The Baldwin Libray
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THE FAIRY GODMOTHERS
AND OTHER TALES.
]HIXRlEi~XX SXI~ TC@~hLKG
THE FAIRY GODMOTHERS
AND OTHER TALES.
BY MRS. ALFRED GATTY.
Col mile, e non coil' aceto fi piglian le mofche.
GEORGE BELL, 186, FLEET STREET.
TO MY CHILDREN
THESE TALES ARE MOST AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.
THEY WERE WRITTEN IN HOURS OF
SICKNESS, BUT ARE INTENDED TO BE READ BY THE
HEALTHY AND JOYOUS YOUNG:
AND TO ILLUSTRATE SOME FAVOURITE AND
LONG CHERISHED CONVICTIONS.
27th March, x85I.
. . 61
THE FAIRY GODMOTHERS
Joachim the Mimic .
Darknefs and Light
The Love of God . . 12+
*,* The defign for the Frontifpiece which adorns this
volume is by the pencil of the writer's kind and highly
gifted friend, Mifs Lucette E. Barker.
THE FAIRY GODMOTHERS.
N one of the beautiful bays on the
coat of Fairy Land, a party of Fairies
was affembled on a lovely evening in
July. There are many beautiful bays
on the coaft of England, and there is
one especially, my dear little readers,which you and
I know of, where a long line of grand old rocks
firetches far into the fea on the left-hand extre-
mity, while in the distance to the right a warning
lighthouse with its changing lights gives an almost
folemn beauty to the fcene; for one cannot help
thinking, at the fight of it, of the poor ftorm-driven
mariner, whom even that friendly light mpy fail to
fave from a fad and fudden death. But beautiful as
this little bay is, of which I peak, and fond as we
are of it, it is nothing, I do affure you, compared to
the bays in Fairy Land! There, there are no light-
houfes reminding one painfully of danger and de-
ftruftion near, but all is lovelinefs and peace; and
even the rocks would be turned into foft pillows by
2 The Fairy Godmothers.
the good-natured Fairies who inhabit the buntry,
should any ftrange accident drive a mortal fhip on
Alfo the bays in Fairy Land face to the weft,
which is a great advantage, for in an evening there
you may fit and watch the golden fun dipping be-
hind the waves; and the rich red tints he fends
out upon the rocks before he fets, are beyond
measure beautiful and attra&ive. Especially, I be-
lieve, the Fairies enjoy this time of day, for they are
odd little creatures, rather conceited, and fond of
everything pretty; consequently they like to be
floating about the rocks in their white dreffes
when the crimfon and golden hues of funfet fhine
on them,, knowing very well they look like fo
many bright flowers on the occasion.
The day I peak of however had been very hot,
and at the time I peak of, the Fairies felt a little
lazy and were reclining on fome rocks covered
with fea-weed and amufing themselves by talking.
In general the conversation of thefe little creatures is
rather light and frivolous and gay; but it is really a
faa that they were juft then all ferious together
and all were engaged in a very profound conver-
fation on human happinefs.
I am forry to have fo many explanations to
give, but I think it quite neceffary to tell you the
reason of fo uncommon an event as a party of
Fairies being serious. Well then, there were going
to be, very shortly, several extremely gay chriften-
ings in the world, and fome of the Fairies had been
The Fairy Godmothers. 3
invited to attend at them as Godmothers, in order
that they might beftow Fairy gifts on the different
Four or five of the chriftenings were to take
place the next day, and the Fairies who were going
were difcuffing with each other what gifts they
should beftow, and as their only objea was to en-
fure the happinefs of the children for whom they
were interested, they naturally fell into a difcourfe
as to what gifts were moft likely to have fo charm-
ing an effea. Your Godchild is a girl too, I be-
lieve," faid Euphrofyne to lanthe [Fairies are pri-
vileged, you know, to have romantic names]
what do you think of bestowing upon her ?"
"Why," answered lanthe, "the old ftory, I fup-
pofe-BEAUTY: at leaft fuch was my intention,
but if you can any of you fhow me I am wrong in
fuppofing it a caufe of happinefs to the mortal
race, why, I fuppofe I muft give her uglinefs in-
Sifter, I hope you will do no fuch thing,"
murmured a young Fairy who lay near twining
feaweeds into a wreath. I never until this
evening heard a doubt upon the fubje9, and to
tell you the truth the only time I ever envy a
mortal is when I fee a regular beauty enter a large
affembly. Oh, the triumph of that moment!
Every eye turned upon her; murmurs of admira-
tion, not unmixed with envy, greeting her as the
fweeps along; everyone courting her acquaintance;
a word, a fmile of hers more valued than a pearl
4 The Fairy Godmothers.
or a ruby. A fort of queen of Nature's own
making, reigning royally in undifputed fway, let
her circumstances of life be what they may!
Look how mean the richest woman who is ugly
looks by the fide of her! No no, dear lanthe,
make your little lady handsome, and you have done
the beft that Fairy can do for her. I declare I
envy her beforehand! Here where we are all
fo beautiful together there is no interest or excite-
ment about it-it is quite flat." And fo faying
the young fairy Leila laid herself down to her
wreath again. Why, Leila, you are absolutely
eloquent !" observed lanthe, "Beauty it certainly
Oh, I declare," purfued lanthe, rousing up
again," I have sometimes really wifhed myfelf
ugly, that I might fome day have the pleasure of
suddenly finding myfelf beautiful! "
Oh, but then," faid a Fairy from behind, "is
there no danger of your regular beauty, as you
call her, getting as tired of being beautiful as you
are, and wifhing herself ugly too?"
Certainly,'not," answered lanthe, "for, for an
earthly beauty there would always be the excite-
ment of being envied."
Come, come," perfifted the former speaker,
then the gift of being envied would be the beft
thing to beftow, at all events a neceffary addi-
Oh," cried Leila, stopping her ears, I can't
argue, I never could-I can't hear any more, I
The Fairy Godmothers.
am quite satisfied that I am right; you can't argue
away the pleasure of being a beauty in a ball-room.
Afk any of them themselves."
Well," faid lanthe, we need purfue the
fubje& no further. I am resolved. My baby is
to be beautiful, beautiful as the dawn of the morn-
ing; they hall call her Aurora!"
I hall not follow your example," observed
Euphrofyne, I don't at all like that notion of the
neceflity of envy to make the beauty's joy com-
plete. Befides, I'm not at all fure beauty is not
much more charming in idea than in poffeffion.
Nobody fpend their lives in entering a ball-room,
and one gets fadly tired of one's own face. I'm
fure I do, beautiful as it is ;" and as ihe fpoke the
Fairy ftooped over a clear tide pool which mir-
rored her lovely countenance; and yet look
what a nofe I have! It is absolutely exquifite!
And this hair!" and fhe held up her long filken
curling treffes and looked at them refle&ed in the
water as fhe poke. A mufical laugh rang through
the fairy group. Euphrofyne refused her feat.
" There ifn't a mortal damfel in the world who
would not go into raptures to refemble nie," pur-
fued the, and yet-but, oh dear, I am getting
quite profy, and it is quite ufelefs, for lanthe has
decided. I, on the contrary, am thinking of fome-
thing far lefs romantic and interesting, but I fuf-
pec far more neceffary to the happinefs of mor-
tals than beauty-I mean RICHES."
Men are horribly fond of them, certainly,"
The Fairy Godmothers.
observed the Fairy from behind, whofe name was
Ambrofia. I can't endure men on that very
account. Look at the grubby wretched lives
they lead in counting-houfes and banks, and dread-
ful dingy holes and corners of great towns, where
we would'nt fet the foles of our feet, and this for
forty or fifty years, perhaps, in order that in the
fifty-firft, or perhaps later ftill, they may turn into
butterflies for the little bit of life that is left to
them. And fuch butterflies, too! not knowing
what to do with their gay coats and fine wings
when they get them at laft."
I think you are putting an extreme cafe,"
observed Euphrofyne. Though the grubs them-
felves may not thoroughly enjoy the riches they
have fo laborioufly acquired, their children or
grandchildren may, and live at eafe and enjoy
them. I should not think of beftowing great
riches on uneducated paupers. But it is ano-
ther matter to give them to people whom edu-
cation has refined, and who would know how to
enjoy and employ them."
I wonder," fuggefted a very little Fairy,
fcarcely grown to her full fize, why you don't
juft give your Godchildren moderate good health,
and enough money to make them quite comfort-
able without puzzling them?"
You are a complete Solomon," observed
Euphrofyne, but you muff know, my dear, that
moderate good health and a mere comfortable
competency would hardly be considered Fairy gifts
The Fairy Godmothers.
by our friends in the lower world. Thefe things
are, as it were, the absolute necejities of a happy
life; they are the beef and mutton (to borrow an
earthly fimile) of the entertainment. Fairy gifts
form the somewhat unneceffary (and queftionably
wholefome) second course, the fweets, the bonbons,
the luscious luxuries of the repaft.
Very few, by comparison, get them. Very
few infants you know have Fairy Godmothers,
but we make it a rule that thofe who have, fhall
always be diftinguifhed from the crowd. Other-
wife our power would not be believed in. No,
my little Aglaia, all our Godchildren ftart from the
point you fpoke of-' caeteris paribus,' as thofe
dingy black lawyers fay-all other things being
equal-it is a question now of beftowing extra
fuperfine Fairy gifts."
Aglaia tittered-" I know Sifter Euphrofyne
is thinking of the christening fuppers, and the
whipped creams, and the fyllabubs !" and away
ihe tripped to the other end of the bay, left the
older Fairies should fcold her for impertinence.
"< Certainly," purfued Euphrofyne, I have a
great contempt for riches myfelf. Bah !i the idea
of all the troublesome as well as wicked things
men do in order that they may be able to keep a
lumbering thing they call a carriage, to drive them
round a dirty town. Juft think of that one thing
alone! It is hardly credible." And Euphrofyne
laid her head by the fide of Leila's, and looked
up into the deep blue fky.
8 The Fairy Godmothers.
-C Remember," faid Ambrofia, from behind, it
is a choice with poor mortals between heavy foot-
walking, and the lumbering vehicles you talk of.
Perhaps when their legs ache terribly, the carriages
are no fuch bad things. We can hardly judge
difpaffionately in fuch a matter, we who can float
and fly!" and the delicate Ambrofia, fpringing
up, floated foftly round the bay, and then returned
fmiling to her companions. It made me almost
ill to think of aching legs," observed fhe, "how I
do pity the mortal race "
How pretty you looked as the fun fhone
golden upon your white robe," exclaimed Leila,
" It was a fight for a mortal painter to die of!"
A genius for painting would be a grand Fairy
gift," observed lanthe.
Too doubtful of fuccefs," answered Eu-
phrofyne, and the Mufician's power the fame;
besides musicians always die young and with ex-
haufted minds. The art is too much for mortal
Their atmosphere is too thick," faid Leila.
" How tired I am of your difcuflions Let us
fing Whatever mufic may be to them, it is food
Then all thofe beautiful Fairies arofe and join-
ing hands on the rocks they fang to the now dying
Sun a chorus of Fairy Land! Now and then thefe
ravishing melodies are permitted to reach to mortal
ears : chiefly in dreams to the fick and forrowful,
for Fairies have great compaffion on fuch, and
The Fairy Godmothers. 9
allow them a distant tafte of this, the moft exqui-
fite of their enjoyments.
There was no more difcufflon that night, nor
did they argue much the next morning. There
was the rising fun to welcome from the fleep-
ing caves on the eastern fide of their country,
and the bath to be enjoyed, and their wings to
plume, and fweet odours to gather from the early
flowers; and the time paffed fo quickly, they only
met to take a hurried leave. We muft under-
fand each other however, before we separate,"
Dear lanthe, your Gift is Beauty?" It
is." And mine is Riches," faid Euphrofyne.
"All the pleafures of life hall be at my Godchild's
feet," faid another Fairy, laughing. If that will
not enfure -happinefs, I know not what will."
Ambrofia held back-" Your choice, dear Sifter?"
Come! we have no time to lofe."
It muff remain a fecret," was the reply.
" Our difcourfe yeferday evening was fo thought-
ful, fo fad, I could not fleep. I arofe hours before
you- this morning, ere daylight freaked the fky.
Dear Sifters, how shocked you will be to hear I
wept; but now I have determined. If my gift
fucceed I will tell you all about it, or you hall
guefs it yourfelves; for I now propofe that our
Fairy Gifts this year fall be a fort of experiment
on human happinefs. Let us from time to time
vifit in company our young charges, and let the
0o The Fairy Godmothers.
result that is, which of our Gifts is proved to
confer the greatest amount of happinefs, be written
in the archives of our kingdom for the future
benefit of the mortal race."
A murmur of approbation rofe, fweet as the
vibration of a harp-chord through the affembly.
There was no time for enquiry about the other
gifts: the travelling Fairies arofe and beat their
gauzy wings upon the western breeze. A melo-
dious rufhing was juft audible; the distant mur-
murs of the earthly fea the moft resemble that
fweet dream of found. In a few moments the
departing filters became invifible, and thofe who
remained returned to float by the fea fhore, or
make fweet mufic in the bowers of their enchanted
Time is a very odd fort of thing, dear readers.
We neither know whence it comes nor whither it
goes;-nay we know nothing about it in fat except
that there is one little moment of it called the pre-
fent, which we have as it were in our hands to make
ufe of-but beyond this we can give no account of,
even that little moment. It is ours to ufe, but not
to understand. There is one thing in the world,
however, quite as wonderful, and quite as common,
and that is, the Wind. Did it never frike you
how strange it was that the firongeft thing in
the world should be invisible ? The nice breezes
we feel in summer and the rougheft blafts we
feel in winter in England are not fo extremely
The Fairy Godmothers. 11
strong you will fay: but I am speaking, besides
thefe, of the winds called hurricanes that arife in
the Weft Indian Iflands, and in other places
in the world. Thefe dreadful hurricanes have
at times done as much mifchief as earthquakes
and lightning. They tear down the ftrongeft
trees, overthrow the firmeft houfes and fpread
ruin and defolation around, and yet this terrible
power, fo tremendous, and against which the
clevereft contrivances can provide no defence, is
as invifible as the great Maker of Heaven and
Earth. How unbelieving many people would
look if you told them of a dreadful creature that
was coming to the world, which could be heard
to roar, be felt to knock down every thing in its
path-men,women and children, houses, churches,
towers, caftles, cities, and trees the moft firmly
rooted-and yet which you could never catch the
faintest glimpse of, for it was always invifible, even
when it roared the loudeft! As invifible then, as
when in its mildeft moods, it, as it were, purred
foftly over the country like a cat. How the good
people would laugh, and tell you you were very
filly to believe in fuch a thing. Yet I think this
is not at all an incorre6 description of the great
invifible Power WIND. Now the leffon we may
learn from this is to be humble-minded; for fince
we live in the constant presence of a Power we
cannot fee, we ought to feel it is equally poffible
other Powers may exift of which our other fenfes
cannot take cognizance. There is an old proverb
S2 The Fairy Godmothers.
