam. Not all the gravity of all the Puritans could have withstood his look, when, as a sort of ex
cuse for his conduct, he said that he wanted somebody to see to his house and take care of his property, which had occasioned him to fix upon Miriam, though inferior in rank to himself, because she was a steady, sensible woman, and had been brought up under Lady Llewellen's own eye. Lady Llewellen applauded his discretion, and begged to be one of the wedding party. The miller hemmed and hawed, and at last said that he “hoped no offence," but if Madam would'nt take it ill, he should like to be married the same day as Miss Clare ; "and perhaps," he added, “our miss may like to follow our exam
Lady Llewellen smiled and said she could have no objection, but she did not know when her daughter was going to be married.
“We will make ourselves agreeable to you, madam ;" said the miller, “our time shall be yours.”
“ Very well, Mr. Jenkins," said Lady
Llewellen, “and I hope you will be as happy a benedict as you have been a bachelor. I can answer for you having made a very good and sensible choice, for Miriam knows well how to manage, and make the best of everything, and is an excellent temper."
“Glad to hear you say so, madam. Always thought so myself,” said Mr. Jenkins, with a satisfied air.