History of Literature












Tobias Smollett


"THE ADVENTURES OF PEREGRINE PICKLE"



 




"THE ADVENTURES OF PEREGRINE PICKLE"
 

In which are included Memoirs of a Lady of Quality



VOLUME II.


CHAPTER LXXIV.
The young Gentleman, having settled his domestic Affairs, arrives in London, and sets up a gay Equipage—He meets with Emilia, and is introduced to her Uncle.

His aunt, at the earnest solicitations of Julia and her husband, took up her quarters at the house of that affectionate kinswoman, who made it her chief study to comfort and cherish the disconsolate widow; and Jolter, in expectation of the living, which was not yet vacant, remained in garrison, in quality of land-steward upon our hero's country estate. As for the lieutenant, our young gentleman communed with him in a serious manner, about the commodore's proposal of taking Mrs. Trunnion to wife; and Jack, being quite tired of the solitary situation of a bachelor, which nothing but the company of his old commander could have enabled him to support so long, far from discovering aversion from the match, observed with an arch smile, that it was not the first time he had commanded a vessel in the absence of Captain Trunnion; and therefore, if the widow was willing, he would cheerfully stand by her helm, and, as he hoped the duty would not be of long continuance, do his endeavour to steer her safe into port, where the commodore might come on board, and take charge of her again.

In consequence of this declaration, it was determined that Mr. Hatchway should make his addresses to Mrs. Trunnion as soon as decency would permit her to receive them; and Mr. Clover and his wife promised to exert their influence on his behalf. Meanwhile, Jack was desired to live at the castle as usual, and assured, that it should be put wholly in his possession, as soon as he should be able to accomplish this matrimonial scheme.

When Peregrine had settled all these points to his own satisfaction, he took leave of all his friends, and, repairing to the great city, purchased a new chariot and horses, put Pipes and another lacquey into rich liveries, took elegant lodgings in Pall Mall, and made a most remarkable appearance among the people of fashion.

It was owing to this equipage, and the gaiety of his personal deportment, that common fame, which is always a common liar, represented him as a young gentleman who had just succeeded to an estate of five thousand pounds per annum, by the death of an uncle; that he was entitled to an equal fortune at the decease of his own father, exclusive of two considerable jointures, which would devolve upon him at the demise of his mother and aunt. This report, false and ridiculous as it was, he could not find in his heart to contradict. Not but that he was sorry to find himself so misrepresented; but his vanity would not allow him to take any step that might diminish his importance in the opinion of those who courted his acquaintance, on the supposition that his circumstances were actually as affluent as they were said to be. Nay, so much was he infatuated by this weakness, that he resolved to encourage the deception, by living up to the report; and accordingly engaged in the most expensive parties of pleasure, believing that, before his present finances should be exhausted, his fortune would be effectually made, by the personal accomplishments he should have occasion to display to the beau monde in the course of his extravagance. In a word, vanity and pride were the ruling foibles of our adventurer, who imagined himself sufficiently qualified to retrieve his fortune in various shapes, long before he could have any idea of want or difficulty. He thought he should have it in his power, at any time, to make a prize of a rich heiress, or opulent widow; his ambition had already aspired to the heart of a young handsome duchess dowager, to whose acquaintance he had found means to be introduced; or, should matrimony chance to be unsuitable to his inclinations, he never doubted, that, by the interest he might acquire among the nobility, he should be favoured with some lucrative post, that would amply recompense him for the liberality of his disposition. There are many young men who entertain the same expectations, with half the reason he had to be so presumptuous.

In the midst of these chimerical calculations, his passion for Emilia did not subside; but, on the contrary, began to rage with such an inflammation of desire, that her idea interfered with every other reflection, and absolutely disabled him from prosecuting the other lofty schemes which his imagination had projected. He therefore laid down the honest resolution of visiting her in all the splendour of his situation, in order to practise upon her virtue with all his art and address, to the utmost extent of his affluence and fortune. Nay, so effectually had his guilty passion absorbed his principles of honour, conscience, humanity, and regard for the commodore's last words, that he was base enough to rejoice at the absence of his friend Godfrey, who, being then with his regiment in Ireland, could not dive into his purpose, or take measures for frustrating his vicious design.

Fraught with these heroic sentiments, he determined to set out for Sussex in his chariot and six, attended by his valet-de-chambre and two footmen; and as he was now sensible that in his last essay he had mistaken his cue, he determined to change his battery, and sap the fortress, by the most submissive, soft, and insinuating behaviour.

On the evening that preceded this proposed expedition, he went into one of the boxes at the playhouse, as usual, to show himself to the ladies; and reconnoitring the company through a glass (for no other reason but because it was fashionable to be purblind), perceived his mistress very plainly dressed, in one of the seats above the stage, talking to another young woman of a very homely appearance. Though his heart beat the alarm with the utmost impatience at sight of his Emilia, he was for some minutes deterred from obeying the impulse of his love, by the presence of some ladies of fashion, who, he feared, would think the worse of him, should they see him make his compliment in public to a person of her figure. Nor would the violence of his inclination have so far prevailed over his pride, as to lead him thither, had he not recollected, that his quality friends would look upon her as some handsome Abigail, with whom he had an affair of gallantry, and of consequence give him credit for the intrigue.

Encouraged by this suggestion, he complied with the dictates of love, and flew to the place where his charmer sat. His air and dress were so remarkable, that it was almost impossible he should have escaped the eyes of a curious observer, especially as he had chosen a time for coming in, when his entrance could not fail to attract the notice of the spectators; I mean, when the whole house was hushed in attention to the performance on the stage. Emilia, therefore, perceived him at his first approach; she found herself discovered by the direction of his glass, and, guessing his intention by his abrupt retreat from the box, summoned all her fortitude to her aid, and prepared for his reception. He advanced to her with an air of eagerness and joy, tempered with modesty and respect, and expressed his satisfaction at seeing her, with a seeming reverence of regard. Though she was extremely well pleased at this unexpected behaviour, she suppressed the emotions of her heart, and answered his compliments with affected ease and unconcern, such as might denote the good humour of a person who meets by accident with an indifferent acquaintance. After having certified himself of her own good health, he very kindly inquired about her mother and Miss Sophy, gave her to understand that he had lately been favoured with a letter from Godfrey; that he had actually intended to set out next morning on a visit to Mrs. Gauntlet, which, now that he was so happy as to meet with her, he would postpone, until he should have the pleasure of attending her to the country. After having thanked him for his polite intention, she told him, that her mother was expected in town in a few days, and that she herself had come to London some weeks ago, to give attendance upon her aunt, who had been dangerously ill, but was now pretty well recovered.

Although the conversation of course turned upon general topics, during the entertainment he took all opportunities of being particular with his eyes, through which he conveyed a thousand tender protestations. She saw and inwardly rejoiced at the humility of his looks; but, far from rewarding it with one approving glance, she industriously avoided this ocular intercourse, and rather coquetted with a young gentleman that ogled her from the opposite box. Peregrine's penetration easily detected her sentiments, and he was nettled at her dissimulation, which served to confirm him in his unwarrantable designs upon her person. He persisted in his assiduities with indefatigable perseverance; when the play was concluded, handed her and her companion into a hackney-coach, and with difficulty was permitted to escort them to the house of Emilia's uncle, to whom our hero was introduced by the young lady, as an intimate friend of her brother Godfrey.

The old gentleman, who was no stranger to the nature of Peregrine's connection with his sister's family, prevailed upon him to stay supper, and seemed particularly well pleased with his conversation and deportment, which, by the help of his natural sagacity, he wonderfully adapted to the humour of his entertainer. After supper, when the ladies were withdrawn, and the citizen called for his pipe, our sly adventurer followed his example. Though he abhorred the plant, he smoked with an air of infinite satisfaction, and expatiated upon the virtues of tobacco, as if he had been deeply concerned in the Virginia trade. In the progress of the discourse, he consulted the merchant's disposition; and the national debt coming upon the carpet, held forth upon the funds like a professed broker. When the alderman complained of the restrictions and discouragements of trade, his guest inveighed against exorbitant duties, with the nature of which he seemed as well acquainted as any commissioner of the customs; so that the uncle was astonished at the extent of his knowledge, and expressed his surprise that a gay young gentleman like him should have found either leisure or inclination to consider subjects so foreign to the fashionable amusements of youth.

Pickle laid hold on this opportunity to tell him, that he was descended from a race of merchants; and that, early in life, he had made it his business to instruct himself in the different branches of trade, which he not only studied as his family profession, but also as the source of all our national riches and power. He then launched out in praise of commerce, and the promoters thereof; and, by way of contrast, employed all his ridicule in drawing such ludicrous pictures of the manners and education of what is called high life, that the trader's sides were shaken by laughter, even to the danger of his life; and he looked upon our adventurer as a miracle of sobriety and good sense. Having thus ingratiated himself with the uncle, Peregrine took his leave, and next day, in the forenoon, visited the niece in his chariot, after she had been admonished by her kinsman to behave with circumspection, and cautioned against neglecting or discouraging the addresses of such a valuable admirer.





CHAPTER LXXV.
He prosecutes his Design upon Emilia with great Art and Perseverance.

Our adventurer, having by his hypocrisy obtained free access to his mistress, began the siege by professing the most sincere contrition for his former levity, and imploring her forgiveness with such earnest supplication, that, guarded as she was against his flattering arts, she began to believe his protestations, which were even accompanied with tears, and abated a good deal of that severity and distance she had proposed to maintain during this interview. She would not, however, favour him with the least acknowledgment of a mutual passion, because, in the midst of his vows of eternal constancy and truth, he did not mention one syllable of wedlock, though he was now entirely master of his own conduct, and this consideration created a doubt, which fortified her against all his attacks. Yet, what her discretion would have concealed, was discovered by her eyes, which, in spite of all her endeavours, breathed forth complacency and love; for her inclination was flattered by her own self-sufficiency, which imputed her admirer's silence in that particular to the hurry and perturbation of his spirits, and persuaded her that he could not possibly regard her with any other than honourable intentions.

The insidious lover exulted in the tenderness of her looks, from which he presaged a complete victory; but, that he might not overshoot himself by his own precipitation, he would not run the risk of declaring himself, until her heart should be so far entangled within his snares, as that neither the suggestions of honour, prudence, nor pride, should be able to disengage it. Armed with this resolution, he restrained the impatience of his temper within the limits of the most delicate deportment. After having solicited and obtained permission to attend her to the next opera, he took her by the hand, and, pressing it to his lips, in the most respectful manner, went away, leaving her in a most whimsical state of suspense, chequered with an interesting vicissitude of hope and fear. On the appointed day, he appeared again about five o'clock in the afternoon, and found her native charms so much improved by the advantages of dress, that he was transported with admiration and delight; and, while he conducted her to the Haymarket, could scarce bridle the impetuosity of his passion, so as to observe the forbearing maxims he had adopted. When she entered the pit, he had abundance of food for the gratification of his vanity; for, in a moment, she eclipsed all the female part of the audience; each individual allowing in her own heart that the stranger was by far the handsomest woman there present, except herself.

Here it was that our hero enjoyed a double triumph; he was vain of this opportunity to enhance his reputation for gallantry among the ladies of fashion who knew him, and proud of an occasion to display his quality acquaintance to Emilia, that she might entertain the greater idea of the conquest she had made, and pay the more deference to his importance in the sequel of his addresses. That he might profit as much as possible by this situation, he went up and accosted every person in the pit, with whom he ever had least communication, whispered and laughed with an affected air of familiarity, and even bowed at a distance to some of the nobility, on the slender foundation of having stood near them at court, or presented them with a pinch of rappee at White's chocolate-house.

This ridiculous ostentation, though now practised with a view of promoting his design, was a weakness that, in some degree, infected the whole of his behaviour; for nothing gave him so much joy in conversation, as an opportunity of giving the company to understand how well he was with persons of distinguished rank and character. He would often, for example, observe, as it were occasionally, that the Duke of G— was one of the best-natured men in the world, and illustrate this assertion by some instance of his affability, in which he himself was concerned. Then, by an abrupt transition, he would repeat some repartee of Lady T—, and mention a certain bon mot of the Earl of C—, which was uttered in his hearing.

Abundance of young men in this manner make free with the names, though they have never had access to the persons of the nobility; but this was not the case with Peregrine, who, in consideration of his appearance and supposed fortune, together with the advantage of his introduction, was, by this time, freely admitted to the tables of the great.

In his return with Emilia from the opera, though he still maintained the most scrupulous decorum in his behaviour, he plied her with the most passionate expressions of love, squeezed her hand with great fervency, protested that his whole soul was engrossed by her idea, and that he could not exist independent of her favour. Pleased as she was with his warm and pathetic addresses, together with the respectful manner of his making love, she yet had prudence and resolution sufficient to contain her tenderness, which was ready to run over; being fortified against his arts, by reflecting, that, if his aim was honourable, it was now his business to declare it. On this consideration, she refused to make any serious reply to his earnest expostulations, but affected to receive them as the undetermined effusions of gallantry and good breeding.

This fictitious gaiety and good-humour, though it baffled his hope of extorting from her an acknowledgment of which he might have taken immediate advantage, nevertheless encouraged him to observe, as the chariot passed along the Strand, that the night was far advanced; that supper would certainly be over before they could reach her uncle's house; and to propose that he should wait upon her to some place, where they might be accommodated with a slight refreshment. She was offended at the freedom of this proposal, which, however, she treated as a joke, thanking him for his courteous offer, and assuring him, that when she should be disposed for a tavern treat, he alone would have the honour of bestowing it.

Her kinsman being engaged with company abroad, and her aunt retired to rest, he had the good fortune to enjoy a tete-a-tete with her during a whole hour, which he employed with such consummate skill, that her caution was almost overcome. He not only assailed her with the artillery of sighs, vows, prayers, and tears, but even pawned his honour in behalf of his love. He swore, with many imprecations, that although her heart was surrendered to him at discretion, there was a principle within him, which would never allow him to injure such innocence and beauty; and the transports of his passion had, upon this occasion so far overshot his purpose, that if she had demanded an explanation while he was thus agitated, he would have engaged himself to her wish by such ties as he could not break with any regard to his reputation. But from such expostulation she was deterred, partly by pride, and partly by the dread of finding herself mistaken in such an interesting conjecture. She therefore enjoyed the present flattering appearance of her fate, was prevailed upon to accept the jewels which he purchased with part of his winning at Bath, and, with the most enchanting condescension, submitted to a warm embrace when he took his leave, after having obtained permission to visit her as often as his inclination and convenience would permit.

In his return to his own lodgings, he was buoyed up with his success to an extravagance of hope, already congratulated himself upon his triumph over Emilia's virtue, and began to project future conquests among the most dignified characters of the female sex. But his attention was not at all dissipated by these vain reflections; he resolved to concentrate the whole exertion of his soul upon the execution of his present plan, desisted, in the meantime, from all other schemes of pleasure, interest, and ambition, and took lodgings in the city, for the more commodious accomplishment of his purpose. While our lover's imagination was thus agreeably regaled, his mistress did not enjoy her expectations without the intervention of doubts and anxiety. His silence, touching the final aim of his addresses, was a mystery on which she was afraid of exercising her sagacity; and her uncle tormented her with inquiries into the circumstances of Peregrine's professions and deportment. Rather than give this relation the least cause for suspicion, which must have cut off all intercourse betwixt her and her admirer, she said everything which she thought would satisfy his care and concern for her welfare; and, in consequence of such representation, she enjoyed, without reserve, the company of our adventurer, who prosecuted his plan with surprising eagerness and perseverance.





CHAPTER LXXVI.
He prevails upon Emilia to accompany him to a Masquerade, makes a treacherous Attempt upon her Affection, and meets with a deserved Repulse.

Scarce a night elapsed in which he did not conduct her to some public entertainment. When, by the dint of his insidious carriage, he thought himself in full possession of her confidence and affection, he lay in wait for an opportunity; and, hearing her observe in conversation, that she had never been at a masquerade, begged leave to attend her to the next ball; at the same time extending his invitation to the young lady in whose company he had found her at the play, she being present when this subject of discourse was introduced. He had flattered himself, that this gentlewoman would decline the proposal, as she was a person seemingly of a demure disposition, who had been born and bred in the city, where such diversions are looked upon as scenes of lewdness and debauchery. For once, however, he reckoned without his host; curiosity is as prevalent in the city as at the court end of the town. Emilia no sooner signified her assent to his proposal, than her friend, with an air of satisfaction, agreed to make one of the party; and he was obliged to thank her for that complaisance, which laid him under infinite mortification. He set his genius at work to invent some scheme for preventing her unseasonable intrusion. Had an opportunity offered, he would have acted as her physician, and administered a medicine that would have laid her under the necessity of staying at home. But his acquaintance with her being too slight to furnish him with the means of executing this expedient, he devised another, which was practised with all imaginable success. Understanding that her grandmother had left her a sum of money independent of her parents, he conveyed a letter to her mother, intimating, that her daughter, on pretence of going to the masquerade, intended to bestow herself in marriage to a certain person, and that in a few days she would be informed of the circumstances of the whole intrigue, provided she would keep this information secret, and contrive some excuse for detaining the young lady at home, without giving her cause to believe she was apprised of her intention. This billet, subscribed "Your well-wisher, and unknown humble servant," had the desired effect upon the careful matron, who, on the ball day, feigned herself so extremely ill, that Miss could not with any decency quit her mamma's apartment; and therefore sent her apology to Emilia in the afternoon, immediately after the arrival of Peregrine, who pretended to be very much afflicted with the disappointment, while his heart throbbed with a transport of joy.

About ten o'clock the lovers set out for the Haymarket, he being dressed in the habit of Pantaloon, and she in that of Columbine; and they had scarce entered the house when the music struck up, the curtain was withdrawn, and the whole scene displayed at once, to the admiration of Emilia, whose expectation was infinitely surpassed by this exhibition. Our gallant having conducted her through all the different apartments, and described the economy of the place, led her into the circle, and, in their turn, they danced several minuets; then going to the sideboard, he prevailed upon her to eat some sweetmeats and drink a glass of champagne. After a second review of the company, they engaged in country dances, at which exercise they continued until our adventurer concluded that his partner's blood was sufficiently warm for the prosecution of his design. On this supposition, which was built upon her declaring that she was thirsty and fatigued, he persuaded her to take a little refreshment and repose; and, for that purpose, handed her downstairs into the eating-room, where, having seated her on the floor, he presented her with a glass of wine and water; and, as she complained of being faint, enriched the draught with some drops of a certain elixir, which he recommended as a most excellent restorative, though it was no other than a stimulating tincture, which he had treacherously provided for the occasion. Having swallowed this potion, by which her spirits were manifestly exhilarated, she ate a slice of ham, with the wing of a cold pullet, and concluded the meal with a glass of burgundy, which she drank at the earnest entreaty of her admirer. These extraordinary cordials co-operating with the ferment of her blood, which was heated by violent motion, could not fail to affect the constitution of a delicate young creature, who was naturally sprightly and volatile. Her eyes began to sparkle with unusual fire and vivacity, a thousand brilliant sallies of wit escaped her, and every mask that accosted her underwent some smarting repartee.

Peregrine, overjoyed at the success of his administration, proposed that they should resume their places at the country dances, with a view to promote and assist the efficacy of his elixir; and, when he thought her disposition was properly adapted for the theme, began to ply her with all the elocution of love. In order to elevate his own spirits to that pitch of resolution which his scheme required, he drank two whole bottles of burgundy, which inflamed his passion to such a degree, that he found himself capable of undertaking and perpetrating any scheme for the gratification of his desire.

Emilia, warmed by so many concurring incentives, in favour of the man she loved, abated considerably of her wonted reserve, listened to his protestations with undissembled pleasure, and, in the confidence of her satisfaction, even owned him absolute master of her affections. Ravished with this confession, he now deemed himself on the brink of reaping the delicious fruits of his art and assiduity; and the morning being already pretty far advanced, assented with rapture to the first proposal she made of retiring to her lodgings. The blinds of the chariot being pulled up, he took advantage of the favourable situation of her thoughts; and, on pretence of being whimsical, in consequence of the wine he had swallowed, clasped her in his arms, and imprinted a thousand kisses on her pouting lips, a freedom which she pardoned as the privilege of intoxication. While he thus indulged himself with impunity, the carriage halted, and Pipes opening the door, his master handed her into the passage, before she perceived that it was not her uncle's house at which they had alighted.

Alarmed at this discovery, she, with some confusion, desired to know his reason for conducting her to a strange place at these hours. But he made no reply, until he had led her into an apartment, when he gave her to understand, that, as her uncle's family must be disturbed by her going thither so late in the night, and the streets near Temple-bar were infested by a multitude of robbers and cut-throats, he had ordered his coachman to halt at this house, which was kept by a relation of his, a mighty good sort of a gentlewoman, who would be proud of an opportunity to accommodate a person for whom he was known to entertain such tenderness and esteem.

Emilia had too much penetration to be imposed upon by this plausible pretext. In spite of her partiality for Peregrine, which had never been inflamed to such a pitch of complacency before, she comprehended his whole plan in a twinkling. Though her blood boiled with indignation, she thanked him with an affected air of serenity for his kind concern, and expressed her obligation to his cousin; but, at the same time, insisted upon going home, lest her absence should terrify her uncle and aunt, who, she knew, would not retire to rest till her return.

He urged her, with a thousand remonstrances, to consult her own ease and safety, promising to send Pipes into the city, for the satisfaction of her relations. But, finding her obstinately deaf to his entreaties, he assured her, that he would, in a few minutes, comply with her request; and, in the meantime, begged she would fortify herself against the cold with a cordial, which he poured out in her presence, and which, now that her suspicion was aroused, she refused to taste, notwithstanding all his importunities. He then fell on his knees before her, and the tears gushing from his eyes, swore that his passion was wound up to such a pitch of impatience, that he could no longer live upon the unsubstantial food of expectation; and that, if she would not vouchsafe to crown his happiness, he would forthwith sacrifice himself to her disdain. Such an abrupt address, accompanied with all the symptoms of frantic agitation, could not fail to perplex and affright the gentle Emilia, who, after some recollection, replied with a resolute tone, that she could not see what reason he had to complain of her reserve, which she was not at liberty to lay entirely aside, until he should have avowed his intentions in form, and obtained the sanction of those whom it was her duty to obey. "Divine creature!" cried he, seizing her hand, and pressing it to his lips, "it is from you alone I hope for that condescension, which would overwhelm me with the transports of celestial bliss. The sentiments of parents are sordid, silly, and confined. I mean not then to subject my passion to such low restrictions as were calculated for the purposes of common life. My love is too delicate and refined to wear those vulgar fetters, which serve only to destroy the merit of voluntary affection, and to upbraid a man incessantly with the articles of compulsion, under which he lies. My dear angel! spare me the mortification of being compelled to love you, and reign sole empress of my heart and fortune. I will not affront you so much as to talk of settlements; my all is at your disposal. In this pocket-book are notes to the amount of two thousand pounds; do me the pleasure to accept of them; to-morrow I will lay ten thousand more in your lap. In a word, you shall be mistress of my whole estate, and I shall think myself happy in living dependent on your bounty!"

Heavens! what were the emotions of the virtuous, the sensible, the delicate, the tender Emilia's heart, when she heard this insolent declaration from the mouth of a man whom she had honoured with her affection and esteem! It was not simply horror, grief, or indignation, that she felt, in consequence of this unworthy treatment, but the united pangs of all together, which produced a sort of hysteric laughter, while she told him that she could not help admiring his generosity.

Deceived by this convulsion, and the ironical compliment that attended it, the lover thought he had already made great progress in his operations, and that it was now his business to storm the fort by a vigorous assault, that he might spare her the confusion of yielding without resistance. Possessed by this vain suggestion, he started up, and, folding her in his arms, began to obey the furious dictates of his unruly and ungenerous desire. With an air of cool determination, she demanded a parley; and when, upon her repeated request, he granted it, addressed herself to him in these words, while her eyes gleamed with all the dignity of the most awful resentment:—

"Sir, I scorn to upbraid you with a repetition of your former vows and protestations, nor will I recapitulate the little arts you have practised to ensnare my heart; because, though by dint of the most perfidious dissimulation you have found means to deceive my opinion, your utmost efforts have never been able to lull the vigilance of my conduct, or to engage my affection beyond the power of discarding you without a tear, whenever my honour should demand such a sacrifice. Sir, you are unworthy of my concern or regret, and the sigh that now struggles from my breast is the result of sorrow, for my own want of discernment. As for your present attempt upon my chastity, I despise your power, as I detest your intention. Though, under the mask of the most delicate respect, you have decoyed me from the immediate protection of my friends, and contrived other impious stratagems to ruin my peace and reputation, I confide too much in my own innocence, and the authority of the law, to admit one thought of fear, much less to sink under the horror of this shocking situation, into which I have been seduced. Sir, your behaviour on this occasion is, in all respects, low and contemptible. For, ruffian as you are, you durst not harbour the thought of executing your execrable scheme, while you knew my brother was near enough to prevent or revenge the insult; so that you must not only be a treacherous villain, but also a most despicable coward."

Having expressed herself in this manner, with a most majestic severity of aspect, she opened the door, and walking down-stairs with surprising resolution, committed herself to the care of a watchman, who accommodated her with a hackney-chair, in which she was safely conveyed to her uncle's house.

Meanwhile, the lover was so confounded and overawed by these cutting reproaches, and her animated behaviour, that all his resolution forsook him, and he found himself not only incapable of obstructing her retreat, but even of uttering one syllable to deprecate her wrath, or extenuate the guilt of his own conduct. The nature of his disappointment, and the keen remorse that seized him, when he reflected upon the dishonourable footing on which his character stood with Emilia, raised such perturbation in his mind, that his silence was succeeded by a violent fit of distraction, during which he raved like a bedlamite, and acted a thousand extravagancies, which convinced the people of the house, a certain bagnio, that he had actually lost his wits. Pipes, with great concern, adopted the same opinion; and, being assisted by the waiters, hindered him, by main force, from running out and pursuing the fair fugitive, whom, in his delirium, he alternately cursed and commended with horrid imprecations and lavish applause. His faithful valet, having waited two whole hours, in hopes of seeing this gust of passion overblown, and perceiving that the paroxysm seemed rather to increase, very prudently sent for a physician of his master's acquaintance, who, having considered the circumstances and symptoms of the disorder, directed that he should be plentifully blooded, without loss of time, and prescribed a draught to compose the tumult of his spirits. These orders being punctually performed, he grew more calm and tractable, recovered his reflection so far as to be ashamed of the ecstasy he had undergone, and suffered himself quietly to be undressed and put to bed, where the fatigue occasioned by his exercise at the masquerade co-operated with the present dissipation of his spirits to lull him into a profound sleep, which greatly tended to the preservation of his intellects. Not that he found himself in a state of perfect tranquility when he waked about noon. The remembrance of what had passed overwhelmed him with mortification. Emilia's invectives still sounded in his ears. And, while he deeply resented her disdain, he could not help admiring her spirit, and his heart did homage to her charms.





CHAPTER LXXVII.
He endeavours to Reconcile himself to his Mistress, and Expostulates with the Uncle, who forbids him the House.

In this state of division, he went home to his own lodgings in a chair; and while he deliberated with himself whether he should relinquish the pursuit, and endeavour to banish her idea from his breast, or go immediately and humble himself before his exasperated mistress, and offer his hand as an atonement for his crime, his servant put in his hand a packet, which had been delivered by a ticket porter at the door. He no sooner perceived that the superscription was in Emilia's handwriting, than he guessed the nature of the contents; and, opening the seal with disordered eagerness, found the jewels he had given to her enclosed in a billet, couched in these words:—

"That I may have no cause to reproach myself with having
retained the least memorial of a wretch whom I equally
despise and abhor, I take this opportunity of restoring
these ineffectual instruments of his infamous design upon
the honour of

"Emilia."

His chagrin was so much galled and inflamed at the bitterness of this contemptuous message, that he gnawed his fingers till the blood ran over his nails, and even wept with vexation. Sometimes he vowed revenge against her haughty virtue, and reviled himself for his precipitate declaration, before his scheme was brought to maturity; then he would consider her behaviour with reverence and regard, and bow before the irresistible power of her attractions. In short, his breast was torn by conflicting passions: love, shame, and remorse, contended with vanity, ambition, and revenge; and the superiority was still doubtful when headstrong desire interposed, and decided in favour of an attempt towards a reconciliation with the offended fair.

Impelled by this motive, he set out in the afternoon for the house of her uncle, not without hopes of that tender enjoyment, which never fails to attend an accommodation betwixt two lovers of taste and sensibility. Though the consciousness of his trespass encumbered him with an air of awkward confusion, he was too confident of his own qualifications and address to despair of forgiveness; and, by that time he arrived at the citizen's gate, he had conned a very artful and pathetic harangue, which he proposed to utter in his own behalf, laying the blame of his conduct on the impetuosity of his passion, increased by the burgundy which he had too liberally drunk; but he did not meet with an opportunity to avail himself of this preparation. Emilia, suspecting that he would take some step of this kind to retrieve her favour, had gone abroad on pretence of visiting, after having signified to her kinsman her resolution to avoid the company of Peregrine, on account of some ambiguities which, she said, were last night remarkable in his demeanour at the masquerade. She chose to insinuate her suspicion in these hints, rather than give an explicit detail of the young man's dishonourable contrivance, which might have kindled the resentment of the family to some dangerous pitch of animosity and revenge.

Our adventurer, finding himself baffled in his expectation of seeing her, inquired for the old gentleman, with whom he thought he had influence enough to make his apology good, in case he should find him prepossessed by the young lady's information. But here too he was disappointed, the uncle having gone to dine in the country, and his wife was indisposed; so that he had no pretext for staying in the house till the return of his charmer. Being, however, fruitful of expedients, he dismissed his chariot, and took possession of a room in a tavern, the windows of which fronted the merchant's gate; and there he proposed to watch until he should see her approach. This scheme he put in practice with indefatigable patience, though it was not attended with the expected success.

Emilia, whose caution was equally vigilant and commendable, foreseeing that she might be exposed to the fertility of his invention, came home by a private passage, and entered by a postern, which was altogether unknown to her admirer; and her uncle did not arrive until it was so late that he could not, with any decency, demand a conference.

Next morning, he did not fail to present himself at the door, and his mistress being denied by her own express direction, insisted upon seeing the master of the house, who received him with such coldness of civility, as plainly gave him to understand that he was acquainted with the displeasure of his niece. He, therefore, with an air of candour, told the citizen, he could easily perceive by his behaviour that he was the confidant of Miss Emily, of whom he was come to ask pardon for the offence he had given; and did not doubt, if he could be admitted to her presence, that he should be able to convince her that he had not erred intentionally, or at least propose such reparation as would effectually atone for his fault.

To this remonstrance the merchant, without any ceremony or circumlocution, answered, that though he was ignorant of the nature of his offence, he was very certain, that it must have been something very flagrant that could irritate his niece to such a degree, against a person for whom she had formerly a most particular regard. He owned, she had declared her intention to renounce his acquaintance for ever, and, doubtless, she had good reason for so doing; neither would he undertake to promote an accommodation, unless he would give him full power to treat on the score of matrimony, which he supposed would be the only means of evincing his own sincerity, and obtaining Emilia's forgiveness. Peregrine's pride was kindled by this blunt declaration, which he could not help considering as the result of a scheme concerted betwixt the young lady and her uncle, in order to take advantage of his heat. He therefore replied, with manifest signs of disgust, that he did not apprehend there was any occasion for a mediator to reconcile the difference betwixt Emilia and him; and that all he desired was an opportunity of pleading in his own behalf. The citizen frankly told him, that, as his niece had expressed an earnest desire of avoiding his company, he would not put the least constraint upon her inclination; and, in the meantime, gave him to know, that he was particularly engaged. Our hero, glowing with indignation at this supercilious treatment, "I was in the wrong," said he, "to look for good manners so far on this side of Temple-bar; but you must give me leave to tell you, sir, that unless I am favoured with an interview with Miss Gauntlet, I shall conclude that you have actually laid a constraint upon her inclination, for some sinister purposes of your own."—"Sir," replied the old gentleman, "you are welcome to make what conclusions shall seem good unto your own imagination; but pray be so good as to allow me the privilege of being master in my own house." So saying, he very complaisantly showed him to the door; and our lover being diffident of his own temper, as well as afraid of being used with greater indignity, in a place where his personal prowess would only serve to heighten his disgrace, quitted the house in a transport of rage, which he could not wholly suppress, telling the landlord, that if his age did not protect him, he would have chastised him for his insolent behaviour.





CHAPTER LXXVIII.
He projects a violent Scheme, in consequence of which he is involved in a most fatiguing Adventure, which greatly tends towards the Augmentation of his Chagrin.

Thus debarred of personal communication with his mistress, he essayed to retrieve her good graces by the most submissive and pathetic letters, which he conveyed by divers artifices to her perusal; but, reaping no manner of benefit from these endeavours, his passion acquired a degree of impatience little inferior to downright frenzy; and he determined to run every risk of life, fortune, and reputation, rather than desist from his unjustifiable pursuit. Indeed, his resentment was now as deeply concerned as his love, and each of these passions equally turbulent and loud in demanding gratification. He kept sentinels continually in pay, to give him notice of her outgoings, in expectation of finding some opportunity to carry her off; but her circumspection entirely frustrated this design, for she suspected everything of that sort from a disposition like his, and regulated her motions accordingly.

Baffled by her prudence and penetration, he altered his plan. On pretence of being called to his country house by some affair of importance, he departed from London, and, taking lodgings at a farmer's house that stood near the road through which she must have necessarily passed in her return to her mother, concealed himself from all intercourse, except with his valet-de-chambre and Pipes, who had orders to scour the country, and reconnoitre every horse, coach, or carriage, that should appear on that highway, with a view of intercepting his Emilia in her passage.

He had waited in this ambuscade a whole week, when his valet gave him notice, that he and his fellow-scout had discovered a chaise-and-six, driving at full speed towards them; upon which they had flapped their hats over their eyes, so as they might not be known, in case they should be seen, and concealed themselves behind a hedge, from whence they could perceive in the carriage, as it passed, a young man plainly dressed, with a lady in a mask, of the exact size, shape, and air of Emilia; and that Pipes followed them at a distance, while he rode back to communicate this piece of intelligence.

Peregrine would scarce allow him time to conclude his information. He ran down to the stable, where his horse was kept ready saddled for the purpose, and, never doubting that the lady in question was his mistress, attended by one of her uncle's clerks, mounted immediately, and rode full gallop after the chaise, which, when he had proceeded about two miles, he understood from Pipes, had put up at a neighbouring inn. Though his inclination prompted him to enter her apartment without further delay, he suffered himself to be dissuaded from taking such a precipitate step, by his privy counsellor, who observed, that it would be impracticable to execute his purpose of conveying her against her will from a public inn, that stood in the midst of a populous village, which would infallibly rise in her defence. He advised him therefore to be in wait for the chaise, in some remote and private part of the road, where they might accomplish their aim without difficulty or danger. In consequence of this admonition our adventurer ordered Pipes to reconnoitre the inn, that she might not escape another way, while he and the valet, in order to avoid being seen, took a circuit by an unfrequented path, and placed themselves in ambush, on a spot which they chose for the scene of their achievement. Here they tarried a full hour, without seeing the carriage, or hearing from their sentinel. So that the youth, unable to exert his patience one moment longer, left the foreigner in his station, and rode back to his faithful lacquey, who assured him, that the travellers had not yet hove up their anchor, or proceeded on their voyage.

Notwithstanding this information, Pickle began to entertain such alarming suspicions, that he could not refrain from advancing to the gate, and inquire for the company which had lately arrived in a chaise-and-six. The innkeeper, who was not at all pleased with the behaviour of those passengers, did not think proper to observe the instructions he had received: on the contrary, he plainly told him, that the chaise did not halt, but only entered at one door, and went out at the other, with a view to deceive those who pursued it, as he guessed from the words of the gentleman, who had earnestly desired that his route might be concealed from any person who should inquire about their motions. "As for my own peart, measter," continued this charitable publican, "I believes as how they are no better than they should be, else they wouldn't be in such a deadly fear of being overtaken. Methinks, said I, when I saw them in such a woundy pother to be gone, oddsheartlikins! this must be some London 'prentice running away with his measter's daughter, as sure as I'm a living soul. But, be he who he will, sartain it is, a has nothing of the gentleman about en; for, thof a asked such a favour, a never once put hand in pocket, or said, 'Dog, will you drink?' Howsomever, that don't argufy in reverence of his being in a hurry; and a man may be sometimes a little too judgmatical in his conjectures." In all probability, this loquacious landlord would have served the travellers effectually, had Peregrine heard him to an end; but this impetuous youth, far from listening to the sequel of his observations, interrupted him in the beginning of his career, by asking eagerly which road they followed; and, having received the innkeeper's directions, clapped spurs to his horse, commanding Pipes to make the valet acquainted with the course, that they might attend him with all imaginable despatch.

By the publican's account of their conduct, his former opinion was fully confirmed. He plied his steed to the height of his mettle; and so much was his imagination engrossed by the prospect of having Emilia in his power, that he did not perceive the road on which he travelled was quite different from that which led to the habitation of Mrs. Gauntlet. The valet-de-chambre was an utter stranger to that part of the country; and, as for Mr. Pipes, such considerations were altogether foreign to the economy of his reflection.

Ten long miles had our hero rode, when his eyes were blessed with the sight of the chaise ascending an hill, at the distance of a good league; upon which he doubled his diligence in such a manner, that he gained upon the carriage every minute, and at length approached so near to it, that he could discern the lady and her conductor, with their heads thrust out at the windows, looking back, and speaking to the driver alternately, as if they earnestly besought him to augment the speed of his cattle.

Being thus, as it were, in sight of port, while he crossed the road, his horse happened to plunge into a cart-rut with such violence, that he was thrown several yards over his head; and, the beast's shoulder being slipped by the fall, he found himself disabled from plucking the fruit, which was almost within his reach; for he had left his servants at a considerable distance behind him; and although they had been at his back, and supplied him with another horse, they were so indifferently mounted, that he could not reasonably expect to overtake the flyers, who profited so much by this disaster that the chaise vanished in a moment.

It may be easily conceived how a young man of his disposition passed his time, in this tantalizing situation. He ejaculated with great fervency; but his prayers were not the effects of resignation. He ran back on foot, with incredible speed, in order to meet his valet, whom he unhorsed in a twinkling, and, taking his seat, began to exercise his whip and spurs, after having ordered the Swiss to follow him on the other gelding, and committed the lame hunter to the care of Pipes.

Matters being adjusted in this manner, our adventurer prosecuted the race with all his might; and, having made some progress, was informed by a countryman, that the chaise had struck off into another road, and, according to his judgment, was by that time about three miles ahead; though, in all probability, the horses would not be able to hold out much longer, because they seemed to be quite spent when they passed his door. Encouraged by this intimation, Peregrine pushed on with great alacrity, though he could not regain sight of the desired object, till the clouds of night began to deepen, and even then he enjoyed nothing more than a transient glimpse; for the carriage was no sooner seen, than shrouded again from his view. These vexatious circumstances animated his endeavours, while they irritated his chagrin. In short, he continued his pursuit, till the night was far advanced, and himself so uncertain about the object of his care, that he entered a solitary inn, with a view of obtaining some intelligence, when, to his infinite joy, he perceived the chaise standing by itself, and the horses panting in the yard.

In full confidence of his having arrived at last at the goal of all his wishes, he alighted instantaneously, and, running up to the coachman, with a pistol in his hand, commanded him, in an imperious tone, to conduct him to the lady's chamber, on pain of death. The driver, affrighted at this menacing address, protested, with great humility, that he did not know whither his fare had retired; for that he himself was paid and dismissed from the service, because he would not undertake to drive them all night across the country without stopping to refresh his horses. But he promised to go in quest of the waiter, who would show him to their apartment. He was accordingly detached on that errand, while our hero stood sentinel at the gate, till the arrival of his valet-de-chambre, who, joining him by accident, before the coachman returned, relieved him in his watch; and then the young gentleman, exasperated at his messenger's delay, rushed, with fury in his eyes, from room to room, denouncing vengeance upon the whole family; but he did not meet with one living soul, until he entered the garret, where he found the landlord and his wife in bed. This chicken-hearted couple, by the light of a rush candle that burned on the hearth, seeing a stranger burst into the chamber, in such a terrible attitude, were seized with consternation; and, exalting their voices, in a most lamentable strain, begged, for the passion of Christ, that he would spare their lives, and take all they had.

Peregrine guessing, from this exclamation, and the circumstance of their being abed, that they mistook him for a robber, and were ignorant of that which he wanted to know, dispelled their terror, by making them acquainted with the cause of his visit, and desired the husband to get up with all possible despatch, in order to assist and attend him in his search.

Thus reinforced, he rummaged every corner of the inn, and at last, finding the hostler in the stable, was by him informed, to his unspeakable mortification, that the gentleman and lady who arrived in the chaise, had immediately hired post-horses for a certain village at the distance of fifteen miles, and departed without halting for the least refreshment. Our adventurer, mad with his disappointment, mounted his horse in an instant, and, with his attendant, took the same road, with full determination to die, rather than desist from the prosecution of his design. He had, by this time, rode upwards of thirty miles, since three o'clock in the afternoon; so that the horses were almost quite jaded, and travelled this stage so slowly, that it was morning before they reached the place of their destination, where, far from finding the fugitives, he understood that no such persons as he described had passed that way, and that, in all likelihood, they had taken a quite contrary direction, while in order to mislead him in his pursuit, they had amused the hostler with a false route. This conjecture was strengthened by his perceiving, now for the first time, that he had deviated a considerable way from the road, through which they must have journeyed, in order to arrive at the place of her mother's residence; and these suggestions utterly deprived him of the small remains of recollection which he had hitherto retained. His eyes rolled about, witnessing rage and distraction; he foamed at the mouth, stamped upon the ground with great violence, uttered incoherent imprecations against himself and all mankind, and would have sallied forth again, he knew not whither, upon the same horse, which he had already almost killed with fatigue, had not his confidant found means to quiet the tumult of his thoughts, and recall his reflection, by representing the condition of the poor animals, and advising him to hire fresh horses, and ride post across the country, to the village in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Gauntlet's habitation, where they should infallibly intercept the daughter, provided they could get the start of her upon the road.

Peregrine not only relished, but forthwith acted in conformity with this good counsel. His own horses were committed to the charge of the landlord, with directions for Pipes, in case he should come in quest of his master: and, a couple of stout geldings being prepared, he and his valet took the road again, steering their course according to the motions of the post-boy, who undertook to be their guide. They had almost finished the first stage, when they descried a post-chaise just halting at the inn where they proposed to change horses; upon which our adventurer, glowing with a most interesting presage, put his beast to the full speed, and approached near enough to distinguish, as the travellers quitted the carriage, that he had at last come up with the very individual persons whom he had pursued so long.

Flushed with this discovery, he galloped into the yard so suddenly, that the lady and her conductor scarce had time to shut themselves up in a chamber, to which they retreated with great precipitation; so that the pursuer was now certain of having housed his prey. That he might, however, leave nothing to fortune, he placed himself upon the stair by which they had ascended to the apartment, and sent up his compliments to the young lady, desiring the favour of being admitted to her presence, otherwise he should be obliged to waive all ceremony, and take that liberty which she would not give. The servant, having conveyed his message through the keyhole, returned with an answer, importing that she would adhere to the resolution she had taken, and perish, rather than comply with his will. Our adventurer, without staying to make any rejoinder to this reply, ran upstairs, and, thundering at the door for entrance, was given to understand by the nymph's attendant, that a blunderbuss was ready primed for his reception, and that he would do well to spare him the necessity of shedding blood in defence of a person who had put herself under his protection. "All the laws of the land," said he, "cannot now untie the knots by which we are bound together; and therefore I will guard her as my own property; so that you had better desist from your fruitless attempt, and thereby consult your own safety; for, by the God that made me! I will discharge my piece upon you, as soon as you set your nose within the door; and your blood be upon your own head."

These menaces, from a citizen's clerk, would have been sufficient motives for Pickle to storm the breach, although they had not been reinforced by that declaration, which informed him of Emilia's having bestowed herself in marriage upon such a contemptible rival. This sole consideration added wings to his impetuosity, and he applied his foot to the door with such irresistible force, as burst it open in an instant, entering at the same time with a pistol ready cocked in his hand. His antagonist, instead of firing his blunderbuss, when he saw him approach, started back with evident signs of surprise and consternation, exclaiming, "Lord Jesus! Sir, you are not the man! and, without doubt, are under some mistake with regard to us." Before Peregrine had time to answer this salutation, the lady, hearing it, advanced to him, and, pulling off a mask, discovered a face which he had never seen before. The Gorgon's head, according to the fables of antiquity, never had a more instantaneous or petrifying effect, than that which this countenance produced upon the astonished youth. His eyes were fixed upon this unknown object, as if they had been attracted by the power of enchantment, his feet seemed riveted to the ground, and, after having stood motionless for the space of a few minutes, he dropped down in an apoplexy of disappointment and despair. The Swiss, who had followed him, seeing his master in this condition, lifted him up, and, laying him upon a bed in the next room, let him blood immediately, without hesitation, being always provided with a case of lancets, against all accidents on the road. To this foresight our hero, in all probability, was indebted for his life. By virtue of a very copious evacuation, he recovered the use of his senses; but the complication of fatigues and violent transports, which he had undergone, brewed up a dangerous fever in his blood; and, a physician being called from the next market-town, several days elapsed before he would answer for his life.





CHAPTER LXXIX.
Peregrine sends a Message to Mrs. Gauntlet, who rejects his Proposal—He repairs to the Garrison.

At length, however, his constitution overcame his disease, though not before it had in a great measure tamed the fury of his disposition, and brought him to a serious consideration of his conduct. In this humiliation of his spirits, he reflected with shame and remorse upon his treachery to the fair, the innocent Emilia; he remembered his former sentiments in her favour, as well as the injunctions of his dying uncle; he recollected his intimacy with her brother, against which he had so basely sinned; and, revolving all the circumstances of her conduct, found it so commendable, spirited, and noble, that he deemed her an object of sufficient dignity to merit his honourable addresses, even though his duty had not been concerned in this decision. But, obligated as he was to make reparation to a worthy family, which he had so grossly injured, he thought he could not manifest his reformation too soon; and, whenever he found himself able to hold a pen, wrote a letter to Mrs. Gauntlet, wherein he acknowledged, with many expressions of sorrow and contrition, that he had acted a part altogether unbecoming a man of honour, and should never enjoy the least tranquility of mind, until he should have merited her forgiveness. He protested, that, although his happiness entirely depended upon the determination of Emilia, he would even renounce all hope of being blessed with her favour, if she could point out any other method of making reparation to that amiable young lady, but by laying his heart and fortune at her feet, and submitting himself to her pleasure during the remaining part of his life. He conjured her, therefore, in the most pathetic manner, to pardon him, in consideration of his sincere repentance, and to use her maternal influence with her daughter, so as that he might be permitted to wait upon her with a wedding ring, as soon as his health would allow him to undertake the journey.

This explanation being despatched by Pipes, who had, by this time, found his master, the young gentleman inquired about the couple whom he had so unfortunately pursued, and understood from his valet-de-chambre, who learned the story from their own mouths, that the lady was the only daughter of a rich Jew, and her attendant no other than his apprentice, who had converted her to Christianity, and married her at the same time; that this secret having taken air, the old Israelite had contrived a scheme to separate them for ever; and they being apprised of his intention, had found means to elope from his house, with a view of sheltering themselves in France, until the affair could be made up; that, seeing three men ride after them with such eagerness, they never doubted that the pursuers were her father, and some friends, or domestics, and on that supposition had fled with the utmost despatch and trepidation, until they had found themselves happily undeceived, at that very instant when they expected nothing but mischief and misfortune. Lastly, the Swiss gave him to understand, that, after having professed some concern for his deplorable situation, and enjoyed a slight refreshment, they had taken their departure for Dover, and, in all likelihood, were safely arrived at Paris.

In four-and-twenty hours after Pipes was charged with his commission, he brought back an answer from the mother of Emilia, couched in these words:—

Sir,—I received the favour of yours, and am glad, for your
own sake, that you have attained a due sense and conviction
of your unkind and unchristian behaviour to poor Emy. I thank
God, none of my children were ever so insulted before. Give
me leave to tell you, sir, my daughter was no upstart, without
friends or education, but a young lady, as well bred, and
better born, than most private gentlewomen in the kingdom;
and therefore, though you had no esteem for her person, you
ought to have paid some regard to her family, which, no
disparagement to you, sir, is more honourable than your own.
As for your proposal, Miss Gauntlet will not hear of it,
being that she thinks her honour will not allow her to listen
to any terms of reconciliation; and she is not yet so
destitute as to embrace an offer to which she has the least
objection. In the meantime, she is so much indisposed, that
she cannot possibly see company; so I beg you will not take
the trouble of making a fruitless journey to this place.
Perhaps your future conduct may deserve her forgiveness,
and really, as I am concerned for your happiness, which you
assure me depends upon her condescension, I wish with all my
heart it may; and am, notwithstanding all that has happened,
your sincere well-wisher. "Cecilia Gauntlet."

From this epistle, and the information of his messenger, our hero learned, that his mistress had actually profited by his wild-goose chase, so as to make a safe retreat to her mother's house. Though sorry to hear of her indisposition, he was also piqued at her implacability, as well as at some stately paragraphs of the letter, in which, he thought, the good lady had consulted her own vanity, rather than her good sense. These motives of resentment helped him to bear his disappointment like a philosopher, especially as he had now quieted his conscience, in proffering to redress the injury he had done; and, moreover, found himself, with regard to his love, in a calm state of hope and resignation.

A seasonable fit of illness is an excellent medicine for the turbulence of passion. Such a reformation had the fever produced on the economy of his thoughts, that he moralized like an apostle, and projected several prudential schemes for his future conduct. In the meantime, as soon as his health was sufficiently re-established, he took a trip to the garrison, in order to visit his friends; and learned from Hatchway's own mouth, that he had broke the ice of courtship to his aunt, and that his addresses were now fairly afloat; though, when he first declared himself to the widow, after she had been duly prepared for the occasion, by her niece and the rest of her friends, she had received his proposal with a becoming reserve, and piously wept at the remembrance of her husband, observing, that she should never meet with his fellow.

Peregrine promoted the lieutenant's suit with all his influence, and all Mrs. Trunnion's objections to the match being surmounted, it was determined, that the day of marriage should be put off for three months, that her reputation might not suffer by a precipitate engagement. His next care was to give orders for erecting a plain marble monument to the memory of his uncle, on which the following inscription, composed by the bridegroom, actually appeared in golden letters:

Here lies,
Foundered in a fathom and half,
The shell
Of
HAWSER TRUNNION, Esq.
Formerly commander of a squadron
In his Majesty's service,
Who broached to, at five P.M. Oct. 10,
In the year of his age threescore and nineteen.

He kept his guns always loaded,
And his tackle ready mann'd,
And never showed his poop to the enemy,
Except when he took her in tow;
But, His shot being expended, His match burnt out,
And his upper works decayed,
He was sunk by Death's superior weight of metal.

Nevertheless,
He will be weighed again at the Great Day,
His rigging refitted, And his timbers repaired;
And, with one broadside,
Make his adversary strike in his turn.





CHAPTER LXXX.
He returns to London, and meets with Cadwallader, who entertains him with many curious Particulars—Crabtree sounds the Duchess, and undeceives Pickle, who, by an extraordinary Accident, becomes acquainted with another Lady of Quality.

The young gentleman having performed these last offices in honour of his deceased benefactor, and presented Mr. Jolter to the long-expected living, which at this time happened to be vacant, returned to London, and resumed his former gaiety: not that he was able to shake Emilia from his thought, or even to remember her without violent emotions; for, as he recovered his vigour, his former impatience recurred, and therefore he resolved to plunge himself headlong into some intrigue, that might engage his passions and amuse his imagination.

A man of his accomplishments could not fail to meet with a variety of subjects on which his gallantry would have been properly exercised; and this abundance distracted his choice, which at any time was apt to be influenced by caprice and whim. I have already observed, that he had lifted his view, through a matrimonial perspective, as high as a lady of the first quality and distinction: and now, that he was refused by Miss Gauntlet, and enjoyed a little respite from the agonies of that flame which her charms had kindled in his heart, he renewed his assiduities to her grace. Though he durst not yet risk an explanation, he enjoyed the pleasure of seeing himself so well received in quality of a particular acquaintance, that he flattered himself with the belief of his having made some progress in her heart; and was confirmed in this conceited notion by the assurances of her woman, whom, by liberal largesses, he retained in his interest, because she found means to persuade him that she was in the confidence of her lady. But, notwithstanding this encouragement, and the sanguine suggestions of his own vanity, he dreaded the thoughts of exposing himself to her ridicule and resentment by a premature declaration and determined to postpone his addresses, until he should be more certified of the probability of succeeding in his attempt.

While he remained in this hesitation and suspense, he was one morning very agreeably surprised with the appearance of his friend Crabtree, who, by the permission of Pipes, to whom he was well known, entered his chamber before he was awake, and, by a violent shake of the shoulder, disengaged him from the arms of sleep. The first compliments having mutually passed, Cadwallader gave him to understand, that he had arrived in town overnight in the stage-coach from Bath, and entertained him with such a ludicrous account of his fellow-travellers, that Peregrine, for the first time since their parting, indulged himself in mirth, even to the hazard of suffocation.

Crabtree, having rehearsed these adventures, in such a peculiarity of manner as added infinite ridicule to every circumstance, and repeated every scandalous report which had circulated at Bath, after Peregrine's departure, was informed by the youth, that he harboured a design upon the person of such a duchess, and in all appearance had no reason to complain of his reception; but that he would not venture to declare himself, until he should be more ascertained of her sentiments; and therefore he begged leave to depend upon the intelligence of his friend Cadwallader, who, he knew, was admitted to her parties.

The misanthrope, before he would promise his assistance, asked if his prospect verged towards matrimony; and our adventurer, who guessed the meaning of his question, replying in the negative, he undertook the office of reconnoitring her inclination, protesting at the same time, that he would never concern himself in any scheme that did not tend to the disgrace and deception of all the sex. On these conditions he espoused the interest of our hero; and a plan was immediately concerted, in consequence of which they met by accident at her grace's table. Pickle having staid all the forepart of the evening, and sat out all the company, except the misanthrope and a certain widow lady who was said to be in the secrets of my lady duchess, went away on pretence of an indispensable engagement, that Crabtree might have a proper opportunity of making him the subject of conversation.

Accordingly, he had scarce quitted the apartment, when this cynic, attending him to the door with a look of morose disdain, "Were I an absolute prince," said he, "and that fellow one of my subjects, I would order him to be clothed in sackcloth, and he should drive my asses to water, that his lofty spirit might be lowered to the level of his deserts. The pride of a peacock is downright self-denial, when compared with the vanity of that coxcomb, which was naturally arrogant, but is now rendered altogether intolerable, by the reputation he acquired at Bath, for kicking a bully, outwitting a club of raw sharpers, and divers other pranks, in the execution of which he was more lucky than wise. But nothing has contributed so much to the increase of his insolence and self-conceit, as the favour he found among the ladies; ay, the ladies, madam: I care not who knows it: the ladies, who, to their honour be it spoken, never fail to patronize foppery and folly, provided they solicit their encouragement. And yet this dog was not on the footing of those hermaphroditical animals, who may be reckoned among the number of waiting-women, who air your shifts, comb your lap-dogs, examine your noses with magnifying glasses, in order to squeeze out the worms, clean your tooth-brushes, sweeten your handkerchiefs, and soften waste paper for your occasions. This fellow Pickle was entertained for more important purposes; his turn of duty never came till all those lapwings were gone to roost; then he scaled windows, leaped over garden walls, and was let in by Mrs. Betty in the dark. Nay, the magistrates of Bath complimented him with the freedom of the corporation, merely because, through his means, the waters had gained extraordinary credit; for every female of a tolerable appearance, that went thither on account of her sterility, got the better of her complaint, during his residence at Bath. And now the fellow thinks no woman can withstand his addresses. He had not been here three minutes, when I could perceive, with half an eye, that he had marked out your grace for a conquest,—I mean in an honourable way; though the rascal has impudence enough to attempt anything."

So saying, he fixed his eyes upon the duchess, who, while her face glowed with indignation, turning to her confidant, expressed herself in these words: "Upon my life! I believe there is actually some truth in what this old ruffian says; I have myself observed that young fellow eyeing me with a very particular stare."—"It is not to be at all wondered at," said her friend, "that a youth of his complexion should be sensible to the charms of your grace! but I dare say he would not presume to entertain any but the most honourable and respectful sentiments."—"Respectful sentiments!" cried my lady, with a look of ineffable disdain; "if I thought the fellow had assurance enough to think of me in any shape, I protest I would forbid him my house. Upon my honour, such instances of audacity should induce persons of quality to keep your small gentry at a greater distance; for they are very apt to grow impudent, upon the least countenance or encouragement."

Cadwallader, satisfied with this declaration, changed the subject of discourse, and next day communicated his discovery to his friend Pickle, who upon this occasion felt the most stinging sensations of mortified pride, and resolved to quit his prospect with a good grace. Nor did the execution of this self-denying scheme cost him one moment's uneasiness; for his heart had never been interested in the pursuit, and his vanity triumphed in the thoughts of manifesting his indifference. Accordingly, the very next time he visited her grace, his behaviour was remarkably frank, sprightly and disengaged; and the subject of love being artfully introduced by the widow, who had been directed to sound his inclinations, he rallied the passion with great ease and severity and made no scruple of declaring himself heart-whole. Though the duchess had resented his supposed affection, she was now offended at his insensibility, and even signified her disgust, by observing, that perhaps his attention to his own qualifications screened him from the impression of all other objects.

While he enjoyed this sarcasm, the meaning of which he could plainly discern, the company was joined by a certain virtuoso, who had gained free access to all the great families of the land, by his noble talent of gossiping and buffoonery. He was now in the seventy-fifth year of his age; his birth was so obscure, that he scarce knew his father's name; his education suitable to the dignity of his descent; his character publicly branded with homicide, profligacy, and breach of trust; yet this man, by the happy inheritance of impregnable effrontery, and a lucky prostitution of all principle in rendering himself subservient to the appetites of the great, had attained to an independency of fortune, as well as to such a particular share of favour among the quality, that, although he was well known to have pimped for three generations of the nobility, there was not a lady of fashion in the kingdom who scrupled to admit him to her toilette, or even to be squired by him in any place of public entertainment. Not but that this sage was occasionally useful to his fellow-creatures, by these connections with people of fortune; for he often undertook to solicit charity in behalf of distressed objects, with a view of embezzling one-half of the benefactions. It was an errand of this kind that now brought him to the house of her grace.

After having sat a few minutes, he told the company that he would favour them with a very proper opportunity to extend their benevolence, for the relief of a poor gentlewoman, who was reduced to the most abject misery, by the death of her husband, and just delivered of a couple of fine boys: they, moreover, understood from his information, that this object was daughter of a good family, who had renounced her in consequence of her marrying an ensign without a fortune; and even obstructed his promotion with all their influence and power; a circumstance of barbarity which had made such an impression upon his mind, as disordered his brain, and drove him to despair, in a fit of which he had made away with himself, leaving his wife, then big with child, to all the horrors of indigence and grief.

Various were the criticisms on this pathetic picture, which the old man drew with great expression. My lady duchess concluded that she must be a creature void of all feeling and reflection, who could survive such aggravated misery, therefore did not deserve to be relieved, except in the character of a common beggar; and was generous enough to offer a recommendation, by which she would be admitted into an infirmary, to which her grace was a subscriber; at the same time advising the solicitor to send the twins to the Foundling Hospital, where they could be carefully nursed and brought up, so as to become useful members to the commonwealth. Another lady, with all due deference to the opinion of the duchess, was free enough to blame the generosity of her grace, which would only serve to encourage children in disobedience to their parents, and might be the means not only of prolonging the distress of the wretched creature, but also of ruining the constitution of some young heir, perhaps the hope of a great family; for she did suppose that madam, when her month should be up, and her brats disposed of, would spread her attractions to the public, provided she could profit by her person, and, in the usual way, make a regular progress from St. James's to Drury Lane. She apprehended, for these reasons, that their compassion would be most effectually shown, in leaving her to perish in her present necessity; and that the old gentleman would be unpardonable, should he persist in his endeavours to relieve her. A third member of this tender-hearted society, after having asked if the young woman was handsome, and being answered in the negative, allowed that there was a great deal of reason in what had been said by the honourable person who had spoke last; nevertheless, she humbly conceived her sentence would admit of some mitigation. "Let the bantlings," said she, "be sent to the hospital, according to the advice of her grace, and a small collection be made for the present support of the mother; and, when her health is recovered, I will take her into my family, in quality of an upper servant, or medium between me and my woman; for, upon my life! I can't endure to chide or give directions to a creature, who is, in point of birth and education, but one degree above the vulgar."

This proposal met with universal approbation. The duchess, to her immortal honour, began the contribution with a crown; so that the rest of the company were obliged to restrict their liberality to half the sum, that her grace might not be affronted. And the proposer, demanding the poor woman's name and place of abode, the old mediator could not help giving her ladyship a verbal direction, though he was extremely mortified, on more accounts than one, to find such an issue to his solicitation.

Peregrine, who, "though humorous as winter, had a tear for pity, and a hand open as day for melting charity," was shocked at the nature and result of this ungenerous consultation. He contributed his half-crown, however, and, retiring from the company, betook himself to the lodgings of the forlorn lady in the straw, according to the direction he had heard. Upon inquiry, he understood that she was then visited by some charitable gentlewoman, who had sent for a nurse, and waited the return of the messenger; and he sent up his respects, desiring he might be permitted to see her, on pretence of having been intimate with her late husband.

Though the poor woman had never heard of his name, she did not think proper to deny his request; and he was conducted to a paltry chamber in the third story, where he found this unhappy widow sitting upon a truckle-bed, and suckling one of her infants, with the most piteous expression of anguish in her features, which were naturally regular and sweet, while the other was fondled on the knee of a person, whose attention was so much engrossed by her little charge, that, for the present, she could mind nothing else; and it was not till after the first compliments passed betwixt the hapless mother and our adventurer, that he perceived the stranger's countenance, which inspired him with the highest esteem and admiration. He beheld all the graces of elegance and beauty, breathing sentiment and beneficence, and softened into the most enchanting tenderness of weeping sympathy. When he declared the cause of his visit, which was no other than the desire of befriending the distressed lady, to whom he presented a bank-note for twenty pounds, he was favoured with such a look of complacency by this amiable phantom, who might have been justly taken for an angel ministering to the necessities of mortals, that his whole soul was transported with love and veneration. Nor was this prepossession diminished by the information of the widow, who, after having manifested her gratitude in a flood of tears, told him, that the unknown object of his esteem was a person of honour, who having heard by accident of her deplorable situation, had immediately obeyed the dictates of her humanity, and come in person to relieve her distress; that she had not only generously supplied her with money for present sustenance, but also undertaken to provide a nurse for her babes, and even promised to favour her with protection, should she survive her present melancholy situation. To these articles of intelligence she added, that the name of her benefactress was the celebrated Lady —, to whose character the youth was no stranger, though he had never seen her person before. The killing edge of her charms was a little blunted by the accidents of time and fortune; but no man of taste and imagination, whose nerves were not quite chilled with the frost of age, could, even at that time, look upon her with impunity. And as Peregrine saw her attractions heightened by the tender office in which she was engaged, he was smitten with her beauty, and so ravished with her compassion, that he could not suppress his emotions, but applauded her benevolence with all the warmth of enthusiasm.

Her ladyship received his compliments with great politeness and affability. And the occasion on which they met being equally interesting to both, an acquaintance commenced between them, and they concerted measures for the benefit of the widow and her two children, one of whom our hero bespoke for his own godson; for Pickle was not so obscure in the beau monde, but that his fame had reached the ears of this lady, who, therefore, did not discourage his advances towards her friendship and esteem. All the particulars relating to their charge being adjusted, he attended her ladyship to her own house; and, by her conversation, had the pleasure of finding her understanding suitable to her other accomplishments. Nor had she any reason to think that our hero's qualifications had been exaggerated by common report.

One of their adopted children died before it was baptized; so that their care concentred in the other, for whom they stood sponsors. Understanding that the old agent was becoming troublesome in his visits to the mother, to whom he now began to administer such counsel as shocked the delicacy of her virtue, they removed her into another lodging, where she would not be exposed to his machinations. In less than a month, our hero learned from a nobleman of his acquaintance, that the hoary pander had actually engaged to procure for him this poor afflicted gentlewoman; and, being frustrated in his intention, substituted in her room a nymph from the purlieus of Covent Garden, that made his lordship smart severely for the favours she bestowed.

Meanwhile, Peregrine cultivated his new acquaintance with all his art and assiduity, presuming, from the circumstances of her reputation and fate, as well as on the strength of his own merit, that, in time, he should be able to indulge that passion which had begun to glow within his breast. As her ladyship had undergone a vast variety of fortune and adventure, which he had heard indistinctly related, with numberless errors and misrepresentations, he was no sooner entitled, by the familiarity of communication, to ask such a favour, than he earnestly entreated her to entertain him with the particulars of her story; and, by dint of importunity, she was at length prevailed upon, in a select party, to gratify his curiosity, by the account given in the following chapter.





CHAPTER LXXXI.
The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality.

"By the circumstances of the story which I am going to relate, you will be convinced of my candour, while you are informed of my indiscretion. You will be enabled, I hope, to perceive, that, howsoever my head may have erred, my heart hath always been uncorrupted, and that I have been unhappy, because I loved, and was a woman.

"I believe I need not observe, that I was the only child of a man of good fortune, who indulged me in my infancy with all the tenderness of paternal affection; and, when I was six years old, sent me to a private school, where I stayed till my age was doubled, and became such a favourite, that I was, even in those early days, carried to all the places of public diversion, the court itself not excepted, an indulgence that flattered my love of pleasure, to which I was naturally addicted, and encouraged those ideas of vanity and ambition which spring up so early in the human mind.

"I was lively and good-natured, my imagination apt to run riot, my heart liberal and disinterested, though I was so obstinately attached to my own opinions, that I could not well brook contradiction; and, in the whole of my disposition, resembled that of Henry V., as described by Shakespeare.

"In my thirteenth year I went to Bath, where I was first introduced into the world as a woman, having been entitled to that privilege by my person, which was remarkably tall for my years; and there my fancy was quite captivated by the variety of diversions in which I was continually engaged. Not that the parties were altogether new to me, but because I now found myself considered as a person of consequence, and surrounded by a crowd of admirers, who courted my acquaintance, and fed my vanity with praise and adulation. In short, whether or not I deserved their encomiums, I leave the world to judge; but my person was commended, and my talent in dancing met with universal applause. No wonder, then, that everything appeared joyous to a young creature, who was so void of experience and dissimulation, that she believed everybody's heart as sincere as her own, and every object such as it appeared to be.

"Among the swains who sighed, or pretended to sigh for me, were two that bore a pretty equal share of my favour (it was too superficial to deserve the name of love). One of these was a forward youth of sixteen, extremely handsome, lively, and impudent. He attended in quality of page upon the Princess Amelia, who spent that season at Bath. The other was a Scotch nobleman turned of thirty, who was graced with a red ribbon, and danced particularly well, two qualifications of great weight with a girl of my age, whose heart was not deeply interested in the cause. Nevertheless, the page prevailed over this formidable rival; though our amour went no farther than a little flirting, and ceased entirely when I left the place.

"Next year, however, I revisited this agreeable scene, and passed my time in the same circle of amusements; in which, indeed, each season at Bath is exactly resembled by that which succeeds, allowing for the difference of company, which is continually varying. There I met with the same incense, and again had my favourite, who was a North Briton, and captain of foot, near forty years of age, and a little lame, an impediment which I did not discover, until it was pointed out by some of my companions, who rallied me upon my choice. He was always cheerful, and very amorous, had a good countenance, and an excellent understanding, possessed a great deal of art, and would have persuaded me to marry him, had I not been restrained by the authority of my father, whose consent was not to be obtained in favour of a man of his fortune.

"At the same time, many proposals of marriage were made to my parents; but as they came from people whom I did not like, I rejected them all, being determined to refuse every man who did not make his addresses to myself in person, because I had no notion of marrying for anything but love. Among these formal proposers was a Scottish earl, whose pretensions were broke off by some difference about settlements; and the son of an English baron, with whom my father was in treaty, when he carried me to town, on a visit to a young lady with whom I had been intimate from my infancy. She was just delivered of her first son, for whom we stood sponsors; so that this occasion detained us a whole month, during which I went to a ball at court, on the Queen's birthday, and there, for the first time, felt what love and beauty were.

"The second son of Duke H—, who had just returned from his travels, was dancing with the princess royal, when a young lady came and desired me to go and see a stranger, whom all the world admired. Upon which I followed her into the circle, and observed this object of admiration. He was dressed in a coat of white cloth, faced with blue satin, embroidered with silver, of the same piece with his waistcoat; his fine hair hung down his back in ringlets below his waist; his hat was laced with silver, and garnished with a white feather; but his person beggared description. He was tall and graceful, neither corpulent nor meagre, his limbs finely proportioned, his countenance open and majestic, his eyes full of sweetness and vivacity, his teeth regular, and his pouting lips of the complexion of the damask rose. In short, he was formed for love, and inspired it wherever he appeared; nor was he a niggard of his talents, but liberally returned it, at least, what passed for such; for he had a flow of gallantry, for which many ladies of this land can vouch from their own experience. But he exclaimed against marriage, because he had, as yet, met with no woman to whose charms he would surrender his liberty, though a princess of France, and lady of the same rank in —, were said to be, at that time, enamoured of his person.

"I went home, totally engrossed by his idea, flattering myself that he had observed me with some attention; for I was young and new, and had the good fortune to attract the notice and approbation of the queen herself.

"Next day, being at the opera, I was agreeably surprised with the appearance of this amiable stranger, who no sooner saw me enter, than he approached so near to the place where I sat, that I overheard what he said to his companions; and was so happy as to find myself the object of his discourse, which abounded with rapturous expressions of love and admiration. I could not listen to these transports without emotion; my colour changed, my heart throbbed with unusual violence, and my eyes betrayed my inclination in sundry favourable glances, which he seemed to interpret aright, though he could not then avail himself of his success, so far as to communicate his sentiments by speech, because we were strangers to each other.

"I passed that night in the most anxious suspense, and several days elapsed before I saw him again. At length, however, being at court on a ball-night, and determined against dancing, I perceived him among the crowd, and, to my unspeakable joy, saw him advance, with my Lord P—, who introduced him to my acquaintance. He soon found means to alter my resolution, and I condescended to be his partner all the evening; during which he declared his passion in the most tender and persuasive terms that real love could dictate, or fruitful imagination invent.

"I believed his protestations, because I wished them true, and was an unexperienced girl of fifteen. I complied with his earnest request of being permitted to visit me, and even invited him to breakfast next morning; so that you may imagine (I speak to those that feel) I did not, that night, enjoy much repose. Such was the hurry and flutter of my spirits, that I rose at six to receive him at ten. I dressed myself in a new pink satin gown, and my best laced night-clothes, and was so animated by the occasion that, if ever I deserved a compliment upon my looks, it was my due at this meeting. The wished-for moment came that brought my lover to my view. I was overwhelmed with joy, modesty, and fear of I knew not what. We sat down to breakfast, but did not eat. He renewed his addresses with irresistible eloquence, and pressed me to accept of his hand without further hesitation. But to such a precipitate step I objected, as a measure repugnant to my decency, as well as to that duty which I owed to my father, whom I tenderly loved.

"Though I withstood this premature proposal, I did not attempt to disguise the situation of my thoughts; and thus commenced a tender correspondence, which was maintained by letters while I remained in the country, and carried on, when I was in town, by private interviews twice or thrice a week at the house of my milliner, where such endearments passed as refined and happy lovers know, and others can only guess. Truth and innocence prevailed on my side, while his heart was fraught with sincerity and love. Such frequent intercourse created an intimacy which I began to think dangerous, and therefore yielded to his repeated desire that we might be united for ever. Nay, I resolved to avoid him, until the day should be fixed, and very innocently, though not very wisely, told him my reason for this determination, which was no other than a consciousness of my incapacity to refuse him anything he should demand as a testimony of my love.

"The time was accordingly appointed, at the distance of a few days, during which I intended to have implored my father's consent, though I had but faint hopes of obtaining it. But he was by some means or other apprised of our design, before I could prevail upon myself to make him acquainted with our purpose. I had danced with my lover at the ridotto on the preceding evening, and there perhaps our eyes betrayed us. Certain it is, several of Lord W—'s relations, who disapproved of the match, came up and rallied him on his passion; Lord S—k, in particular, used this remarkable expression, 'Nephew, as much love as you please, but no matrimony.'"

"Next day, the priest being prepared, and the bridegroom waiting for me at the appointed place, in all the transports of impatient expectation, I was, without any previous warning, carried into the country by my father, who took no notice of the intelligence he had received, but decoyed me into the coach on pretence of taking the air; and, when we had proceeded as far as Turnham Green, gave me to understand, that he would dine in that place.

"There was no remedy. I was obliged to bear my disappointment, though with an aching heart, and followed him up-stairs into an apartment, where he told me he was minutely informed of my matrimonial scheme. I did not attempt to disguise the truth, but assured him, while the tears gushed from my eyes, that my want of courage alone had hindered me from making him privy to my passion; though I owned, I should have married Lord W—, even though he had disapproved of my choice. I reminded him of the uneasy life I led at home, and frankly acknowledged, that I loved my admirer too well to live without him; though, if he would favour me with his consent, I would defer my intention, and punctually observe any day he would fix for our nuptials. Meanwhile I begged he would permit me to send a message to Lord W—, who was waiting in expectation of my coming, and might, without such notice, imagine I was playing the jilt. He granted this last request; in consequence of which I sent a letter to my lover, who, when he received it, had almost fainted away, believing I should be locked up in the country, and snatched for ever from his arms. Tortured with these apprehensions, he changed clothes immediately, and, taking horse, resolved to follow me whithersoever we should go.

"After dinner, we proceeded as far as Brentford, where we lay, intending to be at my father's country house next night; and my admirer putting up at the same inn, practised every expedient his invention could suggest to procure an interview; but all his endeavours were unsuccessful, because I, who little dreamed of his being so near, had gone to bed upon our first arrival, overwhelmed with affliction and tears. In the morning I threw myself at my father's feet, and conjured him, by all the ties of paternal affection, to indulge me with an opportunity of seeing my admirer once more, before I should be conveyed from his wishes. The melancholy condition in which I preferred this supplication, melted the tender heart of my parent, who yielded to my supplications, and carried me back to town for that purpose.

"Lord W—, who had watched our motions, and arrived at his own lodgings before we arrived at my father's house, obeyed my summons on the instant, and appeared before me like an angel. Our faculties were for some minutes suspended by a conflict of grief and joy. At length I recovered the use of speech, and gave him to understand, that I was come to town in order to take my leave of him, by the permission of my father, whom I had promised to attend into the country next day, before he would consent to my return; the chief cause and pretence of which was my earnest desire to convince him, that I was not to blame for the disappointment he had suffered, and that I should see him again in a month, when the nuptial knot should be tied in spite of all opposition.

"My lover, who was better acquainted with the world, had wellnigh run distracted with this information. He swore he would not leave me, until I should promise to meet and marry him next day; or, if I refused to grant that request, he would immediately leave the kingdom, to which he would never more return; and, before his departure, sacrifice Lord H. B—, son to the Duke of S. A—, who was the only person upon earth who could have betrayed us to my father, because he alone was trusted with the secret of our intended marriage, and had actually undertaken to give me away; an office which he afterwards declined. Lord W— also affirmed, that my father decoyed me into the country with a view of cooping me up, and sequestering me entirely from his view and correspondence.

"In vain I pleaded my father's well-known tenderness, and used all the arguments I could recollect to divert him from his revenge upon Lord H—. He was deaf to all my representations, and nothing, I found, would prevail upon him to suppress his resentment, but a positive promise to comply with his former desire. I told him I would hazard everything to make him happy; but could not, with any regard to my duty, take such a step without the knowledge of my parent; or, if I were so inclined, it would be impracticable to elude his vigilance and suspicion. However, he employed such pathetic remonstrances, and retained such a powerful advocate within my own breast, that, before we parted, I assured him my whole power should be exerted for his satisfaction; and he signified his resolution of sitting up all night, in expectation of seeing me at his lodgings.

"He had no sooner retired, than I went into the next room, and desired my father to fix a day for the marriage; in which case I would cheerfully wait upon him into the country; whereas, should he deny my request, on pretence of staying for the consent of my mother's relations, which was very uncertain, I would seize the first opportunity of marrying Lord W—, cost what it would. He consented to the match, but would not appoint a day for the ceremony, which he proposed to defer until all parties should be agreed; and such a favourable crisis, I feared, would never happen.

"I therefore resolved within myself to gratify my lover's expectation, by eloping, if possible, that very night; though the execution of this plan was extremely difficult, because my father was upon the alarm, and my own maid, who was my bedfellow, altogether in his interest. Notwithstanding these considerations, I found means to engage one of the housemaids in my behalf, who bespoke a hackney-coach, to be kept in waiting all night; and to bed I went with my Abigail, whom, as I had not closed an eye, I waked about five in the morning, and sent to pack up some things for our intended journey.

"While she was thus employed, I got up, and huddled on my clothes, standing upon my pillow, lest my father, who lay in the chamber below, should hear me afoot, and suspect my design. Having dressed myself with great despatch and disorder, I flounced downstairs, stalking as heavily as I could tread, that he might mistake me for one of the servants; and my confederate opening the door, I sallied out into the street, though I knew not which way to turn; and, to my unspeakable mortification, neither coach nor chair appeared.

"Having travelled on foot a good way, in hope of finding a convenience, and being not only disappointed in that particular, but also bewildered in my peregrination, I began to be exceedingly alarmed with the apprehension of being met by some person who might know me; because in that case, my design would undoubtedly have been discovered, from every circumstance of my appearance at that time of day; for I had put on the very clothes which I had pulled off overnight, so that my dress was altogether odd and peculiar. My shoes were very fine, and over a large hoop I wore a pink satin quilted petticoat trimmed with silver, which was partly covered by a white dimity night-gown, a full quarter of a yard too short; my handkerchief and apron were hurried on without pinning; my nightcap could not contain my hair, which hung about my ears in great disorder; and my countenance denoted a mixture of hope and fear, joy and shame.

"In this dilemma, I made my addresses to that honourable member of society, a shoe-black, whom I earnestly entreated to provide me with a coach or chair, promising to reward him liberally for his trouble, but he, having the misfortune to be lame, was unable to keep up with my pace; so that by his advice and direction, I went into the first public-house I found open, where I stayed some time, in the utmost consternation, among a crew of wretches whom I thought proper to bribe for their civility, not without the terror of being stripped. At length, however, my messenger returned with a chair, of which I took immediate possession; and fearing that, by this time, my family would be alarmed, and send directly to Lord W—'s lodgings, I ordered myself to be carried thither backwards, that so I might pass undiscovered.

"This stratagem succeeded according to my wish; I ran upstairs, in a state of trepidation, to my faithful lover, who waited for me with the most impatient and fearful suspense. At sight of me his eyes lightened with transport: he caught me in his arms, as the richest present Heaven could bestow; gave me to understand that my father had already sent to his lodgings in quest of me; then applauding my love and resolution in the most rapturous terms, he ordered a hackney-coach to be called, and, that we might run no risk of separation, attended me to church, where we were lawfully joined in the sight of Heaven.

"His fears were then all over, but mine recurred with double aggravation: I dreaded the sight of my father, and shared all the sorrow he suffered on account of my undutiful behaviour; for I loved him with such piety of affection, that I would have endured every other species of distress, rather than given him the least uneasiness; but love, where he reigns in full empire, is altogether irresistible, surmounts every difficulty, and swallows up all other considerations. This was the case with me; and now the irrevocable step was taken, my first care was to avoid his sight. With this view, I begged that Lord W— would think of some remote place in the country, to which we might retire for the present, and he forthwith conducted me to a house on Blackheath, where we were very civilly received by a laughter-loving dame, who seemed to mistake me for one of her own sisterhood. I no sooner perceived her opinion, than I desired Lord W— to undeceive her; upon which she was made acquainted with the nature of my situation, and showed us into a private room, where I called for pen and paper, and wrote an apology to my father, for having acted contrary to his will in so important a concern.

"This task being performed, the bridegroom gave me to understand, that there was a necessity for our being bedded immediately, in order to render the marriage binding, lest my father should discover and part us before consummation. I pleaded hard for a respite till the evening, objecting to the indecency of going to bed before noon; but he found means to invalidate all my arguments, and to convince me that it was now my duty to obey. Rather than hazard the imputation of being obstinate and refractory on the first day of my probation, I suffered myself to be led into a chamber, which was darkened by my express stipulation, that my shame and confusion might be the better concealed, and yielded to the privilege of a dear husband, who loved me to adoration.

"About five o'clock in the afternoon we were called to dinner, which we had ordered to be ready at four; but such a paltry care had been forgot amidst the transports of our mutual bliss. We got up, however, and when we came downstairs, I was ashamed to see the light of day, or meet the eyes of my beloved lord. I ate little, said less, was happy, though overwhelmed with confusion, underwent a thousand agitations, some of which were painful, but by far the greater part belonged to rapture and delight; we were imparadised in the gratification of our mutual wishes, and felt all that love can bestow, and sensibility enjoy.

"In the twilight we returned to Lord W—'s lodgings in town, where I received a letter from my father, importing that he would never see me again. But there was one circumstance in his manner of writing, from which I conceived a happy presage of his future indulgence. He had begun with his usual appellation of 'Dear Fanny,' which, though it was expunged to make way for the word 'Madam,' encouraged me to hope that his paternal fondness was not yet extinguished.

