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scientific wrench that caused her to squeak out. "Oh! you coward! you monster! You have broken my arm; you have twisted it out of the socket-Oh! murder! I will call for help!" and brunk back with pain, not intending to execute her threat in the tht. I had enough to do to rescue my hat entire, from her feet and ads. I scized it, however, before the water was entirely spilt, and jerked it in her face. "Take that," said I," it will cool your passion; and now go home and dry yourself. If you give me the least opposition, I will call up the park-keepers, and deliver you to them as an improper. character."
"I'll stick by you, and dog you wherever you go, you robber," returned she. 66 Swinge me, but you'll suffer for this, if I once catch you in the street."
I began to be alarmed, lest she should keep her word, and track us; therefore, though my protegée seemed anxious to get away, I dreaded leaving the park, and encountering a rabble in the road. We stood mutually defying and abusing each other, while the chattering of the teeth of my poor ally reminded me of the unfitness of this situation for one so indisposed as she had been. One time I thought of settling the old woman by a stunning blow and running off while she was insensible; but no argument of convenience could overcome the instinct that rendered such a step revolting to me. At another time, I thought of committing her to the rangers; but the doubt was, would they meddle with her; or might they not detain us all, and give publicity to the whole adventure. I had formed and renounced a hundred plans, when two gentlemen appeared at the top of the walk, and I instantly determined on seeking their assistance. When they had approached, I moved hastily up to them, and begged their aid in detaining the old woman until I had got away with the young one, stating the case as one of choice on the part of the latter. They were astonished at the oddness of the request, but did not absolutely decline, until they should have examined the parties, which was very equitable. Here a fresh dilemma occurred. "Had you not better manage the old fury," whispered one," while we convey the young lady to any place appointed?" I studied the proposition for a few moments, during which poverty, prudence, and virtue, said yes; while an unknown but powerful pleader at the bottom of my heart, said no. I knew what the proposer meant by undertaking such a trust, but still I must not appear to see through it.
"If the young woman consent, I cannot have the smallest difficulty in complying."
<< because, you perceive," continued he, in the same low finical tone, "you have already intimidated the old Hecate, and she stands in awe of you, if violence be required; but I trust a little deceit will do. Not that I have the smallest fear or compunction in obeying you— but then-where would you like the lady to be taken?"
"We have not inquired yet," quoth I, "whether it be agreeable to her to put herself under your protection, though I have not the smallest doubt of your honourable intentions."-I had though; but if the coin was bad, it was borrowed from him." Aye, true! I'll speak to her aside," quoth he, " that the old devil may not hear, and I'll report her answer to you."
He'll outdo me, thought I; but let him try. He went up to her, and whispered her, as she afterwards informed me, in this strain"My dear madam! that fellow is a mere scrub, as you may observe; unfit to yield you protection-and he consents to give you up to me. Come with me then, my sweet girl, and I will keep you in ease and splendour all your days."
"She shall not," interrupted the old eaves-dropper, who had broken off her narrative to his companion, in order to hearken. "She shall not go with you, nor with any one, for she is mine-my girl-and whoever sees her home, shall have her this blessed night."
The gentlemen looked at each other, and then at me, as much as to say, "that is the best thing we can do; let us never mind him."
"I do not mean to control her," exclaimed I; "but against her will she shall go with no one here."
"With you, sir, if you allow me; and with none else will I go," asserted she.
"That being the case, sirs," said I," it is neither honourable nor safe for you to interfere, unless as required; if disinclined, why then go your ways." They conferred a moment, and I saw there was a contest between them, on which I drew cards from my pocket, and presented, but without hostility, one to cach, saying, "they would find they had to deal with a gentleman, who knew how to make a proper return for their services."
"We by no means seek to frustrate your intentions," said the little courtier, who had addressed me; "but might we inquire of what nature they are towards this lady?"
"I should find it difficult to specify-merely, I presume, to afford her immediate protection from this savage."
"If that be the case," rejoined the smooth little personage, handing me a card, "might I beg that you will give me notice when you are inclined to transfer her to the charge of another."
I could have kicked him for his honourable commission, but restrained myself, in hopes of obtaining an immediate auxiliary. "You may give her your address," observed I," and put it in her power to intimate what she pleases to you."
