The Baldwin Library
"FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
New York: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND ARMSTRONG.
C 0 N T E N S.
CLARA TRAVERS 41
HARRIET'S TRIAL 60
FRANCES MEADOWS; OR, CHARACTERS 86
RUTH, THE AMERICAN GIRL 113
TRAITS OF CHARACTER, ETC.
"CANARIES to sell! Canaries to sell! who will buy
canaries-pretty canaries ?"
Josephine Gourlay, a little girl eight years old,
heard this cry. She ran to the window, threw it
open, and looked out, first down the street, and
then up the street. She saw a man carrying on his
shoulder a large cage full of canary birds. He had
that minute passed the door of her father's house.
The canary birds looked so beautiful with their
bright yellow feathers, they hopped so nimbly from
perch to perch in the cage, and chirped so sweetly,
that Josephine, quite delighted, called out, "Stop,
man, I want to look at those little birds."
"Buy a canary bird, miss ?" said the man.
Oh! I should like one very much," replied Jose-
phine, "but I must not without leave. Stop a little,
and I will go and ask my papa."
S The man placed his cage upon a post that stood at
the corner of the street, opposite to Mr. Gourlay's
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
house, and promised to wait while she asked her
father's leave to buy one of the canary birds.
Away ran Josephine. She went into the room
where her father usually sat. He was not there.
She then ran upstairs to his bed-room. Neither
was he there. In great fear that the man would
not wait, she ran as quick as her legs would carry
her into the little garden at the back of the house,
and there she found her father. Quite out of breath,
she seized hold of his coat-" Come, come, pray come
quick, papa! "
Why so?" said her father; what is the
Oh, there is a man in the street who sells cana-
ries; he has in one cage more than a hundred--
a great cage quite full-he carries it on his
"Well," said her father, "and what is that to
me ? I have often seen canaries."
Yes, yes," said Josephine, I know that; but I
want-I want-dear papa, if you will give me leave,
I want to buy one for myself."
Have you any money? asked her father.
Oh, yes, the money that I saved last winter."
But," said her father, "if you buy the canary
bird, who will feed it and take care of it ? "
I, papa, I will feed it. You shall see what a
happy little bird I will make it."
"C Yes, I do not doubt that such is your wish. But
have you considered how much care the bird will re-
quire? Do you know that it must be fed not only
now and then, but that you must attend to it regu-
&rly every day ?"
Oh, yes, I know, dear papa, and that is what I
mean to do," answered the little girl.
And do you also know that the poor bird, if you
forget it, cannot ask for such things as it may want ?
If I let you buy the bird, remember that its cage is a
sort of prison, out of which it cannot get; that if you
leave it without food or without water, so it must
remain starving, although plenty of both may be
within a few inches of its cage. Ah, Josephine,"
continued her father, "I am half afraid lest you
should be careless, and suffer it to die of hunger
I forget my bird! I let it die of hunger or
thirst!" cried Josephine. "No, indeed, I will never
eat my own breakfast until I have given the dear
canary some. Indeed, papa, I am sure you may trust
me. Will you not ?"
"I wish to be able to do so, my dear," replied her
father; but I have seen you so negligent in taking
care of your playthings and books, that I am afraid
of-allowing you to have anything which has life.
Only think, if you were to forget it only for one
TRAITS OF CHARACTER
"I never will, papa, Besides, you know, I can-
not forget it, because it will chirp, it will hop about;
and that will make me recollect. It will make me
Well then," said Mr. Gourlay, I will try your
memory and let you buy the bird." So saying, he
accompanied Josephine to the house, she pulling him
by his hand, of which she never quitted her hold.
Having opened the house door, he beckoned to the
man to come to them.
The man came, and Josephine chose a bird, the
prettiest, as she thought, of all that were in the cage.
It was a male canary, with the most brilliant yellow-
coloured feathers, and with a black tuft upon his
head. She handed her purse to her father that he
might pay for the bird, and Mr. Gourlay drew out
his own purse from his pocket and bought a neat
cage, which had a seed-trough and a glass water-
bottle fixed to it on the outside. Into this cage the
bird was put, and then the man placed the cage in the
hands of the eager Josephine, who, full of joy, ran
into the house with her prize. Her father shortly
followed her, and drove in a hook near the window,
upon which she hung the cage. When she had done
this, she called first her mother, and then the ser-
vants, to come and look at her sweet bird. They
all agreed that it was a beautiful little creature,
and her mother hoped it would be happy also.
When Josephine's young friends came to see her,
she liked to make them guess what beautiful things
she had of her own-all her own; and when they
could not find out, she would say to them, Do you
know I have the prettiest canary bird in all the
world. He is as yellow as gold, and he has a tuft of
black feathers on his head. He is a male. I call him
Mimi, because the man who sold him to me had given
him that name. Come-will you come and see him?"
Her young friends thought it a great treat to see
Mimi. And Mimi was so obedient a little fellow,
that, whenever his mistress wished, he would sing to
Mimi was as happy as a little bird in a cage could
be. The first thing in the morning came Josephine,
with the box of rape and canary seed in one hand,
and a cup of fresh water in the other. She care-
fully filled the seed-trough, and, after emptying the
water-bottle, filled it again with the fresh water
which she had brought. She spread clean sand at
the bottom of his cage, and fastened on the wires
fresh green weeds, such as groundsel and chickweed.
But Mimi had other treats. Josephine put aside
a piece of every cake or biscuit that was given to
her; and sometimes she begged lumps of sugar from
her mother to give him. As she always did every-
thing for him herself, Mimi soon learned to distin-
* guish her from the rest of the family. So soon as
6 TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
he saw her approaching, he would clap his wings
and chirp "Cuic, cuic," which so pleased the little
girl, that she quite longed to take him in her hands
and kiss him heartily.
"When Mimi was in the humour for singing,
Josephine was more charmed than ever. Sometimes
he would warble little tunes, and roll his voice in his
throat for such a length of time, that it was quite
astonishing that he could bear to hold his breath so
long; then, stopping an instant, out he would break
in a fresh clear note, so strong and piercing, that it
might be heard from top to bottom of the house.
It is impossible to describe in words how much
Josephine delighted in this bird. She used to sit
at her needle-work, beneath his cage, listening and
singing to him by turns.
During the first three weeks Josephine knew no
pleasure but her bird; and, for the sake of looking
at him, she neglected many little duties. But
gradually she began to think less of this pleasure.
About a month after she had bought the canary,
her uncle sent her a book of prints, and she was
immediately so occupied with them, that Mimi was
less noticed. He chirped out his note of welcome,
" Cuic, cuic," but Josephine did not seem to hear it,
and did not reply to it as usual.
Nearly one whole week passed away without the
bird's tasting any fresh chickweed, or biscuit, or
sugar. Poor fellow! he tried in every way that he
could to rouse his careless little mistress to think of
him. He sang his sweetest tunes, he chirped more
loudly when he saw her, and he fluttered from one
perch to another. Sometimes, as if in despair, he
would peck the bars of his cage, now become really
a little prison, for he could not help himself to
the nice lumps of sugar that he saw at breakfast
and tea in the basin. But all in vain. Josephine's
head was full of other things.
Her birth-day was now approaching. A kind
friend sent her, as a present, a large wax doll, that
could open and shut its eyes, and also a cradle fitted
up with proper bedding. This doll, which she called
Rosa, made Josephine completely forget Mimi. From
morning till night she played with the doll, dressing
and undressing it a hundred times, talking to it,
pretending to feed it, and to walk it about the room.
The poor bird was now glad if his mistress even
recollected to give him fresh food before she went
to bed; and if she remembered to change the water
occasionally, it was lucky for him. She neither heard
the chirp, nor saw the hop that she once thought
would prevent her forgetting the little fellow. Often
he had to wait a day and a night without food.
Careless Josephine she did not notice that his song
was less merry, that his plumage was less clean and
bright, and that he was, in fact, sad and drooping.
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
The birth-day came. A party of young friends,
who had been asked some days before, arrived to
dine with her. Gaily they all sat round the table,
and Josephine's father and mother, to add to her
pleasure, dined with the little party.
Mimi is very grave to-day," said one of the
young visitors; "I have not heard him sing yet."
"I was thinking so, too," said Josephine's mother.
"Is he ill, that he is so silent ?"
Mr. Gourlay looked up at Mimi's cage. Every-
thing was quite still there. Now, the bird usually
sang very loud when there was a noise of laughing
and talking in the room. Mr. Gourlay continued to
look at the cage for some minutes. No sound, no
stir-all was quiet. Startled at this, he rose from
his chair, and all the little company followed him
with their anxious eyes. He went to the cage and
saw the little bird lying on his belly, panting. A
thin film covered his dim eye. His feathers were
ruffled, and he was huddled up like a ball. That
friendly note of Cuic, cuic," which he usually
uttered when his friends approached, was not to be
heard. The poor creature had scarcely any life left.
Josephine!" cried Mr. Gourlay, "what ails your
Josephine's face and neck became quite scarlet.
With hesitation she answered, Oh! I have-I have
forgotten to-to--" She could not finish; but, trem-
bling and sliding down from her chair, she ran out
to fetch the box of rape and canary seed.
Mr. Gourlay unhooked the cage, and looked into
the seed-trough and the water-bottle. Alas! Mimi had
neither a single grain of seed, nor a drop of water.
My poor little fellow I" said Mr. Gourlay;
"indeed, you have fallen into cruel hands. If I had
believed it possible that this could have happened, I
would never have allowed Josephine to buy you."
All the children left the table, and, clasping their
hands, exclaimed, "Poor little Mimi!"
Unhappy Mimi!" said Josephine's mother, "to
want even the crumbs that have fallen from the lap
of your thoughtless, unkind mistress, and not be able
to reach what she throws away; to see food, and
yet suffer the pangs of hunger." Josephine sobbed
so loudly, that her mother stopped speaking. The
seed-trough was refilled, and the water-bottle also.
Every one but Josephine was busily engaged watch-
ing the success of Mr. Gourlay's endeavours to
recover the half-starved bird. Josephine, truly un-
happy, and filled with shame at her neglect of the
little sufferer, went up to the nursery and spent the
remainder of the day alone and in sorrow. She did
not dare to ask whether Mimi was better, for fear she
should hear that he was dead. With much trouble
Mimi was saved; and when Mr. Gourlay saw that
he was out of danger, he began seriously to think of
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
requiring Josephine to part with him. "I cannot,"
he said, allow the poor helpless bird to go through
such torments again."
The next morning, after breakfast, he consulted
Mrs. Gourlay about sending the bird away. Jose-
phine was present at their conversation. She had
felt cheerful again, when, upon coming down to
breakfast, she saw Mimi upon his perch, cleaning
his feathers. She had once more resolved always to
feed him the first thing, and this morning she had
done so. But when her father spoke of taking the
bird from her, she burst into tears.
My poor bird, my darling Mimi! Oh dear
papa, do not be so unkind; pray do not take my
little favourite from me. I am so sorry. I will
never, never forget him again. Dear little Mimi,
don't go away."
"Josephine," said her father, "I do not wish to
be unkind to you, but I cannot suffer this helpless
creature to be so cruelly used. If you will not take
care of him, I must. He is shut up within four wire
walls. Not being able to speak, he cannot ask for
food; and not having his liberty, he cannot help
himself when he feels hungry. You are either too
much occupied, or too careless, to think of him, and,
therefore, it will be better for him to be sent to
some one with more time or inclination to attend to
Dear papa," said Josephine, try me but once
again, and you shall see how careful I will be. I do
love my Mimi so much."
"If so, why did you neglect him?" asked her
father. You do not seem to be aware how great
a pain the pang of hunger and thirst is."
"Papa," said Josephine, "if you knew how sorry
I feel for the pain I have given him, I am sure you
would forgive me, and still continue to trust me. I
shall never be happy without Mimi-dear Mimi."
And she looked up at his cage, while the tears fell
fast from her eyes.
Well, Josephine," said her father, after hesitating
for some time, between his fear for the bird and pity
for his daughter, "I believe you are sorry for your
cruel neglect of Mimi, and I will once more trust him
to your care; but never forget that he is a prisoner,
and do not let me again have to reproach you with the
cruelty of making him suffer the pains of hunger and
Josephine kissed her father, but she could not find
words to thank him. The attempt to speak seemed
almost to choke her; for although she was rejoiced
that Mimi was not to be taken from her, her grief
for what she had done still weighed heavily upon
Again the cage was decked with fresh groundsel
and chickweed, again pieces of biscuit and sugar
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
were stuck between the wires, and again Mimi and
Josephine were good friends.
"Kind little creature," said Josephine to herself,
"he loves me as much as ever-he forgets all my
unkindness to him!" Mimi was again as happy as
he could be.
