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THE COMMONER'S DAUGHTER.
SECOND BOO K.
longer than he thought for ; and somehow the
gentleman-leastways he couldn't be a gentleWhen I woke next morning, with but vague man, you'll say that he left to teach his pupils, recollections at first of what had passed on the got round them or their ma's and governesses; previous day, I had also the physical sensations so, that when, at last, poor Mr. Benevoly did get of stiffness and exhaustion attendant on the back to Lunnon, he had no business left: pertreatment I had received, with the additional haps in time he might have got it back, or got shock given to my frame by the overturn of the fresh; for folks do say he were very clever. hackney coach.
Howsumever, I knows nothing about musicking As I slowly and painfully washed and dressed, people myself, having of a mangle to look after, I was obliged to deliberate on what I should and four children, beside Betsy, my eldest, say to my bostess and Betsy about my friend which it is a blessing to think she be so old, less condition. I did not wish to expose the for whatever I should do, and them all little, left cruel behaviour of my family, neither did I on my hands when their father he died, falling choose to tell a falsehood; I related to them, off a ladder, as he did, when they were a-building therefore, when I descended to breakfast, a par-Lord-well, I forget his name-his house; but tial account, saying that I had been compelled they did say the King built it for him, all along to leave homne suddenly through unkind treat-of his victories agin Bony. And where ment, and that I wished to find occupation by was I?" which I might maintain myself.
It was difficult, indeed, to tell ; for Mrs. TegMrs. Tegget-such was my entertainer's get's great hobby seemed to talk, and bewilder name- shook her head when I said this. herself and her hearers by such a ramification
"You don't look much fit to get your own of subjects that it was almost impossible to keep bread, Miss," she said. “What do you think in view the original one with which she started. you could do ?”
As I was interested in her first topic, however, That question was certainly puzzling, but I I recalled it without much difficulty. parried it.
"About Mr. Benvolere. You were saying," "I do not exactly know. But, oh! Betsy, “Oh yes," eagerly, for fear Betsy, who was if I could but find out Mr. Benvolere, he would waiting with open mouth, should forestall her tell me. You remember Mr. Benvolere, who narrative. “Well, Miss, the old gentleman tanght us music at Mnemosyne House?". tooked this deceitful behaviour greatly to heart;
“In course, Miss, I do. Well, luckily there his own sister-a nice lady she is, and talks aint no difficulty about that ; because mother English as well as I do-she told me this; and has done his washing for years. When I was then a top of all this trouble Mr. Benevoly, at Miss Partridge's I made bold to ask for his poor man, he were seized with a paralysy, and custom. But he don't live where he did. And, now all one arm is useless, and he can't walk; la! poor old gentleman, he be very low in the so Miss, for sure, being a cripple, he can't world since he were took ill, I do fear. We teach; though I remember, when I was a girl, don't get a quarter the washing we did, do us | long before you was born or thought of, Betsy, mother?"
there were a cripple as used to go about Lun“My dear old master ill again? What has non, a playing on the fiddle with his chin, and been the matter?"
one day he comed up our court he did, for we “ Why, Miss” - said Mrs. Tegget, who, like lived in James-court, Sevendials, on account of all her class, was delighted to bave something our not being able to get a cheap house where to tell, even bad news—"it were this way: he mother wanted one, and—' went to fetch over luis sister, a widow-lady from I found, by this time, that the only way to foreign parts, and he was away, I expect, a deal restrain Mrs. Tegget's propensity to diverge from one subject into another, was to rush into mal brought back many painful recollectionsa question directly bearing on the first she com- of my dear mother; of my first days at school, menced with.
and Lady Laura's persecutions, both of Tootsy " And my dear master is then, I fear, in and myself. It might be fancy, but, as I poverty ? Oh! tell me where he lives,"
talked to him, hiding my tears at these memo“Oh, Miss, a long way from here; they—that ries in his glossy coat, he seemed to comprebend is Mr. Benevoly and his sister, tooked a small my feelings, and purred and rubbed his head house in Brompton-quite a cottage, four rooms against my hands and face, with as much symin it, and how they lives I does'nt know; but pathy as his feline nature allowed him to testify. foreigners, bless you, will live where we can't. “I declare,” said Betsy, who, at length, came A bit of bread and cabbage, boiled soft in a lot down radiant in her Sunday's bonnet, “if of water, will serve them any time. Well, I Tootsy dont recollect you quite well to-day! He wish we could live on that-eh, Betsy?". was roused up, poor beast, from his sleep last
“The children, mother, I think, would look night, and so, at first—" queer at that kind of fare; they would be ex- “Are you ready, Betsy? Well then, if you pectin' to wear wooden shoes next.”
please, we will start; but first, Mrs. Tegget, “Where are your other children, Mrs. Teg- you must accept a week's rent. I cannot tell if get ?" I asked.
