The Youth’s Temperance Lecturer didn’t last long, but it made an impression on editors of other periodicals, who reprinted various pieces. “Pride” is one of several pieces reprinted by Youth’s Companion; it’s the standard hyperbolic exploration of a moral theme.
“Pride” (reprinted from Youth’s Temperance Lecturer; from Youth’s Companion, December 5, 1832; pp. 114-115)

Your parents, children, if they have been faithful to you, have told you the meaning of pride, and taught you that it was very wicked. I saw a little girl, sitting in church, with a new frock and hat; she was very handsome, and her mother, though she was poor, dressed her quite too well, and sent her out much to show herself.—The little girl, as she grew older, grew very proud, and despised all the little girls around her, who did not dress as well as she, though they were not as poor.

She was not beloved, for her company was very disagreeable. She became a woman, was married to a proud poor man, and because they would dress, and appear much better than they were able, they came to such poverty, that they had scarcely any thing to eat. They were too proud to beg, or receive any thing that was offered them, though they were in great want. They seemed to hate their neighbors, who had more money than they, and taught their little daughter many mischievous things to practice among children, till at last, they became so mean against one of their neighbors, that they set his barn on fire, as was supposed, and the father ran away, leaving the mother and the children, in the coldest winter weather, to

p. 115

suffer, without fuel or food. A good friend to the poor, called in, when it was a great snow storm, and found that this proud woman, almost perishing with the cold, had burned her last bedstead to warm her poor children, and when he, in pity, offered to send her some wood, she told him she would not take it, she was not yet so poor as to need his help. She was sent for, by her wretched husband, and they lived a miserable life; he is now a drunkard, and she as wicked as ever. All this distress she suffers, without any to pity, though many wished to help her, till she treated all their kindness with such contempt, that they let her alone, and said she deserved no more pity. Learn by this, what an abominable thing pride is—learn that it brings disgrace, and often the greatest poverty, and always the displeasure of God, for ‘the proud he knoweth afar off.’

Copyright 1999-2020, Pat Pflieger
To “Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To “Voices from 19th-Century America
Some works for adults, 1800-1872
To Titles at this site | Authors at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.