For the use of Young Ladies.
Imagination here supplies
What Nature’s sparing Hand denies;
And, by her magic powers dispense,
To meanest objects, thought and sense.
Printed and Sold by John Marshall, No. 17, Queen Street, Cheapside; and No. 4, Aldermary Church Yard, in Bow-Lane.
[Price Six-Pence, Bound.]
The Author of the following sheets is well aware of the objections which may be made to the performance but hopes the candour of the public will excuse those defects, which the nature of the undertaking rendered it almost impossible to avoid. The pointed satire of ridicule, which would perhaps have given a zest to those scenes in which the subject of these pages was engaged, was not, in the opinion of the writer, at all proper for those readers for whom it was solely designed: to exhibit their superiors in a ridiculous view, is not the proper method to engage the youthful mind to respect: to represent their equals as the objects of contemptuous mirth, is by no means favourable to the interest of good-nature: and to treat the characters of their inferiors with levity, the Author thought was inconsistent with the sacred rights of humanity. Circumscribed therefore to the narrow boundaries of simple narrative, it has been the design of the following pages, carefully to avoid exciting any wrong impression, and, by sometimes blending instruction and amusement, to make it the more easily retained.
To multiply incidents in these circumstances, was a very difficult task, especially, as it was wished to make them arise naturally from the subject; and not obtrude unnecessarily without any seeming cause to produce them. The avidity with which children peruse books of entertainment, is a proof how much publications proper for their attention are required. Though the sentiments should be suited to their simplicity, they ought to be expressed with propriety; since a taste for elegance may be insensibly acquired; and we should always endeavour to present them with proper models of imitation. Conscious of the difficulty of the undertaking, the Author of these adventures will gladly have declined the task, in the expectation of such a work’s engaging the attention of those, whose genius were more equal to its accomplishment. With the hope, therefore, of inspiring others to excel the example, it is now submitted to the world “with all its imperfections on its head,” trusting for a candid reception to the motive which first suggested the idea: That of presenting the juvenile reader with a a few pages which should be innocent of corrupting, if they did not amuse.
It happened one very fine afternoon in the latter end of May, that Mrs. Airy had been collecting together a great number of different pieces of silk, in order to made a work-bag; which she intended as a present to one of her nieces. Miss Martha Airy, her eldest daughter, was about ten years old, and had been for some time indolently lolling with both her elbows on the table, looking at her Mamma while she was chusing the prettiest pattern for the purpose I just mentioned. Her chin rested on her two hands, which were crossed over each other, and she was seated on the back of her brother’s chair, which he had turned down in that manner for the purpose of serving him as a horse. At last, however, her weight proving too great for the seat she had chosen, as she did not keep still, the upper part of the chair-back came to the ground, while the other end mounted up like a piece of board for a sea-saw; and in her fall tumbling down backwards, proved the occasion of a great deal of mischief, by oversetting a curious set of tea-china, which her sister Charlotte was playing with; and which she had received as a present the day before from her grandpapa. Charlotte was so enraged at the loss of her play-things, that without offering to help her sister, she gave her a slap on the face, and told her, she was very naughty to spoil things in such a manner by her carelessness; and that she would break her plates whenever they came in her way. She was proceeding in this manner when Mrs. Airy thought it time to interfere, and was extremely angry with Charlotte for her warmth. “Martha was not to blame,” added she, “as she had no intention of doing the least mischief to your cups and saucers. I think, as I told her once before, she was not sitting in a graceful attitude, and had she moved at the time I spoke to her, it would have prevented her fall; but that is no justification of your behaviour to your sister. She has not deserved your reproaches, and I did not think you could have behaved so improperly, as well as unkindly, as to strike anyone, especially your elder sister. Indeed I am much displeased with you, and the threat you made of breaking her plates in return, is so very naughty and wicked, that I think you deserve to be punished; and I desire you will ask Martha’s pardon for the blow you have given her.” Charlotte coloured with indignation and anger, at the thoughts of submitting in such a manner to humble herself. She had heard some silly girls declare, they would never own their being in the wrong, and was withheld from acting in the noblest manner, by the false shame of confessing an error. At length however, upon her Mamma coming towards her with an avowed intention of inflicting some further punishment, she mumbled out, in a low voice, which was very difficult to be understood, That she was sorry that she had struck her sister. Martha, who was extremely generous, and uncommonly good-natured, very affectionately kissed her sister; and told her, she was much concerned at the mischief she had occasioned; though she could not have helped it; as she fell down before she was aware of it, and did not see that her tea-things were near her. Charlotte grew reconciled by degrees; but it was a long time before she regained her usual cheerfulness. After some time, however, the sisters seated themselves in a window by the table, and solicited their Mamma for a bit of silk to make a Pincushion. Mrs. Airy gave them several pieces to chuse which they liked best; and after they had taken them up a dozen times, or perhaps as many more, had they been reckoned, Martha made a choice of a square piece of pink sattin, which she neatly sewed and stuffed with bran, and which, gentle reader, when it was finished, was the identical Pincushion whose adventures form the subject of this little volume. Assuming, therefore, the title of an Historian, or Biographer, which is generally understood to mean a person who is writing an account of his own, or another’s actions, I shall take the liberty to speak for myself, and tell you what I saw and heard in the character of a Pincushion. Perhaps you never thought that such things as are inanimate, could be sensible of any thing which happens, as they can neither hear, see, nor understand; and as I would not willingly mislead your judgment: I would previous to your reading this work, inform you, that it is to be understood as an imaginary tale; in the same manner as when you are at play, you sometimes call yourselves gentlemen, and ladies, though you know you are only little boys or girls. So, when you read of birds and beads speaking and thinking, you know it is not so in reality, any more than your amusements, which you frequently call making believe. To use your own style, and adopt your own manner of speaking, therefore, you must imagine, that a Pincushion is now making believe to address you, and to recite a number of little events, some of which really have happened, and others might do so with great probability: and if any of the characters here represented should appear to be disagreeable, the Author hopes you will endeavour to avoid their failings, and to practice those virtues or accomplishments, which render the contrary examples more worthy of imitation. And now, if you please, we will return to the account of what further befell me in the family of Mrs. Airy.
After the young ladies had amused themselves a great while with the pieces of silk I have so often had occasion to mention, and Miss Martha had completed me to her entire satisfaction; she took all the pins out of an old green one, which was originally in the shape of a heart, but had, by looping a great part of its inside, through various little holes, quite lost its form; and which, that she might find those pins which had gone through the silk, she cut open on an old news-paper, and then stuck all she could find upon my sides in the shape of letters, which she afterwards changed to flowers, and a third time altered to stars and circles; which afforded her full amusement till bed time. Miss Charlotte, though her mamma had given her as much silk as her sister, had only cut it into waste; while Martha, after she had furnished me, had saved the rest towards making a housewife for her doll. I could not help reflecting when I saw all Charlotte’s little shreds and slips littering the room; what a simple method many little girls are apt to get into, of wasting every thing which their friends are so kind as to give them, and which, properly employed, might, make them many useful ornaments for their dolls; and sometimes pretty trifles for themselves. Charlotte Airy as such children usually are, was desirous of having every thing she saw, so that her drawers were always filled with bits of ribbon, pieces of silk, cuttings of gauze, catgut, and muslin: and if she wanted to find her gloves, tippet, tuckers, or any part of her dress, she was obliged to search for them in twenty different places, and frequently to go without what she was looking for. Martha on the contrary, by taking care of what might be of use, and laying it by in a proper place, always knew where to find what she had occasion for directly. So that it frequently happened that she went out with her Mamma, when her sister was forced to stay at home; because she had lost something which had delayed her so long to lock for, that she could not get ready in time. This very circumstance happened the day after I became acquainted with her, to her no small mortification. Mrs. Airy was going to see the exhibition of pictures, at the Royal Academy, and told her daughters if they behaved well they should accompany her; as Mrs. Gardner and her niece Miss Lounge would call at one o’clock. After breakfast, Charlotte, who had found the mould of an old button in one of her papa’s waistcoat pockets which she had been rummaging, had cut to pieces an axle-tree of a little cart, which belonged to her brother, to make a spindle, in order to convert it into a tea-totum; with which she was so much entertained, that she was very unwilling to leave it to go to work, though her mamma repeatedly told her, she would not be ready against Mr. Gardner’s coach came. “Yes, I shall, Madam!” said she, and played on. “Do pray go to work, Charlotte!”
“Presently, Madam.” But still she thought she would give it another twirl. “You shall not go if you have not finished your morning business!” “In a minute I will!” And so she simply idled away her time, without heeding her mamma’s admonition, till near an hour beyond her usual time of beginning. This put her into such a hurry to finish when she found it was so late, that she stitched some wristbands she was about, and which were intended for her grandpapa, so very badly, they were obliged to be undone; which made her so cross, that in pulling out the work, she broke the threads of the cloth, and entirely spoiled it. Charlotte was a very fair complexioned pretty girl; but you cannot imagine how ugly her ill-humour made her appear; nor how much more agreeable her sister looked, who was much browner, was pitted with the small pox, and a much plainer child. I surveyed them both as I lay on the table, where my Mistress had placed me to stick her pins as she took out of the shirt collar which she was putting on; Martha looked so placid and cheerful, and seemed to speak so kindly when she asked a question, that it made her really charming; while Charlotte, who had a very pretty mouth, and very regular features, stuck out her lips in a manner so unbecoming, and tossed about her head with such very illiberal jirks that she lost all natural advantages in her wilful ill-humour.
