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CHAPTER X. THE PROGRESS
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Mistress Kent was willing to confess, after a few weeks, that many bright children had come to her to be taught, but never had there come a child more swift to learn than Maid Sally Dukeen. She learned in fact as though her beautiful little ringlets held each a cell in which to hide the things she was all the time finding out.
 
Before the winter term of school began she could read well, and also write and spell. No need to urge attention with the little maid; the only thing needed was to hold her back.
 
Every evening except Wednesday and Saturday, as soon as her supper was eaten, over to Mistress Kent's raced Sally, the books the mistress had lent her under her arm, and her lessons[Pg 117] so perfectly1 learned that the good teacher wondered when she found time for so much study.
 
Had she peeped into Mistress Brace2's house almost any day she would have known. When Sally went to bed a book was under her pillow, for there would be a little time for study before she got up in the morning. While dressing3, she was busy spelling as well. And while the dishes were being washed, a book was before her on shelf or window-sill.
 
Sally managed to study midst the clattering4 of dishes and the swish of a broom. For Mistress Cory Ann thought not much of the books, and minded not how much noise she made while the poor child was conning5 a lesson, but she dared not stop her. Sally had found out that the parson would be her friend should trouble arise, and the parson and the burgesses were powers that Mistress Cory Ann dared not trifle with.
 
When it grew chilly6, muddy, or it might be a little frosty, Sally bought herself a pair of[Pg 118] gum shoes, for with all her extra studying she yet found time for mending and darning, so earning a little all the time. She also bought a good shawl, which kept her nice and warm.
 
And when she said, "I need a decent hat; I wonder would the parson help me to get one," Mistress Brace bade her keep away and not go bothering the parson. Then before the next week she got for Sally a poke7 bonnet8 that was both warm and sightly.
 
Keen little Sally would not have gone to the parson; she was too proud to beg a single penny's worth, but she had found a new way of getting around Mistress Cory Ann since she had seen all that curtseying to the parson.
 
Then something else that was beautiful happened to Sally, that filled the little maid's heart with joy and gladness.
 
She had gone one afternoon in January, soon after the beginning of the year, to run about in the pine woods, for what with work and study she had grown tired and felt stupid.
 
"Go and play," cried her Fairy.
 
[Pg 119]"But my books," said Sally.
 
"You will grow dull, and do well neither with books, needle, or other work without some time for play," cried the Fairy.
 
And so Sally put by her book, left her mending, and ran like a wild, free thing into the woods, that had a fresh, sweet smell to them. The air was cool and did the child good. She wandered farther and farther on, thinking it was in truth a good thing to play at times.
 
"Sing!" cried her Fairy, "none will hear thee, sing'st thou ever so loudly here."
 
Now naught9 has yet been said of Sally's voice. She scarcely knew she had what would be called "a voice." Often she sang at her work, but Mistress Brace would likely as not bid her be quiet and not make so great a racket.
 
Mistress Cory Ann liked to talk a great deal herself, and so would hush10 Sally's singing, which after a time made Sally think that singing was only making a troublesome noise, so she did not much of it in the house.
 
"Sing!" said the Fairy.
 
[Pg 120]Sally stood against a tree and sang without a thought or care as to how her voice might sound. The notes rang out clear and strong, for she sang as would a bird. And over and again she sang a few sweet verses she had learned from hearing young Mistress Rosamond Earlscourt practising them with her lute11 in the summer-house.
 
As she stopped, full of the joy of hearing her own young voice, she heard a little sound, and, turning around, oh! oh! there stood Master Sutcliff, the precentor, or leader of the meeting-house choir12, which was made up of all such young men and maidens13 as could sing with melody in their voices.
 
Master Sutcliff was also teacher of the singing-school, to which all were welcome who could pay the regular fee, either in money, apples, fruit, or hay.
 
"You have a heartsome voice," said the singing master, coming closer to Sally, and speaking in his own rich bass15. "A heartsome voice; how would it please you to come to the singing-school[Pg 121] and help lead some of the more timorous16 ones?"
 
"I do not think my mistress would allow it," said Sally, with downcast eyes.
 
"If she consents would'st come?" asked Master Sutcliff. "I will teach you to sing correctly, and do something toward training the voice a kind Providence17 hath given thee."
 
"Yes, I would come," said Sally, without lifting her eyes.
 
Off strode Master Sutcliff, but Sally could sing no more. What would Mistress Cory Ann say?
 
"She will not allow it," said Sally to herself.
 
"Wait and see," cheered her Fairy.
 
