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´╗┐Title: The Boarding School - Familiar conversations between a governess and her pupils. - Written for the amusement and instruction of young ladies.
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Those persons whose time is devoted to the instruction of youth, have
not only abundant opportunities of ascertaining the capacities of their
pupils, but of observing their various dispositions, and of noticing the
effects which have been produced on them by previous habit and example.
It seldom happens that amiability of temper, respectful behaviour to
superiors, or kindness to inferiors, distinguish children who in their
infancy have been left to the care of menials, or who have been
suffered, by the blind indulgence of parents, to gratify their forward
inclinations; and it as rarely occurs that those who have had the
benefit of good example and parental admonition in the "bud of life,"
display much propensity to vice as they grow up, unless their morals
become contaminated by afterwards forming improper companions. With
reference to the effects of early education, it has been most truly
said, that

    "Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd."

And though a variety of causes may operate to form the character, or
give a bias to the mind, it is a fact not to be controverted, that early
impressions are never wholly eradicated, and the magic of some well
remembered maxim or parental caution will often come very seasonably to
the aid of the most experienced.

In pourtraying the characters which are introduced in "THE BOARDING
SCHOOL," the Author has endeavoured to represent, by contrast, the
amiable and unamiable passions; and, by exhibiting them in their true
colours, to render her fair and youthful readers as emulous to imitate
the one, as they will doubtless be to avoid the other; while the
narrative, being of the most familiar kind, will, it is hoped,
contribute to their amusement.



Elizabeth Adair was stooping to prop a rose-tree in a viranda, when she
hastily turned to her sister, and exclaimed, "it is useless attending
either to plants or flowers now: I must give up all my favourite

"But you will have others to engage your attention," returned Jane.

"And will they afford me pleasure? You may as well say that I shall
listen with joy to the foolish commands of some parents, and the
haughty remarks of others."

"Let this be our comfort," said Jane, "sensible people always treat the
instructors of youth with respect; they neither command with pride, nor
complain with insolence."

"But think of the change! We, who have had every indulgence, and no
cares to perplex us!"

"My dear Elizabeth, in the day of prosperity we seldom rejoice with
thankfulness; but in the time of adversity, when our path is darkened,
then we can bitterly repine. Surely we should place our joys and our
sorrows against each other, as a defence from a murmuring spirit."

"It is not late trials that trouble me, but future vexations that I
dread. You know that I have never been accustomed to stupid, drawling,
spoiled children."

"I hope," said Jane, "you will not have a class of this description to

"O, all things will be easy to you, for you love children and love
teaching; but I have never applied my mind to any thing of the kind: I
shall not know how to ask the most simple question in nature."

Jane smiled, as she said, "Since you are so very doubtful of your
abilities, I think I will give a short lesson upon teaching. Suppose you
ask your pupil if she has learned grammar: if she replies in the
affirmative, desire her to explain the nature of the different parts of
speech. Then try her abilities in the arithmetical tables, or from the
history of England; tell her to relate some particular event in the
reign of one of our kings, and go on to other subjects in a similar
manner. In the first instance, however, always hear your pupil read;
clear, distinct reading, with proper emphasis--I do not mean in a
theatrical style--is one test of abilities; give her some pointed
passage from history, or from any suitable book."

"I want an example," said Elizabeth.

"Now, sister, you are trifling, and will lead me to trifle in return."

"In 1199 John signed Magna Charta, the bulwark of English liberty;" or,
"the king wept when he found himself a prisoner; but the master of
Glamis said--"

"Go on, my dear Jane: the master of Glamis I will not have any thing to
say to."

"You forget," said Jane, "that we are not to finish a sentence with to,
or for, or any word so insignificant. Let a little girl read, 'remember
now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,' or something in the same
easy, impressive style. But consult my mother: she will give you the
best information upon the subject of teaching."

"Ah," said Elizabeth, "my spirits fail when I think of the task! I only
wish the first week were over."

"It will pass away like all other things. We have only to be resolute in
doing our duty, and leave the rest to Providence. Let us at all times
remember our own excellent instructress: her 'authority, when most
severe, and mustering all its force, was but the graver countenance of
love, watering at once and nourishing the plant.'"


It will, perhaps, here be necessary to say something of Mrs. Adair; I
will not, however, enter upon her motive for opening a boarding-school.
It is a well known fact that the loss of fortune, contracted incomes, or
troubles in one shape or another, are the origin of almost all female
seminaries. I never heard but of one lady beginning a school, and
persevering to the conclusion of a protracted life, without any motive
but benefiting a friend. To her credit let me remark, that she never
regretted this, as it may justly be styled, "labour of love."

Mrs. Adair's personal appearance and manner were calculated to excite
respect and deference from pupils. The general cast of her countenance
was serious, to a degree bordering upon severity; but when she did
unbend, the cheerfulness that beamed in her features, and the benevolent
expression of her dark and pleasing eyes, invited confidence and regard
from every beholder. She had been a widow several years, and was going
to commence a school patronized by respectable friends. I shall not
attempt to describe her daughters, for beauty is of so perishable a
nature, and of so little value without good qualities, it is but time
wasted dwelling on the subject. Jane, the youngest, had been some time
in a delicate and declining state of health; and, viewing life as
uncertain in its tenor, had wisely adapted her mind to passing
circumstances. Next to her brightest hopes, was her desire to be useful
whilst she remained upon earth.

Elizabeth had high health and spirits, and could ill brook the idea of
the restraint and confinement of a school. But the evening was now
arrived previous to beginning "the irksome task," as she styled it.

Mrs. Adair had been looking over her folio, and her daughters were
seated at their work, when she observed, "We may consider ourselves
particularly fortunate, for I have now the promise of fifteen pupils.
Several things, however, we must take into consideration. Elizabeth, you
are sometimes a little petulant in temper: remember you must never be
rash in deciding, or hasty in punishing; curb the bold, but encourage
the timid. We must likewise be cautious to treat the parents of every
child with equal respect; not allow ourselves to be dazzled with
glittering equipages, or dashing manners. And let us be tender and
careful of children who are deprived of a mother: give them all the aid
in our power, to make them a credit to their father's house."

"And I think, my dear mother," said Elizabeth, "it will be necessary to
fix children of weak capacities in one class: let all the dunces go

"But we must first weigh their talents justly," returned Mrs. Adair;
"and always recollect, that 'children of the present age are the hope of
the one to come.'

"There is one thing I particularly charge you to avoid: never speak in a
tone of ridicule of any lady who has previously instructed a pupil;
there is something contemptible in trying to depreciate the talents of
another. We are not to consider ourselves as supreme in wisdom, for our
abilities are moderate; if we can do good, I believe it is the chief
merit we can claim."

"I hope one thing," said Elizabeth, "that the young ladies must never be
allowed to learn their lessons at meals; for I am persuaded they will
think more of the present participle _loving_ than of declining the verb
_to love_. And I trust likewise, my dear mother, that you will never let
them read their own themes at public examinations: for the voice I am
certain will tremble when hundreds are listening."

"We will not talk of public examinations, my dear, until we have tried
our own abilities at teaching. But I must caution you never to criticize
letters from parents or friends; nor look upon a teacher as a solitary
being, without friends and without feelings."

"I hope you do not think I would exact too much, or be unreasonable in
any command to a teacher," said Elizabeth.

"I do not say that you will do so; I only wish to remind you, that we
should have due consideration for those persons who are dependent upon
us. And now I have only to observe, that we must not think entirely of
the time our pupils are to be with us, but extend our thoughts to the
period when they will be enabled to judge by what spirit we were
actuated. In teaching, punishing, or rewarding, let us always consider
whether the means we then pursue will be useful to the young lady in
future life."


Elizabeth with some degree of impatience stood at the drawing-room
window, looking for their first pupil, on the morning the school was
opened. At length a carriage drove hastily to the door, and she returned
to her seat.

With a flushed and agitated countenance she had now to welcome one of
her mother's earliest friends. Colonel Vincent advanced into the room
with two daughters, and in a cheerful tone exclaimed, "I hope, my dear
Miss Adair, we are your first scholars; we have strained every nerve to
surprise you with an early visit, and an auspicious one I hope it will

"I hope so too, Sir," said Elizabeth quickly; "but I thought we should
have had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Vincent."

"She was obliged to go down into the country to visit her father,"
returned the Colonel, "and deputed me to act for her. I have to beg that
you will treat our children as the children of strangers: reward them
with favour when they are good, and punish them when they are otherwise.
We have confidence in our friends, therefore shall never listen to any
idle tales; but my little girl," he continued, as he fondly stroked the
hair from the forehead of his youngest daughter, "will I know be
tractable and very good."

"That I will, Papa; only I wish I had my doll, and the cradle. My cousin
Eliza has a barrel-organ, a garden-chair, and I don't know how many
things, at her school."

"Your cousin has a large fortune, and is a simpleton," cried Caroline,
the eldest daughter. "But pray, ma'am, who is to teach music?"

"I shall make the attempt," said Elizabeth; "how far I shall succeed
will depend upon my abilities to instruct, and your patience and
perseverance in gaining instruction."

"O, ma'am, I have learned seven years of the first masters."

"There has been a wonderful waste of time, and money!" cried the
Colonel. "You rattle the keys, as blundering soldiers when commanded to
fire: no taste, feeling, or judgment in the execution."

"But at Madame La Blond's, Papa, I was allowed to play in the very first
style, and was always called upon to exhibit to strangers."

A servant at this moment announced "Mrs. Towers;" and a stately female,
dressed in the extreme of fashion, with a measured step entered the
room, followed by a delicate, interesting looking young lady, but with a
very dark complexion. Mrs. Towers moved very profoundly to Elizabeth.
"Permit me to introduce Miss Arden as a pupil," she said. "She is from
the East, and under our guardianship. For certain causes we removed her
from her last seminary; we did not consider it (as she is a young lady
of large fortune) sufficiently fashionable. As we understand Colonel
Vincent, a man whom every one must applaud, has declared that he and his
noble lady will patronize Mrs. Adair, from this circumstance alone I
have brought Miss Arden hither."

Colonel Vincent smiled, and stepped to the window to converse with his
youngest daughter. "It is particularly unfortunate, ma'am," added Mrs.
Towers, "that the young lady has so very dark a look; but I assure you
she is not a creole." Tears started into Miss Arden's eyes, and her
cheeks were tinged with a deep blush. Mrs. Towers now made another very
low curtsey, with "a good morning, ma'am; I have several visits to pay
in this neighbourhood." As she passed the young lady, she whispered
something respecting mixture and composition.

Colonel Vincent now led his daughters to Miss Arden. "Let me introduce
the young people to each other," said he; "who I hope will be friends
and pleasant companions."

Isabella, his youngest daughter, looked up in her face; and taking her
hand, said, "I am sure I shall love this lady, if she will love me."

Her sister turned her head, and with a scornful smile exclaimed, "You
are always taken with strangers! I wish Miss Russel would come! I
thought she would have been here early."

"This is an insolent young lady," said the Colonel, looking at his
daughter with displeasure. "But my Isabella, Miss Arden, will be
grateful for your kindness."

"I have so few, Sir, to regard me," said Miss Arden, "that I shall
indeed be happy to gain the love of this little girl."

Elizabeth now asked if she would walk in the garden. "Come, my little
pet," said the Colonel, "give me one kiss; and go with this young lady,
and try to divert her. And do not forget to bring her with you the
first holiday, and we will have a merry day; all your young friends
shall be invited to meet you."

In the course of the morning most of the young ladies arrived. It was a
complete day of bustle. There were trunks and packages to be removed
from the hall into the dressing-room; then one wanted her reticule, and
another a book from her bag; and a third was searching her basket for
good things, either for her own private eating, or to give to some one
to whom she had taken a fancy. Then there were so many conjectures, "who
and who such ladies were?" Miss Vincent and Miss Russel, who were
declared friends, kept apart from their companions. There were few,
indeed, they would deign to notice; and no one, unless her Papa had a
carriage. There was an air of scorn in their countenances, which seemed
to say, "here is a motley group, indeed!"

Jane had been confined to her chamber the whole of the morning, but in
the afternoon strolled into the garden to converse with the young
ladies. She soon felt fatigued, and went into the summer-house to rest.
There, to her surprise, she beheld a young lady with a melancholy
aspect, seated, with her eyes fixed intently upon the floor.

"My dear, why are you here alone?" asked Jane in a tone of kindness;
"was there no young lady to walk with you?"

