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servant called Mary Jones, who had lived with the first Mrs. Lancaster, she had ever proved herself faithful and affectionate, and had many times shewed her zeal and at tachment for the family, at the hazard of her life. During the illness which terminated in the death of Mrs. Lancaster, she had deprived herself of sleep for weeks together: for no substitute could be found equal to supply her place, in the estimation of her mistress. She had attended Captain L's son with that care and watchful affection, which could only be equalled by a mother, and on every occasion she manifested more judgment and prudence than are usually found in a person of her station. With Mary the present Mrs. Lancaster had never been a favourite: indeed the first time she saw her, she remarked that notwith standing her beauty, she perceived something that did not please her in her countenance. This speech of Mary's was faithfully repeated to Mrs. L. by her own woman, as was from that time every thing that was said in favour of the former, or against the present Mrs. Lancaster.
Latterly Mary Jones had discover ed something of Harriet's ill-treatment, which made her almost frantic with rage and grief, and she could hardly refrain from openly reproach ing her mistress
a look at her, which too plainly spoke contempt. "I perceive, Mary," said she, " you think I do not become these ornaments so well as their former owner." "I confess, madam," said Mary," such a thought did cross my mind, as I looked at you." Anger now flashed from the eyes of Mrs. L. but she made no ro ply, except by reproving Harriet for something that she deemed a fault. Mary did not intend to have said more, but she now felt for Harriet, and was roused. "I never have seen, and too probably never shal see, any person so truly amiable as the former owner of these jewels," continued she, "Miss Harriet indeed comes nearer to her than any one that I know.” "At least," said Mrs. L. " it appears she knew not how to treat her servants, or she would have taught you to know your place better, and not to give your tongue so much liberty in the presence of your superiors.'
At this accusation Mary's choler knew no bounds;-"not know how to treat her servants," she repeated,
I wish some people knew as well to treat every one; and to conduct themselves on all occasions;" having said this, she rushed out of the room, and slapped the door after her. When she was gone, Mrs. L. complained violently to Harriet of the impertinence, the insults of Mary; in short, the breach between them seemed irreparable, and she ended by declaring, that the same house should no longer contain Mary and herself. Harriet made little reply at this time, and they proceed
Matters were in this situation, when one evening as Mrs. Lancaster and Harriet were dressing for a party, the former asked the latter to exchange some jewels with her for that night, as she was fond of variety in these things. Mary Jones who offi-ed to fulfil their engagement. ciated as maid to Harriet, happened to be in the room at the time, adjusting her dress. As soon as Mrs. L. received the ornaments, (which had belonged to Harriet's mother,) she immediately decorated herself with them. Mary turned and cast
The next day, Mrs. L.'s wrath was rather increased than abated. Some morning visitors coming to the house, prevented any recurrence to the subject till after dinner. The Captain being gone to take his evening walk, Harriet was ordered to
carry the news of Mary's dismissal to her. "I will not, madam," answered she. "You will not," peated her astonished step-mother. No, I cannot, nor will not," replied she again. "Tis very well, and very obedient, Miss, but if you will not, another person shall," said her mamma, in a passion, rising and ringing the bell; "this woman has been my pest too long, she has turned your heart against me, and may perhaps do me "the same kind office with my own child." " 0,” said Harriet, "I declare, upon my honour, she never in her life spoke a disrespectful word of you in my presence."
Mrs. L. knew Harriet's principles too well to suppose she would have suffered any one to do so, but she wanted a pretext to justify her conduct. A man servant now came to answer the bell-"Tell Mary Jones," said Mrs. Lancaster,-" No, do not tell Mary Jones," said Harriet, scarcely knowing what she said "I entreat, implore you, madam, to pardon her." "Leave the room, Miss; go to your chamber instantly," said her enraged mother. Harriet rose to obey, but before she went, willing to make another effort in favour of Mary; she said, "Dear Madam, this is the first time in my life I have disobeyed your commands, I know I am wrong, but revenge not my fault, I beseech you, on poor Mary; at least, speak to my father before you discharge her."" Do not presume to dictate to me, ma'am; I know too, that you are in the wrong; leave my presence, nor dare to aggravate me further." Harriet now left the room, and little Seraph, who had been a witness to the whole scene, was following her. "Come back, Miss," said her mother, "do not attempt to associate with one who will teach you disobedience." This was the
way most effectually to wound the feelings of Harriet, who had incessantly laboured to instil into Seraph's mind every virtuous principle.