About a month after this, it happened that Mr. and
Mrs. Gourlay were obliged to take a distant journey
into the country.
Josephine," said they both to her, as they stepped
into their chaise, remember Mimi-we trust him to
Josephine promised to remember him, and hardly
were her parents gone than she ran to supply the
cage with everything that the bird could want.
At the end of eight days, she thought she should
like to have some of her young friends to come and
drink tea with her; and she had a merry little party.
They played at blind-man's buff, at puss in the corner,
and hunt the slipper, and at last they danced. When
her young friends left her, Josephine went to bed quite
The next morning she awoke, thinking of the plea-
sure of the evening before; and while she was dress-
ing, she asked the nurse to go and invite her young
friends to come again directly after breakfast. But
the nurse refused to go so early. It would be quite
early enough, she said, if they came in the afternoon.
Josephine, too impatient to wait, put on her bonnet
as soon as she had eaten her breakfast, and got one of
the other servants to go with her to her friends' house,
to ask them to walk with her.
Oh he was obliged to remain alone, and to fast.
The next day Josephine again amused herself with
her young friends.
He pecked the wires of his cage, but again he was
forgotten. Fainting for want of food, he neither sang
nor chirped, but sat miserably on his perch, with his
head buried in his breast.
The next day Josephine was invited to spend at the
Poor, lonely, speechless bird! in the midst of so
much pleasure, he was without pleasure-he was not
The next day, or twelve days after Mr. and Mrs.
Gourlay's departure, they came back. Josephine had
scarcely thought of their return, her head was so full
of amusements; and she was quite surprised, when the
chaise drove up to the door. She ran downstairs, how-
ever, quickly and joyfully, to meet them.
As soon as her parents had kissed her, and said
they were glad to see her again, her father asked,
"How is Mimi?"
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
Very well, I believe," answered Josephine, star-
tled by her father's question, for she had not thought
of the bird, and she ran to fetch the cage to show him
to her father.
Alas! the poor bird was dead! Cold and stiff, it lay
upon its belly, its wings stretched out, its beak open,
its eyes covered with a white film.
"Josephine screamed, and wrung her hands. Her
father and mother hastened into the room, and at
once saw the cause of her grief.
Unhappy bird !" exclaimed Mr. Gourlay, "how
painful has been your death! If I had strangled
you the day that I left home, you would only have
suffered a momentary pang, whereas you have en-
dured for many days the torments of hunger and
thirst. Your death has, indeed, been a long and
"Poor Mimi!" said Mrs. Gourlay, "it is fortunate
that you are at length- removed from so thoughtless a
Her parents took the dead bird away, and Jose-
phine, with her face hidden in her hands, could not
move from the place where she stood. She would have
given up her playthings, she would have recalled the
days which she had passed so merrily and so thought-
lessly, to have brought back to life the departed Mimi,
but it was too late.
Mr. Gourlay had the bird stuffed, and placed in a
glass case, with the words DUTY first, and PLEASURE
afterwards," written in large letters underneath it.
Whenever Josephine's eyes were turned towards the
cage, they filled with tears. She felt, when she
caught a glimpse of dead Mimi's yellow feathers,
as if she should never be happy again. She begged
her father to remove the bird, but he refused to do so.
When I see," said he, "that you have really be-
come more careful, I will remove it; but you have
been guilty of repeated acts of gross negligence, and
it is for your good that something to warn you of the
consequences of such conduct should be constantly
before your eyes."
Josephine could not forget her faults. She con-
tinually heard the different persons of the family as
they passed the case, say, with a sigh, "Poor Mimi!
you suffered a terrible death." But she gradually
became more careful, for she tried to improve herself.
She often denied herself gratifications in order not to
neglect her duties, and she found that the pleasure of
knowing that all her duties had been performed was
the greatest happiness she could enjoy.
When her parents observed that for a long time
she had neglected no duty, they agreed that the sad
case might be removed. One morning, when Jose-
phine came down to breakfast, she perceived that
it was gone. Now," said she, I am happy, for
you no longer think me a careless little girl."
"On, fie! Caroline, to sit there nursing that lazy cat,
when you have done so much mischief in the garden!"
cried her brother William.
I have not been into the garden this long time,"
said Caroline, "so I cannot have done any harm;"
and she patted the cat's head.
"Not been into the garden! Pray, how then did
the geese and ducks get in ? You had the care of
them, and mamma desired you to drive them through
the garden into the cow-yard," replied her brother.
"The geese and ducks !" said his sister. Oh!
they are quite safe: I only left them to rest them-
selves a little on the grass-plot, while I rested too,
for I was as tired as they were."
You are always tired, I think," said William.
"It must be doing nothing that fatigues you so much.
But now you must stir, for your laziness, or fatigue,
as you call it, has caused a great deal of mischief.
While you have been idling here with the cat, the
geese have been eating the summer cabbages, and
the ducks the spinach, besides trampling down the
young plants and the French-beans."
Before Caroline could reply, she heard her mother's
voice inquiring for her; and hastily turning the cat
out of her lap, she ran into the garden.
Too true was the news that William had given to
her. The geese and ducks had left the grass-plot,
and strayed into the kitchen garden, where she found
them very busily employed in eating the vegetables.
Out of a bed of fine summer cabbages, five or six
only remained unhurt. The geese had eaten many
of them to the very stump. The ducks were tread-
ing down the beans in hunting for slugs, and eating
"Tiresome creatures !" cried Caroline, "to give
me all this trouble. Why could not you stop on the
grass-plot where I put you? Get away, get away, I
say; you cause more trouble than you are worth,
this hot day;" and in an angry manner she began to
drive them off the beds on to the paths.
The ill-temper made the matter worse, for the
birds being frightened, flew about in all directions,
screaming and quacking; and Caroline losing all
command of herself, picked up stones to throw at
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
them, and broke off a long switch from a pear-tree
to punish them with. But before she could use it,
her brother William, together with her mother and
the gardener, came up; and Caroline, ashamed,
dropped the stick, and ran hastily down the narrow
path where the poor ducks had taken refuge.
Caroline," said her mother, "come back. You
will kill these creatures with your violence."
Caroline stopped, and after some trouble the geese
and ducks were gently driven from the garden into
the yard, and the garden gate was closed after
As Caroline walked out of the garden, she felt
sorry that her idleness should have caused so much
mischief; and she wished that she had seen the geese
and ducks into the cow-yard at once. It would
have been less trouble," said she.
Yes; it is always the way to save trouble to do
what is to be done well at once.
Caroline was fourteen years old, and had regular
duties to perform. It was her business to go into
the dairy to see the milk skimmed and the cream
measured; and on the mornings that the butter was
churned, to see it taken from the churn and washed
and weighed. Her mother expected that she would
keep an account of the quantity made, and also of
the quantity of milk which the two cows gave daily.
She had, besides, to weigh and give out from the
store-room the different things required in the house.
Her mother had trusted these things to her care, but
Caroline's indolence was so great that, although she
wished to please her mother, she scarcely ever was up
early enough to visit the dairy at the proper time; and
was obliged to give the key to the dairy-maid, not
being herself ready to attend. And she would have
to visit the store-room many times in the course of
the day, because she would not take the trouble to
think what would be wanted every day before she
When Caroline came into the house, she went into
her mother's room and told her how sorry and
ashamed she was for her late piece of idleness.
Caroline," said her mother, I grieve not for
the cabbages that have been destroyed, but for the
unhappy life that you are preparing for yourself.
You are now fourteen years of age, and already
feel the discomfort that arises from your indolence.
But what you feel now is as nothing compared with
what you will feel, if you suffer that which is still
but a slight failing to grow into a confirmed habit.
You will be neither trusted nor loved."
Feeling the justice of these remarks, and heartily
sorry to see her mother so much vexed with her,
Caroline made many promises to endeavour to con-
quer her laziness.
The next morning, when the maid came to say she
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
was ready to go into the dairy and wanted the key,
Caroline first rubbed her eyes, saying she was very
sleepy, and that it was very early; and'then remem-
bering the many new-formed resolutions of not in-
dulging in,indolence, she told the maid that she
would soon be ready. She did not give up the key.
This morning she had the satisfaction of feeling that
she did her duty; for she herself unlocked the dairy
before six o'clock, and while the butter was churned,
she saw the new-milk measured; and when the
butter had been washed and weighed, she put down
the quantity of both milk and butter into the book.
Her younger sister Maria fed the poultry; and
the young people met their mother at breakfast
with a good account of morning duties well per-
The day so well begun was equally well continued.
Caroline deserved and received her mother's praise
for her good conduct; and when the merry party met
at supper, her mother, taking a letter from her
pocket, told her children that she had some good
news which they little expected-that in a fortnight
they would see their father.
This news was received with a general shout of
joy. We will go and meet him," was the first cry.
"Will he come in the morning or evening, dear
mother? Read all his letter, pray do!"
"He will not arrive till the evening, and I hope
we shall all go to meet him," said their mother; "but
so great a treat can only belong to the industrious.
Let us therefore have a good account of nothing left
undone every day." Their mother then read the
letter to them.
The two boys, Henry and William, began to think
of the manner in which they should receive their
father. But their mother begged them to talk of all
that in the morning, as it was now bed-time. The
young people obeyed; and Caroline went to bed full
of schemes of happiness. Her father had been
absent from home more than three months, and all
his children expected his return with eagerness and
Caroline and her brothers met early the next
morning to settle their plans of rejoicing for their
father's return. William proposed that they should
make a large bonfire on the top of the hill which
gives, as he said, the first glimpse of home. Yes,"
said Henry; "and we will be there, and we will
have a famous lot of fire-works; and as soon as our
father appears in sight, we will send up a serpent."
Oh, that will be beautiful," said Caroline; but
it will be finer still if we each of us send one off at
the same time."
"And mamma says I may go with you, if it is not
much past nine," said little Maria. "I shall run
and kiss papa first."
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
Let us save the white currants that are getting
ripe, for him," said Caroline: the white currants on
our tree. Maria, will you give your half?"
Oh, yes, that I will; and let us take the best to
him. He will like them so much after his long
journey," said Maria.
Everything was thus pleasantly arranged. The
boys were to make the fire-works and to collect the
materials for the bonfire, and to convey them to the
place, which was three quarters of a mile from the
house. Having settled their plans, the children,
eager as they were to see their father, could not
help hoping that he would arrive sufficiently late to
allow their bonfire and fire-works to be seen to ad-
Caroline's improved activity continued in full force
for two or three days; and then little by little her
long-indulged habit of indolence crept over her
again, and began to conquer her. A few minutes
later each morning soon destroyed her early rising.
She was again as usual the last down, and she had
the mortification of seeing the servant fetch the key,
and of knowing that her mother rose early and went
to the dairy herself. Her mother's health was not
strong, and the extra fatigue that she had was
easily to be traced in the paleness of her counte-
nance. Every day Caroline said, I will be up in
time to-morrow;" and every morrow Caroline only
got down in time to eat her breakfast just before it
This indolence also made her untidy in her per-
sonal appearance. She was satisfied with hurrying
her clothes on, without first washing herself; and
thought herself clean enough when she had passed
over her face the corner of a towel dipped in a little
drop of water at the bottom of her basin. A comb,
some mornings, scarcely passed through her hair;
and it was seldom that a hair-brush, nail-brush, and
tooth-brush were used as they ought to be. She
thought herself dressed when she pleased her eye by
putting round her waist a smart coloured ribbon,
although even in this she did not take the trouble to
suit the ribbon to the colour of the dress. Caroline
S often, too, used a pin where she should have sewed
on a button or hook; and let every little girl remember
that, whenever a pin is employed where a needle and
thread ought to be used, she is untidy and unpleas-
ing in her appearance.
Caroline, besides the care of her own linen, had
also part of her eldest brother Henry's. This was
included in her share of the business of the house;
and it ought to have been her care, as it was her
duty, to keep his shirts neatly mended. But the
same laziness which caused her to neglect her other
duties, made her also put off mending from week to
week the things required. Small rents and holes had
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
thus become so large as to render many of Henry's
shirts unfit to be worn. Her brother at last
began to complain to her of the uncomfortable
state of his clothes; and one morning he brought
down the shirt she had given to him, saying,
he positively would not wear such a ragged
What a plague!" said his sister.
What idleness, rather say," replied her brother.
" If I were to write my Greek exercises or Latin
translations in as slovenly a manner as you do your
work, I should be quite ashamed to let my father or
my master see them."
I do my work well enough," said Caroline, pet-
tishly. You tear your clothes much more than
anybody else. If I were to work all day and all
night too, it would be of no use."
