Chapter 7 – Horton Lodge

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THE 31st of January was a wild, tempestuous day: there was a
strong north wind, with a continual storm of snow drifting on the
ground and whirling through the air. My friends would have had me
delay my departure, but fearful of prejudicing my employers against
me by such want of punctuality at the commencement of my
undertaking, I persisted in keeping the appointment.

I will not inflict upon my readers an account of my leaving home on
that dark winter morning: the fond farewells, the long, long
journey to O-, the solitary waitings in inns for coaches or trains
– for there were some railways then – and, finally, the meeting at
O- with Mr. Murray’s servant, who had been sent with the phaeton to
drive me from thence to Horton Lodge. I will just state that the
heavy snow had thrown such impediments in the way of both horses
and steam-engines, that it was dark some hours before I reached my
journey’s end, and that a most bewildering storm came on at last,
which made the few miles’ space between O- and Horton Lodge a long
and formidable passage. I sat resigned, with the cold, sharp snow
drifting through my veil and filling my lap, seeing nothing, and
wondering how the unfortunate horse and driver could make their way
even as well as they did; and indeed it was but a toilsome,
creeping style of progression, to say the best of it. At length we
paused; and, at the call of the driver, someone unlatched and
rolled back upon their creaking hinges what appeared to be the park
gates. Then we proceeded along a smoother road, whence,
occasionally, I perceived some huge, hoary mass gleaming through
the darkness, which I took to be a portion of a snow-clad tree.
After a considerable time we paused again, before the stately
portico of a large house with long windows descending to the

I rose with some difficulty from under the superincumbent
snowdrift, and alighted from the carriage, expecting that a kind
and hospitable reception would indemnify me for the toils and
hardships of the day. A gentleman person in black opened the door,
and admitted me into a spacious hall, lighted by an amber-coloured
lamp suspended from the ceiling; he led me through this, along a
passage, and opening the door of a back room, told me that was the
schoolroom. I entered, and found two young ladies and two young
gentlemen – my future pupils, I supposed. After a formal greeting,
the elder girl, who was trifling over a piece of canvas and a
basket of German wools, asked if I should like to go upstairs. I
replied in the affirmative, of course.

‘Matilda, take a candle, and show her her room,’ said she.

Miss Matilda, a strapping hoyden of about fourteen, with a short
frock and trousers, shrugged her shoulders and made a slight
grimace, but took a candle and proceeded before me up the back
stairs (a long, steep, double flight), and through a long, narrow
passage, to a small but tolerably comfortable room. She then asked
me if I would take some tea or coffee. I was about to answer No;
but remembering that I had taken nothing since seven o’clock that
morning, and feeling faint in consequence, I said I would take a
cup of tea. Saying she would tell ‘Brown,’ the young lady
departed; and by the time I had divested myself of my heavy, wet
cloak, shawl, bonnet, &c., a mincing damsel came to say the young
ladies desired to know whether I would take my tea up there or in
the schoolroom. Under the plea of fatigue I chose to take it
there. She withdrew; and, after a while, returned again with a
small tea-tray, and placed it on the chest of drawers, which served
as a dressing-table. Having civilly thanked her, I asked at what
time I should be expected to rise in the morning.

‘The young ladies and gentlemen breakfast at half-past eight,
ma’am,’ said she; ‘they rise early; but, as they seldom do any
lessons before breakfast, I should think it will do if you rise
soon after seven.’

I desired her to be so kind as to call me at seven, and, promising
to do so, she withdrew. Then, having broken my long fast on a cup
of tea and a little thin bread and butter, I sat down beside the
small, smouldering fire, and amused myself with a hearty fit of
crying; after which, I said my prayers, and then, feeling
considerably relieved, began to prepare for bed. Finding that none
of my luggage was brought up, I instituted a search for the bell;
and failing to discover any signs of such a convenience in any
corner of the room, I took my candle and ventured through the long
passage, and down the steep stairs, on a voyage of discovery.
Meeting a well-dressed female on the way, I told her what I wanted;
but not without considerable hesitation, as I was not quite sure
whether it was one of the upper servants, or Mrs. Murray herself:
it happened, however, to be the lady’s-maid. With the air of one
conferring an unusual favour, she vouchsafed to undertake the
sending up of my things; and when I had re-entered my room, and
waited and wondered a long time (greatly fearing that she had
forgotten or neglected to perform her promise, and doubting whether
to keep waiting or go to bed, or go down again), my hopes, at
length, were revived by the sound of voices and laughter,
accompanied by the tramp of feet along the passage; and presently
the luggage was brought in by a rough-looking maid and a man,
neither of them very respectful in their demeanour to me. Having
shut the door upon their retiring footsteps, and unpacked a few of
my things, I betook myself to rest; gladly enough, for I was weary
in body and mind.

