H. G. C.
"Thought in the mine may come forth gold or drom;
When coined in word, we know its real worth:
If sterling, store it for thy future use;
'Twill buy thee benefit, perhaps renown.
Thought, too, delivered, is the more possessed;
Teaching, we learn; and giving, we retain."
JAMES M. USHER.
Entered according to Act of Congress, In the year 1847, by
in the Cerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
BTEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY
METCALF AND COMPANY,
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
LEAVES FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A OOVERNESS 23
THE WANDERER'S RETURN 94
PATCHWORK, OR CONVERSATION WITH AUNT MABEL 133
REMINISCENCES OF SCHOOL LIFE.
THE SCHOOL AND THE SCHOOL-HOUSE 157
MRS. MONTROSE, OUR PRECEPTRESS 163
MISS BARNARD, OUR TEACHER IN MATHEMATICS 167
MISS IRVINE, OUR TEACHER IN ELOCUTION AND
LORA .. 181
SEQUEL TO REMINISCENCES OF SCHOOL LIFE 2
Alas I we trace
The map of our own paths, and, long ere years
With their dull steps the brilliant lines efface,
On sweeps the storm, and blots them out with tears! "
THE young Wilburnes were laying plans
for the future, forming schemes for life, or
building castles in the air, as some good people
would have termed their employment. I,"
said Ferdinand, intend to be a great orator;
I will rivet the attention of my hearers ; their
thoughts shall be concentrated upon the subject
of my harangue. They shall listen with breath-
less wonder, and then, when I look around,
and survey the crowded hall, and see the audi-
ence completely in my power, and fascinated
by my eloquence, even as the little bird by the
rattlesnake, how happy I shall be what a tri-
His brother Alfred, in a very calm and pas-
sionless tone, remarked :-" I have none of
those lofty ideas. I see not why I should be
dependent for Fy happiness upon the applause
of the multitude. I will be a very rich man,
a merchant; and I will make money so rapidly
that I shall be able to retire from business at
an early age. Then I will have an elegant
country-seat, with beautiful gardens. Every
thing in my house shall be very costly and lux-
urious. I shall have money enough to gratify
every desire of my heart. Then I shall enjoy
I think," replied Ferdinand, that your
plan is quite contemptible. I do not see that
you are much better than an Epicurean.
Very exalted, I must say How rich do you
intend to be before you commence this life of
pleasure ? "
0, I must have a million of dollars "
You do n't expect to be happy before
that time ? "
No; I shall work hard till I have amassed
that sum, and then live at my ease."
"Well, if I loved money, and I rejoice
that I do not," said Ferdinand proudly, I
would not be a slave. I would work hard,
and suffer every privation, till 'iT gained a
sum so enormous, because one may be very
happy with a tithe of the amount you have
mentioned. If I wished to be rich, I would
earn money gradually, that I might enjoy all
the intervening time. You remind me of a
story, which I will try to relate for your ben-
efit. King Pyrrhus told Cineas, his ambas-
sador, that he wished to subject all Italy to his
rule. Cineas replied, -' The Romans be-
ing conquered, what do you design to do, 0
king ?' Sicily is next to Italy, nor will it
be difficult to occupy that with armed troops.'
'Sicily being occupied, what will you do
then ? The king, who did not yet perceive
the purpose of Cineas, said, -- I have a
mind to pass over into Africa.' Cineas pro-
ceeded, Where then, 0 king ? Pyrrhus
replied, -' Then, finally, my Cineas, we
shall be tranquil, and enjoy sweet peace.'
Cineas apkg, -' Why do you not even now
eaY4AAeace ?' There, Alfred, I believe
Iiave repid the story word for word, and
I think jiC uits you admirably."
IBhe girls, attracted by the earnestness of
their brothers' tones, left their books, and
drew near the fire.
What will you be, sweet sisters ? asked
Ferdinand. Alfred and I are planning our
future course; doubtless holding the opinion
that our destiny is in our own hands, and that
we can have what lot we choose."
Juliet was the first to reply. Tossing her
bright curls, she exclaimed, My plan is
already formed. I will be a belle. Every
body says that I am beautiful. Then I have
the most exquisite taste in dress, so that I
cannot fail to be enchanting. I shall be cel-
ebrated as the beautiful, the graceful, and the
attractive Miss Wilburne."
0 sister cried Louisa, how can you
desire pleasures like those ? They can only
be enjoyed while youth lasts. Besides, who
will ever hear of you after your death ? "
I care nothing about posthumous fame.
I want to enjoy life; but it will bake very
little difference what people safie I am
dead. I will be happy while I lip% 01
Alfred cordially assented to the wisdom of
these opinions ; but Ferdinand shook his head,
with great gravity, and, turning to Louisa,
said, What character do you choose,
dear sister ? "
I will be a learned lady," replied Louisa;
" I will attend to all the branches pursued at
our best colleges. I will be a splendid math-
ematician, an able linguist; and I will also be
profoundly skilled in the natural sciences. I
shall be the learned, the renowned Louisa
My ambitious little sister," exclaimed
Ferdinand, I like your ideas far better than
Juliet's ; but you are not very wise to attempt
so many dies. The course pursued at col-
leges is tosense. I should like to know
what indi ual can excel in all the branches
prescribed for, those young men. Better give
yOur who., attention to one department. Re-
mathematician, if you please, or
adept in the natural sciences.
acquire fame ; but if you seek
each of the three, you will utter-
was reading a work of Spurzheim's
r day, and I will try to remember
some of the ideas, which exactly harmonized
with my own. He argues that every one
should be educated according to his natural
endowments, that the gifts bestowed upon
different individuals are very dissimilar, and
that we should cultivate those mental powers
which are predominant. The state of society
would then advance with great rapidity."
I prefer Madame de Starl's reasoning,"
said Louisa. "Be so kind as to listen to this
paragraph. I will read it as it is written in
la belle Franfaise. La nouvelle philosophies
Allemande est n6cessairement plus favorable
qu'aucune autre l'Ntendue de l'esprit; car,
rapportant tout au foyer de 1'Pme, et consid6-
rant le monde lui-m6me comme regi par des
lois dont le type est en nous, elle ne saurait
admettre le prnjug6 qui destine chaque home
d'une maniere exclusive A tell ou telle branches
d'ktudes. Les philosophes idealistes croient
qu'un art, qu'une science, qu'une parties quel-
conque ne saurait etre comprise sans des
connaissances universelles, et que, depuis le
moindre phenomene jusqu'au plus grand, rien
ne peut 6tre savamment examine ou po6tique-
ment d6peint sans cette hauteuf d'esprit qui
fait voir I'ensemhle en d6crivant les d6-
Well, do as you please, sister. Children
ought, I suppose, to be exercised in a variety
of studies, or some parts of the brain might be
disproportionately developed; but after they
become young men and women, they should
decide for themselves which path they can
pursue with the greatest credit. Very few
people in this country can have as much time
for study as those plodding Germans, of whom
Madame de Stael writes. Besides, I think
that every one is fitted by nature for some
particular course, and that he should follow it
with eagerness. As I believe that I am des-
tined for an orator, I shall study with a view
to that end. I will attend to logic, that I
may learn how to argue ; to rhetoric, that my
orations may be adorned by all that will render
them attractive ; to criticism, that I may be
able to avoid faults of composition and of'ut-
terance; to history, that I may have a great
number of facts and examples for illustration;
to the classics, that I may -"
"Stop, stop, Mr. Orator," shouted Lou-
isa, I agree that you are admirably well
qualified by nature for a public speaker, but
spare us such a display of your powers this
The young people had commenced their
conversation in a low tone, that they might not
disturb their seniors; but, excited by the in-
spring topic of discussion, they, quite uninten-
tionally, talked with so much vehemence that
their colloquy was not only heard, but listened
to with great interest; for how could one avoid
giving some heed to what was so eagerly vocif-
"We will send the children to another
room," said Mr. Wilburne ; but, on discover-
ing the interesting nature of their conversation,
he paused, and did not interrupt the young
disputants till their conference had reached the
point above noted. Then, turning to Mrs.
Wilburne, whb had been engaged in needle-
work, while her husband relieved the tedium
of her employment by reading aloud, he pro-
posed that they should join the children, and
endeavour to give them some reasonable ideas.
The company soon formed one group. The
father began, -" How happy I may expect
to be in a few years, with four such children
to confer honor upon my name, a brilliant
orato', a luxurious millionaire, a dashing belle,
and a woman of profound erudition "
The children at first evinced some degree
of confusion, but they soon rallied. Ferdi-
nand, with a graceful bow, replied, Yes,
papa, we will all be great in some way, and
you shall be honored by children so distin-
"Do you not know," asked Mrs. Wil-
burne, that great plans for the future are of-
ten formed by young people, and that these
almost invariably end in disappointment ?"
Well, mammp," answered Louisa, the
failure must be attributed to want of strength
in the will. With a powerful tvill, I can ac-
complish any purpose."
"I acknowledge," said the lady, "that
much depends upon the will, so much that a
good degree of truth may be claimed for the
adage, Where there is a will there is a way.'
But it must be confessed that circumstances
do frequently exert a powerful influence over
Yes, mamma, circumstances must have
some effect; but I think that a strong will can,
in the end, surmount all obstacles."
"Your position may, with some qualifica-
tion, be granted. It does, indeed, contain so
much truth, that we might almost receive it as
an axiom. The main difficulty, in many cas-
es, is the will itself. Yours may not be so ef-
fective as you think. It is far easier to re-
solve than to act. I will say nothing yet about
the character of your schemes, but will mere-
ly speak of some obstacles which may prevent
their fulfilment. Ferdinand intends to be an
orator. He may gain a knowledge of those
branches of learning requisite for the successful
speaker, and then find that he has not those
graces of oratory which would render him ac-
ceptable to the public. I understand you, my
son, you are thinking of Demosthenes ; but it
is questionable whether it would be expedient
for every awkward stammerer, who wishes to
speak in public, to make such efforts. He
might be compelled to admit that he had the
defects, without the genius, of that orator.
