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" Eii-or, 'with fearful hricks at finding her drc-< on fir-,
was rushing to leave the room."
"CHARITY ENVIETH NOT."
MRS. HENRY B. PAULL,
Autor of The Greatest is Charity," Mabers School Days,
LONDON: JARROLD 'AND SONS,
3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS.
Who can stand before Envy? 18
School Days 30
New Scenes and New Duties 42
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata .
Repentance and Confession 73
The Governess: or, Pleading Voices (by Mrs. Marshall) 87
Charity envieth not."
,, HAT a capital day for the palace!"
said a youth of about sixteen, as he
sat at breakfast.
"Yes," replied his sister; "but I
shan't enjoy it so much as I did in the
Christmas holidays, because the skating, is
"Oh, I didn't care half so much for the
skating, Nelly, as for the pantomime; that
was jolly fun," said her younger brother, a boy
"I am to learn to skate soon; mamma says
8 School-day Memories.
so," and a plump little lady of seven looked
very important as she spoke.
"You skate, Rosa! a fat little puss like
you Oh no! you're too jolly for that yet-
the ice wouldn't support you."
"Mamma, that isn't true now, is it ?"
"No, my darling; Arthur is only in fun.
My boy, you should break yourself of such a
habit of exaggeration."
"All the fellows do it, mamma; it's only
"Chaff with a vengeance," and Mr. Norton
laughed as he spoke, "and equally worthless;"
and yet, in a few moments, he could not but
feel that a little chaffing on the part of his son
was a pleasant way of rebuking the too great
self-appreciation of his daughter. Arthur,
with all his rattle, was a thoroughly good-
natured and affectionate son and brother.
"I do so often wish I could play the large
organ at the Crystal Palace," said Nelly, a
girl of thirteen; "it would be so nice to pro-
duce all those grand sounds with my small
"A!L! I admire that! why, Nell, you never
touched an organ in your life."
"Well, but I've seen the keys; they are
just the same as those on the piano, and I can
"Yes, I know; but the touch is different.
I can't exactly explain why, but I know it is."
"Different! nonsense! how can it be?
Don't you suppose I know more about music
than you do?"
"Your brother is right, my dear Nelly; the
peculiar touch required in playing the organ
is very different to that for the piano. You
are talking of what you don't understand."
Mr. Norton spoke with the sternness he
sometimes used in correcting his eldest daugh-
ter, although in general a most indulgent
father; and Nelly knew she dared not reply.
Mr. Norton, whose business kept him in the
city during the day, resided in a very pleasant
detached house near Clapham Park. It stood
back from the road, and had a moderately
large garden back and front. From its high
position could be seen the Crystal Palace,
Norwood, Sydenham, and Dulwich, and fields
and pastures not then built upon as now. He
was a man of standing in the city, and able
to bring up and educate his family for the
station in which they were born.
The two boys and Nelly went to school in
10 School-day Memories.
the country. Mrs. Norton would have pre-
ferred to keep her at home with a governess;
but she was a girl of excellent abilities, and
having no companion but her little sister, she
became self-sufficient and vain of her own
powers. On this account her parents felt the
necessity of placing her with other girls, that
she might discover her own deficiencies. She
was now at home for the Easter holidays after
the first term at school.
For some moments after Mr. Norton's re-
mark silence prevailed. The April sun shone
into the room with unusual warmth; and on
a table before the window lay a large black
cat, basking in its rays-Rosa's pet, although
she often threatened her with unheard-of
penalties if she ever ventured to approach
her robin who came to the window for crumbs
The family at Clapham Park were united
and affectionate. The boys were fond of their
sisters; and Arthur, though full of fun, took
upon himself, as elder brothers often do, the
office of mentor-with Nelly, at least, for
Rosa was as yet but a pretty plaything.
In that few moments of silence the house-
maid brought in a letter, and as Mr. Norton
opened it and read a few lines, his face flushed,
and he exclaimed-
"My dear, this letter contains sad news-
poor Lucy is dead."
"What, your brother Henry's widow at
"Yes, and their poor child is left an orphan;
but I'll just finish the letter and let you have
it. It is from Mr. Arnold, the rector; he is
co-guardian of the child with me."
The young people looked at one another in
silence. Arthur and Eleanor, or Nelly, as she
was called, could recollect their cousin Edith
when a little fairy child of eight. She had
paid them a visit with her mother after her
father's death, and they knew she must be
about a year younger than Nelly.
Mr. Norton passed the letter to his wife.
She read it, and then laying it down, said-
"And what do you wish to do?"
"I should like to have the child with us,"
he said; "she is my own brother's daughter,
and I think has a claim on us as her nearest
"I quite agree with you, Charles," was the
wifely reply; "we have enough and to spare
for our own, and one more will make very
12 School-day Memories.
M. Norton gave his wife a look that
more than repaid her for agreeing to what
she considered a christian duty; -then he
"Edith has a little property, for which Mr.
Arnold and myself are joint trustees: we
need not touch that. So I will make arrange-
ments to go to Norwich a day or two before
the funeral, and bring the poor little orphan
back with me. You must put off your visit
to the Crystal Palace to-day, children," he
continued, "till I return, and then your cousin
can accompany you. I shall be too busy to
leave the city to-day, and I cannot impose
such a charge upon your mother."
I'm sure if mamma will take care of Rosa,
Arthur and me can take care of ourselves and
"That's very likely, Miss Nelly, when you
can't even take care of your grammar!"
laughed the youngest boy.
Nelly flushed with mortification at a cor-
rection from her young brother, but Mrs.
Norton stayed all reply by saying-
"Don't talk nonsense, children; it would
not be proper for us to go after the news we
Seeing by the serious manner of their pa-
rents that they wished to have some private
conversation, the children asked permission to
leave the table. The two youngest, too light-
hearted to think of death, or its consequences
to an unknown cousin, were soon at high
games in the garden; but Nelly and Arthur,
older and more thoughtful, began to speculate
upon the addition to their number, of which
their parents had spoken.
"Do you remember aunt Lucy and Edith ?"
"Not much," she replied; "but I think
Edith was a little thing with light hair, ever
so much younger than me."
"She's only a year younger than you, and
she was an awfully pretty little girl then; you
used to look like a gipsy by her side."
Arthur knew that his sister's clear brunette
complexion, dark eyes, and deep brown curls,
made her quite as attractive as fairy Edith,
with her blue eyes and golden ringlets; but he
loved to chaff his sister to bring down, as he
said, her conceit. Her tone of superiority in
speaking of others was fuel to the fire, and he
"She'll be a jolly companion for you, Nell;
14 School-day Memories.
papa saw her twelve months ago, and he says
she plays awfully well; how will you like
"Oh, I shan't care; besides, papa isn't much
of a judge; and if she does excel me in music,
which I do not expect, she won't do so in
"I don't know that; for aunt Lucy was
very clever and accomplished, and knew an
awful lot of history and geography, and the
ologies and all that, and she's been teaching
Edith all her life. Oh, Nell, I expect Edith
will cut you out, if she's a topper, like her
mother was in learning."
"I wish you wouldn't talk such dreadful
slang, Arthur; you know mamma does not
like it," said his sister, pettishly; "and as to
Edith, how can a girl nearly a year younger
than me, who has never had masters nor been
to school, know more than I do?"
"Can't say, I'm sure; but it's not un-
"Well, if Edith and her wonderful know-
ledge are to be thrown in my face in this way,
I shall end by hating her."
"Very amiable indeed, Miss Nelly: well,
after that, I'll slope."
The week passed, and Arthur spared his
sister any more "chaff," for he had no wish
to provoke her to give her cousin an unkind
reception. On the Wednesday Mr. Norton
started for Norwich; the funeral of Mrs.
Henry Norton was to take place on the next
day. On Friday he wrote to his wife, telling
her not to expect them till Monday, as there
were many little matters of business to ar-
range, and the rector had invited them to stay
at the rectory for the time he remained.
Monday arrived at last, and the children, in a
state of excited expectation, looked at the
clock as if it never would strike five. Little
Rosa's frequent questions, "Mamma, will
cousin Edith soon be here now? I do want to
see her so much;" so annoyed Eleanor that
she betook herself to the drawing-room and
sat down to the piano. At last Mrs. Norton
said to Harry and Rosa-
"Go and stand at the window; you will be
able to hear the sound of the cab wheels."
"And see it too, mamma," said Harry, "if
we stand sideways."
But standing "sideways" for fifteen or
twenty minutes, is rather fatiguing, and their
patience was almost worn out, when Harry
16 School-day Memories.
exclaimed, "Here they are, mamma !" and
he and Rosa bounded out to the gate.
Arthur was there before them, and the poor
orphan could not complain of the welcome
she received from at least three of her
cousins. Nelly also had heard the cab, and
she entered the dining-room just as Mrs.
Norton rose to receive her niece with fond
affection. Nelly heard the soft voice, which
seemed to claim pity and affection: How do
you do, dear Aunt Alice?" she saw the sweet
fair face, delicate features, and golden curls,
to which the deep mourning formed a con-
trast, while it shrouded them; she saw her
mother's affectionate welcome, and a feeling
of envy arose in her heart. Yet conscious
shame at the feeling made her come forward
and welcome her cousin kindly, and lead her
upstairs to prepare for a dinner-tea, which
Mrs. Norton had ordered.
During the meal all restraint passed off.
The boys talked of their school; Mrs. Norton
asked her niece a few questions about herself;
and, after tea, even little Rosa tried to please,
by showing her the numerous dissected puz-
zles and maps, which were her own property.
Mr. Norton summoned the household for
Sef -conceit. r 7
family worship early that evening; and alone
in her room Edith knelt to thank her Heavenly
Father for having provided her with such kind
friends and such a happy home.
"WHO CAN STAND BEFORE ENVY?"
HEN Edith awoke next morning and
opened her window, to look out over
the prospect which lay spread before
it, her heart leapt for joy. At the end
of a garden, full of spring flowers, stood
several lofty elms, in which the rooks were
busily engaged, and making the air resound
with their cawing. The cuckoo not far dis-
tant, and the song of the lark overhead, the
chirping of birds, the cackling of hens, and
the crowing of cocks, were to the town-bred,
nature-loving child, most delightful sights and
She dressed quickly, and again kneeling by
her bed, prayed with child-like simplicity to
her Father in Heaven, whom she had been
taught to love. Then she went softly down-
stairs to find her way into the garden; the
servants were already about, and one of them
Who can stand before Envy?" 19
readily attended to the gentle request to show
her the garden door.
