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could not be right. But when she saw her father's smile, and heard him say, “ your answer is right;" her countenance brightened up, and she looked and felt very happy, How much happier than she had ever felt when she had succeeded in getting excused from any of her lessons, or had been helped by her brothers. “Well, Fanny,” said her father, “don't you wish you were sitting down in the parlor crying because you know you cannot do your sum?”
“No, indeed, father, but I thought I could not do it-I really did think so, father.”
“ I know you did, and I hope you will learn not to give up in future, till you have tried. You are not aware, Fanny, of the importance of overcoming this fault. Remember that the most useless character in the world, is a person without efficiency. If you sit down in despair, at the beginning of every undertaking, you will never accomplish anything you will be of no use to your friends, and will have no power over yourself. If, on the contrary, you set about whatever you have to do, with a resolution to do the best you can, and with energy, scarcely anything will be impossible to you."
“But, father, there are certainly a great many things which I could not do if I tried ever so hard. I never could write composition like Lucy, or do sums like George.”
“Perhaps not at once; the very first time you tried, you could · not do either, but after repeated efforts, you might do both. Lucy does not write composition, and George does not keep at the head of his class in arithmetic, without some trouble and a great deal of study. When Lucy first began to write composition, she did not write as well as you do now, and George was a fortnight learning the multiplication table.”
“Oh, father! Why it did not take me a fortnight, did it?"
“No, it did not; and if George had been contented with crying over it, as you did over your arithmetic, this afternoon, he would not have learned it till this time. Remember, Fanny, that God has given you talents to improve, and you will be wicked and ungrateful, if you do not improve them to the utmost of your ability. Will you not resolve to overcome this fault at once ?"
“Yes, if I thought I could.”
you cannot conquer if you will. You know that assistance is promised to all who sincerely and humbly ask it. You will not fail to ask it, then, in your prayer to-night.” · Fanny left the library, and ran down stairs, to tell her mother and Lucy how well she had succeeded, and as, in the gaiety of her heart, she jumped down the last steps, she could not help wondering what made her feel so happy. She did not examine her feelings enough to know, that she had, almost for the first time, tasted the pleasure arising from having persevered in duty, when she was tempted to give up, and of having, in one instance, resisted the influence of a bad habit. This feeling is a reward which no one can take away, and nothing can prevent your receiving it. You may have resisted some temptation, and sacrificed some wish of your own, in order to do what you know is right, when no friend, excepting your Father who is in heaven, can know it; but still it cannot be without its reward, for He has so constituted us, that happiness must follow doing right, and misery must follow sin.
Mr. Selby's business was such that he did not go out every morning after breakfast, to be absent until dinner time, as many gentlemen do; but he remained in his library most of the day ; and as Fanny was too young to go to the same school with Lucy, he took care of her education himself. She was the youngest of the family, and was so gentle and affectionate, that they all loved her very much. She was the pet and plaything of her brothers and sister, and they had been so much in the habit of doing everything for her, that she felt almost unable to do anything for herself. Whenever she met with any difficulty in her "lessons, she went to her brothers or to Lucy for help, until her father, finding that by leaning so much on them, she was losing all power of doing anything for herself, had forbidden her to apply to any one but her mother or himself, for assistance.
The next morning Fanny's sum in division did not give her so much trouble as it had the day before, and she finished it without much difficulty ; but in her geography lesson, she met with several trials, and when she had looked two or three minutes on the map unsuccessfully for Coventry, she was on the point of “giving up,' and had pronounced the words, “ I never can—," when she was stopped by meeting her father's eye, fixed on her so earnestly, and
with so much meaning, that it recalled to her mind at once, all her resolutions of the day before, and she immediately and patiently renewed her search. The morning passed away without much impatience or many tears. In the afternoon, when she was busied with sewing, her mother was gratified to observe that she was unusually patient with the knots in her thread, and with her rusty needle. After she had been sewing a little, she looked up and said, “ Mother, do you know that in a month it will be New Year's day ?”
“I had not thought of it, my dear, but I believe you are right.” “Well, mother, let me tell you what I am thinking of; I should love to make an apron, all myself, and give it to cousin Elizabeth, for a New Year's present. Will you give me some silk, mother, and let me try ?” “I shall be perfectly willing to give you the silk, if you mean to persevere, and finish the apron; but I do not wish it to be wasted, and therefore, I do not wish you to begin, unless you are determined to finish it."
" Oh, mother, I think I should finish it, because you know I am going to learn to do everything without being discouraged, and because I want very much to have the pleasure of giving it to cousin Elizabeth.”
