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The Countess of Dellwyn by Sarah Fielding

Vol. 1
The Answer.
The Answer.
Vol. 2
CHAPTER the Last.


Vol. 1

THE HISTORY OF THE Countess of Dellwyn.


The writing a Preface to a Book seems to be invented for the Purpose of introducing the Author to the Acquaintance of the Reader; and hath been so general a Practice, that from Custom it appears to be established almost as a necessary Rule; and as every well-bred Man, when he presents Strangers to each other, informs them who they are to address, so doth the Author, in his Preface, acquaint his Reader in some degree what is the Nature of his Design; or what he thinks so necessary to avoid, that he is careful it shall not be found in his Writing.

The following Sheets are composed of the Histories of Persons, whose Conduct in Life gives abundant Opportunity of dissplaying the natural Tendency of Virtue towards the Attainment of Happiness; and, on the contrary, that Misery is the unavoidable Consequence of vicious Life; and tho' it is hoped the Characters are really to be found in human Nature, otherwise they would indeed deserve no other Appellation than Chimeras, yet are they universal, and not pointed at Individuals.

It is amazing with what Celerity Conjectures are formed, by which the Incidents that befal, or the Behaviour of, the Personages in these kinds of Histories of Life and Manners, are dragged by the most far-fetched Deductions to mean a Reflexion on Mr. — or Mrs. —, somebody whom they know; and this often when there is less Resemblance than in Fluellin's Parallel between Henry the Fifth and Alexander; that they were born in Places which began with the same Letter; that there were Rivers in each Country, and Fish in the Rivers of both, is some Degree beyond what these judicious Discoverers can boast; who have often no other Foundation for their Comparison, than that the Two Persons, being both of the human Species, have each the Features in common to their Kind. But as it is requisite for a Writer, whenever he compares one Object to another, or illustrates a Thought by something else that resembles it, that he should first acquaint himself thoroughly with every minute Difference, lest he should confuse, instead of clearing his Meaning; so also it is necessary that the Reader, who delights in making Applications, should first be cautious in considering whether he hath informed himself of every Circumstance relating to the Two Pictures which he would represent as like each other, before he draws the Parallel, and remember well, that

Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast.

If we were but to reflect on the strange Confusion the contrary Practice to what I am recommending would make in our common Converse with Mankind, we should immediately perceive the Absurdity of it in the most glaring Light; for there we find it necessary, in order to know our Friends and Acquaintance, not only to be acquainted with the Formation of human Features in general, but also with the different Modifications of those of every Individual; otherwise the whole World would be in one continued Perplexity, and Mankind would never be able to distinguish one Person from another; for Men would run about challenging each other for Acquaintance, only because they had Mouths or Eyes, or any other human Feature. Nor is this in any degree too strong a Picture of Mens common Practice in their Judgments of Books, where not only a single Feature, but even Dress, or the Colour of a Ribbon, serves to prove a Likeness entirely to their Satisfaction.

It is also very observable that these Conjecturers are very generous in bestowing on others those Characters which they can spare without any Reluctance, as they are by no means desirous of applying them to themselves; but those exemplary Pictures of human Nature, which are drawn as proper to shew forth what ought to be imitated, are very uncommonly given away, every one appearing to have some convenient Situation in which they can place it at home: But this is done in Silence; for tho' they wish others to perceive what is very visible to their own Eyes; namely, that they themselves have sat for such Pictures; yet they think it would be a small Breach of Modesty to declare their Thought on that head; but a Compliment of that kind is received with the same sort of Backwardness to acknowledge its Justice, as a young Lady often shews towards the Flattery of her Admirer, when it is impossible for his Praise to out-run her own fixed Opinion of herself.

The Uniformity of Character is allowed to be one of the principal, and most necessary Ingredients to this kind of Writing.

The great Master, and the deepest Penetrator into the inmost Recesses of human Nature, in the Instructions which he with such great Propriety and Judgment introduces from the Mouth of Hamlet to the Players, may, if the Writer pleases, be most Part of it adopted also by him for his own Advantage. Hamlet, amongst many others, gives the following Instructions to the Players:

"With this special Observance, that you o'er-step not the Modesty of Nature; for any thing so overdone is from the Purpose of playing; whose End, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as it were, the Mirror to Nature; to shew Virtue her own Feature, Scorn her own Image, and the very Age and Body of the Time his Form and Pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy of, tho' it make the Unskilful laugh, cannot but make the Judicious grieve."

If the Word Writing was substituted instead of Playing, the Speech in general would be full as applicable to the Author as the Player; and when the former deviates from the Paths of Nature, in either stopping short of her Mark, or wildly running beyond the Limits she prescribes, it is natural for the Reader, as well as for the Spectator at the Theatre, to join with Hamlet in his Observation, that

"Some of Nature's Journeymen have made Men, and not made them well; they imitate Humanity so abominably."

It is necessary also that the Writers of Characters, as well as the Actors who personate them on the Theatre, should, as is expressed finely in the same Author, "Speak no more than is set down for them;" for, as the Actor must be faithful to the Words he finds in his Author, so also must the Writer be careful neither to diminish nor exceed in the characteristical Strokes which are drawn by Nature herself: And such as are peculiarly distinguished by the Name of Characters of Humour, should no more be distorted by any fantastic Whim of the Poet's Brain, than any other Character whatever; tho' a greater Latitude seems necessary to be given in them than in others of a more serious Cast. The Word Humour itself is understood so variously by very ingenious Men, that it appears difficult to fix to it a certain Idea.

Ben Johnson, in Every Man out of his Humour, hath led the Way into a little Path, by which perhaps it may in some measure be traced; for, after an Enquiry into the Nature of Humour in the Abstract, he says

                                        —And hence we do conclude,
That whatsoe'er hath Fluxure and Humidity,
As wanting Power to contain itself,
Is Humour. So in every human Body,
The Choler, Melancholy, Phlegm, and Blood,
By reason that they flow continually
In some one Part; and are not continent,
Receive the Name of Humour. Now thus far
It may, by Metaphor, apply itself
Unto the general Disposition:
As when some one peculiar Quality
Doth so possess a Man, that it doth draw
All his Affects, his Spirits, and his Powers,
In their Confluxions, all to run one Way,
This may be truly said to be a Humour.

If this be true, and is by any means a proper Explanation of the Word, what we call Humour in an Author is the Capacity of penetrating that peculiar Quality, which hath taken such strong Possession of the Character he would represent to his Reader, that it in a great Degree flows through every Action of his Life, and even influences him in the Workings of all his Passions.

The Combination of Circumstances, which is necessary to display characteristic Humours, and set them a flowing into their proper Chanel, is at the Option of the Author; and when these Circumstances are judiciously chosen, the Fact will appear to the Reader not only as a Probability, but also will carry with it an Air of real Truth.

To illustrate this by an Instance: If an Author hath an Inclination to display the Characteristic of various Persons under the Influence of the Passion of Fear, and should therefore contrive to place them all together in a House on Fire (which is very adequate to the raising the greatest Consternation); the Fire must not walk to the House, and burn it, "will he, nill he," as the Clown says; but natural Circumstances must combine for that Purpose: And even in such a Calamity, when the Bent of the Disposition is strong, it will not fail to display itself.

The Miser, even if he had before been confined to his Bed with the Gout or Stone, will break through all Obstacles to preserve his darling Treasure from Danger. The enamoured Swain will fly as if he had borrowed Wings, to bear his Fair-one, as Æneas did Anchises his Father, safe from the Terrors of devouring Flames. Friends will fly to Friends Apartments to secure the Joy of their affectionate Hearts. The fond Parents, forgetful of their own own Danger, will bear in their Remembrance no other Part of the House than that wherein their little innocent darling Treasure is deposited.

The fine Lady, who has an Antipathy to half God's Creation, who screams at the Sight of a Mouse, faints at a Spider, and breaks the Rest of her Family with a Thousand needless Apprehensions, would here indeed be somewhat out of her usual Conceit, and shew the Effect of true Fear, by being too much frighted to make a clamorous Noise; but yet I am much mistaken, if her beloved Affectation would not break forth, before such a Scene was concluded; and in all Probability her apparent Fears would greatly increase, as her Apprehensions and the real Danger lessened, and her vociferous Screams would break most abundantly forth, when indeed there was no need of any such Matter. But if, on the contrary, it was to be related of the Miser, that, forgetting his Money, his whole Care was placed on the Safety of the Lady; of the Lover, that, neglecting his Mistress, his Attention was all employed on any other Treasure, but her; or that the Parent abandoned all Thoughts of his Offspring; the Whole would be perplexed, and Nature would be intirely banished from such an absurd Representation. But here it may be observed, that as the Writer must be thoroughly acquainted with the Bent of the Dispositions of the Miser, the Lover, the Friend, and the Parent, before he can make any of them act with Propriety on this or any other Occasion, so must the Reader also have some Degree of Knowlege of them before he can judge truly whether they are represented right or wrong, or distinguish what is natural from the wild Fancies of the Poet's Brain.

Characters, which are drawn up by Historians, are often perplexed and confused by Party Spirit; Prejudice or Partiality too often swaying the Authors, either to lash them with unreasonable Satire, or to smooth them over with a kind of glittering Varnish, so that it is as difficult to trace the real Features of the Man, who is transmitted to Posterity in a Figure perfectly different from what he really bore in his Life-time, as it would be to discover a Roman Senator dressed like a modern fine Gentleman.

Amongst all the Biographers, whose Characters were taken from real Life, none seem to have in so very intelligible a Manner acquainted their Readers with the true Characteristic of their Heroes, as Plutarch; in Admiration of whom Montaigne expresses himself so warmly, that he acknowleges his Obligation to the French Translator of him in this very remarkable Expression: "He hath," says he, "lifted us Dunces out of the Dust;" as if understanding Plutarch was of itself enough to give a Man a Claim to Knowlege, and to baffle the dark Clouds of Ignorance.

The short and pointed Story of Alexander the Great's enquiring of the Philosopher, "What a Man must do to become a God?" throws more Light on the inward Recess of the proud Hero's Mind, than if Plutarch had blazoned forth his own Parts by all the most pompous Descriptions of Alexander's Conquests; for as the little, almost imperceptible, Wheels generally influence the greatest worldly Machines, in like manner do the smallest Incidents most clearly unravel the intricate Labyrinths of the human Mind; and this Story, as it is the strongest Proof of his unbounded Ambition, is also a sort of Key to every Action which is recorded of his Life.

The Perspicuity and Propriety of the Moral is allowed to be another Ingredient absolutely necessary to this, and indeed to all kinds of Writings of Invention.

Bossu declares it to be the Opinion of both Aristotle and Horace, That Poets teach moral Philosophy; and that the latter even gives the Preference in this respect to Homer over the Philosophers themselves.

Then Bossu assigns the Cause why the Poets thus excel simple Philosophers, and says, that it arises from the Nature of the Poetry, which in every kind is wholly an Imitation; now Imitation, continues he, is extremely agreeable and natural to Man; for which Reason this Manner of treating any Subject is much more engageing, and more properly adapted to gain Attention. Besides Imitation gives Instruction by the Force of Examples; and Examples are so much the more powerful to persuade, as they prove the Possibility of following them; to all which Bossu also adds, that Imitation is so much of the intrinsic Nature of Poetry, that Aristotle declares the Art itself to that Cause owes its Birth.

Thus it is visibly the unanimous Opinion of those great Men, that Poets are, as it were, the Imitators, I had almost said the Mimicks, of Nature; an Appellation which, in its present Use, carries with it indeed very little Dignity, and seems to imply only a Capacity at catching at some Peculiarity of Gesture or Behaviour, in order to point out an Object of Derision. But the Poets were considered as Imitators of Nature in a very different Light from that narrow and confined Sense; as Searchers into the inmost Labyrinths of the human Mind; as penetrating the Force of the different characteristic Bent of the various Dispositions of Men towards their Conduct in Life, and then placing them in such Circumstances, as give an ample Field to display, by the Examples they bring into Action, the fatal Effects of indulged Passions, and the happy Result of restraining all Passions and Tumults of the human Breast within the proper Limits prescribed by Reason; for Monsieur Rochefocault truly says, "It is difficult to conquer the Passions, but it is impossible to satisfy them;" that is, when they rebel against their proper Guide, and forcibly snatch the Reins out of the Hands of that Governor appointed to restrain and keep them within their own prescribed Bounds. Every Vice, by which a bad Man is actuated, as well as every Virtue which animates the Bosom of a good Character, tends, if properly managed, to produce the Moral, which is essentially necessary to render any Writing useful to the Reader.

The narrow-minded and illiberal Peruser of Books, who searches only for pointed Satire, and can relish no Character, but such as he finds, or imagines he finds, to partake of the Nature of an abusive Libel on some particular Person, is incapable of being pleased with general Pictures of Nature; but, like the Palate vitiated by habitual Luxury, he requires sharp and seasoned Sauce before he can relish any Food whatsoever; and it is more Matter of Triumph to such Readers to find out a Similitude in any Individual of their Acquaintance to some ridiculous Story, or bad Character, than if they could discover all the Verisimilitudes that were ever thought of.

Perhaps a Beau or a Belle, who run thro' Writings for this Purpose, would at the same time look down, with supercilious Contempt, on the Seaman who read Virgil with no other View but to observe whether or no he understood Geography; and as soon as he discovered that he was not ignorant in the only Point in which he himself could claim any Knowlege, he admitted Virgil to be a very fine Writer; and yet the same Belle or Beau might be told, with great Truth, that their own Manner of dealing with Books is much more confined and illiberal than the Seaman's, and an undoubted Proof of a smaller Degree of Understanding than that which belonged to the honest Tar, added to that Failure of Candour and Benignity of Heart, which is a much greater Blemish in their Nature, than the highest Degree of mere Ignorance and Want of Taste can ever deserve to be accused of.

If an Author happens to live in an Age when a general Fashion of Dissipation banishes Reflexion, and the View in Reading at all is circumscribed within such narrow Limits, that the Pleasure thereby proposed seems to be no other than to discover some Reference to particular Objects, and universal Resemblances to human Nature are overlooked, he ought to content himself without such Applause as is only to be obtained by the Forfeiture of his own moral Character; and would make a very injudicious Bargain, if he so far adapted his Practice to their Taste, that he must necessarily be conscious of being a bad Man, in order to be accounted by such Readers a pleasing Writer. Well said Horace, when he prefers any thing to this Manner of Writing:

Better even this, than cruelly defame,
And point Buffoons and Villains out by Name:
Sure to be hated, even by those you spare,
Whose Anger's always equal to their Fear.

And more commendable yet is the same good-humoured Roman Bard in his Declaration, that

No honest Man shall by my Satire bleed .

There is a peculiar Care necessary concerning the Purity of Language; I do not here mean any thing which is called Elegance or Beauty of Style; but only that the Terms, which are ever applied to whatsoever is deservedly laudable, should on no account be used so equivocally, as to be made applicable indifferently to what is either vicious or virtuous.

I cannot forbear translating a Passage from Bossu, which is so exactly adapted to the present Purpose, that it is perfectly expressive of the Ideas I would wish on this Occasion to convey to the Reader.

" The Poet hath also this in common with Orators and Philosophers, that he ought, like them, to appear a wise, prudent, and virtuous Man; for this Reason, and more especially because he ought to teach Virtue, he is obliged to be perfectly acquainted with Morality, and to be truly virtuous. This Science consists in Practice; it is not learned by simple Speculations only. If a good and solid Morality doth not correct our Passions, it is almost impossible but that our Passions will lead us into a false Morality. We do not blame, with a good Grace, the Faults in which we delight: We love better to believe that they are not Vices, than to acknowlege to ourselves that we are vicious.

"If Horace judged rightly, in saying that Homer would have praised Wine less, if he had not loved it; what can be thought of those who dwell with so much Pleasure and Affectation on whatsoever is most shameful and criminal in our Passions? who from thence form the most interesting and pathetic Parts of their Poems; and who represent infamous Amours under the Appellation of Gallantries, which an honest Man, and a real fine Gentleman, can place among the Number of his fortunate Adventures?

"To represent Vice only under soft and amiable Colours, is not the Method to make it hated. Those who set them forth under beautiful Masques, give sufficient Cause to believe that they view them only in that Light, and that their Lives are consonant to their Morality and their Writings.

"If there are Readers who have the same Taste, it is not to them that an Author ought to accommodate himself; for this would be to corrupt the most essential Rules of Poetry and Fable. A pernicious Art is not an Art, or at least ought not to be tolerated. If there are no other Readers, and a Poet is obliged to be corrupt, in order to please, it is unfortunate for those who cherish this Corruption; and who prefer the Glory of being a Poet to that of being a good Man.

"These Reflexions are not foreign to my Subject, because they serve to illustrate what is the Conduct of Homer and Virgil. These Heathens have not sullied the Majesty of their epic Poems by criminal Delicacies. Ulysses is cold towards Circe; melancholy when with Calypso: Briseis and Chryseis inflame Achilles and Agamemnon with Anger only; Camilla hath no Lovers; the Love of Turnus for Lavinia is scarcely mentioned; and the whole Passion of Dido is treated as a criminal Infidelity, for which that wretched Queen is cruelly punished."

The Moral should most clearly manifest what seems to be evidently the Fact, That the Mind, under the Influence of any indulged vicious Passion, is of itself and essentially unhappy, even without the Consideration of any Consequences, as truly as the Body is unhealthy whilst it labours under any Distemper whatsoever; for Virtue is as certainly the Strength of the Mind, as Health is visibly the Cause of the Vigour of the Body; and the Soul is as much diseased by Vice, as the Body is by a Fever.

The various Manner in which the greatest Geniuses have personified almost all the different evil Passions by which the Mind of Man is ever actuated, whether in the Forms of Furies, or in any other Shape, with all the proper Circumstances with which they have surrounded such Personages; giving them Power to inflict the Stings of Serpents, the Venom of Snakes, with all that is dreadful to human Nature; plainly prove, that those elevated and uncommon Capacities meant to display, under such allegorical Descriptions, the immediate Misery which accompanies the cherishing such evil Passions; and it would be dealing very unjustly by such Writers, to suppose that they had no other View therein, than to give a Loose to their enlarged Imaginations: For if such was indeed the Fact, it would greatly lessen the Absurdity of that trite Saying, that "Wit and Judgment never go together."

The Story of Amata, in Virgil's Seventh Book of the Æneid, affords abundant Proof of that Poet's Judgment, in joining this Moral to the luxuriant Flights of the Imagination.

When Juno resolves to carry her Point, and gratify her inexorable Revenge against the Trojans, agreeable to this noble Determination, she says,

What tho' the partial Heav'ns my Aims repel,
I'll raise new Forces from the Depths of Hell!

And then she immediately calls the Fury best fitted for the destined Purpose from her infernal Habitation, and Alecto comes forth thus beautifully described:

Crimes, Frauds, and Murders, are the Fiend's Delight,
The Rage of Death, and Slaughters of the Fight.
So fierce her Looks! such Terrors from her Eyes!
Round her grim Front such monstrous Serpents rise!
She scares ev'n Pluto, her immortal Sire;
Her Sister Furies tremble, and retire.

Thus, armed with Serpents, is Rage properly personified; because into whatsoever Bosom Rage ever gets Admittance, mental Pain, such as resembles that which follows on the Sting of Serpents in the Body, certainly accompanies her; and when the Fury arrives at Amata's Door, how finely she insinuates herself, while she keeps concealed from the Queen's Sight; for the View of her was sure to make her avoided:

Here stopt the Fiend; and (Discord all her View)
Snatch'd from her hissing Locks, a Snake she threw.
And thro' her inmost Soul the Fury flew.
Unfelt, the Monster glides thro' every Vest,
And breathes the secret Poison in her Breast.
Now, like a Fillet, round her Temples roll'd;
Now, round her bosom, like a Chain of Gold,
Now to her Tresses he repairs, and there
Thrids every Kinglet of her golden Hair.

If this Description was to be considered very particularly, every Instance of the Manner in which the Monster glides, might perhaps be visibly full of Meaning. We now almost see the Fury at work:

Thus while her kindling Soul the Pest inspires
With the first Sparkles of her fatal Fires.

And Virgil leaves her to complete her Design, whilst he declares what Amata was before her Arrival; but there seems to be an inimitable Beauty in the Description of Amata before she was thus envenomed; when, tho' disappointed in her Desire of marrying her Daughter Lavinia to Turnus, by her Husband's Determination to give her to Æneas, yet she was afflicted without being irritated, and only complained in such a Manner as became a Matron:

Before the Bosom of the Royal Dame
Felt the full Furies of th' infernal Flame,
She speaks her Grief, in Accents soft and mild,
Implores the Sire, and sorrows o'er her Child.
And must Lavinia then, our only Joy,
Wed with this wand'ring Fugitive of Troy?
And can a Father issue the Decree,
So fatal to himself, to her, and me?

But while the Fury is working in her Mind, we see her rise by degrees in her Language; and the first visible Instance we perceive of her Change, is in her reproaching the old King her Husband:

Where, where is Friendship, Truth, and Honour, now?
A Father's promise, and a Monarch's Vow!

But when the Fury hath thoroughly insinuated the Venom through her whole Mind, then we see her come forth in all the Height of Misery:

But now the spreading Poison fir'd her Whole,
Ev'n to the last Recesses of her Soul.
In her wild Thoughts a thousand Horrors rise,
And fierce and madding round the Streets she flies.
So the gay Striplings lash, in eager Sport,
A Top, in giddy Circles, round a Court:
In rapid Rings it whirls, and spins aloud,
Admir'd with Rapture by the blooming Croud;
From ev'ry Stroke flies humming o'er the Ground,
And gains new Spirit as the Blow goes round.

Perhaps there cannot be a stronger or finer Contrast described than this, between the harmless Effects, and the very supportable Affliction, of mild Sorrow, when placed in the Comparison with the dreadful Consequences, as well as the insupportable Pain, of furious Rage. But here Virgil takes great Care to paint in the most glaring Colours the Misery that Amata suffered from the Moment she had admitted this furious Passion, even whilst she was yet ignorant of all the future Misfortunes that might happen from it; for nothing can give us so strong an Idea of the Misery of a Woman, as to suppose her under the Power of her own Passions, in such a manner as to bear a Resemblance to the Top, which is whipped about at the Will and Pleasure of the Boys. And every human Creatre, under the Lash of their own furious Passions, doth bear a very strong Resemblance to the Top so whirled about, except in one very disadvantageous Circumstance on the Side of Mankind, that of feeling the Strokes, whilst they perturb and rend from the Bosom every peaceful Thought, and every Possibility of enjoying one Moment's Pleasure.

Perhaps, by reflecting on every Circumstance which attends this Action of the whirling the Top about by the Strokes given by the Children, we should find there is no Simile more adapted to illustrate the inward Perturbation of the human Mind under the Influence of unrestrained Passion; which might be Virgil's Reason for admitting into his Poem a Simile, which, on a cursory View, and without these Considerations, appears of too little Importance to be worth his peculiar Notice.

There is no Person, who reads this Story with any Attention, but what must conclude the Sufferings of Amata, whilst she was only sorrowfully complaining, and gently remonstrating against her Husband's Determination, were very trifling in comparison of what she endured when her whole Soul was inflamed with Fury, and she was raging through the Streets: Yet Virgil does not stop even there; but completes the whole by displaying the last Effects of such Fury, by working Amata up to that Height of Madness which results naturally from such a Beginning.

Thus flew the giddy Queen, with Fury stung,
Thro' the wide Town, amid the wond'ring Throng
Yet more—the destin'd Nuptials to delay,
Fierce to the darksome Wood she bounds away;
And, rising still in Rage, with Rites divine,
She feign'd new Orgies to the God of Wine.
Thou, Bacchus, only thou, deserv'st the Fair!
For thee, in Ringlets grows her lovely Hair!
For thee, she leads the Dance, and wreathes her Ivy-Spear!

And thus the fond Mother, who at first seemed to have placed all her future Hopes of Happiness, all her Prospect of Comfort in her old Age, on one only Child, is actuated by Rage, and the Virulence of Passion, to such a Height of Madness, as, rather than see her Husband's Determination take place, voluntarily to devote this Daughter, this Darling of her Heart, to Bacchus.

This Story of Amata is surrounded with every Circumstance that can possibly raise our Aversion to Rage and Virulence; and more particularly when it irritates and inflames the female Bosom, and eradicates thence that Gentleness which is the characteristic Beauty of the female Mind.

To the judicious Reader the Moral of this Story is very conspicuous; tho' the Manner of Virgil's Writing, and the Dignity of Epic Poetry, might require Allegories, and that his Stories should be surrounded with such Incidents as were necessary to his whole Purpose. But when we stop at those outward Circumstances, and perceive not the farther Intention, we read as Children see Tragedies, who place their chief Delight in the Noise of the Kettle drums and Trumpets; or as the Multitude in Holiday-time throng to see Shakespeare's Play of Harry the Eighth, and attend only to the Show of the Coronation, passing over all the beautiful Strokes therein contained, as little worthy of their Notice.

I have somewhere read an Observation, I believe it is in La Bruyero, to this Effect, That many Persons have endeavoured to teach Men to write; but none have taught, them to read; as if Reading consisted only in distinguishing the Letters and Words from each other.

A manuscript Essay on this Subject, which was found in the Study of an old Gentleman, who was well known by his Acquaintance to have been a curious Observer of Nature, may not perhaps be unentertaining to the Reader.

"A curious Eye might perhaps as justly trace Mens different Dispositions, from the Delight they place in, or the Observations they make on, the various Parts of the Writings of Imagination, as in observing them in any other Situation whatever. And I never went into any Man's Library, but, by casting an Eye on those kind of Books, I could employ my Fancy with forming Conjectures on the Man's Bent of Disposition, by seeing what Characters, and what Parts of such Writings, shewed visible Marks of having been oftenest opened; and I have really found, on farther Acquaintance, that these Conjectures were built on a good Foundation.

"The Hero's Homer or Virgil will certainly shew the Marks of being most used, where all the Thunder of the War breaks forth: And this will happen, not only to the actual Hero, who hath already shewn his Prowess in the Field; for that is nothing more than taking a Pleasure in his own Picture, as Alexander the Great admired Homer for his Celebration of Achilles, whom he thought proper to fix on as a worthy Object of Admiration; but the would-be Hero, that young Mind in which the Seeds of Ambition for martial Glory begin to struggle and shoot forth, will also find his Heart beat with Joy, when Hector arms for the Battle, or Achilles takes the Field.

"That the Story of Dido, in the Fourth Book of Virgil's Æneid, hath the Leaves generally most soiled in the Closets of young Gentlemen and Ladies, who will have no other Employment but that of seeking after Pleasure, is an Observation that I am not singular in; but have often heard it remarked also by others; and have looked with an Eye of Compassion on the Parents of such Sons and Daughters, as could find nothing in Virgil but that Story (excellent as it is in its Kind) on which they could fix their Thoughts, or employ their Imaginations; whilst, on the other hand, I rejoiced in my Heart over the Son of a Friend, whom it was impossible, with the utmost Art, whilst the Conversation ran on Virgil, to keep long from turning his Thoughts with Admiration on Æneas, when he was bearing his old Father through the raging Flames. Tears of Pleasure started from his Eyes, and his whole Countenance glowed with generous Warmth, when the old Anchises was safely paced out of the Reach of Danger: And, 'O that Ascanius may return the same filial Piety to his Father', flowed from his Lips so naturally, that it seemed to come from his inward Heart, and to result from the Strength of his Feeling. My Friend, the Father of this Youth, sympathized with every Parent he read of who was blessed with a worth Son; and his old Eyes sent forth Floods of Tears on every Story which represented an unfortunate Father. The whole Lives of this Father and Son were the strongest Proofs that Men feel in Reading what they feel in Life; for they were indeed Pictures of that Happiness, which parental Kindness and filial Duty and Affection can reciprocally bestow.

"The active beautiful Youth will delight in the Description of Ascanius, accompany him with Wishes for his Victory in the Games, be fearful for his Danger in the Battle, and rejoice over his Safety with an uncommon Degree of Gladness.

"The Bosom which is warmed with generous Friendship, will with a trembling Heart follow Nisus and Euryalus Step by Step. All their Fears will be alarmed in Pity for each, should the other be slaughtered; and when young Euryalus is slain, will rejoice that Nisus doth not survive him, to be himself to this Friend's Memory a mournful feeling Monument, till he could almost wish to be as insensible as that Stone of which the [Page xxxviii] Monuments for the Dead are composed.

"The fond Mother will shudder with Apprehensions with the only remaining Parent of Euryalus, and feel by Sympathy every Pang which she knows must overwhelm her with Sorrow, when her Son's Destruction shall reach her Knowlege: And should she herself have a beloved young Son armed for the Fight, and initiated in the Trade of War, the Picture of the Head of Euryalus, borne home by his Enemies in Triumph, would haunt here in her Dreams, and rob her even of her peaceful Slumbers.

"The mournful Lady, who is widowed by the Fate of Arms, will lament with Andromache, answer her Sigh for Sigh, join in every pathetic Word, and feel with a bleeding Heart every Stroke in which her Sorrows are represented by the lively Pen of Homer.

"The Father who is so unfortunate as to have undutiful Children, will doubly feel all King Lear's Calamities. He will immediately forget every Difference of Circumstance between himself and the old King; and, by the Application of every Pang which Lear endures, to his own Sufferings, will, tho' unknowingly, bear Testimony to the inimitable Strokes of Shakespeare: Whilst the Daughter who is treated harshly, only because she hath not the Gift of Flattery, when she is conscious of the most affectionate and dutiful Heart, will thoroughly sympathize with Cordelia, when she is forced to leave her Father, thro' his own Incapacity of judging between Love and Flattery, in the Hands of those deceitful Sisters, with whose treacherous Hearts she was well acquainted.

"The moral Philosopher of Taste will find the most abundant Matter for his Entertainment in the Descent of Æneas into the infernal Shades, where he will be almost astonished at the judicious adapting of the Punishments to the Crimes; and where he will feel the vast Force of Virgil, by imagining that he sees and hears what is described so much to the Life, that for the present he forgets every other Idea that hath ever passed thro' his Mind, or fixed on his Memory.

"The truly softened Heart hath a Tear ready for every human Misfortune which is represented to his Imagination by Reading; and the truly hardened Heart supplies no Moisture which can flow from the Eyes, but when poor Self alone is disappointed of any favourite Pursuit; and then indeed Sorrow is poured forth in such abundance, that every dear Friend is welcome to take his full Share of such Abundance.

"There are indeed Men, who, being insensible to every characteristical and every pathetic Stroke in the finest Writers, seek only to laugh, and at the same time overlook whatever naturally tends thereto; and are sure always to laugh where it would become them better to stifle such unseasonable Mirth.

"There are also Men who pass by every Stroke of Humour; and are so fearful of losing that Reputation for Sense, which they have built on what they call Gravity, whilst all the rest of Mankind name it Dullness, that they would not for the World ruffle their settled Features into a Smile, which they deem only fit for the Vulgar, and greatly below their Dignity.

"There are also fine Gentlemen and fine Ladies, who, being full of the Knowlege of the World, wonder at the vulgar Notions of a Writer who makes even a Shepherdess of Arcadia talk a rural, which they call a rustic, Dialect; and are desirous to see the Shepherdess drop the Sheep-hook, assume the Fan, and talk a courtly Language. These Critics would like it the better, were the Scene laid in England, if Corydon, whose only Care had been tending his Flock, should every now and then intermix a French Phrase, to embellish his Discourse, and give it the Air of being a la mode de Paris.

"There are also Men, who, in reading old Satires, search from Book to Book, and pore over Notes and Commentators without End, in order to find the Name of a Man who has once lived, on whom to fix Abuse; and plume themselves as greatly on such a Discovery, as if they had found something very useful to Mankind: And the same Readers, who deal thus with the Writings of Antiquity, fail not to peruse modern Books with equal, or rather with a superior Degree of Eagerness, to find an Individual on whom to bestow a Character justly satirized; for if the Pleasure is great to affix an Abuse on the Name of a Man who hath once lived, it must certainly be much greater to point out a Man whom he makes sit for a bad or ridiculous Picture, who is now feeling and living at this present Writing.

"But with no such Man would my Soul wish to hold Acquaintance : I say not, Friendship; because it would be the highest Absurdity to suppose such a one in the least degree capable of being animated with the generous Warmth which that Appellation requires.

"And if any one should think I am tracing this Matter too curiously, I, who have considered it in various Shapes, can only answer with Hamlet, on Horatio's making the same Objection to his philosophical Reflexions, in the Scene of the Grave-digger, that, in my Opinion, I can truly say,

"—Not a Jot;

"it being no more than the natural Result of examining and considering the Subject."



A Wedding.

At that Period of the Year, when, in poetic Language,

Crown'd with the Sickle, and the Wheaten Sheaf,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow Plain,
Comes jovial on;

And in plain Prose, At that Season when all Pleasure-hunters are following their Pursuits from one public Assembly to another, having almost wearied themselves with rambling to and fro, Lord Dellwyn arrived at his magnificent Habitation in London. His Lordship was in his grand Climacteric, labouring under a Complication of Diseases, the melancholy Effect of a luxurious and intemperate Manner of wasting the joyous Spring, the pleasant Bloom, of Life. By the Assistance of Attendants Lord Dellwyn was moved from his Bed into a Chair, or rather a Machine, so artfully contrived, that he could vary his Postures, either lay himself almost at length, or sit upright, as his various Pains required: This very Machine, invented for the Assistance of Imbecility, by its Adornments sufficiently indicating that the Grandeur of its Owner was on no account to be forgot.

My Lord was wheeled, by his Servants, into another Apartment, for a Purpose which, if Truth did not prompt me to reveal, its Improbability would never suffer me to invent.

My Lord's Purpose was to be married. A special Licence permitted him to perform the Ceremony at his own House, and such extraordinary Circumstances prevailed on the Lady (as her own Father was to give her to my Lord in Marriage) to waive the Female Privilege of being flattered, and attended, in that one Hour of Matrimony. My Lord therefore, in the Apartment which he had appointed for the Solemnization of his Nuptials, found assembled Mr. Lucum, his Daughter the destined Bride, the Clergyman, and all Things requisite for his Purpose.

A Contrast in Nature is said to afford the Mind of Man much Entertainment. Imagination cannot form a greater than that between the noble Bridegroom, and the young Lady who stood ready to present him her Hand, and devote herself to him for Life, by the most solemn Vows.

Miss Lucum had just entered her Seventeenth Year. The warmest Lover, with the most poetical Imagination, ranging, like the Bee, through all the various Flowers in Nature, extracting Beauties to which he might compare his Mistress, would fall short in the Description of the natural Glow and Freshness which adorned Miss Lucum's Complexion. Her Eyes shone with Lustre all their own, and required not the borrowed Ornaments of Dress, or Diamonds, to set them off to Advantage; her Person was perfect Symmetry and Proportion; and her Neck was the exact Model of that of the beautiful Statue of History, placed on the Duke of Argyle's Monument in Westminster-Abbey .

His Lordship pronounced his Assent to take to Wife his destined Prey (in the Words, I will), with a Voice as audible, as generally breaks forth from a Mouth vacated by the Inhabitants, its Teeth: The Voice, at that Season of Life, losing the sonorous, full, mellow Sound, and resolving itself into a kind of sharp Treble; a harsher, and at the same time a less intelligible, Sound.

When the Bridegroom was to place the Ring on the Finger of his Bride, the Spirit was indeed so willing, that his Eyes made a Sort of Effort towards expressing a Sense of Joy; yet was the Flesh so truly weak, that thrice, oh! fatal Number! Thrice

The gilded Chain dropp'd from his trembling Hand;

And had his Lordship received no Assistance, his purposed Marriage had been absolutely baffled; but Mr. Lucum, the Lady's Father, thrice eagerly presented it to his Right Honourable Son-in-law.

The Number Three, even from ancient Times, has been suspected by the Superstitious, to involve in it some fatal Mystery of ill boding Destiny. On this Occasion the learned Augurs would have thought it unnecessary to consult the Entrails of Birds or Beasts. A Soothsayer less instructed than he was, who warned Cæsar to "Beware the Ides of March," might have read a Prophecy in the different Countenances of the beauteous Bride, and the noble Bridegroom. The very Gold seemed endued with Sense, and as if it had learned all the Knowlege of the moral Philosopher Square, appeared to be so fully acquainted with the Fitness of Things, as with great Indignation to decline being placed on the taper Finger of the blooming Virgin, by that withered Hand, so visibly inadequate to its destined Purpose.

All Difficulties were at length conquered; and every Obstacle being removed, Lord Dellwyn obtained his Desire, and made Miss Lucum his Bride.

It was remarkable, that, during the Performance of the whole Ceremony, Miss Lucum never once changed Countenance, but preserved an unalterable Steadiness, rather inclined to the gay, than to that mixed Concern which generally attends so young a Lady on such Occasions. It is not improbable but that her Thoughts were wandering on some future Scenes of Grandeur; and that, in fact, neither the noble Bridegroom, nor the solemn Vows she was making at the Altar, were even once in her Thoughts, which were far otherwise employed. She also obtained her Desire, and became a Countess.

Whatever ludicrous Expressions may have been made use of in this Chapter, no Reader can, I think, so far misconstrue them, as to suppose they mean any Intimation, that old Age is, in itself, a proper Object of Ridicule.

None are, for being what they are, in fault;
But for not being what they would be thought.

Which two Lines can never be too often quoted, as they are so strikingly applicable to such various Characters amongst Mankind . Old Age, after a well spent Life, if attended with tolerable Ease, hath in many Particulars the Advantage even of Youth itself; inasmuch as calm, even-flowing animal Spirits, are to be preferred to the frantic Flights arising from the Intoxication of sparkling Champagne. The whimsical Sallies of Wit are the natural Productions of the latter; but the Fruits of the former are pleasing Comfort, and settled Content.

I know not a more amiable Sight than a chearful old Gentleman, his Family looking up to him for Lessons of Wisdom, acquired by his Experience; and whose Authority is founded on grateful Affection, and not on the slavish Terror of a tyrannic Master; all Fear concerning him, in the Hearts of those who are so happy as to be placed under his Direction, being confined to his own Welfare, and Safety. When Reflexion is attended with the infinite Pleasure of approving his own past Conduct, and the Power of Forethought (which, in this World, seems confined to Man alone), becomes to him the greatest of Blessings, by filling him with pleasing Hopes, and joyful Expectations.

'Tis a Consummation devoutly to be wish'd.

And this is a Happiness which it is in the Power of every young Man to provide for himself, against the Time of his old Age, with much more Certainty than any of those Advantages which Mankind labour under and struggle for, with such unabated Anxiety.


The Power of an Englishman of Fortune.

My Lord Dellwyn was in Possession of his Title and Fortune at the Age of Two-and-twenty; his Father had carefully provided him a Tutor, whose principal Charge consisted in an absolute Prohibition of contradicting his Pupil, even although his Desires should be highly unreasonable. His Will was to be absolutely his Law: He had

Ten thousand Freaks that dy'd in thinking;

and ten thousand frantic Frolicks which he put in Practice.

From this hopeful Beginning, his Lordship, at the proper Time, was sent to make the Tour of Europe; from whence he return'd, full fraught with all such Knowlege as

Signifies roundly Nothing.

The Earl his Father, who had taken such Care to give his Inclinations their full Scope, was the first Person who contradicted his Desires. For at One-and-twenty, the young Man thought it a Hardship on him to be kept from the full Possession of his Fortune, and was strongly fixed in his Opinion, that the Season of Youth is the only Time in which a Man can enjoy Life; and that his Father, who was in his Fiftieth Year, had reached the Extremity of old Age. However, his Father did not long continue this stubborn Contradiction; for, within a short Time, he died of the Effects of a violent Surfeit, and very complaisantly left the World for his Son, as Shakespeare expresses it in Richard the Third, to bustle in.

The Power of an English Nobleman, or Gentleman, of a large Fortune, is of a very great Extent. He may have a little Territory or Kingdom of his own, where the Obedience of all his Subjects would be voluntary; the Blessings of Thousands would attend his Comings-in, and his Goings-out; he may gratify every innocent Wish, preserving, by Temperance, the best Health his natural Constitution will admit of; he may (if he pleases) pass through this Life with Peace and Pleasure, and lay it down without a Sigh, or trembling Terror; he may have the inexpressible Pleasure of Self-Approbation, and the joyous Hope that he is acceptable even to God Himself.

But no Englishman is so devoid of Liberty, as to be constrained to accept such Advantages. Free Choice is left him to do as he pleases: he hath Power to destroy his Health by riotous Living, and his Fortune by Gaming; he may half starve the Poor, who belong to the Places where his Property lies, by draining away all his Money to waste either in public Places, or in the Metropolis. No one has Authority to prevent his destroying the Peace of his own Mind, by all manner of Iniquities; he cannot be used like Children, from whom wise Parents take Knives, and all Instruments of Mischief. He must be suffered to follow the Career of his Inclinations, though it lead him to live a wretched, painful, turbulent, and unhappy Life; when

Grief aids Disease, remember'd Folly stings .

He may arrive at real and lasting Pain, through the Road of imaginary and momentary Pleasures; purchase Contempt, by assiduous Search of Praise; reduce himself to Beggary, by grasping at the Wealth of others; and die a Death of Terror, unlamented by every human Creature but himself.

Of these two Sketches of human Pictures, is it credible that any Man should hesitate which to chuse? and yet such is the Fact, that Lord Dellwyn embraced the latter; and from the Time of his coming into the Possession of his Fortune, he gave a Loose to every Gratification, that either his Inclination or his Whims could suggest. He hunted himself out of Breath in Pursuit of Happiness; but unfortunately sought her only in every Corner where she was not to be found. He eagerly pursued Pleasure, but constantly ran beyond the Mark, and left her far behind him.

As the untamed and high-mettled Steed, who scorns his Rider's Curb, runs swiftly through Lawns and Vallies, leaps over Hedges and Ditches, surmounting every Hill and Mountain; yet leaves the Race to be won by the well-governed Courser, who obeys the Rein, and, in the Track marked out for his Progress, reaches the Goal: so might Lord Dellwyn, by setting a Curb on his whimsical Inclinations, with a very small Degree of the Labour he imposed on himself, in his vain Pursuit of Pleasure, have attained the Summit of human Happiness.

He was sometimes seized with Astonishment, to find himself unhappy in the midst of such an unbounded Power, when suddenly some new Idea of Pleasure would strike his Imagination, and drive before it all Power of Reflexion.

The Life his Lordship chose, brought him to that Condition in which we have seen him enter the married State. In his grand Climacteric he discovered, that to live soberly, with a virtuous young Wife, might possibly render him more solid Happiness, than he had ever hitherto enjoyed. Even this Piece of Wisdom did not find its Way into his Mind by Reflexion (that Passage for its Entrance had long been too closely barricadoed), but came in at his Eyes, and engaged his constant Counsellors, his Inclinations, on the Side of a fair Object he had accidentally beheld, at the House of a neighbouring Gentleman. One Circumstance unluckily slipt his Memory, namely, the Impropriety of his own Age for carrying into Practice the Wisdom of his late Discovery; and tho' he formerly thought Fifty was the Extremity of old Age, yet was his Lordship now convinced of the Errors of his Youth, and clearly perceived, that a Man is not declined much into the Vale of Years at the Age of Sixty-three; and comforted himself with reflecting, that the Judgment strengthens, in proportion as the Imagination decays.

In the mean time, the destined Bride was ignorant of her approaching Honour. My Lord had concluded the Match in his own Mind, and was fully satisfied, that such pecuniary Advantages and such Dignities, as were to be obtained by the Lady, in her Nuptials with him, could not possibly be rejected by her.


Philosophy put to flight by Ambition, without daring to hazard a Battle.

Mr. Lucum, the young Lady's Father, was from his Youth a promising State-Genius. The whole Multitude of Prophets, who make it their Study to foretel future political Events, were unanimously of Opinion, that he was destined to great Power and Honours. He was often the Subject of Coffee-house Debates, and was generally introduced to the Tea-table Conversations of female Politicians. These Prophecies were in part fulfilled; for at Times he enjoyed both Power and Honour. No Man had more Experience of the Vicissitudes of human Life, amongst all the great Variety of Parties which were formed from his first Appearance on the political Theatre; there was not one to which he had not at particular Seasons connected himself, and, when he judged proper, as surely forsaken. He had in his Possession a certain Kind of political Weather-glass, which he consulted on all Occasions, and made the constant Guide of his Actions; and so assiduously he watched its Motions, that the least Tendency towards rising or falling was immediately perceptible to his searching Eye. This Thermometer was closely concealed, and some plausible Reason ever ready to account for his sudden Alteration of Opinion; for, like Hudibras's Disputant, he could with exquisite Art,

Change Sides, and still confute.

And, like Hudibras's Politician, he was

So politic, as if one Eye
Upon the other were a Spy,
That to trapan the one to think
The other blind, both strove to blink:


By giving Aim from Side to Side,
He never fail'd to save his Tide;
But got the Start of ev'ry State,
And, at a Change, ne'er came too late.

Experience of his Conduct taught others Knowlege, and he became a second-hand Weather-glass to those, who observed carefully with what Dexterity he could veer about to all Parts of the Compass. But to drop the Metaphor. Mr. Lucum at length became the Contempt of all Parties, and experienced all the Affliction that public Neglect can inflict on an ambitious Mind. This political Star sat in an obscure Corner, filled with the restless Uneasiness which attends a forced Retirement from the World. Surely Force alone hath the Power to extract from a rural Retreat its sweet, calm Contentment.

Mr. Lucum had a paternal Estate, sufficient for the Enjoyment of the Comforts and Conveniences of Life, but not to admit of tinsel Show or glittering Pomp; which, in his Imagination, reduced him to as great Want, as if a real State of wretched Poverty had been his melancholy Fate. Ambition has the Property of the strongest Poison, and envenoms every thing with which it is surrounded.

Time, the great Healer of the unfortunate Mind, at length afforded him a little Respite; he began to open his Eyes on the natural Beauties of the Country, and discovered that he could enjoy the Light of the Sun, without being Pilot to any political Vessel.

Mr. Lucum had one only Daughter, who had indeed hitherto been almost unnoticed, and unthought of by her Father, the consulting his Weather-glass having constituted his chief Employment. The Voice of Ambition had surmounted the Voice of Nature; and he was surprized to find what Pleasure it was in the Power of a Child's innocent Prattle to bestow. He had lost his Wife, whilst he was in one of the frantic Dreams of Ambition, when he had no Idea of the Comfort of an amiable domestic Companion, nor indeed of any other real Enjoyment.

Ambition, like a Conjurer's Wand, had so confined his Mind within one Circle, that he could no more give his Thoughts free Liberty to range out of that Boundary, than if he had really been under the Power of Enchantment: nor was the famous Knight of La Mancha ever bound stronger in all the imaginary Whims of his own Invention.

The Lady slipt out of the World and her Husband's Remembrance at one and the same Moment; the Day of her Death being the Day of his Advancement to some new Honour.

Mr. Lucum had had the Advantage of a liberal Education, was endued naturally with a lively Capacity, and also had acquired a large Share of Knowlege in the dead Languages: at length between the new-born Pleasure afforded him by his little engaging Child, and that Delight which Reading has so great a Power to bestow, some Degree of Tranquility found an Entrance into his long worried Bosom.

The great Disturbers of his present Peace were those diurnal Histories, commonly called News-papers. The Days of their Arrival were black-lettered Days in his Calendar. A Paragraph, beginning with the Words, We hear his Majesty has been pleased to appoint, was sufficient to raise a Tumult in his Breast; he could bite his nether Lip, and roll his Eye-balls like Othello; for some Rival must be preferred, because he was so unfortunate as to make himself a Rival to all Mankind. On those Days his Library was neglected, his fatherly Affection abated, and his only Refuge was fixing his Thoughts very philosophically on the short Duration of human Life. He could fly to that Reflection as to an Asylum from present Sorrow, and yet stop there without any Consideration of another World.

Oh! thou squint-ey'd, half-sighted Ambition, that canst shut in all thy Views with such a bounded, narrow, and contemptible Prospect! well might one of thy most submissive Slaves, on whom thou bestowed'st all the Honours in thy Power to grant, weep, to find of how little Value was all that his Labour had obtained† .

The Death of his chief Competitor, in the Fifth Year of his Retirement, contributed greatly to his Ease. It abated the Edge of his Curiosity for News-papers; and he then fixed himself to read Philosophy and History, as his most serious Study, and relaxed his Mind at times with the Flights of Poetry. History afforded some Consolation, in helping him to a Discovery, which, strange as it may appear, was quite new to him; namely, that he was not the first ambitious Man who had been disappointed; and he began to consider, that his Misfortunes were not singular; but that

This wide and universal Theatre
Presents more woeful Pageants, than the Scene
Wherein we play.

But, with all these Assistances, it was Nine Years (One short of the Siege of Troy) before he could even make himself believe, that his Mind was truly calm. Then, indeed, he strutted, and plumed himself in his Philosophy, fancied he despised the World, and resolved, that no Temptation should ever allure him back again into such a Scene of Confusion; but yet his Memory was faithful in retaining the sharpest Satire he had read against Mankind, which he delighted to heighten; and this Practice he admitted as a strong Proof of his being filled with the greatest Contempt for the World, and its Manners. In this State was his Mind, when Lord Dellwyn, with a splendid Retinue, arrived at his Gate. His Lordship's Business was to claim Mr. Lucum's Daughter in Marriage. A sudden Proposal of this Kind (for my Lord could not suppose such an Offer required much Ceremony) so astonished Mr. Lucum, that it was some Moments before he could return an Answer. That Ambition, which Disappointment had lulled to sleep, roused itself, suddenly shook off its Heaviness, and, in an Instant, was restored again to its original Activity; and that Philosophy, which was so lately admitted a Guest into Mr. Lucum's Mind, shrunk, and hid its diminished Head; not daring to advance to the Combat against so potent an Adversary.

Bargains are soon made, when both Sides agree in the same Opinion; and, as soon as Mr. Lucum could recover his Astonishment, he acknowleged the Honour conferred on his Family, in Terms which fully satisfied his Lordship. Thus was the Match between Two of the Parties concluded, almost as soon as mentioned. Lord Dellwyn gave Mr. Lucum some Hints of a lucrative Employment, he imagined it might be in his Power to procure for his Father-in-law; for they were already Father and Son in their own Imaginations.

Lord Dellwyn did not request the Sight of his fair Mistress on the first Visit, but left her Father to prepare her for the intended Honour; chusing rather to address her, when her Consent was already obtained, than to undertake the Trouble of what is called Courtship; for his Lordship imagined there must be some small Degree of Speech-making from him to the Lady, unless she was first acquainted with his Design by her Father.

Now Plato and Aristotle might moulder on the Shelf, all their Precepts forgotten. Mr. Lucum's Contempt of the World, when he could no longer make a Figure in it, was the last Refuge his Pride could find to keep him from sinking. Such a rotten Foundation was naturally undermined by the first alluring Prospect Ambition presented, and down fell the mighty Superstructure into that Nothing from which it was raised; and that Imagination, which had been so long forcibly confined within a narrow Boundary, now made its Way through every Obstacle, and in a Moment found itself hovering around St. James's .

Miss Lucum's Consent to be a Countess was so entirely depended on by her Father, that the least Doubt of it never entered his Thoughts; but here, very unexpectedly, he met with a steady Resistance to his Will; for Miss Lucum absolutely refused the Honour intended her. Lord Dellwyn was highly disagreeable in her Sight; and she chose rather to submit to any State of Life, than to shine in the highest Sphere on such Terms; she called it Prostitution, and heroically defied all such Temptations.

Miss Lucum's Life had hitherto passed in one continual Round of Tranquility; but now the whole Scene was changed, and ruffling Storms succeeded that pleasant Calmness. The Words perverse, stubborn, disobedient, undutiful, pitiful, paultry, were the Epithets liberally bestowed on her by her Father; and tho' the lively Capacity of his Daughter had often gratified his Vanity, yet was she now suddenly transformed into the greatest of Fools. To refuse such an Honour, appeared so unnatural and monstrous in his Sight, that he declared he would turn such an insipid mean-spirited Creature from under his Roof, being perfectly convinced that if his Daughter would not be a a Countess, it was very reasonable that she should be abandoned to any Misfortunes or Miseries whatsoever. And now his Ambition was again roused from that Lethargy, wherein it had been lately lulled, he saw no Medium between Grandeur and Distress, and determined with himself, that if his Daughter would not shew her Obedience, by accepting of the former, she should suffer enough of the latter to satisfy his Anger.

Mr. Lucum had not been long conveyed, in Fancy, to St. James's, before he determined to convey the heavier Part, his Person, also thither.

Miss Lucum received her Father's Commands to prepare herself to wait on him to London, without the least Degree of Pleasure, being rather concerned to quit a Place she had so long enjoyed; but, without Hesitation, obey'd him. He would have chose to have seen her filled with Raptures she could not contain; for he accounted himself an unfortunate Father, because his Daughter could be satisfied with a rural retired Life.