She was wandering through the walks,
sometimes stopping to smell the sweet flowers,
when she heard a voice. She looked up;
Nelly was at her window.
"Oh, Edith, how early you are out! wait
for me, and I'll take you over the kitchen gar-
den and show you the chickens; I'm nearly
Edith readily complied; it was so nice to
have a girl of her own age to talk to
like a sister. Nelly soon made her appear-
"Why, what an early riser you are, Edith !"
"Yes; I was always up at seven at home,
and we had breakfast at eight."
"So do we, because papa has to go to the
city by an early train, and it's a long walk to
the station; but come and see the chickens
first-I look for the eggs every morning; we
have two hens sitting, and there will soon be
such dear little chicks."
"Oh, how delightful to have all these beau-
tiful country sights and sounds! I shall be
so happy here, I'm sure I shall."
20 School-day Memorics.
"But you are going to school with me, I
heard mamma say so," said Eleanor.
"Oh!" and Edith caught her breath and
"What's the matter! are you afraid of
"No, not exactly; but I never had a master
or a governess in my life."
"Who taught you, then ?"
"Mamma; she was very clever." And the
gentle voice faltered; but at the next ques-
tion Edith hardened herself. She saw Nelly
could not sympathize with the loss of a
"What did your mamma teach you-music
"Yes," was the reply, in quiet tones.
"We have masters at school for everything,"
said Eleanor; "but you need not fear them,
they are always kind and considerate, at least
to me, for I have such a correct eye for draw-
ing, and I can play any tune I hear by ear."
"I wish I could," said Edith with a sigh;
"and yet I think I must have some ear for
music; mamma would often take away a
piece of music because I tried to play it from
"Who can stand before Envy ?" 21
"Oh, I do that often," said Eleanor.
"Do you? how clever you must be! for
even if I play the air correctly, I'm sure to
forget the bass, and it sounds dreadful to me
if the bass is not right."
"But," said Nelly, "the bass is of no conse-
"Is it not? I thought the bass was the
foundation of all music. Mamma understood
'Thorough Bass,' and she told me so."
"'Thorough bass!' I never heard of such a
study," said Nelly.
"Oh, no, I dare say not; but it's a science,
I believe, and it's called 'Harmony' now."
Nelly had heard of it by that name; but
she was ignorant of its meaning, and again the
envious feeling arose in her heart: If this new
cousin really should know enough to get
above her at school! The thought was in-
The chicken-house and its inmates soon
diverted the minds of the young girls, and
when the breakfast bell rang they ran in, and
Mrs. Norton noticed with pleasure that Edith's
pale face had gained by the early morning
"I heard a noise in the garden half-an-hour
22 School-day Memories.
ago," said Arthur, as they seated themselves;
"I wonder who the intruders could be; two
_magpies I should say by the chatter, and yet,
perhaps, after all, it might have been young
"I'm sure you talk as much as any young
lady!" exclaimed Harry.
"Oh, well, the more the merrier, and its
awfully jolly to have a cousin who is a chat-
"Rather a doubtful compliment that," said
his father; "and suppose now you let the
'magpies' eat their breakfast in peace, for the
sooner we get it over the better."
"The better! Oh, papa! are we going to
the Palace to-day ?" said Harry.
"Should you like to go, Edith ?" asked her
"Oh, yes! if you mean the Crystal Palace;
I have never been there in my life."
Then we will take advantage of this fine
weather, for it is not likely to last in April. I
will see you to the station," he continued,
"but I must go for an hour or two to the city,
and join you by and bye. I hope, children,
you will not give your mother any trouble."
"No, indeed, papa," said Arthur; "I mean
Who can stand before Envy?" 23
to be as grave as you, and keep the rest in
"I fear you will have enough to do to keep
yourself in order, Arthur; but I can trust
In less than two hours Mrs. Norton and the
young people were exploring the wonders of
London's "Winter Garden," now radiant in
spring beauty, while Edith delighted them all
by her naive admiration and enjoyment of
everything. After Mr. Norton's arrival the
party became separated, and Arthur found
himself alone with Nelly.
"Well, Arthur," she asked, "how do you
"What a question to ask a fellow, when I
haven't been in her company twelve hours!"
"Well, isn't that long enough? I'm sure I
know her character perfectly already."
"And what is the result of your intuitive
knowledge, Miss Nell ?"
"Well, I believe she's conceited and prag-
"Whew!" whistled Arthur; "upon my word,
Miss Nell, you must have had a looking-glass
before your eyes when you arrived at this
24 School-day Memnories.
"Don't talk nonsense, Arthur; you are
pragmatical now. Edith is well enough, and
I like her; but you'll see"-and she paused.
"See! of course; I hope so; but I wonder
if the' young lady, whose character you un-
derstand so well, can see also. I should say
she could;" and he turned away and left his
sister to form her own conjectures as to his
Only another week remained of the Easter
holidays for the boys after this Crystal Palace
visit. Eleanor's school did not recommence
till a few days later.
The days passed swiftly, for they were days
of amusement even when wet, as often hap-
pens in April, for the boys had mechanical
tastes, and were allowed a work-room and
tools. This room had great attractions for
Edith, and her cousins were delighted to show
her their steam engines and electrifying ma-
chines, in which she took so much interest-
Nelly's wishes to keep her away from her
brothers being set aside at once by Arthur.
It was a pleasant week to Edith, and none the
less because she found a number of delightful
children's books in the library, which effectu-
ally, on a wet day, prevented all weariness to
such a lover of reading.
Who can stand before Envy?" 5
On the last evening of the boys' holidays,
Mr. Norton came home and dined earlier to
have a long evening with his children, who
joined him after dinner.' Edith was already
almost one of them.
"Come, Nelly, play something," said her
papa; I have heard very little of what you
can do since you returned from school."
Eleanor Norton prided herself, as we know,
on her musical powers. She played difficult
pieces; and she rose to obey her father with
a perfect confidence of manner. She had a
firm, rapid finger, and she rattled through one
of Schubert's pieces with a power of execution
that amazed Edith, although she fancied very
often that something sounded out of tune;
had it been music she knew, her quick ear
would have detected the numerous mistakes.
"Edith," said Mr. Norton, "you played
very nicely a year ago, let us hear what you
can do now."
Poor Edith, since her mother's death she
had not touched the piano; and although her
merry cousins, and the change of scene since
her arrival at Clapham, had diverted her mind,
yet there were times when the tears rose in her
eyes at some sad memory, and this was one.
26 School-day Memories.
"Don't play if it pains you, my dear," said
her aunt, who observed the pale face and
"Oh yes, aunt, I will try," and she left the
room to fetch her music.
In a very few moments she returned and
placed on the piano one of Mozart's favourite
airs, then without a word she commenced.
As she played, Nelly's face darkened; there
was a something in the soft classical style ot
Edith's music that attracted even the children,
while the elders listened with pleasure.
"She plays a jolly lot better than you do,"
It was a mistaken idea of her brother's to
attempt to cure his sister of her conceit by
"chaff" of this sort; and the time came when
he regretted having tried it. But Rosa's re-
mark was far more mortifying, being uttered
aloud in all innocence:-
"I like to hear you play, cousin Edith; you
play such pretty tunes, and you don't make
such a noise as Nelly does."
"Come here, little one," said her brother,
drawing the child towards him; "who made
you such a good judge of music ? "
Nelly heard in dismay; hitherto she had
Who can stand before Envy 27
met with few of her own age who could com-
pete with her in her studies; and now the
bare idea that Edith could do better than
herself, instead of correcting her self-conceit,
only excited envious feelings.
She had been too well taught not to know
that envy was a sin. She possessed warm,
impulsive feelings, and wished to act kindly
to her gentle cousin. But Edith was going to
school with her, and perhaps her governess
and the masters would find out her cousin's
superiority in music as her parents had done:
at least, it was not superior, she was sure of
that, but they might think so.
The next day another mortification awaited
her. Nelly was considered advanced in draw-
ing for her age; but hitherto she had only
drawn landscapes in pencil. After their break-
fast, Mr. Norton said to the boys-
"I want you to open one of the packing
cases that came yesterday, Arthur; it contains
your Aunt Lucy's paintings, and your mother
is anxious to see if they are uninjured."
"All right papa,;" and with tools from
their work-room, and assisted by their own
eager curiosity, the box was soon open.
"I say, that's awfully well done, though,"
28 School-day 'Memor'ies.
said Arthur, as he carefully drew the first
painting from the case. "Did Aunt Lucy
paint that ?"
"Yes," said Edith, in a low voice.
Arthur placed the picture against the wall,
and drew out another.
"Oh!" exclaimed Harry, "I like that best."
"Ah! that's because the colours are
brighter; but it's not good enough to be in a
frame. I've mamma's copy upstairs in my
"What! did you paint this ?" asked Arthur.
"Yes," she replied simply.
"Let me show it to mamma;" and Arthur
raised the picture above his head to be out
of reach of Edith's hands, and carried it to
"Come here, Edith; did you do this?" said
"Yes, aunt," she replied, blushing deeply;
"but if you will let me, I'll take it out of the
frame and put dear mamma's back again.
She framed it, she said, to encourage me."
"No, no; let it stay. Have you any more
in this style ? "
"Yes, aunt, upstairs."
"Oh, I know she has," cried Rosa; "I saw
"Who can stand before Envy?" 29
some in her box one day, when she was find-
ing her doll for me."
Mrs. Norton saw the tears of vexation in
her daughter's eyes as the pictures were taken
out, and two more were owned by Edith as
her work. She was sorry for Nelly, and yet
she felt that perhaps after all the association
with one as talented as herself would tend to
remove the self-conceit which had so grown
upon her lately.
Mrs. Norton's loving character made her
quite unable to imagine the evil passion which
would arise in its place, and which would pro-
duce results she little expected.
" /OOD bye, my dear Edith," said Mrs.
