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voked, I suppose, by a reflection on the sapient is too truly generous to wish to involve any woman body of which you are a member. But I did not in poverty; but if he never marries till he marries mean to be personal, for I beg you to recollect that for money, he will die a bachelor.” it is only by fiction that you yourself are there. “I have always thought so," said the lady; "and If you were there in fact, then the other might be hence I have a high regard for him. To my knowno fiction. So you see my remark touches you ledge he has had good reason to believe he could not. You bachelor members have no great cause have made his fortune by marriage if he would. to take offence at any censures which may be cast How I do love such a character !" on Congress. I assure you, ladies, it would be • Is there then so much merit," asked Harlston, rendering essential service to the country if you "in merely forbearing to commit a crime, without would frown him back to his duty."

temptation ?" Might we not render your clients a similar ser- "Crime! Temptation !!" exclaimed the lady. vice?" asked Miss Bernard.

“Why where have you lived? What every body does “My dear lady, do but tell me who they are, and cannot be a crime. Who is there to call it so? I will engage to make amends for all my remissness. And as to Temptation! A fine establishment, plate, The only speeches I can get leave to make are to furniture, entertainments, dress, jewels! O dear! the ladies, and their smiles the only fee I can hope Gilded misery must be so sweet!" to win.”

The tone of this last sentence falsified the words: "You briefless lawyers are much wronged, if falsified all that had gone before ; and fully conyou do not seek to be rewarded, even for such vinced Colonel Harlston that Miss Bernard was not speeches, with something more valuable than less disinterested than her friend Ludwell. smiles."

Meantime young Ludwell, addressing his con“What, kisses ? How can you think us so pre- versation to Gertrude, assumed a tone and manner sumptuous ?"

so different from the saucy badinage in which he “You shocking creature ? No. Your conscience had just been indulging, that he seemed like a diftells you what I mean.”

ferent creature. Gifted with taste, genius and " Indeed it does. Guineas ! The sweet yellow wit, he could be amusing, interesting, or instrue. darlings! 'O gie me the lass that has acres of tive; and his trains of thought and raciness of charms.' You are right, Miss Bernard, and I cal- expression brought Henry so strongly to Gertrude's culate on your coöperation. You know you and I mind, that she found a pleasure in his conversahave been fast allies, these two winters."

tion, such as she had not experienced sjoce she left “ How so? I assure you I am at the first of it.” home. The interest with which she listened to

Oh! the only sort of alliance that can be relied him engaged the attention of Colonel Harlston in on-community of interest. While you use all spite of the efforts of Miss Bernard to secure it to your art to inveigle the rich bachelors, your success herself, and he could not forbear, at one moment, will leave the rich girls no choice but to take up from breaking into the conversation, by answering with poor fellows like me, and so by your means some remark. I may accomplish my aim at last.”

"Miss Bernard," said Ludwell, suddenly turo“I declare I had not thonght of that. It is a ing to that young lady, “ Harlston is passionately capital scheme. But 'gif-gaf' you know. If I fond of music, and you must play him that delighttake off your rivals you must take off mine.” ful piece I heard you play the other day in the

" Agreed. You have only to let me know whom country.". you have a design on, and I will hold myself bound “You are very kind to Colonel Harlston," said to occur forthwith to any lady he seems disposed Miss Bernard. “It might have sounded more galto attend to."

lant to say a word for yourself.” " Why, you unreasonable wretch! would you “ You forget. That is not my cue. Do you have me make you my confidant.

You not see how busy I am here working for you! You must exercise your sagacity and act accordingly.” must do your part too! Set your shoulder to the “ Must I. Well then let us begin. There Harl- wheel

, and Hercules will help you." ston, do you talk to Miss Bernard, and leave Miss “My dear Laura," said Mrs. Pendarvis, rising Courtney to me.”

and leading the young lady to the piano, “don't As he said this Harlston turned his head mechani- mind that saucy chatterbox, and let us hear you cally toward Miss Bernard, while Ludwell, coolly play. Come : po refusal." drawing a chair, placed himself near Gertrude. And she did play; and she played divinely. And

“Mr. Ludwell recommends me to your notice, she sang; and her voice had a strange charm, Colonel,” said Miss Bernard, “ by giving me a very analogous to her spoken tones; which seemed to bad character."

impart to the words a meaning never perceived “ Unless I am to believe him more serious in before, and addressed itself to the heart, as in a his accusation than in his confession,” said Harl- sort of mystic language. Lulwell immediately ston, “it can hardly prejudice you. I believe he turned again to Gertrude, and would have resumed

No no.

