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The Governess [The Little Female Academy] by Sarah Fielding

Part 2 out of 3

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Caelia's friendship for Chloe was so deeply rooted in her breast,
that even a declaration of love from Sempronius could not blot it
one moment from her heart; and on his speaking the words 'false
Chloe,' she burst into tears, and said, 'Is it possible that Chloe
should act such a part towards her Caelia! You must forgive her,
Sempronius: it was her violent passion for you, and fear of
losing you, which made her do what hitherto her nature has ever
appeared averse to.'

Sempronius answered, 'that he could not enough admire her goodness
to her friend Chloe; but such proofs of passion, he said, were to
him at the same time proofs of its being such a passion as he had
no regard for; since it was impossible for any one to gain or
increase his love by an action which at the same time lessened his
esteem.' This was so exactly Caelia's own way of thinking, that
she could not but assent to what he said.

But just as they were coming out of the arbour, Chloe, unseen by
them, passed by; and from seeing him kiss her hand, and the
complacency of Caelia's look, it was easy for her to guess what
had been the result of their private conference. She could not
however help indulging her curiosity, so far as to walk on the
other side of a thick yew hedge, to listen to their discourse; and
as they walked on, she heard Sempronius entreat Caelia to be
cheerful, and think no more of her treacherous friend, whose
wickedness he doubted not would sufficiently punish itself. She
then heard Caelia say, 'I cannot bear, Sempronius, to hear you
speak so hardly of my Chloe. Say that you forgive her, and I will
indeed be cheerful.'

Nothing upon earth can be conceived so wretched as poor Chloe, for
on the first moment that she suffered herself to reflect on what
she had done, she thoroughly repented, and heartily detested
herself for such baseness. She went directly into the garden in
hopes of meeting Sempronius, to have thrown herself at his feet,
confessed her treachery, and to have begged him never to have
mentioned it to Caelia; but now she was conscious her repentance
would come too late; and he would despise her, if possible still
more, for such a recantation, after her knowledge of what had
passed between him and Caelia.

She could indeed have gone to him, and not have owned what she had
seen or heard; but now her abhorrence of even the appearance of
treachery or cunning was so great, that she could not bear to add
the smallest grain of falsehood or deceit to the weight of her
guilt, which was already almost insupportable: and should she
tell him of her repentance, with a confession of her knowledge of
his engagement with Caelia, it would (as has been before observed)
appear both servile and insincere.

Nothing could now appear so altered as the whole face of this once
happy family. Sempronius as much as possible shunned the sight of
Chloe; for as she was the cause of all the confusion amongst them,
he had almost an aversion to her. Though he was not of an
implacable temper, yet, as the injury was intended to one he
sincerely loved, he found it much harder to forgive it, than if it
had even succeeded against himself; and as he still looked upon
Chloe as the cause of melancholy in his dear Caelia, he could
hardly have any patience with her.

No words can describe the various passions which were expressed in
the sad countenance of Chloe, when first she met her friend. They
were both afraid of speaking. Shame, and the fear of being (and
with too good reason) suspected of insincerity, withheld Chloe;
and an unwillingness to accuse or hurt her friend withheld the
gentle Caelia. She sometimes indeed thought she saw repentance in
Chloe's face, and wished for nothing more than to seal her pardon.
But till it was asked, she was in doubt (from what had passed)
whether such pardon and proffered reconciliation might not be
rejected. She knew that her friend's passions were naturally
stronger than hers; and she therefore trembled at the consequences
of coming to an explanation.

But there was hardly a greater sufferer in this scene of confusion
than the poor old Lady Amanda. She saw a sort of horror and
wildness in the face of Chloe; and in Caelia's a settled
melancholy, and such an unusual reserve in both towards each
other, as well as to herself, as quite astonished her.

Sempronius came indeed to the house as often as usual; but in his
countenance she could perceive a sort of anger and concern which
perfectly frightened her. But as they did not speak to her, she
could not bring herself to ask the cause of this woeful change,
for fear of hearing something too bad to bear.

Caelia had absolutely refused granting to Sempronius leave to ask
her aunt's consent, till she should come to some explanation with
Chloe, which seemed every day farther off than ever.

The great perturbation of Chloe's mind threw her into a disorder
not many degrees short of madness; and at last she was seized with
a violent fever so as to keep her bed. She said she could not
bear to look on Amanda; but begged Caelia to be with her as much
as possible; which she did, in hopes of bringing herself to ease
her mind, by speaking to her of what had given them all this

Caelia watched with her night and day for three days, when the
physician who attended her pronounced that there was no hope of
her life. Caelia could not any longer bear to stay in the room,
and went downstairs, expecting every moment to hear she was

Chloe soon perceived by Caelia's abrupt leaving the room, and the
looks of those who were left in it, that her fate was pronounced;
which, instead of sinking her spirits, and making her dejected,
gave a tranquillity to her mind; for she thought within herself,
'I shall now make my dear cousin happy, by removing out of her way
an object that must embitter all her joy; and now likewise, as she
is convinced I am on my death-bed, she will once more believe me
capable of speaking truth; and will, in the manner I could wish,
receive my sincere repentance.' Then sending for Caelia up to her
bedside, she in a weak voice, with hardly strength for utterance,
spoke in this manner: 'My dear Caelia, though you know me to be a
worthless base wretch, yet do not think so hardly of me, as to
imagine I would deceive you with my last breath. Believe me then
when I tell you, that I sincerely repent of my treachery towards
you; and as sincerely rejoice that it has in reality been the
cause of your happiness with Sempronius. Tell him this; and then,
perhaps, he will not hate my memory.' Here she fainted away, and
they forced Caelia out of the room, thinking her breath was for
ever flown. But in some time she came again to herself, and cried
out, 'What! would not my dear Caelia say that she forgave me?
Methinks I would not die, till I had obtained her pardon. She is
too good to refuse her friend this last request.' Her attendants
then told her, that seeing her faint away, they had forced Caelia
out of the room; and they begged her to try to compose herself,
for they were sure that seeing her friend again, at this time,
would only disturb her mind, and do her an injury.

Chloe, from the vent she had given her grief in speaking to
Caelia, found herself something more easy and composed; and
desiring the room to be made perfectly quiet, she fell into a
gentle sleep, which lasted two hours; and when she awaked she
found herself so much better, that those about her were convinced,
from her composed manner of speaking, that she was now able to
bear another interview.

They again called for Caelia, and told her of her cousin's
amendment. She flew with all speed to her chamber; and the moment
she entered, Chloe cried out, 'Can you forgive me, Caelia?'
'Yes, with the greatest joy and sincerity imaginable, my dearest
Chloe,' answered Caelia, 'and never let it be again mentioned or

The sudden recovery of Chloe was almost incredible; for in less
than a week she was able to quit both her bed and room, and go
into her aunt's chamber. The good old lady shed tears of joy, to
see such a return of Chloe's health, and of cheerfulness in the
family; and was perfectly contented, now she saw their melancholy
removed, not to inquire into the late cause of it, for fear of
renewing their trouble even one moment by the remembrance of it.

Sempronius, in the meantime, upon some affairs of his duty in the
army, had been called away, and was absent the whole time of
Chloe's illness, and was not yet returned. Caelia spent almost
her whole time with Chloe; but three weeks passed on, and they
were often alone; yet they had never once mentioned the name of
Sempronius, which laid Caelia still under the greatest difficulty
how to act, so as to avoid giving her friend any uneasiness, and
yet not disoblige Sempronius; for she had promised him at his
departure, that she would give him leave to ask her aunt's consent
immediately upon his return. But the very day he was expected,
she was made quite easy by what passed between her and her friend.

Chloe, in this time, by proper reflections, and a due sense of
Caelia's great goodness and affection to her, had so entirely got
the better of herself in this affair, that she found she could
now, without any uneasiness, see them married; and calling Caelia
to her, she said with a smile, 'I have, my dear friend, been so
long accustomed to read in that intelligible index, your
countenance, all your most inmost thoughts, that I have not been
unobserving of those kind fears you have had on my account; and
the reason I have so long delayed speaking was, my resolution, if
possible, never again to deceive you. I can with pleasure now
assure you, that nothing can give me so much joy as to see your
wedding with Sempronius. I make no doubt, but if you ask it, you
will have my aunt's consent; and, if any intercession should be
wanting towards obtaining it, I will (if you can trust me) use all
my influence in your behalf. Be assured, my dear Caelia, I have
now no farther regard left for Sempronius, than as your husband;
and that regard will increase in proportion as he is the cause of
your happiness.'

They were interrupted in their discourse by news being brought of
the arrival of Sempronius, and Chloe received him with that ease
and cheerfulness as convinced Caelia her professions were unfeigned.

Caelia related to Sempronius all that had passed between her and
Chloe; and by her continued cheerfulness of behaviour, the peace
and tranquillity of the family was perfectly restored, and their
joy greatly increased by Amanda's ready consent to the marriage of
Sempronius and Caelia, having first settled all her fortune to be
divided at her death equally between her nieces; and in her
lifetime there was no occasion of settlements, or deeds of gift,
for they lived all together, and separate property was not so much
as mentioned or thought on in this family of harmony and peace.

Here Miss Dolly ceased reading; and all her hearers sat some
little time silent, and then expressed their great joy that Caelia
and Chloe were at last happy; for none of them had been able to
refrain from tears whilst they were otherwise. On which Miss
Jenny Peace begged them to observe from this story, the miserable
effects that attend deceit and treachery: 'For,' continued she,
'you see you could not refrain from tears, only by imagining what
Chloe must feel after her wickedness (by which indeed she lost the
very happiness she intended treacherously to gain); nor could she
enjoy one moment's peace, till by confessing her fault, and
heartily repenting of it, her mind was restored to its former calm
and tranquility.' Miss Dolly thanked Miss Jenny for her remarks;
but Miss Lucy Sly was most sensibly touched with this story, as
cunning had formerly entirely possessed HER mind; and said, that
if her companions were not weary at present of their arbour, she
would now recount to them the history of her life, as this story
was a proper introduction to it.


Miss Lucy Sly was of the same age as Miss Dolly Friendly; but
shorter, at least, by half the head. She was generally called a
pretty girl, from having a pair of exceeding fine black eyes, only
with the allay of something cunning in their look. She had a high
forehead, and very good curling black hair. She had a sharp high
nose, and a very small mouth. Her complexion was but indifferent,
and the lower part of her face ill-turned, for her chin was too
long for due proportion.


