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The Inglises Or, How the Way Opened   By: (1821-1897)

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The Inglises, by Margaret Murray Robertson.

Margaret Robertson generally wrote about rather religion minded people, and this is no exception. The women in her stories tend to moan on a good bit, and this book is also no exception to that. Having said that, don't say I didn't warn you. However, like all novels of the second half of the nineteenth century, they are about a bygone age, and things were different then. For that reason it is worth reading books of that period if you want to know more about how people lived in those days.

One very big difference was illness. Nowadays, you go to the doctor, and very probably he or she will be able to cure you. In those days you either died or were confined to your bed for a long time. If you died but had been responsible for income coming into the house, in many cases that stopped, too. The women folk and the children would be left without support. No wonder they moaned a lot, and turned to religion, to comfort themselves. It is hard for us to realise what huge progress has been made in social reforms. Reading this book, and others of that period (this book was published in 1872) will teach a lot about how lucky we are to live in the present age, despite all its other faults. THE INGLISES, BY MARGARET MURRAY ROBERTSON.


In the large and irregular township of Gourlay, there are two villages, Gourlay Centre and Gourlay Corner. The Reverend Mr Inglis lived in the largest and prettiest of the two, but he preached in both. He preached also in another part of the town, called the North Gore. A good many of the Gore people used to attend church in one or other of the two villages; but some of them would never have heard the Gospel preached from one year's end to the other, if the minister had not gone to them. So, though the way was long and the roads rough at the best of seasons, Mr Inglis went often to hold service in the little red school house there. It was not far on in November, but the night was as hard a night to be out in as though it were the depth of winter, Mrs Inglis thought, as the wind dashed the rain and sleet against the window out of which she and her son David were trying to look. They could see nothing, however, for the night was very dark. Even the village lights were but dimly visible through the storm, which grew thicker every moment; with less of rain and more of snow, and the moaning of the wind among the trees made it impossible for them to hear any other sound.

"I ought to have gone with him, mamma," said the boy, at last.

"Perhaps so, dear. But papa thought it not best, as this is Frank's last night here."

"It is quite time he were at home, mamma, even though the roads are bad."

"Yes; he must have been detained. We will not wait any longer. We will have prayers, and let the children go to bed; he will be very tired when he gets home."

"How the wind blows! We could not hear the wagon even if he were quite near. Shall I go to the gate and wait?"

"No, dear, better not. Only be ready with the lantern when he comes."

They stood waiting a little longer, and then David opened the door and looked out.

"It will be awful on Hardscrabble to night, mamma," said he, as he came back to her side.

"Yes," said his mother, with a sigh, and then they were for a long time silent. She was thinking how the wind would find its way through the long worn great coat of her husband, and how unfit he was to bear the bitter cold. David was thinking how the rain, that had been falling so heavily all the afternoon, must have gullied out the road down the north side of Hardscrabble hill, and hoping that old Don would prove himself sure footed in the darkness.

"I wish I had gone with him," said he, again.

"Let us go to the children," said his mother.

The room in which the children were gathered was bright with fire light a picture of comfort in contrast with the dark and stormy night out upon which these two had been looking... Continue reading book >>

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