This night, as Lizzie Heartwell was slowly disrobing for the remaining hours of slumber after her return home, she glanced into the small mirror before her, and thought audibly—“Emile Le Grande seemed quite charmed to-night with Leah; he hung around her like a shadow, and part of the evening he seemed moody and almost miserable. How strange if he should fall in love with her! She’s a grand girl. I don’t think she could fancy Emile Le Grande. I wonder why Leah called herself ‘the despised’ yesterday. Well, we shall see.”
Mrs. Levy’s guests had departed, one by one, till the mother and daughter were left alone in the deserted room.
“Mamma,” Bertha said at length, shrugging her dainty figure, and gazing thoughtfully into the fire, “I do believe that Emile Le Grande is in love with Leah Mordecai, and she with him.”
“Be ashamed, Bertha, to think of such a thing! I believe you are insane on the subject of love. Have you forgotten that she is a Mordecai.”
“Oh! Love’s love, mamma, Mordecai or not Mordecai! I think Emile Le Grande a fine fellow.”
“Would you be impudent, Bertha?” said her mother, eyeing her sharply.
“Oh! not for the world, mamma. Do forgive me, if you think so, and let us retire, for I have an awful task of study awaiting me to-morrow.”
EMILE LE GRANDE’S DIARY.
“Saturday night—by Jove! Sunday morning, I suppose I should write it, to be strictly truthful. And I guess that orthodox people would roll their pious eyes, and declare that I had better be in bed at this hour, instead of writing in my journal. But it makes no difference. I do not know whether it’s the seventh or the first day that I should observe as a day of rest. One suits me as well as the other. So here goes for my journal.
“November 29, Saturday night. Yes, I’ll write Saturday night, for the looks of the thing. Just returned from Bertha Levy’s tea-party—went with my sister. Would not have gone but for the hope of meeting Leah Mordecai. In the main, I hate Jews, but I must admit here, Journal, that Mrs. Levy is as elegant a woman as I have ever met; and Bertha, too, is a cunning creature, not beautiful and not my fancy exactly, but withal a taking girl.
“But of all the beautiful women that I have seen in years, Jewish or Christian, there’s not one can compare with Leah Mordecai—such hair and such eyes are seldom given to woman. Helen says that her hair measures four feet in length! What a queenly poise to that elegant head!
“But I swear there’s a sadness about her face that I do not comprehend. She certainly knows nothing of sorrow. It does not arise from want; for she, of all maidens in this Queen City, is farthest from that. Old Ben Mordecai has untold wealth, and there comes in the ‘marrow of the nut.’ Of course, he is as stingy as a Jew can be; but not with his daughter. Who has more elegant silks, velvets, and diamonds than she? Rich! rich! Ha! what a glorious thing to be said of one; but aside from old Mordecai’s money, Leah is a superb woman; one need never be ashamed of such a wife. I should not be.