From the time I was two years old, (said Miss Lucy) my mamma was
so sickly, that she was unable to take any great care of me
herself, and I was left to the care of a governess, who made it
her study to bring me to do what she had a mind to have done,
without troubling her head what induced me so to do. And whenever
I did anything wrong, she used to say it was the foot-boy, and not
miss, that was naughty. Nay, she would say, it was the dog, or
the cat, or anything she could lay the blame upon, sooner than own
it was me. I thought this pure, that I was never in fault; and
soon got into a way of telling any lies, and of laying my own
faults on others, since I found I should be believed. I remember
once, when I had broken a fine china-cup, that I artfully got out
of the scrape, and hid the broken cup in the foot-boy's room. He
was whipped for breaking it; and the next day whilst I was at play
about the room, I heard my governess say to a friend who was with
her, "Yesterday Miss Lucy broke a china-cup; but the artful little
hussy went and hid it in the foot-boy's room, and the poor boy was
whipped for it. I don't believe there was ever a girl of her age
that had half her cunning and contrivance." I knew by her tone of
voice, and her manner of speaking, that she did not blame me in
her heart, but rather commended my ingenuity. And I thought
myself so wise, that I could thus get off the blame from myself,
that I every day improved in new inventions to save myself, and
have others punished in my place.

'This life of endeavouring to deceive I led till I came to school.
But here I found that I could not so well carry on my little
schemes; for I was found out and punished for my own faults; and
this created in me a hatred to my companions. For whatever Miss I
had a mind to serve as I used to serve our foot-boy, in laying the
blame falsely upon her, if she could justify herself, and prove me
in the wrong, I was very angry with her, for daring to contradict
me, and not submitting as quietly to be punished wrongfully, as
the foot-boy was forced to do.

'This is all I know of my life hitherto.'

Thus ended Miss Lucy Sly: and Miss Jenny Peace commended Miss
Lucy for her free confession of her faults, and said, 'She doubted
not but she would find the advantage of amending, and endeavouring
to change a disposition so very pernicious to her own peace and
quiet, as well as to that of all her friends;' but they now obeyed
the summons of the supper-bell, and soon after retired to rest.


Our little company, as soon as the morning school-hours were over,
hastened to their arbour, and were attentive to what Miss Jenny
Peace should propose to them for their amusement till dinner-time;
when Miss Jenny, looking round upon them, said, 'that she had not
at present any story to read; but that she hoped, from Miss Dolly
Friendly's example yesterday, some of the rest might endeavour
sometimes to furnish out the entertainment of the day.' Upon
which Miss Sukey Jennett said, 'that though she could not promise
them such an agreeable story as Miss Dolly's; yet she would read
them a letter she had received the evening before from her Cousin
Peggy Smith, who lived at York; in which there was a story that
she thought very strange and remarkable. They were all very
desirous of it, when Miss Sukey read as follows:

'Dear cousin,--I promised, you know, to write to you when I had
anything to tell you; and as I think the following story very
extraordinary, I was willing to keep my word.

'Some time ago there came to settle in this city, a lady, whose
name was Dison. We all visited her: but she had so deep a
melancholy, arising, as it appeared, from a settled state of ill
health, that nothing we could do could afford her the least
relief, or make her cheerful. In this condition she languished
amongst us five years, still continuing to grow worse and worse.

'We all grieved at her fate. Her flesh was withered away; her
appetite decayed by degrees, till all food became nauseous to her
sight; her strength failed her; her feet could not support her
tottering body, lean and worn away as it was; and we hourly
expected her death. When, at last, she one day called her most
intimate friends to her bedside, and, as well as she could, spoke
to the following purpose: 'I know you all pity me; but, alas! I
am not so much the object of your pity, as your contempt; for all
my misery is of my own seeking, and owing to the wickedness of my
own mind. I had two sisters, with whom I was bred up; and I have
all my lifetime been unhappy, for no other cause but for their
success in the world. When we were young, I could neither eat nor
sleep in peace, when they had either praise or pleasure. When we
grew up to be women, they were both soon married much to their
advantage and satisfaction. This galled me to the heart; and,
though I had several good offers, yet as I did not think them in
all respects equal to my sisters, I would not accept them; and yet
was inwardly vexed to refuse them, for fear I would get no better.
I generally deliberated so long that I lost my lovers, and then I
pined for that loss. I never wanted for anything; and was in a
situation in which I might have been happy, if I pleased. My
sisters loved me very well, for I concealed as much as possible
from them my odious envy; and yet never did any poor wretch lead
so miserable a life as I have done; for every blessing they
enjoyed was as so many daggers to my heart. 'Tis this envy that
has caused all my ill health, has preyed upon my very vitals, and
will now bring me to my Grave."

'In a few days after this confession she died; and her words and
death made such a strong impression on my mind, that I could not
help sending you this relation; and begging you, my dear Sukey, to
remember how careful we ought to be to curb in our minds the very
first risings of a passion so detestable, and so fatal, as this
proved to poor Mrs. Dison. I know I have no particular reason for
giving you this caution; for I never saw anything in you, but what
deserved the love and esteem of

'Your very affectionate cousin,

As soon as Miss Sukey had finished her letter, Miss Patty Lockit
rose up, and, flying to Miss Jenny Peace, embraced her, and said,
'What thanks can I give you, my dear friend, for having put me
into a way of examining my heart, and reflecting on my own
actions; by which you have saved me, perhaps, from a life as
miserable as that of the poor woman in Miss Sukey's letter!' Miss
Jenny did not thoroughly understand her meaning; but imagining it
might be something relating to her past life, desired her to
explain herself; which she said she would do, telling now, in her
turn, all that had hitherto happened to her.


Miss Patty Lockit was but ten years old; tall, inclined to fat.
Her neck was short; and she was not in the least genteel. Her
face was very handsome; for all her features were extremely good.
She had large blue eyes; was exceeding fair; and had a great bloom
on her cheeks. Her hair was the very first degree of light brown;
was bright and shining; and hung in ringlets half way down her
back. Her mouth was rather too large; but she had such fine
teeth, and looked so agreeably when she smiled, that you was not
sensible of any fault in it.

This was the person of Miss Patty Lockit, who was slow to relate
her past life; which she did, in the following manner:


I lived, till I was six years old, in a very large family; for I
had four sisters, all older than myself, and three brothers. We
played together, and passed our time much in the common way:
sometimes we quarrelled, and sometimes agreed, just as accident
would have it. Our parents had no partiality to any of us; so we
had no cause to envy one another on that account; and we lived
tolerably well together.

'When I was six years old, my grandmother by my father's side (and
who was also my godmother) offering to take me to live with her,
and promising to look upon me as her own child, and entirely to
provide for me, my father and mother, as they had a large family,
very readily accepted her offer, and sent me directly to her

'About half a year before this, she had taken another goddaughter,
the only child of my Aunt Bradly, who was lately dead, and whose
husband was gone to the West Indies. My cousin, Molly Bradly, was
four years older than I; and her mother had taken such pains in
her education, that the understood more than most girls of her
age; and had so much liveliness, good humour, and ingenuity, that
everybody was fond of her; and wherever we went together, all the
notice was taken of my cousin, and I was very little regarded.

'Though I had all my life before lived in a family where every one
in it was older, and knew more than myself, yet I was very easy;
for we were generally together in the nursery; and nobody took
much notice of us, whether we knew anything, or whether we did
not. But now, as I lived in the house with only one companion,
who was so much more admired than myself, the comparison began to
vex me, and I found a strong hatred and aversion for my cousin
arising in my mind; and yet, I verily believe I should have got
the better of it, and been willing to have learnt of my cousin,
and should have loved her for teaching me, if any one had told me
it was right; and if it had not been that Betty, the maid who took
care of us, used to be for ever teasing me about the preference
that was shown to my cousin, and the neglect I always met with.
She used to tell me, that she wondered how I could bear to see
Miss Molly so caressed; and that it was want of spirit not to
think myself as good as she was; and, if she was in my place, she
would not submit to be taught by a child; for my Cousin Molly
frequently offered to instruct me in anything she knew; but I used
to say (as Betty had taught me) that I would not learn of her; for
she was but a child, though she was a little older; and that I was
not put under her care, but that of my grandmamma. But she, poor
woman, was so old and unhealthy, that she never troubled her head
much about us, but only to take care that we wanted for nothing.
I lived in this manner three years, fretting and vexing myself
that I did not know so much, nor was not so much liked, as my
Cousin Molly, and yet resolving not to learn anything she could
teach me; when my grandmamma was advised to send me to school;
but, as soon as I came here, the case was much worse; for, instead
of one person to envy, I found many; for all my schoolfellows had
learned more than I; and, instead of endeavouring to get
knowledge, I began to hate all those who knew more than myself;
and this, I am now convinced, was owing to that odious envy,
which, if not cured, would always have made me as miserable as
Mrs. Dison was and which constantly tormented me, till we came to
live in that general peace and good-humour we have lately enjoyed:
and as I hope this wicked spirit was not natural to me, but only
blown up by that vile Betty's instigations, I don't doubt but I
shall now grow very happy, and learn something every day, and be
pleased with being instructed, and that I shall always love those
who are so good as to instruct me.'

Here Miss Patty Lockit ceased; and the dinner-bell called them
from their arbour.

Mrs. Teachum, as soon as they had dined, told them, that she
thought it proper they would use some bodily exercise, that they
might not, by sitting constantly still, impair their health. Not
but that she was greatly pleased with their innocent and
instructive manner of employing their leisure hours; but this wise
woman knew that the faculties of the mind grow languid and
useless, when the health of the body is lost.

As soon as they understood their governess's pleasure, they
readily resolved to obey her commands, and desired that, after
school, they might take a walk as far as the dairy house, to eat
some curds and cream. Mrs. Teachum not only granted their
request, but said she would dispense with their school-attendance
that afternoon, in order to give them more time for their walk,
which was between two and three miles; and she likewise added,
that she herself would go with them. They all flew like lightning
to get their hats, and to equip themselves for their walk; and,
with cheerful countenances, attended Mrs. Teachum in the
schoolroom. This good gentlewoman, so far from laying them under
a restraint by her presence, encouraged them to run in the fields,
and to gather flowers; which they did, each miss trying to get the
best to present to her governess. In this agreeable manner, with
laughing, talking, and singing, they arrived at the dairy-house,
before they imagined they had walked a mile.

There lived at this dairy-house an old woman, near seventy years
of age. She had a fresh colour in her face; but was troubled with
the palsy, that made her head shake a little. She was bent
forward with age, and her hair was quite grey: but she retained
much good-humour, and received this little party with hearty

Our little gentry flocked about this good woman, asking her a
thousand questions. Miss Polly Suckling asked her, 'Why she shook
her head so?' and Miss Patty Lockit said, 'She hoped her hair
would never be of such a colour.'

Miss Jenny Peace was afraid they would say something that would
offend the old woman, and advised them to turn their discourse.
'Oh! let the dear rogues alone,' says the old woman; 'I like their
prattle;' and, taking Miss Polly by the hand, said, 'Come, my
dear, we will go into the dairy, and skim the milk pans.' At
which words they all run into the dairy, and some of them dipped
their fingers in the cream; which when Mrs. Nelly perceived (who
was the eldest daughter of the old woman, and who managed all the
affairs) she desired they would walk out of the dairy, and she
would bring them what was fit for them: upon which Miss Dolly
Friendly said, 'she had rather be as old and good-natured as the
mother, than as young and ill-natured as the daughter.'

