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Mrs. Barbauld's Childhood

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One caá fancy the little assiduous girl, industrious, impulsive, iuterested in everything - in all life and all nature - drinkiug in, on every side, learning, eageriy wondering, listening to all around with brigbt and ready wit. There is a pretty little story told by Mrs. Ellis in her book about Mrs. Barbauld, how one day, when Dr. Aiken and a friend "were conversing on the passions," the doctor observes that joy cannot have place in a state of perfect felicity, since it supposes an accession of happiness. "I ihink you aro mistaken, papa," says a litile voice from the opposite of the table. "Why so, my child ?" says the doctor. "JBecause in the chapter 1 read to you this morning, in the Testament, it is said that 'there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.' " Besides her English Testament and her early reading, the little girl was taught by her mother to do as little daughters did in those days - to obey a soraewhat austere rule, to drop curtsies in the right place, to niake beds, to preserve fruits. The father, after demur, but surely not without some paternal pride in her proflciency, taught the child Latin and Frenchand Italian, and something of Greek, and gave her an acquaiutance with English literature. One can imagine little Nancy, with her fair head bending over her lessons, ar, whcn play-time had come, perhaps a little lonely and listening to the distant voices of the schoolboys at their games. The mother, feariug she might acquire rough and boisterous manners, strictly forbade any communication with the schoolboys. Sometimes in afterdays, speakiiig of these early times and of the constraint of many by-gone rules and regulations, Mrs. Barbauld used to attribute to this early, formal training tnmg oí tne cesiiaiion anü shyness which troubled her and never entirely wore off. She does not seem to have been in any great harmony with her mother. One could imagine a fanciful and high-spirited child, timid and dutif ui, and yet strong-willed, secretly rebel Hng against the rigid order of her home, and feeling lonely for want of liberty and companionship. It was true she had birds and beasts and plants for her playfellows, but she was of a gregarious and sociable nature, and perliaps she was unconsciously longing for something more, and feeling a want in her early life wliich no silent company can supply. - The Cornhill Magazine. The Rnssian budget lor 1882 is very ingeniouely arranged so tbat the expendlture exactly eqaals the recelpts lïom raven ae.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat