Rebecca's mother had had some education somewhere, and her daughter spoke French with purity and a Parisian accent.
By the side of many tall and bouncing young ladies in the establishment, Rebecca Sharp looked like a child.
The fact is, the old lady believed Rebecca to be the meekest creature in the world, so admirably, on the occasions when her father brought her to Chiswick, used Rebecca to perform the part of the ingenue; and only a year before the arrangement by which Rebecca had been admitted into her house, and when Rebecca was sixteen years old, Miss Pinkerton majestically, and with a little speech, made her a present of a doll--which was, by the way, the confiscated property of Miss Swindle, discovered surreptitiously nursing it in school- hours.
The happiness the superior advantages of the young women round about her, gave Rebecca inexpressible pangs of envy.
It was in this happy-go-lucky household that Rebecca had grown up.
But other forces had been at work in Rebecca, and the traits of unknown forbears had been wrought into her fibre.
As a result of this method Hannah, who could only have been developed by forces applied from without, was painstaking, humdrum, and limited; while Rebecca, who apparently needed nothing but space to develop in, and a knowledge of terms in which to express herself, grew and grew and grew, always from within outward.
Rebecca was capable of certain set tasks, such as keeping the small children from killing themselves and one another, feeding the poultry, picking up chips, hulling strawberries, wiping dishes; but she was thought irresponsible, and Aurelia, needing somebody to lean on (having never enjoyed that luxury with the gifted Lorenzo), leaned on Hannah.
While the scenes we have described were passing in other parts of the castle, the Jewess Rebecca awaited her fate in a distant and sequestered turret.
``Answer it to our lord, then, old housefiend,'' said the man, and retired; leaving Rebecca in company with the old woman, upon whose presence she had been thus unwillingly forced.
``What devil's deed have they now in the wind?'' said the old hag, murmuring to herself, yet from time to time casting a sidelong and malignant glance at Rebecca; ``but it is easy to guess Bright eyes, black locks, and a skin like paper, ere the priest stains it with his black unguent Ay, it is easy to guess why they send her to this lone turret, whence a shriek could no more be heard than at the depth of five hundred fathoms beneath the earth.
``For the sake of mercy,'' said Rebecca, ``tell me what I am to expect as the conclusion of the violence which hath dragged me hither!