It was with a strange feeling of desolation, mingled with a strong
sense of the novelty of my situation, and a joyless kind of
curiosity concerning what was yet unknown, that I awoke the next
morning; feeling like one whirled away by enchantment, and suddenly
dropped from the clouds into a remote and unknown land, widely and
completely isolated from all he had ever seen or known before; or
like a thistle-seed borne on the wind to some strange nook of
uncongenial soil, where it must lie long enough before it can take
root and germinate, extracting nourishment from what appears so
alien to its nature: if, indeed, it ever can. But this gives no
proper idea of my feelings at all; and no one that has not lived
such a retired, stationary life as mine, can possibly imagine what
they were: hardly even if he has known what it is to awake some
morning, and find himself in Port Nelson, in New Zealand, with a
world of waters between himself and all that knew him.

I shall not soon forget the peculiar feeling with which I raised my
blind and looked out upon the unknown world: a wide, white
wilderness was all that met my gaze; a waste of

Deserts tossed in snow,
And heavy laden groves.

I descended to the schoolroom with no remarkable eagerness to join
my pupils, though not without some feeling of curiosity respecting
what a further acquaintance would reveal. One thing, among others
of more obvious importance, I determined with myself – I must begin
with calling them Miss and Master. It seemed to me a chilling and
unnatural piece of punctilio between the children of a family and
their instructor and daily companion; especially where the former
were in their early childhood, as at Wellwood House; but even
there, my calling the little Bloomfields by their simple names had
been regarded as an offensive liberty: as their parents had taken
care to show me, by carefully designating them MASTER and MISS
Bloomfield, &c., in speaking to me. I had been very slow to take
the hint, because the whole affair struck me as so very absurd; but
now I determined to be wiser, and begin at once with as much form
and ceremony as any member of the family would be likely to
require: and, indeed, the children being so much older, there
would be less difficulty; though the little words Miss and Master
seemed to have a surprising effect in repressing all familiar,
open-hearted kindness, and extinguishing every gleam of cordiality
that might arise between us.

As I cannot, like Dogberry, find it in my heart to bestow all my
tediousness upon the reader, I will not go on to bore him with a
minute detail of all the discoveries and proceedings of this and
the following day. No doubt he will be amply satisfied with a
slight sketch of the different members of the family, and a general
view of the first year or two of my sojourn among them.

To begin with the head: Mr. Murray was, by all accounts, a
blustering, roystering, country squire: a devoted fox-hunter, a
skilful horse-jockey and farrier, an active, practical farmer, and
a hearty BON VIVANT. By all accounts, I say; for, except on
Sundays, when he went to church, I never saw him from month to
month: unless, in crossing the hall or walking in the grounds, the
figure of a tall, stout gentleman, with scarlet cheeks and crimson
nose, happened to come across me; on which occasions, if he passed
near enough to speak, an unceremonious nod, accompanied by a
‘Morning, Miss Grey,’ or some such brief salutation, was usually
vouchsafed. Frequently, indeed, his loud laugh reached me from
afar; and oftener still I heard him swearing and blaspheming
against the footmen, groom, coachman, or some other hapless

Mrs. Murray was a handsome, dashing lady of forty, who certainly
required neither rouge nor padding to add to her charms; and whose
chief enjoyments were, or seemed to be, in giving or frequenting
parties, and in dressing at the very top of the fashion. I did not
see her till eleven o’clock on the morning after my arrival; when
she honoured me with a visit, just as my mother might step into the
kitchen to see a new servant-girl: yet not so, either, for my
mother would have seen her immediately after her arrival, and not
waited till the next day; and, moreover, she would have addressed
her in a more kind and friendly manner, and given her some words of
comfort as well as a plain exposition of her duties; but Mrs.
Murray did neither the one nor the other. She just stepped into
the schoolroom on her return from ordering dinner in the
housekeeper’s room, bade me good-morning, stood for two minutes by
the fire, said a few words about the weather and the ‘rather rough’
journey I must have had yesterday; petted her youngest child – a
boy of ten – who had just been wiping his mouth and hands on her
gown, after indulging in some savoury morsel from the house-
keeper’s store; told me what a sweet, good boy he was; and then
sailed out, with a self-complacent smile upon her face: thinking,
no doubt, that she had done quite enough for the present, and had
been delightfully condescending into the bargain. Her children
evidently held the same opinion, and I alone thought otherwise.

