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keeping a secret, especially from you, Sir; for I ' have often heard Miss Bridget say, that if Mrs. ' Wilkins had committed a murder, she believed she would acquaint you with it. At last the expected day came, and Mrs. Wilkins, who had 'been kept a week in readiness, and put off from
time to time, upon some pretence or other, that * she might not return too soon, was dispatched. · Then the child was born, in the presence only of myself and my mother, and was by my mother conveyed to her own house, where it was privately kept by her till the evening of your return, when I, by the command of Miss Bridget, con'veyed it into the bed where you found it. And 'all suspicions were afterwards laid asleep by the • artful conduct of your sister, in pretending ill'will to the boy, and that any regard she shewed ‘him was out of mere complaisance to you.
Mrs. Waters then made many protestations of the truth of this story, and concluded by saying, * Thus, Sir, you have at last discovered your ne: ' phew; for so I am sure you will hereafter think him, and I question not but he will be both an ' honour and a comfort to you under that appellation.'
· I need not, Madam,' said Allworthy, express 'my astonishment at what you have told me; and yet surely you would not, and could not, have put together so many circumstances, to evidence an untruth. I confess, I recollect some passages relating to that Summer, which formerly gave me a conceit that my sister had some liking to him. I mentioned it to her; for I had such a regard to the young man, as well on his own account, as on his father's, that I should willingly . have consented to a match between them; but
she exprest the highest disdain of my unkind sus'picion, as she called it; so that I never spoke ' more on the subject. Good heavens! Well! the * Lord disposeth all things.----- Yet sure it was a
' most unjustifiable conduct in my sister to carry “this secret with her out of the world.' 'I promise you, Sir,' said Mrs. Waters, ‘she always profest a contrary intention, and frequently told me, she ‘intended one day to communicate it to you. She said indeed, she was highly rejoiced that her plot had succeeded so well, and that you had of your own accord taken such a fancy to the child, that it was yet unnecessary to make any express * declaration. Oh! Sir, had that lady lived to ' have seen this poor young man turned like a
vagabond from your house; nay, Sir, could she ' have lived to hear that you had yourself employed
a lawyer to prosecute him for å murder of which ' he was not guilty---- Forgive me, Mr. AllworSthy, I must say it was unkind.• have been abused, he never deserved it of you.' • Indeed, Madam,' said Allworthy, “I have been - abused by the person, whoever he was, that told
you so.' 'Nay, Sir,' said she, I would not be • mistaken, I did not presume to say you were 'guilty of any wrong. The gentleman who came to me, proposed no such matter; he only said, tak
ing me for Mr. Fitzpatrick's wife, that if Mr. • Jones had murdered my husband, I should be
assisted with any money I wanted to carry on the * prosecution, by a very worthy gentleman, who, lie · said, was well apprized what a villain I had to ' deal with. It was by this man I found out who
Mr. Jones was; and this man, whose name is • Dowling, Mr. Jones tells me, is your steward. I
discovered his name by a very odd accident; for he himself refused to tell it me; but Partridge,
who met him at my lodgings the second time he . • came, knew him formerly at Salisbury.'
· Avd did this Mr. Dowling,' says Allworthy, with great astonishment in his countenance, ‘ tell ' you, that I would assist in the prosecution:- ' No, Sir,' answered she, “I will not charge him wrongfully. He said I should be assisted, but he
* mentioned no name.--Yet you must pardon me, "Sir, if from circumstances I thought it could be ' no other.'--_-'Indeed, Madam,' says Allworthy,
, 'from circumstances I am too well convinced it
was another.---Good heaven! by what won* derful means is the blackest and deepest villany * sometimes discovered !--Shall I beg you, Madam,
to stay till the person you have mentioned comes; * for I expect him every minute; nay he may be, 'perhaps, already in the house.
„Allworthy then stept to the door, in order to call a servant, when in came, not Mr. Dowling, but the gentleman who will be seen in the next chapter.
Further Continuation. The gentleman who now arrived was no other than Mr. Western. He no sooner saw Allworthy, than, without considering in the least the presence of Mírs. Waters, he began to vociferate in the following manner: Fine doings at my house! A
rare kettle of fish I have discovered at last! who • the devil would be plagued with a daughter?' • What's the matter, neighbour?' said Allworthy.
