« PoprzedniaDalej »
suggestion, aided by my vehement protestations of affection and grief, soon settled the affair; and induced her to tell mamma that her happiness depended upon our union. You know that I had determined on never again entering the pale of matrimony; a resolution that I should have faithfully kept, had I only seen the belles of Almack's gallopading, waltzing, or quadrilling, for — husbands; or cantering in the Park, to catch some Nimrod. No; your London beauty, with pale cheeks, languid eyes, and uncountable accomplishments, would not have made me captive: but, this creature-as fresh in mind as in person, full of health, of hope, and joy - there was no resisting. I shall be disappointed if she do not produce an amazing sensation in the fashionable world. Her beauty is so brilliant, that it must command universal homage; and her naïveté has nothing rustic in
it. She has been so much accustomed to be
admired, nay, worshipped, by those around her, that she is more likely to receive the general admiration of our circle as her right, than as a subject for gratitude. And yet, there is nothing insolent in her pretensions : a consciousness of beauty and power may well be pardoned in a creature fair enough to warm the frozen heart of a Stoic, and lively enough to keep that heart in perpetual agitation.
To-morrow, ma belle fiancée, and her papa and mamma, leave this place, with Lord Howard, for Delaward Park. I know . I am no favourite with the Delawards, who are very formal, stuck-up people; and who, were I not an accepted lover, might be very likely to influence Lady Augusta, over whom Lady. Delaward has long exercised an empire founded on affection. I feared this empire, and en
deavoured, once or twice, to ridicule Lady Delaward, to my future; but, she resented the attempt most warmly, and, therefore, I have ever since avoided the subject.
I return to Gloucestershire to-morrow, and shall be in town in a few days, to put all en train with the lawyers, who now-a-days make as many difficulties in letting a man marry, as they formerly did in unmarrying him ; consequently, a modern marriagesettlement seems more like an agreement drawn up between two hostile parties, mutually apprehensive of fraud, than of two loving persons going to be made one. The Scotch term of married against, instead of to, has always struck me as peculiarly felicitous. But here am I plaisantunt respecting that state into which I am so anxious to enter ! perhaps on the principle of anticipating the mauvaises plaisanteries of my friends. Adieu, au revoir, as I conclude you will be in town by the time I arrive there.
Tout à vous,
MISS MONTRESSOR TO LADY A. VERNON.
And so, ma chère Augusta, you have accepted Lord Annandale! This surprises me not, neither does it displease ; but, I confess, your sentimental scruples as to not liking him made me laugh, though they vexed me a little too. How much have you to learn, ma bonne! You are fortunate in having secured a bon parti without' passing through the tiresome ceremony of coming out ; and being exhibited through a whole season, perhaps two, to those disposed to take unto themselves a wife. A demoiselle, however charming, is always placed in a fausse position under such circumstances, even in England, where unmarried women have so much more liberty than in other countries; I congratulate you, therefore, on having escaped that ordeal of patience, being “a belle of a season," and entering the fashionable world as a married woman, giving the ton to, not taking it from, others.
I have never seen a group of our young débutantes, at their first presentation at court, without being reminded of the horses, mules, and asses, in Italy, decked in plumes and tinsel, on the fête of St. Anthony, and led to be blessed by that patron of animals, preparatory to their exhibition for sale ; while those who intend to purchase, flock round to examine their points and paces. You have escaped all this humiliation; and, instead of approaching royalty as a blushing novice, to obtain a