In every sense of the word Bridget was unexpected. She had an extraordinary aptitude for arithmetic, and took a high place in the school on account of her mathematics. The word mathematics, however, she had never even heard before. She could gabble French as fluently as a native, but did not know a word of the grammar. She had a perfect ear for music, could sing like a bird, and play any air she once heard, but she could scarcely read music at all, and was refractory and troublesome when asked to learn notes.
"No, no; what nonsense you talk! What is there to be frightened about? Do go; I can't learn this difficult French poetry while you keep staring at me!"
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"No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland.""She's not so bad at all," began Dorothy."O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
"Why did you speak so sharply to her, Olive?" exclaimed Dorothy. "After all, her curiosity is but natural—I must even own that I share it myself."Marshall, with all her silliness, was a shrewd observer of character. Had the girl in disgrace been Janet May or Dorothy Collingwood, she would have known far better than to presume to address her; but Bridget was on very familiar terms with her old nurse and with many of the other servants at home, and it seemed quite reasonable to her that Marshall should speak sympathetic words.
She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection.
Janet was the heart and soul of everything. She was a girl with a great deal of independence of character; she was not destitute of ambition—she was remarkable for common sense—she was sharp in her manner, downright in her words, and capable, painstaking, and energetic in all she did.