"At supper we were visited by Lord W—'s younger sister, who laughed at us for our inconsiderate match, though she owned she envied our happiness, and offered me the use of her clothes until I could retrieve my own. She was a woman of a great deal of humour, plain but genteel, civil, friendly, and perfectly well bred. She favoured us with her company till the night was pretty far advanced, and did not take her leave till we retired to our apartment.

"As our lodgings were not spacious or magnificent, we resolved to see little company; but this resolution was frustrated by the numerous acquaintance of Lord W—, who let in half the town: so that I ran the gauntlet for a whole week among a set of wits, who always delight in teasing a young creature of any note, when she happens to make such a stolen match. Among those that visited us upon this occasion was my lord's younger brother, who was at that time in keeping with a rich heiress of masculine memory, and took that opportunity of making a parade with his equipage, which was indeed very magnificent, but altogether disregarded by us, whose happiness consisted in the opulence of mutual love.

"This ceremony of receiving visits being performed, we went to wait on his mother, the duchess of H—, who, hearing I was an heiress, readily forgave her son for marrying without her knowledge and consent, and favoured us with a very cordial reception; insomuch, that for several months, we dined almost constantly at her table; and I must own, I always found her unaltered in her civility and affection, contrary to her general character, which was haughty and capricious. She was undoubtedly a woman of great spirit and understanding, but subject to an infirmity which very much impairs and disguises every other qualification.

"In about three weeks after our marriage, I was so happy as to obtain the forgiveness of my father, to whose house we repaired, in order to pay our respects and submission. At sight of me he wept; nor did I behold his tears unmoved. My heart was overcharged with tenderness and sorrow, for having offended such an indulgent parent; so that I mingled my tears with his, while my dear husband, whose soul was of the softest and gentlest mould, melted with sympathy at the affecting scene. Being thus reconciled to my father, we attended him into the country, where we were received by my mother, who was a sensible good woman, though not susceptible to love, and therefore less apt to excuse a weakness to which she was an utter stranger. This was likewise the case with an uncle, from whom I had great expectations. He was a plain good-natured man, and treated us with great courtesy, though his notions, in point of love, were not exactly conformable to ours. Nevertheless, I was, and seemed to be so happy in my choice, that my family not only became satisfied with the match, but exceedingly fond of Lord W—.

"After a short stay with them in the country, we returned to London, in order to be introduced at court, and then set out for the north, on a visit to my brother-in-law the duke of H—, who had, by a letter to Lord W—, invited us to his habitation. My father accordingly equipped us with horses and money; for our own finances were extremely slender, consisting only of a small pension, allowed by his grace, upon whom the brothers were entirely dependent, the father having died suddenly, before suitable provision could be made for his younger children.

"When I took leave of my relations, bidding adieu to my paternal home, and found myself launching into a world of care and trouble, though the voyage on which I embarked was altogether voluntary, and my companion the person on whom I doted to distraction,—I could not help feeling some melancholy sensations, which, however, in a little time, gave way to a train of more agreeable ideas. I was visited in town by almost all the women of fashion, many of whom, I perceived, envied me the possession of a man who had made strange havoc among their hearts, and some of them knew the value of his favour. One in particular endeavoured to cultivate my friendship with singular marks of regard; but I thought proper to discourage her advances, by keeping within the bounds of bare civility; and, indeed, to none of them was I lavish of my complaisance; for I dedicated my whole time to the object of my affection, who engrossed my wishes to such a degree, that, although I was never jealous, because I had no reason to be so, I envied the happiness of every woman whom he chanced at any time to hand into a coach.

"The duchess of —, who was newly married to the earl of P—, a particular friend of Lord W—'s, carried me to court, and presented me to the queen, who expressed her approbation of my person in very particular terms, and, observing the satisfaction that appeared in my countenance, with marks of admiration, desired her ladies to take notice, how little happiness depended upon wealth, since there was more joy in my face than in all her court besides.

"Such a declaration could not fail to overwhelm me with blushes, which her Majesty seemed to behold with pleasure; for she frequently repeated the remark, and showed me to all the foreigners of distinction, with many gracious expressions of favour. She wished Lord W— happiness instead of joy, and was pleased to promise, that she would provide for her pretty beggars. And poor enough we certainly were in every article but love. Nevertheless, we felt no necessities, but passed the summer in a variety of pleasures and parties; the greatest part of which were planned by Lord W—'s sister and another lady, who was at that time mistress to the prime minister. The first was a wit, but homely in person; the other a woman of great beauty and masculine understanding; and a particular friendship subsisted between them, though they were both lovers of power and admiration.

"This lady, who sat at the helm, was extremely elegant, as well as expensive in her diversions, in many of which we bore a share, particularly in her parties upon the water, which were contrived in all the magnificence of taste. In the course of these amusements, a trifling circumstance occurred, which I shall relate as an instance of that jealous sensibility which characterised Lord W—'s disposition. A large company of ladies and gentlemen having agreed to dine at Vauxhall, and sup at Marble-hall, where we proposed to conclude the evening with a dance, one barge being insufficient to contain the whole company, we were divided by lots; in consequence of which, my husband and I were parted. This separation was equally mortifying to us both, who, though married, were still lovers; and my chagrin increased when I perceived that I was doomed to sit by Sir W. Y—, a man of professed gallantry; for, although Lord W— had, before his marriage, made his addresses to every woman he saw, I knew very well he did not desire that any person should make love to his wife.

"That I might not, therefore, give umbrage, by talking to this gallant, I conversed with a Scotch nobleman, who, according to common report, had formerly sighed among my admirers. By these means, in seeking to avoid one error, I unwittingly plunged myself into a greater, and disobliged Lord W— so much, that he could not conceal his displeasure; nay, so deeply was he offended at my conduct, that, in the evening, when the ball began, he would scarce deign to take me by the hand in the course of dancing, and darted such unkind looks, as pierced me to the very soul. What augmented my concern, was my ignorance of the trespass I had committed. I was tortured with a thousand uneasy reflections; I began to fear that I had mistaken his temper, and given my heart to a man who was tired of possession; though I resolved to bear without complaining the misfortune I had entailed upon myself.

"I seized the first opportunity of speaking to him, and thereby discovered the cause of his chagrin; but, as there was no time for expostulation, the misunderstanding continued on his side, with such evident marks of uneasiness, that every individual of the company made up to me, and inquired about the cause of his disorder; so that I was fain to amuse their concern, by saying, that he had been ill the day before, and dancing did not agree with his constitution. So much was he incensed by this unhappy circumstance of my conduct, which was void of all intention to offend him, that he determined to be revenged on me for my indiscretion, and at supper, chancing to sit between two very handsome ladies, one of whom is lately dead, and the other, at present, my neighbour in the country, he affected an air of gaiety, and openly coquetted with them both.

"This was not the only punishment he inflicted on his innocent wife. In the course of our entertainment, we engaged in some simple diversion, in consequence of which the gentlemen were ordered to salute the ladies; when Lord W—, in performing this command, unkindly neglected me in my turn; I had occasion for all my discretion and pride, to conceal from the company the agonies I felt at this mark of indifference and disrespect. However, I obtained the victory over myself, and pretended to laugh at his husband-like behaviour, while the tears stood in my eyes and my heart swelled even to bursting.

"We broke up about five, after having spent the most tedious evening I had ever known; and this offended lover went to bed in a state of sullen silence and disgust. Whatever desire I had to come to an explanation, I thought myself so much aggrieved by his unreasonable prejudice, that I could not prevail upon myself to demand a conference, till after his first nap, when my pride giving way to my tenderness, I clasped him in my arms, though he pretended to discourage these advances of my love. I asked how he could be so unjust as to take umbrage at my civility to a man whom he knew I had refused for his sake; I chid him for his barbarous endeavours to awake my jealousy, and used such irresistible arguments in my own vindication, that he was convinced of my innocence, scaled my acquittal with a kind embrace, and we mutually enjoyed the soft transports of a fond reconciliation.

"Never was passion more eager, delicate, or unreserved, than that which glowed within our breasts. Far from being cloyed with the possession of each other, our raptures seemed to increase with the term of our union. When we were separated, though but for a few hours, by the necessary avocations of life, we were unhappy during that brief separation, and met again like lovers, who knew no joy but in one another's presence. How many delicious evenings did we spend together, in our little apartment, after we had ordered the candles to be taken away, that we might enjoy the agreeable reflection of the moon in a fine summer's evening! Such a mild and solemn scene naturally disposes the mind to peace and benevolence; but when improved with conversation of the man one loves, it fills the imagination with ideas of ineffable delight! For my own part, I can safely say, my heart was so wholly engrossed by my husband, that I never took pleasure in any diversion where he was not personally concerned; nor was I ever guilty of one thought repugnant to my duty and my love.

"In the autumn, we set out for the north, and were met on the road by the duke and twenty gentlemen, who conducted us to H—n, where we lived in all imaginable splendour. His grace, at that time, maintained above a hundred servants, with a band of music, which always performed at dinner, kept open table, and was visited by a great deal of company. The economy of his house was superintended by his eldest sister, a beautiful young lady of an amiable temper, with whom I soon contracted an intimate friendship. She and the duke used to rally me upon my fondness for Lord W—, who was a sort of humourist, and apt to be in a pet, in which case he would leave the company and go to bed by seven o'clock in the evening. On these occasions, I always disappeared, giving up every consideration to that of pleasing my husband, notwithstanding the ridicule of his relations, who taxed me with having spoiled him with too much indulgence. But how could I express too much tenderness and condescension for a man, who doted upon me to such excess, that, when business obliged him to leave me, he always snatched the first opportunity to return, and often rode through darkness, storms, and tempests to my arms?

"Having stayed about seven months in this place, I found myself in a fair way of being a mother, and that I might be near my own relations in such an interesting situation, I and my dear companion departed from H—n, not without great reluctance; for I was fond of the Scots in general, who treated me with great hospitality and respect; and to this day, they paid me the compliment of saying, I was one of the best wives in that country which is so justly celebrated for good women.

"Lord W— having attended me to my father's house, was obliged to return to Scotland, to support his interest in being elected member of Parliament; so that he took his leave of me, with a full resolution of seeing me again before the time of my lying-in; and all the comfort I enjoyed in his absence, was the perusal of his letters, which I punctually received, together with those of his sister, who, from time to time, favoured me with assurances of his constancy and devotion. Indeed, these testimonials were necessary to one of my disposition; for I was none of those who could be contented with half a heart. I could not even spare one complacent look to any other woman, but expected the undivided homage of his love. Had I been disappointed in this expectation, I should, though a wife, have rebelled or died.

"Meanwhile my parents treated me with great tenderness, intending that Lord W— should be settled in a house of his own, and accommodated with my fortune, and his expectations from the queen were very sanguine, when I was taken ill, and delivered of a dead child, an event which affected me extremely. When I understood the extent of my misfortune, my heart throbbed with such violence, that my breast could scarce contain it; and my anxiety, being aggravated by the absence of my lord, produced a dangerous fever, of which he was no sooner apprised by letter, than he came post from Scotland; but, before his arrival, I was supposed to be in a fair way.

"During this journey, he was tortured with all that terrible suspense which prevails in the minds of those who are in danger of losing that which is most dear to them; and, when he entered the house, was so much overwhelmed with apprehension, that he durst not inquire about the state of my health. As for my part, I never closed an eye from the time on which I expected his return; and, when I heard his voice, I threw open my curtains, and sat up in the bed to receive him, though at the hazard of my life. He ran towards me with all the eagerness of passion, and clasped me in his arms; he kneeled by the bedside, and kissed my hand a thousand times, and wept with transports of tenderness and joy. In short, this meeting was so pathetic as to overcome my enfeebled constitution, and we were parted by those who were wiser than ourselves, and saw that nothing was so proper for us as a little repose.

"But how shall I relate the deplorable transition from envied happiness to excess of misery which I now sustained! My month was hardly up, when my dear husband was taken ill; perhaps the fatigue of body, as well as mind, which he had undergone on my account, occasioned a fatal ferment in his blood, and his health fell a sacrifice to his love. Physicians were called from London, but alas! they brought no hopes of his recovery. By their advice, he was removed to town, for the convenience of being punctually attended. Every moment was too precious to be thrown away; he was therefore immediately put into the coach, though the day was far spent; and I, though exceedingly weak, accompanied him in the journey, which was performed by the light of flambeaus, and rendered unspeakingly shocking by the dismal apprehension of losing him every moment.

"At length, however, we arrived at our lodgings in Pall Mall, where I lay by him on the floor, and attended the issue of his distemper in all the agonies of horror and despair. In a little time his malady settled upon his brain, and, in his delirium, he uttered such dreadful exclamations, as were sufficient to pierce the most savage heart. What effect then must they have had on mine, which was fraught with every sentiment of the most melting affection! It was not a common grief that took possession of my soul; I felt all the aggravation of the most acute distress. I sometimes ran down the street in a fit of distraction: I sent for the doctors every minute: I wearied Heaven with my prayers; even now my heart aches at the remembrance of what I suffered, and I cannot, without trembling, proceed with the woeful story.

"After having lain insensible some days, he recovered the use of speech, and called upon my name, which he had a thousand times repeated while he was bereft of reason. All hopes of his life were now relinquished, and I was led to his bedside to receive his last adieus, being directed to summon all my fortitude, and suppress my sorrow, that he might not be disturbed by my agitation. I collected all my resolution to support me in this affecting scene. I saw my dear lord in extremity. The beauties of his youth were all decayed; yet his eyes, though languid, retained unspeakable sweetness and expression. He felt his end approaching, put forth his hand, and, with a look full of complacency and benevolence, uttered such a tender tale—good Heaven! how had I deserved such accumulated affliction, the bare remembrance of which now melts me into tears? Human nature could not undergo my situation without suffering an ecstasy of grief. I clasped him in my arms, and kissed him a thousand times, with the most violent emotions of woe; but I was torn from his embrace, and in a little time he was ravished for ever from my view.

"On that fatal morning, which put a period to his life, I saw the duchess of L— approach my bed, and, from her appearance, concluded that he was no more; yet I begged she would not confirm the unhappy presage by announcing his death; and she accordingly preserved the most emphatic silence. I got up, and trod softly over his head, as if I had been afraid of interrupting his repose. Alas! he was no longer sensible of such disturbance. I was seized with a stupefaction of sorrow; I threw up the window and, looking around, thought the sun shone with the most dismal aspect; everything was solitary, cheerless, and replete with horror.

"In this condition I was, by the direction of my friend, conveyed to her house, where my faculties were so overpowered by the load of anguish which oppressed me, that I know not what passed during the first days of my unhappy widowhood; this only I know, the kind duchess treated me with all imaginable care and compassion, and carried me to her country house, where I stayed some months; during which, she endeavoured to comfort me with all the amusements she could invent, and laid me under such obligations as shall never be erased from my remembrance. Yet, notwithstanding all her care and concern, I was, by my excess of grief, plunged into a languishing distemper, for which my physicians advised me to drink the Bath waters.

"In compliance with this prescription, I went thither towards the end of summer, and found some benefit by adhering to their directions. Though I seldom went abroad, except when I visited my sister-in-law, who was there with the princess; and, upon these occasions, I never failed to attract the notice of the company, who were struck with the appearance of such a young creature in weeds. Nor was I free from the persecution of professed admirers; but, being dead to all joy, I was deaf to the voice of adulation.

"About Christmas I repaired to my father's house, where my sorrows were revived by every object that recalled the idea of my dear lamented lord. But these melancholy reflections I was obliged to bear, because I had no other home or habitation, being left an unprovided widow, altogether dependent on the affection of my own family. During this winter, divers overtures were made to my father by people who demanded me in marriage; but my heart was not yet sufficiently weaned from my former passion to admit the thoughts of another master. Among those that presented their proposals was a certain young nobleman, who, upon the first news of Lord W—'s death, came post from Paris, in order to declare his passion. He made his first appearance in a hired chariot-and-six, accompanied by a big fat fellow, whom (as I afterwards learned) he had engaged to sound his praises, with a promise of a thousand pounds, in lieu of which he paid him forty. Whether it was with a view of screening himself from the cold, or of making a comfortable medium in case of being overturned, and falling under his weighty companion, I know not; but, certain it is, the carriage was stuffed with hay, in such a manner, that, when he arrived, the servants were at some pains in rummaging and removing it, before they could come at their master, or help him to alight. When he was lifted out of the chariot, he exhibited a very ludicrous figure to the view. He was a thin, meagre, shivering creature, of a low stature, with little black eyes, a long nose, sallow complexion, and pitted with the smallpox; dressed in a coat of light brown frieze, lined with pink-coloured shag, a monstrous solitaire and bag, and, if I remember right, a pair of huge jack-boots. In a word, his whole appearance was so little calculated for inspiring love, that I had, on the strength of seeing him once before at Oxford, set him down as the last man on earth whom I would choose to wed; and I will venture to affirm, that he was in every particular the reverse of my late husband.

"As my father was not at home, he stayed but one evening, and left his errand with my mother, to whom he was as disagreeable as to myself; so that his proposal was absolutely rejected, and I heard no more of him during the space of three whole months, at the expiration of which I went to town, where this mortifying figure presented itself again, and renewed his suit, offering such advantageous terms of settlement, that my father began to relish the match, and warmly recommended it to my consideration.

"Lord W—'s relations advised me to embrace the opportunity of making myself independent. All my acquaintance plied me with arguments to the same purpose. I was uneasy at home, and indifferent to all mankind. I weighed the motives with the objections, and with reluctance yielded to the importunity of my friends. In consequence of this determination, the little gentleman was permitted to visit me; and the manner of his address did not alter the opinion I had conceived of his character and understanding. I was even shocked at the prospect of marrying a man whom I could not love; and, in order to disburden my own conscience, took an opportunity of telling him, one evening, as we sat opposite to each other, that it was not in my power to command my affection, and therefore he could not expect the possession of my heart, Lord W—'s indulgence having spoiled me for a wife; nevertheless, I would endeavour to contract a friendship for him, which would entirely depend upon his own behaviour.

"To this declaration he replied, to my great surprise, that he did not desire me to love him; my friendship was sufficient; and next day repeated this strange instance of moderation in a letter, which I communicated to my sister, who laughed heartily at the contents, and persuaded me, that since I could love no man, he was the properest person to be my husband.

"Accordingly, the wedding clothes and equipage being prepared, the day—the fatal day—was fixed; on the morning of which I went to the house of my brother-in-law, duke H—, who loved me tenderly, and took my leave of the family, a family which I shall always remember with love, honour, and esteem. His grace received me in the most affectionate manner, saying at parting, 'Lady W—, if he does not use you well, I will take you back again.'"

"The bridegroom and I met at Ox— Chapel, where the ceremony was performed by the bishop of W—, in presence of his lordship's mother, my father, and another lady. The nuptial knot being tied, we set out for my father's house in the country, and proceeded full twenty miles on our journey before my lord opened his mouth, my thoughts having been all that time employed on something quite foreign to my present situation; for I was then but a giddy girl of eighteen. At length my father broke silence, and clapping his lordship on the shoulder, told him he was but a dull bridegroom; upon which my lord gave him to understand that he was out of spirits. This dejection continued all the day, notwithstanding the refreshment of a plentiful dinner which he ate upon the road; and in the evening we arrived at the place of our destination, where we were kindly received by my mother, though she had no liking to the match; and, after supper, we retired to our apartment.

"It was here that I had occasion to perceive the most disagreeable contrast between my present helpmate and my former lord. Instead of flying to my arms with all the eagerness of love and rapture, this manly representative sat moping in a corner, like a criminal on execution day, and owned he was ashamed to bed with a woman whose hand he had scarce ever touched.

"I could not help being affected with this pusillanimous behaviour. I remembered Lord W—, while I surveyed the object before me, and made such a comparison as filled me with horror and disgust: nay, to such a degree did my aversion to this phantom prevail, that I began to sweat with anguish at the thought of being subjected to his pleasure; and when, after a long hesitation, he ventured to approach me, I trembled as if I had been exposed to the embraces of a rattlesnake. Nor did the efforts of his love diminish this antipathy. His attempts were like the pawings of an imp, sent from hell to seize and torment some guilty wretch, such as are exhibited in some dramatic performance, which I have never seen acted without remembering my wedding-night. By such shadowy, unsubstantial, vexatious behaviour was I tantalized, and robbed of my repose; and early next morning I got up, with a most sovereign contempt for my bedfellow, who indulged himself in bed till eleven.

"Having passed a few days in this place, I went home with him to his house at Twickenham, and soon after we were presented at court, when the queen was pleased to say to my lord's mother, she did not doubt that we should be a happy couple, for I had been a good wife to my former husband.

"Whatever deficiencies I had to complain of in my new spouse, he was not wanting in point of liberality. I was presented with a very fine chariot, studded with silver nails, and such a profusion of jewels as furnished a joke to some of my acquaintance, who observed, that I was formerly queen of hearts, but now metamorphosed into the queen of diamonds. I now also had an opportunity, which I did not let slip, of paying Lord W—'s debts from my privy purse; and on that score received the thanks of his elder brother, who, though he had undertaken to discharge them, delayed the execution of his purpose longer than I thought they should remain unpaid. This uncommon splendour attracted the eyes and envy of my competitors, who were the more implacable in their resentments, because, notwithstanding my marriage, I was as much as ever followed by the men of gallantry and pleasure, among whom it is a constant maxim, that a woman never withholds her affections from her husband, without an intention to bestow them somewhere else. I never appeared without a train of admirers, and my house in the country was always crowded with gay young men of quality.

"Among those who cultivated my good graces with the greatest skill and assiduity, were the Earl C— and Mr. S—-, brother to Lord F—. The former of whom, in the course of his addresses, treated me with an entertainment of surprising magnificence, disposed into a dinner, supper, and ball, to which I, at his desire, invited eleven ladies, whom he paired with the like number of his own sex; so that the whole company amounted to twenty-four. We were regaled with a most elegant dinner, in an apartment which was altogether superb, and served by gentlemen only, no livery servant being permitted to come within the door. In the afternoon we embarked in two splendid barges, being attended by a band of music in a third; and enjoyed a delightful evening upon the river till the twilight, when we returned and began the ball, which was conducted with such order and taste, that mirth and good-humour prevailed. No dissatisfaction appeared, except in the countenance of one old maid, since married to a son of the duke of —, who though she would not refuse to partake of such an agreeable entertainment, was displeased that I should have the honour of inviting her. O baleful Envy! thou self-tormenting fiend! how dost thou predominate in all assemblies, from the grand gala of a court, to the meeting of simple peasants at their harvest-home! Nor is the prevalence of this sordid passion to be wondered at, if we consider the weakness, pride, and vanity of our sex. The presence of one favourite man shall poison the enjoyment of a whole company, and produce the most rancorous enmity betwixt the closest friends.

"I danced with the master of the ball, who employed all the artillery of his eloquence in making love; yet I did not listen to his addresses, for he was not to my taste, though he possessed an agreeable person, and a good acquired understanding; but he was utterly ignorant of that gentle prevailing art which I afterwards experienced in Mr. S—-, and which was the only method he could have successfully practised in seducing a young woman like me, born with sentiments of honour, and trained up in the paths of religion and virtue. This young gentleman was indeed absolutely master of those insinuating qualifications which few women of passion and sensibility can resist; and had a person every way adapted for profiting by these insidious talents. He was well acquainted with the human heart, conscious of his own power and capacity, and exercised these endowments with unwearied perseverance. He was tall and thin, of a shape and size perfectly agreeable to my taste, with large blue eloquent eyes, good teeth, and a long head turned to gallantry. His behaviour was the standard of politeness, and all his advances were conducted with the most profound respect; which is the most effectual expedient a man can use against us, if he can find means to persuade us that it proceeds from the excess and delicacy of his passion. It is no other than a silent compliment, by which our accomplishments are continually flattered and pleases in proportion to the supposed understanding of him who pays it.

"By these arts and advantages this consummate politician in love began by degrees to sap the foundation of my conjugal faith: he stole imperceptibly into my affection, and by dint of opportunity, which he well knew how to improve, triumphed at last over all his rivals.

"Nor was he the only person that disputed my heart with Earl C—. That nobleman was also rivalled by Lord C. H—, a Scotchman, who had been an intimate and relation of my former husband. Him I would have preferred to most of his competitors, and actually coquetted with him for some time: but the amour was interrupted by his going to Ireland; upon which occasion, understanding that he was but indifferently provided with money, I made him a present of a gold snuff-box, in which was enclosed a bank-note; a trifling mark of my esteem, which he afterwards justified by the most grateful, friendly, and genteel behaviour; and as we corresponded by letters, I frankly told him, that Mr. S—- had stepped in, and won the palm from all the rest of my admirers.

"This new favourite's mother and sister, who lived in the neighbourhood, were my constant companions; and, in consequence of this intimacy, he never let a day pass without paying his respects to me in person; nay, so ingenious was he in contriving the means of promoting his suit, that whether I rode or walked, went abroad or stayed at home, he was always of course one of the party; so that his design seemed to engross his whole vigilance and attention. Thus he studied my disposition, and established himself in my good opinion at the same time. He found my heart was susceptible of every tender impression, and saw that I was not free from the vanity of youth; he had already acquired my friendship and esteem, from which he knew there was a short and easy transition to love. By his penetration choosing proper seasons for the theme, he urged it with such pathetic vows and artful adulation, as well might captivate a young woman of my complexion and experience, and circumstanced as I was, with a husband whom I had such reason to despise.

"Though he thus made an insensible progress in my heart, he did not find my virtue an easy conquest; and I myself was ignorant of the advantage he had gained with regard to my inclinations, until I was convinced of his success by an alarm of jealousy which I one day felt, at seeing him engaged in conversation with another lady. I forthwith recognized this symptom of love, with which I had been formerly acquainted, and trembled at the discovery of my own weakness. I underwent a strange agitation and mixture of contrary sensations. I was pleased with the passion, yet ashamed of avowing it even to my own mind. The rights of a husband, though mine was but a nominal one, occurred to my reflection, and virtue, modesty, and honour, forbade me to cherish the guilty flame.

"When I encouraged these laudable scruples, and resolved to sacrifice my love to duty and reputation, my lord was almost every day employed in riding post to my father, with complaints of my conduct, which was hitherto irreproachable; though the greatest grievance which he pretended to have suffered was my refusing to comply with his desire, when he entreated me to lie, a whole hour every morning, with my neck uncovered, that, by gazing, he might quiet the perturbation of his spirits. From this request you may judge of the man, as well as of the regard I must entertain for his character and disposition.

"During the whole summer I was besieged by my artful undoer, and in the autumn set out with my lord for Bath, where, by reason of the intimacy that subsisted between our families, we lived in the same house with my lover and his sister, who, with another agreeable young lady, accompanied us in this expedition. By this time Mr. S— had extorted from me a confession of a mutual flame, though I assured him that it should never induce me to give up the valuable possession of an unspotted character, and a conscience void of offence. I offered him all the enjoyment he could reap from an unreserved intercourse of souls, abstracted from any sensual consideration. He eagerly embraced the platonic proposal, because he had sagacity enough to foresee the issue of such chimerical contracts, and knew me too well to think he could accomplish his purpose without seeming to acquiesce in my own terms, and cultivating my tenderness under the specious pretext.

"In consequence of this agreement, we took all opportunities of seeing each other in private; and these interviews were spent in mutual protestations of disinterested love. This correspondence, though dangerous, was, on my side, equally innocent and endearing; and many happy hours we passed, before my sentiments were discovered. At length my lover was taken ill, and then my passion burst out beyond the power of concealment; my grief and anxiety became so conspicuous in my countenance, and my behaviour was so indiscreet, that everybody in the house perceived the situation of my thoughts, and blamed my conduct accordingly.

"Certain it is, I was extremely imprudent, though intentionally innocent. I have lain whole nights by my lord, who teased and tormented me for that which neither I could give nor he could take, and ruminated on the fatal consequences of this unhappy flame, until I was worked into a fever of disquiet. I saw there was no safety but in flight, and often determined to banish myself for ever from the sight of this dangerous intruder. But my resolution always failed at the approach of day, and my desire of seeing him as constantly recurred. So far was I from persisting in such commendable determinations, that, on the eve of our departure from Bath, I felt the keenest pangs of sorrow at our approaching separation; and, as we could not enjoy our private interviews at my house in town, I promised to visit him at his own apartments, after he had sworn by all that's sacred, that he would take no sinister advantage of my condescension, by presuming upon the opportunities I should give.

"He kept his word, for he saw I trusted to it with fear and trembling, and perceived that my apprehension was not affected, but the natural concern of a young creature, distracted between love and duty, whom, had he alarmed, he would never had seen within his doors again. Instead of pressing me with solicitations in favour of his passion, he was more than ever respectful and complaisant; so that I found myself disengaged of all restraint, conducted the conversation, shortened and repeated my visits at my own pleasure, till at last I became so accustomed to this communication, that his house was as familiar to me as my own.

"Having in this manner secured himself in my confidence, he resumed the favourite topic of love, and, warming my imagination by gradual advances on the subject, my heart began to pant; when he saw me thus moved, he snatched the favourable occasion to practise all his eloquence and art. I could not resist his energy nor even fly from the temptation that assailed me, until he had obtained a promise that he should, at our next meeting, reap the fruits of his tedious expectation. Upon this condition, I was permitted to retire, and blessed heaven for my escape, fully determined to continue in the path of virtue I had hitherto trod, and stifle the criminal flame by which my peace and reputation were endangered. But his idea, which reigned in my heart without control, soon baffled all these prudent suggestions.

"I saw him again; and he reminded me of my promise, which I endeavoured to evade with affected pleasantry, upon which he manifested the utmost displeasure and chagrin, shedding some crocodile tears, and upbraided me with levity and indifference. He observed, that he had solicited my favour for ten long months without intermission, and imagined I had held out so long on virtuous motives only; but now he could plainly perceive that his want of success had been owing to my want of affection, and that all my professions were insincere. In a word, he persuaded me that his remonstrances were just and reasonable. I could not see the affliction of a man I loved, when I knew it was in my power to remove it; and, rather than forfeit his opinion of my sincerity and love, I consented to his wish. My heart now flutters at the remembrance of the dear though fatal indiscretion; yet I reflect without remorse, and even remember it with pleasure.

"If I could not avoid the censure of the world, I was resolved to bear it without repining; and sure the guilt, if there was any in my conduct, was but venial; for I considered myself as a person absolved of all matrimonial ties, by the insignificance of Lord ——, who, though a nominal husband, was in fact a mere nonentity. I therefore contracted a new engagement with my lover, to which I resolved to adhere with the most scrupulous fidelity, without the least intention of injuring my lord or his relations; for, had our mutual passion produced any visible effects, I would immediately have renounced and abandoned my husband for ever, that the fruit of my love for Mr. S— might not have inherited, to the detriment of the right heir. This was my determination, which I thought just, if not prudent; and for which I have incurred the imputation of folly, in the opinion of this wise and honest generation, by whose example and advice I have, since that time, been a little reformed in point of prudentials, though I still retain a strong tendency to return to my primitive way of thinking.

"When I quitted Mr. S—, after the sacrifice I had made, and returned to my own bed, it may, perhaps, be supposed that I slept but little. True: I was kept awake by the joyful impatience of revisiting my lover. Indeed I neglected no opportunity of flying to his arms. When Lord — was in the country, we enjoyed each other's company without interruption; but when he resided in town, our correspondence was limited to stolen interviews, which were unspeakably delicious, as genuine love presided at the entertainment.

"Such was my happiness in the course of this tender communication, that to this day I remember it with pleasure, though it has cost me dear in the sequel, and was at that time enjoyed at a considerable expense; for I devoted myself so entirely to my lover, who was desirous of engrossing my time and thoughts, that my acquaintance, which was very numerous, justly accused me of neglect, and of consequence cooled in their friendships; but I was 'all for love, or the world well lost;' and were the same opportunity to offer, I would act the same conduct over again.

"Some there are who possibly may wonder how I could love twice with such violence of affection. But all such observers must be unacquainted with the human heart. Mine was naturally adapted for the tender passions, and had been so fortunate, so cherished in its first impressions, that it felt with joy the same sensations revive, when influenced by the same engaging qualifications. Certain it is, I loved the second time as well as the first, and better was impossible. I gave up my all for both: fortune and my father's favour for the one; reputation, friends, and fortune for the other. Yet, notwithstanding this intimate connection, I did not relinquish the world all at once; on the contrary, I still appeared at court, and attracted the notice and approbation of my royal patroness; I danced with the P— of W—; a circumstance which so nearly affected Mr. S—, who was present, that, in order to manifest his resentment, he chose the ugliest woman in the ball for his partner; and I no sooner perceived his uneasiness, than I gave over, with a view of appeasing his displeasure.

"Without repeating particular circumstances, let it suffice to say, our mutual passion was a perfect copy of that which had subsisted between me and my dear Lord W—. It was jealous, melting and delicate, and chequered with little accident, which serve to animate and maintain the flame, in its first ardency of rapture. When my lover was sick, I attended and nursed him with indefatigable tenderness and care; and during an indisposition, which I caught in the performance of this agreeable office, he discharged the obligation with all the warmth of sympathy and love.

"It was, however, judged necessary by the physicians, that I should use the Bath waters for the recovery of my health; and I set out for that place, glad of a pretence to be absent from Lord ——, with whom I lived on very unhappy terms. He had, about nine months after our marriage, desired that we might sleep in separate beds, and gave a very whimsical reason for this proposal. He said, the immensity of his love deprived him of the power of gratification, and that some commerce with an object, to which his heart was not attached, might, by diminishing the transports of his spirits, recompose his nerves, and enable him to enjoy the fruits of his good fortune.

"You may be sure I made no objection to this plan, which was immediately put into execution. He made his addresses to a nymph of Drury Lane, whose name, as he told me, was Mrs. Rock. She made shift to extract some money from her patient; but his infirmity was beyond the power of her art, though she made some mischief between us; and I communicated my suspicion to the duke of H—, who intended to have expostulated with her upon the subject; but she got intimation of his design, and saved him the trouble by a precipitate retreat.

"After my return from Bath, where Mr. S— and I had lived happily, until we were interrupted by the arrival of my husband, his lordship expressed an inclination to be my bedfellow again. In this particular I desired to be excused. I would not be the first to propose the separation, which, though usual in other countries, is contrary to the custom of England, being unwilling to furnish the least handle for censure, as my character was still unblemished; yet, when the proposal came from him, I thought myself entitled to refuse a reunion; to which I accordingly objected.

"This opposition produced a quarrel, which rose to a state of perpetual animosity; so that we began to talk of parting. My lord relished the expedient, agreeing to add three hundred pounds a year to my pin-money, which, by the bye, was never paid; and I renounced all state and grandeur, to live in a small house that I hired at Carshalton, where I passed my time for two months, in the most agreeable retirement, with my dear lover. At length I was disturbed by the intrusion of my lord, who molested me with visits and solicitations to return, pretending that he had changed his mind, and insisting upon my compliance with his desire.

"I exhausted my invention in endeavours to evade his request; but he persecuted me without ceasing. So that I was fain to capitulate, on condition that he should immediately set out for France; and that he should not presume to approach my bed till our arrival at Calais. We accordingly departed for that kingdom; and, far from infringing the least article of our treaty, his lordship did not insist upon his privilege before we reached the capital of France.

"Meanwhile, I began to feel the effect of my passion in a very interesting manner, and communicated my discovery to the dear author of it, who would not leave me in such an affecting situation, but took the first opportunity of following us to France.

"In our road to Paris, we stopped to visit Chantilly, a magnificent chateau belonging to the prince of Conde, and there met by accident with some English noblemen, to whom I was known. The prince and his sisters invited me very politely into the gallery where they sat. They complimented me on my person, and seemed to admire my dress, which was altogether new to them, being a blue English riding-habit, trimmed with gold, and a hat with a feather. They were particularly well pleased with my hair which hung down to my waist, and pressed me to stay a fortnight at their house; an invitation which I was very much mortified at being obliged to refuse, because my lord did not understand the French language. I was enchanted with the place and the company, the women being amiable, and the men polite; nor were they strangers to my name and story; for Mr. S— calling at the same place a few days after, they rallied him on my account.

"When we arrived at Paris, the first thing I did was to metamorphose myself into a Frenchwoman. I cut off my hair, hid a very good complexion of my own with rouge, reconciled myself to powder, which I had never used before, put on a robe with a large hoop, and went to the Tuileries, full of spirits and joy; for, at that time, everything conspired to make me happy. I had health, youth, and beauty, love, vanity, and affluence, and found myself surrounded with diversions which were gay, new, and agreeable. My appearance drew upon me the eyes of the whole company, who considered me a stranger, but not a foreigner, so completely was I equipped in the fashion of the French; and when they understood who I was, they applauded my person with the most lavish encomiums, according to their known politeness.

"After having made a circuit round all the public places of entertainment in Paris, I was introduced into the company by an English family, residing in that city; and, among others, became acquainted with a French lady, whose charms were remarkably attractive. The duke of K— was her admirer; but she lived in reputation with her mother, and an agreeable sister, whose lover was the prince of C—, for almost every lady in France has her aimant.

"With this charming woman, whose name was Madame de la T—, I often made parties of pleasure. The duke, Mr. S—, she, and I, used to meet in the Bois de Boulogne, which is a pleasant wood, at a small distance from Paris, whither the company repairs in the summer season for the benefit of the air; and, after having amused ourselves among the groves, embarked in his grace's equipage, which was extremely elegant, being a calash drawn by six fine long-tailed greys, adorned with ribbons, in the French taste; and thus we were conducted to a little enchanted, or at least enchanting, palace, possessed by the duke, at one end of the town. The lower apartment, appropriated to me, was furnished with yellow and silver, the bed surrounded with looking-glasses, and the door opened into the garden, laid out in a cradle walk, and intervening parterres of roses and other flowers. Above-stairs, my female companion lodged in a chamber furnished with chintz. We supped all together in the saloon, which, though small, was perfectly elegant. The company was always good-humoured, the conversation sprightly and joyous, and the scene, though often repeated, still delightful and entertaining.

"At other times, Mr. S— and I used to pass our evenings at the palace of the prince of C—, which his highness lent us for our accommodation. The apartments opened into the gardens of the Luxembourg, and were, in point of magnificence, suitable to the owner. Thither I used to repair in a flaming equipage, on pretence of visiting, and spent the best part of the night with him who was dearer to me than all the princes in the world.

"While I was happily engaged in these ravishing parties, my little lord was employed in his efforts to recover his health by restoratives, and I know not what; for he still lamented the enfeebling effects of his passion, and complained that he loved me more like an angel than a woman, though he strove to govern his affections according to the doctrines of the Christian religion, as he regulated his life by the maxims of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. The meaning of this declaration I could never learn; and, indeed, I have been often tempted to believe he had no meaning at all.

"Be that as it will, I found my size visibly increasing, and my situation extremely uneasy, on account of the perpetual wrangling which prevailed between us, in consequence of his desiring to sleep with me again, after we had parted beds for the second time; and, that I might no longer be exposed to such disagreeable persecutions, I resolved to leave him, though at the hazard of my life.

"Thus determined, I went to the British ambassador, in a hackney-coach; and, in order to disguise my youth, which might have prepossessed him against my judgment, muffled myself up in a black hood, which, as he said, instead of lending an air of gravity to my countenance, added a wildness to my looks, which was far from being disagreeable. He had been a gallant man in his youth, and even then, though well stricken in years, was not insensible to the power of beauty. This disposition, perhaps, rendered him more favourable to my cause, though he first advised me to return to my husband; but finding me obstinate, he undertook to serve me in my own way, and procured a protection from the French king, by virtue of which I could live at Paris unmolested by my lord. Nevertheless, he advised me, if I was determined to leave him, to make the best of my way to England and sue for a divorce. I relished his opinion, and concealed myself about three days in Paris, during which I borrowed some linen; for, as it was impossible to convey anything out of my own house without suspicion, I had neither clothes for my accommodation, nor a servant to wait on me.

"In this solitary condition, I took the road to Flanders, after I had put my lord upon a wrong scent, by writing a letter to him, dated at Calais, and travelled through an unknown country, without any other attendant than the postillion, being subjected to this inconvenience by the laws of France, which are so severe in some particulars, that, if any person had been apprehended with me, he would have suffered death for going off with a man's wife; though any man might go to bed with that same woman, without fear of incurring any legal punishment.

"I proceeded night and day without intermission, that I might the sooner reach Flanders, where I knew I should be safe; and as the nights were excessively cold, I was fain to wrap myself up in flannel, which I bought for the purpose, as I had no clothes to keep me warm, and travelled in an open chaise. While we passed through dreary woods, quite remote from the habitations of men, I was not without apprehension of being stripped and murdered by the postillion; and, in all probability, owed my safety to the indigence of my appearance, which might also protect me in two miserable places, where I was obliged to lie, before I got out of the territories of France; for, as I could not reach the great towns where I intended to lodge, I was under the necessity of putting up at little wretched hovels, where no provision was to be had, but sour brown bread, and sourer cheese; and everything seemed to denote the dens of despair and assassination.

"I made shift, however, to subsist on this fare, uncomfortable as it was, confiding on the meanness of my equipage for the security of my person; and at length arriving at Brussels, fixed my quarters in the Hotel de Flandre (so well known to the English since), where I thought myself extremely happy in the accomplishment of my flight.

"I had not been two full days in this place, when I was blessed with the sight of my lover, who followed me on the wings of love, in pursuance of the plan we had projected before my departure from Paris. Here we concerted measures for proceeding to England. I hired a tall fine Liegeoise for my maid, and setting out for Ostend, we embarked in a vessel, in which Mr. S— had bespoke our passage. Our voyage was short and prosperous, and our time most agreeably spent in the company of my dear partner, who was a most engaging man in all respects, as I dare say my Lady C— has since found him.

"I assumed a fictitious name, took private lodgings in Poland-street, retained lawyers, and commenced a suit for separation against my lord. I communicated the reasons of my elopement to my father, who was shocked and surprised at my conduct, which he condemned with expressions of sorrow and resentment. But the step was taken; nor did I repent of what I had done, except on his account.

"In the morning after my arrival at London, I waited upon the lord chief justice, to whom I complained of the usage I had received from my lord, whose temper was teasing, tiresome, and intolerably capricious. Indeed, his behaviour was a strange compound of madness and folly, seasoned with a small proportion of sense. No wonder then, that I, who am hot and hasty, should be wretched, under the persecution of such a perverse humourist, who used to terrify me, and scold at me the whole night without intermission, and shake my pillow from time to time, that I might not sleep, while he tormented me with his disagreeable expostulations. I have been often frightened almost out of my senses, at seeing him convulsed with the most unreasonable passion; and chagrined to the highest degree of disgust, to find, by repeated observation, his disposition so preposterous, that his satisfaction and displeasure never depended upon the cause he had to be satisfied or disobliged; but, on the contrary, when he had most reason to be pleased, he was always most discontented, and very often in good-humour when he had reason enough for vexation.

"While I lived in Poland-street, I was engaged with lawyers, and so often visited by my father, that I could not dedicate my whole time as usual to my lover; nor was it convenient that he should be seen in my company: he therefore took a small house at Camberwell, whither I went as often as I had an opportunity; and maintained the correspondence with such eagerness and industry, that, although I was six months gone with child, I have often, by myself, set out for his habitation, in a hackney-coach, at eleven o'clock at night, and returned by six in the morning, that I might be in my own bed when my father came to see me; for I concealed my amour, as well as the effects of it, from his knowledge, and frequently took water from the bridge, that my motions might not be discovered. Nothing but the most passionate love could have supported my spirits under such vicissitudes of fatigue, or enabled my admirer to spend whole days by himself in such a solitary retirement.

"By this time, my lord was arrived in England, and employed in discovering the place of my retreat; so that I lived in continual alarm, and provided myself with a speaking-trumpet, which stood by my bedside, to be used in calling for assistance, in case my pursuer should make an attack upon my lodgings.

"This situation being extremely uncomfortable, I had no sooner begun my process against him, than I put myself entirely under the protection of Mr. S—, who conducted me to the house of a friend of his who lived in the country, where I was secure from the attempts of my husband. The world had now given me up, and I had renounced the world with the most perfect resignation. I weighed in my breast what I should lose in point of character, with what I suffered in my peace at home, and found, that my reputation was not to be preserved, except at the expense of my quiet, for his lordship was not disposed to make me easy, had I been ever so discreet. I therefore determined to give up a few ceremonial visits, and empty professions, for the more substantial enjoyments of life.

"We passed our time very agreeably in various amusements with this friend of Mr. S—, until the term of my reckoning was almost expired, then returned to London, and took lodgings in Southampton-street, where I began to make the preparations for the approaching occasion. Here I proposed to live with the utmost circumspection. I disguised my name, saw nobody but my lawyer and lover, and never approached the window lest I should be discovered by accident. Notwithstanding these precautions, my French maid, whom I had sent for some of my clothes, was dogged in her return, and next morning my lord took my lodgings by storm. Had he given the assault in his person only, I make no doubt but he would have suffered a repulse from the opposition of the Liegeoise, who made all the resistance in her power; but was obliged to give way to superior numbers. I was at that time abed, and hearing an unusual noise below, rang my bell, in order to know the cause of such disturbance. I drew my curtain at the same time, and who should I see entering my chamber but his lordship, attended by a constable, and the footman who had discovered my retreat!

"Such an unexpected visit could not fail to affect me with surprise and consternation. However, I summoned all my fortitude to my aid, and perceiving the fellows were about to open my window-shutters, desired their principal to order them down-stairs. He readily complied with my request, and sitting down by my bedside, told me with an air of triumph, that he had found me at last; and I frankly owned, that I was heartily sorry for his success. Instead of upbraiding me with my escape, he proceeded to entertain me with all the news in town, and gave me a minute detail of everything that happened to him since our parting; among other articles of intelligence, giving me to understand, that he had challenged Mr. S—, who refused to fight him, and was in disgrace with the prince of W— on that account.

"But here his lordship did not strictly adhere to the naked truth. He had indeed, before our departure from the country, gone to my lover, and insisted upon having satisfaction in Hyde Park, two days from the date of his demand, and at three o'clock in the afternoon; S—, believing him in earnest, accepted the invitation; though he observed, that these affairs could not be discussed too soon, and wished the time of meeting might be an earlier hour. But his lordship did not choose to alter the circumstances of his first proposal; and, when he went away, said he should expect him at the appointed place and time, if it did not rain.

"His antagonist gave me an account of the conversation, when I assured him the whole business would end in smoke. Accordingly, my lord sent him a letter on Monday, desiring that the assignation might be deferred till Thursday, that he might have time to settle his affairs, and pay S— a hundred pounds, which he had formerly borrowed of him. When Thursday came, he was favoured with another epistle, importing that the challenger had changed his mind, and would seek satisfaction at law. Thus ended that heroic exploit, which his lordship now boasted of with such arrogant misrepresentation.

"While he thus regaled me with these interesting particulars, I was contriving a scheme to frustrate the discovery he had made; so that I did not contradict his assertions, but told him, that, if he would go down-stairs, I would rise and come to breakfast. He consented to this proposal with great cheerfulness; and I own I was not a little surprised to find him, at this first interview, in as good a humour as if nothing had happened to interrupt the felicity of our matrimonial union.

"It cost me some invention to conceal my condition from his notice, being now within a week of the expected crisis. But I knew I had to do with a man of no great penetration, and succeeded in my attempt accordingly. We breakfasted with great harmony, and I invited him to dinner, after having prevailed upon him to send away his myrmidons, whom, nevertheless, he ordered to return at eleven o'clock at night. We conversed together with great gaiety and mirth. When I rallied him for visiting me in such a dishabille, he stood on tiptoe to view himself in the glass; and, owning I was in the right, said he would go and dress himself before dinner. He accordingly went away, charging my maid to give him entrance at his return; and he was no sooner gone than I wrote to Mr. S—, giving him an account of what had happened. Then, without having determined on any certain plan, I huddled on my clothes, muffled myself up, and calling a chair, went to the next tavern, where I stayed no longer than was sufficient to change my vehicle; and, to the astonishment of the drawers, who could not conceive the meaning of my perturbation, proceeded to a shop in the neighbourhood, where I dismissed my second chair, and procured a hackney-coach, in which I repaired to the lodgings of my lawyer, whom I could trust. Having made him acquainted with the circumstances of my distress, and consulted him about a proper place of retreat, after some recollection, he directed me to a little house in a court, to which, by the assistance of my lover, my woman and clothes were safely conveyed that same evening.

"My lord, however, came to dinner, according to invitation, and did not seem at all alarmed when my maid told him I was gone, but stepped to my lawyer to know if he thought I should return. Upon his answering in the affirmative, and advising his lordship to go back in the meantime, and eat the dinner I had provided, he very deliberately took his advice, made a very hearty meal, drank his bottle of wine, and, as I did not return according to his expectation, withdrew in order to consult his associates. This motion of his furnished my woman with an opportunity of making her retreat; and, when he returned at night, the coast was clear, and he found nobody in the house, but a porter, who had been left to take care of the furniture. He was so enraged at this disappointment, that he made a furious noise, which raised the whole neighbourhood, reinforced his crew with the authority of a justice of the peace, tarried in the street till three o'clock in the morning, discharged a lodging he had hired at a barber's shop opposite to the house from which I had escaped, and retired with the comfortable reflection of having done everything which a man could do to retrieve me.

"The hurry of spirits and surprise I had undergone in effecting this retreat, produced such a disorder in my constitution, that I began to fear I should be delivered before I could be provided with the necessaries for the occasion. I signified my apprehension to Mr. S—, who, with infinite care and concern, endeavoured to find a more convenient place; and, after all his inquiries, was obliged to fix upon a paltry apartment in the city, though his tenderness was extremely shocked at the necessity of choosing it. However, there was no remedy, nor time to be lost, To this miserable habitation I was carried in a hackney-coach; and, though extremely ill, bore my fate with spirit and resignation, in testimony of my sincere and indelible attachment to my lover, for whose case and pleasure, I could have suffered every inconvenience, and even sacrificed my life.

"Immediately after I had taken possession of my wretched apartment, I was constrained by my indisposition to go to bed, and send for necessary help; and in a few hours a living pledge of my love and indiscretion saw the light, though the terrors and fatigue I had undergone had affected this little innocent so severely, that it scarce discovered any visible signs of life. My grief at this misfortune was inexpressible. I forthwith despatched a message to the dear, the anxious father, who flew to my arms, and shared my sorrow, with all the gentleness of love and parental fondness; yet our fears were, for that time, happily disappointed by the recovery of our infant daughter, who was committed to the charge of a nurse in the neighbourhood; so that I could every day be satisfied in my inquiries about her health. Thus I continued a whole fortnight in a state of happiness and tranquility, being blessed with the conversation and tender offices of my admirer, whose love and attention I wholly engrossed. In a word, he gave up all business and amusement, and concentrated all his care and assiduity in ministering to my ease and satisfaction: and sure I had no cause to regret what I had suffered on his account.

"But this my agreeable situation was one day disturbed by a most alarming accident, by which my life was drawn into imminent danger. The room under my bed-chamber took fire: I immediately smelt it, and saw the people about me in the utmost perplexity and consternation, though they would not own the true cause of their confusion, lest my health should suffer in the fright. Nevertheless, I was so calm in my inquiries, that they ventured to tell me my suspicion was but too just; upon which I gave such directions as I thought would secure me from catching cold, in case there should be a necessity for removing me; but the fire being happily extinguished, I escaped that ceremony, which might have cost me my life. Indeed, it was surprising that the agitation of my spirits did not produce some fatal effect upon my constitution; and I looked upon my deliverance as the protection of a particular providence.

"Though I escaped the hazard of a sudden removal, I found it was high time to change my lodgings, because the neighbours rushing into the house, upon the alarm of fire, had discovered my situation, though they were ignorant of my name; and I did not think myself safe in being the subject of their conjectures. Mr. S—, therefore, procured another compartment, with better accommodation, to which I was carried as soon as my health would admit of my removal; and soon after my lord wrote to me by the hands of my lawyer, earnestly entreating me to drop my prosecution, and come home; but I would not comply with his request; and nothing was farther from my intention than the desire of receiving any favours at his hands.

"Thus repulsed, he set on foot a most accurate search for my person; in the course of which he is said to have detected several ladies and young girls, who had reasons for keeping themselves concealed; and had like to have been very severely handled for his impertinent curiosity. Being unsuccessful in all his attempts, he entered into a treaty with one Sir R— H—, a person of a very indifferent character, who undertook to furnish him with an infallible expedient to discover the place of my abode, if he would gratify him with a bond for a thousand pounds; which being executed accordingly, this worthy knight advertised me and my maid in the public papers, offering one hundred pounds as a reward to any person who should disclose the place of our retirement.

"As soon as the paper fell into my hands, I was again involved in perplexity; and, being afraid of staying in town, resolved, with the concurrence of my lover, to accept of an invitation I had received from the duke of K—, who had by this time arrived in England, with that lady whom I have already mentioned as one of our parties at Paris. Having visited my little infant, I next day set out for the duke's country seat, which is a most elegant chateau, and stands in a charming situation. Mr. S—- followed in a few days. We met with a very cordial reception; his grace was civil and good-natured, lived nobly, and loved pleasure; Madame de la T— was formed to please. There was always a great deal of company in the house; so that we passed our time agreeably in playing at billiards and cards, hunting, walking, reading, and conversation.

"But my terms of happiness were generally of short duration. In the midst of this felicity I was overtaken by a most severe affliction, in the death of my dear hapless infant, who had engrossed a greater share of my tenderness than perhaps I even should have paid to the offspring of a legitimate contract; because the circumstance of her birth would have been an insurmountable misfortune to her through the whole course of her life, and rendered her absolutely dependent on my love and protection.

"While I still lamented the untimely fate of this fair blossom, Lord — came down, and demanded me as his wife; but the suit which I then maintained against him deprived him, for the present, of a husband's right; and therefore the duke would not deliver me into his hands. In six months he repeated his visit and demand; and an agreement was patched up, in consequence of which I consented to live in the same house with him, on condition that he should never desire to sleep with me, or take any other measure to disturb my peace; otherwise I should be at liberty to leave him again, and entitled to the provision of a separate maintenance. To these articles I assented, by the advice of my lawyers, with a view of obtaining the payment of my pin-money, which I had never received since our parting, but subsisted on the sale of my jewels, which were very considerable, and had been presented to me with full power of alienation. As to my lover, he had no fortune to support me; and for that reason I was scrupulously cautious of augmenting his expense.

"We had now enjoyed each other's company for three years, during which our mutual passions had suffered no abatement, nor had my happiness been mixed with any considerable alloy, except that late stroke of providence which I have already mentioned, and the reflection of the sorrow that my conduct had entailed upon my dear father, whom I loved beyond expression, and whom nothing could have compelled me to disoblige but a more powerful flame, that prevailed over every other consideration. As I was now forced to break off this enchanting correspondence, it is not to be doubted that our parting cost us the most acute sensations of grief and disappointment. However, there was no remedy. I tore myself from his arms, took my leave of the family, after having acknowledged my obligations to the duke, and set out for the place of rendezvous, where I was met by my lord, attended by a steward whom he had lately engaged, and who was one chief cause of our future separations. My lord, having quitted his house in town, conducted me to his lodgings in Pall Mall, and insisted upon sleeping with me the first night; but I refused to gratify his desire, on the authority of our agreement.

"This dispute produced a quarrel, in consequence of which I attempted to leave the house. He endeavouring to prevent my retreat, I fairly locked him in, ran down-stairs, and, calling a hackney-coach, made the best of my way into the city, to my father's lodgings, where I lay, the family being in town, though he himself was in the country. I wrote to him immediately; and, when he came to London, declared my intention of separating from my lord; in which, seeing me obstinate and determined, he at length acquiesced, and a formal separation accordingly ensued, which at that time I thought binding and immutable.

"I was now sheltered under the wings of an indulgent father, who had taken me into favour again, on the supposition that my commerce with Mr. S— was absolutely at an end. Nevertheless, though we had separated, in all appearance for ever, we had previously agreed to maintain our correspondence in private interviews, which should escape the notice of the world, with which I was again obliged to keep some measures.

"Our parting at the duke of K—'s house in the country was attended with all the genuine marks of sincere and reciprocal affection, and I lived in the sweet hope of seeing him again, in all the transport of his former passion, when my lawyer, who received my letters, brought me a billet one night, just as I had gone to bed. Seeing the superscription of S—'s handwriting, I opened it with all the impatience of an absent lover; but how shall I describe the astonishment and consternation with which I was seized, when I perused the contents! Instead of the most tender vows and protestations, this fatal epistle began with, Madam, the best thing you can do is to return to your father, or some cold and killing expression to that effect.

"Heaven and earth! what did I feel at this dire conjuncture! the light forsook my eyes, a cold sweat bedewed my limbs, and I was overwhelmed with such a torrent of sorrow and surprise, that everybody present believed I would have died under the violent agitation. They endeavoured to support my spirits with repeated draughts of strong liquor, which had no sensible effect upon my constitution, though for eight whole years I had drunk nothing stronger than water; and I must have infallibly perished in the first ecstasy of my grief, had it not made its way in a fit of tears and exclamation, in which I continued all night, to the amazement of the family, whom my condition had alarmed, and raised from their repose. My father was the only person who guessed the cause of my affliction; he said he was sure I had received some ill-usage in a letter or message from that rascal S—; so he termed him in the bitterness of passion.

"At mention of that name, my agony redoubled to such a degree that all who were present wept at sight of my deplorable condition. My poor father shed a flood of tears, and conjured me to tell him the cause of my disquiet; upon which, rather than confess the truth, I amused his concern by pretending that my lover was ill. The whole family having stayed by me till I was a little more composed, left me to the care of my maid, who put me into bed about six in the morning, but I enjoyed no rest. I revolved every circumstance of my conduct, endeavouring to find out the cause of this fatal change in S—'s disposition; and as I could recollect nothing which could justly give offence, concluded that some malicious persons had abused his ears with stories to my prejudice.

"With this conjecture I got up, and sent my lawyer to him with a letter, wherein I insisted upon seeing him, that I might have an opportunity of justifying myself in person; a task which would be easily performed, as I had never offended, but in loving too well. I waited with the most anxious impatience for the return of my messenger, who brought me an answer couched in the coldest terms of civility which indifference could dictate; acknowledging, however, that he had nothing to lay to my charge, but that it was for the good of us both that we should part. He ought to have reflected on that before, not after I had sacrificed my all for his love! I was well-nigh distracted by this confirmation of his inconstancy; and I wonder to this day how I retained the use of my reason under such circumstances of horror and despair! My grief laid aside all decorum and restraint; I told my father that S— was dying, and that I would visit him with all expedition.

"Startled at the proposal, this careful parent demonstrated the fatal consequence of such an unguarded step, reminded me of the difficulty with which he had prevailed upon my mother and uncle to forgive my former imprudence, observed that his intention was to carry me into the country next day, in order to effect a perfect reconciliation; but now I was on the brink of forfeiting all pretensions to their regard, by committing another fatal error, which could not possibly be retrieved; and that, for his part, whatever pangs it might cost him, he was resolved to banish me from his sight for ever.

"While he uttered this declaration, the tears trickled down his cheeks, and he seemed overwhelmed with the keenest sorrow and mortification; so it may be easily conceived what were the impressions of my grief, reinforced with the affliction of a father whom I dearly loved, and the consciousness of being the cause of all his disquiet! I was struck dumb with remorse and woe; and, when I recovered the use of speech, I told him how sensible I was of his great goodness and humanity, and owned how little I deserved his favour and affection; that the sense of my own unworthiness was one cause of my present distraction; for such was the condition of my fate, that I must either see S— or die. I said, though I could not expect his forgiveness, I was surely worthy of his compassion; that nothing but the most irresistible passion could have misled me at first from my duty, or tempted me to incur the least degree of his displeasure; that the same fatal influence still prevailed, and would, in all probability, continue to the grave, which was the only abode in which I hoped for peace.

"While I expressed myself in this manner, my dear good father wept with the most tender sympathy, and, saying I might do as I pleased, for he had done with me, quitted the room, leaving me to the cruel sensations of my own heart, which almost burst with anguish, upbraiding me with a fault which I could not help committing. I immediately hired a chariot and six, and would have set out by myself, had not my father's affection, which all my errors could not efface, provided an attendant. He saw me quite delirious and desperate; and therefore engaged a relation of my own to accompany and take care of me in this rash expedition.

"During this journey, which lasted two days, I felt no remission of grief and anxiety, but underwent the most intolerable sorrow and suspense. At last we arrived at a little house called the Hut, on Salisbury Plain, where, in the most frantic agitation, I wrote a letter to S—, describing the miserable condition to which I was reduced by his unkindness, and desiring to see him, with the most earnest solicitations. This billet I committed to the care of my attendant, and laid strong injunctions upon him to tell Mr. S—, my injuries were so great, and my despair so violent, that, if he did not favour me with a visit, I would go to him, though at his sister's house, where he then was.

"He received my message with great coldness, and told my friend, that, if I would return to London without insisting upon the interview I demanded, he would, in a little time, follow me to town, and everything should be amicably adjusted; but when the messenger assured him, that I was too much transported with grief to hear of such a proposal, he consented to meet me in the middle of Salisbury Plain, that we might avoid all observation. And though I was little able to walk, I set out for the place of assignation, my companion following at a small distance.

"When I saw him leading his horse down the hill, I collected all my fortitude, and advanced to him with all the speed I could exert; but when I made an effort to speak, my tongue denied its office, and so lively was the expression of unutterable sorrow in my countenance, that his heart, hard as it was, melted at the sight of my sufferings, which he well knew proceeded from the sincerity of my love. At length I recovered the use of speech enough to tell him, that I was come to take my leave; and, when I would have proceeded, my voice failed me again. But, after a considerable pause, I found means, with great difficulty, to let him know how sensible I was of my own incapacity to retrieve his lost affections; but that I was willing, if possible, to retain his esteem, of which could I be assured, I would endeavour to compose myself; that I was determined to leave the kingdom, because I could not bear the sight of those places where we had been so happy in our mutual love; and that, till my departure, I hoped he would visit me sometimes, that I might, by degrees, wean myself from his company; for I should not be able to survive the shock of being deprived of him all at once.

"This address may seem very humble to an unconcerned observer; but love will tame the proudest disposition, as plainly appeared in my case; for I had naturally as much spirit, or more, than the generality of people have. Mr. S— was so much confounded at the manner of my behaviour, that he scarce knew what answer to make; for, as he afterwards owned, he expected to hear himself upbraided; but he was not proof against my tenderness. After some hesitation, he said, he never meant to forsake me entirely, that his affection was still unimpaired, and that he would follow me directly to London. I imposed upon myself, and believed what he said, because I could not bear to think of parting with him for ever, and returned to town in a more tranquil state of mind than that in which I had left my father, though my heart was far from being at ease; my fears being ingenious enough to foresee, that I should never be able to overcome his indifference.

"I took lodgings in Mount-street, and my maid having disposed of herself in marriage, hired another, who supplied her place very much to my satisfaction. She was a good girl, had a particular attachment to me, and for many years, during which she lived in my service, was indefatigably assiduous in contributing to my ease, or rather in alleviating my affliction. For, though S— came up to town according to promise, and renewed a sort of correspondence with me for the space of five months, his complaisance would extend no farther; and he gave me to understand, that he had determined to go abroad with Mr. V—; whom he accordingly accompanied in his envoying to D—.

"I understood the real cause of this expedition, which, notwithstanding his oaths and protestations of unabated love and regard, I construed into a palpable mark of dislike and disrespect; nor could the repeated assurances I received from him in letters mitigate the anguish and mortification that preyed upon my heart. I therefore gave up all hopes of recovering the happiness I had lost. I told him on the eve of his departure, that he might exercise his gallantry a great while, before he would meet with my fellow, in point of sincerity and love; for I would rather have been a servant in his house, with the privilege of seeing him, than the queen of England debarred of that pleasure.

"When he took his leave, and went down-stairs, I shrunk at every step he made, as if a new wound had been inflicted upon me and when I heard the door shut behind him, my heart died within me. I had the satisfaction to hear afterwards, he lamented the loss of me prodigiously, and that he had never been so happy since. I sat down to write a letter, in which I forgave his indifference, because I knew the affections are altogether involuntary, and wished him all the happiness he deserved. I then walked up and down the room in the most restless anxiety, was put to bed by my maid, rose at six, mounted my horse and rode forty miles, in order to fatigue myself that I might next night enjoy some repose. This exercise I daily underwent for months together; and, when it did not answer my purpose, I used to walk round Hyde-park in the evening, when the place was quite solitary and unvisited by any other human creature.

"In the course of this melancholy perambulation, I was one day accosted by a very great man, who, after the first salutation, asked whether or not my intercourse with S— was at an end, and if I had any allowance from my husband. To the first of these questions I replied in the affirmative; and to the last answered, that my lord did not allow me a great deal; indeed, I might have truly said nothing at all; but I was too proud to own my indigence. He then expressed his wonder, how one like me, who had been used to splendour and affluence from my cradle, could make shift to live in my present narrow circumstances; and, when I told him that I could make a very good shift, so I had peace, he seemed to lament my situation, and very kindly invited me to sup with his wife at his house. I accepted the invitation, without any apprehension of the consequence; and, when I went to the place, was introduced into an apartment magnificently lighted up, I suppose, for my reception.

"After I had stayed alone for some time in this mysterious situation, without seeing a living soul, my inviter appeared, and said, he hoped I would not take it amiss that he and I were to sup by ourselves, as he had something to say, which could not be so properly communicated before company or servants. I then, for the first time, perceived his drift, to my no small surprise and indignation; and, with evident marks of displeasure, told him, I was sure he had nothing to propose that would be agreeable to my inclination, and that I would immediately leave the house. Upon which he gave me to understand, that I could not possibly retire, because he had sent away my chair, and all his servants were disposed to obey his orders.

"Incensed at this declaration, which I considered as an insult, I answered, with an air of resolution, it was very well; I despised his contrivance, and was afraid of nothing. Seeing me thus alarmed, he assured me I had no reason to be afraid; that he had loved me long, and could find no other opportunity of declaring his passion. He said the Q— had told him that Lord — had renewed his addresses to me; and, as he understood from my own mouth, my correspondence with S— was absolutely broke off, he thought himself as well entitled as another to my regard. In conclusion, he told me that I might command his purse, and that he had power enough to bring me into the world again with eclat. To these advances I replied, that he was very much mistaken in his opinion of my character, if he imagined I was to be won by any temptations of fortune; and very frankly declared, that I would rather give myself to a footman, than sell myself to a prince.

"Supper being served, we sat down together; but I would neither eat nor drink anything, except a little bread and water; for I was an odd whimsical girl, and it came into my head, that he might perhaps have mixed something in the victuals or wine, which would alter my way of thinking. In short, finding himself baffled in all his endeavours, he permitted me about twelve o'clock to depart in peace, and gave up his suit as a desperate cause.

"This uncomfortable life did I lead for a whole twelvemonth, without feeling the least abatement of my melancholy. Finding myself worn to a skeleton, I resumed my former resolution of trying to profit by change of place, and actually went abroad, with no other attendant than my woman, and the utmost indifference for life. My intention was to have gone to the south of France, where I thought I could have subsisted on the little I had left, which amounted to five hundred pounds, until the issue of my law-suit, by which I hoped to obtain some provision from my lord; and, without all doubt, my expectation would have been answered, had I put this my plan in execution; but, being at Paris, from whence I proposed to set forward in a few days, I sent to M. K—, who had been formerly intimate with my father, and shown me many civilities during my first residence in France.

"This gentleman favoured me with a visit, and, when I made him acquainted with my scheme, dissuaded me from it, as an uncomfortable determination. He advised me to stay at Paris, where, with good economy, I could live as cheap as in any other place, and enjoy the conversation and countenance of my friends, among which number he declared himself one of the most faithful. He assured me, that I should be always welcome to his table, and want for nothing. He promised to recommend me as a lodger to a friend of his, with whom I would live in a frugal and decent manner; and observed, that, as the woman was well known and esteemed by all the English company in Paris, it would be the most reputable step I could take, considering my youth and situation, to lodge with a creditable person, who could answer for my conduct. Thus persuaded, I very simply followed his advice; I say simply, because, notwithstanding his representations, I soon found my money melt away, without any prospect of a fresh supply. In lieu of this, however, I passed my time very agreeably in several English and some French families, where, in a little time, I became quite intimate, saw a great deal of company, and was treated with the utmost politeness and regard; yet, in the midst of these pleasures, many a melancholy sigh would rise at the remembrance of my beloved S—, whom, for several years, I could not recollect without emotion; but time, company, amusements, and change of place, in a great measure dissipated these ideas, and enabled me to bear my fate with patience and resignation.

"On my last arrival at Paris, I was surrounded by a crowd of professed admirers, who sighed and flattered in the usual forms; but, besides that my heart was not in a condition to contract new engagements, I was prepossessed against them all, by supposing that they presumed upon the knowledge of my indiscretion with S—; and therefore rejected their addresses with detestation and disdain; for, as I have already observed, I was not to be won but by the appearance of esteem, and the most respectful carriage; and though, by a false step, I had, in my own opinion, forfeited my title to the one, I was resolved to discourage the advances of any man who seemed deficient in the other.

"In this manner my lovers were one by one repulsed, almost as soon as they presented themselves, and I preserved the independence of my heart, until I became acquainted with a certain peer, whom I often saw at the house of Mrs. P—, an English lady then resident at Paris. This young nobleman professed himself deeply enamoured of me, in a style so different from that of my other admirers, that I heard his protestations without disgust; and, though my inclinations were still free, could not find in my heart to discountenance his addresses, which were preferred with the most engaging modesty, disinterestedness, and respect.

"By these never-failing arts, he gradually conquered my indifference, and gained the preference in my esteem from Lord C— and the prince of C—, who were at that time his rivals. But what contributed more than any consideration to his success was his declaring openly, that he would marry me without hesitation, as soon as I could obtain a divorce from my present husband, which, in all probability, might have been easily procured; for, before I left England, Lord — had offered me five thousand pounds if I would consent to such a mutual release, that he might be at liberty to espouse one Miss W—, of Kent, to whom he then made love upon honourable terms; but I was fool enough to refuse his proposal, by the advice of S—. And whether or not his lordship, finding it impracticable to wed his new mistress, began to make love upon another footing, I know not; but, certain it is, the mother forbade him the house, a circumstance which he took so heinously ill, that he appealed to the world in a public advertisement, beginning with 'Whereas, for some time, I have passionately loved Miss W—, and, upon my not complying with the mother's proposals, they have turned me out of doors, this is to justify,' etc.

"This declaration, signed with his name, was actually printed in a number of detached advertisements, which he ordered to be distributed to the public; and afterwards, being convinced by some of his friends that he had done a very silly thing, he recalled them at half a guinea apiece. A copy of one of them was sent to me at Paris, and I believe my father has now one of the originals in his possession. After this wise vindication of his conduct, he made an attempt to carry off the lady from church by force of arms; but she was rescued by the neighbours, headed by her brother, who, being an attorney, had like to have made his lordship smart severely for this exploit.

"Meanwhile my new admirer had made some progress in my heart; and, my finances being exhausted, I was reduced to the alternative of returning to Lord — again, or accepting Earl B—'s love. When my affairs were brought to an issue, I made no hesitation in my choice, putting myself under the protection of a man of honour whom I esteemed, rather than suffer every sort of mortification from a person who was the object of my abhorrence and contempt. From a mistaken pride, I chose to live in Lord B—'s house, rather than be maintained at his expense in another place. We spent several months agreeably in balls and other diversions, visited Lord B—, who lived at the distance of a few leagues from Paris, and stayed some days at his house, where the entertainment was, in all respects, delightful, elegant, and refined. Their habitation was the rendezvous of the best company in France; and Lady B— maintained the same superiority in her own sex, for which her lord is so justly distinguished among the men.

"About Christmas we set out for England, accompanied by a little North Briton, who lived with Lord B— as his companion, and did not at all approve of our correspondence; whether out of real friendship for his patron, or apprehension that in time I might supersede his own influence with my lord, I shall not pretend to determine. Be that as it will, the frost was so severe, that we were detained ten days at Calais before we could get out of the harbour; and, during that time, I reflected seriously on what my new lover proposed. As he was very young, and unacquainted with the world, I thought my story might have escaped him; and therefore determined to give him a faithful detail of the whole, that he might not have anything to reproach me with in the sequel; besides, I did not think it honest to engage him to do more for me than he might afterwards perhaps think I was worth. Accordingly, I communicated to him every particular of my life; and the narration, far from altering his sentiments, rather confirmed his good opinion, by exhibiting an undoubted proof of my frankness and sincerity. In short, he behaved with such generosity, as made an absolute conquest of my heart. But my love was of a different kind from that which had formerly reigned within my breast, being founded upon the warmest gratitude and esteem, exclusive of any other consideration, though his person was very agreeable, and his address engaging.

"When we arrived in England, I went directly to his country seat, about twelve miles from London, where he soon joined me, and we lived some time in perfect retirement. His relations being greatly alarmed with the apprehension that Lord — would bring an action against him, though he himself desired nothing more, and lived so easy under that expectation, that they soon laid aside their fears on his account.

"We were visited by Mr. H. B—, a relation of my lord, and one Mr. R—, of the Guards, who, with the little Scotchman and my lover, made an agreeable set, among whom I enjoyed hunting, and all manner of country diversions. As to Mr. H. B—, if ever there was perfection in one man, it centred in him; or, at least, he, of all the men I ever knew, approached the nearest to that idea which I had conceived of a perfect character. He was both good and great, possessed an uncommon genius, and the best of hearts. Mr. R— was a very sociable man, had a good person, and cultivated understanding; and my lord was excessively good-humoured; so that, with such companions, no place could be dull or insipid. For my own part, I conducted the family; and, as I endeavoured to please and make everybody happy, I had the good fortune to succeed. Mr. B— told me, that before he saw me, he heard I was a fool; but finding, as he was pleased to say, that I had been egregiously misrepresented, he courted my friendship, and a correspondence commenced between us. Indeed, it was impossible for any person to know him, without entertaining the utmost esteem and veneration for his virtue.

"After I had lived some time in this agreeable retreat, my husband began to make a bustle. He sent a message, demanding me from Lord B—; then came in person, with his nightcap in his pocket, intending to have stayed all night, had he been asked, and attended by a relation, whom he assured that I was very fond of him, and detained by force from his arms. Finding himself disappointed in his expectations, he commenced a law-suit against Lord B—, though not for a divorce, as we desired, but with a view to reclaim me as his lawful wife. His lawyers, however, attempted to prove criminal conversation, in hopes of extorting money from my lover. But their endeavours were altogether fruitless; for no servant of Lord B—'s or mine could with justice say we were ever seen to trespass against modesty and decorum; so that the plaintiff was nonsuited. While this cause was depending, all my lover's friends expressed fear and concern for the issue, while he himself behaved with the utmost resolution, and gave me such convincing proofs of a strong and steady affection, as augmented my gratitude, and riveted the ties of my love, which was unblemished, faithful, and sincere.

"Soon after this event, I was seized with a violent fit of illness, in which I was visited by my father, and attended by two physicians, one of whom despaired of my life, and took his leave accordingly; but Dr. S—, who was the other, persisted in his attendance, and, in all human appearance, saved my life; a circumstance by which he acquired a great share of reputation. Yet, notwithstanding all his assistance, I was confined to my bed for ten weeks; during which Lord B—'s grief was immoderate, his care and generosity unlimited. While I lay in this extremity, Mr. S—, penetrated by my melancholy condition, which revived his tenderness, begged leave to be admitted to my presence; and Lord B— would have complied with his request, had I not been judged too weak to bear the shock of such an interview. My constitution, however, agreeably disappointed my fears; and the fever had no sooner left me, than I was removed to a hunting seat belonging to my lover, from whence, after I had recovered my strength, we went to B— castle, where we kept open house. And, while we remained at this place, Lord B— received a letter from Lord —, dated in November, challenging him to single combat in May, upon the frontiers of France and Flanders. This defiance was sent in consequence of what had passed between them long before my indisposition, at a meeting in a certain tavern, where they quarrelled, and in the fray, my lover threw his antagonist under the table. I counselled him to take no notice of this rhodomontade, which I knew was void of all intention of performance; and he was wise enough to follow my advice, resolved, however, should the message be repeated, to take the challenger at his word.

"Having resided some time at this place, we returned to the other country house which he had left, where Lord B— addicted himself so much to hunting, and other male diversions, that I began to think he neglected me, and apprised him of my suspicion, assuring him, at the same time, that I would leave him as soon as my opinion should be confirmed. This declaration had no effect upon his behaviour, which became so remarkably cold, that even Mr. R—, who lived with us, imagined that his affection was palpably diminished. When I went to town, I was usually attended by his cousin, or this gentleman, or both, but seldom favoured with his company; nay, when I repaired to Bath, for the re-establishment of my health, he permitted me to go alone; so that I was quite persuaded of his indifference; and yet I was mistaken in my opinion. But I had been spoiled by the behaviour of my first husband, and Mr. S—, who never quitted me for the sake of any amusement, and often resisted the calls of the most urgent business, rather than part from me, though but for a few hours. I thought every man who loved me truly would act in the same manner; and, whether I am right or wrong in my conjectures, I leave wiser casuists to judge. Certain it is, such sacrifice and devotion is the most pleasing proof of an admirer's passion; and, Voyez-moi plus souvent, et ne me donnez rien, is one of my favourite maxims. A man may give money, because he is profuse; he may be violently fond, because he is of a sanguine constitution. But, if he gives me his time, he gives me an unquestionable proof of my being in full possession of his heart.

"My appearance at Bath, without the company of Lord B—, occasioned a general surprise, and encouraged the men to pester me with addresses, every new admirer endeavouring to advance his suit by demonstrating the unkind and disrespectful behaviour of his lordship. Indeed, this was the most effectual string they could touch. My pride and resentment were alarmed, I was weak enough to listen to one man, who had like to have insinuated himself into my inclinations. He was tall and large-boned, with white hair, inclining to what is called sandy, and had the reputation of being handsome, though I think he scarce deserved that epithet. He possessed a large fortune, loved mischief, and stuck at nothing for the accomplishment of his designs, one of his chief pleasures being that of setting any two lovers at variance. He employed his address upon me with great assiduity, and knew so well how to manage my resentment, that I was pleased with his manner, heard his vows without disgust, and, in a word, promised to deliberate with myself upon his proposals, and give him an account of my determination in writing.

"Thus resolved, I went to Lord B—, in Wiltshire, whither I was followed by this pretender to my heart, who visited us on the footing of an acquaintance; but when I reflected on what I had done, I condemned my own conduct as indiscreet, though nothing decisive had passed between us, and began to hate him in proportion to the self-conviction I felt, perceiving that I had involved myself in a difficulty from which I should not be easily disengaged. For the present, however, I found means to postpone my declaration. He admitted my excuse, and I returned to London with Lord B—, who was again summoned to the field by his former challenger.

"H—d—n, governor, counsellor, and steward to this little hero, came to Lord B— with a verbal message, importing that his lordship had changed his mind about going to Flanders, but expected to meet him, on such a day and hour, in the burying-ground near Red Lion-square. Lord B— accepted the challenge, and gave me an account of what had passed; but he had been anticipated by the messenger, who had already tried to alarm my fears from the consideration of the consequence, that I might take some measures to prevent their meeting. I perceived his drift, and told him plainly, that Lord —— had no intention to risk his person, though he endeavoured with all his might to persuade me, that his principal was desperate and determined. I knew my little husband too well to think he would bring matters to any dangerous issue, and was apprehensive of nothing but foul play, from the villainy of H—d—n, with which I was equally well acquainted. Indeed, I signified my doubts on that score to Mr. B—, who would have attended his kinsman to the field, had he not thought he might be liable to censure, if anything should happen to Lord B—, because he himself was heir at law: for that reason he judiciously declined being personally concerned; and we pitched upon the earl of A—, his lordship's uncle, who willingly undertook the office.

"At the appointed time they went to the house of rendezvous, where they had not waited long when the challenger appeared, in a new pink satin waistcoat, which he had put on for the occasion, with his sword under his arm, and his steward by him, leaving, in a hackney-coach at some distance, a surgeon whom he had provided for the care of his person. Thus equipped he advanced to his antagonist, and desired him to choose his ground; upon which Lord B— told him, that if he must fall, it was not material which grave he should tumble over.

"Our little hero, finding him so jocose and determined, turned to Lord A—, and desired to speak with him, that he might disburden his conscience before they should begin the work of death. They accordingly went aside; and he gave him to understand, that his motive for fighting, was Lord B—'s detaining his wife from him by compulsion. The earl of A— assured him, he was egregiously mistaken in his conjecture; that his nephew used no force or undue influence to keep me in his house; but it could not be expected that he would turn me out of doors.

"This explanation was altogether satisfactory to Lord —, who said he was far from being so unreasonable as to expect Lord B— would commit such a breach of hospitality; and all he desired was, that his wife should be left to her own inclinations. Upon these articles, peace was concluded, and they parted without bloodshed. At least these are the particulars of the story, as they were related by Lord A—, with whom I laughed heartily at the adventure, for I never doubted that the challenger would find some expedient to prevent the duel, though I wondered how he mustered up resolution enough to carry it so far.

"That he might not, however, give us any more trouble, we resolved to go and enjoy ourselves in France, whither I went by myself, in hopes of being soon joined by my lover, who was obliged to stay some time longer in England, to settle his affairs. He was so much affected at our parting, though but for a few weeks, that he was almost distracted. And this affliction renewed my tenderness for him, because it was an undoubted proof of his love. I wrote to him every post from France; and, as I had no secrets, desired him to take care of all the letters that should come to his house, directed to me, after my departure from England.

"This was an unfortunate office for him, in the execution of which he chanced to open a letter from Sir T— A—, with whom, as I have already observed, I had some correspondence at Bath. I had according to my promise, given this gentleman a decisive answer, importing that I was determined to remain in my present situation; but as Lord B— was ignorant of my sentiments in that particular, and perceived from the letter that something extraordinary had passed between us, and that I was earnestly solicited to leave him, he was seized with the utmost consternation and concern; and, having previously obtained the king's leave to go abroad, set out that very night for France, leaving his affairs in the greatest confusion.

