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“What a charming boy that is!” said Lady V. as soon as the children were out of hearing; and she ran on for some time in the warmest praises of his beautiful eyes, elegant shape, and gentlemanly air.
In reply to this, Mr. Lambert expressed his regrets that Robert did not resemble him, and concluded by bitter complaints of the awkwardness and ungracefulness of his son and heir.
Lady V— answered, as she really felt, that she thought Robert a fine boy, though, certainly, not so handsome as Frederick. “But what is beauty in a man,' she added, " provided he has the manners and sentiments of a gentleman?'
I wish my reader to observe, in this place, that little or nothing has hitherto been said on the necessity of religion to complete the character of a gentleman, or, rather, to form the basis of it. But Lady V — and Mr. Lambert knew little more of religion than its name; it therefore cannot be supposed that they would enter upon the subject in familiar conversation. Lady V
took her leave that evening; and the next morning, Mr. Lambert, his son, and Mr. Day, being at breakfast together, the following conversation took place-little Frederick Falconer having not yet arisen.
“Mr. Day,” said Mr. Lambert, " what do you think of Frederick? He is precisely the style of boy I admire. My sister was happy in having such a son.”
Robert was deeply engaged in forming the semblance of the arch of a bridge with a crust of bread when this conversation commenced, and, therefore, did not at first hear a word of what was passing.
Mr. Day answered, that he had seen so little of the child, that he could form no notion as yet of his character.
“ But his person, Mr. Day, his person,” said Mr. Lambert, (who judged of human beings as he would have done of a piece of silk-- by its effect on the eye,) you must have observed that his
At this moment Robert looked up, as if attending to what his father was saying.
“What is person in a child, Sir?” said Mr. Day. “ It is a mere accidental circumstance, which is of no consequence either one way or the other.”
“I by no means agree with you, Mr. Day,” replied Mr. Lambert: “a good person is a letter of recommendation to a man or woman in any company. I wish, Robert, I wish,” he added, you were more like your cousin."
“I am as I was made,” said Robert, sullenly, now first feeling the symptoms of dislike to his young
“ Not entirely so, Robert,” returned Mr. Lambert: “ you have, by your neglect of good manners, made yourself much inferior to what you were by nature. If you would but hold yourself up, be attentive to strangers, and learn to make a graceful bow when you enter a room, there would not be quite so shocking a contrast between you and your cousin.”
Robert reddened. He seemed inclined to speak; but, observing the eye of his tutor upon him, and understanding its expression, he was silent: yet, endeavouring to do something to hide his embarrassment, he took up his dish of scalding tea, and, having filled his mouth as full as it could hold, he was compelled to get rid of the hot liquor, which he could not swallow, by returning it back into his cup, to the great horror of his father, who, rising up and ringing furiously, exclaimed, “ Robert! Robert ! you are an incorrigibly low-bred boy! At the moment even when I am speaking to you on the very subject, you are guilty of the most abominable breach of polite
“I could not help it, papa, indeed, papa," said the little boy, who was now really frightened ;
or the tea was so hot.'
“And who," said Mr. Lambert, “compelled you to take the scalding tea into your mouth?”
“ I did not think that it was hot,” replied Robert.
“ The grossest boor on earth, who offends against the most common laws of good-breeding, may plead excuses of this kind," said Mr. Lambert. Then addressing, by turns, Mr. Day and the footman, who had come in, in answer to the bell—" I hope, Mr. Day, you will take cognizance of this behaviour of Robert's. I really cannot have the boy at my table, if he acts in a manner so offensive to all the general rules of propriety. Here Llewellyn, put a clean napkin before Mir. Lambert, and bring a clean cup and saucer, and another plate, and remove that bread-and-butter, and those rolls.”
“ I don't want another cup and saucer,” said Robert, striving to restrain his tears; “I have done breakfast.”
Come, do not be sullen, Master Lambert,” returned his father; " you have had nothing yet. But I really believe, Mr. Day, that he would prefer living on bread and cheese, and dining under the hedge with my daylabourers, than be obliged to take his meals in a proper manner at my table.”
Indeed, papa,” said Robert, (and he was going to add, “Indeed I should;') but a look from his tutor again restrained him, and he left his sentence unfinished.
“ Indeed what?" said Mr. Lambert, who, when he was got into the teasing mood not uncommon to little minds, never left the work half done; “indeed what, Robert? What were you going to say?"
Robert was silent; for it was no part of his character to say any thing he did not think, though his tutor had influence enough to prevent him from always saying what he did think.