And it seemed that wonders would never cease now they had begun, for when Sally went about getting supper Mistress Brace said to her:
 
"If you would be doing some good by your screeching18 at tunes19, Master Sutcliff has been here, and will pay me three shillings a term for letting you help at his singing-school. I told[Pg 122] him I couldn't be lending you for nothing, so now, all but Saturdays your evenings will be taken up. I hope that will satisfy you."
 
"My dress is not fit," said Sally.
 
"I will see to that!" snapped Mistress Cory Ann.
 
And see to it she did. For she went the next day to Goodman Chatfield's store, and bought a piece of blue linsey-woolsey, which in a day or two was made into so becoming a dress, that Mistress Brace wished she had bought the green one, which was not as pretty, but which Goodman Chatfield held at a higher price.
 
And Master Sutcliff knew he had made a good trade, for Sally's strong young voice was true as well, and soon led right bravely the chorus of many voices. And for the maid herself it was great joy thus to sing with others, and be taught the notes that she soon learned.
 
One day Mistress Brace saw Parson Kendall again coming up her steps, and, curtseying as before, she bade him enter.
 
"I hear," said the parson, "that Master Sutcliff[Pg 123] pays thee a quarterly sum for allowing the young maid that is in thy care to lead somewhat at the singing-school."
 
"Yes," said Mistress Cory Ann, "I could not let her sing for naught. I feed her, there surely should be some return."
 
"But she sings only at night, when a maid of her tender years had far better be in her bed. And she serves thee a large part of the day. So I think it but thy duty to use what Master Sutcliff gives thee for her use alone."
 
"I shall," said Mistress Brace, "and more, too, for I clothe as well as feed her."
 
"But not overabundantly," insisted the parson. "I met the young damsel yesterday, and I think she wore no hosen."
 
"She hath stockings," said Mistress Brace.
 
"More than one pair?"
 
"Perhaps not, parson."
 
"Then more she must have. I find that I once met the maiden14's father, a well-dressed, goodly appearing man. It puzzleth me that so little should have been left for his little[Pg 124] daughter's needs. A gentleman he was whose image hath not faded from my mind."
 
Very much it vexed20 Mistress Brace that Parson Kendall should keep so sharp an eye on Maid Sally. And still more it troubled her that he should speak again of her father and the kind of man he seemed.
 
But from that time Sally had better clothes to wear and felt no shame as she went to and fro to evening lessons and to singing-school.
 
And so came the springtime, the sweet springtime, and there was beauty everywhere. On the porch at Ingleside the honeysuckle and climbing roses were bursting into radiant bloom. The birds began nesting in the magnolias and the white-belled halesia-trees.
 
Sandpipers went scudding21 along down by the water, and the mountain holly22 began putting on a new dress. The pink azalea, or swamp pink, violets, buttercups, and all kinds of meadow beauties began peeping up all around.
 
So smart a scholar had Sally shown herself, that Mistress Kent would gladly have taken[Pg 125] her into her classes, but the proud Virginia matrons who sent their richly clothed children to the dame23 school would still have thought Sally too poorly dressed a little maid to sit beside their dainty little darlings.
 
Sally was beginning to add, subtract, divide, and multiply. And when the school closed for the summer and Mistress Kent lent her a simple history to read, she was wild with delight that she would still have a book near by.
 
And much as Sally hated to give up her lessons for a few months, there was a bird singing in her heart, singing a song of which poor Sally was half ashamed and yet which made her very, very glad. For in June, rich, flowery, song-bird June, he was coming home, her Fairy Prince!
 
"And now I can far better understand all he reads," she said to her Fairy. Then her glad voice fell. "But I can never, never come up to him," she sighed; "there is yet a mountain of difference between us."
 
"You have begun to climb," said her Fairy.
 
[Pg 126]"Ah, but there is proud Lady Rosamond Earlscourt, and Lady Irene Westwood, and so many other high-born damsels of his own kind, all so proud, so well-born."
 
"What know you of your own birth?" asked her Fairy, sharply. "How often must I ask thee?"
 
"I only remember the Flats and Slipside Row," said Sally's forlorn voice.
 
"Keep climbing," said her Fairy. "Does not something within you still urge you to climb and climb?"
 
"Yes, yes," cried Sally, "and climb I will!"
 
And now that evenings of study had stopped for awhile, Sally went again after supper to the beloved seat at Ingleside. And Lady Lucretia Grandison and Lady Rosamond Earlscourt strolled often over to the arbor24 and chatted gaily25 while their white fingers held the embroidery26 at which they worked continually when not reading.
 
Many the scarf, cape27, or flowing sleeve they[Pg 127] worked themselves with which to deck their fair necks, shoulders, and arms.
 
One evening, as Sally sat dreaming on the stones, she heard Rosamond Earlscourt say:
 
"I must furbish up my riding-suit, for cousin Lionel will want to mount Hotspur once he is home again, and I my Lady Grace."
 
