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thinking me nothing short of divine. Now is your time, Amy; make the most of your short reign." “O, Fanny ! Fanny ! I hate to hear you talk
If it were only girlish rattle, I would laugh at it, and forget it; but I fear that there is something seriously wrong at the bottom of it all. I fear that you are now trifling with your own happiness, as well as that of another, under the influence of these unworthy notions. It was to speak to you upon this subject, that I wanted to see you this morning."
"And so," replied Fanny, “while I flattered myself that you had sent for me to tell me a very pretty love story of your own, and that I was to be that important personage, a confidant, upon the occasion, and know the month and the day when nobody else did, you, forsooth, only sent for me to favor me with a lecture, followed, I suppose, by some of those agreeable didactic remarks, which most of my kind friends are pleased so gratuitously to bestow upon nie.”
“ Are you not ashamed of such nonsense, Fanny ?"
“ Ashamed of nonsense, Amy! Why, I am in love with it. It is as important as my daily bread to me.
All other pleasures, all other friends, are uncertain, unfaithful; but nonsense always more than fulfils its promise, and is an unfailing help in adversity.”
“I have no objection to nonsense, Fanny, in its right place; but there are occasions where trifling is a sin - where we should be guided by reason and conscience.”
“Well, Amy, don't look so very sober, and I will be good for a little while, for your sake. I love you well enough to tolerate the presence of reason, if she does not bring her knitting-work, ; and invite herself to pass the whole day with me. What would reason say to me now, Amy?”
“Reason would ask,” said Amy, “whether you are acting right toward William Roberts. You understand me now, Fanny." “O, yes, perfectly well, Amy; I see what
Excuse me; you remind me of the fox, who, having been unluckily caught in a trap, and there curtailed of some of his honors, (pardon this atrocious pun,) cunningly called together the other foxes of his acquaintance, and advised them, seriously, with their eyes open, and of their own free will, to submit to the same cruel operation which a sad chance had inflicted upon him. Thank you, my dear Amy; when I am also caught, I will certainly take counsel of
you are after.
“ Try to be serious, Fanny. I have some
thing to tell you that I think you have too much heart to laugh at."
“Well, now, Amy, I will be as solemn and well-behaved as if I was just engaged.”
“I hear from Edward,” said Amy, “ that your friend, William Roberts, is going to Europe."
Fanny started. “Going to Europe! why, it was but a short time since, that he told me that he should never again leave his own country; and he said some pretty things about his untravelled heart, &c. What is he going for?”
“ To get rid of an aching heart, if he can, and, if possible, recover a healthful tone of mind.”
Fanny's face reddened all over, and then grew very pale. She tried in vain to hide her emotions at this intelligence.
“I am sorry,” said Amy, “ to see you suffer ; but the remedy is in your own hands.”
“ What can I do? What would you have me do ?”
“ Be simple— be true.”
“ And ask him to please not go to Europe, but to stop and marry me! I would die first.”
“ I would have you do nothing unfeminine nothing inconsistent with your true dignity; but I would have you faithfully question your own heart, and then be true to yourself and to him.
From what I know of your real feelings toward Mr. Roberts, I fear you have coquetted with him ; and forgive me, Fanny, if I say that it will be happy for you, if some sacrifice of your pride is the only punishment you receive. It is, surely, no slight suffering, that can make such a man willing to give up his country, and change all his habits of life. Edward agreed with his friend, that it was impossible that you could really love him; and surely, Fanny, if I did not think your fault was mere levity, I could hardly forgive you. He intends going in a few days."
Poor Fanny sat like one condemned. Amy continued:
“ It was his intention to go away without seeing you again; he thought the interview would be too painful for him ; but I told Edward to urge him to go and say farewell to you; for I knew that in your heart, Fanny, you loved
Fanny made a great effort to recover her selfcommand, and, after a minute, said, “I shall certainly try to dissuade him from quitting his country, if he should come to see ine." Her lips quivered, as she uttered this if.
“Beware, dear Fanny, of the effect of what you say now to William Roberts. You cannot now gloss over to your conscience any questiona
SKETCHES OF MARRIED LIFE.
ble act. You know he loves you. If you do not truly love him—if you do not mean to marry him, do not attempt to influence him in any way; do not tempt him or yourself by the tantalizing profession of a dangerous friendship, that may or may not be love. Be simple — be truehearted, as you value your future peace of mind.”
Fanny soon rose to go home. As they parted, Amy kissed her tenderly, and said, “ All will be well, dear Fanny, if you are only true to yourself.”
“How is it, Amy,” replied Fanny, as she hastily brushed away a tear, “ that I still love you so well, when you make me feel so cheap and look so silly ? "