Citation
Mary Elliot

Material Information

Title:
Mary Elliot
Creator:
Bell, Catherine D. (Catherine Douglas) d. 1861 ( Author, Primary )
William P. Kennedy ( Publisher )
D. Bryce ( Publisher )
Hamilton, Adams, and Co. ( Publisher )
James McGlashan ( Publisher )
T. Constable, printer to her Majesty ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Edinburgh
Glasgow
London
Dublin
Publisher:
William P. Kennedy
D. Bryce
Hamilton, Adams, and Co.
James McGlashan
Manufacturer:
T. Constable, printer to her Majesty
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Baldwin -- 1850
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction
Family stories -- 1850
Girls -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile fiction

Notes

General Note:
"Be ye kind one to another."

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
AAA1803 ( ltqf )
ALG2314 ( ltuf )
45399386 ( oclc )
026589174 ( alephbibnum )

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Full Text
Sate mn apa dey as









MARY ELLIOT.

“ BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER.”

BY COUSIN KATE,
AUTHOR OF “SET ABOUT IT AT ONCE,” “(AN AUTUMN AT KARNFORD,”

t

.

“* @EORGIE AND Lizzip,” &c. .



EDINBURGH: WILLIAM P. KENNEDY.
GLASGOW : D. BRYCE, LONDON: HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
, DUBLIN: JAMES M‘GLASHAN.
MDCOCL.











CONTENTS.

Cuaprer I.—Inrrovvuction, .
II.—Tue VERBENA, .
I1.—Tne Watx,
IV.—Evetyyn Harcourt, .
V.—CAROLINE, .
VI.—Lzssons,

Vil.—Tux Hor-Beo, .
VIIL.—Susan AnD Evetyy, -
IX.—Tue Taunver-Srorm,

PaoR

27
42

181
184
214







MARY ELLIOT.

CHAPTER I.—INTRODUCTION.

My DEAR YOUNG READERS, I remember when I was
a little girl I used to dislike introductions very much.
I always thought that a book should begin with the
story at once. I shall therefore make my introduc-
tion as short as possible; but I think that I cannot
leave it out altogether, because I am sure that you
will understand my story better if I first give you an
account of Mary Elliot’s family, and of her friends
the Hamiltons.

Mary’s father was a banker in a large country
town. He had a good fortune, independent of his
profession. He lived a little way out of the town,
and his house, Hazel Bank, was a very handsome
one—with a fine garden, extensive shrubberies, and a
pretty park round it. Mary was the youngest child.

A



2 INTRODUCTION,

Her mother died when she was only about six years
old, and since then she had done in all things pretty
much as she pleased. Her papa and her grown-up
brothers, William and Frederick, treated her more as
a pet and plaything, than as a little girl who required
to be taught what was right, and to be kept from
doing what was wrong. Her sisters, Gertrude and
Madeline, had, since their mother’s death, lived almost
constantly with their aunt in Edinburgh; and her
companion and play-fellow, Grahame, had been al-
ways taught to give up to his “poor little sister
Mary.” ,

At the time when my story begins, however, a great
change is going to take place in the arrangements at
Hazel Bank. William has married, and his wife is
coming home to take charge of the house until Ger-
trude is old enough to do so. Gertrude and Madeline
are also coming home to finish their education, under
their new sister Caroline’s superintendence, with the
help of masters from the neighbouring town.

The aunt with whom the girls had lived in Edin-
burgh is now at Hazel Bank, as she had come a
month or two before this to nurse her brother and
William in a dangerous fever; and when Mr. Elliot
and his two elder sons went to William’s marriage,
she had remained to take care of Mary and Grahame,
who were considered too young to join the party.

Frederick has returned home, Mr, Elliot and the -



INTRODUCTION, 3

two girls are expected in a few days, and the young
husband and wife in about a week.

Mary’s friends, Susan and Bessie Hamilton, are in
some respects very differently circumstanced from her.
They have the advantage of a tender, careful mother
to watch over and teach them. Their father is much
poorer than-Mr. Elliot; they have few servants, and
the girls are not allowed to run idle all day like Mary,
but have been early taught to make themselves of use
—to assist their mamma in the house and with their
needle, and to help their papa and brothers to keep
the pretty garden in order.

Captain Hamilton had been in the army, but when
his regiment went to the West Indies, the climate
affected his health so much that, as he could not effect
an exchange, he had been forced to sell out and re-
turn home. He had a small fortune, besides the
money he got by the sale of his commission ; and he
had inherited from his father the old picturesque look-
ing house in which they lived. There had once been
a considerable estate attached to it, but Captain
Hamilton’s grandfather had got into difficulties, and
the property had all been sold, except the large old-
fashioned garden, and a very pretty orchard which
sloped down from the front of the house towards the
sea-shore. The house was beautifully situated, in a
sheltered nook at the head of a large deep bay, and
the view from the windows was very fine.



4 é INTRODUCTION.

Susan Hamilton was fourteen, Ned was thirteen,
and Bessie and Mary Elliot were nearly twelve.
Maurice Hamilton was seven, little Annie five.
Grahame Elliot was between thirteen and fourteen,
and Gertrude and Madeline, who were twins, were
nearly sixteen.

So now, I think, I have told you all that it is neces-
sary you should know about the families, and I shall
allow them henceforward to speak for themselves,
only premising that it is now about the beginning of
summer, and that the day on which you are intro-
duced to Mary is the first very hot one of the season.
I tell you this, because it partly accounts for the cross-
ness poor Mary displays in my next Chapter.



THE VERBENA. 5

CHAPTER II.
THE VERBENA.

Ear y in the forenoon of this same hot summer-day,
Frederick Elliot was sitting on the grass, under the
trees on the lawn, amusing himself by cutting a boat,
which he had promised to make for Grahame, out of
a piece of foreign wood which had been given to him,
when he saw Mary come hastily out of the house, and
run across the grass near him, without seeming to
notice him. He called to her—

“Where are you running to, Mary? Come here
and tell me if you think this boat will please
Grahame.”

Mary turned and came up to him. Her cheeks
were flushed, and her eyes seemed full of tears. “Oh,
it is very nice, Frederick. How kind you are to do
it so soon. Grahame will be so pleased.”

“ But you are not pleased, my little Mary,” said
her brother, looking earnestly at her. “ What has
vexed you? Do not turn away your head, but tell me



6 MARY ELLIOT.

at once what is wrong. Come, Minnie,” he continued
coaxingly, “do tell me the whole story. Have you
quarrelled with Aunt? or has any accident happened
to any of your treasures ?”

“ Both, Frederick,” answered Mary, half smiling, in
spite of her vexation, at his correct guess.

“ Well, sit down here, and tell me all about it, and
I will go on working at Grahame’s boat.”

“ But first, Frederick, do you know the history of
my sweet-smelling verbena?”

“No, Minnie, I do not think I do.”

“ Not know about my verbena?” exclaimed Mary,
in a tone of surprise, starting up from her seat. “No,
I daresay it was while you were at college. Well, I
must tell you the whole story, that you may know
how much I prized it.”

“Do sd, Minnie; but only try to sit still, please.
That sudden start nearly spoiled my boat.”

“ You must know, then, Frederick, that Bessie and
I had long wished to have a sweet-smelling verbena.
Lady Home has a beautiful one in her greenhouse,
and we used so often to wish that we could get some
cuttings from it. Well, one day last autumn, Mrs.
Hamilton went to call for Lady Home, and she took
Bessie and me with her. Lady Home asked us to
look at the flowers in her greenhouse, and said she
would give Mrs. Hamilton a bouquet. So she began
to cut such beautiful flowers, Frederick ! geraniums,



THE' VERBENA. 7

heliotrope, calceolarias, oleanders, and I do not re-
member what. At last she came near the verbena.
My heart beat so fast—Bessie squeezed my hand—
neither of us seemed to breathe, we were so anxious.
‘This will make a pretty green,’ said Lady Home, and
snip, snip, went the scissors; two fine branches were
off—the cuttings were ours at last.”

“ Were Mrs. Hamilton’s, you mean,” said Frederick,
smiling at her vehemence.

“Oh, but we were sure that Mrs. Hamilton would
give them to us. And so she did. She sat down so
good-humouredly on a bank at the road-side, untied
her bouquet and gave us the verbena, in order that
we might bring it straight here, and get Walter to set
the cuttings for us in the hot-bed. It was one of
Walter's cross days, however. He declared that he
could not get a single slip off either of the branches
that could have the least chance of striking; and he
was going to throw them away in disdain, when Bessie
stopped him, saying, that if he would not try, we
would do it ourselves.

“So we made up a little heap of manure for a hot-
bed, and sunk our pot in it. Then we coaxed Walter,
in spite of his crossness, to give us a little of his fine
sand to mix with the earth, so as to make a nice soil
for them. With all our hopefulness, we could not get
more than two slips, that seemed to have any chance
of striking, and they were very small.”



8 MARY ELLIOT.

‘Perhaps then, Minnie, it was only a want of
hopefulness, as you call it, and not crossness, that made
Walter refuse to help you.”

‘“ Perhaps so ; but you know he is sometimes terri-
bly cross. However, we set the cuttings very care-
fully. - Bessie called hers ‘Susan,’ and I called mine
‘Papa.’ And that makes me so vexed about my poor
verbena, because I never had a plant called after papa
before. I have a geranium ‘ William,’ a cherry-tree
‘Frederick,’ a dwarf china rose-bush ‘ Grahame,’
a fuchsia ‘Susan,’ and a currant-bush ‘ Bessie ;’ but
Grahame had always persuaded me before this, that
‘Papa’ was an awkward name for a plant. However,
I do not think so. Do you, Frederick ?”

“Tam not quite sure about it,” said he, laughing.
“But I do not think my opinion is of much import-
ance now, as I suppose the end of your story will be
that poor ‘ papa’ is demolished.”

“Yes, it is,” said Mary, with a deep sigh. “But I
must tell you about all our watching and anxiety, that
you may understand my grief at the loss of my beau-
tiful plant.

“We didnot know what to get for a glass to put
over them, till Bessie cleverly thought of Dickie’s
bath, and it answered so nicely. It is not very deep,
but the slips were so small that it was quite high
enough.”

“But, my dear Minnie, I cannot understand what



THE VERBENA. 9

Dickie’s bath is, that it should serve for a cover to
strike cuttings under.”

“ Oh, you do not know about my canary’s bath!
It was a broken tumbler which Grahame and Ned Ha-
milton took to the glass-cutter’s, and got him to grind
the edges smooth, and it makes such a neat dish for
Dickie to bathe in.

* But to go on with my story. For a long time we
feared that our cuttings were not to succeed. The
leaves turned first dark-green, then darker, darker,
black, then fell off, and nothing was left but two little
bare withered sticks. Oh! my patience was quite
withered too, and I gave them up; but. Bessie kept
hoping on, and always said that they might do yet.
Well, one day when we were peeping at them, Grahame
said he thought there was a wee, wee bud on one of the
slips; we could scarcely see it, it was so small; but
the next day it was larger, and so pretty, so very pretty,
like a little bright green gem ; and we were so happy.
In a day or two, more buds began to show themselves
both on that slip and on the other, and in a week there
were a great many beautiful bright green leaves on
both.

“ Now we thought we might take them out of their
cutting-pot, and put them in separate pots, so that
Bessie might take hers home. But this was nervous
work, I can assure you, Frederick, for sometimes cut-
tings put out fresh leaves when they have no roots, and



10 MARY ELLIOT.

we were afraid that might be the case with ours.
Bessie took out hers first. She struck her garden-knife
boldly into the earth beside it, and then began slowly
to raise it, bringing up the cutting and the earth round
it. We watched in great anxiety to see if the little
plant shook much, as that is a sign that it has no roots,
or very feeble ones. But it stood firm. Bessie pressed
up and up her knife, and there it was with such a mass
of long healthy fibres coming through the earth in every
direction. Mine was as well rooted as hers, and we
were both very glad. Now, Frederick, do you not
think I had great reason to be fond of my verbena,
when it had cost me so much anxiety ?

“‘ Then, besides all that, it seemed to die quite
down in winter, and for some months I had no hopes
of it, so that when the pretty little gem-looking buds
began to appear about three weeks ago, I was so de-
lighted, and fonder of my plant than ever. It was at
that time, you know, we first heard about cousin Eve-
lyn’s coming to live near here, and I was very busy
with plans of many things which I thought she might
like. So I determined to give her my dear verbena.
I thought she would admire it so much, and I thought
—I thought.” Here Mary hesitated and blushed a
little. ‘I thought that she would think me very kind
to give it to her when I had only one. So I took great
care of it, watered it every day, and removed it into
the little ante-room, because I thought it would get



THE VERBENA. 11

more sun there than in the room where my other
plants were. And that, Frederick, was the cause of
its death ; for I was so busy with other plans for Eve-
lyn, and for Gertrude, Madeline, and Caroline’s coming
home, and so much occupied about William’s marriage,
that I quite forgot my flowers. Grahame watered the
others, but when he did not see it he forgot my ver-
bena. I remembered it suddenly this morning, and
ran in great anxiety to look atit. All its poor leaves
were black and withered ; it looked quite dead.

“IT was so sorry, so very sorry, I could not help ery-
ing. I took it up in my arms and carried it into the
drawing-room to show it to you, and to tell you all about
the care and anxiety that it had cost me. There was
no one in the drawing-room but Aunt, and oh, Frede-

. Tick! she put me into such a rage. When I told her
all my grief, and when she might have seen how sorry
I was, she only said in her tiresome matter-of-fact way,
‘But, my dear, why did you not water it?’ as if
there could be any other reason than that I forgot it.
I was so angry that I dashed down the pot on the
ground ; told Aunt she was the most provoking crea-
ture I ever saw, and ran out of the room.”

“ O Mary!”

“ I know I was wrong, Frederick. But really Aunt
is so provoking that I cannot keep my temper with
her; Iam sure I wish she had stayed in Edinburgh,
and not come here to torment us.”

i , si, Ba ~ eae



12 MARY ELLIOT.

Frederick did not answer. He looked grave and
thoughtful. After a few minutes’ silence, Mary said,
looking earnestly up in his face, “ What are you think-
ing of, Frederick? Do you think me very naughty ?”

‘ T was thinking, Minnie, of an evening two months
ago, when you, Grahame, and I, were in great grief
about dear papa and William. I was recollecting our
feelings when a post-chaise drove up to the door, and
we saw Aunt come out of it, and heard that she had
forgotten all her nervous fears in travelling, all her
dread of infection, all her dislike to leave her own
house, and in spite of her delicate health had started
as soon as she heard of papa’s illness, and had travelled
night and day to come and help us.”

“ O Frederick!” exclaimed Mary, the tears start-
ing to her eyes, ‘ I had forgotten all that.”

“You had forgotten, too, dear Minnie, how tenderly
Aunt watched over papa and William, how kind and
thoughtful she was to us, how earnest to relieve our
anxiety. O Minnie, you did not think her tiresome
that other evening when she came into the drawing-
room to tell us that papa was out of danger; when she
looked so pale and worn out with watching, and yet so
glad and thankful for the good news she came to tell.
You did not then wish that she had never come, when
you ran into her arms and cried for joy, and when
she soothed you so gently and spoke to you so ten-
derly.”



THE VERBENA. 13

“ Stop, stop, Frederick, I cannot bear any more. I
am very very sorry—very much ashamed. I will run
at once to Aunt and tell her,” cried Mary, starting up
and running to the house.

Poor Mary! Her heart was full of sorrow for her
ingratitude towards her kind Aunt ; she did not pause
to consider that, nervous as her Aunt was, she might
startle and annoy her, if she went in too abruptly. She
ran into the drawing-room with her usual impetuosity,
pushing down a little table with a work-box on it in
her haste; and throwing her arms round Miss Elliot’s
neck with an earnestness that nearly strangled her, she
cried, “ O Aunt, forgive me; I am very sorry I was
so naughty.”

Now it must be confessed, that many people might
have agreed with Mary in thinking her Aunt a little
tiresome. She was very kind and gentle, but she had
a formal manner: she was very nervous, and was
easily disturbed with noise. Slow and methodical her-
self, she could not understand Mary’s sudden bursts of
feeling and changes of temper. She had been vexed
for a few minutes by her late storm of passion ; but
having got the litter of the broken pot removed, having
exerted herself to save Mary's supposed dead verbena,
and to send it to the gardener to be taken care of, she
had almost forgotten the whole affair, and was sitting
quietly knitting when Mary ran in in the noisy manner
T have described.



14 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Dear Mary,” she said, trying to extricate herself
from the unpleasant pressure of her arms round her
neck, “I do not understand you; but take care of my
cap, dear, you will have it off, and my wires, Mary, I
am afraid you will break them, they are so fine.”

“ © Aunt,” cried Mary, in a reproachful tone,
“ you do not understand me, indeed. I was not think-
ing of wires or caps; but if you think more of them
than of my affection and gratitude, I cannot help it ;
only I must say, I am sure I never can be good with
you, you are so provokingly cold-hearted.”

So saying, she withdrew her arms, turned from her
Aunt, and walked out of the room without deigning to
cast a look upon the ruin her hasty entry had caused
in the overthrow of the table and work-box.

Miss Elliot sighed as she looked after Mary.

‘“‘ I am sure I shall be glad when Caroline comes to
relieve me of the charge of that child,” she thought.
“ I wonder why she is so different from her sisters.
They were younger than she is now when they first
came to live with me, and yet they never gave me any
trouble, but were always quiet and reasonable. To be
sure, their poor mother took great pains with them,
and they came to me almost immediately after her
death, without having been suffered to run wild as Mary
has done for six years.”

The excellent training which Gertrude and Made-
line had received from their mother was certainly one



THE VERBENA. 15

great reason why they were more tractable than their
neglected sister, but another reason was the difference
of their natural dispositions. Madeline was too gentle
and indolent to get into a passion, or to think of dis-
obeying the orders of any one in authority over her;
and although Gertrude’s feelings were as keen as
Mary’s, she had a pride and reserve of character which
prevented her from displaying them with the vehe-
mence and impetuosity which characterized our little
friend.

Mary was very quick in every way. Quick in un-
derstanding, in feeling, and in temper. She always
did and said exactly what the impulse of the moment
prompted, without pausing to consider the effect her
words and actions might have on others. When she
felt that she had offended or grieved any one, she was
eager to atone for it ; but equally ready, as in the pre-
sent instance, to double the offence if her efforts at
reconciliation were not received as she expected. In
this way she was what might be called a troublesome
child, one who must cause much anxiety and vexation
to those who had the charge of her, and yet one who
was likely in after years to repay any pains that might
be bestowed on her improvement.

She soon began to feel that she had behaved even
worse in this second quarrel with her Aunt than in the
first. But she saw no way of making amends. She
could not go back again with a second apology, to be



16 MARY ELLIOT.

told again, that her Aunt did not understand her, and
so she pursued her walk to the Hamiltons’, where she
was engaged to spend the day, with very uncomfortable
feelings of self-reproach.

The high road between Hazel Bank and Worsleigh
was very hot and dusty, and to Mary’s mind it seemed
on this day more disagreeable than usual. She had
gone this way instead of by the sea-shore, because
Susan and Bessie had arranged to meet her half-way,
at the cottage of a poor woman, whom they were in
the habit of visiting almost every day. But when
Mary reached the cottage, she found that the girls had
not been there.

“ How provoking,” she muttered to herself, after she
had left the old woman. “ It is too bad of them to be
so late; and when I meet them they will want me
to come back all this weary road, that they may see
old Jenny. But I shall not, I am determined. If they
choose to be so late, they may take the consequences.”

Her resolution was not tried, for she reached the
gate of Worsleigh without meeting them, and she now
began to fear that they had made a mistake, and gone
by the sea shore.

As she passed the parlour window, she saw Mrs.
Hamilton seated at it writing, and when she went in,
she found no one there but her.

“Mary!” she exclaimed, looking up in surprise,

did you not get Susan’s note ?”

|

7



THE VERBENA. 17

“ No,” answered Mary, in a very cross tone, for the
hot walk, with no more agreeable companions than her
own self-reproachful thoughts, had made her temper
incapable of bearing patiently the slightest disappoint-
ment. “ What did she write to me about? She knew
I was coming here. She and Bessie promised to meet
me.”

“ Yes, and they did not forget their promise. But
we got a letter this morning from their aunt, begging
one of us to go over to-day to see her, as she had some
letters of importance she wished to get written, and
was unable herself to write. So as Captain Hamilton
and Ned did not come home last night, and as I could
not go, I sent the girls. Susan wrote to tell you, and
to ask you to put off your visit till to-morrow.”

“JT never got any note,” said Mary, very peevishly.
“Tf I had known they were going to disappoint me in
this way, I am sure I should not have taken the trouble
to come so far on such a hot day.”

“T am sorry for your disappointment, dear. But
now that you are here, you had better stay and dine
with me. Iam going to dine early with the children,
and go to meet the girls after dinner. If you like you
can go with me. I shall be glad to have you for a
companion. And I hope you will all enjoy yourselves
as much to-morrow, as you had expected to do to-day.”

“T may as well stay, for I certainly cannot go home
again just now, but I do not know about coming again

B



18 MARY ELLIOT.
















to-morrow, as I cannot trust to the girls’ promises,”
was Mary’s ungracious answer, as she took off her
bonnet. '

Mrs. Hamilton saw that she was really much heated
and tired, and that her temper was in a very irritable
state ; and she pitied her, and felt anxious to soothe
her, and to help her to recover herself. Instead of re-
monstrating with her, therefore, for her rudeness and
fretfulness, or trying to show her the unreasonable-
ness of her reproaches against Susan and Bessie, she
spoke to her kindly and compassionately, advising her
to lie down on the sofa in a cool dark corner of the

‘room, and to rest herself till dinner-time.

Mary could not but feel a little ashamed of herself,
when she saw how patiently Mrs. Hamilton bore with
her, but she was not in a humour to acknowledge it ;
so she followed her advice, and lay down on the sofa
without speaking.

Mrs. Hamilton resumed her writing, but was soon
again interrupted by little Maurice coming in to say
his spelling lesson. He spelt several long difficult
words very correctly, and then he began to bungle at
the comparatively easy one, contentment. After he
had made several ineffectual attempts, his mamma
stopped him, telling him, that she was sure he was not
thinking of what he was saying, that he must know
how to spell such a simple word.

“I will tell you what I was thinking of, mamma,”

'



THE VERBENA, 19

said the little boy, eagerly. “ About Lawrence Home
—I will tell you, mamma.”

‘ Not just now, my dear. Attend to what you are
doing, and finish your lesson, and then you can tell
me.”

Maurice did so. The rest of the lesson was cor-
rectly said, and Mrs. Hamilton giving him back his
book, and bidding him amuse himself in the garden
till dinner-time, was turning again to her writing-desk,
when Maurice exclaimed in a disappointed tone, “But,
mamma, you promised to hear my story when I had
finished my lesson.”

“So I did, Maurice; I had forgotten. Bring me my
work-basket from that table, that I may not be idle
while I listen to your story.”

The little boy did not move.

“Mamma,” he said, after a minute’s thought, “I
dare say you are anxious to finish your letter, I will
go into the garden, and you can call me when it is
done, and then I will tell you.”

“Thank you, my little man,” said Mrs, Hamilton,
smiling kindly upon him; “I must confess that I am
very anxious to finish my letter. At the same time,
it is only fair to tell you, that as it will be a long one,
I may very probably not be at leisure to listen to you
before dinner.”

“Oh, very well, I won't mind about it if you are
not. I know that you will call me as soon as you can,



20 MARY ELLIOT,

and so I will go and think about my story, and make
it ready for you.”

“*No, Maurice, don’t do that, I would rather not
accept your offer, unless you are going to try and
amuse or occupy yourself in some way until I am ready
for you.”

“But why may I not amuse myself with b dhiatting
about my story all the time ?”

“One reason is, that if you have no other occupa-
tion, you will probably weary, and get impatient and
fretful, if I do not call you so soon as you expect.
And I think it is always a pity to run any risk of
losing one’s temper, if one can help it. Do you
not ?”

“Yes, to be sure, mamma,” answered Maurice,
laughing. ‘“ But what are the other reasons ?”

“That one is sufficient for the present, and you
know the sooner you leave me, I shall be the sooner
ready for you. Try to find out the other reasons for
yourself.”

“Oh, yes, I should like to do that, so I will run
away and leave you in peace.”

Before beginning to write, Mrs. Hamilton looked
round to see if Mary was comfortable. She did not
look quite so cross, but still rather unhappy, and Mrs.
Hamilton asked her if she had got an amusing book.

“No,” was her answer, in a discontented tone, “I
do not care for it.”





THE VERBENA. 21

«“ Bessie found the missing volume of ‘ The Lives
of British Painters’ for you last night. You will find
it in the dining-room, if you like to go for it.”

Mary had been very anxious to get this book, but
she was not now in the mood to care much for any-
thing, and if she had had a good excuse, she would
probably not have taken the trouble of going for it;
lest Mrs. Hamilton might think her capricious, how-
ever, she exerted herself so far as to rise and saunter
listlessly into the dining-room, and back again, al-
though I cannot say that she derived much amuse-
ment from her book after she had got it.

When Mrs. Hamilton had finished her letter, she
went to call her little boy. He was not far off, and
came running in, in great glee.

“ T have been so busy, mamma. I have been gather-
ing sticks to make a heap at the back of the house
that Annie and I are building. We mean it to be
quite like this house, and so we must have a wood
pile, like the one in the yard. I have gathered a good
many. And you know,” he continued with an air of
importance, “ it was not very easy to find proper ones;
common twigs would not do, They must be thick,
stumpy pieces to pile nicely, and to look like yours.
But I had time too, mamma, to think about the reason,
and I think I have found it out—It is a bad plan to
think too much about other people’s faults.”

“That is a very good reason, but it could not be



22 MARY ELLIOT.

mine, because I did not know that your story was
about anybody’s faults.”

“‘Oh yes, mamma, it is all about Lawrence Home’s
faults. But what was your other reason ?”

“Do you know the meaning of the word exag-
gerate ?”

“ Yes, mamma,” answered Maurice, turning very
red; “papa says I exaggerate. It means making a
story a little better than the truth. Does it not?”

“That meaning will do. Now when you are in-
clined to exaggerate at any rate, to think too long
about all the particulars of anything you are going
to tell, would be very apt to make you do so, But it
is nearly dinner-time, so you had better begin at once
with what you have to say about Lawrence Home.”

“‘T only wanted to tell you about the many ways in
which Lawrence tormented me with his discontent the
last day I was at the castle. When I wished to ride
upon his hobby-horse—(he has got such a beautiful
hobby-horse, mamma)—he would not let me ride upon
it, because he says he dislikes it so much; he says, he
wished for a grey one, and he cannot bear this one
because it is brown. Then he would not play with
his large india-rubber ball, because he has not flowers
painted on it. When we went in the donkey-carriage
to the wood to gather primroses, he grumbled all the
way, because he wished to go to the sea-shore to
gather shells. He cried because his mamma had sent



THE VERBENA. 23

us rice biscuits for tea, instead of spongecakes. Now,
mamma, do not you think that he must be a very dis-
contented, disagreeable boy; because, you know, no-
body can get everything they wish for; and it is much
wiser to think about the good things we have got,
than about those we cannot get ?”

“Much wiser, certainly, my little philosopher,”
answered his mamma, laughing. “But remember, Mau-
Tice, that it is possible to be discontented about people
as well as about things.”

“T do not understand you, mamma.”

“You say most sagely that we cannot have every
thing that we want, neither can we make everybody
exactly what we should wish them to be. You cannot
make Lawrence a contented, cheerful boy, but you can
bear patiently with his faults—you can try not to think
about them, but to look out steadily and earnestly
for any good quality he may have.”

Maurice thought for a minute or two.

“Well, mamma,” he said, “there is one good thing
about him, he is stronger than Annie, so if he does
come to stay here for a day or two, he will be able to
help me in my house better than she can. Only you
know I cannot help hoping that he won't come.”

Mrs. Hamilton was a good deal amused at Mau-
rice’s efforts to be charitable.

“That is perhaps rather a selfish view to take of
poor Lawrence’s good qualities, Maurice. I do not



24 MARY ELLIOT.

know whether he is coming or not; it depends upon
his mamma’s going from home, but I think it would
have been a pity not to have asked him, as it will
make Lady Home’s mind more easy about him to
leave him here than at the castle alone. But, in the
meantime, you must go and wash your face and hands,
and brush your hair, that you may be ready for
dinner.”

When Maurice returned to the drawing-room, his
usually cheerful countenance was overcast, and he
seemed much disturbed.

“Mamma,” he cried, “ Jane says that I am to go out
with her and Annie after dinner, and not with you.
But I will not, mamma, for I hate to go out with Jane.
It is so tiresome.”

“Hush, hush, Maurice. You will do what I bid
you, I know. I cannot take you with me, because I
shall not be home by the time nurse Rogers was to
come. Do you forget that you invited her to drink
tea with you in the nursery to-night ?”

“Oh but, mamma,” cried Maurice, eagerly, “I should
not care about that, if I might go with you.”

“You might not care about it, perhaps, Maurice, but
nurse would be disappointed; and you have no right
to disappoint her when she has taken the trouble of
coming so far to see you.”

“She would see Annie and Jane, mamma,” urged the
little boy.



THE VERBENA. 25

“You know quite well, Maurice, that she expects
to see you too. I had hoped that your own sense of
what is right might have led you to give up your
pleasure for the sake of keeping an engagement
which you yourself made. Your invitation implied a
promise, that you would be at home to receive her,
and can you wish to break that promise, and to mor-
tify poor nurse, merely for the sake of an hour or
two's pleasure ?”

‘“ But I do so dislike to walk with Jane—she takes
such tiresome walks,” said Maurice, pettedly.

“TI heard her promise Annie to go to the ruins.
That is a pleasant walk. You can get some ferns for
Susan. And remember, too, how much Annie likes to
have you for a companion.”

“T do not like to go to the ruins with Annie, for
Jane will not allow us to run races, lest Annie should
fall into the burn.”

“You can run races through the fields before you
come to the buen. The road lies beside it for a very
little way. Come, Maurice,” continued his mamma,
kindly, seeing that his sulky look did not pass away,
“do try not to be discontented about what you cannot
help. Remember your own wise speech about Law-
rence. If he is foolish in refusing to play with his.
ball, merely because it is not painted, are you not
equally foolish in refusing to enjoy your walk, merely
because it is not the one you had wished to take ?”



26 MARY ELLIOT,

Maurice began to look a little ashamed, and his
mamma said no more, trusting that Annie’s pleasure,
when she should hear that he was to go with her,
would reconcile him altogether to his disappointment,
Nor was she mistaken in this; for, in a few minutes,
Maurice came back to tell her cheerfully that he and
Annie had settled that they could gather rushes by
the burn-side, and that they really wanted some very
much, for the thatching of their house.

Mary, too, seemed to have in some measure recov-
ered her good temper before they went to dinner. She
was grave and thoughtful, and did not talk much ;
but when she did speak, it was in a pleasanter tone—
and by her little attentions to Mrs. Hamilton and to
the children, she seemed anxious to atone for her
rudeness in the forenoon.



THE WALK. 27

CHAPTER III.

THE WALK.

As Mrs. Hamilton had a good many little house-
hold matters to attend to after dinner, they did not set
out on their walk until nearly five o’clock. The op-
pressive heat of the day was past, and a refreshing
breeze from the sea met them as they went down the
lane towards the shore. The lane was not much
frequented, so that there was a broad margin of grass
on each side for them to walk upon, while the steep
banks and high hedges afforded them good shade from
the sun.

“ How pleasant this is!” exclaimed Mary. “So
different from my hot dusty walk in the morning.”

Mrs. Hamilton smiled.

“Ts there no difference in the walker, Minnie, as
well as in the walk ?” she asked.

“Yes, there is,” answered Mary, frankly; “I was
very cross all the time of my walk. I had behaved ill
to Aunt, and ought only to have been angry with



28 MARY ELLIOT.

myself. But instead of that, I was angry at the sun,
at the dust, at Susan and Bessie, and indeed I think
at everything and everybody. I even felt: angry
because your sofa was so pleasant, the room so cool,
and you so very kind, that I could find nothing to
complain of. I am very sorry that I was so cross, but
indeed, Mrs. Hamilton, you do not know what a
plague Aunt is to me.”

“ Minnie,” interrupted Mrs. Hamilton, “ you eae
not to speak in that way, dear.”

“ I know I ought not, but sometimes I cannot help
it; she makes me so cross and impatient, she is so
slow, so formal, so” ——

‘Stop, Minnie, dear,” said Mrs. Hamilton, “ answer
me one question. Do you wish to behave better to
your Aunt than you have done, or not?”

“ Oh, yes, I do wish it very much. I am really sorry
that I cannot be more patient to her, and like her
better, when she has been so kind to us.”

“ Then tell me again, Mary. Do you think it pro-
bable that you will ever like her better, if you occupy
yourself constantly in thinking about all her little
failings?”

“* Oh! that is what you said to Maurice about Law-
rence Home. -I thought about Aunt when you said it.
But it is very, very difficult to be contented with people
when they are very tiresome. One cannot help wish-
ing, and wishing that they were different.” .



THE WALK. 29

“ But then, Mary, when we know that all our wishes
can have no effect in changing the character of these
tiresome people, ought we not to try some other plan
to enable us to get on pleasantly with them, and, what
is of more importance, to enable us to do our duty
towards them ?”

“* Oh! I remember,” said Mary, quickly, “that you
told me, the last day we talked about Aunt, that I
ought to convince myself that it really is my duty to
behave respectfully to her, and that it really is a sin
to be so impatient and fretful. And you said that I
ought to pray to God to help me in this difficult duty.
But, indeed, Mrs. Hamilton, I did pray to God to help
me, and yet I do not think that I have ever behaved a
bit better.”

“ But, dear Minnie, if you ask God to help you in
a duty which you find you cannot perform in your own
strength, and then go immediately and do everything
in your power to make your task still more difficult,
can you expect that God will hear or answer you?”

“No,” answered Mary, gravely ; “because that would
be a kind of mockery. But, indeed, I should be very
sorry to do anything that could make it more difficult
for me to behave well to Aunt.”

“ But surely, Minnie, if you think and speak so
much about all that you find disagreeable in your
Aunt, do you not in reality make it more difficult for
you to love her, and to behave well to her?”



30 MARY ELLIOT.

“I do certainly speak pretty often to Grahame and
to Bessie about these things,” said Mary, thoughtfully.

“Tt is very natural to do so, my dear, because all
these little failings in your Aunt seem excuses to you
for your behaviour towards her. And you naturally
like better to think about them than about the good
qualities which seem to make it more blameable in you
to offend her. Isay seem, Mary, because you know
that your Aunt’s character has nothing to do with the
duty you owe to her. She is your superior, and has
at present the charge of you; so that, although she
were cross, unkind, and unreasonable, still you are
bound to submit to her authority, and to behave re-
spectfully towards her. And you know, my dear little
Minnie, that she is neither cross, unkind, nor unrea-
sonable.”

“Yes, I know all that. And while you and Maurice
were talking, I did resolve to forget Aunt’s tiresome-
ness, and to remember only her kindness. But,” she
continued, with a sigh, “ it is easy enough to make a
resolution, but so difficult to keep it.”

“It is a good thing to be aware of that difficulty,
though, dear Minnie. It will make you more watch-
ful and humble, and more anxious to seek God’s help
in your efforts to do right.”

“Tam really sorry for my impatience to-day, and
for my rudeness to you,” said Mary, after some
minutes’ silence. ‘“ But I was so completely out of



THE WALK. 31

temper, that I felt as if nothing could ever make me
good-humoured again. Do you know, Mrs. Hamilton,
the first thing that made me at all better, was seeing
how cheerfully you gave up your writing when Mau-
rice reminded you of your promise to hear his story.
You smiled so kindly, and spoke so pleasantly to him,
when I knew the interruption must have been provok-
ing, that I could not help being ashamed of my own
ill temper, and resolving to learn to bear little vexa-
tions better.”

“You must learn it while you are young, Minnie,
if you are to learn it at all,” said Mrs. Hamilton,
smiling.

“ T often think,” said Mary, “ that when I am grown
up I should wish to be like the lady that Captain Ha-
milton was telling us about the other day. Do you
remember his description of her? He said she was
always so cheerful, it was a pleasure to look at her,
and that she went on her own way calmly and con-
tentedly, never suffering the various troubles and
crosses to which she was exposed to ruffle her temper,
or to make her fret, but preserving her kindly spirit
amid all the unpleasant tempers and rude disagreeable
manners of those around her; so quick to see good
where it was to be found, to make allowances for
faults, and submitting with a gentle and untiring pa-
tience to what she could not excuse. Oh! I think,” con-
tinued Mary, eagerly, “that is such a fine character.



82 MARY ELLIOT.

There is something really grand in going on so steadily
in this way, in spite of all the obstacles and tempta-
tions one may meet with.”

“Tt is not easy, though, dear Mary, to acquire the
habit of looking calmly and contentedly on the every-
day annoyances we must expect to meet with. It re-
quires a constant watchfulness and effort to repress
the very first risings of discontent. But then, Minnie,
it is a comfort to think that every successful struggle,
however trifling the cause of it may be, is a step
gained.”

“J might have gained a good many steps to-day,
then,” said Mary, laughing, “ if I had only resisted all
temptations to fretfulness.”

She then related to Mrs. Hamilton the history of her
verbena. Mrs. Hamilton knew well how much she
valued it, and she sympathized in her sorrow at seeing
its beautiful bright green leaves all withered. But
she said that she thought that it might have revived
with a little care and nursing. The root would not be
dead, she thought, and it might have put forth fresh
leaves.

“ Tt will be dead enough. now,” said Mary, sorrow-
fully, “ for I left it on the drawing-room floor, and
Aunt would make them take it away with the litter of
the broken pot and earth.”

“ Perhaps if you ask about it when you go home,
you may get it back, and find that, with a little atten-



THE WALK. 83

tion, it may still recover. You should not despair so
soon, Minnie, in your little troubles, but try to help
yourself out of them. Those who are most energetic
and persevering in their efforts to ward off any evil,
are generally the most patient in bearing it when it
cannot be avoided. But, Mary, you have not told me
whether you got a letter from your travellers this
morning ?”

“ Yes, we got one from papa. He, Gertrude, and
Madeline, are to be home on Monday evening, and
Caroline and William on Friday. This day week,”
she added with a sigh. ‘ That will soon be here.”

“ Why do you sigh, Minnie?” asked Mrs. Hamil-
ton, with a smile.

“ Oh, I hardly know,” answered Mary, colouring ;
“T believe it is because I am sometimes a little afraid
of Caroline’s coming. You know I have never been
accustomed to be ‘ kept in order,’ as Aunt calls it; and
if Caroline is cross, or very particular, or unreason-
able, I am sure I cannot like her.”

“But, my dear little Minnie, it is very foolish to
torment yourself with such fears. We have heard
from many different people about Caroline, and all
agree in saying, that she is a very amiable, sensible,
warm-hearted girl. So that you have really no ground
to expect that she will be either cross, unreasonable,
or very particular, that is, too particular.”

“ But then I may think her too particular, although

c



84 MARY ELLIOT.

other people may not. And Aunt says so constantly,
‘ Oh, Caroline will not allow you to do this,’ or, ‘ You
may depend upon it, Caroline will never submit to
that,’ that I cannot help feeling afraid about her
coming.”

Mrs. Hamilton was vexed to hear Mary speak in
this way. She was well aware that Caroline must find
it a delicate task to control her, and she was much
grieved to see that Miss Elliot was unconsciously im-
planting prejudices in her mind which would make
it still more difficult. She reminded Mary again of all
the praises they had heard of Caroline, of her gentle
patience towards her younger brothers and sisters, of
her cheerfulness, and her desire to make every one
happy, and tried to persuade her that this was not
the character of one who would be likely to tease
her with useless fault-finding. But she advised Mary
not to think too much about what might be Caro-
line’s conduct towards her, but rather to endea-
vour to find out how she ought to behave towards
Caroline.

“ Try to put yourself in Caroline’s place, Minnie,
dear,” she said, “ and to think how you should feel,
what difficulties you would have, and how you should
like others to behave towards you, and then you will
be able to see what you can do towards making her
happy ; or, at least, how you can avoid giving her pain.
But, Minnie, we are talking so earnestly that we are



THE WALK. 35

forgetting to look at the view, and how beautiful, how
glorious it is this evening.”

As they approached the bottom of the lane their
view of the sea was‘ intercepted by the rising ground
of the links, which stretched between them and the
sands. But they had now reached the top of this bank,
and the blue summer sea lay before them in all its
beauty and cheerfulness.

Mrs. Hamilton had been careful to teach Mary and
her own children to rejoice in the beauties of nature,
and to seek out all the minuter details of loveliness
which might have escaped a common observer. And she
now listened with pleasure to Mary’s expressions of ad-
miration, as she pointed out one and another feature in
the splendid scene before them. The tide was far in.
There was a gentle breeze, just sufficient to cause a
cheerful ripple on the glistening water, and to ruffle
the tops of the little waves as they broke on the shore.
The bold rocky promontory to the west was cast into
deep shade, contrasting finely with the bright sparkling
sea and with the grassy slopes of the links lighted up
by the afternoon sun.

“Ts it not beautiful, Mrs. Hamilton?” exclaimed
Mary. “ But do let us go down on the sands.”

“I think we had better keep upon the links’ until
we have crossed the burn, my dear,” said Mrs. Hamil-
ton. ‘I cannot jump over it, and I do not like to get
my feet wet with walking through it.”



36 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Oh, but we can come up on the links again when
we come to the burn. Do go to the sands: I wish it
so very much,” urged Mary, eagerly.

“ But Minnie, dear, in that way we must cross the
heavy loose sand three times, and I am sure you can-
not like that. It is very pleasant to walk on this short
thymy grass; and we see the view better here than
down upon the sands.”

“Oh, no,” said Mary, in a discontented tone ; “ I do
not like the links at all. Do come down. I like so
much to walk upon the nice firm sand close to the
water’s edge. I can look for shells, and I think it so
pleasant to hear the cool ripple of the waves—the
sea’s music, as you call it.”

Mrs. Hamilton made no farther objection, and Mary
jumped lightly down from the bank upon which they
were standing, and made her way across the heavy
sand as quickly as she could, without pausing to inquire
how Mrs. Hamilton was to follow her.

“J like, Z wish, J think,” repeated Mrs. Hamilton
to herself, as she took an easier road down the side of
the bank; “ my dear little Minnie, that J is the great
stumblingblock in the way of your improvement. I
do hope that Caroline may have as much sense and
patience as we have been led to expect, for she will
need it all with you.” —

When she overtook Mary, she found her very impa-,
tient under the annoyance of sand in her shoes.



THE WALK. ' 37

“T have emptied my shoes,” she said, peevishly,
“but the tiresome sand sticks to my stockings, and
even if I rub it off, it does no good, for it goes through
to my feet. Oh, it is very disagreeable, very un-
comfortable,” she continued, half-crying with impa-
tience.

Mrs. Hamilton had too much pity for the pain that
an impatient temper gives to its possessor, to remind
Mary that this evil was of her own causing. She agreed
with her that it was very uncomfortable, but reminded
her with a pleasant smile of her resolution to be patient
and contented.

“Tt is so difficult in this particular thing not to
grumble,” said Mary, in a less fretful tone.

“ The more difficult it is, the longer the step will be
if you succeed, Minnie. Remember how quickly you
got on with your jump from the bank just now, while
I had to take so many steps to come up to you. Try
to take as good a leap upon the road to habitual pa-
tience and contentment.”

Mary could not resist a smile at this simile, and made
a strong effort to recover her good humour. She said
she knew where there was a basin in the rock that had
always water in it, and if the tide was not too far up
she could wash her feet there. In this hope she was
disappointed, but she bore it cheerfully, and consoled
herself by running on to try to devise some plan for
Mrs. Hamilton crossing the stream, without going again



38 MARY ELLIOT.

through the heavy sand, in order to reach the foot-
bridge on the links,

There was plenty of sea-weed lying scattered about,
and Mary had soon gathered a large armful, and laid
it down at the edge, so as to narrow the stream suffi-
ciently to allow Mrs. Hamilton to step over. But
shallow as the burn was, the current was strong
enough to carry away poor Mary’s heaps as fast as she
made them. She tried to weigh down her sea-weed
with sand, but in vain; in spite of all her efforts, she
had the mortification of seeing one bit crumble away
after another, till the whole erection was floating down
to the sea.

“ How provoking,” she muttered; “ Mrs. Hamilton
must go up to the links after all.”

She remembered just then what Mrs. Hamilton had
said about despairing too soon, and she determined to
make one more effort. Mrs. Hamilton had stopped to
examine a shell, so that Mary had a little more time
to form her plans. She looked round in search of
something for a foundation for her sea-weed.and sand,
and soon espied a very ‘branchy piece of wood,’ as she
called it, which promised to answer her purpose well.
She collected her sea-weed first to be in readiness,
then stuck her piece of wood firmly into the sand,
filled up the interstices with sea-weed, and then piled
a quantity upon the top,

“ Look what a beautiful step I have made for you,



THE WALK. 39

Mrs. Hamilton,” she cried joyfully as that lady came
up to her. “ Look how nicely you will get across,”
she continued, stepping lightly across, and back again
as she spoke.

Mrs. Hamilton was unwilling to damp Mary’s
pleasure in her work, but she could not help express-
ing some doubt as to whether the “step” could bear
her weight.

“ Oh! to be sure it will. See, I shall go over first, and
give you my hand to help you over. But you should
not stand so long upon it,” she continued, impatiently,
for she saw that her building was indeed sinking fast,
while Mrs. Hamilton stood upon it with one foot,
hesitating to trust her whole weight to it. “ Step over
at once, and I shall help you.”

Mrs. Hamilton made the attempt, but as she put
forward the one foot, the other sunk lower and lower
into the sea-weed, until it was quite wet. Mary laughed
heartily at this, and assured Mrs. Hamilton again and
again, that it was all caused by her want of courage.

“See how easily I get across, even now after you
have broken down my pier,” she said, skipping lightly
backwards and forwards.

“ Wait till you are as old as I am, Minnie,” said
Mrs. Hamilton, smiling, “and perhaps you may not
be so active. But look, who are these coming towards
us? The girls, with their papa, Ned, and Grahame.
They must have all met in town.”



40 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary ran forward to meet her companions, and
found them all much occupied with a beautiful minia-
ture ship, which Ned Hamilton had got from the friend
he and his father had been visiting. When they had
admired it sufficiently, they began to form plans for
sailing it the next day.

“Tf we could only make a dam across the burn,”
cried Grahame; “but that troublesome sand gives
way, let us do what we like to it, and the water finds
its way through it.”

“You might bring down some of the stiff clay from
the clay bank in your park, Grahame,” suggested Ned,
“and then we may be able to manage a dam.”

“T can easily do that. And Mary and I will meet
you here, instead of going on to Worsleigh, so that
we may begin our work at once.”

Bessie now suggested a plan which was cordially
received. The tide would be out in the forenoon, she
said, and they could easily reach the deep basin in the
rocks, and fill it with water from the burn.

‘‘We must all bring pitchers or jugs to carry the
water in then,” said Ned; “and I think, Grahame,
that you had still better bring some clay, for unless we
make a kind of dam across the burn, it is so shallow
we shall never get our pitchers filled.”

“You had better put on your garden apron and
gloves then, Minnie,” suggested prudent Susan: “Bessie
and I will, for clay is such a dirty thing to work with.”



THE WALK. 41

“Indeed I shall not take the trouble,” said Mary,
scornfully ; “ fortunately, I am no fine lady, who can
do nothing, and play at nothing, lest she should spoil
her clothes or her complexion.”

Susan quietly remarked, that she saw neither
pleasure nor use in dirtying one’s clothes, when it
could be helped. But the boys took Mary’s part most
warmly, expressing strong contempt and dislike for
useless, affected, fine ladies, who thought about
nothing but their dress.

Susan and Bessie felt the injustice of this implied
charge, for they were in reality more ready to help the
boys in their various undertakings, and of more use than
Mary, who was too fond of her own way to be a very
good work-fellow. They were going to defend them-
selves with some warmth, when Mrs. Hamilton stopped
the dispute, by reminding Mary and Grahame, that
they had now reached the turn of the road which led
them home.



42 MARY ELLIO1.

CHAPTER IV.
EVELYN HARCOURT.

STRENGTHENED by the approval of the boys in her
resolution of proving that she was no fine lady, Mary
niade her appearance on the following day in a pale
pink muslin frock, without anything to protect it or
her hands from stains. Susan and Bessie, on the con-
trary, had put on coarse linen cuffs, and aprons with
bibs, and strong garden gloves. Neither party, how-
ever, took any notice of the other’s dress, as they were
all too much occupied with the plans for their day’s
amusement.

As Grahame had said, they found it very difficult
to form adam across the burn, and Ned’s ready wit
soon devised a more practicable scheme. This was to
dig a deep hole in the sand, line it with the clay, and
then make a canal from the burn, that the water might
flow into it.

“I daresay we shall not make a very good job of it,”
said Ned ; “ but it will do well enough for all we want.”



EVELYN HARCOURT. 43

So they set to work as well as they could in the
absence of proper tools, Ned being the only one who
had thought of bringing a spade. Sand is easily dug,
however, and they managed in a short time, with
pitchers, large shells, and flat stones, to scoop out a
large deep hole which, when lined with clay, answered
their purpose admirably. So well indeed that, if they
had thought of it, they could very well have sailed
their ship in it, without taking the trouble of filling
the basin in the rock. But their minds were too full
of their first plan for such a thought to suggest itself,
and they proceeded merrily with the task of carrying
water to the rocks.

Their ship was really very beautiful. It had been
made with great care, and was a perfect model of a
real man of war, with the proper pulleys, &c., for setting,
lowering, and trimming the sails. Ned and Grahame
were quite experienced sailors, as they often went out
with the fishermen, and they lectured most learnedly
to the girls upon the different parts of the ship.

“ The worst thing about this lake of ours is the want
of wind,” remarked Grahame, after they had for some
time watched their graceful little vessel gliding about
in the water. “The high banks prevent the wind
from acting properly upon the sails.”

“Oh, we can imagine it a Highland loch,” said
Bessie, laughing ; “and then if the wind would but
change suddenly, and come roaring down one of these



44 MARY ELLIOT.

gullies, we might have our ship exposed to a dan-
gerous storm, such as so often rise upon the lochs.”

“T will be the breeze,” cried Ned, stooping down at
one of the declivities, which Bessie called gullies, and
blowing upon the ship with all his might; “Hurrah!
hurrah ! see how she staggers under the breeze, I am
‘ Boreas wi’ his blasts sae bauld,’ and the ship feels my
blasts too.”

After amusing themselves for some time in this way,
the girls walked further along the shore, to a favourite
spot, where a steep bank of sand afforded them shelter
from the sun, and here they sat down to rest them-
selves, while the boys rambled off over the links.

Mary had to tell Bessie the disaster of her verbena,
and how her Aunt had sent it to Walter, who hoped
it might still revive ; and the girls had to tell her their
adventures in their walk the day before.

“When does your cousin Evelyn come, Minnie ?”
asked Bessie, after they had been quietly chatting for
some time. ;

Mary did not know exactly, but she hoped, she said,
that they might hear before she came, as she had made
many plans about her arrival. Miss Elliot had under-
taken to get the house that Mrs. Harcourt had hired
in nice order for her ; and she had promised to allow
Mary to superintend the arrangements of Evelyn's own
room.

“ And I have thought of so many things to give



EVELYN HARCOURT. 45

her, and to do for her,” added Mary, with an im-
portant air, “that I really must know a few days be-
fore they arrive.”