"No, ma'am; the ladies do not wish to associate with me. They object to
my complexion: and, I believe, they think that I am without feelings.
The little girl would have remained with me, but her sister would not
allow her."

A loud laugh now proclaimed a party approaching the summer-house. Jane
was shocked when she heard Miss Vincent exclaim, "Oh, do come in and
behold her! she is a complete creole! I never saw so frightful a

"The young lady is a stranger to me," said another, "and I am sure I
would not insult her upon any account."

"That is a voice I know," said Jane, stepping to the door. "My dear Miss
Damer, I wish to speak to you." Miss Vincent and her friend instantly
retreated, and the young lady entered the summer-house with a blushing

"Here is a young lady," said Jane, "who is a stranger; and I may add,
that she is in a strange land. In introducing her to you, Miss Damer, I
hope I am securing a friend for her: one who will not behold her

Tears now rushed from Miss Arden's eyes. "O! ma'am, I cannot thank you
as I feel! Hitherto, I have only known rudeness and unkindness! When I
lost my father, I thought, in coming to England--England, so famed for
every thing great and noble--that I should be a stranger to all sorrow
but that of remembrance."

Miss Damer was too much moved to express herself as she wished. "Come,"
said Jane, in a cheerful voice, "we must not have sorrow at this our
first meeting. I perceive that Miss Damer and you will be friends, so
come with me; you shall be my guests this evening, and we will leave the
other young ladies to my sister."

With a countenance expressive of kindness, Jane took an arm of each of
the young ladies, and walked with them up the garden. As she passed Miss
Vincent and her companion, she said very quietly, "Young ladies, I hope
you will conduct yourselves better to-morrow."


When Miss Vincent entered the music-room to receive her first lesson,
with haughty indifference she seated herself at the piano, and in a
careless manner began a voluntary. Elizabeth, who was reading a letter,
now closed it, leisurely opened a book, and desired her to play the
lesson to which she pointed.

"This piece, ma'am! Gravana thinks English music despicable."

"And English manners, I presume?"

"Manners, ma'am! Madame La Blond's was a fashionable seminary."

"And what is fashion, my dear?"

"Oh, nothing--nothing, ma'am, but doing as we please: we seldom saw
Madame except in evening parties."

"Then to whom were you indebted for instruction?"

"To our masters, ma'am," said Miss Vincent, in a tone of surprise. "At
Madame La Blond's we were instructed in all the sciences; in the nature
of valves; the specific gravity of bodies; the astonishing properties of
magnetic steel; and how many thousand miles the sun was from the earth."

"And perhaps you were told, by what means Archimedes burned the ships of
Marcellus, at the siege of Syracuse?"

"O no, ma'am; but we learned the art of memorizing by hieroglyphics.
This formed a part of our morning exercises."

"Pray, my dear," said Elizabeth very gravely, "can you repeat the
multiplication table throughout?"

Miss Vincent hesitated. "I know very little, ma'am, of figures: our
studies were in general of the highest order. But it was a charming
seminary! We had no particular rules; we could go to rest, or rise when
we pleased; and favourites were always asked to dance with select
parties in an evening."

"I seriously regret," said Elizabeth, "that we have robbed Madame La
Blond of so amiable a pupil."

"Madame, I assure you, ma'am, lamented it. She told Papa I was the
chief ornament of her school. But he was very angry,--I don't know why;
but he questioned me so closely, that I might as well have been before a
court-martial. Indeed I am certain he would have ordered me, had I been
a private soldier, to the triangle, merely because I said that Madame
despised people in trade."

"And your Papa really vindicated trade!"

"Oh, ma'am, the Colonel has strange plebeian notions. I never saw him so
angry as he was when I told him that we--I mean ladies of a certain
rank--had been the means of sending a merchant's daughter from school,
by styling her 'Miss Thimbleton,' and 'the little seamstress.' Her
mamma had the meanness, I may say the impertinence, to send vulgar check
muslin to be made into a frock, at Madame La Blond's! We took care,
however, to break the needles, and burn the thread."

"I hope you have finished your remarks: be pleased, now, to listen to
me. In consequence of the close intimacy that exists between our
families, I pass over your presuming manner this morning; but
recollect," said Elizabeth with firmness, "that it shall never be
repeated. If you dare to disobey, expect punishment. From this time you
are never to speak to me, unless I ask a question. Now play the lesson I


Mrs. Adair had selected from the first class four young ladies, to
regulate the younger pupils. They were to hear them repeat their lessons
before they entered the school-room; they were likewise to mark the
errors in their exercises, and endeavour, not only to instruct but

It has been said that by teaching others we gain knowledge ourselves.
Miss Damer was fully aware of this truth; all her leisure time,
therefore, was devoted to the young people under her care. She had only
three, and they had very different abilities: Miss Bruce's capacity was
bright, but she loved to defer all to the last moment; there was a
mixture of good sense and childishness in her character, and she was
warm and impetuous. Isabella Vincent had moderate abilities, but a very
persevering temper; whatever she had to learn, she laboured at it with
her whole heart, and her disposition was placid and amiable. Miss Grey
was a clever girl; she had been at an excellent school, and was
proficient in most of the minor branches of education. She was fond of
exercising her ingenuity to amuse her companions. One evening she had
collected a party round her, intending to divert them with new
grammatical exercises.

"Now, ladies," she cried, as she held a paper in her hand, "are you all
ready, all prepared to listen and to learn? Miss Isabella Vincent, what
are you doing? I am certain you do not mean to attend."

"If she will not attend," said Miss Damer, stepping into the circle, "I
am quite prepared--"

"Oh, Miss Damer, are _you_ here?" cried Miss Bruce: "we shall have no
fun now! I thought you were in the drawing-room."

"Cheerfulness is one thing, fun another; but when they both come
together, they are often noisy companions so we must do without them

"But we did not think you would come to us this evening," said Miss
Grey. "Oh, do, Miss Damer, leave us to ourselves one half hour."

"First let me read the paper you are trying to conceal."

"You will only think it nonsense," said Miss Grey; "but don't be angry,
I beg, for it was only for our diversion."

Miss Damer began to read:

'Mrs. Adair, substantive proper.'

"Very improper to take this liberty." 'Singular number, feminine gender,
indicative mood, perfect tense; face, mind, and figure, in the
superlative degree.--Miss Warner inclining to the acute accent.'

"But what is she?" asked Miss Damer.

"A noun proper, certainly, and of the singular number."

'Miss Cotton, demonstrative pronoun; compare _good_, and she is in the
superlative degree.

'Miss Hilton, voice semi-vowels; in the primitive order by nature,
governed by a queer looking definite article.

'Miss Vincent, manner the imperative mood; self, first person singular;
mind, imperfect tense; eyes, positive; voice, in the superlative degree;
nose, the interrogative point.

'Miss Bruce, an interjection, or an interrogative.'

"True," said Miss Damer, "particularly where books are concerned."

"Well, I do love books!" said Miss Bruce; "I do think I could read
every one in Mr. Chiswell's shop without being tired. Have you a new one
to lend me, Miss Damer?"

"If you say all your lessons well, and are good this week, I will lend
you a very amusing and instructive tale."

"But what is the title?" asked Miss Bruce.

"It is one word, meaning a mark of folly in young ladies. But I must
finish the grammatical exercise."

'Miss Rothman, a section sufficiently curved.'

"You should not have made this remark, Miss Grey. When you ridicule
deformity you shew a want of feeling; and, what is of more consequence,
you prove that you treat with contempt the works of your Creator. Miss
Rothman's talents, and amiable temper, we cannot too highly prize."

'Miss Russel, an index to point out disagreeables; make her an article,
and she will prove a bad one of the definite order.'

'The little Rhymer, a brace; and Miss Wise, a verb neuter.

'Miss Damer, auxiliary verb, or substantive proper; first person
singular, face--' Miss Darner stopped a moment, and then went on with,
'Miss Jane Adair,--temper, syntax; consisting of concord and government;
speech, a preposition; voice, liquids; face, mind, and figure, in the
superlative degree; as the verb to be loved, second person singular,
indicative mood, present tense, to myself and others. The remainder,
excepting Miss Arden, may be classed with mutes, crotchets, irregular
verbs, quotations, and parallels.'

"I wish," cried Isabella, "I could write exercises, or a theme, or
something, I don't care what."

"And what is to prevent you, my dear?"

"Oh, nothing at all, Miss Damer, if I could but tell what to write."

"Tell how the world was made," said Miss Bruce, "that would be a very
good subject."

"I cannot do that, I am sure! I do not know what stars are made of,
they twinkle so; nor what makes flowers look so pretty, and smell so
sweet; nor where the wind comes from, or what it is: it touches me, but
I cannot touch it."

"You have never read 'Evenings at Home,'" said Miss Bruce, "or you would
know that 'wind is but a quantity of air put into violent motion.'"

"But what is the air? Tell me this."

"A clear thin fluid, certainly, and the earth is a vast ball; it would
soon break its bounds, were it not attracted by the sun."

"But who preserves it in its regular motion?" asked Miss Damer.

"Oh, Miss Damer," exclaimed Miss Bruce, "all the stars, and the moon,
and the trees, and all that we behold had but one to make them, and one
to support them--the Great Almighty Maker, who gave me my voice to
speak, my mind to think, and my eyes to look at the wonders of his

"I wish I knew how I speak, and look, and think," said Isabella.

"My dear little girl," said Miss Damer, "very wise people are ignorant
in many things. Learn to be good: it is the best knowledge."

"I do say my prayers every night and morning, and I'm sure I love papa
and mamma dearly, and I try to love every body."

"This is one way certainly to be good, if you obey your parents as well
as love them, and think of your prayers when you are repeating them."

"I am sure, Miss Damer, I should love you, you are so good. I never
could learn my lessons without you assisted me."

"Because you are a dunce," said Miss Bruce.

"We shall see who will be the best girl and the best scholar, 'the
bright and idle one,' or my little friend, with 'patience and


A carriage and four, as it is styled, stopping suddenly at the gate,
caused a little bustle. Amongst Mrs. Adair's pupils, some were ready to
look, and others to exclaim, "who can they be?" "what a beautiful girl!"
and "what a nice little boy! but I fear he is lame!" "Oh, look! do look
at that queer old lady following them out of the carriage! How oddly her
nose is turned! and what a droll bonnet!" "I wonder whether they will
dine with us!" "I should like to know who they are."

While these exclamations were uttered, Miss Vincent pursued other means
of gaining intelligence of the new comers. She stole softly into the
hall, and screened herself from observation, in a narrow passage leading
to the store-room. The next moment she beheld a tall girl, an elderly
lady, and a little boy ushered into the parlour. She listened to hear
their names announced, but in vain. As she was returning to the
school-room, the hall door was opened by Elizabeth. She hastily
retreated into the passage: but betrayed herself by stumbling over a
stand of plants, that had been placed there, till they could be
conveniently removed.

Elizabeth, hearing the noise, quickly stepped towards the passage, and
perceiving her pupil, said very coolly:

"Botanizing, my dear! I fear you require light upon the subject; if
there is any rare, very curious plant, give it the name of 'Caroline
Vincent,' unless you prefer 'the Spy detected.'"

Mortified at the discovery, Miss Vincent hastened to the school-room,
her face flushed with vexation; and as she rushed past Miss Damer, who
was standing near the door, exclaimed, "go out of my way, can't you?"

"Certainly! But what has alarmed you so?"

Jane now entered the room; and Miss Russel, who had been leaning through
the window, hastily turned to Miss Vincent, and exclaimed, "I do
believe, Caroline, there is a coronet upon the carriage! but I cannot
make out either the strawberry leaves or the balls." Jane mildly
reproved her for leaning through the window, contrary to the rules of
the school.

The moment she had quitted the room Miss Russel exclaimed, "These
teachers give themselves strange airs!"

"You should speak with more respect of Mrs. Adair's daughter, I think,"
said Miss Damer; "excepting in fortune, Miss Jane Adair is superior to
any person here."

"But you will allow that she is a teacher, I hope."

"And does it lessen her merit? If any particular class of females are
worthy of respect, surely ladies who instruct young people are entitled
to it; they are the guardians of morals and of manners. But in every
school there are one or two ungrateful ones."