" Seeing is believing "- but you perceive, dear
readers, we are forced to believe in the wind though
we never fee him at all.
To return to Time who is travelling faft on
while I am rambling after the wind, he has puz-
zled the artists a good deal I should fay, for with
all their fkill at representation they have never hit
upon any better idea of him than an old Man with
wings. An old man with wings! Can you fancy
anything fo unnatural! One can quite understand
beautiful young Angels with wings. Youth and
power and fwiftnefs belong to them. Alfo Fairies
with wings are quite comprehenfible creatures;
for one fancies them fo light and airy and tranf-
parent, living upon honey dew and ambrofia, that
wings wherewith to fly feem their natural appen-
dages. But the decrepitude of old age and the
wings of youth and power are a ftrange mixture:
-a bald head, and a Fairy's fwiftnefs!-how ridi-
culous it feems, and fo I think I may well fay
Time is a very odd fort of thing.
Among thofe who have to deal with Time, few
are more puzzled how to manage him than we
ftory-tellers. In my firft chapter, for infance, I
gave you a half-hour's conversation among fome
Fairies, but I think you would be very angry with
me were I to give you as exaflly every half-hour
that paffed over the heads of the little girls with
Fairy Godmothers, till they grew up. How you
would fcold, dear little readers, if I were to enter
into a particular description of each child's Nurfe,
The Fairy Godmothers. 13
and tell whether Mifs Aurora, Mifs Julia, Mifs
Hermione, &c. &c. &c. were brought up on baked
flour, groat-gruel, rufks, tops and bottoms, or re-
valenta food Whether they took more caftor-
oil, or rhubarb and magnefia; whether they
fqualled on thofe occasions or were very good.
When they cut their teeth and how, together
with all the &c. and ups and downs of Nurfery
life which large families, fuch as you and I belong
to, go through daily.
Well then, fuppofe I altogether pafs over a pe-
riod of ten years, and enter into no minute parti-
culars refpe&ing that portion of Time. You
muff know that the Fairies had agreed that all the
children should have the fame (and rather a large)
amount of intelle&, or what you would call cle-
vernefs: that is to fay, they were all equally capa-
ble of learning anything they chofe to learn : alfo
they had all fair health, plenty to eat and drink,
and all the fo called necEffary comforts of life.
Now then to our ftory.
At the end of ten years the Fairies agreed to go
and have a peep how their charges were going on.
They quite knew that nothing decifive 'could be
found out, till the children had come to years of
discretion and were their own miftreffes. Still
they thought it would amufe them juft to go and
fee how the charms were working, as it were ; fo,
away they went.
Now pi&ure to yourfelves a nice large nurfery,
much fuch a one as your own, in which federal
14 The Fairy Godmothers.
children are playing. The eldeft, a girl of ten,
you may fee yonder lounging-gracefully perhaps
- but ftill lounging in a rocking chair which fhe
is swinging backwards and forwards, having fet it
in motion by the alion of her foot on the floor.
What a lovely face I do not think you ever faw
one fo handsome except in a print in one of
Mamma's beft piaure books. All the features are
perfealy good and in proportion, and the dark
blue eyes are fringed by the longest eyelafhes ever
feen. The hair of this little girl too look at it,
as the foft chefnut ringlets wave about on her
shoulders as fhe fwings, and fhow the round rich-
nefs of the curls.
Now if you ak about the expreffion on her
face, I muft tell you it was rather languid and
penfierofo." Penfierofo is an Italian word really
meaning thoughtful but this little girl was not
thinking, for then the expreflion of her face would
have been much stronger and firmer and lefs lan-
guid ; but the word has got to be ufed for a fort of
awake-dreamy ftate when one lets thoughts float
lazily along without having any energy to dwell
upon them, and fee whether they are good or bad.
The thought that was paffing through this little
girl's head at the time I mention and which made
her look fo languid and penfierofo, was
I wifh it was 6 o'clock."
Now here you are ready to laugh, I know, for
there was nothing to look fo languid about, in I
The Fairy Godmothers.
wifh it was fix o'clock but the fai& was this ,
at half-paft fix the little girl's Mamma was ex-
peking a large party to dinner and the little girl
was to drefs at fix and be ready to go down and
fee the company :-I might add and to be feen by
them; for the little girl was, as you will have
gueffed, the beautiful Aurora herfelf, and there
had been plenty of foolish people, though her good
Mamma was not one of them, to tell her how
pretty fhe was and how much people admired her.
It is a very pleasant thing to be admired, both
for children and grown up people. The love
of approbation," as it is called, i. e. the with to be
approved of and admired is a feeling which is very
strong in moft people; not in quite all, perhaps,
but in mofe people certainly. But like all other
powers of the mind considered apart from the in-
fluence of the heart and confcience, it is capable
of being ufed to a very bad or a very good purpose.
Thus you may remember what our Saviour fays
of the Pharifees who food praying at the corners
of the streets that they might be feen of men:
Verily, they had their reward-viz: that men ad-
mired them: whereas thofe who do good deeds
and pray privately, i. e. unfeen and unadmired by
men, should verily have their reward in that day
when God who feeth in secret himself fall reward
Here you fee is the fame strong feeling,-love
of approbation, exercised in a wrong and a right
dire&ion. The Pharifees wifh for the approbation
16 The Fairy Godmothers.
of men, good people wifh for the approbation of
Now, love of approbation exists about much
smaller matters than I have juft been mentioning.
But I would warn my young readers, that, to be
always thinking, and bothering yourfelves as to
what other people are thinking about you, is one
of the moft uncomfortable and injurious habits a
person can get into. It makes them fo felfifh and
egotistical. And here was one of Aurora's dan-
gers. Because fhe knew fhe was pretty, fhe was
always wondering what other people were think-
ing about her, a habit which fo far from contri-
buting to what the good Fairy had wifhed, viz.
her happinefs, was constantly fpoiling her comfort
from hour to hour. And here, at ten years old,
was this little lady swinging languidly and idly on
the rocking chair, wifhing it was fix o'clock, in-
ftead of enjoying, as fhe might fo well have done,
that fmall portion of time, time prefent, which is,
as I told you before, the only bit of him we can
ever lay hold of, as it were. Of time present,
juft then, fhe thought nothing. She would have
faid, (had fhe been afked), that the old gentleman
moved very flowly in fpite of his wings, for her
eye was fixed on that delightful time future, fix
o'clock. Well! at laft the clock truck, and
Aurora fprang from her chair,-her whole face
altered in a moment. Now, Nurfe, I may drefs,
may I not?" fhe exclaimed, radiant with anima-
tion, and all the languor and dreaminefs gone over
The Fairy Godmothers.
like a cloud from before the fun. And it is true
that juft then Aurora was happy. It was a plea-
fant talk to her to arrange and fmooth that curling
hair, and to put on the simple white drefs fhe
knew fet off her beauty fo well. But alas! for
the happinefs caused by thoughts of one's felf!
The toilet over, fhe ran down to her Mamma,
and was welcomed with a fmile of fondnefs and
approbation. Indeed, when fhe was happy, a
sweeter face could not be feen, for the was not a
naughty child, and if it had not been for the Fairy
gift, I do think fhe would have been a very nice
The Fairies who invifibly had witnefled all I
have described to you, were not fo loud in their
admiration of Aurora as you or I might have been.
They are fo handfome themselves, they think but
little of earthly beauty, and even lanthe could not
confcientioufly fay, "' What a happy looking little
girl fhe is." That was juft the one thing that
was wanting: ay, and it continued wanting even
after the room was filled with company, and fhe
was petted, and careffed, and praifed on every fide.
Her fpirits became very high, however, and fhe
enjoyed herself much ; and it is perhaps only very
very critical folk, bent on fpying out a fault, that
could have dete&ed the little clouds of anxiety that
now and then fhot acrofs her face. A thought
of whether her curls were all right, or her drefs
untumbled, &c. juft now and then disturbed the
18 The Fairy Godmothers.
charm, and prevented her forgetting herself fuffi-
ciently to allow her to be quite at eafe and happy,
and fhe would glance at herself in the mirror, and
put back the hair from her brow, left Mrs. I-know-
not-who, who was juft then entering the room,
should not think her quite as lovely as Mrs. Some-
body-elfe did, who had very foolifhly been saying
fo rather in a loud tone to her Mamma.
At laft the fatal time arrived to go to bed.
Aurora was much too fenfible to cry, or be crofs,
you muff know, but as fhe clofed the door of the
drawing-room and left the gay company, a figh
very heavy for fo young a heart to have breathed,
efcaped her, and it was flowly fhe retraced her
fleps up ftairs. She was in reality tired, for it
was later than her ufual bed-time, and when fhe
went into her eem The threw herself on the chair
and yawned. The young Nurfe who attended to
undrefs her, afked her if fhe had enjoyed herself.
"Oh yes!" was her ready anfwer. "All is fo
bright, and gay, and entertaining among thofe la-
dies, and they are fo good-natured to me,"-(an-
other figh coupled with the recollection of, and
how much they admire me!) -" But I do fo hate
being a little girl, and having to go to bed. I
wif the time would come quicker for me to be
grown up, and be down ftairs altogether, and talk,
and enjoy myfelf all the evening !" Oh, Aurora,
Aurora, with that diffatisfied face where is your
beauty? with that difcontented mind where is
The Fairy Godmothers.
Your charm is not working perfeAly, Sifter,"
observed Euphrofyne to lanthe.
Her's is not the age for perfect happinefs and
enjoyment as a beauty, remember," replied lanthe,
" and fhe feels this herself."
Man never is but always to be bleft," cried
Ambrofia laughing. You fee I can quote their
own poets against them."
You are prejudging now, Ambrofia, wait till
another ten years is over; but we mufl fee our
little beauty through the twenty-four hours."
lanthe now waved a tiny wand in a circle around
Aurora's head,-the long eyelafhes fank over her
eyes, and the beautiful child fell into a fweet and
Morning, which awakens all young creatures to
life, enjoyment, and a&ion, awoke Aurora among
the reft, and fhe arofe in health and strength, and
the full glow of animal spirits. This is happi-
nefs, however," exclaimed lanthe to her compa-
nions, as the young girl fprang about, carolling to
herself the while. And fo it was, for at that mo-
ment no forecaftings into futurity disturbed the
comfort of prefent pleasure: but an accidental
glimpfe of her face caught in a looking-glafs as
fhe paffed, recalled Aurora to the recollefion of
HERSELF and the admiration fhe had obtained
the evening before. At firfi fome pleasure at-
tended the remembrance, and fhe gazed with a
childish triumph at her pretty face in the glafs.
In a few minutes, however, the voice of her Go-
20 The Fairy Godmothers.
vernefs calling her to leffons disturbed the egotift-
ical amusement, and the charming Aurora frowned
-yes, frowned! and looked crofs at the looking-
glafs before fhe quitted the apartment.
And now, dear little readers, let me remind you
that Aurora was a clever little girl, for the Fairy
had taken care of that. She had every faculty for
learning, and no real diflike to it; but this un-
lucky Fairy gift was in the way of every thing the
did, for it took away her interest in every thing
but herself; and fo, though fhe got through her
leffons refpe&ably, it was with many yawns, and
not a few fighs, and wonderings what Mamma was
doing; and did the Governefs think there would
foon be another dinner party ? and didn't the Go-
vernefs, when jhe was a little girl, wifh very much
fhe was a grown up woman? and, finally, fhe
wifhed fhe had been able to talk when the was a
baby at her christening, because then fhe would
have begged the Fairy Godmother to give her the
gift of growing up to be a young lady very quick
indeed, and of learning every thing without any
trouble at all! And fo saying, Aurora yawned
and laid down her book, and the poor Governefs
could hardly keep her temper at fuch repeated in-
terruptions to the fubjeA in hand.
My dear," fhe exclaimed, "Fairies have no
power to counter& what God, has ordained, and
he has ordained that we enjoy but little what we
get at without labour and trouble."
Ah taifez-vous done ma chere !" cried Au-
The Fairy Godmothers.
rora, flopping her ears with her hands, and run-
ning round the room shaking her long curls furi-
oufly. Vous me faites abfolument fremir !
Excufe my French, but I am certain you are the
eldefi daughter of the old woman in the wood, and
you are juft now dropping vipers, toads, newts,
and efts from your mouth at every word you ut-
The good-natured Governefs laughed heartily
at the joke, for they had juft been reading the old
French fairy tale of Les deux Fies," and the
application amufed her; but fhe hook her head
gravely at Aurora afterwards, and reminded her
that no serious truth was well answered by a joke,
A bell rings, a carriage is at the door. Mifs
Aurora is wanted. Vifiters Ah here is hap-
pinefs again But it lafts but a fhort time, and
the rea6ion is the fame as before-drooping eyes,
languid eyelids, and a figh.
Books, drawing, mufic, work, even domestic
recreations, all deprived of their charm through
this idolatry of felf!
The curtain closed over this fcene.
"A charming child, lanthe, but for your Fairy
Gift, which is spoiling her."
I repeat to you we are no judges yet. Now
for riches, Euphrofyne !"
At the fame hour of evening, aid under the
fame circumstances, of a party about to affemble,
22 The Fairy Godmothers.
let me introduce you to a beautiful little boudoir or
up-flairs fitting-room adjoining an equally pretty
sleeping apartment in a magnificent houfe in a
town. The paifages are carpeted all over, and fo
are the boudoir and the fleeping-room, and they
are furnifhed with fofas, eafy chairs, and every de-
fcription of luxurious comfort; and all this for the
accommodation of a little girl of ten years old, who
in one of the eafy chairs is lying back in front of
the fire, with her tiny feet on a bright brafs fender.
She has a gold watch in her hand, which is fuf-
pended round her neck by a chain of the fame
material, and fhe is playing with it, and with the
feals, and pretty ornaments hung to it, that jingle
as fhe moves her hand. Ever and anon ihe
glances at the face of the watch.