A person happening to call on Mrs. Airy, to speak about some particular business, she left the children to attend him; and Martha, who pitied her sister’s distress, and saw the impossibility of her finishing the task she was ordered to do, very kindly offered to assist her, without which, she never could have accomplished it. But their mamma at her return, immediately suspected the case to be as I have told you, and inquired what help Charlotte had received in her absence? They were both girls of too much honour to deny the truth, and in consequences of her frankly owning her sister’s kindness, Mrs. Airy, permitted her to retire; in order to prepare for the intended expedition; but alas! poor Charlotte, who indeed was not always so good as she ought to have been, was not to go that morning, although her mamma had consented to it. Betty, who came to put on her frock, was not very fond of her, for she was sometimes apt, when her mamma was not in the way, to speak very haughtily, and in a manner quite unbecoming a young lady. Unfortunately she forgot herself on the present occasion, and very rudely said, “You must come and dress me, and you must make haste, or I shall not be ready.” “Must I?” replied Betty, “That is if I please, Miss Charlotte, though you, forgot to put that in, and unless you speak in a prettier way, I will not help you at all.” “Then you may let it alone, for I will not ask you any otherwise,” and away she went, banging the door after her, to call her sister, who was ready and waiting for the coach in her mamma’s room. Martha ran directly, and began to pin her frock as she desired. But a new distress arose, for as she was too careless ever to retain any of my fellow-servants (commonly called a Pincushion) in her service, so she had not one pin to proceed with after three, which had stuck at one end of me, had been employed. Neither of them chose to apply to Betty, because they were sure from Charlotte’s ill-behaviour to be denied: and she would not permit her sister to ask her mamma, for fear of an inquiry which might not turn out to her credit. So, in short, they both traversed the room backwards and forwards, and were quite overjoyed when they found two, (one of which proved to be crooked) between the joining of the floor. Then they each returned and took me up repeatedly, and examined me over and over, though they were convinced I had been empty long ago. At last, a loud rap at the door announced Mrs. Gardner’s arrival. The ladies were called, and Martha obeyed, though with reluctance to leave her sister: and Charlotte, with conscious shame, and remorse for her past conduct, and heart-heaving sobs of disappointment, saw them drive away without her. I was left upon the table in the hurry of my mistress’s departure, and Charlotte took me up, and earnestly wished she had had a pincushion of her own: and so I should think would any one who had experienced the want of such a useful companion; though unless well furnished with pins, it is in itself but of little assistance, as—she had but too unfortunately found. The slatternly appearance, and real inconvenience, which many ladies suffer from neglecting to provide themselves with and retaining a few such necessary implements of female œconomy about them, is really inconceivable by any person accustomed to a proper degree of attention. Trifles are frequently regarded by the giddy and thoughtless as of no moment, when essentials are taken care of: but it is the repetition of trifles which constitutes the chief business of our existence. In other words, people form their opinion of a young lady from her personal appearance; and if, because she is at work, and in want of pins, and destitute of a Pincushion, she has quite undressed herself, and her cloaths are dropping off, she will be thought a negligent slattern; which, I suppose, is what no one would chuse to be esteemed: so, when children accustom themselves to loll their elbows, stoop their heads, stand upon one foot, bite their nails, or any other ungraceful actions, it makes them disagreeable, and the object of dislike to all their friends, and every one who is acquainted with them. And it is very foolish to imagine, that because they are not in company with strangers it does not signify; for ill-habits, when once they are acquired, are very difficult to leave off; and by being used to do an impolite action frequently, they will do it without recollecting the impropriety; when if they thought, perhaps, they would have on no account been guilty of it.
Miss Lounge, the young lady who accompanied Mrs. Airy to the exhibition was a striking example of what I mention above. She was about sixteen, and very tall of her age; so that she appeared quite womanly in person, though her manners were to the highest degree remarkable unpleasing, she had a strange way of tossing her legs round at every step, as if she was making circles, and her arms were crossed over each other in so awkward a manner, and so unfashionably low, that it made her still more ungraceful in her appearance: besides this, she had acquired a drawling tone in conversation, which made her completely an object of disgust: as it was entirely the consequence of her own neglect, and therefore, was by no means deserving of that pity which is due to every natural defect, or accidental deformity. She returned with her aunt to dinner.
Miss Charlotte was quite ashamed of entering the drawing room, though she was now dressed, and had promised Mrs. Betty she would behave with more civility for the future. But the fear of her mamma’s exposing her folly to Mrs. Gardner, had made her dislike to show herself in company; and the consciousness of having deserved reproof, made her justly apprehensive of receiving it. She did not venture down stairs, therefore, till dinner was on the table; and then with her neck and face as red as blushes could make them, she paid her compliments to the company, without daring to look at her mamma. So cowardly and uncomfortable does the thought of a wrong action make those who have committed it, even when they are not certain it will be publicly known. And this reminds me of a few stanzas I found in Miss Martha’s work-bag one day, when she put me into it with her scissars, (by mistake I suppose) as my proper place was certainly in her pocket. But as they are so very apropos to my present subject, I will present my readers with them: and as the author is quite unknown, if they should not be thought deserving of a favourable reception, they will not at least subject the writer to any mortification.
’Tis innocence only true courage can give,
or secure from the fear of disdain;
To be conscious of gilt all affiance destroys,
And the hope of enjoyment is vain.
If to error betrayed, then delay not to own
The crime which has robb’d you of peace;
As penitence only can wash out the stain,
Or cause your vexation to cease.
When the ermine of conscience is spotted by guilt,
Most severe are the pangs of the mind;
’Tis a woe which no sympathy e’er can relieve,
Nay, is hurt by a treatment too kind.
To feel undeserving of friendly esteem,
Is the worst of all evils below:
We may suffer from pain, but the stings of remorse,
Is the heaviest grief we can know.
Then careful your innocence ever maintain,
Be assured, it is worthy your care;
Since no other distress so deprives us of hope,
Or so soon sinks the soul in despair.
There was another short piece by the same hand, which my mistress had transcribed, to give her sister on occasion of a little quarrel which had happened between them: Miss Martha having mentioned to her the impropriety of speaking rudely to servants, and behaving in a different manner when her mamma was absent, to what she could dare to do in her presence; which reproof Charlotte highly resented, and was very angry that her sister should find fault with her: as the following verses were applicable to the circumstance, she adopted them as her own on the occasion.
Nay, Charlotte, why so much displeas’d to be told,
That your friends have discernment to see?
If you could descend to deserve my reproach,
The error lies sure not in me.
I mentioned the fault that in future your care,
Might secure from unguarded surprize;
I thought you had sense to rely on my love;
To resent it I deem’d you too wise.
The freedom of friendship should never displease,
Tho’ harsh its reproofs may appear;
Since often in public who flatter us most,
Are the first at our weakness to sneer.
Then should not gladly, with candour receive,
The advice which affection bestows;
For sincerity rarely we meet with in life,
Few will aid us, but numbers oppose.
As to you, I am bound by the dearest of ties,
My sister, as well as my friend:
No undue command did I mean to usurp,
Nor ever design to offend.
Then let us united in harmony live,
For sisters should ne’er disagree;
And when I am wrong, equal freedom exert;
To complain of these errors to me.
Mrs. Airy was so generous as not to expose her daughter’s folly before Mrs. Gardner; and as she had met with a severe punishment in the consequence of her fault, and had promised amendment for the future, after a gentle reprimand, when she came down the next morning, nothing further passed on the subject.
Charlotte was so conscious of her late misbehaviour, that she had scarce courage to inquire what entertainment they had received from a sight of the pictures at the exhibition; and Martha, who was extremely delicate and attentive, very cautiously avoided the subject, from fear of appearing to insult her sister, or to remind her mamma of the reason which had occasioned her absence from the party. Mrs. Airy inquired whether Martha had not particularly taken notice of a large picture, which represented the death of Earl Goodwin. She replied, that Mrs. Gardner had pointed it out to her observation; but that she had not remarked any particulars, except the figure of a King, and a large company at dinner. “I will tell you the story then, my dear, to which this picture refers,” said Mrs. Airy.
“In the reign of Edward the Confessor, in the year 1042, Earl Goodwin, who had been accessary to the murder of Prince Alfred, was at dinner with the King at Windsor; and taking a piece of bread, called God to witness his innocence, and wished if he uttered any thing but the truth, that the next mouthful he ate might choak him. Which accordingly happened, and the bread stuck in his throat and he died immediately at the table. Do not you think my dear,” added Mrs. Airy, “it was a just punishment for his untruth, and an awful judgment for calling God to witness a falsehood?” “Indeed, Madam, I think it was quite dreadful: but are you sure that this account is true? for though it is certainly very wicked to tell a lie on any occasion, yet, as sometimes many people are thus guilty, I wonder that such events do not more frequently happen! You know that Miss Riby said she had not been writing last week, although you saw that her fingers were inked; and Charlotte had seen her doing it; why then, did not the same accident happen to her?” “Because, my love, the punishment of such crimes does not always immediately follow the commission of them; but you may be sure that the remorse of conscience, and the secret uneasiness of mind which the guilty suffer, is a very great unhappiness; and the apprehension and the fear of a future account after death, besides the idea of present detection, is such a degree of misery as no other punishment can equal. As to your question, whether I believe this account to be true? I certainly do! It was an extraordinary event which was recorded at the time it happened, and which every historian has mentioned since, and faithfully transmitted to us. This is the best authority we can have for any fact which happened before our own time, and is therefore entitled to our belief. But why such examples are so rare, is not to be wondered at; because you know that wicked people will be punished hereafter; and though such instances sometimes happen, to teach others to be good, and to make them afraid of doing what will make them liable to such terrible vengeance, yet, in general, a crime of this kind does not meet with immediate chastisement; because, after death, as I have before told you, those who have been wicked, will suffer such misery as their sins deserved. Besides which, the liar is at present detested by every one, and loses all the advantage of confidence, and the pleasure of being believed: even when he does speak truth, he is liable to be suspected, and his word is doubted on all occasions.” The conversation was here interrupted by the arrival of two young ladies and their mamma, who came to pay a morning visit to Mrs. Airy; but as they did not say any thing worth the attention of my readers, I shall not trouble myself to repeat more of what passed than may be imagined, from the comments of my mistress and her sister, with which I shall present them.
