The Adventures of David Simple (1904)

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Half-forgotten Books


Half-forgotten Books
Adventures of David Simple. Sarah Fielding
Black Sheep. Edmund Yates
Caleb Willians. William Godwin
The Camp of Refuge. Charles Mcfarlane
The Cruise of "The Midge." Michael Scott
The Fool of Quality Henry Brooke
Grimaldi, the Clown, Memoirs of. With 10 plates by G. Gruishank. C. Dickens
Guy Livingstone. G. A. Lawrence
The Hour and the Man. Harriet Martineau
Life of John Buncle, Esquire. Thos. Amory
The Mysteries of Udolpho. Mrs. Radcliffe
The Nightside of Nature. Mrs. Crowe
Old London Bridge. G. H. Rodwell
The Pottleton Legacy. Albert Smith
Reading Abbey. Chas. Macfarlane
Romance of the Forest. Mrs. Radcliffe
Sam Slick, the Clockmaker. Judge Haliburton
Tom Bullkely, of Lissington. R. Mounteney-Jephson
Whitefriars; or, The Days of Charles II. Emma Robinson
Willy Reilly. W. Carleton




With the Preface of HENRY FIELDING

And an Introduction by E. A. Baker, M. A.

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It is possible that The Adventures of David Simple would have been far better known as a work of some importance in the early development of English fiction had the authoress’ name not been Fielding. To be the near relative of a great genius is by no means a passport to fame: a good many instances may be called to mind of its being altogether the reverse. Although Richardson himself complimented “Sally” upon her knowledge of the human heart, and quoted her saying of “a critical judge of writing,” perhaps Dr. Johnson, “that your late brother’s knowledge of it was not (fine writer as he was) comparable to yours,” and further, “his was but as the knowledge of the outside of a clockwork machine, while yours was that of all the finer springs and movements of the inside”; in spite of such eulogy from such a man, Sarah Fielding’s name has been completely overshadowed by that of her brother, and is now familiar only to special students of our eighteenth-century literature.

What little, furthermore, we know about herself has been gleaned mostly from the records of her brother’s life. She was born three years after him, in 1710, at East Stower at Dorsetshire. Her father was Lieutenant (afterwards General) Edmund Fielding, descendant of an old family that numbered the Earls of Denbigh in its elder branch, and in its younger, to which he belonged, the earls of Desmond in the peerage of Ireland. Her mother was Sarah, daughter of Sir Henry Gould. She died in 1718, leaving four (or five) children; one daughter had died in 1716. We can fill in the blanks of Sarah Fielding's life only with the dates and titles of her works, all of which, with the exception of the first, are utterly dead and forgotten. "The Adventures of David Simple: containing an account of his travels through the cities of London and Westminster in the search of a real friend, by a Lady," was published in 1744, and a second edition, with a preface by her brother Henry, was issued the same year. In 1747 was published a Collection of Familiar Letters between the Principal Characters in David Simple and some others, with preface by Henry Fielding, and containing five lengthy letters by him. A third volume of David Simple was published in 1752. Two years later, Miss Fielding collaborated with Miss Collier in the production of The Cry, a Dramatic Fable. Other works are: The Governess, 1749; Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia, 1757; a History of Ophelia, 1758; a History of the Countess of Dellwyn, 1759; and a translation of the Memorabilia, entitled Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates, with the Defence of Socrates before his Judges, 1762. Harris is said to have corrected her translation.

Miss Fielding was one of Richardson's coterie of female friends, and several letters from each are included in his correspondence. The eulogy quoted above was probably called forth by her own effusive admiration for the author of Pamela; indeed, David Simple itself, in spite of the satirical character of the earlier half, is in the main a novel in the true style of the great sentimentalist. When she offers to act as Richardson's amanuensis, she writes with transports of enthusiasm. She would have found, she says, "all my thoughts strengthened, and my words flow into an easy and nervous style; never did I so much wish for it as in this daring attempt of mentioning Clarissa; but when I read of her, I am all sensation: my heart glows—I am overwhelmed—my only vent is tears." In middle age she went to Bath, to take the waters, and ultimately settled down there. A few casual references are extant of her life in that city of fashion, gaiety and culture, at the time when Beau Nash was "King," and Ralph Allen of Prior Park was playing Maecenas to many an author in distress. Alien is said to have allowed her an annuity of a hundred pounds. She died at Bath in 1768, and a monument was erected to her in the Abbey Church, bearing an inaccurate inscription and the following verses by Dr. John Hoadley —

Her unaffected manners, candid mind,
Her heart benevolent, and soul resign'd ;
Were more her praise than all she knew or thought,
Though Athens' wisdom to her sex she taught.

It would be unfair to criticize David Simple on its literary merits alone, without taking into account its historical position as an early novel. It was published a year before Tom Jones. Richardson had written Pamela, but not Clarissa Harlowe. The Vicar of Wakefield was still a long way off in the future, and so were the novels of Fanny Burney. Sterne's Tristram Shandy was not published till 1759, fifteen years ahead; and four years were to elapse before Smollett's first book, Roderick Random, was to see the light. Few books, in truth, that could with any sense of propriety be called novels, were in existence at the time when Miss Fielding sat down to write. Certainly, the masterpieces of Swift and Defoe were not novels in our sense of the word. Addison's Sir Roger de Coverley Papers had far more of the stuff of which the novel of the future was to be made. In Addison there is the delineation of real life, the kindly humour, the delicate portraiture of the individual, which were to be the finest characteristics of the English novel of manners. There was also the element of satire, and it is as a satirist and a censor of society in the Addisonian style that, I think, Sarah Fielding may be most favourably regarded.

Her theme is friendship. The sentiments which she has expressed in the adventures of David, Cynthia and Camilla, and in the tender episode of Stainvllle and Dumont are, says Henry Fielding, with brotherly patronage, "as noble and elevated as I have anywhere met with . . . Nay, there are some touches, which I will venture to say, might have done honour to the pencil of the immortal Shakespeare himself." Professor Wilbur L. Cross has summarized the literary tendency of the period that began with Pamela and ended with the publication of Humphry Clinker, in the following admirable terms: — "The novels of this period which have become a recognized part of our literature, whether they deal in minute incident as in Richardson and Sterne, or in farce, intrigue and adventure as in Smollett and Fielding, have one characteristic in common: their subject is the heart. Moreover, underlying them, as their raison d'être, is an ethical motive. Richardson makes the novel a medium for Biblical teaching as it is understood by a Protestant precisian; Fielding pins his faith on human nature; Smollett cries for justice to the oppressed; Sterne spiritualizes sensation, addressing 'Dear Sensibility' as the Divinity whom he adores." But David Simple, though it belongs of right to the period, appeared at too early a date, when the school was yet unformed. Miss Fielding had no definite model before her, and was without the constructive skill to invent a suitable one. To set forth the admirable philosophy that underlies her criticism of society, and to portray ideal sentiments and characters, she could hardly have chosen a more unfortunate plan than that of the picaresque story, with its loosely linked episodes and motley succession of characters, as fortuitous in arrangement as the faces we meet with in the street. Nothing can be more clumsy than her introduction of dialogue, with the names of the interlocutors formally prefixed as in a play; nothing more perplexing than her stories within the story, and then again the story told at second or third hand, but still in the first person, of brothers, lovers and acquaintances, amid whose long- protracted speeches we are apt to lose the thread altogether. Nevertheless, this method did very well up to a certain point. David Simple, it is noticeable, falls into two parts; the earlier is critical and satirical in spirit, the second half devoted to the portraiture of ideal virtues and sentiments. Henry Fielding's preface, which does ample justice to his sister's powers of drawing individual character and expressing lofty emotion, is reprinted here. Let us turn to the other side of the work.

Every novelist of that period thought it was incumbent on him to have a moral purpose in his work, and most of them were pronouncedly and deliberately didactic. Richardson taught his morality directly, with a heavy seriousness; Fielding preferred the lighter and more ambiguous method of the satirist. His sister halted between the two courses. Her satire is lacking in the right spirit of comedy. It is rather the satire of the moral essayist than of the dramatist or the story-writer. But her wit, at its best, is wonderfully sane, discriminating, and caustic. She belongs to that highest type satirist who sees things not merely as related the fashions, mannerisms and prejudices of his own time and place, but in the dry light of abstract intelligence and perfect sanity. Let the following extracts, culled at haphazard and miscellaneous in subject, speak for themselves. Their insight into human nature, as her brother pointed out, is the more remarkable if we consider the narrowness of her experience.

"I never yet knew a man who did not hate the person who seemed not to have the same opinion of him as he had of himself; and, as that very seldom happens, I believe it is one of the chief causes of the malignity mankind have against one another."

"He reflected that the customs and manners of nations relate chiefly to ceremonies, and have nothing to do with the hearts of men."

"He took a new lodging every week, and always the first thing he did was to inquire of his landlady the reputation of all the neighbourhood: but he never could hear one good character from any of them; only every one separately gave very broad hints of their own goodness, and what pity it was they should be obliged to live amongst such a set of people."

"And there for some time I will leave him to his own private sufferings—lest it should be thought I am so ignorant of the world, as not to know the proper time of forsaking people."

"In short, from morning till night, they did nothing but quarrel; and there passed many curious dialogues between them, which I shall not here repeat: for, as I hope to be read by the polite world, I would avoid everything of which they can have no idea."

"For, if by taking pains to bridle his passions, he could gain no superiority over his companions, all his love of rectitude, as he calls it, would fall to the ground. So that his goodness, like cold fruits, is produced by the dung and nastiness which surround it."

"She spent some time in the deepest melancholy, and felt all the misery which attends a woman who has many things to wish, but knows not positively which she wishes most."

"If he had but sighed, and been miserable for the loss of her, she could have married her old man without any great reluctance: but the thought that he had left her first was insupportable!"

"He never once reflected on what is perhaps really the case, that to prevent a husband's surfeit or satiety in the matrimonial feast, a little acid is now and then very prudently thrown into the dish by the wife."

"If, indeed, her reputation had been lost, and she had conversed long enough with a man to have worn out her youth and beauty, and had been left in poverty, and all kinds of distress, without any hopes of relief, her folly would have then been so glaring, he could by no means have owned her for his child."

"John's coldness and neglect; nay, his liking other women better than his wife, which no virtuous woman can possibly bear."

"Lucretia herself (whose chastity nothing but the fear of losing her reputation could possibly have conquered)."

"The words genius, and no genius; invention, poetry, fine things, bad language, no style, charming writing, imagery, and diction, with many more expressions which swim on the surface of criticism, seemed to have been caught by those fishers for the reputation of wit, though they were entirely ignorant what use to make of them, or how to apply them properly."

"He was not of the opinion, that the more ignorant a man is of any subject, the more necessary it is to talk of it."

Her satire of the amateur critic is always keen. One of the most entertaining chapters in the book is that relating the conversation of a number of fine ladies on the subject of pathos on the stage. It is amusing to find that some literary historians have not perceived the irony of the passage, and so have done less than justice to Miss Fielding's critical acumen.

"Fourth Lady. There is nothing so surprising to me as the absurdity of almost everybody I meet with; they can't even laugh or cry in the right place. Perhaps it will be hardly believed, but I really saw people in the boxes last night, at the tragedy of Cato, sit with dry eyes, and show no kind of emotion, when that great man fell on his sword; nor was it at all owing to any firmness of mind, that made them incapable of crying neither, for that I should have admired: but I have known those very people shed tears at George Barnwell.

"A good many Ladies speak at one time. Oh, intolerable I cry for an odious apprentice-boy, who murdered his uncle at the instigation too of a common woman, and yet be unmoved, when even Cato bled for his country.

Old Lady. That is no wonder, I assure you, ladies; for I once heard my Lady Know-all positively affirm George Barnwell to be one of the best things that ever was wrote: for that nature is nature in whatever station it is placed; and that she could be as much affected with the distress of a man in low life, as if he was a lord or a duke. And what is yet more amazing is, that the time she chooses to weep most, is just as he has killed the man who prays for him in the agonies of death; and then only, because he whines over him, and seems sensible of what he has done, she must shed tears for a wretch whom everybody of either sense or goodness, would wish to crush, and make ten times more miserable than he is."

I conclude with two remarkable analyses of types of character, that would have done honour to Addison. The second, moreover, is charming, and warrants the saying of some person who replied to the objection that David Simple could not possibly be the work of a woman, by retorting that no man could have written it.

"You are to know, sir, there are a set of men in the world, who pass through life with very good reputations, whose actions are in the general justly to be applauded, and yet upon a near examination their principles are all bad, and their hearts hardened to all tender sensations. Mr. Orgueil is exactly one of those sort of men; the greatest sufferings which can happen to his fellow-creatures, have no sort of effect upon him, and yet he very often relieves them; that is, he goes just as far in serving others as will give him new opportunities of flattering himself; for his whole soul is filled with pride, he has made a god of himself, and the attributes he thinks necessary to the dignity of such a being, be endeavours to have. He calls all religion superstition, because he will own no other deity; he thinks even obedience to the Divine Will, would be but a mean motive to his actions; he must do good, because it is suitable to the dignity of his nature; and shun evil, because be would not be debased as low as the wretches he every day sees."

"Thus ended this dialogue; in which vanity seemed to have had a fair chance of gaining the victory over love; or, in other words, where a young lady seemed to promise herself more pleasure from the purse than the person of her lover, And I hope to be excused by those gentlemen who are quite sure they have found one woman, who is a perfect angel, and that all the rest are perfect devils, for drawing the character of a woman who was neither; for Miss Nanny Johnson was very good-humoured, had a great deal of softness, and had no alloy to these good qualities, but a great share of vanity, with some small spices of envy, which must always accompany it. And I make no matter of doubt, but if she had not met with this temptation, she would have made a very affectionate wife to the man who loved her: he would have thought himself extremely happy, with a perfect assurance that nothing could have tempted her to abandon him. And when she had had the experience, what it was to be constantly beloved by a man of Mr. Simple's goodness of heart, she would have exulted in her own happiness, and been the first to have blamed any other woman for giving up the pleasure of having the man she loved for any advantage of fortune; and would have thought it utterly impossible for her ever to have been tempted to such an action; which then might possibly have appeared in the most dishonourable light: for to talk of a temptation at a distance, and to feel it present, are two such very different things, that everybody can resist the one, very few people the other."

Ernest A. Baker.



As so many worthy persons have, I am told, ascribed the honour of this performance to me, they will not be surprised at seeing my name to this preface; nor am I very insincere, when I call it an honour; for if the authors of the age are amongst the number of those who conferred it on me, I know very few of them to whom I shall return the compliment of such a suspicion.

I could indeed have been very well content with the reputation, well knowing that some writings may be justly laid to my change, of a merit greatly inferior to that of the following work; had not the imputation directly accused me of falsehood, in breaking a promise, which I have solemnly made in print, of never publishing, even a pamphlet, without setting my name to it: a promise I have always hitherto faithfully kept; and, for the sake of men’s characters, I wish all other writers were by law obliged to use the same method; but, till they are, I shall no longer impose any such restraint on myself.

A second reason which induces me to refuse this untruth, is, that it may have a tendency to injure me in a profession, to which I have applied with so arduous and intent a diligence, to compose anything of this kind. Indeed, I am very far from entertaining such an inclination; I know the value of the reward

which fame confers on authors, too well, to endeavour any longer to obtain it; nor was the world ever more unwilling to bestow the glorious, envied prize, of the laurel or bays, than I should now be to receive any such garland or fool's cap. There is not, I believe (and it is bold to affirm) a single free Briton in this kingdom, who hates his wife more heartily than I detest the muses. They have, indeed, behaved to me like the most infamous harlots; and have laid many a spurious, as well as deformed production at my door: in all which, my good friends the criticks have, in their profound discernment, discovered some resemblance of the parent; and thus I have been reputed and reported the author of half the scurrility, bawdy, treason, and blasphemy, which these last few years have produced.

I am far from thinking every person who hath thus aspersed me, had a determinate design of doing me an injury; I impute it only to an idle, childish levity, which possesses too many minds, and makes them report their conjectures as matters of fact, without weighing the proof, or considering the consequence. But as to the former of these, my readers will do well to examine their own talents very strictly, before they are too thoroughly convinced of their abilities to distinguish an author's style so accurately, as from that only to pronounce an anonymous work to be his: and, as to the latter, a little reflection will convince them of the cruelty they are guilty of by such reports. For my own part, I can aver, that there are few crimes of which I should have been more ashamed, than of some writings laid to my charge. I am as well assured of the injuries I have suffered from such unjust imputations, not only in general character; but as they have, I conceive, frequently raised m inveterate enemies, in persons to whose disadvantage I have never entertained a single thought; nay, in men whose characters, and even names, have been unknown to me.

Among all the scurrilities with which I have been accused (though equally and totally innocent of every one) none ever raised my indignation so much as the Causidicade: this accused me not only of being a bad writer, and a bad man; but with downright idiotism, in flying in the face of the greatest men of my profession. I take, therefore, this opportunity to protest, that I never saw that infamous, paultry libel, till long after it had been in print; nor can any man hold it in greater contempt and abhorrence than myself.

The reader will pardon my dwelling so long on this subject, as I have suffered so cruelly by these aspersions in my own ease, in my reputation, and in my interest. I shall, however, henceforth treat such censure with the contempt it deserves; and do here revoke the promise I formerly made; so that I shall now look upon myself at full liberty to publish an anonymous work, without any breach of faith. For though probably I shall never make any use of this liberty, there is no reason why I should be under a restraint for which I have not enjoyed the purposed recompense.

A third, and indeed the strongest reason which hath drawn me into print, is to do justice to the real and sole author of this little book; who, notwithstanding the many excellent observations dispersed through it, and the deep knowledge of human nature it discovers, is a young woman; one so nearly and dearly allied to me, in the highest friendship as well as relation, that if she had wanted any assistance of mine, I would have been as ready to have given it her, as I would have been just to my word in owning it: but, in reality, two or three hints which arose on the reading of it, and some little direction as to the conduct of the second volume, much the greater part of which I never saw till in print, were all the aid she received from me. Indeed, I believe there are few books in the world so absolutely the author's own as this.

There were some grammatical and other errors in style in the first impression, which my absence from town prevented my correcting, as I have endeavoured though in great haste, in this edition: by comparing the one with the other, the reader may see, if he thinks it worth his while, the share I have in this book, as it now stands, and which amounts to little more than the correction of some small errors, which want of habit in writing chiefly occasioned, and which no man of learning would think worth his censure in a romance; nor any gentlemen, in the writings of a young woman.

And as the faults of this work want very little excuse, so its beauties want as little recommendation: though I will not say but they may sometimes stand in need of being pointed out to the generality of readers. For as the merit of this work consists in a vast penetration into human natures, a deep and profound discernment of all the mazes, windings, and labyrinths, which perplex the heart of man to such a degree, that he is himself often incapable of seeing through them; and as this is the greatest, noblest, and rarest, of all the talents which constitute a genius, so a much larger share of this talent is necessary, even to recognize these discoveries, when they are laid before us, than falls to the share of a common reader. Such beauties, therefore, in an author, must be contented to pass often unobserved and untasted; whereas, on the contrary, the imperfections of this little book, which arise, not from want of genius, but of learning, lie open to the eyes of every fool who has had a little Latin inoculated into his tail; but had the same great quantity of birch been better employed, in scourging away his ill-nature, he would not have exposed it in endeavouring to cavil at the first performance of one, whose sex and age entitle her to the gentlest criticism, while her merit, of an infinitely higher kind, may defy the severest. But I believe the warmth of ray friendship hath led me to engage a critick of my own imagination only, for I should be sorry to conceive such a one had any real existence. If, however, any such composition of folly, meanness, and malevolence, should actually exist, he must be as incapable of conviction, as unworthy of an answer. I shall, therefore, proceed to the more pleasing task of pointing out some of the beauties of this little work.

I have attempted, in my preface to Joseph Andrews, to prove, that every work of this kind is in its nature a comick epick poem, of which Homer left us a precedent, though it be unhappily lost.

The two great originals of a serious air, which we have derived from that mighty genius, differ principally in the action, which in the Iliad is entire and uniform; in the Odyssey, is rather a series of actions, all tending to produce one great end. Virgil and Milton are, I think, the only pure imitators of the former: most of the other Latin, as well as Italian, French, and English epick poets, chusing rather the history of some war, as Lucan, and Silius Italicus; or a series of adventures, as Ariosto, etc, for the subject of their poems.

In the same manner, the comick writer may either fix on one action, as the authors of Le Lutrin, the Dunciad, etc., or on a series, as Butler in verse, and Cervantes in prose, have done.

Of this latter kind is the book now before us; where the fable consists of a series of separate adventures, detached from and independent on each other, yet all tending to one great end: so that those who should object to want of unity of action here, may, if they please, or if they dare, fly back with their objection, in the face of even the Odyssey itself.

This fable hath in it these three difficult ingredients which will be found on consideration to be always necessary to works of this kind, viz. that the main end or scope be at once amiable, ridiculous, and natural.

If it be said, that some of the comick performances I have above mentioned differ in the first of these, and set before us the odious, instead of the amiable; I answer, that is far from being one of their perfections; and of this the authors themselves seem so sensible, that they endeavour to deceive their reader by false glosses and colours; and, by the help of irony at least, to represent the aim and design of their heroes in a favourable and agreeable light.

I might farther observe, that, as the incidents arising from this fable, though often surprising, are everywhere natural (credibility not being once shocked through the whole) so there is one beauty very apparent, which hath been attributed by the greatest of criticks to the greatest of poets; that every episode bears a manifest impression of the principal design, and chiefly turns on the perfection or imperfection of friendship; of which noble passion, from its highest purity to its lowest falsehoods and disguises, this little book is, in my opinion, the most exact model.

As to the characters here described, I shall repeat the saying of one of the greatest men of this age, "That they are as wonderfully drawn by the writer, as they were by nature herself." There are many strokes in Orgueil, Spatter, Varnish, Le Vif, the Balancer, and some others, which would have shined in the pages of Theophrastus, Horace, or La Bruyere. Nay, there are some touches, which I will venture to say, might have done honour to the pencil of the immortal Shakespeare himself.

The sentiments are in general extremely delicate; those particularly which regard friendship, are, I think, as noble and elevated as I have anywhere met with: nor can I help remarking, that the author had been so careful in justly adapting them to her characters, that a very indifferent reader, after he is in the least acquainted with the character of the speaker can seldom fail of applying every sentiment to the person who utters it. Of this we have the strongest instance in Cynthia and Camilla, where the lively spirit of the former, and the gentle softness of the latter, breathe through every sentence which drops from either of them.

The diction I shall say no more of, than as it is the last and lowest perfection in a writer, and one which many of great genius seem to have little regarded, so I must allow my author to have the least merit on this head: many errors in style existing in the first edition, and some, I am convinced, remaining still uncured in this; but experience and habit will most certainly remove this objection; for a good style, as well as a good hand in writing, is chiefly learned by practice.

I shall here finish these short remarks on this little book, which have been drawn from me by those people, who have very falsely and impertinently called me its author; I declare I have spoken no more than my real sentiments of it, nor can I see with any relation or attachment to merit should restrain me from its commendation.

The true reason why some have been backward in giving this book its just praise, and why others have sought after some more known and experienced author for it, is, I apprehend, no other, than an astonishment how one so young, and in appearance unacquainted with the world, should know so much both of the better and worse part, as is here exemplified: but, in reality, a very little knowledge of the world will afford an observer, moderately accurate, sufficient instances of evil; and a short communication with her own heart will leave the author of this book very little to seek abroad of all the good which is to be found in human nature.

Henry Fielding.

Dramatis Personae

David Simple, elder son and rightful heir of Daniel Simple, mercer of Ludgate Hill.

Daniel Simple, his wicked brother.

John and Peggy: two servants suborned by Daniel to witness the forged will disinheriting his brother.

Mr. Johnson, a jeweller.

His elder daughter, who marries a rich Jew.

Nancy, his second daughter, who jilts David and marries Mr. Nokes

Betty Trusty, her maid.

A Carpenter, who extols his ugly and lazy spouse as the best wife in the world.

Another man, with a patient and industrious wife, whom he abuses.

Mr. Orgueil, the censorious critic, who introduces David to the various sorts of life in London.

Mr. Spatter, who introduces David to the fashionable coteries, and pulls to pieces, ridicules and abuses all the people they meet with.

Mr. Varnish, who sings the praises of everybody, and has "the appearance of good-nature, but is not at all affected with the sufferings of others."

Lady———, Cynthia's tyrannical protectress.

Cynthia, an unfortunate young lady, loved by David. "After being hated by her family as a wit (she) is insulted as a fool by her patroness."

The Earl of———, Lady———'s nephew, who proposes to Cynthia.

Valentine, an unfortunate young man. befriended by David.

Camilla, his more unfortunate sister, whom David loves.

Mr.———, their father, deceived by Livia.

Livia, his second wife, whose beauty belies her odious disposition, and who drives Valentine and Camilla from their father's house by her remorseless persecution.

A Clergyman, An Atheist, A Butterfly "as he had neither profession nor characters, I know not what other name to give him", Cynthia's fellow-travellers in the coach.

The Marquis of Stainville, a chivalrous French gentleman.

Isabelle, another unfortunate young lady, his sister.

Julie, her friend, a passionate girl, who dies of a broken heart.

Monsieur Le Buisson, who loves Isabelle, and is loved by Julie.

The Chevalier Dumont, a French Adonis, irresistible to the ladies, but of invincible virtue; Stainville's friend.

Monsieur Le Neuf, a villainous friend of Stainville and Dumont.

Dorimene, Stainville's wife, who falls uncontrollably in love with Dumont.

The Comte de———, her father.

Vieuville, Dorimene's brother. He is madly in love with Isabelle, but fortunately falls still more madly in love with some one else.

Pandolph, an old servant of Stainville's.

Sacharissa and Corinna Two English young ladies at Paris, whose contrasts of character point the moral of Cynthia's story.

Monsieur Le Vive, a man who always acts according to his passions.

The Balancer, a man who finds every act in life as difficult as an abstruse mathematical problem.



Chapter Page
The Birth, Parentage, and Education of Mr. David Simple
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In Which are Seen the Terrible Consequences which Attend Envy and Selfishness
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In Which is Seen the Possibility of a Married Couple’s Leading an Uneasy Life
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The First Setting Out of Mr. David Simple on his Journey; with some very Remarkable and Uncommon Accidents
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In Which is Contained a Most Curious Dialogue Between a Young Woman and Her Confidante
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Which treats of a Variety of Things just as they fell out to the Hero of our History
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Containing a Remarkable Contention Between Three Sisters
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Wherein is to be seen the Infallibility of Men’s Judgements Concerning the Virtues or Vices of their own Wives; A Scene taken from very Low Life, in which only such Examples are to be Found
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Chapter Page
Containing Some Proofs, that all Men are not Exactly what they wish to Pass For in the World
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Which Teacheth Mankind a True and Easy Method of Serving their Friends
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Which Contains some Strong Intimations, that the Human Mind is not always Totally Exempt from Pride
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Which is Writ only with a View to Instruct Readers, that Whist is a Game very much in Fashion
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Which Contains a Conversation, in which is Proved how high Taste may be Carried by People who have Fixed Resolutions of being Criticks
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Which Proves Memory to be the Only Qualification Necessary to Make a Modern Critick
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In Which is Seen the Negative Description Most Proper to Set Forth the No Qualities of a Great Number of Creatures Who Strut About on the Face of the Earth
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In Which People of No Fortune may Learn what Monstrous Ingratitude they are Guilty of, when they are Insensible of the Great Obligation of being Ill-used; with many Other Things which I shall not Acquaint the Reader with Before-hand
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In Which is Displayed the Misery Young Persons who have any Taste Suffer, Unless they are Bred Up with Reasonable People
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Chapter Page
The Continuation of the History of Cynthia, with an Account in what Manner She was Suddenly Transformed from a Wit into a Toad-eater, Without any Visible Change in either Her Person of Behaviour
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A Continuation of Cynthia’s Story
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In Which Mr. Simple Gave a Fresh Proof, that He was Not Insensible of His Fellow-creatures’ Sufferings
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The History of Camilla
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The Continuation of the History of Camilla
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A Continuation of the History of Camilla
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A Short Chapter, but which Contains Surprising Matter
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Which Treats of some Remarkable Discourse that Passed Between Passengers in a Stage-coach
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In Which is Plainly Proved, that it is Possible for a Woman to be so Strongly Fixed in Her Affection for One Man as to take no Pleasure in Hearing of Love from Any Other
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Containing an Account of Several Extraordinary Transactions
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Which Introduces a Lady of Cynthia’s Acquaintance to the Company
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The Continuation of the History of Isabelle
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The Continuation of the History of Isabelle
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Chapter Page


Continuation of the History of Isabelle
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The Continuation of the History of Isabelle
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Containing such a Variety as Makes it Impossible to Draw Up a Bill of Fare–But all the Guests are Heartily Welcome–And I am in Hopes Every One will Find Something to Please His Palate
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Containing some Small Hints that Men’s Characters in the World are not Always Suited to their Merit, Notwithstanding the Great Penetration and Candour of Mankind
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The Continuation of the Story of Corinna
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In Which Our Hero Began Again to Despair of ever Meeting with Anything but Disappointments
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In Which is Related the Life of an Atheist
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Which Proves the Great Difference of Those Wrong Actions which Arise from Violent Passions, and Those which have Their Source in the Malignity of a Rancorous Heart
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Containing Two Weddings, and Consequently the Conclusion of the Book
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book 1




Mr. David Simple was the eldest son of Mr. Daniel Simple, a mercer on Ludgate Hill. His mother a downright country woman, who originally got her living by plain work; but being handsome, was liked by Mr. Simple. When or where this couple met, or what happened to them during their courtship, is foreign to my present purpose, nor do I really know. But they were married, and lived many years together, a very honest and industrious life; to which it was owing, that they were able to provide very well for their children. They had only two sons, David and Daniel, who, as soon as capable of learning, were sent to a public school, and kept there in a manner which put them on a level with boys of a superior degree, and they were respected equally with those born in the highest station. This indeed their behaviour demanded; for there never appeared anything mean in their actions, and nature had given them parts enough to converse with the most ingenious of their school-fellows. The strict friendship they kept up was remarked by the whole school; who ever affronted the one, made an enemy of the other; and while there was any money in either of their pockets, the other was never to want it: the notion of whose property it was, being the last thing that ever entered into their heads. The eldest, who was of a sober, prudent disposition, had always enough to supply his brother, who was much more profuse in his expenses; and I have often heard him say (for this history is all taken from his own mouth) that one of the greatest pleasures he ever had in his life, was in the reflections he used to make at that time, that he was able to supply and assist his dear brother; and whenever he saw him but look as if he wanted anything, he would immediately bring out all the money he had, and desire him to take whatever he had occasion for. On the other hand, Daniel was in some respects useful to him; for although he had not half the real understanding or parts, yet he was what the world calls a much sharper boy; that is, he had more cunning, and consequently being more suspicious, would often keep his brother from being imposed on; who, as he was too young to have gained much experience, and never had any ill designs on others, never thought of their having any upon him. He paid a perfect deference to his brother's wisdom; from finding, that whenever he marked out a boy as one that would behave ill, it always proved so in the end. He was sometimes, indeed, quite amazed how Daniel came by so much knowledge; but then his great love and partiality to him easily made him impute it to his uncommon sagacity, and he often pleased himself with the thoughts of having such a brother.

Thus these two brothers lived together at school in the most perfect unity and friendship, till the eldest was seventeen, at which time they were sent for from school, on their father's being seized with a violent fever. He recovered of that distemper, but it weakened him so much, that he fell into a consumption, in which he lingered a twelvemonth, and then died. The loss of so good a father was sensibly felt by the tender-hearted David; he was in the utmost affliction, till by philosophical considerations, assisted by a natural calmness he had in his own temper, he was enabled to overcome his grief, and began again to enjoy his former serenity of mind. His brother, who was of a much gayer disposition, soon recovered his spirits; and the two brothers seemed to be getting into their former state of happiness, when it was interrupted by the discovery of something in Daniel's mind, which to his fond brother had never appeared there before; and which, whoever thinks proper to read the next chapter, may know.




It will perhaps surprise the reader as much as it did poor David, to find that Daniel, notwithstanding the appearance of friendship he had all along kept up with his brother, was in reality one of those wretches, whose only happiness centres in themselves; and that his conversation with his companions had never any other view, but in some shape or other to promote his own interest. To this was owing his endeavour to keep David from being imposed on, lest his generosity should lead him to let others share his money as well as himself: from this alone arose his character of wisdom; for he could easily find out an ill-disposed mind in another, by comparing it with what passed in his own bosom. While he found it for his benefit to pretend to the same delicate way of thinking and sincere love which David had for him, he did not want art enough to affect it; but as soon as he thought it his interest to break with his brother, he threw off the mask, and took no pains to conceal the baseness of his heart.

From the time they came from school, during the old gentleman's illness, Daniel's only study was how he should throw his brother out of his share of his father's patrimony, and engross it wholly to himself. The anxious thoughts he appeared continually in, on this account, were imputed by his good-natured friend to a tender concern for a parent's suffering; a consideration which much increased his love for him. His mother had a maid, whom Mr, Daniel had a great fancy for; but she being a virtuous woman (and besides having a sweet-heart in her fellow-servant, whom she liked much better) resisted all his solicitations, and would have nothing to say to him. But yet he found she could not refuse any little presents he made her; which convinced him she was very mercenary, and made him think of a scheme to make her serve his designs of another kind, since she would not be subservient to his pleasures. He knew his father had given a sealed paper to his brother, which he told him was his will, with strict orders not to open it till after his death; and as he was not ignorant where David had put it, he formed a scheme to steal away the real will, and to put a forged one in its place. But then he was greatly puzzled what he should do for witnesses; which, as he had slily pumped out of an ingenious young gentleman his acquaintance, who was a clerk to an attorney, were necessary to the signing a will. He therefore thought, if he could bribe this girl and her sweetheart for this purpose, he should accomplish all he desired; for, as the same learned lawyer had told him, two witnesses were sufficient, where the estate was only personal, as that of his father's was. This young woman was one of those sort of people who had been bred up to get her living by hard work; she had been taught never to keep company with any man, but him she intended to marry; nor to get drunk, or steal; for if she gave way to those things (besides that they were great sins), she would certainly come to be hanged; which, as she had an utter aversion to, she went on in an honest way, and never intended to depart from it.

Our spark, when first he thought of making use of her, was very much afraid, lest she should refuse, and betray him. But when he reflected how impossible it would be for him to refuse anything he thought valuable, though he was to be guilty of ever so much treachery to obtain it, he resolved boldly to venture on the trial. When he first spoke to her about it, he offered her fifty pounds, but she was so frightened at the thoughts of being accessory to a forgery, that she declared she would not do it for the whole world; for that she had more value for her precious soul than for anything he could give her; that as to him, he was a schollard, and might think of some way of saving himself; but as she could neither write nor read, she must surely be d——d. This way of talking so thoroughly convinced Daniel of her folly that he made no doubt of soon gaining her to his purpose. He, therefore, made use of all the most persuasive arguments he could think of; and, amongst the rest, he told her that by this means she might marry the man she liked, and live with him in a very comfortable manner. He immediately perceived this staggered all her resolutions; and as soon as he saw she could moved did not fear succeeding. He pulled out his pocket a purse with a hundred guineas, and told them out before her (for the sight of money is much more prevalent than the idea of it), and assured her, that he would be better than he had promised her; for if she would comply with his request, the whole sum she had seen should be hers, and that she and her lover by this means would be enabled to live in a manner much above all the maids she used to converse with. The thoughts of being set above her acquaintance quite overcame her; and, as she had never been mistress of above forty shillings at a time, a hundred guineas appeared such an immense sum, that she easily conceived she could live very well, without being obliged to work any more. This prospect so charmed her, that she promised to do whatever he would have her. She did not doubt but she could make her sweetheart comply, for he had never refused her anything since their acquaintance began. This made Daniel quite happy, for everything else was plain before him. He had no scruple on the fellow's account; for, once get the consent of a woman, and that of a man (who is vulgarly called in love with her) consequently follows; for though a man's disposition is not naturally bad, yet it is not quite certain he will have resolution enough to resist a woman's continual importunities.

Daniel took the first opportunity (which quickly offered, everything being common between him and his brother) of stealing the will. As it was in his father's hand, he could easily forge it, for he wrote very like him; when he had done this, he had it witnessed in form, placed it in the room of the other, and then went away quite satisfied in the success of his scheme.

The real affliction of David, on the old gentleman's death, prevented his immediate thinking of his will. And Daniel was forced to counterfeit what he did not feel, not daring to be eager for the opening it, lest when the contents were known the truth should be suspected. But as soon as the first grief was a little abated, and the family began to be calmed, David desired his mother and brother to walk upstairs; then went to his bureau, and took out the will; and read it before them. The contents were as follows: Daniel was left sole executor; that out of £11,000 which was the sum left, he should pay his mother £60 per annum, and that David should have £500 for his fortune. They all stood speechless for some time, staring at each other. At last David broke silence, and embracing Daniel, said, "I hope my dear brother will not impute my amazement to any concern I have, that he has so much the largest share of my father's fortune. No, I do assure you, the only cause of my uneasiness is fearing I have done anything to disoblige my father, who always behaved with so much good nature to me, and made us both so equal in his care and love, that I think he must have had some reason for this last action of leaving me so small a matter, especially as I am the eldest."

Here Daniel interrupted him, and began to swear and bluster. He said that his father must have been told some wicked lies of his brother, and he was resolved to find out the vile incendiary. But David begged him to be pacified, and assured him he thought of it without concern; for he knew him too well to suspect any alteration in his behaviour, and did not doubt that everything would be in common amongst them as usual: nay, so tenderly and affectionately did he love Daniel, that he reflected with pleasure how extremely happy his life must be in continually sharing with his best friend the fortune his father had left him. Thus would he have acted, and his honest heart never doubted but that his brother's mind was like his own. Daniel answered him with asseverations of his always commanding everything equally with himself. The good old woman blessed herself for having two such sons, and they all went downstairs in very good humour.

Daniel had two reasons for allotting his mother something; one was that nothing but a jointure could have barred her coming in for thirds the other was, that if no notice had been taken of her in the will, it might have been a strong motive for suspicion; not that he had any great reason for caution, as nothing less than seeing him do it could have made David {such confidence had he in him) even suspect he could be guilty of such an action.

The man and maid were soon married; and as they had long lived in the family, David gave them something to set up with. This was thought very lucky by the brother, as it might prevent any suspicions how they came by money. Thus everything succeeded to Daniel's mind, and he had compassed all his designs without any fear of a discovery.

The two brothers agreed on leaving off their father's business, as they had enough to keep them; and as their acquaintance lay chiefly in that neighbourhood, they took a little house there. The old gentlewoman, whose ill-health would not suffer her to live in London, retired into the country, and lived with her sister.

David was very happy in the proofs he thought he had of his brother's love; and as it was his nature to be easily contented, he gave very little trouble or expense to the family. Daniel hugged himself in his ingenuity, and in the thoughts how impossible it would have been for him to have been so imposed on. His pride (of which he had no small share) was greatly gratified in thinking his brother was a dependant on him; but then he was resolved it should not be long before he felt that dependance, for otherwise the greatest part of his pleasure must be lost. One thing quite stung him to the quick, viz., that David's amiable behaviour, joined to a very good understanding, with a great knowledge which he had attained by books, made all their acquaintance give him the preference: and as envy was very predominant in Daniel's mind, this made him take an utter aversion to his brother, which all the other's goodness could not get the better of, for as his actions were such as he could not but approve, they were still greater food for his hatred; and the reflection that others approved them also, was what he could not bear. The first thing in which David discovered an alteration in his brother, was in the behaviour of the servants; for as they are always very inquisitive, they soon found out by some means or other, that Daniel was in possession of all the money, and was not obliged to let his brother share it with him. They watched their master's motions, and as soon as they found that slackening in their respect to David would not be displeasing to the other, it may easily be believed they were not long in doubt whether they should follow their own interest: so that at last, when David called them, they were always going to do something for their master—truly, while he wanted them, they could not wait on any body else! Daniel took notice of their behaviour, and was inwardly pleased at it. David knew not what to make of it: he would not mention it to his brother, till it grew to such a height he could bear it no longer; and when he spoke of it to Daniel, it was only by way of consulting with him how to turn them away. But how great was his surprize, when Daniel, instead of talking in his usual style, said, that for his part he saw no fault in any of his servants! that they did their duty very well, and that he should not part with his own conveniencies for anybody's whims! If he accused any of them of a fault, he would call them up, and try if they could not justify themselves. David was at first struck dumb with amazement; he thought he was not awake, that it was impossible it could be his brother's voice which uttered these words: but at last he recollected himself enough to say, "What, is it come to this? Am I brought to a trial with your servants, (as you are pleased to call them?) I thought we had lived on different terms. Oh! recall those words, and don't provoke me to say what perhaps I shall afterwards repent!" Daniel knew, that although his brother was far from being passionate for trifles, yet that his whole frame would be so shaken from any ill usage from him, he would not be able to command himself: he resolved, therefore, to take this opportunity of aggravating his passion, till it was raised to an height, which, to the unthinking world, would make him appear in the wrong; he therefore very calmly answered, "You may do as you please, brother; but what you utter appears to me to be quite madness; I don't perceive but you are used in my house as well as I am myself, and cannot guess what you complain of. If you are not contented, you best know how to find a remedy; many a brother, in your case, I believe, would think himself very happy to meet with the usage you have, without wanting to make mischief in families." This had the desired effect, and threw David into that inconsistent behaviour, which must always be produced in a mind torn at once by tenderness and rage. That sincere love and friendship he had always felt for his brother made his resentment the higher, and he alternately fired into reproaches, and melted into softness; till at last he swore he would go out of the house, and never more visit the place, which was in the possession of so unnatural a wretch.

Daniel had now all he wanted; from the moment the other's passion grew loud, he had set open the door, that the servants might hear how he used him, and be witnesses he was not in fault. He behaved with the utmost calmness; which was very easy for him to do, as he felt nothing. He said, his brother should be always welcome to live in his house, provided he could be quiet, and contented with what was reasonable; and not be so mad as to think, while he insisted only on the management of his own family, he departed from that romantic love he so often talked of. Indeed, it must be confessed, that if David would have been satisfied to have lived in his brother's house in a state of dependency; to have walked about in a rusty coat, and an old tye-wig, like a decayed gentleman, thinking it a favour to have bread, while every visitor at the house should be extolling the goodness of his brother for keeping him; I say, could he have been contented with this sort of behaviour, he might have stayed there as long as he pleased. But Daniel was resolved he should not be on a level with him, who had taken so much pains to get a superior fortune; he therefore behaved in this manner, with design either to get rid of him, or make him submit to his terms. This latter it was impossible ever to accomplish: for David's pride would not have prevented his taking that usage from a stranger, but his love could by no means suffer him to bear it from his brother. Therefore, as soon as the variety of passions he struggled with would give him leave, he told him, that since he was so very different from what he had always thought him, and capable of what he esteemed the greatest villainy, he would sooner starve than have anything more to say to him. On which he left him and went up to his own chamber, with a fixed resolution to leave the house that very day, and never return to it any more.

It would be impossible to describe what he felt when he was alone: all the scenes of pleasure he had ever enjoyed in his brother's company rushed at once into his memory; and when he reflected on what had just happened, he could not account for such a difference in one man's conduct. He was sometimes ready to blame himself, and thought he must have been guilty of something in his passion (for he hardly remembered what he had said) to provoke his brother to such a behaviour: he was then going to seek him to be reconciled to him. But when he considered the beginning of the quarrel, and what Daniel had said to him concerning the servants, he concluded he must be tired of his company, and from some motive or other had altered his affection. Then several little slights came into his head, which he had overlooked at the time of their happening; and from all these reflections, he concluded he could have no further hopes from his brother. However, he resolved to stay in his room till the evening, to see if there yet remained tenderness enough in Daniel to induce him to endeavour the removing his present torment. What he felt during that interval, is not to be expressed or understood, but by the few who are capable of real tenderness; every moment seemed an age. Sometimes, in the confusion of his thoughts, the joy of being again well with his brother appeared so strong to his imagination, he could hardly refrain going to him; but when he found it grew late, and no notice was taken of him, not even so much as a summons to dinner, he was then certain any condescension on his side would only expose him to be again insulted; he therefore resolved to stay there no longer.

When he went downstairs, he asked where his brother was, and was told, he went out to dinner with Mr. ———, and had not been at home since. He was so struck with the thought that Daniel could have so little concern for him, as to go into company and leave him in such misery, he had hardly strength enough left to go any farther; however, he got out of the house as fast as he was able, without considering whither he was going, or what he should do; for his mind was so taken up, and tortured with his brother's brutality, that all other thoughts quite forsook him. He wandered up and down till he was quite weary and faint, not knowing whither to direct his steps. When he first set out, he had but half-a-crown in his pocket, a shilling of which he gave away in his walk to a beggar, who told him a story of having been turned out of doors by an unnatural brother: so that now he had but one shilling and sixpence left, with which he went into a public house, and got something to recruit his worn-out spirits. In his situation, anything that would barely support nature, was equal to the greatest dainties; for his mind was in so much anxiety it was impossible for him to spend one thought on any thing but the cause of his grief. So true is that observation of Shakespeare's, "When the mind is free, the body is delicate"; that those people know very little of real misery (however the sorrow for their own sufferings may make them imagine no one ever endured the like) who can be very solicitous of what becomes of them. But this was far from being our hero's case, for when he found himself too weak to travel farther, he was obliged to go into a public house; for being far from home, and an utter stranger, no private house would have admitted him. As soon as he got into a room, he threw himself into a chair, and could scarce speak. The landlord asked him, what he would please to drink; but he not knowing what he said, made answer, he did not choose any thing. Upon which he was answered in a surly manner, if he did not care for drinking, he could have no great business there, and would be very welcome to walk out again. This treatment just roused him enough to make him recollect where he was, and that he must call for something; therefore he ordered a pint of beer to be brought, which he immediately drank off, for he was very dry, though his griefs were so fixed in his mind, he could not feel even hunger or thirst. But nature must be refreshed by proper nourishment, and he found himself now not so faint, and seemed inclined to sleep; he therefore enquired for a bed; which his kind landlord (on his producing money enough to pay for it) immediately procured for him; and being perfectly overcome with fatigue and trouble, he insensibly sunk to rest.

In the morning when he waked, all the transactions of the preceding day came fresh into his mind; he knew not which way to turn himself, but lay in the greatest perplexity for some time; at last, it came into his head he had an uncle, who, when he was a boy, used to be very kind to him; he therefore had some hopes he would receive and take care of him. He got up, and walked as well as he was able to his uncle's house. The good old man was quite frightened at the sight of him; for the one day's extreme misery he had suffered, had altered him as much as if he had been ill a twelve-month, His uncle begged to know what was the matter with him; but he would give him no other answer, but that his brother and he had had a few words (for he would not complain); and he desired he would be so kind to let him stay with him a little while, till matters could be brought about again. His uncle told him, he should be very welcome. And there for some time I will leave him to his own private sufferings— lest it should be thought I am so ignorant of the world, as not to know the proper time of forsaking people.




Mutual fondness, and the desire of marrying with each other, had prevailed with the two servants, who were the cause of poor David's misfortunes, and the engines of Daniel's treachery, to consent to an action which they themselves feared they should be d———n'd for; but this fond couple had not long been joined together in the state of matrimony, before John found out, that Peggy had not all those perfections he once imagined her possessed of; and her merit decreased every day more and more in his eyes. However, while the money lasted, (which was not very long, for they were not at all scrupulous of using it, thinking such great riches were in no danger of being brought to an end) between upbraidings, quarrels, reconciliations, kissing, and falling out, they made a shift to jumble on together, without coming to an open rupture. But the money was no sooner gone, than they grew out of all patience. When John began to feel poverty coming upon him, and found all he had got by his villainy was a wife, whom he now was heartily weary of, his conscience flew in his face, and would not let him rest. All the comfort he had left, was in abusing Peggy: he said she had betrayed him, and he should have been always honest, had it not been for her wheedling. She, on the other hand, justified herself, by alleging, nothing but her love for him could have drawn her into it; and if he thought it so great a crime, as he was a man, and knew better than her, he should not have consented, or suffered her to do it. For though I dare say this girl had never read Milton, yet she could act the part of throwing the blame on her husband, as well as if she had learned it by heart. In short, from morning till night, they did nothing but quarrel; and there passed many curious dialogues between them, which I shall not here repeat; for, as I hope to be read by the polite world, I would avoid every thing of which they can have no idea. I shall therefore only say in general, that between the stings of their consciences, the distresses from poverty, John's coldness and neglect; nay, his liking other women better than his wife, which no virtuous woman can possibly bear; and Peggy's uneasiness and jealousy; this couple led a life very little to be envied. But this could not last long; for when they found it was impossible for them to subsist any longer without working, they resolved to go into separate services: for they were now as eager to part, as they had formerly been to come together.

They were forming this resolution when they heard Mr. David was gone from his brother's house on a violent quarrel. This separation had made a general discourse, and people said—it was no wonder, for it was impossible anybody could live in the house with him; for he was of such a temper that he fell out with his brother, for no other reason than because he would not turn away all his servants to gratify his humours! For although Mr. Daniel had all the money, yet he was so good to keep him; and sure, when people are kept upon charity they need not be so proud, but be glad to be contented without setting a gentleman against his servants! The old gentleman, his father, knew what he was, or he would have left him more!

When John heard all this he was struck with amazement and the wickedness he had been guilty of appeared in so horrible a light that he was almost mad. At first he thought he would find Mr. David out, and confess the whole truth: they had lived in the same house a great while and John knew him to be so mild and gentle that he flattered himself he might possibly obtain his forgiveness; but then the fear of shame worked so violently, that he despaired of mustering sufficient spirits to go through the story. The struggle in his mind was so great, he could not fix on what to determine; but the same person who had drawn him into this piece of villainy occasioned at last the discovery; for his wife intreated him with all the arguments she could think of not to be hanged voluntarily, when there was no necessity for it, for although the action they had done was not right, yet, thank God, they had not been guilty of murder. Indeed, if that had been the case there would have been a reason for confessing it, because it could not have been concealed, for murder will out; the very birds of the air will tell of that: but as they were in no danger of being found out it would be madness to run their necks into a halter.

John, who was ruined by his compliance with this woman while he liked her, since he was weary of and hated her, took hold of every opportunity to contradict her. Therefore, her eagerness to keep their crime a secret, joined to his own remorse, determined him to let Mr. David know it. However, he dissembled with her for the present lest she should take any steps to obstruct his designs.

He immediately began to inquire where Mr. David was gone, and when he was informed he was at his uncle's he went thither and asked for him; but a servant told him Mr. David was indeed there but so ill he could not be spoke with. However, if the business was of great consequence, he would call his master, but disclosing it to himself would do as well. John answered what he had to say could be communicated to nobody but to Mr. David himself. He was so very importunate to see him that at last, by the uncle's consent, he was admitted into his chamber. When the fellow came near poor David, and observed that wan and meagre countenance, which the great agitation of his mind (together with a fever, which he had been in ever since he came to his uncle's) had caused, he was so shocked for some time, that he could not speak. At last he fell on his knees, and imploring pardon, told him the whole story of his forging the will, not omitting any one circumstance. The great weakness of David's body, with this fresh astonishment and strong conviction of his brother's villainy, quite overcame him, and he fainted away; but as soon as his spirits were a little revived, he sent for his uncle, and told him what John had just related. He asked him what was to be done, and in what manner they could proceed; for that he would on no account bring public infamy on his brother. His uncle told him, he could do nothing in his present condition; but desired him to compose himself, and have a regard to his health, and that he would take care of the whole affair, adding a promise to manage everything in the quietest manner possible.

Then the good-natured man took John into another room, examined him closely, and assured him, if he would act as he would have him, he would make interest that he should be forgiven; but that he must prevail with his wife to join her evidence with his. John said, if he pleased to go with him, he thought the best method to deal with her, was to frighten her to it. On which the old gentleman sent for an attorney, and carried one of his own servants for a constable, in order to make her comply with as little noise as such an affair could admit of. They then set out for John's house, when David's uncle told the woman, if she would confess the truth, she should be forgiven; but if she resolved to persist, he had brought a constable to take her up, and she would surely be hanged on her husband's evidence. The wench was so terrified she fell a-crying, and told all she knew of the matter. The attorney then took both their depositions in form; after which, John and his wife went home with Mr. David's uncle, and were to stay there till the affair was finished.

The poor young man, with this fresh disturbance of his mind, was grown worse, and thought to be in danger of losing his life; but by the great care of the old gentleman he soon recovered. The uncle's next design was to go to Daniel, and endeavour by all means to bring him to reasonable terms, and to prevail on him to submit himself to his brother's discretion. Daniel at first blustered, and swore it was a calumny, and that he would prosecute the fellow and wench for perjury: and then left the room, with a haughtiness that generally attends that high-mindedness which is capable of being detected in guilt. He tried all methods possible to get John and his wife out of his uncle's house, in order to bribe them a second time; but that scheme could not succeed. He then used every endeavour to procure false evidence; but when the time of trial approached, his uncle went once more to him, and talked seriously to him on the consequences of being convicted in a court of justice of forgery, especially of that heinous sort: assuring him, he had the strongest evidence, joined to the greatest probability of the falseness of his father's will. After he had discoursed with him some time, and Daniel began to find the impossibility of defending himself, he fell from one extreme to another (for a mind capable of treachery is most times very pusillanimous) and his pride now thought fit to condescend to the most abject submissions; he begged he might see his brother, and ask his pardon; and said, he would live with him as a servant for the future, if he would but forgive him. His uncle told him, he could by no means admit of his seeing David as yet, for he was still too weak to be disturbed; but if he would resign all that was left of his father's fortune, and leave himself at his brother's mercy, he would venture to promise that he should not be prosecuted. Daniel was very unwilling to part with his money; but finding there was no remedy, he at last consented.

