Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Misses Fairchild with you; and after you have dined, show them your playthings, and your baby-house."

Miss Augusta got up; and as she passed by Emily and Lucy, she said in a very haughty way, “Mamma says you must come with me.” So Emily and Lucy followed Miss Augusta, and the little boys came after them. She went up a pair of grand stairs, and along a very long gallery full of pictures, till they came to a large room, where Miss Augusta's governess was sitting at work, and the children's dinner set out in great order. In one corner of the room was a baby-house.—Do you know what a baby-house is? If you have not seen such a thing, I will endeavour to describe it to you. It is a small house, fit for dolls, with door and windows, and chimney outside ; and inside there are generally a parlour and a kitchen, and a bed-room, with chairs, tables, couches, beds, carpets, and every thing small, just as there are in a real house for people to live in.-Besides the baby-house were a number of other toys; a large rocking horse; a cradle, with a big wooden doll lying in it; and tops, and carts, and coaches, and whips, and trumpets in abundance.

“Here are Mrs. Fairchild's children come to dine with me, ma'am,” said Miss Augusta, as she opened the door; “this is Lucy, and this is Emily, and that is Henry."

The governess did not take much notice of Mrs. Fairchild's children, but said, “Miss Augusta, I wish you would shut the door after you, for it is very cold.”

I do not know whether Miss Augusta heard her gov. erness, but she never offered to go back to shut the door.

The governess, whose name was Beaumont, then called to Master Edward, who was just coming in, to shut the door after him.

“You may shut it yourself, if you want it shut," answered the rude boy.

When Lucy heard this, she immediately ran and shut the door; upon which Miss Beaumont looked more civilly at her than she had done before, and thanked her for her attention.

While Lucy was shutting the door, Miss Augusta began to stir the fire. “Miss Augusta," said the lady, “has not your mamma often forbidden you to touch the fire? Some day you will set your frock on fire."

Miss Augusta did not heed what her governess said this time any more than the last, but went on raking the fire; till at length Miss Beaumont, fearing some mischief, forced the poker out of her hand. Miss Augusta looked very much displeased, and was going to make a pert answer, when her mamma and the other ladies came into the room to see the children dine. The young ones immediately seated themselves quietly at the table to eat their dinner.

“Are my children well behaved ?” said Lady Noble, speaking to the governess : “I thought I heard you finding fault with Augusta when I came in."

« Oh, no! ma'am,” said the governess; “ Miss Augusta is a good young lady ; I seldom have reason to find fault with her.”

Lucy and Emily looked at Miss Beaumont, and wondered to hear her say that Miss Augusta was good; but they were silent.

“I am happy to say,” said Lady Noble, speaking to Mrs. Fairchild,“ that mine are very promising children: Augusta has a good heart.”

"Ah! Lady Noble,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “I am afraid none of us can say so much of our children: there is no child that can be said to have a good heart."

Lady Noble looked with surprise at Mrs. Fairchild, but made no answer. Just at that moment a servant came in, and set a plate of apples on the table.

“ Miss Beaumont,” said Lady Noble, “take care that Augusta does not eat above one apple ; you know that she was unwell yesterday from eating too many."

Miss Beaumont assured Lady Noble that she would attend to her wishes, and the ladies left the room. When they were gone, the governess gave two apples to each of the children, excepting Augusta, to whom she gave only one. The rest of the apples she took out of the plate, and put in her work-bag for her own eating.

When every one had done dinner, and the table-cloth was taken away, Lady Noble's children got up and left the table, and Henry and Emily were following, when Lucy whispered to them to say grace ;'accordingly they stood still by the table, and putting their hands together, they said the grace which they had been used to say after dinner at home.

“What are you doing?” said Augusta. 6 We are saying grace," answered Lucy. “Oh! I forgot,” said Augusta ; “ your mamma is reli

gious, and makes you do all these things. Don't you say your prayers four times every day ?"

« Sometimes oftener,” said Emily.

“Dear! how tiresome it must be to be so religious !" said Miss Augusta: “and where's the use of it?"

“ Why don't you know,” said Lucy," that if we do not serve God, we shall go to hell when we die; and if we do serve him we shall go to heaven?"

“But you are not going to die now," said Miss Augusta ; “ you are as young as I am; and young people don't die. It will be time enough to be religious, you know, when we get old, and expect to die.”

"O! but,” said little Henry," perhaps we may never live to be old ; many children die younger than we are."

While Henry was speaking, William and Edward stood listening to him, with their mouths wide open ; and when he had finished his speech, they broke out into a loud fit of laughter.

“ When our parson dies, you shall be parson, Henry," said Edward ; " but I'll never go to church when you preach.” :

“No, he sha'n't be parson; he shall be clerk,” said William ; " then he will have all the graves to dig."

“I'll tell you what,” said Henry; “ your mamma was never worse out in her life than when she said hers were good children."

“Take that for your sauciness, you little beggar," said Master William, giving Henry a blow on the side of the head; and he would have given him several more had not Lucy and Emily run in between.

“If you fight in this room, boys, I shall tell my mamma,” said Miss Augusta. “Come, go down stairs; we don't want you here ; go and feed your dogs."

William and Edward accordingly went off, and left the little girls and Henry to play quietly. Lucy and Emily were very much pleased with the baby-house 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 was': « 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 see.”

“ 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; “ I 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." Miss 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, looking at the other children.

“I can't tell who has," said Miss Augusta; “but I know it was not I.”

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 his 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 mamma. 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 fireside."

The servant then went into the closet I before spoke of, and soon returned with a beautiful muslin 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, 6 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 drawipg-room, you must keep behind your mamma's chair, and nobody will take any notice of you.”

So Miss Augusta walked first, with the maid-servant, 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 a 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, courtesying 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

« FöregåendeFortsätt »