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when their own inclination dictated, how was it possible they could attain any useful and lasting knowledge ; and if not allowed to be reprimanded, or midly corrected, after being guilty of a fault, it was impossible they could be amended of their errors or become amiable.
. They had likewise, one propensity, which a good mother, that properly loved her children, and considered their future welfare, should have corrected, and represented in the improper lighit it merited, till they were ashamed of it. This was a constant habit of telling untruths ; and if any of the people about them offended Martha or Anne, in the most trifling degree, they were sure to invent some shocking falshood, and inform their weak mother' of it; who firmly believed them in preference to every other person.
Amelrosa often trembled at the violent
passions these little tyrants would throw themselves into, on the most insignificant occasions; and injured their health likewise, by continually crying, as they were as peevish as passionate : a very extraordinary combination in their dispositions ; for violent tempers are seldom fretful.
Amelrosa endeavored by gentle reproofs and rewards that pleased them, to mollify their passions and make them attentive to their employments ; but generally without success. The slightest punishment she dared not inflict, convinced they would in revenge, invent some falsity of her, which they had already done in consequence of her reproving them. To have untruths told of her, was a circumstance of all others, she dreaded ; and having been educated by Lady Archdale to love not any thing equal to truth, and to abhor falsehood ; she considered a liar as the most dangerous of all characters, and worse even than a dishonest
person, against whom you may defend yourself, by securing your property ; but from a liar there is no security ; and she felt the greatest pity for Mrs. Skinner's children, who were so unfortunate as to have a mother that encouraged them in this vice, instead of employing every effort to eradicate such a dishonorable and hateful custom. ..
No wither'd witch shall here be seen, ·
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The redbreast oft at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
THE most tranquil moments Amelrosa enjoyed since her residence in Northumberland, were in the absence of the young ladies. Mrs. Skinner dined at four o'clock, and her daughters at five were permitted to come and partake of the desart ; remaining in general with their mother when she had not any company, till they went to bed.
During this peaceful interval, Amelrosa" would frequently amuse herself in strolling about the dreary environs, and often retraced the path which led to the neighbouring hamlet, the most pleasant spot the wild adjacent country presented, from being interspersed with a few trees, now beginning to deck themselves in their robes of lively green ; as it was in the early part of the month of April, that she first began to wander beyond the precincts of Mrs. Skinner's grounds.
Contrasted to the sterile prospect around them, the hamlet was replete with rural. charms. Several fields surrounded it that looked verdant with the new-sprung grass, and it was situated at the bottom of a winding dell. The banks and liedges were ornamented with wild flowers; the violet