paper towards Harriet–“it is for you. Take your own.”
But Harriet was in a tremor, and could not touch it; and Emma, never loth to be first, was obliged to examine it herself.”
*My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lord of the earth! Their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!
But, ah! united, what reverse we have!
Man’s boasted power and freedom, are all thrown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.
Thy ready wit the word will soon supply,
May its approval beam in that soft eye!*
She cast her eye over it, pondered, caught meaning, read it through again to be quite certain, and quite mistress of the lines, and then passing it to Harriet, sat happily smiling, and saying to herself, while Harriet was puzzling over the paper in all the confusion of hope and dulness, “Very well, Mr. Elton, very well, indeed. I have read worse charades. Courtship–a very good hint. I give you credit for it. This is feeling your way. This is saying, very plainly–‘Pray, Miss Smith, give me leave to pay my addresses to you. Approve my charade and my intentions in the same glance.
May its approval beam in that soft eye!