"I never saw an eye so bright, And yet so soft as hers; It sometimes swam in liquid light, And sometimes swam in tears; It seemed a beauty set apart For softness and for sighs." —MRS. WELBY.
The school-room at Roselands was a very pleasant apartment; the ceiling, it is true, was somewhat lower than in the more modern portion of the building, for the wing in which it was situated dated back to the old-fashioned days prior to the Revolution, while the larger part of the mansion had not stood more than twenty or thirty years; but the effect was relieved by windows reaching from floor to ceiling, and opening on a veranda which overlooked a lovely flower-garden, beyond which were fields and woods and hills. The view from the veranda was very beautiful, and the room itself looked most inviting, with its neat matting, its windows draped with snow-white muslin, its comfortable chairs, and pretty rosewood desks.
Within this pleasant apartment sat Miss Day with her pupils, six in number. She was giving a lesson to Enna, the youngest, the spoiled darling of the family, the pet and plaything of both father and mother. It was always a trying task to both teacher and scholar, for Enna was very wilful, and her teacher's patience by no means inexhaustible.
"There!" exclaimed Miss Day, shutting the book and giving it an impatient toss on to the desk; "go, for I might as well try to teach old Bruno. I presume he would learn about as fast."
And Enna walked away with a pout on her pretty face, muttering that she would "tell mamma."
"Young ladies and gentlemen," said Miss Day, looking at her watch, "I shall leave you to your studies for an hour; at the end of which time I shall return to hear your recitations, when those who have attended properly to their duties will be permitted to ride out with me to visit the fair."
"Oh! that will be jolly!" exclaimed Arthur, a bright-eyed, mischief-loving boy of ten.
"Hush!" said Miss Day sternly; "let me hear no more such exclamations; and remember that you will not go unless your lessons are thoroughly learned. Louise and Lora," addressing two young girls of the respective ages of twelve and fourteen, "that French exercise must be perfect, and your English lessons as well. Elsie," to a little girl of eight, sitting alone at a desk near one of the windows, and bending over a slate with an appearance of great industry, "every figure of that example must be correct, your geography lesson recited perfectly, and a page in your copybook written without a blot."
"Yes, ma'am," said the child meekly, raising a pair of large soft eyes of the darkest hazel for an instant to her teacher's face, and then dropping them again upon her slate.
"And see that none of you leave the room until I return," continued the governess. "Walter, if you miss one word of that spelling, you will have to stay at home and learn it over."
"Unless mamma interferes, as she will be pretty sure to do," muttered Arthur, as the door closed on Miss Day, and her retreating footsteps were heard passing down the hall....