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Title: RICH BOYS and POOR BOYS, And other Tales

Date of first publication: 1833

Author: Mrs. Hofland

Date first posted: Oct. 30, 2013

Date last updated: Oct. 30, 2013

Faded Page eBook #20101104

This eBook was produced by: David Edwards, Ross Cooling & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

As little William Foster the son of a small farmer was trudging homewards with a basket.

Page 85.






Give instruction to a wise son, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just
son, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs.

New Edition.













With the permission of your excellent parents, I dedicate to you the following volume of Stories, in the hope that you will find a little amusement in the perusal of them, and a little instruction from reflecting upon them. You are so peculiarly happy in the superior education which you are daily receiving, and the admirable examples given by every branch of your family, that it is certain I can offer you no new lesson either of piety towards God, or kindness and charity towards mankind.

But as you are still very young, it is not less certain that "line upon line, and precept upon precept," may be read with advantage; and since the history of boys, as to their situation, feelings, and conduct, must always possess great interest for boys, I flatter myself there will be some of those now offered to your attention whom you can admire, or love, or pity, and in the exercise of those gentle affections, you will confirm the good dispositions which I know you already possess.

I am, my dear young gentlemen,
Your faithful servant
And affectionate friend,

6, Pembroke Square,
Kensington, April 3, 1833.


Dedication iii
Rich Boys and Poor Boys, or the Birthday Bargain 9
The Boys of Old Times, or Historical Recollections 44
The Passionate Little Girl, or more than One in Fault 60
William and his Story Books, or the Benefits of Experience 84
The Best Boy in the World, or the Best have room to Mend 105
The Riding-School, or a Cure for Conceit 136




"You sit your horse uncommonly well, Arthur, I must say, and I have no doubt will come in by and by with the best amongst us; but since this is the first time you have been out with the hounds, I must remind you of the great difference there is between the grounds in Derbyshire and those to which you have been accustomed; a watchful eye and a ready hand are continually wanted here."

These words were spoken by Sir Hugh Sterndale to a fine lively Harrow boy, who had become his guest only a few days before, and who entered, with all the zest natural to his years and his situation, into the pleasure of the first day's hunting he had ever enjoyed. Though he listened with affectionate respect to the caution thus given, yet on casting his eyes around on the wide heathy common they were entering upon, intersected by low stone fences, and dotted by fir copses and patches of brushwood, he did not see any thing to be particularly guarded against, and only hoped the hounds would soon find, in a place where so good a run might be enjoyed.

The ground in question was full of old coal-pits, many of which had been left in a very unsafe situation, and the sagacious animal on which he rode had just discovered that he was stepping into a dangerous spot of this description, when the loud halloo, he well understood, was heard. Recovering himself by a violent jerk, he plunged forward, and leaped a broken wall (meant to be a guard to the pit) before his rider was prepared for the movement; in an instant he was thrown forward to a considerable distance, and pitched upon one of those rocky projections, to be found in every part of the wide common by which he was surrounded.

"My boy, my dear, dear boy!" cried the baronet, in agony, as he flew towards the place where he was thrown, and whither several gentlemen, his friends, also hastened, and immediately dismounting, began eagerly to inquire what could be done? The shock had been so great, that, to the afflicted baronet's apprehension, his young favourite (the son of his earliest friend) was killed upon the spot; but as the power of breathing returned, so did life and suffering; and one of the party remounting, set out to the nearest town for a surgeon, recommending the rest to move poor master Willoughby to the very nearest house.

"Alas! there is no house within a mile," said one; "and the Hall, which is the only place proper for him, is nearly three miles off."

While this was passing, the unfortunate youth was writhing in agony, yet earnestly entreating that he might not be moved; he believed that every bone in his body was broken, from the violence of his fall, and the contusions he had received; and Sir Hugh was certain that his leg at least was fractured, and that in the most terrible manner.

During the time in which the baronet and his friends hung pitifully over the sufferer, two little children had advanced towards them, and as speedily retreated; but they now appeared again, accompanied by their mother, who carried under her arm a coarse woollen counterpane, such as forms the general covering of the poor in that neighbourhood.

The sight of the woman in some measure relieved the extreme distress of the baronet, for she approached with a rapid, yet noiseless step, and her countenance was full of compassion. She lost not a moment in spreading the counterpane close beside the sufferer, and saying—"Perhaps your honours would carry poor master into our house, and lay him on my bed—I be sure he's heartily welcome."

"And where is your house, good woman?"

"Just past that clump o' trees; but it's very low; indeed, it's little better nor a barn, but it does for me and mine."

Poor Arthur, now afflicted with cold, in addition to pain, signified his desire of being thus assisted; and the baronet, with trembling haste, placed him as well as he was able in the cloth, the woman so supporting the broken limb, as to prove not only tenderness, but some degree of skill; the children preceded them, and in a short time they reached a low thatched cottage, of rather larger dimensions than usual, but consisting of one room only, save a place above, which was called a loft, and served as a bedchamber for the whole family, except the mother, whose bed was at one end of the general abiding-room.

The place was evidently inhabited by a large family, from the number of little three-legged stools it contained, as well as the hasty flight of three or four urchins, who scampered away by a little outlet, evidently made for their convenience exclusively, since only a child or a pig could have used it. There was, however, no appearance of any such visitant as the latter; on the contrary, an air of great neatness pervaded the place, poor as it was, and the bed had very clean, though very coarse sheets upon it. As they approached it, a pretty girl, about twelve years old, stepped up first, and hastily removed, first one and then another, of twin infants, which she deposited in a clumsy wooden cradle, at the other end of the cottage.

This circumstance was scarcely noticed by the gentlemen, so intent were they on laying the invalid in the easiest position; but when this difficult task was accomplished, in the best manner they were able, one of the party, with a look of considerable alarm, observed to the woman—"You appear to have many children about the place?"

"Yes, indeed, sir, I have plenty of 'em, poor things; and the two little ones were born only about six weeks since. It is very lucky for poor master that I had not moved my bed back into the loft, for you see, sir, he couldn't possibly have been carried up the ladder."

"True; but can you go there yourself?" said the gentleman.

"Oh, yes, sir; my husband does not come home to-night, and I can make a shift; the poor young gentleman is little likely to be moved, I see. Surely you have sent for a doctor?"

On hearing this was the case, the good woman lost no time in putting water on the fire, and preparing to foment the broken limb, saying, she knew that was necessary, the swelling was so frightful; and she added—"Don't be afeard of my childer, sir, for you see I have so many, I am obliged to keep them in order, 'specially as my husband is not at home. He works in the coal-pits, and seldom comes here but on Saturdays; so I makes 'em as good as I can, that he may have a quiet time on Sundays; an' well he deserves it, for a better man never walked on shoe-leather. Pray, sir, don't be flustrated about the poor young gentleman; I know what a broken limb is, for I nursed my own father through a bad accident like this'n. It will be long before he must move."

The arrival of the surgeon confirmed this prediction, as the fractured limb was injured in the most terrible manner, and it was a long time before the bone could be replaced. Arthur was naturally a courageous boy; his father, a brave officer, had lost his life in battle, and in praising the heroism of this lamented parent, his mother had wisely inspired him with a perception of the virtue of fortitude, in distinction from that of enterprise, so that he was not deficient in the courage of endurance, which was now called for. He bore this dreadful trial very bravely, rarely suffering a groan to escape him; but Sir Hugh heard some one near him cry and sob so much, that the moment he could withdraw his eye from the patient, he looked round to see who had entered during the operation, but perceived no one.

"It was my poor Ned, sir, that cried so," said Nanny Walton (the mistress of the house); "but I motioned him to go out. He have a very tender heart, poor thing, and most like he felt more, being, as it were, a lad like himself were suffering; not but he is special kind to the little ones, and so handy, he will wait on poor master here, both hand and foot."

"I wish he would come in," said Arthur; "I should like very much to have such a boy about me."

"You shall have him, certainly; and proper persons also to attend you," said the baronet, who again looked round the place with great anxiety, shocked with the idea of leaving the dear boy in a situation so utterly devoid of all that might be termed to him the necessaries of life. As, however, the surgeon determined to remain by him for an hour or two, Sir Hugh hastened home, that he might send from his own house whatever could be rendered useful to the patient, and more especially a personal attendant.

For some days poor Arthur suffered continual pain, which was only relieved by opium, which necessarily kept his head in a state of confusion; but as his fever subsided, he became more awake to the circumstances in which he was placed, and to a certain degree interested in the people around him, particularly in the movements of Nanny Walton, and the anxious regards of her son Edward, whom the baronet had desired to remain on the premises, that he might run on errands to the Hall, whenever the patient required him to do so.

In the mean time, his attendants had been as various as the inhabitants were numerous. The lady's maid, who had been in the first place dispatched by her anxious mistress, had been overdone in a few hours, for "how could she exist in such a horrid place, among such wery wulgar creatures?" The housekeeper, who succeeded, complained unceasingly, "that the family would be ruinated by her absence, and as it was certain she should be quite worn out, the sooner she returned the better." The nursery damsel, who followed, like her prototype in Miss Edgeworth's story, "wondered how people could be so poor;" and experienced continual alarm, lest "she should carry some sort of distemper to the dear little gentlefolks at the Hall, from the red-faced little brats that kept swarming about." It was in vain that Nanny kept the children quiet, the fire bright, and the hearth clean; there was no place in which a "decent person" could sit down, although it was certain, both the baronet and his lady spent many a half-hour there in tolerable composure.

Regular nurses succeeded, but they too rapidly dropped off; no submission could soften their contempt—no attention console their sense of suffering, in such a "miserable sort of place;" neither plentiful reward, the promise of future patronage, the solace of dainty viands, and abundance of brandy and green tea, sufficed more than a day or two. Such was the weariness occasioned to the invalid by their perpetual complaints, and so sensible was he, that from Nanny and her son alone did he ensure all the help his sad situation admitted, that after three weeks his earnest request was acceded to by his medical attendants, "that he might be left entirely to the care of the cottagers."

When Nanny Walton, to her great satisfaction, found herself once more mistress of her humble habitation, she really proved a most excellent nurse, for she was a woman of sound understanding, and great observation, as well as good disposition, and no little experience. She was the mother of thirteen children beside the twins, and of these seven were constantly in the cottage, to whom she now appointed certain offices, which her obedient children accepted with avidity, and discharged with punctuality. To two girls, of seven and eight years old, were given the care of the babies, whilst their former duties, of feeding the pig, bringing water from the spring, and fetching milk from a distant farm-house, fell on two younger boys, whose junior, small as he was, fed the chickens and rocked the cradle. A girl turned of twelve was the principal servant of the family; she baked the oat cakes, on which, with potatoes, and a bit of bacon for mother, the family principally subsisted: she swept the house, made the beds, washed the bowls and trenchers, extended the same ablution to the faces and hands of all the young ones, and by perpetual activity and cheerful industry, well merited her mother's appellative of being her "own bonny bee."

It was Ned's share of business at this time, to attend to Arthur's wishes, either in reaching what he wanted, adjusting his pillows, gently bathing his bruises with lotion, or administering his medicines, during the day-time and at night; a wisp of dry straw and a blanket constituted his couch, which was laid close to the invalid's. A long tape, tied to his hand, and held in that of Arthur, was the call upon his services; and notwithstanding he was in the habit of sleeping very soundly, never was the check-string pulled in vain. Moved with the deepest compassion for the pain and helplessness of Arthur's pitiable state, accustomed to exercise the tenderest care of his little brothers and sisters, and gifted by nature with mild manners and a soft voice, he became, despite of his uncouth dialect, a pleasant attendant. Kindness and submissiveness rendered him adroit, gentle, quick, and skilful.

"'Tis a great pity such a cleanly quiet boy as you, Ned, should be a collier: it is all very well for George and Dick, because they work with their father, and seem to like their business; but you seem to me fitter for a house than a coal-pit."

"I had rather be any thing else, master Arthur, sure enough, because I hate coal dust, and I love daylight; but, you know, the Catechism says—'We must do our duty in that state of life to which it pleases God to call us.' Besides, father says if I work willingly, I shall learn to read and write soon."

"I will teach you myself," said Arthur, eagerly.

This pursuit could, to a certain degree, be carried on even in the present state of Arthur's convalescence, and it tended greatly to diminish the sense of weariness his long and painful confinement induced, especially amusing him, when the improvement of his vigilant and clever pupil proved the advantage of his cares.

Joseph Walton, the really worthy father of this numerous family, could not read, but he had an excellent memory, and after taking his elder children to church—which was a duty in which he never failed—he would frequently repeat to them and his wife much of the sermon, in order to impress it more effectually on their minds and his own. His wife, being better educated, and equally well disposed, read the Bible to them all on Sunday evenings, and had so far instructed her daughter, that Betty could get decently through a chapter. All the children could answer most of the questions in the Catechism, in which their father examined them on Sunday evenings; after which, they knelt around him, whilst he offered up the Lord's Prayer, and the General Confession, in which all his family followed the petitions in the most serious and earnest manner.

