Written by a Friend

vol. II

Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall-mall.

A1v omitted B1r


Mr. B. imputed all to the artifice
of his wife, whom, in
the bitterness of this new disappointment,
he could scarce mention without
an execration.—He endeavoured
to console Mr. Harley, by assuring
him he would leave his daughter at
full liberty, to dispose of herself
agreeably to her inclinations;—
“but, though you are both young,” Vol. II. B said B1v 2
said he, “and both lovers, you
will consider—”

He had time to say no more; for
Sir William returned, and carried
Mr. Harley with him to his house
in Grosvenor Square, where the
young Gentleman had taken up his
residence, during his stay in town,
though he passed most of his time
at the house of Mr. B.

This unhappy husband, but more
unhappy father, being left to his
own reflexions, sat for some time
revolving in his mind many different
expedients for lessening the
difficulties he laboured under; but,
finding all of them impracticable,
and blaming his wife for all, rage 6 against B2r 3
against her swallowed up every other
passion, and he flw to her apartment
in anger, to load her with reproaches.

He entered, without any preparation,
into a bitter expostulation with
her, upon the perfidy and meanness
of her conduct, in trusting her whole
fortune to the hands of others, that
she might deprive a husband of his
just rights.

Mrs. B. heard him without interruption;
and when he was silent,
replied with a sarcastic calmness,
“that, considering the distracted
condition of his affairs, she could
not have acted otherwise, without B2 “being B2v 4
being guilty of the highest imprudence.”

“Then it seems, madam,” said
he, “you knew the true state of my
circumstances before marriage.”

She unwarily answered that she

“Why then,” resumed he, “did
you marry a man in such indigence?
Love was not your motive
—for what woman ever gave
her person from love, and withheld
her fortune from prudence?—
But I have penetrated your views,”

persued he, kindling into new rage
as he spoke, “perhaps the irregularity
of your manners required “the B3r 5
the conveniency of a husband, to
shelter you from contempt.”

This reproach which was indeed
but too just, flawed-reproduction2 words was flawed-reproduction1-2 words her
from an excess flawed-reproduction1-2 words than conviction,
threw Mrs. B. into great
confusion; her colour came and went
alternately; she trembled, partly
through fear, partly through stifled
rage;—but spoke not a word.

Mr. B. to whom her apparent
emotion seemed the strongest indication
of guilt, fell into such transports
of passion, at the thought of
being thus made the dupe of a licentious
woman, that he appeared like a
mad man; he protested he would
never more enter her apartment, B3 threatened B3v 6
threatened her with every kind of
revenge, that the name and quality
of a husband put in his power, and
left her with expressions of scorn and
disgust, that shewed his contempt of
her was equal to his hatred.

Mrs. B. remained for some time
confounded, at the storm she had
sustained.—She had never imagined
that her husband’s temper was capable
of being roused to such a height
of fury, and began to be uneasy
about the consequences, and to wish
for a reconciliation.

Eliza, besides bearing a large
share in her father’s uneasiness, foresaw
so many difficulties in the way
to a union with her beloved Harley, as B4r 7
as filled her with despair; nor was
Miss Denby exempt from the general
disquiet, that now reigned in this family.
She loved Mr. Harley; every
new sight of him increased her
passion; and the incidents which she
now learned, revived her hopes. She
was grieved that she had gone so
far with Sir William; but, though
it would have cost her integrity
nothing to have broke her engagements
with him, yet she was afraid
of disclosing her intentions, lest Mr.
might reject her as before,
and so she should miss gratifying
both her love and her revenge.

Sir William in the mean time
continued to assure Mr. Harley, that B4 he B4v 8
he was disposed to fulfil his promise
to Mr. B. Whether it was that he
now knew the state of that gentleman’s
affairs, and so run no risque
by seeming to consider himself as
bound by an agreement, of which the
other could not perform his part,
and therefore would never call upon
him to fulfil, or that he really thought
the bargain advantageous, since six
thousand pounds was a full equivalent,
for what he proposed to settle
upon his kinsman.

But poor Mr. Harley, who knew
he was no nearer to happiness for
this assurance, thanked him with a
heart overflowing with grief, and a
despondency in this look and accent; which, B5r 9
which, if the Baronet had been really
ignorant of the truth, was sufficient
to have roused his suspicions.

However, this event, so much
desired, yet so despaired of, seemed
once more in a fair way of being
brought about.

Mrs. B. devoted to pleasure, but
fond of reputation, and who had
indeed married with no other view
but to secure the enjoyment of the
one, without hazarding the loss of
the other, after long reflexion, and
many struggles with her avarice,
which equally shared her heart with
her other despicable passions, resolved
at length to purchase the appearance
of living well with her husband, at B5v 10
at the expence of sacrificing some
part of her large fortune to his necessities.

By several submissive messages,
she procured an interview with him;
and, after some artful palliation of
her conduct, dropped hints of her
willingness to assist him in re-establishing
his affairs.

Mr. B. convinced in his own
mind of her unworthiness, doubted
whether he could, consistently with
his honour, accept of any assistance
from her, as it would look like a
bribe for his connivance at any irregularities
she chose to indulge herself
in. But the settlement of his daughter
was the point nearest his heart; and reflecting B6r 11
reflecting that it was always in his
power, either to keep his wife within
proper bounds, or to make her sensible
of his resentment if she transgressed
them, he resolved to make
the most of this opportunity for his
daughter’s interest.

He mentioned the designed marriage
between Sir William and Miss
, as a malicious scheme to
disappoint Mr. Harley’s expectations,
and insisted upon her breaking
it off.

Mrs. B. who had entered into this
design, not so much in regard to her
daughter’s advantage, as for the reputation
of having disposed of her so
honourably, made no scruple to promisemise B6v 12
compliance; but at the same
time she reminded flawed-reproduction2-3 words
that Miss Denby would flawed-reproduction1-2 words out
of her controul and at liberty to
make her own choice.

Mr. B. being ignorant of the
motives by which Miss Denby was
actuated, had no notion that a girl
of twenty years of age could, without
the over-ruling influence of a
mother, agree to marry a man of
seventy; and only required her to interpose
her authority for the present,
to prevent a match taking place,
which was ridiculous, if regard was
had to the great disproportion of
ages, and ungenerous, when a youth
of such amiable qualities as Mr. Harley B7r 13
, and who was engaged to
his flawed-reproduction3-4 words thrown
out flawed-reproduction2-3 words hopes flawed-reproduction1 word expectations.

He afterwards, flawed-reproduction2-3 words being
under some difficulty how to pay
part of his daughter’s fortune, he
expected she would assist him, which
she likewise promised, but not without
some reluctance.

Mr. B. eager to relieve Mr.
, from the cruel uncertainty
which he knew he must be in, dispatched
a card, desiring to see him;
and in the mean time acquainted
Eliza, with what had passed between
him and his wife, and congratulated
her, upon there being now no obstaclecle B7v 14
to the union, between her and
the deserving young man, who was
not more her choice than his own.
Eliza expressed her satisfaction, more
by her looks than expressions; but
Mr. Harley’s transports were excessive,
yet somewhat allayed, when,
in the course of their conversation,
Mr. B. informed them of the steps
he had taken, to prevent the match
between Sir William and Miss Denby
from being concluded.

Both the lovers were apprehensive
that such a disappointment would
offend Sir William so much, as to
induce him to break his word with
Mr. B. and this fear was too reasonable; B8r 15
reasonable; however, the misfortune
they dreaded, came from another

Miss B’s maid, full of zeal and
affection for her mistress, but rash,
imprudent and conceited, no sooner
heard of the intended marriage,
between the Baronet and Miss
, than she resolved, by means
of the letter she had found in the
grove, and which she had carefully
preserved, to break it off if

She never doubted but that Sir
, when he should know that
his intended bride was in love with
Mr. Harley, and had indecently
wooed him to accept of her hand, would B8v 16
would have no inclination to conclude
a marriage, from which he
could promise himself so little satisfaction.
She therefore wrote him an
anonymous letter, in which she inclosed
that from Mr. Harley addressed
to Miss Denby, and acquainted him
that an accident had put it into her
possession; that she had hitherto
kept the secret, in compassion to
Miss Denby; but, having so much
reason to believe, that she married
him only to be revenged on Mr.
, she thought it her duty
not to conceal it from him; that
he might himself be judge of her
motives for accepting his offer.—

4 This C1r 17

This letter she dispatched by the
penny post, not being willing to employ
any messenger, lest the writer of
it should be traced.

Sir William had that day been to
visit his mistress; he found her cold
and reserved, and not at all disposed
to gratify his wishes by a speedy marriage.
This alteration was owing to
the hopes she had newly entertained,
from the apparent difficulties that retarded
the marriage of Mr. Harley
and Eliza, and to some conversation
she had with her mother, in which
that lady, to keep her promise with
Mr. B. had seemed willing to defer
concluding with the Baronet for some
time longer.

Vol. II. C Sir C1v 18

Sir William went home in a very ill
humour, and found the anonymous letter
lying on his table. He had no sooner
read it, than he fancied he had penetrated
into the whole mystery. Mr.
, he supposed, had written this
letter (for the very purpose for which
it was sent) to disgust him with his
mistress, and prevent his marriage;
and the alteration in Miss Denby’s
behaviour, appeared the consequence
of some malicious artifices, practised
upon her with the same intention.

