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handkerchief, and interrupting the reading
with "Mon nez me demand." He corrected the
exercises, heard us read in Epochs d'Angleterre,
and got as far in the beauties of La
Fontaine, as "Une grenouille vit un bœuf."

Two mornings in the week, we came down to
breakfast in full evening-dress, for Monsieur
Roverre the dancing-master, a dapper little
gentleman (ballet-master at the opera, who
came in his own carriage), preceded by Mr.
Chip with his fiddle in a green-bag, who sat
near the door playing it during the lesson.
Oh! his earnest endeavours to make us graceful;
his despair in our elbows; his hopelessness
in our backs, and his glare of indignation
at our mistakes! But what could we do?
English girls are not French girls, who are born
dancers. We did our best and he ought to
have known it; but he didn't: so we hated
him as school-girls only can hate, and revenged
ourselves by calling himwhen nobody heard
Old Roverre.

Music was the great end of education at
Mrs. Ruleit's, and an evening of excitement
was that when Mr. Dragon gave his lesson.
Then Mrs. R. and her daughter sat with
coffee in the front parlour, and each of
us in turn with her music in her hand
had to enter the room, curtsey, and take her
seat at the piano, with three sets of the most
formidable eyes in the world fixed upon her.
I am agitated now to think of those Tuesday
evenings. After all those odious practisings in
the front drawing-room, without fire, to find
your fingering erroneous, your time defective,
taste and feeling wanting, and diligence
questioned; and, finally, as you left the room to
hear, with a contemptuous sigh, "She will
never make anything of it," was more
than a girl's nature could bear. How thankful
I was to get to bed after it, and be soothed
to sleep by the boy in the mews calling, "Beer!
beer!" Happy boy, to have no music-master!

On Wednesday mornings we were generally
indulged at breakfast with a running
commentary on the shortcomings of the
preceding evening, accompanied by plaintive
lamentations on the inferiority of the present
set of girls as compared with those of former
years, in everything worth knowing generally
and music in particular. Then we heard, for
the twentieth time, of Miss Timmins, who so
appreciated the advantage of learning from
such a master as our Dragon, that she could
scarcely be induced to leave the piano. She
never complained of the cold in the back
drawing-room, or that the instrument in the
front parlour had several dumb notes. Miss
Timmins knew her duty, and did it, and may be
doing it yet, and I hope is. I never saw her;
but I hated Miss Timmins.

I did better in drawing than music, and
had one master, in hessian boots, all to myself;
for I drew chalk heads, which no other girl
did. I felt very grand standing at my easel
with my port-crayon, rubbing in a large head
of Calypso, or a great ugly Syrian woman
from the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, which
I talked of as "after Raphael." But the
crowning triumph was copying Canova's
Hebe from the cast, or, as we technically
called it, the round. Then I felt indeed an
artist. Our studies were suspended at one
o'clock by the entrance of a plate of dry
bread for luncheon. Mrs. Ruleit shut up
her desk and sailed out of the room, while
we proceeded upstairs to dress for our
walk. Two whole hours we spent every
fine day in the nursery gardens in
Euston Square. But we were not compelled
to keep together; so I often took a
book, and, in the cold weather, was much in
the greenhouse, and in warm by the side of
the pond under shade of a large white thorn
that hung over it. I wonder where the pond
and the large white thorn are now? We
returned home, in time to dress for dinner, at
four. This was a plain, substantial meal,
soon over; and, after it, we were left to our
own devices and Miss Radley, until tea at
seven. The interval was filled up with
reading, talking, or learning lessons. Our
stock of entertaining books was not very
extensive. Countess and Gertrude, Rosanne,
The Poetical Keepsake, The Swiss Family
Robinson, and Paul et Virginié, were all I
remember. Then was the time for revelations
to each other of our previous lives and
experiences. Only one of us, (it was not
myself) had ever had a loverthat grand
object of attainment to a school-girl: and
that secret was not spoken loud out, but only
to me in the retirement of the nursery-gardens.
It was an officer in the East India Company's
service, never likely to come to England
again, and who had never made a direct offer;
so he was but a shadowy kind of lover after
all: only it did to talk about, as we had
nothing better. But one of the girls had
spent the last holidays with a beautiful
cousin, who was engaged to an officer in an
English regiment, whose name was Mannering;
and this engagement served as an illustration
of all the sentiment and love-making that
could be at any time broached. Meantime,
Miss Radley read, or worked, or walked
backward and forward in the study, holding
a backboard; and, when it grew dusk,
arid she thought we could not see, mounted a
hairpin across her nose, in the vain hope of
curbing its aspiring tendencies. If by
chance she heard the word gentleman, we
were instantly interrupted by some question
as to what age we were, or how many
brothers and sisters we had at home. She
did not like so well to tell her own age; for
once, when we got on the subject of ages, she
asked us how old we thought her? We all
believed her thirty, but thought it would be
very ill-bred (and we piqued ourselves on our
good-breeding) to tell her that she had
arrived at that age when hope is outlived,
and despair even survived: so we unanimously
said twenty-seven; and she would not