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though I have never had those horrid bills “Well, my dear, have you seen the lalong enough in my hands to make any very dies ?" said he, in rather a faltering voice close calculation," said Maria; “but I “Yes, sir, to be sure I hạye,' she redon't see how she can help it. I am sure plied, looking greatly surprised at the quesI should not like to go out with her if she tion; "what do you suppose I have been were not well dressed, and she can't wear about ? Did I not tell you that I was going gauzes, and nets, and trumpery muslins, as to them ? And do I ever undertake a thing
without doing it? What can you ask şuch “No, but then she need not talk so much an idle question for ?”! more of our things than she does of her "Why, it is an idle question, to be sure, own,” replied Agatha. “However, I am my dear, but the truth is, I did not like to not going to quarrel with mamma about the plague you by asking for particulars just bills, or the dresses either. Altogether, the moment you came in. But of course, she has contrived to get on exceedingly my dear, I am very anxious.” well, and it does her great credit-nobody Anxious, Mr. Roberts ? What is it can be more aware of that than I am. But has made you anxious, sir ? Nothing alarmnow that such a monstrous sum of money, ing has happened, I hope, since I left the in addition, is coming with this girl, and house ?" that every thing will of course go smooth “Oh dear no, nothing at all. I was and easy again, I shall be vexed if she thinking of what might have happened to grumble any more about what we have had you, my dear; I hope you have had nofrom Amabel's, for I positively declare that thing to vex you ?” we never have had any thing that was not “Vex me, sir, what should I have to vex absolutely necessary to our making a decent me? I am not so easily vexed, Mr. Roappearance."
berts, and I hope you will not be vexed eiThe two young ladies then proceeded to ther; or, at least, not unreasonably vexed, discuss the various fears, and the various when I tell you that I found it absolutely hopes, to which this important addition to impossible." their family circle naturally gave rise ; both Here Mr. Roberts groaned, but quite inagreeing that after all, Edward was the voluntarily, and he immediately endeavored person to whom it was likely to be most to atone for it by saying, “ I beg your parreally interesting. For that the girl would don, my dear. Don't mind me, Sarah; fall in love with him, was as certain as that don't think about me; it can't be helped, she had eyes in her head; and if he could and we must make the best of it.” make up his mind to marry her, it would “ The best of it,” she replied in astonmost certainly be a very advantageous con- ishment, that seemed to increase with every nexion for them all.
moment. “ What can you mean, Mr. Ro But all this, together with intich more berts ? I was simply going to mention to very interesting matter, concerning the you that I found it impossible to avoid letrather peculiar inanner in which a young ting dear Bertha come rather early to-morchevalier and a middle-aged count had row, they were all so kindly eager and anx
going on” for some time past, must ious that she should be with us at once. be left to the imagination of the reader, But I really never imagined that there was while we follow Mrs. Roberts to the pres- any very serious evil in having to hurry a ence of her husband.
little in getting a room ready for her.” “Well, my dear," began that truly wor “She is coming, then ?" exclaimed the thy gentleman, with a look of considerable delighted Mr. Roberts, clasping his hands anxiety, but without venturing to annoy in a sort of thankful ecstacy. his invaluable wife by any more special "Coming, sir?" returned his wife, questionings.
know she was coming ?" “ Well, Mr. Roberts," she repeated in “I knew, my dear, that it was your exan accent so charmingly equable that it cellent plan, and most truly wise intention, was impossible for him to judge, with any to get her to come here if you possibly degree of certainty, whether she had suc- could. But how could I-how.could any ceeded or not, and having said this, she man be persectly sure in a business that re seated herself in the chair which she usu- quired so much skill to carry through-how ally occupied when she did him the honor could I be quite certain that you would of paying him a visit in the little room ap- have the astonishing cleverness to do it al propriated to his particular use and service. once ?" said Mr. Roberts.