his former strain of conversation. But she had race. It is not instinct. It is a principle, founded not yet acquired that refinement of manners which in deep and wretched experience; and any, the least teaches a young lady to accompany the music of allosion to the subject by a lady, though it be to another with a rattling peal of nonsense and laugh- express her indignation against mercenary matches, ter; and her taste for music, though lule culti- repels me in a moment. I had no reason to doubt vated, made her a delighted listener to Miss Ber- what Miss Bernard said, nor was she to blame for nard's performance. Colonel Harlston, who was saying it, for you made it almost necessary; and indeed a connoisseur, was quite enchanted, but yet that idea came between me and her all the time while Miss Bernard had all his ear, his eye still we were conversing, and eveu while I was listenwandered to Gertrude, and marked the ingenuous ing to her music.” pleasure which her countenance displayed, and her Think

you I was not aware of that, my dear resolute resistance to all Ludwell's attempts to fellow ? She has quite too much tact to volunteer keep up the conversation. Miss Bernard was not professions on the subject, or even to allude to it, permitted to leave the piano. Tune succeeded in the first instance. Hence I introduced it in a tune, till, in looking for one, the Colonel's hand way that I thought would draw her out, and make alighted on a book of drawings. This bore Miss her show off. She carried it off however quite Bernard's name, and displayed much talent and moderately ; but I knew you would be conscious more taste. Here was a new theme for conversa- of the presence of the cat, though she did not show tion, for he was an admirer of the art. He had herself. In short, Harlston, though I would gladly travelled, and so had she, and they presently wan- be rid of your rivalry in the other quarter, I did dered together through the galleries of Rome and not wish to do it at your expense. Had I known Florence, and discussed the merits of the great that Miss Bernard was in the city, I would have masters of the pictorial art till a morning call was warned you against her distinctly." prolonged to a most unfashionable visitation, “ Who and what is she ?"

“ Well Harlston," said Ludwell, as the gentle- “ All that you see and a great deal more. But men walked away from the door, “I think Miss to sum up all that concerns you in one word, she is Bernard must own me for a very efficient ally. a lady who will marry you if she can." And indeed she has been hardly less serviceable to “And Miss Courtney ? What of her ?" me, for, though Miss Courtney is understood to be “I know nothing of her, but that she is the nearly pennyless, yet may the smile of woman niece of Mrs. Pendarvis, and that her father died never cheer my poverty, if I would not rather share when she was a child, leaving little behind him but it with her, than accept the hand of the other with a high reputation for honor and talent. Her mother, a kingdom for her dowry."

some years after, married a country physician of "To me,” said Harlston, “ Miss Bernard appears great respectability, large family and moderate fora beautiful, intelligent, highly accomplished and lune. The figure she is making here does not right-minded woman, in whose society a man might accord with her circumstances, and might look suswell be happy."

picious, were not the generosity of her aunt so no“So you thought of her as a pis aller, and so l torious. I see her hand in this outfit; though she knew you would think, or I should not have been is too honest to intend any deception, and would so unjust as to have thrown her on your hands, at tell you, at a word, that Miss Courtney has neither the same time that I robbed you of all the pleasure fortune nor expectations." you proposed to yourself in a visit to Miss Court- “ Then seriously, Ludwell, circumstanced as you ney. You must own too that I am, not only a are, what do you propose ? For though I am much faithful ally, but a generous rival. And yet I know pleased with Miss Courtney, I am not such a tinderyou do not forgive me, and you ought not, were I box as you ; and my friendship for you and my into leave you exposed to the machinations of the terest in her alike prompt the question.” other without a warning."

“What do I propose ? What does a stone pro“ I do not think I am in any danger,” said Harl- pose by falling to the ground ? Why, man, she is ston, “ for though I see much to admire in Miss my fate. Propose! I propose nothing; but if I Bernard, I was never less sensible to the attrac- thought it would be of any use to propose myself, tions of any young lady.”

foolish as it would be-wicked as it would be, I am “ Instinct is a great matter,” cried Ludwell laugh- afraid I should do it. But just at present, my dear ing. “Some people have a horror of cats, and turn Harlston, I propose nothing, because I desire nopale when one enters the room unseen and unheard. thing but the dreamy, delicious pleasure I enjoy in Your instinctive aversion to drapery-misses and her presence. Ask a man in the present fruition female fortune-hunters is of the same character. of all his soul covets 'what he proposes !!!'” I have seen nothing else like it."

“ You talk," said Harlston, “ like a boy in his " It is not instinct,” replied Harlston gravely, first love." and even sadly, "except so far as the desire to be “And am I not ?" exclaimed Ludwell. loved for one's own sake is an instinct of the whole' indeed ; and I have thought myself in love before.

