π1r

The
History
of
Eliza.

Written by a Friend

In Two Volumes.
Vol. I.

London:
Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall-mall.

1767MDCCLXVII.
π1v omitted A1r

To
the Reader.

The writer of following
sheets was prevailed
upon to make them
public, by the Lady to whom
they are addressed, who thought
the conduct of Eliza, in some
of the most trying circumstances
of life, would afford
a useful lesson for her sex, and Vol. I. a whose A1v iv
whose amiable character deserved
to be drawn from obscurity.
Those—who read only for
amusement, will find themselves
disappointed; if, in this
little performance, they expect to
meet with any of those surprising
turns of fortune, so easily created
by the imagination, but which
the judgment can never realize.
The History of Eliza is a narrative
of facts, which gives the relator A2r v
relator no claim to the merit
of invention; if the public is
pleased with her manner of relating
them, her expectations will
be more than answered.

The
A2v
B1r

The
History
of
Eliza.


At last, Madam, I take up my
pen to execute the task your
Ladyship has long since imposed upon
me. You are not to impute this delay
to any neglect of your command,
or reluctance to enter upon the task
itself, but to my fears of being unequal
to it. Not that the character
of the charming Eliza, which I have
undertaken to give you, has any
thing in it so intricate, or equivocal,
as to require a more than ordinary Vol. I. B penetration B1v 2
penetration to unravel, or eloquence
to display; in her, all was simple,
plain, open, undisguised; her manners,
like her wit, were the beautiful
product of nature. But however
clear my notions of her may be,
yet, as I am not used to throw my
thoughts upon paper, I am apprehensive
that I shall not be able to
communicate them to you with a proper
degree of conciseness and perspicuity.


Of the various fortunes to which her
youth was exposed, I am perhaps better
qualified than any other, to inform
your Ladyship, having been a witness
to many of the facts I shall relate,
and others I have either had from herself, B2r 3
herself, or her husband, whose confidence
I possess, and who has given
me leave to communicate them
to your Ladyship.


Since I am writing her history,
then, I will begin with a description of
her person, concerning which, your
Ladyship, like a true woman, is particularly
inquisitive; and here being
a woman likewise, you will scarcely
suspect me of flattery, for however we
may be biassed by friendship in other
matters, in the article of beauty we
seldom turn the scale.


Eliza cannot be called tall, her stature
rises a little, and but very little,
above the middle size, nothing can
be more beautifully turned than her B2 neck B2v 4
neck and shoulders; her figure has
in it all that delicacy, that softness,
and elegance, which we admire in the
Medicean Venus.


Your Ladyship has seen several
pictures of Eliza, but there is not one
of them that gives us a just idea of
her person. “That is true beauty,”
says La Bruyere, “which no painter
can express.”
And how indeed
can painting imitate the varied
graces of a countenance, animated by
the most sprightly wit, and to which
the softest sensibility of heart is
perpetually lending new charms.
Her eyes are the finest in the world,
bright, yet languishing; tender, yet
full of fire: Such is their powerful expression, B3r 5
expression, that it is scarce necessary
for her to speak; her smile is bewitching,
and the tone of her voice
so moving, that every thing she says,
goes directly to the heart.


With this beautiful person, with a
mind adorned with every grace, and
elevated by every virtue, Eliza was
unfortunate, and how could it be
otherwise? Since the situation she was
thrown into, and the persons she was
connected with, made that beauty,
and those virtues, the cause of all her
distresses, which, in other circumstances
would have proved a source
of happiness to her. Envy, armed
with the authority of a mother in
law, persecuted her for that beauty, B3 which B3v 6
which she was too little conscious of,
to find any consolation in it for the ill
usage it exposed her to.


To the deepest artifice she had
nothing to oppose, but candour and
simplicity; to the most selfish designs,
disinterestedness and generosity; malevolence
and fraud, she combated
with no other arms than gentleness
and sincerity; and every tyrannical
exertion of power she bore with so
much patience and submission, as furnished
continual opportunities of oppressing
her.


The death of her mother happened
when she was about six years old; this
Lady, who had been stolen from a
boarding school by Mr. B. the father of B4r 7
of Eliza, lived under the displeasure
of her parents, on account of this
rash action several years; at length
they were reconciled to her, but
would never see her husband; and
at their death, the fortune they left her,
which was very considerable, was settled
on her infant daughter.


Mr. B. though a man of pleasure,
thoughtless in his expences, dissipated
in his amusements, and discontented
at the great neglect that had been
shewn him in the settlement of his
wife’s fortune, yet took great care
of his daughter’s education; the happy
talents she had received from nature
were cultivated with extreme attention,
and the improvements she daily B4 made B4v 8
made in every useful study, as well as
every polite accomplishment, proved
at once the force of her genius, and
the intenseness of her application.


At fifteen she chose her father for
her guardian. This circumstance, it
was thought, facilitated his addresses
to a neighbouring Lady, the widow
of a Gentleman of considerable rank
and fortune.


Nothing could happen more unfortunately
for Eliza, than to have a
woman of Mrs. Denby’s character
enter her father’s house as the mistress
of his family. If any passion reigned
more powerfully in her heart than
avarice, it was envy, of which the
virtuous and beautiful of her own sex were B5r 9
were the more immediate objects:
with what malignant eyes then must
she behold Eliza, already the admiration
and love of all who knew
her?


She brought with her a daughter
about two years older than my friend,
whose person was agreeable enough,
but her mind was a perfect transcript
of her mother’s. It is not always certain,
that a similiarity of manners produces
a reciprocal affection. Mrs.
Denby
saw all her own qualities
faithfully copied in her daughter, yet
she did not love her, Miss Denby was
young, her mother envied her an
advantage, which, while she possessed
herself, she made a very free use of: the B5v 10
the restraint she kept her under, and
which she was desirous should pass for
an effect of her prudence, was born
with great impatience by Miss Denby,
who judged truly of the motives,
by which she was actuated; for wicked
people understand each other: it is
only the virtuous that are deceived by
them.


Eliza received her mother-in-law
with respect, and her new sister, with
all that effusion of heart, so
natural to young persons of good
inclinations, who, judging of others
by themselves, can only be taught
caution by long experience.


Miss Denby, artificial, designing,
crafty and malicious, repaid with a thousand B6r 11
thousand false professions of friendship,
the sincere affection which Eliza, deceived
by her plausible behaviour,
soon began to entertain for her. Miss
Denby
, who had no idea of carrying
kindness and generosity farther than
words, was pleasingly surprised to
find her new sister, eager to seize every
opportunity of shewing her regard
for her by very solid proofs. Miss
Denby’s
fortune was nearly equal to
Eliza’s; but the avarice of her mother
stinted her to a very small allowance,
which did not permit her to
indulge her love of finery, which was
excessive, and occasioned her to make
many a mortifying reflexion upon the
difference of her appearance, and that of B6v 12
of Miss B. who, although she had
thrown her fortune entirely into her
father’s hands, was absolutely unrestrained
in her expences.


These expences, had hitherto, been
rather proportioned to his love of parade,
than to her own taste; which,
though elegant, was simple and modest;
and, charmed to have it in her
power to gratify the wishes of her
friend, she willingly retrenched what
she conceived to be superfluous in her
own dress, to supply Miss Denby with
ornaments of which she seemed so
fond, but was not permitted to purchase.


These repeated instances of generosity
and tenderness, though they did not B7r 13
not produce gratitude or sincerity in
the heart of Miss Denby, yet, acting
upon the selfishness of her disposition,
increased her desire of pleasing her,
in order to secure the continuance of
them. She wished to become necessary
to her sister, to be her confidant
and share her secrets; secrets however
she had none to communicate, her
heart had indeed received a tender
impression, to which her innocence
and inexperience had given the name
of friendship, which, as she had no
motive for concealing, neither had
she hitherto had any opportunity of
making known to Miss Denby, for
the object of this prepossession she
had not yet seen.

5 He B7v 14


He was a young Gentleman of a
most engaging figure and fine accomplishments,
but whose situation
was to the last degree perplexing and
uneasy. His father came very late in
life to the possession of a small estate,
encumbered with a mortgage, which
almost swallowed it up: having made
a match of inclination rather than
prudence, he found his difficulties so
pressing, occasioned by an increasing
family, that he was under a necessity
of mortgaging the remainder of his
little patrimony, in order to raise a
sum which he might throw into trade,
hoping by that means to provide for
his children.

Mr. B8r 15


Mr. Harley, so he was called, having
been bred to no business, was
wholly ignorant of those lucrative
arts by which we often see great fortunes
acquired; at the end of a few
years, finding his circumstances worse
than ever, disappointment and grief
brought on a nervous fever, of which
he died, leaving a son, and three
daughters, with no other support,
than what a small settlement he had
secured to his wife could afford them.


The person to whom he had mortgaged
his estate was his near kinsman,
a Baronet, possessed of five thousand
pounds a year; this gentleman was
pretty far advanced in age when he
married a young Lady, who brought him B8v 16
him a son; and his expences, which
before were in no degree proportioned
to his fortune, were now drawn into
a narrower circle, either because he
thought it his duty to make his son a
richer man than himself, or what is
more likely, his natural disposition to
parsimony made him eagerly seize
this poor excuse for hoarding.


From a man of this character, the
distrest widow and her children had
little assistance to expect, and indeed
he suffered two years to elapse without
taking any notice of them: at
the end of that time, he lost both his
wife and son, and a few weeks afterwards,
Mrs. Harley saw his equipage
stop at her door.

A visit C1r 17


A visit from him in such circumstances,
and after so total a neglect,
could not fail to raise hopes, which
his equivocal behaviour neither
wholly confirmed, nor absolutely represt.
After some cool civilities, he
desired to see her children. She presented
her three daughters to him;
her son was not yet returned from
school.