The old woman desired her company to sit down at a long table,
which she soon supplied with plenty of cream, strawberries, brown
bread, and sugar. Mrs. Teachum took her place at the upper end,
and the rest sat down in their usual order, and eat plentifully of
these good things. After which, Mrs. Teachum told them they might
walk out and see the garden and orchard, and by that time it would
be proper to return home.

The good old woman showed them the way into the garden; and
gathered the finest roses and pinks she could pick, and gave them
to Miss Polly, to whom she had taken a great Fancy.

At their taking leave, Mrs. Teachum rewarded the good old woman
for her trouble; who, on her part, expressed much pleasure in
feeing so many well-behaved young ladies; and said, she hoped they
would come often.

These little friends had not walked far in their way home, before
they met a miserable ragged fellow, who begged their charity. Our
young folks immediately gathered together about this poor
creature, and were hearkening very earnestly to his story, which
he set forth in a terrible manner, of having been burnt out of his
house, and, from one distress to another, reduced to that
miserable state they saw him in, when Mrs. Teachum came up to
them. She was not a little pleased to see all the misses' hands
in their pockets, pulling out half-pence, and some sixpences. She
told them, she approved of their readiness to assist the poor
fellow, as he appeared to them; but oftentimes those fellows made
up dismal stories without much foundation, and because they were
lazy, and would not work. Miss Dolly said, indeed she believed
the poor man spoke truth; for he looked honest; and, besides, he
seemed almost starved.

Mrs. Teachum told them it would be late before they could get
home; so, after each of them had given what they thought proper,
they pursued their walk, prattling all the way.

They got home about nine o'clock; and, as they did not choose any
supper, the bell rang for prayers; after which our young
travellers retired to their rest, where we doubt not but they had
a good repose.


Mrs. Teachum, in the morning, inquired how her scholars did after
their walk, and was pleased to hear they were all very well. They
then performed their several tasks with much cheerfulness; and,
after the school-hours, they were hastening, as usual, to their
arbour, when Miss Jenny desired them all to go thither without
her, and she would soon follow them; which they readily consented
to; but begged her not to deprive them long of the pleasure of her
sweet company.

Miss Jenny then went directly into her governess's parlour, and
told her that she had some thoughts of reading to her companions a
fairy tale, which was also given her by her mamma; and though it
was not in such a pompous style, nor so full of wonderful images,
as the giant-story; yet she would not venture to read anything of
that kind without her permission; but, as she had not absolutely
condemned all that sort of writing, she hoped she was not guilty
of a fault in asking that permission. Mrs. Teachum, with a
gracious smile, told her, that she seemed so thoroughly well to
understand the whole force of her Monday night's discourse to her,
that she might be trusted almost in anything; and desired her to
go and follow her own judgment and inclinations in the amusement
of her happy friends. Miss Jenny, overjoyed with this kind
condescension in her governess, thanked her, with, a low courtesy,
and said, she hoped she should never do anything unworthy of the
confidence reposed on her; and, hastening to the arbour, she there
found all her little companions quite impatient of this short

Miss Jenny told them, that she had by her a fairy-tale, which, if
they liked it, she would read; and, as it had pleased her, she did
not doubt but it would give them equal pleasure.

It was the custom now so much amongst them to assent to any
proposal that came from Miss Jenny, that they all with one voice
desired her to read it; till Miss Polly Suckling said, 'that
although she was very unwilling to contradict anything Miss Jenny
liked, yet she could not help saying, she thought it would be
better if they were to read some true history, from which they
might learn something; for she thought fairy-tales were fit only
for little children.

Miss Jenny could not help smiling at such an objection's coming
from the little dumpling, who was not much above seven years of
age; and then said, 'I will tell you a story, my little Polly, of
what happened to me whilst I was at home.

'There came into our village, when I was six years old, a man who
carried about a raree-show, which all the children of the parish
were fond of seeing; but I had taken it into my head, that it was
beneath my wisdom to see raree-shows; and therefore would not be
persuaded to join my companions to see this sight; and although I
had as great an inclination as any of them to see it, yet I
avoided it, in order to boast of my own great sense, in that I was
above such trifles.

'When my mamma asked me, "Why I would not see the show, when she
had given me leave? I drew up my head, and said, "Indeed I did
not like raree-shows. That I had been reading; and I thought that
much more worth my while, than to lose my time at such foolish
entertainments." My mamma, who saw the cause of my refusing this
amusement was only a pretence of being wise, laughed, and said,
"She herself had seen it, and it was really very comical and
diverting." On hearing this, I was heartily vexed to think I had
denied myself a pleasure, which I fancied was beneath me, when I
found even my mamma was not above seeing it. This in a great
measure cured me of the folly of thinking myself above any
innocent amusement. And when I grew older, and more capable of
hearing reason, my mamma told me, "She had taken this method of
laughing at me, as laughing is the proper manner of treating
affectation; which of all things, she said, she would have me
carefully avoid; otherwise, whenever I was found out, I should
become contemptible."'

Here Miss Jenny ceased speaking; and Miss Polly Suckling, blushing
that she had made any objection to what Miss Jenny had proposed,
begged her to begin the fairy tale; when just at that instant,
Mrs. Teachum, who had been taking a walk in the garden, turned
into the arbour to delight herself with a view of her little
school united in harmony and love, and Miss Jenny, with great good
humour, told her mistress the small contest she had just had with
Miss Polly about reading a fairy tale, and the occasion of it.
Mrs. Teachum kindly chucking the little dumpling under the chin,
said, she had so good an opinion of Miss Jenny, as to answer for
her, that she would read nothing to them but what was proper; and
added, that she herself would stay and hear this fairy tale which
Miss Jenny, on her commands, immediately began.


Above two thousand years ago, there reigned over the kingdom of
Tonga, a king, whose name was Abdallah. He was married to a young
princess, the daughter of a king of a neighbouring country, whose
name was Rousignon. Her beauty and prudence engaged him so far in
affection to her, that every hour he could possibly spare from
attending the affairs of his kingdom he spent in her apartment.
They had a little daughter, to whom they gave the name of Hebe,
who was the darling and mutual care of both.

The king was quiet in his dominion, beloved by his subjects, happy
in his family, and all his days rolled on in calm content and joy.
The king's brother Abdulham was also married to a young princess,
named Tropo, who in seven years had brought him no children; and
she conceived so mortal a hatred against the queen (for she envied
her the happiness of the little Princess Hebe) that she resolved
to do her some mischief. It was impossible for her, during the
king's lifetime, to vent her malice without being discovered, and
therefore she pretended the greatest respect and friendship
imaginable for the unsuspecting queen.

Whilst things were in this situation, the king fell into a violent
fever, of which he died; and during the time that the queen was in
the height of her affliction for him, and could think of nothing
but his loss, the Princess Tropo took the opportunity of putting
in execution her malicious intentions. She inflamed her husband's
passions, by setting forth the meanness of his spirit, in letting
a crown be ravished from his head by a female infant, till
ambition seized his mind, and he resolved to wield the Tongian
sceptre himself. It was very easy to bring this about, for, by
his brother's appointment, he was protector of the realm, and
guardian to the young princess his niece; and the queen taking him
and the princess his wife for her best friends, suspected nothing
of their designs, but in a manner gave herself up to their power.

The protector Abdulham, having the whole treasure of the kingdom
at his command, was in possession of the means to make all his
schemes successful; and the Princess Tropo, by lavishly rewarding
the instruments of her treachery, contrived to make it generally
believed, that the queen had poisoned her husband, who was so much
beloved by his subjects, that the very horror of the action,
without any proof of her guilt, raised against the poor unhappy
Queen a universal clamour, and a general aversion throughout the
whole kingdom. The princess had so well laid her scheme, that the
guards were to seize the queen, and convey her to a place of
confinement, till she could prove her innocence; which, that she
might never be able to do, proper care was taken by procuring
sufficient evidence to accuse her on oath; and the Princess Hebe,
her daughter, was to be taken from her, and educated under the
care of her uncle. But the night before this cruel design was to
have been put in execution, a faithful attendant of the queen's,
named Loretta, by the assistance of one of the Princess Tropo's
confidants (who had long professed himself her lover) discovered
the whole secret, of which she immediately informed her royal

The horrors which filled the queen's mind at the relation of the
Princess Tropo's malicious intentions, were inexpressible, and her
perturbation so great, that she could not form any scheme that
appeared probable to execute for her own preservation. Loretta
told her that the person who had given her this timely notice, had
also provided a peasant who knew the country, and would meet her
at the western gate of the city, and, carrying the young Princess
Hebe in his arms, would conduct her to some place of safety; but
she must consent to put on a disguise, and escape that very night
from the palace, or she would be lost for ever. Horses or mules,
she said, it would be impossible to come at without suspicion;
therefore she must endeavour (though unused to such fatigue) to
travel afoot till she got herself concealed in some cottage from
her pursuers, if her enemies should think of endeavouring to find
her out. Loretta offered to attend her mistress, but she
absolutely forbad her going any farther than to the western gate;
where delivering the little Princess Hebe into the arms of the
peasant, who was there waiting for them, she reluctantly withdrew.

The good queen, who saw no remedy to this her terrible disgrace,
could have borne this barbarous usage without much repining, had
she herself been the only sufferer by it; for the loss of the good
king her husband so far exceeded all her other misfortunes, that
every everything else was trifling in comparison of so dreadful an
affliction. But the young Princess Hebe, whom she was accustomed
to look on as her greatest blessing, now became to her an object
of pity and concern; for, from being heiress to a throne, the poor
infant, not yet five years old, was, with her wretched mother,
become a vagabond, and knew not whither to fly for protection.

Loretta had prevailed on her royal mistress to take with her a few
little necessaries, besides a small picture of the king, and some
of her jewels, which the queen contrived to conceal under her
night-clothes, in the midst of that hair they were used to adorn,
when her loved husband delighted to see it displayed in flowing
ringlets round her snowy neck. This lady, during the life of her
fond husband, was by his tender care kept from every inclemency of
the air, and preserved from every inconvenience that it was
possible for human nature to suffer. What then must be her
condition now, when through bypaths and thorny ways, she was
obliged to fly with all possible speed, to escape the fury of her
cruel pursuers: for she too well knew the merciless temper of her
enemies, to hope that they would not pursue her with the utmost
diligence, especially as she was accompanied by the young Princess
Hebe; whose life was the principal cause of their disquiet, and
whose destruction they chiefly aimed at.

The honest peasant, who carried the Princess Hebe in his arms,
followed the queen's painful steps; and seeing the day begin to
break, he begged her, if possible, to hasten on to a wood which
was not far off, where it was likely she might find a place of
safety. But the afflicted queen, at the sight of the opening morn
(which once used to fill her mind with rising joy) burst into a
flood of tears, and, quite overcome with grief and fatigue, cast
herself on the ground, crying out in the most affecting manner,
'The end of my misfortunes is at hand. My weary limbs will no
longer support me. My spirits fail me. In the grave alone must I
seek for shelter.' The poor princess, seeing her mother in tears,
cast her little arms about her neck, and wept also, though she
knew not why.

