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The Neglected One
by [?]

“I never was a favourite;
My mother never smiled
On me with half the tenderness
That blessed her fairer child.”

“CHRISTINE, do be obliging for once, and sew this button on my glove, won’t you?” cried Ann Lambert, impatiently, throwing a white kid glove in her sister’s lap. “I am in such a flurry! I won’t be ready to go to the concert in two or three hours. Mr. Darcet has been waiting in the parlour an age. I don’t know what the reason is, but I never can find anything I want, when I look for it; whenever I don’t want a thing, it is always in the way. Have you sewed it on yet?” she asked, looking around from the bureau, where she was turning everything topsy turvy, in the most vigorous manner. Christine was quietly looking out of the window, yawning and gazing listlessly up at the moon and stars.

“O no matter if you have no button on,” was her reply; “I really don’t feel like moving my fingers just now. You must wait on yourself. I always do.”

“I shouldn’t have expected anything but your usual idle selfishness, even when I most need your assistance,” replied Ann, in a cool, bitter tone; the curve of her beautiful lip, and the calm scorn of the look she bent on Christine, betrayed her haughty, passionate character, and it also told that she was conscious of a certain power and strength of mind, which when roused, could and would bend others to her will. A slight, contemptuous smile was on her lip, as she picked up the glove which had fallen on the floor.

“I’ll sew the button on, Ann,” said Christine, taking it from her, and looking up seriously, but with a compressed expression about her face. Her cheeks burned; there was a reproof in her steady gaze, before which Ann’s scornful smile vanished. “No, Christine, I will wait on myself,” she answered in a rigid tone.

“Very well,” and Christine turned to the window again. She had not quailed before her sister’s look, but its bitter contempt rankled in her heart, and poisoned the current of her thoughts. Not a word was spoken, when Ann with her bonnet on, left their apartment. The front door closed; Christine listened to the sound of her sister’s voice in the street a moment, then rose from her chair, and threw herself upon the bed, sobbing violently.

“Oh! why has God made me as I am?” she murmured. “No one loves me. They do not know me; they know how bad I am–but, oh! they never dream how often I weep, and pray for the affection that is denied me. How Ann is caressed by everybody, and how indifferently am I greeted! There is no one in the wide world who takes a deep interest in me. I am only secondary with father and mother; they are so proud of Ann’s beauty and talent, they do not think to see whether I am possessed of talent or not. They think I am cold and heartless, because they have taught me to restrain my warmest feelings; they have turned me back upon myself, they have forced me to shut up in my own heart, its bitterness, its prayers for affection, its pride, its sorrow. They have made me selfish, disobliging, and disagreeable, because I am too proud to act as if I would beg the love they are so careless of bestowing. And yet, why am I so proud and so bitter? I was not so at school; then I was gentle and gay; then I too was a favourite; they called me amiable. I am not so now. Then I dwelt in an atmosphere of love, only the best impulses of my nature were called out. Now–oh! I did not know I could so change; I did not know that there was room in my heart for envy and jealousy. I did not know myself!”