But life is very eafy to her, and the chair is very
foft, and her feet are very warm. At laft, how-
ever, fhe gets up and rings a filver bell that is on
the mantel-piece. A fervant answers the fum-
mons. It is time for me to drefs, I believe,
Annette ; the company are expe&ed to-day at half
paft fix. Has my new frock come home ?"
Let me look at it."
A delicate blue fatin, trimmed with the finest
lace, is produced from a band-box.
It is very pretty, I think, Annette."
It is downright beautiful, Mifs."
And fo expensive," purfued the little girl
whofe name was Julia, that I don't think any
The Fairy Godmothers.
one elfe I know is likely to imitate it, which is my
greatest comfort !"
And fo faying, the rich Mifs Julia (an
only daughter), whofe comfort seemed to depend
on no one elfe being as comfortable as herself,
commenced her toilet, i.e. her maid both com-
menced and finished it for her, for thofe who can
command the unlimited affiftance of fervants are
apt to be very idle in helping themselves.
Your Julia looks felf-fatisfied enough," ob-
ferved lanthe, but I do not fee that this is more
like real happinefs than my Aurora's face before
Perhaps," returned Euphrofyne, the fame
remark applies to her as to Aurora-the age for
thoroughly enjoying riches is hardly arrived. You
fmile, Ambrofia! Well, we do not yet know
your experiment, and you yourself do not know
how it has answered. Take care that our turn
for laughing at you does not foon come "
Julia was dreffed at the end of the half-hour,
but not fooner. Her toilet occupied more time
than Aurora's. She could not decide what orna-
ments ihe would wear, and at laft getting' out of
humour with the embarras des richeffes" fhe
fixed on a necklace which, though extremely hand-
Come, was fcarcely fit for a child. She was neither
pretty nor otherwise, but when good humoured
and happy her face, like that of all other creatures
of her innocent time of life, was attrafive and
pleasant to behold. Oh, that children did but
24 The Fairy Godmothers.
know wherein the fecret of being loveable and be-
loved lies! In holding faft the innocence and
simplicity of their infant years; in the cheerful
spirit, the univerfal kindheartednefs, the open
honesty, the fweet teachablenefs and readinefs of
belief, which are the real chara6teriftics of child-
hood and which we fo love to trace in their faces.
It was thefe things our Saviour called upon grown-
up people to imitate, and fo to receive the king-
dom of Heaven as little children. And oh, that
grown-up people would imitate thefe things; for if
they would become in thefe refpeats as little chil-
dren, the feet caft of mind would be refle&ed in
their faces too, and the ugly looks given by envious
discontent, deceitful thoughts, unkind intention
and reftlefs want of faith and hope would all be
wafhed out of the world.
But now, my dear readers, can you call that
the beft of Fairy gifts, which had fo great a ten-
dency to bring the naughty paffions of grown-up
life into the heart, and therefore on to the face, of
a little girl ? Well, but riches have a tendency that
way; and though Julia was not a very naughty
girl fhe was being led into very fad feelings by the
Fairy gift. When fhe went down to the company,
her fecret anxiety was to examine all the dreffes
of her Mamma's friends and refolve fome day to fur-
pafs them all. Even as it was fhe received much
pleafure from knowing that her own drefs was far
beyond the reach of ordinary folk. She thought
too of her necklace with fecret fatisfation, when
The Fairy Godmothers. 25
the ladies were talking to her, for fhe perceived
their eyes frequently attracted by its brilliancy and
beauty. Then her mind rambled into futurity, to
the day when fhe would aftonifh there very ladies
far more than now by the richnefs of her costume.
Ah, dear readers, would our Saviour if present
have called this little child to him, and faid, Of
fuch is the kingdom of Heaven? But all there
felfifh thoughts made her conversation lefs pleafant
and cheerful than it would otherwise have been;
for you may be fure fhe was not listening with any
interest to what was faid to her, while the was
thus planning filly schemes about herself.
And not having liftened with any interest to
what was faid to her, you may guefs that her an-
fwers were dull and stupid; for when people are
talking of one thing and thinking of another they
become very flat companions. At times when
the could forget herfelf the became natural and
then was both pleasant and pleaded, and afked fome
ladies to let their children come and fee her next
day, to which they consented. But now came a
fad drawback. One of the ladies told her that her
little girl should bring to thew her a moft beautiful
gold fillagree work-box fet with precious ftones,
which one of the maids of honour about court,
who was her godmother, had given her a few
days before. This lady had faved a few of the
queen's hairs very carefully, and had had them
placed in a little circle of crystal in the middle of
the box, and they were fet round with the moft
26 The Fairy Godmothers.
beautiful rubies. It was a present worthy of a
Fairy Godmother, and certainly the donor was the
daughter of a duchefs, which perhaps is the nearest
thing to being a fairy.
You will be shocked, my dear readers, to hear
that the account of this box was as difagreeable as
a dofe of phyfic to poor Julia. Nay it was worfe
than phyfic, for a peppermint-drop can take the
tafte of that away in a minute. But not all the
peppermint-drops in a chymift's fhop could take
away the tafte of the fillagree-box from Julia.
She had been thinking before of flowing all the
treasures of her boudoir to her little friends next
day; but this horrid box was like a great cloud
closing over her funfhine. She knew fhe was
naughty, but fhe was fo in the habit of being
felfifh the could not conquer her peevifh vexation.
Annette wondered what could be the matter, and
her Governefs fighed as fhe perceived her face
clouded, even when fhe was repeating her evening
prayer; but no questioning could extra from
her what was amifs.
Oh, what a condition for a child to go to fleep
in! Euphrofyne was greatly annoyed. They
are not correffing her evil difpofitions," cried fhe.
I do not allow that this has anything to do necef-
farily, with being very rich."
Ah, good Fairies, you do not know How
hardly hall they that have riches enter into the
kingdom of Heaven."
Look now at that young face, afleep on a
The Fairy Godmothers.
downy pillow,in a bed richly hung with crimfon
drapery, in a room filled with luxuries, glowing
with warmth and comfort. You are shocked that
the heart within should be disturbed by nafly little
envyings, that made the good things the poffeffed
of no value to her. 'Tis well; but remember we
are all rich by comparison. Go to the poor froft-
bitten wayfide beggar-child, my little readers;
bring him into your comfortable drawing-room,
which you fit in every day and think nothing about,
and he will fancy he has got into Paradife. It is a
luxurious palace to him. Take him to your fnug
bed and let him fleep there, and it will be to him
what a ftate apartment in Windfor Caftle would be
to you. Do not then let you and me fcold too much
at Julia, but let us keep on the watch to drive
away from ourfelves the difcontented grumbling
thoughts that are apt to make us all ungrateful to
God. Julia did not fleep well. The fillagree box
was a fort of night-mare to her. She dreamt of its
growing up into a great giant, and thumping her
on the head, and calling out that the ought to be
ashamed of herself. Do you know, I think this
dream was owing to her Godmother, Euphrofyne,
for fhe lingered behind the other Fairies as they
vanished, and hook, not waved, her wand over
the sleeping child, with a very angry face.
In the morning Julia, like Aurora, awoke in a
temporary forgetfulnefs of her'troubles. The
morning air is fo refreshing and fleep does one fo
much good, and the fun shining through the win-
28 The Fairy Godmothers.
dows looks fo gay, and all things fpeak of hope fo
loudly in a' morning, who can be fullen ? Cer-
tainly not little girls full of life and expe&ation.
But the thought of the fillagree box by degrees
took poffeflion of her mind and rankled there as
before. She too had a Governefs, and many leffons
to learn and much to do, and fhe did them; but
neither Englifh history nor French fairy tales could
quite drive away the fillagree box. Indeed it in-
troduced its horrid face before her into the midft
of a multiplication fum, and Mademoifelle thought
fhe was bewitched to have grown fo ftupid over
her arithmetic all at once. She fpent a half hour
over that one fum, and when it was done fhe was fo
much tired fhe gave up leffons for the day. Befides,
fhe had to prepare for her friends. She went into
her boudoir, opened her cabinets and unfolded her
treasures of various forts-oh I can't tell you what
beautiful things! besides interesting colle&ions of
foreign and Englifh shells, and fluffed humming
birds, which you and I should be charmed to pof-
fefs. And Julia was in general moft happy when
the was looking over her property, but rather
more because fhe poffeffed valuable curiofities than
because fhe cared about them, I fear. For my
part, I wonder very much that the humming birds
and fhells did not teach her to be more humble-
minded; for no art or jewellery can imitate or
come up to their glorious beauty. Well, fhe
amufed herfelf tolerably in fpite of the vifions of
the fillagree box and the queen's hair, which now
The Fairy Godmothers.
and then came between her and her ufual feeling
Prefently her young friends came-feveral little
girls of various ages, and now nature once more
revived in poor Julia. The children felt and ex-
preffed fuch hearty pleasure at the fight of her
treafures. There were fuch joyous exclamations;
fuch bursts of delight; fuch springing and jumping
about, that Julia became infeded with the general
pleasure, and was a happy child herself. Yes!
even though the fillagree box had been fhown off
and admired. But what do children in general
know about the value of things and how much
they coft? Ah, much more juft in their judg-
ments than we elders are apt to be, a bird of
Paradise fuch as adorned the top of Julia's cabinet,
or a peacock's tail, fuch as fhe had in a drawer,
is to their unprejudiced eyes more defirable than
the gold of Ophir itself!
So now you fee this triumph of simplicity over
art, defpoiled the fillagree box of all its horrors,
for the innocent children admired her shells yet
more-unfophifticated, and infenfible to the long
ftory about the value of the rubies, the Ahaid of
honour, and even the queen's hairs.
Still the Fairies felt and faw that it was not Eu-
phrofyne's gift, but rather the forgetfulnefs of it
which caused thefe hours of happinefs to Julia, and
somewhat puzzled as to the refult they left the vo-
tary of riches, not quite without a fenfation that
little Aglaia's proposal of moderate health and
30 The Fairy Godmothers.
enough riches to be comfortable without being
puzzled," was about the beft thing after all, though
not much of a Fairy gift. And now, my little
readers, I am beginning to get rather tired of my
ftory, and to feel that you may do fo too. I think
I am getting rather profy, fo I muft try and cut
the matter fhort. Four out of the five Fairy gifts
were like beauty and riches, worldly advantages.
For instance, there was the little girl who was to
have every earthly pleasure at her feet-i. e. the
was to have every thing fhe wifhed for-why fhe
was fifty times worfe off than either Aurora or
Julia, for I will tell you whom fhe was like. She
was like the fisherman's wife in Grimm's German
popular fairy tales, who had every thing fhe wished,
and fo at laft wifhed to be king of the fun and
moon. I doubt not you remember her well, and
how fhe was in confequence fent back to her mud
cottage. I think, therefore, I need not describe
the young lady who had that Fairy gift.
There was another who was to be loved wher-
ever fhe went; but nothing is worth having that
is had fo eafily, and this child got fo fick of being
kiffed and fondled and loved, that it was the great-
eft nuifance to her poffible, for difagreeable people
loved her juft as much as nice ones, and for her
part fhe hated them all alike. It was a very filly
Come with me then to Ambrofia's God-daugh-
ter, whom they vifited laft, and whofe Fairy gift
the other Fairies were to guefs at!
'The Fairy Godmothers.
Neither you nor I, my dears, ever heard a fairy-
laugh. Doubtlefs it is a fweet and musical found.
You can perhaps fancy it? Well then, do fancy
it, and how it rang in filver peals when our fairy
friends, on entering the laft nurfery they had to
vifit, found Ambrofia's protegee in a flood of angry
tears, ftamping her foot on the ground in a paffion!
" You naughty naughty girl !" exclaimed the old
Nurfe, you'll wake the baby and make your own
eyes fo red you won't be fit to be feen to night by
the company !"
I don't care about my eyes being red, tho'
I don't want to wake the poor baby," fobbed the
little girl, lightly foftening her wrath: but the
cat has unravelled all the flocking I have been
knitting at for fo many days, and I had nearly juft
finished it, and now it's all fpoilt;" and the roared
with vexation. Mifs Hermione, if you go on
fo I hall certainly fend for your Mamma, and the
baby will be quite poorly, he will! and we fall
know who made him fo," added Nurfe triumph-
antly. I can't make the baby poorly with cry-
ing, Nurfe, fo that's nonfenfe you know," observed
Hermione; but I didn't mean to difturb 'him;
only my flocking is gone, and I don't know what
to do." And here the fobbed afrefh.
Do why ain't you going down to the ladies,
and can't you be brufhing your hair and washing
your face and getting ready?" But it ifn't time."
" Well, but can't you get ready before the time a
little ? and then, when you're dreffed and look fo
The Fairy Godmothers.
clean and nice and pretty, you can fit in the chair
and we can look at you !" and here the good old
Nurfe gave a knowing fmile and nodded her head.
Hermione caught fight of the comical coaxifig
glance, and, in fpite of her misfortune, burft into
a fit of laughter. Hufh, hufh, hufh!" now you'll
wake the poor thing by laughing, Mifs Hermione.
I do wifh you'd be quiet :" and here the Nurfe
rocked the child on her knee more vigoroufly than
Then why don't you tell me what I am to do
with my flocking," cried Hermione. "C Oh well,
I know what I will do-fomething quite as quiet
as a moufe. I will wind up my poor worried."
Hereupon the little girl picked up the puckered
remains of her lucklefs grey rocking which a
facetious young cat had fpent at leaft a quarter of
an hour in ingenioufly unravelling with his claws.
It was a tirefome tedious job we muff admit, and
required a strong effort of patient perfeverance,
but Hermione foon became engroffed in its diffi-
culties and a dead filence enfued. At laft Nurfe
who had while rocking the sleeping baby on her
knee, been watching the child's proceedings, fud-
denly exclaimed, Well to be fure, Mifs Her-
mione, you have fuch patience as I never before
[The Fairies exchanged glances.
It is Patience, Ambrofia."
What a hurry you are in was the reply.]
"' No I hav'n't, Nurfe, indeed," answered Her-
The Fairy Godmothers. 33
mione. I had no patience at all when I was in
a paffion with the cat juft now."
Well, I fuppofe there are two or three forts
of Patiences, Mifs, then," perfifted Nurfe, for
I'm certain you have fome forts. But, dear me, its
ever fo much paft fix o'clock, and you have to be
dreffed by half-palt. Do put away the worried and
get yourself ready, Mifs, and call Jane to help you."