Nothing remarkable happened during their Journey; except only that Miss Lucum, at the Age of Seventeen, regretted the pleasant Situation she had left, and was totally indifferent to all the gay Scenes, of which her Father told her she should be a Partaker; and that Mr. Lucum, in the Decline of Life, thought the Horses went too slow, and rejoiced greatly in every Advance towards the Metropolis.


Miss Lucum's First Introduction into the gay World.

Mr. Lucum's Lady was of a very good Family, and related to many Persons of Fashion; but from the time of her Death, and his Retirement, his Intercourse with them had been dropped. Miss Lucum's native Elegance, and Dignity of Person, recommended her greatly at first View; and she was now introduced to all her Relations. Some of them, before they had seen her, expected to find in their Country Cousin an Object of Mirth and Derision; but immediately perceived, that she did not afford them many Opportunities of displaying their darling Talent of Ridicule: And her Beauty was so greatly admired by the Gentlemen, that the Ladies too began to express for her an uncommon Friendship; and, when it was known that the Earl of Dellwyn had cast an Eye of Favour on her, it is almost incredible how much Respect she obtained, by the Reflexion of that Honour, amongst those, who, with a sharp darting Eye, foresaw a future Countess.

Rumour, indeed, with her hundred babbling Tongues, had spread abroad various Reports; but amongst the Number, that which gained most Credit, was, that Miss Lucum was endeavouring to allure my Lord into the State of Matrimony; but that his Lordship was Proof against her Charms, and would not be so drawn in; but her refusing my Lord was esteemed to be so very incredible, that it was utterly rejected, as a ridiculous Invention, and most People were too wise to be so duped.

Miss Lucum, from her Infancy, was so accustomed to early Hours, constant Employment, and a regular Manner of Life, that the turning Night into Day, the flying from Place to Place, to Routs, Drums, &c. &c. and the being Mistress of no One Moment of her Time, so wearied and fatigued her animal Spirits, that she was always languid, and felt something that bore a very near Resemblance to being ill, yet she did not give it that Name; and altho' the most curious Observers could find nothing in her elegant Form, to which they could possibly give the Name of Aukwardness or Rusticity, yet the Uneasiness with which she went to public Amusements, rendered her so lifeless at them, that she soon obtained the Appellation of being dull, which ran like a Watch-word from one Person to another; so that, where-ever she was the Subject of Conversation, the just Praises of her Beauty were generally accompanied by the Words, But she is very dull.

Notwithstanding this Reluctance for Gaiety, either the Fear of being rude, or her Father's Commands to oblige her Mother's Relations, kept her continually present where she seemed to have no Business, and exemplified in her the Truth of The Spectator's Observation, that "No Labour is so insupportable as that of doing nothing." She often slipt from her Company as early as possible, and came home to spend the Evening with her Father.

Mr. Lucum, since his Arrival in London, had been tolerably good-humoured, and seemed to have relinquished all Thoughts of Lord Dellwyn. This caused his Daughter to come home to him with much Pleasure; but she was greatly astonished, when she perceived, that her leaving her Company so early displeased her Father, and rendered him peevish, morose, and churlish. Whenever she expressed a Satisfaction at having left a Croud for the sake of his Conversation, instead of approving her Conduct, he called her Fool, and upbraided her with the total Want of genteel Taste; and it might justly be applied to him, what the Steward, in King Lear, reports of his Master the Duke of Albany:

What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him;
What like, offensive.


A Multitude of Wishes, attended with a Multitude of Mortifications.

Mr. Lucum now never mentioned Lord Dellwyn, but by a perpetual Ill-humour at his Daughter's Insensibility to all polite Assemblies. He at last drove her to seek for Shelter from that almost insupportable Misfortune, a disagreeable Home, by staying more abroad; but the being thus in a manner excluded, by the Fears of her Father's Anger, from returning early in the Evening to his Company, instead of a Croud, was highly disagreeable to her; till, by almost imperceptible Degrees, the Force of Custom rendered that Manner of Life tolerable, to which at first she had been so averse; then, the first Step being surmounted, she advanced another, and it became pleasing: And, from thence, it was not long before she was totally wrapped up in it. Public Morning Diversions were the last dissipating Habit she obtained; but when that was accomplished, her Time was squandered away, the Power of Reflection was lost, her Ideas were all centered in Dress, Drums, Routs, Operas, Masquerades, and every kind of public Diversion. Visionary Schemes of Pleasure were continually present to her Imagination, and her Brain was whirled about by such a Dizziness, that she might properly be said to labour under the Distemper called the Vertigo. The World appeared, in her Eyes, in quite a different Light; and she perceived herself to be a fine gay Thing, that before, as Nell says in the Farce,

"She knew not."

Mr. Lucum had supplied his Daughter with what was necessary to make a genteel Appearance; which, at her first coming to Town, sufficiently satisfied all her Wishes: But the new Revolution in her Mind and Heart, was attended with a new and large Train of Desires. She was introduced amongst a Set of Acquaintance, to whose Splendor in Dress she could by no means arrive, and consequently she often

"Pined in Thought,"

Like Viola, in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; But it could not be said, with Propriety, that, like Viola,

She sat, like Patience, on a Monument,
Smiling at Grief.

For, however possible it may be to support disappointed Love with Patience, it is one of the characteristical Marks of disappointed Vanity, to throw the Mind into Perturbation and Impatience.

Her Father seldom absolutely refused her any thing tolerably reasonable; but taxed the Grant of her Request with such a heavy Proportion of Ill-humour, as rendered it very painful to her to ask a Favour. It is a common Practice of Persons, who are endowed with the Power of either bestowing or with-holding Benefits, to make all Complaints of them apparently without a Cause, by declaring they have never refused any thing they were asked; but the Heart-aches that are endured before the Request, break forth into Utterance; and the Pain that is given by a Compliance, which they make more afflicting to a gentle Mind than a mild Refusal, is a Part of the Story they chuse to keep closely concealed within themselves.

Lady Fanny Fashion was a distant Relation of Miss Lucum, and admitted her to a great Degree of Intimacy; but, unfortunately, she was fond of Dress (even in these our Days) to an uncommon Degree. Every Change of Fashion, every expensive Ornament, was continually purchased by Lady Fanny; and every such Purchase was Wormwood to Miss Lucum. It was impossible for her to follow her Ladyship through all her various Changes; and whenever she pleased herself with the Imagination that she had obtained something like Lady Fanny, by the time she could get it made up, some later Invention, some newer Whim, appeared on her Ladyship, and renewed her Mortification. Fungoso, in Ben Johnson's Comedy of Every Man out of his Humour, was not more unfortunate in his Imitations of Fastidius Brisk, the Courtier, nor oftener disappointed: Had the Poet known her, she might have made a Character in that Play; for she was truly out of Humour; and so totally changed, that it would have puzzled any of the Philosophers, who have written on the Subject of Identity, to have discovered whether or no she was the same Person.

Public Assemblies, altho', in Appearance, the Scenes of Gaiety and Delight, are generally fatal to the inward Peace of many of the Individuals of which they are composed; and while the Feet dance after, and attend the Harmony of, the Music, the Heart often beats out of Tune, and is at Discord within itself.

Miss Lucum had been presented at Court, and was to accompany Lady Fanny thither on a Birth-night. Many Days were spent in anxious Preparation for the Occasion, and our young Beauty made there a most elegant Figure; but Lady Fanny that Evening unfortunately appeared in a new Pair of brilliant Ear-rings, of the finest Water, with a very large Cross of the like Diamonds on her Bosom: Their Lustre so dazled Miss Lucum's Sight, that she could behold no other Object; her Eyes spontaneously rolled after Lady Fanny, or rather after her Jewels, on her every Motion, or Change of Posture: She was pierced to her Heart; and, by the turbulent Pangs raised there, fully justified the common proverbial Expression, and proved, that, to cut like a Diamond, is to cut with no small Degree of Sharpness; and what is very remarkable, its Sharpness reaches even at a great Distance, and, while it gives Pleasure to the Wearer, it often wounds its Beholder, who seems too far off to be within its Reach.

An Indisposition, perfectly unaffected, alternately changed Miss Lucum's Complexion into a languid Paleness, and a flushing Vermilion; and, telling Lady Fanny that a sudden Pain in her Head would not permit her to remain any longer in public, she left the Drawing-room, and retired: But altho' her Indisposition was by no means feigned, yet was the Pain in her Head a Pretence only to conceal that in her Heart.

Mr. Lucum finding it was not Inclination, but Illness, that brought his Daughter home so early, received her with unusual Good-humour and Pleasure; but was not deeply concerned with the Apprehension of Danger from her Distemper.

Miss Lucum, as soon as possible, retired to the Apartment in which she was accustomed to find Rest; but no Rest was that Night to be found: Not Macbeth, but

Di'monds, had murthered Sleep:

Diamonds, as adequate to the Purpose as any Ruffians whatsoever. The painful Vision of Lady Fanny's Jewels was, by Memory, faithfully presented to her View, baffled every Attempt to close her Eyes, and chased from her disturbed Mind all Possibility of Slumber or Repose. She could start with as much Terror and Anguish, as if she had seen all the Ghosts in Richard the Third; and her Mind, at that time, might be likened to a Theatre, on which the Tragedy of a glittering Cross, and a Pair of Diamond Ear-rings, was acting, with much more Propriety than the envious Critic called Othello The Tragedy of the Handkerchief.

Miss Lucum's Beauty was too conspicuous to suffer her to appear in public, without being the Object of Observation; and, as she was now pretty well known in Town, her suddenly leaving the Drawing-room so early, occasioned many Surmises the next Morning.

A young Nobleman, who had distinguished Miss Lucum by his Gallantry at many public Assemblies, that Night attached himself wholly to another Lady; and to this was her sudden Illness imputed by many; and poor innocent Love (as is customary) was accused and condemned, altho' totally ignorant of the whole Matter.

Many Reasons were traced, and many Causes assigned; but the only true one, which was indeed no-where to be found but in Lady Fanny Fashion's Ears, and on her Bosom, was never once suspected, except by Lady Fanny herself; who perceived, from the Beginning, the Ray of Discomfort her dazling Jewels had darted into Miss Lucum's Bosom.

Perhaps the friendly Sympathy between these Two young Ladies, rendered it easy for them to penetrate each other's Thoughts; for Miss Lucum also perceived, in Lady Fanny's Countenance, a Triumph of Contempt over her Weakness: But whatever Lady Fanny knew, or conjectured, she never discovered the Secret, but chose to impute Miss Lucum's Disappointment to Lord Dellwyn's Behaviour; who had not that Evening honoured her with any particular Notice. This was spread abroad amongst all her Acquaintance; and Miss Lucum was not so entirely friendless, but that the Report reached her own Ears also.

The first Rumour, or even Insinuation, to her Disadvantage, that comes to a young Lady's Knowlege, is always attended with great Uneasiness; she presently imagines, that her Story is uppermost in the Thoughts of every Company, and that Politeness alone prevents her being treated with reproachful Language: She imagines every Whisper contains some Reflections on her Conduct; and on every Look she puts some Construction, which tends to her own Disadvantage.

Miss Lucum's Pride was greatly mortified at the Report of her being desirous, but in vain, to be Countess of Dellwyn. She had treasured up a small Portion of Comfort in the midst of her Misfortunes, by preserving the Power of reflecting, that she had had the Honour of refusing Lord Dellwyn, and that, if she would have consented to so preposterous a Union, she might have appeared in greater Lustre than her Friend. She praised her own Courage for suffering all her Father's Anger on that Account; and then to have all this Honour clandestinely purloined from her, if considered in all its aggravating Circumstances, must be confessed to be so heavy a Weight of Affliction, as no young Woman, in Miss Lucum's Situation, could possibly bear with any tolerable Degree of Patience.

The fatal Birth-night, which had given the young Charlotte so much Uneasiness, brought some flying Notions into her Imagination concerning the Gratification she might have given her new-acquired Taste, had she complied with her Father's Commands of marrying Lord Dellwyn; and her Resolution against being Countess was, in a small Degree, staggered; but this was not very perceptible to herself; for she thought not on any one of her various Desires, except that of having Jewels equal to Lady Fanny's, long enough to be perfectly acquainted with what she wished with most Ardency: But the first time any Inclination to his Lordship became at all predominant, was the Moment in which she became acquainted with the Rumour, that it was not in the Power of her Charms to make so desireable a Conquest. The Words, I will not, were as pleasant to her as to Cæsar; but the Expression, I cannot, was as hard for her to assent to, as it was to the Roman Hero to acknowlege that he dared not. Her Confusion was too great to suffer her to make any positive Determination as to her future Conduct; but, whatever was reported or thought by others, she herself imagined, that it was in her Power, whenever she chose it, to recall my Lord Dellwyn; and therefore her Aversion to him was not entirely eradicated.


An Exemplification of the Truth of Montaigne's Observation, That we laugh and cry for the same Thing.

Whilst Miss Lucum's Mind was fluctuating to and fro, being greatly desirous at once of various Things, which were in direct Opposition to each other, her Father informed her, that his Business in Town was finished; and commanded her to prepare to return into the Country at an appointed Time, not exceeding Three Days.

Miss Lucum started at this Summons, like the Ghost of Hamlet's Father at the Crowing of the Cock, the Harbinger of Day. In vain she cry'd out, with Hamlet,

Rest, rest, perturbed Spirit;

for the Perturbation of her Spirit could not be calmed. A resigned and well-regulated Mind can patiently suffer many Afflictions; but that which is burthened with many Griefs, and at the same time is turmoiling and bustling, under the insupportable Labour of determining exactly what those Griefs are, is miserable enough to raise some Degree of Compassion, even in those prudent Persons, who, finding their Stock of Pity but small, take great Care lest they should spend it extravagantly; and therefore,

Only wear it about on Holydays, or so.

Miss Lucum, when her Father left her, could find no Language capable of expressing the quick Motions and Beatings of her labouring Heart; her Sighs were heavy, and she cry'd out, Ah! oh! oh! Ah! the Exclamation King Arthur, and Queen Dollalolla, in the Tragedy of Tom Thumb, when they were in a painful Suspense to discover, whether their Distemper was Love, or the Wind Cholic.

Lord Dellwyn spent that Evening with Mr. Lucum; who gave his Daughter her free Liberty, either to remain in her own Apartment, or do the Honours of the Table. Her Choice was immediately fixed; she had not Art enough even to appear indifferent; but, without Hesitation, declared, that she would attend him at Supper, with such an Air of Pleasure, that her Father could not forbear smiling.

In the small intermediate Space before the Arrival of Lord Dellwyn, Miss Lucum found Employment by viewing and reviewing herself before the Glass; her Form of Dress was several times varied, and she perceived great Difficulty in giving herself any tolerable Satisfaction.

During the Evening, Mr. Lucum took frequent Opportunities of hinting an intended Marriage between his Lordship and Lady Fanny Fashion; and at last his Lordship explicitly declared the Truth of this Conjecture, and requested Mr. Lucum to defer his Journey into the Country for another Fortnight, that he might be present on the joyful Occasion; and at the same time desired the Favour of his Daughter's Company, and that she would perform the Part of a Bride-maid to Lady Fanny.

Both Lord Dellwyn and Mr. Lucum looked with a fixed Attention on the blushing Charlotte at that Instant; her Eyes rolled quick on every Side, to avoid their Observation; till at last, as if tired of Motion, they bent down steadily towards the Ground; and the Swelling of her Passions became so uncontroulable, that she burst into a Flood of Tears, to give some Vent to her inward Sufferings.

Miss Lucum had not been introduced into the fashionable World yet quite Three Months; and altho' she had improved herself miraculously for that Time, yet she had not acquired so quick a Command of herself as to be able, with the same Volubility of Speech as if she had been really pleased, to thank his Lordship for the Honour he intended her, to be very much obliged to him, and all that, as Mr. Bays expresses himself; but was forced to leave the Room, overcome with Shame at her own Behaviour.

When Lord Dellwyn took his Leave, Mr. Lucum went to his Daughter's Apartment, and entered, uttering the comfortable Words, that he hoped now his dear Charlotte would be happy; for as she would herself be a Witness of my Lord's Marriage, she could never fear any farther Persecution on that Account.

These aggravating Expressions deprived her of all Power of Reflection; and, without any Consideration of what she was saying, she replied:

"For what Insults am I reserved! Carry me, my Father, into the most distant Country, where I may never behold a human Face again; for certainly I am the most wretched and unfortunate of all Mortals."

"What! is the Girl mad?" replied her Father. "You were courted and importuned to accept of a Coronet; to roll almost in the highest Sphere of Life; to command the most magnificent Equipage your Fancy could invent; a House in Town equal to a Palace; your Person adorned with the highest Splendor, by the Number and Richness of your Jewels."

At every new Instance enumerated by Mr. Lucum, of those great Advantages his Daughter had refused, she wept and sobbed louder and louder; and, at the last-mentioned Article, she could no longer contain within any Bounds, but broke forth so vehemently, that her Father could not for some time be heard; but when her Passion was a little subsided, he thus continued his Remonstrances:

"All these Honours you rejected; you chose your Books, and a calm rural Retirement. Against my own Judgment, I complied with your Humour; and now you are lamenting and ranting, like a Queen in a Tragedy, for no other Reason that I can imagine, but because you have been left at Liberty to follow your own Inclinations. Cease weeping for nothing; stay this Fortnight chearfully in Town to oblige my Friend, and then I will immediately carry you to your beloved Retreat; where you shall freely range through all the serene Pleasures the Country can afford."

These Words would indeed have sounded pleasantly in the Ears of Miss Lucum, had her Father given them Utterance at a more seasonable Time: For some little Space after her Arrival in London, they would have been highly joyful; but now the Scene was quite reversed, and they were as bitter in the Digestion as Coloquintida ; and her Father left her in a State of Mind so miserable, that Envy itself could not well wish to make any Addition to the Weight of her Affliction.


A complete Metamorphosis, without the Assistance of any supernatural Power.

When such a Genius as Homer seems to be entering the vast wild Field of Romance, and bestows on his Circe the Power of depriving Men of their Senses, and stupefying them into Stocks or Stones; or either to extend their Arms into Wings, by the Help of which they cut the yielding Air, or, by another Kind of Transformation, to make them proper Companions for the four-footed Beasts of the Field; doth not Homer, by giving Men their Choice, whether or no they will drink of the Circæan Cup, plainly indicate, that he means nothing more than that the natural Intoxication, which is the Consequence of vicious Pleasures, has the Power of divesting Mankind of Humanity, and of changing Men into the Likeness of irrational Animals?

Ovid, with his unbounded Imagination, finds a Resemblance almost to every Vice in some different Animal; into the Likeness of which he puts the human Form.

These ingenious Men undoubtedly fell into this Method of displaying the fatal Effects of unbridled Inclinations, from the Difficulty they found of relating common Occurrences with Elegance, or of giving such an Energy to their Moral as would gain the Attention of any Number of Readers, without adding the pleasing Arts of Fancy. The bodily Changes they relate lead the few into the Contemplation of the intricate Labyrinths of the human Mind, and the Multitude have a marvellous Story for their Diversion.

Miss Lucum was mentally transformed into another Creature: From that State of calm Tranquility, with which she left the Country, her whole Mind was now overwhelmed with black Clouds and tempestuous Storms.

An Amphisbena is said, by the Naturalists, to be a Creature so unfortunate as to be formed with Two Heads; the one continually striving to lead it forward, and the other as strenuously endeavouring to drag it backward. It has been remarked, that every Individual amongst Mankind bears a Resemblance to some Species of the animal Creation; and Physiognomists say, that the human Mind hath the characteristical Disposition of the animal Species to which its Countenance bears a Similitude. As no Amphisbena's are to be seen in this Part of the World, it is impossible to determine whether Miss Lucum's Face was like either of those of the miserable double-headed Creature; but it is certain that her Inclinations were draging her into such different Paths, that Ovid, with great Consistency with his manner of Writing, might have clapped her on a Pair of Heads, with the utmost Facility.

No Egyptian Task-master can in Cruelty exceed the Tyrant Vanity; for she delivers, at one and the same time, Two opposite Commands; expects implicit Obedience; flatters her Subjects with some gay Reward of their Labours; and, in the End, all those Persons, who have unhappily chosen such a Leader, find, to their great Mortification, that, like Macbeth's Dagger,

There is no such Thing.

Alps rise o'er Alps, "and Cloud-capt Mountains" are to be surmounted; and, when the Summit is gained, it is as slippery as Ice; and there is no Method to gain a resting Place, but to descend again as fast as possible.

The Tyrant had informed Miss Lucum, that Equipage and Magnificence of all kinds were necessary to her Well-being; and that all other Things were beneath the Inclinations of a Woman of Spirit. There was but One visible Means by which she could obtain this valuable Gratification; and the same Vanity forbad her that Road. To condescend to court the Man she had refused; to confirm the Truth of the Rumour that was spread through the Town, that she wished to allure my Lord Dellwyn to be her Husband; this was a Mortification too great to support with any Degree of Patience. Sometimes a small Remembrance of a Possibility of returning into the Country, would appear for a Moment almost an eligible Alternative; and if, at that Instant, Lord Dellwyn had sollicited her Favour, in all Probability vain would have been his Sollicitation; but, on the other Hand, the Possibility of its not being in her Power to regain his Lordship, the dreadful Catastrophe of Lady Fanny Fashion's becoming his Countess, the Fear that she herself could not, together with that most alarming of all Fears, that Lady Fanny could, were Inducements too powerful to be withstood. She lost the Consideration of all the Consequences that must unavoidably attend such a Marriage, and determined to give her Hand to Lord Dellwyn, as a less Evil than what she otherwise apprehended.

Miss Lucum's Determination on Marriage by no means removed all her Perplexity; for altho', during her short Stay in London, she had so much profited, that her Inclination for Grandeur had totally extinguished all her Love of Simplicity and Retirement; yet she was not Proficient enough to be perfectly versed in all the Arts of bringing about her own Purposes; but was greatly at a Loss in what manner to begin the Courtship on her Side, which was before begun on the proper Part, that of her Lover.

It must be confessed that her Circumstances were aukward enough to have puzzled a much greater Adept in the Knowlege of the gay World; her Refusal of Lord Dellwyn whilst her Father was continually urging the Advantage of such a Proposal, and she flattering herself, that it was meritorious steadily to resist that she termed Persecution, had indeed been attended with too much Scorn and Contempt; which rendered the new Part she had now undertaken the more difficult to perform.

Lord Dellwyn now came frequently to Mr. Lucum's; for which Cause Miss Lucum went but little abroad; for she was greatly apprehensive, lest, by that means, she should miss some favourable Opportunity of putting in Practice her late-formed Resolution: Besides Lord Dellwyn's formal Manner of treating her, and his peculiar Attention to Lady Fanny in public, was too mortifying to her Pride, and she was too apt on such Occasions to expose herself: But a daily epistolary Correspondence, expressing the highest Friendship; passed between these Two young Ladies; tho' Miss Lucum, still unknown to herself, became much more formal, and Your Ladyship dropped much oftener from her Pen than had been her usual Custom; but Lady Fanny was profuse in her Professions of Affection, which at last became so high, that there were very few Degrees left for Improvement, if the Correspondence had continued to the End of a long Life.

When first Miss Lucum came to London, Lady Fanny Fashion taking more particular Notice of her than any other of her Mother's Relations, these Two young Ladies seldom passed a Day without seeing each other, or sending a Billet of Inquiry concerning each other's Health. Their Style then can in this Manner:

I had many Things to say to dear Miss Lucum last Night; but you disappointed me by staying at home. I hope you will not continue in the same solitary Mood To-night. I shall be at Madam De—'s till you come.

Your affectionate
F. Fashion.

The Answer.

I am obliged to dear Lady Fanny for her kind Desire to see me, and will certainly be at Madam De—'s this Evening. I am

Your Ladyship's
sincere humble Servant,
C. Lucum.

But this was their present Style:

I cannot imagine, dear Miss Lucum, why you did not come to the Assembly last Night. I had no Pleasure there; for the insupportable Loss of your Company made every thing around me insipid. I could not sleep all Night for the alarming Fears which oppressed me, lest you should be ill. Why, when you know how much my Heart is wrapped up in your Safety, will you ever absent yourself without letting me know the Cause. Pray, dear Miss Lucum, write me a Line, to set my Heart at Ease, that you are well: For I am

Your most affectionate,
sincere, and faithful Friend,
F. Fashion.

The Answer.

Your Ladyship's Notice does me great Honour; but a little Cold and Indisposition prevents me the Pleasure of seeing your Ladyship often in public. Your Ladyship is not ignorant how little I love going abroad when I am indisposed; but I hope your Ladyship will not impute it to any Slight; for I am, Madam,

Your Ladyship's
Most obedient humble Servant,
Charlotte Lucum.

One Evening Mr. Lucum being called abroad, on some Business of Importance, when Lord Dellwyn was at his House, he made an Apology to his Lordship, and left him alone with his Daughter. Now the much-desired Opportunity seemed to be favourable; but instead of being able to give her Thoughts Utterance, Miss Lucum blushed, and hesitated, like Lady Charlotte, in the Comedy of The Funeral . She was actuated with Love as much as Lady Charlotte in the Play, altho' the Object indeed was not her Lover; but the Grandeur and Triumph over her Rival it was in his Power to bestow. Miss Lucum started several Subjects; but could not, with any Propriety, mention that which was uppermost in her Thoughts; till Lord Dellwyn expressed his Desire that she would continue her Friendship to the Lady he hoped shortly—Miss Lucum had not Patience to suffer him to proceed any farther; but, interrupting him, replied, "Is it customary, my Lord, amongst Men educated in the fashionable World, to take the bashful Reserve of a Country Girl for an absolute Refusal?"

These Words were not spoken by Miss Lucum without the utmost Hesitation; nor could she have made such an Advance to any Man of her Choice; and would perhaps have even let this Opportunity slip, without any further Attempts to accomplish her Purpose, than secretly wishing so to do, had not Lord Dellwyn raised all her Fears concerning Lady Fanny; and that so suddenly, that she was ready to run into any Danger, rather than suffer the Pain of that Apprehension.

This gave his Lordship a Key to her Behaviour, which he had long wished for: He only desired the Shadow of some other Reason for her apparent Contempt, than that which his Inclination had strictly forbidden him to behold; namely, his own Disagreeableness. She had now afforded him that Gratification, and he gave Utterance to these Words:

"If, Madam, I could hope that bashful Modesty was your only Motive for rejecting my Offer, and that the most earnest Sollicitation for your Favour would not be in vain, my Thoughts henceforward should center in you alone."

Either Miss Lucum's Looks, or her Answer, were so agreeable to his Lordship, that he seized her Hand, and kissed it, with an Imitation of youthful Warmth. But here the Struggle between Nature and Vanity was again renewed; the former being very unwilling, totally and irretrievably to yield up so fair a Prize to her avowed and constant Enemy; and the Lady's Hand, like the sensitive Plant, spontaneously shrunk back to avoid his Touch; and at that Moment she almost despaired of her own Power to keep her Resolution.

Lady Macbeth's Reproach to her Husband, when she perceived that he wavered in his Purpose, and wanted an additional Spur to induce him to perpetrate his horrid Purpose, is applicable to many Motions of the human Mind.

                                        —Nor Time, nor Place,
Did there cohere, and yet you would make both.
They have made themselves; and that their Fitness now
Does unmake you.

So it was with Miss Lucum; but then the Fear of Lady Fanny again presented itself to her Thoughts, and gave the complete Triumph to Vanity; and Lord Dellwyn was so reasonable in his Demands of Marks of her Affection, that he was perfectly satisfied with her Behaviour.

They made an Appointment to meet the next Evening at a public Assembly, where Miss Lucum knew Lady Fanny was to be present. There her Eyes sparkled with all the triumphant Lustre, that having obtained a desirable Victory over a Rival could inspire them with. It is very doubtful, whether the Conquest of the most agreeable and truly valuable Lover, could have thrown her Heart into a higher Flutter of Rapture. Her Joy on that Occasion was so complete, it could admit of no Addition.

Miss Lucum's Mind was too much engrossed by Pleasure to make room for Reflexion, or she would have perceived, that, if Lord Dellwyn was really engaged to Lady Fanny Fashion, as he had given her sufficient Reason to conclude, he must necessarily now act a most dishonourable Part; and that, therefore, she had no Reason to place any Confidence in him; but must be certain, that his Conduct was solely regulated by his own whimsical wavering Inclinations. Perhaps indeed Vanity had so entirely extinguished the Rectitude of her Mind, that his Baseness to others, and more particularly to her Rival, whilst it gave her an Opportunity of triumphing in her Success, might not have appeared worthy her Consideration.

The Pangs this short-lived Triumph must cost her, were also at that time banished from her Thoughts. Our Minds or Bodies are capable of going but one Road, and that a narrow Path, at one and the same time; and, when our Imaginations are elated with any favourite Pursuit, we are generally so indulgent to ourselves, as to suppress all troublesome and conscious Admonitions, till the Consequences of our Actions forcibly intrude Consideration upon us; and then we awake, as out of a Dream, and wonder whence all those Sufferings proceed.

Miss Lucum was perfectly indifferent as to my Lord's Virtues: She requested but one Favour of his Lordship; namely, that he would be an humble Instrument, in the Hand of Fortune, to gratify her Ambition, and serve her present desireable Purpose of heaping up for herself future Misery.

From henceforward all Things agreeable both to Lord Dellwyn's and Miss Lucum's Wish succeeded: A new-born but short-lived Sympathy; and even that was caused by their seeing each other but seldom: Miss Lucum was so thoroughly employed in the essential Preparations for her Wedding, that she forgot the Bridegroom.

Mr. Lucum was lavish in adorning his now again dear Child, even to Profuseness, on this Occasion; for he also sympathised with her and his future Son-in-law, full as much as they did with each other. A general Good-humour reigned in all their Hearts, and was visible in their Countenances.

The Day was appointed for her Wedding. During the intermediate Space, Miss Lucum was under the most perfect Intoxication of Vanity: Cloaths were bought, new Equipages were ordered, new Schemes of Grandeur passed in continual Succession in her Mind, even Lord Dellwyn, for that small Portion of Time, became agreeable; for he seldom approached her, without securing himself a favourable Reception by some dazling Present.

Visionary Schemes of Happiness, built on magnificent State, gaudy Equipages, glittering Shew, and glaring Pomp, were ever swimming before her Eyes, and dazled all her poor intoxicated Senses.

The Wedding was completed, as described in the First Chapter of this Book; and, from this visionary State of the Bride's Mind, arose that vacant Look, which indicated such a total Insensibility at the Ceremony of her Marriage: For when she answered I will, she never imagined that she had promised more than that she would thenceforward follow implicitly wheresoever Vanity should lead; and add to the Liberty of a free-born Briton, all the Privileges of an English Woman of Quality.


Human Happiness.

Now, taking Leave of Miss Lucum, it is time to acknowlege her in her more exalted Station, and consider her as Countess of Dellwyn . A Change of the utmost Importance to herself, as her new-acquired Dignity was ever present to her Memory, and elated her Imagination.

Mr. Lucum's Transformation was full as visible as that of his Daughter; he was become, as the Clown in Shakespeare expresses it, "A tall Man of his Hands;" and the characteristical Description Ulysses gives Achilles, in the same Author's Troilus and Cressida, without straining the Sense, will bear an Application to Mr. Lucum in his State of "new-blown Honours."

He bastes his Arrogance with his own Seam,
And never suffers Matters of the World
Enter his Thoughts, save such as do revolve
And ruminate himself.

Lord Dellwyn, his new Bride, and Mr. Lucum, all Three equally promised themselves a full Gratification of all their Desires. The Lady, indeed, when the Time approached of her returning home in the Evening, was not totally divested of all Uneasiness; but the many Schemes of Pleasure, that played in her Fancy, assisted her to fix her Thoughts on future Magnificence; and yet more particularly was she elated with the Prospect of a certain Triumph over Lady Fanny Fashion : But that young Lady somewhat disappointed her Hopes; for she congratulated her on her Marriage, with a Politeness that indicated no very deep Affliction on the Occasion.

Lady Dellwyn was truly sensible, that, had Lady Fanny married her Lord, she could by no means have been thus calm in her Behaviour; and therefore was somewhat surprised at her Rival's Indifference. Whether that Indifference was really in Lady Fanny's Heart, or only the Effect of a superior Education, which had taught her, with great Facility, to disguise the inward Movements of her Mind, cannot be easily determined.

Now each Day produced some new Joy; receiving and returning Visits was for some time a constant Employment; and Complaints of the great Fatigue of doing that, which her Ladyship would have thought a serious Misfortune to have omitted, furnished sufficient Matter for Conversation during the few Minutes she remained in any one Place, without varying the Subject; and every Company she left, found Entertainment sufficient in criticising the Dress and Behaviour of the new Countess: Many Ladies heartily sympathised with Lady Dellwyn, in bemoaning her Fatigue, and declared that they should rejoice, for her Sake, when her insupportable Labour of visiting was ended. No Day intervened till Lady Dellwyn had appeared at every public Assembly; her glaring Equipage was known by the whole Town, and she had the Honour of becoming the general Subject of Conversation, and filling up all the Time which could possibly be spared from Cards.

It was very observable, that altho', but a few Months before, the Incredibility of Lord Dellwyn's marrying Miss Lucum was so very apparent, that almost every Person was ashamed of exposing such a Mark of Weakness, as to be duped into the Belief of so high an Improbability; yet now it appeared plainly, that the Fact was as well known before it happened, as afterwards; for every Lady declared it was what she had always imagined, she had foreseen it from the Beginning; nay, Hints were dropped by some very extraordinary Prophetesses, of their knowing of the Marriage so long before its being accomplished, that they unfortunately fixed the Period of their Forecast, even before Lord Dellwyn was acquainted with his present Countess. It became a Matter of Debate, whose Property this Prophecy was; and those Persons contended most strongly for the Honour of having been the first Authors of it, who had originally the most vehemently insisted on its Impossibility.

By the time Lady Dellwyn had shown herself in every Scene of Gaiety and Diversion, the Season approached for the Rising of the Parliament, when the public Places, constituted by the Discovery of various salutary Waters, began to divide the Company; which had flocked together in the Winter to the Metropolis, as Bees to their Hives, when the Flowers droop, and afford them no longer an Opportunity to extract the liquid Sweets to make their Honey.

At this Season of the Year some Families retire to their Country Seats, and are welcomed by the rejoicing Hearts of their neighbouring Poor; who have suffered dreary Want through a long laborious Winter, having no other Employment, by which they can support themselves, but what they can obtain from each other: A Welcome which must expand and delight the beneficent Mind beyond the Power of Expression. The Ease with which this Pleasure is to be attained by every Gentleman, who is endued with any considerable Property in his Country (for it requires neither Labour nor Anxiety to purchase it) may perhaps be one Reason why it is so often neglected; but it is very probable that many Gentlemen would not be of Opinion that Pleasure is every-where to be found but in the midst of their own Possessions, were they not unfortunately, by the Prevalence of Fashion, too often kept from their Youth in absolute Ignorance of the joyful Scenes it is in the Power of their own Home to bestow. But it is time to finish this Chapter; which, beginning with human Happiness, must naturally come to a short Conclusion.


An old Castle fashioned to a modern Taste, and made tolerably habitable.

Lady Dellwyn most willingly consented to accompany her Lord to his Country Seat; for she now apprehended, that there was no Probability any Company would remain in Town, whom she could have any Desire to see; or, to speak with greater Propriety, to whom she could have any Inclination to shew herself. Her Father's House, which had afforded her a pleasant Retirement during his imaginary Contempt of Grandeur, was at so small a Distance from her Lord's Castle, that there she might visit all her old Acquaintance, the Companions and Friends of her Youth; with whom her Hours of calm Serenity had glided on through many revolving Years, without one ruffling Storm to disturb or irritate her gentle Bosom.

I would not be misunderstood, as if I intended to relate any thing so truly unnatural, as it would be for the Countess of Dellwyn, in her transformed State, to have the least Inclination to share the rural Pleasures of the former Friends of Miss Lucum; but she imagined she should receive more refined Delight by displaying her Magnificence to the Eyes of those Persons she had once esteemed her Equals, than to such new Acquaintance as were ignorant of her former Situation. She promised herself a double Joy by the Consideration that it must be firmly fixed in their Memory, that it was Miss Lucum herself who was raised to so exalted a Station.

There is nothing so constantly disappoints its own Purposes as Vanity; and here Lady Dellwyn met with a very unexpected Mortification; her former Friends did not look on her with near so high an Admiration as she did on herself: They had not breathed in the Air of London, no Electricity had inflamed them with the Love of Grandeur, neither had they undergone any Circæan Transformation; they paid her as much Respect as they thought her Due, but did not continually acknowlege her Dignity; nay, her chief Favourite, Miss Cummins, was even so rusticated, that she attempted talking to her Ladyship in the affectionate Language with which she was accustomed to express her Sentiments to Miss Lucum. She was soon made sensible that the Countess disliked her ill-bred Familiarity; but, being too unpolite to acknowlege her Error, she avoided that Company which would not condescend to her Peculiarity of Disposition; and so much doth Vanity throw us into the Power of every Individual of the human Species, however contemptibly we may think proper to treat them, that Lady Dellwyn was inwardly hurt by this steady Behaviour of her Friend; and Indignation, which is ever accompanied by a painful Sensation, crept into her Bosom, and in a Moment drove thence all her former fancied Friendship: I say fancied; for Friendship, which is real, and built on right Principles, where just Esteem is the strong Foundation, is unalterable by Time or Accident, whilst Life itself endures.

Lady Dellwyn, however, met with as much Flattery as she could desire from great Part of her Neighbourhood; but yet, so greatly doth Difficulty enhance the Pleasure, one flattering Expression from Miss Cummins would have been received by her with more Joy, than all the creeping Servility that others could treat her with; but this, unfortunately for her Ladyship's Desires, was not to be purchased; for Miss Cummins could not possibly give what she had not to bestow, and she had never cultivated any Degree of Flattery in her Mind. This Behaviour of Miss Cummins was the second Incident, which lowered, in her own Eyes, the Value of the Title so dearly purchased.

Lady Dellwyn now employed herself in reversing every thing in her Lord's Castle, as totally as her own Mind had been changed. She seemed to have laid it down as her chief Rule, to consider first what was most useful; and whatever she found so, she gave immediate Orders for dismissing from under her Roof, as being too vulgar Furniture to have a Place there. Substantial Pieces of Goods (which perhaps were greatly valued by my Lord's Ancestors) were also very offensive to her Ladyship's Sight; they, for their Clumsiness, were discarded, and in their room were placed China Images, and all manner of Chinese Figures; some that stood still, and some that, by pulling a String, might be put into such insignificant Shakings and Motions, as made the Heads of the Beholders giddy, when it happens that their Dizziness is not too great before to admit of any Addition from outward Objects. And thus was this noble ancient Castle, which, in its old Form, struck the Imagination both with Dignity and Simplicity, filled with such trifling Gew-gaws, that it was dangerous to move, lest some of the Clock-work Trumpery should be thrown down and put out of Joint; the constant Consequence of which was a thorough Discomposure of all the Lady's Features. In this manner the Lady of the Mansion was so happy as to rid herself of some small Portion of Time with tolerable Self-satisfaction; whilst the exquisite Elegance of her own Taste was the daily Subject of her Admiration.


Speaking Truth not only shames the D—l, but prevents us a great deal of unnecessary Trouble.

When Lady Dellwyn finished the new furnishing her Castle, she began to be at a great Loss for Employment; she had now no Refuge from a languid, wearisome Melancholy, which is often called a Fever upon the Spirits; she had no Food from outward Objects, to employ her animal Spirits, and they therefore prey'd at home; and oppressed her own Mind.

This being haunted with Ghosts, dejected with an unaccountable Melancholy, and afflicted with a Variety of Distempers, tho' we are at a Loss to discover what Appellation to give them, is very often the Result of nothing more than a strong Imagination unimployed, which could be all alive and merry if it was not confined to some Scene of Dullness, which curbs all its Pleasures; and then, rather than be motionless, it chuses to be mischievous, bearing in that respect a strong Resemblance to the Activity of the Monkey, whose chief Glory is to mimick Man, and who, as far as that Mimickry goes, is a most perfect Master of that Branch of Ridicule.

Lady Dellwyn was now as totally incapable of enjoying the Country, as she was, at her first Arrival in London, of tasting the Pleasures to which she had then been wholly unaccustomed.

Lord Dellwyn's distempered State of Body was constantly attended with Peevishness; but yet, to prove that he had the Power of commanding himself when he pleased, and only vented his Passions when, and on whom, he thought proper, he confined the Impetuosity of his Rage to his Servants alone, and his Fondness for his young Lady restrained him from bestowing on her any Share of his Displeasure: But this was by no means an Alleviation to her Melancholy; perhaps had it been otherwise, and she had been also a Partaker of his Wrath, an Opportunity of Contention might have raised her Spirits, and relieved her from her Languidness. Her Lord's Fondness was beyond Comparison more odious to her than his Anger; and, if the Choice had been given her, she would greatly have preferred the latter; and have thought she had made a very advantageous Exchange, if by that means she might have been freed from the former.

Lady Dellwyn had now brought herself into a State, in which she was in a manner under an Obligation to live a Lye; not only her Language, but every Look, every Gesture, must indicate some Falsehood: She had not been instructed young enough in this Sort of Commerce, to have the Advantage of Custom to lighten such an insupportable Burthen; it was to her lively Imagination more than an Herculean Labour: She fainted under the heavy Load, and consumed away almost to a Skeleton.

My Lord now, as an Aggravation to his Lady's Misfortunes, began to express a great Satisfaction in the Country; which he thought better suited to his Time of Life than the Hurry and Confusion of a Town. He was so perfectly happy in his Countess, that it was unnecessary to put himself to the Trouble of long Journies in pursuit of other Pleasures.

Lady Dellwyn was too conscious of the Conclusion which must naturally follow an earnest Sollicitation on her Part for public Places, to dare to undertake importuning her Lord on that Account. The Pains she was obliged to undergo to avoid the Appearance of Truth, and to conceal her want of Affection to her Husband, rendered it almost impossible for her at the same time to venture to declare she was miserable, unless a Variety of Company might, in some measure, ease her of the Burthen of being continually confined to her Lord's Conversation.

At the Time that Lady Dellwyn lived with her Father Mr. Lucum in the Country, he imputed all his Mortifications to the various treacherous Parts he had acted, and therefore had a kind of temporary Rage against that Vice by which he had suffered so much; which Rage had as long a Continuance as his imaginary Philosophy and Contempt of the World; for which Reason he pointed all his Endeavours to breed up his Daughter with a peculiar Hatred to all Manner of Falsehood: It was, therefore, doubly barbarous to place her in a Station of Life, for which she was absolutely unqualified.

Ladies have sometimes thrown their whole House into an Uproar, and themselves into Fits, if their Husbands, by any Accident, have been prevented from returning home at the appointed Time, for fear they should have been swallowed up, like Tom Thumb, by a red Cow; and the next Day renewed the same Confusion, because it was not convenient for them to shew themselves that Season at London, Bath, Bristol, or any other public Place, which chanced at that Time to be uppermost in their Inclinations; nay, and what is still more wonderful, they have expected their Husbands to be convinced, that the Affliction in both Instances was real, and without any Degree of Affectation; and in fact sometimes this contradictory Practice hath succeeded, and they have been perfectly credited.

Lady Dellwyn was not adept enough in the new Trade she had undertaken; and unfortunately penetrated so far, that she was truly aukward at this kind of Craftiness: Neither had she any Prompter, who could give her Assistance to perform her Part; for she never thought of the Expedient of making a whispering Party in her Lord's House against him, or of placing such a Confidence in her Servant, as to reveal to her the inward State of her Mind: Altho' she could not attain an absolute Command over her Inclinations, yet she guarded the Door of her Lips so strictly, that she never suffered herself to give Utterance to any contemptuous Expressions of her Lord; and in this Particular, her Example was then worthy of Imitation.

And now the Lady was again metamorphosed from the gay, fluttering, admired young Woman of Quality (the Form she had last appeared in at London) into a lamenting Niobe; she wasted herself with weeping; not for any Loss she had sustained, but for the unfortunate Acquisition of the very Husband she had sought with careful Anxiety.

There is perhaps no greater Difficulty, than to enter into Conversation under the Terror of betraying any hidden Secret of the Heart; the Discovery of which may probably be attended with some dreaded Consequence: And Lady Dellwyn was obliged to take every Thought into serious Consideration before she permitted to her Tongue the Liberty of Utterance, lest her Indifference, not to say Aversion, to her Lord, should peep out and be discovered unawares.

In fact, whilst the Lady was eagerly pursuing the Fortune and Rank to which it was in Lord Dellwyn's Power to exalt her, she had fixed her whole Imagination on her own favourite Prospect; and overlooking every other Object, she had absolutely forgot the heavy Tax she must pay for the Indulgence of her fancied Scheme of Happiness; and even that, by her own Act and Deed, she was bringing herself under an Obligation to spend her Life with her Lord, was a Truth that found no room for Entrance at that time into her Consideration.

This Discovery was reserved for the Time of Leisure. And now in her Retirement from those gay Pleasures, which had dazled her Understanding and turned her Head giddy, it became so glaring in her Sight, that she could no longer shut her Eyes close enough to prevent its being full in her View.

Repentance went hand-in-hand with this Reflexion, and Lady Dellwyn would joyfully have resigned all the Dignity of her Person, to have been again transformed to Miss Lucum in her pleasant rural Retreat.

When Lord Dellwyn was able to be carried out for the Benefit of the Air, his Lady, under some Pretence of Disorder in her Head or Stomach (for every Part bore its Portion of Falsehood) contrived to be excused bearing him Company, that she might gain some few Hours to herself: Yet those Hours, instead of being spent in her former amusing Employments, were consumed in fruitless Lamentations; but when the loud Rap at the Gate proclaimed the Approach of the Lord of the Castle, then was her Terror again renewed.

The rumbling of the Servants on the Stairs, to convey his Lordship back to his Apartment, was so dreadful in his Lady's Ears, that it almost threw her into a shivering Fit of an Ague; and often on the melancholy Reflexion that she was doomed for Life to endure the Company, and even the Fondness, of a Man utterly disagreeable to her, she wanted Words to express herself, and was ready to exclaim, with Hamlet,

Oh! horrible, horrible, most horrible!

The more she considered, the more Reason she perceived for Self-condemnation: She had no longer any Relish for her once favourite Amusement of Reading; and mostly she disliked those Authors who have penetrated deeply into the intricate Paths of Vanity in the human Mind; for in them her own Folly was continually brought to her Remembrance, and presented to her View, that, like the Clown in the Play, whenever any Person was to be set down an Ass, she could not help saying, tho' perhaps only inwardly (That's I); but such an Acknowlegement was always accompanied by a very unpleasing Sensation.

Writings of Humour, by their Oddness or Peculiarity of Characters, excite Laughter; Histories of Wars and Politics, with which th Generality of Mankind have nothing to do, give an Entertainment of another Kind: But to peruse, with Pleasure, true Pictures of Nature, requires either a clear or a hardened Conscience; which Shakespeare has manifested to be his Opinion, by Hamlet's Method of discovering whether the Ghost of his Father had related the Truth concerning being murthered by his Uncle; making his Uncle's Behaviour, at the Representation of a Murder, the Test of that Truth.

Lady Dellwyn could not persuade herself that she was innocent, whilst she found it necessary to lead a Life of Deceit, altho' she had glossed over her Actions with the Sanction of Matrimony; and Reading was like setting a Glass before her, which represented her to herself in so many deformed Lights, that she could not bear the disagreeable View; and if Lady Fanny Fashion would now have condescended to have accepted of her Lord, she would have been heartily welcome to all that Grandeur and Magnificence, which Lady Dellwyn was at length convinced she had purchased at a Price greatly above its Value.


Not Venice preserved, but á Venus betrayed, and a Plot discovered.

Lady Dellwyn one Evening, having had an Opportunity of relieving the Oppression of her Spirits by a Flood of Tears, entered into Conversation with her Lord more unreservedly than was customary; which so opened his Lordship's Heart, that he freely confessed her Father's carrying her to London, his Pretence of marrying Lady Fanny Fashion, and every Transaction from the Time of her Arrival in London, were nothing more than the Effects of a Stratagem, concerted between himself and Mr. Lucum, to prevail with her to consent to be his Countess.

Lady Dellwyn at first could not smother her Indignation; but answered, with an uncommon Warmth, It is an Honour worthy of mighty Triumph, my Lord, for Two great Men to conquer One weak Woman; but then, suddenly recollecting herself, and considering the Appearance any Vehemence from her on that Occasion must have, she endeavoured to drag a Smile into her Countenance; so aukwardly indeed, that a Third Person would easily have distinguished it from the joyous Smile, which is the Result of an elated Heart: My Lord however graciously accepted it, and was satisfied with her good Intentions.

Lady Dellwyn, since her Retirement, had often reflected, with Astonishment, on her Father's unaccountable Behaviour; which, during the Time that her Spirits were in too great Agitation for her to know her own Mind, had passed unobserved: But now her Lord had given her a Clue, whereby she could naturally trace every Step by which she had been duped into her own Misery.

Mortifying as this was, yet Pride, by a strange Turn, made it yield a small Degree of necessary Comfort. Her Ladyship hitherto had pointed all her Anger and Contempt at her own Folly; but now other Objects started up, on whom she could throw Part of the Burthen; and she began to admit many alleviating Arguments, and to convince herself that she was not so very culpable as she had before imagined: Youth, Inexperience, with a great Number of plausible Excuses, stood ready at hand to plead her Cause before her own Tribunal, and were all heard with the most lenient Candour. She had hitherto only felt a Disgust to her Lord; but now she added Indignation against the Man who was capable of acting a treacherous Part. Many Epithets of Abuse were annexed closely to her Lord's Name; but this was all inwardly, for she suffered none of them to escape through the Door of her Lips.

Lord Dellwyn was not however, even in Thought, accused by his Lady of being any thing more than an humble Instrument to execute her Father's Designs; for the last Accusation she would have alleged against him, was that of laying a Plot that required the least Consideration.

It belongs to the Avocation of a great Politician, to know how to form and execute the lesser, as well as the greater Schemes and Intrigues; and Mr. Lucum exerted as much Art in the bringing about this domestic Stratagem, as if he had been managing some great Wheel of State-policy; for whilst he was betraying his Daughter to her own Misery, he was also deceiving Lord Dellwyn into an Opinion that Miss Lucum had no other Reason for her Refusal of such Honours, but an effeminate Bashfulness concerning being married; which Assertion the young Lady's Behaviour, when the Dread of Lady Fanny Fashion's being his Countess had alarmed her Vanity, confirmed perfectly to my Lord's Satisfaction.

On the Outside of Lord Dellwyn's Castle, a Lover of Milton would naturally be induced to remember his Description of Paradise, when Satan was first beholding the envied Happiness of our First Parents:

Beneath him, with new Wonder, now he views,
To all Delight of human Sense expos'd,
In narrow room, Nature's whole Wealth; yea more,
A Heaven on Earth.

Where the calm Mind undisturbed with restless Passions, when the glowing Morning Sun gilded the charming Prospect, might enjoy that innocent Pleasure which is to be felt alone; for no Description can reach the Height or Depth of its Joy, or convey an Idea any thing adequate to its Excellence, to those unfortunate Persons, who have ever been accustomed to think all Pleasure consists in a constant Attendance on Crouds, and a gay Dissipation of the Senses.

In Lady Dellwyn's Apartment, on the Consideration that she was Owner of the Castle, the Lines of Milton, which are placed immediately before these Words, would be applicable:

                                        —So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The Good before him; but perverts best Things
To worst Abuse, or to their meanest Use.

There were present many of the Disorders which Virgil so finely and poetically personifies, and places at the Gates of the infernal Shades. There revengeful Cares, inward Strifes, and pale Diseases, had taken up their Habitations; but refreshing Sleep found no Entrance. A small Voice issued from a Bed placed in utter Darkness, where no Ray of Light was admitted; complaining of bad Nerves, low Spirits, and terrible Dreams. The Servants, with the utmost Care, could not approach her Ladyship at the Summons of her Bell, but her disordered Head was disturbed; and several of her Women were dismissed her Service, because they were not possessed of the Power ascribed to Ghosts, of creeping through the Key-hole. Imaginary Distempers, which arise from the Perturbation of the Mind, are, in the Language of the Grave-digger in Hamlet, as whoreson Decayers of the human Body as Fevers, or any other Disorders whatever.

Lady Dellwyn, from restless Days and sleepless Nights, at length looked so ill, that her Lord was afraid she was falling into a galloping Consumption. He daily enquired what was the Cause of her Disorder; but as she dared not for the World let the Truth appear, she was under some Difficulty to find a proper Answer to his Question. In fact, she was Husband-sick, in a Manner the very reverse of what is generally termed Mother-sick; for Girls are so called, when they pine on being separated from their Mothers: And, if she had been admitted to have spoke her Mind, she would have used an Expression of this Import: "My Lord, you are my Disease."