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"No boy But it was as if a blind man, restored to sight, with the complacent eye of a proprietor on the should take the moon for the sun he had heard so graceful outline of the Phæton, and the splendid much of. But let the sun rise! By day and night, figures of the four fine bays that drew it; and 10 there is no mistake this time : and to speak seri- catch with interest the hints which Ludwell someously, Harlston, I know I should propose, and de- times mischievously dropt of the extent of the cide too, what to do; and I very much fear I ought Colonel's estates, the multitude of his slaves, and to make my escape from the brink of this ocean of the number of his cotton-bales. Of all this Cobliss, where I stand and sip and sip, till I am dizzy lonel Harlston himself had no suspicion ; for, conwith the draught. God help me!" added he, re- scious of no enthralment of his own feelings, the suming his playful tone ; " I expect one of these cautionary hint of Ludwell was quite forgotten. days, to be fished out like a drowned fly out of a Miss Bernard too had the tact to discover that the punch-bowl."

subject on which Ludwell had led her to speak

with so much unction, at her first interview with CHAPTER VIII.

the Colonel, was so very distasteful 10 him that the

least allusion to it disgusted him. The result was, As I do not mean to give a diary of Gertrude's that Harlston had the fairest opportunities to oblife in Washington shall not enter into a detail of serve upon the manners and character of Gertrude, the occurrences of the next ten days after this con- and was fast arriving at the conviction, that she versation. The reader has been made acquainted was entirely exempt from the influence of mercewith the dramatis personæ, their purposes and plans, nary considerations, and as nearly free from the and, thus initiated, may be left to fill up that inter- arts of the sex as, in the actual constitution of so. val according to the suggestions of his own imagi- ciety, it is permitted to woman to be. Of one nation. I take it for granted that he needs not be thing he was sure. She had no designs on his told that the impression made by Gertrude on Co- fortune. Always courteous and kind, she seemed lonel Harlston was deepened by a further acquaint- grateful for his attentions ; but he had nerer deance with her : that Miss Bernard's experience of tected any, the least effort to engage them, or the the amiable and estimable qualities of that gentle slightest indication of impatience at the monopoly man did not abate the eagerness of her designs on which circumstances had enabled Miss Bernard to his person and fortune; and that Ludwell's passion, secure. In the conversation of Ludwell she manihowever violent, had little effect on the exuberance festly found a pleasure which seemed sufficient for of his spirits, the playfulness of his manners, and the passing hour, though it was quite clear that she his love of fun and mischief. Both he and the Co-only valued him as an agreeable acquaintance. lo lonel saw Gertrude every day, for, even before her short, she seemed to him a pure and single-hearted appearance, they were both almost daily visitors at girl, whose affections were not to be bestowed unthe house. Ludwell's attentions to her were al sought, nor won without merit of a high order; most exclusive, and yet they seemed to be paid and he had little doubt that her hand would be without any purpose beyond the gratification of the given only to him who should emtitle himself to the moment. Such as they were it would not have highest place in her estimation and regard. been easy for her to receive much of the Colonel's Here then was the very woman for whom Colonel without an effort on her part, which it was not in Harlston had long been seeking. That she was her nature to make, or an eagerness of pursuit on worthy to share his name and fortune he no longer his, inconsistent alike with his temper, and his views. doubted. In the possession of such a woman he Ile was certainly enamored, but experience had felt that he might calculate on as much of happitaught him to be careful not to make any very de- ness as falls to the lot of man. A raw youth, under cided demonstration until he had learned enough the influence of this conviction, would at once hare of the lady's character to know what sort of con- thrown himself at her feet. But he was not a raw siderations might influence her decision on his pre- youth. Nearly thirty years of age, he had seen tensions. Hence he mastered his feelings, so far much of the world, and was fully aware, that, from as to be little more than a looker-on: and this part such a woman, an abrupt declaration, from one who Miss Bernard enabled him to act without betraying had taken no pains to recommend himself to her the object of his visits. The consequence was, favor, would meet a merited rejection. He detershe occupied so much of his attention that her self- mined therefore to change his deportment toward love easily mistook his views. He said nothing her, beginning with that small course of quiet altenindeed from which she could infer any decided sen- tions too slight to alarm, and 100 marked to escape timent in her favor ; but as he seemed to seek her observation, which a master of the secrets of wosociety, it was clear that he must take pleasure in man's heart has recommended as the most successit; and how can any man pass his hours in the pre- ful mode of courtship. sence of a woman whose society delights him with- About the time that he formed this resolation out becoming enamored of her ? So reasoned Miss came the announcement of a splendid entertainBernard, and so reasoning she soon learned to look 'ment to be given by Mrs. Pendarvis. One such, at least, it was her habit to give every winter, and raising his voice, “ I have not danced to-night. as her parties, though numerous, were select, the Will Miss Courtney honor me with her hand ?” honor of an invitation was not to be lightly prized. She took his arm, and, as he led her away he A lady, and the widow of a gentleman, she had said, “ You see, Miss Bernard, I am returned to all the instinct of high breeding, and, in selecting my duty. You have been doing yours gallantly, her society, did not fail to discriminate carefully and it is time that I should do mine.” without the least regard to wealth, rank, or station. “Get along, you saucy fellow," said she, tapping There was nothing too high, according to these him playfully with her fan. “I declare I shall hate standards, to be excluded; nothing too low to be you forever, for your impudent speech to me the admitted; and royalty itself has sometimes had other day." to brook the tacit intimation, that a man may be “Pray do," said he. " Constancy is so rare President of the United States, and yet not a gen- dow-a-days that an example of Constancy, even in tleman. In what reign this was I do not say. hatred, would be quite refreshing."

