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covered by the grazing flocks of the surrounding farmers. Mr. and Mrs. De Van were prompt to defray their portion of the expenses of church and school, for they had now two children who must be educated either at home or abroad. As much pains was usually taken in the selection of teachers, they resolved to educate them at home. Affie and Amelia were the names of their two elder daughters ; Affie being two years the senior.
The foundation for correct principles was early laid by their virtuous mother; and her health being poor, she had not failed to initiate her daughters into the art of housekeeping. At the
age of ten they were further advanced in this necessary part of female education than the most of young ladies are at the present day at twenty. The large bunches of fine linen yarn that hung upon the walls and after
wards made into linen, or the high case of drawers filled with bedding of the same material bleached to the whiteness of snow—these were sufficient proof that Mrs. D. and her daughters were of that class of whom the wise man hath said, “She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” Mrs. De Van taught her daughters that industry was an ancient accomplishment, while Mr. De Van read to them the custom of the eastern nobility, as follows:
" It was the pride of Augustus Cæsar, that his imperial robes, his fringed tunic, and costly quilts, were wrought in his household, by the hands of his wife, his sister, his daughter, and his grand-daughter. So, too, Alexander the Great, when advising the mother of Darius to teach her nieces to imitate the Grecian ladies in spinning wool,showed her the garments
which he wore, and told her they were made by his sisters. The virtuous Lucretia worked with her maidens at the spinning wheel; and Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquin, wrought woollen robes so well, that long after her death her spinning implements, together with a robe of her manufacture, were hung up in the temple of Fortune,-a constant monument of her taste and skill, and for the instruction of Roman maids and matrons, that they, too, should lay their hands to the spindle, and their hands should hold the distaff.”
Affie, with a heart as pure as the mountain air she breathed, often danced her distaff, while the silver thread glided through her slender fingers, rolling like magic on the polished spool, which she, with grace unsurpassed, kept in motion with her tiny feet. Affie playfully inter
rupted her father, as he read the fellowing:
6 • In early times the bride went to her new home amid the throng of rejoicing maidens; and the young attendants carried in their hands the distaff and the spindle, with the gay-colored woollens hanging about them. This is just the way, dear papa, that I am going to my bridal home.“
Amelia seriously replied, “ You are not sure that he will have a home to take you
to." “Then, Milly," replied Affie, “be assured I shall not be took !"
Mrs. De Van for some time had been a silent listener, but not an indifferent one, as she was always attentive to the reading of her husband, and the incessant prattle of her child
She now broke silence by playfully asking Affie to conjugate the verb “took.” The girls soon set
about their task in high glee, and the parents joined heartily in the laugh of their children.
Mrs. De Van then cast her eye upon the old wooden clock, that stood in a tall but finely polished case in the corner, and saw that it was nearly four o'clock. “It is time, my children, that your sports and your work were laid aside, for we shall have scarce time to make arrangements for the Sabbath before sundown; it is later than I had thought."
“Thank you, Jane, for telling me the time, for I have my chores all to do,” said Mr. D., and rose hastily and walked to the door, when he saw that the boys had already got the cows into the yard. "Milly, dear, hand me the milk-pails.” Milly had just finished laying her patchwork in perfect order in her basket, and was ready to comply with the request of her father.