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unjust institutions and selfish passions of men; but her father's manner convinced her that he was inaccessible to any arguments that were not sanctioned by the opinion of the world. “I know,” thought Amy, “to whom I can go, and who will gladly help me with their money and their sympathy." With these thoughts in her mind, Amy endeavored, on her way to her cousin's house, to chase away the painful impressions which the conversation with her father had occasioned. She found Fanny at home, and alone, and rejoiced to see her.
“ Roberts," said Fanny, “has gone to take a long walk into the country with a friend, and I told him that I should be revenged upon him for leaving me at home, and alone, all this morning, by being very happy without him; and you have come just in right time to help me keep my vow.”
“I am sorry he is not at home,” said Amy, “ for I wanted that he, as well as you, should engage with me in a little project I have at heart.”
As soon as Amy had told Fanny her plans, and before she had given half her reasons in favor of them, Fanny's purse was in her hand and open.
“Tell me what to give, my dear; you know I have no other use for money than spending it. Take what you want, and do what you will with it; I only stipulate for one regulation in
“What is that, Fanny ?”
“That the first efforts for the improvement of the children should be devoted exclusively to the outside. Please, my dear, to lay out my money for tubs, and brushes, and soap, and sponges ; let the little brats be all but drowned and flayed alive the first day they enter the school ; and, as you value my friendship, do not put either of your nice little hands upon one of the little dirty horrors till this operation is duly performed. I should like to endow a washing establishment for all the dirty babies in the country.”
Amy promised that this should be properly attended to. “ But, Fanny,” she said, “you must go with me and see my school, when it is established.”
“ Certainly,” replied Fanny ; “I presume that your prime minister, Ruth, will keep proper dresses for visitors, as they do at Niagara for those who go behind the falls.”
“I was not aware that any peculiar dress was necessary,” said Amy, laughing.
“O yes," replied Fanny; one ought to wear a drab-colored English merino pelisse or gown, an old Leghorn bonnet, with an ash-colored ribbon on it, and a green old barège veil, dark cotton stockings, with large India rubber shoes, loose cotton gloves with the ends of the fingers hanging over, a shiny-looking black silk bag with a steel clasp, and chain swinging on your arm; and on rainy days a blue cotton umbrella, or, as Ruth calls it, an amberill : this dress is essential for a visit to a charity school.”
“Come, come, Fanny ! more harm is done to a good cause by ridicule than by positive abuse ; you shall not laugh at my school.”
“But, Amy, I mean to share the ridicule with you; I know that we shall be laughed at, but I mean to have my share of the sport. Let me see your list of subscribers. It seems to me, Amy, that you have not got the names of the wisest and best ; more sinners than saints on your list. Where shall I put down
among the goats, or the sheep, or, as Mr. Skinner says, promiscuously as it were ? "
“O, Fanny, you are as full of mischief as ever; I did hope being married would improve you."
“ That is an obsolete notion, Amy. The march of mind has discovered that matrimony is to character what the alum, or some other chemical preparation which the dyers use to set their
colors, is to cloth. This is the philosophical meaning of the Yankee phrase, being fixed down, or settled in life.”
Amy observed that while Fanny was rattling on, she' was preparing to put down her name among her subscribers. She took hold of her hand gently as she said, “Keep the paper, dear, and show it to your husband. I would rather you would consult him first; he may not approve,
Fanny colored slightly, and answered, “ He always lets me do as I please about such things; why should I show it to him ? "
6 But would he not therefore be the more pleased to have you consult him ? I should be glad to know his opinion, and have his counsel. Keep the paper, dear, and send it to me when you
have done with it." There was a short silence; then a little more chat, and the cousins parted. Mr. Roberts returned from his walk with that indescribable glow of health and spirits which nothing but exercise in the open air can give. It was just the dinner hour ; but Fanny had been looking for him for some minutes.
Well, my dear Fanny," he said, “ have you kept your word, and been very happy all this moyoing?”
“ Yes,” she replied, “I have been unusually happy ; my friend Amy has been with me; I always enjoy her society.” As she said this, she rang the bell, and ordered the dinner to be brought in. There was an emphasis on the words "unusually” and “always
» which grated a little on her husband's feelings; but he made an effort to forget it, and said, with rather a forced laugh, “I trust you will not carry your revenge so far as to be sorry I have returned.”
“Wives," said Fanny, “must always be glad to see their lords and masters, come when they may.”
Mr. Roberts made no reply; the tone of his spirits fell even below their usual level. silent and dull during dinner, and immediately after, took the newspaper. Fanny's heart was troubled; she was conscious that she had given her husband pain ; but she tried to persuade herself that he was too sensitive, instead of frankly confessing that she had done wrong. Roberts was too proud to say he was hurt at her manner. Presently Fanny remembered the subscription paper for Amy's school.
“ If,” said she, "you could lay aside your paper one moment, I have something I want to speak of with you. There is a little charitable