I do know what gives me joy. Even so, I am deleting piles and piles of stuff. What FUN!! On your further recommendation, I checked out Stella — low and behold — she even has a beautiful mermaid book for my growing collection! Another great show, Amy. Thank you! I am so happy to hear you have been collecting Peter Reynolds books for your library!
I do think you will enjoy the original Stella books, too. Such beautiful watercolor! You may unsubscribe at any time. The ostlers were carrying in luggage; the postillions were rubbing down the horses, or rolling the chaises into the coach-house. What business have you here, pray?
Walk off, young gentleman, if you please. John Nelson's name written upon it. The waiter was at this instant luckily obliged to leave them to attend the bell, and Paul told his business to the ostler, who as soon as he saw the guinea and heard the story shook Paul by the hand, and said: 'Stand steady, my honest lad. I'll find the chaise for you, if it is to be found here; but John Nelson's chaises almost always drive to the Black Bull.
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After some difficulty the green chaise with John Nelson's name upon it, and the postillion who drove that chaise, were found, and the postillion told Paul that he was just going into the parlour to the gentleman he had driven to be paid, and that he would carry the guinea with him. The postillion made no reply, but looked vexed, and went on towards the house, desiring the children would wait in the passage till his return. In the passage there was standing a decent, clean, good-natured looking woman with two huge straw baskets on each side of her. One of the baskets stood a little in the way of the entrance.
A man who was pushing his way in, and carried in his hand a string of dead larks hung to a pole, impatient at being stopped, kicked down the straw basket, and all its contents were thrown out. Bright straw hats, and boxes, and slippers, were all thrown in disorder upon the dirty ground. They will all be spoiled! When the things were all safe in the basket again the children expressed a desire to know how such beautiful things could be made of straw, but the woman had not time to answer before the postillion came out of the parlour, and with him a gentleman's servant, who came to Paul, and clapping him upon the back, said:.
I came in Mr. Nelson's green chaise. Here's the postillion can tell you so. I and my master came in that chaise. I and my master that was reading, as you say, and it was he that threw the money out to you.
He is going to bed; he is tired, and can't see you himself. He desires that you'll give me the guinea. Paul was too honest himself to suspect that this man was telling him a falsehood, and he now readily produced his bright guinea, and delivered it into the servant's hands. Landlady,' cried this gentleman's servant, addressing himself to the landlady, who just then came out of a room where some company at supper—'pray, Mrs. Landlady, please to let me have roasted larks for my supper. You are famous for larks at Dunstable, and I make it a rule to taste the best of everything wherever I go; and, waiter, let me have a bottle of claret.
Do you hear? The postillion was still waiting, as if to speak to him, and she observed them afterwards whispering and laughing together. Now, it occurred to the basket-woman that this man had cheated the children out of the guinea to pay for the larks and claret, and she thought that perhaps she could discover the truth. She waited quietly in the passage. The landlady threw open the door of the best parlour to let him in, and the basket-woman had now a full view of a large cheerful company, and amongst them several children, sitting round a supper-table.
Pray, what would you have the conscience, I wonder now, to charge me for these here half-dozen little mats to put under my dishes? She let the landlady have the mats cheap, and the landlady then declared she would step in and see if the company in the best parlour had done supper. The landlady, after the usual speech of ' I hope the supper and everything is to your liking, ladies and gentlemen ,' began with: 'If any of the young gentlemen or ladies would have a cur'osity to see any of our famous Dunstable straw-work there's a decent body without would, I dare say, be proud to show them her pincushion-boxes, and her baskets and slippers, and her other cur'osities.
