« AnteriorContinua »
and lived in Fiff Avenoo, and moved in her,) the beauty of the school, did not the fust society.”
think so much of Myrtle's face, but “ Better dew that than be strong- considered her figure as better than mainded, and dew your own cook’n, the De Lacy girl's. and live in your own kitch'n.”
The two sets, first and second, “ Don't forgit to send your card fought over her as the Greeks and when you are Mrs. Old Dr. Jacob !” Trojans over a dead hero, or the Yale
“ Indeed I shaän't. What's the College societies over a live freshman. name of the alley, and which bell ?” She was nobody by her connections, it The New York girl took out a inem- is true, so far as they could find out, orandum-book as if to put it down. but then, on the other hand, she had
" Had n't you better let me write it the walk of a queen, and she looked as for you, dear ? ” said the Boston girl. if a few stylish dresses and a season " It is as well to have it legible, you or two would make her a belle of the know."
first water. She had that air of indif“ Take it,” said the New York girl. ference to their little looks and whis" There's tew York shill'ns in it when pered .comments which is surest to I hand it to you.”
disarm all the critics of a small tattling “ Your whole quarter's allowance, I community. On the other hand, she bullieve, - ain't it ? " said the Boston came to this school to learn, and not to girl.
play; and the modest and more plainly Elegant manners, correct deport- dressed girls, whose fathers did not sell ment, and propriety of language will be by the cargo, or keep victualling estabstrictly attended to in this institution. lishments for some hundreds of people, The most correct standards of pronun- considered her as rather in sympathy ciation will be inculcated by precept with them than with the daughters of and example. It will be the special the rough-and-tumble millionnaires who aim of the teachers to educate their were grappling and rolling over each pupils out of all provincialisms, so that other in the golden dust of the great they may be recognized as well-bred city markets. English scholars wherever the language She did not mean to belong excluis spoken in its purity.” — Extract sively to either of their sets. She from the Prospectus of Madam De- came with that sense of manifold delacoste's Boarding-School.
ficiencies, and eager ambition to supMyrtle Hazard was a puzzle to all ply them, which carries any learner the girls. Striking, they all agreed, upward, as if on wings, over the heads but then the criticisms began. Many of the mechanical plodders and the inof the girls chattered a little broken different routinists. She learned, thereFrench, and one of them, Miss Eu- fore, in a way to surprise the experiphrosyne De Lacy, had been half edu- enced instructors. Her somewhat rude cated in Paris, so that she had all the sketching soon began to show somephrases which are to social operators thing of the artist's touch. Her voice, what his cutting instruments are to the which had only been taught to warble surgeon. Her face she allowed was the simplest melodies, after a little handsome ; but her style, according to training began to show its force and this oracle, was a little bourgeoise, and sweetness and flexibility in the airs her air not exactly comme il faut. that enchant drawing-room audiences. More specifically, she was guilty of con- She caught with great readiness the tours fortement prononcés, — corsage de manner of the easiest girls, unconpaysanne, - quelque chose de sauvage, sciously, for she inherited old social inetc., etc. This girl prided herself on stincts which became nature with the her figure.
briefest exercise. Not much license Miss Bella Pool, (La Belle Poule as of dress was allowed in the educationthe demi-Parisian girl had christened al establishment of Madam Delacoste,
“ What queer
but every girl had an opportunity to that the school was getting common, show her taste within the conventional. she was afraid, — they were letting in limits prescribed. And Myrtle soon persons one knew nothing about. began to challenge remark by a certain Miss Clara Browne had a similar cuair she contrived to give her dresses, riosity about the amount of plate used and the skill with which she blended in the household from which Myrtle their colors.