Martha, before the room door was well shut after them, began to observe that the eldest Miss Chantillon was very ugly, and very stupid; and the youngest a good pretty girl, and talked a great deal indeed. “I wish,” added she, “I could speak as fast as she does.” “To talk so fast, my love,” said her mamma, “is by no means any accomplishment; and I am far from your opinion, in so highly admiring the merits of Miss Lucy. She chatters so fast, as frequently not to be understood: and has a very silly trick of beginning every sentence with a laugh, than which nothing can be more ill-bred. The person, who is speaking, should never laugh, if she can help it, at her own wit, if she design to excite mirth, or to meet with approbation from others. But without any such intention, Lucy assumes an affected giggle whenever she attempts to speak. She has likewise a very unbecoming pertness in her manner, and, by frequent interruptions, when her elders are otherwise engaged, renders herself extremely disagreeable. I would have you, my good girls, possess that desirable degree of proper courage, as never to feel ashamed of speaking when it is necessary; but I think it is an unpleasing sight to perceive a young woman, or child I should say, for Lucy is young enough for that epithet, affecting to understand every thing, and giving her opinion unasked, upon subjects which frequently expose her ignorance an presumption. This is aiming at a character to which she has no pretensions; and by wishing to rise into a woman, before she has reached the age of understanding, she is despised for her vanity, and loses that esteem she might have attained by a proper degree of humility, and a better knowledge of her station. This observation, my dear Martha, I would particularly address to you; as you are generally thought uncommonly tall, and are usually imagined to be much older than you are. This I know you fancy to be a compliment, which always appears to give you pleasure? but remember, that, if you assume airs of womanhood, and affect to be thought further advanced in age, you will have the less allowance made for any errors you may commit, and consequently meet with contempt where you might otherwise have escaped censure. Youth, and inexperience, are justly allowed to excuse any slight inadvertence in manners, or want of grace in appearance; but if you chuse to be thought of more consequence, you must likewise expect, that the notice you may attract will not always be favourable to your vanity. I assure you, I think Miss Jenny Chantillon is much more agreeable than her sister, as she has courage sufficient to reply to any question, and to speak distinctly when she is particularly addressed, without inquiring, in Lucy’s manner, into the reason of every word which is uttered, and deciding every argument according to her own fancy: and, I dare say, if you will be careful to observe, you will find that Jenny always meets with attention from the company, while Lucy is frequently insulted, by being enjoined to silence, and by her hearers turning from her with disdain. In short, my dear, it requires a great deal of thought and propriety, to behave in an agreeable manner at your age. It is best not to be anxious to be taken notice of, since that eagerness always defeats its aim. Girls have not had the advantage of experience to teach them wisdom; and when once they are engaged in conversation, and find themselves attended to, their volatile spirits hurry them on, with the desire of obtaining applause for their wit, to say things which are sometimes neither delicate nor prudent; and which they may, when they have time to reflect, long have reason to repent having imprudently uttered. Any restraint at such a time, is, I know, always esteemed an ill-natured interruption, and is apt to damp their harmony, and lower their spirits. I would therefore warn you of the danger before-hand, that your own prudence may be a check to that unlimited indulgence, which at such a period is liable to excess: and, I dare say, that your good sense will teach you, that my admonitions are always intended for your advantage. To impress this deeper upon your mind, I will repeat to you a few lines which were written to me, when I was young, by my aunt, and which, as they frequently occurred to my memory, I found to be singularly useful.
Recollect, my sweet girl, ere you mix with the world.
There is need of some caution to guide;
Then wisely remember to govern your tongue,
As silence much folly may hide.
Most useful I think you this maxim will find,
And never its precepts neglect;
That who giddy and thoughtless will chatter away,
Shall ne’er gain applause or respect.
Like the Parrot, awhile they may please and amuse;
But no real esteem will acquire;
And I trust that your wish when in converse you join,
Is a nobler regard to inspire.
Remember that memory long may record,
The folly you utter’d in jest;
And a secret unmarked when escaped from your lips,
May long rob your bosom of rest.
Then conscious of error ’tis vain to repent,
As the mischief admits no relief;
And surely ’tis simple, so thoughtless to lay
The dismal foundations of grief.”
The ladies now all retired to dinner, but I am ignorant of what passed there, as I was left upon a piece of embroidery, which my mistress was covering with some white paper to keep it clean: and she did not fetch me till after tea; when she carried me in her hand down stairs with her work, to show some ladies who were assembled in the drawing room. I then accompanied her into what was usually called the green parlour, as the furniture was all of that colour; whither she went to play with her young visiters, whose names were Eliza Meekly and Julia Norris.
They amused themselves with playing on the Harpsichord, while Miss Martha personated the music-master, and Charlotte chose to teach them dancing. Some part of the evening they played at going to the exhibition; and just as they determined to visit the pictures, the footman came to acquaint the young ladies, that their coach was ready. Miss Meekly’s bib was unpinned, and Martha gave me into her hand in a hurry, while she was looking for her cloak. So without recollecting that I was another’s property, Eliza put me into her pocket, made a very elegant courtesy, and stepped into the carriage. I felt really very sorry to part from a family with which I had been some time connected; and to one of whom I owed my being a Pincushion. But my new mistress was so very engaging, that I was in hopes she would take care of me, and not leave me about to the mercy of a little kitten, who jumped into her lap the moment she got home; and who afterwards frisked away with a little tassel which dropped off from one corner of a work-bag which lay on the table. But before I proceed with my history, it will be necessary to introduce my readers to Miss Meekly and her companions, and to make them better acquainted with this new family, who are all of them deserving their notice.
Mrs. Stanley, to whom the house belonged, was the widow of a clergyman, who had at his death left her in rather indigent circumstances; and she had been advised (to support herself and two younger sisters who lived with her) to take a small number of young ladies to board. Her number was confined to six; two of whom were those I have above mentioned. The others were three sisters, whose names were Saxby, and a Miss Una; who, for her sweetness of temper, and excellence in every accomplishment, was esteemed superior to all the rest of her companions. Harriet Una, was cousin to Miss Meekly, and they usually slept together. She was just turned of thirteen, was tall and large; had light brown hair, blue eyes, and a fine complexion: but her good-nature and willingness to oblige every one, made her the general favourite, and recommended her to universal esteem.
When the young ladies retired to bed, Eliza found me in her pocket, and told Harriet, she was afraid Miss Airy would want her Pincushion; and she was the more concerned, as the family were to go into the country very early the next morning, and she should have no opportunity to return it. However, continued she, “I will make a new one to present to Miss Airy when I see her; and I will keep this, as I have not one at present, my kitten having pulled mine to pieces this morning: but I will take care this shall not come to the same mischance.” I was glad to hear that was her intention, as I should by no means have liked the thought of sharing the fate of my predecessor. At this time Mrs. Stanley entered the room to wish them a good-night, and to see whether they were properly taken care of. “I am very unhappy to-night,” said Eliza, as soon as she was gone: “and I feel ashamed of receiving Mrs. Stanley’s kisses, because I behaved in a manner I am sure she would not approve.” “What have you done, my dear cousin,” replied Harriet, “to make you so uneasy?” “I will tell you,” answered Miss Meekly, “though I do not like to confess my weakness. Just before dinner, Miss Charlotte Airy asked me to eat some preserved plums, which she said had been made a present of to her Mamma, and which came from Portugal. They were very sweet and luscious, and as I am not allowed to have any thing of that kind, I refused her offer. But when we had dined, she pressed me again, and laughed at me very much for being so foolish, as to imagine any thing so innocent could hurt me; but supposed, as I went to school, my mistress, for so she sneeringly called Mrs. Stanley, would whip me if I did. At last, overcome with her persecutions, and vexed to be treated so much like a baby, and as if I was afraid of punishment, I took the plum, and have not been easy since. And now, my dear Harriet, what shall I do? Suppose Mrs. Stanley should ask me whether I have eaten any thing lately which I ought not: and if she does not put that question, I feel so undeserving of her caresses, that she will see by my looks I have behaved improperly.” “I am very sorry,” replied Miss Una; “but as you are so sensible it was wrong, I may spare my recriminations. However, I think the noblest reparation you can now make, would be honestly to inform Mrs. Stanley of the crime, and the sincerity of your regret for having been guilty of it: should it be discovered by any other means, you will forfeit her esteem, and lose that confidence, with which you are at present favoured; by such an unsolicited confession, you will restore satisfaction to your own conscience, and be certain of her approbation.”
Eliza was convinced of the propriety and justice of her friend’s advice, and promised to comply with it the next morning. But her excessive timidity prevented her making use of several opportunities which presented, though the subject occupied all her attention, and she could scarce think of any thing else. She again applied therefore to Harriet, and told her it was impossible for her to summon up courage to do as she had desired; and begged she would, from her, acquaint Mrs. Stanley with what had happened. Miss Una, in the mildest terms, complied with her request; at the same time very generously commending her honour on every occasion, and urging her present uneasiness to engage Mrs. Stanley’s compassion. Miss Meekly, when she was acquainted with her cousin’s having revealed this secret, which had oppressed her mind, was very unwilling to attend her to the lady above-mentioned. Mrs. Stanley received her with the greatest affection and tenderness; and after expressing, in the warmest terms, her approbation of such a generous confession, added, “You need never, my dear girl, be afraid either of anger, or punishment, when with such a degree of frankness, you acknowledge any fault you have committed. Be assured, your friends will be always willing to pardon those errors which you promise to amend: but let the present instance warn you, my Eliza, never to be led into actions which you know are improper, because the company you are with may ridicule your refusal. Miss Charlotte Airy is, in my opinion, a very naughty girl, to endeavour to persuade you to do any thing which you have been forbidden. And I hope from the remorse you have suffered, you will reflect on the folly of complying with any proposals, which your conscience suggests to you is wrong. Do not be afraid of being laughed at for being good. Every person of real sense will esteem you for your resolution: and because a silly girl may sneer at your apprehension of punishment, it will be much more ridiculous, and wicked at the same time, to be guilty of what you are conscious is a crime, for which you will deserve, and perhaps receive correction. Besides, one bad action, is but too often the cause of the commission of others; and when once we have deviated from what is right in a small instance, it is frequently the occasion of accumulated guilt. I will tell you an instance of this kind that may illustrate my meaning, and which, as I was acquainted with the person who is the subject of it, will perhaps make a deeper impression on your mind.”
