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him of that. Though how looks were a guaIn the course of the next day Mr. Surban, rantee of musical abilities was best known to the musical professor, instead of writing his himself. At last we came to a definite arrangeanswer, came in person to settle the business.ment, and it was proposed that I should He was quite a little dandy of a man, and seemed much impressed with the idea of his own importance and powers of criticism. When he understood from Mr. Benvolere that I was so
be personally introduced by the professor to his numerous and, as he took care to inform me, highly genteel connexion at Fulham and its immediate vicinity. For this emoluments arising from the various schools advantage I was to pay a certain portion of the and families who were willing to accept a substitute of Mr. Surban's proposing.
young, he hummed and ha'd, and seemed to. fear my youth would prove a serious obstacle. "Well, well! my good friend," at last said Benvolere, who endured his fine airs much as a good natured Newfoundland dog views the tricks of some undersized puppy," hear Mdlle. Montafauconi play [I was to take the name beBenvolere, always alive to a keen sense of longing to Madame Theresa, and pass as her daughter], then judge of her musical attain-humour, indulged in a hearty fit of laughter after his brother-professor's departure.
ments for yourself. I must introduce you
"Certainly the young lady's name is greatly in her favour-foreign names, my good friend, as you and I know, go for much. She is English-born you say?"
English bred, my good sir. But play this piece of Auber's, Isabella."
I did as Mr. Benvolere requested, and afterwards sang. But when Mr. Surban's raptures at my performance subsided, he seemed disposed to ask so many scientific questions about musical theory that my courage nearly failed. Benvolere, who was amused at the little gentle man's pedantry and consequence, 'poohpoohed" his observations a good deal, and came to my relief, just as Mr. Surban was deep in a dissertation on the major chord of the flat
"The child, my dear Surban," he said, "is my own pupil. You know I am not likely to recommend an impostor. Mdlle. Montafauconi knows how to teach, I assure you."
My looks, Mr. Surban observed, convinced
This matter settled, the little gentleman took his leave with a great deal of advice, compliments, regrets, and adieux.
the kit for a little dancing mistress; and now "I remember that puppy," he said, "playing him all his musical tuition, and that's myself; he holds his head far above the man who gave but, my dear, Sam Surban would scarcely venture to refuse me any favour I chose to ask
favour in his eyes, and, I trust, employment."
"And far more admiration for that sweet face than Mrs. Surban would at all approve of. Ah! my niece, you are too pretty to earn your
"You make me blush, sir. Do not think me a spoiled doll. My face, alas! never brought me affection or favour at home; and, had I been
ugly you would have loved me for my mother's sake. But I must not chatter: I am going to not disgrace Mr. Surban's recommendation.” practise hard. I shall weary you; but I must
My duties, in fact, commenced a very few days after, and with Madame Theresa for a chaperone, as my supposed mother, I went with the professor the round of his pupils, and soon found myself in the midst of work-real hard work.
At first, I own, I was worried by such unceasing labour and responsibility. There were to be taught pupils of all intellectual grades-clever, stupid,
dull, and quick-varying with amiability and obstinacy; but I determined to put my shoulder heartily to the wheel, and soon learned how to conquer the difficulties presented by the various tempers of my pupils. I was cheered too, and supported by the thought that I was of some real use in the world, and all the patrician blood of the De Trevors and the Castlebrooks combined, could never have procured me such a pure and entire satisfaction as that one idea. Then how I was welcomed home, when, at the close of a long, hard-working day, I arrived at the dear cottage, whose inhabitants waited for their dinner till I could partake of it with them! And good Madame Theresa always had some delicacy prepared for her " 'good child"-her adopted daughter. Now, for the first time since I had quitted Miss Normans, I tasted the comforts of a home.
A quarter of a year passed thus, rapidly; and, at the end of that period, I had the gratification to find that, after the stipulated payment to Mr. Surban, there was sufficient to settle bills, which had been unavoidably contracted, and a little to lay by as a surplus for any exigency.
During all this time I had discovered no opportunity of writing to Colonel Tarragon, and was moreover inclined to adopt my master's half-hinted opinion that to do so would be a compromise of female delicacy.
