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"I am not satisfied with your excuses, friendship and confidence I am am. young ladies; there is not one of bitious of: although our acquaintihem has the least weight. Permit ance is short, I have seen enough to me to say your ohjections are va- convince me I cannot contract a niore nished.'
amiable one, and I hope to make my• No, sir,' said Maria, with a self in some measure worthy of it.' grave countenance, our excuses, • Ah! sir,' said Maria—a tear perhaps, are not powerful, but such standing in her eye-'we have no as they are, if you will accept them friend or protector but our brother: you will highly oblige us.'
to him are we indebted for the easy You know there is something circumstances you seeus in. We lost very decisive in Maria's manner, our parents early in life: our browith a persuasive sweetness. 'Not ther put us to a school in a small another word will I say to urge my village, where we were brought up. wish,' said he ; it is sufficient for with a care and attention by the misme it is not yours.' Maria dropt tress not exceeding that of her own a curtsey, and gave him a look of daughter: nothing but her great love inexpressible sweetness.
for us both could have induced her Dinner-time arriving, we to have kept us till the age of sixsurprised at not seeing our brother. teen;, for the small sum my brother Mr. Wentworth came in. We en- allowed must have been insufficient, quired of him, and he informed us though she will not acknowledge it. he was gone to dine with a friend : At that age my brother took me • I have just parted with him, and be home to keep his house, and three desired me to say he should not be years after my sister. We have lived home till bed-time.' Very polite, with hini ever since ; but I have al. thought I.
* Sir,' said Maria, 'I ways thought our continuance une am very sorry'for my brother's ab- certain, for on every slight occasion sence; I dare say he was particularly he threatens to part with us, and engaged.' "No apology, my dear ofton. But why should I say more? miss Vernon: it is, I believe, out of it is unbecoming in me to hint at your power or mine to account for defects in my brother.' your brother's actions. His counte- She ceased, and never did I see nance shone with unusual gaiety, Maria look so lovely. She could and I could plainly perceive he was scarcely restrain her tears, and it not a little pleased at the circum- was with difficulty I could mine. stance, and I can truly say it was The conet took a hand of cach, the most comfortable meal I ever and said, with emotion- Charm. sat down to in this house. Dorcas ing sisters! your short story has af. waited; and the colonel, all ease and fected me; it would interest me in good 'humour, condescended to no- your favour independent of any other tice the good creature in a manner consideration: from this moment hijnly pleasing. After dinner Mr. consider me as your friend, pro
I was going to reply:
with avidity; and when very young If you are going, miss Harriet, I remember wearing a stick' for a to answer what I have been say- sword, and turning up my hat on one ing, I impose silence.'
side, which my sister would orna. * Indeed, sir,' said I, 'I was going ment with a cockade. My father to attempt an answer ; but as it must did not see this inclination with sanot be, I will take the -liberty of tisfaction: he wished me to be a asking you a qliestion.—Pray, sir, merchant-in short, any thing but how came you acquainted with our a soldier. I was placed with a mere brother?'
chint at the age of soventeen; and • As you have been so obliging to in the same house was your brother, acquaint me with your history, said whose assiduity in business gained the colonel, 'I will give you mine, him the applause of his master, if you think it worth your attena. whilst my negligence brought on tion.'
