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there is in the whole bodies of your fine flashy dames, which depends upon di'monds and paint. Mark my words, they 'll never cut her out and try all they know. She'd be the one for my money if I was a gentleman. She's my fancy all over. Just the lady I should choose."
Joanna expressed the highest admiration of his taste, which she did not, however, in reality entertain, for the points of resemblance between her and Amelia-if any, indeed, could be said to exist—were neither numerous nor striking. Still, as Bob had thus set up his standard, she resolved to look into the matter closely, and proceeded at once to ascertain the extent to which they resembled each other; and, albeit, she could not but feel that she had in some respects the advantage over her mistress, she arrived that very night at the conclusion that she was bound, as a matter of justice to herself, to look as much like her as possible. • The next morning, at ten precisely, the widow, Captain and Mrs. Joliffe, General and Miss Johnson, and Albert, who had been summoned from Cambridge, arrived at Stanley's to breakfast; and the great feature of this meeting was the presentation of the widow to Amelia's family and friends. She had never, of course, been introduced to them before ; and while to her the introduction was a source of great pleasure, they were manifestly struck by her appearance, which was singularly brilliant, if not, indeed, blazing. She had been a handsome, and was even then an extremely fine woman: her features were regular and bold ; and, although she possessed not that elegance of manner which in them was so conspicuous, her presence was attractive, and even commanding. The impression which she made was most favourable: they were all highly pleased with her, and paid her great attention, which naturally caused her to be highly pleased with them. It was, in short, an extremely joyous party, and nothing but happiness prevailed.
At eleven, according to the arrangement made by the Captain, they went to church ; and, as Amelia entered with her father, she burst into tears, and clung closely to him, and looked at him imploringly, as if she feared that she had been guilty of a greater offence than that involved in disobedience. He tried to cheer her; he pressed her hand and kissed her; and-understanding her feelings-sought to impress upon her mind that she had in reality been married : but his efforts to raise her spirits were but slightly successful. She was deeply atfected, and continued to be so during the ceremony, the solemnity of which contrasted strongly with the highly reprehensible levity which marked its performance at Gretna, until Stanley, her soul's idol, repeated his solemn promise to love and to cherish her with an emphasis which produced a thrill of joy.
Immediately after the ceremony they started for Richmond. Stanley and Amelia were in the General's chariot alone ; and while the rest were engaged in lauding him to the skies, he was endeavouring to inspire her with cheerfulness and spirit.
“I scarcely know," said he, having partially accomplished this ob ject, “ how I am to get you through the world, you sad, sensitive creature! You have no courage at all."
“I have no apprehension while with you," she replied ; “ because I feel, nay, I know, that you will regard my want of courage as an additional claim to your protection. O Stanley! my dearest love, I am so happy !--so very, very happy !-you cannot conceive how happy I am !"
Stanley pressed her to his heart, and held her there in silence until they arrived at the home of her infancy, when her earliest, her sweetest recollections rushed upon her, and filled her heart with rapture. It was the first time, of course, that she had been there since the elopement, and her feelings on alighting from the carriage were delightful in the extreme. Her favourite Italian greyhound, that had been pining during the absence of his gentle mistress, knew her in an instant, and bounded with joy, while the servants, by whom she had ever been beloved, welcomed her back with pure and heartfelt pleasure. She then ran about the house like a child : tried the tones of her harp; struck a few chords upon her piano; looked into all the rooms, and gave a hasty glance at everything with which she had been familiar, until she was summoned to partake of the delicious repast that had been provided, when she rejoined the happy party, but almost immediately afterwards drew Stanley into the garden, where they walked, 'like children, hand in hand.
The widow and Mrs. Joliffe were inseparable. They were indeed quite delighted with each other, for each met the other's views upon every point, but more especially upon that which had reference to the manly bearing and noble spirit of Stanley. They kept themselves aloof from the rest, their discourse being essentially private and confidential; and while they were engaged in establishing the fact that every mild, gentle, amiable creature ought to have a high-toned man of spirit for a husband, the General and the Captain were settling the point that an amiable, devoted, and affectionate wife, was the only thing calculated to keep a high-spirited young dog within bounds.
