Mrs. Costello laughed. “Indeed, my dear, I can’t tell. If she does not now, I suppose she intends to.”
“But that can’t be right. Mamma, I am certain you do not think that kind of marriage right.”
“Not for all people, certainly. But for any one who is dear to me I would far rather have a marriage of ‘that kind’ than one founded on the hasty, utterly unreasonable fancy which girls often call love.”
Lucia blushed crimson, but would not give up her point. “I am sure if I married a man I did not love, I should hate him in three months,” she said.
“I do not think you and Bella are much alike,” Mrs. Costello answered; “and as for her, perhaps it may comfort you to know that I have speculated a little on this subject, and I have some suspicion that there may be more sentiment in the affair then she allows.”
Lucia started up. “Really, mamma, I am so glad,” she cried. “Only, why should she be so stupid?”
“I don’t think even you, Lucia, would be pleased to see Bella and Doctor Morton enacting the same role as Magdalen and Harry Scott.”
“I am sure I should not. It would be too ridiculous. But just look at Mr. and Mrs. Bellairs, they seem perfectly happy; and Mr. and Mrs. Leigh must have been so, in spite of everything. Maurice told me he believed his mother had never regretted her marriage; and that was certainly a love match.”
“Mine was a ‘love match,’ Lucia, and brought me misery unimaginable. Hush, say no more at present.”
Bella’s wedding-day rose as fair and bright as a day could be. The waning summer seemed to have returned to the freshness of early June, and to have determined that the bride, whatever else might be wanting, should have all the blessing sunshine could give her. Lucia, however, after that first eager look out at the weather which we naturally give on the morning of a fete-day, began to be conscious of a mood far too depressed and uneasy to be in harmony with either the weather or the occasion. Partly perhaps it was that her eyes had turned from habit to Maurice’s window, which when he was at home was always open early, but whose closed up, solitary look now, reminded her of his absence; partly that the words her mother had spoken the previous evening lingered in her mind, and not only brought back more forcibly than ever all her puzzled and anxious thought about the past and future, but seemed to throw a dark but impalpable cloud over the happiness of the present.
But there was too much business to be done for her to spend time in dreaming, and by the time she was ready for breakfast, the inclination to dream had almost past away. After breakfast, and after the various daily affairs which in the small household fell to her share to attend to, there were flowers to be gathered, and a short visit to Mr. Leigh to be paid; and by the time all this was done, it was time to dress.