Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Let Her Pout It Out
by [?]

I HOPE there is no coolness between you and Maria,” said Mrs. Appleton to her young friend, Louisa Graham, one evening at a social party. “I have not seen you together once to-night; and just now she passed without speaking, or even looking at you.”

“Oh, as to that,” replied Louisa, tossing her head with an air of contempt and affected indifference, “she’s got into a pet about something; dear knows what, for I don’t.”

“I am really sorry to hear you say so,” remarked Mrs. Appleton. “Maria is a warm-hearted girl, and a sincere friend. Why do you not go to her, and inquire the cause of this change in her manner?”

“Me! No, indeed. I never humour any one who gets into a pet and goes pouting about in that manner.”

“But is it right for you to act so? A word of inquiry or explanation might restore all in a moment.”

“Right or wrong, I never did and never will humour the whims of such kind of people. No, no. Let her pout it out! That’s the way to cure such people.”

“I don’t think so, Louisa. She is unhappy from some real or imaginary cause. That cause it is no doubt in your power to remove.”

“But she has no right to imagine causes of offence; and I don’t choose to have people act as she is now acting towards me from mere imaginary causes. No; let her pout it out, I say. It will teach her a good lesson.”

Louisa spoke with indignant warmth.

“Were you never mistaken?” asked Mrs. Appleton, in a grave tone.

“Of course, I’ve been mistaken many a time.”

“Very well. Have you never been mistaken in reference to another’s action towards you?”

“I presume so.”

“And have not such mistakes sometimes given you pain?”

“I cannot recall any instances just at this moment, but I have no doubt they have.”

“Very well. Just imagine yourself in Maria’s position; would you not think it kind in any one to step forward and disabuse you of an error that was stealing away your peace of mind?”

“Yes; but, Mrs. Appleton, I don’t know anything about the cause of Maria’s strange conduct. She may see that in my character or disposition to which she is altogether uncongenial, and may have made up her mind not to keep my company any longer. Or she may feel herself, all at once, above me. And I’m not the one, I can tell you, to cringe to any living mortal. I am as good as she is, or any one else!”

“Gently, gently, Louisa! Don’t fall into the very fault you condemn in Maria; that of imagining a sentiment to be entertained by another which she does not hold, and then growing indignant over the idea and at the person supposed to hold it.”

“I can’t see clearly the force of what you say, Mrs. Appleton; and therefore I must come back to what I remarked a little while ago: She must pout it out.”

“You are wrong, Louisa,” her friend replied, “and I cannot let you rest in that wrong, if it is in my power to correct it. Perhaps, by relating a circumstance that occurred with myself a few years ago, I may be able to make an impression on your mind. I had, and still have, an esteemed friend, amiable and sincere, but extremely sensitive. She is too apt to make mistakes about other people’s estimation of her, which, I often told her, is a decided fault of character. That she has only to be self-conscious of integrity, and then she will be truly estimated. Well, this friend would sometimes imagine that I treated her coolly, or indifferently, or thrust at her feelings, when I felt towards her all the while a very warm affection. The consequence would be, that she would assume a cold or offended exterior. But I never said to myself, ‘Let her pout it out.’ I knew that she was mistaken, and that she was really suffering under her mistake; and I would always go to her, and kindly inquire the cause of her changed manner. The result was, of course, an immediate restoration of good feeling, often accompanied by a confession of regret at having injured me by imagining that I entertained unkind sentiments when I did not. On one occasion I noticed a kind of reserve in her manner; but thinking there might be some circumstances known only to herself, that gave her trouble, I did not seem to observe it. On the next morning I was exceedingly pained and surprised to receive a note from her, in something like the following language–