Arthur had seen but little of his own father; but he had heard so much, that few boys of his age had a better idea of the love and reverence due to that dear relation than he possessed; therefore the respect evinced for their head by this humble family endeared them all to him. Every child in poor Walton's family was taught, from its cradle, to associate love and pleasure, as well as duty, with the presence of their father; and they looked to the seasons of his weekly return to them as to a kind of gladsome holiday, in which all were to be busied in his service; and even the hands which could do nothing else, gathered daisies and buttercups, to lay on "daddy's knee."

Walton was a man of warm affections, and found, from this affectionate and judicious conduct on the part of his wife, a sweet return for his unremitting toil, in the love of his family. The pity of his neighbours was misplaced, when they condoled with him on the number of his children—for they were his pride, his wealth, his delight. Seeing the pains taken by the stranger with Ned, whom he had always considered the cleverest child he had, he manifested his grateful feelings, by bringing Arthur, at every opportunity, choice specimens of spars and fossils, found by himself or fellow-workmen, in the course of their labours; and so soon as it could be safely done, he would carry him in his arms a short distance for a little air, into the bit of cabbage-ground Nancy called a garden. His manners were very homely, and some of his phrases scarcely intelligible to Arthur; but his simple goodness of heart, and soundness of understanding, rendered his returns almost of as much consequence to him as to the rest of the family. This was more the case the farther he advanced in amendment, because he grew the more sensible of his captivity; besides, the baronet was gone to London, Lady Sterndale could not leave home, on various accounts, and many persons who had shewn him great attention during the beginning of his confinement, had now ceased to render him the object of their cares.

There were times when Arthur felt this change painfully, since it must be evident, that in time he must grow weary of a scene which could afford nothing to his mind, beyond what it derived from conversing with Ned. At these times he would, however, exert himself manfully; and whilst he devoutly thanked God that he was so far recovered, would rejoice also that his mother had been spared the pain of witnessing his sufferings; and if on mentioning her name the tears gushed into his eyes, would begin eagerly to expatiate on the future pleasure he should enjoy on his return. At that word Ned would generally sigh profoundly; and Nanny herself would give over her employment to say—"Well, for sure and sartin, we shall have a great loss of you, Master Willoughby; little Bob and Sam will miss you sadly, not only because you were always giving them your own good white rolls, and such like, but because you had always a kind word for them, even when you were at the worst. A patient creature, and a good one, I'm sure I shall always say you were; and I don't doubt you'll live to be a blessing to your mother. Little did I think you would live, I promise you; but I have no fear now; and I shall never grudge the tears, nor the prayers, you have cost me and mine."

Arthur was well aware that he had been a source of the greatest trouble to these poor people in the beginning of his illness, and he felt the value of this praise, as it seemed to prove that all the vexations Nanny had borne, through the conduct of his various attendants, was forgotten, in her approbation of his own conduct. Whatever had been the deficient comforts of his late dwelling, he could not fail to know, that for a considerable period he should have experienced the same pain in a palace; and he felt that in this poor cottage he had been so deeply pitied, and even fondly loved, that its inhabitants had a claim upon him beyond what money could repay. They had endured his complainings, soothed his sufferings, and confirmed his virtues. Sincerely did he wish, in after-life, to prove how deeply the sense of their goodness rested on his heart.

One Sunday morning, whilst the larger part of Walton's family were at church, a messenger from Sir Hugh Sterndale arrived, to announce his return to the Hall, and to bring a large cake for the children, because "it was Master Arthur's birthday."

"My birthday!" said Arthur, eagerly. "Ah! I had forgotten the day of the month. I am thirteen this day. My dear mother will remember it joyfully, and wish me at home; and my dear grand-papa, Lord Mount-Sorrel, will have a large party. They will all drink my health."

"And will they have such handsome loaves as this to eat?" said Ned. "I am fourteen to-day myself; but in all my life I never saw such a thing as this till now."

"Is it your birthday also?" said Arthur, in an agitated voice; "I should like much to give you something that would make you happy. What would you like best?"

"I should like, Master Arthur Willoughby, to be your own servant, an' wait on you night and day."

"But, my good fellow, I shall not always be lame, and sick, and want waiting on night and day. Nor am I a man, so I have no power of engaging a servant. Pray think of some other thing."

"No, I thank 'ee, sir, I can think of nothing else, for it has run in my head this monny a day."

The tears which stood in the boy's eyes, and the emotion which checked all further speech, touched Arthur so acutely, that he was unable to reason further on the matter, and he instantly answered—"In two or three years, if I get forward at Harrow, I suppose I shall be a young man, and be permitted to engage a servant of my own, like other people; in that case, be assured I should prefer you a great deal to any other person in the wide world. Improve yourself, in the mean time, in your reading and writing, and keep this pencil-case, as a proof that I have made you this promise; but for the present say nothing about it; come, cheer up and cut the cake for the children."

A happy group were standing around, and more of the family entering from without, when Sir Hugh's family coach, in which was his own valet, drew up, and Arthur was told, "that it was sent to take him to the Hall, where his mother had arrived the night before." This was done as a joyful surprise to him, but his removal had been effected a day sooner than was intended, on account of Mrs. Willoughby's impatience to see her son, and the desire the baronet and his lady felt to save her from the pain of witnessing his residence in the cottage.

It had been, in their fear of thus adding to her trouble, a part of their friendly plan to hide the accident from her knowledge, until he was nearly well, when Sir Hugh made a journey to London, for the purpose of breaking the affair gently to her, and escorting her back to his own seat. He found her so much hurt by Arthur's apparent neglect, and so dissatisfied with the excuses for his silence which she had received, that the truth, painful as it was, might be termed a relief to her; no wonder, when she actually found herself near a son so situated, her anxiety to see him could no longer be restrained.

Not even the delight of this anticipated meeting could render Arthur unmindful of the reiterated good wishes of Nanny and her spouse, or unmoved by the tears of poor Ned, whom he repeatedly told to come to the Hall, and rub his leg as he was wont, in the manner taught by the surgeon. The poor boy struggled against the emotion which oppressed him as well as he could, thinking it was wicked to be sorrowful when Arthur was joyous; but he was unable to conceal his grief.

Being sent for on the morrow, he did indeed venture to the Hall; but the sight of the "grand ladies," and the magnificent apartment and silken sofa on which Arthur was laid, so bewildered him that he could be said to have little pleasure in the visit; and the golden guinea which Mrs. Willoughby put into his hand, appeared to him so much above the price of his services, that as he held it, he looked reproachfully at Arthur, as if he thought that this was presented in lieu of his fulfilment of his promise; being, however, reassured, though silently, on this point, his spirits rose, and he made an awkward bow and scrape, and said something about "taking it to his mother."

"No, no, my good boy, that is for yourself; your good mother must and shall be paid in a very different manner. As I find, however, from Sir Hugh, that many things may be given to her more desirable than money, if you know any thing really valuable that she would like, pray name it, and my son shall send it."

"A cow," burst instantly from Ned's lips; but remembering how many times his parents had wished for this acquisition, and how hopelessly they had spoken of its attainment, he instantly added—"I mean, if you please, something towards a cow—maybe another pig would do."

"You shall have both," cried the mother eagerly.

"But how could you feed a cow?" asked Lady Sterndale.

"There are such heaps of childer at our house, some might be gathering grass for it always: we would all of us be good to it, I hope, ma'am."

"That you would," cried Arthur, "for you are good to every creature about you.—I am heartily glad, dear mamma, you thought of it, for I am sure there will be the happiest of cows, and the happiest of women to milk it, to remember me by at the cottage."

"My rewards then must be dictated by Sir Hugh, who knows much better than I do how to essentially serve these good people, and will have them in his eye when we are gone."

The word gone was an afflictive sound to both the boys at this moment, but it soon became much more so to poor Ned, who in a very short time found that Arthur had departed, his mother being anxious to take him by short stages to London, where she apprehended the best surgical assistance for perfecting his recovery could alone be obtained.

In the course of the following summer Arthur was able to return to Harrow, and as he could not yet join in the athletic exercises of his companions, he applied himself, with unusual diligence, to his studies, and soon made up for the time he had lost. Often would he describe his accident, and the curious situation in which he had been placed; and never did he write to Sir Hugh without kindly remembering Walton's family, and expressing a deep sense of obligation to Nanny; but in the course of time, new objects and occupations succeeded, his companions became more dear, his acquaintance more extended; and although his mind might frequently revert to the cottage, and his heart be touched by the remembrance of those who inhabited it, he now rarely spoke of them to those around him.

Time passed, and Arthur improved so much, that when he returned to keep his sixteenth birthday, at home, his grandfather, Lord Mount-Sorrel, was so well satisfied with his attainments, that he determined on entering him at Oxford, and spoke of looking out for a tutor for him.

"I am satisfied with his conduct," replied his mother to this observation; "but I am sorry to perceive that he retains a good deal of lameness. That unfortunate leg was, I fear, ill managed by the country surgeon, and will never be quite well."

"Indeed, mother, you wrong Mr. Favell, who made a very great cure of a very bad business; but he told me the stiffness could not be removed without constant friction."

"Then why have you not been rubbed properly, my dear?"

"Because the people about me either did it awkwardly, and gave me pain, or I saw they were tired, and I dismissed them; so that, some way or other——"

Arthur was interrupted by the entrance of a servant, who said, that "there was a young fellow below, a kind of country hob, who wanted to see Mr. Arthur, and could not be driven away by fair means or foul."

"Why should he?" said Arthur; "I suppose he has brought me a letter or parcel from Harrow."

"Oh no, sir, he's quite away farther in the country than that; but he has a kind of pencil of yours, that he says he won't give away to nobody."

"It is Ned, my own poor Ned," cried Arthur, reddening, and hastening down to the hall, whither his grandfather followed him in silence.

In another minute the rich boy and the poor boy saw each other once more: both were much altered during the three years in which they had been parted—both improved; but each saw only, at the first, those traits in the countenance which they could alike recognise with pleasure. Poor Ned was indeed in a pitiable situation; he had walked the greatest part of the way from Derbyshire, had nearly expended his last shilling, and had fully expected to be turned into the streets of London, which he considered to be a misfortune and disgrace of the most alarming kind. In this situation, the cheering sound of Arthur's voice at once revived his heart, and insured the respect of the servants, who were bustling around him; he was indeed warmly welcomed—his evident wants adverted to—the improvement in his appearance praised (for Ned was a handsome lad, and well clothed in a homely fashion), and he was warmly recommended to the care of the housekeeper by Arthur, as "one of his Derbyshire friends."

"Noa, noa, not friend" cried Ned, "I am your honner's sarvant, your very lowest sarvant."

"Ah! my good Edward, you remember my promise, and be assured I do likewise; but I am not yet a man—I have no right to engage you as yet."

"Thank ye, sir, that's quite enough for me; I can wait for ye seven years, as well as Jacob did; and the sight of ye looking so brave and tall, pays me right well for my journey. Besides, I really could not live any longer, without thanking ye for all the good you have brought on us. We live in a slated house with four rooms; and mother has two cows, a big meadow, and a turnip-field. Sister Betty is come to be nurse-maid to my lady; and Joe is under-gardener; and the little twins are handy childer; and all our luck and our riches is owing to you and Sir Hugh."

Arthur expressed his sincere pleasure, but could not forbear to smile at this burst of grateful happiness, in a boy usually so silent and timid; and Ned, blushing excessively, exclaimed—"I humbly beg pardon for saying so much, but my heart was full, and my joy came on me sudden like."

"Don't apologize, Edward—I know you to be as modest as you are grateful. But it is time you should be eating instead of talking, so good bye, for I have company up stairs. I will see you early in the morning, and I shall then get my leg properly rubbed."

"You must not, however, leave this young man, to-night," said Lord Mount-Sorrel, advancing, "without receiving and communicating a gratification I am sure you desire. Edward Walton, I engage you from this night as my grandson's servant."

Ned startled with surprise, not unmingled with awe, for he instantly comprehended that the fine-looking old gentleman before him was the nobleman of whom he had heard, and the only lord he had ever beheld. Three times he bowed reverently, if not gracefully; and at length said, with difficulty—"God reward your worship! I am set up for ever."

"Dear, dear sir," cried Arthur, "I have no words with which to thank you, so deeply am I obliged, and so grateful do I feel for the power of fulfilling an engagement improperly made, but yet of great importance to me. We shall soon drill Ned into a good servant, and to me he will be an invaluable nurse. Never shall I repent my birthday bargain."

"Never, my dear boy, I really believe, if you do not fail in your duties as a master, for Ned has been well educated in the best sense of the word, being humble and docile without servility, and honest without boldness; and building his sense of duty to his master on his higher duties to his God. The conduct of his whole family, under the trial of improving circumstances, is a guarantee for his; and I hope that you will do credit to yours also, by proving that you know how to guide and protect a favourite dependant, without degradation to yourself, or injurious indulgence to him. The highest and lowest are linked together in the great chain of society for mutual benefit, yet are they separate parts, and have separate duties; remember this, and so will real benefit accrue, both to the 'Rich Boy and the Poor Boy.'"





"I have read the History of England all through with great attention, mamma," said Francis Clifford, "and I now wish that you would tell me how I am to learn something of the childhood of the remarkable persons mentioned there. I want to know what sort of boys these people were, who afterwards became warriors, and legislators, and men of learning."

"For this purpose," replied Mrs. Clifford, "you must read biography, Frank; but you must not expect many particulars of the early lives of great men, for people were not so diligent in collecting them formerly as they are now."

