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it.’ ‘Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it
is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be
required to bear.’ I heard her with wonder: I could not
comprehend this doctrine of endurance; and still less could I
understand or sympathise with the forbearance she expressed for
her chastiser. Still I felt that Helen Burns considered things by a
light invisible to my eyes. I suspected she might be right and I
wrong; but I would not ponder the matter deeply; like Felix, I put
it off to a more convenient season.

‘You say you have faults, Helen: what are they? To me you seem
very good.’ ‘Then learn from me, not to judge by appearances: I
am, as Miss Scatcherd said, slatternly; I seldom put, and never
keep, things in order; I am careless; I forget rules; I read when I
should learn my lessons; I have no method; and sometimes I say,
like you, I cannot bear to be subjected to systematic arrangements.
This is all very provoking to Miss Scatcherd, who is naturally neat,
punctual, and particular.’ ‘And cross and cruel,’ I added; but Helen
Burns would not admit my addition:she kept silence.

‘Is Miss Temple as severe to you as Miss Scatcherd?’ At the
utterance of Miss Temple’s name, a soft smile flitted over her grave

‘Miss Temple is full of goodness; it pains her to be severe to any
one, even the worst in the school: she sees my errors, and tells me
of them gently; and if I do anything worthy of praise, she gives me
my meed liberally. One strong proof of my wretchedly defective
nature is, that even her expostulations, so mild, so rational, have no
influence to cure me of my faults; and even her praise, though I
value it most highly, cannot stimulate me to continued care and
foresight.’ ‘That is curious,’ said I, ‘it is so easy to be careful.’ ‘For
you I have no doubt it is. I observed you in your class this
morning, and saw you were closely attentive: your thoughts never
seemed to wander while Miss Miller explained the lesson and
questioned you. Now, mine continually rove away; when I should
be listening to Miss Scatcherd, and collecting all she says with
assiduity, often I lose the very sound of her voice; I fall into a sort
of dream.

Sometimes I think I am in Northumberland, and that the noises I
hear round me are the bubbling of a little brook which runs
through Deepden, near our house;then, when it comes to my turn
to reply, I have to be awakened; and having heard nothing of what
was read for listening to the visionary brook, I have no answer
ready.’ ‘Yet how well you replied this afternoon.’ ‘It was mere
chance; the subject on which we had been reading had interested
me. This afternoon, instead of dreaming of Deepden, I was
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