MRS. MARY N. M'DONALD,
AUTHOR OF FANNY HRE1BRT.
STANFORD AND SWORDS, 137, BROADWAY.
Entered according to Act of Congress. in the year 1847, by
STANFORD AND SWORDS,
in the Clerk's office of the Distr Court for the Southern District
Hobrt Prs I
J . M'Gows, Printer, Vuaosr L. DILL., Stereotyp
106 Fultoa Street.
2n mig Waujrftr.
MrL MOTHER INSClIBER
"CousIN BERTHA, Cousin Bertha, have you
forgotten your promise ?" cried several merry voi-
ces, as a pale, slender young lady came into the
parlor where half a dozen little girls were amusing
themselves; "we have been waiting for you this
hour or more."
"So long, that Kitty aq Mary have both fallen
asleep on the sofa," said one of the group, pointing
to two of the children curled up like lapdogs among
We are not asleep, Cousin Bertha," they both
exclaimed, in rather an indignant tone; "Agnes,
why do you say so ? We are as wide awake as
any of you."
"I am sure, Kitty," said Agnes, "you told us
but a minute ago, you were too drowsy to under.
stand #at Emily was talking about."
"Bff I am not at all sleepy now," said Kitty,
opening her little black eyes as wide as possible,
"and I can listen to Cousin Bertha's story swell
as anybody, so please begin at once."
6. COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
"But suppose I have no story to tell this eve.
ning," said the lady, advancing toward the table
where the young party were, or had been, variously,
employed. "Suppose I should break my promise,
"Oh! you must never break your word, Cousin
Bertha," cried every one in a breath; "it is very
wrong to break a promise, very."
Certainly, unless something should occur which
might make it necessary to do so."
But it is not necessary now, Cousin Bertha, is
it 1" asked one.
"I hope you won't break your promise now,"
"Because we shall'all be so terribly disap.
pointed if you do," said a third.
Cousin Bertha smiled, bpt not very auspiciously.
"If you only knew, Cousin Bertha," said Emi-
ly Arnold, who was the eldest of the party, how
we have been expecting you to come down stairs,
and wondering what you and father were talking
about so long; and thinking what a nice time this
stormy evening would be to hear a story; 'you
would certainly tell us one before bedtimee"
"Just a short one," pleaded Kitty, who, despite
her present sleepiness, was the most untiring story-
listener in the world.
'Well, then," said Bertha, seating herself '.l
tween Kitty and Mary, while the rest gathered eav
gerly round her, "a short one it shall be. Once
upon a time there lived in a pleasant country town,
a number of little girls, differing somewhat in
age, character, and disposition. In the main, they
were amiable and kind-hearted, but they had each
some fault, or faults, which, being such as might
easily be cured, their friends felt pikious they
should endeavor to overcome, Ono was a little
too proud, another rather fond of putting off till to.
morrow, what should be done to-day; a third was
something of a meddler, and a fourth threw away
a great deal of valuable time, forgetting it could
never be regained. Now there also lived in this
same town, a lady to whom these little girls were
much attached, and who, loving them all equally
well, felt desirous to assist them in shaking off
their bad habits. For this purpose she was accuq-
tomed to talk to them, and read to them, and some-
times also to write for them."
"Stories, Cousin Bertha ?" interrupted Kitty.
"Yes, she wrote stories for them, and now I
must tell you how it happened that she did so.
This lady had no .parents; they had been dead a
great while, and she had lived since her child-
hood with a kind relative, who pitied the poor or.
phan girl, and was like her own father in his care
COUS;I BBRETA's rTOIEoS.
"Just like your living here with us," said little
"Exactly," replied Cousin Bertha, "especially
as this lady's uncle, like mine, was by no means
wealthy, and as he had a large family, of his own,
my friend was anxious to do something for her own
support. She was therefore both glad and sorry
to receive a %ter, inviting her to go a long jour-
ney of two hundred miles, to take charge of seve-
ral children as their governess-glad to think she
might now relieve her kind uncle of all care on
her account, and sorry, very sorry, to leave her old
home and her dear relatives."
Cousin Bertha exclaimed Emily, ifI were
not quite sure that father would never let you go
away from him, I should say you were talking
about yourself and us." Cousin Bertha smiled
"You don't really mean it, do you ?" asked the
"Emily has guessed right," replied Cousin
Bertha, and that is just the story I was trying to
tell you. To-morrow I shall leave here for a long
time, probably a year or more, and this is the last
evening we shall perhaps spend together for a
great many months."
Oh, Cousin Bertha, surely you won't go away
from us ?" they all exclaimed.
"Why you are our governess already, and who
will teach us when you are gone 7" asked Agnes.
"Your mother, probably, or Aunt Norton, when
she returns from the West, and Lucy and Harriet
go home again."
Lucy and Harriet Norton, who were spending
the few weeks of their mother's absence, at Mr.
Arnold's, eagerly interposed, "Oh, a won't
be well enough to teach us, I am sud and beside,
we don't want any one to hear us our lessons but
"You shall not go away, Cousin Beiha," said
"Not willingly, my dear," replied Miss Arnold,
taking Mary upon her lap, but because it is my
duty to go-and you know we must all sacrifice
our wishes to our duty sometimes."
"I am sure, Cousin Bertha," said Agnes, "it
is as much your duty to stay with us, as to go away
and teach other children, and a great deal more
kind and charitable beside."
And I cannot see what difference your being
here can make, except that it makes us all much
happier and better," said Emily, warmly.
"And we shall never get over our bad habits, I
am quite certain," continued Lucy Norton, if you
are not here to help us; at least I shall not."
"It is for the purpose of assisting you to cure
10 COUSIN BERTHA I STORIES.
them," said Cousin Bertha, drawing from her
pocket a roll of manuscripts, "that I have written
a few short stories, and when I am gone you may
read them over, and try to see yourselves in the
pictures they present."
Did you write them entirely yourself?" asked
Kitty, looking up in surprise-" all yourself; with
nobody to e1P you?"
Nobody but my own self, indeed, Kitty," said
her cousin, laughing. "When I wrote them it
was with the intention of giving them to you as a
Christmas offering, but as I shall be far away
when Christmas comes, I must place them in
Emily's hands as the eldest, who will read them
aloud in my stead."
Shall we like them, do you think, if they are
to tell us of our faults ?" asked Harriet, peeping
over Emily's shoulder, who was turning the neatly
"That I cannot possibly tell," replied Cousin
Bertha, "nor can you, until you have read them.
I shall not say to whom each story refers, but
leave it to yourselves to decide, and perhaps when
we meet again, I shall have the pleasure of learn.
ing, that you have not only read my stories, but
actually profited by them.
The girls readily promised to do their best, as.
during Cousin Bertha that every bad habit and
troublesome fault should be corrected at once.
How far they succeeded, I may perhaps tell you at
some future time.
The next morning Miss Arnold started for her
new and distant home, amid the tears and lamen.
stations of the little girls, and regretted by every-
body else, having endeared herself to all, by her
sweet temper and gentle manners. The stories
left as a parting gift to her young relatives, were
read with eagerness again and again, and then
deposited for safe keeping in a certain ebony cabi-
net, where the children were accustomed to be-
stow their treasures, until, during a recent visit to
my friends at IH- I persuaded Emily to lend
them to me for publication. To this she willin~y
agreed, though to obtain Miss Arnold's consent to
the proposition, was found a rather more difficult
matter; and we therefore name our volume, wain
duty bound, Cousin Bertha's Stories."
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT.
Miss MARTHA COMPTON, or Aunt Patty, as she
was usually styled, came from her home in a dis-
tant part of the State, to pay a visit to her nephew,
Mr. Bloomfield, in the city of New-York. Aunt
Patty seldom made so long a journey, for as she
was growing both old and rheumatic, she deemed
it most prudent to remain in her own comfortable
cottage, where nothing disturbed her slumbers by
night, or her peace of mind by day: but Mr.
Bloomfield had sent so kind an invitation, and his
wife urged it so warmly, that Aunt Patty's resolu-
tion to stay at home for the remainder of her life
gave way, and early one fine morning, with trunk,
band-box and carpet-bag, together with a bunch
of fresh June roses, which she fondly imagined
would not fade, and escorted by one of her neigh.
bors travelling in the same direction, the old lady
set off, and in the course of the next afternoon
reached the home of her city relatives.
Now Aunt Patty's visit had been a subject of
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT.
much conversation in the Bloomfield family, from
the time it was first proposed. Everything done
or to be done having some reference to it. The
children were told they were to do so and so,
"when Aunt Patty comes;" that they must keep
their nicest clothes, "till Aunt Patty comes;"
they were to go to such and such places, when
Aunt Patty comes ;" in brief, Aunt Patty's arrival
was a sort of millennium to which the little Bloon-
fields looked forwail with the greatest interest, and
one would scarcely have supposed the visit of a
quiet old country lady, could create such an excite
ment among young ladies and gentlemen of nine,
and seven, and five years. Whether she would
bring a basket of apples, or a pocket full of straw-
berries, or a jug of nice new milk, were matters
of daily discourse between them, the children hav-
ing been in the country but very occasionally, and
imagining that all sorts of good things might be
expected from those whose happiness it was to live
in the midst of green fields and beautiful gardens.
There were, however, two members of the
household, who did not-anticipate quite so much
enjoyment from Aunt Patty's visit, as their younger
brothers and sisters, and these were Ella Bloom.
field and her sister Grace, two lively girls of twelve
and thirteen. Their mother, anxious that every-
thing should be as comfortable as possible for the
COUSIN BERTHA 8 STORIES.
reception of her guest, had made some changes in
her domestic arrangements, and found it necessary
her daughters should give up their own nice apart.
Sent in the second story, for Aunt Patty's accom-
modation, and occupy, during her stay, a much
smaller one in the attic; but this exchange of
apartments the girls did not particularly fancy.
Everything was so neat and pleasant in their own
room, and, as Ella said, so uncomfortable in that
uncarpeted, unfurnished little box above," that it
did not by any means suit them to leave the one
and go into the other, during the five or six weeks
that Aunt Patty would probably remain with them,
and perhaps Mrs. Bloomfield saw this when she
mentioned her wishes, for she said, I think you
will not object to the slight inconvenience you may
feel on this account. You know I could not ask
Aunt Patty to go into the attic room, and leave
you below stairs."
"Certainly not," said Grace, "but you see,
mother, Ella and I don't approve of abdicaig our
dominions in favor of any other power."
"Your successor's reign will be a short one,"
said Mrs. Bloomfield laughing, so I think you
must endeavor to bear your, ile patiently. Go
now and try how nicely you dn prepare the room
for our good old aunt; make it as neat and com.
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT. 15
portable as possible, my dears, and I will rum up
by and by, to see if it will do."
The girls, as directed, went up stairs immedi.
ately, and were soon very busily engaged, sweep-
ing, dusting, beating pillows, and airing linen
their mother having early accustomed them to
such employment. Ella, broom in hand, went
into every corner; and Grace, with her pretty
natural ringlets tucked away under a night-cap to
keep the dust from her head, laughed, and chatted,
and was busy about everything. "I don't like
country visitors, do you?" she asked at length,
tugging, as she spoke, at a refractory pillow that
would not slip very easily into the ruffled case pre-
pared for it, "they always give people so much
botheration. Nonsense, pillow why don't you
behave yourself, and put on your clothes as a de.
cent pillow should ? There, now you are in; lie
still upon that chair till you're wanted."
"Yes," said Ella, laughing, "they arc great
torments, especially if one has to turn out of one's
own bed for them. We shall have a grand time,
I expect, for Aunt Patty is an old maid, and can't
bear teo much noise, at least, father to the chil-
dren so, and we must be as still.a mice, all the
while she stays."
She comes to a bad place for quiet, when she
comes here," said Grace, "with our two boys,
16 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
and the baby, and little Bell. Besides, you and I
like a bit of fun sometimes, don't we? I'll tell
you what, Ella, let us make as much racket as
possible, and then she will pay a shorter visit,
"Take care mother doesn't hear you," said Ella.
"Poh I am only joking. I don't care how
long she stays," replied Grace, who was now pol.
fishing the small oval mirror which hung between
the windows. "But I can't think what makes
father and mother so fond of her."