After this she looked in upon me once or twice, during the absence
of my pupils, to enlighten me concerning my duties towards them.
For the girls she seemed anxious only to render them as
superficially attractive and showily accomplished as they could
possibly be made, without present trouble or discomfort to
themselves; and I was to act accordingly – to study and strive to
amuse and oblige, instruct, refine, and polish, with the least
possible exertion on their part, and no exercise of authority on
mine. With regard to the two boys, it was much the same; only
instead of accomplishments, I was to get the greatest possible
quantity of Latin grammar and Valpy’s Delectus into their heads, in
order to fit them for school – the greatest possible quantity at
least WITHOUT trouble to themselves. John might be a ‘little high-
spirited,’ and Charles might be a little ‘nervous and tedious – ‘

‘But at all events, Miss Grey,’ said she, ‘I hope YOU will keep
your temper, and be mild and patient throughout; especially with
the dear little Charles; he is so extremely nervous and
susceptible, and so utterly unaccustomed to anything but the
tenderest treatment. You will excuse my naming these things to
you; for the fact is, I have hitherto found all the governesses,
even the very best of them, faulty in this particular. They wanted
that meek and quiet spirit, which St. Matthew, or some of them,
says is better than the putting on of apparel – you will know the
passage to which I allude, for you are a clergyman’s daughter. But
I have no doubt you will give satisfaction in this respect as well
as the rest. And remember, on all occasions, when any of the young
people do anything improper, if persuasion and gentle remonstrance
will not do, let one of the others come and tell me; for I can
speak to them more plainly than it would be proper for you to do.
And make them as happy as you can, Miss Grey, and I dare say you
will do very well.’

I observed that while Mrs. Murray was so extremely solicitous for
the comfort and happiness of her children, and continually talking
about it, she never once mentioned mine; though they were at home,
surrounded by friends, and I an alien among strangers; and I did
not yet know enough of the world, not to be considerably surprised
at this anomaly.

Miss Murray, otherwise Rosalie, was about sixteen when I came, and
decidedly a very pretty girl; and in two years longer, as time more
completely developed her form and added grace to her carriage and
deportment, she became positively beautiful; and that in no common
degree. She was tall and slender, yet not thin; perfectly formed,
exquisitely fair, though not without a brilliant, healthy bloom;
her hair, which she wore in a profusion of long ringlets, was of a
very light brown inclining to yellow; her eyes were pale blue, but
so clear and bright that few would wish them darker; the rest of
her features were small, not quite regular, and not remarkably
otherwise: but altogether you could not hesitate to pronounce her
a very lovely girl. I wish I could say as much for mind and
disposition as I can for her form and face.

Yet think not I have any dreadful disclosures to make: she was
lively, light-hearted, and could be very agreeable, with those who
did not cross her will. Towards me, when I first came, she was
cold and haughty, then insolent and overbearing; but, on a further
acquaintance, she gradually laid aside her airs, and in time became
as deeply attached to me as it was possible for HER to be to one of
my character and position: for she seldom lost sight, for above
half an hour at a time, of the fact of my being a hireling and a
poor curate’s daughter. And yet, upon the whole, I believe she
respected me more than she herself was aware of; because I was the
only person in the house who steadily professed good principles,
habitually spoke the truth, and generally endeavoured to make
inclination bow to duty; and this I say, not, of course, in
commendation of myself, but to show the unfortunate state of the
family to which my services were, for the present, devoted. There
was no member of it in whom I regretted this sad want of principle
so much as Miss Murray herself; not only because she had taken a
fancy to me, but because there was so much of what was pleasant and
prepossessing in herself, that, in spite of her failings, I really
liked her – when she did not rouse my indignation, or ruffle my
temper by TOO great a display of her faults. These, however, I
would fain persuade myself were rather the effect of her education
than her disposition: she had never been perfectly taught the
distinction between right and wrong; she had, like her brothers and
sisters, been suffered, from infancy, to tyrannize over nurses,
governesses, and servants; she had not been taught to moderate her
desires, to control her temper or bridle her will, or to sacrifice
her own pleasure for the good of others. Her temper being
naturally good, she was never violent or morose, but from constant
indulgence, and habitual scorn of reason, she was often testy and
capricious; her mind had never been cultivated: her intellect, at
best, was somewhat shallow; she possessed considerable vivacity,
some quickness of perception, and some talent for music and the
acquisition of languages, but till fifteen she had troubled herself
to acquire nothing; – then the love of display had roused her
faculties, and induced her to apply herself, but only to the more
showy accomplishments. And when I came it was the same:
everything was neglected but French, German, music, singing,
dancing, fancy-work, and a little drawing – such drawing as might
produce the greatest show with the smallest labour, and the
principal parts of which were generally done by me. For music and
singing, besides my occasional instructions, she had the attendance
of the best master the country afforded; and in these
accomplishments, as well as in dancing, she certainly attained
great proficiency. To music, indeed, she devoted too much of her
time, as, governess though I was, I frequently told her; but her
mother thought that if SHE liked it, she COULD not give too much
time to the acquisition of so attractive an art. Of fancy-work I
knew nothing but what I gathered from my pupil and my own
observation; but no sooner was I initiated, than she made me useful
in twenty different ways: all the tedious parts of her work were
shifted on to my shoulders; such as stretching the frames,
stitching in the canvas, sorting the wools and silks, putting in
the grounds, counting the stitches, rectifying mistakes, and
finishing the pieces she was tired of.

