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ly displayed the most cringing servility, had become not only clamorous but insolent, she felt it to be her duty to mention the subject to him, that she might know the real cause of their not being paid.
'Stanley,' she observed, taking advantage of a moment in which he appeared to be somewhat more tranquil than usual, “those persons are beginning to get very impatient.'
What persons ?' demanded Stanley.
Those tradesmen, dear, who have sent in their bills. They called again this morning.' " Let them call. They must wait.'
But they say that they will not wait, my love ! • But I say they must! What do they mean? Are they afraid of losing their money ??
Why, it would seem that they were, for the tone they have assumed of late is really very harsh and insulting. 'Insulting ! echoed Stanley. “I'll kick them to the devil !'
Do not be rash, dear Stanley. They are, perhaps, very poor. But why do you not pay them at once ??
• They shall wait now for their insolence.'
• But were it not better, dear, to settle their accounts, and then to show them that you are displeased with their want of confidence in you by dealing with them no more?
"I shall do so when I find it quite convenient, but certainly not until then.'
But the fact of its being at present inconvenient is a matter of the slightest possible importance! I can easily get sufficient money to pay them !
Have you ever,' demanded Stanley, regarding her with sternness, -' have you ever named the subject to her ??
• Never, Stanley! No, dear, never ! replied Amelia ; 'I would not do so for the world, my love, without your permission.' Very well. In that quarter never let it be named.'
But what possible objection can you have, dear? I really can see none myself.
“I have an objection—a very great objection ; one which is perfectly insurmountable.'
Of course, my love, you are the best judge; but do you know, my impression is that you are far too delicate, Stanley !
I would not have it known that I am short, down at Richmond, for ten thousand pounds!
Oh! you proud creature ! exclaimed Amelia, with a smile. And yet are you proud, Stanley? Let me bring you to the test, that we may see if that really be pride which looks so very much like it. Stanley ! she continued, with uch earnestness,' the servants our servants ! It cannot be kept from them.'
• I'll discharge the first that dares to hold the slightest communication with these people.'
"It cannot be prevented, my love. They will talk; they will canvass matters of this description ; they will form their own conjectures; they will swell the lightest word into an affair of vast importance. Believe me,
I tremble whenever I hear a single knock at the door, I do, indeed, my dear, and would answer all such knocks myself, were it not for very shame.'
I wish to heaven you would not trouble yourself about such things at all.'
'I cannot help it: indeed I cannot help it. Did you but know what I suffer when I hear those persons in the hall asking the servants the most impertinent questions, and leaving messages of the most insolent and me. nacing character, you would pity me.'
Why did you not tell me of all this before ? * Because I well knew, my love, that it would vex you ; and, as I fully expected that you would very soon be able to meet their demands, I have concealed it from you, hoping that the annoyance would cease without causing you any additional mortification. But, be assured, dear Stanley, that I do not speak thus for myself. Although it afflicts me deeply to hear you spoken of by those persons in terms so unwarrantable and harsh, I am not anxious for the immediate discharge of these debts merely as a matter of comfort as far as I am concerned: my chief object in bringing the subject forward, is to put it to you whether it would not be in every point of view far better to allow me to get-say to borrowa certain sum of money of mamma, than to promote the circulation of those rumours which absolutely strike at the purity of your motives !!
Oh, let them circulate what rumours they please ! they cannot injure me.'
‘But, Stanley dear, would it not be better to allow me to do at once that which I propose, than to suffer your importance to be diminished not only in the estimation of those tradesmen, but also in the eyes of our servants ? Consider, my love. What if mamma should know that you are at present somewhat pressed ? Nay, if even my father were informed of the fact, of what possible consequence could it be? But he need not know anything about it.'
It shall not be known to either.' • Well, then,' continued Amelia, “let me suggest another course. But you will not be angry with me? Promise that you will not be angry if I offer another suggestion ?'
"Well, I do promise : what is it?'
*Have you not heard, dear, of persons—persons, too, moving in high society, who, whenever they need temporary loans, can obtain them by depositing articles of value as security for repayment ?'