Her father had just bought a “ Tell you what, girls,” said Miss complete silver service. Myrtle had Berengaria Topping, female represent- to own that they used a good deal of ative of the great dynasty that ruled china at her own home, - old china, over the world-famous Planet Hotel, which had been a hundred years in the "she's got style, lots of it. I call her family, some of it. perfectly splendid, when she's got up “A hundred years old !” exclaimed in her swell clothes. That oriole's Miss Clara Browne. wing she wears in her bonnet makes looking stuff it must be! Why, everyher look gorgeous, - she 'll be a stun- thing in our house is just as new and ning Pocahontas for the next tableau.” briglit! Papaä had all our pictures
Miss Rose Bugbee, whose family painted on purpose for us. Have opulence grew out of the only mer- you got any handsome pictures in your chantable article a Hebrew is never house ?” known to seek profit from, thought she “ We have a good many portraits could be made presentable in the first of members of the family,” she said, circles if taken in hand in good season. “some of them older than the china." So it came about that, before many “How very very odd! What do the weeks had passed over her as a scholar dear old things look like?” in the great educational establishment,
66 One was
a great beauty in her she might be considered as
time.” whole the most popular girl in the * How jolly ! ” whole bevy of them. The studious “ Another was a young woman who ones admired her for her facility of was put to death for her religion, learning, and her extraordinary appetite burned to ashes at the stake in Queen for every form of instruction, and the Mary's time.” showy girls, who were only enduring “How very very wicked ! school as the purgatory that opened n't nice a bit, was it? Ain't you tellinto the celestial world of society, rec- ing me stories ? Was that a hundred ognized in her a very handsome young years ago ? — But you've got some new person, who would be like to make a pictures and things, have n't you ? sensation sooner or later.
Who furnished your parlors ? ” There were, however, it must be “My great-grandfather, or his father, confessed, a few who considered them- I believe.” selves the thickest of the cream of the - Stuff and nonsense. I don't beschool-girls, who submitted her to a lieve it. What color are your carmore trying ordeal than any she had riage-horses ? " yet passed.
“Our woman, Kitty Fagan, told “ How many horses does your papa somebody once we did n't keep any keep?” asked Miss rence Smythe. horse but a cow." “We keep nine and a pony for Ed- “ Not keep any horses ! Do for
pity's sake let me look at your feet.” Myrtle had to explain that she had Myrtle put out as neat a little foot no papa, and that they did not keep as a shoemaker ever fitted with a pair any horses. Thereupon Miss Florence of number two. What she would have Smythe lost her desire to form an ac- been tempted to do with it, if she had quaintance, and wrote home to her been a boy, we will not stop to guess. mother (who was an ex-bonnet-maker) After all, the questions amused her
quite as much as the answers instruct- The young lady burst out laughing. ed Miss Clara Browne. Of that young “ Stop! stop! for mercy's sake," she lady's ancestral claims to distinction cried. “You must be somebody that 's there is no need of discoursing. Her been dead and buried and come back
papaä ” commonly said sir in talking to life again. Why you ’re Rip Van with a gentleman, and her “mammaä Winkle in a petticoat! You ought to would once in a while forget, and go powder your hair and wear patches.” down the area steps instead of enter- “We've got the oddest girl here,” ing at the proper door ; but they lived this young lady wrote home. “She in a brown-stone front, which veneers has n't read any book that is n't a thoueverybody's antecedents with a facing sand years old. One of the girls says of respectability.
she wears a trilobite for a breastpin ; Miss Clara Browne wrote home to some horrid old stone, I believe that her mother in the same terms as Miss is, that was a bug ever so long ago. Florence Smythe, – that the school Her name, she says, is Myrtle Hazard, was getting dreadful common, and they but I call her Rip Van Myrtle.” were letting in very queer folks.
Notwithstanding the quiet life which Still another trial awaited Myrtle, these young girls were compelled to and one which not one girl in a thou- lead, they did once in a while have sand would have been so unprepared to their gatherings, at which a few young meet. She knew absolutely nothing gentlemen were admitted. One of of certain things with which the vast these took place about a month after majority of young persons were quite Myrtle had joined the school. The familiar.
girls were all in their best, and by and There were literary young ladies, by they were to have a tableau. Myrwho had read everything of Dickens tle came out in all her force. She and Thackeray, and something at least dressed herself as nearly as she dared of Sir Walter, and occasionally, per- like the handsome woman of the past haps, a French novel, which they had generation whom she resembled. The better have left alone. One of the very spirit of the dead beauty seemed talking young ladies of this set began to animate every feature and every upon Myrtle one day.
