"Julia's hair curls naturally," returned Miss Temple, still more quietly.
"Naturally! Yes, but we are not to conform to nature; I wish these girls
to be the children of Grace: and why that abundance? I have again and
again intimated that I desire the hair to be arranged closely, modestly,
plainly. Miss Temple, that girl's hair must be cut off entirely; I will
send a barber to-morrow: and I see others who have far too much of the
excrescence--that tall girl, tell her to turn round. Tell all the first
form to rise up and direct their faces to the wall."
Miss Temple passed her handkerchief over her lips, as if to smooth away
the involuntary smile that curled them; she gave the order, however, and
when the first class could take in what was required of them, they
obeyed. Leaning a little back on my bench, I could see the looks and
grimaces with which they commented on this manoeuvre: it was a pity Mr.
Brocklehurst could not see them too; he would perhaps have felt that,
whatever he might do with the outside of the cup and platter, the inside
was further beyond his interference than he imagined.
He scrutinised the reverse of these living medals some five minutes, then
pronounced sentence. These words fell like the knell of doom--