laying his hard, brown hand on the open page; "it's the last night thou'lt be at home in the old house, lad; and I want to hear the sound o' thy voice to-night. Thou'rt a good lad, a very good lad; but a trifle too fine to be ground in our mill. Who'd ever have thought such a fine lad 'ud come o' the old stock?"
He spoke as if he was half proud and half regretful. I knew he was just as proud of Stephen, ay, and as uneasy about him as my little white hen was of her one duckling, when it would take to the water, in spite of all her cluck-clucking.
"He's a fine lad, and a grand scholard," said Jerry, the old waggoner, sitting next my father, and his voice sounded very thick and muffled; "he'll beat 'em all out yonder in Australy, he will, mester."
"Ay, ay!" answered father, "I don't fear he'll make his way, with all the learnin' he's got in his head. It's an old head on young shoulders, Jerry. But I'd rather he'd ha' stayed a little nigher home. There's London! If he'd only chose, he might h