Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Half Title
 Back Cover

Title: A grandmother's recollections
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001812/00001
 Material Information
Title: A grandmother's recollections
Physical Description: <1> p., 235 p., <1> leaf of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Church, Ella Rodman, b. 1831
Benedict, Charles W ( Printer )
Charles Scribner and Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: C. Scribner
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: C.W. Benedict
Publication Date: 1851
Subject: Family -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Grandmothers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Curiosity -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pride and vanity -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Biographies -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Family stories -- 1851   ( local )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Family stories   ( local )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Summary: At age 15 Ella meets her dignified grandmother, Amy Chesbury, who relates stories of her life from her childhood in a wealthy but distant New York family, admits that her greatest faults were vanity and curiosity, and reveals the exciting circumstances of her meeting and subsequent rescue of her future husband, Major Armstrong.
Statement of Responsibility: by Ella Rodman.
General Note: Added title page, engraved.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001812
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236727
oclc - 05653892
notis - ALH7205
lccn - 41028871
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
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    Half Title
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Full Text


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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
In the Clerk's Omoe of the District Court of the United States, for the
Southern District of New York.

Stereotyper and Prid r,
201 William Street



~8 ;


THE best bed-chamber, with its hangings of
crimson moreen, was opened and aired-a per-
formance which always caused my eight little
brothers and sisters to place themselves in
convenient positions for being stumbled over,
to the great annoyance of industrious damsels,
who, armed with broom and duster, endeavored
to render their reign as arbitrary as it was
short. For some time past, the nursery-maids
had invariably silenced refractory children with
" Fie, Miss Matilda I Your grandmother will
make you behave yourself--he won't allow
such doings, I'll be bound !" or Aren't you
ashamed of yourself, Master Clarence I What
will your grandmother say to that!" The
nursery was in a state of uproar on the day of


my venerable relative's arrival; for the chfdren
almost expected to see, in their grandmother,
an ogress, both in features and disposition.
My mother was the eldest of two children,
and my grandmother, from the period of my
infancy, had resided in England with 4er
youngest daughter; and we were now all em-
ployed in wondering what sort of a person our
relative might be. Mamma informed us that
the oad lady was extremely dignified, and ex-
acted respect and attention from all around;
she iaso hinted, at the same time, that it would
be well for me to lay aside a little of my self-
sufficiency, and accommodate myself to the
humors of my grandmother. This to me !-to
me, whose temper was so inflammable that
the least inadvertent touch was sufficient to set
it in a blaze-it was too much I So, like a well-
disposed young lady, I very properly resolved
that mine should not be the arm to support the
venerable Mrs. Arlington in her daily walks;
that should the children playfully ornament
the cushion of her easy-chair with pins, Iwould
not turn informant; and should a conspiracy
be on foot to burn the old lady's best wig, I


entertained serious thoughts of helping along
In the meantime, like all selfish persons, I
considered what demeanor I should assume, in
order to impress my grandmother with a con-
viction of my own consequence. Of course,
dignified and unbending I would be; but what
if she chose to consider me a child, and treat
me accordingly? The idea was agonizing to
my feelings ; but then I proudly surveyed my
five feet two inches of height, and wondered
how I could have thought of such a thigh I
Still I had sense enough to know that such
a supposition would never have entered my
head, had there not been sufficient grouids for
it; and, with no small trepidation, I prepared
for my first appearance.
It went off as first appearances generally do.
I was to have been seated in an attitude of
great elegance, with my eyafixed on the pages
of some wonderfully wise book*but my thoughts
anywhere but in company with 'y eyes; while,
to give more dignity to a girlish. figure, my
hair was to be turned up on the verytop of my
head with a huge shell comb, borrowed for the

occasion from mamma's drawer. Upon my
grandmother's entrance, I intended to rise and
make her a very stiff courtesy, and then deliver
a series of womanish remarks. This, I say,
was to have been my first appearance-but
alas! fate ordered otherwise. I was caught by
my dignified relative indulging in a game of
romps upon the balcony with two or three little
sisters in pinafores and pantalettes-myself as
much a child as any of them. My grandmother
came rather suddenly upon me as, with my
loug hair floating in wild confusion, I stooped
to pick up my comb; and while in this un-
graceful position, one of the little urchins play-
fully climbed upon my back, while. the others
held me down. My three little sisters had
never appeared to such disadvantage in my
eyes, as they did at the present moment; in
vain I tried to shake them off-they only clung
the closer, from fright, on being told of their
grandmother's arrival.
At length, vHk crimsoned cheeks, and the
hot tears stating to imy eyes, I rose and re-
ceived, rather than returned the offered em-
brace, and found myself in the capacious arms


of one whom I should have taken for an old
dowager duchess. On glancing at my grand-
mother's portly figure and consequential air, I
experienced the uncomfortable sensation of
utter insignificance-I encountered the gaze of
those full, piercing eyes, and felt that I was
conquered. Still I resolved to make some
struggles for my dignity yet, and not submit
until defeat was no longer doubtful. People in
talking of unrequited affection," speak of the
knell of departed hopes," but no knell could
sound more dreadful to the ears of a girl inlar
teens-trembling for her scarcely-fledged young-
lady-h --than did the voice of my grand-
mother, it was by no tneans low), as she
"So this is lla. Why, how the child has
altered! I re her her only as a little,
screaming baby, that was forever holding its
breath with passion till it. came black in the
face. Many a thumping Wbe I given you,
child, to make you come to, aM, sometimes I
doubted if your face ever would be straight
again. Even now it can hardly e said to
belong to the meek and amiable o 4r."



Here my grandmother drew forth her gold
spectacles from a richly-ornamented case, and
deliberately scanned my indignant features,
while she observed: Not much of the Bred-
forth style-quite an Arlington." I drew my-
self up with all the offended dignity of sixteen,
but it was of no use; my grandmother turned
me round, in much the same manner that the
giant might have been supposed to handle Tom
Thumb, and surveyed me from top to toe.
I was unable to discover the effect of her
iiestigation, but I immediately became con-
vinced that my grandmother's opinion wasaone
of the greatest importance. She poseaed that
indescribable kind of manner whi~gaces you
under the conviction that you we continually
doing, saying, or thinking g thing wrong;
and which makes you hwfly obliged to such
a person for coinciding in any of your opinions.
Instead of the dignMed part I had expected to
play, I looked very like a naughty child that
has just been taken out of its corner. The
impression .eft upon my mind by my grand-
mnother's appearance will never be effaced; her
whole tounem l was peculiarly striking,


with full dark eyes, high Roman nose, mouth
of great beauty and firmness of expressionand
teeth whose splendor I have never seen equalled
-although she was then past her fiftieth year.
Add to this a tall, well-proportioned figure, and
a certain air of authority, and my grandmother
stands before you.
As time somewhat diminished our awe, we
gained the en~te of my grandmother's apart-
ment, and even ventured to express our curioity
respecting the contents of various trunks, par-
cels, and cnrioua-looking boxes. To children,
there is no greater pleasure than being permit-
ted to look over and arrange the articles con-
tained in certain carefully-locked up drawers,
unopened xes, and ol-faahioned chetW; stray
jewels from lken rings-two or three beads of
a necklace-a lY.e or breadth of somebody's
wedding dress--loe of hair-gift of school-
girl friendships-and a- ose little mementoes
of the past, that lie negleod and forgotten till
a search after some mislaid aicle brings them
again to our view, and excites a Ipurst of feeling
that causes us to look sadly back ton the long
vista of departed years, with fir withered



hopes, never-realized expectations, and fresh,
joyous tone, seared by disappointment and
worldly wisdom. The reward of patient toil
and deep-laid schemes yields not half the plea-
sure that did the little Indian cabinet, (which
always stood so provokingly locked, and just
within reach), when during a period of con-
valescence, we were permitted to examine its
recesses-when floods of sunlight danced upon
the wall of the darkened room towards the close
of day, and every one seemed so kind!
My grandmother indulged our curiosity to
the utmost; now a pair of diamond ear-pendants
would appear among the soft folds of perfumed
cotton, and flash and glow with all the brilliancy
of former days-now a rich b petticoat
called up phantoms of the pa hen ladies
wore high-heeled shoes, ancgA of no size at
all-and gentlemen felt magnificently attired
in powdered curls an cues, and as many ruffles
as would fill a modern dressing gown. There
were also fairy clippers, curiously embroidered,
with neatly covered heels; and anxious to adorn
myself withbthese relics of the olden time I at-
tempted to .w one on. But like the renown-


ed glass-slipper, it would fit none but the owner,
and I found myself in the same predicament
as Cinderella's sisters. In vain I tugged and
pulled; the more I tried, the more it wouldn't
go on-and my grandmother remarked with a
sigh, that "people's feet were not as small as
they were in old times." I panted with vexa-
tion; for I had always been proud of my foot,
and now put it forward that my grandmother
might see how small it was. But no well-timed
compliment soothed my irritated feelings; and
more dissatisfied with myself than ever, I pur-
sued my investigations.
My grandmother, as if talking to herself, mur-
mured: How little do we know, when we
set out in life, of the many disappointments
before us 1 How little can we deem that the
heart which then is ours will change with the
fleeting sunshine! It is fearful to have the
love of a life-time thrown back as a worthless
"Fearful!" I chimed in. "Death were pre-
ferable !"
"You little goose exclaimed my grand-
mother, as she looked me full ii the face,



"What can you possibly know about the mat-
ter ?"
I had nothing to do but bury my head down
low in the trunk I was exploring; it was my
last attempt at sentiment. My grandmother
took occasion to give me some very good advice
with respect to the behavior of hardly-grown
girls; she remarked that they should be careful
not to engross the conversation, and also, that
quiet people were always more interesting than
loud talkers. I resolved to try my utmost to be
quiet and interesting, though at the same time
it did occur to me as a little strange that, being
so great an admirer of the species, she was not
quiet and interesting herself. But being quiet
was not my grandmother's forte; and it is
generally understood that people always admire
what they are not, or have not themselves.


