« PoprzedniaDalej »
amusing, than some of the scenes in the works you have censured ?
I quite agree with Miss Montressor in admiring them.-Well, you may say what you please; but be assured that you will find few people so cynical as not to be vastly amused by those writers."
I tried to get up an argument on the romantic and classic schools of writing, and instituted comparisons between the passionate and reflective works of our day, giving the preference to the former. But all my erudition was thrown away, at least on Lord Nottingham, for he replied not to my tirade à la De Staël; but Lord Annandale seemed duly impressed with the extent and variety of my savoir, and has, I can perceive, formed a high notion of my powers. What if this preux chevalier, Lord Nottingham, were to become enamoured of Lady Annandale, and if she were to bestow on him her vacant heart -- for vacant I know it is—and if I were to blow the incipient flame into a blaze! I see a whole romance, nay, two romances, comprised in these three little - Ifs. Should nothing more eligible, as the elderly ladies say, offer, I may effect a dénoúment to this pretty fiction, which may place the coronet of a countess on my brow, and a strawberry one on that of Augusta — no bad exchange for her, I think, and not a very bad arrangement for myself. In a few weeks I shall be in London, whence you shall be kept au courant of all I do, or intend to do. I hope notre comtesse will not, with her usual indiscretion, shew me up, by relating any of our little peccadilloes at Vienna and Paris ; but she is a sad bavarde, and commits her friends nearly as much as she compromises herself, by her imprudence. Addio, cara Delphine! Wish success to your
LADY DELAWARD TO LADY ANNANDALE.
I will not dwell on the pain your letter has given me, my dearest Augusta, neither will I enter further into the subject of the imprudence you have committed ; retrospection being now useless, except as a warning for the future, dearly paid for by the experience of the little happiness to be derived from a perseverance in wilfulness. Lord Annandale is now your husband; and I cannot think so ill of him as to believe that he would have become so, had he known your repugnance at the last to form the tie. It is formed, and is indissoluble ; and by this, your first and fatal error of judgment, you have placed yourself in a position to demand a never-ceasing prudence, and neverslumbering self-examination, to enable you to fulfil the duties you have imposed on yourself. To a wife who loves her husband those duties become pleasures, because she knows that on their fulfilment depends his happiness, as well as her own; but to one who is so unfortunate as to marry without a sincere and devoted affection, they should be, if possible, more sacred, as their scrupulous discharge is the only atonement she can offer for withholding that love which is to sweeten the draught of life; and which every man has a right to expect from her who voluntarily bestows on him her hand. Many have been the marriages without love that have been peaceful and respectable, if not happy. You, my dear Augusta, having committed a serious fault, must redeem it by your virtue; and prove, that not to be wise, is not to be unworthy. Leave no effort untried to attach yourself to Lord Annandale : gratitude for his attachment to you ought to excite kind feelings; and, when to this is added the knowledge, that, had you not accepted his offered
hand, he might have found many lovely and amiable women who would gladly have become his wife, and given him their affections, you surely cannot act otherwise than as a kind, indulgent friend, who will make his home cheerful, and his name respected. You must seriously examine your opinions and sentiments with regard to him; for indifference or dislike are great magnifiers of the defects of those whom we view through their medium, and we are seldom just when we permit their intervention. If he is not all that you could desire, despair not of rendering him so; for much depends on the use you make of the influence you will naturally acquire over him. Lord Annandale has lived too much in the great world to have escaped the faults it engenders; its glare and artificial enjoyments may have, probably, blunted the fine edge of his feelings, and led him to descend to less wise,