Page:Adventures of Rachel Cunningham.djvu/11

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society whenever opportunity could be rendered fairly subservient to their inclinations, and as he (Mr. Haverley,) had the means with the disposition to feed both her vanity and vicious propensities, she seemed devoted to his embraces only, notwithstanding that she artfully gave herself to more sly intrigues with other gentlemen visitants, but all conducted with such consummate cunning of management, that Mrs. Wallingdon, her aunt, entertained not the slightest suspicion to the contrary of her conduct being strictly correct.

Thus she commenced, at that early age, (then but turned of sixteen, about two or three months,) her vicious career of life, polluted at the heart's core, every virtuous principle fled, both her mind and person defiled, she soon became wholly lost to every sense of modest feeling which should adorn the sex and stamp the woman truly amiable. At the end of the prolonged season her lover in chief, Mr Haverley took his departure from Bedford, previously to which, as he was young, handsome, and, above all, rich; he had do difficulty in bringing Rachel to an arrangement for becoming his mistress. Her naturally loose principles, desire of gain for the advantage of gaiety, and her propensity to proflgate indulgences, were powerful advocates in favour of his proposals: she gave her decided preference to his terms, because she knew his means were ample to supply her extravagant wishes; therefore he had but to propose for Rachel to agree to his liberal offer; accordingly, he had been gone from her aunt's house three days, when on the evening of the third day, as agreed, he returned to Bedford Pa. in disguise and remained at a small Inn, in the outskirts, till the appointed hour should arrive:—Rachel was all in preparation and expectancy; the clock struck the signal hour for moving, she was instantly in the arms of her lover, the carriage was waiting to receive them at a short distance from the window whence she escaped, thus they eloped together that night, and with the help of swift horses, they were soon safe lodged in a handsome mansion on his estate in Chester county.—Mrs. Wallingdon's astonishment, on missing her niece Hachel the next morning, may be more easily supposed than told: every possible search was immediately