Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

my poor mother's effects, all into one bank in London, where I should receive interest; and it would, she said, be a little fund for me in case 1of accidents. This affair Lord Eustace was so good as to arrange for me, and I determined not to touch it, except in a case of absolute necessity. I am sure that dear Lady Eustace proposed this in order to give me habits of prudence and economy.

I went in the evening, under the care of Mrs. Kelly, to take leave of Mrs. Davies, and inform her of my bright prospects. The following morning I took possession of my new situation at Sir Henry and Lady Dalton's, in Harley Street. Here I found my little pupil, an engaging child, about six years of age, the darling of both father and mother, and being an only child, in a fair way of being spoiled.

A small but neat school-room at the top of the house, with a snug bed-room for myself adjoining it, was my domain.

I was extremely pleased with my new situation. Nothing could be kinder than Lady Dalton was to me, or more agreeable and teachable than her little daughter.

Sir Henry, whom of course I seldom saw, except when I was invited to spend an evening in the drawing-room, appeared a very gentlemanly person, and treated me uniformly with respect and kindness.

Sometimes Lady Dalton took me out in her carriage; in fact, she treated me more like a companion than a nursery-governess, and I was both comfortable and happy.

My dear friend Lady Eustace was rejoiced to see' me so pleasantly settled when she left town, and desired that I would write to her whenever I had time, and consult her if ever I had need of advice.

Time fled swiftly, as it was both profitably and agreeably passed. I had been in Harley Street only three months, and Miss Dalton had made so much progress, and had become so tractable, that both her father and mother were delighted, not only with her, but with me.

I began to fancy myself at home, and all my troubles over, little thinking how soon this pleasant dream was to end.

One day, it being Miss Dalton's birthday, we dined with Sir Henry and Lady Dalton. Only one gentleman was present, a Captain Brigstocke, a great friend of the family. When Lady Dalton retired with my little pupil and myself into the drawing-room after dinner, her ladyship sent me to the school-room to get some music and my guitar, as she wished me to play in the evening, her guest being particularly fond of music.

I hastened to obey her, but was detained nearly half an hour upstairs, being for some time unable to find the particular music her ladyship wished for. As soon as I found it, I hurried down stairs to the drawing-room.

I heard voices very loud as I approached the door, and thought I also heard the little girl crying. When I opened it and entered, what was my surprise and horror to see Lady Dalton in the middle of the room, her eyes almost starting out of her head, speaking in a frenzied voice to her maid who stood near,

Very much frightened at this sudden change, (for I had left her laughing and playing with her little daughter,) I ran up to her to inquire what dreadful event had happened, fully expecting to hear that some fatal accident had occurred to Sir Henry. What was my amazement, when upon my approaching her, she almost screamed out, “Begone, deceitful wretch, leave me this moment, leave the house!”

Thinking her ladyship was seized with insanity, instead of leaving her, I approached closer to her, entreating her to be calm.

Darting a look of fury at me, which disfigured her lovely features so much that I should hardly have recognised her, she gave me so violent a box on the ear as almost stunned me, while she again, in a voice choked by passion, ordered me to leave the house.

I hurried, terrified to death, out of the room, not knowing what to do.

I had not been in my own apartment above twenty minutes, when the housekeeper (a very respectable woman) made her appearance, with

we

her bonnet and shawl on. She apologized for what she had to say, but the orders of her lady were, that I should leave the house instantly.

“What have I done?” I asked, “which causes me to be thus driven out at this time of night?”

“I am very sorry, my poor young lady," said the good woman, “but I must obey my orders. The coach is at the door, and I dare not stop any longer. Any thing you may leave behind I will take care of, and send after

you."

My door was open, and I still heard the raving of Lady Dalton, (for I can call it by no other name,) mixed with the voice of Sir Henry in expostulating tones. In a few minutes I thought I heard Lady Dalton rushing up stairs, and not wishing to encounter her again in her present infuriated state, I willingly followed the advice of the kind housekeeper, and hastened to accompany her down the back stairs, and in two minutes I found myself in a hackney coach with my companion.

I now ventured again to ask what was the

« FöregåendeFortsätt »