His uncle would not leave him till he had got everything out of his hands, lest he should embezzle any of it; there was not above eight thousand pounds out of eleven left by his father, for he had rioted away the rest with women and sots.

When everything was secured, the old gentleman told David what he had done, who highly approved every step he had taken, and was full of gratitude for his goodness to him. And now in appearance all David's troubles were over, and indeed he had nothing to make himself uneasy, but the reflecting on his brother's actions; these were continually before his eyes, and tormented him in such a manner, it was some time before he could recover his strength. However, he resolved to settle on Daniel an annuity for life to keep him from want; and if he should ever by his extravagance fall into distress, to relieve him, though he should not know from whom it came; but he thought it better not to see him again, for he dared not venture that trial.

David desired his uncle would let him live with him, that he might take care of him in his old age; and make as much return as possible for his generous, good-natured treatment of him in his distress. This request was easily granted; his company being the greatest pleasure the old man could enjoy.

David now resolved to live an easy life, without entering into any more engagements of either friendship or love; but to spend his time in reading and calm amusements, not flattering himself with any great pleasures, and consequently not being liable to any great disappointments. This manner of life was soon interrupted again by his uncle's being taken violently ill of a fever, which carried him off in ten days' time. This was a fresh disturbance to the ease he had proposed; for David had so much tenderness, he could not possibly part with so good a friend, without being moved: though he soothed his concern as much as possible, with the consideration that he was arrived to an age, wherein to breathe was all could be expected, and that diseases and pains must have filled up the rest of his life. At last he began to reflect, even with pleasure, that the man whom he had so much reason to esteem and value, had escaped the most miserable part of human life; for hitherto the old man had enjoyed good health; and he was one of those sort of men who had good principles, designed well, and did all the good in his power; but at the same time was void of those delicacies and strong sensations of the mind, which constitute both the happiness and misery of those who are possessed of them. He left no children; for though he was married young, his wife died within half a year, of the small-pox. She brought him a very good fortune; and by his frugality and care he died worth upwards of ten thousand pounds, which he gave to his nephew David, some few legacies to old servants excepted.

When David saw himself in the possession of a very easy, comfortable fortune, instead of being overjoyed, as is usual on such occasions, he was at first the more unhappy; the considerations of the pleasure he should have had to share this fortune with his brother continually brought to his remembrance his cruel usage, which made him feel all his old troubles over again. He had no ambition, nor any delight in grandeur. The only use he had for money was to serve his friends; but when he reflected how difficult it was to meet with a person who deserved that name, and how hard it would be for him ever to believe any one sincere, having been so much deceived, he thought nothing in life could be any great good to him again. He spent whole days in thinking on this subject, wishing he could meet with a human creature capable of friendship: by which word he meant so perfect a union oi minds, that each should consider himself but as a part of one entire being; a little community, as it were, of two, to the happiness oi which all the actions of both should tend, with an absolute disregard of any selfish or separate interest.

This was the phantom, the idol of his soul's admiration. In the worship of which he at length grew such an enthusiast, that he was in this point only as mad as Quixote himself could be with knight-errantry; and after much amusing himself with the deepest ruminations on this subject, in which a fertile imagination raised a thousand pleasing images to itself, he at length took the oddest, most unaccountable resolution, that ever was heard of, viz., to travel through the whole world, rather than not meet with a real friend.

From the time he lived with his brother, he had led so recluse a life, that he in a manner had shut himself up from the world; but yet when he reflected that the customs and manners of nations relate chiefly to ceremonies, and have nothing to do with the hearts of men; he concluded, he could sooner enter into the characters of men in the great metropolis where he lived, than if he went into foreign countries; where, not understanding the languages so readily, it would be more difficult to find out the sentiments of others, which was all he wanted to know. He resolved, herefore, to take a journey through London; not as some travellers do, to see the buildings, the streets, to know the distances from one place to another, with many more sights of equal use and improvement; but his design was to seek out one capable of being a real friend, and to assist all those who had been thrown into misfortunes by the ill usage of others.

He had good sense enough to know, that mankind in their natures are much the same everywhere; and that if he could go through one great town, and not meet with a generous mind, it would be in vain to seek farther. In this project he intended not to spend a farthing more than was necessary; designing to keep all his money to share with his friend, if he should be so fortunate to find any man worthy to be called by that name.




The first thought which naturally occurs to a man who is going in search of anything, is, which is the most likely method of finding it. Our hero, therefore, began to consider seriously amongst all the classes and degrees of men, where he might most probably meet with a real friend. But when he examined mankind, from the highest to the lowest, he was convinced, that to experience alone he must owe his knowledge; for that no circumstance of time, place, or station, made a man absolutely either good or bad, but the disposition of his own mind; and that good-nature and generosity were always the same, though the power to exert those qualities are more or less, according to the variation of outward circumstances. He resolved, therefore, to go into all public assemblies, and to be intimate in as many private families as possible, and to observe their manner of living with each other; by which means he thought he should judge of their principles and inclinations.

As there required but small preparation for his journey, a staff, and a little money in his pocket, being all that was necessary, he set out without any farther consideration. The first place he went into was the Royal Exchange. He had been there before to see the building, and hear the jargon at the time of high change; but now his curiosity was quite of a different kind. He could not have gone anywhere to have seen a more melancholy prospect, or with more likelihood of being disappointed of his design, than where men of all ages and all nations were assembled, with no other view than to barter for interest. The countenances of most of the people showed they were filled with anxiety: some, indeed, appeared pleased; but yet it was with a mixture of fear. While he was musing and making observations to himself, he was accosted by a well-looking man, who asked him, if he would buy into a particular fund. He said. No, he did not intend to deal. "Nay," says the other. "I advise you as a friend, for now is your time, if you have any money to lay out; as you seem a stranger, I am willing to inform you in what manner to proceed, lest you should be imposed on by any of the brokers." He gave him a great many thanks for his kindness; but could not be prevailed on to buy any stock, as he understood so little of the matter. About half an hour afterwards there was a piece of news published, which sunk this stock, a great deal below par. David then told the gentleman, it was very lucky he had not bought: "Aye and so it is," replied he; "but when I spoke, I thought it would be otherwise. I am sure I have lost a great deal by this cursed news." Immediately David was pulled by the sleeve by one who had stood by, and overheard what they had been saying; who whispered him in the ear, to take care what he did, otherwise the man with whom he had been talking would draw him into some snare. Upon which he told his new friend what had passed with the other, and how he had advised him to buy stock. "Did he?" said this gentleman. "I will assure you, I saw that very man sell off as much of that stock as he could, just before you spoke to him; but he having a great deal, wanted to draw you in to buy, in order to avoid losing; for he was acquainted with the news before it was made public."

David was amazed at such treachery, and began to suspect everything about him of some ill design. But he could not imagine what interest this man could have in warning him of trusting tha other; till, by conversing with a third person, he found out, that he was his most inveterate enemy from envy; because they had both set out in the world together, with the same views of sacrificing everything to the raising of a fortune; and that, either by cunning or accident, the other was got rich before him. "This was the motive," said he, "of his forewarning you of the other's designs: for that gentleman who spoke to you first, is one of the sharpest men I know; he is one of the long-heads, and much too wise to let any one impose on him; and, to let you into the secret, he is what we call a good man."

David seemed surprised at that epithet; and asked how it was possible a fellow, whom he had just catched in such a piece of villainy, could be called a good man? At which words, the other, with a sneer at his folly, told him he meant that he was worth a plumb. Perhaps he might not understand that neither, (for he began to take him for a fool;) but he meant by a plumb, £100,000.

David was now quite in a rage: and resolved to stay no longer in a place where riches were esteemed goodness; and deceit, low cunning, and giving up all things to the love of gain, were thought wisdom.

As he was going out of the Change, he was met by a jeweller, who knew him by sight, having seen him at his uncle's, where he used often to visit. He asked him several questions; and after a short conversation, desired he would favour him with his company at dinner, for his house was just by.

David readily accepted his offer, being willing to be acquainted with as great a variety of people as he possibly could. The jeweller's name was Johnson; he had two daughters, who were of their company at dinner. They were both young and pretty, especially the younger; who had something so soft and engaging in her countenance, that David was quite charmed with her. Mr. Johnson, who had been an extravagant rake in his youth, though he was now become a miser, and a rigid censurer of other's pleasures, immediately perceived the young man was greatly taken with his daughter; which he resolved to improve, knowing that his uncle had made him his heir, and that it was worth while to endeavour to increase his liking for her. He well remembered, that in his days of gallantry, he had often, from a transient view of women, liked them; but for want of opportunities of frequently conversing with them, his passion had grown cool again. He therefore thought the wisest way would be to engage David to stay some time with him, as the surest method to fix his affection. It was no hard matter to persuade the young man to what his inclination so strongly prompted him to comply with; though this inclination was so newly born, he hardly knew himself from what motive his desire of staying there arose. But this ignorance did not continue long, for a short time's conversing with his mistress convinced him how much he liked her: he resolved to watch her very narrowly, to see if her mind was equal to her person, which was indeed very agreeable; but love so magnified her charms in the eyes of David, that from the moment he took a fancy to her, he imagined her beauty exceeded that of all other women in the world. For which reason, he was strongly possessed she was in all respects what he wished her to be.

The girl was commanded by her father, if Mr. David made any addresses to her, to receive them in such a manner as to fix him her's. He said, he had conversed with women enough, in his time, to know they did not want arts to manage the men they had formed any designs on; and therefore desired she would comply with him in a case which would be so greatly to her advantage. She did not want many arguments to persuade her to endeavour the promotion of her own interest, which she had as much at heart as he could have. Her only answer was, she should obey him; on which he left her highly pleased at her dutifulness, which he imputed to his own wisdom in educating her in a strict manner.

David passed his time very happily; for the master of the family omitted nothing in his power to oblige him, and he was always received by his mistress with cheerful smiles and good humour. He lived in this agreeable manner for three months, without ever wishing to go in search of new adventures, thinking he had now found the greatest happiness to be attained in this world, in a woman he could both love and esteem. Her behaviour was in all respects engaging; her duty to her father, complaisance and affection to her sister, and humanity to the servants, made him conclude his travelling was at an end, for that in her he had met with every thing he wanted. He was not long before he asked her father's consent, which was easily obtained; and now he had not a wish beyond what he imagined satisfied.

Hitherto he had observed nothing in her, but what increased his good opinion. He was one day a little startled, by her telling him, he should not seem too anxious whether he had her or no; for she was certain her father designed, if he found he loved her enough to take her on any terms, to save some of her fortune to add to her sister's; but when she told him she had too much generosity and love for him to let him be imposed on by his affection to her, this discourse increased his good opinion of her; and the thought that she loved him gave him the greatest pleasure. He then told her he did not care whether her father would or could give her anything; her affection was all he coveted in this world. He spent his time in raptures, in the reflection what a charming life he should lead with such a woman; but this lasted not long, before all his fancied scenes of joy fell to the ground, by an accident so very common, I must pause a while before I can relate it.




Just as Mr. David and his mistress were on the point of being married, there came one day a rich Jew to Mr. Johnson's house, in order to deal with him for some jewels. As he had been a long time an acquaintance of his, he invited him to dinner. It happened the Jew was as much taken with the elder daughter, as Mr. David was with the younger, which occasioned his making frequent visits. The father soon perceived the reason of it, and was greatly rejoiced at it; on which account he delayed the other's match for a little while, hoping to see them both well disposed of at the same time. But the Jew did not presently declare himself, on the consideration that she was a Christian. He considered whether it might not be possible to obtain her on any other terms than matrimony. He knew her father was very covetous, which gave him hopes, that for a sum of money he himself would sell her. He resolved therefore to try that method first; but if that did not succeed, as he found he liked her so much, that he was uneasy without the possession of her, he could but marry her afterwards. He was charmed with her person, and thought women's souls were of no great consequence, nor did it signify much what they profess. He took the first opportunity of making his proposal to the father, and offered him such a sum of money as his heart leaped at the mention of; but he endeavoured to conceal the effect it had on him as much as possible, and only said, he would consider of it till the next morning, and then he should have an answer.

As soon as Mr. Johnson was alone he sat down to think seriously on what he should determine. He was sure, by the sum the Jew had offered for his daughter, that if he did not comply with his scheme, be would marry her, rather than go without her. But then he was dubious which he should get most by. He was a good while deliberating which way his interest would be best promoted. At last concluded, if ha could get rid of his daughter, out giving her any fortune, and make an alliance with so rich a man, it would in the end prove more conducive to his interest than taking the money.

When the Jew therefore came at the appointed time to know his determination, he began by telling him, he was very sorry after so long an acquaintance, in all which time he had dealt fairly with him (as indeed he had never attempted to impose on the Jew, knowing it to be impossible) that he should form a scheme to dishonour his family, and have so ill an opinion of him, to think he would be an instrument in it; but as it might be owing to the great passion he had for his daughter, he was very unwilling to fall out with him; if his love was great enough to marry her he would give her to him with all his heart. Perhaps he might object to her being a Christian; but he had always used her implicitly to obey him; and therefore he did not fear her conforming to whatever he pleased. This stumbling-block once got over, everything else was soon agreed between them; for the Jew consented to take her on her father's own terms: and there remained nothing now to do but to acquaint Miss Johnson with it.

She was at first startled at the thoughts of changing her religion; but as she had no more understanding than was just necessary to set off her own charms by knowing which dress and which posture became her best; and had never been taught anything more than to go to church of a Sunday, when she was not wanted to stay at home to overlook the dinner, without knowing any other reason for it than custom; the rich presents the Jew made her; and his promises of keeping her great soon overcame all her scruples, and she consented to have him.

He now took the privilege of a son-in-law, being so soon to be married, and had always one dish dressed in his own way. He one day brought iMr. Nokes, an acquaintance of his, to dinner with him; and though he was immensely rich, he was not afraid he would steal away his mistress, he being too old and ugly to admit a suspicion of any woman's liking him. But unluckily this old fellow cast his eyes upon David's mistress, and took so great a fancy to her, that he was resolved to have her: he was not afraid of being refused, for he had money enough to have bought a lady of much higher rank; nor did he give himself any trouble I about gaining a woman's affections, not thinking them worth having; but took it for granted, that every virtuous woman, when she was married, must love her husband well enough to make a good wife, and comply with his humour. He went therefore directly to the father, and offered to make any settlement he should think proper, if he would give him his daughter; who was overjoyed at the proposal and made no scruple of promising her to him, without ever reflecting on the base trick he was playing David.

As soon as Mr. Nokes was gone, Johnson sent for his daughter, and told her what had passed; he said, as she had hitherto been a very obedient girl, he hoped she would still continue so. He owned he had ordered her to encourage Mr. Simple's addresses, because at that time he appeared to be a very advantageous match for her; but now, when a better offered, she would, he said, be certainly in the right to take the man she could get most by; otherwise she must walk on foot, while her sister rode in her coach. He allowed her a week's time to consider it; well knowing women are most apt to pursue their interests, when they have had time enough to paint to their own imaginations, how much riches will conduce to the satisfaction of their vanity. She made him no answer, but went immediately to her chamber, where she had left a young woman, her chief confidante, and from whom she concealed nothing. As soon as she entered the room, she threw herself on the bed, and fell into a violent passion of crying. Her companion was amazed, and thinking some dreadful accident had happened to her, begged to know what was the matter. Miss Johnson then told her what her father had been saying, with all the agonies of a person in the highest distress. Upon which ensued the following dialogue; which I shall set down word for word; everybody's own words giving the most lively representations of their meaning.

A Dialogue between Miss Nancy Johnson and Miss Betty Trusty.

Miss Betty.—Well! and I see nothing in all this to make you so miserable. You are very sure your lover will take you without a farthing, and will think himself happy to have such a proof of your affection; and for my part, if it was my case, I should think it no manner of sin to disobey a father who imposed such unreasonable commands on me.

Miss Nanny.—Oh! my dear, you quite mistake my case; I am not troubling my head either about the sin or my father, but the height of my distress lies in not knowing my own mind; if I could once find that out I should be easy enough. I am so divided by the desire of riches on the one hand and by my honour and the man I like on the other, that there is such a struggle in my mind, I am almost distracted.

Miss Betty.[1] — O fie! child, I thought you had been more constant in your nature, and that when you had given your affection to a man it had not been in the power of money to have altered you. I am sure if it was my case I should make no question of preferring a young man I liked to an old decrepid ugly monster, though he was ever so rich, I cannot help laughing at the idea of his figure whenever it comes in ray head: in him nature seems perfectly reversed; the calves of his legs are placed before, and his feet turned inward as it were in spite of nature: one side of his back is high enough to carry the load of riches he possesses, and the other is shrunk in such a manner, that one would imagine his two sides were made only to form a ridiculous contrast. Undoubtedly you will be much envied the possession of so lovely a creature!

Miss Nanny.—At what a rate you run on; it is easy to talk, but if you was in my place you can't tell what you would feel. Oh, that this good offer had but come before I knew the other, or at my first acquaintance with him I for then I only received him because my father bid me, and I thought to gain by such a match: but now when I have conversed long enough with him, to find it is in his power to give me pleasure; I must either forsake him, or abandon all thoughts of being a great woman. It is true, my lover can indeed keep me very well, I shall not want for anything he can procure me; for I am sure he loves me sincerely, and will do all in his power to oblige me; and I like him very well, and shall have no reason to envy another woman the possession of any man whatever: but then, he can't afford to buy me fine jewels, to keep me an equipage; and I must see my sister ride in her coach and six, while I take up with a hack, or at best with a coach and pair. Oh! I can never bear that thought, that is certain I my heart is ready to burst. Sure never woman's misfortune equalled mine!

[Here she fell into such a violent passion of crying, it was some time before she could speak; but when she was a little recovered, she went on in the following words.]

Pray, my dear friend, advise me; do not be silent while I am thus perplexed, but tell me which will give me the greatest pleasure, the satisfaction of my love or of my vanity?

Miss Betty.—Was ever woman so unreasonable? How is it possible for me to tell which will give you most pleasure? You certainly must know that best yourself. I have already told you, if it was my case I should not hesitate a moment, but take the young fellow, and let the old wretch purchase what nurse he pleased; he may meet with women enow who have no engagements, and there is no fear that any such would refuse him.

Miss Nanny.—You say true; I wish that had been my situation; but if I should neglect this opportunity of making my fortune, every woman whom I see supported in grandeur, will make me mad to think I had it once in my power to have been as great as her. Well, I find it is impossible I should ever come to any determination; I shall never find out what I have most mind to do, so I must even leave it to chance. I will go tell Mr. David what has happened, and if he presses me very much to run away with him, I shall never be able to resist him; but perhaps he may be afraid to make me unhappy, and then I may marry the other without any obstruction: but then no doubt he will marry somebody else, and I cannot bear that neither! I find it is in vain for me to think; I am in a labyrinth, and the farther I go the more I am puzzled: if I could but contrive some way to have my lover, and yet not give up the money, I should be happy; but as that is impossible, I must be miserable, for I shall always regret the loss of either. I will do the best I can, I will have the riches, that is positive; if I can possibly command myself enough to resist my lover's importunities, in case he should persist in my going away with him.

Thus ended this dialogue; in which vanity seemed to have had a fair chance of gaining the victory over love; or, in other words, where a young lady seemed to promise herself more pleasure from the purse than the person of her lover. And I hope to be excused by those gentlemen who are quite sure they have found one woman, who is a perfect angel, and that all the rest are perfect devils, for drawing the character of a woman who was neither; for Miss Nanny Johnson was very good-humoured, had a great deal of softness, and had no alloy to these good qualities, but a great share of vanity, with some small spices of envy, which must always accompany it. And I make no matter of doubt, but if she had not met with this temptation, she would have made a very affectionate wife to the man who loved her: ha would have thought himself extremely happy, with a perfect assurance that nothing could have tempted her to abandon him. And when she had had the experience, what it was to be constantly beloved by a man of Mr. Simple's goodness of heart, she would have exulted in her own happiness, and been the first to have blamed any other woman for giving up the pleasure of having the man she loved for any advantage of fortune; and would have thought it utterly impossible for her ever to have been tempted to such an action; which then might possibly have appeared in the most dishonourable light: for to talk of a temptation at a distance, and to feel it present, are two such very different things, that everybody can resist the one, and very few people the other. But it is now time to think of poor David, who has been all this time in a great deal of misery; the reason of which the next chapter will disclose.



David was going up to his mistress' chamber, to desire her company to walk; when he came near the door, he fancied he heard the voice of a woman in affliction, which made him run in haste to know what was the matter; but as he was entering the room, being no longer in doubt whose voice it was, he stopped short, to consider whether he should break in so abruptly or no. In this interim, he heard the beginning of the foregoing dialogue; this raised such a curiosity in him, that he was resolved to attend the event. But what was his amazement, when he found that the woman he so tenderly loved, and who he thought had so well returned his affection, was in the highest perplexity to determine whether she should take him with a competency, or the monster before described with great riches. He could hardly persuade himself that he was not in a dream. He going to burst open the door, and tell her he had witness to the delicacy of her sentiments; but his tenderness for her, even in the midst of his passion, restrained him, and he could not bring himself to do anything to put her into confusion.

He went back to his own room, where love, rage, despair, and contempt, alternately took possession of his mind; he walked about, and raved like a madman; repeated all the satires he could remember on women, all suitable to his present thoughts, (which is no great wonder, as most probably they were writ by men in circumstances not very different from his). In short, the first sallies of his passion, his behaviour and thoughts, were so much like what is common on such occasions, that to dwell long upon them, would be only a repetition of what has been said a thousand times. The only difference between him and the generality of men in the same case, was, that instead of resolving to be her enemy, he could not help wishing her well: for as tenderness was always predominant in his mind, no anger, nor even a just cause of hatred could ever make him inveterate or revengeful: it cost him very little to be a Christian in that point; for it would have been more difficult for him to have kept up a resentment, than it was to forgive the highest injury, provided that injury was only to himself, and that his friends were no sufferers by it. As soon therefore as his rage was somewhat abated, and his passion a little subsided, he concluded to leave his mistress to the enjoyment of her beloved grandeur with the wretch already described, without saying or doing anything that might expose or any way hurt her.

When he had taken this resolution, he went down stairs into a little parlour, where he ccidentally met Miss Nanny alone. She, with her eyes swelled out of her head with crying, with fear and trembling told him her father's proposals. Her manner of speaking, and her looks, would have been to him the strongest proofs of her love, and given him the greatest joy, if he had not before known the secrets of her heart from her own mouth. The only revenge he took, or ever thought of taking, was by endeavouring to pique that vanity which was so greatly his enemy. He therefore put on a cold indifference, and said, he was very glad to hear she was likely to make so great a fortune; for his part, he was very easy about it, he thought indeed to have been happy with her as a wife; but since her father had otherwise disposed of her, he should advise her to be dutiful, and obey him.

He was very bad at acting an insincere part; but the present confusion of her mind was so great, she could not distinguish very clearly; and not knowing he was acquainted with what had passed between her and her confidante, his behaviour threw her into a great consternation, and had the desired effect of piquing her vanity. I verily believe, had his design been to have gained her, and could he have taken the pains to have turned about, and made a sudden transition in her mind, from the uneasiness his coldness gave her pride, to a triumph in a certain conquest of him, joined to the love which she really had for him, notwithstanding it was not her predominant passion, he might have carried her wherever he pleased. But as that was not his design, he durst not stay long with her; for he was several times tempted by her behaviour to think he was not in his senses, when he fancied he overheard her say anything that could be construed to her disadvantage. And certainly, if the longest experienced friend had told him what he heard himself, he would have suspected him of falsehood; and if, on being taxed with it, she had denied it, he would have believed her against the whole world. But as he was witness himself to what she had said, and was convinced that she could think of such a fellow as his rival, for the sake of money, he had just resolution enough to leave her, though he had a great struggle in his mind before he could compass it; and he has often said since, that if he had staid five minutes longer, his love would have vanquished his reason, and he should have become the fond lover again. Before he went, he took leave of her father and sister, with great civility, for he was resolved to avoid any bustle. He sent for a coach, put his clothes into it, and drove from the door.

Mr. Johnson asked no questions, for he heartily glad to get rid of him, and thought it was owing to his daughter's discharging him; he therefore again exulted in his own wisdom, in making her always obey him. He then went to look for her, in order to applaud her obedience; but how great was his surprise, when he found her, instead of being rejoiced at having done her duty, and being rid of a troublesome lover, walking about the room like a mad woman, crying and tearing her hair; calling out she was undone for ever; she had no refuge now; her misery must last as long as her life.

Her father had been in the room some time before she perceived him, and now she took no notice of him; but continued walking about in the same manner. As soon as he could recollect himself, he began to talk to her, and asked her what could be the cause of ail this uneasiness; said her lover was just gone from the door in a coach, and he was come to praise her dutiful behaviour. When she heard David was gone, it increased her agony, and she could hardly forbear reproaching her father, for being the cause of her losing such a man. For no sooner did she think him irretrievable, than she fancied in him she had lost everything truly valuable; and though that very day all her concern had been how to get rid of him; yet, now he was gone, she would have sacrificed (for the present) even her darling vanity, if she could have brought him back again. And when Mr. Johnson would have comforted her, by telling her of the rich husband she was to have, she flew into the greatest rage imaginable, and swore, if she could not see Mr. Simple again, she would lock herself up, and never converse with any living creature more; for, without him, she was undone and ruined.

Her father, who had no idea of a woman's being ruined any way but one, began to be startled at her repeating that word so often, and to fear, that the girl had been drawn in by her passion to sacrifice her honour; he was terrified, lest he should prove the dupe instead of Mr. Simple. He stood considering some time, and at last was going to burst into a rage with his daughter, resolving, if she was not virtuous, he would turn her out of doors: but, before he said anything in anger to her, a sudden thought came into his mind, which turned him into a milder temper. He considered, that as the thing was not publick, and Mr. Nokes was ignorant of it, it might be all hushed up. He wisely thought, that as she was not in that desperate condition in which some women who have been guilty of indiscretions of that kind are, he might justify himself in forgiving her. If, indeed, her reputation had been lost, and she had conversed long enough with a man to have worn out her youth and beauty, and had been left in poverty, and all kinds of distress, without any hopes of relief, her folly would have then been so glaring, he could by no means have owned her for his child. But as he did not at all doubt when the first sallies of her grief were over, she would consent to follow her interest, and marry the old man; and that then he should still have the pleasure of seeing her a fine lady, with her own equipage attending her; he condescended to speak to her in as kind a manner as if he had been sure Lucretia herself (whose chastity nothing but the fear of losing her reputation could possibly have conquered) had not excelled her in virtue. He desired her to be comforted; for if she had been led astray by the arts of a man she liked, if she would be a good girl, and follow his advice in concealing it from and marrying the man who liked her, he would not only forgive it, but never upbraid, or mention it to her more.

She was quite amazed at this speech; and the consideration, that even her own father could suspect her virtue, which was dearer to her than her life, did but aggravate her sorrows. At first she could not help frowning, and reproaching her father for such a suspicion, with some hints of her great wonder how it was possible there could be such creatures in the world; but, in a little time, her thoughts were all taken up again with Mr. Simple's leaving her. She told her father, nothing but his returning could make her happy, and she could not think how she had lost him; for she never told him she would prefer the other to him: though, indeed, she was very wavering in her own mind, yet she had not expressed it to him, and his indifference was what she could not bear. If he had but sighed, and been miserable for the loss of her, she could have married her old man without any great reluctance: but the thought that he had left her first was insupportable! At this rate did she run on for some time.

Mr. Johnson, who in his youth had been very well acquainted with women's ways, and knew the ebbs and flows of their passions, was very well satisfied that as there was a great mixture of vanity in the sorrow she expressed for the loss of her lover, the greater vanity would in the end conquer the less, and he should bring her to act for her own and his interest: he therefore left her, to go and follow his own affairs, and made no doubt of everything succeeding according to his wish. She spent some time in the deepest melancholy, and felt all the misery which attends a woman who has many things to wish, but knows not positively which she wishes most. Sometimes her imagination would represent Mr. Simple with all the softness of a lover, and then the love she had had for him would melt her into tenderness; then in a moment his indifference and neglect came into her head, her pride was piqued, and she was all rage and indignation; then succeeded in her thoughts the old man and his money: so that love, rage, and vanity, were in the greatest contention which should possess the largest share of her inclinations. It cannot be determined how long this agitation of mind would have lasted, had not her sister's marriage with the rich Jew put end to it; which being celebrated with great pomp and splendour, made Miss Nanny resolve she would not be outdone in grandeur: she therefore consented to give her hand to Mr. Nokes, and as he was ready to take her, it was soon concluded; and she now no longer made any difficulty of preferring gaiety and show to everything in the world. She thought herself ill-used by Mr. Simple, (not knowing the true cause of his leaving her in that abrupt manner;) so that her pride helped her to overcome any remains of passion, and she fancied herself in the possession of everything which could give happiness, namely, splendid equipages and glittering pomp. But she soon found herself greatly mistaken; her fine house, by constantly living in it, became as insipid as if it had been a cottage: a short time took away all the giddy pleasure which attends the first satisfaction of vanity.

Her husband, who was old, soon became full of diseases and infirmities, which turned his temper (naturally not very good) into moroseness and ill-nature: and as he had married a woman whom he thought very much obliged to him, on account of his superiority of fortune, he was convinced it was but reasonable she should comply with his peevish humours; so that she had not lived long with him, before the only comfort she had was in the hopes of outliving him.

She certainly would soon have broke her heart, had she known that all this misery, and the loss of the greatest happiness, in being tenderly used by a man of sense, who loved her, was her own fault; but, as she thought it his inconstancy, to his generosity in not telling her the truth, she owed the avoiding that painful reflection. The uneasy state of her mind made her peevish and cross to all around her; and she never had the pleasure of enjoying that fortune, which she had been so desirous of obtaining: her husband, notwithstanding his old age, died of I spotted fever; she caught the infection of him, and survived him but three days. But I think it is now full time to look after my hero.




Poor David's heart was ready to burst. He ordered his coach to drive into Fleet Street, where he presently took a lodging; and now being at some distance from the cause of his torment, and at liberty to reflect on what had passed, he found it was much harder to conquer passion than to raise it ; for notwithstanding the great contempt he had for his mistress' conduct, and his aversion to the very thought of a mercenary woman, yet would his fancy set before him all those scenes of pleasure he once imagined he should enjoy with the object of his love. With those thoughts returned all his fondness: then came his reason spitefully to awake him from the pleasing dream, and represented to him, he ought to forget it was ever in the power of a person, who so highly deserved to be despised, to have contributed to his pleasure. But all the pains he could take to overcome his inclination for her could not make him perfectly easy; sometimes he would weep, to think that vanity should prevent such a creature from being perfect; then would he reflect on the opinion he once had of her, and from thence conclude, if she could have such faults, no woman was ever truly good; and that nature had certainly thrown in some vices to women's minds, lest good men should have more happiness than they are able to bear. On this consideration, he thought it would be in vain to search the world round, for he was sure he could meet with nothing better than what he had already seen; and he fancied he might certainly justify himself in going back to her, who had no faults, but what nature, for some wise purpose, had given to all creatures of the same kind: he began to flatter himself, that time and conversation with him would get the better of those small frailties (for such he soon began to think them) which, perhaps, might be only owing to youth, and the want of a good education. With these reflections he was ready to go back to throw himself at her feet and ask ten thousand pardons for believing his own senses; to confess himself highly to blame, and unworthy her favour, for having left her. However, he had just sense enough left to send a spy first to enquire into her conduct concerning the old man, who came just as she was married. This news assisted him to get the better of his love; and he never enquired for her more, though he was often thoughtful on her account.

Now was David in the same condition as when he discovered his brother's treachery. The world was to begin again with him; for he could find no pleasure in it, unless he could meet with a companion who deserved his esteem; he had been used ill by both the man and the woman he had loved. This gave him but a melancholy prospect, and sometimes he was in perfect despair; but then his own mind was a proof to him, that generosity, good-nature, and a capacity for real friendship, were to be found in the world. Besides, he saw the shadow of those virtues in so many minds, that he did not in the least doubt but that the substances must exist in some place or other. He resolved, therefore, to go in his search; for he was sure, if ever he could find a valuable friend, in either man or woman, he should be doubly paid for all the pains and difficulties he could possibly go through.

He took a new lodging every week, and always the first thing he did was to enquire of his landlady the reputation of all the neighboorhood: but be never could hear one good character from any of them: only every one separately gave very broad hints of their own goodness, and what pity it was they should be obliged to live amongst such a set of people. As he was not quite so credulous to take their words, he generally, in two or three days, had some reason to believe they were not totally exempt from partiality to themselves. He went from house to house for some time, without meeting with any adventure worth relating. He found all the women tearing one another to pieces from envy, and the men sacrificing each other for every trifling interest. Every shop be went into, be heard men swear they could not afford their goods under such a price one minute, and take a great deal less the next; which even his charity could not impute to the desire of serving the buyer. In short, the generality of scenes he saw he could never mention without a sigh, or think of without a tear.

In one of the houses where he lodged, the master of the family died while he was there. This man bad three daughters, every one of whom attended him with the utmost duty and care during bis illness, and at the approach of bis last moments showed such agonies of grief and tender sorrow, as give our hero great pleasure. He reflected how much happier the world would be, if all parents would sustain the helpless infancy of their children with that tenderness and care, which would be thought natural by every good mind, unexperienced in the world, for all creatures to have towards everything immediately placed under their protection; and as they grew older, form their minds, and instruct them with that gentleness and affection which would plainly prove everything they said or did was for their good, instead of commanding them with an arbitrary power. He thought that children thus educated, with grateful minds would return that care and love to their parents, when old age and infirmities rendered them objects of compassion, and made it necessary for them to be attended with more assiduity than is generally met with in those people who only serve them for their money.

The three daughters above-mentioned never ceased crying and lamenting, till their father was buried, in all which time Mr. Simple did all he could to comfort them; but as soon as the funeral was over, they dried up their tears, and seemed quite recovered. The next morning, as David was musing by himself, he was startled by a sudden noise he knew not what to make of. At first he fancied it was the chattering of magpies; then he recollected, that some young female neighbours of his, fearing lest there should be too much silence in their house, kept two or three parrots to entertain themselves with. At last, he thought he heard something like the sound of human voices, but so confused and intermixed, three or four together, that nothing could be distinguished. He got up, and went towards the room the noise seemed to come from: but how great was his amazement, when he threw open the door, and saw the three dutiful daughters (whom he had so much applauded in his own mind) looking one pale as death, the other red as scarlet, according as their different constitutions or complexions were worked on by violent passions; each of them holding a corner of a most beautiful carpet in her hand! The moment they saw David, they ran to him, got hold of him, and began to tell their story all at a time. They were agitated by their rage to such a degree, that not one of them could speak plain enough to be understood; so that he stood as if he had been surrounded by the three furies for a considerable time, before he could have any comprehension what they would be at. At last, with great intreaties that one of them would speak at a time, he so far prevailed, that the eldest told him the story, though it was not without several interruptions and many disputes.

Their father had left all he had to be equally divided amongst them; and when they came to examine his effects (which they did very early in the morning after the funeral) they found this carpet, which was a present to him from a merchant, and was one of the finest that ever was seen. The moment they set eyes on it, they every one resolved to have it for themselves, on which arose a most violent quarrel; and, as none of them would give it up, the most resolute of them took up a pair of scissors, and cut it into three parts, They were all vexed to have it spoiled, yet each was better pleased than if either of the sisters had had it whole. But still the difference was not decided, for in one of the pieces was a more remarkably fine flower than the rest, and this they had every one fixed on as their own. When David had heard all this, he could not express his astonishment, but stood staring at them, like one who has seen, or fancies he has seen, a ghost, desired them to let go their hold, for he could not possibly be a judge in a dispute of so nice a nature, which they all cried out, they would have the flower divided; for they had rather see it cut in a thousand pieces, than that anybody should have it but themselves.

As soon as David could free himself from them, he ran downstairs, got as far out of their hearing as he could, and left the house that very night.

The behaviour of these sisters to each other, and that lately shown to their father, may appear perhaps very inconsistent, and difficult to be reconciled. But it must be considered, that as the old man had always preferred all the power in in his own hands, they had been used implicitly to obey his commands, and wait on him; and as to their grief at his death, there is to most people a terror and melancholy in death itself, which strikes them with horror at the sight of it: and it being usual for families to cry and mourn for their relations till they are buried, there is such a prevalency in custom, that it is not uncommon to see a whole house in tears for the death of those very people they have hated and abused while living, though their grief ceases with their funerals. But these three sisters had an inveterate hatred to each other; for the eldest being much older than the others, had, during their childhood, usurped so unreasonable an authority over them, as they could never forgive; and as they were handsomer when they grew up than she was, they were more liked by the rest of the world, and consequently more disliked and hated by her. The other two, as they were nearer of an age, in all appearance might have agreed better; but they had met with one of those fine gentlemen who make love to every woman they chance to be in company with. Each of these two sisters fancied he was in love with her; they therefore grew jealous rivals, and never after could endure one another: yet notwithstanding all this, I make no doubt, but on the death of either, the others could have performed the ceremony of crying with as good a grace as if they had loved one another ever so well. Nay, and what is yet more surprising, this grief might not have been altogether affectation; for when any person is in so low a state of body, mind, or fortune, as makes it impossible for them to be the objects of envy, if there is the least grain of compassion or good-nature in the human mind, it has full power to exert itself, and the thought of being about for ever to lose anybody we are used to converse with, like a charm, suddenly banishes from our thoughts all the bad which former piques and quarrels ever suggested to us they had in them, and immediately brings to our remembrance all the good qualities they possessed.

Poor Mr. Simple began now utterly to despair that he should ever meet with any persons who would give him leave to have a good opinion of them a week together; for he found such a mixture of bad in all those he had yet met with, that as soon as he began to think well of any one, they were sure to do something to shock him, and overthrow his esteem: he was in doubt in his own mind, whether he should not go to some remote comer of the earth, lead the life of a hermit, and never see a human face again; but as he was naturally of a social temper, he could not bear the thoughts of such a life. He therefore concluded he would proceed in his scheme, till he had gone through all degrees of people; and, if he continued still unsuccessful, he could but retire at last.




As David was one day walking along the Strand, full of these reflections, he met a man with so contented a countenance, he could not forbear having a curiosity to know who he was: he therefore watched him home; and, on enquiry, found he was a carpenter, who worked very hard, brought home all the money he could get to his wife, and that they led a very quiet, peaceable life together. He was resolved to take the first opportunity of sending for him, on pretence of employing him in his trade, in order to know, from his own mouth, what it was caused those great signs of happiness which so visibly appeared in his countenance. The man told him, he was indeed the happiest of all mortals; for he certainly had the best wife in the world; to which was owing that cheerfulness he was pleased to take notice of. This still raised his curiosity the more, and made him resolve to go to the man's house to observe his manner of living. He told him he had a desire to see this good woman, whose character pleased him so well, and that he would go home to dinner with him. The carpenter, who thought he never had witnesses enough of his wife's goodness, said he should be very proud of his company. And home they went together.

Mr. Simple expected to have found everything prepared in a neat, though plain way by this extraordinary woman, for the reception and comfort of her husband after his morning's work: but how greatly was he surprised, when he heard by a prentice boy (who was left at home to wait on her, instead of assisting his master in his business) that she in bed, and desired her husband would go and buy the dinner, which the boy dressed for them, but very ill; and when it was ready the lady condescended to sit down at table with them, with the boy waiting behind her chair: and what was still the more amazing, was, that this woman was ugly to such a degree, that it was a wonder any man could think of her at all. The whole dinner passed in the man's praises of her good humour and virtue, and in exultings in the happiness of possessing such a creature.

This scene perplexed David more than anything he had yet seen, and he endeavoured all he could to account for it. He therefore desired to board with them a week, in order to find out (if possible) what could be the cause of a man's fondness for such a woman. In all the time he was there he observed she indulged herself in drinking tea and in such expenses as a man in his way could not possibly supply, notwithstanding all his industry; but he thought nothing too much for her. After all the reflections that could be made on this subject, there could be no other reason assigned for this poor man's being such a willing slave, bat her great pride, and high spirit, which imposed on him, and made him afraid to disoblige her, together with a certain self-sufficiency in all she said or did; which, joined to her superiority to him in birth (she having been a lady's waiting-gentlewoman) made him imagine her much more capable than she really was in all respects.

I think it very likely, if she had known her own deserts, and been humble in her behaviour, he would have paid her no other compliment than that of confessing her in the right in the mean thoughts she had of herself. He then would have been master in his own house, and have made a drudge of her; an instance of which David saw while he was there, by a man who came one day to visit his neighbour, and was what is called by those sort of people a jolly companion: the first thing he did was to abuse his wife. He said, he had left her at home out of humour, and would always deal with her after that manner when he found her inclined to be ill-tempered. The carpenter cast a look on his wife, which expressed his satisfaction in having so much the advantage of his acquaintance. The other went on, in saying, for his part, he could never have anything he liked at home, therefore he would stay but little there.

David hearing all this, had a great desire to see if this woman was as much better than her husband thought her, as the other was worse; and told the man, if he would let him come and board with him a week, he would give him his own price. The other answered, he should be very welcome, but his wife did things in such an awkward way, he was afraid he would not stay there a day. But he, who was very indifferent as to what he ate and drank, was not frightened at this, and went home with the man. He found the woman hard at work, with two small children, the eldest not four years old, playing round her; they were dressed in coarse things, full of patch-work, but yet whole and clean; everything in the house was neat, and plainly proved the mistress of that family, having no servant, could not be idle. As soon as they came in, she rose from her work, made an humble curtsey to the stranger, and received her husband with a mixture of love and fear. He, in a surly tone, said, "Well, Moll, I hope you are in a better humour than when I left you; here is a gentleman wants to board with us for a week, you had best not be in your airs; none of your crying and whining, for I won't stay an hour in the house, if you don't behave yourself as you ought." The poor woman, who could hardly refrain from tears, said, indeed, she was in very good humour, and would do all she could, in her homely way, to give the gentleman content. She had been very pretty, but her eyes now had a deadness in them, and her countenance was grown pale, which seemed to be occasioned by the sorrow and hard labour she had endured, which produced the effects of old age, even in youth itself.

The husband never spoke for anything but it was done, as if by enchantment; for she flew to obey him the moment be but intimated his inclinations: she watched his very looks to observe what he would have; and if ever he expressed himself mildly, it seemed to give her vast pleasure. Everything was ordered in the house in the most frugal and best manner possible; yet she could seldom get a good word from the man she endeavoured to please. Her modest behaviour, love to her husband, and tenderness for her children, in short, everything she did or said, raised a great compassion in David, and a strong desire to know her story, which he took the first opportunity of desiring her to relate. She for a great while excused herself, saying, she could not tell her story without reflecting on the man she was unwilling to blame. But on David's assuring her everything should be a secret, and that he would exert the utmost of his power to serve her, she was at last prevailed on to give the following account of her life.

As you seem, sir, so desirous of knowing my misfortunes, I cannot refuse complying with your request, though the remembrance of most of the scenes of my life brings nothing but melancholy thoughts to my mind, which I endeavour as much as possible to avoid. Indeed, I have so few comforts, that it's well my being continually obliged to employ myself in feeding and covering these my little ones, prevents my having time to think so much as otherwise I should.

"My father was a great distiller in the city, and I was bred up with the utmost tenderness and care, till I was ten years old, when he died and left me to the care of an elder brother, to depend on his pleasure for my support. He was a sort of man it is impossible to draw any character of, for I never knew him to do one action in my lifa, that was not too much in the common road to be remarked. He kept me in his house without either abusing or showing the least affection towards me; by which sort of behaviour he neither gained my love nor my hatred, but I lived a dull lifa with very few things to amuse me; for as all the companions I used to play with in my father's time had plenty of money, and I now was kept without any, they soon shunned me, and I was as willing to avoid them, having too much pride to be beholden to them for paying my share of the expense. I had now nothing to do but to fly to books for refuge: all the pleasure I had was in reading romances, so that by the time I was fifteen, my head was full of nothing but love. While I was in this disposition, one Sunday, as I came out of church, an old woman followed me, and whispered in my ear, if I had a mind to save a pretty young fellow's life, I should give a kind answer to a note he had sent by her; which she put into my hand, and presently mixed amongst the crowd. I made haste home with the utmost impatience to read my letter, it contained the strongest expressions of love, and was writ so much in the strain of some of my favourite books, that I was overjoyed at the thoughts of such an adventure. However, I would not answer it, thinking some years' service due to me, before such a favour should be granted; for I began now to look on myself as the heroine of a romance. The young man was clerk to an attorney in the neighbourhood, and was none of those lukewarm lovers who require their mistresses to meet them half way, but he followed me with the utmost assiduity. This exactly suited my taste, and I soon found a great inclination for him, yet was resolved to make a long courtship of it; but a very few meetings with him got the better of all my resolutions, and he made me engage myself to him.

"If my brother had treated me with good nature, I certainly should have acquainted him with this affair: but he took so little notice of me, and whenever I spoke to him showed such a contempt for talking with girls, that, he being twice my age, I contracted such an awe of him, I really was afraid to tall him of it. I take shame to myself for giving so easily into an affair of this nature: but I was young, and had nobody to advise or instruct me, for my mother died when I was an infant, which I hope may be some excuse for me; but I won't tire you with my foolish remarks.

"My brother happened one day to bring home a young man to dinner with him, who took such a fancy to me, he would have married me. My person then, as I was told, was very agreeable, though now, sir, I am so altered, nobody would know me to be the same woman. This young man was in very good circumstances, which you may be sure made my brother readily agree to it. He therefore told me of it, but was greatly surprised to find me utterly averse to the match; he teased me so much about it, that at last I told him the truth, that I was already engaged, both in honour and inclination, to another.

On hearing this, he fell into the most violent rage imaginable, at my daring to engage myself to any one without his consent. He told me, the man I had pleased to take a fancy to was a pitiful fellow. That his master often said he would never come to any good, for he thought of nothing but his pleasures, and never minded his business. In short, he said, if I would not give him up, he would abandon me, and never see me more. This roughness and brutality made me still fonder of my lover, who was all complaisance and eagerness to please me. I took the first opportunity of informing him of what had happened. He was not at all concerned, as he saw me so resolute, only he pressed me to marry him immediately, which my foolish fondness soon made me consent to. My brother was as good as his word, for be would never see me more. And, indeed, it was not long before I found what he had told me was too true, that my husband would not follow his business; for as soon as he was out of his time he swore be would have no more to do with it. His father was a very good man but, unfortunately for me, died soon after we were married; for he would have been kind to me if he had lived. He had more children, and was not very rich, so that he could not leave us a great deal: however, he left me £30 per annum in an annuity; and to his son £500, which he soon spent, and made me sell my annuity: I have never refused him anything since we have been married. You see, sir, by the manner we live, money is not very plenty with us, though I do my household affairs myself, take care of my poor children, and am glad to do plain work besides, when I can get it; that, by all means possible, I may help to support the man, whom yet I love with the greatest fondness, notwithstanding you see he doth not treat me with an equal tenderness.

"He has a brother, who allows him a small matter, so that we make shift to rub on with bread, and I could be content with my lot, if he behaved to me as when we were first married; what has occasioned this alteration I cannot imagine, for I don't find he converses with any other women, and I have always been a very humble wife; I have humoured him in everything he has desired: I have never upbraided him with the misery I have suffered for his sake, nor refused him any of the little money I got. I remember once, when I had but just enough to buy a dinner for the day, and had been hard at work, he had a mind to go out, where he thought he should be merry: I let him have this little, and concealed from him that I had no more; thinking it impossible for him to take it, if he had known the truth. I ate nothing but bread that day. When he came home at night, I received him with great good humour; but had a faintness upon me, which prevented my being cheerful, which he immediately imputed to the badness of my temper. He swore there was no hving with women, for they had such vile humours no mortal could bear them. Thus even my tenderness for him is turned against me, and I can do nothing that he does not dislike; yet my fondness still continues for him, and there are no pains I would not take, if he would return it; but he imputes it to a warmth in my inclination, which accident might as well have given to another man."

David, who sat silent all this while, and attended to her discourse, was amazed at her story; he assured her he would do all in his power to serve her, and would leave her some money, which she might produce at times as she thought proper; and try if finding her always able and willing to supply her husband with what he wanted would not make him kinder to her. He said he had great compassion for her, gave her five guineas, being all he had about him, and promised to send her more, which he punctually performed.

When David came to reflect, he was perfectly amazed, how it was possible for one man to be continually rejoicing in his own happiness, and declaring he had the best of wives, although she spent all his substance, and threw the burden of everything upon him; while another was continually complaining of his wife, when her whole time and labour was spent to promote his interest, and support him and his children. However common it may be in the world, the goodness of David's heart could not conceive how it was possible for good usage to make a man despise his wife, instead of returning gratitude and good humour for her fondness. He never once reflected on what is perhaps really the case, that to prevent a husband's surfeit or satiety in the matrimonial feast, a little acid is now and then very prudently thrown into the dish by the wife.




The next lodging our hero took, was near Covent Garden; where he met a gentleman who accidentally lodged in the same house, whose conversation Mr. Simple was mightily charmed with. He had something in his manner which seemed to declare that inward serenity of mind, which arises from a consciousness of doing well, and every trifle appeared to give him pleasure, because he had no tumults within to disturb his happiness. His sentiments were all so refined, and his thoughts so delicate, that David imagined such a companion, if he was not again deceived in his opinion, would be the greatest blessing this world could afford.

This gentleman, whose name was Orgueil, being of French extraction, was equally pleased with Mr. Simple, and they spent their whole time together: he had a great deal of good acquaintance; that is, he conversed with all the people of sense he could meet with, without any considerations what their fortunes were; for he did not rate men at all by the riches they possessed, but by their own behaviour. In this man therefore did David think he had met with the completion of all his wishes; for, on the closest observation, he could not find he was guilty of any one vice, nor that he neglected any opportunity in his power of doing good; the only fault he could ever discern in him, was, a too severe condemnation of others' actions; for he would never make any allowance for the frailties of human nature, but expected every one to act up to the strictest rules of reason and goodness. But this was overlooked by a friend, and imputed to his knowing, by himself, the possibility of avoiding those frailties, if due care was taken. Wherever he went, he carried David with him, and introduced him into a perfect new scene of life: for hitherto his conversation had been chiefly amongst a lower degree of men. The company in which Mr. Orgueil delighted, was of people who were bred to genteel professions, and who were neither to be reckoned in very high, nor in low life. They went one night to a tavern, with four other gentlemen, who had every one a great deal of that kind of wit which consists in the assemblage of those ideas which, though not commonly joined, have such a ressemblance to each other, that there is nothing preposterous or monstrous in the joining them; whereas I have known some people, for the sake of saying a witty thing, as it were by force, haul together such inconsistent ideas, as nothing but vanity, and a strong resolution of being witty in spite of nature, could have made them think of. But this conversation was quite of a different kind; all the wit was free and easy; every thing that was said semm'd to be spoke with a desire of entertaining the company, without any reflection on the applause that was to arise from it to themselves. In short, nothing but envy and anger, at not having been author of very thing that was said, could have prevented any body's being pleased with every expression that was made use of. And, as David's mind was entirely free from those low, mean qualities, his entertainment was pure and unmixed.

The next morning passed in observations on the conversation of the foregoing night, and David thanked his fried for the pleasure his acquaintance had given him. "Ay," says the other, "I do not in the least double but one of your taste might be highly satisfied with every one of those gentlemen you were with last night; but your goodness will make you sigh at what I am going to relate. Each of those men you were so delighted with, has such glaring faults, as make them all unfit to be thought of in any other light than that of contributing to our diversion. They are not to be trusted, nor depended on in any point in life; and although they have such parts and sense, that I cannot help liking their company, I am forced, when I reflect, to think of them just as I do of a buffoon, who diverts me, without engaging either my love or esteem. Perhaps you may blame me, when I have told you their real characters, for having anything to say to them; but as I consider I have not the power of creation, I must take men as they are; and a man must be miserable who cannot bring himself to enjoy all the pleasures he can innocently attain, without examining too nicely into the delicacy of them. That man who sat next to you, and to whom I was not at all surprised to see you hearken with so much attention, notwithstanding all those beautiful thoughts of his on covetousness, and the eloquence in which he displayed its contemptibleness, is so great a miser, that he would let the greatest friend suffer the height of misery rather than part with anything to relieve him: and was it possible to raise, by any means, compassion enough in him to extort the least trifle, the person who once had a farthing of his money would be ever afterwards hateful to him. For men of his turn of mind take as great an aversion to those people whom they think themselves, or, to speak more properly, their chests a penny the poorer for, as children do to the surgeons who have drawn away any of their blood.

