From the Same to the Same
Mary, eager to have every one know of her approaching Wedding and more particularly desirous of triumphing as she called it over the Duttons, desired us to walk with her this Morning to Stonebam. As we had nothing else to do we readily agreed, and had as pleasant a walk as we could have with Mary whose conversation entirely consisted in abusing the Man she is soon to marry and in longing for a blue Chaise spotted with Silver. When we reached the Duttons we found the two Girls in the dressing-room with a very handsome Young Man, who was of course introduced to us. He is the son of Sir Henry Brudenell of Leicestershire. Mr Brudenell is the handsomest Man I ever saw in my Life; we are all three very much pleased with him. Mary, who from the moment of our reaching the Dressing-room had been swelling with the knowledge of her own importance and with the Desire of making it known, could not remain long silent on the Subject after we were seated, and soon addressing herself to Kitty said,
'Don't you think it will be necessary to have all the Jewels new set?'
'Necessary for what?'
'For What! Why for my appearance.'
'I beg your pardon but I really do not understand you. What Jewels do you speak of, and where is your appearance to me made?'
'At the next Ball to be sure after I am married.'
You may imagine their Surprise. They were at first incredulous, but on our Joining in the Story they at last beleived it. 'And who is it to' was of course the first Question. Mary pretended Bashfulness, and answered in Confusion her Eyes cast down 'to Mr Watts'. This also required Confirmation from us, for that anyone who had the Beauty and fortune (tho' small yet a provision) of Mary would willingly marry Mr Watts, could by them scarcely be credited. The subject being now fairly introduced and she found herself the object of every one's attention in company, she lost all her confusion and became perfectly unreserved and communicative.
'I wonder you should never have heard of it before for in general things of this Nature are very well known in the Neighbourhood.'
'I assure you,' said Jemima, 'I never had the least suspicion of such an affair. Has it been in agitation long?'
'Oh! Yes, ever since Wednesday.'
They all smiled particularly Mr Brudenell.
'You must know Mr Watts is very much in love with me, so that it is quite a match of Affection on his side.'
'Not on his only, I suppose' said Kitty.
'Oh! when there is so much Love on one side there is no occasion for it on the other. However I do not much dislike him tho' he is very plain to be sure.'
Mr Brudenell stared, the Miss Duttons laughed and Sophy and I were heartily ashamed of our Sister. She went on.
'We are to have a new Postchaise and very likely may set up our Phaeton.'
This we knew to be false but the poor Girl was pleased at the idea of persuading the company that such a thing was to be and I would not deprive her of so harmless an Enjoyment. She continued.
'Mr Watts is to present me with the family Jewels which I fancy are very considerable.' I could not help whispering Sophy 'I fancy not' 'These Jewels are what I suppose must be new set before they can be worn. I shall not wear them till the first Ball I go to after my Marriage. If Mrs Dutton should not go to it, I hope you will let me chaprone you; I shall certainly take Sophy and Georgiana.'
'You are very good' (said Kitty) 'and since you are inclined to undertake the Care of young Ladies, I should advise you to prevail on Mrs Edgecumbe to let you chaprone her six Daughters which with your two Sisters and ourselves will make your Entrée very respectable.'
Kitty made us all smile except Mary who did not understand her Meaning and coolly said that she should not like to chaprone so many. Sophy and I now endeavoured to change the conversation but succeeded only for a few Minutes, for Mary took care to bring back their attention to her and her approaching Wedding. I was sorry for my Sister's sake to see that Mr Brudenell seemed to take pleasure in listening to her account of it, and even encouraged her by his Questions and Remarks for it was evident that his only Aim was to laugh at her. I am afraid he found her very ridiculous. He kept his Countenance extremely well, yet it was easy to see that it was with difficulty he kept it. At length however he seemed fatigued and Disgusted with her ridiculous Conversation, as he turned from her to us, and spoke but little to her for about half an hour before we left Stoneham. As soon as we were out of the House we all joined in praising the Person and Manners of Mr Brudenell.
We found Mr Watts at home.
'So, Miss Stanhope' (said he) 'you see I am come a courting in a true Lover like Manner.'
'Well you need not have told me that. I knew why you came very well.'
Sophy and I then left the room, imagining of course that must be in the way, if a Scene of Courtship were to begin. We were surprised at being followed almost immediately by Mary.
'And is your Courting so soon over?' said Sophy. 'Courting' (replied Mary) 'we have been quarrelling. Watts is such a Fool! I hope I shall never see him again.'
'I am afraid you will,' (said I) 'as he dines here today. But what has been your dispute?'
'Why only because I told him that I had seen a Man much handsomer than he was this Morning, he flew into a great Passion and called me a Vixen, so I only stayed to tell him I thought him a Blackguard and came away.'
'Short and sweet' (said Sophy) 'but pray, Mary, how will this be made up?'
'He ought to ask my pardon; but if he did, I would not forgive him.'
'His Submission then would not be very useful.'
When we were dressed we returned to the Parlour where Mama and Mr Watts were in close Conversation. It seems that he had been complaining to her of her Daughter's behaviour, and she had persuaded him to think no more of it. He therefore met Mary with all his accustomed Civility, and except one touch at the Phaeton and another at the Greenhouse, the Evening went off with a great Harmony and Cordiality. Watts is going to Town to hasten the preparations for the Wedding.
I am your affecte Freind G. S.