SNorton, as she stood at the station, and
put her hand into the carriage window
o to say farewell to her daughter and
niece; "you will soon feel accustomed to
school, and I'm sure Nelly will be kind to
Edith's eyes filled with tears, as she took her
aunt's hand, although she appeared cheerful;
and, indeed, she could not help forgetting her
loss in such a lively, happy family as her
uncle's; yet, at times, a gentle word, or a
memory when alone, would excite her to tears.
Nelly's better feelings were touched.
"I will, mamma, indeed I will;" and as
the train moved off she pressed her cousin's
hand affectionately, fully intending to keep
School Days. 31
Mr. Norton met them at the city station,
and accompanied them to a pretty village on
a hill near the Kentish coast, from which
could be obtained, not only a view of the sea,
but pure sea breezes.
They arrived about five o'clock, and as the
fly drove to the door, two young ladies from
an upper window saw Eleanor Norton and her
They were received by a tall, stately lady,
who welcomed Edith with kindness, but im-
pressed her awe.
Madame Letour, the widow of a French
count, was an English lady, who belonged to
the old school of education; she was simply
shocked at the loving familiarity of children
to their parents in the present day, and the
forward self-possession of girls in their teens.
Her pupils, while with her, whatever their age,
were treated as children; but they were well
taught both by herself and the masters, and
the discipline did them good; while the house,
in its comforts and liberality, was truly a
Madame allowed the young ladies many
indulgences, and provided for them frequent
amusements; and while her pupils were atten-
32 School-day fMeimorics.
tive to rules, studious, and respectful, they
could not fail to be happy. Neither gover-
ness nor pupil was allowed to remain who
failed in these respects; and as the terms
were high, she could afford to be particular.
While Mr. Norton explained his wishes
respecting the new pupil, Eleanor took her
cousin upstairs to her room, in which Madame
Letour told her Edith was now to occupy the
second bed. On reaching the room, Edith
-ran to the window.
"Oh, Nelly! how delightful it is here! and
look, is not that blue line the sea ?"
Yes; have you never seen it before ?"
"No. Oh how beautifully blue it is and
how high the house must be for us to see so
"It's only two miles, Edith; we go and
bathe sometimes in the summer, and have
such delightful picnics; but I.should not like
to live here always, it's so dull."
"The quiet of the country pleases me,"
said Edith; "our house at Norwich was in
the city, near a church, and the street was
very noisy sometimes. What buildings are
those over there?" and Edith pointed to
some barn-looking places beyond the garden.
School Days. 33
"Oh, that's the farm yard; those are the
chicken houses, and in that field to the left are
Madame's cows. We always have eggs and
beautiful milk for breakfast."
"This can't be like some schools," said
Edith. "I've heard such dreadful tales about
boarding schools, that I really felt quite
frightened when uncle said I was to go with
Oh, you'll be happy enough here, Edith,
I've no doubt."
But, Nelly, I am afraid still of the masters.
Dear papa used to teach me Latin and arith-
metic before he died, but I've forgotten all I
learnt, and I don't get on quickly with
"Perhaps you will here, for we have a
German and a French governess, and masters
for Italian, music, singing, and drawing; be-
sides a clergyman who comes twice a week
to teach Latin, and English, and arithmetic,
and a lot besides."
"Oh, what advantages you have, Nelly! no
wonder you are so clever."
Eleanor appreciated a compliment which
she knew was genuine; but not even Edith's
34 School-day Memories.
self-depreciation could pacify the envious.
spirit. As her cousin talked, the sweet face
looked so attractive in its fair beauty and
gentle earnestness, that envy of her personal
attractions, the lowest of all objects of envy,
was added to the other bitterness in Nelly's
Meanwhile the new pupil was being dis-
cussed in the school-room.
"Who is that new girl who has just come
with Eleanor Norton?" said a tall .girl of
seventeen, to three others who sat at a window
looking into a large garden.
"What sort of a girl?'"
"Very pretty, with golden hair and blue
eyes; such a contrast to Eleanor! We saw
them get out of a fly at the door a little
"Oh, I can tell you," exclaimed another
girl, who at that moment entered the room.
"I was saying good-bye to papa just now
when they came, and I heard Madame say,
'So you have brought your niece, Mr. Norton.,
I am very happy to see you, my dear;' and
the speaker imitated the voice and manner of
her governess so cleverly, that they all laughed
School Days. 35
"Don't Jessie; it's not right to say or do
when persons are absent what you would not
wish them to see or hear of, especially when-"
"Oh! I'll finish that sentence, Clara!-we
are to submit ourselves to all our governesses,
teachers, spiritual pastors, and masters; to
order ourselves lowly and reverently to all our
"Hush!" exclaimed another voice, "don't
make fun on religion, Jessie; that satirical
spirit will get you into trouble some day; it
will make you spiteful."
"Now, Clara, stop your lecture," said
another girl; "I want to hear all about
The speaker, whose tall, fully developed
figure made her appear older than any of her
schoolfellows, was evidently one whose wish
was law, and Jessie Austin was nothing loth
"Oh, she's taller than Nelly, and very
pretty; but she looks younger, and wears
such deep mourning."
"Perhaps she's an orphan," said one, "and
has come to live with her uncle Norton."
"Well, I dare say that's it; but, hush! I
hear Madame's voice."
36 School-day Memories.
The four young ladies instantly rose and
stood as their governess entered with Eleandr
and Edith Norton.
"Young ladies, I have brought you a new
companion," said the dignified lady: Miss
Edith Norton, Eleanor's cousin."
The young ladies bowed and remained
standing while Madame asked them a few
questions with a formality novel to Edith,,
who at once learnt a lesson of respect to her
But as soon as the lady left, the girls closed
round Eleanor and talked to her in a manner
that proved to Edith that her cousin was a
favourite at school; and the unenvious spirit
was pleased and proud to see her so noticed.
As she stood watching with eager smiles
the warm reception of Eleanor, Clara Maitland
changed her position, and taking a chair near
to where Edith stood, drew her down gently
by her side.
"Have you ever been at school before?"
"No," she replied; "mamma always taught
me at home, but she's dead now;" and the
tears would come.
"Never mind, we won't talk of that," said
School Days. 37
Clara, gently; "when you get acquainted
with us all, you'll soon be happy here. This
is our schoolroom: Is it not a noble room ?"
"Yes, indeed," said Edith, conquering her
tears and looking round with surprise at the
six large windows, the vaulted roof, and the
two broad fireplaces; "I never saw such a
room before, excepting once, when I went
with papa to a nobleman's house, and the
large hall was just like this."
Well, this was a nobleman's house in olden
times, and we have the hall for our school-
room; don't you see that the floor and the
wainscot and the high carved mantelpieces
are oak ?"
A large carpet covered the centre of the
floor; but Edith could distinguish beyond it
the polished boards, which are now so seldom
seen in England. As her eyes wandered with
interest round the room, Clara said, Come to
the large French window at the end, and I'll
show you our croquet lawn and the shrub-
As they walked down the room, Edith no-
ticed that in the centre, between the two fire-
places, which faced the five windows, stood a
a semicircular table and a chair, and beyond
38 School-day Memories.
them two similar tables, but not so large;
under each of these square carpets were
"We have our classes at those tables," said
Clara; "the centre one belongs to Madame,
the others to the English governesses. There
are two class-rooms for the masters and a
large dining-room beyond." Turning with
her back to the tables, Clara pointed to a
long wide desk, covered with red baize, which
extended from one end of the room -to the
other, under and between the windows. We
write and draw at those desks," she said.
Edith examined them with great interest.
A flat surface, extending from the upper edge
of the desk to the wall, contained boxes for
pens, pencils, Indian-rubber, or anything re-
quired in drawing or writing, and between
each box were two holes, one for the ink
glass, another for the water glass. Edith was
"How nice," she said, "to have all you
want close at hand."
"Yes," replied Clara, "and the desks are
too firm to be shaken, and are wide enough
for the largest drawing; and look, here's a
ledge at the top of the desk, to prevent your
School Days. 39
copy from slipping down, and it can stand up
before your eyes."
Edith looked so interested, that Clara said,
"Do you draw?"
"A little," she replied; "I am very fond of
it; but I never had a master."
"Well, now come out, and I'll show you
our shrubbery and the croquet lawn; we have
a gravelled space and a swing, and good
games we have there sometimes; but we are
not allowed to call it a playground."
"Is not Madame Letour very strict? "
"Yes, in school time, and we are obliged to
treat her with great respect; but she never
checks our play unless she hears too much
"Noise!" cried Edith, "why can you make
noise enough out here to be heard in the front
of the house?"
"Noise!" repeated Clara, laughing; "oh,
you don't know what school girls can do, I
"Don't believe her, Miss Edith Norton,"
said a voice, as the rest of the girls joined
them; "Clara Maitland couldn't make a noise
if she were to try-she's much too grave and
sedate; but don't stand here, let us fetch
40 School-day Memories.
our garden hats and .have a stroll till tea-
Olivia Morati and Jessie Austin joined
Clara and Edith, and a discussion arose about
the English teachers.
"We have to behave ourselves to Miss
Merton," said Olivia; "she is as stern as
Madame herself, and so fidgetty."
"Ah!" exclaimed Jessie, "dear Miss Grey
is my favourite; she's as firm and sedate as
Miss Merton while we are at. lessons, and out
of school she's the jolliest girl I know."
"Girl!" said Edith, is she a girl ?"
"Well, no; but she looks like one when
she's playing with us, and yet we don't dare
to disobey her. She is exactly as if she pos-
sessed two natures; in school she's like a
grand old lady of sixty, but in play she's just
one of us, and we all love her."
"I know why," said a gentle voice, "be-
Oh, yes! because she's religious, I suppose;
but she's not more so outwardly than any one
"I was not thinking of outwardly, Jessie,"
replied the speaker, timidly; "but I mean
that she is gentle, and patient, and forgiving,
School Days. 41
and has so many of the qualities that the
Bible calls religion."
"Yes, and you are just like her, Mary
Leslie, only you preach more than she does
about the thirteenth chapter of Corinthians.
Do you know," continued Jessie, turning to
Edith, "that I believe Mary Leslie imagines
the whole of our religious duties are included
in that chapter."
At this moment a gong sounded, the pre-
paration for tea, and the young ladies has-
tened to the house.
NEW SCENES AND NEW DUTIES.