The eyes of the children all turned towards their mother; their mother smiled, and immediately their father called in the basket-woman, and desired her to produce her curiosities. The children gathered round her large pannier as it opened, but they did not touch any of her things. I must make amends,' said he, laughing, 'for my carelessness, and as I threw away a guinea to-day I must endeavour to save sixpence at least. Mamma, I wonder that the little girl did not take notice of its being a guinea, and that she did not run after the chaise to give it back again.melkdiserslerso.ga
Maria Edgeworth (Edgeworth, Maria, ) | The Online Books Page
I should think, if she had been an honest girl, she would have returned it. A little boy and girl have just been here inquiring for a gentleman who gave them a guinea instead of a halfpenny by mistake and not five minutes ago I saw the boy give the guinea to a gentleman's servant, who is there without, and who said his master desired it should be returned to him. I must see them; send after them. Paul and Anne were speedily summoned, and brought back by their friend the basket-woman; and Anne, the moment she saw the gentleman, knew that he was the very person who smiled upon her, who admired her brother's scotcher, and who threw a handful of halfpence into the hat; but she could not be certain, she said, that she received the guinea from him: she only thought it most likely that she did.
Pembroke came, and as soon as he heard what had happened he desired the waiter to show him to the room where his servant was at supper. The dishonest servant who was supping upon larks and claret, knew nothing of what was going on; but his knife and fork dropped from his hand, and he overturned a bumper of claret as he started up from the table in great surprise and terror, when his master came in with a face of indignation, and demanded, ' The guinea—the guinea, sir , that you got from this child!
The servant, confounded and half intoxicated, could only stammer out that he had more guineas than one about him, and that he really did not know which it was. He pulled his money out, and spread it upon the table with trembling hands. The marked guinea appeared. His master instantly turned him out of his service, with strong expressions of contempt.
In the same moment Anne and Paul exclaimed: 'The thing we wish for the most in the world is a blanket for our grandmother. She had the rheumatism sadly last winter, sir, and there is a blanket in this street that would be just the thing for her. Do you like to be employed or to be idle best? The gentleman put a guinea into the good natured basket-woman's hand, and told her that he knew she could not afford to teach them her trade for nothing. If I find that they are I will do something more for you. I'll walk with you, and see you safe home myself.
The gentleman detained them a few minutes longer, till a messenger whom he had despatched to purchase the much-wished-for blanket returned. I was born in the East Indies. I lost my father and mother young. At the age of five my relations thought it proper that I should be sent to England for my education.
I was to be entrusted to the care of a young woman who had a character for great humanity and discretion; but just as I had taken leave of my friends, and we were about to take our passage, the young woman suddenly fell sick, and could not go on board. In this unpleasant emergency, no one knew how to act. The ship was at the very point of sailing, and it was the last which was to sail for the season. At length the captain, who was known to my friends, prevailed upon my relation who had come with us to see us embark to leave the young woman on shore, and to let me embark separately.
There was no possibility of getting any other female attendant for me in the short time allotted for our preparation, and the opportunity of going by that ship was thought too valuable to be lost. No other ladies happened to be going, and so I was consigned to the care of the captain and his crew—rough and unaccustomed attendants for a young creature, delicately brought up as I had been; but, indeed, they did their best to make me not feel the difference.
The unpolished sailors were my nursery-maids and my waiting-women. Everything was done by the captain and the men to accommodate me and make me easy. I had a little room made out of the cabin, which was to be considered as my room, and nobody might enter into it.
The first mate made a great character for bravery, and all sailor-like accomplishments; but with all this he had a gentleness of manners, and a pale, feminine cast of face, from ill-health and a weakly constitution, which subjected him to some ridicule from the officers, and caused him to be named Betsy. He did not much like the appellation, but he submitted to it the better, saying that those who gave him a woman's name well knew that he had a man's heart, and that in the face of danger he would go as far as any man.
To this young man, whose real name was Charles Atkinson, by a lucky thought of the captain the care of me was especially entrusted. Betsy was proud of his charge, and, to do him justice, acquitted himself with great diligence and adroitness through the whole of the voyage. From the beginning I had somehow looked upon Betsy as a woman, hearing him so spoken of, and this reconciled me in some measure to the want of a maid, which I had been used to. But I was a manageable girl at all times, and gave nobody much trouble.
