Page:Adventures of Rachel Cunningham.djvu/9

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8
THE LIFE OF

magic-rivitted attachment to her beauteous person until excited affection raged in the very madness of desire to obtain a full possession of the so seeming inestimable treasure.

When she first arrived at her aunt's, it was near the close of that season and but few visitants were left remaining at Bedford, and those preparing for their speedy departure, yet from the few who had seen and witnessed this accession of loveliness to the attraction, of the place, report went forth and with the wings of lightning's rapidity spread through the country the intelligence of what a prodigy in superior beauty had made its appearance and become stationary in that summer resort of profligacy and pollution.

On the following year, at a much earlier period of the season than usual, the place was thronged with the beaux-garçons of fashion and votaries of the delectable goddess. Mrs. Wallingdon, (Rachel Cunningham's aunt.) could have let every apartment of her extensive establishment, (at an advance of almost double her common demand for accommodation,) more than a hundred times over, and the requests of the several applicants to be received under her roof, became so pressingly vehement that, and while she was yet ignorant of its being her niece's charms operating this talismanic effect, she not only did actually nearly double her usual price for each suit of furnished apartments, but was absolutely necessitated to have printed bills posted up in various parts of the town, (Bedford Pa.) giving notice that every room in her house was completely occupied, not only at the present time, but taken positively for the whole entire season, and therefore all further applications would be useless. These notices, however, tended very little to abridge trouble of giving answers, for as the house still contained the grand magnet of attraction, many and continual were the requests made for accommodation, by parties merely hoping thereby to gain a sight of this phenomenon of lovely excellence (Rachel.)

Amongst the several parties, fortunate as they considered themselves in being inmates in Mrs. Wallingdon's house, under the same roof with such a prodigy of exquisite beauty, as, in the person of Rachel Cunningham, there presented himself to them, was a Mr Haverley, a young man of colour,