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   Chapter 6 THE CONFIDANTE.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 5107

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


But Mrs. Tracy had the best reason for believing her intelligence was true, and she could see very little cause for regarding it as dreadful. True, one son would have been enough for this wealthy Indian heiress-but still it was no harm to have two strings to her bow. Julian was her favourite, and should have the girl if she could manage it; but if Emily Warren would not hear of such a husband, why Charles Tracy may far better get her money than any body else.

That she possessed great wealth was evident: such jewellery, such Trinchinopoli chains, such a blaze of diamonds en suite, such a multitude of armlets, and circlets, and ear-rings, and other oriental finery, had never shone on Devonshire before: at the Eyemouth ball, men worshipped her, radiant in beauty, and gorgeously apparelled. Moreover, money overflowed her purse, her work-box, and her jewel-case: Charles's village school, and many other well-considered charities, rejoiced in the streams of her munificence. The general had given her a banker's book of signed blank checks, and she filled up sums at pleasure: such unbounded confidence had he in her own prudence and her far-off father's liberality. The few hints her husband deigned to give, encouraged Mrs. Tracy to conclude, that she would be a catch for either of her sons; and, as for the girl herself, she had clearly been brought up to order about a multitude of servants, to command the use of splendid equipages, and to spend money with unsparing hand.

Accordingly, one day when Julian was alone with his mother, their conversation ran as follows:

"Well, Julian dear, and what do you think of Emily Warren?"

"Think, mother? why-that she's deuced pretty, and dresses like an empress: but where did the general pick her up, eh?-who is she?"

"Why, as to who she is-I know no more than you; she is Emily Warren: but as to the great question of what she is, I know that she is rolling in riches, and would make one of my boys a very good wife."

"Oh, as to wife, mother, one isn't going to be fool enough to marry for love now-a-days: things are easier managed hereabouts, than that: but money makes it quite another thing. So, this pretty minx is rich, is she?"

"A great heiress, I assure you, Julian."

"Bravo, bravo-o! but how to make the girl look sweet upon me, mother? There's that white-livered fellow, Charles-"

"Never mind him, boy; do you suppose he would have the heart to make love to such a splendid creature as Miss Warren: fy, Julian, for a faint heart: Charles is well enough as a Sabb

ath-school teacher, but I hope he will not bear away the palm of a ladye-love from my fine high-spirited Julian." Poor Mrs. Tracy was as flighty and romantic at forty-five as she had been at fifteen.

The fine high-spirited Julian answered not a word, but looked excessively cross; for he knew full well that Charles's chance was to his in the ratio of a million to nothing.

"What, boy," went on the prudent mother, "still silent! I am afraid Emily's good looks have been thrown away upon you, and that your heart has not found out how to love her."

"Love her, mother? Curses! would you drive me mad? I think and dream of nothing but that girl: morning, noon, and night, her eyes persecute me: go where I will, and do what I will, her image haunts me: d--n it, mother' don't I love the girl?"

[Oh love, love! thou much-slandered monosyllable, how desperately do bad men malign thee!]

"Hush, Julian; pray be more guarded in your language; I am glad to see though that your heart is in the right place: suppose now that I aid your suit a little? I dare say I could do a great deal for you, my son; and nothing could be more delightful to your mother than to try and make her Julian happy."

True, Mrs. Tracy; you were always theatrically given, and played the coquette in youth; so in age the character of go-between befits you still: dearly do you love to dabble in, what you are pleased to call, "une affaire du c?ur."

"Mother," after a pause, replied her hopeful progeny, "if the girl had been only pretty, I shouldn't have asked any body's help; for marriage was never to my liking, and folks may have their will of prouder beauties than this Emily, without going to church for it; but money makes it quite another matter: and I may as well have the benefit of your assistance in this matter o' money, eh mother? matrimony, you know: an heiress and a beauty may be worth the wedding-ring; besides, when my commission comes, I can follow the good example that my parents set me, you know; and, after a three months' honey-mooning, can turn bachelor again for twenty years or so, as our governor-general did, and so leave wifey at home, till she becomes a Mrs. General like you."

Now, strange to say, this heartless bit of villany was any thing but unpleasing to the foolish, flattered heart of Mrs. Tracy; he was a chip of the old block, no better than his father: so she thanked "dear Julian" for his confidence, with admiration and emotion; and looking upwards, after the fashion of a Covent Garden martyr, blessed him.

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