“A young lady, whose real name I shall (for the sake of charity) conceal under that of Lloyd, and who was, my dear Eliza, nearly of the same age with yourself, was educated with the utmost attention; and as she was an only child, was the darling of her parents, and the centre of all their future expectations. Betsey, which was her usual appellation, went one day to visit a companion, with whom she was extremely intimate; but who unfortunately for her, was not possessed of that strict honour which should be the basis and foundation of friendship. When they had been for some time at play in the garden, she proposed to go back to a little shop in the neighbourhood to make a purchase of some gingerbread; and though Miss Lloyd for a time objected to the proposal without leave, against her mamma’s repeated command; yet, her companion’s laughing at her squeamishness (as she wickedly called an adherence to her duty) prevailed over her better resolutions, and she accompanied her to the place I mentioned. As it was the only shop of the kind which the village afforded, the boys of an adjacent school very frequently went there for the same purpose, as the two young ladies who now entered; and two of the most unlucky of their number, happened at that time to be bargaining for some balls. They staid very soberly till Miss Lloyd had taken out her purse to pay for the cakes she had purchased; but as the lock of her pocket book was entangled in it, it came out of her pocket at the same time, when one of the boys snatched it from her hand, and rudely declared he would see its contents, and know all the girl’s secrets. This vexed her extremely, and she thoughtlessly pursued him, as he ran away with the prize, till she was a good way from home. He was joined by several of his school-fellows, who took part with him, and behaved in so wild a manner as to terrify her greatly. At length, however, she got away from them, and ran back with all the speed in her power: but as it was later than her usual time of returning, her parents were uneasy, and questioned her with great tenderness and anxiety, as to the reason of her stay. She told them, she had been out with Miss Hannah (the companion she had really visited) and her maid, and that a horse had been near running over her, which had frightened her so much, as to prevent her return.
“This story was believed by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd for some time, and Betsey who had at first been very unhappy at the thoughts of such a wicked deceit, at length grew reconciled as she found herself undetected. She therefore ventured upon a second transgression, from the encouragement which she foolishly imagined the secresy her first fault had given her; and with her intimate Miss Hannah took another walk, without any person to have the care of them. But during their absence from home, an unexpected accident punished the imprudent Miss Lloyd for her disobedience and untruth, in a manner which will give her cause for repentance to the latest period of her life; for as she was crossing a road in her return, a horse which had been tied to the rails of a house a little distance, broke the bridle which confined him, and gallopped away full speed, unrestrained by any opposition, till in his passage the unfortunate Miss Lloyd, who did not perceive his approach, was thrown down, and broke her leg in such a terrible manner, as to occasion her being a cripple ever after. She has since confessed, the consciousness of her falsehood was such a conviction to her mind of the wickedness of her conduct, (when she was made sensible that the accident was the consequence of her disobedience to her parents) that it was more difficult to support, than any bodily uneasiness she had suffered; and the reflections that they would never be able to confide in her for the future, was the occasion of so much self-reproach, as to deprive her of every enjoyment. This instance may serve to convince you, that a slight error is very frequently without any previous intention; and when least expected, the occasion of such crimes, as in the cooler moments of thought (that is, when you have time to reflect on the wickedness of the action) you would never be capable of committing; and as none can be sure they would be able to resist temptation, it is best never to do any thing which you know to be wrong, though it may appear to be in the smallest instance, since the desire of concealing a trifling fault, may lead you to hide it by a falsehood, which is one of the greatest you can be guilty of.”
Miss Meekly was convinced of the truth and propriety of this argument, and promised to be more attentive for her future conduct. She then joined her companions with that cheerful good-humour, which distinguished her character, and attended them into the great parlour, where they usually spent the morning. When they had concluded their work, writing, &c. Mrs. Stanley always made them read to her, and encouraged them to ask any question which occurred to them; to make their own observations upon those passages in history which struck their imaginations; or to propose to her any objection, which arose in their minds. She desired them to ask the meaning and origin of those customs they did not comprehend; and by so doing, had frequent opportunities of improving their understandings. Instances of this kind very frequently occurred, and supplied them with subjects of conversation. Miss Una was working a map of England, and inquired one day how long the island had been divided into shires and counties. Mrs. Stanley applied to the young ladies to know if any of them could resolve the question, but as they were all silent, “you should endeavour, my dears, said she, to remember what you read, or it will be of very little advantage. I believe Harriet, you read an account of this division a few months ago, when you were going through the reigns of the Saxon Monarchs. Do not you remember that the great King Alfred, in the year 886 repaired the city of London, which had been burnt by the Danes in 839, and that he afterwards divided the kingdom into shires, hundreds, and tithings?” “I did not recollect it,” said Miss Una. “But pray,” added Miss Saxby, “did the same king set up all the crosses, for I remember something about their being erected, though I have forgotten when it happened.” “Your memory is very short I am afraid,” replied Mrs. Stanley; “but if you were to write down such particulars, you would find it of great assistance: as it appears very illiterate to be unacquainted with those facts, which have occurred in the history of your native country. All the crosses you mention, were erected by King Edward the first, in every place where the funeral procession of his Queen stopped from Lincolnshire (where she died) to Westminster. There were in all ten, I think. One at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, and Westminster, called Charing Cross. You should always endeavour to observe what you read; but those things which relate to the island in which you live, have a particular claim to your remembrance. For this purpose I think your present work is singularly useful, as it will so strongly impress the geography of your country upon your mind, that I hope, my dear Harriet, you will never forget it.” As nothing material happened to my mistress, and very little variation occurred in her manner of living, I shall pass over the usual events of every day, which my readers can easily imagine; such as her taking me out of her pocket during the time of dressing, and restoring me to that place of confinement when she had concluded, and proceed to relate an accident in which I was very nearly concerned.
The kitten I have before-mentioned, who was a great favourite with Miss Meekly, was never allowed to enter her bed-chamber; but one day, the weather being extremely warm, and the door left open, it walked in, and laid itself down at a little distance from the window, in a spot where the sun shone; the shutters being half closed to exclude the heat. Eliza was employed in putting a pair of ruffles into her jacket, and I lay in her lap securely as I imagined, till a carriage stopping at the gate, she precipitately jumped up to look out at the visiters, and in her haste let me fall upon the floor. Her motion was so sudden and unexpected that I could not save myself, or check the velocity with which I was impelled. So that I unfortunately rolled on, till I touched the edge of a bookcase; and discovered myself to Mrs. Puss, who hooked me with her claws, and twisted me round several times, with as much dexterity as if I had been spinning; or, to use a more proper simile, as if I had represented a mouse. I afforded her great, entertainment for some time, till at last I found myself a second time under one of the feet of the bookcase, and so fast wedged in, that it was beyond the art of even a kitten’s invention, to extricate me from my situation. Mrs. Stanley coming up stairs, Miss Meekly turned out my antagonist, and with unavailing care searched for me in every drawer, on every table, and upon the bed.
Long have I remained in this dull state of obscurity and confinement, unable to make known my distress, as I want the power of articulation: at least my language can be only understood to things inanimate as myself. A pen, however, which fell down near me, engaged to present these memoirs to the world, if ever it should be employed by the hand of kindness, to rescue my name from oblivion. Should the eye of youth read this account with any pleasure, it is hoped the candour of generosity will over look its imperfections; and should fate, in some fortunate moment of futurity, again restore me to the possession of Miss Meekly, or any of her companions, my gratitude will engage me to thank the public for its indulgence, and to continue the account of my adventures.
If I am not so happy as to meet with approbation, I shall at least have the consolation to reflect, that these pages have suggested no wrong ideas to the youthful mind, have given no encouragement to vanity, nor exhibited any improper example with commendation; which is what better Authors, and works of higher genius cannot always be happy enough to boast. Such as it is, I submit this account of myself to the world, and only desire them to remember, in the words of the admired Gay, That
“From objects most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind may morals glean.”
I had lain so long in my dismal confinement, that I began to despair of ever presenting the world with any second part of my adventures. And yet, thought I, it is very hard that a Pincushion so new, so clean, and so beautiful, that might have a thousand opportunities of seeing the different manners of mankind, should be thus secluded from company, and condemned by the playful freaks of an insignificant kitten thus to pass away its best days in obscurity. And here let me take this opportunity to suggest a useful hint to my young readers, which, as my inactive situation allowed me sufficient time for reflection, I had frequently reason to feel the force of: namely, That although I fretted and fumed every day at my unfortunate condition, I never found it was at all improved by it, or that my ill-humour in the least degree made me happier or assisted my escape.
When I determined to submit quietly, I was as happy as any Pincushion in such a state of retirement could be. But when in a cross fit I tried to roll myself from under the bookcase, I found the attempt was impossible to accomplish, and I hurt my sides against the foot of it. The space was so small between the bottom of my prison and the floor, that I had no hopes of escape, as it was impossible for any broom to find its way under: or otherwise the cleanliness of Mrs. Stanley’s maid would certainly have effected my deliverance. But, alas! of this I had no prospect; and though my endeavours were fruitless, it taught me such a lesson of contentment, as I wish every little reader of my memoirs may remember, and copy in their own conduct. For if they are tired of working, reading, music, drawing, or any other employment at home; or what is frequently the case, are impatient of the confinement of being at school, I would have them take my advice, and try to amuse themselves when they have opportunity, and wait with patience till they are of a proper age, either to leave the place they dislike, or have overcome the difficulty of learning those accomplishments which are necessary to be acquired. For they may depend upon it, that fretfulness and ill-humour will make every condition unhappy: while a resolution to be pleased, and make the best of every thing, is the only method to be agreeable to others, or comfortable themselves. The foot of the bookcase, will press the closer, when we petulantly try to escape: and though children are not Pincushions, yet they will find, that whenever they are fretful and dissatisfied, they will be unhappy, and never succeed in any thing they undertake. I hope I shall be pardoned for this digression, but as the event of my escape was so strong in my mind, I could not pass it by without a pause of observation.