In the midst of the furious emotions,
which this supposed discovery
raised in his mind, Mr. Harley entered
the room. The poor youth, ignorant
of the storm that awaited him, came C2r 19
came with a heart full of transport, to
press the old man to conclude his marriage
with Eliza.

Sir William, stepping close to him,
with a dreadful frown, and holding
the letter in his shaking hand, asked
him, “whether he acknowledged
that writing to be his.”

Mr. Harley cast his eyes upon the
letter, and instantly perceiving it to
be the same he had wrote to Miss
, blushed with surprize and confusion.

“Did you write this letter?” said
Sir William to him, in a furious

“Since you have seen it, Sir,” replied
Mr. Harley, “it would be in C2 “vain C2v 20
vain to deny it: I am sorry it has
fallen into your hands, and I cannot
conceive by what means.”

“You are a dissembling villain!”
returned the Baronet; “you wrote
it on purpose to fall into my hands.
You are the writer of this anonymous
letter too,”
continued he,
throwing it at him, “which conveyed
it to me; infamous shallow
artifice! What a villain have I been
fostering in my bosom!”

Mr. Harley, who had hitherto stood
stupified with amazement, started, as
from a dream, at the reiterated name
of villain: by an involuntary motion,
he clapped his hand to his sword; but 6 suddenly C3r 21
suddenly recollecting himself, he drew
it back.

“You are privileged to say any
thing, Sir,”
said he; “but this
usage has cancelled all your former
kindness—think what you
please of that letter—I scorn to
undeceive you.”

He left the room as he uttered these
words, fearing, lest some new injuries
from Sir William should urge his
temper too far; and retiring to his
own apartment, ordered his servant
to pack up his cloaths and linen,
himself assisting with eagerness and
precipitation—for in the violent emotion
of his spirits, at the treatment
he had received, he thought every C3 moment C3v 22
moment, that he staid, added to the
indignity he had suffered.

While he was thus employed, Sir
chaplain came into the
room.—The good man, who loved
him tenderly, burst into tears at the
sight of those preparations he was
making for his departure. Mr.
, dismissing his servant, gave
him as distinct an account of what
had passed between Sir William and
himself, as the various passions, which
still agitated him, would admit.

The chaplain, who had also heard
Sir William’s story, asked him suddenly,
and without any preparation,
if the letter, to which that in Sir William’sliam’s 2 C4r 23
hands was an answer, was still
in his possession.

Mr. Harley replied that it was; he
blushed immediately after, and would,
if possible, have recalled his words,
thinking that a point of honour obliged
him, at all events, to conceal the
lady’s secret. Mr. Irwin, satisfied with
this concession, and resolving to make
some use of it for his advantage,
prest him no more upon that subject;
but both wondered how a letter of
that consequence had fallen into the
hands of a third person, who had
made so indiscreet a use of it, as to
render it doubtful, whether it was well
or ill designed.

C4 Mr. C4v 24

Mr. Harley dwelt not long upon an
enquiry, which, in the present anguish
of his mind, but little interested him;
he took a tender leave of his friend,
who presented him, from Sir William,
with bills to the value of five hundred
pounds, but supprest part of the harsh
message, which accompanied them.

The young gentleman refused them
at first with indignation; but the arguments,
which the chaplain made use
of, to induce him to accept of them,
were so well calculated to convince
him, that he ought not to consider
this sum as a bribe to his patience,
from a person who had injured him,
but as a partial payment of a large
debt, seeing that the Baronet was bound, C5r 25
bound, by every tye of honour and of
conscience, to provide for him genteely;
he yielded therefore to the necessity
of his affairs; and only desiring Mr.
to tell Sir William, that hereafter
he would know him better, he
quitted the house, and retired to that
of his mother, who was overwhelmed
with affliction, when she heard of his

The poor youth, tortured with all
those pangs, which disappointed love
and a blasted fortune could occasion,
shut himself up in his room, that he
might be at liberty to indulge his
melancholy, while Mr. B. and Eliza,
who were used to see him every day, were C5v 26
were wondering at his absence, and
anxious to know the cause.

Meantime Sir William, in whom
love was now dotage, repelled every
thought that might have led him to
a conviction of his kinsman’s innocence,
and industriously endeavoured
to deceive himself; he made a visit
to his mistress, and related to her the
whole contrivance, as he called it, of
Mr. Harley, to break off a marriage,
which disappointed his ambitious

Miss Denby fell naturally into a
belief, that Mr. Harley had sacrificed
her reputation to his interest; and
finding that the Baronet was persuaded,
or seemed to be so, that the whole was C6r 27
was a forgery; resentment, and an
eager desire of revenge, once more
prevailed, and she declared, to her
antiquated lover, that whether her
mother was willing to keep her engagements
with him or not, she was
determined to be his.

She gave him permission, to press
her, to name the day, and Mrs. B.
returned a favourable, though not an
explicit answer to this request; for
she was desirous, if possible, to keep
some measures with her husband, and
at the same, was unwilling to lose
this opportunity of disposing of her
daughter so greatly to her advantage,
for the settlement Sir William
offered was not less than fifteen hundreddred C6v 28
a year; at so high a price was
he willing to purchase a young and
handsome wife.

Mr. B. who had entertained hopes of
settling his daughter, agreeably to her
wishes and his own, by means of his
wife, saw himself again disappointed,
by the fatal breach that had happened
between Sir William and Mr.

The latter, in relating it, still scrupulously
adhered to his promise of
secrecy, and spoke of the letter that
had been sent the Baronet, as a thing
he had no knowledge of.

Mr. B. thus half instructed of the
truth, thought the whole an incomprehensible
mystery; but Eliza instantlystantly C7r 29
recollecting all the circumstances,
relating to the letter, which
her maid had put into her hands, no
longer doubted, but she had found
means to preserve it, and was the person
who had sent it to Sir William.

Her delicacy, with regard to the
reputation of Miss Denby, gave way
to her just attention to the honour of
her lover. She taxed her maid with
being the author of the anonymous
letter to Sir William, in which that
from Mr. Harley to Miss Denby was

The girl, who expected none but
happy effects from her scheme; readily
owned what she had done, and
was shocked and confounded, to find the C7v 30
the fatal consequencies of her indiscreet
zeal. Eliza having communicated
the whole affair to her father,
it was agreed between them, that,
without acquainting Mr. Harley with
their design, whose romantic notions
of honour, in this case, might lead to
oppose it; Betty should demand an
audience of the Baronet, and acknowledge
the truth.

The girl, anxious to repair her
fault, readily undertook the commission.
Sir William gave her admittance,
but after her first words, which
were to acknowledge that she was the
person who had sent him a letter,
written by Mr. Harley to Miss Denby,
as she was proceeding to satisfy C8r 31
him how it came into his hands, he
terrified her into silence, by a dreadful
exclamation; told her she was
hired by Mr. B. his daughter, and
Mr. Harley, to throw those aspersions
on the character of Miss Denby, in
order to break off his marriage, and
bid her tell her unworthy employers,
as the only answer he had to send,
that he should be married to Miss
in three days.

Betty went home all in tears, to
relate the bad success of her interview
with the old gentleman, who did not
fail to make a merit with his mistress,
of the zeal with which he defended
her against the calumny, invented by their C8v 32
their common enemies, for so he
affected to call them.

Miss Denby easily distinguished the
part Eliza acted in this affair; she
hated her before as a rival, and a rival
preferred to herself. But this last provocation,
as she deemed it, laid the
foundation of an enmity, which could
be gratified with nothing less than her
ruin, and which she afterwards endeavoured,
by every means in her power,
to accomplish.

Mr. B. finding all his schemes, in
favour of his daughter, ineffectual
suffered so much, from the continual
remorse that preyed upon his mind,
that he fell into a fever, which very
soon left no hopes of his recovery; he D1r 33
he employed his last moments, in settling
his daughter’s affairs, in the best
manner he could; he appointed a gentleman
of great probity to be her
guardian, but left her at full liberty
to dispose of herself as she pleased in

The parting between the father
and daughter, was moving to the last
degree; worn out with continual
watching during his illness, she had
not strength to sustain the agonies of
a last adieu; she was taken from his
bed-side in a deep swoon, from which
she did not recover, till some moments
after he had expired.

While still scarce sensible, her
guardian, Mr. Elford, carried her Vol. II. D from D1v 34
from that melancholy scene to his
own house, where his lady employed
the most tender attention to alleviate
her affliction.

Mrs. B. during her husband’s illness,
had acted her part with sufficient
decorum; but as soon as the funeral
was over, she retired to her own
seat in the country, whither Sir William
attended her: the marriage between
him and Miss Denby followed
soon after; and every thing was conducted
with so much parade and
festivity, as left no room to doubt that
the late melancholy event had made
little impression on her.

Neither Mr. Harley nor Eliza were
surprised at the news; it was what they D2r 35
they expected, and were prepared for;
but Mr. Elford, who, in this match,
saw the total ruin of Mr. Harley’s
hopes, became more desirous of breaking
off an engagement, so little to the
advantage of his young charge, whose
interest he had greatly at heart.

As soon as her grief was abated,
Mrs. Elford prevailed upon her to
share in some of her visits, and by degrees
to accompany her to public
places: Mr. Elford’s fortune was
large, he lived in splendor; Mrs. Elford,
bred up in the fashionable taste
for dissipation, though a woman of
sense and virtue, loved to mix in every
gay scene.

