I understood her very well, for I had been accustomed to the fluent
tongue of Madame Pierrot.
"I wish," continued the good lady, "you would ask her a question or two
about her parents: I wonder if she remembers them?"
"Adele," I inquired, "with whom did you live when you were in that pretty
clean town you spoke of?"
"I lived long ago with mama; but she is gone to the Holy Virgin. Mama
used to teach me to dance and sing, and to say verses. A great many
gentlemen and ladies came to see mama, and I used to dance before them,
or to sit on their knees and sing to them: I liked it. Shall I let you
hear me sing now?"
She had finished her breakfast, so I permitted her to give a specimen of
her accomplishments. Descending from her chair, she came and placed
herself on my knee; then, folding her little hands demurely before her,
shaking back her curls and lifting her eyes to the ceiling, she commenced
singing a song from some opera. It was the strain of a forsaken lady,
who, after bewailing the perfidy of her lover, calls pride to her aid;
desires her attendant to deck her in her brightest jewels and richest
robes, and resolves to meet the false one that night at a ball, and prove
to him, by the gaiety of her demeanour, how little his desertion has