Page:A New England Tale.djvu/217

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206
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

make her miserable: the unhappy are apt to affect religion. But you are young and curable, if you can be rescued from this quaker climate and influence."

Edward still rattled on, and seemed a little dread making the promised communication; but at last, inferring from Jane's seriousness that she was anxious, and impatient herself to have it over, he went on to tell her—that from the beginning of their engagement Mr. Lloyd had undertaken the surveillance of his morals; that if he had not been fortified by his antipathy to Quakers, he should have surrendered his confidence to him.

"No gentlemen," he said, "no man of honourable feeling—no man of proper sensibility—would submit to the interference of a stranger—a man not much older than himself—in matters that concerned himself alone; it was an intolerable outrage. If Jane was capable of a fair judgement, she would allow that it was so."

Jane mildly replied, that she could only judge from the facts; as yet she had heard nothing but accusations. Erskine said, he had imagined he was stating his case in a court of love and not of law; but he had no objection, since his judge was as sternly just as an old Roman father, to state facts. He could pardon Mr. Lloyd his eagerness to make him adopt his plans of improvement in the natural and moral world: to the first he might have been led by his taste for agriculture, (which he believed was unaffected), and to the second he was pledged by the laws of holy quaker church.