Traits and Trials of Early Life

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search



TRAITS AND TRIALS


OF


EARLY LIFE.



BY L. E. L.

AUTHOR OF "THE IMPROVISATRICE," &c.





LONDON:

HENRY COLBURN:

13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1836.



CONTENTS.



PAGE
THE TWIN SISTERS 1
THE LITTLE BOY'S BED TIME 111
THE SAILOR 113
THE LADY MARIAN 115
THE PRISONER 119
MABEL DACRE'S FIRST LESSONS 121
THE DEAD ROBIN 145
THE SOLDIER'S HOME 147
THE INDIAN ISLAND 151
FRANCES BEAUMONT 185
THE HISTORY OF A CHILD 281

PREFACE.


This volume is of a different order from those of mine which the public have hitherto received with such indulgence. I trust that it will win an equally kind reception. My few words of preface must be rather addressed to those who direct my present class of readers, than to the readers themselves. My object has been rather to interest than to amuse; to excite the imagination through the softening medium of the feelings. Sympathy is the surest destruction of selfishness. Children, like the grown person, grow the better for participation in the sufferings where their own only share is pity. They are also the better for the generous impulse which leads them to rejoice in the hope and happiness of others, though themselves have nothing in common with the objects of their emotion. Such is the aim of my principal narratives. In the first, I endeavour to soften the heart by a kindly regret for unmerited sorrow. The very youngest ought to know how much there is to endure in existence; it will teach them thankfulness in their own more fortunate lot, and meekness in bearing their own lighter burthens. In the other tales I have rather sought to show how exertion, under difficult circumstances, is rewarded by success. Young and old, rich and poor, have their troubles; and all experience will bear me out in the assertion, that patience, fortitude, and affection, are ever strong in obtaining the mastery over them. Early lessons of cheerful endurance cannot be better taught than by example.

Wordsworth truly says "that, with the young, poetry is a passion." My aim in the poems scattered through these pages has been to make one taste cultivate another, and to render the flowers scattered around our daily path, and the loveliness of nature, yet dearer because associated with the early affections and with snatches of song. To connect the external object with the internal emotion is the sweetest privilege of poetry.

I can now only entreat a continuance of that favour which has so long excited my hope, and still more, my gratitude.

L. E. L.