“ How long a time, would it take you to make it, Fanny ?”.
“Well then, if you are patient and persevering with your sewing this week, I will give you, next Monday, a piece of silk, and cut out the apron so that you may go directly to work.”
Fanny was so delighted with this promise, and her mind was so occupied with imagining how the apron would look, and how cousin Elizabeth would look when she gave it to her, that she sewed very fast, almost without knowing it, and she was quite astonished when she found that she had finished her work.
The next morning, Mr. Selby read to Fanny a little story, and requested her to write it down from recollection, as well as she could; but she thought she could not write it, without hearing the story read twice.
“I think you can, Fanny,” said Mr. Selby. “Do you not remember any of it?”
“A very little, father, but not enough to write."
“Very well; write what you do remember as well as you can,” and Mr. Selby took up his pen and prepared to resume his writing ; VOL. IX. 3rd SERIES.
but seeing that Fanny looked rather disconsolate, he said, “Do not look frightened, Fanny, and above all do not get discouraged; if you write as much as you can, and write it as well as you can, that is all I require. This is a good opportunity to practise perseverance and patience, and you know these are qualities which you are going to cultivate."
“But I do not know how to begin.”
“Stop—there is enough to begin with,—perhaps you can express it a little better, for instance, 'a gentleman setting out on a journey to London, &c. You see it is no very terrible affair after all.”
“I don't know,” said Fanny, “I don't think it is very easy, but I will try and write it as well as I can.”
“ That is all I wish you to do, my dear. "I will try,' is a resolution I like to hear expressed ; and I hope you will soon learn to dislike I can't as much as I do."
Fanny found, as she began to write, that one fact suggested another, and her memory was so much better than she thought it, that before twelve o'clock, she carried her father quite a long, and very neatly written composition.
“So much for trying, Fanny,” said he, as he smiled pleasantly upon her.
During that week, Fanny, although she was sometimes strongly tempted to “ give up," as she expressed it, still with her father's assistance and advice, kept to her resolution, and at its close, a very striking improvement was visible in her character. George and William were delighted, that, whenever they came home from school, instead of finding Fanny crying or looking very sad over some unfinished lesson, she was now always looking happy, and ready to laugh and play with them ; and Lucy, though she had always loved Fanny very much, now found her much more of a companion than she had ever been before. Her father was delighted that he could now assign her a lesson or a sum, without the certainty of its being followed by entreaties to be excused, or perhaps by a flood of tears; and her mother had often, in the course of the week, looked with silent pleasure upon her daughter, as she saw her disentangling a knot in her thread, or brightening a rusty needle, with a calm and patient expression of countenance. How much
happiness even the youngest of a family can confer upon all the other members of it!
The silk for cousin Elizabeth's apron, was prepared by Mrs. Selby, and the next week saw Fanny very diligently at work upon it. She met with many difficulties, and one day, when Mrs. Selby had left the room for a minute, she found Fanny, on her return, sobbing violently, with the apron upon the floor at her feet.
“Well, mother," said she, replying to the look of sorrow and surprise on her mother's face, “ I am sure I can't help it; the silk knotted, and the ravelings plagued me, and I know I never can finish it, and I never can be persevering, and I never can do anything."
But when this storm of feeling had subsided, tears of impatience were changed into those of sorrow, as she said,
“Now, mother, I have broken my resolution, and what shall I do ?”
“Renew it again as soon as possible,” said her mother ; “dry your tears, conquer your feelings, and be, if possible, more patient than ever with your work. Having yielded to temptation once, my daughter, is no reason why we should yield to it again. It is a motive for increased watchfulness, but not for renewed misconduct."
Fanny followed her mother's advice, and after a few minutes' silence, said, “Shall you tell father?"
“ Shall you not tell him yourself?” replied Mrs. S. “ You surely do not wish to deceive him, to make him think you are better than you really are. Would you withdraw your confidence from your kind father, who takes so strong an interest in your improvement?”
“That is the very reason, mother; he will be so sorry when he knows all about it !”
“And suppose you were to conceal it from him, and he were to find by some accident, that you had done wrong and concealed it from him-would he not be more distressed by such a discovery, than by any fault you could acknowledge to him ?”
“Well, mother, I will tell him, if you think I ought, but—" and she drew a long sigh. A few minutes afterwards, Mr. Selby came into the room, and taking a paper from his writing desk, was about to leave it, when Fanny, springing forward to detain