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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 28

February 27th

Miss Meta Tripp, in the ignorance of her little silly heart, has done me a great mischief.

Phoebe prepared me for it by observing, when she came up yesterday to dust my room, that "folks was all sayin' that Mary Cabot"—(Homer is not an aristocratic town, and PhŒbe doffs and dons my title at her own sweet will)—that Mary Cabot was dreadful low sence Royal died, and hadn't ought to stay shut up by herself, day in and day out. It was behaving contrary to the will of Providence, and very bad for her health too." Moreover, Mrs. Bland, who called this morning with her three babies,—she never is able to stir out of the house without those children, poor thing!—lingered awkwardly page 9 on the door-steps as she went away, and hoped that "Mary my dear" wouldn't take it unkindly, but she did wish that I would exert myself more to see my friends and receive comfort in my affliction. She didn't want to interfere, or bother me, or—but—people would talk, and——

My good little minister's wife broke down all in a blush, at this point in her "porochial duties" (I more than suspect that her husband had a hand in the matter), so I took pity on her embarrassment, and said smiling that I would think about it.

I see just how the leaven has spread. Miss Meta, a little overwhelmed and a good deal mystified by her call here, pronounces "poor Mary Cabot so sad; she wouldn't talk about Royal; and you couldn't persuade her to come to the Fair; and she was so sober!— why it was dreadful!" Therefore, Homer has made up its mind that I shall become resigned in an arithmetical manner, and comforted according to the Rule of Three.

I wish I could go away! I wish I could go away and creep into the ground and die! If nobody need ever speak any more words to me! If anybody only knew what to say!

Little Mrs. Brand has been very kind, and I thank her with all my heart. But she does not know. She does not understand. Her happy heart is bound up in her little live children. She never laid anybody away under the snow without a chance to say good-bye.

As for the minister, he came, of course, as it was proper that he should, before the funeral, and once after. He is a very good man, but I am afraid of him, and I am glad that he has not come again.