was gone from them, and the power of thinking they appeared never to have exercised. The mere pale pretty pieces of dependence, who could no more exist without servants, than without vital air.

To perfect them in music, was the principal object for which Miss Paget, their governess, had been engaged; but she conscientiously endeavoured to do more; especially did she wish to expand their minds, and extend their sympathies. With this view, soon after their mother's carriage drove away, she proposeal to them a walk, in the course of which she endeavoured to interest them about an humble family in the neighbourhood.

To this family, Miss Paget had herself rendered some of that aid, which impoverishes not the giver, and makes the receiver rich indeed. She had by means of kindly counsel, and little personal aid, made these poor people sensible of the pleasure derivable from a clean neat home, and habits of order and gentleness. She had herself furnished the muslin, and helped to make the curtains which draped the little windows of their rooms, which they had now some satisfaction in keeping clean, since their appearance so well repaid their exertions. She had adorned the chimney piece with little plaster images, such as the Italian boys carry about the streets; and she had given them little views and sketches of her own drawing, which they had hung round on the walls. To these sketches, on being introduced to this humble abode, the young ladies directed their attention.

• Is it not pleasant,' said Miss Paget, addressing her pupils, " to see so sweet an accomplishment as drawing applied to so happy a use? I wish I could persuade young ladies to employ their graceful talents in producing pictures calculated 10 humanize and elevate the poor.

For instance, they might portray children attending a sick parent or neighbour, or a mother teaching her little ones. Thus drawing, which is now merely a pastime or accomplishment, might be made the means of fostering fine feelings and ideas in the bosoms of the young artists, and of implanting them in the minds of the


classes. • It is continually said, that among all the women who are taught to draw and play, no very eminent artist or composer is ever produced. Who shall wonder at that! What is the manner in which women pursue even accomplishment ? what is the motive? Have they higher objects than indolent recreation, or emulous display? Do you not see,' continued Miss Paget, looking at her eldest pupil, * that what I propose would spread a general taste for the arts throughout the country, and refine our rude lower orders ?

• But would that be desirable ?' asked the young lady. I have heard papa say, that if education goes on at its present rate, we shall soon have no servants, and pray, Miss Paget, what shall we do then ?

• Be more independent than now you are,' replied her governess, smiling at the serious concern depicted in Miss Vernon's face.

None need servants but the aged, the sick, and the occupied ; true feelings of benevolence and interest would direct that all those were well attended. But the day is far distant when the brand of mercenary servitude will be effaced from social life; but the day is not far distant when the majority will stand upon a tolerable educational level.'

And what will be the consequence of that ?' inquired Miss Vernon.

· That you will have better servants than now you have, and must treat them better, that is, more wisely; with the respect due to rational creatures, and the friendliness due to fellow-beings. At present, servants are treated as children are,—too indulgently, or too severely.'

The effort which the young ladies had been induced to make was evidently irksome; their governess, too wise to associate pain with the object she had in view, returned home with them, conversing on light and pleasant subjects. Her pupils were soon engrossed with some relations who had arrived during their absence; and Florence Paget, left to her own disposal, went to the nursery. It was one of her habitual errors to imagine that she could everywhere awaken sympathy, and impart liberal and kindly feeling ; under this impression, she had sought to make friends among the servants. But it is as difficult for those who have been subjected to a sordid training, to expand their minds, as for a cripple to stretch out a contracted limb. A governess was, in the estimation of Barnes, and the other servants, an isolated nondescript, ' too fine,' as they expressed it, to mix with the domestics, and not fine enough to associate with their superiors.' Hence Miss Paget's departure from all precedent first moved surprise, and then suspicion; there were none in that dornicile who could conceive or comprehend the feelings of kindly fellowship with which she regarded all her fellow-creatures, the wish she had to equalize circumstances of advantage, and banish those of disadvantage.

Your post, Mrs. Barnes,' said Florence, seating herself in the nursery, is the most important one in this house, infinitely more important than mine. I have little more to do than to give lessons in the accomplishments; you have to unfold faculties and feelings, which according as they are or are not skilfully and happily expanded, will influence every future step in life.'

Florence was 'chopping blocks with a razor,' but the fountains of her heart were flowing, and she did not pause to perceive the sterility of the soil over which she poured them.

You have,' she resumed, the influence of habit and habitual affection over the children, the influence of superior power and experience over their immediate attendants; you may employ them

No. 101,

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to the best advantage in creating good impressions and good examples.'

Nature is nature, ma'am,' said Barnes, impatiently and dogmatically. There are some children that will learn nothing; Master Frank is one of them. I am sure it is quite shocking to think that gentlefolks should have such a child; I'll answer for it he will be more fit for a ploughman than a member of parliament."

Why have you formed such a judgment ? it is surely very premature.'

Why, ma'am, it's my belief that he'll never learn to read. . I have tried all manner of ways with him. There's his brother, a year younger than he, reads as well as I do, and great credit I got for it; but I had not one-half the trouble that I have had with Master Frank. Ma'am, I have coaxed, and promised, and threatened, and punished, and shamed him, but all to no purpose. I have set his brothers to laugh at him for a dunce, but it has been no use! I do believe that that child has neither feeling not sense.'

Never had words fallen so painfully as these on the ear of Florence.

• I think, Mrs. Barnes,' she said, you are under a mistake regarding little Frank. Do you not often see that plants and vegetables

vary in growth? the same soil, the same treatment does not do for all. May it not be so with the mind ?' • I do not know, I'm sure, ma'am, about all that.

What I was talking about was Master Frank; I take upon me to say, that I ought, and I do know something about him, for I have been with him since he was born.'

