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Title: May Day; or, Anecdotes of Miss Lydia Lively - Intended to improve and amuse the rising generation
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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MAY DAY; OR, ANECDOTES OF _Miss LYDIA LIVELY_.



                                MAY DAY;
                                ANECDOTES
                                   OF
                          _Miss LYDIA LIVELY_.

                               INTENDED TO
                            IMPROVE AND AMUSE
                                   THE
                          _RISING GENERATION_.

                                 London:

         Printed and Sold by JOHN MARSHALL, at No. 4, ALDERMARY
           CHURCH-YARD, in BOW-LANE; and No. 17, QUEEN-STREET,
                               CHEAPSIDE.

                                  1793.



MAY DAY, _&c._



CHAPTER THE FIRST.

_THE STORY._


Miss _Lydia Lively_ was sitting one day in the parlour, upon a little
stool, reading the _History of Little Ann and Little James_, when her
Mamma, who had been out some hours on a visit, came in. The little girl
ran to her with great joy, and told her, that her aunt had called, and
had given her the prettiest little book she ever read.

LYDIA.

It is about a little girl, Mamma, just my age; and it tells you every
thing that she did; and how well she behaved; and there are some nice
pictures in it—I wish I had a great many such little books.

MAMMA.

Then you like to read stories about good girls, do you, _Lydia_?

LYDIA.

Yes, I do; do not you, Mamma?

MAMMA.

Yes; and to see them too. I think there is nothing so delightful as
the company of Children who are gentle and good-humoured; and who are
cheerful and ready to oblige, without being troublesome or noisy.

LYDIA.

I wish I had some more stories about good girls and boys.

MAMMA.

Should you like to have a story written about you, _Lydia_? Do you think
it would be a pretty one?

LYDIA.

I am afraid I am not good enough, Mamma.

MAMMA.

Indeed I doubt there would be some things in the story not quite so
pretty. I suspect we should sometimes hear something about whining for a
cup of tea; asking ten times for the same thing; or, what is still worse,
being cross and impatient with poor little _Edwin_, if he meddle with any
of your things.

LYDIA.

Oh! Mamma: but I am good sometimes; and I am sure I always wish to be
good, and am uncomfortable whenever I am not; but I do not know how it
is,—I think I cannot help being naughty sometimes.

MAMMA.

Pray do not fancy so my dear; you certainly might help it; but I will
tell you the real case—you just follow your present inclination; instead
of resolving always to do what is right, you sit down, perhaps, with an
inclination to be very good at your lessons, and to read very well, and
translate your French very well; as long as that inclination lasts you
proceed with pleasure; but you happen to meet with something in your
books not quite so entertaining as you expected, or a little difficult,
and then you have an inclination to fret, or to look off your book,
and complain of being tired; or it may be, you come into the room very
good-humoured and cheerful, and find somebody has taken your seat, or
that you cannot have the book you wished for, and then you have an
inclination directly to whine, grumble, and draw your lip on one side;
and, I am sorry to say, _Lydia_, you are too apt to give way to such
inclinations.

LYDIA.

What must I do then, Mamma?

MAMMA.

I will tell you, my dear, you must, in the first place, very heartily
wish to be good; and that I hope you do. In the next place, you must,
when you say your prayers, very earnestly beg of GOD to make you good;
and then, instead of doing just what you have a mind to do, you must
resolve with yourself, and try upon all occasions, not to do any thing
you know is wrong, and which I have told you not to do.

LYDIA.

Do you think, if I were to try then, I could always be good, Madam?

MAMMA.

Certainly! if you tried you might avoid doing a great many wrong things.
Suppose now, when you sat down to breakfast, and felt impatient for your
tea or your roll,—do you think, if you considered a minute, that it is
greedy and impatient to say any thing about it, that you could not help
asking for your tea before any body was helped, or whining if the rolls
did not come in directly; and that you could not try to amuse yourself by
thinking of something else for a little while?

LYDIA.

Yes; I think I could.

MAMMA.

To be sure you could, my dear; and so in every other instance. If you
do not feel disposed to get your lessons, and do your work at the proper
times; yet if you did but reflect how fit it is that you should learn and
improve yourself, and what a fault idleness is, you may help fretting and
saying, I do not like to do this; and you may resolve to keep on and do
as well as you can, without making any complaints.

LYDIA.

I am not very often naughty about reading, Mamma?

MAMMA.

Not very often; but that is because you love reading; now I want you to
do every thing, because you think it is right and fit you should do it;
and then you will do those duties you do not find any great pleasure in,
as well as those you delight in. And above all things, I wish you to
watch constantly over your temper, to be ever ready to oblige, and do all
innocent things, because you are desired; and keep yourself always in a
good-humour.

LYDIA.

But sometimes things happen to tease me, and make me fret.

MAMMA.

Then is the time to try to get the better of yourself; things may not
always go as you like; but nothing can make you fret unless you will:
for example, if little _Edwin_ come in and catch up your book, or your
doll, we suppose you had rather he let them alone, but you need not make
a great noise, and whine, and call him a naughty boy, and run and snatch
them roughly from him; you may speak in a good-humoured tone of voice,
and say, Pray, _Edwin_, give me my book, or any thing else he has; and
if he did not attend to that, as he is but a little boy, you could wait
quietly a little while, till he laid it down, though you might know you
would have liked better to have it then; and that would not be half so
uncomfortable to you as putting yourself in a passion; worrying your
spirits, and making yourself disagreeable to every body in the room; do
you think it would?

LYDIA.

No; I do not know that it would; for I am never happy when I fret and
scold, nor when I have vexed you. I will try, Mamma, if you will love me
dearly.

Little _Lydia_, as she spoke these last words, threw her arms round her
Mamma’s neck; her Mamma gave her a very affectionate kiss, and then said,
That I will, my love; and as a mean to assist you in your endeavours, I
will, every evening, after you are gone to bed, write a story about you,
to tell how you have behaved all day; and the next morning, when we all
meet in the parlour, I will read it aloud; and I think you will be much
better pleased with the story when you have been a good girl, than when
you have been naughty.

LYDIA.

Oh! dear, Mamma! when I have been naughty I shall not like at all to have
the story read before every body.

MAMMA.

Then you must take a great deal of care how you behave; you must
recollect yourself to-morrow morning when you rise; in the evening I
shall begin my story.



CHAPTER THE SECOND.

_THE SUCCESSFUL ENDEAVOUR._


The next morning, Miss _Lydia_, as soon as she waked, recollected the
conversation that had passed the day before between her Mamma and her,
and determined to be very good all day; accordingly she jumped out of
bed as soon as the maid called her, flood very still to be dressed; and
when she was dressed, said, Thank you, _Mary_, in a very pretty tone
of voice, and then kneeled down and said her prayers in a very decent
composed manner; and prayed very heartily that she might be good all day.
When she met her papa and mamma, and brothers and sisters in the parlour,
after she had bidden them all good morning, she sat herself down very
quietly at the bottom of the table, and did not ask for any thing, nor
reach across the table to pull the bread and butter about, but sat still
and looked very good-humoured, till her Mamma gave her a piece of bread
with some very nice honey upon it, and a cup of tea, and then she ate her
breakfast very genteely.

After breakfast, Miss _Lydia_ went into her Mamma’s dressing-room,
unlocked a little red trunk, which her Mamma had given her a few days
before, to keep her work and her books in, and took out the book she read
in to her Mamma, which at that time was, _The Footstep to Mrs. Trimmer’s
Sacred History_; and sitting down on a little stool at a distance from
the fire, began to read very slowly, and in a very easy natural tone of
voice; she minded her stops, and paid great attention to the sense, that
she might read with propriety.

After she had done reading English, she carried her book away, and put it
into the trunk again, and brought her French book, which was the second
volume of _La Bagatelle_, and translated her lesson very readily; her
next business was to learn the Indicative mood of the verb _Aimer_; this
she found rather troublesome, and was once or twice just going to fret
and whine; but she recollected that her Mamma was to write an account of
her, and therefore she put on a cheerful countenance, and took pains to
learn her verb, and said it very perfectly to her Mamma.

After this she took out her work, which was a small cover for a stool she
was doing in single cross-stitch, and worked very deligently for an hour;
her Mamma then gave her leave to go and play in the garden.

In the garden she played very quietly and prettily, and did not run into
any dirt, but amused herself with seeing her brother at work in his
garden. She behaved at dinner quite as well as she had done at breakfast;
and after dinner, asked her Mamma to give her leave to put the map of
_Europe_ together, which was her usual amusement in an afternoon. Just
as she had put all the pieces exactly together, and was beginning to
tell her Mamma the names of all the capital cities, her little brother
came running into the room, full of play, and throwing his hat across
the table, entirely disunited all her kingdoms. She was on the point of
crying out pretty violently, but the thought of to-morrow’s story came
into her mind, and she only took _Edwin_’s hat gently off the table, and
said, Pray, brother, do not throw your hat any more: see what mischief
you have done! But the little fellow thought there was something very
diverting in seeing all the pieces fly about and, therefore as soon as
she began to put them in order again, he again skimmed his hat across the
table. Three times she attempted to settle the affairs of _Europe_, and
as often Master _Edwin_ deranged them. The little girl then, with great
good-humour, put the pieces into the box, and said to her Mamma, _Edwin_
is in such a wild humour, that I think I had better put the box away till
he is gone. No, my dear, said her Mamma, he shall not tease you any more.
I had a mind to give you an opportunity of showing how good you could
be; and now he shall not interfere with you again: so calling the little
boy, his Mamma told him, if he did not let his sister’s things alone, he
must be sent out of the room; she then gave him a box of ivory letters to
amuse him.

