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Amelia

II.8.
In Which Our Readers Will Probably Be Divided In Their Opinion Of Mr. Booth's
Conduct.
Booth proceeded as follows:--
"The first months of our marriage produced nothing remarkable enough to
mention. I am sure I need not tell Miss Matthews that I found in my Amelia every
perfection of human nature. Mrs. Harris at first gave us some little uneasiness.
She had rather yielded to the doctor than given a willing consent to the match;
however, by degrees, she became more and more satisfied, and at last seemed
perfectly reconciled. This we ascribed a good deal to the kind offices of Miss
Betty, who had always appeared to be my friend. She had been greatly assisting
to Amelia in making her escape, which I had no opportunity of mentioning to you
before, and in all things behaved so well, outwardly at least, to myself as well as
her sister, that we regarded her as our sincerest friend.
"About half a year after our marriage two additional companies were added to our
regiment, in one of which I was preferred to the command of a lieutenant. Upon
this occasion Miss Betty gave the first intimation of a disposition which we have
since too severely experienced."
"Your servant, sir," says Miss Matthews; "then I find I was not mistaken in my
opinion of the lady.--No, no, shew me any goodness in a censorious prude, and--
"
As Miss Matthews hesitated for a simile or an execration, Booth proceeded: "You
will please to remember, madam, there was formerly an agreement between
myself and Mrs. Harris that I should settle all my Amelia's fortune on her, except
a certain sum, which was to be laid out in my advancement in the army; but, as
our marriage was carried on in the manner you have heard, no such agreement
was ever executed. And since I was become Amelia's husband not a word of this
matter was ever mentioned by the old lady; and as for myself, I declare I had not
yet awakened from that delicious dream of bliss in which the possession of
Amelia had lulled me."
Here Miss Matthews sighed, and cast the tenderest of looks on Booth, who thus
continued his story:--
"Soon after my promotion Mrs. Harris one morning took an occasion to speak to
me on this affair. She said, that, as I had been promoted gratis to a lieutenancy,
she would assist me with money to carry me yet a step higher; and, if more was
required than was formerly mentioned, it should not be wanting, since she was
 
 
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