This melancholy Life reduced Lady Dellwyn to such a languid State of Health, that her Lord sent for Doctor Small, a neighbouring Physician; who had spent great Part of his Youth in London, and was full-fraught with all such Knowlege as generally passes under the Denomination of, The Knowlege of the World. Doctor Small immediately discovered, that the Bristol Water was so necessary for her Ladyship, that nothing else could save her Life. Lord Dellwyn was very averse to so long a Journey; but yet was not willing to omit taking any Method which the Doctor pronounced would be an absolute Restorative to his Lady; with whom the Doctor was become so great a Favourite, that she was continually sending for him, and seemed always the better for his Presence, having discovered that he was the best Physician and the most sensible Man in the World.

Preparations were now made for their Journey, and the Lady seemed greatly revived, even before they put their Purpose into Execution; insomuch that my Lord once hinted as if there was Reason to hope that she might recover without the Trouble of travelling so many Miles; but in that Moment, a sudden Shivering and Pain in the Head seizing her, my Lord gave up all such Thoughts for the future: And as soon as possible they set forward for Bristol.


Contempt or Indignation against ourselves of but a short Continuance, and very easily mitigated, or totally appeased.

It was that Year a very full Season at Bristol; and Lord and Lady Dellwyn were welcomed there with great Respect by all the People of Fashion. My Lord himself appeared but little abroad; but as he had taken this long Journey entirely on the Account of his Lady, he was pleased at her partaking of the Diversions in a moderate Manner. The Variety of Objects continually passing before her Eyes, together with the Power of being in Company whenever she pleased, somewhat abated her Melancholy. His Lordship was in hopes that this small Amendment was the Effect of the Waters, and indicated a perfect Cure; but her Ladyship well knew that the being less confined to her Lord's Company was the only Source whence flowed her apparent Revival; for their téte à téte Conversations, where Hums and Ha's, and Gapings, composed the greatest Part of the Sounds, did not seem calculated to incite any Degree of Liveliness.

There was then at the Hot-wells a young Nobleman (Lord Clermont by Name) who immediately singled Lady Dellwyn out as a proper Object of Admiration; and assiduously watched every Opportunity to entertain her to the utmost of his Power. This Accident seemed to awake her as from a Dream, and her Mind was roused as from a Lethargy, by having discovered a new Employment. Lord Clermont's particular and continual Pursuit of her was remarkable to the whole Company; but yet he could by no means raise in Lady Dellwyn the least Partiality towards him. It is certain he employed her Thoughts greatly; but in a very different Manner from that which would have been any Gratification to his Wishes: He was considered by her as a proper Object on which to exert her Prudence, but had no Share in her Affection. She was continually balancing with herself whether she should avoid or go to the Places where there was most Probability of meeting with him; and often resisted her Inclination to hear his Flattery, from a Motive very adequate to its Purpose; namely, that of having a Claim to a little of her own Approbation.

From the Time that Lady Dellwyn had thoroughly imbibed the Infection of Vanity, and that Passion had got the uppermost Seat in her Mind, she had lost all Relish for every other Gratification, but what in some measure contributed to the satisfying this her insatiable Tyrant. Lord Clermont's Addresses gave her abundant Opportunities of enjoying this Pleasure. The resisting the Addresses of an agreeable Man, altho' it must be confessed that she had not any particular Liking to him, was yet a sufficient Foundation, when she was her own Judge, whereon to build a Self-admiration, and attribute to herself a very estimable Virtue. No sooner had she got Possession of this gay Feather, than she began to plume herself on her own good Qualities. That humble Light, wherein she had appeared to her own Reflexions, had hitherto been an almost insupportable Mortification, but was now put to flight in a Moment; her Indignation and Contempt were all plentifully bestowed on Lord Dellwyn, and her whole Stock of Esteem was confined at home, and travelled no farther than her own Bosom.

Lord Dellwyn immediately perceived the Alteration, and imputed it to her being too much pleased with the Addresses of a young and amiable Nobleman; whereas in reality the Change of her Behaviour arose from a new-acquired Liking to herself: Her Lord however absolutely forbad her having any farther Intercourse with Lord Clermont; with which Injunction she, without any Hesitation, and with a Smile of Good-humour, instantly promised an unreserved Compliance; only desiring his Lordship would permit her, whilst she was endeavouring to avoid Lord Clermont, not to be so particular as to render herself the Observation of the whole Company by her uncommon Behaviour; for Lord Clermont was himself at that time so much the Object of Attention, that he was not accustomed to be treated with any sort of Neglect.

Hitherto when Reflexion intruded itself forcibly on Lady Dellwyn, she was dissatisfied with her own Conduct, and saw a Reason for condemning herself; which was greatly and painfully alarming to her Pride: This rendered her humble enough to endeavour to conceal from Lord Dellwyn the inward Dislike she harboured against him; and the only Shadow of a Virtue she could make herself hope she was possessed of, was the patiently suffering, and making the best of the Situation, in which she had been pleased to place herself. She had indeed received some little Comfort, by Lord Dellwyn's Confession of the Stratagem contrived between himself and her Father to allure her to her Marriage; this assisted her to admit her Lord into the Participation of a large Share of her Anger; yet the Consideration of the Manner by which she had been made a Dupe to her own ungovernable Vanity, and an Instrument in the Hand of others to play upon at Pleasure, till she even courted her own Unhappiness, confined great Part of her Contempt at home, and it fell in great abundance on her own Head.

The readily avoiding the Conversation of Lord Clermont at her Lord's Desire, was the first Transaction that had passed from the Time of her accompanying her Lord to his Seat in the Country, which had given her any true Pleasure, without the annexing of any one Circumstance to alloy it by piquing her Pride: For tho' in fact she had not Inclination enough for Lord Clermont, to boast any great Self-denial on this Occasion; yet, as she searched not so minutely, as to penetrate her real Motive, her Compliance with her Husband gave her great Consequence in her own Eyes.

One fancied Virtue is more dangerous than many acknowleged Vices; for the former is cherished as the most delightful of Friends; whilst the latter, however tempting at first Sight, is always attended with Shame on Reflection. Self-admiration, like Virgil's Fame, from the smallest Beginnings soon spreadeth and enlargeth itself, till it reacheth the Clouds; and the elated Imagination can nourish a Thousand gay pleasant Ideas in its extended Branches.

Lady Dellwyn now delighted her Fancy with erecting a Pair of mental Scales; in One Balance placing her own newly-discovered Merits, and in the other all such Virtue as she allowed her Lord to be possessed of. Her Memory was faithful to the minutest Circumstance that could give Weight to her own Side; and, when this last Compliance with her Husband was added to the other numerous Articles, the Balance which contained the whole Load of her Virtues struck the Ground with its Force; whilst that in which her Fancy had placed Lord Dellwyn's Merit, flew upwards with its Lightness; and all the Trifles therein, like Half the Prayer to Jupiter, in Homer, were lost and scattered in the Air.

This healing Balsam of Self-flattery again transformed the weeping Niobe into one of the gayest Figures in the Creation. Nature adorns the Peacock with various coloured Beauties; but hath left the Choice in the Bird's own Power, either to drop down its Feathers in almost One undistinguishable Lump, or to open and display their Lustre in the Sun.

Lady Dellwyn's Beauty had been long veiled under the louring Cloud of Discontent; but now, instead of a reserved, melancholy, down-cast Look, her Eyes sparkled with Vivacity, and her whole Countenance became enlightened. A Stranger, and a Foreigner to her Bosom (Self-applause) was joyfully welcomed home, and embraced. Her Dress, tho' rich in itself, had hitherto been greatly neglected in its Form and Fashion; but now the utmost Elegance of Taste was visible in her Choice; her fine Hair, which wanted no Art, was yet carefully dressed in the newest Mode, no envious Cap presuming to cover any Part of it; nothing of less Value or Beauty than Diamonds, being admitted to come near its shining Lustre: Her well-turned white Neck was covered with a Veil so transparent, that, instead of concealing, heightened all its Beauties: Her long flowing Train alternately brushed the Ground while she passed on with Dignity, or was tucked under her left Arm, with a Grace and Air altogether inimitable: Dimpling Smiles play'd around her Lips whenever she spoke, and rendered her Conversation doubly engaging.

Lady Dellwyn kept her Word in avoiding Lord Clermont; nor was she particular in her Behaviour to any other Man. Her Lord therefore was greatly pleased, and imputed the Recovery of his Lady's Health to the Benefit she had received from the Waters. She was was now so generally in Good-humour, that a small Share of it shed its Influence on her Lord; altho' whenever her Temper was any way ruffled, it unfortunately happened when he was her only Companion; insomuch that it became very visible to the whole Company, whenever Lady Dellwyn appeared, whether or no my Lord was in the same Party; for then the fixed Posture of her Eyes proved they had nothing agreeable to declare; and there seemed to have been a Confederacy entered into between her Eyes and Tongue, in which they had mutually made a Vow of Silence. Her Charms were all so lowered for want of Animation, that probably, had she never been seen but in her Lord's Company, her Beauty had passed almost unregarded.

There is no Person living, who, in their Commerce with this World, doth not shut their Eyes up very close, but must have observed how much it is in a Woman's Power to enliven and heighten her Beauty to her Beholders, or to command her Charms into a languid Dullness, whenever the Absence of Pleasure, or the Presence of a disagreeable Object, hath such an Effect on her Humour as to take from her the customary Desire of pleasing. Perhaps we might hence derive one Reason why it is so often said of a fine Woman, That all the World is sensible of her Beauty, except her Husband.

Lady Dellwyn's slow Pace, whilst she accompanied her Lord, was suddenly changed, when she left him and joined her young Companions, into a lively and spirited Motion; and as she contrived to be as little with her Lord as possible, the greatest Part of her Time rolled on with Pleasure, and gave her an Opportunity of exerting all those Charms, with which her elegant Form was naturally endowed.

One shocking, though unavoidable, Consequence of Lady Dellwyn's visible Amendment, on which she had hitherto never reflected, now disagreeably intruded itself into her Remembrance; but the irksome Task of disturbing her short-lived Tranquility shall be reserved for another Chapter.


One tragical Incident relieved by another; or, as is very natural, a Fit of the Spleen relieved by a Fit of the Gout.

It hath been already observed, that Lord Dellwyn had no other Inducement to undertake so long a Journey as that from his own Castle to Bristol, but his Lady's being advised to go thither, as the only apparent Means of recovering her Health. This Purpose now being visibly effected, his Lordship began to turn his Thoughts on measuring back again the Distance between the Hot-wells and his own Seat.

If Variety is capable of filling every Hour of the married State with the highest Joy, then might it be said that Lord and Lady Dellwyn were completely blessed; for every Idea that had the Power of raising Pleasure in the Bosom of the one, depressed that of the other with Sorrow and Affliction. The Thought of returning home filled his Lordship with Delight; but, on the other Hand, raised in her Ladyship the highest Terror. My Lord grew weary of a public Place, which Want of Health and Strength would not suffer him to enjoy. My Lady dreaded the Change from a Variety of Company, which elated her Imagination, and at once procured her both Pleasure and Health, to a solitary Retirement with a Companion disgustful to her Fancy, and whose very Affection was displeasing and tiresome: She had already experienced what it was to languish and suffer Life in that Situation. A Renewal of the gaping, yawning Scene, as she herself expressed it, was beheld with Horror; and never was the old Proverb, that "A burnt Child dreads the Fire," more fully exemplified, than in her present Fears of returning from whence she came.

Lady Dellwyn had now accustomed herself to make a fair Riddance of that Burthen, her Time, by a continual Round of Amusement; which she contrived so artfully, as to imagine she was constantly employed in some necessary Business; and she was always in as violent a Hurry, as if some grand State Affair had waited for her Dispatch. The late Laureat, in the Apology for his Life, gives a very humorous Description of his Brother Manager, Mr. Wilks, and calls him The Bustle-master General: A Term which gives no inadequate Idea of several Personages on the great Theatre of the World.

The gay Disposition of Lady Dellwyn's Mind banished all Power of Reflexion; by which Means the Thought of this certain Stroke of returning home, unless prevented by the more certain Stroke of "having lived," found no Room for Admittance; neither did the daily dropping off of her Acquaintance bring it to her Memory.

This Expression of "having lived" was, it seems, a Form amongst the Romans, by which they avoided the Mention of the Word Death; and is used by Cicero, in Ben Johnson's Tragedy of Catiline, to inform the Senate of Catiline's Execution. I do not say this Flying the Idea of Death is quite so proper in a Nation where Christianity is professed; but I was led into it by being Witness to the following Story:

A Lady who was at the Hot-wells, apparently in the last Stage of her Life, was so terrified by the Mention of Death, that it was the Business of her Attendants to caution all her Acquaintance against using this Word; declaring it was enough to throw their Lady into immediate Convulsions: An Effect I should be very sorry to have on my Readers. But to leave this Digression:

I believe Music, Dancing, Cards, and a mixed Company of a Variety of People, who seem to have entered into a Combination of appearing outwardly pleased with one another (whatever Heart-burnings there may be within) are almost all the Ingredients which constitute what is generally called a public Place; and whilst that subsisted, it was indifferent to Lady Dellwyn of what Individuals it was composed: For she could not, with any Colour of Justice, be accused of much Partiality to any Particulars.

There is nothing perhaps presents us with more exact, or more frequent Pictures of human Life in general, than these kind of public Meetings, which periodically draw together a Concourse of a great Variety of Persons of all Kinds and Stations, and for all Manner of Purposes: Here are Diseases and Health, gay Diversions and biting Pains, kill-time Amusements, and languid wearied Spirits, so blended and intermixed that "Woman's Will" (even in the Judgment of Hamlet, when his own Mother had forfeited his good Opinion) could not with more Propriety be called One "undistinguished Space." There also are Tales

Told by an Ideot, full of Sound and Fury,
Signifying nothing!

There also are poor Players,

That strut, and fret their Hour upon the Stage,
And then are heard no more!

Players who perform their Parts to deceive themselves only: They differ indeed widely, in some Circumstances, from their Brother Comedians on the Theatres of Covent-garden and Drury-lane ; both exert themselves to excite Laughter in their Spectators; but these are so generous as to bestow all their Labour gratis; they act, like Gentlemen, for their own Diversion: They defray all the Expence themselves, unless it happens that their Friends, or Posterity, contribute towards it, without their Consent; their Inclinations not having been consulted.

Pale Spectres crawl from the Card or Billiard Tables one Moment, and vanish the next, like Ghosts, and become Lumps of Clay. This Consideration pursued would naturally lead to Reflexions, that might perhaps be thought too grave: I will therefore imitate the Politeness of Dame Quickly, who, whilst there was the least remaining Hope of the Life of her Friend Sir John Falstaff, endeavoured to comfort him with the Consideration, that "there was no Need to think upon God as yet."

The gayest, the most covetous, or the most ambitions Disposition, in the midst of the most earnest Pursuit of Pleasure, Money, or Honours, could not possibly be more displeased at being reminded that this World is not a lasting Home, than Lady Dellwyn was at her Lord's reminding her, that his Castle was her proper Habitation: He threw out some such broad Hints of an intended Journey thither, as could not be easily misunderstood; for he even mentioned, that he now thought it necessary to fix the Time for that Purpose.

It is amazing with what Velocity all Lady Dellwyn's Indispositions were returning; and there seemed to be a great Probability of her growing much worse than ever; when a violent Fit of the Gout, seizing his Lordship's great Toe, put an absolute Negative on his intended Journey, and stopped the Progress of his Lady's Relapse into all the Distempers which she came to Bristol to remove.

Again was exemplified the Truth of the foregoing Observation, on the total Want of Sympathy between Lord Dellwyn and his Lady; for the Pain he suffered prevented the Approach of the Evil she dreaded, and his Illness gave her Health and Spirits. But here I would not be understood as if I intended to accuse Lady Dellwyn of an ill-natured Delight in her Lord's Sufferings; her Spirits were revived by the Gratification of her Love only; of that Kind of Love, which is always to be found in great Abundance in those Bosoms which never harbour any other; a Love of indulging her own Humour, a Self-complaisance, which gave her great Satisfaction from any Incident which could be conducive to her won desired Purpose. My Lord's Gout appeared to her exactly in the same Point of Light, as if the Overflowing of the Water, or any other Accident, had prevented her dreaded Journey.

When Lord Dellwyn was afflicted with the Gout at home, and his Lady was in her mortified State, lamenting and repenting her own Folly, whilst her Mind had contracted such a gloomy Melancholy, as rendered her incapable of any Delight; she was as willing to be languid and uneasy in his Apartment, as in any other Part of her hated Home. She endeavoured to behave as well as she possibly could, in a Situation in which Truth was never on any Account to appear; but now she might say, with the Cobler's Wife transformed into the fine Lady, in the Play,

The Scene is chang'd, I'm alter'd quite:

For Engagement arose on Engagement; her Imagination was on the Wing, flying daily after new Pleasures; and nothing but absolute Force could have confined her to an Attendance on Sickness and Complaint.

When Lord Dellwyn determined to make Miss Lucum his Countess, he had not once suffered the Possibility of her desiring any Pleasures separate from his to approach his Thoughts; and therefore the greater was his present Disappointment. His Lordship was naturally of an impatient Disposition; his Will from his Infancy was permitted to range with an uncontrouled Licence: Pain now increased the Impetuosity of his Temper, and any Disappointment was too rugged and too unusual to be endured by him with any tolerable Degree of Patience.

Now therefore Lord Dellwyn began to apply a Receipt for his Lady's Delight in going abroad, which has ever been known experimentally to fail of its intended Purpose; and yet in the same Circumstance is, and, I believe, without pretending to any great Share of Foreknowlege, I may say, will be always applied.

Time, Fashion, later Discoveries, with many other Accidents, may very possibly throw out of Use the most ingenious mortal Invention; but every Receipt, which derives its Original from nature herself, is always remembered, and put in Practice, by all her Sons in the same Situation: And now my Lord Dellwyn, in order to engage his Lady to loved his Company, grew churlish, morose, and peevish; which had the usual Effect, and made the Entrance under his Roof her absolute Abhorence.


Several Methods of conveying our Ideas, by diversifying the Use of Language.

There are Three Ways of Communication of the human Species by Speech: The First is that of talking Face to Face; which seems the best calculated for the Pleasure of friendly Intercourse: The Second deals in talking of one another when absent; and this is much the safest Way of venting Abuse; as a Man may without Danger, by this Method, murther as many Reputations as Bobadill could Bodies: The Third is a Kind of a middle Way between both; which, according as it is managed, may be turned to any Purpose. It is a Method of talking at one another; that is, when we make Choice of some absent Person, whose Character we describe, intending thereby covertly to convey our Thoughts of some of the present Company; and by this means we may either make a Compliment so elegant, as to extract from it every gross or fulsome Part, or dart the most malignant Satire on any of our Companions; which, should they attempt seriously to resent, it is easy to stare, wonder what they mean, and thus skulk behind the absent Person, whose Name is borrowed on these Occasions, like the ancient Heroes behind the Shields formed by Vulcanian Hands. There is Reason to believe this Manner of Conversation is of polite Invention; because it never arrived at Billingsgate, Wapping, or any of the most celebrated Seminaries of Abuse. Indeed is no Shield wanting, where no Weapons but Fists are used; nor any covert Method necessary, where Scolding flows with vulgar Eloquence in its own native Colours, and vulgar Ideas are naturally dressed in their own brawling Phrases and coarse Language.

There was at that time at Bristol a Gentleman and his Lady, whose Names were Saunders; who entered into the State of Matrimony with a mutual Affection, and who seemed to be much more properly matched than is the general Fate of Mankind: An uncommon Share of Beauty adorned them both, and a lively and strong Capacity rendered them reciprocally agreeable to each other: Their Friends were always welcome; but the Addition of more Company was never necessary to their Happiness. Their Fortune was full sufficient to support them in every desirable Indulgence; and they were so reasonable, as, with all these Advantages, to be perfectly satisfied. The Content of their Minds rendered their Dispositions as excellent, as were either their elegant Forms, or good Understandings. Mrs. Saunders was remarkable for an uncommon Vivacity when her Husband was present, as Lady Dellwyn was (her Lord being in Sight) for the contrary.

When Lord Dellwyn had an Inclination to vent his Spleen on his Lady, by the Method of Conversation above-mentioned, and was talking at her, he generally chose Mrs. Saunders, as the Person whose Praises were continually sounded to Lady Dellwyn's Reproach. Many times she passed this over without returning any Answer; but rather smiling to herself at the Thought of Lord Dellwyn's forgetting the great Difference there was between Mr. Saunders and himself.

Lady Dellwyn promised her Lord one Day to stay at home, if he would permit her to invite Company to Dinner. She selected her favourite Acquaintance; and particularly a young Gentleman lately arrived, whom she had marked in her Mind as worthy of exciting her Endeavours to gain his Admiration: For she was pleased to have a large Train of respectful Admirers; who expected nothing more than now-and-then a gracious Smile for their Attendance; altho' she was not particular in her Behaviour to any one of them.

My Lord soon began to trumpet forth the Praises of Mrs. Saunders, more especially enumerating all those Virtues in which he thought his Lady most deficient; and exclaiming greatly on the Happiness of Mr. Saunders, in having a Wife with such excellent Qualifications. Honest Praise, under which no lurking Satire is couched, is, I believe, always attended with a placid Countenance; but my Lord cast a Look on his Lady, which sufficiently indicated his Meaning.

Whenever this kind of Conversation happens between Man and Wife, all those Persons present, who are endued with Modesty and Good-nature, are confounded and ready to blush for the Folly of those who have not Decency enough to blush for themselves: But where the true Love of Laughter dwells, it gives a fine Opportunity for the highest Ridicule; which is enjoyed inwardly while present, and vented in all Companies as soon as absent. The whole Company sat looking down on their Plates, not daring to look up, and were in great Confusion; except Lady Dellwyn herself, whose Indignation was then her uppermost Passion; and she replied with an uncommon Degree of Warmth:

"My Lord, I have somewhere read, or heard, a Story of an Army, which, after having lost a Battle, either by the Cowardice or Misconduct of its Leader, declared, that if it could change Generals, it would willingly fight the Battle over again; and should be under no manner of Apprehension, but that, under such a Commander, it should prove its Bravery, and come off Conqueror."

The proper Infant of Time being chose for the Introduction of this Story, and the significant Look that Lady Dellwyn darted at her Lord, rendered the Application of it too obvious to be mistaken by an Infant.

The Company was chiefly composed of the Young and Gay; who naturally enjoyed Lord Dellwyn's Confusion, and his Lady's triumphant Countenance. The real Contrast Nature had, made between his Lordship and Mr. Saunders, could not be brought to his View, without his being very uneasy at the Comparison. He chose not to behold it; but would have continued for ever satirizing his Lady with the Virtues of Mrs. Saunders; well satisfied, that if she had been his Wife, her Behaviour to him would have been the same as it was to her present Husband had not Lady Dellwyn held up a Glass before him, in which she forced him to view himself in the same Piece with Mr. Saunders; so artfully managing it, that the whole Company could behold the Two Figures at Length. Lord Dellwyn's Eyes had been accustomed to turn all the Objects of Nature into Profiles, to look but on one Side, and on that only which his Inclination prompted him to behold; and a whole Face was to him a Kind of Prodigy.

The Dissimulation which Lady Dellwyn had chose to bring herself under a Necessity of putting on, had been to her a Labour almost insupportable; for to no one Thought that was uppermost in her Mind had she dared to give Utterance. The Body, by being stretched to its Height, and properly exercised, grows and invigorates; but by continual Stooping, and remaining in the Posture, we may cramp ourselves, shrink our Sinews, and dwindle into Dwarfs. So the Mind, by exerting its Faculties, may enlarge its Capacity, and invigorate the Understanding; but when every Thought is confined, and every Effort of the Imagination damped, the Mind is cramped, and shrinks into a dwarfish Nothing. This eligible Life had Lady Dellwyn long led; nor did she dare to be totally silent, lest through her Silence her Contempt should appear: But now she was growing by degrees into that Sort of Character, which seems to be intended by the Appellation of, A Woman of Spirit, she scorned any longer to give herself the Trouble of concealing her Thoughts; and her Sentiments of her Lord were generally very apparent in her Conversation.

Lord Dellwyn, with the Exception only of her going abroad and leaving him alone more than he chose, had hitherto had no great Reason to be displeased with her Behaviour; her Coquetry with Lord Clermont, as she so readily complied with her Lord's Desire on that Occasion, had rather given her an Opportunity of making a Merit for herself in her Lord's Eyes: But now when he was peevish with Pain, and ready to take fire at every the least Provocation, this spirited Reply of his Lady's roused him to Anger; and from that Moment a certain Degree of Hatred towards her took place in his Bosom, and for the first time helped him to discover that, which had never been a Secret to any of his Acquaintance but himself; namely, that he had not done a very prudent Action in marrying Miss Lucum.

This Discovery had often been the Subject of great Mirth and Ridicule to others; but yet was entirely new to his Lordship, and sensibly piqued his Pride; disappointing all his reasonable Hopes of Purchasing the Affections of a young Beauty by his Pomp and Title. He was now full of Indignation; and as he found, that notwithstanding all his Expences, he was as far from having secured his Lady's Affections as ever, he grew niggardly to her Pleasures; and by a repeated Refusal of her Requests, opened her Eyes also to behold a Matter of Fact, on which she had never yet reflected: For Experience shewed her, that she had not, by marrying a Man of a large Fortune, obtained any great Proportion of Property which she could call her own, or command at her Pleasure.

The Soliloquy continually passing and repassing in the Thoughts of Lord Dellwyn, was in Substance as follows:

Have I raised a young Woman of plebeian Rank to almost the highest Sphere in this Country? Have I, for her Sake, connected myself with her Father when he was despised and abandoned by the rest of Mankind? Have I been so profuse to her Pleasures, that she might have spent my Fortune at her Will? And for all these great Advantages on her Side, I have requested only her Love and Affection, and that she should delight in my Company. Small Favours surely, in comparison of those I have conferred on her: And do I now at last find myself utterly displeasing in her Eyes?

Oh! Ingratitude, Ingratitude! base Ingratitude!

Lady Dellwyn had her Soliloquy also; and I believe her Ideas will be pretty exactly expressed in Words to this Effect:

Have I been basely betrayed to marry a Man whose Person I detest, whose Conversation I lothe, and whose Understanding I despise? Have I, at his Request, avoided Lord Clermont, whom I could easily perceive was in Love with me with the greatest Sincerity? Have I facilitated my Bloom and Beauty, which might have gained me Lovers of equal Rank with that of this proud Lord, whom I have been foolishly perswaded to gratify? And doth he now, for all these invaluable Favours, grow covetous to my Expences, and morosely refuse me my very reasonable Requests?

Oh! Ingratitude, Ingratitude base Ingratitude!

Thus, tho' Lord and Lady Dellwyn differed so widely in their Sentiments, yet, from various Premises, they each drew the same Conclusion; and now, in their new Manner of talking at each other, the Ingratitude of Mankind was their general Exclamation: And

They talk'd about it, Goddess, and about it,

till they confused themselves, and all others, whose unfortunate Lot it was to converse with them both together.

They were now truly become Two unamiable Figures; for on the one hand might be seen (to speak plainly) a haughty, discontented, extravagant Wife; and on the other, a morose, covetous, and disappointed Husband. But a little to soften the Harshness of these Ideas, and to use Expressions which sound more polite, it may be said, that Lord Dellwyn was candid enough to acknowlege his Error in marrying, and prudently considerate of Futurity in this World at the Age of Sixty-three; and that his Countess was become a Lady of Spirit.

The END of the First Book.



The History of Mrs. Bilson.

When Lady Dellwyn had silenced her Lord in his Praises of Mrs. Saunders, he was obligated to seek for another Subject for his future Encomiums, and was so fortunate as to find one which would not give Room for her Ladyship to make a bright Repartee; who had no Resource, but in declaring that she did not pretend to be better than others of her Rank, Age, and Person; and thought there was great Pride in contradicting by one's Conduct the reigning Customs of the World.

The Lady, who now engrossed all Lord Dellwyn's Panegyric, did indeed deserve much more than he could pay, having risen to a Degree of Excellence far above his Lordship's Comprehension; his Mind's Eye, according to Hamlet's Expression, was so shortsighted, it could only distinguish a small Part of her Character; but that contained a sufficient Number of Beauties to justify his Admiration, if they had not been heightened by the Contrast which was uppermost in all his Thoughts. The very peculiar Fate and Conduct of this Lady may render a farther Account of her agreeable, if Variety can please; for greatly doth she differ from all who may probably have fallen under the Reader's Notice.

Mrs. Bilson (for by that Name I shall call the Lady I am going to mention) was Daughter to Colonel Lemster; she lost her Mother when she was about Eleven Years old; but by her Father's Tenderness, and great Care of her Education, she did not suffer as might have been expected from so great a Misfortune. When she was Sixteen, she became the Object of general Admiration, where-ever her prudent Father suffered her to appear in public. She was extremely beautiful, and had that tender Sensibility in her Countenance, mixed with a modest Vivacity, as rendered her as much the Object of Love as of Admiration. Nature had indeed lavished on her all those Graces, which the Poets have supposed it in the Power of Venus's Cestus to bestow.

Amongst many Admirers, none seemed more ardent, or more pleasing, to Miss Lemster, than Mr. Bilson; but his Fortune was not sufficient to content a Father, who wished to see his Daughter placed in affluent Circumstances, tho' he did not think Riches alone sufficient to constitute Happiness. Mr. Bilson therefore met with no Encouragement from the Colonel, and still less from the young Lady; who added to the Desire of obeying her Father, having never suffered herself to consider her own Inclinations after she knew his.

While Mr. Bilson's passion was in this hopeless Situation, Colonel Lemster was ordered into an unhealthful Climate, on a very dangerous Service. He had too often braved Death to fear its Approach when his Duty was concerned, tho' it threatened him in different Shapes; but when he viewed his Daughter, he felt himself a Coward: Death appeared armed with Terrors, when he reflected on the deplorable Condition in which he must leaver her. He had, as much from some unavoidable Accidents, as from an Imprudence too common in his Station, spent his Income, without having taken care to place his Daughter above the Danger of Dependance. He was of a noble Family, but was at Variance with the elder Branch of it; which deprived his Daughter of that last, and too often poor Resource, the Kindness of Relations. In the cruel Anxiety with which he was oppressed, he could perceive no Means of Security for his beloved Child but Marriage; and the Time of his Departure was so near, that it would not afford him Leisure to wait for such Offers as would be perfectly agreeable to him; therefore, tho' he saw that a narrow or precarious Fortune was not eligible, and that Seventeen Years of Age is very young to enter into the Cares and Duties of Wedlock, yet he found himself in a manner reduced to look with a more favourable Eye on Mr. Bilson's Address to his Daughter. He acquainted her with his Views, and the Circumstances that had produced them.

Miss Lemster had been very wretched from the Time she first learnt where her Father's Regiment was destined; and less able to bear the Thoughts of parting with him, as he was in a very declining State of Health. She had used all the Arguments her Reason could suggest, and all the Endearments of Affection, to obtain Permission to attend him; but in vain: The Probability of his dying, and leaving her friendless and destitute in a far distant Country, rendered it impossible for him to grant her Request. I have already hinted that Mr. Bilson was agreeable to her, while she had Leisure to consult her own Inclinations; but when the Colonel informed her that he was inclined to favour his Address, her Thoughts were so entirely engrossed with the afflicting Expectation of losing so much-loved a Parent, that weaker Affections were, at least for the Time, entirely extinguished; and she acquiesced in her Father's Determination, with no other View than to ease him of Part of the Burden, which so heavily oppressed his Mind, that it increased his Indisposition.

Mr. Bilson was soon acquainted, that his Proposals would at least be listened to with Politeness; and was told the Colonel's Circumstances. He was too much enamoured to be deterred by that Information; pressed his Proposal; was accepted; and the anxious Father had the Satisfaction of leaving his Daughter under a Husband's Care, whose Affection had been most substantially proved by his Insensibility to a Defect, in most People's Eyes, of such Importance as the Want of Fortune.

Mr. Bilson was the Son of an Officer; who bred him up to the Law, and at his Death left him some Thousand Pounds; a Sum sufficient to tempt him to neglect his Studies, but not to enable him to do without the Fruits which should arise from them. He was pleasing in his Person and Manner, and had very bright Parts, capable of making a Figure in his Profession; but he was not so uncommonly happy as to have Wit without Vanity: He had all the Talents of Conversation, was the Delight of every Company; a sufficient Inducement for a vain Man to be little alone. He had so well employed his Time at School and College, that he was deficient in no Branch of the Belles Lettres; for as Learning was the Road to Praise in those Places, no one applied more assiduously than himself; but he looked on the Time of his coming into the World as the Harvest of Flattery, when he should reap the Fruits of all his Toil and Labour. Nor was he disappointed; the Men flattered, and the Ladies caressed him; yet none could engage his Affections but Miss Lemster. His Passion for her continued in full Force for upwards of Half a Year after their Marriage; during which Time she had the Misfortune to lose her Father, who died soon after he arrived at the Place of his Destination; a Misfortune she would scarcely have been able to support, had it not been for the tender Attentions of a Husband whom she loved to Excess.

Mr. Bilson had not given up the Profession of the Law, tho' he had not begun the Study of it. He chose his Wife should be placed near his Chambers; and therefore took a House in Chancery Lane, a considerable Distance from all her former Acquaintance; but this did not lead her to make an Objection to it. She knew so little of the World, that she imagined a Wife's Scene of Action ought to be in her own House, that there she should spend her Time, and there, or no-where, find her Happiness.

Mr. Bilson's Taste was not so domestic; his extreme Fondness for his Wife could not hinder him from going much into Company; but as she still enjoyed a great deal of his Conversation at home, and he always returned to her with Pleasure, she was perfectly contented; for she did not look upon a Husband as so domestic a Being: But when they had been married a little more than Half a Year, his Stay abroad grew longer, he returned home with less Joy in his Countenance, and appeared less attentive to her while he was there. This Carelessness in time grew to Indifference; his Days were passed in public, and his Evenings at the Tavern. He always indeed behaved with good Breeding, and in his Heart sincerely esteemed her; but the polite Husband was a bad Exchange for the tender Friend, and she was most sensibly afflicted with the Alteration. But Mrs. Bilson's good Sense convinced her, that she might, with greater Ease, render Home detestable to her Husband, than renew the Delight he once took in it; therefore her great Study was not to convert his Indifference into Aversion. She always received him with Affection; tho' much of her Tenderness she suppressed, lest he should find it troublesome, as his Heart did not correspond with hers. She never expressed a Desire that he should stay more at home, nor hinted that he had been too long abroad; secure from Reproaches, his own House had no Fault, in his Opinion, but that of being less lively than a Croud: But as no Restraint was put upon him, he was never discontented when he was there. He loved his Children (for they had Three), and esteemed his Wife too much not to be pleased in their Company; but his Mind could not be long contented without what he called Joy, which is to a vitiated Taste what Cordials are to a decayed Stomach; they give present Relief, but every Dose renders the Patient a Degree farther from sound Health.

In this sort of Life they passed Ten Years; Mr. Bilson in the constant Pursuit of Pleasure; Mrs. Bilson in the continual Exercise of every domestic Virtue. She was sensible their Fortune could not admit of Mr. Bilson's expensive Way of Life; but fearing his Hatred more than Poverty, she forbore Remonstrances, from which she could expect but little Effect, and only endeavoured by her own Frugality to defer the impending Distress as long as possible; hoping that Reflexion might perhaps come time enough to save them from total Ruin. From this Motive, she, by degrees, dropped all her Acquaintance, but those who lived in the same Street, where she could go without much Expence; and even them she visited but seldom, finding sufficient Employ at home, in the frugal Plan by which she regulated her Conduct: And if she could obtain some Hours of Leisure, the Evils she suffered, and those she feared, were more entirely excluded from her Thoughts by Reading.

All Mrs. Bilson's Care could no longer delay the Misfortune she feared. One Day when Mr. Bilson had invited Company to Dinner, after they had waited some time for his Return, Mrs. Bilson received a Letter from him; informing her, that he was, on an Arrest for a Debt he could not pay, lodged in the Fleet. This he did not tell her without many Invectives against his own Folly in distressing himself, and inexcusable Wickedness in having brought Ruin on so amiable a Wife and Offspring. He proceeded to tell her that he meant that as his last Farewel, having no Chance of ever getting out of his loathsome Confinement, and wishing she might find more Rectitude and Friendship from some of her Acquaintance than she had met with in her Husband. Mrs. Bilson's Distress was too exquisite to be concealed from her Company, who soon understood the Cause of it; and, fearing to be asked to give any Assistance, they expressed great Apprehensions lest their Presence should be inconvenient, and withdrew as fast as possible.

As Mrs. Bilson did not expect any Benefit from them, their Departure gave her some Satisfaction, in leaving her at Liberty to vent her Grief without any Restraint; and, as soon as she grew a little composed, to consider what she could best do for her Husband's Relief. She flattered herself Affairs could not be quite so desperate as Mr. Bilson seemed to intimate, and was desirous of attributing it partly to Despondency.

When by this Hope she had stopped the Torrent of her Tears, she determined to go to the Prison, and learn the Truth from Mr. Bilson, and endeavour to comfort him. As it was now Winter, Night was come on before she had been able to form this Resolution; and Mr. Bilson's Servant being returned home, she was afraid of venturing to go alone, and therefore called on a Bookseller in the Neighbourhood, to whom her Husband had been a Customer, and easily prevailed on him to accompany her.

They found Mr. Bilson in the utmost Dejection; which was rather increased than abated by his Wife's Endeavour to console him, as it added to the Self-reproaches which were his severest Affliction, in giving him fresh Proofs of the Merit of the Woman he had ruined. He soon informed her that her Hopes of his being extricated from his present Difficulties were vain; for he had not run in Debt till his whole Fortune was spent. After many fruitless Attempts to comfort each other, they parted, and Mrs. Bilson returned home; where, instead of the Pleasure she used to enjoy in returning to her Children, she received all the Addition that could easily be made to her Grief, by finding her House in the Possession of Bailiffs; for her Landlord, hearing of the total Ruin of the Family, thought proper to secure himself from Loss, by distraining. Her eldest Son and Daughter, and a faithful Girl, the only Servant she had kept for above Three Years, were weeping with Terror and Grief at this Event; but "where the greater Malady is fixed, the lesser is scarce felt." Mrs. Bilson was not so much afflicted, as shocked, at the Thought of passing the Night with a Set of Men in the House, at the very Name of whose Office our Natures are apt to recoil; but her honest Companion had the Satisfaction of giving her some Relief, by promising to sit with them, not only till the next Morning, but till some Measures were taken either to get her or them out of the House; and prevailed on her and her Family to go to Bed, that she might have a Chance for some Rest after so melancholy a Day, which had exhausted both her Strength and Spirits.

Mrs. Bilson's Sleep was short, and disturbed by the Phantoms of an afflicted Imagination; but yet she was so much refreshed by it, as to acquire Composure enough to consult with her only Friend, the honest Bookseller, and his Wife, who came to them in the Morning, what Course she could take. She had learned from Mr. Bilson, that the Sum due for Rent by no means equalled the Value of the Furniture; therefore it was thought adviseable, that she should go to her Landlord, with whom she had a small Acquaintance by visiting his Lady, to request of him Time to sell the Goods to the best Advantage, that she might have the just Surplus after he was paid, to satisfy other Creditors. As she was going out to execute this Resolution, she met at the Door a Woman, with a Girl neatly but coarsely dressed; who informed her that she came for a Month's Board for the Girl; Mr. Bilson always having paid her weekly till the Four past; and hearing the Misfortune which had happened to him, she called, for fear of losing her Due; which, being a poor Woman, she could not afford.

Mrs. Bilson, under a great deal of Surprize, asked what the Girl was to Mr. Bilson, and why she should expect her Board from him? To which the Woman answered very abruptly, that truly she thought she might well expect a Father should pay for his Child, tho' it were not so honestly come by.

Upon examining the Girl's Face, Mrs. Bilson perceived so great a Resemblance to her Husband, as made her little inclined to doubt the Truth of the Woman's Assertion; but, on asking the Girl's Age, was shocked to find she was within Three Months as old as her eldest Child: Had it been younger, it would have hurt and surprised her less; but to find Mr. Bilson so frail, and so void of Delicacy, at the Time that his Fondness for her appeared at the greatest Height, was a sensible Affliction: But as she had never on any Account reproached him, so she was now least of all inclined to add to his Grief, when he was paying a heavy Tax for all his Vices and Follies. She paid the Woman what was due; but said she could no longer afford to continue the Child with her, but that she should share her Fate and her Children's, whatsoever that should be; kissed it, desired it not to cry, and bid the Maid, who was present at this Scene, carry it to her Children, without a Hint who she was. The Maid obeyed her; but was so angry with her Master, and so pleased with her Mistress, that she could not forbear giving a full Account of all that had passed to the honest Bookseller and his Wife. He blamed Mr. Bilson extremely, and was perfectly charmed with Mrs. Bilson's Behaviour.


The Continuation of the History of Mrs. Bilson.

But it is Time to follow Mrs. Bilson to Mr. Glegg's, her Landlord; whom she found at home, and was carried into his Study. She soon acquainted him with her Request; to which he returned no positive Answer, but enquired into her Intentions for her future Way of Life.

Mrs. Bilson was too undetermined to give him much Satisfaction in that Particular: All she had resolved upon, was to endeavour to support herself and Children, by some Means that should not deprive her of Mr. Bilson's Company, and leave him entirely a Prey to Solitude and Confinement. Mr. Glegg had been little acquainted with Mrs. Bilson, yet always beheld her with Admiration; tho', till encouraged by her distressful Circumstances, he had never looked upon her as an Object for his Gallantry. He found great Fault with her principal Design; plainly told her that Mr. Bilson must be left to the Consequences of his own ill Conduct, and that she would give great Proof of her Generosity, if in her Heart she forgave him; but that it would be a despicable Meanness to take any farther Notice of him. He then assured her his only View in the Seizure he had made, was to secure her Furniture for her Use (tho', in reality, he had never harboured the Thought till after she had entered the Room); and assured her of the quiet Possession both of that and her House, and every other Assistance the truest Friend could give; and offered her then a Bank Note for any present Exigencies, in the most humble Stile of pretended disinterested Generosity.

Amongst all the Misfortunes Mrs. Bilson had apprehended from her present Distress, she had never foreseen a Possibility of being subject to such Insolence, and was shocked beyond Expression; but, as the only Resource for her just Indignation, would not entirely understand him, but rose up, saying, that, altho' she should not be ashamed of labouring for the Support of herself and Children, yet she was above living at the Expence of any other Person; for if the Motive was genuine disinterested Generosity, she should abuse it by accepting the Bounty, at an Age when she was able to gain her own Subsistence; and if he, who offered it, had any other, he greatly abused the casual Advantage of Fortune by insulting undeserved Distress.

Mrs. Glegg entered the Room just as her Husband ended his Offer; but, a Skreen being placed before the Door, she was not seen, and they were both too much engrossed by their own Thoughts to hear the Door open. Mrs. Glegg had been told Mrs. Bilson was with her Husband, and came with a kind Concern to see her; but being struck with her Voice, which had a Sound of Indignation and Anger in it, not natural to her, she stopped; and knowing her Husband's Disposition, easily understood the Occasion.

As Mrs. Bilson was withdrawing when she had finished her Reply, Mrs. Glegg and she met. The former accosted her with Tenderness, having always conceived a great Regard for her; which was not lessened by what she had just overheard.

Mrs. Bilson was too much agitated, to be able immediately to compose herself sufficiently to make a proper Return to Mrs. Glegg ; whose Husband, to excuse her Disorder, and carry it off with an Air of Innocence, told his Wife Mrs. Bilson's Situation, and what had brought her thither.

Mrs. Glegg inquired whether he had granted her Request; to which he returned shuffling Answers, implying the Difficulty in doing it, and a visible Backwardness to do Mrs. Bilson a Favour without a Return. Mrs. Glegg then begged he would make her a Present of the Sum due for Rent; but saw little Prospect of obtaining it: Upon which she dropped an Intimation of having accidentally heard what had passed; which so discomposed Mr. Glegg, that he judged it advisable to purchase his Pardon by Compliance, and told Mrs. Glegg it was at her Service.

"Now, my dear Mrs. Bilson," said that Lady, "I hope I may be of some Service, which I have often wished when the Means of being so were less conspicuous; for I have always highly esteemed you, and perhaps the more for the little Success I have had in my Attempts to cultivate an Intimacy with you, as I saw through your Reason for avoiding it. The Present Mr. Glegg has now made me, I shall transfer to you, rather as a Loan than a Property; because I fear, was it your own, it would go to Creditors whom you could not satisfy, tho' the Strictness of your Justice would leave you entirely destitute."

Mrs. Bilson found that Gratitude was more difficult to express than Indignation; but yet hers was very visible, tho' Mrs. Glegg would not suffer her to speak on the Subject. Mrs. Glegg carried her home in her Coach, and freed her from her troublesome Intruders; and then sat down with her two already-mentioned Friends, to consider into what Way of Life Mrs. Bilson could enter.

Nothing was practicable which would take her from her Children; and Plainwork was not profitable enough to support so large a Family. Trade was hazardous; and it would rob her of the warmest Wish of her Heart, if it prevented her from spending her Time with Mr. Bilson, whose melancholy Situation rendered her almost insensible to her own Distress; well knowing that Liberty and Self-approbation are two of the greatest Blessings any one can enjoy; of both which he was deprived.

Mrs. Bilson told them the only Scheme that occurred to her, likely to answer the Purpose, was a portable Shop in the Manner of some Milaners; which might enable her to serve such Persons as she should be recommended to; for she confessed, that without a Recommendation, she should not be able to go to any one; but that such Sorts of Works were more profitable, and she was best able to do them; besides that she could then perhaps procure a Room in the Fleet, where she and her Family might be a Comfort to Mr. Bilson.

They all approved Mrs. Bilson's Scheme; and engaged to assist her in their different Ranks to the utmost of their Power, and agreed that the Money arising from the Furniture should be expended in Stock.

As soon as Mrs. Glegg was gone, Mrs. Bilson proposed that they should go to the Fleet, and impart a Share of this Glimmering of good Fortune to the Prisoner; only suppressing the humiliating Scene between her and Mr. Glegg, as it must give a new Shock to Mr. Bilson to find he had exposed her to such Treatment. This was readily agreed to; for few are of so churlish a Disposition as not to chuse to give Pleasure; tho' some will not hazard the least Diminution of their own on that Account.

I shall not dwell on what passed on this Occasion, nor relate any of the Circumstances preparatory to Mrs. Bilson's Removal to the Prison; where she hired a tolerable Room with Two Beds: One of which served for Mr. Bilson and his Two Sons; the other for herself, her Daughter, and his natural Child.

The only Difficulty Mrs. Bilson had found in going to fix in the Fleet with her Husband, was the carrying of his Child thither; she feared he would be distressed at finding her acquainted with this Transaction, and prepared him for it as well as she could. Mr. Bilson was far from having the less Opinion of his Crime, for the little Stress she laid upon it; he was overwhelmed with all her Goodness; and the Fondness which Variety had suppressed, was rekindled with double Ardour; I might, not improperly, say, was arisen almost to a Degree of Adoration. Here we will stop to view them in their new Situation. Mr. Bilson turned School-master to his Sons, the one of Eight, the other Seven Years of Age, to whose Instruction he gave his utmost Application and at other times reading to, or conversing with, his Wife, wherein he began to find more solid Comfort than he had ever enjoyed while at Liberty. His Vanity, by Excess of Mortification, was almost extinguished; Good-sense was predominant; he had discovered Virtues in his Wife, which could never have been shown without her Trials, and perceived a Depth of Understanding which he had never sought for, and a Vivacity of Wit which his Insensibility had long cast a Cloud over; her Piety at once edified and instructed him; from her he learned both the Truths of, and the Benefits arising from, Religion. Her Trust in Providence taught him to hope; the Warmth of her Devotion taught him to adore; from her Resignation he learned to submit; and from her Patience to suffer without repining. It was not long before he grew sensible that God had most shewn his Mercy in the painful Consequences of his Follies, as he had thereby been taught the Vanity of his Pursuits, and that all the Blessings of Prosperity cannot give true and lasting Happiness without Religion, and that those who are possessed of that, can by no Adversity be rendered absolutely miserable.

Mrs. Bilson's Charms were not merely mental; she was not above Seven-and-twenty Years old, and her Beauty was still in its highest Lustre, tho' something of the Bloom which she had at Sixteen was abated; but the Change was no other than from the Spring to the Summer; which varies the Beauties of Nature, but does not lessen them.

Mrs. Bilson was entirely employed in her new Occupation, and contrived to make their Children her Assistants; her Husband's natural Child, having been bred up coarsely, was much stronger than her own, tho' somewhat younger; and having been already accustomed to hard Work, was very useful; for they had no Servant; tho' the only Female belonging to their House, having been bred up by Mrs. Bilson, begged very hard to continue to attend her without Wages; but that Lady would not suffer her Gratitude to rob her of the Advantages she might obtain in Service; and thought herself very fortunate in prevailing with Mrs. Glegg (who at that time wanted a Servant) to take her.

Mrs. Bilson rose every Morning before it was light, and sat up pretty late; and managed so well, that her Girls assisted much in her Work, tho' the eldest was little more than Nine Years old; but, by her Mother's Care, had been rendered forwarder in those respects than others of a much more advanced Age. Mr. Bilson went through it all with Chearfulness; I might say, with Pleasure; seeing herself the Means of making Mr. Bilson's Confinement not irksome to him; and was so industrious, that she soon furnished herself with a Variety of Female Ornaments, in which her Rank in Life had given her a Taste and Elegance, that made them greatly surpass what most Shops could exhibit.

Thus furnished, she went to the Places where Mrs. Glegg, and her good Friend the Bookseller's Wife, had recommended her, and met with an obliging Reception from all; her Beauty, and the Gracefulness of her Person, giving a Dignity even to so low an Employment. As they had been before prepossessed with the Notion of her Distress, they bought of her for the better Opportunity of satisfying their Curiosity; and proceeded as slowly as possible, that they might have Time to intrude Questions about her Situation. She answered all they asked with Truth and Sincerity; some pitied and wondered, and, while they looked at the Frippery they bought of her, forgot all they had heard: But others were touched with real Compassion, and gave her the Approbation she well deserved; these wished to serve her, and recommended her to their Acquaintance, and thus her Business was constantly increasing: Nor did she find those in a middling Station the worst Customers. The Novelty of the Case rendered it a Fashion to buy of her; and her Employ growing more than she could perform, Mrs. Glegg resigned her Servant to her; who longed to attend again on Mrs. Bilson, whom she loved as her Mother.

Mrs. Bilson wished to mend the Situation of some other of the Prisoners, who had been recommended to her Notice by the Gaoler's Wife; a Woman much more humane than most in her Station. These she found were there from Misfortunes in Trade, or extravagant Children, and not in consequence of Idleness, and amongst her Friends procured them such Work as they could do; whereby they gained enough to supply them with all the Comforts their Situation would admit of; some even saved a little, with the flattering Hope of being able in time to pay the Debt for which they were confined. Many little Advantages besides she procured for other Prisoners, and lessened the Distress of Numbers; while she maintained her own Family, and saw her Stock, as well as Trade, increase.

In this Manner Mr. and Mrs. Bilson lived a Year and a Half, when she met at the House of one of her Customers an old Lady, who was greatly charmed with her Appearance and Behaviour; and expressed her Sentiments on that Occasion, to which the Lady of the House said: "How much more, Madam, would you be charmed, if you knew her Conduct through Life? for whatsoever you may think of her Figure, but a small Part of her Charms are personal."

"You raise my Curiosity extremely," replied Lady Dently (for that was her Title); "and I shall think I have great Reason to complain, unless you also gratify it."

"That I will readily," replied the Lady, "to the best of my Power; but if Mrs. Bilson will be so good as to undertake the Task, her Manner will give it Graces, which indeed are not requisite, but must render the Narration more engaging. I will act the Part of Querist; for I know otherwise we shall not get Half her History, since I am assured the only Insincerity she is ever guilty of, is concealing the Faults of others and her own Virtues."

Thus was much of Mrs. Bilson's History extracted from her, though a great deal of her Merit was concealed; being a Secret to the Lady, who put her under a Necessity of repeating all she had learned from others of Mrs. Bilson's Friends. Lady Dently, who was endued with great Humanity and Generosity of Spirit, was much affected with Mrs. Bilson's Fate. She immediately shewed her Compassion by the many Purchases she made, and bespoke several other Things; with which Mrs. Bilson was to wait on her the next Day.

