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I often catch myself sighing, my dear, said I. It is a trick, as you call it, which I would not have you learn. But I have reason for sigbing, madam ; which you
have not-Such a mother ! A mother that I wanted to be good, not so much to me, as to herself: a mother so unhappy, that one must be glad to run away from her. My poor papa ! so good as he was to every body, and even to her, yet had his heart broken-O madam!-(finging her arms about me, and hiding her face in my bosom,) have I not cause to sigh?
I wept on her neck; I could not help it: so dutifully sensible of her calamity! and for such a calamity, who could forbear?
Such a disgrace too! said she, raising her bead. Poor woman!-Yet she has the worst of it. Do you think that that is not enough to make one sigh?
Amiable goodness! (kissing her cheek,) I shall love you too well.
You are too good to me: you must not be so good to me: that, even that, will make me sigh. My guardian's goodness to me gives me pain ; and I think verily, I sigh more since last I left Mrs. Lane, and have seen more of his goodness, and how every body admires, and owns obligation to, him, than I did before. --To liave a stranger, as one may say, and so very fine a gentleman, to be 'so good to one, and to bave such an unhappy mother-who gives him so much trouble-how can one help sighing for both reasons ?
Dear girl! said I, my heart overflowing with compassion for her, you and I are bound equally, by the tie of gratia tude, to esteem him.
Ah, madam! you will one day be the happiest of all women-And so you deserve to be.
What means my Emily?
Don't I see, don't I hear, what is designed to be brought about by Lord and Lady L-, and Miss Grandison ?And don't I hear from my Anne, what every body expects and wishes for ?
And does every body expect and wish, my Emily-
I stopped. She went on. And don't I see that my guardian himself loves you?
Do you think so, Emily?
You have not observed his eyes so much as I have done, when he is in your company. I have watched your eyes, too; but have not seen that you mind him quite so much as he does you.-Indeed he loves you dearly.–And then she sighed again.
But why that sigh, my Emily? Were I so happy as you think, in the esteem of this good man, would you envy me;
my dear ?
Envy you !-1, such a simple girl as I, envy you ! No, indeed. Why should I envy you ? But tell me now; dear madam, tell me; don't you love my guardian ? ,
Every body does. You, my Emily, love him.
And so I do: but you love him, madam, with a hope that no one else will have reason to entertain-Dear now, place a little confidence in your Emily: my guardian shall never know it from me, by the least hint. I beg you will own it. You can't think how you will oblige me. Your con fidence in me will give me importance with myself.
Will you, Emily, be as frank-hearted with me, as you would have me be with you ?
Indeed I will.
Esteem! Is that the word ? Is that the ladies' word for love? And is not the word love a pretty word for women ? I mean no harm by it, I am sure.
And I am sure you cannot mean harm: I will be sincere with my Emily. But you must not let any one living koow what I say to you of this nature. I would prefer your guardian, my dear, to a king, in all his glory.
And so, madam, would l, if I were you. I should be glad to be thought like you in every thing.
Amiable innocence! But tell me, Miss Jervois, would you not have me esteem your guardian? You know he was my guardian too, and that at an exigence when I most wanted one.
Indeed I would. Would you have me wish such a good young lady as Miss Byron to be ungrateful ? No, indeed. - And again she sighed.
Why then sighed my Emily? You said you would be frank-hearted.
So I will, madam. But I really can't tell why I sighed then. I wish my guardian to be the happiest man in the world: I wish you, madam, to be the happiest woman : and how can either be so, but in one another 1-But I am grieved, I believe, that there seems to be something in the way of your mutual happiness.I don't know whether that is all, neither-I don't know what it ismIf I did, I would tell you-But I have such throbs sometimes at my heart, as make me fetch my breath hard-I don't know what it is-Such a weight here, as makes me sigh; and I have a pleasure, I think, because I have an ease in sighing--What can it be?
Go on, my dear: you are a pretty describer.
Why now, if any body, as Anne did last time my guardian came hither, were to run up stairs in a hurry; and to say, Miss, miss, miss, your guardian is come! I should be in such a flutter! my heart would seem to be too big for my bosom! I should sit down as much out of breath as if I had run down a high hill.- And, for half an hour, may be, so tremble, that I should not be able to see the dear guardian that perhaps I had wanted to see. And to hear him with a voice of gentleness, as if he pitied me for having so unhappy a mother, call me his Emily.-Don't you think he has a sweet voice ?-And your voice, too, madam, is also 80 sweet-Every body says, that even in your common speech your voice is melody ---Now Anne says
O my agreeable little fatterer!
I don't flatter, madam. Don't call me a flatterer. I am a very sincere girl : indeed I am.
I dare say you are: but you raise my vanity, my dear. It is not your fault to tell me what people say of me; but it is mine to be proud of their commendations—But you were going to tell me what Anne says, on your being so much affected, when she tells you in a hurry, that your guardian is come.
Why Anne says, that all those are signs of love. Foolish ereature !- And yet so they may; but not of such love as she means. Such a love as she as good as owns she had in her days of flutteration, as she whimsically calls them; which, as she explains it, were when she was two or three years older than I am. In the first place, I am very young, you know, madam; a mere girl: and such a simple thing ! I never had a mother, nor sister neither; nor a com panion of my own sex. --Mrs. Lane's daughters, what were they?--They looked upon me as a child, as I was.
In the next place, I do love my guardian, that's true ; but with as much reverence, as if he were my father. I never
had a thought that had not that deep, that profound reverence for him, as I remember I had for
you had not, my dear, any of those Autters, those throbs that you spoke of, on any returns of your father, after little absences ?
Why, no; I can't say I had. Nor though I always rejoiced when my guardian came to see me at Mrs. Lane's, had I, as I remember, any such violent emotions as I have had of late. I don't know how it is—Can you tell me?
Do you not, Lucy, both love and pity this sweet girl ?
My dear Emily!—These are symptoms, I doubt
Symptoms of what, madam ?—Pray tell me sincerely. I will not hide a thought of my
heart from you. If encouraged, my dear What then, madam ?
It would be love, I doubt-That sort of love that would make you uneasy
No; that cannot be, surely. Why, madam, at that rate, I should never dare to stand in your presence.
Upon my word, I wish no one in the world, but you, to be Lady Grandison. I have but one fear
And what's that?
That my guardian won't love me so well, when he marries, as he does now.
Are you afraid that the woman he marries will endeavour to narrow so large a heart as his ?
No; not if that woman were you.—But, forgive my folly! (and she looked down ;) he would not take my hand so kindly as now he does: he would not look in
face with pleasure, and with pity on my mother's account, as he does now: he would not call me his Emily: he would not bespeak every one's regard for his ward.