I wish you would try during the day, and I
would excuse you at night," said Henry, laughing;
" you would soon have nothing to do. You must,
however, give me a shirt, for I -am going in half an
hour to my Greek lesson, and if you cannot I must
ask my mother."
You need not do that," replied his sister, alarmed:
for she knew too well the sad state of the clothes
given into her charge, to wish her mother to see
them. If you will wear this shirt, which has only
one little tear at the shoulder, to-day, I will put
some new wristbands on another before you want it
Henry good-humouredly took the offered shirt,
and shook his head significantly at the same time,
and said, laughing, "Ah! Caroline, I am afraid it will
be-rags out of sight, out of mind; but I will bring
some sticking-plaster home with me, for it is but fair,
if you prick your .fingers working at my wrist-
bands, that I should assist in healing the wounds."
Henry set off to attend his master, who lived in
the town three miles from his father's house. He
went twice a-week, on half-holidays, for four hours
at a time. Caroline, instead of proceeding at once
to fulfil her promise, found the weather too hot just
then to sit down to needlework, and therefore put
off the evil hour, and amused herself with sitting in
the shade, at one time reading a story-book, and at
another time nursing the cat, till the coolness of the
afternoon came on. But then came another excuse
for delay, for William having prepared his school
work for the next morning, asked her to walk and
meet Henry. Henry's name, it is true, brought the
shirt to her recollection; but she felt more inclined
to walk than to work; and so she again yielded to
self-indulgence, flattering herself that she could get
up early in the morning, and mend his shirt.
Caroline was so long getting her bonnet, that they
had not walked more than a mile before they met
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
Henry. Well, Caroline," said he, how do you
do? I have not forgotten you-see here is a paper
of sticking-plaster which I have bought for you.
How many wounds are there on your fingers?"
Not one," said Caroline.
Then my poor shirt is unmended," said Henry.
Caroline made no answer. Her walk did not
seem to give her much pleasure; and she returned
home weary, and out of spirits.
The next morning Henry tapped at her door, and
heard, with considerable anger, when he inquired for
his shirt, that it was not mended. But, after many
bitter complaints, he was again persuaded to put up
with a ragged shirt in silence.
Caroline, as she looked upon the quantity of un-
mended linen which she had allowed to increase
upon her hands, felt ready to cry. It wanted now
but two days to her father's return; and it was abso-
lutely necessary that a shirt should be mended for
Henry; for every one of his shirts was ragged. She
had not courage to apply to her mother, and tell her
how disgracefully lazy she had been. She deter-
mined to give up the whole day to needlework.
But when she joined the rest of the family at break-
fast, she heard that her brothers had invited some
young friends to a cricket-match in the field that
afternoon, and her plan of industry was immediately
When the boys were assembled, Henry asked his
mother to come and sit in the tent which he had put
up, and look on at their game; and Caroline, as if
she had nothing to do but amuse herself, took her
seat in it also. Henry was soon called to bowl, and
to do this more easily he took off his jacket. The
rags that his sister obliged him to put on were now
displayed in public. The rent had increased so
much that the whole of his shoulder was bare. His
companions laughed and joked, telling him that he
was cool and airy.
I must put on my hot jacket, I suppose," said
he, for I am really ashamed to be seen."
When he came to the tent for his jacket, the state
of his linen was observed by his mother. My dear
boy," said she, pray, go in and change those rags.
How came you to wear such a shirt?"
Henry looked at Caroline, and she, colouring very
deeply as her mother looked at her also, stammered
out a few unmeaning words in a sorrowful tone, but
was quite unable to make an excuse.
Seeing her confused looks, her mother said no
more, but .taking hold of her daughter's hand, in-
stantly returned to the house, and going to Henry's
drawers, began to take out and unfold the linen.
Caroline now burst into tears.
Dear mother," said Henry, who had followed, in
hopes of finding a shirt that he could wear, Caro-
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
line is so sorry, do forgive her this time; she will
take more care in future."
"I wish I could think so," said his mother; but
Caroline's indolence grieves me more and more
every day. I fear it will end in my being obliged
to treat her as a child; since she shows herself
unfit to be treated as a young person of her age
ought to be."
His mother then gave Henry the least ragged of
the unmended shirts, and then giving Caroline such
directions about mending another as she thought
necessary, desired her to do it that afternoon.
"And may not I take my work out into the field?"
"Certainly not; you would be sure to have
your attention distracted from it by what was
going on. It is your own fault that you can-
not look on at your brothers' game," replied her
mother. "Had you attended to your work at the
proper hours, you would not now be deprived of this
pleasure. I shall be obliged to take away all your
amusements if you do not exert yourself to keep
your brother's clothes in a neat state. It is a dis-
grace to us, Caroline, that he should be seen as he
was to-day. With patience and good humour at once
employ yourself at what I have given you to do."
Caroline had the additional vexation to see her
mother take away some of the shirts to mend her-
self. She watched her, with a bundle and her work-
box in her hand, crossing the garden into the field to
Silently and sorrowfully did Caroline sit down to
her work. With every stitch that she put in, she
had a feeling of repentance that she had not put
it in when it was first wanted. As she worked she
thought of the way she had been spending her
time. She could recollect nothing satisfactory.
A few pencil drawings, a few sums, and about
twelve pages of French translation, were all that
she could remember to have done for her own im-
provement during the last three months. Not
that her household duties had occupied much of
her time. She had not kept the accounts regu-
larly. She had but seldom given out from the
store-room the different things wanted. She had
but seldom been to the dairy. She had not nursed
the baby, nor helped in teaching the younger chil-
dren. Every day was a blank. Every day she
deserved to be written down Idle." As Caroline
thought of all this, she cried bitterly.
But after some time she wiped her eyes, and
taking courage, said, "I can work quick and well
when I choose, and I can do other things well
also to please mamma when I take the trouble;
and I will try now at least to do what she wishes,
and make her and myself happy." With these
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
good feelings, she worked steadily on, not stopping
either to stroke the cat, loll out of the window, or
to read any of the amusing story-books that were
within her reach.
She was not long in mending the shirt, for she
worked in earnest; and she had the pleasure of
hearing herself praised by her mother. Henry
also, who was present, was delighted that his sister
had succeeded in earning the praise bestowed upon
her, and he thanked her for her diligence.
This evening, as soon as tea was over, Henry
and William employed themselves in looking over
what they had prepared against their father's re-
turn. These boys had copied, in a neat hand-
writing, their Latin and Greek exercises, and had
written out a long account of the arithmetic and
mathematics which they had learned during his
absence. Henry had, besides, helped his mother
to keep an exact account of the money that had
been paid to the different people employed by his
father. Little Maria had made a book, in which
she had written down, as well as she was able,
an account of how many eggs, whether from hens,
ducks, or guinea-fowls, she had collected, how much
needlework she had done, and how much weeding in
the garden. What lessons she had done were written
down in it also.
Caroline alone had kept no account; and if she
had kept one, the number of blanks in it would
have made her afraid to look at it. As she saw
the happy faces of her brothers and sisters while
they were so employed, she felt truly sorry that
she should have so misspent her time. She had
not enjoyed herself while she had given way to
indolence, and she had lost the pleasure of looking
back on well-spent time.
The gardener had given notice that he intended
that night to take a hive of honey without killing
the bees; and, at about nine o'clock, he brought
the hive full of combs into the house. Maria had
gone to bed, and the two boys had gone out to
finish their fireworks. Caroline and her mother were
at work together. At her mother's request, she went
out at once for the purpose of taking the comb out
of the hive, and separating the honeycomb from the
cells containing the young bees. Her mother had
instructed her how to cut off the waxen coverings on
both sides of the honey-combs, so that they might
drain through the hair-sieves into the dishes.
Unfortunately for Caroline, when she came to the
pantry where the hive had been placed, she heard
her brothers letting off some of the fireworks to try
(as they said) if they were good; and this made
her forget the errand on which she had come. She
was so much interested in looking at what her brothers
were doing, that she loitered till it was time to go to
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
bed. She determined, however, to be up before break-
fast to attend to the honeycomb. But, as usual, her
good intentions were followed by nothing useful.
She awoke only just a quarter of an hour before
breakfast-time, and her hurry to be down made
her more slovenly than usual in performing her
scanty operations in dressing herself. The points
of the pins stuck out frightfully on each side of her
collar. Her hair was rough, and her face and hands
were scarcely touched with water. She came to the
breakfast-table with none of that fresh appearance in
her looks given by the free use of cold water.
Caroline felt much relieved when she saw her
mother come into the room with her bonnet on,
ready to go out. A neighbour's child had been
taken violently ill, and its mother had sent to re-
quest that Caroline's mother would be so kind as
to come and assist with her advice. Caroline's
mother had come in before she went, expressly to
tell her daughter to be careful to keep the door and
windows shut in the room where, as she supposed,
the honeycomb had been placed to drain.
As soon as her mother had gone, Caroline ate her
breakfast hastily, and hurried her brothers and sister
with theirs; and wishing to spare her mother the
vexation of knowing that the honeycomb was still
untouched, she ran to the pantry without a moment's
delay. She was not long in pulling out the combs
from the hive; but in her hurry she did not think of
shutting the door and windows. She separated the
combs, placing the combs that contained the young
bees in their various stages of growth in a large pan,
and the honeycombs in dishes. She carried these
dishes to a table in the hall; and left them there
while she went to look for the store-room key. She
was going to take all these things to the store-room,
there to finish the work which ought to have been
done the night before.
In less than five minutes, the call of her sister
Maria made her run back to the hall.
"Caroline! Caroline! make haste! the bees! the
bees The dishes are covered with bees the house
is full of bees! Oh, what shall we do ?"
Caroline," cried Henry, who had come into the
hall for his hat, as he was setting off for school, "be
quick, or there will be no honey left."
This information was too true. In a few minutes
more the house swarmed with bees in a very angry
state. The noise they made was prodigious. They
settled upon the various combs, some sucking the
honey, others gathering in clusters on the cells of the
young bees. Every attempt to drive them off was
useless. They only became more and more irritated,
and stung such as interfered.
Maria, following Caroline's order to run away with
one of the dishes of honeycomb, was stung so severely
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
in the hand that she dropped the dish, and crying, ran
upstairs out of the way of the bees.
Caroline was in great distress, and too much con-
fused to think what was the best to do. Henry
called the gardener, who came in with William
Our neighbours are quite astonished," said the
gardener, "at the bustle among their bees."
"Well done!" exclaimed William. "No wonder
the bees from all the gardens near us are flocking in
here The smell of the honey makes them wild."
And the smell of the honey and of their brood-
cells taken away," said the gardener, "makes ours
Shut the doors and windows, then," said Henry,
"and let us cover over the dishes as quickly as
"What are we to do?" cried Caroline, quite
frightened, as the bees every instant flew around and
settled upon her.
"Oh, queen-bee, you must hive them all," said
William; "you have attracted them."
We must burn some brimstone, and then cover
over the dishes," said the gardener. Let some one
run and fetch a lump of brimstone in an old iron
spoon or tin-plate, and bring a light to set fire to it."
This was soon brought, and the boys and the gar-
dener held the burning brimstone near the dishes,
and in different parts of the hall. The vapour of
the brimstone soon overpowered the bees, and they
dropped down in great numbers; and the gardener
crushed them by hundreds as they lay stupified
on the floor.
In the midst of this confusion, while the eyes of
the young people were smarting, and they were
coughing with the suffocating fumes of the brim-
stone that filled the house, their mother arrived.
What is the matter ?" said she, "that, all down
the road, the bees should be out in such numbers,
and so agitated ?"
"Ask the queen-bee, mamma," said William, half-
laughing. "She wants a hive in the hall."
"I am not the queen-bee," cried Caroline, the
tears rolling down her cheeks with vexation, and
with the pain she was suffering from the stings, and
the brimstone fumes. I could not help it."
No, indeed," said Henry, laughing, William is
mistaken. I think we should rather say that the
drone, and not the queen-bee, has done all the mis-
chief. If it had not been for the gardener's brimstone
I think the poor thing would have been killed by her
It is not my fault," said Caroline, angrily. I
will not be called a drone."
Hush-hush!" interrupted her mother, do not
add ill-temper to indolence. Repair the mischief
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
you have caused, as well as you can. Clear the
combs from the bees, and cover the dishes over one
by one, now that the bees are stupified, and run
away with them to the store-room."
Do not kill any more of the poor things," said
Henry. While they are torpid we can remove the
combs; and they may recover by and by, and fly
away to their homes again."
"I am afraid," said the gardener, that but few
will go back to their hives. The honey and the
brood-cells have made them mad."
William, wishing to save the stupified bees that
were on the table and floor, was gently sweeping
them up, and putting them with a spoon into a pan,
intending to take them into the garden, when one
of them stung him on the finger.