Y the end of a week, the twelve young
Ladies were all assembled. Madame
Letour's number never exceeded twelve,
and her plans were so successful that a
vacancy was quickly filled up. Edith easily
fell into the routine of school; she had been
placed at first in the second class, to Nelly's
secret satisfaction; but Miss Grey soon found
her beyond the girls in general English know-
ledge, and "Madame," as she was generally
called, removed her to the first. Of this class
Olivia Morati was the head; she was a very
talented girl, now in her eighteenth year, and
the most accomplished musician in the school.
Clara Maitland, Mary Leslie, and Eleanor
Norton were no mean rivals to Olivia in
English studies, and she very soon discovered
that Edith's knowledge was not to be- des-
New Scenes and New Duties. 43
pised, though she was the youngest in the
Olivia Morati's character and appearance
were more Italian than English; her mother
was an English woman, but Olivia's olive
complexion, dark eyes, and raven hair, made
her resemble her father, and this, with her
mother's refined features, gave her a right to
be what the girls called her, The belle of the
She was, however, indolent and languid,
though graceful and dignified in her move-
ments, assuming a superiority among her
schoolfellows to which they tacitly admitted
her right, for they thought her perfection; yet
she often allowed herself to be led. When
Clara Maitland and Mary Leslie were not at
hand, the thoughtless, lively Jessie Austin
could easily influence her. Jessie had keen
penetration and ready wit, and she soon dis-
covered Olivia's weak points, which were not
under control in either of these two girls,
because they had no power but their own
strength, and no religious principles to guide
them. A few days after Edith had taken her
place in the first class, Olivia and Jessie were
walking round the garden together:
44 School-day MJfemories.
"What do you think of Edith Norton?"
Oh, Edith is very clever, there's no deny-
ing that," she replied.
"Yes, and isn't Eleanor envious of her!
while she was in the second class, she told me
such a tale of her education having been neg-
lected after her father's death, and of her
being taught by her mother with no masters,
that I was quite surprised when I found she
knew so much."
"She is very pretty," said Olivia.
"Pretty!" cried Jessie, "with that yellow
hair and simpering face; If you please, Miss
Austin, will you show me where the lesson
begins to-morrow?'" and Jessie's imitation ot
Edith, as she lowered her eyes and twisted
her mouth into grotesque contortions, was
such a caricature that Olivia laughed outright.
"Oh, Jessie! for shame!" she cried, still
laughing and enjoying the joke; for these two
girls, one plain-looking and the other hand-
some, envied the gentle girl, one for her pretty
child-like face, the other for her talents.
"Have you heard her play yet?" asked
Jessie, who knew that Olivia scorned the idea
of a rival in music.
New Scenes and New Duties. 45
"No; but I've seen her drawings, and they
are wonderful for such a child."
"I don't believe she did half of them," said
"Well, she has begun another with the
master, so what she can really do will soon be
discovered. It's no use, Jessie, you can't get
over it, Edith Norton is a really clever, inter-
esting girl, and Madame takes a great deal of
notice of her, and she's a good judge of talent."
Jessie said no more; but she knew that her
depreciation of Edith had pleased Olivia, who
little dreamed that the envious thoughts she
tried to conceal were clear to the sharp pene-
tration of her friend.
Jessie was proud of calling such a talented
girl her friend, and she often uttered opinions
of her schoolfellows which she knew would
find an echo in Olivia's heart. Jessie Austin
was not really an ill-natured girl; she had
many amiable qualities; but her comic vein
and amusing satire were encouraged by her
companions, even while they feared it.
"What a quiz you are! said Clara, a day
or two after the above conversation: "oh,
Jessie, it's a dangerous gift, and sometimes it
makes you really unkind."
46. School-day Memories.
"I don't mean to be unkind, Clara," she
said; "and if no one laughed at me I dare say
I should soon give it up; but it is such good
fun to see Olivia Morati, she pretends to be
so shocked, and she enjoys it all the time."
"Ah, yes! and that reminds me, Jessie, I'm
sure Edith Norton heard you making some
joke about her the other day; she was in the
shrubbery with me, and she stopped to pick a
sprig of fern just as you and Olivia passed
behind the shrubs, and I saw her face flush
and the tears come into her eyes."
It was Jessie's turn to blush now. "Oh,
indeed! I'm very sorry, I like Edith Norton
very much, and I should not wish to say any-
thing to pain her; but it was Olivia led me
on-she's as envious as she can be of Edith."
"Olivia envious !" cried Clara.
"Yes, indeed she is, and Eleanor too, I can
tell you; I've seen her frown and bite her lips
in class, when Madame smiles or looks pleased
"Well," said Clara, "I'm sorry for Nelly;
it must be mortifying to find her cousin,
younger than herself, get above her, for
Eleanor used to be next to Olivia in clever-
New Scenes and New Duties. 47
"I know she was; but that needn't make
Nelly envious; and if it comes to that, Edith
ought to be envious of Eleanor; her papa
was only a poor curate, and now she's an
orphan; and Nelly has a father and mother
and brothers and sisters to love her, and she
has a nice home, and her papa is rich, and
when she grows up she will have plenty of
money: I think Edith has the most right to
be envious; but she isn't one bit."
"Why, Jessie!" cried Clara, "it is you who
are preaching me a sermon this time; who
told you all this?"
"Miss Grey; she caught me taking off
Edith, and when we were alone, didn't she
give me a lecture! but, Clara, don't repeat
what I've told you, perhaps Miss Grey would
not like it; I've told Mary Leslie, but no one
else till now."
"Of course I shall not repeat it, Jessie, and
I hope you will remember Miss Grey's lec-
Jessie laughed; but as she turned away she
said to herself, "If I do remember, it will be
on account of what Mary Leslie said to me-
no one can help listening to her; but Clara
comes down upon you as if she were the
48 School-day Memories.
most perfect creature in the world, and there-
fore had a right to see faults in others. I
think I'll write a sermon on the mote and the
beam. Heigho! I'm afraid there's a great
beam in my own eye, if I would only look
The months wore on, bringing a sweet cer-
tainty of summer, and the hope of holidays;
and by this time Edith had used all diligence
to improve, and had gained the love and ap-
probation of the whole school.
The young ladies at Madame Letour's slept
in single beds, two in a room, provided with
a chest of drawers, wardrobe; looking-glass,
washstand, and dressing-table for each.
Edith and Eleanor occupied one of these
rooms at the back of the house, and Edith
would often rise early on a bright summer
morning to open the window and inhale the
sea breeze, or watch the distant waves spark-
ling in the morning sun.
Hitherto not an angry word had passed be-
tween the cousins; it was almost impossible
to provoke Edith to quarrel, and Eleanor was
not ill-tempered. Sometimes Edith noticed a
cloud on her cousin's face; but to suppose
that her clever cousin could envy her never
New Scenes and New Duties. 49
entered her mind. Her mother had early
repressed any approach to pride of her abili-
ties, and she had a perfect dread of showing
Once, however, Eleanor surprised Edith,
when going to the first summer picnic on the
sea-shore. Two waggonettes were engaged
to take the young ladies the two miles, and
Edith, who had never been near the sea, was
in ecstasies of delight.
At breakfast she innocently asked Miss
Grey if she might take pencil and paper with
her to sketch a sea view: "I can colour it at
home, Miss Grey," she said, "for I can see the
waves from our bed-room window." Miss
Grey readily gave the permission, while Olivia
and Jessie glanced at each other meaningly.
When Edith and Eleanor entered their
bed-room, Eleanor astonished Edith by ex-
claiming, "I am surprised at you, Edith; how
can you show off so before the girls? you'll
get finely laughed at for your pains, I can tell
"What do you mean, Nelly ?" and Edith's
eyes filled with tears at the unusual tone;
"what have I done?"
"Why, asking if you may take pencil and
50 School-day Memories.
paper to-day, just to show that you can sketch
"Did you think I meant that?" she asked.
"Well, no; I did not," said Eleanor, whose
conscience was not quite asleep; "but the
others will, and I don't like it."
"Then I won't do it, Nelly; I'll leave the
pencil and paper at home; I only wanted
something to remind me of the sea and the
picnic by-and-bye. Did you think I meant
to show my sketch to any one ?"
"Well, no, I suppose not; there, take the
pencil and the paper if you. like, and make
haste, we- shall have the waggonettes here
Edith left her drawing materials at home,
and she was not sorry for having done so.
She had so much to see that was new; there
were such pleasant rambles among the rocks,
and such a delightful tea with strawberries
and cream, and so many other sources of en-
joyment, that the day was one to be remem-
bered without the reminder of a sketch, for
which indeed she would have had no time.
THE FATE OF BEETHOVEN'S SONATA.
IHE Midsummer holidays arrived, and
SEdith's enjoyment of them was greater
Seven than she had anticipated. The
change of air and scene had much im-
proved her health; her association with young
people at school made her feel less restrained
with her cousins, and she was ready to enter
into the games and amusements of the boys
with such spirit that a new cause for envy
arose in Nelly's heart.
"Where's Edie? we are going to have
croquet:-we can't get on without Edie," was
the frequent cry, till at last Edith noticed the
cloud on Eleanor's face. After this, she would
often make some excuse, and say, "You go,
Nelly, I'll come presently;" but even this
was put an end to by Arthur, who once found
52 School-day Memories.
Eleanor in tears, and only received sullen re-
plies to his questions.
"I tell you what, Miss Nelly, you are
envious and jealous of Edith, because she
does everything better than you do-French
and drawing and music, and all that."
'She is far behind me in German and
arithmetic," said Eleanor, gloomily.
"Well, so she is," perhaps; "but she doesn't
look black and sulky about it. It's no use,
Nell, you must make up your mind to be
beaten by Edith; and what does it matter, if
you try to do your best, and papa and
mamma are pleased?"
After this plain speaking, Eleanor tried to
control herself before Arthur; but the sup-
pressed feeling rankled still, only to burst
forth in the future with painful results. These
holidays had, however, been so happy that
the young people returned to school with all
their hopes fixed on meeting again at Christ-
mas, which now to them seemed so very far
Yet slowly and surely time' rolls by, and
especially when every day brings its work.