movement of the young girl, whose po“O, is n't Pickwick nice ?" she sition in the school was assured from asked.
that moment. She had a good solid “I don't know,” Myrtle replied ; " I foundation to build upon in the jealnever tasted any."
ousy of two or three of the leading The girl stared at her as if she were girls of the style of pretensions illusa crazy creature. “Tasted any! Why, trated by some of their talk which has I mean the Pickwick Papers, Dick- been given. There is no possible sucens's story. Don't you think they 're cess without some opposition as a fulnice ? "
crum : force is always aggressive, and Poor Myrtle had to confess that she crowds something or other, if it does had never read them, and did n't know not hit or trample on it. anything about them.
The cruelest cut of all was the re“What ! did you never read any nov
mark attributed to Mr. Livingston Jenels ? " said the young lady.
kins, who was what the opposition girls “0, to be sure I have," said Myrtle, just referred to called the great "swell” blushing as she thought of the great among the privileged young gentlemen trunk and its contents. “I have read who were present at the gathering. Caleb Williams, and Evelina, and Tris- “Rip Van Myrtle, you call that handtram Shandy” (naughty girl !)," and some girl, do you, Miss Clara ? By the Castle of Otranto, and the Mys- Jove, she's the stylishest of the whole teries of Udolpho, and the Vicar of lot, to say nothing of being a first-class Wakefield, and Don Quixote — " beauty. Of course you know I except one, Miss Clara. If a girl can go to heritance of which she had just found sleep and wake up after twenty years the title. She read in the eyes of all looking like that, I know a good many that she was more than any other the who had better begin their nap without centre of admiration. Blame her who waiting. If I were Florence Smythe, may, the world was a very splendid I'd try it, and begin now, - eh, Clara ?” vision as it opened before her eyes in
Miss Browne felt the praise of Myr- its long vista of pleasures and of tritle to be slightly alleviated by the de- umphs. How different the light of preciation of Miss Smythe, who had these bright saloons from the glimmer long been a rival of her own. A little of the dim chamber at The Poplars ! later in the evening Miss Smythe en- Silence Withers was at that very mojoyed almost precisely the same sensa- ment looking at the portraits of Anne tion, produced in a very economical Holyoake and of Judith Pride. “The way by Mr. Livingston Jenkins's re- old picture seems to me to be fading peating pretty nearly the same senti- faster than ever,” she was thinking. ments to her, only with a change in two But when she held her lamp before the of the proper names. The two young other, it seemed to her that the picture ladies were left feeling comparatively never was so fresh before, and that the comfortable with regard to each other, proud smile upon its lips was more full each intending to repeat Mr. Living- of conscious triumph than she rememston Jenkins's remark about her friend bered it. A reflex, doubtless, of her own to such of her other friends as enjoyed thoughts, for she believed that the marclever sayings, but not at all comfort- tyr was weeping even in heaven over her able with reference to Myrtle Hazard, lost descendant, and that the beauty, who was evidently considered by the changed to the nature of the malignant leading “swell” of their circle as the spiritual company with which she had most noticeable personage of the as- long consorted in the under-world, was sembly. The individual exception in pleasing herself with the thought that each case did very well as a matter of Myrtle was in due time to bring her politeness, but they knew well enough news from the Satanic province overwhat he meant.