“Do you know what kind of a girl she is?” asked
Susan.

Mary said, she believed that she was very delicate,
for Mrs. Harcourt had said, that it was on account of
her health that she proposed coming to the seaside.
She was very clever, too, and so fond of her lessons,
that Mrs. Harcourt often found it difficult to persuade
her to leave them.

Bessie hinted that in that case she might perhaps
be rather a tiresome companion. But Mary rejected
such an idea with great indignation. She seemed to
think it impossible that her cousin could be tiresome.
And she had talked so long about the pleasure of
Evelyn’s coming, that she could not admit there was
the smallest chance of her not liking her.

While Mary’s temper was still a little irritated by
Bessie’s doubts upon this subject, Grahame and Ned
startled them all, by jumping suddenly down from the
bank above them.

“Oh! Minnie, Minnie,” cried Grahame eagerly,
“what do you think? Mrs. Harcourt and Evelyn
have arrived, and are coming along the sands with
Aunt Jane and Mrs. Hamilton, to see you.”

“Nonsense, Grahame!” said Mary, looking with
some dismay at her stained frock and dirty hands,



46 MARY ELLIOT.

“You are only teasing me. They cannot have paid
all the visits they meant to pay.”

“Oh! but the people they were to have gone to
yesterday have got scarlet fever in the house, and so
they came straight here, and arrived last night,” said
Grahame. “There they are now coming round the
corner. Aunt sees you, and is calling to you.”

“ Now is the time to show your abhorrence of fine
ladies, and indifference about your personal appear-
ance, Minnie,” cried Ned, rather mischievously, for he

had observed the look Mary cast upon her dress.
_ “Be quiet, Ned; for shame,” said Bessie ; “ you will
put her in a bad temper.”

Alas! poor Mary! that was done already. The
little dispute with Bessie, the start the boys had given
her, the overthrow of all her grand schemes, ‘and dis-
satisfaction with her own appearance, all combined to
irritate her ; and it was with a look of great sullenness
and ill-temper that she advanced to meet the party.

‘Here are your new relations, my dear Mary,” be-
gan Miss Elliot in her formal placid manner, and then,
startled out of her usually deliberate tone, she ex-
claimed hurriedly—“ What have you been doing? It
is certainly most extraordinary that you should de-
light to make yourself so dirty and untidy. I am sure
that the poorest fisherman’s child would be ashamed
to make herself such an object as you are.”

Darker and darker grew the scowl upon Mary’s



EVELYN HARCOURT. 47

brow as she listened to this reproof, and when her
Aunt began to pull her tippet straight, and to smooth
her hair, her small remains of patience gave way alto-
gether, she broke from her, and saying rudely, “ Non-
sense, Aunt, I wish you would leave me alone,” she
advanced to greet her new cousin.

Evelyn involuntarily shrunk back at her approach,
and it seemed only to be by a strong effort that she
forced herself to take Mary’s proffered hand.

Poor Mary did certainly not look attractive at this
moment. Her delicate muslin frock was wet through,
and stained from top to bottom. Her hands were
covered with clay and scratched with the sand. She
had, in the beginning of her labours, thrown off her
bonnet, so that the wind had taken her hair out of
curl, and in her repeated attempts to put it out of her
eyes, she had managed to give her face a fair share of
the mud with which her hands were covered. In
addition, her countenance wore an expression of sul-
lenness and defiance, which made her very unpre-
possessing ; and it was quite natural that Evelyn and
Mrs. Harcourt should turn with pleasure from her to
speak to the Hamiltons, who now came forward. They
had taken off their stained aprons and cuffs before
sitting down to rest, and looked as neat as they usually
did at home. The simplicity and propriety of their
manners were peculiarly pleasing, as contrasted with
Mary’s rudeness and sullenness, and even Mrs. Har-



48 MARY ELLIOT.

court found it difficult to avoid showing the preference
she felt for them.

. Evelyn did not attempt to disguise her feelings, but
as soon as it was arranged that she should accompany
the young people to Worsleigh, she put her arm
eagerly within Susan’s, as if to seek her protection
against her sulky, cross-looking cousin. Mary was
particularly provoked by this evident desire to avoid
her, and to prefer Susan and Bessie’s company to hers ;
because in all her schemes about Evelyn’s coming, she
had often pictured to herself, how she should patronize
the Hamilton girls, and introduce them to her fine ac-
complished cousin, who would only care for them for
her sake.

In order to conceal her mortification, she assumed
an air of greater rudeness and bravado than before,
and really made herself very disagreeable. When
they reached the burn, Susan said that they would go
up to the links, as Evelyn might not like to jump over
it, or wade through it, as they were accustomed to do;
and Bessie called good-humouredly to Mary to come
with them.

“ Indeed, I shall not,” was the scornful reply. “I
have not learned yet to be afraid of wetting my feet,
or of what people may think. I cannot change my
habits or feelings quite so easily as you can, or seem
to care for things I do not care for, merely to please
other people,”



EVELYN HARCOURT. 49

Bessie coloured, but did not speak.

“Do not jump over the burn, Mary, with my ship
in your arms; you will break it.”

“ Nonsense, Ned,” answered Mary, impatiently.
“ Do you think I do not know what I am about?”

“It is my ship, however,” cried Ned, running for-
ward to rescue it, “and you have no right to risk it
without my leave.”

He was too late. With a provoking nod of her
head, Mary made the leap before he could reach her.
She was carrying the ship in her arms, and, as Ned
had feared, in bending forward after the jump, one of
the principal masts was broken across. It was in vain
that she assured the indignant boys that she had not
intended it—that she was sorry it was broken. They
said very justly, that she ought to have done as Ned
asked her, when it was his property; and Grahame
concluded by saying,

“ But that is always what you do, Mary. You never
will give up your own way. It is very provoking to
have anything to do with you.”

“ Very well, if you think so, I shall not plague you
any more with my company,” said Mary, proudly,
climbing up the bank as she spoke, and turning back
towards her own home.

Susan and Bessie tried hard to soothe her, and to
persuade her to remain with them, but in vain. She
resisted all their intreaties, saying, that she saw very

D



50 MARY ELLIOT.

well that none of them wished for her, and that she
was determined to burden them no longer with her
presence.

When they found all their efforts were useless, they
were at last obliged to leave her; and having watched
them out of sight, she seated herself upon the grass
with a most resolute determination to be miserable.
For some time she was pretty successful in persuading
herself that she was very unhappy, a poor, ill-used,
deserted creature, whom no one loved or cared for.
‘And she had the satisfaction of feeling a few tears steal
down her cheek, as she thought—“ If dear mamma had
been alive she would have loved me.”

Mary was pleased to think that she showed great
sensibility in thus mourning over her mother’s death ;
and she did not consider how purely selfish her re-
grets were, nor see her ingratitude towards the many
kind friends she had.

Gradually, however, disagreeable thoughts would in-
trude themselves in spite of all her efforts to shut them
out. She began gradually to think that she might be
partly to blame for her own unhappiness; that, after
all, it was natural that the boys should feel provoked
by her breaking their ship; and conscience whispered
that there was some truth in Grahame’s accusations ;
that even on this very day she had hindered them in
their work, by her desire to do things in her own way,
rather than to comply with their wishes. Susan and



EVELYN HARCOURT. 51

Bessie, too, had done nothing to offend her, for it cer-
tainly was not their fault that Evelyn preferred them
to Mary; and perhaps even Evelyn might bé*excused
for not liking her, considering how sulkily and dis-
respectfully she had spoken to her aunt.

Mary sighed deeply as these reflections presented
themselves, and she wished that she had not quarrelled
with the boys. But it was too late-to regret it now,
and she rose sadly to pursue her road homewards.

Just as she turned round she saw Mrs. Hamilton
coming towards her. She was reading a letter; and
as Mary thought that she did not see her, she half de-
termined to jump down on the sand, and hide under
the bank until she had passed. But as she remem-
bered how kind Mrs. Hamilton always was, and how
pleasantly she often helped her to recover her good
humour, she changed her mind, and advanced slowly
towards her. She was almost close to her before Mrs.
Hamilton looked up.

“ Mary!” she exclaimed, “ you here alone! and
with your back turned to Worsleigh! You are going
to dine with us, are you not?”

“No,” said Mary in an embarrassed manner ; “ I—
I—ny frock is so dirty.”

“ But Bessie’s frocks fit you, you know, Minnie,”
was Mrs. Hamilton’s smiling answer; “ and you must
not disappoint the others by not coming home to din-
ner as they expected.”



52 MARY ELLIOT, '

“ But—but,” said Mary drawing back, “ I have—
The boys say that I torment them, and that they do
not like to have me with them.”

“ T am very sorry, dear Minnie, that there has been
any dispute among you. But I wish, dear, that you
would still come home with me. If you do not, you
will have no opportunity of being reconciled to my
children till Monday; and it is a pity to allow a quar-
rel to rest upon your mind for so long.”

Mrs. Hamilton took Mary’s hand as she spoke, and
tried gently to “draw her on. Mary did not say that
she would go, but she did not withdraw her hand;
and Mrs. Hamilton, satisfied with having succeeded
in turning her back, did not say anything more, but
waited patiently until Mary should voluntarily tell her
the history of the quarrel.

Nor had she to wait long. Mary soon began to un-
fold her griefs to her.

“JT am so vexed,” she said, “ that I cannot find a
way for getting on well with the boys. I can not do
right about them, let me try ever so hard. I thought
a good deal about all you said to me yesterday; and
while I was dressing this morning, I thought of all
that was likely to happen to-day, and resolved to be
so patient and gentle. I was quite happy picturing to
myself how dutiful and respectful I should be towards
Aunt, and how kind, obliging, and useful to the boys.
But as soon as I came down stairs my troubles began.



EVA&LYN HARCOURT. 53

When Aunt was sitting in her easy-chair after break-
fast, I thought she might like to have her work, and I
ran to the drawing-room and brought it ; but she made
me angry by saying, that she did not want it then,
that she never worked at that time of day, and that I
had pulled out one of the wires. Then the boys never
wished me to do the very things that I thought would
help them most, and so we disputed even more than
on other occasions. What can be the cause of my
getting on even worse than usual, after all this careful
picturing and resolving?”

‘“* Perhaps, Minnie, dear,” replied Mrs. Hamilton,
“it may be that very picturing that you speak of.”

“Oh!” said Mary, eagerly, “ but do you know I read
in a book once, that it is a good plan to think over all
the little trials and difficulties that are likely to happen
through the day, so that we may be ready to meet
them when they come, and able to resolve to act pro-
perly underthem. Do you not think so?”

“Tt depends a good deal, Minnie, upon the assistant
you have in forming your resolutions. There is an
impudent little fellow, called self-seeking, who is very
apt to intrude into our thoughts at such times. If we
will not allow him to come forward boldly, he will
creep in at some odd corner, and under some specious
mask. And he is so clever in disguising good and evil
motives, and jumbling them up together, that it is
really very difficult to know exactly what we are do-



54 MARY ELLIOT.

ing. A craving desire to be admired, and thought
amiable and agreeable, he calls, a wish to make others
happy and comfortable. When our schemes fail
he tells us, that we are vexed only because we have
not been able to do the good we wished, while in
reality we are only mortified because we have not suc-
ceeded in showing how very kind and useful we are.
Does this gentleman never come to help you in your
schemes, Mary ?”

“I dare say he does sometimes,” answered Mary,
blushing. “ But I do not see how that should make
me behave worse, than if I had formed no schemes or
resolutions at all.”

“ You are filled with self-importance by the picture
he tempts you to draw of yourself as an amiable, vir-
tuous creature, whom every one is to admire, and,
therefore, a very trifling offence irritates you as it
would not have done had you been in an humbler state
of mind ; and you are inclined to fret at every little in-
cident that happens contrary to what you bad ima-
gined, because it destroys your picture. You are so
much occupied with self, that you cannot think of the
best way-of doing things. This morning, for instance,
if your Aunt's comfort had been your main object,
you would have remembered that she never works at
that hour, or you would have lifted her work more
carefully, and so have avoided drawing out her wires.
In your games or works with the others, you cannot



EVELYN HARCOURT. 55

be content unless an important part be assigned to you,
because you are more anxious to show off your useful-
ness, than to be of use; and when those you had in-
tended to serve are happy in their own way without
your assistance, you feel angry, because they have de-
prived you of an opportunity of displaying your kind-
ness.”

“ You think, then,” said Mary, sighing, “ that I had
better not imagine the events of the day at all?”

“No, Ido not say that, Minnie; but I think you
should look upon them in a different light. Consider
the tastes and feelings of others. From what you
may have observed at other times, try to discover what
is likely to give them pleasure, or pain, and what is
likely to try their tempers or to vex them. You will
thus be more able to help them, to avoid offending
them, and more ready to make allowances for any failure
on their part. As their happiness has been the prin-
cipal object of your wishes, you will be satisfied when
you see them pleased, even although you have had no
share in it, and you will not expect extraordinary gra-
titude for any service you may render.”

Mrs. Hamilton paused for a few minutes, and then
continued with much earnestness—

“I wish, my dear Minnie, that you would think
often of what we have been talking about. Self-seek-
ing is a very serious fault, and a very insidious one.
It is very hateful to God, because He has told us that



56 ; MARY ELLIOT.

we must do all things to His glory, not to our own. It
destroys that simplicity of character and singleness of
heart which He desires His children to possess, and
prevents them from keeping His commandment, to
‘mind the things of others.’ It is a quick growing
fault, too, Minnie, for it finds food in the most trifling
everyday occurrences, while it contrives often to de-
ceive us, and to elude our watchfulness, when we wish
to drive it out of our hearts. Will you think about it,
my dear, and strive and pray against it?”

Mary promised that she would try to do so, and said
that she could see how much unhappiness it had pro-
cured for her that day. F

“ But do not you think, Mrs, Hamilton,” she conti-
nued, “ that I really had one trial to-day independent
of that? a little trial, I mean, in the disappointment of
all my fine plans about Evelyn's coming, and in seeing
that after all she does not like me.”

And Mary’s eyes filled with tears, and her voice
trembled as she said this.

“ Yes, Minnie, I feel this is a trial for you, and per-
haps not a little trial. But still, dear, if Evelyn’s hap-
piness had been your first object in your plans, and if
you had been less occupied about yourself, and about
what might be thought of you, do you not think that
you would have sooner forgotten your disappointment,
and would have been eager to do what you could to-
wards her comfort, by giving her a kind and cordial



EVELYN HARCOURT. 57

welcome, and by endeavouring to make her feel her-
self at home ?”

Mary assented in a sorrowful tone, and as they had
now reached Worsleigh, she ran up stairs to the girls’
bed-room, leaving Mrs. Hamilton to bear the news of
her having relented, and to send Susan or Bessie to
give her a clean frock.

Mrs. Hamilton found the young people in the gar-
den. She called Bessie to her, and told her what Mary
required. She warned her that Mary’s temper might
still be a little irritable, and advised her to be careful
and tender towards her, lest she might unconsciously
vex her again.

“* Be cautious what you say, and how you look when
you first go in, Bessie, that you may not make her feel
awkward at coming back after your quarrel.”

Bessie wished her mamma to tell her exactly what
she should say, but Mrs. Hamilton said that would not
do at all.

“ T do not wish you to say anything, or to look any-
thing that you do not feel, my dear. I only wish you
so to consider poor Mary’s uncomfortable, and perhaps
fretful feelings, as that you may really feel anxious to
avoid wounding her; in the same way as you would
feel afraid of coming roughly against any one, who
you knew had some bodily sore that you might
hurt.”

‘TI wish, mamma,” said Bessie, shrinking back, “ that



58 MARY ELLIOT.

you would send Susan. She is so much more kind and
gentle than I am.”

“ And is my dear little Bessie contented to be
always wanting in kindness and gentleness? Do you
expect through life to have Susan constantly by your
side to be kind and gentle towards those you love when
they are in trouble, while you are to stand aloof, and
only to share their gay moments?”

“ Oh no, mamma, I hope not. I do wish to learn
to be kind.”

“ Why not begin to-day then, my dear? Why not
begin just now? ‘ Be ye kind one to another,’ is a
commandment to you as well as to Susan, and a
commandment for to-day as well as for to-morrow.
Do not be afraid, my love,” continued Mrs, Hamil-
ton, encouragingly, “ only try to get kindness and
pity into your heart, and do not fear that you will
not be able to show kindness in your words and
looks.”

Bessie turned from her mamma, and walked slowly
towards the house, musing as she went upon what
ought to be her first address to Mary.

“T might go in,” she thought, “and say, laughing-
ly,—So, Minnie, you want one of my frocks; but then
she might imagine I was triumphing over her, for not
taking our advice about the aprons. Perhaps I might
say that I would give her my other blue frock, in
order that we might be dressed alike; but, after all,



EVELYN HARCOURT. 59

I think I had better not say anything about her dress.
It will be still rather a sore subject to her.”

And Bessie walked still slower and slower, as she
felt more the difficulty of her task. She thought that
Mary might be pleased to hear that Captain Hamilton
could get the ship repaired for them. But again she
felt that it might be dangerous to touch upon any
subject that had reference to the quarrel. In her
perplexity she had come to a stand still at the hall-
door, unable to fix upon any pleasant thing to say,
when a little dog came to her, and the sight of him
suggested a bright thought.

“That will do,” she exclaimed, joyously mounting the
stairs two steps ata time. “Oh, Minnie !” she cried, as
she opened the door of her room, ‘“ Grahame has been
looking at the puppies again, and has determined at
last to take the black one. Are not you glad ?”

Mary was very glad. She had long wished that
Grahame should choose the black in preference to a
white puppy, upon which he had set his mind, and in
the pleasure she felt in hearing of it, and in discussing
the matter with Bessie, whose taste happened to agree
with hers, she quite forgot all her awkward feelings,
and all her fretfulness. Bessie had indeed been very
judicious, for this proved a pleasant and safe topic of
conversation when they joined the others down stairs;
and, before long, Mary’s good humour was so completely
restored, that she was able to make proper apologies



60 MARY ELLIOT.

to the boys for her wilfulness about their ship, while
they on their part were ready to confess, that they
had been too angry, and had said more than they had
felt. :
Mary was not so successful in her advances towards
Evelyn, who seemed to regard her with positive dis-
like. She was a quiet, shy girl, and felt it painful to
come in contact with any one so rough as Mary
seemed to her to be; and she had never learned the
propriety of overcoming her prejudices or dislikes.
She was indeed as much spoilt as Mary, though in a
different way. She was an only child; her father
died when she was quite an infant, and since then she
had been the sole object of all her mother’s care and
affection. Her education, her health, her dress and
personal appearance, her tastes and feelings, had been
the constant subject of her mother’s thoughts—the
constant topic of her conversation, so that Evelyn
could not avoid feeling herself a person of great im-
portance. No pains nor expense had been spared upon
her education. She had had the best instruction that
could be procured, and had profited by such instruc-
tion in no common degree. From her delicate health
and naturally shy, quiet disposition, she had never
cared much for the society of girls of her own age,
but had always found her chief source of pleasure
and interest in her books, her music and drawing, and
her progress in all her studies was very great. Parti-



EVELYN HARCOURT. 61

cularly elegant and lady-like both in manners and
appearance, and shrinking with a degree of fastidious-
ness from every appearance of vulgarity and rudeness,
the boys and Mary unhesitatingly pronounced her a
“tiresome affected creature.”

But, in reality, Evelyn had more true simplicity of
character than Mary. Her thoughts were seldom
occupied about herself, but oftener filled with vague
dreamy reveries, derived from the books of poetry
and of-imagination, which she devoured with indis-
criminating eagerness. Her principal fault was a want
of due consideration for the tastes and feelings of
others, but this did not proceed from any want of
kindness, but from her never having had her attention
directed to the propriety of caring for others’ happiness.

Her character was perhaps not fitted in any way to
harmonize well with Mary's; but under the peculiar
circumstances of their first introduction, they seemed
to agree in mutually disliking one another.

Accustomed all her life to be tenderly loved by all
with whom she associated, Mary had gradually come
to look upon affection as something which she had a
right to expect from every one, and to consider the
withholding of it as a species of moral offence. She
felt piqued by Evelyn’s undeniable superiority in
manner and accomplishments, and burned with a de-
sire to show off her own knowledge in matters of
which she supposed Evelyn could know nothing.



62 MARY ELLIOT.

An opportynity of doing so occurred in the course of
the evening. Mary, Susan, and Bessie, had been col-
lecting sea-weeds under Captain Hamilton’s super-
intendence ; and during his late absence from home
he had borrowed for them a large book upon the sub-
ject, containing some very fine engravings. This book
was produced after tea, and Mary soon discovered
Evelyn’s total ignorance of sea-weeds, and proceeded
to enlighten her, and to display her own knowledge in
a most disagreeable tone of contemptuous superiority.
Evelyn naturally shrunk with some disgust from infor-
mation so unpleasantly administered, and listened in
displeased silence, while Mary became louder and
louder in her boasting of all she knew, and in her
rude wonder that any one should be so ignorant as
Evelyn.

The Hamiltons and Grahame were annoyed to see
Mary expose herself in this way, and they several
times endeavoured to turn the conversation, but in
vain; Mary was too much bent upon showing off;
and at last, Captain Hamilton, in order to put an end
to the scene, advised Grahame and her to go home -
before it grew too dark.

“T do not like Evelyn,” exclaimed Mary, as they
were walking home. “She is very conceited about
her playing and singing. And it is so foolish too,
because, with all the advantages she has had, it is no
merit in her to sing so well.”



EVELYN HARCOURT. 63

“And with all the advantages you have had,
Minnie,” said Grahame, “ is there any merit in your
knowing the names of a few sea-weeds ?”

“I do not know what you mean,” said Mary,
angrily; “I never said there was any merit in it,
did I?”

“Your look and manner said it, Minnie, if your
words did not.”

“ Indeed, Grahame, I do not know what you mean.
You are very unkind,” replied Mary, still more indig-
nantly.

“I think you do know what I mean, or you would
not be so angry. You must know that you were con-
ceited, and showing off about the sea-weeds to-night.
But I did not mean to vex you, Minnie,” he added,
kindly, seeing that Mary was in tears, “only I was
amused to hear you blame Evelyn for the very fault
you were committing.”

‘And so you mean to take her part against me,”
said Mary, sobbing. “TI disliked her before, but now
I shall dislike her more than ever, if she sets my own
brother against me.”

* But, Minnie, I am not taking any one’s part, and
how can Evelyn set me against you? She has not
spoken ten words to me; and surely her voice cannot
reach me here to say anything against you. You are
unreasonable,”

“You know what I mean quite well, Grahame,



64 MARY ELLIOT.

if you choose. You are defending her at my ex-

pense.” —
“ Indeed, dear Minnie, I never meant to do any-

thing of the kind. I only meant to say, that I did not
think her conceited, and that I thought——But,” he
continued, interrupting himself, ‘don’t let us talk
about it any more if it vexes you. Dry your eyes,
and be my own gay Minnie again. I do not know
what has come over you to-day, Minnie; you are not
like yourself, you are so ready to quarrel and to take
offence.”

“ It is all Evelyn’s penning: T am so afraid of your
all liking her more than me,” was any! s reply, while
her tears still flowed.

“ But, Minnie, that is nonsense. I must like my
sister better than a stranger. And at any rate, you
know, being quarrelsome is not the best way to make
us like you. Be cheerful and good-humoured, and we
must all like you, however charming Evelyn may be.
I do not think she will suit us very well; but I am
sure we ought to be kind to her, and there is an end
of the matter.”

And Grahame managed, by turning the conversa-
tion again to the puppy, to drive away Mary’s tears ;
and the only return she made to the subject was by say-
ing, as they entered the house, “ Well, but, Grahame,
after all, I am quite sure I never can like Evelyn
Harcourt.”



CAROLINE. 65

CHAPTER V.
CAROLINE.

Mary had not, for some days, any time to think
about either liking or disliking Evelyn. Her whole
thoughts were occupied about the arrival of her sisters
and of Caroline.

Gertrude and Madeline were almost strangers to
her. She had seen little of them during the last six
years. Mr. Elliot went frequently to Edinburgh to
see them; but as it was too long a journey for them
to undertake alone, and as it was not easy to get an
escort for them, they had only been twice or thrice at
home during all that time. Mr. Elliot often regretted
their absence, and wished that he could keep them
with him; but he had no female relation who could
come to take care of them, and he believed that it was
better for them to remain at Edinburgh under their
aunt’s care.

And so, in some respects, it might be. And yet it

E



=s*

66 MARY ELLIOT.

is always a pity when children of the same family are
not brought up together. It loosens the bond of warm
affection which ought to subsist between brothers and
sisters. They acquire different tastes and habits; and
coming together at an age when these are in some
measure confirmed, they are less able and less willing
to bear with each other’s peculiarities.

This was peculiarly the case with Gertrude and
Mary. Gertrude had no patience with Mary’s trouble-
some ways, with her self-conceit, and self-will; and
she was shocked by her want of cultivation, by her
wildness and ignorance; while Mary could by no
means submit to Gertrude’s attempts to control and
direct her. Madeline and she got on better; for al-
though Madeline was as much annoyed as Gertrude
by Mary’s noise and vehemence, yet she was too gentle
and indolent to find fault, and contented herself with
keeping as much as possible out of her way.

Although she often quarrelled with them, however,
Mary was really very proud of her sisters. She was
proud of Gertrude’s accomplishments and of Made-
line’s beauty; and she was pleased to find that they
were as fashionably and elegantly dressed as Evelyn
and Mrs. Harcourt.

She began now to look with some shame upon her
own old-fashioned clothes, and to wish that she had
not so openly displayed her contempt for all care about
dress and personal appearance, as this prevented her



CAROLINE. 67

from expressing the desire she now felt to be dressed
more like her stylish-looking sisters;

When Caroline came, she felt as proud of her as of
Gertrude and Madeline. It .was true that she did
not possess Gertrude’s great abilities nor Madeline’s
beauty, but then she soon became an universal favour-
ite. Every member of the little circle which consti-
tuted Mary’s world agreed in loving and praising her.
Captain and Mrs. Hamilton admired her good sense,
her steady principle, and her earnest, resolute self-
denial. Mrs. Harcourt said that she was remarkably
well-bred and elegant; and all the younger ones loved
her kindness, her cheerfulness, and readiness to oblige
them.

Caroline had not entered upon her new duties with-
out seriously weighing their peculiar difficulties. She
felt that she had a mother’s responsibilities and cares,
while she had neither her authority nor her claim to the
affections of those under her charge. Over Gertrude
and Madeline, in particular, she could exert no author-
ity; she could only be to them an affectionate elder
sister. But she had seen a great deal of them during
the last six years. She loved them for their own sakes,
as well as because they were William’s sisters, and she
knew that they really loved her. She knew their char-
acters well, too, and knew how she could best help
them to improve themselves.

But she felt that her main difficulty would be with



68 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary. Partial as William’s description of his little
favourite had been, Caroline could not help fearing
that she might find it a delicate task to direct and con-
trol her, unaccustomed as she had been to all restraint.

She confided all her fears to her mother; to her
who had been the tender, skilful guide of her own
ehildhood and youth. Her mother sympathized in
her anxiety; and while she endeavoured to encourage
her, she did not attempt to conceal from her the real
extent of her difficulties.

“ Your first efforts ought to be directed to making
yourself love these children,” she said. “ Use every
argument you can think of to make yourself regard
them, not merely with affection, but with tenderness.
Real tenderness of heart towards them will be your
best instructor; it will teach you patience, prudence,
and watchfiflness. And you will need patience, my
dear Caroline, not merely to bear with provocations—
that I am sure you have—but patience to abstain from
trying to put things right, before you thoroughly un-
derstand the characters of those you have to deal with,
and before you have gained their affections and confi-
dence.”

Acting upon this advice, Caroline was very earnest
in her endeavours to convince Grahame and Mary
that she really loved them, and that although she saw
their faults, she did not despise them for them. She
was very careful not to tease them by finding fault in



CAROLINE. 69

trifles, and was always ready to sympathize in their
little feelings; and with Mary, in particular, she was
very successful in her endeavours to gain her affections
and confidence.

Mary soon confided in her as she had been accus-
tomed to do in Mrs, Hamilton, and rejoiced, as she
told Bessie, in having a Mrs. Hamilton of her own,
who was always with her, and to whom she could go
in every difficulty.

Not long after Caroline came, Mary ventured one
day to confide to her her distress at her own uncouth
appearance, and her wish that she could be dressed a
little more like her sisters and Evelyn. Caroline did
not seem to think this at alla silly wish. She thought
it quite natural, and offered her services in altering
such of Mary’s frocks as could be altered. She went
with Mary at once to inspect her wardrobe, and de-
cide upon what could be done, and what they must be
contented to leave undone; and she showed so much
interest in the subject, and began her task with so.
much readiness and skill, that Mary determined she
would never again be afraid to ask her assistance in
any of her little plans.

Mary was, however, a little puzzled at Caroline’s
interest in this affair. She had always thought that it
was a great sign. of wisdom to despise dress, and im-
agined that all sensible people must do so. But Caro-
line was a sensible woman, and yet she evidently did



70 MARY ELLIOT.

not despise it. Mary determined to get at Caroline’s
opinions upon the subject.

“TI am so glad that you do not think me silly for
wishing to have my frocks made more fashionably,”
she said, one day, when she was sitting watching
Caroline’s busy fingers, as she was employed upon one
of Mary’s dresses.

“Silly to wish to look like other people, Minnie !”
said Caroline, smiling. “ By no means. It is more
agreeable to the eye of others to see us neatly and be-
comingly dressed, and I cannot think it silly to wish to
give them that pleasure as far as we can. I should
think it both silly and wrong to throw away these

.dresses which cannot be altered, because it is more

important to be careful of your papa’s money than to
be fushionably dressed. But when a little pains will
make these other dresses look better, I think it would
be silly not to take that pains with them.”

“Do you not think it a right thing to despise dress,
then, Caroline ?”

“What do you mean by despising dress, Minnie ?”
asked Caroline, laughing. “Do you mean that we
should be contented to go without clothes altogether ?”

Mary laughed,—“ Oh no, Caroline, of course not. It
would be very cold to go without clothes.”

“We could defend ourselves from the cold by
wrapping ourselves up in sheep-skins, Mary. Would’
that suit your ideas of propriety ?”



CAROLINE. 71

“ No, no, Caroline; I only mean, do not you think
it is very foolish to be always thinking about our
dress ?”

“So foolish, that I cannot imagine any one doing
so, Minnie.”

“ Well, perhaps not always, but to feel a great deal of
anxiety about it is very foolish, is it not?”

“Certainly, Minnie. Dress is a matter of such
small importance, that I cannot understand any one
having great feelings about it in any way. The woman
who feels great contempt for it is, I think, as foolish as
she who feels great anxiety about it. And perhaps
still more foolish than either is the woman who is
proud of not caring for it.”

«But some women have so many other things to
think of, that they have no time to think about it at
all, Do you not think that they are the wisest ?”

“Why, Mary, I think that depends a good deal
upon the nature of the other things they think about.
The attention necessary to enable us to dress properly
is so very small, that I think we may, under most
circumstances, find ourselves able to afford it. And, I
think, people are apt to deceive themselves upon this
subject, and to take as much trouble, and waste as
many thoughts in devising how they can best prove
their indifference to dress, as it would have cost them

to dress like the most fashionable lady of my acquain-
tance.”



72 MARY ELLIOT.

“Oh, Caroline!” cried Mary, blushing, ‘“ Bessie has
been telling you about that day at the burn.”

Caroline looked up in some surprise, as she replied,
“ That Bessie had told her of no day at the burn.”

After a moment's hesitation, Mary told her the
story of Evelyn’s untimely arrival, and confessed that
upon that day she had taken more trouble to show
Susan and Bessie how careless she was about her
personal appearance, than it could have cost her to put
on her apron and gloves.

Caroline sympathized with Mary in the sorrow
she had felt in seeing that Evelyn did not like her;
but she tried to convince her that slie ought not to
think so much about what people were to say of her.

“Mrs. Hamilton tells me that,” said Mary, “ but I
did not expect to hear you say so.”

“ And why not, Minnie?” asked Caroline.

‘Oh, do not you remember the other day, when you
were speaking about my learning French, and some
other things which I do not want to learn, you said,
that your only reason for wishing me to do so was,
lest other girls should look down upon me as inferior
to them if I did not.”

“Nay, Minnie, I did not say that.”

“Indeed, Caroline, you did,” said Mary, eagerly.
“You said, ifI did not learn what other girls in my situa-
tion learned, that I would be considered an ill-educated
woman when I grew up, and might feel myself unable



CAROLINE. 73

to enter into conversation with my equals. Now
didn’t you say that, Caroline ?”

“TI did, Minnie; but I never said that was my only
reason. I still think that is a strong reason in your
case. Some girls could see themselves looked down
upon, as you call it, and not care much for it; but
you are so sensitive about what others may think or
say of you, that I think if you felt that you were re-
garded with contempt for your ignorance of French, or
for your want of any acquirement which girls of your
rank in life usually possess, it would embitter your
temper, and lead you to seek the society of your in-
feriors.”

«“ Indeed, Caroline,” said Mary, warmly, “I do not
think it is fair to say that of me. I cannot tell you
how much I despise people who do anything only be-
cause other people do it. Affected fine ladies, who are
afraid to stir or speak, or smile lest they should be
thought vulgar, and who are always upon the watch to
show that they have learned what other people learn,
and are ignorant of nothing that other people know.”

“Are you not as much upon the watch to show off
your wisdom in despising such people, as they can be
to show their accomplishments? And, dear Minnie,
you are not contented with being too sensible to care
about these things, unless others see and acknowledge
that you are so. We can easily be affected, without
being fine ladies. Was it not too great concern for the



74 MARY ELLIOT.

opinion of the boys that made you refuse to put on
your apron on the day you have told meabout? And
did not you on that day affect more indifference than
you really felt, as to whether your frock and hands
were dirtied or not ?”

Mary could not deny this, and she tried to change
the subject.

“‘ But what are your other reasons for wishing me
to learn French, Caroline ?” she asked.

“Oh! I really have not time to give you all my
reasons just now, particularly as I think it is going to be
fine, and that we shall make out our walk to Worsleigh.
But one strong reason is, that I hope the learning of it
may be of use in giving you those habits of regular
industry and steady application in which you are at
present so deficient. You know your papa told you
this morning, that you were the idlest girl he ever
knew.”

“Oh! papa was only laughing,” said Mary; “Iam
not so very idle. I have read a great many books,
and really sensible books, with the Hamiltons.”

“T know you have, Minnie. And it has been a
good thing for you that you have had such kind
friends as Captain and Mrs. Hamilton, who have taken
pains to give you a love of reading, and to direct you
in the choice of your books. You have more informa-
tion on many subjects than girls of your age generally
have. But I do not say this to make you conceited,



CAROLINE. 75

Minnie. You have so many advantages here, so much
leisure, and so many interesting natural objects around
you, to excite your curiosity, and induce you to read,
that I think it would be almost a disgrace to you, if
you did not know more than other girls.”

“ But besides reading a great deal, Caroline,” pur-
sued Mary, eagerly, “ I assure you I can study very
patiently when there is anything that I want to
learn, and work very hard when there is anything I
have set my heart upon getting done.”

“I do not doubt it, Minnie,” said Caroline, laugh-
ing, “if you have set your heart upon it; but that is
quite a different thing from sitting down contentedly for
so many hours every day to dry uninteresting lessons,
and giving your whole mind to learn them thoroughly,
even when your heart is set against instead of upon
them.”

“ But lessons ought to be made co then,
Cgroline,” said Mary.

“ A great deal has been done in that way, Minnie
but I do not think it is possible to take away entirely
the dry technicalities and details which meet us at the
beginning of every study; and, indeed, I am not sure
that it is advisable. I think the effort necessary to
master these, in spite of our distaste to them, and to
fix our attention upon such uninteresting subjects, is
useful. It must strengthen the habits of quiet perse-
verance, and earnest diligence in overcoming difficul-



76 MARY ELLIOT.

ties. It must, I think, give us the power of working on
day after day in any task we are called upon to per-
form, however irksome it may be, looking for no other
pleasure than the satisfaction of having done our
duty.”

Mary smiled and shook her head. “She did not
see the necessity of this habit,” she said.

“ Because you will not see it, Minnie,” said Caro-
line. “ But if you do not see it now, you will when
you are a woman; and then it will be too late. And
when you are suddenly called upon to perform some
very tiresome duty, and find that you have no time to
go round the world in search of some one who will be
kind enough to make it interesting to you, you will
regret then that you did not acquire such habits while
young as might have enabled you to discharge your
duty, however disagreeable.”

“I cannot imagine any such duty, Caroline,” an-
swered Mary, laughing. “I hope I shall always have
money to pay other people for performing any task
which is too difficult for my idleness to undertake.”

“ Nay, Minnie, you are talking foolishly now, and
you know it too. You cannot know what your future
lot in life may be, nor what you may be obliged to un-
dertake either for yourself or for others. At any rate,
I did not speak of overcoming mere physical difficul-
ties, but of mental and moral too. In the efforts which
you tell me you are going to make to overcome your



CAROLINE, 77

impetuosity and impatience, you will find that you need
perseverance almost as much as steady resolution or
earnest desire. And should you ever be placed in
authority over children, you will find that no warmth
of affection for them, no earnestness of desire for their
improvement, will avail in your efforts to subdue their
faults, unless you have also a quiet perseverance to
enable you to go on day after day, amid all discourage-
ments, and in spite of all obstacles.”

Caroline paused for a moment, as if recollecting
something, and then said, “ I remember a case, Minnie,
that I think might interest you.”

“ Oh, tell it me, Caroline, if it is a story,” cried Mary,
eagerly.

“I did not know the young lady myself, but I have
heard mamma speak of her,” said Caroline. ‘She was
the eldest daughter of a rich merchant, and until she
was about eighteen, her father was remarkably pros-
perous in all his transactions. His affairs then became
suddenly and, as it seemed, mysteriously involved.
He had met with several losses in trade, but not of
sufficient importance to account for the embarrassed
state in which he found himself. Upon investigation
he saw reason to suspect the honesty of his head clerk,
aman in whom he had placed the most unbounded
confidence : and it became,necessary for him to go over
a great number of very complicated accounts, in order
to ascertain how far his suspicions were correct. He



78 MARY ELLIOT.

had no one to assist him in this task. The only son
who was old enough to do so was abroad, and he could
not trust to the inferior clerks. He had to undertake
it entirely himself. But at the very commencement
of the business he was taken suddenly and alarmingly
ill. The doctors told his wife that his life depended
upon his being kept perfectly quiet, and free from all
anxiety. But how could that be done while he felt
that total ruin might be the consequence of any delay
in the inspection of these accounts, while his mind was
in a fever of anxiety to ascertain the real state of his
affairs ?

“In this dilemma his daughter came forward, and
persuaded her father to trust her to accomplish this
task for him. Her education had been carefully at-
tended to in all its branches, and by her knowledge of
arithmetic she was able to do all that was required,
although at the expense of more labour and time than
it would have cost a more experienced accountant.
That, however, she did not consider, if only she could
lessen her father’s cares ; and she began her task, and
persevered day after day, week after week, with unre-
mitting assiduity, until at length she had the satisfac-
tion of giving to her father convincing proofs of his
clerk’s dishonesty, and a clear statement of his ac-
counts.” s

“ Oh, Caroline,” exclaimed Mary, vehemently, “ I
could have done that, indeed I could. I should have



CAROLINE. 79

needed no interest, no pleasantness in the task itself,
no habits of industry; love to dear papa must have
been strong enough to enable me to do it.”

“ I believe, dear Minnie,” said Caroline, affection-
ately, “ that your love to your father would have led
you to begin with the utmost readiness, and even to
go on zealously for some time. But when week passed
after week, when the first warmth of feeling was over,
when the body became wearied, the head aching, the
mind worn out; could you then have resisted all temp-
tations to relax in your efforts? When friends whom
you dearly loved came to claim their share of your
time and thoughts, when the fresh air, the song of
birds, the scent of flowers, and the gay sunshine, all
united to invite you to go out, and leave your weary,
weary labour, could you withstand them all, and go on
and on without discontent, and without relaxation ”

“Oh yes, Caroline, I could, I could indeed,” was
Mary’s earnest reply. “ Nothing could tempt me to
give it up if it were necessary for papa’s health and
comfort that I should persevere.”

“J do not think that the temptation would be to
give up while you thought it necessary to your papa’s
health to persevere. The danger would be that your
inclinations might persuade you it was not necessary,
and then when you felt very very weary, you might
gradually begin to think that you really could not go

on.”



80 MARY ELLIOT.

“ No, Caroline, never! Indeed, you do not do me
justice in saying so;” and the tears stood in Mary’s eyes,
with the earnestness of her feelings.

‘ Perhaps so, Minnie, dear,” said Caroline, kindly.
“ I will not vex you by denying it. Only you must
confess that the effort necessary to overcome these
temptations, and your habitual idleness at the same
time, would distract your mind, and prevent your giv-
ing its whole powers to the task before you, as another
might do, who had acquired the habit of mechanical
perseverance, which I hope your lesson-learning may
still give you. But see, Mary, the sun is coming out,
I believe.”

Mary ran to the window.

“Qh yes, Caroline,” she cried, “ come and look out.
The clouds have rained away all their dirty grey, and
are now such a beautiful soft white, and they are
breaking and allowing the deep blue sky to peep
through. ‘There is a gentle breeze making the birch
leaves dance so joyously in the sun and shake off their
bright rain-drops so gracefully.”

Caroline had joined Mary, and stood looking out of
the window, with her hand resting upon her shoulder.

‘Tt is beautiful, Minnie,” she said; “ I never thought
a holly hedge so pretty before. The rain sparkles so
upon it, and the young shoots are such a fresh green,
in contrast with the sombre old leaves.”

'« Wait till you see that hedge in snow, Caroline.



CAROLINE. 81

It is so beautiful when the snow is half melted, and
the smooth, shining green leaves are peeping through.
But look at the burn, Caroline; is not that lovely?
the grass beside it is so green from the rain.”

“ And how rich that distant clump of trees is,”
said Caroline. “Iam impatient to set out upon our
walk; everything seems calling upon us to go.”

“J will run and seek Gertrude,” cried Mary, dart-
ing out of the room before Caroline could stop her.

Caroline followed: she knew that Gertrude was
drawing, and she was afraid that Mary might tease
her by her impatience.

Gertrude had a great talent for drawing, and was
particularly fond of it. Since she came home she had
been much interested in drawing from some beautiful
casts and busts which her father had. One very fine
bust, a copy of the head of Thorwaldsen’s John the
Baptist, had particularly attracted her. She had seen
an engraving of it a year or two before this, and had
always remembered it, and desired earnestly to get it
for a copy. But to draw from the bust itself was, she
found, much more interesting. She had been very
successful in her sketch of it, and this success made
her all the more eager to go on with it; so that she
had rejoiced in the rain, as it promised to give her
the whole forenoon to devote to it.

Mary knew all this, and had she reflected for a
. moment, she must have felt that Gertrude could not
F



82 MARY ELLIOT.

hail the return of the sunshine with so much pleasure
as she did. But Mary did not reflect. She ran hastily
into the room, pushing down, with her usual careless-
ness, the paper upon which Gertrude’s chalks were
lying, and exclaimed eagerly,—

“ The sun is shining, Gertrude, and we are going to
Worsleigh directly. You cannot think how beautiful
the lawn is. Every shrub, and tree, and blade of
grass, is sparkling with bright trembling rain-drops.”

Gertrude calmly picked up her scattered chalks,
then finding that she required a finer point to the one
she was working with, she took it out of the crayon,
pointed it, and was replacing it, when Mary exclaimed
with a little stamp of impatience—

“ Why do you not answer me, Gertrude ?”

“J did not hear you say anything that required an
answer,” was Gertrude’s cold reply.

“ Why do you not put away your things then, and
go for your bonnet ?”

“Not being so much devoted to Worsleigh as you
are, I happen to retain possession of my senses ; and I
imagine that however beautiful your rain-drops may
be, they will still perhaps have some chance of wetting
us, and that it might be as well to wait until they have
had time to dry.”

“Qh, Gertrude!” exclaimed Mary, impatiently—
then checking herself, she continued more quietly,
« only look out of the window, Gertrude, and see how



CAROLINE. 83

lovely the view is; and then I am sure you cannot
resist it.”

“No, thank you,” said Gertrude, in a still more
provokingly indifferent tone; “I am quite satisfied to
look at what is before me.”

“Well, Gertrude,” said Mary, contemptuously,
“if your wonderful talent for drawing can make you
despise such a view as that,” pointing to the window,
“and prefer your own handiwork to it, I must say that
I would rather have Caroline’s taste, who pretends to
no genius, but who can enjoy and admire what is
really beautiful. I leave you to your refined taste
and dignity, and I will ask Caroline to go without
you, as she is not so terribly afraid of a few drops of
rain.”

And Mary ran out of the room as hastily as she had
entered it, without perceiving that Caroline had fol-
lowed her, and was now standing behind Gertrude’s
chair. Gertrude did not see her either. She went on
calmly with her work, until a slight movement of
Caroline’s caused her to look up.

“Do you think that I am successful?” she asked.

“Yes,” was Caroline’s grave reply, “I think you
have succeeded admirably in both objects.”

“Both !” repeated Gertrude, in some surprise.

“Yes, That delicate line of shading has brought
out beautifully the expression of the eye, and your
studied indifference has put Mary in a passion.”



84 MARY ELLIOT.

Gertrude coloured, and did not speak for a moment.
She would not have borne such a reproof from any
one else; but Caroline had always dealt very frankly
with her, and Gertrude had so much respect as well
as affection for her that she was seldom offended at
anything she said.

“You are mistaken, Caroline,” she said at last ;
“T had no such object.”

“Forgive me, Gertrude. It is you who are mis-
taken; you could have had no other motive for assum-
ing such a provokingly cold manner. It must have been
a powerful motive, too, Gertrude, as it led you to say
what was not true, or at least to imply it.”

“ Not true, Caroline!” said Gertrude, in an offended
tone.

“Yes, not true, dear Gertrude,” replied Caroline,
turning her gently towards the window. “ You can-
not be indifferent to such beauty as that.”

The window was shaded by a very handsome china
rose-tree. One long branch, loaded with flowers in
every stage of beauty, had escaped from its fastening,
and leaned against the glass; all its flowers and leaves
gemmed with dazzling drops of rain. Beyond were
seen fields, woods, and water, in all the rich luxuri-
ance of their summer splendour. Gertrude smiled as
she looked on it.

«Every one must admire this,” she said. “ But,
indeed, Caroline, you do not know how peculiarly pro-



CAROLINE, 85

voking Mary is to me. I sometimes fear that I shall
end in positively disliking her.”

“You remember your mother, Gertrude,” said
Caroline, abruptly. ‘You have spoken to me about
her.”

‘Remember her!” exclaimed Gertrude, an expres-
sion of softened feeling coming over her face as she
spoke. “Ah! I have never forgotten her. But since
I have returned home, 1 seem to remember her more
distinctly than ever; every room, every spot of the
grounds seem to recall her to me, to remind me of
some word, some look, some proof of her affection for
me. I have often spoken of her to you, but I can
never tell you of the warmth, the tenderness of her
love to us, nor make you understand the perfect con-
fidence which I, child as I was, felt in that love,—the
perfect conviction that my welfare, my happiness,
were dearer to her than her own. No,” continued
Gertrude, sadly, turning away her head that Caroline
might not see the tears that came into her eyes,
“none ever have, none ever can love me as she did;
and I often feel as if the power of loving had died in
my heart when she died.”

“ Dear Gertrude,” exclaimed Caroline, affectionate-
ly, “ you ought not to say that, you ought not to feel it.”

“ Ought not to say it, perhaps, Caroline, but how
can I help feeling it? She was everything to me. To
others I was reserved and cold even then, but never



86 MARY ELLIOT.

to her. Every thought and feeling were told to her as
they arose in my heart. She did not treat me as a
child; she made me the sharer in her pure, holy
thoughts and feelings; she was more than my mother
—my friend, my companion, my confidant. When I
went to Edinburgh, I found my aunt kind, indulgent,
and anxious for my health and comfort, but you know
yourself that she could not fill my mother’s place.
Dear Madeline is gentle and good, but my feelings are
too stormy for her to understand. Among all my
companions there was not one who could understand
me, or interest me. They had more worldly wisdom
than I had, but they would have laughed at many of
my feelings; they could not understand the fresh,
beautiful thoughts which my mother had connected
in my mind with everything around me—with trees,
and birds, and flowers, with clouds and sunshine. So
I shut them up in my own heart, and tried to seem
cold and indifferent, until I became so in reality. I
did not understand all this then, but, looking back, I
see now that this was the case. And, I say, I cannot
help it; I cannot make myself love.”

“ You like to look upon fine pictures, Gertrude ?”
’ « You know I do, Caroline. What do you mean?”
asked Gertrude, in surprise.

“ Would you ever take any interest in them if you
only looked at the coarse canvass on which the picture
is painted ?”



CAROLINE, 87

“ Of course not,” was the laughing reply.

& You could not like them so much as you do if you
only gave them one general, careless look?”

“ Certainly not. We cannot enjoy a picture unless
we look into it closely, to find out its minuter beauties,
and study to understand the mind of the painter, and
to enter into the ideas he intended to present to us.”

“ But, dear Gertrude, did you ever try that plan
with characters? You say you cannot make yourself
love people ; did you ever try to make yourself take
an interest in any one in whom you feel that you ought
to be interested? Instead of being contented with one
careless glance at their characters, did you ever try to
study them, so as to find out the greater or lesser good
points in them? If you consider the various pecu-
liarities of their temper, situation, circumstances, do
you not think that you will fee] more interest in them,
if not more affection too ?”

Gertrude did not answer. Caroline saw that she
had made an impression on her, and she continued,—

«“ But that was not what I wished to say when I be-
gan to speak of-your mother. I wished to ask you to
consider how she would feel and act towards poor
Mary were she now alive, and how she would like
you to feel and act towards her. Try to realize how
patient and forbearing she would be, and, I think, that
will help you to be more so too.”

Still Gertrude did not speak, but Caroline scarcely



88 MARY ELLIOT.

expected she would. Her pride prevented her from
acknowledging that she had been wrong; her truth-
fulness from defending herself. Caroline felt only
anxious that she should be left to follow the train of
thought she had suggested without interruption; and
she therefore advised her not to accompany them in
their walk, as the grass and walks were really very wet.

She was glad to find Bessie Hamilton with Mary
when she joined her. Bessie had seen that the rain
was over sooner than they had, and had taken the first
fair moment to start, as she was anxious to see Mary,
and she now proposed to walk back with them. She
and Mary had a great deal to talk about, as they had
not met for some days; and Caroline was glad to be
allowed to pursue her own thoughts in peace.

Her mind was full of her conversation with Ger-
trude. She felt more than she had ever done before
the difficulty of dealing with such a character; and
the more convinced she was of the depth and strength
of her feelings, the more anxiety did she feel to direct
her aright, and the more doubt of her own capacity
for the task. Never had she felt the burden of her
responsibility, in regard to all her sisters, weigh so
heavily. She almost felt as if she must sink under it;
and was half tempted to murmur that such a duty
should have been laid upon her at such a time, when
she could have wished to devote all her thoughts and
cares to her husband.



CAROLINE. 89

But Caroline never indulged long in selfish repining
or desponding feelings. She soon began to remember
that she had the promise of strength from on high in
every duty. The more difficult the duty the more
abundant the supply of strength. And as she looked
around upon the fresh verdure, and saw how every
tree, and shrub, and flower had been refreshed by the
rain, she thought, “‘ Ah! He who clothes the grass of
the field will much more clothe me with every grace
needful for my task. He who cares for the refresh-
ment of every tiny plant will care much more tenderly
for my support and refreshment in every difficulty and
discouragement.”