THE old lady also possessed rather strict ideas
of the respect and deference due to parents and
elders; and poor mamma, whose authority did
not stand very high, felt considerable relief in
in consequence of our, (or, as I am tempted to
say, the children's) improved behavior. I re-
member being rather startled myself one day,
when one of the before-mentioned little sisters
commenced a system of teazing for some forbid-
den article.
Mother, mother,-can't I have that set of
cards? We want it in our play-room-Phemie
and me are going to build a house."
"I do not like to give you permission," re-
plied mamma, looking considerably worried,
" for George does not wish you to have them."

KJ--fiUok &t.


Oh, but George is out, mother-out for all
day," rejoined the precocious canvasser, "and
will never know anything about it."
"But perhaps he might come home before
you had done with them, and George is so ter-
ribly passionate, and hates to have his things
touched, that he will raise the whole house."
Poor boy!" observed my grandmother dry-
ly, "What a misfortune to be so passionate!
A deep-seated, and, I fear, incurable one,
Amy; for of course you have used your ut-
most endeavors, both by precept and example,
to render him otherwise."
I almost pitied my mother's feelings; for
well did I remember the cried-for toy placed
within his hands, to stop the constant succes-
sion of screams sent forth by a pair of lungs
whose strength seemed inexhaustible-the com-
fort and convenience of the whole family disre-
garded, not because he was the best, but the
worst child-and often the destruction of some
highly-prized trinket or gem of art, because he
was "Cassionate;" the result of which was,
that my poor brother George became one of


the most selfish, exacting, intolerable boys that
ever lived.
There was no reply, save a troubled look;
and the little tormentor continued in a fretful
tone; We'll put 'em all away before he gets
in, and never tell him a word of it-can't we
have them, mother ?"
My mother glanced towards her mentor, but
the look which she met impelled her to pursue
a course so different from her usual one, that I
listened in surprise: No, Caroline, you can
not have them-now leave the room, and let
me hear no more about it."
"I want them," said the child in a sullen
tone, while she turned to that invariable re-
source of refactory children who happen to be
near a door; namely, turning the knob, and
clicking the lock back and forth, and swinging
on it at intervals.
This performance is extremely trying to a
person of restless, nervous temperament, and
my grandmother, setting up her spectacles, ex-
claimed commandingly: Caroline, how dare
you stand pouting there? Did you not hear



your mother, naughty girl ? Leave the room-
this instant ? "
The child stood a moment almost transfixed
with surprise; but as she saw my grandmother
preparing to advance upon her-her ample
skirts and portly person somewhat resembling
a ship under full sail-she made rather an
abrupt retreat; discomposing the nerves of a
small nursery-maid, whom she encountered in
the passage, to such a degree that, as the girl
expressed it, she was took all of a sudden."
I had given a quick, convulsive start as the
first tones fell upon my ear, and now sat bend-
ing over my sewing like a chidden child,
almost afraid to look up. I was one of those
unlucky mortals who bear the blame of every-
thing wrong they witness; and having, in tender
infancy, been suddenly seized upon in Sunday
school by the superintendent, and placed in a
conspicuous situation of disgrace for looking at
a companion who was performing some strange
antic, but who possessed one of those india-
rubber faces that, after twisting themselves
into all possible, or rather impossible shapes,
immediately become straight the moment any


one observes them-having, I say, met with
this mortifying exposure, it gave me a shock
which I have not to this day recovered; and I
cannot now see any one start-up hastily in pur-
suit of another without fancying myself the
culprit, and trembling accordingly. This sud-
den movement, therefore, of my grandmother's
threw me into an alarming state of terror, and,
quite still and subdued, I sat industriously
stitching, all the morning after.
"Dear me! said my mother with a sigh,
"how much better you make them mind than
I can."
I see, Amy," said my grandmother kindly,
that your influence is very weak-the care of
of so large a family has prevented you from
attending to each one properly. You perceive
the effect of a little well-timed authority, and I
do not despair of you yet. You are naturally,"
she continued, amiable and indolent, and
though gentleness is certainly agreeable and
interesting, yet a constant succession of sweets
cannot fail to cloy, and engender a taste for
something sharper and more wholesome."
Delicacy prevented me from remaining o



hear my mother advised and lectured, and the
rest of my grandmother's discourse was therefore
lost to me; but whatever it was, I soon per-
ceived its beneficial results-the children were
no longer permitted to roam indiscriminately
through all parts of the house-certain rooms
were proof against their invasions-they became
less troublesome and exacting, and far more
companionable. The worried look gradually
cleared from my mother's brow, and as my
grandmother was extremely fond of sight-seeing,
visiting, tea-drinkings, and everything in the
shape of company, she persevered in dragging
her daughter out day after day, until she made
her enjoy it almost as much as herself. Old
acquaintances were hunted up and brought to
light, and new ones made through the exertions
of my grandmother, who, in consequence of
such a sociable disposition, soon became very
popular. The young ones were banished
to the nursery; and, as they were no longer
allowed to spend their days in eating, there was
far less sickness among them, and our family
doctor's bill decreased amazingly.
Our grandmother, having spent many years


in the mother-country," was extremely Eng-
lish in her feelings and opinions, and highly
advocated the frugal diet on which the children
of the higher classes are always kept. Lord
and Lady Grantham, the son-in-law and daugh-
ter at whose residence she passed the time of
her sojourn in England, were infallible models
of excellence and prudence; and the children
were again and again informed that their little
English cousins were never allowed meat until
the age of seven, and considered it a great treat
to get beef broth twice a week. Butter was
also a prohibited article of luxury-their usual
breakfast consisting of mashed potatoes, or
bread and milk; and my grandmother used to
relate how one morning a little curly-headed
thing approached her with an air of great
mystery, and whispered : "What do you think
we had for breakfast "Something very
good, I suspect-what can it be ?" Guess."
< O, I cannot; you must tell me." "Buttered
bread!" Our laughter increased as she gave
an amusing account of the blue eyes stretched
to their utmost extent, as these wonderful words
were pronounced hesitatingly, as though doubt-




ful of the effect; and in consequence of various
anecdotes of the same nature, the children's
impressions of England were by no means
agreeable. Our little cousins must certainly
S have been the most wonderful children ever
heard of, for by my grandmother's account,
they could dance, sing, and speak French
almost as soon as they could walk. She also
informed us, as a positive fact, that on saying:
"Baisez, Cora--baiesz la dame," the very baby
in arms put up its rosebud lips to kiss the
stranger mentioned. It would have been
stranger still for the younger children to speak
English, as they were always in the company
of French nurses.
Although my grandmother could so easily
assume a stern and commanding air, it was by
no means habitual to her; and the children,
though they feared and never dared to dispute
her authority, soon loved her with all the pure,
unselfish love of childhood, which cannot be
bought. Things were not so and so when I
was young," was a favorite remark of hers;
and as I one day remarked that those must
have been wonderful times when old people


were young," she smiled and said that though
not wonderful, they were times when parents
and teachers were much more strict with child-
ren than they are now." I immediately ex-
perienced a strong desire to be made acquainted
with the circumstances of my grandmother's
childhood, and began hinting to that effect.
Were they very strict with you, grand-
mother ?" asked we mischievously.
She looked rather disconcerted for a moment,
and then replied with a smile: "Not very-I
saw very little of my parents, being mostly left
to nurses and servants; but you all seem eager
for information on that point, and although
there is absolutely nothing worth relating, you
may all come to my room this evening, and
we will begin on the subject of my younger
We swallowed tea rather hastily, and danced
off in high glee to my grandmother's apart-
ment, ready for the unfolding of unheard-of
occurrences and mysteries.


>SL ..*ia~


WE were all happily seated around the fire;
the grate was piled up high with coal, and
threw a bright reflection upon the polished
marble-everything was ready to begin, when
a most unfortunate question of my slater
Emma's interfered with our progress. She
had settled herself on a low stool at my grand-
mother's feet, and while we all sat in silent
expectation of the "once upon a time," or
when I was young," which is generally the
prelude to similar narratives, Emma suddenly
started up, and fixing an incredulous gaze upon
our dignified relative, exclaimed: But were
you ever young, grandmother? I mean," she
continued, a little frightened at her own temer-
ity," were you ever as little as I am now ?"


Some of us began to cough, others used their
pocket-handkerchiefs, and one and all waited
in some anxiety for the effect. Emma, poor
child! seemed almost ready to sink through the
floor under the many astonished and reproving
glances which she encountered; and my grand-
mother's countenance at first betokened a
gathering storm,
But in a few moments this cleared up; and
ashamed of her momentary anger at this child-
ish question, she placed her hand kindly on
Emma's head as she replied: "Yes, Emma,
quite as little as you are--and it is of those
very times that I am going to tell you. I shall
not begin at the beginning, but speak of what-
ever happeils to enter my mind, and a complete
history of my childhood will probably furnish
employment for a great many evenings. But
I am very much :erse to interruptions, and if
you have any particular questions to ask, all in-
quiries must be made before I commence."
"Were you born and diA you live in Amer-
ica ?" said I.
Yes," replied my grandmother," I was born
and lived in America, in the State of New



York. So much for the locality-now, what
next ?"
Did you ever see Washington ?" inquired
Bob, And were you ever taken prisoner and
had your house burned by the British ?"
Bob was a great patriot, and on Saturdays
practised shooting in the attic with a bow and
arrow, to perfect himself against the time of
his attaining to man's estate, when he fully in-
tended to collect an army and make an invasion
on England. As an earnest of his hostile in-
tentions, he had already broken all the win-
dows on that floor, and nearly extinguished the
eye of Betty, the chambermaid. To both of
these questions my grandmother replied in the
negative, for she happened to come into the
world just after the Revolution; but in answer
to Bob's look of disappointment, she promised
to tell him something about it in the course of
her narrative.
My two most prominent faults," said she,
were vanity and curiosity, and these both led
me into a great many scrapes, which I shall
endeavor to relate for your edification. I shall
represent them just as they really were, and if