The Baronet in a careless manner
desired her to send for him, which she
immediately did. As soon as the boy
entered the room, the anxious mother,
who heedfully observed the old man’s
countenance, perceived that he was
struck with his appearance. Young
Harley was then about fourteen: the Vol. I. C elegance C1v 18
elegance of his figure, the vivacity of
his look, and the easy politeness of
his behaviour, drew from Sir William
some involuntary expressions of approbation;
he questioned him concerning
his learning, and found him
so far advanced in it, that he could
not help testifying his surprize. After
continuing some moments in a
thoughtful silence, which the mother
attended to with a beating heart, he
suddenly rose up, shook his young
cousin by the hand, and, bidding him
mind his studies, gave him five guineas.
He then took a formal leave
of Mrs. Harley; and went away, leaving
her full of doubts concerning the
intention of this visit, and alternately listening C2r 19
listening to the suggestions of hope
and fear, according as her spirits were
more or less deprest.


A friend of her late husband, a
gentleman bred to the law, having
taken some pains in examining the
alliances of Sir William’s family,
assured her that he knew of no person
who had so good a claim to
succeed to his title and estate, in
case he died without issue, as young
Harley: this circumstance, so long
as Sir William’s lady and son survived,
made little impression on her
mind; but when he was left a widower
and childless, in an advanced
age, and under increasing infirmities,
it became a subject of pleasing reflexionC2 flexion C2v 20
to her, and often contributed
to soften her distress.


The Baronet’s unexpected visit, and
the pleasure he discovered at finding
her son so promising a youth, flattered
her with hopes that he had some
view to this event; but the smallness
of his present, and the little solicitude
he shewed concerning the means by
which this hopeful youth was to be
subsisted and educated, left her but
little reason to believe that he had any
notion of his claim, or any design in
his favour.


Three months having elapsed
without hearing from him again, she
was beginning to resign herself to
despondency, when she received a billet C3r 21
billet from him, couched in polite,
though distant terms, in which he
invited himself to dine with her, and
appointed a day.


He was punctual to the time, and
accosted her with equal good breeding,
but with more familiarity than
in his first visit: the boy he received
with expressions of kindness that renewed
all her hopes, which were still
more pleasingly confirmed, when he
gave her a direction to send for his
taylor the next day, and to order several
suits of cloaths for her son.
These he regulated himself, and
were such as were fit for a young
man of fashion. He then told her
that he had determined to send him C3 to C3v 22
to an academy, which he named, and
which she knew was one of the genteelest
in town; and desired he would
be ready to remove thither in a few
days.


The widow’s heart overflowed with
joy and gratitude. Young Harley
returned his acknowledgments with
modest dignity; the Baronet, after
recommending it earnestly to him to
neglect none of those means of improvement
which he had now put in
his power, added, “In the mean time,
your mother and I will consider of
some good trade to put you to,
which will secure to you a decent
livelihood.”

At C4r 23


At this stroke, so sudden and unexpected,
Mrs. Harley looked pale,
trembled, and cast down her eyes.
Young Harley blushed; but, quickly
recovering himself, replied that he
had no inclination to learn any trade,
but that he would willingly go into
the army.


“The army!” exclaimed the Baronet,
how did that enter into your
head? where will you raise money
to purchase a commission?”


“If I cannot purchase a commission,”
replied the youth with great sprightliness,
“I will endeavour to merit one.”


“I see you have read romances,” said
Sir William; “but we will talk no
more of this at present; mind your C4 studies, C4v 24
studies, and leave the care of settling
you to those, who are wiser
than yourself.”


Young Harley was going to reply,
but his mother prevented him by a
significant look.


Sir William, when he took leave
of Mrs. Harley, promised to send his
steward in two or three days, to conduct
her son to the academy, which
he accordingly did.


The youth had reason to be contented
with his reception. No part of
a polite, as well as useful education
was omitted. Sir William made him
a decent allowance for pocket-money,
and frequently called to see him. He
likewise visited Mrs. Harley sometimes,times, C5r 25
but still continued to torment
her by his enigmatical behaviour.


At one time, he would consult her
with great seeming solicitude upon the
fittest trade for her son; at another,
he would talk of sending him to travel,
under the care of his chaplain.
Sometimes he would drop hints of
his intention to marry again; in a
word, his whole conduct and discourse
were calculated to keep both
her, and the youth, in continual suspence
concerning his intentions.


He had been three years at the
academy, when Sir William, being
seized with a fit of the gout, that
confined him to his country-seat, sent
his post-chaise for him; and though he C5v 26
he appeared to design this only as a
transient visit, yet, after a stay of two
months, he shewed no intention to
send him back, but directed him to
continue his studies, under the tuition
of his chaplain, a man of great learning
and piety. Under his care he
continued three years, at the end of
which Sir William sent him to make
the polite tour, as it is called, with
appointments little inferior to what
he might have expected had he been
his own son.


Mr. Irwin, so was the chaplain
called, attended him in the quality
of his governor, and filled every letter
he wrote to the Baronet with
praises of his young pupil, who, at his C6r 27
his return, more than confirmed the
advantageous report he had made of
him. On their arrival, they found
the Baronet at his country-seat, labouring
under his old distemper, the
gout, which adding to the natural
peevishness of his temper, he continued
still to mortify the poor youth
with his ambiguous behaviour, and
to leave him in doubt of his fate.
Mr. Harley was now in his twentieth
year, and often made serious
reflexions upon his situation. The
care Sir William had taken of his
education, and the respect and consideration
with which he was treated,
seemed to promise some future designs
in his favour; but whatever these designs C6v 28
designs were, they were all liable to
be frustrated, by the capriciousness of
his temper, and the unsteadiness of
his purposes. A state of dependence
appeared to his generous mind, an
insupportable slavery. Gratitude for
the favours he had already received
from Sir William, made him, upon
all occasions, anxious for his welfare,
and solicitous to oblige him; but no
consideration whatever could force
him to disguise his sentiments, to
flatter the passions, adopt the resentments,
or fall in with the fantastic
humours, of a peevish old man, who
seemed to expect these compliances,
as the price of his favour towards
him.

It C7r 29


It was not possible for him to entertain
any elevated idea of the generosity
of a man, who could suffer
his nearest kinsman, possibly the legal
heir to his fortune, to live in a
mean dependence upon his bounty,
while he withheld from him his little
paternal inheritance, and kept him
in ignorance of his future fortune.
He often declared to his mother that
he would rather carry a firelock, and
by doing his duty, entitle himself to
bread, than enjoy his present precarious
affluence under the humiliating
circumstances of a dependant.


Mrs. Harley used every argument
her good sense could suggest, to
persuade him to wait patiently for the C7v 30
the event; but Mr. Harley became
every day more uneasy, and at length
determined to put the Baronet’s
kindness for him to a trial, by desiring
him to advance him a sum of
money to purchase a commission in
a regiment, which was soon to embark
for one of the colonies, where
he hoped to find oppportunities of distinguishing
himself, and of rising to
a higher rank.


This, indeed, was the dream of
youthful courage; for few rise in the
army, any more than in other departments
of life, by merit alone.


While he was ruminating on this
design, an accident happened, which
prevented him from putting it in execution, C8r 31
execution, and for a time suspended
all thoughts of it.


Riding out to take the air one
morning, a chariot passed him, in
which was a young lady, who, by a
single glance, raised an emotion in
his heart, which he had never felt
before. Your ladyship will not wonder
at this so sudden impression, when
I tell you that it was Eliza whom he
saw. He rode on for some moments,
his imagination filled with the charming
figure, that like a vision had vanished
from his eyes, when, turning
to have another view of the chariot,
he perceived the horses floundering
in a brook, which, by the great rains
that had fallen, was so swelled as to become C8v 32
become impassible, and the carriage
in the utmost danger of being overset.


Mr. Harley galloped hastily to the
place, and, assisted by his servant,
soon disingaged the chariot: Eliza,
half dead with terror, yet was capable
of observing the officious zeal
with which the young stranger laboured
for her safety: the natural
sweetness and benevolence of her
looks, heightened by gratitude, made
her appear so charming on this nearer
view, that the youth, lost in astonishment
and delight, kept his eyes fixed
on her face, with an attention that
threw her into some confusion; but,
recovering herself, she expressed her 2 acknow- D1r 33
acknowledgments for the service he
had done her, in the most engaging
manner imaginable, and assured him
with a sweet simplicity, that she
would never forget her obligations to
him.


Mr. Harley begged he might be
permitted to attend her home; and,
without waiting for her answer, rode
on with the chariot.


They reached her father’s house
in less than a quarter of an hour,
during which time he had stolen
many a glance, which always discovered
to him something new to admire
in her.


He alighted to give her his hand
when she came out of the chariot; Vol. I. D and, D1v 34
and, taking a respectful leave of her,
returned home.


Sir William, upon his relating the
adventure to him, and naming her
father, which was all the information
he had received from the enquiry
he had made, pleasingly surprized
him, by saying that he knew Mr. B.
having often met him in company;
and that since he was come to live so
near him, he would be glad to make
up an acquaintance with him, adding,
“We will take a ride there this evening,
and enquire how the young
lady does after her fright.”


Mr. Harley, without attending to
the motive by which he was actuated, drest D2r 35
drest himself for this visit with more
than usual care.


Mr. B. received Sir William with
great politeness; and by the acknowledgments
he made young Harley for
the assistance he had afforded his
daughter, it was easy to perceive the
young lady had not lessened the merit
of it.


