which was then considered a sad drawback.
She could remember visitors condoling with her mother on this misfortune, and the gentle lady deploring it also, and striving by the use of washes and leaden combs to darken the over-bright locks.
Still, some impression of good looks must have reached the child's mind; for one day, desiring to know what she really was like, she scrambled up on a chair, then on a dressing-table, and took a good look in the mirror.
“Is that all
she cried, and scrambled down again, a sadly disappointed child.
Her first lessons were from governesses and masters; when she was nine years old, she was sent to a private school in the neighborhood.
She was placed in a class with older girls, and learned by heart many pages of Paley
's “Moral Philosophy
” ; memorizing from textbooks formed in those days a great part of the school curriculum.
She did not care especially for Paley
, and found chemistry (without experiments!) and geometry far more interesting; but history and languages were the studies she loved.
She had learned in the nursery to speak French fluently; she soon began the study of Latin.
Hearing a class reciting an Italian lesson, she was enchanted with the musical sound of the language; listened and marked, day after day, and presently handed to the amazed principal a note correctly written in Italian, begging permission to join the class.
At nine years old she was reading “Pilgrim's progress,” and seeking its characters in the people she met every day. She always counted it one of the books