"That is a great pity, for there must have been many things, even in the lives of children, worth relating. When so many battles took place between the Red Rose and the White Rose, and so many heads of houses were slain, the children must have been left in a dreadful situation; pray, mamma, what became of them?"

"In general, my dear, they were fed at the different convents, of which there were many in our county of York, where, as you must remember, some of the most sanguinary battles were fought. Have you no recollection of boys engaged in these scenes?"

"I remember that Prince Lionel, when only twelve years old, accompanied his mother, and fought against the Scots on the borders of the county, and that a great victory was gained. I dare say the young Prince fought bravely, mamma, because his father was a great warrior, and his brother, the Black Prince, loved fighting so well, that he took up the cause of Peter the Cruel in Spain. Now I think I should like to go into a battle myself, but then it should be for my king and my country, mamma, not for a bad man, and in a bad cause."

"You are quite right in your distinctions, Frank; but have you no remembrance of unfortunate fighting, in which a boy of the same age was concerned?"

"Oh yes! after the battle of Sandal, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, the Duke of York's youngest son, was killed in cold blood, by Lord Clifford. I can repeat some lines, written, my uncle says, by a poet called Drayton, which are exactly true:—

"Where York himself, before his castle gate, Mangled with wounds, on his own earth lay dead, Upon his body Clifford down him sate, Stabbing the corpse, and cutting off his head, Crown'd it with paper, and to wreake his teen, Presents it so to his victorious Queene.   "The Earle of Rutland, the Duke's youngest son, Then in his childhood, and of tender age, Coming in hopes to see the battaile won, Clifford, whose wrath no rigour could assuage, Takes, and whilst there he doth for mercy kneel, In his soft bosom sheathes his sharpen'd steel."

"Dear mamma," added Frank, after musing a few moments, "I hope this cruel Lord Clifford was no relation of ours? he was a wicked man."

"He was so in this instance, certainly; for although the Duke of York had killed his father with his own hand, and he owed much to the House of Lancaster, his conduct to poor little Rutland admits of no apology. He was a hot-headed young man, and both parties were so ferocious, that he probably considered it a merit to outstep his opponents in brutality."

"Well, I am glad he was himself soon after killed at the battle of Towton by an arrow—it kept him from murdering more boys perhaps. Papa shewed me the little river Coc, which runs into the Wharfe, on the banks of which the bodies of the slain were so heaped up, that they fell in, and formed a kind of bridge; and the whole stream, though swollen by heavy rains, ran purple with their blood. Clifford was killed early in the day."

"Early also in another sense, my dear; for although only twenty-six years old, he left a widow and two sons, the elder of whom was in his seventh year; and as I know of no boy whose memoirs are more interesting, I will tell you all I have been able to collect respecting him."

Francis, with a smile of grateful attention, drew his chair nearer to the sofa where his mother sat, and she continued:

"You are aware that after the battle of Towton, the House of York gained the complete ascendancy; and being altogether as blood-thirsty as Clifford himself, their first inquiry, after his death was ascertained, was for the residence of his innocent offspring. Their poor mother, shocked as she must be by the fate of her husband (who in private life was as amiable and affectionate as he was furious and barbarous in battle), lost not an hour in conveying the boys to the sea side, intending to send them for safety to the Low Countries. Being closely watched, she was enabled only to effect the present safety of Richard, the younger; and this little exile dying soon after his arrival in Holland, she determined on secreting the eldest in her own neighbourhood of Londesbury. Here he lived in the cottage of her herdsman, passing for the son of a married servant, it being given out that he had died abroad at the same time with his brother; and the deep retirement in which his widowed mother lived, favoured the supposition that she had lost all she held dear.

"In this situation, he was inured to the humblest occupations, and neither taught to read nor write; for as such accomplishments were at that time never given to the poor, his mother durst not risk discovery by procuring teachers for him. It was found that success and prosperity by no means soothed the revengeful spirit of Edward the Fourth, since his accession to the throne; and as his partisans in this county continued their system of espial on poor Lady Clifford, the life of her unhappy boy could only be preserved by submitting to all the hardships attendant on a state of poverty. It was the more necessary to keep a continual guard upon him, because he grew up a tall, handsome youth, of a commanding mien, and the features of his grandfather, who was well remembered, and deeply regretted, by all the country round.

"I leave you to judge, my dear Frank, to what daily trials this innocent boy was subject—how hard it was to be living in absolute want, whilst lord of the soil over which he was wandering; and when, from habit, he had learnt to feed on poor and scanty food, to wear coarse clothing, and sleep on straw in a cold cottage, still the craving of his heart must be unsatisfied. He must want his mother—his dear and only parent; for her his aching breast was continually yearning; and well did he know how severely she suffered in her sympathies for his privations, how solicitous for his society, how anxious for his safety. If she crossed his path with a companion or attendant, and her rank at that time rendered them indispensable, her eyes must be averted from him; nor could he dare to cast a glance at her, lest he should betray their awful secret, and bring that destruction on his own head which would have broken his mother's heart.

"Undoubtedly there were times when she contrived to see him for a few minutes, to supply his wants, so far as it was prudent, and to give him those wise counsels, it is to this day his honour that he obeyed so well. He had a good understanding, was of gentle manners and benevolent disposition; and although he inherited the spirit and courage of his distinguished ancestors, his good sense and filial affection restrained that temper, which might have plunged him into irremediable ruin. He practised that quiet fortitude, which is most difficult to a young and ardent mind; but, in spite of all his caution, when he was in his thirteenth year, reports of his being alive were circulated, and his mother became in a state of perpetual alarm, lest the woods of Londesbury should prove no longer a place of safety for their banished lord.

"At this period, happily for him, his mother formed a second marriage, and in Sir Lancelot Threlkeld he obtained an excellent father-in-law, who left no means untried to ensure his safety. This gentleman had extensive manors in Cumberland, and to this place the young lord was conveyed by his shepherds, across the tract of mountains which connects the two counties. From that time he associated constantly with these persons, and thereby obtained the name of the 'Shepherd Earl,' by which he is frequently recognised in old writings."

"But, mamma," cried Frank, with much emotion, "though he might be safe in Cumberland, he could not be happy, for he had lost his only comfort; he could not get a little, little peep at his mother, and remember that she was his mother. He could not creep into a corner of the church where she was kneeling, and pray to the same God at the same time. Oh! I am very sorry for him, now he has not a single friend to look at him."

"You are mistaken, my dear—Sir Lancelot was a man in great esteem, and he could go to his estates in the north, and take his lady with him; and in that thinly-inhabited country, they could and did meet him without suspicion. By the assistance of their kindness and information, he supported his hopes, fortified his mind, and by his acquaintance with persons of piety and good sense, attained considerable knowledge of natural history. He lived among a simple but sensible people, in the midst of beautiful and magnificent scenery, which he was never weary of exploring, and being truly devout, found his life pass calmly in the adoration of his Maker, and admiration of his works."

"And so really remained there till he was a man?"

"Yes, my dear, in this state of proscription Lord Clifford lived for twenty-five years, as he was thirty-two years of age when, by the death of the tyrant, Richard the Third, he was delivered from his last enemy, and enabled to reclaim his property, and assume his title. He appeared at the court of Henry the Seventh, on the first meeting of Parliament, and was fully restored to his baronies, lands, and castles. A sense of his deficient education (for he now first learnt to write his name) rendered him at this eventful epoch extremely timid; but when that subsided, his conversation displayed the soundness of his understanding, the simplicity, rectitude, and piety of his heart. He had even, under the shadows of his past fate, married a lovely and virtuous wife, the daughter of Sir John St. John; and after visiting with her his noble castles of Brougham and Skipton, with Londesbury, the place of his birth, and the scene of his early troubles, he chose Bardon Tower, in the woods of Bolton, for his general residence. Here he eagerly pursued the means of knowledge, so long denied to him, and here he dispensed a noble fortune, with equal prudence and munificence. He did not therefore forsake his public duties, for in the next reign we find him a principal commander in the battle of Flodden-field, which was so fatal to Scotland. He lived happy and beloved, and died in old age, lamented and honoured; and his sons proved, in after life, how well he had instructed them. His eldest was created Earl of Cumberland, his grandson was a great naval commander in Elizabeth's time, and contributed principally to the destruction of the Armada."

"I have no objection now, mamma, to think myself one of the Clifford family."

"Probably not, my dear; but I cannot flatter you on that point, for the last-named nobleman left only one daughter, to whom his property (now immensely augmented) devolved. This lady, Anne, Countess of Pembroke, being a widow, resided constantly at one or other of her noble mansions, all of which she rebuilt or beautified; and by spending her princely income upon her tenantry, became a blessing to an immense number of persons. At her death, Brougham and Skipton Castles descended to the Earls of Thanet; Hardwicke, Londesbury, Bolton, and Bardon, to the Dukes of Devonshire, Charlotte, the last heiress of the Cliffords, marrying the great-grandfather of the present Duke."

"I am much obliged to you, dear mamma, for telling me about this poor boy, for he was poor once, though I dare say he never forgot that he was a nobleman by birth, and that the feelings of a gentleman were proper for him. I wish I had known him; I should have liked to go into the woods to get a good game at trap-ball with him, to carry him some fruit and biscuits, or teach him to read in some close dell, where no creature in the world could see us. I would not have been careless, and exposed him, nor I would not have betrayed him, no, not for Edward's crown, mamma!"

"I am sure you would not, my dear boy; since, however, all his troubles ended happily, there is no occasion for them to affect either you or me too much."

"Very true, mamma," said Frank, shaking his head to get rid of his tears; "but I shall think of him many a time, when I am riding about on the banks of the Wharfe. I always like to know something of remarkable persons; it makes the places where they lived much more valuable in my sight. When papa took me to see Harewood House, the best of all the grand things there was the monument of Judge Gascoigne, who reproved the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry the Fifth; and when I went with you to Escrick Park, beautiful as every thing was, my head was continually running on Baron Escrick."

"And pray, my little curious boy, who was he?"

"He was Sir Thomas Prime, gentleman of the bedchamber to King James the First, the very person who was entrusted to search the vaults under the Parliament house, at the time of the Gunpowder Plot, and there he discovered thirty-six barrels of gunpowder, and the person who was to have fired the train; and when we got to York, mamma——"

"Ah, my dear, there we had indeed much to see and much to think of; but for the present our recollections must conclude with this observation—never forget that whilst it is both pleasant and instructive to look back upon old times, that it is our special duty to be thankful that we live in times that are much better, notwithstanding we are subject to many cares and troubles now. The times of civil warfare, caused by rival despots, will, I trust, never again return; still less is it likely that the amiable heiress of the crown should box the ears of a judge, or a faction be formed to blow up a popular king and his parliament; so the new times must be better than the old times."





"What a passion Sophy will be in!"—"Oh, how very angry Sophy will be!"—"What a little fury she will make of herself!" These words broke simultaneously from the lips of two brothers and a sister of the girl in question, at the moment when, in consequence of a removal of books between their father and the footman, a china flower-vase, which was her property, fell down, and was broken to pieces.

Mr. Daventree (their father) started in painful surprise, excited much less from an accident which might soon be repaired, than grief at hearing of the fault of Sophia. When an infant, he knew she was of a violent temper, though otherwise of a good disposition; but as she was now eleven years old, and had been for some time under the care of Miss Harcourt, who was an excellent governess, he had naturally hoped that the error in question was corrected, since he had not witnessed it himself; these unpremeditated exclamations told him that he was mistaken, and gave him a sense of pain and alarm, to which he had been long a stranger.

His thoughts were interrupted by the observations of Emily, his eldest daughter, a gentle girl, of very sound understanding, who was at this time busily employed in gathering the flowers which had fallen from the broken vase.—"Poor Sophia!" said she; "surely no one can wonder if she should be a little fluttered and angry: she has been carefully preserving all her roses and wall-flowers for weeks, to make an October bouquet for mamma, on her return from Harrogate; and this beautiful vase was given to her by her godmother, as a reward for her knowledge of flowers; and now, on the very evening when she has gathered her last bouquet, and arranged them so prettily, it is hard that her pride and pleasure should be dashed to the ground, as it were; I am really sorry for her!"

"And so am I, sincerely sorry," said Miss Harcourt.

"I must watch the progress of this affair closely," said Mr. Daventree, to himself; "it appears singular that apology should be offered for so great a fault, by those on whose judgment there is most reliance."

Just then Sophia entered, and it was observed by her mamma, that her cheek was flushed, and her eyes full of tears.—"Could she have heard of the accident?" It appeared not; for she started on seeing the fragments, and exclaimed—"Is my beautiful vase broken?"

"Yes, my dear," said Emily, with a sympathetic sigh.

Mr. Daventree at this moment perceived that his two sons, one of whom was a year older, and the other a year younger than Sophia, and their sister Ellen, a child of seven years old, gazed on her with looks of high expectation, as if some kind of scene was about to take place, in which there would be more to amuse than to wound them.

To the evident surprise and disappointment of the party, Sophia turned from the fragments of the vase, and, in a voice which indicated deep feeling, addressed her father—"Dear papa, just now I saw poor Sally Morton go past the park fence, crying bitterly, sometimes stopping suddenly, and then running, as if she were almost wild; so I said—'What is the matter, Sally?' and she said—'Oh, Miss Sophy, I am out of my senses; they tell me the market-boat was overset this morning in the gale, and my poor son, my own good Thomas——' She could not say another word, so I went round to her, and led her to the housekeeper's room. Papa, what can be done to comfort her?"