Let me now, however, proceed to inform my readers, that one fine day, when I had determined to make myself contented, and when from the quietness in which I had been for some days, I had reason to believe the family were absent, and had therefore little hope for release, on a sudden I felt the bookcase move, and heard the sound of men’s voices, who, after much pushing and hoisting, took away what had so long covered me from the eye of every beholder. In short, I found that Mrs. Stanley had taken another house, as her lease was expired; and in consequence of the removal of her furniture, I regained my liberty. One of the porters took me up, and blew off the flew with which so long a confinement had covered me, and taking me down stairs, presented me to a chair woman, who was hired to clean the house. “There, mother Trusty,” said he, “is a present for you, which, if you please, you may give to little Jenny: it will make her as fine as a lady.” “Thank you,” returned she, “I will keep it safe for my girl, and if you have a bit of paper, I will wrap it up, for my hands are wet and dirty, and when I take any thing out of my pocket I may spoil it, you know. But as to making her fine, Jacob, indeed I do not desire it; and were you to present any thing to wear, she could not have it; for I think finery is not suitable for us. She is a good child, Jacob, and that is better than being a lady.” “Well, mother Trusty, do as you please,” replied Jacob; “I do not know who the Pincushion belonged to, so if you like Jane should have it, why I am glad I found it.” So saying, he complained that the weather was very hot, and after wiping his face with a coarse apron, which was tied round him, he drank Mrs. Trusty’s health; and took a good draught of porter, which stood on the table. He then sat down to eat some bread and cheese, and calling a great dog which lay in one corner of the kitchen, made him sit up on his hind legs to beg for some victuals, and afterwards bring him his knot, which he very dexterously did, by taking the buckle of it in his mouth, and dragging it after him to his master. Another trick which this animal had been taught, was to shut the door at the word of command; and his last performance to the entertainment of my new Mistress and Mr. Jacob, was to pick up his master’s wig and bring it upon his head, which made indeed a very droll figure to the spectators. At the conclusion or his meal, Jacob bade adieu to mother Trusty, and they each separated to pursue their different employments. I was in the mean time laid on one of the shelves, curiously wrapped up in a bit of paper, which had fallen from the back of that very bookcase under which I had so long resided: it was torn in two by Jacob, who took one half to put up some bits of cheese rinds for his dog; and I found it was a fragment of poetry, which I suppose had been sent to Miss Saxby, as her name was Martha. I amused myself with the perusal of the lines, which were as follow:
’Tis a folly, my friend, thus to envy the great,
Since content may be found in the lowest estate;
Tho’ Miss * * * exults that she’s splendidly drest,
Of true happiness, Martha, she ne’er was possess’d.
I have seen her, my friend, when no art could assuage,
Her anger, vexation, and petulant rage;
Because an inferior had treated with scorn,
Those Trinkets and gauze which her person adorn.
But, believe me, esteem from true merit must rise,
Or the world will the pageants of fortune despise;
’Tis ridiculous, surely, for pride to expect,
Any better return than disdain and neglect.
Let us then, my Martha, more prudent and wise,
Endeavour with nobler ambition to rise;
Let kind emulation our bosoms expand,
The foolish suggestions of pride to withstand.
Let us trust that perfection each effort shall bless,
As industry ever is crown’d with success:
Tho’ hard is the task, yet ’tis great to aspire,
And the deep-buried embers of genius to fire.
’Tis a laudable aim, when we seek to excel,
And conquer that sloth which is apt to rebel:
Then let us attentive each precept obey,
And snatch the proud laurels of glory away.
The business of the day being concluded, the good mother Trusty shut up the house; and taking me down from the shelf, put me carefully in her pocket. We were not long before we arrived at her habitation, which consisted of two neat little rooms, in a small house, about the middle of a very pleasant lane, A clean looking boy and girl were sitting at the door, with a coloured apron full of peas, which they were very busily shelling. They expressed great pleasure at the sight of Mrs. Trusty, whom I found to be their grandmother, and with much good-humour, told her they had each earned a halfpenny; for that Mrs. Traffick at the chandler’s shop, had given them one penny, and promised them a farthing’s worth of gingerbread, or a stale roll, for getting her peas ready for supper. “Well, and I have brought you home something,” replied Mrs. Trusty, unfolding me to the child, who eagerly getting up to receive her present, had nearly overset the apron and its contents; but her brother luckily caught it, so as to prevent the peas from falling into the dirt. “But pray, Jenny stay till you have done, and have washed your hands,” said her grandmother; “for it would be a pity to spoil this nice sattin Pincushion:”
“And what have you brought for me?” cried rosy Dick, as he emptied a handful of peas into the bason. “Why nothing at all, my good boy,” replied Mrs. Trusty, “but a piece of bread and cheese: but I hope you are not jealous that your sister should have any thing, when you cannot partake of it?” “Jealous!” said he: “No, I would go without any thing in the world for the sake of my Jenny; and I will give her my half-penny with all my heart, though I have staid away from a nice game at cricket on the green to earn it. When I am a man you shall see how hard I will work, and take care of all the money I get, and give it to you, grandmother, to buy us victuals, and drink, and cloaths; and you shall stay at home and knit; but never, while I have any health, shall you go out to such hard labour as you now do.” “Blessings on my generous boy,” exclaimed the tender hearted mother Trusty, while the tears of affection rolled down her aged cheeks. “Just such a man was thy father Dick. While he was alive, we never wanted for any thing. He was a good man, indeed he was; and I hope that you will resemble him. But go, my boy! carry home your work, and bring the stale roll which you was promised: it will be much better for you than gingerbread.”
Jenny kissed her brother, and thanked him for his kind intention: “but we will give the penny to our grandmother,” said she; “you know she has got five pence three farthings which we have had given us already; and when there is enough we will ask her to buy you a pair of new shoes; because those are too bad to walk with.” Away ran Richard with the peas, and returned in triumph with the roll; when the little party sat down to supper, with that smiling good-humour and cheerful contentment, which is not always an attendant on the meals of the rich and great. But when I saw how very little was sufficient (or was obliged to be so) for a woman who had been hard at labour all day, and two little hungry children, I could not help reflecting, how wicked it is in those who are blessed with plenty, to be dissatisfied with their food, and idly waste when they are not disposed to eat it, that which would keep the poor from starving, and which many an unhappy child would be highly thankful to receive. When they had concluded the meal which their grandmother had brought them, Dick ran to a neighbouring pump, to replenish a broken red pitcher which had lost its handle and a piece out of the top: and after they had each of them drank with thirsty eagerness he kissed his grandmother and sister, and wished them a good-night, went quietly to bed. Little Jenny followed her brother’s example, as soon as she had laid me in a drawer with great care, where all her treasures were deposited. Among that number was a little paper, which was nearly worn out with frequent perusal, and with which I shall beg leave to present my readers.
DICK to his SISTER.
Tho’ I am but a boy, yet I’ll do the best I can,
And I’ll try to earn something, altho I’m not a man;
But when I am older, nay, Jenny, do not cry,
For the loss of thy father and mother I’ll supply.
I’ll go to yon farm house, and beg a bit of bread;
And if I get a morsel, my Jenny shall be fed;
Then do not weep so sore, for I hope we know the worst,
And to see you look so dismal my heart it will burst.
Old grannum she will help us, and work for to maintain;
And when I am bigger, I’ll pay it all again.
Tho’ as yet I cannot dig, yet a gleaning I may go,
Then stop your tears, my Jenny, for I cannot see them flow.
When I pass thro’ the church yard, where Daddy is at rest;
I cannot help sobbing, and a sigh will heave my breast:
And I think to myself, if my Jenny too should die,
Ah! who would her place to her Richard e’er supply.
Then, my sister, cheer thine heart, and do not look so sad;
If we can but live together, matters will not be so bad.
Now the blackberries are ripe, and I’ll gather some for thee;
And we’ll eat them, my Jenny, beneath yon hollow tree.
I know too, my love, where some honey may be found;
For I have oft mark’d the place, which the bees do surround;
And I’ll take some for thee, for young Robin taught me how,
One day when I followed in the field with his plow.
Then, my Jenny, be but happy, and cheer us with a smile;
For I fain would make thee blest, and thy sorrows all beguile.
Tho’ poor Daddy is no more, yet, Richard loves his Jane,
And all thy tears, my sister, can’t bring him back again.
Perhaps it may be thought an uncommon effort for little Dick to turn poet at so early an age, and with so few advantages from education. But there is no answering for the powers of natural genius, and many a one may regard the attempt as impossible, merely because they are too indolent to exert their faculties. Richard had been taught to read and write at the charity school of the parish where he lived: and as no application had been wanting on his part, the progress he made did equal credit to his own abilities, and the attention of his master, with whom his merit made him a great favourite.
Jenny was likewise put to a small school at a little distance, by the benevolence of the vicar’s wife, (with whom such instances were very frequent) and by her assiduity recommended herself to her mistress, who would often propose her example as a pattern to the rest of her scholars.