It was, however, true that he could not write to me, ignorant of my refuge as he was. To say no thoughts of him intruded frequently, would be false; but I was too much occupied to dwell unceasingly on the recollection of his regard, and too confident in Vincent's faith and honour to have one misgiving as to his fidelity. I had discovered indeed, from the newspapers, that he was at Vienna. I resolved to trust in Providence for a happy meeting, and hoped that time might cause my love to be sanctified without a dereliction of duty. Meanwhile my profession entirely engrossed my time and thoughts.
Mr. Surban, who was much pleased at my success with his former pupils, wrote one day to inform me he had recommended me to a lady who had lately commenced a school. "I have arranged terms for you, my dear Mdlle. Montafauconi," wrote the little man, "and you will be good enough to visit Dahlia House, Brompton, at ten o'clock next Wednesday morning, to give your first lesson. I trust other arrangements will not interfere; for Mrs. Candy is strict as to punctuality, and the connexion seems a desirable one."
It was not exactly convenient, but I could not refuse any addition to an income which after all was but fluctuating, and with some difficulty I started for Dahlia House, which was situated in a newly-formed square, between Brompton and Chelsea. It was a very primlooking mansion, and as I rang the bell, a feeling of annoyance sprang up at the reflection that I had to propitiate strangers. I was shown into a parlour highly adorned with the nick-nacks usually abounding in the showrooms of a ladies'
seminary; Mrs. Candy, the servant said, would be with me presently. It was, however, some time before she came; aud as I rose to greet her, my astonishment and, I may add, dismay were unbounded, as, with an exclamation, I recognized in my new employer, my former friend and teacher, Miss Phitts!
Mrs. Candy, as she was now, had entered brimful of condescension and patronage; but, recognizing me instantly, she seized my hand, heartily shaking it, while the corkscrew ringlets, still in shining glory, danced about, as if they desired to aid in expressing her delight.
"Good gracious me! That stupid girl! I expected a new music-teacher, and she told me Miss-Miss-such a long name. I always forget it"-looking at the card I had sent in, with her eyeglass-" and to see you, my dear Miss Castlebrook, grown out of all knowledge, too! At first I was puzzled, but your voice at once recalled my dear former pupil. And this music. mistress-"
"Is before you, Miss-Mrs. Candy I mean, though to find my old friend converted into a matron," I said, with infinitely more sincerity than politeness, "is as wonderful as anything I ever read in my favourite " Arabian Nights." "Indeed!"-bridling a little. "Well, I dare say it does seem strange. But what do you mean?"
"Only that I must request you to forget the existence of Isabella Castlebrook, and to accept the services of Mdlle. Montafauconi as your musical teacher.""
"You amaze me. You, my dear a young lady of birth and station in society-teach!" "Even so."
"But your name is-"
"Dear madam, there is a history attached to my change of name; but-I know I may confide in you."
In fact, I had no alternative, so that I could take very little merit for being ingenuous. I related, therefore, the main points of my story, omitting only the mention of Colonel Tarragon, which I did not consider essential to its development.
Mrs. Candy had been educated in a school of old-fashioned duty. She shook her head when I finished, and said :
"It was a great pity to run away from home, my dear."
"I should have been forced into a marriage my very soul would have detested.”
"To be sure that would have been very bad; but remonstrance and interference on the part of your friends-"
"I have none; you know it. What could I, a poor weak girl, do, fettered and constrained-coerced even-by my father and his wife? Now I earn the bread of independence, and it is so sweet. Besides, what would Mr. Benvolere do without my assistance, aged and infirm as are both himself and his sister? Oh, madam, how blessed is the consciousness of being able to aid others!"
"You have a kind, feeling heart, Isabella,"
said Mrs. Candy, regarding me with one of, bound to look at things in their true light. those curious side-glances, for which as Miss Now, whatever is false is not true-and-" Phitts she had been remarkable. "You were "Would you have me teach, my dear friend, always ready, even when a child, to perform as Miss Castlebrook? self-sacrifice."
"And I still am. I hope I shall always be so; but there is one thing I cannot endure, and that is personal chastisement-it is degradation."
"True, I agree with you there; I never would allow it in tuition. It hardens. It is bad enough for boys, but for girls most shocking."
"Then I may rely on your silence-you will not betray me to my family?"
"Certainly not, my dear. You are nowa young woman, and able to judge and reason for yourself-only, I don't know how Mr. Candy may view the matter, and I have no secrets from him."