I do not make especial comments on each
separate piece of misconduct, it is because I
leave you to judge for yourselves, by placing
them in their true light. I shall not tell you
the year I was born in," she continued, for
then there would be a counting on certain little
fingers to see how old grandmamma is now.
When I was a child-a very young one-I used
to say that I remembered very well the day on
which I was born, for mother was down stairs
frying dough-nuts. This nondescript kind of
cake was then much more fashionable for the
tea-table than it is at the present day. My
mother was quite famous for her skill in manu-
facturing them, and my great delight was to
superintend her operations, and be rewarded
for good behavior with a limited quantity of
dough, which I manufactured into certain un-
couth images, called dough-nut babies.' Some-
times these beloved creations of genius per-
formed rather curious gymnastics on being
placed in the boiling grease-such as twisting
on one side, throwing a limb entirely over their-
heads, &c.; while not unfrequently a leg or an
arm was found missing when boiled to the re-


quisite degree of hardness. Bpt- sometimes,
oh, sad to relate! my fingers committed such
unheard-of depredations in the large bowl or
tray appropriated by my mother, that I was
sentenced to be tied in a high chair drawn
close to her side, whence I could quietly watch
her proceedings without being able to assist
I know that our home was situated in a plea-
sant village which has long since disappeared
in the flourishinglcity; the house was of white
brick, three stories high, with rooms on each
side of the front entrance. A large and beau-
tiful flower-garden was visible from the back
windows; and beyond this was a still larger
fruit-garden, the gate of which was generally
locked, while a formidable row of nails with
the points up, repelled all attempts at climbing
over the fence. The peaches, and plums, apri-
cots, nectarines, grapes, cherries, and apples
were such as I have seldom, if ever, seen since.
My father was wealthy, and my earliest recol-
lections are connected with large, handsomely-
furnished rooms, numerous servants, massive
plate, and a constant succession of dinner-


parties and visitors. How often have I watched
the servants as they filled the decanters, rubbed
the silver, and made other preparations for
company, while I drew comparisons between
the lot of the favored beings for whom these
preparations were made, and my own, on being
condemned to the unvarying routine of the
nursery. Childhood then appeared to me a
kind of penance which we were doomed to un-
dergo-a sort of imprisonment or chrysalis,
which, like the butterfly, left us in a fairy-like
and beautiful existence. Little did I then
dream of the cares, and toils, and troubles from
which that happy season is exempt. My father
realized in his own person, to the fullest extent,
all the traditionary legends of old English
hospitality; he hated everything like parsimony
-delighted to see his table surrounded with
visitors-and in this was indulged to the ex-
tent of his wishes; for day after day seemed
to pass in our being put out of sight, where we
could witness the preparations going on for
other people's entertainment.
The presiding goddess in our region of the
house was a faithful and attached old nurse,

r, -I 'W"

29 i


whom we all called 'Mammy.' Although some-
times a little sharp, as was necessary to keep
such wild spirits in order, the old nurse was
invariably kind, and even indulgent. It was
well indeed for us that she was so, for we were
left almost entirely to her direction, and saw
very little of any one else. Mammy's every-
day attire consisted of a calico short-gown, with
large figures, and a stuff petticoat, with a cap
whose huge ruffles stood up in all directions;
made after a pattern which I have never since
beheld, and in which the crown formed the
principal feature. But this economical dress
was not for want of means; for Mammy's
wardrobe boasted several silk gowns, and
visitors seldom stayed at the house without
making her a present. On great occasions, she
approached our beau-ideal of an empress, by
appearing in a black silk dress, lace collar, and
gold repeater at her side. This particular dress
Mammy valued more highly than any of the
others, for my father had brought it to her, as
a present, from Italy, and the pleasant con-
sciousness of being recollected in this manner


by her master was highly gratifying to the old
I was an only daughter, with several wild
brothers, and I often thought that Mammy dis-
played most unjust partiality. For instance,
there was Fred who never did anything right
-upset his breakfast, dinner, and tea---several
times set the clothes-horse, containing the
nurserywardrobe, in a blaze-was forever get-
ting lost, and, when sought for, often found
dangling from a three-story window, hanging
on by two fingers, and even one-who would
scarcely have weighed a person's life in the
scale with a successful joke-and always had a
finger, foot, or eye bound up as the result of
his hair-brained adventures. I really believe
that Mammy bestowed all a mother's affection
on this wild, reckless boy; he seldom missed
an opportunity of being impertinent, and yet
Mammy invariably said that 'Fred had a
saucy tongue, but a good heart.' This good-
heartedness probably consisted in drowning
kittens, worrying dogs, and throwing stones at
every bird he saw. Fred always had the



warmest seat, the most thickly-buttered bread,
and the largest piece of pie. I remember one
day on watching Mammy cut the pie, I ob-
served, as usual, that she reserved the largest
Who is that for ?" I enquired, although per-
fectly aware of its intended destination.
O, no one in particular," replied Mammy.
"Well then," said I, I believe I'll take it."
"There! there!" exclaimed Mammy, point-
ing her finger at me, See the greedy girl
Now you shall not have it, just for asking for
it." The disputed piece was immediately de-
posited on Fred's plate; and from that day
forth I gave up all hopes of the largest piece of
O, that Fred was an imp! There was no-
thing in the shape of mischief, which he would
not do. If left to amuse the baby, he often
amused himself by tying a string to its toe,
and every now and then giving it a sudden
pull. The child would cry, of course, and, on
the approach of any one, Master Fred sat look-
ing as demure as possible, while trying to keep
his little brother quiet. The string would then


be twitched again for his own private edifica-
tion; and it was sometime before the trick was
discovered. My brother Henry had at one
time several little chickens, of which he be-
came very fond. Day after day he fed, admired,
and caressed them; and Fred, who never could
bear to see others happy long, began to revolve
in his own mind certain plans respecting the
chickens. One by one they disappeared, until
the number decreased alarmingly; but no
traces of them could be found. We were
questioned, but, as all denied the charge, the
culprit remained undiscovered, although strong
suspicions, rested on Fred. At last the indig-
nant owner came upon him one day, as he
stood quietly watching the struggles of two
little chickens in a tub of water. Henry bit-
terly exclaimed against this cruelty, but Fred
innocently replied that he had no hand in the
matter; he had thought, for some time, how
much prettier they would look swimming like
ducks, and therefore tried to teach them-but
the foolish things persisted in walking along
with their eyes shut, and so got drowned."
But one of Fred's grand coup-d'mils was


' -( ~ ~~-~L44D~k-~L,


the affair of the cherry-pie. In those days
ladies attended more to their household affairs
than they do at present; and my mother, an
excellent housekeeper, was celebrated for her
pastry--cherry-pies in particular. It was the
Fourth of July; the boys were released from
school, and roaming about in quest of mischief
as boys always are-and, as a rare thing, we
had no company that day, except my aunt, who
had come from a distance on a visit to my
mother, while my father had gone to return one
of the numerous visits paid him. Cherry-pie
was a standing dish at our house with which to
celebrate the Declaration of Independence.
The servants had all gone out for a holiday, no
dinner was cooked, and the sole dependence
was on the cherry-pie.
They sat down to dinner, and I heard my
mother say: Now, sister Berthy, I really
hope you will enjoy this pie, for I bestowed
extra pains upon it, and placed it up in the
bedroom pantry out of the boys' reach, who are
very apt to nibble off the edge of the crust.
This time, I see, they have not meddled with


The pie was cut; but alas! for the hollowness
of human triumphs; the knife met a wilderness
of crust and vacancy, but no cherries. The
bed-room pantry had a window opening on a
shed, and into that window Fred, the scape-
grace, had adroitly climbed, carefully lifted the
upper crust from the cherished pie, and ab-
stracted all the cherries. My mother locked
him up, for punishment, but having unfortu-
nately selected a sort of store-room pantry, he
made himself sick with sweetmeats, broke all
the jars he could lay hands on, and, finally,
discovering a pair of scissors, he worked at the
lock, spoiled it, and let himself out.
At one time, being rather short of cash, he
helped himself to a five-dollar bill from my
mother's drawer; but even his conscience
scarcely resting under so heavy an embezzle-
ment, he got it changed, took half a dollar, and
then put the rest back in the drawer. This
considerateness led to a discovery; they all
knew that no one but Fred would have been
guilty of so foolish, and at the same time so
dishonest a thing.
My favorite brother was Henry; just three



years older than myself, manly, amiable, and
intellectual in his tastes, he appeared to me
infinitely superior to any one I had ever seen;
and we two were almost inseparable. In winter
he always carried me to school on his sled,
saw that Fred did not rob me of my dinner,
and was always ready to explain a difficult
lesson. He was an extremely enterprising boy,
with an inexhaustible fund of ingenuity and
invention; but, like most geniuses, received.
more blame than praise. When quite small
he constructed a sort of gun made of wood,
which would discharge a small ball of paper,
pebble, &c. This became a very popular play-
thing in the nursery, and for once the inventor
received due praise, on account of its keeping
the children so quiet. But one day Fred un-
dertook to teach the year old baby the art
of shooting with it; and with a small corn
for a bullet, he placed the toy in the child's
hands, turning the mouth the wrong way.
4 The young soldier pulled the trigger in delight,
and by some strange mischance, the corn flew
up his nose. The doctor was hastily brought,


the child relieved with a great deal of diffi-
culty, the dangerous plaything burned, and
poor Henry sent to coventry for an unlimited


