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will say. True; but this icy coldness would vanish ; this death-like stillness, this portentous silence, would be broken, that seems to me to increase hourly, and as if it would finally turn me into stone.
Do you know I begin to think that the house-
father.” If I
I know it is very dull here. You will oblige me by going ;” and so I comply ; but I have no heart in it. Indeed, I have no heart in any thing. My beautiful, my precious boy, even he makes
I cannot tell why, but so it is. He
I must stay
now runs alone, and begins to talk. The other day, when he was sitting in my lap, the tears were running fast (I cannot tell why) down my cheeks. He took up his little frock, and wiped them, and said, “Mamma hurt? mamma ; I call papa to kiss the place, and make it well.” O, Amy, it seemed, when he said this, as if my silly heart would break. Just then, my husband came in, and the child ran and pulled him towards me. I know not what evil spirit possessed me; but when he asked me what was the matter, I answered him, in a reproachful tone, “O, nothing ; only I am home-sick and heartsick," and hurried out of the room to hide my tears. I was ashamed and grieved at my unkindness to him, and came back, a minute afterwards, to tell him so; but he had gone into his father's room, and I did not see him again till dinnertime. When he met me then, it was with that frigid, silent politeness, which is worse to me than the rudest censure.
If that bird of evil omen had not been present, perhaps I might have conquered my pride, and tried to melt the icy coldness that was so repulsive to me; but he kept her in conversation on purpose, I believe, after dinner, in order to avoid a tete-a-tete with me. In the evening, I went to the opera with Mrs.
(who is always delightful,) and forgot
for a while, in the delicious music I heard there, the pain and folly of the morning. Now, if he had only put me in the closet, as we do a naughty child, saying, too, with the true nursery tone, “Now you have something to cry for," and kept me there till I had promised to be good, how much easier it would have been to bear it! I always hated politeness, and now more than
I tell you, Amy, that what is called good breeding and civility is the bane of all real happiness at home. If Roberts and I had both been brought up to the tailor's trade, we should enjoy ourselves as married people ought to. If I did wrong, my husband would shake the yard-measure at me, and I should take the press-board to defend myself; and then we should laugh at our own nonsense, and kiss, and be friends. Whatever else
I ought, dear Amy, to close my letter after giving you such a piece of sage advice. You must not suppose I am insensible to, or have forgotten all that you have suffered during Edward's illness, or all you now enjoy. I have still a sort of traditionary recollection of something called happiness, by which I can measure
your present emotions; and my love for you is true and unchanged. Farewell.
As soon as the physician pronounced Edward to be so far well as that his recovery did not depend upon careful nursing, Amy thought it right to return home. A week after, he was able to follow her. Even Mr. Weston received him with a cordial welcome, that seemed to have no reference to the opinion of the world, and that forgot to ask the sanction of the wisest and best.
Ruth was beside herself with joy at seeing him again. “Really, Miss Amy,” she said, “I was so glad to see him that I should have given him a good hug, if I had not thought it would look ridiculous.”
« The best friends are those who stimulate each other to good.”
The property which Edward had acquired during his absence barely satisfied Mr. Weston's ambition. When he and Amy asked his consent to their marriage, he answered that “he thought in some respects it would be as well that the ceremony should be performed soon; for, as his daughter had shown to the whole world, in such an unprecedented way, that he was her decided choice, it was not probable now that she would alter her mind; and that as Mr. Selmar, though not rich, had now a respectable property, he had no further objection to make to their marriage." He even went so far as to give Edward his hand in what he intended for a paternal manner, and to express an unqualified wish for their future happiness. They resolved to dispense with all unmeaning parade, all senseless forms, at their marriage.
“As I understand this ceremony,” said Ed