The next morning, when mother Trusty got up to her daily labour, she kissed her grand-children, and told then to go to school early, and not stay and play afterwards: but to return back again, for she would probably come home to dinner. This they promised to do; and after they had learned their lessons they affectionately hugged each other and diligently set forward with their books in their hands. But Jenny in a few minutes returned to fetch me, in order to exhibit her new present to her school-fellows. We soon arrived at a cottage, the apartments of which were neither large nor numerous; but the exquisite cleanness of it was truly admirable. The mistress, whose name was Markall, was dressed in a blue and white striped gown, which was rather of the coarsest materials; but was put on with the neatness of a Quaker, as was a plain-bordered mob, with a white cloth binder, and a coloured silk handkerchief; which, with the addition of a checked apron, and a black petticoat, will give a pretty good idea of her appearance. She commended Jenny for coming early, and having inquired after her grandmother and brother, heard her read, and repeat the lesson she had the day before given her to learn. Soon after which, Betsey Field, Nanny Hay, and the rest of the scholars arrived; among which number were likewise several boys. As the room door (which indeed was the door of the house too) was left open for the benefit of the air, and as one of the forms where the girls were at work was placed on that side, they were many of them better disposed to watch the passing of a cart, or a wheel-barrow; or to attend the flight of birds, and butterflies, than to mind their works: and Mrs. Markall punished several of them, with a few strokes of a little cane, which lay on her table for that purpose.
After she had heard them read, they stood round her in a circle to spell; and those who were so negligent as to mistake, lost their place in the set, and exchanged with their more attentive companions. A precedency in the ring was coveted with great ardour, and encouraged a spirit of emulation among them, as to stand first, (which was my mistress’s distinction) was regarded as an acknowledgement of superior excellence. When they had finished their business, and the wished-for hour of twelve struck, from the church clock, which was very near Mrs. Markall’s house, they all made their rustic courtesies and bows to the Dame, and poured, like a swarm of summer flies, into the lane. The whole body of them stood a for a few moments to interchange their mutual salutations: when some divided to the right hand, and the other party to the left, which led to the church porch; where they seated themselves to be sheltered from the intense heat of the sun; and Jenny, with a smile of conscious satisfaction, produced me to her companions. Though she was anxious to display what she was so well pleased with herself, yet she began to be apprehensive for my safety, when the girls, with unpolished rudeness, all scrambled for a sight of her present at the same time. At last the two whole names were above-mentioned, pursued Polly Chaunt who was in possession of me, and after scuffling on the grass, till Nanny Hay knocked her head with great violence against one of the tomb stones, and Betsey sprained her wrist in trying to wrench me from Polly, she ran home with the prize with so much swiftness, as to outstrip all her competitors. What became of poor Jenny I cannot tell, nor how she bore the loss of me; but I could not help reflecting how much better it would have been, had these girls been sufficiently polite, to have each satisfied their own curiosity, and then have resigned me to the inspection of others. Whereas, by all eagerly snatching me at once, they dirted my outside, and pulled me quite out of shape; together with making them all very angry and foolishly commencing a quarrel, of which the first consequences were the wounds I have mentioned. Polly Chaunt, whose property I so unjustly became, was the daughter of the parish clerk. He was by trade a shoemaker, and had three children, two girls and a boy. His wife was a notable little woman, who took care of some poultry, pigs, and asses, which were allowed to feed upon a green before the house.
As soon as my new mistress arrived at home, her mother ordered her to prepare what was wanted for dinner, at the same time telling her, she was much displeased that she did not return from school sooner. Polly answered in a manner which convinced me, she was more pert than prudent; and ran into a little back wash-house to her sister, who was taking a piece of bacon out of the saucepan, and who likewise chid her delay; adding, that dinner was ready, and she had been wanted to lay the table cloth. In reply to this, she told the history I have just related, and produced me to her sister, who wiping her hands on a bit of rag which hung on a nail in the window, took me up to examine: When lo! Polly who was at all times too hasty to attend to reason, nor chusing that Sukey should touch me for fear of spoiling my beauty, hastily snatched me from her, and dropped me, not into the saucepan which I escaped, but into a bason of soap and water which stood near it, and in which Mrs. Chaunt had just been washing her hands. Upon this arose a quarrel between the sisters, which was terminated by the entrance of their father, who insisted on their bringing his dinner immediately; and Polly, after having carefully wiped, laid me on a clean handkerchief to dry. I staid with this family some days, and was witness to many disagreements between the different parties which composed it; but as I do not think the recital of illiberal abuse could afford any entertainment to my readers, I shall not trouble myself to repeat it. But the folly of such behaviour must be evident to every reflecting mind, when it is considered, that although the scenes I have mentioned passed in the low-life of poverty, yet the same ill-humour, would occasion equal animosity, in the most affluent circumstances. And though no situation can justify fretful petulance, yet, it was certainly more excusable in girls, who were untaught by education, and unpolished by politeness, than in those, with whom the utmost care has been exerted, and who have had all the advantages of reading and instruction to contribute to their improvement. That it is possible for good-humour, and a determined endeavour to please, in a great measure to supply the deficiency of acquired graces, may be seen in the characters of Richard and Jenny, whose affection to each other must interest every one in their favour: And the same sweetness of temper, will likewise recommend to my readers’ esteem, the agreeable Hannah Mindful, to whom I was given one Sunday afternoon by Polly Chaunt, in a walk which they took together after church. And sincerely glad was I to exchange mistresses, as my last had been so ill-tempered and quarrelsome, and had taken me in so unjustifiable a manner, from the good-natured little Jenny. Hannah was near fourteen years old and the eldest of six children. Her mother was a very worthy woman, but was afflicted with such bad health, that she was seldom able to leave her bed. Her father had a small farm, and was very industrious in his business, and very careful of his family; and I was quite astonished to think, of how much service Hannah’s attention proved to her brothers and sisters; and what a comfort it was to her sick mother, to have such a good girl, in whom she could confide, and to whose care she could entrust them.
After she had parted from my late owner, she was met in her way home by the vicar, whose lady was mentioned as the benefactress of my favourite Jenny, and who with her husband was returning to his house. He stopt at the gate, and desired Hannah to wait there, or amuse herself in the garden, while he went to fetch a medicine which he had promised to send to her mother; and at his return presented her with a couple of fine peaches, which he told her to eat, as she was a good girl. She thanked him very civilly, and after wishing him good-night, ran home as fast as possible, for fear her mother should want her; to whom she immediately presented her present, without offering to taste them herself. A niece of Mr. Mindful’s lived at this time in his house, whose name was Sally Flaunt; and who had been a half boarder at a great school near London, where she was put by a relation, whose death had left her no friend but her uncle. She was entirely unprovided for; yet was so inconsiderately proud, as to make herself a burden to the family, instead of trying to be of any service; which she might have had sufficient opportunity of being, as she was near fifteen, and very tall of her age. When Hannah rose in the morning to assist in getting breakfast, dressing her sisters; and making the beds, Sally would disdainfully turn round to sleep, because it was in her silly opinion, unlike a lady to get up early. Without any fortune, or the slightest recommendation but her industry, she was ever foolishly aiming at a rank in life, to which she had no pretensions; and without sense to distinguish, that it is gracefulness of manners, and superior learning, that form the essential difference between high life and poverty; and that merit is as much entitled to respect in the lowest circumstances of indigence, as in the most exalted station, she was so weak as to imagine, that by imitating some of those foibles she had seen in girls who had more fortune than understanding, she should be thought to resemble them, and meet with that regard which is not bestowed on riches, but on the supposed worth of those who possess them. While Hannah went up stairs to carry some water-gruel to her mother, she dispatched one of her little sisters to tell Sally that breakfast was ready; but as she had slept so long, it was some time before she could make her appearance; and Mr. Mindful, who was justly displeased with her indolence, told one of his children to carry her milk away; for that those who were too lazy to provide for themselves, and to be ready at the proper time, might go without food. When Sally therefore came down, she was much disappointed to hear, that a fast was for the present enjoined as her portion; and looking very much out of humour, she walked into the garden. He followed her out; and as she was turning round a little yew hedge which fronted a field he took hold of her hand, and pulling her in to the kitchen, told her, he was displeased at her behaviour. “You are very foolish, Sally,” said he, “because you have been to school, to imagine that you have nothing further to do, than sit with your hands before you, and play the fine lady. You have no money to provide for yourself, and there is no person will take care of you, if you do not work hard to get your bread. Behave as you should, and I will treat you as my own child: but if you have too much pride to know your duty, and will not mind my advice, I will turn you out, to try where you can live better than with me.”
