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By the same fire to boil their pottage,
Two poor old dames, as I have known,
Will often live in one small cottage,
But she, poor woman, dwelt alone.
'Twas well enough when summer came,
The long, warm, lightsome summer day;
Then at her door the canty dame
Would sit, as any linnet gay.


But when the ice our streams did fetter,
O! then how her old bones would shake!
You would have said, if you had met her,
'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake.
Her evenings then were dull and dread;
Sad case it was, as you may think,
For very cold to go to bed,

And then for cold not sleep a wink.


O joy for her! whene'er in winter
The winds at night had made a rout,
And scattered many a lusty splinter,
And many a rotten bough about.
Yet never had she, well or sick,
As every man who knew her says,
A pile beforehand, wood or stick,
Enough to warm her for three days.


Now when the frost was past enduring, And made her poor old bones to ache, Could any thing be more alluring,

Than an old hedge to Goody Blake? And now and then, it must be said, When her old bones were cold and chill,

She left her fire, or left her bed,

To seek the hedge of Harry Gill.


Now Harry he had long suspected
This trespass of old Goody Blake,
And vow'd that she should be detected,
And he on her would vengeance take.
And oft from his warm fire he'd go,

And to the fields his road would take,
And there, at night, in frost and snow,
He watch'd to seize old Goody Blake.


And once behind a rick of barley,
Thus looking out did Harry stand;
The moon was full and shining clearly,
And crisp with frost the stubble land.
-He hears a noise-he's all awake-
Again!-on tiptoe down the hill
He softly creeps-'Tis Goody Blake!
She's at the hedge of Harry Gill.


Right glad was he when he beheld her:
Stick after stick did Goody pull:

He stood behind a bush of elder,
Till she had fill'd her apron full.
When with her load she turn'd about,
The by-road back again to take,
He started forward with a shout,
And sprang upon poor Goody Blake.


And fiercely by the arm he took her,
And by the arm he held her fast,
And fiercely by the arm he shook her,
And cried, "I've caught you then at last!"

Then Goody, who had nothing said,

Her bundle from her lap let fall;

And kneeling on the sticks, she prayed
To God that is the Judge of all.


She prayed, her withered hand uprearing,
While Harry held her by the arm,—
"God! who art never out of hearing,
O may he never more be warm!"
The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray:
Young Harry heard what she had said,
And icy cold he turn'd away.


He went complaining all the morrow
That he was cold and very chill:
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow,
Alas that day for Harry Gill!
That day he wore a riding coat,
But not a whit the warmer he:
Another was on Thursday brought,
And ere the Sabbath he had three.


"Twas all in vain, a useless matter,

And blankets were about him pinn'd: Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter, Like a loose casement in the wind. And Harry's flesh it fell away;

And all who see him say 'tis plain,

That live as long as live he may,
He never will be warm again.


No word to any man he utters,
Abed or up, to young or old;
But ever to himself he mutters,
"Poor Harry Gill is very cold."
Abed or up, by night or day,

His teeth they chatter, chatter still:
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray,
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill.



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T was evening, and I had just laid up the fire in the most approved style of architecture, and, projecting my feet into my slippers, sat, spitefully cutting the leaves of a caustic review. Mrs. Crowfield took the tongs and altered the disposition of a stick.

2. "My dear," I said, "I do wish you'd let the fire alone, -you always put it out."

"I was merely admitting a little air between the sticks," said my wife.

"You always make matters worse, when you touch the fire."

3. As if in contradiction, a bright tongue of flame darted up between the sticks, and the fire began chattering and snapping at me. Now, if there's anything which would provoke a saint, it is to be jeered and snapped at, in that way, by a man's own fire. It's an unbearable impertinence. I threw up my leg impatiently, and hit Rover, who gave a yelp that finished the upset of my nerves. I gave him a hearty kick, that he might have something to yelp for, and, in the movement, upset Jennie's embroidery-basket.

4. "O, papa!"

"Your baskets and worsteds are everywhere, so that a man can't move; useless, wasteful things, too."

"Wasteful?" said Jennie, coloring indignantly; for if there's anything Jennie piques herself upon, it's her economy.

5. "Yes, wasteful,-wasting time and money both. Here are hundreds of shivering poor to be clothed, and Christian females sit and do nothing but crochet worsted into useless knick-knacks. If they would be working for the poor, there would be some sense in it. But it's all just alike; no real Christianity in the world,—nothing but organized selfishness and self-indulgence."

6. "Why, dear," said Mrs. Crowfield. "you are not well

to-night. Things are not quite so desperate as they appear. You haven't got over Christmas-week."

You are too slack

7. "I am well. Never was better. But I can see, I hope, what's before my eyes; and the fact is, Mrs. Crowfield, things must not go on as they are going. There must be more care, more attention to details. There's Maggie,— that girl never does what she is told. with her, ma'am. She will light the fire with the last paper, and she won't put my slippers in the right place; and I can't have my study made the general catch-all and menagerie for Rover and Jennie, and her basket and balls, and for all the family litter."

8. Just at this moment, I overheard a sort of sigh from Jennie, who was swelling with repressed indignation at my attack on her worsted. She sat, with her back to me, knitting energetically, and said, in a low, but very decisive tone, as she twitched her yarn:

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Now, if I should talk in that way, people would call me cross, and that's the whole of it."

9. I pretended to be looking into the fire in an absentminded state; but Jennie's words had started a new idea. Was that it? Was that the whole matter? Was it, then, a fact, that the house, the servants, Jennie and her worsted, Rover and Mrs. Crowfield, were all going on pretty much as usual, and that the only difficulty was, that I wascross? How many times had I encouraged Rover to lie just where he was lying when I kicked him! How many times, in better moods, had I complimented Jennie on her neat little fancy-works, and declared that I liked the social companionship of ladies' work-baskets among my papers! Yes, it was clear. After all, things were much as they had been, only I was cross.

10. Cross! I put it to myself, in that simple, old-fashioned word, instead of saying that I was out of spirits, or nervous, or using any of the other smooth phrases with which we, good Christians, cover up our little sins of temper. "Here you are, Christopher," said I to myself, "a literary man,

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