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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 613 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 3.

Pardon me, my dear Louisa, that I interrupted you here.  You are a little woman now to what you were then; and I may say to you, that though I loved to hear you prattle of your early recollections, I thought I perceived some ladies present were rather weary of hearing so much of the visit to grandmamma.  You may remember I asked you some questions concerning your papa and your mamma, which led you to speak of your journey home:  but your little town-bred head was so full of the pleasures of a country life, that you first made many apologies that you were unable to tell what happened during the harvest, as unfortunately you were fetched home the very day before it began.

III

ANN WITHERS

(By Mary Lamb)

My name you know is Withers, but as I once thought I was the daughter of sir Edward and lady Harriot Lesley, I shall speak of myself as miss Lesley, and call sir Edward and lady Harriot my father and mother during the period I supposed them entitled to those beloved names.  When I was a little girl, it was the perpetual subject of my contemplation, that I was an heiress, and the daughter of a baronet; that my mother was the honourable lady Harriot; that we had a nobler mansion, infinitely finer pleasure-grounds, and equipages more splendid than any of the neighbouring families.  Indeed, my good friends, having observed nothing of this error of mine in either of the lives which have hitherto been related, I am ashamed to confess what a proud child I once was.  How it happened I cannot tell, for my father was esteemed the best bred man in the county, and the condescension and affability of my mother were universally spoken of.

“Oh my dear friend,” said miss ——­, “it was very natural indeed, if you supposed you possessed these advantages.  We make no comparative figure in the county, and my father was originally a man of no consideration at all; and yet I can assure you, both he and mamma had a prodigious deal of trouble to break me of this infirmity, when I was very young.”  “And do reflect for a moment,” said miss Villiers, “from whence could proceed any pride in me—­a poor curate’s daughter;—­at least any pride worth speaking of; for the difficulty my father had to make me feel myself on an equality with a miller’s little daughter who visited me, did not seem an anecdote worth relating.  My father, from his profession, is accustomed to look into these things, and whenever he has observed any tendency to this fault in me, and has made me sensible of my error, I, who am rather a weak-spirited girl, have been so much distressed at his reproofs, that to restore me to my own good opinion, he would make me sensible that pride is a defect inseparable from human nature; shewing me, in our visits to the poorest labourers, how pride would, as he expressed it, “prettily peep out from under their ragged garbs.”—­My father dearly loved the poor.  In persons of a

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