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- The Story of My Life, Volume 1. - 9/9 -

mother persuaded her to attend a ball, while Martha's eyes sparkled joyously when there was a dance in prospect; and yet the tall and slender Paula looked extremely pretty in a ball dress.

Gay and active, indeed bold as a boy sometimes, so that she would lead in taking the rather dangerous leap from a balcony of our high ground floor into the garden, clever, and full of droll fancies, she dwelt much in her own thoughts. Several volumes of her journal came to me after our mother's death, and it is odd enough to find the thirteen-year-old girl confessing that she likes no worldly pleasures, and yet, being a very truthful child, she was only expressing a perfectly sincere feeling.

It was touching to read in the same confessions: "I was in a dreamy mood, and they said I must be longing for something--Paul, no doubt. I did not dispute it, for I really was longing for some one, though it was not a boy, but our dead father." And Paula was only three years old when he left us!

No one would have thought, who saw her delight when there were fireworks in the Seiffarts' garden, or when in our own, with her curls and her gown flying, her cheeks glowing, and her eyes flashing, she played with all her heart at "catch" or "robber and princess," or, all animation and interest, conducted a performance of our puppet-show, that she would sometimes shun all noisy pleasure, that she longed with enthusiastic piety for the Sunday churchgoing, and could plunge into meditation on subjects that usually lie far from childish thoughts and feelings.

Yet who would fancy her thoughtless when she wrote in her journal: "Fie, Paula! You have taken no trouble. Mother had a right to expect a better report. However, to be happy, one must forget what cannot be altered."

In reality, she was not in the least "featherheaded." Her life proved that, and it is apparent, too, in the words I found on another page of her journal, at thirteen: "Mother and Martha are at the Drakes; I will learn my hymn, and then read in the Bible about the sufferings of Jesus. Oh, what anguish that must have been! And I? What do I do that is good, in making others happy or consoling their trouble? This must be different, Paula! I will begin a new life. Mother always says we are happy when we deny self in order to do good. Ah, if we always could! But I will try; for He did, though He might have escaped, for our sins and to make us happy."


Full as an egg I plead with voice and pen in behalf of fairy tales Nobody was allowed to be perfectly idle The carp served on Christmas eve in every Berlin family To be happy, one must forget what cannot be altered Unjust to injure and rob the child for the benefit of the man

The Story of My Life, Volume 1. - 9/9

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