D2 Eliza D2v 36

Eliza, on many accounts was fond
of retirement, but chiefly because she
was in love; her own thoughts, always
employed on the object of her tenderness,
afforded her more entertainment
than any of those sparkling assemblies,
to which she was introduced. She saw
Mr. Harley but seldom, because she
perceived that her guardian was not
favourable to his pretentions; and
she was not willing to expose him to
those constrained civilities, which are
practised towards an unwelcome
guest; but, engaged both by honour
and inclination, and mistress of her
own actions, she scrupled not to write
to him, and receive letters from him
every day.

2 Mr. D3r 37

Mr. Harley had reason to be satisfied
with the tender assurances she
gave him of the continuance of her
regard; but when, in public places,
he saw her, the object of universal
admiration, saw her surrounded with
rivals, whose rank and fortune set him
so very low in the comparison, and
knew that every endeavour would be
used to bias her in favour of her interest,
his heart was not at rest.

Low as he in fortune, he durst
not solicit her to give him her hand;
such a request would have appeared
imprudent and selfish, and might well
expose him to the censure of preferring
his own gratification to the happiness
of her he loved. Many ways D3 were D3v 38
were open to a young man of sense
and spirit for pushing his fortune,
but all must be attended by absence;
absence, at all times so dreadful to a
lover, but in his and Eliza’s situation
so full of danger.

His friends were continually proposing
new schemes to him, and some
advantageous prospects were opened
to him of going abroad, in the service
of the East India Company; he sometimes
seemed determined to accept
these proposals, but the idea of leaving
Eliza was insupportable, and in
the anguish of his heart, he often accused
her of indifference towards him,
though surely it was not her part to
make those advances on the subject of D4r 39
of marriage between them, which
(overstraining, perhaps, the point of
of honour) he thought still less became
him, who had nothing but indigence
to offer her.

Near a year and a half had rolled
away in this perplexing situation,
when, by Mrs. Harley’s death, her
small jointure, which was not more
than fourscore pounds a year, fell to
her son: his sisters were all provided
for by marriage, and therefore no part
of this poor pittance was diverted into
other channels.

That happiness may be found in a
cottage, is the dream of youthful
love; this income, with the interest
of Eliza’s fortune, would supply all D4 the D4v 40
the wants of life; and more was not
necessary to the felicity of two persons,
filled with a reciprocal passion.

Thus Mr. Harley reasoned from
theory, and at length resolved to overcome
his scrupulous delicacy, and
press his mistress to an union, in
which love was to supply all the deficiences
of fortune.

But while he waited for a favourable
opportunity for an interview
with her, he received a letter from
Mr. Elford, requiring him to desist
from his pretentions to Eliza.

This letter was drawn up with
great art, and enforced its harsh purpose
by every argument that could
convince the reason, and every motivetive D5r 41
that could sway those affections,
which, in the heart of a man of honour,
are never wholly subjected by

“Gratitude, disinterestedness, delicacy,
regard to the world’s opinion,
and tenderness itself, for the object
of his wishes, all required him to
make this sacrifice,”
he said.

Mr. Harley was struck with these
remonstrances, which had the greater
weight, as he suspected Eliza was not
wholly uninfluenced by them. He
resolved to make this sacrifice, whatever
it cost him, and wrote a long
letter to Eliza, filled with the most
tender and most generous sentiments;
but, unperceived by himself, he mingledled D5v 42
some gentle reproaches, with those
arguments by which he justified her
conduct with respect to him, and
when he concluded, with fervently
wishing for her happiness, with one
more worthy of her than he could be,
he could not help adding, that he
should never live to see it.

Eliza, in reading this letter, burst
into tears; she easily perceived the
part Mr. Elford had acted upon this
occasion, and though she could not
condemn his motives, she was offended
at an officiousness, which tended
to lessen her in the esteem of her

Impatient to relieve him from that
painful conflict under which he suffered,fered, D6r 43
she dispatched a short billet to
him, desiring to see him instantly.

Mr. Harley, who perhaps expected
this summons, obeyed it with transports
of joy, which were only allayed
by the reflection, that he was not capable
of acting up to his own ideas of
disinterestedness. Yet he approached
Eliza, who took care to be alone to
receive him, with a kind of reserve,
which seemed suitable to his present
situation: he saw her charming eyes
suffused with tears; this was enough
to make him forget all his resolutions;
he threw himself at her feet, and taking
her hand, prest it in silence to
his lips.

Eliza D6v 44

Eliza, willing to shorten this affecting
scene, asked him, with a
smile, “if he was determined to
leave her.”

“I cannot leave you, and live,”
replied the passionate youth; “but I
would willingly die to make you

“That is not the way to make me
interrupted Eliza, still
smiling; “you must live for me,
and be contented with that little
which I am able to bring to you.”

Mr. Harley, thus encouraged, conjured
her to complete her generosity,
and to defer no longer the giving him
her hand, for fear that the zeal of her friends D7r 45
friends should throw some obstacles
in their way.

Eliza, who had sustained a good
deal of importunity from her guardian,
on account of some very advantageous
offers that had been made her,
thought her lover’s apprehensions
were not groundless; and therefore
promised him, that she would use her
utmost endeavour to prevail upon Mr.
, to give his consent to their
marriage; and that, if he refused it,
she would make use of that liberty
which her father had bequeathed her,
and fulfil his intentions, by marrying
the person he had chosen for her.

She used much the same terms in
her application to Mr. Elford, who shewed D7v 46
shewed her the fallacy of that argument,
and made it plain enough, that
Mr. B. wished to have her consult
her interest more, in the disposal of

Eliza, touched with the mention
of her father, melted into tears, but
continued firm in her resolution.

“My father, Sir,” said she, “desired
my happiness; and by his last
will, leaving me at liberty to bestow
myself, he considered me as
the best judge of what would most
conduce to it. Doubtless it was
his intention, that I should fulfil
my engagements; and this being
my choice likewise, no arguments,
founded merely upon interest, “ought D8r 47
ought to prevail with me to break
through them.”

Mr. Elford replied, with some heat,
“that though he could never approve
so imprudent a match, he would
faithfully discharge the trust that
was reposed in him, and soften, as
much as lay in his power, those
evils which he could not wholly

Accordingly, he found no difficulty
in inducing Mr. Harley to settle the
whole of Eliza’s fortune upon herself,
and the children born of this marriage.

After the ceremony was performed,
Mr. Elford and his lady carried
them to their country-seat, where they D8v 48
they staid about three weeks, and then
retired to a small house, in a neighbouring
village, suitable to their narrow
income, but fitted up with an
elegant simplicity, that proved the
taste, if not the opulence, of its owners.

Here, like the first pair in Paradise,
possessing all within themselves,
they passed the first year of their marriage,
in a state as happy as the condition
of mortality admits of.

The birth of a son to Sir William
gave the first interruption to
their felicity. Hitherto Mr. Harley,
supported by the expectation of an almost
certain, though perhaps remote,
succession to a large fortune, repined not E1r 49
not at the humble situation in which
he had placed Eliza, because he
always hoped that one day, he should
be enabled to raise her to another,
equal to any, which her affection for
him, had induced her to reject: but
an heir to Sir William’s estate, cut
off that flattering prospect; he now
saw his beloved Eliza condemned for
ever, to all the inconveniencies of a
narrow income, still to increase,
with an increasing family, till at last
they centered in a miserable state of

How could he bear to see her, not
only precluded for ever, from all the
elegant enjoyments of life, but suffering
under the fatigues, that her domesticVol. II. E mestic E1v 50
duties would impose upon her;
she, who had been used to ease and
affluence, and might once more have
lived in splendor, but for her generous
preference of him: how would
she be able to endure the numberless
evils that indigence brings along with
it? Had he not reason to fear, that
she would look back with regret, upon
the happiness she had refused, and
that feeling every day more forceably,
the fatal consequences of her passion
for him, she would in time detest that
passion itself, which had been the
cause of her misfortunes.

These reflections, which the solitude
he lived in, gave him too much leisure
to indulge, at length produced an alteration6 teration, E2r 51
in his temper, and spread a
gloom over his countenance. Suspicions
of his wife’s growing indifference
would even intrude upon his mind;
and though he often repelled them
with indignation, as injurious to that
tenderness, which was displayed in
every look and action of hers, yet
they would still return upon the
slightest occasion, and fill his whole
soul with bitterness.

If ever she was more serious than
usual, he would fancy she was regretting
her situation; if she left him for
a few moments, he would suppose his
company grew less pleasing to her.
His health began to be impaired, by
the continual agitation of his mind.

E2 Eliza E2v 52

Eliza perceived it with agonizing
apprehensions; ignorant of the true
cause of his disquiet, she imagined
that the dull uniformity of a country
life affected his spirits; and as the
winter was now approaching, which
would necessarily lessen even those few
pleasures, which were to be found in
their present retirement, she proposed
to him, to spend a few months in

Mr. Harley, considered this proposal,
as an indication of her own
weariness and satiety; yet, eager to
gratify every wish she could form,
he instantly wrote to a friend in town,
to provide lodgings for them; and
prepared for their departure, with so much E3r 53
much chearfulness, that Eliza congratulated
herself, upon having fallen upon
an expedient, which had so happy
an effect, though perhaps the delicacy
of her love, would have been better
satisfied, if the retirement they
now quitted, for the first time since
their marriage, had continued to have
the same charms for him, as it still
had for her.

On her arrival in town, she found
elegant lodgings prepared, in one of
the most fashionable streets, and another
servant added to their little houshold.

