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Utworzony przez yyjuanjuan, 21 maja 2013 o 09:17
And yet, painful as was this fresh overthrow of her pride, it was neither the worst nor the most lasting result of the incident. That concerned her schoolfellows. By the following morning the tale of her doings was known to everyone. It was circulated in the first place, no doubt, by Lilith Gordon, who bore her a grudge for her offer to accompany the song: had Laura not put herself forward in this objectionable way, Lilith might have escaped singing altogether. Lilith also resented her having shown that she could do it — and this feeling was generally shared. It evidenced a want of good-fellowship, and made you very glad the little prig had afterwards come to grief: if you had abilities that others had not you concealed them, instead of parading them under people’s noses. In short, Laura had committed a twofold breach of school nike flex experience rn etiquette. No one of course vouchsafed to explain this to her; these things one did not put into words, things you were expected to know without telling. Hence, she never more than half understood what she had done. She only saw disapproval painted on faces that had hitherto been neutral, and from one or two quarters got what was unmistakably the cold shoulder.— Her little beginnings at popularity had somehow received a setback, and through her own foolish behaviour. Chapter 10 The lesson went home; Laura began to model herself more and more on those around her; to grasp that the unpardonable sin is to vary from the common mould. In August, after the midwinter holidays, she was promoted to the second class; she began Latin; and as a reward was allowed by Mother to wear her dresses an inch below her knees. She became a quick, adaptable pupil, with a parrot-like memory, and at the end of the school year delighted Mother’s heart with a couple of highly gilt volumes, of negligible contents. At home, during those first holidays, she gave her sister and brothers cold creeps down their spines, with her stories of the great doings that took place at school; and none of her class-mates would have recognised in this arrant drawer-of-the-long-bow, the unlucky little blunderbuss of the early days. On her return, Laura’s circle of friends was enlarged. The morning after her arrival, on entering the dining-hall, she found a new girl standing shy and awkward before the fireplace. This was the daughter of a millionaire squatter named Macnamara; and the report of her father’s wealth had preceded her. Yet here she now had to hang about, alone, unhappy, the target of all eyes. It might be supposed that Laura would feel some sympathy for her, having so recently undergone the same experience herself. But that was not her way. She rejoiced, in barbarian fashion, that this girl, older than she by about a year, and of a higher social standing, should have to endure a like ordeal. Staring heartlessly, she accentuated her part of old girl knowing all the ropes, and was so inclined to show off that she let herself in for a snub from Miss Snodgrass. Tilly Macnamara joined Laura’s class, and the two were soon good friends. Tilly was a short, plump girl, with white teeth, rather boyish hands, and the blue-grey eyes predominant in Australia. She was usually dressed in silk, and she never wore an apron to protect the front of her frock. Naturally, too, she had a bottomless supply of pocket-money: if a subscription were raised, she gave ten shillings where others gave one; and on the Saturday holidays she flung about with half-crowns as Laura would have been afraid to do with pennies. For the latter with her tiny dole, which had to nike air max 2013+ last so and so long, since no more was forthcoming, it was a difficult task to move gracefully among companions none of whom knew what it meant to be really poor. Many trivial mortifications were the result; and countless small subterfuges had to be resorted to, to prevent it leaking out just how paltry her allowance was. But the question of money was, after all, trifling, compared with the infinitely more important one of dress. With regard to dress, Laura’s troubles were manifold. It was not only that here, too, by reason of Mother’s straitened means, she was forced to remain an outsider: that, in itself, she would have borne lightly; for, as little girls go, she was indifferent to finery. Had she had a couple of new frocks a year, in which she could have been neat and unremarkable, she would have been more than content. But, from her babyhood on, Laura — and Pin with her — had lamented the fact that children could not go about clad in sacks, mercifully indistinguishable one from another. For they were the daughters of an imaginative mother, and, balked in other outlets, this imagination had wreaked itself on their clothing. All her short life long, Laura had suffered under a home-made, picturesque style of dress; and she had resented, with a violence even Mother did not gauge, this use of her young body as a peg on which to hang fantastic garments. After her tenth birthday she was, she thanked goodness, considered too old for the quaint nike air presto shapes beneath which Pin still groaned; but there remained the matter of colour for Mother to sin against, and in this she seemed to grow more intemperate year by year. Herself dressed always in the soberest browns and blacks, she liked to see her young flock gay as Paradise birds, lighting up a drab world; and when Mother liked a thing, she was not given to consulting the wishes of little people. Those were awful times when she went, say, to Melbourne, and bought as a bargain a whole roll of cloth of an impossible colour, which had to be utilised to the last inch; or when she unearthed, from an old trunk, some antiquated garment to be cut up and reshaped — a Paisley shawl, a puce ball-dress, even an old pair of green rep curtains. It was thus a heavy blow to Laura to find, on going home, that Mother had already bought her new spring dress. In one respect all was well: it had been made by the local dressmaker, and consequently had not the home-made cut that Laura abhorred. But the colour! Her heart fell to the pit of her stomach the moment she set eyes on it, and only with difficulty did she restrain her tears.— Mother had chosen a vivid purple, of a crude, old-fashioned shade. Now, quite apart from her personal feelings, Laura had come to know very exactly, during the few months she had been at school, the views held by her companions on the subject of colour. No matter how sumptuous or how simple the material of which the dress was made, it must be dark, or of a delicate tint. Brilliancy was a sign of vulgarity, and put the wearer outside the better circles. Hence, at this critical juncture, when Laura was striving to ape her fellows in all vital matters, the unpropitious advent of the purple threatened to undo her. After her first dismayed inspection, she retreated to the bottom of the garden to give vent to her feelings. “I shall never be able to wear it,” she moaned. “Oh, how COULD she buy such a thing? And I needed a new dress so awfully, awfully much.” “It isn’t really so bad, Laura,” pleaded Pin. “It’ll look darker, I’m sure, if you’ve got it on — and if you don’t go out in the sun.” “You haven’t got to wear it. It was nike free 3.0 piggish of you, Pin, perfectly piggish! You MIGHT have watched what she was buying.” “I did, Laura!” asseverated Pin, on the brink of tears. “There was a nice dark brown and I said take that, you would like it better, and she said hold your tongue, and did I think she was going to dress you as if you were your own grandmother.” This dress hung for weeks in the most private corner of Laura’s school wardrobe. Her companions had all returned with new outfits, and on the first assemblage for church there was a great mustering of one another, both by girls and teachers. Laura was the only one to descend in the dress she had worn throughout the winter. Her heart was sore with bitterness, and when the handful of Episcopalians were marching to St Stephen’s-on-the-Hill, she strove to soothe her own wound. “I can’t think why my dress hasn’t come,” she said gratuitously, out of this hurt, with an oblique glance to see how her partner took the remark: it was the good-natured Maria Morell, who was resplendent in velvet and feathers. “I expect that stupid dressmaker couldn’t get it done in time. I’ve waited for it all the week.” “What a sell!” said Maria, but with mediocre interest; for she had cocked her eye at a harmless-looking youth, who was doing his best not to blush on passing the line of girls.—“I say, do look at that toff making eyes. Isn’t he a nanny-goat.”
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