-Summer, with its sunshine and flowers,
passed away; Autumn gilded the corn and
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 53
tinted the foliage; and November, with its
dark mornings and falling leaves, found the
young ladies of Elm Lodge busily preparing
for the Christmas concert and party.
Edith listened with surprise and interest to
the accounts of these annual gathering's, which
were given to her by her cousin and the
"The hall is so beautifully decorated," said
Jennie Austin one day, "and we have the
grand piano out of the drawing-room placed
at one end, and chairs and route-seats enough
to accommodate two hundred ladies and gen-
"Two hundred !" exclaimed Edith; "do so
many as that come, and is the room large
Yes, indeed, and the friends of the pupils
come all the way from London, and even
further, and the best people of the town are
present as well."
"Oh!" exclaimed Edith, "are we music
pupils obliged to play or sing before so many
"Yes, indeed, and you will have to take
your share, Miss Edith. Why I declare she
looks quite pale at the very thought," con-
54 School-day Memories.
tinued Jessie, breaking off and addressing
Olivia Morati, who sat near at work.
"Oh, it's nothing when you're used to it,"
"Nothing to you," said Jessie, "of course
not; why Olivia is the prima donna of the
"I dare say she is; but that does not
make it easier for me," replied Edith, still in
fear of the ordeal; "I hope I shall be left
But in this hope she was to be disappointed.
After a conference between the music master,
Madame Letour, and herself, it was decided
that she should play one of Beethoven's
Sonatas, which she had learnt with her mother,
nearly a year before her death.
"It is just the piece to suit her, Madame,"
said Mr. Clifton, after Edith had left the
room; "she has not such a firm rapid finger
as her cousin; but she is correct, and plays
with much taste the very difficult music of
the old masters. Miss Edith has been well
And so the old yellow copy of Beethoven
was brought out to be practised, and then
carefully mended and covered as if it had
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 55
been worth gold, to be fit to appear on the
A day or two before the concert a grand
rehearsal was to take place; and on the even-
ing previous, the lessons were set aside, and
the girls betook themselves to the class room.
They often assembled in this room to tea in
the winter, and remained to learn their lessons,
as it was much smaller and warmer than the
Many a pleasant game of play or a dance,
however, took place in the hall after lessons,
which sent them thoroughly warm to bed.
On this evening they formed a large circle
round the fire, Miss Grey being upstairs, and
Miss Merton in the parlour with Madame and
Mr. Clifton, arranging the programme for the
concert; the girls were therefore alone.
"Put away your work, Clara," said Olivia,
"and let us lower the gas and have a chat;
it's so nice to talk by firelight."
This proposition gave universal satisfaction.
The gas was lowered, and the chairs drawn
into a closer circle.
I should like to be a mouse in a hole, and
hear what they are talking about in the par-
lour," said Jessie.
56 School-day Memories.
"And if you were a mouse you would not
understand what was said, and puss might
come into the room and put an end to your
curiosity!" replied Olivia.
A general laugh was followed by such a
confusion of voices, that the elders called to
order. In the slight cessation of noise Clara
Maitland spoke, and her remark produced
"Who is to open the concert this time, I
"It would be cruel to make a bad player
play first," said Jessie.
"Oh, Madame won't do that," exclaimed
Olivia; she generally chooses one who thinks
she plays well, and has plenty of self-confi-
"Oh, don't say that, Olivia, or the first
player, whoever it is, will be sure to have a
nervous attack, and break down; you know
we are all here."
"Well, it does not matter who plays first,"
cried Jessie; "the great question is, who will
perform the grand finale? Of course Olivia!"
she said, hastily; "I forgot; but I mean who
"I think I can guess," said one, but no
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 57
names were mentioned; and then they con-
tinued to discuss the music and the songs till
the bell rang for prayers; neither Edith nor
Eleanor had spoken on the subject of who
would play the last piece before Olivia Morati,
but their silence arose from very different
The evening of the rehearsal arrived. The
concert was opened by a little girl of twelve,
the youngest in the school, who played well,
and was a perfect child in feeling and manner.
She was too intent on playing correctly to
wish for display, or to be anxious that she
should be thought clever, consequently she
had no nervousness. Laura Lee's anxiety
was to do her best and please her friends; in
this she succeeded. Mr. Clifton expressed
his approbation, and Madame smiled her
Several young ladies of various musical
powers went through their pieces with more
or less ease and ability.
Eleanor and Edith Norton played a duet,
in which the treble required a firm and
rapid finger, and a clear touch, and Eleanor
in this succeeded admirably. How much of
her success was owing to Edith's subdued
58 School-day Memories.
bass, Eleanor would not acknowledge even to
herself; but the best musicians in the room
did not fail to notice it.
The duet, however, was highly approved.
There still remained Olivia's song and Clara's
piece, with which the concert hitherto had
always concluded, and the solos of Eleanor
and Edith. After a few words in a low tone
to Madame, Mr. Clifton placed Beethoven's
Sonata on the piano, and led Edith to her
seat before it.
After a few opening passages the silence
became so complete that every note could be
heard. Few in the room had ever heard
Edith play this piece, and the style and ex-
pression were so different to the music of
school girls, that they listened in wondering
When she ceased, the music master's satis-
faction could be seen on his face, while
Madame called Edith to her and openly
expressed her approval. Edith, blushing and
surprised, returned to her seat, and but for
the presence of their governess, the young
ladies would no doubt have emulated boys
in their energetic cheering.
Eleanor gave Edith a friendly nod and kind
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 59
look, while her heart was burning with envy
at the notice bestowed upon her cousin. She
tried to look contented and happy while
Olivia's beautiful voice filled the lofty room,
and Clara brought out clearly the air of
"Home, Sweet Home" from among the
elegant and elaborate accompaniments of
Thalberg's arrangement. She stood with the
rest as they sang in parts "God save the
Queen," accompanied by their master on the
piano, and Olivia on the harp. She heard
Madame express her satisfaction with the
various performances, yet the same bitter
feeling rankled within.
The wine and cake which was handed
round almost choked her; and when at length
in her room with Edith, that young lady's
indifference to her own success provoked her
"I am so glad I got on well to-night," she
said, simply; "it will give me confidence
"I don't think you ever feel nervous," said
"No," she said, "after I have practised a
piece well, and feel sure of my fingers; and
when I play I try to think of nothing but the
'60 School-day Memories.
music before me, and do my best without
wondering what people will say about me."
"But I don't see how you can help it,
"Well, perhaps it is because mamma taught
me that we ought to do well for our own
sakes, not in the hope of being praised for it;
and when we do our best, she would say we
have nothing to be ashamed of. Besides,
Nelly, I like old music, like Mozart's and
Beethoven's. Mamma had very little modern
music, so I am used to it; and the old music
seems to fill your thoughts while you play,
and makes you forget anything else."
"But I've heard you play modern music,"
"Yes, but not so well; I cannot manage
those rapid passages as you do: and now let
us go to sleep, Nelly, I can hardly keep my
eyes open to talk to you."
Eleanor upon this lay quiet, but sinful
thoughts in her heart kept her awake; and
she tossed from side to side, possessed by the
spirit of envy, long after Edith's soft breath-
ing in the other bed told that she slept.
The day of the concert arrived. The walls
of the old baronial hall had been decorated
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 61
with holly and mistletoe, and festoons of
coloured paper in the form of links, paper
roses mingling with the holly berries at the
head of each festoon.
On a white ground, letters of flowers and
ivy formed words of welcome, or spoke of
Christmas memories, and the music of that
immortal song which sung of "Peace on Earth
and Good-will to Man."
Just before going upstairs to dress, Eleanor
entered the room to make sure that her music
was safe in the music waggon. The pro-
grammes, elegantly printed on satin paper,
lay on the piano. Eleanor took up one, and
as she read, her face flushed, and her eyes
expressed such evil feelings, that Olivia, who
just then entered from the class-room, ex-
"What's the matter, Eleanor?"
Eleanor started, and put down the pro-
"Oh! I see," said Olivia, "you are vexed
at the post of honour being given to your
cousin above you all, and I don't wonder at
it; it does not matter to me, but to you, her
cousin, and older than herself, it must be very
annoying, and I am not surprised at your
62 School-day Memories.
"Oh !" she .replied, scornfully, "it does not
trouble me much! I know it's only because
that Mr. Clifton is so absurdly fond of the
old masters; and it's something new, I sup-
pose, for a school girl to play that sort of
music well; but I never could bear such
"Well, it won't matter to you by-and-bye;
and as you say Edith is to be a governess,
she must do her best to be clever; but that is
no reason she should come here and cut you
Every word uttered by this unprincipled girl
found an echo in Eleanor's heart. She knew
not that Olivia's envy against Edith was as
bitter as her own, and that she was now
trying to make her a kind of cat's-paw in a
plan for mortifying Edith, which she would
not have dared to attempt herself; so she
"I know what I should do if I were in your
Ah, Eleanor! had you at that moment but
realized the presence of God, or, like a child
in danger, prayed for a Father's help against
"envy, hatred, and malice, and all unchari-
tableness," what sad results would have been
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 63
prevented! But God was not in all her
thoughts; self was then the ruling principle.
"What would you do, Olivia?" she asked,
after a pause.
"I would hide Beethoven till to-morrow;
you know Edith can't play a note without the
music, and then she will have to play some-
thing else, and perhaps break down."
Before Eleanor could reply, a footstep was
heard, and Olivia made her-escape, leaving
Eleanor to face the new comer, who innocently
deepened the effect of Olivia's words by ex-
pressing her delight at the. programme, and
The day passed, and before assembling in
the drawing room in the evening, the girls
peeped into the hall to admire the decorations
in the glitter of the fire-light and gas-light.
Edith, in a dress of white grenadine with
violet trimmings, looked fairer than ever; her
glossy hair, drawn back from her white fore-
head with a bow of violet velvet, fell in
natural ringlets over her shoulders; and
Eleanor, as she saw her leave the bedroom to
go downstairs, suffered from the most pain-
fully conflicting feelings, the cause of which
was unknown to anyone but herself.
64 School-day Memories.
Edith, as she reached the foot of the stairs,
heard voices in the schoolroom, and entering,
saw with surprise the music master and several
of the girls anxiously turning over the music
on the piano.
"Oh, here's Edith! Where is your piece,
Edie?" cried Mary Leslie. "I'm certain I
saw it here this morning."