And Lucretia answered, "Lionel liketh best to ride alone when on Hotspur's back. Do not you remember he thought it made Hotspur impatient to have another horse beside him, and raised his temper?"
 
"Then there are other horses he can ride," returned Rosamond. "My beautiful Lady Grace is tired of standing28 in the stable, but I like not to ride alone or only with a groom29 for company."
 
These words seemed to rouse something in Sally's soul, and she cried, inwardly:
 
"Oh, why could not I have a 'Lady Grace,' a dear horse of my own on which to fly across the country? I could ride, I know I could, and oh, oh! I feel it within me that a fine horse, fine books, fine clothes, a fine house, all, all[Pg 128] that I see at Ingleside or Cloverlove, would fit into my soul!"
 
"Dear child," said her Fairy, pityingly, "it is hard not to have what the heart cries out for. Why not try to find out more about yourself? Have you ever questioned Mistress Brace about your father, or it might be about your mother, or what she may know of the home from whence they came?"
 
Sally had never thought of this before. She was now twelve years old, but the three years spent at the Flats, rather a miserable30 place, and now nearly four at Slipside Row, were all that she plainly remembered.
 
Now, seeing and hearing these people who were so far above her, had wakened that spirit or Fairy within her, which set her thinking of a better kind of life.
 
"Perhaps Mistress Brace has things that belonged to my parents, and that ought to be given me," murmured Sally.
 
"Why not ask her that, too?" said the Fairy.
 
