“No, I don’t believe I could feel willing to wear that name,” said Violet laughing. “But if his name suited, would you marry him without loving him?”
“I suppose so; I like riches, and mamma says such wealthy men as Mr. Hogg and Mr. Larrabee are not to be picked up every day.”
“But, oh, it wouldn’t be right, Kate! because you have to promise to love.”
“Oh, that’s a mere form!” returned Kate with a yawn. “Gerty says she’s marrying for love—not of the man but his money,” and Kate laughed as if it was an excellent joke.
The other two looked grave and distressed, their mother had taught them that to give the hand without the heart was folly and sin.
Twixt the cup and the lip.”
The Travillas were all invited to Gertrude’s wedding; but as it was to be a very grand affair, the invitation was declined because of their recent bereavement.
Mr. Ross had not seen his intended son-in-law, nor did he know how mercenary were Gertrude’s motives. He took it for granted that she would not, of her own free will, consent to marry a man who was not at least agreeable to her, though he certainly thought it odd that she should fancy one over forty years older than herself.
He made some inquiries relative to the man’s character and circumstances, and learning that he was really very wealthy, and bore a respectable reputation, as the world goes, gave his consent to the match.
The preparations went on; dresses and jewels were ordered from Paris, invitations issued to several hundred guests, and the reception rooms of their city residence refurnished for the occasion; money was poured out without stint to provide the wedding feasts and flowers, rich and rare, for the adornment of the house, and the persons of the girls.
Gertrude did not seem unhappy, but was in a constant state of excitement, and would not allow herself a moment to think.
Ten days before that appointed for the ceremony, the bridegroom arrived in the city, and called upon the family.
Mr. Ross did not like his countenance, and wondered more than ever at his daughter’s choice.
He waited till Mr. Larrabee was gone, then sent for her to come to him in the library.
She came, looking surprised and annoyed. “What is it, papa?” she said impatiently. “Please be as brief as you can; because I’ve a world of things to attend to.”
“So many that you have not a moment to spare for the father you are going to leave so soon?” he said a little sadly.
“Oh, don’t remind me of that!” she cried, a sudden change coming over her manner. “I can’t bear to think of it!” and creeping up to him, she put her arms around his neck, while a tear trembled in her eye.
“Nor I,” he said, caressing her; “not even if I knew you were going to be very happy so far away from me; and I fear you are not. Gertrude, do you love that man?”