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CHAPTER VI.

GEORGE AND ARABELLA.

MRS. KING'S Christian name was Arabella, and her husband's name was George. She was one of those ladies who contrive to disguise the most unfeeling selfishness under the forms of politeness and continual pretensions of kind regard for all around her, and of the most self-sacrificing spirit of submission to the will of others, instead of insisting upon her own.

Before her marriage, and when she and her intended husband were planning their voyage to Europe, Mr. King proposed that instead of sailing from New York they should go to Boston, and take a Boston steamer of the same line. Mr. King's principal reason for prefering this plan was that it was cheaper, the fare by the Boston ships being twenty dollars less, which, if they were to return from Europe in the same way, would make-deducting the expense of going from New York to Boston by land-a saving of twelve dollars on each of four voyages,

nearly fifty dollars in all; and this would give them that amount in addition, if they chose so to expend it, in the purchase of presents for their friends, or curiosities and souvenirs for themselves during the tour.

Then, besides, Mr. King liked the idea of taking a little preliminary journey with his wife before going on board ship, and of haying an opportunity of showing her something of Boston, which was a city she had never seen. He also thought it would be pleasanter for them to have a more quiet time in going on board the ship and to be left more to themselves, to enjoy together the curious scenes and incidents connected with setting out in an ocean steamer to cross the Atlantic, than would be possible in New York, where they had a large circle of friends and acquaintances, multitudes of whom he knew would feel bound to come down to see them sail, and would remain with them on board the steamer until she was ready to go, and keep them in a state of constraint and bustling excitement all the time.

But then, on the other hand, the Boston steamers are not quite so large as those which sail from New York, though they are equally safe and comfortable, and it is not considered quite so stylish to go in them. For these reasons

Arabella preferred to go by the New York line. But she made her husband feel what her preference was, in her characteristic way, by professions of great disinterestedness, and of a very self-sacrificing desire to do in all things what he preferred.

"Oh yes, George," she said, when her husband. proposed his plan, "oh yes, certainly, if you prefer it. We will take the Boston line if you like it best. I dare say we shall find the Boston steamer very comfortable, and I believe some very respectable people go that way. Then, as you say, you will save some money by it, and I am perfectly willing to deny myself anything you think best, although it is our bridal tour, which is not generally considered the time exactly for beginning to practice economy. I thought we should have such a nice time in taking leave of our friends on board the steamer here, for I am sure they would all come down to see us off. Then the sail down New York harbor is magnificent, much finer than it is in Boston harbor. Still I am perfectly willing to change the plan if you prefer it. I wish you would not consider me at all in making the arrangements."

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Of course Arabella's husband gave up the idea of going by Boston, and at once took passage in the Scotia, to sail from New York.

Arabella talked in this way on all similar occasions, and often made her husband extremely uncomfortable. On the day when Florence and John left Rome, and they met Mr. and Mrs. King in their carriage proceeding toward the city, when Mr. King was seated on the front seat with the vetturino, and looking very uncomfortable and uneasy, a similar scene had occurred. Mr. King, I am sorry to say, was a smoker. I use this expression-I am sorry to say-in this connection, not so much on account of any opinion of my own upon the subject, as from the universal testimony of smokers themselves, who always advise those who are not already habituated to the practice not to begin it-thus implying that the evils and inconveniences attending it outweigh the pleasures.

However this may be, Mr. King always liked to smoke a cigar after breakfast, and as Arabella could not endure the smell of tobacco in any form, it was difficult, when travelling in Italy, where one is under the necessity of getting into the carriage almost immediately after breakfast, to contrive a way by which he could himself enjoy his cigar without annoying his wife. On this occasion, the new-married pair had spent the night at a kind of way-side inn at a few hours' distance from Rome, with a view of

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taking a morning ride into the city, and Arabella had been very eager to set off from the inn immediately after breakfast.

On leaving the inn, Mr. King took his seat by the side of his wife, and rode in that way for an hour or two, endeavoring to entertain her by his conversation. She had a book in her hand which she had been reading for some days, and which she had intended to finish that morning. Accordingly, just before the two carriages met each other, Mr. King proposed to Arabella that he should leave her to read her book, and go and sit forward with the vetturino and smoke his cigar.

"Oh yes, certainly," said Arabella. "I wish you would go, by all means, and don't mind leaving me alone at all. I want you to go and have a good time with your cigar. I know you will enjoy it much more than you would my company, and I am particularly desirous that you should have a pleasant time this morning, as it is the last morning of our journey. Besides you will be much more entertained, and will enjoy your cigar better, in talking with the vettnrino than with me."

As she said this, she shut up her book and tossed it over upon the front seat.

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Why, Arabella, my dear," said Mr. King, "that is not the reason. I am sure it would be

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