I have not knowledge enough to give an account of my voyage, or to remember the names of the seas we passed through or the lands which we touched upon in our course. The chief thing I can remember for I do not recollect the events of the voyage in any order was Atkinson taking me upon deck to see the great whales playing about the sea.
There was one great whale came bounding up out of the sea, and then he would dive into it again, and then he would come up at a distance where nobody expected him, and another whale was following after him. Atkinson said they were at play, and that the lesser whale loved that bigger whale, and kept it company all through the wide seas; but I thought it strange play and a frightful kind of love, for I every minute expected they would come up to our ship and toss it. But Atkinson said a whale was a gentle creature, and it was a sort of sea-elephant, and that the most powerful creatures in Nature are always the least hurtful.
And he told me how men went out to take these whales, and stuck long pointed darts into them; and how the sea was discoloured with the blood of these poor whales for many miles' distance; and I admired the courage of the men, but I was sorry for the inoffensive whale. Many other pretty sights he used to show me, when he was not on watch or doing some duty for the ship.
No one was more attentive to his duty than he, but at such times as he had leisure he would show me all pretty sea-sights: the dolphins and porpoises that came before a storm, and all the colours which the sea changed to—how sometimes it was a deep blue, and then a deep green, and sometimes it would seem all on fire. All these various appearances he would show me, and attempt to explain the reason of them to me, as well as my young capacity would admit of.
There were a lion and a tiger on board going to England as a present to the King, and it was a great diversion to Atkinson and me, after I had got rid of my first terrors, to see the ways of these beasts in their dens, and how venturous the sailors were in putting their hands through the grates, and patting their rough coats. Some of the men had monkeys, which ran loose about, and the sport was for the men to lose them, and find them again. The monkeys would run up the shrouds and pass from rope to rope, with ten times greater alacrity than the most experienced sailor could follow them, and sometimes they would hide themselves in the most unthought-of places, and when they were found, they would grin and make mouths, as if they had sense.
Atkinson described to me the ways of these little animals in their native woods, for he had seen them. Oh, how many ways he thought of to amuse me in that long voyage! Sometimes he would describe to me the odd shapes and varieties of fishes that were in the sea, and tell me tales of the sea-monsters that lay hid at the bottom, and were seldom seen by men, and what a glorious sight it would be if our eyes could be sharpened to behold all the inhabitants of the sea at once, swimming in the great deeps, as plain as we see the gold and silver fish in a bowl of glass.
With such notions he enlarged my infant capacity to take in many things. When in foul weather I have been terrified at the motion of the vessel, as it rocked backwards and forwards, he would still my fears, and tell me that I used to be rocked so once in a cradle, and that the sea was God's bed and the ship our cradle, and we were as safe in that great motion as when we felt that lesser one in our little wooden sleeping-places. When the wind was up, and sang through the sails, and disturbed me with its violent clamours, he would call it music, and bid me hark to the sea-organ, and with that name he quieted my tender apprehensions.
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When I have looked around with a mournful face at seeing all men about me, he would enter into my thoughts, and tell me pretty stories of his mother and his sisters, and a female cousin that he loved better than his sisters, whom he called Jenny, and say that when we got to England I should go and see them, and how fond Jenny would be of his little daughter, as he called me; and with these images of women and females which he raised in my fancy he quieted me for a while. One time, and never but once he told me that Jenny had promised to be his wife if ever he came to England, but that he had his doubts whether he should live to get home, for he was very sickly.
This made me cry bitterly. That I dwell so long upon the attention of this Atkinson is only because his death, which happened just before we got to England, affected me so much, that he alone of all the ship's crew has engrossed my mind ever since, though, indeed, the captain and all were singularly kind to me, and strove to make up for my uneasy and unnatural situation.
The boatswain would pipe for my diversion, and the sailor-boy would climb the dangerous mast for my sport. The rough foremast-man would never willingly appear before me till he had combed his long black hair smooth and sleek, not to terrify me. The officers got up a sort of play for my amusement, and Atkinson, or, as they called him, Betsy, acted the heroine of the piece. All ways that could be contrived were thought upon to reconcile me to my lot. I was the universal favourite. I do not know how deservedly, but I suppose it was because I was alone, and there was no female in the ship besides me.
