"Are they foreigners?" I inquired, amazed at hearing the French language.
"The nurse is a foreigner, and Adela was born on the Continent; and, I
believe, never left it till within six months ago. When she first came
here she could speak no English; now she can make shift to talk it a
little: I don't understand her, she mixes it so with French; but you will
make out her meaning very well, I dare say."
Fortunately I had had the advantage of being taught French by a French
lady; and as I had always made a point of conversing with Madame Pierrot
as often as I could, and had besides, during the last seven years, learnt
a portion of French by heart daily--applying myself to take pains with my
accent, and imitating as closely as possible the pronunciation of my
teacher, I had acquired a certain degree of readiness and correctness in
the language, and was not likely to be much at a loss with Mademoiselle
Adela. She came and shook hand with me when she heard that I was her
governess; and as I led her in to breakfast, I addressed some phrases to
her in her own tongue: she replied briefly at first, but after we were
seated at the table, and she had examined me some ten minutes with her
large hazel eyes, she suddenly commenced chattering fluently.