“Thus nothing is done to relieve her. When she does become acquainted, all her first strange appearance is forgotten; but this is sometimes not the case for several weeks. It depends entirely on the character of the individual herself. If she is forward, and willing to make the necessary effort, she can find many friends; but if she is diffident, she has much to suffer. This arises principally from thoughtlessness. The young ladies do not seem to realize that there is any thing for them to do. They feel enough at home themselves, and the remembrance of the time when they entered school does not seem to arise in their minds.”
I witnessed, a short time since, a meeting between two friends, who had had but little intercourse before for a long while. I thought a part of their conversation might be useful, and I shall therefore relate it, as nearly as I can recollect, leaving each individual to draw her own inferences.
For some time I sat silent, but not uninterested, while the days of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ came up to the remembrance of the two friends. After speaking of several individuals who were among their former acquaintances, one asked, ’Do you remember Miss W.? ‘Yes,’ replied the former, I remember her as the fear, terror, and abhorrence of all who knew her.’ I knew the lady by report, and asked why she was so regarded. The reply was, ’Because she was so severe, so satirical in her remarks upon others. She spared neither friend nor foe.’
“The friends resumed their conversation. ‘Did you know,’ said the one who had first spoken of Miss W., ’that she sometimes had seasons of bitter repentance for indulging in this unhappy propensity of hers? She would, at such times, resolve to be more on her guard, but, after all her good resolutions, she would yield to the slightest temptations. When she was expressing, and apparently really feeling sorrow for having wounded the feelings of others, those who knew her would not venture to express any sympathy, for, very likely, the next moment that would be turned into ridicule. No confidence could be placed in her.’
“A few more facts will be stated respecting the same individual, which I believe are strictly true. Miss W. possessed a fine and well-cultivated mind, great penetration, and a tact at discriminating character rarely equaled. She could, if she chose, impart a charm to her conversation that would interest and even fascinate those who listened to it; still, she was not beloved. Weaknesses and foibles met with unmerciful severity, and well-meaning intentions and kind actions did not always escape without the keen sarcasm which it is so difficult for the best regulated mind to bear unmoved. The mild and gentle seemed to shrink from her; and thus she, who might have been the bright and beloved ornament of the circle in which she moved, was regarded with distrust, fear, and even hatred. This dangerous habit of making satirical remarks was evinced in childhood; it was cherished; it ’grew with her growth, and strengthened with her strength,’ until she became what I have described. LAURA.”