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haps the city girls will hardly be persuaded to come out to sit on the hard steps, only to look at a brick pavement and a stone street, and a row of houses on the opposite side of the way, so close together and so high, that nothing but houseshouses can be seen. But if they come; how carefully must they move and sit, to keep from soiling their nice dresses ! For it will not do to be seen at the door except in clean frocks and faces, and with the hair in order. And then they must be very quiet and still, or else the neighbours may think them rude.
But we need not call out the cottage-children. They are at the door already. They know nothing of being kept in a nursery, or confined in a small garden with high walls, and only let out to “ walk” at certain hours. They live out of doors all day. Their frocks are not easily torn or soiled; or, if they should be, they are easily mended and washed. They may jump, and run and climb as they please: now in the orchard; then to the spring-house ; back to the barn; off to the hen roost. They would rather breathe the pure air under the trees even at meal-time, than be set up to never so fine a table; and sure enough here they are at their breakfast; one seated on the door-sill, another on a stone, and a third squatted on the ground, like the cat. Here they have their bread and milk; and right heartily they eat of it in the sweet morning air. They want no table or chairs : and though their necks and arms are bare, and they are at the “front-door,” they see no harm in all that. There are no neighbours to watch them; or passers-by to notice them. Puss is the only one that looks at them, and she is thinking more of the saucer of milk than of the children.
How unhappy these little girls would be if they should be taken to live in a great house in the city! Even if they should have the finest clothes and the richest food, how they would long to be back to their dear cottage-door and the lovely fields of the country!
And so, too, perhaps it would make any three children who had been brought up in the city, unhappy to be taken to a cottage, and sent to the front-door to eat their breakfasts, and left to run about and take care of themselves from morning to night. They would soon become weary and wish themselves back to their dear home.
Thus we see it is not the place nor the dress, that makes us happy or unhappy. It is not whether we are in town or country : in a great house or a cottage; in a fine frock or a coarse one ;-but whether we are at home: it is this that makes the