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recently received and expended a gift from his uncle, when his father died, and he saw himself the uncontroled master of what appeared to him an immense fortune. Soon after, he received news that his uncle was about 'to sail for Engf land; but the latter part of the letter contained information which completely counterbalanced the pleasure which the first part of it had given him.
Mr. Morley, informed Clermont that he had lộng ina tended he should marry his ward, a beautiful and rich heitt ess, who boarded with a relation near London, and who, having seen him at a watering-place, had written to her guardian that she was willing to comply with his wishes, and receive the addresses of her nephew, " Therefore, continued Mr. Morley, “ you, and you onlŷ, can prevent this union, on which my heart is set, from taking place : but beware how you disappointme!
-Obey me, and I will give you thirty thousand pounds on the day of marriage;' disobey we, and I renounce you for ever!"
Clermont was already well acquainted with his uncle's positivevess and love of arbitrary power, therefore the ty rannical conditions on which he offered hiin his favour of thirty thousand pounds did not surprise, though it painfully affected him. He had seen the lady intended for his wife, and he had conversed with her; for she had introduced herself to him as bis uncle's ward, and had obligingly hoped that they should be better acquainted. But though she was beautiful, there was a forwardness in her 'manner, and a degree of self-conceit in her whole deportment, which made it impossible for her to make as pleasing an impression on Clermont's heart as he had made on hers. Besides, he had already seen Augusta, and his heart had formed a sort of involuntary vow never to allow him to marry another woman.
Therefore, had not Clermont's love of the freedom of choice struggled considerably against his desire to oblige his peremptory uncle, he would have rejected instantly the offer of Miss Blagrave's hand, from the resistless influence of a prior attachment; an attachment too on the eve of being crowned by marriage.
The arrival of Mr. Morley was at length announced in the papers, a few days after Clermont was married to Augusta; and the latter instantly wrote a letter to his uncle, welcoming him in the warmest inanner to England, and begging leave to set off for Portsmouth directly, ir order: to accompany him to his house; but lamenting, at the same time, his inability to comply with his wishes, and marry his lovely ward, as he was already married to one of the most amiable of women.".
Mr. Morley was ait old bachelor, and was so accustomed to bave his own way, that this unexpected disappointment 10 bis dearest hopes was as new to him as it was unwelcome; and in the first transports of his rage, on receiving Clermont's letter, be struck his name out of his will; and not contented with writing immediately to Clerinont, to let bim know, that never while he lived would he see or speak to him, he desired that no one in future would dare to mention'his nephew in his presence.
Clermont's affectionate heart was sensibly affected by his uncle's positive renunciation of him, for his mother had taught him to love Mr. Morley, and his repeated kindnesses bad endeared him to him still more.
About this time, to Augusta's vexation as well as surprise, Clermont presented her with a case of very fine jewels; por were his equipages and the other bridal preparations at all inferior to what they would have been had he married an heiress.
“ My dear Charles, you seem to forget that I bring you no fortune,” cried Augusta.
" On the contrary, I have proved that I remember it.”.. “ Not by expending so much on bridal splendour.”
“On the contrary-by that means I intend to prove to the world that I think you rich only as you are, in virtues and attractioos, as worthy of shining in all the state which wealth can give, as if you were the heiress of thousands."
“ Kind, but not considerate, Clermont! for will not the world be more inclined to impute our parade to my extravagance, than to your delicate and jealous affection? Will they not be apt," continued she, smiling,“ to talk very iinpolitely about a beggar on horseback
“ Psha!” replied Clermont, warınly, “ let them if they dare."
“ Well, but dear Charles, when the first six months of our marriage are over, surely one of the carriages at least may be laid down ?"
• What! would you have me lead people to jinagine that you had lost some of your value in my eyes ?"
“ Yes-provided you give me no reason to fear that I have lost any such value. Fear of what the world may think will never, I trust, deter us from acting prudently: indeed, my dear Charles, I hope that neither you nor I
shall be in the habit of exclaiming, like the woman in the comedy, But what will Mrs. Grundy say?no, no; we will have no Mrs. Grundys; or rather, you shall be my Mrs. Grundy, and I yours."
Augusta, having heard from a female acquaintance of Clermont's uncle the cause of his anger, earnestly entreated Clermont to do all in his power to bring about a reconciliation ; " for I know," continued she," that his anger distresses you; I have seen you occasionally depressed, and now I am sure I have found out the cause.
Clermont owned that she was right; that he had longed for his uncle's arrival, though he had never seen him; and that he deeply regretted having forfeited his favour; “ but still, he did not like," he said, " lo importune him to forgive him, lest he should think he did it more from avarice than affection."
“ If he be disposed to forgive you, he will not think so: write affectionately, and he will be glad to believe you sincere; for every one likes to fancy himself the object of affection : those indeed who wish to keep you disunited may impute to you motives of which they are conscious themselves; but your uncle himself will, at first, at least, be preserved by self-love from imputing them to you; write, Therefore, throw yourself on his feelings, and tope every thing from the result."
