And a stately air and carriage, and he will have, at least, as clearly as words can give it, a correct idea of the exterior of Miss Temple.
Maria Temple, as I afterwards saw the name written in a prayer-book intrusted to me to carry to church.
The superintendent of Lowood (for such was this lady) having taken her seat before a pair of globes placed on one of the tables,
summoned the first class round her, and commenced giving a lesson on geography.
The lower classes were called by the teachers: repetitions in history, grammar, etc. , went on for an hour;
writing and arithmetic succeeded, and music lessons were given by Miss Temple to some of the elder girls.
The duration of each lesson was measured by the clock, which at last struck twelve.
The superintendent rose ."I have a word to address to the pupils,"said she.
The tumult of cessation from lessons was already breaking forth, but it sank at her voice.
She went on:"You had this morning a breakfast which you could not eat. You must be hungry."
"I have ordered that a lunch of bread and cheese shall be served to all.”
The teachers looked at her with a sort of surprise.
“It is to be done on my responsibility,” she added, in an explanatory tone to them, and immediately afterwards left the room.
The bread and cheese was presently brought in and distributed, to the high delight and refreshment of the whole school.
The order was now given “To the garden!”
Each put on a coarse straw bonnet, with strings of coloured calico, and a cloak of grey frieze.
I was similarly equipped, and, following the stream, I made my way into the open air.
The garden was a wide inclosure, surrounded with walls so high as to exclude every glimpse of prospect.
A covered verandah ran down one side, and broad walks bordered a middle space divided into scores of little beds.
These beds were assigned as gardens for the pupils to cultivate, and each bed had an owner.
When full of flowers they would doubtless look pretty.
But now, at the latter end of January, all was wintry blight and brown decay.
I shuddered as I stood and looked round me.
It was an inclement day for outdoor exercise, not positively rainy, but darkened by a drizzling yellow fog.
All under foot was still soaking wet with the floods of yesterday.
The stronger among the girls ran about and engaged in active games,
but sundry pale and thin ones herded together for shelter and warmth in the verandah.
And amongst these, as the dense mist penetrated to their shivering frames, I heard frequently the sound of a hollow cough.