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Matilda Sophia Hanson, whose father has recently died in their country of Barbadoes in the West Indies, must live for a time with family friends in England. The Harewood family is astonished at how spoiled, rude, and uneducated the child is. However, with seemingly endless patience and love, they help Matilda work to conquer her bad temper, and become a sensible, good, and well-informed young lady. This story reminds children and adults alike, though you have many battles with yourself, you must never relinquish hope and be assured you will find every victory easier than the last. When you find pride rising in your heart, think on your ignorance and it will make you humble. When you are inclined to be angry, remember the kindness of those around you and it will make you bear with the present vexation. If at any time you are frustrated in any pursuit, remember, although you have many faults, you have some merit also, and may therefore reasonably hope to attain more. (Summary by Chieko Steely)