Alfred may be defeated in his plans by the
loss of his ships, by the destruction of his
buildings by fire, and by various other hostile
influences. Juliet may see that she has not
that kind of beauty, and those peculiar attrac-
tions, which would crown her the reigning
belle. Louisa's health may be destroyed, in
consequence of the intensity of her application
to study. As you have quoted Madame de
Stael, Louisa, I will deepen the impression of
my remarks, by giving you a few extracts con-
cerning her. Her mother, we learn, had
formed an extensive plan. Madame Necker
intended that her daughter should be a woman
of profound learning. The early years of
Madame de Stael were spent in study. The
powerful mind of the child was stimulated to a
high degree. Now I will read. Her pleas-
ures, as well as her duties, were exercises of
intellect; and nature, which had originally be-
stowed great gifts, was assisted by every pos-
sible method. In this way, her vigorous fac-
ulties acquired a prodigious growth.' 'The
health of Mademoiselle Necker could not en-
dure the high pressure of excitement so con-
stantly applied to her intellectual faculties.
Before she was fifteen years old, the physi-
cians were obliged to order complete seclu-
sion, and total abandonment of study. This
was a subject of great regret to Madame
Necker. She had indulged an unbounded
ambition for her daughter ; and, according to
her ideas, to give up great learning was to re-
nounce all hopes of distinction. Having ob-
tained extensive erudition by her own patient
habits of mental labor, she thought every body
could study as intensely and methodically as
she had done.' "
Why, mamma, I thought that Madame de
Stail was a very learned woman."
She was a very literary woman, my dear,
and quite distinguished, but she was prevented
from gaining that kind of renown which her
mother had desired for her. She had great
genius, wonderful talent, and unrivalled con-
versational powers. Listen to another extract.
'The place of this' extraordinary woman is
marked among the most eloquent writers of
any age ; among the best delineators of human
feelings and passions ; among the truest histo-
rians of the heart. She might not possess
much positive knowledge; sometimes she
spoke of things she did not thoroughly under-
stand; her imagination often took the lead of
her judgment; but her errors were invariably
on the generous side, and still bespoke great-
ness of mind and elevated sentiments.' So,
you see, my children, that circumstances will
sometimes declare their influence. The for-
mation of a plan and the execution are widely
different. It is, indeed, well in youth to mark
out a course of action for the future; but be
not too sanguine. I entreat, also, that you
will carefully examine your schemes, and con-
sider whether they are worthy of the vigorous
pursuit of immortal beings."
Louisa," said her father, you may step
into the library and bring me that volume of
Foster's Essays which you will see lying upon
the table. A passage in that book occurs to
my mind which I should like to read for the
benefit of you children. We will then aban-
don farther discussion of the subject till anoth-
The book was brought; and the father soon
found the passage to which he had referred.
The extravagance of imagination in ro-
mance has very much consisted in the display
of a destiny and course of life totally unlike
the common condition of mankind. And you
may have observed in living individuals, that
one of the effects sometimes produced by the
predominance of this faculty is, a persuasion
in a person's own mind that he is born to
some peculiar and extraordinary destiny, while
yet there are no extraordinary indications in
the person or his circumstances. There was
something rational in the early presentiments
which some distinguished men have entertained
of their future career. When a celebrated
general of the present times exclaimed, after
performing the common military exercise in a
company of juvenile volunteers, I shall be a
commander-in-chief,' a sagacious observer of
the signs of yet undeveloped powers might
have thought it indeed a rather sanguine, but
probably would not have pronounced it an ab-
surd, anticipation. An elder and intelligent as-
sociate of Milton's youth might without much
difficulty have believed himself listening to an
oracle, when so powerful a genius avowed to
him that he regarded himself as destined to
produce a work which should distinguish the
nation and the age. The opening of uncom-
mon faculties may be sometimes attended with
these anticipations, and may be allowed to ex-
press them ; perhaps, even, as a stimulus, en-
couraged to indulge them. But in most in-
stances these magnificent presumptions form,
in the observer's eye, a ludicrous contrast
with the situation and powers of the person
that entertains them. And in the event, how
few such anticipations have proved themselves
to have been the genuine promptings of an ex-
traordinary mind f "
LEAVES FROM THE AUTOBIOGRA-
PHY OF A GOVERNESS.
"Man measures earth's stupendous globe,
And marks its mighty bound;
His search has solved the mystic tides
In their alternate course,
And sunward traced the viewless winds
Up to their flaming source:
Yea, his far ken hath read the skies
With all their starry blazonries
That o'er us nightly burn;
Hath marked the planet's boundless ring,
And fixed the certain years that bring
The comet's dread return:
Yet, spirit! when his curious zeal
To thy deep quest applies,
How like to groping blindness shows
The wisdom of the wise! "
WILLIAM PTTr PALMUr.
THE sun was diffusing his amber-hued tints
over the little village of L., as through its
LEAVES FROM THE
main street, I, the sole passenger of a cum-
brous stage-coach, was whirled in the year
18-. I was sad and weary; for, about to
appear among entire strangers, a feeling of
loneliness and depression was fast stealing over
me. The day, although oppressively warm,
had been cloudy; but now Phoebus suddenly
burst forth to gladden the earth with a smile,
before disappearing from the view of its hab-
itants. My spirit had always expanded in
sunshine and prosperity. In my early years,
I had thought that I was certainly born for
wealth and distinction; for only in favorable
circumstances did my mind and body appear
to act to full advantage. But I was not long
in learning that a truly noble character is not
the creature of circumstances, but that it rises
above them, declaring that it will not be form-
ed by their influence. I had learned to study,
even when suffering from dejection and disap-
pointment. I had learned to be cheerful, even
when ignorant how I should obtain the money
to buy the next new book which my studies
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 26
might demand. I had learned, also, not to be
low-spirited during a seven days' storm. Still,
the weather always would exert some power
over my frame. Did I arise in the morning,
and see every object gilded with the rays of
Heaven's great luminary, did I see the pris-
matic colors reflected in every dew-drop, -
my spirits rebounded, and I joyfully prepared
for the duties of the day This idiosyncrasy
rendered me peculiarly light-hearted, as the
clouds now vanished, and the landscape glis-
tened with the clear, bright emanations of the
sun. My attention was so attracted by the
magnificent, though oft-repeated, spectacle of
the glories of the descending orb, that I for
a while neglected to notice the beauties of the
sequestered little town which would probably
be my home for several years. The sun, in-
deed, appeared like a huge ball of flame, on
which were brilliantly depicted graceful, arbo-
rescent ramifications; for the king of day was
disappearing behind a superb forest, the tips of
whose trees formed the foreground of the gor-
LEAVES FROM TBH
geous picture. In the intensity of my gaze,
therefore, I left unobserved the few republican
palaces, and the numerous neat, white cotta-
ges, which proclaimed that the village of L.
was of the first rank among country towns in
point of opulence, directed by taste. My at-
tention was at length arrested, for the vehicle
suddenly stopped, and I soon found myself
ringing for admission at the door of a princely
mansion. It was presently opened by a mid-
dle-aged woman, whom I afterward discov-
ered to be the housekeeper, or general super-
intendent of domestic affairs. She was not, of
course, compelled to fill the office of janitor,
but the good woman, having an unusual share
of that gossiping curiosity which seems to be
the concomitant of the uneducated of both
sexes, was always eager to have the first view
of new-comers. Having escorted me to the
parlour, and learned that I was the expected
governess, she left me, that she might commu-
nicate the intelligence to Mrs. Maynard. She
soon returned with the information that the
AUTOBIOGKAPHYT O A GOTERNESS. 2T
lady was asleep, but that she would probably
awake in the course of an hour, as her slum-
bers rarely exceeded that time. I requested
that in the interim I might be conducted to my
room, for I had a certain consciousness that,
after travelling the whole day, some change in
my habiliments was requisite to render me pre-
sentable. The advantages of journeying are
indeed very great; but, certainly, no combina-
tion of circumstances does, for the time being,
render one's appearance more unprepossess-
ing. Not till the expiration of an hour was
I prepared to sit down and devote a few
moments to meditation. I did not long enjoy
my solitary thoughts, for I was soon sum-
moned to Mrs. Maynard's apartment. I had
heard that she was an invalid, but had not ex-
pected to find her quite so ill. The expres-
sion of my countenance must have indicated
my emotion, for she sighed, then smiled faint-
ly, and said, You see, my young friend,
that I am useless to my family."
'" I trust that you are not entirely useless,
LEAVES FROM THE
my dear madam; you still have the power of
conversing with your children."
Sometimes, I am thus happy; but I am
often too feeble to endure their presence. I
feel comparatively well this evening, therefore
I will tell you some of my views and wishes.
I must first give you some information con-
cerning our circumstances; for I think it im-
portant that the educator of my children
should be acquainted with their prospects for
the future. About four years since, my hus-
band, who was a wealthy merchant, died.
We had been residing in the city of New
York. After his demise, having lost all love
for a city life, I removed to this place, which
had formerly been our summer abode. I
resolved to live tranquilly in the country, to
.pass my life amid rural scenes, and to devote
my time to the education of my children. I
began to form various schemes; but they were
soon frustrated. One day, while walking with
my children, my foot slipped ; I fell, and was
instantly deprived of all consciousness. The
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS 29
screams of my terrified children soon brought
the villagers to my assistance. Surgical aid
was immediately obtained, and a most fearful
discovery announced ; I had received a se-
vere spinal injury. For several weeks I was
very ill. I then learned that I was maimed
for life. Since that time 1 have been confined
to my bed, and I now no longer expect any
material alleviation of my sufferings. You see
that my plans for usefulness were destroyed.