Here the Nurfe and Hermione nearly had a
fcuffle over the worfted. Hermione declared the
cat had fpoilt her flocking; and the only comfort
left to her now was to roll it comfortably up into
a ball. Nurfe on the contrary infifted that it did'nt
fignify a bit what became of the worried; the muft
drefs and go down. The difpute ended by Her-
mione running off with the half finished ball and
its untidy remains, and cramming the whole con-
cern into the pocket of her beft frock. The
people will foon be tired of talking to me," mut-
tered the to herfelf, and then I can finish my
ball quietly in the corner behind Mamma's chair."
The thought of this ingenious plan for her pri-
vate anufement down flairs fo tickled Hermione's
fancy that fhe was on the giggle the wholy time
ihe was being drefled. If Nurfe did but know
what was in the pocket of my beft frock and how
fat it is! how fhe would fcold, and what a fight
we should have." And fhe could hardly refrain
from loud laughter at the thought. When fhe
had got her frock on fhe fat down, and laying her
arm over the fat pocket afked Jane to touch up
34 The Fairy Godmothers.
her curls: and while this operation was going on
fhe began to talk to the nurfe.
Nurfe, should you think it a very nice thing
to go to a dinner party and fit in chairs all round
a large room, where the coloured covers are taken
away and everything looks very gay, and fo tidy,
nobody is allowed to do anything but fmile, and
talk, and wear white kid gloves ?"
Very nice, Mifs, it's fo like a lady," was the
Nurfe's ready reply.
<< Well then, I don't think it's nice at all,
Nurfe-I think it's very nafty and stupid."
Dear, Mifs Hermione, how you do talk; I
hope you won't tell the ladies fo when you get
Oh dear no, that would be rude, and it's
wrong to be rude, but to tell you the truth I don't
know what I fall do when I grow up if I am
obliged to be fo dull as that is, very often."
Goodnefs, Mifs Hermione, to hear you talk
one would think you'd better be a houfemaid at
once, inftead of a lady with nothing to do."
Nurfe, I should fee no objeEtion to be a
houfemaid at all, only that I am learning fo many
things that wouldn't fuit a houfemaid ; but without
being a houfemaid there are many pleafanter things
to do than to fit in that ftupid fort of way. I
like the room when all Papa's books and papers
are about, and when he is fcribbling away fo buly,
and when Mamma has got her microscope out
looking at feaweeds or curiofities. I have a chance
The Fairy Godmothers. 35
then myfelf. I don't like ladies who fay nothing
but Pretty little dear, what a nice colour fhe has,'
juft to pleafe Mamma."
What Nurfe in England could be expe&ed to
enter into fo philosophical an investigation of the
habits of society ?
Hermione's did nothing but affure her it was
time to be off, and fhe only hoped fhe would fit
fill and talk prettily, and never trouble her head
whether it was stupid or not.
When Hermione got into the drawing room
and faw the company feated as fhe had described
to her Nurfe, fhe felt very much difpofed to laugh
again, but made an effort and composed herfelf.
Still her face was beaming with mirth and fun,
and when fome ladies faid < What a happy look-
ing little girl," they were quite fincere. That fort
of face too worked wonders, and her Mamma's
friends liked her much and talked pleasantly to
her, and fhe was pleaded and happy and quite for-
got the ball of worried, as well as the ladies' white
kid gloves. A young lady however who had her
arm round Hermione's wait and was playing with
her, suddenly felt the round protuberance in her
pocket. Ah you little rogue, what have you
here ?" Its a secret," cried Hermione. I
think I can unravel your mysterious fecret, little
girl, you are a favourite with the housekeeper,"
added fhe, whispering in Hermione's ear, and
the has juft given you an orange."
You are a very bad gueffer of fecrets," whif-
The Fairy Godmothers.
pered Hermione in return. It's no fuch thing!"
-"Then it's an apple." "No, nor an apple."
-" Then it's a peach, and your new frock will be
fpoilt." No it is'nt a peach either, and it's a
fecret." The young lady loved fun, and a playful
struggle enfued between her and Hermione; in the
course of which the large grey worried ball and its
long ravelled tail were drawn from the little pocket.
Hermione had now to tell the history of the
ball, which the did naturally and honestly, but
when fhe added, quite ferioufly, that fhe intended,
when they had done talking to her, to go behind
her Mamma's chair and finifh winding it up, you
may guefs how they laughed.
Come here, my little dear, and let me look
at you," cried an elderly lady in fpe6acles, put-
ting out her hand and laying hold of Hermione's.
" Why what an induftrious little foul you muft be!
a perfe& pattern! There now! you may go be-
hind my chair and finifh your ball of worfted; no-
body wants to talk to you any longer."
This old lady was rather crabbed, and had not
quite believed Hermione fincere, fo fhe did this to
try her, and expe&ed to fee her pout and refufe.
To her furprize, Hermione only faid Oh thank
you, ma'am," with a quite filing face, and going
behind the chair, fat down on the floor to her
worfted. For a few moments the old lady kept
thinking It won't laft long: he'll foon be glad
of an excufe to come out :" but no fuch thing
happened; and juft what Hermione expeAed did
The Fairy Godmothers.
happen. The ladies fell to talking among them-
felves, and in a very fhort time the presence of the
little girl was quite forgotten, even by the old lady,
who was handed out to dinner, without once re-
membering whom fhe had left behind her chair.
Hermione stayed in the room till her talk was
over, and then rufhed up ftairs to the nurfery, and
flopping at the door, half opened it and rolled the
great grey worried ball fo cleverly in, that it hit
the old Nurfe's foot as fhe fat (once more rocking
the baby) over the fire. Goodnefs, blefs me!
what ever is that ?" Then, fpying a laughing face
at the door, "Oh dear heart, it's you I declare,
Mifs Hermione! will you never leave off waking
the baby ? I thought a great black dog was laying
hold of my foot."
Nurfe," faid Hermione, your baby is always
and always going to fleep; why doefn't he go, and
then I could have a bit of fun ? You don't know
where I finished winding the worried ball!"
Why goodnefs me, Mifs Hermione, where ?"
"Down in the drawing-room among all the fine
ladies; fo good night !" and off fhe ran to avoid
further explanation. A few words with her Go-
vernefs; a fober time of evening prayer; and the
happy child laid her head on her pillow, and needed
no Fairy wand to lull her to fleep. She had been
fome time with her Governefs in the morning be-
fore her Mamma coming to her there, heard a loud
difcuffion going on within. The voices, however,
were thofe of good-humour. Hermione," faid
38 The Fairy Godmothers.
her Mother, I am come to fay that your Go-
vernefs told me yesterday you had been fo very
good for a long time over all that you have had to
do, that I have arranged for your having a holiday
and a treat to-day, and several of your young friends
are coming to fee you. Among them is Aurora,
the granddaughter of the old lady in fpe&acles,
who, juft before fhe was going away at night, re-
colle&ed you, and began to look for you behind
Oh what a goofe, Mamma !" No, not a
goofe, my dear-only an oddity, but a very kind
one too-for fhe defired me to find out whether
you really did roll up the whole of the ravelled
worfted laft night; and if you really perfevered till
it was finiflied, I have something to give you from
her, but not otherwise. How was it ?" Oh, its
finished, Mamma; afkNurfe; for when I rolled it
against her foot laft night, fhe took it for a great
black dog." Well then, I fuppofe this is yours,
Hermione; but, I muft fay, I never knew a gold
thimble earned fo eafily." Yes, dear little readers,
it was a pretty gold thimble, and round the bottom
of it there was a rim of white enamel, and on the
enamel were gold letters.
L'induftrie ajoute a la beauty."
Mamma," faid Hermione, looking at it in
delight, as fhe found it exally fitted her finger,
" it's lovely; but, do you know, I think the old
lady ought to have given it to her granddaughter,
The Fairy Godmothers. 39
Aurora, with fuch a motto." My dear, fhe has
had it, fhe told me, fome months in her pocket
secretly, for the purpofe you mention, but the can-
not ever fatisfy herself that Aurora has got the
fpirit of real industry in her, and to bribe her to
earn the thimble is not her objea, fo you fee it has
accidentally fallen to your fhare."
And as fhe faid this, Hermione's mother turned
round to leave the room; but before fhe had
reached the door, her little girl flopped her-
" Mamma, do turn back."
What is the matter, Hermione ?"
I've something I want to fay to you."
I am all attention, my dear, particularly as
your face looks fo unusually grave."
Why, you and my Governefs are always call-
ing me good for doing my leffons well, and now
you are rewarding me for being good and all that,
and I don't fee that I am good at all."
Upon my word this is a very serious matter,
Hermione; who or what has put this into your
I read in a serious book lately, that nobody
could be good without pra&ifing felf-denial; and
that, to be really good, one muft either do fome-
thing that one does not like, or give up something
that one does; fo that I am quite fure I cannot be
good and deferve a reward when I do French and
mufic and drawing and work well, because I am
fo very fond of doing every thing I do do, that
every thing is a pleasure to me. And there is no
The Fairy Godmothers.
struggle to do what is tirefome and no other with
to give up. The only time when I have to try
to be good at all, is when I have to leave off one
thing and go to another. That is always a little
disagreeable at firft, but unfortunately the difagree-
ablenefs goes off in a very few minutes, and I like
the new employment as well as the laft. This is
what I was talking about to my Governefs when
you came, and the laughed fo loud I felt quite
( My dear Hermione," faid her Mamma, you
have quite mifapplied what you have read in the
book. Self-denial is always required of us, when
we feel inclined to do any thing that is wrong,
but it does not apply to any aptitude you may have
for enjoying the occupations I require of you.
That is only a piece of good fortune for you; for
to many little girls, doing leffons is a very great ad
of felf-denial, as they want to be doing something
elfe. But now, as you are fo lucky in liking every
thing you do, you muft pra&ife your felf-denial in
fome other way."
How, Mamma ?"
In not being vexed when your Governefs
laughs, and in not being in a paffion with the cat
next time he unravels your flocking."
Hermione blufhed. Oh, Mamma, I under-
fland the difference now."
But this is not all, Hermione."
< Well, Mamma?"
The Fairy Godmothers.
"< Why, as you are fo fortunate as to be always
happy when employed, and as therefore there is
no goodnefs ftrifly speaking, in your doing your
bufinefs fo cheerfully and well, you muff do this,
you muft fpend fome portion of time every day
in making your energy of ufe to other people, and
then you will be doing a&ive good if not pra&ifing
Oh, Mamma, what a nice idea! Perhaps
you will give me fome needlework to do for the
poor women you give money to; and, besides,
juft now I can do something a&ively ufeful and
till a little really difagreeable,-really it is, Mam-
ma,-what makes you laugh?"
Your resolution to do something you don't
like. What is it, Hermione ?"
To knit up again the flocking the cat pulled
out. I quite diflike the idea."
Then fet to work by all means, Hermione.
You will at leaft have the comfort of beginning
by a little averfion;' but I warn you beforehand,
not to fet your heart upon the difagreeablenefs laft-
ing very long, and if you find yourself shortly, as
happy as ever over the flocking, do not be puz-
zled and vexed anymore, but thank God as I do,
that, fo far at leaft, you are pared one of the trou-
bles of life. The trouble of an indolent, difcon-
An affe&ionate embrace was exchanged be-
tween Mother and Daughter; and the latter,with
42 The Fairy Godmothers.
the affiftance of her Governefs, recommended the
unlucky grey stocking, and was working affidu-
oufly at it when her young friends arrived.
It was a curious fight to the Fairies to fee two
of their god-daughters together, as they now did.
But the convifion was forced upon them, that,
for the present at leaft, Hermione had the balance
of happinefs in her favour. Whatever their amufe-
ments were,-whether looking over curiofities,
playing with dolls, or any of the numerous games
invented for the entertainment of the young, Her-
mione's whole heart and attention were in the
matter, and the was as much engroffed as over
learning at other times, and quite happy. With
poor Aurora it was not fo; the childifhnefs of the
play every now and then annoyed her; there was
no food for her vanity, in playing with children;
they cared nothing about her beauty; the gayeft
and moft good-natured face has always the moft
charms for them, and this did not fuit Aurora at
all, and ever and anon her thoughts wandered, and
her wishes too.
For ever training into the future!
I cannot make out your Fairy gift at all,
Ambrofia," faid Euphrofyne, and I begin to fuf-
pe& you have not given her one."
'< We are all growing philosophical, I perceive,"
faid Ambrofia, filing. Who could think you
would have gueffed that my happy child has had
no Fairy gift at all. But the has, I affure you.
What do you fay to the Philofopher's Stone ? It
The Fairy Godmothers.
is quite clear that fhe has got something which
TURNS EVERY THING SHE TOUCHES INTO GOLD."
What is the Philofopher's Stone ? I hear my
little readers exclaim. There is no fuch thing,
my dears, tior ever was; but the chymifts in old
times, who were very ignorant, and yet knew that
many wonderful things had been done by the mix-
ture of minerals and metals, and the curious effe&s
fome had upon others, gueffed that yet more won-
derful things might be found out by searching, and
they got into their heads that it might be poffible
to find, or make, a ftone that would have the
power of turning every thing it touched into gold.
In the fame manner, the doors of thofe times
fancied there might be fuch a thing made as a
draught that would turn old people into young
ones again. This was called The Elixir of
Life." But I do affure you thefe old fellows
never did discover either a Philofopher's Stone, or
an Elixir of Life.
So this was only a joke of Ambrofia's.
Now to go on and finish my ftory. It was
ten years more before the Fairies revifitet their
Godchildren in the lower world, and this time
they were to decide who had given the beft Fairy
And I dare fay you expe& me to give you as
long an account of their vifits to the young ladies
of twenty, as I did of their peeps at the little girls
of ten. But I really do not think it worth while.
The Fairy Godmothers.
I would do fo indeed in a minute if there were
anything quite frefh and new to describe. But on
the faith of a ftory-teller I affure you, it would
be the old fory over again," only on an en-
Did you ever look at any interesting obje& firft
with your natural eyes, and then through a micro-
fcope or magnifying glafs ? If fo, you will remem-
ber that through the magnifying glafs you faw the
fame thing again, only much bigger.
In the fame manner the ten years ated as a
fort of magnifying glafs over Aurora, Julia, and
Hermione. Everything was the fame, but in-
creafed in fize and made clearer and plainer.
