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advantages afforded her, against those of self-reproach for the sins she was betrayed into : the consciousness of moving in society above herself, against the consciousness of being below the society she moved in : the pleasure of seeming to be somebody, against the fear of being discovered to be nobody. I should be obliged to any lady who has tried it, to draw this picture for me. But at present I have a more serious matter.
The lamb, with whose destiny I began my story, seemed for a little while to have the advantage of his fellows: in one season he grew to be a sheep, exposed to the same evils, and in another shared their fate. The distinctions of society are nothing more than this. Whether it is or is not a temporal advantage to stand a little higher in the scale, has never been decided; it cannot, because we have no weights, or scale of measurement, by which the happiness of individuals can be compared ; and if we had, it must be the happiness of the class, and not of any individual in it. But this we know most certainly. Elevation in life is no security against its severer evils ; in many cases it is a greater exposure to them, and a fearful increase of their bitterness. And we know that, one brief season past, the converging paths of life, so seeming distant once, meet in a point and terminate. And thus again I say the high things of the world—I speak comparatively, I mean anything above the point where Heaven has placed us—are not legitimate objects of a Christian's aim. And surely religious parents, who make it an object of pursuit, or even of desire, to bring up their children above their situation, and seek connexion for them in a higher circle, are forgetful altogether of the first principles of their profession: renunciation of the vanities of the world
all in it that tends not to godliness, and comes not from God. And yet daily for this object, in our Christian world, we see principles sacrificed, peace of mind foregone, contamination risked, usefulness abridged, duties neglected, doubtful practices con nived at, selfish expenditure encouraged, the bosom harassed with perpetual struggles against opposing fortunes; for no better object than to gain for our children a little more of that on which a wo has been many times pronounced of God, but never yet a blessing.
A DIFFICULT QUESTION.
I REMEMBER, many years ago, to have occupied the corner of a window-seat in a small but
very gant house in Montague Square, during a morning visit—more interesting than such visits usually are ; because there was something to talk about.' The ladies who met had each a child, I believe an only girl, just of the age when mothers begin to ask everybody, and tell everybody, how their children are to be educated. The daughter of the house, the little Jemima, was sitting by my side; a delicate little creature, with something very remarkable in her expression. The broad, projecting brow seemed too heavy for its underwork; and by its depression, gave a look of sadness to the countenance, till excited animation raised the eye, beaming vivacity and strength. The sallow paleness of the complexion was so entirely in unison with the features and the stiff dark locks that surrounded them, it was difficult to say whether it was or was not improved by the colour that came and went every time she was looked at or spoken of. I was a Listener then, as well as now, and on this occasion an attentive one; for being not yet a woman, it was very essential to me to learn what sort of a one I had better be: and many indeed were my counter resolutions as the following debate proceeded
“ You are going to send your daughter to school, I hear ?" said Mrs. A., after some discourse of other
matters. Mrs. W. replied, “Really I have not quite determined—I scarcely know what to do for the best. I am only anxious she should grow up like other girls; for of all things in the world, I have the greatest horror of a woman of talent. I had never thought to part from her, and am still averse to send. ing her from home: but she is so excessively fond of books, I can get her to do nothing else but learn: she is as grave and sensible as a little woman. I think, if she were among other children, she would, perhaps, get fond of play, and be more like a child. I wish her to grow up a quiet, domestic girl, and not too fond of learning. I mean her to be accomplished ;—but at present, I cannot make her distinguish one tune from another.”
Mrs. A. answered, “ Indeed !—we differ much in this respect. I am determined to make Fanny a superior woman, whatever it may cost me. Her father is of the same mind; he has a perfect horror of silly, empty-headed women—all our family are literary-Fanny will have little fortune; but we can afford to give her every advantage in her education; the best portion we can leave her. I would rather see her distinguished for talent than for birth or riches. We have acted upon this intention from her birth. She already reads well; but I am sorry to say
she hates it, and never will open a book unless she is obliged; she shows no taste for anything but making doll's clothes and spinning a top.”
At this moment, a hearty laugh from the little Fanny, who had set herself to play behind the curtain, drew
attention towards her. She was twice as big as my companion on the window-seat, though but a few months older: her broad, flat face showed like the moon in its zenith, set in thin, silky hair; and with eyes as pretty as they could be, expressing
neither thought nor feeling, but abundance of mirth and good-humour. The colouring of her cheek was beautiful—but one wished it gone sometimes, were it only for the pleasure of seeing it come again. The increasing seriousness of the conversation recalled my attention.
"I am surprised,” Mrs. W. was saying, “ at your wishes on the subject. I am persuaded a woman of great talent is neither so happy, so useful, nor so much beloved, as one of more ordinary powers.
“I should like to know why you think this,” rejoined her friend ; " it appears to me she should be much more so."
• My view of it is this,” replied Mrs. W.: “ a woman's sphere of usefulness, and of happiness, and of affection, is a domestic circle; and even beyond it, all her task of life is to please and to be useful.”
“In this we are quite agreed," said Mrs. A.; “but since we are well set for an argument, let us have a little method in it.
You would have your child useful, happy, and beloved, and so would I but you
think the means to this end, is to leave her mind uncultivated, narrow, and empty, and consequently weak.”
“This is not my meaning, replied Mrs. W:"there are many steps between stupidity and talent, ignorance and learning. I will suppose my child what I wish her to be, about as much taught as women in general, who are esteemed clever, well-mannered, and well-accomplished. I think it is all that can contribute to her happiness. If her mind is occupied, as you will say, with little things, those little things are sufficient to its enjoyment, and much more likely to be within her reach, than the greater matters that fill greater minds. The companionship of an ordinary mind, a thing much more likely to be met with,