It was now Mrs. Roberts's turn to sigh, age to stow this poor girl. I shall make a which she did very profoundly. “I really point of being always particularly kind to should like to know, Mr. Roberts,” she her. Edward's chance, you know, will be said, "how many years more you and I all the better for that. If things go on bemust continue to live together before you tween them as I expect they will, I shall find out that whatever I say I will do, I begin to get very anxious to hear of old Sir perform? Did I not tell you, sir, that it Christopher's death. It will be so much was my purpose to inform Lady Moreton pleasanter, you know, to have no doubt that I should not object to take charge of about their income. Five hundred a year her niece for a few years ? Did I not tell might do all very well for a common-place you this, Mr. Roberts ?”
young man, such as one generally sees, bu, “Yes, you did indeed, my dear; and no upon my honor three thousand will not be doubt of it, it was nothing but my folly that a penny too much for him. He is so thormade me fear about it for a single moment oughly elegant and superior.” afterwards,” replied Mr. Roberts, looking Mrs. Roberts then left the room with a the picture of penitence. “But who is very stately step, and her husband conthere in the whole world but you, Sarah, tinued looking after her as she went, as if he that could be so very certain about Lady expected to see a train of glory left along Moreton's consent, the very moment you her path. mentioned the thing to her?
Who but you
“ There never was such another woman could have known beforehand that it must as that !" said he, relieving his full bosom succeed ?"
with a puffing sigh. “No, never!" Here Mrs. Roberts smiled; a little in pity and a little in pride.
Mrs. Roberts, when first made aware My poor, dear, excellent Mr. Roberts !" that she really was going to have Miss Har. she exclaimed, “don't fancy I am angry rington as an inmate, cast some vague with you. I am not, I give you my word of thoughts towards a light closet within her honor, I am not the least atom angry.or out daughters' bedroom, as a possible lodgingof temper; but I do believe that you are room for her during the short time they the only man alive who, being told that I were to remain in Paris. But the utter had no objection to taking Bertha Harring- impossibility of putting both a bed and a ton, would feel any doubt about my having washing-stand in it, at one and the same her. Now do just use your common sense time, at length decided her against it; and for one moment, Mr. Roberts, and tell me it then became evident, that the only seasihow you suppose Lady Moreton must have ble scheme for lodging her young guest in felt the moment I made her understand their apartments, would be the sending Edthat I should not object to adopting her ward to an hotel, and preparing for her the niece into my family as an inmate and room he had occupied. friend? How do you suppose she felt, But although she was exceedingly desisir ?"
rous of setting about it at once, she could “Why, delighted, my dear. I have no by no means think of taking the liberty of question of it, none at all,” replied her hus- entering her elegant Edward's domain withband; "she must have been delighted; out announcing to him the necessity, and and so she ought, Heaven knows, for she obtaining his permission. She therefore has now got an example to set before her waited with all the patience she could mus. niece, such as few people in this poor sin- ter, till he returned to the house, and then ful earth of ours are often happy enough to invited him to a tête-à-tête in her own get sight of-unless they have the good room. fortune to live tolerably near to you, my Up to this time, the heir of the Robertses dear ?"
had been kept in ignorance of all his paMrs. Roberts now rose, and patting her rents' hopes and fears respecting the young husband's bald head as she passed him, lady who was so speedily to be adopted into said, “ You are never deficient in sense, the bosom of his family, and who was inRoberts, when you give yourself a little tended ultimately to enjoy the enviable pretime to think. But I must not stay gossip- eminence of being his wife. ing with you, my dear, though you are very It would scarcely be doing justice to the agreeable sometimes, when you know what character of Mrs. Roberts to say that she you are talking about. I must positively look was afraid of any thing; but if her courage about the rooms, and see where I can man- ever threatened to forsake her under any
circumstances, it was when she thought say he is done up himself, and if that notion that any thing was likely to happen which is not got up to keep me in order, but is might by possibility vex, embarrass, irri- really truth and fact, I don't see what good tate, or in any way annoy her son. The I am to get by your bothering him about idea of seeing him look either cross or me- my dress, and the rest of it.” lancholy, was more than she could bear, and " You speak like an angel, my darling the double possibility that he might dislike Edward, as you always do; but you will the arrangement if it did take place, or be see, if you will listen to me, that I do not disappointed if it did not, had prevented intend to sit down with my hands before her having, as yet, named the subject to me, while you are at a loss, my poor, dear him. But now the hour and the man were boy, to find means of getting a decent coat.”