Eliza did not appear; but Mr.
Harley
had the satisfaction to hear
she was well, and to find the foundation
of an intimacy laid between the
old gentlemen, which promised him
many opportunities of seeing her.


In this hope he was not deceived.
Sir William, and Mr. B. passed most
of the afternoons at each others D2 houses, D2v 36
houses, playing at chess, a game in
which the Baronet delighted: Mr.
Harley
always accompanied him in
his visit to Mr. B. and while they
were engaged, used to have the pleasure
of entertaining Eliza as she sat
at work in the room.


Their conversation, however, always
turned upon indifferent subjects;
that awe which a sincere passion
always inspires, prevented him from
declaring his sentiments: and feeling
now more forcibly than ever, all
the disadvantages of his dependent
situation, he thought it presumption
to hope for more than her friendship,
which indeed he neglected no means
of acquiring.

The D3r 37


The favourable impressions his first
behaviour had made on her, increased
in proportion, as she gained a fuller
knowledge of his amiable qualities;
and, although he carefully avoided
saying any thing that might give her
reason to suspect he was her lover:
yet his conduct towards her had all
that tender solicitude, that desire of
pleasing, that extreme attention, which
characterises a violent passion, and
insensibly won her affection, while it
seemed only to demand her friendship.


He delayed from time to time his
application to Sir William for a commission,
persuading himself that he
waited only for a favourable opportunity,D3 tunity, D3v 38
and unwilling to acknowledge
to himself, that, though he
loved without hope, he was not able
to bear absence.


When Mr. B. brought home his
second lady, Sir William and his
young kinsman had made a small excursion
to a nobleman’s seat at some
distance, where they staid a fortnight.


Mr. Harley never found any period
of time so tedious; and Eliza
felt an unusual languor, which the
hurry of receiving her mother-in-law,
and the parade of visits and entertainments
that followed her arrival,
could not entirely dissipate.

Mr. D4r 39


Mr. B. had kept his design of a
second marriage so secret, that none
of his acquaitance had any suspicion
of it. When the news first reached
Mr. Harley, he was overwhelmed
with concern, a proof, that, unperceived
by himself, he had entertained
a certain degree of hope; for it is
the melancholy privilege of despair
to fear nothing worse.


He, however, was full of apprehensions
and inquietude; and when
Sir William proposed making the
new-married couple a visit, he eagerly
prepared to attend him, but it
was with a kind of uneasiness and
oppression of heart, which he had D4 never D4v 40
never before experienced so near the
sight of the object of his affections.


When the servant announced these
visitors, Eliza, who had never mentioned
Mr. Harley to her sister before,
now told her in a whisper, that
he was a very sensible young man,
and had a thousand amiable qualities.


Miss Denby, who had been lying
in wait for a discovery of her sentiments,
fancied she had now made one,
and only answered her by a certain
significant smile, which Eliza, not
comprehending her meaning, took no
notice of.


It is scarce possible to have an idea
of a more sudden and more violent passion D5r 41
passion, than that which seized the
heart of this young lady at the sight
of Mr. Harley; in one and the same
instant, she was in love and jealous;
her eyes wandered incessantly from
Eliza to him, she was afraid of a
glance escaping her. Eliza, all sweet
simplicity, took no pains to conceal
the pleasure his conversation gave
her.


Mr. Harley, already alarmed at the
scrutinizing looks of Miss Denby,
behaved with more caution than
usual, so that she easily persuaded
herself, because she wished it, that
there was no particular connexion
between them, though she more than suspected D5v 42
suspected that Eliza was but too favourably
disposed towards it.


Although she was full of impatience
to learn Mr. Harley’s situation
and expectations, yet, crafty by nature,
and always acting under a disguise,
she would not openly make any
enquiries of Miss B. but drew from
her, by sly, and in appearance casual
questions, all the information she could
give her concerning him.


She found he was dependent, and
this knowledge increased her hopes;
her fortune was considerable, and when
she attained the age of twenty-one,
was entirely at her own disposal; she
saw no obstacle to the success of her wishes, D6r 43
wishes, therefore she took no pains to
suppress them.


Every art of coquettry she now
practised, in order to engage Mr.
Harley’s
attention; but he needed not
so powerful a guard against her allurements,
as his passion for Eliza: by nature
open and generous, he hated the
artificial character of Miss Denby;
though her features were regular
enough, yet they bore the characteristick
of her heart; her eyes had frequently
a malignant cast, and even
her smiles were malicious.


Mr. Harley perceived the pains
she was at to attract him, and even
the impression he had made on her;
and, either because he was naturally gallant, D6v 44
gallant, or that he conceived a particular
civility was due to a young
lady who so openly distinguished him,
he used to say things obliging enough
to her, which she would receive with
such apparent transport, as made him
suddenly recollect himself, fearing he
had gone too far; and then his behaviour
was proportionably cold and
distant.


This inequality in his manners,
kept her in continual inquietude; her
jealousy revived, and her penetration
became more acute.


She observed his eyes often fixed
upon Eliza with a tender languor,
and a sigh, half smothered, steal from his D7r 45
his bosom, when he was interrupted
in this silent contemplation.


He never indeed seemed to seek for
opportunities of being alone with her;
but she perceived that every word,
every motion of hers interested him,
and often, when he appeared absorbed
in reflexion, and wholly regardless
of every thing that passed, the sound
of her voice would in an instant rouse
him to attention.


ButBut nothing perplexed her more
than Eliza’s apparent tranquillity,
which she imagined could only proceed
from a certainty of her being
beloved. All her vigilance could not
discover the least traces of a correspondence
flawed-reproduction1 line arose D7v 46
arose that certainty? She was determined
to try if it was possible to
make her jealous; and having one
day, by her coquet airs, engaged Mr.
Harley
in a particular conversation,
during which she almost extorted
from him some compliments, vague
enough, but which were sufficientsufficient to
answer her purpose, when suddenly
leaving him with a lively air, she said,
so loud as to be heard by Eliza, who
was talking with Sir William, “You
are the greatest flatterer in the world,
I will listen to you no longer.”


“Mr. Harley a flatterer!” interrupted
Eliza with a little emotion,
and turning to look on him. Miss
Denby
, who saw her curiosity was raised, D8r 47
raised, had all she wanted for the present,
and therefore quickly changed
the discourse; but she had the pleasure
to observe that Eliza was more
pensive than usual the remainder of
the evening.


When they were alone, she purposely
avoided speaking of Mr. Harley,
in order to oblige her to begin
a conversation concerning him herself;
and poor Miss B. who could
not account for the strange uneasiness
she felt in her mind, after two or
three fruitless attempts to introduce
one, at last asked her blushing, why
she had accused Mr. Harley of being
a flatterer: “Have you any reason,”
said she, “to think him insincere?”

Why D8v 48


“Why really, my dear,” replied
Miss Denby, carelessly, “I am not
vain enough to believe all he says
to me is true.”


Eliza now cast down her eyes, and
sighed—


“I fear I have done mischief,” said
the crafty Miss Denby, observing her
heedfully, “you are jealous, sister.”


“I jealous!” repeated Eliza, surprized
to find such a name given to
the emotions she felt, “I have no
right to be jealous, Mr. Harley is
no lover of mine.”


“No, nor of mine neither,” said
Miss Denby, “notwithstanding”
here she paused maliciously.

“Why E1r 49


“Why do you not go on?” said
the innocent Eliza, “If Mr. Harley
has given you reason to believe
he is in love with you, why do
you not own it?”


“Why should I own it my dear?”
replied Miss Denby, laughing. “But,
to be sincere with you, it is my
opinion this young man talks of
love to every woman he sees.”


“He never did to me,” said
Eliza.


Miss Denby could with difficulty
conceal her joy at this frank declaration,
of the truth of which, she had
not the least doubt, having had many
opportunities of observing Eliza’s extremeVol. I. E treme E1v 50
sincerity, a quality for which
she despised her in her heart.


Impatient to indulge those agreeable
reveries, which her newly-revived
hopes had inspired, she put an end to
the conversation, and retired to her
own apartment, leaving Miss B. absorbed
in a melancholly, for which she,
herself, was unnable to assign a cause.


Mr. Harley now found himself,
more than ever, exposed to the attacks
of Miss Denby, which would have afforded
him some diversion, if the alteration
in Eliza’s behaviour, had not
alarmed him too much, to leave his
attention free, to any thing else.


Her looks were cold and reserved;
she seemed solicitous to avoid him, 2 and E2r 51
and when he engaged in conversation
with her, he no longer found, that
softness in her accent, that air of
kindness in her language, which used
to go to his heart.


In vain he endeavoured to penetrate
into the cause of this sudden alteration,
an alteration which Eliza,
herself, was not sensible of, but the
involuntary effect of jealousy, the
torments of which she was continually
suffering, without knowing the
nature of her disease.


The poor youth having no right
to complain, or to seek an explanation;
for though cold and distant, she
was still polite to him; fatigued with
the importunate coquetry of Miss E2 Denby, E2v 52
Denby
, and pierced to the soul by the
scornful looks of Eliza, resolved to
refrain from visits, which were once a
source of delight to him, and now
the cause of endless regrets. He pretended
indisposition, to excuse himself
from accompanying the Baronet, who
took more pleasure than ever in the
society of Mr. B. from a motive,
which at that time, he either did not
suspect, or cared not to examine
into.


The account of Mr. Harley’s indisposition,
was heard with apparent
concern by Eliza; by Miss Denby,
with an indifference, which she was
far from feeling. At length Mr.
Harley
, finding it impossible to abstainstain E3r 53
from seeing Miss B. while he
continued so near her, and having no
hope of conquering his fatal inclination,
but by absence, suddenly reassumed
his old design of going abroad;
and to spare himself any farther
struggles with his own heart,
which, but too often, reminded him
of the difficulty of leaving her he
loved, as suddenly made known
his desire to Sir William, who had
good reason to be surprised at the
modesty of his request, considering
the expectations he might reasonably
have indulged.


