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by a diversity of topics, and therefore no one fully engages the mind and the tongue;

"Why not," resumed my father: "there is not a more respectable gentleman in the neighbourhood. His estate is certainly mortgaged, but were it not for that circumstance he would not marry; your fortune will release his estate, and he will transfer the incumbrance as a future jointure instead of a present mortgage: You will thus have a husband with a clear estate, and Sir Zachary will have a wife in the place of a mortgagee."

"But his age, my dear Sir." No. XLIV.➡Vol. VI.

"He is not more than sixty,” replied my father; "tall, erect, and healthy. His

in the country a piece of scandal, an ill-meagre appearance is a proof of his health; with the exception of the gout for about six months in the spring and fall, I never knew him to have an ailing. He is then confin

natured story, is a thing of rare occurrence,
and therefore of exclusive interest. The
circumstances, therefore, of my three
lovers, the desertion of one, the despaired
of another, and the loss of all, together with
my confinement and my final compromise,
were shortly as well known throughout the
county, as if every individual who retailed
these anecdotes had been a family servant
in my father's house.

to his bed, but with careful nursing is tolerably good tempered; between nursing him and reading to him you may pass your time very pleasantly. To make short of the matter," continued my father, "Sir Zachary has informed me that he has considered the matter very gravely, and has no objection to matrimony."

He who would live in secret must not live in the solitude of the country.

Accordingly, nothing could be more unpleasant than the first month or two after my adventure; whenever I entered a ball room every finger was pointed at me. The younger ladies tittered, the elder looked grave, and the young men seemed alarmed at me. To make short of the matter, I know not how long I might have been the stare of the Assizes and the wonder of the Sessions, bad not Miss Pumpkin, the daughter of a neighbouring Squire, very fortunately eloped with her father's huntsman, which rescued me from the popular gaze by drawing all eyes upon herself.

A short time after this event, my father one day sent for me to his gun-roon, and taking my bands with more glee and affection than he had lately testified, informed me that something had occurred very much to his satisfaction.—“I began to think," said he," that you had become what is called a bad bargain, and that there werequired a considerable fortune by his pro

As this man was a perfect character, you must allow me to introduce you to him at more length. He was the son of a gentleman, I believe a physician, who having ac

no hopes of marrying you in the country; I have very happily deceived myself. You know our near neighbour, Sir Zachary Wizen."—"Yes," replied I, "but I hope Sir Zachary Wizen is not the object of your conversation."

fession, had made a purchase of a good estate in the country. He had two sons, the eldest of which was Zachary. The one was educated to the pulpit, the advowson of a living being appended to the estate; the other, who was the main hope of the father, was educated immediately by the old gentleman himself; he had small Latin and less Greek, but a plentiful stock of the heavy infidel literature of the last age, Sir Zachary, therefore, entered upon his estate with a thorough contempt for all religious principles, which, in the country at least, serve us as the rule of life, being more intelligible to our understandings and more sensible to our feelings than mere abst:.ct morality. Sir Zachary, therefore, was considered as a phenomenon amongst

"He has considered the matter long enough," said I, "for he has been consi, dering it for these fifty years, and has in turn offered his hand, and repented of his offers, to almost every lady in the county, till he has become the jest of them all, and not a milk-maid but would refuse him; in short, my dear father, you must allow me to refuse him before he shall have the opportunity of refusing me."

My father replied only by a menace, that he had made this choice for me; and that if I refused him I might abide the consequences.

Not to enter into any minute detail, suffice it to say, that I was compelled to receive the visits of Sir Zachary as an accepted lover.

his moral neighbours, and the more so as his understanding, though none of the best, was not obviously deficient.

His moral principles were such as might be expected from his religious principles. Being of a cold calculating temper, in other words most grossly selfish, he had contracted an objection against matrimony, which he considered as a point of mutual sacrifice on some points, for mutual satisfaction on others. Instead of a wife, therefore, he had taken a mistress; and, to the great scandal of the neighbourhood, brought her into his house, and put her at the head of his table. For some years he appeared very well satisfied with this kind of life, till he happened at length to discover that the moral principles of his mistress were on a par with his own, that her connection with him was entirely selfish, and that in his absence she followed her inclinations with out controul. This discovery, added to the state of his health, which had become such as to require constant female attendauce, united with an affection which could support his caprice and ill-humour, began to turn the scale in his arguments pro and con, and after much wavering be decided that he would take a wife.