"Hear the oracle!" cried Miss Vincent. "Another Daniel come to

"Rude manners and loud words do not intimidate me," said Miss Damer,
with modest firmness. "I again repeat, that a person who can instruct us
in any one branch of education is entitled to--"

"What?" asked Miss Vincent imperiously.

"Deference. More I cannot urge, to a young lady who has been at Madame
La Blond's. But I must not say more: for I should not deserve this,"
extending her medal towards Miss Vincent, "were I to be the promoter of

Miss Vincent hastily caught the medal, broke the ribbon, and threw them
across the room, exclaiming, "it is these baubles that make you so

The young ladies with one accord flew to the medal. Miss Arden however,
was the fortunate person. On securing it, and returning it to her
companion, she said, "accept this symbol of peace from my hand, my dear
friend. As for Miss Vincent, I just view her as the passengers in the
mail coach viewed the fly, for she makes herself equally ridiculous."

"It is a pity that Miss Vincent is the daughter of so brave a man!"
cried Miss Cotton. "Who would suppose that one of our greatest heroes
was her father!"

"Father! how vulgar!" returned Miss Russel. "Pray who is your papa, Miss
Cotton, that you presume to give yourself these airs, and speak in this

"My papa, Miss Russel, is a plain country gentleman, and I may say with
truth that he reigns in the hearts of his children, and has taught them
to 'honour and obey their father and their mother, that their days may
be long in the land.' But you fashionable young ladies, 'who press to
bear such haughty sway,' are exempt from this code, for there is no
express command to honour _pas_ and _mas_."

"I hope Mrs. Adair will never give another medal," said Miss Damer.

"You deserved it," cried Miss Cotton with warmth, "and I hope you will
always be rewarded for excelling, in every thing you attempt."

"A person must be envious indeed," said Miss Arden, "who can for a
moment feel hurt at another being rewarded!"

"Had they your temper," cried Miss Cotton, "envy would indeed be
unknown; but medals of merit, as they are styled, certainly create

"But heroes, poets, and artists are distinguished by many proofs of
regard," observed Miss Arden; "why should we be against a reward to
merit here?"

"You do not consider," said Miss Cotton, "great men, have great minds;
but we have very little ones."

"I can only say, I pity any one with a malicious temper: and a person
must have one, indeed, who can envy Miss Damer; for she never provokes
to anger, or gives offence."

"And pray how are you to answer for Miss Damer?" asked Miss Vincent.

"I wonder you ask this question," returned Miss Arden. "From the first
day I came into this house I had reason to dread you; and love, and
esteem, Miss Damer. Though I was a stranger to every one, you made me a
subject of ridicule;--but I will not tell you of all your unkindness."

"Pray how long have you been, in studying this set speech?"

"Only whilst you were setting your face to look contemptuously."

"Wonderful! I could not have supposed that a creole had wit! But I
forget, you are the heiress of a rich nabob! Pray to what black knight,
or noble emperor, are you allied?"

"Oh, fie! fie! how can you be so insolent!" cried Miss Damer.

"Miss Vincent's words do not trouble me: they have lost their power; let
her be as severe as she pleases. If she could not display her talent in
satire, we should say she was the simple one of Mrs. Adair's school:
there are drones and dunces every where."

"My dear Miss Arden, let us cease all disputes," said Miss Cotton; "Miss
Vincent and her friend are the most suitable persons to be together,
when they are in a quarrelsome mood: let us forbear speaking to them."

"Cotton would make an admirable methodist parson," cried Miss Vincent.

"I wish I could return the compliment; for a good method leads to proper


The young ladies had always to write an extract from one of the
sermons they had heard at church on the sabbath day. In this
exercise of memory Miss Damer particularly excelled; the most
difficult sermon she could transcribe almost word for word. This had
excited the spirit of envy in Miss Vincent. The week after the
dispute upon the medal, when Miss Damer opened her book, wherein she
had written a sermon with extreme neatness, she found every line so
scrawled, that one word could not be distinguished from another.
Surprised at this proof of secret malice, she involuntarily gave the
book to Miss Cotton, who was seated by her. Mrs. Adair, however,
desired to look at it. After examining every page, she said, and at
the same time fixed her eyes upon Miss Vincent, "I pity the young
lady who has done this; she has betrayed one of the meanest passions
of the human mind." She now looked anxiously round the room; "I see
few countenances," she added, "where envy reigns.

"Miss Vincent, had you ever this book in your hand? speak in a
moment--yes, or no: I want no other word!"

"No, ma'am; I never had the book in my hand, I can declare with truth."

"Miss Bruce, is this your work? for I know you are a little busy-body."

"O no, ma'am! I would not blot any lady's book for the world."

Mrs. Adair now turned to Miss Arden: "my dear, have you been amusing
yourself with your companion's book?"

"No, ma'am."

"The mystery, I think, will soon be explained: and I fear I shall find
that there has been more artifice than truth in a young lady's
assertion. Come hither, Isabella, I wish to speak to you."

Little Isabella's features betrayed confusion and terror: and as she
slowly walked up the room, she burst into tears. "Do not be afraid,"
said Mrs. Adair, in a soothing tone of voice, "I am not angry with you.
Tell me plainly how it was. What did your sister say to you?"

"O, ma'am, she said--O dear, I wish I were at home--"

"Come, speak the truth, my dear. You know you are one of my best little
girls. Tell me how you were led into this error. Speak openly, and do
not be afraid."

"I have not done it--I mean, I have--O dear, where is mamma?"

"Happy at home, I make no doubt. But were papa and mamma here, it would
make no difference, for I must have the truth. Did you mark this book?"

"O dear, yes, ma'am! but I would not have done it, but I must do it. O,
sister, you know--you do know--and you will pinch me so! Do, dear, good
Mrs. Adair, tell her not to pinch me, for I know I shall scream!"

"This is a strange account! We must have a little conversation, my
dear, in the evening. Correction, or advice, will have no effect
with you, Miss Vincent. You are not aware that your conduct will be
deeply impressed upon the mind of every young lady present: it will
be remembered when you have forgotten the circumstance yourself. I
shall expect to see you with your sister."

Mrs. Adair looked round upon her pupils with a countenance of affection
and concern. "Young ladies," she added, "it behoves you to conduct
yourselves in this house in a manner, that you may go forth into the
world with modest confidence, arising from the pleasing reflection that
you have fulfilled your duty in all things. Then, in future life, when
you unexpectedly meet a school-companion and friend, how pleasant will
be the greeting! And when I am old and infirm, should you recollect me,
and call upon me as the friend of your youth, how gratifying will it be
to my heart to think that I have been one means, in the hands of
Providence, of giving to society discreet and amiable women."


The vacation now commenced. The physician had ordered change of air for
Jane, or rather change of scene: she therefore accompanied Miss Cotton
to spend a month with her parents. Elizabeth, however, would not accept
any invitation. Mrs. Adair was surprised at the circumstance, knowing
that young people are fond of novelty, particularly after the
confinement of a school.

"It is strange that you have refused all our friends," she said to her
daughter, "especially your old favourite!"

Elizabeth coloured highly. "My dear mother, teaching has given me the
wisdom to value a comfortable home. How quiet we are this evening! and
what a cheerful, blazing fire! and as for this tea, I think I never
tasted any thing so fragrant."

"And are these your reasons for remaining at home?"

"O no! but only think how pleasant it is to be free from monotonous
voices buzzing in one's ears! To-night I shall go to rest without the
fear of being disturbed 'with the sound of the school-going bell,' and
shall rise to-morrow an independent being."

"Ah, Elizabeth! is there no vexation, or lurking regret, dwelling upon
your mind? your countenance will betray you. Believe me, there are many
obstacles to the fulfilment of our wishes in this world. In all things
it may be said, 'we look through a glass darkly.' But no more on this
head: you have reason, and you must exert it. Be assured of one thing,
we are often wisely disappointed in our plans of happiness; if we attain
our wishes, we must not expect to be wholly free from care."

"I have promised to spend a few days with Colonel Vincent's family. You
shall go with me to town on Thursday."

"But, my dear mother, you know--"

"I understand you," said Mrs. Adair. "I do not mean that you shall be
their visitor; I have another plan in view. I know that Miss Damer is
very uncomfortably situated at home, therefore you can call for her, to
spend the time here whilst I am absent."

The morning Mrs. Adair and her daughter arrived in London, Elizabeth sat
a few minutes with Mrs. Vincent, and then proceeded to B---- Square,
where Mr. Damer resided. As she entered the house she beheld all things
in confusion; men were employed in packing up china and chandeliers;
straw and cord were strewed over the hall floor; and people were running
in every direction, carrying trunks, chairs and sofas. Elizabeth
inquired for Miss Damer: and was answered by a footman in a very surly
tone, that "he knew nothing of her." An elderly, respectable looking
female now stepped forward, and begged Elizabeth would follow her. They
passed through two empty apartments, and she then gently opened a door
into a room which was little more than a closet, the light issuing from
a small casement. A band-box, a bookshelf, and a trunk, upon which Miss
Damer was seated, close to a grate, containing the dying embers of a
fire, were all that Elizabeth could discern. Her pupil started from her
seat, with eyes red with weeping, and in a confused tone exclaimed,
"Miss Adair here!"

"I am here, indeed," said Elizabeth; "and I hope I am come to a good
purpose. But what has caused this strange confusion? But I beg your
pardon," perceiving the distress of her pupil, "I was not aware of what
I was saying. You must come with me; I came hither on purpose for you."

"Then you have heard of our troubles, ma'am?"

"I see them all. But we have not a moment to spare." Guided by the
impulse of the moment, Elizabeth dropped upon one knee, opened the
band-box, took out a bonnet, and then searched the trunk for a pelisse.
Miss Damer looked down upon her dress--

"Never mind your morning dress, my dear: this will cover all," said she,
as she assisted Miss Damer with her pelisse; and as she tied the strings
of her bonnet, exclaimed, "Now we shall do; but we must go immediately,
for the days are short." As they were leaving the room, the elderly
female came up to them: "Where are you going, my dear young lady?"

"Ah, my good nurse, I had forgotten you in my surprise! This is Miss
Adair: but I am so confused, I scarcely know what I am doing--only that
I am going where I have been most happy! But you will write to me, or
see me, or something."

"If you wish to see Miss Damer, come in one of the morning coaches,"
said Elizabeth.

"I thank you, ma'am, kindly," said the nurse. "You are now in good
hands, my dear young lady, so do not fret; Providence, I have often told
you, would never desert so dutiful a daughter; and you find an old
woman's words may be true. We shall be happy yet, never fear. People
cannot forget their own. Never mind if they do: there is an eye over you
in all your ways. And there is a death-bed, too," said she in a low
voice; "then conscience will be heard--there is no saying, I won't hear;
no creeping into corners, and running away. When the arms drop, and the
head is weary with anguish, coaxing and paint will not give one jot of
comfort; no, nor the sight of the most beautiful face upon earth. Be
good, then, my dear young lady, for the evil day will come to us; and
what a blessing it will be, if we can say with sincerity, 'the Lord's
will be done.'"


As Elizabeth was stepping into the chaise she suddenly recollected the
trunk; and turning to the nurse, desired it might be instantly corded,
and given to the driver. A man who was standing at the hall door
exclaimed, "but we must first search it."

"Search it, then," cried Elizabeth, haughtily, "but do not detain us in
the cold."

"Cold, forsooth!" said the man; "I wonder what people would be at, with
their fine carriages! I shall take my own time, I can assure you,
ma'am, though your feathers are so high!"

"There is no arguing with vulgar, obstinate people," said Elizabeth, as
she drew up the chaise window; she did not consider, that civility is
due to every person; it is, however, too much the case with young ladies
that they think they have a right to command with authority, and,
however unreasonable, that their command must be obeyed.

Elizabeth saw that her pupil was too deeply affected to answer any
questions, therefore during the ride remained silent. In the evening,
however, Miss Damer mentioned that her father had left the kingdom, and
with a trembling voice added, "there are circumstances, ma'am, which it
would not become me to reveal; when Mrs. Adair returns home, as far as I
am at liberty, I will explain the cause of our distress."

"Not another word upon the subject," cried Elizabeth; "I was not
attending to you, for this teasing kitten has ruffled all my silks."
Elizabeth turned the kitten out of the room, and began to put her
netting balls in order, saying at the time, "what have I to do with your
father's affairs, my dear? I will not hear any family secrets; for I do
not love secrets of any kind. You are in the house of friends: therefore
try to be happy. My mother and sister never make professions: by their
actions you must judge them. For my part, I would rather have one act
of kindness than a thousand promises, or words of praise and comfort.
But come and assist me with my silk, for I can do no good with it."

