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yards from the door, and felt so frightened, that

I ran back as fast as I could. Since that I have

seldom quitted the house for an hour, and never have been out of Fulham.”

66 Then

you

have never been at school ?”

66 O no-never.

I often wish that I had. I

used to see the little girls coming home, as they passed our door, so merrily, with their bags, from the school-house; and I'm sure, if it were only to have the pleasure of going there and back again for the sake of the run, I would have worked hard, if for nothing else."

“ Would you like to learn to read and write ?"

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“ Will you teach me?" replied Mary, taking me by the arm, and looking me earnestly in the face.

“ Yes, I will, with pleasure," replied I, laughing “ We will pass the evening better than making love, after all, especially if you

hit so hard.

How came you so knowing in

those matters ?”

“ I don't know,” replied Mary, smiling ; “I suppose, as father says, it's human nature, for I never learnt any thing; but you will teach me to read and write ?"

“I will teach you all I know myself, Mary, if you wish to learn. Every thing but Latinwe've had enough of that.”

“ Oh! I shall be so much obliged to you. I shall love you so !"

“ There you are again.”

“ No, no, I didn't mean that,” replied Mary, earnestly. “I meant that after all, I don't know what else to say. I mean that I shall love you for your kindness, without your loving me

again, that's it."

“ I understand you ; but now, Mary, as we are to be such good friends, it is necessary that your father and I should be good friends; so I

must ask

you

what sort of a person he is, for I know little of him, and of course wish to oblige

him."

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man.

Well, then, to prove to you that I am sincere, I will tell you something. My father, in the first place, is a very good-tempered sort of

He works pretty well, but might gain more, but he likes to smoke at the public-house. All he requires of me is his dinner ready, his linen clean, and the house tidy. He never drinks too much, and is always civil spoken ; but he leaves me too much alone, and talks too much about human nature, that's all.”

“ But he's so deaf-he can't talk to you."

“Give me your hand—now promise—for I'm going to do a very foolish thing, which is to trust a man-promise you'll never tell it again."

Well, I promise," replied I; supposing

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66

her secret of no consequence.

“ Well, then-mind—you've promised. Fa

ther is no more deaf than

you or I.”

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“ Indeed !" replied I; “why he

why he goes by the name of Deaf Stapleton.”

6 I know he does, and makes every body believe that he is so; but it is to make money."

“ How can he make money by that ?"

“ There's many people in business who go down the river, and they wish to talk of their affairs without being overheard as they go down. They always call for Deaf Stapleton : and there's

many a gentleman and lady, who have much to say to each other, without wishing people to listen-you understand me?” “ () yes, I understand--Latin !”

Exactly—and they call for Deaf Stapleton; and by this means he gets more good fares than any other waterman, and does less work."

“ But how will he manage now that I am

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with him?"
“O I suppose
it will depend upon his

his customers; if a single person wants to go down,

you will take the sculls; if they call for oars, you will both go; if he considers Deaf Stapleton only is wanted, you will remain on shore; or, perhaps, he will insist upon your being deaf

too.”

“ But I do not like deceit."

“ No, it's not right; although it appears to me that there is a great deal of it. Still I should like you to sham deaf, and then tell me all that people say. It would be so funny. Father never will tell a word.”

“ So far, your father, to a certain degree, ex

cuses himself.”

“ Well, I think he will soon tell you what I have now told

you,

but till then you must keep your promise ; and now you must do as you please, as I must go down in the kitchen, and get dinner on the fire."

“ I have nothing to do," replied I; “ can I help you ?”

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