The Baronet, however, without
explaining himself, told him coldly,
“that he had other views for him, E3 “and E3v 54
and desired he would lay aside all
thoughts of the army.”


Mr. Harley, with some difficulty,
suppressing his resentment at this ungenerous
reserve, shewed no solicitude
to know, what these views were;
but answered frankly, “that, his inclinations
having taken that bent,
he perceived he should not be happy
if they were not complyed with.”


The Baronet was angry; but had
judgment enough to consider, that
the manner in which he acted towards
this youth, left him no pretention
to exert any authority over him;
therefore, he contented himself with
telling him, “that he was too young,
yet, to know what would make him happy; E4r 55
happy;”
and hastily quitted him, to
prevent any reply.


Mr. Harley, made desperate by
the loss of Eliza’s favour, was determined
to go abroad, though without
the Baronet’s consent. One expedient,
however, for obtaining it,
suddenly presented itself, and which
was, perhaps, suggested by a secret
wish, of knowing how the news of
his departure, would be received by
Miss B.


The great intimacy that subsisted
between Sir William and her father,
made it probable, that he might
prove a successful mediator in his behalf.
That same day he went to his E4 house, E4v 56
house, in order to solicit his good
offices.


His unexpected appearance, after
an absence of three weeks, produced
an emotion in the heart of Eliza,
that quickly communicated itself to
her countenance; her blushes and apparent
confusion, did not escape his
observation; he gazed on her with a
mixture of tenderness and delight;
and fancying he now saw in her looks,
some part of her former softness and
sensibility towards him, he forgot the
design which had brought him thither,
and for some moments resigned
himself up, to the pleasing hope, that
he was not indifferent to her.

But E5r 57


But Eliza, having recovered her
first surprise; and the pleasure of seeing
him again, being succeeded by
the reflection of his attachment to
Miss Denby, to whose account she
placed this visit; relapsed into her former
coldness and reserve.


Mr. Harley, again thrown into despair,
took the first opportunity of being
alone with Mr. B. to tell him the
scheme he had formed; and intreated
him to support his request with Sir
William
, who, he knew, would pay
a proper attention to any thing offered
by him.


Mr. B. who, as well as every other
person, that knew any thing of the
Baronet’s affairs, considered this young man E5v 58
man as his designed heir, was astonished
at his proposal, and treated
it as an effect of youthful extravagance;
and though Mr. Harley explained
his situation to him, he could
not be brought to approve of it, but
used every argument his good sense,
and knowledge of the world, could
suggest to him, to prevail upon him
to wait patiently for the Baronet’s
determination, and not to throw away
such great expectations, through a
mistaken delicacy, and romantic notion
of honour.


Mr. Harley heard his admonitions
with respect; but shewed, in his answers,
a resolution not to be shaken;
and Mr. B. thought he could perceiveceive E6r 59
that this resolution was suggested
to him by some secret uneasiness,
which sat nearer his heart than
the precarious condition of his fortune.


He ventured to sound him a little
upon this head; but, finding him impenetrable,
he ceased to press him
any farther.


Mr Harley went away without
seeing the ladies again, to the great
mortification of Miss Denby, who
had just returned from a visit, and
hearing he was with Mr. B. expected
every moment to see him enter the
room.


M.Mr. B. being laid under no injunctions
of secrecy, made no scruple to tell his family E6v 60
family what had passed, between
young Harley and him, not without
some severe reflections upon the Baronet’s
strange treatment of a youth
so nearly related to him.


“If he designs him for his heir,”
said he, “why does he ungenerously
keep him in doubt of his intention?
and if that be not his design,
why does he not procure him some
establishment, suitable to his birth,
and the education he has given
him?”


Mrs. B. thought this a ridiculous
pretention. “Is a man’s doing a great
deal for a person,”
said she, “an
obligation upon him, to do more?
The youth will have reason to be satisfied, E7r 61
satisfied, if, after all the expence
his kinsman has been at in his
education, he should also purchase
him a commission; if he goes abroad,
he may possibly make his
fortune.”


Eliza listened to this discourse with
an anxious heart, but kept her seat,
and said not a word; as for Miss
Denby
, her emotions might have betrayed
the interest she took in it, had
she not hastily retired to her own
chamber.


Her first reflections were full of
grief and anxiety; she saw herself upon
the point of being separated for
ever, from the person she loved; the
precarious condition of his fortune left E7v 62
left her no room to hope, that her
mother would countenance her affection;
and she was still under her controul,
as she wanted a full year of
being of age: while, on the other
hand, the desperate resolution Mr.
Harley
had formed, made it necessary
for her, to explain herself immediately.
Were it in her power, to offer her fortune
with her hand, she might well
hope, such a prize would dazzle him;
as it was, if he had the least sensibility,
he could not fail, of being moved,
both with her generosity, and the advantages
it brought him; she resolved
therefore to write to him, and declare
her sentiments.

The E8r 63

The impropriety, and even indecency
of this step, so contrary to the
natural delicacy, and reserve of her sex,
cost her not a moment’s regret; all her
concern was for the success of it.
Without further reflection, she sat
down to her bureau, and wrote a billet,
in the style of those flimsy novels, with
which she had corrupted her taste, as
well as her manners. I have a copy
of it lying before me, which I shall
transcribe:


“Despair not, dear youth; love is
your friend, and will not permit
you to seek, in a barbarous country,
that fortune which you so well
merit to enjoy in your own. You
cannot see my blushes; therefore I “will E8v 64
will own my passion; but, alas,
you know it already, my eyes have
but too often declared it—Think
no more of going abroad; ten
thousand pounds await you, and
the hand of
M. Denby.
Bring your answer yourself, to
morrow-evening; you will find
me, at six o’clock, in the grove,
behind our house. ”


This billet Miss Denby dispatched
to Mr. Harley, by her mother’s footman,
whose secresy, she supposed, she
could secure by a small bribe, with
orders to deliver it into his own
hands, but not to wait for an
answer.

All F1r 65


All her thoughts were now employed,
in forming schemes, to elude
the vigilance of her mother, and anticipating
the pleasures of an elopement.
She could not endure the least interruption
in these agreeable reveries;
and that she might be at liberty to
indulge them, she past the greatest
part of the day in her own chamber,
under pretence of finishing a piece of
embroidery.


Eliza, however, could not be excluded;
but the melancholy that appeared
in her countenance, was a new
foundation of triumph to her.


When the hour approached, in
which she had appointed Mr. Harley
to meet her, she easily disengaged Vol. I. F herself F1v 66
herself from her incurious sister; and
hastened to the grove, anxiously
counting the moments, and listening
with a beating heart to every noise;
one while she was employed in setting
her looks to a gentle languishment,
which she conceived was highly
suitable to the occasion; then she
thought a bashful air and down-cast
eyes, would best become her: she
even conned over the speech, with
which she intended to accost him—
unconscious of the secret spy that
watched her motions, and was silently
enjoying all the ridicule in her behaviour.


This spy was Eliza’s maid, a young
woman of discernment and spirit; she loved F2r 67
loved her mistress, and had, by her
natural sagacity, discovered the secret
inclination she bore to Mr. Harley,
as well as his passion for her, which
indeed was more obvious.


Miss Denby’s coquettry had not
escaped her notice, and she never
doubted, but the coldness there
had been for some time, between
her young lady and Mr. Harley, was
an effect of Miss Denby’s artifices;
the melancholly in which she saw
Eliza plunged, increased her concern
for her, and hatred of Miss
Denby
.


She was in this disposition of mind,
when the footman, whom Miss Denby
had made the bearer of her letter, F2 and F2v 68
and who was her sweetheart, told her in
confidence, the business he had been
employed in. Betty, after this intelligence,
kept a watchful eye upon
Miss Denby; and seeing her walk
alone into the grove, followed her
unobserved, and was a witness of her
grimace.


The hour was now past, and Mr.
Harley
not appearing, Miss Denby
began to grow impatient, restless, and
at last angry; these different emotions
appeared plainly in her countenance,
and although alone, she could
not forbear uttering some exclamations
of surprise and vexation. At
last a man appeared at some distance.
Miss Deny, once more, practised her looks, F3r 69
looks, and advanced to meet him full
of pleasing expectation; but, on a
nearer view, she perceived it was not
Mr. Harley, but a servant of the
family, who approached respectfully,
and presented her a letter, telling her
he was ordered to deliver it into her
own hands, and was going to her
house for that purpose, if he had not
met her there.


“And who told you,” said Miss
Denby
, glowing with rage, at this
un-thought-of disappointment, “that
you would find me here?”


“Mr. Harley madam, said the
young man “bid me come this way,
in hopes of meeting you, as you generally
took your evening’s walk
here.”

F3 Miss F3v 70


Miss Denby made no reply, but
turned away with a dreadful frown, and
hastily breaking the seal, read the following
mortifying answer to her tender
billet.

“Madam, If I could have returned such
an answer, as your merit, and
the generous offer you have made
me of your hand, gave you a right
to expect, I would myself have
been the bearer of those grateful
acknowledgements, which I now
presume to offer you. My fate is
determined, Madam; in a few
weeks I shall quit my country,
perhaps for ever. It is not so much
the precarious situation of my fortune,“tune, F4r 71
as an unhappy passion that
forces me into exile. I love without
hope, nay almost, without the
desire of success; so utterly unworthy
do I know myself, of the
object of my affections. Hate me
not Madam, for this frank declaration,
but pity and pardompardon me. ”


While Miss Denby was reading this
letter, Betty, who was near enough
to observe the angry passions it excited,
by the frequent changes of her
countenance, felt an eager curiosity
to know the contents; this, however,
she could not hope to gratify, but
she was resolved to add to her confusion,F4 sion, F4v 72
by shewing herself at this unlucky
moment.