"Indeed, child, if her excellent son be lost, I know not what can be done; for he has long been every thing to her; but the boat might be lost, and Thomas escape; I know he could swim."

"Yes, the butler said so; and Mrs. Jones tried to make out what she had really heard; but we could not understand her, she cried so much; but she said she would try to master herself, and tell his honour."

"Poor creature! poor creature!" said Mr. Daventree, much affected. "I will go to her this moment."

Mrs. Daventree was gone already; and Sophia, who was deeply interested, flew after him; but Miss Harcourt begged the rest would remain, observing—"That it would be cruelty, rather than kindness, to press around the poor woman in her first agonies; the time would shortly come in which they could show how sincerely they pitied her."

Every one obeyed, for their young hearts were sincerely penetrated with sorrow for the loss of Thomas Morton, whom they had known all their lives; and they grieved for his widowed mother, whom he had supported by his industry, and rendered happy by his kindness. Each had something to say on the sad occasion; but their remarks were suddenly checked by a loud scream from the housekeeper's room, followed by a kind of shout. Curiosity overcame every other feeling, and the whole party ran directly to the place where it could be gratified.

It appeared, that while poor Sally Morton had been struggling with herself, so as to relate intelligibly the story of her son's disaster, as conveyed by a neighbour, the trampling of horses' hoofs had been heard, and in another moment a groom had suddenly entered the housekeeper's room, followed by young Morton himself, whose pale face and drenched clothes presented such a ghastly spectacle, that the moment his mother saw him she uttered a loud scream, and sunk senseless. When the children entered, the poor fellow was holding her in his arms, and calling her most piteously to speak to him; whilst the housekeeper and Mrs. Daventree were taking more effectual means to restore her.

"Indeed, sir, I did all for the best," said the groom; "I met poor Thomas, more dead than alive, being, as he was, half drowned, your honour, and so, as I was airing the horses, I told him to ride the bay mare; and when we got here, I brought him (though he was very loth to stop, for fear his mother should hear before she saw him) to Mrs. Jones's room, for a bit of bread and a drop of cordial, little thinking to frighten his poor mother to death, as it were."

"You did very right, in every respect, James, and all will soon be well." In fact, the poor woman gave signs of life, and Mr. Daventree raised her head in such a manner that she could not again see her son, in order that he might inform her, by degrees, that he was restored to her.

"I have given your honour and madam a deal of trouble, but I shall not be here long; I have seen my son—I am sure I have, and it is a sign I shall soon follow him."

"My good woman, don't talk foolishly. You have seen your good son, but it was in life, not death: it has pleased God to save him, and send him home safe and sound."

"Home! then please to leave hold of me, I am quite well; I can walk as well as ever I did; don't hold me—don't."

"Mother, dear mother, it is my arms that hold you," cried Thomas, bursting into tears.

"Thine! thine! my own! my lost——" cried the poor woman, in an ecstacy that might have endangered her senses, but for the controlling presence of the heads of the family. There was not a dry eye in the place; but no one was so much affected as Sophia, who, in her agitation, danced, cried, and almost screamed, with alternate joy and pity; and it was not till the mother and son were turned over to the housekeeper, and the whole party had returned to the breakfast-parlour, that she regained any thing like composure.

In order to give her mind time to recover its powers, Mr. Daventree desired that no one would speak to her, and she had been sitting some time in silence, whilst the rest of the young ones were arranging their amusements after tea, when all at once, as if her recollection had returned, Sophia started up, and said, in a severe tone—"I should be glad to know who it was that broke my china vase, and scattered all my flowers, that I had saved for my mamma, though they knew very well that it was a present from Lady Langdale—I say, who was it that did it?"

"Why," said Ellen, laughingly, "it was done between two people."

"And you, Miss Pert, were one of them."

"No, that she was not," said her younger brother; "Ellen had nothing to do with it; but you like to accuse every body when you are in your airs."

"Then who did do it, Master William? Was it yourself?"

"No, Miss Sophia," said Edward, "he did not do it; you are as far from being right as ever."

"Then you did it, sir; I knew you did, by your taunting tone: you take yourself to be a man, and so you despise flowers and china, and every thing that girls are fond of. But I say, Master Ned, that it was a cruel thing, and a shameful thing, to break my vase, and ruin my poor flowers, and a wicked good-for-nothing thing."

Sophia's voice at this moment was raised to its utmost pitch; her cheeks glowed like crimson; and her hand was raised, as if she were about to strike her brother; but the moment Emily spoke she was silent.

"Dear Sophy, the vase was broken by accident; but I have preserved the flowers. I assure you we are all very sorry for your misfortune, which was entirely caused by accident."

"But I don't like accidents and misfortunes, Emily; and I cannot see any reason why I should have more of them than other people, and I am quite sure I have. It is not three days since I was so vexed about my work-box being spoiled, and only a fortnight since my French grammar was torn. I have no notion of submitting to so many injuries, and if I knew how to punish the person who did break the vase, I would do it effectually—that I would."

Mr. Daventree, who had retired from the group, but carefully listened to every word, and scanned every look, now came forward, and approaching Sophia, said—"Benjamin, the footman, was perhaps of the two the more blameable party in this unfortunate and really vexatious affair. You know, Sophia, that I am a justice of the peace, and in that capacity I can further your wishes for his punishment. I am also his master, and can stop his wages, until he has paid the value of the vase, or at least his share of it; in which capacity would you wish him to suffer?"

The calm gravity of Mr. Daventree in some degree restored the self-possession of his daughter; she was silent for a considerable time, and then said—"I hope, papa, I am incapable of oppressing a servant in any case, but especially where, from their clumsiness or ignorance, they might commit an error. I will not punish Benjamin, for it is not likely he would try to injure my vase."

"Benjamin's partner in this unlucky affair you have already punished severely—it was your father, Sophia."

Sophia gazed in her father's face in astonishment.

"I was indeed that guilty and unfortunate person, and I can truly say, that I am very sorry for the accident, because I can fully estimate the disappointment your kind cares and warm affections have received; but I think you will own that my punishment exceeds my offence, when I say that the fault you have exhibited has given a wound to my feelings, as a father, not easy to be endured."

Mr. Daventree sat down with the air of a person oppressed and afflicted; but he almost immediately began to speak again; whilst Sophia, with blushing cheeks and panting bosom, stood like a conscious criminal before him.

"Surely it is very painful for a father, who fondly loves his children, to whom the development of their minds, or the formation of their principles and affections, is of the highest importance, to witness such an ebullition of temper as I have done. It shocked me the more, because I was really enjoying the proofs of sensibility, consideration and humanity, you had just displayed; and I could not expect to see in a girl capable of better things, such degrading abandonment to ungovernable passion—no self-control exerted—no obedience to God's word—no recollection of a father's authority—no sympathy in a mother's feelings."

"Dear, dear papa!" cried Sophia, casting herself on her knees before him, "I have been very wicked to grieve you. Oh, I am so sorry—my heart—yes, my heart will—will——"

She would have said "break," but her anguish almost suffocated her; and as she laid her head on her father's knees, and wept in very agony, bitterly did that tender father grieve that he should be compelled to afflict her.

When he perceived that this violent emotion had somewhat subsided, he raised her up, and said—"Sophia, before I name any punishment for past faults, I wish to guard you from future ones. You have confessed that you are subject to these passions—have you never examined the rise and progress of them in your own heart?"

"Oh yes, papa, I know it is, as Emily says, all owing to my being in so great a hurry. I see something that vexes me—then I think I am injured, and I become affronted, and I grow heated and fluttered, and that increases till I become downright enraged, and then I say all kinds of things."

"And wish to do all kinds of things?—even to commit murder?"

"Oh, no, no, no! I would not hurt any of them—nor even break their playthings, not even when I am at the worst. Miss Harcourt knows I would not; and she——Oh, papa, what trouble have I given to her!"

"Indeed, Sophia, I forgive you," said Miss Harcourt; "and it is only justice to say, that when your silly pets are over, no one can be more anxious to evince affection than you are; and I still hope you will be able to conquer this blameable weakness."

"If I could but learn how to conquer it—if I could but keep it down when it comes into my throat—or if I could do without speaking, perhaps it would go off!" Sophia looked earnestly towards her father, as if imploring his assistance.

"My dear child, as you have got rid of all these symptoms three times in one evening, surely you need not despair. That which we have done once, we can certainly do again; and we have this great motive for exertion added to others, that with every effort the passion will grow weaker, the reason stronger."

"Yes, if I could once conquer, I might go on conquering, till I was as good as Emily herself—my dear sister Emily, who always pities me."

"Well, Sophia, I repeat it, you have done so to-night. When you first came in, and saw what had happened (which was, I grant, a very provoking circumstance), how was it that you did not fly into a violent rage?"

"Oh, papa, how could I think of a china jar, when my whole heart was full of a fellow-creature's sorrows? when I believed that poor Thomas Morton was drowned, that was no time to lament flowers."

"True, my child, a sense of the frailty of life, of the awful responsibility of mortality, was on your mind, together with deep and absorbing compassion, and you lost all selfish feelings. Now reason and religion tell you, my dear, that you are always in the presence of God, and therefore bound alike at all times to control your wrong propensities. In the second instance, you checked yourself, when I invited you to punish Benjamin, a proof that your nature was in itself noble and generous, though debased, and that you did possess a power of self-command. And, thirdly, it is certain all anger vanished from your breast, when you found that your father had been the cause of its arising. Now cannot you contrive to recal similar motives for repelling the temptation to transgress, the next time you are subject to it?"

"I think so—I hope so; but, indeed, papa, I am sadly afraid of myself, when I remember what a many, many times I have erred; then I know, if I am laughed at, the fit comes on such a great deal stronger."

"Leave us, Sophia, for a quarter of an hour, in which time try, my dear, to meditate on this subject, and to look for help to that heavenly Father, who will not reject the weakest penitent."

Sophia left the room, calm, but still weeping, and for some time all remained silent.

At length Mr. Daventree said—"Poor girl! she is exceedingly to be pitied, inasmuch as the error in her temper is, in a great degree, constitutional. It can, and I trust will, be cured; but in order to produce that good effect, the efforts of all who desire to merit my approbation must combine. You, Emily, have, it appears, done your duty as a good sister, and will, I trust, continue to bear with her, and to check in kindness the first stirrings of her temper. Above all things, guard yourself from making her an object of ridicule; let her weakness be held in your eyes as a misfortune, on which it would be cruel to jest, and one which it would ill become one of her own family to expose, or to call into action."

Whilst Mr. Daventree spoke, the two boys fidgetted in their chairs, as if they were extremely uneasy; and even little Ellen blushed excessively; and at length, sidling up to her papa, said, in an exculpatory tone—"I am sure I love Sophia very much—and I believe she loves me dearly; she made my doll a new bonnet yesterday."

"She is always doing some good-natured thing for every body!" exclaimed William; "and I'm sure," he added, in a voice somewhat impeded by the rising in his throat, "yes, I am quite sure, that other people might make confessions as well as poor Soph."

"Why, I know," said Edward, "I have teased her into many a passion, and I am sorry for it now."

"So have I," resumed William; "which was the worse, because I was older than her, and ought to have known better."

"But I was quite old enough to know I did wrong."

"So was I," said Ellen; "but I did it because—because it made us all laugh."

"You have all been cruel children," said Mr. Daventree. "You have practised the means of irritation upon one whom you all acknowledge to be kind, generous, and affectionate, except at these particular times, when she was subject to a species of insanity, which demanded your pity and assistance. However, I am willing to consider your past faults as those of children, if for the future you make an entire alteration in your conduct, and become hence-forward as much the friends, as you have hitherto been the enemies, of your sister."

To be considered enemies, each one felt to be a severe sentence; yet self-conviction allowed them no power of objection; and in a few minutes Sophia entered the room, bringing in her hand two bracelets, with which she proceeded to Mr. Daventree.

"My dear mamma has given me these to wear constantly, in order that, whenever I begin to fly out so improperly again, some one near may take one of them off, which will put me in mind of all you have said to me. Dear Emily I know will always help me."

"We will all help you, dear Sophy," said William, eagerly; "but you will need little help when we no longer tease and provoke you. We have been all unkind, very unkind, but we will never be so again."

Kisses, tears, and smiles, concluded this happy agreement. Sophia put on the bracelets; and an account was kept by Miss Harcourt of the number of times in which there had been a necessity, either to remove them, or begin to do so, which generally answered the purpose. Happily, before the year came round, all occasion for this curb on her temper had ceased; and as her disposition and abilities were no longer obscured by this defect, she was every way improved, and become the delight of her family and friends. On that day twelvemonth she received from her father a pair of china vases for her flowers, and from her brothers and sisters a pair of bracelets, which, although merely neat ones, were given to her as a badge of honour, and intended to banish the memory of those which served a good purpose, but were, in fact, the mark of disgrace.

To these presents was added a very interesting one, brought for her by Sally Morton, who had reared for her a beautiful little piping bullfinch, which her son had taught to whistle "God save the King."