"Yes, it was here; I played it over in the
class-room, and brought it back again."
"It's not in the class-room now; I've
looked," said Jessie Austin. "Perhaps you
took it upstairs-I'll go and see;" and with-
out waiting for Edith's assent, Jessie ran
upstairs and knocked at the bed-room door.
Eleanor stood by the fire in a dress of the
same material and make as Edith's, but
trimmed with pink, which better suited her
dark hair and brunette complexion. She
knew that she looked well, but she had lost
her peace of mind, and would now have given
worlds to undo what she had done.
The knock startled her; but Jessie scarcely
waited for Eleanor's half conscience-stricken
"Come in," for she opened the door and
"Have you seen Edith's music anywhere,
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 65
Eleanor? it is gone from the school-room, and
can't be found."
"It isn't here!" said Eleanor, haughtily, to
hide her terror; "we don't keep music in our
Olivia, from her room, heard Jessie's voice.
"Oh, Jessie! do come here a minute!" she
cried; "I can't fasten this flower in my hair!"
Jessie turned at the voice; and Eleanor,
closing the door, put her hand on the key to
lock it. "No, that would excite suspicion,"
she said to herself. "What shall I do? I
shall have Edith up presently. I never sup-
posed it would be missed till it was wanted
during the concert." A thought struck her:
she took the guard off the fire-a forbidden
act-for each young lady had a fire in her
room during the winter; then she ran to her
bed, lifted the mattress, and drew out the
"They shall never find out that I hid it,"
she said to herself, as she tore the old dilapi-
dated music into four parts, and threw them
one by one on the fire. The first three pieces
quickly shrivelled up, and were reduced to
ashes; and she had just thrown the remaining
part on the fire when the door opened so
66 School-day Memories.
quickly that she gave a guilty start, and
turning round, faced her cousin.
"Oh, Eleanor, what ablazee" were Edith's
first words; then, with compressed lips and
dilated eyes, she gave a sudden bound, seized
a waterproof which hung on the door, and
just as Eleanor with fearful shrieks at finding
her dress on fire was alarming the house, and
rushing to leave the room, Edith met her, and
threw the waterproof over her with such force,
that they fell together. But Edith did n6t
lose her presence of mind; lying flat on the
ground, to avoid contact with the flames, she
pressed the watetproof over them with her
hands, scarcely feeling the heat that scorched
The first screams brought Olivia and Jessie
to the door; they saw the flames rising from
the back of Eleanor's dress at the moment
that Edith threw her down with the water-
proof, and screaming with terror, ran down-
stairs, meeting the music master in the way,
rushing up with great strides.
"The fire is out, Mr.. Clifton," said Edith,
who had risen from the ground and stood pal6
as death before him; but she did not faint.
'He stooped and-gently raised poor Eleanor,
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 67
who shrieked with agony as he laid her on
the bed. The girls, pale and trembling, had
assembled in the gallery into which the bed-
rooms opened; but as Madame Letour ap-
peared they drew back, not daring to intrude.
Madame Letour looked dignified even in
her alarm as she advanced to the bed, fol-
lowed by the housekeeper and the young
"She is saved, Madame," said Mr. Clifton,
"through the presence of mind of her cousin;
the great wonder is that they were not both
burnt to death."
"Thank God !" was the reply; then seeing
the maid attempting to remove some of the
burnt garments, she said, "Stay, Dennis, the
doctor has been sent for; let the poor child
lie still till he comes. Get a blanket from the
other bed and lay it gently over her," she
continued, while Eleanor moaned piteously.
At this moment the doctor made his ap-
pearance, and' Madame, in a few words, cleared
the room of all but the maid, and dismissed
the girls to the drawing-room.
"My dear Madame," said Dr. Henderson,
"this is a very unfortunate accident to happen
on such anf evening. We were just starting
68 School-day Memories.
to attend the concert when I received your
summons;" and he advanced towards the
After a careful examination, during which
poor Eleanor's moans were quite terrible to
hear, the doctor spoke cheerfully.
"There are no dangerous symptoms," he
said; "the lower limbs are much scorched,
and she will suffer a great deal of pain for a
time; but how did the young lady escape
with such gauzy attire as this ?" and he
pointed to the dress which had been removed.
"My cousin Edith saved me," moaned
Eleanor; "she threw the waterproof over me,
and put out the fire with her hands."
"Her hands! Is this the young lady?"
and Dr. Henderson advanced to the poor girl,
who stood pale and trembling almost out of
sight, and took her two hands in his.
"Terribly burnt, no doubt; but we will
soon get them well if the blisters are not
broken. This will be a more tedious affair,"
he said, as he turned to Eleanor and saw his
assistant, who had arrived with the medicine,
wool, and other appliances necessary, enter
"Madame Letour," said the doctor, "per-
The Fate of Beethoven's Sonata. 69
haps you will kindly return to your pupils,
and calm their fears about the accident.
There is not the least necessity to put off the
concert, and disappoint your guests; my pa-
tients are not in the slightest danger."
Madame Letour at once turned to comply
with the doctor's wishes; and while he and
his assistant, with Dennis to wait upon them,
dressed poor Edith's hands, and Eleanor's
injured limbs, and placed her in bed, Madame's
dignified composure had calmed the terrified
girls, and prepared them to go through the
performance of the evening.
No one could guess how Eleanor's dress
took fire, yet Olivia felt instinctively that it
must have something to do with the lost
music. One only in that house, excepting
Eleanor herself, knew the cause of the acci-
dent. Mr. Clifton had picked up in the fender
the half-burnt portion of Edith's music, which,
in falling, had set fire to Eleanor's dress when
she turned to face her cousin at the door of
Madame< had not been in the dining room
many minutes when the arrival of Mr. and
Mrs. Norton, with the boys and Rosa, was
announced. In a few moments they had
70 School-day Memories.
heard of the accident, and Edith's presence of
Madame spoke cautiously, but Mrs..Norton
could scarcely control her agitation as she,
with her husband, followed Madame Letour
upstairs to the bedroom.
Outside the door they met Dr. Henderson,
who explained the nature of the injuries
Eleanor had received, and spoke hopefully
and cheerfully. He was one of those medical
men whose presence brightens a sick room.
"Oh, dear mamma!" said Eleanor, as they
entered after parting with Dr. Henderson-
"Oh, I'm so sorry; and the tears rose to her
Mr. Norton, taking his tone from the doc-
tor's manner, exclaimed cheerfully,-
"Why, what have you been about, young
ladies! making a bonfire in honour of the
occasion, eh ? pretty goings on, indeed!"
"Oh, papa, don't joke about it," said
Eleanor; "oh, if you knew all! and to think
that darling Edith should have got burnt
herself in saving me." She paused and
"Are you suffering much pain, darling?"
said her mother, leaning over her.
The Fate of.Beethoven's Sonata. 71
"Oh, yes, mamma: pain of mind as well as
Mrs. Norton asked no further questions;
but she felt sure that a something of wrong
was implied in this remark. She turned to
Edith, and placing her arm round her, she
said, "God will bless you, my dear girl, for
your loving care of my Eleanor."
"It was He who gave me presence of mind
and sent me to the room in time to save her,"
said Edith, softly.
"True, my dear; and are your poor hands
"Yes, very," she replied; "but I have a
sleeping draught to take when I go to bed,
after Dr. Henderson has been to see us again."
"Don't stay with me, please, mamma," said
Eleanor, as her mother seated herself by the
bed; "Dennis will take care of us; and I
want you particularly to be present at the
concert as if nothing had happened: if you
stay up here, it will make me so unhappy."
Mrs. Norton reluctantly gave way at last to
her daughter's wishes; and after kissing the
two girls tenderly, she descended to the con-
cert room, accompanied by her husband, but
with a heavy heart.
72 School-day Maemories.
Not until the concert was over did any of
the visitors hear of the accident; Madame's
orders were too imperative to be disobeyed.
It passed off very well; notwithstanding the
absence of two good performers. Olivia,
without a rival, in the moment of her greatest
triumph was miserable; her envious sugges-
tion had been acted upon. No doubt her
music was unrivalled, but the glory and the
honour, like the apples of Sodom, turned to
ashes in her mouth.
REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION.
DITH, with her poor hands lying ban-
daged in her lap, lay back in an easy
chair, listening with pain to her cousin's
uneasy moaning. She could understand
some of Eleanor's agony by the pain in her
own hands. Dennis wanted her to go to bed;
but she felt she could not sleep till she had
the draught Dr. Henderson had promised to
send her; and besides she wished to keep
awake till her uncle and aunt had been up
again to see them.
Opposite to her, and near Eleanor's bed, sat
Dennis, Madame's favourite servant, who had
been with her twenty years, and who now
waited on the young ladies. She was won-
dering in silence on the probable cause of the
guard being removed, and the powdery frag-
ments of burnt paper which had fluttered
about when she swept up.the hearth.
74 School-day Memories.
In the silence, the music and the voices
singing God save the Queen" could be dis-
"The concert is nearly over, and we shall
see your mamma and papa again, Eleanor,"
"Oh, Edie!" groaned Eleanor, "I'm so
sorry; it's all through me you are not there,
and you play better than any of them."
"Hush! Nelly dear; perhaps it was the
best thing that could happen to keep me
Eleanor only moaned in reply. A quarter
of an hour passed, and then steps were heard
on the stairs; the door opened gently, and
Mr. and Mrs. Norton entered, followed by
After a few enquiries and examination of
his patients, Dr. Henderson said,-
"I suppose you will remain here to-night,
Mr. Norton ?"
Yes; I have three other children with me:
we intend to stay at the hotel till to-morrow,
then perhaps I can return to London and
leave Mrs. Norton here till my daughter can
be removed. Do you think, Dr. Henderson,
that can be done safely in a few days ?"
Repentance and Confession. 75
"No, certainly not till the end of a week;
but, however, we shall see in a day or two;
and now I'll leave you with my patients: I
would advise you not to stay too long," he
added, as he shook hands; "and let them
have their draughts, nurse, when all is quiet."
"Yes, sir," said Dennis; and as she followed
him downstairs, and they were alone, Eleanor
"Papa, are the boys and Rosa all here ?"
"Yes, my dear; and Rosa has been as
happy as a queen all the evening, sitting
between two such nice girls, who have been
petting her most unwisely."
