Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

he swallows all Lady Matilda's flummery; fourth, because he is more than double my age; fifth, because he is not handsome; and, to sum up the whole in the sixth, he wants that inimitable Je ne scais quoi, which I consider as a necessary ingredient in the matrimonial cup. I shall not, in addition to these defects, dwell upon his unmeaning stare—his formal bow—his little senseless simper, &c. &c. &c. All these enormities, and many more of the same stamp, I shall pass by, as I have no doubt they had their due effect upon you as well as me; but then I am not like you, under the torments of Lady Juliana's authority: Were that the case, I should certainly think it a blessing to become Duchess of any body tomorrow.” - “And can you really imagine,” said Mary, “that for the sake of shaking off a parent’s authority, I would impose upon myself chains still heavier, and even more binding: Can you suppose I would so far forfeit my honour and truth, as that I would swear to love, honour, and obey, where I could feel neither love nor respect; and where cold constrained obedience would be all of my duty I could hope to fulfil P’ “Love o’ exclaimed Lady Emily; “can I credit my ears? Love | did you say ? I thought that had only been for naughty ones, such as me; and that saints like you would have married for anything and every thing but love | Prudence, I thought, had been the word with you proper ladies—a prudent marriage Come, confess, is not that the climax of virtue in the creed of

your school ’’ “I never learnt the creed of any school,”

said Mary, “nor ever heard any one's sentiments on the subject, except my dear Mrs. Douglas.” “Well, Ishould like to hear your oracle’s opinion, if you can give it in short hand.” “She warned me there was a passion, which was very fashionable, and which I should hear a great deal of, both in conversation and books, that was the result of indulged fancy, warm imaginations, and illregulated minds; that many had fallen into its snares, deceived by its glowing colours and alluring name; that 33 “A very good sermon, indeed!” interrupted Lady Emily; “but, no offence to Mrs. Douglas, I think I could preach a better myself. Love is a passion that has been much talked of, often described, and little understood. Cupid has many counterfeits going about the world, who pass very well with those whose minds are capable of passion, but not of love. These Birmingham Cupids have many votaries amongst boarding school misses, militia officers, and milliners’ apprentices; who marry upon the mutual faith of blue eyes and scarlet coats: have dirty houses and squalling children, and hate each other most delectably. Then there is another species for more refined souls, which owes its birth to the works of Rousseau, Goëthe, Cottin, &c. : its success depends very much upon rocks, woods, and waterfalls; and it generally ends in daggers, pistols, poison, or Doctor's Commons. But there, I think, Lindore would be more eloquent than me, so I shall leave it for him to discuss that chapter with you. But, to return to your own immediate concerns—Pray, are you then positively prohibited from falling in love : Did Mrs. Douglas only dress up a scarecrow to frighten you, or had she the candour to shew you Love himself in all his majesty f" “She told me,” said Mary, “that there was a love which even the wisest and most virtuous need not blush to entertain—the love of a virtuous object, founded upon esteem, and heightened by similarity of tastes, and sympathy of feelings, into a pure and devoted attachment: unless I feel all this, I shall never fancy myself in love.” “Humph! I can’t say much as to the similarity of tastes and sympathy of souls

between the Duke and you, but surely you might contrive to feel some love and esteem for a coronet and ninety thousand a year.” “Suppose I did,” said Mary, with a smile, “the next point is to honour; and surely he is as unlikely to excite that sentiment as the other. Honour—” “I can't have a second sermon upon honour. “Can honour take away the grief of a wound f' as Falstaff says. Love is the only subject I care to preach about; though, unlike many young ladies, we can talk about other things too; but as to this Duke, I certainly “ had rather live on cheese and garlic, in a windmill far, than feed on cates, and have him talk to me in any summerhouse in Christendom;’ and now I have had Mrs. Douglas' second hand sentiments upon the subject—I should like to hear your own.” “I have never thought much upon the subject,” said Mary; “my sentiments are

« AnteriorContinuar »