Thank you, Caroline," said he.
"What for?" asked Caroline.
One of your subjects has wounded me," said he,
laughing; "and I think it right to inform you, as
queen-bee, of her bad conduct, so that you may
punish the offender."
Put .some hartshorn to the wound," said his
mother; "and do not call her the queen-bee any
With great trouble the dishes were at last con-
veyed to the store-room, and the keyhole of the
door was carefully stopped. Then the house doors
were thrown open, the torpid bees were carried out,
and the agitation of the neighboring hives gradually
A little hartshorn and oil was then applied to the
wounds of those who had been stung.
The morrow came, the long-looked-for and wished-
for day, that was to bring back their father after so
long an absence. All was bustle and joy. It was a
holiday for all. The boys packed up the fire-works
which they had made in some tin cases that had
held gunpowder; and collected the necessary mate-
rials for the bonfire on the top of the hill where they
meant to light it. The girls prepared all things for
their father's refreshment, and gathered a basket of
their own ripe currants, ready to take with them
when they went to meet him.
It was a beautiful day in August-warm and
clear. The afternoon was impatiently expected; and
when dinner was concluded, the young people went
to prepare themselves to meet their father.
At five o'clock everything was in readiness. They
set off, but were scarcely outside the garden-gate,
when it was discovered that one of Caroline's stock-
ings had a large hole in it. Her mother stopped,
and pointed it out to her.
Caroline blushed, and was silent.
On a day of so much happiness and expected
pleasure, I will forgive even this disgraceful unti-
38 TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
diness, if you have other stockings fit to put on,"
said her mother.
Caroline made no reply. She could not answer,
because she knew that her stockings were as much
neglected as her brother's clothes had been.
Why do not you speak ?" asked her mother.
Caroline being still silent, her mother continued-
"I leave it to yourself to decide whether you wish
your father, after so long an absence, to be pained by
the sight of his daughter's slovenliness."
Caroline burst into tears, and slowly turned back
to the house. Truly penitent and ashamed, she saw
the party depart without her. She listened to the
sound of their voices as long as she could hear them,
and cried till she could cry no longer.
But, suddenly wiping her tears from her eyes, she
said-" This punishment I have brought on myself
by my indulgence in that indolence of which my
mother has so often tried to cure me. I will be a
disgrace to her no longer; I will not meet my father
as a sloven, although I have been one during his
absence. I will prove to both my father and mother
that I am anxious to improve, and will employ myself
till their arrival in mending as many things as I can."
Caroline accordingly took out her thimble and
needle and cotton, and first mended herself a pair of
stockings to put on. One half-hour only was re-
quired for this. For the sake of indulging some idle
whim, she had sacrificed the pleasure of meeting her
father. She knew he would ask for her; and what
would be said? This thought renewed her grief,
but it also urged her to further exertion. She opened
her drawers. There all was confusion. How dif-
ferently were Maria's drawers kept. Everything
there was laid in its place. I will try to be more
industrious; I will try to be neat," said Caroline;
and in a moment she turned everything out of her
drawers, and put them all in order. She then
mended some of her stockings; and was astonished
to find how easily everything might be kept mended,
and in order, by a little steady application. The
dusk of the evening coming on, she could no longer
see. How long they are I wish they would
come!" said she, looking from the window.
The clock struck eight, and Caroline saw at a dis-
tance a shower of bright sparks. Oh!" said she,
starting up, "they are coming; that is one of Henry's
serpents, and another, and another. Oh, how I wish
I was with them I"
She now began to hear the shouts of joy, which
grew louder and louder every minute, and an-
nounced, through the darkness, that the happy party
was approaching. At length they reached the gate.
Caroline ran down to the house-door to meet her
father. He had already learned from her mother the
cause of his eldest girl's absence, and, therefore, ho
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
had no occasion to make any inquiries. But Caroline
was proud to tell him how she had employed herself
while waiting for them. Her father kissed her, and
kindly told her he hoped that henceforward her daily
account would be as good, and that he should have
the pleasure of seeing his eldest girl punctual and
Conquer your indolence, my dear girl," said he,
"and do not let your mother and myself be any
longer uneasy on your account. Let us have the
pleasure of seeing you neat and useful; and the re-
flection that you have left no duty unperformed will
make your life cheerful and happy."
As Caroline listened to her father, she made many
good resolutions to endeavour to reform the bad
habits that, little by little, were making her both
unhappy and useless. It was a difficult task that lay
before her; but at each successful attempt to do her
duty, the task became easier; and, when once the
better habit had been formed, she found it as easy
and pleasant to be industrious and useful, as before
she had thought it difficult and painful. We rejoice
to add that in time she succeeded, and had the
reward of perseverance in good.
CLARA TRAVERS was the eldest child of Mr. and
Mrs. Travers. She had never been to any school,
but had been instructed at home by an intelligent,
well-informed mother, and had received occasional
lessons in music and drawing, from such masters as
a country town afforded. It was true she could not
play on the piano quite so well as the little Miss
Mitfords, nor talk French so fluently as the Miss
Hargraves, her opposite neighbours. Her progress
in both these acquirements was checked by a very
unfortunate circumstance. Mrs. Travers had lost
her usual good health, and become so frequently
indisposed, that notwithstanding her exertions to
continue her instructions to Clara, she found it fre-
quently impossible. Neither could Clara practise
her music alone when her mother was ill, for the
sound of the piano affected her mother's head so
painfully, that the piano was frequently closed for
weeks together. -
But Clara had qualities of far more value than
the power of playing the most difficult music; qua-
lities that made her, long before she was eleven
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
years of age, her mother's beloved little friend and
companion. She was so perfectly trustworthy that
she could always be depended on; and her mother,
therefore, felt that her wishes, once expressed, were
sure to be followed. Then no one could doubt
Clara's word, because she was known to be particu-
larly careful to speak the truth, and her activity
and forethought rendered her an excellent assistant
to her mother in family duties. Indeed during
Mrs. Travers' many indispositions, Clara almost
filled her mother's place. With a very few direc-
tions, she managed to keep the weekly accounts, to
give out daily the necessary articles for family use
from the store closet, to prepare her brothers each
morning for school, and to wait upon her mother
with an attention that could not be surpassed. When
the nurse was engaged with the other children, she
would amuse the baby; and each morning that she
heard its plaintive cry, when laid in its crib during
the time that the nurse dressed the little ones, she
would lay aside her occupations, or a favourite book,
to run to take him up and console him. No wonder
that her mother loved her I
The business of Mr. Travers occasioned him to
make long journeys in different parts of the country,
and he was frequently absent for several weeks to-
It happened one summer that Mrs. Travers became
more than usually ill during the absence of her hus-
band on one of his most distant journeys. Hoping
she might soon recover, she would not allow Clara
to write to her father, as she felt reluctant to alarm
him needlessly, or to hasten his return. Day after
day passed, and the anxious little girl saw her mother
becoming worse and worse, until the very sound of
the children's voices was no longer endurable to her.
The joyous laugh and the painful cry equally affected
her mother's head, and Clara knew not how to guard
her from them, as her little brothers were at home
for the Midsummer holidays. They were good-tem-
pered, merry little fellows, and certainly did not
wish to add to their mother's sufferings, but it was
a difficult matter to make them understand, or at
least to make them remember that the loud shout,
the crack of the whip, and the heavy tread, could
occasion any pain to their mother.
There is one thing, it must be owned, which partly
accounts for the difficulty that Clara met with in
persuading her brothers and sister to be quiet.
Clara had not usually a kind manner of speaking
to them, and as no one likes to be treated rudely,
they frequently refused to obey her. When she
addressed either of them with Child, you are not
to make so much noise;" Child, leave that alone;"
"Mr. Disagreeable, you care for no one but your-
self;" the tone and language were so different to
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
their mother's, it is not surprising that they felt a
kind of pleasure in disobedience.
Frederick, who was only a year and a half
younger than Clara, particularly resented this con-
duct. Foolish words and mutual vexations, there-
fore, continually arose between them. It is true
that Frederick was not so useful a little personage
as Clara, but he was an intelligent lad, and quite
capable of being an agreeable companion. Thus
Clara, who was so highly esteemed by her parents
for many excellencies, by one fault alone continually
marred the happiness of herself, and brothers, and
During the continued illness of Mrs. Travers,
Clara began to discover that a good-natured manner
of speaking is much more likely to succeed than an
ill-tempered, commanding one. Her strong affection
for her mother induced her to think of every plan
that could quietly and happily employ her brothers
and sister; and each day that she did so, she found
that they listened to her requests with more docility,
and appeared more ready to oblige her.
As soon as Clara gained her mother's permission,
she wrote to her father, to entreat him to return, and
also to her aunt Elwyn, her mother's only sister,
who resided in Devonshire. Mr. Travers was in
the north of Scotland at the time; he could not
therefore return for more than a week after the
CLARA TRA VERS. 4
letter was despatched; nor could Clara hope to see
her aunt for four or five days.
Meantime, the affectionate little girl nursed her
sick mother with unceasing attention. At the least
movement of Mrs. Travers during the night she
was up and ready to support her aching head, or
to offer refreshing liquids to allay her feverish
thirst. During the daytime she never left her
mother's room without asking whether she could
be spared; and when her mother slept for a short
time, her noiseless step passed and repassed the bed
without risk of awakening her. She planned several
excursions for her brothers and sister, to remove
them from home. One day they were sent with
the nurse to dine in a distant wood, and the happy
children, laden with baskets of provisions, sallied
forth in high glee, declaring they would fill their
empty baskets, on their return, with wild-flowers for
her and mamma. Another day she surprised the
boys with fishing-nets, which she had made in her
mother's darkened chamber. Rods were soon con-
trived, and then the eager boys marched off with
the old gardener to a piece of water, two miles
distant, where sticklebacks and minnows were to
be found sporting and swimming in shoals. A
third day she gave the children half her pocket-
money, to buy rabbits and guinea-pigs at a neigh-
bouring farmer's, and where they were sure te
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
be amused for hours. Sails for their boats were
cut out and hemmed by her nimble fingers, paper
found for their kites, reins for their horses, an'd, in
short, everything was contrived that could employ
them out of doors.
The day before aunt Elwyn arrived, the weather
unfortunately became rainy, and the children were
obliged to remain in the house. Clara was puzzled
to find a quiet occupation for them. At first she
thought of employing them in mending the broken
toys by joining and gluing, but that soon proved too
noisy, for Edgar -liked hammering better than any-
thing else. She hesitated to lend them her painting
box,-that box which had been the purchase of
nearly a year's savings, but she looked at the pouring
rain which prevented her brothers from playing in
the garden, and offered it to them. She begged
them to be careful not to dip the paints in the water,
nor to rub one cake of paint on another. Both the
boys were pleased with the thought of using Clara's
"real good paints;" and after Clara had sketched a
picture for Edgar, and promised him a knife if he
only would learn to speak low, she turned to her
little sister Rosa, and endeavoured to persuade her to
amuse herself in the nursery. "No, no, Clara," said
Rosa, "I like to be here best, because baby is asleep,
and I have nothing to do there. I will not make
mamma ill. I will be very quiet, and then dear
CLARA TRA VERS.
mamma will not hear me, and I may sit at her door
sometimes if I like, because then I can hear her
Clara immediately gave up urging her sister to
leave the room, which was on the same floor as her
mother's, and giving her a few playthings, she left
her to attend to Mrs. Travers. She sat with her
mother for an hour, and was thinking how happily
she had occupied her brothers and sister, when
Edgar's loud voice struck her ear, and made her
mother start from her short sleep, "Do not be
frightened, dear mamma !" exclaimed Clara. It is
only Edgar, and you know he always speaks loud."
She ran out of the room to still the uproar, when
the first thing she saw was Edgar struggling with
Frederick, the mug of water upset on the table, and
her paint box,-her beautiful paint box-filled with
water. Frederick was striving to prevent Edgar
from touching the pallet, and both the boys were
disputing as loud as they could. You troublesome
children!" exclaimed Clara, with her voice raised,
and crying from vexation. "You are the rudest,
the most disagreeable boys in the world; I will never
lend you anything again. You spoil everything that
I have I"
Oh! oh Clara, that is not true," replied
Frederick. "You know that I do not injure your
things; I did not upset the water, Edgar did it in
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
trying to snatch the pallet, which I told him he must
not use without washing, because all the colours were
so mixed, that he would have spoiled the paints if he
had rubbed them on it. I could not help his snatch-
ing the pallet, I tried to save your paints, Clara."
Well, I only wanted to make a dark cloudy sky
to my drawing," said Edgar: "I forgot what Clara
said about rubbing the paints. I am sure I did not
mean to upset the water."
