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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about Abbeychurch.

’I know I want self-control when I let myself be so engrossed in it as to neglect other things,’ said Anne; ’and I hope I do manage now not to shew more favour to the girls I like best, than to the others; but in what other way do you mean, Mamma?’

’I mean that you must learn not to set your heart upon individual girls, or plans which seem satisfactory at first,’ said Lady Merton; ’disappointment will surely be sent in some form or other, to try your faith and love; and if you do not learn to fear now that your hopes are high, you will hardly have spirit enough left to persevere cheerfully when failure has taught you to mistrust yourself.’

’I know that I must be disappointed if I build upon schemes or exertions of my own,’ said Anne; ’but I should be very conceited—­ very presumptuous, I mean—­to do so, and I hope I never shall.’

’I cannot think how you, or anybody who thinks like you, can ever undertake to keep school,’ said Helen; ’I never saw how awful a thing it is, before; not merely hearing lessons, and punishing naughty children, I am sure I dread it now; I would have nothing to do with it if Papa did not wish it, and so make it my duty.’

’Nobody would teach the children at all if they thought like you, Helen,’ said Anne; ‘and then what would become of them?’

’People who are not fit often do teach them, and is not that worse than nothing?’ said Helen; ’I should think irreverence and false doctrine worse than ignorance.’

‘Certainly,’ said Lady Merton; ’and happy it is, that, as in your case, Helen, the duty of obedience, or some other equally plain, teaches us when to take responsibility upon ourselves and when to shrink from it.’

‘I must say,’ said Anne, ’I cannot recover from hearing Mamma and Lizzie talk of their “little victims,” just in Gray’s tone.’

‘No,’ said Lady Merton; ’I only say,

“If thou wouldst reap in love,
First sow in holy fear."’

CHAPTER XIII.

On Monday morning, as soon as breakfast was over, Elizabeth and Katherine went to the school to receive the penny-club money, and to change the lending library books.  They were occupied in this manner for about half an hour; and on their return, Elizabeth went to Mrs. Woodbourne’s dressing-room, to put away the money, and to give her an account of her transactions.  While she was so employed, her father came into the room with a newspaper in his hand.

‘Look here, Mildred,’ said he, laying it down on the table before his wife, ‘this is what Walker has just brought me.’

Mrs. Woodbourne glanced at the paragraph he pointed out, and exclaimed, ‘O Lizzie! this is a sad thing!’

Elizabeth advanced, she grew giddy with dismay as she read as follows: 

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