Rosamund had a very just notion of drawing, and would often employ her talent in making sketches of the surrounding scenery.
On a landscape, a larger piece than she had ever yet attempted, she had now been working for three or four months. She had taken great pains with it, given much time to it, and it was nearly finished. For whose particular inspection it was designed, I will not venture to conjecture. We know it could not have been for her grandmother’s.
One day she went out on a short errand, and left her landscape on the table. When she returned, she found it gone.
Rosamund from the first suspected some mischief, but held her tongue. At length she made the fatal discovery. Margaret, in her absence, had laid violent hands on it; not knowing what it was, but taking it for some waste-paper, had torn it in half, and with one half of this elaborate composition had twisted herself up—a thread-paper!
Rosamund spread out her hands at sight of the disaster, gave her grandmother a roguish smile, but said not a word. She knew the poor soul would only fret, if she told her of it,—and when once Margaret was set a fretting for other people’s misfortunes, the fit held her pretty long.
So Rosamund that very afternoon began another piece of the same size and subject; and Margaret, to her dying day, never dreamed of the mischief she had unconsciously done.
* * * * *
Rosamund Gray was the most beautiful young creature that eyes ever beheld. Her face had the sweetest expression in it—a gentleness—a modesty—a timidity—a certain charm—a grace without a name.
There was a sort of melancholy mingled in her smile. It was not the thoughtless levity of a girl—it was not the restrained simper of premature womanhood—it was something which the poet Young might have remembered, when he composed that perfect line,
“Soft, modest, melancholy, female, fair.”
She was a mild-eyed maid, and everybody loved her. Young Allan Clare, when but a boy, sighed for her.
Her yellow hair fell in bright and curling clusters, like
Of young Apollo.”
Her voice was trembling and musical. A graceful diffidence pleaded for her whenever she spake—and, if she said but little, that little found its way to the heart.
Young, and artless, and innocent, meaning no harm, and thinking none; affectionate as a smiling infant—playful, yet inobtrusive, as a weaned lamb—everybody loved her. Young Allan Clare, when but a boy, sighed for her.
* * * * *
The moon is shining in so brightly at my window, where I write, that I feel it a crime not to suspend my employment awhile to gaze at her.
See how she glideth, in maiden honor, through the clouds, who divide on either side to do her homage.