The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4

By Charlotte Brontë | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV.

SOME time elapsed before I again gave a lesson in the first class: the holiday of Whitsuntide occupied three days. and on the fourth it was the turn of the second division to receive my instructions. As I made the transit of the carré, I observed, as usual, the band of sewers surrounding Mdlle. Henri; there were only about a dozen of them, but they made as much noise as might have sufficed for fifty; they seemed very little under her control; three or four at once assailed her with importunate requirements; she looked harassed, she demanded silence, but in vain. She saw me, and I read in her eye pain that a stranger should witness the insubordination of her pupils; she seemed to entreat order--her prayers were useless; then I remarked that she compressed her lips and contracted her brow; and her countenance, if I read it correctly, said--"I have done my best; I seem to merit blame notwithstanding; blame me then who will." I passed on; as I closed the schoolroom door, I heard her say, suddenly and sharply, addressing one of the eldest and most turbulent of the lot, " Amélie Müllenberg, ask me no questions, and request of me no assistance, for a week to come; during that space of time I will neither speak to you nor help you."

The words were uttered with emphasis--nay, with vehemence --and a comparative silence followed; whether the calm was permanent, I know not; two doors now closed between me and the carré.

Next day was appropriated to the first class; on my arrival, I found the directress seated, as usual, in a chair between the two estrades, and before her was standing Mdlle. Henri, in an attitude (as it seemed to me) of somewhat reluctant attention. The directress was knitting and talking at the same time. Amidst the hum of a large schoolroom, it was easy so to speak in the ear of one person, as to be heard by that person alone, and it was thus Mdlle. Reuter parleyed with her teacher. The face of the latter was a little flushed, not a little troubled;

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The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contents iii
  • Preface vii
  • The Professor. 10
  • Chapter III 18
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 39
  • Chapter VIII 64
  • Chapter XI 83
  • Chapter XIII 102
  • Chapter XV 113
  • Chapter XVI 118
  • Chapter XVIII 132
  • Chapter XIX 143
  • Chapter XX 162
  • Chapter XXII 171
  • Chapter XXIII 178
  • Chapter XXV 218
  • Chapter II 245
  • Poems. 261
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