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ence,” she once said, "did I not know there is something soothing in complying with the wishes of the dying. How idle a fancy;" she continued, smiling, “to wish that trees should wave and birds sing over this wasted form ; but nature has been so lovely to me that I have a kind of gratitude to her, and it is sweet to think that I shall repose among those objects which God has given me sensibility to enjoy."
She was carried to her favourite resting-place. From that period a religious repose chastened the intense tenderness of our hearts, as we remembered Lucy's character and death; and when we occasionally left the city to breathe the country air, our souls were refreshed by a visit to her grave.
Ever at early dawn, and close of day,
My next domestic trial was unconnected with household cares. My "help" was “the perfectest pattern of excelling” housekeepers, and my affairs went on like clockwork. Our meals “came like spirits.” No half-cooked potatoes betrayed a cold and hard heart beneath a soft surface—no half-picked poultry came to the table as if reluctant to resign the feathery insignia. The amalgamation of sauces and gravies was like the intercourse of society, where the piquant is softened by the modest, and the feeble animated by the strong. My windows were clear as a good conscience, my brasses bright as ready wit, and like Narcissus in the stream, I half fell in love with myself in the polished mahogany.
From whence then came the cloud to shade this happy picture? I was jealous. Not of women, for my husband not only professed to love me, but treated me with remarked attention in the society of others; and often when I saw married men display their gallantry to any but their wives, I felt proud of those preferring attentions, which Edward directly, but without display, tendered me. My jealousy, and I write it with half a blush, was of books.
Edward was becoming an ambitious lawyer. His singleness of character and clearness of intellect gained him unexpected friends, and the strongest efforts of his mind were directed to eminence in his profession. Gradually, book by book was brought from the office. Blackstone was on one window-seat, Coke upon Littleton on another, and Chitty's Pleadings lumbered the well-dusted mantelpiece. An in
stinctive regard and respect for my feelings prevented his passing his evenings abroad; but he read and read, while I silently pursued my sewing, until at last the heavy whitish looking volumes were laid on the breakfast or tea-table, beside the cup of coffee, which was often allowed to cool before it was tasted. He no longer asked me for a song at evening; and when I found my voice unheard by him, I shut the harpsichord in disgust. Our sunset walk was often forgotten; and when I sometimes said, “Come, Edward, I am ready;" he answered, “Yes, dear, directly-just let me finish this paragraph.” The paragraph might be finished, but I, sitting in silence, felt a languor steal over me; and when in a half hour he closed his book, and said briefly, “What-are you waiting ? Let us go,” the walk seemed heavy, and the twilight sad. Perhaps, had I rallied him, he might have perceived that he was trying a dangerous, though unintentional experiment with a devoted heart; or had I seriously opened my feelings, he would probably have understood
them, but I was ashamed, and tried to think that I was unreasonable, and he in the performance of his duty. I remembered that it was for my subsistence he toiled, and lingered through even the midnight hour.
But with a feeling of unconquerable diffi dence in the expression of my thoughts, I grew reserved. My step was slow and careful, or quick and agitated, and I sometimes said cutting things in the impatience of my spirit. He was all truth and openness, and occasionally looked perplexed at my manner.
“I should think you were unhappy," said he one day to me, after he had been studying a horrid looking, parchment-covered book, at the breakfast-table, “if I did not see every thing around you appearing so cheerful and comfortable. There never was such a sweet home as ours.”
My eyes filled with tears, but I hid them and was silent.
“Clarissa,” said he, "you look thin, and now I think of it I am afraid your appetite is not