Was Mr. Candy in perspective when you lived at Mnemosyne House?"
"I suppose not; yet, in point of fact, it is quite bewildering. I wish I knew what Mr. Čandy would say.'
"Is he at home."
have been singularly handsome) that assured me these "windows of the soul" (as some one has called them) conveyed to the outward observer, the indications of a kind and feeling heart.
Not a glimpse. It was a dry theological "Well, my dear, yes; but it was in extreme treatise, neither likely to interest nor give inperspective. I will tell you: George Candy formation, and I was listlessly turning over its and I were boy and girl together, and as we pages, when Mr. and Mrs. Candy entered the grew up we hoped to pass through life in comroom. Mr. Candy was a tall thin ecclesiastic pany; but there came the old story. We were of fifty years old. Rigid as were his face and poor. He was educated for the church, and features, there was something about the excould get no preferment; I was a poor gover-pression of his dark eyes (which in youth must ness, who had to toil for all my family-marriage was simply impossible. You know how glad I was when Mr. Allison engaged me for his daughter, poor girl! She died a year ago. But her father, in the midst of all his grief, was very kind to me. He set me up in this school, and, having influence with the holders of church livings, he obtained a moderate appointment in this neighbourhood for Mr. Candy. thought, though the best of our days had been passed in waiting and hoping against hope, that we might at least spend our old age together. And to be a clergyman's wife is very genteel, my dear, you know, though we are far from rich, and school-keeping is a terrible anxiety. I am sure the butcher's bills alone would frighten any one."
As I looked at him, I almost envied his wife
the privilege of having a spiritual adviser-one, indeed, who would guide the erring wanderer safely through the tangled paths of duty. I feared now I had made an error in life; yet it was inevitable destiny had impelled me for the last one I could scarcely repent. I felt as if a blind, year of my existence to fulfil its behests. Then, again, I considered a Providence had guided me to the aid of Benvolere, my dear master and so regarding myself as an instrument in the hands a Mighty Power, I felt consoled at losing the sense of responsibility.
of Would Mr. Candy, then, do you think,
make it a point of conscience to discover me to my father?"
"I have not a notion how he might think it right to act. I always abide by his decision: a clergyman, you know, my dear, can't be wrong in matters of conscience; but I shall tell him how good you are to those poor old people, and how shamefully Lady Laura Castlebrook treated you. As for your father, why you know, my love, you were his own daughter, and he might perhaps think his right over your actions was supreme."
"Will you, meantime, accept me as a teacher ?"
"Of course, my dear, and very gladly too; but however I am to recollect your new name, and whether it will be right so to aid in your your-"
I was now to submit this question to a grave authority-one accustomed to weigh actions against words, and disposed to think a child's obedience and submission, even to the harshest of parents, an inevitable duty.
I was questioned and cross-questioned so severely by this gentleman, that it was a great wonder the episode of Vincent Tarragon's attachment did not come out in the course of the examination. I became at last irritated at being viewed as a runaway rebel, when I was following a nobler impulse than the mere selfish one of self-preservation. As the heroine of my own book, I ought to represent myself, perhaps, in a more amiable light, because the heroines of modern books are invariably of natures so calm and angelic, that nothing can irritate them into a display of temper; but real flesh and blood women are possessed of temperaments frequently quite the reverse, and I am bound to state the truth. Į
subdued, however, my rising anger, and pleaded | greater reverence had he been a bishop, inmy tie to Benvolere and his sister. stead of curate to St. Junian's Chapel of Ease, Brompton.
"If," I said, "I desert them now, they have no resource left. Oh! sir, be persuaded. Let well alone. I am safe: I am under honourable protection. I am happy in leading a useful life, and you would again throw me into the vortex of fashionable society-give me to the miseries of an ill-assorted marriage. I tell you, such a life would be hateful, now that I have known a freer, purer one. I should again elope. Next time it would be from a husband. I should be utterly lost, and this through your well-meant efforts for good. Pray, pray, spare
"Young lady, there is, I fear, too much of passion in your nature to make you happy or good. Subdue such feelings, and learn to view life calmly and rationally, as a state of probationary suffering and inevitable sorrow.' "No," I said, vehemently, "I will not consent so to view the existence which a beneficent Creator has bestowed on me. He meant my life to be happy if I remain good. Human beings have caused by their vices and passions my unhappiness; but I deny that this world is meant to be all grief."