Lady Dently was so sensibly touched with the Behaviour and Merit of Mrs. Bilson, that she was impatient for the Hour she had appointed her. She enquired of her what her Name was before she was married; but was much surprised to hear it was Lemster, and to find that she was her Relation. Lady Dently had lived much in the Country, and Mrs. Bilson, as I have before hinted, had little Acquaintance with her Relations, therefore it was not wonderful that they should be unknown to each other; and Lady Dently had such a Share of Pride mixed with her many Virtues, as made her forbear to discover this Secret; which Mrs. Bilson was so far from penetrating, that the Glow which rose in her Ladyship's Cheeks, at the Mention of her Name, gave her no Suspicions. Tho' Lady Dently concealed this Circumstance, yet she regulated her Actions by it; treating her with a polite and friendly Freedom. She happened to be disengaged that Day, and not inclined to see much Company, being a good deal indisposed; she therefore pressed Mrs. Bilson so much to spend the Day with her, that she could not in Civility refuse: Nor indeed was she unwilling to cultivate her Ladyship's Favour.

Lady Dently had lived so much in Retirement, and been so conversant with People of Sense, having herself an exceeding good and improved Understanding, that she was disgusted with fashionable Life; from which she had long withdrawn herself, till Business had now brought her again to the Metropolis of the Kingdom and of Folly. She was tired of Company without Conversation, and longed to return to a few rational Friends. She hoped Mrs. Bilson might, from her Vicissitudes of Fortune, have gained so much Experience and Reflexion, as to render her more conversible than Persons who live in the World like Squirrels in a Cage hung with Bells, in a Round of Noise, without Variety, till their Heads are too giddy to think on the future, or reflect on the past.

Lady Dently found her Expectations well answered, and indeed much exceeded; for she had never met with a Person so agreeable; who was at once blessed with so lively a Wit, so quick an Imagination, and so sound a Judgment. She found in her all the Vivacity requisite to make the most pleasing Trifler, and a great Depth of Understanding, improved by reading the best Authors; her Studies had been judiciously directed by her Father, and her Memory retained all her Judgment approved; which, in other Words, was all that had any Merit.

Lady Dently had never passed so agreeable a Day; which she lengthened out as long as she could prevail on Mrs. Bilson to stay with her, and then sent her home in her Coach; but not till she had obtained a Promise of another Visit within a few Days; which she told Mrs. Bilson she should not think it reasonable to ask but on one Condition, which was, that she would suffer her to have another kind of Traffick with her than the rest of her Customers had, and that, as they bought the Produce of her Time, she might purchase her Time alone; for that nothing she could make would be half so valuable to her as her Conversation.

Mrs. Bilson renewed her Visit, and Lady Dently her Invitation; who engaged her to spend every Day with her that she could spare from her Business. Tho' Mrs. Bilson was extremely sensible of the Honour conferred on her, and grateful for the Presents Lady Dently made her; which were beyond the Value of her Time, when estimated as a Workwoman; yet she was uneasy to be taken so much from Mr. Bilson and her Family: But he represented to her, in such true Colours, the Advantage that Lady's Favour might be to their Children, that her "Poverty, but not her Will, complied."


A Continuation of the History of Mrs. Bilson.

Lady Dently's Approbation increased to the strongest Affection. She offered Mrs. Bilson an Apartment in her House for herself and Children. This Invitation had no Chance of being accepted, while the Person, to whose Society both Duty and Affection rendered her most attached, was excluded. With all the Acknowlegements Gratitude could dictate, she declined it; giving the true and only Reason, that she could not leave Mr. Bilson.

Lady Dently, even if Mr. Bilson had not been confined, could not think of being troubled with a Gentleman in the House, whom she did not know, whose Character she did not approve; and the great Virtues, which his Wife boasted in him, she looked upon as the Phantoms of her partial Imagination. She offered to provide him with every Convenience and Pleasure his Situation would admit of; but Mrs. Bilson replied, she should be ungrateful if she did not believe he valued her Society, and that of his Children, above all that Money could bestow; and that, in reality, her Ladyship's Generosity had been such, that he had already enjoyed every thing but Liberty; and that One Day in Seven, which to some is the only one of Liberty, and to too many of Licence, they generally went to some Country Place near London; taking either the Gaoler or his Wife, who were not bad People, with them; in hopes, by enjoying a little fresh Air sometimes, Mr. Bilson's Health would suffer less by his Confinement. The Excursion pleased the Gaoler; and he was free from any Apprehensions of their designing to escape from him, as he knew they had so much Property in his House. He would even suffer them to enhance their own Pleasure, by giving a Share of it to some of the Prisoners, one at a time, who had gained his Confidence.

Lady Dently was sensibly mortified by this Refusal, yet her Esteem for Mrs. Bilson was increased by it; and her Ladyship greatly manifested the uncommon Goodness of her Mind, by not being displeased at Mrs. Bilson's pleading the Conveniencies her Husband enjoyed from her own Generosity, against complying with her Request, and Lady Dently grew still more importunate for her Company; but Visits were soon interrupted by a Fever, which seized Mrs. Bilson. Lady Dently was shocked at the News of her Illness, and resolved to go to the Fleet to see her. As few polite Ceremonies are regarded in that Place, her Ladyship was introduced without any previous Notice, and found Mr. Bilson on his Knees, at the Side of his Wife's Bed, endeavouring to recover her out of a fainting Fit, the Tears flowing fast from his Eyes; all the Children and Attendants were weeping likewise. So melancholy a Scene affected Lady Dently extremely; and she learned a very bad Account of Mrs. Bilson's Disorder from them, whose Concern represented it to them in the worst Light. Their Attention was so engrossed by the poor Invalid, that little Notice was taken of Lady Dently, till Mrs. Bilson, by recovering her Senses, set theirs more at Liberty; whom she perceiving, and observing her Concern (for she had joined in Tears with the rest of the Company); "A Thousand Thanks," said she, "Madam, for this Goodness. Heaven hath sent you hither to ease my Heart, and smooth my Passage into the other World. After so many Obligations as I have received from your Ladyship, it may appear great Want of Modesty to urge any further Request; but in my Situation, when all I love in the World is threatened with the utmost Extremities of Poverty and Distress, who would not be unreasonable. Your Goodness will excuse me, in consideration of the Exigency. Could I hope that you would continue your great Goodness to my Husband and Children, just to save them from Want, and put the Children in some Way honestly to gain their subsistence, I should, with Peace of Mind and Resignation, leave this World, with Prayers for you, and Thanksgiving to the Almighty, who hath raised me such a Friend in my Distress. Believe me, Madam," continued she, "there is nothing that could befal me, only that, which should make me thus presume on your Generosity; but, for Persons so dear to me, what can I not attempt in this Extremity?"

Lady Dently was not able to interrupt her, she was so much affected; but when Mrs. Bilson had done speaking, she gave her all the kind Assurances which her Grief would let her utter; promising to do much more than she requested; and the compassionate Workings of her Affection at that Instant baffled her Pride, and she added, that it was her Duty to provide for Mrs. Bilson's Family, they being so nearly related to her. The poor sick Woman was greatly revived by Lady Dently's generous Promises; and not a little, by finding she had a natural Cause to hope for Lady Dently's Protection of her little ones, which she had never suspected.

As Mrs. Bilson's Disorder had been greatly increased by the Apprehension she was under, lest her Husband and Family would suffer much by her Death, she received great Benefit by being relieved from her Fears; and in a Week's Time was in a fair Way of Recovery.

Lady Dently constantly visited her during the Time of her Confinement, and by that means became acquainted with Mr. Bilson ; who, she found, answered the Character his Wife gave him, much better than the ill Report that had been made of him by others. This determined her to indulge her Friendship for Mrs. Bilson, and to receive her and her whole Family into her House.

This Resolution gave infinite Joy to our poor Prisoners; who esteemed Lady Dently's Society a Blessing, and thought it an Honour to be obliged to one of so noble a Disposition.

Lady Dently discharged all Mr. Bilson's Debts, and enabled Mrs. Bilson to repay Mrs. Glegg what she had so bountifully given her; with the most sincere Assurances, that her Gratitude did not end with the Debt.

This Family, equally happy in obliging and receiving Obligations, retired into the Country; but their Felicity was soon disturbed by the Death of Lady Dently, which filled Mr. and Mrs. Bilson with the deepest Affliction: Nor were they comforted by finding she had made them sole Heirs to an Estate of near Four thousand Pounds per Annum.

As soon as Mr. and Mrs. Bilson had performed the last Honours to Lady Dently, and given such Gratuities amongst her Domestics as shewed their Regard for every thing that belonged to her, they set out to gratify the Wish that had been nearest their Hearts; which was to set at Liberty all such Prisoners in the Fleet as deserved it. But in this Scrutiny they were not so rigid as to expect to find the human Perfection of Stoical Invention, before they imagined they had found any proper Objects of Christian Charity. Lady Dently had left near Ten thousand Pounds in ready Money, which afforded a full Scope to their generous Intentions. They not only released all such as were more unfortunate than faulty, but set them up in their respective Callings; with all the Advantages that could tend to their future Success.

As soon as they had thus effected their Purpose, and done the same in the other Prisons, as far as they could obtain any Insight into the Characters of the Prisoners, they returned into the Country, and began to consider how to shew their Gratitude to the Giver of so much Happiness as was fallen to their Share; which they thought they could no way so well prove, as by communicating that Happiness to as many as possible. In order to be able to do this, they settled the Oeconomy of their House within very moderate Bounds; Convenience and Decency being their Role, not their Income.

Their Table was suited to Temperance; their Equipage and Attendants to Use and Convenience. Pomp and Splendor they despised, and forbore to dazle the Sight of their Superiors, that they might make their own Eyes sparkle with Joy; they excited no Envy in the Hearts of the Poor, but planted Gratitude in its stead. It might well be said of them, that when the Eye saw them, it blessed them; and when the Ear heard them, it gave Witness to them. They looked on their Fortune, their Time, and their Understanding, as Talents which God had intrusted with them; and that they must, at the Last Day, give a strict Account whether they had used them to the Purposes pleasing to a most merciful and bountiful Creator; who to some hath given Poverty, to try their Patience; and to others Riches, to prove their Temperance, Charity, and Humility.

They formed Seminaries for young People; taking some of the Children of Families that were overburdened with them, and those who had lost their Parents, or had such whose Example rendered them a Misfortune to their Offspring. These were educated in the strictest Principles of Industry, Virtue, and Religion; and instructed, according to their several Geniuses, in such Employments as would provide them a comfortable Subsistence.

The Aged were equally the Objects of their Attention; they built Almshouses for them, where Age could find no Evils but the Infirmities incident to it, and all the Relief for them that Care and Competence could give.

Whenever any young Couple married, they furnished their House, and stocked them with every thing that could be useful. The Expences of Sickness they paid for all the Poor, and provided them with every Comfort. Such as were able to gain more than was necessary for their Maintenance, they encouraged to save, by making an Addition to it when it rose to a certain Sum, and assisting them in Ways of throwing it into some kind of safe Trade; which would not interrupt their usual Employ.

In these Charities they supported some Hundreds, besides the much greater Numbers who felt occasional Blessings from their Benevolence; whose Circle was as large as their Knowlege (either by their own Inspection, or by careful Enquiries) could extend: But in all, the utmost Oeconomy was preserved. The Old spun and knitted for the Young; and those who were not decrepid served for Nurses to the Sick; relieving each other by turns. They were all assistant to each other; every Institution had some Correspondence with the rest, which helped to lessen the Expence of all; for Mr. and Mrs. Bilson thought it as much their Duty to give their Time and Attention, as their Money; and to make their Fortune extend to the Relief of as many as possible.

The Compassion of these worthy Persons was not confined to the lowest Poor; the Indigent of a higher Rank still more excited their Pity: Dependants on the Rich appeared to them more wretched Beings, than those who were brought up to Labour. They hired a large House as a Receptacle for Gentlewomen, who either had no Fortunes, or so little that it would not support them. For these they made the most comfortable Institution; every Convenience of Life was provided for them, and they were under no Restraints, but to the Rules of the House, which were regulated in the most exact and punctual Manner; and the wisest Regulations were to secure the Peace and Happiness of the Society, who were provided with all Conveniencies for rural Amusements, a Library, musical Instruments, and Implements for various Works.

Great as the Expences of these several Institutions may appear, they were managed with so much Oeconomy, that Mr. and Mrs. Bilson had still a Fund appropriated for casual Relief of Persons of Birth, who were distressed by Accidents; such as Sickness of Themselves or Children, or unforeseen or unavoidable Losses and Expences: To these they would send Presents proportionable to the Exigence; but in such a manner as not to be guessed, but by their general Character. Their Gratitude to Mrs. Glegg and the honest Bookseller, who had been so useful to them, appeared in the noblest Returns; and Mr. Glegg dying, she lived chiefly with them.


A Continuation of the History of Mrs. Bilson.

In this manner had this incomparable Pair lived near Ten Years; blessing others, and still more blessed themselves, as much as it is more blessed to give than to receive. Where-ever they turned their Eyes, they saw nothing but People by them made happy here; and as far as Education and Care can go towards rendering them so in another World, was done for them. They would have lamented, more bitterly than Titus, the Loss of a Day wherein they had done Good to no one; but were secured from the painful Reflexion, by the uninterrupted Course of their Bounties. This Felicity they had enjoyed Ten Years, when Mr. Bilson was seized with a Decline, which brought them to Bristol ; where the Waters restored this happy Family to its former Peace, by recovering his Health. Mrs. Bilson was scarcely ever absent from him while he was confined, as that Place could not make any Alteration in a Mind so steadily fixed in its virtuous Course.

They had brought their young Family with them, for their Gratification, as well as their own; and had the Pleasure of seeing the good Effects of an admirable Education; for Admiration could not inspire the young Ladies with Vanity, nor Diversions give the young Gentlemen a Love for Dissipation.

Miss Bilson was extremely handsome; but seemed so little conscious of it, that it was some time before People would believe their own Judgments.

Mrs. Bilson had had Three Children after she retired into the Country; but at Bristol she was robbed of her adopted Daughter. A Lady of considerable Fashion, who had for some time led a very retired religious Life, happened at that time to be there. The Civilities necessary to People who have been formerly acquainted, passed between her and Mr. Bilson, but with an Air of Constraint and Confusion which surprised Mrs. Bilson; but as she saw Mr. Bilson distressed when she asked him the Reason of it, she turned the Conversation, and suppressed her Curiosity.

The Lady I have mentioned was charmed with the Behaviour of Mrs. Bilson, and her Daughters; but expressed some Surprize at their appearing of the same Age, and asked some Questions about it; which threw Mrs. Bilson into Confusion, as she did not care to tell the Truth: Her Discomposure startled the Lady, and infected her also; for she was yet more confounded, and the Subject dropped. She soon made an Excuse, and followed Mr. Bilson to the Pump, where he went to drink the Waters; and, taking him aside, begged to know what was become of her Daughter, or whether she was dead.

Mr. Bilson then related his Wife's Behaviour on the Subject, till the Lady was so oppressed and overcome, she could hear no more in so public a Place; but intreated him to bring Mrs. Bilson directly to her Lodgings, and immediately left the Room.

Mr. Bilson, with extreme Agitation, told his Wife he must desire her to be present at a Scene which he doubted not would be affecting to her, tho' distressing only to others. He was not capable of explaining himself, nor she of asking him to do so. He led her to the House to which the Lady had directed him; they were carried to her Apartment, and found her in Tears. She rose on their Appearance; and taking hold of Mrs. Bilson's Hand:

"You see, Madam," said she, "a Wretch made unfortunate by her Crimes, but far too mercifully treated by Heaven. Shame being stronger in me than even natural Affection, I abandoned the Offspring of my Guilt; but you have been a Mother to my Child (throwing her Arms about Mrs. Bilson's Neck): By me it was introduced into the World, oppressed by my Crimes, and the Punishments which followed them; by me it was exposed, helpless and forlorn, to casual Care; but you have saved it from Want, perhaps from Guilt equal to its wretched Mother's; from every Evil you have saved it for me, who can make no other Reparation for the past, than by accepting Shame as my Portion; and, by declaring my Crime, punish myself for adding to the First that of an unnatural Mother."

The Violence of her Tears at last stifled her Voice, and gave Mrs. Bilson Leisure to reflect on what she had said; whereby she learned that Mr. Bilson's natural Child was by this Lady. The Day was far spent before they could bring this unhappy Woman to any Degree of Composure; but at last they prevailed on her not to declare the young Lady to be her Child, as it could be of Service to neither; but as her Birth had hitherto been a Secret, so to let it remain. All her Resolution could not prevent her from discovering the whole, in the Overflowing of maternal Tenderness, the next Day, at an Interview with her Daughter; but before others she was more prudent. She took her Child home, was lavish in her Thanks to Mrs. Bilson, and endeavoured, by all a Mother's Fondness, to make some Reparation for her past Neglect.

Mrs. Bilson's uncommon Merits rendered me unwilling to pass her over in Silence, and especially as her History gives so strong a Proof of the Efficacy of religious Principles towards extracting the sharpest Sting from the highest Adversity, in as great Proportion as Lady Dellwyn's Story illustrates the Power of Vanity to bring to nothing every real Advantage; but Lord Dellwyn's Knowlege of her Virtues extended no farther than her constant Attendance on her Husband, when Sickness confined him, and the careful and tender Manner with which her Eyes watched every Change in his Countenance when they were abroad together: But that was sufficient to raise all his Admiration; for his Lordship at that time would not have so much esteemed all the cardinal Virtues, as her conjugal Affection.


A drawn Battle, in which neither Side are Conquerors.

There is yet another kind of matrimonial Dialect, which naturally succeeds this of talking at each other; which may very properly be stiled The Language Contradictory, and rises yet to a Degree of more open Defiance. In the former, however plain the Object of the Satire may be exhibited to the whole Company, yet there always remains some little Covering, which admits of an Opportunity to say, with Sir John Falstaff, "No Abuse, Hall, no Abuse;" or with the Servants in Romeo and Juliet, "I bite my Thumbs, but not by way of Offence." But in this last Method, the Defiance becomes more open, and the Impetuosity with which these Contradictions are uttered (altho' the Subjects of them are often of the most indifferent Nature) evidently prove that they arise from Passion: And now if the most apparent Truths had come from Lord Dellwyn's Lips, his speaking them, like a magic Wand, had the Power of transforming them into the most glaring Falsehoods in the Eyes of his Lady; altho' it must be confessed, that Lady Dellwyn sometimes recollected herself in the midst of a warm Debate, saying, "My Lord, I must beg your Lordship's Pardon for that;" as if she suddenly remembered her own Rank and Dignity, and threw in those few civil Words to palliate the Fear of being rude and vulgar; but the Warmth of her Contradiction was rather increased than abated, when she fancied that she had, by this Method, paid a Tribute to her Politeness, and put to Silence the Apprehension of behaving unlike a Countess.

On the other hand Lord Dellwyn could trace the most ridiculous Absurdities in every Expression of his Lady's, and constantly deduced some sort of Satire, or evil Meaning, from her Words, even when there was none in her Thoughts.

Thus did Lord and Lady Dellwyn go through every matrimonial Dialect which human Invention could furnish; with the Exception only of that which is the natural Result of a reciprocal well-founded Affection; a kind of Language which was by no means adapted to express the Purposes of their Hearts. At first indeed Lord Dellwyn used some Terms that seemed to imitate such as are proper to Affection, and his Lady condescended to submit to Dissimulation: But from thence they soon began to talk at each other; and then, by a natural Progress, they arose to the Dialect Contradictory.

The frequent Repetitions of these Kinds of Conversation rendered them unsatisfactory; which verified the Propriety of the Observation, That all human Pleasures by Use become languid, and send us Mortals to seek our Gratification by Change and Variety.

Lord and Lady Dellwyn now therefore sought a new Method of Indulgence, by which they might vent their Passions of mutual Anger (like Jobson in the Farce, they found it necessary to come to Action); and as they before talked, so they now acted, with a stedfast View to each other's Uneasiness: And the slightest Supposition that they had discovered any Means by which they could vex and teaze each other, was always pursued as diligently, and with as much Alacrity, as if their whole future Happiness had depended on Success.

Mr. Stratam, the young Gentleman before-mentioned to have been present when Lady Dellwyn first provoked her Lord to Anger, was now absolutely fixed on by her Ladyship as a proper Person for an Admirer. She had before desired to do so; every new Dangler being a valuable Acquisition in the Scheme of Gallantry. But here a double Pleasure was proposed; for Lord Dellwyn had expressed a peculiar Disapprobation of Mr. Stratam. Such an Incentive; added to her general Love of Admiration, was sufficient to heighten all her Charms whensoever Mr. Stratam approached. Her animal Spirits were then in such a Flush of Joy, that an uncommon Lustre darted from her Eyes, with an enlivening Hope of obtaining at once a new Conquest, and doing what was most particularly disobliging to her Lord.

Lady Dellwyn seemed now to have made a Determination, that she would amply reward herself for the heavy and painful Chains she had so long laboured under of living a Life of Deceit, by allowing herself free Liberty to give a Loose to every new Desire, or whimsical Inclination. The Reflux of Passions, after they have been long confined, generally bears down every Opposition, and is violent in its Course.

There was an insurmountable Bar to Lady Dellwyn's indulging her Intention of gaining Mr. Stratam's Admiration, which she neither foresaw nor expected: In fact, he had none to bestow, but what was already engaged in such a Manner, that there was no Probability of his Inconstancy: He had a Sinking Fund, that was capable of swallowing more than he was in Possession of. This large Fund was no other than Himself; altho' he was too fond of his Eyes to venture the injuring them by too much Reading, yet if he had perused all the Philosophy that ever was wrote, recommending Self-contemplation as a necessary Part of Wisdom, he could not possibly have been more assiduous in his Application to that One peculiar Study. A small Mistake indeed he was led into; for he took a Part of Wisdom for the Whole. But where was a human Philosopher ever heard of, who was never guilty of a trifling Mistake?

Mr. Stratam reaped many Advantages from his judicious Choice of the Object in which he centered all his Affections and Admiration. He could never write any Sonnets on Chloe absent, or Chloe cruel; for dear Self was always present, and always abounded with Kindness. Then he enjoyed the inexpressible Pleasure of discovering a faultless Mistress, whose every Action could stand the strictest Test of his Judgment; and who, on every Examination, was found worthy, not only to be approved, but also to be applauded.

From the time that Lady Dellwyn had been introduced into the World, till within a few Months, she had suffered a Life of Mortification, and Repentance of her own foolish Vanity; and during that little Space, Dissipation had banished Reflexion; by which means she had a very small Degree of Knowlege in the Characters of Men: She wondered at, but could not penetrate, the Cause of Mr. Stratam's joining himself to her Train, and yet falling so short of her Expectation in the Manners and Behaviour adapted to Gallantry. She could trace no Rival; for that most dangerous of all others, Himself, never once came into her Thoughts. But altho' Mr. Stratam confined his Admiration within the Circumference of his own Person, yet such are the whimsical Effects of Vanity, that the Boundaries of his Desires were enlarged far beyond that Mark. To be admired by others was as necessary to his Happiness, as Food to his Existence. He fattened on Flattery; and pined himself away, whenever he suspected that he was not viewed by others in the same magnifying Glass in which he beheld himself.

In order to obtain this desirable End, he attempted to play every Part; and was, like Bottom, the Weaver in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, "An universal Man." It was amazing with what Celerity he could change his Subject, and make an Appearance of all such Knowlege as he knew nothing of, according to the different Companies with whom he conversed.

With the Learned, Mr. Stratam practised the Virtue of Prudence, by guarding his Lips from Utterance; lest he should betray himself by speaking; for which Silence he made himself ample Amends, by the Volubility of his Discourse amongst the Ignorant: With the Lawyer, he was Master of the whole Art military; with the Merchant, he perfectly understood the Law. Mathematics, Arithmetic, Politics, had all their different Seasons; no human Art escaped him, provided he was certain that his Company was ignorant of the Subject of his Eloquence. Divinity was the only Topic on which he did not display his Talents: Whether this arose from Modesty, or a Suspicion of that Road's not leading to his favourite Pursuit, of being admired amongst the Company into which he was admitted, is a Point undetermined.

Technical Terms of Sciences often puzzle the Learner, who is desirous of Knowlege; but when they are got by rote, are of admirable Service to conceal Ignorance.

Mr. Stratam had the Happiness of a tolerable Memory; by which means whenever he happened to fall into Company where any Sentiments were to be found, he took the Liberty to borrow them without asking the Consent of the Owner; and, very fortunately for him, they are a kind of Property for which no Interest is demanded; otherwise he would soon have become a Bankrupt: Nor would the delivering up all his whole Stock have ever discharged the Debt.

With the Ladies, Mr. Stratam was metamorphosed into a Scholar. If the Question arose, whether the e, in Pamela, should be pronounced long or short, he had immediate Recourse to the Greek Prosodia for a Determination; scorning to be directed by the Authority of our best English Poets.

A Contention for Admiration between two Persons, whose outward Pretence is the admiring each other, makes perhaps as whimsical and as ridiculous a Scene as many that are presented on the Theatre. One Evening, when Mr. Stratam had the Day before performed the Part of a Mute in the Company of some Gentlemen of Learning and Understanding, he accosted Lady Dellwyn first with the usual civil Salutations; and then resolved to repay himself for his Silence the Day before, by repeating all the technical Terms he had then learned, as fast as he could remember them; altho' indeed in such a set Form, as was a strong Proof that they came not from a Son natural to them: All which great Expence of Breath might as well have been spared, for not one Syllable made its Way thro' Lady Dellwyn's Faculty of Hearing; for her Ladyship was otherwise employed. She did not indeed talk at the same time with Mr. Stratam, but was acting her Part in the Conversation; her Eyes spontaneously rolled on her own white Bosom, she was adjusting her Tucker, and setting herself off to the best Advantage, in order to catch his Eye, instead of giving Attention to his Discourse.

When Mr. Stratam had finished his Speech, the Cessation of the Sound of his Voice seemed to awaken Lady Dellwyn, as from a Dream; and with a vacant Look and careless Air, she replied, by saying, "I think, Sir, there was a great deal of Company at my Lord —'s Breakfast this Morning;" but her Pains of adjusting her Tucker, and throwing herself into the most amiable Attitudes, were full as much cast away on Mr. Stratam, as his Discourse had been on her Ladyship; for he had no sooner completed one elaborate Speech, than he began collecting together another; whilst she tried yet a different Art, and turned her delicate white Hand and Arm into Variety of Postures; but vain was the Attempt on both Sides. Mr. Stratam's Attention was a steadily fixed at home, as was Lady Dellwyn's; and they separated; without having made any more Impression towards changing the Object of each other's Contemplation, than when they first met.

Some few of these unavailing Scenes had passed, when Mr. Stratam declared, that Lady Dellwyn was filled with Vanity and Affectation; and her Ladyship gave him the Character of an insipid and insensible Animal: She now sought no farther Opportunities of conversing with him, except when her Lord was present; and then she found sufficient Reason even to court this insensible Animal; who also, during the Time that he perceived himself to be addressed and singled out by Lady Dellwyn, clearly perceived that she was changed from all her Vanity and Affectation into a reasonable Woman.

But altho' Lady Dellwyn was so unmoved by all the borrowed Sentiments Mr. Stratam could throw forth in the most rattling Eloquence, yet as a Proof that every Man hath a Chance of pleasing some one individual Woman, this very Mr. Stratam had once given great Pain to a young Lady, who was designed for his Wife both by her own and his Father. Their Estates were contiguous to each other. They were both the only Children of their Parents. Mr. Stratam consented to obey his Father, without any Inclination or Value for the Lady; having no Choice of his own, and being fixed in the Object of his sole Admiration, as is before mentioned.

The young Lady at first only looked on him as her destined Husband, and therefore endeavoured to cultivate an Affection for him; which arose rather more from a dutiful Desire of paying Obedience to her Father's Commands, that from any Passion of her own; but she had been bred in the Country, where she had not been accustomed to converse with many Men, there being very few in her Neighbourhood, who were thought by her Father to be in a Station that rendered them proper Company for his Daughter; and Mr. Stratam displayed so many different Kinds of Knowlege, as she thought, before her, that he imposed on her Ignorance; and she began to imagine that he was possessed of the brightest Understanding, and or more Knowlege than all the rest of Mankind. This first pleased her Vanity in the Thoughts of being Wife to so extraordinary a Man, thinking that by that means much Honour would devolve on her also.

The Pleasure therefore that she found in Mr. Stratam's Conversation, by degrees brought her really to love him, and fix her Heart on their Marriage, as the ultimate View of her future Happiness; but when she thought she had full Reason to conclude the Accomplishment of all her Wishes was nigh, Mr. Stratam's Father died; which incident perfectly reversed all her Prospects.

Mr. Stratam, altho' he had not resisted his living Father's Commands, yet did not thnink himself now obliged to perform what he knew was his Will after he was dead, and from that time resolved to break off the Match. The young Lady's Affection towards him he never considered as demanding any Gratitude; for he supposed it was absolutely his Due, and no more than he might obtain from any other Lady whom he honoured with his Addresses. He therefore left her, without the least Compunction for what she might suffer; and being her only and her first Love, the Disappointment affected her so deeply, that it withered her Bloom and destroyed her Health; and being unlearned in the Ways of receiving one Lover after another, and then chuse that Man who could prove the least Advantage in the Rent-roll of his Estate over a Rival, she never afterwards would listen to the Addresses of any other Lover.

Mr. Stratam now thought he would fly at nobler Quarry than a Country Girl, and was a constant Attendant on public Places, as he imagined they were the most calculated for him, both to borrow other Men's Thoughts, and to add the Admiration of others to his own; which he was always certain of obtaining. And in this manner he proceeded from Day to Day, without ever discovering what yet was an undoubted Fact, that, whenever he was an Object of Admiration, he must be indebted for it to Ignorance alone.


Various Humours, all tending to the same material Point of casting off the heavy Burden of Time.

In all public Places, the Company naturally fall into several Classes or Divisions, according to their various Dispositions or Tastes. Some are busy Actors in the Scene; others, like the Centinels placed at each Corner of the Theatre, seem to have no other Employment but to behold the Play; altho' if the most minute Criticisms on the Actions, Dress, or Behaviour of the Company, could keep the Peace, or prevent others from running Riot, it might be imagined that they also were sent, as well as the Guard, to the Play-house, to prevent Uproars and Confusion; but altho' their Tongues are often sharpened by Slander, yet they cannot do equal Execution with the pointed Bayonet, and therefore are less forcible to maintain Order and Regularity.

This Class may, with no Impropriety, be stiled The Party of Observation; they game no more than is absolutely necessary to keep themselves in Countenance, and prove their Affinity to the World. Their chief Delight is placed in Conversation, and they are to be found herded together, in little Clusters, in the Corners of public Assemblies; every Oddness of Manner, or Peculiarity of Character, they can discover, is a valuable Acquisition, and is immediately published throughout the whole Set, and serves to blazon forth their Talent of Ridicule with the greater Variety. The Oddities of Figure or Behaviour, which have been perceived by any of this Party of Observation in the Evening, are served up as regularly for a Repast the next Morning at Breakfast, as Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, or any other Ingredient of which it is generally composed.

A Degree of Wit and Humour, or something that so far resembles those Qualities as to be mistaken for them at feast by one another, is necessary for an Introduction to this Party, for as to to that numberless Race of Mortals, who continue to the End of their Lives, cherishing the Hopes that they have been instrumental in making others ridiculous, whereas in Truth they have conferred that Favour on themselves alone, it is with great Difficulty any of them can gain Admittance amongst this Society; unless they are so fortunate as to be within such a Degree of Consanguinity to some Person of Consequence amongst them, as to have an undoubted Right of claiming at least a Cousinship; and in that Case they find it as good to be related to Wit, as the common Proverb pronounces what it is, as to be related to an Estate; but if it was not for the Indulgence of that various, Proteus -like Passion of Vanity, which changes and twists into Millions of Forms, these Persons would soon discover what an extravagant Price they pay for such an Advantage.

Their Situation is indeed very unpleasant; they reverse the Affectation of poor Stephen, in Ben Johnson's Comedy of Every Man in his Humour, who put on the Humour of Melancholy, thinking he thereby shewed the Gentleman; for they, on the contrary, put on the Humour of Mirth, imagining that thereby they shew the Wit ; and are continually putting themselves to the Pain of forcing Laughter, when they feel themselves much more inclined to weep. They are so placed as to resemble only Pictures of human Creatures; and are for the greatest Part of their Time present, where they neither constitute any Part of the Conversation, nor receive to themselves any Entertainment: Like Puppets, in a Raree-show, they serve only for Appearances; and when they leave the Company, no Faculty but that of Sight is sensible of their Absence.

They are the very Opposites to Sir John Falstaff; have a two-fold Stupidity, neither being witty themselves, nor the Causes of Wit in others; for there is such an Excess of Dullness in some Persons, that, like the Torpedo, they benumb all that approach them; with only this Difference, that their Effect is on the Mind.

The Party of Observation have a Custom of bestowing on every one some Nick-name, signifying the Character of the Person on whom they condescend to sit in Judgment; which, like the Free-mason's Sign, being unknown to any but themselves, serves them as an Expedient by which they can express their Thoughts of whomsoever they please in public Company, and no other Person, except their own Society, can understand their Meaning, or be ever the wiser.

There are a Set also of Gamesters, who make Play their only Business; who entirely lose the Idea of its being a Diversion, and follow it as closely as if it were a Trade on which they and their Families depended: And indeed their Ruin doth too often depend on it; for I speak not of those who are, in the common Expression, said to play all the Game; not chusing to enter on the Subject of the various Kinds of Pick-pockets with which the World is infested; but being willing rather to perform the Office of those Persons, who, at the coming out of the Playhouse, caution the Company, by crying out, with a loud Voice, "Gentlemen, guard your Pockets."

These Gamesters are so swallowed up in their favourite Employment, that at Meals, and at such small Spaces of Time as their Hands are forced to cease from it, they, like Bajazet, "enjoy it in Thought;" and the talking over the Cards which they have played, fills up their Conversation: It is probable their Imagination doth not cease from Play even in their Sleep; but, as the Company at the Lord Mayor's Feast,

Eat in Dreams the Custard of the Day;

so Night makes no other Difference with these, than in substituting a Phantom for a Reality. Out of this Set Mr. Pope hath composed his Gnomes; whose airy Forms play round the Card Tables, and, tho' they cannot play, o'erlook the Cards.

Another Set there is, who, in the Language of the old Plays, may be called The Gallants. These, whether Men or Ladies, fix their Thoughts on no other Subject but Gallantry; how they shall look, who they shall coquet with, being all their Care; and perhaps this, if seriously attended to, is full sufficient; for they find as constant a Watchfulness, and as many Plots, necessary to prevent being robbed of their favourite Admirers, and to shew forth to the whole Company what mighty Glories and great Conquests they obtain, as would serve to direct many Affairs, which, to vulgar Minds, appear of greater Consequence. It is a great Mistake those Persons whose Situation of Life affords them little Leisure, fall into, when they imagine that which is generally called a Life of Pleasure, is a Life exempted from Labour; because what is so called is misnamed, and in reality is nothing more than leading a Life of Pursuit, and hunting after a fleeting, vain Shadow: In comparison with which we may say, with the Burlesquer of a great Poet of our Days,

A Life of Labour is a Life of Ease:
Pain is true Joy, and Want is Luxury.

If it was not the Nature of Envy to be perfectly blinded against the Admittance of any Truth, it would perhaps find more Difficulty to meet with a proper Object on which to exert itself, than is generally imagined; it vainly haunts public Places, populous Cities, and gay Assemblies, in search of Food: But could the wise Persons, who chuse to welcome such a Guest, behold the Inside of the human Heart, and be acquainted with all its Motions, they must frequently perceive more Cause for Pity and Compassion, than for Envy, in the Bosoms of those very Persons, who at first Sight have the Appearance of being in Possession of human Happiness. In real Fact, all that is capable of bestowing any solid Satisfaction in this World, is so easily attained by every Individual, that were the Envious endued with the Power of discerning, they must be cured of that painful mental Distemper, in spite of their Teeth. But "that there is no Cause," is no more an Answer to Envy than to Jealousy; and the former, as truly as the latter,

                                        —Is a Monster,
Begot upon itself, born on itself.

To which also may be added, that it preys at home, and requires no other Food but the Vitals of those Persons with whom it takes up its Habitation; who, like the Spider, feed on their own Entrails, and from those poisonous Materials spin subtle Webs, wherein the unwary Flutterers, whose Minds perceive no Danger, are entangled, till Fame, and perhaps at last Life, are lost in one common Ruin.

Other Parties there are, who are too volatile to continue long in any Pursuit whatever; and therefore judiciously chuse to aim only at being what we commonly call Fashionable.

Amongst these also are two Sorts; for some are Leaders, and strive with as much Labour to be admired for the Elegance of their Taste, and to be followed by the Croud, as if they were certain of obtaining in the End some great Emolument. Others, more humble, content themselves with being Followers only, and are carried by the Multitude without giving themselves the Trouble of resisting or distinguishing; what they do, or how they are employed, being perfectly indifferent to them; whether they walk, ride, dress, game, or are gallant, they care not, if they can but obtain the Honour of (to suit the Style to its Subject) being a la mode, their Heart's Desire is fully accomplished; and if a Beauty, amongst the Leaders of Fashions, should have any whimsical Invention in her Dress, which Beauty alone can bear and adorn, the plainest amongst the Followers must imitate her as fast as possible, altho' it should render her Person highly disagreeable. Such is the Force of this Infatuation!

A humorous Paraphrase on those well-known Words of Othello, about the Anthropophagi, which fell accidentally into my Hand, seems to make a proper Conclusion to this Chapter:

Wherein of Ball-rooms vast, and Fidlers idle,
Hot-wells, and Rocks, and Hills whose Heads touch Heaven,
It was my Hint to speak (such was my Process),
And of the Cribagers, which each other eat,
The Rollipollimi, or Men whose Heads
Do grow benumb'd, and brainless; these to hear
Would Leonora seriously incline,
Or Amaryllis, or Desdemona, or
Parthenissa, or Lady Mary, Lady Fanny,
&c. &c. &c.


Strange Times! that weep with Laughing, not with Weeping.

I will now introduce to my Reader's Consideration Shakespeare's Timon of Athens; a Subject, or prevailing Diversion, which, if Novelty has any Charms, cannot fail of pleasing.

The Poet's Eye, in a fine Frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from Heav'n to Earth, from Earth to Heav'n,

saith Shakespeare: But it may roll and glance for ever, without being able to discover in what small imperceptible Labyrinth of the human Mind the Seeds are sown, which can branch out into the most unaccountable Invention. It seems, like the Goddess in the Dunciad, to have been born of the human Brain; and when the Phantom was brought forth, it was called a Humbugg. I have not the least Intention to insinuate to my Readers, that they are so ignorant of the Manners and Customs of their own Nation, as to be unacquainted with this Diversion; but only claim the Honour of being the first who hath recorded this memorable Entertainment: Altho' if there is any Person now compiling a Volume of Travels through Europe, in which the Article of the Customs and Manners of Nations is inserted, the Account of the present reigning Fashions in England must be very deficient, if this so principal a Part of them is omitted.

It has indeed been conjectured, that this Weed is so truly exotic, that it was at first transplanted from a Race of Beings who are not visible to our Sight; and also that Milton points at it, when he relates the frippery Jests of the infernal Powers, which are vented on so serious an Occasion.

Other Critics there are, who imagine Shakespeare had some Notion of it; for when Polonius hasteneth to inform Hamlet of the Arrival of the Players at Elsinoor, he, having before heard that News, checks the old Man's Joy; by answering only in the short Monosyllable (Buz). It is therefore remarked, that the Word Buz is, by the Change of the last Letter, a Corruption of the Word Bug, and that Hum was left out for the Sake of Brevity: In the same manner as a late celebrated Genius hath recorded, in his Introduction to Polite Conversation, the Method of paring Words into a polite Sound in his Days; such as, "Verdi, for Verdict; Lard, for Lord; Larning, for Learning;" together with some Abbreviations exquisitely refined, as "pozz, for positively; Mob, for Mobile; Phiz, for Physiognomy; Rep, for Reputation; Plenipo, for Plenipotentiary; incog, for incognito; Hipps, or Hippo, for Hypocondriack; bam, for bamboozle; and bamboozle, for God knows what."

Hamlet's sneering at the old Man's being deceived, and his having then undertaken to personate a Lunatic, casts a small Glimpse of Probability over this Conjecture that he meant a Humbugg; but as there is not, throughout all the Works of Shakespeare, any other Passage that gives the least Authority for such a Change in Words, it appears something more judicious to let the Expression in Hamlet remain as it was before; lamenting poor Shakespeare's Ignorance, and claim for our own Age the Honour of this Invention: For altho' our Ancestors were certainly very deficient in that Vivacity, which so remarkably adorns the present Times, yet there is no Reason to imagine that they were so totally insipid, as to bury so valuable a Discovery in Oblivion, if they had been so fortunate as to have arrived at such a Piece of Knowlege.

This Diversion is not only the Offspring of Deceit, but, unlike all the other Children of that Parent, boldly owns, nay even ostentatiously boasts, its Original. To say the Thing that is not, so astonishing and hateful to Swift's Houyhnhnms; to practise Treachery, to plain the Way to our own Promotion; and undermine the Designs of our Friends, with a partial View to Self-interest; are Actions neither new nor wonderful, and have been justly the Subjects of Satire throughout all Ages: But Falsehood, however black in itself, has hitherto ever had the Modesty to endeavour to conceal its Deformity, under the borrowed Veil of some specious Name; such as Policy, Foresight, Prudence, &c. But to deceive, in order to imagine we have made a Jest, and then to plume ourselves on our own Ingenuity, is nothing more than a tacit Confession, that we hunger and thirst after Wit, which swiftly flies our Pursuit; and that, being hard driven for a Prop to our own Self-conceit, we are obliged to substitute any Buffoonery in the Place of that Wit we cannot by all our Endeavours attain.

The Word L—e is banished from all polite Assemblies; and if applied to Gentlemen, they are ready to venture their Lives, and act in Defiance of the Religion they profess, to revenge the Affront: But when the Fact which fairly deserves that Appellation, is sheltered under that melodious sounding Epithet of Humbugg, it suddenly changes its Nature into all that's amiable; and, instead of Shame, it is accompanied with envied Applause; and the Gentleman, who would immediately draw his Sword on the bold Man who should venture to apply the banished Word to him, will, without the least Scruple, seriously tell a detrimental Falsehood of his Friend by his own Professions. And if any Person, so unfortunate as not to have been initiated in this fashionable, rational Diversion, should caution the defamed Absent to place no Confidence in such Friendship; a Declaration that it is only a Humbugg, gains the Laugh of Applause; the Sneer of Ridicule falls to the Share of the Person abused; and the great Glories of the Humbugger are spread abroad with Envy and Emulation, by all those Persons who wrestle and strive with all their Might to obtain such Glories. Neither the Victor at the Olympic Games in Greece, nor the General in the triumphal Carr at Rome, could be more elated with their Honours, than the true genuine Humbuggers are with their successful Atchievements.

It hath always been the Sport and Privilege of Folly, to laugh at Men of Sense; and the Characteristic of Understanding, calmly and steadily to submit to such Laughter with an undisturbed Tranquility: But when Falsehood loses its Name, and assumes the Form of Wit or Mirth, the Multitude are too apt to overbear the better Judgment of the Few; and particularly in the dangerous Season of Youth, which, by its volatile Vivacity and fluctuating Spirits, is resembled by some Philosopher to a State of Drunkenness; then the human Mind is often perverted, altho' possessed of a much superior Understanding than the vain Corrupter can justly boast.

There seemeth to be implanted in the human Mind, a natural Delight in borrowing the Forms, and mimicking the Manners, of those Persons for whom we have any Degree of Respect. Little Girls introduce their Request to one another to join in their Diversions, by the Expression let us make believe Visiting. It is pleasant to be a Spectator at this Scene unknown to the little Actors in the Play, and to observe, that from their Size only, they are to be distinguished from the Persons whose Manners they are imitating: Their Eyes fail not to sparkle at the Compliments made them in the Borrowed Personages they assume, and their little Bosoms heave with Indignation at a smart Joke (for Wit and Jesting are not excluded the Nursery), levelled at them in the supposed Persons of Mothers and Grandmothers; Miss, of four Years old, resents the least Neglect of her future Offspring, then represented by the Wax or Paste Doll, with as much Warmth and Anger, as her Mother doth the Disrespect of her living Daughter.

The Love of making believe exerts itself thus innocently, during the State of Infancy; but it requires Maturity to invent a Method of making Falsehood eligible. The Man who deceives others for the Sake of any Acquisition, which he has made himself believe it is his own Interest to obtain at any Price, with all the glaring Folly which he nourisheth in his own Bosom, is however, in the Degrees of Understanding, far above the Man whose groveling Spirit condescends to mimick his insidious Ways, only for the Reputation of having made a Jest. In the former Case, the Temptation comes in the Shape of something that has the fallacious Appearance of worldly Good; but in the latter, its very outside Show is nothing more than mere Froth and Emptiness.

When the Palm of Applause is to be obtained for Actions which are in themselves shameful, a dangerous Stumbling-block is placed in the Paths of the Unwary, which requireth the strictest Guard over every Degree of human Vanity to escape. From this Delight in the Language of Deceit, its next Progress is to insinuate itself into our Practice, nay it hath already begun to make Advances thereunto; and, as not a great while ago, Letters were written with dark Menaces, that if a fixed Sum of Money was not laid in an appointed Place, Ruin and Destruction should be the Consequence; so now threatening Letters are written for no other Purpose than to enjoy this pleasant Sport; no matter at what, or at whose Expence.

A Lady of Fashion, who was going to the Bath, received a Letter the Evening before her intended Journey, to intreat her by all means to suspend her Intention; for that some terrible Danger awaited her on the Road.

The Lady however disappointed the Letter-writer, and would not be baulked in her Purpose; she arrived very safely at the End of her Journey: No doubt but that the Inventors of this noble Humbugg had employed much Time and Labour before they could hit on such a Piece of Ingenuity; and very sensibly felt the ill Success of their Scheme to prevent the Lady's Journey, whether the Design of it was only for Pleasure, or thought necessary for her Health.

Another Person, who was so over-burthened with Wit, that he could not find Methods enough to vent it, very ingeniously set it abroad that a Fire had happened in the Rooms at Bath, when they were crowded with Company; and that much Mischief was the Consequence. It must be confessed, the Place on which to fix the Report was judiciously chosen; such a Concourse from all Parts of the Three Kingdoms, as well as Foreigners, continually coming to Bath, as must necessarily spread the Terror for Relations and Friends, who were known to be there, very widely; and consequently the Jest must travel a great way.

By Means like these, by degrees, all Indignation at Treachery will be lost; it will grow familiar enough to raise a Smile on such Instances of it, as will only bring past Delights to Remembrance.

There is one Danger that appears necessary for every Practitioner in this Act seriously to take into Consideration; namely, lest Deceit should become so habitual, that the Cause for which it was first embraced should be forgot, and the Jest be lost; and then Falsehood must stand forth in all her true and native Colours: For if the Jest should be once dropped, it is generally so very small, that, like Tom Thumb, a Man might as well seek for a Needle in a Pottle of Hay, as to attempt to discover it again. Surely we may say of Men, who make this Practice their Sport, what Isabella, in Measure for Measure, says of Men in Authority, That they

Play such fantastic Tricks before high Heav'n,
As makes the Angels weep; who, with our Spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal .

And certainly a noble Employment it is for rational Creatures, to practise that with Emulation, which would induce Angels to weep, and set Monkeys a grinning.


A Character.

Characters either described in Writing, or personated on the Theatre, are in a great measure disliked, or approved, in proportion to the Acquaintance the Reader, or the Audience, have before had with them. My Lord Foppington, and Sir Fopling Flutter, by their Names on the Bills, could formerly, at any time, croud the Playhouse with Spectators; but that Species of Coxcombs are now as much out of Mode as the very Dresses in which they were represented; and if they were at this time to come on the Stage as new Characters, it might perhaps be doubted whether they were the Produce of Nature, or of the Author's Brain only. Frible also so judiciously chose the Season of his Appearance, that he was was immediately acknowleged by the Audience as their Acquaintance, and consequently received with due Applause: And I hope the Character I am now about to introduce will not be in such an unfortunate Situation, as to be esteemed a Creature that nobody knows; but that he will be owned as an Acquaintance by some Part at least of the World.

Sir Harry Cleveland was just entered into his 22d Year; was tall, well-proportioned, with an agreeable and lively Countenance. His Estate, at a moderate Computation, produced 4000l. per Annum; his Education had been liberal, and his Understanding sufficient to have made a considerable Figure in his Country; he had, from the first Dawn of his Capacity, placed a Delight in Study, which was uncommon in a young Man of his Age; by which means he had not only acquired great Knowlege in Languages, but also a very competent Degree of general Learning. He was chearful in his Conversation, and pleasing in his Manner of Address. Such was Sir Harry Cleveland, when, for a small Indisposition, he was advised to the Bristol Waters, and at the same time told that it was necessary for his Health, whilst he was there, to avoid Study, and lead a Life of Dissipation. He loved Retirement; and as soon as he came more into the World, it seemed to him as if he was entered into a wild Wood, where the Paths were so obscure, that he knew not which Way to trace them. He before imagined that he could bear a Part in any Conversation; but soon found that he was absolutely mistaken, and that he was perfectly ignorant of all Things that could be of any Utility to his present Purpose.

I have somewhere read a Sentence, which imports Advice to forbear teaching Youth any thing, which it will be afterwards necessary for them to unlearn.

Sir Harry Cleveland was now obliged to forget, or at least to lay perfectly aside, all the Ideas which he had been imbibing from his Infancy. He had a great deal of Humour; but it resembled that which is to be found in the Comedies of Terence or Moliere; and consisted in short, simple Strokes of Nature; which were either unintelligible to his present Company, or esteemed as much too serious for Conversation, as if he had introduced a Subject of the gravest Philosophy. He did not like to act the Part continually of a Mute; and yet perceived plainly, that he was not qualified to speak with any Propriety. Bon-mots, Small-talk, and the constant Repetition of some fashionable Word, at all Times, and on all Occasions, whether applicable to the Subject or not, were all to him so much Gibberish; and the famous wild Boy could not stare more when first he heard human Language, than Sir Harry did at all this valuable Politeness.

The first Employment Sir Harry found was entering into a Party at Cards. If his Tongue was useless; he thought however he could use his Hands; and would at that time rather have played at Push-pin, than have been totally idle. Custom brought this to be pleasing to him; and as the Love of Money had no Place in his Heart, he was willing to play as deep as any of his Companions; but still he had a natural Love of Society, which rendered him desirous of mutually receiving and communicating his Ideas. He could not possibly think of undertaking such an Herculean Labour, as to make Numbers conform to his Customs;

(To mend the World's a vast Design)

and therefore set about the easier Task of conforming himself to them. Day by Day he improved; strove manfully with all the Knowledge he had before attained to keep it down, and at length arrived at the Summit of his Wishes, by concealing his Understanding. He, like Varsac, in Les Egarements du Coeur & de L'Esprit, was as fearful of letting it be seen that he had any Sense, as ever any human Creature was of exposing his Folly: And now he entered thoroughly into that kind of Conversation painted in this lively Manner by the before-mentioned Varsac; of which, for the Benefit of any Readers who do not readily read French, I have given the Substance in English:

"Conversation, to be lively, cannot dwell too short a time on any one Subject; and even the Speaker, who but seldom opens his Mouth, must suffer himself to be interrupted by some Lady, who cannot abstain from sporting Sentiments; and who also, in the midst of the great Number of Ideas with which so noble a Subject inspires her, and of which she was so perfect a Mistress, is obliged to listen to some poetic Gallantry; and the Singer, in his Turn (altho' to the great Regret of the Company) must give way to a Fragment of Morality. This also is quickly interrupted, that nothing may be lost of a scandalous History; which, whether related well or ill, is attended to with great Pleasure; but yet is immediately cut off, by some trifling or false Reflexions on Music or Poetry: These also, by degrees, disappear, and are followed by political Remarks on Government; which are abridged, by a hasty Transition to some remarkable Incident that happened at Play: And at last a Petit-maitre, after having been in a long Resverie, crosses the Circle, and throws all into Confusion, to inform some Lady that she hath not put on a sufficient Quantity of Red, or that she is as handsome as an Angel."

It is observable, that the Follies and Vices of the Mind, in many Particulars, bear a great Analogy with the Distempers of the Body insomuch that several Terms appropriated to the one are as applicable to the other, and are in this Sense made use of by many Authors of Authority. This Analogy is not more apparent in any one Instance, than that all malignant Infections seize the most vigorous Constitutions of both Sexes with the greatest Force; and it is often seen, that, when any epidemic Distemper creeps into a Family, it becomes even mortal to the Strong, and leaves the Weak and Languid to continue on in the State of Health they were in before.