She gently hinted her fears, that
this expence would be inconvenient
to him; but Mr. Harley, who dreadedE3 ed E3v 54
nothing so much as her perceiving,
by the want of necessary attendance,
and other appendages of fortune,
the low condition into which
she was fallen, was determined to spend
all the remainder of the sum he had
received from Sir William, in rendering
her stay in town agreeable to

Prudent persons will doubtless censure
this conduct highly; but whoever
considers with tenderness, the motives
by which he was actuated, will
find in them at least, as much to pity
as to condemn.

Eliza, not aware of the true reasons
that induced her husband to make
an appearance, so little suitable to their E4r 55
their income, thought it was his taste,
and was too indulgent to oppose it:
but she hoped that, when sated with
the dissipations of the town, the returning
season would give new allurements
to their rural residence, and a
stricter economy for the future, repair
the little waste they now made.

Mr. Elford, however, in the quality
of a friend, and trustee of Eliza,
remonstrated loudly against an imprudence,
of which both seemed equally

Meantime Mr. Harley and Eliza
appeared at every public place; and
wherever they appeared, drew particular
attention upon them. All the
graces of youth, elegance of figure, E4 and E4v 56
and politeness of manners, were common
to them both. Mr. Harley, by
his long abode with Sir William, became
known to several persons of distinction,
with whom he now found it
very easy to renew his acquaintance:
charmed with the beauty of the wife,
they sollicited the friendship of the
husband; all were liberal in their offers
of service; and Mr. Harley was
insensibly engaged in a state of dependence
upon the great, which protracted
his stay in town, and encreased
his expences.

The candor of his own mind, the
inexperience of youth, and the eagerness
with which he admitted every
hope of raising his beloved Eliza, to a E5r 57
a situation more worthy of her, hindered
him from perceiving the fallacy
of those promises, upon which he
founded all his expectations.

Meantime, a twelvemonth’s stay in
town had exhausted all his ready
money; the interest of Eliza’s fortune,
together with his own small patrimony,
made up an income of little more
than two hundred pounds a year.
This sum was far from being adequate
to his expences; full of sanguine
ideas from the interest of his noble
friends, he did not doubt, but in a
few months, he should be put in possession
of some genteel and lucrative
employment; and therefore the less
scrupled to supply his present exigencies,cies E5v 58
by the only means he had in his
power, which was to mortgage his
mother’s jointure. Eliza, who had not
the same opinion of the sincerity of
those friendships, upon which her
husband relied so securely, regretted
this last imprudent step; but all tenderness
and submission, what she
could not oppose, without giving pain,
she acquiesced in with apparent chearfulness,
and always comforted herself
with the reflection, that they had still
enough left, to preserve them from
want; and with a husband she loved so
passionately, she scarce wished for more,
but on his account.

Lady Harley, under pretence of resenting
the attack made upon her reputation,putation, E6r 59
though another and more
potent cause for her hatred of Eliza,
was the passion she still felt for Mr.
, kept up no sort of correspondence
with her, whom she had called
sister, and for whom she had professed
the fondness of one; but, ever solicitous
to know all her affairs, in
hopes that some time or other, her revenge
might be gratified, she contrived
to be acquainted with a lady,
with whom she knew Eliza had lately
become intimate; and through this
channel, she found means to interrupt
a happiness, the thoughts of which embittered
all her own enjoyments.

Mrs. Vere, so this lady was called,
was of a most dangerous character; agreeable E6v 60
agreeable in her person, of insinuating
manners, but a heart void of sensibility,
libertine in her inclinations and
principles; but modest and reserved
in her behaviour; ever laying snares
for the simplicity and frankness of
others, by an appearance of still
greater simplicity and frankness, which
threw even the most artful off their
guard, and deceived alike the credulous
and the mistrustful.

This woman’s history was known
to very few persons; and unhappily
for Eliza, she was one of those who
was entirely ignorant of it. I will
give it your ladyship in a few words.

She was a native of Ireland, and had
married, without the consent of her friends, E7r 61
friends, a young man, bred up in the
college of Dublin, who had taken orders,
in expectation of being provided
for in the church.

In a very few years, the fortune, she
brought him, was entirely spent. Mr.
, having no hopes of preferment
in Ireland, and ashamed to shew his
poverty in a place, where he had hitherto
lived in an appearance of affluence,
resolved to come to England,
where he had some friends, from whom
he expected to find assistance.

In the ship that brought them
over, there was a young English gentleman,
of large fortune, with whom
the distrest couple so well improved
their acquaintance, during their short voyage, E7v 62
voyage, that he intreated them to
stay some weeks with him at his

This stay was protracted for several
months; at length Mr Vere pretending
a necessity to return to Ireland
about some particular business, which
was likely to detain him some little
time, proposed carrying his wife to
London, and leaving her there in

Their gallant host, insisted upon her
staying where she was, till her husband’s
return; and this offer was likewise

During Mr. Vere’s absence, his
friend and his wife, lived in an intimacy,
that exposed them to great censures; E8r 63
censures; when he returned, some
officious persons whispered these reports
to him; he dissembled his suspicions,
and took his measures so well,
that he obtained sufficient proofs of
his wife’s infidelity, and declared his
resolution to have recourse to the law,
for a compensation for the injury
that had been done him.

Mrs. Vere, all in tears, conjured
her lover to save her from the infamy
of a public trial; he offered to
compromise the matter, and Mr.
, in consideration of the sum of
five thousand pounds, and the gift of
a living, worth near two hundred
pounds a year, consented to let the
affair drop, and even to live with his wife, E8v 64
wife, for whom he pretended a fondness,
which this proof of her frailty
was not able to abate.

It was believed, and not without
reason, that the husband and wife
acted in concert, and that the whole
was a scheme to raise their fortunes.

They found, in the general servility
of the world, which is ever
ready to pay to affluence, that distinction,
that is due only to virtue, a
new reason for justifying their conduct
to themselves. Mrs. Vere was
received with respect among the politest
company; she drest well, lived
with elegance, and played high at
cards; with these qualifications, who would F1r 65
would be so rude to question her conduct?

Her acquaintance with Eliza commenced
by an accident, very proper
to lay the foundation of a friendship,
in a heart so tender and sensible as

An alarm of fire, in the house
where Eliza lodged, threw her into
a swoon; and in this condition, Mr.
, under the most agonizing apprehensions
for her safety, carried her
into the street in his arms.

Mrs. Vere, who lived opposite to
them, and had often admired her
beautiful neighbour from her window,
and wished to be acquainted with
her, was the first to offer her assistance; Vol. II. F she F1v 66
she ran out to meet Mr. Harley, conducted
him into her house, and employed
the most tender cares about
Eliza, who soon recovered, and
charmed with the sweetness and benevolence
of Mrs Vere’s behaviour,
from that moment conceived a friendship
for her, which produced an intimate
connection between them. Eliza,
who had that romantic notion of
friendship, which young people generally
bring with them into the commerce
of the world, and which is only
to be erased by long experience,
never doubted the sincerity of Mrs
professions, and often, in the
warmth of confidence, would communicate
to her, her uneasiness at the pursuits F2r 67
pursuits Mr. Harley was engaged in,
which had already led him into difficulties,
and prevented him from relishing
a retirement, which they had
still enough left to render comfortable.

Mrs. Vere rallied her, though with
great caution, upon her taste for solitude,
and her fond notion, that love
could supply all the deficiencies of
fortune, and reconcile youth, gaiety,
and spirit, to the insipidity of a country

She advised her not to oppose Mr.
in his designs, but to assist
him in cultivating the friendship of
those persons, who seemed disposed to
serve him; and insinuated, that her F2 cold F2v 68
cold and reserved behaviour, gave her
the appearance either of pride or ingratitude,
which cooled the zeal of
her friends, and threw obstacles in
the way of her husband’s advancement.

Eliza, utterly unacquainted with
those maxims of gallantry, so easily
admitted by the thoughtless part of
her sex, and so readily reconciled to
virtue, by those, whose principles
were less severe than hers; did not
perceive the snare this insiduous advice
laid for her.

She did not indeed rightly comprehend
what it was that was required
of her; but, sure that Mrs Vere always
meant well, and was sollicitous for her F3r 69
her happiness; she imagined that she
had failed in some points of civility,
towards those persons, upon whose
interest, her husband had so great a
dependence; and that, not having the
same opinion, that he had, of the stability
of their promises, she had suffered
some part of her diffidence to
appear; and this fault she resolved to

Hitherto she had been shocked
with none of those declarations, so
soothing to the ears of vanity, so humiliating
to real virtue. The extreme
attention that was paid her,
escaped her particular notice; Lord L.
indeed, had suffered his eyes sometimes
to speak; but when the heart F3 is F3v 70
is not in secret, this language is

Lord L. was the son of a nobleman,
of great power and affluence;
he had recommended Mr. Harley to
his father, and in the hope of rendering
himself agreeable to Eliza, was
resovedresolved to push his fortune with all
his interest.

Whether it was that he waited
till he had done something to engage
her gratitude, before he hazarded a
discovery of his sentiments, or that
his passion, though founded on libertinism,
was nevertheless great enough
to inspire him with respect, he had
yet observed a proper decorum, and
Eliza was ignorant of his intentions.

Her F4r 71

Her intimacy with Mrs Vere seemed
a favourable incident to Lord L.
He knew her character, and believed
it would not be difficult to engage
her in his interest; with this view he
found means to be introduced to

Mrs Vere soon perceived his designs,
and without expecting or desiring
an explanation, she favoured
them as much as possible, by taking
care to give him notice, though not
in a direct manner, whenever Eliza
was to be with her.