Miss _Lydia_ continued to behave quite well till she went to bed. Not
being in the least troublesome, by making a noise, or worrying for books
or play-things which were not at hand; but employing herself with such
things as she met with, without being in any body’s way. You may be sure
that she went to-bed very happy at night; and that her Papa and Mamma
took a very affectionate leave of her.



CHAPTER THE THIRD.

_THE RELAPSE._


The following day, at breakfast, Miss _Lydia_ had the pleasure of hearing
her Mamma read this account of her very pretty behaviour, and saying,
that she had been quite good all day; which of course made her extremely
happy. For several days _Lydia_ went on in the same charming manner:
never was idle at her tasks, impatient at her meals, nor peevish at her
play; and her Mamma began to hope, that she had quite corrected all her
faults. Sorry, however, am I to say, that she did not persevere in being
so regularly good. After a short time she began to grow a little tired
of taking pains with herself. The first time she forgot herself was when
she was reading her French lesson. Having finished _La Bagatelle_, her
Mamma gave her _Chambaud’s French Fables_, showed her the Dictionary
at the end, and instructed her how to find out any word she wanted.
This was rather difficult at first, but in a few days would have grown
easy to her; however she wanted resolution to take a little pains, and
began fretting and grumbling sadly. Her Mamma said, Recollect yourself,
_Lydia_; this will not make a pretty story: and, taking the book, would
very kindly have assisted her to look for the word _Pierre_; which was
what she happened to want; but _Lydia_ turned her head on one side, and
made up a sad dismal face. Her Mamma then laid the book on the table, and
took no further notice, but went out of the room. She staid some little
time, and when she came in again found little _Lydia_ sitting very
sorrowfully in the corner of the room. She was ashamed to look at her
Mamma or to speak a word; the thoughts of having disgraced herself, after
having set out with so much credit, and been so good for almost a week,
grieved her very much; and she would have given any thing in the world to
have had the last half hour to spend over again.

After a silence of near a quarter of an hour, her Mamma said to her, What
are you thinking of _Lydia_?

LYDIA.

I am thinking, Mamma, how foolish I shall look, and how ashamed I shall
be to-morrow morning, when you read this naughty story of me.

MAMMA.

Really, my dear, I shall not feel less ashamed nor concerned than you;
and I was in great hope, after you had experienced the comfort of being
good, that you would not have again relapsed into your old faults.

LYDIA.

I am sure, Mamma, this morning I did not think I should ever have been
naughty again. What must I do?

MAMMA.

I hope the feeling so foolish and ashamed as you say you shall do, on
hearing this account read, will prevent your behaving so again. Endeavour
now to make amends for your fault, by taking great pains with your
lesson. There is the book, now find _Pierre_.

_Lydia_ did as she was bidden; and got her lesson very well, and behaved
pretty well the rest of the day, though not quite so pleasingly as she
had done some days before: for the thought of her misbehaviour had hurt
her spirits, and inclined her to be a little fretful and whining.



CHAPTER THE FOURTH.

_THE GENEROUS CONFESSION._


The meeting at breakfast, you may suppose, was not a very pleasant one to
Miss _Lydia_. Her Mamma, however, after reading the account of her fault,
added, that she had acknowledged herself truly sorry and ashamed of it,
and had learned her lesson very diligently; and then embracing her, said,
she dared say she should never be obliged to put her to the blush again.

Miss _Lydia_ now began the day with again trying to be very good; but not
with half the spirit and cheerfulness that she had done before her fault;
and in the course of the three or four next weeks she was very frequently
off her guard. However she persevered in striving to be good, and often,
when she had begun to speak crossly, or be idle, or argue with her
Mamma, she would recollect herself, and stop short at once, and running
to her Mamma, say, My dear Mamma do kiss me, and then I will be good.
Acting thus, she became less and less apt to offend, and many days passed
without one unpleasant story to tell.

It happened, however, one day, when she and her little brother were in
the garden, that he took off the bench a nosegay she had just been tying
up, with an intention of presenting it to her Mamma. She ran with some
eagerness to take it from him; but the little fellow was tenacious of it;
upon which she grew angry, and a contest ensued; at last, in a passion,
she took hold of the tops of the flowers, and pulled them all to pieces,
and threw her brother down by her violence. _Edwin_ began crying; and
she, who loved him dearly, forgot all her anger immediately, begged his
pardon for having thrown him down, and asked, whether he was hurt? A few
kisses and another flower soon made it up with little _Edwin_, and this
quarrel passed over without being observed by any body, and had really
been forgotten by Miss _Lydia_ till she went to-bed.

_Lydia_, though she was not always free from faults, was a child of
remarkable honour; and could not bear the thoughts, in any way, of
deceiving any one. She could not, therefore, suffer her Mamma to say she
had been good all day, when she felt so conscious of the contrary; and
went, as soon as she was dressed, to confess the whole truth. As she
passed the window, she saw a lady, for whom she had a particular respect,
coming in, and as she well knew, to breakfast with her Mamma. This was a
sad mortification to her: however, she went on into her Mamma’s room, and
upon being asked, what the dog barked at, told her Mamma, Miss _Hipkins_
was come to breakfast with her. She then stood by the window considering
how she should begin to speak to her Mamma. Her affectionate mother,
having watched her countenance, said, You look grave and perplexed,
_Lydia_; I suppose you are thinking of the journal; but do not be
alarmed, my love, I have not one fault to mention, and Miss _Hipkins_
will rejoice to hear you are grown so good a girl. O! Mamma! said the
dear girl, I cannot deceive you, nor receive praises I do not deserve.
She then told all that passed between her and _Edwin_ in the garden.

I have been very naughty, Mamma, said _Lydia_, and I shall be very much
ashamed to hear it told; but I should be still more ashamed to be fondled
and commended, while I thought, that if you knew as much of me as I do
of myself, you would behave in a very different manner to me. Her Mamma
caught her in her arms in a transport of affection, and said, May God
for ever bless you, my dear child; and preserve to you that sincerity
and singleness of heart which are so precious in his sight! Look up,
my love; I shall relate your fault; but the story of your voluntary
confession will reflect more honour upon you, than if no fault had been
committed: and every thing may be hoped of a young person with so noble a
disposition.—Come, let us go down.

A few days after this amiable behaviour of Miss _Lydia_’s, her Mamma
received a letter to appoint a day for the arrival of some company, who
were to stay a fortnight, and whom Miss _Lydia_ had never seen.

On the evening on which they were to come, Miss _Lydia_ joined her Mamma
as she was walking alone in the garden, and, after some hesitation, said,
she had a favour to beg of her, which was, that no stories might be read
about her while the company staid.

MAMMA.

Why not, my dear?

LYDIA.

If I should happen to be naughty, I shall be so ashamed to hear it told
before strangers!

MAMMA.

Then you will have an additional motive to be attentive to your conduct;
and surely you would submit to any method that is likely to make you good.

LYDIA.

But to have every body know how naughty one is——

MAMMA.

You seldom do wrong without being observed by somebody, and generally by
more persons than you are aware of.—I speak after the common manner of
speaking.—But to be more serious, there is a constant witness, _Lydia_—

LYDIA.

I know, Mamma—God always sees me.

MAMMA.

And is He not more to be feared than all the world put together? both
because He is more able to punish you, and because, as He is the
greatest of beings, it is more disgrace to appear dishonourable in His
sight than in that of all the creatures He has made. But that is not
all; you seem to dread that “Every body should know how naughty you
are.”—Be careful then. There will come a day when all the men that
ever were in the world, and all the angels that are in heaven, will be
assembled together: and all those who have been wicked will have their
sins proclaimed before this assembled multitude, and be disgraced before
them all. Beware then, my child, of real offences, and watch now so
continually over your behaviour, that, by correcting, while you are so
young, all your little faults, you may be happily preserved from falling
into such serious ones as will cover you with shame and confusion at that
awful day.

Here they were interrupted by the arrival of all the company; but her
mother’s words sunk deep into Miss _Lydia_’s mind, and from that time
she was doubly careful of all her behaviour. During the whole fortnight
that the company staid, she had no cause to regret the journal’s
being produced. From that time, it was very seldom that any error of
consequence was mentioned in it.

After having gotten the better of some bad habits she had contracted, she
daily, by an attention to her Mamma’s advice, improved in every grace and
accomplishment. The good-will with which she, applied to her different
tasks, occasioned her making a great progress in them: and her constant
good-humour and composedness of temper made her look always pretty and
engaging. Her Mamma was so charmed with the sweetness of her behaviour,
which was free from all noise, rudeness, or turbulence, that she studied
every way in her power to indulge and gratify her; and if ever she was
refused any thing, she knew it was because it was not fit for her; and,
therefore, never asked nor wished about it again.



CHAPTER THE FIFTH.

_BENEVOLENCE ENCOURAGED._


About a month or two after Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma had begun to write
an account of her behaviour, the little girl was playing with a few
companions at a bench close by the garden-gate. Her Papa had made her
a present of a small basket of cherries out of the hot-house, and the
little girls were amusing themselves with tying them on sticks, as the
fruiterers do when they first bring them to market.

While they were thus employed, a little girl very tidily dressed walked
by, leading by the hand her brother, who appeared between two and three
years old. The girl’s attention was taken by the sight of the fruit at so
early a season, and the little boy, who thought they looked nice, though
he did not know what they were, said, Look, _Sally_!—_gapes_! The girl
did not speak nor give offence to any body; but one of the Misses, whose
pride predominated over her good-nature, asked her, in a haughty tone of
voice, What she wanted? and bade her not be so impertinent as to stand
staring at them. The little girl moved on directly; but the poor little
boy pulled from her, and said, in a crying tone of voice, _Gapes!_ I want
_gapes_! This produced a second huffing from the same Miss; who said, Get
you gone, you little monkey. His sister then immediately took him away.

