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“ But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest.”
As yoU LIKE IT.
“Come, dear Amy, I will spare your blushes, and save you the trouble of telling me why you sent for me this morning ; so compose yourself, while I take off my bonnet and shawl, and then I am ready to hear the whole story. I met Ed ward Selmar in the hall, and he looked so pro vokingly happy, and had such a tell-tale face, and such a cousin-like manner towards me, that he has not left you much to tell."
All this was said by Fanny Herbert to her cousin, as she entered the room in a hurried manner, and with her face all glowing with emotion.
“I am too deeply happy, dear Fanny, to be discomposed,” said Amy; "and I am afraid I shall not be sentimental enough even to blush to your satisfaction.”
“ That is just like you, Amy; and I dare say that you would behave exactly so, if you were going to be executed instead of going to be married.”
“I hope," replied Amy, laughing, “that you do not think it a parallel case.”
“Why, not exactly, in all respects; but it has many points of resemblance. When a woman promises herself away in marriage, she resigns her name, her property, her affections, her opinions, her friends, perhaps her country, her will - in short, herself, to her future lord and master.
“No wonder,” replied Amy, “that, with these ideas of matrimony, you expect me to be agitated; but I do not acknowledge that I have made such a surrender as this.”
“Let me see, Amy; out of your own mouth I will prove that you have. You resign your name.'
“ Yes; but a name is of no consequence.”
“Your property will be his as soon as you are married, unless you have it legally settled upon yourself beforehand.”
“ You know that I have, in my own right, only the small property my mother left me; and Edward would not choose, even if my father would consent to it, to owe his support to any
But I agree, Fanny, that the law is unjust, with regard to married women, upon the subject of property; it puts them upon a par with children.”
“ Your opinions will be no longer free. You must think as your husband thinks, or not think at all, or else there is no peace in the house. One must always yield, and of course it must be the wife.”
“I do not acknowledge this, Fanny. Where opinions deserve the name, they must be free. Married people are very like to hold the same opinions on the most important subjects, especially where there has been a perfect understanding of each other's most intimate thoughts before marriage, and where there exists a recognition of their perfect equality afterwards. But, even if we differ, Edward and I agree that where true love is there can be no slavish submission. We well know that this is a heterodox faith, but upon it we rest our hopes of happiness."
“A rope of sand, my dear Amy, that you are trusting to, rely upon it. But to proceed with my catechizing: you have promised your heart exclusively to him."
“I could not promise to give what was no longer my own. My heart was his, and I confessed it; but this is only a fair exchange."
“ If he does not happen to like your friends, you must give them up."
“ I made no vow to violate my conscience or my feelings. Any encroachment that even Edward Selmar should make upon the freedom of my affections would certainly lessen my love for himself. I feel sure that he would despise any homage that was not freely offered.”
“ Your place of residence: he may carry you where he chooses."
“ The place of our abode, as well as other subjects involving duty and happiness, would be decided by mutual agreement; but here, I confess, the law is against me."
your will : you have no longer a will of
“I cannot will to resign my will. It is a contradiction in terms; it is destroying the cause by the effect.”
“A very philosophical conclusion, truly, and sounding remarkably well, all that you say, my dear; not very Miltonian though ; but wait till you are Mrs. Selmar, and see if you do not sing a different tune then. Submission that is the motto for a married woman's story; it is the first, second, and third requisite for perfection in the good wife, as you, of course, intend to be. So do not flatter yourself, Amy, that you will ever have your own way again."
“But, suppose, Fanny, that his way should be my way; there would be no submission then on either side.”
“ That reminds me," said Fanny,“ of the German couplet we read the other day:
•O, wunderbare Harmonie !
Rely upon it, when you disagree, (and that will happen,) you must always yield, right or wrong."
“I do not grant this. If Edward should ever wish me to do wrong, I shall not feel bound to comply, but think I do him more honor by a refusal, than by a submission for which I am sure he would and ought to despise me."
Very pretty, and apparently very just, Amy; but let us see by-and-by. You are so heartily in love with Edward now, that you cannot think he will ever desire any thing wrong; but he is a man, and he is human."
“So I supposed, when I engaged to marry him. I do not think either of us anticipates perfection.”
“But, if I were you, I should, as long as possible, require it of him, and insist upon his
* 0, wonderful harmony ! What he wills, wills also she