At being prevented from accompanying her sister, Seraph began to scream violently, and her cries
heightened the fury of her mother. Anger, like all the other passions, may be checked at its commencement, but if it gain admittance into the heart, what mortal can say to its tempest, "thus far shalt thou rage, and no farther." In the storm, Mary Jones was now forgotten; all Mrs. L.'s anger was directed against Harriet, whom she determined to sepa rate for some time from her sister: this being, she well knew, the se verest punishment she could inflict on her. She ran therefore in the height of her fury, and locked Harriet in her chamber; and bringing the key in her hand, shewed it to Seraph; for she felt resentment even against her, for wanting to go with her sister. At the sight of the key Seraph's cries redoubled, and her maid was ordered to put her in bed. It was with difficulty she was got past the door of her sister's room; she must stop to say how sorry she was for her confinement, and to lament that she was not allowed to share it with her.
Scarcely had Seraph's screams ceased to echo through the hall and passages, when her father returned. "Where is Harriet, my dear?" said he, as he entered the parlour, where his lady sat in gloomy dignity, "I have been making verses, but what pleases me most is the air I have composed for them, which I want Harriet to play to me." [See the verses at the commencement of the story.] "Mr. Lancaster," answered his wife, haughtily, your daughter has highly offended me; I have long ceased to expect that she would
obey me, or treat me as a mother, but I have been insulted by her, and my orders to my servants, counter. manded to my very face." Captain Lancaster was astonished. "I know, however," continued she, "where the root of the evil lies, and am determined to remove it: Mary Jones has manifested a rooted aversion to me, since my first coming to this house--perhaps her prejudice may have commenced even before that time; step-mothers are ever looked upon with a jaundiced eye: she has instilled her prejudice into the mind of your daughter, and may perhaps endeavour to do the same by mine; I am therefore determined to discharge her." "Why, my dear," said the Captain, you shock me, by your account; there must be some mistake in this, allow me to enquire into the matter. Mary Jones, I am confident, could not behave as you represent." "So, I see how it is," said Mrs. L., my peace of mind is of no value; that of this servant-woman is of much more importance; but I tell you, Captain Lancaster, I can never be happy,, while she is in the same house with me, and therefore I insist that she shall leave it." "You know not," said he, mildly, what that woman has done for my family. No, I can never be so ungrateful as to allow her to be turned away." "Ungrateful to a servant!" said his wife with disdain, has she not been well paid for whatever services she may, have rendered you? if she has not, pay her now, give her what money you think sufficient." "There are some services, Mrs. Lancaster," said her husband, "or rather some acts of kindness, which money can neither pay for, nor purchase; such have been those which this woman has rendered my family. Can I ever forget the care, the watchful judicious care, she took of my"- wife
he would have said, but the word stopped in his throat, and had it been in the power of human aid to have saved my son"-again he stopped, and turning from his lady to the window, seemed to be attentively gazing at the moon; soon after she saw him take out his handkerchief.
A man can sometimes see a woman's tears unmoved; but how hard soever a woman's heart may be, a man's tears never fail to soften it. The moment Mrs. Lancaster observed her husband so touched, her anger began to subside, and her heart to relent. "I am very sorry, my dear," said she, "that I have heen the cause of uneasiness to you: I really did not think that you were so foolish with regard to this woman: let us say no more about it tonight, you know I do not wish to hurt your feelings; we will therefore settle this matter to-morrow." Harmony was again restored between the husband and wife; he thought no more of his verses for this night, nor did he enquire again for his daughter, and Mrs. L. by way of shewing her authority, determined to keep her locked up till the morning.