"Nor I," said Ella, "but I suppose it is be.
cause she is their aunt, and we ought to love our
But people don't always care so much for their
old maid aunts," said Grace. "I must ask mother
how it is that she appears to love Aunt Patty so
Just help me to throw this quilt over the bed,"
said Ella, "before you do anything else, if you
please, for it is so heavy I can't manage it alone."
"This thick Marseilles quilt in June I why it
is enough to roast anybody."
"Yes, but Aunt Patty has the rheumatism, and
must sleep warm, so mother told me to put it on."
"Let us throw on this light blanket too, shall
we ? just out of fin," said Grace, whose frolick.
some spirit was ever on the wing.
AUNT PATTY'$ VISIT.
Ella laughingly consented, Grace adding, that
they should certainly have baked patties for break.
fast the morning after Aunt Patty's arrival, and
thus agreeing, the girls made the bed very neatly,
with covering almost sufficient for January, and
after arranging everything else in such a way as
to insure their mother's approbation, they went
down stairs to report to her what they had done.
In the hurry of business that day, however, for
the girls found Mrs. Bloomfield making cake, and
attending to various other matters, Grace forgot
her intended inquiries, and the same afternoon a
carriage rattled to the door, and there, sure enough,
was Aunt Patty herself. "Aunt Patty has come I
here she is here's Aunt Patty!" resounded on
all sides, as the children clustered to the windows.
Mr. Bloomfield and his wife went immediately to
assist and welcome their guest, while Grace and
Ella stood within the doorway. With the aid of
her nephew's arm, the old lady alighted from the
carriage and ascended the steps, and was then
escorted into the parlor by the whole group.
Aunt Patty was about sixty years of age, but
crippled by the rheumatism, to which, for many
winters, she had been subject, looked much older.
She wore a black silk bonnet with an odd little cap
under it; a dark chocolate colored dha0l, a going.
ham dress, a pair of bright worked mits ; a
18 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIMS.
when she drew off her spectacles, the girls dis.
covered that she had lost an eye. Altogether,
Aunt Patty was a strange looking figure, it must
be confessed, yet with all her singularity of dress
and appearance, she was amiable, kind-hearted,
and affectionate, and Mr. and Mrs. Bloomfield, who
knew her worth, and had experienced her kind.
ness, were sincerely attached to her.
"And these are your two girls," said Aunt
Patty, in a pleasant tone, after she had been sated,
and Grace had taken her bonnet. "Dear me!
how much they have grown; almost beyond my
recollection. This is Ella, I believe, and this, my
dear little Grace, who came to see me, I remem-
ber, when she was a tiny thing, not three years
old, and now is nearly a woman. Bless me how
time flies." She then shook hands, and kissed
them both, and asked for the little boys, who came
in with newly washed faces; took Bell upon her
lap; admired the baby, and said how happy she
felt to see her nephew surrounded by such a fine
family, so that Grace and Ella began to think if
Aunt Patty was an old maid, she certainly might
be called a very pleasant one. At supper, too, she
amused them with some country stories, which
made the children laugh heartily, and Bell was
delighted to find that Aunt Patty was quite familiar
with Blue-beard," and Red-ridinghood;" and
* Took Bell upon her lap."
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT.
at night, when Mrs. Bloomfield assisted her
up stairs, Ella going before them with the cande,
and Grace following with a travelling bag, she
kindly noticed the extreme neatness of the apart.
ment, and upon Mrs. Bloomfield's saying, "The
girls arranged it for you Aunty," answered "Thank
you, my dears, you were very good to take so much
trouble; no doubt I shall sleep comfortably, for I
always fancy, somehow, that a bed is softer, if
kind hands have made it."
"I declare," said Grace, as she and Ella went
up to their sky parlor that night, Aunt Patty
seems a clever sort of body after all; I guess we
shall like her pretty well by and by, don't you ?"
"I like her much better than I expected, cer-
tainly," replied Ella, but she looks so queer with
that funny cap and little black bow stuck on the
top of it, I can't for my life help laughing."
"Nor I," said Grace. I wonder if she has
any that are more fashionable. I hope mother will
advise her to buy one if she has not-and those
red and yellow mits-did you ever see anything
so horrid ?"
In this way the girls talked of Aunt Patty all
the while they were undressing, not from any in.
tentional disrespect, but simply because they were
merry and thoughtless, and Grace, particularly,
had such a passion for what she called fun, that
20 COUSIN BERTHA s rTOXIUI .
although a kind-hearted girl in the main, she could
not always resist the temptation to laugh, some-
times, even at her best friends.
But if Aunt Patty's dress had amused them on
the previous night, it was still more a subject of
mirth the next morning, when she made her ap.
pearance at the breakfast-table. A huge turban
had taken the place of the cap and little black
bow, which was reserved for afternoon wear, and
this, together with a bright green shawl with a
tawdry border, pinned across her breast, excited
the merriment of the girls so much, that it was
with difficulty they could maintain their gravity
during the meal. They did not remember that
Aunt Patty lived by herself in a little country town,
where fashion was almost unknown and uncared
for; that her wardrobe had been purchased at a
time, when the style of dress was very different
from the present; and that she had continued to
use the articles bought during a visit to New-York
seven or eight years before, quite unconscious that
it was at all necessary to change them. Indeed,
Aunt Patty, who was a pattern of neatness, and
strictly economical, had preserved with great care
and only worn upon special occasions, this very
green shawl, which she particularly admired, and
it was merely from a wish to do honor to her city
relatives that she now put it on. Poor old lady I
AUNT PATTY's VIT.
she little dreamed in what light estimation her
cherished finery was held, and her little nieces
continued for several weeks to amuse themselves
at her expense, taking care, however, that their
mother should not be made acquainted with the
fact; and while the younger children soon became
fond of" Aunt Patty," climbing upon her lap, lis-
tening to her long stories, and sharing the sugar-
plums that were sometimes to be found at the bot-
tom of her capacious pockets, Ella and Grace
tittered behind her chair, or laughed openly at
what they termed her oddities," when they were
In order that Aunt Patty might enjoy herself as
much as possible while she was with them, both
Mr. and Mrs. Bloomfield embraced every opportu-
nity of going out with her, to show her all that was
to be seen in their great city, making, beside,
several short excursions in the neighborhood,
which they hoped would contribute to her health
as well as pleasure. On these occasions, the
girls had generally remained at home ; sometimes,
because they were otherwise engaged, and some.
times, as making their party rather too large, little
Bell and the boys being always clamorous to go,
and their sisters very good naturedly yielding in
their favor. But one morning when Mrs. Bloom.
field was particularly busy, Aunt Patty expressed
2 COUSIN BZRTRA'8 STORIES.
a great desire to go out for a walk, and as she was
in danger of losing herself if she went alone, being
wholly unacquainted with the streets, their mother
proposed that Ella and Grace should go with her,
to which Aunt Patty willingly assented.
"But I have a lesson to learn, mother," said
Grace, with a glance at her sister, "quite a long
"And I have to finish my sewing, mother,"
echoed Ella; I can't possibly go."
"Ah! well, never mind," said Aunt Patty,
some other day will answer. You see, my dears,
what a sad thing it is, to be the only idle person in
a family. I am always troubling somebody. If I
were at home now, I should find so many things
to attend to, that I should never think of going
Mrs. Bloomfield glanced disapprovingly at her
daughters, who were too much accustomed to read
her countenance to misunderstand it. You
know," she said, it is one of my maxims, that the
lesser duty should give way to the greater; Aunt
Patty must not be disappointed of her walk this
fine morning, and both the work and lesson may
be left till you come home again."
From this sentence there was no appeal. Mrs.
Bloomfield, though indulgent, was nevertheless
firm in what she thought right, and the girls knew
AV74T PAIY'R VISIT.
that in the present instance she would insist upon
their gratifying Aunt Patty, even at the sacrifice of
their own wishes; they walked away, therefore, to
prepare for the expedition, with rather a dissatisfied
air, though a roguish smile lurked in the eye of
Grace all the while, and Mrs. Bloomfield, who was
going up stairs at the same time, said she would
bring down Aunt Patty's bonnet and shawl, and
save her the trouble of going for them.
"Mother," said Grace, following Mrs. Bloom.
field into the nursery, can't anything be done
with that old bonnet ?"
What old bonnet ?" asked her mother.
"Why, Aunt Patty's, ma'am ; "can't it be
turned, or new trimmed, or fixed up in any way ?"
"Or, can't you lend her your black lace veil to
throw over it ?" said Ella.
"But what is the matter with it?" again in-
quired Mrs. Bloomfield.
"Oh, it is shabby, and odd-looking," replied Ella;
"such a strange, pinched up thing, I can't bear to
go in the street with it."
"Is it not like all other old ladies' bonnets "
asked her mother.
Dear me, no!" said Grace, it looks as if it
had just come out of the Ark; really, mother, Aunt
Patty ought to get a new one on purpose to wear
24 COUSIN BlRTHA'8 NTORIEM.
"Probably it would not suit a fashionable per-
son like our neighbor, Mrs. Smith," said Mrs.
Bloomfield, but I think for such a plain, unpre-
tending woman as Aunt Patty, the bonnet answer
"I am sure it is a dreadful looking thing," ex.
claimed Ella; do, mother, put something over it
before we go out."
"And, mother," interposed Grace, "do lend
Aunt Patty a pair of gloves, so that she mayn't
wear those shocking red mits this morning. Do
you think she will go into Broadway, ma'am? I
I cannot tell, indeed," replied her mother," but
this I know, that you are two silly girls, ashamed
to be seen in the street with an old lady, whose
bonnet is not made according to the latest fashion,
and whose mits do not happen to suit your taste
exactly. I have not time now, but to-morrow, per.
haps, I will tell you a story which may make you
blush for yourself more than for her. In the mean.
while I can assure you, that half the people you
meet, will never waste a thought either upon Aunt
Patty or her attendants, and those who chance to
notice you, will naturally conclude that she is a
stranger from the country, and you are two neat,
quiet little girls, whose duty it has become to wait
upon her during her walk."
ArrT PATT's v nr.
Ella turned away with a look of disappointment,
but Grace made one more attempt to effect her
purpose. "At any rate, mother," she said, your
black silk mantilla would look nicer than that old
brown shawl; can't you lend Aunt Patty your
mantilla just this once ?"
Yes, Grace, I could, but I will not; and for
this reason; I do not wish to mortify her by so
"Mortify her, mother !"
"Certainly," said Mrs. Bloomfield. "It would
be saying in plain terms, 'you are not fit to be
seen in your own clothes, and so I want you to
put on some of mine, that my children may not be
ashamed to go out with you.' Now this I will not
do, depend upon it, and if you and Ella are so fas.
tidious that you cannot walk a few squares with a
most excellent person, because her dress is a little
unusual, why, I must leave important engagements
at home, and go myself instead."
This reply effectually silenced both the girls,
and a little sorry they had said anything on the
subject, since no change was likely to be made ia
Aunt Patty's array, they went for their own pretty
straw bonnets, which were quite unexceptionable
in every respect, and soon joined their good old
aunty at the parlor door, already equipped in the
COUSIN BERTHA 8 STORIES.
despised hat and shawl, and with whom they now
Eager to pursue their walk through the most re-
tired streets, Ella and Grace turned abruptly into
one in which there seemed little chance of meet.
ing any of their acquaintances, but scarcely had
they done so, when a handsome carriage drove
down to the pavement, and a lady, one of their
mother's rich friends-of whom, indeed, she had
very few-put her head out of the window, and
recognizing the girls, called out to inquire after
Mrs. Bloomfield's health.
"It is Mrs. Nelson," whispered Ella, turning
away her head.
"My dear," said Aunt Patty, standing still,
"that lady in the carriage is speaking to you, I
think; hadn't you better go and hear what she
There was now no escape. Mrs. Nelson con.
tinued to call, and as Aunt Patty remained station.
ary upon the side-walk, the girls were obliged to
go to the carriage door and answer the numerous
questions put to them by their fashionable friend,
who looked all the while she was speaking--Grace
felt sure she did--straight at Aunt Patty and her
red and yellow mits.
