« ForrigeFortsæt »
and produced the desired effect in exciting indignation against Myra; for nothing is more offensive, whether in young or old, than the assumption of superiority.
There was much that was tiresome and disagreeable in Fanny's love of finery, and in her incessant egotism; but though it annoyed her schoolfellows, it did not wound their self-love, or force upon them the conviction that they were looked upon as inferiors; but it was otherwise with Myra, who, when she was betrayed into the expression of her sentiments, manifested a degree of arrogant pretension which really offended.
From such trifling causes-such small and inconsiderable beginnings as those above described, do the quarrels of children proceed. Nay, the misunderstandings of grown-up people, when traced to their commencement, frequently show that they originate in events and circumstances as trivial in their nature as the arrival of Fanny's green satin bonnet.
The presence of Ellen Ford was sufficient to restrain for a time the expression of the feelings of ill-will and displeasure which rankled in each little bosom; but all attempts to restore gaiety and good humour were vain: one and another found or made an excuse for changing her place, until Agnes and Esther remained alone, and at liberty to comment freely upon what had passed.
"This is capital! Agnes,” said her friend; “for my part I am delighted that Miss Ellen has had an opportunity of hearing and seeing for herself. Did I not contrive it nicely?”
"Yes, you did indeed; but Esther, dear, I am afraid poor Sophy will get into trouble. She is vexed with Myra for exposing Fanny; and with Fanny, for exposing herself. I am very much annoyed she was present."
"Oh! never mind," rejoined Esther, "I am sure Miss Ellen rather liked her defence of Fanny, though she did silence her; but, Agnes, what a fine figure Myra will cut in Miss Ellen's diary! Sophy spoke the truth about her 'genteel' mania. I am glad of that."
"So am I. Her quiet way of telling of her consequence is most amusing. I enjoy hearing Fanny and Myra talk about home. Fanny tells such droll things, and tells them too with such selfcomplacency, and Myra looks so astounded, and has such a sly way of boasting. Do you recollect yesterday when Fanny was
speaking of the good things she had at her birth-day party, Myra coolly observed that she was used to such dishes-as they had them so often at home.""
"Oh!" that is just one of her speeches," said Esther, a little disconcerted; "I was insulted myself by her the other day. I happened to mention mamma's nice gingerbread, and she gave me one of her saucy amazed looks, and inquired if I meant that my mother really made it herself; adding, that as her father kept a regular set of servants, all such matters were left to the cook."
"Ridiculous!" exclaimed Agnes, "I am delighted that she was so completely drawn out; for she has sense enough not to expose her pride often. For my part I would be at the head of my class, before I boasted of being superior to my school-fellows. Mary too is downright vexed with her, and you know she is generally prudent enough to keep on good terms with all. I fancy she admires Myra's gentility; for they seldom disagree, except now and then on some knotty point concerning dress; and there I do think Mary has the advantage over her."
"Poor Mary!" rejoined Esther, "it is well she has one advantage; for I think all must confess she is as stupid a girl as ever was born. Oh dear me, how tired I am of hearing her hum-drum over the piano out of tune, and out of time. By the bye, I shall just tell her what Myra said about her playing; for I do think she imagines herself quite a musician."
This conversation was interrupted by a call for silence, and Mrs. Ford read to the young people for about an hour, after which they were encouraged to converse with her upon what they had heard, and, as she well knew how to draw children out, most of the young ladies were soon engaged in lively and animated discussion. Myra, Mary, and Sophy took but little part in what was going forward. The very girls who were usually the most happy and gay on such occasions now appeared sad and thoughtful, with minds evidently occupied with reflections upon the past, and gloomy anticipations respecting the future. Ellen was now a close observer; she was well aware that the apple of discord having been openly thrown down, the contentions were likely to proceed and increase, and she was much grieved to be compelled to believe, that Agnes and Esther, who should have set an example of forbearance and forgiveness to the rest, really took pleasure in fermenting these disagree
ments, and enjoyed the effects of their quiet, and as they imagined, unobserved mischief-making. The event proved as Ellen had feared. The quarrel grew more serious. Thursday and Friday passed away; and they who said the same lessons, read the same books, and joined in the same pursuits, became more cool and distant, more resentful and pettish towards each other. Fanny and Sophy had a violent quarrel on the subject of the green-satin bonnet. The difference between Myra and Mary had been considerably increased by the insinuations of Agnes and Esther; and it was curious to observe, that the very girls who had done most to provoke the discord, were themselves on good terms with their classmates, and flattered themselves that their wicked conduct remained unobserved. True they were not happy. How could they be?— but alas! so deceitful is the human heart, that they tried to persuade themselves they had done good service to their companions by bringing to light their several failings. Of their own they thought little; people seldom do, who make it their business to discuss those of others.
