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she had not fifty farthings your son is married.'
My son married !' answered the old gentleman with surprise. Nay,' said Jones, 'I thought
you was unacquainted with it.'— My son nar‘ried to Miss Harris !' answered he again. --- To • Miss Harris !' said Jones; 'No, Sir, to Miss Nancy Miller, the daughter of Mrs. Miller, at • whose house he lodged; a young lady, who,
though her mother is reduced to let lodgings.?' Are you bantering, or are you in earnest?' cries the father with a most solemn voice. • Indeed,
Sir,’answered Jones, 'I scorn the character of a banterer. I came to you in most serious earnest, • imagining, as I find true, that your son had ' never dared acquaint you with a match so much inferior to him in point of fortune, though the reputation of the lady will suffer it no longer to remain a secret.'
While the father stood like one struck suddenly dumb at this news, a gentleman came into the room, and saluted him by the name of brother.
But though these two were in consanguinity so nearly related, they were in their dispositions alnost the opposites to each other. The brother who now arrived had likewise been bred to trade, in which he no sooner saw himself worth 60001. than he purchased a small estate with the greatest
a part of it, and retired into the country; where he married the daughter of an unbeneliced clergyman; a young lady, who, though she had neither beauty nor fortune, had recommended herself to his choice, entirely by her good humour, of whichi she possessed a very large share.
With this woman he had, during twenty-five years, lived a life more resembling the model ivhich certain poets ascribe to the golden age, than any of those patterns which are furnished by the present times. By her he had four children, but none
lie of them arrived at maturity, except only one daughter, whom in vulgar language he and his wife had spoiled; that is, had educated with the utmost tenderness and fondness, which she returned to such a degree, that she had actually refused a very extraordinary match with a gentleman a little turned of forty, because she could not bring herself to part with her parents.
The young lady whom Mr. Nightingale had intended for his son, was a near neighbour of his his brother, and an acquaintance of his niece; and in reality it was upon the account of his projected match, that he was now come to town; not indeed to forward, but to dissuade his brother from a purpose which he conceived would inevitably ruin his nephew; for he foresaw no other event from a union with Miss Harris, notwithstanding the largeness of her fortune, as neither her person nor mind seemed to him to promise any kind of of matrimonial felicity; for she was very tall, very thin, very ugly, very affected, very silly, and very ill-natured.
His brother, therefore, no sooner mentioned the marriage of his nephew with Miss Miller, than he expressed the utmost satisfaction; and when the father had very bitterly reviled his son, and pronounced sentence of beggary upon him, the uncle began in the following manner:
was a little cooler, brother, I would ask you whether you love your son for his sake, or • for your own You would answer, I suppose, ' and so I suppose you think, for his sake; and ' doubtless it is his happiness which you intended ' in the marriage you proposed for him.
Now, brother, to prescribe rules of happiness 'to others, hath always appeared to me very ab“surd, and to insist on doing this, very tyrannical. • It is a vulgar error I know; but it is neverthe« less an error. And if this be absurd in other
things, it is mostly so in the affair of marriage, 'the happiness of which depends entirely on the * affection which subsists between the parties.
'I have therefore always thought it unreasonable 'in parents to desire to chuse for their children on
this occasion; since to force affection is an impossible attempt; nay, so much doth love abhor force, that I know not whether, through an unfortunate but incurable perverseness in our natures, it
may not be even impatient of persuasion. ' It is, however, true, that though a parent will ' not I think, wisely prescribe, he ought to be con'sulted on this occasion ; and in strictness, per' haps, should at least have a negative voice.. My nephew, therefore, I own, in marrying, without asking your advice, bath been guilty of a fault. • But, nonestly speaking, brother, have you not a • little promoted this fault? Have not your fre
quent declarations on this subject, given him a ‘nioral certainty of your refusal, where there was
any deficiency in point of fortune? Nay, doth 'not your present anger arise solely from that deficiency? And if he hath failed in his duty here, did you not as much exceed that authority, when you absolutely bargained with him for a woman without his knowledge, whom you yourself never saw, and whom, if you had seen and known as ' well as I, it must have been madness in you to
have ever thought of bringing her into your • family.
• Still I own my nephew in a fault; but surely - it is not an unpardonable fault. He hath acted * indeed without your consent, in a matter in which 'he ought to have asked it; but it is in a matter ‘in which his interest is principally concerned ; 'your yourself must and will acknowledge, that you consulted his interest only, and if he unfortunately differed froin you, and hath been mis• taken in his notion of happiness, will you, bro'ther, if you love your son, carry him still wider ' from the point? Will you increase the ill conse
quences of his simple choice? Will you endea*vour to make an event certain misery to him,
' which may accidentally prove so? In a word, • brother, because he hath put it out of your power to make his circumstances as affluent as you would, will you distress them as much as you can?'
By the force of the true catholic faith St. Anthony won upon the fishes. Orpheus and Amphion went a little farther, and by the charms of music enchanted things merely inanimate. Wonderful, both! but neither history nor fable have ever yet ventured to record an instance of any one, who, by force of argument and reason, hath triumphed
, over habitual avarice.
Mr. Nightingale, the father, instead of attempting to answer his brother, contented himself with only observing, that they had always differed in their sentiments concerning the education of their children. “I wish,' said he brother, you would ' have confined your care to your own daughter, ' and never have troubled yourself with my son, ' who hath, I believe, as little profited by your
precepts, as by your example:' For young Nightingale was his uncle's godson, and had lived more with him thaa with his father. So that the uncle had often declared, he loved his nephew almost equally with his own child.
Jones fell into raptures with this good gentleman; and when, after much persuasion, they found the father grew still more and more irritated, instead of appeased, Jones conducted the uncle to his nephew at the house of Mrs. Miller.
Containing strange Matters. AT his return to his lodgings, Jones found the situation of affairs greatly altered from what they had been in at his departure. The mother, the two daughters, and young Mr. Nightingale, were
now sat down to supper together, when the uncle was, at his own desire, introduced without any ceremony into the company, to all of whom he was well known; for he had several times visited his mother at that house.
The old gentleman immediately walked up to Miss Nancy, saluted and wished her joy, as he did afterwards the nephew and the other sister; and lastly, he paid the proper compliments to his nephew, with the same good humour and courtesy, as if his nephew had married his equal or superior in fortune, with all the previous requisites first performed.
Miss Nancy and her supposed husband both turned pale, and looked rather foolish than otherwise upon the occasion ; but Mrs. Miller took the first opportunity of withdrawing; and having sent for Jones into the dining-room, she threw herself at his feet, and in a most passionate flood of tears, called him her good angel, the preserver of her poor little family, with many other respectful and endearing appellations, and made him every acknowledgement which the highest benefit cau extract from the most grateful heart.
After the first gust of her passion was a little over, which she declared, if she had not vented, would have burst her, she proceeded to inform Mr. Jones, that all matters were settled between Mr. Nightingale and her daughter, and that they were to be married the next morning; at which Mr. Jones having expressed much pleasure, the poor woman fell again into a fit of joy and thanksgiving, which he at length with difficulty silenced, and prevailed on her to return with him back to the company, whom they found in the same good humour in which they had left them.
This little society now passed two or three very agreeable hours together, in which the uncle, who was a very great lover of his bottle, had so well plyed his nephew, that this latter, though not