This meeting over, the little party once more
AUNT PATTY's VISIT.
pursued their walk, but soon a new difficulty arose,
for the old lady declared her intention of going into
Broadway. She wanted to do some shopping, and
there was nothing fit to purchase, she insisted, in
the mean-looking shops they were passing, though
Ella praised the goods, and the reasonable prices
of several. But Aunt Patty was not to be perka.
ded, so into Broadway went the young ladies and
their guest, first stopping in one store, and then
another, the girls all the while imagining that the
clerks looked very much amused at Aunt Patty's
strange appearance, and the many useless ques.
tions which she asked. At last they came to
May's beautiful and attractive toy.shop.
I should like to go in here," said Aunt Patty,
opening the door, for I've heard so much of the
place. One of my neighbors came to New-York
last summer, and brought home a curious fan,
which she bought at May's, and she told me there
was a wonderful lot of pretty things to be seen
By this time they were fairly in the store, Aunt
Patty walking in as she spoke, and her nieces fol.
lowing, of course. At another time, they would
most willingly have spent an hour or two among
the treasures which they had so often wished for,
but now the shop was full of visitors, and amid the
throng of gaily dressed ladies, Aunt Patty's ging-
28 cusxiq UriTnA'5 s wroEI
ham gown and queer little black bonnet seemed
Ella," whispered Grace, I shouldn't wonder
if they were to dress up a doll precisely like Aunt
Patty, and put it in the window to-morrow;
wouldn't it be too funny ?" and Grace, in spite of
her mortification, could not help laughing at the
idea of such a thing.
Don't let us go about with her," said Ella, in
a low tone, but stand by this glass case till she
"And that won't be till dinner-time, I can tell
you," answered Grace, as they stationed them-
selves in one spot, while Aunt Patty explored every
part of the store. Presently the door opened, and
in came a bevy of school-girls.
Oh! here is Ella Bloomfield i" they exclaimed,
"and Grace How long have you been here ?"
asked one; what are you buying ?" cried another.
"We are getting the worsted for our mats," said
a third-" which colors do you think are the pret-
tiest ?" inquired a fourth. The worsted and pat-
terns were handed down, and the little group
eagerly collected around them, selecting, admiring,
and discarding, according to the varied and vary.
ing taste of each, at one moment in raptures with
some particular shade, and the next, in favor of
that which was entirely different The young
AUOT PATTY's VISIT.
Bloomfields entered with spirit into the affair, and
had almost forgotten Aunt Patty, when a shrill
voice from the opposite side exclaimed, "Dear
me! how curious; why, children, do come and
look at this odd thing Ella! Grace Grace
Bloomfield, my dear, come here, will you. I never
saw anything so strange in all my life."
"Who is that queer old woman ?" asked one of
the girls, the whole party mechanically following
Grace and Ella, as they slowly obeyed Aunt Pat-
ty's summons. Ella, exceedingly vexed, made no
reply, and either could not or would not see any-
thing to admire in the really ingenious toy which
had excited Aunt Patty's amazement, but the poor
old lady, who found herself in a perfect museum,
and was a little bewildered by all she saw, did not
observe Ella's indifference, and continued to won.
der again and again, how anybody should ever
contrive so many wonderful things; while the young
people, to whom these marvels were familiar, and
who were as much amused at Aunt Patty herself
as she was at the strange sights by which she-was
surrounded, enjoyed her astonishment particularly,
and purposely pointed first at one thing and then
at another, that they might hear what she would
say about them, nudging the elbow of Grace or
Ella at every exclamation, and making themselves
COUSIN INETHA 5 5TOhXnM
very merry at the expense of Aunt Patty and her
Everything, however, must come to a conclu-
sion some time or other, even those disagreeable
things which seem the longest, and at length the
young ladies went back to their worsted, and Aunt
Patty, after purchasing a doll for Bell, and a pair
of black gloves which Grace particularly recom-
mended, professed her willingness to return home,
saying they would come again the next afternoon,
provided Mrs. Bloomfield did not object. Most
gladly did the girls hurry away, rejoiced to be re.
lived from their embarrassments, which they
hoped were now nearly over; but Broadway is a
long street, and there is much to be seen there of
a fine morning, and on and on Aunt Patty walked,
regardless of the sun, which came pouring down
upon them, or their frequent hints to turn into a
more retired one, until at length Grace could stand
it no longer, and quietly slipping from the side
of her sister, she ran off in another direction, leav-
ing Ella to escort Aunt Patty the remainder of the
way alone. Ella did not immediately perceive the
trick that had been played upon her, but when she
did so, and saw Grace tripping away in the dis-
tance, she lost her patience completely, and stop.
ping short, declared it was quite too warm, and she
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT.
was altogether too tired to go any further, and they
must return home at once.
"Of course, my dear," said Aunt Patty, who
would not for the world have been intentionally
troublesome, we'll go home directly, and I am
sorry I did not think of you before. You must ex-
cuse it, my dear; I am not used to young folks,
you know. But where is Grace ?" she continued,
looking round in alarm. Bless me I hope the
dear child is not lost I don't see her anywhere!
which way could she have gone ? Oh I'm terri
bly frightened about her."
She is safe enough," said Ella, pettishly,
"there she goes, the mean girl, down the next
street, leaving me to do the best I can by myself."
"I don't think that is Grace," said Aunt Patty,
straining her eyes, or rather her eye, after the
receding figure to which Ella pointed.
Yes it is, ma'am, and we had better go straight
home the same way."
"But I'm sure it isn't tall enough for Grace,"
persisted the old lady. "I wish I could be quite
certain: it will be a sad thing to go back and tell
your mother she is missing : do let us ask some-
body if they have seen her," and stepping forward
as she spoke, Aunt Patty laid her hand upon the
arm of a gentleman who was passing, and exclaim-
ed, "did you meet a little girl just now, sir, about
3S COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
the size of this one, with a blue frock and straw
hat, and a blue silk handkerchief tied round her
neck ? I believe she is lost, and I can't go home
It was almost in vain that poor Ella, half laugh-
ing, half crying, endeavored to convince the really
alarmed old lady that Grace was quite able to take
care of herself, and was probably nearly home at
that moment. Aunt Patty still trembled, and said
it was a dreadful thing to trust children alone in
such a city as New-York, and she should not feel
easy till she had seen Grace safely under her
mother's wing, and would never go out walking
again, unless Mrs. Bloomfield could go with her,
which resolution Ella trusted she might strictly ad-
here to. The gentleman whom she had accosted,
kindly assured her that no doubt the little girl was
safe, and advised they should go home at once, to
which Aunt Patty at length consented, and taking
Ella by the hand, lest she too should escape, turn.
ed from Broadway, and soon gained Mrs. Bloom-
field's house, where Grace, laughing merrily both
at Aunt Patty's alarm, and her sister's vexation,
met them in the hall.
And a sad fright I have had about you, Miss
Grace," said Aunt Patty, sitting down in the near.
est chair to recover her breath," very sad, I assure
you, for I never dreamed you would leave us in
AUNT FAW"'S VUS
that way, just as we were walking so nicely along,
and I didn't know but what you had wandered off
to the river and fallen in, only Ella, whose eyes
are younger than mine, and a kind gentleman
whom we met, both saw you going down the
street: and so, Gracie dear,"-and Aunt Patty
smiled, for by this time every feeling of anger had
passed away-" I believe I shall never take you
out with me again, unless your mother can go
with us to watch over you, or I should fasten you
to my side, as I do my scissors."
Grace laughed as heartily as before, though she
attempted at the same time to apologize for her
conduct, which apologies Aunt Patty accepted,
saying her niece was a mischievous rogue, but she
would forgive her this time. Ella's displeasure,
however, was not so easily appeased.
"It was very shabby of you, Grace, to treat me
so," she muttered, "very shabby indeed; and I
shall tell mother the whole story, for I am very
angry with you."
"Angry! oh, you wouldn't be angry with me,
I am sure, and I hope you wouldn't be a tell-tale
either," said Grace, putting her arm round Ella's
waist, and laughingly endeavoring to kiss her cheek;
for Grace often gained by a little good humored
nonsense, what plain words failed to effect. "Now
34 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIBI
do be pleased with me again, there's a good sis.
ter; just smile once, won't you? one little tiny
smile, because you don't look pretty when you
frown." But Ella turned away and walked slowly
up the stairs. Grace followed, laughing and coax.
ing. "Please, Ella, be friends with me, I'll never
do so again, upon my word; I'll take Aunt Patty
down to May's all by myself, and not ask you to go,
if you will only forgive me." Ella made no reply,
for she was really extremely vexed, and at the
nursery door they were met by their mother.
So, you have returned from your walk ?" she
said: and which way did you go ? not into Broad.
way, of course, with the brown shawl and black
bonnet. But how is this, Ella; you look a little
out of humor. Has anything happened, my
"Let me tell you, mother," said Grace.
"No, mother," said Ella, you won't hear the
right story, if Grace tells it."
The smiles vanished from the countenance of
Grace in an instant, and it was now her turn to be
displeased. Ella insinuated that she would not
acknowledge the truth, and such an insinuation
Grace could not submit to. I am sure I would
not tell a falsehood to save myself fiom blame,"
she said proudly, and just for such a trifle to s
AUmT PATTYr' VLr.
and her eyes filled with tears as she spoke, for in
disposition, Grace was like an April day, bright
sunshine, and hasty showers.
Indeed I am very sorry to see this disagree-
ment between you," said Mrs. Bloomfield, for I
believe you seldom quarrel."
"Oh! we are not quarreling, mother," said
both the girls eagerly.
"Something very like it, I think," replied Mrs.
Bloomfield, "and the sooner the matter is adjusted
the better, for you know I am a perfect Quaker in
my love of peace. Come, Grace, if I am to be
arbiter in the affair, let me hear the story from
you ; Ella spoke without thinking, I am sure, since
none of us could accuse you of a want of veracity."
I am sure I did not dream of such a thing,"
said Ella. "I only meant that "-but Ella seemed
at a loss how to explain her meaning exactly, and
the girls, following Mrs. Bloomfield into her own
room, Grace began her story from the time of their
setting out, and gave a concise account of the
walk with Aunt Patty, including the visit at May's,
and ending with a true statement of her own delin.
quency; during the recital ofwhich, she forgot her
wounded feelings, and at the conclusion, burst
again into a fresh peal of merry laughter, particu.
larl when Ella, who now took up the thread of
the narrative, recounted her excessive mortifica-
M coumIN ITIhA'B etIoma
tion at Aunt Patty's accosting the strange gentle.
man, and giving a description of the lost girl.
Mrs. Bloomfield could not help laughing a little
herself although she tried to suppress it, but
there was something so contagious in the mirth
of Grace, that it was sometimes difficult to resist
joining in it. You did wrong, my dear Grace,"
she said at last, "to desert your sister, because
you must have known it would vex her."
"There, mother! I knew you would think it
very unkind," said Ella.
But such a trifle as that was not worth being
vexed about," said Grace, "though I beg your par
don again Ella, I am sure. I thought you would
see it was only a joke, and could easily get home
with Aunt Patty without me."
"Nothing is a trifle, my dear girl," replied het
mother, "which disturbs the temper or happiness
of our fellow creatures; and if we were only care-
fid in little things, greater evils might perhaps be
avoided. You are a little too fond of joking,
Grace, and sometimes carry it farther than is alto.
gether proper; that is, your love of fun makes you
careless of the feelings of other people; and though
to run away from your sister, and walk home alone,
was in itself an unimportant matter, yet if it gave
her uneasiness, or made her angry, it became at
once a very serious thing. At the same time,
ATI PATTY's VISTA.
however, I must say, that you my dear Ella, aro
too apt to resent as an affront, that which is not
intended as such, and so, as Grace did not mean
to vex you, but acted from the impulse of the mo.
ment, and is, moreover, very penitent, I hope you
will forgive her, and let me see you good friends
again as quickly as possible."
Eha's frowns were immediately dispersed, for
if more quick.tempered than her sister, she was
equally willing to forgive and forget, when the
first flush of anger had passed away. She endea-
vored, therefore, to apologize for her petulance, by
saying that she was both hot and tired. "The
fact is, mother, I was just fagged out, going up and
up Broadway with Aunt Patty so long; every time
I proposed turning into another street and going
home, she would say, 'Yes, my dear, but we'll
just walk a little bit farther if you please,' till I
was almost ready to drop down with the heat.