Had I come over with female relations or attendants, I should have excited no particular curiosity, I should have required no uncommon attentions. I was one little woman among a crew of men, and I believe the homage which I have read that men universally pay to women was in this case directed to me, in the absence of all other womankind.
I do not know how that might be, but I was a little princess among them, and I was not six years old. I remember the first drawback which happened to my comfort was Atkinson's not appearing the whole of one day. The captain tried to reconcile me to it by saying that Mr. Atkinson was confined to his cabin, that he was not quite well, but a day or two would restore him. I begged to be taken in to see him, but this was not granted. A day, and then another came, and another, and no Atkinson was visible, and I saw apparent solicitude in the faces of all the officers, who nevertheless strove to put on their best countenances before me, and to be more than usually kind to me.
At length, by the desire of Atkinson himself, as I have since learned, I was permitted to go into his cabin and see him. He was sitting up, apparently in a state of great exhaustion; but his face lighted up when he saw me, and he kissed me, and told me that he was going a great voyage, far longer than that which we had passed together, and he should never come back; and though I was so young, I understood well enough that he meant this of his death, and I cried sadly; but he comforted me, and told me that I must be his little executrix, and perform his last will, and bear his last words to his mother and his sisters, and to his cousin Jenny, whom I should see in a short time, and he gave me his blessing, as a father would bless his child, and he sent a last kiss by me to all his female relations, and he made me promise that I would go and see them when I got to England, and soon after this he died.
But I was in another part of the ship when he died, and I was not told it till we got to shore, which was a few days after.
But they kept telling me that he was better and better, and that I should soon see him, but that it disturbed him to talk with anyone. Oh, what a grief it was when I learned that I had lost an old shipmate, that had made an irksome situation so bearable by his kind assiduities, and to think that he was gone, and I could never repay him for his kindness! When I had been a year and a half in England, the captain, who had made another voyage to India and back, thinking that time alleviated a little the sorrow of Atkinson's relations, prevailed upon my friends who had the care of me in England to let him introduce me to Atkinson's mother and sisters.
Jenny was no more; she had died in the interval, and I never saw her. Grief for his death had brought on a consumption, of which she lingered about a twelvemonth, and then expired.
But in the mother and the sisters of this excellent young man I have found the most valuable friends I possess on this side the great ocean. This was that Atkinson who, from his pale and feminine appearance, was called Betsy. This was he whose womanly care of me got him the name of a woman, who, with more than female attention, condescended to play the handmaid to a little unaccompanied orphan that fortune had cast upon the care of a rough sea-captain and his rougher crew. When I was a little girl, it was the perpetual subject of my contemplation that I was an heiress, and the daughter of a baronet; that my mother was the Honourable Lady Harriet; that we had a nobler mansion, infinitely finer pleasure-grounds, and equipages more splendid than any of the neighbouring families.
I am ashamed to confess what a proud child I once was. How it happened I cannot tell, for my father was esteemed the best-bred man in the country, and the condescension and affability of my mother were universally spoken of. I am a changeling, substituted by my mother for the heiress of the Lesley family. It was for my sake she did this naughty deed; yet, since the truth has been known, it seems to me as if I had been the only sufferer by it; remembering no time when I was not Harriet Lesley, it seems as if the change had taken from me my birthright.
Lady Harriet had intended to nurse her child herself, but being seized with a violent fever soon after its birth, she was not only unable to nurse it but even to see it, for several weeks. I was not quite a month old at this time when my mother was hired to be Miss Lesley's nurse. She had once been a servant in the family; her husband was then at sea. She had been nursing Miss Lesley a few days, when a girl who had the care of me brought me into the nursery to see my mother. It happened that she wanted something from her own home, which she despatched the girl to fetch, and desired her to leave me till her return.
