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tional idea of what she felt, she slammed the door after her as if she meant to split it.
He's a brute!—an exorbitant monster!' she exclaimed, on entering the chamber to which the Countess had retired. But it serves you justly right for not having more sperit. I don't know who you take after, that's the real truth. You don't take after me! Do you ’magine if he was a husband of mine I'd put up with it? No: I'd see him blessed first! I wouldn't take it from the best man that ever stepped in shoe-leather. I told you how it would be. I told you from the first how he'd serve you, if you didn't stand up for your rights. I've no patience with you; I haven't. You pervoke me to such a degree, I don't know how to contain myself.'
What am I to do, ma ?—what can I do?' * What can you do? Why, up and tell him at once what you mean. Fly into a passion,
The ideor! I only just wish he was a husband of mine, I'd let him know what's what, I'll warrant. Do you think that I'd fret, and stew, and go on so ? No! nor you don't ought to do it.'
But how can I help it, ma ?'
How can you help it? Don't tell me! Presume a proper dignity and sperit. He'll tread upon you as if you was dirt, as they all will, if you let 'em; but you don't ought to suffer him to do it. And then the ideor!—did you ever in all your born days hear tell of such a thing as a husband being out all the whole blessed night, without even so much as mentioning on it! A pretty thing, indeed !-as if you had no right to know where he'd been !-as if you didn't ought to insist upon knowing where he'd been! Do you think I'd let him have a minute's peace till he told me? How do you know where he was! And not a word of exclamation !-the ideor! But I see how it is: he don't think that we are good enough for him; but I'd have him to know that you're as good as him any hour in the day, if he comes to that. Aint you a Countess ? In course; and you're consequentially bound to act as Countesses does. What does he mean? A very pretty thing! There! if I was you, I'll tell you what I'd go and do at once. I'd go to him, and I'd say, “ Now, I tell you what it is,—I'm not going to stand it, and so you needn't think it, and that's all about it. I'm 'solved to stand up for my dignity as a Countess; and if I can't live peaceable with you, I'll have a separate maintainance, and do what I like.” That's the way to bring him to his senses, my precious! Whenever a woman talks about a separate main tainance, a man thinks she's in earnest, and draws in his horns. It's the only way, to up and tell 'em what you mean at once. Now, you take my advice : you go down and look fierce, and tell him bold you won't have it.'
• What, now, ma ?'
• Yes, now. Make hay while the sun shines—strike while the iron is hot.'
• I'm a good mind, but-'
• Do it! Men is cowards when a woman's blood's up. If you cringe to 'em, they trample upon you ; but if you presume a proper dignity, they'll come down to you. Therefore do it, and make no bones about the matter.'
“But I'm afeared, ma.'
"Afeared! Don't tell me about being afeared. What have you to be afeared on? Give it him at once. Make believe to be in
a tremendious passion. Speak loud, my precious; there's nothing like that: they're sure to get over them as doesn't speak loud. When you speak loud, men is quite safe to speak soft; in fact, they seems then to be almost afeared to speak at all. Throughout life, my love, there's nothing like giving it to 'em loud.' ‘But what am I to say, ma ?' whined the Countess.
What are you to say ! echoed her anxious mamma in despair. “Why, aint I told you what to say! Give it to him well. Tell him you won't have it at no price, and so he needn't think it. As true as I'm alive, there aint a bit of the Countess in you.'
• Well, ma, I can't help it.' * Can't help it? Rubbish! I've no patience with such ways. Don't tell me you can't help it !—it's enough to make one sick to see so much affectation. Go to him at once, and tell him flat that you 're 'solved to stick up for your rights.' Well
, ma, I will go,' said the Countess. "I'm determined I will. I'll tell him it's unbearable, I will ; and he needn't think I'm going to put up with it.'
"Do, my precious. Be a woman of sperit. It's the only way in the world to get over the men. And don't forget the separate maintainance.'
"I won't, ma. I'll tell him plump ; see if I don't.'
• That's right, my darling-give it him home! And don't forget to give him an 'int about stopping out all the blessed night neither. Hit him hard upon that p'int; and if you don't frighten him out of his wits, it 'll be very strange to me. Therefore don't forget that.'
I won't, ma. I'll tell him he treats me very cruel, and that I don't care a single bit about him.'
* And very proper neither. I shall make a woman of dignity on you yet.'
Thus encouraged, the Countess boldly descended; but on entering the drawing-room in which the Earl sat, she was seized with so violent a palpitation of the heart, that she was perfectly unable to give utterance to a word.
