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PHILADELPHIA, the seat of one of the seven churches mentioned in the Revelation of St. John, is now a mean and filthy town, though it contains several thousand houses, and between twenty and thirty churches, by far the greater number of which are in a state of disuse or actual ruin. It is situate in the plain of Hermus, amidst scenery of surpassing beauty, and dignified by the name of Allah Shehr, or, "City of God"-a circumstance, not a little remarkable, when viewed in connection with the prophecy recorded in the twelfth verse of the chapter in which the church anciently assembling there is addressed. One of the most interesting ruins in the place, is a single column, evidently of great antiquity, which has been associated, probably without adequate reason, with the same prediction.
FORMS OF PRIDE.
CHAPTER II.-The Dorcas Meeting.
(Continued from page 20.)
THE afternoon of the following Wednesday found the young ladies in Mrs. Ford's school, busily occupied in working for the poor. It was a half-holiday, and was generally spent by them in making up coarse garments to give away, the materials for which VOL. V. 4th SERIES.
were purchased by their joint contributions. This weekly sewingparty they dignified by the appellation of the "Dorcas Meeting;" and a happy meeting it generally proved. Mrs. Ford seldom failed to make one of the party; and as for Ellen, she was treasurer, cutter-out, and fixer for the whole society. By her tact and good management, the young folks were preserved from many petty jealousies and disagreements which too often occur amongst children whilst engaged in the most innocent recreations, turning their pleasure into pain. It is not an attention to certain rules, however excellent, during a portion of the day usually called school-hours, which greatly contributes to the advancement of moral education-to the formation of principles and habits. It requires constant observation, a firm but gentle system of government, and genuine sympathy in the pursuits of children, every day and all day long. Such sympathy and watchful care are of more value in a moral point of view, than all the mere instruction in the world; though unhappily, there are but few parents, even amongst professors of religion, who estimate them aright; and it had been but too frequently Mrs. Ford's experience to find the pains she bestowed upon her pupils in these respects, little appreciated. Often had she the mortification of perceiving that any improvement in the character or disposition of her pupils was overlooked, or treated as a matter of indifference, whilst the greatest anxiety was displayed for their progress in learning.-As Ellen once indignantly exclaimed, when alluding to the subject-" It is of no use, dear mother, to tell Mrs. W. that Emily is becoming more conscientious; she will only say, 'Indeed!' and express a hope that she is getting on with her music."
"True, Ellen," rejoined Mrs. Ford, "Mrs. W. does not see these things in the light that we do. But let us, my dear daughter, be thankful that we feel our responsibility to a Heavenly Parent for the important charge we have undertaken; and let us encourage ourselves with the hope that we may be the honored instruments of good to the dear children themselves."
Perhaps no time or place was better adapted for the observations Ellen had volunteered to make, than the Dorcas meeting; and so she thought, as she looked on the various groups collected round the tables, busily plying their needles. As for the young ladies themselves, it must be confessed that they thought nothing about
the matter, nor had they even troubled themselves with it, excepting, perhaps, for a few minutes when repeating their texts every morning to Mrs. Ford. An incident occurred, however, which recalled it to the recollection of some of the party. One table was surrounded by our old acquaintances Esther, Agnes, Sophy, Fanny, Mary Harcourt (whom Esther had described as so mean,) and Myra Compton, a somewhat dignified young lady who piqued herself upon being a shade more genteel than most of her schoolfellows. These, with the exception of Sophy, formed the first class, and as they had been sometime pupils of her mother's, it was natural that Ellen should feel a particular interest in them. She drew near and seated herself at their table. Her presence was not felt as an intrusion; but, on the contrary, she received a smiling welcome from all. They were intent upon solving a riddle put by Agnes, and Ellen good humouredly joined in their amusements. While thus diverting themselves, the school-room door was thrown open, and a servant announced that Miss Jackson was wanted.
Up sprang Fanny with the eager haste which school girls manifest when news from home awaits them; but in the midst of her hurry, she stopped to whisper a few words to Sophy, and then bustled away.
"What is it, Sophy?" enquired Esther, who was, notwithstanding her age and station in the school, troubled with an inquisitive, curious temper; "What did Fanny say it was?"
“Only a bonnet," returned Sophy, laughing-“ a green satin bonnet she has been expecting all the week."