Aurora's triumphant joy as fhe entered the ball
room as a beauty, was much greater certainly than
her pleasure at her Mamma's dinner party. But
the wearinefs and anxiety afterwards were in-
creafed alfo. She was ftill getting away from our
friend Time prefent, and forecafting into fome
future delight. The good time coming, Boys,"
was her, as well as many other people's bugbear.
She never could feel that (with God's bleffing)
the good time is always come.
The only time fhe ever thoroughly enjoyed
was the moment of being exceffively admired.
But judge for yourfelves how long that can lait.
Could you fit and look at a pretty pi&ure for an
hour together ? No, I know you could not. You
cannot think how ihort a time it takes to fay
" Dear me, what a beautiful girl!" and then,
The Fairy Godmothers.
perhaps, up comes somebody who addreffes the
admiring gazer on the fubje& of Lord John Ruf-
fel's laft fpeech, and the beautiful girl," fo all
important in her own eyes, is as entirely forgotten
as if fhe had never been feen. And then, to let
* you into another fecret, Aurora was by no means
a very entertaining companion: nobody can be,
with their heads full of themselves: and fhe had
often the mortification, even in that fcene of her
triumph, a ball room, of feeing her admirers drop
off, to amufe themselves with other people; lefs
handfome perhaps, but more interesting than her-
And fo the Fairies, having accompanied her
through a day of Triumphs, mixed with mortifi-
cations, followed by languors, unfettled by hopes
of future joy, clouded with anxieties that all but
fpoilt thofe hopes :-came one and all to the con-
clufion that Aurora could not be considered as a
model of human happinefs.
Nor could they fay much more for Julia. Per-
haps, indeed, there is more equanimity in the
pleafures of a very rich person, than in thofe of a
very beautiful one : but, oh dear, they are bf fuch
a mean fort! Still, there is a good deal of imper-
tinent comfort in money I do admit. Life rolls on,
upon fuch well oiled hinges The rich fay, Do
this," to people around them; and the people, "do
it." But the Fairies had no sympathy with fuch an
unnatural fault as the pride of wealth. They faw
Julia reclining in one of thofe lumbering things "
The Fairy Godmothers.
they fo much defpifed: and driving round the
" dirty town they fo much difliked : and along
a park a great deal too fmoky for their tafte: and
they could not understand the haughty glance of
felf-fatisfa&ion with which fhe looked out upon
the walking crowds the paffed, or the affe&ed gra-
cioufnefs with which the filed upon the few
whom fhe condefcended to recognize as acquaint-
ances. They thought her very naughty and very
abfurd for being conceited about fuch matters.
They followed her to her Milliner's too, and there
I affure you they had nearly betrayed their pre-
fence by the uncontrollable fits of laughter they
fell into when the was trying on, or talking about,
bonnets, head dreffes, gowns, &c. with the affe&ed
Frenchwoman who showed them off. Julia cared
for nothing because it was pretty or tafteful, but
chofe every thing by its coftlinefs and magnifi-
cence. Of course the milliner affured her that
every thing fhe took a fancy to from its rarity,
was becoming; and then, oh dear how the Fai-
ries were amufed for poor Julja looked down-
right ugly in fome of the things fhe felefed, and
fill went away as' felf satisfied as ever, on the
old grounds that the coftume was fo expensive that
none of her acquaintance could get one like it.
This was till her chief comfort! Euphrofyne ac-
tually hook her fifth at her as fhe was going away,
and fhe had the toothache for the reft of the day,
and was extremely crofs to her husband in confe-
quence. For, by the way, Julia had married -
The Fairy Godmothers.
and married a nobleman- a man somewhat older
than herfelf; but he and fhe had had a fort of mu-
tual conviction that riches and rank go very well
together, and fo they married; and fuited very
well in this refpe&, that as their heads were full
of other things they neither claimed nor required
from each other a great amount of affe&ion.
Still, was Julia happy? The Fairies fhook their
heads. She had gardens, hot-houfes, magnifi-
cent colle&ions of curiofities, treasures that might
have softened and opened her heart, if fhe had
made a right ufe of them. But riches have a
very hardening tendency, and the never struggled
Then, too, fhe could get every thing fhe wanted
fo eafily, that fhe cared very little about anything.
Life becomes very ftale when your hands are full
and you have nothing to afk for.
Her greatest pleasure was to create aftonifhment
and envy among her affociates: but, besides the
naughtinefs of the feeling, this is a triumph of very
fhort duration; for moft people, when they cannot
get at what they envy, amufe themselves with
something elfe; and then, what a mortification to
fee them do this!
Befides," faid the Fairies, we muft follow
her into her folitude, to fee if fhe is happy."
Ah! there, lying back once more in the eafy
chair, in a drefs which--
" China's gayeft art had dyed,"
48 The Fairy Godmothers.
do you think that felf-fatisfied, but fiill uncheerful
looking face tells of happinefs ?
No! fhe too, like Aurora, was unoccupied, and
forecasting into futurity for the good time
coming," which fo many fpend their lives in
craving after and expe&ing, but which the proud,
the felfifh and the idle never reach to.
The Fairies turned from her forrowful and
In the outskirts of a forest, juft where its intri-
cacy had broken away into pilurefque openings,
leaving vifible fome strange old trees with knotted
trunks and myfterioufly twifted branches, fat a
young girl sketching. She was intently engaged,
but as her eyes were ever and anon raised from
her paper to the opening glade, and one of the
old trees, the Fairies had no difficulty in recognizing
their protegee, Hermione. The laughing face of
childhood had become fobered and refined by
fentiment and strength, but contentment and even
enjoyment beamed in her eyes as ihe thoughtfully
and earneftly purfued her beautiful art. The little
beings who hovered around her in that fweet fpot,
almost forgot they were not in Fairy land; the air
was fo full of fweet odours from ferns and moffes,
and the many other delicious feints you find fo
constantly in woods.
Befides which, it amufed the good fouls to
watch Hermione's fkilful hand tracing the fcene
before her; and they felt an admiring delight
The Fairy Godmothers. 49
when they faw the old tree of the forest reappear
on the paper, with all the fhadows and lights the
fun juft then threw upon it, and they wondered
not a little at the kill with which the gave dif-
tance and perfpefive to the glade beyond. They
felt, too, that though the drawing they faw rifing
under the fketcher's hand was not made powerful
by brilliant effeas or friking contracts, it was
neverthelefs overflowing with the truth and fenti-
ment of nature. It was the impreffion of the fcene
itself, viewed through the poetry of the artist's
mind; and as the delicate creatures who hung over
the piaure, looked at it, they almost longed for it,
flight as it was, that they might carry it away, and
hang it up in their fairy palace as a faithful repre-
fentation of one of the loveliest pots of earth, the
outfkirts of an ancient Englifh forest.
It is impoffible to fay how long they might not
have ftaid watching Hermione, but that after a
time the fketch was finished, and the young lady
after writing beneath it Schiller's well known line
in Wallenftein, arofe. Das ift das Loos des
Schonen auf der Erde."*
The poor tree was marked for felling \ Am-
brofia was almost affeaed to tears, once more.
The fcene was fo beautiful, and the allufion fo
touching, and there seemed to her fuch a charm
over her God-daughter Hermione; ihe was herself
fo glad, too, to feel fure that fuccefs had crowned
Such is the lot of the beautiful upon earth."
50 The Fairy Godmothers.
her gift, that, altogether, her Fairy heart grew quite
foft. You may do as you like about obferving
Hermione further," cried fhe. But, for my part,
I am now fatisfied. She is enjoying life to the ut-
termoft; all its beauties of fight and found; its
outward lovelinefs; its inward mysteries. She
will never marry but from love, and one whofe
heart can fympathife with hers. Ah, lanthe, what
more has life to give? You will fay, fhe is not
beautiful; perhaps not for a marble ftatue; but
the grace of poetical feeling is in her every look
and action. Ah, fhe will walk by the fide of man-
hood, turning even the hard realities of life into
beauty by that living well-fpring of fweet thoughts
and fancies that I fee beaming from her eyes.
Look at her now, lanthe, and confers that furely
that countenance breathes more beauty than chi-
felled features can give." And certainly,whether
fome mefmeric influence from her enthufiaftic Fairy
Godmother was working on Hermione's brain, or
whether her own quotation upon the doomed tree
had ftirred up other poetical recollections, I know
not; but as fhe was retracing her fteps homewards,
fhe repeated to herself foftly but with much pathos,
Coleridge's lines: *
0 lady, we receive but what we give,
And in our life alone does nature live:
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her fhroud !
And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
Coleridge's Dejedion: an Ode."
The Fairy Godmothers. 51
Than that inanimate cold world allowed
To the poor lovelefs ever anxious crowd,
Ah! from the foul itself muft iflue forth
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
Enveloping the earth-
And from the foul itself muft there be fent
A feet and potent voice, of its own birth,
Of all fweet founds the life and element !"
And, turning through the little handgate at the
extremity of the wood, fhe purfued the train of
thought with heightened colour in her cheeks-
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The pafflon and the life, whofe fountains are within."
And thus Hermione reached her home, her coun-
tenance lighted up by the pleasure of fuccefs, and
the fweet and healthy mufings of her folitary walk.
She entered the library of a beautiful country
houfe by the low window that opened on to the
lawn, and found her mother reading.
I cannot tell you how lovely the day is,
Mamma, every thing is fo frefi, and the shadows
and lights are fo good! I have immortalized our
poor old friend the oak, before they-cut him qown,"
added fhe, fmiling, as fhe placed the drawing in
her mother's hands. < I with the foreft belonged
to fome one who had not this cruel tafte for
turning knotted oak trees into fancy work-tables.
It is as bad as what Charles Lamb faid of the
firs, which look fo romantic alive, and die
into defks.'- Die into defks!" repeated Her-
mione mufingly, as fhe feated herself on the fofa,
52 The Fairy Godmothers.
and took up a book that was before her on the
table; mechanically removing her bonnet from
her head, and laying it down by her fide as fhe
And here for fome time there was a filence,
during which Hermione's mother ceafed reading,
and, lifting up her eyes, looked at her daughter
with mingled love, admiration, and interest. I
wifh I had her pi&ure fo," dreamt the poor lady,
as fhe gazed; "fo earnest, and underfianding, and
yet fo fimple, and kind !-There is but one diffi-
culty for her in life," was the next thought; with
fuch keen enjoyment of this world, fuch apprecia-
tion of the beauties, and wonders, and delights of
God's creations on earth -to keep the eye of
faith firmly fixed on the 'better and more enduring
inheritance,' to which both fhe and I, but I truft
fhe, far behind, are hastening. Yet, by God's
bleffing, and with Chriftian training, and the habit
of aAive charity, and the viciffitudes of life, I have
few or no fears. But fuch capability of happinefs
in this world is a great temptation, and I fome-
times fancy muff therefore have been a Fairy gift."
And here the no longer young Mother of Her-
mione fell into a reverie, and a long paufe enfued,
during which Ambrofia felt very fad, for it grieved
her to think that the good and reasonable Mother
should be fo much afraid of Fairy gifts, even when
the result had been fo favourable.
A note at length interrupted the prolonged fi-
lence. It was from Aurora the Beauty, whofe
The Fairy Godmothers.
Father poffeffed a large efiate in the neighbour-
hood, and who had juft then come into the coun-
try for a few weeks. Aurora earneftly requested
Hermione and her Mother to vifit her.
"< I will do as you wifh," faid Hermione, look-
ing rather grave; but really a vifit to Aurora
is a fort of fmall misfortune."
I hope you are not envious of her beauty,
Hermione ? Take care."
Nay, you are cruel, Mamma, now. I should
like to be handsome, but not at the expenfe of being
fo very dull in fpirits as poor Aurora often is. But
really, unlefs you have ever fpent an hour alone
with her, you can form no idea of how tired one
What of, Hermione ? of her face ?"
Oh no, not of her face; it is charming, and
by the way you have juft put into my head how I
may efcape from being tired, even if I am left
alone with her for hours !"
4" Nay, now you really puzzle me, my dear; I
fuggefted nothing but looking at her face."
Ah, but as the is really and truly fuch a model
of beauty, what do you think of offering to make
a likenefs of her, Mamma? It will delight her to
fit and be looked at, even by me, in the country,
and I hall be fo much pleaded to have fuch a plea-
fant occupation. I am quite reconciled to the
idea of going."
And a note was written, and defpatched accord-
54 The Fairy Godmothers.
"But," perfifted Hermione, rifing to fit near her
Mother, you do not above half know Aurora.
One would think the had been born in what
is called a four want way,' with nothing but
crofs roads about her. Nothing is ever right. She
is always either exhausted with the heat of the fun,
or frozen with cold, or the evening is fo tedious,
fhe wants it to be bedtime, or if there is any un-
ufual gaiety going on, fhe quarrels with the fame
length of evening, because it is fo intolerably thort;
and, in fhort, fhe is never truly happy but when
fhe is surrounded by admirers, whether men or
women. And this feems to me to be a fad way
of 'getting her time over,' as the poor women fay
of life. Ah, Mamma, it goes but too quickly."
Aurora is indeed foolifh," mufingly ejaculated
Not altogether either, my dear Mother. She
knows much; but the fault is, ihe cares for no-
thing. She has got the carcafe, as it were, of
knowledge and accomplishments; but the vivify-
ing fpirit is wanting. You know yourself how
well fhe plays and fings occasionally, if there is a
question of charming a room full of company.
Yet there can be no fentiment about her mufic after
all, or it would be an equal pleasure to her at other
times. But really it almost makes me as difcon-
tented with life as herself to hear her talk in un-
excited hours. Turning over my books one day,
fhe faid, You can never be either a poet or a
The Fairy Godmothers. 55
painter, or a Mozart or a philosopher, Hermione ?
what is the ufe of all your labour and poking?'
What could I fay ? I felt myself colour up, and I
laughed out,' Vanity of vanities, faith the preacher,
all is vanity!' Yet certainly God has fet before
us the things of earth in order that we may ad-
mire and find them out; and that is the an-
fwer to all fuch foolish questions !" And Her-
mione was turning to leave the room, but fhe
came back and faid--" Do you know, Mamma,
though you will laugh at the idea, I do think Au-
rora would be a very nice girl, and very happy,
if the either could grow very ugly all at once, or
if any thing in the world could make her forget her
beauty.-And," added the, in a half whifper, "if
there is any thing in Fairy lore, I could almost
fancy fome cruel Fairy had owed her family a
grudge, and had given her this gift of excefive
beauty on purpofe to be the plague and misfortune
of her life."