and she set about the necessary Her son stared, but waited in silence for communication with her usual skill. what was to come next.
“Oh! here you are !" she exclaimed, as “I do not wonder at your looking surhe entered the room, riding-whip in hand, prised, my dear," she resumed, " for it is and in the act of drawing on his snow-white seldom that a woman can do any thing to riding gloves.
help her family at a pinch ; but if you have “Oh! my darling Edward ! how I wish patience to listen to rather a long story, I that you had a whole stud of Arabian horses think I shall make you understand that you at your command! I never, in the whole need not cut your stick, as you call it, you course of my life, saw a man look so per- dear, droll creature, just directly." fectly elegant in a riding-dress as you do.” “Fire away, then, mother," said the
“ Í really cannot say any thing about youth, “pauvre Jacque must lead about my that, ma'am,” replied the youth, walking up nag a little, that's alī.” to her toilet-glass, and bending fondly over Mrs. Roberts then entered, somewhat it to inspect the condition of his moustache, more at length than is necessary for us to. “I must leave that to you. But now you follow her, into the condition of the family have hooked me for a talk, mother, I will exchequer, and then rather abruptly asked just give you a hint that you must please to her son, if he had ever heard his sisters make the governor shovel out a little. And mention a Miss Bertha Harrington, who indeed, a little won't do; he must come was staying with his great friend and addown pretty handsomely, or I shall come mirer, Lady Moreton. to a stand-still, and that won't answer for “No, not I, ma'am,” returned the young you or the misses either, I promise you." man, yawning. “Oh! yes I have, though!"
“ It is odd enough, my dear fellow,” re- he added, correcting himself; “that's the plied his mother, gazing at him with une- girl that they said was as ugly as sin, and a quivocal delight, " that you should happen great fortune." to say that to me just at this moment, be “She is not as ugly as sin, Edward,” recause what I want to say to you, has got a turned Mrs. Roberts, knitting her brows; good deal to do with it. You are not the " and it is extremely wrong and foolish in only one of the family who is hard up, my your sisters to say so. I am not at all sure dear Edward—for your father is pretty well that she may not turn out quite as handdrawn dry, and I have got half-a-dozen of some as they are themselves. But that is your bills in my desk, still unpaid, besides not the point that is of the most importá horrible lot of my own.”
ance to us just now.” The young gentleman colored a good And then she went on to explain what deal as he listened to this, and then imme- the reader knows already, respecting the diately replied, “Then I must cut my stick situation and fortune of Miss Harrington ; and be off, ma'am; so you may as well the immense advantage which the stipend give me some tin and your blessing at she paid would be to the Roberts family in once; for upon my soul I can't stay here.” their present situation, and the very extra
“ I am not at all surprised to hear you ordinary skill with which she had managed say so, Edward,” returned the indulgent to obtain it. parent; "for it is quite impossible, as I Considering the thoughtless age and am constantly telling your father, that any sprightly temperament of her son, Mrs. man can dress as you do, and look as you Roberts had every reason to be satisfied do, for nothing. It is no good to expect it.” with the degree of attention with which he
“ But the old gentleman can't coin, listened to her. ma'am,” replied the considerate son. "You! “If things are as bad as you say, mother,"
he replied, “you have certainly made a here. You won't mind it, my dear, will gooj hit. But it is a confounded bore, too, you ?”. to have a great ugly girl in the house, by “Mind it, ma'am ?-yes, to be sure I way of a boarder. Every body will see in shall mind it-having to pack up all my a moment, you know, that we are as poor' things twice over-and I, with such quanas rats.'