Miss Denby, hearing the sound of
her steps, suddenly looked up, and
shuffling the letter in her pocket,
asked her, in a haughty tone, what
she did there? Betty replied, with a
pert humility, that she hoped there
was no harm in taking a little walk;
to which Miss Denby made no answer,
but by a frown, and passed on
towards the house.


She was scarce got out of sight,
when the wench, turning to look after
her, perceived the letter lying on
the ground; she snatched it up, and
read it with eager haste, blessing her
stars for the lucky accident, that had put F5r 73
put her in possession of a secret of
such importance.


Not doubting but her lady was the
person, for whom Mr. Harley, in
this letter, professed so tender and respectful
a passion, she longed to communicate
so agreeable a piece of intelligence;
and had scarce patience to
wait for a proper opportunity, which,
however, did not offer, till she was
summoned by Eliza, to assist her in
undressing.


Eliza was wholly absorbed in melancholy,
which Betty observing, congratulated
herself on having the means
of curing it. “Here is a paper,
Madam,”
said she, taking it open
out of her pocket, “which concerns “Miss F5v 74
Miss Denby, and, if I am not mistaken,
you.”


Eliza, perceiving immediately that
the hand writing was Mr. Harley’s,
received it with trembling emotion.
The first lines sufficiently explained
the occasion on which it was written,
and filled her with an extreme surprise,
at the ungenerous artifice of
Miss Denby, who had taken such
pains to make her believe that she
had rejected the addresses of a man,
whom she offered herself to, and was
refused.


When she came to that part, in
which he mentioned a hopeless passion,
a sudden blush overspread her face:
notwithstanding the reserve with which F6r 75
which she had been used to think of
Mr. Harley, she could not forbear
making the application to herself; a
thousand tender ideas rose in her
mind, and kept her for some moments
silent, with her eyes fixed on
those pleasing words, which removed,
as it were by enchantment, that oppressive
uneasiness, under which she
had so long laboured. Blushing at
length for her own sensibility, and reflecting
on the dangerous secret this
letter contained with regard to Miss
Denby
, she had the generosity to be
concerned for her, and asked her
maid, in a tone that shewed she was
not pleased with her officiousness, how
the letter came into her possession?

Betty F6v 76

Betty gave her an exact account of
it, with only one small deviation
from the truth; for she pretended she
was in the grove by accident, and
saw Miss Denby drop the letter.


“You ought to have followed
her,”
said Eliza, “and have given
her back the letter, without presuming
to look into it. I too,”

added she, “have been to blame in
reading it; but when you gave it
me, I did not perceive it was a
letter directed to my sister; however,
I charge you, as you value
my favour, never to mention the
contents to any person in the world;
in the next place, we must contrive
some way to restore it to her, without“out F7r 77
letting her have the mortification
to know that we have seen
it.”


“You are too good, Madam,” said
Betty. “Miss Denby would not act
so by you, I know she has endeavoured
to make mischief, and is
the cause of your looking so unkindly
upon poor Mr. Harley of
late.”


“Have I looked unkindly upon
Mr. Harley?”
said Eliza, (melting
at the thought) “but what is this to
the purpose?”
resumed she, recollecting
herself—“I insist upon this
letter’s being restored to my sister”
.


“Well, Madam,” said Betty,
snatching up the letter, which Eliza 2 had F7v 78
had thrown upon her toilet, “I
will manage that.”
“Upon second
thoughts,”
said Eliza, who observed
with what eagerness her maid
endeavoured to secure the letter,
“I think it will be best to destroy
it.”
As she pronounced these words,
she took it out of her hand, and
threw it upon some charcoal in a
brasier, that had been set to air
her chamber.


That instant Miss Denby entered
the room; and, while Eliza in some
confusion stepped forwards to meet
her, Betty, who perceived the letter
had not taken fire, dexterously whipt
it up, and concealing it in her pocket,
left the young ladies by themselves; 1 for F8r 79
for she judged by Miss Denby’s
looks, that she wanted to have some
private conversation with her sister.


She had missed her letter by this
time; and, thinking it highly probable
that Eliza’s maid had found
it, and also that she had communicated
it to her mistress, she came
full of anxious concern to make some
discoveries about it, and had already
prepared a plausible falsehood, which
she thought would effectually impose
upon them both.


Judging of Eliza’s sentiments by
what she herself would feel upon a
like occasion, she expected her sister
would throw out some severe sarcasms
upon her conduct, and insult over F8v 80
over her mortified vanity; but nothing
of this happened: Eliza suffered
not a word to escape her, that
could give her pain. Her conversation
however did not wear that
openness, nor her looks that kindness
as usual, for she was incapable of
dissimulation; but as long as she did
not break into reproaches and insult,
Miss Denby thought it impossible
that her conductconduct should be known
to her.


She now concluded that Betty either
had not found the letter, or
had not mentioned it to her mistress,
from a view, perhaps, of making a
merit with her by the concealment,
and of having some advantage in con- G1r 81
consequence of it; for her own motives
of action were always the standard,
by which she judged of those
of other people.


She now thought to conciliate
Betty by an affable behaviour; in
which she so over-acted her part, as
to excite only contempt in the person
whose good-will she was desirous
of acquiring. After having
played over these arts a few days,
she came directly to the point, and
asked her, whether she had not found
a letter in the grove directed to her?
promising her mighty things from
her future favour, provided she would
restore it.

Vol. I. G Betty, G1v 82


Betty, who might possibly have
been gained by a present bribe, held
out resolutely against these distant
advantages, and assured her, with a
very steady countenance, that she had
found nothing of that sort—Miss
Denby
knew not what to think; she
could press her no further; her mind
remained in a very uneasy state, for
to the mortification of having offered
herself and being refused, was
added the apprehension, that a secret
so disgraceful to her was discovered.


Meantime, Eliza, who reflected
with tender regret upon the hint her
maid had given her, with regard to
Mr. Harley; waited impatiently for
an opportunity to convince him, that he G2r 83
he had lost no part of her esteem.
He accompanied Sir William a few
days afterwards, in a visit to Mr. B.
He expected to have been a little
embarrassed by the upbraiding looks
of Miss Denby, whom, after what
had past, he knew not in what manner
he should accost; but, to his
great satisfaction, that young lady
made some excuse for keeping her
chamber; and all other thoughts
were soon absorbed, in the transport
he felt at Eliza’s altered countenance
and behaviour: her eyes, her voice,
her manner, all partook of the tenderness
which filled her heart. The
happy youth was ready to fall at her
feet, to thank her for the delightfulG2 ful G2v 84
hope which she seemed to encourage.


The old gentlemen walked in the
gardens. Eliza attended her father;
Mr. Harley offered to lead her; and
now being out of sight of Sir William
and Mr. B. a thousand times
he was upon the point of pressing
that charming hand to his lips, but
hehis fear of offending her restrained
him: a silence, more expressive than
the most passionate language, painted
the emotions of his heart; scarce
durst he venture to look on her, lest
his eyes should say too much. Eliza
at length spoke first, “You are going
to leave us, I hear,”
said she—
“You are going to the East-Indies4 “dies— G3r 85
—How will your mother and
sisters be able to part with you!
How will they support so long an
absence?”
Unperceived by herself,
she sighed profoundly as she uttered
these words.


That sigh did not escape the notice
of Mr. Harley; he looked up to
her with more passion, but less awe
than before. “I love my mother
and sisters, madam,”
said he, “as
much as it is possible for any son
and brother to do; but it is not
them that I shall most grieve to
part with.”
Eliza cast down her
eyes, and blushed—it was plain she
understood him, it was plain too that
she was not offended—in order to G3 relieve G3v 86
relieve the confusion she was under,
she attempted to engage him
in some indifferent conversation; but
her thoughts being wholly occupied
by his purposed voyage, she fell naturally
into that subject again.


“Your mother,” said she, smiling,
“will prevent your design of leaving
us”
“Oh! that I might believe,”
interrupted Mr. Harley, gazing on
her passionately, “that you would
regret”
—he durst not proceed—
Eliza, somewhat abashed at his ardent
gaze, turned away her head,
but sighed at the same time. The
young lover, sufficiently encouraged
by this artless discovery of her sentiments,
threw himself at her feet, 6 and G4r 87
and taking her hand, which she made
but a faint effort to withdraw from
him, ventured to raise it to his lips,
when the sudden appearance of Mr.
B.
made him hastily rise, and retiring
a few steps back, kept his bashful
looks fixed upon Eliza, concerned
for her confusion, and trembling for
the event.


Mr. B’s good humour, in some
measure, relieved his apprehensions.
“You have been deifying my daughter,”
said he, smiling, and looking
at Mr. Harley, “I interupted your
adorations; confess the truth;”
but
without waiting for an answer, he
turned to Eliza, “go, in child,” said
he, “to your sister; she is worse, and G4 “has G4v 88
has asked for you:”
Eliza instantly
obeyed him, glad to be relieved from
her perplexing situation, and departed,
without once looking on her
lover, who followed her with his eyes,
till she was out of sight, and while his
eager glances pursued her parting
steps, seemed to forget that he was
in the presence of her father.


Mr. B. observed him in silence. At
length, “Mr. Harley,” said he,
“let us take a turn in the grove: I
have something to say to you.
Sir William is engaged at piquet
with Mrs. B. we shall not be missed.”
Saying this, he led the way.