WE had a girl named Jane Davis whom my
mother had brought up from childhood. At
the period to which I refer, she could not have
been more than fourteen, and as she was always
good-humored and willing to oblige, she be-
came a general favorite. Often, in the early
winter evenings, with the nursery as tidy as
hands could make it, (for Mammy, although
not an old maid, was a mortal enemy to dirt
and slovenliness) we all gathered round the fire,
while the old nurse and Jane spun out long
stories, sometimes of things which had hap-
pened to them, sometimes of things which had
happened to others, and often of things that
never did or could happen to anybody. But I
must do them the justice to say, that although


they sometimes related almost impossible oc-
currencies, they never, on any one occasion, took
advantage of their influence over us to enforce
our obedience by frighful tales of old men with
bags, who seem to have an especial fancy for
naughty children. The nearest approach that
Mammy ever made to anything of this kind
was to tell us, when we began to look sleepy,
that the sandman had been along and filled
our eyes. On receiving this information, we
generally retired peaceably to bed, without be-
ing haunted by any fears of ghost or goblin.
There was a wealthy and fashionable family
who lived just opposite, consisting of a widower,
his sister, and two children-a son and daugh-
ter. They lived in most extravagant style, and
Jane positively assured us that the housekeeper
had told her with her own lips that there was
no end to Mr. Okeman's wealth, and that he
even made his daughter eat bank-bills on her
bread and butter! Whether the son was ex-
empted from this disagreeable performance we
never thought of inquiring; but our awe rose ten
per cent. for a girl who was so rich as absolutely
to devour money. On being divulged, this grand


.. .-'


secret amused the inmates of the drawing-room
very much, and our parents could scarcely
command their countenances to undeceive us.
Jane Davis remained with us as nursery-
maid until she was eighteen, when my mother,
who was always extremely kind to servants
and dependants, placed her at a trade, and.
supported her comfortably until she learned
enough to support herself. She afterwards
married a carpenter, who always performed for
my father those odd jobs that are constantly re-
quired in a house, and they came to live in a
kind of cottage at the end of the garden.
They there commenced farming on a small
scale, and often supplied us with milk, eggs,
poultry, &c.
Mammy was a firm believer in signs of good
and evil import; thus, if, in dropping the
scissors, they stood up erect on the point, she
always said that visitors were coming-a sign
that rarely failed, as we were seldom a day
without them. Once I had wished very much
for a large wax-doll. My dreams were beauti-
fied with waxen images of immense size, whose
china blue eyes, long flaxen curls, and rosy


cheeks, presented a combination of charms that
took my heart by storm. I sat one night, as
usual, by the nursery fire; my thoughts fixed
on this all-engrossing subject, when I ventured
to communicate them to Mammy, and ask her
if she thought I ever would become the envi-
able possessor of such a doll.
I 'don't know," replied Mammy at first,
"I think it's very doubtful. But come here,"
she added, and let me see your hand."
After an examination, Mammy pronounced
with an air of great mystery that circumstances
were propitious, and she was almost convinced
beyond a doubt that ere long the doll would
be mine. She then pointed out to me a small
white spot on my left thumb nail, which she
said always denoted a present. I was rather
incredulous at first, not conceiving that so bril-
liant a dream could be realized; but after a
while the doll actually made its appearance,
and I began to regard Mammy as something
little short of a witch, and became far more
tractable in consequence of my increased awe.
Jane's stories, as well as Mammy'i always
began with Once upon a time there were two



sisters;" one was represented as plain-looking,
but amiable-the other beautiful, but a very
Zantippe in temper. By some wonderful com-
bination of circumstances, the elder lost her
beauty and ugliness at the same time-when
some good fairy always came along, who, by a
magic touch of her wand, made both the sisters
far more- lovely than the elder had been.
Beauty was always the burden of the tale;
people who were not beautiful met with no ad-
ventures, and seemed to lead a hum-drum sort
of life; therefore, I insensibly learned to regard
this wonderful possession as something very
much to be desired. I believe I was quite a
pretty child, with dark bright eyes, red lips,
and a pair of very rosy cheeks. I spent con-
siderable time before the glass, and both M1am-
my and Jane began to fear the effects of vanity.
Often and often would the old nurse say:
"You needn't stand Before the glass, Miss
Amy-there is nothing to look at," or when in
a bad humor, Don't make such faces, child-
you have no beauty to spare," and I can very
well remember how both would endeavor to
persuade me that I was the most veritable little


fright that ever existed, and quite a bugbear to
my relations.
What a pity," Jane would commence, as
she saw me surveying myself with an air of in-
finite satisfaction, what a pity it is that Miss
Amy has such a dark, ugly skin-almost like
an Indian, isn't it, nurse ?"
I had eyes to judge for myself, and knew
that I was much fairer than either Mammy or
Jane; and somebody had remarked in my
presence: What a lovely neck and shoul-
ders !" therefore I generally remained per-
fectly quiet while listening to these inuendoes.
Yes," Mammy would reply, "a very great
pity-but an amiable temper, Miss Amy, is
more than looks; you must try and cultivate
that, to make up for your want of beauty."
And then," continued Jane, only see how
perfectly straight her hair is! not a sign of curl,
nor even a twist !-and black eyes have such a
wicked kind of a look; they always remind me
of cannibals."
Jane's eyes were as blue and bright as glass
beads, while Mammy's, I thought, approached
a green, but with my own I felt perfectly satis-

I__~ :_r__ YFls --IIIYCY ~ 11_



fled; for a lady had remarked in my presence
what beautiful eyes I had-adding that "dark
eyes were so much more expressive than
blue; blue ones were so very insipid look-
ing." The observation about my hair, though,
was only too correct, and touched me most
sensibly. While most of the other children
possessed those soft, flowing curls, so beautiful
in childhood, mine obstinately refused to wave;
and was, to use Jane's expression, "as straight
and as stiff as a poker." I had endeavored to
remedy this as far as lay in my power, and
one day set my hair in a blaze, while curling
it with a very hot pipe-stem. I was, in conse-
quence, deemed one of the most abandoned of
the nursery inmates; and found myself minus
at least one half of the hair I had hitherto pos-
I really believe that both Jane and Mammy
sincerely hoped to eradicate my besetting sin, by
such blunt remarks as the former; but no course
could have been less wise than the one which
they took. I knew very well that I was neither
a fright, an Indian, nor a cannibal; and the
pains which they took to convince me to the


contrary led me to give myself credit for much
more beauty than I really possessed. I also
regarded amiability as a virtue of very small
account; and supposed that those who practised
it, only did so because they possessed neither
beauty, grace, nor anything else to recommend
A great source of annoyance to me was
my dress. As I was an only daughter, some
mothers, with the same means, would have en-
hanced my attractions with all the aid of orna-
ment, and established me as a permanent
divinity of the drawing-room, whom all must
bow to and flatter as they entered its precincts.
But, although fond of display, and surrounded
with all the appliances of wealth, the taste of
my parents never did run much on dress; and
I often felt mortified at my inferiority to others
in this respect. Such articles were then much
dearer, and more in vogue than at the present
day, and a blue Circassian formed my entire
stock of gala dresses, and went the rounds of
all the children's parties I attended; my mother
seemed to think, (with respect to me, at least,)
that as long as a dress was clean and in good



repair, there was no need of a change-she left
nothing to the pleasure of variety. There ap-
peared to be an inexhaustible store of the same
material in a certain capacious drawer; did an
elbow give out, a new sleeve instantly supplied
its place-did I happen to realize the ancient
saying: "There's many a slip twixtt the cup
and the lip," and make my lap the recipient of
some of the goodies provided for us at our
entertainments, the soiled front breadth disap-
peared, and was replaced by another, fresh and
new-did the waist grow short, it was made
over again-there verily seemed to be no end to
the dress; I came to the conclusion that blue
Circassian was the most ugly material ever
invented, and often found myself calculating
how many yards there might be left.
My school hats always looked the worse for
wear, and my Sunday ones were not much
better; but once my mother took me to the
city, and bought me, for school, a far hand-
somer hat than I had hitherto worn for best,
and a still better one for great occasions. Here
I, who scarcely ever looked decent about the
upper story, actually had two new hats at


once! The best one, I remember, was a round
gipsy flat, then altogether the fashion; and
the first Sunday I put it on I made a perfect
fool of myself by twisting my hair in strings,
intended to pass for natural ringlets, and allow-
ing said strings to hang all around beneath the
brim of my hat. Mamma was sick and con-
fined to her room, and I managed to appear at
church with this ridiculous head-gear. People
certainly stared a little, but this my vanity
easily converted into looks of admiration direct-
ed towards my new hat, and perhaps also my
improved beauty-and came home more full of
self-complacency than ever.
I have before mentioned that -beyond the
house there was a large fruit-garden, respecting
which, my father's orders were especially
strict. He expressly forbade our touching any
of the fruit unless he gave us permission; and
nothing made him more angry than to have
any gathered before it was quite ripe. It
certainly requires a child whose principle of
honesty is a very strong one, to pass every day
in full view of an endless bed of ripening straw-
berries, whgse uncommon size and luscious hue



offered so many temptations. But bad as I
was, I think I was generally pretty honest,
and resisted the temptation to the best of my