tities of things upon my hands to do, and " Fear nothing on that score, dearest,” such lots of people to see. It will be a replied his mother, “I shall take care to most horrid bore, ma'am, I assure you." put every thing on a proper footing—and, “I was afraid you would say so, my for goodness sake, don't you let me ever dearest Edward, I was indeed, and there hear you
call her boarder again. It is ex- fore I cannot be surprised at it. But what actly what I have been scolding your fath- can I do, my dear ? If we refuse to take er for, Edward, and upon my word, it is her in at once, I am quite sure we shall more excusable in him than in you, be- lose her, and how will your bills be paid, cause you ought to know so much better Edward ? There is not, as you will see what's what, than we can ever expect him yourself, if you will look about, any hole to do, poor, dear man.”
or corner in which we can put her--and it “But what the deuce is she, ma'am-if would look too odd, you know, to turn your she is not a boarder ?" demanded Mr. Ed- sisters out and keep you in the house, ward.
wouldn't it? I am sure if it were not for "A WARD, my dear boy—your father's the look of it, they should march out in ward—that is what she must be called. double quick time, if you wished it." And if we all remember, on all occasions, Nonsense, ma'am; but you may tell to give her this title, everybody else will them, if you please, that I expect they will give it to her also, and the dear girl herself pack up my things for me," he replied, will be sure to adopt the idea—which will putting on his hat before the glass, and prebe a great advantage, because it will at once paring to escape; " and don't forget to put her on a proper footing with us all." mention that they are not to read a single
“And will her aunt, Lady Moreton, and line—no, not a single word, remember, of her cousin with the big eyes, adopt the idea, any notes they find. I wish the governor's too, mother ?" demanded the inquisitive newly-invented ward was in the sea.” son again.
“ Edward,” said his mother, laying her “ How like your mother you are, Ed- hand impressively on his arm, as he passed ward !" exclaimed Mrs. Roberts, with a her to go out, “Edward, I don't wish to look of great tenderness. “You see every dictate to you, I never did, and I never thing with such astonishing quickness. No, will; but let me say one word to you as a my dear; most certainly Lady Moreton friend-never suffer your sisters to judge would not adopt the same idea, nor her for you respecting female beauty. Girls Cousin, Lady Forton, either. You are are never fair judges of the beauty of each quite right; we should get into a very dis- other, that is one thing, my dear, that I agreeable scrape, perhaps, if we hazarded wish you to remember ; and another is, that any thing of the kind, while we remain in dear Bertha Harrington-I trust she will Paris, and for that reason, as well as for be dear Bertha to us all-remember, Edsome others, Edward, the best thing we ward, that dear Bertha Harrington is the can do will be to move off with as little daughter of a baronet, and that in all hudelay as possible. It is perfectly clear that man probability she will have an income of Madame de Soissonac means to cut us all, three thousand a year. God bless you, my and this will make a great difference, I as- dear. Take your ride, Edward, and be sure you. Such balls as hers, once every sure that you shall find a comfortable room week, might be worth staying in Paris for, taken, and all your things carefully packed up but I am sure the embassy isn't—the rude- and removed to it, by the time you return." ness of the embassy people, considering the introduction we had, is perfectly disgusting. However, it is no use to talk of this The Lady Moreton and the Lady Forton now, especially as we have so many other were as punctual as heart could wish, in esthings to think about; and in the first corting Miss Bertha Harrington from their place, my dear Edward, I wanted to tell apartments in the Rue Rivoli, to those ocyou that I hope you won't mind sleeping at cupied by the Roberts family in the Rue an hotel for the few nights we shall stay Tétebout. The two elder ladies having
both of them business of considerable | we do to put her in spirits a little ? What importance to transact at various shops, do you say to a glass of wine, my dear ?" did not leave their carriage, and the young * La, mamma! of course she won't drink girl, wrapped in her dark mourning weeds, wine of a morning-how can you think of mounted the stairs, and entered the sitting such a thing ?” said Agatha. “Let her room of her strange hosts alone. Mr. come with Maria and me into her room. Roberts was shut up in his own little room, Her boxes are all there, and we will both reading his Galignani, and Mrs. Roberts of us help her to unpack them." and her two daughters were the only occu No objection being made to the proposal, pants of the saloon. Mrs. Roberts re- the two Miss Robertses each seized upon a mained tranquil for a moment, with her eye passive arm, and led her away. Having fixed on the door to see if any one was reached the room appropriated to her use, about to follow the young lady, but perceiv- they entered it all together, and Maria, ing that she was decidedly alone, she hastily dropping the arm she had taken, shut to rose, stepped rapidly across the floor, and the door, and bolted it. a good deal to the young lady's astonish Bertha shook her head, and gently but ment, enclosed her in a most affectionate decisively applied herself to the fastenings embrace.