In her absence she changed our clothes; then, keeping me to personate the child she was nursing, she sent away the daughter of Sir Edward to be brought up in her own poor cottage. When my mother sent away the girl, she affirmed she had not the least intention of committing this bad action; but after she was left alone with us, she looked on me, and then on the little lady baby, and she wept over me, to think she was obliged to leave me to the charge of a careless girl, debarred from my own natural food, while she was nursing another person's child.
The laced cap and the fine cambric robe of the little Harriet were lying on the table ready to be put on. In these she dressed me, only just to see how pretty her own dear baby would look in missy's fine clothes. When she saw me thus adorned, she said to me:. I am sure my lady herself, if she were well enough to see you, would not know the difference! She said these words aloud, and while she was speaking a wicked thought came into her head—how easy it would be to change these children!
On which she hastily dressed Harriet in my coarse raiment. She had no sooner finished the transformation of Miss Lesley into the poor Ann Withers than the girl returned, and carried her away, without the least suspicion that it was not the same infant that she had brought thither. It was wonderful that no one discovered that I was not the same child. Every fresh face that came into the room filled the nurse with terror.
THE BLUE JAR STORY BOOK (Illustrated)
The servants still continued to pay their compliments to the baby in the same form as usual, crying:. Nor did Sir Edward himself perceive the difference, his lady's illness probably engrossing all his attention at the time, though, indeed, gentlemen seldom take much notice of very young children. When Lady Harriet began to recover, and the nurse saw me in her arms caressed as her own child, all fears of detection were over; but the pangs of remorse then seized her.
As the dear sick lady hung with tears of fondness over me, she thought she should have died with sorrow for having so cruelly deceived her. When I was a year old, Mrs. Withers was discharged, and because she had been observed to nurse me with uncommon care and affection, and was seen to shed many tears at parting from me, to reward her fidelity Sir Edward settled a small pension on her, and she was allowed to come every Sunday to dine in the housekeeper's room, and see her little lady.
When she went home, it might have been expected she would have neglected the child she had so wickedly stolen, instead of which she nursed it with the greatest tenderness, being very sorry for what she had done. All the ease she could ever find for her troubled conscience was in her extreme care of this injured child, and in the weekly visits to its father's house she constantly brought it with her. At the time I have the earliest recollection of her she was become a widow, and with the pension Sir Edward allowed her, and some plain work she did for our family, she maintained herself and her supposed daughter.
The doting fondness she showed for her child was much talked of. It was said she waited upon it more like a servant than a mother, and it was observed its clothes were always made, as far as her slender means would permit, in the same fashion, and her hair cut and curled in the same form, as mine. To this person, as having been my faithful nurse, and to her child, I was always taught to show particular civility, and the little girl was always brought into the nursery to play with me.
Ann was a little delicate thing, and remarkably well behaved, for, though so much indulged in every other respect, my mother was very attentive to her manners. As the child grew older my mother became very uneasy about her education. She was so very desirous of having her well behaved that she feared to send her to school, lest she should learn ill manners among the village children, with whom she never suffered her to play, and she was such a poor scholar herself that she could teach her little or nothing. I heard her relate this her distress to my own maid, with tears in her eyes, and I formed a resolution to beg of my parents that I might have Ann for a companion, and that she might be allowed to take lessons with me of my governess.
My birthday was then approaching, and on that day I was always indulged in the privilege of asking some peculiar favour. Then I told him of the great anxiety expressed by Nurse Withers concerning her daughter; how much she wished it was in her power to give her an education that would enable her to get her living without hard labour. I set the good qualities of Ann Withers in the best light I could, and in conclusion I begged she might be permitted to partake with me in education, and become my companion. The result of this conversation was favourable to my wishes.
In a few weeks my foster-sister was taken into the house, and placed under the tuition of my governess. To me, who had hitherto lived without any companions of my own age, except occasional visitors, the idea of a play-fellow constantly to associate with was very pleasant, and, after the first shyness of feeling her altered situation was over, Ann seemed as much at her ease as if she had always been brought up in our house. I became very fond of her, and took pleasure in showing her all manner of attentions, which so far won on her affections that she told me she had a secret entrusted to her by her mother, which she had promised never to reveal as long as her mother lived, but that she almost wished to confide it to me, because I was such a kind friend to her; yet, having promised never to tell it till the death of her mother, she was afraid to tell it to me.