"I have brought it," said the good old woman, "because of the great mercy I received a year ago, in the preservation of my dear son; and I give it you, Miss Sophy, because, though every body was good to me, you were the first to pity me, and comfort me. Ah, Miss, it is a day I shall never forget."

"Neither ought I to forget it, dame Morton, for it was of great importance to me also; and when I hear this pretty bird singing, it will also remind me of my own restored happiness. My dear parents now approve my conduct; my brothers and sisters love me, and never laugh at me; and my good governess declares that I am no longer a 'passionate little girl.'"




As little William Foster, the son of a small farmer, was trudging homewards with a basket, in which lay an empty tin bottle and his spelling-book, he was met by two youths, the sons of a neighbouring gentleman, one of whom inquired, in a kind manner, if he had been to school?

"Yes, master Charles, I have been there all day."

"I thought as much from your empty milk-bottle; it is a very good plan to take your dinner with you; it gives more time both for work and play. What book are you in?"

"This is my spelling-book—but I read in the Testament every day."

"I am glad you are so forward, my little fellow; and if you will come to the Park to-morrow evening, and go to Mrs. Willis's room, I will give her some of my old story books, for you to read at home, on winter nights, to your sisters."

William's eyes glistened with delight as he expressed his simple thanks; and he was quickening his pace, when a gentleman, who had been walking with the youths, observed, in rather a stern tone—"You are going to do a very foolish thing, Charles, in giving that poor boy story books, as they will certainly do him more harm than good. They can answer no end, except to depict pleasures he can never share, raise hopes it is impossible for him to realize, or awaken ambition it would be wrong for him to feel."

"I am certain, sir," said the elder brother, who had not yet spoken, "no bad effects can arise from our old story books, since every one of them was read by our parents, before they were put into our hands. My father says they are very different things from the fairy tales, and Jack the Giant Killer stories, that boys used to read when you and he were young."

"They may be very different, yet no better; they may be less silly, but equally mischievous, since they communicate no useful knowledge, and consume much valuable time. They may perhaps excite a poor child like this to learn to read, it is true, when nothing else would do it, but never could employ boys like you properly, because the education of a gentleman calls for much laborious attention; your studies leave no time to throw upon books that do not contribute to your improvement."

"My father," replied Henry, with great modesty, "says, that in early life the heart requires educating, not less than the understanding; and whilst we were children, and under my mother's care, our reading was directed to the formation of our dispositions, in order that when we went into the world (I mean of course when we went to a large school), we should have got something like fixed notions of right and wrong in our heads. I really believe, if I had not read with great attention Miss Edgeworth's Parents' Assistant, I should have been just such a boy as 'Lovel, the good-natured Boy,' and become a mere shuttlecock among my schoolfellows, for want of courage to say no to the boy I despised, or the scheme I hated. I should have made myself ridiculous, from fear of a fool's laughter, and complied against my conscience with many a wrong action, because a leader commanded me."

"And I," cried Charles, "if papa had not made me read and understand 'Eyes or no Eyes,' in Dr. Aikin's Evenings at Home, should have been as stupid a dog as ever was born, instead of meriting the praise you gave me for knowing so much of natural history. Indeed, I should have been a perfect Lazy Lawrence, if my mother had not made me see myself in his character, and taught me to dread coming to his end."

"As I know nothing at all of the books of which you speak, I can make no observation in point, nor can I find fault, with propriety, on any feature in your education, sanctioned by your parents; but this little fellow has his bread to gain, and no time to spare for mere amusement, which is all I can be brought to believe any one derives from story books. Now, if I visit you next year, I will give him copy-books, and useful books, and if he has the sense to profit by them, we shall see in time whether you or I have done him the most good."

The little boy had been so pent up by the parties, that he could not move without disturbing them till the argument was over, when he walked on, wondering as he went what the story books would be about, whether he could get the back way into so grand a house as that of Hazeldine Park, without seeing a great dog or a rough groom; and then recurring again to what the gentleman had said, "how could it be possible that people should read to no good purpose—did not his master tell the boys continually, to mind their books—did not his father often lament his own want of learning as a great misfortune?"

The books were got with little difficulty, for servants generally take the tone of their master, and the Honourable Henry Hazeldine was the friend of the poor in the truest sense of the word; for he encouraged the industrious, relieved the sick and unfortunate, held the idle and dissolute in such awe, that they could not injure others, and was in every respect what a country gentleman ought to be. Farmer Foster had not the happiness of being one of "his honour Hazeldine's tenants;" but the family had not the less a kind word or action for him or his family, if they came in his way; and this little present of Charles to poor Will was highly estimated by all the little circle at poor Foster's.

The books were read with so much pleasure, that the mother of William took them into her own keeping, and allowed him to read them only at such times, and under such circumstances, as were consistent with his duties, and a reward for his good conduct. Young as he was, there were many ways in which our little boy could be useful in the evenings and mornings; and it was not until the pig had been fed, the cow watered, the gates around all carefully closed, and certain little matters in the house performed by his hand, that the tired, but happy little boy, could sit down to read the history of boys of his own age, and frequently of his own condition, in the welcome little books.

Greatly was his pleasure enhanced, when milking being finished by his mother, and the cattle foddered by his father, they too could sit down and listen to that which he had already conned, and could therefore read with fluency. Many a pause was filled up with just, though rustic observations, as they dwelt on the efforts of simple Susan to pay her father's debt, or the sorrows of the Blind Farmer. As the following year advanced, this pleasure extended to his little sisters, who became old enough to understand the subject, and enter into the instruction conveyed by the conduct of the tale, and were extremely anxious to learn to read in such a clever way as William did, in order that they also might give pleasure to their parents.

Mr. Maynard did not, as he was wont, visit his friends at the Park during the following shooting season, but he was not unmindful of his promise. Through the medium of Mrs. Hazeldine, he sent him some copy-books, a slate, and account-books; and as he had now made some progress in his learning (though it was only during the winter that he could be spared to attend school), he began to teach his sisters that which he had learnt himself, at a place too distant for them to go to.

As William grew taller and stronger, his labours became of course more extended, and having read much on the duty of children to their parents, and thought much on the subject, no one could be more desirous than he was to contribute to the benefit and the happiness of his beloved father and mother. Far from looking down upon them, because they could not do that which he did, he was truly grateful to them for having bestowed on him the time and money necessary for his humble attainments; and as his father was a sensible man, and like many persons in his station, practically master of much natural history, William was exceedingly fond of conversing with him, and gaining knowledge from his experience, and of inquiring from him how far the books he might happen to see were right in what they said on such subjects.

In pursuance of his wish to show especial regard to his parents, William undertook the particular care of the garden, which had hitherto been merely a cabbage ground, and this he added to his general allotment of work on the farm. In the management of this bit of ground, his sisters greatly helped him, and they were never more happy than when he was digging, and they were weeding near him, and comparing themselves with some of the children they had read about in the story-books, who toiled for their parents or each other. Labour was to them more sweet than play, because it was the medium of displaying affection, and it never failed of reward, for the earth always repays that labour we bestow upon her.

Economy and industry produced in the humble dwelling of farmer Foster such an improvement of circumstances, that five or six years after the commencement of our story, a neighbour being about to throw up his farm and remove to a distant county, the honest man thought he might venture to take it, aided as he now was by an active son, and two girls who were as good as their mother. The farm was Mr. Hazeldine's, who was the best of landlords; but then he would undoubtedly expect a richer tenant, one who could do more justice to his land, so far as money was concerned.

"Had the sons of Mr. Hazeldine been at home, seeing they were so kind to William when he was a little one, they might have been so good as to speak to their father, but they were now gentlemen out in the world, and his honour himself very poorly, so that madam never went out of the house;" and with those cogitations in his head, the farmer knew not how he could get the recommendation he wanted. All his thoughts were revealed to William, who was equally puzzled, and, in fact, more anxious, since he saw more of their neighbours than his father, and knew that many persons were anxious to add this farm also to their own.

When the shooting season arrived, William heard, by accident, that Mr. Maynard, after travelling some years on the Continent, had come back, and was again visiting at the Park. It struck him that it would be only right for him to go thither, and thank him for his present, which he held to be particularly kind, since he lived more than two hundred miles from thence, and had recollected him after two years had passed since he saw him in the lane.

William was fortunate in meeting this gentleman in the pleasure-grounds, walking in advance of a gay party, before whom he should have found it awkward to speak, especially as he was conscious that his mind was labouring to find the means of rendering Mr. Maynard so far favourable to himself, that he might be made propitious to his father's wishes, by opening the affair of the farm to Mr. Hazeldine.

On accosting him, and thanking him, Mr. Maynard immediately recollected not only the books, but every circumstance connected with them, and he adverted to it with so much good-nature, that the poor boy took courage to speak of the wishes of his father and family, respecting the farm, that was so soon likely to be unoccupied. The manner in which he laid down his father's plans for making it answer, and his candid confession of their narrow means of stocking it, at once shewed the good sense and the honesty of himself and his parents, and disposed Mr. Maynard greatly in his favour; but he answered his application as if there were certain preliminaries to be attended to first.

"I perceive, my boy, the little education you have got has not been thrown away upon you, therefore I hope you will gladly and freely acknowledge how much more useful the books were that I sent you, than the childish things given you by my young friends, who have come down to see their parents at this time, and are now advancing towards us. Here they come; and if you will own to them what you must know to be the truth, as regards the story-books, I will immediately speak to their father in behalf of yours, and it will, most probably, be with good effect."

William was exceedingly troubled by this request, on account of the obligation he felt to both parties, and the more embarrassed by reason of the condition annexed to the opinion he was expected to give. He knew, however, that the first great point was to speak the truth; and in order to do that simply and exactly, he began eagerly to recal to mind his obligations to each particular present, in order that he might do justice to both.

"You gave me writing copies, sir, by which I improved my writing very much; and an account-book, which was still better, since the knowledge I gained from it has saved my poor father many a pound; but then it was reading Lazy Lawrence that made me determined to learn, because I saw that only idle, gluttonous, and mischievous boys, are ignorant by choice. I am sure, sir, I can never thank you enough for sending me such a many nice copy-books, for I was enabled through them to teach both my sisters to write; but then it was the story-books that made me wish to learn, and be desirous of doing my duty—it was owing to them that I ever tried to work for my poor father out of love for him, and that I made the garden both beautiful and profitable—they laid the foundation of every thing I ever did that was right. They who expect harvest must not despise seed-time, you know, sir."

"But you are not taking the way to get your father the farm, William. I did not ask you to praise my gift, but I claimed from you a declaration of its preference, and on that condition promised to befriend your father; and, depend upon it, that my recommendation will go farther with Mr. Hazeldine than even that of his sons, because he will rely on my experience. Think again on the matter, for it is to you and your family very important."

William was silent, and so absorbed in thought, that he did not perceive that the two young Hazeldines and their invalid father, with three other gentlemen, had now reached them, and were standing in a circle round them. After a long pause, he looked at Mr. Maynard with a deprecating air, and in a low but distinct voice observed—"Every one of the story-books the young gentlemen gave me, taught me to despise a lie, both as a wicked and foolish thing; and that book which has more good in it than all other books put together, forbids all lying as a sin; therefore I dare not say that in my heart I think your present was more valuable to me than the other, though I am willing to say it was as good. I may be wrong in my judgment, but I am but a lad of fourteen; but when I recollect the good the story-books did in my family, I can say no less for them, without being downright ungrateful. Why, sir, many's the time they kept father at home when he would have gone out, and that made my mother happy: my sister Sally, who was once proud and pettish, was taught by them to be humble and obedient; and Nancy, who was indolent, became industrious; and as for myself, why I——"

Poor William could not make this long exculpatory speech longer, by dilating on his own merits, and was conscious that he had already taken a liberty. He was moving away in some confusion, that he might hide his grief and mortification, when Mr. Maynard laid his hand on his shoulder to detain him, whilst he thus addressed the young gentlemen, who were now first seen by William.

"Well, my young friends, I now confess freely that my former prejudice against 'Tales for Children' was founded on ignorance of their tendency and effects. In this boy I have a decisive proof, not only that they pave the way for useful knowledge, but that they really inculcate sound principles. Having said so much by way of recantation, I must now proceed to my office of recommendation, for which purpose I must address your father."

"That is unnecessary," said Mr. Hazeldine, "for I have intended for some months to offer my farm, of the Green Lea, to Foster, whose industry and good management of his land, and his family, have been long under my eye, although, seeing he has not required my assistance, I have had little personal acquaintance with him. He shall not be left without the means of stocking it, for I know him to be as honest a man as he is a good labourer. And now, William, run home as fast as you can with the good news; and tell your mother that we shall call for a slice of her brown loaf, and a pat of fresh butter, as we return from to-morrow's shooting."

"And we have a barrel of capital ale, sir; and mother makes beautiful curds," cried William, his eyes sparkling with joy, from a sense of honour conferred, as well as obligation received.

Never sprang a lighter pair of heels, or a happier heart, over the green turf, than poor William's, as he ran home to make those most dear to him as happy as himself; nor could there be a pleasanter consultation than that between the young Hazeldines and Mr. Maynard, as to the useful presents they determined on giving to a youth who had made such a good use of their former gifts. One brother determined on giving him a sow, with a large litter of pigs, thinking he could feed them on the produce of his garden; the other said he would buy him a donkey, as he would live on the common, and be extremely useful in carrying products of every kind to market; and Mr. Maynard said he would purchase for him a complete set of garden tools, and implements of husbandry.