I have,' replied Stanley. "Well, dear, then why cannot we do the same? Those jewels of mine (you know I very seldom wear them); I have no idea how much they cost, but I should say that they are worth five times the sum we require to pay all these tiresome people. Why not deposit them ?'
You are a good girl,' said Stanley; but there will be no necessity for anything of the kind.'
* Take them, dear Stanley ! continued Amelia. "Do let me prevail upon you to take them; or tell me where to go, and I will take them myself. I should not be ashamed, dear; indeed I should not be ashamed! But, as she spoke, the tears trickled down her beautiful cheeks; which, however, she tried to conceal.
Oh, that will not be required,' replied Stanley.
But Lady Dashwell always went herself. She took hers to a goldsmith in Oxford Street, I have heard. Come, dear, let me take mine, and then all these annoyances will be at an end.'
• Why, Amelia, I am not a beggar! I'll go and get the money of my mother at once. I can do so; but the necessity for it never before appeared to be so pressing.'
' Then you forgive me, dear Stanley ?? Forgive you!
He embraced her, and left her comparatively happy. She did not expect that he would have been so calm, although it was manifest even to her that his naturally impetuous spirit was being by some process gradually subdued.
On reaching the widow's residence, Stanley found her sitting in solitude at the drawing-room window, envying the owner of every carriage that passed, and conceiving it to be by far the greatest luxury under heaven. She had no carriage ; and the thought of this formed her chief affliction. She felt that she could with fortitude have endured the loss of anything but that ; which was certainly nothing but natural, seeing that the things which we have will appear very poor when compared with the things we have not.
Mother,' said Stanley, as he took a seat beside her, “have you any money at your banker's ??
This question amazed the widow much. The tone was so excessively novel. It had theretofore been invariably, “Mother! I want some money, and must have it; and if you haven't got it, you must get it! Her amazement
may hence be understood. • Why, my love,' she replied, on recovering herself somewhat, 'I have a little.
'I wish you'd lend me some for a short time,' said Stanley. You shall have it again.'
Certainly, my dear. How much do you want ?? • How much can you spare ?'
•Why, I scarcely know, my love. Will twenty or thirty pounds be enough?
I wish you could let me have a hundred.'
'I know it, mother: I know it. You need not remind me of that. The question is, can you let me have it? I am pestered to death by a parcel of petty people, whom I am anxious to pay.
Well-well, you shall have it. But be cautious, my Stanley,—for Heaven's sake be cautious, there's a dear! I dare say, my love, that you do the best you can; and I know it to be very distressing to retrench; but the necessity for living within your income, limited as it is, dear, must not be overlooked.'
'I know, mother-I know all about it. Just give me a cheque.'
'I have been thinking, dear,' continued the widow, as she very slowly opened her desk,—— I have been thinking—and it's strange that it never struck me till this morning—that if we were to live together, dear, in one house, you know, so that we should have to support but one establishment, we should be able to live in better style, besides being
'Yes-yes,' interposed Stanley, with impatience. We'll talk about that another time. I'll see about it. Let me have the cheque.'
The cheque was accordingly drawn, and when he had taken leave hastily, although with somewhat more affection than usual, he proceeded to the banker's without delay.
In which the vencrablo gentleman appears just on the verge.
As Amelia had conjectured, the constant applications of the tradesmen for the settlement of their accounts formed the principal topic of conversa. tion among the servants. They felt perfectly sure that the establishment was about to be broken up; and as the gentle Joanna conceived it to be her duty to relate all the particulars to her venerable friend, the day was named for the consummation of their bliss exactly three hours after Stanley had made the heart of poor Amelia glad by placing the entire hundred pounds in her hand to be appropriated to the purposes for which it was obtained.
It may also be stated as a remarkable coincidence, that Bob—whose spirits were governed by Amelia as absolutely as the thermometer is governed by the air, was on that very evening unusually gay. He had been to the banker's with his master; he had seen his mistress on his return; he had seen her twice, and well knew by the joyful expression of her countenance that a favourable change had taken place.
When, therefore, he entered the kitchen in which the blooming Joanna and her venerable friend were sitting tête-à-tête with very great affection, he exclaimed in the joy of his heart, Now I don't care a dump! It's all right! I know it is by missis! Blest if I mind standing a couple of pots of arf-and-arf!