I had anticipated much gratification in edu-
cating my children at home, in forming their
minds and manners myself. The idea may
have been a selfish one, but I delighted in the
thought that they should be wholly indebted
to me for their literary attainments. These
illusions were now at an end. My youngest
child was intrusted to the care of her nurse.
Two were sent to the best school in the vil-
lage, which, however, was not of a very high
order. The others were placed in a distant
seminary. Affairs remained thus, while any
hope was afforded of a partial recovery of my
LEAVES FROM THE
health. Within a few weeks my disease has
assumed a new aspect. I have been informed
that, although I may live many years, I have
reason soon to expect a fatal termination of
my sufferings. This being the case, I sent
for my children; and, as we have no good
school in the vicinity, I resolved to procure a
governess, that they might all be taught at
home. I demanded high qualifications, such
as are more unusual now than they probably
will be some years from this time. I consider
myself very fortunate in obtaining Miss Emer-
I bowed in acknowledgment of the compli-
ment, and the lady proceeded.
I purpose to send my elder son to col-
lege, when he shall have reached the age of
sixteen; and I wish that my daughters may
pursue a similar course of study, or, at least,
one equally extensive, at home. My children
have been with me two weeks. I can see
that great changes have taken place in their
characters. They have been superficially
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 81
taught, and I fear that you will have much
difficulty in forming habits of diligence and
application. Were it not for my present fa-
tigue, I would give you a description of each
child, that you might be, in some degree,
acquainted with your pupils. But it may be
as well for you to obtain a knowledge of their
talents and dispositions by your own observa-
tion. I will now summon your charge, and
after the introduction I must dismiss you all
to the parlour, for I am quite exhausted."
The lady rang a small bell, which was
presently answered by a little Irish girl, who
was directed to call the children.
All of them, ma'am ? asked the child,
her blue eyes dilating.
Yes, Nora, I wish to see them all."
The little girl laughed. And sure,
ma'am, I shall have to look in six different
places for them. I hope you won't be after
expecting them very soon."
Well, find them as soon as you can,
Nora," replied Mrs. Maynard, with a smile.
LEAVES FROM THE
Then, turning to me, she observed, "My
children have had almost unbounded liberty
these few days; but I hope they will soon find
While awaiting the entrance of my future
pupils, I had leisure to observe their mother,
who, wearied by the effort of speaking, had
closed her eyes, and was apparently asleep.
Although past the meridian of life, and evi-
dently much altered by ill health, she was
exceedingly beautiful. Her countenance was
very pale, and her lips slightly compressed
with pain, but her forehead was high, and
exquisitely formed. Her dark hair was
brushed away from the throbbing temples, that
she might feel the revivifying influence of the
pure summer air. The breeze, gently steal-
ing through the masses of woodbine that
shaded the windows, was indeed so genial in
its influence, that I for a moment half won-
dered how any one inhaling it could be ill or
unhappy. The expression of Mrs. Maynard's
countenance spoke of ambition, tempered by
love and benignity.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OlP A GOVERNESS. 38
The sound of cheerful voices drew my at-
tention to the window. As I listened to the
merry laughter of the domestics, who were
lightly performing their household labors, and
looked upon their blooming faces and well-
rounded figures, I thought of the inestimable
value of health, and began to speculate wheth-
er or not the suffering lady would be willing to
change places with these active and vigorous,
but humble,, individuals. My reverie was in-
terrupted by suppressed tones and gentle foot-
Did you send .for us, mamma ? Ah!
how happy we are that you feel able to see us
this evening was the graceful salutation of
'a tall and sprightly girl, who approached the
bedside and tenderly kissed the pale sufferer.
The others silently followed her example. I
was partly concealed from view by the folds
of a curtain. The little scene was therefore
over before I was perceived by the children.
Mrs. Maynard now introduced them after the
following style : -
LEAVES' FROM THE
This is my daughter Helena. Although
she yesterday completed her sixteenth birth-
day, she will not, I hope, for several years,
think that she is too old to profit by your in-
My heart was immediately won by Helena's
irresistible smile, as she said, I must in-
form you, Miss Emerson, that I am by no
means'a hard student, and that you must not
expect too much from me."
Helena was not beautiful. Indeed, none
of the children equalled in personal appearance
the young Zenobia that. Mrs. Maynard must
have been at their age ; but the expression
of her features was beaming and radiant; her
eyes sparkled with exuberance of health and
cheerfulness, and her manners were character-
ized by a charming naiveti. This combina-
tion rendered her extremely attractive.
This is my son Arthur," continued the
lady, stroking with her thin hand the clustering
locks of a wild but affectionate looking boy of
thirteen, who stood by her side. The lad
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 35
bowed, took my hand, and stammered, -
" Miss Emerson, my mother says that you are
going to fit me for college; but I do n't wish
to be a learned man ; I want to go to sea."
Mrs. Maynard smiled gravely, and said,-
"You will change your opinion, I hope, be-
fore you are sixteen. I do not wish you to
enter college at an earlier age. Till then you
will stay at home and study for my sake, will
you not, my son ? "
0, yes, mamma, for three long years, if
you will then let me choose for myself."
The mother promised, and both parties ap-
peared perfectly contented.
This is my daughter Florence," said
Mrs. Maynard, gazing fondly upon a fragile
child of twelve years. She is our little
invalid, and very careful must we be of our
lily. If she does not apply herself too closely
to study, she may soon be as strong as the
others. You must try to cure her of some of
this extreme diffidence, which makes her afraid
to speak to a stranger." Again turning to
LEAVES FROM THE
Florence, she said, "You see, my child,
that I am obliged to apologize for your si-
The little girl, whose complexion was of a
very transparent nature, allowing the beholder
to witness the trace of every emotion, blushed
deeply and painfully, and courteously kissed
my hand, without'daring to raise her eyes.
Henry, a lively boy of eight, Grace, a
smiling little girl of seven, and Ada, a pretty
child of five, were then introduced. 'They
saluted me with the confidence and simplicity
of early childhood, and presented a pleasing
picture of infantine loveliness.
Now you may go and get acquainted with
each other," said the lady, pleasantly waving
her hand for our departure.
On our way to the parlour, we heard the
sound of the tea-bell, and accordingly turned
our steps toward the neat apartment in which
the evening repast was usually served. The
remainder of the day was spent in compliance
with the request of Mrs. Maynard. Helena,
AUTOBIOBRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 87
Arthur, and the three little ones evinced no
deficiency of companionable qualities, but
Florence uttered hardly a word. She lis-
tened, however, to our remarks with great
attention; and the flashes that occasionally
darted across her intelligent countenance de-
noted that hers was a character which would
amply repay careful study. Henry, Grace,
and Ada brought their playthings for my in-
spection; Arthur gravely asked my opinion
concerning a canoe which he was construct-
ing; Helena eagerly displayed some new mu-
sic that had just arrived. At eight o'clock,
Florence and the three little ones quitted the
room for their respective dormitories, leaving
the elder children with me. I made some re-
mark indicative of my surprise at the alacrity
with which the others had retreated, observing
that I had often witnessed quite a rebellion in
a family on the arrival of bed-time.
"0," replied Helena, the children have
been at home with mamma, and have become
accustomed to regular habits."
LEAVES FROM THE
But does your sister Florence retire at
that hour ? "
Florence has been away with me, but on
our return, mamma, finding that her health was
still delicate, insisted that she should, for the
present, observe the same rule. Arthur and
I have a little more freedom."
Your mother has great influence over her
Yes, the little ones obey her implicitly,
although they are frequently prohibited from
seeing her for several days. Indeed, I think
that her extreme illness is the cause of their
prompt compliance with her wishes."
I mentally rejoiced that my pupils had been
so well trained; but I desired to learn more of
the gentle Florence, whose blushing, expres-
sive countenance was yet, in imagination, be-
fore me. In reply to my inquiries, Helena said,
- She is a dear little girl, but rather pecu-
liar. She is four years younger than myself,
but I am, now and then, quite jealous of her.
Not very often, however, for my ambition is
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 89
not directed to the pursuits which interest her.
You must know that she is quite a scholar.
Arthur and I often call her our little blue
lady. She has always been a slender child,
unable to bear exposure to wind and weather.
When quite young, being too feeble in frame
to join in our rude sports, I say ours, for
before we left home I used to play and romp
with Arthur as if I had been a boy myself, -
she would sit quietly in a corner with her little
book, and seem very well contented. Her
memory was very retentive, so that she sel-
dom forgot what she had read. She also
learned her lessons with great ease. Mamma
was delighted, for Florence was very much
like herself. After a while, her health im-
proved, but her love for books continued.
At school she was classed with girls several
years older than herself. I was once very
much alarmed by an intimation from one of
our teachers, that in a new division soon to
be made, Florence and I would probably be
placed in the same class. This, of course,
LEAVES FROM THE
aroused my pride, for I could not endure the
thought that my little sister, as I had called
her, should be considered my equal in literary
attainments. Therefore I studied hard, and
r thus escaped the threatened humiliation."
But you love her warmly ? "
"Certainly, but I did not quite like the
idea that she should surpass me at school, and
I took good care to prevent such an occur-
rence. That was natural, you must know."
Quite natural," replied I, with a smile;
but is it true, most frank Helena, that you
are as indifferent as you profess with respect
to intellectual advancement ? "
"Why, I have a great regard for knowl-
edge, but I am no enthusiast. I should like
to know as much as people who are called
well educated and accomplished, but I have
no desire to become a prodigy of learning.
