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may be as you say. I did not hear your grandmother call you stupid, although I know she has been rather disappointed in you.
I am sure we shall all be very glad to find that you are likely in future to be rather more commended by others, and that you are less apt to commend yourself than hitherto. We wish Philip to find a suitable companion in you. I know he wants a young friend, and a very friendly lad he is ;— you also need one, , who is able to shew you what sort of conduct we expect in a boy supposed to be really clever and well behaved."
Though this was said in the kindest manner, it was a sad mortification to me. Το shew, therefore, my good behaviour, when Philip, arrived, I scarcely spoke to him, but withdrew as soon as I could, and pouted to myself. My mother at length came to me ; Frederick,” she said, “I am really so ashamed of you that I cannot take you out with us this morning, as I had intended. We are going to view the Tower; and this moping sulky plan you have acted on would certainly make Philip think you a mere simpleton, incapable of speaking about or understanding even those things which you have often seen. Good bye! we are going!”
Now I had no expectation of this turn of affairs ; and had reckoned much on shewing my superior knowledge to Philip, in a condescending way, that morning. But I knew it was of no use to complain. My mother was not in the habit of saying one thing and doing the contrary. When she changed her mind, it was always before, not after, she had mentioned her intentions. She well understood my faults and temper; and if I had any good
qualities, she, I am sure, was more aware of them then than I am now.
Unfortunately for my vanity and self-conceit at that time, my parents seemed resolved that I should never succeed, when I endeavoured to exult over my rustic cousin. They did not indeed seek to reprove and vex me before him ; but they always managed to let Philip appear right when he was right, that is to say, they would have fair play; and that very rarely made me appear to advantage. I quite failed in convincing persons, as I had hoped, that because I was born in London I must know every thing ; and that, because he had never till then been in London, he could know nothing.
Before Philip had been with us three days, I found that I liked him almost half as well as I liked myself; and that he knew, and could do, several things, which it would be quite as well for me to remember, and to perform also, if I could.
I am not about to take my young readers over London with my parents and country cousin ; because they probably have, or can procure, many little volumes full of information on city affairs. Perhaps they will feel surprised, and even merry, when they find, that I am about to range the fields and meadows for them :— to tell them what I know of ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing, haymaking, sheep-shearing, and so on; in fact, I shall write from my cousin Philip's residence, and describe, as pleasingly as I can, the most interesting particulars connected with THE FARM.