The evening came; and the whole house was “What in the world can that mad cap mean;" thrown open ; and parties for cards, and groupes said Miss Bernard, turning to Harlston, “ by confor conversation were formed in every room but stantly harping on that disgusting subject ?" that appropriated to the dance, and loungers, arm “I am glad you think it so," was the cold reply. in arm, promenaded through the whole. In the "With my own consent I would never hear the early part of the evening our young ladies were slightest allusion to it. The difference between rarely separated, and Harlston, in constant attend- my friend Ludwell and myself is, that what is to ance on them, did not permit himself to be so him an object of playful scorn, is to me one of wholly engrossed by Miss Bernard as she might unutterable disgust. He can jest about it: I have wished. Somewbat annoyed by this she cannot." tasked her address to the utmost, but with imper- " Few men can carry their detestation of merfect success. She looked around for Ludwell, but cenary views in affairs of the heart farther than he was only to be seen occasionally, and then in he does ; though, as you remarked, the other day, attendance on another lady who happened to have there is a point at which he stops. He seems particular claims on bim. A beck from Miss Ber-resolute never to marry for money, though he has nard's fan at last afforded him an excuse to break never made up his mind to marry for love. But, away from his fair companion, and he immediately judging from present appearances, I am not sure obeyed the summons.

that the temptation may not at last prove too strong. “ Lady," said he, “ behold the slave of the fan, But do not be alarmed, Colonel," she added playdevoted to do the pleasure of her who bears it! fully, as she marked the look with which Harlston Wherein can I serve her?"

followed the significant glance of her eye; "his " By giving me the pleasure of your conversa- imprudence will not be contagious.tion,” said Miss Bernard, from whom, at the mo- Miss Bernard's extraordinary power over the ment, the attention of Colonel Harlston was wholly tones of her voice gave these words a meaning withdrawn.

not to be mistaken. She drew her breath hard, ** Ah!" said Ludwell, glancing at the Colonel and almost gasped, under the look which Harlston and Gertrude, you have managed badly. You unconsciously turned upon her. She felt that she have not profited by the hint I gave you.” had spoken critical words, and she knew that her * What hint? I know of none."

insinuation was unjust. She remembered indeed ** You know of none ! But you did know; and what Gertrude had said on the morning after they took it, and improved it inost dexterously as far as first met; and she had more than once witnessed you went: but I am afraid you have since neg- the docility, or, what she might have called the lected it."

acquiescence, with which she listened to her aunt's I protest I do not understand you."

lectures on prudence; and from these she made " You do not! What! Not the accusation I out a sort of apology to her own conscience, for brought against you, to give you an opportunity to "hinting a fault,” which she did not believe to repel it so gracefully, and so sincerely !"

exist. ** Perhaps I guess your meaning now; though What Miss Bernard herself thought upon the I assure you I did not understand it at the time. subject was to Harlston a matter of perfect indifBut why so much stress on that point ?"

ference. Forewarned by Ludwell, he had seen " Why? Because that is Harlston's infirmity. that there was a purpose in all she said, or did not He caught it in New-Haven, and it has stuck to say in relation to it. Whether she dwelt upon it, him ever since-a fixed idea—a sort of monoma- or avoided it, he had thought he could see that she nia. When he was there at College the Yankey had a design in doing so. A keen observer, and, girls almost devoured him; and now he keeps him- as Ludwell had said, almost a monomaniac on this self as close as an oyster, for fear of being swal- point, it was not easy to deceive him. He might lowed for his furtune. Bui come,” continued he,'suspect unjustly. He was in no danger of the op

