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The Pleasures of the Country Simple Stories for Young People   By: (1811?-1876)

The Pleasures of the Country Simple Stories for Young People by Harriet Myrtle

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Second Edition.



[Illustration: A VISIT TO THE OLD HALL.]


Edward and Kate lived in a country town. It was a cheerful, clean town, with wide streets, and an old church that had large trees round it, and ivy growing up the tower. Their house had a garden behind it, in which they used to play very happily, drive their hoops round the walks, and run and jump about on the grass plot. They also made many pleasant little excursions into the country round, when their sister Laura was able to go with them.

One of their favourite walks was through the woods belonging to an ancient manor house, always called "The Old Hall," about a mile from the town. It belonged to a rich nobleman; but nobody had lived in it for a long time. The gardens and park were, however, kept in fine order; and it was said, that some day the house would be put in repair and furnished. As it was now, people could walk by the paths through the woods close up to it.

One of these paths was just outside the wall of the flower garden, and led up to the portico of a sort of summer house or pavilion, partly gone to ruin. The door of this pavilion was always closed; but it was so shady and pleasant all round there, that it was a favourite place for Edward and Kate to play in, while Laura sat under a tree reading; and they would often look up at the beautiful roses, jasmines, and other creepers that hung over the top of the wall, and wish they might go into the garden and see all the lovely flowers they thought must be there.

They longed the more to be admitted within the wall, and see not only the garden, but the Old Hall itself, because a young carpenter, who was at work for their papa, putting up a book case, had told them a great deal about it. This carpenter, John Wilson, was a great friend of theirs. He made a whole fleet of boats for them, which they sailed in the water butt, in the garden, and taught them how to saw, and plane, and knock in nails; and while all this was going on, he would describe the painted windows and carved ceilings and walls in the Old Hall; and he knew all its wonders quite well, for he had worked there for several months, repairing some parts of the rooms that were going to destruction; and he said he hoped his lordship would soon have it all thoroughly done, and that he should be employed to do the work.

After all this, Kate and Edward were quite pleased, when, one day, John brought them permission to go and see it, from Mrs. Hollis, the housekeeper, who lived in one of the lodges, and was allowed to shew the place to visitors. If they went to the door of the pavilion in their favourite path, and rang the bell, she would admit them, he said. They thanked John very much for getting such a pleasure for them, and then ran to their mama to ask her leave to go, which she gave them directly; and, as the next day was very fine, they set out after their early dinner, in high spirits, accompanied by Laura. To add to their pleasure, their mama had told them they might order a donkey chaise in the village, near the Hall gates, to bring them home, because she was sure they would be tired; and this was a thing they enjoyed extremely.

"Since you are going into the village, Master Edward, will you be so kind as to ask at the post office if there's a letter for me?" said John Wilson, when Edward went to bid him good bye. "Perhaps you will bring me good luck."

Edward readily promised to ask for the letter, and then whispered to Kate, "It's from his father he wants to hear, I know. He told me he should never be happy till he did. I wish we could bring him one."

But it was of no use to wish. There was no letter for John Wilson. So they ordered the donkey chaise to be at the pavilion in three hours, and went on to the appointed place, and rang the bell... Continue reading book >>

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