"Then," said Mr. Hazeldine, "it shall be my turn now to furnish him with books. In addition to the Society's best Bible and Prayer Book, I will give him the Gardener's Calendar, a work on Natural History, written in a plain manner, and a large bound volume of the Cottager's Friend; for well does he deserve the recreation such works will afford him, and good use will he make of the information they will communicate to him. We should never forget that the poor have minds to provide food for, as well as mouths to fill, and that if we do not give them that which is good, they may find that which is bad. Many a man in low life, who is at this moment an idle sot, a dissolute poacher, or an useless pauper, might have been rendered active, steady, and worthy, by the proper application of as much money as would support a village schoolmaster, and as much consideration for a child's wants as was shown by my son Charles, when he gave William his own half-worn story books, and thereby gave you and me, my good friend, the benefit of experience."





Great was the distress of Lady Harriet Elmore, when she received a letter from Colonel Elmore, her husband, earnestly entreating her to meet him in Italy, (whither he was travelling from India by the overland route), not only because she found that her beloved partner was in poor health, and low spirits, but because the idea of leaving Edward, their only child, was exceedingly afflicting to her. He had been the sole object of her unceasing care, during more than seven of those long years in which his father had been absent, a period which constituted two-thirds of his life, and as he could not recollect that his mamma had ever left him for a single day, she dreaded the effect of her absence upon his mind, and could not sustain the idea of his grief.

Mrs. Bellaire, who had been her friend from infancy, and who lived within thirty miles, hastened to her on this emergency, and having read the letter, and calculated the time in which it was probable that the colonel would reach Naples, urged her to proceed immediately for London, from whence some friends of hers were at that time setting out for Rome, from whom she could insure her every attention. In addition to this kindness, she likewise proposed taking her son home to her own house, where he would have the advantage of sharing the cares of an excellent tutor, with her own two youngest sons, one of whom was the same age with himself, and the other a year younger.

The tender mother was also the affectionate wife: she saw clearly that it was her duty to take Mrs. Bellaire's advice, and accept her offer, which she well knew to be that of a most admirable mother, and excellent woman, in every sense of the word; and after warmly thanking her, though with many tears, she proceeded to expatiate on the good qualities of Edward—to mention the progress he had made in his learning—to assure her friend that he would repay her kindness by the example he would afford her children; and that, in short, "he was the best boy in the world."

"Frank and Sinclair are tolerably good children," said Mrs. Bellaire; "they will, I am certain, be very kind to him; and I can say still more for the rest of the establishment, so that I am sure you may leave him to us safely; and as to fretting yourself so much about a child's sorrow, believe me (who know children better than you do) it is very unnecessary."

Lady Harriet only shook her head in reply; she felt assured that Edward was more attached to her than Mrs. Bellaire's children could be to either of their parents, for this plain reason, that his affections had been all concentred on one object, whereas they had many to love, and could therefore not be expected to love intensely.—"Besides, it was not in the nature of things, that persons of large fortune, and numerous connections, who spent a part of every year in London, and were engaged with all the cares and pleasures of political and fashionable life, could cultivate the affections, and take part in the feelings of their numerous family, in the same way she had done with her single darling. No, they would not estimate him justly—not understand him thoroughly."

Happily, with these thoughts came the recollection that at Bellaire Park he would find all the pleasures which fortune could bestow on a large scale, and which could hardly fail to surprise and delight him, as contrasting with the small and quiet establishment to which prudence and inclination had hitherto confined her ladyship; and with this idea full upon her mind, she ventured to break the matter to the astonished boy, and prepare him for departing with her friend, who now undertook to arrange every thing in the most speedy manner for her own far-distant journey.

Edward heard with great satisfaction about "companions of his own age," "pretty little ponies," on which he was to ride, "gardens full of all kinds of fruit," and even of a "good gentleman," who would teach him Latin, and shew him on the map all the places where his dear papa travelled: he was ready to assure his mamma that he would never forget "to say his prayers, nor to give his pocket-money to poor old people, and get his lessons diligently;" but he could form no idea of doing any thing without mamma being present to see him, and to praise him. The shock of parting with her was so great, that it seemed to overwhelm the poor child's faculties; and this misfortune at last took place under such a paroxysm of sorrow, that it required not only all the true friendship, but all the strength of mind Mrs. Bellaire possessed, to witness it, and consider what an awful and troublesome office she had undertaken.

Sensible that sorrow, like all violent passions, must in time exhaust itself, she suffered the poor boy to cry on for the first twenty miles, and to sleep for the remainder of the way. Nor was she sorry to find that her own young ones were gone to rest on their arrival, as she hoped a good night, and the novelty of all things around him in the morning, would divert Edward's mind, so far as to soothe the acuteness of his feelings, without therefore lessening the affection he felt for his mother, and the regret natural to his situation.

Dejected and drowsy, the child, whose manners were at all times gentle, took quietly the food that was offered to him, and departed, with unresisting steps and equal inattention to the kindness shewn him; but as this could be accounted for by the mental excitement he had suffered, neither Mr. nor Mrs. Bellaire considered it as a fault, and they were happy in thinking that they should give their dear children a pleasant companion, whilst they materially assisted a suffering friend, who would never have had the courage to place her weeping boy in a school, or with any less considerate persons.

"Have you not seen Edward Elmore yet?" said Mrs. Bellaire to her son Francis, as he entered her dressing-room the next morning, to inquire after her health, and receive her caresses.

"Yes, mamma, I have seen him; he is a pretty boy, but very odd; he won't let Susan wash him, nor wash himself, till you come. He says you are to be his mamma till his own comes home again?"

"So I am, my dear; but surely Lady Harriet did not act as nurse-maid to such a great boy as Edward?"

"He says she always stood by when he was dressed—and he cries so, you can't think; it grieves me to see him cry."

"I dare say it does, Frank, therefore I would have you go back and persuade him to be more of a man in his conduct. He is in great trouble from his mamma's absence; therefore, if he should be cross and wayward, it is your duty to pity him, and be patient with him, and do your utmost to amuse him, recollecting that he has never had a good papa to instruct him and control him, as you have."

Frank so far stimulated Edward's pride, as to overcome his sullenness and grief for the present, a circumstance Mrs. Bellaire rejoiced to learn, being aware that many faults are best cured by companions, and many habits best inculcated by example. But she had scarcely heard this good news, when Sinclair entered, saying—"Dear mamma, Edward Elmore has brought all his playthings into my own place, and turned all my books out, and my drawing things, and every thing I have; he says, mamma, that——"

"What does he say? you may speak the exact truth."

"He says, that he always puts his things exactly where he likes at home, and that every body does what he bids them. I did not like to tell you this at first, because it seemed so like a story."

"Your conclusion was very natural, my dear; but I am afraid Edward has had a good deal of indulgence; nevertheless, as his own mamma assured me he was a very good boy (indeed the best in the world), I expect to find him amiable; but we must make great allowance for him—he has had no little brother or sister to share his playthings, or the place where he used them."

"He says he had all the house to play in at home."

"Perhaps he had, for I remember seeing the same things in the drawing-room, which afterwards annoyed me in the coach."

"But that was not proper, mamma, surely?"

"Indeed, Sinclair, it was not; and I hope, before he has been long with us, he will cure himself of those bad habits which led to it: in the mean time we must pity him, and persuade him to think of other people as well as himself."

A third entrance from a servant, who said, "Master Elmore was crying dreadfully," hastened Mrs. Bellaire's visit to the children's apartment, where she found the sobbing child in great distress, because he was left alone, in consequence of Francis and Sinclair having gone to attend their studies.

"I will take you to their school-room, my dear, and introduce you to Mr. Fairthorne, their tutor."

"But I don't choose to go! I won't learn of any body but my own mamma. I told the boys so when they teased me to go with them."

"What can I do with this poor child?" said Mrs. Bellaire to herself, as she perceived the paleness of his cheeks, and the redness of his eyes. "If I give way to his self-will, the example will be ruinous to my own children—to oppose him thus early may injure his health, which is evidently not robust—his sorrow is so deep and silent, so unlike that of a violent and obstinate-tempered child, that I am really not more grieved than puzzled by him."

At length Edward rose from his chair, wiped his eyes, and said, in a tone of quiet condescension—"You may take me into the garden."

"I have not breakfasted yet," said Mrs. Bellaire.

"That makes no difference that I know of: I got my breakfast long since."

"And did your mamma always go out with you when you asked her, my dear?"

"To be sure she did. I wish she were here now."

"I am very glad she is not, for she could not be happy if she were: she would see your red eyes, and know that you had been naughty, and that would grieve her: do you think you love her?"

"To be sure I love her dearly."

"I think not—for I have observed that boys who love their mothers try to oblige them. Sinclair and Francis know that I should be very unhappy if they were rude to others, disobedient to their tutor, or negligent in their lessons; and I am sure they love me, because they save me from pain. I would not believe any thing they said, if their actions disagreed with their words; nor would I yield to their wishes, if I saw that they desired their own pleasure, but did not value mine."

"I am not naughty—I always speak the truth, and I don't hurt anybody."

As Edward spoke, his eye fell on those things which he had placed on a chiffonier, by ejecting the property of Sinclair Bellaire; he stopped, coloured, and began hastily to remove them; in which employment Mrs. Bellaire left him, and in the course of time her sons found him, as there was a struggle in his breast, which rendered the employment very indecisive in its effects—one minute he was on the point of resigning that which he had no right to usurp; the next, he resumed his imagined right of doing that which it was his pleasure to do.

Under the influence of pity for his present affliction, the young Bellaires suffered him to take the lead in all those movements dictated by themselves; but since their rides and walks were necessarily under the control of their parents or tutor, some difficulties were for several days constantly presented by Edward Elmore's desire to go some other way than the one fixed upon, take any person's pony to which he had a fancy, and make a regular complaint against Mrs. Bellaire, if she were not of the party.

The good-natured boys bore every thing well, save this complaint; but even little Sinclair could not forbear to exclaim, one day—"Really, Edward, you seem to think my mamma should be your constant attendant, and had nothing to do but what you wished for."

"Well, so I do. Did she not promise to supply my own poor mamma's place to me, and did not my mamma do every thing I asked her to do?"

"She must have been very silly to do what a boy like you bade her do—you must be joking; who ever heard of a parent obeying a child?"

"Or who," cried Frank, "ever heard of a child being so wicked as to think of ordering his parent?"

Poor Edward was on the point of weeping, but he had already found that the long fits of crying to which he was wont to have recourse, had no effect on any one in his present circle; and in his anxiety to justify himself, he appealed to Mr. Fairthorne, "whether it were not Mrs. Bellaire's duty to fulfil her promise?"

"It is doubtless her duty to act as a kind mother to you, my dear; and in giving you the same pleasure, and offering you the same advantages she does to her own children, every body will think she fulfils her duty. Surely you must know that she has many much more pressing duties to fulfil than attending to boys of your age? Mrs. Bellaire has a large circle of poor persons, to whose sorrow and sickness she gives constant care; she has (as you know) a great number of friends in the house, for whose comfort and amusement she is anxious; and surely her own sweet little girls must claim a portion of her time, to say nothing of the school she has instituted for the children of the village. As you are undoubtedly a thoughtful boy, it appears strange that you have not considered this matter."

"I only thought that I wanted her, because I love her."

"So do we love to have mamma with us," cried Frank, "and dear papa too; but we like that she should be happy with her guests, and also like very much that he should be busy with the election, because, when he is again made a member, he will do a deal of good in the parliament, I dare say. You are a very generous boy, Edward, you would give any thing away to help your fellow-creatures; but you don't seem to know, that a great deal of good may be done distinct from charity; it is the duty of such men as my papa to do it, and not to be always riding about with his own sons."

"Yes, I do know that, or why should my father risk his life in the East Indies? but I always thought ladies should give up every thing in the world for their children. I am sure my mamma did so; she would not dine out with her nearest neighbour, for fear that I should want her at home again."

"In consequence of which," said Mr. Fairthorne, "with many good qualities, and great abilities, you have become unmanly and selfish, incapable of self-denial, and unequal to any act of magnanimity; and although you may never commit a great error, yet you will be a constant subject of trouble to your friends."

This was perhaps the first direct reproof the poor boy had ever met with, and it was therefore no wonder that his heart swelled for a moment with indignation, and the tears twinkled in his eyes; but as Mr. Fairthorne spoke in a tone of the utmost pity and kindness, and the boys forbore not only to make any comment, but even to look towards him, this angry emotion soon subsided, and he pondered in his mind on all that had been said, beginning to suspect that he was not quite so perfect as he had imagined himself to be, and much ashamed at being less manly and independent than boys of his age ought to be, more especially one who was the son of a brave soldier.

On returning home he could not rest till he had found Mrs. Bellaire; when, seizing her hand, he drew her away from her party, saying—"Pray tell me, what is the meaning of 'being selfish;' is it being covetous?"

"No, my dear, for very extravagant people are generally the most selfish of all others. The sin of selfishness consists of——"

"Is it a sin?" cried the boy, in great agitation.