90 MARY ELLIOT.

CHAPTER VI.

LESSONS.

In the meantime the girls were talking very fast.
They had not met since they had spent a day at Mrs.
Harcourt’s, and they had to discuss the events of the
day, and to decide again what they thought of Evelyn.
Mary was unqualified in her expressions of dislike.
She was a stupid, tiresome girl, she said, who cared
for nothing that other girls cared for. She did not
like a long walk, she did not like scrambling on the
rocks, going out in a boat, playing with the boys, nor
working in the garden. In short, she said, she was
affected and conceited, and far too old for her age.
She looked more like twenty than twelve.

‘“‘ But, Mary, she is fourteen,” said Bessie.

“Well, well,” was Mary’s impatient answer, “ four-
teen, or twelve, it is all the same.”

“ Not quite,” said Bessie, smiling. ‘See how much
more quiet and sensible Susan is than we are.”

“Oh! that is nothing to the purpose. Susan was



LESSONS. 91

quiet and sensible long before she was even twelve.
Do you not remember, long, long ago, how she used
to find out when your mamma had a headach, and
used to be so quiet and attentive to her, and used to
tempt us to carry our noise and bustle out of her
hearing : and how she could always find your papa’s
books and papers, and knew how to help him so
nicely in the garden, and with his dried flowers.
No, no, Susan did not need to wait till she was four-
teen before she became sensible.”

“But we do, Minnie, I am afraid,” said Bessie,
laughing.

Mary laughed too.

« After all, Bessie,” she said, “ I am not sure that I
should like to be so very quiet and sensible. Evelyn
must have far less pleasure than we have, because she
cares for so few things; I mean likes so few things.”

«“ Few things that we like, Minnie. But she likes
some things that we do not. And then, you know, if
she does not care so much about a long walk, she is
not so much vexed when she cannot get it as we are.
To-day, I was very anxious to go over to you, and
when the rain began I felt quite cross and unable to
do anything. I sat in the window and grumbled,
until mamma spoke to me about it, and told me to get
some occupation. I took up the skirt of a frock that
I was helping mamma to make for Annie, but I was
so much occupied in watching the rain, and in griev-



92 MARY ELLIOT.

ing about my walk, that I did not look what I was
doing, and instead of sewing two breadths together, I
carefully sewed the bottom of one to the side, and
never found out my mistake till I came to the corner.”
_ Mary was much amused; she laughed again and
again at Bessie’s mistake. Bessie laughed too, but she
said that she had been very sorry about it. Her
mamma had taken the work from her, as she was in
haste to get it done, and said she could not wait for
Bessie, if she did not choose to give her mind to it.

“ And I was so grieved, Minnie; for you know it
seemed so unkind to mamma not to be more anxious
to help her. And mamma is so very kind to us, and
always so ready and willing to do everything she can
for us.”

“ Yes, I know that feeling, Bessie,” said Mary,
gravely ; “I know that it vexes me very much when
I have grieved Caroline, because she is always so kind
to me. Oh! Bessie,” she continued eagerly, “ you
cannot think how happy I am to have got Caroline,
and to love her so much. But you look grave, Bessie.
Are you-not glad about Caroline’s coming ?”

Bessie coloured and hesitated. She knew it was a
wrong feeling, she said, but sometimes she could not
help wishing that Caroline had not come, because
Mary came so much more seldom to Worsleigh than
she used to do.

“ I know I am very selfish, Minnie,” she said, “ and



LESSONS. 93

I have striven and am striving to put it away, but I
cannot yet say that I am quite glad.”

“ Oh, Bessie!” exclaimed Mary, “it is very selfish
to say that, when it is such happiness to me.”

“T have said, Mary, that I know it is selfish,” re-
plied Bessie, quickly; “but you ought to make allow-
ance for this feeling. You often feel the same your-
self.”

“ Never, Bessie, never!” cried Mary, warmly. “I
remember when my arbutus tree died in the frost, I
was very glad to hear that yours was still alive.”

Bessie felt that her candid confession might have
been a little more generously received. She saw, too,
that the case Mary mentioned was very different from
hers, as the death of her arbutus could have done
Mary no good. She was inclined to remind Mary
that she had felt sorrow, not merely because Evelyn
disliked her, but also because she liked Susan and
Bessie. But she checked herself. She remembered
that her mother had told her, that the kindness which
God bids us feel towards others, requires us often to
give up our own rights, often to cease to defend our-
selves, often to drop an argument, when we see that
our opponent’s temper is failing. And by a strong
effort she forced herself to say quietly,

“ Yes, I remember that you were.”

Mary’s conscience smote her at Bessie’s mild
reply, and with all her usual quickness to make



94 MARY ELLIOT,

amends, she told her at once, that she saw she had
been wrong, that she had been boastful about her own
goodness, and unkind to Bessie.

« But,” she continued, “we have forgotten Evelyn.”

“Qh, let us forget her then,” said Bessie, smiling ;
«ghe does not suit our taste, and so it is difficult for us
to speak fairly about her. I do not think that she is
affected or conceited, but she is terribly quiet, and I
should not like you to be like her, nor to be like her
myself. But, Mary, do you know what Mrs. Elliot is
going to speak to mamma about?”

“No, Bessie; do you? Oh! tell me,” was Mary’s
eager reply.

Bessie doubted whether she ought to do so, as

_ Caroline had not.

“ Oh, yes, I am sure you may; or we can ask
Caroline, if you like,” said Mary.

They ran after her. She smiled at the request, and
said, that Bessie might tell if she pleased, that she had
only refrained from speaking about it, lest Mary should
be disappointed if Mrs. Hamilton did not approve of
the plan.

“Qh! mamma and papa do approve,” said Bessie,
blushing. “They are much obliged to you for thinking
of it.”

“For thinking of what? What plan? Tell me quick,
Bessie,” cried Mary, impatiently.

“ Mrs. Elliot is going to get masters to teach you

ao ile 5 iia



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Sate mn apa dey as



MARY ELLIOT.

“ BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER.”

BY COUSIN KATE,
AUTHOR OF “SET ABOUT IT AT ONCE,” “(AN AUTUMN AT KARNFORD,”

t

.

“* @EORGIE AND Lizzip,” &c. .



EDINBURGH: WILLIAM P. KENNEDY.
GLASGOW : D. BRYCE, LONDON: HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
, DUBLIN: JAMES M‘GLASHAN.
MDCOCL.





CONTENTS.

Cuaprer I.—Inrrovvuction, .
II.—Tue VERBENA, .
I1.—Tne Watx,
IV.—Evetyyn Harcourt, .
V.—CAROLINE, .
VI.—Lzssons,

Vil.—Tux Hor-Beo, .
VIIL.—Susan AnD Evetyy, -
IX.—Tue Taunver-Srorm,

PaoR

27
42

181
184
214

MARY ELLIOT.

CHAPTER I.—INTRODUCTION.

My DEAR YOUNG READERS, I remember when I was
a little girl I used to dislike introductions very much.
I always thought that a book should begin with the
story at once. I shall therefore make my introduc-
tion as short as possible; but I think that I cannot
leave it out altogether, because I am sure that you
will understand my story better if I first give you an
account of Mary Elliot’s family, and of her friends
the Hamiltons.

Mary’s father was a banker in a large country
town. He had a good fortune, independent of his
profession. He lived a little way out of the town,
and his house, Hazel Bank, was a very handsome
one—with a fine garden, extensive shrubberies, and a
pretty park round it. Mary was the youngest child.

A
2 INTRODUCTION,

Her mother died when she was only about six years
old, and since then she had done in all things pretty
much as she pleased. Her papa and her grown-up
brothers, William and Frederick, treated her more as
a pet and plaything, than as a little girl who required
to be taught what was right, and to be kept from
doing what was wrong. Her sisters, Gertrude and
Madeline, had, since their mother’s death, lived almost
constantly with their aunt in Edinburgh; and her
companion and play-fellow, Grahame, had been al-
ways taught to give up to his “poor little sister
Mary.” ,

At the time when my story begins, however, a great
change is going to take place in the arrangements at
Hazel Bank. William has married, and his wife is
coming home to take charge of the house until Ger-
trude is old enough to do so. Gertrude and Madeline
are also coming home to finish their education, under
their new sister Caroline’s superintendence, with the
help of masters from the neighbouring town.

The aunt with whom the girls had lived in Edin-
burgh is now at Hazel Bank, as she had come a
month or two before this to nurse her brother and
William in a dangerous fever; and when Mr. Elliot
and his two elder sons went to William’s marriage,
she had remained to take care of Mary and Grahame,
who were considered too young to join the party.

Frederick has returned home, Mr, Elliot and the -
INTRODUCTION, 3

two girls are expected in a few days, and the young
husband and wife in about a week.

Mary’s friends, Susan and Bessie Hamilton, are in
some respects very differently circumstanced from her.
They have the advantage of a tender, careful mother
to watch over and teach them. Their father is much
poorer than-Mr. Elliot; they have few servants, and
the girls are not allowed to run idle all day like Mary,
but have been early taught to make themselves of use
—to assist their mamma in the house and with their
needle, and to help their papa and brothers to keep
the pretty garden in order.

Captain Hamilton had been in the army, but when
his regiment went to the West Indies, the climate
affected his health so much that, as he could not effect
an exchange, he had been forced to sell out and re-
turn home. He had a small fortune, besides the
money he got by the sale of his commission ; and he
had inherited from his father the old picturesque look-
ing house in which they lived. There had once been
a considerable estate attached to it, but Captain
Hamilton’s grandfather had got into difficulties, and
the property had all been sold, except the large old-
fashioned garden, and a very pretty orchard which
sloped down from the front of the house towards the
sea-shore. The house was beautifully situated, in a
sheltered nook at the head of a large deep bay, and
the view from the windows was very fine.
4 é INTRODUCTION.

Susan Hamilton was fourteen, Ned was thirteen,
and Bessie and Mary Elliot were nearly twelve.
Maurice Hamilton was seven, little Annie five.
Grahame Elliot was between thirteen and fourteen,
and Gertrude and Madeline, who were twins, were
nearly sixteen.

So now, I think, I have told you all that it is neces-
sary you should know about the families, and I shall
allow them henceforward to speak for themselves,
only premising that it is now about the beginning of
summer, and that the day on which you are intro-
duced to Mary is the first very hot one of the season.
I tell you this, because it partly accounts for the cross-
ness poor Mary displays in my next Chapter.
THE VERBENA. 5

CHAPTER II.
THE VERBENA.

Ear y in the forenoon of this same hot summer-day,
Frederick Elliot was sitting on the grass, under the
trees on the lawn, amusing himself by cutting a boat,
which he had promised to make for Grahame, out of
a piece of foreign wood which had been given to him,
when he saw Mary come hastily out of the house, and
run across the grass near him, without seeming to
notice him. He called to her—

“Where are you running to, Mary? Come here
and tell me if you think this boat will please
Grahame.”

Mary turned and came up to him. Her cheeks
were flushed, and her eyes seemed full of tears. “Oh,
it is very nice, Frederick. How kind you are to do
it so soon. Grahame will be so pleased.”

“ But you are not pleased, my little Mary,” said
her brother, looking earnestly at her. “ What has
vexed you? Do not turn away your head, but tell me
6 MARY ELLIOT.

at once what is wrong. Come, Minnie,” he continued
coaxingly, “do tell me the whole story. Have you
quarrelled with Aunt? or has any accident happened
to any of your treasures ?”

“ Both, Frederick,” answered Mary, half smiling, in
spite of her vexation, at his correct guess.

“ Well, sit down here, and tell me all about it, and
I will go on working at Grahame’s boat.”

“ But first, Frederick, do you know the history of
my sweet-smelling verbena?”

“No, Minnie, I do not think I do.”

“ Not know about my verbena?” exclaimed Mary,
in a tone of surprise, starting up from her seat. “No,
I daresay it was while you were at college. Well, I
must tell you the whole story, that you may know
how much I prized it.”

“Do sd, Minnie; but only try to sit still, please.
That sudden start nearly spoiled my boat.”

“ You must know, then, Frederick, that Bessie and
I had long wished to have a sweet-smelling verbena.
Lady Home has a beautiful one in her greenhouse,
and we used so often to wish that we could get some
cuttings from it. Well, one day last autumn, Mrs.
Hamilton went to call for Lady Home, and she took
Bessie and me with her. Lady Home asked us to
look at the flowers in her greenhouse, and said she
would give Mrs. Hamilton a bouquet. So she began
to cut such beautiful flowers, Frederick ! geraniums,
THE' VERBENA. 7

heliotrope, calceolarias, oleanders, and I do not re-
member what. At last she came near the verbena.
My heart beat so fast—Bessie squeezed my hand—
neither of us seemed to breathe, we were so anxious.
‘This will make a pretty green,’ said Lady Home, and
snip, snip, went the scissors; two fine branches were
off—the cuttings were ours at last.”

“ Were Mrs. Hamilton’s, you mean,” said Frederick,
smiling at her vehemence.

“Oh, but we were sure that Mrs. Hamilton would
give them to us. And so she did. She sat down so
good-humouredly on a bank at the road-side, untied
her bouquet and gave us the verbena, in order that
we might bring it straight here, and get Walter to set
the cuttings for us in the hot-bed. It was one of
Walter's cross days, however. He declared that he
could not get a single slip off either of the branches
that could have the least chance of striking; and he
was going to throw them away in disdain, when Bessie
stopped him, saying, that if he would not try, we
would do it ourselves.

“So we made up a little heap of manure for a hot-
bed, and sunk our pot in it. Then we coaxed Walter,
in spite of his crossness, to give us a little of his fine
sand to mix with the earth, so as to make a nice soil
for them. With all our hopefulness, we could not get
more than two slips, that seemed to have any chance
of striking, and they were very small.”
8 MARY ELLIOT.

‘Perhaps then, Minnie, it was only a want of
hopefulness, as you call it, and not crossness, that made
Walter refuse to help you.”

‘“ Perhaps so ; but you know he is sometimes terri-
bly cross. However, we set the cuttings very care-
fully. - Bessie called hers ‘Susan,’ and I called mine
‘Papa.’ And that makes me so vexed about my poor
verbena, because I never had a plant called after papa
before. I have a geranium ‘ William,’ a cherry-tree
‘Frederick,’ a dwarf china rose-bush ‘ Grahame,’
a fuchsia ‘Susan,’ and a currant-bush ‘ Bessie ;’ but
Grahame had always persuaded me before this, that
‘Papa’ was an awkward name for a plant. However,
I do not think so. Do you, Frederick ?”

“Tam not quite sure about it,” said he, laughing.
“But I do not think my opinion is of much import-
ance now, as I suppose the end of your story will be
that poor ‘ papa’ is demolished.”

“Yes, it is,” said Mary, with a deep sigh. “But I
must tell you about all our watching and anxiety, that
you may understand my grief at the loss of my beau-
tiful plant.

“We didnot know what to get for a glass to put
over them, till Bessie cleverly thought of Dickie’s
bath, and it answered so nicely. It is not very deep,
but the slips were so small that it was quite high
enough.”

“But, my dear Minnie, I cannot understand what
THE VERBENA. 9

Dickie’s bath is, that it should serve for a cover to
strike cuttings under.”

“ Oh, you do not know about my canary’s bath!
It was a broken tumbler which Grahame and Ned Ha-
milton took to the glass-cutter’s, and got him to grind
the edges smooth, and it makes such a neat dish for
Dickie to bathe in.

* But to go on with my story. For a long time we
feared that our cuttings were not to succeed. The
leaves turned first dark-green, then darker, darker,
black, then fell off, and nothing was left but two little
bare withered sticks. Oh! my patience was quite
withered too, and I gave them up; but. Bessie kept
hoping on, and always said that they might do yet.
Well, one day when we were peeping at them, Grahame
said he thought there was a wee, wee bud on one of the
slips; we could scarcely see it, it was so small; but
the next day it was larger, and so pretty, so very pretty,
like a little bright green gem ; and we were so happy.
In a day or two, more buds began to show themselves
both on that slip and on the other, and in a week there
were a great many beautiful bright green leaves on
both.

“ Now we thought we might take them out of their
cutting-pot, and put them in separate pots, so that
Bessie might take hers home. But this was nervous
work, I can assure you, Frederick, for sometimes cut-
tings put out fresh leaves when they have no roots, and
10 MARY ELLIOT.

we were afraid that might be the case with ours.
Bessie took out hers first. She struck her garden-knife
boldly into the earth beside it, and then began slowly
to raise it, bringing up the cutting and the earth round
it. We watched in great anxiety to see if the little
plant shook much, as that is a sign that it has no roots,
or very feeble ones. But it stood firm. Bessie pressed
up and up her knife, and there it was with such a mass
of long healthy fibres coming through the earth in every
direction. Mine was as well rooted as hers, and we
were both very glad. Now, Frederick, do you not
think I had great reason to be fond of my verbena,
when it had cost me so much anxiety ?

“‘ Then, besides all that, it seemed to die quite
down in winter, and for some months I had no hopes
of it, so that when the pretty little gem-looking buds
began to appear about three weeks ago, I was so de-
lighted, and fonder of my plant than ever. It was at
that time, you know, we first heard about cousin Eve-
lyn’s coming to live near here, and I was very busy
with plans of many things which I thought she might
like. So I determined to give her my dear verbena.
I thought she would admire it so much, and I thought
—I thought.” Here Mary hesitated and blushed a
little. ‘I thought that she would think me very kind
to give it to her when I had only one. So I took great
care of it, watered it every day, and removed it into
the little ante-room, because I thought it would get
THE VERBENA. 11

more sun there than in the room where my other
plants were. And that, Frederick, was the cause of
its death ; for I was so busy with other plans for Eve-
lyn, and for Gertrude, Madeline, and Caroline’s coming
home, and so much occupied about William’s marriage,
that I quite forgot my flowers. Grahame watered the
others, but when he did not see it he forgot my ver-
bena. I remembered it suddenly this morning, and
ran in great anxiety to look atit. All its poor leaves
were black and withered ; it looked quite dead.

“IT was so sorry, so very sorry, I could not help ery-
ing. I took it up in my arms and carried it into the
drawing-room to show it to you, and to tell you all about
the care and anxiety that it had cost me. There was
no one in the drawing-room but Aunt, and oh, Frede-

. Tick! she put me into such a rage. When I told her
all my grief, and when she might have seen how sorry
I was, she only said in her tiresome matter-of-fact way,
‘But, my dear, why did you not water it?’ as if
there could be any other reason than that I forgot it.
I was so angry that I dashed down the pot on the
ground ; told Aunt she was the most provoking crea-
ture I ever saw, and ran out of the room.”

“ O Mary!”

“ I know I was wrong, Frederick. But really Aunt
is so provoking that I cannot keep my temper with
her; Iam sure I wish she had stayed in Edinburgh,
and not come here to torment us.”

i , si, Ba ~ eae
12 MARY ELLIOT.

Frederick did not answer. He looked grave and
thoughtful. After a few minutes’ silence, Mary said,
looking earnestly up in his face, “ What are you think-
ing of, Frederick? Do you think me very naughty ?”

‘ T was thinking, Minnie, of an evening two months
ago, when you, Grahame, and I, were in great grief
about dear papa and William. I was recollecting our
feelings when a post-chaise drove up to the door, and
we saw Aunt come out of it, and heard that she had
forgotten all her nervous fears in travelling, all her
dread of infection, all her dislike to leave her own
house, and in spite of her delicate health had started
as soon as she heard of papa’s illness, and had travelled
night and day to come and help us.”

“ O Frederick!” exclaimed Mary, the tears start-
ing to her eyes, ‘ I had forgotten all that.”

“You had forgotten, too, dear Minnie, how tenderly
Aunt watched over papa and William, how kind and
thoughtful she was to us, how earnest to relieve our
anxiety. O Minnie, you did not think her tiresome
that other evening when she came into the drawing-
room to tell us that papa was out of danger; when she
looked so pale and worn out with watching, and yet so
glad and thankful for the good news she came to tell.
You did not then wish that she had never come, when
you ran into her arms and cried for joy, and when
she soothed you so gently and spoke to you so ten-
derly.”
THE VERBENA. 13

“ Stop, stop, Frederick, I cannot bear any more. I
am very very sorry—very much ashamed. I will run
at once to Aunt and tell her,” cried Mary, starting up
and running to the house.

Poor Mary! Her heart was full of sorrow for her
ingratitude towards her kind Aunt ; she did not pause
to consider that, nervous as her Aunt was, she might
startle and annoy her, if she went in too abruptly. She
ran into the drawing-room with her usual impetuosity,
pushing down a little table with a work-box on it in
her haste; and throwing her arms round Miss Elliot’s
neck with an earnestness that nearly strangled her, she
cried, “ O Aunt, forgive me; I am very sorry I was
so naughty.”

Now it must be confessed, that many people might
have agreed with Mary in thinking her Aunt a little
tiresome. She was very kind and gentle, but she had
a formal manner: she was very nervous, and was
easily disturbed with noise. Slow and methodical her-
self, she could not understand Mary’s sudden bursts of
feeling and changes of temper. She had been vexed
for a few minutes by her late storm of passion ; but
having got the litter of the broken pot removed, having
exerted herself to save Mary's supposed dead verbena,
and to send it to the gardener to be taken care of, she
had almost forgotten the whole affair, and was sitting
quietly knitting when Mary ran in in the noisy manner
T have described.
14 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Dear Mary,” she said, trying to extricate herself
from the unpleasant pressure of her arms round her
neck, “I do not understand you; but take care of my
cap, dear, you will have it off, and my wires, Mary, I
am afraid you will break them, they are so fine.”

“ © Aunt,” cried Mary, in a reproachful tone,
“ you do not understand me, indeed. I was not think-
ing of wires or caps; but if you think more of them
than of my affection and gratitude, I cannot help it ;
only I must say, I am sure I never can be good with
you, you are so provokingly cold-hearted.”

So saying, she withdrew her arms, turned from her
Aunt, and walked out of the room without deigning to
cast a look upon the ruin her hasty entry had caused
in the overthrow of the table and work-box.

Miss Elliot sighed as she looked after Mary.

‘“‘ I am sure I shall be glad when Caroline comes to
relieve me of the charge of that child,” she thought.
“ I wonder why she is so different from her sisters.
They were younger than she is now when they first
came to live with me, and yet they never gave me any
trouble, but were always quiet and reasonable. To be
sure, their poor mother took great pains with them,
and they came to me almost immediately after her
death, without having been suffered to run wild as Mary
has done for six years.”

The excellent training which Gertrude and Made-
line had received from their mother was certainly one
THE VERBENA. 15

great reason why they were more tractable than their
neglected sister, but another reason was the difference
of their natural dispositions. Madeline was too gentle
and indolent to get into a passion, or to think of dis-
obeying the orders of any one in authority over her;
and although Gertrude’s feelings were as keen as
Mary’s, she had a pride and reserve of character which
prevented her from displaying them with the vehe-
mence and impetuosity which characterized our little
friend.

Mary was very quick in every way. Quick in un-
derstanding, in feeling, and in temper. She always
did and said exactly what the impulse of the moment
prompted, without pausing to consider the effect her
words and actions might have on others. When she
felt that she had offended or grieved any one, she was
eager to atone for it ; but equally ready, as in the pre-
sent instance, to double the offence if her efforts at
reconciliation were not received as she expected. In
this way she was what might be called a troublesome
child, one who must cause much anxiety and vexation
to those who had the charge of her, and yet one who
was likely in after years to repay any pains that might
be bestowed on her improvement.

She soon began to feel that she had behaved even
worse in this second quarrel with her Aunt than in the
first. But she saw no way of making amends. She
could not go back again with a second apology, to be
16 MARY ELLIOT.

told again, that her Aunt did not understand her, and
so she pursued her walk to the Hamiltons’, where she
was engaged to spend the day, with very uncomfortable
feelings of self-reproach.

The high road between Hazel Bank and Worsleigh
was very hot and dusty, and to Mary’s mind it seemed
on this day more disagreeable than usual. She had
gone this way instead of by the sea-shore, because
Susan and Bessie had arranged to meet her half-way,
at the cottage of a poor woman, whom they were in
the habit of visiting almost every day. But when
Mary reached the cottage, she found that the girls had
not been there.

“ How provoking,” she muttered to herself, after she
had left the old woman. “ It is too bad of them to be
so late; and when I meet them they will want me
to come back all this weary road, that they may see
old Jenny. But I shall not, I am determined. If they
choose to be so late, they may take the consequences.”

Her resolution was not tried, for she reached the
gate of Worsleigh without meeting them, and she now
began to fear that they had made a mistake, and gone
by the sea shore.

As she passed the parlour window, she saw Mrs.
Hamilton seated at it writing, and when she went in,
she found no one there but her.

“Mary!” she exclaimed, looking up in surprise,

did you not get Susan’s note ?”

|

7
THE VERBENA. 17

“ No,” answered Mary, in a very cross tone, for the
hot walk, with no more agreeable companions than her
own self-reproachful thoughts, had made her temper
incapable of bearing patiently the slightest disappoint-
ment. “ What did she write to me about? She knew
I was coming here. She and Bessie promised to meet
me.”

“ Yes, and they did not forget their promise. But
we got a letter this morning from their aunt, begging
one of us to go over to-day to see her, as she had some
letters of importance she wished to get written, and
was unable herself to write. So as Captain Hamilton
and Ned did not come home last night, and as I could
not go, I sent the girls. Susan wrote to tell you, and
to ask you to put off your visit till to-morrow.”

“JT never got any note,” said Mary, very peevishly.
“Tf I had known they were going to disappoint me in
this way, I am sure I should not have taken the trouble
to come so far on such a hot day.”

“T am sorry for your disappointment, dear. But
now that you are here, you had better stay and dine
with me. Iam going to dine early with the children,
and go to meet the girls after dinner. If you like you
can go with me. I shall be glad to have you for a
companion. And I hope you will all enjoy yourselves
as much to-morrow, as you had expected to do to-day.”

“T may as well stay, for I certainly cannot go home
again just now, but I do not know about coming again

B
18 MARY ELLIOT.
















to-morrow, as I cannot trust to the girls’ promises,”
was Mary’s ungracious answer, as she took off her
bonnet. '

Mrs. Hamilton saw that she was really much heated
and tired, and that her temper was in a very irritable
state ; and she pitied her, and felt anxious to soothe
her, and to help her to recover herself. Instead of re-
monstrating with her, therefore, for her rudeness and
fretfulness, or trying to show her the unreasonable-
ness of her reproaches against Susan and Bessie, she
spoke to her kindly and compassionately, advising her
to lie down on the sofa in a cool dark corner of the

‘room, and to rest herself till dinner-time.

Mary could not but feel a little ashamed of herself,
when she saw how patiently Mrs. Hamilton bore with
her, but she was not in a humour to acknowledge it ;
so she followed her advice, and lay down on the sofa
without speaking.

Mrs. Hamilton resumed her writing, but was soon
again interrupted by little Maurice coming in to say
his spelling lesson. He spelt several long difficult
words very correctly, and then he began to bungle at
the comparatively easy one, contentment. After he
had made several ineffectual attempts, his mamma
stopped him, telling him, that she was sure he was not
thinking of what he was saying, that he must know
how to spell such a simple word.

“I will tell you what I was thinking of, mamma,”

'
THE VERBENA, 19

said the little boy, eagerly. “ About Lawrence Home
—I will tell you, mamma.”

‘ Not just now, my dear. Attend to what you are
doing, and finish your lesson, and then you can tell
me.”

Maurice did so. The rest of the lesson was cor-
rectly said, and Mrs. Hamilton giving him back his
book, and bidding him amuse himself in the garden
till dinner-time, was turning again to her writing-desk,
when Maurice exclaimed in a disappointed tone, “But,
mamma, you promised to hear my story when I had
finished my lesson.”

“So I did, Maurice; I had forgotten. Bring me my
work-basket from that table, that I may not be idle
while I listen to your story.”

The little boy did not move.

“Mamma,” he said, after a minute’s thought, “I
dare say you are anxious to finish your letter, I will
go into the garden, and you can call me when it is
done, and then I will tell you.”

“Thank you, my little man,” said Mrs, Hamilton,
smiling kindly upon him; “I must confess that I am
very anxious to finish my letter. At the same time,
it is only fair to tell you, that as it will be a long one,
I may very probably not be at leisure to listen to you
before dinner.”

“Oh, very well, I won't mind about it if you are
not. I know that you will call me as soon as you can,
20 MARY ELLIOT,

and so I will go and think about my story, and make
it ready for you.”

“*No, Maurice, don’t do that, I would rather not
accept your offer, unless you are going to try and
amuse or occupy yourself in some way until I am ready
for you.”

“But why may I not amuse myself with b dhiatting
about my story all the time ?”

“One reason is, that if you have no other occupa-
tion, you will probably weary, and get impatient and
fretful, if I do not call you so soon as you expect.
And I think it is always a pity to run any risk of
losing one’s temper, if one can help it. Do you
not ?”

“Yes, to be sure, mamma,” answered Maurice,
laughing. ‘“ But what are the other reasons ?”

“That one is sufficient for the present, and you
know the sooner you leave me, I shall be the sooner
ready for you. Try to find out the other reasons for
yourself.”

“Oh, yes, I should like to do that, so I will run
away and leave you in peace.”

Before beginning to write, Mrs. Hamilton looked
round to see if Mary was comfortable. She did not
look quite so cross, but still rather unhappy, and Mrs.
Hamilton asked her if she had got an amusing book.

“No,” was her answer, in a discontented tone, “I
do not care for it.”


THE VERBENA. 21

«“ Bessie found the missing volume of ‘ The Lives
of British Painters’ for you last night. You will find
it in the dining-room, if you like to go for it.”

Mary had been very anxious to get this book, but
she was not now in the mood to care much for any-
thing, and if she had had a good excuse, she would
probably not have taken the trouble of going for it;
lest Mrs. Hamilton might think her capricious, how-
ever, she exerted herself so far as to rise and saunter
listlessly into the dining-room, and back again, al-
though I cannot say that she derived much amuse-
ment from her book after she had got it.

When Mrs. Hamilton had finished her letter, she
went to call her little boy. He was not far off, and
came running in, in great glee.

“ T have been so busy, mamma. I have been gather-
ing sticks to make a heap at the back of the house
that Annie and I are building. We mean it to be
quite like this house, and so we must have a wood
pile, like the one in the yard. I have gathered a good
many. And you know,” he continued with an air of
importance, “ it was not very easy to find proper ones;
common twigs would not do, They must be thick,
stumpy pieces to pile nicely, and to look like yours.
But I had time too, mamma, to think about the reason,
and I think I have found it out—It is a bad plan to
think too much about other people’s faults.”

“That is a very good reason, but it could not be
22 MARY ELLIOT.

mine, because I did not know that your story was
about anybody’s faults.”

“‘Oh yes, mamma, it is all about Lawrence Home’s
faults. But what was your other reason ?”

“Do you know the meaning of the word exag-
gerate ?”

“ Yes, mamma,” answered Maurice, turning very
red; “papa says I exaggerate. It means making a
story a little better than the truth. Does it not?”

“That meaning will do. Now when you are in-
clined to exaggerate at any rate, to think too long
about all the particulars of anything you are going
to tell, would be very apt to make you do so, But it
is nearly dinner-time, so you had better begin at once
with what you have to say about Lawrence Home.”

“‘T only wanted to tell you about the many ways in
which Lawrence tormented me with his discontent the
last day I was at the castle. When I wished to ride
upon his hobby-horse—(he has got such a beautiful
hobby-horse, mamma)—he would not let me ride upon
it, because he says he dislikes it so much; he says, he
wished for a grey one, and he cannot bear this one
because it is brown. Then he would not play with
his large india-rubber ball, because he has not flowers
painted on it. When we went in the donkey-carriage
to the wood to gather primroses, he grumbled all the
way, because he wished to go to the sea-shore to
gather shells. He cried because his mamma had sent
THE VERBENA. 23

us rice biscuits for tea, instead of spongecakes. Now,
mamma, do not you think that he must be a very dis-
contented, disagreeable boy; because, you know, no-
body can get everything they wish for; and it is much
wiser to think about the good things we have got,
than about those we cannot get ?”

“Much wiser, certainly, my little philosopher,”
answered his mamma, laughing. “But remember, Mau-
Tice, that it is possible to be discontented about people
as well as about things.”

“T do not understand you, mamma.”

“You say most sagely that we cannot have every
thing that we want, neither can we make everybody
exactly what we should wish them to be. You cannot
make Lawrence a contented, cheerful boy, but you can
bear patiently with his faults—you can try not to think
about them, but to look out steadily and earnestly
for any good quality he may have.”

Maurice thought for a minute or two.

“Well, mamma,” he said, “there is one good thing
about him, he is stronger than Annie, so if he does
come to stay here for a day or two, he will be able to
help me in my house better than she can. Only you
know I cannot help hoping that he won't come.”

Mrs. Hamilton was a good deal amused at Mau-
rice’s efforts to be charitable.

“That is perhaps rather a selfish view to take of
poor Lawrence’s good qualities, Maurice. I do not
24 MARY ELLIOT.

know whether he is coming or not; it depends upon
his mamma’s going from home, but I think it would
have been a pity not to have asked him, as it will
make Lady Home’s mind more easy about him to
leave him here than at the castle alone. But, in the
meantime, you must go and wash your face and hands,
and brush your hair, that you may be ready for
dinner.”

When Maurice returned to the drawing-room, his
usually cheerful countenance was overcast, and he
seemed much disturbed.

“Mamma,” he cried, “ Jane says that I am to go out
with her and Annie after dinner, and not with you.
But I will not, mamma, for I hate to go out with Jane.
It is so tiresome.”

“Hush, hush, Maurice. You will do what I bid
you, I know. I cannot take you with me, because I
shall not be home by the time nurse Rogers was to
come. Do you forget that you invited her to drink
tea with you in the nursery to-night ?”

“Oh but, mamma,” cried Maurice, eagerly, “I should
not care about that, if I might go with you.”

“You might not care about it, perhaps, Maurice, but
nurse would be disappointed; and you have no right
to disappoint her when she has taken the trouble of
coming so far to see you.”

“She would see Annie and Jane, mamma,” urged the
little boy.
THE VERBENA. 25

“You know quite well, Maurice, that she expects
to see you too. I had hoped that your own sense of
what is right might have led you to give up your
pleasure for the sake of keeping an engagement
which you yourself made. Your invitation implied a
promise, that you would be at home to receive her,
and can you wish to break that promise, and to mor-
tify poor nurse, merely for the sake of an hour or
two's pleasure ?”

‘“ But I do so dislike to walk with Jane—she takes
such tiresome walks,” said Maurice, pettedly.

“TI heard her promise Annie to go to the ruins.
That is a pleasant walk. You can get some ferns for
Susan. And remember, too, how much Annie likes to
have you for a companion.”

“T do not like to go to the ruins with Annie, for
Jane will not allow us to run races, lest Annie should
fall into the burn.”

“You can run races through the fields before you
come to the buen. The road lies beside it for a very
little way. Come, Maurice,” continued his mamma,
kindly, seeing that his sulky look did not pass away,
“do try not to be discontented about what you cannot
help. Remember your own wise speech about Law-
rence. If he is foolish in refusing to play with his.
ball, merely because it is not painted, are you not
equally foolish in refusing to enjoy your walk, merely
because it is not the one you had wished to take ?”
26 MARY ELLIOT,

Maurice began to look a little ashamed, and his
mamma said no more, trusting that Annie’s pleasure,
when she should hear that he was to go with her,
would reconcile him altogether to his disappointment,
Nor was she mistaken in this; for, in a few minutes,
Maurice came back to tell her cheerfully that he and
Annie had settled that they could gather rushes by
the burn-side, and that they really wanted some very
much, for the thatching of their house.

Mary, too, seemed to have in some measure recov-
ered her good temper before they went to dinner. She
was grave and thoughtful, and did not talk much ;
but when she did speak, it was in a pleasanter tone—
and by her little attentions to Mrs. Hamilton and to
the children, she seemed anxious to atone for her
rudeness in the forenoon.
THE WALK. 27

CHAPTER III.

THE WALK.

As Mrs. Hamilton had a good many little house-
hold matters to attend to after dinner, they did not set
out on their walk until nearly five o’clock. The op-
pressive heat of the day was past, and a refreshing
breeze from the sea met them as they went down the
lane towards the shore. The lane was not much
frequented, so that there was a broad margin of grass
on each side for them to walk upon, while the steep
banks and high hedges afforded them good shade from
the sun.

“ How pleasant this is!” exclaimed Mary. “So
different from my hot dusty walk in the morning.”

Mrs. Hamilton smiled.

“Ts there no difference in the walker, Minnie, as
well as in the walk ?” she asked.

“Yes, there is,” answered Mary, frankly; “I was
very cross all the time of my walk. I had behaved ill
to Aunt, and ought only to have been angry with
28 MARY ELLIOT.

myself. But instead of that, I was angry at the sun,
at the dust, at Susan and Bessie, and indeed I think
at everything and everybody. I even felt: angry
because your sofa was so pleasant, the room so cool,
and you so very kind, that I could find nothing to
complain of. I am very sorry that I was so cross, but
indeed, Mrs. Hamilton, you do not know what a
plague Aunt is to me.”

“ Minnie,” interrupted Mrs. Hamilton, “ you eae
not to speak in that way, dear.”

“ I know I ought not, but sometimes I cannot help
it; she makes me so cross and impatient, she is so
slow, so formal, so” ——

‘Stop, Minnie, dear,” said Mrs. Hamilton, “ answer
me one question. Do you wish to behave better to
your Aunt than you have done, or not?”

“ Oh, yes, I do wish it very much. I am really sorry
that I cannot be more patient to her, and like her
better, when she has been so kind to us.”

“ Then tell me again, Mary. Do you think it pro-
bable that you will ever like her better, if you occupy
yourself constantly in thinking about all her little
failings?”

“* Oh! that is what you said to Maurice about Law-
rence Home. -I thought about Aunt when you said it.
But it is very, very difficult to be contented with people
when they are very tiresome. One cannot help wish-
ing, and wishing that they were different.” .
THE WALK. 29

“ But then, Mary, when we know that all our wishes
can have no effect in changing the character of these
tiresome people, ought we not to try some other plan
to enable us to get on pleasantly with them, and, what
is of more importance, to enable us to do our duty
towards them ?”

“* Oh! I remember,” said Mary, quickly, “that you
told me, the last day we talked about Aunt, that I
ought to convince myself that it really is my duty to
behave respectfully to her, and that it really is a sin
to be so impatient and fretful. And you said that I
ought to pray to God to help me in this difficult duty.
But, indeed, Mrs. Hamilton, I did pray to God to help
me, and yet I do not think that I have ever behaved a
bit better.”

“ But, dear Minnie, if you ask God to help you in
a duty which you find you cannot perform in your own
strength, and then go immediately and do everything
in your power to make your task still more difficult,
can you expect that God will hear or answer you?”

“No,” answered Mary, gravely ; “because that would
be a kind of mockery. But, indeed, I should be very
sorry to do anything that could make it more difficult
for me to behave well to Aunt.”

“ But surely, Minnie, if you think and speak so
much about all that you find disagreeable in your
Aunt, do you not in reality make it more difficult for
you to love her, and to behave well to her?”
30 MARY ELLIOT.

“I do certainly speak pretty often to Grahame and
to Bessie about these things,” said Mary, thoughtfully.

“Tt is very natural to do so, my dear, because all
these little failings in your Aunt seem excuses to you
for your behaviour towards her. And you naturally
like better to think about them than about the good
qualities which seem to make it more blameable in you
to offend her. Isay seem, Mary, because you know
that your Aunt’s character has nothing to do with the
duty you owe to her. She is your superior, and has
at present the charge of you; so that, although she
were cross, unkind, and unreasonable, still you are
bound to submit to her authority, and to behave re-
spectfully towards her. And you know, my dear little
Minnie, that she is neither cross, unkind, nor unrea-
sonable.”

“Yes, I know all that. And while you and Maurice
were talking, I did resolve to forget Aunt’s tiresome-
ness, and to remember only her kindness. But,” she
continued, with a sigh, “ it is easy enough to make a
resolution, but so difficult to keep it.”

“It is a good thing to be aware of that difficulty,
though, dear Minnie. It will make you more watch-
ful and humble, and more anxious to seek God’s help
in your efforts to do right.”

“Tam really sorry for my impatience to-day, and
for my rudeness to you,” said Mary, after some
minutes’ silence. ‘“ But I was so completely out of
THE WALK. 31

temper, that I felt as if nothing could ever make me
good-humoured again. Do you know, Mrs. Hamilton,
the first thing that made me at all better, was seeing
how cheerfully you gave up your writing when Mau-
rice reminded you of your promise to hear his story.
You smiled so kindly, and spoke so pleasantly to him,
when I knew the interruption must have been provok-
ing, that I could not help being ashamed of my own
ill temper, and resolving to learn to bear little vexa-
tions better.”

“You must learn it while you are young, Minnie,
if you are to learn it at all,” said Mrs. Hamilton,
smiling.

“ T often think,” said Mary, “ that when I am grown
up I should wish to be like the lady that Captain Ha-
milton was telling us about the other day. Do you
remember his description of her? He said she was
always so cheerful, it was a pleasure to look at her,
and that she went on her own way calmly and con-
tentedly, never suffering the various troubles and
crosses to which she was exposed to ruffle her temper,
or to make her fret, but preserving her kindly spirit
amid all the unpleasant tempers and rude disagreeable
manners of those around her; so quick to see good
where it was to be found, to make allowances for
faults, and submitting with a gentle and untiring pa-
tience to what she could not excuse. Oh! I think,” con-
tinued Mary, eagerly, “that is such a fine character.
82 MARY ELLIOT.

There is something really grand in going on so steadily
in this way, in spite of all the obstacles and tempta-
tions one may meet with.”

“Tt is not easy, though, dear Mary, to acquire the
habit of looking calmly and contentedly on the every-
day annoyances we must expect to meet with. It re-
quires a constant watchfulness and effort to repress
the very first risings of discontent. But then, Minnie,
it is a comfort to think that every successful struggle,
however trifling the cause of it may be, is a step
gained.”

“J might have gained a good many steps to-day,
then,” said Mary, laughing, “ if I had only resisted all
temptations to fretfulness.”

She then related to Mrs. Hamilton the history of her
verbena. Mrs. Hamilton knew well how much she
valued it, and she sympathized in her sorrow at seeing
its beautiful bright green leaves all withered. But
she said that she thought that it might have revived
with a little care and nursing. The root would not be
dead, she thought, and it might have put forth fresh
leaves.

“ Tt will be dead enough. now,” said Mary, sorrow-
fully, “ for I left it on the drawing-room floor, and
Aunt would make them take it away with the litter of
the broken pot and earth.”

“ Perhaps if you ask about it when you go home,
you may get it back, and find that, with a little atten-
THE WALK. 83

tion, it may still recover. You should not despair so
soon, Minnie, in your little troubles, but try to help
yourself out of them. Those who are most energetic
and persevering in their efforts to ward off any evil,
are generally the most patient in bearing it when it
cannot be avoided. But, Mary, you have not told me
whether you got a letter from your travellers this
morning ?”

“ Yes, we got one from papa. He, Gertrude, and
Madeline, are to be home on Monday evening, and
Caroline and William on Friday. This day week,”
she added with a sigh. ‘ That will soon be here.”

“ Why do you sigh, Minnie?” asked Mrs. Hamil-
ton, with a smile.

“ Oh, I hardly know,” answered Mary, colouring ;
“T believe it is because I am sometimes a little afraid
of Caroline’s coming. You know I have never been
accustomed to be ‘ kept in order,’ as Aunt calls it; and
if Caroline is cross, or very particular, or unreason-
able, I am sure I cannot like her.”

“But, my dear little Minnie, it is very foolish to
torment yourself with such fears. We have heard
from many different people about Caroline, and all
agree in saying, that she is a very amiable, sensible,
warm-hearted girl. So that you have really no ground
to expect that she will be either cross, unreasonable,
or very particular, that is, too particular.”

“ But then I may think her too particular, although

c
84 MARY ELLIOT.

other people may not. And Aunt says so constantly,
‘ Oh, Caroline will not allow you to do this,’ or, ‘ You
may depend upon it, Caroline will never submit to
that,’ that I cannot help feeling afraid about her
coming.”

Mrs. Hamilton was vexed to hear Mary speak in
this way. She was well aware that Caroline must find
it a delicate task to control her, and she was much
grieved to see that Miss Elliot was unconsciously im-
planting prejudices in her mind which would make
it still more difficult. She reminded Mary again of all
the praises they had heard of Caroline, of her gentle
patience towards her younger brothers and sisters, of
her cheerfulness, and her desire to make every one
happy, and tried to persuade her that this was not
the character of one who would be likely to tease
her with useless fault-finding. But she advised Mary
not to think too much about what might be Caro-
line’s conduct towards her, but rather to endea-
vour to find out how she ought to behave towards
Caroline.

“ Try to put yourself in Caroline’s place, Minnie,
dear,” she said, “ and to think how you should feel,
what difficulties you would have, and how you should
like others to behave towards you, and then you will
be able to see what you can do towards making her
happy ; or, at least, how you can avoid giving her pain.
But, Minnie, we are talking so earnestly that we are
THE WALK. 35

forgetting to look at the view, and how beautiful, how
glorious it is this evening.”

As they approached the bottom of the lane their
view of the sea was‘ intercepted by the rising ground
of the links, which stretched between them and the
sands. But they had now reached the top of this bank,
and the blue summer sea lay before them in all its
beauty and cheerfulness.

Mrs. Hamilton had been careful to teach Mary and
her own children to rejoice in the beauties of nature,
and to seek out all the minuter details of loveliness
which might have escaped a common observer. And she
now listened with pleasure to Mary’s expressions of ad-
miration, as she pointed out one and another feature in
the splendid scene before them. The tide was far in.
There was a gentle breeze, just sufficient to cause a
cheerful ripple on the glistening water, and to ruffle
the tops of the little waves as they broke on the shore.
The bold rocky promontory to the west was cast into
deep shade, contrasting finely with the bright sparkling
sea and with the grassy slopes of the links lighted up
by the afternoon sun.

“Ts it not beautiful, Mrs. Hamilton?” exclaimed
Mary. “ But do let us go down on the sands.”

“I think we had better keep upon the links’ until
we have crossed the burn, my dear,” said Mrs. Hamil-
ton. ‘I cannot jump over it, and I do not like to get
my feet wet with walking through it.”
36 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Oh, but we can come up on the links again when
we come to the burn. Do go to the sands: I wish it
so very much,” urged Mary, eagerly.

“ But Minnie, dear, in that way we must cross the
heavy loose sand three times, and I am sure you can-
not like that. It is very pleasant to walk on this short
thymy grass; and we see the view better here than
down upon the sands.”

“Oh, no,” said Mary, in a discontented tone ; “ I do
not like the links at all. Do come down. I like so
much to walk upon the nice firm sand close to the
water’s edge. I can look for shells, and I think it so
pleasant to hear the cool ripple of the waves—the
sea’s music, as you call it.”

Mrs. Hamilton made no farther objection, and Mary
jumped lightly down from the bank upon which they
were standing, and made her way across the heavy
sand as quickly as she could, without pausing to inquire
how Mrs. Hamilton was to follow her.

“J like, Z wish, J think,” repeated Mrs. Hamilton
to herself, as she took an easier road down the side of
the bank; “ my dear little Minnie, that J is the great
stumblingblock in the way of your improvement. I
do hope that Caroline may have as much sense and
patience as we have been led to expect, for she will
need it all with you.” —

When she overtook Mary, she found her very impa-,
tient under the annoyance of sand in her shoes.
THE WALK. ' 37

“T have emptied my shoes,” she said, peevishly,
“but the tiresome sand sticks to my stockings, and
even if I rub it off, it does no good, for it goes through
to my feet. Oh, it is very disagreeable, very un-
comfortable,” she continued, half-crying with impa-
tience.

Mrs. Hamilton had too much pity for the pain that
an impatient temper gives to its possessor, to remind
Mary that this evil was of her own causing. She agreed
with her that it was very uncomfortable, but reminded
her with a pleasant smile of her resolution to be patient
and contented.

“Tt is so difficult in this particular thing not to
grumble,” said Mary, in a less fretful tone.

“ The more difficult it is, the longer the step will be
if you succeed, Minnie. Remember how quickly you
got on with your jump from the bank just now, while
I had to take so many steps to come up to you. Try
to take as good a leap upon the road to habitual pa-
tience and contentment.”

Mary could not resist a smile at this simile, and made
a strong effort to recover her good humour. She said
she knew where there was a basin in the rock that had
always water in it, and if the tide was not too far up
she could wash her feet there. In this hope she was
disappointed, but she bore it cheerfully, and consoled
herself by running on to try to devise some plan for
Mrs. Hamilton crossing the stream, without going again
38 MARY ELLIOT.

through the heavy sand, in order to reach the foot-
bridge on the links,

There was plenty of sea-weed lying scattered about,
and Mary had soon gathered a large armful, and laid
it down at the edge, so as to narrow the stream suffi-
ciently to allow Mrs. Hamilton to step over. But
shallow as the burn was, the current was strong
enough to carry away poor Mary’s heaps as fast as she
made them. She tried to weigh down her sea-weed
with sand, but in vain; in spite of all her efforts, she
had the mortification of seeing one bit crumble away
after another, till the whole erection was floating down
to the sea.

“ How provoking,” she muttered; “ Mrs. Hamilton
must go up to the links after all.”

She remembered just then what Mrs. Hamilton had
said about despairing too soon, and she determined to
make one more effort. Mrs. Hamilton had stopped to
examine a shell, so that Mary had a little more time
to form her plans. She looked round in search of
something for a foundation for her sea-weed.and sand,
and soon espied a very ‘branchy piece of wood,’ as she
called it, which promised to answer her purpose well.
She collected her sea-weed first to be in readiness,
then stuck her piece of wood firmly into the sand,
filled up the interstices with sea-weed, and then piled
a quantity upon the top,

“ Look what a beautiful step I have made for you,
THE WALK. 39

Mrs. Hamilton,” she cried joyfully as that lady came
up to her. “ Look how nicely you will get across,”
she continued, stepping lightly across, and back again
as she spoke.

Mrs. Hamilton was unwilling to damp Mary’s
pleasure in her work, but she could not help express-
ing some doubt as to whether the “step” could bear
her weight.

“ Oh! to be sure it will. See, I shall go over first, and
give you my hand to help you over. But you should
not stand so long upon it,” she continued, impatiently,
for she saw that her building was indeed sinking fast,
while Mrs. Hamilton stood upon it with one foot,
hesitating to trust her whole weight to it. “ Step over
at once, and I shall help you.”

Mrs. Hamilton made the attempt, but as she put
forward the one foot, the other sunk lower and lower
into the sea-weed, until it was quite wet. Mary laughed
heartily at this, and assured Mrs. Hamilton again and
again, that it was all caused by her want of courage.

“See how easily I get across, even now after you
have broken down my pier,” she said, skipping lightly
backwards and forwards.

“ Wait till you are as old as I am, Minnie,” said
Mrs. Hamilton, smiling, “and perhaps you may not
be so active. But look, who are these coming towards
us? The girls, with their papa, Ned, and Grahame.
They must have all met in town.”
40 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary ran forward to meet her companions, and
found them all much occupied with a beautiful minia-
ture ship, which Ned Hamilton had got from the friend
he and his father had been visiting. When they had
admired it sufficiently, they began to form plans for
sailing it the next day.

