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contemptible to laugh at personal defects or peculiarities, and so on; and I acknowledge it all. But, remember, I have promised to write every thing to you just as it is to say every thing just as it comes into my mind; and you could not judge of me rightly without knowing every thing relating to me, more especially any thing so important, and so calculated to affect one's destiny, as being doomed to live with such an oddity as I have described.
Well, to continue. She took the baby with a sort of jerk from the nurse's arms, and held it up to the light, which of course set it screeching. As she jerked it back again, she said, " It looks most like its Ma.”
After we had been seated a little while, she asked me if I should like to go to my room to refresh myself. I gladly said yes. She treads very heavy, and wears double-soled shoes; so you may imagine what a clatter she makes going
It is a large, old-fashioned house, and our apartments are delightful. My nursery is next to my own chamber, and all is thoughtfully arranged for our comfort. Mrs. Hawkins said, “ she hoped things would suit; she had done the best she could for us." And she retired. When the dinner hour had nearly arrived, I went down stairs
into the drawing-room, where I found my husband and his father still chatting as I left them. Presently the old gentleman said, “I have always been in the habit of having my housekeeper at my table. If it be not disagreeable, I shall still invite her to our meals.” Certainly,” replied my husband.
66 You have no objection, I am sure, Fanny."
What could I do but tell a fib, and say I had none ? So you perceive I am doomed to take
my meals with this strange biped. How I shall bear it I cannot say. No one in this world, I am sure, would stand surety for my good behavior. Three times a day, for an hour at a time, I must see her. I know nothing of her character, for she merely throws out her words as the automaton chessplayer says, “echec.”
If she would only turn out a piece of machinery, now, how relieved I should be; but I fear she has some kind of a soul, though I have not found out yet what is its character.
And now, I dare say, you would ask, “ Are you happy, Fanny? and do you behave yourself well ?” All the world would suppose that there was but one answer to both questions. Yes, to the first, and no, to the last. But it often happens that the world answers questions for us that we should find it hard to answer for ourselves. Am
I happy? I ought to be; I do thirst for happiness; what human being does not? I cannot tell why I am not. No woman was ever blessed with a better husband; my precious baby looks like an emanation of joy. All the world without smiles upon me.
Where are the clouds, whence are they, that hang round my heart sometimes ? I know not. When my husband sees them, he does every thing that patient kindness can do to chase them away; but then I try his temper sadly; I know I do, though he never finds fault with me now. He is even more silent than he used to be, or he takes a book, or he goes to walk. If he would only speak; if he would only scold at me, as you do; if he would but just get into a passion, ever so little of a passion, I should feel better than to see him so quiet when I know I have done wrong, and that he is not pleased. You see that I am a little hipped, dear Amy, or I should not run on so, as if there was any thing real in it. Burn this. It is all non
It is the strange housekeeper that makes me so vaporish, I doubt not. My husband always sends his love to you; and as for my baby, if it does not love you, I will disown it.
Amy sighed heavily as she finished reading Fanny's letter. “ Alas, poor Fanny !” said she to herself, 6 there is a canker at the root of all
• And forward though I cannot look,
" I must be faithful to her now. I must tell her all I think. I must warn her against the dangers that beset her.”
With Amy, to resolve and to act, were the same thing. She immediately wrote the following letter to her friend:
You are a really good correspondent; you tell every thing just as it occurs, as you promised. I could not but laugh heartily at your description of Mrs. Hawkins; and yet, Fanny, I cannot think such things quite right. You have injured
I doubt not. I cannot believe that she is such a strange mortal as you have described her. But, dear Fanny, though I began your letter with laughing, I ended with the heartache, for I saw in it that you were not happy; and, at the risk of giving you pain, I must speak frankly and fearlessly to you, all that is in my heart. I must tell you all the apprehensions which your
your future life.
letter las called up in my mind with regard to the happiness of
You are unhappy. You must not attempt to hide it from me; you cannot; you are unhappy. Now, what is the cause of it? You have not taken that fatal step, you have not brought upon yourself that life-long blight, of marrying a man that
you do not love; you have not so desecrated your own soul. No, dear Fanny, you love Mr. Roberts better than aught else in this wide world, and yet you are not happy as his wife. What is the reason ? You must put this question to your own heart with the most solemn earnestness. Have you not supposed that a union with him you loved was to make you happy in itself, and by itself; and that it involved no appropriate duties, and called for no unusual virtue? There are no external causes of your unhappiness. You have all that the most crav ing heart can reasonably ask of outward good The children of poverty, and sickness, and oppression, might well cry out against you, that, with so many of God's richest blessings on your head, your every breath is not a song of praise and thankfulness. Whence, then, as you yourself ask, are these clouds that hang over your heart?
Is it not, Fanny, that, instead of going, with