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any one ask those questions for you? Did you question yourself, .were you questioned by others, whether you loved Mr. Willoughby?”
Isabella drooped under this investigation.
"I know not how to answer you," she replied. “Surely there must be some misapprehension somewhere, or the same circumstances could not be seen so differently. I cannot recollect one doubt being suggested as to my accepting Mr. Willoughby. I was told that I could not do otherwise; and I was so overwhelmed with the enumeration of the sources of my future happiness, that I should have been treated as an ideot, I must have appeared one to myself, if I had hesitated to have accepted so brilliant an offer.”
Of what then do you complain ?" said Lady Rachel. “ Has any of this brilliancy faded from your sight?"
“I confess, not any on which I reckoned before marriage, but - but --said Isabella, hesitating, “I did not know that I should love Mr. Willoughby as I do love him: I did not know that I could not bear that he should not love me better than any body else; especially that Lady Charlotte, whom I was told he had so preferred me to! Oh! how were they mistaken that told me so !"
“Perhaps not so," replied Lady Rachel: “but if you will put yourself into competition with the most finished coquette of the age, you must expect, and I should hope you would wish, to lose by the comparison. The contest is as unwise as it is unholy."
“ If I must not try to charm my husband in the way that he likes,” said Isabella, “and if he have no taste for the few good qualities that I really do possess, how much happier should I
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have been if he had never charmed me; if I had been wise enough to have found my happiness, as I am told so many others do, rather in what their husbands possess,
than from what they are."
“ There is profanation in the wish," said Lady Rachel, sternly. not love your husband, you would ere this have been a cast-away. Cherish this love as you would do the immediate jewel of your soul; but purify it from all base emulation, from all the feculancies of rivalship, and let this reflection cheer you in the dreary way you
have to tread, that had Mr. Willoughby desired a Lady Charlotte for his wife, he would not have chosen an Isabella."
" And having chosen her," said the dejected Isabella, “ he seems but to exist for the Lady Charlotte whom he rejected. Ah! dear Lady Rachel ! it may be wrong to attempt to imitate, from any motives whatever, qualities intrinsically unamiable, but you cannot persuade me, but that if I naturally resembled Lady Charlotte more than I do, that I should be happier."
“ And you would purchase happiness by resembling her?” asked Lady Rachel.
“ I could wish to appear to do so," replied Isabella, “but I would not be all that I believe she is, no not, I think, to be gazed on as I have sometimes seen Mr. Willoughby gaze on her."
“ You would then wear the livery of vice, and keep the honour of virtue ?" returned Lady Rachel. “ You would do all in your power to confirm your husband in his preference to vice, and would still think yourself virtuous, Remember, however, that although it may be ingenious to deceive without
lying, that you cannot deceive without sinning - and think you that when you have thus pampered the vicious tastes of your husband, that he will love you the better for any virtue that you may have had the good luck to retain ?"
“ What then is it that I must do " asked the poor Isabella, mournfully; “must I suffer Lady Charlotte to hold my husband's heart without a struggle?"
“ As your quarrel is just,” replied Lady Rachel, “take care that your warfare is honest. What is it that you would wish that your husband should think you ? be that thing as nearly as you can; and if you are not happy you will deserve to be so."
“ At eighteen only deserve to be happy!” said Isabella, with a sigh.
“ To deserve to be happy, is the highest' aim of the longest life," re