Mr. Vere and Mr. Harley were
often of their party, and Lord L.
who knew Eliza was fond of music,
engaged some of the Opera performersF4 mers F4v 72
to give them a little concert, in
an evening, at Mrs Vere’s house, for
whom this gallantry appeared intended,
though in reality Eliza was
the object of it.

Lady Harley was informed of all
these circumstances by Mrs Vere,
who finding in her a similarity of manners,
rank, fortune, and whatever is
necessary to engage the assiduity of a
mean and interested woman, was
soon led to sacrifice, to her envy and
malice, the innocent Eliza, whose solid
virtue was a reproach to her, and excited
more hatred than esteem.

Whatever Eliza told her in confidence,
was immediately whispered
back to Lady Harley, who, in the course F5r 73
course of this intelligence, at length
heard, what she had long wished for,
and expected, that Mr. Harley, by
his bad economy, had plunged himself
into difficulties, from which, nothing
but an alienation of part of his
wife’s fortune, could extricate him.

Eliza, concealing her own grief,
and only anxious to relieve that of
her husband, who was resolved rather
to suffer any extremity, than to break
in upon what was assigned her, for her
support; was preparing to have recourse
to Mr. Elford, her trustee, and to
palliate, in the best manner she could,
those failings she was not able to hide;
when Mrs Vere advised her to try the
generosity of Lord L. upon this occasion.sion. F5v 74
Eliza rejected this proposal with
indignation; and though it did not
open her eyes, with regard to the true
character of her that made it, yet it
indicated a want of delicacy, which,
in some degree, lessened her esteem for

Lady Harley, when she was told
this circumstance by Mrs. Vere, shook
her head, and replied, “Your young
friend has more wit than you imagine;
she will accept of her lover’s
assistance, but she will not trust
you with the secret.”

Mrs Vere, who had with difficulty
believed, that Eliza was as prudent
as she appeared to be, for a frail
woman scarce thinks it possible for any F6r 75
any of her sex to be virtuous, was
vexed that she had so long been the
dupe of her pretended sanctity of manners,
and doubted no more that Lord
and she were in intelligence.

Eliza had just finished a letter to
Mr. Elford, full of apologies for her
husband, whose disappointments had
made it necessary for her to appropriate
some part of what was settled upon
her, for his relief, and requesting
his concurrence with this measure,
when she received a verbal message
from lady Harley, by a chairman,
requesting to see her immediately,
in Grosvenor-square, upon business of

Mr. Harley was not at home; she had F6v 76
had no opportunity of communicating
this message to him, and of taking
his advice upon it. Surprised as she
was at such an invitation, she was resolved
to comply with it; and was
accordingly carried in a hackney chair
to Sir William’s house.

Lady Harley received her in her
dressing room, and affected to be
touched, with some emotion, at the
sight of her, after so long an interruption
of their friendship.

“I will make no apology to you,”
said she, “for the coldness with
which I have carried myself towards
you, nor enter into any defence
of it, from the provocation
I have received both from you and Mr. F7r 77
Mr. Harley; it is sufficient that all
is forgot: I have never been your
enemy, and all the influence I have
with Sir William, I have employed
in favour of your husband: it
is true I have not yet been able to
effect a reconciliation between
them, which was what I most wished;
but this will follow in time,
and I have reason to expect it,
since I have persuaded Sir William
to assist Mr. Harley in his present
difficulties. I have five hundred
pounds to give you by his orders;
when he can be prevailed upon to
see Mr. Harley, I do not doubt
but he will give him still more
solid proofs of his generosity.”

As F7v 78

As she finished these words, she
put notes, to the value of five hundred
pounds, into Eliza’s hands, who, in
her astonishment at this unexpected
kindness, sate silent for some moments,
ashamed of having entertained any
dislike against a person, who was
capable of acting so nobly.

Her acknowledgements, on this
occasion, were uttered with so much
tenderness, such a feeling sense of gratitude,
that Lady Harley, conscious
how little she deserved them, seemed
opprest and uneasy.

Eliza returned to her own lodgings,
all impatience to communicate
to her husband an incident, so full of
wonder. She did not find him at home, 4 but F8r 79
but he came in a short time after her.
When she related to him what had
passed, his surprise was as great as
hers; but his gratitude was less

“It is but just,” said he, that
“lady Harley, after having done
me so much mischief, should
endeavour to make me some compensation;
but if Sir William had,
instead of this small benefaction,
given me up the writings of my
father’s estate, which was morgaged
to him, I should have had a
higher idea of his generosity, and
of his wife’s endeavours to serve

Eliza, F8v 80

Eliza, fond of hinting any thing
to him, which might keep alive a
reasonable hope, and reconcile him
for the present to his narrow circumstances,
told him that Lady Harley
had that in view perhaps, when she
insinuated that Sir William would
give him greater proofs of his kindness.

This expectation, which Mr. Harley
readily fell into, as being indeed
not ill founded, served to raise his
spirits for some days, and prevented
those fits of despondency, which gave
so much pain to the tender Eliza,
who took occasion, while this disposition
lasted, to press him to return to
the country, a measure, which could not G1r 81
not but be agreeable to Sir William,
and might perhaps hasten his determination
in his favour.

Returning from a visit to Mr. Elford,
she found her husband, who had
not accompanied her, at home before
her; but, instead of flying to meet
her, as he always did, after every short
absence, with tenderness and solicitude,
he seemed not to see her when she entered
the room where he was, but
continued to walk backwards and
forwards with a hasty pace, his arms
folded, and all the marks of grief and
anger upon his countenance.

Eliza gazed upon him a moment
with terror and astonishment; then
laying hold of his arm, as he Vol. II. G passed G1v 82
passed her again, “Alas! what is
the matter?”
said she; “what misfortune
has happened to you?”

Mr. Harley, without answering her,
disengaged himself from her hold,
with so rude a motion, as almost threw
her to the ground; in the same moment
he folded his arms round her to
support her. “Oh! forgive me,”
cried he, “I know not what I do.”
Then placing her in a chair, he quitted
the room, and went into another,
where he continued to walk about
with the same discomposure as before.

Eliza followed him, in a confusion
of thought, not to be described, or
even imagined. “Tell me,” cried she, G2r 83
she, in a faltering voice, “tell me,
my dear Mr. Harley, the meaning
of this disorder, before my apprehensions
kill me.”

Her husband, at that word, turned
short upon her, and giving her a look,
that seemed to penetrate into her

“You have apprehensions then,
said he. “Oh, why should
you have apprehensions, if all was
clear within your own breast?
Good heaven!”
exclaimed he, with
a passionate gesture, “did I ever
think to see the day when I should
suspect my Eliza!”

“Suspect me!” repeated Eliza,
“this is strange language indeed; G2 “but G2v 84
but explain yourself, I intreat you;
of what do you suspect me?”

“Know madam,” said he, “that
I had rather have languished my
whole life in a dungeon, than that
you should stoop to unworthy means
to relieve me; was Lord L. a fit
person for you to receive a pecuniary
obligation from, Lord L. your
profest admirer? and would you
have received it if—Oh! I am
cried he, throwing himself
almost breathless into a chair;
“never—never more shall I be

“I begin to perceive,” said Eliza,
striving to repress her tears, “that I “am G3r 85
am wretched; but still I do not
quite understand you.”

“Read that letter,” said he, holding
one out to her in his trembling
hand, “would I had died ere I had
received it.”

Eliza opened it, and here is what
it contained: “Mr. Harley, if you
have not eyes to see, what all the
world observes, and laughs at, you
are to be pitied for your infatuation.
It is no secret that your wife
is Lord L’s pensioner; and if your
necessities are supplied by her means,
you may guess the price she pays
for it.”

While Eliza was reading this billet,
her face was overspread with blushes. G3 “You G3v 86
“You are indeed to be pitied,” said
she, returning it to her husband with
a look, which exprest at once compassion
and disdain, “if this anonymous
incendiary has been able to make
you suspect the fidelity of your wife.
—But since,”
pursued she, sighing,
“I must descend to the wretched
necessity of justifying myself, I appeal
to lady Harley―to Sir William
—Know from them who it was
that enabled me to supply your

“I have done that already,” replied
Mr. Harley; “as soon as this
fatal letter came to my hands, I
demanded, I even forced an interview
with Sir William—he disclaimed“claimed G4r 87
all knowledge of what had
happened, and I found his resentment
against me still too high, to
make it probable that he would
interest himself at all in my affairs.”

“Lady Harley protested she had
never seen you since her marriage.”

“Did lady Harley deny her having
sent to me?”
exclaimed Eliza,
in the utmost astonishment.—“Then
the whole mystery is explained;
her revenge is gratified, and she
has had the satisfaction to know
that she has made me miserable,
and that my virtue is suspected.”

“You are mistaken,” interrupted
Mr. Harley; “amidst all the wildnessG4 “ness G4v 88
of my grief, I was attentive
to the care of your reputation; I
said I had received notes to the value
of five hundred pounds, but I
said not from whom I received
them; and when Sir William denied
his having sent them, Lady
, to my eternal surprise and
confusion, declared, of her own
accord, that she had never seen

“And were you not likewise surprised,”
said Eliza, “that she answered
to a question, which was
never put to her?”

