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also of Distinction (hough not perhaps an equal March for him, according to the modern and polite Custom o: Smithfield Bargains) at last proceeded fo far in his Vows anci Oaths never to have any one but her, and in urging her to haften the Consummation of nis Happines, that the very Day was appoinred, and a great Quantity of new Linnen, suit. able to che Occasion, provided by her, and all marked with his Name; fo secure did this unhappy young Lady think herself, and so much did she confide in his Honour! But, alas ! how wretchedly and how bately was this poor believing Maiden deceived ! Without any Cause given on her fide, without any Reason assigned, or any Apology made, for so much Perfidy and Baseness on his side ; at the very Time when she expected her pretended Admirer to be flying to her Arms on the Wings of Love, he leaves her to languish under a cruel Uncertainty and Suspence, a Prey to a thousand Fears, and comes away to Town, not deigning to give her any other Information, either that his Mind was changed, or why it was so, than what she could gather from common Report, namely, the Small. ness of her Fortune.
What can we think of a Man, who, in cold Blood, and without any Provocation, could be guilty of so much Cruelty, and act so ungenerous and base a Part? He had not beeo deceived as to her Circumstances; no Endeavours had been used to put any Cheat upon him in chat respect; no, he knew at the very first what would be advanced with her, and therefore could not plead any Impo. firion, or dishonourable Practices, in his own für tification ; but out of meer Caprice, and Infolence, to fhew he thought himself above being account. able to any one for any of his Actions, and to please his Vanity in making himseit a Town-talk, he thought proper thus to deceive and fool a young Lady, no way his Inferior buc.in point of Wealth.
· Bur did the vain Man consider, though no one upon Earth, through a grear Detect in our Laws, which have assigned no Punishment for such Perfidy, unless it can be proved by Witnesses, the Par. ties entered into a solemn Contract, that his Oaths and Vows were registered in Heaven, and there was one chere would one Day make him sensible, he was accountable to him for the Breach thereof, if not in this Life, yet in another? Or, did he think, elate with Arrogance as, he then was, that the Time was coming, when he should be so far infatuated, and reduced by his own Folly, to such Diftress and Wretchedness, that he should make himself ten times more a Town-talk, and ten times more ridiculous, than he had endeavoured co render the young Lady ? Or did he know that, whereas, in this evil Day, she was pitied by all, and condemned by none, he should be so far from meeting with Compassion from any one, that he Thould be uriverfally laughed at and despised, and fink into the lowest Degree of Ignominy and Contempt ?
No, he was far from imagining to sad a Reverse could befal him; yet so it was : Many Years after his having been guilty of this ungenerous and unmanly Act, when very probably it had long been banished from his Memory, having by his extra,vaganc Courses, reduced himself to great Straits and Inconveniences, fiom which he knew nor how to extricate himself, in a Fir of Passion and De. Spair, not knowing how to homble himself suit. ably to his present Circumstances, he resolved 10 rid himself of a Life whereof he grew weary, by laying violene Hands upon himlelf.
Having thus concluded within his own Mind, and not doubling but he had sufficient Courage to go through with his Design, so little was he acquainted with himself, he wrote three Letrers ; one to his Lady in the Country, where'n he in formed her, that by the Time The Ahould receive that, he should be no more, having put an End to a Life which was become a Burihen to him, and advising her not to lay it too much to H art, but to compose herself as well as possible, &c. The se. cond was to a Gentleman, who was both his Neigh-. bour in the Country (but wa, then in Town) and used to do Businer for him : Therein he a quainted him as he had done his Lady, char, by the Time he received that Letter, he thould have pur an End to his Day, which were now grown in supportable to him, and relied him to come to luch a Tavern, and take Care of his Body. The third was to a great Man, to whom he had long been a trusty Tool, wherein he gave him the same Io formation as the two former, thanked him for all paft Favours, and cook his final Leave of him.
