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The Governess [Female Academy] - Sarah Fielding

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THE GOVERNESS; OR, THE LITTLE FEMALE ACADEMY (1749)
by Sarah Fielding


There lived in the northern parts of England, a gentlewoman who
undertook the education of young ladies; and this trust she
endeavoured faithfully to discharge, by instructing those
committed to her care in reading, writing, working, and in all
proper forms of behaviour.  And though her principal aim was to
improve their minds in all useful knowledge; to render them
obedient to their superiors, and gentle, kind, and affectionate to
each other; yet did she not omit teaching them an exact neatness
in their persons and dress, and a perfect gentility in their whole
carriage.

This gentlewoman, whose name was Teachum, was the widow of a
clergyman, with whom she had lived nine years in all the harmony
and concord which forms the only satisfactory happiness in the
married state.  Two little girls (the youngest of which was born
before the second year of their marriage was expired) took up a
great part of their thoughts; and it was their mutual design to
spare no pains or trouble in their education.

Mr. Teachum was a very sensible man, and took great delight in
improving his wife; as she also placed her chief pleasure in
receiving his instructions.  One of his constant subjects of
discourse to her was concerning the education of children:  so
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