“So you will not speak ?” said Mr. Lambert.
“Sir,” said Mr. Day, “will you permit me to take Master Robert aside? and I shall, I hope, be able to make him sensible of the duty of accommodating himself in every point to his father's will.”
So saying, he arose, and took the boy out of the room.
As soon as Robert got into his own side of the house, he gave way to a violent burst of indignation, beginning with the following exclamations: “I hate Frederick Falconer; and I hate good manners; I never will be a gentleman; and, when I grow up, I will not live in this house; and I had rather starve than be so tormented; and I wish I was not Robert Lambert.” So saying, he burst into tears, and threw himself upon a couch in an agony of passion.
Mr. Day felt really hurt for his pupil. He went close up to him, and, sitting down on the couch by his side, extended his arms to receive him.
The boy sprang towards him, and, putting his face in his bosom, wept for some time, but it was more gently.
Robert, my boy, you know I love you,” said Mr. Day: “ try to be calm, for
“ I will, dear Mr. Day, I will,” said Robert. “But do you mean to punish me for not swallowing the scalding tea?”
“No," said Mr. Day, “because I think you have suffered enough already. And now compose yourself, and put on your hat: we will take a long walk. I have some business to transact at a cottage beyond the park; and, as we walk, we will talk about some of these things, and I will point out some little matters which you ought to attend to, in order to please your papa. Little boys should always try to gratify their parents: it is a Christian duty. You know how often I have shewn to you, that our Saviour, when on earth, submitted to his mother, though, as he was God in human flesh, and she only a sinful human being, he must have seen many inconsistencies in her conduct.”
“ But you will not take Frederick with you?” said Robert.
“No, not to-day, Robert,” replied Mr. Day, “because he is tired with his journey.
Thus Mr. Day succeeded in soothing his pupil on this occasion: but, as his father persevered in his injudicious and irritating ways, Mr. Day found it every day more and more difficult to control the feelings of the boy. As Robert grew older, he not unfrequently allowed his father to see that he resented his teasing conduct. He shewed also a kind of petty revenge and obstinacy by disregarding his injunctions in little matters. He allowed his independent and haughty sentiments to discover themselves on many occasions, and more than once told his father plainly, that he would rather renounce all that he could give him, than be continually subject to a tyranny which made him completely miserable.
In the mean time, the little stranger, whose beautiful appearance we have described, made his way among these various tempers in a manner which might surprise those who are not aware how safely and sweetly an unenvious and unsuspicious Christian temper will carry an individual through the storms and trials of life. Frederick Falconer had strong sense, and a quick perception; but he possessed, also, a spirit which either did not see, or scorned to enter into, the low cabals of meaner souls. He had been piously educated by the tenderest of mo
thers; and, when he could no longer enjoy the fostering, care of that dear parent, he transferred all his regard and confidence to the equally worthy Mr. Day, who won his heart on the first day of his arrival, by coming to him when he was in bed, and kissing away the tears by which his little cheek was moistened, and by telling him how happy he would be under his kind uncle's care and with his dear cousin Robert.
If, after that time, Robert sometimes seemed to be cross and unkind to his cousin, little Falconer had a summary way of settling the matter in his own mind.
• Robert, he would say, “is cross to-day: every body is cross sometimes. I will let him alone till he is in a better humour." He never entered into the causes of this illhumour, the ideas of envy and jealousy appearing to be utter strangers to his mind. The writer of these memoirs has once met with a character similar, in this respect, to Frederick, and can only attribute this peculiarity to a natural nobleness of spirit, aided by simple Christian principles, and the strong yet secret influences of the Holy Spirit, which shewed themselves in this remarkable
But to return to our narrative.. Thus, though Frederick Falconer was surrounded by a variety of discordant characters, and was himself the object of envy and other evil passions, he rose triumphantly above them all, and retained, in a greater degree than could by many persons be deemed possible, the respect and love of all about him. The blessed and unsuspicious spirit of this amiable boy might perhaps, however, have been perverted, had it not been for the care of Mr. Day, who unceasingly laboured to preserve his mind in a state of composure, and to continue that happy ignorance of the evil passions of those about him in which he had hitherto remained. If Mr. Lambert flattered him, at table, for being superior to Robert in those respects which the old gentleman deemed of most importance, Mr. Day would make light of the circumstance in some subsequent conversation with the little boy, pointing out other things in which he was excelled by Robert, and thus, as it were, balancing the account in such a way, that the two children appeared to be equally worthy of praise or blame.
If, however, when all things were considered, Robert