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sin exist in the individual who feels and gives way to a censorious or insolent spirit? a spirit such as you, Julia, this moment evinced, and which you would be glad to indulge every hour of the day, if I would but encourage you?'
“You are really angry, I see,' said Miss Beaumont.
“I am,' returned Amelia ; 'I am angry and vexed : you have vexed me, my friend.'
“Miss Beaumont got up, and went to Amelia. sorry,' she said; know I have been foolish. Pray, excuse me.'
*.0, Julia, Julia !' said Amelia, throwing her arms. round her neck, let us either altogether cease to associate, or else let our intercourse be such as Christians should not be ashamed of.'
• Miss Beaumont again acknowledged her fault, and begged Amelia's pardon: after which, we all returned to our books, and continued engaged with them, till it was time to dress.
“ The next evening, if I remember aright, Mrs. Patterson called Amelia down stairs before I was quite dressed; for we always changed our dresses, according to the Indian fashion, about five o'clock; I was, therefore, left alone in our room, the doors being open into the verandah, for the hot season was arrived. The rest of the young ladies were, I thought, gone down, when suddenly a tapping at the gill-mills, near my bed, caught my attention, and Gabrielle called to me, saying, • Miss Clara, I have brought you a few Aru Bochara, which I bought on purpose for you.'
“I hastened to iake these through the jalousies, and we then entered into a conversation, which lasted some time. She told me that she had been in the next room on the preceding evening, and had heard Amelia speak angrily to Miss Beaumont; adding, that she could not hear the occasion of the dispute, and asking if it referred to herself.
“After some solicitation, I was weak enough to repeat to Gabrielle Miss Beaumont's foolish speech about the birds, and I continued talking to her till Amelia's step in the vcrandah obliged us to break off our dis
• The next day, there was put upon Miss Crawford's table a note, written in a feigned hand, in which notice was given of the strange liberties which Miss Beaumont, in conversation, had taken with the characters of her governesses and of others of the inmates of the house.
“ This note Miss Crawford produced in the schoolroom, when all the family were assembled; and, reading it aloud, she excited such a tumult as I hardly ever witnessed. Mrs. Patterson looked highly offended, but preserved her composure; Madame de Roseau reddened, and, forgetting her English, scolded Auently in her native tongue; and Miss Crawford burst out into a torrent of abuse, in which she was joined by the two young ladies whom Miss Beaumont had very politely compared to crows. The rest of the young ladies tittered and whispered, winking and nodding at each other behind their governesses' backs. Miss Beaumont reddened violently, and looked thoroughly vexed; little Flora stared; Gabrielle's countenance was impenetrable; and I trembled violently, conscious of having whispered the secret through the gill-mill. • Do you confess having made use of these expressions, Miss ?' said Miss Crawford.
"«I do,' said Miss Beaumont: "I will not utter an untruth.'
66• Insolente!' said Madame de Roseau.
"" At any rate,' said Mrs. Patterson, with great composure, • Miss Beaumont has spared none of us: she has been impartial in the treatment of her friends.'
“« I beg your pardon, Madam,' said Miss Beaumont: • I acknowledge ny fault.'
". This is what now alone remains to be donc,' said Mrs. Patterson, with dignity. “I freely forgive you, which is more, I fear, than you will be able to do to yourself. But to whom did you use these expressions ??
To Miss Carrisforth.' “. And she encouraged you?' said Mrs. Patterson.
“No, Madam,' returned Miss Beaumont; she spoke to me with more severity than she ever used before in her life towards me.'
“. That is like her, like my Amelia,' said Mrs. Patterson, while the tears stood trembling in her eyes. • Thank God, I have not hitherto been disappointed in my Amelia.' So saying, she took Amelia by the hand, and left the room ; leaving us all in amazement hand, and left the room; leaving us all in amazement at a compliment paid to Amelia, at the expence, as we thought, of every one else in the house, but a compliment, however, at the same time, which every heart must have acknowledged to be well deserved.
“ After the departure of Mrs. Patterson, a very low and degrading scene took place among those who were left behind. This consisted of mutual upbraidings between Miss Beaumont and those whom she had offended, which ended in her leaving the room, and in the young ladies being set down to their needlework for the remainder of the morning.
“ At twelve o'clock, I went to our own room, where I found Amelia. She had been crying, but at that time appeared to be calm, though sorrowful. As soon as she saw me come in, she said, I hope, Clara, that it is not you who have betrayed Julia; she spoke so low, that I am convinced it was impossible that she could have been heard by the closest listener without the room.'
“ You will not be surprised to learn, my dear friend, that I solemnly denied the charge, declaring that I neither had had opportunity nor inclination to betray Miss Beaumont.
