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not fail of daily meering with a thousand Affronts, which he must be conscious of having justly merited. Such was the defpicable State to which this base Falsyfier of his Oaths, and once haughty Traní. gressor of the Third Commandment, saw himself reduced in chis Life! A Stare so truly miserable, that it can only be surpassed by that consummate Wretchedness, which, without due Repentance, awaits all such Profligares in the next !
Let us now go on to the other Example promised, which, in some Respects, is yer more flagrant, and more remarkable than the former ; and which alfo, like che former, did not go unpunished even in this world. This was of a Colonel in the Army, a Man of Wit and Pleasure, and a great Favourite of a certain Nobleman of the firat Rank, larely deceased, who being with bim at Windfor, at a Time when the Coure was there, fell violently in Love with a beauteous and modeft Virgin, (though but of mean Extraction, as only being Daughter to a Gar. dener belonging to the Castle) infomuch that nothing but the Enjoyment of her would satisfy him.
To his great Surprize and Disappointment, however, he found her Itrictly virruous; and on making his Addresses to her, in the manner he had always till then found prevalent with Persons of her Srarion, namely, with the most vehement Asseverarions and Protestations, of an unalterable Constancy, which were backed with Presents of no small Value to one in her Circumstances, became soon sensible, she was equally Proof against his Bribes and his Flatceries. Hereupon he renewed his Aitacks, offering fresh Presents of still more considerable Value, and even a handsome Settlement for Life ; but all in vain, the remained immoveable. Being now at his Wits End, and fully determined to enjoy her at any Rare, but making her his Wife,
he he endeavoured to get her out of Town on some pretended Party of Pleasure ; intending probably in that Cafe to have recoure to Force, as hoping afwards to make it up easily by Money ; but all to no Purpose; the young Maiden, equally prudene and virtuous, would not be decoyed out of the CaAtle by him.
Mortified hereat to the last Degree, but fill burning with Luft, for it deserves no better Name, and no lo: ger knowing what Course to take, he grew melancholly, pensive, and peevith, insomuch that he ceased to be the agreeable Companion he was heretofore. The Nobleman, his Patron, who had taken a Fancy to him chiefly on chat Account, having observed this sudden Alteration in his Temper, asked what ailed him. To which he, for some Time, declined giving any direct Answer, as being alhamed, no doubt, of his Weakness ; the proud Man not considering, that a virtuous Maiden, be her Parentage ever fo. mean, is greatly superior to the greatest Villain. Being pressed however earnestly by the Nobleman to disclose the Cause of his Sadness, he at laft acquainted him with his Pas. sion, recounting also every particular that had pas. sed between the lovely Fair One and himself, and concluding with an Oáth, that he no longer knew what Means to have recourse to, though he could never be easy in his Mind till he had enjoyed, or, in plain English, ruined her.
On hearing this Account related in the moft lamenrable Tone, the Nobleman, who, though otherwise a Man of ftriat Honour, was a grear Laritudinarian in Maciers of Love, and who probably did not believe there was any such Thing as a virtuous Maiden, nor having ever met with such Repulle himself, even from Persons of a much higher Rank, burst into a violene Fit of Laughter, full in the Colonel's Face ; whereas the latter was quite
confounded, and out of Countenance. Hereupon his Patron, who observed ir, and who really had a Value for him, as was already observed, bid him have a good Heart, for he would engage he should have her by some Means or other.
Accordingly many Consultations were held, and many new Stratagems tried, with as liccle Success as before, which made the Nobleman himself noc be so very confideno of gaining his Point as he was at first; and, in effect, it is not unlikely, they were very near giving over all Thoughts of accomplishing their Design, and were about to defift from any farther artempts, when the old Serpent, that implacable Enemy of all Virtue, suggested to one of hem a Wile, which brought about what all their Arts had before in vain endeavoured, and what they had almoft despaired of com palling. But it was at the fame Time such a Wile, as not only could not come from any one but him, but as no one who was not himself a Devil incarnare, and quite deftiture of Religion, Conscience, or even common Honeliy, could have pur in Practice.