"Do they know of the accident?"
"None but Arthur; perhaps the doctor
may allow you to see them all to-morrow;
but I think, darling, we had better not stay
any longer," he said; and then with a tender
farewell to the suffering girl and Edith, Mr.
and Mrs. Norton left them to the care of
Late the next morning Eleanor awoke, and
saw Jessie Austin pityingly assisting Edith to
"You look awfully pale," whispered Jessie.
"Yes, perhaps I do; but I've very little
76 School-day A~lmories.
pain in my hands now, and I mean to go
downstairs to breakfast."
A movement, followed by a moan, drew
them to the bed.
"Dear Eleanor, how are you? is the pain
easier?" and the thoughtless Jessie Austin's
eyes filled with tears as she spoke.
"The pain is not so violent," said Eleanor,
"but it's very bad still, and my head does
"Ah! yes; I dare say that's the effect of
the draught, Nelly dear; and here comes
Dennis with your breakfast-a little tea will
soon do you good."
"Your breakfast is all ready in the dining-
room, Miss Edith," said Dennis, "and you'll
find someone there to wait upon you, I'll
"All right, Edie," said Jessie, "now you
go; I've had my breakfast long ago, and I'll
stay and help Eleanor and cheer her up."
Jessie kept her word; she gave Eleanor
such a merry, lively description of the concert,
without, however, an unkind word for any one,
that the poor sufferer almost forgot her pain.
Meanwhile, Edith found her way to the
dining-room. What was her surprise to find
Repentance and Confession. 77
her uncle, aunt, and cousins waiting there to
"See! the conquering heroine comes!"
sang Arthur, as he advanced to meet her,
warding off his young brother and sister, and
spreading his own hands over hers, as they
advanced to meet her.
"Mind, children," he said, "those are won-
derful hands, and they have been ornamented
by nature, in honour of the occasion; such
performances are not to be mentioned with
While thus rattling on, he guarded his
cousin to the sofa, where her uncle and aunt
sat, with both arms extended over what he
called "those precious hands."
Harry and Rosa had been told of Edith's
performances, and they looked at her with
such wonder and awe that Arthur said, "You
did not know you had a Salamander for a
cousin, did you, Rosa ?"
"Don't talk nonsense, Arthur," said his
father, laughing; "you had better take your
cousin to the table and help her to her break-
fast, it will be cold presently."
"Oh!" exclaimed the boy, "I beg your
pardon, Edith;" and still protecting her
78 School-day Memories.
hands, he went with her to the table, pre-
tending to faint when he saw her contrive to
feed herself with her finger and thumb, or
laugh at his antics as he placed everything
before her that she wanted.
Soon after, Dr. Henderson arrived, and it
was decided that Eleanor must remain where
she was for a week or ten days, and that
perhaps then Mr. Norton might take her
home. Madame Letour most readily and
anxiously requested Mrs. Norton to stay with
her daughter; and so it was settled that Mr.
Norton should take the young people home,
and leave Mrs. Norton with Eleanor and Edith.
The boys and Rosa were taken up to see
Eleanor, and for once Arthur was as grave as
During the week Mrs. Norton on one occa-
sion ventured to question Eleanor about the
"Don't ask me now, mamma; please," she
said; "I will tell you all some day;" and
Mrs. Norton restrained her curiosity.
Edith told her all she knew of the matter
and the way in which she had managed to
extinguish the fire; but Mrs. Norton felt con-
vinced, there must be something more.
Repentance and Confession. 79
Dennis mentioned once to Edith that she
had found burnt paper in the fender, and had
shown her one or two pieces, on which she
readily recognized a few notes of her favourite
Beethoven, which she knew had never been
found; but what connection that could have
with the accident, it was impossible for her to
Nearly a fortnight passed before Eleanor
was considered well enough to bear the jour-
ney home; but the happy day came at last.
Edith's hands were nearly well, although
the hardened blisters still remained, yet she
was able to use them carefully.
Madame Letour had been very kind to her
visitors, and Mrs. Norton could see how happy
the girls must be with the home comforts pro-
vided for them.
The ladies had talked over the accident;
but Mrs. Norton felt certain that no suspicion
of wrong had arisen in the heart of the digni-
fied lady. She kept her young pupils at such
a distance that no girl would have ventured
to confide in her or confess a fault. In fact
she knew but little of their real characters ;
while outwardly submissive and respectful to
her, and studious, and obedient, she asked*
8o School-day Mfemories.
no questions, and saw nothing beyond the
Mr. Clifton had not spoken to her of the
piece of Beethoven's music which he had
picked up and preserved; but he intended
after the holidays to speak seriously to
Eleanor alone, and let her know what he had
Mr. Norton slept at the hotel on the even-
ing previously to Eleanor's journey, so that
they might start early, and reach home before
the short winter day closed in.
Notwithstanding every care by train and
fly, poor Eleanor was so exhausted when
carried into her home, that she had to be
taken at once to bed, and their own medical
man sent for.
But a night's rest restored' her, and the
happiness of sleeping in her pwn little bed at
home, and surrounded by all her kind relatives,
did wonders. In a few days she was able to
get up and be dressed and carried downstairs
to the sofa in the drawing-room, while her
brothers and sister, with Edith, vied with each
other in trying to make her happy; but Mrs.
Norton could see that the mind was ill at
ease, yet she waited, and not in vain.
Repentance and Confession. 81
One morning, when her mother went into
her room to ask her how she was before going
down to breakfast, Eleanor drew down her
face when she kissed her, and whispered,
"Mamma, come up after breakfast, I want to
tell you something." Mrs. Norton promised,
with some degree of anxiety as to what she
was to hear from her daughter. In less than
an hour she was seated by the bedside waiting
for Eleanor to begin.
"Mamma, I have something to tell you
about myself which will shock you very much
at first; but, perhaps, not when you hear the
end. Oh, mamma, you can't think what a
wicked girl I have been!" and she covered
her pale face with her hands as if to shut out
the memory of her conduct.
Mrs. Norton did not speak; her child's
words pained her greatly.
"Mamma," she went on, "I was envious of
Edith; I have always envied her from the
first for her gentle ways and her pretty looks;
but when she excelled me at school, at music
and drawing, and almost everything, I could
not endure it. Madame, and the masters,
and the girls, indeed everybody, liked Edith,
and used to talk of her cleverness and her
82 School-day Memories.
humility; and then at last the music-master,
who considered her the best player in the
school, placed her name last but one in the
programme for the concert; did you see it?"
"Yes, my dear." Mrs. Norton's reply was
very gentle, for she knew what a trial this
must have been for her ambitious and self-
sufficient daughter. "Envy is a terrible sin,
Nelly; are you grieving about that pro-
gramme now ?"
"Oh! no, no, mamma, you do not know
all; and if God had not punished me by this
accident, I should not have been worthy of
your love or of anybody's. When I saw
Edith's name in such a place of honour, I felt
dreadful; I wished for all sorts of things to
happen, either that she might be ill, or cut
her finger, or break down and disgrace herself
at the concert; and just as I had all these
wicked thoughts in my heart, one of the girls
said if she were in my place she would hide
Edith's music; and, mamma, I did hide it
under my bed, and I hoped they would not
miss it till the concert began; but the music
master asked for it just before tea, while we
were dressing, and after Edith went down,
one of them came up to enquire if I had
Repentance and Confession. 83
seen it; this frightened me so much, that a
sudden thought made me determined to burn
it, and just as I had thrown the last piece on
the fire, Edith opened the door, and as I
turned round it fell off the fire in a blaze and
set fire to my dress. Oh, mamma!" and
Eleanor shivered as she spoke, "I at first
thought I would lock the door before I burnt
the music; but if I had, nothing could have
saved me, I must have been burnt to death!
and you know what Edith did."
"Yes, my dear," said her mother, with
tightened breath; sorrow for her child's suf-
ferings, and distress at the conduct she con-
fessed, made it difficult for her to speak.
"Oh, mamma," she continued, "suppose
Edith's clothes had caught fire also, all
through my wickedness!" and this time Mrs.
Norton shuddered at the thought and re-
Mamma, can you ever forgive me ?" and
the tone was so humble, so unlike the self-
conceited voice of Eleanor Norton, that her
mother's eyes filled with tears, as she said,-
"My dearest child, I trust God has forgiven
you; and I believe He sent this dreadful
punishment in mercy to open your eyes to
84 Schiool-day Memories.
your fault. Have you asked His forgive-
"Yes, mamma;" and the voice was low;
"and Edith has forgiven me also. Oh! you
should have seen her face when I told her; I
don't think she ever imagined such envious
feelings could exist; and then, how strange it
was that the very one I was so envious of
should be the one to save me. Dear Edie!
that thought has caused me more pain than
anything; but, mamma, can people help
being envious sometimes?"
"Envy is natural to the human heart,
Eleanor, more especially where self is the
ruling principle; but do you think Edith is
envious of you?"
"No, mamma; but she has nothing to be
envious of in me."
"Not of a cousin who has kind, loving
parents and brothers and sisters, and who has
had every comfort all her life in a happy
home, with advantages of education, and who
will be provided for when she grows up?
Has Edith, who is an orphan and alone in the
world, nothing to envy in you ?"
"Oh, mamma!" said Eleanor, bursting into
tears, "you are making my conduct appear
Repentance and Confession. 85
fifty times worse! I never thought of all
"No, my child, because you only thought
of self; but don't distress yourself, Nelly, this
has been a severe lesson to you; but if it
teaches you to look for strength above your
own and to conquer self, and if you learn to
know your faults, there will be no fear of your
sinning so deeply again."
Mamma, will you tell papa and all of them
downstairs? I'm sure Edith won't mention a
word. What makes her different to me and
"Edith has never forgotten her dear mother's
teachings, Nelly; she has learned the real
meaning of St. Paul's description of Charity
in the thirteenth of Corinthians."
"Oh, yes, I know she has; I used to hear
Mary Leslie and Clara, and Miss Grey, the
teacher, talking to Edith about charity, and
they were all the best girls in the school;
they knew that chapter by heart, and I'll
learn it too when I am well enough."