"Then I should think you would have been
glad of anything that had induced her to return,"
said Mrs. Bloomfield laughing, "even of Grace's
desertion. But why, my dear children," she ad-
ded more gravely, "has this walk with Aunt
Patty given you so much uneasiness? Was it
really because she is old and unfashionable, that
you were so unwilling to be seen with her? I
38 COUSIN BERTHA S STORIES.
ean hardly believe you were capable of moh
Both the girls blushed a little, and Ella said in
an apologetical tone, But you know, mother, Aunt
Patty does look very queer-quite unlike anybody
else that we are acquainted with."
"Yes, I acknowledge she is a very plain-look.
ing old lady," replied her mother, "but it would
not become either her age or station to be any.
And you'll acknowledge, mother," said Grace,
"that her hat looks as if the, milliners before the
flood had made it, won't you ?"
No," said Mrs. Bloomfield, "I believe I can.
not go so far back as that, Grace. Aunt Patty's
bonnet was made probably three or four years ago,
and with praiseworthy neatness, and a strict re-
gard for economy, has lasted till this time. I wish
some young ladies I could name were as careful."
"Dear mother! wear a bonnet three years !"
exclaimed Ella, lifting up her hands in amazement,
"I guess the young ladies you mean will never
learn to do that."
I fear not," replied Mrs. Bloomfield, since
they give but little evidence of it now."
At least," said Grace, "till they are as old as
Aunt Patty herself."
AUNT PATTY'S VIIT.
At which time, some young people of the next
generation, may be quite ashamed to acknowledge
them as friends, perhaps," said Mrs. Bloon(feld,
Really, mother," said Ella, in an earnest tone,
"I did not mean to do anything wrong, but I do
wish you had been with us this morning, for, to
tell you the truth, we had a most uncomfortable
time. You can't think how many strange ques.
tions Aunt Patty asked in all the shops, and how
every one stared at her. Then when we went into
May's, the store was full of ladies-Mrs. Jennings
was there, mother, the rich Mrs. Jennings, I mean,
though to be sure, she did not know us, that was
some comfort; and Aunt Patty went gazing about
as if she had never seen a toy before. And after
Emily Simpson and the rest came in, she scream.
ed out for us to come and look at some silly thing,
and made me feel terribly mortified, and the girls
all got laughing at her, and I would have given
anything in the world, if I had been anywhere
"Poor Aunt Patty! I wish I had been with
you, indeed, for then I might have shielded her
from such an insult," said Mrs. Bloomfield.
"Of course they would not have done it if you
had been near," said Grace.
U And did neither of you try to prevent it 7"
0 COUSIN BRBTHA B STORMS.
The girls were silent. I think you might easily
have said, in a pleasant way, oh, don't laugh girls
Aunt Patty is a relation of my father's, and a nice,
kind old lady, but not used to our city habits.'
Would not this have been a simple method of qui-
eting them 1"
Simple enough, if we had only thought of it,"
said Grace, "but the fact is, we were so asham.
"Ashamed, my dear I and what was there to
be ashamed of?"
"Why, in plain terms, mother, Aunt Patty's
mean-looking dress, and countrified manners."
"Your own folly, and the rudeness of your
young friends, were a much greater cause for
shame, Grace," said Mrs. Bloomfield.
"Well now, mother," said Ella, "don't you
think any other girls in the city, like Grace and
myself, would feel just as we did, if they were
obliged to walk through Broadway with a strange
old lady in shabby clothes? and wasn't it very
natural that we should be mortified about it ?"
"Yes, Ella, because, naturally, we have all a
great deal of false pride," answered Mrs. Bloom.
field, but, my dear child, these natural disposi-
tions are what we should most struggle against,
since they lead us to evil, sooner than good. I
dare say there are few young ladies of your age,
AUNT PATTY'S VISIT.
who would not have felt as you did, because girls
of twelve and thirteen are too apt to measure the
worth of others by their dress; yet I cannot help
wishing that you and Grace had formed a part of
those few, who are too sensible to set an undue
value upon outward appearance, and too kind.
hearted to despise and ridicule one of their best
friends, for the sake of her bonnet."
Ah mother," said Grace, trying to sigh, but
laughing in spite of herself, "I am afraid we shall
never be good enough to satisfy you."
"Not unless you improve in some points of
character," replied Mrs. Bloomfield.
"You want us to be unnaturally good, I sup-
pose," said Ella, smiling.
"Yes," replied her mother, I wish to see you
kind, gentle, self-sacrificing, and so humble-minded
that you may 'esteem others better than your.
selves.' I want you in all things to follow thB
Golden Rule, of doing unto others as you would
they should do to you, and then perhaps you will
be good enough to satisfy me. Your conduct to-
day, with regard to Aunt Patty, particularly grieves
me, because she is one to whom we are all much
indebted, and for whom I feel a strong attachment,
notwithstanding her old-fashioned attire."
"Indebted, mother!" said Grace, "indebted to
Aunt Patty ? Do tell us how."
42 COUSIN BERTHA'S I' TORBI
"Before you left home this morning," replied
Mrs. Bloomfield, "and when you were so anxious
to get my mantilla, I said I would tell you a story
that might make you blush for yourselves more
than for your aunt, and this is it. Aunt Patty is,
you know, the only sister of your Grandmother
Bloomfield, and of all her nieces and nephews, I
think she loved her sister's youngest son the best.
Your father has frequently told me of instances, in
which, when a little boy of five years, she evinced
her special partiality for him ; not only in bringing
him toys and sweetmeats, and never permitting a
single Christmas to pass without some proof of her
regard, but in many other ways beside, such as
teaching him to read, and repeating hymns and
Bible-stories, until he had committed them to
memory, being too young to learn them in any
other way. When about your age, Grace, he was
seized with severe and dangerous illness, from
which there seemed little hope of recovery, and
through the whole of it, Aunt Patty nursed him
with the most devoted attention-your grandmother
being ill at the time;--and probably it was his
aunt's constant care and excellent nursing which,
by God's blessing, saved his life. After he was
partially restored, the physician recommended an
entire change of air, and Aunt Patty went herself
with him to the sea-shore, where she continued
AUNT PATTY'. VISIT.
his untiring attendant and cheerful companion,
until he was well enough to return home."
Ella," said Grace, we must not call her bon-
net shabby again, must we ? I wish, mother, you
had told us this before; but go on, if you please."
Aunt Patty's affection for her nephew," con-
tinued Mrs. Bloomfield, did not wear off as he
grew older, though it showed itself in deeds more
than in words; for instance, a present of half a
dozen new shirts now and then, of her own make,
or, when her eyes became poor, and she finally
lost the sight of one, a few pairs of nice warm
stockings which she had knit herself. At last
your father married, and we settled down very
snugly in our own comfortable house, with every-
thing neat and genteel about us. Aunt Patty came
to pay us a visit, I remember, and brought me, as
a wedding-present, a dozen silver tea-spoons,
those now in daily use. For a time our worldly
affairs prospered, and we wanted nothing. You
will hardly believe it, Ella, but I had silks,
and laces, and fine clothes, like rich Mrs. Jen-
nings. Our season of prosperity, however, was
of short duration. When you were both little
things, Grace being less than a year old, we met
with sudden reverses. Your father was unfortu-
nate in his business, lost a large sum of money by
the failure of a merchant in Boston, and every.
44 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
thing was swept away-house, furniture, plate-
all our luxuries, and many of our comforts. Then
it was that Aunt Patty stood our firm friend. She
immediately placed at our disposal one half of her
small property, content to live upon less herself in
order to benefit us. With this loan we were ena-
bled to begin the world again, and your father has
been successful beyond his expectations, but you
may suppose, the closest economy has been neces-
sary, that we might repay Aunt Patty as speedily
Ella and Grace looked at each other in silent
And it is this kind friend, whom you have de
spised and laughed at," continued Mrs. Bloomfield,
"whose age and infirmities should have insured
your respect, if nothing else. But for her timely
assistance, I know not what might have happened
to us all; and I think you cannot wonder, there-
fore, that I am grieved at your conduct, or that your
father and myself should both love and esteem
Aunt Patty, because we know her to be generous,
self-sacrificing, and kind-hearted, and we think
dress of little value, in comparison with such vir-
Mrs. Bloomfield then went down stairs to look
after the old lady, who was dozing on the sofa after
her long walk, and the girls were left to make
Aurr rATTY's vrer. 4
their own reflections upon what tiey had heard.
Very little, however, was said by either of them
on the subject, for, as their mother had prophesied,
they were considerably ashamed of the transactions
of the morning, and sat down to their separate
tasks with faces much more grave than usual.
From that day, Mrs. Bloomfield never again asked
either of them to go out with Aunt Patty, feeling
it was best for all she should not be trusted with
any one but herself: she was glad, however, to
observe, that both the girls were more respectful
and attentive than they had ever been, and seemed
in some measure to feel the obligation they were
under to their aged relative. It is true, Grace
sometimes forgot herself, and occasionally indulged
a sly joke in order to make Ella laugh; and one
morning in particular, when Mrs. Bloomfield
opened the door rather suddenly, she found Grace
strutting about the apartment with her head en.
veloped in Aunt Patty's high turban, and the green
silk shawl pinned over her shoulders, while Ella
followed, in the black bonnet and spectacles, and
both were laughing immoderately. In the main,
however, there was a decided improvement in
each, and by the time Aunt Patty's visit was over,
and she returned to her quiet country home, the
girls readily acknowledged that many of their more
wealthy associates were far less amiable, though
46 cousin BKRTNlm'U ST1oEiz.
better dressed; and that Aunt Patty's homely garb
did certainly cover a most kind and loving heart.
Grace, however, with her usual ingenuousness
confessed, that a great deal of what her mother
called false pride, was still left, though she was
trying with all her might to overcome it, and that
she should not particularly fancy a second walk
through Broadway with her aunt, because every.
body did not know how good the old lady really
Ah! Grace," said Mrs. Bloomfield, "that is
just the case with too many of us; we have a dread
of what others may say or think of our conduct,
and not what God's judgment may be. Old peo-
ple and young, are, in this respect, I regret to say,
much alike, and too apt to have an everybody,
whose good opinion they especially covet."
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
" THE plainest girl in our whole school, is Emma
Blanchard," said Maria Willis to her mother.
" Her clothes are of the plainest kind, her bonnet
trimmed with a shabby, faded ribbon; she car-
ries her books in a calico bag, and as to a ring or
breast-pin, I don't believe she ever had such a
thing in her life."
"And who is Emma Blanchard ?" asked her
mother; "I think you have never mentioned her
No, she is a new scholar, and has only been
with Mrs. Foster a few weeks. Sophy Brooks,
who sits at the next desk, says she is very clever,
and will beat us all; and Fanny Clark insists that
she is very good-natured, but I am quite sure I shall
never like her."
"And why not 1" inquired Mrs. Willis.
Oh, because-I don't know exactly why, but
I never shall."
Strange, that you should dislike a person, yet
48 COUSIN URBTHRA' STORIU
cannot tell why," said Mrs. Willis. "Is it be.
cause she dresses so plainly 1 or because she has
no ornaments ?"
"N.o," said Maria, somewhat doubtfully, "but
the truth is, mother, I do not think she is very
genteel; her parents live in a mean sort of way-
so Isabella Greenway told me-in the upper part
of a house, and do not keep a servant, and they
say-that is, Isabella says-and I suppose she
knows all about it-that Emma is to be educated
for a teacher."
Indeed !" said Mrs. Willis, calmly," and what
"Why, I am sure from that," replied Maria,
she can't be genteel, and for that reason I don't
want to call her one of my friends, or ask her to
come and see me."
Then you think many of my visitors are not
genteel, I suppose, since some of them are teach.
ers, and Mrs. Foster, I number among my particu-
lar friends. I am really sorry, my dear, that my
circle of acquaintances should be less select than
But, mother," said Maria, looking a little con-
fused, "I thought-at least I always unde~tood-
that-that genteel people were rich, and lived
handsomely, and were not oblige to do anything
for their own support."
