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“How oft, when, at the court of Love,
Concealment is the fashion,
A Few days after her interview with Fanny, Amy received the following letter from her:
My dear philosophical Cousin,
As the weather prevents my seeing you to-day, I must e'en indite a little epistle to you; for I have too many things on my heart to keep them to myself. I took
airs when Roberts came to take leave of me. a perfect Miranda ; I was sorry, very sorry, for all my naughtiness to him; I did not tell him that, though; but, somehow or other, I think he found it out. I told him I was very sorry that he was going away, and that made him very glad ; and - but
you will easily guess all the rest course had a little scene. But, Amy, do not think I found it easy to be so very good. I was tempted sorely when I saw how pleased he was at my regret at his departure. I wanted dreadfully to tease him just a very little in revenge for having obliged me to make such a sacrifice of my pride; but I did not. I was really good all the time; I was as good as our friend Mrs. Lovell, or Loveall, as I call her, who, you know, says “ sir” to her husband, and “my dear” to every body else. She will patronize me now, I have no doubt, as Mr. Roberts is very rich. Well, I have not told
we of half sad:
the worst of it yet, Amy. I have not only had the indiscretion to let Mr. Roberts find out that I loved him, but I have, if you will believe it, promised to marry him, as your Ruth says, right away, in no time. This I like, however; I could never behave well through a long courtship. Old father Jacob, 1 am sure, deserved all his honors, and far better wives than he obtained, as a reward for waiting so long for each of them. I certainly should not be worth waiting seven months, nor even seven weeks for, I fear. It is hardly fair that I should marry William Roberts. He thinks me better than I am ; but the more I tell him so, the more he will not believe it. Poor fellow ! I hope he will not repent when it is too late. I feel, dear Amy, like a Scotch song, half gay,
What ails this heart o’mine?
I tell you, Amy, William Roberts is too good for me. If I could only just discover some little fault in him, I should not feel so badly about marrying him.
I should not feel so like a cheat. What if he should come to the same conclusion after we are married, and there is no help for it? What if he should cease to love me, when he finds just what I am; when he becomes acquainted with my fidgety, irritable temper? What should I do then? Can I, Amy, always hope to hide my weaknesses from him? I must try. I shall be happier with him than I ever have been ; and he is a pattern of patience, I know.
There is no help for it now; married we are to be as soon as all the ridiculous preparations can be made which must precede this catastrophe. I love him; I always have loved him better than any thing in this blessed life. There are but two things that can be named against him; one is his over-estimate of me; the other is, he is too proper, too polite. - You have before you, Amy, a far easier task than I; you have only to be, I have to seem excellent. I began with the intention of writing just a little note to you; but, somehow or other, I can never be satisfied with a few words, especially with you, dear Amy: this is one of my faults, and the cause of many others. Roberts, however, is a silent man; so it is fortunate that I can talk, especially when we have company. If he could only be induced to talk more, perhaps I should not find him so very, very wise. I often think that the only difference between the wise and simple, so called, is, that while the one talks out all his or her folly, the other prudently hides it by saying nothing. It is evident I am no such hypocrite as this. One thing, dear Amy, I have never yet told you, and that is, how truly and how tenderly I love you.
Amy immediately replied to her cousin's letter:
Thank you for your long note. I rejoice at its contents ; I rejoice with my whole heart that you were frank and upright with Mr. Roberts, when he came to take leave of you. There can be no true dignity in falsehood of any kind, and there is always ground for suspicion that what we hide we are ashamed of; surely you cannot be ashamed of returning the love of such a man as William Roberts.
If I could think you in earnest when you say you wanted to tease Mr. Roberts, I could not forgive you; but I believe no such thing. You are only playing off a little bravado, venting some of your superfluity of naughtiness upon me, in revenge for being obliged, in self defence, to be good to him.
I like your comparison of the old Scotch song. The deepest fountains of our nature unsealed when two hearts pledge themselves to each other in mutual love. Pleasure, pain, hope, fear, strange tumult, unutterable peace, alternately sweep over our new-strung souls, awakening there a latent music that is like a reminiscence from a higher state of being; like the Lord's song in a strange land; a mingled sound of heavenly joy and earthly sadness.
Things that are most familiar to me-- the common circumstances and occurrences of my every-day life — have assumed a new importance; they have laid aside their week-day garment, and put on a holiday dress. Every thing around me seems strange, and yet
I do not feel like a stranger, but rather like one that has returned from long wanderings, and now feels more than ever at home. Sometimes I feel as if led forward to the brink of a precipice; and my soul shrinks with fear from the venture, and still, with mysterious,