"Selfishness consists in not only loving yourself better than any other person, but in seeking your own ease, pleasure, or profit, at any other person's expense. It is of course a great sin against others, and also a sin against God, who has given us this commandment, that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and selfish people never do these things."

"I now remember one night, when Frank and me were going to play at nine-pins in the nursery, and Susan was sitting there, looking very pale, with a bad head-ache, he went away directly, saying—'We would not make a noise to disturb her;' I suppose that was being unselfish—was it not?"

"It certainly arose from an opposite principle, my dear."

"And when Sinclair hurt his hand with the trap-ball, and gave over crying suddenly, because little Emma was so sorry, I suppose he conquered his selfishness?"

"He might be said to do more; such conduct at his age is magnanimity; it combines fortitude with humanity."

"But you did not praise him for it—you only took care of his hand."

"I was really alarmed at the moment, the blood flowed so freely; therefore my first cares were for the hand. I could rely on my dear boy's disposition, and had seen too many proofs of its goodness to spoil him by applause; he knew, that in my heart I must approve his conduct."

Edward had much to say still; but he cast his eyes towards a group of ladies, and thought to himself, "perhaps they want Mrs. Bellaire as much as I do," and he silently made his first effort of self-denial, by relinquishing her hand, and retiring to the study, where he instantly requested Mr. Fairthorne to give him a task, to which he applied with as much diligence as the anxious frame of his mind would admit.

The next day there were no school duties attended to, for a joyful holiday took place, not only through the house, but the country, Mr. Bellaire being elected for the county; and the company, together with the family, and a great number of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, proceeded to the city in a magnificent cavalcade, to be present at his chairing. In addition to the rich who came to do honour to the friend they esteemed, were a numerous company of his tenants on horseback, well dressed, with gay nosegays, and bunches of ribbon in their hats; and after these came a multitude of decent poor men, women, and children, most of whom were similarly decorated, and, to use their own phrase, "putting the best foot foremost," with joyful faces and gay tongues, that they might "see his honour in all his glory." All were proud and happy, all sympathized in the delight and the triumph of the day; and even Edward Elmore's pretty, but pensive countenance, was dressed in smiles, when he received his hat, adorned like those of his companions with ribbons.

There were many ladies to accommodate, all of whom wanted to be as near Mrs. Bellaire as possible; she therefore, though with evidently some pain, told her sons and Edward that they could not share her carriage, but should go in the next barouche with Mr. Fairthorne.

"It is all the same to us, mamma," said Francis; but his late cheerful open countenance shewed an inward struggle.

"It is not all the same to me, though," cried Edward, poutingly; but he, too, checked himself, and mounted the steps of the carriage with hilarity, which increased as he proceeded. The novelty of every thing around him on entering the city, and proceeding to the hustings, where bands of music were stationed, banners displayed, and immense crowds assembled, whose loud reiterated hurrahs welcomed the advancing carriages of their new member's family, operated on his mind as by a happy contagion, and he became as merry, if not as noisy, as any boy in that numerous assemblage.

Hitherto the slave of an ill-regulated sensibility, it was no wonder that as the scene advanced in interest, the poor boy's spirits became too highly exhilarated, especially as he could not forbear considering himself immediately connected with the honours of the day, and the mingled emotions of pride and timidity which affected him by turns, added to the loud shouting, and the pealing of the bells, deprived him of all self-possession; and as he stood up in the carriage waving his handkerchief, those around were repeatedly obliged to warn him of danger, lest he should fall out.

He became quiet and attentive during the time he listened to Mr. Bellaire, whilst he addressed his constituents; but when the acclamations of applause were again poured forth, his spirits rose with the general feeling, and in the act of throwing up his arms, he lost his equilibrium in such a manner, that he would have had a violent fall upon the ground, head foremost, if Frank Bellaire had not grasped his legs, and held him by main strength, until Mr. Fairthorne was enabled to assist him.

Mrs. Bellaire having witnessed the circumstance with great terror, caused him to be instantly removed to the carriage which she occupied, where he was obliged to sit still, and soon became sensible that he had not been ill used, when circumstances induced his excellent friend to place him in his late situation.

They all departed home in the most joyful disposition imaginable, Mr. Bellaire being then on horseback amongst his happy and grateful tenantry; but as his fatigue had been very great, when they were about a mile out of the city, Mrs. Bellaire and her friends so earnestly entreated that he would take a seat in the carriage, that he consented, observing,—"That Edward could now return safely to his companions—the excitement was over."

Edward was indeed glad to go, for his heart overflowed with gratitude to Francis, whose hands, though trembling with their burden, had held him so kindly and so effectively: his troubles, however, on this eventful day were not over; for as Mr. Bellaire dismounted, a young man begged "to take his honour's horse, till the groom got up to the place;" and most unfortunately, in the thoughtless hilarity of the hour, attempted to mount him. The noble animal, conscious of the change, plunged and flounced in such a manner, that in a few moments the young man was flung into the very midst of the advancing carriage, which was coming at a brisk rate to take up Edward Elmore.

Every one was terrified and grieved, expecting some very dreadful catastrophe, especially as they saw the boy, usually so fearful, run directly into the teeth of danger, by running to the spot where the young man was exposed to the risk of being trampled to death by the horses, if he were not already killed by the fall. All was for a minute confusion; but as the coachman was clever and sober, the horses were checked; the poor fellow crawled out dusty, frightened, and a little bruised, but able to drag away Edward, who hung upon him, crying in agony—"Where are you hurt? oh! where are you hurt?"

Thankful for the escape of both parties, Mr. Fairthorne took Edward into the carriage, soothed his alarm, and pointed out the utter insufficiency of any assistance he could have given to the poor young man, and the increased agitation he had occasioned to his friends; but not in a tone of blame, but kindness; so that the boy was fully convinced of the truth of his observations, and really sorry that he had been, twice in one day, the cause of so much alarm to that dear though temporary mamma, whose pleasure he now sincerely wished to enhance. On their arrival at home, so strong was his impression, that he could not rest till he got up to her, and said, "he was extremely sorry he had been so foolish, and alarmed her so much."

Mrs. Bellaire readily accorded him a kiss of forgiveness, saying, at the same time—"How happened you to be so near falling?"

"I had quite forgotten myself with joy, and so I suppose I jumped up, or something of that kind; all I know is, that Frank saved me—yes, saved my life, by catching hold of me just at the right moment."

Mrs. Bellaire gave Frank a look, at once conveying that praise sweet to the heart of a good child, and full of inquiry about the circumstances; to which he replied—"I saw very plainly, mamma, that Edward could not take care of himself; and knowing that he had never been used to it, poor fellow, I never took my eye off him, by which means I caught him. You know it was altogether a great confusion, though I never was so pleased with any thing in my life."

"I am glad, my dear boy, to find that the confusion neither prevented your head nor your heart from performing their proper functions. But, Edward, my boy, though I can account for your adventure in the first instance, I cannot in the second; you really ran under the horses' legs, as if you meant to be killed."

"I quite forgot myself—I thought of nothing in the world but the poor man that was thrown. I did not remember that I was only a child, and could not help him, which I ought to have done."

"Well, my dear, don't be troubled about it," said Mr. Bellaire; "if you were a foolish boy, at any rate you were not a selfish one, which is much the worse character."

Edward's countenance brightened for a moment; but he recollected that this kind gentleman had seen very little of him, and he looked eagerly towards Mrs. Bellaire, to see if she seconded the observation.

"My dear boy," said she, "I sincerely rejoice that you have been able so entirely to forget your own dear self, as you have done to-day—first, in your joy, which certainly sprang from your love to me and my family, however little you have hitherto shewn it; and secondly, in the ardent compassion you felt for a suffering stranger. If you can carry these good feelings into daily and hourly use, we shall soon see you a lively amiable boy, improving in your learning, that you may make your dear parents happy on their return, and possessing such a love for that which is right, that you will not require the stimulant of praise, and much too manly and self-possessed to hang helplessly on any one; above all, you will be desirous of obeying your Heavenly Father, and being good and pleasing to your fellow-creatures, for his sake."

"And shall I then be like Frank and Sinclair, and the brothers they talk of, who are at Eton?"

"Undoubtedly you will, my dear."

"I will try—indeed I will try," cried the boy, with extreme animation; "for I am sure it is very foolish for any boy to go whining about the house like a great pet, and very wicked to be a continual trouble to the mamma who loves him too well, as mine has done. Oh! what a happy thing it is that I came here to be improved, before my dear papa came home to blush for me, and perhaps to blame my good mamma, for calling me the best boy in the world!"

Edward tried with good effect; by degrees he became active, energetic, independent, and yet modest, obedient, and every way tractable. When his parents arrived in England, his fond and anxious mother was astonished by his improvement, and particularly by that part of it which related to his temper and disposition, which it was certain her blameable indulgence had rendered a source of misery to them both. She now saw clearly that her friend was a far better manager than herself, and had performed more of the duties of her station, without neglecting any other; and often would she say, whilst confessing her past errors, that "the best have room to mend."





Every school is an epitome of the world; large ones resemble the bustle and mixture to be found in the metropolis; small societies of ten or twelve young gentlemen may be compared to the narrow circle of a village. The smaller family is frequently found to be a good preparative for the larger; but hard indeed is the fate of that boy who plunges at once from the indulgence and retirement of his father's house, into the bustling, anxious turmoil attendant on so new a state of existence, as a large community of schoolboys presents.

Mr. and Mrs. Appleby did not apprehend that their fondly-petted and only son could experience any difficulties, when they agreed (from the warm advice of a true friend) to send him to a far-distant school in the neighbourhood of London; nor did the boy himself experience that repugnance to the scheme which the friend had fully expected. He was courageous by nature, and having been praised for all that he did, and much that he did not do, became naturally desirous of exhibiting his powers beyond the circle of his admirers at home. The principal of these were the groom and the stable-boy, who were never weary of extolling his abilities, descanting on his future greatness, and assuring him that "sitch gentlemen as he was need not bother their heads about larnin;" and with this flattery he was so well satisfied, that he never minded the assertion of the old gardener, when he said—"There might be little learning, with great conceit."

When all was prepared for the expedition, and the youth had been extolled for his resolution, obedience, talents, and what not, the finishing stroke was put to the system by a maiden aunt of his father, when she rode over to take leave of the hope of the family.—"My dear Joey," said she, "I am quite grieved to tell you, that Captain Tresham has the presumption to send his son James to the very same school that you are going to, for no reason whatever but that he turns out a sharp boy. What a fool he must be, to venture on such an expense, with three girls to portion, and his property not to be named with your papa's! But I hope, my dear, you will take care to let all the young gentlemen know who he is, and who you are too. Never forget, my dear, that you may hold up your head with any body. You are come of one of the oldest families in Craven, and one of the richest too; remember that."

This precious nonsense, being backed by presents of various kinds, besides three new sovereigns, was held so valuable by the poor boy, that the kind advice of his travelling companion, during their long journey, was entirely thrown away upon him; and he at length arrived at the gates of Mapleton House, under the full persuasion that no person of equal importance had lately passed them, and at any rate, that his late neighbour, James Tresham, was decidedly his inferior. This was the case, not only because his father was poorer, and therefore, in his opinion, less of a gentleman; but the boy, though of the same age, was not so tall as him, and certainly his inferior both as a huntsman and a shot.

It so happened that our travellers arrived just as Captain Tresham was bidding his son farewell—an affair equally painful to both. The moment his father was out of sight, James sprang forward to hail the arrival of his young neighbour, with that cordial joy natural to boys so situated. His overtures were repelled by Appleby with such haughtiness, that James, though a mild boy, instantly recoiled, and determined to seek his friends among strangers; he had been to school before, and knew how to make acquaintances.

When in the evening the boys all sallied into the play-ground, Tresham was soon engaged, whilst Appleby stood alone unnoticed, and of course melancholy, for no flattering dependant was at hand to soothe and cheer him. It was not long, however, before a good-humoured boy came up to him, and inquired "if he would like to join his friend's set of cricketers?"

"I have no friend here, I am sure."

"I mean Tresham—I did not know there was any difference between you."

"But there be a good deal of difference; I be the eldest son, and the only son, of Joseph Appleby, Es-qui-er, of Appleby Hall, an' the oldest family, or thereabouts, in the county of Craven; an' his father's nobbut a second son, with four childer."

Whilst this speech was making, more than a score of auditors had gathered round the speaker, and partly from the pompous tone, partly from the provincialisms (which are inevitable to a gentleman's son who is much with servants) of poor Joe, the whole group burst into laughter, except one, and he was a very leading person in the community; stepping forward, with a look of pompous gravity, he thus commenced acquaintance.

"Squi-er Joe, I be the son and heir of Sir Giles Gobbletop Greenhorn, of Gosling Great-house, in the county of Gloucester, Knight and Barrownite, and I hopes for the honour of being your friend—give me your fist, boy."

Appleby mechanically held out his hand, and the peals of laughter were redoubled; but the boys soon ran off to different sports, leaving Frank Vivian, his new acquaintance, to amuse himself with what he called "cutting up the Yorkshire goose-pie."

"These be very odd boys to my thinking," said Appleby.

"And you are a very odd one to theirs; but you will know each other better by and by."

"Who are those two that are running so fast?"