thus secured, and removed them. “My darling child,” she exclaimed, “Not now, dear young ladies, not now," “how delighted I am to see you! I did she said, holding the door open, that they so wish that my poor dear girls should be might pass through it, “I do not want any thrown in the way of a young English girl thing out of my trunks just at present; and of nearly their own age. I do not wish as my head is aching very much, I am sure them to form intimacies with French girls, you will have the kindness to excuse my and therefore they have no intimate young wishing to be alone." friends at all; but now, thanks to the ami “Oh, just as you like, Miss Bertha !" able kindness of your dear aunt, they will replied Agatha, laughing; "only, you know, feel this want no longer. I feel exceeding- we shall never get on, if you shut yourself ly flattered, my dear Bertha, and so I am up in this way." sure we all do, at the friendly confidence “I will be more sociable by and by," which Lady Moreton has shown in trusting said Bertha, still steadily holding the door you to our care; but, in fact, I never would wide open in her hand. have accepted the trust, had it not been for “Come along, Agatha,” said Maria, the sake of getting a companion for my bouncing out of the room, “it is no good dear girls. Come here, loves,” she con- standing here, disputing about it.” tinued, beckoning her two daughters, who Agatha appeared to be of the same opinwere engaged in looking out at the win- ion, and followed after, upon which the dow and watching the showy equipage of door was very quickly but very quietly Lady Moreton, as it drove down the street closed, and the bolt also was very quickly towards the boulevards, “ come here." but very quietly fastened also.
The young ladies obeyed, and each of “ Did you hear that ?" said Maria, who them in succession received the hand of heard the sound, not withstanding its being Bertha, which Mrs. Roberts, in a very sen so little obtrusive. “ I'll tell you what, timental manner, deposited on their palms. Agatha, I don't believe a word about her
The sable stranger stood in the midst of being so very young--she is too quiet by them, as if she knew that it was her des- half—that girl likes to have her own way, tiny thus to find herself she knew not and so you'll see; and I will tell you somewhere, and she knew not why. But she thing else too-I shall not quarrel with her made a faint attempt to smile at the inti- for being ugly, though I think her perfectly mate young friends who were thus present- frightful, and I shall not quarrel with her ed to her, and took a great deal of pains to for being cross, for I should snap my finprevent their seeing the tears which were gers at it; but I will not endure her giving gathering in her eyes. But the effort was herself any grand and great airs to me. in vain, for they made their escape, and ran Mamma may manage her as she likes, but trickling down her colorless
colorless cheeks. I will not bear to be treated with pride." Whereupon Mrs. Roberts again seized up “You are a fool, Maria," replied her elon her, and kissed her rather vehemently der sister. “She may be as proud as she upon her forehead, saying,
likes for me, provided she does but pay " This won't do, will it, girls? What can enough for it."