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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

''Are men such cads as that on this side the water too


'In

a few days, I expect her.'

'Young, of course. Well, mother, I really do not want anybody but you; but we'll do the best we can.'

'She is handsome, and quick, and has excellent manners. She would have made a good match last winter, at once,--if she had not been poor.'

'Are men such cads as that on this side the water too?'

'_Cads_, my dear!'

'I call that being cads. Don't you?'

'My boy, everybody cannot afford to marry a poor wife.'

'Anybody that has two hands can. Or a head.'

'It brings trouble, Pitt.'

'Does not the other thing bring trouble? It would with me! If I knew a woman had married me for money, or if I knew I had married _her_ for money, there would be no peace in my house.'

Mrs. Dallas laughed a little. 'You will have no need to do the latter thing,' she said.

'Mother, nobody has any need to do it.'

'You, at any rate, can please yourself. Only'--

'Only what?' said Pitt, now laughing in his turn, and twisting his head round to look up into her face. 'Go on, mother.'

'I am sure your father

would never object to a girl because she was poor, if you liked her. But there are other things'--

'Well, what other things?'

'Pitt, a woman has great influence over her husband, if he loves her, and that you will be sure to do to any woman whom you make your wife. I should not like to have you marry out of your own Church.'

Pitt's head went round, and he laughed again.

'In good time!' he said. 'I assure you, mother, you are in no danger yet.'

'I thought this morning,' said his mother, hesitating,--'I was afraid, from what you said, that some Methodist, or some other Dissenter, might have got hold of you.'

Pitt was silent. The word struck him, and jarred a little. Was his mother not grazing the truth? And a vague notion rose in his mind, without actually taking shape, which just now he had not time to attend to, but which cast a shadow, like a young cloud. He was silent, and his mother after a little pause went on.

'Methodists and Dissenters are not much in Mr. Strahan's way, I am sure; and you would hardly be troubled by them at Oxford. How was it, Pitt? Where did you get these new notions?'

'Do they sound like Dissent, mother?'

'I do not know what they sound like. Not like you. I want to know what they mean, and how you came by them?'

He did not immediately answer.

'I have been thinking on this subject a good while,' he said slowly,--'a good while. You know, Mr. Strahan is a great antiquary, and very full of knowledge about London. He has taken pleasure in going about with me, and instructing me, and he is capital company; but at last I learned enough to go by myself sometimes, without him; and I used to ramble about through the places where he had taken me, to review and examine and ponder things at my leisure. I grew very fond of London. It is like an immense illustrated book of history.


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