Miss _Lydia_, who was much hurt at her friend’s behaviour, said, How
could you speak so crossly to the poor little things? why should not
they love fruit as well as we; and more too, as it must appear a greater
rarity? She then went out at the gate, and stepping after the little
children, put into the little boy’s hand a stick of cherries which she
had just tied up. There, little boy, said she, these are not grapes; they
are cherries: when you have played with them a little while you must give
your sister half. Yes; said he, I always give sister half—Look, _Sally_!

But you should say, Thank you, Miss, said _Sally_, making a pretty
courtesy; and do not pull them off till you have shown them to my mammy:
they are so pretty!

Little _Lydia_ felt pleased and very comfortable after she had done
this good-natured action; and she could not help being conscious that
her Mamma would have approved of her for it; but she knew too well what
was right and becoming to tell of it herself, or even to give a hint
of it; for though nothing gave her so much pleasure as her mother’s
commendations, yet she knew that a good action loses all its beauty
when it is done for the sake of any reward whatever. Her behaviour,
however, did not pass unobserved, for the maid, who was walking in the
garden with a baby in her arms, saw the whole transaction, and was so
delighted with it, that when she went to dress her mistress, she told
her how sweetly Miss _Lydia_ had behaved. Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma, however,
took no notice at all to her of it. Think what was the dear girl’s
surprise in the morning, when she heard the whole story read aloud in her
Mamma’s journal; and think what pleasure she received from praises so
well deserved as those which were bestowed upon her. Her Mamma inquired
of her whether she knew the little girl’s name, or where she lived?
she answered, No, Mamma: she looked very clean and neat, Mamma; but I
observed that she had no tippet, nor any thing to keep her neck from the
sun; and the little boy’s toes came through his shoes. If you please, I
will give her the garden shawl I have just left off; and I think those
red shoes, which are too little for _Edwin_, will fit the little boy.
Then you shall have the pleasure of giving those things to them, said
her Mamma; you may ask _Mary_ for them, and I have a bit of check by me,
which I will cut into an apron, and you shall make it for the little
girl; _Mary_ says she is about your height.—_Lydia_ did not forget the
permission she had. The shawl and shoes were laid carefully by, and with
them a paper of almonds and raisins, which she had bought with her own
money.

_Lydia_, with great pleasure, set about the task proposed to her, and
worked with great neatness and expedition upon the apron. Miss _Stark_
happening to come in when she was at work, expressed great surprise at
her employment, and said, she wondered her Mamma should let her wear the
skin off her pretty little fingers with such coarse, nasty work, which
was much fitter for the maid than for her; and that she thought it much
below her to be making checked aprons for a poor girl.

When Miss _Stark_ was gone, _Lydia_ told her Mamma what she had said to
her. I must not, said her Mamma, suffer Miss _Stark_ to visit you, if
she puts such notions into your head. Can it possibly be below you to be
useful to any person living? Your pretty little fingers, as she calls
them, were given you to be of use; and though she employs hers only at
the harpsichord, yet I think they should often be exercised in plain and
profitable works.

LYDIA.

I like to work sometimes, Mamma.

MAMMA.

It is very proper you should. Never, especially, my dear girl, be above
working for the poor, and doing them every service in your power: little
girls have seldom much money, their very cloaths are given them; the
only thing they have of their own is their time: if they give up some
of their play-hours to work for a poor neighbour, they strengthen good
dispositions and habits in themselves, and do, perhaps, the only act of
charity in their power. You had no apron to give the little girl, so I
let you work at this, that you might have the pleasure of making it by
that mean your own present; and I hope, that during the whole of your
life, you will find it one of your greatest pleasures to do good and kind
actions. Miss _Stark_ would, I think, be ashamed of talking so, if she
ever read her bible, or considered who has laboured so much for the poor.

LYDIA.

Miss _Stark_’s Mamma gives her a great deal of money, and I believe she
often gives some of it away.

MAMMA.

I do not know that she wants good nature; but she puts herself to no
inconvenience by giving away money, when she can go and get more of
her Mamma the first time she wants a toy; and she would show much more
real charity, if she wore less finery, or spent a little less time in
diversion, for the sake of being serviceable to the poor sometimes.
Charity, my dear, means love to our neighbour; and we are most sure that
love is sincere when we part with something we like, or give ourselves
some trouble to serve them.

LYDIA.

Then, Mamma, instead of going into the garden this afternoon, I will
finish the apron; at present I am very tired, and must go and take a run.



CHAPTER THE SIXTH.

_THE MAY GARLAND._


Though _Lydia_ watched very anxiously, a day or two passed before she
saw the little folk again; one day, however, as she was sitting at the
window, she saw them coming, she flew down stairs, and, met them just as
they were going by the gate; in her haste to catch them she had run down
without the presents; she, therefore, desired them to stop a minute,
and going up stairs again, soon returned with the shawl, the shoes, the
apron, and the almonds and raisins. She made the two children very happy
by her gifts, particularly the boy, who said, Thank you, and cried,
Shoes! shoes! twenty times over.

_Lydia_ made him sit down on the bench whilst his sister put them on,
and observing he had but one shoe-string, ran in to ask for a bit of
ribbon. _Mary_ gave her a very nice bit of black ribbon, long enough to
tye both shoes, and sent the young folk away much delighted; though the
dressing them took up her attention so much, that she forgot to ask their
names, or where they lived. Many days had passed, and _Lydia_ had almost
forgotten the little girl and boy, when one morning she arose early, very
cheerful with the consciousness of having behaved well the preceding
day; and as the sun shone, and it was very pleasant, she put on her hat,
handkerchief, and gloves, and walked into the garden before breakfast:
she had not walked long before she saw something held up at the gate that
looked very pretty; she went that way to see what it was, and soon knew
the little girl and boy to whom she had been so kind. They held between
them a garland made of all sorts of pretty flowers, tied with bits of
ribbon; What have you there? said _Lydia_; I never saw such a pretty
thing before! It is a present for you, Miss, said _Sally_, if you will
please to accept of it: to day is MAY DAY, and my mother and I got up at
four o’clock this morning to make the garland. My mother had several good
friends who gave her leave to gather flowers in their gardens, and some
ladies gave her bits of ribbon; we have taken a great deal of pains to
make it, and I hope you will like it.

The delight of _Lydia_ is not to be expressed; she thanked the little
girl in a very civil pretty manner, and then ran, half wild with
pleasure, into her Mamma’s room, to show her prize. It is very handsome,
indeed, my dear, said her Mamma, the child’s mother has shown a very
grateful attention. But you should make the little girl some present; for
though I dare say that was not her mother’s view in sending the garland,
yet it is usual on May Day.—Run down with this shilling.

Away flew little _Lydia_; but she was too late. The children had been
strictly charged not to stay at all, for fear it should seem as if they
expected any thing; and if any money were offered them, to refuse it very
civilly, and say, their mother would be very angry if they took it.

The joy of the garland had still prevented any inquiry about their name
or place of abode; but Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma was so pleased with this
instance of delicate civility in their mother, that she took pains to
learn who she was, and found that her name was _Brush_; that she was a
very worthy and industrious woman, who kept a little school, and took in
needle-work. Miss _Lydia_, after showing her garland with great delight
in the parlour, hung it up in the nursery; and at every interval of
leisure, during the day, came to admire it, and to play with it.

In the morning as soon as Miss _Lydia_ arose, she went to look at her
garland; but to her great mortification saw that all its beauty was gone;
that the tulips hung their heads, that the other flowers were withered,
and their colours faded; with some concern she went to her Mamma, to
show her the change in her garland. My dear moppet, said she, had you
forgotten that flowers would wither? they draw all their nourishment from
the earth, and, therefore, when they are separated from it they must die.

LYDIA.

How can the earth nourish them, Mamma?

MAMMA.

My dear, as the food you take nourishes you, so the plant draws the
moisture out of the earth, and that moisture runs through all the parts
of it, and supports it; and according to the different channels it runs
through, takes all kinds of beautiful colours, or sometimes only a fine
green; and in some flowers takes no colour at all, but leaves the plant
a pure white. The earth is called the parent of plants and vegetables;
and it supports them as a mother does her child: if the flower be taken
out of the ground, it withers as these have done; and what would little
_Joseph_ or even you do, _Lydia_, if you were taken from me?

LYDIA.

You told me once that God took care of me.

MAMMA.

Certainly; and without the help of God neither could the earth nourish
its plants, nor the mother protect her child; but in general, he is
pleased to convey support and blessings to the child, through the means
of the parents; and as they delight in being made the instruments of
his goodness to their child, it ought to inspire the child with tender
affection and gratitude towards them, and incline it to obey the commands
of God:

“Honour thy father and thy mother.”

LYDIA.

I am sure, Mamma, I love you; and you are very good to me.

MAMMA.

And I have the pleasure of telling you, you were very good yesterday;
for when I called you to your lesson, though you were deeply engaged
in examining your garland, you asked _Mary_ to hang it up, and came
directly. I design, as a reward, to take you, after business is done, to
see Mrs. _Brush_ and her young family; and, if you can find any little
books to carry, I dare say they will be a very welcome present. I shall
take some of the _Short Lectures for the use of Sunday schools_, and the
_Catechism divided into sentences_.

This promise gave much delight to Miss _Lydia_, and encouraged her to get
her lessons with great diligence.



CHAPTER THE SEVENTH.