"Sir T— A— hearing I was gone, without understanding the cause of my departure, took the same route, and both arrived at Dover next day. They heard of each other's motions. Each bribed the master of a packet-boat to transport him with expedition; but that depending upon the wind, both reached Calais at the same time, though in different vessels. Sir T— sent his valet-de-chambre post, with a letter, entreating me to accompany him into Italy, where he would make me mistress of his whole fortune, and to set out directly for that country, that he might not lose me by the arrival of Lord B—, promising to join me on the road, if I would consent to make him happy. I sent his messenger back with an answer, wherein I expressed surprise at his proposals, after having signified my resolution to him before I left England. He was scarce dismissed, when I received another letter from Lord B—, beseeching me to meet him at Clermont, upon the road from Calais; and conjuring me to avoid the sight of his rival, should he get the start of him in travelling. This, however, was not likely to be the case, as Lord B— rode post, and the other was, by his corpulence, obliged to travel in a chaise; yet, that I might not increase his anxiety, I left Paris immediately on the receipt of his message, and met him at the appointed place, where he received me with all the agitation of joy and fear, and asked if I had ever encouraged Sir T— A— in his addresses. I very candidly told him the whole transaction, at which he was incensed; but his indignation was soon appeased, when I professed my penitence, and assured him that I had totally rejected his rival. Not that I approved of my behaviour to Sir T—, who, I own, was ill-used in this affair; but surely it was more excusable to halt here, than proceed farther in my indiscretion.

"My lover being satisfied with my declaration, we went together to Paris, being attended by the Scotchman, whom I have already mentioned, though I believe he was not over and above well pleased to see matters thus amicably compromised. The furious knight followed us to the capital; insisted on seeing me in person; told this North Briton, that I was actually engaged to him; wrote every hour, and railed at my perfidious conduct. I took no notice of these delirious transports, which were also disregarded by Lord B—, till, one night, he was exasperated by the insinuations of Mr. C—, who, I believe, inflamed his jealousy, by hinting a suspicion that I was really in love with his rival. What passed betwixt them I know not, but he sent for me from the opera, by a physician of Paris, who was a sort of go-between among us all, and who told me, that, if I did not come home in the instant, a duel would be fought on my account.

"I was very much shocked at this information; but, by being used to alarms from the behaviour of Lord —, I had acquired a pretty good share of resolution, and with great composure entered the room where Lord B— was, with his companion, whom I immediately ordered to withdraw. I then gave his lordship to understand, that I was informed of what had passed, and thought myself so much injured by the person who had just quitted the apartment, that I would no longer live under the same roof with him. Lord B— raved like a bedlamite, taxing me with want of candour and affection; but I easily justified my own integrity, and gave him such assurances of my love, that his jealousy subsided, and his spirits were recomposed. Nevertheless, I insisted upon his dismissing Mr. C—, on pain of my leaving the house, as I could not help thinking he had used his endeavours to prejudice me in the opinion of my lord. If his conduct was the result of friendship for his patron, he certainly acted the part of an honest and trusty adherent. But I could not easily forgive him, because, a few weeks before, he had, by my interest, obtained a considerable addition to his allowance; and even after the steps he had taken to disoblige me, I was not so much his enemy but that I prevailed upon Lord B— to double his salary, that his leaving the family might be no detriment to his fortune. His lordship having complied with my demand, this gentleman, after having stayed three days in the house, to prepare for his departure, during which I would not suffer him to be admitted into my presence, made his retreat with a fine young girl, who was my companion; and I have never seen him since that time.

"Sir T— still continued furious, and would not take a denial, except from my own mouth, upon which, with the approbation of Lord B—, I indulged him with an interview. He entered the apartment with a stern countenance, and told me I had used him ill. I pleaded guilty to the charge, and begged his pardon accordingly. I attempted to reason the case with him, but he would hear no arguments except his own, and even tried to intimidate me with threats; which provoked me to such a degree, that I defied his vengeance. I told him, that I feared nothing but the report of my own conscience; that, though I had acted a simple part, he durst not say there was anything criminal in my conduct, and that, from his present frantic and unjust behaviour, I thought myself happy in having escaped him. He swore I was the most inflexible of all creatures; asked if nothing would move me; and when I answered, "Nothing," took his leave, and never after persecuted me with his addresses; though I have heard he was vain and false enough to boast of favours, which, upon my honour, he never received, as he himself, at one time, owned to Dr. Cantwell, at Paris.

"While he underwent all this frenzy and distraction upon my account, he was loved with the same violence of passion by a certain Scotch lady of quality, who, when he followed me to France, pursued him thither with the same eagerness and expedition. Far from being jealous of me as a rival, she used to come to my house, implore my good offices with the object of her love, and, laying herself on the floor at full length before the fire, weep and cry like a person bereft of her senses. She bitterly complained that he had never obliged her but once; and begged, with the most earnest supplications, that I would give her an opportunity of seeing him at my house. But I thought proper to avoid her company, as soon as I perceived her intention.

"We continued at Paris for some time, during which I contracted an acquaintance with the sister of Madame de la T—. She was the supposed mistress of the prince of C—, endowed with a great share of understanding, and loved pleasure to excess, though she maintained her reputation on a respectable footing, by living with her husband and mother. This lady, perceiving that I had inspired her lover with a passion, which gave me uneasiness on her account, actually practised all her eloquence and art in persuading me to listen to his love; for it was a maxim with her to please him at any rate. I was shocked at her indelicate complaisance, and rejected the proposal as repugnant to my present engagement, which I held as sacred as any nuptial tie, and much more binding than a forced or unnatural marriage.

"Upon our return to England, we lived in great harmony and peace, and nothing was wanting to my happiness, but the one thing to me the most needful; I mean the enchanting tenderness and delightful enthusiasm of love. Lord B—'s heart, I believe, felt the soft impressions; and, for my own part, I loved him with the most faithful affection. It is not enough to say I wished him well; I had the most delicate, the most genuine esteem for his virtue; I had an intimate regard and anxiety for his interest; and felt for him as if he had been my own son. But still there was a vacancy in my heart; there was not that fervour, that transport, that ecstasy of passion which I had formerly known; my bosom was not filled with the little deity; I could not help recalling to my remembrance the fond, the ravishing moments I had passed with S—. Had I understood the conditions of life, those pleasures were happily exchanged for my present situation, because, if I was now deprived of those rapturous enjoyments, I was also exempted from the cares and anxiety that attended them; but I was generally extravagant in my notions of happiness, and therefore construed my present tranquility into an insipid languor and stagnation of life.

"While I remained in this inactivity of sentiment, Lord —, having received a very considerable addition to his fortune, sent a message to me, promising, that if I would leave Lord B—, he would make me a present of a house and furniture, where I should live at my case, without being exposed to his visits, except when I should be disposed to receive them. This proposal he made in consequence of what I had always declared, namely, that if he had not reduced me to the necessity of putting myself under the protection of some person or other, by depriving me of any other means of subsistence, I should never have given the world the least cause to scandalize my reputation; and that I would withdraw myself from my present dependence, as soon as he should enable me to live by myself. I was therefore resolved to be as good as my word, and accepted his offer, on condition that I should be wholly at my own disposal, and that he should never enter my door but as a visitant or common friend.

"These articles being ratified by his word and honour, the value of which I did not then know, a house was furnished according to my directions; and I signified my intention to Lord B—, who consented to my removal, with this proviso, that I should continue to see him. I wrote also to his relation, Mr. B—, who, in his answer, observed, that it was too late to advise, when I was actually determined. All my friends and acquaintance approved of the scheme, though it was one of the most unjustifiable steps I had ever taken, being a real act of ingratitude to my benefactor; which I soon did, and always shall regret and condemn. So little is the world qualified to judge of private affairs!

"When the time of our parting drew near, Lord B— became gloomy and discontented, and even entreated me to postpone my resolution; but I told him, that now everything was prepared for my reception, I could not retract without incurring the imputation of folly and extravagance. On the very day of my departure, Mr. B— endeavoured, with all the arguments he could suggest, to dissuade me from my purpose; and I made use of the same answer which had satisfied his friend. Finding me determined on removing, he burst out into a flood of tears, exclaiming, "By God! if Lord B— can bear it, I can't." I was thunderstruck at this expression; for though I had been told that Mr. B— was in love with me, I gave no credit to the report, because he had never declared his passion, and this was the first hint of it that ever escaped him in my hearing. I was therefore so much amazed at the circumstance of this abrupt explanation, that I could make no answer; but having taken my leave, went away, ruminating on the unexpected declaration.

"Lord B—, as I was informed, spoke not a word that whole night, and took my leaving him so much to heart, that two years elapsed before he got the better of his grief. This intelligence I afterwards received from his own mouth, and asked his forgiveness for my unkind retreat, though I shall never be able to obtain my own. As for Mr. B—, he was overwhelmed with sorrow, and made such efforts to suppress his concern, as had well nigh cost him his life. Dr. S— was called to him in the middle of the night, and found him almost suffocated. He soon guessed the cause, when he understood that I had left the house. So that I myself was the only person concerned, who was utterly ignorant of his affection; for I solemnly declare he never gave me the least reason to suspect it while I lived with his relation, because he had too much honour to entertain a thought of supplanting his friend, and too good an opinion of me to believe he should have succeeded in the attempt. Though my love for Lord B— was not so tender and interesting as the passion I had felt for S—, my fidelity was inviolable, and I never harboured the most distant thought of any other person, till after I had resolved to leave him, when, I own, I afforded some small encouragement to the addresses of a new admirer by telling him, that I should, in a little time, be my own mistress, though I was not now at my own disposal.

"I enjoyed my new house as a little paradise. It was accommodated with all sorts of conveniences; everything was new, and therefore pleasing, and the whole absolutely at my command. I had the company of a relation, a very good woman, with whom I lived in the most amicable manner; was visited by the best people in town—I mean those of the male sex, the ladies having long ago forsaken me; I frequented all reputable places of public entertainment, and had a concert at home once a week; so that my days rolled on in happiness and quiet, till all my sweets were embittered by the vexatious behaviour of my husband, who began to importune me again to live with him; and by the increasing anxiety of Lord B—, who, though I still admitted his visits, plainly perceived that I wanted to relinquish his correspondence. This discovery raised such tempests of jealousy and despair within his breast, that he kept me in continual alarm. He sent messages to me every hour, signed his letters with his own blood, raved like a man in ecstasy of madness, railed at my ingratitude, and praised my conduct by turns. He offered to sacrifice everything for my love, to leave the kingdom forthwith, and live with me for ever in any part of the world where I should choose to reside.

"These were generous and tempting proposals; but I was beset with counsellors who were not totally disinterested, and who dissuaded me from embracing the proffers of my lover, on pretence that Lord — would be highly injured by my compliance. I listened to their advice, and hardened my heart against Lord B—'s sorrow and solicitations. My behaviour on this occasion is altogether unaccountable; this was the only time that ever I was a slave to admonition. The condition of Lord B— would have melted any heart but mine, and yet mine was one of the most sensible. He employed his cousin as an advocate with me, till that gentleman actually refused the office, telling him candidly, that his own inclinations were too much engaged to permit him to perform the task with fidelity and truth. He accordingly resolved to avoid my presence, until my lord and I should come to some final determination, which was greatly retarded by the perseverance of his lordship, who would not resign his hopes, even when I pretended that another man had engaged my heart, but said, that in time my affection might return.

"Our correspondence, however, gradually wore off; upon which Mr. B— renewed his visits, and many agreeable and happy hours we passed together. Not that he, or any other person whom I now saw, succeeded to the privilege of a fortunate lover; I knew he loved me to madness; but I would not gratify his passion any other way than by the most profound esteem and veneration for his virtues, which were altogether amiable and sublime; and I would here draw his character minutely, but it would take up too much time to set forth his merit; the only, man living of my acquaintance who resembles him, is Lord F—, of whom I shall speak in the sequel.

"About this time I underwent a very interesting change in the situation of my heart. I had sent a message to my old lover S—, desiring he would allow my picture, which was in his possession, to be copied; and he now transmitted it to me by my lawyer, whom he directed to ask, if I intended to be at the next masquerade. This curiosity had a strange effect upon my spirits; my heart fluttered at the question, and my imagination glowed with a thousand fond presages. I answered in the affirmative; and we met by accident at the ball. I could nut behold him without emotion: when he accosted me, his well-known voice made my heart vibrate, like a musical chord, when its unison is struck. All the ideas of our past love, which the lapse of time and absence had enfeebled and lulled to sleep, now awoke, and were reinspired by his appearance; so that his artful excuses were easily admitted: I forgave him all that I had suffered on his account, because he was the natural lord of my affection; and our former correspondence was renewed.

"I thought myself in a new world of bliss in consequence of this reconciliation, the rapture of which continued unimpaired for the space of four months, during which time he was fonder of me, if possible, than before; repeated his promise of marriage, if we should ever have it in our power; assured me he had never been happy since he left me: that he believed no woman loved like me. And indeed, to have a notion of my passion for that man, you must first have loved as I did. But, through a strange caprice, I broke off the correspondence, out of apprehension that he would forsake me again. From his past conduct I dreaded what might happen; and the remembrance of what I had undergone by his inconstancy, filled my imagination with such horror, that I could not endure the shocking prospect, and prematurely plunged myself into the danger, rather than endure the terrors of expectation. I remembered that his former attachment began in the season of my prosperity, when my fortune was in the zenith, and my youth in its prime; and that he had forsaken me in the day of trouble when my life became embarrassed, and my circumstances were on the decline. I foresaw nothing but continual persecution from my husband, and feared, that, once the keener transports of our reconciliation should be over, his affection would sink under the severity of its trial. In consequence of this desertion, I received a letter from him, acknowledging that he was rightly served, but that my retreat gave him inexpressible concern.

"Meanwhile Lord — continued to act in the character of a fiend, tormenting me with his nauseous importunities. He prevailed upon the duke of L— to employ his influence in persuading me to live with him; assuring his grace, that I had actually promised to give him that proof of my obedience, and that I would come home the sooner for being pressed to compliance by a person of his rank and character. Induced by these representations, the duke honoured me with a visit; and, in the course of his exhortations, I understood how he had been thus misinformed. Upon which I sent for Lord —, and, in his presence, convicted him of the falsehood, by communicating to his grace the articles of our last agreement, which he did not think proper to deny; and the duke, being undeceived, declared, that he would not have given me the trouble of vindicating myself, had he not been misled by the insincerity of my lord.

"Baffled in this attempt, he engaged Mr. H— V—, and afterwards my own father, in the same task; and though I still adhered to my first resolution, persisted with such obstinacy in his endeavours to make me unhappy, that I determined to leave the kingdom. Accordingly, after I had spent the evening with him at Ranelagh, I went away about two o'clock in the morning, leaving my companion, with directions to restore to my lord his house, furniture, plate, and everything he had given me since our last accommodation; so far was I, upon this occasion, or at any other time of my life, from embezzling any part of his fortune. My friend followed my instructions most punctually: and his lordship knows and will acknowledge the truth of this assertion.

"Thus have I explained the true cause of my first expedition to Flanders, whither the world was good-natured enough to say, I followed Mr. B— and the whole army, which happened to be sent abroad that summer. Before my departure, I likewise transmitted to Lord B— the dressing plate, china, and a very considerable settlement, of which he had been generous enough to make me a present. This was an instance of my integrity, which I thought due to a man who had laid me under great obligations; and though I lived to be refused a small sum both by him and S—, I do not repent of my disinterested behaviour; all the revenge I harbour against the last of these lovers, is the desire of having it in my power to do him good.

"I now found myself adrift in the world again, and very richly deserved the hardships of my condition, for my indiscretion in leaving Lord B—, and in trusting to the word of Lord — without some further security; but I have dearly paid for my imprudence. The more I saw into the character of this man, whom destiny hath appointed my scourge, the more was I determined to avoid his fellowship and communication; for he and I are, in point of disposition, as opposite as any two principles in nature. In the first place, he is one of the most unsocial beings that ever existed; when I was pleased and happy, he was always out of temper; but if he could find means to overcast and cloud my mirth, though never so innocent, he then discovered signs of uncommon satisfaction and content, because, by this disagreeable temper, he banished all company from his house. He is extremely weak of understanding, though he possesses a good share of low cunning, which has so egregiously imposed upon some people, that they have actually believed him a good-natured easy creature, and blamed me because I did not manage him to better purpose; but, upon further acquaintance, they have always found him obstinate as a mule, and capricious as a monkey. Not that he is utterly void of all commendable qualities. He is punctual in paying his debts, liberal when in good humour, and would be well-bred, were he not subject to fits of absence, during which he is altogether unconversable; but he is proud, naturally suspicious, jealous, equally with and without cause, never made a friend, and is an utter stranger to the joys of intimacy; in short, he hangs like a damp upon society, and may be properly called Kill-joy, an epithet which he has justly acquired. He honoured me with constant professions of love; but his conduct is so opposite to my sentiments of that passion, as to have been the prime source of all my misfortunes and affliction; and I have often wished myself the object of his hate, in hopes of profiting by a change in his behaviour.

"Indeed, he has not been able to make me more unhappy than I believe he is in his own mind; for he is literally a self-tormentor, who never enjoyed one gleam of satisfaction except at the expense of another's quiet; and yet with this, I had almost called it diabolical quality, he expects that I should cherish him with all the tenderness of affection. After he has been at pains to incur my aversion, he punishes my disgust, by contriving schemes to mortify and perplex me, which have often succeeded so effectually, as to endanger my life and constitution; for I have been fretted and frighted into sundry fits of illness, and then I own I have experienced his care and concern.

"Over and above the oddities I have mentioned, he is so unsteady in his economy, that he is always new-modelling his affairs, and exhausting his fortune, by laying out ten pounds, in order to save a shilling. He inquires into the character of a servant, after he has lived two years in his family, and is so ridiculously stocked with vanity and self-conceit, that, notwithstanding my assurance before, and the whole series of my conduct since our marriage, which ought to have convinced him of my dislike, he is still persuaded, that, at bottom, I must admire and be enamoured of his agreeable person and accomplishments, and that I would not fail to manifest my love, were I not spirited against him by his own relations. Perhaps it might be their interest to foment the misunderstanding betwixt us; but really they give themselves no trouble about our affairs; and, so far as I know them, are a very good sort of people. On the whole, I think I may with justice pronounce my precious yoke-fellow a trifling, teasing, insufferable, inconsistent creature.

"With the little money which remained of what I had received from his lordship for house-keeping, I transported myself to Flanders, and arrived in Ghent a few days after our troops were quartered in that city, which was so much crowded with these new visitants, that I should have found it impracticable to procure a lodging, had I not been accommodated by Lord B—, the duke of A—'s youngest brother, who very politely gave me up his own. Here I saw my friend Mr. B—, who was overjoyed at my arrival, though jealous of every man of his acquaintance; for he loved me with all the ardour of passion, and I regarded him with all the perfection of friendship, which, had he lived, in time might have produced love; though that was a fruit which it never brought forth. Notwithstanding his earnest solicitations to the contrary, I stayed but a week in Ghent, from whence I proceeded to Brussels, and fixed my abode in the Hotel de Flandre, among an agreeable set of gentlemen and ladies, with whom I spent my time very cheerfully. There was a sort of court in this city, frequented by all the officers who could obtain permission to go thither; and the place in general was gay and agreeable. I was introduced to the best families, and very happy in my acquaintance; for the ladies were polite, good-tempered, and obliging, and treated me with the utmost hospitality and respect. Among others, I contracted a friendship with Madame la comtesse de C— and her two daughters, who were very amiable young ladies; and became intimate with the Princess C— and Countess W—, lady of the bedchamber to the queen of Hungary, and a great favourite of the governor, Monsieur d'H—, in whose house she lived with his wife, who was also a lady of a very engaging disposition.

"Soon after I had fixed my habitation in Brussels, the company at our hotel was increased by three officers, who professed themselves my admirers, and came from Ghent, with a view of soliciting my love. This triumvirate consisted of the Scotch earl of —, Lord R-M—, and another young officer. The first was a man of a very genteel figure and amorous complexion, danced well, and had a great deal of good-humour, with a mixture of vanity and self-conceit. The second had a good face, though a clumsy person, and a very sweet disposition, very much adapted for the sentimental passion of love. And the third, Mr. W— by name, was tall, thin, and well-bred, with a great stock of good-nature and vivacity. These adventurers began their addresses in general acts of gallantry, that comprehended several of my female friends, with whom we used to engage in parties of pleasure, both in the city and the environs, which are extremely agreeable. When they thought they had taken the preliminary steps of securing themselves in my good opinion and esteem, they agreed to go on without further delay, and that Lord — should make the first attack upon my heart.

"He accordingly laid siege to me, with such warmth and assiduity, that I believe he deceived himself, and began to think he was actually in love; though, at bottom, he felt no impulse that deserved the sacred name. Though I discouraged him in the beginning, he persecuted me with his addresses; he always sat by me at dinner, and imparted a thousand trifles in continual whispers, which attracted the notice of the company so much, that I began to fear his behaviour would give rise to some report to my prejudice, and therefore avoided him with the utmost caution. Notwithstanding all my care, however, he found means one night, while my maid, who lay in my room, went downstairs, to get into my chamber after I was abed. Upon which, I started up, and told him, that, if he should approach me, I would alarm the house; for I never wanted courage and resolution. Perceiving my displeasure, he kneeled by the bedside, begged I would have pity on his sufferings, and swore I should have carte blanche to the utmost extent of his fortune. To these proposals I made no other reply, but that of protesting I would never speak to him again, if he did not quit my apartment that moment; upon which he thought proper to withdraw; and I never afterwards gave him an opportunity of speaking to me on the same subject. So that, in a few weeks, he separated himself from our society; though the ladies of Brussels considered him as my lover, because, of all the other officers, he was their greatest favourite.

"His lordship being thus repulsed, Mr. W— took the field, and assailed my heart in a very different manner. He said he knew not how to make love, but was a man of honour, and would keep the secret, and so forth. To this cavalier address I answered, that I was not angry as I otherwise should have been, at his blunt declaration, because I found by his own confession, he did not know what was due to the sex; and my unhappy situation in some shape excused him for a liberty which he would not have dreamed of taking, had not my misfortunes encouraged his presumption. But I would deal with him in his own way; and, far from assuming the prude, frankly assured him, that he was not at all to my taste, hoping he would consider my dislike as a sufficient reason to reject his love.

"Lord R— began to feel the symptoms of a genuine passion, which he carefully cherished in silence, being naturally diffident and bashful; but, by the very means he used to conceal it from my observation, I plainly discerned the situation of his heart, and was not at all displeased at the progress I had made in his inclinations. Meanwhile he cultivated my acquaintance with great assiduity and respect, attended me in all my excursions, and particularly in an expedition to Antwerp, with two other gentlemen, where, in downright gaiete de coeur, we sat for our pictures, which were drawn in one piece, one of the party being represented in the dress of a hussar, and another in that of a running footman. This incident I mention, because the performance, which is now in my possession, gave birth to a thousand groundless reports circulated in England at our expense.

"It was immediately after this jaunt that Lord R— began to disclose his passion; though he, at the same time, started such objections as seemed to extinguish his hopes, lamenting that, even if he should have the happiness to engage my affections, his fortune was too inconsiderable to support us against the efforts of Lord —, should he attempt to interrupt our felicity, and that he himself was obliged to follow the motions of the army. In short, he seemed to consider my felicity more than his own, and behaved with such delicacy, as gradually made an impression on my heart, so that, when we parted, we agreed to renew our correspondence in England.

"In the midst of these agreeable amusements, which I enjoyed in almost all the different towns of Flanders, I happened to be at Ghent one day, sitting among a good deal of company, in one of their hotels, when a post-chaise stopped at the gate; upon which we went to the windows to satisfy our curiosity, when who should step out of the convenience, but my little insignificant lord! I no sooner announced him to the company, than all the gentlemen asked whether they should stay and protect me, or withdraw; and when I assured them that their protection was not necessary, one and all of them retired; though Lord R— M— went no farther than the parlour below, being determined to screen me against all violence and compulsion. I sent a message to my lord, desiring him to walk up into my apartment; but although his sole errand was to see and carry me off, he would not venture to accept of my invitation, till he had demanded me in form from the governor of the place. That gentleman, being altogether a stranger to his person and character, referred him to the commanding officer of the English troops, who was a man of honour, and, upon his lordship's application, pretended to doubt his identity; observing, that he had always heard Lord — represented as a jolly, corpulent man. He gave him to understand, however, that even granting him to be the person, I was by no means subject to military law, unless he could prove that I had ever listed in his Majesty's service.

"Thus disappointed in his endeavours, he returned to the inn, and, with much persuasion, trusted himself in my dining-room, after having stationed his attendants at the door, in case of accidents. When I asked what had procured me the honour of this visit, he told me, his business and intention were to carry me home. This declaration produced a conference, in which I argued the case with him; and matters were accommodated for the present, by my promising to be in England some time in September, on condition that he would permit me to live by myself, as before, and immediately order the arrears of my pin-money to be paid. He assented to everything I proposed, returned in peace to his own country, and the deficiencies of my allowance were made good; while I returned to Brussels, where I stayed until my departure for England, which I regulated in such a manner as was consistent with my engagement.

"I took lodgings in Pall-mall, and, sending for my lord, convinced him of my punctuality, and put him in mind of his promise, when, to my utter astonishment and confusion, he owned, that his promise was no more than a decoy to bring me over, and that I must lay my account with living in his house like a dutiful and obedient wife. I heard him with the indignation such treatment deserved, upbraiding him with his perfidious dealing, which I told him would have determined me against cohabitation with him had I not been already resolved; and, being destitute of all resource, repaired to Bath, where I afterwards met with Mr. D— and Mr. R—, two gentlemen who had been my fellow-passengers in the yacht from Flanders, and treated me with great friendship and politeness, without either talking or thinking of love.

"With these gentlemen, who were as idle as myself, I went to the jubilee at Preston, which was no other than a great number of people assembled in a small town, extremely ill-accommodated, to partake of diversions that were bad imitations of plays, concerts, and masquerades. If the world should place to the account of my indiscretion my travelling in this manner with gentlemen to whom I had no particular attachment, let it also be considered, as an alleviation, that I always lived in terror of my lord, and consequently was often obliged to shift my quarters; so that, my finances being extremely slender, I stood the more in need of assistance and protection. I was, besides, young, inconsiderate, and so simple, as to suppose the figure of an ugly man would always secure me from censure on his account; neither did I ever dream of any man's addresses, until he made an actual declaration of his love.

"Upon my return to Bath, I was again harassed by Lord —, who came thither accompanied by my father, whom I was very glad to see, though he importuned me to comply with my husband's desire, and for the future keep measures with the world. This remonstrance about living with my lord, which he constantly repeated, was the only instance of his unkindness which I ever felt. But all his admonitions were not of force sufficient to shake my resolution in that particular; though the debate continued so late, that I told his lordship, it was high time to retire, for I could not accommodate him with a bed. He then gave me to understand, that he would stay where he was; upon which my father took his leave, on pretence of looking out for a lodging for himself. The little gentleman being now left with me, began to discover some signs of apprehension in his looks; but, mustering up all his resolution, he went to the door, called up three of his servants, whom he placed as sentinels upon the stairs, and flounced into my elbow-chair, where he resigned himself to rest. Intending to go to bed, I thought it was but just and decent that I should screen myself from the intrusion of his footmen, and with that view bolted the door. Lord —, hearing himself locked in, started up in the utmost terror and consternation, kicked the door with his heel, and screamed aloud, as if he had been in the hands of an assassin. My father, who had not yet quitted the house, hearing these outcries, ran upstairs again, and, coming through my bedchamber into the dining-room where we were, found me almost suffocated with laughter, and his heroic son-in-law staring like one who had lost his wits, with his hair standing on end.

"When my father asked the meaning of his exclamations, he told him, with all the symptoms of dismay, that I had locked him in, and he did not understand such usage. But I explained the whole mystery, by saying, I had bolted the door because I did not like the company of his servants, and could not imagine the cause of his panic, unless he thought I designed to ravish him; an insult than which nothing was farther from my intention. My father himself could scarce refrain from laughing at his ridiculous fear; but, seeing him in great confusion, took pity on his condition, and carried him off to his own lodgings, after I had given my word that I would not attempt to escape, but give him audience next morning. I accordingly kept my promise, and found means to persuade them to leave me at my own discretion. Next day I was rallied upon the stratagem I had contrived to frighten Lord —; and a thousand idle stories were told about this adventure, which happened literally as I have related it.

"From Bath I betook myself to a small house near Lincoln, which I had hired of the d— of A—, because a country life suited best with my income, which was no more than four hundred pounds a year, and that not well paid. I continued some months in this retirement, and saw no company, except Lord R— M—, who lived in the neighbourhood, and visited me twice; till, finding myself indisposed, I was obliged to remove to London, and took lodgings in Maddox-street, where my garrison was taken by storm by my Lord — and his steward, reinforced by Mr. L— V— (who, as my lord told me, had a subsidy of five-and-twenty pounds before he would take the field) and a couple of hardy footmen. This formidable band rushed into my apartment, laid violent hands upon me, dragged me down-stairs without gloves or a cloak, and, thrusting me into a coach that stood at the door, conveyed me to my lord's lodgings in Gloucester-street. Upon this occasion, his lordship courageously drew his sword upon my woman, who attempted to defend me from his insults, and, in all probability, would have intimidated him from proceeding; for he looked pale and aghast, his knees knocked together, and he breathed thick and hard, with his nostrils dilated, as if he had seen a ghost; but he was encouraged by his mercenary associate, who, for the five-and-twenty pounds, stood by him in the day of trouble, and spirited him on to this gallant enterprise.

"In consequence of this exploit, I was cooped up in a paltry apartment in Gloucester-street, where I was close beset by his lordship and his worthy steward Mr. H—, with a set of servants that were the creatures of this fellow, of whom my lord himself stood in awe, so that I could not help thinking myself in Newgate, among thieves and ruffians. To such a degree did my terror avail, that I actually believed I was in danger of being poisoned, and would not receive any sustenance, except from the hands of one harmless-looking fellow, a foreigner, who, was my lord's valet-de-chambre. I will not pretend to say my fears were just; but such was my opinion of H—, that I never doubted he would put me out of the way, if he thought my life interfered with his interest. On the second day of my imprisonment, I was visited by the duke of L—, a friend of my lord, who found me sitting upon a trunk, in a poor little diningroom filled with lumber, and lighted with two bits of tallow candle, which had been left overnight. He perceived in my face a mixture of rage, indignation, terror, and despair. He compassionated my sufferings, though he could not alleviate my distress any other way than by interceding with my tyrant to mitigate my oppression. Nevertheless, I remained eleven days in this uncomfortable situation: I was watched like a criminal all day, and one of the servants walked from one room to another all night, in the nature of a patrol; while my lord, who lay in the chamber above me, got out of bed and tripped to the window at the sound of every coach that chanced to pass through the street. H—, who was consummate in the arts of a sycophant, began to court my favour, by condoling my affliction, and assuring me, that the only method by which I could regain my liberty was a cheerful compliance with the humour of my lord. I was fully convinced of the truth of this observation; and, though my temper is altogether averse to dissimulation, attempted to affect an air of serenity and resignation. But this disguise, I found, would not answer my purpose; and therefore I had recourse to the assistance of my maid, who was permitted to attend me in my confinement. With her I frequently consulted about the means of accomplishing my escape. In consequence of our deliberations, she directed a coach and six to be ready at a certain part of the town, and to wait for me three days in the same place, in case I could not come before the expiration of that term.

"This previous measure being taken according to my instructions, the next necessary step was to elude the vigilance of my guard: and in this manner did I effectuate my purpose. Being by this time indulged in the liberty of going out in the coach for the benefit of the air, attended by two footmen, who had orders to watch all my motions, I made use of this privilege one forenoon, when Lord — expected some company to dinner, and bade the coachman drive to the lodgings of a man who wrote with his mouth, intending to give my spies the slip, on pretence of seeing this curiosity; but they were too alert in their duty to be thus outwitted, and followed me up-stairs into the very apartment.

"Disappointed in this hope, I resolved another scheme, which was attended with success. I bought some olives at an oil-shop; and, telling the servants I would proceed to St. James's-gate, and take a turn in the park, broke one of the bottles by the way, complained of the misfortune when I was set down, and desired my coach might be cleaned before my return. While my attendants were employed in this office, I tripped across the Parade to the Horse Guards, and chanced to meet with an acquaintance in the park, who said, he saw by my countenance that I was upon some expedition. I owned his suspicion was just, but, as I had not time to relate particulars, I quickened my pace, and took possession of a hackney-coach, in which I proceeded to the vehicle I had appointed to be in waiting.

"While I thus compassed my escape, there was nothing but perplexity and confusion at home; dinner was delayed till six o'clock; my lord ran half the town over in quest of his equipage, which at last returned, with an account of my elopement. My maid was brought to the question, and grievously threatened; but, like all the women I ever had, remained unshaken in her fidelity. In the meantime, I travelled night and day towards my retreat in Lincolnshire, of which his lordship had not, as yet, got the least intelligence; and as my coachman was but an inexperienced driver, I was obliged to make use of my own skill in that exercise, and direct his endeavours the whole way, without venturing to go to bed, or take the least repose, until I reached my own habitation. There I lived in peace and tranquility for the space of six weeks, when I was alarmed by one of my lord's myrmidons, who came into the neighbourhood, blustering and swearing that he would carry me off either dead or alive.

"It is not to be supposed that I was perfectly easy when I was made acquainted with his purpose and declaration, as my whole family consisted of no more than a couple of women and one footman. However, I summoned up my courage, which had been often tried, and never forsook me in the day of danger; and sent him word, that, if ever he should presume to approach my house, I would order him to be shot without ceremony. The fellow did not choose to put me to the trial, and returned to town without his errand: but as the place of my abode was now discovered, I laid my account with having a visit from his employer; I therefore planted spies upon the road, with a promise of reward to him who should bring me the first intelligence of his lordship's approach.

"Accordingly, I was one morning apprised of his coming, and, mounting horse immediately, with my woman and valet, away we rode, in defiance of winter. In two days I traversed the wilds of Lincolnshire and hundreds of Essex, crossed the river at Tilbury, breakfasted at Chatham, by the help of a guide and moonlight arrived at Dover the same evening, embarked for Calais, in which place I found myself next day at two o'clock in the afternoon; and being heartily tired with my journey, betook myself to rest. My maid, who was not able to travel with such expedition, followed me at an easier pace; and the footman was so astonished at my perseverance, that he could not help asking me upon the road, if ever I was weary in my life. Certain it is, my spirits and resolution have enabled me to undergo fatigues that are almost incredible. From Calais I went to Brussels, where I again set up my rest in private lodgings; was again perfectly well received by the fashionable people of that place; and, by the interest of my friends, obtained the queen of Hungary's protection against the persecution of my husband, while I should reside in the Austrian Netherlands. Thus secured, I lived uncensured, conversing with the English company, with which this city was crowded; but spent the most agreeable part of my time with the countess of Calemberg, in whose house I generally dined and supped. And I also contracted an intimacy with the princess of Chemay, who was a great favourite with Madame d'Harrach, the governor's lady.

"I had not been long in this happy situation, when I was disturbed by the arrival of Lord —, who demanded me of the governor; but finding me sheltered from his power, he set out for Vienna; and, in consequence of his representations, strengthened with the duke of N—'s name, my protection was withdrawn. But, before this application, he had gone to the camp, and addressed himself to my Lord Stair, who was my particular friend and ally by my first marriage, desiring he would compel me to return to his house. His lordship told him, that I was in no shape subject to his command; but invited him to dinner, with a view of diverting himself and company at the expense of his guest. In the evening, he was plied with so many bumpers to my health, that he became intoxicated, and extremely obstreperous, insisted upon seeing Lord Stair after he was retired to rest, and quarrelled with Lord D—, who being a tall, large, raw-boned Scotchman, could have swallowed him at one mouthful; but he thought he might venture to challenge him, in hopes of being put under arrest by the general. Though he reckoned without his host; Lord Stair knew his disposition, and, in order to punish his presumption, winked at the affair. The challenger, finding himself mistaken in his conjecture, got up early in the morning, and went off post for Vienna. And Lord Stair desired a certain man of quality to make me a visit, and give me an account of his behaviour.

"Being now deprived of my protection and pin-money, which my generous husband would no longer pay, I was reduced to great difficulty and distress. The duchess d'Aremberg, Lord G—, and many other persons of distinction, interceded in my behalf with his Majesty, who was then abroad; but he refused to interpose between man and wife. The countess of Calemberg wrote a letter to my father, in which she represented my uncomfortable situation, and undertook to answer for my conduct, in case he would allow me a small annuity, on which I could live independent of Lord —, who, by all accounts, was a wretch with whom I could never enjoy the least happiness or quiet, otherwise she would be the first to advise me to an accommodation. She gave him to understand, that her character was neither doubtful nor obscure; and that, if my conduct there had not been irreproachable, she should not have taken me under her protection. That, as I proposed to board in a convent, a small sum would answer my occasions; but, if that should be denied, I would actually go to service, or take some other desperate step, to avoid the man who was my bane and aversion.

"To this kind remonstrance my father answered that his fortune would not allow him to assist me; he had now a young family; and that I ought, at all events, to return to my husband. By this time, such was the extremity of my circumstances, that I was forced to pawn my clothes, and every trifling trinket in my possession, and even to descend so far as to solicit Mr. S— for a loan of fifty pounds, which he refused. Thus was I deserted in my distress by two persons, to whom, in the season of my affluence, my purse had been always open. Nothing so effectually subdues a spirit unused to supplicate, as want. Repulsed in this manner, I had recourse to Lord B—, who was also, it seems, unable to relieve my necessities. This mortification I deserved at his hands, though he had once put it in my power to be above all such paltry applications; and I should not have been compelled to the disagreeable task of troubling my friends, had not I voluntarily resigned what he formerly gave me. As to the other gentleman to whom I addressed myself on this occasion, I think he might have shown more regard to my situation, not only for the reasons already mentioned, but because he knew me too well to be ignorant of what I must have suffered in condescending to make such a request.

"Several officers, who guessed my adversity, generously offered to supply me with money; but I could not bring myself to make use of their friendship, or even to own my distress, except to one person, of whom I borrowed a small sum. To crown my misfortunes, I was taken very ill, at a time when there was no other way of avoiding the clutches of my persecutor but by a precipitate flight. In this emergency, I applied to a worthy gentleman of Brussels, a very good friend of mine, but no lover. I say no lover, because every man is supposed to act in that capacity who befriends a young woman in distress. This generous Fleming set out with me in the night from Brussels, and conducted me to the frontier of France. Being very much indisposed both in mind and body when I was obliged to undertake this expedition, I should in all probability have sunk under the fatigue of travelling, had not my spirits been kept up by the conversation of my companion, who was a man of business and consequence, and undertook to manage my affairs in such a manner as would enable me to re-establish my residence in the place I had left. He was young and active, attended me with the utmost care and assiduity, and left nothing undone which he thought would contribute to my ease and satisfaction. I believe his friendship for me was a little tinctured with another passion; but he was married, and lived very well with his wife, who was also my friend; so that he knew I would never think of him in the light of a lover.

"Upon our arrival at Valenciennes, he accommodated me with a little money, for a little was all I would take, and returned to his own city, after we had settled a correspondence by letters. I was detained a day or two in this place by my indisposition, which increased; but, nevertheless, proceeded to Paris, to make interest for a protection from the king of France, which that monarch graciously accorded me, in three days after my first application, and his minister sent orders to all the governors and intendants of the province towns, to protect me against the efforts of Lord ——, in whatever place I should choose to reside.

"Having returned my thanks at Versailles for this favour, and tarried a few days at Paris, which was a place altogether unsuitable to the low ebb of my fortune, I repaired to Lisle, where I intended to fix my habitation; and there my disorder recurred with such violence, that I was obliged to send for a physician, who seemed to have been a disciple of Sangrado; for he scarce left a drop of blood in my body, and yet I found myself never a whit the better. Indeed, I was so much exhausted by these evacuations, and my constitution so much impaired by fatigue and perturbation of mind, that I had no other hope of recovering but that of reaching England, and putting myself under the direction of a physician on whose ability I could depend.

"With this doubtful prospect, therefore, I determined to attempt a return to my native air, and actually departed from Lisle, in such a melancholy, enfeebled condition, that I had almost fainted when I was put into the coach. But before I resolved upon this journey, I was reduced to the utmost exigence of fortune, so that I could scarce afford to buy provisions, had it been in my power to eat, and should not have been able to defray my travelling expenses, had I not been generously befriended by Lord R— H—, who, I am sure, would have done anything for my case and accommodation, though he has unjustly incurred the imputation of being parsimonious, and I had no reason to expect any such favour at his hands.

"In this deplorable state of health I was conveyed to Calais, being all the way, as it were, in the arms of death, without having swallowed the least sustenance on the road. So much was my indisposition augmented by the fatigue of the journey, that I swooned when I was brought into the inn, and had almost expired before I could receive the least assistance or advice. However, my spirits were a little revived by some bread and wine, which I took at the persuasion of a French surgeon, who, chancing to pass by the door, was called up to my relief. Having sent my servant to Brussels, to take care of my clothes, I embarked in the packet-boat, and by the time we arrived at Dover was almost in extremity.

"Here I found a return coach, in which I was carried to London, and was put to bed at the house we put up at, more dead than alive. The people of the inn sent for an apothecary, who administered some cordial that recalled me to life; and, when I recovered the use of speech, I told him who I was, and desired him to wait upon Dr. S—, and inform him of my situation. A young girl, who was niece to the landlord's wife, seeing me unattended, made a tender of her service to me, and I accepted the offer, as well as of a lodging in the apothecary's house, to which I was conveyed as soon as my strength would admit of my removal. There I was visited by my physician, who was shocked to find me in such a dangerous condition. However, having considered my case, he perceived that my indisposition proceeded from the calamities I had undergone, and encouraged me with the hope of a speedy cure, provided I could be kept easy and undisturbed. I was accordingly attended with all imaginable care; my lord's name being never mentioned in my hearing, because I considered him as the fatal source of all my misfortunes; and in a month I recovered my health, by the great skill and tenderness of my doctor, who now finding me strong enough to encounter fresh troubles, endeavoured to persuade me, that it would be my wisest step to return to my husband, whom at that time he had often occasion to see. But I rejected his proposal, commencing a new lawsuit for separation, and took a small house in St. James's-square.

"About this time my woman returned from Brussels, but without my clothes, which were detained on account of the money I owed in that place; and, asking her dismission from my service, set up shop for herself. I had not lived many weeks in my new habitation, when my persecutor renewed his attempts to make himself master of my person; but I had learned from experience to redouble my vigilance, and he was frustrated in all his endeavours. I was again happy in the conversation of my former acquaintance, and visited by a great number of gentlemen, mostly persons of probity and sense, who cultivated my friendship, without any other motive of attachment. Not that I was unsolicited on the article of love. That was a theme on which I never wanted orators; and could I have prevailed upon myself to profit by the advances that were made, I might have managed my opportunities so as to have set fortune at defiance for the future. But I was none of these economists who can sacrifice their hearts to interested considerations.

"One evening, while I was conversing with three or four of my friends, my lawyer came in, and told me he had something of consequence to impart; upon which all the gentlemen but one went away. Then he gave me to understand, that my suit would immediately come to trial; and, though he hoped the best, the issue was uncertain. That, if it should be given against me, the decision would inspire my lord with fresh spirits to disturb my peace, and, therefore, it would be convenient for me to retire, until the affair should be brought to a determination.

"I was very much disconcerted at this intelligence; and the gentleman who stayed, perceiving my concern, asked what I intended to do, or if he could serve me in any shape, and desired to know whither I proposed to retreat. I affected to laugh, and answered, "To a garret, I believe." To this overstrained reasoning he replied, that if I should, his friendship and regard would find the way to my apartment; and I had no reason to doubt the sincerity of his declaration. We consulted about the measures I should take, and I determined to remove into the country, where I was soon favoured with a letter from him, wherein he expressed the infinite pleasure he had in being able to assure me that my suit had been successful, and that I might appear again with great safety.

"Accordingly, I returned to town in his coach and six, which he had sent for my convenience, and the same evening went with him to the masquerade, where we passed the night very agreeably, his spirits, as well as mine, being elevated to a joyous pitch by the happy event of my process. This gentleman was a person of great honour, worth, and good-nature; he loved me extremely, but did not care that I should know the extent of his passion. On the contrary, he endeavoured to persuade me, he had laid it down as a maxim, that no woman should ever have power enough over his heart to give him the least pain or disquiet. In short, he had made a progress in my affection, and to his generosity was I indebted for my subsistence two whole years; during which, he was continually professing this philosophic indifference, while, at the same time, he was giving me daily assurances of his friendship and esteem, and treated me with incessant marks of the most passionate love; so that I concluded his intention was cold, though his temper was warm. Considering myself as an encumbrance upon his fortune, I redoubled my endeavours to obtain a separate maintenance from my lord, and removed from St. James's-square to lodgings at Kensington, where I had not long enjoyed myself in tranquility, before I was interrupted by a very unexpected visit.

"While I was busy one day dressing in my dining-room, I found his lordship at my elbow before I was aware of his approach, although his coach was at the door, and the house already in the possession of his servants. He accosted me in the usual style, as if we had parted the night before; and I answered him with an appearance of the same careless familiarity, desiring him to sit down, while I retreated to my chamber, locked the door, and fairly went to bed; being perhaps the first woman who went thither for protection from the insults of a man. Here, then. I immured myself with my faithful Abigail. My lord finding me secured, knocked at the door, and through the keyhole begged to be admitted, assuring me that all he wanted was a conference. I desired to be excused, though I believed his assurance; but I had no inclination to converse with him, because I knew from experience the nature of his conversation, which was so disagreeable and tormenting, that I would have exchanged it at any time for a good beating, and thought myself a gainer by the bargain. However, he persisted in his importunities to such a degree, that I assented to his proposal, on condition that the duke of L— should be present at the interview: and he immediately sent a message for his grace, while I, in peace, ate my breakfast, conveyed in a basket, which was hoisted up to the window of my bedchamber.

"The duke was so kind as to come at my lord's request, and, before I would open the door, gave me his word, that I should be protected from all violence and compulsion. Thus assured, they were permitted to enter. My little gentleman, sitting down by my bedside, began to repeat the old hackneyed arguments he had formerly used, with a view of inducing me to live with him; and I, on my side, repeated my former objections, or pretended to listen to his representations, while my imagination was employed in contriving the means of effecting an escape, as the duke easily perceived by my countenance.

"Finding all his remonstrances ineffectual, he quitted the chamber, and left his cause to the eloquence of his grace, who sat with me a whole half-hour, without exerting himself much in behalf of his client, because he knew I was altogether obstinate and determined on that score; but joked upon the behaviour of his lordship, who, though jealous of most people, had left him alone with me in my bedchamber, observing, that he must neither have great confidence in his virtue, or a very bad opinion of him otherwise. In short, I found means to defer the categorical answer till next day, and invited the duke and his lordship to dine with me to-morrow. My wise yoke-fellow seemed to doubt the sincerity of this invitation, and was very much disposed to keep possession of my house. But, by the persuasion of his grace, and the advice of H—, who was his chief counsellor and back, he was prevailed upon to take my word, and for the present left me.

"They were no sooner retired, than I rose with great expedition, packed up my clothes, and took shelter in Essex for the first time. Next day, my lord and his noble friend came to dinner, according to appointment; and being informed of my escape by my woman, whom I left in the house, his lordship discovered some signs of discontent, and insisted upon seeing my papers; upon which my maid produced a parcel of bills which I owed to different people. Notwithstanding this disappointment, he sat down to what was provided for dinner, and with great deliberation ate up a leg of lamb, the best part of a fowl, and something else, which I do not now remember; and then very peaceably went away, giving my maid an opportunity of following me to the place of my retreat.

"My intention was to have sought refuge, as formerly, in another country; but I was prevented from putting my design in execution by a fit of illness, during which I was visited by my physician and some of my own relations, particularly a distant cousin of mine, whom my lord had engaged in his interests, by promising to recompense her amply, if she could persuade me to comply with his desire. In this office she was assisted by the doctor, who was my friend, and a man of sense, for whom I have the most perfect esteem, though he and I have often differed in point of opinion. In a word, I was exposed to the incessant importunities of all my acquaintance, which, added to the desperate circumstances of my fortune, compelled me to embrace the terms that were offered, and I again returned to the domestic duties of a wife.

"I was conducted to my lord's house by an old friend of mine, a gentleman turned of fifty, of admirable parts and understanding; he was a pleasing companion, cheerful and humane, and had acquired a great share of my esteem and respect. In a word, his advice had great weight in my deliberations, because it seemed to be the result of experience and disinterested friendship. Without all doubt, he had an unfeigned concern for my welfare; but, being an admirable politician, his scheme was to make my interest coincide with his own inclinations; for I had, unwittingly, made an innovation upon his heart; and as he thought I should hardly favour his passion while I was at liberty to converse with the rest of my admirers, he counselled me to surrender that freedom, well knowing that my lord would be easily persuaded to banish all his rivals from the house; in which case, he did not doubt of his being able to insinuate himself into my affections; because he laid it down as an eternal truth, that, if any two persons of different sexes were obliged to live together in a desert, where they would be excluded from all other human intercourse, they would naturally and inevitably contract an inclination for each other.

"How just this hypothesis might be, I leave to the determination of the curious; though, if I may be allowed to judge from my own disposition, a couple so situated would be apt to imbibe mutual disgusts from the nature and necessity of their union, unless their association was at first the effect of reciprocal affection and esteem. Be this as it will, I honour the gentleman for his plan, which was ingeniously contrived, and artfully conducted; but I happened to have too much address for him in the sequel, cunning as he was, though at first I did not perceive his drift; and his lordship was much less likely to comprehend his meaning.

"Immediately after this new accommodation, I was carried to a country house belonging to my lord, and was simple enough to venture myself, unattended by any servant on whose integrity I could depend, in the hands of his lordship, and H—, whose villainy I always dreaded; though, at this time, my apprehensions were considerably increased by recollecting, that it was not his interest to let me live in the house, lest his conduct should be inquired into; and by remembering that the very house to which we were going had been twice burnt down in a very short space of time, not without suspicion of his having been the incendiary, on account of some box of writings which was lost in the conflagration. True it is, this imputation was never made good; and, perhaps, he was altogether innocent of the charge, which nevertheless affected my spirits in such a manner, as rendered me the most miserable of all mortals. In this terror did I remain, till my consternation was awakened by the arrival of Mr. B—, a good-natured worthy man, whom my lord had invited to his house, and I thought would not see me ill-used. In a few weeks we were joined by Dr. S— and his lady, who visited us according to their promise; and it was resolved that we should set out for Tunbridge, on a party of pleasure, and at our return examine H—'s accounts.

"This last part of our scheme was not at all relished by our worthy steward, who therefore determined to overturn our whole plan, and succeeded accordingly. My lord, all of a sudden, declared himself against the jaunt we had projected, and insisted upon my staying at home, without assigning any reason for this peremptory behaviour; his countenance being cloudy, and, for the space of three days, he did not open his mouth. At last, he one night entered my bedchamber, to which he now had free access, with his sword under his arm, and, if I remember aright, it was ready drawn. I could not help taking notice of this alarming circumstance, which shocked me the more, as it happened immediately after a gloomy fit of discontent. However, I seemed to overlook the incident, and, dismissing my maid, went to bed; because I was ashamed to acknowledge, even to my own heart, any dread of a person whom I despised so much. However, the strength of my constitution was not equal to the fortitude of my mind. I was taken ill, and the servants were obliged to be called up; while my lord himself, terrified at my situation, ran upstairs to Mrs. S—, who was in bed, told her, with evident perturbation of spirits, that I was very much indisposed, and said, he believed I was frightened by his entering my chamber with his sword in hand.

"This lady was so startled at his information, that she ran into my apartment half naked, and as she went down-stairs, asked what reason could induce him to have carried his sword with him. Upon which he gave her to understand, that his intention was to kill the bats. I believe and hope he had no other design than that of intimidating me; but when the affair happened, I was of a different opinion. Mrs. S—, having put on her clothes, sat up all night by my bedside, and was so good as to assure me that she would not leave me until I should be safely delivered from the apprehensions that surrounded me in this house, to which she and the doctor had been the principal cause of my coming; for my lord had haunted and importuned them incessantly on this subject, protesting that he loved me with the most inviolable affection; and all he desired was, that I would sit at his table, manage his family, and share his fortune. By these professions, uttered with an air of honesty and good-nature, he had imposed himself upon them for the best tempered creature upon earth; and they used all their influence with me to take him into favour. This has been the case with a great many people, who had but a superficial knowledge of his disposition; but, in the course of their acquaintance, they have never failed to discern and acknowledge their mistake.

"The doctor, on his return from Tunbridge, to which place he had made a trip by himself, found me ill abed, and the whole family in confusion. Surprised and concerned at this disorder, he entered into expostulation with my lord, who owned, that the cause of his displeasure and disquiet was no other than jealousy. He had informed him, that I had been seen to walk out with Mr. Bal— in a morning; and that our correspondence had been observed, with many additional circumstances, which were absolutely false and groundless. This imputation was no sooner understood, than it was resolved that the accuser should be examined in presence of us all. He accordingly appeared, exceedingly drunk, though it was morning, and repeated the articles of the charge, as an information he had received from a man who came from town to hang the bells, and was long ago returned to London.

"This was an instance of his cunning and address, which did not forsake him even in his hours of intoxication. Had he fixed the calumny on any one of the servants, he would have been confronted and detected in his falsehood. Nevertheless, though he could not be legally convicted, it plainly appeared that he was the author of this defamation, which incensed Mr. Bal— to such a degree, that he could scarce be withheld from punishing him on the spot, by manual chastisement. However, he was prevailed upon to abstain from such immediate vengeance, as a step unworthy of his character; and the affair was brought to this issue, that his lordship should either part with me or Mr. H—; for I was fully determined against living under the same roof with such an incendiary.

"This alternative being proposed, my lord dismissed his steward, and we returned to town with the doctor and Mrs. S—; for I had imbibed such horror and aversion for this country seat, though one of the pleasantest in England, that I could not bear to live in it. We therefore removed to a house in Bond-street, where, according to the advice of my friends, I exerted my whole power and complaisance in endeavours to keep my husband in good-humour, but was so unsuccessful in my attempts, that, if ever he was worse tempered, more capricious, or intolerable, at one time than at another, this was the season in which his ill-humour predominated in the most rancorous degree. I was scarce ever permitted to stir abroad, saw nobody at home, but my old male friend, whom I have mentioned above; and the doctor, with his lady, from whose conversation, also, I was at last excluded.

"Nevertheless, I contrived to steal a meeting now and then with my late benefactor, for whom I entertained a great share of affection, exclusive of that gratitude that was due to his generosity. It was not his fault that I compromised matters with my lord; for he was as free of his purse as I was unwilling to use it. It would, therefore, have been unfriendly, unkind, and ungrateful in me, now that I was in affluence, to avoid all intercourse with a man who had supported me in adversity. I think people cannot be too shy and scrupulous in receiving favours; but once they are conferred, they ought never to forget the obligation. And I was never more concerned at any incident of my life, than at hearing that this gentleman did not receive a letter, in which I acknowledged the last proof of his friendship and liberality which I had occasion to use, because I have since learned that he suspected me of neglect.

"But to return to my situation in Bond-street. I bore it as well as I could for the space of three months, during which I lived in the midst of spies, who were employed to watch my conduct, and underwent every mortification that malice, power, and folly could inflict. Nay, so ridiculous, so unreasonable was my tyrant in his spleen, that he declared he would even be jealous of Heydigger, if there was no other man to incur his suspicion: he expected that I should spend my whole time with him tete-a-tete; when I sacrificed my enjoyment to these comfortable parties, he never failed to lay hold on some innocent expression of mine, which he made the foundation of a quarrel; and, when I strove to avoid these disagreeable misinterpretations by reading or writing, he incessantly teased and tormented me with the imputation of being peevish, sullen, and reserved.

"Harassed by this insufferable behaviour, I communicated my case to Dr. S— and his lady, intimating that I neither could nor would expose myself any longer to such usage. The doctor exhorted me to bear my fate with patience; and Mrs. S— was silent on the subject; so that I still hesitated between staying and going, when the doctor, being one night at supper, happened to have some words with my lord, who was so violently transported with passion, that I was actually afraid of going to bed with him; and next morning, when he awakened, there was such an expression of frantic wildness in his countenance, that I imagined he was actually distracted.

"This alarming circumstance confirmed me in my resolution of decamping; and I accordingly moved my quarters to a house in Sackville-street, where I had lodged when I was a widow. From thence I sent a message to the duke of L—, desiring he would make my lord acquainted with the place of my abode, my reasons for removing, and my intention to defend myself against all his attempts. The first night of this separation I went to bed by myself with as much pleasure as a man would feel in going to bed to his mistress whom he had long solicited in vain, so rejoiced was I to be delivered from my obnoxious bedfellow!

"From these lodgings I soon moved to Brook-street, where I had not long enjoyed the sweets of my escape, when I was importuned to return, by a new steward whom my lord had engaged in the room of H—. This gentleman, who bore a very fair character, made such judicious representations, and behaved so candidly in the discharge of his function, that I agreed he should act as umpire in the difference betwixt us, and once more a reconciliation was effected, though his lordship began to be dissatisfied even before the execution of our agreement; in consequence of which he attended me to Bath, whither I went for the benefit of my health, which was not a little impaired.

"This accommodation had a surprising effect upon my lover, who, notwithstanding his repeated declarations, that no woman should ever gain such an ascendancy over his heart as to be able to give him pain, suffered all the agonies of disappointed love, when he now found himself deprived of the opportunities of seeing me, and behaved very differently from what he had imagined he should. His words and actions were desperate: one of his expressions to me was, "It is like twisting my heart-strings, and tearing it out of my body." Indeed, I never should have acted this part had I foreseen what he would have suffered; but I protest I believed him, when he said otherwise, so much, that his declaration on that subject was the occasion of my giving him up; and it was now too late to retract.

"In our expedition to Bath, I was accompanied by a very agreeable young lady, with whom I passed my time very happily, amid the diversions of the place, which screened me, in a good measure, from the vexatious society of my hopeful partner. From this place we repaired to his seat in the country, where we spent a few months, and thence returned again to our house in Bond-street. Here, while I was confined to my bed by illness, it was supposed my indisposition was no other than a private lying-in, though I was under the roof with my lord, and attended by his servants.

"While the distemper continued, my lord, to do him justice, behaved with all imaginable tenderness and care; and his concern on these occasions I have already mentioned as a strange inconsistency in his disposition. If his actions were at all accountable, I should think he took pains to fret me into a fever first, in order to manifest his love and humanity afterwards. When I recovered my strength and spirits, I went abroad, saw company, and should have been easy, had he been contented; but as my satisfaction increased, his good-humour decayed, and he banished from his house, one by one, all the people whose conversation could have made my life agreeable.

"I often expostulated with him on his malignant behaviour, protesting my desire of living peaceably with him, and begging he would not lay me under the necessity of changing my measures. He was deaf to all my remonstrances, though I warned him more than once of the event, persisted in his maxims of persecution; and, after repeated quarrels, I again left his house fully determined to suffer all sorts of extremity, rather than subject myself to the tyranny of his disposition.

"This year was productive of one fatal event, which I felt with the utmost sensibility of sorrow, and I shall always remember with regret:—I mean the death of Mr. B—, with whom I had constantly maintained an intimate correspondence since the first commencement of our acquaintance. He was one of the most valuable men, and promised to be one of the brightest ornaments that this or any other age had produced. I enjoyed his friendship without reserve; and such was the confidence he reposed in my integrity, from long experience of my truth, that he often said he would believe my bare assertion, even though it should contradict the evidence of his own senses. These being the terms upon which we lived, it is not to be supposed that I bore the loss of him without repining. Indeed, my grief was unspeakable; and, though the edge of it be now smoothed by the lenient hand of time, I shall never cease to cherish his memory with the most tender remembrance.

"During the last period of my living with my lord, I had agreed to the expediency of obtaining an act of parliament, which would enable him to pay his debts; on which occasion there was a necessity of cancelling a deed that subsisted between us, relating to a separate maintenance, to which, on certain provisions, I was entitled; and this was to be set aside, so far as it interfered with the above-mentioned scheme, while the rest of it should remain in force. When this affair was about to be transacted, my lord very generously insisted upon my concurrence in annulling the whole settlement; and, when I refused to comply with this demand, because this was the sole resource I had against his ill-usage, he would not proceed in the execution of his plan, though, by dropping it, he hurt nobody but himself; and he accused me of having receded from my word, after I had drawn him into considerable expense.

"This imputation of breaking my word, which I defy the whole world to prove I ever did, incensed me the more, as I myself had proposed the scheme for his service, although I knew the accomplishment of it would endanger the validity of my own settlement; and my indignation was still more augmented by the behaviour of Mr. G—, who had always professed a regard for my interest, and upon my last accommodation with my lord, undertaken to effect a reconciliation between my father and me; but, when he was questioned about the particulars of this difference, and desired to declare whether his lordship or I was to blame, he declined the office of arbitrator, refused to be explicit upon the subject, and by certain shrewd hums and ha's, signified his disapprobation of my conduct. Yet this very man, when I imparted to him, in confidence, my intention of making another retreat, and frankly asked his opinion of my design, seemed to acquiesce in the justice of it in these remarkable words: 'Madam, if I thought or had hopes of my lord growing better, I would down on my knees to desire you to stay; but, as I have not, I say nothing.'

"If he connived at my conduct in this particular, why should he disapprove of it when all I asked was but common justice? But he was a dependant; and therefore I excuse his phlegmatic, not to call it unfriendly, behaviour. Indeed, he could not be too cautious of giving offence to his lordship, who sometimes made him feel the effects of that wrath which other people had kindled; particularly in consequence of a small adventure which happened about this very period of time.

"A very agreeable, sprightly, good-natured young man, a near relation of my lord, happening to be at our house one evening, when there was a fire in the neighbourhood, we agreed to go and sup at the tavern en famille; and, having spent the evening with great mirth and good-humour, this young gentleman, who was naturally facetious, in taking his leave, saluted us all round. My lord, who had before entertained some jealousy of his kinsman, was very much provoked by this trifling incident, but very prudently suppressed his displeasure till he returned to his own house, where his rage co-operating with the champagne he had drunk, inflamed him to such a degree of resolution, that he sprang upon the innocent G—, and collared him with great fury, though he was altogether unconcerned in the cause of his indignation.

"This extravagant and frantic behaviour, added to other grievances under which I laboured, hastened my resolution of leaving him; and he, to this day, blames his relation as the immediate cause of my escape, whereas he ought to place it to the account of his own madness and indiscretion. When I retired to Park-street, he cautioned all my tradesmen, not even excepting my baker, against giving me credit, assuring them that he would not pay any debts I should contract; and the difficulties to which I was reduced, in consequence of this charitable declaration, together with the reflection of what I had suffered, and might undergo, from the caprice and barbarity of his disposition, affected my health so much, that I was again taken ill, and my life thought in danger.

"My constitution, however, got the better of my distemper, and I was ordered into the country by my physicians, for the benefit of the air; so that I found myself under the necessity of keeping two houses, when I was little able to support one, and set up my chariot, because I could not defray the expense of a hackney-coach; for I had as much credit given me as I asked for, notwithstanding my lord's orders to the contrary.

"Having recruited my spirits in the country, I returned to town, and was visited by my friends, who never forsook me in adversity, and in the summer removed to a house in Essex, where I lived a few months in great tranquility, unmolested by my tyrant, who sometimes gave me a whole year's respite. Here I used to ride and drive by turns, as my humour dictated, with horses which were lent me; and I had the company of my lover, and another gentleman, who was a very agreeable companion, and of singular service to me in the sequel.

"At last, my lord having received intelligence of the place of my abode, and his tormenting humour recurring, he set out for my habitation, and in the morning appeared in his coach and six, attended by Mr. G— and another person, whom he had engaged for the purpose, with several domestics armed. I immediately shut up my doors at his approach, and refused him admittance, which he endeavoured to obtain by a succession of prayers and threats; but I was deaf to both, and resolved to hold out to the last. Seeing me determined, he began his attack, and his servants actually forced their way into the house; upon which I retreated up-stairs, and fortified myself in my apartment, which the assailants stormed with such fury, that the door began to give way, and I retired into another room.

"Whilst I remained in this post, Mr. G— demanded a parley, in which he begged I would favour my lord with an interview, otherwise he knew not what might be the consequence. To this remonstrance I replied, that I was not disposed to comply with his request; and though their design should be murder, I was not at all afraid of death. Upon this declaration they renewed their attacks, which they carried on with indifferent success till the afternoon, when my lord, as if he had been at play, sent a formal message to me, desiring that all hostilities should cease, till after both parties should have dined. At the same time, my own servants came for instructions; and I ordered them to let him have everything which he should call for, as far as the house would afford.

"He did not fail to make use of this permission; but sitting down with his companions, ate up my dinner without hesitation, after he had paid me the compliment of desiring to know what he should send up to my apartment. Far from having any stomach to partake of his meal, I sat solitary upon my bed, in a state of melancholy expectation, having fastened the door of the outward room for my security, while I kept my chamber open for the convenience of air, the weather being excessively hot. His lordship, having indulged his appetite, resumed his attempt, and all of a sudden I heard a noise in the next room; upon which I started up, and perceiving that he had got into my ante-chamber, by the help of a bench that stood under the window, I flung to the door of my room, which I locked with great expedition, and opening another that communicated with the staircase, ran out of the house, through a crowd of more than a hundred people, whom this fray had gathered together.

"Being universally beloved in the neighbourhood, and respected by my lord's servants, I passed among them untouched, and took refuge in a neighbouring cottage; while his lordship bawled and roared for assistance, being afraid to come out as he had gone in. Without waiting for his deliberations, I changed clothes with the poor woman who had given me shelter, and in her blue apron and straw hat sallied out into the fields, intending to seek protection in the house of a gentleman not far off, though I was utterly ignorant of the road that led me to it. However, it was my good fortune to meet with a farmer, who undertook to conduct me to the place; otherwise I should have missed my way, and in all probability lain in the fields; for by this time it was eight o'clock at night.

"Under the direction of this guide, I traversed hedges and ditches; for I would not venture to travel in the highway, lest I should fall into the hands of my pursuer, and after I had actually tumbled into the mire, and walked six or seven long miles by the help of a good spirit, which never failed me on such occasions, I arrived at the place, and rung the bell at the garden gate for admittance. Seeing my figure, which was very uncouth, together with my draggled condition, they denied me entrance; but, when they understood who I was, immediately opened the door, and I was hospitably entertained, after having been the subject of mirth, on account of my dress and adventure.

"Next day I returned and took possession of my house again, where I resumed my former amusements, which I enjoyed in quiet for the space of a whole month, waiting with resignation for the issue of my lawsuit; when, one afternoon, I was apprised of his lordship's approach by one of my spies, whom I always employed to reconnoitre the road; and so fortunate was I in the choice of these scouts, that I never was betrayed by one of them, though they were often bribed for that purpose. I no sooner received this intelligence, than I ordered my horse to be saddled, and, mounting, rode out of sight immediately, directing my course a different way from the London road. I had not long proceeded in this track, when my career was all of a sudden stopped by a five-bar gate, which, after some hesitation, I resolved to leap (my horse being an old hunter), if I should find myself pursued. However, with much difficulty I made a shift to open it, and arrived in safety at the house of my very good friend Mr. G—, who, being a justice of the peace, had promised me his protection, if it should be wanted.

"Thus secured for the present, I sent out spies to bring information of his lordship's proceedings, and understood that he had taken possession of my house, turned my servants adrift, and made himself master of all my movables, clothes, and papers. As for the papers, they were of no consequence, but of clothes I had a good stock; and, when I had reason to believe that he did not intend to relinquish his conquest, I thought it was high time for me to remove to a greater distance from his quarters. Accordingly, two days after my escape, I set out at eleven o'clock at night, in a chariot and four, which I borrowed of my friend, attended by a footman, who was a stout fellow, and well armed, I myself being provided with a brace of good pistols, which I was fully determined to use against any person who should presume to lay violent hands upon me, except my lord, for whom a less mortal weapon would have sufficed, such as a bodkin or a tinder-box. Nothing could be farther from my intention than the desire of hurting any living creature, much less my husband: my design was only to defend myself from cruelty and oppression, which I knew, by fatal experience, would infallibly be my lot, should he get me into his power. And I thought I had as good a right to preserve my happiness, as that which every individual has to preserve his life, especially against a set of ruffians, who were engaged to rob me of it for a little dirty lucre.

"In the midst of our journey, the footman came up, and told me I was dogged; upon which I looked out, and, seeing a man riding by the chariot side, presented one of my pistols out of my window, and preserved that posture of defence, until he thought proper to retreat, and rid me of the fears that attended his company. I arrived in town, and, changing my equipage, hired an open chaise, in which, though I was almost starved with cold, I travelled to Reading, which I reached by ten next morning; and from thence proceeded farther in the country, with a view of taking refuge with Mrs. C—, who was my particular friend. Here I should have found shelter, though my lord had been beforehand with me, and endeavoured to prepossess her against my conduct, had not the house been crowded with company, among whom I could not possibly have been concealed, especially from her brother, who was an intimate friend of my persecutor.

"Things being thus situated, I enjoyed but a very short interview with her, in which her sorrow and perplexity on my account appeared with great expression in her countenance; and, though it was not in her power to afford me the relief I expected, she, in the most genteel manner, sent after me a small sum of money, thinking that, considering the hurry in which I left my house, I might have occasion for it on the road. I was, by this time, benumbed with cold, fatigued with travelling, and almost fretted to death by my disappointment. However, this was no time to indulge despondence; since nobody could or would assist me, I stood the more in need of my own resolution and presence of mind. After some deliberation, I steered my course back to London; and, being unwilling to return by the same road in which I came, as well as impatient to be at the end of my journey, I chose the Bagshot way, and ventured to cross the heath by moonlight.

"Here I was attacked by a footpad armed with a broad-sword, who came up and demanded my money. My stock amounted to twelve guineas; and I foresaw that should I be stripped of the whole sum, I could not travel without discovering who I was, and consequently running the risk of being detected by my pursuer. On these considerations, I gave the fellow three guineas and some silver; with which he was so far from being satisfied, that he threatened to search me for more: but I ordered the coachman to proceed, and by good fortune escaped that ceremony, though I was under some apprehension of being overtaken with a pistol bullet in my flight, and therefore held down my head in the chaise, in imitation of some great men, who are said to have ducked in the same manner in the day of battle. My fears happened to be disappointed: I lay at an inn upon the road, and next day arrived in town, in the utmost difficulty and distress; for I knew not where to fix my habitation, and was destitute of all means of support. In this dilemma, I applied to my lawyer, who recommended me to the house of a tradesman in Westminster, where I lodged and boarded upon credit, with my faithful Abigail (whom I shall distinguish by the name of Mrs. S—), for the space of ten weeks, during which I saw nobody, and never once stirred abroad.

"While I was thus harassed out of all enjoyment of life, and reduced to the utmost indigence, by the cruelty of my persecutor, who had even stripped me of my wearing apparel, I made a conquest of Lord D—, a nobleman who is now dead, and therefore I shall say little of his character, which is perfectly well known: this only will I observe, that, next to my own tyrant, he was the person of whom I had the greatest abhorrence. Nevertheless, when these two came in competition, I preferred the offers of this new lover, which were very considerable; and as an asylum was the chief thing I wanted, agreed to follow him to his country seat, whither I actually sent my clothes, which I had purchased upon credit.

"However, upon mature deliberation, I changed my mind, and signified my resolution in a letter, desiring at the same time that my baggage might be sent back. In consequence of this message, I expected a visit from him, in all the rage of indignation and disappointment, and gave orders that he should not be admitted into my house yet, notwithstanding this precaution, he found means to procure entrance; and one of the first objects that I saw, next morning, in my bedchamber, was my lover, armed with a horsewhip, against which, from the knowledge of the man, I did not think myself altogether secure; though I was not much alarmed, because I believed myself superior to him in point of bravery, should the worst come to the worst. But, contrary to my expectation, and his usual behaviour to our sex, he accosted me very politely, and began to expostulate on the contents of my letter. I freely told him, that I had rashly assented to his proposal, for my own convenience only; that, when I reflected on what I had done, I thought it ungenerous in me to live with him upon these terms; and that, as I did not like him, and could not dissemble, such a correspondence could never tend to the satisfaction of either. He allowed the inference was just, though he was very much chagrined at my previous proceeding. He relinquished his claim, restored my clothes, and never afterwards upbraided me with my conduct in this affair; though he at one time owned, that he still loved me, and ever should, because I had used him ill; a declaration that strongly marks the peculiarity of his character. As for my own part, I own that my behaviour on this occasion is no other way excusable, than on account of the miserable perplexity of my circumstances, which were often so calamitous, that I wonder I have not been compelled to take such steps as would have rendered my conduct much more exceptionable than it really is.

"At last all my hopes were blasted by the issue of my suit, which was determined in favour of my lord. Even then I refused to yield: on the contrary, coming out of retirement, I took lodgings in Suffolk-street, and set my tyrant at defiance. But, being unwilling to trust my doors to the care of other people, I hired a house in Conduit-street; and no sooner appeared in the world again, than I was surrounded by divers and sundry sorts of admirers. I believe I received the incense and addresses of all kinds under the sun, except that sort which was most to my liking, a man capable of contracting and inspiring a mutual attachment; but such a one is equally rare and inestimable; not but that I own myself greatly obliged to all those who cultivated my good graces, though they were very little beholden to me; for where I did not really love, I could never profess that passion; that sort of dissimulation is a slavery that no honest nature will undergo. Except one worthy young man whom I sometimes saw, they were a strange medley of insignificant beings: one was insipid, another ridiculously affected, a third void of all education, a fourth altogether inconsistent; and, in short, I found as many trifling characters among the men, as ever I observed in my own sex. Some of them I endeavoured to bring over to my maxims, while they attempted to make a proselyte of me; but, finding the task impracticable on both sides, we very wisely dropped each other.

"At length, however, I was blessed with the acquaintance of one nobleman, who is, perhaps, the first character in England, in point of honour, integrity, wit, sense, and benevolence; when I have thus distinguished him, I need scarce mention Lord —. This great, this good man, possesses every accomplishment requisite to inspire admiration, love, and esteem. With infinitely more merit than almost ever fell to one man's share, he manifests such diffidence of his own qualifications, as cannot fail to prepossess every company in his favour. He seems to observe nothing, yet sees everything; his manner of telling a story, and making trifles elegant, is peculiar to himself; and, though he has a thousand oddities, they serve only to make him more agreeable. After what I have said, it may be supposed that I was enamoured of his person; but this was not the case; love is altogether capricious and fanciful; yet I admire, honour, and esteem him to the highest degree, and when I observe that his character resembled that of my dear departed friend Mr. B—; or rather, that Mr. B—, had he lived, would have resembled Lord —, I pay the highest compliment I can conceive both to the living and to the dead.

"In this nobleman's friendship and conversation I thought myself happy; though I was, as usual, exposed to the indefatigable efforts of my lord, who, one day, while I was favoured with the company of this generous friend, appeared at my door in his coach, attended by another gentleman, who demanded entrance with an air of authority. A very honest footman, who had been long in my service, ran upstairs in the utmost consternation, and gave me an account of what had happened below. Upon which I told him he had nothing to answer for, and ordered him to keep the door fast shut against all opposition; though I was so much affected with this unexpected assault, that Lord — said he was never more surprised and shocked in his life, than at the horror which appeared in my countenance, when I saw the coach stop at my door.

"My little hero being refused admittance, went away, threatening to return speedily with a reinforcement; and during this interval, I provided myself with a soldier, whom I placed sentinel at the door, within side, to guard me from the danger of such assaults for the future. My lord, true to his promise, marched back with his auxiliaries, reinforced with a constable, and repeated his demand of being admitted; and my soldier opening the sash, in order to answer him, according to my directions, he no sooner perceived the red coat, than he was seized with such a panic, that he instantly fled with great precipitation; and, when he recounted the adventure, like Falstaff in the play, multiplied my guard into a whole file of musqueteers. He also made a shift to discover the gentleman who had been so kind as to lend me one of his company, and complained of him to the duke of N—, in hopes of seeing him broke for his misdemeanour; but in that expectation he was luckily disappointed.

"Perceiving that in England I should never enjoy peace, but be continually subject to those alarms and disquiets which had already impaired my health and spirits, I resolved to repair again to France, my best refuge and sure retreat from the persecution of my tyrant. Yet, before I took this step, I endeavoured, by the advice of my friends, to conceal myself near Windsor; but was in a little time discovered by my lord, and hunted out of my lurking-place accordingly. I then removed to Chelsea, where I suffered inconceivable uneasiness and agitation of mind, from the nature of my situation, my tranquility being thus incessantly invaded by a man who could not be satisfied with me, and yet could not live without me. So that, though I was very much indisposed, I set out for France, by way of the Hague, as the war had shut up all other communication, having no other attendant but my woman S—, who, though she dreaded the sea, and was upon the brink of matrimony, would not quit me in such a calamitous condition, until I was joined by my footman and another maid, whom I ordered to follow me with the baggage. But, before my departure, I sent a message to Lord —, demanding my clothes, which he had seized in Essex; and, he refusing to deliver them, I was obliged to equip myself anew, upon credit.

"I was supplied with money for my journey by my good friend L—; and, after a short and pleasant passage, arrived at the Hague, where I stayed two months, and parted with S—, on whom I settled an annuity of five-and-twenty pounds, payable out of the provision which I had or might obtain from my husband. The same allowance had I prevailed upon Lord B— to grant to another maid, who attended me while I lived in his house.

"I did not much relish the people in Holland, because they seemed entirely devoted to self-interest, without any taste for pleasure or politeness; a species of disposition that could not be very agreeable to me, who always despised money, had an unbounded benevolence of heart, and loved pleasure beyond every other consideration. When I say pleasure, I would not be understood to mean sensuality, which constitutes the supreme happiness of those only who are void of sentiment and imagination. Nevertheless, I received some civilities in this place, and, among the rest, the reputation of having for my lover the king of P—'s minister, who was young and airy, and visited me often; circumstances that were sufficient to lay me under the imputation of an amour, which I frequently incurred without having given the least cause of suspicion.

"Having taken leave of my Dutch friends, I departed from the Hague, in company with an English woman, whom I had chosen for that purpose, and arrived at Antwerp with much difficulty and danger, the highway being infested with robbers. After having reposed myself a few days in this city, I hired a coach for myself, and set out with my companion for Brussels; but, before we reached Mechlin, our vehicle was attacked by two hussars, who, with their sabres drawn, obliged the coachman to drive into a wood near the road. I at first imagined that they wanted to examine our passports, but was soon too well convinced of their design; and, though very much shocked at the discovery, found resolution enough to suppress my concern, so that it should not aggravate the terrors of the young woman, who had almost died with apprehension. I even encouraged her to hope for the best; and, addressing myself to the robbers in French, begged, in the most suppliant manner, that they would spare our lives; upon which one of them, who was a little fellow, assured me, in the same language, that we had nothing to fear for our persons.

"When we were conveyed in a state of dreadful suspense about three-quarters of a mile into the wood, the ruffians came into the coach, and, taking my keys, which I kept ready in my hand for them, opened three large trunks that contained my baggage, and emptying them of everything but my hoops and a few books, packed up their booty in a cloth; then robbed me of my money and jewels, even to my shoe-buckles and sleeve-buttons, took my footman's laced hat, and gave it, by way of gratification, to a peasant, who came from behind the bushes, and assisted them in packing.

"This affair being despatched, they ordered us to return to the road by a different way from that in which we were carried into the wood; and mounting their horses, rode off with the plunder, though not before the little fellow, who was the least ferocious of the two, had come and shaken me by the hand, wishing us a good journey; a compliment which I heartily returned, being extremely well pleased with the retreat of two such companions, who had detained us a whole half-hour; during which, notwithstanding the assurance I had received, I was in continual apprehension of seeing their operation concluded with the murder of us all; for I supposed they were of that gang who had some time before murdered a French officer, and used a lady extremely ill, after having rifled her of all she had.

"Having thus undergone pillage, and being reduced to the extremity of indigence in a foreign land, it is not to be supposed that my reflections were very comfortable; and yet, though I sustained the whole damage, I was the only person in the company who bore the accident with any resolution and presence of mind. My coachman and valet seemed quite petrified with fear; and it was not till I had repeated my directions that the former drove farther into the wood, and took the first turning to the right, in order to regain the road, according to the command of the robbers, which I did not choose to disobey.

"This misfortune I suffered by the misinformation I received at Antwerp, where I would have provided myself with an escort, had not I been assured that there was not the least occasion to put myself to such extraordinary expense. And, indeed, the robbers took the only half-hour in which they could have had an opportunity of plundering us; for we no sooner returned into the highway, than we met with the French artillery coming from Brussels, which was a security to us during the rest of our journey. We were afterwards informed at a small village, that there was actually a large gang of deserters, who harboured in that wood, from which they made excursions in the neighbourhood, and kept the peasants in continual alarms.

"Having proceeded a little way, we were stopped by the artillery crossing a bridge; and, as the train was very long, must have been detained till night, had not a soldier informed me, that, if I would take the trouble to come out of my coach, and apply to the commandant, he would order them to halt, and allow me to pass. I took the man's advice, and was by him conducted, with much difficulty, through the crowd, to some officers, who seemed scarce to deserve the name; for, when I signified my request, they neither rose up, nor desired me to sit down; but, lolling in their chairs, with one leg stretched out, asked, with an air of disrespectful raillery where I was going; and when I answered, "To Paris," desired to know what I would do there.