I THINK I was about five years old, when one
bright May morning my brother Henry receiv-
ed especial instructions to be careful of me,
and see that I fell into no mischief on the oc-
casion of my first day at school. The luncheon-
basket was packed with twice the usual quantity
of sandwiches, into which Mammy slyly tucked
a small paper of sweet things as a sort of com-
forter, with repeated injunctions to Henry not
to make a mistake and confiscate them for his
own private use. A superfluous caution-for
Henry was the most generous little fellow that
ever lived; and was far more likely to fall
short himself than that others should suffer
through him. Both Jane and Mammy kissed
me repeatedly. I had on a new dress of light,


spotted calico, and a straw hat, with a green
ribbon, and a deep green silk cape-under-
neath the binding of my apron a small hand-
kerchief had been carefully pinned-a small
blue-covered book, and a slate with a long,
sharp-pointed pencil tied on with a red cord,
were placed in my hands; and from these
ominous preparations, and the uncommon kind-
ness of every one around, I concluded that I
was at last to meet with some adventure-
perhaps to suffer martyrdom of some kind or
Poor Jane I My great passion was for beads,
and when she perceived, from various indica-
tions, that I was not exactly pleased with the
change, she ran up stairs, hastily loosened a
whole string from a cherished necklace, and
returning quickly, slipped them into my hand.
My mother also came into the nursery to see
that I was perfectly neat, kissed me affection-
ately as she whispered to me to be a good girl
and learn to read, and with a strange, unde-
fined sensation at my heart, I found myself in
the street with my hand fast locked in that of
Henry. It was that lovely season of the year


when the fruit-trees are all in bloom; and the
sweet, flower-laden breeze, the busy hum of
human life that rose around, and the bounding,
restless spirit of childhood, made me shrink
from the bondage I was about to enter.
The school-house was a very pretty cottage
with a trellised front of bean-vines and honey-
suckle; and when I entered I found, to my
great surprise, that Miss Sewell, the teacher,
looked very much like other people. There
were two moderate-sized rooms, opening into
each other, in one of which Mr. Sewell super-
intended several desks of unruly boys-in the
other, his daughter directed the studies of
about twenty little girls. There were some
large girls seated at the desks, who appeared
to me so very antiquated that I was almost
afraid to hazard an idea respecting their ages;
and had I been asked how old they were,
should probably have replied 'at least fifty;'
although I do not now suppose the eldest was
more than fourteen.
Rather stunned by the buzz and noise of the
classes reciting, and very much puzzled as to
my own probable destiny, I began to climb the



hill of knowledge. I said my letters; and
Miss Sewell, having found that I knew them
pretty well, (thanks to Mammy's patient teach-
ing), allowed me to spell in a-b, ab, and b-a, ba,
and set me some straight marks on my slate.
I met with nothing remarkable during my first
day at school; and on my return informed
Mammy, as the result of my studies, that two
and one make four. Nor could I be persuaded
to the contrary; for, although I had been
taught by the old nurse to count as far as ten,
on being examined by Miss Sewell, either
bashfulness or obstinacy prevented me from
displaying the extent of my knowledge-and,
while endeavoring to explain to me how many
one and one make, she had said: There is
one, to begin with; well now, one more makes
two," therefore as one made two in this case, I
supposed it did in every other.
I learned to love the mild countenance of
Miss Sewell, with her plain dark hair and soft
eyes, and was never happier then when she
was invited to tea; for then I was emancipated
from the nursery and placed beside her at
table. I dearly loved to take her fruit and


flowers; and white lilies, roses, honey-suckles,
and the most admired productions of our
garden were daily laid on Miss Sewell's table.
For rewards we had a great many wide, bright-
colored ribbons, which were tied upon our
arms, that every one might see them as we
went home; and she who could boast a variety
of ribbons was known to have been perfect in
all her lessons. Those who had fallen into
disgrace were distinguished by a broad band
passed around the head, on the front of which
was written in large characters the name of the
One morning I had been rather negligent,
and, having my suspicions as to the conse-
quence, told Mammy of my fears, and my
dread of the disgrace. The old nurse's anger
even exceeded mine; she declared that her
child should not be treated so, and advised me
to snatch it off and tear it to pieces. I went to
school, not having exactly made up my mind
whether to follow this advice or not; but my
afternoon lessons fully made'up for the de-
ficiency of the morning, and I escaped the
dreaded punishment. I had gone with several



companions to the closet in which we deposited
our hats and shawls, and while engaged in the
process of robing, I heard a very loud voice
talking in great excitement, and one which I
immediately recognized. I overheard Mammy
exclaiming: "Where is my child ? Has she
got that horrid thing on her head? I want to
take it off before she goes home."
Blushing with mortification, as I noticed the
tittering of the school-girls, called forth by the
loud tone and strange figure of the old nurse,
who had rushed into the room in her usual
attire of short-gown and petticoat, I came
hastily forward, and was immediately seized by
Mammy, who exclaimed in surprise: "Why,
I though you said you were going to have that
thing on your head! I was determined that no
child of mine should wear it, so I came after
you to take it off."
Mammy was one of the most independent
persons I ever saw; she cared for no one's
frown, and poured forth the whole love of her
warm Irish heart upon us-tormenting and
troublesome as we were. Sometimes she sung
to us of "Acushla machree" and Mavourneen,"


and Mammy's Irish songs were especial favor-
ites with the young fry of the nursery. When
we were particularly obstreperous, she threat-
ened to go away and leave us, and never come
back again; a threat which always produced
copious showers of tears, and promises of better
behavior. Often have I watched her in dismay
as she dressed herself to go out-fearful that
she would really put her threat in execution,
especially as conscience whispered that I de-
served it. At such times, nothing pacified me
except the deposit of her spectacles; when
once the case was lodged in my possession, I
felt sure of Mammy-knowing that she could
not stay long without them. Sometimes she
would tell us of her life in Ireland; but no act
did she more bitterly deplore than her mar-
riage; complaining that the object of her
choice was far from what he appeared to be
when she married him-and further observing
that as he turned out a very bad speculation,
and never gave her anything but a thimble,
she wisely left him to his own society, and
emigrated to America.
Mammy very often kept the key of the fruit-



garden; and as she never yielded it to our
entreaties, the ever-ready Fred formed a con-
spiracy one Sunday afternoon, in which, I am
sorry to say, I took a very conspicuous part-
the object of which was to purloin the key,
and enjoy at last this long-coveted, forbidden
pleasure. Fred actually succeeded in abstract-
ing it from Mammy's capacious pocket, and in
high glee we proceeded to the garden. It was
in the time of peaches ; there hung the lucious
fruit in such profusion, that the trees were
almost borne down by its weight. We ate till
we could eat no longer; and then, happening
to see two or three men passing along, we
threw some over the fence to them. They, in
return, threw us some pennies; and, delighted
with the success of our frolic, we continued to
throw and receive, until startled by a most un-
welcome apparition. There, at the foot of the
tree, stood Mammy-her face expressing the
utmost astonishment and indignation, and her
hands extended to seize us. She had watched
our manoeuvres from one of the windows, and
astonishment at our boldness and ingenuity
kept her for sometime a silent spectator. But


Mammy was not apt to be silent long while
witnessing our misdeeds; and in an incredible
short space of time she gained the use of both
her feet and her tongue. Our companions
caught a glimpse of flying drapery rapidly
advancing, and rather suddenly made their
retreat; while we, now trembling, detected
culprits, took up a line of march for the house.
Not so, Fred; defying Mammy to capture
him, and laughing at her dismay, he started off
on a run, and she after him in full pursuit.
We watched the chase from the nursery-
window; and as Fred was none of the thinnest,
and Mammy somewhat resembled a meal-bag
with a string tied round the middle, it proved
to be quite exciting. But it was brought to an
untimely end by the apparition of a pair of
spectacles over the fence; said spectacles being
the undisputed property of a middle-aged
gentleman-a bachelor, who, we suspected,
always stayed home from church on Sunday
afternoons to keep the neighbors in order.
With horror-stricken eyes he had beheld only
the latter part of the scene, and conceiving the
old nurse to be as bad as her rebellious charge,



he called out from his garden, which communi-
cated with ours:
My good woman, do you know that this is
Sunday ?-Depend upon it, a person of your
years would feel much better to be quietly
reading in your own apartment, than racing
about the garden in this unseemly manner."
Poor Mammy! she was well aware of this
before; flushed, heated, and almost overcome
with fatigue, she looked the very picture of
uncomfortableness; and this last aggravation
increased the feeling to a tenfold degree. At
that moment, Fred, unconsciously, stumbled
into her very arms; she looked up-the specta-
cles had disappeared-and convinced of this
fact, she bore him in triumph to the nursery.
We had all expected personal chastisement,
at the very least, but we were thrown into a
greater degree of horror and dismay than could
well be conceived; Mammy placed her specta-
cles in her pocket, collected her valuables, and
put on her hat and things, to take passage for
Ireland. We hung about her in every attitude
of entreaty-acknowledged our misdemeanors,
promised amendment, and an entire confession


of all the sins we had ever perpetrated. I do
think we must have remained upon our knees
at least half an hour; never had Mammy
seemed so hard-hearted before, and we began
to think that she might be in earnest after all.
We begged her to whip us-lock us up-any-
thing but leave us; and at last she relented.
She told us that sire considered us the most
abandoned children that ever were born; and
wished that she had two additional eyes at the
back of her head to watch our movements.
We promised to spend the afternoon in learning
hymns and verses; and Mammy, having taken
her position in the large easy-chair, with a
footstool at her feet, tied Fred to one of the legs,
as he sat on a low bench at her side, and made
us all study. We succeeded pretty well;
although considerably terrified at the sharp
looks which Mammy from time to time bestowed
upon us.
In the evening came the promised confes-
sion; and both Mammy and Jane were render-
ed almost dumb by these dreadful instances
of depravity. Such secret and unsuspected
visits to the store-room pantry-such conspira-



cies against locks and bolts-such scaling of
walls, and climbing in at windows, were never
heard of before. I rather suspected Fred to
have drawn upon his imagination for instances
of the marvellous, for such adventures as he
related never could have been met with; but
Mammy and Jane believed it all. At the con-
clusion, the old nurse seemed very much dis-
posed to punish us at once for all these united
misdemeanors-and was only prevented by our
remonstrating upon the plea of a voluntary
That night I lay awake, pretending to sleep,
and heard Mammy and her satellite discussing
our conduct in all its enormity. Considerably
influenced by their unaffected horror and aston-
ishment, the thought for the first time rushed
upon my mind, that perhaps I might be much
worse than other people. It troubled me con-
siderably; I found it impossible to sleep, and
following a good impulse, I crept softly out of
bed, and falling on my knees before Mammy,
whispered to her to pray for me. There must
have been a very different expression on my
countenance from its usual one ; for I after-


wards heard the old nurse tell Jane that I re-
minded her of an angel. I felt utterly misera-
ble; and sobbing convulsively, I begged Mam-
my to pray, not that I might have a new heart,
but that I might live a great while. I had be-
gun to fear speedy punishment for my misde-
meanors. The old nurse, (although a really
pious woman), seemed quite at a loss how to
proceed; and Jane, coming forward, took me
kindly by the hand, and reasoned with me on
my conduct with-all the wisdom of riper years
and a higher education. After convincing me
that I should ask, not for an increased number
of years, but for a new heart and temper, she
knelt down with me and repeated the Lord's
The scene is indelibly impressed upon my
memory; for although I have since witnessed
scenes containing more stage effect, and quite
as melting, I never in my life remember to
have been so affected as, with Jane's arm
around me, and the light of the nursery-lamp
shining upon our kneeling figures, I distinctly
heard Mammy's sobs, as she repeated each
word with a peculiar intonation of reverence.