_THE SCHOOL ROOM._


The morning business being finished, Miss _Lydia_ and her Mamma set
out, accompanied by little _Edwin_. They found the good woman in an
exceedingly neat, comfortable room, surrounded by a number of little
forms, on which sat about twenty very orderly children, among whom were
her own little boy and girl. The little girl was marking a sampler, and
the little boy looking at the alphabet in a spelling-book. At the sight
of the lady and her children, they all rose up, and Mrs. _Brush_ would
have sent them away, as school was almost done; but Miss _Lydia_ and her
Mamma both begged they might sit down again. They looked at their works,
examined their books, and Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma asked Mrs. _Brush_ many
questions about her own children, and her scholars, while the little
girl was very busy looking over _Sally_, and seeing her make words upon
her sampler. _Edwin_ employed himself in admiring a parrot which hung in
the corner of the room, and which repeated b, a, ba, c, a, ca, d, a, da,
and so on, as he had learnt by hearing the children; and was indeed an
apter scholar than some of them. Upon a hint from her Mamma, Miss _Lydia_
presented to Mrs. _Brush_ the books she had brought, which were _The
good Child’s Delight_, _Short Conversations_, and _Familiar Dialogues_,
together with the books before-mentioned, which her Mamma had brought.

For the little girl Miss _Lydia_ reserved _First Principles of Religion_,
a book which her Mamma esteemed very highly indeed, and preferred to
any other book of the kind, but which she did not put into her hands
till she had altered some few passages; which, though written with the
best intention in the world, appeared to her to speak of the Deity in
words too free to be put even into the mouth of an ignorant child.
_Lydia_ had not forgotten the little boy, to whom she gave the _Universal
Shuttlecock_. You may be sure these presents were received with many
thanks; and Mrs. _Brush_ afterwards asked her visiters to walk in her
garden, showed them a nice brood of chickens, and gave Miss _Lydia_ some
cabbage to feed two rabbits that were in a hutch: she then took them to
her bee-hives, where the little bees were all in a cluster at the door,
or buzzing about and sipping sweetness out of the flowers, to make honey
for their winter provision.

I have heard my sister, said _Lydia_, repeat some verses about killing
the poor bees and taking their honey.

I do not kill them Miss, said Mrs. _Brush_, I have been taught to use
some fumes which will stupify them for a time, and then I take their
honey, only leaving them a little to live upon, and they soon revive;
and if, in the winter, when there are no flowers, I cannot spare them
honey enough, I feed them with sugar and water. The greatest part of my
honey I have sold; but when we go in, if you please, you shall taste the
remainder.

The young people were permitted to take a little of the offered honey,
which was nicely spread on a thin bit of home-baked bread. The lady made
a present of some money to the good woman, and they then took their leave
of Mrs. _Brush_ and the children.



CHAPTER THE EIGHTH.

_THE LITTLE LAMB._


About a week after the visit to the school, _Lydia_, from her window, saw
_Sally_ lugging something under her arm, which seemed more than she could
manage, when the little girl came to the gate, she stopped and looked
in, but modesty prevented her from ringing. Miss _Lydia_, went down to
see what she wanted: but how surprised was she to see that _Sally_’s
load was a little lamb, not many days old. It had been given to _Sally_
by a farmer, whose little boy and girl went to school to her mother,
because the dam was dead; and she had adorned its neck with a wreath of
field flowers, and brought it as a present to Miss _Lydia_; accordingly
when _Lydia_ came to the gate, she, in a very pretty manner, begged her
acceptance of it, and told her it must be fed two or three times a-day
with warm milk. Nobody can express the delight of Miss _Lydia_, upon
finding herself mistress of the lamb. Her joy, however, did not make
her forget to thank _Sally_ with great good-nature and civility for the
gift; nor did it prevent her recollecting that her mother had thought it
proper to offer her a present for the May garland, she, therefore, begged
her to stay till she showed the lamb to her Mamma; and taking it up,
tottered into the house; she soon returned with half a crown, which, she
took great pains to persuade _Sally_ to accept, but to no purpose: she
said, her mother would be very angry with her if she took any thing; that
the lamb had cost her nothing, and she had been strictly charged to take
nothing for it.

Then, said Miss _Lydia_, at least let me give you some fruit and some
cake; and taking the little girl by the hand, seated her upon a bench,
and ran to fetch her a piece of cake; then, with her Mamma’s leave she
gathered for her some strawberries and cherries. _Sally_ thanked her very
prettily, and begged leave to carry them home to divide with her brother;
thus having given the little lamb a kiss, and again told Miss _Lydia_ it
must be fed with warm milk, and be taken into the house at night, she
went away.

You may believe that the greatest part of _Lydia_’s employment was to
feed and tend the little lamb, whose baaing would indeed have excited
tenderness even in a heart of less sensibility than _Lydia_’s.

The pleasure she had in the lamb, naturally led her to think and talk of
the little giver. _Lydia_ observed to her Mamma, that although _Sally_
was a poor girl, and had never gone into company, yet she always behaved
in a very pretty manner, and spoke gently and civilly, and made charming
courtesies.

My dear, said her mamma, when people have a modest opinion of
themselves, and wish to behave with respect and civility, they seldom do
any thing that is improper.

A fear of offending will make them gentle and reserved in their
behaviour; and a person who tries to speak in an obliging manner is not
often at a loss for language. It is conceit and forwardness which make
people disgusting; and conceit and forwardness are as disagreeable in
a little girl or boy, if their parents are rich as if they were poor.
Nothing can make children agreeable, but being humble and tractable,
and behaving in an obliging, respectful manner to every body; for as
children, whoever their parents be, can know very little, and are unable
to say any thing worth hearing, they should, therefore, think every body
of more consequence than themselves, and be very much obliged to any body
who takes notice of them. I am sure, said _Lydia_, I think myself so. You
always appear to think so, my dear, said her Mamma; our friends are very
kind to you, and will continue so while you behave as properly as you do;
but whenever children begin to argue with grown people, speak pertly to
them, like Miss _Smart_, or pretend to know better than they do, what is
right and proper, they become very ridiculous and very disagreeable. What
pleases you in _Sally_, and what will equally please in yourself is, that
she seems to have no wish nor will but to oblige you, and to do what she
thinks may please you, and show her respect to you.



CHAPTER THE NINTH.

_THE WORK BAGS._


During the course of the summer, Miss _Lydia_’s aunt found it necessary
to take a long journey, and desired the favour to leave her little
daughter in her sister’s family during her absence, as it was not
convenient to take her. This little girl, whose name was _Fanny_, was
about _Lydia_’s age; and, therefore, though Miss _Lydia_’s elder sisters
were very obliging and good-natured to her, yet she was her chief
companion, and was very much delighted with her society. One day, a lady,
who was very intimate in the family, came to make a visit, and brought a
present to each of the little girls of a silk work-bag trimmed with broad
lace. In the bag were a needle book furnished with thread and needles, a
silver thimble, a pair of scissors with silver tops in a nice red sheath;
and beside, a piece of drawn lawn neatly tacked upon a bit of oil-skin,
and just begun for them, that they might each work for herself a tucker.

Miss _Fanny_ though very good-natured, was exceedingly giddy and
careless, leaving her dolls, books, and every thing she had, scattered
all over the house; the consequence of which was, that they were
frequently lost or spoiled. This lady, therefore, knowing her failing,
gave her a particular caution to take care of her work-bag; and desired,
when the young ladies came to see her, they would each bring their bag
with them.

For some little time _Fanny_ continued very mindful of the advice
which had been given her. One day they had been working in a little
summer-house in the garden, and Miss _Fanny_ had been particularly
guarded, by one of the elder young ladies, against leaving her work-bag,
when she came in.

Miss _Lydia_, when she had done work, collected all her things into her
bag, and hung it upon her arm, _Fanny_ did the same, and they both came
down out of the summer-house; but _Fanny_ said, she must gather a nosegay
before she came in, out of a little garden that had been given her, and
away she ran to the place; but finding the work-bag inconvenient upon
her arm when she stooped to gather flowers, she laid it down on a clean
grass plot. The nosegay being made, she was preparing to go in, when she
saw _Lydia_’s little lamb, who was in the adjoining field, put his nose
over the pales very near her; she ran to him, stroked his head, fetched
him some cabbage to eat out of her hand, and played with him, till
recollecting she should scarce have time to be dressed before dinner, she
ran in, in great haste, leaving the work-bag upon the grass. _Fanny_ did
not once think of her work-bag till she was going to sit down to work
after dinner; she then recollected that she had left it upon the grass,
and ran in great haste to fetch it; but when she came she found all her
things in a very dismal condition; the work-bag was torn to pieces, and
all wet and dirty; the needle book and work were tossed out, and entirely
spoiled; the thimble had rolled quite away; in short nothing had escaped
but the scissors, and, as for the sheath that was bent, and the colour
quite changed. Any of you who ever have had a present you were pleased
with, and seen it destroyed by your own carelessness, will be able to
judge what this little girl felt, when she cast her eyes upon all this
mischief. She stood at first quite stupified, then began to examine the
things one by one, and when she found them entirely spoiled, she could
not refrain from tears and lamentation. The gardener, hearing her cry,
came from the other end of the garden, to know what was the matter? she
told him her misfortunes, and asked, who could have put her things into
that state? The gardener said, it was a great pity, but he did not doubt
but it was the puppy, for he had just before seen him running about the
garden, and had turned him out.

Poor _Fanny_ could do nothing but pick up the tattered bits, and carry
them sorrowfully into the house; even those who blamed her negligence
could not help pitying her; and she found Miss _Lydia_, in particular,
ready to cry with her, and to share in her trouble.