Matter enough,' answered Western; when I thought she was just a coming to; nay, when she . had in a manner promised me to do as I would ' ha her, and when I was a hoped to have had no
thing more to do than to have sent for the law' yer, and finished all; what do you think I have • found out? that the little b—- hath bin play'ing tricks with me all the while, and carrying on ' a correspondence with that bastard of yours. • Sister Western, whom I have quarrelled with upon
her account, sent me word o't, and I ordered • her pockets to be searched when she was asleep, and here I have got un signed with the son of a whore's own name. I have not had patience to
read half o't, for 'tis longer than one of parson 'Supple's sermons; but I find plainly it is all about * love; and indeed what should it be else? I have * packed her up in chamber again, and to-morrow * morning down she goes into the country, unless * she consents to be married directly, and there ‘she shall live in a garret upon bread and water all * her days; and the sooner such a b—- breaks ' her heart the better, though d-n her, that I be‘lieve is too tough. She will live long enough to
plague me.' "Mr. Western,' answered Allworthy, you know I have always protested against force, ' and you yourself consented that none should be * used.' Ay,' cries he, that was only upon eon
dition that she would consent without. What the "devil and doctor Faustus! shan't I do what I will with my own daughter, especially when I desire nothing but her own good? Well
, neighbour, answered Allworthy, 'if you will give me leave, I
will undertake once to argue with the young lady.' 'Will you,' said Western; why that is kind now
and neighbourly, and mayhap you will do more *than I have been able to do with her; for I promise you she hath a very good opinion of you. Well, Sir,' said Allworthy, if you will go home, and release the young lady from her captivity, I will ' wait upon her within this half hour.'--'But
suppose,' said Western, she should run away * with un in the mean time? For lawyer Dowling ' tells me, there is no hopes of hanging the fellow ‘at last; for that the man is alive, and like to do * well, and that he thinks Jones will be out of pri
son again presently.'- How,' said Allworthy, 'what did you employ him then to inquire or to *do any thing in that matter?' 'Not I,' answered Western, ‘he mentioned it to me just now of his * own accord. '--'Just now!' cries Allworthy, 'why where did you see him then? I want much * to see Mr. Dowling.'-'Why you may see un an you will presently at my lodgings; for there is
'to be a meeting of lawyers there this morning, ' about a mortgage.-Icod! I shall lose two or
'dree thousand pounds, I believe, by that honest
gentleman, Mr. Nightingale.'--'Well, Sir,' said Allworthy, “I will be with you within the half ' hour.' And do for once,' cries the 'squire, “take ' a fool's advice; never think of dealing with her 'by gentle methods, take my word for it those ' will never do. I have tried ’um long enough. She 'must be frightened into it, there is no other way. • Tell her I'm her father; and of the horrid sin of ' disobedience, and of the dreadful punishment of ‘it in t'other world, and then tell her about being 'locked up all her life in a garret in this, and being
kept only on bread and water.' 'I will do all 'can,' said Allworthy; "for I promise you, there 'is nothing I wish for more than an alliance with 'this amiable creature.' 'Nay, the girl is well ' enough for matter o'that,' cries the 'squire; “ a 'man may go farther and meet with worse meat; * that I may declare o' her, thof she be my own
daughter. And if she will be but obedient to me, . there is narrow a father within a hundred miles 'o' the place, that loves a daughter better than I ' do; but I see you are busy with the lady here, so I will
huome and expect you; and so your humble servant.'
As soon as Mr. Western was gone, Mrs. Waters said, 'I sce, Sir, the 'squire hath not the least re'membrance of my face. I believe, Mr. Allworthy, you would not have known me neither. I am very
considerably altered since that day when you so kindly gave me that advice, which I had been • happy had ! followed.----- Indeed, Madam,'
! cries Allworthy, “it gave me great concern when I
first heard the contrary.' ? Indeed, Sir,' says she, 'I was ruined by a very deep scheme of villany, which if you knew, though I pretend not to think
it would justify me in your opinion, it would at ' least mitigate my offence, and induce you to