" Thus human reason, ever confident,
Holds its own side — half erring and half right —
Not tutored by a sweet humility,
That else might safely steer."
BRED up amid privation, and tutored as much by its necessities as by a careful superintendence, Bess Matthews was a girl of courage, not less than of feeling. She could endure and enjoy; and the two capacities were so happily balanced in her character, that, while neither of them invaded the authority of the other, they yet happily neutralized any tendency to excess on either side. Still, however, her susceptibilities were great; for at seventeen the affections are not apt to endure much provocation; and, deeply distressed with the previous scene, and with that gentleness which was her nature, she grieved sincerely at the condition of a youth, of whom she had heretofore thought so favourably — but not to such a degree as to warrant the hope which he had entertained, and certainly without having held out to him any show of encouragement — she re-entered her father's dwelling, and immediately proceeded to her chamber. Though too much excited by her thoughts to enter with her father upon the topic suggested by Harrison, and upon which he had dwelt with such emphasis, she was yet strong and calm enough for a close self-examination. Had she said or done anything which might have misled Hugh Grayson? This was the question which her fine sense of justice not less than of maidenly propriety, dictated for her answer; and with that close and calm analysis of her own thoughts and feelings, which must always be the result of a due acquisition of just principles in education, she referred to all those unerring standards of the mind which virtue and common sense establish, for the satisfaction of her conscience, against those suggestions of doubt with which her feelings had assailed it, on the subject of her relations with that person. Her feelings grew more and more composed as the scrutiny progressed, and she rose at last from the couch upon which she had thrown herself, with a heart lightened at least of the care which a momentary doubt of its own propriety had inspired.