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CHAP. VIII.

CAROLINE ELIZABETH SMELT.

Louisa. The curtains are drawn, and the candles are brought, mamma; Henry has opened his port-folio, and I have begun my netting; so, if you please, we are quite ready for another account.

Mamma. Who shall form the topic of conversation to-night?

Louisa. It is a long time since you gave us an account of a little girl; therefore, if you can recollect one for this evening, we shall be much obliged to you.

Mamma, Perhaps you may like to hear something of the childhood of Caroline Elizabeth Smelt, who died a few

years since in America; and who has left to her young survivors a bright example of early piety.

Louisa. Thank you, mamma: you are ever ready to please us. We are all attention.

Mamma. . Caroline Elizabeth Smelt was born in 1800, in the city of Augusta, in the state of Georgia, in North America. From her earliest infancy she evinced strong marks of an intelligent mind, blended with unusual modesty and gentleness. When only eighteen months old, she was a very engaging and interesting infant; and before she had arrived at the age of two years, she could repeat many short prayers and lessons, much more distinctly than is usual at that early period. Indeed, as soon as she could lisp, she was taught the name of God, and her tender mind was imbued with the idea of his love, and care, and goodness; and many little circumstances occurred in the dawn of her life, calculated to delight the hearts of

her fond parents, who placed many a hope of future happiness on their lovely Caro

line.

Louisa. Can you relate some of those anecdotes, mamma? I think they will be interesting. · Mamma. When only three years of age, she was sitting one evening in her little chair by the side of her mother : it was a cold and stormy night; the wind was high, and the rain pelted in torrents against the parlour window-shutters, when her mother began contrasting with little Caroline her situation in a warm and comfortable home, with that of some little girls, who were destitute of food, clothes, and shelter. She then related the history of a poor little orphan, who was in such circumstances; which recital drew tears from the eyes of her little auditor. After pausing for a short time, she rose from her seat, and begged her mamma would allow her to go and see this poor little girl: “I wish to bring her home with me

to-night,” said she; “she shall sleep in my bed, and I will give her some of my frocks, and a pair of my red shoes.” Her mother replied, that she had better wait till morning, as the night was so tempestuous; but Caroline continued to make her request with such earnestness, that, in order to see how far her feelings would carry her, her mother had the old servant Nancy called, her little bonnet and mantle tied on; and she actually proceeded with firm intention to the street. But here her natural timidity discovered itself, by her clinging to the servant, and asking her to take her hand in bers, and to hold the umbrella over her head. They had not proceeded many steps before her mother called them back, being fully satisfied as to the motives which influenced her child. Little Caroline expressed much disappointment when she found that she might not put her benevolent scheme into practice; and was not perfectly satisfied till morning came, and

the frocks and shoes were given to the little girl.

Louisa. Oh, this is a charming anecdote, mamma! How I should have loved that sweet little Caroline! Pray go on.

Mamma. When four years old she was sent to school, where she made such rapid progress, as to afford much satisfaction to her teachers and friends. As soon as she could read, she showed great taste and judgment in the selection of little books to occupy her leisure hours, and would comment on what she had read with unusual correctness. From her infancy, as I before remarked, she evinced much piety, which shed a lustre over every action of her short life, and has endeared her memory to a numerous circle of surviving friends. Her sweetness of disposition, also, was no less remarkable; for she was kind and gentle in her behaviour, not only towards her friends and inferiors, but even to animals; one instance of which just occurs to my recollection.

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