me blame and disgrace. My master You cannot oblige us more,' said at length wrote to my father. How Maria. The colonel then began.- has the recollection of the pain I
• My father was a clergyman in must have given this good parent the west of England, possessed of a distressed me! I was to be seen living of two hundred a year, and a every where but in the compting. small paternal estate, not more than house. This was true, and all my fifty pounds a year. He married a father's remonstrances had no avail. young woman for love, her dower He ordered me hone; but what was being only an agreealle person, a my surprise to find he had purchased sensible mind, and a sweet temper. for me a pair of colours! I exMy father, I believe, always thought pressed my gratitude in the best hiinself rich in the possession of his manner I was able, and promised-, lovely wife; but, alas ! his hape what did I not promise! of everpiness continued only six years : she lasting duty and affection to him died, and left a daughter four years and my sister. I can truly say, I old, and myself one year. My fa- felt all I expressed. ther devoted all the time he could " When the time arried that I spare from his parochial duties to was to embark with the regiment, the care and education of his two I felt a pang at parting with my children-precious pledges would he father and sister. The mournful often call us of his dear Lucy, whose countenance of the former and the memory he revered, and whose loss tears of the latter were daggers to he deplored in a manner becoming my heart. But the field of honour the true Christian. He was a very lay before me, and nothing could learned as well as a sensible man, hase prevented my entrance. I shall and under such a preceptor I could never forget the conversation that not fail of making a progress in use- passed between my father and me, ful knowledge: my sister, also, re- the night before my departure. After ceived from him an education su- taking an affectionate leave of my perior to what is usually bestowed sister, I sat down alone with him. on her sex; and being of an amiable' “ My dear son.” said he,“ | saved disposition added charms to that the money with which I purchased learning without which it fails to your commission with ditñculty; but please in your sex. I very early im- I do not mean to reproach you, or bibed a turn for the army. Every make you feel the weight of the military bouk I met with was perused oblig?tion. Your inclination leads
you to the army; I do not think it until I can prevail on some lady to right to cppose that inclination. honour me with her band; for I own Go, distinguish yourself by your it is my wish to die a married man.' bravery: something whispers me We thanked the colonel for his that you
will rise to eminence in the narration. Congratulaie us, my dear course of a few years. I may not Susan, on our acquaintance with live to
see it; but your sister, this worthy man. Maria says she my sweet Lucy, may. Remember, had no doubt of his being what he Charles, she has a claim on your professes. We discover every hour good fortune.
I hope to live long some new, good, or agreeable quaenough to save so as not to be quite lity in him. I long to see this sister; dependent on you; but whether I if shc resembles her brother, how do or not I commend her to your amiable must she he! But I have care and affection. Love and ho- not finished our conversation. nour your sister, and you will love • Your brother, I believe,' said he, and honour mine and
mother's I thinks my visit has been long memory."
enough: I have suspected it, and this I embraced my father with the day's behaviour has contirmed it.' warmest affection, but my heart was We both expressed our desire he ton full to speak; I stammered cut would not leave us, and began to --Until I forget anyself, I can never make excuses for qur brulher. forget my father and my sister. * I will not,' replied he, leave But I see you are affected: I will London. I purpose taking lodgings, hasten to a conclusion.
and will, with your permission, pay • The first letter I received from my respects to you most days; it England brought an account of this will be more convenient for me so worthy parent's death. I was much to do, as here I cannot bring a sershocked, but ii is our duty to resign vant.' ourselves to these awful events. I • Your brother,' he continued, immediately wrote to my sister, and ' was always an oddity, and loved his from ber I liarned that she was left money too well when a young man. in circumstances only sufficient to This love has increased, as might be board, which she did, with a friend expected. The young man who on easy terms. It has pleased Hea- lives with you, Mr. Wentworth, ven to blese me with every success seems a sensible, amiable man; but I my most sanguine wishes could de- believe your brother does not ensiie, and I baie now the happiness courage him as he deserves.' of returning to my native country, He does not,' said Maria, and and meeting with this beloved sister he has talked of leaving him; indeed unimpaired in health and affection. I wonder he has noti'
this time has acquainted your bro- assure you; a jaunt to Windsor too! ther.'
Bless me, you say, what ails the girl; • I thought he looked rather dull is she mad? I believė I am; but at dinner,' said I.
not to keep you in suspence, I in• He should rather have looked form you that the colonel left our joyful,' said Maria.
house the next day. As he intend· The thoughts of parting with his ed, my brother and he parted on two charming friends, I doubt not, civil terms. For, said the colonel, ‘I was in his head,' observed the co- considered he had two charming lonel.
sisters.' He has taken handsome I watched Maria's countenanco, lodgings, and my brother and we but I discovered very
little emotion have visited him once ; but there is I believe I have been mistaken. 1 scarcely a day passes that he does not am sorry to part with Charles, but spend an hour or two with us. He sincerely rejoice in his good fortune. very much pressed going into public When he came in to supper, he with us, and as Maria has got over complained of a head-ache, and went her scruples, we have been with him to bed. My brother did not come to the play and the opera. My pehome till eleven o'clock, and, witho netration could now discover there out making any apology, called for was something more in all this ata candle, and marched orf,
tention than I at first suspecteil. 'I am astonished how he can be. The colonel is in love', but it is not have in this manner,' said I.