In compliance with the commands of my father, I admitted for some time the visits of Sir Zachary, but I at length found it necessary to come to some decision. I was on the one side terrified by the violence of my father's temper, but on the other I was resolved not to sacrifice the happiness of my life by so unequal an union. I was resolved therefore to terminate at once the expectations of Sir Zachary; and giving him credit for some gallantry and generosity, to interpose him between my father and myself. Under these circumstances I wrote him the following letter:

effect of noise and impertinence. I am
too young for a nurse, and you will pardon
me when I say it, you are too old for a
lover. I cannot persuade myself in any
way to conform myself to your humour
and manners, and you must enter into an
hopeless contention with your very nature
to bring yourself to submit to mine. In
what way, therefore, are we adapted for
each other? In what way have we any
thing to participate? Is it possible that
there should be any thing common between
us except a mutual discontent? I am sure
that these things need only be called up
before your mind to have their due weight.
You are a calculating man, Sir Zachary,
and will surely not expect that in the con-
struction of a partnership all the sacrifices
should be upon one side. Shew me any
thing in which you can indemnify me for
the sacrifice of youth to age, and my argu-
ments will be shaken; shew me any thing
in which I can, on my part, indemnify you
for the complete misery which I shall cer-
tainly occasion you. From these consi-
derations I have to throw myself not on
your generosity but on your prudence; I
have to require you to consider uot me but
yourself. I will not deceive you; if any
misfortune should render me your wife, I
should have no satisfaction so complete
as the avenging myself on you as the in-
strument of my misery. I have only to
add another word: you know my situation
with respect to my father, and you are not
ignorant what I have to expect from this
decided opposition to his will. Under
these circumstances it is unnecessary to
say what I expect of you. Yours,


To this letter, on the next morning, I received the following answer:


"Sir, I am induced to take this measure by what I think a very just notion of your judgment and gallantry. It is impossible that you can be persuaded that we are in any way suited to each other. Consult your reason, and follow its dictates; imagine that it is now addressing you through me. Our ages are unequal, our tempers still more so; you have a manly gravity which to me has the effect of a most unamiable dryness; I have a cheerfulness and gaiety which to you must have the

"Madam,-I have received your letter, and have only briefly to reply, that before I made proposals to your father I had taken into consideration all the circumstances of the case, and had framed my resolution accordingly. I can certainly perceive by your letter that you have what is called by young ladies an insurmountable objection, and an invincible aversion to me; but in the course of my life, Madam, I have seen so many of these insurmountable objec tions so easily surmounted, and so many of these invincible obstacles so casily over

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come, that you must pardon me if these || the goodness to make allowance for these considerations have not all the weight deficiencies. There is nothing incurable with me which you probably attach to in this wide world but poverty: so long as them. you have money and youth, you have the means of getting every thing; it is an offence against the high supremacy of fortune under such circumstances to despair; it would be a bad world indeed if a young woman in possession of forty thousand pounds should have to throw herself away upon an ancient husband."

"I must certainly regret that you have no heart to give; but as I have pledged myself to your father to deem myself honoured with you in any way, you must pardon me that I shall be happy to take you as I find you.-I am, Madam, Yours obediently,


This letter defeated all my romantic hopes, and from the avowed selfishness of Sir Zachary I found myself reduced to the unhappy dilemma of either accepting him or of leaving my father's house. My father continued to press me on, and Sir Zachary, with a thorough contempt of my sentiments and affections, began to be eager for my fortune, that he might rid himself of the mortgage. So sure did he make of a successful event, that every thing on his part was already prepared for his marriage, and wherever I appeared I became the jeer of the company.