“Tf we could only make a dam across the burn,”
cried Grahame; “but that troublesome sand gives
way, let us do what we like to it, and the water finds
its way through it.”

“You might bring down some of the stiff clay from
the clay bank in your park, Grahame,” suggested Ned,
“and then we may be able to manage a dam.”

“T can easily do that. And Mary and I will meet
you here, instead of going on to Worsleigh, so that
we may begin our work at once.”

Bessie now suggested a plan which was cordially
received. The tide would be out in the forenoon, she
said, and they could easily reach the deep basin in the
rocks, and fill it with water from the burn.

‘‘We must all bring pitchers or jugs to carry the
water in then,” said Ned; “and I think, Grahame,
that you had still better bring some clay, for unless we
make a kind of dam across the burn, it is so shallow
we shall never get our pitchers filled.”

“You had better put on your garden apron and
gloves then, Minnie,” suggested prudent Susan: “Bessie
and I will, for clay is such a dirty thing to work with.”
THE WALK. 41

“Indeed I shall not take the trouble,” said Mary,
scornfully ; “ fortunately, I am no fine lady, who can
do nothing, and play at nothing, lest she should spoil
her clothes or her complexion.”

Susan quietly remarked, that she saw neither
pleasure nor use in dirtying one’s clothes, when it
could be helped. But the boys took Mary’s part most
warmly, expressing strong contempt and dislike for
useless, affected, fine ladies, who thought about
nothing but their dress.

Susan and Bessie felt the injustice of this implied
charge, for they were in reality more ready to help the
boys in their various undertakings, and of more use than
Mary, who was too fond of her own way to be a very
good work-fellow. They were going to defend them-
selves with some warmth, when Mrs. Hamilton stopped
the dispute, by reminding Mary and Grahame, that
they had now reached the turn of the road which led
them home.
42 MARY ELLIO1.

CHAPTER IV.
EVELYN HARCOURT.

STRENGTHENED by the approval of the boys in her
resolution of proving that she was no fine lady, Mary
niade her appearance on the following day in a pale
pink muslin frock, without anything to protect it or
her hands from stains. Susan and Bessie, on the con-
trary, had put on coarse linen cuffs, and aprons with
bibs, and strong garden gloves. Neither party, how-
ever, took any notice of the other’s dress, as they were
all too much occupied with the plans for their day’s
amusement.

As Grahame had said, they found it very difficult
to form adam across the burn, and Ned’s ready wit
soon devised a more practicable scheme. This was to
dig a deep hole in the sand, line it with the clay, and
then make a canal from the burn, that the water might
flow into it.

“I daresay we shall not make a very good job of it,”
said Ned ; “ but it will do well enough for all we want.”
EVELYN HARCOURT. 43

So they set to work as well as they could in the
absence of proper tools, Ned being the only one who
had thought of bringing a spade. Sand is easily dug,
however, and they managed in a short time, with
pitchers, large shells, and flat stones, to scoop out a
large deep hole which, when lined with clay, answered
their purpose admirably. So well indeed that, if they
had thought of it, they could very well have sailed
their ship in it, without taking the trouble of filling
the basin in the rock. But their minds were too full
of their first plan for such a thought to suggest itself,
and they proceeded merrily with the task of carrying
water to the rocks.

Their ship was really very beautiful. It had been
made with great care, and was a perfect model of a
real man of war, with the proper pulleys, &c., for setting,
lowering, and trimming the sails. Ned and Grahame
were quite experienced sailors, as they often went out
with the fishermen, and they lectured most learnedly
to the girls upon the different parts of the ship.

“ The worst thing about this lake of ours is the want
of wind,” remarked Grahame, after they had for some
time watched their graceful little vessel gliding about
in the water. “The high banks prevent the wind
from acting properly upon the sails.”

“Oh, we can imagine it a Highland loch,” said
Bessie, laughing ; “and then if the wind would but
change suddenly, and come roaring down one of these
44 MARY ELLIOT.

gullies, we might have our ship exposed to a dan-
gerous storm, such as so often rise upon the lochs.”

“T will be the breeze,” cried Ned, stooping down at
one of the declivities, which Bessie called gullies, and
blowing upon the ship with all his might; “Hurrah!
hurrah ! see how she staggers under the breeze, I am
‘ Boreas wi’ his blasts sae bauld,’ and the ship feels my
blasts too.”

After amusing themselves for some time in this way,
the girls walked further along the shore, to a favourite
spot, where a steep bank of sand afforded them shelter
from the sun, and here they sat down to rest them-
selves, while the boys rambled off over the links.

Mary had to tell Bessie the disaster of her verbena,
and how her Aunt had sent it to Walter, who hoped
it might still revive ; and the girls had to tell her their
adventures in their walk the day before.

“When does your cousin Evelyn come, Minnie ?”
asked Bessie, after they had been quietly chatting for
some time. ;

Mary did not know exactly, but she hoped, she said,
that they might hear before she came, as she had made
many plans about her arrival. Miss Elliot had under-
taken to get the house that Mrs. Harcourt had hired
in nice order for her ; and she had promised to allow
Mary to superintend the arrangements of Evelyn's own
room.

“ And I have thought of so many things to give
EVELYN HARCOURT. 45

her, and to do for her,” added Mary, with an im-
portant air, “that I really must know a few days be-
fore they arrive.”

“Do you know what kind of a girl she is?” asked
Susan.

Mary said, she believed that she was very delicate,
for Mrs. Harcourt had said, that it was on account of
her health that she proposed coming to the seaside.
She was very clever, too, and so fond of her lessons,
that Mrs. Harcourt often found it difficult to persuade
her to leave them.

Bessie hinted that in that case she might perhaps
be rather a tiresome companion. But Mary rejected
such an idea with great indignation. She seemed to
think it impossible that her cousin could be tiresome.
And she had talked so long about the pleasure of
Evelyn’s coming, that she could not admit there was
the smallest chance of her not liking her.

While Mary’s temper was still a little irritated by
Bessie’s doubts upon this subject, Grahame and Ned
startled them all, by jumping suddenly down from the
bank above them.

“Oh! Minnie, Minnie,” cried Grahame eagerly,
“what do you think? Mrs. Harcourt and Evelyn
have arrived, and are coming along the sands with
Aunt Jane and Mrs. Hamilton, to see you.”

“Nonsense, Grahame!” said Mary, looking with
some dismay at her stained frock and dirty hands,
46 MARY ELLIOT.

“You are only teasing me. They cannot have paid
all the visits they meant to pay.”

“Oh! but the people they were to have gone to
yesterday have got scarlet fever in the house, and so
they came straight here, and arrived last night,” said
Grahame. “There they are now coming round the
corner. Aunt sees you, and is calling to you.”

“ Now is the time to show your abhorrence of fine
ladies, and indifference about your personal appear-
ance, Minnie,” cried Ned, rather mischievously, for he

had observed the look Mary cast upon her dress.
_ “Be quiet, Ned; for shame,” said Bessie ; “ you will
put her in a bad temper.”

Alas! poor Mary! that was done already. The
little dispute with Bessie, the start the boys had given
her, the overthrow of all her grand schemes, ‘and dis-
satisfaction with her own appearance, all combined to
irritate her ; and it was with a look of great sullenness
and ill-temper that she advanced to meet the party.

‘Here are your new relations, my dear Mary,” be-
gan Miss Elliot in her formal placid manner, and then,
startled out of her usually deliberate tone, she ex-
claimed hurriedly—“ What have you been doing? It
is certainly most extraordinary that you should de-
light to make yourself so dirty and untidy. I am sure
that the poorest fisherman’s child would be ashamed
to make herself such an object as you are.”

Darker and darker grew the scowl upon Mary’s
EVELYN HARCOURT. 47

brow as she listened to this reproof, and when her
Aunt began to pull her tippet straight, and to smooth
her hair, her small remains of patience gave way alto-
gether, she broke from her, and saying rudely, “ Non-
sense, Aunt, I wish you would leave me alone,” she
advanced to greet her new cousin.

Evelyn involuntarily shrunk back at her approach,
and it seemed only to be by a strong effort that she
forced herself to take Mary’s proffered hand.

Poor Mary did certainly not look attractive at this
moment. Her delicate muslin frock was wet through,
and stained from top to bottom. Her hands were
covered with clay and scratched with the sand. She
had, in the beginning of her labours, thrown off her
bonnet, so that the wind had taken her hair out of
curl, and in her repeated attempts to put it out of her
eyes, she had managed to give her face a fair share of
the mud with which her hands were covered. In
addition, her countenance wore an expression of sul-
lenness and defiance, which made her very unpre-
possessing ; and it was quite natural that Evelyn and
Mrs. Harcourt should turn with pleasure from her to
speak to the Hamiltons, who now came forward. They
had taken off their stained aprons and cuffs before
sitting down to rest, and looked as neat as they usually
did at home. The simplicity and propriety of their
manners were peculiarly pleasing, as contrasted with
Mary’s rudeness and sullenness, and even Mrs. Har-
48 MARY ELLIOT.

court found it difficult to avoid showing the preference
she felt for them.

. Evelyn did not attempt to disguise her feelings, but
as soon as it was arranged that she should accompany
the young people to Worsleigh, she put her arm
eagerly within Susan’s, as if to seek her protection
against her sulky, cross-looking cousin. Mary was
particularly provoked by this evident desire to avoid
her, and to prefer Susan and Bessie’s company to hers ;
because in all her schemes about Evelyn’s coming, she
had often pictured to herself, how she should patronize
the Hamilton girls, and introduce them to her fine ac-
complished cousin, who would only care for them for
her sake.

In order to conceal her mortification, she assumed
an air of greater rudeness and bravado than before,
and really made herself very disagreeable. When
they reached the burn, Susan said that they would go
up to the links, as Evelyn might not like to jump over
it, or wade through it, as they were accustomed to do;
and Bessie called good-humouredly to Mary to come
with them.

“ Indeed, I shall not,” was the scornful reply. “I
have not learned yet to be afraid of wetting my feet,
or of what people may think. I cannot change my
habits or feelings quite so easily as you can, or seem
to care for things I do not care for, merely to please
other people,”
EVELYN HARCOURT. 49

Bessie coloured, but did not speak.

“Do not jump over the burn, Mary, with my ship
in your arms; you will break it.”

“ Nonsense, Ned,” answered Mary, impatiently.
“ Do you think I do not know what I am about?”

“It is my ship, however,” cried Ned, running for-
ward to rescue it, “and you have no right to risk it
without my leave.”

He was too late. With a provoking nod of her
head, Mary made the leap before he could reach her.
She was carrying the ship in her arms, and, as Ned
had feared, in bending forward after the jump, one of
the principal masts was broken across. It was in vain
that she assured the indignant boys that she had not
intended it—that she was sorry it was broken. They
said very justly, that she ought to have done as Ned
asked her, when it was his property; and Grahame
concluded by saying,

“ But that is always what you do, Mary. You never
will give up your own way. It is very provoking to
have anything to do with you.”

“ Very well, if you think so, I shall not plague you
any more with my company,” said Mary, proudly,
climbing up the bank as she spoke, and turning back
towards her own home.

Susan and Bessie tried hard to soothe her, and to
persuade her to remain with them, but in vain. She
resisted all their intreaties, saying, that she saw very

D
50 MARY ELLIOT.

well that none of them wished for her, and that she
was determined to burden them no longer with her
presence.

When they found all their efforts were useless, they
were at last obliged to leave her; and having watched
them out of sight, she seated herself upon the grass
with a most resolute determination to be miserable.
For some time she was pretty successful in persuading
herself that she was very unhappy, a poor, ill-used,
deserted creature, whom no one loved or cared for.
‘And she had the satisfaction of feeling a few tears steal
down her cheek, as she thought—“ If dear mamma had
been alive she would have loved me.”

Mary was pleased to think that she showed great
sensibility in thus mourning over her mother’s death ;
and she did not consider how purely selfish her re-
grets were, nor see her ingratitude towards the many
kind friends she had.

Gradually, however, disagreeable thoughts would in-
trude themselves in spite of all her efforts to shut them
out. She began gradually to think that she might be
partly to blame for her own unhappiness; that, after
all, it was natural that the boys should feel provoked
by her breaking their ship; and conscience whispered
that there was some truth in Grahame’s accusations ;
that even on this very day she had hindered them in
their work, by her desire to do things in her own way,
rather than to comply with their wishes. Susan and
EVELYN HARCOURT. 51

Bessie, too, had done nothing to offend her, for it cer-
tainly was not their fault that Evelyn preferred them
to Mary; and perhaps even Evelyn might bé*excused
for not liking her, considering how sulkily and dis-
respectfully she had spoken to her aunt.

Mary sighed deeply as these reflections presented
themselves, and she wished that she had not quarrelled
with the boys. But it was too late-to regret it now,
and she rose sadly to pursue her road homewards.

Just as she turned round she saw Mrs. Hamilton
coming towards her. She was reading a letter; and
as Mary thought that she did not see her, she half de-
termined to jump down on the sand, and hide under
the bank until she had passed. But as she remem-
bered how kind Mrs. Hamilton always was, and how
pleasantly she often helped her to recover her good
humour, she changed her mind, and advanced slowly
towards her. She was almost close to her before Mrs.
Hamilton looked up.

“ Mary!” she exclaimed, “ you here alone! and
with your back turned to Worsleigh! You are going
to dine with us, are you not?”

“No,” said Mary in an embarrassed manner ; “ I—
I—ny frock is so dirty.”

“ But Bessie’s frocks fit you, you know, Minnie,”
was Mrs. Hamilton’s smiling answer; “ and you must
not disappoint the others by not coming home to din-
ner as they expected.”
52 MARY ELLIOT, '

“ But—but,” said Mary drawing back, “ I have—
The boys say that I torment them, and that they do
not like to have me with them.”

“ T am very sorry, dear Minnie, that there has been
any dispute among you. But I wish, dear, that you
would still come home with me. If you do not, you
will have no opportunity of being reconciled to my
children till Monday; and it is a pity to allow a quar-
rel to rest upon your mind for so long.”

Mrs. Hamilton took Mary’s hand as she spoke, and
tried gently to “draw her on. Mary did not say that
she would go, but she did not withdraw her hand;
and Mrs. Hamilton, satisfied with having succeeded
in turning her back, did not say anything more, but
waited patiently until Mary should voluntarily tell her
the history of the quarrel.

Nor had she to wait long. Mary soon began to un-
fold her griefs to her.

“JT am so vexed,” she said, “ that I cannot find a
way for getting on well with the boys. I can not do
right about them, let me try ever so hard. I thought
a good deal about all you said to me yesterday; and
while I was dressing this morning, I thought of all
that was likely to happen to-day, and resolved to be
so patient and gentle. I was quite happy picturing to
myself how dutiful and respectful I should be towards
Aunt, and how kind, obliging, and useful to the boys.
But as soon as I came down stairs my troubles began.
EVA&LYN HARCOURT. 53

When Aunt was sitting in her easy-chair after break-
fast, I thought she might like to have her work, and I
ran to the drawing-room and brought it ; but she made
me angry by saying, that she did not want it then,
that she never worked at that time of day, and that I
had pulled out one of the wires. Then the boys never
wished me to do the very things that I thought would
help them most, and so we disputed even more than
on other occasions. What can be the cause of my
getting on even worse than usual, after all this careful
picturing and resolving?”

‘“* Perhaps, Minnie, dear,” replied Mrs. Hamilton,
“it may be that very picturing that you speak of.”

“Oh!” said Mary, eagerly, “ but do you know I read
in a book once, that it is a good plan to think over all
the little trials and difficulties that are likely to happen
through the day, so that we may be ready to meet
them when they come, and able to resolve to act pro-
perly underthem. Do you not think so?”

“Tt depends a good deal, Minnie, upon the assistant
you have in forming your resolutions. There is an
impudent little fellow, called self-seeking, who is very
apt to intrude into our thoughts at such times. If we
will not allow him to come forward boldly, he will
creep in at some odd corner, and under some specious
mask. And he is so clever in disguising good and evil
motives, and jumbling them up together, that it is
really very difficult to know exactly what we are do-
54 MARY ELLIOT.

ing. A craving desire to be admired, and thought
amiable and agreeable, he calls, a wish to make others
happy and comfortable. When our schemes fail
he tells us, that we are vexed only because we have
not been able to do the good we wished, while in
reality we are only mortified because we have not suc-
ceeded in showing how very kind and useful we are.
Does this gentleman never come to help you in your
schemes, Mary ?”

“I dare say he does sometimes,” answered Mary,
blushing. “ But I do not see how that should make
me behave worse, than if I had formed no schemes or
resolutions at all.”

“ You are filled with self-importance by the picture
he tempts you to draw of yourself as an amiable, vir-
tuous creature, whom every one is to admire, and,
therefore, a very trifling offence irritates you as it
would not have done had you been in an humbler state
of mind ; and you are inclined to fret at every little in-
cident that happens contrary to what you bad ima-
gined, because it destroys your picture. You are so
much occupied with self, that you cannot think of the
best way-of doing things. This morning, for instance,
if your Aunt's comfort had been your main object,
you would have remembered that she never works at
that hour, or you would have lifted her work more
carefully, and so have avoided drawing out her wires.
In your games or works with the others, you cannot
EVELYN HARCOURT. 55

be content unless an important part be assigned to you,
because you are more anxious to show off your useful-
ness, than to be of use; and when those you had in-
tended to serve are happy in their own way without
your assistance, you feel angry, because they have de-
prived you of an opportunity of displaying your kind-
ness.”

“ You think, then,” said Mary, sighing, “ that I had
better not imagine the events of the day at all?”

“No, Ido not say that, Minnie; but I think you
should look upon them in a different light. Consider
the tastes and feelings of others. From what you
may have observed at other times, try to discover what
is likely to give them pleasure, or pain, and what is
likely to try their tempers or to vex them. You will
thus be more able to help them, to avoid offending
them, and more ready to make allowances for any failure
on their part. As their happiness has been the prin-
cipal object of your wishes, you will be satisfied when
you see them pleased, even although you have had no
share in it, and you will not expect extraordinary gra-
titude for any service you may render.”

Mrs. Hamilton paused for a few minutes, and then
continued with much earnestness—

“I wish, my dear Minnie, that you would think
often of what we have been talking about. Self-seek-
ing is a very serious fault, and a very insidious one.
It is very hateful to God, because He has told us that
56 ; MARY ELLIOT.

we must do all things to His glory, not to our own. It
destroys that simplicity of character and singleness of
heart which He desires His children to possess, and
prevents them from keeping His commandment, to
‘mind the things of others.’ It is a quick growing
fault, too, Minnie, for it finds food in the most trifling
everyday occurrences, while it contrives often to de-
ceive us, and to elude our watchfulness, when we wish
to drive it out of our hearts. Will you think about it,
my dear, and strive and pray against it?”

Mary promised that she would try to do so, and said
that she could see how much unhappiness it had pro-
cured for her that day. F

“ But do not you think, Mrs, Hamilton,” she conti-
nued, “ that I really had one trial to-day independent
of that? a little trial, I mean, in the disappointment of
all my fine plans about Evelyn's coming, and in seeing
that after all she does not like me.”

And Mary’s eyes filled with tears, and her voice
trembled as she said this.

“ Yes, Minnie, I feel this is a trial for you, and per-
haps not a little trial. But still, dear, if Evelyn’s hap-
piness had been your first object in your plans, and if
you had been less occupied about yourself, and about
what might be thought of you, do you not think that
you would have sooner forgotten your disappointment,
and would have been eager to do what you could to-
wards her comfort, by giving her a kind and cordial
EVELYN HARCOURT. 57

welcome, and by endeavouring to make her feel her-
self at home ?”

Mary assented in a sorrowful tone, and as they had
now reached Worsleigh, she ran up stairs to the girls’
bed-room, leaving Mrs. Hamilton to bear the news of
her having relented, and to send Susan or Bessie to
give her a clean frock.

Mrs. Hamilton found the young people in the gar-
den. She called Bessie to her, and told her what Mary
required. She warned her that Mary’s temper might
still be a little irritable, and advised her to be careful
and tender towards her, lest she might unconsciously
vex her again.

“* Be cautious what you say, and how you look when
you first go in, Bessie, that you may not make her feel
awkward at coming back after your quarrel.”

Bessie wished her mamma to tell her exactly what
she should say, but Mrs. Hamilton said that would not
do at all.

“ T do not wish you to say anything, or to look any-
thing that you do not feel, my dear. I only wish you
so to consider poor Mary’s uncomfortable, and perhaps
fretful feelings, as that you may really feel anxious to
avoid wounding her; in the same way as you would
feel afraid of coming roughly against any one, who
you knew had some bodily sore that you might
hurt.”

‘TI wish, mamma,” said Bessie, shrinking back, “ that
58 MARY ELLIOT.

you would send Susan. She is so much more kind and
gentle than I am.”

“ And is my dear little Bessie contented to be
always wanting in kindness and gentleness? Do you
expect through life to have Susan constantly by your
side to be kind and gentle towards those you love when
they are in trouble, while you are to stand aloof, and
only to share their gay moments?”

“ Oh no, mamma, I hope not. I do wish to learn
to be kind.”

“ Why not begin to-day then, my dear? Why not
begin just now? ‘ Be ye kind one to another,’ is a
commandment to you as well as to Susan, and a
commandment for to-day as well as for to-morrow.
Do not be afraid, my love,” continued Mrs, Hamil-
ton, encouragingly, “ only try to get kindness and
pity into your heart, and do not fear that you will
not be able to show kindness in your words and
looks.”

Bessie turned from her mamma, and walked slowly
towards the house, musing as she went upon what
ought to be her first address to Mary.

“T might go in,” she thought, “and say, laughing-
ly,—So, Minnie, you want one of my frocks; but then
she might imagine I was triumphing over her, for not
taking our advice about the aprons. Perhaps I might
say that I would give her my other blue frock, in
order that we might be dressed alike; but, after all,
EVELYN HARCOURT. 59

I think I had better not say anything about her dress.
It will be still rather a sore subject to her.”

And Bessie walked still slower and slower, as she
felt more the difficulty of her task. She thought that
Mary might be pleased to hear that Captain Hamilton
could get the ship repaired for them. But again she
felt that it might be dangerous to touch upon any
subject that had reference to the quarrel. In her
perplexity she had come to a stand still at the hall-
door, unable to fix upon any pleasant thing to say,
when a little dog came to her, and the sight of him
suggested a bright thought.

“That will do,” she exclaimed, joyously mounting the
stairs two steps ata time. “Oh, Minnie !” she cried, as
she opened the door of her room, ‘“ Grahame has been
looking at the puppies again, and has determined at
last to take the black one. Are not you glad ?”

Mary was very glad. She had long wished that
Grahame should choose the black in preference to a
white puppy, upon which he had set his mind, and in
the pleasure she felt in hearing of it, and in discussing
the matter with Bessie, whose taste happened to agree
with hers, she quite forgot all her awkward feelings,
and all her fretfulness. Bessie had indeed been very
judicious, for this proved a pleasant and safe topic of
conversation when they joined the others down stairs;
and, before long, Mary’s good humour was so completely
restored, that she was able to make proper apologies
60 MARY ELLIOT.

to the boys for her wilfulness about their ship, while
they on their part were ready to confess, that they
had been too angry, and had said more than they had
felt. :
Mary was not so successful in her advances towards
Evelyn, who seemed to regard her with positive dis-
like. She was a quiet, shy girl, and felt it painful to
come in contact with any one so rough as Mary
seemed to her to be; and she had never learned the
propriety of overcoming her prejudices or dislikes.
She was indeed as much spoilt as Mary, though in a
different way. She was an only child; her father
died when she was quite an infant, and since then she
had been the sole object of all her mother’s care and
affection. Her education, her health, her dress and
personal appearance, her tastes and feelings, had been
the constant subject of her mother’s thoughts—the
constant topic of her conversation, so that Evelyn
could not avoid feeling herself a person of great im-
portance. No pains nor expense had been spared upon
her education. She had had the best instruction that
could be procured, and had profited by such instruc-
tion in no common degree. From her delicate health
and naturally shy, quiet disposition, she had never
cared much for the society of girls of her own age,
but had always found her chief source of pleasure
and interest in her books, her music and drawing, and
her progress in all her studies was very great. Parti-
EVELYN HARCOURT. 61

cularly elegant and lady-like both in manners and
appearance, and shrinking with a degree of fastidious-
ness from every appearance of vulgarity and rudeness,
the boys and Mary unhesitatingly pronounced her a
“tiresome affected creature.”

But, in reality, Evelyn had more true simplicity of
character than Mary. Her thoughts were seldom
occupied about herself, but oftener filled with vague
dreamy reveries, derived from the books of poetry
and of-imagination, which she devoured with indis-
criminating eagerness. Her principal fault was a want
of due consideration for the tastes and feelings of
others, but this did not proceed from any want of
kindness, but from her never having had her attention
directed to the propriety of caring for others’ happiness.

Her character was perhaps not fitted in any way to
harmonize well with Mary's; but under the peculiar
circumstances of their first introduction, they seemed
to agree in mutually disliking one another.

Accustomed all her life to be tenderly loved by all
with whom she associated, Mary had gradually come
to look upon affection as something which she had a
right to expect from every one, and to consider the
withholding of it as a species of moral offence. She
felt piqued by Evelyn’s undeniable superiority in
manner and accomplishments, and burned with a de-
sire to show off her own knowledge in matters of
which she supposed Evelyn could know nothing.
62 MARY ELLIOT.

An opportynity of doing so occurred in the course of
the evening. Mary, Susan, and Bessie, had been col-
lecting sea-weeds under Captain Hamilton’s super-
intendence ; and during his late absence from home
he had borrowed for them a large book upon the sub-
ject, containing some very fine engravings. This book
was produced after tea, and Mary soon discovered
Evelyn’s total ignorance of sea-weeds, and proceeded
to enlighten her, and to display her own knowledge in
a most disagreeable tone of contemptuous superiority.
Evelyn naturally shrunk with some disgust from infor-
mation so unpleasantly administered, and listened in
displeased silence, while Mary became louder and
louder in her boasting of all she knew, and in her
rude wonder that any one should be so ignorant as
Evelyn.

The Hamiltons and Grahame were annoyed to see
Mary expose herself in this way, and they several
times endeavoured to turn the conversation, but in
vain; Mary was too much bent upon showing off;
and at last, Captain Hamilton, in order to put an end
to the scene, advised Grahame and her to go home -
before it grew too dark.

“T do not like Evelyn,” exclaimed Mary, as they
were walking home. “She is very conceited about
her playing and singing. And it is so foolish too,
because, with all the advantages she has had, it is no
merit in her to sing so well.”
EVELYN HARCOURT. 63

“And with all the advantages you have had,
Minnie,” said Grahame, “ is there any merit in your
knowing the names of a few sea-weeds ?”

“I do not know what you mean,” said Mary,
angrily; “I never said there was any merit in it,
did I?”

“Your look and manner said it, Minnie, if your
words did not.”

“ Indeed, Grahame, I do not know what you mean.
You are very unkind,” replied Mary, still more indig-
nantly.

“I think you do know what I mean, or you would
not be so angry. You must know that you were con-
ceited, and showing off about the sea-weeds to-night.
But I did not mean to vex you, Minnie,” he added,
kindly, seeing that Mary was in tears, “only I was
amused to hear you blame Evelyn for the very fault
you were committing.”

‘And so you mean to take her part against me,”
said Mary, sobbing. “TI disliked her before, but now
I shall dislike her more than ever, if she sets my own
brother against me.”

* But, Minnie, I am not taking any one’s part, and
how can Evelyn set me against you? She has not
spoken ten words to me; and surely her voice cannot
reach me here to say anything against you. You are
unreasonable,”

“You know what I mean quite well, Grahame,
64 MARY ELLIOT.

if you choose. You are defending her at my ex-

pense.” —
“ Indeed, dear Minnie, I never meant to do any-

thing of the kind. I only meant to say, that I did not
think her conceited, and that I thought——But,” he
continued, interrupting himself, ‘don’t let us talk
about it any more if it vexes you. Dry your eyes,
and be my own gay Minnie again. I do not know
what has come over you to-day, Minnie; you are not
like yourself, you are so ready to quarrel and to take
offence.”

“ It is all Evelyn’s penning: T am so afraid of your
all liking her more than me,” was any! s reply, while
her tears still flowed.

“ But, Minnie, that is nonsense. I must like my
sister better than a stranger. And at any rate, you
know, being quarrelsome is not the best way to make
us like you. Be cheerful and good-humoured, and we
must all like you, however charming Evelyn may be.
I do not think she will suit us very well; but I am
sure we ought to be kind to her, and there is an end
of the matter.”

And Grahame managed, by turning the conversa-
tion again to the puppy, to drive away Mary’s tears ;
and the only return she made to the subject was by say-
ing, as they entered the house, “ Well, but, Grahame,
after all, I am quite sure I never can like Evelyn
Harcourt.”
CAROLINE. 65

CHAPTER V.
CAROLINE.

Mary had not, for some days, any time to think
about either liking or disliking Evelyn. Her whole
thoughts were occupied about the arrival of her sisters
and of Caroline.

Gertrude and Madeline were almost strangers to
her. She had seen little of them during the last six
years. Mr. Elliot went frequently to Edinburgh to
see them; but as it was too long a journey for them
to undertake alone, and as it was not easy to get an
escort for them, they had only been twice or thrice at
home during all that time. Mr. Elliot often regretted
their absence, and wished that he could keep them
with him; but he had no female relation who could
come to take care of them, and he believed that it was
better for them to remain at Edinburgh under their
aunt’s care.

And so, in some respects, it might be. And yet it

E
=s*

66 MARY ELLIOT.

is always a pity when children of the same family are
not brought up together. It loosens the bond of warm
affection which ought to subsist between brothers and
sisters. They acquire different tastes and habits; and
coming together at an age when these are in some
measure confirmed, they are less able and less willing
to bear with each other’s peculiarities.

This was peculiarly the case with Gertrude and
Mary. Gertrude had no patience with Mary’s trouble-
some ways, with her self-conceit, and self-will; and
she was shocked by her want of cultivation, by her
wildness and ignorance; while Mary could by no
means submit to Gertrude’s attempts to control and
direct her. Madeline and she got on better; for al-
though Madeline was as much annoyed as Gertrude
by Mary’s noise and vehemence, yet she was too gentle
and indolent to find fault, and contented herself with
keeping as much as possible out of her way.

Although she often quarrelled with them, however,
Mary was really very proud of her sisters. She was
proud of Gertrude’s accomplishments and of Made-
line’s beauty; and she was pleased to find that they
were as fashionably and elegantly dressed as Evelyn
and Mrs. Harcourt.

She began now to look with some shame upon her
own old-fashioned clothes, and to wish that she had
not so openly displayed her contempt for all care about
dress and personal appearance, as this prevented her
CAROLINE. 67

from expressing the desire she now felt to be dressed
more like her stylish-looking sisters;

When Caroline came, she felt as proud of her as of
Gertrude and Madeline. It .was true that she did
not possess Gertrude’s great abilities nor Madeline’s
beauty, but then she soon became an universal favour-
ite. Every member of the little circle which consti-
tuted Mary’s world agreed in loving and praising her.
Captain and Mrs. Hamilton admired her good sense,
her steady principle, and her earnest, resolute self-
denial. Mrs. Harcourt said that she was remarkably
well-bred and elegant; and all the younger ones loved
her kindness, her cheerfulness, and readiness to oblige
them.

Caroline had not entered upon her new duties with-
out seriously weighing their peculiar difficulties. She
felt that she had a mother’s responsibilities and cares,
while she had neither her authority nor her claim to the
affections of those under her charge. Over Gertrude
and Madeline, in particular, she could exert no author-
ity; she could only be to them an affectionate elder
sister. But she had seen a great deal of them during
the last six years. She loved them for their own sakes,
as well as because they were William’s sisters, and she
knew that they really loved her. She knew their char-
acters well, too, and knew how she could best help
them to improve themselves.

But she felt that her main difficulty would be with
68 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary. Partial as William’s description of his little
favourite had been, Caroline could not help fearing
that she might find it a delicate task to direct and con-
trol her, unaccustomed as she had been to all restraint.

She confided all her fears to her mother; to her
who had been the tender, skilful guide of her own
ehildhood and youth. Her mother sympathized in
her anxiety; and while she endeavoured to encourage
her, she did not attempt to conceal from her the real
extent of her difficulties.

“ Your first efforts ought to be directed to making
yourself love these children,” she said. “ Use every
argument you can think of to make yourself regard
them, not merely with affection, but with tenderness.
Real tenderness of heart towards them will be your
best instructor; it will teach you patience, prudence,
and watchfiflness. And you will need patience, my
dear Caroline, not merely to bear with provocations—
that I am sure you have—but patience to abstain from
trying to put things right, before you thoroughly un-
derstand the characters of those you have to deal with,
and before you have gained their affections and confi-
dence.”

Acting upon this advice, Caroline was very earnest
in her endeavours to convince Grahame and Mary
that she really loved them, and that although she saw
their faults, she did not despise them for them. She
was very careful not to tease them by finding fault in
CAROLINE. 69

trifles, and was always ready to sympathize in their
little feelings; and with Mary, in particular, she was
very successful in her endeavours to gain her affections
and confidence.

Mary soon confided in her as she had been accus-
tomed to do in Mrs, Hamilton, and rejoiced, as she
told Bessie, in having a Mrs. Hamilton of her own,
who was always with her, and to whom she could go
in every difficulty.

Not long after Caroline came, Mary ventured one
day to confide to her her distress at her own uncouth
appearance, and her wish that she could be dressed a
little more like her sisters and Evelyn. Caroline did
not seem to think this at alla silly wish. She thought
it quite natural, and offered her services in altering
such of Mary’s frocks as could be altered. She went
with Mary at once to inspect her wardrobe, and de-
cide upon what could be done, and what they must be
contented to leave undone; and she showed so much
interest in the subject, and began her task with so.
much readiness and skill, that Mary determined she
would never again be afraid to ask her assistance in
any of her little plans.

Mary was, however, a little puzzled at Caroline’s
interest in this affair. She had always thought that it
was a great sign. of wisdom to despise dress, and im-
agined that all sensible people must do so. But Caro-
line was a sensible woman, and yet she evidently did
70 MARY ELLIOT.

not despise it. Mary determined to get at Caroline’s
opinions upon the subject.

“TI am so glad that you do not think me silly for
wishing to have my frocks made more fashionably,”
she said, one day, when she was sitting watching
Caroline’s busy fingers, as she was employed upon one
of Mary’s dresses.

“Silly to wish to look like other people, Minnie !”
said Caroline, smiling. “ By no means. It is more
agreeable to the eye of others to see us neatly and be-
comingly dressed, and I cannot think it silly to wish to
give them that pleasure as far as we can. I should
think it both silly and wrong to throw away these

.dresses which cannot be altered, because it is more

important to be careful of your papa’s money than to
be fushionably dressed. But when a little pains will
make these other dresses look better, I think it would
be silly not to take that pains with them.”

“Do you not think it a right thing to despise dress,
then, Caroline ?”

“What do you mean by despising dress, Minnie ?”
asked Caroline, laughing. “Do you mean that we
should be contented to go without clothes altogether ?”

Mary laughed,—“ Oh no, Caroline, of course not. It
would be very cold to go without clothes.”

“We could defend ourselves from the cold by
wrapping ourselves up in sheep-skins, Mary. Would’
that suit your ideas of propriety ?”
CAROLINE. 71

“ No, no, Caroline; I only mean, do not you think
it is very foolish to be always thinking about our
dress ?”

“So foolish, that I cannot imagine any one doing
so, Minnie.”

“ Well, perhaps not always, but to feel a great deal of
anxiety about it is very foolish, is it not?”

“Certainly, Minnie. Dress is a matter of such
small importance, that I cannot understand any one
having great feelings about it in any way. The woman
who feels great contempt for it is, I think, as foolish as
she who feels great anxiety about it. And perhaps
still more foolish than either is the woman who is
proud of not caring for it.”

«But some women have so many other things to
think of, that they have no time to think about it at
all, Do you not think that they are the wisest ?”

“Why, Mary, I think that depends a good deal
upon the nature of the other things they think about.
The attention necessary to enable us to dress properly
is so very small, that I think we may, under most
circumstances, find ourselves able to afford it. And, I
think, people are apt to deceive themselves upon this
subject, and to take as much trouble, and waste as
many thoughts in devising how they can best prove
their indifference to dress, as it would have cost them

to dress like the most fashionable lady of my acquain-
tance.”
72 MARY ELLIOT.

“Oh, Caroline!” cried Mary, blushing, ‘“ Bessie has
been telling you about that day at the burn.”

Caroline looked up in some surprise, as she replied,
“ That Bessie had told her of no day at the burn.”

After a moment's hesitation, Mary told her the
story of Evelyn’s untimely arrival, and confessed that
upon that day she had taken more trouble to show
Susan and Bessie how careless she was about her
personal appearance, than it could have cost her to put
on her apron and gloves.

Caroline sympathized with Mary in the sorrow
she had felt in seeing that Evelyn did not like her;
but she tried to convince her that slie ought not to
think so much about what people were to say of her.

“Mrs. Hamilton tells me that,” said Mary, “ but I
did not expect to hear you say so.”

“ And why not, Minnie?” asked Caroline.

‘Oh, do not you remember the other day, when you
were speaking about my learning French, and some
other things which I do not want to learn, you said,
that your only reason for wishing me to do so was,
lest other girls should look down upon me as inferior
to them if I did not.”

“Nay, Minnie, I did not say that.”

“Indeed, Caroline, you did,” said Mary, eagerly.
“You said, ifI did not learn what other girls in my situa-
tion learned, that I would be considered an ill-educated
woman when I grew up, and might feel myself unable
CAROLINE. 73

to enter into conversation with my equals. Now
didn’t you say that, Caroline ?”

“TI did, Minnie; but I never said that was my only
reason. I still think that is a strong reason in your
case. Some girls could see themselves looked down
upon, as you call it, and not care much for it; but
you are so sensitive about what others may think or
say of you, that I think if you felt that you were re-
garded with contempt for your ignorance of French, or
for your want of any acquirement which girls of your
rank in life usually possess, it would embitter your
temper, and lead you to seek the society of your in-
feriors.”

«“ Indeed, Caroline,” said Mary, warmly, “I do not
think it is fair to say that of me. I cannot tell you
how much I despise people who do anything only be-
cause other people do it. Affected fine ladies, who are
afraid to stir or speak, or smile lest they should be
thought vulgar, and who are always upon the watch to
show that they have learned what other people learn,
and are ignorant of nothing that other people know.”

“Are you not as much upon the watch to show off
your wisdom in despising such people, as they can be
to show their accomplishments? And, dear Minnie,
you are not contented with being too sensible to care
about these things, unless others see and acknowledge
that you are so. We can easily be affected, without
being fine ladies. Was it not too great concern for the
74 MARY ELLIOT.

opinion of the boys that made you refuse to put on
your apron on the day you have told meabout? And
did not you on that day affect more indifference than
you really felt, as to whether your frock and hands
were dirtied or not ?”

Mary could not deny this, and she tried to change
the subject.

“‘ But what are your other reasons for wishing me
to learn French, Caroline ?” she asked.

“Oh! I really have not time to give you all my
reasons just now, particularly as I think it is going to be
fine, and that we shall make out our walk to Worsleigh.
But one strong reason is, that I hope the learning of it
may be of use in giving you those habits of regular
industry and steady application in which you are at
present so deficient. You know your papa told you
this morning, that you were the idlest girl he ever
knew.”

“Oh! papa was only laughing,” said Mary; “Iam
not so very idle. I have read a great many books,
and really sensible books, with the Hamiltons.”

“T know you have, Minnie. And it has been a
good thing for you that you have had such kind
friends as Captain and Mrs. Hamilton, who have taken
pains to give you a love of reading, and to direct you
in the choice of your books. You have more informa-
tion on many subjects than girls of your age generally
have. But I do not say this to make you conceited,
CAROLINE. 75

Minnie. You have so many advantages here, so much
leisure, and so many interesting natural objects around
you, to excite your curiosity, and induce you to read,
that I think it would be almost a disgrace to you, if
you did not know more than other girls.”

“ But besides reading a great deal, Caroline,” pur-
sued Mary, eagerly, “ I assure you I can study very
patiently when there is anything that I want to
learn, and work very hard when there is anything I
have set my heart upon getting done.”

“I do not doubt it, Minnie,” said Caroline, laugh-
ing, “if you have set your heart upon it; but that is
quite a different thing from sitting down contentedly for
so many hours every day to dry uninteresting lessons,
and giving your whole mind to learn them thoroughly,
even when your heart is set against instead of upon
them.”

“ But lessons ought to be made co then,
Cgroline,” said Mary.

“ A great deal has been done in that way, Minnie
but I do not think it is possible to take away entirely
the dry technicalities and details which meet us at the
beginning of every study; and, indeed, I am not sure
that it is advisable. I think the effort necessary to
master these, in spite of our distaste to them, and to
fix our attention upon such uninteresting subjects, is
useful. It must strengthen the habits of quiet perse-
verance, and earnest diligence in overcoming difficul-
76 MARY ELLIOT.

ties. It must, I think, give us the power of working on
day after day in any task we are called upon to per-
form, however irksome it may be, looking for no other
pleasure than the satisfaction of having done our
duty.”

Mary smiled and shook her head. “She did not
see the necessity of this habit,” she said.

“ Because you will not see it, Minnie,” said Caro-
line. “ But if you do not see it now, you will when
you are a woman; and then it will be too late. And
when you are suddenly called upon to perform some
very tiresome duty, and find that you have no time to
go round the world in search of some one who will be
kind enough to make it interesting to you, you will
regret then that you did not acquire such habits while
young as might have enabled you to discharge your
duty, however disagreeable.”

“I cannot imagine any such duty, Caroline,” an-
swered Mary, laughing. “I hope I shall always have
money to pay other people for performing any task
which is too difficult for my idleness to undertake.”

“ Nay, Minnie, you are talking foolishly now, and
you know it too. You cannot know what your future
lot in life may be, nor what you may be obliged to un-
dertake either for yourself or for others. At any rate,
I did not speak of overcoming mere physical difficul-
ties, but of mental and moral too. In the efforts which
you tell me you are going to make to overcome your
CAROLINE, 77

impetuosity and impatience, you will find that you need
perseverance almost as much as steady resolution or
earnest desire. And should you ever be placed in
authority over children, you will find that no warmth
of affection for them, no earnestness of desire for their
improvement, will avail in your efforts to subdue their
faults, unless you have also a quiet perseverance to
enable you to go on day after day, amid all discourage-
ments, and in spite of all obstacles.”

Caroline paused for a moment, as if recollecting
something, and then said, “ I remember a case, Minnie,
that I think might interest you.”

“ Oh, tell it me, Caroline, if it is a story,” cried Mary,
eagerly.

“I did not know the young lady myself, but I have
heard mamma speak of her,” said Caroline. ‘She was
the eldest daughter of a rich merchant, and until she
was about eighteen, her father was remarkably pros-
perous in all his transactions. His affairs then became
suddenly and, as it seemed, mysteriously involved.
He had met with several losses in trade, but not of
sufficient importance to account for the embarrassed
state in which he found himself. Upon investigation
he saw reason to suspect the honesty of his head clerk,
aman in whom he had placed the most unbounded
confidence : and it became,necessary for him to go over
a great number of very complicated accounts, in order
to ascertain how far his suspicions were correct. He
78 MARY ELLIOT.

had no one to assist him in this task. The only son
who was old enough to do so was abroad, and he could
not trust to the inferior clerks. He had to undertake
it entirely himself. But at the very commencement
of the business he was taken suddenly and alarmingly
ill. The doctors told his wife that his life depended
upon his being kept perfectly quiet, and free from all
anxiety. But how could that be done while he felt
that total ruin might be the consequence of any delay
in the inspection of these accounts, while his mind was
in a fever of anxiety to ascertain the real state of his
affairs ?

“In this dilemma his daughter came forward, and
persuaded her father to trust her to accomplish this
task for him. Her education had been carefully at-
tended to in all its branches, and by her knowledge of
arithmetic she was able to do all that was required,
although at the expense of more labour and time than
it would have cost a more experienced accountant.
That, however, she did not consider, if only she could
lessen her father’s cares ; and she began her task, and
persevered day after day, week after week, with unre-
mitting assiduity, until at length she had the satisfac-
tion of giving to her father convincing proofs of his
clerk’s dishonesty, and a clear statement of his ac-
counts.” s

“ Oh, Caroline,” exclaimed Mary, vehemently, “ I
could have done that, indeed I could. I should have
CAROLINE. 79

needed no interest, no pleasantness in the task itself,
no habits of industry; love to dear papa must have
been strong enough to enable me to do it.”

“ I believe, dear Minnie,” said Caroline, affection-
ately, “ that your love to your father would have led
you to begin with the utmost readiness, and even to
go on zealously for some time. But when week passed
after week, when the first warmth of feeling was over,
when the body became wearied, the head aching, the
mind worn out; could you then have resisted all temp-
tations to relax in your efforts? When friends whom
you dearly loved came to claim their share of your
time and thoughts, when the fresh air, the song of
birds, the scent of flowers, and the gay sunshine, all
united to invite you to go out, and leave your weary,
weary labour, could you withstand them all, and go on
and on without discontent, and without relaxation ”

“Oh yes, Caroline, I could, I could indeed,” was
Mary’s earnest reply. “ Nothing could tempt me to
give it up if it were necessary for papa’s health and
comfort that I should persevere.”

“J do not think that the temptation would be to
give up while you thought it necessary to your papa’s
health to persevere. The danger would be that your
inclinations might persuade you it was not necessary,
and then when you felt very very weary, you might
gradually begin to think that you really could not go

on.”
80 MARY ELLIOT.

“ No, Caroline, never! Indeed, you do not do me
justice in saying so;” and the tears stood in Mary’s eyes,
with the earnestness of her feelings.

‘ Perhaps so, Minnie, dear,” said Caroline, kindly.
“ I will not vex you by denying it. Only you must
confess that the effort necessary to overcome these
temptations, and your habitual idleness at the same
time, would distract your mind, and prevent your giv-
ing its whole powers to the task before you, as another
might do, who had acquired the habit of mechanical
perseverance, which I hope your lesson-learning may
still give you. But see, Mary, the sun is coming out,
I believe.”

Mary ran to the window.

“Qh yes, Caroline,” she cried, “ come and look out.
The clouds have rained away all their dirty grey, and
are now such a beautiful soft white, and they are
breaking and allowing the deep blue sky to peep
through. ‘There is a gentle breeze making the birch
leaves dance so joyously in the sun and shake off their
bright rain-drops so gracefully.”

Caroline had joined Mary, and stood looking out of
the window, with her hand resting upon her shoulder.

‘Tt is beautiful, Minnie,” she said; “ I never thought
a holly hedge so pretty before. The rain sparkles so
upon it, and the young shoots are such a fresh green,
in contrast with the sombre old leaves.”

'« Wait till you see that hedge in snow, Caroline.
CAROLINE. 81

It is so beautiful when the snow is half melted, and
the smooth, shining green leaves are peeping through.
But look at the burn, Caroline; is not that lovely?
the grass beside it is so green from the rain.”

“ And how rich that distant clump of trees is,”
said Caroline. “Iam impatient to set out upon our
walk; everything seems calling upon us to go.”

“J will run and seek Gertrude,” cried Mary, dart-
ing out of the room before Caroline could stop her.

Caroline followed: she knew that Gertrude was
drawing, and she was afraid that Mary might tease
her by her impatience.

Gertrude had a great talent for drawing, and was
particularly fond of it. Since she came home she had
been much interested in drawing from some beautiful
casts and busts which her father had. One very fine
bust, a copy of the head of Thorwaldsen’s John the
Baptist, had particularly attracted her. She had seen
an engraving of it a year or two before this, and had
always remembered it, and desired earnestly to get it
for a copy. But to draw from the bust itself was, she
found, much more interesting. She had been very
successful in her sketch of it, and this success made
her all the more eager to go on with it; so that she
had rejoiced in the rain, as it promised to give her
the whole forenoon to devote to it.

Mary knew all this, and had she reflected for a
. moment, she must have felt that Gertrude could not
F
82 MARY ELLIOT.

hail the return of the sunshine with so much pleasure
as she did. But Mary did not reflect. She ran hastily
into the room, pushing down, with her usual careless-
ness, the paper upon which Gertrude’s chalks were
lying, and exclaimed eagerly,—

“ The sun is shining, Gertrude, and we are going to
Worsleigh directly. You cannot think how beautiful
the lawn is. Every shrub, and tree, and blade of
grass, is sparkling with bright trembling rain-drops.”

Gertrude calmly picked up her scattered chalks,
then finding that she required a finer point to the one
she was working with, she took it out of the crayon,
pointed it, and was replacing it, when Mary exclaimed
with a little stamp of impatience—

“ Why do you not answer me, Gertrude ?”

“J did not hear you say anything that required an
answer,” was Gertrude’s cold reply.

“ Why do you not put away your things then, and
go for your bonnet ?”

“Not being so much devoted to Worsleigh as you
are, I happen to retain possession of my senses ; and I
imagine that however beautiful your rain-drops may
be, they will still perhaps have some chance of wetting
us, and that it might be as well to wait until they have
had time to dry.”

“Qh, Gertrude!” exclaimed Mary, impatiently—
then checking herself, she continued more quietly,
« only look out of the window, Gertrude, and see how
CAROLINE. 83

lovely the view is; and then I am sure you cannot
resist it.”

“No, thank you,” said Gertrude, in a still more
provokingly indifferent tone; “I am quite satisfied to
look at what is before me.”

“Well, Gertrude,” said Mary, contemptuously,
“if your wonderful talent for drawing can make you
despise such a view as that,” pointing to the window,
“and prefer your own handiwork to it, I must say that
I would rather have Caroline’s taste, who pretends to
no genius, but who can enjoy and admire what is
really beautiful. I leave you to your refined taste
and dignity, and I will ask Caroline to go without
you, as she is not so terribly afraid of a few drops of
rain.”

And Mary ran out of the room as hastily as she had
entered it, without perceiving that Caroline had fol-
lowed her, and was now standing behind Gertrude’s
chair. Gertrude did not see her either. She went on
calmly with her work, until a slight movement of
Caroline’s caused her to look up.

“Do you think that I am successful?” she asked.

“Yes,” was Caroline’s grave reply, “I think you
have succeeded admirably in both objects.”

“Both !” repeated Gertrude, in some surprise.

“Yes, That delicate line of shading has brought
out beautifully the expression of the eye, and your
studied indifference has put Mary in a passion.”
84 MARY ELLIOT.

Gertrude coloured, and did not speak for a moment.
She would not have borne such a reproof from any
one else; but Caroline had always dealt very frankly
with her, and Gertrude had so much respect as well
as affection for her that she was seldom offended at
anything she said.

“You are mistaken, Caroline,” she said at last ;
“T had no such object.”

“Forgive me, Gertrude. It is you who are mis-
taken; you could have had no other motive for assum-
ing such a provokingly cold manner. It must have been
a powerful motive, too, Gertrude, as it led you to say
what was not true, or at least to imply it.”

“ Not true, Caroline!” said Gertrude, in an offended
tone.

“Yes, not true, dear Gertrude,” replied Caroline,
turning her gently towards the window. “ You can-
not be indifferent to such beauty as that.”

The window was shaded by a very handsome china
rose-tree. One long branch, loaded with flowers in
every stage of beauty, had escaped from its fastening,
and leaned against the glass; all its flowers and leaves
gemmed with dazzling drops of rain. Beyond were
seen fields, woods, and water, in all the rich luxuri-
ance of their summer splendour. Gertrude smiled as
she looked on it.

«Every one must admire this,” she said. “ But,
indeed, Caroline, you do not know how peculiarly pro-
CAROLINE, 85

voking Mary is to me. I sometimes fear that I shall
end in positively disliking her.”