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
"Not always," replied Mrs. Willis, "and I see
you do not exactly know what is the true meaning
of the word genteel, a very favorite expression, by
the way, among school-girls like yourself. Gen.
utility, generally speaking, consists in refinement
of mind and polished manners, with a kind and
polite bearing towards all, both rich and poor ; and
should you allow yourself to treat Emma Blanch.
ard with coldness or rude neglect, I should say you
not only gave evidence of a want of good feeling,
but of true gentility also."
Emma is not vulgar in her manners, certainly,"
said Maria, "but then she is poor-at least her
parents are, which is the same thing-and I'm
sure, mother, if you could see her dress, you would
not think much of her. Why, she has worn one
frock, a green merino, ever since she has been at
school; just think of it, one frock, every day, for
"I am sorry her worldly circumstances are
such that she cannot appear as well dressed as her
companions," replied Mrs. Willis, but that is an
unavoidable evil, and does not render her less fit
to associate with the richest among them, if she
be equally well-informed, and have no vulgar
The girls don't think so, at any rate," replied
Maria. "Isabella Greenway has told the whole
50 COUSIN BnETHA'S STOULIES.
school about her, and so nobody talks to her now,
except Sophy Brooks and Fanny Clark; because
you know, mother, Mrs. Foster has a remarkably
genteel school, and every one is afraid to be
thought the friend of such a plain-looking person."
"Mrs. Foster's pupils may consider themselves
very genteel, without being so," said Mrs. Willis,
for they certainly evince a great want of good
breeding by such conduct. Whoever and whatever
Emma Blanchard may be, as one of the school,
she has a right to expect politeness from those
around her; and I am sorry that Maria Willis
should be among the number, who could willingly
slight and wound the feelings of a stranger."
Maria looked a little ashamed, but she eagerly
endeavored to excuse both herself and her school-
mates. I'm sure we don't intend to be rude,"
she said, "but you see, mother, we are not to.
gether except at recess, for Emma is in one of the
lower classes, and so we cannot be very friendly
You told me just now," replied her mother, "that
you all purposely avoided her-every one being
afraid to b'e thought the friend of such a plain-look-
ing girl. Now this was your own confession, and
4 I am sure if you will reflect a moment, you will
S agree with me, in thinking such conduct both un-
kind and ungenerous.''
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
Maria was silent, and her mother continued,
"It seems to me, that through the influence of
Isabella Greenway-who must, I think, be a med
dlesome, talkative young lady-you have acquired
an unaccountable prejudice against Emma Blanch
ard; for which you can give no other reason, than
that she is not rich, and does not dress very well
This want of good sense, on your part, reminds
me of a circumstance which occurred when I was
at school, and which I will relate to you."
"Oh, do, mother," said Maria, "for you know I
"In the large boarding.school which I entered
when about your age," said Mrs. Willis, smiling
at Maria's eagerness after stories, there was one
young lady whom everybody esteemed as being
the richest among us, and of course, of more con.
sequence than any one else. Emily Morris came
from South Carolina, where her father owned a
large plantation, and she used to talk incessantly
of her father's slaves, and her father's fine horses
and splendid carriages, and many other things;
which made us believe she was far superior to the
rest of the world. In dress, too, Emily quite
eclipsed us all, her trunks being stored with a vari-
ety of frocks of every kind and color. Laces and
ribbons, which we should have considered great *
treasures, and only intended for Sunday or holiday
52 COUSIN BIRTHA'S RTORIES.
wear, she displayed every day, while her box of
jewelry was a never-ending source of astonish.
ment and delight. She had a watch, I remember,
a gold watch, that would tick, though it was fre-
quently silent from mismanagement or neglect, and
a bracelet with pearl clasps, and broaches, and
rings, and a painted fan, and some other trinkets
that I have forgotten."
What a happy girl she must have been," in.
"So we all thought," said Mrs. Willis, "but I
have reason to believe she was not so, even with
fine clothes and a box of jewels. Emily was a
girl of pleasing manners, and soon became a
favorite. Everybody said she was so kind and
good natured, and had so many other excellent
qualities, that no one could at all compare with
her, and in a few months after her arrival, she
had acquired such an influence over her company.
ions, that nothing was done during play hours
without her consent and approbation. Nobody
was afraid of being thought her friend, I assure
you; on the contrary, each young lady vied with
the other, in securing a place in her regard, and,
flattered by their attentions, Emily very soon ima.
gined herself of more consequence than any of us.
I do not believe, however, her popularity would
have continued-for she was sometimes dreadfully
THE POOR SCHOLAR
petulant-but that a supply of money which she
received every month, enabled her to make many
little presents, and being naturally of a generous
disposition, she thus managed to keep the place she
had won, as the most important lady m the estab.
lishment. By this means, too, she was assisted
with her lessons, some of the smarter or more dili-
gent girls being always ready to aid her in a
French exercise, or a page of Composition, in the
hope of sharing her next paper of sugarplums, or
the chance of being remembered when she went
out shopping on Saturday afternoon."
How old was Emily Morris ?" inquired Maria.
"About fifteen, at that time," replied her mother,
and of course just three years older than myself
Being one of the youngest scholars, I was inclu.
ded among the 'little girls,' and consequently not
among her associates; but I recollect how con.
stantly the older scholars talked of her; and the
opinions of Emily Morris were repeated again and
again, till the very walls seemed to echo with her
name. Sometimes she was extremely kind to
'the children,' as she called us, and would come
to our be:l.sides at night, and slyly give us sweet
things; but if out of humor, we were sure to expe-
rience thi evil effects of it, and she would toss our
books about, or take away our pencils or india.
64 COUSIN BERTHA'8 STORIES.
rubber, utterly regardless of our tears or remon.
"I should not have liked her, I am sure," said
"Oh, yes you would, for remember, she had
fine dresses, and a box of trinkets," replied Mrs.
Willis, smiling. Emily had been at s!:hool six
months, when one morning, just at the commence-
ment ofthe term, a plain country wagon was driven
to the door, by a plain-looking man, and <.it of it
was taken a trunk and bandbox, and then : young
girl, very simply clad, was assisted to n!i;rht. It
was during a half hour's recess, that tlh stranger
came, and from the school-room windows we
looked down upon them, and speculated i-; to who
and what they might be. By and by we liheard the
wagon drive away, and when the dinner-lell rang,
and we took our places at the table, Mrs. Cleave.
land introduced a young lady to us, as .Miss Har-
The new scholar was not very prepossessing
in her appearance, except that she had i remark.
ably sweet smile; and I think, Maria, your Emma
Blanchard could not be more meanly attired. I
do not recollect what she wore on that particular
day; but I know that then, and many weeks after,
it was a subject of remark among the elder gird,
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
and I dare say among the younger ones, too, that
there never had been such a poor-looking person
in the school, and if one of the teachers had not
pitied her desolate situation, the young stranger
would have had a dull time of it, although sur-
rounded by thirty.five or forty girls, of nearly her
But by and by somebody made the discovery,
that Harriet Ward was very kind and amiable;
some one who wanted help in a difficult sum,
and was assisted by her ; and thus she gained her
first friend at Mrs. Cleaveland's. Then one of
the girls tore a sad rent in a new muslin dress,
and found the ready fingers of Harriet Ward very
skil'ul in repairing the mischief; until, by degrees,
Harriet, also, became a person of importance,
though in a different way from Emily Morris; who
found, to her surprise, that the poor clergyman's
daughter was likely to draw away some of her
own admirers, and become a very powerful rival
in their affections."
"Oh! she was a clergyman's daughter, hey!
and the plain-looking man who drove the wagon
was her father, I suppose."
Yes, that was her father," replied Mrs. Willis,
"and very dearly did she love him. She had no
mother, poor girl, and Mr. Ward being anxious to
56 COUSIN BERTIIA'8 STORIES.
give her an education, denied himself many com.
forts, that he might place her with Mrs. Cleave.
land, intending, that at a proper age, she should
take the charge of two younger sisters. Harriet
fully appreciated, I think, both the value of a good
education, and the sacrifices which her father
made to procure one for her, for she lost not a
moment of time. Steadily and perseveringly she
went on, until shl; stool, at last, in the highest
class, and next to Emily Morris."
"Oh! I am giad of that," said Maria, whose
sympathies were altogether on the side of Harriet.
"'Emily was too ambitions of public favor; too
anxious to be first in everything, to brook such a
rival, and she redoubled her efforts to maintain
her station at the head of the class. The exani.
nation was near, and.the whole school preparing
for it; in every department there were busy hands
and fluttering hearts, eagerly contending for the
prizes which were to be awarded at its close, and
none more ardent in the strife than Harriet and
"I am sorry that Mrs. Foster does not approve
of prizes," interrupted Maria.
They are often the source of envy and ill-will,"
said Mrs. Willis, and I believe do more harm in
reality, than good; for what the head gains by the
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
mental effort to secure them, the heart loses in the
sacrifice of its best and noblest feelings. But I
must go on with my story.
Whatever might have been the motives of
Emily in trying to win the first honors, those of
Harriet were openly expressed-the pleasure it
would give her father. He will be so delighted,'
she would say,' if I should gain the prize. I know
just how he will feel, and how happy he will look,'
and she applied with renewed diligence to her les-
sons, resolved to conquer every difficulty. At
first, Emily Morris had looked upon Harriet as
quite beneath her notice, but this indifference had
grown into dislike when she appeared as a com-
petitor, and likely to prove a successful one ; nor
was Emily at any pains, either, to conceal or over.
come it. She treated her classmate with a proud
disdain, which gave the poor girl much uneasiness ;
and which her friends warmly resented, so that in
a short time two parties were formed in the school;
one the acknowledged partizans of Harriet; the
other, equally interested in the good fortune of
And to which did you belong, mother," asked
I had but little to do with either; the business
seemed properly to belong to the elder girls, and
my opinion was not asked."
58 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
"But I hope you took Harriet's part, and liked
her the best."
1"Wr:it! a poor girl!" saiJ Mrs. Willis; "do
you think I would have done so !"
O., mother I won't say another word against
Emma Blanchard," said Maria, *' but do go on
with the story, for I want to hear who won the
"T'he day of the examination came at length-
too soon for some of us, and too slowly for those
who w;'re fully prepared fir it."
Did you get a premium, mother," asked Ma-
No, I did not."
"Oh! I am sorry for that. Go on, if you
"The judges, who were gentlemen from the
next town, came about three o'clock in the after-
noon, if I recollect aright; but so many years have
intervened since then, that I cannot give you all
the particulars. I remember we were all dressed
in white, with colored sashes, and that I was very
much frightened at being questioned by a stran.
ger. The last class examined, was the highest,
and this took place in the evening, when the
rooms were lighted, and Mrs. Cleaveland sat at a
table with the prizes before her, and a great num-
ber of people were present, the parents and friends
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
of the young ladies. It was a season of interest
to all, and every one listened intently. Presently,
a question was asked, which the girls, as it passed
from one to the other, failed to answer. Emily
and Harriet were the last. Emily faltered and
would have stopped, when Harriet whispered the
word which gave her a clue to the whole. She
answered at once the difficult question, and at the
close of the examination, was pronounced to have
won the gold medal."
"I am sorry for it!" exclaimed Maria, indig.
nantly. What a mean girl, to take advantage of
Harriet Ward's good nature."
"It was not good nature alone, I imagine,"said
Mrs. Willis, "but her Christian principles, which
induced Harriet to do this. She probably felt
that it was better to overcome evil with good,'
and buy Emily's good will by the sacrifice of the
prize, than wear the medal herself."
"She was a very uncommon girl, I am sure,"
said Maria thoughtfully; "I don't believe there
are many who would be as generous."
"The instances of such magnanimity are rare,
I grant you," replied her mother, "but they do
occur sometimes, as in the present case."
There will never be so much goodness found
in Mrs. Foster's school, at any rate," said Maria,
COUSIN BERTIIA'S STORIES.
laughing. We have no Harriet Ward among
"I am sorry for it," said Mrs. Willis; I had
hoped better things of you, at least."