"That other gentleman, who seemed to pitch on extravagance as the properest subject to harangue against, is himself the most extravagant of all mortals; he values not how he gets money, so that he can but spend it; and notwithstanding his lavishness, he is full as much a miser, to everybody but himself, as the other. Indeed, he is reputed by the mistaken world to be generous; and, as he perfectly understands the art of flattering himself, he believes he is so; but nothing can be farther from it. For though he would not scruple to throw away the last twenty guineas he had in the world to satisfy any fancy of his own, he would grudge a shilling to do anything that is right, or to serve another. These two men, who appear so widely different, you may suppose have a strong contempt for each other; but if they could think of themselves with that impartiality, and judge of their own actions with that good sense with which they judge of everything else, they would find that they are much more alike than they at present imagine. The motive of both their actions is selfishness, which makes everything centre wholly in themselves. It was accident brought them together last night; for a covetous man as naturally shuns the company of a prodigal, unless he has a great estate, and he can make a prey of him, as an envious ugly woman does that of a handsome one, unless she can contrive to do her some mischief by conversing with her.

"That gentleman who sat next me, and inveighed against treachery and ingratitude, with such a strength of imagination, and delightful variety of expressions, that a Pythagorean would have thought the soul of Seneca had been transmigrated into him, I know a story of, that will at once raise your wonder and detestation.

"His father was one of those sort of men, who, though he never designed any ill, yet from an indolent, careless disposition, and trusting his affairs entirely to others, ran out a very good estate, and left his son at the age of fifteen, upon the wide world, to shift for himself. An uld gentleman in the neighbourhood took a great fancy to this boy, from the genius he saw in him. He received him into his house, kept him, as if he had been his own son, and at length made use of all his interest to procure him a commission in the army, which he accomplished; and being in the time of peace, he easily obtained leave for him to come often, and spend much of his time at his house. The good old man had a daughter, who was just fifteen when our spark was twenty. She was handsome to a miracle, the object of her father's most tender love and affection, and the admiration of everybody who knew her. She repaid her father's tenderness with the utmost duty and care to please him, and her whole happiness was placed in his kindness and good opinion of her. She was naturally warm in her passions, and inclined to love everybody who endeavoured to oblige her. This young gentleman soon fell in love with her: that is, he found it was in her power to give him pleasure, and he gave himself no trouble what price she paid for gratifying his inclination. In short, he made use of all the arts he is master of (and you see how agreeable he can make himself) to get her affections; which, as soon as he found he had obtained, he made no scruple of making use of that very love in her breast (which ought to have made him wish to protect find guard her from every misfortune) to betray her into the greatest scene of misery imaginable; and all the return he made to the man, who had been a father to him from choice and good nature, was to destroy all the comfort he proposed in his old age, of seeing his beloved only child happy.

"He was soon weary of her, and then left her in a condition the most unable to bear afflictions, to suffer more than can be expressed. The being forsaken by the man she loved, and the horror of being discovered by her father, made her almost distracted; it was not that she was afraid of her father, but she loved him so well, that her greatest terror was the thoughts of making him uneasy. It was impossible to conceal her folly long, and she could by no means bring herself to disclose it. The alteration of her behaviour, which from the most lively cheerfulness, grew into a settled melancholy, with her pale and dejected countenance, made the poor old man fear she was going into a consumption. He was always enquiring what was the matter with her; he perceived whenever he spoke to her on that subject, the tears rising in her eyes, and that she was hardly able to give him an answer. At last, by continual importunities, he got from her the whole truth. What words can describe his distress when he heard it! His thoughts were so confused, and his amazement so great, it was some time before he could utter his words. She stood pale and trembling before him, without power to speak, till at last she fainted away. He then catched her up in his arms, cried out for help, and the moment she began to recover, welcomed her to returning life, not in passion and reproaches, but in all the most endearing expressions the most tender love can suggest. He assured her, he never would upbraid her; that all his resentment should fall on the proper object, the villain who had imposed on her soft artless temper, to both their ruins. He wondered what could induce the wretch to so much baseness, since if he had asked her in marriage, as she was fond of him, there was nothing he would not have done to have made her easy. 'Nay,' said he, with tears bursting from his aged eyes, 'I should have had an additional pleasure in contributing to the happiness of that man who hath now so barbarously destroyed all the comfort I proposed in my decline of life, and hath undone me, and my poor only girl.'

"This excess of goodness was more fatal to the wretched young creature, than if he had behaved as most fathers do in the like case; who, when they find their vanity disappointed, and despair of seeing their daughters married to advantage, fall into a violent rage, and turn them out of doors: for this uncommon behaviour of his quite overcame her; she fell from one fainting fit to another, and lived but three days. During all which time, she would never let her father stir from her; and all she said, was to beg him to be comforted, to forget and drive her out of his memory. On this occasion she exerted an uncommon height of generosity, for by exaggerating her own fault, she endeavoured to draw his mind from contemplating her former behaviour, and all those little scenes, in which, by the utmost duty and tenderness, she had so often drawn tears of joy from her then happy father: but the thoughts of his goodness to her overwhelmed her soul; the apprehension that ever she had been the cause of so much grief to him, was worse than ten thousand griefs to her; all the rest she could have borne with patience, but the consideration of what she had brought on him (the best of fathers) was more than nature could support.

"The poor man stifled his groans while she could hear them, for fear of hurting her; but the moment she was gone, he tore his hair, beat his breast, and fell into such agonies, as is impossible to describe. So I shall follow the example of the painter, who drew a veil before Agamemnon's face, when his daughter was sacrificed, despairing from the utmost stretch of his art, to paint any countenance that could express all that nature must feel on such a dreadful occasion: I shall leave to your own imagination to represent what he suffered; and only tell you, it was so much, that his life and misery soon ended together."

Here Mr. Orgueil stopped, seeing poor David could hear no more, not being able to stifle his sighs and tears, at the idea of such a scene; for he did not think it beneath a man to cry from tenderness, though he would have thought it much too effeminate to be moved to tears by any accident that concerned himself only.

As soon as he could recover enough to speak, he cried out, "Good God ! is this a world for me to look for happiness in, when those very men, who seem to be the favourites of nature; in forming whom, she has taken such particular care to give them every thing agreeahis, can be guilty of such crimes as make them a disgrace to the species they are born of! What could incite a man to such monstrous ingratitude! there was no circumstance to alleviate his villainy; for if his passion was violent he might have married her." "Yes," answered Mr. Orgueil, "but that was not his scheme, he was ambitious, and thought marrying so young would have spoiled his fortune; he could not expect with this poor creature above fifteen hundred pounds at first: he did not know how long the father might live, and he did not doubt, but when he had been some time in the world, he might meet with women equally agreeable, and much more to his advantage."

"Well," replied David, "and is this man respected in the world? Will men converse with him? Should he not be drove from society, and a mark set upon him, that he might be shunned and despised? He certainly is one of the agreeablest creatures I ever saw; but I had rather spend my time with the greatest fool in nature, provided he was an honest man, than with such a wretch." "Oh, sir!" says the other, "by that time you have conversed in the world as long as I have, you will find, while a man can support himself like a gentleman, and has parts sufficient to contribute to the entertainment of mankind, his company will be courted where poverty and merit will not be admitted. Every one knows who can entertain them best, but few people are judges of merit. He has succeeded in his designs; for he has married a woman immensely rich." At this David was more astonished than ever, and asked if his wife knew the story he had just told him. "Yes," says he; "I knew a gentleman, her friend, who told her of it before she was married, and all the answer she made was—Truly, if women would be such fools to put themselves in men's power, it was their own fault, and good enough for them; she was sure he would not use a virtuous woman ill, and she did not doubt but her conduct would make him behave well. In short, she was fond of him, and would have him. He keeps an equipage, and is liked by all his acquaintance. This story is not known to everybody, and amongst those who have heard it, they are so inclined to love him, that while they are with him, they can believe nothing against him. No wonder he could impose upon a young unexperienced creature, when I have known him impose on men of the best sense."

David could not bear the thought that anybody's wit and parts should have power enough to make the world forget they were villains, and lamented to his friend, that whoever was capable of giving pleasure, should not also have goodness. "Why, really sir," says Mr. Orgueil, "in my observations on the world, I have remarked that good heads and good hearts generally go together; but they are not inseparable companions, of which I have already given you three instances, and have one more in the other gentleman who was with us last night, though it is impossible to equal the last story.

"Perhaps, sir, you would think it very unnatural that a person, with his understanding, should have all his good qualities swallowed up and overrun with the most egregious vanity; you see he is very handsome, and to his beauty are owing all his faults. I often think he manages the gifts in which nature has been so liberal to him, with just the same wisdom as a farmer would do, who should bestow all his time and labour on a little flower-garden, placing his whole delight in the various colours and fragrant smells he there enjoyed, and leave all the rich fields, which with a small care would produce real benefits, uncultivated and neglected. So this gentleman's mind, if he thought it worth his notice, is capable of rendering him a useful member of society; but his whole pleasure is in adorning his person, and making conquests. You could observe nothing of this, because there were no women amongst us; but if there had, you would have seen him fall into such ridiculous tosses of his person, and foolish coquetries, as would be barely excusable in a handsome girl of fifteen. He was thrown very young upon the town, where he met with such a reception wherever he went, and was so much admired for his beauty, even by ladies in the highest station, that his head was quite turned with it. You will think, perhaps, these are such trifling frailties, after what I have already told you of the others, they hardly deserve to be mentioned; but if you will consider for a moment, you will find that this man's vanity produces as many real evils as ill-nature, or the most cruel dispositions could do. For there are very few families, where he has ever been acquainted, in which there is not at least one person, and sometimes more, unhappy on his account. As the welfare and happiness of most families depend in a great measure on women, to go about endeavouring to destroy their peace of mind, and raise such passions in them as render them incapable of being either of use or comfort to their friends, is really taking a pleasure in general destruction. And I myself know at this present time several young ladies, formerly the comfort and joy of their parents, and the delight of all their companions, who are become, from a short acquaintance with this spark, negligent of everything; their tempers are changed from good-humour and liveliness, to peevishness and insipidity, each of them languishing away her days in fruitless hopes, and chimerical fancies, that her superior merit will at last fix him her own.

"In one house there are three sisters so much in love with him, that from being very good friends, and leading the most amicable life together, they are become such inveterate enemies, that they cannot refrain, even in company, from throwing out sly invectives and spiteful reproaches at one another. I know one lady of fashion, who has no fault but an unconquerable passion for this gentleman, and having too much honour to give her person to one man while another has her affections, has refused several good matches, pines herself away, and falls a perfect sacrifice to his vanity. And yet this man, in all his dealings with men, acts with honour and good-nature. It appears very strange to me, that any one who would scruple a murder, can without regret take pains to rack people's minds. His character is very well known, yet he is not the less, nay, I think, he is the more liked; for whether it arises from the hopes of gaining a prize that is sighed for by all the rest, or from thinking that they stand excused, for not resisting the arts of the man who is generally allowed to be irresistible, or what is the reason I cannot tell, but I have observed the man who is reported to have done most mischief, is received with most kindness by the women. I suppose, I need not bid you remember in what sprightly and polite expressions he ridiculed that very sort of vanity, which, from what I have just now related, it is plain he has a great share of himself."

David said, that was the very remark that had just occurred to himself; and he found, by his stories, every one of the company expressed the greatest aversion for the vices they were more particularly guilty of. "Yes," says Mr. Orgueil, "ever since I have known anything of the world, I have always observed that to be the case; insomuch that whenever I hear a man express an uncommon action, I always suspect he is guilty of it himself. It is what I have often reflected on; and I believe men think, by exclaiming against any particular vice, to blind the world, and make them imagine it impossible they should have a fault, against which all their satire seems to be pointed; or, perhaps, as most men take a great deal of pains to flatter themselves, they continually endeavour, by giving things false names, to impose on their own understandings; till at last they prevail so far with their own good nature, as to think they are entirely exempt from those very failings they are most addicted to. But still there remains some suspicion, that other people, who are not capable of distinguishing things so nicely, will think they have those faults of which their actions give such strong indications. Therefore, they resolve to try if a few words, which do not cost them much, will clear them in the opinion of the world. To say the truth, people with a lively imagination, and a strong resolution, may almost persuade themselves of anything.

"I remember a man very fond of a woman, whose person had no fault to be found with it, but a coarse red hand: he at first chose to compliment her on that part which was most defective, from a knowledge of nature, that nothing plaeses so much, as to find blemishes turned into beauties. He persisted in this so long, that at last he really thought she had the finest white hand that ever was seen; but still there remained a suspicion in his mind, from a faint remembrance of what he had once thought himself, that others might not think so. Therefore he was continually averring to all people, he never saw so beautiful a hand in his life. The woman, whose understanding would have been found light in the scale, if weighed against a feather, was foolish enough to be pleased with it; and instead of trying to hide from sight, as she used to do, what really seemed too ugly to belong to the rest of her person, forgot all her beauties; and had no pleasure but in displaying, as much as possible, before every company, what she was now convinced was so deservedly the object of admiration. They carried this to such a ridiculous height, that they became a perfect proverb; and she was called by way of derision, the white-handed queen.'"

Mr. Orgueil was now quite exhausted with giving so many various characters; and I think it full time to conclude this long chapter.




Aftera dinner, Mr. Orgueil proposed going to the new play, which he heard had made a great noise in the town. David said, he would accompany him wherever he went, but it was what he had hitherto avoided; from hearing that those who either approved or disapproved the performance, generally made such a noise that it was impossible not to lose great part of the play. "That is very true," replied Mr. Urgueil, "but I go on purpose to make I observations on the humours of mankind; for as r all the criticks commonly go from taverns, nature breaks out, and shews herself, without the disguise which people put on in their cooler hours."

On these considerations they agreed to go, and at half an hour past four they were placed in the pit; the uproar was began, and they were surrounded every way with such a variety of noises, that it seemed as if the whole audience was met by way of emulation, to try who could make the greatest. David asked his friend what could be the meaning of all this, for he supposed they could be neither condemning, nor applauding the play, before it was began. Mr. Orgueil told him, the author's friends and enemies were now shewing what parties they had gathered together, in order to intimidate each other.

David could not forbear enquiring what could induce so many people to shew such an eagerness against a man or his performance, before they knew what it was; and, on being told by Orgueil it was chiefly owing to envy and anger at another's superiority of parts, for that every man who is talked of in the world for any perfection, must have numberless enemies, whom he does not suspect; he could refrain no longer, but burst into the most pathetick lamentation on the miseries of mankind, that people could rise to that height of malignity as to bring spite and envy with them into their very diversions. He thought when men were met together, to relax their minds, and unbend their cares, all was calm within, and every one endeavoured to raise his pleasures as high as possible, by a benevolent consideration, that all present were enjoying the same delights with himself. He told his friend, he now should have one enjoyment less than ever he had; for he used to love public assemblies, because there people generally put on their most cheerful countenances, and seemed as if they were free from every malicious and uneasy thought; but if what he had told him was true, he could consider them as nothing but painted oatsides, while within they were full of rancorous poison.

Mr. Orgueil said, there were yet another sort of people who contributed to the damning of plays, which were a set of idle young fellows, who came there on purpose to make a noise, without any dislike to the author, for few of them knew him; and as to the play, they never hearkened to it, but only out of wantonness they happened to have said it should not be acted a second night, and as fools are generally stubborn, they are resolved not to be overcome. Just as he had spoke these words the curtain drew up, and the play began.

The first act went on very quietly; at which David expressed his satisfaction, hoping to hear it out without any disturbance. But his friend knew to the contrary, and informed him, the more silent the damners were now, the more noise they would soon make; for that was only their cunning, that they might not appear to have come there on purpose to condemn the play. The second act passed also with only a few contentions between claps and hisses; but in the third the tumult grew much louder, and the noise increased; whistles, cat-calls, groans, hallooing, beating with sticks, and, clapping with hands, made such a hideous din, and confusion of sounds, as no one can have any idea of, who has not had the happiness to hear it. In short, the third act was with great difficulty got through; but in the fourth the noise began again, and continued with heroic resolution for some time on both sides; but, as enemies generally stick longer by people than friends, the latter were first worn out, and forced to yield to their antagonists. The words, "Horrid stuff! Was ever such nonsense! Bad plot," etc. were re-echoed throughout the house, for a considerable time; and thus the play was condemned to eternal oblivion, without having been heard; and the author was forced to go without his benefit, which, it is more than probable, would have been of great use to him, as well as many others, who had not failed in their attendance on him once a week for a long time.

As soon as the hurry was a little over, a gentleman who had sat near them the whole time, began to talk to them about the play. He said, he was sorry, that it was impossible for any body of common sense to appear in the imposing such horrid nonsense on the town; for he was the author's friend, and would have been glad if he could have got anything by it; as, at this time he knew it would have been very acceptable to him. David could not forbear saying, "Indeed, sir, I took you rather for a great enemy of his; for I observed you making use of all the methods possible that it might not be heard." "Yes, sir," answered the other, "that was, because, as I am his friend, and found it was very bad, I was unwilling he should be exposed; besides, I looped, by the mortification this would give him, to prevent his ever attempting to appear again in this manner; for he is a very good-natured fellow, a good companion, and a friend of mine; but, between you and I, he cannot write at all."

As soon as this friendly creature left them, Mr. Orgueil observed to David, how strong a proof this was of the truth of what he had told him before; for he himself had been a witness once, though he found he had forgot him, of this gentleman's attempting to rally the author before a room full of company; but his getting the better of him, and having always the laugh on his side, had made him envious of him ever since. On this subject Mr. Orgueil and Daid discoursed all the way home; where, when they arrived, being worn out with hurry and noise, they retired immediately to bed, where I will leave them to take their repose.




The next day passed without any occurrence worth mentioning, when in the evening Mr. Orgueil perceiving his friend to be very melancholy, did all he could to make him throw off the thoughts which disturbed him; telling him, it was in vain to sigh for what was impossible for him to remedy. That it was much better to be the laughing than weeping philosopher. That for his part, the follies and vices of mankind were his amusements, and gave him such ridiculous ideas, as were a continual fund of entertainment to him. David replied, he could never think it a matter of jest, to find himself surrounded by beasts of prey; and that it differed little into which of their voracious jaws he fell, as they were all equally desirous of pulling him to pieces. He went on remarking, that if beauty, wit, goodness, or anything which is justly the object of admiration and love, can subject the possessors of them to envy, and consequently hatred of mankind, then nothing but knavery, folly, and deformity can be beloved; or, at least, whoever is remarkable for either of the last mentioned qualities, must be the only people who can pass through the world without anybody's wishing to hurt them, and that only because they are thought low enough already. "What you told me yesterday, together with the scenes I was witness to, has made such a deep impression on me, I shall not easily recover it. I was very much surprised to hear you tell that story of the old man and his daughter with dry eyes, and quite unmoved." Mr. Orgueil smiled, and said, "I look upon compassion, sir, to be a very great weakness; I have no superstition to fright me into my duty, but I do what I think just by all the world; for the real love of rectitude is the motive of all ray actions. If I could be moved by compassion in my temper to relieve another, the merit of it would be entirely lost, because it would be done chiefly to please myself; but when I do for any one, what they have a right to demand from me, by the laws of society and right reason, then it becomes real virtue, and sound wisdom." David was amazed at this doctrine, he knew not what to answer; but it being late, took his leave, and went to bed, with a resolution to consider and examine more narrowly into it; for though it appeared to him very absurd, yet, as it was a subject he had never thought of, he would not condemn what he could not hastily refute.

His head was so crowded with ideas, he could sleep but little; he began to be frightened, lest he should have no more reason to esteem Mr. Orgueil than the rest of his acquaintances, when he thoroughly knew him. However, he got up the next morning, with a design of entering into conversation, that might give him more light into his friend's mind and disposition. He found him at breakfast with another gentleman: the moment Mr. Orgueil saw him, he said, he was very sorry an affair had happened, which must oblige them be apart that day; but he told him, that gentleman, whom he before had some small acquaintance with, had promised not to leave him, and he was sure his company would make amends for the loss of any other. As soon as breakfast was over, Mr. Orgueil dressed and went out.

David's mind was so full of what had passed the night before, that he could not forbear communicating his thoughts to his present companion, and desiring him to tell him the meaning of what Mr. Orgueil had said to him last night concerning rectitude and compassion. On which the other replied, he had conversed for many years with Mr. Orgueil, and had the greatest veneration for him at first, but by continually observing him, he had at last got into his real character, which if he pleased to hear, he would inform him of. And on David's assuring him he could not oblige him more, he began in the following manner—

"You are to know, sir, there are a set of men in the world, who pass through life with very good reputations, whose actions are in the general justly to be applauded, and yet upon a near examination their principles are all bad, and their hearts hardened - to all tender sensations. Mr Orgueil is exactly one of those sort of men; the greatest sufferings which can happen to his fellow-creatures, have no sort of effect upon him, and yet he very often relieves them; that is, he goes just as far in serving others as will give him new opportunities of flattering himself; for his whole soul is filled with pride, he has made a god of himself, and the attributes he thinks necessary to the dignity of such a being, he endeavours to have. He calls all religion superstition, because he will own no other deity; he thinks obedience to the Divine Will, would be but a mean motive to his actions; he must do good, because it is suitable to the dignity of his nature; and shun evil, because he would not be debased as low as the wretches he every day sees. When he knows any man do a dishonourable action, then he enjoys the height of pleasure in the comparison he makes between his own mind, and that of such a mean creature. He mentally worships himself with joy and rapture; and I verily believe, if he lived in a world, where to be vicious was esteemed praiseworthy, the same pride which now makes him take a delight in doing what is right (because for that reason he thinks himself above most of the people he converses with) would then lead him to abandon himself to all manner of vice: for if by taking pains to bridle his passions, he could gain superiority over his companions, all his love of rectitude, as he calls if, would fall to the ground. So that his goodness, like cold fruits, is produced by the dung and nastiness which surround it. He has fixed in his mind, what he ought to do in all cases of life, and is not to be moved to go beyond it. Nothing is more miserable than to have a dependance on him; for he makes no allowance for the smallest frailties, and the moment a person exceeds, in the least degree, the bounds his wisdom has set, he abandons them, as he thinks they have no reasonable claim to anything farther upon him. If he was walking with a friend on the side of a precipice, and that friend was to go a step nearer than he advised him, and by accident should fall down, although he broke his bones, and lay in the utmost misery, he would coolly leave him, without the least thought of anything for his relief; saying, if men would be so mad they must take the consequence of their own folly. Nay, I question, whether he would not have a secret satisfaction in thinking, that from his wisdom, he could walk safely through the most dangerous places, while others fell into them. As polite as you can see he can be when he desires to be so, yet when he converses with any whom he thinks greatly beneath him, or who is forced by circumstances to be any ways obliged to him, he thinks they cannot expect good breeding; and therefore can be as rude, though in different terms, as the most vulgar wretch in the world. In short, every action of his is centred in pride; and the only reason he is not perfectly ridiculous, is, because he has sense enough to affect to be quite contrary to what he is. And as you know he has great parts, and his manner is very engaging whenever he pleases, very few people really know him."

"What, then," says David, "have I been hugging myself all this time in the thoughts, that I had met with a man who really deserved my esteem, and it is all owing to my ignorance of his real character?"

"Yes, sir," answered the gentleman, "I assure you, what I have told you is all true, and if you give yourself the trouble to observe him narrowly, you will soon be convinced of it." David, with a sigh, replied, he wanted no stronger proof of the certainty of it; for what he himself said last night, joined to what he had just now heard, was full conviction enough. "I never was so startled," continued he, "in my life, as at his saying, he looked upon compassion as a weakness. Is it possible that the most amiable quality human nature can be possessed of should be treated with contempt by a man of his understanding! or is it all delusion, and am I as much deceived in his sense as in his goodness? For surely nothing but the greatest folly could make a creature, who must every day, nay, every hour in the day, be conscious of a thousand failings, and feel a thousand infirmities, fancy himself a deity, and contemplate his own perfections!" "As to that," says the gentleman, "when you have seen more of the world, you will find that what is generally called sense, has very little to do with what a man thinks; where self is at all concerned, inclination steps in, and will not give the judgment fair play, but forces it to wrest and torture the meaning of everything to its own purposes. You must know, there are two sorts of men who are the direct opposites to each other; the one sort, like Mr. Orgueil, live in a continual war with their passions, subdue their appetites, and act up to whatever they think right; they make it their business in all companies to exalt the dignity of human nature as high as they can; that is, to prove men are capable, if it was not their own fault, of arriving to a great degree of perfection, which they heartily consent every one should believe they themselves have done. The others give way to every temptation, make it their whole business to indulge themselves, without any consideration who are sufferers by it, or what consequences attend it; and as they are resolved to pull others down as low as themselves, they fall to abusing the whole species without any distinction, assert in all their conversation, that human nature is a sink of iniquity; every good action they hear of another, they impute to some bad motive; and the only difference they allow to be in men is, that some have art and hypocrisy enough to hide from undiscerning eyes the blackness that is within. In short, I they know they cannot be esteemed, and therefore cannot bear another should enjoy what they either can't or won't take the pains to attain.

"Thus there is no end of their arguments, which may be all summed up in a very few words: for the one sort only contend, that they themselves may be allowed to be perfect, and therefore that it is possible; and the other, as they know themselves to be good for nothing, modestly desire, that, for their sakes, you will be so kind as to suffer all mankind to appear in the same light; whence you are to conclude, that their faults are owing to nature; they cannot help it. They have, indeed, some little pleasure in reflecting that they have this superiority over others, that while they endeavour to deceive people, and impose on their understandings, they claim this merit, that they own themselves as bad as they are; that is, utterly void of every virtue, and possessed of every vice."

David stood amazed at this discourse, and cried out, "I am come to the uttermost despair. If these are the ways of mankind, not to endeavour to be what really deserves esteem, but only by fallacy and arts to impose on others, and flatter themselves, where shall I hope to find what I am in search of?"

"And pray, sir," said the other, "if it is not impertinent to ask, what is it you are seeking?" David answered, it was a person who could be trusted; one who was capable of being a real friend; whose every action proceeded either from obedience to the Divine will, or from the delight he took in doing good; who could not see another's sufferings without pain, nor his pleasures without sharing them. In short, one whose agreeableness swayed his inclination to love him, and whose mind was so good, he could never blame himself for so doing. The gentleman smiled, and said, "I don't doubt, sir, but if you live any time, you will find out the philosopher's stone; for that certainly will be your next search, when you have found what you are now seeking." David thought he was mad, to make a jest of what to him appeared so serious; and told him, notwithstanding his laughing, if ever he did attain to what he was in pursuit of, he should be the happiest creature in the world. Indeed, he must confess he had hitherto met with no great encouragement. However, he had resolved to proceed; and if he was disappointed at last, he could but retire from the world, and live by himself; as he was mistaken in Mr. Orgueil, he would not stay to converse any longer with him, but remove that very day to another lodging.

Mr. Spatter (for that was this gentleman's name) seeing him so obstinate in his purpose, thought it would be no ill scheme to accompany him for a little while by way of diversion. He therefore said, if it would be agreeable to him, he might lodge in the same house with him in Pall Mall. David readily agreed to it, and they only stayed till Mr. Orgueil came home, that he might take his leave of him for it was his method, whenever he found out anything he thought despicable in a person he had esteemed, quietly to avoid him as much as possible for the future. He therefore took his leave of Mr. Orgueil, and set out with his new acquaintance to view another scene of life; for the manner of living of the inhabitants of every different part of this great metropolis, varies as much as that of different nations.


book 2




David's next scheme was to converse amongst people in high life, and try if their minds were as refined as the education and opportunities they had of improving themselves, gave him hopes of. But then, as he had never lived at that end of the town before, kept no equipage, and was besides a very modest man, he was under some difficulty how to get introduction to persons of fashion. Mr. Spatter told him, he need be in no pain on that account, for that he frequented all the assemblies, and kept the best company in town, and he would carry him wherever he went. He told him he had nothing to do but to get a fine coat, a well-powdered wig, and a whist-book, and he would soon be invited to more routs than he would be able to go to. "And pray, sir," said David, "what do you mean by a whist-book? It is a game I have often played to pass away a winter evening, but I don't find any necessity of a book to learn it."—" Why, really, sir," replied Spatter, "I cannot tell what use it is of, but I know it is a fashion to have it, and no one is qualified for the conversation in vogue without it. Though I can't but say I have known several people, especially among the ladies, who used to play tolerably well, but since they have set themselves to learn by book, are so puzzled they cannot tell how to play a card. Not but this book is, they say, excellently well writ, and contains every rule necessary to the understaing the game: but as a traveller, who is ignorant of the country he passes through, is the most perplexed where he finds the greatest variety of roads; so a weak head is the most distracted, and the least able to pursue any point in view, where it endeavours to get many rules, and comprehend various things at once.

"But as to the routs, I can give you no other account of them, than that it is the genteel name for the assemblies that meet at private houses to win or lose money at whist. The method pursued to gather these companies together, is, that the lady of the house where the rout is to be held, a fortnight or three weeks before the intended day, dispatches a messenger to every person designed to be there,with a few magic words properly placed on a card, which infallibly brings every one at the appointed time: but if by chance, notwithstanding the care of sending so long beforehand, two of these cards should happen to interfere, and the same person be under a necessity of being at two places at once, the best expedient to be found out, is, to play a rubber at one place, and then drive their horses to death to get to the other time enough not to disappoint their friends. For you must know, every one looks on herself as in the highest distress, who has not as many tables at her house as any of her acquaintance." — " But," says David, "I don't see how this will at all promote my scheme; for, by going amongst people who place their whole happiness in gaming, and where there is no sort of conversation, how is it possible I should come at their sentiments, or enter into their characters?"—" Indeed, sir," replied the other, "you was never more mistaken in your life, for people's minds, and the bent of their inclination, is nowhere so much discovered as at a gaming-table: for in conversation, the real thoughts are often disguised; but when the passions are actuated, the mask is thrown off, and nature appears as she is. I could carry you into several companies, where you should see very pretty young women, whose features are of such exact proportion, and in whose countenances is displayed such a delightful harmony, as you would think to be the strongest indication that every thought within was peace and gentleness, and that their breasts were all softness and good-nature. Yet but follow them to one of these assemblies, and in half an hour's time you shall see all their beauty vanish; those features, with which you were so charmed before, all distorted and in confusion; and that harmony of countenance, which could never be enough admired, converted into an eagerness and fierceness, which plainly prove the whole soul to be discomposed, and filled with tumult and anxiety; and all this, perhaps, only from a desire of getting jewels something finer than they could otherwise procure, and in order to surpass some lady who had just bought a new set. Besides, I can give you the character of most of the people where we shall go, and that will be an entertainment to us every night at our return home."

David thanked him for his offer; and they agreed to set out every day to different houses, in order to make observations. The first assembly they went to there were ten tables at whist, and at each of them the competitors seemed to lay as great a stress on either their victory or defeat, as if the whole happiness of their lives depended on it.

David walked from one to the other to make what observations he could; but he found they were all alike. Joy sparkled in the eyes of all the conquerors, and black despair seemed to surround all the vanquished. Those very people, who, they sat down to play, conversed with each in a strain so polite and well-bred, that unexperienced man would have thought the greatest pleasure they could have had would have been in serving each other, were in a moment turned into enemies, and the winning of a guinea, or perhaps five, (according to the sum played for) was the only idea that possessed the minds of a whole company of people, none of whom were in any manner of want of it.

This was a melancholy prospect for poor David; for nothing could be a stronger proof of the selfish and mercenary tempers of mankind, than to see those people whom fortune had placed in affluence, as desirous of gaining from each other, as if they really could not have had necessaries without it.

The two gentlemen stayed till they were heartily weary, and then retired to spend the rest of the evening together at a tavern, where the whole conversation turned on what they had seen at the assembly. David asked his companion, if this was the manner in which people who have it in their power to spend their time as they pleased, chose to I employ it. "Yes, sir," answered Mr. Spatter, "I assure you I have very few acquaintance at this end of the town, who seem to be born for any other purpose but to play at whist, or who have any use or more understanding than what serves to that end." He then run through the characters of the whole company, and at the finishing of every one uttered a sentence with some vehemence (which was a manner peculiar to himself) calling them either fools or knaves; but as he had a great deal of wit, he did this in so entertaining a way that David could not help laughing sometimes, though he checked himself for it; thinking the faults or follies or mankind were not the proper objects of mirth.

The next morning Mr. Spatter carried him to the toilette of one of the ladies who was of the whist-party the night before, where great part of the company were met. There was not one single syllable spoke of anything but cards; the whole scene of the foregoing night was played over again—who lost, or won—who played well, or ill—in short, there was nothing talked of that can be either remembered or repeated.

David led this life for about a week, in the morning at toilettes, the evening at cards, and at night with Mr. Spatter, who constantly pulled to pieces, ridiculed and abused all the people they had been with the day before. He told him stories of ladies who were married to men infinitely their superiors, who raised their fortunes, indulged them in everything they could wish, were wholly taken up in contemplating their charms, and yet were neglected and slighted by them, who would abandon everything that can be thought most valuable rather than lose one evening playing at their darling whist.

David was soon tired of this manner of life, in which he saw no hopes of finding what he was in search of, and in which there was no variety, for the desire of winning seemed to he the only thing thought on by everybody; he observed to his companion here and there a person who played quite carelessly, and did not appear to trouble themselves whether they won or lost. These, Mr. Spatter told him, were a sort of people who had no pleasure in life, but in being with people of quality, and in telling their acquaintance they were such a night at the duchess of———, another time at the countess of———; and although they do not love play themselves, yet as they find it the easiest passport into that company where their whole happiness is centered, they think it a small price to pay for what they esteem so valuable. "But," added he, "the worst of it is, some of them cannot afford to play, but sacrifice that fortune to nothing but the vanity of appearing with the great, which would procure them everything essentially necessary in their own sphere of life."

Thus was David again disappointed; for he had entertained some hopes, that those few people in whom he had seen a calmness at play, were disinterested, and had that contempt for money, which he esteemed necessary to make a good character; but when he found it arose from so mean a vanity, he could not help thinking them the most despicable of all mortals. "I do assure you," says Spatter, "I have known people spend their whole time in the most servile compliances, for no other reason, but to have the words lordship, and ladyship, often in their mouths, and who measure their happiness and misery every night, by the number of people of quality they had spoke to that day. But as your curiosity seems to be fully satisfied with what you have seen of the whist-players, I will carry you to-morrow into a set of company, who have an utter contempt for cards, and whose whole pleasure is in conversation."

David thanked him, approving of what he said, and they separated that night with a resolution of changing the scene next day. And I believe my reader, as well as myself, is heartily glad to quit a subject so extremely barren of matter, as that of gaming; and into which I would not have entered all, but that it would have been excluding my hero from one of the chief scenes to be viewed at present in this great town.




When David was alone, he began to reflect with himself, what could be the meaning that Mr. Spatter seemed to take such delight in abusing people; and yet, as he observed, no one was more willing to oblige any person who stood in need of his assistance: he concluded that he must be good at the bottom, and that perhaps it was only his love of mankind, which made him have such a hatred and detestation of their vices, as caused him to be eager in reproaching them; he therefore resolved to go on with him till he knew more of his disposition.

The next day they went to visit a lady, who was reputed to have a great deal of wit, and was so generous as to let all her acquaintance partake of it, by omitting no opportunity of displaying it. There they found assembled a large company of ladies, and two or three gentlemen; they were all busy in discourse, but they rose, up, paid the usual compliments, and then proceeded as follows——

First Lady. Indeed, madam, I think you are quite in the right, as to your opinion of Othello; for nothing provokes me so much, as to see fools pity a fellow who could murder his wife. For my part, I cannot help having some compassion for her, though she does not deserve it, because she was such a fool as to marry a filthy black. Pray, did you ever hear anything like what my Lady True-wit said the other night, that the part of the play which chiefly affected her, was that which inspired an apprehension of what that odious wretch must feel, when he found out that Desdemona was innocent; as if he could suffer too much, after being guilty of so barbarous an action.

Second Lady. Indeed, I am not at all surprised at anything that Lady True-wit says; for I have heard her assert the most preposterous things in the world: nay, she affirms, a man may be very fond of a woman, notwithstanding he is jealous of her, and dares suspect her virtue.

Third Lady. That lady once said, that one of the most beautiful incidents in all King Lear, was that the impertinence of his daughter's servant, was the first thing that made him uneasy; and after that, I think one can wonder at nothing: for certainly it was a great oversight in the poet, when he was writing the character of a king, to take notice of the behaviour of such vulgar wretches; as if what they did was anything to the purpose. But some people are very fond of turning the greatest faults into beauties, that they may be thought to have found out something extraordinary; and then they must admire everything in Shakespeare, as they think, to prove their own judgment; but, for my part, I am not afraid to give my opinion freely of the greatest men that ever wrote.

Fourth Lady. There is nothing so surprising to me as the absurdity of almost everybody I meet with; they can't even laugh or cry in the right place. Perhaps it will be hardly believed, but I really saw people in the boxes last night, at the tragedy of Cato, sit with dry eyes, and show no kind of emotion, when that great man fell on his sword; nor was it at all owing to any firmness of mind, that made them incapable of crying neither, for that I should have admired; but I have known those very people shed tears at George Barnwell.

A good many Ladies speak at one time. Oh, intolerable! cry for an odious apprentice-boy, who murdered his uncle, at the instigation too of a common woman, and yet be unmoved, when even Cato bled for his country.

Old Lady. That is no wonder, I assure you, ladies, for I once heard my Lady Know-all, positively affirm George Barnwell to be one of the best things that ever was wrote; for that nature is nature in whatever station it is placed; and that she could be as much affected with the distress of a man in low life, as if he was a lord or a duke. And what is yet more amazing is, that the time she chooses to weep most, is just as he has killed the man who prays for him in the agonies of death; and then only, because he whines over him, and seems sensible of what he has done, she must shed tears for a wretch whom everybody of either sense or goodness, would wish to crush, and make ten times more miserable than he is.

A lady who had been silent, and was a particular friend of Lady Known-all's, speaks. Indeed that lady is the most affected creature that ever I knew, she and Lady True-wit think no one can equal them; they have taken a fancy to set up the author of George Barnwell for a writer, though certainly he writes the worst language in the world: there is a little thing of his, called, The Fatal Curiosity, which, for my part, I know not what to make of; and they run about crying it up, as if Shakespeare himself might have wrote it. Certainly that fellow must be something very low, for his distresses always arise from poverty; and then he brings his wicked wretches, who are to be tempted for money to some monstrous action, which he would have his audience pity them for.

She would have talked on more in this strain, but was interrupted by another lady, who assured the company she had the most ridiculous thing to tell them of the two ladies they were talking of, in the world: "For," continued she, "I was once at Don Sebastian with them, which is a favourite play of theirs; and they make a great noise about the scene between Dorax and Sebastian, in the fourth act, I observed them more than the play, to see in what manner they behaved: and what do you think they did? Why, truly, all the time the two friends were quarrelling, they sat indeed with great attention, although they were quite calm; but the moment they were reconciled, and embraced each other, they both burst into a flood of tears, which they seemed unable to restrain. They certainly must have something very odd in their heads, and the author is very much obliged to them for grieving most when his hero, Don Sebastian, had most reason to be pleased, in finding a true friend in the man he thought his enemy."

Here the whole company fell into a violent fit of laughter, and the word ridiculous was the only sound heard for some time; and then they fell back again to their discourse on authors, in which they were all so desirous to prove their own judgment, that they would not give one another leave to speak.

And now, reader, if ever you have lived in the country, and heard the cackling of geese, or the gobbling of turkeys, you may have an idea something adequate to this scene; but if the town has been mostly your place of abode, and you are a stranger to every rural scene, what will give you the best idea of this conversation, is the 'Change at noon, where every one has a particular business of his own, but a spectator would find it a very difficult matter to comprehend anything distinctly. Addison, Prior, Otway, Congreve, Dryden, Pope, Shakespeare, Tom Dursey, etc., etc., etc, were names all heard between whiles, though no one could tell who spoke them, or whether they were mentioned with approbation or dislike. The words genius, and no genius; invention, poetry, fine things, bad language, no style, charming writing, imagery, and diction, with many more expressions which swim on the surface of criticism, seemed to have been caught by those fishers for the reputation of wit, though they were entirely ignorant what use to make of them, or how to apply them properly; but as soon as the noise grew loud, and the whole company were engaged in admiring their own sentiments so much that they observed nothing else, David made a sign to his companion, and they left the room, and went home; but were, for some time, in the condition of men just escaped from a shipwreck, which, though they rejoice in their safety, yet there is such an impression left on them by the bellowing of the waves, cursing and swearing of some of the sailors, the crying and praying of others, with the roaring of the winds, that it is some time before they can come to their senses. But as soon as David could recover himself enough to speak coherently, he told the gentleman, he had now shewn him what had surprised him more than anything he ever saw before; for he could comprehend what it was people pursued who spent their time in gaming, but he could not find out what were the schemes of this last set of company, nor what could possibly make so many people eager about nothing; for what was it to them who writ best or worst, or how could they make any dispute about it, since the only way of writing well was to draw all the characters from nature, and to affect the passions in such a manner, as that the distresses of the good should move compassion, and the amiableness of their actions incite men to imitate them; while the vices of the bad stirred up indignation and rage, and made men fly their footsteps: that this was the only kind of writing useful to mankind, though there might be embellishments, and flights of imaginatin, to amuse and divert the reader. His companion was quite peevish with him (which was no hard matter for him to be) to find him always going on with his goodness, usefulness, and morality. However, at last he fell a-laughing, and told him, he was much mistaken, if he thought any of them troubled their heads at all about the authors, or ever took the least pleasure in reading them; nay, half of them had not read the books they talked of. "But they are," said he, "a set of people, who place their whole happiness in the reputation of wit and sense, and consequently all their conversation turns on what they think will establish that character; and they are the most inveterate enemies to any person they imagine has more reputation that way than themselves."

David had no longer patience, but cried out, "What hopes can I ever have of meeting with a man who deserves my esteem, if mankind can be so furious against each other for things which are of no manner of consequence, and which are only to be valued according to the use that is made of them, while they despise what is in every one's power of attaining; namely, the consciousness of acting with honour and integrity? But I observed one young lady who showed by her silence, the contempt for the company they deserved. Pray, sir, do you know her? I should be glad to be acquainted with her."—"I know no more of her," replied Spatter, "than that she is daughter to one of the ladies who was there; but her silence is no proof of anything but that she is unmarried; for you must know, that it is reckoned a very ill-bred thing for women to say any more than just to answer the questions asked them, while they are single. I cannot tell the meaning of it, unless it is a plot laid by parents to make their daughters willing to accept any match they provide for them, that they may have the privilege of speaking. But if you are not tired with criticism, I will carry you to-morrow where you shall hear some of a quite different kind; for there are three sorts of criticks, the one I have already shewn you, who arrogantly set up their own opinions, though they know nothing, and would be ashamed of taking anything from another; and, as they cannot engage attention by the solidity of their sentiments, endeavour to procure it by the loudness of their voice, and to shun those they cannot confute. The second sort are a degree above them; have fixed in their minds that it is necessary for them to know everything; but, as they have something more sense than the former, they find out that they have no opinions of their own, and therefore make it their whole study to get into company with people of real understanding, and to pick up everything they hear among them. Of this treasure they are so generous, that they vent it in every company they go into, without distinction, by which means they impose on the undiscerning, and make them wonder at their knowledge and judgment; but there is an awkwardness and want of propriety in their way of speaking, which soon discover them to the discerning eye: for borrowed wit becomes the mouth as ill as borrowed clothes the body; and whoever has no delicate sentiments, nor refined thoughts of his own, makes as ill a figure in speaking them, as the most awkward country girl can do, dressed up in all the finery of a court lady. I remember a man of that sort, whom I once heard run through most of the famous authors, without committing any error, at least in my opinion; and yet there was something so preposterous in his delivery, something so like a schoolboy saying his lesson, it struck me with laughter and contempt, rather than with that admiration which he proposed to gain by it; but he has stuck himself on to a man of sense, whom he takes so much pains to oblige, that as he is not ill-natured, he does not know how to throw him off; by which means, he has laboriously gathered together all he says. I'll say no more of him; he will be to-morrow evening where I propose to carry you; and, I dare say, you will be very well entertained with him; only mention books, and he will immediately display his learning." David said, he should be glad to accompany him. On which they separated for that evening.




The next night they went to a tavern, where there were three gentlemen whom Spatter had promised to meet; and as the ceremony is not so difficult to introduce men to each other as women, they soon fell into a freedom of conversation. David remembered his cue, and began to talk of authors; on which the gentleman, whom Spatter had mentioned, presently began as follows: "Homer had undoubtedly the greatest genius of any man who ever writ: there is such a luxuriancy of fancy, such a knowledge of nature, such a penetration into the inmost recesses of all the passions of human kind, displayed in his works as none can equal, and few dare imitate. Virgil certainly is the most correct writer that ever was; but then his invention is not so fruitful, his poem is more of the narrative kind, and his characters are not so much alive as those of his great master. Milton, who imitates the other two, I think, excels the latter, though he does not come up to the former: he certainly can never be enough admired; for nothing can at once be more the object of wonder and delight than his Paradise Lost. Shakespeare, whose name is immortal, had an imagination which had the power of creation, a genius which could form new beings, and make a language proper for them. Ben Johnson, who writ at the same time, had a vast deal of true humour in his comedies, and very fine writing in his tragedies; but then he is a laborious writer, a great many of those beautiful speeches in Sejanus and Catiline are translations from the classicks, and he can by no means be admitted into any competition with Shakespeare. But I think any comparison between them ridiculous; for what Mr. Addison says of Homer and Virgil, that reading the Iliad is like travelling through a country uninhabited, where the fancy is entertained with a thousand savage prospects of vast deserts, wide uncultivated marshes, huge forests, mis-shapen rocks and precipices ; on the contrary, the Æneid is like a well-ordered garden, where it is impossible to find out any part unadorned, or to cast our eyes upon a single spot that does not produce some beautiful plant or flower; is equally applicable to Shakespeare and Ben Johnson, so that to say that one or the other writes best, is like saying of a wilderness, that it is not a regular garden; or, of a regular garden, that it does not run out into that wildness which raises the imagination, and is to be found in places where only the hand of nature is to be seen. In my opinion, the same thing will hold as to Corneille and Racine: Corneille is the French Shakepeare, and Racine their Ben Johnson. The genius of Corneille, like a fiery courser, is hard to be restrained; while Racine goes on in a majestick pace, and never turns out of the way, either to the right or the left. The smoothness of Waller's verse resembles a gentle cooling stream, which gives pleasure, and yet keeps the mind in calmness and serenity; while Dryden's genius is like a rapid river, ready to its bounds; which we view with admiration, and find, while we are reading him, our fancy heightened to rove through all the various labyrinths of the human mind. It is a thousand pities he should ever have been forced to write for money; for who that has read his Guiscarda and Sigismunda, could ever have thought he could have penned some other things that go in his name? Prior's excellence lay in telling of stories: and Cowley had a great deal of wit; but his verse is something hobbling. His Pindarick odes have some very fine thoughts in them, although I think, in the main, not much to be admired; for it is my opinion, that manner of writing is peculiar to Pindar himself; and the pretence to imitate him is, as if a dwarf should undertake to step overwide rivers, and stride at once over mountains, because he has seen a giant do it."

Here our gentleman's breath began to fail him, for he had uttered all this as fast as he could speak, as if he was afraid he should lose his thread, and forget all that was to come. When he had ceased, his eyes rolled with more than usual quickness, to view the applause he expected, and thought he so well deserved, and he looked bewildered in his own eloquence.

The two gentlemen who were with him seemed struck with amazement; and yet there was a mixture of uneasiness in their countenances, which plainly proved they were sorry they had not spoke every word he had said. David stared to hear so much good sense thrown away, only by being conveyed through a channel not made by nature for that purpose; whilst his companion diverted himself with the thoughts how ridiculous a figure the man made, at the same time that he fancied he was the object of admiration. They staid at the tavern short time, and concluded the evening at home, as usual, with Spatter's animadversions on the company they had just left. David said, he thought there was no great harm in this sort of vanity; for if a man could make himself happy by imagining himself six foot tall, though he was but three, it certainly would be ill-natured in any one to take that happiness from him. Spatter smiled, and said, he believed he at present spoke without consideration; for nothing hurts a man or his acquaintance more than his possessing himself with the thoughts he is any thing he is not. If, indeed, a short man would think himself tall, without being actuated by that fancy, there would be no great matter in it; but if that whim carries him to be continually endeavouring at things out of his reach, it probably will make him pull them down on his own head, and those of all his companions; and if the looking as if you did not believe he is quite so tall, as he is resolved you shall think him, will turn him from being your friend into your most inveterate enemy, then it becomes hurtful: "And," continued he, "I never yet knew a man who did not hate the person who seemed not to have the same opinion of him as he had of himself; and, as that very seldom happens, I believe it is one of the chief causes of the malignity mankind have against one another. If a man who is mad, and has taken it into his head he is a king, will content himself with mock diadems, and the tawdry robes of honour he can come at, in some it will excite laughter and in others pity, according to the different sorts of men; but if he is afraid that others don't pay him the respect due to the station his own wild brain has placed him in, and for that reason carries daggers and poison under his fancied royal robes, to murder everybody he meets, he will become the pest of society; and, in their own defence, men are obliged to confine him. The three fellows we were with to-night, have an aversion to everybody who do not seem to think them as wise as they think themselves; and, as they have some reason to believe that does not often happen, there are but very few people to whom they would not willingly do any injury in their power: whereas, if they would be contented with being as nonsensical dull blockheads as nature made them, they might pass through the world without doing any mischief; and perhaps, as they have money, they might sometimes do a good action."

David said, he had convinced him he was mistaken, and he was always more ashamed to persist in the wrong, than to own his having been so. His companion asked him if he would spend the next day in relaxing his mind, by being continually in what is called company, and conversing with a set of nobodies. But I shall defer the adventures of the next day to another chapter.




The next morning David asked Spatter what it was he meant by his nobodies. He told him he meant a number of figures of men, whom he knew not how to I give any other denomination to: but if he would saunter with him from coffee-house to coffee-house, and into St. James's Park, which are places they much haunt, he would show him great numbers of them; he need not be afraid of them, for although there was no good in them, yet were they perfectly inoffensive; they would talk for ever, and say nothing; were always in motion, and yet could not properly be said ever to act. "They have neither wit nor sense of any kind; and yet, as they have no passions, they are seldom guilty of so many indiscretions as other men: the only thing they can be said to have, is pride; and the only way to find that out, is, by a strut in their gait, something resembling that of the peacock's, which shews that they are conscious (if they can be said to have any consciousness) of their own dignity; and, like the peacock, their vanity is all owing to their fine feathers: for they are generally adorned with all the art imaginable.

"But come, if you will go with me, you may see them; for now is the time for them to peep abroad, which they generally do about noon."

David and Spatter spent all that day in rambling about with these nobodies; for as Spatter knew their walks, they soon met whole clusters of them. David found them just what his companion had described them: and when they came home at night, he said, it had been the most agreeable day he had spent a great while; for he was only hurt by conversing with mischievous animals; but these creatures appeared quite harmless, and they certainly were created for some wise purpose. They might, perhaps, like cyphers in an account, be of great use in the whole, though it was not to be found out by the narrow sight of ignorant mortals. Spatter made no other answer, but by uttering the word fools with some earnestness; a monosyllable he always chose to pronounce before he went to bed, insomuch that it was thought by some who knew him, he could not sleep without it. After this, they both retired to rest.

The next day they accidentally met at a coffee-house an acquaintance of Spatter's, who behaved with that extreme civility and good-humour to every thing around him that David took a great fancy to him, and resolved to spend the day with him. They went all to a tavern to dinner, and there passed a scene which would have been no ill entertainment to the true lovers of ridicule: the conversation turned mostly on the characters of the men best known about town. Mr. Varnish, for that was this gentleman's name, found something praiseworthy in everybody who was mentioned; he dropped all their faults, talked of nothing but their good qualities, and sought out good motives for every action that had any appearance of bad. He turned extravagance into generosity, avarice into prudence, and so on, through the whole catalogue of virtues and vices; and when he was pushed so home on any person's faults, that he could not entirely justify them, but would only say, indeed, they were not what he could wish them; however, he was sure they had some good in them. On the contrary, Spatter fell to cutting up every fresh person who was brought on the carpet, without any mercy. He loaded them with blemishes, was silent on all their perfections, imputed good actions to bad motives; looked through the magnifying glass on all their defects, and through the other end of the perspective on every thing commendable in them: and, quite opposite to Mr. Varnish, he always spoke in the affirmative when he was condemning; and in the negative when he was forced, in spite of himself, to allow the unfortunate wretch, whom he was so horribly mauling, any good qualities.

If the reader has a mind to have a lively idea of this scene, let him imagine to himself a contention between a painter, who is finishing his favourite piece, and a man who places his delight in throwing dirt; as fast as the one employs his art to make it , beautiful, and hide its blemishes, the other comes with shoals of dirt, and bespatters it all over. And poor David was in the situation of a man who was to view the piece, which had thus alternately been touched by the pencil, and daubed with mud, till it was impossible to guess what it originally was. Or if this will not give him an adequate idea of it, let him fancy a vain man giving his own character, and a revengeful one giving that of his most inveterate enemy. This contrast, in these two men, and the eagerness with which they both espoused their favourite topicks, one of praising, and the other of blaming, would have been the highest diversion to all those men who make it their business to get together such companies, as, by opposing each other, afford them matter of laughter.