I don't care what you meant !" replied Clara,
angrily, only see what you have done," and stoop-
ing, she drew out her paints from the box, soddened
with the water, and sticking to one another. "I am
sure," she continued, "nobody has such disagreeable
brothers and sisters as I have. I wish mamma had
kept you at school all the holidays "
Well," said Fred, "if you will go on speaking so
crossly when I wish to help you, I shall not scrape
the paints, nor do anything else; I shall go down
I am not disagreeable, I am not naughty," said
little Rosa; "I have been sitting here playing with
my doll: you should not call me disagreeable, Clara."
Clara did not listen to either Fred or Rosa. She
was angry, and therefore unjust. Neither children
nor grown up persons can have sense or reflection
enough to be just when they allow themselves to be
in a passion. Clara continued railing against both
CLARA TRA VERS.
her brothers, though Fred had not been to blame in
the least. Edgar, who really felt sorry at the disaster,
which his eagerness and self-will had occasioned, was
silently endeavouring his best to repair the mischief,
but as he met with nothing but angry words, his
good feeling (for he was quite a child) soon vanished,
and throwing down the brushes, he ran out of the
room after his brother.
Rosa looked at her sister, half afraid to speak to
her, and then suddenly putting her little arms round
her sister's neck, she exclaimed, Pray do not be
cross, Clara; Edgar is very sorry, and I'll help you.
I'll give you my silver penny to buy a new painting
box; so don't cry any more."
Clara could not help laughing at the idea of a
silver penny buying a half-guinea painting box; she
kissed her good-natured sister, and muttered half
aloud, Well, certainly it is no use crying about it."
She then quietly put her wet paints on the mantel-
piece to dry, and wiped the painting box and the table.
When she returned to her mother, she found her
looking very ill, and far more agitated than when she
had left her. Mrs. Travers had heard the loud talk-
ing and Clara's angry voice, but she did not inquire
the cause. She felt too ill for any conversation. Ac-
customed when in health to watch over the conduct
of her children to one another, to encourage their
good feelings, and quickly to settle their little dis-
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
putes, the idea of being unable to continue her care
of them was exceedingly painful. She had hoped
that Clara's strong attachment to herself, which had
led her to take great pains to amuse her brothers
and sisters, would have also gradually habituated her
to bear good-humouredly the little provocations that
happen in a young family; but now she could only
sigh, and grieve that she could not alter a conduct,
which, notwithstanding Clara's many good qualities,
rendered her really unamiable.
Every spare minute of that 'afternoon and the
next was spent by Clara, or her brothers, in watching
for their aunt Elwyn's arrival. At length a carriage
stopped, and the gentlest of knocks made Clara's
heart beat with joy. Her aunt had arrived, and
half Clara's anxiety was over. From that time
Clara had no more trouble in providing for the
quiet of her mother, by planning occupations for
the children. Mrs. Elwyn arranged everything
for the comfort of her sister, and the happiness
of the young people. Her nephews and nieces
obeyed her as if she were their mother, because,
like her, she was always gentle, affectionate, and just.
The doctors assured Mrs. Elwyn that change of
air was absolutely necessary to promote her sister's
recovery, as well as perfect quiet from the noise of a
country town, and a young family. Mrs. Elwyn,
therefore, only waited for the return of Mr. Travers
to propose to her sister, her immediate removal, by
short and easy stages, to Devonshire.
When Mr. Travers arrived, and saw the wasted
form of his beloved wife, he entreated her to agree to
Mrs. Elwyn's proposal. He tried to remove every
objection, and said he would immediately defer one
of his intended journeys, that during her absence he
might be at home as much as possible.
Mrs. Travers, still agitated, urged that she could
not bear the idea of leaving the children. Clara,
who knew that the doctors had declared that there
was little hope of recovery, unless Mrs. Travers
followed their advice, earnestly begged her mother
not to think of her brothers and herself, assuring
her that they would contrive to make themselves
happy; seeing her mother shake her head, she
stooped over her, and whispered, "Dear mamma,
why do you refuse us ?"
"If I tell you, my dear child," replied Mrs.
Travers, "I shall pain you, and I should feel sorry
to do that,-you who have been so long my tender
little nurse, my dear active little friend."
Is there anything that I can do, dear mamma,
that will persuade you to go with my aunt Elwyn?"
again inquired Clara.
Yes, my love, there is," answered Mrs. Travers.
"6 Oh, what is it?" said Clara anxiously.
Promise to try to be gentle, kind, and forbearing
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
to your brothers and Rosa, and then, dearest Clara,
I can be content to leave them to your care."
The colour mounted in Clara's cheeks, and the
tears started in her eyes, as she remembered her
angry feelings, and angry tones a few days before.
Mother," said she, her voice half choked with
emotion, "I know I am often wrong, but I will try
to be as gentle as you wish me to be. Only, dear
mamma, go with my aunt, and you shall see that
I can be trusted."
I will, I will, my love," softly answered Mrs.
Travers, as she pressed her daughter's hand, and
sunk her head on her pillow, exhausted with the
The next day preparation was made for the depar-
ture of Mrs. Travers. Without bustle or noise,
Clara arranged and packed everything that was
necessary for her mother's comfort.
Mr. Travers accompanied his wife and sister part
of the journey, and when he returned, he found
Clara making tea for her brothers and sister, and
in spite of Clara's red eyes, they all looked cheerful
Why, my dear Clara, you will be quite a little
mamma to them," said he, as he patted her cheek,
and placed his chair beside her.
Will mamma stay a long time away?" inquired
CLARA TRA VERS. 53
I do not know," replied Mr. Travers; if your
mamma hears that you are all happy and good-
tempered at home, she will most probably stay with
your aunt for two months, that she may return home
strong and well."
Oh, papa exclaimed Frederick, "I should be
unhappy if our foolish little quarrels were to make
mamma come home before she is quite well. I am
sure I should like her to stay till she is able to
work with us in the garden, as she used to do. How
happy we were then !"
Yes, we were indeed," said Mr. Travers, "and
that these pleasures may come again, we must all
try to make one another as happy as we can."
The children were very glad of their father's
assistance that evening, in scheming amusements
for them. Dull at parting with their mother, they
felt rather disinclined to amuse themselves with
their usual occupations; but Mr. Travers soon set
them to work, and with cardboard and compasses,
jack straws and chess, the evening passed pleasantly.
Clara knew not half the difficulties she should meet
with, when she promised her mother to strive to be
gentle and forbearing. She had lost the occupation
which had constantly employed her for the last few
weeks, and she often felt listless from the want of
employment. This did not increase her good-humour,
when little vexations arose. It certainly was pro-
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
evoking to see her frock torn by Edgar's rough pu!H
and her best drawing spoilt by Rosa's upsetting the
inkstand over it. She could not always remember
her promise, or consider that she herself, when a
few years younger, had been equally annoying to
others. Clara strove hard, however, to bear these
trials well, and if she did not always succeed, she
did very frequently, and the consciousness of doing
right, and a smile or nod from her father, rewarded
her for her self-command.
When the holidays were over, and her brothers
went daily to school, she found it much easier to pass
the day without ill-temper, while the few hours that
they were at home morning and evening were a
source of real pleasure to her. Tired of being alone,
she was always glad when five o'clock came, and
having no other companion near her own age, she
began to treat Frederick with far more consideration.
Frederick's attachment to his sister quickly in-
creased. He naturally felt both proud and pleased
to be the partner of all her little.schemes, and to see
her assisting him in his own occupations. If Frederick
were drawing out wheels for his cardboard coaches,
Clara's neat hand cut out the delicate spokes: if a
kite were to be made, Clara superintended the paste,
or devised the ornaments. Still it is not surprising
that Clara, so long accustomed to her mother's
society, should desire older companions than her
CLARA TRA VERS.
brothers. Her father, observing how much she
missed her mother, gave her leave to invite occa-
sionally their neighbours, the Miss Hargraves, who
were a year or two older than Clara.
With these young people, Clara and her brothers
passed many a pleasant evening; for Sophia and
Ellen Hargrave took an interest in all their occu-
pations, and were ever ready for a good game of
play, or a quiet amusement at the table, as either
seemed most agreeable to the rest of the party.
Edgar liked them, because they admired his rab-
bits; Frederick, because they were never tired of
looking at his little cabinet of shells and minerals;
and Rosa said they were kind girls," because
they joined her in playing with the baby-house.
The letters from Mrs. Travers were not at first
very cheering. Her illness had been so severe that
a long time was required to restore her to health,
but she wrote in the most animated manner of her
delight at hearing from Mr. Travers of the daily
affectionate conduct of Clara to the younger chil-
dren. Each letter expressed her earnest desire to
return to them when she was sufficiently restored
to do so. At length, after an absence of three
months, Mr. Travers had the great pleasure of hear-
ing that the sea air had proved so highly beneficial,
that Mrs. Travers would no longer delay her return
to her beloved family, and that she intended to be
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
with them in a few days. The happy children
clapped their hands with joy, and eagerly asked their
papa the day and the hour. Tuesday evening about
five was the time fixed, and now nothing was thought
of but preparations for dear mamma's return. Little
Rosa busied herself in washing her doll's things, that
the doll might look new and clean. Edgar and Fre-
derick weeded their mamma's favourite flower-border
with double care; and Clara (who longed to surprise
her mamma with her progress in music) practised
her last new tunes with additional zeal. Tuesday
arrived,-a warm, delicious September day. Long
before the evening, Clara had ornamented each par-
lour with flowers, the sweetest and gayest she could
find; the boys had swept the gravel walks, till not
one loose pebble could be seen; and the doll arranged
in her best had been placed in the window to watch
for mamma. The last half hour was appearing very
long, when Clara proposed that tea should be laid
out in the arbour, her mother's favourite spot, from
the beauty of the view that it commanded. The
busy children soon conveyed the large arm-chair and
the footstool from the parlour to the arbour. Edgar
carried off the great tea-board, Clara followed with
cups and saucers, and in a short time everything was
The pinafores were flung off, and the expecting
little family had now nothing to do but to stand upon
CLARA TRA VERS.
the garden seats, and watch over the low holly hedge
for the first sight of the stage-coach.
The moment it was seen turning the corner of the
road, and that the hand and white handkerchief
appeared extended from the coach-window, the chil-
dren darted to the front court with one joyful cry,
"Mamma has come, mamma has come!" Yes, it
was their beloved mother, who in a moment clasped
them in her arms. With eyes overflowing with ten-
derness, she looked first on one and then on another.
Her joy at meeting her husband and children in
health,-at seeing her daughter Clara, and all the
smiling happy faces around her, was greater than
can be described. She could only say," My children,
my children, this is happiness!" Rosa, however,
soon made them all laugh; for, wondering at the
tears on her mother's cheek, she said very gravely,
"Mamma, dear, are you ill? what do you cry
After a few moments, the children led their mamma
into the garden. Her quick eye soon percenrvd the
fresh raked borders, the clean gravel walks, and all
the little improvements and changes that her children
had made. She thought drinking tea in the arbour
was delightful; and, whether it was that Clara made
tea better than usual, she declared she had never
enjoyed any tea so much. In spite of his merry
mood, Edgar contrived to speak low for that even-
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
ing, and all being bent on making each other happy,
were in the gayest spirits.
After tea, Mrs. Travers sent in Frederick for a
small box which she had brought from Devonshire.
All were anxious to know the contents of this box.
Edgar quickly produced his hammer to draw the
nails which firmly closed the lid, and he had the
pleasure of opening it.
The first packet which Mrs. Travers drew forth
was a box of wooden animals for Rosa; the second, a
parlour printing-press, with real types and inking-
rollers, for Edgar; and the third, a box of compasses,
rule, and pencil, for Frederick. The fourth packet was
much smaller than any, and Mrs. Travers gave it to
Clara, expressing a hope that she might like the con-
tents. What could it be? The white wrapper was
quickly taken off, when a small box appeared; this
being opened, the treasure was concealed by a tinted
piece of paper and coloured cotton.
Oh! mamma, can this really be for me!" ex-
claimed the delighted little girl, as a locket with a
beautiful miniature likeness of her mother struck her
eye. And a hair chain too, your own hair, mamma,
dear, dear mamma, are they both for me?"
Look, my love, and you will see," said Mrs.
Clara drew forth the locket, suspended by the
chain, from its cottony bed, and with a trembling
CLARA TRA VERS. 59
voice read the following words, which were engraved
on the back of the locket in very small but very
clear characters, "For the good daughter and the
Then it must be for you, Clara," said Frederick.
"I am sure you have been a good daughter, and a
kind sister too. You have done all you could to
make us happy while mamma has been away, and
what could you do more?"