Maria shook her head, and begged her mother
As soon as the opinion of the judges was made
known," continued Mrs. Willis, "there was a sup.
pressed murmur among the scholars, both of pleas-
ure and disappointment, the friends of Emily re.
joining in her success, and those of Harriet sym-
pathizing in her defeat; but in a few moments we
were called to order, and the prizes distributed.
Books and medals went round in rapid succession,
and while those who had obtained them looked
smiling and happy, the faces of the less fortunate
expressed discontent and sorrow. 'I have great
pleasure, Miss Morris, in presenting you with this
medal,' said Mrs. Cleaveland, as Emily bent her
head that it might be placed on her neck,' and am
happy to know that you have won it solely by your
own merits, and constant application to your
studies.' Emily tried to smile, but could not, for
her mind must have been ill at ease; she was
accepting an honor to which she had no right, and
the father of Harriet looked more grieved at the
disappointment his daughter had sustained, than
she did herself, for the consciousness that she de-
TUE 'POOR SCHOLAR.
served, if she did not receive the prize, gave to
Harriet's tace a look of calm contentment, which
the features of Emily could not boast.
But just at the moment when everybody was
crowding round to congratulate the successful can-
didate, and to admire the beautiful gold medal she
wore; one of the young ladies stepped forward, and
to the surprise of Mrs. Cleaveland, relate what
she had heard during the examination, namely,
Harriet's whisper in Emily's ear, expressing her
firm conviction, that Harriet alone was entitled to
the prize. You may imagine the excitement which
thii disclosure produced-what a buzzing of voi.
ces, and exclamations of astonishment at Emily's
meanness-the regret expressed by Mrs. Cleave.
land, who now, in justice to Harriet, transferred
the medal to her ; and all the sayings and doings
of such a busy little multitude of important people
as school-girl: usually are, on an examination
night. Emily, deservedly disgraced, lost her pop-
ularity as sp-cdily as she had gained it, and Har.
riet, the one" despised and slighted Harriet, shown
to be far sip-erior to the wealthy Southerner with
all her pretensions, became the heroine of the
evening. School broke up the next day for the
vacation, but before we separated, Mrs. Cleave.
land gave us a lecture upon our past misconduct,
and the evil spirit which had prevailed among us
62 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
during the previous term. I suppose she must
have talked with Emily alone, since Miss Morris
condei'iended to ask Harriet's pardon for her
fbormr iudeness ere she took her departure, and
as shte did not return to school again, we were
ever afilrwards, a most peaceable and orderly set
of yoiug ladies."
I ;a glad it all ended so well," said Maria, as
delig'ita I as if she had herself taken part in the
businoic ; and I am glad Emily Morris saw how
shamn ilaly she had behaved to poor Harriet, at
Yes," said Mrs. Willis, it is always a mat.
ter of rejoicing when we can see our faults, and
endeavor to amend them; and you, Maria, who
.have heard the story of my two school-mates, and
see how silly is this worst kind of pride, must now
profit by the lesson, and not despise or turn away
from Emma Blanchard because she is poor."
With the story ofEmily and Harriet still in mind,
Marit Willis went to school the next day, fully
resolved to make a friend of Emma Blanchard at
once. I shall not carp a straw," she soliloquized,
"what Isabella Greenway or any one else may
say, but I shall be kind to poor Emma, and do all /
I can for her." Emma, however, was absent that
day, and for nearly a week afterward; and though
THG POOR SCHOLAR.
Maria adhered secretly to her resolution, yet the
effect of her mother's narrative had by this time
partly worn off, and she was beginning to think
it was not a matter of any consequence aiier all,
when Mrs. Foster asked her to call at Mr. Blanch.
ard's door on her way home, and make sonr' in.
quiries respecting Emma. This was of course
an excellent opportunity to put her resolution into
practise, yet Maria felt a little unwilling, it must
be confessed, to go, and lingered in the school-
room until her companions had dispersed. be:re
she set out, preferring to make her first visit en
When she reached the house to which Mrs.
Foster had directed her-a pleasant dwelling i:i the
street next her own--the door was opened by a
young girl, who invited her to walk upstairs, and
in a small but cheerful parlor, she found Emma
practising a music-lesson. The tone and manner
of Maria, so different from what they had been a
week before, surprised Emma Blanchard not a
little, and never dreaming what had occasioned
her school-fellow's former coldness, she was also
at a loss to imagine why she was so unusually
polite at this time. She told Maria that a >,vere
cold and inflammation of the eyes had kept her at
home, her mother thinking it most prudent not to
expose herself during such cold weather, but that
64 cOUsir BEWThA'S STORIES.
she was now much better, and should be at school
again the following Monday, if she continued to
While Emma spoke, Maria's eyes were glancing
about the apartment. The carpet, piano, chairs,
and other furniture, did not by any means bespeak
extreme poverty ; and a portrait above the m:Ln-
telpiece, which Emma said was her mother's pic-
ture, represented a lady so very beautiful, that Ma-
ria could not sufficiently admire it. That was
painted by my uncle, two or three years ago," con-
tinued Enuna, naming a celebrated artist, "and
this picture," pointing to one suspended over the
piano, is his work also." It was now Maria's
turn to be surprised: that Emma Blanchard, the
poor despised school-girl, should be the niece of a
gentleman whom everybody was talking about, did
indeed astonish her. He had dined once with
her tether, and she recollected the pleasure it gave
her, to be kindly noticed by him. Yet here was
a little girl, who knew him well, and perhaps saw
him every day. In a moment Maria's opinion of
Emma Blanchard changed entirely.
Mother does not look quite as well as she did,"
pursued Emma, turning again to the portrait, "be.
cause she has had some things to trouble her
since it was taken; but it is very much like her still;
and my little sister calls it mamma on the wall.'"
THR POOR SCHOLAR.
"How many sisters have you 1" asked Maria.
"Two, both little children, and one brother."
"You live quite near us; our house is in the
next street. How long have you been in this
"Only a few months. We lived in the country
before, but something obliged my father to sell our
beautiful place, and come to the city. We were
terribly sorry about it, Willie and I, and we do not
like New-York half so well."
And you only have part of this house, don't
you ?" inquired Maria, who, with a child-like free.
dom from reserve, came to the point at once.
Yes, we have this parlor, and three bed-rooms,
and we board with Mrs. Hoffmann. She is a Ger.
man lady, whom my father knew when he was in
Europe, and who came to this country afterward,
and used to visit us at Bloomingdale. When it
was settled we should come to town, Mrs. Hoff.
mann begged us to take part of her house, and Miss
Hoffinann is teaching me German."
Isabella Greenway told us a great deal about
you," said Maria, "and said you were to be edu.
cated for a teacher, but I don't believe a word of
I don't know," said Emma, what I shall be
when I am older, but I do not think mother in.
tends me for one. Just now, my father has much
66 COUSIN BEBTIIA'S STORIES.
to vex him, and we all try to be very economical,
and live quite plainly, but mother says she hopes
it will iiot last long, and one of these days, per-
haps, we may get back to our old home, and all
the pleasant things we had there."
Emma and Maria were both talkative girls, and
with this commencement, they soon became extreme-
ly communicative. Emma, confined to the house
for several days, and with few associates of her own
age, was glad of a companion, and forgetting Ma-
ria's former indifference, felt as if she had gained
a friend where she least expected to find one,
while Maria, well pleased to learn that Emma was
as genteel as herself' and a very desirable ac-
quaintance, chatted on, till she had paid a visit far
longer than was either necessary or proper, and
was chidden by Mrs. Willis for her delay, when
she reached home.
It was a matter of no small astonishment with Mrs.
Foster's pupils, when, on the next Monday morn-
ing, Emma Blanchard and Maria Willis were seen
coming down the street in close conversation, and
entered the school-roomtogether; and very strange
indeed it seemed, to see them talking quite socia-
bly during the recess; and again, arm in arm,
proceeding homeward. No one could account for
this sudden intimacy, for Maria had been among
the foremost in declaring she would have nothing
THB POOl SCHOLAR.
to do with the poor scholar, and the most eager in
listening to Isabella Greenway's tales, and there.
fore of all others, the last whom they would have
expected to see with her. Isabella, herself waA
perhaps more surprised than any one else, having
repeated, as a matter of fact, the idle tattle of a
servant just dismissed from Mrs. Hoffmann's, and
engaged by her mother, Isabella being one of those
unfortunate persons, who, for the sake of talking,
would gossip with anybody and everybody who
came in her way. Maria, however, soon explained
the whole truth, dwelling particularly on Emma's
near relationship to the eminent painter, which
fhct, had a marvellous effect upon her auditors, and
made them look upon their new companion with
very different eyes. All were now as eager to
secure her friendship, as they had before been
anxious to avoid it, and Emma, who, a short tim.
ago, was but a cypher among them, now found
herself surrounded by friends, and had become a
general favorite. Maria passed many pleasant
hours in Mrs. Blanchard's parlor, reading or
drawing with Emma, where she learned, among
other good things, that true gentility does not de.
pend upon outward show, and that good breeding
may remain, though riches shall have passed away.
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
JULIA HOWLAND had perhaps as few faults, as
most girls of twelve years, but one of these, and
that which gave her more trouble than all the rest,
was an alarming habit of procrastination. She
was for ever putting off-leaving for to-morrow,
what might or should be done to-day; not an
idler exactly, but still something very like it, for
certainly, Idleness and Procrastination go hand in
hand, both resulting from the same cause, an indo.
lence of disposition; which every one, I am sure,
who is so unfortunate as to possess it, should strug-
gle against with all their power. If a letter was
to be written, why Julia thought, to-morrow would
answer as well as to-day; the ink was poor, the
pen bad, or she had no paper in her desk; and
although all these articles were to be obtained by
going up one pair of stairs, she was certain there
could be no hurry about it," delayed to get them
dt the moment, and it was weeks, perhaps, before
the convenient season arrived. Her lessons she
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
could not easily defer, because punishment followed
so closely upon any defect in her recitations, but
she put them off as long as possible, and then was
obliged to be doubly diligent, while everything else
which could be left for some future day, was gene.
rally neglected, and poor Julia had always some
unperformed duty, hanging like a cloud over her.
Mrs. lHowland was a widow lady of wealth; and
fearing the influence of a large school upon the
mind of her daughter, had engaged the services of
a well-educated person to instruct Julia in French
and English, a music master attending three after.
noons in each week; and thus the young lady
was constantly under her mother's supervision,
and in no danger of acquiring bad habits from an
intercourse with improper companions. But Mrs.
IIowland soon found that Julia required some in.
ducement to study. Naturally indolent, she soon
became callous to the reproofs and punishments of
her teachers, or the frequent lectures of her
mother, and if a reward were offered her, it
seemed hardly worth the exertion requisite to ob-
tain it, since every wish was gratified, and books
and toys suppliold, with only the trouble of asking
for them. Mrs. Lowland, therefore, unwilling to
relinquish her favorite theory of home education,
and yet anxious that a spirit of emulation should
be awakened in Julia's breast, determined to invite
70 COUSIN BERTHA'8 STORIES.
Aie daughter of a friend to share in her instruc-
tions, and in a few days, Anna Emerson joined her
young companion in Mrs. Howland's library, and
was formally placed under the care and tuition of
Julia was of course highly delighted with thit
new arrangement, and her mother had the satis-
faction of observing, that at the end of a week,
something like a change had been eflicted, since
she really studied with greater interest and alacrity
than she had ever done. In fact, the very sight
of Anna engaged in the same occupations as her.
self, had an exhilerating effect upon Julia's spirits;
Miss Burrows professd much pleasure at her im-
provement, and Mrs. Howland congratulated her-
self upon the entire success of the experiment, re-
gretting she had not adopted it earlier.
Thus associated, Julia and Anna became warm
friends; practised together upon the piano ; walked
together on Saturday afternoons, and drank tea
with each other, at least twice a week; while
Mrs. Howland did all in her power to encourage
the intimacy; Mrs. Emerson and herself having
the same opinion in many things, and Anna, from
her amiability and politeness, being just such an
acquaintance as she desired for her daughter.