Sir Harry Cleveland came into the World with a Mind healthy, and full of Vigour; but when he began to be infected with the Foolishness of vain Customs, he ran greater Lengths than such Persons as had never known what a sound Mind was; he concealed his good Sense from others, lest he should be ridiculed for being over-wise, thought pedantic, or lie under that terrible Censure of being deficient in the Knowlege of the World, till he stifled even the Appearance of it to himself; and his Imagination, which was naturally strong, played such Tricks with him, as quite overturned every other Faculty but itself. The Sense of Shame is very forcible in ingenious Minds; and however absurd it may be for a Man, who is endued with a good Understanding, to be laughed out of his own better Judgment, by those Persons of whose Sense he has but a very mean Opinion; yet that the Fact is commonly true, is indisputable.

Sir Harry first connected himself with the World by entering into Parties of Play; then he proceeded to damp all his former Ideas, to unburden himself of all the Knowlege he had ever collected together, and to agree perfectly with Ralpho, in calling

Learning, that Cobweb of the Brain,
Profane, erroneous, and vain;
A Trade of Knowlege, as replete
As others are with Fraud and Cheat:

A Cheat that Scholars put upon
Other Men's Reason, and their own;
A Fort of Error, to ensconce
Absurdity and Ignorance;
That renders all the Avenues
To Truth impervious and abstruse,
By making plain Things in Debate,
By Art, perplex'd and intricate.


And therefore he chose now to become a Scholar to the Admirers of Bon-mots, Small-talk, &c. and at last finished his Character, by becoming a Proficient in the Mystery of Humbugging: He was now courted and applauded; esteemed a fine Gentleman, and complimented with being a Proficient in the Knowlege of the World; an Expression marked out by Dean Swift as "The Language of Idiots."

Every Pursuit of the human Mind is of a restless Nature, and partakes of that most turbulent of all Passions, Ambition itself. In fact, every Pursuit, the End of which is human Applause, is Ambition; altho' differently modified from that Passion, to which we generally give that Appellation; and doubtless Sir Harry, when he had been long enough a Practitioner in this Art of Deceit, to be fully accomplished in his Profession, felt just the same Gratification after he had obtained a visible Victory over some other noted Humbugger, as a Hero has enjoyed after a decisive Battle; and loud Laughter was to him the pleasing Acclamations of his Triumph; his very Countenance shared in the Practice of Deceit: For, like Milton's Belial,

A fairer Person lost not Heav'n; he seem'd
For Dignity compos'd, and high Exploit:
But all was false and hollow.

It was reported, that so wholly was Sir Harry at last engrossed by this favourite Amusement, his Imagination was employed in inventing Schemes to put it in Practice; and even that sometimes, for fear they should be lost, he committed them to Writing; but as this doth not appear with an Air of Probability, I would by no means affirm it to be Truth: But if it is really Fact, perhaps in the End he may be of such eminent Service to his Country, as to reduce this ingenious Art to a regular Science; and it may become no uncommon Thing to see advertised,

The whole Art of Humbugging taught and explained in the easiest Manner, by John Trickey, in Grosvenor-street, Grosvenor-square.

    N. B. Young Gentlemen and Ladies may be waited on at home, at the very moderate Consideration of Two Guineas per Week.

It may then become one great Part of genteel Education, and Sir Harry may have the Satisfaction of reflecting, that he shall be the Means of saving Posterity from suffering the laborious Task he himself had undergone, of unravelling all the whole Work of his Education, in order to qualify himself to converse with the World.

O fatal Change! O horrid Transformation!
So a majestic Temple, Junk to Ruin,
Becomes the loathsome Shelter and Abode
Of lurking Serpents, Toads, and Beasts of Prey;
And scaly Dragons hiss, and Lions roar,
Where Wisdom taught, and Music charm'd before.

Lillo's Fatal Curiosity.

Sir Harry Cleveland must have been deficient in this his new-acquired Character, if he had excluded any Transactions with the Ladies out of his Scheme; he only varied his Manner of them; he spread no false Rumours; but to them was liberal of Professions, in which his Heart had not the least Share. It was a heathen Sentiment, That the Gods laugh at Lover's Vows; but it never was any Body's Sentiment, That they laugh at the Vows made by Persons, who have no Claim to the Name of Lovers. By the Seriousness of Sir Harry's Manner, he enjoyed the Pleasure of deceiving several Ladies; many violent Quarrels he caused, and suddenly broke asunder many of those firm Friendships, which had subsisted from the Time the Acquaintance of the Friends began at the Hot-Wells; and if neither Sir Harry Cleveland, nor any other Lover, agreeable or disagreeable (so that the Name of Lover, or rather Admirer, might be attributed to him), had interfered, might perhaps have continued during the whole Season.

Lady Dellwyn had a great Share of Sir Harry's professed Admiration. Her Ladyship could not prevail on herself to undergo so hard a Task, as to neglect any Compliments made her by a Man of Sir Harry's Figure and Rank; yet he did not obtain his desired End. She perceived that his Gallantry was too general, and in reality was not deceived; however the Complacency with which she admitted his Conversation, imposed on him the Belief, that she was the Dupe of his Professions; which Belief, in respect to himself, was the same thing as even the Fact itself.

It is droll to be a Spectator only, and not an Actor, of many Scenes in Life; and to see how very frequently Deception returns on the Head of its most assiduous Practisers, and ends where Charity begins (Oh! that it never ended there also), even at home.

If this noble Diversion should increase and spread in proportion to its Beginning, Posterity must be greatly entertained, and imbibe a very honourable Opinion of their Ancestors, when, reading the History of these our Times, they shall see at the Close of the Year, in the Account of the several Deaths of remarkable great Men, some such summary Characters as these:

At the latter End of this Year died Sir Harry Cleveland, the most noted Humbugger of his Time, to the great Regret of all true Lovers of that famous Diversion. He left behind him no other Works but a Scheme for the better Regulation of that ingenious Invention.


Another Character.

Captain Drumond, who watched every Opportunity to assume that Form which might be the most conducive to the settled Purpose of his Life, esteemed himself fortunate in meeting with Sir Harry Cleveland . All Fashions which naturally tend to banish Thought and Reflexion, are of singular Advantage to the artful and designing Part of Mankind; who can deceive without jesting, and have a private View in flattering such Affectations. The loud Laughs of Applause, which Captain Drumond was always ready to bestow on every Jest, even attempted by Sir Harry, enabled him to impose himself, as an eligible Companion, on a Man whose Understanding was greatly superior to his own. When Flattery becomes necessity to a Man's Happiness, he must condescend to converse with such Company as are both able and willing to give him that Gratification.

Captain Drumond carried this Humour of jesting to such an immoderate Height, that every Word, which had not that Tendency, was treated by him with utter Contempt. Expressions thrown out carelessly in the Hours of Mirth and Freedom, by great Geniuses, by the Misapplication of the Ignorant, or Mischievous, become either dangerous or glaringly absurd; and because Dr. Swift said "Vive la Bagatelle," that Expression must be adopted by many Persons, who are so truly Bagatelles themselves, that, whilst they live, it cannot die, or be absent from whatsoever Place they are present in. Trifling is truly pleasing in the leisure Hours of Men of Sense, but it becomes disgustful from such Persons as can never do any thing else; and who therefore present us thereby with no Variety, but one continued Sameness drags thro' every tedious Hour.

That Cicero and Atticus were found in a rural Retreat, diverting themselves with boyish Plays, is a Fact thought worthy to be recorded in History; as it is a Proof of a great Command of their Minds and Faculties, when they could alternately trifle and follow serious Business. But it is observable, that this is esteemed worthy of being remembered only because it was Cicero and Atticus; but if this had been their constant Employment, neither their Names, nor this Fact, had ever been transmitted to Posterity; and the Number 100000000000000, in whatever Rank or Station they are placed, may mimic Infancy, in every other respect but in its Innocence, as long as they live, and yet the Moment they lose their Breath, will be the same Point of Time in which their Memory will be buried in Oblivion.

Captain Drumond was ready at all Seasons to take Advantage of every Weakness he observed in another, and in this Particular was very acute and penetrating; for there is scarcely any Man so void of Capacity, but that, if his whole Study is fixed on one Point only, he may obtain in that some Degree of Proficiency, especially if he chuses what is proportionable to his Faculties; and in this Captain Drumond was judicious; for human Weakness must be ever in his Remembrance, unless he had indeed been so uncommon a Character as to have forgot himself. He saw nothing lovely for its own Sake; he was no Follower of that Sect of Philosophers, who find Virtue to have Charms in herself alone, but had a View to somewhat which he thought a more substantial Reward; and made his Interest, in the too common Acceptation of the Word, as it concerns pecuniary Advantages only, the principal End of his Consideration.

Neither Divinity, Philosophy, Arts, or Sciences, had the Power of engaging his Attention to Reading: His Prey lay amongst the Living, and not amongst the Dead, unless when he fancied he could extract to himself any kind of Profit, by casting Reproaches on their Memory, and then his best Friends were not spared; neither was Truth or Falsehood worthy his Deliberation. Writings of Imagination he despised; his whole Stock of Knowlege seemed to be centered in a few political Maxims, by which he constantly regulated his Conduct; altho' he had either read The Life of Jonathan Wild, or his native Genius was sufficient to form Rules very like those of that renowned great Man; for his every Action was a Proof, that he had gleaned up every selfish Maxim that ever the human Imagination hath invented. Satires which are general, and against Vice itself, he called morose and ill-natured; but such as are particular, and so heightened to his Palate as to give him an Opportunity of venting private Calumny, he never failed of adopting. Human Nature in general, he loved to praise; but was very unwilling to allow any Virtue to Individuals, except to such Persons of whom he was conscious that he was singular in his Opinion; and that therefore he could not establish their Reputations; and then the Utterance of false Praise was to be a Proof of his great Candour and Humanity: He had heard the common and true Observation, That Vanity has a great Influence on the Actions of Mankind; and therefore to the most disinterested Benevolence and Generosity, nay even to such as are visibly the Effect of that grand Christian Virtue, Charity, he gave the Name of Vanity; and then plumed himself on the Depth of his own Penetration. There was one Person indeed, whom he cordially allowed to be in Possession of every Virtue, and that was no other than himself; and yet there was something within, that bad him be very suspicious, lest he should be so unhappy as to admire himself without a Rival: And therefore he thought it prudent not to trust his Fame to the Report of others, but to make himself "The little Hero of each Tale."

I would not wrong an Enemy; I make it my Business to do good; I am so industrious, that I hardly give myself Time for necessary Refreshment and Repose; were Expressions ever in his Mouth: And as he had a Hesitation in his Speech, he frequently repeated I, I, I, I, half a dozen times, before the weighty Sentences of his own Praises could find an Utterance. He perceived that it was as necessary to publish his own uncommon Goodness, as it is for the Boy in The Rehearsal to declare to the Audience, "I am the bold Thunder ;" or the Girl to introduce herself with the Words, "The brisk Lightning, Lightning I;" no human Sagacity being acute enough to find it out, unless they were informed of it.

Sometimes Captain Drumond was seized with a sudden Fit of Humility; and on such Occasions a Torrent of Self-accusation flowed from his Lips; but behold the Mountain brought forth a Mouse, and his great Crime always turned out to be some Act of Imprudence, which was caused by his great Compassion and Good-nature; and which was not however of Magnitude sufficient to be perceptible to the Person, for whose Sake he had been guilty of this mighty Piece of Improvidence.

Mr. Addison observes, in The Spectator, That common Proverbs are built on the Experience of Mankind; and therefore are for the most part evidently true. If the vulgar Proverb, that when a Man is forced to publish his own Praises, he lives by bad Neighbours, has any Truth in it, no Man surely can be more unfortunate in his Neighbourhood than Captain Drumond was: But what would add greatly to the Energy of this Proverb, is an Addition which I believe may be made to it with great Propriety; namely, That a Man, who finds himself under a Necessity of thus venting his own Commendations, is very justly conscious that his Neighbours Reports of him are founded in Reality.

La Brayere remarks, That the Man who talks much in his own Praise, knows not even the Art of counterfeiting Goodness; and this undoubtedly was true with regard to himself; for one half Glance of his Eye would have pierced through all the Fallacy of such a Character: But Reflexion and Consideration were habitual to Iva Hruyere; whereas the Person to whom Captain Drumond chose to display his innumerable Virtues, esteemed it much more eligible to take them upon Trust, than to impose on themselves the insupportable Labour of Thinking.

It was a favourite Opinion of Captain Drumond's, That all Mankind are, on some blind Side or other, to be cajoled and flattered: He therefore, in all His Converse with such Persons as he imagined he could extract any Advantage from, began with this Method: But whenever he met with an Exception to this Rule, and was disappointed in His Hopes, his soothing Words were all turned into Bitterness. Like the Wasp, he was provided both with Honey and a Sting; and on whomsoever Oversweetness disgusted, he darted the Venom of his Sting. This method answered several Purposes; the Rage with which he was brim-full at finding himself deceived, was revenged; the only Way he had of becoming an Object of Terror to his Majesty's liege Subjects, was through this Vehicle of Abuse, which weak Minds are sometimes afraid of. And when he found a Man deaf to his Flattery, and equally and steadily superior to all the Efforts of his mean Malice, then, like a Lunatic, he begins to practise at home; and flattered himself, that by throwing Dirt, he should be able to baffle the ill Effects of another's bad Opinion: And with whatsoever his Heart was filled, his Mouth then gave Utterance to such Ideas only, as are best expressed in their native Language of Scurrility. This Character hath been more particularly delineated, to shew by what Wretches Men (of otherwise good Understandings) are to be imposed on, when they think it necessary to be flattered for any favourite Folly.

Sir Harry Cleveland would have esteemed a Moment's precious Time to be very injudiciously squandered away, in which he had forced himself from the Consideration of his favourite Scheme, to examine and discover the true Character of this his Companion; nay, he called him Friend, and as such he used him: For even true Friends could not better accommodate each other's Wants. When Sir Harry had so unfortunate a Day in his Calendar that the Laugh went against him, he had a sure Resource in the Evening, by Captain Drumond's Complacency; who was the willing Butt of his Ridicule: And Captain Drumond, who was so much of a Philosopher, that he had but one earnest Pursuit in the World, found a bountiful Supply for that one, in Sir Harry Cleveland's Fortune. Thus they played the Game into each other's Hands; and, unlike most Gamesters, each of them was perfectly satisfied with his own Share of the Profits.

Captain Drumond divided his Hours and his Strategems between Sir Harry Cleveland and Lord Dellwyn; the former was the most liberal, and consequently the most valuable Friend for the Time present; but then Sir Harry was young, his Understanding was by no means despicable, only unfortunately overshadowed by a whimsical Affectation of a fashionable Folly; and the Captain very prudently considered, that Sir Harry might possibly in time, like Æneas, break through the Cloud, and be visible in his own natural Form; and that then he could by no means be any longer necessary to Sir Harry's Pleasure: For a Man who is inwardly conscious that he steadily pursues an eligible Path, has no more Occasion for a Flatterer to tell him so, than a Man, whose Time is all filled up with useful Employments, hath a Necessity for the Tricks of a Monkey, for an Amusement to his Mind.

It was therefore thought adviseable by Captain Drumond to take fast hold of Lord Dellwyn, whose Habits had been too long rooted to admit of any Suspicion that they would change, while Life lasted: Besides, there was yet another Motive for frequenting Lord Dellwyn's; which, altho' it was always kept in due Subordination to his Interest, yet, where he could make them co-incide, was esteemed an additional Advantage.

Altho' Love was greatly beneath a Man of his profound Wisdom; yet he was not intirely insensible to the Attraction of Beauty, and he imagined he might make a double Use of Lord Dellwyn's Friendship, without the least Impeachment of his Understanding; but, on the contrary, when the Standard of Cunning is erected, and its Banner displayed, every successful Piece of Art is accounted fresh Matter of Triumph. The Word Treasury dares not come forth; but the military Term of Stratagem is adopted to veil Deceit. Lady Dellwyn was very handsome, and Captain Drumond thought her also worthy of some of his Contrivances.

End of the First Volume.

Vol. 2



The great Value of a new Acquisition of Company, in the Decay of a Season, at a public Place, to the Followers of gay Diversions.

Lady Dellwyn's Beauty reigned now almost unrivalled on the very Pinacle of Admiration: She could almost say her utmost Wish was accomplished. Whenever she graced an Assembly, she engrossed the Eyes of all Beholders, received them Homage as due Incense; and was herself equally pleased with them all.

Beaux drive out Beaux, as Coaches Coaches drive.

But such is the Fate of the highest human Pleasures, as continually to exemplify the Truth of the Observation, That,

Were our State as we would chuse it,
We should be unhappy with Fear to lose it† .

For now the visible Appearance of the Season's approaching End began to fill Lady Dellwyn with melancholy and dismal Apprehensions; for her Lord had positively declared his Intention of returning directly to his own Castle from Bristol, as soon as he should be able to travel; so that her Ladyship despaired of following the Bent of her own Inclinations, which would have led her first to Bath, during the Height of the Season there, and then, before the Meeting of the Parliament, to have joined the Company in London. She therefore greatly rejoiced in every new Acquisition of Company; and the Information of the Arrival of Lady Fanny Chlegen filled her with much Pleasure.

Lady Fanny was indisposed after her Journey, and could not immediately appear in Public; but the Moment Lady Dellwyn beheld her, she was surprised to find in the new-arrived Lady her old Friend Lady Fanny Fashion. She had been informed, that her apprehended Rival, whose Coquetry was the principal Instrument towards obtaining her Consent to become Countess of Dellwyn, was since married herself; but that the present Lady Fanny was so, she had never heard the least Intimation.

Mr. Chlegen indeed accompanied his Lady to Bristol, but was so absorbed in her dazling Lustre, that he was seldom mentioned. Company dined with Lady Fanny: Parties were made to ride—walk—play at Cards, with Lady Fanny; but her Husband seemed in a State of Annihilation: And so much Resemblance did her bear to a Ghost, that, altho' present, he was invisible, and unobserved by any of the Company. Unless some odd Man, who sat near him at the Bottom of the Table, thought it proper to acknowlege the Master of the House, like the Ghost of Banquo, he might imperceptibly appear or vanish as often as he pleased, whilst the Lady, like Lady Macbeth,

Still kept her Seat,

and her State also.

A short Sketch of Mr. Chlegen's Character seems to demand a Place here, lest the Reader should be led into a Mistake, and imagine, that he was really too insignificant to deserve any further Notice.

Mr. Chlegen was about the Age of Twenty-eight; his Person well-proportioned, rather inclined to tall; his Countenance was manly, without the least Mixture of Roughness; and his Eyes were penetrating, without darting-forth any Degree of Fierceness. He had had a liberal Education, and improved his Time to the best Advantage: His Heart was humane; he was a good Christian in Principle, and kept up in Practice (as far as human Frailties will admit) to the Religion he professed. Such was the general Character of the Man who was overlooked— by all such Persons as were the very Reverse of Mr. Chlegen. As to Lady Fanny, he married her because he loved her. He had Fortune enough to permit him reasonably to please himself; and altho' Lady Fanny's Disposition was somewhat gayer than what he wished, yet he flattered himself that she had a sufficient Stock of good Sense at the Bottom to become an agreeable, domestic, chearful Companion, when the Flights of Youth were a little evaporated. The largest Share of human Understanding is often insufficient to prevent either a Man or Woman from giving too great Liberty to the Imagination, and bestowing a partial Opinion on the Object of their Choice. Besides, Lady Fanny, whilst Mr. Chlegen was her Lover, had shewn so visible a Preference of his Company to all other Diversions, as appeared to him to lay a solid Foundation for his Hopes; and he had then pictured to himself various Scenes of mutual Happiness, in which Inventions for her Indulgence always made the principal Part; and when he was married to her, he failed not to use his utmost Endeavours to make her happy. Such was his Tenderness for her, that what Hamlet says of his Father, might be justly applied to him;

                                        —so loving to my Mother,
That he would not let e'en the Winds of Heav'n
Visit her Face too roughly.—

And when he perceived, that she delighted more in the Pursuit of public Pleasures, and gay Diversions, than was suitable to his Inclinations, even to them he accompanied her for her Indulgence; but still cherishing the Hopes that she could not long continue this Taste, but must, of herself, grow weary of a constant Round of the same Manner of wasting her Time; for he could not conceive the Possibility of continuing resolutely in a Pursuit, which, he was well satisfied, was perfectly incapable of yielding any solid Pleasure.


The old Fable of the Fox, who declared the Grapes were sour when he could not come at them, exemplified: Or a sudden joyful Acceptance of what was the Moment before contemptible.

The Two Ladies, as soon as they distinguished each other, met with all the reciprocal Joy that could be expressed by Two Friends, who had been long separated. Had Lady Dellwyn met with this Rival in her Lord's Affections while she was confined to his Castle, and imagined herself the most miserable of human Creatures by becoming his Wife, she could not, perhaps, have forborne stretching herself up into a sort of Posture of Defiance; her Eyes might have darted forth the Warmth of Resentment, and her Words have indicated Anger as plainly, altho' in a different Language from that used by the Vulgar to vent their Indignation. It is observeable, that when Ladies are angry, they encrease the Number of their Gestures; their Motions become quick and sudden; but they contract the Number of their Words, as if they esteemed them too valuable to be bestowed on such Persons as have offended them: Whence, I suppose, to give a short Answer is become a synonymous Term with giving an angry Answer; whereas the common People have a remarkable Volubility of Tongue when they would shew their Resentment.

Lady Dellwyn was now in the Midst of general Admiration; the Means therefore of her shining in Public were joyous to her Heart, and would not suffer the least Spark of Indignation to arise against Lady Fanny, who had, in a great Degree, contributed to her present Happiness.

Lady Fanny Chlegen had suffered many mortifying Apprehensions during her Journey, for fear the Company, from whom she expected full as salutary an Effect as from the Waters, should be dispersed before her Arrival; and therefore esteemed every Person to be valuable, who had the accidental Merit of making an additional Figure in the Rooms; but a Woman of Quality, at the latter End of a Season, was estimable indeed; and Lady Dellwyn was a more particular Pleasure than she expected, insomuch that if she had rivaled her in a favourite Lap-Dog, or any other Thing of equal Consequence, in all Probability Lady Fanny would have forgiven her, or, at least, have postponed her Resentment to a more convenient Opportunity, when Lady Dellwyn might happen to be less necessary to her Pleasures.

It is natural and customary for Persons of the same Rank to range themselves in the same Party; Lady Dellwyn and Lady Fanny were then the chief Supporters of that Company, which is often distinguished by the Name of the Quality Set; not at all so by themselves; perhaps very few of them ever heard the Expression; and as it is never used before them, it looks as if there was something invidious lurked under it: But if it never came from the Mouth of any other than the acknowleged Vulgar, it should not be here remembered. But the Case is far otherwise; it is more general than can well be imagined, and the Design seems to be, to declare a Contempt for being admitted into that particular Party; which Contempt they endeavour to prove, by letting their Thoughts, or at least their Conversation, continually dwell on that Subject.

A Lady, whose Eyes constantly rolled to that End of the Room where this Company generally sat, was one Evening more eloquent than usual in declaring, and endeavouring to prove that she had no Inclination to be amongst the People of Quality—she was much better pleased with her own little Party —and many other Expressions of the like Import she was uttering as fast as possible, when Lady Fanny Chlegen accosted her, and desired the Favour that she would make one of their Party, because they had been disappointed of one of their Company.

The Lady's Eloquence was immediately silenced: She walked up the Room with Lady Fanny, turning her Eyes quick from one Side to the other, repeatedly curt'seying all the Way to every one whose Regard she could catch, till she joined her present Company. During the Evening, she sometimes looked back on the Party she had left, with a View only of discovering whether or no they paid due Attention to her happy Situation. Such Revolutions do a few Moments cause in the human Mind! This Accident, in one Instance, seemed to have the same melancholy Effect with a Stroke of the Palsy; for the poor Lady's Memory was so greatly weakened by it, that she totally forgot all her former Acquaintance, and was seized with a Giddiness in her Head, which robbed her of all her Steadiness. Her Eyes seemed to have taken a sudden Aversion to look downwards, insomuch that she scarcely observed the Paths in which she walked enough to preserve her from the Danger of falling.

An Assembly of Company, where Lady — was introduced as a Subject of Conversation, were all so intimately acquainted with her Ladyship, that they were not ignorant of any the least Bent of her Disposition; and, had they been Painters, they could certainly have drawn her Picture by Memory only; but unfortunately the Lady at that Instant passed by; which being mentioned by a Gentleman, who was indeed the only Person in the Room who really knew Lady — by Sight, the whole Company crouded earnestly to the Window, to discover which was the Lady, of whose most particular Notice they had but the Moment before boasted; and so far had their Imagination soared out of the Reach of their Government, that, whilst they were elated with the Thoughts of making believe they had the Honour of Lady —'s Acquaintance, they never reflected on their own strange Appearance, to which they seemed totally insensible.


The quick Transition from joyous Rapture to mournful Sorrow, in the celebrated Game of Coquetry.

Lady Dellwyn's Joy on this new Acquisition of Company was at first very great; but it was soon abated, and then intirely lost, by the Mortification of having a powerful Rival of her Beauty. A divided Empire is seldom satisfactory to a Mind exulting in absolute Dominion. Arbitrary Power, however hateful to the Persons who are subjected to it, doth not often fail of pleasing its Possessor; for who can say to Ambition, Thus far shalt thou extend thy Desires, but no farther?

Lady Dellwyn had full as much Reason to call Lady Fanny her evil Genius, as ever Mark Anthony had to give that Denomination to Cæsar. Neither Lady Dellwyn or the Roman Emperor chose to search for their evil Genius in the only Place where it was constantly to be found, namely, in their own Bosoms; and therefore were driven to seek in outward Objects for that which sat closely concealed at home.

A conscious Dignity shone through every Gesture of Lady Fanny ; a peculiar and expressive Toss of her Head positively declared to her Beholders, that she claimed their Admiration; and left a polite or gallant Man no Power of refusing her Ladyship what she thus demanded as her Due.

She look'd a Goddess, and she mov'd a Queen.

She was in Possession of the whole Art of displaying every Charm in its fullest Lustre; and as it is said of good Managers, that they make a genteel Appearance without any great Substance, so Lady Fanny made the most of every native Excellence; but in real Beauty Lady Dellwyn far exceeded her. In true Wit also Lady Dellwyn had greatly the Advantage; but Lady Fanny could turn the comic, or rather the farcical, Side of any Subject to a much fuller View. Her Power of Ridicule was superior both in Words and Motions; a sudden Casting up of the Eyes, or a judicious Shrug of the Shoulders, often expressing as great a Discovery of the Ridiculous as any Language can utter. Besides, Lady Dellwyn laboured under the Disadvantage of yet retaining some Degrees of Bashfulness; Pertness, and Self-sufficiency could at any time put her out of Countenance, even when those Two Qualities were all the Merit her Opponents could justly boast; a Misfortune which is ever a great Baulk to the Exertion of the Faculties in Wit and Humour.

The Loss of an Admirer, tho' in himself ever so insignificant, was as sensible a Mortification to Lady Dellwyn, as the losing a Branch of Power can be to the most ambitious Hero; and her Ladyship was now often driven to the Necessity of Coquetting it with Men, on whom she would scarcely have condescended to have cast one Glance before the Arrival of Lady Fanny Chlegen; and by turns she imagined, that she found something agreeable in almost every Man with whom she conversed. She had now lost the Niceness of examining the Merit of her Admirers; and, like Lord Foppington, she considered the Beauty of the Tip of an Ear as an Object worthy her Regard; for an applauding Smile, nay, even the least Simper, which Lady Fanny condescended to bestow on any Man, was full sufficient to engage Lady Dellwyn in the Practice of every Stratagem to disappoint Lady Fanny, and fix such a Conquest her own.

Sir Harry Cleveland found most Sympathy in Lady Fanny in the Art of Humbugging which he professed, more Power of discovering sufficient Cause for loud Laughter—out of nothing; and therefore generally connected himself with her Train of Followers. This was a sensible Disappointment to Lady Dellwyn, because she seemed more particularly to exert all her Endeavours to obtain his Admiration.

Mr. Stratam, as his principal View was only to gain such an Admittance amongst the constant Attendants on the most fashionable Beauty, as might raise a Conjecture that he was acceptable in her Sight, was always to be seen where

Beauty calls, and Fashion leads the Way;

and consequently was never absent from the most populous Haunts.

The Multitude, the Echoes of the Language used by the greatest Number, who glean up such Phrases as Bon-mots, Bon-tons, and toss them about promiscuously, (whether with or without any Meaning being a Matter of total Indifference), are certainly to be found in Herds wheresoever they are led by the Person, whom, by some Accident, they discover to be most worthy of Imitation, which at that time happened to be Sir Harry Cleveland. They are to be described only by Negatives. It would be difficult to discover what Qualities they have; but it is easy to know what they have not; and to them is strictly applicable what the Poet says of Women, that

They have no Character at all.

They resemble a Field of Corn, where every single Ear bends the same Way, even as the Wind driveth. Such is a Multitude of Fashion-mongers, who labour for nothing but to find out which Affectation they shall next aspire servilely to imitate.

Captain Drumond now was singular in his stedfast Attachment to Lady Dellwyn; but unfortunately he was the only Man amongst all the Company, whom she could not bring herself by any means to be pleased with: For Lady Fanny never condescended even to use the least Endeavours to gain his Attention, but, on the contrary, singled him out as a fit Object for nothing more than pointed Jests and sneering Ridicule; and never called him by any other Name than that of the Mountebank, who was continually ascending the Stage to puss off his own Merits: And neither of the Ladies were greatly entertained at his constant Practice of trumpetting forth his own Commendations, as there was another Person, whose Praises either of them would much rather have made the Subject of their Contemplation.

No Two Competitors for lucrative Employments could possibly be more assiduous in their Pursuit, have clearer Views of each other's Imperfections, or be more openly complaisant or polite to each other, than were Lady Dellwyn and Lady Fanny Chlegen; they delighted to be together, the former, lest she should be too melancholy and solitary, and the latter, from the Encrease of her Triumph by Lady Dellwyn's Presence.

It would, perhaps, be a whimsical Inquiry to search into the first Rise of many Attachments, which appear, during their Season, very firmly fixed. By looking a little farther than meer Outside, we might behold one Lady driven on, as by Impulse, to her Choice by the Fear of lessening her Dignity, if she is not connected with the highest Rank in the Company. Another is actuated with the Hope of raising her own Dignity by the Notice of her Superiors in Station, and contrives to assume to herself Honour by touching the Garment of high Station. A Third condescends in her Familiarity, with the desireable View of rendering her Smiles or Frowns of Consequence. A Fourth frequents the Place where Lovers are to be found, altho' she hath no Share in either their Love or Admiration; and is thoroughly satisfied with reporting to her other Acquaintance, that she hath been so happy as to be in Parties with such gallant Men; but gives the Hearers full Liberty of imagining that she was not without her Share of Addresses. Some are obliged to be contented with being only present at Triumphs; whilst others exult in enjoying them. To number all the various little Motives to these apparent Connexions would be an impossible Task; for they are often composed of such slender Materials, as are all dissolved, and no more to be seen, by the Time they become perceptible to the most curious Observer.


The comfortable State of a human Mind, whose tumultuous Passions are all alarmed by the Disappointment of Vanity.

Lady Dellwyn was now almost in as great a State of Mortification as at the Time that Lady Fanny, by becoming her Rival in her Lord's Fortune and Title, first led her to discover, that such Advantages were worth the Price she afterwards paid for them, when an Accident happened, which was the highest Cordial to her almost fainting Spirits, and revived the pleasing Hope of obtaining a complete Triumph over Lady Fanny; for Lord Clermont returned to the Hot Wells, and she doubted not but that it was in her Power easily to regain his Attention.

And now if any able Muse would kindly attend my Call, I would entreat the Favour of her to sing the Lady tossed about by adverse Fate through all the full-blown Tempest of labouring and tumultuous Passions. If there were any reasonable Hopes of Success, I would make an Effort to allure such Assistance by melodious Verse; but as those Ladies have been long out of Fashion, and would be deaf to all my Supplications, I must proceed in humble Prose.

The First Evening Lord Clermont appeared in Public, each of the Rival Ladies was fully determined to boast such a noble Conquest.

Lady Fanny Chlegen, whose Countenance rather indicated Dignity than Gentleness, had that Day spent a longer Time than usual at her Toilette, practising every Art to adorn her Charms with an uncommon Softness, which was all played off at Lord Clermont. On the contrary, Lady Dellwyn, whose Countenance denoted an inimitable Sweetness, endeavoured to heighten her Beauties by all the Vivacity she was Mistress of; and her Eyes darted all their Lustre at Lord Clermont. To every curious Observer of Nature, it was remarkable with what an Exactness each performed her Part, whilst she was animated with the Hopes of Success. But every Disappointment had a very different Effect; for on every Gallantry or peculiar Attention offered by Lord Clermont to Lady Fanny, Lady Dellwyn's Eyes lost their Fire, and a melancholy Languor overspread her whole Face. But when Lady Fanny perceived any Preference of her Rival in Lord Clermont's Behaviour, her native Dignity came to her Assistance; and a peculiar Drawing-up of her Upper-lip, with a supercilious Contraction of her Eyebrow, indicated Scorn and Contempt. She reversed the Picture of the Ghost in Hamlet, of whom Horatio says, that he had

A Countenance more in Sorrow than in Anger;

for her Looks rather shewed her filled with Indignation than Grief. When their Fears were alarmed, Nature returned; and her buffoon Mimic, Art, was thrown out of her Play, and entirely baffled: But Words are not adequate to describe the tragic Scene that was passing within Lady Dellwyn's Bosom, when Lord Clermont, making her a formal Bow, presented his Hand with great Respect to lead Lady Fanny to her Chair. Her Ladyship failed not on this Occasion to put on the most triumphant Air; for she could very intelligibly, without the Utterance of one Word, express the Exultation of her Heart, and give an additional Pain to that of her already truly-mortified Rival.

Lord Clermont himself returned no more that Evening into the Assembly. Lady Dellwyn stood for some Time as In a Dream, and was as motionless as a Statue, whilst Capt. Drumond eagerly embraced this Opportunity to enumerate a long Catalogue of his own Virtues: But as no one Word he uttered made any Impression on her Ladyship's Faculty of Hearing, she could not possibly shew her Contempt of this absurd Manner of recommending himself, by her common Practice of changing the Subject, and forcing him to break the Chain of his Discourse, like the Story in Hudibras,

                                        —of the Bear and Fiddle,
Begun, but broke off in the Middle.

Lord and Lady Dellwyn had chosen separate Apartments for some time; for whatever Passion remained in his Lordship's Breast for his Lady, it bore no Resemblance to any thing that is called Love, even by the greatest Prostituters of that much vilified, innocent Word; and her Ladyship was always ready to embrace gladly every Proposal, which had the least Tendency towards the obtaining an additional Opportunity of being absent from her Lord; so that, during the whole Night, she had such comfortable Reflections as the foregoing Evening could furnish, wholly to herself, and was in no Danger of being robbed of them by any human Being whatsoever.

Persons who labour under the afflicting and severe Misfortunes of their own over-indulged Imaginations, are very often induced to adopt the tragic Lamentations of poetic Writers, sometimes properly uttered by the Personages they would represent, as struggling under some great Calamity; and sometimes the outrageous Rants, made use of by our tragic Authors, seem calculated to heighten the Passions, and, when they are put into the Mouth of the Poet's favourite Character, the Moral of the Play seems to be nothing more than that the most frantic Resverie is the highest Virtue. In the Orphan,

Confusion and Disorder seize the World,
To spoil all Trust and Converse amongst Men;
'Twixt Families engender endless Feuds,
In Countries needless Fears, in Cities Factions,
In States Rebellion, and in Churches Schism,
Till all Things move against the Course of Nature;
Till Form's dissolv'd, the Chain of Causes broken,
And the Originals of Being lost;

is a Speech that throws forth a noble Exemplar of valiant Heroism, from the Character the Author seems to endeavour to shew forth, as possessed of all that's amiable, in Opposition, and as a Contrast, to the abandonedly profligate Polydore.

Calista, in the midst of her Penitence, is for digging down deeply in the Earth, to find a Grave to hide her from her Shame. To enumerate the various Instances which might be easily collected in the Tragedies that have appeared since the Restoration of these wild Rants, would be as endless, as to point out all the Indecencies of the Comedies.

Shakespeare, it must be confessed, had his Rants too. Hotspur was ready to bay the Moon; and, instead of being wonderful, it was perfectly natural and becoming in him; but Cordelia expressed her Grief by falling Tears; and Harry the Fifth was calm in the midst of the greatest Dangers. But to return to Lady Dellwyn: Her Memory supplied her with abundance of tragic Expressions, by which means she in some measure vented her Passions, otherwise she might have been in Danger of either being choked, or of bursting with inward Vexation. Instead of gaining any Repose, for a Refreshment to her fatigued and wearied Spirits, she was raving about her Apartment, performing the Part of a tragic Queen, and heroically lamenting her own hard Fortune, as blank Verse or Rhyme occurred to her Remembrance, being perfectly convinced that her Fate was very peculiarly unhappy.

Thus was Lady Dellwyn actually miserable; and if she had been obliged truly to declare the Cause of all this mighty Tempest in her Bosom, she could not have discovered any other, than that Lord Clermont had led Lady Fanny Chlegen to her Chair; and, however inadequate to raise such a mental Tumult as this may seem, yet many State Revolutions have at first arisen from Causes as minute, and as apparently trifling. This Misfortune too seemed to be without any Remedy. To call back Yesterday was impossible; and to forget this shocking Circumstance was equally impracticable; yet sometimes a small Gleam of Hope almost imperceptibly stole upon her Thoughts, and flattered her that her Day of Triumph might possibly be written in the Book of Fate, and Lady Fanny might in her Turn experience the piercing Affliction of being neglected; but then the mortifying Picture of Lady Fanny's triumphant Air, and Lord Clermont's distant Formality, was by her too-faithful Memory presented to her View, and baffled every peaceful Thought, or pleasing Hope.

These Tumults in Lady Dellwyn's Bosom robbed her totally of all Power of even assuming any of her usual Vivacity in Conversation; and the spiritless Languor, which had overspread her Beauty, was too visible to the whole Company to be concealed; and this one Object so entirely engrossed her Attention, that she forgot her usual Diversion, the Pleasure of Coquetry slipt out of her Remembrance, and her Eyes were stedfastly fixed only on Lord Clermont's Motions and Behaviour.

Lady Dellwyn formed many Schemes, and revolved many Stratagems in her Mind, in order to gain the Admiration of Lord Clermont; every one of which pleased her at first View (it being the Privilege of new Fancies to present themselves in a pleasing Manner), and were then discarded, one after another, as useless and impracticable. At last, when she considered, that, at her own Lord's Request, she had before shunned Lord Clermont's offered Gallantry, she imagined that possibly his Lordship's present Behaviour might justly be imputed to his Resentment on that Account. Then she first inwardly called Lord Dellwyn very barbarous for such his unreasonable Desire, and then resolved to offend no more in that Manner; but, in order to prevent the disagreeable Consequences of this Indiscretion's (for such she now esteemed it) spreading any farther, she sought every Opportunity to make such Advances to Lord Clermont as she imagined might be conducive to remove his Anger, and heal the Breach between them.


The Naturalization of a foreign Custom, or the Introduction of a Chichisbee.

Lady Fanny soon found good Reason to reflect on the swift Vicissitude of all sublunary Honours; for, without any Failure of proper Coquetry on her Part, the Scene was suddenly reversed; she lost the Attention and Gallantry of Lord Clermont, which was now liberally bestowed on Lady Dellwyn, to her inexpressible Joy and Triumph. He was now become as her Shadow, the constant Follower of her Footsteps. Such a Flush of Happiness soon put to Flight all her Languor, and threw her into such a violent Fit of Activity, that she seldom had Patience sufficient to remain long in any one Situation, but was rapid in her Motion from Place to Place.

Children, when first they discover their own Shadow, vary their Postures as much as possible, in order to divert themselves with their new Play-thing and also to make others observe what a pretty Image attends their Motions; and perhaps Lady Dellwyn's restless and continual Movement might have more Respect to the shewing of her Shadow, than even herself.

Altho' Lady Fanny had exerted her utmost Endeavours to attach Lord Clermont, yet the Disappointment had not so visible an Effect on her. She was either endued with a much larger Share of Philosophy, or had acquired a superior Degree of Art to conceal her Mortification, than could be obtained by her Rival. Almost unconcernedly she could behold Lord Clermont's Assiduity to please Lady Dellwyn, and smile with no other Emotion than a Gesture of Scorn; a Commodity which, instead of being wasted, encreases, by the using, and of which Lady Fanny was possessed of so large a Share, that there was no Reason to apprehend its being ever exhausted; whilst every Infant might have read Lady Dellwyn's Mortification in her Countenance, during the Time that she laboured under the fancied insupportable Affliction of Lord Clermont's Neglect.

Mr. Lucum, during the Time that he imposed on himself the Belief that he despised Ambition, whilst yet Lady Fanny was very young, had placed great Delight in his Daughter's Reading to him; and as he then fled for Refuge from worldly Disappointments to Philosophy, she was furnished with a great Variety of Ideas which led to an utter Contempt of all Falsehood. Her Manner of Life then never subjected her to the Necessity of making an Appearance which had no Foundation in Truth; which, with the Addition of constantly suspecting all Persons with whom we converse of equal Dissimulation, seems to constitute the greatest Part of that Kind of Wisdom, which, with great Propriety, generally goeth under the Denomination of Art or Cunning, and requires some little Study, and subsequent Practice, to arrive at any considerable Perfection; altho' in this Acquisition, as well as in all others, uncommon Geniuses sometimes arise, who so immediately arrive at the utmost Knowlege of this Kind, that it might be almost conjectured it came by Intuition. But Lady Dellwyn was a very poor Proficient in this Art; insomuch that her very Looks would betray her most inward Thoughts, when she endeavoured to conceal them, by watching over her Words before she gave them Utterance.

Lord Clermont was no Dangler after the Ladies: He never joined himself to any Woman's Train, either to gratify her Vanity or his own, but had always a farther View in every Application he undertook to make to any Lady; and his personal Attachment to Lady Dellwyn was really unfeigned. He frequented public Places in order to fix on proper Objects of his Gallantry; and never failed endeavouring to succeed with Ladies he liked, who had sacrificed willingly their Youth and Beauty to the Gratification of Vanity and Ambition; and very soon penetrated whether or no there was any Probability of succeeding in his Schemes. To those young Women, who, in marrying for interested Considerations, had Regard only to the obeying of Parents and Guardians, Lord Clermont seldom made any Addresses; apprehending that they might be actuated by Principles which could not possibly incline them to satisfy his Inclinations.

When Lady Dellwyn, in order to enjoy the Luxury of some Degree of her own Approbation, had chearfully complied with her Lord's Desire, and avoided the Conversation of Lord Clermont, he plainly perceived by her Behaviour that all Attacks at that Time would be vain, and have no Tendency to answer his Purpose: He therefore resolved to leave Bristol; but yet he constantly corresponded with an intimate Acquaintance, who gave him a minute Account of all that passed there, and more particularly related every Transaction in which Lady Dellwyn was concerned.

The Situation in which Lady Dellwyn's Vanity had placed her, by raising a Contest between her and Lady Fanny Chlegen for Admiration, was exactly correspondent with Lord Clermont's Inclinations. He was perfectly acquainted with the Workings of the Passions on such Occasions, and well knew in what Manner he could best turn them to his own Advantage.

The Account of this visible Rivalship between these two Ladies brought Lord Clermont with a swift Progress back to the Hot Wells, where he resolved, instead of taking any particular Notice of Lady Dellwyn, to pay his first Address to Lady Fanny, which caused the apparent Preference given to her the first Evening after his Arrival; for Experience had informed him, that to pique a Lady's Vanity through one particular Rival, whom she most earnestly desires to surpass, is no small Step towards obtaining a great Degree of Power over her Mind. Lady Dellwyn was entangled in the Snare, and made Advances to Lord Clermont without the least Consideration of any Consequences, but the Hope of obtaining what her unbridled Imagination commanded her to believe was absolutely necessary to her Happiness, namely, a visible Triumph over Lady Fanny Chlegen in Lord Clermont's Admiration. When Vanity becomes thus predominant, it brings us into Subjection, and makes us the most abject Slaves to every human Being with whom we converse, who have any Inclination to play the Tyrant.

A Contention was now raised between Lord Clermont and Lady Dellwyn; in which, if she was steadily resolved to continue the Combat, she might have been almost certain of being baffled, if all Reflexion had not been totally banished by the Perturbation of her Thoughts; and Lord Clermont by degrees gained such an Ascendency over her Passions, by the impending Danger of his publicly preferring Lady Fanny, that she dared not disoblige him. The Terror of more tragic Nights was formidable to her Imagination, and to be avoided at any Expence whatever.

Every Conversation that now passed between Lord Clermont and Lady Dellwyn, when they were remote enough from Company to have no Hearers but each other, bore a much greater Resemblance to the Roughness of Contention, than to the Softness of Love. Within the small Space of a Quarter of an Hour, she often made a Resolution never to see him again; and, when he seemed ready to believe her Assertions, and to take a formal Leave of her, the Apprehension of Lady Fanny gave such a sudden Reflux to all her Passions, that she forced a Smile, and condescended to call him back again, and revoke all she had declared before. If, like Venus in Virgil's Æneid, she had been possessed of the Power to conceal Lady Fanny in a Cloud from human Sight, she might have retained some Command over herself, and all Lord Clermont's Stratagems would have been rendered of no Effect. But the terrible Apprehension of Lady Fanny's Triumph, and the Insult she expected as the natural Consequence, was too heavy a Burden for a poor Lady in her Situation to support with human Patience.

There is no kind of feminine Character so absolutely destructive of the Contentment and Happiness of others, as that of a Lady who is ever ready prepared with all the necessary Arts and Allurements of Coquetry, to receive every disappointed Lover. It gives the Man, who knows where to be thus cordially welcomed (if his Mistress should happen to be possessed of any Share of Vanity, and he himself is in Esteem in the gallant World), an Opportunity to his Wish of alarming her Pride, and raising her Desire to allure him back again: Which one Circumstance ruins and destroys more Women, than if there were a hundred blind Cupids of poetical Creation, and every Cupid was armed with thousands of pointed Darts and Arrows.

Lady Fanny, from amongst her Train of Admirers, peculiarly distinguished a young Gentleman of the Army, whose Name was Farquhar, to whom she gave the Appellation of her Chichisbee. He was genteel, and remarkably handsome; but was so far from being puffed up with Vanity on that Account, that he delighted mostly in manly Exercises, and neither avoided the burning Heat of the Sun, nor the rough Bleakness of Winter Winds, to preserve the Clearness of his Complexion. By virtue of the Office of Chichisbee, it was his Duty to be a constant Attendant on the Lady's Person; but this Italian Custom is not sufficiently known and naturalized in England, to be practised without occasioning some Whispers, especially in Places whence Persons who have not wholly relinquished all the old vulgar Notions of their Forefathers cannot be totally excluded.

Mr. Farquhar was possessed of an uncommon Degree of Taciturnity in public Assemblies; but his intimate Acquaintance declared, that his Silence was not justly to be imputed to his Want of Ideas, but rather to his being furnished with too great a Number to forget them readily, and become an Adept in what is called Small Talk. Nay, some Gentlemen, who were most accustomed to his Conversation, would not be persuaded that Mr. Farquhar would submit to waste his Time in such a trifling, dangling Manner, without he had sufficient Reason for the entertaining some Hopes, which were not greatly to Lady Fanny's Honour. But she baffled all Whispers, Sneers, and Rumours, by stretching up her Head the higher, and treating them with absolute Contempt. When Mr. Farquhar was present, she addressed him personally by the familiar Appellations of Chichisbee, Gallant, &c. and when absent, was peculiarly eloquent in his Praise; by which means it must be naturally concluded, that there could be no Consciousness in her Mind which might justly reproach her with any Cause for Shame on his Account. Her Ladyship was in full Possession of that Mark of Innocence, of being as bold as a Lion; and surely it must be very unreasonable to be dissatisfied with such a Conduct.

When first Lady Dellwyn perceived her Rival's Attention to Mr. Farquhar, she began to lessen her Advances to Lord Clermont; but was soon convinced that Lady Fanny's Stock of Coquetry was full sufficient for every Man who was willing to accept it; nor was she in any Degree less earnest to obtain the Attention of Lord Clermont than she had been before the Arrival of Mr. Farquhar.


A short Chapter, which makes a great Revolution in Lady Dellwyn's Mind and Behaviour.

Lord Clermont, now he was thoroughly engaged in a Pursuit, employed his whole Thoughts in various Contrivances, and left no Stratagem unattempted by which he imagined he could hope for any Prospect of Success in his Scheme. Lady Dellwyn had in her Youth read a great deal concerning the Excellence of Virtue; insomuch, that had Temptation attacked her with the soft Allurements of Inclination, she would have called up all her Forces to struggle against its Power, and overcome such a Passion; but, satisfied that her Affections were perfectly free from any strong Bias in favour of any particular Lover, she walked securely in her own Opinion, and never perceived the Necessity of raising Fortifications to defend the unsuspected and unthought-of Quarter.

Lord Clermont's Experience, in his Commerce with Women, gave him many Advantages; nor did he cease his Pursuit of Lady Dellwyn, till he had, by her Apprehension of losing his Admiration, prevailed upon her to pay his own Price for her temporary Triumph, playing his Part so artfully, as to keep her Passions in a continual Tumult, and gave her no Time for Reflexion, till it was too late to preserve her from his Snares.

Lady Dellwyn was no Proficient in the Art of imposing Falsehood on herself by a Set of Names which seem calculated for no other Purpose but to lessen in the Mind the Abhorrence of a vicious Conduct. She could not film over the Odium of her own Actions, by applying to them the Words Gallantry, Intriguing, Coquetting, with many other softening Terms, many of them of French Extraction, which have been imported to England, and naturalized into our Language, and which have had an amazing Effect on our Manners, perhaps to as great a Degree as any foreign Luxuries whatever.

As soon as the Turbulency of Lady Dellwyn's Passions was a little subsided, and gave her Leave and Leisure to reflect, she considered herself as truly unhappy, by perceiving, that, instead of her, it was Lord Clermont who had triumphed, and that she only exemplified the Truth of the Observation in some old Play, that

When Women fall, not quite bereft of Grace,
Their very Servants read it in their Face.

Lady Dellwyn had indeed undertaken an arduous Task; she had entered the Lists, and engaged in a Rivalship, with Lady Fanny Chlegen, in a Scene of Life which, required a much greater Degree of skilful Management than she was Mistress of. She had not sufficiently acquired the Art of living continually in a Masquerade, to be always ready sagaciously to conceal her natural Countenance; and her Thoughts were too apt to break through all artificial Disguises, which gave Lord Clermont too great an Advantage over her Weakness; nor could she now adopt the Shadow for the Substance, or assume free lively Air, which is the Result of conscious Innocence, when she had wandered from that pleasing Path.

Now that slow-paced, tardy Kind of Wisdom, which, like faint-hearted Soldiers, offers its Assistance when the Combat is lost, and serves only to shew, that, had it come sooner, the Battle might have been gained; found its Way by Reflexion into Lady Dellwyn's Mind, and served sufficiently to enhance the comfortless State of her Thoughts. Such are thy Triumphs, thy Exploits, O Vanity! How various are thy Whims! and how great thy Tyranny! Shame and Confusion now attended on Lady Dellwyn's being seen with Lord Clermont, in full as great Proportion as Glory and Triumph had done but a very small Space of Time before; and Lady Fanny, who was perfectly Mistress of the Art of looking stedfastly at another with a significant Air, could now raise in Lady Dellwyn conscious Blushes, which were more mortifying than all she had suffered formerly from her triumphant Manner.

Lord Clermont was a great Follower of Pleasure: He had not Love enough for himself to restrain him from the Indulgence of vicious Habits, and consequently could not be expected to have sufficient Affection for another, to curb his Inclinations, in order to avoid any evil Consequences that might attend his own Gratification; but yet he was not otherwise ill-natured. He had no Taste for the Sport of ridiculing a bashful Person out of Countenance; he delighted not in giving Pain, either for its own Sake, or to please his own Vanity, by playing off those little Arts by which a Man may shew to any Company the Power he has over a Lady's Passions. If this had been his Pleasure, he might yet have given Lady Fanny the Preference in Public, and have caused a Tragedy, which would indeed have called for an able Pen to have reached but half its Height.

Lady Dellwyn now hung her Head, and drooped like a half-withered Flower. The whole Dignity of her Person was lost, and she would then gladly have exchanged her present Situation to have returned to her former Retirement, and with Joy have quitted all the Pomp of her State and Quality, to have re-assumed the innocent Amusements of Miss Lucum.

It is now Time to take a little Survey of Lord Dellwyn's Situation. His Manner of passing over one Day after another afforded very little Variety. That Fit of the Gout which having been the Means of prolonging Lady Dellwyn's Stay at Bristol, was then productive of inexpressible Pleasure to her Mind, had never totally left him, the whole Space not exceeding a Month. Much Coquetry may be practised, and many Changes and Revolutions may happen, in the Gallant World,

In the Space of one revolving Moon.