“Ah! I understand you,” said
Mr. Harley; “and were it possible to
suppose that a woman, avaritious “as G5r 89
as she is, would sacrifice so considerable
a sum as five hundred
pounds, for the gratification of her
malice; I might conclude all this
was her scheme to raise suspicions
in me; but, ah! Eliza, there are
other circumstances—your friendship
with Mrs Vere, a woman,
whose principles, I am now informed,
are far from being rigid.—
How has it happened, that, in so
long an intimacy, you never discovered
her true character? whence
grew Lord L’s acquaintance with
her, so soon ripened to such an intimacy?
—why those frequent visits
to Mrs Vere—and he always of the
party?—your concerts too, at his “expence? G5v 90
expence—your passive acquiescence
with my stay in town; a
measure you once opposed?”

“Hold, hold,” cried Eliza, to
whom indignation now gave spirit,
“I will hear no more—I have been
unhappy enough, it seems, to marry
a man, subject to the meanest and
most despicable of all passions, jealousy!
—You doubt my honour—
learn to know me better, Mr. Harley,
and then I may perhaps pardon
this outrage—in the mean
time, a just resentment will, I hope,
enable me to subdue that tenderness
for you, which once made up all
my happiness; but which thus “cruelly G6r 91
cruelly injured, is both my torment
and my reproach.”

She uttered these words with great
calmness, and ringing her bell, gave
orders to her maid, to prepare another
chamber for her, telling her she
was indisposed and was afraid of disturbing
Mr. Harley.

While this was doing, Mr. Harley
sate silent, with his eyes fixed on the
ground: awed by the dignity of her
anger; piqued at the indifference,
with which she quitted him; too full
of doubts to solicit a reconcilement;
too passionately fond to endure the
thoughts of separation; his heart
was torn with a contrariety of passions.

Eliza, G6v 92

Eliza, when she heard his sighs,
and, by a stolen glance, saw that engaging
countenance, which she adored,
covered with paleness, and imprest
with anguish, was ready to fly into
his arms; and, by a thousand oaths,
endeavor to convince him of her unalterable
love; but when she reflected
on the injurious reproaches he had
made her, and the credulity, with
which he had entertained those black
suspicions that suggested them; resentment
was again predominant, and
enabled her to maintain her resolution.

Her maid now appeared, and told
her, her chamber was ready. Eliza immediatelyimme- G7r 93
rose up, and wished her husband
a good night.

Mr. Harley rose up also, and
bowed, but spoke not a word; yet
his eager glances followed her to the
door, and ere she could shut it after her,
he flew towards her, he took her hand
and kissed it passionately several times,
while she could feel it wet with his
tears—but he could not, he would
not, bid her stay—he loved; but he
doubted still.

Eliza, whose whole soul was melted
by this last expression of his tenderness,
waited only for that word, to
repay it back with interest—but Mr.
, letting go her hand, bid her
good night, in a low and faltering voice, G7v 94
voice, and hastily turned away, as if
afraid to look on her.

Eliza retired, all drowned in tears,
she saw his jealousy was incurable;
and she now considered it more as his
misfortune than his fault—he suspected,
and yet he loved her—what an
idea did this give her of his sufferings!
All night her anxious thoughts were
employed in searching for expedients,
to cure his mind of the unreasonable
doubts it had entertained—but the more
unreasonable they were, the less likelihood
there was of erasing them—no
arguments could have weight against
obstinate prejudices, which had silenced
reason, ere they could have been
admitted; and protestations of innocence,cence, G8r 95
were alike open to the innocent
and the guilty. Time only could
remove the fatal error he had fallen
into, by producing circumstances,
that might discover the truth; this
hope seemed to suspend the violence
of her grief; and dwelling still, with
melancholy pleasure, upon the involuntary
tenderness her husband discovered
at parting, she endeavored to
comfort herself with the reflection,
that this interruption of their mutual
happiness, was not occasioned by a
want of love, but by an excess of

It was this turn of thinking, that
led her to the resolution of retiring to
their rural habitation, and remaining 4 there, G8v 96
there, till this storm was blown

In the morning she sent a servant
to hire a post-chaise, and busied herself
till the hour of breakfast, in making
preparations for her journey.

Mr. Harley, who had not entered
a bed that night, but passed it in the
most cruel agitation of mind, would
not interrupt his wife’s repose till ten
o’clock; and then he sent her maid to
know if she was ready for breakfast.

Eliza immediately obeyed the summons;
upon her appearance, in her
riding dress, Mr. Harley turned pale
and trembled; Eliza observed this
emotion, and a secret pleasure touched
her soul, at the thought of her being 6 still H1r 97
still dear to him; but when she beheld
that wan countenance, those eyes
all red and swelled, the disorder in his
dress, which shewed how he had passed
the night; she was ready to throw
herself at his feet, to conjure him to
dismiss those causeless doubts, which
robbed them of their mutual peace—
but this was not the way to cure a
mind diseased like his; his return to
pace must be effected by a conviction
of her innocence, and this must
be the result of time, and his own reason.

Repressing then, as much as she was
able, those tender feelings, which
were continually prompting her to
submissions, too humiliating for real, Vol. II. H and H1v 98
and too inconclusive, for suspected
virtue; she endeavoured to assume a
composure in her looks and accent,
while her heart was torn with anguish.

“I am going, Mr. Harley,” said
she, “to leave a place and objects,
which you have been unjust
enough to believe I was attached
too. I shall retire to our little
dwelling in the country; where, if
you had been contented, I could
willingly have passed my days:—
in the mean time I intreat you,
more for your sake than my
own, let the cause of our separation
be a secret, till you have obtained
a more certain knowledge of “my H2r 99
my conduct; and when you are
convinced of the injustice of your
suspicions, then, and not till then,
shall I wish to see you.”

Though this resolution was the fittest
that Eliza, in her present circumstances,
could take, and the most likely
to remove those doubts, which her
husband had so readily entertained;
yet, such was the sickly temper of his
mind, that he saw less prudence in it
than indifference; and a decay of her
affection, seemed equal to a breach of
duty.—Piqued to the soul, at the
composure with which she quitted
him, he thought it behoved him to
appear as indifferent as she was, and
therefore answered coldly:

H2 “Either H2v 100

“Either here or in the country,
Eliza, you are mistress of your own
conduct; I pretend to lay no restraint
upon you—but depend upon
pursued he, sighing, not
able to keep on the masque any longer,
“I will not see you, till you desire

“That shall be, when you deserve
replied Eliza, her tenderness
for a moment giving way to resentment,
at finding all she did for his
satisfaction misconstrued.

She rose up, as she pronounced these
words, the chaise being waiting for
her; she bid him farewel with a firm
accent, but this was the last effort of
her fortitude; her trembling knees refused H3r 101
refused to bear her to the door.—
Overcome by the violence of her
emotions, she sunk down upon a chair,
and burst into a flood of tears.

This sight was more than Mr.
could bear; he flew towards
her, he clasped her in his arms, he
leant his cheek close to hers, and
for some moments, their tears flowed
in one common stream.

“Leave me,” cried Mr. Harley at
length; “leave me, my Eliza, it is
fit it should be so—I see the propriety
of your resolution—go then,
but be sure I will soon follow you,
either to ask your pardon on my
knees, for having doubted you— H3 “or H3v 102
or to die with grief, because I still
must doubt.”

Eliza sighed deeply at these last
words, but made no answer, and once
more rose up to be gone: her husband
led her down stairs, and helped
her into the chaise; his eager eyes
pursued it till it was out of sight;
then retiring to his chamber, he abandoned
himself to all those melancholy
reflections, which his unhappy situation
must necessarily inspire.

Eliza, during her journey, had
time enough to calm the tumults of
her own mind; sure of her husband’s
love for her, even amidst those suspicions,
which the malice of Lady Harley,
had contrived to raise in him; and conscious H4r 103
conscious of her innocence, she trusted
in Providence for the discovery of
the treachery, that had been practised
against her; and determined to wait
patiently for the event.

The sight of her own house, that
scene of her former happiness, called
up a thousand tender ideas, and gave
birth to as many fruitless regrets.—
For some days, she was continually in
tears; but Mr. and Mrs. Elford, who
happened to be then at their country
seat, seldom suffered her to be alone.
Her melancholy passed, for an effect of
her husband’s absence; and his absence,
for the necessary consequence of
that dependance, which he was led H4 into, H4v 104
into, by his hopes of procuring some

These pursuits, however, now gave
way to a nearer care: some method
must be tried, to remove his doubts,
or to change them into a certainty;
which, he thought, he could better
endure, than the cruel suspence he
now laboured under.

The first violence of his jealous
emotions being abated, his mind
more readily admitted those reflections,
which tended to shew him
the rashness of his suspicions. Lord L.
loved his wife, it was true—his concern,
which he vainly endeavoured to
hide, when he heard of her sudden
removal into the country; his pensiveness,siveness, H5r 105
since, were strong indications
of it—but if there had been any
correspondence between them, neither
would Eliza have voluntarily retired
to solitude, nor would he have been
withheld by distance, from seeing her
in her retreat; and that he did not
attempt to see her, Mr. Harley was
well assured, for he caused him to be
so carefully watched, that it was not
possible for him, to make the smallest
excursion without his knowing it.

But Eliza had declared, that Lady
had supplyed her with five
hundred pounds, which was a present
from Sir William; and both Sir William
and his wife had denied any
knowledge of this transaction.