Julia had great pleasure in giving up her favorite
corner in the library to Anna, and selecting the
TRH PRIZE LOCKET.
best pen for her use, when the writing hour came,
and relinquished her porcelain slate, because Anna
said it was so much nicer than her own to do sums
on; and in return, Anna helped Julia with her
French sometimes, or did a little of her sewing,/
that Mrs. Howland, who was very strict, should
not find itult with her half-stitched seam. Indeed
there could I not be anything more agreeable, than
the intcrrourse of the two girls, and Julia Howland
had never been more happy in her life, because
as she affirmed, there was now something won
studying tor, and Miss Burrows did not seem half
so cross, since Anna had been one of her pupils.
In this manner three months passed away, and
everything went smoothly on, when Anna and
Julia had a slight falling out. Anna had begun to
presume a little upon her intimacy at Mrs. How.
land's, and was sometimes rather selfish, and apt
to take advantage of her friend's good nature ; and
this disagreement arose, in consequence of some
trifling favor shown to Anna, which Julia thought
the effect of partiality on the part of Miss Burrows.
She pouted and looked angry, and said in a tone
loud enough to reach Anna's ear, that she wished
her mother had never invited any one to study
with her, for she could get on much better when
alone; and this made Anna cry, her usual method
q showing her vexation, and say, that indeed
V2 COUSIN UIlRTII A'R STOIHER.
she wished so too, for it was a great deal pleas.
anter at Mrs. Carlton's school;" and putting on
her bonnet without another word, she went home
to tell her mother the whole story, which was not
at all improved by her recital.
The next morning, Mrs. Emerson paid Mrs.
Howland a visit, to talk over the affair. Julia
was summoned to the parlor, where, afler some
fault.finding from her mother, and coaxing from
Mrs. Emerson, she and Anna were desired to kiss
and make friends, and were then sent back to the
library to go on with thuir lessons; Mrs. Howland
declaring that the whole thing was a foolish whim
of Julia's, Miss Burrows being all that was desi-
rable as a teacher, and perfectly impartial.
From this time, however, Julia's interest in her
studies visibly declined. She was much oftener
in disgrace with Miss Burrows, anrl consequently
with her mother also; for Mrs. Howland had
resolved upon giving her only child a superior edu-
cation, and being determined to spare neither
trouble or expense in the accomplishment of her
design, felt little inclined to overlook or par-
don Julia's frequent deficiency. Sometimes the
thought occurred, that it would be better to place
her at a large school, where, surrounded by num.
bers, and rewards and punishments constantly in
view, it might be possible to awaken some desi
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
to excel; but Mrs. Howland had an id!te, that in
most schools the instruction was extremely super.
ficial: she felt sure that girls were not half so
well, nor so thoroughly instructed anywhere as at
home, and clinging to her favorite notion, she
turned once more to some grand plan by which
she might succeed in arousing Julia's ambition.
With this view, she promised a gold locket to
the one, who, during the succeeding quarter, should
exhibit the greatest number of tickets. You will
be very diligent and attentive," she said, "for I
assure you it shall be the handsomest thing of the
kind to be found in the city. Anna, you look very
smiling, but you must work hard little lady, and
Julia will try her best, I am sure, since she knows
how anxious I am for her improvement."
Julia readily promised.
"Just three months from this day," continued
Mrs. Howland, which will be the eighteenth of
April, I will decide the matter and deliver my
prize. You shall bring me your tickets, and the
most industrious will of course be the one re.
"And if we should be equal, mamma," said
Julia, what then ?"
Why, then I must either give no prize at all,
or you must draw for it," replied Mrs. Howland.
74 COUSIN HElRTHA'S STORIES.
Oh, let us draw, if you please," cried both the
girls in a breath.
Well, well," said Mrs. Howland, we shall
arrange it all in due time, and now go to your les-
sons again, for I see by Miss Burrow's face that I
am detaining you from the globes which she has
placed upon the table for your use."
That day, and for many days after, the girls
were even in their number of tickets. Anna was
charmed with the idea of wearing the locket as
an ornament, intending it should contain her
mother's hair; and Julia, whose friendship had
somewhat subsided after their quarrel, was re-
solved to win it at all hazards, rather than allow
Anna to come off conqueror. Thus each was
industrious and persevering, though from different
motives; and poor Miss Burrows, whose state of
health rendered teaching extremely laborious at
times, felt her own burden considerably lightened,
and wished such a reward might be held out every
week, since the hope of obtaining it produced such
But three months is a long time to persevere
without interruption, and pretty soon Anna flagged
a little, and then Julia: the tickets began to vary,
as one or the other failed in her lessons, and Miss
Burrows, who had been instructed by Mrs. How.
THB PRIZE LOCKET.
land, not to urge either of them particularly,
thought the case a very doubtful one: Anna be.
ing one week far in advance; and Julia making
amends for her deficiency by renewed exertion the
next. At the expiration of the second month, how-
ever, Julia had outstripped her companion, and
felt sure of success.
"How many tickets have you, Anna ?" she one
day inquired, as they were eating a lunch at the
I have not counted them lately," replied Anna,
jumping from her seat, and running for her box,
but I will tell you in a minute. I have-let me
see "-and spreading them on the table, she soon
told them over-"just seventy-two."
Dear me !" said Julia, "is that all? why, I
have a hundred and twenty-five."
Ah! but you count your music tickets with
them," said Anna. "Mine are at home, and I
dare say I shall be equal with you when I put
them all together. I wilt run and get them now,
shall I ? while Miss Burrows is at luncheon."
No sooner said than done," replied Julia,
laughing, as Anna tied on her bonnet and tripped
down stairs. In a few minutes she returned, quite
out of breath. There !" she said, throwing the
tickets upon the table, see what a handful. Now
add them to the others."
78 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORZWS.
Julia did so.
"And how many have I now ?" asked Anna,
"One hundred and eight. So I am seventeen
beyond you still. You will have to work hard
before you overtake me ;" and Julia's eyes spar-
kled, while Anna's grew dim in proportion.
I am sure I ought to have more," said Anna,
thoughtfully, as she slowly replaced the tickets
in her box. "I think some of them must be
"I don't know indeed," said Julia, gathering
up her own, which she had been counting again;
"perhaps you have lost a few. You must try and
make them up if you can, before the eighteenth of
next month, which is not much more than three
weeks off, remember."
Poor Anna looked sadly vexed. She was hurt,
too, at the indifference of Julia's tone and manner,
and formed a resolution on the instant to win the
prize, if renewed diligence and constant perseve-
rance would avail anything. She therefore re-
pressed the tears which, as usual, swelled up into
her eyes; and packing up her box of tickets, put
them into her pocket, with the determination not
to speak of or count them again, until the expected
eighteenth of April, and Miss Barrows coming in
a few moments after, the lessons were resumed,
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
and for that day at least, both girls were equally
It was unfortunate that Julia had made the dis-
covery of Anna's loss of tickets, for, grown doubly
confident of success, she now became somewhat
careless. Seventeen in advance, it would be
quite impossible, she thought, that Anna should
overtake her, and Anna, determined to persevere,
soon found the benefit of her resolution, as the
tickets began again to multiply.
Julia and Anna, though both fond of music, dis-
liked the trouble of practising, and consequently
their master found no little fault, and entered not
a few complaints both to Mrs. Howland and Mrs.
Emerson upon the subject. But Anna, true to
her resolution of winning the gold locket, was now
unusually attentive; practised regularly as soon
as Miss Barrows dismissed them, and was greatly
commended for her application. Julia, on the
contrary, certain of the prize, gave way to her old
habit of procrastination, and the very day after her
conversation with Anna, she lost one ticket in
consequence of a faulty lesson, having deferred
practising till she had finished the last few pages
of a new book, and the same afternoon Anna ob-
tained two, for a difficult piece, remarkably well
played. Nothing, however, was said by either of
the girls when they next met; Julia thought it a
78 COUSIN nzrrHA's sTOwMs.
trifling loss which she could soon make up, and
Anna wisely kept her own secret, lest Julia
should be urged to go on faster. The coveted
prize might perhaps induce them to study with
greater diligence, but certainly it had not the effect
of making them more amiable or kind-hearted,
since the defects of one, was the cause of infinite
satisfaction to the other, which they neither en-
deavored to conceal or overcome.
Thus stood matters till within three days of the
appointed time, when, as usual, Miss Burrows
required a composition from each of her pupils,
which they wrote regularly once in every week,
and which, by the way, is generally the dread of
all school-girls, and was the especial horror of our
two friends. The subject, however, was familiar
to them both, and neither felt particularly anxious
about it, as the papers would not be called for
until Thursday, when, according to custom, they
were to be read and corrected. There was per.
haps no immediate haste, yet Anna, fearful of de-
lay, wrote hers that very evening, and the next
revised and copied it very neatly, and was pre-
pared to hand it to Miss Burrows the moment she
asked for it.
Julia intended to have been equally well pre.
pared, but alas! Procrastination, that "thief of
time," induced her to lay aside the business on
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
Monday afternoon, in order that she might walk
with her mother. It was such a delightful day
she thought, and then there was plenty of time.
Tuesday and Wednesday yet to come, certainly
she could finish it long before it was necessary,"
and thus arguing with herself, she shut up her
writing-desk and went out. Mrs. Howland walked
a great distance that afternoon, calling upon seve-
ral of her acquaintances, and when they returned
home, Julia was so much tired, that she went to
bed as soon as tea was over.
Tuesday brought its usual tasks, and indeed
rather more than usual, since Miss Burrows
obliged them to review several old lessons that
morning; and in the afternoon, when the hour for
practising was over, Julia felt so weary and inac-
tive, that she put off writing until the evening, and
then, strange to say, forgot entirely that such a
thing was to be done at all, amusing herself very
contentedly with a dissected map till bed-time.
One would naturally suppose, that with the prize.
locket in view, which on the following Thursday
was to be awarded, Julia would have been care-
ful not to lose a single moment, or allow anything
to interfere with her school-duties; but Julia's
worst fault had not been conquered-to-morrow,
not to-day, was her time for everything--by and
bye the season when her tasks were to be accom.
80 cCOUSIN BERTRA'S STORMS
polished; Wednesday would be long enough to
write a composition, and if she failed to do it, why
it was not of much consequence ; she was several
tickets in advance of Anna and must win the
prize in spite of all; so she slept without uneasi-
ness that night, and woke on Wednesday morning
with a host of good intentions, and a determination
to get that "hateful composition off her hands
But when she sat down to it, what a terrible
task it seemed; all her ideas were put to flight
by the knowledge that it must be finished at once,
for the time was rapidly passing away. She
wrote and re-wrote, and scratched out, and blotted,
and at last put aside her paper till the afternoon.
"I think it must be because I am so hungry, that
I cannot write just now," she said to herself; I
dare say I shall feel more in a mood for it after
dinner, and I don't believe Anna has written
either, for she generally leaves it till the very last
The afternoon came, and again Julia sat down
to her desk, but scarcely had she penned two lines,
when a messenger arrived from Mrs. Emerson.
She and Anna were going to see a fine painting,
and would be glad if Mrs. Howland and Julia
could join their party.
Can you go, my dear ?" asked Mrs. Howland,
THU PRIZE LOCKET.
coming into the library where her daughter sat;
"I don't want you to neglect your lessons, be.
cause you know so much depends upon them at
present; but I should like you to see this picture
It was a temptation too great to be resisted; and
thrusting the unlucky paper once more into her
desk, and assuring her mother there was nothing
to prevent her, Julia ran for her coat and bonnet.
The exhibition occupied them until nearly dusk,
when they returned to discuss its merits at the
tea-table, and at a late hour that evening, when
so sleepy as scarcely able to keep her blue eyes
open, and with many a gape and yawn, Julia fin-
ished her composition; but such a slovenly per-
formance, so carelessly written, so badly spelled,
so blotted and defaced; had never been presented
to the astonished vision of her instructress before.
Bless me!" exclaimed Miss Burrows, as she
unfolded the paper upon the following morning
when the usual lessons were finished, "this is
quite shocking. I suppose, Julia, you do not ex.
pect me to give you a ticket for this wretched
affair. Pray look at it yourself, and tell me hon.
estly if you think you deserve one."
Julia glanced at the sheet which Miss Burrows
placed before her, but did not reply.
SI am sure you must acknowledge it is very
82 COUM RBUTNA'96 NTORIE.
bad indeed," continued the governess, pointing at
several errors in the page; why did you not try
to do better ? You have had time enough, surely."
