Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

whom his intentions were not so palpable, thought him by no means deserving of the contempt her cousin had expressed for him. “Well!” cried Lady Emily, after they were gone, “the plot begins to thicken— lovers begin to pour in, but all for Mary— how mortifying to you and me, Adelaide At this rate, we shall have nothing to boast of in the way of disinterested attachment —nobody refused —nothing renounced!— By and bye Edward will be reckoned a very good match for me, and you will be thought greatly married, if you succeed in securing Lindore : poor Lord Lindore, as it seems that wretch Placid calls him.” Adelaide heard all her cousin’s taunts in silence, and with apparent coolness; but they rankled deep in a heart already festering with pride, envy, and ambition. The thoughts of her sister—and that sister so inferior to herself—attaining a more splendid alliance, was not to be endured.— True, she loved Lord Lindore, and ima

gined herself beloved in return; but even that was not sufficient to satisfy the craving passions of a perverted mind. She did not, indeed, attach implicit belief to all that her cousin said on the subject; but she was provoked and irritated at the mere supposition of such a thing being possible; for it is not merely the jealous whose happiness is the sport of trifles light as air—every evil thought, every unamiable feeling, bears about with it the bane of that enjoyment after which it vainly aspires. Mary felt the increasing ill humour which this subject drew upon her, without being able to penetrate the cause of it; but she saw that it was displeasing to her mother and sister, and that was sufficient to make her wish to put a stop to it. She, therefore, earnestly entreated Lady Emily to end the joke. “Excuse me,” replied her Ladyship, “I shall do no such thing. In the first place, there happens to be no joke in the matter: I'm certain, seriously certain, or certainly serious, which you like, that you may be Duchess of Altamont, if youplease. It could be no common admiration that prompted his Grace to an original and spontaneous effusion of it. I have met with him before, and never suspected that he had an innate idea in his head. I certainly never heard him utter any thing half so brilliant before —it seemed quite like the effect of inspiration.” “But I cannot conceive, even were it as you say, why my mother should be so displeased about it. She surely cannot suppose me so silly, as to be elated by the unmeaning admiration of any one, or so meanly aspiring as to marry a man I could not love, merely because he is a Duke: She was incapable of such a thing herself, she cannot then suspect me.” “It seems as impossible to make you enter into the characters of your mother and sister, as it would be to teach them to com

[ocr errors]

prehend yours, and far be it from me to act as interpreter betwixt your understandings. If you can’t even imagine such things as prejudice, narrow-mindedness, envy, hatred, and malice, your ignorance is bliss, and you had better remain in it. But you may take my word for one thing and that is, that 'tis a much wiser thing to resist tyranny, thah to submit to it. Your patient Grizzles make nothing of it, except in little books: in real life they become perfect pack-horses, saddled with the whole offences of the family. Such will you become unless you pluck up spirit, and dash out. Marry the Duke, and drive over the necks of all your relations; that’s my advice to you..” “And you may rest assured, that when I follow your advice, it shall be in whole, not in part.” “Well, situated so detestably as you are, I rather think the best thing you could do, would be to make yourself Duchess of AlWOL. III, C

tamont. How disdainful you look! Come, tell me honestly now, would you really refuse to be Your Grace, with ninety thousand a year, and remain simple Mary Douglass, passing rich with perhaps forty " “ Unquestionably,” said Mary. “What! you really pretend to say you would not marry the Duke of Altamont?” cried Lady Emily. “Not that I would take him myself; but as you and I, though the best of friends, differ widely in our sentiments on most subjects, I would really like to know how it happens that we coincide in this one. Very different reasons, I dare say, lead to the same conclusion; but I shall generously give you the advantage of hearing mine first. I shall say nothing of being engaged—I shall even banish that idea from my thoughts; but were I free as air —unloving and unloved—I would refuse the Duke of Altamont; first, because he is old—no, first, because he is stupid ; se

cond, because he is formal; third, because 1

« AnteriorContinuar »