There, Clara, dear, you see there is no mistake,"
said Mrs. Travers, as she smilingly kissed her
daughter, and placed the hair chain round her neck.
" Keep it ever, my dear, as a remembrance of your
mother's love;-still more, let it remind you how
much that love was increased by your early striving
to cure yourself of your faults."
ON a fine summer evening, a party of little girls
were amusing themselves on the lawn before a coun-
try house, which belonged to the father of one of the
Two of the elder girls were playing at Les
Graces," and the younger ones were looking on,
eager to see who would be the victor.
They had kept up the game to eighty-seven; and
Now, Mary," and Take care, Harriet," cried the
lookers-on, as the arms of the players grew weary,
and their aim became more unsteady. I wonder
who will keep it up longest," said one of the younger
children to another; I hope Mary Langham will."
I don't think she will," replied her companion;
Mary is always tired in these games before Har-
Why do you hope that Mary will win, Lucy?"
Oh!" said Lucy, because I like Mary best,
she is so good-natured."
Harriet is good-natured, too, sometimes," said
Yes, sometimes; but Mary is good-natured
In her eagerness for Mary's success, Lucy passed
closer to the players, so close as to touch Mary's
elbow, just as she was about to throw off the hoop
for the ninety-sixth time. It fell at her feet. You
little tiresome creature!" cried Harriet, turning
sharply round to Lucy; "you have spoiled our
game just at the most interesting time; why could
you not stand farther off?"
I am very sorry I spoiled your game, Mary;
very sorry indeed," said Lucy, looking up in Mary's
It does not signify," replied Mary, gently; I
dare say I should have let the hoop fall by this
time, if you had not touched me, my arms are so
Mine are not in the least tired," cried Harriet,
exultingly, I am just as ready to play now as I
was at first. Come, Mary, let us begin again."
Perhaps some one else would like to play," said
Mary, looking around at their companions.
Elizabeth, come here, but make haste, I mean
to conquer you all," said Harriet, laughing. Now
stand back, you little ones, and don't spoil this game,
as you did the last."
At the sound of that hasty voice the younger
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
"You need not be afraid, Harriet; no one wishes
to stand near you," said Lucy.
The emphasis on you," made Harriet's colour
rise to scarlet, and an angry retort rose to her lips,
when Lucy's attention was diverted by Mary's offer
to assist her in making a daisy chain that should
reach from the arbutus by the parlour window, to
the magnolia at the end of the lawn. Lucy gave a
joyful assent, and ran to gather her frock full of
daisies, and shower them into Mary's lap as she sat
on the grass.
Harriet went on with the game of Les Graces,"
but the pleasure of it was gone; for she was out of
humour with Lucy, with herself, and her antagonist.
First Elizabeth stood too near her, then she went too
far off, and then the fault was found to be in the
sun, which shone full in her eyes, and dazzled her so
that she could not see what she was about. Eliza-
beth drew back, and came forward, and finally
changed places: it would not do. Harriet's mur-
murs continued till her wearied companions at last
refused to play any more with one who exacted so
much compliance from others, and yielded so little in
Besides, Harriet," said they, you have had the
hoops so long; some one else may like to play now;
you do not consider that; you never do."
"I never do, do I not, Miss Elizabeth?" said
Harriet, angrily, and colouring with indignation;
" upon my word, you give me a very pretty charac-
ter. Well, I will do one thing to please you all,
however, I will go away, if I am so very disagree-
able; you can do very well without me, I dare say,"
and so saying, Harriet flung down the sticks and
hoop with an air of contempt, and walked away in
all the dignity of sulkiness. To her no small morti-
fication, Harriet found her companions very much of
her opinion, that they could do exceedingly well
without her. The merry sound of their voices, and
the peals of joyous laughter, reached her ears through
the screen of flowering shrubs that skirted the lawn,
and divided it from a gravel walk, which Harriet
.paced up and down for some time in pride and sul-
lenness. I will not go back to them unless I am
asked, I am determined," thought Harriet, and they
will be glad to ask me, I know, because they will
want my help;" and she thought rightly, her help
was wanted. Harriet was the readiest to invent, the
most skilful to execute, the best player of old games,
the cleverest at new ones. Besides all these agree-
able talents, Harriet had many good qualities; she
was kind, generous, and sincere. What then was
wanting to make her a pleasant companion? She
wanted one thing, without which all the talents and
good qualities in the world will not obtain for us the
love and good will of others; she wanted temper.
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
Harriet would do much for those she loved; she
would willingly assist them through any difficulty in
their work, or their play; she was ready to explain
the most knotty points in the French grammar; to
play over a difficult passage of music; and her
abundant stock of toys was almost as much at the
service of her companions as at her own. But with
all this readiness to oblige, Harriet failed in securing
the love of her associates. She was continually say-
ing some hasty or unkind thing, in the irritation of
the moment; not very seriously intended at the time,
and forgotten five minutes after-or, if thought of,
quickly apologized for, to herself, Because,"
thought she, though I was a little hasty and pas-
sionate, every one knows I have a good heart." This
phrase of a "good heart,"-and the habit ov thinking
a good heart an excuse for a bad temper, Harriet had
acquired from a well-meaning but not very wise aunt
with whom she had spent a considerable time during
the absence of her mother from England. The two
ideas at length beoname so confused in her mind, that
Harriet was in some danger of learning to think that
a bad temper did not signify where there was a good
heart. It was fortunate for the little girl that the
return of her mother saved her from a mistake that
might have made her unhappy for life.
Long and impatiently Harriet continued to pace
up and down the ravel walk, listening to the voices
of her playfellows, longing to be with them, but un-
able or unwilling to conquer herself so far as to join
them without a special invitation, that should spare
her pride from confessing, though her good sense
told her, that she had been in the wrong. Such an
invitation, however, her companions were not in-
clined to send. It is true they missed an active and
useful partaker of their sports; but they were also
rid of one who was frequently out of humour, unless
she were allowed to have everything her own way.
Gradually the voices died away, and were heard
again at intervals, and at a distance. The lawn, and
" Les Graces," and daisy-chains, were abandoned for
hide-and-seek; and Harriet listened to the voices of
successful seekers raised high in merry exultation,
and the laughing screams of the captives as they
were dragged in glee from their hiding-places, till
her pride fairly gave way. Harriet had just squeezed
through the lilac bushes, and was boldly advancing
to join the party, when little Lucy well nigh drove
her back again by exclaiming, Oh! here comes
Harriet; I thought she would be tired of being by
herself." Fortunately, she was saved from thus
punishing herself in a second fit of ill-humour, by
the appearance of Mary Langham,-Mary the peace-
maker, who, without possessing the half of Harriet's
talents, was always beloved by all who knew her,
simply because she was invariably sweet-tempered,
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
and willing to yield in small things, and in great
also, when duty did not stand in the way. Mary
was so evidently glad to see her, and so good-naturedly
anxious to have Harriet and all the party on good
terms again, that it was not possible to resist her
efforts to restore peace. The evening glided plea-
santly away, and bid fair to end in harmony, when
an unfortunate blunder in a quadrille overset Har-
riet's lately acquired good humour.
"There, I thought so, I knew how it would be, if
those tiresome little things were allowed to dance
with us," cried Harriet, her voice and colour rising:
"I never saw anything so stupid in my life; don't
you know your right hand from your left, child?"
continued she, turning angrily to Lucy.
"To be sure I do," said Lucy; "I made a mis-
take; anybody might make a mistake for once,
Harriet; and you need not be so very angry, nor
call me stupid. I dare say you made mistakes some-
times, when you were as little as I am."
"Not such foolish mistakes as you make. I should
never have mistaken my right hand for my left; at
any rate, if I did not know one from the other,
I would sit down, and not throw other people
out. It is too bad for one to spoil the pleasure
"I think so too, Harriet, and therefore I advise
you to sit down," said a calm voice from behind.
It proceeded from Harriet's mother, who had entered
when her daughter's voice was at the loudest, and
her cheeks at the reddest.
"It must have been a terrible mistake, indeed,
to cause so much disturbance. What was it,
Oh, nothing ma'am-I mean not much," said
Lucy, pitying Harriet's confusion. "Let us begin
again, and I will try not to go wrong a second
"I had rather not dance any more," said Harriet,
with some appearance of sullenness.
I had rather you should not dance either, in
your present temper," said Harriet's mother, in a
low voice; "but as your sitting down would pre-
vent others from dancing, I must beg you to
Harriet, who saw that her mother was displeased,
did not venture to make any further objection. She
did what she was required to do, indeed, but so un-
graciously, that there was not one of the little party
who did not secretly rejoice when the hour for sepa-
rating arrived. It did not escape Harriet's obser-
vation, that her companions were glad to be rid
of her. Even Mary shook hands with her more
coldly than usual, and tears of mingled sorrow
and mortification stole down Harriet's cheeks, when
she thought how eagerly she had anticipated this
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
evening, and how different were her feelings at this
moment, from those of the morning. It was bad
enough to be conscious of her own folly; it was
still worse to be obliged to talk about it. "And
I must talk about it when I see Edward, for he
will be sure to ask me if I spent a pleasant evening;
and then if I say No, he will ask me why, and then I
shall be obliged to confess how ill-tempered I was
before Anne and Louisa." These uncomfortable
thoughts were passing through Harriet's mind as
she slowly descended the stairs the next morning,
and entered the room where her mother and sisters
and her brother were at breakfast, with a pace so
unlike her usual bounding step, that Anne aban-
doned the defence of her basin of milk from the
kitten, who was trying to put her head into it, and
came to ask her sister if she were not well? and
Edward set down an untasted piece of honeycomb
to laugh at Harriet's tardy advance and discontented
Why, Harriet, my dear," said her brother, have
you left your senses upstairs with your nightcap?
You look as if you were walking in your sleep. What
is the matter with you?"
"Nothing," said Harriet, pettishly; and as she
took her usual place by her brother, she gave her
chair a jerk round, so as to present her shoulder to
Hey! what is the meaning of this ? and why am
I condemned to see a shoulder instead of a face ? not
that I have any objection to a shoulder, when it is
tucked tidily into a sleeve as a shoulder ought to be,
but I like a face better, because it tells tales; so let
me look at yours, Harriet," said Edward, trying to
look into his sister's as he spoke.
"I suspect it is because the face tells tales, that
Harriet's is turned away at this moment," said her
At this observation, Harriet's tears, which had
been gathering from the moment she entered the
room, fell fast upon her plate.
"My dear Harriet," said her brother, changing
his tone, I am sure, if I have said anything to vex
you, I beg your pardon. I was only joking: shake
hands with me, and tell me all about your party at
Harriet gave her hand to her brother, but at the
word "party," her tears flowed afresh.
"What! is there something wrong again? Oh I
now I see how it was; some little damsel looked over
her right shoulder when she ought to have looked
over her left, and Harriet set her right too hastily:
that was it, was it not ?-and now she feels a little
ashamed, eh, Harriet ? "
Edward's conjecture was so nearly correct, that
Harriet could scarcely help smiling, in spite of her
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
vexation; but, when he went on to tell her not to
mind, that she would be wiser another time, and to
think no more about the matter, Harriet's mother
"My dear Edward," said she, "you are giving
your sister the worst advice possible, although with
the kindest intentions. To avoid thinking of her
faults, will not teach Harriet to be wiser another
time. Let her rather continue to think of them,
till she can find out how it is that she, who is so
well disposed, can so often give pain to those who
love her, by her want of self-command."
I am sure I do not know, mamma," said Harriet,
sighing; "no one can be more sorry than I am,
when I have done wrong; I wish I could conquer
"Do you really wish it? asked her mother.
"Oh, mamma, how can you ask such a question?
To be sure, I wish to get rid of my faults; and so
does everybody, I suppose."
I suppose so too, provided they could get rid of
them without any trouble : but they cannot be very
sincere in the wish, or they would take the proper
What are the proper means, mamma? If you
will tell me what I ought to do, I will do it; that is,
I will try."
"My dear child," said her mother, "the means
are so obvious, that you do not need my assistance to
find them out."
I might be silent when I feel inclined to give a
sharp answer, till I could control myself so far as to
give a gentle one, or I might- "
"You need not look any further for a remedy, my
dear sister," interrupted Edward. You would not
find a better, if you were to try, from this moment
till to-morrow morning."
"But it is not so very easy to hold one's tongue,
when one is angry," said Harriet. "I assure you,
mamma, I have tried sometimes, and I have not been
able to succeed.
I know it is not easy," answered her mother; "I
know it from experience."
"From experience! you, mamma !" cried all the
children at once. "Now you are joking; no one
ever saw you cross, or heard you give sharp
"You never did, I hope," replied their mother,
smiling; "but when I was Harriet's age, I gave
nearly as many sharp answers as she does."
