Foote, Julia A.J.
|The Primes--Going to School|
When I was ten years of age I was sent to live in the country with a family by the name of Prime. They had no children, and soon became quite fond of me. I really think Mrs. Prime loved me. She had a brother who was dying with consumption, and she herself was a cripple. For some time after I went there, Mr. John, the brother, was able to walk from his father's house, which was quiet near, to ours, and I used to stand, with tears in my eyes, and watch him as he slowly moved across the fields, leaning against the fence to rest himself by the way. I heard them say he could not live much longer, and that worried me dreadfully; and then I used to wonder if he said his prayers. He always treated me kindly, and often stopped to talk with me.
One day, as he started for home, I stepped up to him and said, "Mr. John, do you say your prayers?" and then I began to cry. He looked at me for a moment, then took my hand
The Primes being an old and influential family, they were able to send me to a country school, where I was well treated by both teacher and scholars.
Children were trained very differently in those days from what they are now. We were taught to treat those older than ourselves with great respect. Boys were required to make a bow, and girls to drop a courtesy, to any person whom they might chance to meet in the street. Now, many of us dread to meet children almost as much as we do the half-drunken