After tea, Mr. Leighton requested me to favor them with some music. Accordingly I seated myself at the piano and played several pieces, with which he seemed much pleased. He remarked that they were quite at a loss for music since their eldest daughter, Laura, left home for school, as their two youngest daughters had but recently commenced taking lessons. As I rose from the piano, Mrs. Leighton enquired if I sang. I replied that I sometimes sang to oblige my friends. She asked if I would favor them with a song. Resuming my seat, I began the first song which occurred to my mind. It chanced to be that much-admired song, by Foster, called “Willie, we have missed you.” When I concluded I was surprised to find Mrs. Leighton in tears. She informed me, by way of apology, that their eldest son’s name was Willie, and that he had been absent for some months in England, on account of the death of a wealthy uncle, who had made him his heir. She remarked, further, that he was the life of their dwelling, and they had indeed missed him very much. I said that I was sorry to have given her pain. She replied that the song had afforded her a pleasure, although, said she, “I could not refrain from tears while thinking of my absent Willie.”
In order to change the subject, Mr. Leighton remarked that they were fortunate in securing a governess who could both sing and play, as he was very fond of music.
When I left Mrs. Wentworth’s school I was called an excellent performer on the piano, for I was very fond of music, and had devoted much time to practice. We also enjoyed some very pleasant conversation during the evening, and the more I saw of Mr. and Mrs. Leighton I felt disposed to like them. When I retired to my own room I kneeled and thanked my Heavenly Father for directing me to a home where I had a prospect of being useful and happy.
It is not my intention to give a detailed account of the events of the next two years; and a few words must suffice for that period of time.
If I had trials of temper to endure from my pupils,—and who ever yet was a governess and had not,—I also enjoyed much pleasure in their society. The eldest of my pupils gave me more trouble than did both the others. Her memory was not retentive; she had also a certain listlessness of manner during lessons which was at times very annoying. But it was a very pleasant task to instruct Birdie; she drank in knowledge eagerly, and possessed an excellent memory. In music she made astonishing progress, for a child of her years; and she was of a most affectionate disposition, which made the duty of imparting knowledge to her doubly pleasant. The progress of little Lewis was equal to that of most boys of his age. I found less trouble with him than I had at first anticipated. I found him to be a child that would never be controlled by harshness, but he was easily restrained by kindness.
As often as I could do so conveniently I visited my mother and Aunt Patience. Aunt Patience seemed happier than I had ever before seen her. I think the quiet of her home tended to soften her somewhat irritable temper.