I shall come back here to-night, but I am most “La, Miss ! three on em's at school, and the grateful for the kind shelter you have afforded eldest boy, he be errand lad at Molasses and me, and please keep the change for the food I Mouldys, the great grocers, Miss, in Cheapside, have had.” I put three half-crowns into her which I dare say you knows. Nice gentleman, hand-I was unused to petty economies, and Mr. Mouldy; he say to me, says he, the time as could not offer the good woman less, though she I took my boy to him, for I thought it but right looked only for the rent of her room. Fifteen as a mother should go with a poor fellow, to shillings only remained in my purse, and I had give him a good word, which, by reason of already decided that I must take a coach to wanting, many a boy he goes to the bad, like Brompton, lest I should be recognized on my Thomas Sowerby, a neighbour's son, whose road thither. While Betsy went to fetch one, mother died quite promiscuous like, of smallpox, and, according to my desire, made a bargain through looking at a mad bull: the bull he with the coachman, Mrs. Tegget tried to decline were pursuing of a lad, and a woman with red taking more than her bare due ; but just then, spots all over her face comes up to Thomas's her three healthy, scantily-clotbed, rosy-looking mother, and ses, ses she-"
children came back from school, and, with a I cut short the catastrophe relating to the tear in her eye, a smile and a grateful curtsey, mother of Thomas Sowerby, by asking abruptly the poor mother acquiesced, when I told her to what it was o'clock. At first I was fearful of buy something for them out of her superfluity. offending Mrs. Tegget, by interrupting the pro- | The coach came, and it was stipulated that I gress of her discourse ; but I found her devia- had to pay for its hire three-and-sixpence. Betsy, tions made such inroads on the good woman's in high glee at riding in a hackney coach, foltime and myown, that I felt compelled to do so. lowed me in, and told the man to drive to She took not, however, the slightest offence, Poplar-row, Brompton. probably being perfectly accustomed to be re- In the coach I detailed a scheme of mine. called in that way. "Just eleven, Miss," she said, "and I have a
“Betsy, you remember once procuring money
for me on the security of some jewels ?" long day's ironing before me I declare. Betsy shall go, Miss, to Brompton with you, if you
1 “La, Miss, yes; only the other day I was a like, as soon as ever she has tidied up and laugain about
and laughin' about it. But it was real good of you." cleaned herself.”
“Well, never mind that now; I did it then to I thankfully accepted the offer, and when left serve another, now I want the same thing done to myself I looked at my finances, and calculated to serve myself. I have my dear mother's them. Seven and sixpence taken from my bracelet here, and a few things beside. What sovereign left twelve shillings and sixpence, money can I procure?" which, with the smaller piece of gold, made my “Goodness me! I don't know. There's a whole worldly wealth consist of £l 2s. 6d. On pearl necklace, Miss, and four rings and a enquiring of Mrs. Tegget the price of my room, brooch. Well, now, I can't tell; you ought to she informed me that, being furnished, she let it get seven pounds, at least, as I got four for your at two-and-ninepence a week. “And my refresh- | bracelet only.” ments ?” She humbly hoped, poor soul, IL “A perfect treasure, Betsy! How can you wouldn't think about that; she was poor, but get it?" she wasn't so bad off as to grudge a cup of tea, “Stop the coach, Miss, when I tell you, and 'specially to a young lady who had been so good tell the man to get himself a pot of beer, then to her Betsy, and who, above all, had presented he won't mind waiting a bit, and I'll run and them with such an animal as “our Tootsy." get the money."
“If ever a dumb beastes speak, Miss," she “You shall do that; here is a shilling." observed, “ he do.”
“But, Miss, I ask parding, are you so poor?" I smiled, and took my old pet on my lap to “For a little while, Betsy ; and as you tell me fondle and stroke him. The sight of the poor ani- ' Mr, Benyolere is ill and not well off, I might
perhaps inconvenience him by going unpre- , brother is always talking of Miss Castlebrook. pared.”
He is a sad invalid. Come in. Your servant * “Sure! Well, you has a kind heart, Miss, I suppose?” from the day when you was quite a little girl, “Not quite. Let her remain here till I have and come to me with such a pitiful face to get spoken to Mr. Benvolere, if you please.” poor Miss Liscombe, as died, grapes and wine, “Go in there, young woman. Why; Betsy,
Betsy,' says you, what's to be done? I is it you! I did not recognize you. Ah my ain't got no money. Well, now, and only to eyes are getting dim. I will take you to my think your poor ma's bracelet must go again!” | brother, Miss Castlebrook.”