• Well!' said the Earl, frowning ferociously at her, 'what do you want here?'
The Countess tried to say that she felt that she was treated very cruelly ; but as she couldn't, she burst into tears and left the room.
“Why, what's the matter now?' cried her mamma, on her return. • Has the monster been at it again? What does he say for himself ?
· He asked me what I wanted there,' replied the Countess, sobbing bitterly,—what I wanted there !' "Well, I never! And didn't you up and tell him ??
I-couldn't speak :- he looked as if-he'd-eat me!' * And what if he did? Why didn't you look as if you 'd eat him, and then go ding dong at it with dignity? But I'll soon settle this-I 'll soon let him know a piece of my mind, I'll warrant. He don't quite so easily get over me!
'Oh! pray, ma, don't go : he looks, oh! so fierce !
· Fierce !-the ideor! Do you think I'm afeared of a man! The ridiculousness of it pervokes me ?
Whereupon she bounced out of the chamber, and the next moment stood before the Earl.
Now I tell you what it is now, plump, my lord,' she observed, with a dignified air: "If this here's the way you 're a-going to treat the Countess, my daughter, it won't do, my lord, I can tell you: we aint a-going to stand
“Am I to be under the necessity of turning you out of the house, Mrs. Gills ?' said the Earl, with perfect calmness.
* Turn me out of the house! Well, I'm sure !
“You will compel me to do so, if you do not conduct yourself with greater propriety."
'I'd have you to know that I'm not to be 'timidated, my lord. Where the Countess my daughter is, there will I be.'
• You had better be silent. I believe that I contracted po marriage with you.'
• No; I only just wish that you had ! • Heaven forbid !' exclaimed the Earl. ‘You'd have had a very different person to deal with, I can tell you.' 'I know it. I do not require to be told.'
'I wouldn't have put up with one twentieth part of the treatment that she has put up with, poor thing.'
* It is of no importance to me, Mrs. Gills, what proportion you would have put up with.'
"But is it proper treatment? Let me ask you that.' * Will you do me the favour to leave the room, Mrs. Gills ?' *If she aint treated better, she shall sue for a separate maintainance.'
* Leave the room, madam! cried the Earl, starting up, and pointing fiercely to the door. 'If I hear another word, I 'll have you instantly turned out of the house !'
At this particular moment it struck Mrs. Gills with great force that, as she was not the absolute mistress of that house, he had the power to carry his threat into execution ; and as she felt it to be therefore inexpedient to provoke the tyrannical exercise of that power, she most reluctantly held her peace, and left the room, as she subsequently expressed it, ' fit to bust.'
• Well, ma,' cried the Countess, who was naturally anxious to know the result, how did you get on? What on earth did he say?'
“He's a brute! I'm putrified, my precious! I never in all my days heared of such a monster! Would you believe it?-why, he threatened to turn me out of the house, he did !--actually neck and crop out of the house !
• Lor, ma! you don't say so!'
* It 's a fact! But I'd have him to know that I'm as good as him, if he comes to that, and aint a-going to tolerate such ways with impunity.'
But how did it come about, ma ?'
*I'll tell you--but I feel so wild, I scarce know how to contain myself. Turn me out of the house, indeed !-a very fine ideor! “In the first place,” says I,“ my lord, this is all about it: the Countess, my daughter," says I, “aint a-going to stand any more of your nonsense, and so," says I, you needn't try it on."
Lor, ma ! reely you shouldn't have said that.' *Oh! there's nothing like giving 'em as good as they send. I aint lived all these years without knowing what I'm about. "Howsever, says he, “ What do you mean ?” says he. “ What do I mean !” says I, “ I'll tell you what I mean: I mean what I say,” says I, “neither bet
ter nor worse.' “Am I to kick you head first out of the house ?"
says he. “ Kick me out of the house !" says I. “How many on you? I should only like to see you,” says I, “a-kicking me out of the house. I'd cure you of kicking for the rest of your days,” says I.'
Lor! you didn't ought to have gone on so.'
Oh! don't tell me. It showed him, at any rate, I wasn't afeared. “ Kick me out,” says I, “will you? You're a nice man, I don't think, to talk about kicking:”' “ I'll do it," says he, “ if you don't hold your noise.” “You will,” says I, “will you? Do it-at your perel!" "I didn't marry you,” says he. "No," says I ; " I only just wish,” says I, “ for your sake, you had. I'll warrant," says I, “I'd let you a-knowed the difference !" So with that we went right at it, hammer and tongs. But I soon cowed him down-I soon gave him to know that I warn't to be frightened.'