· Vot ! ’ave you got yer vages ? inquired the venerable gentleman.
*No; but I shall get 'em, safe. But that ain't what I look at. I warn't even thinking of them. I know it's all right now with master; that's all I care for. I know it by missis's looks. I'll bet ten to one on it, brandies and waters. She can't deceive me.'
Looks is werry deceptive,' observed the venerable gentleman. "It's a werry old sayin', and a true un, that you mustn't take people by their looks.
"Oh, but missis is one which can't be mistaken. Let me look in her face, and I know what's o'clock. I can tell in an instant. There ain't a ha'p'orth of any mistake about her.'
But ain't you got nothink else in this case to go by ??
'Yes; but that, and nothing else, would be plenty for me. But there is something else. We went out about four o'clock all in a hurry, and drove to old missis's house. Well, master went in with his tail very lowI never see a man much more downer in the mouth; but he hadn't been there long, before he came out, and pelted right down to the banker's. Well, I knew there was something rayther extra in the wind, so I watched him; and when he came out, praps he warn't a little altered! I never see such a change in a man in my life! Well, he got in, and cut back; and when he pulled up at the door missis was on the quivy, as the
says, at the window; and the mirit she sees him I knew how it was. I could tell, I'd oath it. And when I went up just now, the whole thing was as clear to me as chrystial.'
Well, I only hope your words may come true,' said Joanna. · I'm right for a million. I'll lay any odds. It's the Monument to a Molehill.
'I knowed a young ooman,' observed the venerable gentleman, assuming that profoundly philosophical expression which he invariably wore when about to illustrate any particular point by analogy,—' I knowed a young ooman—and a werry nice young ooman she vos-vich vos in a decline. Werry well. For a matter of more than three 'ear she vos a-goin', and a-goin', and a-goin' gradual ; but she never for all that believed she vos a-goin', although she vos terrible thin, and looked as pale as any sheet of vite paper. She voodn't believe it, cos she alvays had a appetite, and vood alvays be a-eatin' from mornin' till night, in the most onsatisfyin' manner you ever ’eared tell on. Werry well. Now, ven her flesh vos vasted nigh hall off her bones, and she looked like a skeleton kivered vith kid, and hevery soul as looked at her thought that go she must, she all at vunce had the most beautifullest colour as ever vos seen upon a peach! She looked like an angel as she sit all in vite; and as her little tiny fingers vos a-playin' vith her curles, she vos asmilin' as sweetly as if her little sisters in heaven vos a-visperin' to her softly, “Hope-still hope !" And I remember,' continued the venerable gentleman, as he wiped away a tear, which the vivid recollection of this scene had called forth, — I remember one sanguine friend, vich loved her, exclaiming ven he seed this 'ere colour in her cheeks, “ Now she's all right ? vot a favourable change! Blessed be God, she'll get over it now!” But vot vos it? Natur' blushing to part so pure a soul from a body so fair; nothing else! In an hour after that exclamation vos uttered, she died. Werry well. Now this seems to me to be a case werry similar; the pockets of your master is got the same complaint; havin' overrun the constable, his means has been long in a decline; and although he may jist now be suddenly flush and you may, in sconseqvence, vishin' him vell, feel yourself justifiable in offerin' to bet any hods it's all right, it strikes me forcible that this here flush is on'y a sign that the whole 'stablishment's jist on the p’int of goin' to pot. That's my sentiments. I hope I may be wrong; but that's jist vot strikes me. I shall be werry sorry, mind yer, to ear it, cos I do think your master's a trump; vile your missis, accordin' to all accounts, is a werry good sort.
‘She is a regular good ’un ! cried Bob. A out-and-outer! I never see her feller yet; and nothing would hurt my sentiments so much as to see your blessed words come true; for I'm sure that if anything rotten was to go for to occur, she'd break her heart.'
Vell, I hope I may be wrong. But I 'spose you know Joanna's agoin' to give vornin'
Well, she may if she likes, in course; but I won't: I'd stop with 'em it it wos on'y for my
vittles. "She is not,' rejoined the venerable gentleman, 'a-goin' to give vornin' cos she don't gither vages, but in sconseqvence of other circumstantials.'