Now I suspect that Florence has some very
ambitious views in her little head. I really
believe that she confidently expects to be very
learned at some future time."
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 41
That would doubtless gratify your moth-
Ah yes; mamma thinks a great deal of
our little blue lady, and is constantly encour-
aging her to persevere in her studies."
"Is Florence always as silent as she has
been this evening ? "
O, no, madam, but you are a stranger,
and she is not yet acquainted with you. For
some days she will be reserved, but afterward
you may expect to hear her voice for hours.
When much excited, she talks very long and
During this conversation, Arthur had been
quietly examining his canoe. He now de-
posited it in its place, and, after a few mo-
ments of apparently intense thought, suddenly
raised his eyes, and exclaimed, I have
beard all that Helena has been saying about
Florence, but, Miss Emerson, what is the use
of so much hard study ? "
Ah !" said I, mentally, "this pupil of
mine is one of the cui bone species "
LEAVES FROM THE
Before I had time to reply, Arthur re-
sumed,-"If it had not been for fear of griev-
ing mamma, who is so ill, I should not have
promised to stay at home with my books
three years, for I want to go to sea. I never
could bear to think of spending all my days
A complete answer to your question
would require a long lecture, Arthur, but
we will consider the subject a moment. You
do not, of course, imply that all knowledge
is useless ? "
Why, no, we must learn enough to be
respectable, that is, we must learn as much
as people in general are expected to know."
As much, you mean, as will carry you
through life with a good degree of comfort."
I believe that is my idea. I should like
to know enough to be a good sailor, and that
I do not think, Arthur, that all knowl-
edge should be confined to our great schools
for learning. I would have a good share dif-
AUTOBIOGRAPHY 09 A GOVERNESS. 43'
fused among all classes of men. I would not
object to the life of a sailor, should a boy
manifest a decided preference for it, but I
would have him go forth upon the mighty
deep with his senses refined and elevated,
and his mind enlarged, that he might under-
stand and appreciate the wonders of the sea.
I would have him able to view with a phi-
losophic eye the many kinds of men whom
he must encounter. I would have him so
educated that his leisure time at sea should
not be squandered upon the low amusements
which are too common among mariners.
When you speak of the knowledge requisite
for a sailor, what do you mean ? Have you
reference to any particular branches ? "
Why, I think a sailor ought to under-
stand navigation, if he has any desire of be-
Yes, that department of knowledge is
indispensable ; any thing beside ? "
I do not think of any thing more."
What, nothing at all "
LEAVES FROM THE
O, he must know how to read, of course,
or he could not study books of navigation,
and he ought to learn a little arithmetic, but
I do not gee the use of puzzling one's self
with exchange, commission, and a hundred
other tedious subjects."
Suppose that, after sailing a few voyages,
you should be requested to fill the office of
supercargo, would not some of this knowl-
edge be of great importance ? "
"Yes, madam, but not for the common
Should not a true seaman be qualified
for any office, from the cabin boy's to the
supercargo's ? "
Well, a sailor does not need geography."
"My dear Arthur, think a moment. A
man, whose profession exposes him to the
necessity of visiting different countries, ought
certainly to possess some information con-
cerning them, to be acquainted with their
localities, the manners and customs of the
people, their exports and imports, and various
other topics connected with geography."
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 45
Could he not do without grammar ? "
He could do without it, of course. So
might you dispense with shoes and stockings,
but to be deprived of such conveniences
would not be very agreeable. Should a sailor
attain the rank of captain, he would probably
have occasion to correspond with his em-
ployers. Would it not be desirable that he
should be qualified to write a letter devoid
of ungrammaticisms ? "
I suppose so, but I do n't like grammar."
That is not the question. He would
not be considered a gentlemanly and well-
bred sailor, if his letters and conversation
were characterized by inelegant and ungram-
Well, a sailor does not need languages."
What would you do if obliged to transact
business in a foreign land ? "
One can always find an interpreter."
Would it not be better to rely on your-
self, and thus be independent ? "
"You would not have a sailor learn the
LEAVES FROM THE
languages of all the countries which he has
to visit ? ""
Not unless he wishes to be a great lin-
guist; but every sailor might learn French.
As this is the language generally understood
in the civilized world, he might, in many
countries, dispense with the services of an
I see that, even to be a sailor, it is well
to have a little learning."
Yes, and the more, the better,' as the
idea is expressed in common parlance. The
life of a sailor is by no means despicable.
I would also have him so educated that he
would intelligently enjoy the new scenes
through which he must pass. As he paces
the deck at midnight, how pleasant would his
lonely watch be rendered by a good knowl-
edge of astronomy He could raise his eyes
to the heavens, and read, as on a printed
page, the various stars and constellations. In
visiting other latitudes, new subjects for his
nocturnal studies would appear before him.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 47
Beautiful constellations, which he would never
have seen had he remained at home, will now
greet his vision. In traversing the shores of
foreign lands, how pleasant to understand the
nature of the many new and singular plants
which would present themselves to his view,
to be able to classify them, and, perchance,
to add something to the stores of botanical
science I How gratifying, also, to have some
knowledge of the gorgeous shells which he
would see in such profusion To be a hap-
py sailor, he should be well educated."
Then my three years of study will not
be lost, if I should be only a sailor."
Certainly not. Every occupation is en-
nobled and refined by the possession of knowl-
edge. Even at sea, I hope you would not
abandon study. Remember that Captain Cook
acquired his greatness upon the ocean. He
found time for the diligent study of math-
ematics and astronomy, and distinguished him-
self by the humane and scientific care with
which he guarded the lives of his men. He
LEAVES FROM TEE
became very celebrated, was chosen a mem-
ber of the Royal Society, and after his de-
cease was honored by eulogies and other
testimonials of respect for his character and
attainments. You would not, I hope, be con-
tented with the life of an ignorant sailor."
Arthur was thoughtful for a few moments.
His countenance then suddenly kindled.
" Well, Miss Emerson, I will try to study
hard these three years."
I rejoiced to see the earnest expression of
his fifie features, and thought that his moth-
er's wish might possibly be gratified, for
should he acquire a passionate love for learn-
ing, would he not gladly remain at home,
where he would have better opportunities for
indulging his newly obtained taste ? After
a prolonged conversation, Helena, Arthur, and
I parted for the night, feeling as well ac-
quainted as if we had known each other for
years. After retiring to my room, I mused
for some time upon the various circumstances
of my new situation. I saw spread before
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 49
me a delightful prospect. I had always been
ardently attached to the vocation of the teach-
er, and under what more favorable auspices
could I wish to commence intercourse with
a set of pupils ? Mrs. Maynard was op-
ulent. Her children would have every ad-
vantage which wealth could procure, books,
apparatus, and all things essential for illustra-
tion. One child, at least, was a lover of
mental improvement, and all seemed endowed
with good capacity for learning. A liberal
salary had been promised, therefore I should
not be perplexed with distracting thoughts,
but could devote myself wholly to the moral
and intellectual advancement of myself and
my pupils. But, although sanguine by na-
ture, I did feel some trepidation as I thought
of the immense weight of responsibility that
was to devolve upon me. Mrs. Maynard
being incapacitated for the care of her chil-
dren, I should have almost the entire charge.
I must attend not only to the development
of the mind, but must also give much time
LEAVES FROM THE
to the cultivation of the heart. I must teach
my pupils to discern good and evil. While
expatiating upon the wonders of our uni-
verse, I must lead their thoughts to its Cre-
ator. While explaining the laws of the heav-
enly host, I must not fail to find time for the
inculcation of the law written upon the heart,
and for the more extended revelation which
God has made in his word. While impart-
ing instruction concerning the nice distinctions,
and minor shades of difference existing in
philological lore, I must not forget to impress
upon their minds views of law, order, and
beauty,- I must give them the grand and
comprehensive motto, Live to the Truth."
My mind must frequently revert to the prin-
ciple, that to educate an individual properly
is to teach him the laws of God, and to induce
him to obey them."
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 51
"Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says my mn
profits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you ask
him some questions in his accidence." SHAKSPrara.
THE next morning I arose early, according
to long-established habit. I soon heard the
prattle of infantine voices beneath my window.
I recognized the tones of the younger mem-
bers of my flock, and was not a little surprised
that they had risen so early. Henry, Grace,
and Ada were busily engaged in watering some
fantastically arranged flower-beds, which I im-
mediately surmised were their own little gar-
dens. Thinking that I should like a stroll over
the elegant grounds which environed the man-
sion, I quitted my room, and proceeded on a
ramble. I soon joined the children.
Good morning, my little ones. You are
"Yes, madam," replied Henry; mamma
LEAVES FROM THE
says it is a shame for people who are well to
be in bed after the sun is up."
And for that reason," added Grace,
" we have learned to jump out of bed as soon
as we awake ; for if we stop to think, we are
very apt to fall asleep."
"Your plan is a very good one, but do
Helena, Arthur, and Florence rise thus ear-
ly ? I have not seen them this morning."
Helena says she can't wake up early, but
Florence always does. Florence spends all
the time before breakfast in the library. As
for Arthur," continued Henry, standing very
erect, and assuming an air of self-importance,
" it is as much as he can do to be ready for"
breakfast, which we have at seven o'clock."
How do you generally employ yourselves
so early in the morning ? "
"When it rains, we play in the house;
but in pleasant weather we work in our .gar-
dens. See, Miss Emerson, how pretty our
flowers are These three beds edged with
little pink-roots are our gardens. Last year we
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 63
had them bordered with Lady in the Green.'
Which should you have chosen, Miss Emer-
The pinks, by all means; for although
'Lady in the Green is a very pretty and a
very singular flower, it is an annual, and
therefore not appropriate for an edge-plant.