At sixteen, Miss Murray was something of a romp, yet not more so
than is natural and allowable for a girl of that age, but at
seventeen, that propensity, like all other things, began to give
way to the ruling passion, and soon was swallowed up in the all-
absorbing ambition to attract and dazzle the other sex. But enough
of her: now let us turn to her sister.

Miss Matilda Murray was a veritable hoyden, of whom little need be
said. She was about two years and a half younger than her sister;
her features were larger, her complexion much darker. She might
possibly make a handsome woman; but she was far too big-boned and
awkward ever to be called a pretty girl, and at present she cared
little about it. Rosalie knew all her charms, and thought them
even greater than they were, and valued them more highly than she
ought to have done, had they been three times as great; Matilda
thought she was well enough, but cared little about the matter;
still less did she care about the cultivation of her mind, and the
acquisition of ornamental accomplishments. The manner in which she
learnt her lessons and practised her music was calculated to drive
any governess to despair. Short and easy as her tasks were, if
done at all, they were slurred over, at any time and in any way;
but generally at the least convenient times, and in the way least
beneficial to herself, and least satisfactory to me: the short
half-hour of practising was horribly strummed through; she,
meantime, unsparingly abusing me, either for interrupting her with
corrections, or for not rectifying her mistakes before they were
made, or something equally unreasonable. Once or twice, I ventured
to remonstrate with her seriously for such irrational conduct; but
on each of those occasions, I received such reprehensive
expostulations from her mother, as convinced me that, if I wished
to keep the situation, I must even let Miss Matilda go on in her
own way.

When her lessons were over, however, her ill-humour was generally
over too: while riding her spirited pony, or romping with the dogs
or her brothers and sister, but especially with her dear brother
John, she was as happy as a lark. As an animal, Matilda was all
right, full of life, vigour, and activity; as an intelligent being,
she was barbarously ignorant, indocile, careless and irrational;
and, consequently, very distressing to one who had the task of
cultivating her understanding, reforming her manners, and aiding
her to acquire those ornamental attainments which, unlike her
sister, she despised as much as the rest. Her mother was partly
aware of her deficiencies, and gave me many a lecture as to how I
should try to form her tastes, and endeavour to rouse and cherish
her dormant vanity; and, by insinuating, skilful flattery, to win
her attention to the desired objects – which I would not do; and
how I should prepare and smooth the path of learning till she could
glide along it without the least exertion to herself: which I
could not, for nothing can be taught to any purpose without some
little exertion on the part of the learner.

As a moral agent, Matilda was reckless, headstrong, violent, and
unamenable to reason. One proof of the deplorable state of her
mind was, that from her father’s example she had learned to swear
like a trooper. Her mother was greatly shocked at the ‘unlady-like
trick,’ and wondered ‘how she had picked it up.’ ‘But you can soon
break her of it, Miss Grey,’ said she: ‘it is only a habit; and if
you will just gently remind her every time she does so, I am sure
she will soon lay it aside.’ I not only ‘gently reminded’ her, I
tried to impress upon her how wrong it was, and how distressing to
the ears of decent people: but all in vain: I was only answered
by a careless laugh, and, ‘Oh, Miss Grey, how shocked you are! I’m
so glad!’ or, ‘Well! I can’t help it; papa shouldn’t have taught
me: I learned it all from him; and maybe a bit from the coachman.’

