There gladly will we follow her, for the scenes of violence and evil passion we have slightly touched on are not subjects on which we love to linger.
There was thought, deep thought, engraved on Mrs. Hamilton’s expressive countenance, as she sat beside a small table, her head leaning on her hand, anxious, perhaps even painful, visions occupying her reflective mind. The evening was gradually darkening into twilight, but still she did not move, nor was it till a well-known tap sounded at the door, and her husband stood before her, that she looked up.
“Will you not let your husband share these anxious thoughts, my Emmeline?” he said, as he gazed earnestly on her face.
“My husband may perhaps think them silly and unfounded fancies,” she replied, with a faint smile.
“He is so prone to do so,” answered Mr. Hamilton, in an accent of playful reproach; “but if you will not tell me, I must guess them—you are thinking of our Caroline?”
“Arthur, I am,” she said, with almost startling earnestness; “oh, you cannot tell how anxiously! I know not whether I am right to expose her to the temptations of the world; I know her disposition, I see the evils that may accrue from it, and yet, even as if I thought not of their existence, I expose her to them. Oh, my husband, can this be right? can I be doing a parent’s duty?”
“We should not, my beloved, be fulfilling the duties of our station, did we not sometimes mingle in society: all our duty is not comprised in domestic life. It is when we retain our integrity unsullied, our restraining principles unchanged in the midst of temptations, that we show forth, even to the thoughtless, the spirit that actuates us, and by example may do good. Besides, remember, dearest, we are not about to enter into continued and incessant dissipation, which occupies the existence of so many; we have drawn a line, and Caroline loves her parents too well to expect or wish to pass its boundary. Remember, too, the anxious fears which were yours when Percy was about to enter into scenes of even stronger temptation than those which will surround his sister; and have they had foundation? Has not the influence of his mother followed him there, and restrained him even at the moment of trial, and will not the influence of that mother do the same for Caroline?”