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no more spirit than a lamb. I do feel sorry for Lizzie, that I do; and now the landlord's given them notice, and all their things are to be sold up. Whatever will they do ?”
John was silent for a few minutes. Then he said, “ What do you say, Mary, to giving them shelter under our roof-tree till they can turn and look about them? It won't add much to your trouble, I hope, and there are the rooms not likely to let this two months, for we've a good bit of cold weather before us yet, I reckon. Then, you see, we could give them a bit of our dinner now and then quite friendly, without seeming to make it a charity, being all so close together as it were.”
“Well, John, you are the best man that ever lived, I believe," said Mary, in a burst of enthusiasm.
“ There's no manner of sham about you ; and if you're agreeable, I am sure I am. You've minded me many a time of that cotton umbrella in the corner, homely, but strong, and downright good; and I hope you'll last as many a year as that will to shield me and others from the storms of life.”
John lost no time in following out his kind intention, but went at once to propose the plan to Andrew and Lizzie, feeling, as he said, "they would all sleep the better for having things settled." His kind offer was accepted with joy and gratitude, and Andrew learnt, as he afterwards expressed it, that "the coat didn't make the gentleman after all.”
God's Works to be viewed as a whole.
, and righteousness : but we shall best discern the
beauty of it when we look on it in the frame, and when it shall be fully completed and finished, and our eyes enlightened to take a fuller and clearer view of it than we can have here. Oh! what wonder! what endless wondering will it then command !-Leighton.
F anybody had told me five and forty years ago that
John and George Varley would quarrel so bitterly that they would be estranged for ten long years I
should scarcely, perhaps, have said that it was impossible, but I am quite sure I should have said that it was altogether unlikely. I never saw two brothers more warmly attached. You were tolerably certain if you met one of them that the other was not far off. They were not unsocial in regard to other boys of their own age ; on the contrary, they mingled freely in all the games of their schoolfellows; still they seemed all in all to each other. Many a half-holiday did they set off together, sometimes nutting, sometimes fishing, never caring for anybody else's company. Woe to the lad who ventured to attack either of them, for the other was sure to stand by him, as we used to say, “through thick and thin."
I think I had more to do with them than anybody else. We lived in the same street; we attended the same dayschool ; we went to the same chapel, and we were in the same class in the Sunday-school. They and I were always good friends. Even when they quarrelled with one another they never quarrelled with me. It was no easy matter to keep out of their quarrels, for, as always happens in such cases, each wanted me to take his side, and was disappointed because I did not. Still I contrived to keep clear, and I have always been thankful I did,
Josiah Varley, their father, was a good man, rather narrow, perhaps, on some points, but still a sincere Christian. He brought up his family to the best of his knowledge ; and I well remember how the tears rolled down his cheeks when on the same day his two sons took their places for the first time, along with myself, at the table of the Lord. I had a great deal of talk with them at the time, and I have no doubt they were quite sincere.
“What!” some reader exclaims, were they Christians as well as brothers, and did they quarrel notwithstanding ?” Indeed they did, and I cannot tell the harm it wrought.
Nothing happened to disturb their harmony till after they had grown up to be men, and when the disturbance did happen it arose mainly, though not entirely, about that fruitful source of contention and sin-money.
We lived in a large manufacturing village a few miles from Leeds. Their father was a clothmaker, and he brought up
John and George to the business. Cloth-weaving was then all done by land, and Josiah Varley had a few looms in a shop in the upper story of his house, to which there was access by a flight of stone steps from the outside. Josiah had a stand in the Coloured Cloth Hall in Leeds, where he exposed his cloth for sale on market days. He had three fortieth shares, too, in a joint-stock mill, where the wool was carded and spun, and made ready for the loom. Josiah and his family lived in a plain, homely sort of way; but it will be seen from what I have said that he was a substantial sort of man.
One of our neighbours, Mark Webster, who was in the same line of business as Josiah Varley, had an only child, a daughter, and a comely, good-tempered, lively sort of girl she was. We all liked her, but somehow or other she liked George Varley better than any of us, and one day something happened which made her preference too plain to be doubted. It came like a revelation to poor John, and I recollect, as plainly as though it had been only yesterday, how pale his cheek turned, and how his lip quivered when he saw it. From that time George spent a good deal of his spare time at Mark Webster's, and John and I were thrown more together. John never mentioned the subject to me, and I never mentioned it to him. He got over it after a time, but thenceforward the two brothers were never what they had been before to one another.
At length George and Mary Webster got married, and soon after Mark Webster proposed that George should go and work with him, and help him in the management of his business. Everybody said it was the right thing for George to do. Although Mark was an energetic man he was not a strong one, and he needed a trustworthy helper. His business was much larger than Josiah Varley's, and he had made arrangements to extend it by opening a small mill. By-and-by it came to be understood that when anything happened to Mark, George and his wife would succeed to his property.
John Varley remained with his father till Josiah's death, which took place, after a short illness, about five years after George's marriage. In the meantime John also had married.
I have no doubt at all that Josiah Varley wanted to do what was just and right to his children; but then nobody is infallible, and with the most earnest desire to do what is right a man may still be mistaken, and perhaps in making his will Josiah might have been mistaken. I am inclined to think he was. At any rate, the way he left his property was not satisfactory to George.
He left everything to John, after providing for his widow. He did not tell his sons before his death that he had done so, and perhaps if he had it would not have made things any better. He gave his reasons, however, to his wife, whom he had consulted on the subject, and she had agreed with him. George, he said, was well provided for. All he had to leave, he said, would not put John in as good a position as George, considering that he was Mark Webster's son-in-law: he had managed the business entirely for the last three years, and it was only right he should have everything.
Josiah had overlooked the very important consideration, that though George was Mark Webster's son-in law, he was still only his servant, and that, should any misunderstanding arise between George and Mark, George might be thrown on the world without a penny. He forgot, too, that when Mark Webster had consented to take George Varley as his son-in-law, it was with the very natural expectation that some day George would share in his father's property. He might have considered, which he did not seem to have done, that possibly his leaving everything to John might cause unpleasantness between George and his father-in-law; for it was well known that Mark was fond of money. Indeed, he had been unwilling that George should have his daughter, because he thought she should marry somebody richer.
When the will was read George was disappointed and angry. He said nothing that day, for it was the day of his