`No, I don't. I know you as well as I ever shall, and better than you know me, or you would never dream of uniting yourself to one so incongruous--so utterly unsuitable to you in every way.'

`But my dear young lady, I don't look for perfection, I can excuse--'

`Thank you, Mr Boarham, but I won't trespass upon your goodness. You may save your indulgence and consideration for some more worthy object, that won't tax them so heavily.'

`But let me beg you to consult your aunt; that excellent lady, I am sure, will--'

`I have consulted her; and I know her wishes coincide with yours; but in such important matters, I take the liberty of judging for myself; and no persuasion can alter my inclinations, or induce me to believe that such a step would be conducive to my happiness, or yours--and I wonder that a man of your experience and discretion should think of choosing such a wife.'

`Ah, well!' said he--`I have sometimes wondered at that myself. I have sometimes said to myself, "Now Boarham, what is this you're after? Take care, man--look before you leap! This is a sweet, bewitching creature, but remember, the brightest attractions to the lover too often prove the husband's greatest torments!"--I assure you my choice has not been made without much reasoning and reflection. The seeming imprudence of the match has cost me many an anxious thought by day, and many a sleepless hour by night; but at length, I satisfied myself that it was not, in very deed, imprudent. I saw my sweet girl was not without her faults, but of these, her youth, I trusted, was not one, but rather an earnest of virtues yet unblown--a strong ground of presumption that her little defects of temper, and errors of judgment, opinion, or manner were not irremediable, but might easily be removed or mitigated by the patient efforts of a watchful and judicious adviser, and where I failed to enlighten and control, I thought I might safely undertake to pardon, for the sake of her many excellencies. Therefore, my dearest girl, since I am satisfied, why should you object--on my account, at least.'

`But to tell you the truth, Mr Boarham, it is on my own account I principally object; so let us--drop the subject,' I would have said, `for it is worse than useless to pursue it any farther,' but he pertinaciously interrupted me with--

`But why so? I would love you, cherish you, protect you, etc., etc.'

I shall not trouble myself to put down all that passed between us. Suffice it to say, that I found him very troublesome, and very hard to convince that I really meant what I said, and really was so obstinate and blind to my own interests, that there was no shadow of a chance that either he or my aunt would ever be able to overcome my objections. Indeed, I am not sure that I succeeded after all, though wearied with his so pertinaciously returning to the same point and repeating the same arguments over and over again, forcing me to reiterate the same replies, I at length turned short and sharp upon him, and my last words were--

`I tell you plainly, that it cannot be. No consideration can induce me to marry against my inclinations. I respect you--at least, I would respect you, if you would behave like a sensible man--but I cannot love you, and never could--and the more you talk the farther you repel me; so pray don't say any more about it.'

Whereupon, he wished me a good morning and withdrew, disconcerted and offended, no doubt; but surely it was not my fault.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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