I felt a respect for the young girl ever after-
wards; and as I clasped my arms about her
neck and pressed a warm kiss on her cheek, as
I bade her good-night, the tone of my voice
must have been unusually tender-for I saw
tears come into her eyes as she asked Mammy
if she was not afraid, from my flushed cheeks,
that I had some fever. Although petulant, and
even violent when roused, I had a warm, loving
heart, capable of the most unbounded affection;
and from that time forth Jane and I never had
a single dispute. She had appeared to me in
a new light on that Sabbath eve; and with my
hand locked in hers, I fell into a sweet, dreamy


ONE of my great troubles, and one too which
I regarded in a pretty serious light, was the
obeisance I had been taught to make on meet-
ing the minister's wife." I never came
within view of this formidable personage that
I did not hesitate and tremble; while I looked
wildly around, in the vain hope of discovering
a place of refuge. After performing my
awkward courtesy, I usually hastened on as
fast as possible, being oppressed with a most
uncomfortable sensation of awe in the presence
of Mrs. Eylton. This was occasioned by the
quiet observance which I, like other children,
took of the conduct of those around me.
Everything in the house seemed to be at her
command; if Mrs. Eylton sent for a thing she


must have it immediately; and I drew my
conclusions that "the minister's wife" was a
sort of petty sovereign, placed over the town or
village in which she resided, and that all we
possessed was held under her.
Almost every day brought a request from
Mrs. Eylton for the loan of some article in
our possession; a repetition of which would
naturally lead one to conclude that ministers
merely procured a house, and then depended
for everything else on the charity of the pub-
lic. This borrowing mania appeared to gather
strength from indulgence, for none of the
neighbors would refuse, whatever the article
might be; and our waffle-iron, toasting-fork,
Dutch-oven, bake-pan, and rolling-pin were
frequently from home on visits of a week's du-
ration. On sending for our muffin-rings or
cake-pans, we often received a message to be
expeditious in our manufactures; that Mrs.
Eylton could spare them for a day or so, but
wanted to use them again very shortly." Our
parents would buy such conveniences, send
them to the kitchen of Mrs. Eylton, and bor-
row them from time to time, if in perfect ac-


cordance with that lady's convenience. She
would even borrow her neighbor's servants,
and often at very inconvenient times. Jane
had often been sent for to take care of the chil-
dren; and the usual request came one after-
noon that seemed to me stamped with most re*
markable events.
We were in a kind of sitting-room on the
ground-floor, and my father sat writing at a
small table near the window. A servant en-
tered with the announcement: Mrs. Eylton,
ma'am, wants to borrow Jane."
An expression of vexation crossed my mo-
ther's countenance as she remarked: "I do
not know how I can possibly spare Jane this
afternoon; Mammy has gone out, and I do not
feel inclined to attend to the children myself."
My father looked up from his writing as he
observed: Nor do I see the necessity of your
being troubled with them, Laura."
"Not see the necessity !" exclaimed my
mother, How can I refuse the wife of our
minister? I would be willing to put up with
some inconvenience for Mr. Eylton's sake.



Poor man! he has a hard time of it, with his
talents and refinement."
No doubt he has," said my father, pity-
ingly; then, in a more merry tone, he added:
But can you think of no other alternative,
Laura, than disobliging Mrs. Eylton, if you
object to this juvenile infliction for a whole
long summer's afternoon ?"
My father was of a bolder, more determined
character than my mother, and had, withal, a
spice of fun in his composition; and the expres-
sion of his eyes now rendered her apprehen-
sive of some sudden scheme that might create
a feeling of justifiable anger in Mrs. Eylton.
"Dearest Arthur !" she exclaimed beseech-
ingly, as she placed a soft hand on his shoulder,
Do not, I beseech of you, put in execution
any outlandish plan respecting Mrs. Eylton!-
Do let Jane go as usual; for she is not one
to understand a joke, I can assure you-she
will be offended by it."
And pray, madam," asked my father, with
assumed gravity, "what has led you to sup-
pose that I intended making Mrs. Eylton the


subject of a joke ? Away with you," he con-
tinued, with a mischievous look at those plead-
ing eyes, Away with you, and let me do as
I choose."
Turning to the servant, he asked: "Mrs.
Eylton' has, I believe, requested the loan of
other articles besides our domestics-has she
ever sent to borrow any of the children?"
"Indeed, and she has not, sir," replied the
girl, with difficulty repressing a laugh.
"Well then," said he, "we will now send
her both the article she requested, and some
articles which she did not request. Tell Jane
to be ready to go to Mrs. Eylton's with the
Yes sir," and the servant departed to exe-
cute her commission.
Arthur! remonstrated my mother.
Not a word!" said my father gaily. "Chil-
dren," he continued, "do you wish to go?
What says my madcap, Amy ?"
Madcap Amy, for once in her life, said
nothing-being two much awed and astonished
to reply. To think that I should actually enter
the house, and be face to face with the formi-



dable Mrs. Eylton ? The idea was appalling;
and for sometime I sat biting my nails in
thoughful silence. It was so sudden, it had
always appeared to me that a great deal must
be gone through with-a great many different
degrees of intimacy surmounted, before I should
ever find myself within the house of Mrs.
Eylton; but here was I, without the least
warning, to be transformed from the bashful
child, who made no sign of recognition save an
awkward courtesy, into the regular visitor-and
for a whole afternoon! No wonder I took so
long to deliberate. Though not particularly
remarkable for bashfulness or timidity at home,
and despite a character for violence in, fight-
ing my own battles," to assert some infringed
right, I absolutely trembled at the idea of
encountering strangers; and this visit to Mrs.
Eylton's appeared, to my excited mind, like
thrusting myself into the enemy's quarters.
But then curiosity rose up in all its powers,
to baffle my fear; I did so want to see how the
house looked inside, and whether they really
had anything that was not borrowed! And
then who knows, thought I, but what Mrs.

Eylton will show me the inside of some of her
drawers? I dare say she has a great many
pretty things. There was nothing which gave
me greater delight than looking into other peo-
ple's drawers, and turning over those remnants
of various things which are stored away in
most houses-in many for the mere love of
hoarding. Mamma would sometimes allow me
to arrange certain little drawers containing
jewelry, ribbons, and odds and ends. But
the charmed room in our house was one that
was always kept locked, and, from the circum-
stance of a green ribbon being attached to the
key, we called it the green-ribbon room."
Dear me! what a collection that room con-
tained. There were several large trunks that
nearly covered the floor, besides boxes, and
bags, and bundles; and these were filled with
cast-off clothes, silks, ribbons, and bunches of
artificial flowers and feathers. The room was
not very often opened; it was at the very top
of the house, and lighted by a large dormar-
window; but as soon as mamma mounted the
stairs, with the key in her hand, the alarm
was given: "Quick! mother is going to the


green-ribbon room!" and mamma's ears were
immediately refreshed by the sound of nume-
rous little feet moving up stairs at locomotive
speed, with the ostensible purpose of assisting
her in her researches-but in reality, to be
getting in her way, and begging for everything
we saw. It was, "Mamma, mayn't we have
this ?" or, mayn't we have that?" or "Do say
yes, just this once; and we'll never ask you
for anything again as long as we live-never,"
a promise faithfully kept till next time.
S Mamma sometimes tried to go up very
softly, in order to elude our vigilance; but it
wouldn't do. She often wondered how we
found out that that she was there, but we sel-
dom missed an opportunity. Now and then a
dear little pitcher, or a vase of cream-colored
ground with a wreath of faint pink roses traced
around it, or a cluster of bright-colored flowers
in the centre, arrested our attention, and called
forth rhapsodies of admiration. I supposed
that everybody had just such a room; and it
was very probable, I thought, that Mrs. Eylton
might chance to open hers during our visit.
Therefore I decided that, notwithstanding my


terror of the lady, a greater amount of pleasure
might be obtained by going there, than by
staying at home.
So Jane, with her own trim person as neat as
possible, bore off her charges to the nursery,
in order, as she said, "to make us fit to be
seen." Mrs. Eylton might see this," or no-
tice that," and I felt uncomfortably convinced
that Mrs. Eylton must possess the sharpest pair
of eyes it had ever been my misfortune to
encounter. Finally, we set off; I remember
being dressed in a white frock, with a broad
sash, and experiencing a consciousness of look-
ing remarkably well, in spite o( my hair-
which, having obstinately repulsed all Jane's
advances with tongs and curl-papers, was suf-
fered to remain in all its native straightness.
It was summer, and a multiflora rose-vine,
which extended over the front of the parsonage,
was then in full flower; while, as we mounted
the steps, I distinguished through the green
blind door glimpses of a pleasant-looking gar-
den beyond. We entered the baok parlor,
where sat Mrs. Eylton attired for a walk, and
surrounded by three children, all younger than



myself. The minister's lady did not appear
quite so formidable on a close survey; though
the aspect of her countenance was by no means
promising, as her eye fell upon us.
Well, Jane," she commenced, in the tone
of one who felt herself injured, "you have kept
me waiting some time-how is this ? Punctu-
ality is a virtue very becoming in a young
Jane looked exceedingly disconcerted at this
address; but at length ise replied, that "she
could not get the children ready before."
"The children !" repeated Mrs. Eylton;
while, young as I was, I plainly read in her
countenance, "What possessed you to bring
them here ".
Yes ma'am," replied Jane, gathering more
courage as she proceeded, Ms. Chesbury
sent them with me to spend the afternoon.
.She had no one to attend to them at home."
In the meantime I became aware, as I
glanced around the room, that the prospect
for the afternoon promised very little amuse-
ment. Mrs. Eylton soon after left us, telling
Jane to be very careful that we got into no