Whilst she was in this deplorable condition, turning round her
head, she saw behind her a little girl, no older in appearance
than the Princess Hebe; who, with an amiable and tranquil
countenance, begged her to rise and follow her, and she would lead
her where she might refresh and repose herself.

The queen was surprised at the manner of speaking of this little
child, as she took her to be; but soon thought it was some kind
fairy sent to protect her, and was very ready to submit herself to
her guidance and protection.

The little fairy (for such indeed was the seeming child who had
thus accosted them) ordered the peasant to return back, and said
that she would take care of the queen, and her young daughter; and
he, knowing her to be the good fairy Sybella, very readily obeyed.

Sybella then striking the ground three times with a little wand,
there suddenly rose up before them a neat plain car, and a pair of
milk-white horses; and placing the queen with the Princess Hebe in
her lap by her side, she drove with excessive swiftness full
westward for eight hours; when (just as the sun began to have
power enough to make the queen almost faint with the heat and her
former fatigue) they arrived at the side of a shady wood; upon
entering of which, the fairy made her horses slacken in their
speed, and having travelled about a mile and a half, through rows
of elms and beech trees, they came to a thick grove of firs, into
which there seemed to be no entrance. For there was not any
opening to a path, and the underwood consisting chiefly of
rose-bushes, white-thorn, eglantine, and other flowering shrubs,
was so thick, that it appeared impossible to attempt forcing
through them. But alighting out of the car (which immediately
disappeared) the fairy (bidding the queen follow her) pushed her
way through a large bush of jessamine, whose tender branches gave
way for their passage and then closed again, so as to leave no
traces of an entrance into this charming grove.

Having gone a little way through an extreme narrow path, they came
into an opening (quite surrounded by these firs and sweet
underwood) not very large, but in which was contained everything
that is necessary towards making life comfortable. At the end of
a green meadow was a plain neat house, built more for convenience
than beauty, fronting the rising sun; and behind it was a small
garden, stored only with fruits and useful herbs. Sybella
conducted her guests into this her simple lodging; and as repose
was the chief thing necessary for the poor fatigued queen, she
prevailed with her to lie down on a couch. Some hours' sound
sleep, which her weariness induced, gave her a fresh supply of
spirits; the ease and safety from her pursuers, in which she then
found herself, made her for a short time tolerably composed; and
she begged the favour of knowing to whom she was so greatly
obliged for this her happy deliverance; but the fairy seeing her
mind too unsettled to give any due attention to what she should
say, told her that she would defer the relation of her own life
(which was worth her observation) till she had obtained a respite
from her own sorrows; and in the meantime, by all manner of
obliging ways, she endeavoured to divert and amuse her.

The queen, after a short interval of calmness of mind, occasioned
only by her so sudden escape from the terrors of pursuit, returned
to her former dejection, and for some time incessantly wept at the
dismal thought, that the princess seemed now, by this reverse of
fate, to be for ever excluded all hopes of being seated on her
father's throne; and, by a strange perverse way of adding to her
own grief, she afflicted herself the more, because the little
princess was ignorant of her misfortune; and whenever she saw her
diverting herself with little childish plays, instead of being
pleased with such her innocent amusement, it added to her sorrow,
and made her tears gush forth in a larger stream than usual. She
could not divert her thoughts from the palace from which she had
been driven, to fix them on any other object; nor would her grief
suffer her to reflect, that it was possible for the princess to be
happy without a crown.

At length time, the great cure of all ills, in some measure abated
her Sorrows; her grief began to subside; in spite of herself, the
reflection that her misery was only in her own fancy, would
sometimes force itself on her mind. She could not avoid seeing,
that her little hostess enjoyed as perfect a state of happiness as
is possible to attain in this world; that she was free from
anxious cares, undisturbed by restless passions, and mistress of
all things that could be of any use to make life easy or
agreeable. The oftener this reflection presented itself to her
thoughts, the more strength it gained; and, at last, she could
even bear to think, that her beloved child might be as happy in
such a situation, as was her amiable hostess. Her countenance now
grew more cheerful; she could take the Princess Hebe in her arms,
and thinking the jewels she had preserved would secure her from
any fear of want, look on her with delight; and began even to
imagine, that her future life might be spent in calm content and

As soon as the voice of reason had gained this power over the
queen, Sybella told her, that now her bosom was so free from
passion, she would relate the history of her life. The queen,
overjoyed that her curiosity might now be gratified, begged her
not to delay giving her that pleasure one moment; on which our
little fairy began in the following manner.

But there Mrs. Teachum told Miss Jenny that the bell rung for
dinner; on which she was obliged to break off. But meeting again
in the same arbour in the evening, when their good mistress
continued to them the favour of her presence, Miss Jenny pursued
her story.


'My father,' said the fairy, 'was a magician: he married a lady
for love, whose beauty far outshone that of all her neighbours;
and by means of that beauty, she had so great an influence over
her husband, that she could command the utmost power of his art.
But better had it been for her, had that beauty been wanting; for
her power only served to make her wish for more, and the
gratification of every desire begot a new one, which often it was
impossible for her to gratify. My father, though he saw his error
in thus indulging her, could not attain steadiness of mind enough
to mend it, nor acquire resolution enough to suffer his beloved
wife once to grieve or shed a tear to no purpose, though in order
to cure her of that folly which made her miserable.

'My grandfather so plainly saw the temper and disposition of his
son towards women, that he did not leave him at liberty to dispose
of his magic art to any but his posterity, that it might not be in
the power of a wife to tease him out of it. But his caution was
to very little purpose; for although my mother could not from
herself exert any magic power, yet such was her unbounded
influence over her husband, that she was sure of success in every
attempt to persuade him to gratify her desires. For if every
argument she could invent happened to fail, yet the shedding but
one tear was a certain method to prevail with him to give up his
reason, whatever might be the consequence.

'When my father and mother had been married about a year, she was
brought to bed of a daughter, to whom she gave the name of
Brunetta. Her first request to my father was, that he would endow
this infant with as much beauty as she herself was possessed of,
and bestow on her as much of his art as should enable her to
succeed in all her designs. My father foresaw the dreadful
tendency of granting this request, but said he would give it with
this restriction, that she should succeed in all her designs that
were not wicked; for, said he, the success of wicked designs
always turns out as a punishment to the person so succeeding. In
this resolution he held for three days, till my mother (being weak
in body after her lying-in) worked herself with her violent
passions to such a degree, that the physicians told my father,
they despaired of her life, unless some method could be found to
make her mind more calm and easy. His fondness for his wife would
not suffer him to bear the thoughts of losing her, and the horror
with which that apprehension had but for a moment possessed his
mind, prevailed with him to bestow on the little Brunetta (though
foreseeing it would make her miserable) the fatal gift in its full
extent. But one restriction it was out of his power to take off,
namely, that all wicked designs ever could and should be rendered
ineffectual by the virtue and perseverance of those against whom
they were intended, if they in a proper manner exerted that

'I was born in two years after Brunetta, and was called Sybella:
but my mother was so taken up with her darling Brunetta, that she
gave herself nut the least concern about me; and I was left wholly
to the care of my father. In order to make the gift she had
extorted from her fond husband as fatal as possible to her
favourite child, she took care in her education (by endeavouring
to cultivate in her the spirit of revenge and malice against those
who had in the least degree offended her) to turn her mind to all
manner of mischief; by which means she lived in a continual

'My father, as soon as I was old enough to hearken to reason, told
me of the gift he had conferred on my sister; said he could not
retract it; and therefore, if she had any mischievous designs
against me, they must in some measure succeed; but she would endow
me with a power superior to this gift of my sister's, and likewise
superior to any thing else that he was able to bestow, which was
strength and constancy of mind enough to bear patiently any
injuries I might receive; and this was a strength, he said, which
would not decay, but rather increase, by every new exercise of it;
and, to secure me in the possession of this gift, he likewise gave
me a perfect knowledge of the true value of everything around me,
by which means I might learn, whatever outward accidents befell
me, not to lose the greatest blessing in this world, namely, a
calm and contented mind. He taught me so well my duty, that I
cheerfully obeyed my mother in all things, though she seldom gave
me a kind word, or even a kind look; for my spiteful sister was
always telling some lies to make her angry with me. But my heart
overflowed with gratitude to my father, that he would give me
leave to love him, whilst he instructed me that it was my duty to
pay him the most strict obedience.

'Brunetta was daily encouraged by her mother to use me ill, and
chiefly because my father loved me; and although she succeeded in
all her designs of revenge on me, yet was she very uneasy, because
she could not take away the cheerfulness of my mind; for I bore
with patience whatever happened to me: and she would often say,
"must I with all my beauty, power, and wisdom (for so she called
her low cunning) be suffering perpetual uneasiness? and shall you,
who have neither beauty, power, nor wisdom, pretend to be happy
and cheerful?" Then would she cry and stamp, and rave like a mad
creature, and set her invention at work to make my mother beat me,
or lock me up, or take from me some of my best clothes to give to
her; yet still could not her power extend to vex my mind: and
this used to throw her again into such passions, as weakened her
health, and greatly impaired her so much boasted beauty.

'In this manner we lived, till on a certain day, after Brunetta
had been in one of her rages with me for nothing, my father came
in and chid her for it; which, when my mother heard, she threw
herself into such a violent passion, that her husband could not
pacify her. And, being big with child, the convulsions, caused by
her passions, brought her to her grave. Thus my father lost her,
by the same uncontrollable excesses, the fatal effects of which he
had before ruined his daughter to preserve her from. He did not
long survive her; but, before he died, gave me a little wand,
which, by striking three times on the ground, he said, would at
any time produce me any necessary or convenience of life, which I
really wanted, either for myself, or the assistance of others; and
this he gave me, because he was very sensible, he said, that as
soon as he was dead, my sister would never rest till she had got
from me both his castle, and everything that I had belonging to
me, in it. "But," continued he, "whenever you are driven from
thence, bend your course directly into the pleasant wood Ardella;
there strike with your wand, and everything you want, will be
provided for you. But keep this wand a profound secret, or
Brunetta will get it from you; and then (though you can never,
while you preserve your patience, be unhappy) you will not have it
in your power to be of so much use as you would wish to be, to
those who shall stand in need of your assistance." Saying these
words, he expired, as I kneeled by his bedside, attending his last
commands, and bewailing the loss of so good a father.

'In the midst of this our distress, we sent to my Uncle Sochus, my
father's brother, to come to us, and to assist us in an equal
division of my deceased father's effects; but my sister soon
contrived to make him believe, that I was the wickedest girl
alive, and had always set my father against her by my art, which
she said I pretended to call my wisdom; and by several handsome
presents she soon persuaded him (for he did not care a farthing
for either of us) to join with her in saying, that, as she was the
eldest sister, she had a full right to the castle, and everything
in it; but she told me I was very welcome to stay there, and live
with her, if I pleased; and while I behaved myself well, she
should be very glad of my company.