The youth followed in great anxiety,
yet not without a mixture of hope, G5r 89
hope, which he derived from the complacency
of Mr. B’s looks and language.
When they were far enough
advanced not to fear any immediate
interuption, Mr. B. stopped; and looking
more gravely than before:


“I will not ask you,” said he,
“the subject of your conversation
with my daughter; your kneeling
posture, her looks and yours explain
that sufficiently; but was it
fair, young man,”
pursued he with
a smile, “to endeavour to engage her
affections, without first applying to
me.”


This question, at first, disconcerted
the young lover; but the rectitude of
his mind immediately prompted him to G5v 90
to a candid acknowledgement of his
whole conduct, which was, indeed,
his interest likewise, since there was
nothing in it to condemn.


“I own Sir,” said he, “that I
love your daughter; my passion
begun with my first acquaintance
with her; but, sensible of the great
distance between us, I never presumed
to disclose it. I thought myself
happy to enjoy her conversation
and friendship: all on a sudden,
I perceived an alteration in
her behaviour; she grew cold and
reserved; but, as the terms I was
upon did not authorise my desiring
an explanation, I suffered, in silence.
My visits were less frequent; and “now G6r 91
now my design of going abroad,
which at first I had conceived from
other motives, became a settled resolution.
When I attended Sir
William
hither to day, I expected
to find Miss B. in the same disposition
towards me; but, to my great
surprise, she resumed her former
sweet and benevolent manner; she
even expressed some concern for
my intended departure. Transported
out of myself, I fell at her feet;
and had you not appeared, I might
possibly have been bold enough to
declare my passion: and now, Sir,
you know all my offence.”


“I find it too small,” interrupted
Mr. B. smiling, “to warrant my “chiding G6v 92
chiding you; nay, more, I am inclined
to reward you for this
frank dealing with me—You love
my daughter; she esteems you. I
have studied your character; I
think you very likely to make her
happy—what say you? shall I
propose a match between you to
Sir William?”


“Ah! Sir,” replied Mr. Harley,
blushing with surprise, joy, and
anxiety, “Sir William will never
put my fortune upon such a footing
as to enable me to look up to
Miss B. with hope.”


“Things may go better than you
imagine,”
resumed Mr. B. “I
know you are Sir William’s legal “heir, G7r 93
heir, if he dies without issue; and
he is too old and infirm to think
of marrying again. His own lawyers
have informed me, that the
greatest part of his estate must necessarily
descend to you—his motives
for concealing this truth
from you, are doubtless to keep
you in a state of dependence upon
him; but something must be allowed
to the peculiarity of his temper—
it is your part to be silent with regard
to your future claims—and
for the present, we must endeavour
to bring him to make you such an
allowance, as may justify my giving
you my daughter.”

Your G7v 94


Your Ladyship will possibly be
surprised at this easiness in Mr. B.
but he had, by his extravagancies,
and a fatal propensity to gaming,
reduced himself to a very scanty
income. His daughter, by chusing
him her sole guardian, had thrown
her fortune intirely into his power:
Mr. B. pressed by his creditors,
had appropriated several thousand
pounds to the payment of his
debts, and by retrenching none
of his expences; nor subduing his
love of play, his difficulties had
daily encreased, and his daughter’s
fortune became more involved.

Of G8r 95

Of fifteen thousand pounds which
were left her by her grandfather,
scarce six remained. Mr. B. stung
with remorse, grew prudent too late,
and retired into the country, in order
to avoid those dangerous connexions,
which had led him into such a ruinous
dissipation, of what was not his
own.


Here, however, he lived with his
daughter, in a manner, more suitable
to her reputed fortune, than to the
narrow income to which he was
now reduced, which encreased his
perplexities; but like a true gamester,
he still relied upon some lucky
chance for retrieveing his affairs; and
fortune seemed to have fulfilled his hope G8v 96
hope, when he became acquainted
with Mrs. Denby, then newly a
widow.


The large fortune she had, at her
disposal, made her the object of his
wishes; her free coquettry encouraged
his hopes; he proposed marriage, she
consented, and both had their private
views.


Mr. B. now listened to some proposals
of marriage to his daughter,
who had entered her eighteenth year;
but he found her whole fortune
would be expected to be paid, and
though he hoped to meet with
resources sufficient, in his wife’s ample
possessions, which were now his,
he durst not yet venture to hazard an H1r 97
an explanation which he knew would
be followed by the deepest resentment.


For this reason, he was not sorry
to find, that Eliza was averse to marriage;
but some observations he made
on her looks, when Mr. Harley was
present, let him into the secret cause,
and put him upon considering, whether
a match might not be effected
suitable to his daughter’s pretentions,
yet, on such terms, as might not
subject him to great difficulties, on
account of the present payment of
her fortune.


Mr. Harley’s passion for Eliza,
which he soon discovered, was the
foundation of his hopes: He knew Vol. II. H how H1v 98
how powerfully love acts upon a
young and innocent heart; with such
a one, interest would be of little consideration.


While he was revolving this design,
he made all the necessary enquiries
concerning the settlement of
Sir William’s estate; and was informed,
even by that gentleman’s own
lawyer, that young Harley was his
undoubted legal heir, in case he died
without issue. Sir William’s known
avarice, and the dependence in which
he affected to keep the youth, made
it not probable, that he would assign
him a proper allowance, though he
should approve of the match; but
Mr. B. was resolved not to stop at this H2r 99
this difficulty, his main point being
to match his daughter properly, without
being put to any present inconvenience,
with regard to the payment
of her fortune.


Mr. Harley, who always had some
doubts, concerning his succession
to Sir William’s fortune, was transported
to find Mr. B. so well satisfied
on this head; but, although a youth
like him might well be dazzled with
the prospect of such affluence, yet it
was the interest of his passion, that
gave this prospect its best charms. This
knowledge raised him to an equality
with Eliza, and flattered his delicacy;
her father approved his love; Eliza
herself had given sufficient indications H2 that H2v 100
that he was not indifferent to her—
What a happy change in his situation
had a few hours produced!


Mr. B. read in his eyes his impatience
to see his daughter again; he
promised him to take the first opportunity
that offered, to propose the
affair to Sir William, and they returned
to the house; but Mr. Harley
was not gratified with the sight
of his misress—Miss Denby took a
malignant pleasure in keeping them
separate; and pretended to be so much
indisposed, and so desirous of her
sister’s company, that Eliza could
not, with any decency, leave her the
whole evening. Miss B. herself was
not sorry for this restraint, for she knew H3r 101
knew not how to meet the looks of
her father, after the tender scene to
which he had been witness; but she
was pleasingly surprised, to see him
enter her dressing room, when she
had retired for the night; and with
a countenance, in which there was
nothing severe or reproaching, tell
her he desired to talk with her a little
in private. Eliza dismissed her maid;
and Mr. B. immediately entered upon
the subject.


He began with praising Mr. Harley,
his person, his manners, his
virtuous inclinations, and the solidity
of his understanding; he mentioned
the certainty of his succeeding to Sir
William’s
estate, in case he died withoutH3 out H3v 102
issue, of which there was not the
least probability, since his age and
infirmities seemed to preclude all
thoughts of his marrying again; he
concluded with assuring her, that he
could not wish for a better establishment
for her; that the young gentleman
had made him acquainted
with the regard he had long entertained
for her; and that he was resolved
to propose the match to Sir
William
, provided she thought she
could be happy with him.


Eliza, while her father was speaking,
had time to recover from her
first surprise at the tenor of his discourse
sincere, candid, and full of
beautiful simplicity, she answered 2 without H4r 103
without affectation or disguise: “If
you approve of Mr. Harley, Sir, I
can have no objection, I always
esteemed him, and”
she paused,
and blushed. Mr. B. willing to spare
her confusion, pursued the subject no
further; only cautioned her to be
secret till he had sounded Sir William,
and left her chamber.


He deferred his visit to the Baronet
no longer than till the next day;
and finding him in a good humour,
ventured to propose the business in
a jesting way.


“Your kinsman and my daughter,
Sir William,”
said he, “are, I
find, far gone in a passion for each
other—what say you, shall it be “a match?” H4v 104
a match?”
“A match!” repeated
the Baronet, “why, has not Miss B.
fifteen thousand pounds?”


This question produced a little alteration
in Mr. B’s countenance; his
conscience reproached him with the
depredation he had committed upon the
patrimony of his child; but settling his
looks to more serenity, “my daughter’s
having fifteen thousand pound,”

said he smiling, “will, I hope, be
no objection.”
“No certainly,”
resumed the Baronet, smiling likewise,
“not on my side; but methinks
you are not very attentive
to her interest, when you propose
young Harley as a match for
her!”

“I am H5r 105


“I am attentive to her best interest,
her happiness,”
said Mr. B.
“Mr. Harley is one of the most
amiable young men I ever knew;
my daughter esteems him; if I
had a hundred thousand pounds to
give her, I should think them well
bestowed upon your young kinsman.”


“He is obliged to you for your
good opinion,”
replied the Baronet;
“but, I suppose, if this event takes
place, you expect I should do
something for him.”
“To be sure,
Sir,”
said Mr. B.


“And why to be sure?” interrupted
the Baronet hastily—“he has no “claims H5v 106
claims upon me, farther than what
my generosity will admit of.”


Mr. B. did not think it necessary
to discuss this point with the old
gentleman, satisfied as he was in his
own mind with regard to the youth’s
succession, and conceiving that to
pique him upon his generosity would
be the most effectual means of engaging
him to act properly towards
Mr. Harley, he ventured to tell
him that he would leave it entirely
to him, to settle what he pleased
upon Mr. Harley for the present;
that, upon the day of marriage, he
would pay down three thousand
pounds of his daughter’s fortune;
and that the remainder should be settled H6r 107
settled upon her and the children of
this marriage, to be a future provision
for her and them, in case Sir
William
should find any cause to
alter his favourable intentions towards
Mr. Harley.


