Imatges de pÓgina

croft wbere she kept her old horse Crop; · But take care, my dears,' she said to the little girls, not to soil your slips, or tear your aprons.' The ebildren were much pleased with this permission to play: and after they were gone out, Mrs. Howard put on her hood and cloak, and said to Betty, I shall drink tea, Betty, in my bower, at the end of the grass walk : do you bring my little tea-table there, and the strawberries and cream, and the cake which you made yesterday; and when we have fuished our tea, bring those toys which are in the glass cupboard, to divide amongst the children,'- And I think, Madam,' said Betty, that Master and Miss Benuet will gain some of them to-day, for I thought they behaved very well at dinner, Indeed, Betty,' said Mrs. Howard, 'I must say I never saw them behave so mannerly as they did at dinner; and if they do but keep it up till night, I shall not send them home without some pretty present, I assure

“ When Mrs. Howard had given her orders to Betty, she took her golden-headed stick in her hand, and went down the grass walk to her bower. It was a pretty bower, as I have heard


mother say, formed of honeysuckles and other creeping shrubs, nailed over a frame-work of lath, in the oldfashioned way. It stood just at the end of that long green walk, and at the corner of the field ; so that any one sitting in the bower might see through the lattice-work and foliage of the honeysuckles into the field, and hear all that was said. There good Mrs. Howard sat knitting (for she prepared stockings for most of the poor children in the neighbourhood), whilst her little visitors played in the garden and in the field, and Betty came to and fro with the tea-lable and tea-things.

" Whilst the children were all engaged with their sports in the croft, a poor old man, who had been


Fathering sticks, came by that way, bending under the weight of the load. When he appeared, the children ceased from their play, and stood looking at him. “Poor man !' said Miss Patty Cartwright, those sticks are too heavy for you to carry; bave you far to go?'- No, my pretty Miss,' said the old man ; . only a very little way.'

I cannot help to carry your sticks,' said Master Cartwright, because I have my best coat on. I could take off that, to be sure, but then my

other things would be spoiled: but I have got a penny here, if you please to accept it.' So saying, he forced the penny into the poor 'man's band.-In the mean time, Master Bennet went behind the old man, and giving the sticks a sly pull, the string that tied them together broke, and they all came tumbling on the ground. The children screamed, but nobody was hurt. O my sticks !' said the poor man: 'the string is broke! What shall I do to gather them together again? I have been all day making this little faggot.'—We will help you,' said Master Cartwright: we can gather your sticks together without fear of hurting our clothes.' So all the little ones set to work (excepting Master and Miss Bennet, who stood by langhing), and in a little while they made up the poor man's bundle of sticks again ; and such as had a penny in their pockets gave it him. Miss Patty Cartwright had not a penny, but she had a silver sixpence, which she gave to the old man, and ran before him to open the gate (which led out of the field) wishing him good night, and courtesying to him as civilly as if he had been the first lord of the land.

Now the children never suspected that Mrs. Howard had heard and seen all this, or else Master and Miss Bennet, I am sure, would dot have behaved as they did. They thought Mrs. Howard was in the parlour, where they had left her.

** By this time every thing was ready for tea, and the cake set upon the table, with the strawberries and cream ; • And now, Betty,' said Mrs. Howard, ‘ you may call the children ; and be sure, when tea is over, to bring the toys.' Master and Miss Bennet looked as demure when they came in to tea as they had done at dinner; and a stranger would have thought them as well behaved children as Master and Miss Cartwright; but children who behave well in the sight of their parents, or in company, and rudely or impertinently in private, or among servants, or their play-fellows, cannot be called well-bred.

* After the young people had had their tea and cake, and strawberries and cream, Betty came with the playthings, and placed them on the table, before Mrs. Howard. You would, perhaps, like to know what these playthings were : First of all was the jointed doll, dressed, as I before said, in a green satin slip, and a gauze bib and apron, and round cap, according to the fashion of those days ; then there was the History of the Bible, with coloured cuts ; then came a little chest of drawers for doll's clothes ; a doll's wicker cradle ; a bat and ball; a red morocco pocket book; a needlebook ;- and the History of King Pepin, bound and gilt. These beautiful books and toys were placed on the table, before Mrs. Howard, and the little ones waited in silence to see what she would do with them. Mrs. Howard looked first at the playthings, and then at the children, and thus she spoke:

My dear children, I sent for these pretty toys from the fair, in order to encourage you to be good: there is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than to see children polite and mannerly, endeavouring to please every body, “ in bonour preferring one another,” as God hath commanded us to do, Pride and ill manners, my dear children, are the sins of the devil; but humility, and a wish to please every one rather than ourselves, makes us resemble the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who was so humble as even to wash his disciples' feet; and although he knew himself to be one with God, and equal with God, did not despise the poorest aniong men, Many persons are polite and good mannered when in company

with their betters, because, if they were not so, people would have nothing to say to them : but really well-behaved persons are courteous and civil, not only when they are among their betters, but when they are with servants, or with poor people; and for this reason, because they know that God's eye is always upon them, and that he will take account of their ill behaviour.'

“ Then Mrs. Howard took the jointed doll, and the History of the Bible, and gave the one to Miss Polly Cartwright, and the other to Master Billy, saying, 'I give you these, my children, because you observed your good manners, not only to me, but to the poor old man who passed through the crost with his bundle of stieks; thus shewing your fear of offending Him whose creature the poor old nan is. To you, Master Bennet, and to you Miss Polly, I shall not give any thing; because you shewed, by your behaviour to the old


had no fear of God, and that your good manners were all an outside garb, wbich you put on and off like your Sunday's clothes.' Then Mrs. Howard gave the rest of the toys among the lesser children, commending them for helping the old man to gather his sticks together; and thus she dismissed them to their own houses, all of them, except Master Jaeky and Miss Polly, jumping and skip ping for joy."

When Mrs. Goodriche had finished her story, Luey said, “What a very pretty story that is ! i think Master and Miss Cartwright deserved those pretty toys; they were nice children: but I did not know that having rude manners is so very great à fault as Mrs. Howard seemed to think, or that it is a thing that makes God so angry.”

If you will reflect a minute, my dear," said Mrs. Goodriche, you will find that rude manners must be one sign of the badness of the heart: å person who has always a lowly opinion of himself, and proper love for his neighbour, will never be guilty of rudeness: it is only when we think ourselves better than others, or of more consequence than they are, that we venture to be rude. I have heard you say how rude Miss Augusta Noble was, the last time you were at her house: now, why was she rude, but because she thought herself better than her company? This is pride, and a great sin it is. A real and true Christian, one in whom the Spirit of God dwells, knows himself to be a poor and miserable sinner, and does not despise any one."

Mrs. Goodriche then gave Lucy a very pretty prayer, the purport of which was, to ask of God a humble spirit, which might lead us to honour all men above ourselves.

A Prayer for Christian Courtesy. O Lord God Almighty! thou who sentest thine only Son to take upon him the body of a man, and to live among the poorest and lowest among men, for my sake; hear the prayers of a child, in whom by nature there is no good. My friends often tell me, that it is any duty to be civil and good mannered; and I know, also, that thou hast commanded us to be courteous one towards another; and yet I am so conceited, and full of myself, that I forget to practise good manners, and, instead of striving to oblige my companions, and all such as

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