As for Albert, and the lively Miss Johnson, they were completely shut out from all confidence; and hence, perceiving that they were not in reality wanted, the groom was ordered to saddle the horses, and they started for a ride.
Thus appropriately paired, the party continued to be separated till seven, when they sat down to a most recherché dinner, but still more recherché was the chaste wit which gave it a zest, and which imparted to all the highest possible pleasure.
Miss Johnson was at all times brilliant, but never more so than when she happened to be assailed. She enjoyed it exceedingly; but would give no quarter : she would never allow her assailant to retreat : if unable to compete with her, she would extinguish him utterly; and to this may be attributed the fact of her being unmarried at the age of thirty-five; for, although she was beautiful, interesting, amiable, and intelligent, and could boast of having had an immense number of suitors, her irony withered the vanity of fools, while it induced wise men to pause, with the view of considering what effect it might have upon connubial bliss. She had thus scared them all, and was then free as air ; but her heart was as light as that element still. On this occasion the General commenced an attack, and most unmercifully, on the ground of her being still a spinster ; but she defended her position with surpassing spirit, and was on the point of obtaining a signal triumph, when the Captain came up with his artillery, which the gallant Stanley held to be unfair, and therefore sought to enlist under her banners; but she drove him into the opposite ranks as one of the enemy, and fought them all, and that in a style which was productive of infinite mirth.
In conformity with the telegraphed wish of the Captain--who had
previously engaged the widow for the first set of quadrilles,' and bade them hold themselves in readiness, as he and the General were resolved to have a dance - the ladies retired unusually early, when the Captain, without resuming his seat, proposed, “ Health to the bride and bridegroom! God bless them !” He then took Stanley's hand, and having shaken it warmly, said,
“General, this may be deemed unusual ; but the circumstances which have induced it are unusual too. I am inspired with the most happy feelings, and must give vent to them in some way. I am proud, General, as a father I am proud, not only of my child, but of her husband, whom I now more than ever esteem. His conduct this day has been beyond all praise. He has proved that he possesses that excellence of heart which must command universal admiration. I have the highest confidence in him — the very highest confidence; and I feel quite sure that that confidence will never be forfeited. Treat my child,” he added, addressing Stanley, “cherish her, my boy, as a most tender plant. She has a heart which will never prove unfaithful to you, but which may be easily broken. May every earthly happiness attend you both! May Providence bless and protect you!”
The Captain was here overpowered by his feelings, and resumed his seat in tears, and shortly afterwards Stanley expressed his acknowledgments in an appropriate speech of great beauty and point, and concluded by proposing the health of the Captain. Toasts then became the order of the evening. The General proposed Mrs. Joliffe ; the Captain, the widow; Albert, Miss Johnson ; Stanley, the General; and the General, Albert; when they rejoined the ladies with the happiest feelings in the ascendant; and after coffee, Miss Jefferson — Amelia's governess, who had been retained as companion to Mrs. Joliffe-went to the piano, and dancing commenced, and was kept up till four, when they all retired save the Captain and the General, who had in the early part of the evening decided upon having a bottle of mulled claret alone.
The Sons of Glory. General and Miss Johnson left Richmond the next day ; but Stanley, Amelia, and the widow, remained there a week; when Mrs. Joliffe, having accepted the invitation of the widow, came up with her and Amelia, while Stanley brought Albert with him.
With this arrangement Albert was especially pleased : the prospect of passing a few days in town with Stanley met his views to a shade ; for Richmond, with all its beauties, had but few charms for him. He had, moreover, at that period a great object in view. While at Cambridge he had associated with certain Sons of Glory, whose poetic accounts of their achievements in the Metropolis had fired his soul ; and as some of them happened to be then in town, he resolved to obtain an introduction at head-quarters, in order that, if he did not immortalize himself, he might, at least, do something to astonish their nerves. He, therefore, lost no time in calling upon the chief Son of Glory—the chief, at least, among the Cambridge men, – the Hon. Harry Slasher, who was highly pleased to see him, and who appointed to meet him that evening at nine, with the view of showing him "a little real life.”
Accordingly at nine Albert went to the place appointed; and at