Enough, enough, and too much," cried Eu-
phrofyne impatiently. The matter is now, I think,
concluded. Ianthe and I have failed, and though
you are fuccefsful, Ambrofia, even you have not
come off without a rebuff. Now, farewell to
earth. I am weary of it. I do not know your
gift, and I am fick of listening to conversations I
cannot understand. Let us begone. If we de-
56 The Pairy Godmothers.
lay, they will begin again. Ah, my fibers, my
fpirit yearns for our fairer clime !"
And they arofe; but yet awhile they lingered
on the velvet lawn before that country-houfe, for
as they were preparing for flight, the founds they
loved fo well, of harmonious mufic, greeted their
Ah, there is the artift's hand again," cried
Ambrofia. I fee the lovely sketch before me
And fo it was, that it, and the peaceful forest
fcene, and the interesting face of Hermione, seemed
to reappear before them all as they listened to her
mufic. Tender, and full of sentiment were the
founds at firft, as if the musician were af6ing the
fcene of the opera whence they came.
Lieder ohne Worte," murmured Ambrofia.
But it was to the dwelling founds of a farewell
chorus that they arofe into the air, and took their
leave of earth.
And now, dear Readers, there is but one thing
more to do. To afk if you have gueffed the Fairy
The Fairies, you fee, had not. What Euphro-
fyne had faid was true. They had listened to
fuch a quantity of conversation they could not un-
derftand, and they were fo unufed to think much
about any thing, or to hear much beyond their
SSongs without Words.-Mendelssohn.
The Fairy Godmothers.
own pretty light talk and feet fongs, that their
poor little brains had got quite muddled.
Perhaps remaining fo long in the Earth's at-
mofphere helped to cloud their intelligence. Cer-
tain it is, they returned very penfive, very crofs,
and rather dufly to Fairy Land.
They arrived at the beautiful bay I firft de-
fcribed, and floated to a large party of their fifters,
who were dancing on the fands.
There was a clapping of tiny hands, and fhouts
of joy as they approached; and What news ?
what news ?" cried many voices.
Ah, what news, Sifter Euphrofyne!" cried
little Aglaia, floating forward, "from the fmudgy
old earth; Is it beauty, riches, or what ?"
I cannot answer your question," faid Eu-
phrofyne, pushing forward.
A circle was now formed round the travellers,
and the details I have given you were made by
lanthe. And fhe wound up by saying, And
what Ambrofia's gift to Hermione has been, we
cannot make out."
Then I will tell you !" cried little Aglaia,
springing lightly high into the air, and defending
gently on a huge hell at her feet; She likes
every thing jhe does, and jhe likes to be always doing
something. You can't put the meaning into one
word, as you can Beauty and Riches; but till it
is something. Can't you think of fome way of
saying what I have told you? Dear me, how ftupid
58 The Fairy Godmothers.
you are all grown. And liking ifn't the right
word: it is something stronger than common
Love, perhaps," murmured Leila.
"An excellent idea," cried Euphrofyne; dear
me, this delicious air is clearing my poor head.
Sifters, I will express it for you, and Ambrofia
hall fay if I am right. It is THE LOVE OF
Ambrofia laughed affent; but a low murmur of
discontent refounded through the Fairy group.
Intolerable!" cried Leila, shrugging her
shoulders like a French woman.
It is no Fairy gift at all," exclaimed others;
" it is downright plodding and working."
If the human race can be made happy by no-
thing but labour," cried another; I propose we
leave them to themselves, and give them no more
Fairy gifts at all."
Remember," cried Ambrofia, now coming
forward, this is our firft experiment upon hu-
man happiness. Hitherto we have given Fairy
gifts, and never enquired how they have a&ted.
And I feel fure we have always forgotten one
thing, viz. that poor men and women living in
Time, and only having in their power the finally
bit of it which is prefent, cannot be happy unlefs
they make Time present happy. And there is
but one plan for that; I ufe Aglaia's words: To
like every thing you do, and like to be always doing
The Fairy Godmothers.
Ambrofia ceafed fpeakimg, and the circled group
were filent too. They were not fatisfied, how-
ever; but thofe fweet, airy people take nothing to
heart for long. For a fhort time they wandered
about in little knots of two and three, talking, and
then .joined together in a dance and fong, ere
night surrounded them. There was from that
time, however, a general underflanding among
them that -the human race was too coarfe and
common to have much sympathy with Fairies,
and even the Godmothers agreed to this, for they
were fadly tired with the unusual quantity of think-
ing and observing they had had to undergo. So if
you ever wonder, dear Readers, that Fairy Gifts
and Fairy Godmothers have gone out of fashion;
you may conclude that the adventure of Ambrofia
and Hermione is the reafon.
The fiory is ended; and if any enquiring child
should fay, There are no more Fairy gifts, and
we can no more give ourselves love of employ-
ment than beauty or riches ;" let me corre& this
dangerous error! Wifer heads than mine have
fhown that every thing we do becomes by HABIT,
not only eafy, but a&ually agreeable.*
Dear Children! encourage a habit of attention
to whatever you undertake, and you may make
that habit not only eafy, but agreeable; and then,
4 Abercrombie. Moral Feelings.
60 The Fairy Godmothers.
I will venture to promik you, you will like and
even love your occupations. And thus, though
you may not have fo many talents as Hermione,
you may call all thofe you do poffefs, into play,
and make them the folace, pleafure and resources
of your earthly career.
If you do this, I think you will not feel difpofed
to quarrel, as the Fairies did, with Ambrofia's gift;
for increased knowledge of the world, and your
own happy experience, will convince you more
and more that no Fairy Gift is fo well worth
THE LOVE OF EMPLOYMENT.
JOACHIM THE MIMIC.
HERE was, once upon a time, a little
boy, who, living in the time when
Genies and Fairies ufed now and then
to appear, had all the advantage of
occasionally feeing wonderful fights,
and all the disadvantage of being occasionally dread-
fully frightened. This little boy was one day walk-
ing alone by the fea fide, for he lived in a fifhing
town, and as he was watching the tide, he perceived
a bottle driven afhore by one of the big waves.
He rufhed forward to catch it before the wave
fucked it back again, and succeeded. Now then
he was quite delighted, but he could not get the
cork out, for it was fastened down with rofin, and
there was a feal on the top. So being very im-
patient, he took a ftone and knocked the neck of
the bottle off.
What was his furprize to find himself instantly
suffocated with a fmoke that made his eyes fmart
and his nofe fneeze, juft as much as if a quantity
of Scotch fnuff had been thrown over him He
62 f oachim the Mimic.
jumped about and puffed a good deal, and was juft
beginning to cry, as a matter.of course for a little
boy when he is annoyed; when lo and behold !
he faw before him fuch an immenfe Genie, with
black eyes and a long beard, that he forgot all
about crying and began to fhake with fear.
The Genie told him he need not be afraid, and
defired him not to fhake; for, faid he, You have
been of great ufe to me; a Genie, ftronger than
myfelf, had fastened me up in yonder bottle in a
fit of ill humour, and as he had put his feal at the
top, nobody could draw the cork. Luckily for
me, you broke the neck of the bottle, and I am
free. Tell me therefore, good little boy, what
hall I do for you to fhow my gratitude ?"
But now, before I go on with this, I muff tell
you that the day before the little boy's adventure
with the bottle and the Genie, the King of that
country had come to the fishing town I fpoke of,
in a gold chariot drawn by twelve beautiful jet
black horfes, and attended by a large train of offi-
cers and followers. A herald went before an-
nouncing that the King was visiting the towns of
his dominions, for the fole purpose of doing justice
and exercising a6ts of charity and kindnefs. And
all people in trouble and diftrefs were invited to
come and lay their complaints before him. And
accordingly they did fo, and the good King, though
quite a youth, devoted the whole day to the bene-
volent purpose he proposed; and it is impoffible
to describe the amount of good he accomplished
7oachim the Mimic.
in that fhort time. Among others who benefited
was our little boy's Mother, a widow who had
been much injured and oppreffed. He redreffed
her grievances, and in addition to this, bestowed
valuable and ufeful prefents upon her. Look
what an example the young King fets," was the
cry on every fide! Oh, my fon, imitate him !"
exclaimed our poor Widow, as in a tranfport of
joy and emotion, fhe threw her arms around her
boy's neck. I wifh I could imitate him and be
like him!" murmured little Joachim: (fuch was the
child's name). ",My boy," cried the Widow,
" imitate every thing that is good, and noble, and
virtuous, and you will be like him !" Joachim
looked earnestly in her face, but was filent. He
understood a good deal that his Mother meant; he
knew he was to try to do every thing that was good,
and fo be like the young King; but, as he was but
a little boy, I am not quite fure that he had not got
a fort of vague notion of the gold chariot and the
twelve jet black horfes, mixed up with his idea of
imitating all that was good and noble and virtuous,
and being like the young King. I may be Wrong;
but, at even years old, you will excufe him if his
head did get a little confused, and if he could not
quite separate his ideas of exceffive virtue and good-
nefs from all the fplendour in which the pattern
he was to imitate appeared before his eyes.
However that may be, his Mother's words made
a profound impreffion upon him. He thought of
nothing elfe, and if he had been in the filly habit
64 'Joachim the Mimic.
of telling his dreams, I dare fay he would have
told his mother next morning that he had been
dreaming of them. Certainly they came into his
head the firft thing in the morning; and they
were ftill in his head when he walked along by
the fea-fhore, as has been described; fo much fo,
that even his adventure did not make him forget
them; and therefore, when this Genie, as I told
you before, offered to do any thing he wanted,
little Joachim faid, Genie, I want to imitate
every thing that is good, and noble, and virtuous,
fo you muff make me able !"
The Genie looked very much furprized, and
rather confused; he expended to have been afked
for toys, or money, or a new horfe, or something
nice of that fort; but Joachim looked very grave,
fo the Genie faw he was in earneft, and he did a
moft wonderful thing for a Genie; he a&ually fat
down befide the little boy to talk to him. I don't
recollea that a single Genie in the Arabian Nights,
ever did fuch a thing before; but this Genie did:
What is more, he ftroked his beard, and fpoke
very foftly, as follows:
My dear little boy, you have afked a great
thing. I can do part of what you wifh, but not
all; for you have afked what concerns the heart
and confcience, and we Genies, cannot influence
thefe, for the great Ruler of all things alone has
them under his control. He allows us, however,
power over the intelle&-ah now I fee you can-
not understand me, little boy !-Well! I mean
Joachim the Mimic. 65
this;-I can make your head clever, but I cannot
make your heart good: I can give you the power
of imitation, but as to what you imitate, that muff
depend upon yourself, and the great Being I dare
not name !"
After faying this, the Genie laid his immenfe
forefingers on each fide of Joachim's head juft
above his forehead, and then disappeared.
Joachim felt no pain, but when he got up and
put on his cap to go home, his head seemed al-
moft too large for it.
Perhaps he wanted a new cap, but the phreno-
logifts would tell you he had got the organ of Imi-
He did not thoroughly understand what the
Genie faid, but he was convinced that something
had been done towards making him like to the
young King. As he was dawdling home, his eye
was truck by the fight of a beautiful because pic-
turefque dark fifhing-boat, which he faw very
plainly, because the red fun was getting behind it.
Joachim felt a ftrange wifh to make something
like it; and, taking up a bit of white chllk he
faw at his feet, he drew a pi&ure of the boat on
the tarred fide of another that was near him.
While he was fo engaged, an old fisherman came
up very angrily. He thought the child was dif-
figuring his boat; but, to his furprife, he faw that
the little fellow's drawing was fo capital, he wished
he could do as much himself.
66 foachim the Mimic.
Why, who taught you to do that, young Maf-
ter ?" faid he.
Joachim was no great talker at any time, and
he now merely faid, Nobody," and filed.
Well, you muff draw my boat fome day, for
me to hang up; and now here's a luck penny for
you, for you certainly are a capital hand for fuch
Joachim was greatly pleaded with the penny, for
it was a curious old one, with a hole through it;
and he told his Mother all about it; but though it
may feem strange, he never mentioned the bottle
and the Genie to her at all. That appeared to
him to be a quite private affair of his own.
He altered very much, however, by degrees.
He had been till then rather a dull, filent boy:
now he talked much more, was more amufing,
was always endeavouring to draw, and after being
at church would try to read the prayers like the
parfon. His Mother was delighted. She began
to think her fon would grow up a good scholar
after all, and being now well off, owing to the
King's kindnefs, the resolved on fending little Jo-
achim to school.
To school, accordingly, he went; and here, my
little readers, there was a great change for him.
Hitherto he had lived very much alone with his
Mother, and being quiet, and somewhat dull by
nature, he had never till quite lately had many
acquaintances of his own age.
Now, however, he found himself among great
Joachim the Mimic.
numbers of youths, of all ages, and all chara&ers.
At firft he was thy and obfervant, but this foon
wore off, and he became a favourite. Nobody
was more liked at any time, and he was com-
pletely unrivalled in the play-ground. He could
fet all the boys in a roar of laughter, when, hid
behind a bufh, he would bark fo like a dog that
the unhappy wights who were not in the fecret
expe&ed to fee a vicious hound spring out upon
them, and took to their heels in fright. He was
firft in every attempt at a&ing, which the boys
got up; and there was not a cat nor a pig in the
neighbourhood whofe mew and fqueak he could
not give with the utmoft exa&nefs. If you alk
how he got on at leffons, I muft fay-well, but
not very well. His powers of entertaining his
companions were fo great, that I fear he found
their eafily-acquired praise more tempting than the
rewards of laborious learning. He could learn
eafily enough, it is true; but while his fteadier
neighbours were working hard, he was devifing
fome new fcheme for fun when leflbns should be
over, or making fome odd drawing on his'flate to
induce his companions to an outburit of laughter.
There were many excuses to be made for little
Joachim; and it is always fo pleasant to pleafe,
that I do not much wonder at his being led aftray
by polleffing the power.