"Then, mamma, will you tell us, if you please,
how you managed to cure yourself so completely?"
said Harriet: "perhaps I might succeed by the
I believe I was chiefly cured by the numberless
mortifications to which my unaccommodating temper
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
subjected me. I could not beat to find myself an
object of dislike to those around me. One circum-
stance which occurred on the very day I attained
your present age, Harriet, made so much impression
on me, that I set about my reformation from that
time in good earnest."
And what was that circumstance? Is it a story,
and will you tell us ?" cried the two younger chil-
dren, in a breath.
"It is not a story, Anne; you need not look so
eager," said their mother, laughing; "but you shall
hear all I have to tell, and that will not be much.
Your grandfather and grandmother were going to
spend the Christmas holidays at the house of a lady,
with whom I thought myself a great favourite, and
therefore I expected to be invited to go with them,
especially as two cousins, both younger than myself,
were going. Other guests were expected, and among
them a gentleman who had been a great traveller,
and who had seen many things that were new and
strange to older and wiser persons than I was. I had
heard that this gentleman was particularly kind and
communicative to young people; and I expected to
have a great deal of amusement as well as instruc-
tion. You will easily believe that my disappoint-
ment was very great, when I heard I was not to go,
and my shame was still greater when my mother told
me her reason for not taking me. She said that her
friend had a large family; and that she was sorry to
add, that both in my plays and studies I showed great
impatience of contradiction and want of temper, and
that till I endeavoured to correct myself of these
faults, she would not run the risk of making her
friends uncomfortable by the ill-humour of a child."
Poor mamma !" said Harriet; "and what did
you say? what did you do?".
I said nothing; I felt the justice of my mother's
reproof; but when she was gone, I did what I sup-
pose most little girls of twelve years old would have
done, on a similar occasion, I sat down and cried
Poor mamma!" repeated all the three children.
"Well, and then?" clustering round her as they spoke.
"And then," said their mother, smiling, "when
I had cried till I could cry no longer, it occurred to
me that crying would not help me, but that I might
save myself from future disgrace, and my mother
from the pain of punishing me, by keeping a strict
watch over myself, and either be silent or walk
away, whenever I felt inclined to dispute about
trifles, or give short answers, as you call them."
"Now, mamma, tell us, if you will be so good,
the first, the very first trial you made, and whether
you won the victory," said Harriet, who had listened
with the greatest interest to her mother's story.
My first trial was made, if I remember rightly,
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
about half an hour after my father and mother had
left the house. I had one of my frocks to mend,
and while I was gone up-stairs to look for it, my
little brother William opened my work-box, and
took out a ball of cotton for the kitten to play with.
When I came down-stairs again, they were in the
midst of their diversion; the kitten had unwound
the whole ball of cotton, which was twisted round
every chair and table in the room, and William had
taken every pin out of my pincushion, and stuck
them in the sofa pillows."
"The tiresome little creatures!" exclaimed Har-
riet, with sparkling eyes, and mounting colour; I
would have -" She recollected herself, and stopped
short; her mother smiled, and Edward and her
sisters laughed outright.
You would have been exceedingly angry, I dare
say, as I was. I felt very much inclined to scold my
brother, and given the kitten a slap, but I am happy
to say I did not. I won the victory, Harriet, and
contented myself with putting the kitten out of the
room. As to William, he was too young to under-
stand why he should not divert himself with my
work-box as readily as with his own ball; so I care-
fully took all the pins out of the sofa pillows, and
stuck them in the pincushion once more, and ever
after I remembered to turn the key of my box when
I was leaving William alone in the room."
", That was better than getting into a passion, cer-
tainly; but the worst of it is, I never think so till it
is too late, and I cannot unsay what I have said,
however sorry I may be."
No; but you can avoid committing a similar
fault another time."
Yes," said Harriet, hesitatingly; "but,"-and at
this word but" she made a long pause.
"But what, my dear?" said her mother, after
waiting some time for the rest of Harriet's speech.
I was going to say something, mamma, but I am
afraid you will think it very foolish."
"Let me hear it, however."
"I was going to say-to ask-if-if-temper was
of such very great consequence-I mean when I-
when people have good hearts, mamma?"
I will not find fault with your expression, my
dear," said her mother, smiling; "because, as your
meaning is not, I believe, very clear, even to your-
self, it is no wonder that your language should
be confused. Before I answer your question, I
should like to know what you mean by a good
Oh, mamma, I am sure you know very well
what I mean. Have you not often hea_ people say
of other people that their hearts were good, though
they were not very good-tempered."
"1' Yes; I have heard many say so; but they spoke
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
without thinking, or they would not have made such
an assertion. If by a good heart you mean, love and
kindness to others, the wish to be of service to them,
and to render them happy, harsh words and cross
looks are odd means for such a purpose."
Harriet was silent for a few minutes, reflecting on
what her mother said.
"But, mamma," said she at length, "I think-
don't you think, that people who are not good-tem-
pered may yet be willing to be of great service to
"By great service, I suppose you mean, they
would help their friends out of great dangers or
great difficulties. Remember, my dear child, you
may not be called upon above once in your life for
such exertions; perhaps, they may never be required
of you; but you are called upon every day, almost
every hour, for some small service or trifling kind-
ness. And if you are not obliging in little things
when it is in your power, how am I to believe you
would be in greater."
I would not believe any such thing," said Edward,
"nor would any one else, I should think. Suppose
papa had said to that poor fellow who tumbled into
the muddy pool, in Dagley Lane, the other day,-
SMy good friend, it is not worth my while to help
you out of that ditch; but if you were soused over
head and ears in the river, I would fish you up with
great pleasure.' What do you think the man would
"I should have said, I had rather you would
pull me out of the ditch now, and I will take care
not to fall into the river,' said Harriet.
That would be the answer of most people, I
believe," said her mother. And now, my dear
children, I wish, if you have done your breakfasts,
that you would find something else to do; we have
talked long enough )n this subject."
Her mother's observations made a great impres-
sion upon Harriet; for, although hasty and petulant,
she was not self-willed. But she gave a desponding
sigh, when she reflected how often she had resolved
to cure herself of impatience, and how ill she had
kept her resolution. Only last year," thought she,
" when I scolded Anne so terribly, for leaving my
bird's cage open, and made her cry so loud, and
wake poor Edward, who was so ill at the time, I did
say then I would never be in a passion again; and
yet, though I am a year older, I am no better;
indeed, I think I am worse. However, I will try.
I recollect, when I first tried to sketch that great
ash-tree at the end of the garden, I threw down my
pencil, and said I should never do it; but mamma
said I could, if I persevered; and so I did-very
well, too, mamma said."
Full of these good designs, Harriet went to water
TRAITS OF CHARA CTER
her flowers. Alas I some one had been there before
her, and Harriet's temper was put to the proof rather
sooner than she expected. The first object that met
her eyes was her sister Jane, a little girl three years
old, mounted on a.chair, busily employed in putting
a huge flaring dandelion into a pot. "See, how
pretty!" said Jane, holding up the pot in exultation,
as Harriet advanced.
Very pretty, indeed," said Harriet; "but where
did you get the pot, my dear ?"
There, I took out that ugly little bit of stick,"
said Jane, pointing to something which lay at her
Harriet stooped to pick it up, and what was her
consternation when she discovered that the "ugly
bit of stick" that Jane's busy fingers had grubbed
up, was a cutting from a very choice foreign plant,
which had been given to her lately by a friend of
her mother's; her precious Linnea Borealis, that
she had received so joyfully, was watching with so
much anxiety, and which was just beginning to
You little naughty creature! have I not told
you a hundred times-" The sentence was begun,
but not finished. "I will not, I am determined I
will not fail the very first time," said Harriet; and,
unable to trust her fortitude with the sight of the
dandelion, which poor little Jane, her face dimpled
all over with smiles, still held up to be admired, she
ran fairly out of the room.
"Bravo !" said her brother Edward, who had seen
what passed through a glass door; but you should
not have run away, Harriet, my dear; it is so in-
glorious to retreat."
"Not when the danger is beyond our strength,"
said his mother. Harriet has done wisely to retreat
this time; the next, there will be no occasion for it."
It is but a shabby sort of victory that is gained
by running away, however," said Edward; "there
is no glory in it." Now, as it happened that it had
cost Harriet a good deal of effort even to run away,
Edward's remark appeared to her highly unjust, and
she told him so, in a much louder tone than there
was any occasion for. Edward was a very good-
natured boy, and extremely fond of his sister; but
he could not always resist the temptation of teasing
her. He proposed that, like victors of old, Harriet
should be decorated with a crown, but of what the
crown should be composed he could not exactly
determine. Laurel, parsley, oak leaves? No; none
of them would do; they were too common; and
there was something so uncommon, so exalted, in
not getting into a passion with a baby, about a weed
with a hard name, that it deserved as uncommon a
reward. A bright thought, a bright thought!"
cried Edward, jumping up, and capering about the
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
room; a wreath of dandelions it shall be, which
will be uncommon, and appropriate; besides, it will
be a peaceful emblem too, as it should be, for it
puts one in mind of nothing but an old cow chewing
the cud in a meadow. A capital thought I'll go
and gather some directly, and little Jenny shall help
me. No; it is not a capital thought; it is a very
stupid one," said Edward, suddenly recollecting him-
self, at the sight of Harriet's look of mortification.
"Mother, don't you think me very silly? Harriet,
I am sure you must think me very ill-natured: are
you angry with me?"
Yes, a little," said Harriet, ingenuously; "but I
will get over it, and without running away this
Her mother smiled, and held out her hand. "I
told you, you would not find it necessary the second
Days and weeks, many weeks passed away, in
which Harriet maintained sundry battles with her
prompt tongue and irritable temper; and if she was
not always quite victorious, she had at least the
satisfaction of finding her task less and less difficult
with every succeeding trial.
One day, Harriet found her brother engaged in
reading the life of Dr. Franklin, and when he came
to that part where Franklin speaks of the method
he took to correct himself of some of his faults
Edward showed the passage to Harriet, and asked
her how she would like to keep such a list, and
whether she should have the courage to make a
blot against the word "mildness," every time she
failed in that particular.
Harriet said she thought she should have the
courage, but that she did not see the use of it.
" You know, Edward," said she, that I have kept
my resolution pretty well hitherto. You say yourself,
that I am not half so apt to give cross looks and
sharp answers as I was a month ago, and it would
be very disagreeable to see everything one did
wrongly written down."
"So it would," said Edward; "but I think we
should take more care for that very reason. I know
that I, for one, should hate to have a long row of
blots staring me in the face every time I opened my
desk. I'll tell you what we will do; I want to
cure myself of my slovenly habits. I have lost two
rulers, and three black-lead pencils, within the last
fortnight, because I never think of putting anything
away after I have used it; and if mamma had not
luckily come into my room yesterday morning, after
I was gone to school, papa's pocket compass that he
had lent me would have been spoiled. I left it in
little Will's reach, and he was just going to ham-
mer away at the glass to get out that funny shaking
thing. I will make two lists, one for myself, and
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
one for you; I will keep yours, and you shall keep
Edward took two sheets of large paper, and ruled
seven perpendicular lines, which he crossed by hori-
zontal lines; and at the head of each column, he
wrote the name of a day in the week. On the left
of the first line he wrote ORDER in small capitals in
his own list, and MILDNESS in his sister's.
Every time Edward left his books or pencils, &c.
lying about, after he had done with them, Harriet
was to make a dot in ink; and when Harriet allowed
herself to be made angry, by any of those trifling
differences of inclination or opinion which must al-
ways occur, when two or three people are constantly
together, Edward was to place a dot on her paper.
When the lists were made out, Harriet carried
them into the room where their father and mother
were sitting, and explained the plan to them. They
both smiled, and their father said that he thought
it would be a very good plan until Edward and
Harriet had acquired the habit of order and gentle-
ness of speech, but, then, it would be better to lay
the lists aside, lest they should accustom themselves
to censure, and find fault with each other; and also
because, as they grew older, they must learn to
exercise self-control without any such mechanical
If at the end of a month, you can show me a
clean page for a week, Edward," continued his
father, "I will give you that book, The Wonders
of Ellora,' that I refused to lend you last week, be-
cause you were so careless."
Before the first six days of the month were gone,
Edward and Harriet were almost tempted to give
up their work in despair; the blots were so nume-
rous: in the second week there were two days
without a blt, in Harriet's journal, and three in
Edward's. On the third they got on to Wednesday;
late on Wednesday morning, something like a dis-
pute arose about the globe, which Edward had neg-
lected to return to his father's study, after using it.
