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Hester, “ of various talents variously employed, but I remember of no blessing coming upon the one hid away in the thick folded napkin of false humility.”
“But it makes one so much more a mark for observation and criticism, not to speak of its temptation to pride.”
“ Well !” said Hester, “I always had a great admiration for the Princess who stuffed her ears with cotton, and I remember reading a pithy old inscription at St. Andrews_- They have said--they will say-let them be saying.'1 Then as to pride, we should sooner see the last of it if we did not pet and scold it alternately, like a mother with a spoiled child.”
“How do you mean, Miss Morris?" asked Lady Elinor wonderingly.
“Why, most of the people I know are uncommonly proud of being proud, and consider it quite a grand, respectable sort of sin, though they are very fond of bewailing it."
1 « If we shall stand still In fear, our motives will be mocked or carped at; We should take root here where we sit, or sit State statues only.”—SHAKSPERE.
“I must admit,” auswered Lady Elinor candidly, “ that hitherto I have thought pride a fault of great minds rather than of small ones.”
“ What's that I hear ?" said Dr. Brown, as he jerked into the room.
Who ever heard of a peacock's great mind ?”
Oh, Dr. Brown !” “Well, where's the difference? A peacock is proud of his tail which he can't help having, and a man is proud of his robes, and his coronet, and his grandfathers, which he can't help having either.”
“I am no Radical,” said Hester, “for I honour aristocracy as long as it knows its own place, and does not stoop to arrogancy, but I do think that those of high rank would rise immeasurably higher if they cultivated more reverence and humility; it becomes them indeed very specially, for, as Dr. Brown says, their advantages are those they can't help having
* They who on noble ancestry enlarge, Produce the debt instead of the discharge.'
The fact of their being superior in little things ought to involve superiority in great things. Forgive my long speech and plain dealing, Lady Elinor ; I shall have Dr. Brown calling me a petticoat preacher soon.”
“ It is a great boon to us,” said D'Arcy frankly ; “ we both feel that this is the turning-point in our lives, and while we have few to speak truth to us, we may have to speak truth to others, so your words will do double good.”
“We are CHRISTIANS now," said Lady Elinor timidly. “I do feel that every other honour is as nothing in comparison to that greatest and best. It is not presumption to speak so confidently, is it, dear Miss Morris ?”
Ah, no!” answered her friend, much touched, “ for it is an honour purchased for us, a free gift of nobility. May you rise higher and higher in that glorious rank till the highest comes !"
“ Amen!” said Dr. Brown with glistening eyes.
“ Give us some more hints, Miss Morris," said D'Arcy after a pause.
“What did you mean by reverence ?"
“Obedience to two frequently neglected precepts of God-'Let each esteein other better than himself ;' In honour preferring one another. An aristocracy taking those Divine words for their motto would soon rise to be the · BEST.'
“Yes!” said Dr. Brown, “and then the real inner rank which makes a man
“a man for a' that,'
be he peer or peasant, would get clear of the rubbish." “Ah!" said Hester, sighing, “I wonder
I if we shall ever see society made a circle, linked round and round by the chain of Christian love and charity? It is nothing but a ladder now.”
A ladder indeed !” said Dr. Brown ; treadmill's nearer the thing.”
“ It is a melancholy picture, certainly," said D'Arcy, “ and reminds one of Spenser's lines
Those that were up themselves kept others low,
Somebody looking down upon ‘nobody,' and nobody straining up to be somebody, and everybody—at least many bodies — feeling insignificant themselves, or trying to make others feel insignificant."
“ A crime of itself,” said Dr. Brown solemnly. “Not one living being will be insignificant in the day when every crown and coronet that is of the earth earthy will be burnt with fire.” “I think you told me
told me one day, Miss Morris, that the proper translation of the words, condescend to men of low estate,' was to walk with,” said Lady Elinor.
“Yes ; that is just the meaning I long to see carried out. It is so easy to make an occasional stoop either to the poor or to those a few steps or one step below ourselves, and then to rise again with self-complacent dignity, but to walk with all in reverent, humble companionship, not undervaluing but