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most loving father. He never walked out but they were one at each side of him—they accompanied him durin', great part of the day to his farm, or his houses, the building of which was his great pursuit and pl-asure. He called them his ladies, chose their dress taught them to read the newspapers, talk of politics, and play at whist with him every evening, and above all, under surety of his protection, to set at defiance all other authority and control. I have been told that on his death-bed he spoke painfully of having spoiled his two youngest children, then about twelve and fourteen years of age. He did not foresee what adversity and interposition of divine grace would do to mend his work; so that, however their difficulties were increased, and their sins accumulated by this early indulgence, they grew up to be neither the least beloved, the least useful, nor the least prosperous of his children.
And yet the fear of this indulgent father's disapprobation, was the only restraint Caroline remembers to have felt. His absence from home for a whole day, which never occurred but at a general election, a special jury case, or some other such event, was a signal for the outbreaks of insubordination, and the doing of all sorts of prohibited things :-her other parent being a quiet, careful, domestic woman, an object more of affection thar. deference, at least to these little people, who held themselves out of her jurisdiction.
More influential even than this partial fondness, was the father's abiding impression, whencesoever derived, that bis children were, or were to be, or ought to be, above the position of life in which they were born-his sons were not to be brought up to tradehis little girls might not associate or play with any children of equal condition with themselves. To this inborn, inbred opinion of their own importance, productive of some good results no doubt, must be attributed no small part of the difficulties and misfortunes of their family after their father's death, and the little success that attended most of them, notwithstanding the more than ordinary talents distributed to them by Providence, and in a moral and human sense, their actual deserving. The grace of God, and the calling of his Holy Spirit, determined, we cannot doubt, the destiny of the eldest son, the Rev. John Fry, Rector of Desford, sufficiently well known as the author of many works of talent, piety, and learning.
On Caroline the only effect of this parental ambition was probably that which it had upon her education, and early associations, rather than upon her ultimate destination. She inclines to think that even
education rather left her what she was, than made her anything. Her recollection of her own character, temper, feeling, is from the first so very like to what it was at last, it would appear to her that nature has been too strong for any influences acting from without-at least till a divine power interposed to alter its own workmanship, and that but slowly and partially to the last, rather to modify than to change. Back to eight or ten years of age, she can well remember that intense, unreasonable, almost maddening anguish, which through all the changes of her changeful life has known no suspension, and up to this day no diminution produced upon her by a sense of unkindness, or injustice, or discouragement, often imaginary, always exaggerated. Nobody knew then, or ever has known, or can know, the mental agony of these moments, followed by fits of depression, self-reproach, and despondency heretofore scarcely endurable, but now, blessed be God, commixed with that prostration of spirit, and utter self-abandonment, which is not all misery, since in it is realized the full value of redeeming love, and the sweet sympathy of a once-suffering Redeemer. He knows, what she never herself has known, how much of this passion is sin, and how much is only misery. The bitter and resentful words to which, if the occasion serves, it will give
vent, are sin of course, and the pain thus given to others, is often the bitterest and most abiding woe; but this is rather the casualty, than the character of these passionate fits : unless something from without unhappily strikes upon the wound in the moment of irritation, the originating cause of which may be no party to the suffering, it is endured in secrecy and silence.
Reverting to her childhood, she remembers to have often passed whole days and nights in tears ;* and when pressed by her parents for the cause, unable or ashamed to give the true one, has complained of pain and sickness which she did not feel, and suffered them to administer remedies as for a bodily ailment. She has often questioned since, whether those tender parents did not judge more accurately than appeared, of those fits of aggravated feeling; for she well remembers that the remedial measures taken to restore her, were a piece of cold meat at breakfast, a glass of strong ale at dinner, or a cup of coffee in the evening. Whatever there may have been since, when knowledge of the extravagance, and experience of the mischiefs of these morbid sensibilities might have afforded some defence against them, there was no sin in them at that early age, and the memory of what she suffered has throughout life produced in her the greatest tenderness and forbearance towards the tempers and feelings of children, and a disposition to treat them more as maladies than faults.* To the truth of this, though ignorant of the cause, many can testify who may hereafter read these pages, some perhaps who have either suffered or benefited by indulgence, according as it was good or evil in its effects upon
* At all times of her life these violent and prolonged fitg of crying have occasionally occurred. Were they not the safety-valves of an over-actuated brain ?
those committed to her care. For herself, through those long and many years in which she lived a stranger in the stranger's home, ber thoughts
* It is distinctly in her recollection that on one occasion, wanting to make known to her mother the depression of her mind, and not having courage to speak of it, being then a professed rhymer, she wrote to her in the following terms, of the last word she did not know the meaning, and remembers being told it afterwards. She was probably about nine years old
I am not very well,
-no specimen of early genius, but certainly one of premature mental suffering, without external cause for to misfortune or bodily pain she was a stranger, and almost so to the slightest contradiction.