How delightful it would be to be a governess! To go out into the world; to enter upon a new life; to act for myself; to exercise my unused faculties; to try my unknown powers; to earn my own maintenance, and something to comfort and help my father, mother, and sister, besides exonerating them from the provision of my food and clothing; to show papa what his little Agnes could do; to convince mamma and Mary that I was not quite the helpless, thoughtless being they supposed. And then, how charming to be entrusted with the care and education of children! Whatever others said, I felt I was fully competent to the task: the clear remembrance of my own thoughts in early childhood would be a surer guide than the instructions of the most mature adviser. I had but to turn from my little pupils to myself at their age, and I should know, at once, how to win their confidence and affections: how to waken the contrition of the erring; how to embolden the timid and console the afflicted; how to make Virtue practicable, Instruction desirable, and Religion lovely and comprehensible.
– Delightful task!
To teach the young idea how to shoot!
To train the tender plants, and watch their buds unfolding day by day!
It was a pleasure to be acquainted with the young and hopeful Agnes Grey, who started off so filled with aspirations and good intentions to have a hand in the shaping of young minds, but only to be found facing with the harsh realities of a ‘less than ideal’ world.
I knew the difficulties I had to contend with were great; but I knew (at least I believed) unremitting patience and perseverance could overcome them; and night and morning I implored Divine assistance to this end. But either the children were so incorrigible, the parents so unreasonable, or myself so mistaken in my views, or so unable to carry them out, that my best intentions and most strenuous efforts seemed productive of no better result than sport to the children, dissatisfaction to their parents, and torment to myself.
I am finding myself quite taken up with the voice of young Agnes, and by the time we got to Chapter 3, I can already feel the frustrations she was facing in her position as a governess in the Bloomfield family. And I have to say I have not met a more horrid boy of seven than that of Tom Bloomfield! Anyone who is capable of killing and torturing small creatures without any guilt or remorse (even at such a tender age!) is bound to incur my greatest sense of revulsion.
Anyway, I can’t wait to read further to see how Agnes will continue to fare in her endeavours at the Bloomfields (as well as what happens to horrid kids, if justice is served!) :p