But here she desired me to stop the coach, She preceded me, and in another moment I and I was obliged to wait patiently while she heard the dear well-known voice cry outprevailed on the coachman to draw up his ve “Where is she? Let me see her-My dear, hicle before the door of a public-house, into dear child, I thought you were lost to me for which he went, presently emerging with a foam- ever. When I read, a little time ago, of Miss ing pewter pot, and a long clay pipe, with which, Isabella Castlebrook's presentation, the poor during Betsy's absence, he leisurely solaced old man-very poor now, my dear, as I suphimself.
pose you know-said to himself, 'I shall never It was not a very dignified position for “Miss see her more.' But let me look at you. And Castlebrook," but half my cares were gone when so my dear little simple pupil is grown into a Betsy, scarlet as her own bonnet ribbons, from | beauty—a fine lady, and yet comes to see her the baste she had made, returned and stept old master." nimbly into the coach, the door of which she “Oh, sir!" I cast myself on my knees by the opened with her own hands.
side of his invalid chair. “I am no beauty-no "All right, young 'oman?” inquired the fine lady. I am a poor forlorn, friendless girl, coachman. “I was beginning to think you had asking for your pity, your protection. Save me runned away and left me a corpse inside, the from those that hate me; still more, save me lady was so precious quiet.”
from myself. I know not what I may be With this piece of facetiousness, he mounted tempted to do.” his box, and once more we were progressing “My child,” trembling very much, "is this towards Brompton. Betsy was eager to tell me possible? Then come to my heart and arms. what she called her "luck."
The child of Frances de Trevor must ever be “Oh Miss! look here. Ten guineas. I held as my own. You are a woman now, and thought I would fly high, and asked fifteen. one day I will tell you the hold which, from the Aint you glad?”
first time I saw you, you had on my heart." “Very! Very glad. And Betsy, here's a “Oh Sir, bless you! bless you for sheltersovereign for your trouble."
for love." "Oh Miss. Well there never was; but you'll “Do not thank me, my dear; you little want it yourself?”
know to what a poor household you have “Before I have spent nine guineas I hope to come.” earn money for myself.”
“I do, indeed, dear sir; but I wish to be an I became lost in thought. What future was aid, not a burden. Yet perhaps your sister-?" it that lay before me? I believed I knew-To 1 He rang a little bell by his side, and called maintain myself simply till I could communicate at the same time, “Here, Theresa, Theresa! with Vincent, and he could come and claim me Isabella, my sister : Madame Theresa she is as his wife.”
called, for the sake of brevity. Her name is Betsy, on her part, was absorbed in con Theresa Montafauconi-too long a one for Eng. templating the sovereign which lay on her open lish tongues to pronounce, or English heads to palin in all its attractive brilliancy. She was remember. Well, sister, Miss Castlebrookgoing, in a week's time, to a fresh place, and dear to me as my own daughter, had I been doubtless was revelling in the prospect of new blessed with one-throws herself on our procaps and ribbons to be procured with the coin tection. She will explain why she does so she held.
when we have leisure to listen and she to tell The coach at last drew up before a small | us. Meanwhile, she desires to know if you will house, approached through a tiny garden by extend your care to her, as I will mine," means of a green latched gate. The man, Madame Theresa, who seemed a placid and having received his fare, knocked at the door, kind, though undemonstrative person, smiled, which was opened by an elderly lady dressed and hoped I would excuse the poverty of the plainly in black. She bore sufficient resem- ménage I had come to. blance to Mr. Benvolere to convince me she “Invaded, dear madam, you mean," I said, was his sister. I sprang out of the coach, holding out my hand; which she took, and, in closely followed by Betsy.
her foreign fashion, kissed. We were friends “Madame," I inquired, "are you Mr. Benvo directly, and I felt grateful that a motherly lcre's sister
person of my own sex was at hand-a matter “I am, young lady."
I had not once referred to, when I had formed « Will you please to tell him his former the idea of taking refuge with Benvolere: in pupil, Isabella Castlebrook, wishes to see him." truth, I was still a child with regard to con# Indeed!" with an air of pleasure, “My / ventional usages.