"The one in green is Osborne, the other Seymour; but we generally distinguish them as Lord Doodle and Lord Noodle. They are, in fact, both noblemen, and were so silly, when they came here, as to think their titles worth something, which was the cause of my dubbing them Tom Thumb's heroes; but they are very good fellows now, and will lose their appellatives for ever next holidays."

"Who is that tall boy? he is very handsome."

"That is Pelham, the head of the school—the very cleverest fellow we have, in doors or out: he can drive four-in-hand as well as any coachman on the road, and make fifty Latin verses before breakfast."

"And is he a lord, or a lord's son?"

"Not he truly; but the boy who carries his cricket-bat is the son of the Marquis of Chaloner—of course, Lord Oglethorpe."

Appleby's spirits sank very low for a few minutes, in consequence of perceiving how little he was likely to obtain distinction, from his claims of family and fortune, seeing those whose pretensions were so far above his were so effectually crushed. His habitual love of boasting returned on the strength of his personal prowess; and he dilated on his hunting and shooting, spoke of the admiration of the groom, the terror of his mamma, and the astonishment of every creature in the village, until Vivian's assumed gravity was completely put to the rout; yielding to a fit of ungovernable laughter, he ran off to his companions, leaving the hero of his own tale to mortification and disappointment.

The next day, alas! exhibited him in the school-room in a still more humiliating situation; for although he had wearied out three private tutors, he had scarcely gained the rudiments of Latin. The kind and judicious manner in which his new instructor pitied his deficiencies, and pointed out the necessity for overcoming them, only piqued him into anger—he felt himself ill used on every side, and determined not to remain any longer with such abominable company.—"No, he could write to his mother, and he would; she would not let him stay in a place where he was made both a laughing-stock and a slave."

His resolution gave way a little, when he saw the great Pelham advancing towards him, for he was already aware that his notice would soon promote him to honour.

"They tell me," said Pelham, "that you are of an old family?"

"So I am; both my aunt Mercy and my mamma said so."

"Did your forefathers distinguish themselves in the fields of Cressy and Poictiers?"

Poor Appleby was exceedingly puzzled by this question.—"Surely," said he to himself, "this Pelham must mean cresses and potatoes; but he has a London tone in twanging his words." Unable to comprehend what was meant, yet dreading a repetition of the laugh which had wounded him the preceding evening, he answered doggedly—"My father's fields are the Lea closes, and the Cowslip meadows, and the Gosling green, and the——"

Peals of laughter again rent the air; and so bitter was the vexation he experienced, that his rage overcame him, and he began to pull off his jacket, as if for the purpose of fighting all around him.

"Ha! ha!" cried one, "the Es-qui-er is peeling; he will soon come to the scratch!"

"Never fear!" said another; "he'll spill no claret!"

"No," cried a third; "Don Pomposa is craven by confession. The Gosling-green! ha, ha, ha, ha! ha, ha, ha!"

Though boiling in every vein with useless rage, Appleby heard at this moment Tresham, in a voice much above its usual gentle pitch, explaining the circumstance of Craven being a district in Yorkshire, where many great battles had been fought, and many brave men might be found. His heart was a little touched by this generosity, in one whom he had treated so improperly; and his shame for the ignorance he had been conscious of was properly awakened, since he now became sensible that Pelham's questions related to passages in the history of England, which his mamma had vainly solicited him to read.

Quitting his companions, he betook himself to his lesson, and, to get rid of uneasy reflections, learned his task with so much care, that on the following morning the doctor praised his diligence; and this praise was so sweet, that for some days he abandoned his design of leaving the school; but as he was now either consigned to solitude or ridicule, during those play-hours which ought to have been the happiest in his life, the idea was soon revived; and when he found that the following Monday was a holiday, as being the doctor's birthday, he determined to use the leisure it offered, and put his design into execution.—"I shall have the school-room to myself, and I shall manage to write unseen by any of them, for I won't stay with such a pack of untamed terriers, that I won't."

When, however, the long wished-for Monday came, it was impossible for Appleby to refrain entirely from joining in the sports of the day, especially as the amusement proposed was immediately connected with those animals amongst whom he had hitherto spent the greatest part of his time; nor could he have any rational doubt but that his judgment in all that respected them was equal to that of his tormentors.

Mapleton House, like many others now appropriated to schools, had formerly been a nobleman's mansion, and amongst other vestiges of former days, had a large separate building, used in old times as a banqueting-room, but of late more frequently as a fencing, or riding school. To this spot every quadruped used about the establishment, or which could be borrowed for money or good-will, from the neighbouring tradespeople and farmers, was brought for the use of the young gentlemen.

It was agreed, that the whole body should sally forth as the heroes of Waterloo, in all the hurry, confusion, trepidation, and valour, which belonged to that eventful hour, when, called on the instant from the gay dance and splendid festival at Brussels, men and officers plunged at once into the awful duties and terrific conflict of that field, whose glorious results the youth of Britain do well to remember, even in their sports.

Pelham was of course to enact the Duke of Wellington, Vivian the Marquis of Anglesea; Oglethorpe was declared aid-de-camp to the former; and candidates innumerable started up for the same office to the latter. Indeed it was found that no one had a taste for being a private; and the field-marshal distributed colonelcies and majorities with a lavish hand, yet stern, imperturbable countenance. Tresham presented himself, begging to hold his own father's rank on the field of Waterloo, and this claim could not be refused, although he was "a new boy;" and it had been already agreed, that as not more than a fourth of the party could be mounted, those of the longest standing should be preferred as cavalry.

In consequence of this law, several boys, utterly ignorant of the management of a horse, or even a donkey, were mounted, and as quickly floored, to the great amusement of the infantry, who never failed to set up a shout of derision, when a dragoon officer had a misfortune; nor were there wanting several wags, who tried to increase the number of such accidents, under the idea that no serious mischief could arise, so long as the doctor's groom superintended their proceedings. All were busy, bustling, and happy, save poor Appleby, who, while he looked with contempt on the steeds assembled, and declared that not one was worth mounting, yet suffered far greater mortification than those who were spilled by the asses, from perceiving that not a single place was offered to him, even among the little-boy squad of privates. Just as he was about to retreat, for the purpose of collecting his thoughts, and writing his important letter, he saw Vivian enter, with a cap and cloak en militaire, beckoning with his sword the lovers of fun around him, and taking from his pocket what appeared to be a letter, from which, in a snuffling tone, he began to read.

"Here you shall have a full, true, and particular account and history of Mister Marmaduke Milksop, shewing how the tender pretty little dear was tied to his mamma's apron-strings for above twelve long years, and rode on a little Highland pony as big as a Welsh goat—here we go up, up, up, and here we go down, down, downy; and telling as how he went to school a great way off, where the naughty boys all laughed at him, and went for to say they were as good as he was, which every body knows to be quite an impossible thing; and how he sent his mamma the following beautiful and pathetic epistle, all written in rhyme, which may be said or sung."

"I didn't do any such thing—and I won't hear such lies—and I'll tell the doctor," roared out Appleby, with stentorian lungs.

"Sing it, Vivian, do sing it, that's a good fellow," cried a score of voices as they closely hemmed in the provoking guesser of the treasured secret, who, now springing on the horse-block, began to drawl out in recitative the following lines:—

Oh! mother most dear, I cannot stay here, For the boys are such mischievous elves, That instead of respect, I find nought but neglect, As if I were a scrub like themselves.   Nay, I give you my word, That if I were a lord, And, alas! I am only a squire, Without learning and spirit, And stuff they call merit, I never could get a step higher.   Then come, mother, come, And take your boy home, To chicken, and custard, and cake, Or the scholars so bluffy, The doctor so huffy, The heart of your Joey will break.

"'Tis false, I say, all false," cried Appleby, in an ecstacy of indignation, the moment he could be heard; "I love the doctor, and I scorn chickens and custard as much as any body; and I'm no more of a Miss Nancy than any boy here."

"No, that he is not," bawled Tresham, as he pushed into the circle; "so far from that, he is the best rider in his neighbourhood, a capital shot, a generous boy, too, and good-natured enough. My papa always said he would be a very good boy, if it were not for a little—a little——"

"A little pride, a little ignorance, and not a little self-conceit," said Pelham, advancing on an old grey horse, chosen for its colour as his charger. "However, let him be what he may, you are an honour to your county; and whilst I am at the head of affairs here, you shall never want a friend."

"In that case, dear Pelham, let us make every one happy to-day at least," said Tresham.

"Vivian, give me that paper," said Pelham; "I conclude you have no copy."

"None, upon the honour of a general; my effusions are unfortunately doomed to die in their birth."

"Here, Master Appleby, is the paper; I need not tell you to destroy it immediately."

Appleby sprang forward to receive the scrawl; but ere he reached Pelham, he threw his arms round Tresham's neck, and sobbed out in great emotion—"Pray forgive me, dear James—pray do forgive me."

"Hurra! hurra!" shouted Vivian, "we shall make a man of him yet."

"I should be very, very glad that you would make any thing of me," said the humbled boy, struggling with his tears; "yes, any thing, so that you would not laugh at me, and put 'Mister' before my name, and turn me into fun, and leave me to myself."

"No more we will," said his late tormentor, "if you drop your nonsensical airs of self-importance. I don't doubt but you were thought highly of in your father's house, but we have no great men here, till they have fairly earned their fame, which, I must tell you, is usually up in the school, before it travels into the play-ground; and I need not tell you how low you stand in the first-mentioned place. If you are industrious and modest, and merry withal, you will find Mapleton House a pleasant home; but if you play braggadocia——"

"But I won't do it. I did not mean to do it. I only just wanted you all to know who I was, and what I could do."

"And you began by undervaluing your neighbour, though he was the son of a brave officer, a real Waterloo soldier—the very character every schoolboy honours, next to the king himself: and so will you, when your head is clear of the nonsense with which nurses, dependants, and sycophants have filled it. But cheer up; you are not a fool, therefore will not long remain a dunce. Osborne, my man, can you take Appleby into your set?"

"Most willingly," said the young scion of nobility; but just as he spoke, he was thrown head-foremost from the braying animal to which he had been appointed. Appleby helped him up with the utmost alacrity, and inquired after his injuries with equal tenderness. Happily they were very slight; but Appleby added, with much humanity—"You had better not mount him again: he has hurt the fetlock joint, poor thing! and is therefore restive."

"I think my charger is little better than his donkey," said Pelham, in a kind and familiar tone; "is any thing the matter with him?"

"Your groom, my Lord Duke, would tell you that he is not right in the foreleg pastern, and is altogether spavined; but being blood, he carries it off handsomely. To my mind, the butcher's black mare is far the best tit in the whole muster."

"Then mount her, and follow me as Sir Thomas Picton."

Appleby, proud and joyful, instantly obeyed, and by his rapid movement and good action, shewed that he had been indeed accustomed to ride; but he was so afraid of being accused of exhibition, that he hung down his head, blushed excessively, and was altogether seen to disadvantage, until the floundering of the donkeys near put his steed to his mettle, and proved that he had all the characteristics of a good sitter.

Tresham, anxious to support his own assertion, and kindly disposed towards his regained companion, failed not to call the attention of Vivian, and even Pelham, to the management and prowess of Appleby.

"Let him alone; he knows what he's about. Look how square he sits! His breast out—his legs easy—hand firm—touch delicate! Ah, ah! you may frisk and plunge, Mrs. Blackey, but you will soon find your master! There he comes to easy, easy. Now trot her round, Appleby; and then we shall be all right, and ready to obey orders."

Happy in the consciousness that he had wiped off the opprobrium of being a milksop, and determined that he would prove himself capable of being a scholar, Appleby's good humour returned; whilst his assumption of superiority was for ever discarded; and in a short time it appeared surprising to himself, how he could ever have entertained for a moment, in idea, such an ignoble line of conduct as that of quitting the school, where alone he could be rendered wise and manly, in order to live at home in ignorance and stupidity, the shame of his parents, and the jest of the neighbourhood.

When, a year afterwards, he passed the Midsummer vacation at Appleby Hall, every one was alike struck by his improved manners, and his increased affections; and they observed, with great truth, "that the acquisitions of his mind were at least equalled by those of his heart." They were not previously aware, that vain conceited children are rarely of an amiable and loving nature, because their pride forbids the growth of gratitude in them, by inspiring the belief that all kindness is merely the proper tribute to their own superiority.

So sensible was Appleby of the change in himself, and the increased pleasure derived from it, that he was never weary of praising Mapleton House, and all connected with it; but dearer, far dearer, than all besides, was the kind Tresham, who had rewarded good for evil, and delivered him from the bitterest sorrow he had ever experienced. Many a time, in the hours of their happy holiday intercourse, he would remind him of those obligations which would otherwise have been entirely forgotten, by saying, emphatically—"Dear Tresham, surely I shall never again become such a silly spoiled boy as I once was, let the people about me flatter as they may? Do pray watch over me, like a true friend, as you are; and if ever I am again likely to play the fool, remind me of the Riding-School, and I am certain the recollection will serve as a 'Cure for Conceit.'"



Transcriber's Notes:
hyphenation, spelling and grammar have been preserved as in the original
Page 30, this till now? ==> this till now.

[The end of RICH BOYS and POOR BOYS, And other Tales by Mrs. Hofland]