Imágenes de páginas

this remark; for Mr. Roberts had lately thought his wife foolishly extravagant in her expenses, and he had once intended to say so; but his remembrance of the pain he felt, at the little misunderstanding we have before mentioned, made him unwilling to speak, lest Fanny should be displeased. Unconsciously, the smothered disapprobation he had felt towards his wife had affected the whole tone of his remarks, and gave them the appearance of a decided censure. Fanny felt it deeply, and was much irritated.

“I well know,” she said, “that Amy is a far better judge of every thing than I am. Suppose, my dear, we let her plan all our proceedings; and suppose that, in order that all your money should be well spent, you keep the purse altogether to yourself; and I will come to you, when I want a paper of pins, and say, Please, Mr. Roberts, give me a quarter of a dollar, to buy me some pins.”

All this was said with a forced laugh; but any one, who understood Fanny's face, might see that it was only a strong effort of pride, that kept her from bursting into tears. Mr. Roberts felt he had been unjust and unkind to his wife ; how deeply he had hurt her; he knew, that if he thought her extravagant in her expenses, he ought to have told her of it at another time, and



in a different way. He was angry with himself: he wanted to say this to her ; but how could he before a third person?

Poor Amy knew not what to say. She felt that she was in the way; but what could she do? Presently she said, “Fanny, dear, you promised to visit my school. If Mr. Roberts be at leisure, I shall expect you both to-morrow.”

By this time, they had recovered their selfpossession, and Mr. Roberts said he would gladly


The remainder of the evening passed heavily, in spite of some unsuccessful efforts which Mr. Roberts made to entertain Amy. There was wanting that most essential charm in an intercourse between friends frank-hearted truth, and a fearless expression of it.

As soon as they were alone, Mr. Roberts said to Fanny, “My dear wife, how could I give you so much pain? I know not what possessed me. I did not think of the construction that might be put upon what I said."

Fanny could only answer by her tears. At last, when she was able to speak, she said, “ What could induce you, William, to speak as you did? If you have thought me extravagant about money, why not tell me so ?

Mr. Roberts had not the courage to be true to himself and to his wife, and tell her all he had thought and felt. He answered in a hurried and evasive manner.

“I don't know what made me so irritable, my dear Fanny. Spend money as you please, only forgive and love me. I cannot forgive myself for having caused you so much pain : you must think me very unkind.”

“ Let it all be forgotten,” said Fanny. “I knew that you could not be really unkind. I was wrong to feel so much about it.”

They both agreed that they would avoid such painful subjects for the future.

Amy was rejoiced, when her friends came to fulfil their engagement the next morning, to see that harmony was restored between them. They seemed, she thought, even more than usually attentive and affectionate in their manner towards each other. When Amy was exhibiting her schor 1 to Mr. Roberts, she called his attention to Ler nice wash-room for the children. There were tubs, and basins, and all proper washing apparatus, nicely arranged; and the appearance of the children testified to their proper application. Mr. Roberts expressed his particular approbation of this part of the establishment.

“Come here, Fanny," he said to his wife; "come and praise Amy for her faithful attention to this most essential means of elevating and improving the poor. See what a complete washing apparatus she has for them."

“This is your wife's doing,” said Amy. “She stipulated that the money she gave should be used for this purpose. It is her good judgment you must praise.”

Roberts looked pleased, and Fanny was touched by Amy's thoughtful kindness. They saw the children go through all their various exercises ; then the babies put to bed, to take their morning nap, and the larger children let out into the play-ground, and heard their merry voices at play.

Every morning,” said Amy, “the teacher gives them a short lesson in religion and morals, by means of familiar anecdotes and simple stories. Our great object is to teach the children to speak their own thoughts, and lay open their own minds, in order that, knowing their peculiarities and wants, the right instruction may be given them. We never allow any spectators at that time; for we consider their religious sentiments and their childish confidence as sacred, and that it would be a breach of faith to exhibit them; to say nothing of the danger of making them hypocrites or egotists."

“ The only objection I have to make to your school, Amy,” said Fanny, as they were walking home, “is, that the schoolmistress has in her hand no birch rod, held up perpendicularly before her face, as a wholesonie terror to the little evil-doers. How came you not to bring them up in the good old way in which the wisest and best were educated ? Besides, you

have not taught them to make their manners to you every time you speak to them, as aunt Hetty used to tell me I ought to. You are a radical, after all.”

« AnteriorContinuar »