The next morning, as _Lydia_ and her little friend were talking over this
accident, _Fanny_ said, her greatest concern was, that Mrs. _Grant_ would
know she had taken so little care of her present; and that she could not
bear the thought of seeing her; but, says she, one of the maids told
me, she had got a piece of blue silk just the colour of mine, and she
had a cousin who was a miliner, and would give her a bit of blond lace
and ribbon, and she would make me a bag and needle-book, just like the
others; and that I might buy a sheath with my own money; and if we could
but find the thimble, Mrs. _Grant_ need never know it; for, as your Mamma
was out all day yesterday, and does not come home till to-morrow, she
need know nothing of the matter; and who else will tell? It may be very
good-natured in _Sarah_, said Miss _Lydia_; but I hope, my dear _Fanny_,
you are too good to do such a mean, deceitful trick; if, you say, you
could not bear to see Mrs. _Grant_ now, I think it must distress you a
great deal more to see her when you knew you were trying to deceive her;
and how dreadful it would be to hear her commend you for taking such care
of your bag, when you were conscious how you have behaved. I am sure, if
no creature were to find me out, I should be very miserable; and if you
should be found out, what would become of you then?

You are a great deal better than I am, said _Fanny_; and now I consider
about it, I dare say my Mamma would be very sorry I should do so; and so
I must tell Mrs. _Grant_ the whole truth, I think—but I shall look so
foolish!



CHAPTER THE TENTH.

_THE VISIT._


Sometime after the loss of the work-bag, the family received an
invitation to dine at Mrs. _Grant_’s. On the day they were to go, Miss
_Lydia_ took an opportunity of seeing her Mamma alone, and asking her
advice. I do not like, Mamma, said she, to take my work-bag with me,
because I think it will mortify poor _Fanny_ so, and look as if I wanted
to show I was more careful than she; and yet I am afraid of appearing
uncivil to Mrs. _Grant_, who desired me to bring it.

_Lydia_ received her Mamma’s tenderest caresses, and commendations,
for her sentiment and generosity; you judge with great propriety and
delicacy, my dear, as to not taking the work-bag; and Mrs. _Grant_, who
must know the history of poor _Fanny_’s, will easily guess your reason
for leaving yours at home, and will honour you for it; and _Fanny_, when
she knows how kind and considerate you are, must love you dearly. The
coach was soon after at the door, and Miss _Lydia_, her Mamma, one of her
sisters, and _Fanny_ got in.

Poor _Fanny_ was that day an instance how one giddy or thoughtless thing
may entirely destroy a person’s pleasure. She had been expecting the day
they were to go to Mrs. _Grant_’s with great impatience and delight;
but her unfortunate carelessness had so altered her feelings, that she
dreaded the thought of going, and would very gladly have been left
behind. She was very grave all the way, though _Lydia_ tried all she
could to amuse her, by pointing out to her the flowers in the hedges,
the birds in the trees, and the carriages as they passed, Mrs. _Grant_
was very happy to see them all, and especially the two young ones.
She observed them, however, a little, to see if they had brought their
work-bags.

The young ladies, as they were seating themselves, observed upon a table,
at the farther end of the room, two very little cradles with dolls in
them; they thought it probable they were intended as a present for them;
and this thought increased poor Miss _Fanny_’s distress and confusion: to
receive another present when she had been so careless of the former, hurt
every generous principle within her; after some little time, Mrs. _Grant_
asked Miss _Lydia_ if she had done her tucker? _Lydia_ answered very
modestly and prettily, Yes, Madam.

And why did you not then bring it to show me? I dare say it is very
nicely done; and I had pleased myself much with the thoughts of seeing
both your works: is yours finished too, Miss _Fanny_? Poor _Fanny_ could
hold out no longer, but burst into tears. Her aunt was so good as to
explain to Mrs. _Grant_ the cause of her grief, and tell how very sorry
she had been: she likewise informed her of _Lydia_’s delicacy in not
chusing to make a parade of her work-bag, which was, however, very safe
at home.

You are a sweet girl, said Mrs. _Grant_, and will, I dare say, make an
excellent nurse; she then fetched the two cradles; they are both of white
sattin, the one had fine worked muslin curtains tied with blue, and a
muslin dimity quilt fringe; and in it lay a little doll dressed like a
little boy in a muslin robe, with a laced rose to his cap, and a blue
sash. The other cradle had pink Persian curtains tied with white ribbon,
and a white sattin quilt bound with pink ribbon; this contained a little
girl in a muslin robe likewise, with a pink ribbon round her cap, and
a pink sash round her waist. The goodness of your behaviour, said Mrs.
_Grant_, I think entitles you to the privilege of chusing first; take
which you like: Miss _Fanny_ will accept the other; and I dare say she
will not let the puppy come into her nursery.

Miss _Lydia_ begged leave to let Miss _Fanny_ chuse first, and pressed
her much to say which she liked best; but she constantly refused; till
after this friendly contest had lasted some little time, Miss _Lydia_’s
Mamma told her, it would be better for her to make a choice, as Miss
_Fanny_ could not be persuaded to determine.

The dear girl had pitied _Fanny_, and wished that she should be pleased
about the doll; and as she knew that she very much preferred the little
boy herself, she naturally thought that _Fanny_ would do so too, and,
therefore, left it for her, and took the little girl. _Fanny_ then took
the boy, and promised to guard it from puppies, and all other mischances.

I thought, said the elder Miss _Lively_, you were wishing but the other
day for a little boy doll. I expected you would have chosen that?

_Lydia_ said nothing. But Mrs. _Grant_, who guessed her reason, asked
_Fanny_ which she really thought the prettiest? _Fanny_ thus called
upon, said, they were both pretty; but she thought the little girl the
prettiest. Then pray take it, said _Lydia_; for Indeed I left the boy
because I thought you would like it best. And I, said _Fanny_, did not
like to say any thing, because I thought my cousin liked the little girl
best.

You are both charming girls, said Mrs. _Grant_, but I suppose, if you
change, each will have exactly what she wishes. The exchange was made,
and afterward the young ladies spent their time till dinner in nursing
their children, and putting them into and taking them out of the cradle.

Miss _Lydia_ had now quite left off whining and frowning, and was grown a
very agreeable play-fellow and companion; and as she and _Fanny_ amused
themselves, without any noise or bustle, it was a pleasure to see them
in the room. During the whole time they staid, they behaved in the most
pleasing manner; and Mrs. _Grant_ did every thing in her power to make
the visit agreeable to them. After passing a very cheerful day, they
returned home, and Miss _Lydia_ had the pleasure of seeing her little
friend in much better spirits than when she set out.



CHAPTER THE ELEVENTH.

_THE BASKET OVERTURNED._


One day, as Miss _Lydia_ was walking in the fields with her Mamma, her
sisters, and _Fanny_, she saw a little girl standing near the hedge,
and crying very sadly. The voice of distress was never heard without
attention by Miss _Lydia_; she ran up to the girl, followed by _Fanny_,
and asked her what was the matter?

GIRL.

Oh! dear, what shall I do! my eggs are almost all broken! and my mother
will be so angry, I am afraid to go home!

LYDIA.

Do not cry, I dare say your mother will not be very angry: my Mamma would
not, I am sure.

GIRL (_still sobbing_.)

Yes, Miss; but my mother will, and beat me severely too. I was to have
sold them for a shilling, and carried back some butter and a loaf.

LYDIA.

I dare say you did not break them on purpose: how did it happen?

GIRL.

My mother put two dozen of eggs into this little basket, and wrapped them
nicely up in straw, and bade me go directly to town with them, and not
stop at all. She told me I must sell them for a shilling, and bring back
a loaf and some butter. I walked straight on till I came to this field,
and then the blackberries looked so nice in the hedge, that I longed to
get some; and I thought there could be no harm in stepping to the hedge
and gathering a few. I set my basket down because I wanted to reach a
very fine bough that grew in the back part of the hedge; but while I was
plucking the fruit, a great over-grown dog came and ran his nose into my
basket, overturned all the eggs, and broke a dozen of them; and now I
cannot buy the bread and the butter. My mother wants them for her tea,
and I do not know what she will do to me.

Mrs. _Lively_ and _Lydia_’s elder sisters had now walked up to them, and
Mrs. _Lively_ having overheard the girl’s discourse, said, I am sorry to
see you in such trouble; but you now find the consequence of not minding
your mother. Little girls are apt to think they know as well as their
parents; but they generally find themselves mistaken, and sometimes get
into a great deal of distress by fancying so; as you have done. Your
mother bade you go directly to town and stop nowhere, because she knew
if you got to play, or gave your attention to any thing but your eggs, a
great many accidents might happen to break them; and if you had done as
she bade you, it is probable your eggs would have been safe. Your mother,
therefore, will have great reason to be angry, when she knows how the
accident happened.

GIRL.

Yes, Madam, that is what will make her so angry; she would have forgiven
me a great deal sooner if it had happened any other way. A boy, who came
by just now, advised me to say, as I was getting over a stile the bar
gave way, and I tumbled down, and that so my eggs got broken; but I never
did tell her a lie in my life, and I should be very unwilling to begin
now.

LADY.

Your mother has at least been very kind to you in instilling such good
principles into you.

GIRL.

Yes, Madam, she always taught me to be honest, and never tell a lie upon
any account whatever; and if she were to find out that I deceived her,
she would punish me ten times more than she will now.

LADY.

Be assured you can never escape trouble and sorrow by being wicked;
you have already done one fault, and you feel how unhappy it has made
you; but, if you were to tell a lie, you would become a great deal more
naughty, and consequently be a great deal more unhappy. And though you
were not found out, I dare say your mother has taught you that God always
sees you; and if you try to save yourself by wicked means, you put
yourself quite out of the way of his blessing and protection. Now, you
are so good a girl, I dare say you will find your mother kinder to you
than you expect. Dry up your tears, and take this shilling; give me the
eggs that remain, go and buy your butter and bread, and then your mother
will not be disappointed; and as you are so good a girl, whenever your
mother has any eggs or chickens, you may bring them to me, and I will
give you your price for them; only remember to call at the first white
house as you come into town.