I should certainly have chosen a perennial."
"Annual, perennial; I do n't understand
you, Miss Emerson."
I will give you a short lesson in botany.
In the spring you planted the 'Lady in the
Green.' Very soon the little plants were seen
peeping above the ground. Afterward, some
delicate cream-colored flowers, nearly envel-
oped in foliage, made their appearance. Then
you had a very pretty edge for your garden.
But in the autumn the little plants died, stem,
leaves, and root. This spring you were com-
pelled to plant a new border. Lady in the
Green is an annual. A few weeks ago you
planted pink-seeds. You have now a very
neat, pretty edge, but you must not expect
LEAVES FROM THE
flowers this summer. The roots will not die
in the fall. Next spring, when you begin to
work in your garden, your edge will be ready,
and in a few months you will be delighted
with flowers of great beauty and fragrance.
The roots will live several years, so that you
will not be obliged to plant a new border for
some time. The pink is a perennial."
"That is very plain, indeed. How much
pleasure I feel in knowing the difference be-
tween annuals and perennials But is that
botany ? I understand what you have been
telling us very well, but I thought botany was
a very hard study."
"Some people find the long names difficult,
but you could learn a great deal of the science
with ease. Even little Ada could understand
many things about roots and leaves, and could
learn to describe the different parts of a
Shall we study botany, Miss Emerson ? "
I shall not allow you, at present, to look
into a book upon the subject, for you might be
AUTOBIOGRAPHT OF A GOVERNEss. 55
terrified by the scientific nantes, but I may
teach you orally, as I have now been doing.
Do you think you can remember what you
have learned this morning ?"
0, yes, madam, I am sure of it "
The first bell for breakfast now rang, and we
entered the house. The children retired to their
rooms, to remove from their hands all traces of
the occupation in which they had been engag-
ed, and to change their thick shoes and coarse
dresses for some of a lighter character. I sat
down in the parlour, reflecting, with much satis-
faction, on my success in exciting a desire for
knowledge in my new pupils. Soon after break-
fast, we repaired to the school-room, a large,
commodious apartment, well adapted to our
use. I perceived that, on account of the great
diversity in the ages of the children, my atten-
tion would be called to a variety of subjects.
I proposed to have a general examination in
the branches which they had studied, that I
might learn how far they had advanced in
knowledge and mental skill. Helena colored,
LEAVES FROM THE
and Arthur glanced toward the door, as if he
were meditating flight.
I have not looked at the common branches
for two or three years," exclaimed Helena;
" you will not expect me to remember all that
I learned when a child."
I hope that you have not forgotten all that
you then learned."
Why, people are not expected to remem-
ber every thing about grammar, geography, and
I think, my dear Helena, that every one
should be well acquainted with those branches.
If they are superficially studied, the result is
inevitable, the knowledge will soon be lost.
If they are faithfully pursued, the greater part
will probably be retained. If an illiterate per-
son of mature years wishes to lay a good
foundation for a superior education, let him
first become well versed in the studies of child-
hood. Think how preposterous the idea of
being an accomplished musician, while unable
to solve the problems in a common arithmetic ;
AUTOBIOGRAPHY Or A GOVERNESS. 57
of being a good Italian scholar, while ignorant
of the construction of one's own language ; of
being acquainted with the literature of the day,
while uninformed concerning the geography of
our earth, and the history of its inhabitants !"
All consented to submit to the trial. I
therefore began with the elementary branches,
and afterward examined them in such of the
higher departments of learning as had received
their attention. All could read with ease and
fluency. The little ones, of course, had studied
only grammatical reading. I proposed that
the three advanced pupils should spend half an
hour with me every day in the practice of
rhetorical reading, for I wished that they should
excel in this important branch of education.
Orthography was the topic of a long discussion.
I conceded that no one could be expected to
spell accurately every one of the forty-three
thousand words of the English language. To
acquire this power would be nearly a hopeless
as well as an unprofitable task, our alphabetic
characters being, in many cases, combined
58 LEAVES FROM THE
without any regard to rule or analogy. I
resolutely declared that every one ought to be
able to spell all the words in general use, and
a good proportion of those which are called
uncommon and technical. Arthur was very
deficient in this branch. He told me that his
last teacher had asserted that time spent in
learning to spell was wasted. My opinion was
the reverse. A great deal of time is certainly
occupied in learning to spell, but those who use
the English language must study its orthogra-
phy, or be in constant danger of suffering on
account of deplorable ignorance. It is cer-
tainly unfortunate to possess so anomalous a
language, but the superiority, in many respects,
of the English to other tongues ought to recon-
cile us to the evil. Two or three hours were
spent in conversing with the children upon the
elementary branches, and in a review of those
important studies. Florence proved herself the
best scholar. Helena, as she said, had forgot-
ten the greater part of what she had formerly
known. Arthur's knowledge was superficial
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 59
and unsatisfactory. In the afternoon, the three
little ones were allowed to spend their time
in the play-room, while Helena, Arthur, and
Florence reviewed the other branches to which
they had attended. Arthur had just finished
Viri Romae. Florence was reading Cesar.
Helena had not attended to Latin. All three
could read French, but none could write it
with elegance. They knew nothing of algebra
and geometry, and as for the natural sciences,
they were nearly as ignorant as the little chil-
dren. They were sweet singers and skilful
pianists. After the review, we proceeded to
form plans. Their education, although defect-
ive in many points, had been by no means
neglected. They needed mental discipline,
and much careful instruction, in order to insure
eminence in any study. Having convinced
them of the importance of regular hours for
literary pursuits, I recommended a plan for
experiment. Little Ada would spend one
hour a day in solitary study; this would be
devoted to reading, spelling, and the rudiments
LEAVES FROM THE
of arithmetic. Two hours were assigned for
Henry and Grace; four hours for the elder
children. This time was to be employed in
solitary, unassisted study. Several hours were
allotted for recitation and oral instruction. I
endeavoured to convince my pupils of the many
benefits resulting from solitary study. During
study hours, no questions were to be asked, no
conversation permitted, all queries to be
reserved for the time devoted to oral instruc-
For several days, our plans were faithfully
carried into execution. Children are pleased
with novelty, and my scholars delighted in
seeing how closely they could conform to the
rules. Arthur did occasionally yawn over his
books, but, fearing that his recitations would be
inferior to those of his sisters, renewed his
efforts. At length, we had rather a dull day
in the school-room. Our gentle Florence, as
usual, acquitted herself well. Clearly demon-
strated problems, carefully analyzed flowers,
and admirably correct recitations characterized
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 61
her part of the performances. Concerning the
exercises of the others, I will suppress all com-
ment. I was disappointed, but merely ob-
served, that, instead of devoting an hour in the
afternoon to oral instruction, I would employ it
in hearing the neglected lessons. This had a
good effect. I saw an expression of blank
dismay, for all loved to participate in the con-
versational exercises I had introduced. We
were now engaged upon an interesting topic.
I had recently explained to them the doctrine
of the centre of gravity, and, on the preceding
day, had related various stories of leaning
edifices, rocking stones, etc., to illustrate the
principle. My pupils were expecting a con-
tinuation of the same subject. To lose this
exercise, in which they all rejoiced, was a
heavy penalty, and for some time I was not
annoyed by disregarded duties.
One day, as I was walking with Grace, I
perceived that she was unusually taciturn.
When I looked at her, I saw that she was
LEAVES FROM THE
eager to speak, but that she knew not how to
Well, my little Grace," said I, sportively,
' what may be the subject of your thoughts ? "
Why, Miss Emerson," replied the child,
smiling and hesitating," we want -that is -
they told me to ask you, whether we might
have a holiday to-morrow."
"Ah is that it ? Are you tired of study ?
Does Florence wish for a holiday ? "
0, you must not ask Florence; she would
study all the time if she could The rest of
us want one. We are tired of studying so
much every day."
I mused awhile, and then said,-" We will
decide the question this evening, Grace."
The little one looked timidly into my face,
saying, You are not displeased, are you,
Miss Emerson ?"
No, my dear, your request is very reason-
able. It is not surprising that children should,
now and then, like a whole day for amuse-
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS.
At the close of the day, as we were sitting
on the piazza, enjoying the summer air, I
said, "Well, my pupils, Grace has exe-
cuted her commission, and I have thus learned
that you wish for a holiday."
"I think," remarked Florence, "that we
have time enough for recreation without taking
a whole day."
Never mind what our little blue lady says,"
exclaimed Arthur; we are five against one !
You will give us the day, will you not, Miss
Emerson ? "
But think, Arthur, of the numerous losses
which you will sustain, if I give you the day.
All the knowledge you might acquire during
your four study hours ; the lecture upon those
curious engines of the ancient Romans; your
half-hour's practice on the piano, and various
"We can take those the next day."
"But the next day we might have had some-
We are very tired, Miss Emerson, and
we should study better for a holiday."
LEAVES PROM THE
"We will try the experiment. You may
have the'whole day for amusement; but what
do you intend to do ? "
We want to go on a long exploring expe-
dition. We should like to visit Mount For-
mosa. Will you go with us ? We can carry
our dinner, and stay all day. A great many
berries grow on the hill. We shall also find
wild-flowers, which we can bring home for our
next day's botany lesson. An old lady, who
used to be our housekeeper, lives in a nice
little cottage at the foot of the hill. We can
call to see her, and give her some of our ber-
ries, and if, in the course of the day, the
babies get tired, they can go and stay with her
till we are ready to leave."
