as a means of support. During the first three
years of my absence my mother enjoyed good health,
but, during my last year at school, she was visited
by a long and painful illness, through which she was
attended, with the utmost kindness and attention,
by her aunt; my mother being unwilling to recall me
from school, if it were possible to avoid it; and
she had been obliged, on account of her illness, to
withdraw most of the sum remaining in the Savings’
Bank. On my return home I found her enjoying
a tolerable degree of health, but I feared that such
close application to her needle had been too much for
one whose constitution was naturally delicate.
She seemed like one weary both in mind and body.
After my arrival, however, she seemed to regain her
usual cheerfulness, and in a short time seemed quite
herself again. It was now I felt it my duty to
turn the education which my mother had been at so
much pains to give me to account by teaching, in order
to assist her, and also to obtain a support for myself.
We had decided to offer Aunt Patience a home for the
remainder of her life, indeed I felt that I owed her
a debt of gratitude for her past kindness to my mother.
We therefore told her that so long as we possessed
a home, we would gladly share it with her, provided
she felt contented to remain with us. She at
first demurred a little, as she was aware that our
means were limited; but when my mother told her that
she would not know what to do without her, it seemed
to set her mind at rest, and she gladly assented to
our proposal, and it was settled that for the future
her home was to be with us.
I had as yet settled upon no definite plan in regard
to teaching. My mother wished me to apply for
the situation of governess in a family, as she thought
that position would command a higher salary, and would
prove less laborious than a situation in a school.
About this time we noticed in a daily paper an advertisement
for a governess, wanted in the family of a Mr. Leighton,
residing in the suburbs of the city; the salary offered
was liberal, and I thought, with my mother, that I
had best apply for the situation.
Governess in Mr. Leighton’s
It was with a feeling of trepidation, such as I never
before experienced, that I ascended the steps of the
splendid residence of Mr. Leighton. When I found
myself at the door, my courage well nigh failed me,
but without giving myself much time for reflection,
I rang the door bell. After some little delay
the door was opened by a domestic, of whom I enquired
if I could see Mrs. Leighton. The servant replied
that she did not know, but that she would see if her
mistress was disengaged. “What name?”
enquired the servant, “Miss Roscom,” I
replied. The servant ushered me into the parlor,
and left the room. Being left alone, I amused
myself by taking a survey of the apartment. It