It was so late last night when we came home,"
Yes, my dear, but you should not have left it
till then. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
ought to have been sufficient for the purpose.
Anna did not put off hers until last evening, or it
would not have been written so well as it is."
No, ma'am," said Anna, with a little self
complacency in her tone and manner, "mine was
quite ready on Tuesday."
Miss Burrows laid aside the composition with.
out further remark, and then, counting out the
tickets intended for the day, she said, I conclude
you recollect this is the important eighteenth of
April. Mrs. Howland desired me to ring when
your lessons were through," and touching the bell-
rope as she spoke, in a few moments that lady
appeared, holding in her hand the beautiful and
richly chased locket, and accompanied by Mrs.
"You see," said Mrs. Howland, seating herself
at the table, I make no fuss or bustle in award.
ing my prize, and therefore shall simply count
your tickets, and bestow it upon the most industri-
ous. But first, my dears, without intending to
Right, says Mrs. Howland, after counting them herself."
THB PRIZE LOCKET.
make a speech upon the occasion, I wish to say
this much; that I hope the one who succeeds,
will not feel too much elated; nor the other cherish
any unpleasant feelings towards her companion,
but that you will still continue good friends."
I hope so, indeed," said Mrs. Emerson, kissing
both the girls. It would be so foolish to quar.
rel about such a trifle."
Julia and Anna thought the possession of a
gold locket something rather more than a trifle.
"And now bring me your tickets," said Mrs.
Howland. Julia placed her box upon the table
very confidently, and Miss Burrows counted them.
"How many are there ?" asked Mrs. Howland.
"One hundred and fifty-three," replied Miss
"Right," said Mrs. Howland, after counting
them herself; that there might be no mistake;
"one hundred and fifty.three. Now Anna."
Anna's box was opened with a beating heart
and trembling hand.
"One hundred and fifty.four," said Miss Bur-
rows, telling them over very carefully.
"Right again," said Mrs. Howland. "Anna,
my dear, the locket is yours; come here that I
may hang it upon your neck." But Anna, as she
glanced at Julia, and saw how disappointed and
84 COUsIN BERTRA's sTORIZe.
distressed she was, had not the courage to go for.
ward. Her natural amiability and good feeling
checked the pleasure she had expected to feel if
successful, and she now begged they might draw
for the prize, as they were so nearly equal. Mrs.
Emerson immediately seconded this request, but
Mrs. Howland said she could not consent to such
an arrangement, which would be extremely unjud
to Anna; and that Julia must submit with as much
cheerfulness as possible, and try to do better
another time. The locket was then placed upon
Anna's neck, who soon afterward departed with
her mother; and poor Julia, leaning her head upon
the table, gave free vent to her vexation, and cried
"You are disappointed, my dear child," said
Miss Burrows, kindly, "and I am sorry for it."
It was just the fault of that horrid composi.
tion," sobbed Julia, without looking up.
Not of the composition exactly," replied Miss
Burrows, "but of the person who undertook to
write it. If she had not given way to a sad habit
of procrastination, and had set about the task in
proper season; who knows but she might have
gained the prize."
But I was so sure of winning," said Julia,
raising her head at last, and wiping away the
THE PRIZE LOCKET.
tears that rained over her cheeks. "Two weeks
ago, I had a great many more tickets than Anna,
for we counted them together one morning."
And that very knowledge made you careless,
and induced Anna to exert herself the more," said
Miss Burrows. "Another time, don't trust to
anything but your own constant effort, and above
all, never procrastinate. I once heard a very wise
old gentleman say, that Procrastination is the
worst thief in the world, for he takes from us what
is more valuable than gold, and that, so easily, we
seldom detect him, or can ever hope to regain our
The next day a very pretty emerald ring was
sent to Julia from Mrs. Emerson, which had the
effect of soothing, in some degree, her irritated
feelings; but it was a long time before she en.
tirely forgot her loss of the locket, and even now,
though years have passed since then, she never
observes it upon Anna's neck, without a recollec.
tion of the events I have recorded, and of her old
but long.cured habit of Procrastination.
" WELL, my little Sue, what are )pu about now 1"
"Fancy work, father; but you must not see it
yet," replied Sue, gathering a variety of colored
worsteds, and hiding them in her lap.
Must not," said Mr. Munroe, smiling, and
why so ?"
"Oh! because it is a secret. I am making
something very beautiful, that I cannot show to
any one, until it is quite finished."
"And when will that be ?" asked her father.
"If I mistake not, Susey, you are one of those who
begin, but seldom finish."
"But I shall certainly finish this," said Sue,
eagerly. All the girls in our school are doing
something of the kind, and I know mine will be
"And what becomes of the pretty chain I saw
you braiding last night ?"
"That is in my drawer up stairs," said Sue,
blushing; "but I shall finish it, father, by and
bye, when this is done."
And why not make that first ?"
"Oh, because-because," said Susan, hesita.
ting, you see, father, I don't want the others to
get on faster than I do; and so I have put away
the chain till next week, or may be the week after."
Ah! Sue, still the old habit of beginning but
never completing : I wonder, little daughter, when
you will learn to persevere in what you undertake;"
and so saying, Mr. Munroe sat down to his writing-
table, and Sue, feeling that what he had said was
only too true, resumed her needle.
Three days, or perhaps four, Susey went on
perseveringly with her worsted work; and the
lamp-mat she had commenced as a present for her
mother, began to look very pretty; but on the
fifth day she was invited to drink tea with a friend;
and on the sixth, she had company at home; and
the seventh was Sunday, so that by the time Mon-
day came again, the novelty had worn off-Sue's
ardor to outstrip her companions very much aba-
ted, and the mat was thrust into the drawer which
contained sundry other articles of the same kind,
and there it lay very snugly, until it was nearly if
not entirely forgotten.
In another week, Susan came into the parlor
one evening with a pair of ivory knitting-needles
88 COUSIN BERTHA S STORIES.
in her hand, and a spool of silk; she was about
to knit a purse. Her mother cast on the first row
of stitches, and then the young lady commenced
operations herself; expatiating all the while upon
the beauty of just such a purse with steel rings and
tassels, which Miss Greene, one of the elder
scholars, had bought in Broadway, assuring her
mother that this would be just as handsome in
If it should ever be finished," said Mrs. Mun-
Of course I shall finish it, mother," said Susan,
eagerly, for I intend it as a present to my Cousin
Jane. It will be such a pretty gift, won't it ? and
I think she will like it all the better when she
hears that I have made it myself."
Yes," replied Mrs. Munroe, I have no doubt
she will; and I only hope, my dear, it may not
share the fate of many other pretty things you
have undertaken, and then thrown aside."
"I shall not throw this aside, I assure you,
mother," said Sue, looking a little ashamed as she
spoke; I have been wishing for some time to
give Jane something, and beside, I am so fond of
"Very well," said her mother, we shall see."
"Yes, ma'am," said Sue, gaily, as her fingers
moved the faster, you will see how soon I shall
get it done, and how pretty it will look;" and for
that evening, at least, Susan Munroe was really
industrious. But unfortunately, Sue's industry, or
rather her perseverance, was usually of short du-
ration; the most trifling thing made her grow
weary of that, which, an hour before, perhaps, she
had commenced with the greatest delight; and so
the next morning, when she sat down to her knit-
ting, intending to get on with it a little before
school-hours; an unlucky knot in the silk dissipa.
ted all her enthusiasm at once; the purse, she
thought, began to look ugly and misshapen; she
turned it over and over, held it to the light, tugged
at the knot, which only made it worse, and finally,
uttering an impatient Pshaw !" wound it up into
a sort of ball, and throwing it upon the table,
walked away. Cousin Jane's chance of ever
receiving the pretty purse, was rather a slender
I am sure I cannot enumerate all the various
pieces of work attempted during the few weeks of
which we write. Knitting, netting, and other
employment of the same sort, were in turn com-
menced and abandoned, until at last a new project
was presented to the ever active mind of our
friend Sue, which she lost no time in setting about.
Returning from school one day, she found her
mother busily engaged in measuring off some very
90 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORIES.
pretty stuff, and cutting from it a gentleman's dres.
sing gown. What are you going to do with this
ma'am ?" she eagerly asked.
I am about making a morning-robe for your
grand-father," replied Mrs. Munroe. I received
a letter from him to-day, in which he mentions his
intention of paying us a visit, with Aunt Sarah
and little Serena. Shall you not be glad to see
Oh indeed I shall," cried Sue, clapping her
hands, I shall be delighted. When may we ex-
pect them, mother ?"
Not before the last of this month."
SNot till then? what a long time to wait; I
wish it was to-morrow, don't you ?"
I shall be most happy to see them whenever
they arrive," said Mrs. Munroe, but I shall not be
too impatient. Aunt Sarah has very judiciously
sent me a long notice, that I may get everything
out of the way, and thus be able to enjoy their
visit; this gown, for instance, which grandpapa
will require immediately, and many other matters
that I should not have cared to dispose of, had they
not come to the city."
"It will be a very handsome dressing-gown,"
said Sue, taking up a bit of the material; "such
bright colors : and now, mother," she added, her
face lighting up as the idea flashed upon her, sup.
pose I were to work a pair of slippers for grand.
papa to wear with it."
Mrs. Munroe smiled without speaking, and Su.
san's brother John, who had been reading by the
fire when she entered the room, looked up and
gave a long and very significant whistle.
And why shouldn't I, mother ?" said Sue, ob-
serving the expression of Mrs. Munroe's counte-
nance. "I am sure grandpapa would be pleased
with them. You don't speak, mother, you only
If they can be really finished after they are
begun, my dear," said Mrs. Munroe, I certainly
have no objection to your undertaking them, but I
do not believe that such will ever be the case;
and as the materials will cost something, I think
it would be a pity to waste the money."
She will never complete them, mother," said
John, bluntly; "hasn't she fifty things now, lying
about unfinished ?"
Indeed, but I shall," said Sue, drawing herself
up, and looking somewhat disdainfully at her
brother; I'll bet you anything you choose that I
Done," said John; "I'll bet you a paper of
Stuart's candy, that you never finish them."
"Very well; but I know who will win," said
92 COUSIN BERTHA'S STORES.
his sister, so you may buy the candy at once,
- Mister Joif; and I prefer cream to any other-
twisted crean, remember."
I shall be in no haste about it," replied John,
Carelessly, "but when grandfather has paid his
visit and gone home without the slippers, you may
get some lemon candy for me."
I do not approve of betting, my dear children,"
said Mrs. Munroe. "It is a foolish method of set-
tling disputes of any kind, and between brothers
and sisters, quite unnecessary."
But just this once, mother," said Susan coax-
ingly; let us bet this once, because I am so sure
of winning; that is, if you will give me the mate-
rials. I promise you that I will not waste them,
and I'll set about the work tomorroww"
I should first insist upon your finishing some
of those fifty things now lying about, which John
speaks of," replied Mrs. Munroe ; "the silk purse,
"Dear mother! pray don't: the silk is in such
a horrid knot you can't think. It would take me
a week to get it out."
"The greater reason why I should punish your
But if I wait to do all that, mother," said Sue,
there will be no chance of my working the slip.
pers at all; for you know I have not a great deal
of time for sewing, and grandpapa will be here
in three weeks."
"True," said Mrs. Munroe, who was always
more inclined to indulge her children than to ops
pose them, and perhaps yielded a little too readily
to Susan's wishes ; I had forgotten that."
And you will let me do them, like a dear
good mother as you are," said Sue; "I know you
will, fir you smile."
And yet when I smiled just now, you thought
I was going to object to your scheme."
Ah! but that was a different smile ; not at all
like this one."
"Sue knows how to coax you, mother," said
John, laughing, "but let her go on with the slip.
pers by all means, for I like lemon candy."
Sue replied, that she had no fears about the bet
whatever, and was quite confident the twisted
cream would be her's in a little while; as she
should go that. very afternoon to buy a pattern
and some worsteds, and commence her slippers
the next morning, at which time, it being Saturday,
she might employ herself as she chose; assuring
her mother that as soon as they were done, she ,
would take up the purse without fail, disentangle
the silk, and finish it in season for Cousin Jane's