'As it was natural for me to love every one that would give me
leave to love them, I was quite overjoyed at this kind offer of my
sister's, and never once thought on the treachery she had so
lately been guilty of; and I have since reflected, that happy was
it for me, that passion was so much uppermost with her, that she
could not execute any plot, that required a dissimulation of any
long continuance; for had her good humour lasted but one
four-and-twenty hours, it is very probable that I should have
opened my whole heart to her; should have endeavoured to have
begun a friendship with her, and perhaps have betrayed the secret
of my wand; but just as it was sunset, she came into the room
where I was, in the most violent passion in the world, accusing me
to my uncle of ingratitude to her great generosity, in suffering
me to live in her castle. She said, "that she had found me out,
and that my crimes were of the blackest dye," although she would
not tell me either what they were, or who were my accusers. She
would not give me leave to speak, either to ask what my offence
was, or to justify my innocence; and I plainly perceived, that her
pretended kindness was only designed to make my disappointment the
greater; and that she was now determined to find me guilty,
whether I pleaded, or not. And after she had raved on for some
time, she said to me with a sneer, "Since you have always boasted
of your calm and contented mind, you may now try to be contented
this night with the softness of the grass for your bed; for here
in my castle you shall not stay one moment longer." And so
saying, she and my uncle led me to the outer court, and thrusting
me with all their force from them, they shut up the gates, bolting
and barring them as close as if to keep out a giant; and left me,
at that time of night, friendless, and, as they thought, destitute
of any kind of support.

'I then remembered my dear father's last words, and made what
haste I could to this wood, which is not above a mile distant from
the castle; and being, as I thought, about the middle of it, I
struck three times with my wand, and immediately up rose this
grove of trees, which you see, this house, and all the other
conveniences, which I now enjoy; and getting that very night into
this my plain and easy bed, I enjoyed as sweet a repose as ever I
did in my life, only delayed, indeed, a short time, by a few
sighs, for the loss of so good a parent, and the unhappy state of
a self-tormented sister, whose slumbers (I fear) on a bed of down,
were more restless and interrupted that night than mine would have
been, even had not my father's present of the wand prevented me
from the necessity of using the bed of grass, which she, in her
wrath, allotted me. In this grove, which I call Placid Grove, is
contained all that I want; and it is so well secured from any
invaders, by the thick briars and thorns which surround it, having
no entrance but through that tender jessamine, that I live in no
apprehensions of any disturbance, though so near my sister's
castle. But once, indeed, she came with a large train, and,
whilst I was asleep, set fire to the trees all around me; and
waking, I found myself almost suffocated with smoke, and the
flames had reached one part of my House. I started from my bed,
and striking on the ground three times with my wand, there came
such a quantity of water from the heavens, as soon extinguished
the fire; and the next morning, by again having recourse to my
wand, all things grew up into their convenient and proper order.
When my sister Brunetta found that I had such a supernatural power
at my command, though she knew not what it was, she desisted from
ever attempting any more by force to disturb me; and now only uses
all sorts of arts and contrivances to deceive me, or any persons
whom I would wish to secure. One of my father's daily lessons to
me was, that I should never omit any one day of my life
endeavouring to be as serviceable as I possibly could to any
person in distress. And I daily wander, as far as my feet will
carry me, in search of any such, and hither I invite them to peace
and calm contentment. But my father added also this command, that
I should never endeavour doing any farther good to those whom
adversity had not taught to hearken to the voice of reason, enough
to enable them so to conquer their passions as not to think
themselves miserable in a safe retreat from noise and confusion.
This was the reason I could not gratify you in relating the
history of my life, whilst you gave way to raging passions, which
only serve to blind your eyes, and shut your ears from truth. But
now, great queen (for I know your state, from what you vented in
your grief), I am ready to endow this little princess with any
gift in my power, that I know will tend really to her good; and I
hope your experience of the world has made you too reasonable to
require any other.'

The queen considered a little while, and then desired Sybella to
endow the princess with that only wisdom which would enable her to
see and follow what was her own true good, to know the value of
everything around her, and to be sensible that following the paths
of goodness and performing her duty was the only road to content
and happiness.

Sybella was overjoyed at the queen's request, and immediately
granted it, only telling the Princess Hebe, that it was absolutely
necessary towards the attainment of this great blessing, that she
should entirely obey the queen her mother, without ever pretending
to examine her commands; for 'true obedience (said she) consists
in submission; and when we pretend to choose what commands are
proper and fit for us, we don't obey, but set up our own wisdom in
opposition to our governors--this, my dear Hebe, you must be very
careful of avoiding, if you would be happy.' She then cautioned
her against giving way to the persuasions of any of the young
shepherdesses thereabouts, who would endeavour to allure her to
disobedience, by striving to raise in her mind a desire of
thinking herself wise, whilst they were tearing from her what was
indeed true wisdom. 'For (said Sybella) my sister Brunetta, who
lives in the castle she drove me from (about a mile from this
wood) endows young shepherdesses with great beauty, and everything
that is in appearance amiable, and likely to persuade, in order to
allure away and make wretched, those persons I would preserve:
and all the wisdom with which I have endowed the Princess Hebe
will not prevent her falling into my sister's snares, if she gives
the least way to temptation; for my father's gift to Brunetta, in
her infancy, enables her (as I told you) to succeed in all her
designs, except they are resisted by the virtue of the person she
is practising against. Many poor wretches has my sister already
decoyed away from me, whom she now keeps in her castle; where they
live in splendor and seeming joy, but in real misery, from
perpetual jars and tumults, railed by envy, malice, and all the
train of tumultuous and tormenting passions.'

The Princess Hebe said, she doubted not but she should be able to
withstand any of Brunetta's temptations. Her mother interrupting
her, cried out, 'Oh, my dear child, though you are endowed with
wisdom enough to direct you in the way to virtue, yet if you grow
conceited and proud of that wisdom, and fancy yourself above
temptation, it will lead you into the worst of all evils.' Here
the fairy interposed, and told the Princess Hebe, that if she
would always carefully observe and obey her mother, who had
learned wisdom in that best school, adversity, she would then,
indeed, be able to withstand and overcome every temptation, and
would likewise be happy herself, and able to dispense happiness to
all around her. Nothing was omitted by the fairy to make this
retirement agreeable to her royal guests; and they had now passed
near seven years in this delightful grove, in perfect peace and
tranquillity; when one evening, as they were walking in the
pleasant wood which surrounded their habitation, they espied under
the shade, and leaning against the bark of a large oak, a poor old
man, whose limbs were withered and decayed, and whose eyes were
hollow, and sunk with age and misery. They stopped as soon as
they saw him, and heard him in the anguish of his heart, with a
loud groan, utter these words: 'When will my sorrows end? Where
shall I find the good fairy Sybella?' The fairy immediately
begged to know his business with her; and said, if his sorrows
would end on finding Sybella, he might set his heart at ease; for
she stood now before him, and ready to serve him, if his
distresses were such as would admit of relief, and he could prove
himself worthy of her friendship. The old Man appeared greatly
overjoyed at having found the fairy, and began the following

'I live from hence a thousand leagues. All this tiresome way have
I come in search of you. My whole life has been spent in amassing
wealth, to enrich one only son, whom I doted on to distraction.
It is now five years since I have given him up all the riches I
had laboured to get, only to make him happy. But, alas how am I
disappointed! His wealth enables him to command whatever this
world produces; and yet the poorest wretch that begs his bread
cannot be more miserable. He spends his days in riot and luxury;
has more slaves and attendants than wait in the palace of a
prince; and still he sighs from morning till night, because, he
says, there is nothing in this world worth living for. All his
dainties only sate his palate, and grow irksome to his sight. He
daily changes his opinion of what is pleasure; and, on the trial,
finds none that he can call such; and then falls to sighing again,
for the emptiness of all that he has enjoyed. So that, instead of
being my delight, and the comfort of my old age, sleepless nights,
and anxious days, are all the rewards of my past labours for him.
But I have had many visions and dreams to admonish me, that if I
would venture with my old frame to travel hither a-foot in search
of the fairy Sybella, she had a glass, which if she showed him, he
would be cured of this dreadful melancholy, and I have borne the
labour and fatigue of coming this long tiresome way, that I may
not breathe my last with the agonizing reflection, that all the
labours of my life have been thrown away. But what shall I say to
engage you to go with me? Can riches tempt, or praise allure you?'

'No, (answered the fairy) neither of them has power to move me;
but I compassionate your age; and if I thought I could succeed,
would not refuse you. The glass which I shall bid him look in,
will show him his inward self; but if he will not open both his
eyes and heart enough to truth, to let him understand, that the
pleasures he pursues not only are not but cannot be satisfactory,
I can be of no sort of service to him. And know, old man, that
the punishment you now feel is the natural result of your not
having taught him this from his infancy; for, instead of heaping
up wealth, to allure him to seek for happiness from such deceitful
means, you should have taught him, that the only path to it was to
be virtuous and good.'

The old man said, he heartily repented of his conduct, and on his
knees so fervently implored Sybella's assistance, that at last she
consented to go with him. Then striking on the ground three times
with her wand, the car and horses rose up, and placing the old Man
by her, after taking leave of the queen, and begging the Princess
Hebe to be careful to guard against all temptations to
disobedience, she set out on her journey.

It being now come to the latest hour that Mrs. Teachum thought
proper for her little scholars to stay out in the air, she told
Miss Jenny that she must defer reading the remaining part of her
story till the next day. Miss Jenny always with great
cheerfulness obeyed her governess, and immediately left off
reading; and said she was ready to attend her; and the whole
company rose up to follow her.

Mrs. Teachum had so much judgment, that, perceiving such a ready
obedience to all her commands, she now endeavoured, by all means
she could think of; to make her scholars throw off that reserve
before her, which must ever make it uneasy to them for her ever to
be present whilst they were following their innocent diversions;
for such was the understanding of this good woman, that she could
keep up the authority of the governess in her school, yet at times
become the companion of her scholars. And as she now saw, by
their good behaviour, they deserved that indulgence, she took the
little dumpling by the hand, and, followed by the rest, walked
towards the house, and discoursed familiarly with them the rest of
the evening, concerning all their past amusements.


It was the custom on Saturdays to have no school in the afternoon,
and it being also their writing day from morning-school till
dinner, Mrs. Teachum, knowing how eager Miss Jenny's hearers were
for the rest of the story, accompanied them into the arbour, early
in the afternoon, when Miss Jenny went on as follows:


The queen and the Princess Hebe remained, by the good fairy's
desire, in her habitation during her absence. They spent their
time in serenity and content; the princess daily improving herself
in wisdom and goodness, by hearkening to her mother's instructions,
and obeying all her commands, and the queen in studying what would
be of most use to her child. She had now forgot her throne and
palace, and desired nothing for her, than her present peaceful
retreat. One morning, as they were sitting in a little arbour at
the corner of a pleasant meadow, on a sudden they heard a voice,
much sweeter than they had ever heard, warble through the following song:


Virtue, soft balm of every woe,
Of ev'ry grief the cure,
'Tis thou alone that canst best bestow
Pleasures unmix'd and pure.