"I, who am naturally civil where I am civilly used, and saucy enough where I think myself treated with disregard, was very much piqued at their insolent and unmannerly behaviour, and began to reply to the impertinent questions very abruptly; so that a very tart dialogue would have ensued, had not the conversation been interrupted by a tall, thin, genteel young French nobleman, an officer in the army, who, chancing to come in, asked with great politeness, what I would please to have. I then repeated my desire, and produced my passports, by which he learned who I was. He immediately gave orders that my coach should pass; and afterwards visited me at Paris, having obtained my permission, and taken my address at parting; while the others, understanding my name and quality, asked pardon for their impolite carriage, which they told me was owing to the representation of the soldier, who gave them to understand that I was a strolling actress.

"I could not help laughing heartily at this mistake, which might have proceeded from the circumstances of my appearance, my footman having been obliged to change hats with the peasant, and myself being without buckles on my shoes and buttons on my riding-skirt, while my countenance still retained marks of the fear and confusion I had undergone. After all, perhaps the fellow was a droll, and wanted to entertain himself at my expense. The day was so far consumed in these adventures, that I was obliged to take up my lodgings at Mechlin, where I addressed myself to the intendant, giving him an account of the disaster I had met with, and desiring I might have credit at the inn, as our whole company could not raise the value of a sixpence. This gentleman, though a provincial, was polite in his way, and not only granted my request, but invited me to lodge at his own house. I accordingly gave him my company at supper, but did not choose to sleep at his quarters, because he appeared to be what the French call un vieux debauche.

"Next day, he sent a trumpet to the general, with a detail of my misfortune, in hopes of retrieving what I had lost; but, notwithstanding all possible search, I was fain to put up with my damage, which, in linen, laces, clothes, and baubles, amounted to upwards of seven hundred pounds, a loss which never deprived me of one moment's rest; for, though I lodged at a miserable inn, and lay in a paltry bed, I slept as sound as if nothing extraordinary had happened, after I had written to London and Paris, directing that the payment of my bills of credit might be stopped. Indeed, I know of but two misfortunes in life capable of depressing my spirits, namely, the loss of health and friends; all others may be prevented or endured. The articles of that calamity which I chiefly regretted, were a picture of Lord W—, and some inimitable letters from Mr. B—.

"From Mechlin I proceeded to Brussels, where, being known, I got credit for some necessaries, and borrowed twenty guineas to defray the expense of my journey to Paris. Having consulted with my friends about the safest method of travelling through Flanders, I was persuaded to take places in the public voiture; and accordingly departed, not without fears of finding one part of the country as much infested with robbers as another. Nor were these apprehensions assuaged by the conversation of my fellow-travellers, who, being of the lower sort of people, that delight in exaggerating dangers, entertained me all the way with an account of all the robberies and murders which had been committed on that road, with many additional circumstances of their own invention. After having been two days exposed to this comfortable conversation, among very disagreeable company, which is certainly one of the most disagreeable situations in life, I arrived at Lisle, where, thinking the dangerous part of the journey was now past, I hired a post-chaise, and in two days more reached Paris without any further molestation.

"Upon my arrival in the capital, I was immediately visited by my old acquaintances, who, hearing my disaster, offered me their clothes, and insisted upon my wearing them, until I could be otherwise provided. They likewise engaged me in parties, with a view of amusing my imagination, that I might not grow melancholy in reflecting upon my loss; and desired me to repeat the particulars of my story forty times over, expressing great surprise at our not being murdered, or ravished at least. As for this last species of outrage, the fear of it never once entered my head, otherwise I should have been more shocked and alarmed than I really was. But it seems this was the chief circumstance of my companion's apprehension; and I cannot help observing, that a homely woman is always more apt to entertain those fears, than one whose person exposes her to much more imminent danger. However, I now learned, that the risk I ran was much greater than I imagined it to be, those ruffians being familiarized to rape as well as murder.

"Soon after my appearance at Paris, I was favoured with the addresses of several French lovers; but I never had any taste for foreigners, or indeed for any amusement of that kind, except such as were likely to be lasting, and settled upon a more agreeable footing than that of common gallantry. When I deviated from this principle, my conduct was the effect of compulsion, and therefore I was never easy under it, having been reduced to the alternative of two evils, the least of which I was obliged to choose, as a man leaps into the sea, in order to escape from a ship that is on fire.

"Though I rejected their love, I did not refuse their company and conversation; and, though my health was considerably impaired by the shock I received in my last adventure, which was considerably greater than I at first imagined, and affected my companion so much, that she did not recover her spirits till she returned to England, I say, though I was for some time a valetudinarian, I enjoyed myself in great tranquility for the space of ten months, during which I was visited by English, Scotch, and French, of all parties and persuasions; for pleasure is of no faction, and that was the chief object of my pursuit; neither was I so ambitious of being a politician, as to employ my time and thoughts upon subjects which I did not understand. I had admirers of all sides, and should have spent my time very much to my liking, had not I felt my funds sensibly diminish, without any prospect of their being repaired; for I had been obliged to lay out a great part of the sum allotted for my subsistence, in supplying my companion, my servant, and myself with necessaries, in lieu of those which we had lost.

"Having before my eyes the uncomfortable prospect of wanting money in a strange place, I found myself under the necessity of returning to England, where I had more resources than I could possibly have among foreigners; and with that view wrote to Lord —'s agents, desiring that I might be enabled to discharge my obligations at Paris, by the payment of my pin-money. Thus a negotiation commenced, and his lordship promised to remit money for the clearance of my Paris debts, which amounted to four hundred pounds: but he would not advance one farthing more, though I gave him to understand, that, while he protracted the agreement, I must inevitably be adding to my encumbrances, and that I should be as effectually detained by a debt of twenty pounds, as if I owed a thousand. Notwithstanding all my representations, he would not part with one shilling over the net sum which I at first stipulated; so that all my measures were rendered abortive, and I found it altogether impracticable to execute those resolutions I had formed in his favour.

"Thus did he for a mere trifle embarrass the woman for whom he professed the most unlimited love, and whose principles he pretended to hold in the utmost veneration. Indeed, his confidence in my integrity was not without foundation; for many wives, with one half of my provocation, would have ruined him to all intents and purposes; whereas, notwithstanding all the extraordinary expenses to which I had been exposed by his continual persecution, he never paid a shilling on my account except one thousand pounds, exclusive of the small allowance which was my due. In a word, so much time elapsed before my lord could prevail upon himself to advance the bare four hundred, that I was involved in fresh difficulties, from which I found it impossible to extricate myself; and though I had occasion to write a letter to my benefactor Lord —, in which I expressed my acknowledgment of past favours, I could not venture to solicit more, even when I was encouraged by a very obliging answer, wherein he declared, that the good qualities of my mind and heart would bind him to me in friendship for ever.

"While I ruminated on my uncomfortable situation, which would neither permit me to return to England, nor to stay much longer where I was, a young Englishman of immense fortune took Paris in his way from Italy, accompanied by a most agreeable Scotchman of very good sense and great vivacity. It was my good or ill fortune to become acquainted with these gentlemen, who, having seen me at the opera, expressed a desire of being known to me, and accordingly favoured me with a visit one afternoon, when the brisk North Briton engrossed the whole conversation, while the other seemed fearful and diffident even to a degree of bashfulness, through which, however, I could discern a delicate sensibility and uncommon understanding. There was in his person, which was very agreeable, as well as in his behaviour, a certain naivete that was very pleasing; and, at this first interview, we relished each other's company so well, that a sort of intimacy immediately commenced, and was carried on in a succession of parties of pleasure, in the course of which I found him fraught with all the tenderness and sentiment that render the heart susceptible of the most refined love; a disposition that immediately made me partial to him, while it subjected his own heart to all the violent impressions of a passion, which I little imagined our correspondence would have produced.

"Nevertheless, I was far from being displeased with my conquest, because his person and qualifications, as well as his manner of address, were very much to my liking, and recommended him in a particular manner to my affection. Indeed, he made greater progress in my heart than I myself suspected; for there was something congenial in our souls, which, from our first meeting, I believe, had attracted us, unknown to ourselves, under the notions of friendship and regard, and now disclosed itself in the most passionate love.

"I listened to his addresses, and we were truly happy. His attachment was the quintessence of tenderness and sincerity, while his generosity knew no bounds. Not contented with having paid twelve hundred pounds on my account, in the space of one fortnight, he would have loaded me with present after present, had I not absolutely refused to accept such expensive marks of his munificence. I was even mortified at those instances of his liberality, which my situation compelled me to receive, lest, being but little acquainted with my disposition, he should suspect me of being interested in my love, and judge my conduct by the malicious reports of common fame, which, he afterwards owned, had at first obtained such credit with him, that he believed our mutual attachment would not be of long duration. But, in this particular, he was soon undeceived. His heart, though naturally adapted for the melting passion, had hitherto escaped untouched by all the ladies of Italy and France; and, therefore, the first impressions were the more deeply fixed. As he was unpractised in the ways of common gallantry and deceit, the striking simplicity in his character was the more likely to engage the heart of one who knew the perfidy of the world, and despised all the farce and bombast of fashionable profession, which I had always considered as the phrase of vanity and ostentation, rather than the genuine language of love. Besides, gratitude had a considerable share in augmenting my affection, which manifested itself in such a warm, cordial, artless manner, as increased his esteem, and riveted his attachment; for he could easily perceive, from the whole tenor of my conduct, that my breast was an utter stranger to craft and dissimulation; yet I was at first fearful of contracting any engagement with him, because, being younger than me, he might be more apt to change, and the world might be malicious enough to suppose I had practised upon his inexperience; but, conscious of my own integrity, I set slander at defiance, trusting to my own behaviour, and his natural probity, for the continuance of his love. Though we did not live together in the same house, the greatest part of our time was spent in each other's company; we dined and supped at the same table, frequented public places, went upon parties to the country, and never parted, but for a few hours in the night, which we passed in the utmost impatience to meet again.

"In this agreeable manner did the days roll on, when my felicity was interrupted by a fit of jealousy with which I happened to be seized. I had contracted an acquaintance with a young married lady, who, though her personal attractions were but slender, was upon the whole an agreeable, cheerful, good-natured companion, with a little dash of the coquette in her composition. This woman being in very indigent circumstances, occasioned by some losses her husband had sustained, no sooner had an opportunity of seeing and conversing with my lover, than she formed the design of making a conquest of him. I should have forgiven her for this scheme, whatever pangs it might have cost me, had I believed it the effect of real passion; but I knew her too well to suppose her heart was susceptible of love, and accordingly resented it. In the execution of her plan, she neglected nothing which she thought capable of engaging his attention. She took all opportunities of sitting near him at table, ogled him in the most palpable manner, directed her whole discourse to him, trod upon his toes; nay, I believe, squeezed his hand. My blood boiled at her, though my pride, for some time, enabled me to conceal my uneasiness; till at length her behaviour became so arrogant and gross, that I could no longer suppress my indignation, and one day told my lover that I would immediately renounce his correspondence.

"He was greatly alarmed at this unexpected declaration; and, when he understood the cause of it, assured me, that, for the future, he would never exchange one word with her. Satisfied with this mark of his sincerity and regard, I released him from his promise, which he could not possibly keep, while she and I lived upon any terms; and we continued to visit each other as usual, though she still persisted in her endeavours to rival me in his affection, and contracted an intimacy with his companion, who seemed to entertain a passion for her, that she might have the more frequent opportunities of being among us; for she had no objection against favouring the addresses of both. One evening, I remember, we set out in my coach for the opera; and, in the way, this inamorata was so busy with her feet, that I was incensed at her behaviour; and, when we arrived at the place, refused to alight; but, setting them down, declared my intention of returning home immediately. She was so much pleased with this intimation, that she could not conceal the joy she felt at the thoughts of conversing with him, uninterrupted by my presence; an opportunity with which I had never favoured her before. This open exultation increased my anger and anxiety. I went home; but, being still tortured with the reflection of having left them together, adjusted myself in the glass, though I was too angry to take notice of my own figure, and without further delay returned to the opera.

"Having inquired for the box in which they sat, I took possession of one that fronted them, and, reconnoitring them, without being perceived, had the satisfaction of seeing him removed to as great a distance from her as the place would permit, and his head turned another way. Composed by this examination, I joined them without further scruple, when my young gentleman expressed great joy at my appearance, and told me he was determined to have left the entertainment, and come in quest of me, had I not returned at that instant.

"In our way homewards, my rival repeated her usual hints, and with her large hoop almost overshadowed my lover from my view; upon which my jealousy and wrath recurred with such violence, that I pulled the string as a signal for the coachman to stop, with a view of getting out, and going home afoot; a step which would have afforded a new spectacle to the people of Paris. But I reflected in a moment upon the folly of such a resolution, and soon recollected myself, by calling my pride to my assistance. I determined, however, that she should act no more scenes of this kind in my presence, and that same night insisted upon my lover's dropping all intercourse and connection with this tormentor. He very cheerfully complied with my desire, and was even glad of an occasion to break off his acquaintance with a person about whom I had plagued him so much.

"Thus was I freed from the persecution of one of those creatures, who, though of little consequence in themselves, are yet the pests of society, and find means to destroy that harmony which reigns between two lovers, by the intrusion of a loose appetite, void of all sensibility and discretion; having no feelings themselves, they cannot sympathize with those of other people; and do mischief out of mere wantonness.

"My lover being obliged to go to England, had settled me in a genteel house in Paris, with a view of returning when his affairs should be adjusted; but, when the time of his departure approached, he began to be uneasy at the prospect of separation, and, in order to alleviate his anxiety, desired me to accompany him to Calais, where we stayed together three or four days, during which the dread of parting became more and more intense; so that we determined upon my following him into England at the first opportunity, where I should live altogether incog. that I might be concealed from the inquiries and attempts of my lord. Even after this resolution was fixed, we parted with all the agonies of lovers who despair of ever meeting again; and the wind blowing very high after he had embarked, increased my fears. But, by the return of the packet-boat I was blessed with the report of his being safe arrived in England, and had the satisfaction of perusing his letters by every post.

"My admirer being thus detached from me, my thoughts were entirely employed in concerting some private method of conveying myself to him. As I would not trust myself in the common packet, for fear of being discovered, after having revolved divers schemes, I determined to transport myself in one of the Dutch fishing-boats, though I knew the passage would be hazardous; but, in a case of such interesting concern, I overlooked all danger and inconvenience. Before I put this resolution in practice, I was so fortunate as to hear of a small English vessel, that arrived in Calais with a prisoner of war, in which I embarked, with my companion and another lady, who lived with me for some time afterwards; and, when we came on board, discovered that the ship was no other than a light collier, and that her whole company amounted to no more than three men. Nevertheless, though the sea was so rough, and the weather so unpromising, that no other boat would venture to put to sea, we set sail, and, between two storms, in about three hours arrived in safety in Dover.

"From hence my first companion went to her friends in the stage-coach, while the other lady and I hired an open post-chaise, though it snowed very hard, and, without any accident, performed our journey to London, where I met with my lover, who flew to my arms in all the transports of impatient joy; and, doubtless, I deserved his affection for the hardships, perils, and difficulties I had undergone to be with him; for I never scrupled to undertake anything practicable, in order to demonstrate the sincerity of what I professed. In consequence of our plan, I assumed a fictitious name, and never appeared in public, being fully satisfied and happy in the company and conversation of the man I loved; and, when he went into the country, contented myself with his correspondence, which he punctually maintained, in a series of letters, equally sensible, sincere, and affectionate.

"Upon his return to town for the remainder of the season, he devoted the greatest part of his time to our mutual enjoyment; left me with reluctance, when he was called away by indispensable business, and the civility which was due to his acquaintance, and very seldom went to any place of public entertainment, because I could not accompany and share with him in the diversion; nay, so much did I engross his attention, that one evening, after he had been teased into an agreement of meeting some friends at a play, he went thither precisely at the appointed hour, and, as they did not arrive punctually at the very minute, he returned to me immediately, as much rejoiced at his escape as if he had met with some signal deliverance. Nor was his constancy inferior to the ardour of his love. We went once together to a ball in the Haymarket, where, in the midst of a thousand fine women, whose charms were enhanced by the peculiarity of the dresses they wore, he remained unshaken, unseduced, preserving his attachment for me in spite of all temptation.

"In the summer, he provided me with a house in the neighbourhood of his own; but the accommodations being bad, and that country affording no other place fit for my residence, he brought me home to his own seat, and, by that step, raised such a universal clamour; though I saw no company, and led such a solitary life, that nothing but excessive love could have supported my spirits. Not but that he gave me as much of his time as he could possibly spare from the necessary duties of paying and receiving visits, together with the avocations of hunting, and other country amusements, which I could not partake. Formerly, indeed, I used to hunt and shoot, but I had left off both, so that I was now reduced to the alternative of reading and walking by myself; but love made up for all deficiencies to me, who think nothing else worth the living for. Had I been blessed with a partner for life, who could have loved sincerely, and inspired me with a mutual flame, I would have asked no more of fate. Interest and ambition have no share in my composition; love, which is pleasure, or pleasure, which is love, makes up the whole. A heart so disposed cannot be devoid of other good qualities; it must be subject to the impressions of humanity and benevolence, and enemy to nothing but itself. This you will give me leave to affirm, in justice to myself, as I have frankly owned my failings and misconduct.

"Towards the end of summer, my heart was a little alarmed by a report that prevailed, of my lover's being actually engaged in a treaty of marriage; however, I gave little credit to this rumour till I was obliged to go to town about business, and there I heard the same information confidently affirmed. Though I still considered it as a vague surmise, I wrote to him an account of what I had heard; and, in his answer, which is still in my possession, he assured me, with repeated vows and protestations, that the report was altogether false. Satisfied with this declaration, I returned to his house; and, though the tale was incessantly thundered in my ears, still believed it void of all foundation, till my suspicion was awakened by a very inconsiderable circumstance.

"One day, on his return from hunting, I perceived he had a very fine pair of Dresden ruffles on his shirt, which I could not suppose he would wear at such a rustic exercise; and, therefore, my fears took the alarm. When I questioned him about this particular of his dress, his colour changed; and though he attempted to elude my suspicion, by imputing it to a mistake of his servant, I could not rest satisfied with this account of the matter, but inquired into the truth with such eagerness and penetration, that he could not deny he had been to make a visit. By degrees, I even extorted from him a confession, that he had engaged himself further than he ought to have proceeded, without making me acquainted with his design, though he endeavoured to excuse his conduct, and pacify my displeasure, by saying, that the affair would not be brought to bear for a great while, and, perhaps, might never come to a determination but he was in great confusion, and, indeed, hardly knew what he said.

"I would have quitted his house that moment, had not he beforehand obtained a promise that I would take no rash resolution of that kind, and put it out of my power to procure any method of conveyance by which I could make my retreat. I gave no vent to reproaches, but only upbraided him with his having permitted me to return, in ignorance, to the country, after I was once fairly gone; upon which he swore that he could not bear the thoughts of parting with me. This declaration was a mystery at that time, but I have been since so fully satisfied of his reasons for his conduct, that I heartily acquit him of all injustice to me. And, indeed, it is my sincere opinion, that, if ever young man deserved to be happy, he is certainly entitled to that privilege; and, if I may be allowed to judge, has a heart susceptible of the most refined enjoyment.

"The violence of the grief and consternation which I suffered from this stroke having a little subsided, I deliberated with myself about the measures I should take, and determined to leave his house some day when he should be abroad. I was encouraged in this resolution by the advice of our Scotch friend, who came about this time from London, on a visit to his fellow-traveller. We thought such an abrupt departure would be less shocking than to stay and take a formal leave of my lover, whose heart was of such a delicate frame, that, after I told him I should one day withdraw myself in his absence, he never came home from the chase, or any other avocation, without trembling with apprehension that I had escaped.

"After he had been some time accustomed to these fears by my previous intimation, I at length decamped in good earnest, though my heart ached upon the occasion, because I left him loving and beloved; for his affection was evident, notwithstanding the step he had taken by the advice and importunity of all his relations, who laid a disagreeable restraint upon his inclinations, while they consulted his interest in every other particular.

"While I halted in the next great town, until I could be supplied with fresh horses, I was visited by a gentleman who had been formerly intimate with my lover; but a breach had happened in their friendship, and he now came to complain of the treatment he had received. Perceiving that I was not in a humour to listen to his story, he shifted the conversation to my own, and observed, that I had been extremely ill-used. I told him that I was of a different opinion; that it was not only just, but expedient, that a young man of Mr. —'s fortune should think of making some alliance to strengthen and support the interest of his family; and that I had nothing to accuse him of but his letting me remain so long in ignorance of his intention. He then gave me to understand, that I was still ignorant of a great part of the ill-usage I had received; affirming, that, while I lived in his house, he had amused himself with all the common women in that town, to some of whom this gentleman had personally introduced him.

"At first, I could not believe this imputation; but he supported his assertion with so many convincing circumstances, that I could no longer doubt the truth of them; and I felt so much resentment, that my love vanished immediately into air. Instead of proceeding on my journey to London, I went back a considerable way, and sent a message desiring to see him in a little house, about midway between his own habitation and the town from whence I came. He obeyed my summons, and appeared at the place appointed, where I reproached him with great bitterness. He pleaded guilty to the charge, so far as acknowledging that he had corresponded with other women lately, in order to get the better of his affection for me, but the experiment had failed, and he found that he should be for ever miserable.

"I did not look upon this candid confession as a sufficient atonement for his past dissimulation, and, in the sharpness of my revenge, demanded a settlement, which he peremptorily refused; so that for the present we held each other in the utmost contempt. Indeed, I afterwards despised myself for my condescension, which was owing to the advice of my companion, supported and inflamed by the spirit of resentment. Nevertheless, he begged that I would return to his house, or stay all night where I was; but I was deaf to his entreaties, and, after a great deal of ironical civility on my side, I took my leave, and went away; yet, before I set out, I looked back, and saw him on horseback, with such an air of simplicity and truth, as called up a profound sigh, notwithstanding all that had passed in our conversation.

"Upon my arrival in London, I took lodgings in Leicester-fields, and answered a letter which I had some months before received from my lord, telling him that I would go home to him, without stipulating for any terms, to try what effect my confidence would have upon his generosity. He readily embraced the offer, and took a house in St. James's-street, where I proposed to comply with his humour in everything that was consistent with my own peace and tranquility.

"Meanwhile, my lover passed his time very disagreeably in the country, with his friend, of whom, it seems, he had conceived some jealousy, which was increased by a letter I wrote to that gentleman, till he was made acquainted with the contents, which he read over forty times; and then his passion breaking out with more violence than ever, he not only expressed his feeling, in an epistle which I immediately received, but when he came to town suffered such agonies of despair as I had never seen before, except in Lord B—. It was then in my power to have taken ample revenge upon him, as well as upon my insolent rival, who had insisted upon my leaving his house in a very abrupt manner, though he absolutely refused to gratify her malice, for he was now disposed to do anything for my satisfaction. But I knew his worth, and had too much regard for his reputation to advise him to act inconsistent with his honour.

"About this time, many tender feelings and sorrowful partings happened between us, till the marriage knot was tied, when he sent me a bank-note for a thousand pounds, by way of specimen, as he called it, of his friendship, and of what he would do for me, should I ever want his assistance. This mark of his generosity I received in a most tender billet, which I shall never part with, together with his picture set in diamonds.

"I now employed my thoughts in keeping measures with my lord; we lay in the same apartment, and for the first four or five months I neither dined nor supped abroad above twice; and then he knew where I was, and approved of my company. But all this complacency and circumspection had no effect upon his temper, which remained as capricious and dissatisfied as ever. Nay, to such a provoking degree did this unhappy humour prevail, that one day, in the presence of his lawyer, he harangued upon my misconduct since our last reunion; and very freely affirmed, that every step I had taken was diametrically opposite to his will.

"Conscious of the pains I had been at to please him, I was so incensed at these unjust invectives, that, starting up, I told him he was a little dirty fellow; and would have left the house immediately, had not his lawyer, and others, who were in the room, interposed, and by dint of argument and importunity diverted me from my purpose. By the bye, I have been informed by a person of rank, that my lord discovered exactly the same disposition in his father's lifetime, and only changed the subject of his complaint from the word father to that of wife. Indeed, he takes all opportunities of plaguing my dear parent, as he has just sagacity enough to know, that this is the most effectual way he can take to distress me.

"After repeated trials, I have given up all hopes of making him happy, or of finding myself easy in my situation, and live with him at present to avoid a greater inconvenience. Not that his ill-nature is all the grievance of which I complain; exclusive of the personal disgust I entertain for him, his folly is of that species which disobliges rather than diverts, and his vanity and affectation altogether intolerable; for he actually believes himself, or at least would impose himself upon mankind, as a pattern of gallantry and taste; and, in point of business. a person of infinite sagacity and penetration. But the most ridiculous part of his character is his pretended talent for politics, in which he so deeply concerns himself, that he has dismissed many a good servant, because he suspected him of having wrong connections; a theme upon which he has often quarrelled with me, even almost to parting, accusing me with holding correspondence with the earls of B— and C—, and Mr. H— V—, though I never had the least acquaintance with any of these gentlemen, except the earl of C—, to whom I have not spoken these ten years past.

"In short, I have often been at a loss to know, whether he was more mad and malicious in those fits of enthusiasm, wherein he seemed transported with zeal for the commonwealth, and tormented me with his admonitions out of all temper and patience. At length, however, I contrived an expedient which freed me from these troublesome expostulations, and silenced him effectually on the score of politics. This was no other than an open avowal of being connected with all those people whom I have named. Indeed, I knew him too well to believe there was anything solid in his intention or professions, even when he carried himself so far as to demand a private audience of the k—, in order to communicate a scheme for suppressing the rebellion; and that being denied, solicited the duke of D—'s interest, for permission to raise and head a regiment of Kentish smugglers. Nay, to such a pitch did his loyalty soar, that he purchased a firelock of particular mechanism, calculated for the safety of the bearer, in case he had been placed sentinel at his Majesty's door, and kept his horses ready caparisoned, with a view of attending his sovereign to the field. Notwithstanding all these pompous preparations, had he been put to the proof, he would have infallibly crept out of his engagements, through some sneaking evasion, his imagination being very fertile in such saving pretences. Yet he will talk sometimes so fervently, and even sensibly, on the subject, that a stranger would mistake him for a man of understanding, and determined zeal for the good of his country.

"Since my last return to his house, that act of parliament passed, by which he was enabled to pay his debts, and, among the rest, a thousand pounds of my contracting, the only burden of that kind I ever entailed upon him, exclusive of my pin-money, which was never regularly paid; nor would he have been subject to this, had he not, by his persecution and pursuit, exposed me to an extraordinary expense. I have also had it in my power to reward some of my faithful Abigails; in particular, to relieve from extreme distress that maid to whom, as I have already observed, Lord B— granted an annuity, which she had sold: so that she was reduced to the most abject poverty; and I found her in a dismal hole, with two infants perishing for want; a spectacle which drew tears from my eyes, and indeed could not but make deep impression upon a heart like mine, which the misery of my fellow-creatures never failed to melt.

"Nor did I upon this occasion forget the attachment and fidelity of my other woman Mrs. S—, who, hearing I was robbed in my passage through Flanders, had generously relinquished the allowance I had settled upon her at parting. The exercise of such acts of humanity and benevolence, and the pleasure of seeing my dear and tender parent often, in some measure alleviate the chagrin to which I am subject from the disagreeable disposition of my lord, who, consistent with his former inconsistency, upon our last reconciliation, cheerfully agreed to a proposal I made of having concerts in the house, and even approved of the scheme with marks of particular satisfaction. But, before one half of the winter was expired, he found means to banish all the company, beginning with Lord R— B—, who, as he walked up-stairs one evening, was stopped by a footman, who plainly told him he had orders to say to him in particular, that his lordship was not at home; yet the very next day, perceiving that nobleman and me walking together in the park, he joins us with an air of alacrity, as if no such thing had happened, and even behaved to Lord R— with the most fawning complaisance. His deportment was equally absurd and impertinent to the rest of his friends, who forsook us gradually, being tired of maintaining any friendly communication with such a disagreeable composition of ignorance and arrogance. For my own part, I look upon him as utterly incorrigible; and, as fate has subjected me to his power, endeavour to make the bitter draught go down, by detaching myself as much as possible from the supposition that there is any such existence upon earth. Indeed, if I had not fatal experience to the contrary, I should be apt to believe that such a character is not to be found among the sons of men; because his conduct is altogether unaccountable by the known rules and maxims of life, and falls entirely under the poet's observation, when he says,

"'Tis true, no meaning puzzles more than wit."

Her ladyship having thus concluded her story, to the entertainment of the company, and the admiration of Peregrine, who expressed his astonishment at the variety of adventures she had undergone, which was such as he thought sufficient to destroy the most hardy and robust constitution, and therefore infinitely more than enough to overwhelm one of her delicate frame; one of the gentlemen present roundly taxed her with want of candour, in suppressing some circumstances of her life, which he thought essential in the consideration of her character.

She reddened at this peremptory charge, which had an evident effect upon the countenances of the whole audience, when the accuser proceeded to explain his imputation, by observing, that, in the course of her narration, she had omitted to mention a thousand acts of uncommon charity, of which he himself knew her to be guilty; and that she had concealed a great many advantageous proposals of marriage, which she might have accepted before she was engaged.

The company were agreeably undeceived by this explanation; which her ladyship acknowledged in very polite terms, as a compliment equally genteel and unexpected. And our hero, after having testified the sense he had of her complaisance and condescension, in regaling him with a mark of her confidence and esteem, took his leave, and went home in a state of confusion and perplexity; for, from the circumstances of the tale he had heard, he plainly perceived, that her ladyship's heart was too delicate to receive such incense as he, in the capacity of an admirer, could at present pay; because, though he had in some measure abridged the empire of Emilia in his own breast, it was not in his own power to restrain it so effectually, but that it would interfere with any other sovereign whom his thoughts should adopt; and unless Lady — could engross his whole love, time, and attention, he foresaw that it would be impossible for him to support the passion which he might have the good fortune to inspire. He was, moreover, deterred from declaring his love, by the fate of her former admirers, who seemed to have been wound up to a degree of enthusiasm, that looked more like the effect of enchantment, than the inspiration of human attractions; an ecstasy of passion which he durst not venture to undergo. He, therefore, resolved to combat with the impressions he had already received, and, if possible, cultivate her friendship without soliciting her affection. But, before he could fix upon this determination, he desired to know the footing on which he stood in her opinion; and, by the intelligence of Crabtree, obtained in the usual manner, understood that her sentiments of him were very favourable, though without the least tincture of love. He would have been transported with joy, had her thoughts of him been of a more tender texture; though his reason was better pleased with the information he received; in consequence of which he mustered up the ideas of his first passion, and set them in opposition to those of this new and dangerous attachment; by which means he kept the balance in equilibrio, and his bosom tolerably quiet.





CHAPTER LXXXII.
He persuades Cadwallader to assume the Character of a Magician, in which he acquires a great Share of Reputation, by his Responses to three Females of Distinction, who severally consult the Researches of his Art.

His heart being thus, as it were, suspended between two objects that lessened the force of each other's attraction, he took this opportunity of enjoying some respite, and for the present detached his sentiments from both, resolving to indulge himself in the exercise of that practical satire which was so agreeable and peculiar in his disposition. In this laudable determination he was confirmed by the repeated suggestions of his friend Cadwallader, who taxed him with letting his talents rust in indolence, and stimulated his natural vivacity with a succession of fresh discoveries in the world of scandal.

Peregrine was now seized with a strange whim, and when he communicated the conceit to Cadwallader, it in a moment acquired his approbation. This notion he imparted in a proposal to subject the town to their ridicule, by giving responses to the character of a professed conjurer, to be personated by the old misanthrope, whose aspect was extremely well calculated for the purpose. The plan was immediately adjusted in all its parts; an apartment hired in a house accommodated with a public stair, so that people might have free ingress and egress, without being exposed to observation; and, this tenement being furnished with the apparatus of a magician, such as globes, telescopes, a magic-lanthorn, a skeleton, a dried monkey together with the skins of an alligator, otter, and snake, the conjurer himself took possession of his castle, after having distributed printed advertisements containing the particulars of his undertaking.

These bills soon operated according to the wish of the projectors. As the price of the oracle was fixed at half a guinea, the public naturally concluded that the author was no common fortune-teller; and, the very next day, Peregrine found some ladies of his quality acquaintance infected with the desire of making an experiment upon the skill of this new conjurer, who pretended to be just arrived from the Mogul's empire, where he had learned the art from a Brachman philosopher. Our young gentleman affected to talk of the pretensions of this sage with ridicule and contempt, and with seeming reluctance undertook to attend them to his apartment, observing, that it would be a very easy matter to detect the fellow's ignorance, and no more than common justice to chastise him for his presumption. Though he could easily perceive a great fund of credulity in the company, they affected to espouse his opinion, and, under the notion of a frolic, agreed that one particular lady should endeavour to baffle his art, by appearing before him in the dress of her woman, who should at the same time personate her mistress, and be treated as such by our adventurer, who promised to squire them to the place. These measures being concerted, and the appointment fixed for the next audience-day, Peregrine furnished his friend with the necessary information, and, when the hour of assignation arrived, conducted his charge to this oraculous seer.

They were admitted by our hero's valet-de-chambre, whose visage, being naturally meagre and swarthy, was adorned with artificial whiskers; so that he became the Persian dress which he wore, and seemed a very proper master of the ceremonies to an Oriental necromancer. Having crossed his arms upon his breasts, with an inclination of the head, he stalked in solemn silence before them into the penetralia of the temple, where they found the conjurer sitting at a table, provided with pen, ink, and paper, divers books, mathematical instruments, and a long white wand lying across the whole. He was habited in a black gown and fur cap. His countenance, over and above a double proportion of philosophic gravity, which he had assumed for the occasion, was improved by a thick beard, white as snow, that reached to his middle, and upon each shoulder sat a prodigious large black cat which had been tutored for the purpose.

Such a figure, which would have startled Peregrine himself, had not he been concerned in the mystery, could not fail to make an impression upon those whom he accompanied. The fictitious chambermaid, in spite of all her natural pertness and vivacity, changed colour when she entered the room, while the pretended lady, whose intellects were not quite so enlightened, began to tremble in every joint, and ejaculate petitions to Heaven for her safety. Their conductor, advancing to the table, presented his offering, and, pointing to the maid, told him, that lady desired to know what would be her destiny in point of marriage. The philosopher, without lifting up his eyes to view the person in whose behalf he was consulted, turned his ear to one of the sable familiars that purred upon his shoulder, and, taking up the pen, wrote upon a detached slip of paper these words, which Peregrine, at the desire of the ladies, repeated aloud: "Her destiny will, in a great measure, depend upon what happened to her about nine o'clock in the morning on the third day of last December."

This sentence was no sooner pronounced, than the counterfeit lady screamed, and ran into the ante-chamber, exclaiming, "Christ have mercy upon us! Sure he is the devil incarnate!" Her mistress, who followed her with great consternation, insisted upon knowing the transaction to which the response alluded; and Mrs. Abigail, after some recollection, gave her to understand that she had an admirer, who, on that very hour and day mentioned by the cunning man, had addressed himself to her in a serious proposal of marriage. This explanation, however, was more ingenious than candid, for the admirer was no other than the identical Mr. Pickle himself, who was a mere dragon among the chambermaids, and, in his previous information communicated to his associate, had given an account of this assignation, with which he had been favoured by the damsel in question.

Our hero seeing his company very much affected with the circumstance of the wizard's art, which had almost frightened both mistress and maid into hysteric fits, pretended to laugh them out of their fears, by observing, that there was nothing extraordinary in this instance of his knowledge, which might have been acquired by some of those secret emissaries whom such impostors are obliged to employ for intelligence, or imparted by the lover himself, who had, perhaps, come to consult him about the success of his amour. Encouraged by this observation, or rather prompted by an insatiable curiosity, which was proof against all sorts of apprehension, the disguised lady returned to the magician's own apartment, and, assuming the air of a pert chambermaid, "Mr. Conjurer," said she, "now you have satisfied my mistress, will you be as good as to tell me if ever I shall be married?" The sage, without the least hesitation, favoured her with an answer, in the following words: "You cannot be married before you are a widow; and whether or not that will ever be the case, is a question which my art cannot resolve, because my foreknowledge exceeds not the term of thirty years."

This reply, which at once cut her off from her pleasing prospect of seeing herself independent in the enjoyment of youth and fortune, in a moment clouded her aspect; all her good-humour was overcast, and she went away, without further inquiry, muttering in the rancour of her chagrin, that he was a silly impertinent fellow, and a mere quack in his profession. Notwithstanding the prejudice of this resentment, her conviction soon recurred; and when the report of his answers was made to those confederates by whom she had been deputed to make trial of his skill, they were universally persuaded that his art was altogether supernatural, though each affected to treat it with contempt, resolving in her own breast to have recourse to him in private.

In the meantime, the maid, though laid under the most peremptory injunctions of secrecy, was so full of the circumstance which related to her own conduct, that she extolled his prescience, in whispers, to all acquaintances, assuring them, that he had told her all the particulars of her life; so that his fame was almost instantaneously conveyed, through a thousand different channels, to all parts of the town; and, the very next time he assumed the chair, his doors were besieged by curious people of all sects and denominations.

Being an old practitioner in this art, Cadwallader knew it would be impossible for him to support his reputation in the promiscuous exercise of fortune-telling, because every person that should come to consult him would expect a sample of his skill relating to things past; and it could not be supposed that he was acquainted with the private concerns of every individual who might apply to him for that purpose. He, therefore, ordered his minister, whom he distinguished by the name of Hadgi Rourk, to signify to all those who demanded entrance, that his price was half a guinea; and that all such as were not disposed to gratify him with that consideration, would do well to leave the passage free for the rest.

This declaration succeeded to his wish; for this congregation consisted chiefly of footmen, chambermaids, prentices, and the lower class of tradesmen, who could not afford to purchase prescience at such a price; so that, after fruitless offers of shillings and half-crowns, they dropped off one by one, and left the field open for customers of a higher rank.

The first person of this species who appeared was dressed like the wife of a substantial tradesman; but this disguise could not screen her from the penetration of the conjurer, who at first sight knew her to be one of the ladies of whose coming he had been apprised by Peregrine, on the supposition that their curiosity was rather inflamed than allayed by the intelligence they had received from his first client. This lady approached the philosopher with that intrepidity of countenance so conspicuous in matrons of her dignified sphere, and, in a soft voice, asked with a simper, of what complexion her next child would be? The necromancer, who was perfectly well acquainted with her private history, forthwith delivered his response in the following question, written in the usual form: "How long has Pompey the black been dismissed from your ladyship's service?"

Endued as she was with a great share of that fortitude which is distinguished by the appellation of effrontery, her face exhibited some signs of shame and confusion at the receipt of this oracular interrogation, by which she was convinced of his extraordinary intelligence; and, accosting him in a very serious tone, "Doctor," said she, "I perceive you are a person of great abilities in the art you profess; and therefore, without pretending to dissemble, I will own you have touched the true string of my apprehensions. I am persuaded I need not be more particular in my inquiries. Here is a purse of money; take it, and deliver me from a most alarming and uneasy suspense." So saying, she deposited her offering upon the table, and waited for his answer, with a face of fearful expectation, while he was employed in writing this sentence for her perusal: "Though I see into the womb of time, the prospect is not perfectly distinct: the seeds of future events lie mingled and confused. So that I am under the necessity of assisting my divination in some cases, by analogy and human intelligence; and cannot possibly satisfy your present doubts, unless you will condescend to make me privy to all those occurrences which you think might have interfered with the cause of your apprehension."

The lady having read the declaration, affected a small emotion of shyness and repugnance, and, seating herself upon a settee, after having cautiously informed herself of the privacy of the apartment, gave such a detail of the succession of her lovers, as amazed, while it entertained, the necromancer, as well as his friend Pickle, who, from a closet in which he had concealed himself, overheard every syllable of her confession. Cadwallader listened to her story with a look of infinite importance and sagacity, and, after a short pause, told her, that he would not pretend to give a categorical answer, until he should have deliberated maturely upon the various circumstances of the affair; but, if she would take the trouble of honouring him with another visit on his next public day, he hoped he should be able to give her full satisfaction. Conscious of the importance of her doubts, she could not help commending his caution, and took her leave, with a promise of returning at the appointed time. Then the conjurer being joined by his associate, they gave a loose to their mirth, which having indulged, they began to concert measures for inflicting some disgraceful punishment on the shameless and insatiate termagant who had so impudently avowed her own prostitution.

They were interrupted, however, in their conference, by the arrival of a new guest, who being announced by Hadgi, our hero retreated to his lurking-place, and Cadwallader resumed his mysterious appearance. This new client, though she hid her face in a mask, could not conceal herself from the knowledge of the conjurer, who, by her voice, recognised her to be an unmarried lady of his own acquaintance. She had, within a small compass of time, made herself remarkable for two adventures, which had not at all succeeded to her expectation. Being very much addicted to play, she had, at a certain rout, indulged that passion to such excess, as not only got the better of her justice, but also of her circumspection, so that she was unfortunately detected in her endeavours to appropriate to herself what was not lawfully her due. This small slip was attended with another indiscretion, which had likewise an unlucky effect upon her reputation. She had been favoured with the addresses of one of those hopeful heirs who swarm and swagger about town, under the denomination of bucks; and, in the confidence of his honour, consented to be one of a party that made an excursion as far as Windsor, thinking herself secured from scandal by the company of another young lady, who had also condescended to trust her person to the protection of her admirer. The two gallants, in the course of this expedition, were said to use the most perfidious means to intoxicate the passions of their mistresses by mixing drugs with their wine, which inflamed their constitutions to such a degree, that they fell an easy sacrifice to the appetites of their conductors, who, upon their return to town, were so base and inhuman as to boast among their companions of the exploit they had achieved. Thus the story was circulated, with a thousand additional circumstances to the prejudice of the sufferers, one of whom had thought proper to withdraw into the country, until the scandal raised at her expense should subside; while the other, who was not so easily put out of countenance, resolved to outface the report, as a treacherous aspersion, invented by her lover as an excuse for his own inconstancy; and actually appeared in public, as usual, till she found herself neglected by the greatest part of her acquaintance.

In consequence of this disgrace, which she knew not whether to impute to the card affair, or to the last faux pas she had committed, she now came to consult the conjurer, and signified her errand, by asking whether the cause of her present disquiet was of the town or the country. Cadwallader at once perceiving her allusion, answered her question in these terms: "This honest world will forgive a young gamester for indiscretion at play, but a favour granted to a babbling coxcomb is an unpardonable offence." This response she received with equal astonishment and chagrin; and, fully convinced of the necromancer's omniscience, implored his advice, touching the retrieval of her reputation: upon which he counselled her to wed with the first opportunity. She seemed so well pleased with his admonition, that she gratified him with a double fee, and, dropping a low curtsey, retired.

Our undertakers now thought it high time to silence the oracle for the day, and Hadgi was accordingly ordered to exclude all comers, while Peregrine and his friend renewed the deliberations which had been interrupted, and settled a plan of operations for the next occasion. Meanwhile it was resolved that Hadgi should not only exercise his own talents, but also employ inferior agents, in procuring general intelligence for the support of their scheme; that the expense of this ministry should be defrayed from the profits of their professions; and the remainder be distributed to poor families in distress.





CHAPTER LXXXIII.
Peregrine and his friend Cadwallader proceed in the Exercise of the Mystery of Fortune-telling, in the course of which they achieve various Adventures.

These preliminaries being adjusted, our hero forthwith repaired to a card assembly, which was frequented by some of the most notable gossips in town, and, having artfully turned the conversation upon the subject of the fortune-teller, whose talents he pretended to ridicule, incensed their itch of knowing secrets to such a degree of impatience, that their curiosity became flagrant, and he took it for granted, that all or some of them would visit Albumazar on his very first visiting-day. While Peregrine was thus engaged, his associate made his appearance in another convocation of fashionable people, where he soon had the pleasure of hearing the conjurer brought upon the carpet by an elderly gentlewoman, remarkable for her inquisitive disposition, who, addressing herself to Cadwallader, asked, by the help of the finger-alphabet, if he knew anything of the magician that made such a noise in town. The misanthrope answered, as usual, in a surly tone: "By your question you must either take me for a pimp or an idiot. What, in the name of nonsense, should I know of such a rascal, unless I were to court his acquaintance with a view to feast my own spleen, in seeing him fool the whole nation out of their money? Though, I suppose, his chief profits arise from his practice, in quality of pander. All fortune-tellers are bawds, and, for that reason, are so much followed by people of fashion. This fellow, I warrant, has got sundry convenient apartments for the benefit of procreation; for it is not to be supposed that those who visit him on the pretence of consulting his supernatural art, can be such fools, such drivellers, as to believe that he can actually prognosticate future events."

The company, according to his expectation, imputed his remarks to the rancour of his disposition, which could not bear to think that any person upon earth was wiser than himself; and his ears were regaled with a thousand instances of the conjurer's wonderful prescience, for which he was altogether indebted to fiction. Some of these specimens being communicated to him by way of appeal to his opinion, "They are," said he, "mere phantoms of ignorance and credulity, swelled up in the repetition, like those unsubstantial bubbles which the boys blow up in soap-suds with a tobacco-pipe. And this will ever be the case in the propagation of all extraordinary intelligence. The imagination naturally magnifies every object that falls under its cognizance, especially those that concern the passions of fear and admiration; and when the occurrence comes to be rehearsed, the vanity of the relater exaggerates every circumstance in order to enhance the importance of the communication. Thus an incident, which is but barely uncommon, often gains such accession in its progress through the fancies and mouths of those who represent it, that the original fact cannot possibly be distinguished. This observation might be proved and illustrated by a thousand undeniable examples, out of which I shall only select one instance, for the entertainment and edification of the company." A very honest gentleman, remarkable for the gravity of his deportment, was one day in a certain coffee-house accosted by one of his particular friends, who, taking him by the hand, expressed uncommon satisfaction in seeing him abroad, and in good health, after the dangerous and portentous malady he had undergone. Surprised at this salutation, the gentleman replied, it was true he had been a little out of order overnight, but there was nothing at all extraordinary in his indisposition. "Jesu! not extraordinary!" cried the other, "when you vomited three black crows." This strange exclamation the grave gentleman at first mistook for raillery, though his friend was no joker; but, perceiving in him all the marks of sincerity and astonishment, he suddenly changed his opinion, and, after a short reverie, taking him aside, expressed himself in these words: "Sir, it is not unknown to you that I am at present engaged in a treaty of marriage, which would have been settled long ago, had it not been retarded by the repeated machinations of a certain person who professed himself my rival. Now I am fully persuaded that this affair of the three crows is a story of his invention, calculated to prejudice me in the opinion of the lady, who, to be sure, would not choose to marry a man who has a rookery in his bowels; and, therefore, I must insist upon knowing the author of this scandalous report, that I may be able to vindicate my character from the malicious aspersion." His friend, who thought the demand was very reasonable, told him, without hesitation, that he was made acquainted with the circumstances of his distemper by Mr. Such-a-one, their common acquaintance: upon which the person who conceived himself injured went immediately in quest of his supposed defamer, and having found him: "Pray, sir," said he, with a peremptory tone, "who told you that I vomited three black crows?"—"Three?" answered the gentleman, "I mentioned two only."—"Zounds! Sir," cried the other, incensed at his indifference, "you will find the two too many, if you refuse to discover the villainous source of such calumny." The gentleman, surprised at his heat, said he was sorry to find he had been the accidental instrument of giving him offence, but translated the blame, if any there was, from himself to a third person, to whose information he owed his knowledge of the report. The plaintiff, according to the direction he received, repaired to the house of the accused; and his indignation being inflamed at finding the story had already circulated among his acquaintance, he told him, with evident marks of displeasure, that he was come to pluck the same brace of crows which he said he had disgorged. The defendant, seeing him very much irritated, positively denied that he had mentioned a brace: "One indeed," said he, "I own I took notice of, upon the authority of your own physician, who gave me an account of it this morning."—"By the Lord!" cried the sufferer, in a rage, which he could no longer contain, "that rascal has been suborned by my rival to slander my character in this manner: but I'll be revenged, if there be either law or equity in England." He had scarce pronounced these words, when the doctor happened to enter the room: when his exasperated patient lifting up his cane, "Sirrah," said he, "if I live, I'll make that black crow the blackest circumstance of thy whole life and conversation." The physician, confounded at this address, assured him that he was utterly ignorant of his meaning, and, when the other gentleman explained it, absolutely denied the charge, affirming he had said no more than that he had vomited a quantity of something as black as a crow. The landlord of the house acknowledged that he might have been mistaken; and thus the whole mystery was explained.

The company seeming to relish the story of the three black crows, which they considered as an impromptu of Cadwallader's own invention; but, granting it to be true, they unanimously declared that it could have no weight in invalidating the testimony of divers persons of honour, who had been witnesses of the magician's supernatural skill. On the next day of consultation, the necromancer being in the chair, and his friend behind the curtain, the outward door was scarce opened, when a female visitant flounced in, and discovered to the magician the features of one of those inquisitive ladies, whose curiosity, he knew, his confederate had aroused in the matter above described. She addressed herself to him with a familiar air, observing, that she had heard much of his great knowledge, and was come to be a witness of his art, which she desired him to display, in declaring what he knew to be her ruling passion.

Cadwallader, who was no stranger to her disposition, assumed the pen without hesitation, and furnished her with an answer, importing, that the love of money predominated, and scandal possessed the next place in her heart. Far from being offended at his freedom, she commended his frankness with a smile; and, satisfied of his uncommon talents, expressed a desire of being better acquainted with his person; nay, she began to catechise him upon the private history of divers great families, in which he happened to be well versed: and he, in a mysterious manner, dropped such artful hints of his knowledge, that she was amazed at his capacity, and actually asked if his art was communicable. The conjurer replied in the affirmative; but, at the same time, gave her to understand, that it was attainable by those only who were pure and undefiled in point of chastity and honour, or such as, by a long course of penitence, had weaned themselves from all attachments to the flesh. She not only disapproved, but seemed to doubt the truth of this assertion; telling him, with a look of disdain, that his art was not worth having, if one could not use it for the benefit of one's pleasure; she had even penetration enough to take notice of an inconsistency in what he had advanced; and asked, why he himself exercised his knowledge for hire, if he was so much detached from all worldly concerns. "Come, come, doctor," added she, "you are in the right to be cautious against impertinent curiosity, but, perhaps, I may make it worth your while to be communicative."

These overtures were interrupted by a rap at the door, signifying the approach of another client; upon which the lady inquired for his private passage, through which she might retire, without the risk of being seen. When she understood he was deficient in that convenience, she withdrew into an empty room adjoining to the audience-chamber, in order to conceal herself from the observation of the new-comer. This was no other than the inamorata, who came, by appointment, to receive the solution of her doubts; and the misanthrope, glad of an opportunity to expose her to the censure of such an indefatigable minister of fame as the person who he knew would listen from the next apartment, laid her under the necessity of refreshing his remembrance with a recapitulation of her former confession, which was almost finished, when she was alarmed by a noise at the door, occasioned by two gentlemen, who attempted to enter by force.

Terrified at this uproar, which disconcerted the magician himself, she ran for shelter into the place which was preoccupied by the other lady, who, hearing this disturbance, had closed the window-shutters, that she might have the better chance of remaining unknown. Here they ensconced themselves in the utmost consternation, while the necromancer, after some recollection, ordered Hadgi to open the door, and admit the rioters, who, he hoped, would be over-awed by the authority of his appearance. The janitor had no sooner obeyed his instructions, than in rushed a young libertine, who had been for some time upon the town, together with his tutor, who was a worn-out debauchee, well known to the magician. They were both in that degree of intoxication necessary to prepare such dispositions for what they commonly call frolics, and the sober part of mankind feel to be extravagant outrages against the laws of their country, and the peace of their fellow-subjects. Having staggered up to the table, the senior, who undertook to be spokesman, saluted Cadwallader with, "How dost do, old Capricorn? Thou seem'st to be a most venerable pimp, and, I doubt not, hast abundance of discretion. Here is this young whoremaster, a true chip of the old venereal block his father, and myself, come for a comfortable cast of thy function. I don't mean that stale pretence of conjuring—d— futurity; let us live for the present, old Haly. Conjure me up a couple of hale wenches, and I warrant we shall get into the magic circle in a twinkling. What says Galileo? What says the Reverend Brahe? Here is a purse, you pimp. Hark, how it chinks! This is sweeter than the music of spheres."

Our necromancer, perplexed at this rencontre, made no reply; but, taking up his wand, waved it around his head in a very mysterious motion, with a view of intimidating these forward visitants, who, far from being awed by this sort of evolution, became more and more obstreperous, and even threatened to pull him by the beard, if he would not immediately comply with their desire. Had he called his associate, or even Hadgi, to his aid, he knew he could have soon calmed their turbulence; but, being unwilling to run the risk of a discovery, or even of a riot, he bethought himself of chastising their insolence in another manner, that would be less hazardous, and rather more effectual. In consequence of this suggestion, he pointed his wand towards the door of the apartment in which the ladies had taken sanctuary; and the two rakes, understanding the hint, rushed in without hesitation.

The females, finding their place of retreat taken by assault, ran about the room in great consternation, and were immediately taken prisoners by the assailants, who, pulling them towards the windows, opened the shutters at the same instant of time, when, strange to tell! one of the heroes discovered in the prize he had made, the very wife of his bosom; and his companion perceived that he had stumbled in the dark upon his own mother. Their mutual astonishment was unspeakable at this eclaircissement, which produced a universal silence for the space of several minutes. During this pause, the ladies having recollected themselves, an expostulation was begun by the elder of the two, who roundly took her son to task for his disorderly life, which laid her under the disagreeable necessity of watching his motions, and detecting him in such an infamous place.

While the careful mother thus exercised her talent for reprehension, the hopeful young gentleman, with a hand in each fob, stood whistling an opera tune, without seeming to pay the most profound regard to his parent's reproof; and the other lady, in imitation of such a consummate pattern, began to open upon her husband, whom she bitterly reproached with his looseness and intemperance, demanding to know what he had to allege in alleviation of his present misconduct. The surprise occasioned by such an unexpected meeting, had already, in a great measure, destroyed the effects of the wine he had so plentifully drunk, and the first use he made of his recovered sobriety, was to revolve within himself the motives that could possibly induce his wife to give him the rendezvous in this manner. As he had good reason to believe she was utterly void of jealousy, he naturally placed this rencontre to the account of another passion; and his chagrin was not at all impaired by the effrontery with which she now presumed to reprimand him. He listened to her, therefore, with a grave, or rather grim, aspect; and to the question with which she concluded her rebuke, answered, with great composure, "All that I have to allege, madam, is, that the bawd has committed a mistake, in consequence of which we are both disappointed; and so, ladies, your humble servant." So saying, he retired, with manifest confusion in his looks; and, as he passed through the audience-chamber, eyeing the conjurer askance, pronounced the epithet of precious rascal, with great emphasis. Meanwhile, the junior, like a dutiful child, handed his mamma to her chair; and the other client, after having reviled the necromancer, because he could not foresee this event, went away in a state of mortification.

The coast being clear, Peregrine came forth from his den, and congratulated his friend upon the peaceable issue of the adventure, which he had overheard; but, that he might not be exposed to such inconvenience for the future, they resolved, that a grate should be fixed in the middle of the outward door, through which the conjurer himself might reconnoitre all the visitants, before their admission; so that, to those whose appearance he might not like, Hadgi should, without opening, give notice, that his master was engaged. By this expedient too, they provided against those difficulties which Cadwallader must have encountered, in giving satisfaction to strangers, whom he did not know: for the original intention of the founders was to confine the practice of their art to people of fashion only, most of whom were personally known to the counterfeit magician and his coadjutors.

Indeed these associates, Cadwallader in particular, notwithstanding his boasted insight into the characters of life, never imagined that his pretended skill would be consulted by any but the weaker-minded of the female sex, incited by that spirit of curiosity which he knew was implanted in their nature; but, in the course of his practice, he found himself cultivated in his preternatural capacity by people of all sexes, complexions, and degrees of reputation, and had occasion to observe, that, when the passions are concerned, howsoever cool, cautious, and deliberate the disposition may otherwise be, there is nothing so idle, frivolous, or absurd, to which they will not apply for encouragement and gratification. The last occurrence, according to the hopes and expectation of the confederates, was whispered about by the ladies concerned, in such a manner, that the whole affair was in a few days the universal topic of discourse, in which it was retailed with numberless embellishments, invented by the parties themselves, who had long indulged a pique at each other, and took this opportunity of enjoying their revenge.

These incidents, while they regaled the spleen, at the same time augmented the renown of the conjurer, who was described on both sides as a very extraordinary person in his way; and the alteration in his door was no sooner performed, than he had occasion to avail himself of it, against the intrusion of a great many, with whom he would have found it very difficult to support the fame he had acquired.

Among those who appeared at his grate, he perceived a certain clergyman, whom he had long known a humble attendant on the great, and with some the reputed minister of their pleasures. This Levite had disguised himself in a greatcoat, boots, and dress quite foreign to the habit worn by those of his function; and, being admitted, attempted to impose himself as a country squire upon the conjurer, who, calling him by his name, desired him to sit down. This reception corresponding with the report he had heard, touching our magician's art, the doctor said he would lay aside all dissimulation. After having professed an implicit belief, that his supernatural knowledge did not proceed from any communication with evil spirits, but was the immediate gift of Heaven, he declared the intention of his coming, was to inquire into the health of a good friend and brother of his, who possessed a certain living in the country, which he named; and, as he was old and infirm, to know what space of time was allotted to him in this frail state of mortality, that he might have the melancholy satisfaction of attending him in his last moments, and assisting him in his preparations for eternity.

The conjurer, who at once perceived the purport of this question, after a solemn pause, during which he seemed absorbed in contemplation, delivered this response to his consulter: "Though I foresee some occurrences, I do not pretend to be omniscient. I know not to what age that clergyman's life will extend; but so far I can penetrate into the womb of time, as to discern, that the incumbent will survive his intended successor." This dreadful sentence in a moment banished the blood from the face of the appalled consulter, who, hearing his own doom pronounced, began to tremble in every joint; he lifted up his eyes in the agony of fear, and saying, "The will of God be done," withdrew in silent despondence, his teeth chattering with terror and dismay.

This client was succeeded by an old man about the age of seventy-five, who, being resolved to purchase a lease, desired to be determined in the term of years by the necromancer's advice, observing, that, as he had no children of his own body, and had no regard for his heirs-at-law, the purchase would be made with a view to his own convenience only; and therefore, considering his age, he himself hesitated in the period of the lease, between thirty and three-score years.

The conjurer, upon due deliberation, advised him to double the last specified term, because he distinguished in his features something portending extreme old age and second childhood, and he ought to provide for that state of incapacity, which other-wise would be attended with infinite misery and affliction. The superannuated wretch, thunderstruck with this prediction, held up his hands, and in the first transports of his apprehension, exclaimed, "Lord have mercy upon me! I have not wherewithal to purchase such a long lease, and I have long outlived all my friends; what then must become of me, sinner that I am, one hundred and twenty years hence!" Cadwallader, who enjoyed his terror, under pretence of alleviating his concern, told him that what he had prognosticated did not deprive him of the means which he and every person had in their power, to curtail a life of misfortune; and the old gentleman went away, seemingly comforted with the assurance, that it would always be in his power to employ an halter for his own deliverance.

Soon after the retreat of this elder, the magician was visited by one of those worthies known among the Romans by the appellation of haeredipetae, who had amassed a large for-tune by a close attention to the immediate wants and weakness of raw, inexperienced heirs. This honourable usurer had sold an annuity upon the life of a young spendthrift, being thereto induced by the affirmation of his physician, who had assured him his patient's constitution was so rotten, that he could not live one year to an end. He had, nevertheless, made shift to weather eighteen months, and now seemed more vigorous and healthy than he had ever been known: for he was supposed to have nourished an hereditary pox from his cradle. Alarmed at this alteration, the seller came to consult Cadwallader, not only about the life of the annuitant, but also concerning the state of his health at the time of his purchasing the annuity, purposing to sue the physician for false intelligence, should the conjurer declare that the young man was sound when the doctor pronounced him diseased. But this was a piece of satisfaction he did not obtain from the misanthrope, who, in order to punish his sordid disposition, gave him to understand, that the physician had told him the truth, and nothing but the truth; and that the young gentleman was in a fair way of attaining a comfortable old age. "That is to say," cried the client, in the impatience of his mortification at this answer, "bating accidents; for, thank God, the annuitant does not lead the most regular life. Besides, I am credibly informed he is choleric and rash, so that he may be concerned in a duel. Then there are such things as riots in the street, in which a rake's skull may be casually cracked; he may be overturned in a coach, overset in the river, thrown from a vicious horse, overtaken with a cold, endangered by a surfeit; but what I place my chief confidence in, is an hearty pox, a distemper which hath been fatal to his whole family. Not but that the issue of all these things is uncertain, and expedients might be found which would more effectually answer the purpose. I know they have arts in India, by which a man can secure his own interest, in the salutation of a friendly shake by the hand; and I don't doubt that you, who have lived in that country, are master of the secret. To be sure, if you were inclined to communicate such a nostrum, there are abundance of people who would purchase it at a very high price."

Cadwallader understood this insinuation, and was tempted to amuse him in such a manner as would tend to his disgrace and confusion; but, considering that the case was of too criminal a nature to be tampered with, he withstood his desire of punishing this rapacious cormorant any other way than by telling him he would not impart the secret for his whole for-tune ten times doubled; so that the usurer retired, very much dissatisfied with the issue of his consultation.

The next person who presented himself at this altar of intelligence, was an author, who recommended himself to a gratis advice, by observing, that a prophet and poet were known by the same appellation among the ancients; and that, at this day, both the one and the other spoke by inspiration. The conjurer refused to own this affinity, which, he said, formerly subsisted, because both species of the vates were the children of fiction; but as he himself did not fall under that predicament, he begged leave to disown all connection with the family of the poets; and the poor author would have been dismissed without his errand, though he offered to leave an ode as security for the magician's fee, to be paid from the profits of his first third night, had not Cadwallader's curiosity prompted him to know the subject of this gentleman's inquiry. He therefore told him, that, in consideration of his genius, he would for once satisfy him without a fee; and desired him to specify the doubts in which he wished to be resolved.

The son of Parnassus, glad of this condescension, for which he thanked the necromancer, gave him to understand, that he had some time before presented a play in manuscript to a certain great man, at the head of taste, who had not only read and approved the performance, but also undertaken to introduce and support it on the stage; that he, the author, was assured by this patron, that the play was already, in consequence of his recommendation, accepted by one of the managers, who had faithfully promised to bring it to light; but that, when he waited on this said manager, to know when he intended to put his production in rehearsal, the man declared he had never seen or heard of the piece. "Now, Mr. Conjurer," said he, "I want to know whether or not my play has been presented, and if I have any sort of chance of seeing it acted this winter."

Cadwallader, who had, in his younger days, sported among the theatrical muses, began to lose his temper at this question, which recalled the remembrance of his own disappointments; and despatched the author with an abrupt answer, importing that the affairs of the stage were altogether without the sphere of his divination, being entirely regulated by the daemons of dissimulation, ignorance, and caprice.

It would be an endless task to recount every individual response which our magician delivered in the course of his conjuration. He was consulted in all cases of law, physic, and trade, over and above the ordinary subjects of marriage and fornication; his advice and assistance were solicited by sharpers, who desired to possess an infallible method of cheating unperceived; by fortune-hunters, who wanted to make prize of widows and heiresses; by debauchees, who were disposed to be with other men's wives; by coxcombs, who longed for the death of their fathers; by wenches with child, who wished themselves rid of their burdens; by merchants, who had insured above value, and thirsted after the news of a wreck; by underwriters, who prayed for the gift of prescience, that they might venture money upon such ships only as should perform the voyage in safety; by Jews, who wanted to foresee the fluctuations of stock; by usurers, who advance money upon undecided causes; by clients, who were dubious of the honesty of their counsel. In short, all matters of uncertain issue were appealed to this tribunal; and, in point of calculation, De Moivre was utterly neglected.





CHAPTER LXXXIV.
The Conjurer and his Associate execute a Plan of Vengeance against certain Infidels who pretend to despise their Art; and Peregrine achieves an Adventure with a young Nobleman.

By these means, the whole variety of characters undisguised passed, as it were, in review before the confederates, who, by divers ingenious contrivances, punished the most flagrant offenders with as much severity as the nature of their plan would allow. At length they projected a scheme for chastising a number of their own acquaintance, who had all along professed the utmost contempt for the talent of this conjurer, which they endeavoured to ridicule in all companies, where his surprising art was the subject of discourse; not that they had sense and discernment enough to perceive the absurdity of his pretensions, but affected a singularity of opinions, with a view of insulting the inferior understandings of those who were deceived by such an idle impostor.

Peregrine, indeed, for obvious reasons, had always espoused their judgment in this case, and joined them in reviling the public character of his friend. But he knew how far the capacities of those virtuosi extended, and had frequently caught them in the fact of recounting their exploits against the conjurer, which were the productions of their own invention only. On these considerations, his wrath was kindled against them, and he accordingly concerted measures with his coadjutor, for overwhelming them with confusion and dismay.

In the first place, a report was spread by his emissaries, that the magician had undertaken to entertain their view with the appearance of any person whom his customers should desire to see, whether dead, or at the distance of a thousand leagues. This extraordinary proposal chancing to be the subject of conversation in a place where most of those infidels were assembled, they talked of it in the usual style, and some of them swore the fellow ought to be pilloried for his presumption.

Our hero, seizing this favourable opportunity, acquiesced in their remarks, and observed, with great vehemence, that it would be a meritorious action to put the rascal to the proof, and then toss him in a blanket for non-performance. They were wonderfully pleased with this suggestion, and forthwith determined to try the experiment; though, as they understood the apparition would be produced to one only at a time, they could not immediately agree in the choice of the person who should stand the first brunt of the magician's skill. While each of them severally excused himself from this preference on various pretences, Peregrine readily undertook the post, expressing great confidence of the conjurer's incapacity to give him the least cause of apprehension.

This point being settled, they detached one of their number to Crabtree, in order to bespeak and adjust the hour and terms of the operation, which he insisted upon performing at his own apartment, where everything was prepared for the occasion. At the appointed time, they went thither in a body, to the number of seven, in full expectation of detecting the impostor; and were received with such gloomy formality, as seemed to have an effect upon the countenances of some among them; though they were encouraged by the vivacity of Pickle, who affected a double share of petulance, for the more effectual accomplishment of his purpose.

Cadwallader made no reply to the interrogations they uttered, in the levity of their insolence, at the first entrance, but ordered Hadgi to conduct them through the next room, that they might see there was no previous apparatus to affright their deputy with objects foreign to his undertaking. They found nothing but a couple of wax tapers burning on a table that stood with a chair by it in the middle of the apartment, and returned to the audience-chamber, leaving Peregrine by himself, to encounter the phantom of that person whom they should, without his knowledge, desire the magician to conjure up to his view.

All the doors being shut and the company seated, a profound silence ensued, together with a face of dreadful expectation, encouraged by the blue flame of the candles, which were tipped with sulphur for that purpose, and heightened by the dismal sound of a large bell, which Hadgi tolled in the ante-chamber. Cadwallader having thus practised upon their ignorance and fear, desired them to name the person to be produced. After some whispers among themselves, one of them took the pen, and, writing the name of Commodore Trunnion upon a slip of paper, put it into the hands of the magician, who rose from his seat, and, opening the door of his closet, displayed to their view a skull, with thigh bones crossed, upon a table covered with black cloth.

This melancholy spectacle made a remarkable impression upon the imaginations of the company, already prepossessed by the previous ceremony; and they began to survey one another with looks of consternation, while Cadwallader, shutting himself in the closet, that was contiguous to the chamber in which his friend Peregrine was stationed, thrust the label with his uncle's name through a small chink in the partition according to agreement, muttering at the time a sort of gibberish, that increased the panic of his audience; then returning to his chair, the knell was tolled again, and Pickle called aloud, "D—n your mummery: why don't you despatch?"

This was a signal to Crabtree, who thus certified of his having received the paper, stood up and waved his wand in the figure of an S. The motion being thrice performed, their ears were all of a sudden invaded by a terrible noise in the next room, accompanied with the voice of Peregrine, who exclaimed, in a tone of horror and amazement, "Guard me, Heaven! my Uncle Trunnion!" This ejaculation had such an effect upon the hearers, that two of them swooned with fear, a third fell upon his knees and prayed aloud, while the other three, in a transport of dismay and distraction, burst open the door, and rushed into the haunted chamber, where they found the table and chair overturned, and Peregrine extended, in all appearance without sense or motion, upon the floor.

They immediately began to chafe his temples, and the first symptom of his recovery which they perceived was a hollow groan; after which he pronounced these words: "Merciful powers! if I live I saw the commodore with his black patch, in the very clothes he wore at my sister's wedding." This declaration completed their astonishment and terror; they observed a wildness in his looks, which he seemed to bend on something concealed from their view; and were infected by his appearance to such a pitch of superstition, that it would have been an easy matter to persuade them that the chair and table were apparitions of their forefathers. However, they conducted Peregrine into the council chamber, where the conjurer and Hadgi were employed in ministering to those who had fainted.

The patients having retrieved the use of their faculties, Cadwallader, assuming a double portion of severity in his aspect, asked if they were not ashamed of their former incredulity; declaring, that he was ready to give them more convincing proofs of his art upon the spot, and would immediately recall three generations of their progenitors from the dead, if they were disposed to relish such company. Then turning to one of them, whose grandfather had been hanged, "Are you," said he, "ambitious of seeing the first remarkable personage of your family? Say the word and he shall appear."

This youth, who had been the most insolent and obstreperous in the whole society, and was now depressed with the same proportion of fear, alarmed at the proposal, assured the magician he had no curiosity of that sort remaining; and that what he had already seen would, he hoped, have a good effect upon his future life and conversation. Every one of these heroes made an acknowledgment and profession of the same kind, some of which were attended with tears; and Hadgi having provided chairs for the whole company, they departed exceedingly crest-fallen. Two of the number actually sickened with the agitation they had undergone, while our hero and his associate made themselves merry with the success of their enterprise.

But this scheme of fortune-telling did not engross his whole attention; he still continued to maintain his appearance in the beau monde; and, as his expense far exceeded his income, strove to contract intimacies with people of interest and power; he showed himself regularly at court, paid his respects to them in all places of public diversion, and frequently entered into their parties, either of pleasure or cards. In the course of this cultivation, he happened one evening, at a certain chocolate-house, to overlook a match of piquet, in which he perceived a couple of sharpers making a prey of a young nobleman, who had neither temper nor skill sufficient to cope with such antagonists.

Our hero, being a professed enemy to all knights of industry, could not bear to see them cheat in public with such insolent audacity. Under pretence of communicating some business of importance, he begged the favour of speaking to the young gentleman in another corner of the room, and in a friendly manner cautioned him against his opponents. This hot-headed representative, far from thinking or owning himself obliged to Pickle for his good counsel, looked upon his advice as an insult upon his understanding; and replied, with an air of ferocious displeasure, that he knew how to take care of his own concerns, and would not suffer either him or them to bubble him out of a shilling.

Peregrine, offended at the association, as well as at the ingratitude and folly of this conceited coxcomb, expressed his resentment, by telling him, that he expected at least an acknowledgment for his candid intention; but he found his intellects too much warped by his vanity to perceive his own want of capacity and experience. Inflamed by this reproof, the young nobleman challenged him to play for five hundred pounds, with many opprobrious, or at least contemptuous terms of defiance, which provoked our hero to accept the proposal. After the other had disengaged himself from the old rooks, who were extremely mortified at the interruption, the two young champions sat down, and fortune acting with uncommon impartiality, Pickle, by the superiority of his talents, in two hours won to the amount of as many thousand pounds, for which he was obliged to take his antagonist's note, the sharpers having previously secured his ready money.

Frantic with his loss, the rash young man would have continued the game, and doubled stakes every time; so that Peregrine might have increased his acquisition to ten times the sum he had gained; but he thought he had already sufficiently chastised the presumption of the challenger, and was unwilling to empower fortune to ravish from him the fruits of his success; he therefore declined my lord's proposal, unless he would play for ready money; and his lordship having in vain tried his credit among the company, our adventurer withdrew, leaving him in an ecstasy of rage and disappointment.

As the insolence of his behaviour had increased with his ill-luck, and he had given vent to divers expressions which Peregrine took amiss, our young gentleman resolved to augment his punishment, by teasing him with demands which could not, he knew, be immediately satisfied; and next day sent Pipes to his father's house with the note, which was drawn payable upon demand. The debtor, who had gone to bed half-distracted with his misfortune, finding himself waked with such a disagreeable dun, lost all patience, cursed Pickle, threatened his messenger, blasphemed with horrible execrations, and made such a noise as reached the ears of his father, who, ordering his son to be called into his presence, examined him about the cause of that uproar, which had disturbed the whole family. The young gentleman, after having essayed to amuse him with sundry equivocations, which served only to increase his suspicion and desire of knowing the truth, acknowledged that he had lost some money overnight at cards, to a gamester who had been so impertinent as to send a message, demanding it that morning, though he had told the fellow that it would not suit him to pay him immediately. The father, who was a man of honour, reproached him with great severity for his profligate behaviour in general, and this scandalous debt in particular, which he believed to be some trifle; then giving him a bank-note for five hundred pounds, commanded him to go and discharge it without loss of time. This well-principled heir took the money; but, instead of waiting upon his creditor, he forthwith repaired to the gaming-house, in hopes of retrieving his loss; and, before he rose from the table, saw his note mortgaged for seven-eighths of its value.

Meanwhile, Pickle, incensed at the treatment which his servant had received, and informed of his lordship's second loss, which aggravated his resentment, determined to preserve no medium; and, taking out a writ the same day, put it immediately in execution upon the body of his debtor, just as he stepped into his chair at the door of White's chocolate-house. The prisoner, being naturally fierce and haughty, attempted to draw upon the bailiffs, who disarmed him in a twinkling; and this effort served only to heighten his disgrace; which was witnessed by a thousand people, most of whom laughed very heartily at the adventure of a lord's being arrested.

Such a public transaction could not long escape the knowledge of his father, who that very day had the satisfaction to hear that his son was in a spunging-house. In consequence of this information, he sent his steward to learn the particulars of the arrest, and was equally offended, surprised, and concerned, when he understood the nature of the debt, which he imagined his son had already discharged. Unwilling to pay such a considerable sum for a spendthrift, whom he had but too much indulged, and who in less than one week might involve himself in such another difficulty, the old gentleman wrote a letter to Peregrine, representing what a hardship it would be upon him to forfeit such sums by the indiscretion of a son, whose engagements he was not bound to fulfil, and desiring some mitigation in his demand, as it was not a debt contracted for value received, but incurred without subjecting him to the least damage or inconvenience.

Our adventurer no sooner received this letter, than he went in person to wait upon the author, to whom he, in a candid manner, related the particular circumstances of the match, together with the ingratitude and audacity of his son, which he owned had stimulated him to such measures as he otherwise would have scorned to take. The nobleman acknowledged that the revenge was hardly adequate to the provocation, and condemned the conduct of his son with such justice and integrity, as disarmed Peregrine of his resentment, and disposed him to give an undoubted proof of his own disinterestedness, which he immediately exhibited, by producing the note, and tearing it to pieces, after having assured his lordship that the writ should be withdrawn, and the prisoner discharged before night.

The earl, who perfectly well understood the value of money, and was no stranger to the characters of mankind, stood amazed at the sacrifice, which Pickle protested was offered by his esteem for his lordship; and, after having complimented him upon his generosity, in a very uncommon strain of encomium, begged the favour of his acquaintance, and insisted upon his dining with him next day. The youth, proud of having met with such an opportunity to distinguish himself, in less than an hour performed every article of his promise; and in the morning was visited by the debtor, who came, by the express order of his father, to thank him for the obligation under which he was laid, and to ask pardon for the offence he had given.

This condescension was very glorious for our hero, who graciously received his submission, and accompanied him to dinner, where he was caressed by the old earl with marks of particular affection and esteem. Nor was his gratitude confined to exterior civility; he offered him the use of his interest at court, which was very powerful, and repeated his desire of serving him so pressingly, that Peregrine thought he could not dispense with the opportunity of assisting his absent friend Godfrey, in whose behalf he begged the influence of his lordship.

The earl, pleased with this request, which was another proof of the young gentleman's benevolence, said, he would not fail to pay the utmost regard to his recommendation; and in six weeks a captain's commission was actually signed for the brother of Emilia, who was very agreeably surprised at the intimation he received from the War Office, though he was utterly ignorant of the canal through which he obtained that promotion.





CHAPTER LXXXV.
Peregrine is celebrated as a Wit and Patron, and proceeds to entertain himself at the Expense of whom it did concern.

In the meantime, Peregrine flourished in the gay scenes of life, and, as I have already observed, had divers opportunities of profiting in the way of marriage, had not his ambition been a little too inordinate, and his heart still biased by a passion, which all the levity of youth could not balance, nor all the pride of vanity overcome. Nor was our hero unmarked in the world of letters and taste; he had signalized himself in several poetical productions, by which he had acquired a good share of reputation: not that the pieces were such as ought to have done much honour to his genius; but any tolerable performance from a person of his figure and supposed fortune, will always be considered by the bulk of readers as an instance of astonishing capacity; though the very same production, ushered into the world with the name of an author in less affluent circumstances would be justly disregarded and despised; so much is the opinion of most people influenced and overawed by ridiculous considerations.

Be this as it will, our young gentleman was no sooner distinguished as an author, than he was marked out as a patron by all the starving retainers to poetry; he was solemnised in odes, celebrated in epigrams, and fed with the milk of soft dedication. His vanity even relished this incense; and, though his reason could not help despising those that offered it, not one of them was sent away unowned by his munificence. He began to think himself, in good earnest, that superior genius which their flattery had described; he cultivated acquaintance with the wits of fashion, and even composed in secret a number of bon-mots, which he uttered in company as the impromptus of his imagination. In this practice, indeed, he imitated some of the most renowned geniuses of the age, who, if the truth were known, have laboured in secret, with the sweat of their brows, for many a repartee which they have vended as the immediate production of fancy and expression. He was so successful in this exercise of his talents, that his fame actually came in competition with that great man who had long sat at the helm of wit; and, in a dialogue that once happened between them, on the subject of a corkscrew, wherein the altercation was discharged, according to Bayes, slap for slap, dash for dash, our hero was judged to have the better of his lordship, by some of the minor satellites, that commonly surround and reflect the rays of such mighty luminaries.

In a word, he dipped himself so far in these literary amusements, that he took the management of the pit into his direction, putting himself at the head of those critics who call themselves the town; and in that capacity chastised several players, who had been rendered insolent and refractory by unmerited success. As for the new productions of the stage, though generally unspirited and insipid, they always enjoyed the benefit of his influence and protection; because he never disliked the performance so much as he sympathized with the poor author, who stood behind the scenes in the most dreadful suspense, trembling, as it were, on the very brink of damnation. Yet, though he extended his generosity and compassion to the humble and needy, he never let slip one opportunity of mortifying villainy and arrogance. Had the executive power of the legislature been vested in him, he would have doubtless devised strange species of punishment for all offenders against humanity and decorum; but, restricted as he was, he employed his invention in subjecting them to the ridicule and contempt of their fellow-subjects.

It was with this view he set on foot the scheme of conjuration, which was still happily carried on, and made use of the intelligence of his friend Cadwallader; though he sometimes converted this advantage to the purposes of gallantry, being, as the reader may have perceived, of a very amorous complexion. He not only acted the reformer, or rather the castigator, in the fashionable world, but also exercised his talents among the inferior class of people, who chanced to incur his displeasure. One mischievous plan that entered our hero's imagination was suggested by two advertisements published in the same paper, by persons who wanted to borrow certain sums of money, for which they promised to give undeniable security. Peregrine, from the style and manner of both, concluded they were written by attorneys, a species of people for whom he entertained his uncle's aversion. In order to amuse himself and some of his friends with their disappointment, he wrote a letter signed A. B. to each advertiser, according to the address specified in the newspaper, importing, that if he would come with his writings to a certain coffee-house near the Temple, precisely at six in the evening, he would find a person sitting in the right-hand box next to the window, who would be glad to treat with him about the subject of his advertisement; and, should his security be liked, would accommodate him with the sum which he wanted to raise. Before the hour of this double appointment, Pickle, with his friend Cadwallader, and a few more gentlemen, to whom he had thought proper to communicate the plan, went to the coffee-house, and seated themselves near the place that was destined for their meeting.

The hope of getting money had such an evident effect upon their punctuality, that one of them arrived a considerable time before the hour; and having reconnoitred the room, took his station according to the direction he had received, fixing his eye upon a dock that stood before him, and asking of the barkeeper, if it was not too slow. He, had not remained in this posture many minutes, when he was joined by a strange figure that waddled into the room, with a bundle of papers in his bosom, and the sweat running over his nose. Seeing a man in the box to which he had been directed, he took it for granted that he was the lender; and as soon as he could recover his breath, which was almost exhausted by the despatch he had made, "Sir," said he, "I presume you are the gentleman I was to meet about that loan." Here he was interrupted by the other, who eagerly replied, "A. B., sir, I suppose." "The same," cried the last-comer: "I was afraid I should be too late; for I was detained beyond my expectation by a nobleman at the other end of the town, that wants to mortgage a small trifle of his estate, about a thousand a year; and my watch happens to be in the hands of the maker, having met with an accident a few nights ago, which set it asleep. But, howsomever, there is no time lost, and I hope this affair will be transacted to the satisfaction of us both. For my own part, I love to do good offices myself, and therefore I expect nothing but what is fair and honest of other people."

