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coarseness, so much that was bold and hearty. Monsieur shrugged to be sure, but he seemed likely to run away, especially when the stranger's first words conveyed an injunction to the lady of the house, "to take care that no grinning Frenchman had the ordering of his Betsy's feet. If she must learn to dance, let her be taught by an honest Englishman.” After which declaration, kissing the little girl very tenderly, the astounding papa took his departure.
Poor Betsy! there she sate, the tears trickling down her cheeks, little comforted by the kind notice of the governess and the English teacher, and apparently insensible to the silent scorn of her new companions. For my own part, 'I entertained towards her much of that pity which results from recent experience of the same sort of distress,
“A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind."
a little girl myself, abundantly shy and awkward, and I had not forgotten the heart-tug of leaving home, and the terrible loneliness of the first day at school. Moreover, I suspected that in one respect she was much more an object of compassion than myself; I believed her to be motherless : so when I thought nobody was looking or listening, I made some girlish advances towards acquaintanceship, which she was still too shy or too miserable to return, so that, easily repelled myself, as a bashful child is, our intercourse came to nothing. With my elders and betters, the cancan, who ruled the school, Betsy stood if possible lower than ever. They had had the satisfaction to discover not only that he lived in the Borough, but that her father (horror of horrors !) was an eminent cheesefactor! a seller of Stilton! That he was very rich, and had a brother an alderman, rather made matters worse. Poor Betsy only escaped being sent to Coventry by the lucky circumstance of her going that metaphorical journey of her own accord, and never under any temptation speaking to anybody one unneces
As far as her lessons went she was, from the false indulgence with which she had been treated, very backward for her age. Our school was, however, really excellent as a place of instruction; so no studies were forced upon her, and she was left to get acquainted with the house and its ways, and to fall into the ranks as she could.
For the present she seemed to have attached herself to Malle. Rose, attracted probably by the sweetness of her countenance, her sadness, and her silence. Her speech could not have attracted Betsy, for in common with many of her exiled countryfolk, she had not in nearly ten years' residence in England learned to speak five English words. But something had won her affection. She had on first being called by the governess, from the dark corner in which she had ensconced herself, crept to the side of the young Frenchwoman, had watched her as she wove her straw plaits, had attempted the simple art with some discarded straws that lay scattered upon the floor; and when Mademoiselle, so far roused herself as to show her the proper way, and to furnish her with the material, she soon became a most efficient assistant in this branch of industry.
No intercourse took place between them. Indeed, as I have said, none was possible, since neither knew a word of the other's language. Betsy was silence personified; and poor Malle. Rose, always pensive and reserved, was more than ever dejected and oppressed. An opportunity of returning to France had opened to her, and was passing away. She herself was too young to be included in the list of emigrants, and interest had been made with the French Consul for the re-admission of her venerable parents, and perhaps for the ultimate recovery of some property still unsold. But her grandfather was so aged, and her grandmother so sickly, that the expenses of a voyage and a journey, then very
formidable to the old and the infirm, were beyond her means, beyond even her hopes. So she sighed over her straw.plaiting, and submitted.
In the meantime the second Saturday arrived, and with it a summons home to Betsy, who, for the first time gathering courage to address our good governess, asked “if she might be trusted with the bonnet Mdlle. Rose had just finished, to show her aunt—she knew she would like to buy that bonnet, because Mademoiselle had been so good as to let her assist in plaiting it.” How she came to know that they were for sale nobody could tell; but our kind governess ordered the bonnet to be put into the carriage, told her the price—(no extravagant one !)-called her a good child, and took leave of her till Monday.
Two hours after Betsy and her father re-appeared in the school-room. “Ma'amselle," said he, bawling as loud as he could, with the view, as we afterwards conjectured, of making her understand him.“Ma'amselle, I've no great love for the French, whom I take to be our natural enemies. But you're a good young woman; you've been kind to my Betsy, and have taught her how to make your fallals; and moreover you're a good daughter; and so's my Betsy. She says that she thinks you're fretting, because you can't manage to take your grandfather and grandmother back to France again; --so as you let her help you in that other handywork, why you must let her help you in this.” Then throwing a heavy purse into her lap, catching his little daughter up in his arms, and hugging her to the honest breast where she hid her tears and her blushes, he departed, leaving poor Mdlle. Rose too much bewildered to speak, or to comprehend the happiness that had fallen upon her, and the whole school the better for the lesson.