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motion, as if native to the element, which might have become a Naiad. I have seen her on the topmost round of a ladder, with one foot on the roof of a house, flinging down the grapes that no one else had nerve enough to reach, laughing, and garlanded, and crowned with vine-leaves, like a Bacchante. But the prettiest combination of circumstances under which I ever saw her, was driving a donkey cart up a hill one sunny windy day, in September. It was a gay party of young women, some walking, some in open carriages of different descriptions, bent to see a celebrated prospect from a hill called the Ridges. The ascent was by a steep narrow lane, cut deeply between sand-banks, crowned with high, feathery hedges. The road and its picturesque banks lay bathed in the golden sunshine, whilst the autumnal sky, intensely blue, appeared at the top as through an arch. The hill was so steep that we had all dismounted, and left our different vehicles in charge of the servants below; but Mary, to whom, as incomparably the best charioteer, the conduct of a certain non-descript machine, a sort of donkey curricle, had fallen, determined to drive a delicate little girl, who was afraid of the walk, to the top of the eminence. She jumped out for the purpose, and we followed, watching and admiring her as she won her way up the hill : now tugging at the donkeys in front with her bright face towards them and us, and springing along backwards--now pushing the chaise from behind—now running by the side of her steeds, patting and caressing them- now soothing the half-frightened child-now laughing, nodding, and shaking her little whip at usdarting about like some winged creature—till at last she stopped at the top of the ascent, and stood for a moment on the summit, her straw bonnet blown back, and held on only by the strings; her brown hair playing on the wind in long natural ringlets; her complexion becoming every moment more splendid from exertion, redder and whiter ; her eyes and her smile brightening and dimpling; her figure in its simple white gown, strongly relieved by the deep blue sky, and her whole form seeming to dilate before our eyes. There she stood under the arch formed by two meeting elms, a Hebe, a Psyche, a perfect goddess of youth and joy. The Ridges are very fine things altogether, especially the part to which we were bound, a turfy breezy spot, sinking down abruptly like a rock into a wild foreground of heath and forest, with a magnificent command of distant objects ;—but we saw nothing that day like the figure on the top of the hill.
After this I lost sight of her for a long time. She was called suddenly home by the dangerous illness of her mother, who, after languishing for some months, died ; and Mary went to live with a sister much older than herself, and richly married in a manufacturing town, where she languished in smoke, confinement, dependence, and display, (for her sister was a matchmaking lady, a manoeuvrer,) for about a twelvemonth. She then left her house and went into Wales--as a goyerness! Imagine the astonishment caused by this intelligence amongst us all; for I myself, though admiring the untaught damsel almost as much as I loved her, should certainly never have dreamed of her as a teacher. However, she remained in the rich baronet's family where she had commenced her vocation. They liked her apparently,--there she was; and again nothing was heard of her for many months, until, happening to call on the friends at whose house I had originally met her, I espied her fair blooming face, a rose amongst roses, at the drawing-room window,--and instantly with the speed of light was met and embraced by her at the hall-door.
There was not the slightest perceptible difference in her deportment. She still bounded like a fawn, and laughed and clapped her hands like an infant. She was not a day older, or graver, or wiser, since we parted. Her post of tutoress had at least done her no harm, whatever might have been the case with her pupils. The more I looked at her the more I wondered; and after our mutual expressions of pleasure had a little subsided, I could not resist the temptation of saying _" So you are really a governess?"_“Yes."-" And you continue in the same family ?"_" Yes.”_" And you like your post ?”—“ O yes ! yes!"-But, my dear Mary, what could induce you to go?”—“ Why, they wanted a governess, so I went.”—“ But what could induce them to keep you?" The perfect gravity and earnestness with which this question was put set her laughing, and the laugh was echoed back from a group at the end of the room, which I had not before noticed —an elegant man in the prime of life showing a portfolio of rare prints to a fine girl of twelve, and a rosy boy of seven, evidently his children. “Why did they keep me? Ask them," replied Mary, turning towards them with an arch smile. “We kept her to teach her ourselves," said the young lady. “We kept her to play cricket with us,” said her brother. * We kept her to marry," said the gentleman, advancing gaily to shake hands with me. “She was a bad governess, perhaps; but she is an excellent wife--that is her true vocation.” And so it is. She is, indeed, an excellent wife ; and assuredly a most fortunate one. I never saw happiness so sparkling or so glowing; never saw such devotion to a bride, or such fondness for a step-mother, as Sir W. S. and his lovely children show to the sweet Cousin Mary.
WALKS IN THE COUNTRY.
March 27th.-It is a dull grey morning, with a dewy feeling in the air ; fresh, but not windy; cool, but not cold;—the very day for a person newly arrived from the heat, the glare, the noise, and the fever of London, to plunge into the remotest labyrinths of the country, and regain the repose of mind, the calmness of heart, which has been lost in that great Babel. I must go violeting—it is a necessity—and I must go alone: the sound of a voice, even my Lizzy's, the touch of Mayflower's head, even the bounding of her elastic foot, would disturb the serenity of feeling which I am trying to recover. I shall go quite alone, with my little basket, twisted like a bee-hive, which I love so well, because she gave it to me, and keep sacred to violets and to those whom I love ; and I shall get out of the high road the moment I can. I would not meet any one just now, even of those whom I best like to meet.