Nothing could be better calculated
than this last clause, to bring the old
gentleman into his measures; whatever
were his intentions with regard
to his kinsman, he was resolved not
to disclose them, that he might preserve
in him that sense of dependence,
which subjected him to his controul.
He was indeed somewhat surprised at
Mr. B’s eagerness in the affair, not
suspecting that he was so fully satisfied
of Mr. Harley’s claims; and was H6v 108
was ready to conclude that matters
had gone farther between the young
people than Mr. B. cared to own;
but this he was indifferent about, the
offer was very advantageous for his
kinsman; and, as he was bound to
no conditions, he thought it would
be folly to reject it. He therefore
told Mr. B. that he would take one
night to consider upon his proposal,
and bring him his answer the next
morning himself.


Mr. B. departed very well satisfied
with his negociation, and the Baronet,
after ruminating a while upon
what had passed, sent for Mr. Harley,
who had been apprised of Mr. B’s visit H7r 109
B’s
visit, and waited the event with
anxious impatience.


The tumult of his thoughts might
be easily read in his artless countenance,
when he presented himself
before Sir William; who, after
raillying him a little upon his presumption,
in addressing a Lady of
Miss B’s fortune, added “What
is still more surprising, her father
is desirous of making up a match
between you. I shall do all that I
ought to facilitate it; but in this,
I must be governed by prudence.
I may marry again; I may have
children; I look upon myself as
their steward, and accountable to
them for any alienation of my “fortune. H7v 110
fortune. Be not too sanguine therefore
in your hopes.—I shall consider
of Mr. B’s proposals, and
do the best I can for you.”


In this delicate circumstance, Mr.
Harley
could have little propensity
to mirth; otherwise, as he has often
said since, he could not fail of being
diverted with the old man’s notion,
of being accountable to his children
yet unborn, as their steward. However,
he expressed great gratitude to
him for his kind intentions; and this
surprising turn in his affairs would
have made him quite happy, were
it not that it is the nature of love, to
be most apprehensive of new difficulties,culties, H8r 111
the nearer it is to the completion
of its wishes.


Sir William kept his word, and
went to Mr. B. the next morning;
he had taken his resolution, which
was such a one as might be expected
from a man of his character.
He demanded six thousand pounds
of Miss B’s fortune, to be paid into
his hands; in consideration of which
he was to settle four hundred pounds
a year upon Mr. Harley, and two
hundred a year jointure upon Eliza;
the remainder of her fortune, he
agreed should be settled upon the
children; but the interest of it, when
she came of age, to be enjoyed by
Mr. Harley during his life. Mr. B. who H8v 112
who in this treaty considered himself
as matching his daughter to the heir
of five thousand a year, accepted
these conditions; and all things
being fully agreed on, Sir William
was to present his young kinsman,
the next day, in form to Eliza; and
Mr. B. thought it no longer necessary
to conceal his intentions from
his family.


Mrs. B. smiled sarcastically, and
seemed to interest herself very little
in the affair; her husband imputed
this indifference to some resentment,
at his not having communicated his
design to her before;—but Miss
Denby
, practised as she was in dissimulation,
could with difficulty hinder 6 her I1r 113
her rage and grief from breaking
out publicly. The moment she was
alone with Eliza, she vented her
spleen in the most bitter taunts; she
said that Mr. B. would incur the
imputation of having trafficked away
his daughter; that so disproportioned
a match would seem the consequence
of some shocking indiscretion, which
it was necessary to conceal. She
added a thousand more reproaches,
which served to shew the violent
agitation of her own mind, but
which produced no discomposure in
that of Eliza; she rather pitied her,
when she reflected upon the latent
cause of all these transports; and
took no other notice of her invectives,Vol. I. I tives, I1v 114
than to tell her that it was
not decent, in her presence, to censure
her father’s conduct so severely;
and this also served her as a pretence
to retire to her apartment, that she
might indulge her own reflections,
upon the approaching great change
in her condition.


Miss Denby, when she left her,
burst into a loud laugh, and prophesied
that her dream of happiness
would not long continue.—She
remained closetted with her mother,
great part of that evening; and
went the next day to pay a visit, at
some miles distance, that she might
not be present at the first interview
between the lovers.

Nothing I2r 115


Nothing could exceed the happiness
of Mr. Harley and Eliza, in
this near prospect of being united
for ever.—Sir William too, who
thought he had made a wise bargain,
was contented; but Mr. B. was
under some perplexty.


It was not possible for him to
pay down the six thousand pounds,
without having recourse to his wife’s
fortune; her frosty looks deterred
him from entering into any explanation
with her; and he resolved, at
all hazards, to make free with some
of those large sums, which he knew
she had lodged in the public funds;
and which he conceived his quality I2 of I2v 116
of husband gave him a right to
command.


A short excursion to London was
necessary. He proposed taking his
daughter with him, in order to provide
cloaths for the approaching
ceremony. Mr. Harley, to whom
the shortest separation was death,
begged permission to accompany
them. Sir William furnished him
with a hundred and fifty pounds, to
make preparations. Small as this
sum was, the generous youth destined
half of it to his mother and sisters,
who resided in London; and whom
he expected to meet at Mr. B’s house
in town, to be introduced to his charming I3r 117
charming bride, having wrote to
them for that purpose.


Miss Denby, who had by this
time been able to assume an appearance
of composure, saw them depart
with a malignant joy; as their absence
facilitated the success of those
schemes, which, in conjunction with
her mother, she had formed, to be
revenged for her slighted passion.


Mr. B. as usual, preferring pleasure
to business, gave the first days of
his arrival to those amusements,
which the present season could afford
them in London.—A happier party
could no where be seen; the three
sisters of Mr. Harley were perfectly
amiable; their mother was sensible I3 and I3v 118
and virtuous; and this tide of good
fortune, that had flowed in upon
her son, seemed to bring back all
her former chearfulness.


At length Mr. B. began to enter
upon the business, that had brought
him to town, he was absent the
whole day; and returned in the
evening, with a countenance so
altered, and such evident marks of
confusion and grief, as alarmed the
whole company, but most his daughter;
who, pale and trembling,
started from her chair, and running
up to him eagerly, enquired if
he was ill.


Mr. B. answered sighing, that
he indeed was not well; and desired I4r 119
desired her to go with him to his
own apartment.—Then bowing to the
rest without looking on them,
he hastily retired, followed by
Eliza, who was already in tears.
As soon as he entered his chamber,
he shut the door, and perceiving
that Eliza was weeping, he could
with difficulty restrain his own
tears.


“My dear child,” said he, in a
broken voice, “I have ruined
myself,—but that is little,—I
have ruined you!—Oh!”
pursued
he passionately, “you can never
forgive me, you will hate your
father.”
Eliza, in the utmost
agony at this strange exclamation,I4 tion, I4v 120
threw herself at her father’s
feet; and takeing his hand which
she kissed respectfully,—“I beg of
you Sir,”
said she, “not to wound
my heart with such language;
you have ever been a most indulgent
parent to me:—what can
have happened to occasion this
disorder?”


“Hear me, my child,” interrupted
Mr. B. with a look and accent
full of wildness,—“let me plunge
you at once into the full depth
of your misery;—you have no
fortune, or what indeed is next
to nothing; you have no lover
now, for Sir William will inevitably
break off the treaty for 4 “your I5r 121
your marriage with his kinsman;
and all this ruin is occasioned
by the thoughtless extravagance
of your father!”
Eliza, though
prepared to hear something dreadful,
felt the full force of this
stroke; and continued silent, immovable,
and her eyes fixed upon
the ground.


Her father, struck to the heart
with this mute sorrow, so affecting,
yet so full of respect for him
who was the cause, rose from his
chair; and walking about his
chamber with a distracted pace,
exclaimed in the most bitter terms
against himself.—This roused
Eliza, from her melancholy reverie;rie; I5v 122
she endeavoured to compose
her looks, and following her
father with a beseeching action,
“Let me conjure you Sir,” said she,
“to calm your mind.—I can submit
patiently to this misfortune—
my chief concern is for you;—
but, after all, your affairs are not
yet desperate;—you have married
a lady with a very considerable
fortune.”


“Ah! the fiend!” interrupted Mr.
B.
she has deceived me.”—Then
sitting down, and endeavouring
to assume some degree of composure,
“Eliza,” said he sighing;
“do me the justice to believe, that
it was never my intention to hurt your I6r 123
your interest.—A fatal love of
play had made a wreck of my
own fortune. I sought to retrieve
my losses.—I added greatly to
them.—Still fooled by hope, I
engaged more deeply;—till (how
can I speak it without dying for
shame?) I was obliged to retire
into the country, with little more
than the third part of your fortune.
—I could not resolve to reduce you
to a narrower way of living, than
what you had always been accustomed
to; and this imprudence
increased my perplexities.


Mrs. Denby seemed thrown by
Providence in my way, to enable
me to repair the waste I had made in I6v 124
in your fortune.—I knew she was
very rich; she affected to act
generously, and to trust implicitly
the man, on whom she
bestowed her person; but this
was a snare to draw me in, with
what views heaven knows;—for
I find that, before our marriage,
she had made over her whole fortune
to two of her relations; a
trick to prevent me from being
a shilling the better for her;—on
the contrary, I am more involved,
having, since this fatal marriage,
been at all the expences of her
houshold, as well as my own;
so that, my dear injured child,
of fifteen thousand pounds, which “your I7r 125
your grandfather left you, you
have little more than three remaining.”