“She seemed to believe me, though she evidently appeared puzzled ; and took the occasion to say, that, although she blamed Miss Beaumont for her want of caution in speaking, and for her want of respect to her superiors, yet that she considered the person who had conveyed the intelligence to those aggrieved as being incomparably more to blame than Miss Beaumont: for, as the wise man says, where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; so, where there is no tale-bearer, the strife censeth. (Prov. xxvi. 20.)
“ While Amelia was still speaking to me on this subject, Miss Beaumont and Flora came in. The former was in violent agitation; her face being swelled with crying, and her countenance strongly expressive of resentment. Amelia ceased to speak when her friend entered, and an awkward silence followed for some moments, Miss Beaumont having seated herself at the foot of my bed, continuing to cry violently. At length, Amelia said, Julia, my dear, do not distress yourself so much. The thing is now done: let us, then, try now to repair it.'
VOL. IV. сс
“• But,' said Julia, “to be so disgraced, so humbled, and that in the eyes of a parcel of people whom one cannot but heartily despise!'
"• Heartily despise!' repeated Amelia. Oh, Julia, Julia! you are incorrigible!'
"I am not incorrigible,' returned Miss Beaumont, angrily; *I am no worse than many others : but I am too sincere, too open, too unguarded, for my company.'
"Amelia replied, • It may often teach us a good lesson, my dear Julia, in early life, for us to be obliged to associate with such persons as compel us to be on our guard. These difficult situations and circumstances teach us self-command; and if we really possess Christian principles, the perplexities in which we become involved by our carelessnesses induce us to look inwards, and to enquire if all is right there.'
"Exceedingly wise, indeed!' returned Miss Beaumont, with bitterness.
• Julia,' said Amelia, 'I don't understand you.'. « « You will then, by and by,' returned Miss Beaumont, perhaps as well as ( now do you.'
Amelia looked with amazement, and said, Why, Miss Beaumont, what is the matter now?'
"• Mrs. Patterson's own dear Amelia !' said Julia, sneeringly. And then, taking the note out of her bosom, the note which had excited such tumults, · Whose hand is this, Amelia?' she asked. Though disguised, I see in it many lines which mark it too plainly to be yours.'
«• Miñe !' said Amelia, her face flushing high, .mine, Julia! And do you actually suspect me?'
«• I do,' said Miss Beaumont: ‘for who else could it have been ?'
«• Who else !' repeated Amelia. .«« Yes,' said Miss Beauinont, 'I do suspect you; because I spoke too low, I am confident, for any one out of the room to hear me; and there were no persons present but yourself, Flora, and Clara. Flora has never left me; she, therefore, is clear; and, if you can answer for Clara, the suspicion must fall upon yourself. At any rate,' she added, insolently, “the matter lies between you and
“ Amelia looked perplexed. I know my own innocence,' she said, and I think I can answer for Clara's.
I do not know that she has one single person in this house with whom she communicates familiarly. I do not think that she is capable of writing the note herself, her hand being, as you well know, wholly unformed; neither have I ever left her since the period of the unfortunate conversation, excepting for a few minutes when I was called to Mrs. Patterson, and I have reason to conclude that she was not out of the room during that interval.'
No, indeed I was not,' I said. "• And you neither saw nor spoke to any one?' asked Amelia.
" • How should I?" I said. “I have no person in this house with whom I speak familiarly.'
“ Amelia and Julia looked at each other; and Amelia said, “I think that Clara cannot be concerned in this affair.'
Then, Amelia,' returned Miss Beaumont, 'the suspicion again rests upon you.'
“I am sorry that you suspect me,' said Amelia, calmly. You are unjust in so doing, Julia: but I cannot help it.'
«• You cannot help it!' said Miss Beaumont: “what a cold expression ! You do not even attempt to clear yourself.'
Because,' returned Amelia, when confidence between friends is once gone, no arguments will restore it. Julia,' she added, “I have borne long with you. You have often tried me; but I still believe that you loved and esteemed me. You have, however, now proved the contrary; and it would be better for us, in future, to meet only as we must meet- :-as common acquaintance.'
“ This speech was succeeded by a pause; during which, Amelia wept, but it was gently. This pause was, however, quickly interrupted by little Flora, who, bursting into an agony of grief, and throwing her arms round Amelia's neck, said, .0, Miss Carrisforth! and shall I then, too, be parted from you? It was not me, indeed it was not me who told about Miss Beaumont.'
««• Beloved child !' said Amelia, pressing her own lovely face against that of the little girl, • I hope not; I hope, my sweet Flora, that Miss Beaumont will sometimes let you come to me.' So saying, she again kissed the child, and then left the room.