"Well then," assented he, pulling me aside," my tutor and I will detain the old hag, after I have explained a few words to the lady." The tutor had, in the mean time, very serviceably detached the old lady, and pacified her by some artful representations. "Now then, mother abbess," said the young gentleman, after having finished his ineffectual advances,-" Now then, my friend and I will go home, and have a roistering evening of it at your house; never mind those bad ones, let them go about their business."
"You have my warmest thanks, gentlemen," offering my arm to the shivering fair, who eagerly clung to it; "I shall find a way of repaying the obligation."
"Unhand me, villains!" roared out the Jezebel, lustily, while they each seized an arm of her's, and drowned her accents in boisterous laughter. “A handkerchief to her mouth, my friends, and her arms over the back of the seat, so-farewell! Come, lean on me, sweet, and fear not. How shall I call thee, my fair prize?"
"Olivia," said she; "let us hasten by the Bayswater side, in a con
any of those budding passions, unfolded in society. She was already seventeen before she began to feel shame at the caresses which her tutor lavished upon her in his mawkish moments of sensibility, and one day very simply asked him what pleasure he could have in such foolery. The old satyr grinned libidinously, and answered, that it was high time to teach her. He then entered upon certain explanations of his views with respect to her, which were utterly as yet incomprehensible to her, and he was obliged to put Crebillon and other authors into her hands to assist her natural sagacity; for, though she knew from books what sentimental love was, she had been carefully kept from the knowledge of such a passion as lust. She was not long in forming an idea of it, however, and in interpreting, by its means, all that was inexplicable in her good old guardian; but, far from feeling a reciprocal excitement, she conceived absolute disgust for the first time in her life towards him. He was so different from the being her imagination had conjured up in secret as the object of her love, that his pathetic recitations had always appeared to her a mere excess of sympathy for others, and no ways indicative of any lurking inclination in his bosom; else, she would probably long before have become aware of the new passion now revealed to her, and have repulsed its developments as energetically as she would have rejected the pulings of his love. Her discovery formed a sudden revolution in their way of life: she could no longer submit to his reading or caresses, and he, in proportion as she withdrew her concurrence from his fantastical plan, became morose and imperious. He wept and raved by turns, till she was obliged to shun his society, become dangerous by the frenzy of disappointment. She still tended her daily occupations, and plied her household affairs with meekness, degraded now to the rank of a servant, and reproached with ingratitude and dependence. At length, when he thought her spirit humbled, he proposed marriage to her; offered to keep a coach for her; to take her into the world— all that could influence female ambition; but all these weighed lightly with her against natural aversion to such a mate, and she decidedly refused his offers. As his tenderness was vice, his severity was wantonness. He locked her up in solitary confinement; withheld books, clothes, and even food for trying periods, from her; and only released her, after many unmanly attempts, that she might wait upon him in a severe fit of illness, brought on by frantic agitation. She nursed him affectionately during a long sickness, throughout which he wrung her heart, by laying his death, as he expressed it, at her door. About the period of his crisis, his nephew was admitted to take leave of him, and formally reconciled, (after having been disinherited for his profligacy,) because, as the uncle said, his murderess should gain nothing by his death. This stranger saw Olivia, and became enamoured of her person. He condoled with her upon the old man's proceedings, and his dying bitterness; and mixed sympathy so adroitly with feigned passion, that she believed his affection, particularly as he began where the uncle had ended, by offering marriage, according to her idea of it. Her idea of it was, that it was a voluntary contract, to live together in love and constancy; for her guardian had never once mentioned a civil or religious obligation. As she felt for the young man something undefinable, a timid bashfulness, per
haps, which the old one had not inspired, she conceived it to be love, and consented to become his wife. He would scarce defer making her his, as he termed it, while the uncle was still in the agonies of death; but nothing could persuade her to comply while her protector, harsh as he had been, required her attendance; nor after his death, while the memory of his former kindness overcame her with grief. As he renewed his solicitations one day very earnestly, she had no plea left, but to desire him to fix the time for the ceremony, having heard by the freer intercourse occasioned by the death of the solitary, that marriage was a solemnity. He paused a moment, and then artfully drew from her the extent of her information, which was, that the parties went to church together and were married. "Well," said he, "though that step does not make it more binding in my sight, still, if you insist upon it, we will go through that ceremony to-morrow." As there were none but his creatures about her, she remained undeceived, and the day following attended service, for the first time, in her life, that she recollected. There they interchanged whispered vows of love. and constancy, and he carried the mockery so far as