Clerinont promised that he would write, and then suddenly exclaimed, “ But what could possibly induce my cousin Catharine to make you unhappy by telling you the particulars which you have related ? I am so angry with her that I could almost find in my heart to forbid her the house."
Aagusta nt first made no reply to this speech, for sha felt the danger to her peace which must accrue from the acquaintance of such a woman as Mrs. Catharine Clermont : she knew, that though she wished to live in charity with all mankind, it was impossible she should do so whủe this mischievous retailer of others' malice had constant access to her, and could call her angry feelings continually into action, and out of justice and mercy to herself, she was on the point of saying, “ Yes-do forbid her the house, for she is a dangerous acquaintance," wben she recollected that this pernicious woman, was a poor, old, insulated being; and that an occasional dinner at their table, and a ride in their carriage, were the one a necessary, the other a luxury to her; and to deprive such a being of two of her scanty pleasures, was an idea so repugnant to Augusta's benevolence, that conquering the jast fear and indignation which Mrs. Catharine had excited in her bosom, she desired Clermont to recollect, that though Mrs. Catharine had given her pain by her communications and miglit do so again, yet it was but a grain of uneasiness, which she had endured, or might through her means endure again-counteracted by a store of coinforts and enjoyments; whereas their indigent relation had no pleasures and few comforts to set against the pain of being forbidden their house and its indulgences; and therefore she conjured him to forget and forgive her fault, as she herself should do.
"Spoken and felt like yourself!" cried Clermont;“ be it so, Augusta; and let it still be your pride, that you have pleasure in returning good for evil.”
When Clermont had written his letter, he shewed it to Augusta, and she thought it calculated to soften the heart of her uncle, but unfortunately, it was received by Mr. Morley soon after he had heard an exaggerated account of the poverty of Augusta, and her connections, and of the pernicious expenses in which she was involving his nephew.
A man who has toiled through the best part of his existence under the burning sun of India, in order to obtain wealth, may be allowed to look on wealth as the grand altimatum in marriage and so thought Mr. Morley: therefore, even more irritated against Clermont than when he wrote last, he replied to his affectionate letter in terms the most insulting to him, both as a man and a husband.
"Now I am sorry you wrote to him," said Augusta, after a long indignant silence, occasioned by reading the letter, “ but the fault was mine."
“The injury is yours," cried Clermont; “had it beendone to me ooly I should not have regarded it but to dare to speak ill of you! However, we are quite sufficient to each other's happiness, so why should we mind the folly and, wickedness of others ?"
“ Why, indeed!” replied Augusta ; " so burn the letter, and let us endeavour to forget that your uncle exists."
The letter was burnt, and all mention of Mr. Morley's name prohibited; but Clermont saw a few months after, in the newspaper, that on such a day was married at St. George's, Hanover Square, Richard Morley, Esq. to Lady Susan Delmor, youngest daughter to Lord S. And on the same day was married Miss Blagrave, ward of Mr. Morley, to Lord Delmor, the brother of Lady Susan.” “ Augusta, my uncle is married !" cried Clermont, giving
her the paper : "May he be happy! that's all; but I doubt it, considering his age, and Lady Susan's character," and Mr. Morley's name was again forgotten.
When they had been married a twelvemonth Augusta gave birth to twins, a son and a daughter, and the happy Clermont made the whole village intoxicated on the occasion. An ox was roasted at the christening, and the children's christening mantles were the most superb that money could procure. In vaio did Augusta remonstrate against such unnecessary finery.
56 You know, my love," said he,“ these things once bouglit are-bought for life: if you present me with such welcoine presents again and again, the same mantles will serve, you know." --" If I make you many such presents, Charles," replied Augusta, gravely, “ and you continue your accustomed thoughtless generosity, my children may wear the imagtles indeed, but the point lace, will, I fear, have been, through necessity, disposed of.”
Clermont stared with almost angry surprise; for he still imagined that a man of two thousand pounds a year, and a large sumn in money, could not spend bis income; though had he exawined his accounts, he would have found that his ready money was pretty nearly exhausted.
My dearest girl," replied he, “ your confinement has weakened you, and made you liable to gloomy thoughts.Believe me, I have not been guilty of expenses which I can ill afford : and as to the mantles and other things, 'tis but:::.60 Charles," interrupted Augustá,“ I have beard of a woman who ruined her husband by 'tis buts;' and I siocerely hope no one will ever hear of a husband who ruined bis wife and family by the same thing !"
Clermont looked grave for a moment; but, recovering his usual spirits, be went down stairs to some friends, to whom he had promised their fill of claret and champagne, but who never treated theinselves with any but port and madeira;- no, not even on the birth of an heir..
“ But my wife has given me twins," thought Clermont, " therefore my treat on the occasion ought to be doably splendid
Three years after, the birth of a third child occasioned fresh rejoicings and expenses; and Clermont being in the constant habit of bringing home company to dinner, Aoġusta began to fear, such was the enormous expense at which they lived, that her forebodings would soon be rea