MARRIED TO HER SCHOOL,'MASTER. ,'..,,|1878-01-26|The Cardigan Observer and General Advertiser for the Counties of Cardigan Carmarthen and Pembroke - Welsh Newspapers Online
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MABEL.

THE STRANGE CLAIMANT; OR,…

MARRIED TO HER SCHOOL,'MASTER.…

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MARRIED TO HER SCHOOL- MASTER. .+- ï t SCHOOLMASTER—Lizzie Wayrie laughed out loud!" cried a big boy from the corner of the schoolroom. The master, a handsome young man of 22, looked around ifc amazement.. Is that true, Elizabeth 1" he inquired, taking a few steps towards a little girl in one of the back seats, who sat with crimsoning cheeks, and downcast eyes, the very image of shame and terror. There was no need to repeat the question. What! You, Lizzie! one of my best girls! I am very sorry." And in truth the kind-hearted master was deeply sympathising with the child; for Lizzie Wayne had been his especial favQurite, and never be- fore had he had occasion to punish or reprove her. A serious look of his large brown eyes, when he read in the child's speaking countenance that her thoughts were more on fun than study, was the only check he had as yet found necessary in Lizzie's case; though we are speaking of a district school twenty years ago, when, as many of us know, school-discipline was quite another thing from what it is at present. Then, too. Lizzie was so docile, so smiling, BO apt to learn, and repaid his exertions for her improvement so abundantly, that it was impossible to help feeling more than a common degree of interest in her. If a difficult test question were propounded, or a puzzling sum to be wrought upon the black-board, Lizzie's black eyes never failed to sparkle, and her little fat hand to rise, in token of her readiness to answer. Though not yet 13, she had distanced nearly all the older scholars, and invariably occupied the highest place in her classes. And now she was in disgrace- poor little Lizzie! The school was large, and not a few of the pupils, particularly among the older boys, disposed to in- subordination, and even open disobedience. In fact, the master of the previous winter had actually been conquered and expelled from the house by them. In consequence of this, Mr. Clinton had deemed it necessary to adopt stringent rules, and rigidly adhere to them. He had got on exceedingly well through the first half of the term; but, of late, symptoms of rebellion had manifested themselves, which induced him, among other new regulations, to give notice that any scholar guiltv of laughing aloud in school hours should be punished by standing on the floor by the master's side. Lizzie, though not the first, was the oldest girl who had yet incurred the penalty, and this, added to the fact that she had never in her life received correction in school, made her mortification and grief painful indeed to witness. Mr. Clinton, however, suspected what she did not -that it was jealousy of her high standing in his esteem that had led some of the larger boys to watch her conduct, and inform against her. He knew that he was accused, in school parlance, of "showing par- tiality" to Lizzie Wayne, and felt thtt it would be hazarding his authority over his pupils now to make an exception in her favour. So it was with a feeling of real concern that he entered her seat and said gently: "Elizabeth, your conduct has hitherto been so unexceptionable that I cannot help thinking this matter a sad accident; nevertheless, you will, I be- lieve, submit willingly to the penalty, as a good girl should, for the sake of order and disciplino in the school." Lizzie did not speak but the pitying master could see that she trembled in every limb, and that the per- spiration had started in large beads on her burning forehead. If I remit the penalty for you, Lizzie, I must for another, and another, and then there would be an end of school government. Do you not perceive this ?" "Yes, sir! whispered Lizzie. Come, then, and show before the school that you love law and order well enough to submit quietly to a just and necessary regulation, however unintentional your offence may have been." Still Lizzie did not move. To stand in the middle of that great, light room, with forty-five pairs of curious eyes bent scrutinisingly, and some, I am sorry to say, triumphantly upon her! It was more than hsr sensitive nature could contemplate unap- palled. Mr. Clinton saw that it was not obstinacy, but un- conquerable fear and diffidence that prevented her from obeying; and rightly judging that her embar- rassment would only increase with continued sus- pense, took her arm and whispering, "Come, my child time presses," led her gpntly from her seat. Poor Lizzie rose, and with a feeling as if she were being whirled over a precipice, followed him into the loor. Mr. Clinton did not conduct her to the centre of the room, but left her standing a few feet from her uwn desk, and facing it while he went on with the recitations; and in fifteen minutes permitted her to return to her seat. But for more than an hour Lizzie's tear swollen cheek was rested sadly on her leak and not for the whole day did her bright face ling out its wonted sunshine. Very soberly she put )n her bonnet and clOjk at the hour of dismissal, and icarcely raised her eyes, as, in accordance with the lsual custom, she bade the master good evening. I hope she has not conceived a dislike for me, md a repugnance to the school, from this unfortunate iffair," said Clinton to himself, as he locked the ichool-room door, and looked after the interesting Julprit, now slowly mounting the stope,of her father's Muse. So obedient as she has always been, and so iweet-tempered. I would rather it had been any other "irl in the school." But next day, though Lizzie ooked a little shy at first, a few kind words and tokens )f confidence from her master, set all right between ihem; and the engaging little maiden kept her place w Mr. Clinton's best scholar for the remainder of the winter, and even on the dreaded "Examination day Six years afterwards, one clear, starry evening in winter, a large party of young people, with not a few (lderly ones interspersed,were assembled about a bright ire in Mr. Wayne's commodious parlour. A minister s there, looking, however, at this time, anything but lolemn; but the cynosure of all eyes is our friend Lizzie, who, more beautiful than even her childhood promised, and. most charmingly dressed withal, is itanding at one end of the room, leaning con- Idingly upon the arm of a gentleman, who ever md anon looks down into her beaming eyes with a jroud and tender smile. It is Lizzie's wedding night. Already the few weighty sentences have been spoken, and now, while ibe stands there, waiting to receive the congratula- te ns of her friends, the bridegroom suddenly bends lown, and whispers in her ear: Do you know, darling, that yow have just now, of rour own accord, and with apparent willingness, assumed a position which you once before occupied, ;hough not without great reluctance, and if I re- nember rightly, some little constraint ? "Not" answered the bride, looking up in per- plexity, what position do you mean, pray ? Standing up with the schoolmaster he replied, raily, j ust as a troup of merry beaux and bells came up 0 kiss "the bride, One roguish hoyden, who re- nembered the circumstance well, had caught his vords, and now increased Lizzie's coafusion by ex- :Iaiming—" Oh, my dear Mrs. Clinton have you )een laughing in school again ? Take care—take -are! It's a dreadfully mortifying thing to stand on ihe floor with the schoolmaster!" _i_u'n'

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LADIES' COLUMN.

USEFUL HINTS.--

VARIETIES.

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