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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesRosina; Or, The Froward Girl Reformed
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Rosina; Or, The Froward Girl Reformed Post by :blanko Category :Short Stories Author :M. (arnaud) Berquin Date :October 2011 Read :3581

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Rosina; Or, The Froward Girl Reformed

I would recommend to all my little readers who have had the misfortune to contract a vicious habit, very attentively to peruse the following historical fragment, in which, if they will but properly reflect, they will see that amendment is no very difficult thing, when once they form a sincere resolution to accomplish it.

Rosina was the joy of her parents until the seventh year of her age, at which period the glowing light of reason begins to unfold itself, and make us sensible of our infantine faults; but this period of life had a different effect on Rosina, who had then contracted an unhappy disposition, which cannot better be described, than by the practices of those snarling curs that grumble incessantly, and seem always ready to run and bite at those that approach them.

If a person touched any of her playthings, though it were by mistake, she would be out of temper for hours, and murmur about the house as though she had been robbed. If any one attempted to correct her, though in the most gentle manner, she would fly into a rage, equalled only by the fury of contending elements, and the uproar of the angry billows of the ocean.

Her father and mother saw this unaccountable change, with inexpressible sorrow; for neither they, nor any in the house, could now bear with her. Indeed, she would sometimes seem sensible of her errors, and would often shed tears in private, on seeing herself thus become the object of contempt to every one, not excepting her parents; but an ill habit had got the better of her temper, and she consequently every day grew worse and worse.

One evening, which happened to be new year's eve, she saw her mother going towards her room with a basket under her cloak. Rosina followed her mother, who ordered her to go back to the parlour immediately. As Rosina went thither, she threw about all the stools and chairs that stood in her way.

About half an hour after, her mamma sent for her; and great indeed was her surprise on seeing the room lighted up with a number of candles and the table covered with the most elegant toys.

Her mother called her to her, and desired her to read, in a bit of paper which she gave her, for whom those toys were intended, on which she read the following words, written in large letters; "For an amiable little girl, in return for her good behaviour." Rosina looked down, and could not say a word. On her mother's asking her for whom those toys were intended, she replied, with tears in her eyes, that they could not be intended for her.

Her parent then showed her another paper, desiring her to see if that did not concern her. Rosina took it, and read as follows: "For a froward little girl, who is sensible of her faults, and in beginning a new year will take pains to amend them." Rosina, instantly throwing herself into her mother's arms, and crying bitterly, said, "O! that is I, that is I." The tears also fell from her parent's eyes, partly for sorrow, on account of her daughter's faults, and partly through joy in the promising hope of her amendment.

"Come, Rosina," said she to her, after a short pause, "and take what was intended for you; and may God, who has heard your resolution, give you ability to fulfil it." Rosina, however, insisted on it, that it belonged to the person described in the first paper, and therefore desired her mamma to keep those things for her till she answered that description. This answer gave her mother a deal of pleasure, and she immediately put all the toys into a drawer, giving the key of it to Rosina, and telling her to open the drawer whenever she should think it proper so to do.

Several weeks passed without the least complaint against Rosina, who had performed wonders on herself. She then went to her mamma, threw her arms round her neck, and asked her if she thought she had then any right to open the drawer. "Yes, my dear," said her mother, clasping her tenderly in her arms, "you may now open the drawer with great propriety. But pray tell me how you have so well managed to get the better of your temper?" Rosina said it had cost her a deal of trouble; but every morning and evening, and indeed almost every hour in the day, she prayed to God to assist her.

Her mother shed tears of delight on this occasion; and Rosina became not only mistress of the toys, but of the affections of all her friends and acquaintances. Her mother related this happy change in the temper of her daughter in the presence of a little miss, who gave way to the same unhappy disposition; when the little girl was so struck with the relation of it, that she immediately determined to set about the work of reformation, in order to become as amiable as Rosina. Her attempt was not made in vain; and Rosina had the satisfaction to find, that, in being useful to herself, she had contributed to make others happy. My youthful readers, if any of you labour under bad habits, set about a reformation immediately, lest you become hardened by time, and thus totally destroy your present and future happiness.

(The end)
M. (Arnaud) Berquin's short story: Rosina; Or, The Froward Girl Reformed

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