"My dear" [to her husband, from Mrs. Candy, who seemed anxious to avoid any controversy], "I trust you will not find it advisable to reveal Miss Castlebrook's abode to her father."
"My love, do not fear me. I know Who tempers mercy with justice. May I be enabled to follow His example. But our hearts are deceitful. While we imagine they are leading us rightly, too often they betray us into a gulf of sin, and its sure attendant misery."
"But think," pleaded his wife, "of poor Mr. Benvolere a most worthy person, I assure you."
"I do think of him, my dear Maria; you and I should feel for poverty, when we have experienced ourselves some of its bitter fruits. Young lady, there is a mixture of noble generosity, of self-devotion, with want of reflection and a dangerous yielding to impulse, in your character, which strangely puzzles me. In regard to your father's harsh usage, you should have borne it dutifully, with earnest prayer to the Giver of Grace that He would bestow a better spirit on your worldly, unloving parent. Yet, now I can hardly, in pity to those you so virtuously support, counsel you to return home -still less can I interfere. If I err, I trust I may be pardoned."
"Oh sir, thank and bless you."
"Mrs. Candy has related to me traits of your tendency to good works, even as a child; but do not trust wholly to them. Have faith and submission, even while you benefit others." He spoke like a book, and a very good book too. It was so long since I had listened to a man holy by profession, that I felt awed, and as much disposed to admit of Mr. Candy's infallibility because he was a clergyman as his own wife, who could not have treated him with
She listened to his exhortation exactly as she might have done to his Sunday sermon. "And you will accept me as a teacher?" "Yes, we shall be glad to see more of you. After all, it is something that at least you have renounced the pomps and vanities of fashionable life." He took out his watch. “My dear, I must go round to my parish duties. Miss Castlebrook, I trust to have some other opportunity of improving the trials and difficulties you have experienced."
With this promise of another lecture, he went gently out of the room, and Mrs. Candy followed him with her eyes, as if he were a saint to whom she had the precious privilege of deferring.
Mr. Candy was indeed a good upright man-one who thought religious persons were bound to exhort, lecture, and rebuke, but who in his heart of hearts, would have greatly preferred to pity and console, soothe and succour. He was constantly struggling, I found afterwards, between the sternness he thought it a duty to assume, and a strong disposition to make people happy. Between his own ascetic notions, and his partner's fidgetty ideas of propriety and gentility, Mr. and Mrs. Candy were by no means so comfortable as they ought to have been, after their tough battle with the realities of life.
I gave my first lesson, that very day, to pupils who were more select than numerous; but Mrs. Candy had not long commenced school, and her scholars were girls chiefly from the country.
When I departed, the kind lady shook me warmly by the hand, bidding me trust in Providence. Mrs. Candy's religious sentiments had become developed rather late in life, but her union with a clergyman seemed to make it a matter of obligation that pious precepts and serious exhortations should be perpetually hovering on her lips. I somehow fancied, from my reminiscences of Mnemosyne House, that my trust in Providence had been greatly antecedent to her own.
In his days of prosperity, Mr. Benvolere had been fond of assembling round him acquaintances who, while their own sun of fortune shone but dimly, were yet remarkable for qualities amusing in society and harmless in the individual. These persons were neither famous nor fashionable, though in some way or other all were possessed of talents, which, properly used, might have achieved worldly success. They still came to visit the host who in better times had treated them liberally with generous hospitality, and proved themselves worthy of his friendship, inasmuch as they were now quite as well contented with a repast of bread, cheese, and ale, as formerly they had been with venison
and claret. Every man, I fancy, cannot say as much of his friends, or there would be fewer Timons in the world.
list of oddities presented themselves to my admiring notice at dinner. We had, in fact, just commenced our meal, when a loud rat-tat came, and Mr. Benvolere looking behind him out of the parlour window, which commanded a view of the street-door, eagerly exclaimed, "there were Quaintly and Brunt, both arrived at the same time."
"Very late," said Madame Theresa, who was little fidgetty about punctuality.
"Good company, my dear, never comes too late," her brother answered; and the kind lady smoothed a brow beginning to get somewhat ruffled as the guests glided in at the door, with | the air of men who knew they were behind time.