"God grant, my child, that it may be im-
pressed on your heart as well as on your
memory; and now I think we have talked
long enough; you must lie quite still and
86 School-day Memorics.
quiet for half an hour, and then I'll send up
Jane to dress you."
When Eleanor, looking humbled but happy,
was laid, as usual, on the sofa in the evening,
the boys came and kissed her with quiet
affection; while Rosa stood by her side, and
Edith, who seemed only too happy to be able
to wait upon her, was treated like a dear
daughter and sister by them all.
When Mr. Norton appeared amongst them,
after the late dinner, he had heard all, and his
forgiving kiss brought tears to Eleanor's eyes
and happiness to her heart.
Eleanor did not return to school till Easter;
but she wrote a letter to Madame Letour,
which she begged might be read aloud in the
Perhaps nothing had ever so reminded
Madame that there is a hidden life in every
young heart, which needs as much training as
the mind, as Eleanor Norton's letter, which
ended with the words,
"CHARITY ENVIETH NOT."
" (LEANOR SOMERS is come home, and
is very ill, I am afraid," said Mrs.
Turner, the wife of the rector of Sand-
hurst, a town some twenty miles from
Belminster, one evening, when she met her
husband at tea-" Eleanor Somers is come
home; she is quite knocked up, and is so
prostrate with nervous headaches, that it
is quite sad to see her; she is so altered,
"Poor thing; I am very sorry to hear it.
I thought she had such a good situation in
the Howards' family."
"Yes, and so she had, I expect, in many
90 The Governess:
things; but from what I could gather, she has
;been over-worked. She could not talk much
to-day; I must go and see her again. Oh,
Charles, don't you pity governesses?"
"I pity Eleanor Somers," said Mr. Turner,
evasively, "coming to that wretched home-
her mother a complaining invalid; her father,
helpless and irritable; her sisters, too young
to be of any real comfort. It does not seem
long since they were all living at Sandhurst
Court in the greatest affluence. Such are the
ups and downs of life."
"Ah, it is a story which is always being
repeated; but I pity the Somers' family.
especially, I must say. Eleanor was so refined
and ladylike, and so cheerfully made her good
education available for the benefit of the rest
-and now to come home utterly broken
down-it does seem so hard."
Yes, it did seem hard, as Mrs. Turner said;
and after three years' residence at'Heathside
Lodge, Eleanor Somers felt it to be so.
Mabel and Fanny Howard said it was "pro-
voking" Miss Somers should "knock up"
when she did: it might rather be said that
she was "knocked down!" And this from
no outward or tangible cause. Very pleasant
Pleading Voices. 91
and airy was her bed-room at Heathside
Lodge; very pretty, and nicely-furnished, was
the school-room; very kind and gentle was
Mrs. Howard. Eleanor had sunk under the
weight of a perpetual strain upon her powers,
which, if looked closely into, will be found to
result purely from want of consideration in
little things, and from no unkindness in
Mrs. Howard had not taught her children
consideration towards herself, so it was not
wonderful that they failed to show it towards
It was a hot June afternoon, when Mrs.
Turner sat by the little uneasy couch where
Eleanor Somers lay. It was, as she termed
it, one of her good days-that is, she was
comparatively free from the racking pain in
her head, which so often compelled her to lie
with her eyes shut, and which rendered every
creaking step on the little narrow staircase,
every quick shutting of a door in the thinly-
built house, every loud unguarded voice,
positive agony. But this was a good day;
Eleanor was weak and exhausted, but she
was able to look at, and admire, the lovely
roses Mrs. Turner had brought her; and it
92 The Governess:
was a pleasure to talk once more to so old
and dear a friend.
"What do you think brought on your ill-
ness, dear Eleanor?" Mrs. Turner asked.
"Oh, nothing in particular. I daresay I
never was as robust as some people are, and
I think I have been getting ill a long time.
I have had no appetite, and sometimes these
headaches have been almost more than I
could bear, even when I have gone through
all the lessons as usual. But it was not the
teaching which hurt me, Mrs. Turner-don't
think that-it was many other things com-
"What things, Eleanor ?-do tell me."
"I scarcely like to talk much about it.
Mrs. Howard was so kind, and I am sure she
is wearing herself out in trying to do every-
thing, and being everywhere when she is
wanted. The sort of things I mean were
more the result of carelessness-thoughtless-
ness I should say-than anything else. And
since the children have got older, and, strange
to say, since the elder sisters left school and
have lived at home, the pressure has been
greater. You know I have been the gover-
ness at Heathside Lodge three years."
Pleading Voices. 93
"Is it so long?" said Mrs. Turner; and
then in thought she went back to the pretty
light-hearted girl, who had set forth on her
career as governess so hopefully, when Sand-
hurst Court had to be exchanged, by her
broken-down father, for the small house in
Myrtle Place, where they now lived; and the
contrast this picture afforded with the worn
and weary-looking invalid before her made
her sigh. After a minute's silence, Eleanor
"I think Mrs. Howard suffered quite as
much from the want of consideration in the
house as I did. Pray do not think I wish to
say one slighting thing of her; but I do
wonder she has not seen the bad influence,
which the habit of letting the younger mem-
bers of the family carry all before them, had
on the servants, and on me too. Since
Christmas, there has been a perpetual succes-
sion of guests in the house, and a great many
dinner parties and evening parties. I have
had to be in the drawing-room every evening,
and have often sung and played till I was
ready to say, when they asked me,' I cannot,
I am so tired.' For you know, Mrs. Turner,
I had to be up every morning quite early, as
94 The Governess:
no school-room can prosper wheie plenty of
work is not got through before breakfast. It
is Mr. Howard who cares so much for music;
he liked my style of singing and playing, I
believe, and was always very particular in
questioning Agnes and Constance-the two
elder of my pupils, how they were getting on
with music. Now teaching that was really
drudgery. Neither of them have the least
ear or the slightest taste for it, and were
wilful in setting themselves against learning
it. This was pure waste of time, and such a
waste of my energy and strength as you
"But the most trying things lately have
arisen from Mabel and Fanny continually
interrupting us in the school-room. I did
mention this to Mrs. Howard, and she spoke
very seriously to her daughters about it; but
it was always the same-' they forgot-they
did not think-they were sorry-but I was
so good-natured, they were sure I would copy
a song, or give my opinion about the style of
a dress trimming, or just put one little stitch
into the fracture of a flounce.' And this,
perhaps, as I was going over a difficult sum
with Agnes for the third time, or just flatter-
Pleading Voices. 95
ing myself that Constance had a clear idea in
her little head of the situation of some place
mentioned in her history, or that Emma had
at last learned the imperfect tense of 'Avoir,
to have.' At this juncture Mabel or Fanny
would come in, and away went all the attention
of the six pairs of eyes, as a matter of course;
and when we settled again after the intrusion,
Agnes would fail in saying what nine times
eight were, and Constance would wander all
over the map before she reached Milan, and
Emma would resolutely say, Vous avez-you
had,' though ten minutes before she had quite
perfectly repeated, 'Nous avions-vous aviez
-ils avaient.' All such little things they
seemed," said poor Eleanor, "and I feel as if
I made too much of them. But when I lie
and think it all over, I do not wonder I broke
down. There was no rest at Heathside Lodge
for any one. Even on Sunday, I scarcely ever
got a quiet hour; and the children, though
really affectionate, were, as most children will
be, unless taught differently, very incon-
"One Sunday evening, not very long ago,
when I had walked twice to church, had
heard the Sunday Bible-reading, and had ''
96 The Governess':
hoped for a quiet half-hour before tea, Agnes
and Constance rushed in-
"' I must come out with them,' they said,
and see the little brood of game chickens
which had just been hatched; oh, why would
I not come ?'
"'I am very tired, Agnes,' I remember I
said; 'cannot you go with your sisters?'
"'Oh no, Mabel said it was too hot to
move, and Fanny was playing some chaunts
to papa, and nurse was cross and wouldn't
come, and mamma said we must not go alone
to the farm' (which was on the other side of
"' Cannot you wait till to-morrow, then?' I
"' Oh, no, no, why should we?'
"'Because I am too tired to come with
"'Too tired!' Agnes repeated.
"'Yes, and my head aches.'
"' Mabel says your head always aches when
you are asked to do anything now,' said
"'Hush, Connie; I never thought of her
head,' said Agnes; and I, not feeling well
enough to bear the discussion, and hurt at
Pieading Voices. 97
what Constance's speech implied, got my hat,
and went with the children.
"As we returned, I heard Mabel's voice-
from the open drawing-room window-
"'Miss Somers, Miss Somers, papa wished
me to ask you if you would come after dinner
and play the trio from Elijal for us.'
"' No, I really cannot,' was on my lips; but
I remembered what my little pupil had said,
and after the school-room tea, I went to the
drawing-room. I caught sight of my own
haggard face in one of the mirrors, and won-
dered if it were with them all as with little
Agnes-' I never thought of her headache.'
"Mrs. Howard, however, came up to me as
I was lifting a music book to the stand-
"'My dear Miss Somers, you are too tired
"Mr. Howard was close by; he never gives
up a point; he never considers his wife,
though I believe he does truly love her, so it
was not likely he should consider me.
"'Tired! why should she be tired?' he
said; 'Come, Miss Somers, strike the first
chord, and it will bring up the others from the
further end of the room.'
"'Well, only this one to-night, dearest,'
98 The Governess:
Mrs. Howard urged; 'remember Miss Somers
has walked twice to church with the children,
"But the remainder of the sentence was
lost; I played-ah, not one piece-of music,
but half-a-dozen; and when I got to bed I
could not sleep-I heard nothing but their
voices in my ear--'0 lift thine eyes unto the
mountain,' and then my own-' O rest in the
Lord'-rest seemed so far from me."
So much, and more of a similar kind, did
Eleanor Somers tell Mrs. Turner-not all con-
tinuously, as I have written it here, for she
was weak and powerless, and much talking
was an effort, almost greater than she could
Mrs. Turner went away very sorrowful from
her visits to this poor girl. There she lay,
over-taxed, over-wrought a confirmed in-
valid, and, as far as could be seen, likely to
remain so. Her family had trusted to her
to support them-for her handsome salary
had been generously applied for their good,
and had helped out the very small income
which had been saved for Mr. Somers from
the wreck of his large fortune.
Now Eleanor was an incumbrance-not a