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"Judy," said my father, "God is good, and
sure 'tis only in Him we must put our trust;
for in the wide world I can see nothing but
starvation before us."

"God is good, Tim," replied my mother;
"He won't forsake us."

Just then Richard came in with a more
joyful face than I had seen on him for many
a day.

"Good news!" says he, "good news, father!
there's work for us both on the Droumcarra
road. The government works are to begin
there to-morrow; you'll get eight-pence a
day, and I'll get six-pence."

If you saw our delight when we heard this,
you'd think 'twas the free present of a thousand
pounds that came to us, falling through
the roof, instead of an offer of small wages
for hard work.

To be sure the potatoes were gone, and the
yellow meal was dear and dry and chippy
it hadn't the nature about it that a hot potato
has for a poor man; but still 'twas a great
thing to have the prospect of getting enough
of even that same, and not to be obliged to
follow the rest of the country into the
poorhouse, which was crowded to that degree that
the crathurs thereGod help them!—hadn't
room even to die quietly in their beds, but
were crowded, together on the floor like so
many dogs in a kennel. The next morning
my father and Richard were off before
daybreak, for they had a long way to walk to
Droumcarra, and they should be there in time
to begin work. They took an Indian meal
cake with them to eat for their dinner, and
poor dry food it was, with only a draught of
cold water to wash it down. Still my father,
who was knowledgeable about such things,
always said it was mighty wholesome when it
was well cooked; but some of the poor people
took a great objection against it on account of
the yellow colour, which they thought came
from having sulphur mixed with itand they
said, Indeed it was putting a great affront on
the decent Irish to mix up their food as if
'twas for mangy dogs. Glad enough, poor
creatures, they were to get it afterwards,
when sea-weed and nettles, and the very grass
by the roadside, was all that many of them
had to put into their mouths.

When my father and brother came home in
the evening, faint and tired from the two long
walks and the day's work, my mother would
always try to have something for them to eat
with their porridgea bit of butter, or a bowl
of thick milk, or maybe a few eggs. She always
gave me plenty as far as it would go; but
'twas little she took herself. She would often
go entirely without a meal, and then she'd
slip down to the huckster's, and buy a little
white bun for Mary; and I'm sure it used to
do her more good to see the child eat it, than
if she got a meat-dinner for herself. No
matter how hungry the poor little thing
might be, she 'd always break off a bit to put
into her mother's mouth, and she would not
be satisfied until she saw her swallow it; then
the child would take a drink of cold water
out of her little tin porringer, as contented as
if it was new milk.

As the winter advanced, the weather
became wet and bitterly cold, and the poor men
working on the roads began to suffer dreadfully
from being all day in wet clothes, and,
what was worse, not having any change to
put on when they went home at night without
a dry thread about them. Fever soon got
amongst them, and my father took it. My
mother brought the doctor to see him, and by
selling all our decent clothes, she got for him
whatever was wanting, but all to no use:
'twas the will of the Lord to take him to
himself, and he died after a few days' illness.

It would be hard to tell the sorrow that
his widow and orphans felt, when they saw
the fresh sods planted on his grave. It was
not grief altogether like the grand stately
grief of the quality, although maybe the same
sharp knife is sticking into the same sore
bosom inside in both; but the outside differs
in rich and poor. I saw the mistress a week
after Miss Ellen died. She was in her
drawing-room with the blinds pulled down,
sitting in a low chair, with her elbow on the
small work-table, and her cheek resting on her
handnot a speck of anything white about her
but the cambric handkerchief, and the face
that was paler than the marble chimney-piece.

When she saw me, (for the butler, being
busy, sent me in with the luncheon-tray,) she
covered her eyes with her handkerchief, and
began to cry, but quietly, as if she did not want it
to be noticed. As I was going out, I just heard
her say to Miss Alice in a choking voice:—

"Keep Sally here always; our poor darling
was fond of her." And as I closed the
door, I heard her give one deep sob. The
next time I saw her, she was quite
composed: only for the white cheek and the
black dress, you would not know that the
burning feel of a child's last kiss had ever
touched her lips.

My father's wife mourned for him after
another fashion. She could not sit quiet,
she must work hard to keep the life in them
to whom he gave it; and it was only in the
evenings when she sat down before the fire
with Mary in her arms, that she used to sob
and rock herself to and fro, and sing a low
wailing keen for the father of the little one,
whose innocent tears were always ready to
fall when she saw her mother cry. About
this time my mother got an offer from some
of the hucksters in the neighbourhood, who
knew her honesty, to go three times a week
to the next market-town, ten miles off, with
their little money, and bring them back
supplies of bread, groceries, soap, and candles.
This she used to do, walking the twenty miles
ten of them with a heavy load on her back
for the sake of earning enough to keep us
alive. 'Twas very seldom that Richard could
get a stroke of work to do: the boy wasn't