This definite proposal was received with loud
acclamations of joy. Henry, however, was
silent. He sat gazing at his brother, with
flashes of indignation gleaming from his large,
black eyes, for Arthur, in speaking of the
babies, had waved his hand majestically toward
the three little children. That Grace and Ada
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 06
should be included in the list of infantine per-
sonages did not, in the least, disturb Henry's
dignity; but that he, at the age of eight years
three months and two days, should be thus
styled, was more than he could bear with com-
posure. But while Arthur proceeded to am-
plify his plan, and to expatiate upon its advan-
tages, Helena, who had seen the difficulty,
began to speak to Henry, in a low tone, con-
cerning the part he should take in the next day's
amusement, and soon succeeded in changing
the current of his thoughts. I witnessed this
little by-scene with pleasure. It was a proof
of Helena's goodness of disposition. I had
frequently been much gratified by observing
the extreme loveliness of character exhibited
by Helena, the beloved eldest sister, and my
affection for her daily increased. If Florence
was all mind, Helena was all heart. I fore-
saw that, if they should retain their present
characters, Helena would, in a few years, be
a most lovely, amiable being, with no more
mental wisdom than falls to the lot of most
LEAVES PROM THE
persons who have not loved study for its own
sake. Florence would be called a woman of
genius, she would have lofty views and pro-
found erudition, but, wholly absorbed in self,
she would have few to love her, or to regard
her with any emotion save respect and admira-
tion. I saw that I must endeavour to guard
against the two extremes. I must try to in-
spire Helena with a veneration for learning,
and a keen desire to obtain the treasures of
knowledge. Then would her endearing traits
of character be enhanced by acquisitions that
would excite, not only love, but respect. The
passionate, enthusiastic Florence must be taught
that life has other duties than the mere cultiva-
tion of the mind, that she must fulfil her mis-
sion upon the earth, that she must not only
cultivate her own invaluable talents, but must
endeavour to do something for her less favored,
less endowed fellow-beings.
Our projects for the next day were soon
completed, except the selection of an hour for
AUTOBIOGIAPHr Or A GOVERNEss. 07
"Let us go at four in the morning," said
Henry, with a sly glance at his brother.
"No, indeed!" exclaimed Arthur, in a
tone of eager remonstrance. That plain
might do very well for boys, with their thick
shoes and coarse clothes, but think of the girls'
dresses They.would not like to have their
frocks and stockings covered with grass-stains.
Mount Formosa will be very wet so early in
the morning, and not fit for young ladies to
All laughed at this display of gallantry, and
although some appeared to doubt whether the
speech should be attributed to Arthur's chival-
ric disposition, or to his love for morning slum-
bers, the sentiments he had expressed seemed
We can start immediately after breakfast,"
I object to that proposition," interposed I,
"for reasons based upon physiology. Violent
exercise--and I presume that ours will not
be very gentle immediately after eating is
injurious to the health."
LEAVES FROM THE
Why so? "
"Because much of the arterial blood has
then been called to aid in the process of diges-
tion. If you begin to exercise directly after
eating, this important agent is summoned to the
skin, and the food remains undigested for some
time. I advise you to be tolerably quiescent
for an hour or two after each meal."
My opinion was received with due deference,
and the hour of eight was chosen for the com-
mencement of the excursion. Having thus
completed our arrangements, we resorted to
the piano, and devoted the remainder of the
evening to the practice of our favorite songs.
The next morning, the bright effulgence of the
sun's rays promised us a pleasant day. At
eight, the little group left home, all talking at
once, and in high glee. Arthur and Henry
dragged a small wagon, containing several
empty baskets, and one of huge dimensions,
which held pie, gingerbread, and sandwiches for
our dinner. A little spade was also deposited
in the vehicle, that we might have an imple-
AUTOBIOGRAPHr OF A GOVERNESS. 69
ment for removing any choice roots, the trans-
plantation or the examination of which might
be considered desirable by the young botanists
or their teacher. The pure, morning air was
invigorating, and the little ones bounded before
us, uttering shouts of joy. The day was a
happy one for all parties. I enjoyed it as much
as our pet Ada, and when I saw that Florence's
fever-flushed countenance was more natural in
its hue, and that,, although fatigued by the mus-
cular exercise she had taken, she actually look-
ed better than she had for some weeks, I
resolved that I would occasionally repeat the
experiment. I perceived that active measures
must be employed to impart to the fragile girl
health and vigor. Our day was quite profitable
in one sense of the word, for, in addition to a
vast quantity of berries, we gathered a pro-
fusion of beautiful wild-flowers, which were
viewed with interest as botanical specimens.
We dined under the refreshing shade of a large
tree, and afterward spent an hour or two in
telling stories and repeating poetry. Arthur
LEAVES FROM THE
and Henry evinced no disposition to quarrel
during the whole day. The little ones were
not too much fatigued, and we returned home
at night as happy as when in the morning we
commenced our expedition. This cannot be
said of all pleasure-parties. That evening, as
we were recounting the incidents of the excur-
sion, Henry moved that we should have one
holiday every week, and Arthur seconded the
That," said I, gravely, "would be one
sixth of your time."
The children asserted, that studying every
day for a week was too much for them. When
Saturday night came, they were so exhausted
that they needed three Sabbaths instead of
one, that they might have sufficient time to rest
after such toil. I laughed, and reminded them
of Sir Matthew Hale, who, for many years of
his life, spent sixteen hours a day in study.
Florence's eyes sparkled. -The expression of
Arthur's countenance was dismal to behold.
The little ones looked as if they thought I had
AUTOBIOElAPHY OP A GOVEBNESS. 71
been inventing a great story. Finally, Arthur
said, Well, I don't think he studied so
much at my age. I really believe, Miss Emer-
son, that, if our plan continues much longer, I
shall die in consequence of too great mental
Thinking it well to see what effect the pro-
posed change would have upon the perform-
ance of the duties allotted for the rest of the
time, I always liked to try experiments, I
said to my pupils, If your lessons and ex-
ercises are as good to-morrow as they probably
would have been had you not spent this day in
amusement, I will give you a holiday next
week, and will pursue the same course for some
Arthur was quite satisfied. Now," cried
he, "which day of the week shall we have ? "
The majority voted for Saturday; but Helena
urged so convincing an argument in favor of
Wednesday, that we decided to accept her
"I vote for Wednesday," she said, "be-
72 LEAVES FROM THE
cause, as we have only one lesson on the Sab-
bath, we become quite refreshed by Monday
morning. We do not need two days in suc-
Wednesday, therefore, was devoted to rest
and recreation, on the conditions above
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNIESS. 73
"Falsely luxurious! will not man awake,
And, springing from the bed ofsloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,
To meditation due and sacred song ?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life -
Total extinction of the enlightened soul! -
Or else, to feverish vanity alive,
'Wildered, and tossing through distempered dreams ?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than nature craves, when every Muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly devious morning walk? "
I HAD now been with my new pupils four
weeks, and had, in some degree, succeeded in
forming habits of order and application. r
thought that the time had come for an attempt
to improve still farther the mode of life pur-
sued by the elder children. I wished to in-
duce Helena and Arthur to become early
LEAVES FROM THE
risers. One pleasant evening, I invited the
former to walk with me. After conversing
awhile upon miscellaneous topics, I said,-
"Helena, at what hour do you rise in the
morning ? "
"At six, when the first breakfast-bell
About two hours after it is light," said I,
with a quiet smile.
Now, I suppose, Miss Emerson, that you
intend to persuade me to rise early ; but I can-
not. Mamma has often entreated me not to
waste so much time; but I never awake till the
You retire at ten ? "
"Now, I cannot think that a young lady
needs eight hours for repose. Do you not
often feel that you have slept too long ? "
Sometimes I do feel rather dull; but, if I
do not awake till six, is not that a proof that
my constitution needs all those hours for
AUTOBIOIRAPHT OF A GOVERNEIS. ft
I think not. The time of awaking in the
morning may generally be attributed to habit.
After a while, you might easily awake two or
three hours earlier, without the aid of a bell or
any other signal. Doubtless, the quality of
your slumbers would be improved by diminish-
ing their length. This opinion is well founded.
Care must certainly be taken not to run into
the other extreme, and sleep too little. Lying
in bed late in the morning is highly injurious to
health. Think how much may be accom-
plished in two hours That time every day
for a year would suffice for obtaining a good
knowledge of the elementary works on Latin.
Afterward, you could advance with ease in this
language, the acquisition of which you regard
as so Herculean a task. The same amount of
time would give you a vast deal of information
upon any subject, history, for example. You
were, not long since, lamenting your ignorance
of this branch. I will tell you of a plan which
I have formed. If you agree to rise at four, I
will read history with you before breakfast. I
LEAVES FROM THE
will allow you an hour for your personal duties.
We can then walk half an hour. This will
have a beneficial effect upon your health.
Long walks before breakfast are likely to be
detrimental, rather than salutary, in their influ-
ence. We shall then have one hour and a
half before the second breakfast-bell rings,
which we can devote to reading."
Why," exclaimed Helena, how much I
should gain by lengthening every day two
hours I should like the plan very well; but
I fear that I cannot awake till I am summoned
by the bell."
I will call you, till you have formed the
habit of awaking unassisted."
Thank you, Miss Emerson. Will you call
me at four to-morrow morning ? "
Not so fast, my dear Helena. When you
are about to change a habit like this, you must
advance by degrees. It would not be safe, at
once, to make so great an alteration as the one
proposed. I will call you at half past five,
this week; at five, next; and thus proceed till
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 77
we reach the proposed standard. Your con-
stitution will, in this way, become gradually
inured to early rising. Your health will soon
improve, and you will have a fairer prospect
of long life."
I was now satisfied; for I knew that, having
once formed a resolution, Helena would perse-
vere. Florence was invited to accompany us
in our morning rambles, and to join in our
studies. Many a happy hour did we spend in
the well-furnished library, gleaning wisdom from
the records of the past.