But poor Mr. Simple looked on things in another light; he was seriously considering the motives from which they both acted: he could not help applauding Mr. Varnish; but then he was afraid lest he should be too credulous in his good opinion, as he had often been already; and in the end discover, that all this appearance of good-nature was not founded on any real merit, as most of the people they had talked of were strangers to him; and he was not of the opinion, that the more ignorant a man is of any subject, the more necessary it is to talk of it. He said very little: but when he came home in the evening, he asked Spatter, what could be the reason he so earnestly insisted on putting the worst construction on every man's actions: who replied, that he hated detractions as much as any man living, and was as willing to allow men the merit they really had; but he could not bear to see a fellow imposing himself as a good-natured man on the world, only because nature had given him none of that melancholy which physicians call by the name of black blood, which makes him, to please himself, look on every thing on the best side. "I cannot say," continued he, " that gentleman is ill-humoured; but I am confident he has none of those sensations which arise from good-nature; for if the best friend he had was in ever so deplorable a situation, I don't say he would do nothing to relieve him, but he would go on in his good-humoured way, and feel no uneasiness from anything he suffered. This I say, only to shew you, how desirous I am of placing things in the most favourable light: for it is rather my opinion, he is so despicable a fellow, as to lead a life of continual hypocrisy, and affects all that complaisance only to deceive mankind. And as he is no fool, he may think deeply enough to know, that the praising of people for what they don't deserve, is the surest way of making them contemptible, and leading others into the thinking of their faults. For with all his love of his species, I can't find it goes farther than words: I never heard of any thing remarkable he did to prove that love." David said, let what would be the cause of his good-humour, and apparent good nature, yet if his actions were not conformable to his discourse, he could not esteem him; although he could not help being pleased with his conversation.

Thus they talked on from one subject to another, till they happened on revenge. David said, of all things in the world, he should hate a man who was of a vindictive temper; for his part, he could never keep up anger against any one, even though he should endeavour to do it. All he would do, when he found a man capable of hurting him (unprovoked) was to avoid him. "Indeed, sir," says Spatter, "I am not of your mind; for I think there is nothing so pleasant as revenge: I would pursue a man who had injured me, to the very brink of life. I know it would be impossible for me ever to forgive him; and I would have the pleasure of seeing him miserable." David was amazed at this, and said, "Pray, sir, consider, as you are a Christian, you cannot act in that manner." Spatter replied, he was sorry it was against the rules of Christianity, but he could not help his temper: he thought forgiving any body a very great meanness, and he was sure it was what he could never bring himself to. But as they were both tired, they separated without any further discourse on that subject for that night.




David could not sleep that night for reflecting on this conversation. He had never yet found any fault with Spatter, but his railing against others; and as he loved to excuse everybody till he found something very bad in them, he imputed it to his love of virtue and hatred of vice: but what he had just been saying, made him think him a perfect demon, and he had the utmost horror for his principles; he resolved therefore to stay no longer with him. He accordingly got up the next morning, and went out, without taking leave or any notice of him, in order to seek a new lodging.

In his walk he met with Mr. Varnish, who accosted him in the most agreeable manner, and asked him if he would take a turn in the Park with him. The discourse naturally fell on Spatter, as he was the person who introduced them to each other; and Varnish asked David, how he could be so intimate with a man who did nothing but laugh at and ridicule him behind his back. This question a little confounded David, which the other perceiving, continued to assure him, that Spatter had represented him in several publick places as a madman, who had pursued a scheme which was never capable of entering the brain of one in his senses; namely, of hunting after a real friend. "This, sir," says Varnish, "he ridiculed with more pleasantry than I can remember; and, in the end, said you were as silly as a little child, who cries for the moon." However difficult it was to raise David's resentment, yet he found an indignation within him at having his favourite scheme made a jest of: for his man of goodness and virtue was, to him, what Dulcinea was to Don Quixote; and to hear it was thought impossible for any such thing to be found, had an equal effect on him as what Sancho had on the knight, when he told him, his great princess was winnowing of wheat and sifting corn. He cried out, "Is there a man on earth who finds so much badness in his own bosom, as to convince him (for from thence he must be convinced) that there is no such thing in the world as goodness? But I should wonder at nothing in a man who professes himself a lover of revenge, and of an inexorable temper." Varnish smiled, and said, if he would please to hear him, he would tell him Spatter's character, which, by what he had said, he found he was wholly mistaken in; for it was so odd a one, that nobody could find it out, unless they had conversed with him a great while; that, for his part, he should never have known it, had he not been told it by a man who had been a long time intimate with him, and who knew the history of his whole life. David said he would be all attention. Then Mr. Varnish went on as follows—

"You are to know, sir, Mr. Spatter's ill-nature dwells nowhere but in his tongue; and the very people whom he so industriously endeavours to abuse, he would do anything in his power to serve. I have known instances of his doing the best-natured actions in the world, and at the same time abusing the very person he was serving. He deals out the words 'fool' and 'knave' with such liberality behind people's backs, and finds such a variety of epithets and metaphors to convey those ideas to persons before their faces, that he makes himself many inveterate enemies. He, indeed, soon forgets what he has said, finds no ill-will in himself, and thinks no more of it; but those who hear what be hath said openly against them in their absence, or comprehend his dark abuse in their presence, never forgive him. I myself was once a witness of his doing the most generous thing in the world by a man whom, the moment he was gone out of the room, he fell to pulling to pieces, in a manner as if he had been his greatest enemy. What can be the cause of it, I cannot imagine; whether, as you see, he has a great deal of wit, and it lies chiefly in satire, he does it in order to display his parts; or whether it is owing to a natural spleen in his temper, I cannot determine. But as to his being of a revengeful temper, I can assure you he is quite the contrary; for I have seen him do friendly things to people, who, I am certain, had done him great injuries; but that is his way. And so great is his love of abuse, that when no one else is talked of, to give him an opportunity of displaying his favourite talent, lie falls to abusing himself, and makes his own character much worse than it is; for I have known him say such things of his own principles, as would make any one think him the worst creature in the world, and the next minute act quite the contrary; nay, I verily believe, this humour so strongly possesses him, could he be put into a world by himself, he would walk about abusing himself even to inanimate things; for I think he would die of the spleen, if it was not for that vent. He is like a madman, who, when he finds nothing else to cut and slash, turns his sword on himself."

David's anger at Spatter's turning him into ridicule was now quite vanished, for rage never lasted above two minutes with him; and he was glad to hear an account, which did not make Spatter so black as, by his last conversation, he began to suspect him. On the other hand, he was pleased to think all the characters of men he had had from him were not so bad as he had represented them. However, he resolved to leave him; for nothing was more unpleasant to him than continual invectives; nor could he resist an offer Mr. Varnish made him of lodging in the same house with him, for in his company he always found himself pleased.

The next day Varnish told him he would carry him to visit my Lady———, who was just come from abroad, where he believed lie would be very well entertained, as her house was frequented by a great deal of good company. David, who was never out of his way, very willingly accompanied him. There happened that afternoon to be only three ladies (who all appeared, by their manner, to be very intimate in the family) besides the lady of the house, and a young woman who lived with her. Our hero, on whose tenderness the least appearance of grief in others made an immediate impression, could not help observing, in the countenance of this young creature, a fixed melancholy, which made him uneasy.

They had not been long seated before my Lady ——— sent her out of the room for some trifle, saying, with a sneer, she hoped the expectation of being a lady had not turned her head in such a manner that she had forgot to walk across the room. Cynthia (for that was the young woman's name) gave her a look, which at once expressed indignation and shame at being thus treated; with such a mixture of softness, as plainly proved she was sorry she had so much reason to despise the person she wished to love. As soon as she was gone out of the room, my lady, without any reserve, began to declare, what an ungrateful creature she was; said, she had taken her into her house from mere compassion, used her as well as if she had been her nearest relation; and the reward she had for all this, was the wretch's endeavouring to draw in her nephew (a boy about seventeen) to marry her. David, who utterly detested all ingratitude, began in his mind to be of my lady's side; but then he could not help reflecting, that insult was not the proper manner of shewing resentment for such usage; if Cynthia was really guilty of such a piece of treachery, he thought it would be better to part with such a wretch, than to keep her only to abuse her.

The other ladies gave several instances of the ingratitude of those low mean animals, who were forced to be dependants, declaring, that, from the experience they had had of the badness of the world, they were almost tempted to swear they would never do anything to serve anybody; at the same time giving very broad hints, what a vast restraint this would be upon their inclinations, which naturally led them to good.

One of the ladies, amongst several others, gave the following instance how ungrateful the world was: that she had bred up a young woman from her childhood, who was, indeed, the daughter of a man of fashion, a very good friend of her's, for which reason she took to her, purely from good-nature; but when she came to be old enough to be capable of being of service, she only desired the wench to keep her house, to take care of her children, to over-look all her servants, to be ready to sit with her when she called her, with many more trifling things; and madam grew out of humour at it, although she never put the creature at all on the footing of a servant, nor paid her any wages as such, but looked on her as her companion. "Indeed," continued she, "I soon grew weary of it; for the girl pined cried in such a manner, I could not bear the sight her. I did not dare to speak to the minx, which I never did but in the gentlest terms, only to tell her what a situation she was in, and how unbecoming it was in her to think herself on a footing with people of fortune; for that she was left by her father on the world, without any provision, and was beholden to me for everything she had. And I do assure you, I never talked to her in this manner but she had tears in her eyes for a week afterwards."

All the company, except David, joined with this lady in condemning the poor girl's monstrous ingratitude; but he could not forbear telling her he thought it was a little unkind in her to upbraid so unfortunate a person as the young woman she had been talking of, with any favours she conferred on her. On this ensued a discourse between the four ladies concerning obligation and ingratitude, of which I really cannot remember one word.

When the two gentlemen got home, David said to his companion, he had a great curiosity to hear Cynthia's story; for there was something so good-natured in her countenance, that he was very much inclined to believe my Lady ——— had not represented the case fairly; adding, that he should be obliged to him, if he would carry him the next day to see Cynthia alone; for he had observed by my lady's conversation, that she was to go out of town in the morning, and should leave Cynthia at home. Varnish, who was all complaisance, readily complied with his request, for he had a long time been intimate in the family, and had admittance as often as he pleased; only he told him, he must leave him there some time, being obliged to meet a gentleman at a coffee house. This gave David an opportunity of being alone with Cynthia, which he eagerly embraced, to tell her that he saw by her look and mannier she was very unhappy, and begged, if it was any way in his power to serve her, she would let him know it; for nothing in this world was capable of giving him so much pleasure, as relieving the distressed. Cynthia at first replied, that she dared not receive any more obligations; for she had already suffered so much by accepting them, that she heartily wished she had gone through all the miseries poverty could have brought upon her, rather than have endured half what she had done for living in plenty at another's expense.

But, at last, by the innocence of David's looks, and the sincerity which was visible in his manner of expressing himself, she was prevailed on to relate the history of her life; which will be the subject of another chapter.




"I cannot say I ever had any happiness in my life; for while I was young I was bred up with my father and mother, who, without designing me any harm, were continually teasing me. I loved reading, and had a great desire of attaining knowledge; but, whenever I asked questions of any kind whatsoever, I was always told, such things were not proper for girls of my age to know. If I was pleased with any book above the most silly story or romance, it was taken from me—for miss must not enquire too far into things, it would turn her brain; she had better mind her needle-work, and such things as were useful for women! reading and poring on books would never get me a husband. Thus was I condemned to spend my youth, the time when our imagination is at the highest, and we are capable of most pleasure, without being indulged in any one thing I liked, and obliged to employ myself in what was fancied by my mistaken parents to be for my improvement, although in reality it was nothing more than what any person, a degree above a natural fool, might learn as well in a very small time, as in a thousand ages. And what yet aggravated my misfortunes was, my having a brother who hated reading to such a degree, that he had a perfect aversion to the very sight of a book; and he must be cajoled or whipped into learning, while it was denied me, who had the utmost eagerness for it. Young and unexperienced as I was in the world, I could not help observing the error of this conduct, and the impossibility of ever making him get any learning that could be of use to him, or of preventing my loving it.

"I had two sisters, whose behaviour was more shocking to me than that of my father and mother; because, as we were more of an age, we were more constantly together. I should have loved them with the sincerest affection, if they had behaved to line in a manner I could have borne with patience: they neither of them were to be reckoned amongst the silliest of women, and had both some small glimmering rays of parts and wit. To this was owing all their faults; for they were so partial to themselves, they mistook this faint dawn of day for the sun in its meridian; and from grasping at what they could not attain, obscured and rendered useless all the understanding they really had. From hence they took an inveterate hatred to me, because most of our acquaintances allowed me to have more wit than they had; and when I spoke, I was generally listened to with most attention. I don't speak this from vanity; for I have been so teased and tormented about wit, I really wish there was no such thing in the world. I am very certain the woman who is possessed of it, unless she can be so peculiarly happy as to live with people void of envy, had better be without it. The fate of those persons who have wit, is nowhere so well described, as in those excellent lines in the Essay on Criticism, which are so exactly suited to my present purpose, I cannot forbear repeating them to you.

"Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things.
Atones not for that envy which it brings;
In youth alone its empty praise we boast.
But soon the short-liv'd vanity is lost:
Like some (air flower the early spring supplies,
That gaily blooms, but e'en in blooming dies.
What is this wit which most our cares employ?
The owner's wife that other men enjoy:
The most our trouble still, when most admir'd;
The more we give, the more is still requir'd;
The fame with pains we gain, but lose with ease;
Sure some to vex, but never all to please:
'Tis what the vicious fear, the virtuous shun;
By fools 'tis hated, and by knaves undone.

"I never spoke, but I was a wit; if I was silent, it was contempt, I certainly would not deign to converse with such people as they were. Thus whatever I did disobliged them; and it was impossible to be otherwise, as the cause of their displeasure was what I could not remove. I should have been very well pleased with their conversation, if they had been contented to have been what nature designed them; for good-humour, and a desire to please, is all I wish for in a companion; for, in my opinion, being inoffensive goes a great way in rendering any person agreeable; but so little did they show to me, that every word I spoke was misunderstood, and turned to my disadvantage. I remember once, on my saying I would follow my inclinations while they were innocent, and no ill consequences attended them; my eldest sister made me so absurd an answer, I cannot help relating it to you: for she said, she did not at all doubt but I would follow my inclinations; she was really afraid what I should come to, as she saw I fancied it a sign of wit to be a libertine; a word which she chose to thunder often in my ears, as she had heard me frequently express a particular aversion to those of our sex who deserve it. Indeed, she always exulted in saying anything she thought could hurt me: if I dropped an unguarded word or expression they could possibly lay hold on, to turn into what they thought ridicule, the joy it gave them was incredihie; if I took up a book they could not comprehend, they suddenly grew very modest, and did not pretend to know what was only fit for the learned. It is really entertaining to see the shifts people make to conceal from themselves their own want of capacities; for whoever really has sense, will understand whatever is writ in their own language, although they are entirely ignorant of all others, with an exception only of the technical terms of sciences. But I was once acquainted with an old man, who, from a small suspicion that he was not thought by the I world to be extremely wise, was always considering which way he should flatter himself that the fault was not in him, but owing to some accident; till at last he hit on the thought that his folly was caused by his father's neglect of him; for he did not at all seem to doubt but he should have had as much sense as another, if he had but understood Greek and Latin. As if languages had a charm in them which could banish all stupidity and nonsense from those who understood them. But to proceed in my story.

"If youth and liveliness sometimes led me into any action, which they, in their riper judgments, (for the youngest of them was five years older than myself) termed indiscretions, they immediately thanked God, though they had no wit, they had common sense, and knew how to conduct themselves in life, which they thought much more valuable; but these wits had never any judgment. This is a mistake which prevails generally in the world; and, I believe, arises from the strong desire most men have to be thought witty; but when they find it is impossible, they would willingly be thought to have a contempt for it; and perhaps they sometimes have the art of flattering themselves to such a degree, as really to believe they do despise it: for men often impose so much on their own understandings, as to triumph in those very things they would be ashamed of, if their self-love would but permit them for a moment, to see things clearly as they are; they go beyond the jackdaw in the fable, who never went farther than to strut about in the peacock's feathers, with a design of imposing on others. For they endeavour so long to blind other men's eyes, that at last they quite darken their own; and although in their nature they are certainly daws, yet they find a method of persuading themselves that they are peacocks. But notwithstanding all the industry people may make use of to blind themselves, if wit consists, as Mr. Locke says, in the assemblage of ideas, and judgment in the separating them; I really believe the person who can join them with the most propriety, will separate them with the greatest nicety. A metaphor from mechanism, I think, will very plainly illustrate my thoughts on this subject: for let a machine, of any kind, be joined together by an ingenious artist, and I dare say, he will be best able to take it apart again: a bungler, or an ignorant person, perhaps, may pull it asunder, or break it to pieces; but to separate it nicely, and know how to divide it in the right places, will certainly be the best performed by the man who had skill enough to set it together. But with strong passions, and lively imaginations, people may sometimes be led into errors, although their judgments are ever so good; and when persons, who are esteemed by the world to have wit, are guilty of any failing, all the envious (and I am afraid they are too great a part of the human species) set up a general outcry against them."

David, into whose head not one envious thought ever entered, could easily comprehend the reasonableness of what Cynthia said, though he was at a loss for examples of such behaviour, but was too well pleased with her manner of talking to interrupt her: and she thus continued her story.

"We had a young cousin lived with us, who was the daughter of my father's brother, she was the oddest character I ever knew; for she certainly could not be said to have any understanding, and yet she had one of the strongest signs of sense that could be: for she was so conscious of her defect that way, that it made her so bashful she never spoke but with fear and trembling, lest she should make herself ridiculous. This poor creature would have been made a perfect mope had it not been for me; for she was the only person I ever submitted to flatter. I always approved whatever she said, and never failed asking her opinion, whenever I could contrive to do it without appearing to make a jest of her. This was the highest joy to my sisters, who thought that in this instance, at least, they could prove my want of sense, and their own superiority; for their delight was in making a butt of this poor girl, by rallying, as they pleased to term it, and putting her out of countenance."

"Pray, madam," said David, "what is the meaning of making a butt of any one?" Cynthia replied, "It is setting up a person as a mark to be scorned and pointed at for some defect of body or mind, and this without any offence comitted, to provoke such treatment: nay, on the contrary, it generally falls on the bashfill and innocent; and when a poor creature is thus undeservedly put to the torment of feeling the uneasy sensation of shame, the raillers exult in the thoughts of their own wit. To be witty without either blasphemy, obscenity, or ill-nature, requires a great deal more than every person, who heartily desires the reputation of being so, can come up to; but I have made it my observation, in all the families I have ever seen, that if any one person in it is more remarkably silly than the rest, those who approach in the next degree to them, always despise them the most; they are as glad to find any one below them, whom they may triumph over and laugh at, as they are envious and angry to see any one above them; as cowards kick and abuse the person who is known to be a degree more timorous than themselves, as much as they tremble at the frown of any one who has more courage. Thus my sisters always treated my cousin as a fool, while they upbraided me with being a wit; little knowing, that if the term had any meaning at all, when it is used by way of contempt, they were the very people who deserved to be called so. For if I understand it, it is then used to signify a person with but a very moderate share of understanding, who from affectation, and an insatiable desire of being thought witty, grows impertinent, and says all the ill-natured things he can think of. For my part, I conceive all manner of raillery to be the most disagreeable conversation in the world, unless it be amongst those people who have politeness and delicacy enough to rally in the manner La Bruyere speaks of; that is, to fall only on such frailties as people of sense voluntarily give up to censure: these are the best subjects to display humour, as it turns into a compliment to the person rallied, being a sort of insinuation that they have no greater faults to be fallen upon.

"When I was about sixteen, I became acquainted with a young lady, in whose conversation I had the utmost pleasure; but I had not often an opportunity of seeing her: for as she was too fond of reading, my mother was frightened out of her wits, to think what would become of us, if we were much together. I verily believe, she thought we should draw circles, and turn conjurers. Every new acquaintance we had increased my sisters' aversion to me; for as I was generally liked best, they were in a continual rage at seeing I was taken so much notice of. But the only proof of their sense they ever gave me, was the being irritated more than usual, at the fondness which was shewn me by this young woman: for since they could be so low as to be envious, there was more understanding in being so at my attaining what was really valuable, than at what was of no consequence, and gave me no other pleasure but finding it was in my power to give it; which was the case with most of the people I convened with.

"When I was seventeen, my mother died, and after that I got with more freedom to my companion; for my father did not trouble himself much about me. He had given way to my mother's method of educating me, as indeed he always complied with her in everything; not that he had any extraordinary affection for her, but she was one of those sort of women, who, if they once take anything in their heads, will never be quiet till they have attained it; and as he was of a disposition which naturally loved quietness, he would sooner consent to anything than hear a noise.

"One day at dinner, my father told me, if I would be a good girl, I should be married very soon. I laughed, and said, I hoped I should see the man who was to be my husband, at least an hour beforehand. 'Yes, yes,' replied he, 'you shall see him time enough; but it suffices I have an offer for you, which I think to your advantage, and I expect your obedience; you know, your mother always obeyed me, and I will be master of my own family.' I really could hardly forbear laughing in his face; but as I thought that would be very unbecoming in me to my father, I turned the discourse as fast as possible. My sisters both fell out a-laughing; one cried, 'Oh! now we shall have fine diversion, Cynthia will be a charming mistress of a family. I wonder which of her books will teach her to be a housewife.'—'Yes,' says the other, 'undoubtedly her husband will be mightily pleased, when he wants his dinner, to find she has been all the morning diverting herself with reading, and forgot to order any; which I dare say will be the case,' I had now been so long used to them, that what they said, gave me no manner of concern, and I was seldom at the trouble of answering them.

"The next day my father brought a country gentleman home to dinner with him, who was a perfect stranger to me: I did not take much notice of him, for he had nothing remarkable in him; he was neither handsome nor ugly, tall nor short, old nor young; he had something, indeed, of a rusticity in his person; what he said, had nothing entertaining in it, either in a serious or merry way, and yet it was neither silly nor ridiculous. In short, I might be in company with a thousand such sort of men, and quite forget I had ever seen them: but I was greatly surprised after dinner, at my father's calling me out of the room, and telling me, that was the gentleman he designed for my husband; that he expected me to receive him as such, and he would take the first opportunity to leave us together, that my lover might explain himself. Which, as soon as he could contrive it, he did, by sending my sisters and cousin, one after another, out of the room, and then withdrawing himself. I had so ridiculous an idea of being thus shut up with a stranger, in order to be made love to, that I could not resist the temptation of making a little diversion with a person who appeared to me in so despicable a light. The gentleman took three or four strides across the room, looked out of the window once or twice, and then turned to me, with an awkward bow, and an irresistible air (as I fancy he thought it) and made me the polite compliment, of telling me, that he supposed my father had informed me that they two were agreed on a bargain. I replied, 'I did not know my father was of any trade, or had any goods to dispose of; but if he had, and they could agree on their terms, he should have my consent, for I never interfered with any business of my father's': and went on rattling a good while, till he was quite out in his catechism, and knew not what to say. But he soon recollected himself, for he had all the assurance of a man, who from knowing he has a good fortune, thinks he does every woman an honour he condescends to speak to; and assured me, I must interfere in this business as it more particularly concerned me. 'In short, madam,' continued he, 'I have seen you two or three times, although you did not know it; I like your person, hear you have had a sober education, think it time to have an heir to my estate, and am willing, if you consent to it, to make you my wife; notwithstanding your father tells me, he can't lay you down above two thousand pounds, I am none of those nonsensical fools that can whine and make romantic love, I leave that to younger brothers, let my estate speak for me; I shall expect nothing from you but that you will retire into the country with me, and take care of my family. I must inform you, I shall desire to have everything in order; for I love good eating and drinking, and have been used to have my own humour from my youth, which, if you will observe and comply with, I shall be very kind to you, and take care of the main chance for you and your children.' I made him a low curtsey, and thanked him for the honour he intended me; but told him, I had no kind of ambition to be his upper servant; though, indeed, I could not help wondering how it was possible for me to escape being charmed with his genteel manner of addressing me. I then asked him how many offices he had allotted for me to perform, for those great advantages he had offered me, of suffering me to humour him in all his whims, and to receive meat, drink, and lodging at his hands; but hoped he would allow me some small wages, that I might now and then recreate myself with my fellow-servants. In short, my youth led me into indulging myself in a foolish ridicule, for which I now condemn myself. He grew angry at my laughing at him, and left me, saying, he should let my father know in what manner I had used him; that I might very likely repent the refusing him, for such estates as his were not to be met with every day.

"I could not help reflecting on the folly of those women who prostitute themselves (for I shall always call it prostitution, for a woman who has sense, and has been tolerably educated, to marry a clown and a fool) and give up that enjoyment, which every one who has taste enough to know how to employ their time, can procure for themselves, though they should be obliged to live ever so retired, only to know they have married a man who has an estate; for they very often have no more command of it, than if they were perfect strangers. Some men, indeed, delight in seeing their wives finer than their neighbours; which, to those women whose whole thoughts are fixed on fine clothes, may be a pleasure; but for my part, I should in that case think myself just in the situation of the horse who wears gaudy trappings only to gratify his master's vanity, whilst he himself is not at all considered in them. I was certain I could live much more to my satisfaction on the interest of my own little fortune, than I could do with subjecting myself to the humours of a man I must have always disliked and despised.

"I don't know how it was brought about, but this man married my second sister, and she took the other away with her, so that I was happily rid of them both. My father was very angry with me for the present; but I thought that would be I soon over, and did not at all doubt his being reconciled to me again. I now began to flatter myself, that I should lead a hfe perfectly suitable to my taste; my cousin was very fond of me, for I was the only woman she had ever met with, who had not shown a contempt for her. I carried her with me wherever I went, and had the pleasure of seeing I was the cause of her being happy. I conversed as much as I pleased with my beloved companion, and books and friendship shared my peaceful hours. But this lasted but a very short time; for my father, in the heat of his anger against me, made a will, in which he left me nothing; and before his rage abated enough for him to alter it, he died of an apoplexy. As soon as my sisters heard of his death, they hurried to town, when the will was opened, and they found I was excluded from having any share in my father's fortune: they triumphed over me with all the insolence imaginable, and vented all their usual reproaches; saying, it was impossible but that a person of my great wit and genius must be able to provide for myself, and did not doubt but 1 could shift very well without money. Thus this unpardonable crime of being thought to have more sense than they had, was never to be forgiven; they stayed no longer in town, than while they were settling their affairs, and left me with but five guineas, which I happened to have saved out of my pocket-money, while my father was alive. The young woman I have so often mentioned to you, was so generous as to let me have all the little money she was mistress of. I wish nothing so much as to see her again; but while I was abroad, she and her brother went from their father's house, on his bringing home a mother-in-law, and I cannot hear what is become of them. Whilst I was in this situation, my Lady———, with whom I had had a small acquaintance for some time, took such a fancy to me, she invited me to come and live with her; she seemed as if she loved me, and I was ignorant enough of the world to think she did so. She was going abroad; and as I had a great desire to see more countries than my own, I proposed to myself a great deal of pleasure in going with her; the only regret I had was in leaving my dear companion, but I was not in circumstances to refuse my Lady ———'s offer.

"And now I am come to the conclusion of my history, whilst I went under the denomination of a wit, and am really quite tired of talking; but if you have a curiosity to know the rest of my history, and will favour me with your company to-morrow, I will resume it."

David assured her, nothing could oblige him more, and in a little while took his leave of her for that night.




David went exactly at the time appointed the next day; and, after some little discourse, Cynthia went on with her story, as follows—

"I think I left off at my going abroad with my lady. My cousin went home to live with her mother; as they had but a very small income to keep them, I should have been heartily glad if it had been in my power to have increased it. I forgot to tell you, that my brother died at school, when he was fifteen; for he had but a weakly constitution, and the continual tormenting and whipping him, to make him learn his book, (which was utterly impossible) had such an effect on the poor boy, it threw him into a consumption, of which he died. I shall not undertake to give you a description of the countries through which we passed; for as we were only to make the tour of France and Italy, I suppose you have read a hundred descriptions of them already. The lady I went with had something very amiable in her manner, and at first behaved to me with so much good-nature, that I loved her with the utmost sincerity. I dwelt with pleasure on the thoughts of the obligations I owed her, as I fancied she was generous enough to delight in conferring them; and I had none of that sort of pride, by fools mistaken for greatness of mind, which makes people disdain the receiving obligations; for I think the only meanness consists in accepting, and not gratefully acknowledging them. I had learned French, that is, I had read some French books with the help of a dictionary, to satisfy my own curiosity, for nobody had ever taught me anything: on the contrary, I was to be kept back as much as possible, for fear I should know too much. But the little I had learned by myself helped me, when I came into the country, to talk it tolerably well. My Lady ——— could not speak it at all; and as she did not care to take much pains while we were at Paris, which was a whole winter, we herded mostly amongst the English.

"I was now in the place of the world I had often most wished to go to, where I had everything in great plenty, and yet I was more miserable than ever. Perhaps you will wonder what caused my unhappiness; but I was to appear in a character I could not bear, namely, that of a toad-eater: and what hurt me most, was, that my lady herself soon began to take pains to throw me into it as much as possible."

David begged an explanation of what she meant by a toad-eater; for he said it was a term he had never heard before. On which Cynthia replied, "I don't wonder, sir, you never heard of it; I wish I had spent my life without knowing the meaning of it: it is a metaphor taken from a mountebank's boy who eats toads, in order to show his master's skill in expelling poison: it is built on a supposition, (which I am afraid is too generally true) that people who are so unhappy as to be in a state of dependance, are forced to do the most nauseous things that can be thought on, to please and himour their patrons. And the metaphor may be carried on yet farther; for most people have so much the art of tormenting, that every time they have made the poor creatures they have in their power swallow a toad, they give them something to expel it again, that they may be ready to swallow the next they think proper to prepare for them: that is, when they have abused and fooled them, as Hamlet says, to the top of their bent, they grow soft and good to them again, on purpose to have it in their power to plague them the more. The satire of the expression, in reality, falls on the person who is mean enough to act in so cruel a manner to their dependant; but as it is no uncommon thing for people to make use of terms they don't understand, it is generally used, by way of derision, to the unfortunate wretch who is thrown into such a miserable situation.

"I remember once I went with my Lady ——— to visit some English ladies, where there happened to be a great deal of company: as we went out of the room, I heard somebody mention the word toad-eater; I thoaght it was me they were speaking of, and dropped my fan for an excuse to make a stop at the door, when I heard one lady say to another, 'What a creature it is! I believe she is dumb, for she has not spoke one word since she has been here; but yet I do not dislike to see her, for I love ridicule above all things, and there is certainly nothing so ridiculous as a toad-eater.' I could not stay to bear any more; but I despised both these women too much to let it be in their power to give me any pain, for I knew by their manner of talking they were fine ladies; and that is the character in life I have the greatest contempt for."

David begged of her to let him know what she meant by fine ladies. On which she replied, "Indeed, sir, you have imposed on me the hardest task in the world: I know them when I meet with them; but they have so little of what we call character, that I do not know how to go about the describing them. They are made up of caprice and whim; they love and hate, are angry and pleased, without being able to assign a reason for any of these passions. If they have a characteristic, it is vanity, to which everything else seems to be subservient; they always affect a great deal of good-nature, are frighted out of their wits at the sight of any object in bodily pain, and yet value not how much they rack people's minds. But I must justify them so far as to say, I believe this is owing to their ignorance; for as they have no minds of their own, they have no idea of other's sensations. They cannot, I think, well be liable to the curse attending Eve's transgression, as they do not enjoy the benefit proposed by it, of knowing good from evil. They are so very wise, as to think a person's being ignorant of what is utterly impossible they should know, is a perfect sign of folly. Congreve seems to me to have known them the best of any one: my Lady Wish-for't at her toilette is a perfect picture of them, where she insults over, and thinks herself witty on a poor ignorant wench, because she does not know what she has never been taught or used to. That fine ridicule of the brass thimble and the nutmeg jingling in her pocket, with the hands dangling like bobbins, is exactly their sort of wit; and then they never call any one by their right names; creatures, animals, tilings, all the words of contempt they can think of, are what they delight in. Shakespeare has made Hamlet give the best description imaginable of them in that one line which he addresses to Ophelia; 'Ye lisp, and ye amble, and ye nickname God's creatures.' An expression I never understood, til I knew the world enough to have met with some of these sort of women. They are not confined to any station; for I have known, while the lady has been insulting her waiting-woman in the dressing-room, the chamber-maid has been playing just the same part below-stairs, with the person she thought her inferior, only with a small variation of terms. But I will dwell no longer on them; for I am tired of them, as I have often been in life.

"But this would have had no effect on me, had my lady behaved well herself. To her usage was owing all my misery; for by that time I had remained with her two or three months, she began to treat me as a creature born to be her slave: whenever I spoke, I was sure to offend her; if I was silent, I was out of humour; if I said anything in the softest terms, to complain of the alteration of her affection, I was whimsical and ungrateful. I think it impossible to be in a worse situation. She had raised my love by the obligations she had conferred on me, and yet continually provoked my rage, by her ill-nature; I could not, for a great while, any way account for this conduct. I thought, if she did not love me, she had no reason to have given herself any trouble about me ; and yet I could not think she could have used one for whom she had had the least regard in so cruel a manner. At last, I reflected, it must be owing to a love of tyranny; and as we are born in a country where there is no such thing as public legal slavery, people lay plots to draw in others to be their slaves, with the pretence of having an affection for them: and what is yet more unfortunate, they always choose the persons who are least able to bear it. It is the fierce mettled courser {who must be brought to their lure by fawning and stroking) that they love to wring, and gird the saddle on; whilst the mule, which seems born to bear their burdens, passes by them unheeded and neglected. I was caught, like the poor fish, by the bait which was treacherously extended for me, and did not observe the hook which was to pierce my heart, and be my destruction. You cannot imagine what I felt; for to be used ungratefully by any one I had conferred favours on, would have been nothing to me, in comparison of being ill-used by the person I thought myself obliged to. I was to have no passions, no inclinations of my own; but was to be turned into a piece of clock-work, which her ladyship was to wind up or let down as she pleased. I had resolution enough to have borne any consequence that might have attended my leaving her; but I could not bear the thoughts of even the imputation of ingratitude; for there are very few people who have any notion of obligations which are not pecuniary. But, in my opinion, those persons who give up their time, and sacrifice all their own inclinations, to the humours of others, cannot be overpaid by anything they can do for them. Men never think a slave obliged to them for giving him bread, when he has performed his task. And certainly it is a double slavery to be made servile under the pretence of friendship; for no labour of the body could have been so painful to me, as the having my mind thus teazed and tortured. My wit, which I had heard so much of, was now all fled; for I was looked on in so contemptible a light, that nobody would hearken to me: the only comfort I had, was in the conversation of a led captain who came abroad with a gentleman of my lady's acquaintance. There are two sorts of led captains; the one is taken a fancy to by somebody much above him, seated at his superior's table, and can cringe and flatter, fetch and carry nonsense for my lord; thinking himself happy in being thus admitted into company whom his sphere of fife gives him no pretensions to keep. The other is a sort of male toad-eater, who by some misfortune in life is thrown down below his proper station, meets wih a patron who pretends to be his friend, and who by that means draws him in to be sincerely his. This gentleman's case and mine were so much alike, that our greatest pleasure was in comparing them; but I was much more astonished at his patron's behaviour than at my Lady ———'s; for although she had a tolerable understanding, yet it was not of that sort which would make one wonder at her frailties. But he was remarkable for his sense and wit, and yet could not forbear making this poor gentleman feel all the weight of dependance. He was so inconsistent with himself, he could not bear he should see his tyranny, because he was very fond of gaining everybody's esteem; not considering his aim would have been lost, if the other had not been sensible of his behaviour: but because he saw him uneasy under it, he took a perfect aversion to him. I have heard of a gentleman, who would never go to another's house, if he had ever so many coaches and six to carry him in, without horses of his own; saying the only way to be treated well, was to show people he had it in his power to leave them whenever he pleased. And I think he was perfectly in the right; for melancholy experience has taught me how miserable it is to abandon one's self to another's power. But now to show you the unaccountable caprice of human nature, I must tell you, that this very gentleman, who had thus groaned under the affliction of another's using him ill, coming to an estate which was entailed on him by a cousin's dying without children, became the greatest tyrant in the world; and kept a led captain, whom he used much worse than his former patron had ever done him: and instead of avoiding the treating another in a manner he himself had found difficult to bear, he seemed so as if he resolved to revenge his former sufferings on a person who was perfectly innocent of them.

"I know not to what malignity it is owing, but I have observed, in all the families I have ever been acquainted with, that one part of them spend their whole time in oppressing and teazing the other; and all this they do like Drawcansir, only because they dare, and to show their power; while the other part languish away their days in bemoaning their own hard fate, which has just subjected them to the whims and tyranny of wretches, who are so totally void of taste, as not to desire the affection of the very people they appear willing to oblige. It is late to-night; but if you have a curiosity to hear the remainder of my story, to-morrow I will proceed."

David, who never desired any one to do what was the least irksome, took his leave for that evening, and returned the next day, according to Cynthia's own appointment.




The next evening, after the usual civilities had passed between David and Cynthia, she, at his request, went on with her story.

"I spent the whole time I was abroad in misery; because my Lady ——— chose to see me unhappy, and sighing at her tyranny, instead of viewing me always (which she might have done) with cheerful looks, and a countenance expressive of the most grateful acknowledgments, for owing a life of ease and plenty to her benevolence."

David, whose only pleasure was in giving it to others, was more amazed at this account of my Lady ———'s behaviour, than he would have been at the most surprising phenomenon in nature: but he had so much curiosity to know the end of Cynthia's story, that he would not interrupt her; and she went on as follows——

"Since our arrival in England, an accident has happened to me, which was as little thought on as wished for. My Lady ——— has a nephew of about seventeen years of age, who, after the death of his father, will be Earl of ———, with a great estate. This young man took such a fancy to me, that the very first opportunity he had of speaking to me alone, he made me a proposal of marriage. This is, in my opinion, a very odd way of proceeding; but it is not very uncommon amongst men who think themselves so much above us, that there is no danger of a refusal; and consequently that they may be excused the usual forms on such occasions. I was at first so surprised, I knew not what to answer; but as soon as I could recollect my thoughts, and revolve in my mind the situation I was in, I told him that I was infinitely obliged to him for his good opinion of me; but that as I lived in my Lady ———'s house, I should think myself guilty of the utmost treachery, to marry so near a relation of her's without her consent; and as in my circumstances I was not likely to obtain that, I begged him to give up all thoughts of it. The more I refused him, the more earnest he was with me to comply: but while we were talking, my Lady ——— entered the room. I could not help blushing and looking confused, and my Lord ——— was almost as much so as myself. She has very penetrating eyes, and immediately saw something extraordinary had happened. However, she said nothing till my Lord was gone, when she insisted on knowing the whole truth; and was so very pressing, that at last I told it her. As I had nothing I had any reason to be ashamed of, but acted (as I thought) with great honour towards my Lady ———, I had no suspicion, that letting her know her nephew liked me, could possibly turn out to my disadvantage. But the moment I had complied with her desire, in openly declaring the cause of that confusion she had observed in us both at her entrance, she flew into as great a rage as if I had been guilty of the worst of crimes; talked in her usual style of my ingratitude; said, it was a fine return for all her kindness, to endeavour to draw in her nephew to marry me. All I could say or do, could not pacify her. She immediately sent to my lord's father, who carried his son out of town, and intends to send him abroad, in order to prevent his seeing me any more.

"And now I am to be used ten times worse than ever I was: but I shall not bear it much longer; for let the consequence be what it will, I am sure I cannot lead a more unhappy life than I do at present. I verily believe, if my Lord was to marry any other woman without a fortune, it would not give her half the uneasiness; but to think that a person, whom she has so long looked on as her subject, should have an opportunity of becoming her equal, is more than she can bear. Thus, sir, I am come to the end of my story: I wish there was anything more entertaining in it; but your desiring to know it appeared to me to arise from so much good-nature and compassion for the afflicted, I could not refuse to gratify your curiosity."

David assured her, if it was any way in his power to serve her, he should have the utmost pleasure in doing it, and that if she thought it proper to leave my Lady ———, and go into a lodging by herself, he would supply her with whatever she wanted: that she had no reason to be afraid that he should upbraid her with being obliged to him; for that, on the contrary, he should be thankful to her for giving him an opportunity of being any ways useful to a person of her merit; for that he had observed the world in general was so very mercenary, he could not help being at once pleased and surprised, to find a person of her age, and in her circumstances, who had resolution enough to think of refusing any offer that was for her advantage, from a notion of honour.

Whilst they were in this discourse, my Lady ———, who had altered her mind, and did not stay out of town as long as she at first intended, returned home. David thinking he might be troublesome at her first coming off her journey, soon retired; and the moment he was gone, my Lady ——— vented all the most ill-natured reproaches on poor Cynthia she could think on; saying, she supposed now her house was to be made the receptacle for all the young fellows in town—that she was sure there must be something very forward in her behaviour, for it could not be her beauty that drew men after her.—In short, she treated her as if she had been the most infamous creature alive; nor did she scruple this before all the servants in her house. I suppose, besides her natural love of tyranny, she was one of those sort of women, who, like Venus in Telemachus, lose the pleasure of their numberless votaries, if one mortal escapes their snares. Besides, she thought it insupportable, that a wretch, whom she looked upon to be so much below her as Cynthia, should have any charms at all.

The next day, David went to see her again; and as my Lady was gone to make a visit, he met with Cynthia alone: he found her dissolved in tears, and in such an agony, that she was hardly able to speak to him; at last, however, she informed him in what manner my Lady {{longdash} had used her, because he happened to be there when she came home. David begged her not to bear this treatment any longer, but to accept his offer; and assured her, he would both protect and support her, if she would give him leave. Cynthia was charmed with his generous manner of offering to assist her; but said, her case was the most to be lamented in the world; for that if she accepted what he with so much good-nature offered her, it would be in my Lady 's power (and she was certain it would be in her will) to make her infamous. But on an assurance from David, that he would submit to what rules she pleased, supply her with whatever she wanted, and at the same time deny himself even the pleasure of seeing her, she thought it proper, she at last consented, and they consulted together the method they should take. I They agreed that Cynthia should leave a place she so much detested, as the house where she then was, the next day. But she said she would acquaint my Lady ——— with her resolution, that it might not look like running away from her; she was very sensible she must bear great invectives and reproaches; but, however, she thought she should be able to go through them, as she hoped it would be tha last time.

David was to take her a lodging, and send her word by some woman where it was, that she might go to it without his appearing in the affair. When they had settled every thing to their satisfaction, he took his leave, that he might not be there when my Lady ——— came home. Now the anxiety was over, for the perplexity which is caused by not knowing how to act, is the greatest torment imaginable; but as Cynthia had fixed her resolution, her mind was calmer, and her countenance more cheerful than it had been for some time. My Lady ——— designed thet evening to use her very well, which she generally did once a week or fortnight, as if she laid a plot sometimes just to give her a taste of pleasure, only to make her feel the want of it the more. But when she saw her look pleased, and, on enquiry, found that David had been there, her designs were altered, and she could not forbear abusing her. But the moment she began, Cynthia, instead of keeping her usual silence, intreated her to give her one quarter of an hour's attention; which, after two or three speeches, which my Lady ——— thought witticisms (such as, that what she said must be worth hearkening to; that may be her new gallant had put some fresh nonsense in her head) was at last obtained. When Cynthia began as follows—

"I confess, madam, you took me from poverty and distress, and gave me plenty; I own the obligation, nor have I ever, even in my thoughts, tried to lessen it. The moment pride makes any of us wish or endeavour, by the power of imagination and fallacy, to lose the sense of favours conferred on us, all gratitude must necessarily be at an end. Had you behaved to me, as I first flattered myself you intended, your ladyship in me might have had a willing slave: I should have thought my life would have been but a small sacrifice, could any interest of yours have required it. Nay, I have already done more; I have given up my youth, the time which is the most valuable in life, to please all your whims, and comply with all your humours. You have chose, that instead of looking on you as my generous benefactress, I should find you an arbitrary tyrant; the laws of England will not suffer you to make slaves of your servants, nor will I bear it any longer. I am certain, the meanest person in your house has not gone through half what I have done for bread; and, in short, madam, here your power is at an end, to-morrow I shall take my leave of you: I cannot help wishing you happy, but must own, I heartily hope you will never have anybody so much in your power again."

My lady, who had been used to be treated by everything in her house (her husband not excepted) with the greatest deference, swelled and reddened at this discourse of Cynthia's; till at last, for want of words to vent her rage, she burst into tears, Cynthia, whose good-nature nothing could exceed, thinking this arose from my lady's consciousness of her own wrong behaviour, was softened, and threw herself at her feet; asked ten thousand pardons; said, if she could have guessed the effect what she said would have had on her, she would sooner have been for ever dumb, than have uttered a word to offend her. But, alas! how was she mistaken! For as soon as my Lady ———'s tears had made way for her words, she fell upon her with all the most bitter invectives she could think of, and even descended so far as to forget her quality (which was seldom out of her thoughts) and use the most vulgar terms, in order to abuse her. Cynthia, who had a I great aversion to all broils and quarrels, seeing her passion was so high, said no more, but let her rail on till it was time to go to bed.

When Cynthia waked the next morning, she thought she had now performed her duty in informing my Lady of her design to leave her, therefore chose not to hear any farther abuses from her; so that as soon as David's messenger came, which was very early, she went with her, without any more ceremony, to the lodging he had taken for her.—And here, I doubt not, but the graver sort of my female readers will be as ready to condemn Cynthia for taking such a step, and thus putting herself in the power of a man, with whom she had had so short an acquaintance, as my Lady ——— herself was. I do not pretend to justify her; but, without doubt, there are circumstances in life, where tile distress is so high, and the mind in such an anxiety, that persons may be pardoned the being thrown so much off their guard, as to be drawn into actions, which, in the common occurrences of life, would admit of no alleviation.

Cynthia herself, as soon as she had time to reflect, suffered as much by the consideration of what she had done, as she did while she lived with my Lady ———. She knew too much of the world, to be easily persuaded that any man could act, as David did by her, from pure friendship: nor was she, indeed, long left in doubt in this matter; for although he paid her all imaginable respect, yet she plainly saw that he liked her. This perplexed her more than ever, for it gave her very little relief to find his designs were honourable, as in her situation she could not comply with them. For, to confess the truth, although I hope she would have acted the same part with relation to her refusal of my Lord ———, had she no other motive than honour to induce her to it; yet she had the additional reason for it, of having from her youth secretly liked and esteemed a young gentleman with whom she was then acquainted. At last, after many reflections, and often revolving in her mind which way she should act, she fixed on a resolution of going into the country to see her cousin, a person whom she has often mentioned in the foregoing part of this history.

David, although it was with great regret he parted with her, did not attempt to say anything to dissuade her from what he saw she had so great an inclination to; only insisted on her accepting money enough to bear her expenses. This she would not have done on any other consideration, but that of seeing he would be very uneasy if she refused him. And here, for the present, we must take our leave of Cynthia.

David's stay with Varnish was but of small duration; for although he was agreeably entertained, by continually hearing the praises of all the company they met with; yet he could not help observing, that notwithstanding the appearance of good-nature which showed itself in Varnish, yet, in reality, he was not at all affected with others' sufferings. His mother lived with him; and he showed her so much respect, and treated her with so much complaisance, that David at first thought he loved her with the greatest tenderness; but as this poor woman was afflicted with the stone and gout to such a degree, as often threw her into violent agonies, it gave David an opportunity of observing, that in the midst of her groans, which often pierced him to the soul, Varnish preserved his usual serenity of countenance, nor did the gaiety of his temper fail him in the least. This reminded him of the character which Spatter had given of him, viz., that he kept up an eternal cheerfulness, only because he had none of those sensations which arise from good-nature; and made David resolve not to live with a man he could not esteem, which was the point he was always aiming at; and although he had met with so many disappointments, he was not yet drove to despair, but went on in his pursuit.




My hero now had left Varnish, and Cynthia was gone out of town; so that he was to begin the world again. And the next fancy he took into his head, was to dress himself in a mean habit, take an ordinary lodging, and go amongst the lower sort of people, and see what he could make of them. He went from house to house for a whole month; for as he was now got amongst a class of people who had not had the advantages from education which teach men the way of artfully disguising their dispositions, whilst he lived with them, he never imagined he had met with anything he could esteem. For mercenary views there were so immediately perceptible in everything they all said or did, that he met with fewer disappointments in this way than in any other. This gave him but a melancholy prospect; for he thought, if a disposition was naturally good, it would appear as well in the lowest as in the highest station.

As he was sitting one evening revolving these things in his mind, he suddenly heard a great scolding, in a female voice, over his head; which was so shrill, and continued so long in one tone, that it gave him a curiosity to know the meaning of it. He went up stairs into a garret, where he saw a most moving scene. There lay on a bed (or rather on a parcel of rags patched together, to which the mistress of the house chose to give the name of a bed) a young man, looking as pale as death, with his eyes sunk in his head, and hardly able to breathe, covered with half a dirty rug, which would scarce come round him. On one side of him sat, holding him by the hand, a young woman, in an uld silk gown, which looked as if it had been a good one, but tattered, that it would barely cover her with decency; her countenance wan with affliction, and tears stood in her eyes, which she seemed unwilling to let fall, lest she should add to the sorrow of the man she sat by, and which, however, she was not able to restrain. The walls were bare, and broke in many places in such a manner, that they were scarce sufficient to keep out the weather. The land-lady stood over them, looking like a fury, and swearing she would have her money; that she did not understand what people meant by coming to lodge in other folks' houses without paying them for it: she had been put off several times, and she could not stay any longer.

David was struck dumb at this scene; he stared at the man on the bed, viewed the young woman; then turned his eyes on the landlady, whom he was ready to throw down stairs for her cruelty. He was for some time disabled from speaking, by the astonishment he was under. The young woman, in a low voice, interrupted with sobs and tears, begged the landlady to have patience; and promised, if she should ever be worth so much, she would pay her double the sum she owed her; begged her no more to disturb her brother in his present condition; but if he must die, that she would suffer him to die in peace. During the time she was speaking, David's tears flowed as fast as her's; his words could find no utterance, and he stood motionless as a statue. The landlady replied immediately in a surly tone, "Brother!—Yes, it is very likely indeed, that anyone would be so concerned for only a brother!" and she believed, if she was to tell her butcher and baker she would pay them, if ever she should be worth the money, she must go without bread and meat; she could not think how folks imagined she could live, unless she was paid her own.

David now could hold no longer, but cried out, "Can anything in a human shape persecute creatures in the misery this young man and woman are? What do they owe you? I will pay you immediately, if you will let them be quiet." As soon as the woman heard she was to have her money, she turned her furious look and tone into the mildest she was capable of; made a low curtsey, and said, she was sure no one could think her unreasonable in desiring what was her due, she asked no more; and if the gentleman would promise to pay for it, she would fetch them anything they wanted. For her part, she was as willing to be obliging as another. In saying this she left the room.

The young woman stared for the space of a minute on David, with a wildness which quite frightened him: at last she got up, threw herself at his feet, and said, she was sure he was some angel, who had put on a human form, to deliver her from the only distress capable of affecting her in that manner, which was her brother's illness, and her being totally void of capacity to help him.

David, who was very much surprised at her air and manner, had no time then for reflections, but only asked her what he should get to refresh them, and begged her to think of nothing at present, but how to recruit her's and her brother's spirits. She returned this goodness with a look that expressed more thankfulness than all the pompous words of laboured eloquence could have done; she would not waste a moment before her brother was taken care of; and therefore desired her benefactor would get a glass of wine, and a biscuit for him; "For I am sure," says she, "it is a great many hours since the poor creature has had anything."

David, with his heart ready to burst, and his eyes overflowing, ran down stairs, and made the land-lady (who was now as solicitous to oblige, as she was before to be rude) send immediately for what they desired; and when he had got it, ran upstairs with the utmost joy. The young woman took no thought for herself, but used all her endeavours to make her brother get something down to revive him: it was with great difficulty he could swallow; for his weakness was so great, he could hardly move. He had not yet spoke; but at last, by the help of the refreshment he had taken, he got strength enough to say, "I hope, sir, I shall live to acknowledge your goodness, though I am now utterly unable to do it." He then turned to his sister, and begged her, for God's sake, to drink something herself; for he was certain she must want it. He had not strength enough to go on, but looked some-times at her, and expressed his amazement at the unexpected relief they had found. Sometimes he looked on David with an air of softness and gratitude, in which our hero's sensibility read as much as any thing he could have said. The poor young woman, who had a long time stifled her own sorrows, lest she should add to her brother's, found now such a struggle of variety of passions labouring in her mind at once; the tenderness she had for her brother, the joy that suddenly rushed on her to see him a little relieved, and the gratitude she felt for her generous benefactor, that it quite overcame her; she was unable to speak, or to refrain any longer from bursting into a flood of tears, which was the only means she had left to express her thoughts.

