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supper-table. Something wonderful and admirable it was to see how these Dukes and Duchesses, Marshals and Marquises, Chevaliers and Bishops, bore up under their unparalleled reverses! How they laughed, and talked, and squabbled, and flirted, constant to their high heels, their rouge, and their furbelows, to their old liaisons, their polished sarcasms, their cherished rivalries! They clung even to their mariages de convenance; and the very habits which would most have offended our English notions, if we had seen them in their splendid hôtels of the Faubourg St. Germain, won tolerance and pardon when mixed up with such unaffected constancy, and such cheerful resignation.

For the most part these noble exiles had a trifling pecuniary dependency; some had brought with them jewels enough to sustain them in their simple lodgings in Knightsbridge or Pentonville ; to some a faithful steward contrived to forward the produce of some estate too small to have been seized by the early plunderers; to others a rich English friend would claim the privilege of returning the kindness and hospitality of bygone years. But very many lived literally on the produce of their own industry, the gentlemen teaching languages, music, fencing, dancing, whilst their wives and daughters went out as teachers or governesses, or supplied the shops with those objects of taste in millinery or artificial flowers for which their country is unrivalled. No one was ashamed of these exertions; no one was proud of them. So perfect and so honest was the simplicity with which they entered upon this new course of life, that they did not even seem conscious of its merit. The hope of better days carried them gaily along, and the present evil was lost in the sunshiny future.

Here and there, however, the distress was too real, too pressing to be forgotten; in such cases our good schoolmaster used to contrive all possible measures to assist and to relieve. One venerable couple I remember well. They bore one of the highest names of Brittany, and had possessed large estates, had lost their two sons, and were now in their old age, their sickness, and their helplessness, almost entirely dependent upon the labour of Mdlle. Rose, their grand-daughter. Rose, what a name for that pallid drooping creature, whose dark eyes looked too large for her face, whose bones seemed starting through her skin, and whose black hair contrasted even fearfully with the wan complexion from which every tinge of healthful-colour had long flown! For some time these interesting persons regularly attended our worthy governess's supper parties, the objects of universal affection and respect. Each seemed to come for the sake of the other; Mademoiselle, always bringing with her some ingenious straw-plaiting to make into the fancy bonnets which were then in vogue, rarely raised her head from her work, or allowed herself time to make a hasty meal. It was sad to think how ceaseless must be the industry by which that fair and fragile creature could support the helpless couple who were cast upon her duty and her affection! At last they ceased to appear at the Wednesday parties, and very soon after (Oh! it is the poor that help the poor !) we heard that the good Abbé Calonne (brother to the well-known minister) had undertaken for a moderate stipend the charge of the venerable Count and Countess, while Malle. Rose, with her straw-plaiting, took up her abode in our school-room, working as indefatigably through our verbs and over our exercises as she had before done through the rattle of the tric-trac table and the ceaseless clatter of French talk.

Now this school of ours was no worse than other schools ; indeed it was reckoned among the best conducted, but some way or other the foul weed called exclusiveness had sprung up amongst the half-dozen great girls who, fifty years ago, “gave our little senate laws,” to a point that threatened to choke and destroy every plant of a more wholesome influence. Doubtless, long, long ago the world and the world's trials, prosperity with the weariness and the bitterness it brings, adversity with the joys it takes away, have tamed those proud hearts ! But, at the time of which I speak, no committee of Countesses deciding upon petitions

for vouchers for a subscription ball; no Chapter of noble canonesses examining into the sixteen quarters required for their candidate ; could by possibility inquire more seriously into the nice questions of station, position, and alliance than the unfledged younglings who constituted our first class. They were merely gentlemen's daughters, and had no earthly right to give themselves airs; but I suspect that we may sometimes see in elder gentlewomen the same disproportion, and that those who might, from birth, fortune, and position assume such a right, will be the very last to exert their privilege. Luckily for me I was a little girl, protected by my youth and insignificance from the danger of a contagion which it requires a good deal of moral courage to resist. I remember wondering how Mdlle. Rose, with her incessant industry, her open desire to sell her bonnets, and her shabby cotton gown,


from our Happily she was spared, avowedly because her birth was noble — perhaps because, with all their vulgar denunciations of vulgarity, their fineries, and their vanities, the young girls were better than they knew, and respected in their hearts the very humility which they denounced.

If, however, there were something about the fair Frenchwoman that held in awe the spirit of girlish impertinence, chance soon bestowed upon them, in the shape of a new pupil, an object which called


forth all their worst qualities, without stint and without impediment. The poor

child who was destined to become their victim, was a short squat figure, somewhere about nine or ten years of age; awkward in her carriage, plain in her features, ill-dressed and over-dressed. She happened to arrive at the same time with the French dancing-master, a Marquis of the ancien régime, of whom I am sorry to say, that he seemed so at home in his Terpsichorean vocation, that one could hardly fancy him fit for any other. (Were not les Marquis of the old French comedy very much like dancing-masters? I am sure Molière thought so.) At the same time with the French dancingmaster did our new fellow-pupil arrive, led into the room by her father; he did not stay five minutes, but that time was long enough to strike Monsieur with a horror, evinced by a series of shrugs which soon rendered the dislike reciprocal. I never saw such a contrast between two men. The Frenchman was slim, and long, and pale; and allowing always for the dancing-master air, which in my secret soul I thought never could be allowed for, he might be called elegant. The Englishman was the beau ideal of a John Bull, portentous in size, broad, and red of visage; loud of tongue, and heavy in step; he shook the room as he strode, and made the walls echo when he spoke. I rather liked the man, there was so much character about him, and in spite of the

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