At first I assured her that I would never press her to the disclosure, for that promises of secrecy were to be held sacred; but whenever we fell into any confidential kind of conversation, this secret seemed always ready to come out. Whether she or I were most to blame, I know not, though I own I could not help giving frequently hints how well I could keep a secret. At length she told me what I have before related—namely, that she was in truth the daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Lesley, and I the child of her supposed mother.
When I was first in possession of this wonderful secret, my heart burned to reveal it. I thought how praiseworthy it would be in me to restore to my friend the rights of her birth; yet I thought only of becoming her patroness, and raising her to her proper rank.
It never occurred to me that my own degradation must necessarily follow. I endeavoured to persuade her to let me tell this important affair to my parents. This she positively refused. I expressed wonder that she should so faithfully keep this secret for an unworthy woman, who in her infancy had done her such an injury. I have seen her grieve and be so very sorry on my account that I would not bring her into more trouble for any good that could happen to myself.
She has often told me that, since the day she changed us, she has never known what it is to have a happy moment, and when she returned home from nursing you, finding me very thin and sickly, how her heart smote her for what she had done; and then she nursed and fed me with such anxious care that she grew much fonder of me than if I had been her own, and that on the Sundays when she used to bring me here it was more pleasure to her to see me in my father's own house than it was to her to see you, her real child.
The shyness you showed towards her while you were very young, and the forced civility you seemed to affect as you grew older, always appeared like ingratitude towards her who had done so much for you. My mother has desired me to disclose this after her death, but I do not believe I shall ever mention it then, for I should be sorry to bring any reproach even on her memory. In a short time after this important discovery, Ann was sent home to pass a few weeks with her mother, on the occasion of the unexpected arrival of some visitors to our house.
They were to bring children with them, and these I was to consider as my own guests. In the expected arrival of my young visitants, and in making preparations to entertain them, I had little leisure to deliberate on what conduct I should pursue with regard to my friend's secret. Something must be done, I thought, to make her amends for the injury she had sustained, and I resolved to consider the matter attentively on her return.
Still my mind ran on conferring favours. I never considered myself as transformed into the dependent person. Indeed, Sir Edward at this time set me about a task which occupied the whole of my attention. I have already told you what a proud girl I was. During the writing of this piece, the receiving of my young friends, and the instructing them in their several parts, I never felt myself of so much importance.
With Ann my pride had somewhat slumbered. The difference of our rank left no room for competition; all was complacency and good-humour on my part, and affectionate gratitude, tempered with respect, on hers. But here I had full room to show courtesy, to affect those graces, to imitate that elegance of manners, practised by Lady Harriet to their mothers. I was to be their instructress in action and in attitudes, and to receive their praises and their admiration of my theatrical genius. It was a new scene of triumph for me, and I might then be said to be in the very height of my glory.
If the plot of my piece, for the invention of which they so highly praised me, had been indeed my own, all would have been well; but unhappily I borrowed from a source which made my drama end far differently from what I intended it should. In the catastrophe I lost not only the name I personated in the piece, but with it my own name also, and all my rank and consequence in the world fled from me for ever. My father presented me with a beautiful writing-desk for the use of my new authorship. My silver standish was placed upon it; a quire of gilt paper was before me.
I took out a parcel of my best crow quills, and down I sate in the greatest form imaginable. I conjecture I have no talent for invention. Certain it is that, when I sat down to compose my piece, no story would come into my head but the story which Ann had so lately related to me. Many sheets were scrawled over in vain; I could think of nothing else. It was a play ready-made to my hands.
