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to sew neatly, and to perform the ordinary routine of domestic duties. But the more ornamental branches they acquire as they have talent for them. Cornelia is very fond of music, and gives promise of a fine voice. Helen's gift is for drawing. Marion learns languages easily; she is already a good French scholar, and is progressing rapidly in Latin and German. For all these branches they have the best masters. You know, Matilda, we cannot expect to leave fortunes to our children, and we think it but just to them to give them such an education as will enable them to provide for themselves when we are taken from them."
“So you expect they will never marry; or are doing your best to prevent it.”
“ On the contrary, we are preparing them, as far as we can, to be good wives and mothers, if placed in that sphere; but to be able to be happy and independent, if they remain single -useful to themselves and to others."
“ It is all very well,” said Mrs. Lyndsay: “but I say, make a girl brilliant and attractive; teach her the value of her charms and accomplishments ; accustom her to good society -and she will have a far better chance of making a good match, and raising herself in fortune and position, than by any such humdrum ways of practising household drudgery. Let them enjoy their youth; they will learn fast enough to keep house after they are married, or better, will marry rich enough not to need it.”
“No one is certain of not needing it, especially in a country like ours," said Mrs. Sumner; “ and domestic training can be gained almost insensibly in girlhood, while in after life, when other habits are formed, it is a severe trial. I do not believe in burthening girls too early; but by aiding me in the house, they learn by degrees, and enjoy the lessons.”
“I suppose you will think it unnecessary, or even wrong, for them to take dancing lessons. Matilda and Julia are going to join the school that opens next week, and would have liked your girls to learn with them.”
“I should like them to learn very much ; it gives girls ease of carriage, and is good exercise. I will speak to their father.”
“Well!” exclaimed Mrs. Lyndsay, “I never know what to expect from you when the girls are concerned.”
you lecturing Amy about the children, apropos of Marion's apron?” asked the doctor, who entered in time to hear the last words. “She told me how much you admired it. Why don't you try your arguments upon me?”
Oh, John!” answered his sister, “I know you are incorrigible; but I did not think
you could blind a mother's eyes so completely to the best interests of her children, as you have managed to do with Amy.”
"A very serious charge; pray what is it founded on?” said he gravely.
“Will you be content to see all your girls old maids, with all their gifts and accomplishments thrown away, or do you wish them to marry?”
“I certainly think they had better remain
single for some time, at least. I hardly consider even Marion quite wise enough, at twelve years old; and when you come to Helen and Milly—"
“How silly!" she replied; “I don't mean yet, of course.”
" Then suppose we wait awhile before we decide, as you concede there is time enough.”
“Well, you will see my daughters settled, and well settled, long before yours; and you will have to acknowledge that my theories were best.”
“I am content, Matilda. I am in no hurry to part with my darlings.”
And so the discussion ended, like most others, leaving each party as firmly convinced of their own wisdom as when it commenced.
THE GREAT FIRE.
“Hear the loud alarm bells
Brazen bells !-
In the startled ear of night
Too much horrified to speak
Out of tune,
E. A. POE
It was a bitterly cold morning in December, 1835, and people came down to breakfast, blue and shivering
“ Where is uncle, aunt Amy?" asked Milly, as the rest of the family seated themselves at table.
“I expect him every minute, dear. He was sent for about an hour ago."
“Mother, did you hear the fire-bells last night? how long they rang."