"It would be no use," sighed the maiden.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
2 brace 0WzzE     
n. 支柱,曲柄,大括号; v. 绷紧,顶住,(为困难或坏事)做准备
参考例句:
  • My daughter has to wear a brace on her teeth. 我的女儿得戴牙套以矫正牙齿。
  • You had better brace yourself for some bad news. 有些坏消息,你最好做好准备。
3 dressing 1uOzJG     
n.(食物)调料;包扎伤口的用品,敷料
参考例句:
  • Don't spend such a lot of time in dressing yourself.别花那么多时间来打扮自己。
  • The children enjoy dressing up in mother's old clothes.孩子们喜欢穿上妈妈旧时的衣服玩。
4 clattering f876829075e287eeb8e4dc1cb4972cc5     
发出咔哒声(clatter的现在分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Typewriters keep clattering away. 打字机在不停地嗒嗒作响。
  • The typewriter was clattering away. 打字机啪嗒啪嗒地响着。
5 conning b97e62086a8bfeb6de9139effa481f58     
v.诈骗,哄骗( con的现在分词 );指挥操舵( conn的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • He climbed into the conning tower, his eyes haunted and sickly bright. 他爬上司令塔,两眼象见鬼似的亮得近乎病态。 来自辞典例句
  • As for Mady, she enriched her record by conning you. 对马德琳来说,这次骗了你,又可在她的光荣历史上多了一笔。 来自辞典例句
6 chilly pOfzl     
adj.凉快的,寒冷的
参考例句:
  • I feel chilly without a coat.我由于没有穿大衣而感到凉飕飕的。
  • I grew chilly when the fire went out.炉火熄灭后,寒气逼人。
7 poke 5SFz9     
n.刺,戳,袋;vt.拨开,刺,戳;vi.戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
参考例句:
  • We never thought she would poke her nose into this.想不到她会插上一手。
  • Don't poke fun at me.别拿我凑趣儿。
8 bonnet AtSzQ     
n.无边女帽;童帽
参考例句:
  • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.婴孩的帽子遮住阳光,使之不刺眼。
  • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴着一顶褪了色的黑色无边帽,帽上缀着褪了色的假花。
9 naught wGLxx     
n.无,零 [=nought]
参考例句:
  • He sets at naught every convention of society.他轻视所有的社会习俗。
  • I hope that all your efforts won't go for naught.我希望你的努力不会毫无结果。
10 hush ecMzv     
int.嘘,别出声;n.沉默,静寂;v.使安静
参考例句:
  • A hush fell over the onlookers.旁观者们突然静了下来。
  • Do hush up the scandal!不要把这丑事声张出去!
11 lute moCzqe     
n.琵琶,鲁特琴
参考例句:
  • He idly plucked the strings of the lute.他漫不经心地拨弄着鲁特琴的琴弦。
  • He knows how to play the Chinese lute.他会弹琵琶。
12 choir sX0z5     
n.唱诗班,唱诗班的席位,合唱团,舞蹈团;v.合唱
参考例句:
  • The choir sang the words out with great vigor.合唱团以极大的热情唱出了歌词。
  • The church choir is singing tonight.今晚教堂歌唱队要唱诗。
13 maidens 85662561d697ae675e1f32743af22a69     
处女( maiden的名词复数 ); 少女; 未婚女子; (板球运动)未得分的一轮投球
参考例句:
  • stories of knights and fair maidens 关于骑士和美女的故事
  • Transplantation is not always successful in the matter of flowers or maidens. 花儿移栽往往并不成功,少女们换了环境也是如此。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
14 maiden yRpz7     
n.少女,处女;adj.未婚的,纯洁的,无经验的
参考例句:
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
15 bass APUyY     
n.男低音(歌手);低音乐器;低音大提琴
参考例句:
  • He answered my question in a surprisingly deep bass.他用一种低得出奇的声音回答我的问题。
  • The bass was to give a concert in the park.那位男低音歌唱家将在公园中举行音乐会。
16 timorous gg6yb     
adj.胆怯的,胆小的
参考例句:
  • She is as timorous as a rabbit.她胆小得像只兔子。
  • The timorous rabbit ran away.那只胆小的兔子跑开了。
17 providence 8tdyh     
n.深谋远虑,天道,天意;远见;节约;上帝
参考例句:
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘旧船前往是冒大险。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所为那样去行事,是违背上帝的意志的。
18 screeching 8bf34b298a2d512e9b6787a29dc6c5f0     
v.发出尖叫声( screech的现在分词 );发出粗而刺耳的声音;高叫
参考例句:
  • Monkeys were screeching in the trees. 猴子在树上吱吱地叫着。
  • the unedifying sight of the two party leaders screeching at each other 两党党魁狺狺对吠的讨厌情景
19 tunes 175b0afea09410c65d28e4b62c406c21     
n.曲调,曲子( tune的名词复数 )v.调音( tune的第三人称单数 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
参考例句:
  • a potpourri of tunes 乐曲集锦
  • When things get a bit too much, she simply tunes out temporarily. 碰到事情太棘手时,她干脆暂时撒手不管。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 vexed fd1a5654154eed3c0a0820ab54fb90a7     
adj.争论不休的;(指问题等)棘手的;争论不休的问题;烦恼的v.使烦恼( vex的过去式和过去分词 );使苦恼;使生气;详细讨论
参考例句:
  • The conference spent days discussing the vexed question of border controls. 会议花了几天的时间讨论边境关卡这个难题。
  • He was vexed at his failure. 他因失败而懊恼。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
21 scudding ae56c992b738e4f4a25852d1f96fe4e8     
n.刮面v.(尤指船、舰或云彩)笔直、高速而平稳地移动( scud的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Clouds were scudding across the sky. 云飞越天空。 来自辞典例句
  • China Advertising Photo Market-Like a Rising Wind and Scudding Clouds. 中国广告图片市场:风起云涌。 来自互联网
22 holly hrdzTt     
n.[植]冬青属灌木
参考例句:
  • I recently acquired some wood from a holly tree.最近我从一棵冬青树上弄了些木料。
  • People often decorate their houses with holly at Christmas.人们总是在圣诞节时用冬青来装饰房屋。
23 dame dvGzR0     
n.女士
参考例句:
  • The dame tell of her experience as a wife and mother.这位年长妇女讲了她作妻子和母亲的经验。
  • If you stick around,you'll have to marry that dame.如果再逗留多一会,你就要跟那个夫人结婚。
24 arbor fyIzz0     
n.凉亭;树木
参考例句:
  • They sat in the arbor and chatted over tea.他们坐在凉亭里,边喝茶边聊天。
  • You may have heard of Arbor Day at school.你可能在学校里听过植树节。
25 gaily lfPzC     
adv.欢乐地,高兴地
参考例句:
  • The children sing gaily.孩子们欢唱着。
  • She waved goodbye very gaily.她欢快地挥手告别。
26 embroidery Wjkz7     
n.绣花,刺绣;绣制品
参考例句:
  • This exquisite embroidery won people's great admiration.这件精美的绣品,使人惊叹不已。
  • This is Jane's first attempt at embroidery.这是简第一次试着绣花。
27 cape ITEy6     
n.海角,岬;披肩,短披风
参考例句:
  • I long for a trip to the Cape of Good Hope.我渴望到好望角去旅行。
  • She was wearing a cape over her dress.她在外套上披着一件披肩。
28 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
29 groom 0fHxW     
vt.给(马、狗等)梳毛,照料,使...整洁
参考例句:
  • His father was a groom.他父亲曾是个马夫。
  • George was already being groomed for the top job.为承担这份高级工作,乔治已在接受专门的培训。
30 miserable g18yk     
adj.悲惨的,痛苦的;可怜的,糟糕的
参考例句:
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。


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