Elizabeth wrote the particulars to Mrs. Adair, and finished her letter
with the hope that the promise she had given to their pupil, of having a
home with them, would not be disapproved.

Mrs. Adair received this letter with some degree of displeasure. She was
not one who was generous for worldly fame; she justly considered that
her pupil's friends were the most proper persons to provide for her, and
lost no time in calling at her late residence. On her arrival at the
house, she found all the shutters closed; an elderly female, however,
at the moment stopped and unlocked the door, who proved to be the nurse
Elizabeth had seen.

Mrs. Adair followed her into the house, which was quite desolate: not a
piece of furniture was remaining. She inquired if Miss Damer had any
relations or friends to take care of her. "No, indeed, madam," said the
nurse; "her mother's sister is the only near relation, and she has
married somebody. It was a sad day for my poor young lady! she was
stupified with grief! Her father fled--and the sheriff's officers in the
house! All things were in confusion! chairs in one place, carpets upon
dining-room tables, satin curtains upon the floor, nothing in its
place; and then to see the nice things my good mistress had once so
highly prized, handled so roughly! Ah, madam, ladies little think, when
they are so delicate in handling their finery, into what brutish hands
it may fall at last! But a happy thing it was, that my mistress did not
live to see the confusion."

"The young lady!" said Mrs. Adair; "other affairs I have not any thing
to do with."

"My young lady, madam! Ah, from a child she knew the right from wrong;
but sorrowful was her life, after her mamma's death. She was no
squanderer of her father's money--she knew the value of every thing; no
waste, no scantiness was her mode. But it was a sad day when she ceased
to rule in her father's house. O, Madam, I have seen her so treated! But
it will come home at last to those who have triumphed in their
wickedness; justice overtakes sinners in the long-run."

Mrs. Adair now inquired if Miss Damer had heard from her father.

"No, Madam; nor dare he return to England; he is too profligate to think
of any person but himself, and the painted, gaudy creature and her
children who are gone with him. But I hope my young lady will find a
friend with you, Madam, for I am sure you are Mrs. Adair."

Mrs. Adair told her to make herself easy respecting Miss Damer, and
desired she would go down and spend a day at her house. "It will be a
satisfaction to the young lady to see you," she added.

Scarcely was Mrs. Adair seated, on the evening she returned home, when
Elizabeth, in a tone of fretful impatience, asked "why her letter had
not been answered?"

"I pass over your question," said Mrs. Adair, "to ask why you did not
consult me, respecting a provision for Miss Damer?"

"It was impossible! I could not keep her in a state of suspense."

"But do you consider, that bills must be discharged, and that servants'
wages and taxes must be paid, before we make even an ideal division of
the sums we are to receive from parents? And for Miss Damer, we shall
not receive sixpence! And who is to pay for the harp, the pelisse, the
bonnet, and the books that her father requested us to purchase? Likewise
her washing bills, and many other extras, which of course add to the

"O, my dear mother," said Elizabeth with astonishment, "I could not have
supposed that you would have thought of these petty things."

"I have more than thought, for they have dwelt upon my mind. Great
affairs women seldom have anything to do with; it is in the petty,
every-day concerns of life, that we are called upon to be prudent. How
many men date their troubles to the thoughtless extravagance and want
of economy in a wife! But, for the sake of bringing the subject home to
your own bosom, we will suppose that you are a young married woman."
Elizabeth blushed, and was attempting to speak, but Mrs. Adair checked
her. "You receive your friends, and return your parties in bridal
finery; one excursion takes place of another, and gaiety upon gaiety
succeeds; this passes over, and with faded dresses, faded looks begin.
At least, care sits a little heavy on your husband's brow; he perceives
that you are deficient in all the requisites for a good wife; and when
he looks round the uncomfortable apartment in which he is seated, his
thoughts naturally revert to the home of his youth, and his prudent,
excellent mother; you are too much the lady to attend to domestic
concerns. 'Servants receive high wages: and they must do their duty.'
And what is their duty? Just to please themselves; and tease you for
money for trifles, and to go to market. You supply all their wants,
without considering what is wasted, and what is really wanted.

"Next we will suppose that a young family demands your aid: nay, your
constant care. 'But the fatigue, and the bustle, and the noise of
children distract you,' Poor, helpless little things; they have not
reason to take care of themselves: additional servants must therefore
be engaged. And they are constantly with nurses, who sometimes coax
them, sometimes beat them, and sometimes scold them; so, through their
mother's idleness, they learn many vicious tricks. Evil grows upon evil.
Through your extravagance, and your husband's misfortunes, you are
brought to beggary. How do you like this picture?"

"O, mother! you do not think so ill of me! I would do every thing, and
submit to every inconvenience, rather than involve the man I should
marry in misery."

"Depend upon it, Elizabeth, people live in an ideal world, when they do
not think of proper ways and means to provide for a family. The word
liberal, in its modern sense, means profuseness to needy adventurers,
and idle friends; indifference to the nearest and dearest ties,
originate in this misapplied term. A liberal spirit runs into debt to
honest tradesmen, and with an unruffled countenance hears of their
bankruptcy. The liberal treat as lords, when they know they are only
beggars. Believe me, the most estimable characters are those with whom
there is the least tendency to this overflowing prodigality of kindness.
It is, however, my wish to serve Miss Damer. She shall be educated for a
governess. But let us not neglect the old despised adage: 'Be just
before you are generous.'"


From the first day that Miss Vincent entered Mrs. Adair's house as a
pupil, she was anxious to return to Madame La Blond's. Whilst the
Colonel was at home, she knew it would be in vain to mention the
subject; but no sooner was he called abroad, than she wrote in the most
urgent terms to her mamma to remove her. "I shall never be happy here,"
she added, in her letter, "for Mrs. Adair is so strict, and tiresome!
You will be surprised, mamma, when I assure you that she is quite a
sanctified Methodist: we have prayers in a morning, and prayers in an
evening, and are obliged to write sermons! She is not by any means a
suitable person to finish my education; and there are not five young
ladies in the school, whose parents drive four horses. At Blazon Lodge
how different! They were all fashionable, excepting two. Do, my good
mamma, let me return to my dear Madame La Blond. Miss Adair has actually
put me into Murray's small grammar, and I am only in the third class."

In passing through the gallery, Mrs. Adair found the copy of the letter;
and whilst she was reading it, Miss Vincent cautiously advanced, looking
earnestly upon the floor. On seeing the paper in Mrs. Adair's hands,
she hastily exclaimed,

"O, ma'am, that is mine! I have just dropped it: it is a copy of music,
I believe!"

"Then I will look it over again," said Mrs. Adair, as she entered the
school-room with the paper in her hand.

Miss Vincent followed, with a countenance of scorn and vexation.

"Take your seat, Miss Vincent." Here there was a long pause; the young
ladies looked at each other, wondering what was to come next. Mrs. Adair
read the copy again. "Why do you censure us so severely?" she asked.

"I only think, ma'am--I think--" and here she hesitated; but at length
her former assurance returned, and she said in a more audible voice, "I
think, ma'am, we have too much religion introduced. In the circles where
mamma presides, it is never mentioned."

"From my own knowledge of your mamma, I do not think you are exactly
correct. But let that pass: and now answer one question: no doubt you
are anticipating the time when you will be released from all school
duties: when you enter the gay world, how many years do you expect to
partake of the joys of a fashionable life?"

Miss Vincent was silent.

"Bating all casualties," continued Mrs. Adair, "forty years of gaiety
is the utmost that a female can expect; and in scenes of pleasure,
days, months, and years glide swiftly away. The value of time is
unknown: at least, it is not properly estimated, till grey hairs,
wrinkled features, and a debilitated frame check the career; then
eternity, with all its hopes and fears, opens to the view. We will for a
moment consider you upon the bed of sickness, surrounded by your family;
a physician, with an air of irresolution, writing a prescription, and
your anxious countenance denoting the insufficiency of all earthly aid;
will the remembrance of balls, routs, and artificial scenes, cheer the
dying hour? The moment arrives when you close your eyes upon this world
and its vanities; 'ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,' finish the scene!
The mouldering earth is lightly scattered over the coffin, and the tomb
is deserted by survivors. But remember, a day will come when you will be
called to judgment, to answer for your deeds upon earth. In what manner
will days, months, and years of folly be justified, in the presence of
your Creator and Judge?"


A little time after the discovery of the letter Miss Vincent returned
home to her mamma, who had been some time seriously indisposed; and, to
the great joy of Mrs. Adair, the following week Miss Russel left the
school, to accompany her parents to the Continent.

"Now we shall go on pleasantly," said Mrs. Adair to her daughters; "the
only two disagreeable girls we had under our care are removed: and if
ever I have another of a similar description, I will send her home
immediately, whatever be the consequence."

Mrs. Adair's mind, at the time she said this, was a little irritated,
for she had heard something particularly unpleasant respecting the
conduct of her late pupils. She now resolved to be strict in future;
never allow the young ladies to be alone, even in the play-ground, nor
permit them to spend an hour from the school between the vacations,
except by the express desire of parents in particular cases.

When the young ladies heard there would be no half-day holydays between
the vacations, there was a general consternation amongst them. Some
murmured, and others were satisfied that Mrs. Adair must have good
reason for her proceeding. When Miss Bruce heard the new rule, she said
to Isabella Vincent, "I never knew such a thing! Not visit this half
year! And my Aunt promised to take me to the exhibition, and Miss
Linwood's works, and I don't know where! I never knew any thing so
provoking! But I will be revenged, that I will!"

"And what will you do?" asked Isabella; "what do you mean by revenge? I
am sure it is something very wrong."

"It is only making others feel as well as ourselves, that's all."

"But if they vex us, why should we vex them? I know I always feel sorry
when I have made people angry."

"Don't talk to me--I will write such a theme!"

"Ah, Miss Bruce! mamma says we should never do wrong."

"I wish you would not mention your mamma, for it is a very ugly word."

"O, Miss Bruce, I never heard such a thing!"

"I once loved it dearly," said Miss Bruce, in a softened tone. "Those
were happy days! I can fancy I see somebody now, sitting up in bed, with
her nice white cap, so pale, and so pretty; and somebody kneeling by
her, and praying for her, and blessing her. But all would not do, to
save one I loved!" Here tears trickled from her eyes: but she suddenly
recollected herself; "I must not think of it; it is over, and for ever
gone! And now for my theme."

"Poor Miss Bruce," said Isabella, in a soothing tone, "I wish you were
my sister, and then you would have my mamma, and she would love you so!"

"And do you think I would give up some one, for all the mammas in the
world! No, no--there is no one like him. But I will mortify Mrs. Adair,
that I will! To think that I must not go to my Aunt's on Thursday! And
there will be my cousins, and Edward Warner, and Margaret James, and
some one who is worth them all; though I don't talk of him as you talk
of your Papa."

After musing a few minutes, with her pencil in her hand, and her head
resting upon a slate, she joyfully exclaimed, "I have it, I have it

"And what have you got?" cried Isabella, as she sprang from her seat,
and looked over Miss Bruce's shoulder.

"Only my ideas; neither apples nor plums. But I wish you would not wipe
my face with your curls. I have got the clue to my fable; I will have
Mrs. Adair, and I think your papa too."

"I am sure you never shall: you never saw papa!"

"Indeed Miss Isabella, you are quite mistaken; I have seen him in shop
windows, in magazines, and I am certain he is in a fine gilt frame in
our study."

"I wish people would not take such liberties. Papa has no business to
be in windows, and other people's frames."

"Why, don't you know that only great writers, and great fighters, and
very good men, and very bad men, are noticed that way! If your papa was
not good as well as great, he would not be fixed in our house, unless in
the servant's room, with Jemmy and Sandy, and the Storm, and Auld Robin
Grey. Whatever you may think, it is a very great honour to be noticed by
somebody that I could name."

"I have not any thing to do with honour," cried Isabella, "and talking
of things I don't know."

"Hush! don't speak! Can't you see that I am busy. I wish I knew what
people do when they have great books to write. My thoughts jumble so
together, I can't tell what to make of them; it is sad teasing work."

"If Caroline was here, she could tell you what to write."

"And do you think that I should ask a dunce? If I could but begin, I
know I could go on." Here Miss Bruce considered a little. "I must think
of my thoughts: no, I must write them down."