Edward said, this ought not to be reckoned a piece
of carelessness, because, as he was going to use the
globe again after dinner, it was not worth while to
put it away: but Harriet replied, it was just as easy
to fetch it out of the study, as to leave it on their
mother's work-table, where the little ones could get
at it; "I believe," added she, "that one of them has
meddled with it already, for here is a great scratch
through the island of Juan Fernandez, that was not
here before, I am almost sure."
"You had better be quite sure, before you find
fault," said-Edward; "now I think that scratch was
"Always there! how can you talk so foolishly:-
but I am talking foolishly myself," said Harriet, sud
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
denly recollecting herself,-" and there is a blot for
me-what a pity I I did think I should have had a
clean page to-day."
And a blot for me," said Edward; "it was only
an excuse to say I should want the globe again after
dinner: I meant to have put it away, but the truth
is, I forgot it."
The last week was a triumphant one for both; all
were unanimous in declaring that not an angry word
had been heard from Harriet, though William and
Jane twice upset her water-glass, when she was
drawing; and repeatedly turned out the contents of
her work-box, in search of some trifling article to
amuse themselves with; nor was the whole house
disturbed, when Edward was going to school, because
his books, or rulers, or maps, or gloves were not to be
found in the proper place.
A clean page, I see by your face," said his father,
when Edward entered his room on the last morning of
the month. "I expected it, for I have been watching
you, and there is the book I promised to give you."
Edward thanked his father, took up the book,
admired the plates; thanked him again, but still he
lingered, and looked as if he wished to say something.
Well, what is it, my boy? what are you going to
say?" asked his father, who had been observing his
"I was going to say, that if you would not be dis-
pleased, I should like to give this book to Harriet.
If I have learned to be more orderly, the merit is
half hers, I'm sure; I should often have forgotten
if she had not reminded me; and besides, father, it
is much harder work to keep watch every day and
every hour over an irritable temper than to get rid
of a slovenly habit."
"I think so, too, Edward," said his father; sup.
pose you go and talk to your mother about it, you
will find her up-stairs."
Up-stairs Edward went, and there he found his
mother arranging some beautiful plants, in a very
pretty ornamental flower-stand.
Oh, that is for Harriet, I know thank you,
mamma," said Edward. "I will go and call her
directly, shall I?" And without waiting for an
answer he ran down-stairs again, taking six stairs
at a jump.
We need not describe Harriet's pleasure on the
receipt of her mother's gift; for which bf our young
readers has not felt the pleasure that a well-merited
reward can bestow ? and who does not feel that the
greatest pleasure of all is the approbation of those who
grieve to punish and are glad to praise i
FRANCES MEADOWS; OR,
"CAN any of you really think it possible that Emma
Munro will gain the prize ?" inquired Marian Grant
of some of her companions, with whom she was
walking in the garden a week after they had returned
I not only think it possible, but very probable,"
replied Frances Meadows. If my friend Emma
had not so kind and complying a disposition, she
would have gained a prize before now."
"But she has no energy, no determination to
excel," continued Marian; "she never attempted to
win double marks in the journal by extra exertion,
or the upper places in the classes."
"No, she has not hitherto attempted," said
Frances; but she has always given Mrs. Hewson
satisfaction, and now that she knows her father
wishes her to gain a prize, and that the thought
of his return from India animates her exertions, I
have no doubt she will earnestly strive to gain one.
I remember, before the holidays, she used to be up
by four o'clock in the morning, in order to finish
that large drawing to please her father."
I wonder at'that," observed Marian; "because
she was frequently not down-stairs until after the
bell had done ringing, and therefore lost her mark
"Yes," said a little girl who was present, because
Emma often stayed to tie a frock, or to fold up
a night-gown of some lazy girl."
"Well," said Marian, "I may be wrong, but 1
shall indeed be surprised if Emhma wins the prize.
You know, Frances, it is not sufficient to accomplish
all that we have to do tolerably correctly, as I grant
Emma has done; so many of us do that, that there is
no chance of the prize without continued exertion.
Oh, Emma has neither the talent nor the persever-
ance; she is a poor dawdle "
Upon hearing this opinion of her friend, Frances
turned indignantly away, while many a little voice
exclaimed: "If you were a little girl, Marian, you
would love Emma as we do." "Mrs. Hewson does
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
not think Emma a dawdle." "I do not like you for
speaking so of Emma!"
In the midst of this dispute Mrs. Hewson joined
her pupils. They instantly repeated to her the
conversation, and pressed her to give them her own
opinion of Emma, adding, "Make haste, ma'am, be-
cause Emma is coming up this walk, and we should
not like her to hear what Marian said of her."
"And why not?" inquired Mrs. Hewson. "If
there be any truth in Marian's observations, it may
be of service to Emma to hear them. I suppose
those of her companions who imagine her to have
such grievous faults, would be glad to help her
to cure them." And Mrs. Hewson beckoned to
Emma, and told her in a kind tone what the girls
had been talking about.
"Now, my dear," said she, "there is some little
truth in Marian's remarks, though far more in those
of your warm-hearted friend. I have sometimes seen
you (tempted by your good-nature) assist the idle
and careless, at the great risk of neglecting your own
duties. There is no doubt, that if you had tried for
the prize in the past half-year, your present acquire-
ments would have been far greater."
After this conversation, Marian observed with
surprise, and Frances with delight, the continual
exertions that Emma made to gain the highest marks
for every species of study and acquirement. Marian
and two other girls were her competitors, and they
strove with such success, that it was difficult to
decide which of the four was likely to win the
The journal was kept in the following manner:
the pages had different titles, such as "attention
to lessons," "neatness and order," "punctuality,"
" amiable deportment," music," French," arith-
metic," &c. On one side of the page weite arranged
in a column, the names of the girls, with lines drawn
from each across the page, and on these lines were
made certain marks according to the merit of each
girl. Thus, if a French exercise were fairly done,
one mark was awarded, two if very well, and three
if the exercise were written without a single fault.
The highest number of marks at the end of the half-
year, of course decided the prize, which was given
for general application and good conduct.
There were several small prizes given by the
masters for success in particular studies, but among
the elder girls that which was to be earned by
general success in all, was alone considered the prize
Emma found that notwithstanding her earnest
exertions to secure the prize, she had quite time
enough to perform many a good-natured office for
her companions. It was true she would no longer
listen to the petitions of the idle and undeserving,
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
but she still dressed many a doll for a little friend,
or mended the torn frock of some unlucky child.
The industrious find more spare time from their
necessary occupations than can be readily imagined
by those who idle their time away.
Emma Munro, in striving for the prize, became,
if possible, a still greater favourite with her com-
panions on account of her constant good-feeling
towards her rivals. Much as she wished for the
prize, she never felt jealous at their success. It
happened one day that Caroline Roberts, one of the
four girls who were foremost in the journal, was
suddenly called home for a day by the illness of a
relation, and Emma proposed that during her absence
no marks should be counted, that Caroline might
not, by a misfortune, lose her position with regard
to herself, Marian, and the other girl. Her com-
panions consented, Marian observing:
"I am sure, Emma, if the prize were for the just
and the generous, you would be quite certain to win
it; and now I know you better, I find I am quite
wrong about your not being as capable as any of us
to gain any prize you choose. If I do not win the
first prize myself, I hope you may."
"Thank you, Marian," said Emma, smiling with
honest delight at the kind expression of a wish that
was precisely the same as her other rivals had made
Towards the close of the half-year, the anxiety of
the girls upon the all-important subject of the prize
As Miss Watson, the teacher, evening after even-
ing added to the long rows of marks, and laughingly
shrugged her shoulders at the approaching labour of
counting them, many an eager eye attempted to
judge, by the length of the rows, of the comparative
amounts. Among those who usually tried to secure
the next place to Miss Watson, that they might have
a better chance of deciding, no one was more eager
than Frances Meadows. She was far more anxious
for Emma than Emma was for herself; for Emma
was so convinced that she had exerted her powers as
her father and Mrs. Hewson had wished her to do,
that a modest self-approbation kept her calm even
under the idea that a disappointment might await
The school was to break up on a Thursday, and
the journal was to be closed on the Monday pre-
ceding. It happened that evening, while Miss
Watson was adding the last marks to the journal,
that Emma was engaged in putting her little sister
Dora to bed, and Frances, as was frequently the
case, answered for her. When Marian's name was
called, and the number of marks demanded for her
last French exercise, to Mrs. Hewson's surprise,
Marian answered, "None!"
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
"But, ma'am," said Frances, "Emma told me to
say that Marian deserved three. She completely
misunderstood the rule which M. Hubert had given
us, and after he had left us, and sht had found out
her mistake, she wrote her exercise without a single
"When Mrs. Hewson heard this, she examined
Marian's exercise, and gave her the three marks
which she justly deserved.
After the names had all been gone over, and every
mark awarded, the journal was by some chance left
on the side table, instead of being immediately locked
up in a drawer. During this time, many of the girls
turned over the leaves and examined it. Frances
was the last that evening who tried to guess the posi-
tion of the different parties, and she sat earnestly
looking over the pages, till she found her companions
had retired to rest.
"To-morrow morning, Frances, your anxiety for
your friend will cease," said Mrs. Hewson, as she
bade her good-night: Miss Watson and myself,
with two of your companions, will count the journal
directly after breakfast."
The following morning, Frances was so busy in
attempting to pack up several things before break-
fast, that she was unusually late in her bed-room.
As she was fastening a cord round her desk, which
she had just packed in brown paper, she heard a
slight murmur at the bed-room door, and looking up
she saw Miss Watson, followed by several of the
girls, whispering and peeping over her shoulder.
"No wonder that you are late this morning,
Frances," exclaimed Miss Watson in an indignant
tone, advancing with the open journal extended in
her hand--"No wonder that you shrink from
appearing among your companions! I could not
have believed it possible that you could have acted
so dishonourably I Oh, Frances, how we have been
mistaken in you !
"What can you mean? what have I done?" said
Frances, in breathless amazement.
I cannot doubt that you are well aware of what
I mean, Frances," replied Miss Watson. Who
could have added all these marks to Emma's name
but yourself? No one can suspect Emma, for she has
ever shown the most exact justice to her rivals."
And what have I done," said Frances, that I
should be suspected of so mean an act?"
"Your well-known desire that Emma should
gain the prize, affords a motive that no one else
could have had," replied Miss Watson. You were
observed looking at the journal the last thing yester-
day night at a side table. An inkstand and pen
were there also at the time. This morning the pen
is gone. I will trouble you for the key of that desk
which you are in so great a hurry to pack."
TRAITS OF CHARACTER.
Certainly; I cannot fear to be found out in that
which I have never done, and which I feel I could
not do," replied Frances.
Miss Watson quickly removed the string and
brown paper, and unlocked the desk. She looked
into the division for the pens, and took out one
that apparently had been lately used. She held it
up reproachfully to Frances, without uttering a
word; and Frances saw directly, that not only Miss
Watson, but her companions, were confirmed in
"I used that pen this morning," said she, in a voice
which she with difficulty commanded, "to direct
various little presents for those of my school fellows
whom I should not see again. But why should I
speak? if you can all suspect me, my word is worth
There was a pause for a few moments. Miss
Watson and the girls were touched at the appearance
of truth in Frances, and her evident distress.
"Let me go to Mrs. Hewson," continued Frances.
"From her, at least, I shall have justice."
"Mrs. Hewson has gone out for half an hour,"
replied Miss Watson: "until she returns, nothing
can be done. I sincerely hope, Frances, that you
may be able to prove that you are quite unconcerned
in so disgraceful a transaction, and that by our find-
ing out the guilty person, we may not be unjust to
you or to any one;" and so saying, Miss Watson left
the room. Not one girl remained behind, to say a
comforting word to Frances.
Frances stopped for a moment to check the scald-
ing tears, and to fortify herself with the belief, that
neither Mrs. Hewson nor her friend Emma would
suspect her, and then joined her companions in the
breakfast-room. The low whisperings, the cautious
glances, the sudden silence at her approach, hurt
her exceedingly; but she conquered her emotion,
and took her seat at the table.
Emma Munro had only that moment been informed
of her friend's painful situation. She instantly
declared, she was quite certain that Frances had
nothing to do with so dishonest an action, and
would have entered warmly into her defence, had not
Miss Watson forbidden any further talk on the sub-
ject till Mrs. Hewson's return. Upon entering the
parlour and seeing Frances's agitated countenance,
Emma was fearful of drawing attention to her, but she
found an opportunity of slipping a paper into her lap
with these few words on it, "Do not be unhappy,
dear friend; no one who loves and knows you, can
suspect you; and never certainly your friend Emma."
When Mrs. Hewson returned home, she was much
shocked and hurt at such a want of integrity in some
one of her pupils. Upon asking Miss Watson what
steps had been taken to discover the dishonest person,