Ragged Lady — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Ragged Lady — Volume 2.
and she took Clementina with her, because the doctor said it would do them both good; but otherwise the girl remained pent in their apartment.  The doctor found her a teacher, and she kept on with her French, and began to take lessons in Italian; she spoke with no one but her teacher, except when the doctor came.  At the table d’hote she heard talk of the things that people seemed to come to Florence for:  pictures, statues, palaces, famous places; and it made her ashamed of not knowing about them.  But she could not go to see these things alone, and Mrs. Lander, in the content she felt with all her circumstances, seemed not to suppose that Clementina could care for anything but the comfort of the hotel and the doctor’s visits.  When the girl began to get letters from home in answer to the first she had written back, boasting how beautiful Florence was, they assumed that she was very gay, and demanded full accounts of her pleasures.  Her brother Jim gave something of the village news, but he said he supposed that she would not care for that, and she would probably be too proud to speak to them when she came home.  The Richlings had called in to share the family satisfaction in Clementina’s first experiences, and Mrs. Richling wrote her very sweetly of their happiness in them.  She charged her from the rector not to forget any chance of self-improvement in the allurements of society, but to make the most of her rare opportunities.  She said that they had got a guide-book to Florence, with a plan of the city, and were following her in the expeditions they decided she must be making every day; they were reading up the Florentine history in Sismondi’s Italian Republics, and she bade Clementina be sure and see all the scenes of Savonarola’s martyrdom, so that they could talk them over together when she returned.

Clementina wondered what Mrs. Richling would think if she told her that all she knew of Florence was what she overheard in the talk of the girls in the hotel, who spoke before her of their dances and afternoon teas, and evenings at the opera, and drives in the Cascine, and parties to Fiesole, as if she were not by.

The days and weeks passed, until Carnival was half gone, and Mrs. Lander noticed one day that Clementina appeared dull.  “You don’t seem to get much acquainted?” she suggested.

“Oh, the’e’s plenty of time,” said Clementina.

“I wish the’e was somebody you could go round with, and see the place.  Shouldn’t you like to see the place?” Mrs. Lander pursued.

“There’s no hurry about it, Mrs. Lander.  It will stay as long as we do.”

Mrs. Lander was thoughtfully silent.  Then she said, “I declare, I’ve got half a mind to make you send that letta to Miss Milray, after all.  What difference if Mrs. Milray did act so ugly to you?  He never did, and she’s his sista.”

“Oh, I don’t want to send it, Mrs. Landa; you mustn’t ask me to.  I shall get along,” said Clementina.  The recognition of her forlornness deepened it, but she was cheerfuller, for no reason, the next morning; and that afternoon, the doctor unexpectedly came upon a call which he made haste to say was not professional.

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Ragged Lady — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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