“You remember your mother, Gertrude,” said
Caroline, abruptly. ‘You have spoken to me about
her.”

‘Remember her!” exclaimed Gertrude, an expres-
sion of softened feeling coming over her face as she
spoke. “Ah! I have never forgotten her. But since
I have returned home, 1 seem to remember her more
distinctly than ever; every room, every spot of the
grounds seem to recall her to me, to remind me of
some word, some look, some proof of her affection for
me. I have often spoken of her to you, but I can
never tell you of the warmth, the tenderness of her
love to us, nor make you understand the perfect con-
fidence which I, child as I was, felt in that love,—the
perfect conviction that my welfare, my happiness,
were dearer to her than her own. No,” continued
Gertrude, sadly, turning away her head that Caroline
might not see the tears that came into her eyes,
“none ever have, none ever can love me as she did;
and I often feel as if the power of loving had died in
my heart when she died.”

“ Dear Gertrude,” exclaimed Caroline, affectionate-
ly, “ you ought not to say that, you ought not to feel it.”

“ Ought not to say it, perhaps, Caroline, but how
can I help feeling it? She was everything to me. To
others I was reserved and cold even then, but never
86 MARY ELLIOT.

to her. Every thought and feeling were told to her as
they arose in my heart. She did not treat me as a
child; she made me the sharer in her pure, holy
thoughts and feelings; she was more than my mother
—my friend, my companion, my confidant. When I
went to Edinburgh, I found my aunt kind, indulgent,
and anxious for my health and comfort, but you know
yourself that she could not fill my mother’s place.
Dear Madeline is gentle and good, but my feelings are
too stormy for her to understand. Among all my
companions there was not one who could understand
me, or interest me. They had more worldly wisdom
than I had, but they would have laughed at many of
my feelings; they could not understand the fresh,
beautiful thoughts which my mother had connected
in my mind with everything around me—with trees,
and birds, and flowers, with clouds and sunshine. So
I shut them up in my own heart, and tried to seem
cold and indifferent, until I became so in reality. I
did not understand all this then, but, looking back, I
see now that this was the case. And, I say, I cannot
help it; I cannot make myself love.”

“ You like to look upon fine pictures, Gertrude ?”
’ « You know I do, Caroline. What do you mean?”
asked Gertrude, in surprise.

“ Would you ever take any interest in them if you
only looked at the coarse canvass on which the picture
is painted ?”
CAROLINE, 87

“ Of course not,” was the laughing reply.

& You could not like them so much as you do if you
only gave them one general, careless look?”

“ Certainly not. We cannot enjoy a picture unless
we look into it closely, to find out its minuter beauties,
and study to understand the mind of the painter, and
to enter into the ideas he intended to present to us.”

“ But, dear Gertrude, did you ever try that plan
with characters? You say you cannot make yourself
love people ; did you ever try to make yourself take
an interest in any one in whom you feel that you ought
to be interested? Instead of being contented with one
careless glance at their characters, did you ever try to
study them, so as to find out the greater or lesser good
points in them? If you consider the various pecu-
liarities of their temper, situation, circumstances, do
you not think that you will fee] more interest in them,
if not more affection too ?”

Gertrude did not answer. Caroline saw that she
had made an impression on her, and she continued,—

«“ But that was not what I wished to say when I be-
gan to speak of-your mother. I wished to ask you to
consider how she would feel and act towards poor
Mary were she now alive, and how she would like
you to feel and act towards her. Try to realize how
patient and forbearing she would be, and, I think, that
will help you to be more so too.”

Still Gertrude did not speak, but Caroline scarcely
88 MARY ELLIOT.

expected she would. Her pride prevented her from
acknowledging that she had been wrong; her truth-
fulness from defending herself. Caroline felt only
anxious that she should be left to follow the train of
thought she had suggested without interruption; and
she therefore advised her not to accompany them in
their walk, as the grass and walks were really very wet.

She was glad to find Bessie Hamilton with Mary
when she joined her. Bessie had seen that the rain
was over sooner than they had, and had taken the first
fair moment to start, as she was anxious to see Mary,
and she now proposed to walk back with them. She
and Mary had a great deal to talk about, as they had
not met for some days; and Caroline was glad to be
allowed to pursue her own thoughts in peace.

Her mind was full of her conversation with Ger-
trude. She felt more than she had ever done before
the difficulty of dealing with such a character; and
the more convinced she was of the depth and strength
of her feelings, the more anxiety did she feel to direct
her aright, and the more doubt of her own capacity
for the task. Never had she felt the burden of her
responsibility, in regard to all her sisters, weigh so
heavily. She almost felt as if she must sink under it;
and was half tempted to murmur that such a duty
should have been laid upon her at such a time, when
she could have wished to devote all her thoughts and
cares to her husband.
CAROLINE. 89

But Caroline never indulged long in selfish repining
or desponding feelings. She soon began to remember
that she had the promise of strength from on high in
every duty. The more difficult the duty the more
abundant the supply of strength. And as she looked
around upon the fresh verdure, and saw how every
tree, and shrub, and flower had been refreshed by the
rain, she thought, “‘ Ah! He who clothes the grass of
the field will much more clothe me with every grace
needful for my task. He who cares for the refresh-
ment of every tiny plant will care much more tenderly
for my support and refreshment in every difficulty and
discouragement.”
90 MARY ELLIOT.

CHAPTER VI.

LESSONS.

In the meantime the girls were talking very fast.
They had not met since they had spent a day at Mrs.
Harcourt’s, and they had to discuss the events of the
day, and to decide again what they thought of Evelyn.
Mary was unqualified in her expressions of dislike.
She was a stupid, tiresome girl, she said, who cared
for nothing that other girls cared for. She did not
like a long walk, she did not like scrambling on the
rocks, going out in a boat, playing with the boys, nor
working in the garden. In short, she said, she was
affected and conceited, and far too old for her age.
She looked more like twenty than twelve.

‘“‘ But, Mary, she is fourteen,” said Bessie.

“Well, well,” was Mary’s impatient answer, “ four-
teen, or twelve, it is all the same.”

“ Not quite,” said Bessie, smiling. ‘See how much
more quiet and sensible Susan is than we are.”

“Oh! that is nothing to the purpose. Susan was
LESSONS. 91

quiet and sensible long before she was even twelve.
Do you not remember, long, long ago, how she used
to find out when your mamma had a headach, and
used to be so quiet and attentive to her, and used to
tempt us to carry our noise and bustle out of her
hearing : and how she could always find your papa’s
books and papers, and knew how to help him so
nicely in the garden, and with his dried flowers.
No, no, Susan did not need to wait till she was four-
teen before she became sensible.”

“But we do, Minnie, I am afraid,” said Bessie,
laughing.

Mary laughed too.

« After all, Bessie,” she said, “ I am not sure that I
should like to be so very quiet and sensible. Evelyn
must have far less pleasure than we have, because she
cares for so few things; I mean likes so few things.”

«“ Few things that we like, Minnie. But she likes
some things that we do not. And then, you know, if
she does not care so much about a long walk, she is
not so much vexed when she cannot get it as we are.
To-day, I was very anxious to go over to you, and
when the rain began I felt quite cross and unable to
do anything. I sat in the window and grumbled,
until mamma spoke to me about it, and told me to get
some occupation. I took up the skirt of a frock that
I was helping mamma to make for Annie, but I was
so much occupied in watching the rain, and in griev-
92 MARY ELLIOT.

ing about my walk, that I did not look what I was
doing, and instead of sewing two breadths together, I
carefully sewed the bottom of one to the side, and
never found out my mistake till I came to the corner.”
_ Mary was much amused; she laughed again and
again at Bessie’s mistake. Bessie laughed too, but she
said that she had been very sorry about it. Her
mamma had taken the work from her, as she was in
haste to get it done, and said she could not wait for
Bessie, if she did not choose to give her mind to it.

“ And I was so grieved, Minnie; for you know it
seemed so unkind to mamma not to be more anxious
to help her. And mamma is so very kind to us, and
always so ready and willing to do everything she can
for us.”

“ Yes, I know that feeling, Bessie,” said Mary,
gravely ; “I know that it vexes me very much when
I have grieved Caroline, because she is always so kind
to me. Oh! Bessie,” she continued eagerly, “ you
cannot think how happy I am to have got Caroline,
and to love her so much. But you look grave, Bessie.
Are you-not glad about Caroline’s coming ?”

Bessie coloured and hesitated. She knew it was a
wrong feeling, she said, but sometimes she could not
help wishing that Caroline had not come, because
Mary came so much more seldom to Worsleigh than
she used to do.

“ I know I am very selfish, Minnie,” she said, “ and
LESSONS. 93

I have striven and am striving to put it away, but I
cannot yet say that I am quite glad.”

“ Oh, Bessie!” exclaimed Mary, “it is very selfish
to say that, when it is such happiness to me.”

“T have said, Mary, that I know it is selfish,” re-
plied Bessie, quickly; “but you ought to make allow-
ance for this feeling. You often feel the same your-
self.”

“ Never, Bessie, never!” cried Mary, warmly. “I
remember when my arbutus tree died in the frost, I
was very glad to hear that yours was still alive.”

Bessie felt that her candid confession might have
been a little more generously received. She saw, too,
that the case Mary mentioned was very different from
hers, as the death of her arbutus could have done
Mary no good. She was inclined to remind Mary
that she had felt sorrow, not merely because Evelyn
disliked her, but also because she liked Susan and
Bessie. But she checked herself. She remembered
that her mother had told her, that the kindness which
God bids us feel towards others, requires us often to
give up our own rights, often to cease to defend our-
selves, often to drop an argument, when we see that
our opponent’s temper is failing. And by a strong
effort she forced herself to say quietly,

“ Yes, I remember that you were.”

Mary’s conscience smote her at Bessie’s mild
reply, and with all her usual quickness to make
94 MARY ELLIOT,

amends, she told her at once, that she saw she had
been wrong, that she had been boastful about her own
goodness, and unkind to Bessie.

« But,” she continued, “we have forgotten Evelyn.”

“Qh, let us forget her then,” said Bessie, smiling ;
«ghe does not suit our taste, and so it is difficult for us
to speak fairly about her. I do not think that she is
affected or conceited, but she is terribly quiet, and I
should not like you to be like her, nor to be like her
myself. But, Mary, do you know what Mrs. Elliot is
going to speak to mamma about?”

“No, Bessie; do you? Oh! tell me,” was Mary’s
eager reply.

Bessie doubted whether she ought to do so, as

_ Caroline had not.

“ Oh, yes, I am sure you may; or we can ask
Caroline, if you like,” said Mary.

They ran after her. She smiled at the request, and
said, that Bessie might tell if she pleased, that she had
only refrained from speaking about it, lest Mary should
be disappointed if Mrs. Hamilton did not approve of
the plan.

“Qh! mamma and papa do approve,” said Bessie,
blushing. “They are much obliged to you for thinking
of it.”

“For thinking of what? What plan? Tell me quick,
Bessie,” cried Mary, impatiently.

“ Mrs. Elliot is going to get masters to teach you

ao ile 5 iia
LESSONS. 95

French, and music, and drawing, and she wishes Susan
and me to go to Hazel Bank every day to learn with
you.”

Mary was very much pleased, and thanked Caroline
repeatedly for thinking of it. After a few questions
as to when they were to begin, é&c., the girls gra-
dually fell behind, and began to discuss the matter by
themselves. Bessie told Mary that her mamma had
been speaking to her and Susan about these new plans
the preceding evening. She had been telling them
that she expected that they would now study hard from
a desire to improve themselves.

“ When you were very young, you learned your
lessons, because you felt that you must do so. When
you were a little older, you were diligent, in order to
give me pleasure and save me trouble. But now you
are old enough to feel a desire to cultivate your powers
of mind, and to improve your habits of attention and
application. Every lesson idly or carelessly learned
strengthens a bad habit; every one learned diligently
and faithfully confirms a good one.” And Bessie con-
cluded by saying, that she and Susan had resolved to
be very industrious.

“ So have I, Bessie,” said Mary. ‘“ Caroline has
been speaking to me about my idleness. But you have
never been idle; you learn a great many lessons, and
work so much.”

“ Yes, mamma says that our learning Latin, and
96 MARY ELLIOT.

all these things with papa will help us, and so will
our being accustomed to work busily, in order to be of
use to her. But she is very glad that we are to have
the advantage of masters. She had intended to begin
to teach us French this winter, but you know she has
not much time for it. And she could not teach us
music at all. But do you know, Minnie, I am begin-
ning to change my mind a little about accomplish-
ments and lady-like manners, and all that. You and
I have always said that we would take no pains to get
them, but I begin to think we have been wrong.”

“ T almost think so too, Bessie,” said Mary. “Since
I began to know Caroline I have thought it. It is
her goodness and kindness that make me love her ; but
then it is so pleasant to feel sure that she will never
say or do any little teasing rude thing, such as—such
as I sometimes do. And I like to watch how gentle
and agreeable she is to everybody. And yet you
know we ought not to be too anxious merely to look
like ladies.”

“ Mamma says,” replied Bessie, “ that you and I
have puzzled ourselves very unnecessarily about this.
We have always thought that people can have no other
motive for desiring to be polite and well-bred, except
the wish to be admired and praised for it.”

“ And what other motive can they have, Bessie ?”

‘Mamma says, that if we endeavour from the heart
to keep God’s commandments, ‘ Be ye kind one to an-
LESSONS. 97

other, tender-hearted,’ and ‘ Be pitiful, be courteous,’
our manners will become polite, and even elegant,
without our thinking about it.”

“ Will they?” asked Mary, doubtfully.

“ Oh, yes!” was Bessie’s positive answer, “Mamma
says so; and she showed us how it would be. Only
we inust remember these precepts at all times ; in little
things as well as in great, and towards every person,
towards those whose characters do not suit our taste,
as well as towards those we love.”

“ Towards Evelyn, for instance,” suggested Mary.

‘‘ Towards Evelyn, of course,” rejoined Bessie ; “and
she is a good case, Minnie, to take. She dislikes any-
thing in the least rough or rude. If we feel kindly to-
wards her, we will be very careful to be gentle, so as
not to vex her, and so gradually we will become more
gentle in our manners to every one. Then, if we really
have a feeling of kindness towards every one we meet
with, we will be attentive to them, ready to render
little services, careful to avoid giving them pain. We
will refrain from contradicting any one unnecessarily,
we will try to speak in a pleasant tone, and to speak
about such things as can interest or please those we
are speaking to; and we will do a great many other
little things to make people happy and comfortable.”

“ Yes,” replied Mary, slowly and doubtfully ; “I
think that might be enough to make a quiet girl like
Susan well-bred and lady-like, but you and I are such

G
98 MARY ELLIOT.

quick, noisy girls somehow, that I am afraid we will
want something more. We make such a noise going
into a room, slam the doors, brush things off the table,
knock the chairs together, and tear our frocks upon
the handles of the doors or the corners of the stair-
cases, and I am afraid we can never be lady-like while
we do these things.”

“ Well, but, Minnie,” pursued Bessie, “ that is one
of the things mamma spoke to me about. She says, I
must feel that such noisy entrances and exits are dis-
agreeable to those who are sitting in the room, and that
a kind desire for their comfort ought to make us care-
ful to learn more quiet and gentle habits of moving
about.”

“ J know it is disagreeable,” said Mary, “ for you
have often made me quite cross by startling, sudden
noises, when I was busy about anything.”

“ So have you me, Minnie,” said Bessie, quickly.
« However, if we have both felt the pain of such awk-
ward habits in each other, we will be the more con-
vinced that we should try to get them cured in our-
selves. So I think, Minnie, we should make some
resolutions together to be kind to every one, and watch-
ful over their comfort.”

‘I dare say we should, Bessie ; but what do the boys
say about it? You know they have always agreed
with you and me. Perhaps they may not like us to
be lady-like, and all that.”
LESSONS. 99

“ I did mean to ask Ned about it before determin-
ing,” replied Bessie, “ but I have not had time. And
after all, Minnie, I think we need not mind them much.
They think and say these things without thinking.”

“ Think without thinking—oh, Bessie !” said Mary,
laughing.

Bessie persisted that it was something like the truth.
She was going to remind Mary how, upon the day
when Evelyn came, Ned had first encouraged her not to
put on the apron, and then laughed at her dirty frock ;
but she checked herself, lest Mary might still feel un-
willing to speak about her misfortunes. Mary under-
stood, however, and acknowledged that on that occa-
sion at least the boys had changed their minds very
suddenly.

“ I do not understand very well about being pitiful,
Bessie,” said Mary, after a moment’s pause; “ what
has that to do with manners? You and I are pitiful
enough, I think. You remember how sorry we were
for poor old Jenny, and how we gave up keeping
pigeons, in order that papa and Captain Hamilton
might give the money their food would have cost to
buy a cart of coals for her.”

_ “Oh! but Mary,” said Bessie, with a slight tone of
superiority, “that is only one kind of pity. I mean,
that is pity for only one kind of thing. Mamma says
we ought to feel pity for people's little vexations, as
well as for their great misfortunes. When any one
100 MARY ELLIOT.

has a disagreeable temper, or is discontented, foolish,
and ignorant, we ought to feel sorry for them, anxious to
comfort them, and to refrain from irritating them, or
from exposing their little infirmities. And that kind
of pity, you know, will have an effect upon our
manners.”

Mary agreed that it might, but she sighed as she
confessed that she supposed they ought to attend to all
these things.

“We will have so many things to think about, and
all our terribly difficult lessons besides,” she said,
“ that I feel as if there could be no room or time for
our pleasures, for plans about our gardens, or for
playing with the boys.”

Bessie took a more hopeful view of the subject.
She was sure that her mamma would always contrive
that they should have time to amuse themselves,
and to be with the boys. Besides, she said, she
knew that they ought not to make their own happi-
ness a main object in their life. They should try to do
right, and leave their happiness to look after itself.

“ Well,” said Mary, in a tone of resignation, “let
us do our best at any rate. I only hope the boys will
not feel very much vexed when they see us turn out
so lady-like. Only you know, Bessie, that won't hap-
pen very soon.”

“No,” said Bessie, laughing, “not too soon, I am
afraid. But come and look at my garden, and then
LESSONS. 101

we will follow Mrs. Elliot into the house, and hear
about the plans: if we may, that is to say.”

They found Susan in the garden, and told her all
their good resolutions, and their fears as to what
the boys might think, and then went into the draw-
ing-room with her, where they were much interest-
ed in listening to the ‘arrangements about the new
lessons,

In the midst of these discussions Maurice came in
to ask Mary to go and look at his house. She felt
very unwilling to go away, but she remembered that
their purposed kindness was to be shown to every one,
and after a momentary struggle with herself, she rose
and went with him. She tried to feel interested in his
house and in his plans for building a garden-wall,
which was to be quite like a real wall. She took
pains to check her desire to suggest too many improve-
ments, lest he might be mortified, and to use a plea-
sant tone in suggesting such as she thought he might
really like to try. Although she found Caroline ready
to go away by the time she returned to the house, yet
she felt glad that she had denied herself and given
Maurice this pleasure.

She had a very pleasant walk home with Caroline.
She told her all her new resolutions, and asked her to
help her to attain her new wish, to be more lady-like
and accomplished. Caroline readily promised to help
her on one condition.
102 MARY ELLIOT.

“Oh!” said Mary, hastily, “I promise to do any-
thing you like.”

“T am sorry to hear you say so, Minnie,” said
Caroline, a little gravely. ‘I believed that I could
trust entirely to any promise you might give me;
but how can I, when you are ready to promise so
rashly ?”

Mary looked ashamed, and Caroline told her that
her condition was, that she must promise to learn
what she bid her learn, and do what she bid her do,
even although she could not see the reason for it.

“You have never been accustomed to obey orders,
Minnie, and will find it very disagreeable to do so at
first. But I cannot undertake your education, unless
you promise me to be obedient and submissive.”

Mary now considered more deeply, and then gave
the required promise, with an assurance that she
would really try very hard to keep it.

Caroline felt much encouraged at having put mat-
ters upon this footing. She had been also much
pleased at Mary’s kindness to little Maurice, for she
had seen that it had cost her a good deal to over-
come her own inclinations, and she received another
encouragement of the same kind on their return
home.

They met Gertrude and Madeline as they went up
the avenue, and Gertrude immediately accosted Mary
in a very kind manner, telling her that she had been
LESSONS. 103

in the green-house, and that Walter had shown her
Mary’s verbena in a very flourishing state.

“Oh! did he? Gertrude, I am so glad,” was Mary’s
eager reply. ‘ But do you think it will really live?”

“Why, Minnie,” said Gertrude, pleasantly, “ you
are much more learned in flowers than I am. It looked
very well to me; but if you like to come to the green-
house, I will show you where it is. You may, perhaps,
not find it easily yourself, as it is far back.”

Mary was peculiarly susceptible to kindness. She
accepted Gertrude’s offer very gratefully, and as they
went away together, she put her arm round her waist,
with more feeling of affection for her than she had
experienced since her return home.

Poor Mary soon found that all her good resolutions
were necessary to enable her to get through her new
lessons. I think almost all my young readers will be
ready to confess, that the French grammar is not a
very interesting study, particularly at first. Every
one must have thought it a little tiresome to learn
about the articles, and about all these pronouns, and
verbs, regular, irregular, auxiliary, reflective, and so
on. Susan and Bessie thought this as tiresome as
Mary did. But they had been accustomed, almost
ever since they could remember, to learn lessons every
day, and to apply themselves quietly and steadily to
learn them, without considering whether they were
tiresome or not.
104 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary, on the contrary, had scarcely ever learned a
single lesson, unless she chose to do so. She had read
a great deal of history for her own amusement, and
Mr. Elliot had, for the last three years, given her and
Grahame lessons in geography. But these lessons
were only an entertainment to them. Mr. Elliot had
travelled a great deal, and read a great many books of
travels, and he gave the children such interesting de-
scriptions of the different places, of the manners and
customs of the inhabitants, and told them so many
anecdotes connected with them, that they never con-
sidered their geography a lesson. The only prepara-
tion he required from them was, that they should en-
deavour to draw outlines of the different countries for
themselves; and as Mary had a good turn for drawing,
it required no exertion of patience or perseverance to
accomplish this task. William and Frederick under-
took to give her lessons in writing and arithmetic,
and in English grammar. She liked to copy anything,
even writing, and her correct eye enabled her to do
so with little labour. She had a real genius for arith-
metic, and had made considerable progress in it, with-
out ever applying to it at all more than she felt in-
clined. And as to her lessons in grammar, she might
learn one if the weather were so wet as to confine her
to the house; or if she were excited to industry for a
day or two by the consideration, that it was a cha-
racteristic of any of her favourite heroes or heroines,
LESSONS. 105

But in general she never opened the book except
when with her brothers. And they were only amused
with her cool excuses for her idleness, “I had not
time, Fred, I was working in my garden ;” or, “ I was
too tired after such a long walk, William ;” or, “ I was
out with Grahame in the boat.”

Now, however, the case was very different. The
promise to Caroline bound her to prepare thoroughly
for her master every day, whether she were inclined
to do so or not, and to prepare lessons for Caroline
besides. She was scrupulous in keeping her promises,
her lessons were in general pretty well learned in the
end, but not without many complaints and much
grumbling.

Gertrude was sometimes amused, sometimes pro-
voked, at the difficulty Mary seemed to find in what
she considered very easy. She had naturally a great
deal of energy and perseverance, and of course they
had been well exercised while she attended public
classes in Edinburgh, and she could not make allow-
ance for Mary’s long habits of idleness.

One forenoon she was in the library beside Caro-
line and Mary, while Mary was endeavouring to write
a French exercise. Mary was this day particularly
anxious to get her task finished, as she was much in-
terested in a book on shells, which William had got
from the library, and which he intended to return on
the following day. Instead of being more than usu-
106 MARY ELLIOT.

ally attentive on this account, Mary wasted even more
time than usual in idle wishes that her task were done,
and in complaints of its difficulty.

“ Ts this right, Caroline?” she asked, reading aloud
the first sentence of her exercise.

“ No, indeed, Minnie.”

“ This, then?” she said, quickly trying another way,
without a moment’s thought.

Caroline shook her head.

“ Well, this is surely right ?”

“ Yes, Minnie, but you are only guessing. That
ean do you no good. Read over the rule, and take
care to apply it.”

Mary moved restlessly in her chair, and with a deep
groan she began to read the rule; but her mind was
full of her book on shells, of calculations as to how
long it would take her to read it; and she began her
attempts again, without knowing a bit better than be-
fore what she was required to attend to.

“ This will not do, Minnie,” said Caroline, after
patiently hearing her blunder through another sen-
tence. “ You are not giving your mind to what you
are doing. Be quite sure that you understand your
rule before you begin to write. And do not read it to
me; you disturb Gertrude.”

“Oh, that is of no consequence,” said Gertrude,
“in amgyies to such an —_— affair as Mary’s
exercise.”
LESSONS. 107

Mary reddened with anger at the disagreeable,
mocking tone in which Gertrude spoke. She did not
give expression to her impatient feelings, but they pre-
vented her from thinking at all of what she was doing,
and she again read her rule without understanding it.
After another attempt, however, she began to take in
the meaning, and she wrote a sentence or two.

« Oh! how I wish I were done,” she soon exclaim-
ed, with a deep sigh, pushing her book from her, and
then as impatiently pulling it towards her again. “I
am in such a hurry to get to my book.”

« And how nicely that wish has helped you on,”
said Gertrude, sneeringly. ‘ You could not have got
on half as far without these frequent groans ; and that
constant moving in your chair makes you write 80
much faster.”

«“ Gertrude!” was Mary’s impatient exclamation, as
she turned again to her task.

“ Caroline,” she cried, in a minute or two, “ this
book is all wrong; it says that ‘ justice’ is feminine.”

“ So it is, Minnie.”

« No, indeed, Caroline,” said Mary, eagerly; “ all
words ending in ‘ i-c-e’ are masculine.”

Caroline quietly turned to the place, and showed
Mary that ‘ justice’ was among the exceptions.

“Tt ought to have been masculine, though, Caro-
line. You know Mary must be right,” said the pro-
voking Gertrude.
108 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary was a little humbled at her mistake ; and she
only vented the anger that this speech awakened upon
her own hair, pushing it impatiently back from her
face. In a few minutes she asked Caroline to look if
what she had written were correct or not.

“No, dear Minnie,” = Caroline, gently, “ this
sentence is quite wrong.”

‘‘ But, indeed, Caroline, I have followed the rule
quite exactly. The rule must be wrong.”

“ You have followed this rule correctly, but you
have forgotten the one you learned yesterday.”

“ Oh, I never thought of more rules thau one, Caro-
line,” said Mary, throwing herself back in her chair
with a look of hopeless despondency. “ Indeed, I
cannot think of all the rules at once.”

“Particularly when you have learned so very many,”
said Gertrude. “You ought to have a grammar
written for yourself, Minnie. The author of this one
did not know, poor man, what a genius was one day
to learn from his book,—a young lady who scorned to
remember more than one rule at a time.”

Mary’s colour rose high, her eyes flashed with anger,
but Caroline prevented the indignant reply she was
going to pour forth.

“ Hush, dear Minnie,” she said, laying her hand
gently on her shoulder, “ do not answer Gertrude just
now. You will be sorry afterwards for what you feel
inclined to say just now.”
LESSONS. 109

Mary! impatient Mary! had really acquired enough
of command of her temper to be able to obey Caroline.
She swallowed quickly as if to gulp down the passion,
turned away her head from Gertrude, and succeeded
in remaining perfectly silent. Caroline watched her
anxiously, and when she saw that she was victorious,
she said, kindly,—

“ That is right, Minnie, dear. Now, take your
book away into a room by yourself, and try to give
your whole attention to your lesson. You have gained
a victory over your temper. Fight another battle
against the wishes and thoughts about your shell-book,
which are tempting your mind to wander from what
ought just now to engage it entirely—and you will
soon finish your task.”

Mary took up her book and left the room. Caro-
line turned to Gertrude.

“ You surely cannot be aware, dear Gertrude,” she
said, earnestly, “ what mischief you do, in thus need-
lessly and cruelly provoking your sister. Can you
think it justifiable to excite such evil tempers and feel-
ings in her, merely for the sake of displaying your wit
or superior wisdom ?”

Gertrude replied, with an air of cold ‘diaplesgure at
being found fault with,—‘“ That she never thought
about it, that Mary seemed to her a remarkably absurd
child, but that she really did not concern herself much
about her.”
110 MARY ELLIOT.

“ But you ought to be concerned about her, Ger-
trude,” pursued Caroline, with increased earnestness.
“You speak as if Mary were a mere chance acquaint-
ance, who had no claim to your consideration ; as if
you were at liberty to choose whether you would love
her-or not. But it is not so, Gertrude. When God
gave you a sister, He laid upon you a sister's duties,
and you are bound, by your obedience to Him, to yield
her a sister’s affection. It is no excuse to say that
your dispositions do not suit. God gave each of you
these dispositions ; He placed you in the relation in
which you stand to one another, and He commands
you absolutely to fulfil the duties of that relation.”

“ T have told you before, Caroline,” said Gertrude,
in a softer tone of voice, “ that it is not in my power
to love any one.”

“ And I have told you, dear Gertrude, that you de-
ceive yourself in saying so. I must deal plainly with
you, Gertrude. You feel that it is painful to you to —
overcome your reserve, natural and acquired, and you
excuse yourself from the exertion by alleging that your
heart is cold and unfeeling. You try to throw blame
off yourself, and to prove that you cannot be expected
to be gentle, or kind, or tender, because the only being
on whom you had set your heart has been taken from
you. But remember, that the same Heavenly Father
who took her away says to you— Be ye kind to one
another, tender-hearted.’ He knows your peculiar
LESSONS. lll

cireumstances, but not so as to excuse you from a
positive duty—only so as to give you the help needful
to enable you to perform it. God does not address
His precepts of love, of gentleness, of consideration, of
charity, exclusively to the naturally affectionate, gentle,
considerate, and charitable, but to every one of His
children, whatever their natural character may be;
and we sin in charging God foolishly when we say,
that our nature is such that we cannot keep His
commandments. We cannot keep them in our own
strength, it is true, but an abundant supply of grace is
promised if we ask for it.”

Gertrude did not answer, but she looked at Caro-
line with an expression of seriousness and concern, and
Caroline continued, affectionately,—“ I do not think,
dear Gertrude, that you have ever thought of your
duty to Mary in this Way: you have examined her
character with the cold criticism you might exercise
towards any one else, without considering that when
God in His providence placed you in the situation of
a sister, He called upon you to feel more kindly and
warmly towards her, to make more allowance for her
faults, feel more anxiety for her happiness than if she
were a mere stranger.”

Caroline was interrupted here by seeing William
coming up the avenue. She went out to ask him if
he could allow Mary to keep the book for another
day, and having obtained his consent, she returned to
112 MARY ELLIOT.

the house to relieve Mary's mind, lest her anxiety
about it might still prevent her from applying to her
lesson.

“Take a walk with me, oa" said William.
“ T have scarcely ever time to see you.”

Caroline joyfully assented, but said she must first
give Mary the key to her exercise, that she might have
the satisfaction of knowing if it was correct when she
had finished it.

* You can trust her with it?” asked William.

“Trust her! I can trust Minnie’s honour with any-
thing!” cried Caroline, warmly.

Mary was close behind her at the moment, bringing
her. finished exercise.

“ Thank you, dear Caroline,” she said, “ I really

‘think you may.”

Then throwing her arms rotind her neck, as she gave
her back her book, telling her it was quite correct,
she said, warmly,—“ Dear, dear Caroline, how good
you are to me. You are as glad as I am that my
weary task is done.”

“ Very glad, indeed, dear Minnie,” replied Caro-
line, smiling, and kissing her affectionately. “ Now,
go to your book. William says you may keep it to-
morrow too.”

“ It is satisfactory to see that Minnie is not insensi-
ble to your kindness, dear Caroline,” remarked Wil-
liam, as they turned to begin their walk, “ although
LESSONS. 113

she cannot understand in its full extent the beautiful
patience you exhibit towards her.”

Caroline was rejoiced from the heart to hear her
husband say this. She knew what a pet’'Mary had
been with her father and brothers, and she sometimes
feared lest they should think that she was too clear-
sighted in regard to her faults. This fear had never
prevented her doing what she thought was her duty
to Mary, but it had made that duty more difficult ; and
she was much encouraged to find, in the long conver-
sation which followed, that both William and Mr.
Elliot saw her difficulties, and fully appreciated her
conduct under them,

“* We are astonished to see how much Mary has
improved already,” said William. “ She has so much
more command over her temper, and is so much more
ready to give up her own way.”

‘ Minnie’s quickness of perception and of feeling is
a great help to me,” replied Caroline. “ It is easy to
convince her of her faults, and to awaken regret for
them. I was not aware of one great difficulty in my
way, however, until Mrs. Hamilton directed my atten-
tion to it,—the danger of turning Mary's attention too
much upon herself.”

“I do not quite understand you, Caroline.”

‘* With all Mary’s frankness,” replied Caroline, “ she
has a want of simplicity of character. She is too much
inclined to consider how her actions and words will

H
114 MARY ELLIOT.

look in the eyes of others, what will be thought or said
of her. And there is a danger of increasing this in
our efforts to excite her to self-improvement. She will
endeavour to get more gentleness and consideration
for others, in order that she may have the satisfaction
of feeling that she is gentle and considerate, not in
order to increase’ the happiness or lessen the pain of
those towards whom she is so.”

“ So that you require to be always careful to direct
her thoughts away from herself, even while you are
showing her her own deficiencies.”

«“ Yes, to induce her to forget herself as much as
possible, and to fix her attention upon the wants, feel-
ings, joys, and sorrows of those around her.”

They spoke of Gertrude, and Caroline told William
of her conversation with her about her mother.

“ Poor Gertrude!” said William. “ She certainly
does not do herself justice. No one could imagine
that such strong feelings were concealed under such a
cold, proud manner. And yet I remember well her
devoted love to my mother, and how remarkable we
all thought it in such a child. I remember that my
father was greatly alarmed by her agony of grief at
my mother’s death, and by the deep despondency that
succeeded. It was partly on that account that he sent
her and Madeline to Edinburgh so soon after all was
over. I am not sure that that was a good plan,” he
continued, after a moment's thought; “ Gertrude is
LESSONS. 115

correct enough in saying that my aunt was not a
person capable of filling the blank left in her heart ;
and with her great pride of character we can easily
see how she would shrink from expressing any feel-
ing to one whom she thought could not understand
her.”

“She is a very interesting girl,” remarked Caroline.
“She has such great talents and strength of mind, and
such deep feeling. She would be a very fine char-
acter, if she were only brought under the softening
influence of religious principles.”

“That, I am afraid, is wanting,” said William,
thoughtfully, “and she has much religious knowledge
too. But Madeline, Caroline, what do you say to
her ?”

Caroline almost started at this question. She had
never thought of Madeline’s character at all. She
was so quiet and gentle, never in anybody’s way,
never offending any one. Her indolence was so well
known, that no one ever thought of applying for her
assistance, or of expecting her to make any exertion ;
and Caroline felt conscious, that in the greater interest
which Mary and Gertrude awakened, Madeline had
been forgotten,

“ And yet her indolent, useless life is sinful in God’s
sight,” she said, ‘ inoffensive as it seems to man.”

“ It is difficult to remember that,” said William ;
“where the sin gives us no trouble, does not come
116 MARY ELLIOT.

palpably forward, we are apt to forget altogether that
it really is sin. I have seen that with regard to Mary
since you have come here. We used to be only
amused by her quick impatience, by her self-will, and
never thought how really sinful they were in God’s
sight. There is Mary coming to seek you, Caroline.
She cannot do long without you.”

« She is coming to remind me of her music lesson,
I dare say,” said Caroline, smiling; “I had forgotten
it. See the consequence of tempting me to walk.”

“ Nay, Caroline, I think it is only fair that I should
sometimes have my own wife’s company. These girls
make you forget me.”

Caroline turned quickly to look at his face as he
said this. She sometimes feared lest she might not
weigh quite justly the comparative claims upon her
thoughts and attention. As inclination was certainly
on the side of her husband, she was scrupulous in her
consideration of the arguments on the opposite side,
and she was afraid William might really think that
she carried this scrupulosity too far. The smile of
affection and approval that she saw, as she looked
earnestly at him, reassured her, however, and she went
to give Mary her lesson, with a heart much lightened
of many of her cares.

Caroline had engaged a music-master for the elder
girls, but she and Mrs. Hamilton had agreed, that it
might be better that the younger ones should not take
LESSONS. 117

lessons from him, until they had got over the first
difficulties; and Caroline had undertaken to teach
them herself for two or three months.

Mary had been eager to begin to learn music, but
she soon found that it required even a stronger exertion
of patience than French grammar. It must be very
delightful to be able to play like Gertrude, she thought,
but it was terribly tiresome to be kept day after day
practising scales and exercises. Caroline could not
induce her to practise with any degree of attention.
She would play over a passage a dozen times, and
every time make the same mistake; for although her
correct ear checked her every time she played a false
note, still as her mind was occupied with anything
rather than with what she was doing, she would re-
peat the false note the next time she came to it, only
to correct herself again.

One day, when she was playing over to Caroline an
exercise which she had practised by herself, Caroline
found that she had acquired a habit of using a wrong
finger in a particular passage. She made her play it
over several times, and every time, with most provok-
ing carelessness, the wrong finger was used. Caroline
told her that she must cure herself of this habit, and
desired her to play the passage over very slowly.
Mary did so, but not without an impatient “Tut,
Caroline.” This time the right finger was used after
a slight hesitation.
118 MARY ELLIOT.

“Play it again, Mary, until you have quite lost the
inclination to use the third finger.”

“T will only do it once more, Caroline,” said Mary,
moving restlessly on her stool, and playing the passage
in a very careless manner.

“No, Mary, you must play it again, until you can
do it properly.”

Mary began to play it in a passion, knocking the
notes violently.

Caroline laid her hands upon hers.

“Minnie,” she said, gently, but firmly, “ I cannot
allow you to play in sucha way. Quiet yourself, and
then play it again properly.”

Mary’s countenance became dark and sullen. She
sat quite still, until Caroline released her hands; but
when she told her to go on, she looked in her face, and
told her that she would not, that if Caroline did not
choose to allow her to play when she was willing, she
would not do it now.

«“ Minnie,” said Caroline, “ recollect yourself. Re-
member your promise.”

Mary made no reply.

“ Are you going to play that, Mary?” Caroline
asked, after a minute’s pause.

“ No, I am not,” was the cool answer.

Caroline rose from the piano.

“Then, Mary,” she said, “ I can do nothing further
for you, until you choose to submit yourself to me.
LESSONS. 119

You have broken the promise you made, and I told
you that I could not undertake to teach you anything
unless you kept that promise.”

Still Mary gave no signs of softening. She remained
upon the music-stool, looking as sulky as it was pos-
sible for a little girl to look. She was not happy,
however ; she wished that she had not refused to obey
Caroline; she wished earnestly that she could recall
the last few minutes; she felt that she had broken her
promise ; and she felt a bitter feeling of self-reproach,
as she recollected the expression she had overheard
Caroline use a few days before, of confidence in her
honour.

Mary was generally ready to atone for her faults,
when once convinced of them ; but she was not on this
occasion, even after she felt that she had been to blame.
She thought that Caroline was wrong in trying her
patience so far, and she therefore determined that she
should not make the first advances towards reconci-
liation.

As she sat upon the stool, however, she began to put
her fingers upon the notes, practising to use the right
finger, but taking care not to press down the notes,
lest Caroline should hear the sound, and discover what
she was doing. When Caroline left the room soon
after, she took advantage of her absence to play the
passage over several times very gently, until she was
quite perfect. She then went and employed herself
120 MARY ELLIOT.

in performing various little services for Caroline, with-
out allowing her to know of them, although she still
felt unable to confess that she had been wrong.

“ Caroline might have seen that I was angry, and
she ought not to have persisted in making me play it
over again,” she thought, “and she need not have laid
her hands on mine in such a teasing manner.”

And so she preserved her look of coldness and sul-
lenness, even when she felt really sorry and anxious
to be reconciled.

Mr. Elliot remarked at dinner-time the appearance
of coldness and restraint between Mary and Caroline,
and he detained the latter for a few minutes after the
others had left the room to ask the cause. Caroline
told him. Mr. Elliot was much vexed. He very
seldom interfered with his children in any way, but he
felt that it would be unjust to Caroline not to support
her authority, and he sent for Mary to speak to him.

When she came he told her that he was much sur-
prised and displeased to hear how ill she had be-
haved. Caroline’s great kindness fo her, he said, ought
to have made her anxious to do everything she could
to please her. But as that was not sufficient, he must
lay his positive commands upon her to obey Caroline
implicitly in all things. And he concluded by desir-
ing her to go immediately and apologize to Caroline,
and say she was now ready to submit to her.

Mary hesitated.
LESSONS. 121

“ I must be obeyed, Mary,” said Mr. Elliot, firmly:

Mary left the room and went to seek Caroline, feel-
ing half pleased to be obliged to seek a reconciliation
with her. She found her in the drawing-room alone,
and she went and stood beside her with an awkward,
embarrassed air. Caroline looked up when she came
in, but did not speak, until seeing Mary stand silent
and confused beside her, she asked her coldly if she
wanted anything.

“ Only, Caroline, that papa bid me apologize to you
for my disobedience, and say that I would now do as
you bid me.”

Mary did not say this very pleasantly. She still
looked a little sullen, but Caroline at once gave her
her hand, said she was satisfied, and that she was very
glad to be reconciled to her again.

“ Indeed, I believe you are,” cried Mary, kissing
her warmly, all her little resentment vanishing before
Caroline's kind, gentle words and looks. ‘“ Only—
only—you know——” and Mary stopped, as if she
did not like to finish her speech. :

“I know what, dear Minnie?” asked Caroline,
smiling.

“Tdo not think it was right in you to make me
repeat that passage so often, when you must have
seen that my temper was going,” said Mary, a little
bluntly.

Caroline smiled again, as she asked Mary if she
122 MARY ELLIOT.

thought she could faithfully discharge her duties as a
music-mistress if she suffered her pupils to acquire
bad habits of playing.

“ But then, Caroline,” said Mary, eagerly, “ you
know it is a far greater fault to lose my temper than
merely to use a wrong finger; and so I still think you
ought not to have persisted, when I had quite lost ail
patience.”

‘* What had you lost all patience with, Minnie ?”
asked Caroline.

‘* With repeating the passage so often, to be sure.”

“ Nay, but it should have been with your own care-
lessness and inattention. If you had attended to what
you were doing for two minutes, the difficulty would
have been over. But, Minnie, I have at your request
undertaken to do more than teach you music. I have
undertaken to overcome, or rather to help you to over-
come your bad habits. Could I fulfil this task faith-
fully if I suffered you to indulge in idleness and inat-
tention? I have shown you repeatedly the evils of the
idle, listless way in which you learn your lessons, and
tried to persuade you to be earnest in all you do, to
give your whole mind to your work, and to feel a real
desire to do it well. As my arguments have no effect,
I must try another plan, and I hope the pain you felt
to-day in repeating the passage so often may make
you practise more carefully to-morrow.”

“ Ah! those habits of industry and attention, Caro-
LESSONS. 123

line,” said Mary, sighing; “I never get a bit nearer
acquiring them.”

“How can you, Minnie, when you never practise
them? Do you think habits are things that are to
come to you in some mysterious way, without any
trouble on your part?”

“No, Caroline, of course not. I know I must keep
on being very industrious and attentive at every lesson,
until it becomes quite a custom to be so.”

“ And how many lessons have you learnt atten-
tively and industriously since you began, Minnie ?”

“ Oh, I remember one,” cried Mary, eagerly, “that
exercise I wrote the day I wanted to read the shell-
book. After I left you, I gave my whole mind to it,
and forced myself never to move once in my seat until
it was finished. Ah, Caroline!” she added sadly,
hiding her face on Caroline’s shoulder, “ that was
the day I heard you tell William, how surely you
trusted in my honour, and I broke my promise to-day.”

“You have learnt by painful experience, dear
Minnie,” said Caroline, kissing her affectionately,
“ that more is required to enable us to keepa promise
than merely good intentions. We require watchful-
ness, lest we should break it inadvertently, and
habitual command over our temper and passions, lest
they should blind us to the real consequences of what
we are doing.”

“ Yes, I know my passion blinded me to-day,” said
124 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary, sorrowfully. “But, Caroline, it is very painful
to keep down angry words, when they come into our
minds.”

'“Ts the pain of checking them, or the pain of re-
membering afterwards that we have used them, the
greatest, Minnie?” asked Caroline.

“ Oh, the pain of remembering,” said Mary. “In-
deed, Caroline, I felt great pain, great heart pain to-
day, to remember how ill I had treated you.”

“ Recollect that another time, dear Minnie, and it
may help you to subdue your passion at a moment
when the sense of duty fails to do so. But we have
forgotten our habits. You must confess, I think, that
your lessons are not often learned industriously and
attentively. This is your general way of proceeding—
you take up your book, and read a few sentences, with
your thoughts running all the time upon your play,
your garden, or something of that kind. When you
suddenly become aware that you are making little
progress, you push the book from you with a deep
groan, and an exclamation of, ‘How tiresome this
lesson is!’ After some minutes spent in deep reflection
upon the tiresomeness of all lessons in general, and of
this one in particular, you are again aroused to the
consciousness, that after all you are not getting on
with your hated task. With another groan, the book
is pulled towards you again, and with both elbows on
the table, ‘your head resting between your hands, you
LESSONS. 125

make another effort. But, alas! in spite of this in-
tensely studious attitude, your thoughts are far, far
away, occupied with intricate calculations, as to how
much learning is absolutely necessary for girls, how
little knowledge of French you may possess, and
still be entitled to be considered a well-educated
woman.”

“Oh, Caroline, what a description!” exclaimed
Mary.

“Is it not a true one, Minnie?” said Caroline,
laughing. “Your lessons may in the end be pretty
well prepared, but how far has such a mode of learn-
ing them advanced you towards acquiring habits of
diligence and attention ; rather, how many steps back-
ward has it pushed you or advanced you on the con-
trary road of idleness and carelessness? But, dear
Minnie,” she added, more gravely, “I ought not to
laugh ; such idle, careless habits are really sinful ; such
a mode of learning your lessons is a really sinful
waste of time. God has given you good talents, but
they can never be of any use to yourself or to others,
unless you stir yourself up to more earnestness in all
you do, more steadfast desire and purpose to do every-
thing well.”

“But, Caroline,” remonstrated Mary, “I really
cannot control my thoughts. I have tried ever since
you told me of the evil of all my fine dreams, about
what I am to be and do, when I am a woman. Since
126 MARY ELLIOT.

you told me, they only increased my tendencies to
self-seeking and self-conceit.”

“They waste time and thoughts too, Minnie, that
ought to be employed about other things. You do
not seem to be aware that the power of thought is one
of the talents for which you must give an account,
All your reading does no more for you than give you
a bare knowledge of isolated facts, because you never
think about what you read after you shut the book,
You boast that you read sensible books, but you may
almost as well read silly ones, if you never reflect
upon what you have read, endeavour to realize it,
and to make it your own. In reading about your
favourite heroes and heroines, for instance, you ought
to picture out their characters to yourself; to con-
sider what would be their motives to such and such
an action, what their feelings in such and such events.
And then there are those interesting facts about shells
and insects, which you like so much to tell me; the
beautiful contrivances in their structure, which fit
them for the purpose they are intended to serve, and
guard them from the dangers to which they are exposed.
You ought not to be contented in feeling a vague
wonder and pleasure in first reading about them; you
ought often to occupy your thoughts about them, until
you feel a warm admiration awakened in your heart
for the goodness and wisdom of God in thus caring
for the safety and comfort of His creatures.”
LESSONS. 127

“And there are my sea-weeds too, Caroline,” said
Minnie, eagerly; “ you know what interesting and
wonderful things Captain Hamilton tells me about
them.”

“Yes, Minnie; and you ought to consider that
when Captain Hamilton takes so much trouble to
teach you about sea-weeds and flowers, his design is
not merely to enable you to tell the name or class of
the different plants, but to furnish you with subjects of
interest and occupation in your daily walks, to awaken
habits of observation and attention, and to excite you
to think and reason for yourself.

“And you ought also, dear Minnie, to think often
of God’s providential care and kindness to yourself
and to those you love; to recall to mind the many in-
stances of His goodness which you have experienced
in your life.”

“Do you know, Caroline,” said Mary, gravely,
“mamma used to speak to me about that. She
used often at night to say, ‘Come, Minnie, let us see
all the kindness which God has shown to us to-day,
let us remember all the good and pleasant things
He has given us, all the evil things He has kept
from us,’”

“You will feel more inclination to this duty, then,
dear Minnie, from this remembrance of your mother’s
anxiety to direct your thoughts to it. And as respects
the precious truths of the Gospel, too, how high a
128 MARY ELLIOT.

claim have they to our serious consideration. You
have often beard and read of God’s tender compassion
to sinners—of the riches of His mercy towards us
while we were yet dead in sin—of the marvellous love
of Christ in dying for us while we were yet enemies,
and of the infinite willingness of the Father to give all
good gifts to those who ask Him for Christ’s sake—of
His tender watchfulness and care for those who are
redeemed from their sins by Christ's blood. You feel
a glow of pleasure in hearing of these things, but you
can never feel their full preciousness, they can never
influence your heart and life, unless you suffer your
thoughts to dwell upon them, endeavouring to realize
them, and to feel their applicability to your own pecu-
liar case. And you ought to feel that this is a solemn
duty, dearest Minnie. God has taken such pains to
exhibit His love to us—to give us so many proofs of
the tenderness, the fulness of His love, of His infinite
compassion. He represents himself under so many
various, so many endearing relations, in order that
our weak, blind hearts may be able in some measure
to take in the wondrous truth of how much He loves,
how tenderly He cares for us. He has given us the
power of thinking and feeling, too, Minnie, and is it
not a fearful proof of the corruption and depravity of
our hearts, that we so seldom think, so seldom feel in-
clined to think about Him ?”

Caroline said this with an affectionate earnestness,
LESSONS. 129

which brought the tears into her eyes. Mary looked
at her with an expression of serious thought for some
minutes, and then said, “ How anxious you are for my
good, dear Caroline.”

“Very, very anxious for your eternal good, dear,
dear Minnie,” replied Caroline, putting her arm round
Mary, and pressing her toher. “Oh, Minnie, you can
scarcely understand my deep, my heart-felt anxiety,
that God would bless these truths to you—that He would
give you a new heart, and lead you toa true know-
ledge of Himself. You can scarcely understand the
bitterness of the thought, that you do not as yet know
or love the Saviour, that you are still under the con-
demnation of the law for your sins, because you have
never yet believed with a real heart-faith, that Christ
has borne that condemnation in the room of all who
will only believe in Him.” .

Caroline paused for a few minutes to recover her
composure, and then she continued,—“ Think of these
things, my dear Minnie, and pray to God to teach
you. I will give you a beautiful little book which
I have up stairs, called ‘Think on these things,’
and you must promise me to read it often and atten-
tively. Read a very little every morning, and then
endeavour to practise through the day what you have
read.”

“T will do so, Caroline,” replied Mary, earnestly,
“TI will try to do it because it is a duty, but at any

I
130 MARY ELLIOT.

rate I will do it because you wish me. For indeed,
Caroline, I do like to please you. If you will come
to the piano I will show you how I was thinking
about pleasing you, even while I was still so naughty.

I can play that passage quite perfectly now.”
THE HOT-BED. 131

CHAPTER VII.
THE HOT-BED.

