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"Oli, my aunt thought herself not smart enough to shew herself before Mr. Somers," said Miss Betsey, pertly. ""Be silent, Miss," said Mrs. Crosbie.
“Don't wait for her, then," said Mr. Crosbie : “ let us go in to dinner. My sister loves a little finery: she would rather lose her dinner than not be dressed smart: I never wait for her at any meal. -Come, come ! Ladies, lead the way: I am very hungry."
So Mrs. Fairchild sent Emily to tell Miss Crosbię that dinner was ready; and the rest of the company sat down to table.
“ Mrs. Crosbie," said Mr. Crosbie, looking at the venison, and then at bis wife, " the venison is too much roasted : I told you it would be so.”.
“ What! finding fault with me again, Mr. Crosbie!” said Mrs. Crosbie. you "hear Mr. Fajrebild finding fault with his wife in this manner?"
Perhaps the venison is better than you think, Mr. Crosbie,” said Mr. Somers :
-6 let me help you to some, Mr. Fairchild, I know, is not fond of carving."
Mr. Crosbie thanked Mr. Somers; and Mr. Somers had just begun to cut the venison, when Mr. Crosbie called out, as if in an agony, Mr. Somers! you will spoil the venison! you inust not cut it that way upon any account! Do put the baunch by me, and let me help myself.”
“ What confusion you are making in the table, Mr. Crosbie!” said Mrs. Crosbie :
you are putting every dish out of its place ! Surely Mr. Somers knows how to carve as well as you do."
“ But papa is afraid Mr. Somers won't give him all the nice bits,” said Miss Betsey.
“ Learn to be silent, Miss !” said Mr. Crosbie. Miss Betsey was going to answer her
when Miss Crosbie" came into the room, newly dressed,
in a very elegant manner. She came smiling in, followed by Lucy and Emily, who went to sit át a small table with Henry.
“ Sister,” said Mrs. Crosbie," where was the need of your dressing again? If we had waited for you, the dinner would have been spoiled."
« But we did not wait for Miss Crosbie: so there was
no barm done,” said Mr. Fairchild smiling.
My aunt would not lose an opportunity of shewing her new-fashioned gown for the world !” said Miss Betsey.
“ Indeed, Nicce," answered Miss Crosbie, “I do not know why you should say that I am fond of shewing my clothes. I wish to be neat and clean; but no person cares less than I do about fashions and finery."
“ La !” says Miss Betsey, whispering to Mrs. Fairchild, “ hear my aunt: she says she does not care about finery! That's like mamma saying how good-natured she is !"
“ Fie, fie, Miss Betsey !” said Mrs. Fairchild, speaking low : "you forget your respect to your elders."
Miss Betsey coloured, and stared at Mrs. Fairchild. She had not been used to be found fault with; for she was spoiled by both her parents ; and she felt quite angry.
. Indeed,” she said, “I never was thought disrespectful to any one before. Can't I see people's faults? can't I see that mamma is cross, and my aunt fond of fine clothes, and that papa loves eating?"
“ Hush ! hush !” said Mrs. Fairchild, in a low voice : “ your papa and mamma will hear you.”
“ And I don't care if they do," said Miss Betsey: they know what I think.”
• What's that you are saying there, Miss Betsey?" said Mr. Crosbie.
?" Oh, don't ask, Brother," said Miss Orosbie : « I know it is something sauoy by my niece's looks."
And why should you suppose I am saying any thing saucy, Aant?" said Miss Betsey : “ I am sure you are not accustomed to hear me say saucy things.” 7.5 Miss! Miss ! be quiet!” said Mrs. Crosbie: for she was afraid Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild would think her daughter ill-behaved.
“What, Mamma !" answered Miss Betsey, “am I to sit quietly, and hear my aunt find fault with me before company and for being impertinent toom to my elders; as if I were a mere child.”
"Well, well-enongh!” said Mr. Crosbie.“ What is that pie, Mrs. Fairchild, in the middle of the table? I must have some, if you please.".
Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild were not sorry when dinner was over and Mrs. Crosbie proposed that Mrs. Fairchild should shew her the garden. Accordingly, the ladies and children got up, and left the gentlemen together; for Mr. Crosbie never stirred for some time after dinner. When Mrs. Crosbie had got into the garden, and had looked about her, she said, Ah, Mrs. Fairchild ! how happy you are! Such a pretty house and gardensuch a kind husband-such good children !” Then she sighed, and gave Mrs. Fairchild to understand that she was not so happy herself. Mrs. Fairchild then took occasion to point out to Mrs. Crosbie that no family could be happy in which the fear of God is not the ruling principle.
" All men and all women,” said she, " have some particular humours and tempers. We have all some besetting sin naturally, which makes us uncomfortable to ourselves and disagreeable to those with whom we live: but when God is with us, we have power given us, by the help of the Holy Spirit, to overcome our selfish
tempers in a great degree ; 'and then we become happier in our own minds and more agreeable to our friends.”
Mrs. Crosbie did not seem offended at what Mrs. Fairchild said : so Mrs. Fairchild ventured to talk a little more plainly to her about religion; and pointed out to her, that when we find ourselves unhappy, by reason of our own faults or those of our family, we must apply by prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ, who bas promised to help all those who call upon him,
After tea Mr. Crosbie and his family took their leave, and went off to the next inn
the London road, where they were to sleep; for Mr. Crosbie was in haste to be at home, and would not stay, although Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild begged that they would, at least till the next day. When they were gone, Mr. Fairchild and Henry took a walk towards the village with Mr. Somers, whilst the little girls remained at home with their mamma.
Dear, Lucy,” said Mrs. Fairchild, as soon as she was alone with her little girls, 66. do you remember what we were speaking about yesterday, before Mr. Crosbie's letter came?”
“ Yes, Mamma," said Lucy: “ we were speaking of besetting sins, and you said that every body has a besctting sin, and you told me what you believed mine to be."
" True, my dear,” answered Mrs. Fairchild : “ I told you, that, without the help of the Holy Spirit of God, very few people know what their own besetting sins are. You had an opportunity to-day of observing this : every individual of our friend Mr. Crosbie's family has a very strong besetting sin : Mr. Crosbie loves eating ; Mrs. Crosbie is ill-tempered; Miss Crosbie is vain and fond of finery; and Miss Betsey is very pert and forward. We can see these faults in them, and they can see them in each other; but it is plain they do not see them in themselves. Mr. Crosbie said several times, that he was not at all particular about what he ate or drank ; Mrs. Crosbie said that there was not a person in the world who thought her ill-tempered but her husband'; Miss Crosbie said that nobody in the world cared less for finery than she did ; and Miss Betsey was quite offended when she was told she was not respectful in her manners to her elders.”
“ Oh, yes !” said Emily: “ she said, 'I am not saucy: of all faults, sauciness is not one of my faults, I am sure ;' and I thought all the time she looked as saucy and impertinent as possible.”
“ Aud how "Mr. Crosbie did eat!” said Lucy: “he ate half the haunch of venison ! And then he was helped twice to pigeon-pie; and then he ate apple-tart and custard ; and then-”
« Well! well! you have said enough, Lucy," said Mrs. Fairchild, interrupting her. “I do not speak of our poor friends' faults out of malice, or for the sake of making a mockery of them; but to shew you how people may live in the constant praetice of one particular sin, without being at all conscious of it, and, perhaps, thinking themselves very good all the time. We are all quick enough, my dear Emily and Lucy, in finding out other people's faults: but, as I said before, without the Spirit of God, we none of us know our own faults. The Spirit of God is called the Searcher of hearts. By the Spirit of God we know that we are sinners, and we find that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”
“ Mamma," said Lucy, “ do you know any prayer about besetting sins ?”
Yes, my dear,” answered Mrs. Fairchild : “ I have one in my own book of prayers; and I will copy it out for you, with a hymn on the same subject, to-morrow morning.”