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left the little girls and Henry to play quietly. Lucy and Emily were very much pleased with the babyhouse and the dolls; and Henry got upon the rocking horse: and so they amused themselves for a while. At length, Miss Beaumont, who had been sitting at work, went to fetch a book from an adjoining room. As soon as she was out of sight, Miss Augusta, going softly up to the table, took two apples out of her work-bag.
Oh! Miss Augusta, what are you doing?” said Emily.
“ She is stealing," said Henry.
" Stealing!” said Miss Augusta, coming back into the corner of the room where the baby-house
“what a vulgar boy you are! what words you use!”
“ You don't like to be called a thief,” said Henry, " though you are not ashamed to steal, I
“ Do, Miss Augusta, put the apples back," said Emily : “ your mamma said, you must have but one, you know, to-day, and you have had one already.”
“ Hush, hush !” said Miss Augusta : “here's my governess coming back: don't say a word.” so saying, she slipped the apples into the bosom of her frock, and ran out of the room.
" Where are you going, Miss Augusta ?” exclaimed Miss Beaumont.
“ Mamma has sent for me," answered Augusta : « J shall be back immediately."
When Miss Augusta had eaten the apples, she came back quietly, and sat down to play with Lucy and Emily, as if nothing had happened. Soon after, the governess looked into her work-bag, and found that two of the apples were gone. Augusta," she said, “ you have taken two apples : there are two gone.”
“ I have not touched them," said Miss Augusta.
“ Some of you have,” said Miss Beaumont, looka ing at the other children.
“ I can't tell who has," said Miss Augusta," but I know it was not me."
Lucy and Emily felt very angry, but they did not speak; but Henry would have spoken, if his sister Lucy had not put her hand upon bis mouth.
“ I see," said Miss Beaumont, “ that some of you have taken the apples; and I desire that you Miss Emily, and you Miss Lucy, and you Master Henry, will come and sit down quietly by me, for I don't know what mischief you may do next.”
Now the governess did not really suppose that Mrs. Fairchild's children had taken the apples; but she chose to scold them, because she was not afraid of offending their papa and mamma, but she was very much afraid of offending Miss Augusta and her manima. So she made Lucy and Emily and Henry sit quietly down by her side, before the fire. It was now getting dark, and a maidservant came in with a candle, and, setting it upon the table, said, “Miss Augusta, it is time for you to be dressed to go down to tea with the ladies.”
“Well,” said Miss Augusta,“ bring me my clothes, and I will be dressed here by the fire-side.”
The servant then went into the closet I before spoke of, and soon returned with a beautiful muslín frock, wrought with flowers, a rose-coloured sash and shoes, and a pearl necklace. Emily and Lucy had never seen such fine clothes before; and when they saw Miss Augusta dressed in them, they could not help looking at their own plain frocks, and black shoes, and feeling quite ashamed of them ; though there was no more reason to be ashamed of their clothes at that time, than there was of their being proud of them when they were first put on.
When Miss Augusta was dressed, she said to the maid-servant,“ Take the candle, and light me down to the hall.” Then, turning to Emily and Lucy, she added, “ Will you come with me? I suppose you have not brought any clean frocks to put on? Well, never mind : when you get into the drawing-room you must keep behind your mamma's chair, and nobody will take any notice of you."
So Miss Augusta walked first, with the maidservant, and Henry and Lucy and Emily followed. They went along the great gallery, and down the stairs, and through several fine rooms all lighted up with many lamps and candles, till they came to the door where Sir Charles, and Lady Noble, and Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, and a great many ladies and gentlemen, were sitting in a circle round ą fire. Lucy and Emily and Henry went and stood behind their mamma's chair, and nobody took any notice of them; but Miss Augusta went in among the company, courtseying to one, giving her hand to another, and nodding and smiling to another.--" What a charming girl Miss Augusta has grown!” said one of the ladies.—“Your daughter, Lady Noble, will be quite a beauty," said another.--" What an elegant frock, Miss Augusta has on,” said a third lady.--" That rose-coloured sash makes her sweet complexion more lovely than ever,” said one of the gentlemen ;--and so they went on flattering her, till she grew more conceited and full of herself than ever; and during all the rest of the evening she took no more notice of Mrs. Fairchild's children than if they had not been in the room,
After the company had all drunk tea, several tables were set out, and the ladies and gentlemen began to make parties for playing at cards. As Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild never played at cards, they asked for the coach; and, when it was ready, wished Sir Charles and Lady Noble good night, and came away.
Well, my dear," said Mr. Fairchild, when he was got into the coach with his wife and children, “ I am very glad this day is over, and that we are going back to our own comfortable home, where we can serve God in peace.'
“ Alas !” said Mrs. Fairchild, “ I am sorry for Lady Noble : she loves the world too well, and all its fine things ! though it is written in the Bible, • Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world : if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him: for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world ; and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.' (1 John ii. 15–17.)"
Well,” said little Henry, « Sir Charles Noble's may be a very fine house, and every thing may be very fine in it; but I like my own little home and garden, and John, and the meadow, and the appletrees, and the round hill, and the lane, better than all the fine things at Sir Charles's.”
Now all this while Emily and Lucy did not speak a word; and what do
think was the reason? It was this; that the sight of Miss Augusta's fine clothes, and play-things, and beautiful rooms in which she lived, with the number of people she had to attend her, had made them both out of humour with their own humble way of living, and small house and plain clothes. Their hearts were full of the desire of being great, like Miss Augusta, and having things like her ; but they did not dare to tell their thoughts to their mamma.
When they got home, Mrs. Fairchild gave a baked apple to each of the children, and some
warm milk-and-water to drink : and after they had prayed she sent them to bed. When Emily and Lucy got into bed, and Betty had taken away the candle, Lucy said, “Oh, Emily! I wish our papa and mamma were like Sir Charles and Lady Noble. What a beautiful frock that was that Miss Augusta had on! and I dare say that she has a great many more like it-And that sash!-] never saw so fine a colour.”
Emily. " And then the ladies and gentlemen said she was so pretty! and even her governess did not dare to find fault with her!”
Lucy. “ But Betty finds fault with us, and Jobn too; and papa and mamma make us work so hard ! and we have such coarse clothes! Even our best frocks are not so good as those Miss Augusta wears every morning.'
In this manner they went on talking, till their mamma came up stairs, and into their room. As they had thick curtains round their bed, it being very cold weather, they did not see their mamma come into the room; and so she heard a great deal of what they were talking about, without their knowing it. She came up to the side of their bed, and sat down in a chair which stood near it, and, putting the curtains aside a little, she said ; My dear little girls, as I came into the room I heard some part of what you were saying, without intending it; and I am glad. I heard it, because I can put you in a way of getting rid of these foolish thoughts and desires which you were speaking of to each other. Do not be ashamed, my dears : I am your own mamma, and love you dearly, although I know that you are sinful creatures and how can my children, who are born in my likeness, be otherwise? Do you remember, Lucy, when Emily got. that beautiful doll from Lady Noble, that you said