His new friend was exceedingly comforted by this declaration, which he considered as a happy omen of his success; and the hope of fingering the cash operated visibly in his countenance, while he expressed his satisfaction at meeting with a person of such candour and humanity. "The pleasure," said he, "of dealing with an easy conscientious man is, in my opinion, superior to that of touching all the money upon earth; for what joy can be compared with what a generous mind feels in befriending its fellow-creatures? I was never so happy in my life, as at one time, in lending five hundred pounds to a worthy gentleman in distress, without insisting upon rigid security. Sir, one may easily distinguish an upright man by his countenance: for example now, I think I could take your word for ten thousand pounds." The other, with great joy, protested, that he was right in his conjecture, and returned the compliment a thousand-fold; by which means, the expectation of both was wound up to a very interesting pitch; and both, at the same instant, began to produce their papers, in the untying of which their hands shook with transports of eagerness and impatience; while their eyes were so intent upon their work, that they did not perceive the occupation of each other.

At length, one of them, having got the start of the other, and unrolled several skins of musty parchment, directed his view to the employment of his friend; and, seeing him fumbling at his bundle, asked if that was a blank bond and conveyance which he had brought along with him. The other, without lifting up his eyes, or desisting from his endeavours to loose the knot, which by this time he had applied to his teeth, answered this question in the negative, observing that the papers in his hand were the security which he proposed to give for the money. This reply converted the looks of the inquirer into a stare of infinite solidity, accompanied with the word Anan! which he pronounced in a tone of fear and astonishment. The other, alarmed at this note, cast his eyes towards the supposed lender, and was in a moment infected by his aspect. All the exultation of hope that sparkled in their eyes was now succeeded by disappointment and dismay; and while they gazed ruefully at each other, their features were gradually elongated, like the transient curls of a Middle-row periwig.

This emphatic silence was, however, broken by the last-comer, who, in a faltering accent, desired the other to recollect the contents of his letter. "Of your letter!" cried the first, putting into his hand the advertisement he had received from Pickle; which he had no sooner perused, than he produced his own for the satisfaction of the other party. So that another gloomy pause ensued, at the end of which, each uttered a profound sigh, or rather groan, and, rising up, sneaked off without further communication, he who seemed to be the most afflicted of the two, taking his departure, with an exclamation of "Humbugged, egad!"

Such were the amusements of our hero, though they did not engross his whole time, some part of which was dedicated to nocturnal riots and revels, among a set of young noblemen, who had denounced war against temperance, economy, and common sense, and were indeed the devoted sons of tumult, waste, and prodigality. Not that Peregrine relished those scenes, which were a succession of absurd extravagance, devoid of all true spirit, taste, or enjoyment. But his vanity prompted him to mingle with those who are entitled the choice spirits of the age; and his disposition was so pliable, as to adapt itself easily to the measures of his company, where he had not influence enough to act in the capacity of a director. Their rendezvous was a certain tavern, which might be properly styled the temple of excess, where they left the choice of their fare to the discretion of the landlord, that they might save themselves the pains of exercising their own reason; and, in order to avoid the trouble of adjusting the bill, ordered the waiter to declare how much every individual must pay, without specifying the articles of the charge. This proportion generally amounted to two guineas per head for each dinner and supper; and frequently exceeded that sum; of which the landlord durst not abate, without running the risk of having his nose slit for his moderation.

But this was puny expense compared with that which they often incurred, by the damage done to the furniture and servants, in the madness of their intoxication, as well as the loss they sustained at hazard, an amusement to which all of them had recourse in the progress of their debauches. This elegant diversion was introduced, encouraged, and promoted by a crew of rapacious sharpers, who had made themselves necessary companions to this hopeful generation, by the talents of pimping and buffoonery. Though they were universally known, even by those they preyed upon to have no other means of earning their livelihood, than the most infamous and fraudulent practices, they were caressed and courted by these infatuated dupes, when a man of honour, who would not join in their excesses, would have been treated with the utmost indignity and contempt.

Though Peregrine, in his heart, detested those abandoned courses, and was a professed enemy to the whole society of gamesters, whom he considered, and always treated, as the foes of humankind, he was insensibly accustomed to licentious riot, and even led imperceptibly into play by those cormorants, who are no less dangerous in the art of cheating, than by their consummate skill in working up the passions of unwary youth. They are, for the most part, naturally cool, phlegmatic, and crafty, and, by a long habit of dissimulation, have gained an absolute dominion over the hasty passions of the heart; so that they engage with manifest advantage over the impatience and impetuosity of a warm undesigning temper, like that of our young gentleman, who, when he was heated with wine, misled by example, invited on one hand, and defied on the other, forgot all his maxims of caution and sobriety, and, plunging into the reigning folly of the place, had frequent occasions to moralize in the morning upon the loss of the preceding night. These penitential reflections were attended with many laudable resolutions of profiting by the experience which he had so dearly purchased; but he was one of those philosophers who always put off till another day the commencement of their reformation.





CHAPTER LXXXVI.
Peregrine receives a letter from Hatchway, in consequence of which he repairs to the Garrison, and performs the last Offices to his Aunt—He is visited by Mr. Gauntlet, who invites him to his Marriage.

In this circle of amusements our hero's time was parcelled out, and few young gentlemen of the age enjoyed life with greater relish, notwithstanding those intervening checks of reason, which served only to whet his appetite for a repetition of the pleasures she so prudently condemned; when he received the following letter, by which he was determined to visit his estate in the country:

Cousin Pickle,—I hope you are in a better trim than your
aunt, who hath been fast moored to her bed these seven weeks,
by several feet of under-water lodging in her hold and
hollop, whereby I doubt her planks are rotted, so that she
cannot choose but fall to pieces in a short time. I have
done all in my power to keep her tight and easy, and free
from sudden squalls that might overstrain her. And here
have been the doctors, who have scuttled her lower deck, and
let out six gallons of water. For my own part, I wonder how
the devil it came there; for you know as how it was a liquor
she never took in. But as for those fellows the doctors, they
are like unskilful carpenters, that in mending one leak make
a couple; and so she fills again apace. But the worst sign of
all is this here, she won't let a drop of Nantz go between
the combings of her teeth, and has quite lost the rudder of
her understanding, whereby she yaws woundily in her speech
palavering about some foreign part called the New Geereusalem,
and wishing herself in a safe berth in the river Geordun.
The parson, I must say, strives to keep her steady, concerning
the navigation of her soul, and talks very sensibly of charity
and the poor, whereof she hath left a legacy of two hundred
pounds in her will. And here has been Mr. Gamaliel and your
brother my lord, demanding entrance at the gate, in order to
see her; but I would not suffer them to come aboard, and
pointed my patereroes, which made them sheer off. Your sister,
Mrs. Clover, keeps close watch upon her kinswoman, without
ever turning in, and a kind-hearted young woman it is. I
should be glad to see you at the garrison, if the wind of your
inclination sits that way; and mayhap it may be a comfort to
your aunt, to behold you alongside of her, when her anchor is
apeak. So no more at present, but rests your friend and humble
servant to command, "John Hatchway."

Next morning, after the receipt of this epistle, Peregrine, in order to manifest his regard to his aunt, as well as his friendship for honest Jack, set out on horseback for their habitation, attended by Pipes, who longed to see his old messmate; but before he had reached the garrison, Mrs. Hatchway had given up the ghost, in the threescore and fifth year of her age. The widower seemed to bear his loss with resignation, and behaved very decently upon the occasion, though he did not undergo those dangerous transports of sorrow, which some tender-hearted husbands have felt at the departure of their wives. The lieutenant was naturally a philosopher, and so well disposed to acquiesce in the dispensations of Providence, that in this, as well as in every other emergency of his life, he firmly believed, that everything which happened was for the best.

Peregrine's task, therefore, was not so great in comforting him, as in consoling his own sister, who, with great poignancy and sincerity of grief, lamented the death of the only relation with whom she had maintained any intimacy of correspondence; for her mother was as implacable as ever, in her enmity against her and Peregrine, and rather more determined in her rancour; that which was originally a sudden transport of indignation, being by this time settled into a confirmed inveteracy of hate. As for Gam, who was now dignified by the country people with the appellation of the young squire, he still acted in the capacity of minister to the caprice and vengeance of his mother, taking all opportunities of disturbing Julia's peace, slandering her reputation, and committing outrages against the tenants and domestics of her husband, who was a man of quiet and timorous disposition.

But the chief amusement of young Pickle, in his later years, was the chase, in which he acquired some renown by his intrepidity and remarkable figure, which improved every day in deformity; insomuch, as to suggest a ludicrous scheme of revenge to a gentleman in the neighbourhood. Having been affronted by the insolence of Crookback, he clothed a large baboon that was in his possession, in a dress that resembled the hunting equipage of Gam; and ordering the animal to be set astride, and tied upon the back of his keenest hunter, turned them out one day after the hounds. The horse in a little time outstripping all the rest in the field, the rider was mistaken for Gam by the whole company, who saluted him as he passed with a halloo, observing, that the squire had his usual good luck, in being better mounted than his neighbours. Pickle afterwards appearing in his own person, created great astonishment in the spectators, one of whom asked if he had split himself in twain, and pointed out his representative, who was, by this time, almost up with the hounds. Upon which the identical Gam went in pursuit of the impostor. When he overtook him, he was so much enraged at the counterfeit, that he attacked the baboon whip in hand, and, in all probability, would have sacrificed him to his resentment, had not he been prevented by the other fox-hunters. They interposed, in order to make up the difference betwixt two brothers of the sport, and were equally surprised and diverted when they distinguished the quality of Crookback's antagonist, which they rescued from his rage, and reconveyed to its master.

Peregrine, at the request of his friend Jack, took charge of his aunt's funeral, to which his parents were invited, though they did not think proper to appear, or pay the least regard to his solicitations, when he desired permission to wait upon them in person. Nevertheless, old Gamaliel, at the instigation of his wife, afterwards obtained an order from Doctors' Commons, obliging Hatchway to produce the will of his wife, on the supposition that she had bequeathed to him some part of the money, which, he knew, was at her own disposal. But from this step he reaped no other satisfaction than that of finding himself altogether neglected by the testatrix, who had left all her effects to her husband, except one thousand pounds, with her jewels, to Julia's daughter, the benefaction mentioned in the lieutenant's letter, and some inconsiderable legacies to her favourite domestics.

A few days after the interment of this good lady, our hero was agreeably surprised with a visit from his friend Godfrey, who had come to England in consequence of that promotion which he owed to his interest, though the soldier himself placed it to the credit of a certain courtier who had formerly promised to befriend him, and now finding his advancement unowned, very modestly arrogated the merit of it to himself. He communicated his good-fortune to Pickle, who complimented him upon it as an event of which he had no precognition; and at the same time told him, that, in consequence of his preferment, his cousin at Windsor had consented to his being immediately united in the bands of wedlock with his lovely Sophy; that the wedding-day was already fixed; and that nothing would be wanting to his happiness, if Peregrine would honour the nuptials with his presence.

Our hero accepted the invitation with great eagerness, when he learned that Emilia would be there in quality of bridesmaid; and now repeated what he had formerly written to his friend, namely, that he was not only willing, but extremely impatient to atone for his mad behaviour to that young lady, by laying himself and his whole fortune at her feet. Godfrey thanked him for his honourable intention, and promised to use his influence, and that of Sophy, in his behalf, though he seemed dubious of their success, on account of his sister's delicacy which could not pardon the least shadow of disrespect. He owned, indeed, he was not certain that she would appear in the same company with Pickle; but, as she made no stipulation on that score, he would interpret her silence in the most favourable manner, and keep her in ignorance of his design, until she should find it too late to retract with any decency. The hope of seeing and conversing with Emilia, and perhaps of being reconciled to her, after having suffered so much and so long from her displeasure, raised a tumult of ideas in his breast, and produced a strange inquietude of joy and perturbation. Gauntlet having stayed with him a few days, and signified the time appointed for his spousals, took his leave, in order to prepare for the occasion; while Peregrine, with his friend Hatchway, made a tour among his acquaintance in the country, with a view of sounding their inclinations touching a project which he had lately conceived, of offering himself as a candidate for a certain borough in the neighbourhood, at the ensuing election for members of parliament.

This scheme, which was suggested to him by one of his quality patrons, would have succeeded according to his wish, had the election taken place immediately; but, before that happened, his interest was overbalanced by some small accidents that will be recorded in the sequel. In the meantime, he repaired to Windsor on the eve of his friend's marriage, and understood from Godfrey that it was with the utmost difficulty he and Sophy could prevail upon his sister to be present at the wedding. when she was informed that her lover was invited; and that her consent had not been obtained until they had promised, on the part of Peregrine, that he should not renew the old topic, nor even speak to her in the style of a former acquaintance.

Our young gentleman was nettled at this preliminary, to which, however, he said he would adhere; and so well did he think himself fortified with pride and resentment, that he resolved to behave towards her with such indifference, as would, he hoped, mortify her vanity, and thereby punish her for the implacability of her disposition. Armed with these sentiments, he was next day introduced by Godfrey to the bride, who received him with her usual sweetness of temper and affability; and Emilia being present, he saluted her with a distant bow, which she acknowledged with a cold courtesy, and an aspect of ice. Though this deportment confirmed his displeasure, her beauty undermined his resolution; he thought her charms infinitely improved since their last parting, and a thousand fond images recurring to his imagination, he felt his whole soul dissolving into tenderness and love.

In order to banish those dangerous ideas, he endeavoured to enter into a gay conversation with Sophy, on the subject of the approaching ceremony; but his tongue performed its office awkwardly, his eyes were attracted towards Emilia, as if they had been subject to the power of fascination; in spite of all his efforts, a deep sigh escaped from his bosom, and his whole appearance indicated anxiety and confusion. The bridegroom, perceiving his condition, abridged the visit, and having conducted his companion to his own lodgings, expressed his concern at having been the innocent occasion of his uneasiness, by exposing him to the sight of Emilia, which he perceived had given him pain. Peregrine, who had by this time recollected the dictates of his pride, assured him, that he was very much mistaken in the cause of his disorder, which was no other than a sudden qualm, to which he had been for some time subject; and to show him how philosophically he could bear the disdain of Emilia, which, with all deference to her conduct, he could not help thinking a little too severe, he desired, as the bridegroom had made preparation for a private ball in the evening, that he would provide him with an agreeable partner; in which case he would exhibit undoubted proofs of the tranquility of his heart. "I was in hopes," answered Godfrey, "of being able, with the assistance of Sophy, to make up matters between you and my sister, and for that reason kept her unengaged to any other gentleman for the night; but since she was so peevishly obstinate, I shall take care to accommodate you with a very handsome young lady, whose partner will not be sorry to exchange her for Emilia."

The thoughts of having an opportunity to coquette with another woman, under the eye of this implacable mistress, supported his spirits during the ceremony, which put Gauntlet in possession of his heart's desire; and, by means of this cordial, he found himself so undisturbed at dinner, though he sat opposite to his fair enemy, that he was able to pass some occasional jokes upon the new-married couple, with some appearance of mirth and good-humour. Nor did Emily any otherwise seem affected by his presence, than by excepting him from the participation of those genial regards which she distributed to the rest of the company. This easiness of behaviour on her side reinforced his resolution, by giving him pretence to call her sensibility in question; for he could not conceive how any woman of acute feelings could sit unmoved in presence of a man with whom she had such recent and intimate connection; not considering that she had much more reason to condemn his affectation of unconcern, and that her external deportment might, like his own, be an effort of pride and resentment.

This contest, in point of dissimulation, continued till night, when the company was paired for dancing, and Peregrine began the ball by walking a minuet with the bride; then he took out the young lady to whom he was recommended by Gauntlet, being very well pleased to see that her person was such as might have inspired even Emily herself with jealousy, though, at the same time, he perceived his mistress coupled with a gay young officer, whom, with all due deference to his own qualifications, he considered as no despicable rival. However, he himself first began hostilities, by becoming all of a sudden particular with his partner, whom he forthwith assailed with flattering compliments, that soon introduced the subject of love, upon which he expatiated with great art and elocution, using not only the faculty of speech, but also the language of the eyes, in which he was a perfect connoisseur.

This behaviour soon manifested itself to the whole assembly, the greatest part of whom believed that he was in good earnest captivated by the charms of his partner; while Emilia, penetrating into his design, turned his own artillery upon himself, by seeming to listen with pleasure to the addresses of his rival, who was no novice in the art of making love. She even affected uncommon vivacity, and giggled aloud at every whisper which he conveyed into her ear, insomuch that she, in her turn, afforded speculation to the company, who imagined the young soldier had made a conquest of the bridegroom's sister. Pickle himself began to cherish the same opinion, which gradually invaded his good-humour, and at length filled his bosom with rage. He strove to suppress his indignation, and called every consideration of vanity and revenge to his aid. He endeavoured to wean his eyes from the fatal object that disturbed him, but they would not obey his direction and command. He wished himself deprived of all sensation, when he heard her laugh, and saw her smile upon the officer; and, in the course of country-dancing, when he was obliged to join hands with her, the touch thrilled through all his nerves, and kindled a flame within him which he could not contain. In a word, his endeavours to conceal the situation of his thoughts were so violent, that his constitution could not endure the shock; the sweat ran down his forehead in a stream, the colour vanished from his cheeks, his knees began to totter, and his eyesight to fail; so that he must have fallen at his full length upon the floor, had not he retired very abruptly into another room, where he threw himself upon a couch, and fainted.

In this condition he was found by his friend, who, seeing him withdraw with such symptoms of disorder, followed him thither; and, when he recovered the use of his faculties, pressed him to make use of a bed in that house, rather than expose himself in the night air, by going home to his own lodgings; but not being able to prevail upon him to accept the offer, he wrapped him up in a cloak, and, conducting him to the inn where he lodged, helped him to undress and go to bed, where he was immediately seized with a violent fit of the ague. Godfrey behaved with great tenderness, and would have actually borne him company all night, notwithstanding the circumstances of his own situation, had not his friend insisted upon his returning to the company, and making his apology to his partner for his sudden departure. This was a step absolutely necessary towards maintaining the quiet of the assembly, which he found in great consternation, occasioned by his absence; for some of the ladies, seeing the bridegroom follow the stranger in his retreat, the meaning of which they did not comprehend, began to be afraid of a quarrel. Emilia, upon pretence of that supposition, was so much alarmed, that she could not stand, and was fain to have recourse to a smelling-bottle.

The bride, who understood the whole mystery, was the only person that acted with deliberation and composure; she imputed Emilia's disorder to the right cause, which was no other than concern for the condition of her lover, and assured the ladies there was nothing extraordinary in Mr. Pickle's going off, he being subject to fainting fits, by which he was often overtaken without any previous notice. The arrival of Gauntlet confirmed the truth of this declaration. He made an apology to the company in the name of his friend, who, he told them, was suddenly taken ill; and they returned to their diversion of dancing, with this variation: Emilia was so disordered and fatigued, that she begged to be excused from continuing the exercise; and Peregrine's partner being disengaged, was paired with the young officer, for whom she was originally designed. Meanwhile, the bride withdrew into another apartment with her sister, and expostulated with her upon her cruelty to Mr. Pickle, assuring her, from Godfrey's information, that he had undergone a severe fit on her account, which, in all likelihood would have a dangerous effect upon his constitution. Though Emily was inflexible in her answers to the kind remonstrances of the gentle Sophy, her heart was melting with the impressions of pity and love; and, finding herself unable to perform the duty of her function, in putting the bride to bed, she retired to her own chamber, and in secret sympathized with the distemper of her lover.

In the morning, as early as decency would permit him to leave the arms of his dear wife, Captain Gauntlet made a visit to Peregrine, who had passed a very tedious and uneasy night, having been subject to short intervals of delirium, during which Pipes had found it very difficult to keep him fast belayed. He owned indeed to Godfrey, that his imagination had been haunted by the ideas of Emilia and her officer, which tormented him to an unspeakable degree of anguish and distraction; and that he would rather suffer death than a repetition of such excruciating reflections. He was, however, comforted by his friend, who assured him, that his sister's inclinations would in time prevail over all the endeavours of resentment and pride, illustrating this asseveration by an account of the manner in which she was affected by the knowledge of his disorder, and advising him to implore the mediation of Sophy, in a letter which she should communicate to Emilia.

This was an opportunity which our hero thought too favourable to be neglected: calling for paper, he sat up in his bed, and, in the first transports of his emotion, wrote the following petition to Godfrey's amiable wife:—

Dear Madam—The affliction of a contrite heart can never
appeal to your benevolence in vain, and, therefore, I
presume to approach you in this season of delight, with
the language of sorrow, requesting that you will espouse
the cause of an unhappy lover, who mourns with unutterable
anguish over his ruined hope, and intercede for my pardon
with that divine creature, whom, in the intemperance and
excess of passion, I have so mortally offended. Good Heaven!
is my guilt inexpiable? Am I excluded from all hope of
remission? Am I devoted to misery and despair? I have
offered all the atonement which the most perfect and sincere
penitence could suggest, and she rejects my humility and
repentance. If her resentment would pursue me to the grave,
let her signify her pleasure; and may I be branded with the
name of villain, and remembered with infamy and detestation
to all posterity, if I hesitate one moment in sacrificing a
life which is odious to Emilia. Ah! madam, while I thus pour
forth the effusions of my grief and distraction, I look
around the apartment in which I lie, and every well-known
object that salutes my view, recalls to my remembrance that
fond, that happy day, on which the fair, the good, the
tender-hearted Sophy became my advocate, though I was a
stranger to her acquaintance, and effected a transporting
reconciliation between me and that same enchanting beauty,
that is now so implacably incensed. If she is not satisfied
with the pangs of remorse and disappointment, the transports
of madness I have undergone, let her prescribe what further
penance she thinks I ought to endure, and when I decline her
sentence, let me be the object of her eternal disdain.

I commit myself, dear madam! dear Sophy! dear partner of my
Friend! to your kind interposition. I know you will manage
my cause, as a concern on which my happiness entirely
depends; and I hope everything from your compassion and
beneficence, while I fear everything from her rigour and
barbarity. Yes! I call it barbarity, a savageness of delicacy
altogether inconsistent with the tenderness of human nature;
and may the most abject contempt be my portion, if I live
under its scourge! But I begin to rave. I conjure you by your
own humanity and sweetness of disposition, I conjure you by
your love for the man whom Heaven hath decreed your protector,
to employ your influence with that angel of wrath, in behalf
of your obliged and obedient servant. "P. PICKLE."

This epistle was immediately transmitted by Godfrey to his wife, who perused it with marks of the most humane sympathy; and, carrying it into her sister's chamber, "Here is something," said she, presenting the paper, "which I must recommend to your serious attention." Emilia, who immediately guessed the meaning of this address, absolutely refused to look upon it, or even to hear it read, till her brother, entering her apartment, reprimanded her sharply for her obstinacy and pride, accused her of folly and dissimulation, and entered so warmly into the interests of his friend, that she thought him unkind in his remonstrances, and, bursting into a flood of tears, reproached him with partiality and want of affection. Godfrey, who entertained the most perfect love and veneration for his sister, asked pardon for having given offence, and, kissing the drops from her fair eyes, begged she would, for his sake, listen to the declaration of his friend.

Thus solicited, she could not refuse to hear the letter, which, when he had repeated, she lamented her own fate in being the occasion of so much uneasiness, desired her brother to assure Mr. Pickle that she was not a voluntary enemy to his peace; on the contrary, she wished him all happiness, though she hoped he would not blame her for consulting her own, in avoiding any future explanation or connection with a person whose correspondence she found herself under a necessity to renounce. In vain did the new-married couple exhaust their eloquence in attempting to prove, that the reparation which our hero had offered was adequate to the injury she had sustained: that in reconciling herself to a penitent lover, who subscribed to her own terms of submission, her honour would be acquitted by the most scrupulous and severe judges of decorum; and that her inflexibility would be justly ascribed to the pride and insensibility of her heart. She turned a deaf ear to all their arguments, exhortations, and entreaties, and threatened to leave the house immediately, if they would not promise to drop that subject of discourse.

Godfrey, very much chagrined at the bad success of his endeavours, returned to his friend, and made as favourable a report of the affair, as the nature of his conversation with Emilia would permit; but as he could not avoid mentioning her resolution in the close, Peregrine was obliged to drink again the bitter draught of disappointment, which put his passions into such a state of agitation, as produced a short ecstasy of despair, in which he acted a thousand extravagances. This paroxysm, however, soon subsided into a settled reserve of gloomy resentment, which he in secret indulged, detaching himself, as soon as possible, from the company of the soldier, on pretence of retiring to rest.

While he lay ruminating upon the circumstances of his present situation, his friend Pipes, who knew the cause of his anxiety, and firmly believed that Emilia loved his master at her heart, howsoever she might attempt to disguise her sentiments; I say, Thomas was taken with a conceit which he thought would set everything to rights, and therefore put it in execution without further delay. Laying aside his hat, he ran directly to the house of Sophy's father, and, affecting an air of surprise and consternation, to which he had never before been subject, thundered at the door with such an alarming knock, as in a moment brought the whole family into the hall. When he was admitted, he began to gape, stare, and pant at the same time, and made no reply, when Godfrey asked what was the matter, till Mrs. Gauntlet expressed her apprehensions about his master. When Pickle's name was mentioned, he seemed to make an effort to speak, and, in a bellowing tone, pronounced, "Brought himself up, split my topsails!" So saying, he pointed to his own neck, and rose upon his tiptoes, by way of explaining the meaning of his words.

Godfrey, without staying to ask another question, rushed out, and flew towards the inn, with the utmost horror and concern; while Sophy, who did not rightly understand the language of the messenger, addressing herself to him a second time, said, "I hope no accident has happened to Mr. Pickle?"—"No accident at all," replied Tom; "he has only hanged himself for love." These words had scarcely proceeded from his mouth, when Emilia, who stood listening at the parlour door, shrieked aloud, and dropped down senseless upon the floor; while her sister, who was almost equally shocked at the intelligence, had recourse to the assistance of her maid, by whom she was supported from falling. Pipes, hearing Emily's voice, congratulated himself upon the success of his stratagem. He sprung to her assistance, and, lifting her up into an easy chair, stood by her, until he saw her recover from her swoon, and heard her call upon his master's name, with all the frenzy of despairing love. Then he bent his course back to the inn, overjoyed at the opportunity of telling Peregrine what a confession he had extorted from his mistress, and extremely vain of this proof of his own sagacity.

In the meantime Godfrey arriving at the house in which he supposed this fatal catastrophe had happened, ran upstairs to Peregrine's chamber, without staying to make any inquiry below; and, finding the door locked, burst it open with one stroke of his foot. But what was his amazement, when, upon entrance, our hero, starting up from the bed, saluted him with a boisterous exclamation of "Zounds! who's there?" He was struck dumb with astonishment, which also riveted him to the place where he stood, scarce crediting the testimony of his own senses, till Peregrine, with an air of discontent, which denoted him displeased with his intrusion, dispelled his apprehension by a second address, saying, "I see you consider me as a friend, by your using me without ceremony." The soldier, thus convinced of the falsehood of the information he had received, began to imagine, that Pickle had projected the plan which was executed by his servant; and looking upon it as a piece of unjustifiable finesse, which might be attended with very melancholy consequences to his sister or wife, he answered, in a supercilious tone, that Mr. Pickle must blame himself for the interruption of his repose, which was entirely owing to the sorry jest he had set on foot.

Pickle, who was the child of passion, and more than half mad with impatience before this visit, hearing himself treated in such a cavalier manner, advanced close up to Godfrey's breast, and assuming a stern, or rather frantic countenance, "Hark ye, sir," said he, "you are mistaken if you think I jest; I am in downright earnest, I assure you." Gauntlet, who was not a man to be browbeaten, seeing himself thus bearded by a person of whose conduct he had, he thought, reason to complain, put on his military look of defiance, and, erecting his chest, replied with an exalted voice, "Mr. Pickle, whether you were in jest or earnest, you must give me leave to tell you, that the scheme was childish, unseasonable, and unkind, not to give it a harsher term."—"Death, sir!" cried our adventurer, "you trifle with my disquiet; if there is any meaning in your insinuation, explain yourself, and then I shall know what answer it will befit me to give."—"I came with very different sentiments," resumed the soldier, "but since you urge me to expostulation, and behave with such unprovoked loftiness of displeasure, I will, without circumlocution, tax you with having committed an outrage upon the peace of my family, in sending your fellow to alarm us with such an abrupt account of your having done violence upon yourself." Peregrine, confounded at this imputation, stood silent, with a most savage aspect of surprise, eager to know the circumstance to which his accuser alluded, and incensed to find it beyond the sphere of his comprehension.

While these two irritated friends stood fronting each other with mutual indignation in their eyes and attitudes, they were joined by Pipes, who, without taking the least notice of the situation in which he found them, told his master, that he might up with the top-gallant masts of his heart, and out with his rejoicing pendants; for as to Miss Emily, he had clapped her helm aweather, the vessel wore, and now she was upon the other tack, standing right into the harbour of his good-will. Peregrine, who was not yet a connoisseur in the terms of his lacquey, commanded him, upon pain of his displeasure, to be more explicit in his intelligence; and by dint of divers questions, obtained a perfect knowledge of the scheme which he had put in execution for his service. This information perplexed him not a little; he would have chastised his servant upon the spot for his temerity, had he not plainly perceived that the fellow's intention was to promote his case and satisfaction; and, on the other hand, he knew not how to acquit himself of the suspicion which he saw Godfrey entertain of his being the projector of the plan, without condescending to an explanation, which his present disposition could not brook. After some pause, however, turning to Pipes with a severe frown, "Rascal!" said he, "this is the second time I have suffered in the opinion of that lady, by your ignorance and presumption; if ever you intermeddle in my affairs for the future, without express order and direction, by all that's sacred, I will put you to death without mercy! Away, and let my horse be saddled this instant."

Pipes having withdrawn, in order to perform this piece of duty, our young gentleman, addressing himself again to the soldier, and laying his hand upon his breast, said, with a solemnity of regard, "Captain Gauntlet, upon my honour, I am altogether innocent of that shallow device which you impute to my invention; and I don't think you do justice either to my intellect or honour, in supposing me capable of such insolent absurdity. As for your sister, I have once in my life affronted her in the madness and impetuosity of desire; but I have made such acknowledgments, and offered such atonement, as few women of her sphere would have refused; and before God I am determined to endure every torment of disappointment and despair, rather than prostrate myself again to the cruelty of her unjustifiable pride." So saying, he stalked suddenly down-stairs, and took horse immediately, his spirits being supported by resentment, which prompted him to vow within himself, that he would seek consolation for the disdain of Emilia, in the possession of the first willing wench he should meet upon the road.

While he set out for the garrison with these sentiments, Gauntlet, in a suspense between anger, shame, and concern, returned to the house of his father-in-law, where he found his sister still violently agitated from the news of Peregrine's death; the mystery of which he forthwith unravelled, recounting at the same time the particulars of the conversation which had happened at the inn, and describing the demeanour of Pickle with some expressions of asperity, which were neither agreeable to Emilia, nor approved by the gentle Sophy, who tenderly chid him, for allowing Peregrine to depart in terms of misunderstanding.





CHAPTER LXXXVII.
Peregrine sets out for the Garrison, and meets with a Nymph of the Road, whom he takes into Keeping, and metamorphoses into a fine Lady.

In the meantime, our hero jogged along in a profound reverie, which was disturbed by a beggar-woman and her daughter, who solicited him for alms, as he passed them on the road. The girl was about the age of sixteen, and, notwithstanding the wretched equipage in which she appeared, exhibited to his view a set of agreeable features, enlivened with the complexion of health and cheerfulness. The resolution I have already mentioned was still warm in his imagination; and he looked upon this young mendicant as a very proper object for the performance of his vow. He, therefore, entered into a conference with the mother, and for a small sum of money purchased her property in the wench, who did not require much courtship and entreaty, before she consented to accompany him to any place that he should appoint for her habitation.

This contract being settled to his satisfaction, he ordered Pipes to seat his acquisition behind him upon the crupper, and, alighting at the first public-house which they found upon the road, he wrote a letter to Hatchway, desiring him to receive this hedge inamorata, and direct her to be cleaned and clothed in a decent manner, with all expedition, so that she should be touchable upon his arrival, which, on that account, he would defer for the space of one day. This billet, together with the girl, he committed to the charge of Pipes, after having laid strong injunctions upon him to abstain from all attempts upon her chastity, and ordered him to make the best of his way to the garrison, while he himself crossed the country to a market town, where he proposed to spend the night.

Tom, thus cautioned, proceeded with his charge, and, being naturally taciturn, opened not his lips, until he had performed the best half of his journey. But Thomas, notwithstanding his irony appearance, was in reality composed of flesh and blood. His desire being titillated by the contact of a buxom wench, whose right arm embraced his middle as he rode, his thoughts began to mutiny against his master, and he found it almost impossible to withstand the temptation of making love. Nevertheless, he wrestled with these rebellious suggestions with all the reason that Heaven had enabled him to exert; and that being totally overcome, his victorious passion suddenly broke out in this address:

"'Sblood! I believe master thinks I have no more stuff in my body than a dried haddock, to turn me adrift in the dark with such a spanker. D'ye think he don't, my dear?" To this question his fellow-traveller replied, "Swanker anan!" And the lover resumed his suit, saying, "Oons! how you tickle my timber! Something shoots from your arm, through my stowage, to the very keelstone. Han't you got quicksilver in your hand?"—"Quicksilver!" said the lady, "d—n the silver that has crossed my hand this month; d'ye think, if I had silver, I shouldn't buy me a smock?"—"Adsooks! you baggage," cried the lover, "you shouldn't want a smock nor a petticoat neither, if you could have a kindness for a true-hearted sailor, as sound and strong as a nine-inch cable, that would keep all clear above board, and everything snug under the hatches."—"Curse your gum!" said the charmer, "what's your gay balls and your hatches to me?"—"Do but let us bring-to a little," answered the wooer, whose appetite was by this time whetted to a most ravenous degree, "and I'll teach you to box the compass, my dear. Ah! you strapper, what a jolly b— you are!"—"B—!" exclaimed this modern dulcinea, incensed at the opprobrious term; "such a b— as your mother, you dog! D— you, I've a good mind to box your jaws instead of your comepiss. I'll let you know, as how I am meat for your master, you saucy blackguard. You are worse than a dog, you old flinty-faced, flea-bitten scrub. A dog wears his own coat, but you wear your master's."

Such a torrent of disgraceful epithets from a person who had no clothes at all, converted the gallant's love into choler, and he threatened to dismount and seize her to a tree, when she should have a taste of his cat-o'-nine-tails athwart her quarters; but, instead of being intimidated by his menaces, she set him at defiance, and held forth with such a flow of eloquence, as would have entitled her to a considerable share of reputation, even among the nymphs of Billingsgate; for this young lady, over and above a natural genius for altercation, had her talents cultivated among the venerable society of weeders, podders, and hoppers, with whom she had associated from her tender years. No wonder, then, that she soon obtained a complete victory over Pipes, who, as the reader may have observed, was very little addicted to the exercise of speech. Indeed, he was utterly disconcerted by her volubility of tongue; and, being altogether unfurnished with answers to the distinct periods of her discourse, very wisely chose to save himself the expense of breath and argument, by giving her a full swing of cable, so that she might bring herself up; while he rode onwards, in silent composure, without taking any more notice of his fair fellow-traveller, than if she had been his master's cloak-bag.

In spite of all the despatch he could make, it was late before he arrived at the garrison, where he delivered the letter and the lady to the lieutenant, who no sooner understood the intention of his friend, than he ordered all the tubs in the house to be carried into the hall, and filled with water. Tom having provided himself with swabs and brushes, divested the fair stranger of her variegated drapery, which was immediately committed to the flames, and performed upon her soft and sleek person the ceremony of scrubbing, as it is practised on board of the king's ships of war. Yet the nymph herself did not submit to this purification without repining. She cursed the director, who was upon the spot, with many abusive allusions to his wooden leg; and as for Pipes the operator, she employed her talons so effectually upon his face, that the blood ran over his nose in sundry streams; and next morning, when those rivulets were dry, his countenance resembled the rough bark of a plum-tree, plastered with gum. Nevertheless, he did his duty with great perseverance, cut off her hair close to the scalp, handled his brushes with dexterity, applied his swabs of different magnitude and texture, as the case required; and, lastly, rinsed the whole body with a dozen pails of cold water, discharged upon her head.

These ablutions being executed, he dried her with towels, accommodated her with a clean shift, and, acting the part of a valet-de-chambre, clothed her from head to foot, in clean and decent apparel which had belonged to Mrs. Hatchway; by which means her appearance was altered so much for the better, that when Peregrine arrived next day, he could scarce believe his own eyes. He was, for that reason, extremely well pleased with his purchase, and now resolved to indulge a whim, which seized him at the very instant of his arrival.

He had, as I believe the reader will readily allow, made considerable progress in the study of character, from the highest rank to the most humble station of life, and found it diversified in the same manner, through every degree of subordination and precedency: nay, he moreover observed, that the conversation of those who are dignified with the appellation of polite company, is neither more edifying nor entertaining than that which is met with among the lower classes of mankind; and that the only essential difference, in point of demeanour, is the form of an education, which the meanest capacity can acquire, without much study or application. Possessed of this notion, he determined to take the young mendicant under his own tutorage and instruction. In consequence of which, he hoped he should, in a few weeks, be able to produce her in company, as an accomplished young lady of uncommon wit, and an excellent understanding.

This extravagant plan he forthwith began to execute with great eagerness and industry; and his endeavours succeeded even beyond his expectation. The obstacle, in surmounting of which he found the greatest difficulty, was an inveterate habit of swearing, which had been indulged from her infancy, and confirmed by the example of those among whom she had lived. However, she had the rudiments of good sense from nature, which taught her to listen to wholesome advice, and was so docile as to comprehend and retain the lessons which her governor recommended to her attention; insomuch, that he ventured, in a few days, to present her at table, among a set of country squires, to whom she was introduced as niece to the lieutenant. In that capacity she sat with becoming easiness of mien, for she was as void of the mauvaise honte as any duchess in the land; bowed very graciously to the compliments of the gentlemen; and though she said little or nothing, because she was previously cautioned on that score, she more than once gave way to laughter, and her mirth happened to be pretty well timed. In a word, she attracted the applause and admiration of the guests, who, after she was withdrawn, complimented Mr. Hatchway upon the beauty, breeding, and good-humour of his kinswoman.

But what contributed more than any other circumstance to her speedy improvement, was some small insight into the primer, which she had acquired at a day-school, during the life of her father, who was a day-labourer in the country. Upon this foundation did Peregrine build a most elegant superstructure; he culled out choice sentences from Shakespeare, Otway, and Pope, and taught her to repeat them with an emphasis and theatrical cadence. He then instructed her in the names and epithets of the most celebrated players, which he directed her to pronounce occasionally, with an air of careless familiarity; and, perceiving that her voice was naturally clear, he enriched it with remnants of opera tunes, to be hummed during a pause in conversation, which is generally supplied with a circulation of a pinch of snuff. By means of this cultivation she became a wonderful proficient in the polite graces of the age; she, with great facility, comprehended the scheme of whist, though cribbage was her favourite game, with which she had amused herself in her vacant hours, from her first entrance into the profession of hopping; and brag soon grew familiar to her practice and conception.

Thus prepared, she was exposed to the company of her own sex, being first of all visited by the parson's daughter, who could not avoid showing that civility to Mr. Hatchway's niece, after she had made her public appearance at church. Mrs. Clover, who had a great share of penetration, could not help entertaining some doubts about this same relation, whose name she had never heard the uncle mention, during the whole term of her residence at the garrison. But as the young lady was treated in that character, she would not refuse her acquaintance; and, after having seen her at the castle, actually invited Miss Hatchway to her house. In short, she made a progress through almost all the families in the neighbourhood; and by dint of her quotations, which, by the bye, were not always judiciously used, she passed for a sprightly young lady, of uncommon learning and taste.

Peregrine having in this manner initiated her in the beau monde of the country, conducted her to London, where she was provided with private lodgings and a female attendant; and put her immediately under the tuition of his valet-de-chambre, who had orders to instruct her in dancing, and the French language. He attended her to plays and concerts three or four times a week; and when our hero thought her sufficiently accustomed to the sight of great company, he squired her in person to a public assembly, and danced with her among all the gay ladies of fashion; not but that there was still an evident air of rusticity and awkwardness in her demeanour, which was interpreted into an agreeable wildness of spirit, superior to the forms of common breeding. He afterwards found means to make her acquainted with some distinguished patterns of her own sex, by whom she was admitted into the most elegant parties, and continued to make good her pretensions to gentility, with great circumspection. But one evening, being at cards with a certain lady whom she detected in the very fact of unfair conveyance, she taxed her roundly with the fraud, and brought upon herself such a torrent of sarcastic reproof, as overbore all her maxims of caution, and burst open the floodgates of her own natural repartee, twanged off with the appellation of b— and w—, which she repeated with great vehemence, in an attitude of manual defiance, to the terror of her antagonist, and the astonishment of all present; nay, to such an unguarded pitch was she provoked, that, starting up, she snapped her fingers, in testimony of disdain, and, as she quitted the room, applied her hand to that part which was the last of her that disappeared, inviting the company to kiss it by one of its coarsest denominations.

Peregrine was a little disconcerted at this oversight in her behaviour, which, by the demon of intelligence, was in a moment conveyed to all the private companies in town; so that she was absolutely excluded from all polite communication, and Peregrine, for the present, disgraced among the modest part of his female acquaintance, many of whom not only forbade him their houses, on account of the impudent insult he had committed upon their honour, as well as understanding, in palming a common trull upon them, as a young lady of birth and education; but also aspersed his family, by affirming that she was actually his own cousin-german, whom he had precipitately raised from the most abject state of humility and contempt. In revenge for this calumny, our young gentleman explained the whole mystery of her promotion, together with the motives that induced him to bring her into the fashionable world; and repeated among his companions the extravagant encomiums which had been bestowed upon her by the most discerning matrons of the age.

Meanwhile, the infanta herself being rebuked by her benefactor for this instance of misbehaviour, promised faithfully to keep a stricter guard for the future over her conduct, and applied herself with great assiduity to the studies, in which she was assisted by the Swiss, who gradually lost the freedom of his heart, while she was profiting by his instruction. In other words, she made a conquest of her preceptor, who yielding to the instigations of the flesh, chose a proper opportunity to declare his passion, which was powerfully recommended by his personal qualifications; and his intentions being honourable, she listened to his proposals of espousing her in private. In consequence of this agreement, they made an elopement together; and, being buckled at the Fleet, consummated their nuptials in private lodgings, by the Seven Dials, from which the husband next morning sent a letter to our hero begging forgiveness for the clandestine step he had taken, which he solemnly protested was not owing to any abatement in his inviolable regard for his master, whom he should always honour and esteem to his latest breath, but entirely to the irresistible charms of the young lady, to whom he was now so happy as to be joined in the silken bonds of marriage.

Peregrine, though at first offended at his valet's presumption, was, upon second thoughts, reconciled to the event by which he was delivered from an encumbrance; for by this time he had performed his frolic, and began to be tired of his acquisition. He reflected upon the former fidelity of the Swiss, which had been manifested in a long course of service and attachment; and, thinking it would be cruelly severe to abandon him to poverty and distress for one venial trespass, he resolved to pardon what he had done, and enable him in some shape to provide for the family which he had entailed upon himself.

With these sentiments, he sent a favourable answer to the delinquent, desiring to see him as soon as his passion should permit him to leave the arms of his spouse for an hour or two; and Hadgi, in obedience to this intimation, repaired immediately to the lodgings of his master, before whom he appeared with a most penitential aspect. Peregrine, though he could scarce help laughing at his rueful length of face, reprimanded him sharply, for his disrespect and ingratitude in taking that by stealth which he might have had for asking. The culprit assured him, that next to the vengeance of God, his master's displeasure was that which of all evils he dreaded to incur; but that love had distracted his brain in such a manner, as to banish every other consideration but that of gratifying his desire; and he owned, that he should not have been able to preserve his fidelity and duty to his own father, had they interfered with the interest of his passion. He then appealed to his master's own heart for the remission of his guilt, alluding to certain circumstances of our hero's conduct, which evinced the desperate effects of love. In short, he made such an apology as extorted a smile from his offended judge, who not only forgave his transgression, but also promised to put him in some fair way of earning a comfortable subsistence.

The Swiss was so much affected with this instance of generosity, that he fell upon his knees, and kissed his hand, praying to heaven, with great fervour, to make him worthy of such goodness and condescension. His scheme, he said, was to open a coffee-house and tavern in some creditable part of the town, in hopes of being favoured with the custom of a numerous acquaintance he had made among upper servants and reputable tradesmen, not doubting that his wife would be an ornament to his bar, and a careful manager of his affairs. Peregrine approved of the plan, towards the execution of which he made him and his wife a present of five hundred pounds, together with a promise of erecting a weekly club among his friends, for the reputation and advantage of the house.

Hadgi was so transported with his good fortune, that he ran to Pipes, who was in the room, and having hugged him with great cordiality, and made his obeisance to his master, hied him home to his bride, to communicate his happiness, cutting capers, and talking to himself all the way.





CHAPTER LXXXVIII.
He is visited by Pallet—Contracts an Intimacy with a Newmarket Nobleman, and is by the Knowing Ones taken in.

This affair being settled, and our adventurer, for the present, free of all female connections, he returned to his former course of fast living among the bucks of the town, and performed innumerable exploits among whores, bullies, rooks, constables, and justices of the peace. In the midst of these occupations, he was one morning visited by his old fellow-traveller, Pallet, whose appearance gave him equal surprise and concern. Though the weather was severe, he was clothed in the thin summer dress which he had worn at Paris, and was now, not only threadbare, but, in some parts, actually patched; his stockings, by a repetition of that practice known among economists by the term of coaxing, hung like pudding-bags about his ankles; his shirt, though new washed, was of the saffron hue, and, in divers places, appeared through the crannies of his breeches; he had exchanged his own hair for a smoke-dried tie-periwig, which all the flour in his dredging-box had not been able to whiten; his eyes were sunk, his jaws lengthened beyond their usual extension; and he seemed twenty years older than he looked when he and our hero parted at Rotterdam. In spite of all these evidences of decay, he accosted him with a meagre affectation of content and good-humour, struggled piteously to appear gay and unconcerned, professed his joy at seeing him in England, excused himself for having delayed so long to come and present his respects; alleging that, since his return, he had been a mere slave to the satisfaction of some persons of quality and taste, who had insisted upon his finishing some pieces with the utmost expedition.

Peregrine received him with that compassion and complaisance which was natural to his disposition; inquired about the health of Mrs. Pallet and his family, and asked if his friend, the doctor, was in town. The painter seemed to have resumed his resentment against that gentleman, of whom he spoke in contemptuous terms. "The doctor," said he, "is so much overshadowed with presumption and self-conceit, that his merit has no relief. It does not rise. There is no keeping in the picture, my dear sir. All the same as if I were to represent the moon under a cloud; there will be nothing but a deep mass of shade, with a little tiny speck of light in the middle, which would only serve to make, as it were, the darkness visible. You understand me. Had he taken my advice, it might have been better for him; but he is bigoted to his own opinion. You must know, Mr. Pickle, upon our return to England, I counselled him to compose a little smart, clever ode upon my Cleopatra. As Gad shall judge me, I thought it would have been of some service, in helping him out of obscurity; for you know, as Sir Richard observes,

"Soon will that die, which adds thy fame to mine;
Let me then live, join'd to a work of thine."

"By the bye, there is a most picturesque contrast in these lines, of thy and me, living and dying, and thine and mine. Ah! a prize upon it! Dick, after all, was the man. Ecod! he rounded it off. But, to return to this unhappy young man, would you believe it, he tossed up his nose at my friendly proposal, and gabbled something in Greek, which is not worth repeating. The case was this, my dear sir, he was out of humour at the neglect of the world. He thought the poets of the age were jealous of his genius, and strove to crush it accordingly, while the rest of mankind wanted taste sufficient to discern it. For my own part, I profess myself one of these; and, as the clown in Billy Shakespeare says of the courtier's oath, had I sworn by the doctor's genius, that the pancakes were naught, they might have been for all that very good, yet shouldn't I have been forsworn. Let that be as it will, he retired from town in great dudgeon, and set up his rest near a hill in Derbyshire, with two tops, resembling Parnassus, and a well at the bottom, which he had christened Hyp-o'-the-Green. Egad! if he stays in that habitation, 'tis my opinion he'll soon grow green with the hip indeed. He'll be glad of an opportunity to return to the fleshpots of Egypt, and pay his court to the slighted Queen Cleopatra. Ha! well remembered, by this light! you shall know, my good sir, that this same Egyptian princess has been courted by so many gallants of taste, that, as I hope to live, I found myself in some sort of dilemma, because in parting with her to one, I should have disobliged all his rivals. Now a man would not choose to give offence to his friends, at least I lay it down as a maxim to avoid the smallest appearance of ingratitude. Perhaps I may be in the wrong. But every man has his way. For this reason, I proposed to all the candidates, that a lottery or raffle should be set on foot, by which every individual would have an equal chance for her good graces, and the prize be left to the decision of fortune. The scheme was mightily relished, and the terms being such a trifle as half a guinea, the whole town crowded into my house, in order to subscribe. But there I was their humble servant. 'Gentlemen, you must have a little patience till my own particular friends are served.' Among that number, I do myself the honour to consider Mr. Pickle. Here is a copy of the proposals; and, if the list should be adorned with his name, I hope, notwithstanding his merited success among the young ladies, he will for once be shunned by that little vixen called Miss Fortune! he, he, he!"

So saying, he bowed with a thousand apish congees, and presented his paper to Peregrine, who, seeing the number of subscribers was limited to one hundred, said he thought him too moderate in his expectations, as he did not doubt that his picture would be a cheap purchase at five hundred, instead of fifty pounds, at which the price was fixed. To this unexpected remark Pallet answered, that among the connoisseurs he would not pretend to appraise his picture; but that, in valuing his works, he was obliged to have an eye to the Gothic ignorance of the age in which he lived. Our adventurer saw at once into the nature of this raffle, which was no other than a begging shift to dispose of a paltry piece, that he could not otherwise have sold for twenty shillings. However, far from shocking the poor man in distress, by dropping the least hint of his conjecture, he desired to be favoured with six chances, if the circumstances of his plan would indulge him so far; and the painter, after some hesitation, condescended to comply with his request, out of pure friendship and veneration; though he observed, that, in so doing, he must exclude some of his most intimate companions. Having received the money he gave Pickle his address, desiring he would, with his convenience, visit the princess, who, he was sure, would display her most engaging attractions, in order to captivate his fancy; and took his leave extremely well pleased with the success of his application.

Though Peregrine was tempted with the curiosity of seeing this portrait, which he imagined must contain some analogy to the ridiculous oddity of the painter, he would not expose himself to the disagreeable alternative of applauding the performance, contrary to the dictates of conscience and common sense, or of condemning it, to the unspeakable mortification of the miserable author; and therefore never dreamt of returning the painter's visit. Nor did he ever hear of the lottery's being drawn. About this time he was invited to spend a few weeks at the country seat of a certain nobleman, with whom he had contracted an acquaintance, in the course of his debauches, which we have already described. His lordship being remarkable for his skill and success in horse-racing, his house was continually filled with the connoisseurs and admirers of that sport, upon which the whole conversation turned, insomuch that Peregrine gradually imbibed some knowledge in horse-flesh, and the diversions of the course; for the whole occupation of the day, exclusive of eating and drinking, consisted in viewing, managing, and exercising his lordship's stud.

Our hero looked upon these amusements with an eye of taste as well as curiosity; he contemplated the animal as a beautiful and elegant part of the creation, and relished the surprising exertion of its speed with a refined and classical delight. In a little time he became personally acquainted with every horse in the stable, and interested himself in the reputation of each; while he also gratified his appetite for knowledge, in observing the methods of preparing their bodies, and training them to the race. His lordship saw and encouraged his eagerness, from which he promised himself some advantage; he formed several private matches for his entertainment, and flattered his discernment, by permitting him to be successful in the first bets he made. Thus was he artfully decoyed into a spirit of keenness and adventure, and disposed to depend upon his own judgment, in opposition to that of people who had made horse-racing the sole study of their lives. He accompanied my lord to Newmarket, and, entering at once into the genius of the place, was marked as fair game, by all the knowing ones there assembled, many of whom found means to take him in, in spite of all the cautions and admonitions of his lordship, who wanted to reserve him for his own use.

It is almost impossible for any man, let him be never so fearful or phlegmatic, to be an unconcerned spectator in this busy scene. The demon of play hovers in the air, like a pestilential vapour, tainting the minds of all present with infallible infection, which communicates from one person to another, like the circulation of a general panic. Peregrine was seized with this epidemic distemper to a violent degree; and, after having lost a few loose hundreds, in his progress through the various rookeries of the place, entered into partnership with his noble friend in a grand match, upon the issue of which he ventured no less than three thousand pounds. Indeed he would not have risked such a considerable sum, had not his own confidence been reinforced by the opinion and concurrence of his lordship, who hazarded an equal bet upon the same event. These two associates engaged themselves in the penalty of six thousand pounds, to run one chaise and four against another, three times round the course; and our adventurer had the satisfaction of seeing his antagonist distanced in the first and second heat; but, all of a sudden, one of the horses of his machine was knocked up, by which accident the victory was ravished almost from his very grasp, and he was obliged to endure the damage and the scorn.

He was deeply affected with this misfortune, which he imputed to his own extravagance and temerity; but discovered no external signs of affliction, because his illustrious partner bore his loss with the most philosophic resignation, consoling himself, as well as Pickle, with the hope of making it up on some other occasion. Nevertheless, our young gentleman could not help admiring, and even envying his equanimity, not knowing that his lordship had managed matters so as to be a gainer by the misfortune; which to retrieve, Peregrine purchased several horses, at the recommendation of his friend; and, instead of returning to London, made a tour with him to all the celebrated races in England, at which, after several vicissitudes of fortune, he made shift, before the end of the season, to treble his loss.

But his hopes seemed to increase with his ill-luck. In the beginning of winter he came to town, fully persuaded that fortune must necessarily change, and that next season he should reap the happy fruits of his experience. In this confidence, he seemed to drown all ideas of prudence and economy. His former expense was mere parsimony, compared with that which he now incurred. He subscribed to the opera, and half a dozen concerts at different parts of the town; was a benefactor to several hospitals; purchased a collection of valuable pictures; took a house, and furnished it in a most magnificent taste, laid in a large stock of French wines, and gave extravagant entertainments to his quality friends, who, in return, loaded him with compliments, and insisted upon his making use of their interest and goodwill.





CHAPTER LXXXIX.
He is taken into the Protection of a great Man—Sets up for a Member of Parliament—Is disappointed in his Expectation, and finds himself egregiously outwitted.

Among these professed patrons, the greatest part of whom Peregrine saw through, there was one great personage, who seemed to support with dignity the sphere in which fortune had placed him. His behaviour to Pickle was not a series of grinning complaisance in a flat repetition of general expressions of friendship and regard. He demeaned himself with a seemingly honest reserve, in point of profession; his advances to Peregrine appeared to be the result of deliberation and experiment; he chid the young gentleman for his extravagance, with the authority of a parent, and the sincerity of a fast friend; and having, by gradual inquiries, made himself acquainted with the state of his private affairs, condemned his conduct with an air of candour and concern. He represented to him the folly and dangerous consequences of the profligate life in which he had plunged himself, counselled him with great warmth to sell off his race-horses, which would otherwise insensibly eat him up; to retrench all superfluous expense, which would only serve to expose him to the ridicule and ingratitude of those who were benefited by it; to lay out his money upon secure mortgages, at good interest; and carry into execution his former design of standing candidate for a borough, at the ensuing election for a new parliament; in which case this nobleman promised to assist him with his influence and advice; assuring him, that, if he could once procure a seat in the house, he might look upon his fortune as already made.

Our adventurer perceiving the wisdom and sanity of this advice, for which he made his acknowledgments to his generous monitor, protested that he would adhere to it in every particular, and immediately set about a reformation. He accordingly took cognizance of his most minute affairs, and, after an exact scrutiny, gave his patron to understand, that, exclusive of his furniture, his fortune was reduced to fourteen thousand three hundred and thirty pounds, in Bank and South-sea annuities, over and above the garrison and its appendages, which he reckoned at sixty pounds a year. He therefore desired, that, as his lordship had been so kind as to favour him with his friendship and advice, he would extend his generosity still farther, by putting him in a way of making the most advantage of his money. My lord said, that, for his own part, he did not choose to meddle in money matters; that Mr. Pickle would find abundance of people ready to borrow it upon land security; but that he ought to be extremely cautious in a transaction of such consequence; promising, at the same time, to employ his own steward in seeking out a mortgager to whom it might be safely lent.

This agent was accordingly set at work, and for a few days made a fruitless inquiry; so that the young gentleman was obliged to have recourse to his own intelligence, by which he got notice of several people of reputed credit, who offered him mortgages for the whole sum; but when he made a report of the particulars to his noble friend, his lordship started such doubts and objections relating to each, that he was deterred from entering into any engagements with the proposers; congratulating himself, in the meantime, on his good fortune, in being favoured with the advice and direction of such a sage counsellor. Nevertheless, he began to be impatient, after having unsuccessfully consulted all the money brokers and conveyancers about town, and resolved to try the expedient of a public advertisement. But he was persuaded by my lord to postpone that experiment, until every other method should have failed, because it would attract the attention of all the pettifoggers in London, who, though they might not be able to overreach, would infallibly harass and tease him out of all tranquility.

It was on the back of this conversation that Peregrine, chancing to meet the steward near his lord's house, stopped him in the street, to give him an account of his bad luck; at which the other expressed some concern, and rubbing his chin with his hand, in a musing posture, told Pickle, there was a thought just come into his head, pointing out one way of doing his business effectually. The youth, upon this intimation, begged he would accompany him to the next coffee-house, in which having chosen a private situation, this grave manager gave him to understand, that a part of my lord's estate was mortgaged, in consequence of a debt contracted by his grandfather, for provision to the younger children of the family; and that the equity of redemption would be foreclosed in a few months, unless the burden could be discharged. "My lord," said he, "has always lived in a splendid manner, and, notwithstanding his ample fortune, together with the profits accruing from the posts he enjoys, he saves so little money, that, upon this occasion, I know he will be obliged to borrow ten thousand pounds to make up the sum that is requisite to redeem the mortgage. Now, certain I am, that, when his design comes to be known, he will be solicited on all hands by people desirous of lending money upon such undoubted security; and 'tis odds but he has already promised the preference to some particular acquaintance. However, as I know he has your interest very much at heart, I will, if you please, sound his lordship upon the subject, and in a day or two give you notice of my success."

Peregrine, ravished with the prospect of settling this affair so much to his satisfaction, thanked the steward for his friendly hint and undertaking, which he assured him should be acknowledged by a more solid proof of his gratitude, provided the business could be brought to bear; and next day he was visited by this kind manager, with the happy news of his lordship's having consented to borrow ten thousand pounds of his stock upon mortgage, at the interest of five per cent. This information he received as an instance of the singular esteem of his noble patron; and the papers being immediately drawn and executed, the money was deposited in the hands of the mortgager, who, in the hearing of the lender, laid strong injunctions on his steward to pay the interest punctually at quarter-day.

The best part of our hero's fortune being thus happily deposited, and the agent gratified with a present of fifty pieces, he began to put his retrenching scheme in execution; all his servants, Pipes excepted, were discharged, his chariot and running horses disposed of, his housekeeping broken up, and his furniture sold by auction: nay, the heat of his disposition was as remarkable in this as any other transaction in his life; for every step of his saving project was taken with such eagerness, and even precipitation, that most of his companions thought he was either ruined or mad. But he answered all their expostulations with a string of prudent apophthegms, such as, "The shortest follies are the best"; "Better to retrench upon conviction than compulsion"; and divers other wise maxims, seemingly the result of experience and philosophic reflection. To such a degree of enthusiasm did his present economy prevail, that he was actually seized with the desire of amassing. And as he every day received proposals from those brokers whom he had employed, about the disposal of his cash, he at length ventured fifteen hundred pounds upon bottomry, being tempted by the excessive premium.

But it must be observed, for the honour of our adventurer, that this reformation did not at all interfere with the good qualities of his heart. He was still as friendly and benevolent as ever, though his liberality was more subject to the restraint of reason; and he might have justly pleaded, in vindication of his generosity, that he retrenched the superfluities in his own way of living, in order to preserve the power of assisting his fellow-creatures in distress. Numberless were the objects to which he extended his charity in private. Indeed, he exerted this virtue in secret, not only on account of avoiding the charge of ostentation, but also because he was ashamed of being detected in such an awkward unfashionable practice, by the censorious observers of this humane generation. In this particular, he seemed to confound the ideas of virtue and vice; for he did good, as other people do evil, by stealth; and was so capricious in point of behaviour, that frequently, in public, he wagged his tongue in satirical animadversions upon that poverty which his hand had in private relieved. Yet, far from shunning the acquaintance, or discouraging the solicitation of those who, he thought, wanted his assistance, he was always accessible, open, and complaisant to them, even when the haughtiness of his temper kept his superiors at a distance; and often saved a modest man the anguish and confusion of declaring himself, by penetrating into his necessity, and anticipating his request, in a frank offer of his purse and friendship. Not that he practised this beneficence to all the needy of his acquaintance without distinction; there is always a set of idle profligate fellows, who, having squandered away their own fortunes, and conquered all sense of honour and shame, maintain themselves by borrowing from those who have not yet finished the same career, and want resolution to resist their importunate demands. To these he was always inflexible; though he could not absolutely detach himself from their company, because, by dint of effrontery, and such of their original connections as they have been able to retain, they find admission to all places of fashionable resort.

Several unsuccessful attacks had been made upon his pocket by beggars of this class. One of the most artful of them, having one day joined him in the Mall, and made the usual observation on the weather, d—d all the fogs of London, and began a dissertation on the difference of air, preferring that of the country in which he was born to any climate under the sun. "Were you ever in Gloucestershire?" said he to Peregrine; who replying in the negative, he thus went on: "I have got a house there, where I should be glad to see you. Let us go down together during the Easter holidays; I can promise you good country fare and wholesome exercise; for I have everything within myself, and as good a pack of fox-hounds as any in the three kingdoms. I shan't pretend to expatiate upon the elegance of the house, which to be sure is an old building; and these, you know, are generally cold, and not very convenient. But, curse the house! the dirty acres about it are the thing; and d—d fine parcel they are to be sure. If my old grandmother was dead—she can't live another season, for she's turned of fourscore, and quite worn out: nay, as for that matter, I believe I have got a letter in my pocket, giving an account of her being despaired of by the doctors. Let me see—No, d— it! I left it at home, in the pocket of another coat."

Pickle, who, from the beginning of this harangue, saw its tendency, seemed to yield the most serious attention to what he said: breaking in upon it, every now and then, with the interjections, hum! ha! the deuce! and several civil questions, from which the other conceived happy omens of success; till perceiving they had advanced as far as the passage into St. James's, the mischievous youth interrupted him all at once, saying, "I see you are for the end of the walk; this is my way." With these words he took leave of the saunterer, who would have delayed his retreat, by calling to him aloud, that he had not yet described the situation of his castle. But Peregrine, without stopping, answered in the same tone, "Another time will do as well"; and in a moment disappeared, leaving the projector very much mortified with his disappointment; for his intention was to close the description with a demand of twenty pieces, to be repaid out of the first remittance he should receive from his estate.

It would have been well for our hero, had he always acted with the same circumspection. But he had his unguarded moments, in which he fell a prey to the unsuspecting integrity of his own heart. There was a person among the number of his acquaintances, whose conversation he particularly relished, because it was frank, agreeable, and fraught with many sensible observations upon the craft and treachery of mankind. This gentleman had made shift to discuss a very genteel fortune, though it was spent with taste and reputation, and now he was reduced to his shifts for the maintenance of his family, which consisted of a wife and child. Not that he was destitute of the necessaries of life, being comfortably supplied by the bounty of his friends; but this was a provision not at all suited to his inclination; and he had endeavoured, by divers unsuccessful schemes, to retrieve his former independency.

Peregrine happened one evening to be sitting alone in a coffee-house, where he overheard a conversation between this schemer and another gentleman, touching an affair that engaged his attention. The stranger had been left trustee for fifteen hundred pounds bequeathed to the other's daughter by an aunt, and was strongly solicited to pay the money to the child's father, who assured him, he had then an opportunity to lay it out in such a manner as would greatly conduce to the advantage of his family. The trustee reminded him of the nature of his charge, which made him accountable for the money until the child should have attained the age of eighteen; but at the same time gave him to understand, that, if he could procure such security as would indemnify him from the consequences, he would forthwith pay the legacy into his hands. To this proposal the father replied that it was not to be supposed he would risk the fortune of his only child upon any idle scheme or precarious issue; and therefore he thought it reasonable, that he should have the use of it in the meantime; and that, as to security, he was loth to trouble any of his friends about an affair which might be compromised without their interposition; observing, that he would not look upon his condescension as a favour, if obtained by security, on which he could borrow the same sum from any usurer in town.

After much importunity on one side, and evasion on the other, the moneyed gentleman told him, that, though he would not surrender the sum deposited in his hands for the use of his daughter, he would lend him what he should have occasion for in the meantime; and if, upon her being of age, he should be able to obtain her concurrence, the money should be placed to her account, provided he could find any person of credit, who would join with him in a bond, for the assurance of the lender. This proviso was an obstruction which the other would not have been able to surmount, without great difficulty, had not his cause been espoused by our hero, who thought it was a pity a man of honour and understanding should suffer in his principal concerns on such a paltry consideration. He therefore, presuming on his acquaintance, interposed in the conversation as a friend, who interested himself in the affair; and, being fully informed of the particulars, offered himself as a security for the lender. This gentleman being a stranger to Peregrine, was next day made acquainted with his funds; and, without further scruple, accommodated his friend with one thousand pounds, for which he took their bond payable in six months, though he protested that the money should never be demanded, until the infant should be of age, unless some accident should happen which he could not then foresee. Pickle believed this declaration sincere, because he could have no interest in dissembling; but what he chiefly depended upon, for his own security, was the integrity and confidence of the borrower, who assured him, that happen what would, he should be able to stand between him and all danger; the nature of his plan being such as would infallibly treble the sum in a very few months.

In a little time after this transaction, writs being issued out for electing a new parliament, our adventurer, by the advice of his patron, went into the country, in order to canvass for a borough, and lined his pockets with a competent share of banknotes for the occasion. But in this project he unfortunately happened to interfere with the interest of a great family in the opposition, who, for a long series of years, had made members for that place; and were now so much offended at the intrusion of our young gentleman, that they threatened to spend ten thousand pounds in frustrating his design. This menace was no other than an incitement to Peregrine, who confided so much in his own influence and address, that he verily believed he should be able to baffle his grace, even in his own territories. By that victory he hoped to establish his reputation and interest with the minister, who, through the recommendation of his noble friend, countenanced his cause, and would have been very well pleased to see one of his great enemies suffer such a disgraceful overthrow, which would have, moreover, in a great measure, shaken his credit with his faction.

Our hero, intoxicated with the ideas of pride and ambition, put all his talents to the test, in the execution of this project. He spared no expense in treating the electors; but, finding himself rivalled in this respect by his competitor, who was powerfully supported, he had recourse to those qualifications in which he thought himself superior. He made balls for the ladies, visited the matrons of the corporation, adapted himself to their various humours with surprising facility, drank with those who loved a cherishing cup in private, made love to the amorous, prayed with the religious, gossiped with those who delighted in scandal, and with great sagacity contrived agreeable presents to them all. This was the most effectual method of engaging such electors as were under the influence of their wives. As for the rest, he assailed them in their own way, setting whole hogsheads of beer and wine abroach, for the benefit of comers; and into those sordid hearts that liquor would not open, he found means to convey himself by the help of a golden key.

While he thus exerted himself, his antagonist was not idle: his age and infirmities would not permit him to enter personally into their parties; but his stewards and adherents bestirred themselves with great industry and perseverance. The market for votes ran so high, that Pickle's ready money was exhausted before the day of election, and he was obliged to write to his patron an account of the dilemma to which he was reduced, entreating him to take such speedy measures as would enable him to finish the business which he had so happily begun. This nobleman communicated the circumstances of the case to the minister, and in a day or two our candidate found credit with the receiver-general of the county, who lent him twelve hundred pounds on his personal note, payable on demand. By means of this new supply he managed matters so successfully, that an evident majority of votes was secured in his interest, and nothing could have obstructed his election, had not the noble peer who set up his competitor, in order to avoid the shame and mortification of being foiled in his own borough, offered to compromise the affair with his honour, by giving up two members in another place, provided the opposition should cease in his own corporation. This proposal was greedily embraced. On the eve of the election, Peregrine received an intimation from his patron, desiring him to quit his pretensions, on pain of his and the minister's displeasure, and promising that he should be elected for another place.

No other disappointment in life could have given him such chagrin as he felt at the receipt of this tantalizing order, by which the cup of success was snatched from his lip, and all the vanity of his ambitious hope humbled in the dust. He cursed the whole chain of his court connections, inveighed with great animosity against the rascally scheme of politics to which he was sacrificed, and, in conclusion, swore he would not give up the fruits of his own address for the pleasure of any minister upon earth. This laudable resolution, however, was rendered ineffectual by his friend the receiver-general, who was bearer of the message, and, after having in vain endeavoured to persuade him to submission, fairly arrested him upon the spot for the money he had advanced; this expedient being performed by virtue of a writ which he had been advised to take out, in case the young man should prove refractory.

The reader, who by this time must be pretty well acquainted with the disposition of our hero, may easily conceive how he relished this adventure. At first, all the faculties of his soul were swallowed up in astonishment and indignation; and some minutes elapsed before his nerves would obey the impulse of his rage, which manifested itself in such an application to the temples of the plaintiff, as laid him sprawling on the floor. This assault, which was committed in a tavern, whither he had been purposely decoyed, attracted the regard of the bailiff and his followers, who, to the number of four, rushed upon him at once, in order to overpower him; but his wrath inspired him with such additional strength and agility, that he disengaged himself from them in a trice, and, seizing a poker, which was the first weapon that presented itself to his hand, exercised it upon their skulls with incredible dexterity and execution. The officer himself, who had been the first that presumed to lay violent hands upon him, felt the first effects of his fury in a blow upon the jaws, in consequence of which he lost three of his teeth, and fell athwart the body of the receiver, with which he formed the figure of a St. Andrew's cross. One of his myrmidons, seeing the fate of his chief, would not venture to attack the victor in front, but, wheeling to one side, made an attempt upon him in flank, and was received obliquely by our hero's left hand and foot, so masterly disposed to the right side of his leg, and the left side of his neck, that he bolted head foremost into the chimney, where his chin was encountered by the grate, which in a moment seared him to the bone. The rest of the detachment did not think proper to maintain the dispute, but, evacuating the room with great expedition, locked the door on the outside, and bellowed aloud to the receiver's servants, beseeching them to come to the assistance of their master, who was in danger of his life.

Meanwhile, this gentleman having recollected himself, demanded a parley; which having with difficulty obtained of our incensed candidate, in consequence of the most submissive application, he complained grievously of the young gentleman's intemperance and heat of disposition, and very calmly represented the danger of his rashness and indiscretion. He told him, that nothing could be more outrageous or idle, than the resistance he had made against the laws of his country, because he would find it impracticable to withstand the whole executive power of the country, which he could easily raise to apprehend and secure him; that, over and above the disgrace that would accrue to him from this imprudent conduct, he would knock his own interest on the head, by disobliging his friends in the administration, who were, to his knowledge, at present very well disposed to do him service; that, for his own part, what he had done was by the express order of his superiors, and not out of any desire of distressing him; and that, far from being his enemy, notwithstanding the shocking insult he had sustained, he was ready to withdraw the writ, provided he would listen to any reasonable terms of accommodation.

Peregrine, who was not more prone to anger than open to conviction, being appeased by his condescension, moved by his arguments, and chid by his own reflection for what he had done in the precipitation of his wrath, began to give ear to his remonstrances; and the bailiffs being ordered to withdraw, they entered into a conference, the result of which was our adventurer's immediate departure for London; so that next day his competitor was unanimously chosen, because nobody appeared to oppose his election. The discontented Pickle, on his arrival in town, went directly to the house of his patron, to whom, in the anguish of his disappointment, he bitterly complained of the treatment he had received, by which, besides the disgrace of his overthrow, he was no less than two thousand pounds out of pocket, exclusive of the debt for which he stood engaged to the receiver. His lordship, who was prepared for this expostulation, on his knowledge of the young man's impetuous temper, answered all the articles of his charge with great deliberation, giving him to understand the motives that induced the minister to quit his interest in that borough; and soothing him with assurances that his loss would be amply rewarded by his honour, to whom he was next day introduced by this nobleman, in the warmest style of recommendation. The minister, who was a pattern of complaisance, received him with the most engaging affability; thanked him very kindly for his endeavours to support and strengthen the interest of the administration; and faithfully promised to lay hold on the first opportunity to express the sense he had of his zeal and attachment; desiring to see him often at his levee, that, in the multiplicity of business, he might not be in danger of forgetting his services and desert.





CHAPTER XC.
Peregrine commences Minister's Dependant—Meets by Accident with Mrs. Gauntlet—And descends gradually in the Condition of Life.

This reception, favourable as it was, did not please Peregrine, who had too much discernment to be cajoled with general promises, at a time when he thought himself entitled to the most particular assurance. He accordingly signified his disgust to his introductor, giving him to understand, that he had laid his account with being chosen representative of one of those boroughs for which he had been sacrificed. His lordship agreed to the reasonableness of his expectation, observing, however, that he could not suppose the minister would enter upon business with him on his first visit; and that it would be time enough at his next audience to communicate his demand. Notwithstanding this remonstrance, our hero continued to indulge his suspicion and chagrin, and even made a point of it with his patron, that his lordship should next day make application on his behalf, lest the two seats should be filled up, on pretence of his inclinations being unknown. Thus importuned, my lord went to his principal, and returned with an answer, importing that his honour was extremely sorry that Mr. Pickle had not signified his request before the boroughs in question were promised to two gentlemen whom he could not now disappoint, with any regard to his own credit or interest; but, as several persons who would be chosen were, to his certain knowledge, very aged and infirm, he did not doubt that there would be plenty of vacant seats in a very short time, and then, the young gentleman might depend upon his friendship.

Peregrine was so much irritated at this intimation, that, in the first transports of his anger he forgot the respect he owed his friend, and in his presence inveighed against the minister, as a person devoid of gratitude and candour, protesting, that if ever an opportunity should offer itself, he would spend the whole remains of his fortune in opposing his measures. The nobleman having given him time to exhaust the impetuosity of his passion, rebuked him very calmly for his disrespectful expressions, which were equally injurious and indiscreet; assured him that this project of revenge, if ever put in execution, would redound to his own prejudice and confusion; and advised him to cultivate and improve, with patience and assiduity, the footing he had already obtained in the minister's good graces.

Our hero, convinced of the truth, though not satisfied with the occasion of his admonitions, took his leave in a fit of sullen discontent, and began to ruminate upon the shattered posture of his affairs. All that now remained of the ample fortune he had inherited was the sum he had deposited in his lordship's hands, together with fifteen hundred pounds he had ventured on bottomry, and the garrison, which he had left for the use and accommodation of the lieutenant; and, on the per contra side of his account, he was debtor for the supply he had received from the receiver-general, and the money for which he was bound in behalf of his friend; so that he found himself, for the first time of his life, very much embarrassed in his circumstances. For, of the first half-year's interest of his ten thousand, which was punctually paid, he had but fourscore pounds in bank, without any prospect of a farther supply till the other term, which was at the distance of four long months. He seriously reflected upon the uncertainty of human affairs: the ship with his fifteen hundred pounds might be lost; the gentleman for whom he was security might miscarry in this, as well as in his former projects, and the minister might one day, through policy or displeasure, expose him to the mercy of his dependant, who was in possession of his notes.

These suggestions did not at all contribute to the ease of our adventurer's mind, already ruffled by his disappointment. He cursed his own folly and extravagance, by which he was reduced to such an uncomfortable situation. He compared his own conduct with that of some young gentlemen of his acquaintance, who, while he was squandering away the best part of his inheritance, had improved their fortunes, strengthened their interest, and increased their reputation. He was abandoned by his gaiety and good-humour, his countenance gradually contracted itself into a representation of severity and care, he dropped all his amusements and the companions of his pleasure, and turned his whole attention to the minister, at whose levees he never failed to appear.

While he thus laboured in the wheel of dependence, with all that mortification which a youth of his pride and sensibility may be supposed to feel from such a disagreeable necessity, he one day heard himself called by name, as he crossed the park; and, turning, perceived the wife of Captain Gauntlet, with another lady. He no sooner recognized the kind Sophy, than he accosted her with his wonted civility and friendship; but his former sprightly air was metamorphosed into such austerity, or rather dejection of feature, that she could scarce believe her own eyes, and, in her astonishment, "Is it possible," said she, "that the gay Mr. Pickle should be so much altered in such a short space of time!" He made no other reply to this exclamation, but by a languid smile; and asked how long she had been in town; observing, that he would have paid his compliments to her at her own lodgings, had he been favoured with the least intimation of her arrival. After having thanked him for his politeness, she told him, it was not owing to any abatement of her friendship and esteem for him, that she had omitted to give him that notice; but his abrupt departure from Windsor, and the manner in which he quitted Mr. Gauntlet, had given her just grounds to believe that they had incurred his displeasure; which suspicion was reinforced by his long silence and neglect from that period to the present time. She observed it was still farther confirmed, by his forbearing to inquire for Emilia and her brother: "judge, then," said she, "if I had any reason to believe that you would be pleased to hear that I was in town. However, I will not detain you at present, because you seem to be engaged about some particular business; but, if you will favour me with your company at breakfast to-morrow, I shall be much pleased, and honoured to boot, by the visit." So saying, she gave him a direction to her lodgings; and he took his leave, with a faithful promise of seeing her at the appointed time.

He was very much affected with this advance of Sophy, which he considered as an instance of her uncommon sweetness of temper; he felt strange longings of returning friendship towards Godfrey; and the remembrance of Emilia melted his heart, already softened with grief and mortification. Next day he did not neglect his engagement, and had the pleasure of enjoying a long conversation with this sensible young lady, who gave him to understand that her husband was with his regiment; and presented to him a fine boy, the first-fruits of their love, whom they had christened by the name of Peregrine, in memory of the friendship which had subsisted between Godfrey and our youth.

This proof of their regard, notwithstanding the interruption in their correspondence, made a deep impression upon the mind of our adventurer, who having made the warmest acknowledgments for this undeserved mark of respect, took the child in his arms, and almost devoured him with kisses, protesting before God, that he should always consider him with the tenderness of a parent. This was the highest compliment he could pay to the gentle Sophy, who again kindly chid him for his disdainful and precipitate retreat, immediately after her marriage; and expressed an earnest desire of seeing him and the captain reconciled. He assured her, nothing could give him greater satisfaction than such an event, to which he would contribute all that lay in his power, though he could not help looking upon himself as injured by Captain Gauntlet's behaviour, which denoted a suspicion of his honour, as well as contempt for his understanding. The lady undertook for the concession of her husband, who, she told him, had been extremely sorry for his own heat, after Mr. Pickle's departure, and would have followed him to the garrison, in order to solicit his forgiveness, had he not been restrained by certain punctilios, occasioned by some acrimonious expressions that dropped from Peregrine at the inn.

After having cleared up this misunderstanding, she proceeded to give an account of Emilia, whose behaviour, at that juncture, plainly indicated a continuance of affection for her first lover; and desired, that he would give her full powers to bring that matter also to an accommodation: "For I am not more certain of my own existence," said she, "than that you are still in possession of my sister's heart." At this declaration, the tear started in his eye. But he shook his head, and declined her good offices, wishing that the young lady might be much more happy than ever he should be able to make her.

Mrs. Gauntlet, confounded at these expressions, and moved by the desponding manner in which they were delivered, begged to know if any new obstacle was raised, by some late change in his sentiments or situation. And he, in order to avoid a painful explanation, told her, that he had long despaired of being able to vanquish Emilia's resentment, and for that reason quitted the pursuit, which he would never renew, howsoever his heart might suffer by that resolution; though he took Heaven to witness, that his love, esteem, and admiration of her, were not in the least impaired. But the true motive of his laying aside his design, was the consciousness of his decayed fortune, which, by adding to the sensibility of his pride, increased the horror of another repulse. She expressed her concern for this determination, both on his own account, and in behalf of Emilia, whose happiness, in her opinion, depended upon his constancy and affection; and she would have questioned him more minutely about the state of his affairs, had not he discouraged the inquiry, by seeking to introduce another subject of conversation.

After mutual protestations of friendship and regard, he promised to visit her often, during her residence in town; and took his leave in a strange perplexity of mind, occasioned by the images of love, intruding upon the remonstrances of carking care. He had some time ago forsaken those extravagant companions with whom he had rioted in the heyday of his fortune, and begun to consort with a graver and more sober species of acquaintance. But he now found himself disabled from cultivating the society of these also, who were men of ample estates and liberal dispositions; in consequence of which, their parties were too expensive for the consumptive state of his finances; so that he was obliged to descend to another degree, and mingle with a set of old bachelors and younger brothers, who subsisted on slender annuities, or what is called a bare competency in the public funds. This association was composed of second-hand politicians and minor critics, who in the forenoon saunter in the Mall, or lounge at shows of pictures, appear in the drawing-room once or twice a week, dine at an ordinary, decide disputes in a coffee-house, with an air of superior intelligence, frequent the pit of the playhouse, and once in a month spend an evening with some noted actor, whose remarkable sayings they repeat for the entertainment of their ordinary friends.

After all, he found something comfortable enough in the company of these gentlemen, who never interested his passions to any violence of transport, nor teased him with impertinent curiosity about his private affairs. For, though many of them had maintained a very long, close, and friendly correspondence with each other, they never dreamt of inquiring into particular concerns; and if one of the two who were most intimately connected, had been asked how the other made a shift to live, he would have answered with great truth, "Really, that is more than I know." Notwithstanding this phlegmatic indifference, which is of the true English production, they were all inoffensive, good-natured people, who loved a joke and a song, delighted in telling a merry story, and prided themselves in the art of catering, especially in the articles of fish, venison, and wild fowl.

