Page images

she would exchange all this loveliness for its colder climate.

No one can fully comprehend the love of country till they have been long banished to a foreign land, and have abandoned all hope of again breathing their native air. They then discover a thousand charms in their retrospective view of it, which they had never before observed : the sound of its language falling casually on their ears, thrills through them, and makes their hearts bound; the accidental meeting with a compatriot brings a friendly glow into their cheeks, and they greet him with warm delight; and when they see a ship bound for that loved country, leaving the shore on which they stand, and watch its course till it fades from their sight, and picture to themselves its arrival at home, and the cordial smiles welcoming its passengers, the graspings of hands, the embraces, the tears of joy, their hearts swell with emotion, and they turn mournfully from the contemplation.

Teresa had expressed her wish of finding employment, to the farmer's family; and im

mediately upon ascertaining her intention of leaving them, Maria had written to her aunt, who kept the seminary in Como, mentioning Teresa's desire of obtaining some situation, and speaking highly of her attainments.

Her aunt wrote back to say, that she had just received an application from an English family who were in want of an accomplished governess, and therefore, if Teresa felt herself competent to the undertaking, she would recommend her.

Maria shewed her aunt's letter to Teresa, who immediately accepted the offer, and fixed a day for her first interview with the English lady.

The day at length arrived, and Carlo had arranged to drive Teresa into Como, and remain there till she had ascertained her fate.

Before her departure, which might prove final, Teresa visited every spot in the immediate vicinity of the farm, and lastly she went to her child's grave, and wept on it for the last time. She then took an affectionate leave of the worthy family, and, with a heavy heart, stepped

into the char-à-bancs, which was to be driven by Carlo.

She arrived safely in Como, and was set down at the school, where Carlo's sister received her with cordial kindness, and gave her the address of the English family.

Teresa then sallied forth to the appointed place, and finding herself, for the first time, walking alone through the streets of a town, the desolation of her situation recurred forcibly to her mind, and she was every moment compelled to wipe away the tears which blinded her.

At length she reached the house, and, having inquired of a tall, saucy, powdered footman for his mistress, she was left standing in the hall, whilst he went up stairs to deliver her message.

What a different situation was this from any in which she had ever before been placed. She thought of her father's careful tenderness, her late splendour as the wife of Sir Edward St. John, and Sedley's generous affection. She thought of all these, and then compared them with her present dreary abandonment.

Her melancholy reverie was at length interrupted by the return of the footman, who told her that his mistress was engaged, but would see her in a few minutes. Again she was left to her meditations; and, from the length of time she was detained, she began to fear that the lady had forgotten all about her. She knew not that many fine ladies consider tradespeople, governesses, and servants, as creatures who have no right to think themselves aggrieved, and whose time is entirely subservient to their caprices.

Teresa had always been considerate and kind towards her inferiors, and she understood not the way

of the world respecting dependants. When her patience was nearly exhausted, a pert lady's maid came tripping down the staircase, and desired her to follow her to her mistress.

Poor Teresa obeyed, and was at length ushered

into the presence of Mrs. Derby, the lady on whose approval her fate depended.

Mrs. Derby was a young-looking woman for her age, and her juvenile costume denoted that she wished to appear even younger than she looked. Her toilette was perfectly fashionable and elegant, and her countenance soft and pretty; but, though Mrs. Derby could be most fascinating and delightful in society, she was tyrannical and unfeeling in her family, and her children and servants were all afraid of her.

Mr. Derby had married her for her beauty, and had expected to find the smiles which had captivated him, constantly beaming on him ; but, alas ! he was woefully mistaken, and if there was one being in Mrs. Derby's ménage who fared worse than another, it was poor Mr. Derby. He was a good-natured, weak man, and, therefore, submitted entirely to her caprices; and the contempt she felt for the very submission she exacted was openly expressed to her unfortunate victim. The consequence was, that Mr. Derby, who, before his marriage, had been noted for his

« PreviousContinue »