I went out then to dismiss Betsy, who pro- discovery-unless you would have me forced posed to walk home; and when I suggested a into a detested marriage !" coach, and said I would willingly pay the fare, “Of course not.” she protested so much that she preferred walk- “But is there no employment open to me?" ing and looking at the shops, that at length I | I asked. was compelled to desist. Bidding her farewell, “My dear, there is one prospect; yet I know I accompanied the honest girl to the gate, not how you could do it. Since I have been ill strictly enjoining her never to reveal my abode. the business of a suburban professor has been
“That I won't, miss," she said; and im- offered me. It is still to be had, and my influplicitly I relied on her good faith.
ence could secure it; but alas! no hope reThe evening was spent by me in detailing to mains that I shall ever be anything in this Mr. Benvolere and his sister my course since I world but a helpless log !". had last parted from him. I concealed nothing, “Dear sir, you shall rest now, and I will and though it was a trial, I even frankly stated work. Oh, if you only knew how I have longed the engagement between inyself and Vincent for work, real earnest work! How lucky I am! Tarragon. But when I had finished, iny master | See, it is here to my wish. But” (changing my was silent, and I read disapproval in his eye, i tone)“ do you think I am competent?” dim as it was now with age and sickness.
“Unquestionably, unless my Isabella has lost “You think," said I, sorrowfully, “that I her rare gift of voice, and skill of finger. Play, should not have left home?” And as I spoke, my love” (His piano was close beside my own conscience was by no means clear him. I played a short study of Beethoven's). about this part of my history.
“Bravissima! Did you ever hear better, “My child ! beaten and brow-beaten, it was , Theresa ? This child is sent as a blessing; let natural enough, in a girl possessing any spirit ; us accept it.” He looked up reverently, and but-do not be hurt-I think Colonel Tarra- Madame Theresa, a pious Catholic, crossed gon should have openly told Mr. Castlebrook | herself. My master continued :-"I will write and Lady Laura of your mutual attachment. about this to-morrow, at least I will dictate a There is something wrong about clandestine note : I can only just dot music now with my engagements. Had you or your lover acted | left hand.” thus openly, there could have been no excuse I found, from Madame Theresa, with whom for the violent treatment you received."
I retired that night-for I was to share her I dropped my head. This view of the case,
room-that Benvolere and his sister were living stated so clearly and unhesitatingly by my mas
now on the little money he had saved, and the ter, had somehow-80 completely are the most
sale of the furniture and plate belonging to the conscientious persons blinded by their own
handsome house he had formerly occupied. partialities and self-esteem-never occurred to
The good lady, who, as I have said, was very me. I was ingenuous enough directly to own
devout, was so long over her orisons, performed my individual faultiness, but I could not bear
before a little table, fitted up with a crucifix and to hear Vincent blamed.
religious gew-gaws like an altar, that I had said
my own prayers and was fast asleep ere sbe “I was wrong: I see it now; hut I think
laid herself on a small tressel-bed, which, spite Colonel Tarragon's motive for not explaining was most kind. He feared bis sister's harsh
of iny resistance, she insisted on using in order ness towards me: the event has proved he was
that I might occupy her former one. right in his fears."
“My dear, you could hardly have experienced worse treatment than you have had : besides,
Chap. XXVI. the very secrecy frees him, if he pleases, from his engagement." .
Madame Theresa was up long before I awoke “Impossible, dear sir; you do not know the next morning, and just as I was about to Vincent-the very soul of honour, and" rise, she brought me some coffee to my bedside.
“Dear child, I doubt it not” (smiling); “but I was still in pain; but after that excellent coffee, you are in love, and I am not : that is all the made as then only foreigners or persons who difference. You see through a misty, rosy had resided much abroad, could make it, I felt light; and I-I have my spectacles on.”
refreshed both in body and spirit. I had deWe entered then into a consultation as to scended long before Mr. Benvolere bad risen. what I could do. At present I insisted that I He was in the habit now, his sister said, with should share in the expenses of the family-a a sigh, of resting till late, for otherwise his sad proposal which, though Benvolere stoutly re- invalid condition made the days appear loog. sisted, Madame Theresa did not take amiss. “ And," added the kind lady, as we sat by the
"Your sister and I shall settle this matter,” fire conversing, “I don't play much myself, and I said, laughing.
indeed bave enough to do to keep things in “But will you not write home?" said my order, and prepare our very frugal meals, which master. “Your father, unkind as he seems, is ( I sadly fear, my dear Miss Castlebrook, after yet a father, and doubtless suffers.”