Our young gentleman was not received among them on the footing of a common member, who makes interest for his admission; he was courted as a person of superior genius and importance, and his compliance looked upon as an honour to their society. This their idea of his pre-eminence was supported by his conversation, which, while it was more liberal and learned than that to which they had been accustomed, was tinctured with an assuming air, so agreeably diffused, that, instead of producing aversion, it commanded respect. They not only appealed to him, in all doubts relating to foreign parts, to which one and all of them were strangers, but also consulted his knowledge in history and divinity, which were frequently the topics of their debates; and, in poetry of all kinds, he decided with such magisterial authority, as even weighed against the opinions of the players themselves. The variety of characters he had seen and observed, and the high spheres of life in which he had so lately moved, furnished him with a thousand entertaining anecdotes. When he became a little familiarized to his disappointments, so that his natural vivacity began to revive, he flashed among them in such a number of bright sallies, as struck them with admiration, and constituted himself a classic in wit; insomuch that they began to retail his remnants, and even invited some particular friends to come and hear him hold forth. One of the players, who had for many years strutted about the taverns in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden as the Grand Turk of wit and humour, began to find his admirers melt away; and a certain petulant physician, who had shone at almost all the port clubs in that end of the town, was actually obliged to import his talents into the city, where he was now happily taken root.

Nor was this success to be wondered at, if we consider that, over and above his natural genius and education, our adventurer still had the opportunity of knowing everything which happened among the great, by means of his friend Cadwallader, with whom he still maintained his former intimacy, though it was now chequered with many occasional tiffs, owing to the sarcastic remonstrances of the misanthrope, who disapproved of those schemes which miscarried with Peregrine, and now took unseasonable methods of valuing himself upon his own foresight. Nay, he was between whiles like a raven, croaking presages of more ill-luck from the deceit of the minister, the dissimulation of his patron, the folly of the projector, for whom he was bound, the uncertainty of the seas, and the villainy of those with whom he had entrusted his cash, for Crabtree saw and considered everything through a perspective of spleen, that always reflected the worst side of human nature. For these reasons our young gentleman began to be disgusted, at certain intervals, with the character of this old man, whom he now thought a morose cynic, not so much incensed against the follies and vices of mankind, as delighted with the distress of his fellow-creatures. Thus he put the most unfavourable construction on the principles of his friend, because he found himself justly fallen under the lash of his animadversion. Thus self-accusation very often dissolves the closest friendship. A man, conscious of his own indiscretion, is implacably offended at the rectitude of his companion's conduct, which he considers as an insult upon his failings, never to be forgiven, even though he has not tasted the bitterness of reproof, which no sinner can commodiously digest. The friendship, therefore, subsisting between Crabtree and Pickle, had of late suffered several symptomatic shocks, that seemed to prognosticate a total dissolution; a great deal of smart dialogue had passed in their private conversations, and the senior began to repent of having placed his confidence in such an imprudent, headstrong ungovernable youth.

It was in such paroxysms of displeasure that he prophesied misfortune to Peregrine, and even told him one morning, that he had dreamed of the shipwreck of the two East Indiamen, on board of which he had hazarded his money. But this was no other than a false vision; for in a few weeks, one of them arrived at her moorings in the river, and he received a thousand in lieu of eight hundred pounds which he had lent upon bond to one of the mates. At the same time he was informed, that the other ship, in which he was concerned, had, in all probability, lost her passage for the season, by being unable to weather the Cape. He was not at all concerned at that piece of news, knowing, that the longer he should be out of his money, he would have the more interest to receive; and, finding his present difficulties removed by this supply, his heart began to dilate, and his countenance to resume its former alacrity. This state of exultation, however, was soon interrupted by a small accident, which he could not foresee. He was visited one morning by the person who had lent his friend a thousand pounds on his security, and given to understand, that the borrower had absconded, in consequence of a disappointment, by which he had lost the whole sum and all hopes of retrieving it; so that our hero was now liable for the debt, which he besought him to discharge according to the bond, that he, the lender, might not suffer by his humanity. It may be easily conceived that Peregrine did not receive this intelligence in cold blood. He cursed his own imprudence in contracting such engagements with an adventurer, whom he did not sufficiently know. He exclaimed against the treachery of the projector; and having for some time indulged his resentment in threats and imprecations, inquired into the nature of the scheme which had miscarried.

The lender, who had informed himself of the whole affair, gratified his curiosity in this particular, by telling him that the fugitive had been cajoled by a certain knight of the post, who undertook to manage the thousand pounds in such a manner as would, in a very little time, make him perfectly independent; and thus he delineated the plan: "One half of the sum," said he, "shall be laid out in jewels, which I will pawn to certain persons of credit and fortune, who lend money upon such pledges at an exorbitant interest. The other shall be kept for relieving them, so that they may be again deposited with a second set of those honourable usurers; and when they shall have been circulated in this manner through a variety of hands, we will extort money from each of the pawnbrokers, by threatening them with a public prosecution, for exacting illegal interest; and I know that they will bleed freely, rather than be exposed to the infamy attending such an accusation." The scheme was feasible, and though not very honourable, made such an impression upon the needy borrower, that he assented to the proposals; and, by our hero's credit, the money was raised. The jewels were accordingly purchased, pawned, relieved, and repledged by the agent, who undertook to manage the whole affair; and so judiciously was the project executed, that he could have easily proved each lender guilty of the charge. Having thus far successfully transacted the business, this faithful agent visited them severally on his own account, to give them intimation, that his employer intended to sue them on the statute of usury; upon which, every one for himself bribed the informer to withdraw his evidence, by which alone he could be convicted; and having received these gratifications, he had thought proper to retreat into France with the whole booty, including the original thousand that put them in motion. In consequence of this decampment, the borrower had withdrawn himself; so that the lender was obliged to have recourse to his security.

This was a very mortifying account to our young gentleman, who, in vain, reminded the narrator of his promise, importing, that he would not demand the money, until he should be called to an account by his ward; and observed, that, long before that period, the fugitive might appear and discharge the debt. But the other was deaf to these remonstrances; alleging, that his promise was provisional, on the supposition that the borrower would deal candidly and fairly; that he had forfeited all title to his friendship and trust, by the scandalous scheme in which he had embarked; and that his treacherous flight from his security was no proof of his honesty and intended return; but, on the contrary, a warning, by which he, the lender, was taught to take care of himself. He therefore insisted upon his being indemnified immediately, on pain of letting the law take its course; and Peregrine was actually obliged to part with the whole sum he had so lately received. But this payment was not made without extreme reluctance, indignation, and denunciation of eternal war against the absconder, and the rigid creditor, betwixt whom he suspected some collusion.

 

 





CHAPTER XCI.
Cadwallader acts the part of a Comforter to his Friend; and in his turn is consoled by Peregrine, who begins to find himself a most egregious Dupe.

This new misfortune, which he justly charged to the account of his own folly, recalled his chagrin; and though he endeavoured with all his might to conceal the affair from the knowledge of Cadwallader, that prying observer perceived his countenance overcast. The projector's sudden disappearance alarming his suspicion, he managed his inquiries with so much art, that in a few days he made himself acquainted with every particular of the transaction, and resolved to gratify his spleen at the expense of the impatient dupe. With this view, he took an opportunity to accost him with a very serious air, saying a friend of his had immediate occasion for a thousand pounds, and as Peregrine had the exact sum lying by him, he would take it as a great favour if he would part with it for a few months on undoubted security. Had Pickle known the true motive of this demand, he would in all likelihood have made a very disagreeable answer; but Crabtree had wrappped himself up so securely in the dissimulation of his features, that the youth could not possibly penetrate into his intention; and in the most galling suspense replied, that the money was otherwise engaged. The misanthrope, not contented with this irritation, assumed the prerogative of a friend, and questioned him so minutely about the disposal of the cash, that, after numberless evasions, which cost him a world of torture to invent, he could contain his vexation no longer, but exclaimed in a rage, "D— your impertinence! 'tis gone to the devil, and that's enough!"—"Thereafter, as it may be," said this tormentor, with a most provoking indifference of aspect, "I should be glad to know upon what footing; for I suppose you have some expectation of advantage from that quarter."—"'Sdeath! sir," cried the impatient youth, "if I had any expectation from hell, I would make interest with you; for I believe, from my soul, you are one of its most favoured ministers upon earth." With these words, he flung out of the room, leaving Cadwallader very well satisfied with the chastisement he had bestowed.

Peregrine having cooled himself with a solitary walk in the park, during which the violence of his choler gradually evaporated, and his reflection was called to a serious deliberation upon the posture of his affairs, he resolved to redouble his diligence and importunity with his patron and the minister, in order to obtain some sinecure, which would indemnify him for the damage he had sustained on their account. He accordingly went to his lordship and signified his demand, after having told him, that he had suffered several fresh losses, which rendered an immediate provision of that sort necessary to his credit and subsistence. His noble friend commended him for the regard he manifested for his own interest, which he considered as a proof of his being at last detached from the careless inadvertency of youth; he approved of his demand, which he assured him should be faithfully transmitted to the minister, and backed with all his influence; and encouraged his hope, by observing, that some profitable places were at that time vacant, and, so far as he knew, unengaged.

This conversation helped to restore the tranquility of Pickle's breast, though he still harboured resentment against Cadwallader, on account of the last insult; and on the instant he formed a plan of revenge. He knew the misanthrope's remittances from his estate in the country had been of late very scanty, in consequence of repairs and bankruptcies among his tenants; so that, in spite of all his frugality, he had been but barely able to maintain his credit, and even that was engaged on the strength of his running rent. Being therefore intimately acquainted with the particulars of his fortune, he wrote a letter to Crabtree, subscribed with the name of his principal farmer's wife, importing that her husband being lately dead, and the greatest part of her cattle destroyed by the infectious distemper, she found herself utterly incapable of paying the rent which was due, or even of keeping the farm, unless he would, out of his great goodness, be pleased to give her some assistance, and allow her to sit free for a twelvemonth to come. This intimation he found means to convey by post from a market town adjoining to the farm, directed in the usual style to the cynic, who, seeing it stamped with the known marks, could not possibly suspect any imposition.

Hackneyed as he was in the ways of life, and steeled with his boasted stoicism, this epistle threw him into such an agony of vexation, that a double proportion of souring was visible in his aspect, when he was visited by the author, who, having observed and followed the postman at a proper distance, introduced a conversation upon his own disappointments, in which, among other circumstances of his own ill-luck, he told him, that his patron's steward had desired to be excused from paying the last quarter of his interest precisely at the appointed term, for which reason he should be utterly void of cash, and therefore requested that Crabtree would accommodate him with an hundred pieces of his next remittance from the country.

This demand galled and perplexed the old man to such a degree, that the muscles of his face assumed a contraction peculiarly virulent, and exhibited the character of Diogenes with a most lively expression; he knew that a confession of his true situation would furnish Pickle with an opportunity to make reprisals upon him, with intolerable triumph; and that, by a downright refusal to supply his wants, he would for ever forfeit his friendship and esteem, and might provoke him to take ample vengeance for his sordid behaviour, by exposing him, in his native colours, to the resentment of those whom he had so long deceived. These considerations kept him some time in a most rancorous state of suspense, which Peregrine affected to misinterpret, by bidding him freely declare his suspicion, if he did not think it safe to comply with his request, and he would make shift elsewhere.

This seeming misconstruction increased the torture of the misanthrope, who, with the utmost irritation of feature, "Oons!" cried he, "what villainy have you noted in my conduct, that you treat me like a rascally usurer?" Peregrine very gravely replied, that the question needed no answer; "for," said he, "had I considered you as a usurer, I would have come with a security under my arm; but, all evasion apart, will you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I have the money?"—"Would it were in your belly, with a barrel of gunpowder!" exclaimed the enraged cynic; "since I must be excruciated, read that plaguy paper! 'Sblood! why didn't nature clap a pair of long ears and a tail upon me, that I might be a real ass, and champ thistles on some common, independent of my fellow-creatures? Would I were a worm, that I might creep into the earth, and thatch my habitation with a single straw; or rather a wasp or a viper, that I might make the rascally world feel my resentment. But why do I talk of rascality? folly, folly, is the scourge of life! Give me a scoundrel, so he be a sensible one, and I will put him in my heart of hearts! but a fool is more mischievous than famine, pestilence, and war. The idiotical hag that writes, or causes to be writ, this same letter, has ruined her family, and broke her husband's heart, by ignorance and mismanagement; and she imputes her calamity to Providence with a vengeance; and so I am defrauded of three hundred pounds, the greatest part of which I owe to tradesmen, whom I have promised to pay this very quarter. Pox upon her! I would she were a horned beast, that the distemper might lay hold on her. The beldame has the impudence too, after she has brought me into this dilemma, to solicit my assistance to stock the farm anew! Before God, I have a good mind to send her a halter, and perhaps I might purchase another for myself, but that I would not furnish food for laughter to knaves and coxcombs."

Peregrine having perused the billet, and listened to this ejaculation, replied with great composure, that he was ashamed to see a man of his years and pretensions to philosophy so ruffled by a trifle. "What signify all the boasted hardships you have overcome," said he, "and the shrewd observations you pretend to have made on human nature? Where is that stoical indifference you affirm you have attained, if such a paltry disappointment can disturb you in this manner? What is the loss of three hundred pounds, compared with the misfortunes which I myself have undergone within these two years? Yet you will take upon you to act the censor, and inveigh against the impatience and impetuosity of youth, as if you yourself had gained an absolute conquest over all the passions of the heart. You were so kind as to insult me another day in my affliction, by reproaching me with indiscretion and misconduct: suppose I were now to retort the imputation, and ask how a man of your profound sagacity could leave your fortune at the discretion of ignorant peasants? How could you be so blind as not to foresee the necessity of repairs, together with the danger of bankruptcy, murrain, or thin crop? Why did you not convert your land into ready money, and, as you have no connections in life, purchase an annuity, on which you might have lived at your ease, without any fear of the consequence? Can't you, from the whole budget of your philosophy, cull one apophthegm to console you for this trivial mischance?"

"Rot your rapidity!" said the cynic, half-choked with gall; "if the cancer or the pox were in your throat, I should not be thus tormented with your tongue; and yet a magpie shall speak infinitely more to the purpose. Don't you know, Mr. Wiseacre, that my case does not fall within the province of philosophy? Had I been curtailed of all my members, racked by the gout and gravel, deprived of liberty, robbed of an only child, or visited with the death of a dear friend like you, philosophy might have contributed to my consolation; but will philosophy pay my debts, or free me from the burden of obligation to a set of fellows whom I despise?—speak-pronounce-demonstrate, or may Heaven close your mouth for ever!"

"These are the comfortable fruits of your misanthropy," answered the youth; "your laudable scheme of detaching yourself from the bonds of society, and of moving in a superior sphere of your own. Had you not been so peculiarly sage, and intent upon laughing at mankind, you could never have been disconcerted by such a pitiful inconvenience; any friend would have accommodated you with the sum in question. But now the world may retort the laugh; for you stand upon such an agreeable footing with your acquaintance, that nothing could please them better than an account of your having given disappointment the slip, by the help of a noose properly applied. This I mention by way of hint, upon which I would have you chew the cud of reflection; and, should it come to that issue, I will use my whole interest with the coroner to bring in his verdict lunacy, that your carcase may have Christian burial."

So saying, he withdrew, very well satisfied with the revenge he had taken, which operated so violently upon Crabtree, that, if it had not been for the sole consideration mentioned above, he would, in all probability, have had recourse to the remedy proposed. But his unwillingness to oblige and entertain his fellow-creatures hindered him from practising that expedient, till, by course of post, he was happily undeceived with regard to the situation of his affairs; and that information had such an effect upon him, that he not only forgave our hero for the stratagem, which he immediately ascribed to the right author, but also made him a tender of his purse; so that matters for the present were brought to an amicable accommodation.

Meanwhile Peregrine never slacked in his attendance upon the great; he never omitted to appear upon every levee day, employed his industry and penetration in getting intelligence of posts that were unfilled, and every day recommended himself to the good offices of his patron, who seemed to espouse his interest with great cordiality; nevertheless, he was always too late in his application, or the place he demanded chanced to be out of the minister's gift. These intimations, though communicated in the most warm professions of friendship and regard, gave great umbrage to the young gentleman, who considered them as the evasions of an insincere courtier, and loudly complained of them as such to his lordship, signifying, at the same time, an intention to sell his mortgage for ready money, which he would expend to the last farthing in thwarting his honour, in the very first election he should patronize. His lordship never wanted a proper exhortation upon these occasions. He did not now endeavour to pacify him with assurances of the minister's favour, because he perceived that these medicines had, by repeated use, lost their effect upon our adventurer, whose menaces he now combated by representing that the minister's purse was heavier than that of Mr. Pickle; that, therefore, should he make a point of opposing his interest, the youth must infallibly fail in the contest; in which case he would find himself utterly destitute of the means of subsistence, and consequently precluded from all hope of provision.

This was an observation, the truth of which our young gentleman could not pretend to doubt, though it did not at all tend to the vindication of his honour's conduct. Indeed, Pickle began to suspect the sincerity of his own patron, who, in his opinion, had trifled with his impatience, and even eluded, by sorry excuses, his desire of having another private audience of the first mover. His lordship also began to be less accessible than usual; and Peregrine had been obliged to dun the steward with repeated demands, before he could finger the last quarter of his interest. Alarmed by these considerations, he went and consulted the nobleman whom he had obliged in the affair of his son, and had the mortification to hear but a very indifferent character of the person in whom he had so long confided. This new adviser, who, though a courtier, was a rival of the other, gave our adventurer to understand, that he had been leaning upon a broken reed; that his professed patron was a man of shattered fortune and decayed interest, which extended no farther than a smile and a whisper; that, for his own part, he should have been proud of an opportunity to use his influence with the minister in behalf of Mr. Pickle. "But, since you have put yourself under the protection of another peer," said he, "whose connections interfere with mine, I cannot now espouse your cause, without incurring the imputation of seducing that nobleman's adherents; a charge which, of all others, I would most carefully avoid. However, I shall always be ready to assist you with my private advice, as a specimen of which, I now counsel you to insist upon having another interview with Sir Steady Steerwell himself, that you may in person explain your pretensions, without any risk of being misrepresented; and endeavour, if possible, to draw him into some particular promise, from which he cannot retract, with any regard to his reputation; for general profession is a necessary armour worn by all ministers in their own defence, against the importunity of those whom they will not befriend, and would not disoblige."

This advice was so conformable to his own sentiments, that our adventurer seized the first opportunity to demand a hearing, and plainly told his patron, that, if he could not be indulged with that favour, he should look upon his lordship's influence to be very small, and his own hopes to be altogether desperate; in which case he was resolved to dispose of the mortgage, purchase an annuity, and live independent.





CHAPTER XCII.
He is indulged with a second Audience by the Minister, of whose Sincerity he is convinced—His Pride and Ambition revive, and again are mortified.

If the young gentleman's money had been in other hands, perhaps the peer would have been at very little pains, either in gratifying his demand, or opposing his revenge; but he knew that the sale of the mortgage could not be effected without an inquiry, to which he did not wish to be exposed. He, therefore, employed all his interest in procuring the solicited audience. This being granted, Peregrine, with great warmth and elocution, expatiated upon the injury his fortune had suffered in the affair of the borough, for which he had stood candidate; he took notice of the disappointment he had sustained in the other election, reminded him of the promises with which he had been amused, and, in conclusion, desired to know what he had to expect from his favour. The minister having patiently heard him to an end, replied with a most gracious aspect, that he was very well informed of his merit and attachment, and very much disposed to convince him of the regard which he paid to both; that till of late he did not know the nature of his expectations, neither had he the power of creating posts for those whom he was inclined to serve; but if Mr. Pickle would chalk out any feasible method by which he could manifest his sentiments of friendship, he should not be backward in executing the plan.

Peregrine, laying hold on this declaration, mentioned several places which he knew to be vacant. But the old evasion was still used; one of them was not in his department of business, another had been promised to the third son of a certain earl before the death of the last possessor, and a third was encumbered with a pension that ate up a good half of the appointments. In short, such obstructions were started to all his proposals as he could not possibly surmount, though he plainly perceived they were no other than specious pretexts to cover the mortifying side of a refusal. Exasperated, therefore, at this lack of sincerity and gratitude, "I can easily foresee," said he, "that such difficulties will never be wanting, when I have anything to ask; and for that reason will save myself the trouble of any further application." So saying, he withdrew in a very abrupt manner, breathing defiance and revenge. But his patron, who did not think proper to drive him to extremities, found means to persuade his honour to do something for the pacification of the young man's choler; and that same evening our adventurer received a message from his lordship, desiring to see him immediately.

In consequence of this intimation, Pickle went to his house, and appeared before him with a very cloudy aspect, which signified to whom it might concern, that his temper was at present too much galled to endure reproof; and therefore the sagacious peer forbore taking him to task for his behaviour during the audience he had obtained; but gave him to understand, that the minister, in consideration of his services, had sent him a bank-note of three hundred pounds, with a promise of the like sum yearly, until he could be otherwise provided for. This declaration in some measure appeased the youth, who condescended to accept the present; and, next levee day, made his acknowledgment to the donor, who favoured him with a smile of infinite complacency, which entirely dissipated all the remains of his resentment; for, as he could not possibly divine the true cause of his being temporized with, he looked upon this condescension as an undoubted proof of Sir Steady's sincerity, and firmly believed that he would settle him in some place with the first opportunity, rather than continue to pay this pension out of his own pocket. In all probability, his prediction would have been verified, had not an unforeseen accident in a moment overwhelmed the barque of his interest at court.

Meanwhile, this short gleam of good fortune recalled the ideas of pride and ambition which he had formerly cherished. His countenance was again lifted up, his good-humour retrieved, and his mien reexalted. Indeed, he began to be considered as a rising man by his fellow-dependents, who saw the particular notice with which he was favoured at the public levee; and some of them, for that reason, were at pains to court his good graces. He no longer shunned his former intimates, with whom a good part of his fortune had been spent, but made up to them in all places of public resort, with the same ease and familiarity as he had been used to express, and even re-embarked in some of their excesses, upon the strength of his sanguine expectation. Cadwallader and he renewed their consultations in the court of ridicule; and divers exploits were achieved, to the confusion of those who had "sailed into the north of their displeasure."

But these enjoyments were soon interrupted by a misfortune equally fatal and unexpected. His noble patron was seized with an apoplectic fit, from which he was recovered by the physicians, that they might despatch him according to rule, and in two months after they were called, he went the way of all flesh. Peregrine was very much afflicted at this event, not only on account of his friendship for the deceased, to whom he thought himself under many and great obligations, but also because he feared that his own interest would suffer a severe shock, by the removal of this nobleman, whom he considered as its chief support. He put himself therefore in mourning, out of regard to the memory of his departed friend, and exhibited genuine marks of sorrow and concern, though he had in reality more cause to grieve than he as yet imagined. When quarter-day came about, he applied to the steward of his lordship's heir for the interest of his money, as usual; and the reader will readily own he had some reason to be surprised, when he was told he had no claim either to principal or interest. True it is, the manager talked very civilly as well as sensibly on the subject. "Your appearance, sir," said he to Pickle, "screens you from all suspicion of an intended fraud; but the mortgage upon those lands you mention was granted to another person many years before you pretend to have lent that sum; and I have, this very morning, paid one quarter's interest, as appears from this receipt, which you may peruse for your satisfaction."

Peregrine was so thunderstruck at this information, which stripped him of his all, that he could not utter one word; a circumstance that did no great honour to his character in the opinion of the steward, who, in good earnest, began to entertain some doubts of his integrity. For, among the papers of the deceased, which he had examined, there was no writing, memorandum, or receipt relating to this encumbrance. After a long pause of stupefaction, Peregrine recollected himself so far as to observe, that either he was egregiously mistaken, or the predecessor of his lord the greatest villain upon earth. "But, Mr. Whatd'ycallum," said he, "you must give me leave to tell you, that your bare assertion in this affair will by no means induce me to put up quietly with the loss of ten thousand pounds."

Having thus expressed himself, he retired from the house so discontented at this demur, that he scarce knew whether he moved upon his head or heels; and the park chancing to be in his way, he sauntered about, giving vent to a soliloquy in praise of his departed friend, the burden of which was a string of incoherent curses imprecated upon himself; till his transports by degrees giving way to his reflection, he deliberated seriously and sorrowfully upon his misfortune, and resolved to consult lawyers without loss of time. But, first of all, he proposed to make personal application to the heir, who, by a candid representation of the case, might be inclined to do him justice. In consequence of this determination, he next morning put his writings in his pocket, and went in a chair to the house of the young nobleman, to whom, being admitted by virtue of his appearance, and a small gratification to the porter, he explained the whole affair, corroborating his assertions with the papers which he produced, and describing the disgrace that would be entailed upon the memory of the deceased, should he be obliged to seek redress in a public court of justice.

The executor, who was a person of good breeding, condoled him upon his loss with great good-nature, though he did not seem much surprised at his account of the matter; but wished, that, since the fraud must have been committed, the damage had fallen upon the first mortgager, who, he said, was a thievish usurer, grown rich by the distresses of his fellow-creatures. In answer to our hero's remonstrances, he observed, that he did not look upon himself as obliged to pay the least regard to the character of his predecessor, who had used him with great barbarity and injustice, not only in excluding him from his countenance and assistance, but also in prejudicing his inheritance as much as lay in his power; so that it could not be reasonably expected that he would pay ten thousand pounds of his debt, for which he had received no value. Peregrine, in spite of his chagrin, could not help owning within himself, that there was a good deal of reason in this refusal. After having given loose to his indignation in the most violent invectives against the defunct, he took his leave of the complaisant heir, and had immediate recourse to the advice of counsel, who assured him that he had an excellent plea, and was accordingly retained in the cause.

All these measures were taken in the first vigour of his exertion, during which his spirits were so fluttered with the diversity of passions produced by his mischance, that he mistook for equanimity that which was no other than intoxication; and two whole days elapsed before he attained a due sense of his misfortune. Then, indeed, he underwent a woeful self-examination; every circumstance of the inquiry added fresh pangs to his reflection; and the result of the whole was a discovery, that his fortune was totally consumed, and himself reduced to a state of the most deplorable dependence. This suggestion alone might, in the anguish of his despondency, have driven him to some desperate course, had it not been in some measure qualified by the confidence of his lawyers, and the assurance of the minister, which, slender as the world hath generally found them, were the only bulwarks between misery and him.

The mind is naturally pliable, and, provided it has the least hope to lean upon, adapts itself wonderfully to the emergencies of fortune, especially when the imagination is gay and luxuriant. This was the case with our adventurer; instead of indulging the melancholy ideas which his loss inspired, he had recourse to the flattering delusions of hope, soothing himself with unsubstantial plans of future greatness, and endeavouring to cover what was past with the veil of oblivion. After some hesitation, he resolved to make Crabtree acquainted with his misfortune, that once for all he might pass the ordeal of his satire, without subjecting himself to a long series of sarcastic hints and doubtful allusions, which he could not endure. He accordingly took the first opportunity of telling him that he was absolutely ruined by the perfidy of his patron, and desired that he would not aggravate his affliction by those cynical remarks which were peculiar to men of his misanthropical disposition. Cadwallader listened to this declaration with internal surprise, which, however, produced no alteration in his countenance; and, after some pause, observed, that our hero had no reason to look for any new observation from him upon this event, which he had long foreseen, and daily expected, and exhorted him, with an ironical sneer, to console himself with the promise of the minister, who would doubtless discharge the debts of his deceased bosom friend.





CHAPTER XCIII.
Peregrine commits himself to the Public, and is admitted Member of a College of Authors.

The bitterness of this explanation being passed, our young gentleman began to revolve within himself schemes for making up the deficiencies of his yearly income, which was now so grievously reduced; and determined to profit, in some shape or other, by those talents which he owed to nature and education. He had, in his affluence, heard of several authors, who, without any pretensions to genius or human literature, earned a very genteel subsistence by undertaking work for booksellers, in which reputation was not at all concerned. One, for example, professed all manner of translation, at so much per sheet, and actually kept five or six amanuenses continually employed, like so many clerks in a counting-house, by which means he was enabled to live at his ease, and enjoy his friend and his bottle, ambitious of no other character than that of an honest man and a good neighbour. Another projected a variety of plans for new dictionaries, which were executed under his eye by day-labourers; and the province of a third was history and voyages, collected or abridged by understrappers of the same class.

Mr. Pickle, in his comparisons, paid such deference to his own capacity, as banished all doubts of his being able to excel any of those undertakers in their different branches of profession, if ever he should be driven to that experiment; but his ambition prompted him to make his interest and glory coincide, by attempting some performance which should do him honour with the public, and at the same time establish his importance among the copy-purchasers in town. With this view, he worshipped the muse; and, conscious of the little regard which is in this age paid to every species of poetic composition, in which neither satire nor obscenity occurs, he produced an imitation of Juvenal, and lashed some conspicuous characters, with equal truth, spirit, and severity. Though his name did not appear in the title-page of this production, he managed matters so that the work was universally imputed to the true author, who was not altogether disappointed in his expectations of success; for the impression was immediately sold off, and the piece became the subject of conversation in all assemblies of taste.

This happy exordium not only attracted the addresses of the booksellers, who made interest for his acquaintance, but also roused the notice of a society of authors, who styled themselves "The College," from which he was honoured with a deputation, offering to enroll him a member by unanimous consent. The person employed for this purpose being a bard who had formerly tasted of our hero's bounty, used all his eloquence to persuade him to comply with the advances of their fraternity, which he described in such a manner as inflamed the curiosity of Pickle, who dismissed the ambassador, with an acknowledgment of the great honour they conferred upon him, and a faithful promise of endeavouring to merit the continuance of their approbation.

He was afterwards, by the same minister, instructed in the ceremonies of the college; and, in consequence of his information, composed an ode, to be publicly recited on the evening of his introduction. He understood that this constitution was no other than a body of authors, incorporated by mutual consent, for their joint advantage and satisfaction, opposed to another assembly of the same kind, their avowed enemies and detractors. No wonder, then, that they sought to strengthen themselves with such a valuable acquisition as our hero was likely to prove. The college consisted of authors only, and these of all degrees in point of reputation, from the fabricator of a song, set to music, and sung at Marylebone, to the dramatic bard who had appeared in buskins upon the stage: nay, one of the members had actually finished eight books of an epic poem, for the publication of which he was at that time soliciting subscriptions.

It cannot be supposed that such a congregation of the sons of Apollo would sit a whole evening with order and decorum, unless they were under the check of some established authority; and this inconvenience having been foreseen, they had elected a president, vested with full power to silence any member or members that should attempt to disturb the harmony and subordination of the whole. The sage, who at this time possessed the chair, was a person in years, whose countenance was a lively portraiture of that rancorous discontent which follows repeated damnation. He had been extremely unfortunate in his theatrical productions, and was, to use the words of a profane wag, who assisted at the condemnation of his last play, by this time d—d beyond redemption. Nevertheless, he still tarried about the skirts of Parnassus, translating some of the classics, and writing miscellanies, and by dint of an invincible assurance, supercilious insolence, the most undaunted virulence of tongue, and some knowledge of life, he made shift to acquire and maintain the character of a man of learning and wit, in the opinion of people who had neither; that is, thirty-nine in forty of those with whom he associated himself. He was even looked upon in this light by some few of the college; though the major part of those who favoured his election, were such as dreaded his malice, respected his experience and seniority, or hated his competitor, who was the epic poet.

The chief end of this society, as I have already hinted, was to assist and support each other in their productions, which they mutually recommended to sale, with all their art and influence, not only in private conversation, but also in occasional epigrams, criticisms, and advertisements, inserted in the public papers. This science, which is known by the vulgar appellation of puffing, they carried to such a pitch of finesse, that an author very often wrote an abusive answer to his own performance, in order to inflame the curiosity of the town, by which it had been overlooked. Notwithstanding this general unanimity in the college, a private animosity had long subsisted between the two rivals I have mentioned, on account of precedence, to which both laid claim, though, by a majority of votes, it had been decided in favour of the present chairman. The grudge indeed never proceeded to any degree of outrage or defiance, but manifested itself at every meeting, in attempts to eclipse each other in smart sayings and pregnant repartee; so that there was always a delicate mess of this kind of wit served up in the front of the evening, for the entertainment and example of the junior members, who never failed to divide upon this occasion, declaring themselves for one or other of the combatants, whom they encouraged by their looks, gestures, and applause, according to the circumstances of the dispute.

This honourable consistory was held in the best room of an ale-house, which afforded wine, punch, or beer, suitable to the purse or inclination of every individual, who separately paid for his own choice; and here was our hero introduced in the midst of twenty strangers, who, by their looks and equipage, formed a very picturesque variety. He was received with a most gracious solemnity, and placed upon the right hand of the president, who, having commanded silence, recited aloud his introductory ode, which met with universal approbation. Then was tendered to him the customary oath, obliging him to consult the honour and advantage of the society as far as it should he in his power, in every station of life; and this being taken, his temples were bound with a wreath of laurel, which was kept sacred for such inauguration.

When these rites were performed with all due ceremony, the new member cast his eyes around the place, and took a more accurate survey of his brethren; among whom he observed a strange collection of periwigs, with regard to the colour, fashions, and dimensions, which were such as he had never seen before. Those who sat on each side, nearest the president, were generally distinguished by venerable ties, the foretops of which exhibited a surprising diversity; some of them rose slanting backwards, like the glacis of a fortification; some were elevated in two distinct eminences, like the hills Helicon and Parnassus; and others were curled and reflected, as the horns of Jupiter Ammon. Next to these, the majors took place, many of which were mere succedanea, made by the application of an occasional rose to the tail of a lank bob; and in the lower form appeared masses of hair, which would admit of no description.

Their clothes were tolerably well suited to the furniture of their heads, the apparel of the upper bench being decent and clean, while that of the second class was threadbare and soiled; and at the lower end of the room, he perceived divers efforts made to conceal their rent breeches and dirty linen; nay, he could distinguish by their countenances the different kinds of poetry in which they exercised the muse. He saw Tragedy conspicuous in a grave solemnity of regard; Satire louring in a frown of envy and discontent; Elegy whining in a funeral aspect; Pastoral dozing in a most insipid languor of face; Ode-writing delineated in a distracted stare; and Epigram squinting with a pert sneer. Perhaps our hero refined too much in his penetration, when he affirmed, that, over and above these discoveries, he could plainly perceive the state of every one's finances, and would have undertaken to have guessed each particular sum without varying three farthings from the truth. The conversation, instead of becoming general, began to fall into parties; and the epic poet had actually attracted the attention of a private committee, when the chairman interposed, calling aloud, "No cabals, no conspiracies, gentlemen." His rival, thinking it incumbent upon him to make some reply to this rebuke, answered, "We have no secrets; he that hath ears, let him hear." This was spoke as an intimation to the company, whose looks were instantly whetted with the expectation of their ordinary meal; but the president seemed to decline the contest; for, without putting on his fighting face, he calmly replied, that he had seen Mr. Metaphor tip the wink, and whisper to one of his confederates, and thence judged, that there was something mysterious on the carpet.

The epic poet, believing his antagonist crest-fallen, resolved to take the advantage of his dejection, that he might enhance his own character in the opinion of the stranger; and, with that view, asked, with an air of exultation, if a man might not be allowed to have a convulsion in his eye, without being suspected of a conspiracy? The president, perceiving his drift, and piqued at his presumption, "To be sure," said he, "a man of a weak head may be very well supposed to have convulsions in his eyes." This repartee produced a laugh of triumph among the chairman's adherents; one of whom observed, that his rival had got a smart rap on the pate. "Yes," replied the bard, "in that respect Mr. Chairman has the advantage of me. Had my head been fortified with a horn-work, I should not have been so sensible of the stroke." This retort, which carried a severe allusion to the president's wife, lighted up the countenances of the aggressor's friends, which had begun to be a little obumbrated; and had a contrary effect upon the other faction, till their chief, collecting all his capacity, returned the salute, by observing, that there was no occasion for a horn-work, when the covered way was not worth defending.

Such a reprisal upon Mr. Metaphor's yoke-fellow, who was by no means remarkable for her beauty, could not fail to operate upon the hearers; and as for the bard himself, he was evidently ruffled by the reflection; to which, however, he, without hesitation, replied, "Egad! 'tis my opinion, that, if your covered way was laid open, few people would venture to give the assault."—"Not unless their batteries were more effectual than the fire of your wit," said the president. "As for that matter," cried the other with precipitation, "they would have no occasion to batter in breach; they would find the angle of the la pucelle bastion demolished to their hands—he, he!"—"But I believe it would surpass your understanding," resumed the chairman, "to fill up the fosse."—"That, I own, is impracticable," replied the bard, "there I should meet with a hiatus maxime deflendus!"

The president, exasperated at this insinuation, in presence of the new member, exclaimed, with indignation in his looks, "And yet, if a body of pioneers were set at work upon your skull, they would find rubbish enough to choke up all the common sewers in town." Here a groan was uttered by the admirers of the epic poet, who, taking a pinch of snuff with great composure, "When a man grows scurrilous," said he, "I take it for an undoubted proof of his overthrow."—"If that be the case," cried the other, "you yourself must be the vanquished party, for you were the first that was driven to personal abuse."—"I appeal," answered the bard, "to those who can distinguish. Gentlemen, your judgment."

This reference produced a universal clamour, and the whole college was involved in confusion. Every man entered into dispute with his neighbour on the merits of this cause. The chairman interposed his authority in vain; the noise grew louder and louder; the disputants waxed warm; the epithets of blockhead, fool, and scoundrel, were bandied about. Peregrine enjoyed the uproar, and, leaping upon the table, sounded the charge to battle, which was immediately commenced in ten different duels. The lights were extinguished; the combatants thrashed one another without distinction; the mischievous Pickle distributed sundry random blows in the dark, and the people below, being alarmed with the sound of application, the overturning of chairs, and the outcries of those who were engaged, came up-stairs in a body with lights to reconnoitre, and, if possible, quell this hideous tumult.

Objects were no sooner rendered visible, than the field of battle exhibited strange groups of the standing and the fallen. Each of Mr. Metaphor's eyes was surrounded with a circle of a livid hue; and the president's nose distilled a quantity of clotted blood. One of the tragic authors, finding himself assaulted in the dark, had, by way of a poniard, employed upon his adversary's throat a knife which lay upon the table, for the convenience of cutting cheese; but, by the blessing of God, the edge of it was not keen enough to enter the skin, which it had only scratched in divers places. A satirist had almost bit off the ear of a lyric bard. Shirts and neckcloths were torn to rags; and there was such a woeful wreck of periwigs on the floor, that no examination could adjust the property of the owners, the greatest part of whom were obliged to use handkerchiefs by way of nightcap.

The fray, however, ceased at the approach of those who interposed; part of the combatants being tired of an exercise in which they had received nothing but hard blows; part of them being intimidated by the remonstrances of the landlord and his company, who threatened to call the watch; and a very few being ashamed of the scandalous dispute in which they were detected. But though the battle was ended, it was impossible, for that evening, to restore harmony and good order to the society, which broke up, after the president had pronounced a short and confused apology to our adventurer, for the indecent uproar which had unfortunately happened on the first night of his admission. Indeed, Peregrine deliberated with himself, whether or not his reputation would allow him to appear again among this venerable fraternity; but, as he knew some of them to be men of real genius, how ridiculous soever their carriage might be modified, and was of that laughing disposition, which is always seeking food for mirth, as Horace observes of Philippus:

Risus undique quaerit;—

he resolved to frequent the college, notwithstanding this accident, which happened at his inauguration; being thereto, moreover, induced by his desire of knowing the private history of the stage, with which he supposed some of the members perfectly well acquainted. He was also visited, before the next meeting, by his introductor, who assured him, that such a tumult had never happened since the first institution of the assembly, till that very night; and promised that, for the future, he should have no cause to be scandalized at their behaviour.

Persuaded by these motives and assurances, he trusted himself once more in the midst of their community, and everything proceeded with great decorum; all dispute and altercation was avoided, and the college applied itself seriously to the purposes of its meeting, namely, to hear the grievances of individuals, and assist them with salutary advice. The first person that craved redress was a noisy North Briton, who complained, in a strange dialect, that he had, in the beginning of the season, presented a comedy to the manager of a certain theatre, who, after it had lain six weeks in his hands, returned it to the author, affirming there was neither sense nor English in the performance.

The president, who, by the bye, had revised the piece, thinking his own reputation concerned, declared, in presence of the whole society, that, with regard to sense, he would not undertake to vindicate the production; but, in point of language, no fault could be justly laid to its charge. "The case, however, is very plain," said he; "the manager never gave himself the trouble to peruse the play, but formed a judgment of it from the conversation of the author, never dreaming that it had undergone the revisal of an English writer; be that as it will, you are infinitely obliged to him for having despatched you so soon, and I shall have the better opinion of him for it so long as I live; for I have known other guise authors than you, that is, in point of interest and fame, kept in continual attendance and dependence during the best part of their lives, and, after all, disappointed in the expectation of seeing their performances exhibited on the stage."





CHAPTER XCIV.
Further proceedings of the College.

This affair was no sooner discussed, than another gentleman exhibited a complaint, signifying, that he had undertaken to translate into English a certain celebrated author, who had been cruelly mangled by former attempts; and that, soon as his design took air, the proprietors of those miserable translations had endeavoured to prejudice his work, by industrious insinuations, contrary to truth and fair dealing, importing, that he did not understand one word of the language which he pretended to translate. This being a case that nearly concerned the greatest part of the audience, it was taken into serious deliberation. Some observed, that it was not only a malicious effort against the plaintiff, but also a spiteful advertisement to the public, tending to promote an inquiry into the abilities of all other translators, few of whom, it was well known, were so qualified as to stand the test of such examination. Others said, that over and above this consideration, which ought to have its due weight with the college, there was a necessity for concerting measures to humble the presumption of booksellers, who had, from time immemorial, taken all opportunities to oppress and enslave their authors; not only by limiting men of genius to the wages of journeymen tailors, without even allowing them one Sabbath in the week, but also in taking such advantages of their necessities as were inconsistent with justice and humanity.

"For example," said one of the members, "after I myself had acquired a little reputation with the town, I was caressed by one of those tyrants, who professed a friendship for me, and even supplied me with money, according to the exigencies of my situation; so that I looked upon him as the mirror of disinterested benevolence; and had he known my disposition, and treated me accordingly, I should have writ for him upon his own terms. After I had used his friendship in this manner for some time, I happened to have occasion for a small sum of money, and with great confidence made another application to my good friend; when all of a sudden he put a stop to his generosity, refused to accommodate me in the most abrupt and mortifying style; and though I was at that time pretty far advanced in a work for his benefit, which was a sufficient security for what I owed him, he roundly asked, how I proposed to pay the money which I had already borrowed? Thus was I used like a young w— just come upon the town, whom the b—d allows to run into her debt, that she may have it in her power to oppress her at pleasure; and if the sufferer complains, she is treated like the most ungrateful wretch upon earth; and that too with such appearance of reason, as may easily mislead an unconcerned spectator. 'You unthankful drab!' she will say, 'didn't I take you into my house when you hadn't a shift to your back, a petticoat to your tail, nor a morsel of bread to put into your belly? Han't I clothed you from head to foot like a gentlewoman, supported you with board, lodging, and all necessaries, till your own extravagance hath brought you into distress; and now you have the impudence, you nasty, stinking, brimstone bungaway! to say you are hardly dealt with, when I demand no more than my own?' Thus the w— and the author are equally oppressed, and even left without the melancholy privilege of complaining; so that they are fain to subscribe to such terms as their creditors shall please to impose."

This illustration operated so powerfully upon the conviction and resentment of the whole college, that revenge was universally denounced against those who had aggrieved the plaintiff; and, after some debate, it was agreed, that he should make a new translation of some other saleable book, in opposition to a former version belonging to the delinquents, and print it in such a small size as would enable him to undersell their property; and that this new translation should be recommended and introduced into the world with the whole art and influence of the society.

This affair being settled to the satisfaction of all present, an author of some character stood up, and craved the advice and assistance of his fellows, in punishing a certain nobleman of great pretensions to taste, who, in consequence of a production which this gentleman had ushered into the world with universal applause, not only desired, but even eagerly courted his acquaintance. "He invited me to his house," said he, "where I was overwhelmed with civility and professions of friendship. He insisted upon my treating him as an intimate, and calling upon him at all hours, without ceremony; he made me promise to breakfast with him at least three times a week. In short, I looked upon myself as very fortunate, in meeting with such advances from a man of his interest and reputation, who had it in his power to befriend me effectually in my passage through life; and, that I might not give him any cause to think I neglected his friendship, I went to his house in two days, with a view of drinking chocolate, according to appointment; but he had been so much fatigued with dancing at an assembly overnight, that his valet-de-chambre would not venture to wake him so early; and I left my compliments to his lordship, with a performance in manuscript, which he had expressed a most eager desire to peruse. I repeated my visit next morning, that his impatience to see me might not have some violent effect upon his constitution; and received a message from his minister, signifying, that he had been highly entertained with the manuscript I had left, a great part of which he had read, but was at present so busy in contriving a proper dress for a private masquerade, which would be given that same evening, that he could not have the pleasure of my company at breakfast. This was a feasible excuse, which I admitted accordingly, and in a day or two appeared again, when his lordship was particularly engaged. This might possibly be the case; and therefore I returned the fourth time, in hopes of finding him more at leisure; but he had gone out about half an hour before my arrival, and left my performance with his valet-de-chambre, who assured me, that his lord had perused it with infinite pleasure. Perhaps I might have retired very well satisfied with this declaration, had not I, in my passage through the hall, heard one of the footmen upon the top of the staircase, pronounce with an audible voice, 'Will your lordship please to be at home when he calls?' It is not to be supposed that I was pleased at this discovery, which I no sooner made, than, turning to my conductor, 'I find,' said I, 'his lordship is disposed to be abroad to more people than me this morning.' The fellow, though a valet-de-chambre, blushed at this observation; and I withdrew, not a little irritated at the peer's disingenuity, and fully resolved to spare him my visits for the future. It was not long after this occasion, that I happened to meet him in the park, and being naturally civil, I could not pass him without a salutation of the hat, which he returned in the most distant manner, though we were both solitary, and not a soul within view, and when that very performance, which he had applauded so warmly, was lately published by subscription, he did not bespeak so much as one copy. I have often reflected with wonder upon this inconsistency of his conduct. I never courted his patronage, nor indeed thought of his name, until he made interest for my acquaintance; and if he was disappointed in my conversation, why did he press me so much to further connection?"

"The case is very clear," cried the chairman, interrupting him; "he is one of those connoisseurs who set up for taste, and value themselves upon knowing all men of genius, whom they would be thought to assist in their productions. I will lay an even bet with any man, that his lordship on the strength of that slender interview, together with the opportunity of having seen your performance in manuscript, has already hinted to every company in which he is conversant, that you solicited his assistance in retouching the piece, which you have now offered to the public, and that he was pleased to favour you with his advice, but found you obstinately bigoted to your own opinion, in some points relating to those very passages which have not met with the approbation of the town. As for his caresses, there was nothing at all extraordinary in his behaviour. By that time you have lived to my age, you will not be surprised to see a courtier's promise and performance of a different complexion; not but that I would willingly act as an auxiliary in your resentment."

The opinion of the president was strengthened by the concurrence of all the members; and all other complaints and memorials being deferred till another sitting, the college proceeded to an exercise of wit, which was generally performed once every fortnight, with a view to promote the expectoration of genius. The subject was occasionally chosen by the chairman, who opened the game with some shrewd remark naturally arising from the conversation; and then the ball was tossed about, from one corner of the room to the other, according to the motions of the spirit.

That the reader may have a just idea of this sport, and of the abilities of those who carried it on, I shall repeat the sallies of this evening, according to the order and succession in which they escaped. One of the members observing that Mr. Metaphor was absent, was told by the person who sat next to him, that the poet had foul weather at home, and could not stir abroad. "What!" said the president, interposing, with the signal upon his countenance, "is he wind-bound, in port?"—"Wine-bound, I suppose," cried another. "Hooped with wine! a strange metaphor!" said the third. "Not if he has got into a hogshead," answered the fourth. "The hogshead will sooner get into him," replied a fifth; "it must be a tun or an ocean."—"No wonder then, if he should be overwhelmed," said a sixth. "If he should," cried a seventh, "he will cast up when his gall breaks."—"That must be very soon," roared an eighth, "for it has been long ready to burst." "No, no," observed a ninth, "he'll stick fast at the bottom, take my word for it; he has a natural alacrity in sinking."—"And yet," remarked a tenth, "I have seen him in the clouds."—"Then was he cloudy, I suppose," cried the eleventh. "So dark," replied the other, "that his meaning could not be perceived."—"For all that," said the twelfth, "he is easily seen through."—"You talk," answered the thirteenth, "as if his head was made of glass."—"No, no," cried the fourteenth, "his head is made of more durable stuff; it will bend before it breaks."—"Yet I have seen it broken," resumed the president. "Did you perceive any wit come out at the whole?" said another. "His wit," replied the chairman, "is too subtle to be perceived."

A third mouth was just open, when the exercise was suddenly interrupted by the dreadful cry of "Fire!" which issued from the kitchen, and involved the whole college in confusion. Every man endeavoured to be the first in making his exit, the door and passage were blocked up; each individual was pommelled by the person that happened to be behind him. This communication produced noise and exclamation; clouds of smoke rolled upwards into the apartment, and terror sat on every brow; when Peregrine, seeing no prospect of retreating by the door, opened one of the windows, and fairly leaped into the street, where he found a crowd of people assembled to contribute their assistance in extinguishing the flames. Several members of the college followed his example, and happily accomplished their escape. The chairman himself, being unwilling to use the same expedient, stood trembling on the brink of descent, dubious of his own agility, and dreading the consequence of such a leap, when a chair happening to pass, he laid hold on the opportunity, and by an exertion of his muscles, pitched upon the top of the carriage, which was immediately overturned in the kennel, to the grievous annoyance of the fare, which happened to be a certain effeminate beau, in full dress, on his way to a private assembly.

This phantom hearing the noise overhead, and feeling the shock of being overthrown at the same time, thought that some whole tenement had fallen upon the chair, and, in the terror of being crushed to pieces, uttered a scream, which the populace supposed to proceed from the mouth of a woman; and therefore went to his assistance, while the chairmen, instead of ministering to his occasions, no sooner recollected themselves, than they ran in pursuit of their overthrower, who, being accustomed to escape from bailiffs, dived into a dark alley, and, vanishing in a trice, was not visible to any living soul, until he appeared next day on Tower-hill.

The humane part of the mob, who bestirred themselves for the relief of the supposed lady, no sooner perceived their mistake in the appearance of the beau, who stared around him with horror and affright, than their compassion was changed into mirth, and they began to pass a great many unsavoury jokes upon his misfortune, which they now discovered no inclination to alleviate; and he found himself very uncomfortably beset, when Pickle, pitying his situation, interposed in his behalf, and prevailed upon the chairmen to carry him into the house of an apothecary in the neighbourhood, to whom his mischance proved a very advantageous accident; for the fright operated so violently upon his nerves, that he was seized with a delirium, and lay a whole fortnight deprived of his senses; during which period he was not neglected in point of medicines, food, and attendance, but royally regaled, as appeared by the contents of his landlord's bill.

Our adventurer having seen this unfortunate beau safely housed, returned to the scene of the other calamity, which, as it was no other than a foul chimney, soon yielded to the endeavours of the family, and was happily overcome, without any other bad consequence than that of alarming the neighbours, disturbing the college, and disordering the brain of a beau. Eager to be acquainted with the particular constitutions of a society which seemed to open upon him by degrees, Mr. Pickle did not fail to appear at the next meeting, when several petitions were laid before the board, in behalf of those members who were confined in the prisons of the Fleet, Marshalsea, and King's Bench. As those unhappy authors expected nothing from their brethren but advice and good offices, which did not concern the purse, the memorials were considered with great care and humanity; and, upon this occasion, Peregrine had it in his power to manifest his importance to the community; for he happened to be acquainted with the creditor of one of the prisoners, and knew that gentleman's severity was owing to his resentment at the behaviour of the debtor, who had lampooned him in print, because he refused to comply with a fresh demand, after he had lent him money to the amount of a considerable sum. Our young gentleman, therefore, understanding that the author was penitent, and disposed to make a reasonable submission, promised to employ his influence with the creditor towards an accommodation; and in a few days actually obtained his release.

The social duties being discharged, the conversation took a general turn, and several new productions were freely criticised; those especially which belonged to authors who were either unconnected with, or unknown to the college. Nor did the profession of stage-playing escape the cognizance of the assembly; a deputation of the most judicious members being sent weekly to each theatre, with a view of making remarks upon the performance of the actors. The censors for the preceding week were accordingly called upon to give in their report; and the play which they had reviewed was "the Revenge."

"Mr. Q—," said the second censor, "take him all in all, is certainly the most complete and unblemished performer that ever appeared on our stage, notwithstanding the blind adoration which is paid to his rival. I went two nights ago, with an express design to criticise his action. I could find no room for censure, but infinite subject for admiration and applause. In Pierre he is great, in Othello excellent, but in Zanga beyond all imitation. Over and above the distinctness of pronunciation, the dignity of attitude, and expression of face, his gestures are so just and significant, that a man, though utterly bereft of the sense of hearing, might, by seeing him only, understand the meaning of every word he speaks! Sure nothing can be more exquisite than his manner of telling Isabella how Alonzo behaved, when he found the incendiary letter which he had dropped by the Moor's direction; and when, to crown his vengeance, he discovers himself to be the contriver of all the mischief that had happened, he manifests a perfect masterpiece of action, in pronouncing these four little monosyllables, 'Know, then, 'twas—I.'"

Peregrine having eyed the critic some minutes, "I fancy," said he, "your praise must be ironical, because, in the very two situations you mention, I think I have seen that player outherod Herod, or, in other words, exceed all his other extravagances. The intention of the author is, that the Moor should communicate to his confidant a piece of information contained in a few lines, which, doubtless, ought to be repeated with an air of eagerness and satisfaction, not with the ridiculous grimace of a monkey, to which, methought, his action bore an intimate resemblance, in uttering this plain sentence:—

——He took it up:
But scarce was it unfolded to his sight,
When he, as if an arrow pierc'd his eye,
Started, and trembling dropp'd it on the ground.

"In pronouncing the first two words, this egregious actor stoops down, and seems to take up something from the stage, then proceeding to repeat what follows, mimics the manner of unfolding a letter; when he mentions the simile of an arrow piercing the eye, he darts his forefinger towards that organ, then recoils with great violence when the word 'started' is expressed; and when he comes to 'trembling dropp'd it on the ground,' he throws all his limbs into a tremulous motion, and shakes the imaginary paper from his hand. The latter part of the description is carried on with the same minute gesticulation, while he says:—

Pale and aghast awhile my victim stood,
Disguis'd a sigh or two, and puff'd them from him;
Then rubb'd his brow, and took it up again.

The player's countenance assumes a wild stare, he sighs twice most piteously, as if he were on the point of suffocation, scrubs his forehead, and, bending his body, apes the action of snatching an object from the floor. Nor is this dexterity of dumb-show omitted, when he concludes his imitation in these three lines:—

At first he look'd as if he meant to read it;
But check'd by rising fears, he crushed it thus,
And thrust it, like an adder, in his bosom.

"Here the judicious performer imitates the confusion and concern of Alonzo, seems to cast his eyes upon something, from which they are immediately withdrawn with horror and precipitation then shutting his fist with a violent squeeze, as if he intended to make immediate application to Isabella's nose, he rams it in his own bosom, with all the horror and agitation of a thief taken in the manner. Were the player debarred the use of speech, and obliged to act to the eyes only of the audience, this mimicry might be a necessary conveyance of his meaning; but when he is at liberty to signify his ideas by language, nothing can be more trivial, forced, unnatural, and antic, than this mummery. Not that I would exclude from the representation the graces of action, without which the choicest sentiments, clothed in the most exquisite expression, would appear unanimated and insipid; but these are as different from this ridiculous burlesque, as is the demeanour of a Tully in the rostrum, from the tricks of a Jack-pudding on a mountebank's stage. And, for the truth of what I allege, I appeal to the observation of any person who has considered the elegance of attitude and propriety of gesture, as they are universally acknowledged in the real characters of life. Indeed, I have known a Gascon, whose limbs were eloquent as his tongue: he never mentioned the word sleep without reclining his head upon his hand; when he had occasion to talk of a horse, he always started up and trotted across the room, except when he was so situated that he could not stir without incommoding the company, and in that case he contented himself with neighing aloud. If a dog happened to be the subject of his conversation, he wagged his tail, and grinned in a most significant manner; and one day he expressed his desire of going backwards with such natural imitation of his purpose, that everybody in the room firmly believed he had actually overshot himself, and fortified their nostrils accordingly. Yet no man ever looked upon this virtuoso to be the standard of propriety in point of speaking and deportment. For my own part, I confess the player in question would, by dint of these qualifications, make a very good figure in the character of Pantaloon's lacquey, in the entertainment of 'Perseus and Andromeda,' and perhaps might acquire some reputation, by turning 'the Revenge' into a pantomime; in which case, I would advise him to come upon the stage, provided with a handful of flour, in order to besmear his face when he pronounces 'pale and aghast,' etc.; and methinks he ought to illustrate the adder with a hideous hiss. But let us now come to the other situation, in which this modern Aesopus is supposed to distinguish himself so much—I mean that same eclaircissement comprehended in 'Know then, 'twas—I.' His manner, I own, may be altered since I was present at the representation of that performance; but certain I am, when I beheld him in that critical conjuncture, his behaviour appeared to me so uncouth, that I really imagined he was visited by some epileptic distemper; for he stood tottering and gasping for the space of two minutes, like a man suddenly struck with the palsy; and, after various distortions and side-shakings, as if he had got fleas in his doublet, heaved up from his lungs the letter I, like a huge anchor from foul ground."

This criticism was acceptable to the majority of the college, who had no great veneration for the player in question; and his admirer, without making any reply, asked in a whisper, of the gentleman who sat next to him, if Pickle had not offered some production to the stage, and met with a repulse.





CHAPTER XCV.
The young Gentleman is introduced to a Virtuoso of the first Order, and commences Yelper.

Hitherto Peregrine had professed himself an author, without reaping the fruits of that occupation, except the little fame he had acquired by his late satire; but now he thought it high time to weigh solid pudding against empty praise; and therefore engaged with some booksellers in a certain translation, which he obliged himself to perform for the consideration of two hundred pounds. The articles of agreement being drawn, he began his task with great eagerness, rose early in the morning to his work, at which he laboured all day long, went abroad with the bats in the evening, and appeared in the coffee-house, where he amused himself with the newspapers and conversation till nine o'clock; then he retired to his own apartment, and, after a slight repast, betook himself to rest, that he might be able to unroost with the cock. This sudden change from his former way of life agreed so ill with his disposition, that, for the first time, he was troubled with flatulencies and indigestion, which produced anxiety and dejection of spirits, and the nature of his situation began in some measure to discompose his brain; a discovery which he no sooner made, than he had recourse to the advice of a young physician, who was a member of the college of authors, at this time one of our hero's most intimate acquaintance.

The son of Esculapius, having considered his case, imputed his disorder to the right cause, namely, want of exercise; dissuaded him from such close application to study, until he should be gradually familiarized to a sedentary life; advised him to enjoy his friend and his bottle in moderation, and wean himself from his former customs by degrees; and, above all things, to rise immediately after his first sleep, and exercise himself in a morning's walk. In order to render this last part of the prescription the more palatable, the doctor promised to attend him in these early excursions, and even to introduce him to a certain personage of note, who gave a sort of public breakfasting to the minor virtuosi of the age, and often employed his interest in behalf of those who properly cultivated his countenance and approbation.

This proposal was extremely acceptable to our young gentleman, who, besides the advantage which might accrue to him from such a valuable connection, foresaw much entertainment and satisfaction in the discourse of so many learned guests. The occasions of his health and interest, moreover, coincided in another circumstance; the minister's levee being kept betimes in the morning, so that he could perform his walk, yield his attendance, and breakfast at this philosophical board, without encroaching a great deal upon his other avocations. Measures being thus preconcerted, the physician conducted our adventurer to the house of this celebrated sage, to whom he recommended him as a gentleman of genius and taste, who craved the honour of his acquaintance; but he had previously smoothed the way to his introduction, by representing Peregrine as a young fellow of great ambition, spirit, and address, who could not fail to make a figure in the world; that therefore he would be a creditable addition to the subordinates of such a patron, and by his qualifications, intrepidity, and warmth of temper, turn out a consummate herald of his fame. Upon these considerations, he met with a most engaging reception from the entertainer, who was a well-bred man, of some learning, generosity, and taste; but his foible was the desire of being thought the inimitable pattern of all three.

It was with a view to acquire and support this character, that his house was open to all those who had any pretensions to literature; consequently he was surrounded by a strange variety of pretenders; but none were discouraged, because he knew that even the most insignificant might, in some shape, conduce to the propagation of his praise. A babbler, though he cannot run upon the scent, may spring the game, and, by his yelping, help to fill up the cry. No wonder, then, that a youth of Pickle's accomplishments was admitted and even invited into the pack. After having enjoyed a very short private audience in the closet, our young gentleman was shown into another room, where half a dozen of his fellow-adherents waited for the Maecenas, who in a few minutes appeared, with a most gracious aspect, received the compliments of the morning, and sat down to breakfast, in the midst of them, without any further ceremony.

The conversation at first turned upon the weather, which was investigated in a very philosophical manner by one of the company, who seemed to have consulted all the barometers and thermometers that ever were invented, before he would venture to affirm that it was a chill morning. This subject being accurately discussed, the chief inquired about the news of the learned world; and his inclination was no sooner expressed than every guest opened his mouth, in order to ratify his curiosity. But he that first captivated his attention was a meagre, shrivelled antiquary, who looked like an animated mummy, which had been scorched among the sands of the desert. He told the patron, that he had, by accident, met with a medal, which, though it was defaced by time, he would venture to pronounce a genuine antique, from the ringing and taste of the metal, as well as from the colour and composition of the rust. So saying, he produced a piece of copper coin, so consumed and disguised by age, that scarce a vestige of the impression was to be perceived. Nevertheless, this connoisseur pretended to distinguish a face in profile, from which he concluded that the piece was of the Upper Empire, and on the reverse he endeavoured to point out the bulb of the spear, and part of the parazonium, which were the insignia of the Roman Virtus, together with the fragment of one fold of the multicium in which she was clothed. He likewise had discovered an angle of the letter N, and, at some distance, an entire I; from these circumstances conjecturing, and indeed concluding, that the medal was struck by Severus, in honour of the victory he obtained over his rival Niger, after he had forced the passes of Mount Taurus. This criticism seemed very satisfactory to the entertainer, who, having examined the coin by the help of his spectacles, plainly discerned the particulars which the owner had mentioned, and was pleased to term his account of the matter a very ingenious explanation.

The curiosity was circulated through the hands of all present, and every virtuoso, in his turn, licked the copper, and rung it upon the hearth, declaring his assent to the judgment which had been pronounced. At length it fell under the inspection of our young gentleman, who, though no antiquarian, was very well acquainted with the current coin of his own country, and no sooner cast his eyes upon the valuable antique, than he affirmed, without hesitation, that it was no other than the ruins of an English farthing, and that same spear, parazonium, and multicium, the remains of the emblems and drapery with which the figure of Britannia is delineated on our copper money. This hardy asseveration seemed to disconcert the patron while it incensed the medallist, who, grinning like an enraged baboon, "What d'ye tell me of a brass farthing?" said he. "Did you ever know modern brass of such a relish? Do but taste it, young gentleman; and sure I am, if you have ever been conversant with subjects of this kind, you will find as wide a difference in the savour between this and an English farthing as can possibly be perceived betwixt an onion and a turnip. Besides, this medal has the true Corinthian ring; then the attitude is upright, whereas that of Britannia is reclining; and how is it possible to mistake a branch of palm for a parazonium?"

All the rest of the company espoused the virtuoso's side of the question, because the reputation of each was concerned. The patron, finding himself in the same circumstance, assumed a solemnity of feature, dashed with a small mixture of displeasure, and told Peregrine, that as he had not made that branch of literature his particular study, he was not surprised to see him mistaken in his opinion. Pickle immediately understood the reproof, though he was shocked at the vanity or infatuation of his entertainer and fellow-guests; asked pardon for his presumption, which was accordingly excused, in consideration of his inexperience; and the English farthing was dignified with the title of a true antique.

The next person that addressed himself to the chief was a gentleman of a very mathematical turn, who valued himself upon the improvements he had made in several domestic machines, and now presented the plan of a new contrivance for cutting cabbages, in such a manner as would secure the stock against the rotting rain, and enable it to produce a plenteous aftercrop of delicious sprouts. In this important machine he had united the whole mechanic powers, with such massy complication of iron and wood, that it could not have been moved without the assistance of a horse, and a road made for the convenience of the draught. These objections were so obvious, that they occurred at first sight to the inspector-general, who greatly commended the invention, which, he observed, might be applied to several other useful purposes, could it once be rendered a little more portable and commodious.

The inventor, who had not foreseen these difficulties, was not prepared to surmount them; but he took the hint in good part, and promised to task his abilities anew, in altering the construction of his design. Not but that he underwent some severe irony from the rest of the virtuosi, who complimented him upon the momentous improvement he had made, by which a family might save a dish of greens in a quarter, for so trifling an expense as that of purchasing, working, and maintaining such a stupendous machine; but no man was ever more sarcastic in his remarks upon this piece of mechanism than the naturalist, who next appealed to the patron's approbation for a curious disposition he had made touching the procreation of muck-flies, in which he had laid down a curious method of collecting, preserving, and hatching the eggs of these insects, even in the winter, by certain modifications of artificial heat. The nature of this discovery was no sooner communicated, than Peregrine, unable to contain himself, was seized with a fit of laughter, which infected every person at the table, the landlord himself not excepted, who found it impossible to preserve his wonted gravity of face.

Such unmannerly mirth did not fail to mortify the philosopher, who, after some pause, during which indignation and disdain were painted in his countenance, reprehended our young gentleman for his unphilosophical behaviour, and undertook to prove, that the subject of his inquiry was of infinite consequence to the progress and increase of natural knowledge. But he found no quarter from the vengeful engineer, who now retorted his ironical compliments, with great emphasis, upon this hotbed for the generation of vermin, and advised him to lay the whole process before the Royal Society, which would, doubtless, present him with a medal, and give him a place among their memoirs, as a distinguished promoter of the useful arts. "If," said he, "you had employed your studies in finding out some effectual method to destroy those insects which prejudice and annoy mankind, in all probability you must have been contented with the contemplation of the good you had done; but this curious expedient for multiplying maggots will surely entitle you to an honourable rank in the list of learned philosophers."—"I don't wonder," replied the naturalist, "that you should be so much averse to the propagation of insects, because, in all likelihood, you are afraid that they will not leave you a cabbage to cut down with the same miraculous machine."—"Sir," answered the mechanic, with great bitterness of voice and aspect, "if the cabbage be as light-headed as some muck-worm philosophers, it will not be worth cutting down."—"I never dispute upon cabbage with the son of a cucumber," said the fly-breeder, alluding to the pedigree of his antagonist; who, impatient of the affront, started up with fury in his looks, exclaiming, "'Sdeath! meaning me, sir?"

Here the patron, perceiving things drawing towards a rupture, interposed his authority, rebuking them for their intemperance and recommending to them amity and concord against the Goths and Vandals of the age, who took all opportunities of ridiculing and discouraging the adherents of knowledge and philosophy. After this exhortation, they had no pretence for carrying on the dispute, which was dropped in all appearance, though the mechanic still retained his resentment; and after breakfast, when the company broke up, accosted his adversary in the street, desiring to know how he durst be so insolent as to make that scurrilous reflection upon his family. The fly-fancier, thus questioned, accused the mathematician of having been the aggressor, in likening his head to a light cabbage; and here the altercation being renewed, the engineer proceeded to the illustration of his mechanics, tilting up his hand like a balance, thrusting it forward by way of lever, embracing the naturalist's nose like a wedge betwixt two of his fingers, and turning it round, with the momentum of a screw or peritrochium. Had they been obliged to decide the dispute with equal arms, the assailant would have had great advantage over the other, who was very much his inferior in muscular strength; but the philosopher being luckily provided with a cane, no sooner disengaged himself from this opprobrious application, than he handled his weapon with great dexterity about the head and shoulders of his antagonist, who, finding this shower of blows very disagreeable, was fain to betake himself to his heels for shelter, and was pursued by the angry victor, who chased him from one end of the street to the other, affording unspeakable satisfaction to the multitude, as well as to our hero and to his introductor, who were spectators of the whole scene.

Thus was our adventurer initiated into the society of Yelpers, though he did not as yet fully understand the nature of his office, which was explained by the young physician, who chid him for his blunt behaviour in the case of the medal; and gave him to understand, that their patron's favour was neither to be gained nor preserved by any man that would pretend to convict him of a mistake. He therefore counselled him to respect this foible, and cultivate the old gentleman with all the zeal and veneration which a regard to his own character would permit him to say. This task was the easier to one of our young gentleman's pliant disposition, because the virtuoso's behaviour was absolutely free from that insolent self-conceit, which he could not bear without disgust. The senior was, on the contrary, mild and beneficent; and Pickle was rather pleased than shocked at his weakness; because it flattered his vanity with the supposition of his own superior sense. Cautioned in this manner, Peregrine profited so much by his insinuating qualifications, that, in a very little time, he was looked upon as one of the chief favourites of the patron, to whom he dedicated a small occasional poem; and everybody believed he would reap the fruits of his attachment among the first of the old gentleman's dependents.





CHAPTER XCVI.
Peregrine, finding himself neglected by Sir Steady Steerwell, expostulates with him in a Letter; in consequence of which he is forbid his House, loses his Pension, and incurs the charge of Lunacy.

This prospect of success, together with his expectations from the minister, whom he did not neglect, helped to comfort him under the reverse of fortune which he had undergone, and the uncertainty of the lawsuit, which he still maintained for the recovery of his ten thousand pounds. The lawyers, indeed, continued to drain his pocket of money, while they filled his brain with unsubstantial hope; and he was actually obliged to borrow money from his bookseller, on the strength of the translation, in order to satisfy the demands of those ravenous harpies, rather than lay the misanthrope under any difficulties, or have recourse to his friend Hatchway, who lived at the garrison, entirely ignorant of his distress. This was not at all alleviated by the arrival of the Indiaman, in which he had ventured seven hundred pounds, as we have already observed; for he was given to understand, that the borrower was left dangerously ill at Bombay when the ship sailed, and that his chance for retrieving his money was extremely slender.

So situated, it is not to be supposed that he led a life of tranquility, though he made a shift to struggle with the remonstrances of misfortune. Yet such a gush of affliction would sometimes rush upon his thought, as overwhelmed all the ideas of his hope, and sunk him to the very bottom of despondence. Every equipage that passed him in the street, every person of rank and fortune that occurred to his view, recalled the gay images of his former life, with such mortifying reflection as stabbed him to the very soul. He lived, therefore, incessantly exposed to all the pangs of envy and disquiet. When I say envy, I do not mean that sordid passion, in consequence of which a man repines at his neighbour's success, howsoever deserved: but that self-tormenting indignation which is inspired by the prosperity of folly, ignorance, and vice. Without the intervening gleams of enjoyment, which he felt in the conversation of a few friends, he could not have supported his existence; or, at least, he must have suffered some violent discomposure of the brain. But one is still finding some circumstance of alleviation, even in the worst of conjunctures, and Pickle was so ingenious in these researches, that he maintained a good battle with disappointment, till the revolution of the term at which he had received his pension of three hundred pounds.

However, seeing the day elapse without touching his allowance, notwithstanding his significant method of presenting himself at the minister's levee, when the year was expired, he wrote a letter to Sir Steady, reminding him of his situation and promise, and giving him to understand, that his occasions were such as compelled him to demand his salary for the ensuing year. In the morning after this letter was conveyed, the author went to his honour's house, in expectation of being admitted by particular order; but was mistaken in his hope, the minister not being visible. He then made his appearance at the levee, in hopes of being closeted; but, though he took all opportunities of watching Sir Steady's eyes, he could not obtain one glance, and had the pleasure of seeing him retire, without being favoured with the least notice. These circumstances of wilful neglect were not over and above agreeable to our young hero, who, in the agonies of vexation and resentment, went home, and composed a most acrimonious remonstrance to his honour; in consequence of which he was not only deprived of all pretensions to a private audience, but expressly denied admittance on a public day, by Sir Steady's own order.

This prohibition, which announced his total ruin, filled him with rage, horror, and despair. He insulted the porter who signified the minister's command, threatening to chastise him upon the spot for his presumption, and vented the most virulent imprecations upon his master, to the astonishment of those who chanced to enter during this conference. Having exhausted himself in these vain exclamations, he returned to his lodgings in a most frantic condition, biting his lips so that the blood ran from his mouth, dashing his head and fists against the sides of his chimney, and weeping with the most bitter expressions of woe. Pipes, whose perception had been just sufficient to let him see that there was some difference between the present and former situation of his master, overhearing his transports, essayed to enter his apartment, with a view of administering consolation; and, finding the door locked on the inside, desired admittance, protesting, that otherwise he would down with the bulkhead in the turning of a handspike. Peregrine ordered him to retire, on pain of his displeasure, and swore, that if he should offer to break open the door, he would instantly shoot him through the head. Tom, without paying the least regard to this injunction, set himself at work immediately. His master, exasperated at his want of reverence and respect, which in his present paroxysm appeared with the most provoking aggravation, flew into his closet, and snatching up one of his pistols already loaded, no sooner saw his valet enter the apartment, in consequence of having forced the lock, than he presented it full at his face, and drew the trigger. Happily the priming flashed in the pan, without communicating with the charge; so that his furious purpose did not take effect upon the countenance of honest Pipes, who, disregardful of the attempt, though he knew the contents of the piece, asked, without the least alteration of feature, if it must be foul weather through the whole voyage.

Peregrine, mad as he was, repented of his mischievous intent against such a faithful adherent, in the very moment of execution; and had it proved fatal, according to the design, in all probability he would have applied another to his own head. There are certain considerations that strike upon the mind with irresistible force, even in the midst of its distraction; the momentary recollection of some particular scene, occasioned by the features of the devoted victim, hath often struck the dagger from the assassin's hand. By such an impulse was Pipes protected from any repeated effort of his master's rage; the friendly cause of his present disobedience flashed upon the conviction of Peregrine, when he beheld the rugged front of his valet, in which also stood disclosed his long and faithful service together with the recommendation of the deceased commodore. Though his wrath was immediately suppressed, and his heart torn with remorse for what he had done, his brows remained still contracted, and darting a most ferocious regard at the intruder, "Villain!" said he, "how dare you treat me with such disrespect?"

"Why shouldn't I lend a hand for the preservation of the ship," answered the unruffled Pipes, "when there is more sail than ballast aboard, and the pilot quits the helm in despair? What signifies one or two broken voyages, so long as our timbers are strong, and our vessel in good trim? If she loses upon one tack, mayhap she may gain upon t'other; and I'll be d—d, if one day or other we don't fetch up our leeway. As for the matter of provision, you have started a pretty good stock of money into my hold, and you are welcome to hoist it up again when you wool."

Here Tom was interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Crabtree, who seeing Peregrine with a pistol in his hand, and such wild disorder in his looks, his head, hands, and mouth besmeared with blood, and, moreover, smelling the gunpowder which had been burnt, actually believed he had either committed, or was bent upon murder, and accordingly retreated down-stairs with infinite despatch. All his speed could not convey him without the reach of Pipes, who, overtaking him in his passage, carried him back into his master's apartment, observing by the way, that this was no time to sheer off, when his consort stood in need of his assistance.

There was something so ruefully severe in the countenance of Cadwallader, thus compelled, that, at any other time, our hero would have laughed at his concern; but at the present there was nothing risible in his disposition. He had, however, laid aside his pistol, and endeavoured, though in vain, to compose his internal disturbance; for he could not utter one syllable to the misanthrope, but stood staring at him in silence, with a most delirious aspect. This did not tend to dispel the dismay of his friend, who, after some recollection, "I wonder," said he, "that you have never killed your man before. Pray how may you have disposed of the body?" Pickle having recovered the faculty of speech, ordered his lacquey out of the room, and, in a most incoherent detail, made Crabtree acquainted with the perfidious conduct of the minister.

The confidant was very glad to find his fears disappointed; for he had really concluded that some life was lost. Perceiving the youth too much agitated to be treated by him in his usual style, he owned that Sir Steady was a rascal, and encouraged Pickle with the hope of being one day able to make reprisals upon him; in the mean time offered him money for his immediate occasions, exhorted him to exert his own qualifications in rendering himself independent of such miscreants, and finally counselled him to represent his wrongs to the nobleman whom he had formerly obliged, with a view of interesting that peer in his behalf or at least of obtaining a satisfactory explanation from the minister, that he might take no premature measures of revenge.

These admonitions were so much milder and more agreeable than our hero expected from the misanthrope, that they had a very favourable effect upon his transports, which gradually subsided, until he became so tractable as to promise that he would conform to his advice; in consequence of which, he next morning waited upon his lordship, who received him very politely, as usual, and with great patience heard his complaint, which, by the bye, he could not repeat without some hasty ebullitions of passionate resentment. This peer, after having gently disapproved of the letter of expostulation, which had produced such unfortunate effects, kindly undertook to recommend his case to the minister, and actually performed his promise that same day, when Sir Steady informed him, to his utter astonishment, that the poor young gentleman was disordered in his brain, so that he could not possibly be provided for in a place of importance, with any regard to the service; and it could not be expected that he (Sir Steady) would support his extravagance from his own private purse; that he had, indeed at the solicitation of a nobleman deceased, made him a present of three hundred pounds, in consideration of some loss that he pretended to have sustained in an election; but, since that time, had perceived in him such indisputable marks of lunacy, both by his distracted letters and personal behaviour, as obliged him to give order that he should not be admitted into the house. To corroborate this assertion, the minister actually called in the evidence of his own porter, and one of the gentlemen of his household, who had heard the execrations that escaped our youth, when he first found himself excluded. In short, the nobleman was convinced that Peregrine was certainly and bona fide mad as a March hare; and, by the help of this intimation, began to recollect some symptoms of distraction which appeared in his last visit; he remembered a certain incoherence in his speech, a violence of gesture and wildness of look, that now evidently denoted a disturbed understanding; and he determined, for his own credit and security, to disentangle himself from such a dangerous acquaintance.

With this view, he, in imitation of Sir Steady, commanded his gate to be shut against our adventurer; so that, when he went to know the result of his lordship's conference with the minister, the door was flung in his face, and the janitor told him through an iron grate, that he needed not to give himself the trouble of calling again, for his lord desired to be excused from seeing him. He spoke not a word in answer to this declaration, which he immediately imputed to the ill offices of the minister, against whom he breathed defiance and revenge, in his way to the lodgings of Cadwallader; who, being made acquainted with the manner of his reception, begged he would desist from all schemes of vengeance, until he, Crabtree, should be able to unriddle the mystery of the whole, which he did not doubt of unveiling by means of his acquaintance with a family in which his lordship often spent the evening at whist.

It was not long before he had the desired opportunity: the nobleman being under no injunctions or obligation to keep the affair secret, discovered the young gentleman's misfortune, by way of news, to the first company in which he happened to be; and Peregrine's name was not so obscure in the fashionable world, but that his disorder became the general topic of conversation for a day; so that his friend soon partook of the intelligence, and found means to learn the particulars of the minister's information, as above related. Nay, he was in danger of becoming a proselyte to Sir Steady's opinion, when he recalled and compared every circumstance which he knew of Pickle's impatience and impetuosity. Indeed, nothing more easily gains credit than an imputation of madness fixed upon any person whatsoever: for when the suspicion of the world is roused, and its observation once set at work, the wisest, the coolest man upon earth, will, by some particulars in his behaviour, convict himself of the charge: every singularity in his dress and manner (and such are observable in every person), that before passed unheeded, now rises up in judgment against him, with all the exaggeration of the observer's fancy; and the sagacious examiner perceives distraction in every glance of the eye, turn of the finger, and motion of the head. When he speaks, there is a strange peculiarity in his argument and expression; when he holds his tongue, his imagination teems with some extravagant reverie; his sobriety of demeanour is no other than a lucid interval, and his passion mere delirium.

If people of the most sedate and insipid life and conversation are subject to such criticisms, no wonder that they should take place upon a youth of Peregrine's fiery disposition, which, on some occasions, would have actually justified any remarks of this kind, which his greatest enemies could make. He was accordingly represented as one of those enterprising bucks, who, after having spent their fortunes in riot and excess, are happily bereft of their understanding, and consequently insensible of the want and disgrace which they have entailed upon themselves, Cadwallader himself was so much affected with the report, that for some time he hesitated in his deliberations upon our hero, before he could prevail upon himself to communicate to him the information he had received, or to treat him in other respects as a man of sound intellects. At length, however, he ventured to make Pickle acquainted with the particulars he had learned, imparting them with such caution and circumlocution, as he thought necessary to prevent the young gentleman from transgressing all bounds of temper and moderation; but, for once, he was agreeably deceived in his prognostic. Incensed as our hero was at the conduct of the minister, he could not help laughing at the ridiculous aspersion, which he told his friend he would soon refute in a manner that should not be very agreeable to his calumniator, observing, that it was a common practice with the state pilot, thus to slander those people to whom he lay under obligations which he had no mind to discharge. "True it is," said Peregrine "he has succeeded more than once in contrivances of this kind, having actually reduced divers people of weak heads to such extremity of despair, as hath issued in downright distraction, whereby he was rid of their importunities, and his judgment confirmed at the same time. But I have now, thank Heaven, attained to such a pitch of philosophical resolution, as will support me against all his machinations; and I will forthwith exhibit the monster to the public, in his true lineaments of craft, perfidy, and ingratitude."

