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WEDDING AND THE FUNERAL.
"0, thou invisible spirit of brandy, if thou hast no name to bo known by, let us call thee-murderer!'
THERE was a great bustle in the village of B—when James Murray, Esq. was married to Lucy Marsh. Weddings are always, especially by the ladies, considered important occasions; and the marriage of a rich and distinguished young man with the most beautiful and amiable girl the country could boast, afforded matter of description for many a tea party, and speculation for many a fireside. They tell me the furnishing of the house cost James all of three thousand dollars,' said Mrs. Colvin; 'I wonder what his father, poor man, would say, were he living, to see such extravagance and waste !'
Waste do you call it ?' said Miss Lucretia Crane, elevating her long neck as she gave her head a most supercilious toss— Why, it is nothing more than is necessary,
one intends living genteelly in the country ; they would hardly call it decent in Boston. The only thing that gives me any uneasiness, is, that Lucy will not understand how to arrange her furniture and order her table in good style. A great deal depends on being accustomed to such things—and though Lucy has had a tolerably good education, she is not highly accomplished, and has never had her taste improved by mingling among fashionable society. And her parents were so poor she could not learn much at home.'
She learned to work,' observed Mr. Colvin, dryly—and that, allow me to say, Miss Crane, if not a high accomplishment, is an indispensable one for every American lady. It is true, the wife of James Murray appears to be placed above the necessity of exertion ; but sudden changes of property are more common among men of his vocation than any other; indeed, changes in every station frequently occur, and that parent who does not accustom his children to reflect on a probability of a reverse, and, to the best of his ability, qualify them to support it, is, in my opinion, not only weak but cruel. Lucy is not, I fear, in spirit, very well calculated to bear misfortunes-she is too tender and confiding—but she has always been an industrious girl.
'It might have been better for her to have kept to her needle, and married John Russell, as I am well convinced she was once engaged to do'--replied Miss Lucretia, with that kind of laugh which betrays both envy of a rival, and exultation at the prospect of seeing her mortified. - I have been told'—she continued in a low but eager whisper, ‘I have been told
that James does not always conduct like the gentleman he pretends to be.'
• We should be cautious of trusting reports affecting the character of our neighbours,' said Mrs. Colvin, forgetting that she had began the scrutiny by taxing James with extravagance 'James is a generous, intelligent, and agreeable gentleman, and his talents do honor to our village. What did you ever hear to his disadvantage ?'
o they do say he has been known to take a little drop too much—at particular times when in wild company. At least my brother heard he did so when in college,' replied Miss Crane.
It cannot-must not be true,' said Mr. Colvin, hastily. James was piously brought uphe has had excellent advantages, and possesses good judgment and a quickness of penetration rarely equalled. He is also ambitious of obtaining the confidence of the people, and ti honors of public office. He will never yieldt that most brutalizing vice which degrades men
'I have good reason for believing he ha been guilty of it,' said Lucretia, composedly. 'But perhaps there is no reason to fear, as his lovely wife will doubtless reform him.'
Such reforms are seldom radical ; and never, I fear, with men of his temperament,' remarked Mr. Colvin.—But ten years will decide.'
0, if James does turn out a profligate, how I shall pity his mother !' said Mrs. Colvin, sighing:
I shall pity his wife,' said Miss Lucretia
Crane, adjusting her ruffles with an air of great self-complacency.
'I shall pity him,' said Mr. Colvin rising hastily and traversing the apartment with the perturbation of one who has heard some evil reported openly which he had long suspected, but had been striving to disbelieve.
The real concern of Mr. and Mrs. Colvin, and the affected sympathy of Miss Crane, were interrupted by the approach of the bridal cavalcade. In an elegant carriage, drawn by two noble grays, sat the new-married pair. They were arrayed in costly apparel, and both possessed that beauty of form and face which, bearing the impress of nature's nobleness, is not dependent on ornament for its power of commanding admiration. A long line of carriages followed, from which manly faces, heaming with exultation, or fair ones blushing at the thoughts of their own loveliness, looked forth; the
gay laugh was distinctly heard as the vehicles rolled rapidly along, and no one, not even a cynic, could have regarded the scene without feeling a sentiment of joy and gratitude pervading his heart at thus witnessing the perfection of social happiness.
"What a comely couple they are !' exclaimed Mrs. Colvin, as the carriage containing the bridal pair drew up before a new and elegant mansion- and what a prospect of domestic felicity is theirs. But few begin the world thus advantageously. They have health and beauty, wealth and reputation, and friends, and affection for each other.'
add one item more to the catalogue of advantages, the earthly picture would be complete,' said Mr. Colvin.
"How unfortunate that the absence of that one requisite, may, perhaps, render all the others nugatory.
You then probably have reason to credit the report to which I alluded,' said Miss Crane.
'I did not mean to be so understood,' said Mr. Colvin, calmly. All that I intended was, that self-control, in every station and to every individual, is indispensable, if people would retain that equanimity of mind, which, depending on self-respect, is the essential of contentment and happiness.'
Miss Crane reddened, for she felt she had been displaying before one well skilled to read character, the meanness of envy and anger, while revealing a report confided to her under the solemn injunction of secrecy, and which she would never have pretended to have credited, but for the pique she felt at not being bidden to the wedding.
Indeed, no one who looked on James Murray, could believe him guilty of aught mean or vicious. He had that noble ingenuousness of countenance which we always, in idea, associate with great and good qualities ; (but we do not in the world always find our expectations realized) and he had also that air of manly confidence which usually distinguishes those who have always been the favorites of fortune, and consequently think themselves privileged to expect her favors. Yet his was not the triumph which the vanity of superior wealth imparts to