David, who had more of what Shakespeare calls the milk of human kind, than any other among all the children of men, perceived by her manner of behaviour all that must pass in her mind, and was much less able to comfort her, than what is called a good-humoured man would have been; for his sensations were too strong to leave him the free use of his reason, and he stood some time without knowing what to do. At last, he recollected himself enough to beg her to dry her eyes; saying, it would be the utmost injury to her brother to continue in those agonies, which seeing her in that condition must unavoidably cause. That thought immediately roused her, and suddenly stopped her gushing tears. As soon as she grew a little calm, David's senses began to return to him; and he asked her, if she thought her brother would be able to bear a chair to carry him to some place where he might get what was decent, and be taken care of. He had indeed a chamber below stairs, where everything was clean, though in a very plain way, which he should be very welcome to have; but he supposed they would be willing to move from a place in which they had met with such treatment; besides, there was not room enough for them all; and he would not leave them, till he saw them recovered from the condition they were now in. On which she replied, that, indeed, that last consideration weighed greatly with her; but as to the treatment they had met with, she had learned from sad experience in the world, that good or bad usage was to be had, just according to the situation any person appeared in, and that most people weighed the respect they paid others very exactly in a scale against the money they thought them worth, taking great care not to let the one exceed the other. The brother, who found himself revived, said he was sure he could bear being carried wherever he pleased; and that nothing could make him suffer so much, as the being separated from him. On which David presently went out, got a good lodging for them and himself, returned, and paid the landlady his and their bills (the whole of what she had been so clamorous about, amounting only to two guineas). He could not help reflecting with pleasure, that this woman had been a loser by her cruelty and ill-nature; for he paid her whatever price she asked, and might have staid with her some time, had it not been for this accident.

David ordered a couple of chairs, put the two poor young creatures into them, and followed them to the place he had provided for them; where, when they arrived, they were so faint and worn out, that he ordered them immediately to be carried to their beds, and they had something warm prepared for them to take. But the mean appearance they made, caused all the people in the house to stare with great astonishment, wondering what they could be; neither would they show them to their beds, or get them anything; till David, whose dress, though it was but indifferent, was whole and clean, pulled out money enough to convince them he could pay for anything they had: for nothing but the sight of the money could have got the better of that suspicion the first sight of them had occasioned. The next thing David thought on was to send for a physician, to endeavour to restore these miserable wretches to health. When the doctor came, and had seen his patients, he told David, in a great many words, too learned for me either to understand or remember, that from the perturbation of mind the young woman had suffered, she was in great danger of a fever; and that the man was so excessively weak, it would be some time before he could be restored: but he would immediately order something for them to sleep, and was in hopes of setting them up again.

David took care of everything for them; and as soon as they had taken the doctor's prescription, left them with proper people to attend them, and retired into his chamber. His head was filled with the thoughts of what he had seen that day; nor could he imagine what these two young people could be: he was certain, by their manner and behaviour, they could not have been bred in very low life; and if they had, he thought it a still stronger proof of their sense, that they could so much get the better of the want of education, as to be able, notwithstanding that disadvantage, and the disguise of their dress, to show, in every word and gesture, a delicacy which could not be surpassed by the best bred persons in the world.

David got up very early the next morning to enquire for them; he heard they were both fast asleep, and had been so all night. This news gave him the greatest pleasure imaginable; he went out and bought them decent clothes to put on when they got up; and as soon as he heard the young man was awake, he went into his room, and was surprised to find such an amendment. The moment the sick man saw him, he said, "Sir, your goodness has worked a miracle on me; for it is so long since I have lain in a place fit for a human creature, that I have seemed in heaven to-night. I have had no distemper on me for some time, but a weakness occasioned by a fever, and the want of necessaries, had brought me to the condition you found me in; I am still faint and low, but don't in the least doubt soon to get the better of it. I hear my poor sister is not yet awake; no wonder, the good creature has sat up with me a great many nights, and has had no sustenance but a bit of dry bread: nature must be worn out in her, but I hope, with the blessing of God, this sleep will refresh her."

David then told him, if he was able to rise that day, he had prepared some clothes fit for him to put on, and likewise for his sister; which he had already sent by the maid, to be in readiness for her against she waked. What this poor creature, whose heart was naturally tender and grateful, felt at seeing himself loaded with benefits from a stranger, I leave to the imagination of every reader, who can have any sense of obligations; and those who have none, I am sure must think enough of trifles, to imagine he must be pleased, after being some time in rags, to have whole clothes to put on.

As soon as the young woman opened her eyes, she got up, and dressed herself in the things David had sent her, and then came to see her brother. She looked very pale and weak, but very beautiful; her whole person was exactly formed, and genteel to admiration; her rags could not totally disguise her, but now she was clean, she made a most charming figure. The meeting between the brother and sister was with the greatest joy, to see each other so much better than they had been; and David's pleasure was perfectly equal with either of theirs, in the thoughts that he was the cause of it. He took such care of them, that a little time perfectly recovered them, and they lived together in the most agreeable manner: sometimes they would say, as they had not a farthing in the world, they were so much ashamed to be such a burden to him, they could not bear it, David desired them to be easy, for he could not spend his money more agreeably to himself, than in supplying people who had the appearance of so much merit.—Indeed it was true; for there was such an open simplicity in their manner, and such a goodness of heart appeared in their love to each other, as would have made any one, less credulous than Mr. Simple, have a good opinion of them; and they had both such a strength of understanding, as made them the most delightful companions in the world.

David longed to know their story, and yet was afraid to ask it, lest by that means he should dis cover something in their conduct which would lessen his esteem for them; besides, he was afraid they might not care to tell it, and it would look like thinking he had a right to know what he pleased because they were obliged to him; a thought which he would have utterly detested himself for, could it once have entered into his head. He began to feel for Camilla (for so we shall call the young woman for the future) something more soft than friendship, and more persuasive than common compassion: for although Cynthia appeared to be a person perfectly deserving of his esteem, which was what he had a long time sought for, and he really very much admired her; yet there was something which more nearly touched his heart in this young woman, and immediately caused him to lose all regret on the account of the other's refusing him; and as he was not at all suspicious in his nature, he never entertained any notion of what the landlady hinted at, as if her companion was not her brother. For as he was capable of the strongest affection, without the mixture of any appetite with it, he did not doubt but others might be so too, though it is a thing some few people in the world seem to have no notion of. He lived in a continual fear lest she might not turn out as he wished her: he as yet saw nothing but what he approved; but as he had been so often deceived, he was afraid of providing for himself those sorrows he had already felt by too forward a credulity.

However, one evening, as David and Camilla were sitting together, Valentine (for that was the brother's name) being walked out for the air, he resolved to ask her to let him into her history; which he did with the greatest caution and respect, lest she should be offended at his request. She told him, she should already have related it to him, but that there was nothing entertaining in it; on the contrary, she feared, from the experience she had had of his good-nature, it might raise very uneasy sensations in him; but as he desired it, she should think it unpardonable in her not to comply: only, whenever her brother came in, she must leave off, not being willing to remind him of some scenes, which she used her utmost art to make him forget. David told her, he would not for the world have her do anything to give either herself or brother a moment's pain. She then proceeded to relate what will be seen in the following chapter.




"The task I have undertaken, sir, cannot be performed without interruptions from the remembrance of past sorrows; but I make no question you will be so good as to pardon my weaknesses. Nay, from what I have observed of your disposition, I believe you will sympathize with me in my griefs, I am the daughter of Mr. ———, a man very well known in the world from many extraordinary actions he has performed; his reputation for sense, and courage, are equal.

"I spent my infancy from the time I can remember, very different from what most children do; it being the usual method of most of the wise parents I have ever seen, to use their little ones in such a manner, as if they were laying plots to procure their hearty aversion to the end of their lives; but my father used to say, that as he lived in a country where Christianity was professed, there was no danger his posterity would ever be slaves. He therefore would never use them to the thoughts of whips and rods, nor on any account have them terrified into an action by servile fears. Indeed, he often added, that we did not scruple buying and selling slaves in our colonies; but then we took care not to convert them to our faith, for it was not lawful to make slaves of Christians. My mother was a very good-natured woman, and showed her judgment in always submitting to my father; so that my brother and I passed our childhood in all the happiness that state is capable of enjoying; and the only punishment we ever had for any fault, was that of being sent from our parents' sight, which made us more afraid to offend than anything else could possibly have done; for we soon became so fond of our kind indulgers, that our chief pleasure was to prattle round them, and see them delighted with our little childish remarks. When we asked any questions, we were never bid to be silent, nor called impertinent, but informed and instructed in everything we were desirous to know. This encouragement heightened our curiosity, and we were in a manner led into a knowledge beyond our years. We loved each other with a perfect fondness; there was no partiality shown to either of us; nor were we ever told, if we did not do right, the other should be loved best, in order to teach us to envy, and consequently to hate each other.

"When Valentine was nine, and I was eight years old, he was sent to a public school. It was with great difficulty these fond parents were induced to part with him; but they thought it was for his good, and had no notion of indulging themselves at his expense. Their grief at this separation was somewhat recompensed by the sorrow we both expressed at parting, as they thought it a proof of that love for one another which they had made it their study to cultivate, and which they hoped would be useful to us throughout our lives. I was too young to consider any other good than the present pleasure, and was for some time inconsolable; but my father and mother's goodness, who endeavoured all they could to comfort me, and told me they had only sent Valentine away for his own profit, that he might be the happier man, at last entirely pacified me: we heard from him once a week, and I then lived in a situation, I think, the most desirable in the world; I am sure I have often esteemed it so since, and wished to live it over again. This life continued till I was twelve years old, when all my tranquillity was interrupted by a fatal accident, which has never been out of my thoughts twenty-four hours since it happened, and which I can never mention without the most piercing grief.

"One morning, as my mother and I were walking in the fields (as was our custom an hour before breakfast) a thorn ran into her foot, which put her into the most violent pain; insomuch, that she was unable to stir. As we were alone, I knew not what to do to help her; I saw her turn as pale as death, and look ready to faint away; this threw me into intolerable agonies and I fell a-screaming so loud, that I was heard by some labouring men, who were at plough in a ground not far from the place where we were. They immediately came to our assistance; I desired them to take one of their horses, and contrive, if they could, to carry my mother home; we were not above a quarter of a mile distant, so that one of the men made a shift, as she was a little woman, to carry her before him. It would be in vain to attempt to describe what my father (who loved her very affectionately) felt at this sight.

"We rubbed her foot with some spirits, and in a little time she seemed to be easy, and went about the house only a little limping, without any great complaint, for four days; at the end of which she began to be very uneasy. We presently looked at her foot, the point of the thorn was just visible; all around it was very much swelled, and in the middle was a great black spot; we neither of us had skill enough to pull out the thorn, and our hands trembled at the very approaching her.

"We therefore dispatched a messenger with the utmost speed to fetch a surgeon: when he arrived, and had pulled out the thorn; I, who observed his looks, saw he shook his head, and seemed to fear some terrible consequence. My mother, who had a resolution not to be staggered by any event, begged of him to let her know the worst of his thoughts, for she saw he apprehended something very bad. The surgeon said, indeed he had great reason to fear, that nothing but the immediate loss of her foot could save her life. At first she said, she had much rather die; but on my father's persuasions (in whose power it was to bring her to anything) she consented: but the operation threw her into agonies, which caused so high a fever, as could not be got the better of by all the means that were used. She kept her senses to the last: my father and I never left her, but sat by her bedside as long as she had any signs of life. As she knew our sufferings, and that losing her was as much as we were able to bear, she avoided saying anything tender, lest she should add to our sorrows; but in her looks we read what any one, who had less consideration, and yet had a mind capable of feeling, would have said. We saw her struggling with herself to keep down, and prevent the utterance of what was always uppermost in her thoughts, her tenderness for her husband and children. Only one day, when I was left alone with her, she went so far as to say, 'Camilla, make it the business of your life to obey and please your father; if you should live to see him an old man, return him that care by which he has supported your infancy; cherish your brother's love. Do not remember me to afflict yourself; but only follow my example in your behaviour to the man who has been so good to us both.' She saw me ready to burst, and said no more; but soon after expired, without ever showing the least emotion of fear; she looked forward with pleasure instead of terror, and died with the same resolution of mind which had conducted her through all the various scenes of this life.

"Thus I lost the best of mothers, and from her loss I date all the miseries of my life. My father at first was like one distracted; but as soon as the first sallies of his grief were abated, his good sense came in to his assistance; and, by the help of the many arguments his understanding suggested to him, he calmed his mind, and in a great measure overcame his affliction; though, like Macduff, 'he could not but remember such things were, and were most dear to him;' yet he bore the common fate of mortals, of losing what they are fond of, with true greatness of mind, of which no man had a larger share. I was too young to be so philosophical; the only motive I had to command myself, was the fear of hurting my father; and that indeed was sufficient to make me do or suffer anything; for I loved him with inexpressible fondness, and did not want the addition of my mother's last command to make me obey him, for it was all the pleasure I had in life. He had no occasion to tell me what to do, for I watched his very looks, by them found out his will, and in the performing it employed all my time. I resolved never to marry, for it was impossible for me to change ray situation for a happier; for, in my opinion, to live with any one we love, and find that every action we do is pleasing to them, is the height of human felicity.

"My brother continued to write to us, and I had the satisfaction of hearing he was m health; and found, by all his letters, his affections were as strong to me as when we were in our first infancy. He would sometimes send for money a little faster than my father thought convenient; upon which he would say to me, 'This brother of yours is so extravagant, I don't know how I shall do to support him.' But I have since thought this was only done to try me, and to hear me plead for him, which I always did with all the little rhetoric I was mistress of; so that by this means he contrived to give me the utmost pleasure, in letting me believe I procured my brother what he wanted. So indulgent was this parent, that he used every art he was master of, to give me all the pleasing sensations that arise from generosity and delicacy.

"As I constantly lived with him, and was solicitous in my attendance on him, though he was very impartial, yet I believe I was something his favourite; but I always made use of that favour rather for my brother's advantage than my own. I have heard of women living at home with their fathers, and using all kind of art to make them hate their brothers, in hopes by that means to better their own fortunes; but to me it is surprising, for I could never have forgiven myself, if I could once have reflected that I had ever done my dear Valentine any injury, or omitted any opportunity of serving him. I lived on in this state, in which I had nothing to wish but my mother alive again, nor anything to regret but her loss.

"I had a companion in a young woman in the neighbourhood, who had more wit and vivacity than any woman I ever knew; and we spent our time, when my father was in his study, or gone abroad, in little innocent amusements, suitable to girls of our age. In this manner did I live till I was eighteen; happy had it been for me, if my lifa had ended there; I should then have escaped all those scenes of misery I have since suffered. I lost my companion: for her father dying, and leaving her in bad circumstances, she went to live with a lady of fashion, who took a great fancy to her. This was some uneasiness to me; however, I could not be miserable, while my father was happy and fond of me.

"But on a sudden I observed he turned quite thoughtful and melancholy; I grew very uneasy at it, and took the liberty one day to ask him the cause of it; and begged, if I did anything he disliked, he would let me know it, that I might take care to avoid it for the future. He looked at me with an air of the greatest tenderness, and said, 'My dear child, how can you suspect you ever offend me? No! I am more and more pleased every day with your conduct, which is much above what I ever saw in a person of your years; nay, indeed, a man of the greatest understanding would not be ashamed of your conversation.' I cannot deny but this acknowledgment from one of his judgment, had some effect on my vanity; but I can sincerely say, that the greatest joy I had in it, was owing to the thoughts of my father's partiality and fondness for me. 'No, on the contrary,' continued he, 'my love of you is the cause of my uneasiness; for I have let a passion unawares steal on me, which I am afraid will be to your disadvantage; for although with economy I am able to support you and your brother in a tolerable manner, yet my fortune is not large; and if I should marry, and have an increase of family, it might injure you.'

"'The object of this passion is Livia, the daughter of ———: her fortune must be small; for almost all the estate in the family is gone to the eldest son; who, as he is married, and has children of his own, cannot be expected to do much for her.' I was overcome with this goodness, and desired him not to have any consideration for me; and as for my brother, I was certain that his sentiments would concur with mine, in giving up everything to his father's happiness, and I would by all means have him gratify his passion; for I should hate myself, if I thought I was a burden, rather than a pleasure to him. That if we lived on less, we might be contented; which it was impossible for us to be, whilst he was uneasy. During the time I was speaking, I saw the most lively joy in his eyes: he was happy that I approved his passion; and I, to find what I said was agreeable to him.

"The next day he sent for me into his chamber, and told me he had been thinking on what I had said concerning the reasonableness of his indulging himself with respect to Livia; he really believed I was in the right; that he had turned it in his mind every way, and found, that as he could not be easy without her, it would be more for all our advantages that he should have her. In short, he presently proved, that the most prudent and wisest thing he could do was to marry her. It was no hard matter for him to make me believe whatever he pleased; for I had so implicit a faith in what he said, that his bare affection was to me the strongest proof. But I have often since reflected, that it is a great misfortune that a good understanding, when it is accompanied with a very strong imagination, only makes people judge right, where their own inclinations are not concerned; but when once any violent passion interposes, it serves only to hide and gloss over all bad consequences that attend the gratification of that passion, and removes difficulties out of the way to a man's own destruction; which a person of less sense, and a cooler fancy, would never be able to accomplish: for strength of either mind or body is useful only as it is employed.—But I ask pardon, sir, for troubling you with my remarks, and will proceed in my story, if you are not tired with it."

David begged her not to be afraid of that; for, by what he had heard already, he was but the more curious to know what remained; and as to her remarks, he desired her always to tell him what she felt and thought on every incident which befell her; for nothing could give him greater pleasure, as he was sure, by what she had hitherto expressed, her sentiments were just on all occasions. Camilla thanked him for the favourable construction he put on her thoughts, and resumed her story.

"My father then told me he would send for my brother home, for he had now finished his studies, and he knew nothing would be so agreeable to us both as to be together: his melancholy was dispersed, the struggle was over; he had fixed it in his mind, it was right for him to do what his inclination prompted him to, and I was perfectly satisfied with it; for a cloud on his countenance was the greatest pain I could suffer: and now I saw him cheerful, I thought that cheerfulness could not be bought too dear. Valentine came home immediately on my father's summons, and his sentiments all perfectly agreed with mine.

"My father introduced me to Livia, and we soon became intimate; she appeared very fond of me, and I found her so agreeable, that I was inclined to like her as much as my father could wish. He asked me my opinion of her; I told him I thought she seemed a reasonable woman, and I did not doubt but she would make a very good wife, and be contented to live in the manner his circumstances could afford. He replied, with a sort of ecstasy, that if he had wanted any proofs of my judgment, what I had now said of Livia could not fail of convincing him of it. Although he was near fifty, yet was his person very agreeable, and he had such an eternal fund of entertainment in his conversation, that all the world coveted his company. It was no wonder Livia was pleased with his addresses, and withstood them no longer than was just necessary to keep up the ceremonies appointed by custom for women in such cases, when they were married to the entire satisfaction of all parties. Valentine paid his mother the respect due to her; and, for my part, I really liked Livia from inclination: but, as I found she was the object which gave the greatest pleasure to the man in the world I most loved, and to whom I owed all the duty I was capable of paying, I thought I could never do enough to oblige her. My father grew every day fonder and fonder of his wife; and now, sir, I believe you will think the happiness of this little family could admit of no addition.

"I thought so at that time, and if the opinion I then had of Livia could have been supported with any colour of reason, I should never have known a wish beyond what I then enjoyed. But, perhaps, sir, if you have not had a great deal of experience in the world, you may be yet to learn, that there are women, who, in order to prove their love to their husbands, take an utter aversion to everything that belongs to them. This was my unhappy case: the woman whom I thought my best friend, from the moment she became my mother, turned my enemy, only because my father was fond of me; for I am certain she never had any other reason for a conduct like her's.

"The first step she took, was to assume an air of forced civility, instead of that familiarity, which, from the beginning of our short acquaintance, we had been used to treat each other with, and throw me at a distance; for, as Shakespeare says, 'When hot love grows cold, it useth an enforced ceremony.' But in this she for some time lost her aim; for I knew so little of the world, I took it for a mark, that she was resolved, as she was got into a character of life so much hated (and, I am afraid, too often deservedly) as that of a mother-in-law, that the world should say she paid me rather more than less respect than before, I was not so well pleased with this behaviour as I should have been, had she continued her former manner; but, however, as I mistook the motive of her actions, I did not esteem her the less.

"But this did not last long; she went on from one thing to another, till it was impossible, with all my partiality for her, to be deceived any longer; and I shall never be ashamed to own, it was with great difficulty my eyes were opened enough to see her in the true light: for I shall always esteem young people, who are apt to be suspicous, especially of their friends, to be incapable of possessing real goodness. They may, if they please, boast their judgement; but I cannot help imputing it more to the badness of their hearts, than to the goodness of their heads."

David, who never suspected anybody without the strongest proofs, very much applauded Camilla's judgement, and concurred with her in her sentiments. And she proceeded as follows—

"You will be amazed, sir, to find all the guile and cunning this woman made use of, to make me and Valentine hated by my father. I suppose it must be, because she thought her interest incompatible with ours; and that the only way to spend all her husband's fortune, was to make him believe we were his greatest enemies. She was quite different from the opinion I had formed of her; for instead of being contented with what my father could afford, she never though anything extravagant enough; buying jewels, going to public places, everything that was to spend the most money, was her chief delight; and the only article in which she ever thought of saving, was in denying my brother and me what we wanted. But this she never did openly; for whatever was proposed for us, she always came very gladly into. The method she took to disappoint us, was, that by her conduct, money soon became very scarce; for she spent all he could procure, and by that means we were obliged to go without it. She would condescend to such mean arts, that had I not been witness of it, I could not have believed any human creature could have been capable of them, I have known her several times bring in bills to my father, where she has set down things for us we never had, in order to make him think she had a great affection for us, that he might esteem her the more; and when to our generosity she owed the success of her schemes, for we neither of us would discover anything to make my father uneasy, she then exulted in the thoughts of her great sense, and applauded her own understanding: for she was wise enough to mistake a low cunning, and such little mean arts, as people who had any understanding could never submit to, for sense. I soon found out that all the softness and tenderness I once imagined her possessed of, was entirely owing to her person; the symmetry and proportion of which gave so pleasing an air to everything she said or did, that nothing but envy could have prevented her beholders from being prejudiced in her favour.

"I often thought, could she have beheld herself in the goddess of justice's mirror of truth, as it is described in that beautiful vision in the Tatler, she would have loathed and detested, as much as she now admired, herself. Her fine chestnut-brown hair, which flowed in natural ringlets round her neck, was it to have represented the strings that held her heart, must have become as harsh and unphable as the stiffest cord; her large blue eyes, which now seemed to speak the softness of a soul replete with goodness, had they on a sudden, by the irresistible power of a goddess' command, been forced to confess the truth, would have lost all their amiableness, and have looked askew an hundred ways at once, to denote the many little plots she was forming to do mischief; her skin would have become black and hard, as an emblem of her mind; her limbs distorted; and her nails would have been changed into crooked talons, which, however, should have had power to think in such a manner as that the unwary might come near enough, without suspicion, to be got into her clutches. Not a metamorphosis in all Ovid could be more surprising than hers would have been, was this mirror of truth to have been held to her. I have really shuddered with horror as the image my own fancy has presented me; and notwithstanding all her cruelty to me, (nay, what is much more, to my dear Valentine) my indignation never could rise so high as to wish her the punishment to see herself in this glass, unless it could have been means of her amendment.

"She never abused us; but found means to work on our tempers in such a manner, as in my father's sight always to make us appear in the wrong. Sha knew I could not bear the least slight from any one loved without distraction, and therefore she would contrive, by all the methods she could invent, touch me in that tender point, and to raise me into such a height of passion, as might make me behave in a manner to be condemned by my father. Valentine seldom said anything; he bore all with patience; but unless he too would have joined in tormenting me, he was never to be forgiven; besides, ours was looked on by her as a common interest, and he was as great an offence to her sight as I was. When she had worked me up to a pitch, in which perhaps I might drop an unguarded word, she was then in her kingdom; for as she was cool, and all on her side was design, she knew how to play her part. She was always sorry I was so passionate; as to her, she loved me so well, she could put up with anything from me; but as she was my father's wife, she thought it a disrespect to him, and she could not bear the thoughts of any one's treating him otherwise than they ought to do, and as she was sure he deserved from everybody! On such occasions he sat all the while wondering and admiring at her goodness, and blessing himself at the great love he saw she had for him. I was astonished at her giving things that turn, and she triumphed in finding how easily she could make everything go to her wish; but still she had not done, she must do acts of supererogation, and interceded with my father not to be angry with me, for she really believed it was only passion. He had not yet got so much the better of the long affection he had for me, but he was glad to find any excuse to be reconciled to me.

"Thus she flattered him, by engaging him to follow his own inclinations, at the same time that she displayed her own goodness. By means like these, she increased his esteem for her, while she deserved his detestation; then she would come into the best humour in the world, and appear as if there was nothing more in it than an accidental dispute, which was all over; she would be so like her former self, that for several times she deceived me, and I began to imagine I fancied things which had no existence but in my own brains. Thus barbarously she often took pains to pull me off the rack, only that she might have the pleasure, when I was almost healed and well, to torture me again: for to behave inconsistently, sometimes well, and sometimes ill, is the greatest curse a mind disposed to love can ever meet with.

"My brother and I looked with horror on the consequences of the expensive sort of life Livia was drawing her husband into; and yet, as we saw it impossible to prevent it, we commanded ourselves enough to be silent. But this was not sufficient; the dread we had of what our father would be brought to, broke out into our countenances in spite of any resolutions we could form to the contrary. This she insinuated was owing to selfishness in us, and a fear lest we should have the less for what she spent. As my father could not resist giving way to her desires in every respect, and observed our disapprobation of it in our faces, he began to look upon us as bars to his pleasures, and the reproachers of his actions; which by degrees lessened his affection for us in such a manner, that he esteemed us rather as his enemies than his children.

"Thus my father's house, which used to be my asylum from all cares, and the comfort of my life, was converted by this woman's management into my greatest torment; and my condition was as miserable as a person's would be who had lost his best friend he had in the world, and was to be haunted hourly by his ghost; and that not in the pleasing form in which he used to place his delight, but with a face made grim with death, and furious with some perturbation of spirit. Such now was my father become to me, instead of that kind, that fond, that partial approver of everything I said or did; my every action was displeasing to him; and he never saw me, but his looks expressed that anger and dislike which pierced me to the soul; whatever thing I wanted, was too much for me; and though I denied myself everything but the bare necessaries of life, yet all expense of the family was imputed to me and my brother. All the servants in the house finding it their interest to be as disobliging as they could to us, took care not to be too officious in serving us. Such mercenary wretches were below my notice ; but yet their behaviour was shocking to me, as it was one of the proofs of the decay of my father's love."

David here interrupted her, by saying that she was very much in the right, for there was nothing so strong a proof that the master of a house has no regard for us, as the constant misbehaviour of his servants towards us; he had had the melancholy experience of it; but he thought she was mistaken in thinking any station could made people below her notice; for as to him, there was nothing in life he attended to more earnestly than the behaviour of those men, whose want of education shewed more openly, and with less disguise, what their natures were; indeed, hitherto his observations of that kind had given but a melancholy prospect. His eyes expressed so much sorrow, as he spoke this, and his mind appeared so affected, that Camilla gave him a thousand thanks for the good-natured part he took in her afflictions, and said she would now take leave of him, it being late, and to-morrow would resume her story.


book 3




The next day, the first opportunity Camilla had of being alone with David, on his desire she proceeded as follows——

"Valentine was now all the comfort I had left me; his passions were either not so strong, or his resolutions stronger; for he bore up much better than I did, although I found his sentiments were the same with mine. We were always together, from which Livia possessed my father with an opinion that we were making parties in the house against them, I was so altered with the continual uneasiness of my mind, that no one would have known me. This, which was owing to my tender regret for the loss of a parent's love, was imputed I to rancour and malice; thus my very grief was turned to my disadvantage. My father, whose nature was open and generous, was, as it were, intoxicated by his passion for this woman; and grew, like her, suspicious of everything around him. She soon perceived the success of her pernicious designs, and omitted no pains, nor no falsehoods, to improve it. In short, was I to tell you all the little arts she used to make us miserable, to impose on the man who doated on her to distraction, and in the end to ruin herself, it would fill volumes, and tire your patience. Whenever she had laid any extravagant scheme to spend money, she never directly proposed it, but only gave a hint that it would be agreeable to her. If it happened to be a thing her husband thought very unreasonable, and he did not catch immediately at the least intimation of her pleasure, and speak of it as if it was his own desire, and in a manner force her to comply with it, in appearance, against her will; she then threw herself out of humour, and contrived all manner of ways to plague him; and when she saw him in agonies at her frowns, she often said things to him I really would not say to the greatest enemy I had in the world. But I must take shame to myself, and own a weakness which you perhaps will condemn me for; but I could not help being sometimes a little pleased at feeling my father teazed by the woman he himself suffered to be so great a curse to me and Valentine." Here David sighed, and looked down, not answering one word; for he could not approve, and he would not condemn her. Camilla observed him, and hastened to take him out of that perplexity she saw him in, by turning again to the brighter side of her own character; and went on as follows: "But then she carried this on to so great a degree, that the misery I saw my once fond father in, raised all my tenderness for him; the comparison between her behaviour, and that of my dear mother (who made it the business of her life to please him) and my own, who watched his very looks, and carefully obeyed their motions, with various senses which formerly had passed, rushed at once into my memory, and I often left the room with tears in my eyes.

"She knew so well the bent of his temper, and how far she might venture, that she would carry it exactly as far as he could bear. But when she found he began to grow warm, and retort her ill-nature, she could at once turn from a devil into an angel. This sudden change of the mind, from pain to pleasure, had always such an effect on him, that he in a moment forgot all she had said or done to hurt him, and thought of nothing but her present good-humour. The being reconciled was so great a heaven to him, he condemned himself for having offended such a charming creature, and was in raptures at her great goodness in forgiving him; would ask a thousand pardons, and be amazed at her condescension in granting them. His fondness was greater than before; for all violent passions, put a stop to but for a moment, increase on their return, as rivers flow faster after any interruption in their course. People who really love, will grant anything in the moment of reconcilation. My father would then think what he should do, to return all this softness and tenderness; and ten to one but he hit on the very thing which had been the cause of all her ill-humour; he would then intreat her to oblige him so much as to do what he knew she had most a mind to; which, after objections enough to shew him the obligations he owed her for complying, she consented to. Thus every thing fell into the right channel again; my father was the happiest man in the world, and had nothing to vex him but the enmity he was made believe his children had to him.

"Poor Valentine and I walked about the house forlorn and neglected; what I felt, (and I dare assert the same of him, at the alteration in our father's behaviour) I shall not attempt to describe, as I am very certain no words can express it so strongly as your own imagination will suggest it to you. But Livia was not yet contented, although we were made miserable: we were not utterly abandoned, although she had contrived to give my father an ill opinion of us; nay, unless she could even prevail on him to turn us out of doors, which, unless she could make us appear guilty of some monstrous villainy, she despaired of effecting.

"As the bringing us into absolute disgrace with my father was her greatest grief, so she constantly pretended it was her greatest fear: for all her power was owing to his blindness; and had she done anything to have opened his eyes, the goodness of his heart would have made him detest as much as now he loved her. She was obliged therefore to be cautious in what she did; for the way to bring things about with men who have no ill designs of their own, is to work underhand, by pretending our views are good.

"She had so long been our enemy, and endeavoured to impose us, as hers, on my father, that I really believe she imposed on herself, and thought we were so. She watched us about the house, as if she was afraid we should do some mischief: she did not concern herself much about Valentine; and thought, as we were looked on to love one another in such a manner, that what one did was always approved by the other, as I was the most passionate, and had least command of my temper, I was the properest person to work on. She therefore continually did all she could to provoke me into passions, and work me into madness, that I might not know what I said or did."

David could not forbear sighing at such a piece of barbarity, but would not interrupt Camilla's narration; only begged to know what could be the end of all these designs of her mother's and how far her father could be blinded by his passion.

"Alas, sir!" answered Camilla, "there is no knowing how far passion of that kind will carry people; they go lengths which they themselves at first would be perfectly startled at; and are guilty of actions, which, were they to hear of a third person, they would condemn, and think themselves utterly incapable of. Perhaps you will wonder to hear me say it, but I could never enough get the better of the opinion I had fixed of my father's goodness, not to think if his mind had been less great, his actions would have been better; for that tenderness and good-nature, which made him really love the object that gave him pleasure, was the cause of all his terrors. A man who looks upon a woman as a creature formed for his diversion, and who has neither compassion nor good- will towards her, can never be worked on by her arts to do himself or another an injury. Women have it in their power at once to please all the passions a man can be possessed of; he is flattered by her liking him, melted into tenderness (if he has any) by her softness, and easily drawn in to esteem her, if she thinks it worth her while to gain his friendship, because he finds she pleases him, and he would not willingly think he can be thus pleased with a creature unworthy his esteem. So that a man, in some measure, thinks it necessary, in order to prove his own judgment, to justify the woman he finds he cannot help being fond of. This is a passion I have always observed people of merit to be most liable to. If it happens to light on a woman who really deserves it, the man becomes a greater blessing to all his acquaintance; his thoughts are more refined; and, by continually being influenced by a person who has no other view but to promote his interest and honour, all the little carelessnesses of his temper are corrected, and he is visibly both happier and better than he was before. But if, on the contrary, as in the case of Livia and my father, the woman looks on her husband's love for her in no other light but as it gives her an opportunity to make a prey of his fortune, and to impose on his understanding; the latter will be destroyed as fast as the former is spent; his friends will drop from him; he will find a fault somewhere, and, from a desire not to impute it to the right cause, not know where to place it. He will awaken that suspicion which always sleeps at Wisdom's gate, and find he has roused a fury, which neither 'poppies, nor mandragora, nor all the drowsy syrups in the world, can medicine to sweet sleep again.'

"But I ask pardon, I am led into a subject I could for ever expatiate on, and forget, while I am indulging myself, you, sir, may be tired; I will therefore now bring myself back to the thread of my story, as well as I am able. This was the life the whole family led; my father was continually uneasy at feeling a disagreement between us and his wife. My mother spent her whole time in considering which way she should best carry on her pernicious schemes. Valentine walked about silent and discontented; and, as for my part, I was worked by my passions in such a manner, that I hardly knew one thing from another, nor can I think I was perfectly in my senses.

"I tell you, sir, everything without order, and hope you will be so good as to forgive the incoherence of my style. I remember once, when my mother's extravagance had drove her husband to great distress, and he knew not which way to turn himself, I asked no questions, but borrowed some money of an intimate friend of mine, and brought it to them. My father, who, though he was cajoled and deceived by his wife's cunning, yet in his heart was all goodness, could not help being pleased with this instance of my love and duty; and as he had no deceit in him, did not endeavour to conceal it. I saw Livia had rather have suffered anything than have given me an opportunity of acting what my father was pleased to esteem a generous part; however, she carried it off in such a manner, that her fond lover never perceived it gave her any disquiet, I declare, I did it sincerely to serve them, and had no other view in it. I had for some time had such a despair in my mind, of ever enjoying my self again, that even that despair really gave me some sort of ease; but this action of mine had revived my father's former tenderness just enough to bring to my remembrance all I had lost. The little while this continued, I was more miserable than when he quite neglected me; for now the want of those trifling instances of his affection I once enjoyed began to rise in my mind again, and I had all the pain my heart had felt at the loss of them to suffer afresh. I had spent a great deal of time in endeavouring to calm my mind, and insure it to bear ill-usage: but this little view of pleasure, this small return of hope, quite got the better of all my resolutions; for I am convinced, that to live with anybody we have once loved, and fancy we have, by any wisdom or philosophy of our own, put it out of their power to hurt us, is feeding ourselves with a vain chimera, and flattering our pride with being able to do more than is in the power of any mortal.

"Livia saw the agitations of mind I suffered, and was resolved to make them subservient to her purposes. She, therefore, one morning as I was musing and resolving in my mind the difference of my present situation from what it had formerly been, came into my room with all the appearance of good-humour, and sat and talked for some time of indifferent things; at last she fell into a discourse on our private affairs, in which she took an opportunity of saying all the most shocking things she could think of, although she kept up to the strictest rules of civility; for she valued herself much upon her politeness: and I have observed several people value themselves greatly on their own good breeding, whose politeness consists in nothing more than an art of hurting others, without making use of vulgar terms.

"When Livia had by these means worked me up to a rage, then she had her ends. She knew my father was reading in a room very near us; she therefore exalted her voice to such a pitch, that it was impossible for him not to hear her. This immediately brought him to know what was the matter: he found me endeavouring to speak, and yet, from the variety of passions working in my mind, unable to utter my words; for from what we had been talking of, the idea of all the torments I had suffered from the time I first observed a decline in my father's affections, rushed at once upon my thoughts, and quite overpowered me. Livia looked as pale as death; for, thus provoked, I could not help telling her what I thought of her behaviour. Her pride could not bear to think I knew her, so that I believe she was at last in as great a passion as she could be; but she never was carried so far as to forget her main view. My father looked wild at seeing us in this condition, and desired Livia to tell him, what could be the cause of of all this confusion; solemnly affirming, that no nearness of blood, or any tie whatever, should screen the person from his anger who could use her in such a way as to ruffle that sweetness of temper which he knew nothing but the highest provocation could so much get the better of, as to make her talk so loud, and look so discomposed. By this time she had enough recollected herself to think of an answer proper for her purpose; and told him, It was no matter now—it was over—she had recovered herself again; but I had been in a violent passion, only because she said and then she repeated some trifling thing, which however had two meanings; and the different manner she now spoke it in from what she had done before, gave it quite another turn; and you may be sure her husband took it in the most favourable sense. 'But,' said he, I must have been a stock or a stone, and have had no manner of feeling, if I had not been provoked at the answers she made.' On which she chose to repeat the most virulent expression I had made use of; and, I confess, I was quite unguarded, and said whatever I was prompted to by my rage. She concluded, by saying there should be an end of it; for now she was calm again. During the time she was speaking the poor unhappy deceived man stared with fury; his eye-balls rolled; and, like Othello, he bit his nether lip with fury. At last, he suddenly sprung forward, and struck me!"

While Camilla was relating this last transaction her voice faltered by degrees, till she was able to speak no more. She trembled with the agonies the remembrance of past afflictions threw her into, and at last fainted away. David catched her in his arms, but knew not what to do to bring her to life again, for he was almost in the same condition himself.

At this very instant Valentine entered the room; he was amazed at this scene, and knew not to what cause to ascribe it. However, his present thoughts were all employed in considerations how he could help his sister: he ran for water, and threw it in her face, which soon brought her to herself. The brother and David were both rejoiced to hear her speak again, but particularly David, for he really thought she had been dead. The rest of the evening passed in conversation on indifferent things. Valentine seemed more thoughtful than usual. Camilla observed it, and could not help being uneasy: she was terrified lest he should have met with some new vexation. However, as he did not mention anything, she would not ask him before a third person. When they retired to rest, Valentine followed her into her room, and seemed as if he had something to say to her which he was afraid to disclose, and yet was unable to conceal; for his love for Camilla was quite of a different kind from that of those brothers, who, by their fathers having more concern for the keeping up the grandeur of their names than for the welfare of their posterity, having got the possession of all the estate of the family, out of mere kindness and good-nature allow their sisters enough out of it to keep them from starving in some hole in the country, where their small subsistence just serves to sustain them the longer in their misery, and prevents them from appearing in the world to disgrace their brother by their poverty.

Valentine was afraid to say anything which could anywise be shocking to the person he would never have been ashamed of owning a friendship for, notwithstanding she was a woman, Camilla saw him in perplexity, and begged him to let her know what it was that grieved him; and if it was in her power, by any labour or pains, either to relieve or comfort him, assured him of her assistance. Valentine then made the following reply—"My dear Camilla, I am certain, wants no proof of my sincere affection, and I must confess all my present uneasiness is on your account: the condition I just now found you in, with the confusion in Mr. Simple's looks, raised fears in my breast lest you should be now going to suffer, if possible, more than you have already gone through; for in minds as generous as I know yours to be, the strongest affections are those which are first raised by obligations. I am not naturally suspicious; but the experience I have already had of mankind, and the beauty of your form, with the anxiety I am always in for your welfare, inclines me to fear the worst. You, of all womankind, should be most careful how you enter into any engagements of love; for that softness of disposition, and all that tenderness you are possessed of, will expose you to the utmost misery; and, unless you meet with a man whose temper is like your own, which will be no easy matter for you to do, you will be as unwise to throw away all the goodness you are mistress of on him, as a man would be who had a great stock-in-trade, to join it with another who not only was worth nothing of his own, but was a spend-thrift, and insensible of the great good he was doing him. I acknowledge this gentleman has behaved to us both in a manner which demands the return of all our most grateful sentiments; but if what he has done should be owing to the liking of your person, and he should be plotting your misery instead of your welfare, I had rather be in the condition he found us in than be relieved by any one who can have so mean, so despicable a way of thinking." Camilla hearkened with the utmost attention while Valentine was speaking; and, when he had finished, told him she thought she could never enough acknowledge his kindness in his concern for her; but she assured him, that by all she could observe in Mr. Simple's behaviour, and she had narrowly examined all his words and actions, she could not hut think he had as much honour as he made an outward profession of. That indeed she could not deny but that she thought he had some regard for her; but he seemed rather afraid to let her know it than solicitous to make an appearance of it, which she imputed to his delicacy, lest she should suspect he took any advantage of her unhappy circumstances, or thought what he had done for her ought to lay any restraint on her affections. She desired her brother not to be uneasy; told him that it was the repetition of what she could never remember without horror that had thrown her into the way he found her in; and assured him, if David mentioned anything of love to her, she would tell him of it, and conduct herself by his advice. After this promise, he took his leave of her and went to bed.

David could get but little sleep that night for the various reflections which crowded into his mind on the story he had heard that day. All the good qualities Camilla intimated her father was possessed of, and yet his being capable of acting in such a manner by such a daughter were melancholy indications to him that a perfect character was nowhere to be found. When he thought on Camilla's sufferings, his indignation was raised against him; then, when he remembered that all his faults were owing to being deceived by a woman of Livia's art, he could not help having a compassion for him. But from this scene, which he looked on with terror, there was a sudden transition in his mind to the idea of all Camilla's softness and goodness. On this he dwelt with the utmost rapture; but was often interrupted in this pleasing dream, though much against his will, by the remembrance of her owning she had sometimes been weak enough to triumph in her heart at seeing Livia tease her father; but then so many excuses immediately presented themselves to plead in his breast for Camilla, that had her frailties been much greater, they would not have prevented his thinking that in her he had met with all he wished. He longed for an opportunity of hearing the rest of her story; for he was now perfectly sure that he should hear nothing in it but what was to her advantage. And the next time Valentine was gone out of the way, Camilla, by his earnest desire, went on with her history in the following manner.




"I ceased, sir, at a part, the remembrance of which always effects me in such a manner that my resolution is not strong enough to keep life in me at the repetition of it. It was the first time my father had ever struck me, though I had been bred up with him from my infancy, I was stunned with the blow; but my senses soon returned, and brought with them that train of horrible thoughts, which it is equally impossible for me ever to root from my memory, or to find words in any language capable of expressing. When my father saw me fall, I believe he was at first frightened: he took me up and set me upon the bed; but the moment Livia saw there was no real hurt done, fearing he should relent and make it up with me again, she hurried him out of the room, under the pretence of being frightened at his passion; sayng, she would not that he should have struck me on any account, especially in her quarrel, for she could bear it all. And then she put him in mind again of what she thought he would be most displeased at my saying. I had not spoke one word, nor was I able. The moment they were gone, I threw myself back on the bed, in greater agonies than the strongest imagination can paint, or than I can comprehend how human nature is able to survive. My father's leaving me in this condition, without giving himself any further trouble about what I suffered, or to find out whether I really deserved this treatment, hurt me more than even his striking me had done.

"In this miserable condition I lay till Valentine came in. It was his custom always to come up immediately to me after he had been abroad. The poor creature found me almost drowned in tears, and unable to tell him the cause of them. He guessed Livia was at the bottom of whatever it was that made me in this situation. He at first swore he would go and know from her what she had done to me. I caught hold of him, and showed him by my looks, that nothing would hurt me so much; and by that means prevailed with him to sit down by me till I could recover myself enough to speak; when, with the interruption of sighs and tears, I told him everything that had happened. Valentine, who is very far from being passionate (but the passions of men who are not subject to he ruffled, are much more to be dreaded than those of a sort of people who can have their whole frame shaken and torn to pieces about every grain of mustard-seed, or every blast of wind), when he had heard me out grew outrageous, insisted that I would let him go, for he was resolved no respect, even for his father, should prevent his telling Livia she should not use me in that manner. Nay, and before her husband's face, he would display all her tricks, and show him how she imposed on him.

"I was now frightened to death, for I would not have had my father and brother meet, while he was in this humour, for the whole world. I still kept hold of him, and begged him, with all the most endearing expressions I was mistress of, not to increase my misery, but to sit down till he was cool, that we might consult together what was best for us to do. He was so good, in consideration for me, to comply with my request, and I did all I could to calm his passion; and when I found he was able to hearken to me, I cried out, 'Oh ! Valentine, in this house I can live no longer; the sight of my father, now I have such evident proofs his affection is so entirely alienated from me, is become as great a torment to me as ever it was a blessing. I value not what I shall go through in being a vagabond and not knowing where to go; for I am certain no poverty, no misery, can ever equal what I suffer here. But then, how shall I leave you? Can I bear to be separated from the only comfort I have left in the world, or can I be the cause of your leaving your father's house, and subjecting you to, perhaps, more afflictions than you already endure? 'Tis that thought distracts my mind! for, as to myself, I am careless of everything future, and am sure nothing, when I am absent from hence, can ever make me feel what I do at this moment; nor would I have home it so long, had it not been for fear of bringing greater mischiefs on your head than what you now suffer.'

"Valentine swore he would never forsake me, that he would accompany me wherever I pleased, and be my support and guard to the utmost of his power, for that he valued his life no longer than it conduced to that end; but he thought it advisable we should make one effort, before we took such a step, to conconvince my father of Livia's treachery; and lay before him how she had used us; perhaps his affection might return for us, his eyes might be opened, _ and everything be right again.

"I considered a moment, and then replied. 'My I dear brother, I am very certain my father's passion for this woman must be without all bounds, or he could never have been influenced by any arts of hers to strike me, and use me as he has done. Were we to attempt to open his eyes on her faults, he would not hearken to us, and only hate us the more; and, could we give him any suspicion of her, it would only make him unhappy, which, let him use me ever so cruelly, the world could not bribe me to wish him; for, as I take his fondness for Livia to be unconquerable, all the ease he has he owes to his blindness; and I am sure, if a man was put in heavy chains, which he had no means of taking off, and was mad enough to deceive himself, and fancy they were bracelets made of the finest jewels and strings of the softest silk, that man would be very little his friend who should take pains to convince him they were made of iron, till he felt ail their weight, and was sensible of his own unhappy condition. Nay, if I loved him, and was confined within his reach, and he should carry his madness so far as to strike me with the iron, fancying it was so soft I could not feel it, while the hurt was not great enough to throw me off my guard, I would not tell him of it. Indeed, I would get from him, if it was in my power, as I will now from my father, lest I should be tempted to act a part I myself think wrong, and contrive some method of undeceiving him, to his own misery.'

"Valentine was by this time quite cool, and approved of what I had said. We therefore took a resolution of going from thence, though we knew not whither, nor who would receive us. We at last recollected we had an old aunt, who used to be very kind to us, and appeared to have taken a great fancy to Valentine: to her therefore we went, and begged her, for some little time, till we could settle what to do with ourselves, to let us remain in her house. We told her as much of what had happened as we thought just necessary to plead for us in going from our father's house; but with the greatest caution, that we might throw as little blame on him as possible. We could not avoid letting her a little into Livia's behaviour, for we had no other justification for what we had done. She said she was very much amazed at what we told her, for Livia had a very good character; but she supposed this was a passionate quarrel, and she would take care of us till such time as it could be made up again. We assured her that was impossible; that we would on no account ever go back to a place we had suffered so much in, and only entreated as the greatest favour that she would grant us some little corner of her house to be in, and let nobody know we were there. She took little notice of what we said, but resolved to act her own way.

"The next day she went out, and at her return came into the room where we were, with the greatest fury imaginable in her looks; and asked us what it was we meant by telling her a story of Livia's ill-usage, and God knows what, and endeavouring to impose on her, and make her accessary to our wicked conversation with each other. Brother and sister!—it was unnatural. She did not think the world had been arrived at such a pitch of wickedness. She ran on in this manner for a great while, without giving us leave to answer her.

"Valentine and I stood staring at one another, for we did not understand one word she said: at last, when she had talked herself out of breath, I begged her to explain herself, for I was really at a loss to know what she meant; if she had anything to lay to our charge, and would please to let us know what it was, we were ready to justify ourselves. Then she began again, 'Oh! undoubtedly you are very innocent people—you don't know what I mean.'

"Then she launched out into a long harangue on the crying and abominable sin of incest, wrung her hands, and seemed in the greatest affliction, that ever she should live to hear a nephew and niece of hers could be such odious creatures. At last I guessed what she would insinuate; but, as I knew myself perfectly innocent, could not imagine how such a thought could come into her head. I begged her for God's sake to let me know who could have filled her ears with such a horrid story; and by degrees I got it out of her. It seems this good woman had been at my father's that afternoon, with a design of reconciling and bringing us together again: when she came in, she found Livia and her husband sitting together; after the usual compliments of civility were past, she began to mention us; told, them we were at her house, and that she was come with an intention of making up some little disputes she understood there had been between us. Livia now acted a part which perhaps she had not long intended; but I am convinced, whoever is capable, unprovoked, to do another an injury, will stop at nothing to carry their schemes through; and, if they find no villainy in the person they thus undeservedly persecute, they will make no scruple of inventing anything, ever so bad, for their own justification.

"The moment my aunt mentioned us, Livia fell into a violent passion of crying, and said she was sure she was the most unfortunate woman alive; she did not doubt but we had told her everything we could think of to vilify her; for we were cunning enough to know that mothers-in-law were easily believed by the word to be in fault, though she was sure she had always acted by us as if we had been her own children. She said her chief concern now was for us, for that she was in the utmost consternation to think what the world would say of us—a young man and women running away together from their father's house, without any reason (and she was sure she knew of none) had a very bad appearance; and, as all our acquaintance knew we had always a remarkable fondness for each other, that circumstance would corroborate the suspicion. Then she mentioned several little instances in which Valentine and I had shown our reciprocal love; adding, that although she had great reason to believe we both hated her, yet, as we were so nearly related to the man she loved, she could not help being concerned for our welfare, As she spoke this, she looked at her husband with such an air of softness and tenderness, as she knew would be the strongest proof imaginable to him of her sincerity. My father stood for some little time in amazement, and was struck with the utmost horror at the thought Livia had suggested to him; and then swore he would send for us home, and lock us up separately from each other. This would utterly have frustrated all Livia's designs; for she knew the temper of the man she had to deal with well enough to be satisfied, if once we came home again, time would bring about a reconciliation between my father and us, which she was resolved to prevent; and therefore, as she had gone so far, she thought herself now under a necessity to go through with it. Few people stop in the midst of villainies, as the first step is much the hardest to get over.

"Livia therefore, with the appearance of the greatest perturbation of mind, as if it was the utmost force to her in this case even to speak the truth, and with tears in her eyes, said things were now come to such an extremity, that in order to prevent her husband's having any suspicion of her giving his children any cause for their hatred, she was forced, against her will, to confess she knew the reason of our aversion to her. 'I have discovered a secret, my dear.'—Here she made a pause, and then desired to be excused from proceeding any further; but my father, whose soul was now on fire, insisted in the strongest manner on knowing the whole. She then with an affected confusion, and a low voice continued thus: 'I accidentally found out a secret which they feared I might one time or other discover; and therefore used all the methods they could invent to give your father an ill opinion of me, that if I told it, it might be disbelieved.' She then turned to him, and said, 'I ought to ask your pardon, sir, for so long concealing from you a thing which is of the utmost consequence to your family; but it was the fear of making you unhappy was the reason of it, and I could never bring myself to give you the pain you must have felt at the knowledge of it. Nay, nothing but your absolute commands, which I shall ever obey, could even now enforce me. It is now some time since I found out there was a criminal conversation between your son and daughter; to this was owing all that love they talked of to each other; to this may be imputed Valentine's melancholy, and this was the foundation of all the passions you have seen Camilla in, which she feigned to be owing to her grief for using her ill; for on their oaths and solemn promises of amendment, I assured them you should know nothing of it. I don't know whether I am excusable for so doing, but I had so great a dread of disturbing your peace of mind, that I could not prevail with myself to act otherwise, and was in hopes to have preserved your quiet, and by this lenity have saved your children from ruin. I have watched them all I could' (thus she artfully gave a reason for all her actions), 'and it was on my speaking to Camilla yesterday, because I observed she still continued to contrive methods of being alone with Valentine, she fell into that passion in which you found her. This, if they will come before you, I will affirm to their faces, and I think they cannot even dare to deny it.'