Lady H5v 106

Lady Harley, he knew, was malicious
and revengeful, and might
wish to create a misunderstanding between
two persons, by one of whom
she had been slighted, and the other
rivaled; but, avaritious as she was,
would she sacrifice so considerable a
sum as five hundred pounds, merely
to gratify her malice? But suppose
the passion she once had for him,
was not yet subdued, and that, in this
scheme, to excite his jealousy, she had
farther views, besides interrupting his
conjugal happiness?—this thought,
which he at first rejected, yet forced
itself often upon his mind, and always
received new strength, from the reflectionsflections H6r 107
it led him into upon her conduct.

This suspicion, though not yet realised,
produced a great alteration in
his mind; he no longer felt those torturing
pangs of jealousy, which had
made him tired of his existence; his
Eliza was already more than half justified;
but, amidst the transports,
which the idea of her fidelity gave
him, he did not lose sight of the project
he had formed, for entirely dissipating
all his doubts, by making a
full discovery of lady Harley’s sentiments,
with regard to himself, which
would necessarily unravel the mystery
of the five hundred pounds, which had H6v 108
had been the source of all his disquiets.

It was his business to throw himself,
as often as possible, in her way;
and, for this, he had opportunities
sufficient, as she constantly frequented
every place of fashionable amusement,
while her husband was confined
by age and infirmities at home.

At the Opera or Play, he was always
sure to place himself within her
view; when she first observed him,
she glanced him over with a contemptuous
indifference, which made
him tremble; for if this was the disposition
of her heart, Eliza could not
be so much the object of her hatred,
as to induce her to form so artful a scheme, H7r 109
scheme, and carry it on at so great
an expence, in order to estrange him
from her.

Her looks, however, soon grew
more favourable; for, having observed
the extreme attention with which he
gazed on her, vanity, assisted by the
secret wishes of her own heart, easily
imposed on her understanding; and
she concluded, that those inclinations,
which she always believed, he had
once felt for her, were revived, and
that Eliza had entirely lost his affection.

Without reflecting upon the dangerous
lengths such an intercourse
might carry her, she encouraged his
hopes, by looks so tender and passionate,sionate, H7v 110
that Mr. Harley no longer
doubted of the corruption of her
heart, and thought he had sufficient
proof of what he wanted to know.

Meeting her, however, at the Ridotto,
one night, he resolved to give
himself the satisfaction of making a
further trial, by taking an opportunity
of speaking to her.

He saw her so transported with joy,
at this advance upon his side, and so
many indiscreet indications of her
passion escaped both her eyes and
tongue, that he thought it scarce consistent
with his honour, to pursue
his enquiries any farther.

The next day he received a billet,
which contained the following words: “You H8r 111 “You think me your enemy, and perhaps
I once was so; but if I had any
reasons for resentment against you,
I have more for esteeming you—I
contributed to the ruin of your fortune;
it is fit I should repair that
injury. I know the difficulties to
which an indiscreet marriage has reduced
you.—Ah, why did you take
that fatal step?—which put an inevitable
bar to—but what do I say?
I shall discover all my weakness.—
Ought I not to fear you will despise
me for it?—But why should I fear?
your eyes said so many agreeable
things to me last night, that I
would fain persuade myself, you
still preserve some of your former 4 “kind H8v 112
kind sentiments for me—I am in
despair, when I think on what my
rashness has done; I have made
myself unhappy, and ruined your
expectations; but I have it still in
my power to serve you, and all
my influence shall be exerted in
your favour—in the mean time,
permit me to be your banker; accept
the inclosed bill, and only
signify to me, when you have occasion
for a further supply, and you
will always find it ready.—Whatever
pleasure I take in your conversation,
yet I must warn you
to be cautious of speaking to me
in public, till a reconciliation has
taken place, which I do not doubt of I1r 113
of effecting—but if you really wish
to see me, methinks it might not
be difficult to give you that satisfaction,
without running any risque.
—I shall be at my milliner’s
at two o’clock to day; her name is
Mears, she lives in Bond-street; if
you call in, as by accident, to make
some little purchases, I shall have
an opportunity of speaking to

This letter was not signed; the lady,
no doubt, thinking it unnecessary,
as Mr. Harley, from the contents,
could be at no loss to guess the writer,
and she was willing to be secure.
There was enclosed in it bank bills
for two hundred pounds.

Vol. II. I Mr. I1v 114

Mr. Harley, already fully convinced,
of the licentiousness of this
woman’s character, wanted no farther
proof of her having been the contriver
of that wicked artifice, by which he
had been led to doubt of the fidelity
of his wife; but the letter before
him furnished one, which amounted
indeed to a full conviction; the handwriting
was the same with that insiduous
billet, which charged the innocent
Eliza, with a secret correspondence
with Lord L. and with having
accepted from him, the five hundred
pounds, which she said, lady Harley
had presented her with.

He had preserved this billet; and,
struck with the resemblance in the 5 writing, I2r 115
writing, he compared the two, and
found them to be of the same

Delighted with this discovery, tho’
it was more than necessary, all his suspicions
having been fully cleared before,
he searched for the letter lady
had written to him before her
marriage; the little notice he had
taken of that letter, and the time that
had elapsed, since his receiving it, had
left no traces in his mind, of any
likeness it might bear to those before
him; but now, upon examining them
together, he perceived that the two
last, though sufficient pains had been
taken to disguise the writing, was
from the same hand as the first.

I2 Indig- I2v 116

Indignation, contempt, hatred,
were his first emotions, but the despicable
object, that excited them,
was not worthy of his thoughts, now
wholly turned upon his lovely wife;
her image, as when he saw her last,
rose to his tortured imagination,
bathed in tears, struggling between her
resentment of the injury, and her love
for the injurer, consigning herself to
tears and solitude, and quitting, with
reluctant tenderness, the man, who
had been capable of entertaining suspicions
against her spotless innocence.

One while he dreaded, left a too
justifiable anger, had obliterated all
her former love, and that she had 6 driven I3r 117
driven him from a heart, which he was
not worthy to possess; then, reflecting
on her gentleness, her submission,
and despair; he trembled with the
apprehension, that her health might
suffer from the painful conflicts of
her mind.

Not able to bear the racking suspence
he was in for her safety, and
less sensible to the joy of finding her
innocent, than to his grief for having
offended her, and his fears of the consequence;
he resolved to set out immediately,
though the day was pretty
far advanced, and he could not hope
to reach his house before it was late
at night: while he dispatched his servant
to hire post horses, he wrote a I3 short I3v 118
short billet to the base author of his
Eliza’s distress, and his own lasting
remorse; this was what it contained.

“Madam, I have now lying before me
three of your letters; to the first,
which you wrote me before your
marriage with Sir William, you
have had my answer already; the
last is a comment upon the other
two. You will guess at the return
I am able to make, when I desire
you to be assured, that I am a man
of honour, and love my wife with
the most fervent passion; the horrid
artifices you have used, to render
her suspected by me, have had “no I4r 119
no other effect, than to call forth
a thousand new virtues in her, and
to heighten my veneration of her;
my love was not capable of admitting
increase. I return you, inclosed,
the bank notes you sent me
—and when you are pleased to
claim it, the five hundred pounds,
Mrs. Harley received from you,
shall also be paid back. ”

Mr. Harley signed his name at full
length, and sent a chairman with
the letter, giving him orders to deliver
it, if possible, into lady Harley’s

He then immediately began his
journey, and rode so hard, that he I4 reached I4v 120
reached ―, before eleven that

Eliza was retired to undress; she
heard her husband was come, and she
flew down stairs to receive him; forgetting,
in her transport at his unexpected
arrival, that she ever had
any cause of complaint against him.

The beautiful disorder of her dress,
her hair, which her maid had been
combing, hanging in her neck; a
loose gown carelessly wrapt about
her; surprise and joy painted in her
lovely face, the hasty step that marked
her impatience to behold him; all
indicated the tender emotions, by
which she was agitated.

Mr. I5r 121

Mr. Harley, the moment he saw
her, was flying with open arms to
press her to his heart; but recollecting
his situation with her, he stopped short,
threw himself at her feet, and taking
one of her hands, glewed his lips to
it, but durst not raise his eyes to her

This action bringing back those
melancholy ideas, which her present
transport had suspended, she faintly
attempted to withdraw her hand, half
ashamed of what she then considered
as a weakness.—“Ah! I had forgot,”
said she, sighing, “that I am suspected,
and that you are unhappy.”

“Do I5v 122

“Do not, do not say, so” cried he;
“angels are not purer than my Eliza;
I am indeed unhappy, and
must ever be so in the consciousness,
that I have doubted such excellence;
you may perhaps forgive
me, but I shall never, never
forgive myself.”

“You are forgiven from this moment,”
said the generous Eliza,
throwing one of her arms about his
neck; and leaning her cheek close to
his, wet it with the tears that fell
from her charming eyes; but they
were tears of tenderness and joy, not
of painful recollection.

Mr. Harley, overcome with so
much goodness, strained her still closer to I6r 123
to his breast—unable to give utterance
to that croud of tender and passionate
sentiments, which filled his heart,
otherwise, than by broken exclamations
“Oh my Eliza,” said he,
“why are you so excellent?—
What a wretch have I been!—I
never can deserve you! no, I am
unworthy of you.”