Pain and Peevishness filled up his Lordship's Days, and his Nights brought only constant Repetitions of the same melancholy Scene. His Lady, to avoid the Uneasiness Compassion for his Sufferings might give her, chose to be continually absent. His Servants indeed were weary; but as he was not ungenerous, they comforted themselves with the Hopes of future Profits, and therefore submitted the more chearfully to bear all that Sort of Language which is the Result of Impatience, and would be thought very unpolite if used to any other than Inferiors.


Wherein Miss Bilson appears, and by her Behaviour proves the great Efficacy of such an Example as her Mother's.

One Circumstance proved unfortunate for Lady Dellwyn, tho' it appeared entirely foreign to any of her Concerns. Miss Bilson's modest, bashful Beauty had not raised even one Spark of Envy in her Ladyship, since it could not be brought in Competition with her own, which was so raised by that fashionable Charm Self-complacency, that, amongst People one knows, she was certain of receiving the Preference; besides that most powerful Attraction, of being the gay Wife of an old gouty Man. Hope is allowed to fan the Fire of Love: But it doth more; for it often kindles a Passion which assumes the Name; and the first Motive of a Man's Address shall be the Persuasion that it will be well received.

Tho' Miss Bilson gave no Alarm to Lady Dellwyn's Vanity, yet she proved most destructive of her Peace; for, by depriving Captain Drumond of his Influence over Sir Harry Cleveland, she left him at Liberty to fix his Attention more strongly on his other Bubble, Lord Dellwyn. Sir Harry's Taste was not yet so vitiated as to render him quite insensible to Beauty, adorned with what but a few Months before would have appeared to him its greatest Ornament. His Reason would sometimes contradict the fashionable Delusions with which he endeavored to silence it, but perhaps all Miss Bilson's Attractions might not operate so strongly on Sir Harry's Fancy, as the Insensibility with which she listened to what he thought his brightest Conversations.

Sir Harry's Pride was greatly piqued; for Miss Bilson's great Sensibility, as well as quick Discernment, shone so visibly in her Countenance, that he was thereby wholly deprived of the last!last Resource to which Vanity so often flies, of accusing the undelighted Hearer of Stupidity. He had therefore nothing left him, but to force her Approbation; and, to effect it, grew still more extravagant in the Exercise of his newly-acquired Talents of Conversation; for he could not doubt but he was in the Road to please, and therefore had nothing to do but to pursue it with greater Assiduity.

Some Spirit was requisite to pursue this Plan thro' the Discouragements Sir Harry met with; for the more he endeavoured to shine, the less he pleased Miss Bilson. When he expected she should admire, she only pitied; when he intended to excite at once her Mirth and her Applause, she grieved to see a Man, whose original Character she had heard so differently represented by one who knew him before he came to Bristol, so corrupted by the Stream of fashionable Folly, that he seemed to have buried the Understanding of a Man under the frippery Affectations of a Monkey.

In short, all Sir Harry's Attempts to charm produced a quite contrary Effect from what he intended; and there was but one Thing in his whole Behaviour which pleased her, and that was his ardent Desire to do so; so that she was not quite insensible, any more than to the uncommon Agreeableness of his Person, and the Rays of good Sense which would sometimes make their own Way, and shine forth in spite of himself. But all this could not overbalance the Disgust she conceived at his Turn of Conversation; nay, when she considered how much both Nature and Education had done for him, she was the more displeased on reflecting how much he had laboured to do against himself.

One day that Sir Harry saw a Lady sitting by Miss Bilson, whose Awkwardness appeared to him a favourable Subject for his Wit, he determined by the dazling Display of it entirely to captive Miss Bilson; and accordingly soon took Occasion to change his Address from her to the Lady, to whom he intended the Honour of being unknowingly so useful to him, and who therefore could not put him to the Trouble of acknowleging an Obligation on that Account.

This Lady was brought from almost an entire Solitude to Bristol for her Health. Her Person was awkward, and her Mind ignorant. Mrs. Bilson had observed at her first Appearance her Surprize at the great Number of People she saw there collected together, and how much at a Loss she seemed on the slightest Occasions. Mrs. Bilson knew it must be painful, and therefore pitied her, but the Savage became immediately the Object of general Ridicule. The Sons and Daughters of Mirth led their Acquaintance up to gaze at this Novelty. They would sometimes be civil, in order to enjoy the Distress she was in how to make a Return for what she thought so prodigious an Obligation, and then, by a loud Laugh, delivered her out of that Difficulty, but left her no less embarrassed what to judge of so odd a Behaviour. Others would insult her with the utmost Ill-breeding, in order to amuse themselves with the Confusion into which their Insolence had thrown her. But lest this Fact should appear incredible in some Readers, it is necessary to declare, that this Insolence was never expressed in vulgar or Billingsgate Language. The poor Woman was so distressed at this kind of Treatment, that she never ventured abroad but at the Hours requisite for her Health; therefore she was seldom seen but at the Well Room; and even there she contrived to get into a Corner before the rest of the Company came having more than once experienced what it was to be attacked with a broad Stare, and a Laugh of Derision, as with bashful Fear and Trembling she had opened the Door.

Mrs. Bilson had observed all that past; and feeling great Compassion for a Woman who appeared to be the Object of Ridicule, only because Fortune had fixed her in a State of Solitude, made some Enquiries after her at the Place where she lodged; and, hearing nothing but what was of Advantage to her Character, resolved to take her under Protection, hoping by her Influence to preserve her from Insult; for Mrs. Bilson had an uncommon Flow of Wit, ever ready to defend Innocence from the cruel Attacks of Derision; tho' she had an Understanding greatly above making use of it to make others smart by a Jest, unless upon such Occasions.

But Sir Harry Cleveland's Motive for desiring to shine, was too urgent to suffer him to respect Miss Bilson's Presence as he ought; and he thought himself peculiarly happy on this Occasion, that her Mother was not at that Time in the Company.

Sir Harry began by humbugging the poor Lady, and told her all the marvellous Things he could invent; while she stared with the utmost Astonishment, to his entire Satisfaction; being of a great Poet's Opinion, that

Wonder is involuntary Praise.

But Miss Bilson, not seeing it in the same Light, at last interrupted his Conversation.

"Among all the strange Things Sir Harry hath told you, Madam, (and she) he hath omitted the most marvellous of all; which is, that there are Men, nay, even Gentlemen, and who call themselves Men of Honour too, who take Pride in publishing the greatest Falsehoods of their own inventing, to Persons whose Regard for Truth renders them unsuspicious of the Deceit; and imagine they have obtained a great Triumph, when they have imposed on those whose Credulity hath no other Foundation, but a Belief that they are above such low Attempts. This indeed, if called a Lye, they would detest; but sanctify it under the Name of Humbugg: Tho' in reality they are synonymous Terms; only he who tells malicious or interested Lies, humbuggs for the Gratification of Malice, or for Advantage; while he whose Motive is Mirth, lyes for a smaller Temptation; and while we blame him who thus endeavours to raise an Estate, ought we not to despise him who is guilty of the same Breach of Truth merely to excite a Laugh, and that only from the most trifling Part of the Creation, whose Approbation can no more give Honour, than their Disapprobation can with any Colour of Justice fix Dishonour?

"The broadest Mirth unfeeling Folly wears,

"is no solid Pleasure to the Person who obtains it, nor can it give any Glory to him who ocasions it."

The untaught Lady was indeed all Wonder and Amazement. A Person must have lived

Where never human Foot the Ground hath pressed,

but in a

                                        —Desart inaccessible,
Under the Shade of melancholy Boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping Hours of Time,

who can suppose that Mankind will never seek their Advantage at the Expence of the Truth; but that they should wantonly, almost without Temptation, declare War with it, this Lady's Ignorance of the World (in that respect an Advantage to her) would not suffer her to believe. However, Sir Harry would not leave her the Power of expressing her Incredulity in this Point, from the various Exclamations with which he signified his Surprize that Miss Bilson should be insensible to so polite an Amusement, wherein he was certain she must allow much Wit was requisite to shine, and make any considerable Figure. "Not near so much, Sir (replied she), as in the writing of Mother Goose's Tales, or the Exploits of Jack the Giant-killer. He who first thought of his Four-mile Boots had some Invention; an Honour the most fortunate Humbugger cannot boast; for all the Falsehoods he spreads are so only in respect to Time. They are what have happened, or might naturally happen, and therefore the only Merit he can claim, is that of having a sufficient Capacity to turn Truth into Falsehood; and whilst the Writers of such Histories as Jack the Giant-killer only humbly desire to amuse the Imaginations of Children, the ambitious Humbugger grasps, as his ultimate End, to deceive the Judgments of Men."

Sir Harry had suffered his Mind to be so darkened by vain Affectation, that he had lost all the Perspicuity of his Discernment, and was now in as great a Perplexity as he had caused in the untaught Lady herself. He was bewildered by

An Ignis fatuus, that bewitches
And leads Men into Pools and Ditches.

He had great Deference for Miss Bilson's Opinion; but had now so long accustomed himself to consider this trifling Manner of damping his Intellects, and wasting his Time, to be the highest Honour to which the human Species could arrive, that he could not easily persuade himself a Person of Miss Bilson's Understanding could possibly have a Contempt for it; and for some time harboured a Suspicion, that she herself was playing the very same Game which she endeavoured to make him believe she so heartily despised. But when he was convinced that she was in earnest, he could not immediately give up the Talent which he now most valued; but entered into a serious Defence of his Practice; which gave Rise to a Dispute of some Length between them, till, inwardly vexed by the Force of her Arguments, and yet ashamed to acknowlege that he could not reply to them, he left the Room in visible Confusion. And Miss Bilson hoped that his Countenance indicated Marks of Indignation; for when the Lustre of Truth makes a Man angry, it is a much better Symptom, than when it hath no other Effect than to raise in him Sneers of Derision.


The great Power of Beauty, when accompanied by Modesty and Reason, not only to warm, but also to amend, the human Heart.

Sir Harry Cleveland immediately fled into public Company, in order to seek a Remedy for the Ill humour Miss Bilson's Insensibility to all his Wit and Ridicule had thrown him into with the Person in the World he was most unwilling to quarrel with, even himself. He at first determined to quit any farther Attempts on a Heart, which he began to suspect would cost him the unsupportable Labour of once more new-forming himself, before he could entertain any Hopes of succeeding; and if Miss Bilson had at that Time by any sudden Misfortune been deprived of her Beauty, he would certainly have prevailed on himself to discover that her Understanding also was very moderate, and that she only affected to despise what she had not Wit enough to attain; for he who had so well succeeded in hiding away his own Understanding, even from himself, could easily have done that Favour by another. But her Person had made so deep an Impression on his Fancy, that, if he had endeavoured it, he could not for his Heart have raised a barbarous Inclination to conceal from his own Eyes her apparent good Sense.

Lady Dellwyn and Lady Fanny Chlegen were both ready to welcome him into their Party, and strove with Emulation which should entertain him most.

Lord Clermont was not at the Rooms that Evening, to Lady Dellwyn's great Joy; for his Presence in public was now become as much her Mortification as even it had been her Triumph, and served only to confuse, and put her out of Countenance; so that she endeavoured, by the Amusement of a little Coquetry with Sir Harry Cleveland, to silence her own Reflexions, at least for a short Season. But all their Conversation consisted in an Affectation of Mirth, which was very foreign to their Hearts, and consequently soon grew tiresome.

Lady Fanny was indeed all alive and merry; but it had a very different Effect from what was customary on Sir Harry. He saw the Emptiness of his own acquired Manner of Conversation by the frothy Levity of her Jests; and the more she endeavoured to shine in his Eyes, the more his Judgment was inclined to give Miss Bilson the Approbation she deserved.

He retired to his Apartment in the disagreeable Situation of being perfectly unsatisfied with himself, his Love and Judgment both combined to urge him to cast off the Practice of all that Knowlege of the World, and its Manners, which he had taken such Pains to acquire, and to bring himself back again into a State wherein his Understanding might have free Liberty to exert itself, and be no longer obliged to be carefully concealed, for fear it should bring a Scandal and Shame on its Owner. But then, on the other hand, to confess that he had been deluded by such glaring Fallacies, to condemn himself of such an Absurdity as to have thus been a Dupe to his own Vanity, whilst he was aiming at the high Applause of having duped others, seemed to his Imagination an Herculean Labour, and he was greatly perplexed to resolve in what Manner he could undertake to begin so mortifying a Task. It had been much easier for him to slide from a rational Employment into his present Manner of Life, because it came by degrees, and one Folly naturally succeeds another; but at once to turn from them all, and enter into the one Path, which leads to a reasonable Life, seemed a heavy, if not an absolutely insupportable Burden.

Sir Harry was some time before he would permit himself again to appear before Miss Bilson; but her Idea had made so lively and strong an Impression on his Fancy, that it was impossible for him to exclude it from his Thoughts. His Reluctance to continue in a wilful Banishment from the Object which contributed so greatly to his Delight, at last conquered his Reluctance to throw off his adopted Follies; and the first Opportunity he perceived of entertaining her apart from other Company, he contrived purposely to introduce the Subject of their last Argument concerning Humbugging; on which Miss Bilson displaying her usual good Sense, he no sooner finished one Sentence, than he cried out,

From Lips like those, what Precepts fail to move?

"I can no longer oppose Reasoning so just.

"Truth divine comes mended from your Tongue;

"and I blush at the Errors into which I have been led. Conduct me, my fair Guide, out of this Labyrinth of dangerous Folly, back into the Land of Truth; strengthen the Weakness of my Mind by your frequent Converse; and, after having convinced my Reason, correct my Manners."

Miss Bilson, somewhat piqued, replied, "Tho' you cannot persuade me that my Cause is not good, you give me a sufficient Proof how bad an Advocate I am, since all I have said cannot prevent your endeavouring to make me the Dupe of the very Talent, as you are pleased to call it, which I am endeavouring to explode;" for, she really imagined Sir Harry was humbugging of her; for Truth and Falsehood are so very incompatible in their very Nature, that, from the same Source whence the latter generally flows, we cannot easily believe the former ever proceeds. But he was for once truly serious, and at last convinced her he was so; tho' several Meetings were necessary to prevail on her to give Credit to what appeared to her so great an Improbability.

Sir Harry now began to cultivate an Acquaintance with Mr. and Mrs. Bilson; and found, that had he fortunately fallen into their Company when he first came to Bristol, he should not have been under a Necessity of running into so much Folly, to procure his Mind an agreeable Dissipation.

His Attachment began to wear a serious Air, and Lady Fanny Chlegen, who had excused his Insensibility towards her only upon a Supposition that it was general; and that he had no Idea of Sentiment, was piqued to see another, and that too, in her own Language, an unexperienced Chit, effect what she had in vain tried at, as soon as she came to Bristol.

Lady Fanny therefore, in revenge, planted all her Raillery at Sir Harry; yet the Fire was not so strong, but a Man less captivated than he was might have borne it undisturbed. She asked him if he meant to rival Harvey, and make some new Discovery concerning the Circulation of the Blood, by continually gazing in Miss Bilson's Face, where it played up and down with all the aukward Rusticity of Blushing? She bid him consider what Figure those untaught Eyes, those uneducated Smiles, and that odious Bashfulness, would make amongst People of Fashion, when he should introduce her into the World. In short, as Lady Dellwyn was now so oppressed in her Mind, that she was much more unfit than ever to pretend to a Rivalship with Lady Fanny in the large Field of Gaiety and Gallantry, her Ladyship seemed to set her whole Force against the Charms of Miss Bilson; altho' she was too reserved, and appeared too little in Public, to put in a Claim for general Admiration. But one Man of Sir Harry Cleveland's Figure was enough to raise Lady Fanny's Indignation, and to make her shoot forth at her all the Darts of her Ridicule.

So a wild Tartar, when he spies
A Man that's handsome, valiant, wise,
If he can kill him, thinks t' inherit
His Wit, his Beauty, and his Spirit;
As if just so much he enjoy'd,
As in another is destroy'd.

Sir Harry was so tender of Miss Bilson, that altho' he despised Lady Fanny, he could scarcely bear to hear her speak so disrespectfully of one whom he knew not how to think on but with Adoration; and told her Ladyship, that, "could he obtain Miss Bilson, he should not only be the happiest, but the proudest, of Mankind, as possessing a Treasure that no other Man could boast: That as for the Company, which she meant by the World, he should be in no Hurry to introduce her to them; for she was as unfit for a Life of Folly, as Folly was for a virtuous and reasonable Woman: For I am sure (added he) it may be said of your Sex,

"When Vice prevails, and Fashions bold bear Sway,
"The Post of Honour is a private Station.

Lady Fanny did not suffer what she thought so great an Affront to pass unnoticed; but, mistaking Raillery for Railing, she lost some of the Dignity which she generally endeavoured to preserve, and thereby encouraged Sir Harry to fail so much in his Respect for her, that he left her without attempting to reply.

After this Conversation, Lady Fanny had very little Intercourse with Sir Harry Cleveland; but aimed her Insolence at Miss Bilson, whom she continually stared out of Countenance; and whenever Sir Harry was speaking to her, would, by directing the Eyes of every one near her, by Gestures and Laughing, raise such Blushes in that young Lady, that Sir Harry was obliged, in Compassion to her, to address her as little in Public as possible; which he was enabled to persuade himself to do, by having obtained Permission to visit Mr. and Mrs. Bilson at home.

Mr. Chlegen likewise gave no small Offence to his Lady, for having made Acquaintance with Mr. Bilson, from which he received great Pleasure. He soon extended it to the rest of the Family; and whenever they were in the same Place, contrived to be near them; glad, by being engaged in Conversation, to seem inattentive to his Wife's imprudent Conduct.

When Sir Harry slackened in his public Addresses to Miss Bilson, he made himself what Reparation he could in the Conversation of her Parents, or the younger Branches of her Family. This naturally threw Mr. Chlegen more into Discourse with Miss Bilson, who was the most at Leisure, and whose good Sense could not fail to please a Man of his Turn of Mind.

Lady Fanny's Resentment at Mr. Chlegen's Intimacy with the People to whom she had the strong Antipathy of Good to Bad, operated so violently, that she endeavoured to raise a Report of his being enamoured of Miss Bilson, knowing the Ease and Freedom with which she conversed with him would bear the Appearance of Encouragement. But her amiable and modest Conduct, as well as the very high Reputation of her Parents, blunted the Sting of Slander; and her Ladyship could not succeed in a Point wherein she was unwittingly endeavouring to mortify her own Vanity, by making People believe that she was neglected, for one whose unfashionable Bashfulness rendered her so despicable to her Ladyship. However, such was her unwearied Malice, that Sir Harry found it necessary to put a stop to her Attempts, by some Intimations concerning her own Conduct; which his Politeness would not have suffered him to utter, if any thing of less Consequence than Miss Bilson's Character had been concerned.

Sir Harry was by degrees brought to a very strong Sense of the Folly in which he had been immersed, and by his Friends convincing him, that

All Praise is foreign, but of true Desert;
Plays round the Head, but comes not near the Heart.

Capt. Drumond's Merit, like a Bubble in the Water, began to sink to nothing; and Sir Harry became acquainted with his true Character by Mrs. Bilson, whose Penetration was too acute to be imposed on by any of those numerous Virtues he pretended to assume; tho' she saw very little of him; for he perceived in her something from which he naturally absented himself, and feared Detection; for where-ever he found Praise was deserved, and consequently not courted, he knew there was no Employment for a Flatterer.

Sir Harry had gained the good Opinion of the Family he most esteemed; but it was much increased by a little Incident, which shewed he was not insensible to the Distress of Persons who had no particular Title to his Regard, farther than as his Heart was to be affected by general Compassion. But this Incident shall be reserved for the' next Chapter.


A Scene of great Distress reversed, and the Sufferers relieved by Mrs. Bilson.

One Morning, when Sir Harry Cleveland accosted Mrs. Bilson, she thought she perceived an Air of Melancholy on his Countenance; and asked him if she was mistaken? He acknowleged there might be some Grounds for her Observation; for that he had been greatly shocked that Morning, by the Distress of a Family who lodged in the same House with him. The Master of it, who was a Clergyman, was just dead; and his Widow and Two Daughters in such Excess of Grief, that he could not be ignorant of if, for their Lamentations reached his Apartment.

Mrs. Bilson was shocked with the pathetic Description of Distress Sir Harry gave her. Her Compassion was always ready to be bestowed on the Unhappy; but in this Case her Pity was enlarged, by the additional Sensibility of a Person who was but just delivered from Fears of the same Calamity; and imagined it probable that this poor Woman might have still an additional Affliction, as Part, at least, of the Support of their Family must be lost with her Husband.

As soon as Mrs. Bilson could conveniently withdraw from her Company, she went, with her eldest Daughter only, directly to the House where Sir Harry lodged; and having asked for the Mistress of it, inquired of her the apparent Circumstances of her distressed Lodgers.

The Woman told the Ladies she imagined their Fortunes must be very narrow; for, as soon as they came, they requested her to procure some Plain-work for them; and that they had dispatched a great Quantity since they had been there, having worked as hard as possible, and lived with the utmost Frugality in every thing but where the poor sick Man was concerned, for whom they had been most careful to provide every Comfort and Convenience that a much more ample Fortune could have procured him.

This Account of the poor Widow demanded Mrs. Bilson's good Opinion, as much as her Distress had raised her Compassion; for she always gladly embraced every Opportunity of thinking well of another; her Fund of Charity in that Branch being as extensive as in that of distributing to the Poor; and she grieved to think that a Clergyman and his Family should be reduced to such Necessity. When the Mistress of the House, perceiving by her Countenance how much she was affected by what she had related, thus proceeded:

"Indeed, Madam, I have Reason to think the little Fund they brought with them, notwithstanding the Pains they have taken to add to it by their uncommon Industry, is almost, if not quite, exhausted. But Sir Harry Cleveland has been so generous, as to desire me to contrive to defray the Expences of the Funeral in a decent Manner, and to undertake the Ordering of it, which he had promised to discharge, as well as what shall be due for Lodgings; and also he will furnish them with whatever Sum shall be requisite for their Journey back. But as he thought it might not be proper for him to wait on them in their present melancholy Situation, he has requested me to transact the whole Affair; the Management of which I find to be so difficult a Task, that I have not yet obeyed his Commands."

Miss Bilson's Eyes, at the Relation of Misery she at first heard, had flowed with tender Tears; but by a sudden Transition they now sparkled with Joy, at the Account of Sir Harry Cleveland's Generosity; one Proof of Virtue in her Lover giving her more Pleasure than all the Flattery he could have bestowed on her. But this Effect did not pass unobserved by her Mother, who was watchful to discover how far Sir Harry's Assiduities had made an Impression on her, without putting her to the Confusion of confessing.

As the Woman of the House found Mrs. Bilson was inclined to visit her Lodgers, she told her, she wished that she would be so kind to undertake the acquainting them with Sir Harry Cleveland's generous Offer to them, as it would come better from her than from an Inferior.

In this Mrs. Bilson willingly acquiesced, and was introduced to them. After offering every Assistance in her Power for their Convenience in a Place where they were entire Strangers, she acquainted them, with all the Tenderness she was Mistress of, of the generous Intentions of Sir Harry Cleveland. Mrs. Bilson did not consider Poverty as having a Power to make human Creatures relinquish their Feeling: But, as is truly the Case, she thought Poverty added to the Apprehension and Sensibility of Insult; and therefore was more peculiarly careful of the Manner in which she treated the Distressed, whom she endeavoured to assist, than she thought necessary in her Intercourse with her Equals, or even her Superiors; and would often reflect, that if her own former Misfortunes had led her Mind into this Consideration for others, she had great Reason to be thankful for having been in a State of Humiliation.

The poor Widow felt her Goodness deeply in her Heart, and therefore had no Flow of Words ready to burst forth in Elocution to express her Thanks; but turned her Eyes, with a quick Transition, alternately on Mrs. Bilson and her Daughters, full of the highest Amazement. Mrs. Bilson endeavoured as well to sooth her Sorrows, as to assure her of Deliverance from future Oppressions in point of Fortune; and offered her all the Services she could render her towards establishing her Family in the World. At which Words, tender Feeling for her own, and the Offspring of the Man she had loved with an ardent Affection, brought a Flood of Tears to her Relief. She wept, cast up her Eyes to Heaven, could just utter the Words, Good God! and then sunk back in her Chair, as being overwhelmed with the grateful Emotions of her own Mind.

When she was recovered, and the Abatement of her Fears for her Children, by Mrs. Bilson's Assurances, had given her a little more Strength to support Conversation, Mrs. Bilson found, by discoursing with her, that her eldest Daughter was to have been married to a young Clergyman of excellent Character, whom her Husband intended to make his Curate, upon his coming into Possession of a Living which was promised him at the Death of the Incumbent, who was dying of a Dropsy, but had out-lived his intended Successor.

This Match the poor Woman grieved to think was at an End, as she feared her Daughter would not be able to support at once her Father's Death, and the Loss of a Man on whom she had placed the strongest Affection, but could not now marry, as they had no Prospect, at least no near one, of a Subsistence.

Mrs. Bilson desired she would not suffer this Thought to add to hers or her Daughter's Affliction; for she would engage to secure them as good a Provision as the Curacy she mentioned; and desired she would inform her Daughter, who was left in the Country to take care of the Remainder of their Family, of this Consolation, that she might not sink under the Weight of her real and apprehended Misfortunes.

A considerable Part of every Day Mrs. Bilson spent with this distressed Family; and had the Satisfaction of seeing them resigned to the Dispensation of divine Providence, tho' grieved for the Loss of one who was justly infinitely dear to them; but the unexpected Generosity, of which they stood in great need, left them only one Subject for their Affliction.

Before they left the Place, Mrs. Bilson explained more particularly to them her Intentions for the young Clergyman. Her many charitable Institutions, as she chose they should be very constantly and carefully attended, she thought too hard a Duty for one Man, and therefore determined to join this young Man in the same Office; about whom she had written Letters of Inquiry to all Persons capable of giving any Account of him, and had received very satisfactory Answers concerning his whole past Behaviour.

The Salary Mrs. Bilson allowed was above that of a common Curacy; and she promised, on her Return home, to fit up a House, not only for the Reception of the young Couple, but for the Widow and her younger Children likewise; and, to render their Situation as comfortable as possible, by stocking a little Land with what might be useful for their Family. The Clergyman's second Daughter was something older than Miss Bilson, who took a particular Fancy to her; and, as her own Maid was going to be married, had a great Inclination to take her; and Mrs. Bilson gave the Mother her Choice, whether she should be put into Business, or gratify Miss Bilson's Desire. The Mother immediately replied, that she had rather her Daughter should be placed in her Family, and receive the Advantage of her Instruction and Example, than be put into any other Employment; and Mr. Bilson's Daughter received another with the utmost Marks of Kindness; her Mother not having been able to find any Person she thoroughly liked to be about this newfound Darling of her Heart.

Sir Harry Cleveland performed what he had undertaken; and Mr. and Mrs. Bilson made the Widow so considerable a Present as would enable her to settle her Affairs quite to her Satisfaction; and Miss Bilson and her Sister-in-law insisted on the good Woman's suffering them to equip her Daughter, if the Marriage took Effect.

Thus was this distressful Scene reversed, and the Widow and Fatherless cheered by the good Offices of compassionate Humanity. The poor Widow left the Place with a most grateful Heart for all the Favours which had been showered down upon her, and felt all the Consolation her Grief for the Loss of an excellent Husband could admit of, from a true Sense of the great Blessing of having Three of her Children well-provided for. Her Pride felt no Wound from thinking Two were in a State of nominal Servitude; for in reality they were used with all the Kindness of Friends; insomuch that many Persons, who have experienced what it is to be dependent under the Denomination of Friends, would rejoice in every Corner of their Hearts to meet with half the same Indulgence. And their Mother, who had flattered herself with no high Expectations for them, poured out her Thanks to the Almighty for their being so placed, that they were rather with Protectors of their Youth, and Exemplars for their Conduct, than with Mistresses, where their Dependence was the strongest Security for the kind Treatment they should receive; for Mrs. Bilson's Children had learned of her to admit no one into any Connexion with themselves, but with an Intention to render them happy.

Mrs. Bilson's frequent Visits to this afflicted Family became known, and consequently ridiculed, by many of those who esteemed themselves the superior Part of the Company. Lady Fanny Chlegen "greatly wondered, how it was possible for a Woman of any Fashion to go raking into Holes and Corners after every crying Woman, and more especially a Country Parson's Wife, who surely was below one's Notice. But the Pride of some People took a strange Turn, and laboured hard to get the Character of Good-nature; whereas, if they had any Sensibility, or the least Delicacy of Nerves, they could not be thrusting themselves into Scenes of Distress."

Thus would her Ladyship run on till she was almost out of Breath; and, when she had a little rested herself, she would begin again, declaring, "that she wished with all her Heart she had as little Feeling as those People: It had been the greatest Misfortune of her Life to be born with such tender Nerves; that, for her Part, she could not recover herself again the whole Day, after having been accidentally present at any melancholy Spectacle."

Lady Dellwyn did not think what Mrs. Bilson did was so strange, as unnecessary; for she delivered it very gravely as her Opinion, that the Distress was not so very great as represented; "for," said she, "the Woman has only lost her Husband: Or suppose she suffered a little in Fortune, why surely Liberty might recompense her for that, as she would remain sole Mistress of what remained, and be subject to no perverse Controul, unreasonable Humours, or authoritative Refusals of her Inclinations."

Both the Ladies heartily forgave Sir Harry Cleveland, whose Generosity they had also heard of; for they concluded it must be right for a Man to be generous to a Woman, whatever was his Motive: Tho' Lady Fanny could not forbear insinuating on that Occasion, that the Widow was accompanied to Bristol by Two pretty Daughters; and in her Heart was not the less inclined to speak favourably of his Charity, for imputing some Part of it to Motives of Gallantry.

Tho', in real Fact, Sir Harry, in what he did on this Occasion, had not had any Retrospect to Self whatsoever, not even the least View to Miss Bilson's Approbation, nor did he suppose it would ever reach her Knowlege; yet he was not sorry that such was the accidental Event, as he found that this Action had raised hers, and her whole Family's, Esteem for him: But yet, till they began to talk of leaving Bristol, he could not take Courage to explain his Views, and request their Approbation and Interest with their Daughter.

This Proposal was no more than they expected. They perceived the young Lady was favourably disposed towards him. But tho' his late Behaviour had gained their Esteem, they were afraid of giving their Daughter to a Man who could be so easily led into Folly, and whose Conduct they therefore apprehended could not safely be depended on in an Affair of such Consequence for Life, as the Marriage of a young Lady, who, as well as her Mother, thought that a Woman's Happiness consisted chiefly in domestic Pleasures.

Miss Bilson also had the same Fears with her Parents. Her Heart spoke in favour of Sir Harry such as he then was; but she knew not how he might alter, and was sensible that there was a Degree of Folly which would render her as unhappy a Wife as if he became vicious. In truth, there seems to be no Reason why a Man who moulders away his Understanding in such Pursuits as are below an Infant, should be nominated by a less reproachful Appellation, than him who falls into any other erroneous Conduct whatever.

This Consideration made it difficult to give Sir Harry an Answer correspondent to his Wishes. His Fortune was not sufficient Inducement to tempt them to sacrifice a Daughter where they thought she might be unhappy; and they could find no Way of treating Sir Harry more genteelly, than by telling him the Truth. He might justly claim their Sincerity; and therefore they acquainted him with their Objections.

It is easy to suppose that Sir Harry omitted nothing he could urge to persuade Mr. and Mrs. Bilson, that he was entirely disgusted with the trifling, absurd Follies, which justly gave Rise to their Objection to him. But he could prevail no farther, than to be looked upon in a State of Probation; wherein after he had spent a sufficient Time to prove his Sincerity, if he continued unaltered, he might expect to be accepted.

He would gladly have passed his probationary State in their Neighbourhood; but that they judged no Trial of his Steadiness: For where he could meet with no Temptation for his Vanity, and in Sight of the beloved Mistress of his Heart, he could not well waver in his Resolutions: They therefore required that he should spend some Part of the Winter in London; at the same Time giving him Leave to make them a Visit before he went thither, and engaging to give him a very favourable Reception, if he passed the gay Season in Town unperverted.

Sir Harry was obliged to acquiesce in this Decision, as he found he could obtain no better Terms; and was so well assured of his own Steadiness, that he looked on his Compliance with it only as a Delay; but, as such, his Impatience to call Miss Bilson his, made him esteem them very cruel. He accepted their Invitation, and made them a Visit soon after they left Bristol; where, had it not been the End of the Season, he could have found no Temptation to stay after their Departure. His Mind was so strongly attached to the valuable Treasure they carried with them, that he found no Pleasure in her Absence.

I have some Reason to believe Miss Bilson would have shortened the Term of his Probation, had it been left entirely to her Decision; but she had too just a Sense of the Obligation she was under to that parental Affection which was so tenderly apprehensive for her Happiness, to give any the least Hint of her Inclination: But when she saw him set out for London, she had some Fears, which shewed that she herself was less assured of his steady Adherence to Reason than she had before imagined.

The Result of Sir Harry Cleveland must be left to be disclosed at a future Opportunity; for it is now high Time to return to the Lord and Lady who are the principal Subjects of these Volumes.


The Love of Flattery the chief Root of being Dupes to the Treachery of others.

Capt. Drumond, as is before intimated, being now shaken off by Sir Harry Cleveland, had fastened wholly on Lord Dellwyn, whom he found a Method of rendering greatly subservient to his Convenience in a pecuniary Way; and then, amongst his other Acquaintance, thought proper to make him a constant Subject, on which he exercised his Talent of Sneering and Ridiculing: A Practice which it is earnestly to be wished was confined only to such Persons as Capt. Drumond, as it was perfectly uniform with every other Part of his Character, which had not been fully complete without this coinciding Addition; but it is a melancholy Circumstance, whenever a Man's Behaviour in this respect unavoidably presents to the Memory the following expressive Lines

Who would not laugh, if such a Man there be?
But who'd not weep, if — were he?

Capt. Drumond had a great Inclination to take Lord Dellwyn to nurse; a Phrase I borrow from a late celebrated Genius in the Science of getting Money; for when any Man of Fortune had by Gaming, or by any other chosen Method, so far dipped his Estate, as to be utterly unable to satisfy his own Appointments, and discharge the Claims of his Creditors; this our Genius, by his artful Management, could contrive in a set Number of Years to clear all the Debts, allow the Owner a handsome Maintenance out of it, and always bear in Remembrance to be well rewarded for his Trouble. This he called taking an Estate to nurse. It was remarkable, that often the very Gentleman, who could not contrive before to have sufficient for his Expences from the Produce of his whole superabundant Fortune, found it very practicable to live within Compass, when he was reduced to this Allotment.

There was one unfortunate Circumstance attended this Inclination of Capt. Drumond; for as Lord Dellwyn's Estate was clear, he could not possibly take that to nurse, unless he at the same time took also the Incumbent; and he might be truly said to do so, with great Propriety of Language; for he humoured and treated him in every respect like a Child.

Lord Dellwyn's Gout and Confinement rendered a ready Companion very acceptable; and the Captain's continual Repetitions of his own Merit, like

Drops of eating Water on the Marble,

at length forced its Way; and his Lordship was convinced that Capt. Drumond was brim-full of every cardinal Virtue. It is observable, that every Man (however wrong he may be in his own Conduct) is desirous of a virtuous Friend. Whether this arises from the Apprehension of being injured by the Baseness of those with whom they have any Connexions, or from such a great Degree of Affection for their Friends, that they wish them better than themselves, must be left without any Determination.

The grand Point in which Lord Dellwyn delighted to be flattered was, that his Companion should discover, either by his Looks or Motions, some Appearances of Youth, or, at least, that he was not yet arrived to any great Age. The Captain was very penetrating in this Particular, and often perceived such Signs of juvenile Activity in his Lordship, as were imperceptible to every other Eye.

If a Man was to make choice of the Dress of a Nurse, and resolve to personate that Character at a Masquerade, he would certainly furnish himself with such Playthings as were fitted to his Purpose; otherwise he would very ill perform the Part he had undertaken. Capt. Drumond was full-fraught with all such Knowlege as could enable him properly to discharge the Office he had assumed; and as the well-shook Rattle will often stop the Infant's Crying, even altho' it is not perfectly free from Pain, so a well-timed Compliment, importing Lord Dellwyn's Youth, could even turn him from his Peevishness. In fact, every Man who feeds greedily on Flattery, is in one respect full as weak, and as easily imposed upon, as the smallest Infant. Nor is there any designing Man so ignorant, as not easily to perceive the Manner in which he can betray another, who hath first betrayed himself, by giving way to an Inclination of ever beholding himself in a false Mirror.


A Capacity to digest, as necessary towards extracting either Profit or Pleasure from Reading, as outward Eyes themselves.

Capt. Drumond had narrowly watched every Motion of Lord Dellwyn's Thoughts concerning his Lady. He visibly perceived first by what degrees his Indifference advanced, and then marked the natural Progress in his Mind to Anger and Indignation. By the Assistance of a fixed Attention to this Subject, the Captain found out that it would heartily coincide with his Lordship's Inclinations to be separated from his Lady; of which, when he was fully convinced, he resolved to point out a plain Method for his Lordship to obtain that Gratification, by discovering Lady Dellwyn's Intimacy with Lord Clermont. My Lord gave him a very convenient Opportunity for this Purpose, by declaring in Conversation with him, that his Lady's Virtue was his Misfortune, as it was only a stronger Rivet to his Chain, and made him despair of any Possibility of being freed from her during his Life; at the same time producing the Instance of her chearful Compliance with his Request, in relation to avoiding the Conversation of Lord Clermont, as a Proof of her Virtue; concluding his Speech with a deep Sigh, and saying, "And you know, Capt. Drumond, that she is some Years younger than I am."

The Captain took his Cue; and, after he had expressed a fulsome Compliment on the Subject of his Lordship's Age, the Discovery he had before meditated began to stir and bustle within him; but at first broke forth only in Shrugs and Sneers, and every Suggestion that denotes Suspicion (often best conveyed by proper Gestures, without the Use of Words): A Practice well known to Shakespeare; as is plain, by his making Hamlet, when he forbids Horatio's discovering what the Ghost had declared, desire him also to extend his Watchfulness even over his Motions;

That you, at such Time, seeing me, never shall,
With Arms encumb'red thus, or this Headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful Phrase,
As, well—we know—or, there be, and if there might—
(Or such ambiguous Giving-out) denote
That you know aught of me.

But Capt. Drumond was disappointed; and played over all his Gestures importing his Suspicion of Lady Dellwyn, to no manner of Purpose; for my Lord was so fixed in his Opinion concerning his Lady's Virtue, that the Captain was at last reduced to the Necessity of cloathing his Thought in Language of a much plainer Signification. Lord Dellwyn was not like Othello; for he could talk very calmly on this Subject; and, without any Emotion, he argued the Improbability of such a Supposition, continuing to insist on the Reason above-mentioned: But the Captain, who bore a much nearer Resemblance to Iago than his Lordship did to the Moor, could turn all Improbabilities into their reverse; and would not let slip such an Opportunity of introducing an Outcry of her Ladyship's superior Art and Cunning, in affecting to shun the Man with whom she intended the greatest Degree of Intimacy.

This Outcry of Art, well-managed, must stifle in its Birth every Possibility of being justified from the falsest Accusation; and yet it is certainly sometimes founded in Truth; otherwise the Dealers in Cunning would not themselves ever be tempted to make use of it, as it could then by no means be answerable to their Purpose. This is one of those intricate Labyrinths which no human Penetration can unfold, and a Proof of the Excellency of Milton's Observation, that

Hypocrisy walks unseen by any but God himself.

A Complication of Incidents afterwards gave Lord Dellwyn many apparent Reasons to admire Capt. Drumond's Sagacity, from his Imputation of so great a Degree of Art to Lady Dellwyn; whereas, in fact, her Actions were the mere Productions of an unbridled Imagination, and ungovernable Passions, of that unreasonable Vanity with which she was first infected by the dazling Glare of Lady Fanny's Diamonds, on that Birth-Night which had been so fatal to all her future Happiness, which, like deadly Poison, seemed to have taken so deep a Root, as to admit of no Antidote to expel its Venom. It is true, that the Object which was to gratify this wild Vanity, varied according to outward Circumstances; but whether it consisted of Diamonds, an Admirer, or any other imaginary valuable Acquisition, yet the inward Motive to Action was constantly the same, and never varied.

When Lord Dellwyn was inclined to give Credit to Capt. Drumond's Conjectures, then he was certain of his Intelligence, and was eloquent on the Subject of his mighty Attachment to his Lordship; which he proved fully to his own Satisfaction, by alleging the great Trouble and Pains he had undergone to make this friendly Discovery; but when his Lordship was wavering, and doubtful of the Truth of this Accusation of his Lady, then the Captain's Words conveyed the same Meaning with these of Iago:

                                        —I confess it is my Nature's Plague
To pry into Abuse; and oft my Jealousy
Shapes Faults that are not.

But tho' such was his Meaning, yet it was very far from his Inclination to quote this Passage. He rather wished such strong Pictures as Shakespeare drew of deep Villainy had never been written; for his Part, he could not believe any such Monsters ever existed in any other Place but in the whimsical Brains of poetical Writers. But he had no Occasion for being under any Apprehension on this Account. The noble Peer had never condescended to read any thing so trifling as Shakespeare's Plays; and, if he had perused them, there was no manner of Danger that he should know the Characters again in real Life.

There is a wide Difference between reading with the Attention which is necessary to digest, and extract Utility from Writings, and skimming over the Surface of Authors, with the View only of filling up a Chasm of Time, which is not so fortunate as to be engaged to some more entertaining Amusement. The Vulgar have an Expression concerning Reading which is very remarkable: They call it reading in a Book, or in Prant, without making Distinction what it is; but if they were to be told, that any thing which is in a Book is in Nature also, they would be astonished, and give no Credit to such an Assertion; and, to do them Justice, they are not always mistaken in such their Judgment.

It is very observable, with what uncommon Judgment Shakespeare makes Iago represent himself in such odious Colours at the very Instant of Time in which he is endeavouring to impose himself as an honest Man, and a faithful Friend, on Othello; as by this Conduct he points out, in the most glaring Light, how very little a Man has the Use of his own Senses whilst he is under the Influence of any turbulent Passion.

Capt. Drumond also remembered to give the same Turn to this natural Delight, in raking in the Mire, and prying into Abuse, with Iago. It was all employed for his Friends. He acknowleged that he was suspicious; but, conscious that such a Confession was not greatly for his Honour, he disavowed absolutely having any Concern therein for himself. Perhaps he was under a Necessity of repeating continually the little Word I, to prevent the Misfortune of burying in Oblivion all Consideration for himself.

It hath been before hinted, that, besides the double Use Capt. Drumond made of Lord Dellwyn's Friendship, of rendering it subservient to his pecuniary Convenience, and also of introducing him as a proper Object of Ridicule in his Absence, that there was yet a third Gratification which he wished to obtain from his Intimacy in his Lordship's Family. But this was an Emolument which could by no means be brought about without the Consent of Lady Dellwyn; and in this particular Inclination he received the Mortification of being disappointed; which turned all his elaborate Profession of Love into Rage, and highly piqued his Pride; which, like a Soldier on Guard, was ever ready to take the least Alarm, and never suffered him to rest in Peace. His Apprehension of Contempt was greater than any other Apprehension in him whatever; for to deserve Contempt, and to fear it, constantly go together, and are inseparable Companions in the same Bosom. And what is a great Addition to this Misfortune, there is but one Method of driving out this Terror, when once it hath got Possession, and that is, by forcibly entering into such a Manner of Life as cannot be accompanied by Self-contempt: But this perhaps might hurt as much as it did Lady Townly to think of Amendment.

The Manner of Lady Dellwyn's treating Capt. Drumond was highly disrelishing to his Palate; for she not only absolutely disliked him, but was filled with great Indignation at his Presumption. She agreed not at all with him in his Sentiments of himself; for he modestly thought that he was deserving of every Woman's Love. However, he could be tolerably pacified, whilst he could flatter himself that Virtue, and not that unpardonable Crime of disliking him, was the Cause of his being rejected. He therefore was but half angry with Lady Dellwyn, till the Rumour of her Favour to Lord Clermont began first to creep about in murmuring Whispers, and then proceeded to flying with more open Licence from Ear to Ear, from Assembly to Assembly; then was Capt. Drumond indeed implacably revengeful; and as open Power was wanting, insidious Dealing was necessary to bring about his Purpose.

It was customary with Capt. Drumond, whenever he had entertained any disadvantageous Conjecture of another, privately to tax the Person suspected with the Fact. It is true he frequently found himself mistaken; for however paradoxical it may at first View appear, yet there is certainly nothing oftener deceived than Suspicion. Then he had a Sneer, and a loud Laugh, ready to carry it off, by declaring that it was only a Jest: But if, by the Result of this sudden Manner of questioning, he thought he had Reason to conclude that he was right in his Conjecture, then he had obtained his End, and exulted in the Depth of his own Wisdom. In this manner he proceeded with Lady Dellwyn, and had even Assurance enough to give her such broad Hints, as could not be misunderstood, that he was not ignorant of her Commerce with Lord Clermont; at the same time letting her understand, that there was but one only Method by which she had the Power of bribing him to Silence, or to keep the Secret even from her Lord himself.

The Captain however laboured herein under a small Error; for Lady Dellwyn was not to be terrified into a Compliance with his base Proposals by all his Menaces. She was too much mortified within her own Bosom to be very fearful of Consequences; and the same Vanity which had long been her principal actuating Motive, now told her, that it would be better for her to retire to some obscure Corner of the World, where she might be no more seen or heard of, than to appear amongst Mankind with Infamy. She detested such a mean Artifice; and, by the proper Scorn with which she treated Capt. Drumond, she plainly proved, that she must first be her own Dupe, before she was liable to become that of another; which is the Case much more generally than is imagined, and, if taken into serious Consideration, would preserve the well-meaning Part of Mankind from many Misfortunes, and frequently baffle all the cunning Stratagems of deceitful Treachery.


A Piece of Art of Capt. Drumond's, which he called an ingenious Device.

Capt. Drumond from henceforth collected all his Force, and displayed the whole Artillery of his Cunning, for the Management of Lord Dellwyn; and ceased all farther fruitless Attempts on his Lady, for whom there remained no other Passion in his Bosom, but that of Rage, and a Desire of Revenge; which were indeed the Passions that were most apt to be uppermost in his Mind. He also considered a Separation of Lord and Lady Dellwyn as a necessary Incident towards his taking full Possession of my Lord without a Rival; for her Ladyship knew so much of him, that she could not possibly be mistaken in his true Character.

But the Captain was very well-provided against any ill Effects her Knowlege of him could possibly have in her Representations of him to her Lord. His Inclination for Lady Dellwyn's Beauty had not Power enough to blot out of his Memory the principal View of all his Actions, or render him neglectful in any Point wherein his future Interest was concerned; for when he first grew fully convinced that Lady Dellwyn was engaged in an Intrigue with Lord Clermont, and had resolved on the Use he would make of it, he began to consider of the Means of acquiring stronger Proof than his Word, modestly judging such might be necessary; nor would her Ladyship's Compliance with his amorous Desires have prevailed with him to have dropt the Pursuit of what he thought might prove a future lucrative Advantage to him, unless she would also have agreed to use her utmost Endeavours that he should share in the spending as much of her Lord's Fortune as their joint Interest could by any means obtain from him. But this was a Proposal to come in Course, after the first had met with a kind Reception. But his ill Success in that Point engaged his Rage as well as Policy, to leave no Means unattempted by which he could hope to pursue her to Destruction.

The Method most suitable to the Meanness of his Disposition, was bribing her Ladyship's Servant. But in this he was disappointed, for he found the Maid was not let into the Secret. The Lovers saw each other too frequently to have occasion for a Confidante. The first thing therefore that he resolved to attempt, was to make such an Assistant necessary.

In order to effect this Scheme, Capt. Drumond renewed, and even increased, his Assiduities to Lady Dellwyn, and contrived to place himself constantly at her Elbow; nor could the utmost Slights, or even almost Rudeness, from her, make him change his Purpose; by which means Lord Clermont sometimes should not be able for Two or Three Days together to utter one Syllable to her unheard.

This Impertinence produced the Consequence Capt. Drumond hoped from it. Lord Clermont found it necessary to use Pen and Ink to convey Sentiments which he used to whisper in the Lady's Ear; and this epistolary Correspondence converted Lady Dellwyn's Servant from an humble Attendant to an insolent Confidante.

The Bribe had been offered to the Maid before she had any Hopes of deserving it: But she very plainly proved that Opportunity alone was wanting; for she no sooner had the Power of betraying her Lady put into her Hands, than she resolved to make use of it; and whenever Capt. Drumond had by this Play reduced Lord Clermont to the Necessity of Writing, she carried the Letters immediately to the Captain, who imitated his Lordship's Hand (for he was skilful in every Requisite for Treachery and Deceit) so dexterously, as to impose on a Person who had had some little Acquaintance with it; which he had Reason to believe her Ladyship had not, because he knew the Maid had never before been so employed.

These Copies the Captain returned to the Maid to convey to her Lady; whilst he himself laid up the Originals, with as much Care as if they had been the Deeds of an Estate, resolving by their means to effectuate his own invidious Purpose.

He pursued this Method till he had got what was sufficient for his Design; nor did it require any great Number, for the chief Purpose of them was to fix some Place of Meeting. The same Deceit was employed in respect to Lady Dellwyn's Answers; and by these Means he was furnished with all the Proof that he thought necessary.

No Consequence of Lady Dellwyn's criminal Vanity distressed her more than being thus put in the Power of her Servant. She saw both the Danger and the Meanness of such a Proceeding, and indeed felt it severely in the Insolence of the Person thus trusted. Nor could she have any reasonable Expectations of better Treatment. If her Servant had had any Sense of Virtue, she would not have been made an Instrument in carrying on a Correspondence, the visible Tendency of which must be so very contrary to all that could be called virtuous; and what could be hoped from one without Principle, but that she would tyrannically use the Power so ill-acquired?

Lady Dellwyn was so sensible of this Consequence, that nothing could have prevailed with her to consent to such a Step; but Lord Clermont, presuming on the Privilege of a favoured Lover, had asked no such Permission. And the Servant gave her so plainly to understand how much she was in her Power after the first Letter she delivered her, that Lady Dellwyn perceived all future Care would be to no purpose; and therefore she did not forbid the Continuance of it. Besides, the Maid's Power was real, and not of her own Imagination; for her Lady now neither durst venture to turn her away or provoke her, for fear of a Discovery to her Lord, who she hoped was yet ignorant of her Conduct.

Fraught with these valuable Materials for Mischief, when Capt. Drumond had fully awakened Lord Dellwyn's Jealousy, and excited in him a strong Desire for Proof, as convincing to a Court of Justice as his Suspicions were to himself, the Captain produced his Letters; which he accompanied with informing his Lordship of the infinite Labour he had been at to procure them; a Task which he protested nothing could have induced him to undertake, but his Desire of serving a Person to whom he was so entirely devoted, as on that Account even to prevail on himself to act contrary to that fair and open Method of dealing, which had hitherto been the constant Guide of his Practice.

Lord Dellwyn was as lavish in his Expressions of Gratitude, as the other was of Professions of his own Honour and Worth; not that he really believed a Man who was not capable of acting treacherously for himself, would be so kind as to do it for another; a Degree of Absurdity too great for any human Understanding to fall into; but his Lordship did not make this Part of the Captain's Discourse so much the Subject of his Consideration as either to give or with-hold his Assent. He had now got into his Hands the Means of gratifying what was then the very uppermost Wish of his Heart, the Desire of an absolute Divorce from his Lady, and was too well pleased therewith to be delicate about the Method by which they were procured. He left that Consideration entirely to the Person to whom it indeed seemed chiefly to belong, to him who had carried through such a Transaction, in order to ingratiate himself with his Lordship.

Lady Dellwyn never imagined that her Lord would take any other Measures with her, than to part with her privately, without declaring his Reasons to the World; and she doubted not but that he had Generosity enough to support her in some degree in the Station to which he had raised her; and, if his Lordship had thought proper to have acted as she hoped, she knew that she should not greatly regret the Separation. But herein she was mistaken; for Lord Dellwyn declared his Resolution of instituting a Suit in Doctors Commons . This indeed truly startled and terrified her. But still she hoped these were only vain Menaces, for she little imagined his Lordship had Materials to enable him to keep his Word. But he would not long leave her the Consolation of this fallacious Hope, acquainting her with the Proofs of which he was possessed.