mischief; and, with a feeling of disappoint-
ment, I saw the door close behind her. In my
scenting of the apartment I became very much
struck with the appearance of a curious look-
ing little work-stand, containing three small
drawers. Immediately my imagination was at
work upon their contents ; and I determined,
if possible, to satisfy my curiosity. Mrs. Eyl-
ton had departed without making any provi-
sion for our amusement, and I saw no reason
why I should not examine the drawers-espe-
cially if I handled ,things carefully, and put
them all back again. Probably they were in
disorder, and then what a pleasant surprise it
would be for Mrs. Eylton to find them all
neatly arranged on her return!
Jane now proposed walking in the garden;
and to avoid suspicion, I joined the party for
the present. There were a great many flower-
beds, vqry prettily laid out; and at the end of
a wide path stood a pleasant little summer-
house, half-buried in vines. We established
ourselves there, from whence we could view
the whole garden; and with a pretence of look-
ing again at the flowers, I soon made my es-



cape, and returned to the house. A wide glass-
door opened from the back room into the gar-
den, and carefully closing this, I approached
the table and attempted to open the drawers.
I tried the first one,-it was locked; the sec-
ond,-and met with no better success. Almost
in despair, I placed my hands on the third,
and that finally yielded to my efforts. I be-
held heterogeneous rows of pins, papers of
needles, &c., and was about to shut it in dis-
appointment, when my glance fell on a small
box. Small, mysterious-looking boxes always
possessed a talismanic attraction in my eyes;
and the next moment I was busily at work
examining the contents. The round lid lifted,
I found my gaze irresistibly fascinated by a
child's face, with fair, curling hair, and azure
eyes. But the great beauty lay in its expres-
sion; that was so calm, holy, and serene, that
I felt insensibly better as I gazed upon it. .It
was a peculiar face; and I became so wrapt in
its contemplation as to lose all hearing of what
passed around, until a step sounded close be-
side me.
I looked up, and fairly trembled with terror,


and dismay. There stood Mr. Eylton, gazing
on me in surprise, as if quite at a loss what to
make of the circumstance; but as his eye fell
upon the picture, I noticed that an expression
of sadness crossed his countenance. Not know-
ing what to do with myself, and almost ready
to sink through the floor with shame, I stood
with bowed head and burning cheeks, the very
picture of mortification. But there was no
trace of anger in Mr. Eylton's tone, as, kindly
taking me by the hand, he drew me towards
him and asked me my name. I answered as
well as I could; and still holding the picture,
remained in silent consternation. Mr. Eylton
took it from my hand, and sighed as he bent a
deep, loving gaze upon the fair face.
Prompted by a sudden impulse, I raised my
eyes to his, as I enquired: Can you tell me
where that little girl is now ? I should so like
to see her !"
"In heaven, I trust," replied Mr. Eylton,
while his voice slightly faltered, and a tear
stood in his eye. ("She was my daughter,
Amy-she died some years ago, when very



I felt almost ready to cry myself, when told
that she was dead, and gazed lingeringly upon
the portrait as Mr. Eylton closed the box; and
placing it in the drawer, he returned to me
But, my dear child," said he suddenly,
"Why did you open the drawer? Do you not
know that it was extremely improper ?"
I did so want to see what was in it!" was
my rejoinder.
Mr. Eylton seemed puzzled at first by this
reply; but probably perceiving that I had been
too much left to myself, he proceeded to ex-
plain, in clear and concise words, the nature
and tendency of my fault. "This curiosity,
my dear child, is an improper state of feeling
which should not be indulged in. Suppose,"
continued he, that on looking into this
drawer, you had perceived some article which
you immediately felt a great desire to possess;
yielding to the temptation of curiosity would
thus lead to the sin of covetousness, and per-
haps the crime of theft might be also added.
You would reason with yourself that no one
had seen you open the drawer, and forgetting


the all-seeing Eye which never slumbers, you
might conclude that no one would know you
took the article which did not belong to you."
The prospect of becoming a thief struck me
with horror; and resolving never again to
meddle with other people's things, I begged
Mr. Eylton to forgive me, and entreated him
not to inform Mrs. Eylton of my misdemeanor.
He smiled at the anxiety I displayed not to
have it known; and then taking a bunch of
keys from a box, he proceeded to gratify my
curiosity with respect to the other drawers.
These amply repaid an investigation; contain-
ing numerous toys and trinkets of foreign
manufacture, among which were two or three
small alabaster images. One represented a
beautiful greyhound in a reclining position;
there was an Italian image of the Virgin and
Child; and some others which I have almost
forgotten. I was allowed to examine all these
things at my leisure; and when I departed, it
was with a firm conviction that Mr. Eylton was
far more agreeable than his wife.
Jane soon came in from the summer-house,
after an unsuccessful search for me through



the garden, and was not a little surprised to
find me quietly established with Mr. Eylton.
Towards sunset Mrs. Eylton returned; and
being graciously dismissed, we went home
with the impression that it had been altogether
rather a curious visit. But the afternoon
dwelt in my memory like a golden gleam;
and often I went over, in imagination, that de-
lightful investigation of Mrs. Eylton's drawers.


WE were generally beseiged with visitors of
all descriptions and characters. My parents
had one or two poor relations who made long
stays at every visit; and being generous, even
to a fault, they loaded them with presents
at their departure, and invitations to come
again. There was one old lady, in particular,
who engaged my fancy; she came to see us
quite often, and in the family went by the
name of Aunty Patton." Aunty Patton was
a widow, with very slender means; and boarded
with a married daughter, who had a large
family of children, but very little to support
them on. Poor Aunty! she fared rather poorly
at home, and did so seem to enjoy everything.
She was particularly fond of fruit-cake; and


whenever she came, mamma took particular
pains that this should be one of the appliances
of the tea-table. She possessed many wealthy
acquaintances and relations, and enjoyed visit-
ing around among them very much; praising
everything that was set before her, and never
contradicting any one. It seemed impossible
to put anything on the table which she did not
like ; everything was "good," and "delightful,"
and "just what she would have fancied." At
length some cousin determined to test her
patience; and on one occasion, when the old
lady happened to dine there, the dishes, when
uncovered, were found to contain nothing but
supaun and potatoes.
"I am really sorry, Aunty Patton," began
the hostess, to be able to offer you nothing
better for dinner-but sometimes you know"-
0," said Aunty, with rather a rueful look,
" it'll do."
Poor Aunty had that very day prepared her-
self for something uncommonly nice in the way
of dinner, and felt a little disappointed; but
cousin Emma soon restored her equanimity by
a liberal display of fruit-cake and other nice


things, which presented themselves on opening
the side-board door.
Aunty Patton had mild, winning kind of
manners, and became a general favorite in the
nursery; probably on account of her always
noticing us, and pronouncing us "lovely little
creatures." : She appeared to me the most
heavenly-minded old lady I had ever seen;
and I listened, with a species of awe, to the
long stories which she loved so dearly to relate
about everybody whom she visited. She was
very short-not seeming to me much taller
than myself-and the cumbrous dress of the
period was calculated to make her appear
much shorter. She would sit and relate won-
derful occurrences which seemed constantly
taking place in her daughter's family; one of
the children would cut his foot, and for some-
time there would be danger of amputation-
another urchin would upset a kettle of scalding
water on himself, and then he would be laid up
for sometime, while mamma turned the green-
ribbon room topsy-turvy in her searches after
old linen-and once the daughter fell down
stairs, and was taken up for dead. They seemed



to be an unfortunate family-always meeting
with hair-breadth escapes. Aunty Patton's
reticule was always well filled with good things
on every occasion of her departure; and very
often a collection of money was added to the
Mamma sometimes endeavored to enlist our
sympathies in benevolent purposes. I remem-
ber, on one occasion, when I had been teasing
sometime for a new tortoise-shell comb to keep
back my hair with, it suddenly entered my
head that it would be a well-disposed action to
ask for some money to give Aunty Patton.
Are you willing, Amy, to deny yourself
anything," asked mamma, after I had made my
request, in order that I may give this money
to Aunty Patton ? It is no benevolence in you
to ask me to give away money, unless you
are willing to do without something in conse-
quence. If I give Aunty Patton the five dol-
lars that your comb will cost, are you willing
to do without it ?"
Dear me," thought I, being good is very
expensive." I deliberated for sometime, but
finally answered, "No." My mother pressed


the subject no farther; but after a while I
exclaimed with a comfortable feeling of mag-
nanimity; "Yes, dear mamma, you may give
Aunty Patton the five dollars-and I'll get
papaa to buy me the comb!"
Mammy was a great judge of character, and
when she once made up her mind not to like
a person, it was very difficult to make her
change her sentiments. My father once brought
in a travelling clergyman, who represented
himself as very devout and unfortunate; and
we all made great efforts to entertain him. He
was travelling West, he said, and endeavoring
to collect on the road sufficient money to pay
his expenses. My father invited him to re-
main with us a month; and he seemed very
much to enjoy the good things so liberally
showered upon him-contriving at the same
time to render himself so agreeable that he
quite won our hearts. Mammy alone remain-
ed proof against his insinuations; he paid
assiduous court to her, and did his best to re-
move this unfavorable impression, but the old
nurse remained immovable.
He once asked her for the key to the fruit-



garden, when my parents were both out; but
Mammy stedfastly refused him. "She had
orders," she said, 'not to let the key go out
of her possession, and she didn't intend to
now." The wandering clergyman departed
quite enraged; and reported proceedings as
soon as my father returned. He was very
much displeased at Mammy's obstinacy, and
spoke quite warmly on the subject; but the
old nurse replied that she didn't know but he
might make off with half the fruit in the gar-
den-she didn't like the man's looks at any
I had then in my possession a little morocco
pocket-book, a treasured article, which I valu-
ed above all my other worldly goods. Some-
time before Christmas, I had observed it in a
a shop-window with passionate admiration;
and on my return home, I threw out various
hints and inuendoes-scarcely hoping that they
would be attended to. They were, however;
for on examining my stocking on the event-
ful morning, the long-coveted pocket-book was
found sticking in the toe-and what was still
better, well supplied with contents. I was in


ecstacy for sometime after; but wishing to do
something to signalize myself, I now placed it
in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Motley for safe
Mark my words," said Mammy propheti-
cally, you'll never see a sign of that pocket-
book again."
Alas! her words were but too true; circum-
stances came to light not very favorable to the
character of our visitor; and that very night
the Rev. Mr. Motley secretly decamped-men-
tioning in a note left behind, that unlooked-for
events had hastened his departure. My little
pocket-book accompanied him, as he quite for-
got to return it; and Mammy's triumph was
almost as provoking as the loss. She had, how-
ever, with characteristic caution, abstracted
whatever money it contained; and the reflec-
tion that the reverend gentleman had not gain-
ed much, gave her considerable pleasure. The
lesson taught me not to trust strangers again
too readily, and my father imbibed somewhat
of a prejudice against travelling clergymen in
distress. Rev. Mr. Motley was never again
heard of.