"Perhaps, sir, you will wonder how Livia could venture to go so far as this, in a thing she knew to be utterly false; but, if we consider it seriously, she hazarded nothing by it; on the contrary, this pretended openness was the strongest confirmation of the truth of what she asserted. She knew very well there could be no more than our bare words against hers; and that, before a judge as partial to her as her husband, there was no danger but she should be believed. My father now saw everything made clear before him, the reason of all our discontents was no longer a secret; he was amazed at our wickedness, and said, he was sorry he had been the cause of such creatures coming into the world; that he would never see us more; then concluded with a compliment to Livia on her great goodness, and wondered how it was possible anything could be so bad as to abuse such softness and good-nature. On which Livia replied, she did not value our behaviour, nothing but necessity should have extorted from her what she always intended to conceal; and, if she might advise, he should see us again, separate us from each other, and make no noise in the world about such an affair as this. She well knew my father's temper, and that his seeing she thus returned good for evil would only raise his esteem the higher for her, and exasperate him the more against us.

"My aunt was astonished at our wickedness, and in the highest admiration of Livia's virtue. From this visit she came directly home to us, with a resolution such wretches should find no harbour in her house, and talked to us in the manner already related.

"Valentine and I were like statues on the hearing of all this, and it was some time before we could recollect ourselves enough to speak; this was thought to be owing to our guilt, and the shame of being detected, instead of amazement and indignation at hearing our innocence thus falsely accused. It was in vain for us to endeavour at clearing ourselves, for my aunt was a very good sort of a woman, as far as her understanding would give her leave; but she had the misfortune of having such a turned head, that she was always in the wrong, and there was never any possibility of convincing her of the contrary of anything she had once resolved to believe. She had run away warmly with the thoughts of the terrible sin of incest, and therefore we were to be condemned unheard, and be thought guilty without any proof."

David could contain himself no longer; but looking at Camilla with an air of the greatest compassion, cried out, "Good God ! madam, what have you suffered! and how were you able to bear up in the midst of all these afflictions? I would rather go and live in some cave, where I may never see anything in human shape again, than hear of another Livia. And how could aunt be so barbarous as not to give you leave to justify yourselves?"

"So far from it, sir," replied Camilla, "my aunt would by no means suffer such wicked creatures, as she now believed us, to remain under the same roof with her. Thus were we abandoned and destitute of all means of support; for we had but one guinea in the world; and Livia took care to make the story that we were run from home, that we might have a better opportunity to carry on our intrigues, fly like lightning through all our relations and acquaintance. So that, although we tried to speak to several of them, it was in vain, no one would admit us, except one old maiden cousin, who, instead of doing anything for our relief, said all the ill-natured things (on the report she had heard of us) the utmost malice could think of. She had always been very circumspect in her own conduct, and was rather a devotee than otherwise; and I verily believe she was glad of an opportunity to vent her own spleen, while she was silly enough to imagine she was exerting herself in the cause of virtue.

"We knew not which way to turn ourselves; but, as we happened to be tolerably dressed, we thought we might possibly be admitted into a lodging where we were not known: we happened on that very house, sir, where you found us, and took that little floor you afterwards had; but what to do for money to pay for it, or to keep us, we could not imagine. While we were in this unhappy situation, poor Valentine fell into a violent fever; this misfortune made me almost distracted: what to do to support him I could not tell; and to see him want what was necessary for him was what I could not bear. Drove by this necessity, and urged on by my eager desire to serve my brother, I took a resolution of trying whether I could raise compassion enough in any person to induce them to relieve me. I avoided all places where I was known, but went to several gentlemen's houses; I told just the heads of my story, concealing my name, and all those circumstances which might fix it on our family, supposing the persons I told it to should have heard anything of my father, or of our running away.

"Amongst the people I went to, I found some gentlemen who had good-nature enough, as I then thought it, to supply me so far as to enable me to get Valentine necessaries. My heart was full of gratitude towards them, and I thought I could never enough acknowledge the obligation; but when I went to them a second time (for they bld me come again when that was gone) they severally entertained me with the beauty of my person, and began to talk to me in a style which gave me to understand they were not silly enough to part with their money for nothing. In short, I found I had nothing further to expect from them, unless I would pay a price I thought too dear for anything they could do for me. Here I was again disappointed, and obliged to seek out new ways of getting bread for us both. By the care I had taken I had got my brother out of his fever; but it had left him so weak, he was not able to stir out of his bed. I could not show my head amongst any of my old acquaintance, and I perceived all the ladies I applied to looked on me with disdain, though I knew not for what reason; and I found amongst the men I had but one way of raising charity. My spirits were now quite worn out, and I was drove to the last despair: I was almost ready to sink under the weight of my afflictions; and I verily believe should have done it, had t not been for the consideration I had for Valentine.

"It came into my head, one morning, as I was revolving in my mind what step I should take next, to disguise myself in such a manner as that no one could be under any temptation from my person. I made myself a hump-back, dyed my skin in several places with great spots of yellow; so that, when I looked in the glass, I was almost frightened at my own figure. I dressed myself decently, and was resolved to try what I could procure this way. I now found there was not a man would hearken to me: if I began to speak of my misery, they laughed on one another, and seemed to think it was no manner of consequence what a wretch suffered who had it not in her power to give them any pleasure. The women, indeed, ceased their disdain, and seemed to take compassion on me; but it was a very small matter I got from them, for they all told me they would serve me if it was in their power; and then sent me to somebody else, who, they said, was immensely rich, and could afford to give away money; but when I came to these rich people, all I heard from them was a complaint of their poverty, and how sorry they were they could not help me. You must imagine it could not be amongst persons in very high life I went, for I had no means of getting into their houses; but amongst those sort of people where being dressed like a gentlewoman is passport enough for being seen and spoken to. The figure I had borrowed availed me as little as that which nature had given me. I began now to look on myself with horror, and to consider I was the cause that Valentine lay in such a condition, without any hopes of being restored to his health again; for his weakness was so great, it required much more than I was able to procure for him to support him. I reflected, that if I could have commanded my passions, to have borne my father's slights and Livia's ill-usage with patience, he might have had necessaries, though he would not have lived a pleasant life; and I had the inexpressible torment ot thinking myself guilty of a crime in bringing such miseries on the best of brothers. This consideration, added to all my other sufferings, had very nigh got the better of me; and how I was able to go through all this I cannot conceive. If I had had nothing but myself to have taken care of, I certainly should have sat down and been starved to death, without making any struggle to have withstood my hard fate; but when I looked on Valentine, my heart was ready to burst, and my head was full of schemes what way I should find out to bring him comfort. At last a thought came into my head, that I would put on rags, and go a-begging. I immediately put this scheme into execution, and accordingly took my stand at a corner of a street, where I stood a whole day, and told as much of my story as they would hear, to every person that passed by. Numbers shook their heads, and cried, It was a shame so many beggars were suffered to be in the streets, that people could not go about their business without being molested by them, and walked on without giving me anything; but amongst the crowds that passed by, a good many threw me a penny, or a halfpenny, till I found in the evening my gains amounted to half a crown.

"When it grew dark, I was going joyfully home, and was very thankful for what little I had got; but on a sudden I was surrounded by three or four fellows, who hustled me amongst them, so that I had no way to escape; one of them whispered me in the ear, that if I made the least noise, I should be immediately murdered. I have often since wondered how that threat could have any terror on one in my circumstances; but I don't know how it was, whether it was owing to the timidity of my temper, or that I was stumied with the suddenness of the thing, I let them carry me where they would, without daring to cry out. They took me under the arm, as if 1 had been of their company, and pulled me into a room; where, the moment they had me fast, they rifled my bag, in which I had put all my little treasure, and took it every farthing from me, and then asked me how I dared to stand begging in their district without their leave; they would have me to know that street belonged to them. And saying this, they every one struck me a blow, and then led me through such windings and turnings, it was impossible I should find my way back again, and left me in a street I did not know. But I inquired my way home; and, as I was in my rags and my borrowed ugliness, was not attacked by any one, I suppose it was owing to that disguise that I escaped meeting with brutal usage of another kind from those wretches."

David shook with horror at that thought; and, although he had never cursed anybody, yet, when he reflected on Camilla's sufferings, he could hardly forbear cursing Livia; and said no punishment could be bad enough for her. He was now afraid every time Camilla opened her mouth what he should hear next; for he found himself so strongly interested in everything which concerned her, that he felt in his own mind all the misery she had gone through; and he then asked her what she could possibly do in this unhappy situation. To which she replied, "I knew not what to do, my spirits were depressed, and worn out with fatigue, and I felt the effects of the blows those barbarous creatures had given me. But this indeed was trifling, in comparison of the horror which filled my mind when I saw Valentine faint, and hardly able to speak from want of proper nourishment, and I had no method of getting him any.

"The landlady of the house had been already clamorous for her money; but I had, by persuasions and promises to get it for her as soon as ever I could, pacified her from time to time. I was afraid tha laying open our starving condition to her would be the means of being turned out of doors; and yet, desperate as this remedy appeared, I was forced to [ venture at it. I therefore called her up, and begged her to give something to relieve the poor wretch whom she saw sick in bed; for that I was in the utmost distress to get some food for him. She fell a-scolding at me and said she wondered how I could think poor people could live, and pay their rent, if such as I took their lodgings, and hed nothing to pay for them; why did not I work as well as other people, if I had no other means of supporting myself? Sure! she did not understand I what people meant by setting up for gentlefolks. I I told her, if she would be so good to get me any employment, I would work my fingers to the bone to pay her what I owed her, and only begged her to give me something for my present support. 'Yes,' answered she, 'that is a likely matter truly! then I should have the work to answer for, and be still a greater loser; for I don't know who would trust anything in the hands of beggars.'"

"Good God!" said David, "have I lived under the same roof with such a monster, a creature who could be so barbarous as to upbraid instead of assisting her fellow-creatures, when drove to such a height of misery?"

"Alas, sir!" said Camilla, "there is no situation so deplorable, no condition so much to be pitied, as that of a gentlewoman in real poverty. I mean by real poverty, not having sufficient to procure us necessaries; for good sense will teach people to moderate their desires, and lessen their way of living, and yet be content. Birth, family, and education, become misfortunes when we cannot attain some means of supporting ourselves in the station they throw us into; our friends and former acquaintance look on it as a disgrace to own us. In my case, indeed, there was something peculiarly unhappy; for my loss of reputation gave my relations some excuse for their barbarity: though I am confident they would have acted near the same part without it. Men think our circumstances give them a liberty to shock our ears with proposals ever so dishonourable; and I am afraid there are women who do not feel much uneasiness at seeing any one, who is used to be upon a level with themselves, thrown greatly below them. If we were to attempt getting our living by any trade, people in that station would think we were endeavouring to take their bread out of their mouths, and combine together against us; saying, we most certainly deserve our distress, or our great relations would support us. Men in very high life are taken up with such various cares that, were they ever so good-natured, they cannot hearken to everybody's complaint who applies to them for relief. And the lower sort of people use a person who was born in a higher station, and is thrown amongst them by any misfortune, just as I have seen cows in a field use one another; for, if by accident any of them fall into a ditch, the rest all kick against them, and endeavour to keep them down, that they may not get out again. They will not suffer us to be equal with them, and get our bread as they do; if we cannot be above them, they will have the pleasure of casting us down infinitely below them. In short, persons who are so unfortunate as to be in this situation are in a world full of people, and yet are as solitary as if they were in the wildest desert; nobody will allow them to be of their rank, nor admit them into their community. They see all the blessings which Nature deals out with such a lavish hand to all her creatures, without finding any possibility of sharing the least part of them. This, sir, was my miserable till your bounty relieved me."

The raptures David felt at that moment, when Camilla had thus suddenly turned his thoughts on the consideration that he was the cause she was relieved from that most miserable of all conditions, Which she had just described, are not to be expressed, and can only be imagined by those people who are capable of the same actions. He could not forbear crying out, was he to live a thousand years, he could never meet with another pleasure equal to the thought of having served her; and said, if she thought herself any way oblieged to him, the only favour he had to ask of her in return was never to mention it more. She was amazed at his generosity; however, took no further notice of it, but went on thus with her story—

"Whilst this hard-hearted woman, sir, was talking in this strain, a neighbour of hers, who accidentally came to see her, hearing her voice louder than usual (though she never spoke in a very low key); came up to us to know what was the matter. I took hold of her the moment she entered the room, and as soon as I could have an opportunity (for the landlady would hardly give me leave to speak) I told her ray case. The poor woman, though she worked for her bread, was so touched with what she heard, and with my brother's pale, languid look, that she pulled out sixpence and gave it me; this enabled me to support him two days, for his stomach was too weak to take anything but biscuits. As to myself, I swallowed nothing but dry bread and water, for I would not rob him of a farthing more than just served to keep me alive. The mistress of the house, as soon as this our benefactress was gone, began again in her old strain, and said she must send for the proper officers of the parish to which we belonged, and charge them with us, for she could not venture to bring any expense upon herself. I begged her, for God's sake, not to turn us out in that condition, and at last prevailed so far on her good-nature that she consented we should stay in her house, provided we would go up into the garret, and be contented with one room; for truly she could not spare more to such creatures; and if we could not in a week find some method of paying her, she was resolved no longer to be imposed on, because we had found out she could not help being compassionate, with many hints how happy we were to have met with her, for there were very few people in this hard-hearted world could arrive at such a pitch of goodness. To these terms we were forced to submit, and get upstairs into that hole which you found us in. She did not fail coming up once a day to inform us how much she wanted her money, although she knew it was impossible for us to pay her.

"The poor woman who had relieved us last, spared us one sixpence more; but she happened to get a service, and go into the country, so that now all our hopes were lost. I have really several times, during this dreadful week, wished Valentine dead, that I might not see him thus languish away in misery before my face. I sat up with him the whole time. I will not shock a nature so tender as yours, sir, with the repetition of what horrors passed in my mind, between my then present sufferings and the expectation of seeing my dear brother, in his miserable condition, soon turned into the street. The time was just expired, when she was come up with a resolution of turning us out of doors, when the noise she made brought you up to see and relieve our misery. What little things there were in that dismal room when first we went up, she by degrees took away, under the pretence of wanting them for some use or other, till she left us nothing at all; and a poor creature ill, as Valentine was, could not get even the coarsest clothes to cover him. I had managed the little that good woman spared me from her own labour in such a manner, that he had been but one day totally without any sustenance; but, for my part, I had for two days tasted nothing but cold water: and we must both have perished in that deplorable misery, had not you opportunely come to save us, and restored us to life and plenty."

Camilla ceased speaking; and David, after looking at her with amazement, was going to make some observation on the various scenes of wretchedness she had gone through, when Valentine entering the room, made them turn the conversation on more indifferent subjects, and so passed the evening very agreeably together. And with Camilla's story till she met with David I shall conclude this chapter.




The next conversation David had with Camilla, after some observations on her own story, he was naturally led into a discourse on Cynthia. The moment Camilla heard her name (from a suspicion that she was her former companion) she showed the utmost eagerness in her inquiries concerning her, which opened David's eyes, and he immediately fancied she was the person whom Cynthia had mentioned in so advantageous a light. This, considering what he then felt for Camilla, gave him a pleasure much easier felt than described; and which can only be imagined by those people who know what it is to have a passion, and yet cannot be easy unless the object of it deserves their esteem.

David was too much concerned, while Camilla was telling her own story, with the part she herself bore in it, to observe what she said of any other person, and overlooked the circumstance of her friend's going abroad with a lady of fashion, who had taken a fancy to her; but now they were both soon convinced that she was the very person whom Camilla had been so fond of.

David therefore related to her Cynthia's story; the distresses of which moved Camilla in such a manner, she could not refrain from weeping. David was melted into tenderness at the sight of her tears; and yet inwardly rejoiced at the thoughts of her being capable of shedding them on so just an occasion. He then said, he thought it would be proper to acquaint Valentine with the hopes she had of seeing her friend again. Camilla, with a sigh, replied, she never concealed anything from her brother which gave her pleasure. This sigh, he thought, arose from reflecting on Cynthia's misfortunes; but in reality something that more nearly concerned her was at the bottom of it. For she remembered enough of Valentine's behaviour to Cynthia before she went abroad, to be well assured he could not hear of any probability of seeing her again without great perturbation of mind: however, the next time they met, she by degrees opened to him what David had told her. But the paleness of his countenance, and the anxiety which appeared in his looks, while she was speaking, cannot be expressed. David, who, from his own goodness of heart, required the strongest proofs to convince him of any ill in another, from the same goodness easily perceived all the emotions which arise in the mind from tenderness; and consequently was not long in suspense at Valentine's extraordinary behaviour on this occasion.

Camilla had acted with great honour; for although she had told David, as her benefactor and friend, the whole history of her own life, she had said no more of her brother than what was necessary; thinking she had no right, on any account, to discover his secrets, unless by his permission.

Valentine, after several changes of countenance, and being in such a situation he could not utter his words, at last recovered himself enough to beg David to tell him all he knew of Cynthia, which he generously complied with, even so far as to inform him of her adventure with my Lord ———, and her refusal of himself; but as I think it equally as unnecessary as it is difficult to attempt any description of what Valentine felt during David's narration, I shall leave that to my reader's own imagination.

The result of this conversation was, Valentine's earnest request to his sister immediately to write to Cynthia: she knew where Cynthia's cousin lived; and as she was perfectly a stranger to the refusing her brother anything he desired, it was no sooner asked than complied with; but when David, Valentine, and Camilla separated that night to go to bed, various were their reflections, various were their situations. Camilla's mind was on the rack at the consideration that David had offered himself to Cynthia; he was pleasing himself with the thoughts of the other's refusing him, since he was now acquainted with Camilla; and Valentine spent the whole night in being tossed about between hopes and fears. Cynthia's refusal of my Lord ——— and David, sometimes gave him the utmost pleasure, in flattering his hopes that he might be the cause of it; but the higher his joy was raised on this account, the greater was his torment when he feared some man she had met with since he saw her might possess her heart. In short, the great earnestness with which he wished to be remembered by her, made him but the more diffident in believing he was so; and his pains and pleasures were increased or lessened every moment by his own imagination, as much as objects are to the natural eye, by alternately looking through a magnifying glass and the other end of the perspective. But here I must leave him to his own reflections, to look after the object of them, and see what became of Cynthia since her leaving David.

On her arrival in the country, where she proposed to herself the enjoying a pleasure in seeing her old acquaintance, and a little to recruit her sunk spirits, after all the uneasiness she had suffered; the first news she heard was, that her cousin had been buried a week, having lost her mother half a year before. However, she went to the house where she had lived. Here she was informed that the young woman had left all the little she was worth, amounting to the sum of thirty pounds a year, to a cousin of hers, who was gone abroad with a woman of fashion. Cynthia soon found by the circumstances that this cousin was herself. This, instead of lessening, increased her affliction for her death; for the consideration that neither time nor absence could drive from the poor young creature's memory the small kindnesses she had received from her formerly, made the good-natured Cynthia but the more sensible of her loss.

She could bear the house no longer than was just necessary to settle her affairs, and then took a place in the stage coach, with a resolution of returning to London; being like people in a burning fever, who, from finding themselves continually uneasy, are in hopes by every change of place to find relief.




Three gentlemen were her fellow travellers: it was dark when they set out, and the various thoughts in Cynthia's mind prevented her entering into any conversation, or even so much as hearing what her companions said; till at the dawn of day a grave gentleman, who sat opposite to her, broke forth in so fine an exclamation on the beauties of the creation, and made such observations on seeing the rising sun, as awakened all her attention, and gave her hopes of meeting with improvement and pleasure in her journey. The two other gentlemen employed themselves, the one in groaning out a disapprobation, and the other in yawning from a weariness at every word the third spoke. At last, he who yawned, from a desire of putting an end to what he undoubtedly thought the dullest stuff he ever heard, turned about to Cynthia, and swearing he never studied any other beauties of nature but those by the fair sex, offered to take her by the hand; but she knew enough of the world to repulse such impertinence, without any great difficulty; and, by her behaviour, made that spark very civil to her the remainder of the time she was obliged to be with him.

The very looks and dresses of the three men were sufficient to let her into their different characters: the grave man, whose discourse she had been so pleased with, was dressed in the plainest, though in the neatest manner; and, by the cheerfulness of his countenance, plainly showed a mind filled with tranquillity and pleasure. The gentleman who sat next him was as dirty as if he had sat up two or three nights together in the same clothes he then had on; one side of his face was beaten black and blue by falls he had had in his drink and skirmishes he had met with by rambling about. In short, everything without was an indication of the confusion within, and he was a perfect object of horror. The spark who admired nothing but the ladies had his hair pinned up in blue papers, a laced waistcoat, and everything which is necessary to show an attention to adorn the person, and yet at the same time with an appearance of carelessness.

The first stage they alighted at to breakfast, the two last-mentioned gentlemen made it their business to find out who the third was; and, as he was very well known in that country, heving lived there some years, they soon discovered he was a clergyman. For the future, therefore, I shall distinguish these three persons by the names of the clergyman, the atheist, and the butterfly; for, as the latter had neither profession nor characteristic, I know not what other name to give him.

As soon as they got into the coach again, the atheist having recruited his spirits with his usual morning draught, accosted the clergyman in the following abrupt and rude manner—"Come on, Mr. Parson, now I am for you; I was not able to speak this morning, when you fancied you were going on with all that eloquence, to prove there must be an infinite wisdom concerned in this creation." As he spoke these words, there happened to be so violent a jolt of the coach, they could hardly keep their feet. "Ay! there," continued he with a sort of triumph in his countenance, "an accident has proved to my hand that chance is the cause of everything, otherwise I would fain know how the roads should become so very rugged, that one cannot go from one place to another without being almost dislocated." Indeed, to have judged by his looks, any one would have thought the least motion would have shook him to pieces. "For my part," said he, "considering the numberless evils there are in the world, it is amazing to me how any one can have the assurance to talk of a deity; especially when I consider those very men, who thus want to persuade us out of our senses, at the same time take our money, and are paid for talking in that manner. I am sure now, whilst I am speaking, I feel such pains in my head, and such disorders all over me, as is a sufficient proof that there was no wisdom concerned in the forming us. It is true, indeed, that I have sat up whole nights, and drank very hard lately; but if a good being, who really loved his creatures, had been the cause of our coming into this world, undoubtedly we should have been made in such a manner that we should neither have had temptations, nor power to injure ourselves. The whole thing appears to me absurd; for, notwithstanding all our boasting of superior reason to the rest of the creation, in my opinion we are such low grovelling creatures, that I can easily conceive we were made by chance. It is certainly the clergy's interest to endeavour to govern us; but I am resolved I will never be priest-rid, whatever other folly I give in to." In this style he went on a great while; and when he thought it time to conclude, that is, when the spirit of the liquor he had drunk was evaporated, he stared the clergyman full in the face, with a resolution, as he saw he was a modest man, that if he could not get the better of him by his arguments, he would put him out of countenance by his impudence.

The butterfly, who had been silent, and hearkened with the utmost attention while the other was speaking, now began to open his mouth; he was full as irreligious as the atheist, although the cause of it was very different; for as the latter, from a natural propensity to vice, and a resolution to suffer all the consequences of it rather than deny himself anything he liked, drove all serious thoughts as much as possible from his mind, and endeavoured to make use of all the fallacies he could think on to impose on his understanding; so the former, who was naturally disposed to lead a regular life, and whose inclinations prompted him to nothing which he might not have been allowed in any religion whatever, put on all the appearance of viciousness he could, because he was silly enough to imagine it proved his sense. And, as he could not think deep enough to consult on which side truth lay, he never considered further than what would give him the best opportunity of displaying his wit. He openly professed himself a great lover of ridicule, and thought no subject so fit to exercise it on as religion and the clergy: he, therefore, as soon as the other had done speaking, ran through all the trite things which had been ever said on that head; such as the pride of priests, their being greedy after the tithes, etc. This he spoke with an air which at once proved his folly, and the strong opinion he had of his own wisdom.

The clergyman heard all the atheist's arguments, and the butterfly's jests, without once offering to interrupt them; and, had they talked such nonsense on any other subject, he would not have taken the pains to answer them; but he thought the duty of his profession in this case called upon him to endeavour, at least, to convince them of the error. His good sense easily saw that to go too deep would be only talking what they did not understand, and consequently throwing away his own labour; he therefore kept on the surface of things, and to the atheist only proved that the unevenness of the roads, or a man's having the headache after a debauch (which were the two points he had insisted on) were no arguments against the existence of a deity; and then had good-nature enough to try to bring him off from the course of life he saw he was in, by showing him how easy it would be for him to attain health and ease, if he would only do what was in his own power (i.e. lead a regular life) for the sake of enjoying those benefits; and that then be would find as much cause to be thankful to the Author of his being as he now fancied he had to complain of Him.

To the butterfly (whose disposition was not hard for a man who knew the world to find out) he did nothing more than show him how very little wit there was in a repetition of what had been said a hundred times before; and, for his encouragement to alter his way of thinking (or rather of talking), assured him that he might learn much more real wit on the other side of the question, and repeat it with less danger of having the theft found out.

Every word this gentleman spoke, and his manner of speaking, convinced Cynthia he was not endeavouring to show his own parts, but acting from the true Christian principle of desiring to do good. She was perfectly silent the whole time he was speaking; but, when he had concluded, could not forbear rallying the butterfly on his strong desire of having wit; and told him she knew several subjects he could talk on so much better than religion, that she would advise him to leave that entirely off, and take up with those he was much fitter for, such as gallantry—gaming—dressing—etc. This drew loud laughter from both the atheist and butterfly. The latter replied, "Ay! ay! I warrant you, I never knew an instance where the parsons did not get the women on their side!" with several coarse jests not worth repeating. And now they had nothing to do, but to roar and make a noise; resolving, if they could not confute their adversaries, to persecute them by putting their ears on the rack; in hopes, by that means, for the sake of quietness, to extort a confession from them of whatever they pleased. In this confusion of noise and nonsense Cynthia and the clergyman were obliged to continue, till they arrived at the inn in the evening; when, on pretence of being weary and indisposed, they left their fellow travellers, and retired to their separate rooms.

The atheist had been forming a scheme in his mind, from the time he first saw Cynthia, in what manner he should address her; for, as he had persuaded himself there was no such thing as any one virtue in the world, he was under no apprehension of being disappointed in his hopes. Cynthia's contempt of the butterfly was a convincing proof to him of her understanding, and consequently encouraged him to believe that she must be pleased with himself. The only difficulty that he feared he should meet with was the finding an opportunity of speaking to her alone; but while he was perplexing his brains how he should accomplish his designs, accident threw that in his way which he knew not how to bring about for himself.

It was a fine moonlight night; and, as the various things labouring in Cynthia's mind inclined her to be pensive and melancholy, when she fancied the two gentlemen were safe at their bottle for that evening, she went down a pair of back stairs into a little garden belonging to the house, in which was an arbour. Here she sat down, wandering in her own fancy through all the past scenes of her life. The usage she had met with from almost all her acquaintance, and their different behaviour, according to her different circumstances, gave her but an uneasy sensation; but by giving way to the bent of her mind, at length all unpleasing thoughts were exhausted, and her imagination began to indulge her with more agreeable ideas. But, as if it had been impossible for her to enjoy one moment's pleasure, no sooner had her thoughts taken this turn, than she saw the atheist, who, softly and unperceived by her (so fixed was she in her templations), was come near enough to sit down her. He had drank his companion to sleep; and, as it was not his usual time of going to bed (which he seldom did till four or five in the morning), accidentally roved into the garden. Cynthia at first was startled, but endeavoured as much as possible to conceal her fear, thinking that the appearance of courage and resolution was the best means she could make use of in her present situation.

He began at first with talking to her of indifferent things, but soon fell on the subject of his own happiness in thus meeting with her alone. She immediately rose up, and would have left him; but he swore she should hear him out; and promised her, if she would but attend with patience to what he had to say, she should be at liberty to do as she pleased. He then began to compliment her on her understanding, insisted that it was impossible for a woman of her sense to be tied down by the common forms of custom, which were only complied with by fools; then ran through all the arguments he could think of to prove that pleasure is pleasure, and that it is better to be pleased than displeased. Talked of Epicurus' saying, "Pleasure is the chief good;" from which he very wisely concluded, "That vice is the greatest pleasure." In short, his head naturally not being very clear, and being always confused with liquor when it came to be night, he made such a medley between pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, that it was impossible to distinguish I what he had a mind to prove.

Cynthia could not help smiling to see a man endeavouring to persuade her that she might follow her inclinations without a crime, while she knew that nothing could so much oppose her gratifying him as her pleasing herself. However, she thought it her wisest way to be civil to him; for although she was not far from the house, yet nothing could have shocked her more than to have been obliged to make a noise. She therefore told him she did not doubt but what he had said might be very reasonable, but she had not time now to consider of it, being very ill, and therefore begged she might go in for that night, and she would talk more to him the next day. The atheist was so much pleased to think she gave any attention to what he said, that for fear of disobliging her, he left her at liberty to retire, which she did with the utmost joy.




The next morning Cynthia and the clergyman, who had neither of them any fumes arising from intemperance to sleep off, got into the coach with cheerfulness and good-humour; they had all the conversation to themselves the first stage, for the atheist and butterfly both slept all the way till they came to breakfast. There, with hands shaking in such a manner that it was with difficulty they could carry the liquor to their mouths, they at last contrived to revive their drooping spirits, and began to be as noisy as ever. The atheist looked at Cynthia with an assured air, as if he did not doubt of success, till he often put her out of countenance. But the butterfly paid her the greatest respect imaginable; being convinced that as she would not suffer any familiarity from him, she must be one of the most virtuous women ever born. The clergyman was so tired with their impertinence, he certainly would have got out of the coach, and walked afoot, had it not been for his consideration for Cynthia; for she had no relief but in his conversation.

In this manner they went on till they came to the place where they were to dine, when the postillion, giddily taking too little compass, overturned the coach; and as it was on a flat, they were all in great danger of being killed or breaking their limbs. However, they were all taken out safe, except the atheist, who had stupefied his senses in such a manner by the breakfast he chose to drink, that he had no command of his limbs, and broke his leg under him in the fall.

Cynthia was terribly frightened, and begged the clergyman to be so good as to contrive some method of having the poor wretch taken care of, and the bone set again. Her caution was perfectly unnecessary; for from the moment the good man saw the accident, he was considering which would be the best method of taking care of him. He presently inquired for the best surgeon in the town; and luckily there was one lived the very next door, who was both a surgeon and an apothecary. To his house, therefore, he had him carried; he went with him, and stayed with him while the operation was performing; during which time he alternately prayed and cursed, which struck the clergyman with the utmost horror. However, he carried his Christianity and compassion so far as to inquire whether he had any money in his pocket to defray his expenses while he was confined there; and on being answered in the negative, offered to leave him what was necessary. But on the apothecary's assuring him that he knew him very well, and would take the utmost care of him, he returned to Cynthia, who rejoiced to hear the poor creature was in such good hands.

The butterfly, whose journey was at an end, he being to go no farther, took his leave of them, humming the end of an Italian song, without once inquiring what was become of the poor man, with whose sentiments he had so heartily concurred the whole way.

They were now about sixteen miles from London. The clergyman had wished from the first morning for an opportunity of being alone with Cynthia; but the hurries which attend travelling in a stage coach, with his own inexperience in all affairs of gallantry, and his great fear of offending, had prevented his gratifying that wish. And now that accident had thrown what he desired in his way, his great modesty, distrust of himself, and his esteem for Cynthia, rendered him almost incapable of speaking to her: he went on two or three miles in the greatest fright imaginable, for every step the horses took, he condemned himself for losing his time, and yet could not bring himself to make use of it. At last he fell into a discourse on love: all his sentiments were so delicate, and the thoughts he expressed so refined, that Cynthia not only agreed with him, but could not forbear showing, by her smiles and good-humour, that she was greatly pleased to meet with a person who had so much her own way of thinking. This encouraged the gentleman to speak; and, from talking of love in general, he began to be more particular: he begged pardon for being so abrupt, for which he alleged as an excuse the short time he had before he should lose sight of her for ever, unless she would be so good to inform him where she lived.

Cynthia was greatly surprised at this declaration, which she neither expected nor wished; the clergyman's behaviour, for the short time she had in a manner lived with him, had given her great reason to esteem him, and his conversation would have been a great pleasure to her on any terms but that of being her lover; but her heart was already so fixed that she resolved never to suffer any other man to make love to her; and she would on no account have endeavoured to increase the affection of a man of merit, with a view of making him uneasy. She therefore very seriously told him, that she was infinitely obliged to him for the affection he had expressed for her; but that, as in her circumstances it was utterly impossible she could ever return it, she must be excused from letting him know where she lived, as the conversing with her, if he had really an inclination for her, would only make him unhappy. She spoke this with such an air of sincerity, that the clergyman, who had no deceit in himself (nor was he apt to suspect others of it) resolved to believe her, and whatever he suffered, not to say anything which might give her pain; and from that moment was silent on that head. They soon arrived in town, where they parted.

Cynthia took a lodging, for she knew not at present what to do with herself. The clergyman having put things on such a footing that she could not converse with him, made her very uneasy; for she was in hopes, before he spoke to her of love, that he would have been a great comfort to her when she came to town. She almost made a resolution never to speak to any man again; beginning to think it impossible for a man to be civil to a woman unless he has some design upon her. But now having brought Cynthia to town, I think it time to take leave of her for the present, and look after my hero.




The morning after David had informed Valentine and his sister of what he knew concerning Cynthia, he perceived a melancholy in them both; which, althoug he imputed Camilla's thoughfulness to het love for her brother, and was not ignorant whence his concern arose, sat so heavy on his mind as gave him great uneasiness; for he felt all the pains of his friends to a much greater degree than be did his own. He therefore did all he could to comfort Valentine; told him he did not doubt but Cynthia would immediately answer Camilla's letter; with some hints that he himself might be the cause of her refusing all offers; and assured him, if his fortune could any way conduce to his happiness, whatever share of it was necessary for him should be entirely at his service.

Valentine was struck dumb with this generosity. Tenderness and gratitude for such uncommon benevolence was to be answered no other way but by flowing tears. David saw his confusion, and begged him not to fancy he was under any obligation to him, for that he should think his life and fortune well spent in the service of a man whom both nature and goodness had so nearly allied to Camilla. Valentine at last with much difficulty found a vent for his words, and swore no passion of his should ever make him a greater burden than he already was to such a friend. Camilla, between the concern for her brother and the pleasure David's words gave her, was quite overcome. But as tenderness, when it is come to the height, is not to be described, I shall pass over the rest of this scene in silence.

Valentine's impatience increased every day to hear from Cynthia; a week passed over, and no news of her: at last, one day as David was walking through Westminster, he heard a voice which called him by his name; and when he looked up, he saw Cynthia looking out at an upper window. He immediately ran into the house, and great were his raptures at the thoughts of the pleasure he should carry home to his friends. When he was seated, he began to tell Cynthia that he had met with Camilla and Valentine. He had no sooner mentioned their names than she asked him a thousand questions concerning them, which quite puzzled him, and he knew not what to answer. This confusion she imputed to his having heard the story of their running away together in an infamous manner, which she had been told at her first arrival in town with my Lady ———, but had never spoke of it to David, as she was unwilling to spread the report. At last she cried out, "Sir, I beg, if you have any compassion for me, tell me what you know of my Camilla" (she spoke not a word of Valentine); "for there is nothing I so much long to know as whether she is innocent of what she is accused of; for if she is, how hard is her fate, and what must she have suffered by lying under such an imputation!"

David desired her to have a little patience, and he would tell her all: he had not time then to repeat all Camilla's story, but said enough to clear her innocence. Cynthia knew so much of the world, she easily observed, by his manner of talking of her, that he was in love with her. This gave her the greatest pleasure she could have received, as it was the strongest proof he could not think her guilty. And when she was further informed in what manner they kuved together, and David (who was also contriving methods to give pleasure) invited her to go home with him, and told her there was room for her in the same house, it is impossible to describe her raptures: she immediately paid her lodgings, put her things into a hackney coach, and then they set out together, to find all which either of them valued in this world.

Valentine's joy was greater than he could bear, and almost overcame his senses. The ecstasy thus suddenly viewing Cynthia before him threw him into, almost made him forget the respect he had always paid her; and it was as much as he could do to forbear flying and catching her in his arms. Camilla, although she could no ways blame Cynthia for her behaviour, and really loved her with a sincere affection, yet such is human frailty, that the first sight of her struck her with the idea of David's having liked her; and this thought, in spite of herself, was a great damp to the pleasure of meeting with her friend. But Cynthia's thoughts were so much employed, she did not perceive it: she ran and embraced, and expressed the utmost joy to see her. This she really felt without that alloy which the least mixture of rivalship or jealousy gives to friendship in either sex. While they were together, she addressed most of her conversation to Camilla, but her eyes spontaneously rolled towards Valentine; for though she often endeavoured to remove them, they instantly returned to the object which principally attracted them.

That evening, and all the ensuing day, they spent in informing each other of every accident which had befallen them since their separation; and on the day following, Cynthia proposed at breakfast the taking a coach, and riding through all the parts of this great metropolis, to view the various countenances of the different sorts of people who inhabit it. David said nothing could be more agreeable to him, if Camilla approved of it; for, as he had travelled through it in a more attentive manner than what was proposed at present, he should be tlie better judge of people's thoughts by their manners and faces, Valentine had no objection to anything proposed by Cynthia; on which they called a coach, and this agreeahis party (and such another I believe is not easily to be found) got into it.

They had no occasion to make the coach heavy by loading it with provisions, there being many hospitable houses by the way open for their entertainment: though I did once see a coach which set out from the Tower, stop in the middle of St. James's Street, and the company that were in it take a small repast of ham and cold chicken; but that perhaps was owing to a weakness in some of the stomachs of the passengers, which disabled them from fasting above an hour at a time.

As David and his company passed through the polite parts of the town early in the morning, they saw but few people worthy their observation; all there was hushed and still, as at the dead of night; but when they came to the more trading part of the town, the hurry was equal to the stillness they had before observed.

As they drove through Covent Garden, they saw a company of men reeling along, as if they in a manner had lost the use of their legs; each of them had something in his right hand, which he had picked up in the market—some had flowers, others cabbages, and some chose for nosegays a bunch of onions or garlic; but all their hands shook, as if it was with difficulty they could hold anything in them. As soon as they saw the coach, they ran, or rather tumbled up to it, with the utmost speed their condition would admit them, and stammered out a desire that the ladies would accept of their garlands.

Poor Camilla was frighted; but Cynthia, who had seen more of the world, and perceived they were gentlemen (though they had, as Shakespeare says, "put that into their mouths which had stolen away their brains"), took a bunch of flowers from a very young fellow who was foremost, and thanked him for her garland; after which they all staggered away again, huzzaing her for her good-humour.

David called to a man who was passing by, and asked him if he knew any of those gentlemen; for that he thought it pity somebody should not take care of them home, for fear they should come to any mischief. "Alack! sir," replied the man, "there is no danger of them; drunken men and children—you know the proverb. I have kept a shop in that street these twenty years; and it is very few mornings, unless it be very bitter cold weather, but that a parcel of them pass by. That young gentleman who went first, I am told, would make a very fine gentleman if he did not drink so hard; and I had it from very good hands, for I am acquainted with his mother's chambermaid, and she must know, to be sure. And then that hatchet-faced man who came next, I think he had better take care of his wife and children than run about spending his money in such a manner; he owes me a bill of one pound three shillings and two-pence; but no wonder he can't pay his debts, while he leads such a sort of life. That short man who walks by his side, to my certain knowledge was arrested last week; and I was told, if some of his rakish companions had not bailed him, he would have found it a difficult matter to have got out of the bailiff's hands; for, faith and troth, master, if once they lay hold on any one, it is not an easy matter to get from them again. He is but poor; I don't believe he is much richer than one of we that do keep shops to get our livelihood; and yet, they say, his elder brother rides in his coach and six. I think he might relieve him when he is in distress; indeed, it is nothing to me, and I never trouble my head about other folks' business. There is a man lives in that house yonder; he pretends to set up for a gentleman, and yet I don't hear he has any estate; forsooth, he must have servants, though he can't tell where to get money to pay them; but they serve him as he deserves—they won't overwork themselves, I warrant them! But it is time for me to go home, for I have enough to do; besides, I hate gossiping, and never talk of my neighbours." He spoke all this so fast, he would not give himself time to breathe; and kept his hand on the coach door the whole time, as if he was afraid it would drive away from him. When he ceased speaking, Cynthia applauded him for minding his own business, and not troubling himself about other people; on which he was going to begin again, but Valentine bid the coachman drive on, and so left him.

They went on for some time musing, without speaking one word; till at last Cynthia said she should be glad to know what they were all so thoughtful about, and fancied it would be no ill entertainment if every one of them were to tell their thoughts to the rest of the company. They all liked the proposal, and desired Cynthia to begin first.

She said she was considering, amongst the variety of shops she saw, how very few of them dealt in things which were really necessary to preserve life or health, and yet that those things which appeared most useless contributed to the general welfare; for whilst there was such a thing as property in the world, unless it could be equally distributed, those people who have little or no share of it must find out methods of getting what they want from those whose lot it is to have more than is necessary for them; and, except all the world was so generous as to be willing to part with what they think they have a right to, only for the pleasure of helping others, the way to obtain anything from them is to apply to their passions. As, for instance, when a woman of fashion goes home with her coach loaded with jewels and trinkets, which from custom she is brought to think she cannot do without, and is indulging her vanity with the thoughts of outshining some other lady at the next ball, the tradesman who receives her money in exchange for those things which appear so trifling, to that vanity perhaps owes his own and his family's support. Here Cynthia ceased, and called on Camilla to tell what it was her mind was so earnestly fixed on.

She said she did not know whether she ought not to be ashamed to own her present reflections, for she was not sure they did not arise from ill-nature; for she was thinking, in all that number of houses they passed, how many miserable creatures there were tearing one another to pieces from envy and folly; how many mothers-in-law working underhand with their husbands, to make them turn their children out of doors to beggary and misery: she could not but own the pleasing sensations she felt, for being delivered herself from those misfortunes, more than overbalanced her sorrow for her fellow-creatures; and she desired David to tell her his sentiments, whether this was not in some measure triumphing over them. I should have trembled in some companies at such a question, for fear the eagerness to decide it should prevent the hearing any one person's speaking at a time for half an hour together; but here it was otherwise; and David, after a little consideration, replied—

"Nothing can be more worthy of admiration than to observe a young woman thus fearful of giving way to any frailty; but what you now express, I believe, has been felt by every mortal. To rejoice, indeed, at the sufferings of any individual, would be a sign of great malignity; or to see another in misery, and be insensible of it, would be a proof of the want of that tenderness I so much admire; but to comfort ourselves in any affliction by the consideration that it is only the common fate of men, and that we are not marked out as the peculiar objects of our Creator's displeasure, is certainly very reasonable. This is what Shakespeare calls 'Bearing our own misfortunes on the back of such as have before endured the like.' On the other hand, to rejoice with thankfullness when we escape any misery which generally attends our species, with a mixture of compassion for their sufferings, is rather laudable than blamable." Camilla was happy to find David did not condemn her thoughts, and then desired him to tell what his were.

"I was musing," said he, "on the scene we saw, and what that man told us in Covent Garden, with the oddness of his character; he seemed to take such a pleasure in telling us the faults of his neighbours, and yet looked with such a good-humoured countenance, as if railing would be the last thing he could delight in." Cynthia replied, it was very likely he was a good man, but that there is in some natures a prodigious love of talking; and, from a want of any ideas of their own, they are obliged to fall on the actions of their neighbours; and as it is to be feared they often find more ill than good in their acquaintance, that love of talking naturally leads them into scandal. She then turned to Valentine, and desired to know what bad taken up his thoughts in such manner as to make him so silent. Valentine answered, he was revolving in his thoughts the miserable situation the man was in who was in love with a woman whom his circumstances in life debarred him from all hopes of its ever being reasonable for him to acquaint with his passion. While he spoke this, he fixed his eyes steadfastly on Cynthia; she observing it, blushed, and made him no answer.

While they were discoursing in this manner, David observed a woman behind a counter in a little shop, sobbing and crying as if her heart would break; he had a curiosity to know what was the matter with her, and proposed the going in, under the pretence of buying something in the shop, and by that means inquiring into the cause of all this terrible grief. The woman did not seem at all shy of talking to them of her misfortunes; but said, her husband was the most barbarous man in the world. They all began to pity her, and asked if he had beaten or abused her, "No, no," she said, "much worse than that;" she could sooner have forgiven some blows than the cruelty he had been guilty of towards her. At last, with the interruption of many tears, it came out, that all this complaining was for nothing more than that her husband, having received a sum of money, had chosen to pay his debts with it, instead of buying her and her daughter some new clothes, "And sure," said she, "there is neighbour such a one," pointing to a very handsome young woman who sat in a shop opposite to her, "can have everything new as often as she pleases; and I am sure her husband is more in debt than mine. I think a man ought to take care of his own wife and children before he pays his money to strangers," Cynthia could not forbear bursting into a loud laughter when she heard the cause of this tragedy. The woman seeing that, fancied she made sport of her, and turned her melancholy tone into a scolding one. She was not very young, and the wrinkles in her face were filled with drops of water which had fallen from her eyes; which, with the yellowness of her complexion, made a figure not unlike a field in the decline of the year, when harvest is gathered in, and a smart shower of rain has filled the furrows with water. Her voice was so shrill that they all jumped into the coach as fast as they could, and drove from the door.

Cynthia and Valentine talked of this accident in a ridiculous light; but David, in his usual way, was for inquiring into the cause of this woman's passions; and wondered how it was possible for such trifles to discompose any one in such a manner. Camilla had lately, I do not pretend to say from what motive, been very apt to enter into David's way of conversation, and looked very grave.

Cynthia said she was at no loss to find out the reason of the scene they had just now been witnesses of; for she knew the common cause of most evils, i.e. envy was at the bottom of it. The old woman would have been contented with her old clothes had not her handsome neighbour had new ones; for she, no doubt, had observed this young woman was taken most notice of; and from a strong resolution not to impute it to her own age, or any defect in her person, flattered herself it was owing to the other's being better dressed. "For I have known," continued Cynthia, "something very like this in people of a much higher station. I remember once I was with a lady who was trying on her gown; her shape was but indifferent, for she was something awry: she scolded at her mantuamaker two hours, because she did not look so straight and genteel as another lady of her acquaintance, who had one of the finest shapes that ever was seen. And yet this woman in other things did not want sense; but she would not see any defect in her own person, and consequently resolved to throw the blame on any other thing which came first in her way."

This little set of company passed the remainder of that day in amusing themselves with their observations on every incident which happened; and as they were all disposed in their own minds to be pleased, every trifle was an addition to their pleasure. When they returned home in the evening, they were weary with their jaunt; and finding themselves inclined to rest, retired to bed: where I will leave them to their repose, and keep the next day's adventure for a subsequent chapter.




Cynthia, who had been accustomed for many years to be startled from her sleep at every morning's dawn with all the uneasy reflections of the several insults and indignities, ill-nature, and a love of tyranny had barbarously made her suffer the day before, was at present in so different a situation, that the returning light, which used to be her greatest enemy, now, as her best friend, brought back to her remembrance all those pleasing ideas her present companions continually inspired her with. Therefore, instead of endeavouring to compose herself again to slumber )the usual method of the unfortunate, in order to lose the sense of their sorrows), the cheerfulness of her mind induced her to leave her bed, and indulge herself with all those various flights of fancy, which are generally the reward of temperance and innocence. She stole softly into Camilla's room, that if she was awake she might increase her owm pleasures by sharing them with her friend; but finding her fast asleep, was again returning to her own chamber, when by a servant's opening the door of an apartment by which she was obliged to pass, she had a transient view of a young lady, with whom she fancied she was very well acquainted, but could not recollect where or by what means she had seen her. This raised so great a curiosity in Cynthia to know who she was, that she could not forbear immediately inquiring of the maid of the house, who lodged in that apartment. The maid replied. Truly, she did not know who she was, for she had not been there above a fortnight; she was very handsome, but she believed a very stupid kind of body, for that she never dressed fine or visited like other ladies, but sat moping by herself all day. "But," continued she, "there is no reason to complain of her. I think she is very honest, for she don't seem to want money to pay for anything she has a mind to have. She goes by the name of Isabelle, and they say she is a Frenchwoman."

The moment Cynthia heard her name, she remembered it to be the same with that of the Marquis de Stainville's sister, whom she knew very well when she was in France with my Lady ———; but then she could not imagine what accident or turn of affairs could possibly have brought her into that house, and have caused so great an alteration in her temper, as from a gay, sprightly girl, to fall into so melancholy a disposition.

When David and his companions met at breakfast, Cynthia fold them all which had passed, and by what means she had discovered an acquaintance in that house; and said she should be very glad of this opportunity of waiting on Isabelle; but that she feared, by the retired life she seemed to choose, company would be troublesome to her.

David immediately fancied it must be some terrible distress which had thus thrown this young lady into a settled melancholy; therefore begged Cynthia with the utmost eagerness to visit her, and find out, if possible, if there was any method could be thought on for her relief; and it was agreed by them all, that after breakfast Cynthia should send to know if she would admit of a visit from her.

In the meantime the whole conversation was taken up in conjectures on Isabelle's circumstances. Camilla could not forbear inquiring of Cynthia this young lady had not a father alive, and whether it was not probable his marrying a second wife might be the cause of her misfortunes; but before there was time for an answer, David said, "I think, madam, you mentioned her brother: he possibly may have treated her in such a manner as to make her hate her own country, and endeavour to change the scene, in hopes to abate her misery."

In short, every one guessed at some reason or other for a woman of Isabelle's quality leading a life so unsuitable to the station fortune had placed her in.

The Marquis de Stainville's sister, although at this time she would have made it greatly her choice to have been quite alone; yet, as she had always had a great liking to Cynthia's company, would not refuse to see her. Their conversation turned chiefly on indifferent things; for Cynthia would not so far transgress the rules of good breeding as to ask her any questions concerning her own affairs; but in the midst of their discourse she often observed tears to flow from Isabelle's eyes, though she used her utmost endeavours to conceal them.

David waited with great impatience while Cynthia was with Isabelle, in hopes, at her return, to learn whether or no it would be in his power to gratify his favourite passion (of doing good) on this occasion; but when Cynthia informed him it was impossible as yet, without exceeding all bounds of good manners, to know any occurrences that had happened to Isabelle, he grew very uneasy, and could not forbear reflecting on the tyranny of custom, which often subjects the unfortunate to bear their miseries, because her severe laws will neither suffer them to lay open their distresses without being thought forward and impertinent, nor let even those people who would relieve them inquire into their misery without being called by the world madly curious or ridiculously meddling. Whereas he thought that to see another uneasy was a sufficient reason for any of the same species to endeavour to know and remove the cause of it.

Cynthia, on reflection, was convinced that what on some occasions would be transgressing the laws of decency, in this case would be only the effect of a generous compassion. She therefore sought all opportunities of conversing with Isabelle, till at length, by her amiable and tender behaviour, she prevailed with her to let her introduce her to David and his company. They were all surprised at the grandeur of her air and manner, and the I perfect symmetry of her features, as much as they were concerned at the dejectedness of her countenance, and the fixed melancholy which visibly appeared in everything she said or did. For several days they made it their whole business to endeavour to divert her; but (as is usually the case where grief is really and unaffectedly rooted in the heart) she sighed at everything which at another time would have given her pleasure. And the behaviour of this company seemed only to make her regret the more something she had irrecoverably lost. She begged to be left to her own private thoughts, whatever they were, rather than disturb the felicity of such minds as she easily perceived theirs to be.

But David would not, nor indeed would any of the company, suffer her to leave them without informing them whether or no they could do anything to serve her. As to her saying she perceived by the tenderness of their dispositions she should only make them feel her afflictions without any possibility of relieving them, they looked on that to be the common reflection of every generous mind weighed down with present grief. At last, by their continual importunities, and the uneasiness she was convinced she gave to people who so much deserved her esteem, she resolved, whatever pain it would occasion her, to comply with their requests, and relate the history of her life; which she accordingly began as follows—

"I was bred up from five years of age in a nunnery. Nothing remarkable happened to me during my stay there; but I spent my time sometimes with my companions in innocent amusements and childish pleasures, sometimes in learning such things as were thought by my governess to be most for my improvement. At fourteen, my father sent for me home, and indulged me in bringing with me a young lady, named Juliè, for whom I had taken a great fancy. I had not been long there before a gentleman, who often visited and dined with my father, made him a proposal of marrying me. He soon informed me of it; and although he did not absolutely command me to receive him as my lover, yet I plainly saw he was very much inclined to the match. This was the first time I had any opportunity of acting, or that I had ever considered of anything further than how to spend my time most agreeably from one hour to another. I immediately ran and told my companion what had passed, in order to consult with her in what method I should act; but was very much surprised when I saw her, from the moment I mentioned the gentleman's name, alternately blush and turn pale; and that when she endeavoured to speak, her voice faltered, and she could not utter her words. When she was a little recovered, she begged me to call for a glass of water, for she was suddenly taken very ill. I was in the utmost confusion, and knew not what to say; but was resolved, however, for the present, not to begin again on a subject which had shocked her so much. We both endeavoured to turn the conversation on indifferent things, but were so perplexed in our own thoughts, that it was impossible for us to continue long together without running into a discourse of what we were both so full of. I therefore soon made some trifling excuse, and left her; and I believe this separation at that time was the most agreeable thing which could have happened to her.