This indeed was a Shock almost greater than her Frame could support. To submit to public Shame, and have her Name branded in a Court of Justice, were Circumstances too mortifying for her to think of with any tolerable Degree of Patience. She offered to comply with whatever Terms her Lord pleased. She prayed, wept, and intreated him to forego this Resolution. But Capt. Drumond's Revenge for her Scorn was not to be so satisfied. Her Susceptibility of Shame was the Delight of his Heart, as it supplied him with an Opportunity of mortifying her more thoroughly than he could possibly have done otherwise, had she been less tender in this Point; and there was no Probability that he would ever suffer my Lord to cool in his Purpose before it was put in Execution.

From the Moment that Lord Dellwyn had, by the Disappointment of his Hopes to obtain his Lady's Affections, opened his Eyes, and made the Discovery that it would have been a superior Degree of Wisdom not to have married Miss Lucum, a certain Degree of Indignation had insinuated itself into his Bosom against Mr. Lucum, his Lady's Father, for having been one Instrument of bringing on him his Misfortunes. Whenever Blame must fall on any one of the Parties engaged in a Transaction, every Individual carries about him a Battledore to strike the Shuttlecock from himself. This Indignation arose at length to such a Height, that it was painful to conceal it, and by degrees was very apparent to his Friend Capt. Drumond, who kept a constant Watch over every Motion of his Mind, and was ever prepared to turn every new Incident to his own Advantage.

The Captain was not long before he recollected many Persons who, in their own Opinion, had very just Claims to the lucrative Employment of which, by Lord Dellwyn's Interest, Mr. Lucum was in present Possession; but fixed his Thoughts more particularly on one Gentleman, who was profuse in his Expences, and whose pecuniary Power was by no means answerable to his Desires. In such a Situation Capt. Drumond doubted not but that any Prospect of an additional Income would be very heartily welcomed. To this Gentleman therefore he contrived to convey an Intimation of the Terms on which he might probably supersede Mr. Lucum. The Bargain was soon finished; and thus Lord Dellwyn's Interest was bought and sold without his Knowlege; and the Captain never ceased importuning his Lordship till he had obtained his Consent for the Accomplishment of the Promise he made unknown to my Lord, to whom he only represented the Worth and Honour of the Gentleman he would recommend; to which, as Lord Dellwyn had no Acquaintance with him, he gave implicit Credit; for he was thoroughly convinced that Mr. Lucum, who had incurred his Displeasure, was now become perfectly unworthy of any future Favour.

The END of the Third Book.



An epistolary Correspondence.

Lady Dellwyn was entirely ignorant of the whole Transaction mentioned in the last Chapter of the foregoing Book. A constant Correspondence had been kept up between her and her Father from the Time of her leaving London after her Marriage; and Mr. Lucum's Letters were always filled with strong Expressions of parental fondness. The last Letter which Lady Dellwyn had then received from him is here presented to the Reader, as a Specimen of the Style in which he wrote.

My dearest Daughter,
Altho' every thing is welcome that comes from your Hands to your fond Father; yet I was somewhat afflicted by your last Letter, because you seemed to fail in that Spirit of Vivacity which generally is so conspicuous in whatever you write; for, my Child, the Countess of Dellwyn is as famous for her Wit as for her Beauty: But, by your languid Style, I fear that your Health doth not continue in so good a State as is answerable to my most fervent Wishes. Pray take great Care of yourself, and consider that my Happiness depends on your Welfare. Write by the Return of the Post, and let me know whether I have any Reason for this melancholy Suggestion of your being indisposed; for I shall suffer great Uneasiness whilst I am under this disagreeable Suspence. Present my best Respects to your most honoured and revered Lord; and believe me ever

Your most affectionate Father,
C. Lucum.

From the very kind and warm Expressions of fatherly Fondness in this Letter, a small Ray of Hope darted into Lady Dellwyn's Mind; and she began to flatter herself, that possibly her Father might be prevailed on to apply to Lord Dellwyn in her Favour, and endeavour to dissuade him from his Resolution of exposing her publicly. But she found an almost insurmountable Difficulty in wording properly a Request of this Nature to her Father; for she dared by no means let the whole Truth appear, and yet was conscious that she was very unequal to the Task of being intelligible on such a tender Point, whilst she was under a Necessity of blending together in an artful Proportion two Things so very unmixable in their Natures as Truth and Falsehood. Innumerable were the Instances, in which, if Lady Dellwyn had been possessed of the whole World, she would gladly have resigned it all, in Exchange for the Power of boldly, and without conscious Shame, speaking freely, and throwing off the Practice of every Degree of Deceit.

Many Mornings successively she arose with a fixed Resolution of writing to her Father; often were Pen, Ink, and Paper, vainly placed before her. The Fear of discovering the Fact she laboured to conceal, threw her each Time into such a Perplexity, that, instead of executing her Purpose, she burst into a Flood of Tears, and despaired of succeeding. But, after several Repetitions of these vain Efforts, she at last produced the following confused Epistle:

Honoured Sir,
I am greatly obliged to you for your affectionate and kind Concern for my Health. Indeed I am greatly indisposed; but I believe it is chiefly owing to my present inward Affliction, for my Lord is quite changed in his Behaviour to me. I have certainly, by some unhappy means or other, ignorantly lost his Affection. One Capt. Drumond, who hath been here almost ever since we came, hath so insinuated himself into my Lord's Favour, that he never chuses to let him be absent from his Presence: And I am sure this Man imposes on my Lord a great many Falsehoods; and, amongst the rest, he has made him believe something concerning an Intimacy between me and Lord Clermont; that is, Capt. Drumond says so. I can very truly say, that when my Lord desired me to avoid that young Nobleman, I very chearfully complied with his Commands; which makes this Story of the Captain's highly improbable. However, my Lord talks frightfully about Doctors Commons, and making a public Affair of it; than which no Grief could be more dreadful to me. I could not live to be publicly infamous. I therefore beg, I conjure you, Sir, by all your Affection for me, to intercede with my Lord to change his Determination, and to have more Kindness, even in his Anger, than to expose me to such a terrible Misfortune. I almost sink even under the very melancholy Apprehension. I will submit to any Terms his Lordship shall please to impose on me, if he will but suffer our Separation to be transacted in such a Manner as that no public Reason may be given for it. I have many Pleas to make in mitigation. I was married young, and unexperienced in the Ways of the World. But I pretend not to dictate to you by what Means to try to mollify my Lord. Urge what Arguments you think best. But let me prevail upon you, Sir, to endeavour to use your Interest; for I am at present,

Honoured Sir,
Your ever dutiful, but very
unhappy Daughter,
C. Dellwyn.

No doubt but the Reader will perceive that some Parts of Lady Dellwyn's Letter, and more particularly the latter End, visibly confessed that her Lord's Jealousy was not altogether groundless. This was very apparent to her own View from the Moment that it was irrevocable. Those Softenings and Mitigations of her erroneous Conduct were ever uppermost in her Thoughts; and she suffered her Pen to write them, in hopes of raising Compassion in her Father's Mind, before she was aware of any other Consequence; but as soon as she recollected her Indiscretion, she was almost driven to Despair.

Capt. Drumond had acted safely in his Solicitation for Lady Dellwyn's Favour, vour, it being impossible for her to run so great a Venture as to reveal it either to her Father or Lord Dellwyn ; for if she could even have obtained Credit with them (which yet was very improbable), a very disadvantageous Conclusion would naturally have followed; and they must at the same time have been thoroughly convinced, that she had descended greatly from her Dignity, and given him Encouragement by the Levity of her Behaviour, before he could have presumed to have affronted her by such an Address.

Mr. Lucum, in the same Morning in which he was shocked by an Account from a Friend that he was in Danger of being superseded in his Place, also received his Daughter's injudicious Letter; insomuch that his double Disappointment almost drove him to Distraction.

From the Time that Lady Dellwyn was married, her Father had assured himself of the certain Continuance of Lord Dellwyn's Favour during his Life; and his whole Mind was so filled with ambitious Schemes, as to admit no Thoughts or Fears concerning his Lordship's Age or Infirmities: He therefore had sold his own paternal Estate in the Country, and made a Purchase near the Metropolis, on which he had determined to build something magnificent, as a Monument that he had passed through this Life. And there was yet a farther Aggravation of his present Afflictions; for a Lady of a considerable Fortune had cast an Eye of Favour on him; but she was past those Years which are generally esteemed the most thoughtless; and Mr. Lucum well knew that his present apparent prosperous Situation, was no small additional Weight in the Balance of his Merits: So that in one fatal Morning all his Prospects seemed to be in a fair way of being overturned; and he was at once unwived, unhoused, and undone.

In this Humour Lady Dellwyn had very little Chance of finding Mercy from her Father; nor did he ever once reflect on any Cause for inward Reproach on her Account. There lived, in his Opinion, one faultless Person in the World, who consequently never experienced his Anger; namely, himself. He perceived Lady Dellwyn's Guilt plainly in her own Letter, which therefore he never deigned to answer. But to Lord Dellwyn, by Fits and Starts, in the Intervals of raving at his Disappointments, he wrote as follows.

My Lord,
The Confusion of my present Thoughts is so great, that I know not how to express myself in a Manner fit for the Honour of your Lordship's Perusal. I fear the mean-spirited Wretch, whom you have exalted so highly above her Merit, as to confer on her the inexpressible Honour of your Alliance, has demeaned herself unworthy of your Lordship's Notice. I will never acknowlege her as my Daughter again, but consider her as an Alien to my Blood and Family. Use what Rigour you please, my Lord. I shall think you cannot treat her with too much Severity. But, my very good Lord, let not that Resentment which she has so justly incurred, fall also on my innocent Head; for I am not conscious of ever giving your Lordship the least Offence even in Thought; but am filled with Love, Respect, Gratitude, and Reverence, for your Lordship's great Goodness to me; and therefore hope your Lordship will confine your Indignation to the only proper Object of it, and continue to me the infinite Happiness of your Lordship's Favour and Friendship. I have the Honour to be,

My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient
and devoted humble Servant,
Charles Lucum.


Bonds of our own Choice and Making, the most effectual towards reducing us to the most abject Slavery.

Mr. Lucum had in his Letter plainly indicated that he was acquainted with Lord Dellwyn's unfavourable Intention concerning himself; but he ventured not to mention any Particulars, lest it should have the Appearance of Reproach, and rather irritate than appease his Lordship's Anger. He was thoroughly acquainted with the Disposition of the Man with whom he had connected himself, and knew full well that Submission and Resentment was the Part he must perform; and that it was perfectly necessary for him to keep up to the Character he had assumed, and be a very dutiful Father-in-Law. He had not bent his whole Study to Politics, or, to give a more adequate Idea, of his Practice to Politics, almost his whole Lifetime, so much in vain, as to imagine that it cost him any thing to display all the Arts of Flattery and Dissimulation.

Lord Dellwyn deigned no more to give an Answer to Mr. Lucum than he did to his Daughter; but proceeded on steadily in his Purpose, with no more Consideration of him than if there had been no such Man in the World; and altho' his Lordship received repeated Petitions (for so they might with Propriety be called) for an Answer, yet he never condescended to grant this Request.

This Treatment from Lord Dellwyn irritated and inflamed all the irascible Passions in Mr. Lucum to such a Height, that he had no Method to preserve himself from bursting with Rage, but to find some Object on whom he could safely vent his Indignation. It was vain and impotent, to attempt the revenging himself on his Lordship, the Superiority of whose Station placed him out of Mr. Lucum's Reach: All his Anger therefore fell with redoubled Force on his Daughter; on whom, in the most reproachful Terms he could possibly think of, he vented his Passion; and, whilst Lady Dellwyn was labouring under the most melancholy Dejection, she received the following outrageous Epistle.

Thou abandoned Wretch, I know not by what Name to distinguish whom I mean; for I should despise myself if I was ever more to acknowlege you as a Daughter of mine. I hope your Lord will treat you with all the Rigour and Severity you deserve, if that is possible; that you will be an Out-cast to the World, and that Sorrow and Grief will be your Portion for the Remainder of your Days. Was it for this that I took such Pleasure in your Education, and endeavoured to instil and fix in your Memory all the justly-dignified Pride that attends on Virtue? Your abandoned Conduct has this peculiar Aggravation attending your atrocious Crimes, that by them you have compleated the Ruin of him that was your Father, but will never more esteem himself as such; but will ever continue inexorable to all your Whining and Blubbering, and never cease to be your enraged, as well as highly injured,

C. Lucum.

In answer to this Letter, which was such an Addition to her already-heavy Affliction as drove her almost to absolute Despondence, Lady Dellwyn expostulated with her Father in the most submissive Terms, designedly avoided dropping the most distant Hint that might have any Tendency towards reminding him that he had ever been guilty of any Error in his own Conduct towards her, and in the most pathetic Language besought his Compassion.

Undoubtedly Lady Dellwyn's Conduct gave sufficient Reasons for her Father's Anger; but yet, if his own Bosom had not harboured so many disagreeable Things, that it was painful to him to turn his Eyes inward, he might there have discovered somewhat in mitigation of his Wrath, and reflected that his own Ambition had been the first Cause of his Daughter's Ruin; not would he yet have been inexorable on the Account of her Crime; for if she could have prevailed on Lord Dellwyn to have forgiven her, to have yet acknowleged her as his Wife, and continued his Favour to her Father, his absolute Pardon would have immediately followed, and the Countess of Dellwyn would have had no Reason to apprehend the being reprobated as Mr. Lucum's Daughter; and yet an Infant would be capable of perceiving, that her Crime would not have been in any degree the less heinous; nay, such an Instance of her Lord's Lenity and Affection towards her would rather have been an Aggravation of her Fault.

Lady Dellwyn now felt herself bound in the most whimsical Chain, made only by her own Imagination, which had imposed on her the Belief that she was bereft of all Liberty of breaking off her Acquaintance with Lord Clermont; to whom neither the Laws of Heaven or Earth could teach her that she was in any Subjection. This is a strange Infatuation of the human Mind; and Ladies often fancy themselves bound in Chains to a Lover once favoured: altho' they must be at a Loss to find a Reason for being thus fettered; unless they are apprehensive that such a Lover, if enraged, will discover a Secret which is generally very well known before; or that the Superabundance of their Gratitude induces them to think themselves under an Obligation to the Man, whose Pretence of Love is built on so selfish a Basis, as to sacrifice the future Peace of their Lives to his own present Gratification. Surely the Professions of Love must be highly esteemed where such fallacious Coin can pass for sterling Worth. But the Nets woven by the human Imagination, altho' they are composed of the smallest Materials, are perhaps full as difficult to be broken as the strongest real Bonds. Don Quixote, when he was set at Liberty by the Persons who had diverted themselves, by fastening him at Length to the Floor, in order to humour his Phrenzy, continued a long Time in the same Posture, and would not believe that he had the Power of Motion; so much easier was it to free his Limbs from Thraldom, than to cure his Mind of the Madness of thinking himself inchanted. Besides, altho' Lady Dellwyn's present Trouble had mortified her Vanity, yet it had taken too deep Root to be so conquered. The Snake was scotched, but not killed; and she was alarmed with the Fear, that, if she avoided any farther Commerce with Lord Clermont, Capt. Drumond would imagine he had Power enough over her to direct her Conduct. But to this Perplexity Lord Clermont himself soon put an End; for having found that his Intercourse with Lady Dellwyn was discovered, and prepared to be brought into a public Court, he thought it most prudent to withdraw. He had all that Courage so properly ridiculed in that most improper Character of Sir John Brute, and could tell the injured Person with as good an Air as any Man, "I wear a Sword, Sir:" But to encounter with a Suit in Doctors Commons was out of his Practice.

Had his Lordship been required by way of Reparation for the Injury he had already committed, to have taken his Chance for shooting thro' the Head, or stabbing to the Heart, the Man he had injured, no one would have been more punctual to the Summons; for what he dared to do, he dared to justify; and would have done his utmost to deprive of Life the Man whose Honour he had blasted: But a Challenge to appear in Doctors Commons was highly disagreeable to him.

As Lord Clermont was in no respect deficient in that Honour which bears so little Affinity to Justice, the fashionable Honour of a fine Gentleman, he was sorry to leave the Lady when she was going to suffer so much on his Account: But his Humanity rendered him incapable of bearing the Sight of her Distress, which made her an Object fitter for Compassion than Love.

To avoid therefore the Brawling of Lawyers, and the Lamentations of his Mistress, his Lordship determined that he might absent himself with the best Grace he could, to go a Volunteer in the Army abroad; and perhaps his Mind was never in a fitter State for War, than now that he was alarmed with the Prospect of suffering very severely for indulging the softer Passion.

This Event made a great Struggle in Lady Dellwyn's Mind; for she found it very difficult to determine whether she should rejoice over or lament his Lordship's Departure. That he was gone, she was pleased; but the Apprehension lest it should be thought that her Charms were not powerful enough to hold him, was full Cause enough of Sorrow.

The Poets never gave more Eyes to Argus, or more Hands to Briareus, than Nature hath given Fears, and consequently Desires, to Vanity, whose Commands are as numerous as they are contradictory. The poor Country-Girl, who is just advanced to the Honour of being admitted an Attendant at the fine Lady's Toilette, when she in one and the same Instant receives a Multiplication of various and opposite Commands, is not more perplexed to discover her Lady's Mind, than the same fine Lady is to penetrate the Meaning of all the arbitrary Laws imposed on her by the Tyrant she chuses to serve, whilst she is raving for Liberty and Freedom from every reasonable Restraint.

Lady Dellwyn now disliked appearing abroad to as great a Degree as ever she had delighted in it. She was so changed, that she rejoiced in every Instance of her Lord's Good-humour or Complacency towards her; and sometimes even hoped, that, by a constant and assiduous Endeavour to please him, she might in Time prevail on him to alter his Resolution. But this was impracticable, whilst Capt. Drumond continued to be his Shadow. Besides, altho' it was not impossible to have induced Lord Dellwyn to have forgiven her Intimacy with Lord Clermont; yet she had been guilty of another Crime, which had made a stronger Impression on his Memory, and appeared more heinous in his Sight; for Lady Dellwyn, in her Fits of Vivacity, whilst she talked at her Lord, had sometimes treated him with a Contempt, for which he was inexorable; and gladly embraced any Opportunity of being separated from her for ever: So true is that Observation, that Contempt is generally esteemed a more unpardonable Crime than any real Injury whatsoever. Reflexion shewed her the Folly of her Conduct in this respect also in the most glaring Light; but it was too late to be of any Advantage to her future Happiness; and Lady Dellwyn was a memorable Instance of the great Imprudence a Woman is guilty of, when she fails in due Respect to her Husband. If he deserves such a Treatment, the Contempt justly returns redoubled on her own Head for consenting to be the Wife of a Man she despises. In this Sense the Folly of the Husband reflects as much Dishonour on the Wife, as her erroneous Conduct, can possibly do on him; with this additional Aggravation, that the Scorn which falls on her on that Account is always deservedly; and she may, as Mrs. Western says, Comfort herself that it is her own Fault. Neither is there the least Temptation to such a Practice, unless there is any Woman whose Intellects are so very much disordered, that she can persuade herself of so glaring an Absurdity, as to think her own Understanding is placed in the most advantageous Point of View, when that of her Husband is despised and depreciated.


The Story of Miss Cummyns.

I have somewhere read a Definition of Prudence in very near these Words:

"Prudence is that Faculty or Power of the rational Mind, which is most preparatory to the seeing and obtaining your own true Happiness."

It must be confessed, that in our Pursuits and Schemes, even when we think ourselves most prudent, we are apt to direct all our Aims in such a Manner, as if we were convinced that Prudence consisted in following imaginary, instead of true Happiness. It would be launching into a large Field, which is foreign to the present Purpose, to endeavour to prove how much Mankind use Means inadequate to their Designs, and that the general Error lies in fancying that real Good is to be found where there is no such Thing.

Persons who by every Revolution in outward Circumstances are also totally changed in their Minds and Desires, seek different Sets of Acquaintance, according to the varying of their Situation; and it is amazing with what Celerity the human Eye penetrates the Characters which are best adapted for the present Pleasure. One Sort of Acquaintance are necessary to them when they roll aloft in the Sphere of Prosperity, and another when they are cast down into the lower State of Adversity. Indeed those who are only suited, like Butterflies, to bask in the Sunshine of the former State, are generally so conscious of the Narrowness of their own Talents, that from the very same Persons, for whose Notice they have strove with Emulation, whilst they fancied they could by that means obtain a kind of second-hand Honour, they fly precipitately at the Approach of the least Calamity, knowing that Compassion they have none to spare, their whole Stock being confined at home; and what they abound most in, namely, Flattery and Servility, they judge it unnecessary to employ on the Wretched. Well says the Poet,

Hope, thou pleasant, honest Flatterer; for none
Flatter the Unhappy, but thou alone.

On the other hand, those Persons whose Delight in the Intercourse with Mankind arises from the Communication of Affections, find neither Employment or Pleasure in the Conversation of their old Friends, when by their outward Form only they can possibly distinguish them, and when they are turned so giddy with some accidental Elevation, that it might be properly said they have lost their Senses. The Followers of Prosperity only have been so numerous, and so conspicuous, that they have been recorded by various Authors throughout all Ages. They have found a Place amidst historical Prose, and Poets have celebrated them in harmonious Verse. The faithful Followers of Adversity too have had their Memory preserved by judicious Writers. Of which there are many Instances. Virgil could no more forget Achates than he could Æneas. The Station of the Hero preserved the Memory of his Friend: But in common Life the Followers of Adversity only, generally pass through Life in too great Obscurity to leave any Traces of themselves behind them. And yet, altho' not very common, there are Characters who will submit to all the Infirmities that can possibly attend on Distress, and yet will not bear the least Insolence from Grandeur and Exaltation; who would rejoice to see their Friends in Possession of every Good, provided they are endued with Strength of Mind enough to preserve their Steadiness; yet chuse rather to accompany them in a State of Distress and Humiliation in outward Circumstances, than to see them meanly metamorphosed into irrational Creatures by any accidental Exaltation.

Miss Cummyns, who made a small Appearance in the former Part of this History, as having incurred Lady Dellwyn's Displeasure, and lost the Honour of her Notice on her first Arrival at her Lord's Castle, for want of a proper Proportion of Servility to bestow on her Ladyship's new Dignity, was now at Bristol; and Lady Dellwyn's present disconsolate Situation rendering Comfort and Compassion more necessary to her than fawning Flattery, she endeavoured again to cultivate her old Acquaintance with Miss Cummyns. There is something in a proper Spirit, unmixed with any Degree of Haughtiness, which forcibly gains the Esteem, even whilst it piques the Pride, of the Insolent. And Lady Dellwyn now, when Mortification had restored to her the Power to reflect, found how much more worthily she thought of Miss Cummyns, than of any abject Fatterer her high Station had ever gained her.

Miss Cummyns, altho' not unacquainted with Lady Dellwyn's Crimes, was so charitable as not to decline her Advances, especially as she was now separated from Lord Clermont; for she would not have renewed Acquaintance with her Ladyship whilst she continued her Converse with that young Nobleman.

Miss Cummyns was some few Years older than Lady Dellwyn, and her Character established on so exact a Behaviour throughout Life, that she did not burden herself with any unnecessary Terrors, that her conversing with Lady Dellwyn could cast any Blemish on her spotless Reputation. She chose not to draw on herself the Curse denounced by the Royal Psalmist on the Unrighteous, of being afraid where no Fear is. She was satisfied in the Consciousness that her Design was good, which was no other than, if possible, to make Lady Dellwyn recollect herself, and view the Errors of her Conduct, from some better Principles than such as were dictated by disappointed Pride; which, tho' greatly mortifying, never lead to any Amendment.

Lady Dellwyn, who, from the Time that she was thoroughly infected with Vanity, had esteemed Grandeur as a necessary Ingredient of Life, making a nice Distinction between that and bare Existence, was astonished to find that Miss Cummyns (to whom she knew a very small Share of worldly Goods had fallen) yet preserved the Placidness of her Countenance, and the Tranquillity of her Mind; insomuch that she could not help expressing a Curiosity on that account. To which Miss Cummyns replied,

"I will willingly tell your Ladyship all the Means I make use of to preserve myself from sinking under the Weight of any Misfortunes. I have no Nostrum for that Purpose, but what all Mankind may know and practise if they please. I loved Retirement and Solitude."

And now the Door opened, and admitted Lady Fanny Chlegen. As soon as the usual Compliments were passed, and her Ladyship seated, a profound Silence followed; which is usually the Case when any particular Conversation is interrupted by the Arrival of a third Person. But Lady Fanny politely desiring that her Coming might not put a Stop to the Conversation which was commenced before she entered, and Lady Dellwyn having informed her on what Subject they were conversing, Miss Cummyns, by the united Desire of both the Ladies, proceeded.

"I do not mean that I had no Taste for the Pleasures of Society; for, on the contrary, I placed all human Delight in a mutual Communication of Affections; and all Conversation, however diversified by Wit and Humour, soon grew insipid to me, unless the Heart also became Partaker of the Enjoyment. Where-ever I found the Love of Ridicule was uppermost, I considered the most extraordinary Talents but as so many Instruments of Mischief; but when I perceived that pernicious Quality in great abundance shedding forth its Venom from such Persons as had only the Affectation of Wit and Humour (which indeed is much oftener the Case), it then became loathsome and abominable."

Lady Fanny Chlegen sat in such a Manner, that she had only a Side-Glance of Miss Cummyns. Contempt arose, and bustled in her Bosom at every Word Miss Cummyns uttered; but it overflowed in such abundance at her last Expression, that her Ladyship suddenly turned fully towards her, and displayed a broad Sneer on her Countenance. Lady Dellwyn, who had never attained to any great Perfection this way, was now so out of Humour with all Jesting whatever, being apprehensive that she herself might become the Object of it, that she was half-inclined to assent to Miss Cummyns's Sentiments; who, without the least Notice of Lady Fanny's expressive Motions, thus proceeded:

"In short, my whole Delight was in Friendship; but then that must be founded on the Goodness of the Heart, and the Regulation of the Mind of its Object; and not on Flights of Fancy, or a Capacity to throw forth a Variety of droll Whims of the Imagination.

"I was bred up with Two Cousins, with whom my Disposition to Friendship was fully gratified. They were ever chearfully merry, innocently witty, and so calmly religious, without mixing any Flights of Fancy with their lively Expressions of Piety, that in them I found a continual Source of Entertainment. We had but one Misfortune, and that was Poverty," [Here Lady Fanny's Upperlip began to contract itself.]; "but that we supported with Chearfulness. The common Necessaries of Life constituted the Height of our Desires; nor did we want Arguments to convince us how very inadequate every outward Appearance, or gaudy Shew, is for the obtaining any solid Satisfaction; for most of those Pursuits, which are generally followed with Earnestness and Anxiety, presented themselves at first View in so very trifling a Light, that we judged them not worthy our Consideration. Nor did we think it the least beneath us to undertake any decent Employment to support ourselves; but a Combination of odd Circumstances, wavering Prospects, and want of current Coin to give the first Motion to any Scheme, prevented us. The Joy we took to lighten this Burden to each other, and the Confidence we placed in the Protection of Providence, preserved us from repining. We were never grieved at receiving an Obligation"—Receive an Obligation! repeated both the Ladies at one Instant, lifting up their Hands, as in Astonishment;—"but; on the contrary, Gratitude was to us a pleasing Sensation. Want of Generosity only can render it painful. Such who have it, will not envy to others the Power of obligeing; but will accept an Obligation with Pleasure, knowing that those who have conferred it enjoy still a greater Delight; and feel the Blessedness of giving so much beyond that of receiving, that they are only uneasy to think so far a happier Lot should fall to their own Share."

"A truly generous Person esteems the Gratitude of those who are obliged, as a great Reward for what they have done; not as the Price of the Favour, but in knowing the Person obliged is not unworthy their Regard. On the other hand, the truly grateful Heart doth not even wish to quit

"The Debt immense of endless Gratitude;

"but enjoys the inward Satisfaction of knowing,

                                        —"that a grateful Mind,
"By owing, owes not; but still pays, at once
"Indebted and discharged.


"I allow that many may give who are not generous. A bountiful Hand may sometimes belong to a Heart which thinks itself so highly meritorious in what it bestows, that the Obligation can never be sufficiently acknowleged. I look upon such Persons as no less mercenary than those whose Merchandise is Slaves. The Services of the Body are not necessary to these bountiful Benefactors; but the Obsequiousness of the Soul is agreeable to their Pride; and they would purchase the Slavery of all our Faculties at a less Price than they must pay for an inanimate Piece of Furniture. These Traffickers with Obligations are, like many other People in Trade, seldom satisfied with their Gain, and demand the Pay they expect with the most rigid Exactness. But such Dispositions are easily read, and consequently it is not difficult to refuse the Fetters they are so willing to prepare for every one they can enslave.

"Nor was it less our Care to avoid the Acceptance of any thing which a generous Mind would part with, when their Circumstances would not allow of such Instances of Good-nature, as they were incited to by the Warmth of their friendly Hearts."

Here Miss Cummyns was interrupted by a sudden Motion of Lady Fanny Chlegen, which disturbed a little favourite Lap-dog, which lay asleep in her Ladyship's Lap, and was some time before it could be persuaded to be silent again; when she proceeded, as shall be seen in the next Chapter.


The Continuation of the History of Miss Cummyns.

"If rightly considered, every State, every Situation in Life, hath some Advantages: Nor is even Poverty absolutely excluded from all Share of Comfort. We cannot look around us without beholding how many Contrivances the Rich are reduced to, in order to enhance the imaginary Value of their own Possessions; whilst to the Poor a small Scrap of Paper, which conveys a Claim even to a little Sum only, becomes a real Blessing, and is valuable indeed. Every common Meal, altho' come at with Difficulty, when the Eyes of every Individual, in beholding the others, glitter with such inexpressible Pleasure, as starts a Tear to express that Joy which is too big for Utterance, becomes a high Gratification; and I have been present at a Table covered only with the plainest Food, when the Rich and Mighty of the World might have looked on, and secretly wished they could find such Happiness in all their plenteous Store.

"What nought can give, or can destroy,
"The Soul's calm Sunshine, and the heartfelt Joy,
"Is Virtue's Prize,

"and cannot be bought by all the Wealth of Peru.

"We were often thankful, that altho' we were poor with Poverty, yet that the Disease was in outward Circumstances, and not inherent in our Minds, for that attacks the very Vitals of all Happiness; and to be poor in the midst of Riches, is to be mad, and perhaps the most wretched of all Phrensies whatsoever.

"In one fatal Year I lost both my dear Friends. The Stroke was so great, that it at first astonished me, and then the most poignant Grief followed: But here I will draw a Veil, and not attempt describing the piercing Anguish my whole Heart endured at that Time. But when the first Agonies were so far alleviated as to give me Leave to reflect, I began to consider myself in the Light of an obstinate and perverse Child, who is resisting its Father's Will, and crying and sobbing because it cannot be indulged in its own perverse Humour. I perceived a Selfishness in my Friendship which I was not before aware of; for I had always made myself believe, that the Happiness of my Friends was the principal Desire of my whole Heart; and yet, if that was truly the Fact, where could I find a Reason for all this Grief, because they were delivered from the Infirmities, Diseases, and Distresses, of this Life, and I was fully possessed of the most reasonable Hope that they were entered into a State of eternal Happiness? And indeed almost all the Incidents which have befallen me since their Loss, have brought with them one only Consolation, that my dearest Friends are escaped from the Possibility of knowing any thing of the Matter; and I find I can much better support Misfortunes alone, than with the additional Weight of seeing them suffer. I have always had one pleasing Reflexion, that during their Illness, which, being lingering, required many Supports, they were supplied with every Convenience by the Beneficence of a Mind, whose Fortune, tho' abundant, is yet narrow, in comparison of the enlarged Benevolence of his Christian Heart; who, in the midst of Affluence, knows how to feel the Distresses of his Fellow-Creatures, and never suffers his own Opulence to dazle his Eyes, and make him forget to dry those of the Widow and the Fatherless; who has the uncommon Happiness to enjoy the utmost this World can really give, in such a manner as to have no Reason to be alarmed with the Fears of losing it, and is wise enough to lay hold of the Hope of a blessed Immortality, as the superior and ultimate Crown of his Blessedness.

"One of the greatest Misfortunes that attends on Poverty, is the Impossibility of shewing Gratitude. Every Expression of it in that State must have a doubtful Appearance, and may as well be used by Persons who know not what it is, as by those who are sensible of it in the highest Degree. I have often wished that my Heart was open to the View of the Man to whom I feel myself under such indelible Obligations: But when I consider that he could by no means be benefited by it, and that it is a Wish impossible to be indulged in, I content myself with the Consciousness how much I reverence him, and silently enjoy the Pleasure of Gratitude.

"Altho' with all these Comforts, and all the Reflexions I was capable of, I felt so much for this unexpected Stroke of the Loss of both my Friends, that I believe nothing but a future Hope could have kept me perfectly in my Senses. Had I been born amongst the Heathens, where no Revelation had given me a reasonable Cause for such a joyous Expectation, I know not what had become of me; for sometimes my Imagination strove hard for the Victory, and I seemed as one lost to myself. My natural Constitution was weak, and the Agonies I underwent were almost too strong to be supported. I could by no means, like the ancient Philosopher, consider my departed Friends in the same Light with broken Pitchers, and then flatter my Pride, that by that means I proved myself a rational Creature. But when I considered my Friends as immortal Beings, who had got the Start of me in the Race towards eternal Happiness, I found in that a Foundation of Comfort, which was solid and steady; and whatever I felt, I endeavoured to submit with Humility. I begged the Assistance of God's Grace, and hope I attained it; for I can now calmly say, The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.

"We are all as little Children in the Hands of God Almighty; and when I look on myself as a Child that has been corrected, I gain great Comfort by the Consideration, that it is good for me to have been afflicted."

From the Moment Miss Cummyns had uttered the Word Grace , Lady Fanny began to sneer; till at last she was so filled with the Pleasantry of her own Ideas, that she could not forbear laughing so visibly, that Miss Cummyns perceived it, and with a steady and calm Aspect said,

"I beg Leave, Lady Fanny, to relate a short Story, which I met with in a Book of Travels. There is a Place behind a Ridge of Mountains, which separate one Part of Piedmont from the other, where all the Natives have a Wen growing on one Side of their Cheeks; and if a Stranger appears amongst them with smooth Cheeks, where there is no Swelling to be seen, the Inhabitants set up a loud Laugh at him; esteeming such a Deficiency full Cause enough to mark a human Creature as an Object of Scorn."

Lady Fanny's Mirth was now turned into Indignation. She arose, dropped a small Curtsey to Miss Cummyns, and that with an Air as if she thought it too great a Condescension; took her Leave politely of Lady Dellwyn; and muttered forth all the Way she went the Words Methodist, Enthusiast, &c. &c. But altho' her Ladyship chose not to give Miss Cummyns any Answer, yet in her Absence she enjoyed the full Pleasure of entertaining her Acquaintance with the Relation of what a ridiculous Creature she had met with that Morning.

Lady Dellwyn wept at the Reflexion, that Miss Cummyns could thus preserve her Tranquility through such Scenes of Distress and Grief, whilst she had rendered herself so miserable. The essential Difference was between Innocence and Guilt; a Mind enjoying the Fruits of good Principles, and a Mind confounded with its own vain Devices, and raving in the Search of imaginary Happiness, which resembles a Dream, wherein the Fancy is busily employed, but can never bring about its own Purposes. Miss Cummyns was glad to see Lady Dellwyn weep; but soon discovered that her Tears indicated more of Passion for her own Disappointments than of true Compunction. She was to go the next Day from Bristol; but delayed her Journey one Week, on purpose to endeavour to persuade Lady Dellwyn into a right Reflection on her own Conduct; but finding it utterly impossible to calm her Mind, she had the Mortification of leaving her still the Shuttlecock of Vanity.


Another Device of Capt. Drumond.

Lord Dellwyn had now for some time admitted Capt. Drumond to such a Degree of Intimacy, that in their frequent Conversations he became Master of every Transaction of his Lordship's Life; for as they were both heartily engaged in the Scheme of the Divorce, tho' for very different Reasons, they were almost continually together. Lord Dellwyn could meet with no other Person who would be confined to hear a continual Repetition of what concerned only himself. And the Captain was always his ready Companion; and strove as much as possible to keep all other Company from him, lest he should accidentally meet with any Person who might endeavour to employ all the good Offices in their Power to incline him to forgive his Lady, on the Condition of her promising to live retired at his Castle, and expect to make no more Excursions into the World.

This was an unnecessary Care of the Captain; for Lord Dellwyn was full as earnestly determined on the Separation from his Lady as he could possibly wish: But it was his Nature, like Macbeth, to

make Assurance doubly sure.

And if he was at any time disappointed in his Schemes, he could not accuse himself of not having broke many Hours Rest in revolving and considering of every necessary Caution. His busy Thoughts, and various Stratagems, robbed him of his Sleep, or so perplexed him in his Dreams, that he received not half the Refreshment from

The Death of each Day's Life, sore Labour's Bath,
Balm of hurt Minds, great Nature's Second Course,
Chief Nourisher in Life's Feast,

as other Men, who lead a Life of Simplicity; and this he called acting the Part of a wise Man. Oh, Cunning! thou real Weakness of the human Understanding! thou Companion of Ideots and Madmen! thou buffoon Mimic of essential Wisdom! of what Avail are all thy perplexed Devices?

Amongst other Things with which Lord Dellwyn had acquainted the Captain, he also told him the Manner in which he had engaged Miss Lucum to marry him, by alarming her with the Fear of Lady Fanny Fashion's being his Countess. This was by small Hints dropped out at different Times accidentally, in such a manner that his Lordship knew not himself that he had thoroughly informed him of the Pains he had taken to obtain Miss Lucum's Consent. But the Captain was well versed in the Art of collecting from such Hints the whole Story, and was assiduous to send it to Lady Fanny's Ears, who till that Time was never acquainted with all the Particulars.

Lady Fanny had always received Lord Dellwyn's Notice with Politeness; and sometimes had flattered herself that his Lordship might at length open his Eyes, and distinguish her superior Charms; which caused her to heighten her Professions of Friendship to Miss Lucum, that when it was his Lordship's Humour to be most particular in his Notice of her Friend, she might not be excluded the Party. But as her Ladyship had at the same time many other Prospects of the same Kind, many other Gentlemen, whose Fortune and Rank would have been agreeable to her, and whose Addresses, as far as Gallantry goes, she had entertained, her Desires, like a divided Stream, flowed less violently than if they had been confined to one Channel; and therefore could the more easily bear her Friend's becoming Countess of Dellwyn.

But Lady Fanny never suspected the Use she had been made of in that Transaction; which no sooner came to her Knowlege, than it piqued her Pride, and roused her Indignation; the Two Passions of her Mind which were ever most ready to advance into the foremost Place of her Bosom. Yet she was not in the least moved to Resentment against Lord Dellwyn; but all her Anger fell with redoubled Force on his Lady.

This was perfectly agreeable to Capt. Drumond's Wishes. He knew the Haughtiness of Lady Fanny's Temper could contrive many Methods of mortifying Lady Dellwyn in her present disagreeable Situation.

Tho' the Captain had no particular View in irritating Lady Fanny against Lady Dellwyn; yet it was one of the principal Wheels in the great Machinery of his Cunning, to contrive Methods of depreciating every Person to whom he had exposed his own real Character, and to give all their Acquaintance such an ill Opinion of them, as he imagined might invalidate their Testimony, should any ill Usage provoke them to lay open the Baseness of his Heart. Besides, in this Case, his implacable Revenge against Lady Dellwyn was in some measure gratified by it; and he had seen enough of Lady Fanny to perceive very plainly that her Passions were too violent, and too much accustomed to be uncontrouled, to suffer her to retain a tolerable Opinion of any Person with whom she even imagined that she had any Reason to be offended. To preserve Candour, and keep the Mind unprejudiced, against even a fancied Offender against Self, belongs to such Minds as are quite otherwise regulated than was her Ladyship's: Neither was the Captain ignorant that she was possessed of full Wit enough to be satirical whenever it was her Inclination; and Lady Dellwyn had given sufficient Foundation for the Mixture of disadvantageous Fact with Satire, to make it acceptable to the Ill-natured.

Lady Fanny now contrived every Method of making it more disagreeable than ever to Lady Dellwyn to appear in Public. Her very Looks and Gestures indicated Contempt; which she was also careful should be visible to all that were present, mixed with an uncommon Indignation; tho' for the latter Lady Dellwyn was not conscious of any fresh Cause; for the Captain played his Part behind the Curtain, and never appeared; which is the general Practice of Underminers in Mischief.

Her Ladyship was perfectly Mistress of the Art of conveying her Ideas without Words, and perfectly agreed with Volumnia in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, that

                                        —in such Business
Action is Eloquence, and the Eyes of th' Ignorant
More learned than the Ears.

By these means Lady Dellwyn was perfectly comfortless both abroad and at home. However, she thought the latter exposed her to the fewest Mortifications; for she was now permitted to retire to her own Apartment as much as she pleased, without the least Danger of Interruptions from her Lord, who no longer placed any Delight in her Presence.

When Lady Dellwyn had thus in a manner voluntarily confined herself to her own Apartment, she had sufficient Leisure to reflect; and the more she considered, the more Cause she perceived to despair of any future Comfort. But amongst the various Perplexities which laboured in her Mind, at last a small Glimmering of Hope began to flatter her that this manner of Life might possibly be a Proof to her Lord that she was weary of her Follies, and induce him to relent, compassionate, and forgive her. She several times endeavoured to find him unaccompanied by Capt. Drumond; but such Endeavours were fruitless. He was as constant an Attendant as his Shadow. She feared, that if she sent a Message to his Lordship to desire the Favour of speaking with him alone, the Captain would employ all his Arts, if he suffered him to come at all, that it should be with a full Resolution against complying with her Request.

At last, after revolving many Methods repeatedly in her Thoughts, Lady Dellwyn determined to write to her Lord; by which means she fancied she could explain herself more fully than in the Confusion of talking on such a Subject; especially to the very Man she had injured by her Crime in the tenderest Point, and consequently in whose Presence she must necessarily feel the greatest Shame. She wrote the most submissive, pathetic Letter she could pen, beseeching her Lord's Forgiveness in the humblest Terms; made the most solemn Promises that she would retire to his Castle, and pass the Remainder of her Life in any manner his Lordship would please to command; and concluded with conjuring him to have Compassion on her, in the most moving Expressions she could possibly think on. And indeed her Heart was so much set on the Success of this Letter, that she was at no great Difficulty to find Words which might (if any thing could) conduce to that Purpose.

This Letter she sent with the greatest Anxiety. But herein her Ladyship laboured under a small Mistake; for she could not believe that a Man who had been once so fond of her as Lord Dellwyn was, could so totally have obliterated that Fondness, but that some little Sparks of remaining Kindness might still induce him to relent on such humble Submissions. Whereas, however Lord Dellwyn might have been prevailed on, had she been right in her Conjecture, he was so far from retaining any Degree of his former Affection, that he was greatly pleased at the Discovery of her Amour with Lord Clermont, as it gave him an Opportunity of being separated from her for ever: Therefore all her Intreaties met with the strongest Opposition from his Inclinations, and wanted not the Assistance (which yet he had in abundance) of Capt. Drumond's Devices to render them fruitless.

Indeed those strong Promises, which Lady Dellwyn was so lavish in making, seemed to be only with the View of flying from Infamy, in the same manner as King Lear says,

                                        —Thou'dst shun a Bear;
But if thy Flight lay toward the roaring Sea,
Thou'dst meet the Bear i' th' Mouth.

And in all Probability her Ladyship would not have long endured Confinement to her Lord's Castle, before she would have been ready to have exchanged it again for any other Misfortune. But Lord Dellwyn did not put her to the Trial of her Steadiness in that respect; and this was the last Effort she attempted to regain her Lord, but was forced to submit to his Determination; tho' it could not be said with any Propriety that she did so with Content; but, on the contrary, with the utmost Reluctance and Impatience of Spirit.


A Divorce.

Lord Dellwyn now, instead of carrying his Lady to his own Seat, which she had before so much dreaded, carried her to London ; the Place in the World to which she would have rejoiced to have gone, had her Lord's Journey thither been for any other Purpose than that of attending the Event of his Cause for a public Separation. But such is the Vicissitude of human Minds, as well as human Affairs, that even the hateful Country would now have been less terrible to her Apprehension than the gay Metropolis; and she would have thought the former much the most eligible Choice.

A Fancy now came into Lord Dellwyn's Mind, which was by no means conformable to Capt. Drumond's Inclinations; for his Lordship had no Heir, that is, no Child of his own, to inherit his Title and Fortune. He had Two Brothers indeed; but it was by no means satisfactory to him to leave any thing so valuable as worldly Goods and Honours, to any other Person but such as was so immediately derived from him, that he could contrive to flatter himself he was in a manner to enjoy them in Futurity. He therefore was not contented merely to be separated from his Lady; but would be divorced from her by the House of Lords, that he might be enabled to marry again; not in the least doubting but that some other young Lady would gladly accept the Honour of being his Countess.

The famous Genius before mentioned, who invented the Art of nursing Estates, found not half the Difficulty in managing them, that Capt. Drumond did in the directing his Nursery. Lord Dellwyn was something more froward and self-willed than the Land, and would not always be controuled.

Capt. Drumond was now seized with such a violent Fit of Compassion for the Lady, that altho' he had been very earnest to have her name exposed, and her Reputation blasted in one Court of Justice; yet he chose it should be before the fewest Witnesses; and displayed all his Eloquence to prevent its coming into the House of Lords. But it was perfectly in vain; for in this Point my Lord baffled his utmost Endeavours; and, after several Efforts to no manner of Purpose, he was at last reduced to the Necessity of submitting to his Lordship's resolute Determination; tho' he plainly perceived, that if Lord Dellwyn should marry again, all his Schemes were in much more Danger of being frustrated, than if he had continued to live on with his present Lady, against whom he was too full of Indignation to suffer her to obtain any great Influence over his Actions.

It could not possibly afford any Entertainment, but, on the contrary, must be very tedious, to the Reader, to dwell on the Particulars relating to Lord Dellwyn's Divorce. It is sufficient to inform him, that his Lordship obtained it in the manner he desired, and was at full Liberty to bestow himself and Title on whomsoever best pleased his Fancy.

Now the gay Vision of dazling Jewels, Grandeur, Magnificence, &c. &c. which had danced before Lady Dellwyn's Eyes at the Ceremony of her being made a Countess, passed thro' the Ivory Gate mentioned by Virgil, and was for ever buried in Oblivion.


Solitude chosen for her present Purpose by Lady Dellwyn.

Retirement seemed to offer Lady Dellwyn little Peace; yet at first View it appeared almost the only Situation to which she could fly, and indeed to which she was almost necessarily reduced. Covered with Shame, and oppressed with Guilt, she knew not how to appear in the World. Her Conduct was not equivocal; she could not hope to impose Assurance (even if she had been Mistress of the largest Portion of it) on the least Suspicious, for Innocence. Every Newspaper contained an Advertisement of the Process in which she had so large a Share; every Tongue repeated the Evidence against her.

But tho' depressed by Shame and Infamy, her first and last Seducer, Vanity, still kept her Throne. Tho' now the Badges of her Royalty resembled more those of the Furies; she was armed with Whips and Stings; Serpents and Scorpions seemed the Instruments with which she inflicted the cruelest Pains on Lady Dellwyn's Heart. To be thrown from the highest Admiration to the lowest Degree of Contempt, was a Transition much more afflicting to her than the Fall from Innocence to Guilt. Repentance, from a just Sense of the Crime committed, gives an Humility which renders the Grief less turbulent, and makes way for the Rise of some comfortable Considerations, even from suffering the Punishment which naturally follows the Indulgence of violent Passions; amongst which Vanity must ever hold one of the uppermost Seats, in the Eyes of every Person who hath ever reflected on Mankind and their Manners.

I do repent me, as it is an Evil,
And take the Shame with Joy;

are the expressive Words Shakespeare puts into the Mouth of the penitent Juliet. But Lady Dellwyn's Vanity was too predominant to suffer her to feel any thing but Rage and Despair. She revolved in her Mind various unsatisfactory Schemes; till at last she imagined that she had found one Method by which she might flatter herself that it was yet possible to regain some degree of Reputation.

She had heard, that, in a neighbouring Nation, one sole and fixed Attachment, when dignified with the Title of une belle Passion, was acquitted by general Consent from Infamy. Upon this she formed her Plan. She hired a small Cottage; she decked it with Symbols of Sorrow and Penitence. Had Lord Clermont been slain abroad, it is probable she would have endeavoured to obtain his Body, and lamented over it with all the Pomp of Calista in the Fair Penitent .

Tho' Lady Dellwyn chose a small Cottage as most proper for the Execution of her present Plan; yet she was careful that it should be in the Neighbourhood of too many considerable Families to suffer her Conduct to be unobserved; for she could not bear even the Thoughts of total Obscurity. She scarcely suffered the Light of the Sun to enter her Apartment, and never stirred out of her House but in the Face of the all-conscious Moon. She seemed ever bewailing the fatal Effects of a too tender Passion, and declared her Determination to pass all the Remainder of her Days in Penitence and Prayers for her great Offence.

A Mind and Conscience so ill at Ease could not but make Lady Dellwyn suffer very greatly in the Execution of this Plan: But as she could not endure with any degree of Patience either Obscurity or Infamy, she was enabled to support herself, by believing that this uncommon Conduct would obtain as much Approbation, as the former Part of her Behaviour had incurred Censure.

It is amazing what painful Labours Vanity will enable her Votaries to struggle through, whilst the Imagination is buoyed up by the Hopes of being gratified in any favourite Pursuit; and when Lady Dellwyn was oppressed, and near sunk, with the most melancholy Reflexions, she had Recourse, as to a Cordial, to the Opinions she thought the World must now necessarily express concerning her; she could fancy them signing her Quietus in the Words Calista supposes her Father to use. Indeed her Penitence so nearly resembled that of Calista, that her Mind was naturally filled with the same kind of Meditations; only, to bring on the tragic Catastrophe, the Poet was under a Necessity to force Calista to think and talk more of Death.

Lady Dellwyn now supposed the World wondering at her Love and Penitence, and from them attributing to her a great Share of Virtue; tho', by Excess of une belle Passion, she had a little deviated from the thorny Way. But she soon began to adopt the Expression of Rosalind in as You like it, and to think it much properer to say, the lazy Foot of Time, than the swift Foot of Time, according to the common Method; for she grew very impatient to know when the World would think she had expiated her Crime, and washed away her Shame, by Repentance; when, to her utmost Mortification, she received a Letter from a Man of considerable Fashion, who lived much in the polite World, and supposing her sufficiently humbled to accept of moderate Terms, he sent her the Offer of a Settlement, plainly expressing a Supposition that Poverty was the Occasion of her Retirement.

As Vanity was the only Vice that had ever actuated Lady Dellwyn's Mind, she felt something that bore a near Resemblance to the Indignation of Virtue itself at this insolent Proposal; but yet, as is customary, was so partial to Self, that she was blind to the just Cause she had given to suspect her of being frail enough to accept it. But what most mortified her, was to perceive that she had not imposed on the World a Belief of either a belle Passion, or true Penitence. She answered the Gentleman's Letter with the utmost Indignation; informing him, that he was much deceived in thinking her Fortune so low, for it was sufficient to afford her every Enjoyment of Life; and that she had fled from a cruel World only to avoid Insults; but her Solitude was now become odious, by his having convinced her that they could reach her even there.

Lady Dellwyn's Answer administered some Disappointment, but no Shame or Concern, to the Gentleman. No Man, I believe, is so insensible or void of Humanity, as not to be shocked when he finds he hath given Offence to a Woman truly virtuous, by presuming on her Distress of Circumstances; but when one of known Frailty assumes the Language of Virtue, it only renders her more despised. The Pride of the Person is in some measure hurt, by an Apprehension that he is intended to be imposed on; and the Woman, who perhaps he before thought only frail, he now esteems impudent.

Altho' to be careless of Reputation, and despise the Censure of the World, is an undoubted Error, and the Appearance, as well as the Practice of Vice to be earnestly avoided; yet happy is the Mind whose conscious Innocence can bear up against the sharp Tooth of Slander; and there was nothing that Lady Dellwyn would not now have exchanged to have been in such a Situation. She was now convinced she had thrown away a great deal of Mortification on an ungrateful World, who made no account of all she had done, and all she had suffered, to please it; in reality as much as would have answered a much better Purpose; a Reflexion which seems almost impossible to escape her: But yet she so contrived it, that this Disappointment had no other Effect on her, than to make her resolve no longer to punish herself, by acting a Part so contrary to her Inclinations, in which she was an aukward Mimic of what she had no settled Notion.

But when Lady Dellwyn had taken this general Resolution, she was utterly at a Loss what Course to take, in order to get into the World, which might be rendered still more difficult by her having left it; and if Repentance consisted in being sorry for having done whatever brings a worldly Inconvenience with it, she was always in that State; and now repented of her Solitude, as it had involved her in yet more Perplexities. One fixed Determination seemed to be the only Result of her considering on her present Situation, which was to kill

Those Foes to Beaux and Fair-ones, Time and Thought.