Time went on, meanwhile; and Joachim became
aware at laft that he poffeffed a larger fhare than
common of the power of imitation. When he
68 Joachim the Mimic.
firft clearly felt this, he thought of the Genie and
his two forefingers, I believe;-but his school life,
and his funny ways, and the constant diverfion of
his mind, quite prevented his thinking of all the
ferious things the Genie had spoken. Nay, even
his Mother's words had nearly faded from his
mind, and he had forgotten the young King, and
his own wifhes to be like him. It was a pity it
was fo; but fo it was! Poor Joachim! he was
a very good fellow, and kind alfo in reality; but
firft the pleafure of making his companions laugh,
and then the pleasure of being a fort of little great
man among them, were fafi misleading him.
For inffance, though at firft he amufed them by
imitating dogs, and cats, and pigs, he next tried
his powers at imitating any thing queer and
odd in the boys themselves, and, for a time, this
was moft entertaining. When he mimicked the
awkward walk of one boy, and the bad drawl
of another, and the loutifh carriage of a third, the
school rebounded with shouts of laughter, which
seemed to our Hero a great triumph,-fomething
like the cheers which had greeted the good young
King as he left the fifhing-town. But certainly
the caufe was a very different one By degrees,
however, it muft be admitted, that Joachim's po-
pularity began a little to decreafe; for, though a
boy has no objection to fee his neighbour laughed
at, he does not like quite fo well to be laughed at
himself, and there are very few who can bear it
with good humour. And now Joachim had given
Joachim the Mimic.
fuch way to the paftime, that he was always hunt-
ing up abfurdities in his friends and neighbours, and
no one felt fafe.
It was a long time before Joachim found out
the change that was taking place, for there were
fill plenty of loud laughers on his fide; but once
or twice he had a feeling that all was not right:
for instance, one day when he mimicked the awk-
ward walker to the boy who fpoke badly and flut-
tered, and then in the afternoon imitated the ftut-
terer to the awkward boy, he had a twinge of
confcience, for it whifpered to him that he was
a fneak, and deceitful; particularly, as both there
boys had often helped him in doing his fums
and leffons when he was too idle and too funny
to labour at them himself. In fa&, he had
been fo much helped that he was fadly behind
hand in his books, for all the school had been
willing to affit that good fellow Joke him,'" as
they called him.
At laft a crifis came. A new boy arrived at
the school; very big for his age, and rather furly
tempered, but a hard working, perfevering lad, who
was striving hard to learn and get on. He had
one defeat. He lifped very much, which certainly
is an ugly trick, and founded filly in a great ftout
boy, nearly five feet high: but he had this excufe;
-his mother had died when he was very little, and
his good Father had more important bufinefs on
hand in supporting his family, of which this boy
was the eldest, than in teaching him to pronounce
70 7oachim the Mimic.
his S's better. It is perhaps only Mothers who
attend to thefe little matters. Well;-this great
big boy was two or three days at the school before
Joachim went near him. There was something
serious, flern, and unfunny in his face, and when
Joachim was making the other boys laugh, the
great big boy never even fmiled, but fixed his eyes
in a rather unpleafant manner upon Joachim as
he railed them from his books. Still he was an
irrefiftible fubje&t for the Mimic; for, though he
learnt his leffons without a mistake, and always
obtained the Mafter's praise, he read them with
fo strong a lifp, and this was rendered fo remark-
able by his loud, deep voice, that it fairly upfet
what little prudence Joachim poffeffed; and, as
he returned one day to his feat, after repeating a
copy of verfes in the manner I have described,
Joachim, who was not far off, echoed the laft two
lines with fuch accuracy of imitation, that it flartled
even the Mafter, who was at that moment leaving
But no laugh followed as ufual, for all eyes
were suddenly turned on the big boy, who, crim-
fon with indignation, and yet quite felf-poffeffed in
manner, walked up to Joachim and deliberately
knocked him down on the floor. Great was Jo-
achim's amazement, you may be fure, and fevere
was the blow that had levelled him; but fill more
fevere were the words that followed. Young
rafcal," exclaimed the big boy, who has put you
in authority over your elders, that you are to be
7oachim the Mimic.
corre&ing our faults and failings, instead of at-
tending to your own. You are beholden to any
lad in the school who will do your fums, and write
your exercifes for you, and then you take upon
yourself to ridicule us if we cannot pronounce our
well learnt leffons to your fancy! You faucy
imp, who don't know what labour and good
conduct are, and who have nothing to boat of,
but the powers which a monkey poffeffes to a
greater extent than yourself!" Fancy Joachim's
rage! He, the admired wit! the popular boy!
nothing better than a monkey! He fprang up and
ftruck his fifth into the face of his antagonist with
fuch fury, that the big boy, though evidently un-
willing to fight one lefs than himfelf, was obliged
to beftow several fharp blows before he could rid
himself of Joachim's paffion.
At laf, however, other boys separated them;
but Joachim, who was quite unufed to fighting,
and who had received a very severe fhock when
he firft fell, became fo fick and ill that he was
obliged to go home. His Mother afked what was
the matter. He had been quizzing a great big
boy who lifped, and the boy knocked him down,
and they had fought." His Mother fighed; but
fhe faw he was too poorly for talking, fo fhe put
him to bed and nurfed him carefully.
Now, you may fay, what had this Mother been
about, not to have found out and corre&ed Jo-
achim's fault before ? Firft, he was very little at
home, and as owing to the help of others, his idle-
72 Joachim the Mimic.
nefs had not become notorious, fhe had heard no
complaints from the Matiers, and thinking he did
his leffons well, ihe felt averfe to stopping his fun
and amufenients in holiday hours. Still, fhe had
latterly begun to have mifgivings which this event
confirmed. In a few days Joachim was better,
and came down flairs, and his Aunt and two or
three Coufins called to enquire after him. Their
presence revived Joachim's flagging spirits, and all
the boys got together to talk and laugh. Soon
their voices echoed through the houfe. Joachim
was at his old tricks again, and the Schoolboys,
the Ufhers and the Mafter all furnifhed food for
mirth. His Coufins roared with delight. Clever
child !" exclaimed his Aunt, what a treasure
you are in a houfe one could never be dull where
you are !" "Sifter, Sifter !" cried Joachim's Mo-
ther, do not fay fo !" My dear," faid the
Aunt, are you dull enough to be unable to ap-
preciate your own child's wit; oh, I wifh you
would give him to me. Come here, my dear
Joachim, and do the boy that walks fo badly once
more for me; it's enough to kill one to fee you
take him off!" Joachim's fpirits rofe above all
control. Excited by his Aunt's praise and the
fenfe of superior ability, he furpaffed himfelf. He
gave the bad walker to perfection; then imitated
a lad who had commenced singing leffons, and
whole voice was at present broken and bad. He
even gave the big boy's lifp once more, and followed
on with a series of pantomimic exhibitions.
Joachim the Mimic. 73
All at once, he caft his eyes on his Mother's
face-that face fo full of intelligence and the mild
forrow of years of widowhood, borne with re-
figned patience. Her eyes were full of tears, and
there was not a fmile on her countenance. Jo-
achim's confcience-he knew not why-twinged
him terribly. He stopped suddenly; "Mother!"
Come here, Joachim !" He came.
SIs that boy whom you have been imitating--
your Aunt fays fo cleverly-the beft walker of all
the boys in your school ?"
The befl, Mother ?" and the puzzled Joachim
could not fupprefs a mile. His Coufins grinned.
Dear Mother, of course not," continued Jo-
achim, on the contrary, he is the very wort !"
Oh-well, have you no good walkers at your
Oh yes, federal; indeed one especially; his
father was a foldier, he walks beautifully."
Does he, Joachim? Let me fee you walk
like him, my dear."
Joachim stepped boldly enough into the middle
of the room, and drew himself up; but a fudden
confcioufnefs of his extreme inferiority to the
foldier's fon, both in figure, manner and mode of
walking, made him feel quite fheepifh. There
was a paufe of expectation.
Now then !" faid Joachim's Mother.
I cannot walk like him, Mother," faid Jo-
Why not ?"
74 7oachim the Mimic.
Because he walks fo very well!"
Oh,"-faid Joachim's Mother.
There was another paufe.
Come, Joachim," continued the Widow, I
am very anxious to admire you as much as your
Aunt does. You are not tired; let us have fome
more exhibitions. You gave us a long juft now
horribly out of tune, and with the screeching voice
of a bagpipe."
I was singing like Tom Smith," interrupted
Is he your beft finger ?" enquired the Mo-
ther. Another laugh followed.
Nay, Mother, no one fings fo badly."
Indeed! How does the Singing Matier fing,
Oh, Mother," cried Joachim, fo beauti-
fully, it would make the tears come into your eyes
with pleasure, to listen to him."
Well, but as I cannot liften to him, let me,
at all events, have the pleasure of hearing my
clever fon imitate him," was the reply.
Joachim was mute. He had a voice, though
not a remarkable one, but he had fhirked the la-
bour of trying to improve it by pra&ice. He
made one effort to fing like the Mafter, but over-
powered by a fenfe of incapacity, his voice failed,
and he felt difpofed to cry.
Why, Joachim, I thought you were fuch a
clever creature you could imitate any thing,"
cried the Mother.
Joachim the Mimic.
No answer fell from the abafhed boy, till a fud-
den thought revived him.
"But I can imitate the finging-mafter, Mother."
Let me hear you, my dear child."
Why it ifn't exactly what you can hear," ob-
ferved Joachim murmuringly; "butwhen he fings,
you have no idea what horrible faces he makes.
Nay, it's true, indeed, he turns up his eyes, fhuts
them, distorts his mouth, and wings about on the
ftool like the pendulum of a clock !"
And Joachim performed all the grimaces and
contortions to perfection, till his Aunt and Coufns
were convulfed with laughter.
Well done," cried his Mother. Now you
are indeed like the cat in the German fable, Joa-
chim who voted himself like the bear, because he
could lick his paws after the fame fashion, though
he could not imitate either his courage or his
strength. Now let me look a little further into
your education. Bring me your drawing-book."
It came, and there was page after page of odd and
ugly faces, strange nofes, stranger eyes, fquinting
out of the book in hideous array.
I fuppofe you will laugh again if I afk you if
thefe are the beauties of your school, Joachim;-
but tell me ferioufly, are there no good, pleafant,
or handfome faces among your fchoolfellows ?"
"Plenty, Mother; one or two the Mafter calls
models, and who often fit to him to be drawn
Draw one of thofe faces for me, my dear; I
76 Joachim the Mimic.
am fond of beauty." And the Mother placed the
book in his hands, pointing to a blank page.
Joachim took a pencil, and fat down. Now he
thought he should be able to pleafe his Mother;
but, alas, he found to his furprife, that the fine
faces he tried to recall had not left that vivid im-
preffion on his brain which enabled him to repre-
fent them. On the contrary, he was tormented
and baffled by vifions of the odd forms and gro-
tefque countenances he had fo often pictured.
He feized the indian-rubber and rubbed out nofe
after nofe to no purpose, for he never could replace
them with a better. Drawing was his favourite
amusement; and this disappointment, where he
expe&ed fuccefs, broke down his already depreffed
heart. He threw the book from him, and burft
into a flood of tears.
Joachim have you drawn him ? What
makes you cry ?"
I cannot draw him, Mother," fobbed the dif-
And why not ? Juft look here; here is an
admirable likenefs of fquinting Joe, as you have
named him. Why cannot you draw the hand-
fome boy ?"
Because his face is fo handsome !" answered
Joachim, fill fobbing.
"' My fon," faid his Mother gravely, "you have
now a fad leffon to learn, but a neceffary and a
wholefome one. Get up, defift from crying, and
liften to me."
foachim the Mimic. 77
Poor Joachim, who loved his mother dearly,
Joachim your Aunt, and your Coufins, and
your fchoolfellows have all called you clever. In
what does your clevernefs confift ? I will tell
you. In the Reprodu6ion of Deformity, Defe&s,
Failings, and Misfortunes of every fort, that fall
under your observation. A worthy employment
truly! A noble ambition! But I will now tell
you the truth about yourself. You never heard it
before, and I feel fure you will benefit now. A
good or an evil Genie, I know not which, has
beftowed upon you a great power; and you have
mifufed it. Do you know what that power is ?"
Joachim hook his head, though he trembled
all over, for he felt as if awaking from a long dream,
to the recolle&ion of the Genie.
It is the power of Imitation, Joachim; I call
it a great power, for it is effential to many great
and ufeful things. It is effential to the orator, the
linguist, the artift, and the musician. Nature her-
felf teaches us the charm of imitation, when in the
fmooth and clear lake you fee the lovely landscape
around mirrored and repeated.* What a leffon
may we not read in this fight! The commoneft
pond even that reflects the foliage of the tree that
hangs over it, is calling out to us to reproduce for
the folace and ornament of life, the beautiful works
of God. But oh, my fon, my dear fon, you have
Schiller.-" Der Kiinftler."
78 foachim the Mtmic.
abused this gift of Imitation, which might be fuch
a bleffing and pleasure to you.
You might, if you chofe, imitate every thing
that is good, and noble, and virtuous, and beauti-
ful; and you are, instead of that, reproducing every
afpe6 of deformity that croffes your path, until
your brain is fo stamped with images of defeAs,
uglinefs, and uncouthnefs, that your hand and head
refufe their office, when I call upon you to repro-
duce the beauties with which the world is graced."
I doubt if Joachim heard the latter part of his
Mother's speech. At the recurrence to the old
sentence, a gleam of lightning seemed to fhoot
acrofs his brain. Latent memories were aroused
as keenly as if the events had but juft occurred,
and he lank at his Mother's feet.
When fhe ceased to peak, he arofe.
Mother," faid he, I have been living in a
cloud. I have been very wrong. Besides which,
I have a secret to tell you. Nay, my Aunt may
hear. It has been a secret, and then it has been
forgotten; but now I remember all, and under-
ftand far more than I once did."
Here Joachim recounted to his Mother the
whole ftory of her words to him, and his adven-
ture with the Genie and the bottle; and then, very
flowly, and interrupted by many tears of repen-
tance, he repeated what the Genie had faid about
giving him the power of imitation, adding that the
ufe he made of it muft depend on himself and the
great Rtler of the heart and confcience.
foachim the Mimic. 79
There was a great furs among the Coufins at
the notion of Joachim having talked to a Genie;
and, to tell you the truth, this was all they thought
about, and foon after took their leave. The heart
of Joachim's Mother was at reft, however: for
though fhe knew how hard her fon would find it
to alter what had become a habit of life, the knew
that he was a good and pious boy, and fhe law
that he was fully alive to his error.