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posite error. Much as he disliked the subject, he his whereabout, continued to converse, with an would even force himself to endure a discussion of air of quiet simplicity, with Ludwell; who, by deit, in order to unmask a character; and on this oc- grees, recovered his spirits. Not so, Harlston. casion he determined to follow Miss Bernard's lead, He now felt, more than at any former moment, so as to keep up the conversation till Gertrude that Miss Courtney was to him an object of absorbshould return to her seat. This was not difficult, ing interest, that his happiness depended on her; and the first words that struck Ludwell's ear, as and that it was indispensable to him, that she should he led back his partner to her place, were in a miore be entirely superior to the grovelling views imputed high flown strain than the lady had before in- to her, and not disavowed by her. He was per. dulged in.

haps better pleased that she had not disavowed " That's right,” exclaimed Ludwell. “That is them; and yet he was vesed that she had not. the way to manage the matter. Do, Miss Court- He remained perplexed and gloomy in his seclaney, let us now hear something of your sentiments sion, until he again saw her taken out to dance. about that sweet romantic thing, Love in a Cot- Soon after, in one of the pauses of the dance he tage.”

approached her, spoke a few low words and fell As I never lived in a Cottage, and have had back to his place. As soon as the set ended, he no experience of Love, I am not prepared to pro- again advanced, claimed the hand he had just ennounce a very decided opinion on the subject.” gaged, and detained her on the floor. He went

“ But you have sometimes thought of it." through the dance mechanically, and with an air

“Of course I have ; for nothing is more talked of abstraction, and, as soon as it ended, offered his about. I have observed that all the old ladies de arm to Gertrude, and proposed to seek fresher air liver lectures on one side, and all the young ladies in another room. make speeches on the other, suppose

I must “ Miss Courtney;" said he, as soon as he could take the side that seems most appropriate to my speak without danger of being overheard, "I beg time of life.”

pardon for the abruptness of what I am about to “And change it, of course, as you grow older.” say. The shortness of our acquaintance must make

“I suppose so. People grow wiser as they grow me seem precipitate, and the time and place are older, and they tell me that this is a subject on not the most suitable ; but I cannot sleep without which young people are particularly foolish.” telling you that I love you, and laying myself and

"Miss Courtney can hardly be hearty," said my fortune at your feet." Harlston, “in an opinion which she has candor I hope the reader anticipates at least the sui. enough to suspect may be foolish.”

stance of Gertrude's answer; and it is needless to “I am certainly not hearty in any opinion on the give the words, as young ladies are rarely eloquent subject," said Gertrude ; “ for I have formed none. on such occasions; especially when taken comI only know that the history of my own family af- pletely by surprise. To Gertrude it had seemed, fords proof that imprudent marriages are very im- (and she had been pleased to see it,) that Colonel prudent things."

Harlston was quite taken with Miss Bernard; and, "But the question recurs," said Miss Bernard, giving that young lady full credit for sincerity in “what is an imprudent match? You would hardly all her talk about Love in a Cottage, she had ehercall a happy match an imprudent one; and surely ished the hope of seeing her magnanimity rewarded there can be no happiness without love. We are by the less romantic bliss of Love in a Palace. told, you know, that love constitutes the bliss of Her answer therefore was expressive of surprise, Heaven itself.”

esteem, gratitude and all that sort of thing, but “ But in Heaven," said Gertrude, “there is nei- wound up with a very decided rejection. ther cold nor hunger nor crying children. If there

Colonel Harlston heard her with great compowere, why then, the more the parents loved them, sure; though while she spoke his countenance the less happy they would be. I have heard my assumed a high and animated expression; and, mother say, that she was very happy with my when she had concluded, he took her hand and adfather, but then when she was left a widow, with dressed her in a tone of earnest calmness. poor me upon her hands, and very limited means “My dear Miss Courtney," he said, “I must of support, she found she had been very imprudent." again entreat your forgiveness for that which may

This case seemed so exactly in point to poor surprise you more than the unexpected declaration Ludwell that his countenance fell; while Harlston, that I have just made. Since I first saw you I in manifest disquietude, walked away and left the have meditated such a step, though I beg leare to conversation to go on as it might. In another part assure you that I have not been vain enough to of the room he established himself in a position to suppose that, in our short acquaintance, I could watch the countenances of the party. In doing have made such an impression as would have justithis he at once saw that the keen eye of Miss Ber- fied your acceptance of my proposal. Indeed I nard had followed him and occasionally glanced have not permitted myself to cultivate your favor toward him ; while Gertrude, all unconscious of by those attentions which would have made it, if

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