We once had a visit from a Captain Vardell,
an acquaintance of my father's, who had mar-
ried a Spanish woman. This Captain had
spent much of his time at sea; roving about
from place to place, until at length he settled
down for some years in Spain. He had no
relations in America, and but little money, so
that of course my father's house, the usual
refuge of the needy and distressed, was at once
his destination. He appeared to us an indolent,
good-natured kind of a man, and his wife re-
sembled him in the former quality, though
quite deficient in the latter. She could not
speak a word of English, and would scold and
rail at her husband in Spanish for hours to-
gether. We did not understand what she said,
but we knew, by the flashing of those great
black eyes and her animated gestures, that her
words were not words of love. She was a large
woman, with straight, black hair, that seemed
to be always hanging about her face, and
rather handsome features. She spent most of
her time in playing jackstraws with us, or else
lounging on the sofa; muttering in rapid suc-
cession the words of a small prayer-book, which


Captain Vardell told us she always carried
about her, as it had been consecrated and
given to her by a Spanish priest. She appeared
to us very much like a great overgrown baby;
manifesting the most childish delight on win-
ning a game, and equally angry when defeated.
Once, when in extreme good-humor, she shewed
us how to make beads resembling coral, from a
certain paste which she manufactured; but
we never could extract from her the names of
the materials, and were obliged to content our-
selves with making them under her direction.
Mrs. Vardell was so extremely lazy that she
would never stoop to pick up anything she had
dropped. If her handkerchief or prayer-book
fell to the floor, she made motions for us to
bring them to her; and when we sometimes
mischievously pretended not to understand
these signs, she would let the article remain
until some one restored it to her. She never
seemed to experience the least emotion of
gratitude, and received all favors as a natural
right. She was an extremely troublesome, ex-
acting visitor, and we were not at all sorry
when the time of her departure arrived.



My father had exerted himself on their be-
half, and at the end of their visit handed Cap-
tain Vardell a handsome sum of money, col-
lected from among his merchant friends and
acquaintances. People were much more liberal
then than now, and the case of the Vardells
did not fail to call forth their sympathy and
generosity. The Spanish lady made her adiens,
if so they could be called, with an easy indif-
ference-apparently considering her fellow-
mortals as machines invented for her sole use
and benefit. Captain Vardell presented us
children with a handsome collection of shells,
picked up on foreign shores during his nume-
rous voyages; and some of them were very
rare and beautiful. Most of them had a
delicate pink tinge, like the outer leaves of a
just-blown rose; and we amused ourselves
for a long time by arranging them in a glass-
case which my father gave us for the purpose.
Among our visitors was an aunt of my
mother's who lived in Waterford, Connecticut;
and being a widow, with quite a large farm to
attend to, her visits were never of long dura-
tion. I became very much attached to her,


for she often entertained us with- long stories
about the Revolution and the aggressions of the
British soldiers-about which you shall hear
when I come to tell you of the long visit I
made there one summer. Aunt Henshaw was
very proud of her farm and farming operations ;
her cattle and vegetables had several times
won the prize at agricultural fairs, and she
boasted that her land produced more than any
of her neighbors'; who, being men, were of
course expected to be more accomplished in
such matters. She appeared to delight in
giving away things, and seldom made us a
visit without bringing something of her own
raising. These little presents my father always
repaid tenfold; and Aunt Henshaw .'jdte-
parted without a new gown or hht, or some-
thing. to show when she got home. I believe
that we. generally anticipated more pleasure
from her visits than from any qf the numerous
friends whoe often favored us with their com-
But Aunt Henshaw, I must confess, won my
heart less by her own individual merits than a
present she once made me, which actually



appeared to me like a windfall from the skies.
I was always inordinately fond of reading, and
my predelictions for fairy tales amounted to
an actual passion. When Mammy and Jane's
ingenuity had been exhausted in framing in-
stances of the marvellous for my special grati-
fication, I would often fold my hands before
my face, to shut out all actual scenes, and thus
sit and dream of wonderful adventures with
fairies, witches, and enchanted princesses. I
was always happier in a reverie than in the
company of others-my own ideals I could
make as I chose-the real I must take as I
found it. Castle-building is a pleasant but
dangerous occupation; had I not been so much
of an enthusiast, a day-dreamer, it would have
been better for my happiness.
But to return to Aunt Henshaw and her pre-
sent. Some school-mate one day told me of
the varied wonders contained in the Arabian
Nights." My imagination, always excitable,
became worked up to a high pitch by tales of
diamond caverns, flying horses, and mysterious
saloons under ground. If I went to sleep, it
was to dream of gardens more beautiful than


Paradise itself--of cooling fountains springing
up at every step-of all sorts of impossible
fruits growing just where you wanted them-
and lamps and songs that gratified every wish.
At length I could bear these tantalizing
visions of unattainable pleasure no longer; I
put on my bonnet and determined to go the
whole rounds of the village until I met with
some success. People wondered what ailed
me that afternoon; I bolted directly into a
room-asked if they had the Arabian Nights
-and, on being answered in the negative,
went out as expeditiously as I had gone in,
and tried another acquaintance. I was not
easily daunted, and took each one in succes-
sion, but all to no purpose; I returned home,
fairly sick with disappointment, and hope
The very next day Aunt Henshaw came
down on a visit; and p ing in my hands an
old-looking, leather-covered book, observed,
"I happened to come across this stowed away
in an old chest, Amy, and knowing your fond-
ness for fairy tales, I have brought it for you
to read."



I scarcely heard what she said; I had glan-
ced at the book, and on seeing Arabian
Nights" traced in large gilt letters, the ground
seemed swimming before me, and I could
scarcely contain my senses. Seizing the be-
loved book, I made my escape as quickly as
possible; and mounting up to the cupola, a
tiny room with glass sides, that commanded a
view of the country round, I effectually se-
cured myself against interruption, and soon
became fascinated out of all remembrance.
The day waned into evening-the shadows
deepened around-I remember fixing my eyes
on a brilliant star that seemed to come closer
and closer, until it assumed a strangely beau-
tiful form, and I lost all consciousness.
In the meantime a strict search for me had
been going on below. They began to be
alarmed at my continued absence; and after
examining every r the garden, and every
spot on the premises, they sent around the
neighborhood. I was known to be extremely
fond of visiting, and every acquaintance was
interrogated in turn--of course, without suc-


cess. No one had thought of the cupola, and
mamma was getting fairly frightened; when
Mammy took a light, and on ascending to my
dormitory, discovered me fast asleep, with the
book tightly clasped to my bosom.
It afterwards yielded the boys as much de-
light as it had me ; Fred, in particular, had a
notion of trying experiments upon the plan
there laid out. lie had sat one afternoon for
sometime with the book in his hands--appar-
ently resolving some problem in his own
mind; Mammy was stooping over the nursery
fire, when she was suddenly startled by an un-
expected shower of water sprinkled over her
head and neck-Fred at the same time ex-
claiming, in a tone that seemed to doubt not:
I command you instantly to turn into a coal
black mare 1"
I don't know what would become of you,
you good-for-naught, if I4d 1" returned Mam-
Some years later I read The Children of
the Abbey," and this opened a new field of
thought. My dreams, instead of being peopled



with fairies and genii, were now filled with
distressed damsels who met with all sorts of
persecutions and Quixotic adventures, and
finally ended where they should have com-


I HAD a boy-lover who always selected me as
his partner in all our plays, and kept me in
pointers with blue ribbons attached to them, to
point out the towns on the large map in the
school-room. Charles Tracy was about my
own age, but in disposition and taste he re-
sembled my brother Henry, and the two were
quite inseparable; while his sister Ellen and
I formed an acquaintance through the fence
by displaying our dolls to each other-and this
was the beginning of an intimacy that lasted a
long time for children's friendships.
Ellen possessed a charm which often caused
me to experience the uncomfortable sensation
of envy; her hair fell in long, golden-colored
ringlets upon her neck and shoulders, and


these same curls seemed to shake about so
nicely whenever she -moved her head. I some-
times thought that Ellen shook them about
much more than was absolutely necessary; but
at the same time they excited my warmest
admiration. I felt as though I could do any-
thing-go through with all sorts of difficulties
to have my hair curl naturally; and with a
feeling of unspeakable rapture I listened to
Ellen one day as she told me in a mysterious
whisper that the nurse had said eating crusts
made her hair curl.
Eating cruts What a discovery !-I im-
mediately felt ready to eat all the crusts in our
house and every one else's. I bribed the chil-
dren to deliver up all their crusts to me, and
commenced eating them with a voracity that
excited the surprise of all the nursery inmates.
But already, in perspective, I beheld my head
adorned with long, glossy curls, and I perse-
vered, despite the laughter I excited. I de-
voured crusts by the wholesale, but alas! no
waving locks rewarded my patient toil; and at
length I had the pleasure of hearing that the
crust business was a fable, invented by Ellen's

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