Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/94

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94
THE HALLIG.

and the total want of all co-operation on the part of
the parents, was limited to the merest rudiments."
  "What !" exclaimed Mander and Oswald, in aston-
ishment ; "is the pastor then condemned to teach the
alphabet and prepare copy-books ?"
  "If you call this condemnation, I can't object to it.
It often wounds me to the soul when I hear in the next
room the monstrous spelling, and cast a glance at these
books. But Hold knows very well how to accommodate
himself to it, and goes just as cheerfully into the school-
room as he comes out of it. On each of the halligs
the office of school-master is combined with that of
pastor."
  "But I would have an assistant," said Oswald, some-
what thoughtlessly.
  "The same reasons," replied the lady, as her eyes
fell, and her face colored slightly, " which have made it
necessary to unite the two offices, spare us the trouble
of thinking about an assistant."
  The arrival of the husband now relieved the wife
from a conversation which was becoming somewhat
painful to her, as women are less inclined than men to
expose to strangers their straitened circumstances, and
try as long as possible to keep up appearances.
  Hold met his visitors with cordial frankness, and
skilfully interrupted their thanks for his exertions to
make them comfortable on the island, by saying that
he was much more indebted to them for coming here to
tell him a little something of the world without.
  While their hostess now prepared the tea with the
black bread and butter, which is aU that tfie inhabitant
of the hallig has to offer his guests on such occasions,