When he had chus settled all Preliminaries, and nothing remained but to finith the grand Affair, he takes a Hackney Coach, orders the Man to stop at a Gunsmith's, where he provides himself with a Pair of Piftols, Powder, and Ball, and then drives to the Tavern mentioned in his Leccer to his Friend, where he discharges the Coachman, bids the Drawer shew a Room, calls for Wine, and when it was brought, muts himself in. Thus far all was ac. cording to Form, and he had acted tolerably well the part of an old Romar, the Laws of whole Coun. try not only connived at, but even approved of, and were favourable to Suicide : But, alas ! whea it came to the Push, when the crirical Moment drew nigh that was to determine his Fare, to his great Diia povorment and Mortificacion, he found what he had never before distrulted, that he had no Courage, but was a mer Chicken.
The same false Heirt, which so many Years before had to little Compaflion or Tenderness for
the Tears and Sorrows of a beautiful young Lady, and might consequenily have been imagined desti. tute of any Feeling, felt row, on a sudden, to his great Surprize, a mighty Tenderness for the worth less Carcase wherein it was lodged ; insomuch that he could not prevail upon his dear felf to make any Holes therein, though he had already proceeded to tar, that he had rendered Death in a manner unavoidable, and neceffary, unless he would submit to the cuting Humiliation, of seeing himseit become the Ridicule, Laughing-stock, and Contempt of the whole Town ; a Punishment more morrifying, to a Man of any Spirit, than even Deach itself !
- Being reduced therefore, deservedly, by his own Folly to such a wretched Alternative ; neither knowing how to live with Honour, nor having fuf. ficent Fortitude to put what he had resolved in Execution'; undetermined what to do, yet necessitated to go from where he was, unless he would be surprized by the People, who, as he had Reason to expect, would soon be there to enquire after him, in Consequence of the two Lerters he had sent to the great Mar, and the Gentleman that was his Agent ; the best Thing he could think of, was to pay his Reckoning, and leave Word he was gone into the Park, imagining perhaps he might have Courage enough to leap into Rosamond's Pond, tho' he had not to fire a Piftol. But, if he thus fancied, he was therein mistaken a second Time ; for the same Pufillanimity accompanying him hither, he was forced likewise to decamp from thence, Re in. fetta, and the first News that was heard of him, some Time afterwards, was, that he was fafe and found at his Sear in the Country.
In the mean while, the two Letters beforementioned being received, let any one imagine the Shock and Surprize it must cause in his Friends ; howe ever, as it was now supposed paft Remedy, all the
one could do, was to pity and lament bis Fate, and all that remained for the other, was to comply with his Request. Accordingly the latter went in a Coach, with proper Perlons to take Care of his Corpse, as had been desired, and Messengers were dispatched by the former to enquire after the Par. riculars of this unexpected Catastrophe ; but it will be hard to say which were most amazed, either the Persons in search after him, on being told what Message he had left at the Tavern, especially when on following him into the Park, they could hear nothing there of him, nor yet at any other places where they made the like Enquiry, or of the People of the Tavern, when they were again ftrictly examined about him, and acquainted with the Reasons for luch a Scrutiny.
In short, as he was a Person generally known, all the Town was in an Uproar for some Days, nor was the Country at first in less Confusion ; for his Lady, on the Receipt of his shocking Lerter, having dispatched Messengers to enquire into it, and they bringing back Word, that no Tidings could be heard of him, neither could his Body be found, every one was in the dark concerning his Fate, and formed a hundred various Conjectures, till soon after when he again made his Appearance suddenly at his Country Seat, as was before observed.
· Tois News becoming once publick, Aftonishment gave Way to very different Emotions, and the Man whom before every one piried, was now become universally the Object of Decision and Contempt ; nor could any one imagine with what Face he ciuld ever again fhew his Head in public, where he might be well assured, the Eyes of all Men would be fixed upon him wherever he went ; where he must expect, chat all Persons of Reputation would shun his Company, and where he could