To persuade Arthur to rise early was a
much harder task. I could not tempt him with
the pleasure of historical knowledge. I must
select a different motive. I reflected upon the
prominent traits of his character, and resolved
to excite his benevolent feelings. I soon de-
vised a project, which, besides admirably serv-
ing the present occasion, would be of immense
advantage to Arthur, and also to another lad
with whom I had recently formed an acquaint-
ance. I had lately encountered a very remark-
LEAVES FROM THE
able instance of love for knowledge, and had
been purposing to relate the story to my pupils.
Having formed my plan, I now only waited for
a favorable opportunity. This soon offered.
One day, as we two were returning home,
quite elated with our success in finding a curi-
ous wild-flower for which we had long sought,
I said,-" Arthur, I am much pleased with
your rapid progress in Latin during the last few
"I do really begin to like Latin, Miss
Emerson, and I will try to be a great scholar."
"Your assertion renders me very happy.
I have a little story to relate, which I think will
give you pleasure, and also cause you to place
a higher value upon opportunities for mental
improvement. Last Tuesday, in the course
of a long, solitary walk, I called at a little cot-
tage, to ask for some cold water. The dwelling
was evidently an abode of poverty. The mis-
tress of the house invited me to enter. I
readily consented, and soon began to converse
with her. She told me that her husband was
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP A GOVtERESS. 9
very poor, and an invalid. He could labor a
part of the time, but he was frequently com-
pelled tQ remain at home, instead of going into
the fields to toil. This circumstance rendered
it very difficult for them to maintain their seven
children. While the poor mother was telling'
her simple story, I was surprised to see a Latin
grammar upon the table. I asked whether any
of her children attended the Latin school. She
laughed, and replied, no! we can't
afford to send them to school after they are
large enough to work; but one of the boys
loves study, and we give him a little time for
himself. Frank says that he will be a scholar,
but he will have to work hard to get the learn-
ing, poor fellow! He makes shoes in the
winter, and works on the farm in the summer.
I often smile to hear his grand schemes. I
believe he does succeed in learning a great
deal, although he has no teacher.'
"I was much interested by this singular ac-
count, and expressed a desire to see the boy.
I decided to wait a while, as his mother was
LEAVES PROM THE
then expecting his return. He soon entered,
apparently quite weary, but with a bright and
cheerful countenance. At my request, he gave
me some account of his plans, and of the origin
of his lofty designs. He had not been to
,school for three years. During this time, he
had been obliged to spend many hours every
day in manual labor. For a year after quitting
school, he had no intention of continuing his
studies. About two years since, he chanced
to pass a building in which were assembled
numerous boys undergoing an examination in
their studies. Curiosity induced him to enter.
The pupils, in general, were the children of
wealthy parents. They were elegantly dress-
ed, and he sighed as he contrasted their situa-
tion with his own. He soon ceased, however,
to regard their external appearance, and listened
eagerly to the performances. He still remem-
bered a portion of his early studies, and there-
fore attended with pleasure to the recitations
in grammar, geography, and arithmetic; but
be soon found that he knew very little even of
AUtTOBIOGRAPHU OF A GOVERNESB. 81
these elementary branches. He felt sad and
dispirited. Afterward came history, philoso-
phy, Latin, and Greek. He became more and
more unhappy. He glanced around the hall.
Grave men were there, -lawyers, clergymen,
and others esteemed for their learning and wis-
dom. He looked at the young lads, and thought
of their fine opportunities for gaining knowledge,
while he must be a poor drudge, digging pota-
toes, and chopping wood, able to read only a
common English book, and to write a wretched
hand. With no more knowledge, he could
never be happy, for he had now gained a
glimpse of the superiority of mind, of the vast
elevation of the scholar over the illiterate man.
He left the hall, and for some hours wandered
through the streets, absorbed in thought. At
length his heart grew light; he hastened home,
and communicated to his parents a plan which
he had been forming. He told them that he
wanted to be a learned man, and asked that he
might have a little time for study every day.
He knew that they could not afford to send
LEAVES FROM THE
him even to a public school, for the money
which he could earn was needed to aid in sup-
porting the family. But he pleaded that he
might have a little time for unassisted mental
exertion. His father laughed, but his mother
encouraged the scheme. Who knows,' said
she, 'but that we shall one day see Frank a
great man, speaking to the people ?' His
father finally consented to give him two hours
daily for study, till he was tired of his lofty
dreams. Frank was now contented and happy.
The next requisite was a supply of books.
His father could not spare money to buy a
single one. Frank said that for a few days he
would employ his two hours in working for
himself; he could spend the money thus earned
for books, and then begin to study. He soon
had the pleasure of buying an Arithmetic,
Latin Grammar, and Reader. He then began
to study, and had continued till the time of my
I was delighted with this account. I ex-
amined the boy, and found that he had actually
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVRNEISS. 83
learned a great deal without aid. I com-
mended him for his laudable application, and
narrated several stories of learned men who hadi
risen to eminence from very humble situations
in life. Frank can read Latin almost as well
as yourself, but he needs some assistance both
in that and in his arithmetic. Do you not
wish that he could have a teacher ?"
Yes, indeed he is a noble fellow. How
I wish that he could study with us "
That is impracticable ; but how should you
like to call and see him once a day and smooth
his progress ?"
I should be very glad to help him, but you
know that I am a dull scholar myself."
I do not call you dull; and as you are
farther advanced than he, you might render him
very essential service."
I am afraid that I should make some
I will trust you. Cannot you teach him
the lessons which you receive from me in those
branches ? I find that you understand and re-
member them very well."
LEAVES PROM THU
"I should like to be useful to Frank. If he
should become a great man, how glad I should
be that I had aided him in his studies "
"Yes, that would be a pleasure which
would last through life. Will you go, then,
to-morrow morning ? His home is about a
mile from yours. He studies from four till
six. Those are the hours which his father can
most conveniently spare. You ought not cer-
tainly to spend the whole of that time with him,
for you know that I have a very high opinion
of the advantages of solitary study; but if you
could give him half an hour a day, he would
doubtless derive much benefit."
0 Miss Emerson, how can I walk a mile
before half after five ?"
'" Very easily, if you will alter your hour for
O, dear I cannot do that. I don't like
to rise early."
Think of the benevolent sentiments which
you uttered a few moments since; think of the
benefits which you can confer upon this poor
AUTOBIOOGAPHrT 0 A GOVERNESS. SS
boy. Are not you willing to sacrifice a*
indulgence for the sake of doing so much
< Yes, Miss Emerson, I will not be selfish,
I will rise early, and try to help Frank."
That is right, my dear Arthur. Do you
awake early ?"
Yes, at daylight, and afterward fall asleep%
In future, I will rise as soon as I awake."
I am glad that you have made this good
resolution. I think that you will be faithful in
adhering to it, for you will soon become much
interested in Frank and his studies. Occasion'
ally, I will call and see what progress he makes
under your instructions. I think that he will
become a distinguished scholar. A superior
education has often been obtained under diffi-
culties greater than his. Keen desire is the
principal requisite ; to this, let diligence and
perseverance be added, and the indigent scholar
may feel confident of success."
A great point was now gained. Motive, the
chief desideratum, had been finished, and I
86 LEAVES FROM THE
felt sure of the event. Mrs. Maynard and I
were soon gratified by seeing that the per-
nicious habit of lying in bed after sunrise was
completely conquered both by Helena and
A favorite object of mine was to persuade
Florence to take exercise sufficient for her
health. She accompanied us on our rambles
with reluctance, and eagerly returned to her
beloved books. She seldom joined in the
sports of the others, but delighted solely in the
acquisition of knowledge. I knew that, should
she live many years, her attainments would be
great; but in order to insure longevity, it was
essential that her habits should be changed.
As she was one day lying upon the sofa, busily
engaged with a book, I said, -" My dear,
that is a very bad practice. To read while
in a horizontal position is decidedly injurious
to the eyes."
But I do not feel well enough to sit up,"
replied the little girl.
Then you are not well enough to read,
my love, and you must give me your book."
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOVERNESS. 87
The gentle Florence complied with a sigh,
and, languidly closing her eyes, was silent for a
few moments. I gazed upon her with deep
interest. Intellect was plainly stamped upon
the beautiful lineaments of her countenance,
but her pallid brow and flushed cheek predicted
the consequences of its too assiduous cultiva-
tion. Soon, the burning tears gushed forth in
a torrent. Taking her hand, I said, -"My
dear child, do not be so unhappy. Be content
to rest a while."
But I am so ill, and so wretched, Miss
Emerson If I were well and strong, like
Helena, how much I might study "
Tell me, Florence, why it is that you love
She looked up with beaming eyes. 0, 1
cannot tell you half the reasons! Study is
the greatest pleasure I have. When I was a
little girl, I loved the knowledge after I had
obtained it, and would study in anticipation of
the result; but now I feel quite as happy while
engaged in the acquisition. Study itself now
affords me great delight."
86 LEAVES FROM THB
What advantage do you expect to derive
from your knowledge, Florence ? "
"0 Miss Emerson you who have so often
conversed with us upon the advantages of
knowledge need not ask me that."
Florence had now become very much ex-
cited. She clasped her little hands, and raised
her eyes to mine with an expression that thrilled
through my very soul. The veins upon her
fair temples dilated, and her whole appearance
indicated that she was in a high state of nervous
excitement. I saw that I must immediately
divert her attention. I said calmly, -" At
another time, Florence, we will talk again upon
this subject. Now take my arm, and we will
stroll around the garden."
In the course of an hour, Florence became
composed, and I then thought it advisable to
resume the topic, for I wished to produce an
immediate alteration in her mode of life. If I
could obtain compliance in no other way, I re-
solved to exert my authority; but I hoped that
she would voluntarily yield to my wishes.