The shady wood, the verdant mead,
Are Virtue's flow'ry road;
Nor painful are the steps which lead
To her divine abode.

'Tis not in palaces of halls,
She or their train appear;
Far off she flies from pompous walls;
Virtue and Peace dwell here.

The queen was all attention, and at the end of the song she gazed
around her, in hopes of seeing the person whose enchanting voice
she had been so eagerly listening to, when she espied a young
shepherdess, not much older than the Princess Hebe, but possessed
of such uncommon and dazzling beauty, that it was some time before
she could disengage her eyes from so agreeable an object. As soon
as the young shepherdess found herself observed, she seemed
modestly to offer to withdraw; but the queen begged her not to go
till she had informed them who she was, that, with such a
commanding aspect, had so much engaged them in her favour.

The shepherdess coming forward, with a bashful blush, and profound
obedience, answered, that her name was Rozella, and she was the
daughter of a neighbouring shepherd and shepherdess, who lived
about a quarter of a mile from thence; and, to confess the truth,
she had wandered thither, in hopes of seeing the young stranger,
whose fame for beauty and wisdom had filled all that country

The Princess Hebe, well knowing of whom she spoke, conceived from
that moment such an inclination fur her acquaintance, that she
begged her to stay and spend that whole day with them in Placid
Grove. Here the queen frowned upon her, for she had, by the
fairy's desire, charged her never to bring any one, without her
permission, into that peaceful grove.

The young Rozella answered, that nothing could be more agreeable
to her inclinations; but she must be at home by noon, for so in
the morning had her father commanded her, and never yet in her
life had she either disputed or disobeyed her parent's commands.
Here the young princess looked on her mother with eyes expressive
of her joy at finding a companion, which she, and even the fairy
herself, could not disapprove.

When Rozella took her leave, she begged the favour that the little
Hebe (for so she called her, not knowing her to be a princess)
might come to her father's small cottage, and there partake such
homely fare as it afforded; a welcome, she said, she could insure
her; and though poor, yet from the honesty of her parents, who
would be proud to entertain so rare a beauty, she was certain no
sort of harm could happen to the pretty Hebe, from such a friendly
visit; and she would be in the same place again tomorrow, to meet
her, in hopes, as she said, to conduct her to her humble habitation.

When Rozella was gone, the queen, though highly possessed in her
favour, both by her beauty and modest behaviour, yet pondered some
time on the thought, whether or no she was a fit companion for her
daughter. She remembered what Sybella had told her, concerning
Brunetta's adorning young shepherdesses with beauty, and other
excellences, only to enable them the better to allure and entice
others into wickedness. Rozella's beginning her acquaintance too
with the princess, by flattery, had no good aspect; and the sudden
effect it had upon her, so as to make her forget, or wilfully
disobey, her commands, by inviting Rozella to Placid Grove, were
circumstances which greatly alarmed her. But, by the repeated
entreaties of the princess, she gave her consent that she should
meet Rozella the next day, and walk with her in that meadow, and
in the wood, but upon no account should she go home with her, or
bring Rozella back with her. The queen then, in gentle terms,
chid the princess for her invitation to the young shepherdess,
which was contrary to an absolute command; and said, 'You must, my
dear Hebe, be very careful to guard yourself extremely well
against those temptations which wear the face of virtue. I know
that your sudden affection to this apparent good girl, and your
desire of her company, to partake with you the innocent pleasures
of this happy place, arise from a good disposition; but where the
indulgence of the most laudable passion, even benevolence and
compassion itself, interferes with, or runs counter to your duty,
you must endeavour to suppress it, or it will fare with you, as it
did with that hen, who, thinking that she heard the voice of a
little duckling in distress, flew from her young ones, to go and
give it assistance, and following the cry, came at last to a
hedge, out of which jumped a subtle and wicked fox, who had made
that noise to deceive her, and devoured her in an instant. A kite
at the same time, taking advantage of her absence, carried away,
one by one, all her little innocent brood, robbed of that parent
who should have been their protector.' The princess promised her
mother that she would punctually obey all her commands, and be
very watchful and observant of everything Rozella said and did,
till she had approved herself worthy of her confidence and

The queen the next morning renewed her injunctions to her
daughter, that she should by no means go farther out of the wood
than into the meadow, where she was to meet Rozella, and that she
should give her a faithful account of all that should pass between

They met according to appointment, and the princess brought home
so good an account of their conversation, which the queen imagined
would help to improve, rather than seduce her child, that she
indulged her in the same pleasure as often as she asked it. They
passed some hours every day in walking round that delightful wood,
in which were many small green meadows, with little rivulets
running through them, on the banks of which, covered with
primroses and violets, Rozella, by the side of her sweet
companion, used to sing the most enchanting songs in the world:
the words were chiefly in praise of innocence and a country life.

The princess came home every day more and more charmed with her
young shepherdess, and recounted, as near as she could remember,
every word that had passed between them. The queen very highly
approved of their manner of amusing themselves; but again enjoined
her to omit nothing that passed in conversation, especially if it
had the least tendency towards alluring her from her duty.

One day, as the princess Hebe and Rozella were walking alone, and
talking, as usual, of their own happy state, and the princess was
declaring how much her own happiness was owing to her thorough
obedience to her mother, Rozella, with a tone of voice as half in
jest, said, 'But don't you think, my little Hebe, that if I take a
very great pleasure in any thing that will do me no hurt, though
it is forbidden, I may disobey my parents in enjoying it, provided
I don't tell them of it to vex them with the thought that I have
disobeyed them? And then, my dear, what harm is done?'

'Great harm (answered the princess, looking grave and half angry):
I am ashamed to hear you talk so, Rozella. Are you not guilty of
treachery, as well as disobedience? Neither ought you to
determine that no harm is done, because you do not feel the
immediate effects of your transgression; for the consequence may
be out of our narrow inexperienced view; and I have been taught
whenever my mother lays any commands on me, to take it for
granted, she has some reason for so doing; and I obey her, without
examining what those reasons are; otherwise, it would not be
obeying her, but setting up my own wisdom, and doing what she bid
me, only when I thought proper.'

They held a long argument on this head, in which Rozella made use
of many a fallacy to prove her point; but the princess, as she had
not yet departed from Truth, nor failed in her duty, could not be
imposed upon. Rozella, seeing every attempt to persuade her was
in vain, turned all her past discourse into a jest; said she had
only a mind to try her; and was overjoyed to find her so steady in
the cause of truth and virtue. The princess resumed her usual
cheerfulness and good humour. Rozella sung her a song in praise
of constancy of mind; and they passed the rest of the time they
stayed together, as they used to do.

But, just before they parted, Rozella begged she would not tell
her mother of the first part of the conversation that had passed
between them. The princess replied, that it would be breaking
through one of her mother's commands, and therefore she dared not
grant her request. Then, said Rozella, 'Here I must for ever part
with my dear little Hebe. Your mother, not knowing the manner in
which I spoke, will have an ill opinion of me, and will never
trust you again in my company. Thus will you be torn from me; and
loss will be irreparable.' These words she accompanied with a
flood of tears, and such little tendernesses, as quite melted the
princess into tears also. But she still said, that she could not
dare to conceal from her mother anything that had happened, though
she could not but own, she believed their separation would be the
consequence. 'Well then (cried Rozella) I will endeavour to be
contented, as our separation will give you less pain than what you
call this mighty breach of your duty: and though I would
willingly undergo almost any torments that could be invented,
rather than be debarred one moment the company of my dearest Hebe,
yet I will not expect that she should suffer the smallest degree
of pain, or uneasiness, to save me from losing what is the whole
pleasure of my life.'

The princess could not bear the thought of appearing ungrateful to
such a warm friendship as Rozella expressed; and, without farther
hesitation, promised to conceal what she had said, and to undergo
anything, rather than lose so amiable a friend.

After this they parted. But when the princess entered the Grove,
she did not, as usual, run with haste and joy into the presence of
her indulgent mother; for her mind was disturbed: she felt a
conscious shame on seeing her, and turned away her face, as
wanting to shun the piercing look of that eye, which she imagined
would see the secret lurking in her bosom. Her mother observed
with concern her downcast look, and want of cheerfulness. And
asking her what was the matter, she answered, her walk had
fatigued her, and she begged early to retire to rest. Her kind
mother consented; but little rest had the poor princess that whole
night, for the pain of having her mind touched with guilt, and the
fear she was under of losing her dear companion, kept her thoughts
in one continued tumult and confusion. The fairy's gift now
became her curse; for the power of seeing what was right, as she
had acted contrary to her knowledge, only tormented her.

She hastened the next morning to meet Rozella, and told her all
that had passed in her own mind the preceding night; declaring
that she would not pass such another for the whole world; but yet
would not dispense with her promise to her, without her consent;
and therefore came to ask her leave to acquaint her good mother
with all that had passed: 'For (said she) my dear Rozella, we
must, if we would be happy, do always what is right, and trust for
the consequences.' Here Rozella drew her features into the most
contemptuous sneer imaginable, and said, 'Pray what are all these
mighty pains you have suffered? Are they not owing only to your
want of sense enough to know, that you can do your mother no harm,
by concealing from her this, or anything else that will vex her?
and, my dear girl (continued she) when you have once entered into
this way of thinking, and have put this blind duty out of your
head, you will spend no more such restless nights, which you must
see was entirely owing to your own imaginations.'

This startled the princess to such a degree, that she was breaking
from her, but, putting on a more tender air, Rozella cried, 'And
can you then, my dear Hebe, determine to give me up for such a
trifling consideration?' Then raising her voice again, in a
haughty manner, she said, 'I ought to despise and laugh at you for
your folly, or at best pity your ignorance, rather than offer a
sincere friendship to one so undeserving.'

The princess, having once swerved from her duty, was now in the
power of every passion that should attack her.

Pride and indignation, at the thought of being despised, bore more
sway with her, than either her duty or affection to her fond
mother; and she was now determined, she said, to think for
herself, and make use of her own understanding, which she was
convinced would always teach her what was right. Upon this
Rozella took her by the hand, and, with tears of joy, said, 'Now,
my dearest girl, you are really wise, and cannot therefore
(according to your own rule) fail of being happy. But to show
that you are in earnest in this resolution, you shall this morning
go home with me to my father's cot; it is not so far off, but you
will be back by the time your mother expects you; and as that will
be obeying the chief command, it is but concealing from her the
thing that would vex her, and there will be no harm done.' Here a
ray of truth broke in upon our young princess; but as a false
shame, and fear of being laughed at, had now got possession of
her, she, with a soft sigh, consented to the proposal.