• I assure you,' said Florence, 'some of our brightest men have been dull boys. If we wish things to thrive, we must treat them according to their nature. Do you wish a flower to grow, you place it in the sunshine, and refresh it occasionally with water. But suppose some person with ignorant impatience were to place it before a scorching fire, and pour hot water upon it? Destruction to the flower would be the consequence, but not through any fault of the flower.'

Miss Paget's attempt was made in vain ; Barnes, the 'excellent creature,' the 'superior woman,' was too sullen and suspicious, too stupid and ignorant, to meet or comprehend Miss Paget's feelings and views. Barnes, under pretence of some suddenly-recollected task, bustled away, and Florence returned to her own room; but painfully oppressed by the reflections that pursued her, she put on her bonnet, and went forth for the relief of air. Very unexpectedly, she overtook the little Vernons. They were walking with their under-nurse, and a maid-servant. She slackened her pace to take note of them. The first was a neatly-dressed, prettylooking quiet girl ; but there was not a spark of soul about her. She walked on, looking neither to the right nor to the left, and her mind was undoubtedly as blank as her aspect was dull.

* Is that,' thought Florence, the companion which those budding creatures ought to have? She is herself a specimen of the stultifying power of some modes of training; for nature never gave to even the desert or the wild a thing so soulless!'

In the midst of these reflections, Florence saw two or three other nursery-maids, with a little charge a-piece, join the attendants of the young Vernons. Immediately the young women fell into eager converse with each other; and the children in their arms, or hanging by their dresses, looked up and listened to their discourse, or cried upon being compelled to stand still.

What was the conversation of those young women? Was it probable, was it possible, that it could be the moral nourishment necessary for the infant creatures by whom they were surrounded? The most likely topics of these domestics were the affairs of the families in which they respectively lived, the characters of the individuals they served, and all their own loves and jealousies, suspicions, hopes, and fears. Much of all this their little companions, probably, did not understand; but then so much the more it tended to the confusion and distortion of the infant mind. Besides, so tenacious is the young memory, that a child will retain even that which it does not understand, and with ripened years will comprehend what it had at first only recollected.

Florence broke up the menial conference by joining the young Vernons, among whom she took the despised little Frank by the hand. He was (probably owing to the treatment he had met) the least prepossessing of the children. But, shy and sullen as he was, Florence succeeded so well in exciting, amusing, and winning him, that when they returned home he resolutely resisted being taken from her, till Barnes appeared, who conquered him by superior violence. In vain Florence asked to have his management, in this instance, confided to her; the dove could not more vainly plead to the winds which stripped the bough on which she was perched. Barnes at once feared and hated Florence. looking for a cause for the spontaneous kindliness which distinguished the young governess, it had occurred to Barnes, that Miss Paget aimed at placing some creature of her own about the children. This idea no sooner occurred than it was adopted, and Barnes resolved not merely to prevent any intercourse between Florence and the children, but to take the first opportunity of prejudicing Mrs. Vernon's mind against the former.

Oh, that the little ones of the world could speak for themselves ! that in this great hurly-burly of contending interests the “still small voice' of childhood, as well as conscience, could be heard ! Both would alike forbid the present procedure. Mankind are like hounds on a false scent, hunting for that which they do not find; and shall we wonder that the pack pass unheedingly the little. flowers of human nature, often, unwittingly perhaps, trampling and injuring them? Who that reflects but is convinced of the

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indelibility of early impressions? What effect upon the treatment of children does the knowledge of this fact produce? Do we heed the hue we give their first thoughts and feelings? May we not continually slur their own intuitive perceptions? Who that reflects but is convinced of the immense power of example? What effect does this conviction produce? Are the moral pictures presented to children carefully chosen and judiciously impressed ? No, in the majority of domestic and social scenes, they are like young scholars in the studio of a mad artist, who has a distracting collection of busts, statues, and pictures, and where they may sometimes hear lectures upon art, but are rarely permitted to model or paint from nature.

Montague Vernon, his mother's idol, came home, and the very next day, as he entered Mrs. Vernon's dressing-room, he saw Florence, who was just quitting it. There was a dignity about her tall figure which made him make way for her with respectful deference, which she acknowledged with that sparkling up of kindly expression which was peculiar to her cordial and spontaneous feelings.

Who was that?” he asked, advancing to his mother. • Only the governess to your sisters," she replied in a voice as full of depreciation as Montague's had been full of appreciation, and perhaps adopted as a corrective to his incipient admiration.

* Is it possible!' he rejoined. • I took her for some woman of fashion.'

* Oh, you college cub,' exclaimed his mother, slightly pushing him from her - a woman of fashion! ha! ha! ha! who ever saw a woman of fashion dress as Miss Paget does ?'

• Then,' retorted Montague, ‘she is an excessively fine woman; and that, after all, is something better.'

'She is very well,' coldly observed Mrs. Vernon. Excessively clever, quite suited to her post, or you may be sure I should not have appointed her. But now, Montague, I hope that I have no occasion to admonish you about imprudence or impropriety. You know the kind of match, which both your father and myself expect you to make, and which you are in every respect entitled to make.'

Montague glanced into the mirror on his mother's toilet; and silently, but perfectly, agreed with the last remark.

And I hope,' she resumed, that respect for your sisters and your father's house will be a sufficient protection to any young person in it.

Montague swang himself round on his heel to conceal a smile; pretended to be taken with some pretty trifles which were strewn upon a table, and soon after withdrew.

Florence Paget immediately became the prominent image in his idle fancy. To stimulate his feeling and employ his time, both equally to him a waste, he proposed, at least, a flirtation;

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