AUTOBIOO1APIT OF A OvKERNESS.
"Florence," I began, did you ever hear
the story of Henry Kirke White ?"
The author of those beautiful poems
which you have lately been reading to us ?"
I never did."
His passion for knowledge, like your own,
was absorbing. To that he sacrificed every
thing. Neglecting all care of his health, he
studied incessantly. He died ip early life, a
victim to his wonderful exertions. By prac.
tising a little self-denial, he might have lived
many years, made great attainments in knowl-
edge, and effected much for the world."
Florence seemed thoughtful. "Do you
think my health very delicate, Miss Emer-
I do, my dear, and sure I am that, if you
wish to live long, you must be very careful."
I would rather die young than spend a
long life in ignorance."
I do not see that you are reduced to
either alternative. By judicious care, you
LEAVES FROM THE
may attain vigorous health, and also make great
acquisitions in learning; but you have no right
to throw away your life. If you continue to
read and study as you have recently done, you
will be very culpable. Such a course, in your
present state of health, is suicidal. I wish you
to think of this subject, and to-morrow you may
give me the result of your reflections."
I did not agree with Mrs. Maynard, who
thought it would be expedient wholly to deprive
Florence of her books. I remembered the
story of Petrarch and his library, and knew
that my eager pupil must have some food for
her mind. To deprive it entirely of its dearly
loved nutriment would be unsafe.
The next day Florence came to me, and
said, "I have thought much of our conver-
sation, Miss Emerson. I know that my health
is not good, and I promise to do whatever you
I embraced the dear child, and said, -
" Then I trust, my love, I shall soon see you
quite well. I will now communicate my plan.
AUTOBIOGRAPHr OF A GOVERNESS. 91
You can read and study a little, but the indul-
gence must be quite limited. For the present,
you must spend only half an hour at a time
with a book. An hour and a half must then
elapse before you repeat the pleasure. I know
that these intervals will appear very long, but
you must remember that your health is at stake.
I will devote to you as much time as I can
consistently with my other duties. Gentle ex-
ercise must occupy a great deal of this leisure.
We will have walking, gardening, and callis-
thenics. We will spend some time in conver-
sation, taking care to guard against too great a
degree of cerebral excitement. I believe that
your health will soon improve. Then your
time for study may be extended. Remember,
my dear, that although I firmly agree with you
in thinking that 'wisdom in an ailing frame'
is preferable to a common mind with health,'
I do not think you are called to decide between
the two. I believe that you may have both
good health and great learning. But you
must comply with the laws both of your bodily
and of your mental organization."
LEAVES PROM THE
Florence sadly but calmly acquiesced in my
decision. I now urged the duty of persever-
ance, and added that she would find much
pleasure in faithfully adhering to the scheme.
With my assistance and encouragement, my
pupil succeeded in observing the rules I had
given her. At the end of six weeks, a great
alteration was perceptible. The unnatural hue
of her cheeks had gradually subsided, the pain
in her head had diminished in severity, and her
muscles had begun to acquire firmness. She
came to me with a bright smile, saying, -
" You are a very good physician, Miss Emer-
And you are a very good patient, my little
girl. You have seldom complained, although
suffering what must have been a great trial to
Yes, it has been a very great trial; and
now, Miss Emerson, will you permit me to
study an hour at a time ? "
I know, my love, that your health is much
better, but I cannot consent to so great a
AUTOBIOQGIAPB OF A GOVERNESS. 98
Think howwell and strong I am. Mamma
"I acknowledge that your health is much
improved. I will, therefore, permit you to
study three quarters of an hour at a time. The
idle intervals, as you call them, must still re-
main of the same length."
Florence thanked me, and merrily bounded
to her mother's chamber to tell her of the ex-
tension of her study-time.
THE WANDERER'S RETURN.
Hast thou come with the heart of thy childhood back?
The free, the pure, the kind ?'
So murmured the trees in my homeward track,
As they played to the mountain wind.
"'Hath thy soul been true to its early love '
Whispered my native streams;
'Hath the spirit nursed amidst hill and grove
Still revered its first high dreams ?' "
HOUR after hour had the Widow'Bryant sat
at her cottage-door, awaiting the arrival of her
son. Ten years before, he had left home and
friends to seek a fortune in India. Within a
week, a letter had been received announcing
the very day of his return ; and the proud and
joyful mother, who, since the reception of the
intelligence, had been almost too happy for
TH! WANDE3!I'S ItUtRtNlz.
aught save running from one end of the village
to the other to proclaim the good news, had
succeeded in finding time to scour and nicely
sand her unpainted floors, to polish her old-
fashioned furniture, to garnish her hearths with
branches of hemlock and cedar, to place fresh
flowers in all the rooms of her little domicile,
taking especial care that Walter's own apart-
ment should be decorated in her best style, and
to prepare an enormous quantity of tempting
edibles, to excite the sickly appetite of the
East Indian epicure, for her son was returning
to his home an invalid. He had exchanged the
robust health gained by the invigorating air of
his mountain dwelling, and the athletic exer-
cises of his youth, for immense wealth, and a
constitution debilitated by the heat and luxury
of his abode in the East. His mother had re-
ceived some intimation of the state of his health,
but, having entire confidence in her own power,
firmly believed that she could soon cure him of
The inquisitive neighbours occasionally
6 THE WANDRERER't RTUIN.
glanced toward her dwelling, half envying her
felicity, although they truly sympathized with
her. The arrival of a man of wealth was, to
the humble villagers, a remarkable event; how
much more so when the individual was one of
their own townsmen, who, but a few years
since, had quitted them with expressions of
warm affection, and with a heart alive to the
value of his own New England home I He
had left the abode of his childhood, with his
imagination, indeed, fired as he thought of his
future prospects, but with his heart saddened
as he mused upon the separation from those
whom he had loved from infancy. How would
he return P The weary hours elapsed, but still
he came not. The widow arose, walked
tremblingly through her flowers and shrubbery,
till she came to tie public road which bounded
her territory. She strained her eyes in the
attempt to ascertain whether he might not be
turning the angle of the road which concealed
distant objects from view. She remained a
few moments) then looked around to survey her
little domain, and see whether or not any altar
nation were desirable. The cottage itself was
a very humble structure, a plain, white-washed
building; but Walter, in his boyhood, had an-
deavoured to adorn it by planting
the pale brier rose, touched so tenderly,
As a pure ocean shell, with faintest red,
Melting away to pearliness,"
and various species of the graceful Lonicera>
During Walter's absence, his mother had sedu*
lously cultivated these, and the cottage was
now completely covered with a robe of green,
from which peeped many fair flowers, for it
was the season of summer. This part of the
year is in New England so extremely beautiful,
that it amply repays the inhabitants for the dis-
comfort of the cold and damp spring, which is
so wearisome to the invalid, and also to many
of those whose bodily vigor enables them to
bear all kinds of weather with exemption from
harm. Beneath the windows flourished roses
and carnations, in all their beauty, In choice
THU WANDS19109 IRl'UlS.
98 THE WANDERER'S RETURN.
fruit, Walter had been a connoisseur; he had
successfully cultivated several of the finest
varieties, and, as his mother's income was
small, he had taken great pleasure in carrying
a portion of his luscious grapes, peaches, and
nectarines to a neighboring market town, that,
with the money received from the sale, he
might obtain some little luxuries for the family.
The garden was inclosed by a neat hedge of
the Ligustrum, so common in England, but so
rare in our own country. During Walter's
boyhood, the cottage and grounds had present-
ed a very beautiful aspect, and, since his
departure, his fond mother had enjoyed a vast
deal of pleasure in her efforts to preserve every
thing in the same order. The climbing plants
had been carefully trained, the shrubbery dress-
ed, the fruit-trees pruned, and the hedge
trimmed. The widow now gazed around with
a complacent air, as she thought that many of
these tenderly cherished favorites were in their
holiday dress, and quite ready for the inspec-
tion of their former master. She again glanced
THE WANDURI'R 5 RETURN.
toward the road with an expression of undefined
fear at his delay, for she had expected him in
the morning, and then slowly returned to her
station. The neighbours began to think that
she was doomed to disappointment; but their
fears were groundless, for the wanderer was
now within a few miles of his native hills.
Walter Bryant was riding slowly, propped
up in his magnificent carriage, and attended by
several domestics. As each familiar object
met his view, his countenance brightened a
little, and only a little; for how can a man
broken in health and spirits enjoy as keenly as
he who feels life and gladness with every heart-
bound, and to whom the very sense of exist-
ence is pleasure ? His thoughts reverted to
his happy boyhood, to his joyous youth, and
he sighed as he compared those periods with
the present. Yet he had accomplished his
design, he had amassed wealth, and he might,
if he choge, spend the remainder of h days in
ease. As he approached nearer and nearer,
his reflections assumed a still sadder hue, for
100 THE WANDERtI'S TIETURt.
the contrast between his former and his present
self was brought more and more forcibly to
mind. As he entered the village, the people
gazed inquisitively at the splendid travelling
carriage ; but when they saw the sallow, emaci-
ated countenance of its occupant, they at first
supposed that their village was honored by
some other arrival than the one they were so
eagerly expecting ; for was it possible that that
unfortunate invalid was the gay, handsome
Walter Bryant ? He, in his turn, surveyed,
with some curiosity, the town of his birth. It
had been a very quiet place, and it had now
lost none of its identity. There was the old
church, with its tall spire pointing heavenward;
on the one side were the well-remembered
rows of sheds, for the accommodation of the
vehicles employed to convey the country people
to the house of God on the Sabbath; on the
other was the little cemetery in which reposed
the bones of his ancestors. The door of the
sacred edifice was open, and, as Walter glanced
within, he thought of the time when, holding