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Stories for Helen   By: (1787-1858)

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First Page:

[Illustration: THE TELL TALE.]

STORIES FOR HELEN

BY

MISS ELIZA LESLIE,

AUTHOR OF STORIES FOR EMMA, STORIES FOR ADELAIDE, ETC.

"Our most important are our earliest years." Cowper.

PHILADELPHIA: HENRY F. ANNERS. CHESNUT STREET.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1845,

BY ELIZA LESLIE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Printed by King & Baird.

ADVERTISEMENT.

The following stories have been selected by the author, from a small volume originally published with the title of Atlantic Tales. They have been carefully revised; and she indulges the hope that her juvenile readers may derive from them a little instruction blended with a little amusement.

PHILADELPHIA, OCTOBER 1, 1845.

CONTENTS.

Page.

The Tell Tale, 5

The Boarding School Feast, 28

The Week of Idleness, 67

Madeline Malcolm, 98

THE TELL TALE.

" How all occasions do inform against me! " Shakspeare.

Rosamond Evering was one of those indiscreet mischievous girls who are in the daily practice of repeating every thing they see and hear; particularly all the unpleasant remarks, and unfavourable opinions that happen to be unguardedly expressed in their presence. She did not content herself with relating only as much as she actually saw and heard; but (as is always the case with tell tales) she dealt greatly in exaggeration, and her stories never failed to exceed the reality in all their worst points.

This unamiable and dangerous propensity of their daughter, gave great pain to Mr. and Mrs. Evering, who tried in vain to correct it. They represented to her that as parents cannot be constantly on their guard in presence of their own family, and that as grown persons do not always remember or observe when children are in the room, many things are inadvertently said, which, though of little consequence as long as they remain unknown, may be of great and unfortunate importance if disclosed and exaggerated. And as children are incapable of forming an accurate judgment as to what may be told with safety, or what ought to be kept secret, their wisest and most proper course is to repeat no remarks and to relate no conversations whatever; but more particularly those which they may chance to hear from persons older than themselves.

But neither reproof nor punishment seemed to make any lasting impression on Rosamond Evering; and scarce a day passed that she did not exhibit some vexatious specimen of her besetting sin. A few instances will suffice.

Mrs. Evering had a very excellent cook, a black woman, that had lived with her more than six years, and whom she considered an invaluable servant. One morning, when Venus (for that was her name) had just left the parlour, after receiving her orders for dinner, Mr. Evering remarked, in a low voice, to his lady, "Certainly, the name of Venus was never so unsuitably bestowed as on this poor woman. I have rarely seen a negro whose face had a greater resemblance to that of a baboon." In this remark Mrs. Evering acquiesced.

Rosamond was at this time sitting in a corner, looking over her lessons. Just before she went to school, her mother thought of a change in the preparations for dinner, and not wishing to give the old cook the trouble of coming up from the kitchen a second time, she desired Rosamond to go down and tell Venus she would have the turkey boiled rather than roasted. Rosamond went down and delivered the message; but fixing her eyes on the cook's face, she thought she had never seen Venus look so ugly, and she said to her, "Venus, my father thinks you are the ugliest negro he ever saw ( even for a negro ) and he says your face is just like a monkey's, only worse... Continue reading book >>




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