"O, Miss Bruce, Miss Bruce!" cried Isabella, eagerly, "do look through
the window; there is a balloon flying, and a paper boy tied to it!"

"I wish you were flying too: don't you see that I want to write my
fable. Let me see: Ass, 1; Farmer Killwell, 2; somebody's papa, but not
mine. Turkey, 3; Barn-fowls, 4; Little schoolgirl, 5. O, how shall I put
all these words together to make any thing of them! O, that I could but
begin! There it is!" said Miss Bruce joyfully; and she wrote several
words upon her slate. "Well, there is nothing like a good beginning! I
will finish to-night; so now let us go to the ladies," and Miss Bruce
skipped out of the room, with her slate and Isabella.


With some surprise, Miss Damer, in looking over the themes, read the
following fable:

"One bleak, cold winter morning, an ass and her foals were loitering
upon the edge of a wild common; not a tree was to be seen, and scarcely
a bit of herbage for their breakfast to be found. 'This is a comfortless
life!' said the ass; 'the winds are chilly, the snow will soon fall, and
we have not a shed to cover us! What shall we do? for I fear we shall
be lost.' The ass turned her head, for she heard the tinkling of bells,
and saw a shepherd driving sheep from the common. 'Ah! a happy thought!
we will go to Farmer Killwell, and tell our sorrows unto him.' No sooner
said than done; they plodded through miry lanes, waded through shallow
brooks, and at length arrived at the farmer's gate. The tale was soon
told. The farmer pitied their piteous case; 'but,' said he, 'idleness
bringeth want. Exert yourselves, and you will find friends. Begin a
school at once; here are my poultry, my birds, and my young cattle to
teach: not a moment is to be lost.'--'It is a good thing to have a good
friend!' said the ass, as she stalked into the farm-yard. Here she
brayed with a most audible voice: 'Hearken to me, parents and little
ones!' she cried; 'I am come hither to inspire you all with wisdom.'

"The goose, as wise as a goose can be, stared at the speaker; tossed her
head on one side, gave a loud quack, and returned to comfort her
goslings, who were fluttering in every direction.

"'You little ducklings,' continued the ass, 'don't spread your feet so
vulgarly. Mrs. Turkey, I have long sighed for the honour of your
patronage: the charming little poults, I hope, will gain new beauties
from our exertions. Mrs. Barn-fowl, your chickens are too timid; we
shall soon teach them to hop with grace. As for these awkward maudlin
rabbits, I fear we cannot do any thing with them; and these ill-bred
creatures, Mrs. Sow's progeny, we cannot attempt to teach.' A sturdy
mastiff, who had followed the group of gazers, now barked furiously;
dispersed the poultry, pushed Mrs. Sow and her family into the mud; and,
spite of Farmer Killwell, drove the ass and her foals out of the
farm-yard. A little girl, who was witness to the hubbub, exclaimed, 'Ah!
this is excellent! Mrs. Adair has borrowed a garment from the ass, to
teach simple ones wisdom; but she will never teach little girls to love
new rules.'"

"Where is the moral to your fable?" asked Miss Damer, with some degree
of anger.

"I never thought of the moral; of what use would it be to my theme?"
returned Miss Bruce.

"And of what use is any theme or fable without a moral? But I wish to
know your motive for writing this ridiculous piece."

"To vex Mrs. Adair, certainly, because she won't let me go to my Aunt's
on Thursday."

"And do you really think that it is in your power to vex Mrs. Adair with
this trifling nonsense? You may be assured of this, Miss Bruce, the only
notice she will take of this childish, insignificant fable, will be to
make you read it to the ladies."

"I won't be talked to in this way, though you are my monitress. I will
write what I please;" so saying, she snatched the slate from Miss Damer,
and in haste rubbed off the words.

"The wisest thing you could do," said Miss Damer. "Now sit down, and
reflect seriously upon your conduct, and then tell me whether you feel
quite satisfied with yourself, or whether you are grateful to Mrs. Adair
for her care of you, and attention to you. You are the only little girl
who has not a mamma: who would be so indulgent, so tender to you, as
Mrs. Adair?"

At these words Miss Bruce sobbed violently; but her sorrow was of short
duration: "You would vex any thing, Miss Damer, with talking so
quietly. I like people to be angry with me, and then I can be angry

"My dear, I shall not listen to you, so I advise you to cease talking:
it is my plan never to argue with unruly little girls. Come, Miss Grey,
and Isabella; we will go into the play-ground."

Isabella whispered to Miss Bruce as she passed her; "do, dear Miss
Bruce, be good. Why should you vex Miss Damer when she is so kind to
you?" Miss Bruce pushed her companion's hand from her shoulder, and
turned her face to the wall, and there they found her on their return.

When the bell rang for prayers, Miss Bruce sprang across the room to
Miss Damer, who was seated, talking to Miss Arden, and throwing her
arms round her neck, she exclaimed, "You must indeed forgive me; I
cannot sleep unless you say, 'good night.'"

Miss Damer turned round, and kissed her: "Now, my dear, I hope you will
never offend me again."

"Oh, Miss Damer! I will love you for ever, for forgiving me so soon."
The bell rang, and she hastened out of the room.

"Should you not have been a little more stern?" said Miss Arden.

"My dear friend, ask yourself whether you could be so to a little girl
who has no mother."

Tears started into Miss Arden's eyes. "I did not think of that."


One evening after school-hours, Mrs. Adair went into Jane's apartment,
who at this time was chiefly confined to her chamber, and found her
busily employed sealing small parcels. One was directed, "For my friend
Miss Damer;" another, "For my dear little Isabella Vincent;" and a
third, "For my amiable young friend Miss Arden." Mrs. Adair seated
herself with the work in which she was engaged: and as her eyes glanced
to the sealed parcels, tears stole down her cheeks.

"My dear mother," said Jane with tenderness, "I am only making a little
preparation before my journey. You must have been aware, some time, that
the days of my life were numbered; and they will now be very few. But do
not grieve on my account: it is the appointment of One, who is unerring
in his ways. Excepting the separation from you and my sister, I feel
that I have no regret at leaving this world.

"Death is a subject that I have often contemplated. The grave, and the
last perishable garment in which I shall be clothed, have now lost all
their terrors. The evening I first arrived at school, when my mind was
filled with grief at our separation, I remember being greatly shocked
at the slow, solemn, deep tones of the village church-bell. I cannot
describe my feelings at the time. Sorrow at leaving home rendered the
awful muffled peal more dismal to my ears: but from that night I may
date my first serious thoughts of another world. I have never troubled
my friends with my reflections, but that bell was as a monitor, to warn
me that I was not for this world."

Miss Arden now entered the room; and Mrs. Adair gladly escaped, to
indulge her tears in secret. With a calm collected countenance she then
re-joined her pupils; but at the same time experienced the sorrow of a
parent, who knows she is soon to be deprived of a beloved child. For
Jane's appearance too plainly denoted, that the period was at hand
"when the keepers of the house would tremble." At this time her
uneasiness was increased by a melancholy, distressing letter from Mrs.
Vincent, urging her not to delay a moment coming to her; that she was to
undergo an operation, that would either close life or restore her to her
family. Various feelings agitated Mrs. Adair's mind as she read the
letter. After a little reflection, she fixed upon the proper mode of
acting, and in an hour a chaise was at the door, to convey her to her
old friend.

Jane had now been confined wholly to her chamber a fortnight. Her
disease was of a fluctuating nature: sometimes she appeared almost in
perfect health; at others, as one dropping into the grave. She was
seated in an arm-chair, supported with pillows. When Mrs. Adair entered
the chamber, one hand rested upon a book that lay open upon a small
table, and near the book was her watch; her head was thrown back, and
her face was covered with a muslin handkerchief. Mrs. Adair, who had
slowly opened the door, now as cautiously advanced; listened to hear her
daughter breathe; and then gently raised the handkerchief. Jane started.
Afraid of disturbing her, Mrs. Adair remained some time with fixed
attention, holding the handkerchief from her face. A hectic flush was
upon her cheeks; but her countenance was placid and happy. When she
returned into her own chamber, Elizabeth was there, who anxiously
inquired if she had seen her sister. "But have you taken leave of her?"
she cried.

Mrs. Adair drew the veil of her bonnet over her face, as she said,
"taking leave is a trial of all others--" and here she paused; "this is
not of any consequence to you."

"O, my dear mother, we have no earthly hope, no support but yourself;
let my sister's eyes rest for the last time upon the mother she has so
tenderly loved; she will not die in peace unless you are with her."

"My feelings are as irritable as your own," said Mrs. Adair; "leave me
to act according to my own judgment: not another word. Bring Isabella
to me, for the chaise is at the door."

While the ladies were walking with Miss Wilkins, the teacher, Elizabeth
went into her sister's chamber; and at the door met Mrs. Lloyd, the
housekeeper, who had been ordered by Mrs. Adair to explain the motive
of the journey to Jane.

"O, sister," cried Elizabeth, "how could my mother, so considerate and
good as she is, leave you in this state!"

"We cannot tell all her motives," said Jane; "only consider what were my
mother's feelings, when she fixed her eyes upon this poor emaciated
frame, as she supposed, for the last time."

"It was cruelty in the extreme," cried Elizabeth.

"Do no speak rashly, my dear Elizabeth; we will hope--" and her eyes
brightened with an expression of joy, "that all will yet be well; that,
through the mercy of Providence, Mrs. Vincent will be restored to
health, and that I shall be permitted to remain a little longer with

"O, that it were to the day of my own death," exclaimed Elizabeth with
fervency. "There are few persons to whom my heart earnestly inclines,
and I would have them with me through this life, and all eternity."

"My dear sister, these things are not at our disposal. But let us
consider the subject: every night we experience temporary dissolution:
and then we are separated, even as if the hand of death had smitten us;
when we go to rest, we have no positive assurance that we are to open
our eyes again upon the objects of this world; still we project schemes;
calculate upon probable and improbable events; but the entire suspension
of our faculties is never taken into the account. Yet we are ignorant
whether we are to open our eyes on the objects of this world, or that
which is to come. I own I have not any desponding thoughts; I rest alone
upon the mercies and the merits of a suffering and a redeeming Saviour;
he is my sole refuge. To our mother, my conscience acquits me either of
intentional errors, or errors of omission. This is a source of the
purest consolation; it clears the rough, the thorny path to the valley
of death. Elizabeth, my dearest sister, listen to me before I go hence,
and be no more seen. Every night recall to mind the actions of the day.
Let this be the question you put to yourself: "Have I done my duty in
all things?" Where you have failed, let the morning sun, as it rises, be
a token to you that another day is given for wise and good purposes; in
the grave there is no remembrance of error, no atonement to be made for
transgression, for neglect of the social duties of life."

Elizabeth gazed at her sister with feelings of tenderness and sorrow.

"All things pass away," said Jane, as she raised her eyes to her
sister's agitated face; "but 'when this mortal has put on immortality,'
then Elizabeth, when we meet again, it will not be for transient days,
and years, but for ages of eternity."

Exhausted with speaking so long, she pointed to the book upon the table.
"The spirit is willing," said she, faintly, "but my voice is weak; will
you oblige me, sister?"

"From my heart I will," exclaimed Elizabeth; "would that I could not
only oblige, but retain you for our comfort, for this world to my mother
will be a wilderness indeed."

"Not so," said Jane, tears flowing into her eyes; "my affectionate, my
warm-hearted sister will be my substitute! O, Elizabeth, friend dearest
to me, may you be blessed where your heart is fixed."

Elizabeth started, and her countenance became pale as death.

"Sister," Jane slowly added, "you could not keep the secret from me; I
have traced it in all your actions; but, rest assured, it will descend
with me to the grave."


Elizabeth was restless and uneasy the whole of the day that her mother
had taken her departure for Colonel Vincent's. The evening was wet and
gloomy; the young people could not, therefore, take their usual exercise
in the play-ground. After sitting some time with her sister and Miss
Arden, she sauntered into the school-room, to observe how they were
employed. Some of the young ladies were attending to their lessons for
the following day. One party had spread the road to happiness upon a
work-box; all anxious to attain the desired haven. Another young lady
was seated alone, joining the map of Europe. In a corner of the room,
apart from all her companions, Miss Bruce was reading the admirable
instructive tale "Display." Elizabeth looked over her shoulder, "My
dear, I thought you had read that book six months ago."