Sally knew she durst not reply to this positive speech; and fearing her uncle should become more angry, she promised to behave better, and walked up stairs to Hannah, who was dusting the furniture in her own room. To her she related the above particulars, with the tears running down her cheeks, and with the most dismal sobs of distress and passion. My good-natured mistress compassionately kissed her, and wept to see her disturbance; but indeed, my dear Sally, said she, I wish you would try to exert yourself, and as you cannot be a lady you had better endeavour to please my father. You see, we all live very happily, and I am sure I would do all in my power to make you do so too: so cheer up your spirits, and do not weep so sadly. “I cannot, replied Sally, very crossly! indeed you may, who have never seen any higher life: but where I was at school do you think any of the ladies scoured the rooms, or milked the cow, or went to such work as washing and ironing? O! Hannah, had you seen the caps, and feathers, and muslin and gauze frocks, which they used to wear on a dancing day, and how smart they looked in their silk shoes, or else red morocco ones, you would not wonder that I do not like these great black leather things, (and she scornfully tossed out her foot as she spoke.) Indeed, Hannah, I could cry, whenever I see you and your sisters cloathed in such coarse gowns, with your black worsted stockings, and with that check handkerchief on your neck, and your round cloth caps, with that piece of linen for a ribbon. I cannot bear it! and I wish I was any thing, but what I am.” O, fie, Sally! said Hannah, that is quite ungrateful for the good things which you are blessed with, to talk in such a manner as that. “What good things? retorted the haughty girl raising her voice, and growing more angry. Do you call this dowlass shift, this coarse apron, this linsey woolsey gown, good things? Or do you call the brown bread we eat, or the hard dumplings you were making just now, good things? And, pray this old worm-eaten bed without any curtains to it, and this little widow which is too small to admit one’s head out, and what little hole there is, quite crammed full of honeysuckles; or this propped up chest of drawers, or that good for nothing chair with a great hole in the bottom, which you know Bet nearly fell through yesterday, when she got upon it to reach the box which holds her Sunday straw hat, do you call these good things? because if you do, I am sorry you know no better.” I should be sorry indeed, rejoined Hannah, with rather more displeasure than was usual to her, if I knew so much of high life, as to be discontented with what my father and mother can afford. I think our bread is as good as any body need wish for? and I am sure the dumplings you so scornfully mention, will be very well tasted and wholesome. As to the furniture, if it is old, I will answer for its being clean, Sally; and my father says, he can nail a piece of board over that chair, which will last as many years as the back does. And as to our cloaths, I am sure they are whole and tight; for I would work my fingers to the bone, before I would see them otherwise. They are coarse to be sure; but they are as good as our neighbours, and many a one would be thankful to have such to put on: and though you speak so proudly of the house and every thing in it, I have seen the ladies at Oakly Hall, who are worth as much money as would buy all the villages for twenty miles round, come as kindly and sit down in my mother’s room, and take hold of my hand, and my sisters, and speak as prettily as if I had been a lady too; without looking at the chairs, or finding fault with the bed. And Miss Goodhall, although she is dressed so handsomely, never seems to think about it; and the last time she stopt here took the loaf out of my father’s hand, and said, let me cut Mrs. Mindful a piece of bread and butter! I can do it very well, and it shall be thin, such as I know she can eat. And she brought with her a cannister of sago, and went herself to the fire, and poured the water to mix it, and put some wine into it, which she brought with her; and showed me the way to do it; with so much good-nature, that I do not think you need be so very proud, Sally, and look so unhappy about your situation. And I assure you, she has sometimes eaten our bread, and always said it was very good. Hannah was here interrupted by one of her sisters, who came to call her to assist her mother who was going to get up. She attended her immediately, and taking me out of her pocket, into which she hastily put me at the conclusion of the above conversation, she placed me on the table, while she assisted Mrs. Mindful in putting on a clean cap and bed-gown: and after she had helped her to an old elbow chair, she made the bed; which, as soon as she had finished, she went into the garden, and returning with a nice nosegay of flowers, placed them in a little white stone mug upon the table, in order, by their sweetness, to refresh and please her mother, as she was very fond of them. She then kissed her with great tenderness, and begged her to take an egg beat up with some milk, which she immediately got ready. These little services were all performed with so much alacrity and good-nature, and such visible pleasure in her countenance, as doubled the merit of all her actions. It was impossible indeed to see her, without thinking how very agreeable it is in the power of good-nature and industry, to make those who have no other advantages to recommend them.
Hannah Mindful was a healthy looking country girl, her complexion was burnt by the sun, and her hands hardened by laborious toil: she was not ornamented by dress, though her person was at all times made agreeable by neatness: she had never been taught those graces, which so forcibly recommend the possessor to general observation; but a constant cheerfulness, and a desire of obliging, which was never interrupted by petulance, made her beloved by every one who knew her. To be as good-natured as Hannah Mindful, was the highest praise of every girl in the village; and every mother was ready to propose her conduct, as an example to her own children. If there was a piece of bread, which her sisters liked better than the rest of the loaf, she would save it for them by turns, whenever she had opportunity. If any of them went out to play, and forgot the business which fell to their share, or which their mother had ordered them to do, she would either fetch them home again, or, (if in her power) do it for them herself. By this she often saved them from punishment. One day when her father had brought two ribbons from a fair, for her sister Molly and herself, he gave Hannah the liberty of chusing first. She directly took a pink, which was her favourite colour; and left a dark green, which was what she most disliked: but afterwards finding her sister wished for the one she had chosen, she gave it to her immediately, with as much readiness, as if she had approved of the exchange from the preference to the colour she disliked. Sally told her she thought it was foolish to give up what she had in her possession; but Hannah, with a generosity which did great credit to the goodness of her disposition, replied, that she should never have worn with comfort, what she evidently saw her sister was desirous to obtain: and I declare, added she, I feel a much higher gratification in the idea of giving pleasure to my dear Molly, than I should receive from any difference of colour, or from a present of much greater value. Sally was not of that opinion; for, the indulgence of pride is the occasion of selfishness, and the cause of the most despicable meanness. By wishing for greater riches, and despising that way of life to which she was destined, her heart was constantly agitated by anxious vexation. Whereas, Hannah was always cheerful, good-humoured, and contented: and the same incidents, which to the one were the occasion of dissatisfaction and complaint, the other submitted to, without repining, and rejoiced with gratitude at the felicity of her lot.
And thus, my young readers, will it be with persons of higher rank, than those of whom I am now writing. If you make yourself unhappy, because some of your companions have, more elegant cloaths, or a greater variety than yourself: or because it may suit the fortune of their parents, to make more splendid entertainments, than the choice or circumstances of yours will admit; if they ride in their father’s carriage, while you walk on foot and unattended, remember, that is no rational cause of uneasiness. It is not the station, but the propriety with which it is sustained, that is the real matter of concern. A beggar may be more respectable than a Prince, if he is sunk to indigence by misfortune; and exerts his utmost powers, to act with industry, and maintain the proper conduct which his situation requires. Let me advise you then, not to wish for that finery, which would be unsuitable to your circumstances; but to submit to the discretion of your parents, because they must know best what is proper for you. Sally Flaunt had not the power to make her uncle’s brown bread in the least degree whiter, although she was too fretful to eat it with satisfaction. She could not enlarge the rooms, or repair the furniture, by her discontent; but she might have been as happy as her cousin, had she been disposed to be good humoured. When any business is necessary to be performed, if it is done with sullenness and ill-will, it becomes the most laborious toil and most irksome employment; but if it is executed with cheerfulness, it is much sooner dispatched, and the fatigue is considerably abated. It is time, however, to return to my own adventures, without trespassing longer on your patience by my advice.
I had continued some time with my mistress, when Mr. Goodall (whose daughter I believe I have before mentioned, gave an entertainment to his tenants, on account of her attaining her eighteenth year. Mr. Mindful, out of kindness to his family, determined to stay at home himself, and take care of his wife, while he dispatched all the young ones who were of a proper age, to enjoy an amusement which would afford them so much pleasure. Hannah dressed herself and two sisters, as neat as rustic simplicity could adorn them. They had each of them light brown stuff gowns, white aprons and handkerchiefs, with straw hats; her own with green and her sisters with pink ribbons. They had all a nosegay of flowers in their bosoms, and with the freshness of innocence and health glowing in their cheeks, prepared to set out for Oakly Hall. Hannah did not forget to get ready every thing she thought her mother might want in her absence; and with a kiss off filial affection bade her adieu.
Jack Mindful, her brother, was a lad of about thirteen, very active and sprightly, and sometimes apt to be extremely mischievous. I have had no opportunity before this to introduce him to the notice of my readers; but the part he took in dressing his cousin for the intended sport, will make it necessary to exhibit him on the present occasion. Sally, whose attention was wholly engrossed by the pride of excelling her companions in the finery of her cloaths, had been for some days busily employed in mending an old silk coat, which had been given her during her stay at school. It had originally been ornamented with gauze cuffs, which were grown dirty and yellow with keeping: the rest of the trimming was sufficiently decayed, to make it a rather despicable garb: and Mrs. Mindful, who justly thought such shabby finery very improper for her niece’s situation, infilled upon her going in a new garnet coloured stuff, which she had lately bought her. This Sally was much distressed at, and communicated her intention to her cousin Jack, who promised to assist her in her design; which was, after she had taken leave of Mrs. Mindful, to carry her cloaths to a barn at some distance, and there put on the silk coat, which she imagined would make her so much better respected by the family at Oakly Hall. To this place she then repaired, her heart beating with expectation, and flattered with the imagination of outshining all her companions. She had made up a new cap for the occasion; and as she was very tall and womanly in her appearance, thought if she could make any substitute for a cushion it would much improve her fashionable appearance. On this great occasion, she borrowed me of Hannah, who went before her cousin; as she did not chuse to have any witness but Jack, who was the only person entrusted with this important secret. At the barn then we soon arrived, and her stuff gown was thrown off with disdain, while she prepared, with the assistance of an old triangular bit of a broken looking glass, to equip for the desirable expedition. After placing the cushion, which, she had taken great pains to complete, and pinning her hair over it with a piece of black ribbon, she put on her cap; which exhibited the most taudry collection of old gauze, bits of ribbon, and slatternly tassels, that can well be imagined. At last came the trial of the coat, which as it had been made very long behind, was in that respect tolerable; but its appearance in front was so short, as to be really ridiculous. During the time she was looking at her head in the glass, Jack in turning round hastily threw it down a hole which he had purposely contrived, and where it was impossible to regain it, as it was so instantly out of sight, that Sally had not an idea where it had vanished, her search was totally in vain, and she could only finish her dress by Jack’s direction. He pretended to admire her appearance extremely, and to make it the more complete, he had before tied a couple of sheep’s feet to a piece of ribbon, which he now pinned to her shoulders, fastening them close to her back with another string which he likewise pinned down; and by way of addition to the streamers in her cap, he suspended a number of bits of straw, which he had tied together with a piece of pack-thread. With these burlesque ornaments she hurried with him to the Hall; and as she was entering the door which led to the house, under pretence of fastening a piece of the trimming which he said he could improve, he undid the lower pins, and let the sheeps feet dance about on her back, to the unspeakable entertainment of every beholder. The laugh which her appearance occasioned covered her with confusion: and her pride was mortified in the highest degree, to find her finery treated with such a degree of contemptuous mirth; instead of that admiration, with which she had flattered herself.