In the morning, Captain Lancaster was awoke by a low scream, accompanied by exclamations of surprise, near the door of his chamber; he jumped out of bed, and hurrying on his dressing gown, went to enquire what was the matter. On opening his door, he beheld all the servants assembled about Seraph, who lay half asleep in the passage at the door of Harriet's room She had been discovered there a few minutes before, by one of the maids; who being frightened at the sight of her, screamed, so as to draw the rest to gether. Not knowing what to think of all this, Captain Laucaster began to ask questions, which led to a dis
Seraph; a Tale for the Ladies.
covery of Harriet's confinement. she was like one in a prison, and
Mrs. L. immediately after produced
she herself had told me about the
"Then I slipped out of bed, and felt my way to Harriet's room-door; I only just wanted to ask her if she was very unhappy, I thought she might like to have me near her.
listened for a long time at the door, and I still heard her moans" "Allow me, my dear," said Harriet," to interrupt you for a moment, that I may set you right in this. I neither wept nor sighed, nor was in the least miserable in my confinement, I assure you'; for myself I felt nothing; I was only sorry for the uncasiness occasioned to your mamma, and that there should be any disturbance in the family."
Well I did not know that you felt in this manner," said Seraph, "I thought you must pass a dreadful night, so I called to you through the door, and told you that I was there, and all how sorry I was for you. I was not sure whether or not you answered me, sometimes I thought you did" "I never heard you, my dear," said Harriet, "I must have been asleep." "I do not recollect any thing more, but that I grew cold, and wished myself in bed; I believe I had fallen asleep soon after, but indeed, papa, I did not intend to sleep at the door, I
remember feeling cold several times, and striving to go to bed, but somehow I could not walk." "Sleep had overpowered you, my dear," said her father. He then represent ed to her the impropriety of leav ing her bed unknown to any one; and took occasion to shew her how liable children are to be deceived by trusting to their own feeling; with several instructive lessons, which naturally flowed from her little narrative. Seraph told her story amidst a thousand caresses bestow ed on her sister: before it was finish, el her voice was observed to grow hoarse; she however did not mind it, she was happy, and in high spirits at being once more in the arms of her sister. Towards evening, she complained of her throat, her cheeks seemed flushed, and she became feverish. Her father said he perceived she had caught cold, her mother feared it might be worse, per haps measles, or a scarlet fever, She begged to sleep that night with Harriet, and she was too ill to be refused. This child had ever been the darling of all who knew ber; never had she been beheld with indifference by any one. The superiority of intellect which one child will often possess over another, is truly astonishing: we sometimes meet with children who seem to have lived double the time in the world of others, who are nevertheless of the same age*. This difler
• Madame de Genlis gives the following account of her pupil, Mademoiselle D'Or leans, when 4 years old:-" She knew her sister was ill, and no play could divert her mind from the idea. She was playing at a game of forfeits: it fell to her lot in one instance to decide what should be done for the recovery of a pledge, when, without being prompted by any one, she ordered the person to whom it belonged, to pray to God for her sister. The impression such an idea in a child four years old, made on all present, may easily be
ence is partly owing to the nature, and partly to the education or culture of the plant; but where both unite, where the best possible culture has been bestowed on the fi nest plant of its species, it is wonderful how soon the human blossom may be brought to exhibit a degree of perfection.
The next morning Harriet brought the alarming intelligence to her father and mother, that Seraph's dis order seemed to be much increased; that she had passed a very disturb ed night, and was now, she feared, exceedingly ill. At this informa tion, the anxious parents were greatly alarmed, and a servant was instantly dispatched for a physician.
Consternation and terror now spread through the family; and Mary Jones, unbidden, took her sta tion at the child's bed-side. As soon as the physician had arrived, aud examined his patient, be pronounced her disorder to be scarlatina; and he feared a very bad species of it. It was attended with a considerable difficulty of breathing, which every hour increased. The next day it was judged necessary to blister her chest. The doctor's opinion was, that cold and the agitation of the child's mind during the night she had passed out of bed, had caused her indisposition. For three days the fever continued very viclent, but the worst symptoms that appeared were a cough and difficulty of breathing. At length the fever began to abate; but it left her in a weak languid state, with a violent cough, and no inclination for food.
conceived. Her sister died. It is difficult to believe that a child four years old could, for the space of two years retain a lively and profound grief for this loss; but that she did so, every one about her can witness."
Lessons of a Governess, by Mad, de Gealis