"O yes, ma'am; but I can read it over and over again: there is not a new
book now in the school."

"You mean," said Elizabeth, smiling, "that you have read them all. But
can you explain the word "Display?" for I think most young ladies are
partial to it, in one shape or another." A carriage now stopped at the
door; and Elizabeth exclaimed, "who is in that carriage?" Miss Grey, who
was near the window, raised herself upon a box, and looking over the
blind, cried, "Mrs. Adair, ma'am, and Miss Isabella Vincent."

Elizabeth hastened from the room, and met her mother at the hall door,
joyfully exclaiming, "O, my dear mother, this is an unexpected, welcome
pleasure! But how is Mrs. Vincent?"

"Composed and comfortable; the operation was performed yesterday: but it
was not my intention to desert you: how could you think so?"

The truth was, Mrs. Adair had called upon the physician, and begged that
he would inform her daughter that she would return in the evening: but
a press of engagements had prevented his visit to Jane, who now with joy
beheld her mother enter her chamber.

"I thought you would return to see me on my journey," she exclaimed;
"and you are returned, my dear mother. Blessed be this hour!"

Miss Arden and Miss Damer, from the hour they met in the summer-house,
were strict friends. Their capacities were similar, and they were at the
head of the different classes. On the days appointed for geography, the
young ladies were in a room called the study. Miss Arden had observed
that one of the servants, a respectable looking young woman, generally
contrived to enter the apartment, and busy herself with one thing or
another: but always looked, anxiously at the globes, or the maps, and
stopped a moment to listen, either to the teacher or the pupils. Miss
Arden noticed the circumstance to her friend; "I will certainly ask
Catherine," she said, "if she has any motive in attending to our
pursuits; there is something in her countenance that excites my

The first time she met her alone, she made the inquiry.

"I have, indeed, ma'am, a motive," said Catherine; "I would give all my
wages, could I but learn as you do."

"But of what use, Catherine, would learning be to you? You can read your
Bible; and it will shew you all that is necessary for you to know. Your
duty as a servant, and the way to heaven, the place where we all hope to
meet, when we have done with this world, and its cares."

"Ah, ma'am, I am not satisfied even with knowing this, though it is all
that a servant should know."

"I do not understand you, Catherine. Tell me why you wish to gain other

"Because, ma'am, I am most wishful to be useful to my parents. They are
poor, and have a large family to bring up. If I could but open a little
school in our village, what a blessing should I be to them!"

"Well, Catherine," said Miss Arden, after considering a little, "I will
do what I can for you--I mean if Miss Damer approves; for I dare not
trust to my own judgment. Meet me in the school-room early to-morrow
morning, and I well tell you how it is to be."

When the friends met in the play-ground, they talked the subject over.

"There cannot, I think, be any thing wrong in doing good to a
fellow-creature," said Miss Damer, "therefore I think we may venture;
but we must rise an hour earlier than usual."

Catherine was delighted when she heard the result of their conference;
and, with many expressions of thankfulness, promised to leave a lamp at
their door.

The young ladies began the employment of teaching with alacrity. They
endeavoured to ground Catherine in those things that would be useful in
a village school. But geography her mind was bent upon, so Miss Arden
presented to her a book; likewise several little works, which she
thought would be useful.

One morning, however, they were surprised in the midst of their lessons.
"Begin that line again," said Miss Arden. Elizabeth had walked gently
into the room, and now stood by the table where the two young ladies
were seated, and Catherine standing. When they beheld her, they all
started, and looked aghast. "You are very early at your tasks, young
ladies! But I did not know that we had a new pupil. Pray when did she

"I beg you a thousand pardons, ma'am, for leading the young ladies to do
wrong! It was all my fault," said Catherine.

Miss Arden related the matter plainly as it was.

"I commend Catherine," said Elizabeth, "for her wish to serve her
parents; nor am I offended with you, young ladies, for wishing to serve
her. But you must beware that we are not to do a wrong thing, even with
the very best motives. There is always something mean in acting
clandestinely. Why could you not have been candid, and told me her
wish? You must not meet here again. Catherine, when you have leisure,
continue your lessons; and I will fix upon some other mode of
instructing you; at least a proper time, not by the light of a lamp."


When the physician was first called in to attend Jane, he strictly
forbad any person sleeping with her: Elizabeth, therefore, removed to a
small camp bed, which was placed by her sister.

A few mornings after Mrs. Adair's visit to Mrs. Vincent, Jane suddenly
awoke; and in an earnest, quick tone of voice, begged that her sister
would come to her. "But first draw aside the window curtain," said she,
"That is right. Now come into my bed--only this morning--never--never

Surprised at a request so unusual, Elizabeth instantly obeyed. "Do not
sit up, sister, nor creep from me; lay your head upon my pillow."

Jane now folded her arms round her sister's neck, and kissed her
tenderly.--"This is my first and last proof of affection! O, sister!
where--and when shall we meet again?"

The sun had risen, and gilded every part of the room. Jane raised
herself, as if by magic. "Let me behold every thing--for I shall never
behold any objects upon earth again! This day my soul will be required
by my Heavenly Father! Ah, my soul! it is an awful thing to die; even
with hope and trust in thy Almighty Power! But Thou art mighty to
strike,--merciful and gracious in raising thy servants unto glory."

Jane now paused; other thoughts seemed to arise. Her glazed eyes
wandered from object to object. "Ah! there is my writing-desk; give that
to my mother! There is my Bible; that is for my dear little favourite!
Here is my watch; but I cannot see the minute finger move. It is of no
consequence: time will soon be over! Keep it, my dear Elizabeth, and
when you look upon it, remember we are to meet again!--Ah! thou bright
luminary!" she exclaimed, with fervency, "I hail thee, this, my last
morning upon earth, as the evidence of that Being, who will lead me
through the valley of the shadow of death, to never-ending glory! What
is this life, my dearest Elizabeth, when we come to die? But where is my
mother? I am weak--very weak, and faint."

"Let me support you, dear Jane," said Elizabeth, trembling with emotion.

"Well, sister," said Jane, faintly, "you shall support me. I will die in
your arms!"

Jane dropped in a state of insensibility upon her pillow. Elizabeth rang
the bell; and the next minute Mrs. Adair was in the room. She stepped to
the side of the bed where her youngest daughter lay; and, stooping,
listened to hear her breathe. "My affectionate, my dutiful child!" Here
she ceased, for tears checked her utterance. Jane sighed deeply; her
eyes gradually opened, and, at length, rested upon her mother: by slow
degrees recollection returned.

"Where could my thoughts be!" she exclaimed in hurried accents. "Is my
mother here? Ah, yes! I behold her! I did not know you, indeed I did
not! But bless me; bless your daughter."

Mrs. Adair tenderly embraced Jane; and in faltering accents blessed her.

"My dearest, kindest mother, be comforted! We are parting--but to meet
again! The trial will soon be over! My hope is fixed upon the promises
of a merciful Redeemer! I am only going a little--a very little while
before you! How joyful is the thought, that we are not separating for
ever!--this is my joy," and her eyes brightened as she spoke, "that I
have reverenced my God, and loved my mother. But this pain;--O, it is
violent!--Mother--"...Here the voice ceased; not a sigh, not a whisper
was heard.

Mrs. Adair, who had been supporting her daughter, now gently placed her
head upon the pillow, and silently led Elizabeth out of the room.

At the door of her own apartment she saw Mrs. Lloyd; and desiring her to
take the charge of Elizabeth, who appeared almost convulsed with
anguish, instantly returned into the chamber she had so recently
quitted. After indulging that grief, which the most unfeeling in some
measure experience, when they behold the lifeless remains of a being
they had loved, she calmly proceeded to accomplish the desire of the
departed, in preparing her for that narrow spot, which confines all that
was mighty, rich, noble, excellent--the despised of the world, the
neglected of the world; that spot which is the boundary of ambition, and
the sure refuge for the distressed.


When Mrs. Adair had retired to her own chamber, on the night of her
daughter's decease, and was reflecting upon the awful event of the
morning, her attention was drawn from the subject by a low whispering
sound. Aware that the teachers and servants were retired to rest, she
could not account for the circumstance; she now heard doors slowly
opening, and was persuaded that different persons were passing her room.
Alarmed, but at the same time collected, she cautiously opened her own
door; and perceiving a glimmering light proceed from the chamber where
her daughter's remains were laid, resolved to be satisfied, and with
light, slow steps, advanced to the spot. There, with surprise, she
beheld several of her pupils. At the head of the bed stood Miss Arden,
with eyes mournfully bent upon the face of the departed; Miss Damer
stooped to kiss the corpse, and then burst into a violent flood of
tears. "That smile," said Miss Cotton, "proves that the soul is
rejoicing in heaven. Where shall we again behold upon earth one so
amiable or so lovely?"

"O, that I may be equally prepared, when my hour comes," cried Miss

"Hush! hush!" cried Isabella Vincent, in a tone of terror, "did you not
hear some one breathe? O, do hide me." She now covered her face with her

Miss Grey took her passive hand, and tried to comfort her. "Look at Miss
Jane, and then you will not be frightened; now do look--it is so simple
to be afraid; she appears only as if she were asleep. There is not any
thing terrible in death, only to wicked people; I am sure I should not
be afraid to die to-night."

"I dare not look! indeed I dare not! do take me to my own room."

"You must look at Miss Jane, or you will always be frightened at being
alone. You know I am but a little girl as well as yourself; but I should
not be afraid to sleep here to-night. Think how good she was! living or
dead, she would never injure us."

"O, take me away: I don't know what you are saying; why does not some
one speak? O, do somebody speak, or I shall be frightened to death."

Miss Grey whispered to her companion that Mrs. Adair was come into the

"Is she? O how glad I am! Now I don't mind." Saying this, she uncovered
her face, and crept quietly to Mrs. Adair; who was asking why they had
assembled in the chamber at so improper an hour.

"We should have been miserable, ma'am," said Miss Cotton, "unless we had
seen Miss Jane to-night; and as we shall never behold her again, we
thought, ma'am, you would pardon us. I could not have slept; and the
other ladies declared the same."

"But wherefore did you come, Isabella?"

"O, ma'am, because I dared not to be alone."

"But why are you afraid to look at my daughter?"

"O, I am not afraid now; I will look at Miss Jane," said Isabella with
assumed courage; "but do let me take hold of your hand, ma'am; then I
know I shall be safe."

"You have better protection than mine, my little girl, or you would be
poorly defended. He who made you, he alone can guard you: but there is
not any thing to fear from the dead."

Mrs. Adair led her pupil to the head of the bed.

"Look, my dear, how happy and composed she appears; as quiet and sound
as your little brother, when he is asleep."

By degrees, Isabella ventured to turn her eyes upon the corpse; "I am
not afraid, I am not afraid indeed," said she, almost gasping for
breath. At length her eyes were fixed upon the face of the deceased:
"She can't be dead--she must be asleep! But hush! I do not hear her
breathe! Where is Miss Jane's breath now, ma'am?" As she said this, she
timidly stretched forth her hand, and lightly touched the face of the
departed; then hastily starting back, cried; "must we all be so cold--as
cold as marble?"

"We must all be so, indeed! There is no warmth, my little girl, when the
soul is fled."

"But what is the soul, ma'am? and where is it?" asked Miss Bruce.

"Your question is beyond my power to answer. The vital spirit, which we
call the soul, is given by God, to direct us to do that which is right;
and, from childhood to the grave, is our faithful friend. My daughter,
whose lifeless remains you are now contemplating, was in all her ways
actuated by this spirit, to obedience, and to goodness; and in a state
of glory she will again exist, with a mind purified and exalted. What
would be the use of life, and of the wonderful powers with which we are
gifted, were we to lie down in the grave, as the beasts that perish?"

"But how will Miss Jane rise again, ma'am?" asked Miss Bruce. "It is in
the Bible, that at the last day we shall be 'raised in the twinkling of
an eye.' O, that I could behold Miss Jane rise now; then I should never

"We read," said Mrs. Adair, "that the seed is cast into the earth, and
rises up wheat, or any other grain: but we do not know how this comes to
pass. The seed, that looks so insignificant in our eyes, after it has
been in the earth the appointed time, gradually breaks forth in all its
glory. We likewise shall be put into the earth; no longer valued, but by
the remembrance of our worth; there we shall moulder and decay, and in
time be forgotten by all the inhabitants upon earth. But the season of
the resurrection will come: the soul will resume her influence; we shall
burst the fetters of the tomb, and appear before the Judge of nations,
to answer for our deeds upon earth. Be good, then, my dear young
friends; and, you will then neither have cause to fear death, or future
judgment. And now take your leave--your final leave of one, who was in
all things worthy of imitation; and learn with equal ease, to sleep or


The Sunday after the funeral, the young ladies appeared at church, with
very serious and sorrowful countenances; and afterwards, with Miss Arden
and Miss Damer, Jane was often a subject of conversation: they loved to
recall her to remembrance; and the proofs she had left of her regard
were particularly prized by them.