It was not in Sophy's nature, however, to maintain continued reserve. Her anger had long since subsided, and much she longed to be reconciled with her companions, but most of all to Fanny. She regretted the many unkind things she had said during their quarrel, and was truly sorry for the anger she had manifested, but then how to make up matters without humbling herself, was the difficulty; for Sophy could not bear to acknowledge herself wrong even when she felt herself to be so. How many resemble Sophy in fostering that pride which would fain persuade us that it is meaner to confess a fault than to commit one. In this state of mind, it was that Sophy entered her sister's bed-room on Saturday morning. Myra and Agnes were standing by the open window apparently engaged in close and confidential conversation. They stopped and turned round as the door opened. Sophy's heart beat violently, for here was a good opportunity to acknowledge her rudeness to Myra at the Dorcas meeting, and ask her forgiveness. For a moment she stood irresolute; but no-Agnes was present, and she would think it mean. Sophy yielded to her pride, and pretending to look into one of the drawers, took something she did not want, and hastened down stairs. For some time she persisted in cherishing this unamiable feeling, endeavouring to find relief by venting her
displeasure upon others; but at length her rebellious heart made some concessions which were met in a kindred spirit by her offended sister, and it became obvious to the whole school, and to Ellen Ford, that the misunderstanding between Sophy and Fanny was at an end.
(To be concluded next month.)
IS HE GOOD TEMPERED?
"The tempers and lives of men, are books for common people to read, and they will read them, though they should read nothing else." A. FULLER.
A GOOD temper is a letter of recommendation to all who are possessed of so valuable a quality. It renders persons esteemed and beloved; enables them to bear the evils of life; and makes their manners courteous and agreeable. They who are acquainted with human life, and have noticed the various characters that have passed before them, will be prepared to receive the maxim. "There is nothing like a good temper."
A good temper has a wonderful effect on the countenance, by which you may commonly form some judgment of the individual with whom you converse or transact business. Without examining 'Lavater on physiognomy,' you may discover by the brightness of the eye, and the appearance of the mouth, that he possesses qualities which command respect and affection.
The temper should be cultivated at an early period. It has been often remarked, that this should commence during infancy, and that the mother should use all her efforts to this end. As soon as reason dawns, the child should be instructed in the advantages resulting from a quiet and peaceable disposition. At all events, every thing should be done to check the sallies of passion, to curb the self-will, and to restrain the first essays of pride, anger, hatred, and revenge. For this purpose the best examples should be brought forward,-Abraham, in his mild and pacific, and even yielding conduct towards Lot; Moses, in his meek and forbearing demeanor; David, in his unfeigned humility and ingenuous expressions of gratitude to God; John, in his loving and affectionate bearing towards the disciples. Example has a powerful influence, and conquers where precept fails. conduct of the late Rev. Philip Henry, obtained for him the title
The sweet temper and amiable
of "the Heavenly Henry." One great fault attributed to many parents, is that of suffering bad tempers to exist without any effort to subdue them, and justifying their own neglect, by the excuses, that the children will be better when they become older! This is contrary, generally speaking, to matter of fact-The crooked twig rarely becomes straight by age,
“Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclin’d.”
Persons of a sour, hasty, churlish disposition in their youth, are most commonly so when they grow up, and exhibit signs that their evil propensities are confirmed, having grown with their growth, and strengthened with their strength. When Aristippus was asked how children should be instructed? he replied, “they should learn in youth, what they should practise when they become men.”
The dispositions of mankind are exceedingly various; for example; there are the choleric, whose anger reddens at the most trifling incident. A word, spoken unintentionally, is construed into a studied indignity, and they proceed to act in the most hostile manner, and, in a moment of irritation, would quarrel with their dearest friends, or make a solemn vow-a vow of the most indefensible character, which they foolishly think is binding upon them, as to their future conduct. Proud, haughty, irritable characters require a keeper as much as does a maniac. Richard III. a name, which stands as a blot upon the page of English history, appears to have possessed this disposition; haughty to his equals, and overbearing to his inferiors. In their anger the choleric would not hesitate to commit murder! It is related of one of the dukes of Dorset, that the ebullitions of his passion exceeded all bounds, and that he became outrageous at the slightest occurrence. One of his servants having repeatedly experienced the effects of his violent paroxysms of anger, informed his grace, one day, that he was reluctantly compelled to quit his service. The duke, in a kind manner, inquired the reason? The servant modestly replied, "I am not able to bear the violence of your grace's temper." "True, true," said the duke; "but you should make some allowance for me, and that if I am soon angry, my passion is soon over." "Excuse my freedom," said the domestic, "but your grace's anger soon returns again." "Well, well," rejoined the duke, "I know it is wrong, very wrong; but I hope I shall mend. Think no more of it, and take that, putting a guinea into his hand,
as a proof that