"O yes, I recollect," said Esther, in a disappointed tone; "I have heard enough about that bonnet; I wonder I should forget it." Here one of their mystical glances was exchanged between the friends; and they both looked as if they considered themselves young ladies of great discernment.
"Pray, Mary, do you admire made-up bonnets for girls!" asked Myra, in a languid tone.
“Not particularly," replied Mary, "though Fanny's bonnets are generally pretty."
"Are they !-Well, perhaps they are what you may call pretty; but one thing I can assure you, they are not nearly so genteel as straw bonnets for young girls. The Miss Campbells, who are friends of mine, and whose father is exceedingly rich, and a
member of parliament, told me, that really-genteel people never
dress up their children like little women,"
," observed Agnes, with an
"You may say, 'like little women,' encouraging laugh; "for Fanny will think herself very womanly indeed, and quite superior to us all."
"In an old bonnet of her mother's," added Esther.
"The bonnet is no worse for having been her mother's," said Ellen, quietly.
"No, ma'am," replied Esther, to whom the observation had been addressed; "but Miss Ellen, do you approve of dressing up girls like women?"
"I shall decline answering that question, Esther. dress is no business of your's, or mine; and we may employ our time better than in making observations which can do no good either to her or to ourselves."
Esther was silent for a few minutes; then, as if wishing to justify herself, she added, “Indeed, Miss Ellen, you don't know how disagreeable Fanny makes herself about her dress; and now it will be worse than ever: she is so very vain of her finery.”
“There are other kinds of pride, besides pride of dress," gravely observed Ellen.
"Yes; but you must acknowledge they are not equally disagreeable and vulgar," remarked Myra.
"Really, Myra,” cried Sophy, indignantly, for she had long been growing warm in Fanny's behalf-“ really, Myra, you are as proud of your gentility, as Fanny or any one else can be of dress." 'Hush, Sophy," said Ellen," you forget yourself: I beg you will be silent."
Sophy obeyed; but her needle moved quickly and hurriedly, and showed to her companions the petulant and ruffled state of her temper. A general silence ensued, during which the whole party betook themselves to their work. There was something in the manner of each young needle-woman which betrayed, more or less, the feelings of her mind. Myra stitched with an air of offended dignity. The countenances of Agnes and Esther, though their eyes were fixed on the work before them, wore an expression of subdued merriment, a sense of the ludicrous; and Mary fell into profound meditation upon the sudden stop to their enjoyment, which the arrival of Fanny's bonnet had caused. This awkward
and embarrassing silence was at length broken by the entrance of Fanny herself with a band-box in her hand. She bustled towards the table where her companions were seated, and with a sort of childish eagerness, removed the lid, and triumphantly exhibited the green satin bonnet; entering into the particulars of its history with a volubility and self-satisfaction, which prevented her observing for some minutes the restraint of the party she addressed. When she did notice it, however, it only excited a feeling of surprise and curiosity, as she exclaimed, "Dear me, what can be the matter with you all; you are so still and quiet!" Sophy, who had lost her temper in Fanny's cause, now felt completely provoked by her egotism and vanity; especially as she knew it would afford Esther, Agnes, and Myra the triumph of proving to Ellen that there was truth in their remarks respecting Fanny's love of finery. It was with no very courteous touch, therefore, that she pushed away the bonnet which had been proffered for her especial admiration, accompanying the action with the words, "Don't hinder us with your grand bonnet, Fanny; it is well enough, I dare say, but I don't like it, and I shall not like to see you in it, I can tell you."
"I am sorry you don't like it," returned Fanny, good humouredly; but not willing her bonnet should be thus speedily condemned to its band-box, she appealed to Mary, who was considered a standard in matters of dress, and between whom and Myra there was a species of rivalry; each thinking herself possessed of real taste and judgment in such matters.
Mary pronounced that the bonnet would be really simple and pretty, provided the trimming were altered in the manner she pointed out, taking care to appeal to Myra, who contented herself with replying haughtily and without removing her eyes from her work, "You know my opinion already, Mary; I cannot endure made-up bonnets for children."
"Myra does not consider them genteel," observed Agnes in a quiet but sarcastic tone, at the same time elbowing Esther, who immediately added,
"Myra should know better than we can do; consider the Miss Campbells are her friends."
The slight emphasis on the words "Miss Campbells," though it escaped the observation of Myra, was understood by the rest,