« PoprzedniaDalej »
cast lids --- a figure de circonstance which is, I believe, d'usage on such occasions, - wishing, all the time, that “ God had made me such a man;" and that I was the proprietor of a certain baronial chateau in the north, a park in the south, a mansion in the west end of London, and a box at the opera ; as well as a certain other and still more precious box, bound in brass and of large dimensions, similar to one whose sparkling contents had excited my envy the day before.
All these virgin wishes would naturally produce a pensive expression of countenance, which would as naturally be attributed to an amiable disposition, and a deep conviction of the serious duties which marriage imposes. A woman that so properly feels this conviction must, of course, be likely to make a good wife; and the man, with a free hand, an empty heart, and a full purse, who sees a poor brides
maid wiping her eyes, as the chariot-and-four, with postilions with white favours, whisks off from her sight the blushing bride and exulting bridegroom, and does not speak comfort to her, must be a brute. Pity is, they say, akin to love; the pity once excited, (and what so likely to call it forth as such a scene as I have described ?) who knows what may follow? and your poor friend may, from a weeping bridesmaid, be transformed, in due time, into a simpering bride.
Do not mar the possibility of such a happy event, by not bidding to your nuptials your amie dévouée, CAROLINE.
LORD ANNANDALE TO THE MARQUESS OF
If your letter of advice had reached me in time, my dear Nottingham, I should have followed it; but when did advice ever come in time? Advice is like experience; it always comes when it is too late for use. My letter to sa seigneurie was despatched twice twenty-four hours before yours arrived. She has accepted the salve I offered to her wounded vanity; and has written to me, saying, that, in pity to my malheur, she will take Lady Annandale under her protection, and render her à la mode. I could have well dispensed with this excessive generosity on her part. Mais quoi faire ? Were I to exclude her from Lady Annandale's circle, she would become an active enemy; and I know the extent of her talents for tracasserie too well, to expose myself to their indefatigable activity.
I hope much from the great beauty of Lady Augusta ; for the comtesse will hardly seek to exhibit her fanés charms near the youthful bloom of Lady Annandale — a bloom near which all other women look fade. For my part, I shall affect to think my wife rien de remarquable in the way of good looks; an insensibility which this vain woman will attribute to my devotion to her; and it will console her vanity, which I know to be as excessive as it is sensitive, to believe that there is one man in London who thinks her more irresistible than her beautiful rival; and that that man is her rival's liege-lord.
The settlements are drawn, and on the 14th all will be in readiness for the nuptial ceremony. Lord and Lady Vernon have insisted that it shall be performed, with primitive simplicity, in their village church; when, probably, the rector who christened la belle Augusta--and her papa, for aught I know --- will read me a homily on the duties of husbands, similar to one I heard on a like occasion some three years ago.
Heigh-ho! how old it makes one feel, to recall to memory such a remarkable epoch in a man's life as a marriage! The late Lady Annandale was a very beautiful and amiable woman; mais, not content with being good herself, she would fain have rendered every one else equally excellent; and, most of all, her unworthy lord. Poor dear soul ! how pale and sorrowful she used to look, when I gave utterance to any of my opinions on religious subjects, or laughed at the peccadilloes of people of fashion! She tried to reclaim me, as she called it; but she “ did her spiriting gently,” and an unkind or harsh word I never heard from her lips, nor one implying a reproach, unless it might be the last, when she said to me, “ We have been too much separated on earth, my dear husband, by a want of similarity of sentiments : let us not, with my last breath I pray you, be divided in a future state, by a want of religion, and a strict performance of all it enjoins.”