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Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848   By:

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[Illustration: J. Addison ANGILA MERVALE or SIX MONTHS BEFORE MARRIAGE. Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine ]






"They say Miss Morton is engaged to Robert Hazlewood," said Augusta Lenox.

"So I hear," replied Angila Mervale, to whom this piece of news had been communicated. "How can she?"

"How can she, indeed?" replied Augusta. "He's an ugly fellow."

"Ugly! yes," continued Angila, "and a disagreeable ugliness, too. I don't care about a man's being handsome a plain black ugliness I don't object to but red ugliness, ah!"

"They say he's clever," said Augusta.

"They always say that, my dear, of any one that's so ugly," replied Angila. "I don't believe it. He's conceited, and I think disagreeable; and I don't believe he's clever."

"I remarked last night that he was very attentive to Mary Morton," continued Augusta. "They waltzed together several times."

"Yes, and how badly he waltzes," said Angila. "Mary Morton is too pretty a girl for such an awkward, ugly man. How lovely she looked last night. I hope it's not an engagement, for I quite like her."

"Well, perhaps it is not. It's only one of the on dits , and probably a mere report."

"Who are you discussing, girls?" asked Mrs. Mervale, from the other side of the room.

"Robert Hazlewood and Miss Morton," replied Augusta, "they are said to be engaged."

"Ah!" said Mrs. Mervale. "Is it a good match for her?"

"Oh, no!" chimed in both the girls at once. "He's neither handsome, nor rich, nor any thing."

"Nor any thing!" repeated Mrs. Mervale, laughing. "Well, that's comprehensive. A young man may be a very respectable young man, and be a very fair match for a girl without being either handsome or rich; but if he is positively 'nothing,' why, then, I grant you, it is bad indeed."

"Oh, I believe he is respectable enough," replied Augusta, carelessly, for, like most young girls, the word "respectable" did not rank very high in her vocabulary.

"And if he is not rich, what are they to live on," asked Mrs. Mervale.

"Love and the law, I suppose," replied her daughter, laughing. "He's a lawyer, is he not Augusta?"

"Oh!" resumed Mrs. Mervale, "he's a son, then, I suppose, of old John Hazlewood."

"Yes," replied Augusta.

"Then he may do very well in his profession," continued Mrs. Mervale, "for his father has a large practice I know, and is a very respectable man. If this is a clever young man, he may tread in his father's footsteps."

This did not convey any very high eulogium to the young ladies' ears. That young Robert Hazlewood might be an old John Hazlewood in his turn and time, did not strike them as a very brilliant future. In fact they did not think more of the old man than they did of the young one.

Old gentlemen, however, were not at quite such a discount with Mrs. Mervale as with her daughter and her friend; and she continued to descant upon the high standing of Mr. Hazlewood the elder, not one word in ten of which the girls heard, for she, like most old ladies, once started upon former times, was thinking of the pleasant young John Hazlewood of early days, who brought back with him a host of reminiscences, with which she indulged herself and the girls, while they, their heads full of last night's party and Mary Morton and Robert Hazlewood, listened as civilly as they could, quite unable to keep the thread of her discourse, confounding in her history Robert Hazlewood's mother with his grandmother, and wondering all the while when she would stop, that they might resume their gossip.

"You visit his sister, Mrs. Constant, don't you?" asked Augusta.

"Yes, we have always visited the Hazlewoods," replied Angila, "but I am not intimate with any of them. They always seemed to me those kind of pattern people I dislike."

"Is Mr. Constant well off?" inquired Mrs. Mervale.

"No, I should think not," replied Angila, "from the way in which they live... Continue reading book >>

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