The poor girl received the shilling with equal joy and gratitude; and
when she was gone, Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma observed to her, that persons
often find a present reward in doing their duty: If this little girl,
said she, had taken the boy’s advice, and determined to tell her mother
a falsity, she would probably have turned back directly, and been in
another field when we came here, so that we should have known nothing of
her distress, and her story would, perhaps, not have been so well told
as to escape detection. I hope now the amends I have made for her loss
will abate the severity of her mother’s anger; and when the whole of her
conduct is known, she must, I think, receive her praises.

Just as she had done speaking, a beautiful insect flew by Miss _Lydia_.
Look, Mamma, said she, that fly is just like the picture in my book; is
it not? We will look, my dear, said her Mamma: and taking out of her
pocket the _Rational Dame_, she found the little creature under the title
of Dragon Fly; and little _Lydia_ read the description of it, and had
afterwards a full opportunity of admiring it, as it rested upon a leaf.

I am sure, said _Lydia_, I am much obliged to Mrs. _Teachwell_ for
writing so useful a book; it has taught me a great many things. And me
likewise, said her Mamma; we will never walk out without it; for the best
use we can make of our walks, is to acquaint ourselves with the works
of God; which in the fields and lanes are continually before us. And I
wish Mrs. _Teachwell_ would give us some little system of plants, with
their nature and uses, fit for such young folk as you; for I again say,
you cannot be too well acquainted with the works of God, who made you,
and made the little insects, and the slender flower which your eye almost
overlooks. God, my child, has spread before you two volumes, which are
each his work, and demand and deserve your most attentive consideration,
and most curious study; the _Book of Revelation_—I mean the _Bible_,
wherein you learn the way to eternal life; and the _Book of Nature_,
which is every where spread open before you, and which instructs you
every where in the wisdom and goodness of God. Let no opportunity slip
then of acquainting yourself with those wonders; and the more you learn
of “What great things God has done for you;” may your heart feel more
grateful to Him, and more ready to obey Him, and to do every thing He
commands.



CHAPTER THE TWELFTH.

_THE BIRTH-DAY._


Miss _Lydia_ had several brothers as well as sisters, a good deal older
than herself; among the rest was _Gilbert_, a boy, who from the goodness
of his disposition, seemed formed to make his parents happy. Obliging to
all, he was particularly indulgent and kind to little _Lydia_. One day,
in the autumn, he joined a family party in the garden, and seeing some
fine alpine strawberries in a little garden which the elder ones had
given to _Lydia_, he asked her if he might gather some? No, pray brother,
do not gather them now, said _Lydia_; for I keep them to treat you all
with to-morrow upon my birth-day. Is to-morrow your birth-day, little
girl? replied he; then, as to-day is a half-holiday, I will go a fishing,
and try if I cannot get you a dish of fish for your dinner. I shall set
off directly: and pray, Mamma, do not mind whether I return to dinner,
for I do not care about that. Go then, said Mamma; and I will contribute
some tarts and a cake, as my share of the entertainment.

_Gilbert_ took his rod and his implements, and away he went. At dinner he
was not much expected; but in the evening his Mamma began to grow uneasy,
and was going to send a servant after him. However, just as she was
speaking to the servant, _Gilbert_ came in much tired, but without any
fish.

I am sorry, _Lydia_, said he, not to have any fish to offer you; but I
think when you know how it happened, you will not be displeased with
me. I had, said he, no success at all till evening; the fish then began
to bite, and I caught two very fine trout. I was coming home mightily
delighted with my prize; but before I had walked a quarter of a mile, I
heard the sound of somebody crying on the other side of the hedge, and
heard a voice say, Now your brothers and sisters must go to-bed without
their suppers; and poor things, I left them only a halfpenny roll in the
morning; and we had nothing, you know, but a few turnips yesterday.

The hedge was so thick I could not see who was speaking, till we came to
a stile, and then I saw the poor boy (who comes to the door sometimes
with fish) and his mother get over into the lane. I asked her, what was
the matter? and she told me, she had been about five miles to buy fish;
that she had almost starved herself and her children to save up two
shillings for the purpose, in hope of getting a little profit by it;
she had staid all day, and could not get any; and she and her son were
returning home. She had a hole in her pocket, and, therefore, had given
the shillings to the boy; and as they were going through a close lane,
she unguardedly said to her son, _Bob_, are your two shillings safe?
Just at that moment a great, big man jumped over the hedge, and catching
hold of the boy, said, Are you quite sure they are safe? let me take
care of them for you; and then ran his hand into his pocket, and took
away the two shillings: and now, said she, I have nothing to give to the
children! I intended to have bought a six-penny loaf, when I got home,
for this boy and I have tasted nothing to-day; and I should have tried
to get some fish to-morrow with the remaining eighteen-pence. She cried
so, added _Gilbert_, that I was ready to cry too. I had no money to give
her. I had nothing but my fish; and I asked her, how much she could sell
them for? O! dear Sir! said she, they are very fine fish! I dare say they
would fetch a shilling or eighteen-pence a piece. And do you think you
could sell them to-night if you had them? said I. She said, she did not
doubt that she could sell them; but should not think of taking my fish:
however, I begged her to take them; and if it had not been so late, I
would have gone back and tried to get you some more, _Lydia_; but I will
get up very early in the morning and go. Indeed, brother, said _Lydia_,
I beg you will not think of it; for if there are such bad men about they
may rob you too.

_Gilbert_, I believe, said Mamma, does not read _Horace_ yet, or he might
tell you that,

    “Blythe sings the traveller with empty purse,
    And in the robber’s sight pursues his course.”

But though it is certain that, if he has nothing he cannot be robbed, he
may be uncivilly used, and, therefore, I would advise him not to go; we
can, I dare say, procure fish without giving him any further trouble; but
I thought you had a shilling this morning, _Gilbert_; what have you done
with it?

GILBERT.

Pray, Mamma, do not ask me; it is a secret at present.

MAMMA.

Then I never desire to know secrets; and you, I am persuaded, will do
nothing wrong; and as I have no anxiety upon that account, I should be
ashamed, if mere curiosity made me desirous to know what you wish to
conceal. Nothing, I think, is so contemptible as that sort of curiosity,
which makes people want to know what every one says and does, and which
grows more impatient in proportion as we think the person wishes us not
to know.

GILBERT.

Nay, Mamma, I have no real secrets from you, only I wish nobody to know
just now—

MAMMA.

I am quite satisfied, my dear boy.

LYDIA.

I have a little secret, Mamma; my sister told me you would not be angry,
and nobody knows but her:—do not tell yet, _Kitty_.

MAMMA.

I dare say she will not, my love; and if she were going I would not let
her. You heard me say, I never desire to know secrets. I think no wise
person would; but I should be very sorry any body belonging to me should
not be able to keep a secret, if they were intrusted with one. But I will
tell you something that is no secret; which is, that your long walk has
tired you; and that you look very sleepy; therefore, I advise you to go
to-bed.

_Gilbert_ waked soon in the morning; and as the sun shone very bright,
and it was a delightful morning, he longed to take his fishing-rod once
more; but his Mamma having desired him not, he did not attempt it; but
before he went to school he went with his violin to _Lydia_’s door, and
waked her with a very cheerful tune, wished her many happy birth-days,
and then went away. _Lydia_ arose as soon as the maid came into her room,
and went to receive a kiss from her Mamma; she then walked down stairs,
and the first thing she saw at the hall door was her little lamb, with
a new blue ribbon round his neck, and shaking some little round bells
that were fastened to it. Away she flew first to her Mamma, then to her
sisters, to ask who had made her lamb so fine? but they could not give
her any information; every body in the house was asked to no purpose.
After a little while, I think, said Mamma—I guess! I guess too, cried out
little _Lydia_, it must be _Gilbert_; you know he said he had a secret;
that is it depend upon it: how kind it was of him! how dearly I do love
_Gilbert_! Every body must love him dearly, said his Mamma. I wish, said
_Lydia_, I knew how to make him some return. I wish I could do any thing
to please him.—Your wish is natural and amiable; but be satisfied, that
_Gilbert_ finds in the performance of such acts of good-nature and
kindness, a higher reward than any we could give him; believe me there is
a delight in being kind, and affectionate, and generous, that is beyond
any pleasure that relates merely to a person’s own self; and if the most
ill-tempered and selfish person in the world would but determine for one
month to say nothing but what was kind; and to be always doing obliging
and liberal things, he would find himself so much more comfortable, so
much better, not only in mind but in health; and so much more easy and
satisfied with himself, that mere self-love would make him continue such
a conduct.

LYDIA.

I am delighted even with seeing my little lamb happy, when I feed and
caress him. I think it is a great pleasure to have the power of making
any thing happy.

MAMMA.

Cherish, my dearest child, this disposition, and these feelings; and
if you should ever meet with unkindness from others, do not let that
incline you to be less kind and good. Bear always in your mind the text I
once taught you, “Be not overcome of evil; but overcome evil with good.”
And if you see persons by their ill-temper offend God, and vex every body
they are connected with, instead of making their bad behaviour an excuse
for your own, think what a sad thing it would be if you, seeing the
disagreeableness of their behaviour, were to become like them; and on the
contrary, think what an honour it will be to you, if, by your example, by
seeing you always patient, and kind, and disinterested, others leave off
disputes and selfishness, and grow good.

LYDIA.

Here comes the dear _Gilbert_.

MAMMA.