Her brother John, ALIAS Master Murray, was about eleven when I
came: a fine, stout, healthy boy, frank and good-natured in the
main, and might have been a decent lad had he been properly
educated; but now he was as rough as a young bear, boisterous,
unruly, unprincipled, untaught, unteachable – at least, for a
governess under his mother’s eye. His masters at school might be
able to manage him better – for to school he was sent, greatly to
my relief, in the course of a year; in a state, it is true, of
scandalous ignorance as to Latin, as well as the more useful though
more neglected things: and this, doubtless, would all be laid to
the account of his education having been entrusted to an ignorant
female teacher, who had presumed to take in hand what she was
wholly incompetent to perform. I was not delivered from his
brother till full twelve months after, when he also was despatched
in the same state of disgraceful ignorance as the former.

Master Charles was his mother’s peculiar darling. He was little
more than a year younger than John, but much smaller, paler, and
less active and robust; a pettish, cowardly, capricious, selfish
little fellow, only active in doing mischief, and only clever in
inventing falsehoods: not simply to hide his faults, but, in mere
malicious wantonness, to bring odium upon others. In fact, Master
Charles was a very great nuisance to me: it was a trial of
patience to live with him peaceably; to watch over him was worse;
and to teach him, or pretend to teach him, was inconceivable. At
ten years old, he could not read correctly the easiest line in the
simplest book; and as, according to his mother’s principle, he was
to be told every word, before he had time to hesitate or examine
its orthography, and never even to be informed, as a stimulant to
exertion, that other boys were more forward than he, it is not
surprising that he made but little progress during the two years I
had charge of his education. His minute portions of Latin grammar,
&c., were to be repeated over to him, till he chose to say he knew
them, and then he was to be helped to say them; if he made mistakes
in his little easy sums in arithmetic, they were to be shown him at
once, and the sum done for him, instead of his being left to
exercise his faculties in finding them out himself; so that, of
course, he took no pains to avoid mistakes, but frequently set down
his figures at random, without any calculation at all.

I did not invariably confine myself to these rules: it was against
my conscience to do so; but I seldom could venture to deviate from
them in the slightest degree, without incurring the wrath of my
little pupil, and subsequently of his mamma; to whom he would
relate my transgressions maliciously exaggerated, or adorned with
embellishments of his own; and often, in consequence, was I on the
point of losing or resigning my situation. But, for their sakes at
home, I smothered my pride and suppressed my indignation, and
managed to struggle on till my little tormentor was despatched to
school; his father declaring that home education was ‘no go; for
him, it was plain; his mother spoiled him outrageously, and his
governess could make no hand of him at all.’

A few more observations about Horton Lodge and its ongoings, and I
have done with dry description for the present. The house was a
very respectable one; superior to Mr. Bloomfield’s, both in age,
size, and magnificence: the garden was not so tastefully laid out;
but instead of the smooth-shaven lawn, the young trees guarded by
palings, the grove of upstart poplars, and the plantation of firs,
there was a wide park, stocked with deer, and beautified by fine
old trees. The surrounding country itself was pleasant, as far as
fertile fields, flourishing trees, quiet green lanes, and smiling
hedges with wild-flowers scattered along their banks, could make
it; but it was depressingly flat to one born and nurtured among the
rugged hills of -.

We were situated nearly two miles from the village church, and,
consequently, the family carriage was put in requisition every
Sunday morning, and sometimes oftener. Mr. and Mrs. Murray
generally thought it sufficient to show themselves at church once
in the course of the day; but frequently the children preferred
going a second time to wandering about the grounds all the day with
nothing to do. If some of my pupils chose to walk and take me with
them, it was well for me; for otherwise my position in the carriage
was to be crushed into the corner farthest from the open window,
and with my back to the horses: a position which invariably made
me sick; and if I were not actually obliged to leave the church in
the middle of the service, my devotions were disturbed with a
feeling of languor and sickliness, and the tormenting fear of its
becoming worse: and a depressing headache was generally my
companion throughout the day, which would otherwise have been one
of welcome rest, and holy, calm enjoyment.

