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hid her face with her hands. Her mother, calling one of the maids, desired her to take Charlotte, and lock her up in a back chamber for the rest of the day.
She continued this practice, till one evening, when the servants having some company in the kitchen, she was very anxious to know what they were talking about. She thought she would hide herself on the landing of the cellar stairs, and as there was a large crack in the door, she could hear all that was said. She accordingly took her place, and seated herself on a log of wood which happened to be there. After listening to the conversation for some time, she fell asleep; and when the company retired, the servants, not knowing that any one was there, locked the door and went to bed.
After dozing awhile, she lost her balance, and fell headlong down the stairs, and the log after her, with a noise that alarmed all the house. The terrified parents and servants immediately ran down to ascertain the cause of the disturbance, when, to their astonishment, they found Charlotte at the bottom of the cellar stairs, covered with blood, and apparently lifeless.
She was taken up, and soon revived, but she was found to be very much hurt. Her bruises were dressed, and after several weeks she recovered. After this, she was never known to be guilty of the mean, and dangerous trick of listening. *
* This trick is sometimes called eaves-dropping.
BRING fresh showers, for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
In their noonday dreams.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast; And all the night ’tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.