Here he comes; and I am sure you both feel far more joy than the mere
spending of a shilling could have given you; and the older you grow the
more I trust you will know and understand of that kind of joy.



CHAPTER THE THIRTEENTH.

_THE SECRET EXPLAINED._


While Miss _Lydia_ was at work with her Mamma, a servant came in, and
said, a little girl and boy at the gate asked for Miss _Lydia_. _Lydia_
coloured; and upon her Mamma’s asking who they were? said, with great
eagerness, It is little _Sally_ and her brother, Madam: may I go down to
them? Pray let me go by myself? You shall see the little girl before she
goes home.

Mamma’s consent was soon obtained, and _Lydia_, having first stepped into
her room, and hastily taken a little bundle out of the drawer, flew down
stairs.

When she got to the gate, she saw _Sally_ holding a pretty little basket
made of rushes, with little tufts of silk at the four corners, and
covered at top with green leaves.

As soon as _Sally_ saw Miss _Lydia_, she presented the basket to her, and
told her, that the maid, who had bidden her to come to the house this
morning, told her it was Miss _Lydia_’s birth-day; and she had made that
basket, and taken the liberty to bring it to her.

It is a very pretty basket, indeed, said Miss _Lydia_; and lifting up the
leaves on the top, she saw the basket was almost full of little cakes and
lozenges, and on them Sally had put some bunches of services.

LYDIA.

Where did you get all these things, _Sally_? I will not take them from
you.

SALLY.

Yes, pray do Miss, I brought them on purpose for you. My mother makes
the cakes and the lozenges herself, and sells them; and my brother and I
were out all yesterday afternoon to look for services on the hedges; and
then I made the basket and put them into it; and I shall be very sorry if
you will not accept of it.

LYDIA.

You made that pretty basket, _Sally_! I wish you would teach me to make
such nice baskets.

SALLY.

That I will with great pleasure, Miss, if your Mamma likes it.

LYDIA.

I am much obliged to you for your nice present. I have something for you,
_Sally_; and that is the reason why I sent for you to come to-day. So
saying, _Lydia_ opened the band-box, and took out a new straw hat, with
a nice green ribbon round the crown, and one small neat bow behind, and
green strings to tie it. _Lydia_ desired the little girl to pull off her
own hat, and then sit down and let her put this on: nor had _Sally_ more
delight in being thus dressed, than _Lydia_ had in dressing her.

_Lydia_ then went again to her box, and took out a very pretty cotton
frock, which she put on the little boy, with more pleasure than she had
ever dressed a doll; though the little fellow was not quite so quiet as a
doll, but was moving and twisting about to see as much as possible of the
flowers upon his frock.

When their things were adjusted, Miss _Lydia_ led them to the door, and
desired her Mamma to step down.

Mamma, said she, I told you I had a secret; this is it. I read in the
_Children’s Friend_, that people should do some good-action on their
birth-day. Do you like _Sally_’s hat, Mamma?

MAMMA.

Yes, my dear, it is very neat indeed: but where did you get these things?
you could not buy them yourself.

LYDIA.

No, Mamma, my sister was so good as to get the hat and the ribbon for me
when she went to school, and to put the ribbon on for me. I have been
saving up my money a great while. Do not you remember I would not buy a
basket when the others did? and look now what a pretty basket _Sally_
has brought me! a great deal prettier than that at the door. Still I
should not have had money enough if my aunt had not happened to give me a
shilling the other day.

MAMMA.

But where did you get the frock?

LYDIA.

Do not you remember the piece of cotton Miss _Friend_ gave me to make my
great doll a gown? My sister said, there was enough to make the little
boy a frock, and she was so good as to cut it out and fit it for me, and
I made it up myself.

MAMMA.

It is very nicely made, I am sure; and you, my love, are a proof of what
I was saying just now, of the pleasure there is in doing kind actions;
you appear so cheerful and satisfied. I am sure you never had half so
much enjoyment of a new hat for yourself or a fine doll.

LYDIA.

Because the little boy and girl look so happy; and there is so much
pleasure in seeing people happy.

MAMMA.

Blessed indeed are those whose countenances, like a mirror, reflect the
brightness which shines in the face of their neighbour: or, to speak more
plainly, my little dear, blessed both of God and man are those who are
cheerful and happy, because they see another person glad; “Who rejoice
with them that do rejoice.” But, my dear, your little friends, I dare
say, are impatient to show the presents to their mother: you had better
dismiss them.

_Lydia_, who had now learned to mind her Mamma the moment she spoke,
thanked _Sally_ for her pretty basket, and told her she must come one day
and teach her to make such; and then desired them to go home.

_Sally_ made a dozen courtesies, and the little boy as many bows; and
thanked her again and again as they went away.

Miss _Lydia_ then put away her basket with cakes, saying, that should
make part of the feast in the afternoon.

A half holiday had been procured for _Gilbert_, so that he joined the
cheerful circle at dinner; and in the afternoon some young folk were
expected to tea.

Miss _Lydia_, therefore, was abundantly busy in setting out cakes, fruit,
&c. amidst which _Sally_’s little basket was introduced, and was to
_Lydia_ the most agreeable part of the entertainment, as it was connected
with the remembrance of a benevolent action. As she was not big enough
to cut the large cake which her Mamma had provided, one of her brother’s
very obligingly cut some slices for her, which she offered to the
company with great politeness and propriety.

Just before tea, a servant brought in a little box, and delivered it
to Miss _Lydia_; she looked, and saw it directed to her, and very
eagerly set about opening it; this was very easily effected, as the
nails were not driven very tight; and on lifting up the lid, the first
thing she saw was hay, that being removed, she found a complete set of
doll’s tea-china, a tea board, an urn, a tea-chest, a waiter, a pair of
tea-tongs, and half a dozen spoons; with a little note to tell her, that
these were the joint presents of her elder brothers and sisters.

Here was a fresh scene of pleasure to the sweet girl: her presents were
shown to every body; were admired; and her delight expressed in the
warmest manner, yet not so as to importune or disturb any body by her joy.

The tea-chest was then filled with tea, the sugar-bason with sugar,
the urn with water, and Miss _Lydia_ made tea in a very composed and
becoming manner. The evening was passed in cheerful and inoffensive
amusement, where the chief contest was, who should please and oblige the
other most.



CHAPTER THE FOURTEENTH.

_THE AGREEABLE TOUR._


When Miss _Fanny_ had been two months with her aunt, her Mamma returned
from her journey, and came to fetch her.

Not only Miss _Fanny_, but the rest of the family, were rejoiced to see
her: the young persons asked her many questions; whither she had been?
and what she had seen?

She was ready to answer all their inquiries with great good-humour;
and taking out a book of pocket-maps, said, I will show you the route
I have been. We set out, you know, from _Berkshire_. We went through
_Oxfordshire_, stopped at _Oxford_, and there, Miss _Lydia_, saw your
brother, who shewed us the university, and entertained us with great
politeness.

We likewise passed through _Woodstock_; and I have brought each of you a
pair of gloves; a manufacture for which you know _Woodstock_ is famous.

We then proceeded through _Warwickshire_, _Staffordshire_, _Cheshire_,
_Lancashire_, _Westmoreland_, _Cumberland_, and _Northumberland_, where
Fanny, your father’s business was.

As we returned, we came by _Durham_, _Yorkshire_, _Derbyshire_,
_Lincolnshire_, _Huntingdonshire_, and _Hertfordshire_.

I have brought my little niece and _Fanny_ a set of doll’s plates and
dishes, from _Staffordshire_, and a piece of muslin dimity, for gowns for
my elder cousins, from _Manchester_, in _Lancashire_; where we stopped a
whole day, to see the very great manufacture that is carrying on there,
of cottons, dimities, muslins, &c.

While we were in _Lancashire_, we went to _Ancliff_ near _Wigan_, to see
the famous burning well.

The water of this well is cold, and has no smell, yet there is so strong
a vapour of sulphur issuing out with the stream, that upon applying a
light to it, the top of the water is covered with a flame, like that of
burning spirits, which lasts several hours, and emits so fierce a heat,
that meat may be boiled over it. The fluid itself will not burn when
taken out of the well.

In _Cumberland_ we saw the black-lead mine, from whence your pencils,
young gentlemen, are furnished, which have assisted you in adorning my
dressing-room with such handsome drawings.

While we staid in _Northumberland_, we went to see the coal-pits, from
whence we who live in the southern countries are supplied: the cargoes
are shipped from _Newcastle upon Tyne_, which is also famous for its
fishery of Salmon.

The young gentlemen, I hope, will accept of a pair of shoe-buckles from
_Birmingham_, in _Warwickshire_, and the ladies of a pair of scissors
from _Sheffield_, in _Yorkshire_; both places are famous for the
manufacture of hard-ware.

While we were in _Derbyshire_, we went to see the dropping-well near
_Buxton_: which gives the appearance of stone to every thing that is put
into it; and I have brought you some petrifactions from thence.

One day we spent at _Buxton_, and saw the company who go to drink the
medicinal waters there.

We likewise went to see _Poole’s Hole_, by _Buxton_; but of that you will
find a better account than I can give you in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_,
written by a gentleman who went with a party to visit it.

I have brought your Mamma, Miss _Lydia_, some ornaments for her
mantle-piece, made of Derbyshire spar; and an egg of that substance for
your sister _Caroline_’s netting: the spar is said to be water petrified
as it drops through rocks, and to take the variety of its colours from
the different metals or minerals it passes through.

I have likewise brought a carpet for your papa’s study, from
_Kidderminster_, in _Worcestershire_, which, I think, he will not esteem
inferior to the Turkey carpets, which we fetch from so far.