"The moment I was alone, and had an opportunity to reflect on the foregoing scene, young as I then was, I could not avoid seeing the cause of Juliè's behaviour: it appeared very odd to me, that a girl of her sense should, in so short a time, be thus violently attached to a man; and had it not appeared so very visibly, the improbability of it would have made me overlook it. For my own part, I neither liked nor disliked the gentleman, but was perfectly averse to marriage, unless 1 had a tender regard for the man I was to live with as a husband. But I began now to think that a man who was capable of making such a conquest, without even endeavouring at it, must have something very uncommon in him; and was resolved therefore to observe him more narrowly for the future. I begged my father would give me leave to converse with him a little while longer, without being thought for that reason engaged in honour to live with him for ever; for certainly it is very unreasonable that any person should be obliged immediately to determine a point of such great importance.

"Juliè now avoided me as much as formerly she used to contrive all ways of being with me; and whenever we were together, her downcast eyes and anxious looks sufficiently declared her uneasiness at my having discovered a secret she would willingly have concealed within her own bosom.

"My lover, being now admitted to converse with me, seemed to make no doubt but that he should soon gain my affections, and grew every day more and more particular to me. I don't know what was the reason of it (for he was far from being a disagreeable man), but now he looked on himself as an accepted lover, my indifference turned into perfect aversion to him. I believe the seeing poor Juliè's continual unhappiness was one cause that I could not bear him to come near me. Besides, I fancied that he saw her love (notwithstanding all her endeavours to conceal it), and did not treat her in the manner a good-natured man would have done in that case. In short, I soon resolved to declare to my father that nothing could make me so unhappy as the marrying this gentleman, and to desire his permission to refuse him. But before I took this step, I was willing to talk to Juliè about it; for as I saw her unhappy situation, I dreaded doing anything that might make her more miserable, I was very much perplexed in what manner I could bring about a conversation on a subject, the very mentioning of which had so violent an effect on her. But one day, as we were sitting together, it came into my head to tell her a story parallel to our case; where a young woman, by an obstinate concealing from her friend that she was in love with the gentleman by whom this friend was addressed, suffered her innocently and ignorantly to marry the man for whom she had not so violent a passion, but that she could easily, and would have controlled and conquered it, had she known the passion of her friend, and the dreadful consequences which it afterwards produced to her.

"Juliè immediately understood my meaning; and after several sighs and struggles with herself, burst out into the following expressions—'Oh, Isabelle! what fresh obligations are you every minute loading me with! The generous care you take of my future peace is so much beyond my expectation, that it is impossible for me to thank you in any words adequate to the strong idea I have of your goodness. I am satisfied most women in your case would hate me as a rival, although they despised the man contended for. I must own to you, from the time I first saw Monsieur Le Buisson, I always liked him; and I flattered myself that he treated me with a peculiar air of gallantry, which I fondly imputed to a growing passion. If ever I accidentally met him walking in the garden, or in any other place, he seemed to seek occasions to keep me with him. But, alas! I have since found out that it was his love for you which made him endeavour to be acquainted with me, as he saw we were generally together. If you like him, I will go and bemoan my own wretched fate in any corner of the earth, rather than be the least obstacle to your happiness.'

"Here she ceased: the swelling tears stood ready to start from her eyes, and she seemed almost choked for want of utterance. I really pitied her, but knew not which way to relieve her. To tell Monsieur Le Buisson of her passion did not appear to me, by what I could observe of his disposition, to be a likely means of succeeding, I tried all manner of ways to find if there was a possibility of making her easy, in case there should be any unconquerable obstacle to the gratifying her inclination; but when at last I found she would hearken with pleasure to nothing but the talking of methods to make Monsieur Le Buisson in love with her, I began to think seriously which way I could bring it about. I imagined, if I kept him on without any determinate answer what I would do, that I might, by a disagreeable behaviour, joined to Juliè's good-nature and softness, make him turn his affections on her. But it was some time before I could bring myself to this; I thought it was not acting a sincere part, and I abhorred nothing so much as dissimulation. But then, when I consired, on the other side, that it would be making my friend happy, and doing no injury to Monsieur Le Buisson, as it would be the means of his having the best of wives, I overcame all my scruples, and engaged heartily in it. Every time I had used him ill enough to work him into a rage, Juliè purposely threw herself in his way, and by all the mild and gentle methods she could think on, endeavoured to calm his mind and bring him into good humour again: in short, we did this so often, that at last we succeeded to our wish. I got rid of my lover, and Juliè engaged the man whose love was the only thing she thought could make her happy.

"The match was soon concluded, for her friends all greatly approved of it. I was forced to tell my father the whole truth, to prevent his thinking himself injured by his friend. He chid me at first for not informing him of it sooner; but as he always looked with a favourable eye on what I did, he soon forgave me. My friend and I both thought ourselves now quite happy—Juliè in the completion of her wishes, and I in having been instrumental in bringing them about. But, alas! better had it been for us both, had she for ever shut herself from the world, and spent her time in conquering, instead of endeavouring to gratify and indulge her passion; for Monsieur Le Buisson, in a very short time, grew quite tired of her. For, as she had never been really his inclination, and it was only by working on the different turns of his passion that he was at first engaged to marry her, he could not keep himself from falling, at least, into a cold indifference: however, as he was a polite man, it was some time before he could bring himself to break through the rules of good breeding, and he treated her with the respect and civility he thought due to a woman. This, however, did not prevent her being very miserable; for the great tenderness she felt for him required all those soft sensations, and that delicacy in his behaviour, which only could have completed the happiness of such a heart as hers; but which it is impossible ever to attain where the love is not perfectly mutual.

"I denied myself the pleasure of ever seeing her, lest I should be the cause of any disturbance between them; but my caution was all in vain; for she, poor soul, endeavoured to raise his gratitude, and increase his love, by continually reminding him of her long and faithful passion, even from her first acquaintance with him; till at last, by these means, she put it into his head that my love for my friend was the cause of my refusing and treating him ill. This thought roused a fury in his breast; all decency and ceremony gave way to rage; and, from thinking her fondness had been his curse, by preventing his having the woman he liked, she soon became the object of his hatred rather than his love; and he could not forbear venting continual reproaches against her for having thus gained him. Poor Juliè did not long survive this usage, but languished a short time in greater misery than I can express, and then lost her life and the sense of her misfortunes together.

"This was the first real affliction I had ever felt; I had loved Juliè from her infancy, and I now looked upon myself to have been the cause of all her sorrows; nor could I help, in some measure, blaming my own actions, for I had always dreaded the consequence of thus in a manner betraying a man into matrimony. And although perhaps it may be something a more excusable frailty, yet it certainly is as much a failure in point of virtue, and as great a want of resolution, to indulge the inclination of our friends to their ruin, as it is to gratify our own; or, to speak more properly, to people who are capable of friendship, it is only more exquisite and refined way of giving themselves pleasure. But I will not attempt to repeat all I endured on that occasion, and shall only tell you that Monsieur Le Buisson, on the death of his wife, thinking now all obstacles were removed between us, would again have been my lover; but his usage of my poor Juliè had raised in me such an indignation against him, that I resolved never to see him more.

"But here, at the period of my first misfortune, I must cease; for I think nothing but the strong desire I have to oblige this company could possibly have supported my sunk and weak spirits to have talked so long at one time."

The whole company begged her not to tire herself, and expressed their hearty thanks for what she had already done. She insisted now on retiring to her own apartment; and promised the next day, if her health would give her leave, to continue her story, in order to satisfy their curiosity; or rather to convince them that their compassion in her case must be rendered perfectly fruitless by the invincible obstinacy of her misfortunes.

After Isabelle had left them they spent the remainder of the day in remarks on that part of her story she had already imparted to them. David could not help expressing the utmost indignation against Monsieur Le Buisson for his barbarous and ungrateful treatment of Juliè, He desired Cynthia to engage Isabelle as early as it was possible the next morning, that she might re-assume her story; which, he said, must have something very extraordinary in it, as the death of her first friend, and that in so shocking a manner, seemed to be but the prologue to her increasing miseries. Had not Cynthia's own inclinations exactly agreed with his, she would have been easily prevailed on to have obliged the man who had generously saved Valentine's life, and was the only cause of her present happy situation. In short, as soon as Isabelle was stirring the following day, she was persuaded to join the company; and, after breakfast, went on with her story as follows.




"After the death of my favourite companion, I had an aversion to the thoughts of all lovers; and although my father had several proposals for me, yet I utterly rejected them, and begged him, as the only means to make me go through life with any tolerable ease, that I might be permitted to spend my time at his villa in solitude and retirement. His fondness for me prevailed on him to comply with my request, and time began to make my late affliction subside. I had besides a dawn of comfort in the company of my brother, who, notwithstanding his youth and being a Frenchman, was of so grave and philosophical a temper, that he, having now finished his studies, like me, preferred the enjoying his own thoughts in ease and quiet to all the gay amusements and noisy pomp which were to be met with in Paris. Though we had never been bred together, yet the present sympathy of our tempers (for I was become as grave, from the late accident which had befallen me, as he was from nature) led us to contract the strictest friendship for each other. All sprightliness was now vanished, and I had no other pleasure but in my brother's indulging me to converse with him on serious subjects: with this amusement I began to be contented, and to find returning ease flow in upon my mind. But this was more than I was long permitted to enjoy; for whilst I was in this situation, one evening, as my father was coming from Paris, he got a fall from his horse, by which accident he bruised his side in such a manner that it threw him into a pleurisy, of which he died. Thus was I only to be cured of tlie sense of one misery by the birth of another: he had always been to me a most indulgent parent, and the horror I felt at the loss of him rendered me for some time inconsolable; nor do I think anything could have ever made me overcome my grief, but that my brother, now Marquis de Stainville, notwithstanding I am certain he felt the loss equal with me, had greatness of mind enough to enable him to stifle all his own sorrows in order to comfort and support me under mine; till at length I was ashamed to see so much goodness thrown away upon me, and I was resolved (at least in appearance) to shake off my melancholy, that I might no longer be a burden to such a brother. This consideration, and the agreeableness of his conversation, assisted me by degrees to calm my mind, and again brought me back into a state of tranquillity. He often used to entertain me with stories of what had happened to him at school, with his remarks (which were generally very judicious) on them. One evening, as we were talking of friendship, he related to me the following instance of a boy's unusual attachment to him, which I will give you in his own words.

"'When I was at school I contracted a warm friendship with the young Chevalier Dumont: indeed, it was impossible for me to avoid it, for the sympathy of our tempers was so very strong that nature seemed to have pointed us out as companions to each other. It is usual, amongst every number of boys, for each of them to single out some one or other with whom they more particularly converse than with the rest; but we not only loved one another better than all our other schoolfellows, but I verily believe, if we had had our choice throughout the whole world, we neither of us could have met with a friend to whom we could have been so sincerely attached. Notwithstanding our youth, we were both so fond of reading and study, that the boys of gayer disposition used to laugh at us, calling us bookworms, and shun us as unfit for their society: this was the most agreeable thing that could have happened to us, as it gave us an opportunity to enjoy each other's company undisturbed, and to get improvement by continually reading together. In short, we spent our time, till we went to the academy, as pleasantly as I think it possible to do in this world; then all our scenes of pleasure were destroyed by the villainy of a young man (one Monsieur Le Neuf), whose father was so penurious that he would not allow him money enough to be on a footing with the rest of the young gentlemen. This put him on all manner of stratagems to supply his expenses, which as much exceeded the bounds of common discretion as his father's allowance fell short of what was necessary. He soon found out that I had great plenty of money, and therefore resolved some way or other to get an intimacy with me: he affected the same love of learning, and taste for study, with the Chevalier and myself; till at last, by his continual endeavouring to oblige us, we were prevailed on often to admit him into our company. He saw I had no great fondness for money, and was willing to share what I had with my friends; this put it into his head to try if he could make a quarrel between Dumont and me, that he might possess me wholly himself; and you must know, Isabelle, notwithstanding the present calmness that appears in my temper, I am naturally excessively passionate, and I have such a warmth in my disposition that the least suspicion of being ill-used by my friends sets my whole soul in a flame and enrages me to madness. Now the sort of mind in the world best suited for villainy to work its own ends out of is this; happy for me it was that Dumont is of a temper entirely opposite; for though I have experienced his bravery, yet he even fights with the calmness of a philosopher.

"'Le Neuf would often take opportunities to tell stories of false friends; of people who, under the pretence of love, had betrayed and made their own advantage of the undesigning and artless; and would always conclude with some remarks on the folly of people's confiding too strongly in others, unless a long experience had convinced them of their sincerity. We neither of us had the least suspicion of his aim, and, as he had an entertaining manner of telling stories, used to hearken to them with the utmost attention.

"'There was a boy belonging to the academy who had a voice so Uke Dumont's that in another room it was very difficult to distinguish them from each other. Le Neuf one day got this lad into a chamber adjoining to mine, and, when he had given him his lesson, began to talk very loud, and mentioned my name with such an eagerness as gave me a curiosity to hear what they were talking of; but what was my surprise when I heard Dumont (as I then thought) use me with great contempt; swear he would never have had anything to say to such a fool if my command of money had not put it in his power to make a proper use of me. And then endeavoured to inveigle Le Neuf, that they two may join together in order to make me the greater dupe; but said he must still keep up the appearance of generosity and unwillingness to take anything from me, lest I should suspect him. Le Neuf immediately answered that he would not for the world deceive me; but would let me know what a friend I had in Dumont, if it was not for fear that he would have art enough to make him appear only a mischief-maker, and still impose the more on me. But,' continued he, 'I will endeavour all the ways I can to open his eyes, and to let him see the regard you have for him.'

"'I had now heard enough, and was going hastily to break open the door, but found it locked. Le Neuf well knew who it was, and sent the boy out at another door, down a pair of backstairs, and then let me in, The fury of my looks sufficiently declared that I had been witness of all that had passed between him and the fancied Dumont. I stared wildly about the room in hopes to find him, but in vain. Le Neuf was in the highest satisfaction imaginable at this success of his vile scheme; and said that by my actions and manner he was convinced accident had undeceived me with regard to my opinion of Dumont; that indeed he had a long time been thinking of a method to let me know the truth, but was always afraid my fixed love for my friend would have put it in his power to blind my eyes enough to make him appear the only guilty person. "You may remember, sir," continued he, "how much my conversation has turned, ever since I had the pleasure of knowing you, on the great caution that is necessary (if we would preserve our own peace) before we entirely place a confidence in any man. What you have now overheard will prove this to you better than all I could say; but let me add another piece of advice, which is no less proper for you upon this occasion; break off your friendship with Dumont by degrees, without ever telling him the real cause; that would only produce a quarrel between you, which might have bad consequences; and when the subject of it comes to be known in the world, it might bring some disgrace upon you for having been duped by him so long, and give you the air of a bubble. It is therefore much more prudent to let your connection with him quietly drop than to come to any disagreeable and public explanations upon this affair."

"'Thus did this artful villain endeavour to guard against any éclaircissement between me and my friend which might produce a discovery of the trick he had played; and had my temper been cooler he would have succeeded; but I was then quite incapable of attending to any considerations of prudence; and, in the height of my rage, ran downstairs to seek satisfaction of the injured Dumont for the wrongs I falsely imagined he had done me, Upon inquiry I found he was gone out through the garden into a field, the properest place in the world for my present purpose. He was alone, out of either the hearing or sight of any mortal. The moment I came near enough to be heard, I drew my sword, and called on him to defend himself: it was in this instant that Dumont (notwithstanding the surprise he must undoubtedly be in) collected all his resolution, and exerted the highest friendship, to prevent the happening of an accident so fatal as must either have cost me my life or destroyed all my future peace. In short, all the opprobrious language I could give him could not provoke him to draw his sword; but with the warmest entreaties he begged me to put up mine, till we could come to some éclaircissement.

"'I now began to think he added cowardice to treachery, and in my rage had not command enough of myself to forbear adding the name of coward to the rest of my reproaches. Still he bore it all: at last he swore if I would but have patience till he knew what it was that had thrown me into this passion, if he could not clear himself, he would not refuse to fight with me whenever I pleased. My fury being a little abated by these words, I put up my sword, and then told him all I thought I had overheard between him and Le Neuf. It is impossible to describe his amazement at hearing this; I thought there was something so innocent in his looks, that all my former love returned for him, and I began to fancy I had been in a dream: he at length got so far the better of me that I consented to make a stricter inquiry into this affair before we proceeded any further.

"'We walked some time together, but every word Dumont spoke put me so much in mind of that wretch's voice who had deceived me, that I could hardly keep myself from bursting into fresh passions every moment; he perceived it, and kindly bore all my infirmities.

"'As soon as we came home, we called Le Neuf; and the Chevalier asked him what villainy he could have contrived to impose so much on my understanding as to make me believe he had ever mentioned my name but with the greatest respect and friendship. He was too much hardened in his wickedness to recede from what he had begun, and said I was the best judge whether I knew Dumont's voice or no; and then pretended to be in the greatest astonishment that a man could in so short a time deny his own words to the face of the very person to whom he had spoken them. We all three stood looking at one another in great perplexity; and, for my part, I knew not which way to come at the truth. At last Dumont begged me to have patience till the next day, and by that time he did not doubt but he should make everything clear before me; to which, with much persuasion, I at last consented.

"'The Chevalier knew Le Neuf used to go every night to walk in a solitary place, in order, as he supposed, to plot the mischiefs he intended to perpetrate: thither he followed him a little after sunset, and catching hold of him by the collar, swore that moment should be his last unless he confessed who it was that he had bribed to speak in his voice in order to impose upon me. The villain had not the courrage to draw his sword, but, falling down on his knees, confessed the whole, and showed the baseness of his nature no less in begging pardon than he had done in committing the crime. But Dumont refused to forgive him, unless on condition of his going with him to me, and repeating the same confession; to which the mean creature submitted.

"'Think, my Isabelle,' continued my brother, 'what I must feel when I wronged I had wronged the man who was capable of acting in the generous and uncommon manner the Chevalier had done; he saw my confusion, and kindly flew to my relief. "Now," said he, "I hope my dear friend is convinced of my innocence!" and at the same time embracing me, assured me he would impute the violence of my passion to the vehemence of my love, and never mention this accident more.

"'Le Neuf begged we would keep this affair a secret; but that we could not consent to, for the sake of others. We asked him how it was possible that at his age he could think of such villainy for the sake of a little money? to which he replied that he had been from his infancy bred up with a father who had amassed great wealth by never sticking at anything from which he could gain any advantage; and although, indeed, contrary to his father, he loved to spend it, yet he had always laid it down as a maxim that all considerations were to be sacrificed to the getting it.

"'We made him produce the boy he had employed, and he really spoke so like the ChevaUer, we could not distinguish one voice from the other; on which the good-natured Dumont told me I ought not to be angry with myself for not avoiding an imposition which must have deceived all the world. This was generosity, this was being a true friend! for the man who will bear another's frailties, in my opinion, is the only person who deserves that name. Those people who let their pride intervene with their tenderness, enough to make them quarrel with their friends for their mistakes, may sometimes make an appearance of loving another, but in reality they never enter into engagements from any other motive than selfishness; and I think the person who forsakes his friend, only because he is not perfect, is much upon the same footing with one who will be no longer faithful to his friend than while fortune favours him. I have told you this story, sister, only to let you into the character of the man I so deservedly esteem; that, as you are my chief companion, when I talk of him (as I am fond of doing) you may not be an entire stranger to him. I left him at the academy, where I have since written to him, and am surprised I have had no answer. As to Le Neuf, we published his infamy, which obliged him to leave the academy.' Here my brother ceased."

As soon as Isabelle had related thus much of her story, Cynthia desired her to rest herself before she proceeded; and, in the meantime, David could not forbear showing his indignation against Le Neuf, and declaring his approbation of the Marquis de Stainville's sentiments, that nothing but finding some great fault in the heart can ever excuse us for abandoning our friends. The whole company joined in their admiration of the Chevalier Dumont's behaviour; but perceiving that turning the conversation a little on indifferent subjects would be the best means of enabling Isabelle to relate what remained, they endeavoured to amuse her as much as lay in their power; and, as soon as she had a little recovered herself, she went on, as will be seen in the next chapter.




"After my brother had told me this story, his favourite subject of conversation was the Chevalier Dumont; but this lasted not long before the accidental sight of a young lady at a neighbour's house turned all his thoughts another way: her name was Dorimene, daughter to the Count de———. As the Marquis de Stainville never concealed anything from me, he immediately told me the admiration Dorimene had inspired him with; his whole soul was so filled with her idea, he could neither think nor talk of anything else. She was to stay some time with the gentleman's lady where my brother saw her; and, as I had a small acquaintance with her, at his request I went to wait on her, in order to get an opportunity to invite Dorimene to our house. I was a little surprised at the great and sudden effect her charms had had on my brother; but at the first sight of her all my wonder vanished; for the elegant turn of her whole person, joined to the regular beauties of her face, would rather have made it a matter of astonishment if a man of my brother's age could have seen her without being in love with her. In short, a very little conversation with her quite overcame him, and he thought of nothing but marrying her.

"The Marquis de Stainville was in the possession of so large a fortune, that he was a match for Dorimene which there was no danger of her friends refusing; and the gentleman with whom she then was being very intimate with her father, immediately wrote him word of the particular notice my brother took of his daughter. On the receipt of this letter the Count de ——— came to his friend's house, under the pretence of fetching Dorimene home, but in reality with a design of concluding the match between her and my brother. She was very young, had never had any other engagement; and, as the custom in France makes most ladies think a married life most agreeable, she implicitly obeyed her father.

"The Marquis de Stainville's passion for her was so violent that it could not bear any delay. In a month's time they were married, with the consent of all parties; and, in the possession of Dorimene, my brother's happiness was complete; nor did he know a wish beyond it. On her request I continued to live with them, and we spent our time very agreeably; for Dorimene was really an amiable companion; she was not of a temper to be ruffled with trifles, and as to the generality of things, was very indifferent which way they went. I never saw her but once in a passion, but then indeed she perfectly frightened me; for she was quite furious, and her mind was agitated with much more violence than those which are easily put into disorder can ever be. My brother doted on her to distraction: the least intimation of any inclination of hers was enough to make him fly to obey her; at her desire we spent a few months in the winter at Paris, but then she gave no further into the gaieties of that place than her husband approved of.

"The Count de ——— had a small villa about six leagues from Paris, which was as pleasantly situated as any in France; in this place my brother took a fancy to spend the next summer after he was married. In a little while after we had been there, as my sister and I were sitting one day in a grotto at the end of the parterre, we saw the Marquis de Stainville and another gentleman coming towards us; we rose up to meet them, and as soon as we were near enough to join companies, my brother took the gentleman by the hand, and presented him to us under the name of the Chevalier Dumont. Dorimene and I (for she had also heard his history) were both rejoiced at thus meeting with the man my brother had given us so advantageous a character of. She politely said that nothing could be more welcome to her than the Marquis de Stainville's friend. We walked some time in the garden; but my brother, observing the Chevalier grow faint, proposed the going in; saying that as he was but just recovered of a fit of sickness, it would be advisable for him to be in the house. And, indeed, he looked so pale and thin, that it was rather wonderful how it was possible for him to bear being out of his bed, and that rest would be necessary for him. He was in so weak a state of health that we spent two or three days together before the Marquis would ask him any particulars; but as soon as he thought he had gained strength enough to enable him to relate all that had happened to him, from the time of their separation, the marquis eagerly desired Dumont not to let him remain in ignorance of whatever had befallen so dear a friend during that interval; which request both my sister and I earnestly joined in, and the Chevaher obligingly began as follows—

"'The dey, sir, after you left the academy, when I was in the height of my melancholy for your loss, to complete my affliction I received a letter from my mother, that my father was taken very ill, and desired me to hasten home, as I valued ever seeing him again. I did not delay a moment obeying his commands; but immediately took horse, and rode with full speed till I reached his villa; he was yet alive, but so near his end that it was with difficulty he uttered his words. The moment I entered his chamber, and he was told by his fond and afflicted wife that I was there to attend his commands, he raised himself up in his bed, and seemed to keep life in him by force, in order to give me his last blessing. He then desired to be left some few minutes with me alone; and as I approached his bedside, he took me by the hand, and sighing said, "Oh, my son! I have ruined you and the best of wives at once: you know the long and faithful friendship I have had for Monsieur ———, and the great obligations I owe him. After you were separated from me in order to follow your studies, he married a young and beautiful lady, whom he was so fond of he could deny her nothing. She was one of those gay ladies who never thought herself so happy as when she was lavishing her husband's fortune on her own extravagance; by this means she soon brought him into the most distressed state imaginable; he had a growing family, and no means of supporting them. I could not bear to see his misery, and presently relieved it: I did this once or twice; but he had so much generosity, and so strong a resolution, that he absolutely refused to drag me down to ruin and perdition with him. He obstinately persisted in what he thought right, and I, on the other hand, was fully bent never to let him sink without sharing his misfortunes. In short, I by degrees underhand sold almost everything I was worth, and conveyed it to him in such a manner that he never knew from whom it came. If God had been pleased to have spared my life, I intended to have got you a post in the army, and had a scheme in my head which I thought could not fail to have made some provision for your mother; but it is now at an end, my strength fails me, and I can do no more. Farewell for ever!As you are young, if you can make any struggle in the world, cherish and take care of my wife!" At these words he ceased speaking, and breathed his last in my arms.'

"At this description, Dorimene and I both burst into tears, in spite of our utmost endeavours to prevent it; which stopped the Chevalier Dumont's narration for a few minutes, when, on our earnest treaties, he thus proceeded:—

"'I see I need not explain to these ladies what felt on this dreadful occasion; they seem too sensible of the miseries that attend human kind, not to imagine it all without my assistance; nor will I shock the tenderness of any of this company with the repetition of my mother's grief; but shall only say great as the softest heart could feel on the loss of a husband whom she had lived with and tenderly loved for thirty years together. Perhaps, as my father had a family, he may be thought blamable for such a conduct; but, for my part, notwithstanding I am the sufferer, I shall always honour his memory the more for it, when I reflect that I have often heard him say, that to the gentleman's father (for whom he at last ruined himself) he owed all that he had in the world.

"'I was afraid of revealing to my mother what my father had told me, and delayed it some time, for no other reason but from want of resolution to add to the load of afflictions she was already burdened with: at last necessity forced me to undertake the task, however uneasy it was to me; for the person who had bought the house we were then in of my father was to enter upon it the next week. I really believe the uneasiness the poor man suffered on that account, and chiefly for his wife's sake, hastened his death. When I disclosed to my mother the present situation of our affairs, instead of burdening me with complaints and lamentations, she at first showed a perfect indifference, and said, as she had lost her only comfort in losing my father, she cared very little what became of her; but then looking at me with an air of the greatest tenderness, she sighed, and said, "Why did I bring into the world a creature with your generous sentiments? who, after being educated like a gentleman, must be thrown on the wide world without any means of supporting that station in life!" She saw how much her discourse affected me, and therefore said no more.

"'As soon as I had time to reflect by myself on the present condition of my affairs, I began seriously to consider what I should do; for I was resolved in some shape or other to support my mother. My thoughts immediately turned on you, my dear Marquis de Stainville, and I made no doubt but in your friendship I should meet with an asylum from all my cares and afflictions. I then wrote the letter I have already mentioned to you; it was not at all in the style of a poor man to his patron, but rather rejoicing that I had an opportunity of giving you what I thought the highest pleasure in the world, that of relieving your friend from the insupportable calamity of having a helpless and distressed mother upon his hande, without its being in my power to help her.

"'When I had sent away my letter, I got credit for a little house, where I placed my mother; but as soon as I thought it possible for me to have an answer, I cannot describe the anxious hours I passed; every moment seemed a thousand; day after day was I in this situation, and no letter came to comfort me. Forgive me, my dear friend; nothing could have given me any suspicion of you at another time; but now everything seemed so much my enemy that I thought you so too. When I remembered our tender parting, tears would start into my eyes; and I thought to have you forsake me, because I wanted fortune, was more than I could bear: yet in the midst of all this trouble I am obliged to struggle and appear cheerful, to keep up my poor mother's sinking spirits. To tell you the variety of misery I went through would make my story tedious, and be shocking to your natures; when I thought my Stainville had forsaken me, the neglect of all my other professed friends was trifliug. The insults of my creditors I could have supported, with tolerable patience; but my father's last words, "Take care of my wife!" continually resounded in my ears; and I saw daily before my eyes this wife — this mother — and found myself utterly void of any power to save her from destruction; and now fruitless lamentations were the only refuge left me.

"'When I was almost driven to the utmost despair, at last, by often revolving in my mind various schemes to extricate myself out of the deplorable condition of seeing a tender parent languish away her little remains of life in want of necessaries, I recollected the young Duke de ———; who, you know, sir, left the academy about two months after we came to it. The little while he was there with us he was particularly civil to me; and I resolved now, as my last effort, to write him my case in the most pathetic terms I could think of, and try if I could prevail on him to deliver me out of my misery. It was some time before I obtained an answer, and when it came it was perfectly in the style of a great man to his dependant: however, at the bottom he told me he had procured a place for me, which would bring in about fifty louis-d'or a year; if I would accept this, I must come immediately to Paris.

"'Though this was not a thing fit to be offered a gentleman, yet it was not a time for me to consider my station in life; this would be some little support to my mother, and I did not fear bustling in the world for myself. I was going to Paris when I was taken ill of a violent fever in the house where you found me. I had but just enough in my pocket to have carried me to my journey's end; this was soon spent in sickness, and I was in a place where I was an utter stranger, confined to my bed, without a penny to help myself; and though death would have been very welcome to me, as it would have put an end to my misfortunes, yet when I considered my mother, I looked on it with great dread.

"'My landlord happened to be a very humane, good-natured man, and on my telling him my helpless condition, desired me not to make myself uneasy, for that he would for the present bring me necessaries, and he did not doubt but by the representation of my circumstances, to a very charitable gentleman who was lately come to the Count de ———'s, he should get me some relief.

"'My distemper became so violent that I was hardly sensible; but by the great care that was taken of me, it abated by degrees; and as soon as I came to recollect how long I had lain there, I asked who was the generous benefactor to whom I owed the preservation of my life; and was immediately told by my, landlord that he had found a method of making my case known to the Marquis de Stainville, who had given strict orders to have the utmost care taken of me, and sent money for that purpose. At the sound of that name I started up in my bed, and stared so wildly that the poor man was quite frightened. At last I cried out, "Are you sure it is the Marquis de Stainville? Are you positive you don't mistake the name?" "No, no, sir," replied the man; "I know I am right in what I say; he married the Count de ———'s daughter, and is here at his house," I had lived so retired from the time of my father's death, and had been so little inquisitive about anything that passed in the world, that I had never so much as heard of your marriage: however, on the man's positive assurance that he was not mistaken, I began to think this goodness was like the nature of my old friend; but then it seemed to be improbable that a man who was capable of being so charitable to strangers could abandon his friend in the highest distress. This put it into my head that possibly my letter might have miscarried, and you were yet ignorant of all I had suffered. This thought infused such inexpressible and sudden joy all over me, it hastened my recovery so much, that in two days' time I was able to walk about my room.

"'As I was sitting and considering with myself which way I should bring about an interview with you, without directly sending my name, my landlord said, "Now, sir, if you have a mind to see your benefactor, the Marquis de Stainville, at that window, you may satisfy your curiosity, for he is coming this way." I immediately placed myself in such a position that it was impossible for you to pass by without seeing me; but how, ladies, shall I describe my raptures when I saw the Marquis de Stainville start at the first sight of me; fly in a moment back to the door, and run into my arms with all the joy which attends the unexpected meeting of a long-absent friend! This sudden transport, with the shame I felt for having ever suspected his affection, joined to the great weakness of my body, quite overcame me, and it was some time before my words could find an utterance; but as soon as I was able to speak, I asked him ten thousand questions at once, talked confusedly of a letter; in short, we could not presently understand one another; but at last I found out that all I had endured was owing to accidently directing my letter to the Marquis at Paris, when he was at his father's villa, which occasioned its being lost; nor did I ever receive that my friend wrote to me at the academy, having left that place, as I at first told you, the day after we were separated.'

"Here my brother interrupted the Chevalier Dumont, and said there had nothing more happened worth mentioning till they met us in the garden; but we were so pleased with this happy meeting of the two friends, that we begged to know everything that passed between them; and, on our request, the Chevalier proceeded—

"'It is the Marquis's generosity, ladies, which makes him willing that I should stop here, as what remains is a proof that I owe him the greatest obligation imaginable. In our walk home, although, as he saw me weak, he would not inquire into more particulars than he thought necessary to find out in what manner he could best serve me, yet his impatience to prove by all ways how much he was my friend, led him to ask me by what means I could have been brought into such a condition; and I in broken sentences explained myself so far to him that, with his penetration, he found out that to send an immediate relief to my mother was the only thing capable of giving me ease. This he has already done.'

"The Marquis would by no means admit him to go any further; but said, 'I beg, my dear Dumont, you will talk no more of such trifles from this time forward; the only favour I beg of you is to make my house your own; nor shall you accept of that pitiful thing the Duke de designed for you.'

"The Chevalier's heart was too full to make any answer, and my brother artfully turned the conversation another way. Politeness and good-humour reigned throughout this our little company; and the agreeable and lively manner in which we spent our time, joined to his being convinced of the sincerity of his friend, had such an immediate effect on the tender-hearted Dumont, that it is almost incredible how soon he was restored to perfect health. This was by much the happiest part of my life, and on this little period of time I wish I could for ever fix my thoughts; but our tranquillity was soon disturbed by an accident which I must pause and take breath awhile before I relate."

In the meantime David and Valentine both expressed their great admiration of the Marquis de Stainville and the Chevalier Dumont's sincere and faithful friendship; and by their looks and gestures plainly declared the inward exultings of their minds at the thought that they had met with the same happiness in each other. Isabelle's last words had raised the curiosity of the whole company to such a degree that she was resolved she would keep them no longer in suspense than was necessary to enable her to gratify them, and then proceeded, as will be seen in the next chapter.


book 4




"My brother's great fondness for Dorimene made him, and, consequently, the whole family, unhappy at every the least indisposition of hers. She had hitherto been in the main very healthy; but now she fell into a distemper, with which, of all others, it is most terrible to see a friend afflicted. I know not by what name to call it; but it was such a dejection on her spirits that it made her grow perfectly childish. She could not speak without shedding tears, nor sit a moment without sighing, as if some terrible misfortune had befallen her. You may imagine the condition my poor brother was in at seeing her thus suddenly changed; for, from being of the most cheerful disposition that could be, she was become perfectly melancholy. He sent for the most celebrated physicians in France, and she, to comply with his request, took whatever they ordered; but all medicines proved vain, and rather increased than abated her distemper.

"We all three endeavoured to the utmost of our power to divert and amuse her; but sometimes she insisted so strongly on being left alone, that as we found the contradicting her made her worse, we were obliged to comply with her desire.

"My brother was so anxious about his wife, that when she would not suffer him to be with her, as he hated to burden his friends with his afflictions, he used in a manner to escape from us, that he might be at liberty to indulge his own uneasy thoughts without having any witnesses of them. By this means the Chevalier Dumont had often an opportunity of entertaining me apart.

"He at first treated me with an easy agreeable air of gallantry and address; which, as it seemed to tend to no consequence that could give me a serious thought, gave me great pleasure. But this did not last long; for his behaviour was soon turned into that awful respect which seemed to arise from both esteem and fear. Whenever we were together alone, his thoughts appeared so fixed, that as he was fearful of saying too much, he remained in silence; and when he approached me, it was with such a confusion in his looks as plainly indicated the great disorder of his mind. I have observed him, when he has been coming towards me, suddenly turn back, and hasten away, as if he was resolved to shun me in spite of any inclination he might have to converse with me: in short, in his eyes, in his whole conduct, I plainly read his love and his great generosity in being thus fearful of disclosing it. For he thought, in his circumstances to indulge a passion for me, and endeavour to make me sensible of it, would be but an ill return to his friend for all his goodness. But this gratitude and honour, with which his whole soul was filled, effected that for him which they forbid him to attempt; for I caught the infection, and added inclination to the great esteem his character alone had inspired me with before I knew him; but the great care we took on both sides to conceal our love, made it only the more visible to every judicious eye. Now Dorimene said she found herself something better, and instead of wishing to be alone, she seemed always inclined to have us with her. The Marquis de Stainville's joy was inexpressible at her least appearance of cheerfulness, and, for the present, he could think of nothing else.

"Whilst we were in this situation, young Vieuville, Dorimene's brother, having heard of her ill state of health, came to pay her a visit: he was as handsome for a man as his sister was for a woman; had a remarkable good understanding and a lively wit; all which rendered him perfectly agreeable, and I think it would have been very difficult for any woman disengaged in her affections to have resisted his love, Dorimene was so pleased with her brother's company, that her distemper abated every day; and her fond husband seeing how much he contributed to her amusement, prevailed with him to stay there some time. Vieuville, although he loved his sister very well, and would willingly have done anything in his power to have served her, yet, in this case, had another strong reason to induce him to yield to the Marquis's request; for, from the first day of his arrival, the effect I had on him was very apparent: he was seized with as sudden and violent a passion for me as the Marquis had been for his sister. This was an unexpected blow; poor Dumont saw it; and yet such was the force of his unconquerable virtue, that even the thoughts of such a rival could not provoke him to be guilty of so great a breach of friendship as the endeavouring to gain my affection, and prevent my being better married. I was so miserable to think what he would feel if I took any notice of Vieuville, that I could hardly prevail with myself to be commonly civil to him, but shunned him with the greatest assiduity in my power.

"Although my brother did not at first seem at all displeased at seeing me resolutely bent not to hearken to Vieuville, and often dropped words how little fortune should be valued in any tender engagements, insomuch that I sometimes fancied he saw and approved Dumont's love, yet I was not left at liberty to act as I pleased m this case; for Dorimene said her brother's complaints at my avoiding him pierced her heart so deeply, that unless I could contrive some method of making him easy, it would occasion her relapsing into all her former illness; for that while she saw Vieuville so miserable, it was impossible for her ever to recover. She took all opportunities of leaving us together; but, notwithstanding his agreeableness, it was persecution to me to hear him talk of love; nor could I think of anything but what the Chevalier must necessarily suffer whenever he knew we were together. I often condemned myself for not having before confessed my love for Dumont to my brother, and asked his consent to have been for ever joined to his friend. I had no reason to suspect he would not have granted it; for I had experience enough of him to know he was not of a temper to have made us both unhappy for any gratification of his own vanity; but I could never bring myself to it, unless Dumont had made some open declaration of his love. I knew it was now in vain; for the Marquis de Stainville was so excessively fond of his wife, that to have given me to another in open defiance of her brother, while she persisted in saying it would make her miserable, was utterly impossible for him ever to consent to.

"Dumont's great modesty and bad opinion of himself blinded him so far, that he did not even see how much I preferred him in my choice to Vieuville. He sometimes indeed fancied I saw his love, and pitied him; but as it is usual for most men to have a good opinion of the woman they like, he only imputed it to the general compassion of my temper. In short, he could not bear to be a witness of my consenting to be another's; and yet, when he looked at my lover, or heard his conversation, he did not doubt but that must be the case; he therefore resolved to quit the place where he soon expected to see his misery completed.

"He made an excuse to the Marquis that he had a desire to visit his mother; and, with his consent (for he never pretended a right to contradict his friends because they were obliged to him), set out in three days. I shall never forget the look he gave me when we parted; good-nature, tenderness, and yet a fear of displeasing were all so mixed, that had I not seen it, I should have thought it impossible for any person, in one moment, to have expressed such various thoughts.

"When he was gone I could not command myself enough to sit in company, but got away by myself into a solitary walk, where I might be at liberty to give a vent to my sorrows and reflect in what manner I should act to extricate myself out of these difficulties. I resolved, let what would be the consequence, absolutely to refuse Vieuville; but then I feared, if he should persist in his love, what my brother would suffer in his wife's continual importunities. At last it came into my head to try if he was generous enough to conquer his own passion, rather than be the cause of my being unhappy.

"I accordingly took the first opportunity that offered of speaking to Vieuville alone, and told him, as he had often professed a great love for me, it was now in his power to prove whether those professions were real, or only the flights of youth, and the effect of a warm imagination; for that my happiness or misery depended on his conduct. He began to swear that he would fly to obey my commands, and should think it the greatest pleasure he was capable of enjoying to be honoured with them. I desired him to hear me out; and told him, that, for reasons I could not then inform him, it was impossible for me ever to marry him without making myself the most wretched of all mortals; and although it was indeed in my own power to refuse him, yet, in consideration of his being Dorimene's brother, and that the seeing him uneasy made her so, I entreated it as the greatest favour of him immediately to leave me, and return to his father's, which would be the only means of preventing the whole family from being miserable.

"He looked some time steadfastly on me, and then asked if I thought his love had no stronger a foundation than to give me up so easily. As soon as he had spoken these few words he left me, without waiting for a reply, with an indignation in his countenance which plainly showed I had not succeeded in my scheme; and indeed the event proved how much I was mistaken when I had flattered myself with the vain hope of meeting with any greatness of mind from him.

"As he saw the only thing which in the least staggered my resolution was the fear of making his sister uneasy, he went directly to her, and instead of acting as I had desired him, he increased his complaints, and swore he could never have the least enjoyment in life unless she could prevail on me to be less cruel to him. In short, I was his present passion, and he was very careless what the consequence of it was to me, provided he could gratify himself. Had I before had any inclination for him, this would entirely have conquered it; for the contrast was so great between his behaviour and that of the generous Dumont, who visibly sacrificed his own peace to his love for me and his friendship for my brother, that my love for the latter increased equally with my detestation of the former.

"As I was sitting in my chamber the next morning, musing and reflecting on my own hard fate—that when I seemed so near my happiness, such an accident as this should intervene to throw down all my hopes, and make me more wretched than ever—my brother suddenly entered the room, and seeming eager to speak to me, began by saying, "Oh ! Isabelle, Vieuville—" I had not patienc to let him go on, but interrupted him, crying out that I would sacrifice my life at any time for his service; but if he was come to intercede with me to spend my whole time with a man whom I must always despise, I could not consent to it. He replied, that this accident had thrown him into a dilemma, in which he knew not how to act: that he was going to say, when I interrupted him, that Vieuville had destroyed all the fancied scenes of pleasure he once imagined he should enjoy in the love and unity of his little family, for he saw the aversion I had to this lover; and yet his Dorimene (whose every tear pierced his soul) seemed so resolute to abandon herself to despair if her brother was made unhappy, that either way it was impossible for him to avoid being miserable.

"I fancied, by the emphasis he laid on some of his words, that he knew the whole truth, and was therefore resolved to take this opportunity of disclosing my mind to him; and yet a kind of shame withheld my tongue, and it was with difficulty, and in broken accents, I at last pronounced the word Dumont. He stopped me short, and told me there was no occasion for saying any more, for that from the very first he with pleasure saw our growing love; that he had always wished to see me married to the only man he really esteemed; that, indeed, just before the arrival of Vieuville, his wife's illness had employed most of his thoughts; besides, he artfully intended to let his friend's passion come to the height, that he might increase his happiness by gratifying him when he least expected it. 'You know, Isabelle,' continued he, 'your fortune of itself is enough to make the man you love happy; but I always intended a considerable addition to it; and as Dumont is your choice, should be desirous that we might all continue one family. This misfortune of Vieuville's being your lover has disconcerted all my schemes.' I was quite overwhelmed with my brother's goodness, and almost ready to sacrifice myself to his wife's humour, rather than he should bear a moment's pain. However, we separated for that time, and said we would consider and talk further of it another day.

"But accident soon delivered us out of all our perplexities; for such sort of love as Vieuville's is seldom so fixed but every new object is capable of changing it; and I verily believe he had lately persisted more because his pride was piqued at being refused than from any continuance of his inclination towards me. I shall not dwell long on this circumstance; but only tell you, there came a young lady one day to dine with Dorimene, who was really one of the greatest beauties I ever saw. Vieuville was in a moment struck with her charms, and she presently made a conquest of his heart. She lived very near us, and soon became as enamoured of her new lover as he could possibly be of her. She had a great fortune, which was at her own disposal, and they only deferred the celebration of their nuptials till he had an answer to a letter he wrote his father. He soon carried his wife home; and I am certain he could not have more joy in the possession of one of the finest women ever seen than I had in being rid of his troublesome importunities.

"Now all my hopes began to revive again, and there seemed to be no bar to my happiness. I pleased myself with the thoughts of the raptures Dumont would be inspired with when he found his dear Stainville approved his love. It was not long before my brother showed me a letter from the Chevalier which I found was written in answer to one from him just after Vieuville's marriage and departure, which he had acquainted him with only as a piece of news. He expressed himself with great thankfulness for his pressing invitation to return, and concluded with sajdng he should be with him the beginning of the next week.

"When I gave! my brother back his letter, words would have been unnecessary, for my looks sufficiently showed how much I thought myself obliged to him for thus taking care of my happiness. We never kept anything a secret from Dorimene, and the Marquis talked before her of his intention concerning me and Dumont just as if we had been alone. But I observed she changed colour, and looked at me with an air quite different from what she used to have (for we had always lived together in great friendship). She at last said she supposed this was the reason her brother had been treated with such contempt. I thought this might arise from her pride, because I had refused Vieuville, and said all I could to mollify rather than exasperate her.

"I was now perfectly easy in my mind. I had no manner of doubt but that my brother's goodness would accomplish all my wishes without my appearmg in the affair. At the appointed day Dumont arrived: the mourning was out for his father; he was dressed very gay, and his person appeared with all the advantages in which nature had adorned him; for although he could not be said to be a regular beauty, yet the mixture of softness and manliness which were displayed in his countenance, joined to his great genteelness, justly made him the object of admiration.

"When he dismounted, my brother received him at the gate, and Dorimene and I waited for him in the parlour. He made his compliments to her with great respect; but, when he came to speak to me, we were both in such confusion we could not utter our words. But our common friend, the Marquis, on seeing the same passion, and the same resolution to conceal it, continue in the Chevalier, would not leave us long in this anxious situation; but, two days after Dumont's arrival, took him into a room by himself, and told him, he was no stranger to his love for his sister. On which the other, without giving him leave to proceed, replied, he could not imagine by what accident he had discovered it; for he would defy any one to say he had ever dropped the least complaint, notwithstanding all the misery he had suffered; nor could even the daily, nay hourly, sight of a person lie then thought his successful rival, extort from him a confession which his gratitude to such a friend forbade him ever to make. My brother begged him to hear him out; and then said—'My dear Dumont, I am so far from accusing you, that had not your honour been fixed in my opinion as steadfastly as possible before, your behaviour on this occasion would have been the most convincing proof imaginable that although our friendship commenced in our youth, yet nothing can ever shake or remove it. And, by my own experience, I am so certain there cannot be any enjoyment equal to that of living with a person one loves, that I bless my good fortune which has put it in my power to bestow that happiness on my sister and on my friend. In short, Isabelle shall be yours, and I shall have the inexpressible pleasure of calling you brother.'

"Dumont stood for some time like a statue; no words could express his thoughts, nor would the emotions of his mind give him leave to speak. The first sign he showed of any remaining life was when love, gratitude, and joy worked too strongly in his soul to be contained, and forced their way in gushing tears. He at last ran and embraced the marquis; crying out, 'You must imagine my thanks, for I cannot utter them!'

"Alter a little more conversation between the two friends, my brother called me down; and as soon as I entered the room, taking me by the hand, he led me to the Chevalier, saying, 'Here, my friend, in Isabelle I make you a present which you only are worthy of; and to your merit I am obliged for the at pleasure I enjoy in thinking I have bestowed her where it is impossible I should ever have any reason to repent my choice.'

"It was no force upon me to give my hand to Dumont; and I did it in such a manner that he easily perceived my brother had not disposed of me against my inclinations. I shall not pretend to describe the Chevalier's transports, nor repeat all he said on this occasion; it is sufficient to say, that his whole behaviour, and every word he spoke, was yet a stronger proof of both his gratitude and love.

"We now both looked on ourselves as in the possession of our utmost wishes; all obstacles to our happiness seemed to be removed; and the prospect of passing the rest of my life with such a companion and such a friend as the Chevalier Dumont indulged me in all the pleasing ideas imaginable. Dorimene heard from her husband what he had done, seemed to have forgot my usage of her brother, and congratulated us with more than usual softness on the occasion.

"The marquis was impatient to complete his friend's happiness, and appointed a day for our marriage. But in the meantime Dorimene was taken so violently ill of a fever, that her life was despaired of. My brother's distraction on this account banished from our minds all other thoughts but how to comfort him; Dumont had too much delicacy, and too sincere a regard for his friend, to think it a proper time to talk of love while he was in such affliction.

"This grief, however, was soon dissipated, and joy succeeded by the recovery of Dorimene. The day was again appointed for the celebration of our nuptials; when, on a sudden, the whole face of affairs was changed ; all Dumont's joy and cheerfulness was vanished; a fixed melancholy seemed to overspread his countenance; and now, instead of embracing every opportunity to converse with me, he shunned me with great assiduity; and if I unavoidably fell in his way, he fixed his eyes on mine with such horror, as perfectly frightened me. He himself, on some trifling excuse, put off our wedding. Dorimene was often in tears, find seemed relapsing into her former distemper. This, indeed, we imputed to tlie weakness her fever had left upon her; but my brother too soon caught the infection, and his mind seemed to labour with some grief, which he could neither perfectly stifle, and yet was unwilling to reveal. I observed he went abroad more than usual, and I was often left in the house with only servants.

"One evening, when I came into my chamber, I found a letter on my table in an unknown hand; but how was I surprised to read these words! 'Whatever you do, Isabelle, avoid Dumont; for the marrying him will certainly prove fatal to you both.' Guess, ladies, what I must feel to have all my happiness thus suddenly destroyed; and, in its place, to see this dreadful scene of confusion. Conjectures would have been endless; I could not bring myself to suspect the Chevalier's honour; besides, what I saw him daily suffer convinced me there was something very extraordinary at the bottom, which it was impossible for me to fathom. But now, in order to make you understand the remaining part of my story, I must go back, and let you into the cause of this terrible alteration in our family, which I afterwards learned from the mouth of the person who was the occasion of it. But this I shall defer till to-morrow; for although my resolution has hitherto kept up my spirits, so as not to interrupt the narration, and trouble you with what I feel, yet am I often so racked with the remembrance of past scenes, that I really grow faint, and am able to proceed no further at present." Isabelle retired for that evening, with a promise of coming to them again the next morning.

She left the whole company very anxious to know the event of all the disorder she had described in her family; but as soon as she had breakfasted the next day, she gratified their curiosity by proceeding as follows.




"I informed you at first that Dorimene's having no other engagement, the advantage of the match, and her father's commands, were the reasons which induced her to give her hand to the Marquis de Stainville; his excessive fondness for her, and making it his whole study to promote her happiness, worked so strongly on her mind, that, in return, she did everything in her power to oblige him, and he flattered himself that all her affections were centred in him; nor, indeed, did she ever seem so much inchned to be pleased with the admiration of other men, as the custom of France would even allow her without censure. But when the Chevalier Dumont first told us his story, she was affected with it to an incredible degree; whole days and nights passed, and she could fix her thoughts on no other subject.

"The tenderness he expressed for his mother, his justifying his father, notwithstanding all he suffered by his conduct, with his sincere friendship for the Marquis her husband, worked so strongly on her imagination, that she thought giving way to the highest esteem for him would be the greatest proof imaginable of her virtue; but it was not long before she was undeceived, for she found her inclination for the Chevalier was built rather on what we call taste (because we want a word to express it by) than any approbation of his conduct. The great agitation of her mind, between her endeavours to conquer her passion and the continual fright she was in, lest by any accident she should discover it, threw her into that lingering illness which I have before mentioned.

"The good-nature of the Chevalier Dumont, with his friendship for the Marquis de Stainville, led him to use his utmost endeavours to amuse and divert her; besides, there is always a higher respect paid by every man to such beauty as Dorimene's than what other women meet with. This, with the melancholy which then possessed him on my account, sometimes inclined her to flatter herself that their passion was reciprocal; but then, in a moment, the utmost horror succeeded, and she resolved rather to die than sacrifice her virtue, or be guilty of the least treachery to such a husband. This was the reason she so often entreated to be alone; for every fresh view of Dumont served only to increase her agony, and at that time she heartily wished to fly the sight of him for ever.

"All my brother's assiduous cares to please her only aggravated her sorrows, as they continually loaded her with reproaches for not returning such uncommon, such tender love. However, while she remained often alone, and her resolution enabled her to deny herself the pleasure of seeing the Chevalier as much as was possible without being rude, she fancied, whatever she suffered, she should command herself enough not to transgress the bounds of decency or the laws of virtue.

"But one evening, when the Marquis prevailed on her by great entreaties to suffer us all to stay with her, hoping by that means to dissipate her melancholy, and make her more cheerful, her watchfnl eyes (although we had never any otherwise than by I our looks disclosed it to each other) found out the secret of our love. This overset all her resolutions; and from that moment her torment was so great, whenever she thought we had an opportunity of being alone, that she resolved to pretend an amendment in her health, and put on a cheerfulness (which was far from her heart) in order to make it probable that company was now agreeable to her, and so to keep us always in her apartment.

"But her passions were too violent to be artful; and she could not have continued this long, had not her brother's arrival given a new turn to all our affairs.