- This was, to get some one whom they could trust, to perfonare a Clergy man, and in that Habit to perform the Ceremony of marrying the Colonel to the Gardener's fair Daughter; and as in or. der effectually co deceive the virtuous Maiden, who was constantly upon her Guard, and to lull Suspi. cion asleep, it was necessary to ger her to repose some Confidence in him, which was no easy Matter, after having been lo often alarmed by his insidious Altacks, and the many Snares he had iaid for her, it was concluded that he should renew his Addresses (from which he had for some Time defifted) with more Ardour and Assiduity than ever ; and that he Thould spare neither Oaths nor Proteftations to endeavour to perswade her, that her Virtue had got the beirer of his lawless D. Gires, and shat they were now
changed changed into an honourable Paffion, whereof he was ready to convince her at any Time, by making her his Wife. Behold then the harmless Virgin, unsuspicious of any Evil intended her, ready to become a Prey ró her luftful Seducer; who having provided one of his Associates, as wicked as himself, to personate the Clergymal, whilst another, not much berrer, represented the Clerk; and two others of the same Stamp aflisted as Wirnesses, was so audaciously impious, to prophane the sacred Ordinance of Matrimony, by making it serve as a Scalking-Horse co his bale Defires; repeating that solemn Form with as much Boldness and Unconcern, as if he had only been ading his part in a Farce.
Accordirgly this infernal Scheme was immediately put in Execution, and had the wished-for Success; for the beauteous Virgin, who had no Dislike to the Person of the Colonel, though the abhorred his wicked Designs, and who, notwithstanding her Modesty, could not help being plealed with the Proposal of a Match so far above her Expectations, no longer appeared deaf to his Sollicirations, but willingly consented to make him Mafter of her Person, as soon as the sacred Knot was ried.
There now remained but one Difficulty to be got over, which was to perswade her ro agree to a clandestine Marriage ; and this he pretty easily accomplished, by having recourse to two Pretences, which ar che Bottom were really true ; but which, as he intended to manage Matters, would effe&tually serve his Turn, and leave him at Liberty to deny his Engagement whenever he should grow weary of his new Bargain, and think proper to cast her off. The first was, that he could not marry her publickly, because he should thereby render himself the Laughingstock of the whole Courts the second was, that a private Marriage was as valid, and as binding both by the Laws of God and Man, as any one whatever. That the first of there was true, in some measure, the poor Damsel was senfible herself ; and as to the other, the found, upon Enquiry, it was Fact likewise; thinking, therefore, The should stand greatly in her own Light, and be her own Enemy, if she longer opposed his Defires, she agreed to be married privately, and wait with Patience, vill it should become proper or necessary to divulge it.
The Ceremony being over, the deluded and in. nocent Virgin believing herself what she reaily was both before God and Man, namely, his lawful Wife, consented willingly in his Embraces, now legitimated, as he chought, by the Church ; and for some Time, that is, till becoming with Child, Me pressed him to make their Noprials public, she enjoyed fome Satisfaction, and lived tolerably happy.
But when she found he put her off from Day to Day, upon frivolous Prerences, growing cold to her, and even avoiding her Company, though her Pregnancy began to be so visible, as not long to be concealed; when, upon the stricteft Enquiry, neither Minister, Clerk, nor Wimeses, were to be heard of ; when upon her begging, intreating, and conjuring him to do her Justice, and not suffer her to lie under the Imputation of a loose Womani, he first prevaricated, and afterwards positively denied his being at all engaged to her ; it would be impossible for Words to express either her Grief or Confternation : Let it suffice to say, they were equally excessive, inforruch that her Complaints would have moved a Heart of Stone, or any one but the Monster, who having first occasioned, now laughed at her Misery. In short, the poor Crea