“And have I so much?” interrupted
Eliza, who expected to hear
that she was reduced to beggary.—
“Be not afflicted, dear Sir; this sum
will preserve me from want or dependence;
and I hope I can accomodate
my desires to any station
in which it shall please Providence
to place me.”


“And can you,” resumed her
father, looking tenderly upon her,
“can you, Eliza, resign your lover
with equal fortitude?—I am not
able to keep my word with Sir
William
, in regard to your fortune;“tune; I7v 126
we must therefore look
upon the treaty as broke off—poor
Harley! he loves you—how will
he look upon me?—poor youth!
what a stroke will this be to
him!”
Eliza endeavoured to suppress
a sigh at the mention of her
lover; her father observed this delicacy,
which pierced him to the
heart.


“Do not despair yet, my dear
child,”
said he; “Heaven I hope
will not separate you,—as soon as
I am a little composed, I will talk
with Mr. Harley—in the mean
time I would have you prepare
him for what he must know; leave “me, I8r 127
me, my Eliza; I will send for him
in a quarter of an hour.”


Miss B. quitted the room, uncertain
in what manner to acquaint her
lover with the present melancholy
situation of their affairs, without
drawing upon her father that censure
which his imprudent conduct
had incurred.


Mr. Harley, who had passed the
moments of her absence in the most
racking inquietude—for he had perceived
more of grief than illness in
the countenance of Mr. B. and
therefore dreaded some fatal disappointment
of his hopes—met her as
she came out of his chamber—tears
filled her eyes when she saw him. Struck I8v 128
Struck to the heart at this sight, he
remained for a moment silent, gazing
upon her; then suddenly taking her
hand, which he prest with a vehement
action:


“If I am to be wretched, madam,
tell me so at once; leave me not
a moment in suspence—let me
know the worst.”
Eliza, excessively
moved at the agony she saw him in,
stepped into a with-drawing room next
her father’s chamber. Here, by some
preparatory expressions of tenderness
and condolance, she endeavoured to
soften the disagreeable news she had
to tell him. Mr. Harley hastily interrupted
her—“I understand you,
madam,”
said he; “you esteem, “you K1r 129
you pity me, but you are not to
be mine, your father has changed
his mind.”


“Think not so unjustly of my
father,”
resumed Eliza, “it depends
no longer upon him to
unite us, by a sad concurrence of
unhappy accidents, his affairs are
so involved, that he is not able
to fulfill his agreement with Sir
William
, with regard to the payment
of my fortune.—You are
entitled to something far more
considerable than what I now can
bring you;—and it cannot be
expected that Sir William will
continue a treaty, when my father Vol. I. K “has K1v 130
has it not in his power to perform
the conditions which he had accepted.”


“Oh! my Eliza,” cried Mr.
Harley
, taking her hand which
he kissed respectfully, tears at the
same time flowing fast from his
eyes;—“but may I not see Mr.
B.
?”
resumed he, making towards
his chamber, sure he will not refuse
to speak to me”
! Eliza followed,
intreating him not to disturb her
father at present, to which with some
reluctance he consented; but Mr.
B.
who had heard all that passed,
suddenly opened his own door and
entered the room.—“Leave us,
my dear,”
said he to his daughter,ter, K2r 131
“I would speak with Mr.
Harley
alone.”
Eliza retired,
and Mr. B. with some confusion in
his looks thus spoke to him.


“My daughter has told you my
misfortunes; but she has concealed
my faults. I ought to
take deserved shame to myself.”

He then acquainted him with the
real state of his circumstances, and
his recent disappointment with regard
to his wife—


“You see,” added he, “that it
no longer depends upon me to
make you happy.—You are too
much in love to value this abatement
in Eliza’s fortune; but Sir
William
, as affairs now stand, K2 “will K2v 132
will never consent to your marriage,
and it is not your interest
to disoblige him.”


“If I am his heir at law,” replied
Mr. Harley, “he cannot disinherit
me.”
“But he may marry,” said
Mr. B. “and disappoint your expectations.”


“I find I am to be wretched,”
resumed Mr. Harley sighing—“and
yet—but no!”
—cried he in a tone
expressive of the despair that possessed
his thoughts—“I ought not to
expect that you will sacrifice the
charming Eliza to my uncertain
hopes, my future prospects.”

“I under- K3r 133


“I understand you,” interrupted
Mr. B. “Generous youth! yes,
Eliza shall be yours, I engage my
faith and honour to you for the
performance of my promise. As
heir to Sir William’s opulent
estate, you would take her, reduced
as she is nearly to indigence;
and here I solemnly protest
to make her yours, whether you
are ever his heir or not.—But,
alas! in the latter case, what will
become of you both? what will
three thousand pounds do for
you?—but, after all, this is an
idle fear; though Sir William
were to marry again, which is K3 “highly K3v 134
highly improbable, it is still less
likely that he should have children.”


Mr. Harley, who in his present
transport was not capable of admitting
one thought that had a tendency
to cloud it, confirmed these sanguine
hopes; the only difficulty now was,
how to act for the present. Mr. B.
though greatly disgusted with the
ungenerous proceeding of his wife,
was determined to sacrifice his resentment
to the happiness of his daughter.
He thought it not impossible,
but she might be prevailed upon,
to furnish him with the sum necessary
to enable him to fulfil his agreement
with Sir William, in which case every K4r 135
every thing would be on the same
footing as before.


He told Mr. Harley that, for his
and Eliza’s sake, he would condescend
to make the trial; but that,
if it failed, he would separate himself
for ever from a woman who had
so basely imposed upon him.


The lovers, once more secure of
each other, suffered no apprehension
of future difficulties, to interrupt
their present happiness. All was
joy again in this little family; and
Mr. B. unwilling to share his own
anxiety and disquiet with them,
affected a tranquillity which he was
far from feeling;—and retired to his K4 own K4v 136
own apartment, to conceal his uneasiness
from their observation.


Another week had elapsed; and
he was not yet determined, in what
manner he should move the affair to
his wife, by letter or in person; for
it cost him a great deal to endeavour
to subdue his resentment, so far as to
treat with her upon any terms of
friendship.—


In the midst of this irresolution
and uncertainty, he was surprised
one evening to see the Baronet’s
coach and six stop at his door, from
which the old man handed out Mrs.
B.
and Miss Denby, with an air so
chearful and gallant, as shewed him highly K5r 137
highly satisfied with his companions.


Mr. B. in some perplexity concerning
the intention of their unexpected
arrival, left the care of receiving
them to Eliza; who performed
it with her usual sweetness
and complaisance, notwithstanding
the cold civility of Miss Denby, in
whom a malignant joy seemed, at
times, to break through the settled
cloud on her brow.—


Eliza, who expected her father
would be greatly disconcerted by
their visit, went herself to acquaint
him with it, after she had attended
her mother-in-law to her apartment.
Mr. B. though she earnestly entreated 4 him, K5v 138
him, refused to go to his wife,
but went immediately to Sir William.


He found him in serious conversation
with Mr. Harley, and was
surprised to see, in the looks of the
youth, grief and resentment restrained
by respect; and in those of the old
man, a mixture of haughtiness and
confusion.


His countenance however cleared
up a little at the entrance of Mr. B.
and Mr. Harley taking this opportunity
to retire, the Baronet after
the usual civilities were over, asked
him in a grave accent, whether, in
the treaty they had entered into, for
a marriage between the young people,ple, K6r 139
he had any expectations of
Mr. Harley being his heir?


Mr. B. frankly told him he
had.


“Then the business is at an end,”
resumed Sir William; “for I am
determined to marry.”


Mr. B. shewing some surprise at
this declaration, the Baronet asked
him whether, when he first moved
the affair to him, he did not mention
his marrying again as an event
which might happen.—


This indeed was true; but Mr.
B.
scarce thought he was in earnest
when he said it; and therefore it
proved no obstacle to his intentions.
He hinted as much to Sir William, which K6v 140
which the old man took somewhat
amiss. However, he assured him
that he did not intend to tye him
down to his former agreement;
and that, as there was no doubt but
he might settle his daughter more
advantageously, he was very willing
that the affair should go no further.


Mr. B. in his present perplexity,
could make no other answer, than
that he would take a little time to
consider.—He then assumed a gayer
countenance, and a behaviour
more free from restraint.


Sir William told him, not without
a little confusion, that Miss Denby
was the Lady who had consented to make K7r 141
make him happy; that her mother
approved her choice; and ceremoniously
added, that he hoped he
should have his concurrence.—


Mr. B. who already suspected the
party, was not surprised at hearing
her name;—“She is very young,”
said he thoughtlessly; but added
immediately after, she is prudent.”


This was Sir William’s cue for
launching into a long enumeration
of those merits in her, which had engaged
his regard;—he left youth
and beauty out of the catalogue,
having discernment enough to perceive
that it was not very decent
for a man near seventy, to lay any stress K7v 142
stress upon those qualities which displayed
so great a disproportion.


Mr. Harley coming into the room,
he left him alone with Mr. B. while
he went to pay his respects to the
Ladies, before he went to his own
house.—


The poor youth was so oppressed
with grief, that for some moments
he could not utter a word.


“My dream of happiness,” said
he at last, “is over; Sir William
has provided himself with a wife,
—and she will doubtless provide
him with an heir.”


This harsh expression escaped him.
He repented of it immediately afterwards;
and though, from what had passed K8r 143
passed between him and Miss Denby,
he had all the reason in the world
to imagine, that she had brought
this affair about, in order to be revenged
on him for refusing her, yet
he kept her secret inviolably.

End of Vol. I.