‘It’s very odd, Miss Grey, that the carriage should always make you
sick: it never makes ME,’ remarked Miss Matilda,

‘Nor me either,’ said her sister; ‘but I dare say it would, if I
sat where she does – such a nasty, horrid place, Miss Grey; I
wonder how you can bear it!’

‘I am obliged to bear it, since no choice is left me,’ – I might
have answered; but in tenderness for their feelings I only replied,
– ‘Oh! it is but a short way, and if I am not sick in church, I
don’t mind it.’

If I were called upon to give a description of the usual divisions
and arrangements of the day, I should find it a very difficult
matter. I had all my meals in the schoolroom with my pupils, at
such times as suited their fancy: sometimes they would ring for
dinner before it was half cooked; sometimes they would keep it
waiting on the table for above an hour, and then be out of humour
because the potatoes were cold, and the gravy covered with cakes of
solid fat; sometimes they would have tea at four; frequently, they
would storm at the servants because it was not in precisely at
five; and when these orders were obeyed, by way of encouragement to
punctuality, they would keep it on the table till seven or eight.

Their hours of study were managed in much the same way; my judgment
or convenience was never once consulted. Sometimes Matilda and
John would determine ‘to get all the plaguy business over before
breakfast,’ and send the maid to call me up at half-past five,
without any scruple or apology; sometimes, I was told to be ready
precisely at six, and, having dressed in a hurry, came down to an
empty room, and after waiting a long time in suspense, discovered
that they had changed their minds, and were still in bed; or,
perhaps, if it were a fine summer morning, Brown would come to tell
me that the young ladies and gentlemen had taken a holiday, and
were gone out; and then I was kept waiting for breakfast till I was
almost ready to faint: they having fortified themselves with
something before they went.

Often they would do their lessons in the open air; which I had
nothing to say against: except that I frequently caught cold by
sitting on the damp grass, or from exposure to the evening dew, or
some insidious draught, which seemed to have no injurious effect on
them. It was quite right that they should be hardy; yet, surely,
they might have been taught some consideration for others who were
less so. But I must not blame them for what was, perhaps, my own
fault; for I never made any particular objections to sitting where
they pleased; foolishly choosing to risk the consequences, rather
than trouble them for my convenience. Their indecorous manner of
doing their lessons was quite as remarkable as the caprice
displayed in their choice of time and place. While receiving my
instructions, or repeating what they had learned, they would lounge
upon the sofa, lie on the rug, stretch, yawn, talk to each other,
or look out of the window; whereas, I could not so much as stir the
fire, or pick up the handkerchief I had dropped, without being
rebuked for inattention by one of my pupils, or told that ‘mamma
would not like me to be so careless.’

The servants, seeing in what little estimation the governess was
held by both parents and children, regulated their behaviour by the
same standard. I have frequently stood up for them, at the risk of
some injury to myself, against the tyranny and injustice of their
young masters and mistresses; and I always endeavoured to give them
as little trouble as possible: but they entirely neglected my
comfort, despised my requests, and slighted my directions. All
servants, I am convinced, would not have done so; but domestics in
general, being ignorant and little accustomed to reason and
reflection, are too easily corrupted by the carelessness and bad
example of those above them; and these, I think, were not of the
best order to begin with.

I sometimes felt myself degraded by the life I led, and ashamed of
submitting to so many indignities; and sometimes I thought myself a
fool for caring so much about them, and feared I must be sadly
wanting in Christian humility, or that charity which ‘suffereth
long and is kind, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
beareth all things, endureth all things.’

But, with time and patience, matters began to be slightly
ameliorated: slowly, it is true, and almost imperceptibly; but I
got rid of my male pupils (that was no trifling advantage), and the
girls, as I intimated before concerning one of them, became a
little less insolent, and began to show some symptoms of esteem.
‘Miss Grey was a queer creature: she never flattered, and did not
praise them half enough; but whenever she did speak favourably of
them, or anything belonging to them, they could be quite sure her
approbation was sincere. She was very obliging, quiet, and
peaceable in the main, but there were some things that put her out
of temper: they did not much care for that, to be sure, but still
it was better to keep her in tune; as when she was in a good humour
she would talk to them, and be very agreeable and amusing
sometimes, in her way; which was quite different to mamma’s, but
still very well for a change. She had her own opinions on every
subject, and kept steadily to them – very tiresome opinions they
often were; as she was always thinking of what was right and what
was wrong, and had a strange reverence for matters connected with
religion, and an unaccountable liking to good people.’


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