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'constructions upon my visit to you; I have been ' always her friend, and it may be in my power to • be much more hereafter.'
Mrs. Honour was altogether as placable as she was passionate. Ilearing therefore lady Bellaston assume the soft toue, she likewise softened hers.
- I'm sure, Madam,' says she, “I have been always ready to acknowledge your ladyslip's * friendships to me; sure I never had so good a ' friend as your ladyship-- and to be sure, now I
see it is your ladyship that I spoke to, I could * almost bite my tongue off for very mad.-I con'structions upon your ladyship-to be sure it
doth not become a servant as I am to think about ' such a great lady-I mean I was a servant: for ' indeed I am nobody's servant now, the more mi
serable wretch is me.--I have lost the best mis''*tress, :----- Here Honour thought fit to produce a shower of tears. Don't cry, child,' says the
good lady, Ways perhaps may be found to make you
amends. Come to me to-morrow morning.' She then took up her fan which lay on the ground, and without even looking at Jones, walked very majestically out of the room; there being a kind of dignity in the impudence of women of quality, which their interiors vainly aspire to attain to in circumstances of this nature.
Jones followed her down stairs, often offering her his hand, which she absolutely refused him, and got into her chair without taking any notice of him as he stood bowing before her.
At his return up stairs, a long dialogue passed between him and Mrs. Honour, while she was adjusting herself after the discomposure she had undergone. The subject of this was his infidelity to her young lady; on which she enlarged with great
; bitterness; but Jones at last found means to reconcile her, and not only so, but to obtain a promise of most inviolable secrecy, and that she would the next morning endeavour to find out Sophia, and
bring him a further account of the proceedings of the 'squire.
Thus ended this unfortunate adventure to the satisfaction only of Mrs. Honour; for a secret (as some of my readers will perhaps acknowledge from experience) is often a very valuable possession: and that not only to those wh) faithfully keep it, but sometimes to such as whisper it about till it come to the ears of every one, except the ignorant person who pays for the supposed conccaiing of what is publicly known.
Short and sweet. NOTWITHSTANDING all the obligations sle had received from Jones. Vrs. Miller could not forbear in the morning some gentle remorstrances for the hurricane which had happened the preceiling night in his chamber. These were however so gentle and so friendly; professing, and indeed truly, to aim at nothing more than the real good of Mr. Jones himself, that he, far from being otfended, thankfully received the admonition of the good woman, expressed much concern for whet: had past, excused it as well as he could, and promised never more to bring the same disturbances into the house.
But though Mrs. Miller did not refrain from a short expostulation in private at their first meeting; yet the occasion of his being summoned down stairs that morning was of a much more agreeable kind, being indeed to perform the office of a father to Miss Nancy, and to give her in wedlock to Mr. Nightingale, who was now ready drest, and full as sober as many of my readers will think a man ought to be who receives a wife in so imprudent a manner.
And here perhaps it may be proper to account for the escape which this young gentleman had made
from his uncle, and for his appearance in the condition in which we have seen bim the night before.
Now when the uncle has arrived at his lodgings with his nephew, partly to indulge his own incli. nations (for he dearly loved his bottle), and partly to disqualify his nephew from the immediate execution of his purpose, he ordered wine to be set on the table; with which he so briskly plied the young gentleman, that this latter, who, though not much used to drinking, did not detest it so as to be guilty of disobedience, or want of complaisance by - refusing, was soon completely finished.
Just as the uncle had obtained this victory, and was preparing a bed for his nephew, a messenger arrived with a piece of news, which so entirely disconcerted and shocked him, that he in a moment lost all consideration for his nephew, and his whole mind became entirely taken up with his own concerns.
This sudden avd afilicting news was no less than that his daughter had taken the opportunity of almost the first moment of his absence, and had gone off' with a neighbouring young clergyman; against whom, though her father could have had but one objection, namely, that he was worth notling yet she had never thought proper to communicate her amour even to father; and so artfully had she managed, that it had never been once suspected by any, till now that it was consummated.
Old Mr. Nightingale no sooner received this acCollit, than in the utmost confusion be ordered a post-chaise to be instantly got ready, and having recommended his nephew to the care of a servant, he directly left the house, scarce knowing what he did, nor whither be went.
The uncle thus departed, when the servant came to attend the nephew to bed, had waked him for that purpose, and had at last made him sensible that his uncie was gone, lie, instead of accepting the kind offices tendered him, insisted on a chair
being called; with this the servant, who had received no strict orders to the contrary, readily complied, and thus being conducted back to the house of Mrs. Miller, he had staggered up to Mr. Jones's chamber, as hath been before recounted.
This barof theuncle being now removed (though young Nightingale knew not as yet in what manner), and all parties being quickly ready, the mother, Mr. Jones, Mr. Nightingale, and his love, stept into a hackney-coach, which conveyed them to Doctor's Commons; where Miss Nancy was, in vulgar language, soon made an honest woman, and the poor mother became, in the purest sense of the word, one of the happiest of all human beings.
And now Mr. Jones having seen his good offices to that poor woman and her family brought to a happy conclusion, began to apply himself to his own concerns; but here, lest many of my readers should censure his folly for thus troubling himself with the affairs of others, and lest some few should think he acted more disinterestedly than indeed he did, we think proper to assure our reader, that he was so far from being unconcerned in this matter, that he had indeed a very considerable interest in bringing it to that final consummation.
To explain this seeming paradox at once, he was one who could truly say with him in Terence, Homo sum : humani nihil a me alienum puto. He was never an indifferent spectator of the misery or happiness of any one; and he felt either the one or the other in great proportion as he himself contributed to either. He could not thicrotire be the instrument of raising a whole family from the lowest state of wretchedness to the highest pitch of joy without conveying great felicity to himself; more perhaps than worldly men often purchase to themselves by undergoing the most severe labour, and often by wading through the deepest iniquity.
Those readers who are of the same complexion with him, will perhaps think this short chapter contains abundance of matter; while others may probably wish, short as it is, that it had been totally spared as impertinent to the main design, which I suppose they conclude is to bring Mr. Jones to the gallows, or, if possible, to a more deplorable catastrophe.
Containing Love-letters of several Sorts. MR. Jones, at his return home, found the following letters lying on his table, which he luckily opened in the order they were sent.
'Surely I am under some strange infatuation; I cannot keep my resolutions a moment, however strongly made or justly founded. Last night I resolved never to see you more; this
this morning I am willing to hear if you can, as you say, clear up this affair. And yet I know that to be im' possible. I have said every thing to myself ' which you can invent.
Perhaps, not. Perhaps your invention is stronger.
Come to me, therefore, the moment you receive this. If you can forge an excuse I almost promise you to be' lieve it. Betrayed to
Betrayed to-I will think no more. Come to me directly. This is the third letter I have writ, the two former are burntI am almost inclined to burn this too I wish 'I may preserve my senses.
Come to me pre* sently
you ever expect to be forgiven, or even suf• fered within my doors, come to me this instant.'