I remember, many years ago, to have occupied the corner of a window-seat, in a small but very elegant house in Montague-square, during a morning visit—more interesting than such visits usually are, because there was something to talk about. The ladies who met, had each a child, I believe an only girl, just of the age when mothers begin to ask every body, and tell every body, how their children are to be educated. The daughter of the house, the little Jemima, was sitting by my side; a delicate little creature, with something very remarkable in her expression. The broad projecting brow seemed too heavy for its underwork; and by its depression, gave a look of sadness to the countenance, till excited animation raised the eye, beaming vivacity and strength. The sallow paleness of the complexion was so entirely in unison with the features, and the stiff dark locks which surrounded them, it was difficult to say whether it was, or was not, improved by the color that came and went every time she was looked at or spoken of. I was, on this occasion, a very attentive listener: for, being not yet a woman, it was very essential to me to learn what sort of a one I had better be; and many, indeed, were my counter-resolutions, as the following debate proceeded:
“You are going to send your daughter to school I hear?” said Mrs. A., after some discourse of other matters.
Mrs. W. replied, “Really, I have not quite determined; I scarcely know what to do for the best. I am only anxious that she should grow up like other girls; for of all things in the world, I have the greatest horror of a woman of talent. I had never thought to part from her, and am still averse to sending her from home; but she is so excessively fond of books, I can get her to do nothing else but learn; she is as grave and sensible as a little woman. I think, if she were among other girls, she would perhaps get fond of play, and be more like a child. I wish her to grow up a quiet, domestic girl, and not too fond of learning. I mean her to be accomplished; but, at present, I cannot make her distinguish one tune from another.”