The boys were eager to dissect her head dress, and Polly Chaunt, who was of the party, very maliciously pinned one of her cuffs to the table cloth, as she was lolling her head on her hand to hide those tears of vexation which she could not forbear. Unfortunately she rose in some haste, upon the appearance of Mr. Goodall, who entered the room to welcome his guests, and dragged down the salt-seller, and several plates, knives, forks, and spoons; which had they been brittle materials would have been certainly demolished; but as the whole service was of pewter, they escaped unhurt. The bustle which this accident occasioned, still more disconcerted the unfortunate Sally Flaunt; who bursting into tears very hastily left the room. In the angry jirk, with which she walked away from the company, her two shoulders were saluted with the sheeps feet, in such a manner, as to make her imagine she had received a blow, which she turned round very quickly in order to resent: but the agility of her motions, only served to repeat the imagined offence, the author of which, however, she found it impossible to discern. But as she was going through an apartment which led to the garden, she discovered her own figure in a large pier glass; the sight of which so fully completed her vexation, that she determined to hurry home immediately; and snatching her handkerchief from her pocket to wipe her eyes, she whirled me out with it to a considerable distance, and without perceiving her loss, left me to enjoy my own reflections. The thought of Sally’s ridiculous vanity entirely took up my attention. How happily might she have passed the day had she been contented to do so in her proper character; but by assuming a superiority to her companions, she excited the contempt of Jack Mindful, who was determined to mortify her pride, by making her an object of ridicule; and though his mischievous intention was certainly extremely blameable, yet it was her own folly which put the execution of it into his power. Had she not determined so meanly to deceive, and disobey her aunt, by pretending to comply with her advice at the very moment she was preparing to act in opposition to it, she would have escaped that mortification, which, however, it might excite pity, was undoubtedly deserved.
I lay unperceived by the door of a little closet till the next morning; when Mr. Betty, who came to sweep the room, picked me up, and laid me for some time on a marble slab; after she had finished her business, I accompanied her to breakfast. My new mistress was a pleasing young woman, who was a housmaid in Mr. Goodall’s family. She sat down with the laundry-maid, whose name was Joice, and who complained very much of the heat of the weather, I have been so ill for some days past, said she, that I can with difficulty stand to wash; and the heat of the fire when I am ironing makes me much worse than I should otherwise be: and then Miss Sophy is so careless, she never considers what will dirt her cloaths, nor how much work she occasions. I am sure her sister at her age was always neat and nice, with half the number of frocks and petticoats which she requires. I wonder that a young lady should not have more compassion for a poor servant. “That is because they do not know the trouble it is, replied Betty; but indeed Joice, Miss Sophy, is the same in every thing. If she is cutting a piece of gauze, or paper, she is sure to make a litter all over the room; and I have often seen her cut a card into a thousand bits on the carpet, without making any use of it at all: and if she is undoing her work, or picking her doll’s cloaths to pieces, she will strew the threads on the floor, without thinking how much trouble it gives me to take them up again. But if she would but put her bits of rubbish into a piece of paper, it might be taken away without any difficulty.”
She will never be beloved like her sister, said Joice. And then she does not look so much like a young lady; for Jerry says, that when he is waiting at dinner, he cannot help looking at her, to see how she leans against the table, (that is one way in which she makes her frock so dirty) and takes such great mouthfuls, and eats so exceeding fast, as if she were starving, and thought she should lose her dinner; and sometimes she drinks without wiping her mouth, and very frequently when it is not empty. “O! I have seen her myself, interrupted Betty; I have seen her when I have waited at breakfast, grasp the spoon in her hand quite down to the bowl of it, and my mistress has told her it looked very unmannerly: and then she altered it for a minute, but has soon held it as awkwardly as ever. But what I am most angry with her for, is slopping her milk, or tea, on the tables, just after I have rubbed them till they are as bright as looking-glasses; and then she smears her hands across, and all my labour goes for nothing. I wonder how she would like this hot day to have such violent exercise. But ladies have often little consideration for their servants feelings.” To be sure, said Mrs. Joice, my master and mistress, and Miss Goodall, are very good-natured, Betty; and Miss Sophy will I hope, think more of the consequence of her actions when she is older. I would do any thing in the world for my mistress she speaks so kindly, and when I am ill, she says, “Take your time, Joice, and do not fatigue yourself to-day, I hope you will be better to-morrow.” I do not care how I slave when people are considerate, and seem to think I do my duty. During the latter part of this conversation, Mrs. Betty had laid me on the table, and was pinning her gown close, which had before hung loose, only fastened with one pin at the top, and the two sides turned behind; and at the conclusion of it, Mrs. Joice who had been clearing away the breakfast things, folded me up in the table-cloth, and carrying me under her arm to the poultry yard, shook me out with the crumbs. She turned round at the same time, to speak to a gardener, who was emptying some seeds out of his blue apron upon the dunghill, and did not see my fall. After her departure, I was pecked at alternately by almost all the fowls, till at last I was tossed by a bantam hen, under a little water tub, where I have lain ever since. My last unfortunate adventure has so dirtied my outside, that I should not now be known. But if the recital of what has hitherto befallen me has at all engaged the readers regard, I hope I shall not lose their approbation, from a change of situation or appearance.
The catastrophe which has thus reduced me, was entirely unexpected; and should teach them, that no seeming security can guard from those accidents, which may in a moment reduce the prospect of affluence to a state of poverty and distress; and therefore it is a mark of folly, as well as meanness, to be proud of those distinctions, which are at all times precarious in enjoyment, and uncertain in possession.
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The Birth Day Present; or, Nine Days Conversation between a Mother and a Daughter, on interesting subjects, for the Use of young Persons from ten to twelve Years of Age. Price 1s.
Midsummer Holidays; or, a Long Story. Price 1s.
May Day; or, Anecdotes of Miss Lydia Lively. Intended to improve and amuse the rising Generation. Price 1s.
Cobwebs to Catch Flies; or, Dialogues in short Sentences, in 2 Vols. Vol. I. containing Easy Lessons of Three Letters, Four Letters, Five Letters, Six Letters, suited to Children from three to five Years of Age. Vol. II. containing instructive Lessons in Words of one Syllable, two Syllables, three Syllables, four Syllables, suited to Children from five to eight Years of Age. Price 2s.
of Rational Sports. In Dialogues passing among the Children of a Family. Designed as a Hint to Mothers how they may Inform the Minds of their little People respecting the Objects with which they are surrounded. Price 1s.
School Occurrences: supposed to have arisen among a set of young Ladies under the Tuition of Mrs. Teachwell, and to be recorded by one of them. Price 1s.
The Fairy Spectator; or, the Invisible Monitor. By Mrs. Teachwell and her Family. Embellished with a Frontispiece. Price 1s.
The Juvenile Tatler. By a Society of Young Ladies under the Tuition of Mrs. Teachwell. Embellished with a Frontispiece. Price 1s.
Moral and Instructive Tales, for the Improvement of young Ladies. With an engraved Title and Frontispiece. Price 1s.
La Bagatelle. Intended to introduce Children of three or four Years old to some Knowledge of the French Language. 2 vols. Price 2s.
A clear and concise Account of the Origin and Design of Christianity, intended as a Sequel to the First Principles of Religion, &c. By M.P. 2 Vols. Price 2s.
Letters from a Mother to her Children, on various important Subjects. By. M.P. 2 Vols. Price 2s.
Dialogues and Letters on Morality, Oeconomy, and Politeness, for the Improvement of young Female Minds. By M.P. 3 Vols. Price 3s.
Poems on various Subjects, for the Amusement of Youth. Price 1s.
Anecdotes of a Boarding School; or, an Antidote to the Vices of those useful Seminaries. By M.P. 2 Vols. Price 2s.
The Rational Dame; or, Hints toward supplying prattle for Children. Containing short and familiar Descriptions of many English Animals, Reptiles, and Insects. Ornamented with a Frontispiece, and an Engraving of each Animal, &c. Price 1s. 6d.
The Rotchfords; or, the Friendly Counsellor. Written for the Instruction and Amusement of the Youth of both Sexes. By M.P. 2 Vols. Price 3s.
The Footstep to Mrs. Trimmer’s Sacred History. For the Instruction and Amusement of little Children. By A.C. Price 1s, 6d.
The Female Guardian. Designed to correct some of the Foibles incident to Girls, and supply them with innocent Amusement for their Hours of Leisure. By Mrs. Teachwell. Embellished with a Frontispiece. Price 1s. 6d.
Fables, by Mrs. Teachwell: in which the Morals are drawn incidentally in various Ways. Price 1s.
Juvenile Correspondence; or, Letters suited to Children from four to above ten Years of Age, By Mrs. Teachwell. Price 1s. 6d.
School Dialogues for Boys. Being an Attempt to convey Instruction insensibly to their tender Minds, and instil the Love of Virtue. By Mrs. Teachwell. In Two Vols. Price 4s.
Dramatic Pieces calculated to exemplify the Mode of Conduct which will render young Ladies both amiable and happy, when their School Education is completed. Vol. I. Containing the Good Mother-in-Law, and the Good Daughter-in-law. Vol. II. containing the Reformation, and the Maternal Sister. Vol. III. containing the Triumph of Reason, and the Contrast. By P. I. Price 6s.
Fables in Monosyllables, by Mrs. Teachwell; to which are added, Morals, in Dialogues between a Mother and Children. Price 2s.
A Father’s Advice to his Son. Written chiefly for the Perusal of young Gentlemen. By M. P. Price 2s.
William Sedley; or, The Evil Day deferred. By S. S. Price 2s. 6d. Embellished with a Frontispiece.
The Conversations of Emily. Translated from the French of Madame le Comtesse d’Epigny, 2 Vols. 7s, bound.
A Course of Lectures for Sunday Evenings: Containing Religious Advice to young Persons. By S. S. Two Vols. Price 3s.
With a great variety of other Books.#ENGLISH