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A PROPOSAL BY PROXY.

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A PROPOSAL BY PROXY. (From the Adventures of Charles O'Malley) Here we'll he quite cosey. and to olHsehes," said Mr Blake, as placing a chair for me, he sat down him- self, with the air of a man resolved to assist, by advice and counsel, the dilemma "f some dear friend. After a few preliminary observations, which, like a breathing canter before a race, serves to get your courage up, and settle you well in your seat, I opened my nego- ciation by some very broad and sweeping truism about the misfortune of a bachelor existence, the discomfor:s of his position, his want of home and happiness, the necessity of his one day thinking seriously about mar- riage it being in a measure almost as inevitable a ter- mination of the free and easy career of his single life as transportation for seven years is to that of a poacher. 'You cannot go on. sir,' said I trespaing for ever upon your neighbours' preserves; you must be appre- hended sooner or iater, therefore, I think, the better way is to take out a IicønlP." "Never was a small sally of wit more thoroughly successful. Mr. Blake laughed till he cried, and when he had done wiped his eyes with a snuffy bandkeichief and cried till he laughed again. As, somehow, I could not conceal from myself a suspicion as to the sincerity of my friend's mirth, I merely consoled myielf with the French adage, that he laughs best who laughs last; and went on.— It will not he deemed surprising, sir, that a man should come to the discovery I have just mentioned much more rapidly by having enjoyed the pleasure of intimacy with your family; not only by the example of perfect domestic happiness presented to him, but by the prospect held out that a heritage of the fair gifts which adorn and grate married life, may reasonably be looked for among the daughters of those, themselves the realization of conjugal felicity.' Here was a canter, with a vengeance; and as I felt blown. I slacked my pace, coughed and resumed. Miss Mary Blake, air, is then the object of my present communication she it is, who has made an existence that seemed fair and pleasurable before, appear blank and unprofitable without her. I have. therefore, -to come at once to the point,- visited you this morning, formally to ask her hand in marriage: her fortune, [ may observe at once, is perfectly immaterial-a matter of no consequence (so Mr. Blake thought also); a com petence fully equal to every reasonable nttion of expenditure—' of There-tbere don't—don't,' said Mr. Blake, wip- ing his eyes with a sob like a hiccup, dont speak of money. I know what you'd say; a handsome settlement —a well-secured jointure, and all that. Yes, yes, I feel it all." Why yes, sir, I believe I may add, that every thing in this respect will answer your expectations. Of COlmle-to be sure. My poor dear Baby! how to do without her, that's the rub. You don't know O'Malley. what that girl is to me-you can't know it; you'l feel it one day, though-that you wlll." The devil I shall thought I to myself. The great point is, after all, to learn the lady's disposition in the matter- 1. 1 Ah, Charley none of this with me, you sly dog! You think I don't know you. Why I've been watching —that is, I have seen—no, I mean I've heard—they— tuey—: people will talk, you know.' "I Very true, sir. Biit, as I was going to remark——' Just at this moment the door opened, and Miss Baby herself, looking most annoyingly handsome, put in her head. Papa, we're waiting breakfast. Ah, Charley, how d'ye do?' .fA Come in, Baby,' said Mr. Blake; 'you havent given me my kiss this morning.' The lovely girl threw her arms around his neck, while her bright and flowing locks fell ricbly uion his shoulder. 1 turned rather sulkily away: the thing always provokes die. There is as much cold selfish cruelty in such oorum publico endearments, as in the luscious display of rich rounds and sirloins in a chophouse, to the eyes of the starved and penniless wretch without, who, with dripping rags and watering lip. eats imaginary slices, while the pains of hunger are torturing him. It. 'fhere'l Tim! said Mr. Blake, sudol'lIl, Tim Cronin !—Tim!' shouted he to-as it seemed to me-an imaginary individual outsiae; while, in the eagerness of pursuit, he rushed out of the study, banging the door as he went, and leaving Baby and myseif to our mutual edification. "I should have preferred it being otherwise; but as the Fates willed it thus, I took Baby's hand, and led her to the window Now there is one feature of my country men which, having recognised strongly in myself, I would fain proclaim and writing, as I do, however little people may suspect me,-solely for the sake of the moral, would gladly warn the unsuspecting against I mean, a very decided tendency to become the consoler, the confident of young ladies seeking out opportunities of assuaging their sorrows, reconciling their afflictions, breaking eventful passages to their ears not from any inherent pleasure in the tragic phases of the intercourse, but for the semi-tenderness of manner, that harmless hand-squeezing. that innocent waist-pressing, which is like salmon without lobater-a thing maimed" wanting, and imperfect. Now whether this with me was a natural gift, or merely a a way in the army,' as the song says, I shall not pretend to say; but I venture to affirm that few men could excel me in the practice I speak of someofive and twenty years ago. Fair reader, do pray, if I have the happiness