The invalid mother would form the pathetic, the silly exclamations of the servants the ludicrous, and the nurse was nature itself. It is true I had a few scruples that it might, should it come to the knowledge of Ann, be construed into something very like a breach of confidence. But she was at home, and might never happen to hear of the subject of my piece, and if she did, why, it was only making some handsome apology. To a dependent companion to whom I had been so very great a friend, it was not necessary to be so very particular about such a trifle. Thus I reasoned as I wrote my drama, beginning with the title, which I called 'The Changeling,' and ending with these words: 'The curtain drops, while the lady clasps the baby in her arms, and the nurse sighs audibly.
By the time it was finished the company had arrived. The casting the different parts was my next care. The Honourable Augustus M——, a young gentleman of five years of age, undertook to play the father. He was only to come in and say: 'How does my little darling do to-day? As these four were all very young performers, we made them rehearse many times over, that they might walk in and out with proper decorum; but the performance was stopped before their entrances and their exits arrived.
I complimented Lady Elizabeth, the sister of Augustus, who was the eldest of the young ladies, with the choice of the lady mother, or the nurse. She fixed on the former. She was to recline on a sofa, and, affecting ill-health, speak some eight or ten lines, which began with, 'Oh, that I could my precious baby see!
Two dolls were to personate the two children, and the principal character of the nurse I had the pleasure to perform myself. It consisted of several speeches, and a very long soliloquy during the changing of the children's clothes. The elder brother of Augustus, a gentleman of fifteen years of age, refused to mix in our childish drama, yet condescended to paint the scenes, and our dresses were got up by my own maid.
When we thought ourselves quite perfect in our several parts, we announced it for representation. Sir Edward and Lady Harriet, with their visitors, the parents of my young troop of comedians, honoured us with their presence. The servants were also permitted to go into a music-gallery, which was at the end of a ball-room we had chosen for our theatre.
As author and principal performer, standing before a noble audience, my mind was too much engaged with the arduous task I had undertaken to glance my eyes towards the music-gallery, or I might have seen two more spectators there than I expected. Nurse Withers and her daughter Ann were there; they had been invited by the housekeeper to be present at the representation of Miss Lesley's play. In the midst of the performance, as I, in character of the nurse, was delivering the wrong child to the girl, there was an exclamation from the music-gallery of:.
This was followed by a bustle among the servants, and screams as of a person in an hysteric fit. Sir Edward came forward to inquire what was the matter. He saw it was Mrs. Withers who had fallen into a fit. Ann was weeping over her, and crying out:. Withers was brought out into the ball-room. There, with tears and in broken accents, with every sign of terror and remorse, she soon made a full confession of her so long-concealed guilt.
The strangers assembled to see our childish mimicry of passion were witnesses to a highly-wrought dramatic scene in real life. I intended that they should see the curtain drop without any discovery of the deceit. Unable to invent any new incident, I left the conclusion imperfect as I found it.
But they saw a more strict poetical justice done; they saw the rightful child restored to its parents, and the nurse overwhelmed with shame, and threatened with the severest punishment. Ann, on her knees, implored mercy for her mother. Addressing the children, who were gathered round her, 'Dear ladies,' said she, 'help me—on your knees help me—to beg forgiveness for my mother!
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Sir Edward pardon her! All joined in the petition except one, whose voice ought to have been loudest in the appeal. No word, no accent came from me. I hung over Lady Harriet's chair, weeping as if my heart would break. But I wept for my own fallen fortunes, not for my mother's sorrow. I thought within myself: 'If in the integrity of my heart, refusing to participate in this unjust secret, I had boldly ventured to publish the truth, I might have had some consolation in the praises which so generous an action would have merited; but it is through the vanity of being supposed to have written a pretty story that I have meanly broken my faith with my friend, and unintentionally proclaimed the disgrace of my mother and myself.
While thoughts like these were passing through my mind, Ann had obtained my mother's pardon. Instead of being sent away to confinement and the horrors of a prison, she was given by Sir Edward into the care of the housekeeper, who had orders from Lady Harriet to see her put to bed and properly attended to, for again this wretched woman had fallen into a fit. Ann would have followed my mother, but Sir Edward brought her back, telling her that she should see her when she was better.
