Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/238

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222
A Study in Temptations.
 

little creature, all eyes and legs, though the eyes had fire, and the legs were shapely.

This child as she grew up was taught to read and write, to add figures, to make butter and jam, to do plain sewing, and to work hideous patterns with Berlin wool on blue canvas. When she was nine, she was sent to a day-school, and had lessons in drawing, French, and music, and her education, on the whole, was no less thorough than that of many young ladies of fashion. She could write, "The gardener's wife has two children" in a foreign language, and she, too, in the course of time strummed Heller's "Tarentella," the "Moonlight" sonata, and Chopin's Valses. She played them to De Boys long before he had learnt the manners to listen.

She was brought up as a Dissenter, but her father had been a devout Catholic, and it had been promised that when she arrived at years of discretion, she would be given every opportunity to hear the claims of Catholicism. In the meantime, however, no pains were spared to warn her against Antichrist, the Mother of harlots, and idolatry; for the wives and daughters of the deacons thought it a terrible sign of more iniquitous practices to come, when it was known that she cherished her dead father's rosary and crucifix.

Jane's instructor in the useful arts, such as mending, darning, patchwork, and the like, was her aunt, Miss Caroline. Miss Caroline Battle was what men call a sensible woman, which is a way of saying that she did not attach too much weight to their smiles, although she could always smile in her turn. She was comely, too, with soft brown eyes and a pillow-