But serious impressions seldom remain long upon the minds of very young
people. Miss Bruce was almost the first to return to her old pursuits
with gaiety of heart.

One evening, unknown to the teacher, she had strolled to the front
garden gate, apparently on the watch for mischief. Isabella, who was
intent upon learning her lessons for the following day, had likewise
passed the boundary of the play-ground, and had sauntered the same way.

Miss Bruce in a moment caught her hand, opened the gate, and ran with
her into the lane.

"Where are you taking me to?" exclaimed Isabella; "you have frightened
me so!"

"Nonsense! I only want you to go with me to the cake shop: we shan't be
five minutes away."

"But I have no business at the cake shop. And don't you see that I am
learning my lessons! You will make me forget all! 'Five times nine,
forty-five.' O, dear, I shall forget every thing!"

"What a dunce!" cried Miss Bruce; "only at forty-five! I will teach you
ten times further; and to add, and to subtract, if you will come with
me. I do believe Miss Wilkins is there! Come along, or we shall be
finely punished!" Saying this, Miss Bruce dragged Isabella down the
lane, whilst she struggled to make her escape.

"I will not go, Miss Bruce! you have no right to take me! I declare you
have made me drop my questions!"

"Never mind; I will give you question and answer too. Don't you see that
stile? and that nice white cottage by that large pool of water, where
those children are throwing stones? We have only to turn down by those
tall trees, and we shall be there in a moment."

"I dare not go: I know Mrs. Adair will be so angry!"

"I am determined you shall come! you are the most stupid little thing in
England!" As Miss Bruce said this, she took firm hold of her companion's
frock and arm, and drew her towards the water. Isabella in vain tried to
escape. By this time, they had almost reach the pool; a boy, who had
been amusing two children, making circles with stones in the water,
stepped from the edge of the pond, and marching boldly up to Miss Bruce,
as boldly asked her, "what business she had to tease the little lady?"

"Do you think, Sir, I shall answer a rude, vulgar boy like you?"

The boy looked at her with contempt, and stooping to Isabella, said,
"Do, little lady, tell me what this great girl is holding your frock

"She wants me to go with her for cakes, and I want to learn my lessons."

"O, you are the ladies, then, from the great school! I thought I had
seen you before. I see how it is; this great girl is like Jack Ranger;
she wants to get you into a scrape, that you may be marked as well as
herself! But I'll defend you, never fear! It is not a crab-stick that
can frighten me! Come with me, and see who dares to hinder us!" He now
caught her hand, and tried to draw her from her companion.

"You shall not go with her, against your mind, were she as big as
Hercules! We are English, and are not to be conquered." Miss Bruce
suddenly let go her companion's frock, and gave the boy a violent slap
upon the face. "Go home, you little ragged creature, mend your coat, and
do not talk to ladies."

The boy instantly recovered himself from the blow; and looking at Miss
Bruce with scorn, exclaimed, "I am not a mender of old clothes, Miss!
Take that for your pains, and your boarding-school manners!"

The blow he returned made blood to gush violently from Miss Bruce's
nose. Isabella screamed; the children cried out, "very well, Tom! I
would not be you for something."

A pretty woman, but with a stern countenance, now came forth from the
cottage, and asked what the rout was about.

"Only our Tom and the lady boxing," cried the children.

"For shame of yourself, Sir! How dare you behave so to your betters?"

"I would have struck her," said the boy, sullenly, "had she been as tall
as the steeple, and as great as King George But come, little Miss, with
me, and let that great girl do what she likes."

He now ran off with Isabella.

"Very well, Sir! but I shall tell your father of this, or my name's not
Grace Johnson! But come into the cottage, Miss; and let us see what we
can do with your frock, for it is in a sad state."

Miss Bruce followed the cottager, a little ashamed of her appearance;
but more afraid of consequences. She was, however, one of those
self-willed young ladies, who think upon a thing one moment, and act
upon it the next.

When Isabella and her champion arrived at the garden-gate, behold it was
locked! What was to be done was now the consideration.

"We'll tell the truth at once," said the boy: "it may be blamed, but, as
the copy says, it never can be shamed. But don't look so down, Miss:
never mind a bit of a thrashing! Father gives me many a one; but I never

"If I am not afraid of that, I am afraid of Mrs. Adair looking serious;
and not wishing me good-night. But do look and see if you can see

"Monitrix! what, in the name of goodness, is that? Have you a great dog
at school?"

"O dear, no; I mean the lady who hears my lessons before I say them to
Miss Adair."

"Is that all!" The boy stepped on one side, and looked up at the house.
"No, I see nobody; there is not a creature in the windows. But I'll tell
you what, you shall stop here, and I'll go to the lady of the school.
You shan't get anger, if I can help it; and I have helped it many a time
at our school, that the lads know, to my sorrow."

The boy hastily ran to the front door, and rang the bell. In the mean
time Isabella crept under the court railing to conceal herself. When the
servant opened the door, he asked if the lady was in.

"Do you mean my mistress?"

"To be sure I do; the mistress of the school; and must see her in a

Mrs. Adair was passing through the hall; and made her appearance, with a
countenance not a little forbidding.

"What do you want with me?" she asked.

"Only, madam," and here the boy hesitated; "I beg your pardon, madam;
somehow, I have a little lady here: and I don't know what to do with

"You mean something respecting one of my scholars; what is it? for I am
at a loss to understand you."

"Bless me! surely she's not run away!"

The boy sprang to the gate, and quickly returned.

"She is quite snug; I thought she had given me the slip. A great girl,
ma'am, ran away with her. She did not come down to the pond of her own
free good will. This is as true as truth is. She pulled, and the great
girl pulled; but with all her might, madam, the little lady could not
get away. So then I marched up to the big girl; and asked her what
business she had with the little one? So she was angry and vexed with my
ragged coat; and made my face ring again: and I gave her a good hard
blow in return, and ran off with little Miss. I looked up for Miss
Monitrix, but could not find her; so here she is, under the rails."

This was all a puzzle to Mrs. Adair; but she stepped into the lane with
the boy, and there she saw Isabella, seated, in great trouble, upon a
stone. The affair was now explained. Isabella was taken to Elizabeth,
with the assurance that no one would be angry with her; but that she
must not mention the affair to any person.

Mrs. Adair now proposed going with the boy to his father's. There was an
expression of honest warmth in his countenance, which, in a moment,
changed her own manner; and, as they were going down the lane, she asked
how far they were from his father's house.

"'Tis but a cottage, madam. Grandmother says we were once well off in
the world; but things will go wrong some how or another: but I'll make
good what I wrote to-day."

"And what was it, my good boy?"

"Only to work while I am able, madam; and then when I am old, I will
rest from my labour. But there is our cottage. I wish you could have
seen my own mother, for she was a nice woman. Don't you see that clump
of trees, and a barn with red tiles, and a little boy wheeling a barrow?
That's my own brother, ma'am, and there's my father at the stile,
looking about him."

As they drew nearer the cottage, they saw the man and his son step over
the stile into the field, followed by a female.

"Well, I declare," said the boy, "there is mother with her bonnet! I
wonder what they are all after! And there's grandmother come to the

He now called out: "Grandmother! here is the lady from the great school,
coming to look for Miss."

"Then I fear, madam, you are coming to look for what you will not find.
Whilst my daughter went down to the pond, to the children, she slipped
off. My son thinks that the young lady is gone to London in one of the
stage-coaches. If so, Tom, I fear thou wilt be well paid."

"Ah, grandmother, that's nothing new! If my own mother was living, it
would not be so."

"With your permission," said Mrs. Adair, as she entered the cottage, "I
will take a seat till your daughter returns."

"Certainly, madam; here is a comfortable seat. But we are not the
neatest people in the world," said the old woman, as she took up a
child's frock from the floor. Mrs. Adair looked round, and thought she
had never been in any place that had so little the appearance of

The boy looked at her, and seemed to read her countenance.

"It was not always so, madam: I remember we were once happy folks; but
it was a sad day for Dick and I, when father's wife took place of
father's love."

"Thou shouldst think well of thy father's wife, and honour his choice.
Stepmothers, child, have a hard task: they cannot please, do what they

"Grandmother," said the boy, "kindness makes kindness, all the world
over. But, come what will, when uncle comes home, Dick and I will go to
Plymouth, if we walk barefoot. I am sure he would break his heart, if he
had not me to fight his battles; but I will never forsake him by land or
by sea."

"Go to the children, and take care of them," said the old woman.

"And come to my house at four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and ask for
Mrs. Adair."

The boy made a bow in a blunt manner; but, as he waved his hand in
passing her, she thought there was an appearance of good breeding, that
would not have disgraced a boy in a much higher sphere.


Mrs. Adair waited a considerable time in the cottage, and then returned
home without receiving any satisfactory account of her pupil. All that
she could learn was, that a little girl in a green bonnet had been seen
stepping into a stage-coach. As coaches were continually passing the end
of the village, she knew it was in vain making further inquiries. She
wrote, however, immediately to Mr. Bruce, and sent a messenger with the
letter, that he might meet them in town.

It has been observed, that Miss Bruce, in most cases, acted without
reflection. The idea that she had done wrong did not strike her with
full force, until the carriage in which she had placed herself arrived
in London: the lights from the lamps, however, seemed to throw light
upon her thoughts. When the coach stopped at the inn, the bustle of
people gathering their luggage together, the idea that she did not know
the road to her father's house, the certainty that she had acted in a
very foolish manner, and fear of the reception from her father, excited
many disagreeable thoughts. She was seated in a corner of the coach, at
a loss how to proceed, when the coachman came to the door. "Miss," said
he "won't you alight? perhaps you are waiting for somebody?"

"I will thank you to take me home," and this was said in a very humble

The man whistled at the request. "I don't know, Miss, whether I can or
no. Did not your friends know that you were coming? But now I think of
it, you seemed in a fright when you got into the coach: what, was you
running away, Miss?"

Vexed at the question, Miss Bruce quickly answered, "I am going to see
my papa. I have business with him."

"Well, your business is not mine, Miss; but somehow, I think you have
been cheating your schoolmistress. But come your way, till I can see for
somebody to go with you."

I only wish some of my young readers could have seen Miss Bruce, how
simple she looked when she followed the coachman into the inn. She
wished to be at school, and with Miss Damer again--but it was then too

And here I would advise young people to beware of the first wrong step,
for it generally leads to trouble and mortification, and often to

Miss Bruce stood some time unnoticed at the entrance of a large room,
partitioned into boxes. Waiters and travellers just looked at the young
lady, and then passed on: people were too much engaged, with dishes,
papers, packages, and glasses, to attend to the little stranger.

At length, however, one solitary gentleman, who perhaps had daughters
of his own, took compassion upon the forlorn traveller.

"Come hither, my dear, and sit by me."

Miss Bruce gladly accepted the offer, for she was a strange figure for a
stage coach passenger. Her white frock was rumpled, and in a sad state
from the blow she had received; the tippet was in the same style; her
old green silk garden bonnet hung half off her head. One of her long
sleeves she had untied from her tippet, and taken it off; the other
remained. Garden gloves, cut at the fingers, completed the dress. Thus
neatly attired, in an hour and ten minutes after her arrival in London
she was ushered by a new footman into her father's study, where he was
seated reading a pamphlet. In a moment he turned the book open upon the
table, raised one of the candlesticks above his head, and with a keen
satirical look exclaimed, "what runaway is this?"

"Papa, it is I!" This was said in a very trembling accent.

"And pray who is I, that comes thus attired, and unasked at this
unseasonable hour? Only wants three minutes of eleven," said Mr. Bruce
as he fixed his eyes upon the time-piece. "With whom did you travel?"

"With a little boy, and a great man, papa, and a little woman, with a
baby and a lapdog."

As Miss Bruce was speaking, she would have given a trifle to have been
at school again.