Rozella led the way. But just as they were turning round the
walk, which leads out of the wood, a large serpent darted from one
side out of a thicket, directly between them, and turning its
hissing mouth towards the princess, as seeming to make after her,
she fled hastily back, and ran with all her speed towards the
grove, and panting for breath, flew into the arms of her ever kind

Her mother was vastly terrified to see her tremble, and look so
pale; and as soon as she was a little recovered, asked her the
occasion of her fright, and added (with tears running down her
cheeks) 'I am afraid, my dear Hebe, some sad disaster has befallen
you, for, indeed, my child, I but too plainly saw last night--'

Here the princess was so struck with true shame and confusion, for
her past behaviour, that she fell down upon her knees, confessed
the whole truth, and implored forgiveness for her fault.

The queen kindly raised her up, kissed and forgave her. 'I am
overjoyed, my dear child (said she) at this your sweet repentance,
though the effect of mere accident, as it appears but sent,
without doubt, by some good fairy, to save you from destruction;
and I hope you are thoroughly convinced, that the serpent which
drove you home, was not half so dangerous as the false Rozella.'

The princess answered, that she was thoroughly sensible of the
dangers she had avoided, and hoped she never should again, by her
own folly and wickedness, deserve to be exposed to the danger from
which she had so lately escaped.

Some days passed, without the princess's offering to stir out of
the grove; and in that time she gave a willing and patient ear to
all her mother's instructions, and seemed thoroughly sensible of
the great deliverance she had lately experienced. But yet there
appeared in her countenance an uneasiness, which the queen wishing
to remove, asked her the cause of.

'It is, dear madam,' answered the princess, 'because I have not
yet had it in my power to convince you of my repentance, which
(though I know it to be sincere) you have had no proof of, but in
words only; and, indeed, my heart longs for an occasion to show
you, that I am now able to resist any allurement which would tempt
me from my duty; and I cannot be easy till you have given me an
opportunity of showing you the firmness of my resolution; and if
you will give me leave to take a walk in the wood alone, this
evening, I shall return to you with pleasure, and will promise not
to exceed any bounds that you shall prescribe.'

The queen was not much pleased with this request; but the princess
was so earnest with her to grant it, that she could not well
refuse, without seeming to suspect her sincerity; which she did
not, but only feared for her safety, and, giving her a strict
charge, not to stir a step out of the wood, or to speak to the
false Rozella, if she came in her way, she reluctantly gave her

The princess walked through all the flowery labyrinths, in which
she had so often strayed with Rozella; but she was so shocked with
the thoughts of her wickedness, that she hardly gave a sigh for
the loss of a companion once so dear to her; and as a proof that
her repentance was sincere, though she heard Rozella singing in an
arbour (purposely perhaps to decoy her) she turned away without
the least emotion, and went quite to the other side of the wood;
where looking into the meadow, in which she first beheld that
false friend, she saw a girl about her own age, leaning against a
tree, and crying most bitterly. But the moment she came in sight,
the young shepherdess (for such by her dress she appeared to be)
cried out, 'O help, dear young lady, help me; for I am tied here
to this tree, by the spiteful contrivance of a wicked young
shepherdess called Rozella: my hands too, you see, are bound
behind me, so that I cannot myself unloose the knot; and if I am
not released, here must I lie all night and my wretched parents
will break their hearts, for fear some sad accident should have
befallen their only child, their poor unhappy Florimel!'

The Princess, hearing her speak of Rozella in that manner, had no
suspicion of her being one of that false girl's deluding
companions; but rather thought that she was a fellow-sufferer with
herself; and therefore, without any consideration of the bounds
prescribed, she hastened to relieve her, and even thought that she
should have great pleasure in telling her mother, that she had
saved a poor young shepherdess from Rozella's malice, and restored
her to her fond parents. But as soon as she had unloosed the girl
from the tree, and unbound her hands, instead of receiving thanks
for what she had done, the wicked Florimel burst into a laugh, and
suddenly snatching from the Princess Hebe's side her father's
picture, which she always wore hanging in a ribbon, she ran away
with it, as fast as she could, over the meadow.

The Princess was so astonished at this strange piece of
ingratitude and treachery, and was so alarmed for fear of losing
what she knew her mother so highly valued, that hardly knowing
what she was about, she pursued Florimel with all her speed,
begging and entreating her not to bereave her so basely and
ungratefully of that picture, which she would not part with for
the world: but it was all to no purpose for Florimel continued
her flight, and the princess her pursuit, till they arrived at
Brunetta's castle-gate; where the fairy herself appeared dressed
and adorned in the most becoming manner, and, with the most
bewitching smile that can come from dazzling beauty, invited the
princess to enter her castle (into which Florimel was run to hide
herself) and promised her, on that condition, to make the idle
girl restore the picture.

It was now so late, that it was impossible for the princess to
think of returning home that night; and the pleasing address of
Brunetta, together with the hopes of having her picture restored,
soon prevailed with her to accept of the fairy's invitation.

The castle glittered with gaudy furniture; sweet music was heard
in every room; the whole company, who were all of the most
beautiful forms that could be conceived, strove who should be most
obliging to this their new guest. They omitted nothing that could
amuse and delight the senses. And the Princess Hebe was so
entranced with joy and rapture, that she had not time for thought,
or for the least serious reflection; and she now began to think,
that she had attained the highest happiness upon earth.

After they had kept her three days in this round of pleasure and
delight, they began to pull of the mask; nothing was heard but
quarrels, jars, and galling speeches. Instead of sweet music, the
apartments were filled with screams and howling; for every one
giving way to the most outrageous passions, they were always doing
each other some malicious turn, and only universal horror and
confusion reigned.

The princess was hated by all, and was often asked, with insulting
sneers, why she did not return to her peaceful grove, and
condescending mother? But her mind having been thus turned aside
from what was right, could not bear the thoughts of returning; and
though by her daily tears, she showed her repentance, shame
prevented her return: but this again was not the right sort of
shame; for then she would humbly have taken the punishment due to
her crime; and it was rather a stubborn pride, which, as she knew
herself so highly to blame, would not give her leave to suffer the
confusion of again confessing her fault; and till she could bring
herself to such a state of mind, there was no remedy for her misery.

Just as Miss Jenny had read these words, Mrs. Teachum remembering
some orders necessary to give in her family, left them, but bid
them go on, saying she would return again in a quarter of an hour.
But she was no sooner gone from them, than our little company,
hearing the sound of trumpets and kettle-drums, which seemed to be
playing at some little distance from Mrs. Teachum's house, suddenly
started from their seats, running directly to the terrace; and,
looking over the garden wall, they saw a troop of soldiers riding
by, with these instruments of music playing before them.

They were highly delighted with the gallant and splendid
appearance of these soldiers, and watched them till they were out
of sight, and were then returning to their arbour, where Miss
Jenny had been reading; but Miss Nanny Spruce espied another such
troop coming out of the lane from whence the first had issued, and
cried out, 'O! here is another fine sight; let us stay, and see
these go by too.' 'Indeed (said Miss Dolly Friendly) I am in such
pain for the poor princess Hebe, while she is in that sad castle,
that I had rather hear how she escaped (for that I hope she will)
than see all the soldiers in the world; and besides, it is but
seeing the same thing we have just looked at before.' Here some
were for staying, and others for going back; but as Miss Dolly's
party was the strongest, the few were ashamed to avow their
inclinations; and they were returning to the arbour, when they met
Mrs. Teachum, who informed them their dancing master was just
arrived, and they must attend him; but in the evening they might
finish their story.

They were so curious (and especially Miss Dolly Friendly) to know
what was to become of the princess, that they could have wished
not to have been interrupted; but yet, without one word of answer,
they complied with what their governess thought most proper; and
in the evening, hastening to their arbour, Mrs. Teachum herself
being present, Miss Jenny went on in the following manner:


The queen, in the meantime, suffered for the loss of her child
more than words can express, till the good fairy Sybella returned.
The queen burst into tears at the sight of her; but the fairy
immediately cried out, 'You may spare yourself, my royal guest,
the pain of relating what has happened. I know it all; for that
old man, whom I took such pity on, was a phantom, raised by
Brunetta, to allure me hence, in order to have an opportunity, in
my absence, of seducing the princess from her duty. She knew
nothing but a probable story could impose on me, and therefore
raised that story of the misery of the old man's son (from motives
which too often, indeed, cause the misery of mortals); as knowing
I should think it my duty to do what I could to relieve such a
wretch. I will not tell you all my journey, nor what I have gone
through. I know your mind is at present too much fixed on the
princess, to attend to such a relation I'll only tell you what
concerns yourself. When the phantom found, that by no distress he
could perturb my mind, he said he was obliged to tell the truth,
what was the intention of my being deluded from home, and what had
happened since; and then vanished away.' Here the fairy related
to the queen everything that had happened to the princess, as has
already been written; and concluded with saying, that she would
wander about the castle walls (for Brunetta had no power over
her); and if she could get a sight of the princess, she would
endeavour to bring her to a true sense of her fault, and then she
might again be restored to happiness.

The queen blessed the fairy for her goodness; and it was not long
before Sybella's continual assiduity got her a sight of the
princess; for she often wandered a little way towards that wood
she had once so much delighted in, but never could bring herself
to enter into it: the thought of seeing her injured mother made
her start back, and run half wild into the fatal castle. Rozella
used frequently to throw herself in her way; and on hearing her
sighs, and seeing her tears, would burst into a sneering laugh at
her folly; to avoid which laugh, the poor princess first suffered
herself to throw off all her principles of goodness and obedience,
and was now fallen into the very contempt she so much dreaded.

The first time the fairy got a sight of her, she called to her
with the most friendly voice; but the princess, stung to the soul
with the sight of her, fled away, and did not venture out again in
several days. The kind Sybella began almost to despair of
regaining her lost child; but never failed walking round the
castle many hours every day. And one evening, just before the sun
set, she heard within the gates a loud tumultuous noise, but more
like riotous mirth, than either the voice either of rage or anger;
and immediately she saw the princess rush out at the gate, and
about a dozen girls, laughing and shouting, running after her.
The poor princess flew with all her speed till she came to a
little arbour, just by the side of the wood; and her pursuers, as
they intended only to tease her, did not follow her very close;
but, as soon as they lost sight of her, turned all back again to
the castle.

Sybella went directly into the arbour, where she found the little
trembler prostrate on the ground, crying and sobbing as if her
heart was breaking. The fairy seized her hand, and would not let
her go till she had prevailed with her to return to the Placid
Grove, to throw herself once more at her mother's feet, assuring
her, that nothing but this humble state of mind could cure her
misery and restore her wonted peace.

The queen was filled with the highest joy to see her child; but
restrained herself so much, that she showed not the least sign of
it, till she had seen her some time prostrate at her feet, and had
heard her with tears properly confess, and ask pardon for, all her
faults. She then raised, and once more forgave her; but told her
that she must learn more humility and distrust of herself, before
she should again expect to be trusted.