To make short of the matter, the crisis of my fate was at hand, and in despite of my resolution I know not but I should have become the wife of Sir Zachary, unless for the occurrence of a very unexpected event.

"This lover of yours," said she, “is so decidedly selfish, that you have no hopes of ridding yourself of him but by appealing to his selfishness. Are you willing to risk five thousand pounds of your fortune to be rid of him?"

"I am not of age," replied I.

"That is a trifle," replied she; "there afe always to be found persons who have

"I am willing," replied I, "to undergo any thing to rid myself of him."

"There are two ways," replied she; "either by the old way of downright refusal, for no father can compel you to such a monstrous sacrifice; or by the one which I have proposed, that is, to appeal to the selfishness of your lover, and to buy him off by making it his advantage to refuse you."

"Sin-As you have always been candid

This occurrence was the arrival of the sister of my mother, the Lady Lovelace; a lady at the head of the fashionable world, and who to great beauty added an unwearjed gaiety, and all those charms which are improved, if not given, by elegant manmers. My aunt, from the moment of her arrival, conceived a lively affection for me; and as youth is naturally open and confidential, she immediately became the depo-enough with my father and myself, I consitary of my secrets. I made no secret of ceive it my duty to be equally candid with my aversion to Sir Zachary, and she en- you, and in a matter in which my happitered into my interest with as much zeal as ness is so inmediately concerned, to repeat I could wish. in stronger terms my former assertions,→ that I can never reconeile myself to pass my life with a man whom I can never even esteem. The importance of the occasion must be my excuse for this breach of the ordinary decorum of manners. But to come immediately to the point; I have no hopes, Sir Zachary, from your generosity, and therefore have to appeal to your interest. You want five thousand pounds to 0 2

"Do you as you please," replied I; "only rid me of him."

"If I have understood you right," resumed my aunt, "your ancient lover is afraid of a foreclosure of his mortgage; and your father, on his marriage, was to pay him down five thousand pounds instantly to stop the gap."

"You have stated the matter correctly enough."

"Why, then," resumed she, "by tomorrow's post you shall be for ever free of Sir Zachary."

To make short of the matter, in three days after this conversation, my Lord Lovelace's lawyer made his appearance at the summons of my Lady; and all matters being arranged between us, the following note was dispatched to Sir Zachary:

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Prevent the foreclosure of your mortgage; the inclosed letter will better explain what remains. Yours, HYMENEA."

In this letter was inclosed the following: "Messers. Sneak and Snivel, solicitors to Lord Lovelace, present their compliments to Sir Zachary Wizen, and at the request of Lady Lovelace, are willing to advance the sum of five thousand pounds to Sir Zachary, and to take the transfer of the mortgage for any time which may suit the convenience of Sir Zachary."

My aunt again came to my assistance. "My dear Hymenæa," said she, “your father is possessed with the unhappy spirit of matrimony, and if you remain in the country you may depend upon a new proposal from him every Justice meeting. It is truly absurd, that a girl like you, my dear, and with such a fortune, should go begging amongst country Squires, and a few chance comers; I must rescue you from this situation. You are now in your twentieth year, and it is time that you should be introduced, and take the station which belongs to you in the world. You shall accompany me to London. This proposal was accordingly made to my fa||ther, and as he had become much disgusted by his ill success, and my ill-luck, as he called it, he very willingly assented.

In my next, Sir, you shall be informed of my adventures in search of a husband in London.

To this letter we received an immediate answer. Suffice it to say, that Sir Zachary accepted the terms, and that I was fortunate enough to rid myself of him without a breach with my father.

Nothing now remained but to take some due precautions for the future, that my father's anxious ingenuity in finding a suitable match for me might not again involve me in still more unpleasant proposals.


[Continued from Page 80.]