Oh dear! I'm very sorry you said anything to him.' *Oh! rubbish about being sorry. There's nothing like telling 'em plump what you mean. Is he to treat you in this here scandalous way without having a syllable said to him? His lawful wife too, and a Countess! You ought to go in. I don't ought to do it. You ought to up and tell him right flat you won't have it, and let him talk about turning you out if he dare. Å pretty thing, indeed! Why, what did you marry him for?'
“I wish I never married him at all, ma, that I do. I'm very un happy.
* And likely to remain unhappy, too, unless you show a proper sperit. Do you think, if I was a Countess, I wouldn't act different? I'd give him to know I'd do just what I liked, and give just what jollifications I liked. Does he 'magine that you're to be moped up here without displaying no dignity? Does he suppose that you're to have no company, no parties, no frolics? Why, had you married a common tradesman, you'd been better off. Stick up for your rights, my precious, and don't be imposed upon by nobody. That's the only way. It's out of all character that you should be muddled up here, and have no sort of pleasure, no sort of society, nor nothing of that. It's enough to drive any woman stark staring mad! What's the use of being a Countess, if you don't do as Countesses does ? What's the good of having a title, if you don't keep up your dignity? That's my sentiments. It astonishes my intellects to see you submit to be treated like the common scum of the earth. It's incredulous to me that you should suffer yourself to be put upon like that. Why, if I was you, I'd turn the house out of the windows. I'd see who was misses, I'll warrant. And depend upon it, that's the only way. You haven't half enough of sperit; you don't ought to let him keep you thus under his thumb. If you do it now, what'll it be by and by? That's the point: that's what you ought to consider. I never in all my days heared of such a thing as a Countess being treated like you. Where's your pride ? You don't seem to have got a mite in you. I don't understand it. It gets over me altogether. I've no patience with you : I haven't, as true as I'm alive!'
While the Countess was being thus lectured by her mamma, who was earnestly anxious to inspire her soul with due dignity, the Earl and Captain Filcher-of whose arrival the ladies knew nothing were divid
ing the profits of their late speculation, and arranging the preliminaries of a certain transfer, the character of which will be duly explained
Stanley's pecuniary embarrassments commence.
The two thousand pounds for which Stanley had mortgaged his estate being lost, his actual income was reduced to something less than two hundred a-year; and as he continued to live at the rate of a thousand, he soon of course found himself involved.
Still the tradesmen whom he patronised did not for some time annoy him : they believed him to be rich, and were therefore with infinite plea. sure prepared to give him credit to any amount, notwithstanding their regular bills were unpaid.
This did not, however, last long. In less than two months they began to be importunate. One had a very heavy bill to take up on a certain day; another happened at the time to be dreadfully pressed; a third remembered by a miracle that his commodities bore only a ready-money profit; a fourth became suddenly so circumstanced, that he every day expected a man to be put in possession; while a fifth had decidedly a couple of executions in his house at that particular crisis; and thus they went on inventing fresh falsehoods daily, and mak. ing it appear that they were then in such terrible trouble, that their commercial salvation depended upon Stanley, inasmuch as that, unless these identical 'little bills' were immediately settled, the Gazette would be the inevitable portion of them all.
To Stanley these annoyances were galling in the extreme. He felt deeply humiliated. His inability to pay sums so paltry mortified him more than if the total had been twenty times doubled in one amount. The thing was altogether new to him. He knew not how to act. Had he been, as many thousands are, accustomed to these petty perplexities, the necessity for either bearing up against them, or exerting himself with the view of getting rid of them at once, would have appeared to be absolute; but as he had never been in any way pressed before, his spirit seemed broken, and he became irresolute and inactive.
Poor Amelia-from whom the widow's embarrassments had been so effectually concealed, that she only knew that the carriage had been dispensed with—could not understand this altered state of things at all. At that period she had had no money from Stanley for a month; but having taken care of a small sum she possessed at the time of her marriage, she had been able to pay for those articles for which immediate payment was required, while perceiving how much the importunities of those tradesmen who had given them credit annoyed him, she endeavoured as much as possible to withhold from him all knowledge of the abrupt and threatening manner in which they made their demands. When, however, the whole of her money had been expended, and the creditors, who had previous