The princess answered not, but with a modest downcast look which
expressed her concern and true repentance, and in a short time
recovered her former peace of mind; and as she never afterwards
disobeyed her indulgent mother, she daily increased in wisdom and

After having lived on in the most innocent and peaceful manner for
three years (the princess being just turned of eighteen years old)
the fairy told the queen that she would now tell her some news of
her kingdom, which she had heard in her journey; namely, that her
sister-in-law was dead, and her brother-in-law had made proclamation
throughout the kingdom, of great rewards to any one who should
produce the queen and the Princess Hebe, whom he would immediately
reinstate on the throne.

The Princess Hebe was by when she related this, and said she
begged to lead a private life, and never more be exposed to the
temptation of entering into vice, for which she already had so
severely smarted.

The fairy told her, that, since she doubted herself, she was now
fit to be trusted; for, said she, 'I did not like your being so
sure of resisting temptation, when first I conferred on you the
gift of wisdom. But you will, my princess, if you take the crown,
have an opportunity of doing so much good, that, if you continue
virtuous, you will have perpetual pleasures; for power, if made a
right use of, is indeed a very great blessing.'

The princess answered, that if the queen, her mother, thought it
her duty to take the crown, she would cheerfully submit, though a
private life would be otherwise her choice.

The queen replied, that she did not blame her for choosing a
private life; but she thought she could not innocently refuse the
power that would give her such opportunities of doing good, and
making others happy; since, by that refusal, the power might fall
into hands that would make an ill use of it.

After this conversation, they got into the same car in which they
travelled to the wood of Ardella; arrived safely at the city of
Algorada; and the Princess Hebe was seated, with universal
consent, on her father's throne; where she and her people were
reciprocally happy, by her great wisdom and prudence; and the
queen-mother spent the remainder of her days in peace and joy, to
see her beloved daughter prove a blessing to such numbers of human
creatures; whilst she herself enjoyed that only true content and
happiness this world can produce; namely, a peaceful conscience,
and a quiet mind.

When Miss Jenny had finished her story, Mrs. Teachum left them for
the present, that they might with the utmost freedom make their
own observations; for she knew she should be acquainted with all
their sentiments from Miss Jenny afterwards.

The little hearts of all the company were swelled with joy, in
that the Princess Hebe was at last made happy; for hope and fear
had each by turns possessed their bosoms for the fate of the
little princess; and Miss Dolly Friendly said, that Rozella's
artful manner was enough to have drawn in the wisest girl into her
snares; and she did not see how it was possible for the Princess
Hebe to withstand it, especially when she cried for fear of
parting with her.

Miss Sukey Jennett said, that Rozella's laughing at her, and using
her with contempt, she thought was insupportable, for who could
bear the contempt of a friend?

Many and various were the remarks made by Miss Jenny's hearers on
the story she had read to them. But now they were so confirmed in
goodness, and every one was so settled in her affection for her
companions, that, instead of being angry at any opposition that
was made to their judgments, every one spoke her opinion with the
utmost mildness.

Miss Jenny sat some time silent to hear their conversation on her
fairy tale. But her seeing them so much altered in their manner
of talking to each other, since the time they made their little
remarks on her story of the giants, filled her whole mind with the
most sincere pleasure; and with a smile peculiar to herself, and
which diffused a cheerfulness to all around her, she told her
companions the joy their present behaviour had inspired her with;
but saying that it was as late as their governess chose they
should stay out, she rose, and walked towards the house, whither
she was cheerfully followed by the whole company.

Mrs. Teachum after supper, again, in a familiar manner, talked to
them on the subject of the fairy tale, and encouraged them, as
much as possible, to answer her freely in whatever she asked them;
and at last said, 'My good children, I am very much pleased when
you are innocently amused; and yet I would have you consider
seriously enough of what you read, to draw such morals from your
books, as may influence your future practice; and as to fairy
tales in general, remember, that the fairies, as I told Miss Jenny
before of giants and magic, are only introduced by the writers of
those tales, by way of amusement to the reader. For if the story
is well written, the common course of things would produce the
same incidents, without the help of fairies.

'As for example, in this of the Princess Hebe, you see the queen
her mother was not admitted to know the fairy's history, till she
could calm her mind enough to hearken to reason; which only means,
that whilst we give way to the raging of our passions, nothing
useful can ever sink into our minds. For by the fairy Sybella's
story you find, that by our own faults we may turn the greatest
advantages into our own misery, as Sybella's mother did her
beauty, by making use of the influence it gave her over her
husband, to tease him into the ruin of his child; and as also
Brunetta did, by depending on her father's gift, to enable her to
complete her desires, and therefore never endeavouring to conquer

'You may observe also on the other side, that no accident had any
power to hurt Sybella, because she followed the paths of virtue,
and kept her mind free from restless passions.

'You see happiness in the good Sybella's peaceful grove, and
misery in the wicked Brunetta's gaudy castle. The queen desiring
the fairy to endow her child with true wisdom, was the cause that
the Princess Hebe had it in her power to be happy. But take notice,
that when she swerved from her duty, all her knowledge was of no
use, but only rendered her more miserable, by letting her see her
own folly in the stronger light. Rozella first tempted the princess
to disobedience, by moving her tenderness, and alarming her friendship,
in fearing to part with her; and then by persuading her to set up her
own wisdom, in opposition to her mother's commands, rather than be
laughed at, and despised by her friends. You are therefore to observe,
that if you would steadily persevere in virtue, you must have
resolution enough to stand the sneers of those who would allure you
to vice; for it is the constant practice of the vicious, to endeavour
to allure others to follow their example, by an affected contempt and
ridicule of virtue.

'By the Princess Hebe's being drawn at last beyond the prescribed
bounds, by the cries and entreaties of that insidious girl, you
are to learn, that whatever appearance of virtue any action may be
attended with, yet if it makes you go contrary to the commands of
those who know better what is for your good, than you do your
selves, and who can see farther into the consequences of actions
than can your tender years, it will certainly lead you into error
and misfortune; and you find, as soon as the princess had once
overleaped the bounds, another plausible excuse arose to carry her
on; and by a false fear of incurring her mother's displeasure, she
really deserved that displeasure, and was soon reduced into the
power of her enemy.

'The princess, you see, could have no happiness till she returned
again to her obedience, and had confessed her fault. And though
in this story all this is brought about by fairies, yet the moral
of it is, that whenever we give way to our passions, and act
contrary to our duty, we must be miserable.

'But let me once more observe to you, that these fairies are only
intended to amuse you; for remember that the misery which attended
the Princess Hebe, on her disobedience, was the natural consequence
of that disobedience, as well as the natural consequence of her
amendment and return to her duty, was content and happiness for the
rest of her life.'

Here good Mrs. Teachum ceased, and Miss Jenny, in the name of the
company, thanked her for her kind instructions, and promised that
they would endeavour, to the utmost of their power, to imprint
them on their memory for the rest of their lives.


This morning our little society rose very early, and were all
dressed with neatness and elegance, in order to go to church.
Mrs. Teachum put Miss Polly Suckling before her, and the rest
followed, two and two, with perfect regularity.

Mrs. Teachum expressed great approbation, that her scholars, at
this solemn place, showed no sort of childishness, notwithstanding
their tender age; but behaved with decency and devotion suitable
to the occasion.

They went again in the same order, and behaved again in the same
manner, in the afternoon; and when they returned from church, two
young ladies, Lady Caroline and Lady Fanny Delun, who had formerly
known Miss Jenny Peace, and who were at present in that neighbourhood
with their uncle, came to make her a visit.

Lady Caroline was fourteen years of age, tall and genteel in her
person, of a fair complexion, and a regular set of features so
that, upon the whole, she was generally complimented with being
very handsome.

Lady Fanny, who was one year younger than her sister, was rather
little of her age, of a brown complexion, her features irregular;
and, in short, she had not the least real pretensions to beauty.

It was but lately that their father was, by the death of his
eldest brother, become Earl of Delun; so that their titles were
new, and they had not been long used to your ladyship.

Miss Jenny Peace received them as her old acquaintance: however,
she paid them the deference due to their quality, and, at the same
time, took care not to behave as if she imagined they thought of
anything else.

As it was her chief delight to communicate her pleasures to
others, she introduced her new-made friends to her old
acquaintance, and expected to have spent a very agreeable
afternoon. But to describe the behaviour of these two young
ladies is very difficult. Lady Caroline, who was dressed in a
pink robe, embroidered thick with gold, and adorned with very fine
jewels, and the finest Mechlin lace, addressed most of her
discourse to her sister, that she might have the pleasure every
minute of uttering 'Your ladyship,' in order to show what she
herself expected. And as she spoke, her fingers were in perpetual
motion, either adjusting her tucker, placing her plaits of her
robe, or fiddling with a diamond cross, that hung down on her
bosom, her eyes accompanying her fingers as they moved, and then
suddenly being snatched off, that she might not be observed to
think of her own dress; yet was it plain, that her thoughts were
employed on only that and her titles. Miss Jenny Peace, although
she would have made it her choice always to have been in company
who did not deserve ridicule, yet had she humour enough to treat
affectation as it deserved. And she addressed herself to Lady
Caroline with so many ladyships, and such praises of her fine
clothes, as she hoped would have made her ashamed; but Lady
Caroline was too full of her own vanity, to see her design, and
only exposed herself ten times the more, till she really got the
better of Miss Jenny, who blushed for her, since she was incapable
of blushing for herself.

Lady Fanny's dress was plain and neat only, nor did she mention
anything about it; and it was very visible her thoughts were
otherwise employed, neither did she seem to take any delight in
the words 'Your ladyship': but she tossed and threw her person
about into so many ridiculous postures, and as there happened
unfortunately to be no looking-glass in the room where they sat,
she turned and rolled her eyes so many different ways, in
endeavouring to view as much of herself as possible, that it was
very plain to the whole company she thought herself a beauty, and
admired herself for being so.

Our little society, whose hearts were so open to each other, that
they had not a thought they endeavoured to conceal, were so filled
with contempt at Lady Caroline and Lady Fanny's behaviour, and yet
so strictly obliged, by good manners, not to show that contempt,
that the reserve they were forced to put on, laid them under so
great a restraint, that they knew not which way to turn themselves,
or how to utter one word; and great was their joy when Lady Caroline,
as the eldest, led the way, and with a swimming curtsey, her head
turned half round on one shoulder, and a disdainful eye, took her
leave, repeating two or three times the word 'misses,' to put them
in mind, that she was a lady. She was followed by her sister Lady
Fanny, who made a slow distinct curtsey to every one in the room,
that she might be the longer under observation. And then taking
Miss Jenny by the hand, said, 'Indeed, Miss, you are very pretty,'
in order to put them in mind of her own beauty.

Our little society, as soon as they were released, retired to
their arbour, where, for some time, they could talk of nothing but
this visit. Miss Jenny Peace remarked how many shapes vanity
would turn itself into, and desired them to observe, how
ridiculously Lady Caroline Delun turned her whole thoughts on her
dress, and condition of life; and how absurd it was in Lady Fanny,

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