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PREFACE.

Although nothing is original in the following little work, except the dialogue, which was necessary as a connecting link; yet the compiler trusts, that it will be found to contain, in a small compass, much useful and interesting information. In selecting the anecdotes from writers of acknowledged merit and veracity, she has endeavoured to avoid, as much as possible, the beaten track, and to introduce names and points of character, not usually presented to the notice of children. She still remembers, with pleasure, the avidity with which, when quite young, she perused true stories, and how anxiously she sought for further particulars of those illustrious individuals, who either gained her affectionate admiration by their exemplary virtues, or elated her young imagination by the brilliancy of their talents or their achievements.

Such biographical sketches are introduced, as were thought likely to awaken emulation, or to lead forward in the path of piety and knowledge.

THE

PICTURE GALLERY.

CHAPTER I.

"Well, Ann," said Susan Spencer, "it really is fixed for us to visit cousin Robert; for mamma has given orders to Hay ward to prepare our clothes, and we are to set out next Monday."

"I cannot think what can induce mamma to visit him just now," answered Susan: "he is such an oddity, I hear, and lives so very retired. Mary Morgan told me, (and Mary knows him well,) that he rarely goes into partie's; and she laughed immoderately, when she said that the heavy little windows, and massy doors of the old mansion, always reminded her of a monastery; and, for her part, she thought it would be better to turn .it into one, people it with monks, and make Mr. Wilmot superior of

B

the order. I cannot tell you half that she said; but it was so droll,* that we all laughed with her."

"I dare say you did," replied Susan; "and I think it excessively provoking to be immured there, when the Dummonds, and the Williams's, and the Grovenors are going to the seaside. It vexes me to think how Miss Drummond will boast, when she returns, of the company she has been introduced to, the new fashions she has seen, and how often her music and dancing were praised; whilst you and I must sit by, without having a word to say, or being able to relate any thing but the histories of the old rooks, that perched in the high trees

close to the house, or or "But here

they were interrupted by the entrance of their mother; and as they well knew that observations of this kind would be displeasing to her, they turned the conversation to some indifferent subject.

Susan and Ann Spencer were the daughters of a military officer, whose delicate state of health had obliged his wife to accompany him abroad; leaving, with reluctance, her two little daughters to the care of their paternal grandmother. They were good-tempered, affectionate, and animated; but the mistaken fondness

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