Eliza was uneasy, to find his thoughts
taking this turn; she had had leisure
sufficient to comprehend the true motives
of that capricious conduct,
which had lately, so cruelly, afflicted
her, and had traced to their source
those restless doubts, which had terminated
at last in a jealousy, injurious
to her and to himself—too great sensibilitysibility I6v 124
of temper, too poignant a
feeling of his disappointments—conscious
that he had preferred the gratification
of his passion, to the interest
of the beloved object, which pointed
out to her another choice—he dreaded
the loss of her heart, by those methods,
which had secured to him her
person. Hence proceeded his anxiety,
his causeless suspicion of a decrease in
her affection; and hence grew that too
easy admission of doubts, injurious to
her honour, and destructive of his
own peace.

Eliza, by whom the state of his heart
was now well understood, and who
loved him the more for that knowledge,
bent all her endeavours to cure him I7r 125
him of that tender fault, which she
foresaw would be the only allay to
her happiness.

She suffered several days to elapse,
before she even enquired whether
Lady Harley had yet claimed the
honour of having been her benefactor.

This gay manner of introducing a
subject, which Mr. Harley never
thought of, but with shame and remorse,
gave him courage to enter
into a detail of what had passed between

Eliza was greatly shocked at the
wicked part she had acted, but expressed
much more compassion than
anger: her husband shewed her a copy
of the letter he had sent her, with the bank I7v 126
bank bills returned; she was of opinion
that the five hundred pounds
should also be sent back; this had
not escaped the delicacy of Mr. Harley;
but he could not make up the
sum, without drawing some part of
Eliza’s fortune out of the funds, an
expedient he would not hear of—so,
for the present, they were contented
to let that matter rest as it was.

The frequent disappointments he
had met with, ever since he had begun
the work of dependance upon
the great, the little sincerity he found
in their professions, and the unblushing
indifference with which they passed
from one broken promise, to another
as little binding, disgusted him with I8r 127
with all court solicitations; and he
was determined, since his lovely wife
shewed so perfect a contentment with
her lot, to confine his wishes within
the bounds that Providence seemed
to prescribe to him.

Eliza made it plain to him, that,
with an exact economy, their income
was sufficient to supply them with all
the conveniencies, and even some of
the pleasures of life.

Several months rolled away in an
uninterrupted series of calm, but permanent
happiness; when Eliza becoming
pregnant, her tender, anxious
husband, trembling for the event,
pressed her to go to London, while
she was able to take the journey,ney, I8v 128
without any inconvenience, that
she might be near the best advice and
assistance her situation required.

Eliza, though very unwilling to incur
this new expence, yet yielded to
his tender pleas, and once more
quitted her humble, but now happy

Their manner of living in town,
was suitable to that exact plan of
economy, which she had brought
her husband to be contented with,
and which she submitted to with
a chearfulness, that made it appear
rather her choice than necessity.

As soon as they were settled, Mr.
sent notice of their arrival to
his worthy tutor, Mr. Irwin, whom he K1r 129
he was surprised to see, as soon as his
messenger, and with looks that indicated
his having some extraordinary
news to communicate to him.

“Nothing could be more fortunate,”
said he, embracing him,
“than your coming to town at this
time: I was going to dispatch an
express to you—Sir William is ill,
and wishes to see you.”

The generous youth grew pale,
and interrupting him with some emotion,
“Sir William is dying,” said
he.—“Ah! is it not so my good
friend?—and now methinks I feel
that I have been to blame, in
behaving to him with so much
petulance—his unkindness is forgot,Vol. II. K “got, K1v 130
and I remember only that he
was my benefactor.”

He could not pronounce these
words without tears. “Come,” said
the chaplain, “we have have no
time to lose; Sir William is indeed
past hope of recovery—he always
loved you; but Lady Harley has
been your enemy, and shews an
inveteracy against you, which has
at length disgusted her husband;
who is, besides, not quite satisfied
with her conduct.—This interview
I know will displease her; but Sir
has, for some time past,
abated of his fondness, and her influence,
over him, is at an end;
she best knows the cause of this “change, K2r 131
change, but I hope you will be a
gainer by it.”

Mr. Harley being now ready to
attend him, they stepped into a
hackney coach that was waiting
at the door; and soon reached
Grosvenor Square.

As soon as they alighted, Mr. Irwin
conducted his young friend into a
parlour, desiring him to wait a few
moments, while he prepared Sir William
for his visit.

In the mean time somebody opened
the door, peeped in, and shut it hastily
again; and presently afterwards a servant
brought a message from Lady Harley,
informing him that Sir William K2 could K2v 132
could see no person whatever, his
physicians having absolutely forbid it.

Mr. Harley was confounded, and
wholly at a loss what to do, for the
servant stood, holding the door open,
as if to wait on him out; he hesitated
a moment or two, expecting Mr.
would come and relieve him
from this aukward situation; but finding
he did not appear, he could not
resolve to force a longer stay, and was
got as far as the hall, when the chaplain
luckily met him.

“Where are you going, Mr.
said he, taking his hand.
“I am come to conduct you to Sir

“I K3r 133

“I was returning home,” replied
Mr. Harley—looking back upon the
servant, who slunk away, “not hopeing
for admission to Sir William;
for Lady Harley just now sent to
let me know that he could not see

Mr. Irwin shrugged up his shoulders,
but made no answer; and leading
him into Sir William’s chamber,
moved softly to his bedside, to acquaint
him that his kinsman was

Mr. Harley, shocked at the melancholy
appearance about him, was dissolved
in tears, when hearing the sick
Baronet say, in a faint voice, “Billy,
where are you?”
he approached, K3 endea- K3v 134
endeavoring to conceal his emotions.

Sir William, fixing his languid
eyes upon him, saw both his concern,
and his solicitude to hide it, and made
a motion to him to sit down upon a
chair next his bedside; holding out
to him, at the same time, his trembling
hand, already bedewed with the
cold sweats of death.

Mr. Harley, instead of sitting
down, threw himself upon his knees
by the bedside, and kissing his hand,
could only utter these few words:
“Am I forgiven, Sir? have you pardoned

Sir William was greatly affected
with his thus generously taking uponon K4r 135
himself the blame of their past
difference—“Poor youth!” said he,
sighing, “forgiveness is your part,
for I have used you ill; but what
reparation can I make, I will—my
wife has given me an heir—therefore
your expectations that way are
cut off.”

He stopped here, and continued
silent some moments—then went on
with a voice still fainter—“Dear
Billy, here are the writings of your
father’s estate—it will come clear
into your hands—and by my will
you will find yourself entitled
to a sum, more than adequate to
the whole produce while it was in
my possession—God bless you with K4 “it— K4v 136
it—farewell—I will see you again
in the evening, if I am able.”

He then drew his hand within the
bed cloaths, and turning his head to
the other side, seemed to decline
any further converse.

Mr. Harley rose up, penetrated
with gratitude, tenderness, and concern
—he cast a melancholy look back
upon his dying kinsman, as he quitted
the room, and, in an ardent ejaculation,
recommended him to the mercy
of heaven. Mr. Irwin followed him
to the hall; he saw him too much
moved to speak; therefore pressing
his hand, he only whispered—“expect
a message from me, if Sir
asks for you again.”

Mr. K5r 137

Mr. Harley bowed in silence, and
threw himself into the coach: his
tears, which he now suffered to take
a free course, eased his oppressed
heart; and the melancholy ideas that
had excited them, dissipating by degrees,
gave place to others more
pleasing, which the unexpected change
in his fortune naturally produced.

With what impatience did he long
to communicate the news to his Eliza!
how tedious did the moments
seem till he reached his own lodgings!
Eliza met him at the top of the stairs;
he flew into her arms, he clasped her
close to his bosom—“Oh! my angel,”
cried he, “I lose my kinsman, I lose
my benefactor; but he has enabled 4 “me K5v 138
me to make my Eliza happy. I shall
no longer have the deadly grief to
behold her pining in indigence.
I am master of the estate of my
ancestors; it is not large, but it is
sufficient to maintain us in ease and
plenty; Sir William’s munificence
has added something to it.—How
much I know not, but whatever
it is, it is more than enough to
gratify all my wishes.”

Eliza, concluding from these words
that Sir William was dead, dropt a
tender tear for him; her husband
kissed it off, and then related to her
all that had passed, in his interview
with the poor Baronet.

6 Lady K6r 139

Lady Harley’s behaviour on this
occasion, convinced them of the deep
enmity she harboured in her bosom;
but they were both too generous to
draw those conclusions, from the manner
in which her husband mentioned
her in these his last moments, which
the world has since done, and which
her subsequent conduct has authorised.

No message coming from Mr.
that day, Mr. Harley, anxious
to know if Sir William was still alive,
sent a servant to Grosvenor Square,
who returned with the news of his
death, which had happened about a
quarter of an hour before.

Mr. K6v 140

Mr. Irwin did not come till two
days afterwards; he informed Mr.
, that soon after he had left
his kinsman, he ordered a codicil to
be added to his will, by which he
bequeathed him five thousand pounds
more, which made his whole legacy
ten thousand pounds.—Lady Harley,
he told him, had only her marriage
settlement, which was indeed a very
large one; but her husband, not having
distinguished her, in his testament,
by the smallest token of his remembrance,
made it sufficiently
plain what sentiments he entertained
of her.

And here, Madam, your Ladyship
must permit me to close the History of K7r 141
of Eliza
; whom, according to the
custom of Romance writers, I do not
quit, till I have conducted her to happiness.
Fortune, however, seems disposed
to heap more favours on this
amiable pair, than, I am confident,
either of them desires; for the young
son of Sir William is in so declining
a state of health, that his death is
daily expected; in which case Mr.
undoubtedly will succeed to
the title and state.