Some weeks passed very quietly and happily at
Hazel Bank. Caroline met with a good deal both to
encourage and discourage her in her efforts for the
improvement of her three young sisters-in-law.

I say her sisters, for she had not much to do with
Grahame. He was at school for a good part of each
day ; and after he had prepared his lessons in the
evening, he and Ned generally contrived to meet, and
to set out upon some expedition of their own, seldom
coming home until bed-time. Caroline saw less, too, in
Grahame’s character that she could desire to change,
than in his sisters’. He was naturally a very affec-
tionate, generous-tempered boy, and from Mary hay-
ing been so early dependent upon him for kindness
and protection, from his having been taught, while
still so young, to give up to her in all things, he had
more kindness, gentleness, and self-denial, than boys
generally have.
132 MARY ELLIOT.

Caroline felt that she had made little progress in
overcoming Gertrude’s coldness and reserve. She
still went on in her calm, independent way, occupy-
ing herself with her books, her music and drawing,
and showing little affection for the others, little interest
in their pursuits or feelings. Caroline felt every day
more convinced that religion alone could soften her,
could arouse her out of her coldness and indifference.

As William had said, Gertrude had much know-
ledge of religion—she had studied it with the same
earnestness and diligence that she had been accus-
tomed to give to every subject that engaged her atten-
tion. There was scarcely a doctrine upon which she
was not well-informed, and in regard to which her
opinions were not clear and sound ; but none of them
had ever reached her heart or influenced her conduct.

Caroline was unwearied in her efforts to bring her
under the influence of a real heart-religion; constant
in her’ prayers, that God would give her His Holy
Spirit to soften her heart, and to change her dead
knowledge into a living faith. But as yet she saw
little fruit of her labours. Gertrude would listen with
calm attention when she spoke to her, but she never
made any remark, and appeared to feel no more in-
terest in the subject than she would have done in any
other philosophical discussion.

Still Caroline saw some faint traces of improvement.
She saw that Gertrude often checked the sarcastic re-
THE HOT-BED. 133

mark, the scornful smile, which used formerly to irri-
tate and provoke Mary so much. . She was oftener
seen performing little acts of kindness, and putting
herself out of her way to be of service to others.
Caroline’s attention had been directed to Madeline,
and she had made many attempts to rouse her out of
her indolence : but hitherto always in vain. Madeline
had indulged in it too long. While in Edinburgh, no
one had taken any trouble to induce her to exert her-
self. Her aunt was quite aware that Madeline was
far behind all her companions in her different classes ;
but she contented herself by accounting for it upon
the score of her having no turn for learning languages,
no talent for music or drawing. “ She was a nice quiet
little girl,” she said, “ who gave no trouble, and never
was in any one’s way.” So she was allowed to dream
away her days in idleness and indolence ; and Caro-
line found it impossible to arouse her now to a sense
of the duties she owed to herself, of the necéssity of
endeavouring to improve and cultivate her mind.
There was one point in her character, however, that
Caroline found she could work upon—her great kind-
ness and compassion. She could not bear to see any
one unhappy or uncomfortable ; and Caroline often
took care to call upon her for little services and assist-
ance, which were always kindly and promptly ren-
dered, if she thought that Caroline’s comfort really
depended on them. Caroline took her with her in her
134 MARY ELLIOT.

visits to the poor and suffering around Hazel Bank,
and often contrived to throw upon her the burden of
devising and executing little plans for their relief.

But it was with Mary that Caroline was most suc-
cessful, She seemed indeed to improve every day. .
She was still often impatient and self-willed, often
vexed and offended others by her heedlessness and
impetuosity. But she now endeavoured to check her
fits of passion—she now saw the influence her conduct
had upon the comfort of those around her, and endea-
voured for their sakes to be more thoughtful and
gentle, and to cure herself of many of her awkward,
disagreeable habits. Many of my little readers might
still think her very idle ; but she could now give her
undivided attention to a lesson for half an hour at
least, which was a great step for her. She had ceased
to regard her lessons as hateful tasks, which were to
be got through with as little exertion as possible. .She
now felt that to learn them thoroughly and carefully
was one of the duties of the day, and that she could
please God by the faithful discharge of this duty, as well
as of others of more importance. She saw that she was
bound by her obedience to God to perform diligently
every task given her to do, and to feel a real earnest-
ness to perform it in the very best way, although that
task might only be to write a French exercise, or to
practise her music, It is true she often failed in this
diligence and earnestness, but it was a great point
THE HOT-BED. 135

gained, that her regret at her failures arose from
sorrow for not having done God’s will, not from mor-
tification that Susan or Bessie’s exercise was better
done, or more praised than hers.

Mary’s garden did not suffer, as she feared it might,
from her greater attention to her lessons. On the
contrary, Caroline induced her to bestow upon it more
regular attention and more care than she had ever been
accustomed to give it; and she was always ready to
give her advice and assistance in little plans for im-
proving its appearance or tidiness. Not that Caroline
thought it of much importance whether the garden
flourished or not; but she did think it important that —
Mary should learn to do well and steadily whatever
she undertook ; and she hoped that the pleasure Mary
felt in the improved look of her garden, after she had
put it in nice order, might give her a general love of
order and neatness, in which she was at present la-
mentably deficient.

One Saturday forenoon, towards the middle of
August, Mary came to the drawing-room window to
ask Caroline to go out and look at her garden.

“I have worked at it till I am tired,” she said;
« and now I am so impatient for Bessie to come, that
unless you come out and help to pass the time, by ad-
miring my work, I do not know what I can do.”

« Will it not do if J come, Minnie?” asked Ger-
trude, in an unusually kind voice. ‘Caroline is so
136 MARY ELLIOT.

much interested in her book, it is a pity to disturb
her.”

“No, thank you, Gertrude,” said Mary, bluntly,
“you will not do at all; you always find so many
faults, and you never seem to care about any of my
plans and changes. Caroline promised to come, too.”

“So I did, and so I will,” said Caroline, readily,
. “if you will bring me my bonnet.”

Gertrude’s brow had become overcast at Mary’s un-
gracious reception of her kind offer; but the angry
reply, which was coming from her lips, was prevented
by Caroline’s politic expedient of sending Mary away ;
and by the time she returned, Gertrude had recovered
her usual cold, calm manner.

“ Now, look, Caroline,” exclaimed Mary, when they
came to the garden, “is it not very neat? Look at
these nice sticks which Grahame has made for my car-
nations ; and how tidy these tallies are which you got
for me to write the names of my plants upon. Are
not my flowers thriving? My carnatiotisiare far back,
but then they promise to be very fine, Grahame says,
and he knows well. And these German stocks are
beautiful. I am so glad I took Captain Hamilton’s
advice, and bought a small quantity of really good
German seed, instead of a large quantity of the com-*
mon sort. Was it not a good thing, Caroline?”

“ Yes, I think it was very prudent, Minnie, parti-
cularly as you have no room for many more plants,
THE HOT-BED. 137

even if you had them; so that the larger quantity
would have been no advantage to you. But, Minnie,
you must not laugh at my town-bred ignorance, if I
ask the name of these sturdy-looking plants not yet in
flower ?”

“ Oh, these are asters, and they are remarkably fine
kinds. I am glad about them, too, that I took advice
—your advice, Caroline.”

“Tam glad any advice of mine has proved profit-
able to you,” said Caroline, laughing ; “ but I really
cannot remember ever giving you any about asters.”

“No, I did not say your advice about asters; but
you remember how you advised and encouraged me
to finish making the picture-book for Walter’s little
grandson. You know you advised me not to begin it,
because you were sure that I should not like the tire-
some, finicking kind of work, pasting in the pictures,
and binding the pages; but when I had once begun it,
you encouraged me to go on, although I was terribly
tired of it; and Walter was so grateful for the trouble
I had taken, that he gave me these plants, which are
of a remarkably handsome kind.” .

“ You will prize them much, too, Minnie, I dare
say, as reminding you at once of Walter’s gratitude
and of your own successful struggle against your
old enemies—changeableness and want of persever-
ance.”

“ Yes, I prize them very much; and I gave some
138 MARY ELLIOT.

to Grahame, too, and he is as much pleased with them
asIam. Now, look at my geraniums, please, Caro-
line; are not they very healthy-looking? and this
scarlet one, is not it handsome? Do you like it
trained upon the wall this way?”

Caroline was not quite sure that she did; she water
thought that she did not.

“ T should not have liked it myself, if the plant had
been bushy, and of a nice shape like these. But it
was always a long, awkward, sprawling thing, so
Grahame advised me to train it over this vacant space _
on the wall; and I mean to mat it up very carefully,
and try to preserve it through the winter without tak-
ing it into the house. If it does not die down it will
look very handsome next summer. Do you not think
it rather a good plan to train it this way when it was
such an untidy, awkward-looking plant ?”

Under the peculiar circumstances of this plant
having such a perverse inclination to grow long and.
sprawling, Caroline said she could be reconciled to the
training system, but otherwise she liked the other
geraniums better. .

“ Only you know, Caroline, this one has really
handsomer flowers than any of the others, and Grahame
says it is because it is so well sheltered by the wall.
But there is Bessie at last, I do believe,” cried Mary,
interrupting her defence of Grahame’s training plan.
“ Look, Caroline, stoop down, and peep among the
THE HOT-BED, 139

shrubs, is not that a pale-blue frock that I see coming
across the park ?”

“The wearer ofa pale-blue frock, I hope you mean,”
said Caroline, laughing. “ It would be rather a start-
ling apparition to see a frock walk across the park
alone. However, here is Bessie, and now, I suppose,
the day’s pleasures are to begin.”

“ I do not know that, Caroline. I have felt quite
happy all forenoon. And, indeed, I think I am always
happy now, even when I am doing things I do not
like. I think Bessie is quite right, when she says that
the wisest plan is to do what is right, and to leave our
happiness to look after itself.”

Bessie had by this time come up to them. She was
- full of some grand plan which she and the boys had
been contriving; so full, indeed, that she could scarcely
reply, with her usual politeness, to Caroline’s question,
“* Where is Susan ?”

It had always been settled, Mary knew, she said,
that Susan was not to come until later in the day ; not
until three o’clock. But now she was not coming at
all. She had that morning got a note from Mrs. Har-
court, asking her to spend the day with Evelyn, who
was confined to her room with a cold.

“So as you had the boys and me to play with,”
added Bessie, “ Susan thought, Minnie, that you
would not grudge her going to poor Evelyn.”

What Mary might have said, had her own particu-
140 MARY ELLIOT.

lar friend Bessie been the defaulter, we do not know,
but she bore Susan’s absence very philosophically, and
merely remarking that she was sorry for her, that she
would find it very dull, she was quite ready to hear
the plan Bessie was so anxious to communicate.

It was Grahame’s plan, Bessie said. It had come
into his head that morning, when he was watching Ned
working at the little toy green-house he had been
making for Maurice.

“ But what came into his head? What plan is it ?”
interrupted Mary, impatiently. “I wish, Bessie, you
would speak straight on, and not tease me with a long
story about nothing.”

“Tt is not about nothing. It is about something
you will like very much indeed, Minnie. About a «
hot-bed, a nice little hot-bed all to ourselves, where
we can strike our cuttings, and force our delicate seeds,
without any one to interfere with us.”

“ A hot-bed!” exclaimed Mary. “ But how are
we to get it? Who is to give it to us? Where is it to
be put ?”

“ Allow Bessie to tell her story her own way,” said
Caroline, smiling. “She cannot answer all your ques-
tions at once.” a

Bessie’s story was soon told. Ned had been making
a green-house for Maurice’s house and garden, of which
honourable mention has been made once or twice al-
ready ; and while assisting him, Grahame had been
THE HOT-BED, 141

struck with the grand idea of converting the four
broken sashes of an old hot-bed frame into a small
frame for themselves. The glass was very much broken,
but he thought he could get enough out of the four to
glaze two sashes of the small size he proposed his
frame should be, and he and Ned understood carpen-
tering work and glazing sufficiently to be able to ac-
complish it.

“Oh, how delightful !” cried Mary. “ But where
are the boys? Why do they not come and begin this
very minute ?”

Bessie said they had gone to town immediately after
breakfast, to ask Mr. Elliot if they might have the
frames. But she thought they would be back very
soon now. They were going to buy some of the newly
sawn planks in the court-yard from him, too, by under-
taking to do some work in his garden. They were
sure, they said, that none of the wood-work of the old
sashes would be of any use.

“ But what will Grahame do about the pretty paling
he meant to put round his garden, with all this work ?”
asked Mary.

“ Oh! do you not know,” said Bessie, in some sur-
prise, “that he gave up the paling plan some time
ago? He is going to plant a hedge of double sweet-
brier instead, and only make a gate, and that, you know,
he cannot begin until his hedge has grown up a little.”

“I did not know anything about it,” said Mary, in
142 MARY ELLIOT.

an offended tone. ‘“ Grahame seems to make you his
confidant rather than me. He might recollect, I
think, that I am his sister, and that you are not.”

“ Minnie, dear !” remonstrated Caroline.

“ Well, Caroline, it is natural that I should feel
vexed at Grahame’s want of affection for me,” said
Mary, tears of offended pride rising to her eyes as she
spoke.

“TJ am sure, dear Minnie, Grahame never gives you
cause to doubt his affection for you. You will find
that some accident has alone prevented him from tell-
ing you of his change of plans. Remember, dear
Minnie,” continued\Caroline, smiling, “ what you said
about happiness a few minutes ago. Be kind and
affectionate to Grahame, always ready to enter into
his interests and pursuits; and you may safely leave
his affection for you to take care of itself.”

Mary began to smile again at this application of her
own wisdom. She had felt a little mortified that
Bessie had heard of the fine scheme about the hot-bed
before she did; and she had therefore been glad to
avail herself of the first unreasonable ground of com-
plaint which offered.

All that the girls could now do was to wish the boys
would come, and to wonder whether Mr. Elliot would
give them the frames or not. Mary was sure he would,
because he was so good-natured, and because the frames
were only useless lumber.
THE HOT-BED, 148

Nor was she mistaken, The boys soon joined them,
armed with full powers from Mr. Elliot to do what
they pleased with the old frames; and they all went
in high glee to inspect their newly-acquired treasure,
and to settle upon the best plan of proceeding.

The frames stood in one corner of an inclosure be-
hind the green-house, which the children called Walter’s
work-shop. Here he potted his plants, doctored those
infected with the green-fly, prepared his cuttings, and
transacted various other affairs of the same kind. He
had a stage here for his fine auriculas, which were too
delicate to be exposed to sun, wind, or rain, and a
small shed for holding his empty pots and some of his
smaller tools, In one corner was a heap of earth; in
the other the precious sashes ; while bell-glasses, boxes
for seeds, &c., were scattered around.

The children found Walter here. He had a row of
fine balsams upon the ground beside him, and he was
selecting pots of a particular size from the collection
in the shed. He looked very cross and discontented ;
but he became still more cross, still more discontented,
when he learned the object of this intrusion into his
domains.

“ He could not do without the frames,” he said;
“ it was quite impossible; he used them constantly.”

“ Why, Walter,” remonstrated Grahame, “they can
be of no use to you; the glass is all broken.”

The old ‘man persisted, however, that they were of
144 MARY ELLIOT.

the greatest use. They served as a shelter for his
newly-potted plants before they were able to bear the
heat and light of the green-house. He always put out
his plants behind them, too, for a few nights before
planting them out in the open ground, to accustom
them gradually to the cold.

‘ Well, well, old Mr. Grumbler,” cried Grahame,
impatiently, “it does not signify what you say or
think. These frames are ours now, to do what we
like with them. Papa has given them to us.”

Mary was standing beside Grahame; she laid her
hand upon his arm, and said, with a gentleness which
she could not have shown a few months before—

“ Dear Grahame, you should not call him ‘ old Mr.
Grumbler.’ It is because he is so very old, and has such
very bad rheumatism, that he is so cross. And we
ought to care for what he thinks, if it is really incon-
venient for him to lose the frames; although, perhaps,
not to care so much as to give up our plans for his
sake.”

“ Give up our plans!” cried Ned. “ No, indeed,
I should think not.”

Grahame paused, with his hand upon the frame,
and turned to listen to what Walter was saying. He
was still going on complaining in the same fretful tone. _

It was easy, he said, to call people old Mr. Grumbler,
or old anything else ; but it was enough to make any
one grumble ‘to see how master allowed a parcel of
THE HOT-BED. 145

children to put everybody about whenever they took
a fancy into their heads. Master would give them the
most valuable plant in all his green-house if they asked
it; although he knew, that after amusing themselves
with it for a day or two, they would just throw it out
on the dunghill.

* That is a hit, Minnie, at the fine cape-heath you
and I killed with our experiments,” said Grahame, in
a low voice, smiling to the other children; then going
up to Walter, he said, kindly and playfully,—“ Come,
come, Walter, you must not take this business too
much to heart; you will manage to get some other

.Sereen for your plants. Then you see we are going to
make a hot-bed frame for ourselves out of these old
things, and then we will never plague you again to find
room for our plants in your hot-beds, Who knows
but that you may sometimes get some of yours stowed
away in our bed when your own are all full.”

“ You make a hot-bed frame!” said the old man,
scornfully,

* Yes, J make a hot-bed,” replied, Grahame, good-
humouredly, “Ah! you don’t know how clever I
am; you don’t know what I can do. I can help you
now to choose out the pots you want.”

“ Tut, nonsense, Master Grahame,” said Walter,
peevishly, as Grahame advanced to help him. “ You
are only hindering me; you don’t know what size I
want.”

K
146 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Don’t 1? Ah, Walter, I see you have no idea of
the extent of my knowledge. See, these at the bottom
of that terribly high pile are the very ones you want.
And now look how cleverly I have got them out with-
out breaking one. And we will do more for you still,
if you will only give up the frames contentedly. I
know your son William is ill to-day, and cannot come
to help you, and you will have yourself to riddle all
the earth for your balsams. Now, I will do that for
you ;—more, I will riddle the whole of that heap of
earth in the corner there, if you will only smile a wee,
wee smile, and say you will give up the frames.”

“ Qh, if I must, I must,” was Walter’s answer, but
it was spoken in a much less surly tone; and when he
found that Grahame was really in earnest about rid-
dling the earth, he went away to some other occupa-
tion, and left the children in peaceable possession of
his yard.

In spite of Mary’s advice to Grahame, she was 3
little inclined to complain of the length to which he
had carried his consideration for Walter's feelings.
She represented to him the amount of work he had
undertaken to do, to pay for the wood he required,
and the length of time it must take him to make the
frame.

“ And now,” she continued, “you have promised
to riddle all that earth, and it will take. such a very
long time to riddle it all with your little riddle.”
THE HOT-BED. 147

“We will not use my little riddle then, Minnie,”
answered Grahame, gaily. “ We will use the garden
one. That will surely be big enough to satisfy you.”

“But you cannot use the big one, Grahame,” ob-
jected Bessie ; “it is too wide for your arms.”

“Oh, it is quite clear you are not at all more con-
scious of my cleverness than Walter. You will see
that I will managé to riddle even all this earth in a
very reasonable space of time. Come, Ned, take the
other side of the riddle, and let us set to work.”

“Oh! if you are both at it, you may, I dare say,
work with that riddle. But then what is to be done
about our hot-bed all this time?” asked Mary, a little
impatiently ; “ by the time you have finished the work
for papa, it will be quite far on in August. Then all
that wood-work, and putting in the glass, must take
you a long while to do.”

“A long while indeed, Minnie; for our plans are
even grander than you suppose. We are going to
make a regular pit, and line it with bricks, so it will
serve for a hot-bed when filled with manure; and at
the same time, I expect to be able to keep our ger-
aniums in it through the winter, when the manure is
cleared away.”

“ That will be delightful!” exclaimed both the girls,
their eyes sparkling with joy, at the idea of possessing
such a treasure.

“Only,” resumed Mary, more despondingly, “ it
148 MARY ELLIOT.

will be so long before all this is finished. And you
must work more to pay for the bricks, too.”

“ To be sure we must,” said Grahame, throwing
the stones out of his riddle, and stooping to get a fresh
load. “ However, not to tease you any more, F must
tell you that we have settled that you girls may very
well take part of the work from us.”

The girls both declared their willingness to do any-
thing in their power, and Grahame proceeded to un-
fold their plan. Walter was now employing girls and
women to weed the gravel walks, and to sweep away
the leaves that were beginning to fall; and they pro-
posed that Bessie and Mary should undertake this
work for so many hours a day, until they had paid for
the wood and bricks.

“ But how.much will it be?” asked Mary, after she
and Bessie had given their consent to this plan. “‘ How
many hours must we work?”

“The wood and paint will cost three shillings, papa
says. Walter was grumbling yesterday at being
obliged to pay the women a shilling a day just now,
because work is so plenty. So three days’ work will
be enough for that. Now, for how many hours can
you calculate upon being able to work every day?”

Mary said that she and Bessie could work together
between one and four every day, that was six hours,
and that she could work by herself for an hour in the
morning.
THE HOT-BED. 149

“ Better leave the morning hour for your own gar- .
den, and for getting dickie’s cage cleaned,” said
Grahame. “ And if you only stop your lessons at one,
and begin them again at four, I think we should
count only two hours for each of you, as you must put
away your books and eat your luncheon before you
begin, and get yourselves dressed for dinner after you
are done working.”

“T must be home, too, by four,” remarked Bessie ;
“so I leave this at half-past three.”

Mary was not quite convinced. She still thought
that she might contrive to work out the hours by her-
* self in some way, at some time or other.

“But if you are not quite regular,” said Grahame,
“you will be tempted some days to give papa less
work for his money than he ought to have.”

“T never could,” replied Mary, warmly: “TI never
could act unfairly in any case, however tempted.”

“And yet you are sometimes very unfair, Minnie,”
said Ned.

“When am I ever unfair?” asked Mary, indig-
nantly.

“Oh, often,” replied Ned, carelessly. “For in-
stance, if any one does any little thing to vex you, you

_consider it a high crime and misdemeanour, and will
hear of no excuse for the offender, while perhaps in a
few days you do the same thing yourself, and then
will not see that it is the least bit wrong.”
150 MARY ELLIOT.

“ We all do that, Ned,” said Bessie, warmly; ‘and
is it fair in you to say to Mary, what you would so
very much dislike to have said to yourself?”

“Oh, we all do that!” retorted Ned. “ But
another kind of unfairness which is quite peculiar to
Minnie is, that when one by accident injures any thing
belonging to her, she says it was done on purpose to
vex her, even when she knows that it was not, and
knows, too, how angry she would be, did any one im-
pute such a motive to her.”

Mary’s colour had risen high while Ned spoke, but
she did not answer him for a minute or two. She
had now acquired sufficient command over herself to
be able in such cases of provocation to be silent, until
she was calm enough to speak quietly. Ned’s last
words helped her to conquer the rising indignation, as
they reminded her of a circumstance of which she was
heartily ashamed.

“You are right, Ned,” she said, in a mild tone;
“I was very unjust to accuse you of breaking my
china cup on purpose. I know it was an accident.” |

“ And you knew it all along, Mary,” persisted Ned,
“ even while you said that it was not.”

Again Mary paused. Caroline had taught her
that she ought never to assert too rashly what had,
or had not been her thoughts or feelings in a moment
of passion, because at such times it is very difficult
to know with certainty what we really feel or think.
THE HOT-BED. 151

“ No, Ned, I really do not think so,” she said,
slowly and thoughtfully. “I think I really believed
at the moment what I said, though I confess that
it was passion which blinded me and made me be-
lieve it.”

“ And I am sure, Ned, the love of teasing is blind-
ing you now to the injustice of what you are doing,”
said Grahame. “You have no right to tease Mary
in that way, when you know how angry you would be
did any one tease you as much.”

“Oh, let him go on; I can bear it,” said Mary,
smiling.

Ned looked steadily and gravely at her for a
minute.

“T do not know what has come over you, Minnie,”
he said. “You are not like yourself. A few months
ago, if Thad teased you as I have been doing, you
would have got into a greater passion than the
breaking of the cup caused. And with reason, too, -
for mamma would tell us, that I do you a greater in-
jury if I break your temper, than if I break the most
valuable cup you ever possessed.”

“ But then, Ned, you have not broken her temper,”
said Bessie ; “you have tried to do it, but you have
not broken even the least bit out of it.”

“Yes he has, Bessie,” said Mary, smiling at her
temper being compared to a china cup. “I did speak
angrily at his first charge, and I felt very angry.
152 MARY ELLIOT.

But after all, Ned,” she continued, “Ido not think
your instances of unfairness are of the same kind
as what we began with. Perhaps we ought rather to
say, that it would be dishonest in us, if we did not
work diligently to give papa the full worth of his
money; it would be to cheat him of his money.”

“Well, and in Ned’s first instance,” said Grahame,
“you cheat others of excuses, which they have a right
to claim from you at least, because you claim them in
your own defence.”

‘ And in my instance it was the same,” said Bessie.
‘Mary had a right to more kindness from Ned than
he was showing to her, because he would expect more
kindness to be shown to him. Mamma would tell us,”
she added gravely, “that in all these instances, we
equally break Christ's commandment to us, to do unto
others as we would that they should do to us.”

“That is right, Bessie,” said Grahame, heartily.
. “I do like to be reminded of some really great reason
for doing little duties. It is often so difficult to do
them.”

“Difficult to do little duties?” said Mary, laughing.
“ Little duties, little difficulty, I think.”

“Oh no, Mary,” cried Bessie, “I think Grahame is
quite right. I am sure it is often very difficult to keep
one’s temper under little annoyances, or to deny one-
self in little things for the sake of others. And per-
haps it is,as Grahame says, because we do not see
THE HOT-BED. 153

any great reason for doing it. No great principle
seems concerned in it.”

“T know,” said Grahame, “ that I often think I
could make many really great sacrifices more easily
than I could cease from an argument, or give up my
own way of executing any of our plans.”

“ But we are forgetting about our plans all this
time,” said Ned. ‘We were settling how many days
the girls must work, working four hours a day. How
long do the women work?”

“From six to nine, that is three hours,” replied
Grahame ; “ from ten to two, four hours—from three
to six, three hours. Ten hours in all. So you girls
must take seven days and two hours to make up three
of their days. You may get the extra two hours on
Saturday, I think.”

“Seven days,” sighed Mary. “I am afraid we
shall tire of it.”

“Oh no, not when we think of our delightful hot-
bed,” said Bessie. _“ But I think you boys might rest
from that riddling now, and come and look at the
frames.”

They agreed to this, and Grahame proposed further
to go to the house, and bring out some luncheon for
the whole party. He returned in a few minutes with
a large basket, and after distributing slices of bread
all round, he exultingly displayed a large quantity
of fine gooseberries, of a kind the children particularly
154 MARY ELLIOT.

admired, both for their superior flavour and size, and
because they were so late of being ripe, that they came
when all other kinds were nearly done.

“‘ Now, who do you think took the trouble to gather
these gooseberries for us on this hot day?” asked
Grahame.

“Caroline, of course,” was Mary’s quick answer.

“ Not of course at all; for it was not Caroline—it
was Gertrude. Caroline told her what we were busy
about, and when she and Caroline went out to gather
some for themselves, she said that she would gather a
basketful for us. And I think it was very kind of
her, for every one knows how tiresome it is to gather
gooseberries on a hot day like this.”

“Very kind, indeed,” said both Bessie and Ned.

Mary was silent. She felt*that she had deserved no
such kindness from Gertrude; and she was thinking
with sorrow of her provoking conduct to her in the
forenoon. —

After luncheon, they began the examination of the
frames, and found that they could easily get two
sashes of the size they meant theirs to be.

“We must do more work still, Grahame,” said
Mary, “to pay for the bricks.”

Yes, Grahame said; but as he did not know how
much the bricks would cost, he could not tell how
much work they must do.

“ But, we will get on well with our work,” said
THE HOT-BED. 155

Ned. “Our holidays begin next month. We are to
have all September and October. The reason we did
not get August was, that some of the parents of the
boys preferred September and October, to August and
September. So there is another unfairness you and I
have committed, Grahame: we accused our master of
wishing to deprive us of a month of holidays, because
we did not get August.”

“ Still,” said Grahame, laughing, “I think it is
hardly fair to consult the parents’ wishes more than
the boys’. We all like August best, because the even-
ings are longer.”

“J think the parents ought to like that best too,”
said Bessie. “The longer you boys can stay gut of
doors, the more peace in the house.”

“ Girls never make any noise,” retorted Ned. “ Not
even when they upset tables, as some one did last night.”

Bessie blushed, and Mary telling her not to mind
him, asked her to come and look at her garden, while
the boys finished their task for Walter. By the time
that was accomplished, it was too late to think of be-
ginning their hot-bed that afternoon, so they amused
themselves with a merry game at hare and hounds,
until dinner-time.

Impatient as they were for his approbation, they
had the discretion not to communicate their plans to
Mr. Elliot till after dinner; till after, as Grahame
said, the noise and fuss of the*servants going back-
156 MARY ELLIOT.

wards and forwards was over. He was then told of
all they had agreed to do, and asked to accept of
Mary and Bessie’s work, instead of Grahame and
Ned’s. Much to their disappointment he did not seem
inclined to consent. .

“‘ When you spoke to me about it, boys, the propo-
sal you made, and to which I agreed, was, that you
two should make me the set of little shelves in the
closet off the library which we were speaking of the
other day, and which I thought you would probably
take more pains to make exactly as I wished than the
carpenter.”

“ Yes, papa,” said Grahame, “ and we shall be very
happy to make them for you still. Only, perhaps,
papa, you could wait till after the hot-bed is made.”

“ Because you know, papa,” interrupted Mary,
eagerly, “ if it is not ready before the time of taking
cuttings, it will be of no use. Of no use in that way,
I mean, for this year.”

“ Oh, Iam quite willing to wait,” said Mr. Elliot,
laughing; “ quite willing to waive my claim to pre-
cedence in favour of the hot-bed.”

“Then you will take the girl's work instead of ours,
papa?” asked Grahame.

Mr. Elliot hesitated. He was, as Mary had said,
very good-natured, and he was sorry to disappoint
them.

“I do not like to say ‘no,’ children,” he said. “ But
THE HOT-BED. 157

1 do not like your plan, for two reasons. I do not like
the idea of the girls forcing themselves to do work of
this kind for a certain number of hours in the day
while the weather is so hot; and I do not like to take
the work from the poor girls and women whom Wal-
ter usually employs.”

“ But then, papa, work is so plenty just now, that
Walter has to pay a shilling instead of eightpence a
day, to get workers,” urged Mary, eagerly.’

“ But there is my other objection, Minnie. I fear
that you and Bessie will work too hard in such hot
weather, and overheat yourselves.”

“ Oh, nonsense, papa. We can do it quite well,”
was Mary’s impatient and disrespectful answer.

“ I should think papa knows best, Minnie,” re-
marked Gertrude. °

“ Of course, you are against us, Gertrude,” said
Mary, scornfully. ‘No one could expect your good
word.”

“ Minnie, Minnie,” whispered Caroline, in a gentle,
warning tone, as Mary sat beside her.

Mary remembered Gertrude’s kindness about the
gooseberries, and cast down her eyes, blushing deeply.

Mr. Elliot had not observed this little scene. He
was thinking of some plan that might meet the chil-
dren’s wishes.

« J will tell you,” he said, with a good-humoured
smile, “ what you may do. If you will take the trou-
PAGE
NOT AVAILABLE
FOR SCANNING
THE HOT-BED, 159

. “ But, papa, how can we tell what price the differ-
ent seeds may be next spring? They are so much
cheaper some years than others. Walter says, that he
paid for his mignonette seed this year nearly twice as
much as he did last.”

“ I think, Grahame, you may calculate pretty accu-
rately what price seeds will be next spring. What
makes them cheaper one year than another?”

Grahame answered, that it was because they were
more abundant one year than another.

“ Well, is it probable that there will be a more abun-
dant supply of mignonette seed next spring than there
was this?”

“ Indeed, I do not know, papa,” replied Grahame,
with a puzzled look. ‘ How can I?”

“What makes the supply more abundant one year
than another, boy?” said Mr. Elliot, laughing. “ You
are not thinking; your wits are wandering.”

“ Of course, Grahame,” cried Mary, quickly, “ it
is because the mignonette has done better one year
than another.”

“ And how has it done this year then, Grahame, in
comparison to last?”

“ T don’t know, papa. I——”

“ Oh, Grahame, how stupid you are,” again inter-
rupted Mary. “It has done far better. Recollect
how much more we have this year, and Walter always
sows the same quantity.”
160 MARY ELLIOT,

“ Well, Mary, I was going to say, when you inter-
rupted me, that it had done better here. But that does
not tell what has been the case all over the country.”

“It has done better at Worsleigh,” said Mary,
“ and at Mrs. Harcourt’s, and at the Castle too. Don’t
you remember, Caroline, that when Lady Home was
here last week, she said that she enjoyed the abundance
of mignonette so much this summer, after having had
so little last year ?”

Caroline remembered this perfectly, and Mary con-
tinued in a triumphant tone, after this confirmation of
her assertions.

“ Besides you know, Grahame, that this was such
a good spring for the seeds coming up: we had such
fine warm weather, and such frequent soft showers
after the seeds were sown. Now, last year the weather
was so cold, and dry, and frosty, that a great deal of
the seed died in the ground.”

“ Now we are coming to the proper view of the
subject, Minnie,” said Mr. Elliot. ‘ Our mignonette
might chance to prosper, while it did not in other
places; but if we know the cause of its prospering
here, and know that that cause is general all over the
country, we may calculate pretty securely that it will
be abundant everywhere.”

“ And we do know that that cause has been general
this year,” cried Mary, “for you know, papa, how
often there were notices in the newspapers about the
THE HOT-BED. 161

fine warm weather, and about the good that the fre-
quent showers would do, And then the cause of its
not prospering last year was general, too, for I re-
member you used to tell us, that you heard from all
parts of the country complaints of the cold, dry, frosty ,
weather. So you see, Grahame, we can tell that
mignonette seed will be more abundant next spring
than it was this.”

“ Not quite yet, Minnie,” said Mr. Elliot, smiling at
her tone of triumph over Grahame. “ You have
settled that the plants came up better this year than
last; but is there not something more necessary to en-
sure the seed being plentiful ?”

“ Yes,” said Grahame; “ we must have sunshine
to ripen the seed well, and we must also have an early
summer, that it may have good time to ripen before
the frost begins.”

“‘ And we have had both this summer,” remarked
Bessie.

“ We may safely calculate, then, that mignonette,
and, I suppose, other annual seeds, will be cheaper
next spring than they were this; but we must now
find out whether they will be as cheap as they were
last spring or not.”

“Tam not sure that we can do that, papa,” said
Grahame; “ we must remember so many particulars
about the weather the summer before.”

“I remember that we had a beautiful spring that

ZL
162 MARY ELLIOT.

year,” said Mary. “I was confined to the house with
a bad cough for a long time that spring, and I remem-
ber watching the buds coming out on the trees, and
thinking what an early spring it was.”

“IT remember your cough, my little Minnie,” said
her papa. “ I was very uneasy about it; it was so
long before you got quite well.”

“‘T remember that we had beautifully bright, warm
days, and frequent showers, too; for I used to like to
watch the showers coming over the hills, while the
sun was shining brightly here. It was then, too, that
I first began to observe how beautiful the rain-drops
are on the trees and grass, when the sun shines out
after a shower. I used to admire them so much even
on the leafless trees. And then I used to be so glad
as one tree after another began to bud, and the young,
tender leaves come out; because I knew that the
sparkling rain-drops would look still more beautiful
on them.”

“ We had a very fine August and September that
year, I know,” said Grahame. “ Very fine weather
all the holidays. That was the first year that Ned and
I were allowed to go out in the boat to fish, with only
young James Robb to take care of us; and I remem-
ber we were hardly ever prevented from going a single
day, either from the weather or from his not being
able to go with us. He was always much more ready
to go than his old father.”
THE HOT-BED. 163

«It was a very hot summer altogether,” said Ned.
« Don’t you recollect, Grahame, that was the year
when there were so many trees cut down in Sir Wil-
liam Home’s wood above our house. You and I used
to spend the whole Saturdays there, and we used to
coax the forester to allow us to take the entire charge
of a tree, to take off the side branches, and prepare
the trunk for being carried away.”

“ Yes, I recollect,” cried Grahame; “ and the girls
used to bring up our luncheon, and used to look so hot
after their walk, although they had the shelter of the
trees almost all the way.”

“ Not all the way, nor almost all the way, Grahame,”
said Bessie. ‘“ We had to cross two very broad fields,
and to go up that long, long footpath by the side
of the hedge, before we got to the stile leading into
the woods; and the sun used to beat upon us all the
way.”

“ Oh yes,” cried Mary, “ I remember one day we
took a basket, with open kind of work on the sides,
because it was lighter than our worthy old coarse one,
and the heat of the sun melted all the butter of the
sandwiches, and made the water in.the bottle so hot
that the boys could scarcely drink it.”

“That turned out a good accident, though,” re-
marked Ned, “ for it made us find out that beautiful
cold spring in the wood.”

“ Oh yes; don’t you remember that spring, Min-
164 MARY ELLIOT.

nie,” cried Bessie, her eyes sparkling at the recollection ;
“ how beautiful it was at the foot of the rock where
that pretty tree grew with the ivy round it? It was
near the old oak where Ned found the squirrel’s nest.”

‘“‘ Yes, I remember it,” said Mary. “ It was Susan
that found it. She was so vexed at our having spoilt
the boys’ luncheon, she said that she should not rest
till she had found a spring; she said, too, that such a
beautiful wood ought to have a spring somewhere, and
so she sought till she found it; and then we called it
the Diamond of the Desert, after the fountain in the
‘ Talisman.’ ”

“T am sorry to interrupt such pleasant recollec-
tions,” said Mr. Elliot; “ but I am very curious to
know, young gentlemen, if it be the practice of Sir
William Home’s forester to cut down trees in the
middle of summer. In my younger days it was the
fashion to cut them down early in the year, before the
sap began to rise.” ;

“ So it is still, papa,” answered Grahame; “so he
does—Sir William Home’s forester, I mean. We made
a mistake, Ned: you know it was early in the year that
we helped to cut down the trees. The work we were at
in June was sorting up the plantation.”

“The trees were not all cut up and carted away,
however,” said Ned, “ until pretty far on in the year.
And indeed they did not begin to cut the oaks till the
first leaves were coming out.”
THE HOT-BED. 165

“Pray, Grahame,” asked Mr. Elliot, laughing,
“what may sorting up a plantation mean? I never
heard such an expression used before.”

“Qh! papa, you know that in spring, Sir William
and Lady Home took such a fancy to that plantation.
And, I am sure, I do not wonder at it. It is beautiful,
sweeping over the face of the hill; now going down
into deep quiet dells, and then rising again to the
heights, where the rocks tower up above the trees, as
if they disdained to be hid by them. ‘There are such
fine wild places among the rocks, papa, such delightful
scrambles.”

“So I know, Grahame. They were favourite re-
sorts of mine when I was a boy. I know that old
oak where squirrels’ nests are to be found: and I
think I had discovered the spring, to which you have
given such a fine name, before I was your age. But
you have forgotten to satisfy my curiosity as to what
‘sorting up a plantation’ means,”

“ Well,” continued Grahame, “ Sir William de-
termined to have a carriage-drive made through the
wood. And a great many trees were cut down to
make room for the road, to give the other trees more
room to grow, and to open up some of the fine views
over the bay. After they were all down, they found
that there were a great many dead branches upon the
trees, which were left on each side of the road. And
Lady Home was quite mortified, and wished them to
166 MARY ELLIOT.

be cut off directly, as they spoiled the beauty of the
drive. So that was the work in which Ned and I
helped the forester in June. That was what I meant
by sorting up the plantation.”

“ And it was such delightful work,” cried Ned.
“The forester is a very kind man. He said, that
neither you nor papa would like us to work beside the
common workmen; so he gave us a part of the
drive to sort all by ourselves, and -he allowed us to
make our own plans and contrivances for getting down
the branches, without ever interfering with us or ad-
vising us.”

“Only, when he could not be near us himself,” re-
marked Grahame, “he sent a man in whom he could
trust, not to help us, but only to see that we did not
go into danger or hurt ourselves. Oh, it was very
interesting work. We had so many different ways of
getting down the branches ; if there was a good strong
branch near enough, we used to climb up and sit upon
it, while we lopped or sawed off the dead one; if we
could not find such a branch, we had to climb up and
fasten a rope round the branch so as to pull it down.
And sometimes even that plan would not do, and then
we fastened a small weight to the end of the rope,
and contrived to cast it over in that way.”

“We got very expert in that kind of work,” said
Ned, “before we had finished. But it was not very
easy. The rope so often got entangled in other
THE HOT-BED. 167

branches, or fixed itself on an inconvenint place, too
far from or too near to the trunk of the tree.”

“Do you recollect too, Ned, how the oak branches
used to bother us? The bark is so tough, we could very
seldom get them down without the saw.”

“We have in the meantime wandered far from our
mignonette seed,” said Mr. Elliot, smiling: “ we were
trying to find out whether it would be as cheap next
spring as it was last. We seem to be pretty well con-
vinced that the spring and summer before were quite
as favourable for bringing up the plants and ripening
the seed as this one has been. Is that all we require
to know in order to make our calculations ?”

“ Yes, I think so,” said all the children,

“T think not,” said Caroline, smiling.

“You think not, Caroline?” they asked. “ Why,
what more is required ?”

“Oh, guess,” replied Caroline ; “try to find out for
yourselves.” ;

“No, no, Caroline,” said Mary, a little impatiently ;
“ tell us at once, and do not tease us. We have been
thinking and recollecting and finding out so long, that

- we are all quite tired.”

Caroline asked if any one could remember what
had been the price of mignonette seed the spring be-
fore last. At first no one could remember, but after a
few minutes, Bessie exclaimed, “Oh, I remember
now, it was very cheap; for Susan and I had spent
168 MARY ELLIOT.

so much of the money we had laid aside for our
gardens upon a new hoe and rake, that we were afraid
we should not have enough of seed to sow all the plot
we intended to sow; papa bought the seed for us, and
when he gave it to us, we found that we had got as
much seed for our small sum as we had got for a
much larger one the year before.”

“ And would the difference in price between this
year and that one not have any influence upon the
quantity of seed sown ?” said Caroline.

“Oh, yes, I understand now,” said Mary. “There
would be less seed sown this year, and therefore less
mignonette grown. And as the weather was equally
favourable for ripening the seed that summer as it has
been this one, it is probable that there would be more
seed to sell last spring than there will be next; so
that it will be a little dearer next spring than it was
last, but a good deal cheaper than it was this.”

“Exactly,” said Mr. Elliot. “However, I have
such confidence in the honesty of my young seed-
gatherers, that I am quite willing to advance the
money required for the wood, paint, and bricks, feeling
sure, that if any loss should arise to me in the busi-
ness, either from the seeds getting spoiled through the
winter, or from some unexpected fall in the price next
spring, you will be quite ready to make amends to me
in some other way.”

Quite ready, they all said. And Grahame added,
THE HOT-BED. 169

that as Mr. Elliot had said, the girls could gather
more than they calculated would pay him, so as to
insure as much as possible that there was no loss
to him.

“ And if, on the other hand, your seeds turn out to
be of more value than the goods you receive from me,
I will make it up to you. So now, young chatterers,
this knotty point being settled, I wish you would all
go away, as I want to get a nap before tea.”

“One minute only, papa,” pleaded Mary; “only one
question. Ned says that the oak trees were not cut
down until the leaves began to come out. The sap
must have begun to rise in them before that. Why
are they different from other trees, which you say
ought not to be cut after the sap begins to rise ?”

“ Because oak-bark is very valuable, Minnie, and
the trees cannot be barked properly unless the sap has
begun to rise before they are cut down. And now
away with you all.”

“We must go home now, Bessie,” said Ned.

“Home!” exclaimed Caroline. “Are you not
going to stay to tea ?”

No, they said, they had promised to be home to
tea. Papa had been threatened with an attack of
inflammation in his eyes—a complaint to which he was
subject. Bessie was going to read to him, and Ned
was going to walk with his mamma. Mamma and
papa had not wished them to go home so soon, they
170 MARY ELLIOT.

said; but they had promised, and at any rate they
ought to go, because they could be of use.

Certainly, Caroline said, they were quite right.
And she engaged them to spend the next Saturday
at Hazel Bank, to make amends to Grahame and
Mary for leaving them this day sooner than they
expected.

Grahame and Mary accompanied them part of the
way home, and went so far, that when they returned
they found that all the family had had tea, and gone
out, except Caroline, who was waiting for them. |
Even lazy Madeline had been tempted to go too, by
the fineness of the evening, and by the pleasure of
having her papa and brothers to walk with.

“ But, Caroline, you ought not to have staid at home
for us,” said Grahame. “ William is so seldom able to
walk with you, that you ought to have gone with him.”

Caroline smiled as she told Grahame, that her de-
sire to be civil to him and Mary would not have been
strong enough to make her deny herself the pleasure of
a walk with William. But she had a cold, and William
himself had asked her to stay at home and take care
of it.

Grahame asked which way they had gone, and said
he would run after them. He invited Mary to go with
him, but she declined. She was very tired, she said,
and was going to lie down on the sofa beside Caroline
to rest herself.
THE HOT-BED. 171

“Quite worn out with the business of the day,
Minnie?” said Caroline, smiling.

“ Quite worn out with the pleasures and excitement,
at least. I have been so happy to-day, Caroline. And
do you know, I think—I think that I have got on
pretty well to-day. I mean I have behaved pretty
well to the boys, kept my temper, and given up my
wishes to theirs. And I find the truth of what you say,
Caroline, that we may safely leave the affection of
others for us to take care of itself, if we are earnest
to be kind, unselfish, and considerate towards them.”

“ And do you not also find, Minnie, that if you are
unkind, selfish, and inconsiderate towards others, you
may safely leave their dislike to you to take care of
itself?”

“No, Caroline,” cried Mary, starting up from her
comfortable position. ‘At least I do not know what
you mean. Dislike me! Of course I do not wish any
one to dislike me.”

“Do younot, Minnie?” asked Caroline, drily.
“ You sometimes act as if you did.”

“When, Caroline? Towards whom ? Indeed, I do
not know what you mean. I know that I am still
sometimes, perhaps often, impatient, and self-willed ;
but indeed I do try to be kind and gentle towards -
every one.”

“To every one, Minnie ?”

“ Yes, Caroline, to every one, I mean, I try to be so
172 MARY ELLIOT.

to every one. Are you thinking of little Maurice and
Annie? I know I used to be very often cross and im-
patient to them. But lately, Ihave been much more
careful in my behaviour to them. And Maurice said
the other day that he liked me much better now, be-
cause I did not find fault with him so often, nor push
him out of my way as I used to do. So you see,
Caroline, if you mean Maurice and Annie, you are
wrong.”

‘“‘T did not mean Maurice or Annie, Minnie.”

“ Aunt Jane, then? Do you mean her? I know I
used to behave very ill to her. But then, Caroline,
you know she has not been here since I began to try
to be more kind and gentle.”

“ T did not mean Aunt Jane either, Minnie. What
does your own conscience say of your behaviour to-
wards Gertrude ?”

“ Oh, Gertrude! You mean Gertrude, do you?”
said Mary, laying herself down again on the sofa with
an air of indifference. ‘ As to Gertrude, I never
attempt to keep my temper, or behave well to her. She
is so provoking with her dictatorial tone and her airs
of superior wisdom, as if no one could think or speak
wisely or rightly but herself.”

‘But, dear Minnie, ought you not to attempt to keep
your temper, and to behave well to her? Is it not
your positive duty to endeavour to obey God’s word,
when He bids you ‘ Be kind one to another,’ ‘ Consi-
THE HOT-BED. 173

der one another,’ ‘ Forbearing one another in love ?
What right have you to choose a certain number of
people towards whom alone you will be kind, consi-
derate, and forbearing, when God commands you to
be so to every one?”

«“ But, Caroline, Gertrude is so provoking.”

« But, Minnie, is it your duty to bear with her or
not? You know that it is your duty. And if you are
wise, you will make that duty as easy as possible, by
seldom suffering your thoughts to dwell upon her fail-
ings, and by fixing your attention steadily upon every
trait of goodness and amability that you can discover
in her character.”

“ Oh, Caroline, you are quoting Mrs. Hamilton.”

“J dare say I am, Minnie,” replied Caroline, laugh-
ing; “ I have heard her speak upon this subject, and
have liked what she said. But, dear Minnie, whether
they are my words or Mrs. Hamilton’s, are they not
true? Must you not confess that all your complaints
about Gertrude’s coldness and pride cannot help you
to love her more, or to behave better towards her ?”

Mary did not speak, she was occupying herself in
tearing a flower to pieces, and looked a little sullen.
Caroline continued,—

«“ I liked what Mrs Hamilton was saying the other
night to Maurice, about the duty we owe to others, in
the way of helping them to do right. She says it is our
duty to do all we can, to make the practice of virtue
174 ' MARY ELLIOT.

easy to every one around us, to be very watchful that
nothing in our conduct may render it more difficult.
It is our duty to avoid all that can arouse evil tempers
or feelings in others, and to seek earnestly for oppor-
tunities of calling into exercise all that is good. Now,
Minnie, do you ever think of this duty in your beha-
viour towards Gertrude ?”

“ Does she ever think of it towards me, Caroline ?”
asked Mary, a little sullenly. ‘See how provoking
she is to me, so proud, so ——”

“ Stop, Minnie,” interrupted Caroline, gravely. “ You
have not to perform Gertrude’s duties, but your ,own..
You will not be held responsible for her failings, but
for yours. If her faults are so many, so aggravated,
as you seem to think, she will have the more difficulty
in curing herself of them ; and there is, therefore, the
stronger reason why you ought not to cast any stum-
blingblocks in her way.”

« But I do not, Caroline. I only stumble over the
stumblingblocks that she casts in my way.” .

“ Did you not do it this forenoon, Minnie, when
you refused so ungraciously her kind offer ?”

«“ Oh!” exclaimed Mary, in a tone of real sorrow,
“ I know now what you mean ; I recollect that I did
behave very ill to Gertrude this forenoon. I re-
collected it, too, when Grahame brought us out the
gooseberries, and told us that Gertrude had taken the
trouble of gathering them for us, I felt sorry then, to
THE HOT-BED. 175

remember how I had spoken to her, but the words
came out almost before I knew what I was saying.”

« But, dear Minnie, if you were to try to think and
feel a little more kindly towards Gertrude, you would
not be so apt to speak unkindly to her as you do.”

« Perhaps not, Caroline,” said Mary, hesitatingly.
« But she is so cold, that I really never feel as if I
could love her as I know I ought to do.”

«“ Her manners are cold and reserved, I grant, Min-
‘nie, and I am sorry for it. More sorry on her account
than you can understand. You can scarcely under-
stand the pain, the bitter pain which her cold, reserved
manner often causes her to feel. Her affections are
very deep and warm, and often while she seems so
cold and calm, her heart is burning with affection and
sympathy.”

“Qh! Caroline, do you really think so?” asked
Mary, earnestly.

“I know it, dear Minnie,” replied Caroline ; and,
after a moment's thought, she gave Mary a little his-
tory of Gertrude’s peculiar feelings and circumstances,
such as she had heard from herself, and told her how
deeply Gertrude still mourned for her mother’s death,
and how sorrowfully she had spoken to her of her own
coldness and reserve. Mary was much interested.

“ T am not sure, dear Minnie,” concluded Caroline,
“ how far I am justified in thus repeating to you what
Gertrude said to me. But I see that she is making
176 MARY ELLIOT.

many painful efforts just now to overcome her natural
defects of manner, and it grieves me to see how much
more painful, how much more difficult you often make
her task.”

