“Isabel! what do I hear? What! that young man who calls here so often! You, that can command a title, rank, and fashion, engage yourself to a captain of an Indiaman! Recollect, Isabel, that now your poor father is dead, I am your legal protector; and without my permission I trust you have too much sense of filial duty to think of marrying. How you could venture to form an engagement without consulting me is quite astonishing! Depend upon it, I shall not give my consent; therefore, think no more about it.”
How often do we thus see people, who make no scruples of neglecting their duties, as eagerly assert their responsibility, when it suits their convenience.
Isabel might have retorted, but she did not. In few words, she gave her mother to understand that she was decided, and then retired to dress for a splendid ball, at which, more to please her mother than herself, she had consented to be present.
It was the first party of any consequence to which Mrs Revel had been invited. She considered it as her re-entree into the fashionable world, and the presentation of her daughter; she would not have missed it for any consideration. That morning she had felt more pain than usual, and had been obliged to have recourse to restoratives; but once more to join the gay and fashionable throng—the very idea braced her nerves, rendered her callous to suffering, and indifferent to disease.
“I think,” said Mrs Revel to her maid—“I think,” said she, panting, “you may lace me a little closer, Martyn.”
“Indeed, madam, the holes nearly meet; it will hurt your side.”
“No, no, I feel no pain this evening—there, that will do.”
The lady’s-maid finished her task, and left the room.
Mrs Revel rouged her wan cheeks, and, exhausted with fatigue and pain, tottered to an easy-chair, that she might recover herself a little before she went downstairs.
In a quarter of an hour Isabel, who had waited for the services of Martyn, entered her mother’s room, to announce that she was ready. Her mother, who was sitting in the chair, leaning backwards, answered her not. Isabel went up to her, and looked her in the face—she was dead!
“My dearest wife was like this maid,
And such my daughter might have been.”
The reader may be surprised at the positive and dictatorial language of Mr John Forster, relative to Newton’s marriage, as detailed in a former chapter; but, as Mr John Forster truly observed, all the recompense which he had to expect for a life of exertion was to dispose of the fruits of his labour according to his own will. This he felt; and he considered it unreasonable that what he supposed a boyish attachment on the part of Newton was to overthrow all his preconcerted arrangements. Had Mr Forster been able to duly