of being known to you. deduct them from my age before you abstract from my merits. Well, Baby, dear, I have just been speaking about you to papa. Yes, dear,—don't look so incredulous,- even of your own sweet self. Well, do yoii know I aliaC3t-prefer your hair worn that way those same silky 1118Meslook better failing thus iieavily- "'T here now, Charley! ah, donV VVell, Bahy, as I -was saying. before you stopped me, I have been asking your papa a very important question], aud hi has referred me to you for the acSwer, And oow will yoa tell me, in all frankness and honesty, vour mind on the matter ? Sup 2rew deadly pale as 1 spoke these words men suddenly flushed up again, but said not a v.o il. I could perceive, however, from her li'-avin^ chest and restless manner, that no oomra ri agitation was stir-tog her bosom. It was crueltv to be silent, so I continued One who l ives vou wel', B thy dear, has askeii h s own heart the que-tion, and learned that without you he has no chance of happiness; that vour brisht eves are to him nlner than the deep sky above him; that your soft voice, your wining smile-and what a smile i- is! —have taunht him that he loves, nav, adores you. Then. dea-est,—what prettv fingers thos? ar^! Ah! what is this! i never saw that rini before. Bab-i." ,s'Oh, thai — 'said she, blushing deep'y, 'that is a ring the, fo.ilisli creature Sparks "ve me a ro-iile of days ago; but I don't like it — 1 don't intend to keep it.' So saying, she endeavoured to draw it from her finger, but in vain. But whv. Baby, why take it off? is it to <rivn him the p'easurt of ptiilinsr it on again ? There d ai't look angiv; we us, not fall out. surelv.' í No. C!lariey, jf YOII are IIOt vexed it h mr--if -Ou are no' I N,), no. my dear Baby; no'hing of the kind. Sparks was q lite right in not entrusting his entire fortune to my diplomacy; bu', at lea<f, !<e ought to have tod me that he had opened the negocia'ion. Now t1 e ques- tion simply is-lio you love him ? or rather, because that shortens matters.—Will you accept him ?; Love who ?' Love whom Why Sparks, to be sure.' A flash of indignant surprise passed across her features, now pale a marble; her lips were slightly parted; her large full eyes were fixed u:>on me stead fastly; and her hand, which I had held in mine, she suddenly withdrew from my grasp. And so—and so is it of Mr. Sparks cause you are so ardently the advocate?' said shr-, at length, after a pause of a most awkward duration. '0' Why, of course, my dear cousin. It was at his suit and solicitation I called on your father; it was he himself who intreated me to take this step; it was he- But before I could conclude, she burst into a torrent of tears, and rushed from the room. "Here was a situation! W, at the deuce was the matter? Did she, or did she not, care for birn ? Was her pride or her delicacy hurt at my being made the means of communication to her father? What had Sparks done or said to put himself and me in such a devil of a predicament? Could she care for any one else ? Well, Charley cried Mr. Blake, 'as he entered, robbing his hands in a perfect paroxysm of good temper. Well Charley, has love making driven breakfast out of your head ?' Why. faith, sir, I greatlv fear I have blundered in my mission sadly. Mv cousin Mary does not appear so perfectly satisfied .-her manner Don't tell me such nonsense-the girl's manner Why, man, I thought you were too old a soiiiier to be taken in that way.' Well, then, sir, the best thinz, under the circum- mstances, i" to send over Sparks himself. Vour consent, I may tell him, is already obtained.' 11 1 Yes, my boy and my daughters is equally sure. But I don't see wiiat we want with Sparks at all among old fiiends and relatives, as we are. there is no need of a stranger.' A stranger! Very true, sir he is a stranger; but when that stranger is about to become your son in "-About to become what?' said Mr. Blake, rubbing his spectacles, and placing them leisurely over his nose to regard me to become what?' 1-1 Vour son in law. I hope I have been sufficiently explicit sir. in making known Mr. Sparks' wishes to you.' Mr. Sparks Why, damn me. sir-that is I beg pardon for the warmth-yoll-yoll never mentioned his name to day till now. You led me to suppose that-in fact, you told me most clearly-' Here, from the united elTorts of rage and not a struggle for concealment; Mr. Biake was unable to proceed, and walked the room with a melodramatic stamp perfectly awful. Heally, Sir,' said I at last, i while I deeply regret any misconcep ion or mistake I have been the cause of, I must in justice to myself say, that I am perfectly unconscious of having misled you. I came here this mornim* with a proposition for the hand of your daughter in behalf of-' "'Yourself, sir! Yes, youse-If. I'll be no! I'll not swear; but—bat just answer me, if you ever men- tioned one word of Mr, Sparks; if you ever alluded to him till the last few minutes?' "I was perfectly astounded. It might be: ala, It was exactly as he stated In my unlucky effort at extreme delicacy, I becaiiie only so very mysterious, that lien the matter open for them to suppose that the khan of Tatary was in love with Baby. There was but one course now open. I most humbly apologised for my blunder; repeat d, by every expression I c >uld summon liP, my sorrow ("f what had happened and was beginning a renewal of ilegoci ation I in re Sparks,' when overcome by his passiou, Mr. Biake couid hear no more, but snatched up his hat, and left the room."

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