“ But, Caroline, [ never thought that Gertrude was
that sort of person. I never thought of her feeling
things so much.”

“But, dear Minnie, we ought to think of. other
people’s feelings. It is no excuse when we have vexed
any one, or wounded their feelings, to say that we
never thought that they could feel so much. Be-
cause if we gave their characters that serious atten-
tive consideration which is implied in the command-
ment, ‘ Consider one another, we might know what
is likely to vex them, and might avoid it.”

“Do you think, Caroline,” asked Mary, after a few
minutes’ thoughtful silence ; “do you think that I ought
to apologize to Gertrude for speaking to her in that
way. Iam really sorry for it, particularly since you
have told me how sadly she speaks of her coldness and
reserve. I am sorry that I did not meet her more
graciously, when she was endeavouring to overcome
them. Do you think I may tell her how sorry I
am ?”

“No, dear Minnie, I think it would be better not.
Gertrude’s pride would make her feel awkward and
uncomfortable at receiving such an apology. It would
be painful to her either to answer it, or to leave it
THE HOT-BED. 177

unanswered ; and therefore I think you had better try
to make amends to her in some other way. Be more
watchful not to offend in this way again, and take
pains to make yourself feel more kindly towards her.
It is unfortunate for you both that you were so much
separated when you were children. It makes it more
difficult for you to bear with one another now. But
still, dear Minnie, you ought never to forget that she
is your sister, and has a higher claim to your love and
tenderness than a stranger can have. Every one has
a claim to kindness and consideration from you, but a
sister has a claim to more: she has a claim to your
sympathy in all her feelings; to a tender regard for
her welfare, and to a peculiarly charitable compassion
and forbearance for her faults.”

Mary looked grave and thoughtful. The expression
of self-complacency her countenance had worn at the
beginning of the conversation had given place to one
of sadness and humility.

Caroline observed this, and said, tenderly—* Do
you think me cruel, dear Minnie, for thus damping the
pleasure with which you were recalling the events of
this day? I was sorry to do it; but I was anxious to
convince you of your fault towards Gertrude ; anxious
to make you see that you ought to be more tender in
your feelings towards her—more careful in your con-
duct.”

“ Think you cruel, my own kind Caroline?” cried

M
178 MARY ELLIOT.

Mary, springing up, and putting her arms round her
neck, ‘Never, never. You are always so kind, so
considerate. I only wish I could do something for
you to reward you for your goodness to me.”

“ The best reward you can give me, dear Minnie,”
said Caroline, affectionately, “is to love me as I know
and feel you do.” |

“ And to try to be like you, dear Caroline; to try
to be kind and considerate as you are.”

As soon as lessons were over on Monday forenoon,
Mary, Susan, and Bessie went out to the garden, to
decide what kinds of seed it would be most profitable
to gather, and to make some calculations as to the
quantity they would require to get of the different
sorts.

“ Sweet-peas are easily gathered, Minnie,” said
Bessie, “ and you have a great quantity of them this
year.”

. Yes, and of the Virginian-pea, and of the painted-
pea. These are all easily gathered; and I know there
is a great deal of seed formed on them already. I
daresay we might almost get our six shillings’ worth of
seed from them, without troubling ourselves to gather
any of the smaller kinds.”

.“T scarcely think that would be fair,” said Susan.
“ Indeed, I am not sure that we ought to gather any
sweet-peas at all.”

“ Not fair!” cried Mary and Bessie. “ Of course
THE HOT-BED. 179

it is quite fair. We may gather any sorts we like.
Not gather any sweet-peas! What do you mean,
Susan ?”

“ You told me that Mr. Elliot’s only reason for
thinking his proposal fair for him was, that if we did
not gather the seeds, no one else would. But that is
not the case with the sweet-peas. We know that
Walter always gathers them; we know that he saves
so much that he often does not need to buy any.”

This was only too true. Mary and Bessie were
much disappointed, but they did not attempt to deny
the justice of Susan’s conclusion.

“ Let us go to the border under the south wall,”
said Bessie; “ most of the annuals are there, and the
largest bed of mignonette.”

They passed Mary’s garden in their way, and stop-
ped to look at her flowers.

“It is a pity,” said Mary, with a sigh, “ that Walter
is so old and stupid. If he were a little younger, he
might perhaps like to try experiments with seeds as
other gardeners do; and then he would give me a good
price for some of the seed of my fine new fuchsia ; and
there is a great deal of seed on it.”

«“ We could get plenty seed from my Chinese prim-
rose, too,” said Bessie, “if Walter would only take it.”

“Qh! but he will not,” Mary replied. “ He always
says that he has not time to spend upon stupid seed-
lings, as he calls them; that he has plenty to do with-
180 MARY ELLIOT.

out taking care of a heap of plants which may all turn
out quite worthless.”

“ But, perhaps,” suggested Susan, “ Mr. Elliot might
tell him to sow some fuchsia and Chinese primrose
seed. Then he could buy ours; and it would be an
advantage to Mr. Elliot too. He would get a number
of plants for little money ; and might perhaps get some
new variety that was never heard of before.”

“‘T daresay papa would do that; but it would only
be to please us. He does not really care about these
things, and always allows Walter to do as he likes;
and I do not think we should ask him to do it, merely
in order that we may get our seeds sold.”

“ No, we ought not,” said Susan; “ but it is a pity,
for you know rare seeds are much higher priced than
the common kinds.”

“ By the by,” cried Mary, joyfully, “ there is that
new annual of which Walter is so proud; we ought
to get a good price for its seed. Walter paid two
shillings this year for a very small quantity.”

“Tt will not be nearly so dear next year, however,”
remarked Susan.

‘‘ Of course not,” said Mary, quickly. “We know
all about that. We know that all annual seeds will
be cheap next spring, because this summer has been
so favourable for ripening them.”

Yes,” said Susan; “ but this seed will be much
cheaper in proportion than other seeds. People paid
THE HOT-BED. 181

high for it this year, because of its novelty, and be-
cause there was very little of it to be had. The man
who reared it might probably have only two or three
plants of it to bear seed. But every seed that has
come up this year will produce twenty, thirty, or
perhaps a great many more seeds, so there must be
more difference in its price than in the price of other
annuals,”

“ Still it will be dear,” said Bessie; “and see how
much seed there is on it.”

Just then they heard Caroline call to them from a
walk at the other side of the garden, and they stopped
in their inspection of the new annual, to hear what
she was saying.

“Tf you are gathering a nosegay, Minnie,” she said,
“do not gather any of the new annual, as Walter
wishes to save the seed.”

Another disappointment! The three girls looked at
one another with blank countenances. Bessie was the
first to recover her cheerfulness.

“ Well, it cannot be helped,” she said. “We must
find some other seeds to gather. We may be sure that
Walter will want poppy seeds at any rate. He always
sows a great many of them, and here are some almost
ripe.”

“We must watch carefully to gather them at the
proper time,” said Susan. “The seed soon shakes out
of its vessels when it is quite ripe. We cannot do
182 MARY ELLIOT.

wrong, either, in gathering mignonette seed. He must
have it.”

“ Only it is very tiresome to gather,” sighed Mary.

“But then look what a quantity there is to gather,”
cried Bessie. ‘ And the plot of it beside the green-
house is even farther on than this.”

“Yes, because no one discovered it till far on in
summer,” said Mary ; “so the very first flowers were
allowed to go to seed. But there is even better seed
than that,” she continued gaily, “in the pots which
were forced on in the green-house. They are all
standing in the back-yard, and Walter is not going to
gather the seed of them, for I asked him the other
day, as I meant to gather it for my own garden.”

They accordingly got a good deal of mignonette
seed from the pots and from the plot beside the
green-house ; but when they took it into the house,
they were mortified to find how little weight all that
they had gathered amounted to. Mary was inclin-
ed to give up the seed-gathering in despair. But
Susan, and Bessie encouraged her to persevere, re-
minding her how disappointed the boys would be if
they did not.

And they did persevere, and succeeded before the
frost set in, in collecting even more seeds of differ-
ent kinds than they required to pay the expenses of
their hot-bed. They were often rather wearied of
their task, which was not a very interesting one, but
THE HOT-BED, 183

they were cheered on by the success of the boys in
their work.

The hot-bed was completed in time for cuttings, and
they had never been, or thought they had never been,
so successful with them as they were this year.
184 MARY ELLIOT.

CHAPTER VIII.

SUSAN AND EVELYN. ©

“TI HAVE always forgotten to ask you, Susan, how
you got on at Mrs. Harcourt’s on Saturday. Were
you not terribly tired of having no companion but
Evelyn all day?” asked Mary, one day when the three
girls were working together in the garden.

No, said Susan, quietly. She had not been at all
tired. She had enjoyed herself very much.

“ But what did you do all day?” again asked Mary.
“ Bessie said that Evelyn was not able to leave her
room.”

“We sat in her room and worked, and talked in
the forenoon,” replied Susan. “In the afternoon I
went with Mrs. Harcourt to see a poor woman whom
Evelyn wished her mamma to go and see. I read to
Evelyn for a little when we came home, and in the
evening we worked and talked again.”

“What a tiresome day!” cried Mary. “No play—
no amusement of any kind.”


SUSAN AND EVELYN, 185

“Why, Mary,” said Susan, smiling, “I should not
have expected to hear you call talking no amusement.
You generally like it very well.”

“ Oh, I like to talk to people who are worth talking
to—but Evelyn is so stupid. I cannot conceive there

would be any amusement in talking to her.”

“T did not talk to her, I talked with her,” replied
Susan. “She is not stupid. She is quiet, perhaps,
but not at all stupid.”

“ Quiet, indeed!” said Mary, scornfully. “You
may well call her quiet. I never heard her say more
than ‘ Yes;’ ‘No;’ ‘I don’t care to walk;’ ‘I don’t
care to ride ;’ ‘I don’t care to go out in a boat.’”

Bessie laughed. Susan seemed quite unmoved by
this ridicule of her friend.

“But what did you talk about, Susan?” pursued
Mary.

“ About many things. About books.”

“ About books! Well! I should not have thought
that Evelyn was a reader. I should not have thought
that she could care much for books.”

“‘ How can you know what she is,” asked Susan,
“if you have never heard her say more than ‘ Yes ;’
‘No;’ ‘I don’t care to walk ;’ ‘I don’t care to ride ;’
‘I don’t care to go out in a boat?”

“ Perhaps ‘I don’t care for reading,’ may have been
among the ‘ don’t cares’ I have heard, Susan,” said
Mary, laughing.
186 MARY ELLIOT.

“Tam sure it could not. Evelyn cares very much
for reading. She has read a great deal, and thought
a great deal. She likes many of the books which I
like, and I enjoyed very much talking about them with
her,” said Susan, warming in defence of her friend.

“ And if Susan likes Evelyn, Minnie,” said Bessie,’
“ it is not fair of us to abuse her, or laugh at her.”

“ Oh! I am sure I don’t want to laugh at her,” re-
plied Mary. “ Only I must say I think her very
stupid. Or, if she is not stupid, why is she so quiet?
Why does she not talk if she can ?”

“ Everybody is not fond of talking, Minnie,” said
Susan, smiling. ‘ And I think it is a good thing, be-
cause there would not be time for every one to talk
as much as some people do.”

“You mean me, Susan,” said Mary, reddening.
“ You mean that I am too fond of talking.”

“T did not mean to say you were. Only you know
you do like to talk a great deal, Minnie, and so does
Bessie, and if Evelyn and I liked to talk as much, how
could there be time for all that we would wish to say
whenever we four met together ?”

“Yes, Minnie,” said Bessie again, “I am sure
Susan is right. It is much better that there should be
some people who like to listen. Susan hears so many
curious and interesting things that we never hear, be-
cause we like better to talk ourselves than to listen to
what other people are saying.”
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 187

“ Well, I am sure I do not think either of us talk
so very much, Bessie. Not too much.”

Bessie hesitated. She was afraid, she said, that they
did talk too much.

“ We don’t think enough, Minnie; and then, you
know, mamma has often checked us for giving our
opinion in conversation when older people were talk-
ing. She says, that it is impertinent in young girls
like us to do so. We interrupt the conversation, and
our opinion can be of no importance to any one. Our
being always so anxious to tell what we think or feel,
prevents us from hearing other people’s feelings or
thoughts, and shows that we are thinking too much of
ourselves.”

Mary did not seem disposed to agree with Bessie,
and the conversation dropped here; but as I think I
have rather neglected both Susan and Evelyn, I mean
to devote this short Chapter to an account of their
characters, and of the friendship which was now be-
ginning to spring up between them.

From the very beginning of their acquaintance,
Susan had felt more disposed to like Evelyn than
Mary or Bessie had done. Their tastes and disposi-
tions seemed to harmonize well together.

Susan was what she had called Evelyn, a very quiet
girl. She, as well as Evelyn, was much older for her
years than Mary or Bessie. This resulted partly from
her naturally grave and thoughtful turn of mind, partly
188 MARY ELLIOT.

from her having been her mother’s constant compa-
nion and helper from a very early age. While she
was still young; it had been her greatest pleasure to
be always with her mother, walking with her, work-
ing for her, reading or talking to her, and doing all
she could to help her.

Bessie was as much attached to her mother as Susan,
as sincerely anxious to be of use to her, but she did not
succeed so well in her attempts. She was too giddy,
too thoughtless, too easily acted upon by the impulse
of the moment. While very desirous to save her from
pain or trouble, she would often put her to serious in-
convenience by mere carelessness and inattention.
She would run up or down stairs much quicker than
Susan, to fetch anything for her mother; but if her
attention happened to be attracted in some other way,
she would perhaps loiter five, ten, twenty minutes be-
fore she remembered that Mrs. Hamilton was waiting
for what she had gone to get. She was always ready
to carry a message for any one, but she would start off
without knowing distinctly what she was to say, and
was often obliged to return and ask to have it repeated
over again. She would lay aside her own occupations
with a most engaging cheerfulness and good humour,
to assist any one to seek for a book; but her mind
would be wandering so far from what she was doing,
that she would pass the book twenty times without
seeing it. She was always sincerely sorry when she
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 189

had vexed any one by her mistakes, but Mrs. Hamil-
ton often-told her, that she never expected her to im-
prove until she was convinced that her carelessness
was really sinful,

“ You have no right, dear Bessie,” she sometimes
said, “ to waste the time or try the temper of others by
your careless awkward way of doing things. And you
seem to forget that there is such a commandment in
Scripture as, ‘ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do
it with all thy might.’”

This was a commandment which Susan never forgot.
She was always careful to give her whole attention to
what she was doing. She thought no occupation too
trifling to be worth doing well. No one ever knew
Susan upset the inkstand, or let fall the book which she
was carrying. No one ever saw her injure the work she
had undertaken to do by her thonghtlessness. She
never sewed in a breadth of a frock upside down, or
hemmed a frill upon the wrong side. She was not na-
turally so clever or quick as Bessie, but she contrived
to do most things better than she did.

“Who will put fresh flowers in these vases for me ?”
asked Mrs. Hamilton one day.

Both girls were equally ready to offer their services,
and Mrs. Hamilton asked each of them to fill one vase.
About an hour afterwards when she came into the
room she found both filled, and placed on a table in
the window.


190 MARY ELLIOT.

“ This must be Bessie’s. She has the best eye for
colours,” thought Mrs. Hamilton, as she looked at the
one which was most tastefully arranged. The different
colours were so well assorted, so delicately relieved
with green, and a beautiful wreath of green leaves
was made to hang gracefully over the edge of the vase.

The other nosegay presented a brilliant mass of rich
damask roses, bright scarlet geraniums, and the deep-
blue salvias, all grouped together without any regard
to variety or grace. A few green leaves were squeezed
in on one side, as if the arranger had suddenly re-
membered that they were generally considered an im-
portant part of a bouquet. Mrs. Hamilton at first
thought that Bessie’s taste could never have suffered
her to dress her flowers in such a way as this; but
when she came to inspect it more closely, she felt still
more convinced that Susan’s carefulness would not -
have suffered her to leave so many of the stalks out of
the water, as she found was the case in this vase.
Bessie came into the room while her mamma was look-
ing at them.

“Oh, mamma,” she said, “ you are looking at my
nosegay. But Susan’s is much the prettiest.”

“ And why is it the prettiest, dear Bessie ?”

“Qh, I suppose she has more taste for that sort of
thing than I have.”

“ Nay, Bessie. You have naturally more taste, and
a better eye for colours than she has. Why are the
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 191

stalks of her flowers all in the water, while many of
yours are too short to reach it, and some of them are
tumbling out of the vase?”

“ T suppose, mamma,” said Bessie, blushing, “ Susan
paid more attention to it.”

“Yes, Bessie; and that is also the cause of the
greater beauty of her vase. You knew as well as she
did, that some white roses would have contrasted well
with the damask and with the scarlet geraniums, and
that a few green leaves would have relieved the bright
colours of the flowers, but you did not think about it, and
therefore your nosegay looks very ill beside hers. If you
had thought, I think, yours might have been the most
beautiful of the two, for you have known best where to
find the prettiest. flowers. But you see how little
natural taste can help you, unless you also give care
and attention to your task. I do not wish to distress
you, dear Bessie,” she continued affectionately, seeing
Bessie’s eyes fill with tears, “but I do wish you to
feel more the importance of minding what you are
doing. Is there not a degree of unfaithfulness in not
using all your powers to perform any service you
undertake? In undertaking it, you virtually promise
to do all you can to accomplish it well, and a faithful
fulfilment of your promise requires that you should
consider seriously the best way of setting to work.”

But Susan did not surpass Bessie merely in her
mode of performing such little services ; she excelled
192 MARY ELLIOT.

also in a constant watchfulness for opportunities to
perform them, It was always Susan, as Mary said,
who first discovered when her mamma had a headach,
and who contrived to remove all noise and annoyance
from her. It was Susan who had her papa’s book
always ready for him at the time he wished for it. It
was Susan who went to remind Ned that it was school-
time when he was staying too long in his garden, and
who collected his books for him, It was Susan who
laid aside Bessie’s scissors and thimble, or Maurice's
ball or hoop, so that they could easily find them again.
In short, if any one was in difficulty or distress, Susan
was the first to find it out, and to endeavour to remedy
it. She seemed ever on the watch to discover how
she could best add her small mite to the general com-
fort and happiness of the rest.

She was a very industrious girl, too. No one almost
ever saw her idle. She was never in a bustle, never
seemed to have too much to do, and yet never seemed
at a loss for occupation. She knew well how to em-
ploy all the little spare minutes and quarters of hours
that Bessie so often wasted; and although no one ever
found her too busy to help them if they needed it, she
yet never found the day too long for all she wished to
accomplish.

One might think that such an active, industrious,
useful girl, could have little in common with Evelyn
Harcourt—absent, dreaming Evelyn. Evelyn, to whom
SUSAN AND EVELYN. , 193

one might speak twenty times before she heard—
Evelyn, who never seemed to observe anything that
passed around her, but who was always wrapped up in
her own fancies and reveries.

And yet the difference was not so much in their
natural habits and dispositions as in their education.
Evelyn and Susan were both equally grave and
thoughtful, but Evelyn had not learned like Susan to
join action to her thoughtfulness.

When a new idea was presented to Susan’s mind,
she did not receive it so quickly, nor understand it so
readily as Mary or Bessie. She could not discuss it
so eagerly as they could, nor express so easily the
pleasure it gave her; but while a dozen other thoughts
little connected with it soon drove it out of their minds,
Susan liked to dwell upon it; to examine it in all its
bearings; to work it out for herself and to herself; to
seek in it some rule of conduct or feeling which might
suit her own circumstances and duties. Evelyn, too,
delighted to muse over any new thought, to weigh it
well, and to seek out all its meaning; but it was not
for herself, but for those imaginary beings with whom
she was always surrounded. She would only seek
from it a principle of action for some of her fanciful
heroes and heroines, about whose adventures her mind
was ever occupied,

Even in her dreamy fancies, however, Susan could
sympathize, Her own imagination was much more

N
194 MARY ELLIOT.

lively than either Mary’s or Bessie’s; but the differ-
ence between her and Evelyn was, that while Evelyn’s
imagination was ever busy upon her imaginary char-
acters—upon their thoughts and feelings, Susan’s ima-
gination was usefully busy about the real thoughts and
feelings of those she loved, enabling her to understand
them, to appreciate, and to respect them. She could
also enter into and share in Evelyn’s love of poetry
better than Mary and Bessie could. If Captain Ha-
milton read poetry aloud to them, Mary and Bessie
liked the story and the excitement—the stirring, active
passages; but the parts which wearied them—the
purely imaginative passages—were those which Susan
liked best, and to which her thoughts oftenest returned.
And this was Evelyn’s taste too.

Susan, as well as Evelyn, felt an intense love and
admiration for all that was beautiful, exalted, and re-
fined, and a dislike to everything vulgar or rude. But
while these feelings led Evelyn to shrink from the
petty annoyances and everyday duties of life, and to
shut herself up in a world of her own making, where
all was fair and lovely, they led Susan to seek earnest-
ly to see whatever beauty existed in even the most
commonplace objects; to remove, as far as she could,
all jarring and discordance from her own little family
circle; to shed an atmosphere of love and gentleness
around her; to refine and exalt even the most ordi-
nary duties of life, by the earnest, self-forgetting, self-
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 195

denying spirit in which she fulfilled them, and de-
voted herself to the good and happiness of others.

One or two instances of the different way in which
the girls considered the same subject, may perhaps
enable the reader better to understand the difference
in the natural constitution of their minds and habits
of thought.

One day when both Mary and Evelyn were dining
at Worsleigh, the four girls assembled after dinner in
the parlour, where Captain Hamilton was reading.
He was reading one of the novels of Miss Bremer,
the Swedish authoress.

“ What do you think of this description, young
ladies?” he asked, reading aloud the two following
verses from a song composed by a brother and sister
on a favourite sister :—

“ And as on she goes in meekness,
Fruits of her good works appear ;
And she looks around to question
If she cannot dry some tear;

«If she cannot ease some burden;
Cannot give some toiler rest ;
Cannot light some spark of gladness
In some mourner’s weary breast.”

The girls were all much pleased with these words.
Mary and Bessie began an eager discussion as to which
of their friends most resembled this picture.
196 MARY ELLIOT.

Evelyn immediately appropriated it for the benefit
of her favourite heroine, and began directly to devise
situations in which to place her, where her good quali-
ties might be called into exercise.

Susan’s meditations were upon the happiness which
such a spirit and such habits would enable their pos-
sessor to bestow upon those she loved; and while
admiring she was also longing to imitate. She was
already looking around to learn if she could not
dry some tear. Nor did she think the tears which
Maurice was shedding too insignificant to be worth her
notice. The tears were called forth by the destruction
of a favourite ball,—a ball which Ned could make
bound nearly as high as the house; but they were soon -
changed into smiles by Susan’s representations, that it
was the cover only which was destroyed ; that the good-
ness of a ball depended very little upon its cover, and
by her promise to cover it for him that very evening.

On another occasion when William—who was very
fond of studying astronomy—had been endeavouring to
make the girls understand some of the theories about the
stars, as being each the centre of a system like ours,
surrounded with worlds and their attendant moons, as
our sun is with the earth and other planets, Mary and
Bessie were, as usual, voluble in their expressions of
wonder and admiration; but the multitude of their
words soon dissipated their thoughts, and little im-
pression was left upon their minds.
SUSAN AND EVELYN, 197

Evelyn felt breathless with wonder and awe, as she
endeavoured to conceive of such astonishing ideas of
magnitude as William’s words were fitted to convey.
She sought relief in picturing to herself some new and
lovely race of beings who might inhabit one of the
bright worlds upon which she fixed her eyes.

Susan also felt even painfully oppressed by thoughts
of such magnificence and sublimity as these facts
awakened. But she did not shrink from them on that
account. As often as her mind seemed to fall back
baffled in its attempts to realize them, so often did she
return to them again, and endeavour again to see
more of their grandeur and beauty. She loved to
dwell upon any subject which could exalt her concep-
tions of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, of
the Creator and Preserver of such innumerable worlds.
And her eyes filled with tears of admiration as she
softly repeated to herself these words,—

“Who worlds created, hath formed the worm;

He pours the dew, who filled the sea ;

‘Breathes from a flower, who rules the storm.”
The only relief she sought from the effort of conceiv-
ing of such power was in the thought, that He who
thus shows us His greatness—equally in the more
splendid works of creation and in His tender care of
the smallest insect that breathes upon the earth—calls
upon us not to despise the meanest duty that belongs to
the situation in which it has pleased Him to place us.
198 MARY ELLIOT.

One more instance may suffice. One day Caroline
was sitting with Susan and Evelyn upon a seat at the
top of the hill behind Hazel Bank ; there was a clump
of beech-trees before them, and upon one of the girls
remarking the pleasant sound the breeze made rustling
through the leaves, Caroline told them of Mrs, Hemans’
fancy, that each different kind of tree gives forth a
different note as the wind blows over it.

Evelyn was soon plunged into a reverie upon wood-
land nymphs and fairies, for whose special pleasure
this music was to play. Susan’s mind was filled with
sweet thoughts of the love of God, in providing such
endless variety of beauty and harmony for the enjoy-
ment of His creatures, and of the obligations He thus
laid upon His children to seek to give happiness,
pleasure, and even amusement to those around them.

Not that I mean to imply that Susan either despised
or disliked the nymphs and fairies, in whose life and
adventures Evelyn took such a deep interest, and for
whose amusement she was so solicitous; on the con-
trary, Susan had a special love for spirits of all kinds
—of earth, air, fire, or water ; she was intimately ac-
quainted with them all, with their natural history,
their habits and peculiarities, their favourite haunts
and amusements, their likings and dislikings. She
enjoyed all sorts of legends about them, from the story
of the solitary spirit of the fountain, to the account of
the bright-robed sylphs who dance in the flames on
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 199

a winter’s night, or of the bands of water-spirits
who make their home in the cool grots of ocean, and
rise to the surface of the water on “the waving leaf
of the crimson dulse.” She liked as well as Evelyn
did to dream on a bright fair-looking summer day, of
the innumerable spirits that were gambolling in the
faint-blue haze that was lying on the hills, or to pic-
ture to herself those airy forms that could rock them-
selves to sleep on a blade of grass, hide from a shower
in the trumpet of a honeysuckle, build their palace in
the bosom of the water-lily, or cross the river on a
speck of snow-white foam.

But the difference between them was, that such
thoughts as these were the everyday food of Evelyn’s
mind, while to Susan they were merely a refreshment,
an amusement, to be indulged in now and then, when
more important matters had been disposed of, and to
be all the more enjoyed, because they could not be
had at all times.

I do not think Evelyn could ever have admitted
Susan to intimate friendship with herself, if she had
believed that she could despise her dearly-loved fairies
and spirits. Indeed, the first thing that made her
open her heart cordially to Susan was seeing the keen
enjoyment she felt in some passages which Evelyn
translated for her, from a poem of Korner, containing
& most inspiring account of a conspiracy which was
entered into by the spirits of fire and air, to prevent
200 MARY ELLIOT.

the miners from acquiring the treasures of a certain
mine. Evelyn had admired Susan before this for her
gentle, unselfish kindness to every one around her, but
it was this which made her desire to have her for a
friend and companion. The day on which she read
this to her was the Saturday that Susan spent with her
alone, and when, as she had told Mary, working and
talking had been almost their only amusements,

Mrs. Hamilton had walked with Susan to Mrs,
Harcourt’s on that forenoon, and Susan had confided
to her the deep interest which she felt in Evelyn, and
her anxious desire to be of use to her, to endeavour to
arouse her from her idle dreaming life, and to call
forth the good qualities, the fine and noble feelings,
which Susan was convinced she possessed. Mrs.
Hamilton agreed with Susan in her estimate of
Evelyn’s character, encouraged her to attempt to
awaken her to a sense of her duties, and advised her
how to proceed. Susan was at no time apt to be
easily discouraged in any work which she undertook,
and certainly on this day she met with much to in-
duce her to persevere in her attempts to improve the
character of her new friend, or rather in her attempts
to convince her that she needed improvement.

After the two girls had discussed with great satis-
faction various passages in this poem, Evelyn began
to speak of one by Longfellow, “ The Footsteps of
Angels,” and from that she was led on to tell Susan
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 201

of many of the bright fancies in which she delighted
to indulge, and of the numerous spirits with which she
surrounded herself.

While Susan really enjoyed this conversation, she
was watching anxiously for an opportunity of turning
_ it upon those higher subjects to which she wished to
direct Evelyn’s attention. She had, however, too much
gentleness and tact to do so abruptly. She was too
habitually observant of the feelings of others to in-
terrupt Evelyn in a discussion which seemed to af-
ford her so much pleasure. When Evelyn expressed
the admiration she felt for this poem by Longfel-
low, Susan repeated the lines from Spenser’s Faéry
Queen—

“« And is there care in Heaven? And is there love,
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move ?
There is : else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts ; but oh, th’ exceeding grace
Of Highest God! that loves His creatures so,
And all His works with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed angels He sends to and fro
To serve to wicked man, to serve His wicked foe.

“ How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succour us that succour want?
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skyes, like flying pursuivant, |
Against foul fiends to aid us militant?
202 MARY ELLIOT.

They for us fight, they watch, and duly ward,

And their bright squadrons round about us plant ;

And all for love, and nothing for reward :

O why should heavenly God to men have such regard ?”

Evelyn admired them very much. She had never
read the Faéry Queen, and when Susan repeated some
more of her favourite passages, she said that she would
begin to read it immediately. Susan said that she had
not read it all herself, but that her mamma had read
the greater part of it to her.

“ T like it very much,” she said, “ not only for the
beautiful thoughts and images which it conveys to my
mind, but because it seems to do me so much good.
It seems to make me more ready to do every duty, more
anxious to find out what my duties are.”

Evelyn did not speak for some minutes. At last
she said, a little abruptly, that she was glad Susan was
not one of those people who think that such dreams
and imaginations about spirits and angels are foolish
and wrong.

“ Oh, no,” said Susan, “ I should be sorry to think
that. They give me so much pleasure. My opinion
is of little importance, but I can tell you what mamma
thinks. She says that she cannot think anything fool-
ish which has a tendency to take our thoughts away
from ourselves ; to enable us to form conceptions of a
race of beings of a higher, purer, more unselfish, more
unworldly nature than our own; or to lead us to
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 208

search out and enjoy the minuter beauties in the world
around us. She thinks that the girl who takes plea-
sure in such imaginations is less apt to waste time
and thoughts in brooding over her own little feelings,
wants, or wishes, in considering what may be thought
or said of her, or in deserying the faults and follies
of others, than those girls whose thoughts never rise
above the little everyday things around them.”

“Oh ! Iam sure of it,” said Evelyn, enthusiastically ;
“Tam sure it must do us good to have our minds
filled with images of beauty and goodness.”

“ But then, Evelyn,” said Susan, gently, “ mamma
thinks that there is a great danger of indulging in such
imaginations to excess. They are wrong when they
make us forget to look around upon others to observe
their wants and sorrows, and to endeavour to alleviate
them; when they leave us no time to discover the
duties which belong to the situations and relations in
which God has placed us, or to consider seriously of
the best way of performing them. When our thoughts
are so occupied with the holiness and purity of the
angels, that we forget to think of the infinitely holy
God, of His glorious attributes, and of His wondrous
goodness to us; when we are so well contented with
the fancied communion which we enjoy with them, as
to neglect or feel disinclined for the real communion
which our blessed Saviour invites us to hold with Him-
self; and when the imagination of their presence and
204 MARY ELLIOT.

sympathy deprives us of the realization of the con-
tinual presence of that Saviour; of the full knowledge
He has of all that passes in our hearts ; of His perfect
sympathy in all our joys and sorrows; of the obliga-
tion which is upon us to do all things to Him and for
Him; to devote the best and highest of all our facul-
ties to His service.”

Again Evelyn mused thoughtfully for some minutes.

* You may be right in all this, Susan,” she said,
almost sadly ; “ but there is a pleasure in such dreams
which I cannot resolve to forego.”

“ But you are not required to forego it,” Susan re-
plied, gently. ‘“ Only to enjoy it in moderation. And
then, you know, we are not to set our imaginations to
sleep, only to try to employ them in a more profitable
manner.”

“Tn what manner, then, dear Susan?” asked
Evelyn, smiling.

“Don’t you think we might find useful and plea-
sant occupation for them, in setting them to devise
plans to render life more beautiful and happy to others ?
Or they might teach us to know what influence our
conduct may have upon the feelings of those around
us, according to their peculiar tempers or dispositions
—what we ought to guard against in our behaviour
towards them—what may have a good or what a bad
effect upon them. Would that not be as interesting
as dreaming over the tempers and feelings of ideal
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 205

personages, and inventing situations in which to place
them ?”

“ All this may do for you, Susan,” Evelyn replied,
sadly, “for you have brothers and sisters to whom
you may be of use ; but as for me, there is not a
single being in all the world whose comfort or happi-
ness is in the smallest degree dependent on my exer-
tions. You know I have never been strong, never
able to enter into the active pursuits and amusements
of girls of my own age ; and so I have learned to seek
my best companions in my books, or in those ideal
personages you speak of, whose characters I can make
to suit my fancy in every respect. Ihave never had
a real companion or friend to whom my exertions
could be of any use. And dear mamma, you know, is
more ready to anticipate my every wish, than to call
upon me for any of those little acts of service or kind-
ness which other girls may be able to perform.”

“But, dear Evelyn,” said Susan, affectionately and
kindly, “mamma says that we have all a sphere of
usefulness given to us, if we will only be careful to fill
it rightly. She says that if we were to spend half the
time in endeavouring earnestly to see the means of
usefulness which lie before us every day and hour, that
we waste in vain wishes that we had more to do, or
in vain speculations as to what we might do in other
situations, we should soon find employment for every
spare moment, and for every faculty of mind and
206 MARY ELLIOT.

body. Even as regards your mamma, dear Evelyn,
if you were once to get accustomed to consider more
seriously and constantly what you can do to serve
her, you would find a hundred little comforts which
you could give her, a hundred little annoyances which
you might remove out of her way, and of whose
existence you are at present quite unconscious, because
your dreams leave you no time to observe her.”

“ But, Susan,” said Evelyn, smiling, though still
rather sadly, “ if I were to follow your advice, I fear
that my old delightful visions would soon tempt me
back to them again, before I had, as you say, got
accustomed to such observation or such activity.”

Susan thought that this might very likely be the
case, but she did not discourage Evelyn by saying so.
She thought for a few minutes, and then said,—

“T am sure, dear Evelyn, that we might all find
full occupation for all our thoughts and powers of use-
fulness in our own houses, without ever leaving them,
if we were only sufficiently careful to find them out.
But, perhaps, in your peculiar case, we ought to de-
vise some new object of interest, which might be
attractive enough to make you give up your dreams.
And then when their hold upon you is lessened by
habit, you may find it easier to keep them in the back-
ground, even when less interesting employments claim
your notice.”

* And do you know of any such object, dear Susan ?”
SUSAN AND EVELYN, 207

asked Evelyn, eagerly. “ Believe me, this is not the
first time that I have been made to feel the uselessness
of the life I lead.”

Susan told her that she had thought of a plan
which might perhaps please her. There was an old
woman, she said, who lived near Mrs. Harcourt’s
gate, and in whom the Hamiltons were much inter-
ested. She was the old Jenny of whom mention was
made in the beginning of my story. Her only son
had been very unfortunate in his choice of a wife—
she was a worthless, bad tempered woman, who had
broken his heart, and she was now by neglect, vio-
lence, and bad example, in the fair way to ruin his
children, Soon after his death, about two years ago,
Jenny had adopted one of the girls, and had taken her
away from her mother altogether. She had taken her
to live with herself, and had with some difficulty con-
trived to support her, and to pay her school-fees.
But now she had heard that one of the boys was in
very bad health, and that his mother neglected him in
the most shameful manner.

“Poor old Jenny is nearly heart-broken about
him,” said Susan, “and yet she cannot take him as
long as little Jenny is on her hands. Now, dear
Evelyn, if your mamma liked, as you have plenty of
money of your own, you say, would it not be a plea-
sant and interesting thing for you to take charge of
her? Perhaps your mamma might allow you to have
208 MARY ELLIOT.



her to live here, and to be taught the different kinds of
household work by your servants. And the planning ©
about her education, the watching over her might be
a pleasant occupation for you.”

“ T like your plan very much, Susan,” said Evelyn,
“and I am sure that mamma will consent to it. She is
always anxious to gratify any wish of mine, and she is
always ready to help those who need help. I feel in-
terested already in my little charge, and hope that we
may be of use to her. We can either allow her to live .
on with her grandmother, paying a certain sum to her
for her board, clothes, and school-fees, or, if you and
mamma like, we can, as you propose, get her into
the house and put her under the housemaid, who is a
very steady, good servant, and who can teach her to
work.”

“T believe the last will be the best plan, if your
mamma does not object,” replied Susan. “ Mamma
said the other day, that she thought the best thing
that could happen to little Jenny, would be, for some
lady to take her into her house, as we propose that you
should do. It would be both pleasanter and better for
her to feel that she was doing something to earn her
own bread, than to feel herself quite dependent upon
you. You may, if you like, send her to the evening-
school after her work is done, for I believe she is rather
far back in her education for her age.”

“ Or I might try to teach her myself in the evening,
SUSAN AND EVELYN. 209

Susan. Unless I do something of that kind, I am
afraid that your plan will scarcely do me all the good
you propose; though I do hope it may be good for
little Jenny and her grandmother. But I shall not find
much occupation for my thoughts about her, I am
afraid. You know I can do nothing to make her a
good servant—that must be the housemaid’s work.”

“The housemaid may teach her how to clean a room
or scour a grate properly,” replied Susan; “ she may
perhaps teach her habits of regularity, industry, clean-
liness, but she must be taught many other things be-
fore she can become such a valuable servant as you will
wish her to be: one who can be trusted to do every
part of her work in the very best way, whether she
is watched or not: one who has her mistress’ interests
really at heart; who will be as scrupulously anxious
not to waste or destroy her mistress’ property as if it
were her own: one who will, by her good temper—by
her civil, obliging manners, make the work of the
house go on smoothly and pleasantly, both for her
mistress and for her fellow-servants. You wish Jenny
to become such a servant as this?”

“ Yes I do, Susan,” said Evelyn, heartily; “ and
I am willing to do anything that is in my power to
help her to grow up such acharacter. Only tell me
what I can do.”

“ You can teach her that she ought to desire to feel
and to act in this way; that these are the habits she

0
210 MARY ELLIOT.

ought to acquire. You must consider seriously all the
difficulties, trials, and temptations to which servants
are exposed, and consider them in reference to what
you find to be Jenny’s natural temper and disposition ;
so that you may know what tendencies to encourage
in her, what to restrain, and what more particularly to
guard her against. So you see, Evelyn, you will have
a great deal to do and a great deal to think of.”

Evelyn was not inclined to draw back from her en-
gagement on account of the amount of occupation which
Susan pointed out to her. On the contrary, she be-
came only the more interested and the more anxious
to have the matter settled. This was soon done.
Mrs. Harcourt gave her consent at once, and went
with Susan in the afternoon to speak to the grand-
mother, The poor old woman was thankful to accept
such a kind offer; and even the housemaid, upon whom
the labour of teaching her was to devolve, expressed
the utmost willingness to undertake the task, and great
hopes as to the result, from what she had remarked in
little Jenny’s behaviour to her grandmother.

“Thank you, dear Susan,” said Evelyn, as Susan
was leaving her at night, “ for providing me with such
interesting food for my thoughts. Jenny’s happiness
and comfort will be so very dependent upon me, that —
I am sure I shall find it easy to drive my old dreams
into the background, and to force them to leave me
leisure to devise plans for her good.”


SUSAN AND EVELYN. 211

‘And then, Evelyn,” said Susan, smiling, “ when
you have once taught them their proper place, they
will not be so apt to intrude, even when the subject to
which you wish to direct your thoughts is not so in-
teresting or so important; they will soon allow you to
turn your attention even to the comfort and happiness
of those who are quite independent of you; they will
give you time to observe, and to devise schemes for
removing little annoyances or obstacles out of the way
even of those whose path seems already smooth and
agreeable.”

“ What particular annoyances or obstacles are you
thinking of in saying that, Susan?” asked Evelyn,
smiling.

Susan laughed, and asked Evelyn why she supposed
that she was thinking of any particular annoyance.

“ Oh, from the way in which you said it,” replied
Evelyn, “ I guessed that you were thinking of some
service, or kind of service, which you thought I ought
to be more ready to render.”

“ Well,” replied Susan, “I did think how easily
you might give pleasure to Mary and Bessie, by merely
taking a little interest in their pursuits; by encourag-
ing them to tell you about their different plans and
contrivances in their gardens, and such like things.
And you know, dear Evelyn, when we learn to look
around upon others, to observe their feelings, and to
consider how we may best please them, or may best
212 MARY ELLIOT.

help them to do right, we will find that almost every
hour will bring some little service that we can render
them.”

“J know that I have yet to learn to observe the
feelings and wants of others,” replied Evelyn, thought-
fully, “and I thank you, dear Susan, for convincing
me of this.”

After this day the friendship between Susan and
Evelyn advanced very rapidly. Evelyn often came to
Mrs. Hamilton for advice about her little protégée ;
and Susan and she were together whenever they
could. As Susari had said, Evelyn’s indifference
towards others proceeded entirely from her never
having been convinced of the propriety of thinking

about those around her, or of considering how she -

could serve them. Mrs. Hamilton assisted and en-
couraged her greatly in her endeavours to acquire
habits of doing so, and there was soon a great im-
provement in her. She soon learned to adopt and act
upon Mrs. Hamilton’s maxim, that every one around
us has a claim to our kindness and sympathy; that
God gives them such a claim, when He in His pro-
vidence brings them into connexion with us. And

now that her mind was fairly aroused from her fanciful _

dreams and reveries, she found a real pleasure in en-
deavouring to enter into the feelings of all, and to do

all she could to make every one she met happier than

they would have been without her.


SUSAN AND EVELYN. 213

And Evelyn found a reward for her efforts in this
way in the increased affection which every one felt
for her. The boys soon began to think that they had
been mistaken, when they thought that she was a
mere fine lady. She was delicate and not able for
long walks, they said, but that was not her fault;
and when she did join any of their excursions, Ned
and Grahame would vie with each other which was
to show her the greatest attention, or be the most
ready to help her in little difficulties.

Mary and Bessie, too, were forced to confess that
Susan had formed a truer estimate of her than they
had, and that she really was a very nice girl.

The experiment with little Jenny turned out well
for her, as well as for her young teacher. She was a
gentle-tempered, docile girl. The housemaid took much
pains with her, and said, that she was so anxious
to learn, it was a positive pleasure to teach her.
She turned out just such a faithful, conscientious,
pleasant servant as Susan had described, and often
used in after years to declare, that she owed all her
success in life to the gentle instructions, the kind care,
and constant watchfulness of Miss Evelyn.
214 MARY ELLIOT.



CHAPTER IX.
THE THUNDER-STORM.

I am not sure whether I have ever explained to
you, that all the houses I have mentioned, Hazel
Bank, Worsleigh, Mrs. Harcourt’s, and the Castle, are
situated in a deep and very well sheltered bay, with a
range of high hills running nearly all the way round
it, and stretching out far into the sea, protecting them ‘.
from the storms and blasts of the ocean. The scenery
on the other side of this range of hills presents a
striking contrast to the smiling beauty of our bay, with
its fine woods, its grassy links, its cheerful farm-houses,
and gentlemen’s seats. On the other side, nothing is
to be seen but wild rugged precipices, high rocks with
scarcely a patch of verdure, only here and there a
few stunted, gnarled trees, which look as if they had
grown old without having had time to grow large, as
if their whole lives had been passed in wild contention
with tempests and hurricanes. ;

The most striking features in this wild scene are


THE THUNDER-STORM. 215

the ruins of an old castle which stands upon the sum-
mit of one of the highest precipices, and a long range
of very curious caves. The ruins are of considerable
extent, and part of them in very good preservation.
There is, or rather was at the time of my story, a fine
old chapel, which was much admired by antiquarians,
and which possessed great attractions to the young
people, in a range of curious vaults which ran under
the whole building, and which afforded them the
groundwork for many wild fanciful tales of persecu-
tion and imprisonment in the olden times.

Our friends at Worsleigh and Hazel Sank were
in the habit of making parties of pleasure almost every
summer to these ruins, and such a party had been
long arranged to take place as soon as possible after
the beginning of the boys’ holidays.

The third of September was the day fixed upon, and
the young people had been looking forward to it, and
talking about it, for a month or six weeks before.

When the day came, however, it was found that
neither Caroline nor the Harcourts could be of the
party. Caroline was subject to severe and tedious
colds, and the one which you may remember she com-
plained of on the Saturday of the hot-bed scheme, had
hung so long about her, that at last the doctor had
ordered her to remain in her room until it was en-
tirely gone. Evelyn Harcourt was not well either,
and her mother was unwilling to go without her.
216 MARY ELLIOT.

Much as our young friends were set on their ex-
cursion, they were all willing to defer it until Caroline
and Evelyn were better and able to go with them.
But they both insisted on the original plan being
adhered to. It would be too late in the year if they
waited any longer, they said; Mr. Elliot, William, and
Frederick, were all able to go then, and might not
be able at another time; and in short they would not
hear of any delay on their account: so as the third of
September was a beautiful warm day, the long talked
of plan was made out.

All the young people, except Madeline, went in a
boat, which landed them at a flight of steps cut out of
the solid rock, leading up to the ruins in one direc-
tion, and to the caves in the other. Captain Hamilton
went with them to help William and Frederick to
keep them out of danger—to prevent them, as he
said, from drowning themselves, or one another. Mrs.
Hamilton, Madeline, and Mer. Elliot, went in Mr.
Elliot’s carriage, by a wild but beautiful road over the
hills. They carried with them a large basket of pro-
visions, which were to be consumed in a room in the
Castle, where there were some remains of furniture, a



long table, some curious old chairs, and one or two ’

old-fashioned settles.

The water party enjoyed themselves very much.
The sea was perfectly calm, and such a beautiful deep
blue. There was not enough of wind for their sail,

Sailing a Sa ae te
THE THUNDER-STORM. 217

but they had several stout rowers besides Ned and
Grahame, who considered themselves as efficient as
any of the party. The day was very hot for the time
of year, and Gertrude declared that she could imagine
no greater luxury than to be borne along with such an
easy motion, without any exertion, enjoying the beau-
tiful views of land and sea, and listening to the cool
sound of the water as the boat passed on. The sun,
she said, seemed obligingly to have put on a slight
veil, so as not to incommode them with his full radi-
ance; for although there was not a cloud to be seen
as they shot across the bay, nor even any visible haze,
still he was certainly not pouring upon them his most
powerful rays.

“T don’t much like your favourable veil, Gertrude,”
remarked William. ‘It is pleasant, certainly, but not
a good sign of the weather.”

“Oh! it will be fine long enough to serve our pur-
pose,” cried Ned. “There is no cloud in sight from
which rain can come, and no wind to bring up any for
some hours.”

After a long and pleasant row through the smooth
water, they rounded the promontory, and came sud-
denly on the wild and savage scenery on the other
side. Gertrude was much struck by the contrast. She
had not been here since she was a child, and she had
quite forgotten the place. There seemed even a differ-
ent sky here from what had been over them in the
r a

218 MARY ELLIOT.

smiling bay they had left. The view opened up to
seaward, and they could now see a mass of heavy,
angry-looking clouds, which seemed to rest upon the
water in the horizon, One of the seamen pointed to

these clouds, ‘and said that they betokened a thunder- —

storm.

“ They are grand, very grand,” said Gertrude, in a
tone of more enthusiasm than any one had ever heard
her use before. ‘They suit so well with those wild
barren rocks. I am glad they are there—they add so
much to the effect of the scene.”

“T hope, however,” said William, smiling, “ that
they may allow us to get home before they begin to
give us their contents. An open boat is not a very
pleasant abode for ladies in a thunder-storm, and we
are not too well supplied with cloaks or plaids.”

The sailor who had pointed out the clouds said,
that he did not think there was much reason to fear
rain before they would be at home again. They were
quite at the horizon, and seemed to be moving very
slowly, scarcely at all.

They now pulled in to shore, and the party landed,
and went up to the ruins. They were soon joined by
the others, and after going over the Castle, they all
went to inspect the caves, except Mrs. Hamilton, who
thought that the scrambling walk through them was
too fatiguing on such a hot day, and who remained in
the room in the Castle where they proposed to dine.




ules
THE THUNDER-STORM. 219

The inspection of the caves occupied a considerable
time, and our party were startled when they emerged
from them at the rapid approach of the threatening
black clouds, and at the sudden change in the appear-
ance of the weather.

The clouds were now high in the heavens, and
seemed, as Mary said, to have sent forerunners to the .
sun to warn him to retire. The haze, which had be-
fore merely slightly dimmed his splendour, was now so
thick that his rays could scarcely penetrate it. A
hollow, moaning sound was coming across the sea;
and although there was little wind on land, the waves
were beginning slowly to rise and break upon the
rocks with a deep, solemn sound.

“Your thunder-storm has come up faster than we
expected, William,” said Captain Hamilton, as they
stood for a few minutes to gaze upon the grand spec-
tacle which the angry sea and sky presented.

“Yes,” said William, “but it has come up so fast, that
it may probably be over before we wish to go home.
If not, I think we might manage to pack all the girls
into the carriage, and we gentlemen must take our
chance in the boat.”

The ladies laughed at the idea of their all getting
into the carriage, which was by no means a large one,
and declared they must either go home by the boat,
or remain at the Castle all night.

“ You would have but dreary sleeping apartments,”
220 MARY ELLIOT.













said Mr. Elliot, laughing. ‘ But in the mean time we
may congratulate ourselves upon having such a com-
fortable dining-room, for there is the distant thunder
beginning already, and we shall have a good deluge
of rain before these clouds have discharged them-
selves.”

“ Are they not very grand, papa?” said Gertrude ;
‘* with those fine mountainous heads that look so an-
grily in the face of the sun. What a depth there seems
in them! If we all get comfortably home, I shall be
glad to have seen this magnificent scenery in a thun-
der-storm. Itis the very place for one.”

“ T am glad for your sake, Gertrude, since you ad-
mire it so much,” said Mr. Elliot, kindly ; “ and I don’t
feel much uneasiness about our return home. We have
several hours to spare, and a storm which comes up so
quickly seldom lasts long.”

“ But do not you think, papa,” said Gertrude, ‘that
that black sea suits much better with those rocks and
precipices, than such a bright blue calm lake as we
crossed this morning ?”

“ Yes, Gertrude, it is very fine. But I am not
quite sure that you will like its motion when you come
to go home, unless its white waves have exhausted
themselves by that time. I must warn the men to
secure the boat well,” he continued; “and do you,
William, see about some shelter for the horses and
carriage, and advise the sailors and servants to bring


THE THUNDER-STORM. 221

their dinner up to the Castle, where they may be pro-
tected from the storm.”

These matters having been attended to, the party
went to their own dinner, which Mrs. Hamilton had
arranged for them on the long table in the room which
I have mentioned, and they were soon all busy in dis-
cussing the good things provided for them.

So busy and so merry were they, that no one remem-
bered to note the progress of the storm, and there was
so much noise of talking, laughing, and clattering of
plates, knives, and forks, that even the thunder was
unheeded while it continued distant. Just as they
finished dinner, however, a very brilliant flash of
lightning, followed at no great distance by a loud peal
of thunder, aroused their attention, and caused them
to remark the increased darkness.