From _Dunstable_ in _Bedfordshire_ I have brought a set of little
tea-things, some work-baskets, and some toys for the young folk, all made
of straw, like your hat, Miss _Lydia_. And now, perhaps, I have tired you
by talking, and you will be better pleased with seeing all my collection.

The young people listened with great attention to the lady. Soon after
she produced her treasures, and desired them to recollect the place from
whence each came.

They acquitted themselves very well, and were not deficient in proper
thanks to their aunt, for her kind attention to them.

A day or two afterwards Miss _Fanny_ and her Mamma took their leave; not
without mutual regret on the part of Miss _Lydia_ and Miss _Fanny_, who
were most affectionately attached to each other.



CHAPTER THE FIFTEENTH.

_GENEROSITY AND GRATITUDE._


Sometime after Miss _Lydia_’s cousin _Fanny_ had left her, little
_Lydia_, on her return from a walk with the maid, ran, all in tears, into
her Mamma’s room; and told her, that little _Sally_’s mother was in very
great distress.

LYDIA.

She owes, Mamma, four guineas to Mr. _Flint_ for living in his house;
and because she has not money to pay him, he is going to take every
thing she has, and turn her into the street. The poor woman and children
were crying so sadly when I went by the door, that it made me quite
uncomfortable, as Miss _Seymour_ says, to see them.

The poor woman said, she and her children must go into the workhouse.
The little girl was crying to see her mother cry; and the boy said, they
would take away his rabbit, and his little chair in which he used to
sit by the fire-side. Do, pray, Mamma, do something for the poor woman.
Perhaps, if you speak to Mr. _Flint_ he will not take her things.

MAMMA.

My dear love, I know Mr. _Flint_ better than you do: it is not possible
to persuade him to forego his money; and as to assisting her with four
guineas, it is more than I can well spare; besides, you know there are
many people in distress as well as she.

LYDIA.

Perhaps so: but I have seen this poor woman and the children cry so! and
the little ones have been so civil to me!

MAMMA.

I am sincerely sorry for them.—Why do you look so earnestly at me,
_Lydia_?—Have you any money at all?

LYDIA.

No, Mamma; I have no money; but you know, Mamma, you were going to buy
me a pink silk slip, to wear under my muslin frock. What would that have
cost?—I can do very well with my dimity ones.

MAMMA.

My dearest girl! come to my arms, and enjoy a pleasure you so richly
deserve! that of making the poor people happy. Your slip would not have
cost two guineas, so that sacrifice alone would not do; but you have set
me a noble example; and I will also give up a carpet which I intended to
buy for my dressing-room; and the price of that added to the other, will
be sufficient to redeem Mrs. _Brush_’s goods, and set her mind at ease.

LYDIA.

My dear Mamma! I am so glad! Then I may go directly with the money?

MAMMA.

We will go together. You would be at a loss by yourself. Go, pray, and
ask for my great-coat and my gloves.

_Lydia_ flew like lightening; and her Mamma being soon equipped, they
hastened to Mrs. _Brush_.

The first thing they saw, was all her little scholars turned out of the
room, and in a heap before the door crying.

When they went in, they found every thing pulled out of its place: a
rough looking man had dragged her bedstead down stairs; and the little
boy stood with his eyes fixed upon him, and sobbing said, What must
mammy and I do for a bed? I am sure Mr. _Flint_ does not want this: he
has got a great many fine beds.

Upon being asked where his mammy was? he said in the garden. As they were
passing through to go to her, they saw another man just going to pull
her little copper down. Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma begged he would desist a
little while, and he should not be a loser by it. She then went on; at
the further end of the garden they saw the little girl and her mother
in an arbour, which they had taken great pains to adorn with roses and
honeysuckles; and in which they were now sitting, as they supposed, for
the last time: they were weeping bitterly. The little girl’s eyes were
fixed on the parrot, which hung on a tree near them, and which seemed to
take part with them, by crying every minute, Poor Poll! What’s the matter?

The Lady and her daughter went on towards them; but as they were walking
a young woman entered the garden hastily, and rushing by them, ran up to
the woman, and catching hold of her arm, with great affection said, Thank
God, cousin! I am come just in time! As soon as ever I heard you were in
trouble, I left my place; and what with my wages, and the money I have
raised upon my cloaths, I have been able to bring you enough to pay your
rent. Take the four guineas, and let us get these frightful people out of
the house.

The good woman looked very much amazed, and was silent for a moment; then
again bursting into tears; God forbid, my dear _Jenny_! said she, that
I should strip you. No, I can bear my own troubles; but I could never
support the thought, that I had taken your bread out of your mouth. How
could you think of leaving your place? so good a one as you had: and what
have you done with your cloaths? I never thought I should be the occasion
of doing you so much harm.

While these two friends were talking thus, the Lady and her daughter came
up to them. The unfortunate woman, in the midst of her trouble, did not
neglect to pay them proper respect: the young person stopped to make them
a courtesy, and then earnestly went on. Never think about me, I am young,
and can get my living; and after all you have done for me, I should be
the most ungrateful creature in the world did I not assist you. If it
had not been for you, I should not have been alive now; or, if I had,
I should have been in a workhouse. When I was ill with that fever, you
nursed me, laid me in your own bed, and sat up with me yourself, to tend
me; and then paid my doctor’s bill, that I might not be obliged to sell
my cloaths: and have not you the best right to them?

I a right! no, indeed said her cousin.

Surely you have, returned she: the money you spent upon me would have
paid almost two years rent; and now you who lived so neatly, and so
comfortably, are going to be pulled all to pieces. You will break my
heart if you do not take the money: but why should I stand arguing with
you, when I can go and pay the money myself. So saying, she was hastening
out of the garden; when Miss _Lydia_’s Mamma catching hold of her, said,
I was unwilling to interrupt so generous a dispute, and I waited a little
to see what would be the end of it: but as to the rent, my daughter and I
came on purpose to discharge it. Receive from my daughter (Mrs. _Brush_)
four guineas, which we were going to spend otherwise; but upon nothing
that would have given us half the pleasure which we feel in putting you
in possession of your house again. As to you, young woman, your conduct
is above all reward from man; and yet I wish—

It was impossible for the Lady to go on; the joy and gratitude of these
worthy people quite overpowered her; and the only way she could get rid
of their thanks, was by hurrying them into the house, to secure all the
goods.

When the rent was discharged, and the men sent away, Mrs. _Brush_ and her
cousin were able to converse more composedly with their benefactors. The
former, in the midst of her joy, expressed great concern that her cousin
had thrown herself out of place; and asked, with great anxiety, what she
had done with her cloaths?

The young woman said, she could not rest a moment, after she heard from
an acquaintance, who called upon her, that her landlord was very cruel to
her; and that she expected every day to have her goods seized for rent.
That she, therefore, went directly to her mistress, and told her, that a
relation in the country wanted her very much, and begged to be discharged.

She would not tell her the whole story for fear she should oppose her
intentions; and as to asking leave to go out for a time, she could not
expect to return to her place, when she had disposed of all her cloaths.

Her mistress appeared displeased; but paid her her wages, which was about
a guinea: that she then sold some of her cloaths, and pawned the rest to
raise the remainder, and as much as would pay her passage from _London_;
however, as to her cloaths, she said, she had not a doubt but she could
get them again; for the woman who took them was a very good sort of
woman, and indeed could hardly be persuaded to receive them of her.

And do you think, Mrs. _Jenny_, said the Lady, your mistress could not be
prevailed on to take you again? Surely, if she knew the whole truth, she
would think herself happy in such a servant.

It is not probable she should have got another in so short a time. You
shall return as soon as you can; and I will send a letter by you to the
lady you have left, to inform her from what generous motives you left her
so abruptly. I will take my leave of you both now; and in an hour’s time
the letter shall be ready.

The young woman called at the time mentioned for the letter; and after
many expressions of gratitude for the kindness shown to her cousin and
herself, returned to _London_, carried it to her late mistress, and in a
few days, Miss _Lydia_ had the pleasure of knowing, that her Mamma had
received a letter from the lady, to thank her for restoring so valuable
a servant to her, and to inform her, that as her own maid was going to
be married, she meant to take her to wait upon herself; and should ever
esteem a person capable of such noble conduct, rather as a friend than a
servant.



_CONCLUSION._


Miss _Lydia_, when her Mamma first began to write down an account of her
behaviour throughout the day, was so much alarmed, lest the story should
not be to her credit, that she never went to sleep, without endeavouring
to recollect how she had passed the day, and whether she had been good
or not. When her conscience told her of any fault, her concern for it
naturally led her to consider how she might have avoided that fault,
and how she ought to have behaved. In the morning, likewise, when she
awoke, the journal was the first thing that came into her mind; and she
used to think what business she had to do that day, and what faults she
was in the most danger of committing; particularly if she had done any
thing wrong the day before, she always considered how she should conduct
herself so as not to have the same sad story told of her again.

Her Mamma, when she found those faults thoroughly corrected, which were
her first motive for writing an account of her daughter’s conduct,
discontinued her journal; but _Lydia_ had so accustomed herself to
the above mentioned inquiry, that she still continued so excellent a
practice; and nothing so much assisted her, in her wish to be good,
as this habit; for by such a frequent review of her behaviour, she
discovered many little faults, which she would not otherwise have
noticed; and by correcting them in the beginning, she escaped falling
into many vices and bad habits, which, though very easily checked at
first, become, after they are long indulged, very difficult to break.
I very affectionately recommend this practice to any young persons who
desire in earnest to be good: and if the little anecdotes I have written
shall persuade any one little boy or girl to correct their faults, and
become more happy in themselves, and a greater comfort to their parents,
I shall be abundantly recompensed for my trouble.


THE END.





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