head, where she herself had so long inIt seemed to Myrtle Hazard, that dulged in the profligacy of embonpoint evening, that she felt the bracelet on and loveliness. her wrist glow with a strange, unac- The evening at the school-party was customed warmth. It was as if it had to terminate with some tableaux. The just been unclasped from the arm of a girl who had suggested that Myrtle young woman full of red blood and would look “stunning” or “gorgeous” tingling all over with swift nerve-cur. or "jolly," or whatever the expression rents. Life had never looked to her as was, as Pocahontas, was not far out of it did that evening. It was the swan's the way, and it was so evident to the first breasting the water, bred on managing heads that she would make a the desert sand, with vague dreams of fine appearance in that character, that lake and river, and strange longings as the “ Rescue of Captain John Smith” the mirage came and dissolved, and at was specially got up to show her off. length afloat upon the sparkling wave. Myrtle had sufficient reason to believe She felt as if she had for the first time that there was a hint of Indian blood found her destiny. It was to please, in her veins. It was one of those famand so to command, to rule with ily legends which some of the members gentle sway in virtue of the royal gift of are a little proud of, and others are willbeauty,- to enchant with the common- ing to leave uninvestigated. But with est exercise of speech, through the rare Myrtle it was a fixed belief that she felt quality of a voice which could not help perfectly distinct currents of her anbeing always gracious and winning, of cestral blood at intervals, and she had a manner which came to her as an in- sometimes thought there were instincts ages wi
and vague recollections which must (Miss Euphrosyne de Lacy) was to be have come from the old warriors and represented prostrate and bound, ready hunters and their dusky brides. The for execution ; Powhatan (Miss FlorIndians who visited the neighborhood ence Smythe) sitting upon a log; savrecognized something of their own race
clubs (Misses Clara Browne, in her dark eyes, as the reader may re- A. Van Boodle, E. Van Boodle, Heismember they told the persons who were ter, Booster, etc., etc.) standing around; searching after her. It had almost Pocahontas holding the knife in her frightened her sometimes to find how hand, ready to cut the cords with which like a wild creature she felt when alone Captain John Smith is bound. — Curin the woods. Her senses had much tain. of that delicacy for which the red peo- TABLEAU 2. Captain John Smith reple are noted, and she often thought leased and kneeling before Pocahontas, she could follow the trail of an enemy, whose hand is extended in the act of if she wished to track one through the raising him and presenting him to her forest, as unerringly as if she were a father. Savages in various attitudes of Pequot or a Mohegan.
surprise. Clubs fallen from their hands. It was a strange feeling that came Strontian flame to be kindled. --Curtain. over Myrtle, as they dressed her for This was a portion of the programme the part she was to take. Had she for the evening, as arranged behind the never worn that painted robe before ? scenes. The first part went off with Was it the first time that these strings wonderful éclat, and at its close there of wampum had ever rattled upon her were loud cries for Pocahontas. She neck and arms ? And could it be that appeared for a moment. Bouquets the plume of eagle's feathers with which were flung to her; and a wreath, which they crowned her dark, fast-lengthening one of the young ladies had expected locks had never shadowed her forehead for herself in another part, was tossed until now? She felt herself carried upon the stage, and laid at her feet. back into the dim ages when the wil- The curtain fell. derness was yet untrodden save by the “Put the wreath on her for the next feet of its native lords. Think of her tableau," some of them whispered, just wild fancy as we may, she felt as if that as the curtain was going to rise, and dusky woman of her midnight vision one of the girls hastened to place it upon the river were breathing for one on her head. hour through her lips. If this belief The disappointed young lady could had lasted, it is plain enough where it not endure it, and, in a spasm of jealous would have carried her. But it came passion, sprang at Myrtle, snatched it into her imagination and vivifying con- from her head, and trampled it under sciousness with the putting on of her her feet at the very instant the curtain unwonted costume, and might well leave was rising. With a cry which some her when she put it off. It is not for us, said had the blood-chilling tone of an who tell only what happened, to solve Indian's battle-shriek, Myrtle caught the these mysteries of the seeming admis- knife up, and raised her arm against the sion of unhoused souls into the fleshly girl who had thus rudely assailed her. tenements belonging to air-breathing The girl sank to the ground, covering personalities. A very little more, and her eyes in her terror. Myrtle, with from that evening forward the ques- her arm still lifted, and the blade glistion would have been treated in full in tening in her hand, stood over her. all the works on medical jurispru- rigid as if she had been suddenly dence published throughout the limits changed to stone. Many of those lookof Christendom. The story must be ing on thought all this was a part of told, or we should not be honest with the show, and were thrilled with the the reader.
wonderful acting. Before those imTABLEAU I. Captain John Smith mediately around her had had time to