“You do not know what I can do,” said Janet, with dignity.
“Yes, I hope to see it for myself, for you must put this notion of going to London out of your head. I am sure Miss Ray did not give the invitation-no, nor second it. Did she, Janet?”
Janet blushed a little, and muttered something about Miss Ray being afraid of stuck-up people.
“I thought so! She is a good, sensible person, whom grandmamma esteemed very much; but she has never been able to keep her sister in order; and as to trusting you to their care, or letting you live in their set, neither papa nor grandmamma would ever have thought of it.”
“You only say so because her Serene Highness turns up her nose at everything artistic and original.”
“Janet, you forget yourself,” Caroline exclaimed, in a tone which quelled the girl, who went muttering away; and no more was ever heard of the Ray proposal, which no doubt the elder sister at least had never regarded as anything but an airy castle.
However, Caroline was convinced that the warnings against the intimacy had not been so uncalled for as she had believed; for she found, when she tried to tighten the reins, that her daughter was restive, and had come to think herself a free agent, as good as grown up. Spirit was not, however, lacking to Caroline, and when she had roused herself, she made Janet understand that she was not to be disregarded or disobeyed. Regular hours were instituted, and the difficulty of getting broken into them again was sufficient proof to her that she had done wrong in neglecting them. Armine yawned portentously, and declared that he could not learn except at his own times; and Babie was absolutely naughty more than once, when her mother suffered doubly in punishing her from the knowledge of whose fault it was. However, they were good little things, and it was not hard to re-establish discipline with them. After a little breaking in, Babie gave it to her dolls as her deliberate opinion that “Wegulawity settles one’s mind. One knows when to do what.”
Janet could not well complain of the regularity in itself, though she did cavil at the actual arrangements, and they were altered all round to please her, and she showed a certain contempt for her teacher in the studies she resumed with her mother; but after the dictionary, encyclopaedia and other authorities, including Mr. Ogilvie, proved almost uniformly to be against her whenever there was a difference of opinion, she had sense enough to perceive that she could still learn something at home.
Moreover, after one or two of these references, Mr. Ogilvie offered to look over her Latin and Greek exercises, and hear her construe on his Saturday half-holidays, declaring that it would be quite a refreshment. Caroline was shocked at the sacrifice, but she could not bear to affront her daughter, so she consented; but as she thought Janet was not old enough to need a chaperon, and as her boys did want her, she was hardly ever present at the lessons.