the luxuries of your own home, must appear" "I will do so," I said, “and confess where I “I told her truly that I infinitely preferred was to blame; but I will give no clue to my bread and water, with peace, to all the choice viands, of which, after all, accustomed as I had when I and Tomaso and our great and powerbeen from childhood to plain living, I very sel- ful wrongers are all alike dust, who will credit dom tasted, confining myself even at my father's that such things were true facts? But they are, dinner-parties to one dish. “And now," I said, and even many worse ones. To ruin widows cheerfully, “I can be of great assistance to my and orphans and honest tradesmen are deemed dear master, by amusing him in playing, read-only trifles, not to be accounted for at the Great ing, and telling him about the people I have | Day of Reckoning! But, till Tomaso fell ill, seen-some very famous ones, I assure you." we had still hope left, though we are both grow
She embraced me, smiling, but sadly though ; ing aged and, alas! helpless. I scarcely know and then, drawing closer to the bright fire, how to make the little we have left, eke out; and which seemed to enliven the little kitchen as when that is gone where are we to get more? Ah, much as the sunbeams which poured into it me! I see nothing in view but the work. from between the branches of a great apple- house!” tree, growing in the long garden close to the She burst into bitter tears as she said this. windows in the rear of the house, Madame It pierced my heart to see them roll down the Montafauconi told me all that appertained to pale, withered cheeks. her own little history. It was short, and simple
" In the Plan divino enough.
All for good combine." When her parents died, she, a young girl of sixteen, had been left to the protection of her
How truethose lines! Myown sorrows and hardbrother Tomaso. But a year after she became an
ships at home had sent me here, to be a succour orphan, she married a gentleman of respecta
and an aid, I trusted, to these forlorn old peoble Italian birth, who had come to England on
ple. O my God, how good thou art! Why business. Signor Montafauconi was a merchant
will we not trust in thee? Why are we everof Leghorn, from whence he remnoved to Tours.
more lamenting and groaning and stretching During the French Revolution, in common with
forth our hands for help? Is not help ever sure many others, he lost all he possessed, and at
to come? Lord ! among our sins, when we his death his widow found herself left with but
kneel beseeching for pardon, forgive the faint
heartedness that, in its wilful doubt and misa bare pittance. “ Still, little as it was, that would have been
trust, is atheistic. I was glad I had had the a blessing," said Theresa Montafauconi, wiping /
wisdom to secure some money. I had so little away the tears which her narration had
notion then of household economy, that I could brought into her eyes : "but alas ! it was not
not offer to save Madame Theresa from any to be. Instead of an aid to poor Tomaso, I am
trouble in that way; but I placed some money now-except that I am of some little use in
in her hand, and begged she would use the coin nursing him - but a burthen.”
as she thought best. She was as much overShe spoke, like her brother, excellent English, 1.0
English. Ijoyed at the sight, as her placid nature would with only the slightest accent of a foreigner.
“Now," she said, “I shall be able to pay She continued : “ The continent was in a very disturbed state:
our quarter's rent, which I was fearful of doing men were crying out about their own rights so
lest we should want necessaries. We have a
kind landlord; but then, you know, everyone much, that they forgot those of their neighbours. To carry about much money was a
looks to be paid their due. Oh, my dear, I do hazardous thing: before my brother arrived to
| indeed believe you have been sent to us as a fetch me I had been induced to change all I pos
blessing.” sessed into bills, which bore the signature of the
It was just the light in which I loved to be three eldest English princes, and which I was as
regarded. “And now," I said, “I will go to sured were better than cash, for they would be
your room and write to my father, and then the honoured as soon as presented. They had been
| task will be off my mind.” given to certain bankers who advanced a loan to
“And 1-bless me! how talking does hinder the Prince, and who had thus for some years the time, I declare; but it's a comfort to tell put them in circulation. Ah! if I had but one's troubles to a kind young heart, after all. known then the fate of those emigrés, who I must go to market, and, after that, I must get some years before had, like myself, been easily | my brother up. Poor dear love, he cannot dress persuaded-nay, who were eager to purchase or wash himself. Ah, how sad !and to me it others of these bills, believing so firmly in the seems but the other day that he was such a fine, honour of English Royalty, I should have been handsome young man---s0 handsome, that I wiser: yet even my brother, though he looked | always used to count on Toinaso's wedding a grave at what I had done, did not altogether | rich wife.” credit that my claim would be disavowed. But ' “ When he is dressed, Madame Theresa, I it was; and at last, as Tomaso grew importu- must talk to him about applying for this businate in his applications at Carlton-house, we ness: I think I could teach very well. There were threatened with the worst consequences if was not much teaching at Mnemosyne-house, we persisted in this demand. Then we knew except Miss Phitts's : but at Miss Norman's all was lost. Ah! if the base secrets of great I saw an excellent routine of tuition. I used people were all known, what shabby, wicked often to long to take the junior music-teacher's deeds would be brought to light! In years to come, place, only it would not have been allowed.”