with your friend Harriet ; it is het • The matter will be setiled in the sister who has engaged him. I must morning,' replied the colonel : in tell you how all this came out. He the mean while we will, if you came yesterday morning, as usual. please, follow him up stairs to our Come, thought I, I will not be a separate apartments.' So saying he Marylot (we had seen the Busy took a candle, and with a smile and Body the night before): if you want, a bow retired.
good man, to speak io my sweet Maria and I did not sleep half ilie sister alone, I will give you the night for talking over the conversa- opportunity. Accordingly I walked tion of the day, and I rose early to upstairs; and when he wis gona, write to you. --Adieu, my dear, for which was in about two hours, the present, I smile at your idea (what an unconsionable time, Susan!) of the colonel's falling in love with down I went into the parlour. Maria one of us. I believe he really re- was leaning her head on her hand, gards us both with affection, partic drowned in tears. “Bless me,' said I, cularly Maria: as for me, I love and what's the matter?" "Oh dear! Hara admire him as a friend, but that I riet,' said she, “I want your advice.' do not regard him in any other 'None of your oh dears!' said I ; light is as irue as that I am
let us come to the point at once. I Most affectionately yours,
guess the colonel has done nothing less H. VERNON. than offer you his hand this morning.' LETTER VIII.
• He has, indeed, offered himself
to my acceptance in the most unreThe Sume to the Sume.
served manner.' A whole month has elapsed, • Well, I guessed so. I should like and I have not put pen to paper to to have heard all he said: cannot my dear friend : what shall I say for you recollect, and tell me?' aa exsuse } --l'lays and concerts, I This had ine desired effect; and,
made her smile.--I wish, Harriet,' · Well, don't put yourself in 2 said she, he had offered himself to Austration. I shall not speak till
you give me leave; not but I think . Thank you, sister, so do not I; the suoner it is over the better.' but as a brother I shall adore him.' Maria accompanies this with a
Then you would not have ac- letter to your mother. I conclude in cepted him as a husband?"
haste, yours, Indeed I believe I should. What,
H. VERNON. refuse a man of his fortune! Such a man too! No, no; I should most
LETTER IX. certainly have said yes ; but that is Miss Vernon to Mrs, West, nothing to the purpose. What did you say? But I beg pardon, per- Dear and honoured Madam, haps it is a secret.'
What a happy girl is your Ma• No, my dear Harriet,' said she, ria, in possessing a friend and adI have no secrets from you. I was viser capable and willing to lead her much confounded, as you may sup- through all the perplexities she may pose; but I gave the colonel no rea- meel with! In you, my dear madam, son to think I was averse to the have I through life found this friend; proposal.'
and to your maternal tenderness am • Well, very good,' said I: 'one I indebted for all the instruction my cannot on these occasions, to be sure, early years received, and all the say yes at once. But why, my sweet credit my riper ones have gained. sister, so very grave? you look as if May I never prove ungrateful to my you repented going so far.'
benefactress, by neglecting to ask • Why, indeed, Harriet, I do not her advice and approbation! My know my own heart. I fear I shall sister has informed you, from time not love the colonel v.ith the sort time, of our acquaintance with coof affection I ought, and yet I feel lonel Ambrose. We have concurred the highest es:eem for him.' in our sentiments of hin, which are
• Pish!' said I ; 'is not that suf- in the highest degree favourable. ficient? I have heard it said, love He is certainly a most amiable chais sure to follow esteem, if the ob- racter, as well as a gentleman in ject continues to deserve it; and I the true sense of the word; I esteem, am sure this colonel gives a proof and I may say I admire him in a of his sincerity in choosing a poor superlative degree. But, my dear unportioned girl, when doubtless he madam, I am to acquaint you that might have met wiih many women he has offered me his hand. Now of tortune, that would gladly have though, I regard him in the favouraccepted him. I suppose you will able light I have described, I nevet consult Mrs. West. She will inform felt the least desire of being his you all you ought to teel,'
wife; on the contrary, I feel con• To be sure, I shall not take cerned at the proposal. Am I then any material step without consulting justitiable in becoming the wife of a her.'
man I cannot with pleasure think · Here comes brother,' said I; of as a husband ? He is many years • shall we tell him ..
older than me, but I have never • Oh no, I am not determined considered this circumstance as an yet; besides, Mr. Wentworth is ohjection. To what then can I ascribe with him. Dear Harriet, hold your my inditference? You wil!, perhaps, peace,
say, to my partiality for another