"A goodly company indeed, young lady! By this I conclude that you have
disgraced yourself! Sit here" (pointing to a chair behind the door); "it
is the only place for idle, thoughtless truants. And now give a reason
for your conduct: But there is no reason, with foolish, giddy girls! I
will have every word correct: no varnishing, or lies."

After much hesitation, and many tears, Miss Bruce went through the whole
of her story. While she was speaking, her father seemed lost in thought.
No sooner had she finished, but he started from his chair, and with his
eyes fixed upon the floor, walked some time from one end of the study
to the other. He then stopped, and looked sternly at his daughter.
"And so you have been trying your skill at boxing! An admirable
accomplishment for a young lady! You have taken upon yourself to be
rude to your school companion; to be ungrateful to Mrs. Adair, and
ventured to ride ten miles in a stage-coach! And in what a dress! You
are indeed an enterprizing young lady! Now let me tell you, Miss Bruce,
one simple truth: you have acted in all things contrary to that which
you know is right. But pray what is the meaning of the word right?"

"To do all things that I know I should do; I do not know any thing more,
papa; indeed I do not."

"You know the right, but a perverse and wilful disposition leads you to
do wrong."

Mr. Bruce rang the bell, and ordered the housekeeper into his presence.
When she entered the room, he commanded her to close the door. "Take my
daughter," said he, "to the chamber that was occupied last night. You
are not to speak to her, nor allow any servant in the house to do so.
Give her a little bread and milk: go, child."

"Papa,"--here Miss Bruce sobbed; and would have added, "O, do forgive
me!" but her father sternly bade her leave him.

Mr. Bruce looked at his daughter when she was asleep. He heard her
murmuring and intreating; and listened to words that affected him
deeply. He sat down by her bed-side until she was tranquil: and whether
he shed tears of tenderness over her is best known to himself; but the
following morning, though his feelings were softened, his countenance
was equally stern. His carriage was at the door; and at ten o'clock he
and his daughter arrived at Mrs. Adair's. Neither at breakfast nor
during the ride had he uttered one word. "Madam," said he, the moment he
beheld the mistress of his child, "I have brought a runaway. I will not
make an apology for her conduct: it is not in my way; it rests entirely
with yourself whether she will be accepted or rejected. Providence, in
the justness of his ways, has deprived her of an excellent mother. How
far servants are capable of giving right ideas of female decorum, you
are yourself to judge. When I fixed Margaret with you, it was not to
education alone that I looked; my views and hopes extended to
principles, temper, and conduct. The mere mechanical parts of education
may at all times be purchased for money; automatons may be made to
perform wonders. But we all know that something more is wanting to give
solidity and consequence to character. If you refuse my daughter, she
will lose her best friend."

"Not another word, Sir, on the subject; I still expect to make something
of this little girl. She is rash, careless, and perhaps a little
mischievous: but I am not without hope; and past grievances we will now
forget. Go," said Mrs. Adair, turning to her pupil, "bring a frock to
me; remember I pardon you now, but I shall never do so again; and take
care that you do not tell any person that you ran away, and were so
foolish.--It is well she is my god-daughter, and my namesake," said Mrs.
Adair, as her pupil crossed the hall: then, addressing Mr. Bruce, she
added, "Depend upon my word, Sir; I will be the friend of your daughter
in remembrance of her mother; this is the strongest claim upon my
attention; far more so than that of a name."

"I bless you again and again for your kindness," said Mr. Bruce with
warmth. "I have now no fears for Margaret; she must remain with you,
until you can say, 'your daughter is now all I can desire.'"

"This is exacting too much; 'all that you can desire,' is beyond my
power to make her; but I will try to make her a comfort to you. I have
good ground to work upon, and I hope you will have reason to think, that
I have not neglected the soil."

As Mr. Bruce was returning to his carriage, his daughter, who was
descending the stairs with a clean frock, flew to him, exclaiming, "do
say you forgive me! I will never vex you again; O, dear papa, say you
will but forgive me."

"Well, child, I do forgive you."

"O, how good and kind you are! I will never forget it. But, dear papa,
won't you say something more?"

"God bless you, child! and may he always bless you."

Mr. Bruce hastened to the carriage, drew up the window, and the boy
drove off. Tears streamed from Miss Bruce's eyes; "O, that papa would
but have given me one kiss, I should have been so happy!"

"If you are good," said Mrs. Adair, "when next he sees you he will give
you two."


The time had arrived for Miss Damer to go into a private family as a
governess: all the young ladies were anxious to give her a proof of
remembrance, and these tokens of esteem had chiefly been the work of
leisure hours.

As Miss Damer was collecting her painted boxes, velvet bags, and all her
little presents together, she thought, "who can say that there is no
kindness or friendship in the world? I have been in sorrow, perhaps for
a good purpose; at least, it has shewn me the disinterested regard of

While similar reflections were passing in her mind, Miss Arden hastily
entered the chamber, and stepping towards her, abruptly put into her
hand a small parcel. "I have not a moment to speak to you," she
exclaimed, with tears in her eyes, "I cannot for the world take a formal
farewell; so when you leave us do not notice me: God bless you, Damer!"
and she hurried out of the room.

Miss Damer looked at the parcel with a countenance of sorrow, and as she
opened it a note dropped upon the floor; she took it up, and read the
paper she held in her hand.

    "Accept these notes, my dear Damer, they are all that I have
    been able to save from my scanty allowance; remit them to your
    father, whose troubles I know have grieved you, and when I can I
    will send you more. In fourteen months I shall be my own
    mistress. How joyfully do I anticipate the time! Then, my dear
    Damer, I shall have a home to offer you, and a purse to relieve
    every care, as far as wealth can go. Farewell, my kind friend;
    you and Mrs. Adair have all my affections in this world.

        "ANN ARDEN."

       *       *       *       *       *

As young people are always anxious to learn the destination of the
characters in the book they have been perusing,--in closing this little
work, I will give you a short sketch of those I have attempted to
delineate. And here let me observe, that the incidents are chiefly
drawn from facts.

The name of one of the principal characters was given, by the desire of
a young friend, two days before her death.

Miss Russel has lost her parents, and is wandering upon the Continent,
as companion or friend to a lady well known in the fashionable world.

Miss Vincent is removed from her family by her marriage to a gentleman
of consequence in Ireland. She is still the same character, haughty and

Her sister Isabella, is improving in all the graces of mind and person;
she is the general favourite of the school.

Miss Bruce is becoming all that her father can desire.

When Miss Damer went into the situation as a governess, it was with the
hope of remaining some time, perhaps years. We can easily fix our plans,
but we are strangers to the future; it is not for us to say by what
means they are to be frustrated. When Miss Damer had been two months a
governess, she was told by the gentleman's sister in whose family she
was placed, that several friends were to dine with them, and she begged
that she would join their party. On that day she attracted the notice of
a gentleman who was one of the guests. When she entered the
drawing-room, and he heard her name announced, he turned quickly to look
at her; he beheld the same dark pensive eyes, the same noble features,
and modest, dignified manner, which seventeen years before had struck
him in another. But it was not her personal appearance altogether that
interested him: it was the character that had been given of her by Mrs.
Adair; and the remembrance of his feelings, when his daughter in her
troubled sleep exclaimed, "O, my dear Miss Damer, do come to me! Papa
then won't punish me, you are so like mamma!"

But I will not prolong this subject; I have only to add, that Miss Damer
is the happy wife of Mr. Bruce; and that few persons are more attached
to each other than the mother and the daughter Mr. Bruce, though several
years older than his wife, was exactly the person calculated to make
her happy, being a man of excellent character and good sense; giving
part of his time to the world, but considering home the chief place for

When Miss Arden came into possession of her fortune, she remained as a
parlour boarder with Mrs. Adair, but the principal part of her time was
spent with Mrs. Bruce. A lingering disease, however, came on, and she
could not be happy separated from her friend: she therefore removed to
her house. After experiencing the most affectionate attention from Mr.
and Mrs. Bruce, she at length resigned her life, with hopes full of
immortality. Mrs. Adair and her friend were with her in her last
moments. She expressed her gratitude to them with all the energy of
health; and then, clasping a hand of each, died serenely, hoping to meet
them hereafter. To the father of her friend she left a very handsome
annuity for life. "I know," she had stated in her will, "that I cannot
oblige my friend in any other shape but by contributing to her father's
comfort, and oh, may he see the error of his ways, before it is too

Most of her school companions she had remembered; but particularly a
young lady, whose parents had been unfortunate. After leaving tokens of
regard to every one to whom she had considered herself the least
indebted, she left the remainder of her fortune, to be equally divided
between Mrs. Adair, her daughter, and Miss Bruce. And here let me remind
young ladies of fortune, that they are too apt to neglect the
instructress under whose care they have spent the early part of life.
Surely, when young people have been years under one roof, gaining
knowledge, and daily indebted for care and kindness, they should not
discard from their thoughts one of their best friends; but how often is
this the case! The moment a young lady steps into a carriage, and drives
off for the last time from the dwelling of her instructress, she seems
to forget that there had ever been such a person in existence. Perhaps,
when her nuptial favours are preparing, and her hopes are bright, she
may exclaim in a careless tone, "O, we must not forget--" here she
mentions the lady to whom, next to her parents she is most indebted; and
here finishes her remembrance of school, and the friend of her youth: in
bridal favours, or flimsy letters, all her gratitude is shewn.

In giving a sketch of the young ladies, I must not forget Elizabeth, who
is now the happy wife of Colonel Vincent's brother. It had been her lot
to be doubtful of his regard several years. Her spirits had been elated
or depressed, as she had judged Mr. Vincent's feelings interested
towards herself. Had not that language which poets describe betrayed his
sentiments, she might justly have concluded that, of all persons
living, she would be the one to whom his affections would never
seriously incline; but no sooner did fortune second his wishes, and a
living was presented unto him, but his heart and hand were offered to
the object of his earliest regard under the happiest auspices; therefore
Elizabeth exchanged the useful employment of a teacher, for the
meritorious duties of a wife.

When Mrs. Adair received the fortune due to her from her pupil's will,
her friends concluded that she would resign the school. To the
intreaties of her daughter on the subject she gave this reply:

"Why should I give up an employment which is a relief to my mind? In my
earliest and brightest days, I never particularly relished the gaieties
of the world; with my friends, my chief happiness centred; the
associates of my youth are, to my fancy, as friends departed. The later
objects of my care are likewise withdrawn from me; but though I have
lost one dear to my heart by death, and another by marriage, still I
have affections warm and tender towards youth.

"There must be something to attach us to life, something to occupy time,
and interest our regard. As worldly beings, with worldly thoughts, we
must have resources independent of those in a religious point of view. I
trust I have chosen the wiser part, in preferring an active to an idle
life. At home, in the midst of my children (for so they are in my
esteem), I shall always have something to excite interest; and if
watchful care, tenderness, and exertion, can reclaim the stubborn, or
add to the happiness of my pupils, I shall think that I have not lived
in vain. When my course is finished upon earth, may you, my dear
Elizabeth, be enabled to say with truth to your daughters, 'Never was an
instructress more happy with her pupils, or pupils happier with an



    Transcriber's Note:

    Archaic spelling of pourtrayed, viranda, Magna Charta, stupified,
    shewn and Auld have been retained as they appear in the original
    publication. Changes to the original have been made as follows:

    Page   5 froward inclinations
             forward inclinations

    Page  18 a look: but I assure
             a look; but I assure

    Page  20 I have so few
             "I have so few

    Page  34 for our diverson
             for our diversion

    Page  44 prefer 'the Spy detected.'
             prefer 'the Spy detected.'"

    Page  54 I see few countenances
             "I see few countenances

    Page  63 and I hope I am
             "and I hope I am

    Page  71 inqured if Miss Damer
             inquired if Miss Damer

    Page  87 in particular cases."
             in particular cases.

    Page  93 I must think of my
             "I must think of my

    Page 101 into the play-ground.'
             into the play-ground."

    Page 102 her: "Now, my dear
                  "e" in her inverted

    Page 109 who had been been ordered by
             who had been ordered by

    Page 105 her pupils.: but at
             her pupils; but at

    Page 139 Miss Bruce. It is in
             Miss Bruce. "It is in

    Page 166 into his preesnce
             into his presence

    Page 176 stangers to the future
             strangers to the future

    Page 176 to  sayby what means they
             to say by what means they

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