“T saw that flash come out of the cloud,” cried
Gertrude, who was sitting opposite one of the win-
dows. ‘“ It seemed to go down into the sea, and then
up into the clouds again. It was very awful and very
beautiful.”

“ The whole scene is grand and awful,” said Cap-
tain Hamilton, rising, and going'to the window.

Gertrude joined him. The clouds had now spread
over almost the whole sky, and seemed to rest like a
black wall upon the water at apparently no great dis-
tance from them. The wind had risen, and the sea
was much agitated; the white crests of the waves
222 MARY ELLIOT,

making the surrounding blackness the more striking,
There was an air of solemnity and grandeur in the
whole scene; the waves seemed to rise slowly and
sullenly as they rolled in on the shore and dashed
against the rocks; there seemed even something un-
usually solemn in the breeze, as it caused the few gnarled
trees below the windows to sway backwards and for-
wards with a deliberate, measured motion, and sounded
a melancholy wailing music past the corners and
through the crevices of the old Castle.

All the party left the table, and stationed themselves
near the different windows, watching in silent awe the
lightning, as flash after flash parted the black mass of
clouds before them. The roll of the thunder was al-
most unceasing from the numerous echoes in the rocks
around them. Nearer and nearer the storm came,
there was less and less interval between the lightning
and the peal; until at last one more than ordinarily
brilliant flash was succeeded instantaneously by a clap
of thunder, which seemed to shake the whole building.
As the noise of this peal began to die away, a loud
crashing sound was heard, as if of the fall of some part
of the ruins, and again the walls seemed to shake.

Mary gave aslight scream, and hid her face in Mrs.
Hawilton’s dress. The gentlemen looked at one an-
other with an expression of anxiety. There was a
moment's silence, Captain Hamilton was the first to

speak.


THE THUNDER-STORM. 223

“ Some part of the building has been struck,” he
said, calmly. “ We must ascertain what part. It may
be unsafe to remain here.”

Just as he said these words, they heard one of the
men calling to his comrades, who were in the room
below theirs,—

“It is the old chapel which has been struck,” he
said. ‘One end and the whole side has fallen, but as
it is on the opposite side of the court, we are safe
enough. These thick old walls can still stand many a
shock.”

There was another bright flash at this moment, but
the interval before the thunder was perceptibly much
longer.

“ The storm is leaving us,” said Mr. Elliot, cheers
fully; “but the rain is beginning. It is a comfort
that we are not obliged to leave this shelter. What a
mercy, too, that we are all here together, and have no
cause for apprehension.”

He was interrupted by a half scream from Ger-
- trude,

‘6 Madeline! where is Madeline?” she cried, “ she
is not here.”

One quick glance round the room convinced every
one that she was right, and Ned now remembered that
she had left the room when the lightning began, as she
said that she felt nervous, and did not like to hear
people talking around her in a storm.


224 MARY ELLIOT.

“ My child! my child!” cried Mr. Elliot, in a tone
of agony, hurrying to the door.

The other gentlemen followed. A terrible convic-
tion seemed to seize upon every one, that if Madeline
had been safe, she would have hastened to them upon
the alarm of the falling building.

Mrs. Hamilton gently disengaged herself from Mary's
grasp, who clung convulsively to her, and calling upon
Susan and Bessie to support her, she turned anxiously
to Gertrude.

Gertrude had sunk down, pale and trembling, upon
one of the settles near her, and she remained motion-
less like a statue, her head a little thrown back, and
her eyes fixed upon the door, as if expecting every
moment to hear or see something confirmatory of her
worst fears.

A hurried step was heard upon the stairs. Captain
Hamilton came in. His face was pale, and wore an
expression of horror. He tried to make a sign to his
wife, unobserved by Gertrude, to speak to him; but
Gertrude started up, and eagerly implored him to tell .
her all he knew, all he had heard.

He seated her again gently, and sat down beside her.

“« We know nothing certainly,” he said; “ we have
found nothing to tell us.”

Gertrude shuddered as the thought passed through
her mind, that the first thing they might find might be
Madeline’s dead body crushed under the ruins. Cap-


THE THUNDER-STORM, 225

tain Hamilton stopped, and looked at her affectionately
and anxiously. Mrs. Hamilton brought her some
water. Gertrude swallowed a mouthful, and as soon
as she could speak, again begged Captain Hamilton to
tell her all.

That all was soon told, but it was of a nature to
awaken the most lively apprehensions. One of the
servants had met Madeline, and she had told him, that
if any one asked for her, he might say that she had
gone to sit in one of the vaults below the chapel. She
did not like to see the lightning, she said, and knew
that she would not see it there, as the only entrance
faced the east, and the storm was coming from the

‘west. There was still a faint hope that she might
have escaped unhurt. The vaults were very strongly
built and arched, and they might possibly have stood
when the rest of the chapel fell; but this hope was
very slight. The stones and rubbish of the wall had
completely choked up the entrance, and it must take a
long time to remove them and to clear a passage, even
if they knew exactly where to begin; but ignorant as
they were in which vault Madeline had taken refuge,
she might be suffocated for want of air before they
could reach her.

“Where is papa?” asked Gertrude, in a tone of
forced and unnatural calmness.

Captain Hamilton told her that he was engaged in
giving orders for the immediate removal of the rubbish.

P
226 MARY ELLIOT.

“ Go to him, oh, go to him!” cried Gertrude. “Do
not be afraid for me—do not think of me—go to him!”
she exclaimed, with increased vehemence, when she
saw that Captain Hamilton hesitated to leave her.

Mrs. Hamilton joined in entreating him to return
immediately to Mr. Elliot; and after another anxious
look at Gertrude, whose unnatural composure alarmed
him, he rose and left them.

Mrs. Hamilton took her seat beside Gertrude. She
put her arms round her and drew her tenderly towards
her. Gertrude shuddered again, and seemed to shrink
from her.

“ Do not shrink from me, dear Gertrude,” said Mrs.
Hamilton, in a tone of tender compassion, which no
heart could have resisted. ‘ Do not look upon me as
a stranger. Your dear mother loved and trusted me,
Gertrude; and will you not take me as her substitute
in this terrible hour of anxiety? She often sought
comfort and sympathy from me in sorrow; for her
sake, I entreat you, let me have the satisfaction of
feeling that I am a support to her darling child in
such a bitter trial.”

Gertrude’s coldness and calmness yielded to Mrs.
Hamilton’s affectionate entreaties. She laid her head
upon her shoulder, and pressed the hand that was
round her waist with a convulsive earnestness.

Mary came up to them and knelt at Gertrude’s feet,
with her head resting upon her knees, and her eyes
THE THUNDER-STORM. 227

intently fixed upon her face. Her fears for Madeline
seemed almost forgotten in the anxiety and alarm
which she felt at the deathly paleness of Gertrude’s
face, and the rigid stillness of every feature—of every
limb. She did not speak to her, but she took the cold
hand that lay upon her knee and kissed it repeatedly
with earnest affection, while her tears fell fast and
silently upon it. Gertrude scarcely seemed to heed
her at the time; but she remembered long afterwards
the warm affection—the tender anxiety which both
she and Mrs. Hamilton had displayed towards her ;
and it had the effect of entirely changing her feelings
towards: them,

They remained in this posture for some time in per-
fect silence. Nothing was heard but the roll of the
now distant thunder, the sighing of the wind, the dash
of the waves, and now and then the sound of rolling
stones, which reminded them of the melancholy task
in which the others were engaged. Gertrude some-
times shuddered, or drew a long, convulsive breath
when this sound met her ear, but otherwise she
never moved or gave any sign of consciousness or
feeling.

Another hurried step is heard upon the stair, and
William enters.

“You have good news,” exclaimed Mary, springing
up as soon as she saw the expression of his face..
“Oh! I’m sure you have good news,” she continued,
228 MARY ELLIOT.

running to take his outstretched hand, and giving way
to a passionate burst of tears,

At these words, Gertrude tried to raise herself,
tried to look up, but a sudden faintness came over her,
and she would have fallen back upon the seat, if Mrs.
Hamilton had not supported her. Mrs. Hamilton
loosened the handkerchief which was round her throat,
William bathed her forehead with cold water, and
in a few minutes they had the pleasure of seeing one
or two tears steal slowly down her cheek.

“ What is your news, William?” she asked, in a
faint, trembling voice. ‘Oh! speak quickly.”

William was afraid to speak too quickly, afraid
to raise their hopes too high; for Madeline was not
yet safe, although they had good reason to hope
that she might be rescued from her present perilous
position.

As they proceeded in their examination of the ruins,
they had found more and more ground to believe that
the vaults were still standing, that the great thickness
of their walls had enabled them to resist the shock
which had brought down the rest of the chapel. But
they had also found even more difficulty than they
had anticipated, in endeavouring to calculate where
they ought to begin their labours. They had called
upon Madeline repeatedly, but had received no answer.
and it was with a feeling of despondency that they
began to remove the stones and rubbish, with the
THE THUNDER-STORM. 229

melancholy conviction that they might find after all,
that they had been working in a wrong direction.

Grahame’s little favourite dog and constant com-
panion, Willie, had been running about among the
stones, appearing very much excited and busy as if in
search of something, and now just as they were be-
ginning to work, he gave a short, quick bark of joy
and disappeared behind a heap of rubbish. Grahame
called to him to come back, for he feared that he
might bring some of the rubbish down upon himself;
but Willie either did not hear or was determined not
to heed his master’s whistle; he remained out of sight
for two or three minutes, and then returned to them
wagging his tail, jumping up and manifesting great
signs of happiness; Grahame stooped to take hold of
him, and discovered a glove carefully fastened into
his collar.

“Oh, papa, it is Madeline's glove! I am sure this
is Madeline’s glove!” he cried. ‘“ Willie has found her
out, and she has sent this to tell us that she is safe.”

All now crowded round Willie, and were soon con-
vinced that it was, as Grahame had said, Madeline's
glove, and that she must herself have fastened it into
the collar. Grahame had taught Willie to fetch and
carry, to know the different members of the family by
name, and to go to them when he was desired. And
now whenever Grahame said, “ Seek, seek, Willie,
seek Madeline,” he set off again over the same heap of
230 MARY ELLIOT.

rubbish, wagging his tail and looking back to invite
them to follow. He led them close up to the wall of
the ruins, to a place where two or three of the long
stones forming the sides of the windows had fallen in
such a way as to support one another, and to keep off
the lesser stones and rubbish. Willie crept through
the narrow opening which was formed in this way.
They heard his short bark of joy, and Mr. Elliot
stooping down and calling “ Madeline,” had the heart-
felt happiness to hear her voice answer him, and assure
him that she was uninjured, only faint from the close-
ness of the air, and from the terrible alarm which she
had got.

William had immediately come to relieve the minds
of those in the Castle. There was still, however,
ground for apprehension, They had to be cautious in
their attempts to enlarge the opening sufficiently to
admit of Madeline passing out, as there was great
danger of the rubbish around falling in when they
began to move the large stones.

This suspense and doubt did not last long. Wil-
liam’s story was scarcely concluded, scarcely under-
stood or realized by his auditors, before Grahame
came up to them, breathless with joy, to bring the
news that Madeline was out of her terrible prison, and
was even then on her way to them,

Gertrude was eager to go to meet her, but William
prevented her, representing that Madeline must be
THE THUNDER-STORM. 231

much agitated, and that Gertrude must calm herself
before she saw her.

Grahame said that Madeline was very faint, that
his papa was going to carry her up stairs, and that he
had said she must lie down, and rest in perfect
quietness for some time, before they could return, and
before he could allow her to speak, or to give them
any account of what had happened.

Gertrude had, as we know, great command over
herself. She became at once quite composed, and
although her hands trembled, and her breathing was
qiick and short, she occupied herself as quietly and
apparently as collectedly as usual, in assisting Mrs.
Hamilton to arrange the cloaks and plaids upon the
settle, so as to make a comfortable couch for Madeline
to lie upon.

Just as they had finished this, Frederick came up to
warn them to be very quiet and calm, to avoid every-
thing that might agitate Madeline, as she was still very
nervous and faint. And then Mr. Elliot came in with
her in his arms. Her eyes were closed, the eye-brows
raised with an expression of fear or horror, and her
cheeks and lips were so deadly pale, that Gertrude
could scarcely believe that she had really sustained no
injury.

She opened her eyes for a moment, and tried to
smile when she saw Gertrude, but she seemed quite
exhausted, and unable to bear the full light in the
232 MARY ELLIOT.

room. She closed them again, and appeared almost
unconscious, Mr. Elliot laid her gently upon the sofa,
and Mrs. Hamilton brought some wine and water to
her. At first she seemed scarcely able to swallow, but
after the first two or three mouthfuls she revived a
little, opened her eyes again, and stretched out her
hand to Gertrude. Gertrude knelt down beside her.

“T am so sleepy and tired,” whispered Madeline,
faintly.

“Go to sleep, then, my darling,” said her father,
tenderly. ‘“ We will all leave you in quietness, and
go into another room.” i

“Oh! papa,” said Gertrude, earnestly, “ you must
not ask me to leave her. I will not move, or speak,
but I must watch her.”

“T could not be so cruel as to ask you to leave her,
my love,” said Mr. Elliot, smiling kindly. “I will
return to you whenever we have settled some plan for
all getting home.”

It was by no means easy to arrange any plan for
the whole party returning home. The thunder had
quite passed away, but the rain was very heavy, and
there seemed little prospect of its ceasing for some
hours. The sea was very rough, too, so that those who
went in the boat must expect to be wet with the spray,
and all agreed that none of the girls could be of that
party. Neither could they think of adopting William’s
proposal, that all the ladies should go in the carriage.
THE THUNDER-STORM. 233

In Madeline’s weak state, that was quite out of the
question, even if it had been possible otherwise. After
some consultation it was at last decided, that the boys,
William and Frederick, should return in the boat to
Hazel Bank as quickly as possible, to relieve Caro-
line’s mind of any anxiety she might feel for their
safety.

Captain Hamilton was to go to Worsleigh with the
three girls, to endeavour to borrow fresh horses from
some of the neighbours, to send back in the carriage
for the others; for the road was so steep, it would be
almost too much for their own horses to come back,
without a longer rest than there was time to allow
them. This having been settled, Mrs. Hamilton and
Mr. Elliot only waited to see both parties fairly off,
and then returned to Gertrude and Madeline.

Madeline was asleep; she was still very pale; the
expression of terror had left her features, and she
seemed to sleep pretty quietly. Gertrude still knelt
by her side. Madeline had fallen asleep with her
hand clasped in hers, and she feared to move, lest she
might awaken her. At one time when Madeline had
turned her face more round to the window, the light
seemed to disturb her, and Gertrude had extended her
other hand over to grasp the back of the sofa, so that
the shawl which she wore formed a screen for Made-
line’s eyes. In this constrained and wearisome pos-
ture, Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Hamilton found her, but she
234 MARY ELLIOT.

seemed quite unconscious of fatigue, every feeling was
absorbed in delight at Madeline’s safety, and in anxiety
for her perfect recovery.

Her father was much affected by the tender, anxious
expression of Gertrude’s countenance, as she watched
to see what he thought of Madeline’s appearance, now
that he saw her again. It was so different from the
calm, quiet indifference of her usual manner. It re-
minded him vividly of the tender, watchful care which
she had displayed towards her mother during her last
illness; and he felt almost thankful for the terrible
alarm they had experienced, since it had been the
means of calling forth those deep affections which few
could believe that Gertrude really possessed—which
she herself believed were for ever dried up in her
heart.

Mrs. Hamilton found some means of hanging up
a shawl before the window. Mr. Elliot drew in a
chair beside the couch, sat down upon it, and made
Gertrude lean against him, while she could still retain
Madeline’s hand. In this posture they all resigned
themselves to wait with patience the return of the
carriage.

In about half an hour Madeline awoke. She was
much startled and confused at first, but soon began to
recover her recollection, and said that she felt much
better—quite well, only weak and tired. Mrs. Hamil-
ton persuaded her to take a little more wine and water,
THE THUNDER-STORM. 285

and to eat a little biscuit; and this refreshed her so
much, that she felt inclined to talk and ask questions.

“Not yet, my darling,” said Mr. Elliot, gently.
“ You must keep quiet till you are quite well. Try to
sleep again, for you may weary before the carriage
comes back.”

Madeline could not go to sleep until she knew if
there was any chance of Caroline's being alarmed on
their account. Mr. Elliot satisfied her on this head,
by telling her that Caroline knew that they could have
shelter in the Castle from the storm, and that the party
in the boat would probably arrive even before she
could expect them, as they had started at an earlier
hour than had before been agreed upon, and both wind
and tide were quite in their favour.

Madeline did fall asleep again, and for another half
hour the other three had nothing to do but to watch
her, and to meditate upon the contrast between the
stillness of the room now, and the noise and gaiety of
which it had been the scene a few hours before; upon
the contrast, too, between their present feelings of
peace and thankfulness, with the fearful suspense and
anxiety which they had endured.

At the end of this time they were all startled by the
sound of carriage-wheels. Their party could not be
more than half way to Worsleigh yet, but certainly
they did hear the sound of a carriage coming down
the road. None of them liked to leave the room to
236 MARY ELLIOT.

ascertain, lest they might awaken Madeline. The
sound ceased, and in a few minutes one of the servants
who had been left behind, came up to tell them that
Caroline had sent to borrow Mrs. Harcourt’s carriage
and horses, and had sent it for them, as she knew that
they could not all return in their own.

Never was arrival more opportune, more welcome.
Mr. Elliot had been thinking with some anxiety of the
length of time which must elapse before the carriage
could return, and of the dangers of the rough, hilly’
road after daylight was gone.

There was a short note, too, from Caroline, to re-
lieve any anxiety they might feel for her. She wrote
to beg that they would not, on her account, start upon
their return home sooner than they thought advisable.
She should not feel at all alarmed, she said, although
they were an hour or two later than they had promised
of returning home; her mind was quite at ease about
them from the description William had given her of
the rooms in the Castle where they could have shelter.

Mr. Elliot smiled as he read this note.

“ She will be very glad, however,” he said, “ to see
her husband home in safety, even before the time we
had led her to expect us. But now we must get these
things packed up, and set off as soon as possible.”

I have been so particular in my detail of all the
events of this day, that I intend to pass over in silence
the journey and the arrival at home.
THE THUNDER-STORM,. 237

Madeline was less fatigued than they expected by
the journey. But her nerves had received a shock
from which they could not easily recover. For some
weeks her sleep was every night interrupted by fear-
ful dreams, and even while awake a sudden faintness
would often oppress her, as she seemed again to hear the
fearful crash, again to see the sudden darkness of the
vault, again to feel the conviction that she was buried
alive in such a terrible manner.

Mr. Elliot, alarmed by the long continuance of these
nervous feelings, and by her paleness and languor, de-
termined to try the effect of change of air and scene;
and as soon as Caroline’s cold was quite gone, Mr.
Elliot, William, Caroline, and Madeline, set off upon
an excursion to the English Lakes, which neither Ca-
roline nor Madeline had ever seen.

Gertrude was left in charge of the household. Ca-
roline now felt little uneasiness at leaving her and
Mary alone. Even before the accident, Gertrude’s
manner to Mary had been much improved. She had
given up entirely the cold sarcasm with which she
used to irritate Mary, and she had learned to bear
Mary’s petulance with a degree of patience which
often astonished Caroline. But a still more marked
change had taken place since the thunder-storm. Ger-
trude could not forget Mary’s affectionate anxiety for
her on that day. She had been much touched by the
quiet unobtrusive manner in which she had shown her
238 MARY ELLIOT.

sympathy, and she felt that she had never properly ap-
preciated Mary’s warmth of heart and real kindliness of
temper. She felt that she had been unjust to her, and
although her pride and reserve would not allow her to
say so, as Mary would have done, she endeavoured to
make amends to her with a steady determination, a
resolute perseverance, which Mary was quite incapable
of practising. No temptation was now sufficient to
induce her to wound Mary by unkind remarks, by a
cold indifference to her pursuits or amusements; she
was sedulous in her attempts to serve her, and to prove
to her that she no longer despised her.

Mary was particularly quick in perceiving kindness
and in returning it. Gertrude’s kindness seemed even
more grateful to her than Caroline’s, because it ap-
peared to be more natural to Caroline to feel kindly
to every one. She now wondered how she could ever
have disliked Gertrude as she had done, and felt as
if she could not do enough to show her affection and
gratitude to her, as if she could never be sufficiently
watchful not to offend or tease her by her impetuo-
sity or vehemence.

But while Caroline felt little fear as to how Gertrude
and Mary might get on in her absence, she felt anxious
about Gertrude herself. She sometimes thought that
Gertrude’s health and spirits had suffered even more
from the shock and alarm of the accident than Made-
line’s. Gertrude had strength of mind and energy to
THE THUNDER-STORM. 239

resist the nervousness to which Madeline yielded with-
out a struggle, but there was an air of abstraction and
melancholy about her, for which Caroline could not
account, and which gave her considerable uneasiness,

Gertrude was even more silent and unobservant of
all that passed around her than usual, but this was
not now caused by her being absorbed in her own
pursuits. All she had ever cared for, her books,
her music, and drawing, seemed to have lost their
attractions, to have ceased to afford either interest or
pleasure. Caroline endeavoured once or twice very
gently and delicately, to lead Gertrude to confide in
her, and to tell her what was weighing so heavily
upon her mind, but in vain. Gertrude seemed more
than ever averse to speak of herself or of her feelings.

Caroline communicated her anxiety to Mrs. Hamil-
ton, and she promised to be as much as possible with
Gertrude during Caroline’s absence, and to watch over
her health.

In accordance with this promise she went over to
Hazel Bank one day, soon after the travellers had left,
to ask Gertrude to walk with her to the Castle, and to
return to Worsleigh to spend the afternoon with her.
Frederick was to dine out, and Captain Hamilton had
taken the boys and the three girls out with him in the
boat, and they did not expect to be back till the even-
ing, so that Gertrude had no excuse to give for not
accepting the invitation. They had a silent walk to
240 MARY ELLIOT.

the Castle. Mrs. Hamilton was meditating how she
might best succeed in the design she had formed of
endeavouring to lead Gertrude to open her heart to
her, and Gertrude was glad to be spared the necessity
of conversing. Mrs. Hamilton was the more hopeful
of accomplishing her purpose, because she had ob-
served a great increase of cordiality in Gertrude’s
manner towards her since the day of the accident.
She believed that she possessed one advantage to-
wards gaining Gertrude’s confidence and affection, in
the great intimacy which had subsisted between her
and Mrs. Elliot, and in the warm love and esteem
with which Gertrude knew that she still regarded her
mother’s memory.

Mrs. Hamilton and Mrs. Elliot had been friends al-
most ever since they were born. Their parents were
friends and near neighbours. Neither of them had
any sisters, and until Mrs. Elliot was married they
had scarcely ever passed a whole day without seeing
one another. They had the same masters, learned
the same lessons, read the same books, and were as
warmly attached to each other—as entirely of the
same mind on all subjects, as if they had been sisters.

Captain Hamilton often declared that he owed his
wife to Mrs. Elliot. It was her description of her
friend that made him like her before he saw her, and
it was at Hazel Bank that he first became acquainted
with her—that he wooed and won her.
THE THUNDER-STORM. 241

On this account Gertrude felt that there was no one
who could better understand her feelings for her mother,
or who could more thoroughly share in her fervent
admiration of her character.

Mrs. Hamilton wished to lead the conversation to
Mrs. Elliot, as being the readiest means of breaking
through Gertrude’s silence and reserve; and a way
was opened for her to do so easily and naturally.
Lady Home was out when they called, but the ser-
vant who opened the door was an old acquaintance of
Mrs. Hamilton’s. She had been very kind to his wife
during a long illness, and the man, anxious to show
his gratitude in any little service he could do for her,
offered to go across the park with them, and admit
them into a private road through the woods, which
would make their walk to Worsleigh shorter and
pleasanter.

Mrs. Hamilton willingly accepted this offer, saying
to Gertrude, as they followed the servant, that she had
not been in that wood since she used to be so often
there in company with Mrs. Elliot.

‘“‘ Did mamma like this wood?” asked Gertrude, her
interest at once aroused by the mention of her mother.

“Yes,” replied Mrs. Hamilton. “ Sir- William’s
mother then lived at the Castle; she was a remark-
ably amiable woman, and though considerably older
than we were, your mother and I were much attached
to her, and used often to go together to her. This

Q
242 MARY ELLIOT.

wood was a favourite resort of hers, and we often
walked here with her. There is one seat which your
mother particularly admired, and as it is yet early, I
will show it to you, if you like.”

Gertrude gave an eager assent, and Mrs. Hamilton
led the way through a very retired walk up the hill,
until it brought them out on an open grassy knoll
rising above the trees around. There was a seat at
the top, commanding an extensive view, and shaded
by a fine old elm-tree. There they sat down, and
Mrs. Hamilton continued to talk of Mrs. Elliot, telling
Gertrude many anecdotes of her—many little traits of
character, all fitted to increase the admiration which
Gertrude felt for her. Gertrude had also many in-
cidents to relate—many instances to give of her
mother’s unselfishness, gentleness, and tender love
for her children. To these Mrs. Hamilton listened
with deep attention—not with the air of one who
listened merely for the sake of the narrator, but as
if every little incident was interesting to her which
tended to illustrate the character of one whom she
had so dearly loved.

Encouraged by this real and warm sympathy, Ger-
trude gradually forgot her reserve, and was led to
speak of her own feelings upon her ntother’s death—
of the blank and desolation which it had left in her
heart.

“ Often,” she said, “ have I longed, with a heart-
THE THUNDER-STORM. 243

sick longing, to see her but once more—to enjoy again,
were it only for one hour, the sweet, confidential in-
tercourse I used to have with her, when it was the
greatest happiness of my life to be with her, to tell her
all I thought and felt, and to learn from her pure and
lovely example how I ought to think and feel. But
never have I so longed as during the last few weeks,
when my heart has been bowed down under a weight
that I can tell to no one, but which I could have told
to her, and under which I could have received support,
advice, and comfort from her dear lips.”

Gertrude paused. She seemed unable to say more.
There was silence for a few minutes, and then Mrs.
Hamilton said affectionately,—

“Dear Gertrude, if you have no earthly friend
capable of supplying your dear mother’s place, do not
forget that you have a tender, compassionate Father in
heaven, that you have a Saviour, whose love as in-
finitely surpasses that of the tenderest mother, as the
heavens are higher than the earth, whose sympathy
for each individual of His people is far more particular,
more full, more loving, than we can conceive.”

“Oh! Mrs. Hamilton,” exclaimed Gertrude, in a
tone of deep feeling, “it is with regard to that God,
that Saviour, ‘that my heart is now torn with a con-
flict that seems almost more than I can bear.”

She paused for a moment, and then continued
rapidly as if afraid to allow herself time to think,—
244 MARY ELLIOT.

“Jt is impossible for you to understand the pride,
the self-dependence, the self-glorying of such a char-
acter as mine. I have told you how dreary all things
looked to me when my mother died. How, when I
found none who seemed worthy to supply her place,
none upon whom my heart could rest, with the devoted
affection, the entire confidence it had felt for her, I
then closed my heart altogether, and felt as if I could
never love again. I believe that had you been here
then, or had I been left with you, I might have learned
to trust you and to love you, for I even then appre-
ciated your warm love and admiration for her; but I
did not see you for two or three years, and by that
time I had taught myself to believe, that I could never
again meet with any one on whom I could bestow the
affection I had delighted to pour forth upon her ; I
had taught myself to feel, that I must henceforth live
for myself and to myself alone, that no one was now
interested in my improvement or welfare. When I
speak of the feelings which I then experienced, I do
not mean that I then understood them, but only that
I am now aware that this was at least partly the case.
I say partly, because my feelings upon the day of
Madeline's accident, have convinced me that 1 was
partly mistaken in my estimation of the coldness of
my heart. I see now that I have always loved her
and papa more than I believed I did. At the time of
mamma’s death, my heart turned instinctively to papa
THE THUNDER-STORM. 245

to fill her place. I desired then to love him as I had
loved her, to live for him, to endeavour for his sake to
improve myself, to become all that I knew my mother
wished me to be, but I fancied that he did not care for
me; if he had loved me with the deep, warm affection
which alone I thought worth the having, I fancied
that he would not have sent me away, that he would
have kept me beside himself, and I therefore resolved
proudly to make myself independent of his love, and to
learn to be happy in myself, and to improve myself
for my own sake alone.

“ You know that I was very successful in my studies,
that I received great praise from every one for my
steady application, which was thought extraordinary
in one of such quick apprehension as mine; but I never
worked for the sake of that praise, never cared for it.
Every lesson that I learned, I learned thoroughly ;
every subject that I studied, I pursued unweariedly
until I had thoroughly mastered it ; every accomplish-
ment which I acquired, I was resolutely determined to
acquire in perfection; but not in order that I might
surpass my companions or win the approbation of my
masters. No; the only approbation that I cared for
was my own. All my efforts were stimulated by the
desire of preserving my own self-esteem. I felt that
I must despise myself, if I did not cultivate to the
highest point the talents which I knew I possessed, if
I were content with superficial knowledge or attain-
246 MARY ELLIOT.

ments of any kind; and therefore I was indefatigable
in my labours, constant and persevering in my efforts
to attain perfection in all I undertook.

“In this way, during the six years I spent in Edin-
burgh, the sole object of my ambition was to improve
to the utmost all the powers of my mind, to attain to
the highest possible standard of intellectual greatness.
I had no desire that others should be aware of my
superiority ; it was for my own gratification alone that
I wished .to excel. But even then a faint perception
that there was something more worth labouring after
than this would sometimes come across my mind.
Caroline was the only person out of my own family in
whom I felt the smallest interest, or whom I was at all
inclined to like. We used to see a great deal of her,
even before William’s engagement. Her father and
mother were very kind to us: we used to be often at
their house, and I had many opportunities of observing
Caroline’s everyday behaviour. I could not but ad-
mire her unvarying patience, unselfishness, kindness,
and consideration; and when I saw how much happier
and better every one seemed to be in her company—
when I saw how constantly watchful she was to make
the path of duty as easy as possible to each one around
her—how entirely she devoted all the powers of her
mind to the work of doing good—of fulfilling perfectly
the duty of the moment—I sometimes felt a secret
conviction, that her aim in life was higher than mine.
THE THUNDER-STORM. 247

But it was not until she came to live here, that this
conviction was brought home to me with a force which
I could not resist. Her consistency, her humility, her
constant self-forgetfulness, soon made me feel my
great inferiority to her, soon taught me that no woman
can be really great, really deserving of esteem, who
has not learned to forget herself and her own wishes
and wants, to go out of herself altogether, and to live
for the good of others; giving her whole mind to the
work she has to do, without remembering to think of
herself at all as the agent in the work.

“Once or twice Caroline spoke to me about my in-
difference to the feelings of others, and in a few strong
words she made me despise myself, for the meanness
of spending my whole life in the pursuit of merely
selfish gratification. I never gave her the pleasure of
knowing that she had made any impression on me.
In truth, her words gave me too much real pain for
me to find it easy to express what I felt. But still
that pain was not because I had lost Caroline’s good
opinion, but because I had lost my own.

“As I now found that I could no longer respect
myself, unless I added moral superiority to intellectual,
I began to teach myself to be kind, considerate, and
attentive to others, with as much earnestness, as much
assiduity as I had ever laboured to understand a diffi-
cult subject, or to learn a difficult language. I took
as much pains to watch over my words and looks, to
248 MARY ELLIOT.

restrain the look of proud superiority, or the cold,
biting sneer, as I had ever done to prepare for my
different classes; but always for the same purpose—
always in order to be able still to esteem myself highly.

“ And now,” she continued still more rapidly and
more vehemently,—“ now when the veil has been
suddenly torn from my eyes—now when I have learned
the insignificance and nothingness of all earthly things
—now when I feel in my very inmost heart that the
only thing worth aiming at, worth wishing for, is to
know the Lord and His glorious attributes, to be
able to adore His wondrous greatness, to love Him
with the whole heart and soul, to serve Him con-
tinually and entirely, to have every word and action,
every thought and feeling in subjection to His author-
ity,—even now it is still the same. It is still for my
own glory that I seek after this knowledge, this love,
this devotedness. I only desire them, because T cannot
bear to despise myself, as I must do while I am pur-
suing any merely earthly object, and forgetting the
great, the high, the only good.”

“Dear Gertrude,” said Mrs. Hamilton, gently,
“ may I not address to you the words of the prophet,
‘Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician
there?” Is your malady beyond the power of the hea-
venly Physician to heal? Are not these graces which
you want among the ‘all things needful,’ which God
has promised to give us? Are they exceptions from the
THE THUNDER-STORM. 249

all spiritual blessings which are secured to us in and
through Christ ?”

“You do not, you cannot understand my case,” re-
plied Gertrude, almost impatiently. “It is true that I
long with an earnestness of longing, which seems to
tear my heart in pieces, for the graces of humility, of
self-renunciation. But why do I desire them? Merely
because I cannot think myself perfect without them—
merely because I see a sublimity and grandeur in them,
which I desire to be able to admire and to glory in,
as in my own character.”

“Take care, dear Gertrude,” said Mrs. Hamilton,
in an earnest tone, “that it is not you who mistake
your case. Do your difficulties not proceed from that
self-righteousness which, in one form or other, keeps
us all back from a simple living faith upon Christ
alone? Even after we have been taught that it is His
righteousness alone that can make us acceptable in
God’s sight, that it is Christ alone who must clothe us
in the righteousness which He alone provides ; we still
desire to have at least the merit of stripping off our
own righteousness, of preparing ourselves to receive
Christ’s. Even while we believe that the Saviour
alone can redeem us from the power, as well as from
the punishment of sin—while we acknowledge that we
have no merit with which to purchase this redemption,
we still desire to bring some small gift in our hand,
we are still unwilling that it should be quite free. It
250 MARY ELLIOT.

may be undeserved, but still we desire to have the
credit of making some small return for it. And is this
not your case? Are you not striving to bring the gift
of a single eye to God’s glory, before you can consent
to be redeemed by Christ’s power, to be sanctified by
His Spirit? You are convinced that the Holy Spirit
alone can give you humility and self-renunciation,
that He alone can enable you to glorify God,—but you
must have the credit of making yourself desire to
glorify Him. This is the part of your salvation which
you are unwilling to receive as a free unmerited gift.
Is this not so, dear Gertrude ?”

Gertrude paused, and seemed for some minutes to
be absorbed in deep thought.

“J believe that you are right, Mrs. Hamilton,” she
said at length. “I seem to see a faint light; but when
I try to reason it out, it leaves me, and I feel as far
back as ever.”

“ And you must remain as far back as ever, dear
Gertrude, as long as you try to help yourself forward.
Ask God, for Christ’s sake, to show you your help-
lessness. Ask Him to make you willing to owe all to
His free grace. Ask Him to give you a sincere desire
that Christ may be exalted, that you may be cast
down, and that you may be taught how wholly out of
yourself your salvation is. Ask Him to teach you,
that it is not because you are rich in the knowledge
of your own deadness that He will quicken you, but
THE THUNDER-STORM, 251

because He is rich in merey—not because you know
and loathe your own sinfulness, but because He knows
it, and pities you for it.”

Gertrude listened with deep attention; she did not
speak, but her earnest expression, as she fixed her
eyes upon Mrs. Hamilton’s face, seemed to entreat her
to go on.

“T think, dear Gertrude,” Mrs. Hamilton continued,
“that your great practical difficulty lies in your habit
of looking too much in upon yourself. Look at Christ.
Learn to consider His glorious attributes, to seek to
know His infinite perfection. Study His character,
His heart, as they are revealed to us in His word; and
study them as the character, as the heart of a real
living, ever-present Saviour and friend. Study Him,
too, as you see him manifesting Himself in his deal-
ings with His Church, with the world. Cause your
thoughts to dwell upon what He has done, or is doing
for others, as well as for yourself—upon the love, the
wisdom, the tenderness He displays in His care of
His people, in His execution of the work He has un-
dertaken, of redeeming them from sin, of bringing
them to glory. Seek for God’s Holy Spirit to direct
your thoughts to the Saviour’s glorious excellence and
beauty, and to bless such thoughts to your soul, and
then I believe you will feel less inclined to think of
your own excellencies, to admire your own character.”

“ Thank you, dear Mrs. Hamilton,” was all Ger-
252 MARY ELLIOT.

trude’s answer; but it was said in a tone of deep feel-
ing, and seemed to express more real fervent gratitude
than many an eloquent speech could have conveyed.

Mrs. Hamilton did not attempt to draw her again
into conversation, and left her to pursue her thoughts
undisturbed. They soon after arose, and walked
on in silence. When they had nearly reached Wors-
leigh, Gertrude turned to Mrs. Hamilton,—

“ The more I think of what you have urged, Mrs.
Hamilton,” she said, “ the more I am convinced that
you are right. And I see that it applies to all my
difficulties, all my faults. I have heard you tell Mary
that she would succeed better in her efforts to discharge
the duties which she owes to others, if she were more
occupied about those towards whom she is called to
discharge them, and less occupied about the opinion
which may be formed of her. You may say the same
thing to me, with this difference, that it is regard to
my own opinion of myself—the desire for my own
approbation, which interferes to mar my usefulness,
not as in Mary’s case, regard for the approbation of
others.”

“ Yes, Gertrude, this seems to be more peculiarly
your snare, and you will find it a difficult tendency to
overcome. You must watch yourself very carefully,
and you must give your thoughts full occupation in
considering others, so that you may the more easily
resist this tendency to look to yourself, Accustom
THE THUNDER- STORM. 253

yourself constantly to consider the influence for good
or evil which your every word and action may have
upon those whose good you are bound to seek. Ob-
serve how easily a cold, unkind word, or even look,
may awaken wrong and bitter feelings in the heart of
another ; and pray to God to make you tender-hearted
towards all, scrupulous to avoid all occasions of lead-
ing them to sin. The more you look upon them, and
upon their wants and feelings, the easier will you find
it to keep down the desire of self-exaltation, of self-
glory.” .

“ And,” continued Gertrude, thoughtfully, “ the
same principle must be carried out in my studies too.
I must learn to fix my thoughts more exclusively upon
the subject studied, and to shut out all consideration
of myself as the studier. When I read, I must endea-
vour to devote my whole mind to what I read, not to
waste my time with considerations as to how I am
reading it.”

“ Dear Gertrude,” said Mrs. Hamilton, turning to
her with a look of affectionate pleasure, “I do hope
that God will bless you, and give you peace, when I
see how much in earnest He has made you, how He has
taught you not to spare yourself, but to begin at once
to the work which He sets before you. We know that
it is of free grace alone that He gives us every spiritual
blessing; but He teaches us that He will give more
grace to those who use what He has already given.
254 MARY ELLIOT.

That is a most instructive passage, ‘ O that my people
had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my
ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies.’
May you, dear Gertrude, find Him subduing your
enemies under you, now that He has given you a heart
to hearken to His word.”

“ Ah, Mrs. Hamilton!” said Gertrude, with a me-
lancholy smile, “* you do not know how much I have
to undo, to unlearn, before I can even begin to walk
according to God’s law. I have so long taught myself
to believe that I was at liberty to feel and act as I
pleased towards others, so long accustomed myself to
indulge my natural coldness and reserve, and to shut
my heart to all the gentler feelings of kindness, ten-
derness, consideration, that now when I begin to see
that God’s commandments to be kind, gentle, and con-
siderate, are as much addressed to me as to others, I
feel like a man in a strange country, who is ignorant
of the language, habits, and customs of all around him.
I neither know what to do, nor where to begin.”

“ But then, dear Gertrude, is not God ready to help
you here too? Will He not teach you how to feel, and
how best to show kindness, as well as give you the
desire to be kind? God has given you a remarkably
good understanding, do not disdain to use its full
powers to enable you to find out the best way of con-
tributing to the happiness, the good, even to the amuse-
ment and comfort of all around you.”
THE THUNDER-STORM. 255

Mrs. Hamilton and Gertrude dined alone, and went
after dinner into the garden to watch for the return of
the boating party, who were to be home to tea. Here
Gertrude of her own accord resumed the conversation
of the afternoon.

She told Mrs. Hamilton that the fearful incident of
the thunder-storm was the first thing which had aroused
her to the necessity of a real heart religion. She had,
she said, studied the doctrines of Christianity as she
had studied other subjects. She liked to hear William
and Caroline talk upon them, and was interested in
observing how they influenced their conduct and char-
acter, in speculating upon the effect such a doctrine
might have upon such a feeling, or in such a circum-
stance. But until that day she had never felt that she
had any personal interest in the affair, that the doc-
trines, the requirements of the Bible were addressed
to her as an individual.

She told Mrs. Hamilton that from the first alarm
she had never entertained the least hope that she
should ever see Madeline again, the slightest doubt of
her being killed.

“ And at the same moment that this conviction
forced itself upon me,” she said, “ came the fearful
thought that Madeline was unprepared to die. I strove
in vain to put it away from me, to comfort, to re-
assure myself, by dwelling upon her gentle, inoffensive
conduct, to repeat that she had never willingly harmed
256 MARY ELLIOT.

any human being. I knew the truths of the Bible too
well to be able to rest satisfied with such assurances.
I knew too well that more, far more than this was
required, before a soul could be held guiltless before
God. I seemed again to hear words which mamma
had once addressed to me, when endeavouring to press
home upon my heart my natural depravity and enmity
to God, when endeavouring to convince me that I was
a ‘ child of wrath even as others.’ The law is holy,
just, and good, she said. Not one jot, not one tittle
of it shall pass away until all be fulfilled ; and that holy
law demands of each one of us that ‘ we love the Lord
with our whole heart,’ that ‘ we live to the glory of
God.” That holy law pronounces this irreversible
sentence, ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die,’ and
that sentence must infallibly be executed upon each
one of us, either in our own person, or in the person of
our substitute.

“ This alternative could yield me no comfort in
Madeline’s case, for I knew well that she had never
been convinced of her need of that substitute—never
learned to seek redemption in Christ.

“IT cannot even yet recall without shuddering the
fearful agony of heart which I endured during the few
minutes which we were left in suspense. I scarcely
know how I could have stood it had it lasted much
longer. I almost felt as if my reason was giving way
under it. It was the sudden, the unspeakable relief
THE THUNDER-STORM. 257

which I felt that made me so faint when I heard Mary |
cry that William brought good news. I became giddy
with joy; I seemed to receive Madeline back, not
merely from temporal, but from eternal death.

“ When you left me alone with her, when I had
time to think and to feel, my own fearful carelessness
and ungodliness came forcibly into my thoughts; and
I am thankful to say, that from that time God has
never suffered me to lose the impression which He
then, in His marvellous goodness, made upon my
heart.

‘“‘ He has taught me another lesson, too, since then,”
continued Gertrude, in a tone of deep and saddened feel-
ing; “ He has taught me the reality of the enmity of
the natural heart to Himself and to real spiritual re-
ligion; and He has taught me this, not merely by my
own experience of my own enmity, but by my expe-
rience as regards dear Madeline.

“I thought that one so gentle, so humble, might
be easily brought to a conviction of her sinfulness;
and I overcame my natural reserve in order to endea-
vour to awaken her to it. I have told her all my
feelings on that fearful day, and all that I have felt
since; I have brought before her the terrors of the
law, the beauties, the precious promises of the Gospel ;
I have used every argument—every entreaty which
my terrible anxiety for her safety could teach me to
use, but all in vain. Madeline seems wholly indiffe-

R
258 MARY ELLIOT.

rent to all I say; even her gentle nature is roused to
anger at my presuming to doubt of her safety.”

Gertrude seemed unable to goon. Mrs. Hamilton
endeavoured, with her usual affectionate gentleness, to
comfort her and to encourage her to persevere. She
reminded her of the precious promises of answer to
prayer, and assured her that she should have her
prayers added to her own, both upon her own ac-
count and upon Madeline’s.

“ You may perhaps be surprised to hear me speak
of teaching others, dear Mrs. Hamilton,” said Ger-
trude, after some minutes of thoughtful silence, “ while
I am so ignorant myself. But although I have shown
such hardness and slowness of heart to trust my Saviour
with the work of my sanctification, yet I trust—I hope
I am not deceiving myself when I say, that He has, in
His wondrous love and mercy, given me grace to trust
Him entirely for my justification ; to feel in my inmost
heart that His completed salvation can alone save me,
and that it can do so perfectly and entirely.”

They conversed for some time longer, and Mrs.
Hamilton reminded Gertrude that Mary, too, had a
claim upon her anxiety—upon her prayers.

“You think that Mary’s heart is unchanged?”
asked Gertrude, thoughtfully. ‘She is much more
alive to these things—much more interested in them
than Madeline.”

“ Because her mind is naturally more active—na-
THE THUNDER-STORM. 259

turally more alive to all subjects than Madeline’s;
because her understanding and feelings are much
quicker and more easily awakened than hers. But I
much fear that our dear, warm-hearted Mary has
never felt her own condition as a sinner—has never
been convinced that she must give her heart to God.
Before the others join us,” continued Mrs. Hamilton,
as they now saw Captain Hamilton and his party
coming up the road, “ let me ask you one favour, dear
Gertrude. Will you yourself, or will you allow me
to repeat our conversation to Caroline ?”

Gertrude hesitated for a moment.

“Do you repeat it, dear Mrs. Hamilton,” she said,
smiling. “ This sudden fit of openness which has
seized me to-day will soon, I fear, pass away, and
leave me as reserved as ever.”

“ Not, dear Gertrude,” said Mrs. Hamilton, ear-
nestly, “ if you are convinced that it is your duty to
strive against it—to pray for strength to resist it; and
you must see that this is your duty—that your useful-
ness to others will be injured by such habits of reserve.”

You may imagine what real happiness Caroline felt
when she returned home, about a week after this, with
Madeline’s health and spirits quite restored; and found
that Gertrude’s dejection and melancholy, which had
alarmed her so much, had given place to a quiet,
equable cheerfulness, such as she had never seen in
her before. Still more happy was she to learn from
260 MARY ELLIOT. '

Mrs. Hamilton the cause of this change; that it was
the effect of a real change of heart and feeling.

From this time Gertrude’s reserve seemed gradually
to disappear, particularly in regard to Caroline and
Mrs. Hamilton. She spoke to them openly and frank-
ly upon all subjects, and seemed above all things to
enjoy conversing with them, or hearing them converse
upon religion. They behaved towards her with their
usual delicacy and tenderness,—receiving her confi-
dence when she offered it with an affectionate interest
and sympathy, which invited her to confide in them
ugain, but never pressing her to be more open with
them than she felt inclined. They saw that she care-
fully avoided speaking of herself or of her own feel-
ings; and they never attempted to draw her on to
express more than she wished—resting satisfied with
directing her thoughts and attention to such subjects
as were calculated to produce a sound, healthy state
of feeling and thinking, and with judging from her
actions that her feelings were much changed, and
changed for the better.

Once only Gertrude alluded to the change which
had taken place in her heart. It was one day when
Mrs. Hamilton had made some reference to the con-
versation which I have already related.

“ Dear Mrs. Hamilton,” said Gertrude, in a voice
which trembled with emotion, “I trust that as long
as I live, I may never forget to thank God for His
THE THUNDER-STORM. 261

goodness in giving me such a friend as you at such a
time. You cannot tell what a blessing that conver-
sation has been to me, But I must not speak of my-
self, or think of myself. You were right in warning
me never to do so.”

Gertrude’s friends were not now disposed to think
that she was in any way deficient in gentleness, kind-
ness, or consideration ; but she herself was painfully
conscious that in these respects she came far short of
the standard at which the disciples of the gentle loving
Saviour ought to aspire. She used sometimes to say,
that it was not that she found it difficult to perform
individual acts of kindness, but she sometimes feared
that she should never succeed in her efforts to acquire
the habit of looking round to see who needed kindness,
or how it could be best shown.

About a year after the events of this chapter, Caro-
line had a baby, a fine little girl. All its young aunts
were much delighted with it, but none more so than
Gertrude. She seemed never to weary of watching it
and of playing with it, and she seemed to regard it
with a peculiarly tender feeling, which could scarcely
have been expected from a girl of her character.

One day, when Caroline was able to come down
stairs, she was sitting on the sofa with baby on her
knee. Gertrude had knelt down on a footstool at her
feet to speak to baby, and when she fell asleep Ger-
trude remained kneeling, with her eyes fixed upon her
262 MARY ELLIOT.

face. with an expression of deep thought. Caroline
watched her for some time in silence, and then asked,
with a smile,—

‘“ What are you thinking of so intently, Gertrude ?”

“T was thinking, Caroline,” replied Gertrude,
raising her eyes with an earnest look to Caroline’s
face—‘‘I was thinking that you must take warning
by me in the education of this darling. That you
must take great care to call forth all the warm affec-
tions of her heart, and to teach her that it is her duty
to exercise them, so that when God blesses her with
the knowledge of Himself, and she desires to give Him
her heart, she may not know the sorrow I have felt, to
find that all the gentler graces have been withered
and blighted, and that it has been stripped of all the
powers of kindness, tenderness, sympathy, with which
He had first endowed it.”

“T feel almost inclined to say, dear Gertrude,” re-
plied Caroline, affectionately, “that were I sure my
darling should possess your depth of feeling and
strength of principle, I should be content to take with
them what you think your defects.”

“But you are wrong, dear Caroline, very wrong,”
was Gertrude’s earnest answer. “God means and
commands us to care for the happiness of all; and how
can we do so as we ought, unless we learn early to cul-
tivate habits of kindness and gentleness of feeling ; and
not of feeling merely, but of manner also? You do


*

THE THUNDER-STORM. 263

not know how much unhappiness my manner often
gives me, because it causes me to wound or grieve
those who are dear to my blessed Saviour.”

And now, my dear young friends, I am afraid to
think what number will be at the top of this page. My
book has lengthened out so far beyond my intentions,
beyond my wishes, All I can do now is to bid you
good bye as quickly and with as little ceremony as
possible. I may, perhaps, at some future time allow
you to hear a little more of Mary Elliot, and of her
improvement, in a history I have some faint thoughts
of writing, to be called Maurice Hamilton. But I
make no promises, and shall only say in conclusion,
that Mary grew up an amiable, as well as a very
accomplished girl. The impetuosity and vehemence,
the rash judgments, the hasty prejudices which for-
merly characterized her, entirely disappeared, leaving
behind only a certain energy of character, and prompt-
ness of thought and action, which made her a most
useful and valuable friend. Her warm affections were
strengthened and exercised by the esteem and confi-
dence which she was able to feel for all with whom
she associated ; and she was at the same time induced
by her love for them to make vigorous efforts to sub-
due the warmth of temper which so often caused her
to grieve them.

When Caroline and William went, soon after baby’s
oe
“phy Wh

TEE SEM NON Mee

264 MARY ELLIOT. ; ‘3
birth, to live in a house of their skal sorrow which
all the family felt at losing Caroline was quite unmixec
with any apprehension. as to Gertrude’s capacity to
succeed her. Long before that time Gertrude had
firmly established herself in the estimation of her
father, brothers, and Mary, as being second only to
Caroline, in the qualities necessary in the thistress of
a household who desires to see all happy around her.

In the gentle Madeline’s heart, Gertrude had long
held the first, the warmest*place. And ‘when God _
blessed her prayers ahd affectionate endeavours for
Madeline’s improvement—when He tanght Madeline
to seek Him with her whole heart, and to endeavour
for His sake to overcome her habitual, long-confirmed
indolence, Madeline believed that the wide world did
not contain such a tender, sympathizing friend and
guide as Gertrude was to her—one who was so ear-
nest, and yet so humble in efforts to awaken her
to a sense of her own want so affectionately, so
joyfully eager to hail évery, sign-of improvement...

EDINBURGH : T. CUNSTABLE, PRINTER TO HER MAJESTY.