"MADAM,-In pursuance of the general invitation which you have given, I deem it unnecessary to make any apology for this otherwise abrupt address. I am in a situation, Madam, which requires consolation and advice, and you have come forward in a character from which I may reasonably expect both. If there be a person whose situation is truly entitled to compassion, and in which that compassion cannot be obstructed by any rising envy, it is mine. I have somewhere read that the sorrows of the rich are seldom very pitiable, because they carry in themselves, as it were, a very powerful alleviation; this is not true, Madam, the rich may be as completely miserable as the wretch who starves in a ditch; and where their misery is of a nature on which their wealth cannot act as a palliative, I really can see no sufficient reason why, under equal affliction,|| years since.

they should not be entitled to an equal portion of pity.

"You will better understand my actual situation by a detailed narrative of its origin; it is so intimately connected with the history of my life, that you would understand it very imperfectly unless by a full narrative.

"My father was a naval officer, who being wounded in the service, and having very good interest, retired on a pension, but with the privilege of progressive rank. Having been likewise successful in prizemoney, and what is equally material, ob. tained it from the prize courts, he carried with him into his retreat such a considerable fortune as enabled him to purchase a good estate, with a capital mansion. I was nine years old when my father brought me to reside with him on his estate. I was his only child; my mother had died some

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"In the same action in which my father || necessary to give you a more perfect idea had been wounded, an officer of the same rank with himself, and one who had been his shipmate almost during the whole of their naval course, was killed by his side. He was enabled to articulate a few words, the substance of which was to recommend to his protection his son, a young midshipman on board the same vessel. In such circumstances it is unnecessary to inform you that the recommendation of a friend has something sacred in it, and that the acceptance of it is, as it were, sealed by the act of nature itself. My father therefore from this moment considered the boy as his own, and purchased his estate in the neighbourhood of Plymouth, that he might in some degree be at hand to watch over his charge. As some of the parties which must be hereafter mentioned in my history are still living, you must permit me to employ the veil of fictitious names; I have

of her character. She was about forty years of age, but having what is called a fine face, and a tall commanding figure, was still handsome, and had much the air of a woman of quality. Her husband had filled high commissions in the French service, and she was evidently a woman of birth and great connections; she had passed her youth in the court of Marie Antoinette; she was gay, profligate, totally without moral or religious principle; in short, had no other rule of life but her will, and a kind of loose decorum, a vague honour which consulted appearances and the opinion of the world, with a perfect contempt for the mere duty itself.


"Madame l'Astute, therefore, was no sooner well settled in my father's house than she began to look at the ground around her, and to deliberate to what advantage she might turn it. To make short of the

no wish unnecessarily to wound the feel-matter, seeing my father a widower she reings of others. solved that he should not long continue so. She studied his humour, his foibles, and his caprices; she exhibited herself exactly the kind of character which she discovered to be in his mind the model of female excellence, and she shortly reaped the fruits of her efforts and her dexterity. She had conciliated my affections as much as those of my father; to say all in a word, she became my father's wife and my stepmother.

"The young Constant, therefore, for thus I shall call him, being considered by my father as his son, was in the habit of passing all that time at F- which he could procure from his naval duties. My father, partly from the memory of his friend, and partly from a natural benevolence, became gradually as attached to the youth as if he had been his parent; he took the same pains with his education as with my own; and Constant had the good fortune of being in a ship where there was a learned and pious chaplain; under the instructions of this gentleman, Constant was enabled to unite the knowledge of a gentleman with his professional skill.


"My father had taken a governess into the house to instruct me in what he deemed necessary for a female. He had chosen this lady upon a very erroneous principle. She was a French woman, the wife of an officer who had been taken prisoner by the English; the officer had died at Plymouth, and his widow being in distress, was recommended to my father as a governess. With out any other consideration than this circumstance of her distress, my father immediately took her into his house, and gave me into her exclusive charge.

"This woman had so large a share in By subsequent misfortunes, that I deem it

"This event had scarcely been concluded when the peace of Versailles, which terminated the American war, caused the naval force to be reduced, and Constant, now a Lieutenant, came in consequence to live with my father. Constant was now in his twentieth year; I was in my eighteenth. I have hitherto omitted to mention that my father never made a secret from either of us that he had intended us for each other. On the other hand, with that plainness and directness which characterised all his proceedings, he had even instructed us to correspond with each other, and took peculiar delight in reading the letters of Constant.

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