A week passed by, and the general postman’s knock, bringing with it letters from his trustee, who, as an item in his accounts, mentioned that he had just heard that Miss Emily Worthington was quite well, put him in mind that he had not heard from her himself. Oh! how ill-used he felt; he had some thoughts of writing to overwhelm her with reproaches for her neglect; but, on second thoughts, he resolved to treat her with silent disdain. To be sure, such a method of showing his contempt took less time and trouble than writing four pages to express it would have done. That evening he was a little out of spirits, but Julia showed so much gentle sympathy with his sadness, and Laura rallied him so pleasantly upon it, that they pursued the subject long after there was any occasion for it. The week became weeks—there was not a drawback to the enjoyment of the trio, excepting now and then "some old friends of papa, to whom we must be civil; not," said Laura, "but that I would put up with one and all, excepting that odious Sir John Belmore."
Edward had been in town two months and a fortnight, when one evening Julia—they had been singing "Meet me by moonlight alone"—asked him to breakfast with them. "I have," said she, "some commissions, and papa will trust me with you." He breakfasted, and attended the blue-eyed Julia to Swan and Edgar’s. "Now I have some conscience!" exclaimed she, with one of her own sweet languid smiles. Julia had an especially charming smile—it so flattered the person to whom it was addressed. It was that sort of smile which it is impossible to help taking as a personal compliment. "I have a little world of shopping to do—bargains to buy—netting silks to choose; and you will never have patience to wait. Leave me here for an hour, and then come back—now be punctual. Let me look at your watch—ah! it is just eleven. Good bye, I shall expect you exactly at twelve."
She turned into the shop with a most becoming blush, so pretty, that Edward had half a mind to have followed her in, and quoted Moore’s lines—
"Oh! let me only breathe the air,
The blesses air that's breathed by thee;"
but a man has a natural antipathy to shopping, and even the attraction of a blush, and a blush especially of that attractive sort, one on your own account—even that was lost in the formidable array of ribands, silks, and bargains—
"Bought because they may be wanted,
Wanted because they may be had."
Accordingly, he lounged into his club, and the hour was almost gone before he arrived at Swan and Edgar’s. Julia told him she had waited and he thought—What a sweet temper she must have not to show the least symptom of dissatisfaction! on the contrary, her blue eyes were even softer than usual. By the time they arrived at her father’s door he had also arrived at the agreeable conclusion, that he could do no wrong. They parted hastily, for he had a tiresome business appointment; however, they were to meet in the evening, and a thousand little tender things which he intended to say occupied him till the end of his walk.
When the evening came, and after a toilette of that particular attention which in nine cases out of ten one finds leisure to bestow on oneself,