Imágenes de páginas

Make the tea, Cary, while I read my letter," And taking out his spectacles, he settled them comfortably on his nose, after having broken the seal of a foreign letter he held in his hand; then having placed himself near the window, he read the contents, expressing by various contortions of face and emphatic exclamations the impression made on him..."Embarrassing! -Why the devil so—Civil that, however !_Uncles and aunts !

-Damn the fel. low ! Dastardly submission !-Very pretty truly ! Influence! who the devil wishes him to use influence !-Ay, ay, all very polite, but damned cold !" and he twisted the letter up and placed it in his pocket, from whence we will beg leave to take it, and place it before the reader, as absolutely necessary to the understanding of this true history. It was dated from the Rue Mont Blanc, in Paris, and began

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


“I do not know a subject more embarrassing to me than the one on which your letter forces me to enter, especially as I find it necessary to come at once to the point, that you may hereafter have no occasion to accuse me of having acted uncandidly. Much as I esteem yourself and all your family (my relationship to whom must always be a matter of pride to me), and much as I reverence every wish of my late parent (be not offended at my saying so), I feel highly sorry that the marriage proposed between my sister Mary and your son Charles, has been ever agitated as it has been. Had it happened in the natural course of events, that they had become attached to each other, nothing could have given me more gratification than to have seen my sister bestow her hand upon her cousin. But calmly to tell two young people that they are to fall in love with each other, for certain family reasons, and to gratify their uncles and


aunts, is the way to make them crush every feeling of affection in its very birth, and to make them look upon the least incipient sensation of regard, as a dastardly submission to a tyranny that to a generous mind ought to be insupportable.

Long as it is since I have seen my young cousin, from what I remember of his character, I should suppose him to be the last person in the world who would tamely submit to trammels of any kind, or yield his own wishes to family convenience; and though Mary's is a disposition easily won by kindness, yet there is a firmness and a dignity discoverable in her character, even young as she is, that would prevent her from giving her hand where her heart was not also given, or consenting to receive that man as her husband, of whose affection she had even a doubt,

“ These observations can scarcely refer to her, as I hope and believe that my request has been strictly attended to, and that the most remote suspicion of this


[ocr errors]

scheme of betrothing her (if I may so call it) to Charles, has never been allowed to reach her mind. But the mischief, I am afraid, has been done with respect to your son, who, from what you say, seems perfectly acquainted with the whole business. I was not aware that this was the case before receiving your letter, or I should not have delayed for a moment informing you, that the only influence I can ever use with my sister, will be to represent to her how much this union was the wish of a parent equally dear to us-both; nor shall I even do that, till I am convinced that Charles's affection is entirely hers. At the same time, I am sure that you will concur with me in thinking, that her removal from the immediate neighbourhood of one so little likely to receive any impression of attachment as your son, and so well calculated to inspire it, is a measure absolutely necessary. “I send you the address which


desire of my late tutor, Mr. Malden, to


whom I never can be sufficiently grateful, for his conduct while travelling with me; and should he accompany Charles to the Continent, as you wish, I am sure he will fulfil your highest expectations. It is now nearly ten years since I had the pleasure of seeing you; I was then very young; but, believe me, the regard I then entertained for you and yours, remains unaltered. I need not say how happy I shall be to see Charles in Paris, and point out to him all that is worth seeing here. To my remembrance he is only a white-headed, high-spirited boy of ten years old : I shall find a great difference in him-almost as great as you would find in me, which is great indeed.

“ The melancholy circumstance which occurred immediately on my last setting my foot on English ground, still remains upon my mind, and makes the sight of my native land sorrowful to me; and the society of a lighter and gayer nation is necessary to repress thoughts that will


« AnteriorContinuar »