This indeed was the plan with which Mr. Pickle had amused himself during the researches of Crabtree; and by this time it so effectually flattered his imagination, that he believed he should be able to bring his adversary, in spite of all his power, to his own terms of submission, by distinguishing himself in the list of those who, at that period, wrote against the administration. Nor was this scheme so extravagant as it may seem to be, had not he overlooked one material circumstance, which Cadwallader himself did not recollect, when he approved of this project.

While he thus meditated vengeance, the fame of his disorder, in due course of circulation, reached the ears of that lady of quality whose memoirs have already appeared in these adventures. The correspondence with which she had honoured our hero had been long broke off for the reason already advanced, namely, his dread of being exposed to her infatuating charms. He had been candid enough to make her acquainted with the cause of exiling himself from her presence; and she admitted the prudence of self-restraint, although she would have very well satisfied with the continuance of his intimacy and conversation, which were not at all beneath the desire of any lady in the kingdom. Notwithstanding this interruption, she still retained a friendship and regard for his character, and felt all the affliction of a humane heart, at the news of his misfortunes and deplorable distemper. She had seen him courted and cultivated in the sunshine of his prosperity; but she knew, from sad experience, how all those insect-followers shrink away in the winter of distress. Her compassion represented him as a poor unhappy lunatic, destitute of all the necessaries of life, dragging about the ruins of human nature, and exhibiting the spectacle of blasted youth to the scorn and abhorrence of his fellow-creatures. Aching with these charitable considerations, she found means to learn in what part of the town he lodged and, laying aside all superfluous ceremony, went in a hackney-chair to his door, which was opened by the ever-faithful Pipes.

Her ladyship immediately recollected the features of his trusty follower, whom she could not help loving in her heart for his attachment and fidelity, which after she had applauded with a most gracious commendation, she kindly inquired after the state of his master's health, and asked if he was in a condition to be seen. Tom, who could not suppose that the visit of a fine lady would be unacceptable to a youth of Peregrine's complexion, made no verbal reply to the question; but beckoning her ladyship with an arch significance of feature, at which she could not forbear smiling, walked softly up-stairs; and she, in obedience to the signal, followed her guide into the apartment of our hero, whom she found at a writing-table, in the very act of composing a eulogium upon his good friend Sir Steady. The nature of his work had animated his countenance with an uncommon degree of vivacity; and being dressed in a neat deshabille, his figure could not have appeared to more advantage in the eye of a person who despised the tinsel of unnecessary ornament. She was extremely well pleased to see her expectations so agreeably disappointed; for, instead of the squalid circumstances and wretched looks attending indigence and distraction, everything was decent and genteel; and the patient's aspect such as betokened internal satisfaction. Hearing the rustling of silk in his room, he lifted up his eyes from the paper, and, seeing her ladyship, was struck with astonishment and awe, as at the unexpected apparition of some supernatural being.

Before he could recollect himself from his confusion, which called the blood into his cheeks, she told him that, on the strength of old acquaintance, she was come to visit him, though it was a long time since he had given her good reason to believe he had absolutely forgot that there was such a person as she in being. After having made the most warm acknowledgments for this unforeseen honour, he assured her ladyship that the subject of her reproach was not his fault, but rather his very great misfortune; and that, if it had been in his power to forget her so easily as she seemed to imagine, he should never have given her cause to tax him with want of duty and respect.

Still dubious of his situation, she began to converse with him on different subjects; and he acquitted himself so well in every particular, that she no longer doubted his having been misrepresented by the malice of his enemies, and candidly told him the cause and intent of her coming. He was not deficient in expressions of gratitude for this instance of her generosity and friendship, which even drew tears from his eyes. As to the imputation of madness, he explained it so much to her ladyship's satisfaction, that she evidently perceived he had been barbarously dealt with, and that the charge was no other than a most villainous aspersion. Notwithstanding all his endeavours to conceal the true state of his finances, it was impossible for him to give this detail, without disclosing some of the difficulties under which he laboured; and, her ladyship's sagacity divining the rest, she not only made him a tender of assistance, but, presenting a bank-note for a considerable sum, insisted upon his acceptance of it as a trifling mark of her esteem, and a specimen of what she was inclined to do in his behalf. But this mark of her benevolence he would by no means receive; assuring her, that, though his affairs were at present a little perplexed, he had never felt the least circumstance of distress, and begging that she would not subject him to the burden of such an unnecessary obligation.

Being obliged to put up with this refusal she protested she would never forgive him should she ever hear that he rejected her offer when he stood in need of her aid; or if, in any time to come, he should not apply to her friendship, if ever he should find himself incommoded in point of fortune. "An overdelicacy in this respect," said she, "I shall look upon as a disapprobation of my own conduct; because I myself have been obliged to have recourse to my friends in such emergencies." These generous remonstrances and marks of particular friendship could not fail to make a deep impression upon the heart of our hero, which still smarted from the former impulse of her charms; he not only felt all those transports which a man of honour and sensibility may be supposed to feel upon such an occasion, but the sentiments of a more tender passion awaking in his breast, he could not help expressing himself in terms adapted to the emotion of his soul; and, at length, plainly told her, that, were he disposed to be a beggar, he would ask something of infinitely more importance to his peace than the charitable assistance she had proffered. Her ladyship had too much penetration to mistake his meaning; but, as she did not choose to encourage his advances, pretended to interpret his intimation into a general compliment of gallantry, and, in a jocose manner, desired he would not give her any reason to believe his lucid interval was past. "In faith, my lady," said he, "I perceive the fit coming on; and I don't see why I may not use the privilege of my distemper, so far as to declare myself one of your most passionate admirers."—"If you do," replied her ladyship, "I shall not be fool enough to believe a madman, unless I were assured that your disorder proceeded from your love; and that this was the case, I suppose you will find it difficult to prove."—"Nay, madam," cried the youth, "I have in this drawer what will convince you of my having been mad on that strain; and, since you doubt my pretension, you must give me leave to produce my testimonials." So saying, he opened an escrutoire, and taking out a paper, presented her with the following song, which he had written in her praise, immediately after he was made acquainted with the particulars of her story:

I.
While with fond rapture and amaze,
On thy transcendent charms I gaze,
My cautious soul essays in vain
Her peace and freedom to maintain;
yet let that blooming form divine,
Where grace and harmony combine;
Those eyes, like genial orbs that move,
Dispensing gladness, joy, and love;
in all their pomp assail my view,
Intent my bosom to subdue;
My breast, by wary maxims steel'd,
Not all those charms shall force to yield.

II.
But, when invok'd to Beauty's aid,
I see the enlighten'd soul display'd,
That soul so sensibly sedate
Amid the storms of froward fate!
Thy genius active, strong, and clear,
Thy wit sublime, though not severe,
The social ardour, void of art,
That glows within thy candid heart;
My spirits, sense, and strength decay,
My resolution dies away,
And, every faculty oppress'd,
Almighty love invades my breast!

Her ladyship having perused this production, "Were I inclined to be suspicious," said she, "I should believe that I had no share in producing this composition, which seems to have been inspired by a much more amiable object. However, I will take your word for your intention, and thank you for the unmerited compliment, though I have met with it in such an accidental manner. Nevertheless, I must be so free as to tell you, it is now high time for you to contract that unbounded spirit of gallantry, which you have indulged so long, into a sincere attachment for the fair Emilia, who, by all accounts, deserves the whole of your attention and regard." His nerves thrilled at mention of that name, which he never heard pronounced without agitation. Rather than undergo the consequence of a conversation upon this subject, he chose to drop the theme of love altogether, and industriously introduced some other topic of discourse.





CHAPTER XCVII.
He writes against the Minister, by whose Instigation he is arrested, and moves himself by habeas corpus into the Fleet.

My lady having prolonged her stay beyond the period of a common visit, and repeated her protestations in the most frank and obliging manner, took her leave of our adventurer, who promised to pay his respects to her in a few days at her own house. Meanwhile, he resumed his task; and having finished a most severe remonstrance against Sir Steady, not only with regard to his private ingratitude, but also to his maladministration of public affairs, he sent it to the author of a weekly paper, who had been long a professed reformer in politics, and it appeared in a very few days, with a note of the publisher, desiring the favour of further correspondence with the author.

The animadversions contained in this small essay were so spirited and judicious, and a great many new lights thrown upon the subject with such perspicuity, as attracted the notice of the public in an extraordinary manner, and helped to raise the character of the paper in which it was inserted. The minister was not the last who examined the performance, which, in spite of all his boasted temper, provoked him to such a degree, that he set his emissaries at work, and by dint of corruption, procured a sight of the manuscript in Peregrine's own handwriting, which he immediately recognised; but, for further confirmation of his opinion, he compared it with the two letters which he had received from our adventurer. Had he known the young gentleman's talents for declamation were so acute, perhaps he would never have given him cause to complain, but employed him in the vindication of his own measures; nay, he might still have treated him like some other authors whom he had brought over from the opposition, had not the keenness of this first assault incensed him to a desire of revenge. He, therefore, no sooner made this discovery, than he conveyed his directions to his dependent, the receiver-general, who was possessed of Pickle's notes. Next day, while our author stood within a circle of his acquaintance, at a certain coffee-house, holding forth with great eloquence upon the diseases of the state, he was accosted by a bailiff, who, entering the room with five or six followers, told him aloud that he had a writ against him for twelve hundred pounds, at the suit of Mr. Ravage Gleanum.

The whole company were astonished at this address, which did not fail to discompose the defendant himself, who, as it were instinctively, in the midst of his confusion, saluted the officer across the head with his cane; in consequence of which application, he was surrounded and disarmed in an instant by the gang, who carried him off to the next tavern in the most opprobrious manner. Nor did one of the spectators interpose in his behalf, or visit him in his confinement with the least tender of advice or assistance; such is the zeal of coffee-house friendship. This stroke was the more severe upon our hero, as it was altogether unexpected; for he had utterly forgot the debt for which he was arrested. His present indignation was, however, chiefly kindled against the bailiff, who had done his office in such a disrespectful manner; and the first use he made of his recollection in the house to which they conducted him, was to chastise him for the insolence and indecency of his behaviour. This task he performed with his bare fists, every other weapon being previously conveyed out of his reach; and the delinquent underwent his discipline with surprising patience and resignation, asking pardon with great humility, and protesting before God, that he had never willingly and wittingly used any gentleman with ill manners, but had been commanded to arrest our adventurer according to the express direction of the creditor, on pain of forfeiting his place.

By this declaration Peregrine was appeased, and, out of a delirium of passion, waked to all the horrors of reflection. All the glory of his youth was now eclipsed, all the blossoms of his hope were blasted, and he saw himself doomed to the miseries of a jail, without the least prospect of enlargement, except in the issue of his lawsuit, of which he had, for some time past, grown less and less confident every day. What would become of the unfortunate, if the constitution of the mind did not permit them to bring one passion into the field against another? passions that operate in the human breast, like poisons of a different nature, extinguishing each other's effect. Our hero's grief reigned in full despotism, until it was deposed by revenge, during the predominancy of which he considered everything which had happened as a circumstance conducive to its gratification. "If I must be prisoner for life," said he to himself, "if I must relinquish all my gay expectations, let me at least have the satisfaction of clanking my chains so as to interrupt the repose of my adversary; and let me search in my own breast for that peace and contentment, which I have not been able to find in all the scenes of my success. In being detached from the world, I shall be delivered from folly and ingratitude, as well as exempted from an expense, which I should have found it very difficult, if not impracticable, to support; I shall have little or no temptation to misspend my time, and more undisturbed opportunity to earn my subsistence, and prosecute revenge. After all, a jail is the best tub to which a cynic philosopher can retire."

In consequence of these comfortable reflections, he sent a letter to Mr. Crabtree, with an account of his misfortune, signifying his resolution to move himself immediately into the Fleet, and desiring that he would send him some understanding attorney of his acquaintance, who would direct him into the steps necessary to be taken for that purpose. The misanthrope, upon the receipt of this intimation, sent in person to a lawyer, whom he accompanied to the spunging-house whither the prisoner had by this time retired. Peregrine was, under the auspices of his director, conducted to the judges' chamber, where he was left in the custody of a tipstaff; and, after having paid for a warrant of habeas corpus, by him conveyed to the Fleet, and delivered to the care of the warden.

Here he was introduced to the lodge, in which he was obliged to expose himself a full half-hour to the eyes of all the turnkeys and door-keepers, who took an accurate survey of his person, that they might know him again at first sight; and then he was turned loose into the place called the master's side, having given a valuable consideration for that privilege. This is a large range of building, containing some hundreds of lodging-rooms for the convenience of the prisoners, who pay so much per week for that accommodation. In short, this community is like a city detached from all communication with the neighbouring parts, regulated by its own laws, and furnished with peculiar conveniences for the use of the inhabitants. There is a coffee-house for the resort of gentlemen, in which all sorts of liquors are kept, and a public kitchen, where any quantity of meat is sold at a very reasonable rate, or any kind of provision boiled and roasted gratis, for the poor prisoners. Nay, there are certain servants of the public, who are obliged to go to market, at the pleasure of individuals, without fee or reward from those who employ them. Nor are they cooped up, so as to be excluded from the benefit of fresh air, there being an open area, of a considerable extent, adjacent to the building, on which they may exercise themselves in walking, skittles, bowls, and a variety of other diversions, according to the inclination of each.

Our adventurer being admitted a denizen of this community, found himself bewildered in the midst of strangers, who, by their appearance, did not at all prepossess him in their favour; and, after having strolled about the place with his friend Cadwallader, repaired to the coffee-house, in order to be further informed of the peculiar customs which it was necessary for him to know. There, while he endeavoured to pick up intelligence from the bar-keeper, he was accosted by a person in canonicals, who very civilly asked if he was a new-comer. Being answered in the affirmative, he gave him the salutation of welcome to the society, and, with great hospitality, undertook to initiate him in the constitutions of the brotherhood. This humane clergyman gave him to understand, that his first care ought to be that of securing a lodging; telling him there was a certain number of apartments in the prison let at the same price, though some were more commodious than others; and that when the better sort became vacant, by the removal of their possessors, those who succeeded in point of seniority had the privilege of occupying the empty tenements preferable to the rest of the inhabitants, howsoever respectable they might otherwise be. That, when the jail was very much crowded, there was but one chamber allotted for two lodgers; but this was not considered as any great hardship on the prisoners; because, in that case, there was always a sufficient number of males, who willingly admitted the females to a share in their apartments and beds. Not but the time had been, when this expedient would not answer the occasion; because, after a couple had been quartered in every room, there was a considerable residue still unprovided with lodging; so that, for the time being, the last-comers were obliged to take up their habitation in Mount Scoundrel, an apartment most miserably furnished, in which they lay promiscuously, amidst filth and vermin, until they could be better accommodated in due course of rotation.

Peregrine, hearing the description of this place, began to be very impatient about his night's lodging; and the parson, perceiving his anxiety, conducted him, without loss of time, to the warden, who forthwith put him in possession of a paltry chamber, for which he agreed to pay half a crown a week. This point being settled, his director gave him an account of the different methods of eating, either singly, in a mess, or at an ordinary, and advised him to choose the last, as the most reputable, offering to introduce him next day to the best company in the Fleet, who always dined together in public.

Pickle having thanked this gentleman for his civilities, and promised to be governed by his advice, invited him to pass the evening at his apartment; and, in the meantime, shut himself up with Crabtree, in order to deliberate upon the wreck of his affairs. Of all his ample fortune nothing now remained but his wardrobe, which was not very sumptuous, about thirty guineas in cash, and the garrison, which the misanthrope counselled him to convert into ready money for his present subsistence. This advice, however, he absolutely rejected, not only on account of his having already bestowed it upon Hatchway during the term of his natural life, but also with a view of retaining some memorial of the commodore's generosity. He proposed, therefore, to finish in this retreat the translation which he had undertaken, and earn his future subsistence by labour of the same kind. He desired Cadwallader to take charge of his movables, and send to him such linen and clothes as he should have occasion for in his confinement. But, among all his difficulties, nothing embarrassed him so much as his faithful Pipes, whom he could no longer entertain in his service. He knew Tom had made shift to pick up a competency in the course of his ministration; but that reflection, though it in some measure alleviated, could not wholly prevent the mortification he should suffer in parting with an affectionate adherent, who was by this time become as necessary to him as one of his own members, and who was so accustomed to live under his command and protection, that he did not believe the fellow could reconcile himself to any other way of life.

Crabtree, in order to make him easy on that score, offered to adopt him in the room of his own valet, whom he would dismiss; though he observed, that Pipes had been quite spoiled in our hero's service. But Peregrine did not choose to lay his friend under that inconvenience, knowing that his present lacquey understood and complied with all the peculiarities of his humour, which Pipes would never be able to study or regard; he therefore determined to send him back to his shipmate Hatchway, with whom he had spent the fore part of his life. These points being adjusted, the two friends adjourned to the coffee-house, with a view of inquiring into the character of the clergyman to whose beneficence our adventurer was so much indebted. They learned he was a person who had incurred the displeasure of the bishop in whose diocese he was settled, and, being unequal in power to his antagonist, had been driven to the Fleet, in consequence of his obstinate opposition; though he still found means to enjoy a pretty considerable income, by certain irregular practices in the way of his function, which income was chiefly consumed in acts of humanity to his fellow-creatures in distress.

His eulogium was scarce finished, when he entered the room, according to appointment with Peregrine, who ordering wine and something for supper to be carried to his apartment, the triumvirate went thither; and Cadwallader taking his leave for the night, the two fellow-prisoners passed the evening very sociably, our hero being entertained by his new companion with a private history of the place, some particulars of which were extremely curious. He told him, that the person who attended them at supper, bowing with the most abject servility, and worshipping them every time he opened his mouth, with the epithets of your lordship and your honour, had, a few years before, been actually a captain in the guards; who, after having run his career in the great world, had threaded every station in their community, from that of a buck of the first order, who swaggers about the Fleet in a laced coat, with a footman and w—, to the degree of a tapster, in which he was now happily settled. "If you will take the trouble of going into the cook's kitchen," said he, "you will perceive a beau metamorphosed into a turnspit; and there are some hewers of wood and drawers of water in this microcosm who have had forests and fishponds of their own. Yet, notwithstanding such a miserable reverse of fortune, they are neither objects of regard nor compassion, because their misfortunes are the fruits of the most vicious extravagance, and they are absolutely insensible of the misery which is their lot. Those of our fellow-sufferers, who have been reduced by undeserved losses, or the precipitation of inexperienced youth, never fail to meet with the most brotherly assistance, provided they behave with decorum, and a due sense of their unhappy circumstances. Nor are we destitute of power to chastise the licentious, who refuse to comply with the regulations of the place, and disturb the peace of the community with riot and disorder. Justice is here impartially administered by a court of equity, consisting of a select number of the most respectable inhabitants, who punish all offenders with equal judgment and resolution, after they have been fairly convicted of the crimes laid to their charge."

The clergyman having thus explained the economy of the place, as well as the cause of his own confinement, began to discover signs of curiosity touching our hero's situation; and Pickle, thinking he could do no less for the satisfaction of a man who had treated him in such a hospitable manner, favoured him with a detail of the circumstances which produced his imprisonment; at the same time gratifying his resentment against the minister, which delighted in recapitulating the injuries he had received. The parson, who had been prepossessed in favour of our youth at first sight, understanding what a considerable part he had acted on the stage of life, felt his veneration increase; and, pleased with the opportunity of introducing a stranger of his consequence to the club, left him to his repose, or rather to ruminate on an event which he had not as yet seriously considered.

I might here, in imitation of some celebrated writers, furnish out a page or two, with the reflections he made upon the instability of human affairs, the treachery of the world, and the temerity of youth; and endeavour to decoy the reader into a smile, by some quaint observation of my own, touching the sagacious moraliser: but, besides that I look upon this practice as an impertinent anticipation of the peruser's thoughts, I have too much matter of importance upon my hands, to give the reader the least reason to believe that I am driven to such paltry shifts, in order to eke out the volume. Suffice it then to say, our adventurer passed a very uneasy night, not only from the thorny suggestions of his mind, but likewise from the anguish of his body, which suffered from the hardness of his couch, as well as from the natural inhabitants thereof, that did not tamely suffer his intrusion. In the morning he was waked by Pipes, who brought upon his shoulder a portmanteau filled with necessaries, according to the direction of Cadwallader; and, tossing it down upon the floor, regaled himself with a quid, without the least manifestation of concern. After some pause, "You see, Pipes," said his master, "to what I have brought myself." "Ey, ey," answered the valet, "once the vessel is ashore, what signifies talking? We must bear a hand to tow her off, if we can. If she won't budge for all the anchors and capstans aboard, after we have lightened her, by cutting away her masts, and heaving our guns and cargo overboard, why then, mayhap a brisk gale of wind, a tide, or current setting from shore, may float her again in the blast of a whistle. Here is two hundred and ten guineas by the tale in this here canvas bag; and upon this scrap of paper—no, avast—that's my discharge from the parish for Moll Trundle—ey, here it is—an order for thirty pounds upon the what-d'ye-call-'em in the city; and two tickets for twenty-five and eighteen, which I lent, d'ye see, to Sam Studding to buy a cargo of rum, when he hoisted the sign of the commodore at St. Catherine's." So saying, he spread his whole stock upon the table for the acceptance of Peregrine; who, being very much affected with this fresh instance of his attachment, expressed his satisfaction at seeing he had been such a good economist, and paid his wages up to that very day. He thanked him for his faithful services, and, observing that he himself was no longer in a condition to maintain a domestic, advised him to retire to the garrison, where he would be kindly received by his friend Hatchway, to whom he would recommend him in the strongest terms.

Pipes looked blank at this unexpected intimation, to which he replied, that he wanted neither pay nor provision, but only to be employed as a tender; and that he would not steer his course for the garrison, unless his master would first take his lumber aboard. Pickle, however, peremptorily refused to touch a farthing of the money, which he commanded him to put up, and Pipes was so mortified at his refusal, that, twisting the notes together, he threw them into the fire without hesitation, crying, "D— the money!" The canvas bag with its contents would have shared the same fate, had not Peregrine started up, and snatching the paper from the flames, ordered his valet to forbear, on pain of being banished for ever from his sight. He told him that, for the present, there was a necessity for his being dismissed, and he discharged him accordingly; but, if he would go and live quietly with the lieutenant, he promised, on the first favourable turn of his fortune, to take him again into his service. In the meantime he gave him to understand, that he neither wanted, nor would make use of his money, which he insisted upon his pocketing immediately, on pain of forfeiting all title to his favour.

Pipes was very much chagrined at these injunctions, to which he made no reply; but, sweeping the money into his bag, stalked off in silence, with a look of grief and mortification, which his countenance had never exhibited before. Nor was the proud heart of Pickle unmoved upon the occasion; he could scarce suppress his sorrow in the presence of Pipes, and, soon as he was gone, it vented itself in tears.

Having no great pleasure in conversing with his own thoughts, he dressed himself with all convenient despatch, being attended by one of the occasional valets of the place, who had formerly been a rich mercer in the city; and, this operation being performed, he went to breakfast at the coffee-house, where he happened to meet with his friend the clergyman and several persons of genteel appearance, to whom the doctor introduced him as a new messmate. By these gentlemen he was conducted to a place where they spent the forenoon in playing at fives, an exercise in which our hero took singular delight; and about one o'clock a court was held, for the trial of two delinquents, who had transgressed the laws of honesty and good order. The first who appeared at the bar was an attorney, accused of having picked a gentleman's pocket of his handkerchief. And the fact being proved by incontestable evidence, he received sentence. In consequence of which, he was immediately carried to the public pump, and subjected to a severe cascade of cold water. This cause being discussed, they proceeded to the trial of the other offender, who was a lieutenant of a man-of-war, indicted for a riot, which he had committed in company with a female, not yet taken, against the laws of the place, and the peace of his fellow-prisoners. The culprit had been very obstreperous, and absolutely refused to obey the summons, with many expressions of contempt and defiance against the authority of the court; upon which the constables were ordered to bring him to the bar, vi et armis; and he was accordingly brought before the judge, after having made a most desperate resistance with a hanger, by which one of the officers was dangerously wounded. This outrage was such an aggravation of his crime, that the court would not venture to decide upon it, but remitted him to the sentence of the warden; who, by virtue of his dictatorial power, ordered the rioter to be loaded with irons, and confined in the strong room, which is a dismal dungeon, situated upon the side of the ditch, infested with toads and vermin, surcharged with noisome damps, and impervious to the least ray of light.

Justice being done upon these criminals, our adventurer and his company adjourned to the ordinary, which was kept at the coffee-house; and he found, upon inquiry, that his messmates consisted of one officer, two underwriters, three projectors, an alchemist, an attorney, a parson, a brace of poets, a baronet, and a knight of the Bath. The dinner, though not sumptuous, nor very elegantly served up, was nevertheless substantial, and pretty well dressed. The wine was tolerable, and all the guests as cheerful as if they had been utter strangers to calamity; so that our adventurer began to relish the company, and mix in the conversation, with that sprightliness and ease which were peculiar to his disposition. The repast being ended, the reckoning paid, and part of the gentlemen withdrawn to cards, or other avocations, those who remained, among whom Peregrine made one, agreed to spend the afternoon in conversation over a bowl of punch; and the liquor being produced, they passed the time very socially in various topics of discourse, including many curious anecdotes relating to their own affairs. No man scrupled to own the nature of the debt for which he was confined, unless it happened to be some piddling affair, but, on the contrary, boasted of the importance of the sum, as a circumstance that implied his having been a person of consequence in life; and he who made the most remarkable escapes from bailiffs, was looked upon as a man of superior genius and address.

Among other extraordinary adventures of this kind, none was more romantic than the last elopement achieved by the officer; who told them he had been arrested for a debt of two hundred pounds, at a time when he could not command as many pence, and conveyed to the bailiff's house, in which he continued a whole fortnight, moving his lodgings higher and higher, from time to time, in proportion to the decay of his credit; until, from the parlour, he had made a regular ascent to the garret. There, while he ruminated on his next step, which would have been to the Marshalsea, and saw the night come on, attended with hunger and cold, the wind began to blow, and the tiles of the house rattled with the storm. His imagination was immediately struck with the idea of escaping unperceived, amidst the darkness and noise of the tempest, by creeping out of the window of his apartment, and making his way over the tops of the adjoining houses. Glowing with this prospect, he examined the passage, which, to his infinite mortification, he found grated with iron bars on the outside; but even this difficulty did not divert him from his purpose. Conscious of his own strength, he believed himself able to make a hole through the roof, which seemed to be slender and crazy; and, on this supposition, he barricaded the door with the whole furniture of the room; then setting himself to work with a poker, he in a few minutes effected a passage for his hand, with which he gradually stripped off the boards and tiling, so as to open a sallyport for his whole body, through which he fairly set himself free, groping his way towards the next tenement. Here, however, he met with an unlucky accident. His hat being blown off his head, chanced to fall into the court just as one of the bailiff's followers was knocking at the door; and this myrmidon, recognizing it, immediately gave the alarm to his chief, who, running up-stairs to the garret, forced open the door in a twinkling, notwithstanding the precautions which the prisoner had taken, and, with his attendant, pursued the fugitive through his own track. "After this chase had continued some time," said the officer, "to the imminent danger of all three, I found my progress suddenly stopped by a skylight, through which I perceived seven tailors sitting at work upon a board. Without the least hesitation, or previous notice, I plunged among them with my backside foremost. Before they could recollect themselves from the consternation occasioned by such a strange visit, I told them my situation, and gave them to understand that there was no time to be lost. One of the number, taking the hint, led me instantly down-stairs, and dismissed me at the street door; while the bailiff and his follower, arriving at the breach, were deterred from entering by the brethren of my deliverer, who, presenting their shears, like a range of chevaux de frise, commanded them to retire, on pain of immediate death. And the catchpole, rather than risk his carcase, consented to discharge the debt, comforting himself with the hope of making me prisoner again. There, however, he was disappointed. I kept snug, and laughed at his escape-warrant, until I was ordered abroad with the regiment, when I conveyed myself in a hearse to Gravesend, where I embarked for Flanders; but, being obliged to come over again on the recruiting service, I was nabbed on another score. And all the satisfaction my first captor has been able to obtain, is a writ of detainer, which, I believe, will fix me in this place, until the parliament, in its great goodness, shall think proper to discharge my debts by a new act of insolvency."

Everybody owned, that the captain's success was equal to the hardiness of his enterprise, which was altogether in the style of a soldier; but one of the merchants observed, that he must have been a bailiff of small experience, who would trust a prisoner of that consequence in such an unguarded place. "If the captain," said he, "had fallen into the hands of such a cunning rascal as the fellow that arrested me, he would not have found it such an easy matter to escape; for the manner in which I was caught is perhaps the most extraordinary that ever was practised in these realms. You must know, gentlemen, I suffered such losses by insuring vessels during the war, that I was obliged to stop payment, though my expectations were such as encouraged me to manage one branch of business, without coming to an immediate composition with my creditors, and, in short, I received consignments from abroad as usual, that I might not be subject to the visits of those catchpoles, I never stirred abroad; but, turning my first floor into a warehouse, ordered all my goods to be hoisted up by a crane fixed to the upper story of my house. Divers were the stratagems practised by those ingenious ferrets, with a view of decoying me from the walls of my fortification. I received innumerable messages from people, who wanted to see me at certain taverns, upon particular business. I was summoned into the country, to see my own mother, who was said to be at the point of death. A gentlewoman, one night, was taken in labour on my threshold. At another time I was disturbed with the cry of murder in the street; and once I was alarmed by a false fire. But, being still upon my guard, I baffled all their attempts, and thought myself quite secure from their invention, when one of those bloodhounds, inspired, I believe, by the devil himself, contrived a snare by which I was at last entrapped. He made it his business to inquire into the particulars of my traffic; and, understanding that, among other things, there were several chests of Florence entered at the custom house on my behalf, he ordered himself to be enclosed in a box of the same dimensions, with air-holes in the bottom, for the benefit of breathing, and marked upon the cover; and, being conveyed to my door in a cart, among other goods, was, in his turn, hoisted up to my warehouse, where I stood with a hammer, in order to open the chests, that I might compare the contents with the invoice. You may guess my surprise and consternation, when, upon uncovering the box, I saw a bailiff rearing up his head, like Lazarus from the grave, and heard him declare that he had a writ against me for a thousand pounds. Indeed, I aimed the hammer at his head, but, in the hurry of my confusion, missed my mark; before I could repeat the blow, he started up with great agility, and executed his office in sight of several evidences whom he had assembled in the street for that purpose; so that I could not possibly disentangle myself from the toil without incurring an escape-warrant, from which I had no protection. But, had I known the contents of the chest, by all that's good! I would have ordered my porter to raise it up as high as the crane would permit, and then have cut the rope by accident."

"That expedient," said the knight with the red ribbon, "would have discouraged him from such hazardous attempts for the future, and would have been an example in terrorem of all his brethren. The story puts me in mind of a deliverance achieved by Tom Hackabout, a very stout, honest fellow, an old acquaintance of mine, who had been so famous for maiming bailiffs, that another gentleman having been ill-used at a spunging-house, no sooner obtained his liberty, than, with a view of being revenged upon the landlord, he, for five shillings, bought one of Tom's notes, which sold at a very large discount, and, taking out a writ upon it, put it into the hands of the bailiff who had used him ill. The catchpole, after a diligent search, had an opportunity of executing the writ upon the defendant, who, without ceremony, broke one of his arms, fractured his skull, and belaboured him in such a manner, that he lay without sense or motion on the spot. By such exploits, this hero became so formidable, that no single bailiff would undertake to arrest him; so that he appeared in all public places untouched. At length, however, several officers of the Marshalsea court entered into a confederacy against him; and two of the number, attended by three desperate followers, ventured to arrest him one day in the Strand, near Hungerford-market. He found it impossible to make resistance, because the whole gang sprung upon him at once, like so many tigers, and pinioned his arms so fast, that he could not wag a finger. Perceiving himself fairly overpowered, he desired to be conducted forthwith to jail, and was stowed in a boat accordingly; by the time they had reached the middle of the river, he found means to overset the wherry by accident, and every man, disregarding the prisoner, consulted his own safety. As for Hackabout, to whom that element was quite familiar, he mounted astride upon the keel of the boat, which was uppermost, and exhorted the bailiffs to swim for their lives; protesting before God, that they had no other chance to be saved.

"The watermen were immediately taken up by some of their own friends, who, far from yielding any assistance to the catchpoles, kept aloof, and exulted in their calamity. In short, two of the five went to the bottom, and never saw the light of God's sun, and the other three, with great difficulty, saved themselves by laying hold on the rudder of a dung-barge, to which they were carried by the stream, while Tom, with great deliberation, swam across to the Surrey shore. After this achievement, he was so much dreaded by the whole fraternity, that they shivered at the very mention of his name; and this character, which some people would think an advantage to a man in debt, was the greatest misfortune that could possibly happen to him; because no tradesman would give him credit for the least trifle, on the supposition that he could not indemnify himself in the common course of law."

The parson did not approve of Mr. Hackabout's method of escaping, which he considered as a very unchristian attempt upon the lives of his fellow-subjects. "It is enough," said he, "that we elude the laws of our country, without murdering the officers of justice. For my own part, I can lay my hand upon my heart, and safely say, that I forgive from my soul the fellow by whom I was made a prisoner, although the circumstances of his behaviour were treacherous, wicked, and profane. You must know, Mr. Pickle, I was one day called into my chapel, in order to join a couple in the holy bands of matrimony; and, my affairs being at that time so situated, as to lay me under apprehensions of an arrest, I cautiously surveyed the man through a lattice which was made for that purpose, before I would venture to come within his reach. He was clothed in a seaman's jacket and trousers, and had such an air of simplicity in his countenance, as divested me of all suspicion. I therefore, without further scruple, trusted myself in his presence, began to exercise the duty of my function, and had actually performed one half of the ceremony, when the supposed woman, pulling out a paper from her bosom, exclaimed, with a masculine voice, 'Sir, you are my prisoner; I have got a writ against you for five hundred pounds.' I was thunderstruck at this declaration, not so much on account of my own misfortune, which, thank Heaven, I can bear with patience and resignation, as at the impiety of the wretch, first, in disguising such a worldly aim under the cloak of religion; and, secondly, in prostituting the service, when there was no occasion for so doing, his design having previously taken effect. Yet I forgive him, poor soul! because he knew not what he did; and I hope you, Sir Simple, will exert the same Christian virtue towards the man by whom you were likewise overreached."

"Oh! d— the rascal," cried the knight; "were I his judge, he should be condemned to flames everlasting. A villain! to disgrace me in such a manner, before almost all the fashionable company in town." Our hero expressing a curiosity to know the particulars of this adventure, the knight gratified his desire, by telling him, that one evening, while he was engaged in a party of cards, at a drum in the house of a certain lady of quality, he was given to understand by one of the servants, that a stranger, very richly dressed, was just arrived in a chair, preceded by five footmen with flambeaux, and that he refused to come upstairs, until he should be introduced by Sir Simple. "Upon this notice," continued the knight, "I judged it was some of my quality friends; and, having obtained her ladyship's permission to bring him up, went down to the hall, and perceived a person, whom, to the best of my recollection, I had never seen before. However, his appearance was so magnificent, that I could not harbour the least suspicion of his true quality; and, seeing me advance, he saluted me with a very genteel bow, observing, that though he had not the honour of my acquaintance, he could not dispense with waiting upon me, even on that occasion, in consequence of a letter which he had received from a particular friend. So saying, he put a paper into my hand, intimating that he had got a writ against me for ten thousand pounds, and that it would be my interest to submit without resistance, for he was provided with a guard of twenty men, who surrounded the door in different disguises, determined to secure me against all opposition. Enraged at the scoundrel's finesse, and trusting to the assistance of the real footmen assembled in the hall, 'So you are a rascally bailiff,' said I, 'who have assumed the garb of a gentleman, in order to disturb her ladyship's company. Take this fellow, my lads, and roll him in the kennel. Here are ten guineas for your trouble.' These words were no sooner pronounced, than I was seized, lifted up, placed in a chair, and carried off in the twinkling of an eye; not but that the servants of the house, and some other footmen, made a motion towards my rescue, and alarmed all the company above. But the bailiff affirming with undaunted effrontery, that I was taken up upon an affair of state, and so many people appearing in his behalf, the countess would not suffer the supposed messenger to be insulted; and he carried me to the county jail without further let or molestation."





CHAPTER XCVIII.
Pickle seems tolerably well reconciled to his Cage; and is by the Clergyman entertained with the Memoirs of a Noted Personage, whom he sees by accident in the Fleet.

The knight had scarce finished his narrative, when our hero was told, that a gentleman in the coffee-room wanted to see him; and when he went thither, he found his friend Crabtree, who had transacted all his affairs, according to the determination of the preceding day; and now gave him an account of the remarks he overheard, on the subject of his misfortune; for the manner of the arrest was so public and extraordinary, that those who were present immediately propagated it among their acquaintance, and it was that same evening discoursed upon at several tea and card tables, with this variation from the truth, that the debt amounted to twelve thousand, instead of twelve hundred pounds. From which circumstance it was conjectured, that Peregrine was a bite from the beginning, who had found credit on account of his effrontery and appearance, and imposed himself upon the town as a young gentleman of fortune. They rejoiced, therefore, at his calamity, which they considered as a just punishment for his fraud and presumption, and began to review certain particulars of his conduct, that plainly demonstrated him to be a rank adventurer, long before he had arrived at this end of his career.

Pickle, who now believed his glory was set for ever, received this intelligence with that disdain which enables a man to detach himself effectually from the world, and, with great tranquility, gave the misanthrope an entertaining detail of what he had seen and heard since their last parting. While they amused themselves in this manner over a dish of coffee they were joined by the parson, who congratulated our hero upon his bearing mischance with such philosophic quite, and began to regale the two friends with some curious circumstances relating to the private history of the several prisoners, as they happened to come in. At length a gentleman entered; at sight of whom the clergyman rose up, and saluted him with a most reverential bow, which was graciously returned by the stranger, who, with a young man that attended him, retired to the other end of the room. They were no sooner out of hearing, than the communicative priest desired his company to take particular notice of this person to whom he had paid his respects. "That man," said he, "is this day one of the most flagrant instances of neglected virtue which the world can produce. Over and above a cool discerning head, fraught with uncommon learning and experience, he is possessed of such fortitude and resolution, as no difficulties can discourage, and no danger impair; and so indefatigable in his humanity, that even now, while he is surrounded with such embarrassments as would distract the brain of an ordinary mortal, he has added considerably to his encumbrances, by taking under his protection that young gentleman, who, induced by his character, appealed to his benevolence for redress of the grievances under which he labours from the villainy of guardian."

Peregrine's curiosity being excited by this encomium, asked the name of this generous patron, of which when he was informed, "I am no stranger," said he, "to the fame of that gentleman, who has made a considerable noise in the world, on account of that great cause he undertook in defence of an unhappy orphan; and, since he is a person of such an amiable disposition, I am heartily sorry to find that his endeavours have not met with that successful issue which their good fortune in the beginning seemed to promise. Indeed, the circumstance of his espousing that cause was so uncommon and romantic and the depravity of the human heart so universal, that some people, unacquainted with his real character, imagined his views were altogether selfish; and some were not wanting, who affirmed he was a mere adventurer. Nevertheless, I must do him the justice to own, I have heard some of the most virulent of those who were concerned on the other side of the question, bear testimony in his favour, observing, that he was deceived into the expense of the whole, by the plausible story which at first engaged his compassion. Your description of his character confirms me in the same opinion, though I am quite ignorant of the affair; the particulars of which I should be glad to learn, as well as the genuine account of his own life, many circumstances of which are by his enemies, I believe, egregiously misrepresented."

"Sir," answered the priest, "that is a piece of satisfaction which I am glad to find myself capable of giving you. I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with Mr. M— from his youth, and everything which I shall relate concerning him, you may depend upon as a fact which hath fallen under my own cognizance, or been vouched upon the credit of undoubted evidence.

"Mr. M—'s father was a minister of the established church of Scotland, descended from a very ancient clan, and his mother nearly related to a noble family in the northern part of that kingdom. While the son was boarded at a public school, where he made good progress in the Latin tongue, his father died, and he was left an orphan to the care of an uncle, who, finding him determined against any servile employment, kept him at school, that he might prepare himself for the university, with a view of being qualified for his father's profession.

"Here his imagination was so heated by the warlike achievements he found recorded in the Latin authors, such as Caesar, Curtius, and Buchanan, that he was seized with an irresistible thirst of military glory, and desire of trying his fortune in the army. His Majesty's troops taking the field, in consequence of the rebellion which happened in the year seventeen hundred and fifteen, this young adventurer, thinking no life equal to that of a soldier, found means to furnish himself with a fusil and bayonet, and, leaving the school, repaired to the camp near Stirling with a view of signalizing himself in the field, though he was at that time but just turned of thirteen. He offered his service to several officers, in hope of being enlisted in their companies; but they would not receive him, because they rightly concluded, that he was some schoolboy broke loose, without the knowledge or consent of his relations. Notwithstanding this discouragement, he continued in camp, curiously prying into every part of the service; and such was the resolution conspicuous in him, even at such a tender age, that, after his small finances were exhausted, he persisted in his design; and, because he would not make his wants known, actually subsisted for several days on hips, haws, and sloes, and other spontaneous fruits, which he gathered in the woods and fields. Meanwhile, he never failed to be present, when any regiment or corps of men were drawn out to be exercised and reviewed, and accompanied them in all their evolutions, which he had learned to great perfection, by observing the companies which were quartered in the place where he was at school. This eagerness and perseverance attracted the notice of many officers, who, after having commended his spirit and zeal, pressed him to return to his parents, and even threatened to expel him from the camp, if he would not comply with their advice.

"These remonstrances having no other effect than that of warning him to avoid his monitors, they thought proper to alter their behaviour towards him, took him into their protection, and even into their mess, and what, above all other marks of favour, pleased the young soldier most, permitted him to incorporate in the battalion, and take his turn of duty with the other men. In this happy situation he was discovered by a relation of his mother, who was a captain in the army, and who used all his authority and influence in persuading M— to return to school; but, finding him deaf to his admonitions and threats, he took him under his own care, and, when the army marched to Dumblane, left him at Stirling with express injunctions to keep himself within the walls.

"He temporized with his kinsman, fearing that, should he seem refractory, the captain would have ordered him to be shut up in the castle. Inflamed with the desire of seeing a battle, his relation no sooner marched off the ground, than he mixed in with another regiment, to which his former patrons belonged, and proceeded to the field, where he distinguished himself, even at that early time of life, by his gallantry, in helping to retrieve a pair of colours belonging to M—n's regiment; so that, after the affair, he was presented to the duke of Argyll, and recommended strongly to Brigadier Grant, who invited him into his regiment, and promised to provide for him with the first opportunity. But that gentleman in a little time lost his command upon the duke's disgrace, and the regiment was ordered for Ireland, being given to Colonel Nassau, whose favour the young volunteer acquired to such a degree, that he was recommended to the king for his ensigncy, which in all probability he would have obtained, had not the regiment been unluckily reduced.

"In consequence of this reduction, which happened in the most severe season of the year, he was obliged to return to his own country, through infinite hardships, to which he was exposed from the narrowness of his circumstances. And continuing still enamoured of a military life, he entered into the regiment of Scots Greys, at that time commanded by the late Sir James Campbell, who, being acquainted with his family and character, encouraged him with a promise of speedy preferment. In this corps he remained three years, during which he had no opportunity of seeing actual service, except at the affair of Glensheel; and this life of insipid quiet must have hung heavy upon a youth of M—'s active disposition, had not he found exercise for the mind, in reading books of amusement, history, voyages, and geography, together with those that treated of the art of war, ancient and modern, for which he contracted such an eager appetite, that he used to spend sixteen hours a day in this employment. About that time he became acquainted with a gentleman of learning and taste, who observing his indefatigable application, and insatiable thirst after knowledge, took upon himself the charge of superintending his studies; and, by the direction of such an able guide, the young soldier converted his attention to a more solid and profitable course of reading. So inordinate was his desire of making speedy advances in the paths of learning, that within the compass of three months, he diligently perused the writings of Locke and Malebranche, and made himself master of the first six and of the eleventh and twelfth books of Euclid's Elements. He considered Puffendorf and Grotius with uncommon care, acquired a tolerable degree of knowledge in the French language, and his imagination was so captivated with the desire of learning, that, seeing no prospect of a war, or views of being provided for in the service, he quitted the army, and went through a regular course of university education. Having made such progress in his studies, he resolved to qualify himself for the church, and acquired such a stock of school divinity, under the instructions of a learned professor at Edinburgh, that he more than once mounted the rostrum in the public hall, and held forth with uncommon applause. But being discouraged from a prosecution of his plan, by the unreasonable austerity of some of the Scotch clergy, by whom the most indifferent and innocent words and actions were often misconstrued into levity and misconduct, he resolved to embrace the first favourable opportunity of going abroad, being inflamed with the desire of seeing foreign countries; and actually set out for Holland, where, for the space of two years, he studied the Roman law, with the law of nature and nations, under the famous professors Tolieu and Barbeyrac.

"Having thus finished his school education, he set out for Paris, with a view to make himself perfect in the French language, and learn such useful exercises, as might be acquired with the wretched remnant of his slender estate, which was by that time reduced very low. In his journey through the Netherlands, he went to Namur, and paid his respects to Bishop Strickland and General Collier, by whom he was received with great civility, in consequence of letters of recommendation, with which he was provided from the Hague; and the old general assured him of his protection and interest for a pair of colours, if he was disposed to enter into the Dutch service. Though he was by that time pretty well cured of his military quixotism, he would not totally decline the generous proffer, for which he thanked him in the most grateful terms, telling the general that he would pay his duty to him on his return from France, and then, if he could determine upon re-engaging in the army, should think himself highly honoured in being under his command.

"After a stay of two months in Flanders, he proceeded to Paris, and, far from taking up his habitation in the suburbs of St. Germain, according to the custom of English travellers, he hired a private lodging on the other side of the river, and associated chiefly with French officers, who, their youthful sallies being over, are allowed to be the politest gentlemen of that kingdom. In this scheme he found his account so much, that he could not but wonder at the folly of his countrymen, who lose the main scope of their going abroad, by spending their time and fortune idly with one another.

"During his residence in Holland, he had made himself acquainted with the best authors in the French language, so that he was able to share in their conversation; a circumstance from which he found great benefit; for it not only improved him in his knowledge of that tongue, but also tended to the enlargement of his acquaintance, in the course of which he contracted intimacies in some families of good fashion, especially those of the long robe, which would have enabled him to pass his time very agreeably, had he been a little easier in point of fortune. But his finances, notwithstanding the most rigid economy, being in a few months reduced to a very low ebb, the prospect of indigence threw a damp upon all his pleasures, though he never suffered himself to be thereby in any degree dispirited; being in that respect of so happy a disposition, that conscious poverty or abundance made very slight impressions upon his mind. This consumption of his cash, however, involved him in some perplexity, and he deliberated with himself, whether he should return to General Collier, or repair to London, where he might possibly fall into some business not unbecoming a gentleman; though he was very much mortified to find himself incapable of gratifying an inordinate desire which possessed him of making the grand tour, or, at least, of visiting the southern parts of France.

"While he thus hesitated between different suggestions, he was one morning visited by a gentleman who had sought and cultivated his friendship, and for whom he had done a good office, in supporting him with spirit against a brutal German, with whom he had an affair of honour. This gentleman came to propose a party for a fortnight, to Fontainebleau, where the court then was; and the proposal being declined by M— with more than usual stiffness, his friend was very urgent to know the reason of his refusal, and at length, with some confusion, said, 'Perhaps your finances are low?' M— replied, that he had wherewithal to defray the expense of his journey to London, where he could be furnished with a fresh supply; and this answer was no sooner made, than the other taking him by the hand, 'My dear friend,' said he, 'I am not unacquainted with your affairs, and would have offered you my credit long ago, if I had thought it would be acceptable; even now, I do not pretend to give you money, but desire and insist upon it, that you will accept of the loan of these two pieces of paper, to be repaid when you marry a woman with a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, or obtain an employment of a thousand a year.' So saying, he presented him with two actions of above two thousand livres each.

"M— was astonished at this unexpected instance of generosity, in a stranger, and, with suitable acknowledgment, peremptorily refused to incur such an obligation; but at length he was, by dint of importunity and warm expostulation, prevailed upon to accept one of the actions, on condition that the gentleman would take his note for the sum; and this he absolutely rejected, until M— promised to draw upon him for double the value or more, in case he should at any time want a further supply. This uncommon act of friendship and generosity, afterwards had an opportunity to repay tenfold, though he could not help regretting the occasion, on his friend's account. That worthy man having, by placing too much confidence in a villainous lawyer, and a chain of other misfortunes, involved himself and his amiable lady in a labyrinth of difficulties, which threatened the total ruin of his family, M— felt the inexpressible satisfaction of delivering his benefactor from the snare.

"Being thus reinforced by the generosity of his friend, M— resolved to execute his former plan of seeing the south of France, together with the sea-ports of Spain, as far as Cadiz, from whence he proposed to take a passage for London by sea; and, with this view, sent forward his trunks by the diligence to Lyons, determined to ride post, in order to enjoy a better view of the country, and for the conveniency of stopping at those places where there was anything remarkable to be seen or inquired into. While he was employed in taking leave of his Parisian friends, who furnished him with abundant recommendation, a gentleman of his own country, who spoke little or no French, hearing of his intention, begged the favour of accompanying him in his expedition. With this new companion, therefore, he set out for Lyons, where he was perfectly well received by the intendant and some of the best families of the place, in consequence of his letters of recommendation; and, after a short stay in that city, proceeded down the Rhone to Avignon, in what is called the coche d'eau; then visiting the principal towns of Dauphiny, Languedoc, and Provence, he returned to the delightful city of Marseilles, where he and his fellow-traveller were so much captivated by the serenity of the air, the good-nature and hospitality of the sprightly inhabitants, that they never dreamed of changing their quarters during the whole winter and part of the spring: here he acquired the acquaintance of the Marquis d'Argens, attorney-general in the parliament of Aix, and of his eldest son, who now makes so great a figure in the literary world; and when the affair of Father Girard and Mademoiselle Cadiere began to make a noise, he accompanied these two gentlemen to Toulon, where the marquis was ordered to take a precognition of the facts.

"On his return to Marseilles, he found a certain noble lord of great fortune, under the direction of a Swiss governor, who had accommodated him with two of his own relations, of the same country, by way of companions, together with five servants in his train. They being absolute strangers in the place, M—introduced them to the intendant, and several other good families, and had the good fortune to be so agreeable to his lordship, that he proposed and even pressed him to live with him in England as a friend and companion, and to take upon him the superintendence of his affairs, in which case he would settle upon him four hundred a year for life.

"This proposal was too advantageous to be slighted by a person of no fortune, or fixed establishment: he therefore made no difficulty of closing with it; but, as his lordship's departure was fixed to a short day, and he urged him to accompany him to Paris, and from thence to England, M— thought it would be improper and indecent to interfere with the office of his governor, who might take umbrage at his favour, and therefore excused himself from a compliance with his lordship's request, until his minority should be expired, as he was within a few months of being of age. However, he repeated his importunities so earnestly, and the governor joined in the request with such appearance of cordiality, that he was prevailed upon to comply with their joint desire; and in a few days set out with them for Paris, by the way of Lyons. But, before they had been three days in the city, M— perceived a total change in the behaviour of the Swiss and his two relations, who, in all probability, became jealous of his influence with his lordship; and he no sooner made this discovery, than he resolved to withdraw himself from such a disagreeable participation of that young nobleman's favour. He, therefore, in spite of all his lordship's entreaties and remonstrances, quitted him for the present, alleging, as a pretext, that he had a longing desire to see Switzerland and the banks of the Rhine, and promising to meet him again in England.

"This his intention being made known to the governor and his friends, their countenances immediately cleared up, their courtesy and complaisance returned, and they even furnished him with letters for Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, and Soleures; in consequence of which he met with unusual civilities at these places. Having made this tour with his Scotch friend, who came up to him before he left Lyons, and visited the most considerable towns on both sides of the Rhine, and the courts of the electors Palatine, Mentz, and Cologne, he arrived in Holland; and from thence, through the Netherlands, repaired to London, where he found my lord just returned from Paris.

"His lordship received him with expressions of uncommon joy, would not suffer him to stir from him for several days, and introduced him to his relations. M— accompanied his lordship from London to his country seat, where he was indeed treated with great friendship and confidence, and consulted in everything; but the noble peer never once made mention of the annuity which he had promised to settle upon him, nor did M— remind him of it, because he conceived it was his affair to fulfil his engagements of his own accord. M— being tired of the manner of living at this place, made an excursion to Bath, where he stayed about a fortnight, to partake of the diversions, and, upon his return, found his lordship making dispositions for another journey to Paris.

"Surprised at this sudden resolution, he endeavoured to dissuade him from it; but his remonstrances were rendered ineffectual by the insinuations of a foreigner who had come over with him, and filled his imagination with extravagant notions of pleasure, infinitely superior to any which he could enjoy while he was in the trammels and under the restraints of a governor. He, therefore, turned a deaf ear to all M—'s arguments, and entreated him to accompany him in the journey; but this gentleman, foreseeing that a young man, like my lord, of strong passions, and easy to be misled, would, in all probability, squander away great sums of money, in a way that would neither do credit to himself, or to those who were concerned with him, resisted all his solicitations, on pretence of having business of consequence at London; and afterwards had reason to be extremely well pleased with his own conduct in this particular.

"Before he set out on this expedition, M—, in justice to himself, reminded him of the proposal which he had made to him at Marseilles, desiring to know if he had altered his design in that particular; in which case he would turn his thoughts some other way, as he would not in the least be thought to intrude or pin himself upon any man. My lord protested in the most solemn manner, that he still continued in his former resolution, and, again beseeching him to bear him company into France, promised that everything should be settled to his satisfaction upon their return to England. M—, however, still persisted in his refusal, for the above-mentioned reasons, and, though he never heard more of the annuity, he nevertheless continued to serve his lordship with his advice and good offices ever after; particularly in directing his choice to an alliance with a lady of eminent virtue, the daughter of a noble lord, more conspicuous for his shining parts than the splendour of his titles; a circumstance upon which he always reflected with particular satisfaction, as well on account of the extraordinary merit of the lady, as because it vested in her children a considerable part of that great estate, which of right belonged to her grandmother, and afterwards put him in a way to retrieve his estate from a heavy load of debt he had contracted. When my lord set out on his Paris expedition, the money M— had received from his generous friend at Paris was almost reduced to the last guinea. He had not yet reaped the least benefit from his engagements with his lordship; and, disdaining to ask for a supply from him, he knew not how to subsist, with any degree of credit, till his return.

"This uncomfortable prospect was the more disagreeable to him, as, at that time of life, he was much inclined to appear in the gay world, had contracted a taste for plays, operas, and other public diversions, and acquired an acquaintance with many people of good fashion, which could not be maintained without a considerable expense. In this emergency, he thought he could not employ his idle time more profitably than in translating, from foreign languages, such books as were then chiefly in vogue; and upon application to a friend, who was a man of letters, he was furnished with as much business of that kind as he could possibly manage, and wrote some pamphlets on the reigning controversies of that time, that had the good fortune to please. He was also concerned in a monthly journal of literature, and the work was carried on by the two friends jointly, though M— did not at all appear in the partnership. By these means he not only spent his mornings in useful exercise but supplied himself with money for what the French call the menus plaisirs, during the whole summer. He frequented all the assemblies in and about London, and considerably enlarged his acquaintance among the fair sex.

"He had, upon his first arrival in England, become acquainted with a lady at an assembly not far from London; and though, at that time, he had no thoughts of extending his views farther than the usual gallantry of the place, he met with such distinguishing marks of her regard in the sequel, and was so particularly encouraged by the advice of another lady, with whom he had been intimate in France, and who was now of their parties, that he could not help entertaining hopes of making an impression upon the heart of his agreeable partner, who was a young lady of an ample fortune and great expectations. He therefore cultivated her good graces with all the assiduity and address of which he was master, and succeeded so well in his endeavours, that, after a due course of attendance, and the death of an aunt, by which she received an accession of fortune to the amount of three and twenty thousand pounds, he ventured to declare his passion, and she not only heard him with patience and approbation, but also replied in terms adequate to his warmest wish.

"Finding himself so favourably received, he pressed her to secure his happiness by marriage; but, to this proposal, she objected the recency of her kinswoman's death, which would have rendered such a step highly indecent, and the displeasure of her other relations, from whom she had still greater expectations, and who, at that time, importuned her to marry a cousin of her own, whom she could not like. However, that M— might have no cause to repine at her delay, she freely entered with him into an intimacy of correspondence; during which nothing could have added to their mutual felicity, which was the more poignant and refined, from the mysterious and romantic manner of their enjoying it; for, though he publicly visited her as an acquaintance, his behaviour on these occasions was always so distant, respectful, and reserved, that the rest of the company could not possibly suspect the nature of their reciprocal attachment; in consequence of which they used to have private interviews, unknown to every soul upon earth, except her maid, who was necessarily entrusted with the secret.

"In this manner they enjoyed the conversation of each other for above twelve months, without the least interruption; and though the stability of Mr. M—'s fortune depended entirely upon their marriage, yet as he perceived his mistress so averse to it, he never urged it with vehemence, nor was at all anxious on that score, being easily induced to defer a ceremony, which, as he then thought, could in no shape have added to their satisfaction, though he hath since altered his sentiments. Be that as it will, his indulgent mistress, in order to set his mind at ease in that particular, and in full confidence of his honour, insisted on his accepting a deed of gift of her whole fortune, in consideration of her intended marriage; and, after some difficulty, he was prevailed upon to receive this proof of her esteem, well knowing that it would still be in his power to return the obligation. Though she often entreated him to take upon himself the entire administration of her finances, and upon divers occasions pressed him to accept of large sums, he never once abused her generous disposition, or solicited her for money, except for some humane purpose, which she was always more ready to fulfil than he to propose.

"In the course of this correspondence, he became acquainted with some of her female relations, and, among the rest, with a young lady, so eminently adorned with all the qualifications of mind and person, that, notwithstanding all his philosophy and caution, he could not behold and converse with her, without being deeply smitten with her charms. He did all in his power to discourage this dangerous invasion in the beginning, and to conceal the least symptom of it from her relation; he summoned all his reflection to his aid, and, thinking it would be base and dishonest to cherish any sentiment repugnant to the affection which he owed to a mistress who had placed such unlimited confidence in him, he attempted to stifle the infant flame, by avoiding the amiable inspirer of it. But the passion had taken too deep a root in his heart to be so easily extirpated; his absence from the dear object increased the impatience of his love: the intestine conflict between that and gratitude deprived him of his rest and appetite. He was, in a short time, emaciated by continual watching, anxiety, and want of nourishment, and so much altered from his usual cheerfulness, that his mistress, being surprised and alarmed at the change, which, from the symptoms, she judged was owing to some uneasiness of mind, took all imaginable pains to discover the cause. In all probability it did not escape her penetration; for she more than once asked if he was in love with her cousin; protesting that, far from being an obstacle to his happiness, she would, in that case, be an advocate for his passion. However, this declaration was never made without manifest signs of anxiety and uneasiness, which made such an impression upon the heart of M—, that he resolved to sacrifice his happiness, and even his life, rather than take any step which might be construed into an injury or insult to a person who had treated him with such generosity and goodness.

"In consequence of this resolution, he formed another, which was to go abroad, under pretence of recovering his health, but in reality to avoid the temptation, as well as the suspicion of being inconstant; and in this design he was confirmed by his physician, who actually thought him in the first stage of a consumption, and therefore advised him to repair to the south of France. He communicated his design, with the doctor's opinion, to the lady, who agreed to it with much less difficulty than he found in conquering his own reluctance at parting with the dear object of his love. The consent of his generous mistress being obtained, he waited upon her with the instrument whereby she had made the conveyance of her fortune to him; and all his remonstrances being insufficient to persuade her to take it back, he cancelled it in her presence, and placed it in that state upon her toilet, while she was dressing; whereupon she shed a torrent of tears, saying, she now plainly perceived that he wanted to tear himself from her, and that his affections were settled upon another. He was sensibly affected by this proof of her concern, and endeavoured to calm the perturbation of her mind, by vowing eternal fidelity, and pressing her to accept of his hand in due form before his departure. By these means her transports were quieted for the present, and the marriage deferred for the same prudential reasons which had hitherto prevented it.

"Matters being thus compromised, and the day fixed for his departure, she, together with her faithful maid, one morning visited him for the first time at his own lodgings; and, after breakfast, desiring to speak with him in private, he conducted her into another room, where assuming an unusual gravity of aspect, 'My dear M—,' said she, 'you are now going to leave me, and God alone knows if ever we shall meet again; therefore, if you really love me with that tenderness which you profess, you will accept of this mark of my friendship and unalterable affection; it will at least be a provision for your journey, and if an accident should befall me, before I have the happiness of receiving you again into my arms, I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that you are not altogether without resource.' So saying, she put an embroidered pocket-book into his hand. He expressed the high sense he had of her generosity and affection in the most pathetic terms, and begged leave to suspend his acceptance, until he should know the contents of her present, which was so extraordinary, that he absolutely refused to receive it. He was, however, by her repeated entreaties, in a manner compelled to receive about one-half, and she afterwards insisted upon his taking a reinforcement of a considerable sum for the expense of his journey.

"Having stayed with her ten days beyond the time he had fixed for his departure, and settled the method of their correspondence, he took his leave, with a heart full of sorrow, anxiety, and distraction, produced from the different suggestions of his duty and love. He then set out for France, and, after a short stay at Paris, proceeded to Aix in Provence, and from thence to Marseilles, at which two places he continued for some months. But nothing he met with being able to dissipate those melancholy ideas which still preyed upon his imagination, and affected his spirits, he endeavoured to elude them with a succession of new objects; and, with that view, persuaded a counsellor of the parliament of Aix, a man of great worth, learning, and good-humour, to accompany him in making a tour of those parts of France which he had not yet seen. On their return from this excursion, they found at Aix an Italian abbe, a person of character, and great knowledge of men and books, who, having travelled all over Germany and France, was so far on his return to his own country.

"M— having, by means of his friend the counsellor, contracted an acquaintance with this gentleman, and, being desirous of seeing some parts of Italy, particularly the carnival at Venice, they set out together from Marseilles in a tartan for Genoa, coasting it all the way, and lying on shore every night. Having shown him what was most remarkable in this city, his friend the abbe was so obliging as to conduct him through Tuscany, and the most remarkable cities in Lombardy, to Venice, where M— insisted upon defraying the expense of the whole tour, in consideration of the abbe's complaisance, which had been of infinite service to him in the course of this expedition. Having remained five weeks at Venice, he was preparing to set out for Rome, with some English gentlemen whom he had met by accident, when he was all of a sudden obliged to change his resolution by some disagreeable letters which he received from London. He had, from his first departure, corresponded with his generous, though inconstant mistress, with a religious exactness and punctuality; nor was she, for some time, less observant of the agreement they had made. Nevertheless, she, by degrees, became so negligent and cold in her expression, and so slack in her correspondence, that he could not help observing and upbraiding her with such indifference; and her endeavours to palliate it were supported by pretexts so frivolous, as to be easily seen through by a lover of very little discernment.

"While he tortured himself with conjectures about the cause of this unexpected change, he received such intelligence from England, as, when joined with what he himself had perceived by her manner of writing, left him little or no room to doubt of her fickleness and inconstancy. Nevertheless, as he knew by experience that informations of that kind are not to be entirely relied upon, he resolved to be more certainly apprised: and, for that end, departed immediately for London, by the way of Tyrol, Bavaria, Alsace, and Paris. On his arrival in England, he learned, with infinite concern, that his intelligence had not been at all exaggerated; and his sorrow was inexpressible to find a person endowed with so many other noble and amiable qualities, seduced into an indiscretion, that of necessity ruined the whole plan which had been concerted between them for their mutual happiness. She made several attempts, by letters and interviews, to palliate her conduct, and soften him into a reconciliation; but his honour being concerned, he remained deaf to all her entreaties and proposals. Nevertheless, I have often heard him say, that he could not help loving her, and revering the memory of a person to whose generosity and goodness he owed his fortune, and one whose foibles were overbalanced by a thousand good qualities. He often insisted on making restitution; but far from complying with that proposal, she afterwards often endeavoured to lay him under yet greater obligations of the same kind, and importuned him with the warmest solicitations to renew their former correspondence, which he as often declined.

"M— took this instance of the inconstancy of the sex so much to heart, that he had almost resolved for the future to keep clear of all engagements for life, and returned to Paris, in order to dissipate his anxiety, where he hired an apartment in one of the academies, in the exercises whereof he took singular delight. During his residence at this place, he had the good fortune to ingratiate himself with a great general, a descendant of one of the most ancient and illustrious families in France; having attracted his notice by some remarks he had written on Folard's Polybius, which were accidentally shown to that great man by one of his aides-de-camp, who was a particular friend of M—. The favour he had thus acquired was strengthened by his assiduities and attention. Upon his return to London, he sent some of Handel's newest compositions to the prince, who was particularly fond of that gentleman's productions, together with Clark's edition of Caesar; and, in the spring of the same year, before the French army took the field, he was honoured with a most obliging letter from the prince, inviting him to come over, if he wanted to see the operations of the campaign, and desiring he would give himself no trouble about his equipage.

"M— having still some remains of a military disposition, and this to be a more favourable opportunity than any he should ever meet with again, readily embraced the offer, and sacrificed the soft delights of love, which at that time he enjoyed without control, to an eager, laborious, and dangerous curiosity. In that and the following campaign, during which he was present at the siege of Philipsburgh, and several other actions, he enlarged his acquaintance among the French officers, especially those of the graver sort, who had a taste for books and literature; and the friendship and interest of those gentlemen were afterwards of singular service to him, though in an affair altogether foreign from their profession. He had all along made diligent inquiry into the trade and manufactures of the countries through which he had occasion to travel, more particularly those of Holland, England, and France; and, as he was well acquainted with the revenue and farms of this last kingdom, he saw with concern the great disadvantages under which our tobacco trade, the most considerable branch of our commerce with that people, was carried on; what inconsiderable returns were made to the planters, out of the low price given by the French company; and how much it was in the power of that company to reduce it still lower. M— had formed a scheme to remedy this evil, so far as it related to the national loss or gain, by not permitting the duty of one penny in the pound, old subsidy, to be drawn back, on tobacco, re-exported. He demonstrated to the ministry of that time, that so inconsiderable a duty could not in the least diminish the demand from abroad, which was the only circumstance to be apprehended, and that the yearly produce of that revenue would amount to one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, without one shilling additional expense to the public; but the ministry having the excise scheme then in contemplation, could think of no other till that should be tried; and that project having miscarried, he renewed his application, when they approved of his scheme in every particular, but discovered a surprising backwardness to carry it into execution.

"His expectations in this quarter being disappointed, he, by the interposition of his friends, presented a plan to the French company, in which he set forth the advantages that would accrue to themselves from fixing the price, and securing that sort of tobacco which best suited the taste of the public and their manufacture; and finally proposed to furnish them with any quantity, at the price which they paid in the port of London.

"After some dispute, they agreed to this proposal, and contracted with him for fifteen thousand hogsheads a year, for which they obliged themselves to pay ready money, on its arrival in any one or more convenient ports in the south or western coasts of Great Britain that he should please to fix upon for that purpose. M— no sooner obtained this contract, than he immediately set out for America, in order to put it in execution; and, by way of companion, carried with him a little French abbe, a man of humour, wit, and learning, with whom he had been long acquainted, and for whom he had done many good offices.

"On his arrival in Virginia, which opportunely happened at a time when all the gentlemen were assembled in the capital of that province, he published a memorial, representing the disadvantages under which their trade was carried on, the true method of redressing their own grievances in that respect, and proposing to contract with them for the yearly quantity of fifteen thousand hogsheads of such tobacco as was fit for the French market, at the price which he demonstrated to be considerably greater than that which they had formerly received. This remonstrance met with all the success and encouragement he could expect. The principal planters, seeing their own interest concerned, readily assented to the proposal, which, through their influence, was also relished by the rest; and the only difficulty that remained, related to the security for payment of the bills on the arrival of the tobacco in England, and to the time stipulated for the continuance of the contract.

"In order to remove these objections, Mr. M— returned to Europe, and found the French company of farmers disposed to agree to everything he desired for facilitating the execution of the contract, and perfectly well pleased with the sample which he had already sent; but his good friend the abbe, whom he had left behind him in America, by an unparalleled piece of treachery, found means to overturn the whole project. He secretly wrote a memorial to the company, importing, that he found, by experience, M— could afford to furnish them at a much lower price than that which they had agreed to give; and that, by being in possession of the contract for five years, as was intended according to the proposal, he would have the company so much in his power, that they must afterwards submit to any price he should please to impose; and that, if they thought him worth of such a trust, he would undertake to furnish them at an easier rate, in conjunction with some of the leading men in Virginia and Maryland, with whom, he said, he had already concerted measures for that purpose.

"The company were so much alarmed at these insinuations, that they declined complying with Mr. M—'s demands until the abbe's return; and, though they afterwards used all their endeavours to persuade him to be concerned with that little traitor in his undertaking, by which he might still have been a very considerable gainer, he resisted all their solicitations, and plainly told them, in the abbe's presence, that he would never prostitute his own principles so far, as to enter into engagements of any kind with a person of his character, much less in a scheme that had a manifest tendency to lower the market price of tobacco in England.

"Thus ended a project the most extensive, simple, and easy, and, as appeared by the trial made, the best calculated to raise an immense fortune of any that was ever undertaken or planned by a private person; a project, in the execution of which M— had the good of the public, and the glory of putting in a flourishing condition the valuable branch of our trade which gives employment to two great provinces and above two hundred sail of ships, much more at heart than his own private interest. It was reasonable to expect, that a man whose debts M— had paid more than once, whom he had obliged in many other respects, and whom he had carried with him at a very considerable expense, on this expedition, merely with a view of bettering his fortune, would have acted with common honesty, if not with gratitude; but such was the depravity of this little monster's heart, that, on his deathbed, he left a considerable fortune to mere strangers, with whom he had little or no connection, without the least thought of refunding the money advanced for him by M—, in order to prevent his rotting in a jail.

"When M— had once obtained a command of money, he, by his knowledge in several branches of trade, as well as by the assistance of some intelligent friends at Paris and London, found means to employ it to very good purpose; and had he been a man of that selfish disposition, which too much prevails in the world, he might have been at this day master of a very ample fortune; but his ear was never deaf to the voice of distress, nor his beneficent heart shut against the calamities of his fellow-creatures. He was even ingenious in contriving the most delicate methods of relieving modest indigence, and, by his industrious benevolence, often anticipated the requests of misery.

"I could relate a number of examples to illustrate my assertions, in some of which you would perceive the most disinterested generosity; but such a detail would trespass too much upon your time, and I do not pretend to dwell upon every minute circumstance of his conduct. Let it suffice to say, that, upon the declaration of war in Spain, he gave up all his commercial schemes, and called in his money from all quarters, with a view of sitting down, for the rest of his life, contented with what he had got, and restraining his liberalities to what he could spare from his yearly income. This was a very prudential resolution, could he have kept it; but, upon the breaking out of the war, he could not without concern see many gentlemen of merit, who had been recommended to him, disappointed of commissions, merely for want of money to satisfy the expectations of the commission-brokers of that time; and therefore launched out considerable sums for them on their bare notes, great part whereof was lost by the death of some in the unfortunate expedition to the West Indies. He at length, after many other actions of the like nature, from motives of pure humanity, love of justice, and abhorrence of oppression, embarked in a cause, every way the most important that ever came under the discussion of the courts of law in these kingdoms; whether it be considered in relation to the extraordinary nature of the case, or the immense property of no less than fifty thousand pounds a year, and three peerages that depended upon it.

"In the year 1740, the brave admiral who at that time commanded his majesty's fleet in the West Indies, among the other transactions of his squadron transmitted to the duke of Newcastle, mentioned a young man, who, though in the capacity of a common sailor on board one of the ships under his command, laid claim to the estate and titles of the earl of A—. These pretensions were no sooner communicated in the public papers, than they became the subject of conversation in all companies; and the person whom they chiefly affected, being alarmed at the appearance of a competitor, though at such a distance, began to put himself in motion, and take all the precautions which he thought necessary to defeat the endeavour of the young upstart. Indeed, the early intelligence he received of Mr. A—'s making himself known in the West Indies, furnished him with numberless advantages over that unhappy young gentleman; for, being in possession of a splendid fortune, and lord of many manors in the neighbourhood of the very place where the claimant was born, he knew all the witnesses who could give the most material evidence of his legitimacy; and, if his probity did not restrain him, had, by his power and influence, sufficient opportunity and means of applying to the passions and interests of the witnesses, to silence many, and gain over others to his side; while his competitor, by an absence of fifteen or sixteen years from his native country, the want of education and friends, together with his present helpless situation, was rendered absolutely incapable of taking any step for his own advantage. And although his worthy uncle's conspicuous virtue, and religious regard for justice and truth, might possibly be an unconquerable restraint to his taking any undue advantages, yet the consciences of that huge army of emissaries he kept in pay were not altogether so very tender and scrupulous. This much, however, may be said, without derogation from, or impeachment of, the noble earl's nice virtue and honour, that he took care to compromise all differences with the other branches of the family, whose interests were, in this affair, connected with his own, by sharing the estate with them, and also retained most of the eminent counsel within the bar of both kingdoms against this formidable bastard, before any suit was instituted by him.

"While he was thus entrenching himself against the attack of a poor forlorn youth, at the distance of fifteen hundred leagues, continually exposed to the dangers of the sea, the war, and an unhealthy climate, Mr. M—, in the common course of conversation, chanced to ask some questions relating to this romantic pretender, of one H—, who was at that time the present Lord A—'s chief agent. This man, when pressed, could not help owning that the late Lord A— actually left a son, who had been spirited away into America soon after his father's death, but said he did not know whether this was the same person. This information could not fail to make an impression on the humanity of Mr. M—, who, being acquainted with the genius of the wicked party who had possessed themselves of this unhappy young man's estate and honours, expressed no small anxiety and apprehension lest they should take him off by some means or other; and, even then, seemed disposed to contribute towards the support of the friendless orphan, and to inquire more circumstantially into the nature of his claim. In the meantime his occasions called him to France, and during his absence Mr. A— arrived in London in the month of October, 174l."

Here the clergyman was interrupted by Peregrine, who said there was something so extraordinary, not to call it improbable, in the account he had heard of the young gentleman's being sent into exile, that he would look upon himself as infinitely obliged to the doctor, if he would favour him with a true representation of that transaction, as well as of the manner in which he arrived and was known at the Island of Jamaica.

The parson, in compliance with our hero's request, taking up the story from the beginning, "Mr. A—," said he, "is the son of Arthur, late lord baron of A—, by his wife Mary S—, natural daughter to John, duke of B— and N—, whom he publicly married on the 21st day of July, 1706, contrary to the inclination of his mother, and all his other relations, particularly of Arthur, late earl of A—, who bore an implacable enmity to the duke her father, and, for that reason, did all that lay in his power to traverse the marriage; but, finding his endeavours ineffectual, he was so much offended, that he would never be perfectly reconciled to Lord A—, though he was his presumptive heir. After their nuptials, they cohabited together in England for the space of two or three years, during which she miscarried more than once; and he being a man of levity, and an extravagant disposition, not only squandered away all that he had received of his wife's fortune, but also contracted many considerable debts, which obliged him to make a precipitate retreat into Ireland, leaving his lady behind him in the house with his mother and sister, who, having also been averse to the match, had always looked upon her with eyes of disgust.

"It was not likely that harmony should long subsist in this family, especially as Lady A— was a woman of a lofty spirit, who could not tamely bear insults and ill-usage from persons who, she had reason to believe, were her enemies at heart. Accordingly, a misunderstanding soon happened among them, which was fomented by the malice of one of her sisters-in-law. Divers scandalous reports of her misconduct, to which the empty pretensions of a vain wretched coxcomb, who was made use of as an infamous tool for that purpose, gave a colourable pretext, were trumped up, and transmitted, with many false and aggravating circumstances, to her husband in Ireland; who, being a giddy, unthinking man, was so much incensed at these insinuations, that, in the first transports of his passion, he sent to his mother a power of attorney, that she might sue for a divorce in his behalf. A libel was thereupon exhibited, containing many scandalous allegations, void of any real foundation in truth; but being unsupported by any manner of proof, it was at length dismissed with costs, after it had depended upwards of two years.

"Lord A— finding himself abused by the misrepresentations of his mother and sister, discovered an inclination to be reconciled to his lady. In consequence of which, she was sent over to Dublin by her father, to the care of a gentleman in that city; in whose house she was received by her husband with all the demonstrations of love and esteem. From thence he conducted her to his lodgings, and thence to his country house, where she had the misfortune to suffer a miscarriage, through fear and resentment of my lord's behaviour, which was often brutal and indecent. From the country they removed to Dublin, about the latter end of July, or beginning of August, 1714, where they had not long continued, when her ladyship was known to be again with child.

"Lord A— and his issue being next in remainder to the honours and estate of Arthur, earl of A—, was extremely solicitous to have a son; and, warned by the frequent miscarriages of his lady, resolved to curb the natural impatience and rusticity of his disposition, that she might not, as formerly, suffer by his outrageous conduct. He accordingly cherished her with uncommon tenderness and care; and her pregnancy being pretty far advanced, conducted her to his country seat, where she was delivered of Mr. A—, about the latter end of April, or beginning of May; for none of the witnesses have been able, at this distance, with absolute certainty to fix the precise time of his birth, and there was no register kept in the parish. As an additional misfortune, no gentleman of fashion lived in that parish; nor did those who lived at any considerable distance care to cultivate an acquaintance with a man of Lord A—'s strange conduct.

"Be that as it will, the occasion was celebrated by his lordship's tenants and dependents upon the spot, and in the neighbouring town of New-R—, by bonfires, illuminations, and other rejoicings; which have made such an impression upon the minds of the people, that in the place where they happened, and the contiguous parishes, several hundred persons have already declared their knowledge and remembrance of this event, in spite of the great power of the claimant's adversary in that quarter, and the great pains and indirect methods taken by his numberless agents and emissaries, as well as by those who are interested with him in the event of the suit, to corrupt and suppress the evidence.

"Lord A—, after the birth of his son, who was sent to nurse in the neighbourhood, according to the custom of the country, where people of the highest distinction put their children out to nurse into farmhouses and cabins, lived in harmony with his lady for the space of two years. But having, by his folly and extravagance, reduced himself to great difficulties, he demanded the remainder of her fortune from her father, the duke of B—, who absolutely refused to part with a shilling until a proper settlement should be made on his daughter, which, by that time, he had put out of his own power to make, by his folly and extravagance.

"As her ladyship, by her endeavours to reform the economy of her house, had incurred the displeasure of some idle profligate fellows, who had fastened themselves upon her husband, and helped to consume his substance, they seized this opportunity of the duke's refusal; and, in order to be revenged upon the innocent lady, persuaded Lord A—, that the only means of extracting money from his grace, would be to turn her away, on pretence of infidelity to his bed, for which they hinted there was but too much foundation. At their suggestions, a most infamous plan was projected; in the execution of which, one P—, a poor, unbred, simple country booby, whom they had decoyed into a snare, lost one of his ears, and the injured lady retired that same day to New-R—, where she continued several years. She did not, however, leave the house, without struggling hard to carry her child along with her; but far from enjoying such indulgence, strict orders were given, that the boy should not, for the future, be brought within her sight. This base, inhuman treatment, instead of answering the end proposed, produced such a contrary effect, that the duke of B—, by a codicil to his will, in which he reflects upon Lord A—'s evil temper, directed his executors to pay to his daughter an annuity of one hundred pounds, while her lord and she should continue to live separate; and this allowance was to cease on Lord A—'s death.

"While she remained in this solitary situation, the child was universally known and received as the legitimate son and heir of her lord, whose affection for the boy was so conspicuous, that, in the midst of his own necessities, he never failed to maintain him in the dress and equipage of a young nobleman. In the course of his infancy, his father having often changed his place of residence, the child was put under the instructions of a great many different schoolmasters, so that he was perfectly well known in a great many different parts of the kingdom; and his mother seized all opportunities, which were but rare, on account of his father's orders to the contrary, of seeing and giving him proofs of her maternal tenderness, until she set out for England, after having been long in a declining state of health, by a paralytical disorder; upon the consequence of which, such dependence was placed by her inconsiderate husband, who was by this time reduced to extreme poverty, that he actually married a woman whom he had long kept as a mistress. This creature no sooner understood that Lady A— was departed from Ireland, than she openly avowed her marriage, and went about publicly with Lord A—, visiting his acquaintances in the character of his wife.

"From this era may be dated the beginning of Mr. A—'s misfortune. This artful woman, who had formerly treated the child with an appearance of fondness, in order to ingratiate herself with the father, now looking upon herself as sufficiently established in the family, thought it was high time to alter her behaviour with regard to the unfortunate boy; and accordingly, for obvious reasons, employed a thousand artifices to alienate the heart of the weak father from his unhappy offspring. Yet, notwithstanding all her insinuations, nature still maintained her influence in his heart; and though she often found means to irritate him by artful and malicious accusations, his resentment never extended farther than fatherly correction. She would have found it impossible to accomplish his ruin, had not her efforts been reinforced by a new auxiliary, who was no other than his uncle, the present usurper of his title and estate; yet even this confederacy was overawed, in some measure, by the fear of alarming the unfortunate mother, until her distemper increased to a most deplorable degree of the dead palsy, and the death of her father had reduced her to a most forlorn and abject state of distress. Then they ventured upon the execution of their projects; and, though their aims were widely different, concurred in their endeavours to remove the hapless boy, as the common obstacle to both.