But out of the various Ways of murdering them (which are more numerous than ever Tyrant invented for his wretched Subjects) which to make use of, she was quite at a loss. She had Modesty enough to be afraid to expose herself to those who had known her in her Days of Innocence, or when Suspicion only hovered over her like a Cloud, which gave Offence to very few.


A sudden Transition from Solitude to the Love of Rambling.

In this Dilemma, Lady Dellwyn thought a Tour to Paris might move the most advisable Step. Summer was near approaching; London would be a Solitude to her; all Persons of Fashion would leave it; a retired Place, now the Scheme was over of imposing on the World by it, would be a dreary Desert to her; and the Whispers that instantly spread round a Room at any of the Summer Places of Resort, upon the Appearance of every new Person, she was sensible would be more dreadful to her, however gentle its Murmur, than the loudest Clap of Thunder. The delightful Sounds she had overheard spreading through a Company the Moment she graced any Assembly, such as, "The young and charming Countess of Dellwyn, whom her Lord married for her Beauty," she was certain she should now hear no more; but, in their Place, the Words Divorce, Lord Clermont, and many others equally displeasing to her Ears, would most probably be the Result of her Appearance; and all the Lenity the Compassionate could shew might be expressed in these Two Words, 'Tis Pity.

This sudden Thought was confirmed by Consideration. She hoped to find Amusement from Novelty, and at least, by a Variety of Objects, to enjoy the Pleasure of dear Dissipation; and that her Charms might at Paris be spoken of without being accompanied with any Insinuations of her past Misconduct. Besides, she could not doubt but she should find a much better Reception at her Return to England, for coming from a Place which, like Venus's Cestus, gives a Charm to every thing with which it is in any manner connected.

Lady Dellwyn was no sooner entirely fixed in this Resolution, than she began to prepare for the Execution of it with great Speed. The World was all before her, and she had no other Person's Consent but her own to consult. A Companion was necessary; and this in her Situation seemed most difficult. She found her own Infamy so great a Burden, that she would not have that of another to bear; and yet what Woman of Character would become a sort of Dependent on her Ladyship? All her Vanity could not blind her so much, but that she perceived this was not easy to find; another of the happy Consequences of her bewildered Infatuations! At last she recollected one, who had indeed a tolerable Reputation, but who held it on such precarious Terms, that she imagined she should not meet with a Repulse from her.

The Person to whom her Ladyship intended the Honour of being her Companion, was Miss Weare, a young Girl well born, with a Person agreeable, tho' not handsome, genteel in her Behaviour, and with Sense enough to render her Conversation pleasing, as she had acquired Politeness and Ease of Manners, by living a good deal in the World.

This young Person had been left at her Parents Death (both of whom she lost before she was Twenty-two Years old) with too small a Fortune to support her with any tolerable Convenience, much less like a Gentlewoman: But she had taken too strong an Attachment for genteel Life to endure the Thoughts of quitting it for a servile State; and therefore determined to spend the little she possessed in the same Rank she had hitherto held. She flattered herself she might marry well before it was all expended; and if not, thought she should not be much more unhappy in Servitude without a few Hundred Pounds than with them.

As the World was pretty well acquainted with Miss Weare's Circumstances, her living so far above what her Fortune could with any degree of Prudence admit, inclined them to suspect, that either she had some private Assistance, or that she would not be backward to accept any. Curiosity found great Employment in the Neighbourhood where she lived, in making Inquiries concerning her; and several Heads were often puzzled with deep Consultations about her. Tho' nothing was spoke out in plain Terms, yet much was signified by Shrugs, Gestures, and Innuendo's.

Thus Miss Weare's Reputation was equivocal; tho' her Conduct, as far as the Public could judge, was perfectly decent. And indeed she was entirely free from what she had given such apparent Cause to imagine; as many Gentlemen found, who had been encouraged by all these favourable Circumstances to propose Settlements to her. But this was a Secret between them and her. They did not chuse to confess they had made Offers which were not accepted; and she had too much Sense to think such Refusals did her Honour. Well she knew the World would judge,

He comes too far, who comes to be deny'd.

Most People would only have thought the Gentlemen too early or too sudden in their Application; for they would have believed, that a Woman whose Vanity could lead her into such sort of Imprudence, would be induced by it into others, when no other Alternative should be left her than that and Servitude.

This young Woman Lady Dellwyn rightly judged would gladly accept her Invitation to accompany her in so pleasurable a Scheme; and accordingly her Ladyship's Letter, which contained such a Proposal, was received with great Joy. Miss Weare was far gone in her last Hundred Pounds, and no nearer being married than when she began upon the First. Her Conduct could not recommend her to a worthy Man; and, if any other liked her, they hoped to obtain her on easier Terms: Therefore she was never thought on in the Light of a Wife.

Miss Weare was sensible that her Character would suffer by appearing with Lady Dellwyn. She knew that the Reputations of more Women have suffered by keeping Company with the infamous Part of their own Sex, than from any real Guilt or Imprudence with the other: But, in short, very consistently with her first setting out in the World, she chose rather the Venture of blasting her Character, than the more disagreeable Alternative of relinquishing her Rank. This offered her a Prospect of living in Figure some time longer; and she flattered herself that France might possibly be more favourable to her Views than England.

Thus actuated, Miss Weare assured Lady Dellwyn of her joyful and thankful Acceptance of her Invitation; and that she would punctually wait on her Ladyship at the Time appointed.

The Hearts of both Ladies were too much engaged in this Scheme for either of them to be guilty of any Delay. They proceeded on their Journey together to Dover; and took their Farewel of England, with as many Reproaches to their poor Country, for Ingratitude to their Merits, as Camillus, or Coriolanus, or any other injured Hero, could vent against those who had unjustly banished him. The Weather favoured their Passage, and with as much Joy they landed on the French Shore, as ever Cæsar did when flushed with the Prospect of Victory. They, as well as the Roman Hero, were in search of Conquests and Triumphs; and heartily saluted the Land which they imagined to be the Seat of Freedom, and every other pleasing Delight.

Our Ladies, who had no particular Call at Paris, nor indeed any-where else, but that of Pleasure, stopped where-ever they saw any Prospect of Diversion, and were not sorry to improve their French before they arrived at the Metropolis. They both spoke it well; but Practice only can give that Facility of Utterance which they wished to acquire, and which is very requisite to prevent the Loss of either real or imaginary bright Thoughts, amongst a People who themselves are never at a loss for some Phrase by which they can with great Quickness express their Meaning.

By this Method the Journey took up a good deal of Time; which was not regretted by either of them, as they thought Time was a Commodity of no Consequence; and that it was well spent amongst the provincial Diversions; where Lady Dellwyn flattered herself, not without Reason, that she had spread the Fame of her Charms.

Miss Weare indeed had not the same Hopes of dazling her Beholders. Her Victories were to be gained by slower Degrees; but she thought her Chance improved in proportion to the Numbers she saw. She esteemed every Individual as a possible Prize in her Lottery; and as she wished to prolong their Jaunt, every Delay was agreeable.

At last however they reached Paris, which was the ultimate End of their whole Undertaking; and brought with them a Fluency of Speech sufficient to vent with Speed all that they could possibly imagine would recommend them to that gay Nation.

Lady Dellwyn, during her Journey, recovered her former Beauty, which Vexation had in some measure impaired. The Admiration she read in every Eye restored her to the Vivacity which had always heightened her Charms; and as it had never proceeded from Thought, it is not strange that Thought should not have suppressed it. What her Complexion wanted of its former Lustre, she supplied by Art; which was so general a Custom in that Country, that it is very dubious whether or no she would have resisted falling into the Practice of it, had she been at Paris at the Time when the Bloom of her Complexion could have been but faintly imitated by any Art whatever.

Our fair Travellers were too industrious in equipping themselves with every thing necessary for a splendid Appearance, to be long before they exhibited themselves in public.

Lady Dellwyn had been in some Doubt, whether to assume a feigned Name, or continue to use the Title which Courtesy gave her, after she had ceased to have any real Claim to it. If she took one of equal Dignity, she feared Disgrace from the Discovery of its Falsehood; if she wore that which really belonged to her, and became once more Miss Lucum, it was returning to her plebeian State. O what a falling-off was there! How few could endure to sink into an original Obscurity? It would be almost as bad as Annihilation; for to annihilate Rank, is almost as shocking to those who have but newly acquired it, as to annihilate their Existence; and Lady Dellwyn had paid too great a Price to intitle herself to be a Right Honourable, to support the Thought of such a short-lived Continuance. It is true, by bearing her maiden Name she might avoid a great deal of the Danger of having her Actions known; for Infamy might follow Lady Dellwyn across wider Seas than the English Channel. The Breath of Rumour reaches Lengths that are astonishing.

A serious Consultation on this most important Subject was held between the Two Ladies: But it was at last agreed, that some Part of her Ladyship's History might be drowned in the Passage; and that a Countess, with half a Reputation, would meet with a more favourable Reception in the Metropolis of many Kingdoms, as well as in that of France, than a plain Gentlewoman, of Virtue more unblemished than Lucretia's. Nay, Diana herself, if she appeared in the World without being dignified by a Title, would run a great Hazard of being stared out of Countenance by some Demi-Rep of Quality.

This great Affair being decided, the Title of Lady Dellwyn was used as lavishly as most things are to which People have no just Claim, to the equal Satisfaction of both the Ladies; for Miss Weare would have thought it hard, if, while she was hazarding her Reputation, she could not have enjoyed the Pleasure of addressing herself in the Words Your Ladyship, and of shewing to others that she accompanied Dignity, if she was not so fortunate as to have any of her own.

The Success proved the Decision was founded on just Principles; for as Lady Dellwyn's first Appearance excited general Admiration, when her Rank was published, all the Respect that was due to it was shewn her; and very fortunately her Story had not reached Paris . She had never appeared as Lady Dellwyn but at her Lord's solitary Castle, and at Bristol. Her Divorce followed her Marriage so quickly, that there had not been Interval enough for her to be known out of the Kingdom wherein she lived. She passed at Paris for a Widow; for with Truth she gave out, that she had lost her Lord; and his own Age and Infirmities confined him within so narrow a Sphere of Action, as rendered him little talked of abroad.

La belle Angloise, and la belle Veuve, soon became Names as much appropriated to her as that of Countess of Dellwyn, and were the only ones she could hear with Pleasure substituted in its Place.

Lady Dellwyn was entirely of the same Opinion with Comus, that

Beauty is Nature's Brag, and should be shewn
At Courts, at Feasts, and high Solemnities,
Where most may wonder at the Workmanship;

and therefore was very assiduous in doing her Duty, by frequenting every Place of public Amusement. But as Pleasure is the universal Profession of the Young, she and her Companion herein gave no Offence, nor yet in their Behaviour. The allowed Gaiety of the Place was all they desired; and they rather kept within the general Bounds than exceeded them; so that no Whisper was uttered to their Disadvantage.

Lady Dellwyn was the richer for the Time she had passed in her Retirement; as, while she was mimicking Grief and Penitence, she could not possibly spend her Income without detecting herself, unless she had given it away, which happened never to occur to her Thoughts: So that she appeared in Equipage and Attendants equal to her Rank; and few English who go to Paris are qualified to be so agreeable there, as these Ladies were rendered by their natural Vivacity, and their Knowlege in the Language. The Ignorance of which must certainly be the Reason why so many of the English go into France, and return again, having only connected themselves there with English, as if their only Curiosity in going thither had been, to see whether there is any Difference in their own Countrymen in another Nation from what they are when at home.

These Advantages introduced the fair Travellers into the best Company, and made them acceptable even to the Ladies: Tho' the Countess eclipsed them all in Beauty; and, having the additional Charm of Novelty, and being a Stranger, occasioned many to sigh after perfidious Lovers.

Lady Dellwyn was soon followed by a large Train of Admirers; nor was Miss Weare entirely destitute; tho' she appeared placed in the Rear, in order to pick up the Stragglers, and be rather the Receiver of Compliments, than the Person to whom they were paid as her due.

Lady Dellwyn's Beauty gave a gallant Turn of Mind and Conversation to all who were within Sight of her; and when they could not get near enough to impart it to her Ladyship; the Benefit naturally fell on the next Person. But hereby Miss Weare became possessed of so large a Share of Flattery, that, if she attributed but one Quarter of it as due to her own Charms, she had more than the utmost Ambition of a voluntary humble Companion could possibly hope for. I say voluntary; because those Persons, who, by any unfortunate Combination of Circumstances, are forced into that State, are generally too much oppressed in Mind to have any other Ambition, or even Wish, than to be delivered from their Bondage.

She shone by Reflexion; and tho' the Moon is dim when compared with the Origin of its Light, the Sun; yet if we consider it simply by itself, we admire its benign Lustre. This was the Case with Miss Weare; many were attracted by her gentle Influence, who had not Courage sufficient to address Lady Dellwyn; and, rather than be without any Flattery at all, she was ready to receive it at second-hand, or in any manner she could come at it.


Lady Dellwyn prevails on herself to believe that she is in Love.

The greatest Number of Lady Dellwyn's Admirers, were such as followed her to shew, not to gratify, their Taste; as happens in all fashionable Pursuits. But one Gentleman, Monsieur D'Orville by Name, a young Man of considerable Rank, and amiable in Person and Manner, was more seriously attached. His greatest Fault was an Impetuosity of Temper: His Passions were strong; he had habituated himself to indulge the Bent of his own Disposition, and therefore never attempted to controul himself in any Wish of his Heart.

Lady Dellwyn did not quarrel with this Disposition in Monsieur D'Orville; for she attributed it all to his Love; and, for the first Time, began to entertain some Suspicions that she had a Heart to bestow; not that she was actuated by that romantic Passion which creates Indifference to every other Object, and makes all Happiness to consist in pleasing the beloved Person, only overstraining Delicacy so much as to feel it almost a Crime to charm any other.

Monsieur D'Orville, by the Warmth of his Addresses, shewed Lady Dellwyn, as in a Glass, the great Power of her own Charms to inspire the most violent Passion, and this at a Time when the great Mortifications she had suffered rendered such a Cordial more particularly pleasing. She might with more Propriety be said to have a small Degree of Partiality to Monsieur D'Orville, than to love him. Like Miss Biddy, she loved him the best of them all; for, "like the Sun, she shone on all alike." She loved as a Coquet might love: Nothing gave her so much Pleasure as Monsieur D'Orville's Conversation, except general Admiration.

Those who have affirmed that Love will conquer all things, should have considered that there is no Rule without an Exception; for Vanity is not to be so baffled, and still claims the Honour of being unconquerable.

Love hath taught an Hercules to spin, hath made an ambitious Man resign the Sweets of Empire, hath tamed the Fierce, changed Wisdom into Folly, Virtue into Vice, and sometimes Vice into Virtue; but Vanity into Humility is a Metamorphosis it never made.

Monsieur D'Orville could have wished Lady Dellwyn as violently enamoured as himself: But, as that was beyond his Hopes, he was as contented as a Lover can be, with perceiving she preferred him to her whole Train of Admirers; and his Vanity, or his Inclination that it should be so, persuaded him the Preference was still greater than it appeared. He had lived in the Land of Coquetry, and was ignorant that any Lover could be so unreasonable as to say to his Mistress,

Be mine, and only mine; take care
Your very Thoughts and Looks to guide;
   Nor go so far
As liking any Youth beside.

This was an impertinent Request, ill-suited to French Politeness. And so far are we influenced by the Custom of the Country we live in, that it not only directs the Form of our Head-dresses, and the Cut of our Clothes; but even shapes our Passions, till they are as unlike those of another Nation, as the Circumstances which seem most subservient to Fashion. The original Seeds of the human Passions are indeed the same; but they are as variously modified by different Climates and Customs, as the Fruits of the Earth are. Thus Spanish Love differs more from that Passion in France, than the Dress of the one Kingdom doth from that of the other; and true English Love varies as much from what is so called in both those Nations, as they do from one another.

Monsieur D'Orville saw nothing in Lady Dellwyn's Conduct to deter him from seeking in Marriage that Happiness, which his Passion was lavish in promising him that he should find in the Indulgence of it; but a Lady who had been the Object of his Gallantry, rather than of his Love, before the Countess of Dellwyn had appeared in Paris, made a more exact Scrutiny. And it is not strange, if Jealousy, which can magnify the smallest Objects into a giant-like Bulk, and even see what is not visible, should find out Truths so well known as Lady Dellwyn's former Behaviour. This Lady having Friends in England, no sooner was piqued by Monsieur D'Orville's Neglect, than she wrote to them to inquire who this impertinent Countess was.

Such Curiosity could not fail of being easily gratified. Lady Dellwyn was not so fortunate as to have her Name already buried in Oblivion. A full Account of her was thus transmitted into France, and put into such good Hands, that it was in no Danger of being hid. The first Person whom she acquainted with it was Monsieur D'Orville himself, flattering herself that she should enjoy great Pleasure from his Confusion: But, to her great Disappointment, he treated it all as the Invention of Malice and Envy. His good Opinion of Lady Dellwyn was founded on the great Amiableness of her Person and Conversation; and he had not accustomed himself constantly to give way to every Passion and Imagination that was uppermost to so very little Effect, as to suffer a Legion of Evidence to convince him of any Fact against the whole Force and Bent of his Inclinations.

This ill Success did not discourage the Lady. She could not fear finding a Lover's Incredulity in most of her Hearers, especially as she was resolved to impart it chiefly to her own Sex, who she was sure would listen with willing Ears, many having received the same Cause of Offence with herself; and the others, who sympathised with Lady Dellwyn, in staking their Happiness on the Breath of Flattery, thinking themselves sufficiently injured by any Woman who so entirely eclipsed them.

Such Ladies, as they had now obtained the Knowlege of such Facts as could depreciate Lady Dellwyn, were lavish in the Praises of her Beauty, and extolling her Charms: But when they thought they had by this means sufficiently baffled the Suspicion of Envy, the purposed End appeared. The Words, But 'tis Pity, were ready for Utterance; and many Shakings of the Head, and Gestures of Sorrow, introduced the whole History of her erroneous Conduct.

Thus, by Female Industry, Lady Dellwyn's History soon became a general Topic; and was implicitly believed by every Woman who was not so happy as to escape the painful Stings of Envy. But amongst the Men it had a different Effect. Some gave no Credit to it; others looked upon it as a Recommendation, and therefore received it as a Truth, indulging Hopes by that means which they had never hitherto seen any Reason to cherish.

It was difficult to trace from what Hands the Story first came; for the Lady who imported it chose to conceal her having done so, lest the true Reason should be suspected. The Authority therefore was doubtful; and every one thought himself at liberty to believe or disbelieve it, as best suited his Inclinations.

Monsieur D'Orville was most incredulous, in proportion as he was most seriously enamoured; and his Assiduities rather increased than abated, as some Reparation for a Scandal of which he thought himself in a degree the Cause, by his Infidelity to the Lady whom he suspected to be its original Inventor.

Lady Dellwyn was not ignorant of the Reports to her Disadvantage; and was sensible the Truth, when once surmised, must in a short Time be confirmed. The Triumph of her Vanity she plainly perceived must soon have an End; and, from being the Object of Admiration or Envy of all who beheld her, she should become the Subject of general Contempt. In this Situation she was perplexed what Part she should act. Sometimes she thought it would be best to leave the Kingdom, before she received any of the Mortification which seemed so imminently to threaten her: But then, to what Place could she go, where Shame would not pursue her!

In this Dilemma there was one Circumstance which had great Weight towards detaining her Ladyship in France. To leave Monsieur D'Orville, was to quit the Man whom she thought more amiable than any other had ever appeared to her. She had no Doubt but Marriage was his View; a Prospect which flattered both her Love and her Vanity. She hoped to bury all her Misconduct in this Change of Name; and that the Faults of Lady Dellwyn might be forgiven Madam D'Orville, as she was resolved never again to give the least Occasion for Censure.

Lady Dellwyn had, it is true, a natural Aversion to Deceit. But whatever may be said of Misfortunes, it is certain that Crimes seldom come alone; and there is scarcely any wrong Action which doth not lead to a Deviation from Truth in many Instances.

Reduced as Lady Dellwyn was, it would have been difficult for her not to have caught at any Means that seemed to offer her an Asylum from Contempt, or at least from public Neglect. And how was it probable, that a Woman should relinquish so flattering a Prospect, rather than be guilty of Deceit, when she had before violated both her Honour and the most solemn Vows? She hoped Monsieur D'Orville's Love would plead for her Forgiveness, more effectually than any Arguments she should have to urge in her Defence, when he should come to the certain Knowlege of her Character; and blinded herself with a vain Plea, that Justice obliged no one to condemn themselves; not considering, that in this Case Generosity should weigh more than the scanty Justice which is the only Foundation of that Assertion.

While the Lovers were so well disposed to enter into a lasting Union, the Lady whose Views had been so cruelly frustrated by the Violence of Monsieur D'Orville's Passion for the Lady of whom he was enamoured, took a surer Method of Success, by writing to his Father, to inform him what Infamy his Son was in danger of bringing on himself.

Monsieur D'Orville had acquainted his Father with his Passion, and been more circumstantial in describing the Lady's Rank and Fortune than her Beauty; knowing those were Particulars to which he would be most sensible.

The old Gentleman, with all the Circumspection of one on whom Age hath laid its frozen Hand, exhorted his Son to be very cautious and certain of her Estate, before he engaged too far to retreat; and referred him to a Person of Business, who was well able to make the Inquiry; and if it answered his Expectations, and the Lady consented to accept him, he would come to Paris, and do a Father's Part.

This Answer might have satisfied a colder Lover: But Inquiries that might be Months before they brought Satisfaction, were but ill-suited to the Vehemence of Monsieur D'Orville's Passions. He had not indeed expressed all his Impatience to his Father, fearing to excite in him Apprehensions of being too strongly prepossessed in the Lady's Favour, to be sufficiently cautious in his Proceedings concerning what the old Gentleman would think more essential than all the Charms that ever adorned the whole Sex.

Another Circumstance rendered this Advice still more unacceptable; for, before Monsieur D'Orville received it, he had perceived that the Rumours to Lady Dellwyn's Disadvantage began to spread; and he was sensible, that, if they reached his Father's Ears, the old Gentleman, who had no Warmth left in his Temper, but where the Honour of his Family was concerned, would put an absolute Negative on all his most ardent Hopes. This threatening Circumstance made him resolve to compleat the Union without waiting the Result of any farther Transactions with his Father. It was not customary with him to imagine it possible for him to outlive the contradicting any earnest Pursuit, on which he had fixed his Inclinations. He never suffered himself to have any Experience on that Side of the Question, having always used his utmost Endeavours to indulge his utmost Wishes; and therefore judged, perhaps rightly, that it would be easier to obtain his Father's Forgiveness for a rash Action before, than after he should have received his positive Commands to the contrary.

Tho' Monsieur D'Orville had, thro' the Medium of his Inclinations, closely shut up every Passage of his Mind from the Admittance of any evil Belief concerning Lady Dellwyn; yet he would have been glad to have heard what she would say on the Subject. But that Respect which always attends true Love, deprived him of Courage to signify such his Desire to her; and she esteemed it more prudent not to mention what she could so ill deny; and chose therefore to appear entirely ignorant that any Report concerning herself was propagated; but the Fear of its being confirmed, rendered her as ready to comply, as he was earnest in soliciting her Hand.

Persons so well disposed, and actuated by such mutual Sympathy, were not likely to take much Time for adjusting Preliminaries: Two Days were thought sufficient for the necessary Preparations; and therefore the Completion of their Wishes was not fixed at a great Distance.


A Battle between Love and Honour.

While the Lovers were flattering themselves that now nothing could prevent their Union, and Lady Dellwyn was enjoying already in Thought her returning again into the World, without the Apprehensions she now laboured under of Discovery, Monsieur D'Orville's Father was far advanced on his Road to Paris; whither the Letter, which contained an Account of Lady Dellwyn's Infamy, brought him, with a Speed but ill-suited to his Age, or usual Method of Proceeding; and he arrived in Town the Evening before his Son's intended Nuptials.

When he arrived at his House, he was informed that his Son was at Lady Dellwyn's. He immediately sent to require his Presence;a Message which threw the young Gentleman, as well as Lady Dellwyn, into the greatest Consternation, tho' she endeavoured to the utmost of her Power to conceal her Emotions. The same Thought struck them both instantly: They imagined that the Scandal so current about her had reached his Ears; and Monsieur D'Orville was scarcely able to obey the Summons.

Lady Dellwyn, not less shocked, but thinking it necessary to appear with all the Fearlessnes of Innocence, endeavoured to encourage him. But the little, which, in the Anxiety of her Mind, she was capable of urging, had no other Effect on him, than that, by an unusual Tenderness in her Behaviour to him, his Chain was rivetted yet faster; and he took Leave of her with the utmost Agony, and with repeated Vows on both Sides, that the next Morning should put it out of the Power of any one ever to divide them from each other.

Not all their Vows could suppress Lady Dellwyn's tormenting Fears, nor encourage Monsieur D'Orville to appear before his Father with any Degree of Composure. He went like a Criminal before his Judge; tho' with this Difference, that his greatest Grief arose from the Consideration, that his Crime was only intended, and not yet committed.

The old Gentleman had composed an Harangue upon the Road: The Text was, The Honour of his Family. Tho' he plainly saw his Son's Distress and Impatience to know what brought him to Paris, yet he could not prevail on himself to cut short his Composition. Elaborate and tedious as it was, Monsieur D'Orville was obliged to sit it all; for hear it he did not.

As soon as he found the Drift of his Father's Discourse, his Apprehensions were thoroughly confirmed; and therefore, till he came to the Conclusion, he was sensible that he was not much concerned; and whilst the good Gentleman was expatiating on the inestimable Value of Honour and Dignity of Family, expressing almost more than Cæsar -like Delicacy on the Subject, his Son took the Liberty to substitute the Word Love in its place; and, letting his Imagination run on the Charms of that Passion, heard not one Syllable of all the intermediate Part of his Father's Discourse; till he was indeed thoroughly awakened by the Conclusion; it containing a positive Prohibition ever to see Lady Dellwyn more, on pain of his Father's utmost Displeasure.

Monsieur D'Orville declared the Impossibility of his Obedience; that his Life and Love were so interwoven, that whoever cut the Thread of the one, must put an End to the other; with a whole String of those ingenious Metaphors and Bombast, with which People have endeavoured to give an unnatural Air to perhaps the most natural Passion in all our Composition.

Upon this the Conversation grew rather too animated. These Champions for Love and Honour did not argue the Matter with the Gentleness and Good-breeding of Prince Volscius. The Father forgot the Dignity of Age, tho' as deserving of Regard as the Dignity of Family; and the Son found some Difficulty in remembering the Respect due to his Father. Like most Disputants, they talked much, and prevailed little.

Monsieur D'Orville had too much Love to relinquish his Hopes; and would by no means make his Father a Promise which he did not so much as intend to keep, as he was not only engaged by the strictest Vows to Lady Dellwyn, but also by that most prevailing Argument, the strongest Inclinations.

Great Part of the Night passed in this Contention. When Love and Honour are engaged in a Contest, it is often seen that the former obtains a speedier Victory. They may hold out pretty well in distant Skirmishes; but, when they come to close Combat, Honour is often sent halting off. But here it had a stout Champion, who at least made out in Perseverance what he might want in Warmth of his younger Adversary.

As neither Side received much Satisfaction in the Dispute, they were at last willing to postpone a Conclusion, which seemed as far off as when they began. The old Gentleman proposed the retiring to their Apartments for that Night; to which the other consented, tho' he had not so strong an Inducement as his Father, who was fatigued with his Journey, and wanted Repose.

Monsieur D'Orville retired indeed, but not to rest. It was scarcely possible for a Mind to be in greater Perturbation than his. He grieved at the Thought of so totally offending his Father as to marry Lady Dellwyn, after he had declared himself so absolutely averse to it, and had protested he would never after such a Marriage look on him as his Son. It is true, the greatest Part of his Estate was settled beyond his Power to alter; but that rather made Monsieur D'Orville the more unwilling to disobey him. He saw himself in this Case doubly ungenerous, at least in Appearance. Had his Ruin depended on his Disobedience, it would have worn the Air of a noble Constancy, very flattering to a romantic Passion.

Here again Love and Honour engaged, but not on such equal Terms. One Heart was the Field of Battle; and there the weaker Combatant seldom finds room to exert his Strength. Besides, Love contrived to draw off some of Honour's Forces, by urging that Honour was bound as much to the Mistress as the Father. By this means it obtained a compleat Victory; and Monsieur D'Orville, after a long Debate, was at last derminined to marry Lady Dellwyn, the next Morning.

Tho' nothing is so painful as Irresolution; yet Monsieur D'Orville was not quite easy in his Determination. From some things his Father had said, he could not help entertaining some intruding Fears, lest the Reports concerning Lady Dellwyn should have any Foundation in Truth; tho' he scarcely durst utter these Suspicions to himself. He endeavoured to collect some Satisfaction, by reflecting on her Behaviour since she came to Paris. He could discover nothing in it that was not entirely proper; but it was impossible for even his Blindness to make this into any certain Proof of the past. She had not been long there; a designing Woman might watch over her Conduct for a longer Time.

This Thought had a quite contrary Effect from what a reasonable Person who was in Love might have expected; for tho' he could allow that an artful Woman might have done so; yet he could never acknowlege, even in the softest inward Whispers, that Lady Dellwyn was an artful Woman. He thought, amiable as she was, she might be guilty of some Frailties, but was greatly superior to all low Cunning. Art and Design his Nature abhorred; and therefore he could not suppose any one practised them whom he esteemed.

Having acquitted her one by one of every Crime which he deemed to be the Marks of a black Mind, his Apprehensions abated. Some small Indiscretions were a sufficient Foundation whereon Malice might build a great Pile of Scandal; and yet those he could readily forgive. Such Beauty, like the fair Hesperian Fruit, required an Argus to watch it, if every Foible was to be swelled into a Crime.

In these Thoughts Monsieur D'Orville passed the Night, not attempting to go to Bed, or take any Rest. But when he thought the Hour approached that he might wait on his intended Bride, he rang for his Servant to assist him in dressing fit for the Occasion; when, instead of his own, entered his Father's Valet de Chambre, who, with the utmost Politeness, informed him he was a Prisoner; for that his Father had in the Night sent for a Guard, who were placed at the Door of his Apartment, with strict Orders not even to admit his Servants.

Now was Monsieur D'Orville more furious than Bajazet in his Cage. A more patient Man might indeed have found it difficult to have borne such a Disappointment with any tolerable Degree of Composure. But we shall leave him to vent his Rage alone, while we take a View of Lady Dellwyn.

Her Ladyship had passed as restless a Night as her Lover; nor was Miss Weare able to give her much Consolation her Apprehensions being not in any Degree less uneasy. She had considered Lady Dellwyn's Establishment in France as a fortunate Event for her. They were on very friendly Terms; and she hoped an agreeable Asylum at her House at least for some time longer; but could not fix with her in London, without giving up every Pretension to Character; which, as Friendship, built on any other Foundation than that of a well-grounded Esteem, is not the most stable of any thing even in this changeable World, was a very hazardous Step.

Thus was Miss Weare's Interest in this Affair closely connected with Lady Dellwyn's; and therefore her Uneasiness was not much inferior to her Ladyship's, who beheld so great a Proof of Friendship with Gratitude, and expressed herself much obliged for the kind Concern she shewed for her. Miss Weare was too prudent to lose the Merit by explaining all the Cause of her Sympathy with her: But, on the contrary, she confirmed it by strong Professions of her Attachment, which was in some measure real.


A Disappointment.

In this Manner the Ladies passed the best Part of their Night, and went not to Bed till the Morning; where, unable to sleep, they continued not Two Hours; but met again, full of Fears and Expectations what would be the Result of that Day. They could not calmly say, with Brutus,

                                        —O that a Man might know
The End of this Day's Business ere it come:

Yet their Minds were too much disturbed by Anxiety to suffer them to say with him in the Lines that follow:

But it sufficeth, that the Day will end;
And then the End is known.

Lady Dellwyn imagined, that if Monsieur D'Orville proved true to his Promises, he would be in haste to dissipate her Fears, and reward himself for his own; and accordingly dressed herself early with more than common Care, hoping, if his Father had unsettled his Resolution, to fix it again by the conquering Lustre of her Charms.

Her Ladyship had been dressed some time, and waited with Impatience for the Presence of the Person for whom she had thus adorned herself, when a Coach stopt at the Door. As she wished to see Monsieur D'Orville, so likewise she feared it, being greatly apprehensive lest he might have his Eyes opened by some Information produced by his Father; and, instead of the Love of a Bridegroom, should be full of Indignation, and come only with an Intention to upbraid her for endeavouring to impose on him a blasted Reputation. These different Sensations rendered her unable, when she heard a Coach stop, to go to the Window to satisfy her Impatience. But Miss Weare, altho' herself under great Apprehensions, did that for her; and exclaimed with Surprise, as well as Disappointment, that it was not the expected Lover, but an old Gentleman.

Lady Dellwyn's Fears then told her Truth. They immediately suggested that it was Monsieur D'Orville's Father, and that the Design of this Visit was to break off her Match with his Son; to which it occurred to her, that he was also consenting, as he had not prepared her for this unexpected Visit; and she naturally judged, that a younger Man, and a Lover too, might have been as early at her Door as his Father could be.

However oppressed by these alarming Apprehensions, Lady Dellwyn was sensible that all her Courage was necessary; and she recovered from her Confusion as well as she could, assuming her utmost Power over herself to give the old Gentleman a proper Reception; wherein, however, she could not acquit herself so well as she wished: But he was not himself so little moved, as to be exactly observant of her Emotions.

He came with an Intention of informing her, in very plain Terms, of the Reasons why he could not suffer his Son to marry her; and did not design to leave her, without some Reproaches for having attempted to introduce Infamy into his immaculate Family. But when he entered the Room, Lady Dellwyn received him with such Dignity of Air, and Politeness of Manner, that it got so far the better of the Prepossession with which the old Gentleman came, that he could not refuse her a Respect which in his Heart he did not think due to her Conduct.

He was so much awed by her Appearance, that, before he could address her, she got Courage to express a Desire of knowing his Name, that she might not be ignorant to whom she owed the Favour of a Visit; for that, from a Person of his Age and Appearance, she must always esteem it as a Favour, tho' in general she was not desirous of the Company of Strangers.

The old Gentleman, who had been long a Stranger to the having his Appearance noticed, much less complimented, by a fair Lady, felt his Anger both against her and his Son greatly disarmed. But his Intention nevertheless continued stedfast; and having such Assistance offered for his delivering of a Business which he found it no easy Matter to produce, would not lose the Opportunity by longer Silence; but replied, he feared she would scarcely esteem his Visit as deserving the Acknowlegements she had so politely bestowed on it, when she knew his Motive for it; which, that she might in part guess before he uttered it, he would inform her that he was Father to Monsieur D'Orville .

As Lady Dellwyn hereby learned nothing new, she baffled the Intention with which it was spoken; for she received it without Confusion. Encouraged by seeing the sudden Effect her Person and Manner had on the old Gentleman, she assumed an Assurance, which, till thus called forth, she herself did not imagine she was Mistress of; and said,

"I am now doubly obliged; for I cannot see the Parent of a Person for whom I have so sincere a Regard, without the utmost Respect, and esteeming a Visit from him as a great Honour, and the highest Obligation."

'That, Madam, (replied the old Gentleman) must depend on my Intention in making it; which, not to leave you longer in Suspence, is no other than—than—than—to put a Stop to the Intercourse between my Son and your Ladyship. But this is a Loss, Madam, which should not afflict you, as it may be so soon supplied by the Power of your Charms.'

Lady Dellwyn was not enough Mistress of herself to hear unmoved even what she expected, and especially after she had entertained some small Degree of Hopes that she could look the old Gentleman out of the Power of declaring any thing disobliging to her. She was not immediately able to return an Answer. But he gave her time to recover herself; being so rejoiced that he had brought forth what her Elegance and Dignity had made so mighty a Burden, that he had no Desire to pursue the Subject.

At last, after a great Struggle with herself, Lady Dellwyn replied, That indeed the Design of his Visit was not perfectly agreeable. As for the little Charms which he was pleased to think might repair the Loss, however true that might be, if Monsieur D'Orville had no Merit but what was common to every Lover—"But, Sir, (continued she) your Son is possessed of Qualities which I have little Hopes of finding again, however numerous my Train of Admirers." Then she declared, that as her Rank and Fortune were equal to any Man's, she could not imagine why he should wish to put such an Affront upon her.

This last Sentence was not uttered without great Hesitation; for she feared the Answer which what she said seemed to require; but thought it would appear like Self-condemnation, if she offered to urge nothing in her own Behalf; and was somewhat encouraged also by the Complacency with which the Father received the Praises of his Son, and hoped that he was thereby greatly mollified. In some measure he was lo; but the unfortunately naming her Rank and Fortune connected with them the Idea of her Infamy, the Dignity of his own House, and again roused the old Gentleman's Indignation.

By this means he was enabled to intimate, that her Character rendered her improper to enter into his Family; and, to avoid Altercation, added, that how far the Slander was just, was not much to the Purpose, for the Belief of it was sufficient to prevent him from ever consenting to such an Union; and, in more explicit Terms, was by a strong Effort enabled to inform her, that he had applied to the King upon the Affair; who had put his Son under Arrest, from which he should not be released till she had left the Kingdom, and he so well restored to his Reason, as to know the Obedience due to a Father.

Of all he had said, this last Assurance was the most unpleasing. She could still flatter herself with Hopes, if she might see Monsieur D'Orville. She knew the Violence of his Passion was her Friend, and a prevailing Pleader of her Cause. But this Resource was denied her; and, by an Action of such Eclat, her longer Abode in France must be very disagreeable to her, as well as prolong the Imprisonment of the only Man she had ever even fancied she had loved.

Amongst all her Distresses, Lady Dellwyn never felt a deeper than what she now endured. Her Pride, her Vanity, and her Affections, were all separately wounded. Her Affliction was insupportable, and heightened by the Consideration of what Monsieur D'Orville also suffered. Some Days passed before she could resolve on any thing; but as soon as she was capable of Reflexion, she determined to leave the Place: And since Shame would follow her where-ever she went, she thought it more advisable to return where it would be no Novelty, and therefore, cause none of those violent Anxieties or Revolutions, than to feel such Vicissitudes of Fortune, and be rendered more sensible to the Pain arising from Contempt, for having enjoyed a Season of Respect and Admiration. But, convinced that Monsieur D'Orville's Father would make such strict Scrutiny into her Conduct, that his Son would not be long left in Ignorance of the Truth, she chose to make her Vanity some Amends, by having the Honour of a Confession.

Accordingly, before her Departure, Lady Dellwyn wrote a Letter to Monsieur D'Orville; wherein she lamented the Uneasiness she had caused him, as the greatest Misfortune that could have befallen her. She acknowleged some Indiscretions which made her hateful and contemptible to herself; and that Vanity was her only Seducer. She attempted to palliate it by the Intoxication of Flattery, which her Understanding was too weak to bear unhurt; but that her Heart had never been engaged before; and to her Love she applied for her Apology for not having acquainted him with the whole of her past Conduct.

She informed him, that she should leave Paris in Three Days Time, and proceed with all possible Haste into England, that she might not prolong his Confinement; and concluded, by intreating him to think of her Follies with Compassion, and not to suffer Contempt or Hatred to take the Place of Affection in his Heart. She acknowleged, that Indifference was the best she could hope: In that, as her just Due, she should acquiesce; tho' her Regard for him no Time or Affliction could efface.

This Letter she gave to a Friend of Monsieur D'Orville, to deliver to him after her Departure; but, having got Liberty to see the Prisoner, he performed his Commission before, and brought her back an Answer, filled with the most affectionate Lamentations, and the tenderest Farewel, that a desponding Lover could pen; a Lover whose Despair arose from finding his Mistress unworthy of his Affection; and yet such was the Strength of his Passions, that he could not immediately conquer his Love.

This Letter afforded Lady Dellwyn some little Satisfaction; for she could not bear the Thought of being placed in no-body's Heart but her own; and even that Self-love stood only on the same tottering Foundation with Monsieur D'Orville's good Opinion, and had no other Support but Partiality. She left the Kingdom according to her Word, and arrived safe in England. But it is impossible to express what Lady Dellwyn suffered in her Passage from Calais to Dover. She could indeed reproach France with its Treatment of her, as she had done her own Country when she left it; but she could not congratulate herself on being set on Shore on her native Land, nor have the Pleasure of greeting it with Joy, which is the general Lot of every common Sailor.

All Places were now become irksome to her. She found it impossible to fly from Infamy, unless she could at the same time fly from herself; there was no stopping the hundred Tongues of Rumour, neither was there any Possibility of forgetting the criminal Errors of her Conduct. Her Passions were in a continual Alarm; and she read, or fancied she read, Contempt in every Countenance.

What yet added to Lady Dellwyn's Misfortunes was, that she now found Miss Weare intended to leave her; and being sensible of the Value of an agreeable Companion to one in her Circumstances, with whom many might not chuse to keep Company, she offered her a competent Stipend to tempt her to continue with her.

Miss Weare was in a Situation that rendered her less scrupulous upon the Point of Reputation; and therefore her Poverty, and not her Will, contented; and Lady Dellwyn was as well satisfied as Romeo, to pay her Poverty, and not her Will.

When they appeared in London, the Elegance of their Dress, which was entirely French, procured them at first, as they apprehended it would, a better Reception than could have been reasonably expected. But this was only during the very short Time they were the Objects of Curiosity; and some People liked to see what Difference there was between Ladies going to, and the same Ladies returning from, Paris. And Lady Dellwyn found it impossible to get into very good Company, and very bad she could not endure; for, tho' infamous, she was not impudent, nor could relish any Conversation which exceeded the Limits of Decency. She had at first been seduced to give her Hand without her Heart; to make solemn Vows at the Altar, without any Regard to Truth; and afterwards betrayed to break those Vows, thus solemnly given, by Vanity. And tho' no Day nor Hour passed, but that she had sufficient Cause, either from the Consequence of her Actions, or from the painful Reflexions on them, to lament the Dupe she had been to that Passion; yet her Mind was too much disturbed, and gone too far in an erroneous Path, to suffer her to break thro' the Chain that held her, and abandon a Leader under whose Banner she had never been led into any Transactions, but what were attended with Errors, Crimes, and Misfortunes. She constantly wished to unravel what she had done last; and yet, as if she was infatuated, was as constant in persisting to act on in a Manner that only gave her fresh Cause to wish she had the Power

To call back Yesterday;

which her Ignorance of herself alone made her imagine she could employ to any better Purpose.

CHAPTER the Last.

The Conclusion.

Lady Dellwyn's future Life was a continual Mortification; for altho' she carefully avoided ever more falling into any such Snares as that wherein Lord Clermont had intangled her, yet her Name was very seldom mentioned without being strictly connected with that Circumstance. Some Persons indeed at first hesitated, and seemed to be labouring under a great Difficulty to call to Remembrance what was before uppermost, and ready for Utterance; but they never failed recollecting enough to join the Names of Lord Clermont and Lady Dellwyn, before they quitted the Subject. That Kind of Wisdom which deals in condemning others, and consequently hath no Leisure to inspect the Errors at home, was exercised very plentifully on Lady Dellwyn's Conduct. A few Individuals, it is true, who were acquainted with her Story, and knew in what Manner she was betrayed to marry Lord Dellwyn, could not forbear looking on her with some degree of Compassion: But it was observable, that this Lenity was exerted only by those Persons whose own Conduct had ever been the most unblemished, and who, by their exemplary Lives alone, had proved their Abhorrence of every vicious Practice.

Charity covereth a Multitude of Sins, saith the Apostle; but generally that Part of Mankind who visibly have the greatest Number of Crimes to veil over, are apt to provide themselves with the least Share of that necessary Covering. Perhaps this may be in some degree owing to what is observed in The Spectator, That to resist a Temptation, is the only Means by which we can judge of its Force.

Lady Dellwyn could not relish a retired Life. Her Mind was not sufficiently calm. True, sound, and religious Principles her Father had never instilled into her youthful Mind. It was indeed a Task impossible for him to execute, as he had never thought of them himself. He had given his Daughter some general Ideas of Virtue, which was to be built on the sandy Foundation of Pride; and when that Pride, under whose Banner she was inlisted, commanded her to deviate into the Paths of Vice, she followed her Leader implicitly, and, according to the common Proverb, plunged thro' thick and thin, without any Reflexion on the mischievous Consequences that must attend her erroneous Conduct. It is in fact as absurd to say, that Pride can preserve Virtue, as it would be to assert, that a Vessel sails the most steady on the Ocean in the midst of a violent Storm; it being full as much the Nature of Pride to throw the human Mind into Confusion and Perturbation, and to rob it of all its Steadiness, as it is of roaring Waves and foaming Billows, to toss about the Vessels that sail on them when they are thus agitated by the Winds.

Some fluctuating Notions concerning Repentance, Virtue, Honour, Morality, &c. hovered around Lady Dellwyn's Thoughts, but were too wavering to bring her to any fixed Determination. She became a constant Attendant from one public Place to another; where she met with many Mortifications: But yet even these were not quite so dreadful to her, as to retire, and be subjected to her own Company alone. But as Lord Dellwyn supplied her with Means of gaming within a moderate Degree, to that she fled for Refuge from herself, and for a Method of banishing painful Reflexion. But as the Love of Play was not natural to her, she could not reap thence any great Pleasure; but often found herself weary of this Life, and yet anxiously avoided every Thought of Death. She might very well have applied to herself what Angelo, in Measure for Measure, says, after he had fallen from Virtue and Innocence,

Alack! when once our Grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not.

Miss Weare attended on Lady Dellwyn as her Shadow; and as she had before received a great deal of Flattery at second-hand, so she now received a great deal of Contempt in the same Manner; with this material Difference, that the Flattery which came to her Share, when it could not reach Lady Dellwyn, lost much of its respectful Manner by the Way; whereas that Contempt fell with redoubled Force on her, of which Lady Dellwyn's Beauty and Quality somewhat abated the Violence; insomuch that Miss Weare often repined, and secretly wished that she had rather submitted to the meanest Employment, on the Death of her Parents, than taken up the Trade of being an humble Companion, and especially to a Lady, who, so far from being able to protect others, could not cover herself from the Shame of the Infamy she had incurred.

Lord Dellwyn disappointed all Captain Drumond's Hopes, for he made his House-keeper his Countess; whose first Step towards engrossing her Lord and his Fortunes wholly to herself, was the Riddance of Captain Drumond out of the Family; altho' no Endeavours were wanting on his Part to avoid so fatal a Misfortune. He was a true poetical Proteus, turned and twisted himself into various Forms, bullied and cringed, boasted and flattered, threatned Lord Dellwyn that he would break his Heart if he would not continue to him his Friendship, and believe him to be an honest Man; but all in vain. The House-keeper no sooner found herself to be a Countess, than she claimed all her Privileges, and would suffer no Person in her House but whom she pleased. She obtained such an Ascendant over her Lord, that by degrees she governed him as absolutely as if he had been a real Infant; and made him leave her every thing in his Power, to the great Disadvantage of his own Brother, and the Scandal of his Name.

The Captain proceeded on in the Method he had begun, by puffing off himself, and deceiving others; turning every human Weakness to his own Advantage, by directing his Flattery to that Part, till many Families had great Reason to lament the Day in which they had first been unfortunately acquainted with him; altho' he always boasted the great Blessing he had been to them, and the many Favours he had conferred on them; and at last was so thoroughly discovered, that he was publicly infamous, his own Conscience bearing the painful Testimony that he was deservedly so. By which means he became so miserable, that if, amongst all the People he had injured, there was any one vindictive enough to be half so much an Enemy to him as he was to himself, could they have seen his inward Sufferings, they must have been very hard-hearted indeed, if their Anger would not by that means have been appeased, and have given place to some Degree of human Pity.

It hath been observed, that Mr. Chlegen was first induced to marry Lady Fanny Fashion by a real and sincere Affection for her; and altho' he perceived that she was too much elated by public Diversions, and the Pleasures of Vanity, yet that he had flattered himself she would in Time grow weary of a continual Repetition of the same trifling Scenes, and then would naturally fall into the domestic Life he loved. But when he found that all his Hopes were built on a sandy Foundation, and that Time rather increased than diminished her Pursuit of vain Pleasures, he resolved to separate himself from her. He would not make any public Noise; but took an easy and obvious Method of enjoying her Absence, which was no other than remaining at his own home, which he found was the last Place to which she would chuse to resort. Lady Fanny's Life ended conformably to its Beginning; and if of the Space of Fifty Years, in which she fluttered about, much should be said, many Words might indeed be used; but of the Matter therein contained it might truly be said, it was Much ado about Nothing.

The Remainder of Mr. Lucum's Life bore a nearer Resemblance to Phrenzy or Distraction, than to any other thing whatsoever. He had before exerted the utmost Skill to make himself believe he was contented with a rural Retirement, insomuch that he could not now again avail himself of that Fallacy. He saw no Path by which he could possibly attain any new Connexion for the promoting any future Interest. He was become so much the Contempt of all Parties, that he could not flatter himself with any such alluring Hope. His Mind was swelled and puffed up with Ambition; but he laboured under the painful Affliction of finding no outward Object to gratify that turbulent Passion. He poured forth a small Part of his Indignation by constantly writing, One at least every Twelvemonth; the most enraged Letter he could dictate to his Daughter. But this was not sufficient to vent half the Venom with which he was filled. He therefore turned political Writer: He dipped his Pen in Gall, and threw forth his inward Spleen at every Man in Power; Which Power was itself the Mark at which he shot, without distinguishing who or what the Man was at whom he levelled his Satire, more properly called Ribaldry.

He wrote about it, Goddess, and about it,

till he buried the plainest Matters of Fact so deeply under a Redundancy of Words, that they could no longer be perceived even by the clearest Understanding.

At the Expiration of the Time which Miss Bilson's Father and Mother required Sir Harry Cleveland to spend in the Gaiety of the Metropolis, as a Trial of his Steadiness, in the Pursuit of such Pleasures as they thought becoming a reasonable Man, he returned to Mr. Bilson's in no way different from what he was when he left them; except in having his Passion for the young Lady, and his Esteem for the rest of the Family, still heightened, by the Comparisons his Mind had continually drawn between them and every other Person with whom he had conversed.

It must be confessed, that the ardent Love with which Sir Harry was inspired for Miss Bilson, was the most urgent Cause of his thinking the Time long whilst he staid in London. But if he had no other Motive but to have returned again to the instructing as well as entertaining Conversation of that Family, he would have longed to have quitted the Town, and all its Diversions, to have enjoyed that Pleasure; for there innocent Mirth and real Wit abounded, without their mimic Shadows, barbarous Noise, or affected Sneers. Their sprightly Humour displayed itself in various pleasing Forms, to enliven and amuse, but never to give mental Pain, or expose any of the Company to Derision. There Joy, spreading Laughter, like all other Pleasure, was shared in common; and they laughed with, but never at, one another. There, lastly, Religion appeared in its own natural Shape, and had its proper Influence; for, by softening the natural Infirmities which attend human Nature from the Time of its Entrance into this World, and by laying the most solid Foundation for rational Pleasure, it shewed every Countenance filled with such joyous Smiles, and benign Lustre, as can only be the Result of truly gladdened and happy Hearts.

Sir Harry Cleveland had now a Claim to urge, which neither Mr. nor Mrs. Bilson wished to refuse him; but, on the contrary, with general Joy confirmed his Union with Miss Bilson.

The young Clergyman, who owed both a tender and excellent Wife to Mrs. Bilson, begged leave to perform the Ceremony, as the greatest Gratification they could bestow; which, as they knew this Request was made in Sincerity of Heart, and not out of Flattery, they readily complied with, being ready to add to their own, by distributing Pleasure to all around them, and Sir Harry found abundant Reason to remember the Words of the wise Man, that a good Wife is a Crown to her Husband.

There was no good House on Sir Harry's Estate. He therefore compleated the Happiness of himself, his Bride, and all the Family, by hiring one in Mr. Bilson's Neighbourhood; tho' he thought it so proper to spend great Part of his Rents amongst those from whom he received them, that he followed Mrs. Bilson's Plan, fixing the same Institutions in his Parishes; and fitted up Apartments, where he and Lady Cleveland often went, and passed as much Time there as was requisite for the Inspection of the Charities they had established; over which the Clergyman's Widow presided in their Absence, receiving from them a handsome and proper Stipend for that Purpose.

This happy Family lived together in the happiest Union, till Time required its Sacrifice, and Death removed them from this World to a better, before Age had inflicted those Infirmities upon them which render Life burdensome to the Possessor, and a melancholy Object to their Friends; tho' not so soon, but that they went to the Grave full of Years and Honour.

Their Virtues lived in their Children. The Family changed its Persons, but not its Manners; and they continued a Blessing to the World from Generation to Generation


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