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for both were orphans before they reached their fifth year; and, from the poverty of their deceased parents, were thrown upon the charitable care of the parish, which provided them a home in the workhouse. Here their agreeable manners attracted the notice of a few benevolent visitors, who kindly sent them to one of their charitySchools. It was soon discovered by their teachers, that they were possessed of good understandings and the progress they made in their learning by exciting admiration, increased the number of their in life. At the age of sixteen, an elderly lady took Elizabeth Brown into her service, and Mary Smith on the same day was preferred as assistant nurserymaid in the family of the minister of the parish. Living together as sisters ever since they were capable of recollection, they felt painful emotions at parting, but the thought of independence, and the consolation of frequently seeing each other, easily reconciled them to the event.
I have men; tioned that both these young women were blessed with good understandings, but their abilities and turn of mind varied greatly. Elizabeth was lively in her disposition, and hasty in all her words and actions. She was impatient of contradiction, and of a high spirit, which infused a sort of pertness into her manners, by no means becoming her humble station. While Mary was mild and gentle, spoke Little, but pondered over in her mind what was
spoken by others. It may be supposed the two friends were anxious to meet, in order to compare their places together, and enquire into their likings or dislikings of their new situations ; but Mary was content to wait her mistress's permission for calling on Elizabeth, who in the mean while dispatched two or three letters to her, in which she spoke of her mistress as being very cross, and difficult to please, expressed her surprise that one, who could not see a word in any book without spcctacles, should discover every particle of dust left by accident on her furniture; ridiculed the exact order in which she chose her house to be kept, and deeply lamented the prohibition she daily received against looking out of the window. Elizabeth was much hurt that Mary made no reply to her letters, and reproached her for the neglect : but Mary said, if she had done so, she must have neglected her business, which was sufficient to occupy all her time, excepting what she wanted to keep her clothes in repair. “ I shall, (replied Elizabeth) wear mine out as soon as possible, in order to buy smarter ones, and as my mistress does half the work in the small house herself, I shall find plenty of time for writing.
What was the use of our learning to write, if we make no use of it. I have heard of poor girls making their fortunes in the world by their writing.”
Now you speak of that (returned Mary) I recol.
lect while I was waiting at tea the other day, master was telling of a poor milk-woman once, who was made a lady of by writing verses, but you can't write verses."
“I don't know that, (said Elizabeth) I think f could make verses on my old mistress and her queer: ways." Elizabeth lost no time in beginning her task, and it must be confessed, the lady had a few peculiarities of humour and habits which gave some scope for the display of ridicule. Mary was so much pleased with her friend's performance, that she shewed it to one of her young ladies, who shewed it again to her mamma.
She made enquiry respecting the writer, and deşired to see her the first convenient opportunity she could leave home. This was soon found, and Elizabeth appeared before Mrs. Goodall with no small degree of assurance, being animated by Mary's hopes and her own conceit. But how were these flattering prospects changed, when Mrs. Goodall thus addressed her—" I have sent for you, Betty, not to praise your verses, for they have no kind of merit. If their subject was good, I could readily, excuse their want of genius, but really I am asħamed of you,
think that after the instruction you have received, you should not know your duty as a servant better.
Your mistress should be respected, as well as obeyed, and your time is her's, to be spent in doing your daily work, not wasted upon
turning her into ridicule with your pen. The kind friends who taught you to write, never suspected you would thus abuse a knowledge, which you may if you please convert into usefulness; for by means of it, you may one day or other become an upper servant in a family, and in the mean time you may by your mistress's leave, improve your mind, and keep up your hand-writing, by making memorandums of what you hear at church.” Elizabeth, with a crimson glow upon her cheek, knew not what to answer; she stammered out something about being fond of reading verses, and having heard of poor people's making them, and being called gepiuses. “ If you are fond of reading verses," replied Mrs. Goodall, “ I will give you a hymnbook, and if you can make verses as good as you tind there, bring them to me, and I shall discover what your genius may be. But indeed, Betty, I recommend you to direct all your powers of mind as well as body to the duties of your station,"
Elizabeth left Mrs. Goodall vexed and disappointed, and instead of looking into the hymnhook for pleasure and instruction, she exchanged it in her way home, with a ballad singer she met, for a ridiculous song- book, who discovered the value of its binding to be more than the whole contents of her basket. Her mistress looked displeased, and holding in her hand the rough copy of the verses which Elizabeth had carelessly left in the
kitchen, severely reprimanded her for her illdirected wit, as she mistakingly supposed it. Had she made an humble acknowledgment of her error, and promised never to repeat it, her mistress would readily have forgiven her, but she made a pert answer, and in consequence received warning to quit her service. The next place she undertook was nursery-maid, where several other servants were kept : from them she learnt many improper sentiments, and many more from reading foolish books which they had in their possession. Thus the ill direction of a taste for reading, which in itself is praise-worthy and desirable, became injurious to her. She often took one of these books with her when she went out with the children, and in: stead of diverting them and leading them into healthy exercise, would sit reading with the little infant in her lap, while the elder little ones would play on the dangerous bank, or lie on the damp grass. These inattentions being soon discovered,she was disgracefully dismissed from this service. She next went to wait on a young lady of large fortune, who happened to see her with the children, and took a liking to her, appearance, which was very prepossessing. Here she might have continued, and lived in the utmost ease and respectability, but she grew now extravagantly fond of dress, and foolishly imagined that the finery which became her young mistress, was suitable to her. She therefore copied the make of her dresses, and spent most of lier wag