He then led her towards Lady Harriet, desiring her to embrace her child. She did so, and I saw her, as I had phrased it in the play, 'clasped in her mother's arms. This scene had greatly affected the spirits of Lady Harriet. Through the whole of it, it was with difficulty she had been kept from fainting, and she was now led into the drawing-room by the ladies. The gentlemen followed, talking with Sir Edward of the astonishing instance of filial affection they had just seen in the earnest pleadings of the child for her supposed mother. Ann, too, went with them, and was conducted by her whom I had always considered as my own particular friend.
Lady Elizabeth took hold of her hand, and said:. I was left weeping behind the chair where Lady Harriet had sate, and, as I thought, quite alone. A something had before twitched my frock two or three times, so slightly I had scarcely noticed it. A little head now peeped round, and looking up in my face, said:. It was the young Augustus. He had been sitting at my feet, but I had not observed him. He then started up, and taking hold of my hand with one of his, with the other holding fast by my clothes, he led, or rather dragged, me into the midst of the company assembled in the drawing-room.
The vehemence of his manner, his little face as red as fire, caught every eye. The ladies smiled, and one gentleman laughed in a most unfeeling manner. His elder brother patted him on the head, and said:. Very kind words were now spoken to me by Sir Edward, and he called me Harriet, precious name now grown to me. Lady Harriet kissed me, and said she would never forget how long she had loved me as her child.
These were comfortable words, but I heard echoed round the room:. I am sure she is to be pitied! And how does the mass of a human eyelash compare to the mass of the black hole at the center of our galaxy? We invented numbers—and then, numbers invented us. In this multi-disciplinary investigation, anthropologist Caleb Everett examines the seemingly limitless possibilities and innovations made possible by the evolution of number systems.
Counting, he concludes, is not innate to humans—and yet most societies have found themselves transformed by creating powerful numeric systems. How important, then, are numbers? Excavating the lost stories of women in science has recently bloomed into a popular subgenre, and for good reason.
Many of these women changed the course of history. And none more so than the group of precocious female codebreakers who helped win World War II by breaking Japanese and German military codes—and whose history has been buried for over 70 years. On first reflection, he writes, it appears that time exists in two distinct forms. One is the standardized, objective kind found in clocks and watches; the other is our internal, biological sense of time, the one we measure in our cells, bodies and minds.
But the closer he looks, the fuzzier this distinction appears. Worth every minute. This long-awaited achievement finally happened in September Thanks to extraordinarily sensitive detectors, physicists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory LIGO were able to home in on one of these elusive waves—an achievement that in turn rippled out within the field of astronomy. Come for the fantastic beasts, stay for the pretty pictures. Dinos have long captured the imaginations of scientists and artists alike, and Paleoart brings those visions together in a sublime blend of human knowledge and creativity.
These images reveal our changing understanding of dinosaurs, but also reflect the distinct artistic sensibilities of their time. Picking a fight with Darwinian evolution, years later, is still a sure way to conjure scientific outrage. Prum weaves together a vast number of examples and counterexamples to build what some have called a feminist argument of evolution.
But is the idea that female whims are the primary driver of male beauty really so alien? Does your dog truly love you? For most of history, this has been merely a fleeting thought that haunts dog owners in the hours before sleep, but to which there can be no satisfying response. Thanks to neuroscience, that may be changing, argues psychology professor Gregory Berns in this accessible new book. Berns trained dogs to sit in an MRI machine in order to peer into the brains of conscious, thinking canines for the first time. That pioneering work inspired him to delve deeper into the minds of other animals, from raccoons to sea lions to the extinct thylacine.
Berns weaves the scientific with the personal to take this work to its logical conclusion : With their sophisticated ability to think, choose and feel, dogs and other animals do not deserve the cruel treatment humans so often dole out to them. To hear the tech giants tell it, the future is all virtual reality, self-driving cars and sleek edges. Continue or Give a Gift.