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I have already noticed that Lucy, after capitulation, laid down her arms gracefully and sensibly. When she was asked to name a very early day for the wedding, she opposed no childish delay to David's happiness, for the Rajah was to sail in six weeks and separate them. So the license was got, and the wedding-day came; and all Lucy's previous study of the contract did not prevent her from being deeply affected by the solemn words that joined her to David in holy matrimony.
She bore up, though, stoutly; for her sense of propriety and courtesy forbade her to cloud a festivity. But, when the post-chaise came to convey bride and bridegroom on their little tour, and she had to leave Mrs. Wilson and Eve for a whole week, the tears would not be denied; and, to show how perilous a road matrimony is, these two risked a misunderstanding on their wedding-day, thus: Lucy, all alone in the post-chaise with David, dissolved--a perfect Niobe--gushing at short intervals. Sometimes a faint explanation gurgled out with the tears: "Poor Eve! her dear little face was working so not to cry. Oh! oh! I should not have minded so much if she had cried right out." Then, again, it was "Poor Mrs. Wilson! I was only a week with her, for all her love. I have made a c--at's p--paw of her--oh!"
Then, again, "Uncle Bazalgette has never noticed us; he thinks me a h--h--ypocrite." But quite as often they flowed without any accompanying reason.
Now if David had been a poetaster, he would have said: "Why these tears? she has got me. Am I not more than an equivalent to these puny considerations?" and all this salt water would have burned into his vanity like liquid caustic. If he had been a poet, he would have said: "Alas! I make her unhappy whom I hoped to make happy"; and with this he would have been sad, and so prolonged her sadness, and perhaps ended by sulking. But David had two good things--a kind heart and a skin not too thin: and such are the men that make women happy, in spite of their weak nerves and craven spirits.
He gave her time; soothed her kindly; but did not check her weakness dead short.
At last my Lady Chesterfield said to him, penitently, "This is a poor compliment to you, Mr. Dodd"; and then Niobized again, partly, I believe, with regret that she was behaving so discourteously.
"It is very natural," said David, kindly, "but we shall soon see them all again, you know."
Presently she looked in his radiant face, with wet eyes, but a half-smile. "You amaze me; you don't seem the least terrified at what we have done."
"Not a bit," cried David, like a cheerful horn: "I have been in worse peril than this, and so have you. Our troubles are all over; I see nothing but happiness ahead." He then drew a sunny picture of their future life, to all which she listened demurely; and, in short, he treated her little feminine distress as the summer sun treats a mist that tries to vie with it. He soon dried her up, and when they reached their journey's end she was as bright as himself.
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