Oh Mother," faid he, during the courfe of
that evening, how plain I fee it all now The
boy that flutters is a model of obedience and ten-
dernefs; I ought to have dwelt upon and imitated
that, and, oh! I thought only of his fluttering.
The boy that walks fo clumfily, as well as the
great fellow that lifps, are fuch indufirious lads,
and fo advanced in learning, that the after thinks
both will be diftinguifhed hereafter; and I, who
-(oh, my poor mother, I muft confefs to you)-
hated to labour at any thing, and have got the boys
to do my leffons for me ;-I, instead of imitating
their industry, loft all my time in ridiculing their
defe6ts.-What fhall-what fall I do !"
The next morning poor Joachim faid his prayers
more humbly than he had ever before done in his
life; and, kiffing his mother, went to school. The
firft thing he did on arriving was to go up to the
big boy, who had beaten him, and beg him to ihake
The big boy was pleaded, and a grim fmile
lightened up his face. But, old fellow," faid
80 foachim the Mimic.
he, laying his hand on Joachim's shoulder, "take
a friend's advice. There is good in all of us, de-
pend upon it. Look out for all that's good, and
let the bad points take care of themselves. You
won't get any handfomer, by squinting like poor
Joe; nor peak any pleafanter for lifping like me;
nor walk any better for apeing hobbling. But the
uglieft of us have fome good about us. Look out
for that, my little lad; I do, or I should not be
talking to you! I fee that you are honeft and
forgiving, though you are a monkey! There now,
I mufl go on with my leffons You do yours !"
Never was better advice given, and Joachim
took it well, and bore it bravely; but, oh, how
hard it was to his mind, accustomed for fo long to
wander away and feek amusement at wrong times,
to fettle down refolutely and laborioufly to ftudy.
He made a strong effort, however; and though
he had often to recall his thoughts, he in a mea-
After fchool-hours he begged the big boy to
come and fit by him, and then he requested his
old friends and companions to liften to a ftory he
had to tell them. They expected something fun-
ny, and many a broad grin was feen; but poor
Joachim's eyes were yet red with weeping, and
his gay voice was fo fubdued, the party foon be-
came grave and wondering, and then Joachim
told them every thing. They were delighted to
hear about the Genie, and were alfo pleaded to find
themselves fafe from Joachim's ridicule. It could
Soachim the Mimic. 81
not be expe&ed they should all understand the
ftory, but the big boy did, and became Joachim's
greatest friend and adviser.
That evening our little friend, exhausted with
the efforts and excitement of his almost firft day
of repentance, ifrolled out in a fomewhat penfive
mood to his favourite haunt, the fea fliore. A
ftormy funfet greeted his arrival on the beach, but
the tide was ebbing, and he wandered on till he
reached fome caverns among the cliffs. And there,
as had often been his wont, he fat down to gaze
out upon.the wafte of waters fafe and protected
from harm. It is very probable that he fell afleep
-but the point could never be clearly known, for
he always faid it was no fleep and no dream he
had then, but that, whilft fitting in the inmoft re-
ceffes of the cave, he faw once more his old friend
the Genie, who after reproaching him with the
bad ufe he had made of his precious gift, gave him
a world of good advice and inftrufion.
There is no doubt that after that time, Joachim
was feen daily struggling against his bad habits;
and that by degrees he became able to exercise his
mind in following after the good and beautiful in.
ftead of after the bad and ugly. It was a hard
talk to him for many a long day to fix his flighty
thoughts down to the bufinefs in hand, and to dif-
mifs from before his eyes the ridiculous images
that often presented themselves. But his Mother's
wifhes, or the Genie's advice, or something better
fill, prevailed. And you cannot think, of what
82 Joachim the Mimic.
wonderful ufe the Genie's gift was to him then.
Once turned in a right dire&ion and towards wor-
thy obje&s, he found it like a fort of friend at his
right hand, helping him forward in fome of the
moft interesting purfuits of life. Ah! all the
energy he had once bestowed on imitating lifps
and fluttering, was now engaged in catching the
founds of foreign tongues, and thus taking one ftep
towards the citizenship of the world. And instead
of wafting time in gazing at the singing malfer's
face, that he might ape its unnatural diftortions-
it was now the feet tones of ikilful harmony to
which he bent his attention, and which he ftrove,
and not in vain, to reproduce.
The portfolio which he brought home to his Mo-
ther at the end of another half-year, was crowded
with laborious and careful copies from the beft
models of beauty and grace. And not with thofe
only, for many a face could be found on its pages
in which the Mother recognized fome of her fon's
old companions. Portraits, not of the mere for-
mation of mouths and nofes, which in fo many
cafes, viewed merely as forms, are defe&ive and
unattraaive, but portraits of the fame faces, upon
which the charader of the inward mind and heart
was fo ftamped that it threw the mere fhape of the
features far into the background.
Thus with the pursuit of his favourite art, Jo-
achim combined that moft excellent gift of cha-
rity;" for it was now his pride and pleafure to
make the charm of expreffion from the good
J oachim the Mimic. 83
points" his old friend had talked about, triumph
over any physical defeats. The very spirit and
foul of the beft fort of portrait painting. And
here, my dear young readers, I would fain call
your attention to the fa& of how one right
habit produces another. The more Joachim la-
boured over feizing the good expreffion of the
faces he drew from, the more he was led to feek
after and find out the good points themselves
whence the expreffion arofe; and thus at laft it
became a Habit with him to try and discover
every thing that was excellent and commendable
in the chara&ers of thofe he met; a very different
plan from that purfued by many of us, who in our
intercourse with each other, are but too apt to
faften with eagle-eye accuracy on failings and
faults. Which is a very grave error, and a very
misleading one, for if it does nothing elfe, it de-
prives us of all the good we should get by a daily
habit of contemplating what is worthy our regard
and remembrance. And fo strongly did Joachim's
mother feel this, and fo earnestly did the wifh her
fon to understand that a power which feems be-
ftowed for worldly ends, may be turned to spiritual
advantage alfo, that when his birthday came round
the presented to him among other gifts, a little
book, called The Imitation of Jefus Chrift." It
was the work of an old fellow called Thomas a
Kempis, and though more pracical books of piety
have fince been written, the idea contained in the
tite fuggefts a great leffon, and held up before Joa-
Joachim the Mimic.
chim's eyes, Him whom one of our own divines
has fince called The Great Exemplar."
This part of our little hero's Leffon of Life,'
we can all take to ourselves, and go and do like-
wife. And fo I hope his ftory may be profitable,
though we have not all of us a large Genie-gift of
Imitation as he had. With him the excefs of this
power took a very natural turn, for though he
poffeffed through its aid, considerable facilities for
mufic and the ftudy of languages alfo, the courfe
of events led him irrefiftibly to what is ufually
called the fine arts." And if the old dream of
the royal chariot and the twelve jet black horses
was never realized to him, a higher happinefs by
far was his, when fome years after, he and his
Mother food in the council houfe of his native
town ; fhe looking up with affectionate pride while
he showed her a portrait of the good young King
which had a few hours before been hung up upon
its walls. It was the work of Joachim himfelf.
DARKNESS AND LIGHT.
The darknefs and the light to Thee are both alike.
SAR away to the weft, on the borders
of the Sea, there lived a lady and gen-
tleman in a beautiful old houfe built
something like a castle. They had
several children, nice little boys and
girls, who were far fonder of their Sea Caftle, as
they called it, than of a very pleasant houfe which
they had in a great town at fome distance off.
Still they ufed to go and be very merry in the
Town Houfe in the winter time when the hail and
fnow fell, and the winds blew fo cold that nobody
could bear to walk out by the wild fea fhore.
But in fummer weather the cafe was quite al-
tered. Indeed, as foon as ever the fun began to
get a little power, and to warm the panes of glafs
in the nurfery windows of the Town Houfe, there
was a hue and cry among all the children to be off
to their Sea Caftle home, and many a time had Papa
and Mamma to fend them angrily out of the room,
because they would do nothing but beg to fet off
dire&fly." They were always "fure that the
Darknefs and Light.
weather was getting quite hot," and it muj be
summer, for they heard the fparrows chirping
every morning the firft thing," and they thought
they had feen a fwallow," and the windows got
fo warm with the funfhine, Nurfe declared they
were enough to burn one's fingers:" and fo the
poor little things teazed themselves and everybody
elfe, every year, in their hurry to get back to their
western home. But I dare fay you have heard
the old proverb, One fwallow does not make
a summer;" and fo it was proved very often to our
friends. For the Spring feafon is fo changeable,
there are often fome foft mild days, and then a
cruel froft comes again, and perhaps fnow as well;
and people who have boated about fine weather
and put off their winter clothes, look very foolish.
Still Time paffes on; and when May was half
over, the Town Houfe ufed to echo with fhouts of
noify delight, and boxes were banged down in the
paffages, and there was a great calling out for
cords, and much fcolding about broken keys and
padlocks, and the poor Carpenter who came to
mend the trunks and find new keys to old locks,
was at his wits' end and his patience' end too.
But at laft the time came when all this bufile
was succeeded by filence in the Town Houfe, for
carriages had rolled away with the happy party,
and nobody was left behind but two or three wo-
men fervants to clean out the defeated rooms.
And now then, my little readers, who are, I
hope, wondering what is coming next, you muft
Darknefs and Light. 87
fancy to yourfelves the old Sea Caftle Home.
It had two large turrets; and winding ftaircafes
led from the paffages and kitchens underneath the
fitting rooms, up to the top of the turrets, and fo
out upon the leads of the houfe, from which there
was the moft beautiful view of the Ocean you
ever faw; and, as the top of the houfe was battle-
mented, like the top of your church tower, people
could walk about quite fafely and comfortably,
without any fear of falling over. Then, though it is
a very unusual thing near the Sea, there were de-
lightful gardens at the place, and a few very fine
old elm trees near the houfe, in which a party of
rooks built their nefts every year; and the chil-
dren had gardens of their own, in which they
could dig up their flowers to fee if the roots were
growing, to their heart's content, and perform
other equally ingenious feats, fuch as watering a
plant two or three times a day, or after a shower
of rain, and then wondering that, with fuch tender
care, the poor thing should rot away and die.
But I almost think the children liked the fands
on the fhore as well as the gardens, though' they
loved both. Not that there was any amufement
aftir by the water fide there, as you have feen in
other places where there are boats and fishermen
and nets, and great coils of ropes, and an endlefs
variety of entertaining fights connected with the
feafaring bufinefs going on. Nay, in fome places
where there is not a very good fhore for landing,
it is an amusement of itself to fee each boat or fifh-
88 Darknefs and Light.
ing yawl come in. There is fuch a contrafl be-
tween the dark tarred wood and the white furf
that dafhes up all round it; and the fishermen are
fo clever in watching the favourable moment for
a wave to carry them over their difficulties ; that I
think this is one of the prettiest fights one can fee.
But no fuch thing was ever feen on the fhore by the
old Sea Caftle, for there was no fishing there. Peo-
ple thought the fea was too rough and the landing
too difficult, and fo no fishing village had ever
been built, and no boats ever attempted to come
within many miles of the place.
Nobody cared to afk further, or try to account
for the wildnefs of the fea on that coat; but I can
tell you all about it, although it muff be in a fort
of half whifper-The place was on the borders of
Fairy Land! that is to.fay, many many unknown
numbers of miles out at fea, right opposite to the
Caftle, there was a Fairy Ifland, and it was the
Fairies who kept the fea fo rough all round them,
for fear fome adventurous failor should approach
the ifland, or get near enough to fifh up fome of
the pearls and precious ftones they kept in a crystal
palace underneath the water.
So now you know the reason why the fea was
fo rough, and there was no fishing going on at the
Sea Caftle Home.
If you want to know whether any body ever
law the Fairy Ifland, I muff fay, yes; but very
feldom. And never but in the evening when the
fun was getting, and that under particular circum-
Darknefs and Light.
ftances-namely, when he went down into a dark
red bank of clouds, or when there was a lurid
crimfon hue over the fky juft above the horizon.
Then occasionally you might fee the dim hazy out-
line as of a beautiful mountainous ifland against
the clouds, or the deep-coloured fky. There is
an island sometimes feen from our western coaft,
under similar circumstances, but which you train
your eyes in vain to difcern by the brighter light
It is a very ticklish thing to live on the borders
of Fairy Land; for though you cannot get to the
Fairies, they can get to you, and it is not alto-
gether a pleafant thing to have your private affairs
overfeen and interfered with by fuch beings as they
are, though sometimes it may be moft ufeful and
agreeable. Befides which, there was a Fairy-fe-
cret conne&ed with the family that lived at the
Sea Caftle. An Anceftrefs of the present Miftrefs
had been a Fairy herfelf, and though fhe had ac-
commodated herself to mortal manners, and lived
with her husband quite quietly as well as happily,
and fo her origin had been in a great measure' for-
gotten, it was not unknown to her defcendant,
the Lady Madeline, who now lived in the place.
And, in fa&t, foon after Lady Madeline firft came
there, a Fairy named Eudora had appeared to her,
declaring herfelf to be a fort of distant coufin, and
offering and promising friendship and affiftance,
SIfle of Man from Blackpool,
90 Darknefs and Light.
whenever afked or even wifhed for. In return,
the only begged to be allowed to vifit, and ram-
ble at will about the old place which fhe had known
for fo many many long years, and had once had
the unlimited run of; and fhe protected with tears
that the family should never in any way be dif-
turbed by her. Lady Madeline could not well
refuse the request, but I cannot fay fhe gave her
fairy acquaintance any encouragement; and fo
poor Eudora never showed herself to them again.
And Madeline never thought much about her,
except now and then accidentally, when, if they
were walking on the fands, fome extraordinarily
rare and beautiful shells would be thrown ashore
by a wave at the children's feet, as if toffed up
especially for their amusement. And it was only
in fome fuch kind little way as this they were ever
reminded of the Fairy's existence.
Lady Madeline's eldeft fon, Roderick, always
seemed moft favoured by the Fairy in the pretty
things fhe fent afhore, and certainly he was a very
nice boy, and a very good one on the whole-
cheerful and honest as the daylight, and very in-
telligent; but I cannot tell you, dear readers, that
he had no faults, for that was not at all likely, and
you would not believe it if I faid fo, even although
he is to be the Hero of my tale.
Now I do not want to make you laugh at him,
but the ftory requires that I should reveal to you
one of his weak points. Well then, although he
was fix years old, he was afraid of being alone in