Each Sunday, since employment had enabled me to gratify the kind old man's hospitable propensities, a party of these humble, cheerful friends were entertained to a plain, but plentiful dinner. Mr. Benvolere, indeed, at first expressed a wish that I would absent myself from table on these occasions, as he did not de-a sire I should mix in society uncongenial to my proper station, or expose myself hereafter to undesirable recognition. But I had always a keen sense of humour, and a relish for the observation of peculiarities, and the Sunday dinners presented abundant specimens of character, whose study I was by no means inclined to forego. Therefore, as I urged the matter, Madame Theresa and myself, with some teadrinking acquaintances, and an old lady and gentleman who had been friends of Mr. Benvolere from his youth-and who, like him, had in their old age descended into the vale of poverty as well as years-joined the dinnerparties, adding thereto the attractions of a teatable.
Mr. and Mrs. Pope, the old lady and gentleman referred to, were by no means witty or entertaining themselves, but had a great admiration for those who were: Mrs. Pope, indeed, regarded Mr. Benvolere as the most fascinating and extraordinary of mortals. In former days he had been wont to give imitations for their enjoyment, and now, like Oliver Goldsmith's "Diggory," they were always ready to laugh at the same old story. My dear old master, like all of us, had his harmless weaknesses. He loved to shine in the eyes of these poor and aged visitors; to them he was a star of the first magnitude, quite as good, indeed, to persons who had only been to a play as a great and rare event, as the efforts of the inimitable Mathews senior him
After all, your dull, unentertaining people it
is, who make the best audiences for the wit who loves to shine. They laugh with the truest mirth, and never dream of envying the powers which afford them such exquisite entertainment. Mr. Pope, however, had the disadvantage of being tremendously deaf, and it generally took the united efforts of two or three persons to convey to him accurately a single sentence. Kindhearted people, who were desirous he should lose none of the mirth going forward, generally added to his confusion by all screaming in his ear at once, the pith of the jest on hand, Mrs. Pope being the most energetic of the shouters. She herself had three exclamations to express all states of feeling-"Terrible!" "Astonishing!" and "Wonderful!"
These well-meaning persons were quite aware I was no daughter of Madame Montafauconi; but they had discretion, and took to me most kindly.
I remember one of these Sundays most particularly, for two strange additions to our usual
These gentlemen, it seemed, were mutual strangers; for their host formally introduced them, first to the company, next to each other. Mr. Quaintly attracted instant notice. He was attired in just such a costume as in later years I have seen that celebrated mime, Mr. Wright (of the Adelphi Theatre), adopt, when portraying a gentleman of eccentric comedy, viz., a brown ccat cut off at the sides, and exceedingly shortwaisted, gilt buttons to the same, a nankin waistcoat [is that inestimable fabric lost to society?], a resplendently-frilled shirt, a high white cravat, and a stiff, high shirt-collar; nether garments of a striped material on a faint Mr. Brunt was blue or cream-colour ground. a full, burly individual, who had a confident manner and a very loud voice. I had often heard my master describe him. He called himself a philosopher, and was fond of reducing idealities to common-sense views, as he called them. In a word, if you had a tendency to exalt a subject, he had also one, which was to drag it down into the most absurd or vulgar light in which it could be viewed-at the same time it must be owned, very amusing lights. Though Mr. Brunt was a philosopher, he was likewise a most hilarious man-a merry kind of cynic, who laughed at everybody, even himself.
"My dear Quaintly, welcome! it does one's eyes good to see you!"-from his host. better late than never, Brunt, eh? What shall down, my dear fellows! No more ceremony: my sister help you to?"
Of beef that is well done a slice I will take,"
said Mr. Quaintly, regarding the joint with a very large eye-glass, suspended by a broad black ribbon round his neck.
Old England; there's no humbug, at any rate, "Beef, beef, by all means-the roast beef of
about beef," said Mr. Brunt.
Madame Theresa smilingly helped the new visitors.
"Of fat that is browned I like a plentiful share, madame," said Mr. Quaintly, whose inverted blank-verse style of colloquy set everyone staring.
Benvolere, at whose right hand I sat, informed me here, in a whisper, that our friend held the situation of fourth low comedian at Drury Lane Theatre.