"Lord A— who, as I have already observed, was a man of weak intellects, and utterly void of any fixed principle of action, being by this time reduced to such a pitch of misery, that he was often obliged to pawn his wearing apparel in order to procure the common necessaries of life; and having no other fund remaining, with which he could relieve his present necessities, except a sale of the reversion of the A— estate, to which the nonage of his son was an effectual bar, he was advised by his virtuous brother, and the rest of his counsellors, to surmount this difficulty, by secreting his son, and spreading a report of his death. This honest project he the more readily embraced, because he knew that no act of his could frustrate the child's succession. Accordingly, the boy was removed from the school at which he was then boarded, to the house of one K—, an agent and accomplice of the present earl of A—, where he was kept for several months closely confined; and, in the meantime, it was industriously reported that he was dead.

"This previous measure being taken, Lord A— published advertisements in the gazettes, offering reversions of the A— estate to sale; and emissaries of various kinds were employed to inveigle such as were ignorant of the nature of the settlement of these estates, or strangers to the affairs of his family. Some people, imposed upon by the report of the child's death, were drawn in to purchase, thinking themselves safe in the concurrence of his lordship's brother, upon presumption that he was next in remainder to the succession; others, tempted by the smallness of the price, which rarely exceeded half a year's purchase, as appears by many deeds, though they doubted the truth of the boy's being dead, ran small risks, on the contingency of his dying before he should be of age, or in hopes of his being prevailed upon to confirm the grants of his father; and many more were treating with him on the same notions, when their transactions were suddenly interrupted, and the scheme of raising more money for the present, defeated by the unexpected appearance of the boy, who, being naturally sprightly and impatient of restraint, had found means to break from his confinement, and wandered up and down the streets of Dublin, avoiding his father's house, and choosing to encounter all sorts of distress, rather than subject himself again to the cruelty and malice of the woman who supplied his mother's place. Thus debarred his father's protection, and destitute of any fixed habitation, he herded with all the loose, idle, and disorderly youths in Dublin, skulking chiefly about the college, several members and students of which, taking pity on his misfortunes, supplied him at different times with clothes and money. In this unsettled and uncomfortable way of life did he remain, from the year 1725 to the latter end of November, 1727; at which time his father died, so miserably poor, that he was actually buried at the public expense.

"This unfortunate nobleman was no sooner dead, than his brother Richard, now earl of A—, taking advantage of the nonage and helpless situation of his nephew, seized upon all the papers of the defunct, and afterwards usurped the title of Lord A—, to the surprise of the servants, and others who were acquainted with the affairs of the family. This usurpation, bold as it was, produced no other effect than that of his being insulted by the populace as he went through the streets, and the refusal of the king-at-arms to enrol the certificate of his brother's having died without issue. The first of these inconveniences he bore without any sense of shame, though not without repining, conscious that it would gradually vanish with the novelty of his invasion; and as to the last, he conquered it by means well known and obvious.

"Nor will it seem strange, that he should thus invade the rights of an orphan with impunity, if people will consider, that the late Lord A— had not only squandered away his fortune with the most ridiculous extravagance, but also associated himself with low company, so that he was little known, and less regarded, by persons of any rank and figure in life; and his child, of consequence, debarred of the advantages which might have accrued from valuable connections. And though it was universally known, that Lady A— had a son in Ireland, such was the obscurity in which the father had lived, during the last years of his life, that few of the nobility could be supposed to be acquainted with the particular circumstances of a transaction in which they had no concern, and which had happened at the distance of twelve years before the date of this usurpation. Moreover, as their first information was no other than common fame, the public clamour occasioned by the separation might inspire such as were strangers to the family affairs with a mistaken notion of the child's having been born about or after the time of that event. The hurry and bustle occasioned by the arrival of the lord-lieutenant about this period, the reports industriously propagated of the claimant's death, the obscurity and concealment in which the boy was obliged to live, in order to elude the wicked attempts of his uncle, might also contribute to his peaceable enjoyment of an empty title. And lastly, Lord Chancellor W—, whose immediate province it was to issue writs for parliament, was an utter stranger in Ireland, unacquainted with the descents of families, and consequently did not examine farther than the certificate enrolled in the books of the king-at-arms. Over and above these circumstances, which naturally account for the success of the imposture, it may be observed, that the hapless youth had not one relation alive, on the side of his father, whose interest it was not to forward or connive at his destruction; that his grandfather, the duke of B—, was dead; and that his mother was then in England, in a forlorn, destitute, dying condition, secreted from the world, and even from her own relations, by her woman Mary H—, who had a particular interest to secrete her, and altogether dependent upon a miserable and precarious allowance from the duchess of B—, to whose caprice she was moreover a most wretched slave.

"Notwithstanding these concurring circumstances in favour of the usurper, he did not think himself secure while the orphan had any chance of finding a friend who would undertake his cause; and therefore laid a plan for his being kidnapped, and sent to America as a slave. His coadjutor in this inhuman scheme was a person who carried on the trade of transporting servants to our plantations, and was deeply interested on this occasion, having, for a mere trifle, purchased of the late Lord A—, the reversion of a considerable part of the A— estate, which shameful bargain was confirmed by the brother, but could never take place, unless the boy could be effectually removed.

"Everything being settled with this auxiliary, several ruffians were employed in search of the unhappy victim; and the first attempt that was made upon him, in which his uncle personally assisted, happening near one of the great markets of the city of Dublin, an honest butcher, with the assistance of his neighbours, rescued him by force from their cruel hands. This, however, was but a short respite; for, though warned by this adventure, the boy seldom crept out of his lurking-places, without the most cautious circumspection, he was, in March, 1727, discovered by the diligence of his persecutors, and forcibly dragged on board of a ship bound for Newcastle, on Delaware river in America, where he was sold as a slave, and kept to hard labour, much above his age or strength, for the space of thirteen years, during which he was transferred from one person to another.

"While he remained in this servile situation, he often mentioned, to those in whom he thought such confidence might be placed, the circumstances of his birth and title, together with the manner of his being exiled from his native country, although, in this particular, he neglected a caution which he had received in his passage, importing that such a discovery would cost him his life. Meanwhile the usurper quietly enjoyed his right; and to those who questioned him about his brother's son, constantly replied, that the boy had been dead for several years. And Arthur, earl of A—, dying in April 1737, he, upon pretence of being next heir, succeeded to the honours and estate of that nobleman.

"The term of the nephew's bondage, which had been lengthened out beyond the usual time, on account of his repeated attempts to escape, being expired in the year 1739, he hired himself as a common sailor in a trading vessel bound to Jamaica; and there, being entered on board of one of his majesty's ships under the command of Admiral Vernon, openly declared his parentage and pretensions. This extraordinary claim, which made a great noise in the fleet, reaching the ears of one Lieutenant S—, nearly related to the usurper's Irish wife, he believed the young gentleman to be an impostor; and, thinking it was incumbent on him to discover the cheat, he went on board the ship to which the claimant belonged, and, having heard the account which he gave of himself, was, notwithstanding his prepossessions, convinced of the truth of what he alleged. On his return to his own ship, he chanced to mention this extraordinary affair upon the quarter-deck, in the hearing of Mr. B—, one of the midshipmen, who had formerly been at school with Mr. A—. This young gentleman not only told the lieutenant, that he had been school-fellow with Lord A—'s son, but also declared that he should know him again, if not greatly altered, as he still retained a perfect idea of his countenance.

"Upon this intimation, the lieutenant proposed that the experiment should be tried; and went with the midshipman on board the ship that the claimant was on, for that purpose. After all the sailors had been assembled upon deck, Mr. B—, casting his eyes around, immediately distinguished Mr. A— in the crowd, and, laying his hand on his shoulder, 'This is the man,' said he; affirming, at the same time, that, while he continued at school with him, the claimant was reputed and respected as Lord A—'s son and heir, and maintained in all respects suitable to the dignity of his rank. Nay, he was, in like manner, recognised by several other persons in the fleet, who had known him in his infancy.

"These things being reported to the admiral, he generously ordered him to be supplied with necessaries, and treated like a gentleman; and, in his next despatches, transmitted an account of the affair to the duke of Newcastle, among the other transactions of the fleet.

"In September or October, 1741, Mr. A— arrived in London; and the first person to whom he applied for advice and assistance was a man of the law, nearly related to the families of A— and A—, and well acquainted with the particular affairs of each; who, far from treating him as a bastard and impostor, received him with civility and seeming kindness, asked him to eat, presented him with a piece of money, and, excusing himself from meddling in the affair, advised him to go to Ireland, as the most proper place for commencing a suit for the recovery of his right.

"Before the young gentleman had an opportunity, or indeed any inclination, to comply with this advice, he was accidentally met in the street by that same H—, who, as I have mentioned, gave Mr. M— the first insight into the affair. This man immediately knew the claimant, having been formerly an agent for his father, and afterwards a creature of his uncle's, with whom he was, not without reason, suspected to be concerned in kidnapping and transporting his nephew. Be that as it will, his connections with the usurper were now broken off by a quarrel, in consequence of which he had thrown up his agency; and he invited the hapless stranger to his house, with a view of making all possible advantage of such a guest.

"There he had not long remained, when his treacherous landlord, tampering with his inexperience, effected a marriage between him and the daughter of one of his own friends, who lodged in his house at the same time. But afterwards, seeing no person of consequence willing to espouse his cause, he looked upon him as an encumbrance, and wanted to rid his hands of him accordingly. He remembered that Mr. M— had expressed himself with all the humanity of apprehension in favour of the unfortunate young nobleman, before his arrival in England; and, being well acquainted with the generosity of his disposition, he no sooner understood that he was returned from France, than he waited upon him with an account of Mr. A—'s being safely arrived. Mr. M— was sincerely rejoiced to find, that a person who had been so cruelly injured, and undergone so long and continued a scene of distress, was restored to a country where he was sure of obtaining justice, and where every good man, as he imagined, would make the cause his own. And being informed that the youth was in want of necessaries, he gave twenty guineas to H— for his use, and promised to do him all the service in his power; but had no intention to take upon himself the whole weight of such an important affair, or indeed to appear in the cause, until he should be fully and thoroughly satisfied that the claimant's pretensions were well founded.

"In the meantime, H— insinuating that the young gentleman was not safe in his present lodging from the machinations of his enemies, M— accommodated him with an apartment in his own house; where he was at great pains to remedy the defect in his education, by rendering him fit to appear as a gentleman in the world. Having received from him all the intelligence he could give relating to his own affair, he laid the case before counsel, and despatched a person to Ireland, to make further inquiries upon the same subject; who, in his first arrival in that kingdom, found the claimant's birth was as publicly known as any circumstance of that kind could possibly be, at so great a distance of time.

"The usurper and his friends gave all the interruption in their power to any researches concerning that affair; and had recourse to every art and expedient that could be invented, to prevent its being brought to a legal discussion. Privilege, bills in chancery, orders of court surreptitiously and illegally obtained, and every other invention was made use of to bar and prevent a fair and honest trial by a jury. The usurper himself, and his agents, at the same time that they formed divers conspiracies against his life, in vain endeavoured to detach Mr. M— from the orphan's cause, by innumerable artifices, insinuating, cajoling, and misrepresenting, with surprising dexterity and perseverance.

"His protector, far from being satisfied with their reasons, was not only deaf to their remonstrances, but, believing him in danger from their repeated efforts, had him privately conveyed into the country; where an unhappy accident, which he hath ever since sincerely regretted, furnished his adversary with a colourable pretext to cut him off in the beginning of his career.

"A man happening to lose his life by the accidental discharge of a piece that chanced to be in a young gentleman's hands, the account of this misfortune no sooner reached the ears of his uncle, than he expressed the most immoderate joy at having found so good a handle for destroying him, under colour of law. He immediately constituted himself prosecutor, set his emissaries at work to secure a coroner's inquest suited to his cruel purposes; set out for the place in person, to take care that the prisoner should not escape; insulted him in jail, in the most inhuman manner; employed a whole army of attorneys and agents, to spirit up and carry on a most virulent prosecution; practised all the unfair methods that could be invented, in order that the unhappy gentleman should be transported to Newgate, from the healthy prison to which he was at first committed; endeavoured to inveigle him into destructive confessions; and, not to mention other more infamous arts employed in the affair of evidence, attempted to surprise him upon his trial in the absence of his witnesses and counsel, contrary to a previous agreement with the prosecutor's own attorney. Nay, he even appeared in person upon the bench at the trial, in order to intimidate the evidence, and browbeat the unfortunate prisoner at the bar, and expended above a thousand pounds in that prosecution. In spite of all his wicked efforts, however, which were defeated by the spirit and indefatigable industry of Mr. M—, the young gentleman was honourably acquitted, to the evident satisfaction of all the impartial; the misfortune, that gave a handle for that unnatural prosecution, appearing to a demonstration to have been a mere accident.

"In a few months, his protector, who had now openly espoused his cause, taking with him two gentlemen to witness his transactions, conducted him to his native country, with a view to be better informed of the strength of his pretensions, than he could be by the intelligence he had hitherto received, or by the claimant's own dark and almost obliterated remembrance of the facts which were essential to be known. Upon their arrival in Dublin, application was made to those persons whom Mr. A— had named as his schoolmasters and companions, together with the servants and neighbours of his father. These, though examined separately, without having the least previous intimation of what the claimant had reported, agreed in their accounts with him, as well as with one another, and mentioned many other people as acquainted with the same facts, to whom Mr. M— had recourse, and still met with the same unvaried information. By these means, he made such progress in his inquiries, that, in less than two months, no fewer than one hundred persons, from different quarters of the kingdom, either personally, or by letters, communicated their knowledge of the claimant, in declarations consonant with one another, as well as with the accounts he gave of himself. Several servants who had lived with his father, and been deceived with the story of his death, so industriously propagated by his uncle, no sooner heard of his being in Dublin, than they came from different parts of the country to see him; and though great pains were taken to deceive them, they, nevertheless, knew him at first sight; some of them fell upon their knees to thank for his preservation, embraced his legs, and shed tears of joy for his return.

"Although the conduct of his adversary, particularly in the above-mentioned prosecution, together with the evidence that already appeared, were sufficient to convince all mankind of the truth of the claimant's pretensions, Mr. M—, in order to be further satisfied, resolved to see how he would be received upon the spot where he was born; justly concluding, that if he was really an impostor, the bastard of a kitchen-wench, produced in a country entirely possessed by his enemy and his allies, he must be looked upon in that place with the utmost detestation and contempt.

"This his intention was no sooner known to the adverse party, than their agents and friends from all quarters repaired to that place with all possible despatch, and used all their influence with the people, in remonstrances, threats, and all the other arts they could devise, not only to discountenance the claimant upon his arrival, but even to spirit up a mob to insult him. Notwithstanding these precautions, and the servile awe and subjection in which tenants are kept by their landlords in that part of the country, as soon as it was known that Mr. A— approached the town, the inhabitants crowded out in great multitudes to receive and welcome him, and accompanied him into town, with acclamations, and other expressions of joy, insomuch that the agents of his adversary durst not show their faces. The sovereign of the corporation, who was a particular creature and favourite of the usurper, and whose all depended upon the issue of the cause, was so conscious of the stranger's right, and so much awed by the behaviour of the people, who knew that consciousness, that he did not think it safe even to preserve the appearance of neutrality upon this occasion, but actually held the stirrup while Mr. A— dismounted from his horse.

"This sense of conviction in the people manifested itself still more powerfully when he returned to the same place in the year 1744, about which time Lord A— being informed of his resolution, determined again to be beforehand with him, and set out in person, with his agents and friends, some of whom were detached before him to prepare for his reception, and induced the people to meet him in a body, and accompany him to town, with such expressions of welcome as they had before bestowed on his nephew; but, in spite of all their art and interest, he was suffered to pass through the street in a mournful silence; and though several barrels of beer were produced to court the favour of the populace, they had no other effect than that of drawing their ridicule upon the donor, whereas, when Mr. A—, two days afterwards, appeared, all the inhabitants, with garlands, streamers, music, and other ensigns of joy, crowded out to meet him, and ushered him into town with such demonstrations of pleasure and goodwill, that the noble peer found it convenient to hide himself from the resentment of his own tenants, the effects of which he must have severely felt, had not he been screened by the timely remonstrances of Mr. M—, and the other gentlemen who accompanied his competitor.

"Nor did his apprehension vanish with the transaction of this day; the town was again in uproar on the Sunday following, when it was known that Mr. A— intended to come thither from Dunmain to church; they went out to meet him as before, and conducted him to the church door with acclamations, which terrified his uncle to such a degree, that he fled with precipitation in a boat, and soon after entirely quitted the place.

"It would be almost an endless task to enumerate the particular steps that were taken by one side to promote, and by the other to delay, the trial. The young gentleman's adversaries finding that they could not, by all the subterfuges and arts they had used, evade it, repeated attempts were made to assassinate him and his protector; and every obstruction thrown in the way of his cause which craft could invent, villainy execute, and undue influence confirm. But all these difficulties were surmounted by the vigilance, constancy, courage, and sagacity of M—; and, at last, the affair was brought to a very solemn trial at bar, which being continued, by several adjournments, from the eleventh to the twenty-fifth day of November, a verdict was found for the claimant by a jury of gentlemen, which, in point of reputation and property, cannot be easily paralleled in the annals of that or any other country; a jury, that could by no means be suspected of prepossessions in favour of Mr. A—, to whose person they were absolute strangers; especially if we consider, that a gentleman in their neighbourhood, who was nephew to the foreman, and nearly related to some of the rest of their number, forfeited a considerable estate by their decision.

"This verdict," said the parson, "gave the highest satisfaction to all impartial persons that were within reach of being duly informed of their proceedings, and of the different genius and conduct of the parties engaged in the contest, but more especially to such as were in court, as I was, at the trial, and had an opportunity of observing the characters and behaviour of the persons who appeared there to give evidence. To such it was very apparent, that all the witnesses produced there on the part of the uncle, were either his tenants, dependents, pot-companions, or persons some way or other interested in the issue of the suit, and remarkable for a low kind of cunning; that many of them were persons of profligate lives, who deserved no credit; that, independent of the levity of their characters, those of them who went under the denomination of colonels, Colonel L— alone excepted, who had nothing to say, and was only brought there in order to give credit to that party, made so ridiculous a figure, and gave so absurd, contradictory, and inconsistent an evidence, as no court or jury could give the least degree of credit to. On the other hand, it was observed, that the nephew and Mr. M—, his chief manager, being absolute strangers in that country, and unacquainted with the characters of the persons they had to deal with, were obliged to lay before the court and jury such evidence as came to their hand, some of whom plainly appeared to have been put upon them by their adversaries with a design to hurt. It was also manifest, that the witnesses produced for Mr. A—, were such as could have no manner of connection with him, nor any dependence whatsoever upon him, to influence their evidence; for the far greatest part of them had never seen him from his infancy till the trial began; and many of them, though poor, and undignified with the title of colonels, were people of unblemished character, of great simplicity, and such as no man in his senses would pitch upon to support a bad cause. It is plain that the jury, whose well-known honour, impartiality, and penetration, must be revered by all who are acquainted with them, were not under the least difficulty about their verdict; for they were not enclosed above half an hour, when they returned with it. These gentlemen could not help observing the great inequality of the parties engaged, the great advantages that the uncle had in every other respect, except the truth and justice of his case, over the nephew, by means of his vast possessions, and of his power and influence all round the place of his birth; nor could the contrast between the different geniuses of the two parties escape their observation. They could not but see and conclude, that a person who had confessedly transported and sold his orphan nephew into slavery,—who, on his return, had carried on so unwarrantable and cruel a prosecution to take away his life under colour of law,—and who had also given such glaring proofs of his skill and dexterity in the management of witnesses for that cruel purpose,—was in like manner capable of exerting the same happy talent on this occasion, when his all was at stake; more especially, as he had so many others who were equally interested with himself, and whose abilities in that respect fell nothing short of his own, to second him in it. The gentlemen of the jury had also a near view of the manner in which the witnesses delivered their testimonies, and had from thence an opportunity of observing many circumstances, and distinguishing characteristics of truth and falsehood, from which a great deal could be gathered, that could not be adequately conveyed by any printed account, how exact soever; consequently, they must have been much better judges of the evidence on which they founded their verdict than any person who had not the same opportunity, can possibly be.

"These, Mr. Pickle, were my reflections on what I had occasion to observe concerning that famous trial; and, on my return to England two years after, I could not help pitying the self-sufficiency of some people, who, at this distance, pretended to pass their judgment on that verdict with as great positiveness as if they had been in the secrets of the cause, or upon the jury who tried it; and that from no better authority than the declamations of Lord A—'s emissaries, and some falsified printed accounts, artfully cooked up on purpose to mislead and deceive.

"But to return from this digression. Lord A—, the defendant in that cause, was so conscious of the strength and merits of his injured nephew's case, and that a verdict would go against him, that he ordered a writ of error to be made out before the trial was ended; and the verdict was no sooner given, than he immediately lodged it, though he well knew he had no manner of error to assign. This expedient was practised merely for vexation and delay, in order to keep Mr. A— from the possession of the small estate he had recovered by the verdict, that, his slender funds being exhausted, he might be deprived of other means to prosecute his right; and by the most oppressive contrivances and scandalous chicanery, it has been kept up to this day, without his being able to assign the least shadow of any error.

"Lord A— was not the only antagonist that Mr. A— had to deal with; all the different branches of the A— family, who had been worrying one another at law ever since the death of the late earl of A—, about the partition of his great estate, were now firmly united in an association against this unfortunate gentleman; mutual deeds were executed among them, by which many great lordships and estates were given up by the uncle to persons who had no right to possess them, in order to engage them to side with him against his nephew, in withholding the unjust possession of the remainder.

"These confederates having held several consultations against their common enemy, and finding that his cause gathered daily strength since the trial, by the accession of many witnesses of figure and reputation, who had not been heard of before, and that the only chance they had to prevent the speedy establishment of his right, and their own destruction, was by stripping Mr. M— of the little money that yet remained, and by stopping all further resources whereby he might be enabled to proceed; they therefore came to a determined resolution to carry that hopeful scheme into execution; and, in pursuance thereof, they have left no expedient or stratagem, how extraordinary or scandalous soever, unpractised, to distress Mr. A— and that gentleman. For that end, all the oppressive arts and dilatory expensive contrivances that the fertile invention of the lowest pettifoggers of the law could possibly devise, have with dexterity been played off against them, in fruitless quibbling, and malicious suits, entirely foreign to the merits of the cause. Not to mention numberless other acts of oppression, the most extraordinary and unprecedented proceeding, by means whereof this sham writ of error hath been kept on foot ever since November, 1743, is to me," said the doctor, "a most flagrant instance not only of the prevalency of power and money, when employed, as in the present case, against an unfortunate helpless man, disabled, as he is, of the means of ascertaining his right, but of the badness of a cause that hath recourse to so many iniquitous expedients to support it.

"In a word, the whole conduct of Lord A— and his party, from the beginning to this time, hath been such as sufficiently manifests that it could proceed from no other motives than a consciousness of Mr. A—'s right, and of their own illegal usurpations, and from a terror of trusting the merits of their case to a fair discussion by the laws of their country; and that the intention and main drift of all their proceedings plainly tends to stifle and smother the merits of the case from the knowledge of the world, by oppressive arts and ingenious delays, rather than trust it to the candid determination of an honest jury. What else could be the motives of kidnapping the claimant, and transporting him when an infant? of the various attempts made upon his life since his return? of the attempts to divest him of all assistance to ascertain his right, by endeavouring so solicitously to prevail on Mr. M— to abandon him in the beginning? of retaining an army of counsel before any suit had been commenced? of the many sinister attempts to prevent the trial at bar? of the various arts made use of to terrify any one from appearing as witness for the claimant, and to seduce those who had appeared? of the shameless, unprecedented, low tricks now practised, to keep him out of the possession of that estate for which he had obtained the verdict, thereby to disable him from bringing his cause to a further hearing; and of the attempts made to buy up Mr. M—'s debts, and to spirit up suits against him? Is it not obvious from all these circumstances, as well as from the obstruction they have given to the attorney-general's proceeding to make a report to his majesty on the claimant's petition to the king for the peerage, which was referred by his majesty to that gentleman, so far back as 1743, that all their efforts are bent to that one point, of stifling, rather than suffering the merits of this cause to come to a fair and candid hearing; and that the sole consideration at present between them and this unfortunate man is not whether he is right or wrong, but whether he shall or shall not find money to bring this cause to a final determination?

"Lord A— and his confederates, not thinking themselves safe with all these expedients, while there was a possibility of their antagonist's obtaining any assistance from such as humanity, compassion, generosity, or a love of justice, might induce to lay open their purses to his assistance in ascertaining his right, have, by themselves and their numerous emissaries, employed all the arts of calumny, slander, and detraction against him, by traducing his cause, vilifying his person, and most basely and cruelly tearing his character to pieces, by a thousand misrepresentations, purposely invented and industriously propagated in all places of resort, which is a kind of cowardly assassination that there is no guarding against; yet, in spite of all these machinations, and the shameful indifference of mankind, who stand aloof unconcerned, and see this unhappy gentleman most inhumanly oppressed by the weight of lawless power and faction, M—, far from suffering himself to be dejected by the multiplying difficulties that crowd upon him, still exerts himself with amazing fortitude and assiduity, and will, I doubt not, bring the affair he began and carried on with so much spirit, while his finances lasted, to a happy conclusion.

"It would exceed the bounds of my intention, and, perhaps, trespass too much upon your time, were I to enumerate the low artifices and shameful quibbles by which the usurper has found means to procrastinate the decision of the contest between him and his hapless nephew, or to give a detail of the damage and perplexity which Mr. M— has sustained, and been involved in, by the treachery and ingratitude of some who listed themselves under him in the prosecution of this affair; and by the villainy of others, who, under various pretences of material discoveries they had to make, etc., had fastened themselves upon him, and continued to do all the mischief in their power, until the cloven foot was detected.

"One instance, however, is so flagrantly flagitious, that I cannot resist the inclination I feel to relate it, as an example of the most infernal perfidy that perhaps ever entered the human heart. I have already mentioned the part which H—n acted in the beginning of M—'s connection with the unfortunate stranger, and hinted that the said H— lay under many obligations to that gentleman before Mr. A—'s arrival in England. He had been chief agent to Lord A—, and, as it afterwards appeared, received several payments of a secret pension which that lord enjoyed, for which he either could not or would not account. His lordship, therefore, in order to compel him to it, took out writs against him, and his house was continually surrounded with catchpoles for the space of two whole years.

"Mr. M— believing, from H—'s own account of the matter, that the poor man was greatly injured, and prosecuted on account of his attachment to the unhappy young gentleman, did him all the good offices in his power, and became security for him on several occasions; nay, such was his opinion of his integrity, that, after Mr. A— was cleared of the prosecution carried on against him by his uncle, his person was entrusted to the care of this hypocrite, who desired that the young gentleman might lodge at his house for the convenience of air, M—'s own occasions calling him often into the country.

"Having thus, by his consummate dissimulation, acquired such a valuable charge, he wrote a letter to one of Lord A—'s attorneys, offering to betray Mr. A—, provided his lordship would settle his account, and give him a discharge for eight hundred pounds of the pension which he had received and not accounted for. Mr. M—, informed of this treacherous proposal, immediately removed his lodger from his house into his own, without assigning his reasons for so doing, until he was obliged to declare it, in order to free himself from the importunities of H—, who earnestly solicited his return. This miscreant finding himself detected and disappointed in his villainous design, was so much enraged at his miscarriage, that, forgetting all the benefits he had received from M— for a series of years, he practised all the mischief that his malice could contrive against him; and at length entered into a confederacy with one G—, and several other abandoned wretches, who, as before said, under various pretences of being able to make material discoveries, and otherwise to serve the cause, had found means to be employed in some extra business relating to it, though their real intention was to betray the claimant.

"These confederates, in conjunction with some other auxiliaries of infamous character, being informed that Mr. M— was on the point of securing a considerable sum, to enable him to prosecute Mr. A—'s right, and to bring it to a happy conclusion, contrived a deep-laid scheme to disappoint him in it, and at once to ruin the cause. And, previous measures being taken for that wicked purpose, they imposed upon the young gentleman's inexperience and credulity by insinuations equally false, plausible, and malicious; to which they at length gained his belief, by the mention of some circumstances that gave what they alleged an air of probability, and even of truth. They swore that Mr. M— had taken out an action against him for a very large sum of money; that they had actually seen the writ; that the intention of it was to throw him into prison for life, and ruin his cause, in consequence of an agreement made by him with Lord A—, and his other enemies, to retrieve the money that he had laid out in the cause.

"This plausible tale was enforced with such an air of truth, candour, and earnest concern for his safety, and was strengthened by so many imprecations and corroborating circumstances of their invention, as would have staggered one of much greater experience and knowledge of mankind than Mr. A— could be supposed at that time to possess. The notion of perpetual imprisonment, and the certain ruin they made him believe his cause was threatened with, worked upon his imagination to such a degree, that he suffered himself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter by this artful band of villains, who secreted him at the lodgings of one P—, an intimate of G—'s, for several days, under colour of his being hunted by bailiffs employed by Mr. M—, where he was not only obliged by them to change his name, but even his wife was not suffered to have access to him.

"Their design was to have sold him, or drawn him into a ruinous compromise with his adversaries, for a valuable consideration to themselves. But as no ties are binding among such a knot of villains, the rest of the conspirators were jockeyed by G—, who, in order to monopolize the advantage to himself, hurried his prize into the country, and secreted him even from his confederates, in a place of concealment one hundred miles from London, under the same ridiculous pretence of M—'s having taken out a writ against him, and of bailiffs being in pursuit of him everywhere round London.

"He was no sooner there, than G—, as a previous step to the other villainy he intended, tricked him out of a bond for six thousand pounds, under colour of his having a person ready to advance the like sum upon it, as an immediate fund for carrying on his cause; assuring him, at the same time, that he had a set of gentlemen ready, who were willing to advance twenty-five thousand pounds more for the same purpose, and to allow him five hundred pounds a year for his maintenance, till his cause should be made an end of, provided that Mr. M— should have no further concern with him and his cause.

"Mr. A—, having by this time received some intimations of the deceit that had been put upon him, made answer, that he should look upon himself as a very ungrateful monster indeed, if he deserted a person who had saved his life, and so generously ventured his own, together with his fortune, in his cause, until he should first be certain of the truth of what was alleged of him, and absolutely rejected the proposal. G—, who had no other view in making it, than to cover the secret villainy he meditated against him, and to facilitate the execution thereof, easily receded from it, when he found Mr. A— so averse to it, and undertook nevertheless to raise the money, adding, that he might, if he pleased, return to Mr. M— whenever it was secured. The whole drift of this pretended undertaking to raise the twenty-five thousand pounds, was only to lay a foundation for a dexterous contrivance to draw Mr. A— unwarily into the execution of a deed, relinquishing all his right and title, under a notion of its being a deed to secure the repayment of that sum.

"G— having, as he imagined, so far paved the way for the execution of such a deed, enters into an agreement with an agent, employed for that purpose by Mr. A—'s adversaries, purporting that in consideration of the payment of a bond for six thousand pounds, which he, G—, had, as he pretended, laid out in Mr. A—'s cause, and of an annuity of seven hundred pounds a year, he was to procure for them from Mr. A— a deed ready executed, relinquishing all right and title to the A— estate and honours. Everything being prepared for the execution of this infernal scheme, unknown to Mr. A—, G— then thought proper to send for him to town from his retirement, in order, as he pretended, to execute a security of twenty-five thousand pounds.

"This intended victim to that villain's avarice no sooner arrived in town, full of hopes of money to carry on his cause, and of agreeably surprising his friend and protector Mr. M—, with so seasonable and unexpected a reinforcement, than an unforeseen difficulty arose, concerning the payment of G—'s six-thousand-pound bond. That money was to have been raised out of the estate of a lunatic, which could not be done without the leave of the Court of Chancery, to whom an account must have been given of the intended application of it. While preparations were making to rectify this omission, G— immediately carried Mr. A— again into the country, lest he should happen to be undeceived by some means or other.

"In the meantime, this wicked machination was providentially discovered by Mr. M—, before it could be carried into execution, by means of the jealousies that arose among the conspirators themselves; and was, at the same time, confirmed to him by a person whom the very agent for the A— party had entrusted with the secret. M— no sooner detected it, than he communicated his discovery to one of Mr. A—'s counsel, a man of great worth, and immediately thereupon took proper measures to defeat it. He then found means to lay open to Mr. A— himself the treacherous scheme that was laid for his destruction. He was highly sensible of it, and could never afterwards reflect on the snare that he had so unwarily been drawn into, and had so narrowly escaped, without a mixture of horror, shame, and gratitude to his deliverer.

"The consummate assurance of the monsters who were engaged in this plot, after they had been detected, and upbraided with their treachery, is scarce to be paralleled; for they not only owned the fact of spiriting Mr. A— away in the manner above mentioned, but justified their doing it as tending to his service. They also maintained, that they had actually secured the twenty-five thousand pounds for him, though they never could name any one person who was to have advanced the money. No man was more active in this scheme than H—, nor any man more solicitous to keep Mr. A— up in the false impressions he had received, or in projecting methods to ruin his protector, than he.

"Among many other expedients for that purpose, a most malicious attempt was made to lodge an information against him, for treasonable practices, with the secretary of state, notwithstanding the repeated proofs he had given of his loyalty; and, as a preparatory step to his accusation, a letter, which this traitor dictated, was copied by another person, and actually sent to the earl of C—, importing, that the person who copied the letter had an affair of consequence to communicate to his lordship, if he would appoint a time of receiving the information. But that person, upon full conviction of the villainy of the scheme, absolutely refused to proceed further in it; so that his malice once more proved abortive; and before he had time to execute any other contrivance of the same nature, he was imprisoned in this very jail for debt.

"Here, finding his creditors inexorable, and himself destitute of all other resource, he made application to the very man whom he had injured in such an outrageous manner, set forth his deplorable case in the most pathetic terms, and entreated him, with the most abject humility, to use his influence in his behalf. The distress of this varlet immediately disarmed M— of his resentment, and even excited his compassion. Without sending any answer to his remonstrances, he interceded for him with his creditors; and the person to whom he was chiefly indebted, refusing to release him without security, this unwearied benefactor joined with the prisoner in a bond for above two hundred and forty pounds, for which he obtained his release.

"He was no sooner discharged, however, than he entered into fresh combinations with G— and others, in order to thwart his deliverer in his schemes of raising money, and otherwise to distress and deprive him of liberty; for which purpose, no art or industry, perjury not excepted, hath been spared. And, what is still more extraordinary, this perfidious monster having found money to take up the bond, in consequence of which he regained his freedom, hath procured a writ against M—, upon that very obligation; and taken assignments to some other debts of that gentleman, with the same Christian intention. But hitherto he hath, by surprising sagacity and unshaken resolution, baffled all their infernal contrivances, and retorted some of their machinations on their own heads. At this time, when he is supposed by some, and represented by others, as under the circumstances of oblivion and despondence, he proceeds in his design with the utmost calmness and intrepidity, meditating schemes, and ripening measures, that will one day confound his enemies, and attract the notice and admiration of mankind."

Peregrine, having thanked the priest for his obliging information, expressed his surprise at the scandalous inattention of the world to an affair of such importance; observing, that, by such inhuman neglect, this unfortunate young gentleman, Mr. A—, was absolutely deprived of all the benefit of society; the sole end of which is, to protect the rights, redress the grievances, and promote the happiness of individuals. As for the character of M—, he said, it was so romantically singular in all its circumstances, that, though other motives were wanting, curiosity alone would induce him to seek his acquaintance. But he did not at all wonder at the ungrateful returns which had been made to his generosity by H— and many others, whom he had served in a manner that few, besides himself, would have done; for he had been long convinced of the truth conveyed in these lines of a celebrated Italian author:—

Li beneficii che, per la loro grandezza, non ponno esser guiderdonati, con la scelerata moneta dell' ingratitudine sono pagati.

"The story which you have related of that young gentleman," said he, "bears a very strong resemblance to the fate of a Spanish nobleman, as it was communicated to me by one of his own intimate friends at Paris. The Countess d'Alvarez died immediately after the birth of a son, and the husband surviving her but three years, the child was left sole heir to the honours and estate, under the guardianship of his uncle, who had a small fortune and a great many children. This inhuman relation, coveting the wealth of his infant ward, formed a design against the life of the helpless orphan, and trusted the execution of it to his valet-de-chambre, who was tempted to undertake the murder by the promise of a considerable reward. He accordingly stabbed the boy with a knife in three different places, on the right side of his neck; but, as he was not used to such barbarous attempts, his hand failed in the performance; and he was seized with such remorse, that, perceiving the wounds were not mortal, he carried the hapless victim to the house of a surgeon, by whose care they were healed; and, in the meantime, that he might not forfeit his recompense, found means to persuade his employer, that his orders were performed. A bundle being made up for the purpose, was publicly interred as the body of the child, who was said to have been suddenly carried off by a convulsion; and the uncle, without opposition, succeeded to his honours and estate. The boy being cured of his hurts, was, about the age of six, delivered, with a small sum of money, to a merchant just embarking for Turkey; who was given to understand, that he was the bastard of a man of quality and that for family reasons, it was necessary to conceal his birth.

"While the unfortunate orphan remained in this deplorable state of bondage, all the children of the usurper died one after another; and he himself being taken dangerously ill, attributed all his afflictions to the just judgment of God, and communicated his anxiety on that subject to the valet-de-chambre, who had been employed in the murder of his nephew. That domestic, in order to quiet his master's conscience, and calm the perturbation of his spirits, confessed what he had done, and gave him hopes of still finding the boy by dint of industry and expense. The unhappy child being the only hope of the family of Alvarez, the uncle immediately ordered a minute inquiry to be set on foot; in consequence of which he was informed, that the orphan had been sold to a Turk, who had afterwards transferred him to an English merchant, by whom he was conveyed to London.

"An express was immediately despatched to this capital, where he understood that the unhappy exile had, in consideration of his faithful services, been bound apprentice to a French barber-surgeon; and, after he had sufficiently qualified himself in that profession, been received into the family of the Count de Gallas, at that time the emperor's ambassador at the court of London. From the house of this nobleman he was traced into the service of Count d'Oberstorf, where he had married his lady's chambermaid, and then gone to settle as a surgeon in Bohemia.

"In the course of these inquiries, several years elapsed: his uncle, who was very much attached to the house of Austria, lived at Barcelona when the father of this empress-queen resided in that city, and lent him a very considerable sum of money in the most pressing emergency of his affairs; and when that prince was on the point of returning to Germany, the old count, finding his end approaching, sent his father confessor to his majesty, with a circumstantial account of the barbarity he had practised against his nephew, for which he implored forgiveness, and begged he would give orders, that the orphan, when found, should inherit the dignities and fortune which he had unjustly usurped.

"His majesty assured the old man, that he might make himself easy on that score, and ordered the confessor to follow him to Vienna, immediately after the count's death, in order to assist his endeavours in finding out the injured heir. The priest did not fail to yield obedience to this command. He informed himself of certain natural marks on the young count's body, which were known to the nurse and women who attended him in his infancy; and, with a gentleman whom the emperor ordered to accompany him, set out for Bohemia, where he soon found the object of his inquiry, in the capacity of major-domo to a nobleman of that country, he having quitted his profession of surgery for that office.

"He was not a little surprised, when he found himself circumstantially catechised about the particulars of his life, by persons commissioned for that purpose by the emperor. He told them, that he was absolutely ignorant of his own birth, though he had been informed, during his residence in Turkey, that he was the bastard of a Spanish grandee, and gave them a minute detail of the pilgrimage he had undergone. This information agreeing with the intelligence which the priest had already received, and being corroborated by the marks upon his body, and the very scars of the wounds which had been inflicted upon him in his infancy, the confessor, without further hesitation, saluted him by the name of Count d'Alvarez, grandee of Spain, and explained the whole mystery of his fortune.

"If he was agreeably amazed at this explanation, the case was otherwise with his wife, who thought herself in great danger of being abandoned by a husband of such high rank; but he immediately dispelled her apprehension, by assuring her, that, as she had shared in his adversity, she should also partake of his good fortune. He set out immediately for Vienna, to make his acknowledgments to the emperor, who favoured him with a very gracious reception, promised to use his influence, so that he might enjoy the honours and estate of his family; and in the meantime acknowledged himself his debtor for four hundred thousand florins, which he had borrowed from his uncle. He threw himself at the feet of his august protector, expressed the most grateful sense of his goodness, and begged he might be permitted to settle in some of his imperial majesty's dominions. This request was immediately granted; he was allowed to purchase land in any part of the hereditary dominions of the house of Austria, to the amount of the sum I have mentioned; and made choice of the country of Ratibor, in Silesia, where, in all probability, he still resides."

Peregrine had scarce finished the narrative, when he perceived Mr. M— slip something into the hand of the young man with whom he had been conversing at the other end of the room, and rise up from the table in order to take his leave. He at once understood the meaning of this conveyance, and longed for an opportunity to be acquainted with such a rare instance of primitive benevolence; but the consciousness of his present situation hindered him from making any advance that might be construed into forwardness or presumption.





CHAPTER XCIX.
He is surprised with the Appearance of Hatchway and Pipes, who take up their Habitation in his Neighbourhood, contrary to his Inclination and express Desire.

Being now regularly initiated in the mysteries of the Fleet, and reconciled in some measure to the customs of the place, he began to bear the edge of reflection without wincing; and thinking it would be highly imprudent in him to defer any longer the purposes by which only he could enjoy any ease and satisfaction in his confinement, he resolved to resume his task of translating, and every week compose an occasional paper, by way of revenge upon the minister, against whom he had denounced eternal war. With this view, he locked himself up in his chamber, and went to work with great eagerness and application, when he was interrupted by a ticket porter, who, putting a letter in his hand, vanished in a moment, before he had time to peruse the contents.

Our hero, opening the billet, was not a little surprised to find a bank-note for fifty pounds, enclosed in a blank sheet of paper; and, having exercised his memory and penetration on the subject of this unexpected windfall, had just concluded, that it could come from no other hand than the lady who had so kindly visited him a few days before, when his ears were suddenly invaded by the well-known sound of that whistle which always hung about the neck of Pipes, as a memorial of his former occupation. This tune being performed, he heard the noise of a wooden leg ascending the stair; upon which he opened his door, and beheld his friend Hatchway, with his old shipmate at his back.

After a cordial shake of the hand, with the usual salutation of, "What cheer, cousin Pickle?" honest Jack seated himself without ceremony; and casting his eyes around the apartment, "Split my top-staysail," said he, with an arch sneer, "you have got into a snug berth, cousin. Here you may sit all weathers, without being turned out to take your watch, and no fear of the ship's dragging her anchor. You han't much room to spare, 'tis true: an' I had known as how you stowed so close, Tom should have slung my own hammock for you, and then you mought have knocked down this great lubberly hurricane house. But, mayhap, you turn in double, and so you don't choose to trust yourself and your doxy to a clue and canvas."

Pickle bore his jokes with great good-humour, rallied him in his turn about the dairy-maid at the garrison; inquiring about his friends in the country, asked if he had been to visit his niece, and, finally, expressed a desire of knowing the cause of his journey to London. The lieutenant satisfied his curiosity in all these particulars; and, in answer to the last question, observed that, from the information of Pipes, understanding he was land-locked, he had come from the country in order to tow him into the offing. "I know not how the wind sets," said he, "but if so be as three thousand pounds will bring you clear of the cape, say the word, and you shan't lie wind-bound another glass for want of the money."

This was an offer which few people in our hero's situation would have altogether refused, especially as he had all the reason in the world to believe, that, far from being a vain unmeaning compliment, it was the genuine tribute of friendship, which the lieutenant would have willingly, ay, and with pleasure, paid. Nevertheless, Peregrine peremptorily refused his assistance, though not without expressing himself in terms of acknowledgment suitable to the occasion. He told him, it would be time enough to make use of his generosity, when he should find himself destitute of all other resource. Jack employed all his rhetoric, with a view of persuading him to take this opportunity to procure his own enlargement; and, finding his arguments ineffectual, insisted upon his accepting an immediate supply for his necessary occasions; swearing with great vehemence, that he would never return to the garrison, unless he would put him upon the footing of any other tenant, and receive his rent accordingly.

Our young gentleman as positively swore, that he never would consider him in that light; remonstrating, that he had long ago settled the house upon him for life, as a pledge of his own esteem, as well as in conformity with the commodore's desire; and beseeching him to return to his usual avocations, protested that, if ever his situation should subject him to the necessity of borrowing from his friends, Mr. Hatchway should be the first man to whom he would apply himself for succour. To convince him that this was not the case at present, he produced the bank-note which he had received in the letter, together with his own ready money; and mentioned some other funds, which he invented extempore, in order to amuse the lieutenant's concern. In the close of this expostulation, he desired Pipes to conduct Mr. Hatchway to the coffee-house, where he might amuse himself with the newspaper for half an hour; during which he would put on his clothes, and bespeak something for dinner, that they might enjoy each other's company as long as his occasions would permit him to stay in that place.

The two sailors were no sooner gone, than he took up the pen, and wrote the following letter, in which he enclosed the bank-note to his generous benefactress:

Madam,—Your humanity is not more ingenious than my
suspicion. In vain you attempt to impose upon me by an
act of generosity, which no person on earth but your
ladyship is capable of committing. Though your name was
not subscribed on the paper, your sentiments were fully
displayed in the contents, which I must beg leave to
restore, with the same sense of gratitude, and for the
same reasons I expressed when last I had the honour to
converse with you upon this subject. Though I am deprived
of my liberty by the villainy and ingratitude of mankind,
I am not yet destitute of the other conveniences of life;
and therefore beg to be excused for incurring an unnecessary
addition to that load of obligation you have already laid
upon, madam, your ladyship's most devoted, humble servant,
"Peregrine Pickle."

Having dressed himself, and repaired to the place of appointment, he despatched this epistle by the hands of Pipes, who was ordered to leave it at her ladyship's house, without staying for an answer; and in the meantime gave directions for dinner, which he and his friend Hatchway ate very cheerfully in his own apartment, after he had entertained him with a sight of all the curiosities in the place. During their repast, Jack repeated his kind offers to our adventurer, who declined them with his former obstinacy, and begged he might be no more importuned on that subject; but if he insisted upon giving some fresh proofs of his friendship, he might have an opportunity of exhibiting it in taking Pipes under his care and protection; for nothing affected him so much as his inability to provide for such a faithful adherent.

The lieutenant desired he would give himself no trouble upon that score; he being, of his own accord, perfectly well disposed to befriend his old shipmate, who should never want while he had a shilling to spare. But he began to drop some hints of an intention to fix his quarters in the Fleet, observing, that the air seemed to be very good in that place, and that he was tired of living in the country. What he said did not amount to a plain declaration, and therefore Peregrine did not answer it as such, though he perceived his drift; and took an opportunity of describing the inconveniences of the place, in such a manner as, he hoped, would deter him from putting such an extravagant plan in execution.

This expedient, however, far from answering the end proposed, had a quite contrary effect, and furnished Hatchway with an argument against his own unwillingness to quit such a disagreeable place. In all probability, Jack would have been more explicit with regard to the scheme he had proposed, if the conversation had not been interrupted by the arrival of Cadwallader, who never failed in the performance of his diurnal visit. Hatchway, conjecturing that this stranger might have some private business with his friend, quitted the apartment, on pretence of taking a turn; and meeting Pipes at the door, desired his company to the Bare, by which name the open space is distinguished; where, during a course of perambulation, these two companions held a council upon Pickle, in consequence of which it was determined, since he obstinately persisted to refuse their assistance, that they should take lodgings in his neighbourhood, with a view of being at hand to minister unto his occasions, in spite of his false delicacy, according to the emergency of his affairs.

This resolution being taken, they consulted the bar-keeper of the coffee-house about lodging, and she directed them to the warden; to whom the lieutenant, in his great wisdom, represented himself as a kinsman to Peregrine, who, rather than leave that young gentleman by himself to the unavoidable discomforts of a prison, was inclined to keep him company, till such time as his affairs could be put in order. This measure he the more anxiously desired to take, because the prisoner was sometimes subject to a disordered imagination, upon which occasion he stood in need of extraordinary attendance; and therefore he, the lieutenant, entreated the warden to accommodate him with a lodging for himself and his servant, for which he was ready to make any reasonable acknowledgment. The warden, who was a sensible and humane man, could not help applauding his resolution; and several rooms being at that time unoccupied, he put him immediately in possession of a couple, which were forthwith prepared for his reception.

This affair being settled to his satisfaction, he despatched Pipes for his portmanteau; and, returning to the coffee-house, found Peregrine, with whom he spent the remaining part of the evening. Our hero, taking it for granted that he proposed to set out for the garrison next day, wrote a memorandum of some books which he had left in that habitation, and which he now desired Jack to send up to town by the waggon, directed for Mr. Crabtree. He cautioned him against giving the least hint of his misfortune in the neighbourhood, that it might remain, as long as possible, concealed from the knowledge of his sister, who, he knew, would afflict herself immoderately at the news, nor reach the ears of the rest of his family, who would exult and triumph over his distress.

Hatchway listened to his injunctions with great attention, and promised to demean himself accordingly. Then the discourse shifted to an agreeable recapitulation of the merry scenes they had formerly acted together. And the evening being pretty far advanced, Peregrine, with seeming reluctance, told him that the gates of the Fleet would in a few minutes be shut for the night, and that there was an absolute necessity for his withdrawing to his lodging. Jack replied, that he could not think of parting with him so soon, after such a long separation; and that he was determined to stay with him an hour or two longer, if he should be obliged to take up his lodging in the streets. Pickle, rather than disoblige his guest, indulged him in his desire and resolved to give him a share of his own bed. A pair of chickens and asparagus were bespoke for supper, at which Pipes attended with an air of internal satisfaction; and the bottle was bandied about in a jovial manner till midnight, when the lieutenant rose up to take his leave, observing, that, being fatigued with riding, he was inclined to turn in. Pipes, upon this intimation, produced a lanthorn ready lighted; and Jack, shaking his entertainer by the hand, wished him good night, and promised to visit him again betimes in the morning.

Peregrine, imagining that his behaviour proceeded from the wine, which he had plentifully drunk, told him, that, if he was disposed to sleep, his bed was ready prepared in the room, and ordered his attendant to undress his master; upon which Mr. Hatchway gave him to understand, that he had no occasion to incommode his friend, having already provided a lodging for himself, and the young gentleman demanding an explanation, he frankly owned what he had done, saying, "You gave me such a dismal account of the place, that I could not think of leaving you in it without company." Our young gentleman, who was naturally impatient of benefits, and foresaw that this uncommon instance of Hatchway's friendship would encroach upon the plan which he had formed for his own subsistence, by engrossing his time and attention, so as that he should not be able to prosecute his labours, closeted the lieutenant next day, and demonstrated to him the folly and ill consequences of the step he had taken. He observed, that the world in general would look upon it as the effect of mere madness; and, if his relations were so disposed, they might make it the foundation for a statute of lunacy against him; that his absence from the garrison must be a very great detriment to his private affairs; and, lastly, that his presence in the Fleet would be a very great hindrance to Pickle himself, whose hope of regaining his liberty altogether depended upon his being detached from all company and interruption.

To these remonstrances Jack replied, that, as to the opinion of the world, it was no more to him than a rotten net-line; and if his relations had a mind to have his upper works condemned, he did not doubt but he should be able to stand the survey, without being declared unfit for service; that he had no affairs at the garrison, but such as would keep cold; and with regard to Pickle's being interrupted by his presence, he gave him his word, that he would never come alongside of him, except when he should give him the signal for holding discourse. In conclusion, he signified his resolution to stay where he was, at all events, without making himself accountable to any person, whatsoever.

Peregrine seeing him determined, desisted from any further importunity; resolving, however, to tire him out of his plan by reserve and supercilious neglect; for he could not bear the thought of being so notoriously obliged by any person upon earth. With this view he quitted the lieutenant, upon some slight pretence; after having told him, that he could not have the pleasure of his company at dinner, because he was engaged with a particular club of his fellow-prisoners.

Jack was a stranger to the punctilios of behaviour, and therefore did not take this declaration amiss; but had immediate recourse to the advice of his counsellor, Mr. Pipes, who proposed, that he should go to the coffee-house and kitchen, and give the people to understand that he would pay for all such liquor and provisions as Mr. Pickle should order to be sent to his lodging. This expedient was immediately practised; and as there was no credit in the place, Hatchway deposited a sum of money, by way of security, to the cook and the vintner, intimating, that there was a necessity for taking that method of befriending his cousin Peregrine, who was subject to strange whims, that rendered it impossible to serve him any other way.

In consequence of these insinuations, it was that same day rumoured about the Fleet, that Mr. Pickle was an unhappy gentleman disordered in his understanding, and that the lieutenant was his near relation, who had subjected himself to the inconvenience of living in a jail, with the sole view of keeping a strict eye over his conduct. This report, however, did not reach the ears of our hero till the next day, when he sent one of the runners of the Fleet, who attended him, to bespeak and pay for a couple of pullets, and something else for dinner, to which he had already invited his friend Hatchway, in hope of being able to persuade him to retire into the country, after he had undergone a whole day's mortification in the place. The messenger returned with an assurance, that the dinner should be made ready according to his directions, and restored the money, observing, that his kinsman had paid for what was bespoke.

Peregrine was equally surprised and disgusted at this information, and resolved to chide the lieutenant severely for his unseasonable treat, which he considered as a thing repugnant to his reputation. Meanwhile, he despatched his attendant for wine to the coffee-house, and finding his credit bolstered up in that place by the same means, was enraged at the presumption of Jack's friendship. He questioned the valet about it with such manifestation of displeasure, that the fellow, afraid of disobliging such a good master, frankly communicated the story which was circulated at his expense. The young gentleman was so much incensed at this piece of intelligence, that he wrote a bitter expostulation to the lieutenant, where he not only retracted his invitation, but declared that he would never converse with him while he should remain within the place.

Having thus obeyed the dictates of his anger, he gave notice to the cook, that he should not have occasion for what was ordered. Repairing to the coffee-house, he told the landlord, that whereas he understood the stranger with the wooden leg had prepossessed him and others with ridiculous notions, tending to bring the sanity of his intellects in question, and, to confirm this imputation, had, under the pretence of consanguinity, undertaken to defray his expenses; he could not help, in justice to himself, declaring, that the same person was, in reality, the madman, who had given his keepers the slip; that, therefore, he, the landlord, would not find his account in complying with his orders, and encouraging him to frequent his house; and that, for his own part, he would never enter the door, or favour him with the least trifle of his custom, if ever he should for the future find himself anticipated in his payments by that unhappy lunatic.

The vintner was confounded at this retorted charge; and, after much perplexity and deliberation, concluded, that both parties were distracted; the stranger in paying a man's debts against his will, and Pickle, in being offended at such forwardness of friendship.





CHAPTER C.
These Associates commit an Assault upon Crabtree, for which they are banished from the Fleet—Peregrine begins to feel the effects of Confinement.

Our adventurer having dined at an ordinary, and in the afternoon retired to his own apartment, as usual, with his friend Cadwallader, Hatchway and his associate, after they had been obliged to discuss the provision for which they had paid, renewed their conference upon the old subject. Pipes giving his messmate to understand, that Peregrine's chief confidant was the old deaf bachelor, whom he had seen at his lodging the preceding day, Mr. Hatchway, in his great penetration, discovered, that the young gentleman's obstinacy proceeded from the advice of the misanthrope, whom, for that reason, it was their business to chastise. Pipes entered into this opinion the more willingly, as he had all along believed the senior to be a sort of wizard, or some cacodaemon, whom it was not very creditable to be acquainted with. Indeed, he had been inspired with this notion by the insinuations of Hadgi, who had formerly dropped some hints touching Crabtree's profound knowledge in the magic art; mentioning, in particular, his being possessed of the philosopher's stone; an assertion to which Tom had given implicit credit, until his master was sent to prison for debt, when he could no longer suppose Cadwallader lord of such a valuable secret, or else he would have certainly procured the enlargement of his most intimate friend.

With these sentiments, he espoused the resentment of Hatchway. They determined to seize the supposed conjurer, with the first opportunity, on his return from his visit to Peregrine, and, without hesitation, exercise upon him the discipline of the pump. This plan they would have executed that same evening, had not the misanthrope luckily withdrawn himself, by accident, before it was dark, and even before they had intelligence of his retreat. But, next day, they kept themselves upon the watch till he appeared, and Pipes lifting his hat, as Crabtree passed, "O d— ye, old Dunny," said he, "you and I must grapple by and by; and a'gad I shall lie so near your quarter, that your ear-ports will let in the sound, thof they are double caulked with oakum."

The misanthrope's ears were not quite so fast closed, but that they received this intimation; which, though delivered in terms that he did not well understand, had such an effect upon his apprehension, that he signified his doubts to Peregrine, observing, that he did not much like the looks of that same ruffian with the wooden leg. Pickle assured him, he had nothing to fear from the two sailors, who could have no cause of resentment against him; or, if they had, would not venture to take any step, which they knew must block up all the avenues to that reconcilement, about which they were so anxious; and, moreover, give such offence to the governor of the place as would infallibly induce him to expel them both from his territories.

Notwithstanding this assurance, the young gentleman was not so confident of the lieutenant's discretion, as to believe that Crabtree's fears were altogether without foundation; he forthwith conjectured that Jack had taken umbrage at an intimacy from which he found himself excluded, and imputed his disgrace to the insinuations of Cadwallader, whom, in all likelihood, he intended to punish for his supposed advice. He knew his friend could sustain no great damage from the lieutenant's resentment, in a place which he could immediately alarm with his cries, and therefore wished he might fall into the snare, because it would furnish him with a pretence of complaint; in consequence of which, the sailors would be obliged to shift their quarters, so as that he should be rid of their company, in which he at present could find no enjoyment.

Everything happened as he had foreseen; the misanthrope, in his retreat from Peregrine's chamber, was assaulted by Hatchway and his associate, who seized him by the collar without ceremony, and began to drag him towards the pump, at which they would have certainly complimented him with a very disagreeable bath, had not he exalted his voice in such a manner, as in a moment brought a number of the inhabitants, and Pickle himself, to his aid. The assailants would have persisted in their design, had the opposition been such as they could have faced with any possibility of success; nor did they quit their prey, before a dozen, at least, had come to his rescue, and Peregrine with a menacing aspect and air of authority, commanded his old valet to withdraw. Then they thought proper to sheer off, and betake themselves to close quarters, while our hero accompanied the affrighted Cadwallader to the gate, and exhibited to the warden a formal complaint against the rioters, upon whom he retorted the charge of lunacy, which was supported by the evidence of twenty persons, who had been eye-witnesses of the outrage committed against the old gentleman. The governor, in consequence of this information, sent a message to Mr. Hatchway, warning him to move his lodging next day, on pain of being expelled. The lieutenant contumaciously refusing to comply with this intimation, was in the morning, while he amused himself in walking upon the Bare, suddenly surrounded by the constables of the court, who took him and his adherent prisoners, before they were aware, and delivered them into the hands of the turnkeys, by whom they were immediately dismissed, and their baggage conveyed to the side of the ditch.

This expulsion was not performed without an obstinate opposition on the part of the delinquents, who, had they not been surprised, would have set the whole Fleet at defiance, and, in all probability, have acted divers tragedies, before they could have been overpowered. Things being circumstanced as they were, the lieutenant did not part with his conductor without tweaking his nose, by way of farewell; and Pipes, in imitation of such a laudable example, communicated a token of remembrance, in an application to the sole eye of his attendant, who, scorning to be outdone in this kind of courtesy, returned the compliment with such good-will, that Tom's organ performed the office of a multiplying-glass. These were mutual hints for stripping, and, accordingly, each was naked from the waist upwards in a trice. A ring of butchers from the market was immediately formed; a couple of the reverend flamens, who, in morning gowns, ply for marriages in that quarter of the town, constituted themselves seconds and umpires of the approaching contest, and the battle began without further preparation. The combatants were, in point of strength and agility, pretty equally matched; but the jailor had been regularly trained in the art of bruising: he had more than once signalized himself in public, by his prowess and skill in this exercise, and lost one eye upon the stage in the course of his exploits. This was a misfortune of which Pipes did not fail to take the advantage. He had already sustained several hard knocks upon his temples and jaws, and found it impracticable to smite his antagonist upon the victualling-office, so dexterously was it defended against assault. He then changed his battery, and being ambidexter, raised such a clatter upon the turnkey's blind side, that this hero, believing him left-handed, converted his attention that way, and opposed the unenlightened side of his face to the right hand of Pipes, which being thus unprovided against, slyly bestowed upon him a peg under the fifth rib, that in an instant laid him senseless on the pavement, at the feet of his conqueror. Pipes was congratulated upon his victory, not only by his friend Hatchway, but also by all the by-standers, particularly the priest who had espoused his cause, and now invited the strangers to his lodgings in a neighbouring alehouse, where they were entertained so much to their liking, that they determined to seek no other habitation while they should continue in town; and, notwithstanding the disgrace and discouragement they had met with, in their endeavours to serve our adventurer, they were still resolved to persevere in their good offices, or, in the vulgar phrase, to see him out.

While they settled themselves in this manner, and acquired familiar connections round all the purlieus of the ditch, Peregrine found himself deprived of the company of Cadwallader, who signified, by letter, that he did not choose to hazard his person again in visiting him, while such assassins occupied the avenues through which he must pass; for he had been at pains to inquire into the motions of the seamen, and informed himself exactly of the harbour in which they were moored.

Our hero had been so much accustomed to the conversation of Crabtree, which was altogether suitable to the singularity of his own disposition, that he could very ill afford to be debarred of it at this juncture, when almost every other source of enjoyment was stopped. He was, however, obliged to submit to the hardships of his situation; and as the characters of his fellow-prisoners did not at all improve upon him, he was compelled to seek for satisfaction within himself. Not but that he had an opportunity of conversing with some people who neither wanted sense, nor were deficient in point of principle; yet there appeared in the behaviour of them all, without exception, a certain want of decorum, a squalor of sentiment, a sort of jailish cast contracted in the course of confinement, which disgusted the delicacy of our hero's observation. He, therefore, detached himself from their parties as much as he could, without giving offence to those among whom he was obliged to live, and resumed his labours with incredible eagerness and perseverance, his spirits being supported by the success of some severe philippics, which he occasionally published against the author of his misfortune.

Nor was his humanity unemployed in the vacations of his revenge. A man must be void of all sympathy and compassion, who can reside among so many miserable objects, without feeling an inclination to relieve their distress. Every day almost presented to his view such lamentable scenes as were most likely to attract his notice, and engage his benevolence. Reverses of fortune, attended with the most deplorable circumstances of domestic woe, were continually intruding upon his acquaintance; his ears were invaded with the cries of the hapless wife, who, from the enjoyment of affluence and pleasure, was forced to follow her husband to this abode of wretchedness and want; his eyes were every minute assailed with the naked and meagre appearances of hunger and cold; and his fancy teemed with a thousand aggravations of their misery.

Thus situated, his purse was never shut while his heart remained open. Without reflecting upon the slenderness of his store, he exercised his charity to all the children of distress, and acquired a popularity, which, though pleasing, was far from being profitable. In short, his bounty kept no pace with his circumstances, and in a little time he was utterly exhausted. He had recourse to his bookseller, from whom, with great difficulty, he obtained a small reinforcement; and immediately relapsed into the same want of retention. He was conscious of his infirmity, and found it incurable: he foresaw that by his own industry he should never be able to defray the expense of these occasions; and this reflection sunk deep into his mind. The approbation of the public, which he had earned or might acquire like a cordial often repeated, began to lose its effect upon his imagination; his health suffered by his sedentary life and austere application, his eyesight failed, his appetite forsook him, his spirits decayed; so that he became melancholy, listless, and altogether incapable of prosecuting the only means he had left for his subsistence; and, what did not at all contribute to the alleviation of these particulars, he was given to understand by his lawyer, that he had lost his cause, and was condemned in costs. Even this was not the most mortifying piece of intelligence he received: he at the same time learned that his bookseller was bankrupt, and his friend Crabtree at the point of death.

These were comfortable considerations to a youth of Peregrine's disposition, which was so capricious, that the more his misery increased, the more haughty and inflexible he became. Rather than be beholden to Hatchway, who still hovered about the gate, eager for an opportunity to assist him, he chose to undergo the want of almost every convenience of life, and actually pledged his wearing apparel to an Irish pawnbroker in the Fleet, for money to purchase those things, without which he must have absolutely perished. He was gradually irritated by his misfortunes into a rancorous resentment against mankind in general, and his heart so alienated from the enjoyments of life, that he did not care how soon he quitted his miserable existence. Though he had shocking examples of the vicissitudes of fortune continually before his eyes, he could never be reconciled to the idea of living like his fellow-sufferers, in the most abject degree of dependence. If he refused to accept of favours from his own allies and intimate friends, whom he had formerly obliged, it is not to be supposed that he would listen to proposals of that kind from any of his fellow-prisoners, with whom he had contracted acquaintance: he was even more cautious than ever of incurring obligations; he now shunned his former messmates, in order to avoid disagreeable tenders of friendship. Imagining that he perceived an inclination in the clergyman to learn the state of his finances, he discouraged and declined the explanation, and at length secluded himself from all society.





CHAPTER CI.
He receives an unexpected Visit; and the Clouds of Misfortune begin to separate.

While he pined in this forlorn condition, with an equal abhorrence of the world and himself, Captain Gauntlet arrived in town in order to employ his interest for promotion in the army; and in consequence of his wife's particular desire, made it his business to inquire for Peregrine, to whom he longed to be reconciled, even though at the expense of a slight submission. But he could hear no tidings of him, at the place to which he was directed; and, on the supposition that our hero had gone to reside in the country, applied himself to his own business, with intention to renew his inquiries, after that affair should be transacted. He communicated his demands to his supposed patron, who had assumed the merit of making him a captain, and been gratified with a valuable present on that consideration; and was cajoled with hopes of succeeding in his present aim by the same interest.

Meanwhile, he became acquainted with one of the clerks belonging to the War Office, whose advice and assistance, he was told, would be a furtherance to his scheme. As he had occasion to discourse with this gentleman upon the circumstances of his expectation, he learned that the nobleman, upon whom he depended, was a person of no consequence in the state, and altogether incapable of assisting him in his advancement. At the same time, his counsellor expressed his surprise that Captain Gauntlet did not rather interest in his cause the noble peer to whose good offices he owed his last commission.

This remark introduced an explanation, by which Godfrey discovered, to his infinite astonishment, the mistake in which he had continued so long with regard to his patron; though he could not divine the motive which induced a nobleman, with whom he had no acquaintance or connection, to interpose his influence in his behalf. Whatsoever that might be, he thought it was his duty to make his acknowledgment; and for that purpose went next morning to his house, where he was politely received, and given to understand that Mr. Pickle was the person to whose friendship he was indebted for his last promotion.

Inexpressible were the transports of gratitude, affection, and remorse that took possession of the soul of Gauntlet, when this mystery was unfolded. "Good Heaven!" cried he, lifting up his hands, "have I lived so long in a state of animosity with my benefactor? I intended to have reconciled myself at any rate before I was sensible of this obligation, but now I shall not enjoy a moment's quiet until I have an opportunity of expressing to him my sense of his heroic friendship. I presume, from the nature of the favour conferred upon him in my behalf, that Mr. Pickle is well known to your lordship; and I should think myself extremely happy if you could inform me in what part of the country he is to be found; for the person with whom he lodged some time ago could give me no intelligence of his motions."

The nobleman, touched with this instance of generous self-denial in Peregrine, as well as with the sensibility of his friend, lamented the unhappiness of our hero, while he gave Gauntlet to understand that he had been long disordered in his intellects, in consequence of having squandered away his fortune; and that his creditors had thrown him into the Fleet prison; but whether he still continued in that confinement, or was released from his misfortunes by death, his lordship did not know, because he had never inquired.

Godfrey no sooner received this intimation, than, his blood boiling with grief and impatience, he craved pardon for his abrupt departure; then quitting his informer on the instant, re-embarked in his hackney-coach, and ordered himself to be conveyed directly to the Fleet. As the vehicle proceeded along one side of the market, he was surprised with the appearance of Hatchway and Pipes, who stood cheapening cauliflowers at a green-stall, their heads being cased in worsted nightcaps, half covered with their hats, and a short tobacco-pipe in the mouth of each. He was rejoiced at sight of the two seamen, which he took for a happy omen of finding his friend, and, ordering the coachman to stop the carriage, called to the lieutenant by his name. Jack replying with an hilloah, looking behind him, and recognizing the face of his old acquaintance, ran up to the coach with great eagerness. Shaking the captain heartily by the hand, "Odds heart!" said he, "I am glad thou hast fallen in with us; we shall now be able to find the trim of the vessel, and lay her about on t'other tack. For my own part, I have had many a consort in my time, that is, in the way of good fellowship, and I always made a shift to ware 'em at one time or another. But this headstrong toad will neither obey the helm nor the sheet; and for aught I know, will founder where a lies at anchor."

Gauntlet, who conceived part of his meaning, alighted immediately; and being conducted to the sailor's lodging, was informed of everything that had passed between the lieutenant and Pickle. He, in his turn, communicated to Jack the discovery which he had made, with regard to his commission; at which the other gave no signs of surprise, but, taking the pipe from his mouth, "Why look ye, captain," said he, "that's not the only good turn you have owed him. That same money you received from the commodore as an old debt was all a sham, contrived by Pickle for your service; but a wool drive under his bare poles without sails and rigging, or a mess of provision on board, rather than take the same assistance from another man."

Godfrey was not only amazed, but chagrined at the knowledge of this anecdote; which gave umbrage to his pride, while it stimulated his desire of doing something in return for the obligation. He inquired into the present circumstances of the prisoner; and understanding that he was indisposed, and but indifferently provided with the common necessaries of life, though still deaf to all offers of assistance, began to be extremely concerned at the account of this savage obstinacy and pride, which would, he feared, exclude him from the privilege of relieving him in his distress. However, he resolved to leave no expedient untried, that might have any tendency to surmount such destructive prejudice; and entering the jail, was directed to the apartment of the wretched prisoner. He knocked softly at the door, and, when it was opened, started back with horror and astonishment. The figure that presented itself to his view was the remains of his once happy friend; but so miserably altered and disguised, that his features were scarce cognisable. The florid, the sprightly, the gay, the elevated youth, was now metamorphosed into a wan, dejected, meagre, squalid spectre; the hollow-eyed representative of distemper, indigence, and despair. Yet his eyes retained a certain ferocity, which threw a dismal gleam athwart the cloudiness of his aspect, and he, in silence, viewed his old companion with a look betokening confusion and disdain. As for Gauntlet, he could not, without emotion, behold such a woeful reverse of fate, in a person for whom he entertained the noblest sentiments of friendship, gratitude, and esteem; his sorrow was at first too big for utterance, and he shed a flood of tears before he could pronounce one word.

Peregrine, in spite of his misanthropy, could not help being affected with this uncommon testimony of regard; but he strove to stifle his sensations. His brows contracted themselves into a severe frown; his eyes kindled into the appearance of live coals. He waved with his hand in signal for Godfrey to be gone, and leave such a wretch as him to the miseries of his fate; and, finding nature too strong to be suppressed, uttered a deep groan, and wept aloud.

The soldier, seeing him thus melted, unable to restrain the strong impulse of his affection, sprung towards, and clasping him in his arms, "My dearest friend, and best benefactor," said he, "I am come hither to humble myself for the offence I was so unhappy as to give at our last parting; to beg a reconciliation, to thank you for the case and affluence I have enjoyed through your means, and to rescue you, in spite of yourself, from this melancholy situation; of which, but an hour ago, I was utterly ignorant. Do not deny me the satisfaction of acquitting myself in point of duty and obligation. You must certainly have had some regard for a person in whose favour you have exerted yourself so much; and if any part of that esteem remains, you will not refuse him an opportunity of approving himself in some measure worthy of it. Let me not suffer the most mortifying of all repulses, that of slighted friendship; but kindly sacrifice your resentment and inflexibility to the request of one who is at all times ready to sacrifice his life for your honour and advantage. If you will not yield to my entreaties, have some regard to the wishes of my Sophy, who laid me under the strongest injunctions to solicit your forgiveness, even before she knew how much I was indebted to your generosity; or, if that consideration should be of no weight, I hope you will relax a little for the sake of poor Emilia, whose resentment hath been long subdued by her affection, and who now droops in secret at your neglect."

Every word of this address, delivered in the most pathetic manner, made an impression upon the mind of Peregrine. He was affected with the submission of his friend, who, in reality, had given him no just cause to complain. He knew that no ordinary motive had swayed him to a condescension so extraordinary in a man of his punctilious temper. He considered it, therefore, as the genuine effect of eager gratitude and disinterested love, and his heart began to relent accordingly. When he heard himself conjured in the name of the gentle Sophy, his obstinacy was quite overcome; and when Emilia was recalled to his remembrance, his whole frame underwent a violent agitation. He took his friend by the hand, with a softened look; and, as soon as he recovered the faculty of speech, which had been overpowered in the conflict of passions that transported him, protested, that he retained no vestige of animosity, but considered him in the light of an affectionate comrade, the ties of whose friendship adversity could not unbind. He mentioned Sophy in the most respectful terms; spoke of Emilia with the most reverential awe, as the object of his inviolable love and veneration; but disclaimed all hope of ever more attracting her regard, and excused himself from profiting by Godfrey's kind intention; declaring, with a resolute air, that he had broken off all connection with mankind, and that he impatiently longed for the hour of his dissolution, which, if it should not soon arrive by the course of nature, he was resolved to hasten with his own hands, rather than be exposed to the contempt, and more intolerable pity, of a rascally world.

Gauntlet argued against this frantic determination with all the vehemence of expostulating friendship; but his remonstrances did not produce the desired effect upon our desperate hero, who calmly refuted all his arguments, and asserted the rectitude of his design from the pretended maxims of reason and true philosophy. While this dispute was carried on with eagerness on one side, and deliberation on the other, a letter was brought to Peregrine, who threw it carelessly aside unopened, though the superscription was in a handwriting to which he was a stranger; and, in all probability, the contents would never have been perused, had not Gauntlet insisted upon his waiving all ceremony, and reading it forthwith. Thus solicited, Pickle unsealed the billet, which, to his no small surprise, contained the following intimation:—

Sir,—This comes to inform you, that, after many dangers
and disappointments, I am, by the blessing of God, safely
arrived in the Downs, on board of the Gomberoon Indiaman,
having made a tolerable voyage; by which I hope I shall be
enabled to repay, with interest, the seven hundred pounds
which I borrowed of you before my departure from England.
I take this opportunity of writing by our purser, who goes
express with despatches for the Company, that you may have
this satisfactory notice as soon as possible, relating to
one whom I suppose you have long given over as lost. I have
enclosed it in a letter to my broker, who, I hope, knows
your address, and will forward it accordingly. And I am,
with respect, Sir, your most humble servant,
"Benjamin Chintz."

He had no sooner taken a cursory view of this agreeable epistle, than his countenance cleared up, and, reaching it to his friend, with a smile, "There," said he, "is a more convincing argument, on your side of the question, than all the casuists in the universe can advance." Gauntlet, wondering at this observation, took the paper, and, casting his eyes greedily upon the contents, congratulated him upon the receipt of it, with extravagant demonstrations of joy. "Not on account of the sum," said he, "which, upon my honour, I would with pleasure pay three times over for your convenience and satisfaction; but because it seems to have reconciled you to life, and disposed your mind for enjoying the comforts of society."

The instantaneous effect which this unexpected smile of fortune produced in the appearance of our adventurer is altogether inconceivable; it plumped up his cheeks in a moment, unbended and enlightened every feature of his face; elevated his head, which had begun to sink as it were, between his shoulders; and from a squeaking dispirited tone, swelled up his voice to a clear manly accent. Godfrey, taking advantage of this favourable change, began to regale him with prospects of future success. He reminded him of his youth and qualifications, which were certainly designed for better days than those he had as yet seen; he pointed out various paths by which he might arrive at wealth and reputation; he importuned him to accept of a sum for his immediate occasions; and earnestly begged that he would allow him to discharge the debt for which he was confined, observing, that Sophy's fortune had enabled him to exhibit that proof of his gratitude, without any detriment to his affairs; and protesting that he should not believe himself in possession of Mr. Pickle's esteem, unless he was permitted to make some such return of good-will to the man, who had not only raised him from indigence and scorn, to competence and reputable rank, but also empowered him to obtain the possession of an excellent woman, who had filled up the measure of his felicity.

Peregrine declared himself already overpaid for all his good offices, by the pleasure he enjoyed in employing them, and the happy effects they had produced in the mutual satisfaction of two persons so dear to his affection; and assured his friend, that one time or other he would set his conscience at ease, and remove the scruples of his honour, by having recourse to his assistance; but at present he could not make use of his friendship, without giving just cause of offence to honest Hatchway, who was prior to him in point of solicitation, and had manifested his attachment with surprising obstinacy and perseverance.





CHAPTER CII.
Peregrine reconciles himself to the Lieutenant, and renews his Connection with Society—Divers Plans are projected in his behalf, and he has occasion to exhibit a remarkable Proof of Self-denial.

The captain, with reluctance, yielded the preference in this particular to Jack, who was immediately invited to a conference, by a note subscribed with Pickle's own hand. He was found at the prison-gate waiting for Gauntlet, to know the issue of his negotiation. He no sooner received this summons, than he set all his sails, and made the best of his way to his friend's apartment; being admitted by the turnkey, in consequence of Peregrine's request, communicated by the messenger who, carried the billet. Pipes followed close in the wake of his shipmate; and, in a few minutes after the note had been despatched, Peregrine and Gauntlet heard the sound of the stump, ascending the wooden staircase with such velocity, that they at first mistook it for the application of drumsticks to the head of an empty barrel. This uncommon speed, however, was attended with a misfortune; he chanced to overlook a small defect in one of the steps, and his prop plunging into a hole, he fell backwards, to the imminent danger of his life. Tom was luckily at his back, and sustained him in his arms, so as that he escaped without any other damage than the loss of his wooden leg, which was snapped in the middle, by the weight of his body in falling; and such was his impatience, that he would not give himself the trouble to disengage the fractured member. Unbuckling the whole equipage in a trice, he left it sticking in the crevice, saying, a rotten cable was not worth heaving up, and, in this natural state of mutilation, hopped into the room with infinite expedition.

Peregrine, taking him cordially by the hand, seated him upon one side of his bed; and, after having made an apology for that reserve of which he had so justly complained, asked if he could conveniently accommodate him with the loan of twenty guineas. The lieutenant, without opening his mouth, pulled out his purse; and Pipes, who overheard the demand, applying the whistle to his lips, performed a loud overture, in token of his joy. Matters being thus brought to an accommodation, our hero told the captain, that he should be glad of his company at dinner, with their common friend Hatchway, if he would in the meantime leave him to the ministry of Pipes; and the soldier went away for the present, in order to pay a short visit to his uncle, who at that time languished in a declining state of health, promising to return at the appointed hour.

The lieutenant, having surveyed the dismal appearance of his friend, could not help being moved at the spectacle, and began to upbraid him with his obstinate pride, which, he swore, was no better than self-murder. But the young gentleman interrupted him in the course of his moralizing, by telling him he had reasons for his conduct, which, perhaps, he would impart in due season; but, at present, his design was to alter that plan of behaviour, and make himself some amends for the misery he had undergone. He accordingly sent Pipes to redeem his clothes from the pawnbroker's wardrobe, and bespeak something comfortable for dinner. When Godfrey came back, he was very agreeably surprised to see such a favourable alteration in his externals; for, by the assistance of his valet, he had purified himself from the dregs of his distress, and now appeared in a decent suit, with clean linen, while his face was disencumbered of the hair that overshadowed it, and his apartment prepared for the reception of company.

They enjoyed their meal with great satisfaction, entertaining one another with a recapitulation of their former adventures at the garrison. In the afternoon, Gauntlet taking his leave, in order to write a letter to his sister, at the desire of his uncle who, finding his end approaching, wanted to see her without loss of time, Peregrine made his appearance on the Bare, and was complimented on his coming abroad again, not only by his old messmates, who had not seen him for many weeks, but by a number of those objects whom his liberality had fed, before his funds were exhausted. Hatchway was, by his interest with the warden, put in possession of his former quarters, and Pipes despatched to make inquiry about Crabtree at his former lodging, where he learned that the misanthrope, after a very severe fit of illness, was removed to Kensington Gravel-pits, for the convenience of breathing a purer air than that of London.

In consequence of this information, Peregrine, who knew the narrowness of the old gentleman's fortune, next day desired his friend Gauntlet to take the trouble of visiting him, in his name, with a letter, in which he expressed great concern for his indisposition, gave him notice of the fortunate intelligence he had received from the Downs, and conjured him to make use of his purse, if he was in the least hampered in his circumstances. The captain took coach immediately, and set out for the place, according to the direction which Pipes had procured.

Cadwallader, having seen him at Bath, knew him again at first sight; and, though reduced to a skeleton, believed himself in such a fair way of doing well, that he would have accompanied him to the Fleet immediately, had he not been restrained by his nurse, who was, by his physician, invested with full authority to dispute and oppose his will in everything that she should think prejudicial to his health; for he was considered, by those who had the care of him, as an old humourist, not a little distempered in his brain. He inquired particularly about the sailors, who, he said, had deterred him from carrying on his usual correspondence with Pickle, and been the immediate cause of his indisposition, by terrifying him into a fever. Understanding that the breach between Pickle and Hatchway was happily cemented, and that he was no longer in any danger from the lieutenant's resentment, he promised to be at the Fleet with the first convenient opportunity; and, in the meantime, wrote an answer to Peregrine's letter, importing, that he was obliged to him for his offer, but had not the least occasion for his assistance