I have a great mind to go and get Mademoiselle Piombo's easel and place it next to mine," said Matilde Roguin.
A faint smile brightened the lips of the young Italian, who seemed thoughtful, and walked slowly to her easel, glancing carelessly at the drawings and paintings on her way, and bidding good-morning to each of the young girls of the first group, not observing the unusual curiosity excited by her presence.
She then secured the curtain and came down, pushed the chair and table as far as possible from the partition, returned to her easel, and seemed to be arranging it to suit the volume of light she had now thrown upon it.
This was the secret of the indifference which Ginevra had apparently shown to the removal of her easel.
The master then went from easel to easel, scolding, flattering, jesting, and making, as usual, his jests more dreaded than his reprimands.
The pupil turned her easel so that no one but the master could see the sketch, which she placed upon it, and said, in an agitated voice:--
The easel was now surrounded; Servin descanted on the beauty of the copy which his favorite pupil was then making, and the whole class was duped by this stratagem, except Amelie, who, slipping behind her companions, attempted to open the portfolio where she had seen Ginevra throw the sketch.
Servin left Ginevra, went round once more to each easel, and gave such long lessons that he was still there at the hour when the pupils were in the habit of leaving.
And disengaging a couple of chairs from the artistical lumber that usurped them, she bid us be seated, and resumed her place beside the easel
- not facing it exactly, but now and then glancing at the picture upon it while she conversed, and giving it an occasional touch with her brush, as if she found it impossible to wean her attention entirely from her occupation to fix it upon her guests.
Indeed, in another minute we were in a lofty room with skylight, easels
, dressing-cupboard, platform, and every other adjunct save the signs of actual labor.