to put the ring upon her finger, and to proclaim her to his household as his wife. The reprobate had not long enjoyed his triumph, when satiety and libertinism induced him to invite, one after another, a set of abandoned women to his house, which became at last a den of infamy. Olivia soon learnt from these visitors how she had been deluded; and on reproaching her deceiver, was openly laughed at, and her artlessness made the sport of his whole harem. As she was unsuspicious of the consequences of her ruin, she forgave him as often as he repented of his infidelities and dismissed her rivals, towards whom she felt rather jealousy than disgust. But his inconstancies were too numerous not to alienate her entirely from him, especially when she found herself a prey to his debaucheries. When he had rendered her an unfit object of his pleasures, he used every art to reduce her to the most abject condition of female degradation. Nothing but disease saved her from the pollution of his low and infamous colleagues in vice. At length, finding her far gone in pregnancy, and believing her incurably infected, he made a stipulation with the owner of a notorious house to take her off his hands. She was transferred to London, under pretence of medical aid, and there happily restored, by proper treatment, to perfect health. In the meantime she became the object of several bargains, which were only postponed until her delivery should have taken place; previous to which she was treated with amazing kindness by the mistress of the house and her visitors. But the scenes which she witnessed there were of the most revolting kind; and had she not been in the most helpless condition, she would have fled from them. At length, the design with which she was kept there was unfolded to her by her companions in misery, and it determined her to fly with her infant as soon as she should be able to move, and seek an asylum any where rather than remain. Heaven spared her the burden of a living child, but not the anguish of a mother at its loss. She was no sooner able to walk than she made an attempt to abscond, which was frustrated by the accident of meeting with a frequenter of the house, who put her into a hackney-coach under pretence of taking her to his house, but only carried her to a brothel, when he pressed her to con
sent to his desires. As she resolutely refused his dazzling offers, illness and apprehension supplying strength to her virtue, he treacherously drove her back to her former abode. From that hour, constraint was used with her, until she appeared to conform to their views. She was obliged to use deception, the last resource of the feeble, and to obtain, through the intercession of one of her destined paramours, a month's reprieve to recover strength, at the termination of which time she promised to yield to his suit. When the town thinned, the inmates of the house scattered themselves about at watering-places, and the conductress herself removed to Kensington, with a few of her worn, emaciated dependants.
Olivia was among these; and as the visitors became less numerous, and as there seemed no likelihood of faith being broken with her, she postponed her projects of escape till the end of the month should draw near, in hopes of being able to fix upon a retreat before then. In time she gained the confidence of one of the forlorn creatures in the house, who informed her of all that was passing in regard to her. A long list of libertines had stipulated in succession for her person, and the old wretch calculated upon the fruits to be collected from the sale of her victim, day after day, on the expiration of the month; but even this term was not to be allowed to expire, without a conspiracy, that chilled her with horror but to hear of. Her seducer, whom she looked upon as the murderer of her child, and the author of her miseries, had been informed of her recovery, and pledge; and had repaid the information with such thanks, that it was agreed to violate the engagement with her in his favour. She also learned that she was narrowly watched, notwithstanding her apparent freedom, and would find it useless to attempt an escape. After this account, the poor girl suffered so much from terror and despair, that she could scarcely move, much less take any vigorous step for her extrication. She would readily have placed herself under the protection of any one gentleman, at any price, rather than encounter the multiplied miseries that awaited her: but even this was out of her power, as she was now secluded from the sight of the male visitors. The nearer the time approached for her sacrifice, the more were means used to cheer and strengthen her; she was taken out daily in a coach, and made to walk, when arrived at some solitary part of the road. Art alone could accomplish her rescue, and she feigned so much contentment, that the old beldame was often induced to accompany her in short walks about the neighbourhood. It was on one of these occasions, while they sat that afternoon on a bench in the park, that Olivia perceived the corner of a letter sticking out of her companion's reticule; and her thoughts being filled with fears and suspicions, she adroitly drew it out unperceived, and pretending to have dropped a bracelet where they last had reposed, induced the old woman to step back and fetch it. As soon as she was gone, Olivia opened the letter, and read an intimation from her seducer, that he was coming the following night. She had scarce time to conceal the letter under her, when her companion returned, and charged her with having purloined it. It was useless to deny it, or to feign any longer, even if she had been able to do it. She was forced to rise-the letter was discovered-and it was insisted upon, that she should move home