Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
‘Had I done these pictures? Did I know French and German? What
a lovewhat a miracle I was! I drew better than her master in the
first school in S___.
Would I sketch a portrait of her, to show to papa?’
‘With pleasure,’ I replied; and I felt a thrill of artist-delight at the
idea of copying from so perfect and radiant a model. She had then
on a dark-blue silk dress; her arms and her neck were bare; her
only ornament was her chestnut tresses, which waved over her
shoulders with all the wild grace of natural curls. I took a sheet of
fine card-board, and drew a careful outline. I promised myself the
pleasure of colouring it; and, as it was getting late then, I told her
she must come and sit another day.
She made such a report of me to her father, that Mr. Oliver himself
accompanied her next evening-a tall, massive-featured, middle-
aged, and grey-headed man, at whose side his lovely daughter
looked like a bright flower near a hoary turret. He appeared a
taciturn, and perhaps a proud personage; but he was very kind to
me. The sketch of Rosamond’s portrait pleased him highly: he said
I must make a finished picture of it. He insisted, too, on my coming
the next day to spend the evening at Vale Hall.
I went. I found it a large, handsome residence, showing abundant
evidences of wealth in the proprietor. Rosamond was full of glee
and pleasure all the time I stayed. Her father was affable; and
when he entered into conversation with me after tea, he expressed
in strong terms his approbation of what I had done in Morton
school, and said he only feared, from what he saw and heard, I was
too good for the place, and would soon quit it for one more
‘Indeed,’ cried Rosamond, ‘she is clever enough to be a governess
in a high family, papa.’
I thought I would far rather be where I am than in any high family
in the land.
Mr. Oliver spoke of Mr. Rivers-of the Rivers family-with great
respect. He said it was a very old name in that neighbourhood; that
the ancestors of the house were wealthy; that all Morton had once
belonged to them; that even now he considered the representative
of that house might, if he liked, make an alliance with the best. He
accounted it a pity that so fine and talented a young man should
have formed the design of going out as a missionary; it was quite
throwing a valuable life away. It appeared, then, that her father
would throw no obstacle in the way of Rosamond’s union with St.
John. Mr. Oliver evidently regarded the young clergyman’s good
birth, old name, and sacred profession as sufficient compensation
for the want of fortune.