"The suddenness of her recovery, which the Marquis thought was owing to Vieuville's lively conversation, was really the result of her seeing the passion I had inspired him with: she was quite enlivened with the imagination that this new lover would make me forget Dumont, and thought her virtue could stand any test but that of seeing him another's. This was the reason she appeared so eager for me to marry Vieuville; and indeed she spoke truth, when she so often declared that her own happiness depended on my returning her brother's love. Dumont's leaving us at that time still contributed to the fully persuading her that it would be impossible for me to resist the charms of the young and beautiful Vieuville; my obstinately refusing him was such a disappointment to her hopes, that at first she could hardly forbear giving vent to her passions, and quarrelling with me on that account. But after he was irretrievably married, and she knew it was impossible ever to bring about that scheme, Dumont's absence and her own returning health enabled her seriously to set about the conquering her passion; which, in a ;ottle time, she thought she had so effectually got the better of, that she fancied she could even converse with the Chevalier with great indifference. My brother's ecstasies on her recovery were not to be expressed; and he now thought of nothing but completing his own happiness by contributing to that of his friend, and letting him experience the pleasures which arise from delicate and successful love.

"When first Dorimene heard of this design, she was a little ruffled, and could not forbear making the answer I have already related to you; namely, that she supposed this was the reason her brother was treated with such contempt. But, however, she carried her resolution so far, that at last she thought she could bear to see us married with tolerable patience: and, when everything was concluded on, the fear lest she should reveal her thoughts made her force herself to congratulate us with more good-humour than I had seen her show from the time I had refused Vieuville. But in that very instant Dumnont's look, and the return he made to her obliging compliment on the subject his soul most delighted in the thoughts of, awakened all her former passion; and dreadful experience taught her that to his absence alone she owed all her boasted philosophy.

"That very evening she took to her bed; and the violent agitations of her mind threw her into that fever which gave us all so much affliction, and had like to have cost her her life; but she recovered of that distemper of her body only to feel that much more terrible one of her mind. She began to think she had sacrificed enough to virtue in what she had already suffered; and when the idea of Dumont's being about to be given to another forced itself on her fancy, rage and madness succeeded, and all the most desperate actions appeared as trifles to her in comparison of seeing that fatal day. Sometimes she resolved to tell him of her love; but then the sense of shame worked so strongly on her, that she abandoned that thought, and fancied she could suffer the utmost misery rather than submit to so infamous an action. The remembrance of the Marquis de Stainville's unparalleled love for her, and the sense of her duty to him, for a moment enabled her to form resolutions of preferring death, or what is yet worse, a life of torment, to the wronging her husband.

"But then immediately Dumont's image presented itself to her imagination, softened her a little into a sense of pleasure, and banished every other thought from her mind; but this lasted not long, before the idea that he must be another's spitefully intruded itself on her memory. Horror and confusion took place of the pleasing scenes with which she had just before been indulging her fancy; and then, instead of thinking on arguments to calm her passion, she turned all her endeavours to find out what would best excuse it; and pleaded to herself that she might have been married when first my brother saw her; nay, she might have happened to have been wife to his best friend; and that then, perhaps, he would have found it as difficult to resist the torrent of his inclinations as she now did to subdue hers. The thought of being his friend's wife quite overcame her, and sighs and tears were her only relief from these agonizing reflections.

"She endured several of these conflicts within her own bosom, without any other consequence attending them than the pain she suffered; but when the day was again fixed for our marriage, her passion grew outrageous, overleaped all bounds, and honour, virtue, and duty were found but shallow banks, which immediately gave way to the overflowing of the mighty torrent. Something she was resolved to do to prevent my marrying Dumont; although her own, her husband's, nay, even the Chevalier's perdition, should be the consequence of the attempt.

"One morning, when the Marquis de Stainville was gone out, and I happened to be in my own chamber, she saw Dumont from her window walking towards that very grotto where she had at first beheld him: she stayed till she thought he was seated there, and then followed him; but such was the condition of her mind, that her limbs had hardly strength to carry her. As soon as she was come near enough for him to see her, he got up, made her a respectful bow, and walked towards her. He began to talk to her on some indifferent subject; but she did not seem to hear what he said; on the contrary, she suddenly made a full stop, and stared so wildly round her, that poor Dumont began to be frightened, and asked her if she was ill. She made him no answer, but fixed her eyes on the ground, as if she had not the power to move them; like a criminal, all pale, trembling, and confused, she stood before him. It was in vain for her to endeavour to give her thoughts a vent, for her body was too weak to bear the violent combustion of her mind, and she fainted away at his feet. He immediately caught her up in his arms, and called out for help; but the house was so far distant, that before he could be heard she came to herself again, and in a weak low voice begged him to carry her to the grotto; where, as soon as she was seated, for want of strength to speak, she burst into tears. The good-natured Dumont saw her mind was labouring with something too big for utterance, and entreated her to tell him if she had any affliction that he could be so happy to remove; for that the Marquis de Stainville's lady might command him to the utmost of his power; nor should he think his life too great a sacrifice to serve the woman in whom all the happiness of his friend was centred.

"Dorimene now had gone so far, she resolved, whatever it cost her, to lay open all her grief to the Chevalier; and after a little pause, replied, 'Oh! take care what you say; for to remove the torment I now daily endure, and ease me of all those agonies which work me to distraction, you must sacrifice what, perhaps, is dearer to you than your life; you must give up Isabelle, you must forget the Marquis de Stainville was ever your friend—And, oh! how shall I have strength to utter it? my interest in Dumont must be on my own account.' When she had pronounced these words, shame glowed in blushes all over her face, nor did she dare to look up to see in what manner they were received.

"Dumont was struck with horror and amazement at what he had heard; he could not persuade himself he was awake. The words, 'You must give up Isabelle, and forget the Marquis de Stainville was ever your friend,' resounded in his ears, and filled him with such astonishment, that he had no force to answer them, and they both remained for some time in silence. At last the Chevalier threw himself on his knees before Dorimene, and said he could not pretend to be ignorant of the meaning of her words, for they were but too plain; and he could curse himself for being the cause (though innocently) of her suffering a moment's pain. 'But,' continued he, 'I conjure you, madam, by all the ties of virtue and of honour, to collect all your force, make use of that strength of reason nature has given you gloriously to conquer this unfortunate passion which has seized you, and which, if indulged, must inevitably end in the destruction of us all. To wrong my friend—I shudder at the very thought of it; and to forego Isabelle just when I was on the point of possessing her for ever, it is utterly impossible. Oh, Dorimene! recall those wild commands, return again to your own virtue, and do not think of sacrificing all your future peace to hopes so guilty and so extravagant!'

"She was all attention while he was speaking; but every argument he used, and every word he spoke, did but inflame her the more; for it was the pleasure she received from hearing him talk, and the seeing him thus humbly supplicating at her feet, and not what he said, that made her listen so attentively to him: in disclosing her mind she had got over the first, and consequently the most difficult, step. She grew every minute more emboldened, and more lost to all sense of shame; and Dumont's unfortunately mentioning my name with such tenderness, and such a resolution not to forsake me, enraged her to madness, and turned her into a perfect fury. She told him that his pretence to virtue and faithfulness to his friend could not impose on her, for she saw the consideration which stuck deepest with him was his love of Isabelle. 'But,' continued she, 'I swear by all that's sacred, the day you marry her shall be her last; for with my own hands I will destroy her, although the destruction of mankind was to be the consequence of her death. Do you imagine I speak in a passion what I will not execute, for my resolution that Isabelle shall never live with you as your wife is as strong and as much fixed as the torments I now feel, and have felt, ever since I first knew you. Had not I seen your affection placed on another, you had never known my love; for, till that misery was added to the rest, I struggled with my passion, and was resolved to conceal it for ever within my own bosom; but now you know it; and I would advise you to dread the rage of a woman whose passions have got so much the better of her as to enable her to break through all the strongest ties imaginable, and sacrifice everything that is most dear to her to the impossibility she finds of resisting her inclinations. Consider with yourself, whether or no you can bear to be the cause of Isabelle's death; for my resolution is unalterably fixed, and it is not in the power of all mankind to divert my purpose.' As soon as she had spoke these words, she got up, and walked hastily from him.

"But imagine the horrible situation she left the Chevalier in. Ten thousand various thoughts at once possessed him; confusion reigned within his breast ; and, whichever way he turned himself, the dismal prospect almost distracted him. Good God! what was his condition? With a heart bursting with gratitude towards his friend, filled with the softest and faithfullest passion for the woman he but an hour before flattered himself he was just upon the point of receiving from the hands of the man who made his happiness necessary to his own; with a mind which startled at the least thought of acting against the strictest rules of honour; he suddenly found that the passion his friend's wife was possessed of for him was too violent to be restrained, and too dangerous to be dallied with ; he could not perceive any method to extricate himself out of the dilemma he was thus unexpectedly, unfortunately, involved in.

"The first thing he resolved on was, whatever happened to him, never to disclose the secret of Dorimene's love; but then to give me up, to abandon all his hopes, and at the same time in appearance be ungrateful to my love, and slight the marquis's proffered and generous kindness, was what he could not bear; and yet such were his anxious cares for my safety, that he had fixed it in his mind rather to suffer all the most dreadful torments which human nature is capable of feeling, than run the least venture of my life. Sometimes he flattered himself with the thoughts that time and reason would turn Dorimene from her horrid purpose, and enable her to conquer this unreasonable passion.

"This secret, which I was then a stranger to, was the cause of poor Dumont's sudden alteration, and fixed that melancholy on him which I could not then account for.

"Dorimene, now the Chevalier was not ignorant of her love, threw off all restraint; she contrived all the methods possible of sending the Marquis out of the way, and only sought the means of meeting Dumont alone. It was in vain for him to seek new walks and by-paths in the labyrinths of a wood just by our villa, for her watchful eyes continually found him; he still persisting in using new arguments to prevail with her to return her husband's faithful love, and change the dreadful design her soul was fraught with; and she on her side was as obstinately bent never to give it up but with her life.

"In the meantime Pandolph, who had formerly been a servant to my father, and, now he was old and past his labour, was still retained in my brother's family, perceived these meetings of Dumont and Dorimene in the wood, and observed they generally happened when his master was gone out. He was at first very much surprised at it, but was resolved to watch them; and sometimes he would hide himself near enough to observe they were earnest in discourse; but old age had taken from him the quick sense of hearing, and he could not make much of what they said; only he confusedly heard the words love—passion—the Marquis de Stainville—Isabelle—and by what he could gather, he fancied he had very convincing proofs that there was an intrigue carrying on between them.

"This poor Pandolph foolishly imagined that officiously to discover to his master all he had seen would be at once the most faithful service he could do him, and the most grateful return in his power to make him for his kindness in keeping him in his family now he was unable to take any care of himself. He eagerly embraced the first opportunity of doing his master such a piece of service, and minutely told my brother all that he had seen and heard; and certainly, if any person was ever justly the object of compassion, it was the Marquis de Stainville at that instant. His passions were naturally very violent; and although from the time the giving way to them had like to have caused a fatal accident between him and his friend, he had taken great pains to keep himself calm, and prevent its being in the power of any appearances to make him suddenly give way to suspicion; yet, in this case, the very name of his beloved Dorimene joined to the idea of falsehood, raised such a tumult in his breast, and filled his mind with such confusion, that all reason gave way to the present horror which possessed his soul—a horror greater than words can describe or fancy paint.

"He threw himself on a bed like one distracted; [ repeated the names of Dumont and Dorimene a thousand times; then started up, and swore they must be innocent; that Pandolph had belied them, and he would sacrifice him for thus disturbing all his peace and enraging him to madness. But then he recollected that Dumont had once already, on a frivolous excuse, put off our marriage; that his wife had lately seemed artfully to contrive to send him out of the way, and ten thousand circumstances which had passed unheeded at the time of their happening—such as her sudden and strange melancholy a little after the Chevalier's arrival, her vast eagerness to marry me to Vieuville—rushed at once into his memory, and corresponded so exactly with what Pandolph had told him, that be began to be worked into a belief it was but too fatally true; and when he had given his passion some vent, he at last resolved to stifle, if possible, for the present, any appearance of his jealousy; and ordered the old man to continue to observe all their motions, and inform him of what he discovered; who, as soon as he had received his commands, left him.

"Such a variety of thoughts crowded into the Marquis's mind the moment he found himself alone, that his perplexity was too great to suffer him to come to any certain determination. At last he concluded, that if the Chevalier again endeavoured to put off the marriage, it would be a convincing proof of the truth of his suspicions. And just as he had fixed this idea in his thoughts, Dumont unfortunately entered the room for that very purpose; which was thus to make him appear guilty in his friend's eyes of the most monstrous ingratitude, and the blackest treachery imaginable. His manner of speaking was something so confused, and his mind seemed so disturbed, that it was indeed no wonder as things should be increased by his behaviour. He had not spoke three words before the Marquis, who perceived his drift, was so inflamed that he could hear no more; and interrupting him, hastily said there was no occasion for any excuses, for that he should by no means force him to marry his sister against his inclinations. After which, without waiting for any reply, he passed by him; looked at him with so fierce an air, that his anger was but too plain; and walked out of the chamber.

"Poor Dumont was sensible of his friend's resentment, but did not guess the true cause, for he imputed it to the indignity the Marquis must unavoidably think he treated him with in thus slighting the generous offer he made of his sister. But what must such a heart as his feel in these unhappy circumstances! For although his whole soul was filled with gratitude, and nothing could be a greater torture to him than his friend's even thinking he had the least cause to complain of him, yet in this case he thought it was impossible to undeceive him without a breach of his own honour, and destroying all the Marquis's happiness, which visibly depended on the continuing his good opinion of his wife. Sometimes he resolved to fly the place where he unfortunately caused so much misery, and give up all his future hopes of pleasure in possessing the woman he loved, sacrifice all the joys of mutual friendship, and even suffer my brother to have an ill opinion of his honour, in hopes by that means to prevent his being made miserable; but then the condition he thought he must leave me in, at being thus neglected and abandoned by the man I had even gone so far as to confess my love for, softened his whole soul, and all his resolution was lost in tenderness. In short, love, gratitude, honour, friendship, and everything that is most valuable in the human mind, contended which should have the greatest power over him, and by turns exerted themselves in his generous breast. But he was involved in such a perplexing labyrinth, that, whichever way he turned his thoughts, he met with fresh difficulties and new torments. He found it was impossible for him ever to pretend another excuse to delay our marriage; and yet, when he considered Dorimene's furious menaces, his fears for my safety would not suffer him to think of it.

"At last it came into his head that he must contrive some method of making the future delaying it come from me; and, for that purpose, disguising his hand in such a manner that it could not be known, he wrote the note which I have already told you I found on my table. I knew not what to make of it, and was filled with horror when I read it; however, it had the desired effect, for I resolved never to marry the Chevalier Dumont till I was acquainted with the cause of this sudden strange alteration in our family, and let into the secret why he now tried, by all ways possible, to shun me.

"I accordingly told my brother that I had changed my mind, and, for the present at least, would put off all thoughts of marrying his friend. He looked steadfastly at me, and said, if I knew any reason which concerned him for altering a design in which I had appeared so fixed, it was neither acting like a sister, nor as he deserved from me, to conceal it from him. But before I had time to make him any answer, Dorimene entered the room, and put an end to our discourse.

"I gladly retired, for I was impatient to be by myself, that I might be at full liberty to make what reflections I pleased; but when I came to consider seriously my brother's words, it was impossible for me not to find out that they imported a suspicion of his wife and Dumont. I presently caught the infection; and so many glaring proofs of the justice of that suspicion immediately presented themselves to my imagination, that I could hardly refrain going directly to the Chevalier, and upbraiding him with his treachery; every new thought was a fresh disturber of my peace, and helped to rack my mind. However, like my brother, I resolved, if possible, to wait till I was quite convinced, before I would mention what I suspected.

"What I had fold my brother had a violent effect both on him and Dumont, for to the former it was the strongest indication imaginable that I had found out what Randolph had told him to be true; and though the latter had written the letter himself which determined me to act in that manner, yet such was the delicacy of his love, that he could not forbear suspecting my affections were altered; and the fear that I was disobliged by his late behaviour was still a greater torment than he had yet endured. The thoughts of losing me for ever caused too strong an agony for even his mind to bear; and that idea appeared so very horrible, that the dread of all consequences fled before it, and he resolved to secure himself from that fear by any means whatever (the forfeiture of his honour excepted).

"For this purpose he went the next morning into a chamber where he knew the Marquis de Stainville was alone, and told him he had received a letter from his mother, in which she complained of an ill state of health, and begged him, as the only comfort she could hope for in this world, that he would bring his wife, as soon as he was married, to see her; 'For,' continued he, 'I have already informed her of the honour you intend me in giving me Isabelle. I have never in my life disobeyed my mother; therefore, if you will give me leave to marry your sister tomorrow, and carry her immediately home for a little time, it will make me the happiest man in the world.'

"My brother was at first surprised; but though he did not intend this should really happen, yet he in appearance assented, because he had a purpose to work out of it. Dumont eagerly embraced him, and thanked him, with tears in his eyes, for thus indulging him in all his wishes. The Marquis's struggling passions made it almost impossible for him to conceal his thoughts; and, on some pretence of business, he soon left the Chevalier by himself.

"Now returning hope began to cheer bis spirits, and he fancied by this scheme be should secure me from Dorimene's fury; nay, he even flattered himself that time and absence would efface those impressions he had made on her unguarded heart, and that returning reason would bring her to a sense of her duty, and his friend might still be happy. He was shocked at perceiving the Marquis's coldness to him; but this he imputed to the suspicion he lately might reasonably have of his neglecting his sister, and did not doubt but his future behaviour to me would soon regain him his esteem. While he was revolving these things in his mind, I accidentally entered the room. I started back at the sight of him; for, from the time I had suspected his honour, I had avoided all commerce with him. But he cried out, 'Oh, Isabelle ! don't fly me thus, but condescend to spend a few moments in making me happy by your conversation.' He spoke these words with such an air of tenderness, that in one instant he renewed all my former sentiments for him, and baffled every resolution I had formed not to hearken any more to his love. I sat down by him, without knowing what I did, or whither this unseasonable complaisance would carry me. He seemed as much confused as I was, but at last he told me what he had just concluded with my brother. This again roused all my resentment; love gave way to jealousy; and I hastily replied, whatever he had agreed on with my brother, I was resolved never to consent to be his wife unless he could dear up his unaccountable behaviour; and that I thought, after his so long endeavouring to show his indifference to me, I ought to have been the first person acquainted with this new alteration of his schemes. He paused a moment, continued to fix his eyes on mine with a look which expressed ten thousand different sentiments at once, and then cried out, 'Oh! don't let Isabelle doubt my love! Could you but know what torments I have gone through whilst you had reason from appearances to think me guilty, I am sure your tender nature would pity rather than condemn me. But — Oh! Dorimene!'—The moment that name had broke from his lips, he started, appeared frightened at what he had said, and flew from me with great precipitation.

"He was no sooner gone than my brother succeeded in his place; but he stayed no longer than while he could say, 'Isabelle, hearken no more to the Chevalier Dumont; resolve not to marry him; time shall unfold to you the reasons of this request.' And then he also fled my sight as hastily as Dumont had done the minute before.

"What a condition was I in! What could I think? My brother, Dorimene, Dumont, all seemed involved in one common madness, and I knew not to whom to disclose my griefs: however, I was resolved for the present absolutely to avoid marrying Dumont; and as I met him again alone that evening, told him he must entirely give up that design for some time at least, or he would force me to take a resolution never to see him more.

"As soon as my brother had left Dumont, he went to his wife, and told her that to-morrow he was to complete his friend's happiness by for ever joining him to Isabelle. This he did to see in what manner she would behave on such a trying occasion.

"Dorimene, who was all passion, and who really had but little art, easily swallowed the bait; and told him she thought he ought to consult his own honour, and not to dispose of his sister so rashly to a man who had visibly sligbted her.

"The Marquis was all on fire to see in what manner she took it; and could not forbear saying that in all likelihood her own inclination might be satisfied in the separation of Isabelle from Dumont. And he then came directly to me, and uttered the words I have already repeated to you.

"But so intoxicated was Dorimene with the violence of ber passion, that she at present gave but little attention to anything her husband said; nor did she need the information he had given her concerning our marriage, for she so narrowly watched Dumont that she was never ignorant of any one step he took; and, by hearkening at the door, had overheard all the last conversation between him and the Marquis de Stainville. She hid herself when he quitted the room, but again replaced herself within hearing when I entered it; but it is impossible to describe her rage when she fancied she heard him say enough to let me into a secret which she had extorted a promise from him never to reveal.

"From the time my brother had first suspected his wife, he had never lain at home; but pretending that change of air was conducive to his health, said he lay at a tenant's about two miles off; but indeed he was always within such distance that Pandolph bring him home in five minutes. He set him to watch all his wife's motions; but he hitherto could never give him any further account but that she continued still at times to meet the Chevalier in the wood.

"But this evening, as soon as he was gone from the door, and as Dumont's uneasy reflections on what I had said, together with his resolution of avoiding Dorimene, made him resolve to confine himself to his chamber, she grew perfectly past all sense of shame, and was resolved to follow him even thither rather than not speak to him that night, and inform him that she was not ignorant of his purpose, nor should he execute it without her fulfilling hers.

"The agitations of my mind made me feign sickness for an excuse to retire early into my own room, so that there was no obstacle in her way to obstruct her designs. Every step she took added new horror to her thoughts, and increased her torment; and yet such was the force of her irresistible passion, that she was led on in spite of all the remonstrances of her reason to the contrary.

"The watchful Pandolph, the moment he saw her open Dumont's chamber door, ran to inform his master. The Marquis flew on the wings of rage and jealousy, and arrived in less time than could he thought possible for the distance of the place to allow. At his entrance into the chamber, he was struck with the sight of Dorimene, drowned in tears, sitting by the Chevalier on his bed, and holding him by the hand. This was no time for reason to bear any sway; ten thousand tumultuous passions at once possessed his soul; and he obeyed the dictates of his rage by suddenly drawing his sword, and burying it in the body of the poor, unhappy, injured Dumont.

"The action was so quick, that Dorimene did not perceive her husband's fatal purpose before he had executed it; but when she saw Dumont's gushing blood, her horror and despair took from her all solicitude for her own safety, and she immediately cried out, 'Oh! Stainville! what have you done? you have murdered the faithfullest friend that ever man was blessed with. Dumont is innocent, and I am the only guilty person. I have persecuted him with my love; my furious threats of Isabelle's life have caused all the appearance of his neglecting her; but no temptation could make him once think of wronging his friend! If any remaining rage yet possesses you, point it at her who only deserves it; but if pity succeeds the fury in your breast, let that induce you to shorten my torments by ending my life, and let me not linger in the hell which I feel at this instant.'

"The moment she had said enough to open my brother's eyes on Dumont's innocence, he turned all his thoughts on him, and let his wife talk on unheeded. He stood for a moment motionless, with his eyes fixed on Dumont's face, where he sufficiently saw a confirmation of all Dorimene had said. Then he threw himself on his knees at the Chevalier's bedside, and gave him such a look as would have pierced a heart of stone. It so totally subdued Dumont, who too visibly perceived his repentance, and easily conceived all those inward horrors which distracted his soul, that, with a look full of compassion only, he reached out his hand to him, and said, 'My friend, I die well pleased if you are convinced that even Dorimene's beauty could not tempt me to wrong your generous friendship. But I grow faint; indulge me in one last view of my Isabelle.'—Stainville started up at the word faint; flew to send for a surgeon; ordered the servants to force Dorimene, who was raving like a madwoman, to her chamber; then ran to me, and, trembling with horror, said, 'Come, Isabelle, view your lover at his last gasp, and behold the guilty hands which have executed the dreadful dictates of rage and jealousy!

"I followed him, not knowing whether I trod tm earth or air (for we ran so swiftly that we seemed to fly), till we came to the place where I was to be shocked with a spectacle that surpassed all imagination, and be only convinced of Dumont's fidelity at a time when I was just going to lose him for ever. All the methods we could try to stop the blood proved ineffectual. I could not speak, but sat down by him, dissolved in tears, and almost choked with my swelling grief.

"My brother continued to beg forgiveness of the Chevalier, and, in broken accents, told us how Pandolph had raised his jealousy, and by what steps it had been brought to such a height as to deprive him of his reason, and tempt him to an action he would now give the world to recall, and with pleasure sacrifice his own life, could he but prolong his friend's for one hour. Poor Dumont was so weak he could not speak much; but yet he would exert himself to tell me on what account he himself had written the fore-mentioned letter, with the effect my behaviour had on his mind; and then cried out, 'Oh! Isabelle, cherish my memory! And you, my dear Stainville, forgive yourself as heartily as I do. Consider, the appearances of my guilt were so very strong, that it was impossible for you to avoid this fatal jealousy. I am too weak to utter more, although to see you both look on me with such tenderness would make me wish to prolong this moment to eternity!' Here his strength failed him ; and, with his eyes fixed on us, and with the words Stainville—and Isabelle—lingering on his dying lips, he expired in our arms; and left us, for the present, almost in the same condition with himself. But he was for ever past all sense of his misfortunes, whilst returning life brought us back to the remembrance of our miseries. My brother embraced the dead body of his friend, swore he would never part from it; and at last started up like one distracted, caught hold of his sword, and cried out, 'Thou fatal instrument of hellish jealousy, which hast made this dreadful havoc in Dumont's faithful breast, now end my torments and revenge my friend.' In saying this, he fell on his sword, whilst I was vainly running to prevent him. The blow missed his heart; but the effusion of blood was so great, that he instantly fainted, and I thought him dead.

"In that dreadful moment a servant, who had lived with me from my infancy, from the noise and hurry which was in the house upon Dorimene's being carried by force into her apartment, and the sending for a surgeon, fearing what might have happened, was coming to seek me: she entered the room just as my brother fell on his sword, and saw me fall down by him. She then immediately called for help, and carried me senseless, and seemingly dead, from this scene of horror. I fell from one fainting fit to another for the whole night; and, in every short interval, resolved not to survive this double loss, as I then apprehended it, of my brother and Dumont at once.

"Early in the morning Dorimene's woman came into my chamber, and begged me, in all the most persuasive terms she could think on, to come to see her mistress, who appeared in all the agonies of death, and incessantly called on my name. I was so weak I could hardly walk, and had such an indignation against the woman who had caused this terrible catastrophe, that I at first thought nothing should prevail on me ever to see her more; but at last, when I was told she seemed very eager to impart to me something of great importance, I suffered them to lead me into her apartment. She desired me to sit down but for a few moments, for that she had already revenged me on herself by swallowing the very poison she had before prepared for me. She then told me the whole story of her irresistible passion, and concluded with saying, 'I don't expect, Isabelle, you should forgive me, for it is impossible you should ever forget the irreparable injury I have done you; but yet give me leave to say, that, notwithstanding all you feel, it is impossible for you, who are innocent, to have any idea adequate to my torments, who have the intolerable load of guilt added to all my other afflictions.' The word guilt filled her with such horror that I had no opportunity of making her any reply; for, from that instant, she was insensible of everything that was said to her, and died in three hours.

"The surgeon who had been sent for by my brother, in hopes of his helping Dumont, came soon enough to give him that assistance which the poor Chevalier could not receive. The wound he had given himself was not a mortal one, though very dangerous; but the great difficulty was to bring him to think of suffering life, and to quiet the agony his mind was in. This surpassed the surgeon's art; but religion did that which no human help could have done. An ecclesiastic of uncommon piety, who had been long my brother's confessor, came to attend him upon this occasion. He so strongly represented to him the danger his soul would be in, if, to the other unfortunate effects of his passion, he added self-murder; he so pathetically enforced to him the duty of composing his thoughts, in order to turn them to Heaven, and of assisting his cure as much as lay in his own power, that he might live to atone, by repentance and virtue, for the rash action he had committed, that these pious arguments brought him to a calmer temper of mind; and, being naturally of a strong constitution, he was by degrees entirely recovered. The tenderness he felt for me contributed also to the saving his life; for as soon as 1 knew there were any hopes of him (which was not till after I had taken my last farewell of his wretched wife), I flew to his chamber, and never left his bedside during his illness; though my grief for Dumont was so violent that nothing less than my care for my brother's life could have supported my spirits under such an affliction, or have hindered my following him to the grave. And, indeed, the day he was buried I had like to have died; but it pleased God to preserve me beyond my own strength, and to make me a means of preserving the unfortunate Stainville.

"We had some great friends at court, to whom I applied so effectually, setting forth the strong appearances by which he had been deceived, that they obtained his grace of the king, no friend of Dumont's having appeared to solicit against me; for, in truth, my brother was so much an object of compassion to all men, that none could think of desiring to punish him more than he had punished himself.

"I durst not acquaint him with the tragical end of his wife till his health seemed to be fully restored; and even then I would have concealed from him the shocking circumstance of her having poisoned herself, but he was unluckily told it by her servant. This extremely affected him; and, joined to the horror he felt for the death of Dumont, threw him into so deep a melancholy, that he talked of nothing but renouncing the pardon we had obtained for him, delivering himself up to all the rigour of the law, and dying upon a scaffold, the better to expiate the death of his friend. But at last the religious impressions his mind had received got the better of all other sentiments; he took a sudden resolution to quit the world, and turn Carthusian, having first made over all his estate, in equal proportions, to me and the mother of poor Dumont.

"I would have also gone into a nunnery, and resigned the whole to her; but all my relations were so averse to it, and begged me so earnestly to continue among them, that I gave way to their solicitations. One of them, who was my aunt by the mother's side, had some of her husband's family settled in England. She proposed to carry me thither, that I might remove from the scene of my misfortunes, I went with her; but my ill fate pursued me. We had not been in London a week before she caught the small-pox, and died. Having myself never had that distemper, I was obliged to quit the house she was in, and came to lodge here.

"As soon as I have settled some affairs which she had in this country, I shall return into France, and execute my former intention of taking the veil; a religious life being the only relief to such sorrows as mine."

Here Isabelle ceased, and it was some time before any of the company could make her an answer. At last David cried out, "How unhappy am I to meet with a person of so much merit, under a sorrow in which it is impossible for me to hope to afford her the least consolation!" Cynthia, and the rest of the company, thanked Isabelle for informing them of her story; and said, if they had thought what her griefs were, they would not have asked her to have put herself to the pain her obliging them must unavoidably have cost her.

"Alas!" replied Isabelle, "had my sorrows been less piercing, perhaps I should not have had resolution enough to have related them; but the excess of my affliction has made me so entirely give up the world, that the despair of any future enjoyments, and the very impossibility I find of ever meeting with any consolation, has in some measure calmed me, and prevents those violent agitations of the mind which, whatever people may fancy, are always owing to some latent hope of happiness."

This whole company were so sensible that Isabelle was in the right in her resolutions of retiring from a world in which it was impossible for her to meet with anything worth her regard, after what she had lost, that they did not attempt to dissuade her from it; and as soon as she had settled her aunt's affairs as she thought necessary, she took her leave of them, and returned to France.

This tragical story left very melancholy impressions on all their minds, and was continually the subject of their conversation during two or three days after Isabelle's departure. At which time the weather being fine, and their minds in a humour to enjoy the being on the water, they proposed spending a day there for their amusement. But these adventures must be reserved for another chapter.




The next line day was embraced by David and his companions to execute their purpose of going upon the river; and the water, "ever friend to thought," with the dashing of the oars, and the quick change of prospect from where the houses, at a little distance, seem, by their number and thickness, to be built on each other, to the fields and rural scenes, naturally threw them into a humour to reflect on their past lives; and they fell into a conversation on human miseries, most of which arise from the envy and malignity of mankind; from whence arose a debate amongst them, which had suffered the most. The two gentlemen agreed that Cynthia and Camilla's sufferings had exceeded theirs; but David said he thought Camilla's were infinitely beyond anything he had ever heard. Valentine replied, that indeed he could not but own her afflictions were in some respects more violent than Cynthia's; but then she had enjoyed some pleasures in her life, for, till she was eighteen, she was happy; whilst poor Cynthia had been teased and vexed ever since she was born; and he thought it much worse to live continually on the fret than to meet with one great misfortune; for the mind generally exerts all its force and rises against things of consequence; while it is apt, by the neglect of what we think more trifling, to give way and be overcome. Cynthia and Camilla said that indeed they had always thought their own misfortunes as great as human nature could bear till they had heard poor Isabelle's story.

As they were thus engaged in this discourse, they perceived, at a little distance from them, the river all covered with barges and boats of various sizes; and, on inquiry, found the cause of it was to see six watermen, who were rowing to Putney for a coat and badge. Minds so philosophical as theirs immediately reflected how strong a picture this contention of the six boys is of human life; the eagerness with which each of them strove to attain this great reward is a lively representation of the toils and labours men voluntarily submit to, for the gratification of whatever passion has the predominancy over them. "But these poor fellows," said Cynthia, "have in view what they really want, and justly think of the value of the prize which will be of real use to them; whilst most of the things we see people so eager in the pursuit of have no other good in them but what consists chiefly in fancy.

"Could the ambitious man succeed in all his schemes, if he would seriously consider the many toils and hazards he has gone through to come at this beloved height and grandeur, he certainly must conclude the trouble greatly overweighed the gain; for the top of the pinnacle, to attain which he has spent all his time and watched so many anxious nights, is so narrow, and has so small a footing, that he stands in continual danger and fear of falling; for thousands of others, who are just as wise as himself, and imagine the place he stands in the only one they can be happy in, are daily leaving their own firm footing, climbing and catching to pull him down, in order to place themselves in his tottering and, in my opinion, dreadful situation. Or, when the avaricious man has heaped up more money than an arithmetician can easily count, if he would own his restless state of mind to gain yet more, and the perturbation of his thoughts for fear of losing what he has attained, I believe no poor man in his senses would change his situation with him. But I fear I am growing too serious." On which Valentine replied, it was impossible but that what she said must be pleasing to all the company. And David, with a sigh, said he wished all the world would imitate these watermen, and fairly own when they were rowing against each other's interest, and I not treacherously pretend to have an equal desire I of promoting others' good with their own while they are underhand acting to destroy it.

As they were talking, on a sudden a boat which passed hastily by them splashed them in such a manner, they were obliged to get into a house, in order to refresh and dry themselves; and during their stay there they heard a doleful crying and dismal lamentation in the next chamber; and sometimes they thought they heard the sound of blows. David, according to his usual method, could not be easy without inquiring what could be the cause of this complaint. Valentine and the rest were also desirous to be informed. On which they agreed to go into the room whence the noise came.

There sat at one comer of the room a middle-aged woman, who looked as if she had been very handsome, but her eyes were then swelled with crying. By her stood a man, looking in the utmost rage, clinching his fist at her, as if he was ready every moment to strike her down, Camilla, at David's request, presently went up to her, and desired to know of her what it was that had put the man in such a passion with her. The woman, in the softest voice and mildest tone imaginable replied as follows—

"You are very good, madam, to take so much notice of the miseries of such a poor wretch as I am. I really cannot tell what it is that continually throws my husband (for so that man is) into such violent rages and passions with me. I have been married to him ten years, and, till within this half-year, we always lived together very happily; but now I dare not speak a word, lest he should beat and abuse me; and his only pleasure seems to be the contradicting me in every thing he knows I like.—What this usage proceeds from, or how I have displeased him, I cannot find out, for I make it my whole study to obey him."

David immediately turned to the man, and begged him not to abuse his wife in such a manner. If he had taken anything ill of her, it would be better to let her know it, and then he did not doubt but she would behave otherwise. But he could get no other answer from the man than that he was resolved not to be made such a fool of as neighbour Such-a-one was by his wife; for though, perhaps, he had not so much sense as he in some respects, yet he was not so great a fool as to give way to a silly woman's humours neither, but could tell how to govern his wife. Cynthia and the rest of the company joined in entreating the man to use his wife better; but as they found all endeavours vain, for that the man abused her only because he would not be made a fool of, they left them.

As they were going home, David could not help talking of this last scene, and trying if any of the company could find out any reason for this fellow's behaviour. Camilla said, she fancied she guessed the cause of it; for she remembered, when she lived at home with her father, a gentleman who used to come often to their house, and who made a very good husband; but from the time he saw her father's extravagant passion for his wife, he rejoiced in the thought that he had found out a weakness in him, and therefore took a resolution to have a superiority over him, at least in one point; and hence grew so morose, so sour to his wife, that he contradicted her in everything she said or did; saying she should not make such a fool of him as Livia did of her husband, "Now," continued she, "I think this instance something like this fellow's behaviour. On the other hand, I knew several others who imitated my father, and, by awkward pretences to a passion they were not susceptible of, made the most ridiculous figures imaginable. I never shall forget one man, who was but in a middling station in lifa; but, however, in the country, he and his wife often dined and supped at our house: they lived together without any quarrels or disputes, and each performed their separate business with cheerfulness and good humour, and they were what the world calls a happy couple. But after my father brought Livia home, and behaved to her in the manner before related, this man took it into his bead that he also must be the fond husband, and consequently humoured his wife in everything, till he made her perfectly miserable; for she grew too delicate to be happy; and was so whimsical, it was impossible to please her. For I have always observed it requires a very good understanding to bear great indulgence, or great prosperity, without behaving ill and being ridiculous; for grown-up people, as well as children, when they are too much humoured, cry and are miserable because they don't know what they would have."

Cynthia smiled at Camilla's account of this fond husband; and said, she could easily believe that a strong affectation of sense, and a desire to be thought wise, might lead people into the most preposterous actions in the world; "for" continued she, "I once knew a woman whose understanding was full good enough to conduct her through all the parts she had to act in life, and who was naturally of so calma disposition that, while she was young, I thought her formed to be the happiest creature in the world. And yet this woman was continually unhappy; for she accidentally met with those two lines of Congreve's in the Double Dealer

If happiness in self-content is plac'd,
The wise are wretched, and fools only bless'd;

and from that moment took up a resolution of never being contented with anything; and I have really known her, when any trifling thing has gone otherwise than she would have it, strut about the room like a heroine in a tragedy, repeating the forementioned lines; and then set herself down perfectly satisfied with her own parts, because she found she could with art raise an uneasiness and vexation in her own mind. For as people who really have sense employ their time in lowering all sensations which they find give them pain; so persons who are so wise as to think all happiness depends on the reputation of having an understanding, often pay even the price of continual fretting, in order to obtain this their imaginary good. And the human mind is so framed, that I believe no person is so void of passion, or so perfectly exempt from being subject to be uneasy at disappointments, but by frequently giving way to being discomposed at trifles, they may at last bring themselves to such a habitude of teasing and vexing themselves as will in the end appear perfectly natural."

Valentine hearkened with the utmost joy and attention to every word Cynthia uttered; Camilla perfectly agreed with her in her sentiments; and David could not forbear expressing a great uneasiness that mankind should think anything worthy their serious regard but real goodness. Nothing more worth remarking happened to them that day; they spent the evening in a conversation on Isabelle's misfortunes, which dwelt strongly on poor David's mind; and the next, being very wet weather, they resolved to stay at home.

Cynthia, who always employed her thoughts in what manner she could best amuse her company, proposed the telling them a story she knew of two young ladies while she was abroad. And as every person of this party delighted in hearing her talk, and expressed their great desire she would relate it, she, without any ceremony, began what will be seen in the next chapter.




"There were two young English ladies at Paris with a married lady of their acquaintance, who were celebrated for their beauty throughout the whole town: one of them was named Corinna, and the other Sacharissa; and, notwithstanding they were sisters, yet were they as perfectly different, in both person and temper, as if they had been no way related. Corinna was tall, well-proportioned, and had a majesty in her person and a lustre in her countenance which at once surprised and charmed all her beholders. Her eyes were naturally full of fire; and yet she had such a command of them that she could lower their fierceness, and turn them into the greatest softness imaginable, whenever she thought proper: she spoke in so many different turns of voice, according to what she desired to express, and had such various gestures in her person, that it might be truly said, in her was found 'variety in one.' In short, the constant flow of spirits which the consciousness of an unlimited power of pleasing supplied her with, enabled her in the most simple manner to execute that power.

"Sacharissa's person was very well made, and in her countenance was a great sweetness. She spoke but seldom, but what she said was always a proof of her good understanding. Her manner was grave and reserved, and her behaviour had something of that kind of quietness and stillness in it which is often imputed by the injudicious to a want of spirit. In short, notwithstanding her beauty and good sense, she wanted those little ways of setting off her charms to the best advantage which Corinna had to the greatest perfection; and, quite contrary to her sister, from her great modesty and fear of displeasing, often lost opportunities of gaining lovers which she otherwise might have had.

"These two ladies set out in the world with very different maxims: Corinna's whole delight was in admiration; she proposed no other pleasure but in first gaining and then keeping her conquests; and she laid it down as a certain rule, that few men's affections were to be kept by any other method than that of sometimes endeavouring to vex and hurt them; for that difficulty and disappointments in the pursuit were the only things that made any blessing sweet, and gave a relish to all the enjoyments of life.

"Her conversation, when she was only amongst women, continually ran on this subject: she used to try to prove her assertion by everything she met with: if she went into a room adorned with all the different arts invented by mankind, such as painting, sculpture, etc., she would always ask her sister whether she thought, if that room was her own property, and she might make use of it whenever she pleased, it would not become perfectly indifferent to her, the beauties of it fade in her eyes, and all the pleasure be lost in the custom of seeing it? Nay, she said she believed variety would make the plainest building or the homeliest cottage sometimes a more agreeable sight.

"Sachariasa could not help agreeing with her in this, and then Corinna had all she wanted. 'Why, then,' said she, 'should we expect men to go from the common rule of nature in our favour? And if we will satiate them with our kindness, how can we blame them for the natural consequence of it, viz., their being tired of us? Health itself loses its relish to a man who knows not what it is to be sick; and wealth is never so much enjoyed as by one who has known what it is to be poor: all the pleasures of life are heightened by sometimes experiencing their contrary. Even fuel burns the stronger for being dashed with cold water; but then, indeed, we ought to have judgment enough not to throw too much, lest we extinguish instead of increasing the flame. We must examine the different tempers of men, and see how much they will bear, before we attempt the dealing with them at all.'

"In this manner would she run on for an hour together. On the other hand, Sacharissa had no levity in her temper, and consequently no vanity in having variety of lovers. The only pleasure she proposed in life was that of making a good wife to the man she liked, by which means she did not dnubt but she should make a good husband of him; and used often to say, that as she did not value having many admirers, she did not fear but an honest plain behaviour would fix the affections of one worthy man. But if her sister was in the right, and no man was to be dealt with but by using art and playing tricks, she could content herself very well to live all her lifetime a single woman; for she thought the love of a man which was to be kept that way was not worth having. Nay, she resolved to make that trial of a man's goodness that, whenever she liked him, she would tell him of it; and if he grew cold upon it, she should think she was happily delivered of such a lover. Corinna laughed, and told her she might tell a man she liked him, provided she would but now and then be cold enough to him to give him a small suspicion and fear of losing her.

"Sacharissa was as much talked of for her beauty, by those who had only seen them in public, as her sister; but amongst the men who visited them Corinna had almost all the lovers. She had six in a set of English gentlemen, who generally kept together the whole time they were at Paris; whose characters, as every two of them were a perfect contrast to each other, I will give you before I go any further.

"The gentleman whose character I shall begin with had the reputation, amongst all his acquaintance, of being the most artful man alive; he had very good sense, and talked with great judgment on every subject he happened to fall upon, but he had not learned that most useful lesson of reducing his knowledge to practice; and whilst everybody was suspecting him, and guarding against those very deep designs they fancied he was forming, he, who in reality was very credulous, constantly fell into the snares of people who had not half his understanding. He could not do the most indifferent action, but all the wise heads, who fancy they prove their judgments by being suspicious, saw something couched under that apparent simplicity, which they said was hid from the injudicious and unwary eye. I have really seen people, when they have been repeating some saying or talking of a transaction of his, hum—and ha —for half an hour, and put on that look which some people are spiteful enough to call dull; whilst others are so excessively good-natured as to give it the term of serious, only to consider what great mystery was concealed under such his words or actions.

"The poor man led a miserable life from being thus reputed to have art. That open generosity of temper, which for my part I thought very apparent in him, was generally esteemed only to be put on in order to cover those cunning views he had continually before his eyes. Thus, because he did not talk like a fool he must act like a villain; which, in my opinion, is the falsest conclusion imaginable; and, as a proof of it, I will let you into the character of a man who was in every respect perfectly opposite to the other.

"This person's understanding was but very small; the best things he said were trite, and such as he had picked up from others: he had the reputation in the world of a very silly fellow, but of one who had no harm in him; whereas in reality he spent his whole time in laying plots which way he might do the most mischief. And as things in this world, even of the greatest consequence, sometimes turn on very small hinges, and his capacity was exactly suited to the comprehension and management of trifles, he often succeeded in his pernicious schemes better than a man of sense would have done whose ideas were more enlarged, and his thoughts so much fixed on great affairs that small ones might frequently have escaped his notice.

"I look upon the difference between a man who has a real understanding, and one who has a little low cunning, to be just as great as that between a man who sees clearly and one who is purblind. The man to whom nature has been so kind as to enable him to extend his views afar off, often employs his thoughts and raises his imagination with a beautiful distant prospect, and perhaps he overlooks the shrubs and rubbish that lie just before him, which, notwithstanding, are capable of throwing him down and doing him an injury; whilst the man who is purblind, from the impossibility he finds of seeing farther, is in a manner forced to fix his eyes on nearer objects, and, by that means, often escapes the falls which those who neglect the little stumbling-blocks in their way are subject to. In this case I fancy it would be thought very ridiculous if the one who walked steadily, because he can only see what is just under his feet, should swear the other has no eyes, because he sometimes makes a false step while he is wandering over and delighting himself with the beauties of the creation.

"But let mankind divide understanding, or sense (or whatever they please to call it) into ever so many parts, or give it ten thousand different names, that every one may catch hold of something to flatter themselves with, and strut and look big in the fancied possession of; I can never believe but that he who has the quickest apprehension, and the greatest comprehension, will always judge best of everything he attends to. But the mind's eye (as Shakespeare calls it) is not formed to take in many ideas, no more than the body's many objects at once; and therefore I should not at all wonder to see a man who was admiring the beauties of the rising sun, and greedily devouring the various prospect of hills and valleys, woods and water, fall over a cabbage-stump which he thought unworthy his notice.

" But to return to my gentleman. I actually knew several instances of his deceiving and imposing on people in the most egregious manner, only because they could not suspect such a head as his of forming any schemes; but if ever there was a visible proof that he had done any mischief, then the artful man (though perhaps he had never known anything of the matter) had set him on, and it was a thousand pities the poor innocent creature should thus be made a tool of another's villainy, for he certainly would never have thought of it himself. I could not help laughing sometimes to see how much this man endeavoured at the reputation of art (foolishly thinking it a sign of sense) without being able to attain it; while the other, with full as ill success, did all he could to get rid of it, that he might converse with mankind without their being afraid of him.

"The third gentleman of this community passed for the best-natured man in the world; he never heard of another's misfortunes but he shrugged up his shoulders, expressing a great deal of sorrow for them, although he never thought of them afterwards: the real truth was, he had not tenderness enough in his disposition to love anybody; and therefore kept up a continual cheerfulness, as he never felt the disappointments and torments of mind those people feel who are ill-used by the person they have set their affections on. He was beloved, that is, he was liked, by all who conversed with him; for, as he was seldom vexed, he had that sort of complaisance which makes people ready to dance, play, or do anything they are desired; and I believe such sort of reasons as Shakespeare put in Falstaff's mouth for Prince Harry's loving Poins,[2] are the grounds of most of the friendships professed in the world; and this makes them so lasting as they are. Whoever can accompany another in his diversions, and be like him in his taste of pleasures, will be more loved and better thought of by him than a man of much more merit, and from whom he has received many more real kindnesses, will be.

"But I now proceed to the contrast of this good-natured man, whose reputation was quite contrary; for whoever mentioned him was sure to hear he was the worst-natured, most morose creature living; and yet this man did all the benevolent actions that were in his power; but he had so much tenderness in him that he was continually hurt, and consequently out of humour. His love of mankind was the cause that he appeared to hate them; for often, when his heart was torn to pieces and ready to burst at either ill usage from his friends or some particular misfortune which had befallen them, and which he was incapable of removing, he cared so little what came of the world that he could hear a pitiful story without any emotion, and perhaps showed a carelessness at it which made the relater go away with a fixed opinion of his brutality and ill-nature.

"But there is nothing so false as the characters which are given to most people; and I am afraid this is not owing so much to men's ignorance as to their malignity; for whenever one man is envious of another, he endeavours to take from him what he really has, and gives him something else in the room of it which he knows he has not. He leaves it to the world to find out his deficiency in that point; if he can but hide from men's eyes whatever it is he envies him for, he is satisfied.

"The next character I am to give you is that of a man who has such strong sensations of everything that he is, as Mr. Pope finely says, 'Tremblingly alive all o'er.' His inclinations hurry him away, and his resolution is too weak ever to resist them. When he is with any one he loves, and tenderness is uppermost, he is melted into a softness equal to that of a fond mother with her smiling infant at her breast. On the other hand, if he either has, or fancies he has, the least cause for anger, he is, for the present, perfectly furious, and values not what he says or does to the person he imagines his enemy; but the moment this passion subsides, the least submission entirely blots the offence from his memory.

"He is of a very forgiving temper; but the worst is, he forgives himself with full as much ease as he does another, and this makes him have too little guard over his actions. He designs no ill, and wishes to be virtuous; but if any virtue interferes with his inclinations, he is overborne by the torrent, and does not deliberate a moment which to choose.

"Confer an obligation on him, and he is over' whelmed with thankfulness and gratitude; and this not at all owing to dissimulation, for he does not express half he feels. But this idea soon gives place to others; and then do anything which is in the least disagreeable to him, and he immediately sets his buagination (which is very strong) to work to lessen all you have done for him, and his whole mind is possessed by what he thinks your present ill-behaviour.

"He has often put me in mind of a story I once heard of a fellow who, accidentally falling into the Thames, and not knowing how to swim, had like to have been drowned; when a gentleman, who stood by, jumped into the river and saved him. The man fell on his knees, was ready to adore him for thus delivering him, and said he would joyfully sacrifice the life he had saved at any time on his least command. The next day the gentleman met him again, and asked him how he did after his fright? When the man, instead of being any longer thankful for his safety, upbraided him for pulling him by the ear in such a manner that it had pained him ever since. Thus that trifling inconvenience, in twenty-four hours, had entirely swallowed up the remembrance that his life was owing to it. Just so doth the gentleman I am speaking of act by all the world.

"He has the greatest aversion imaginable to see another in pain and uneasiness; and therefore, while any one is with him, he has not resolution enough to refuse them anything, be it ever so unreasonable. Importunity makes him uneasy, and therefore he cannot withstand it; but when they are absent from him, he gives himself no trouble what they suffer: let him not see it, and he cares not: he would not interrupt a moment of his own pleasure on any account whatever. He never considers what is right or wrong, but pursues the gratification of every inclination with the utmost vigour; and all the pains he takes is not in examining his actions either before or after he has done them, but in proving to himself that what he likes is best; and he has the art of doing this in such a manner that, while people are with him, it is very difficult to prevent being imposed on by his fallacious way of arguing. And yet, tell him a story of another's actions, and no one can judge better, only I think rather too rigidly; for, as he doth not feel their inclinations, he can see all their folly, and cannot find out any reason for their giving way to their passions.

"He has great parts; and when he is in good-humour, and nothing ruffles him, is one of the most agreeable men I ever knew; but it is in the power of every the least disappointment to discompose and shake his whole frame, and then he is much more offensive and disagreeable than the most insignificant creature in the world. He never considers the consequences of anything before he does it. He ruined his sister by his wrong-placed pride; for she had a lover who was greatly her superior in point of fortune, but there were some circumstances in his affairs which made it very inconvenient for him to marry her immediately. The brother took it into his head he was designing to dishonour his family, and challenged him. The gentleman overcame him, and gave him his life, but resolved never to speak to his sister more; for he said it should not be reported of him that he was compelled to marry her. The poor young creature, who had fixed her affections on him, had a slur cast on her reputation, and has been miserable ever since. He is not so ill-natured but that seeing her so makes him uneasy; and therefore the remedy he takes is not to see her at all, but to live at a distance from her; and he comforts himself that it was his love for her made him act in such a manner. Had it been another man's case, he would have soon found out that it was not tenderness for a sister, but pride and vanity, that caused so rash an action.

"One thing is very diverting in him, and has often "made me laugh; for it is very easy to know whether the last action he has done is good or bad by what he himself says; for when benevolence has prevailed in his mind, and he has done what he thinks right, then he employs all his wit and eloquence to prove the great goodness of human nature. But when, by giving way to pride, anger, or any other passion, he hath been hurried into the commission of what he cannot perfectly approve, he then immediately falls on the great wickedness of all mankind, and sets himself to work to argue every virtue out of the world. The inconsistency of his behaviour makes his character in the world very various; for people who have been witnesses of some parts of his conduct take him for the best of creatures; whilst others, who have known some of his worst actions, think him the vilest. It is not to be wondered at that he should be thus inconsistent with himself, for he has no fixed principles to act by: he gives way to every inclination that happens to be uppermost; and as it is natural for people to love to justify themselves, his conversation turns greatly on the irresistibleness of human passions, and an endeavour to prove that all men act by them. But people who have the reputation of wit or sense should take great care what they say or do, for the sake of others who are apt to be influenced by their example, and form their sentiments by their precepts.

"The last of the six characters I promised to give you, and the contrast to this gentleman, is a very odd one. His understanding is very indifferent, but he has a strong inclination to be thought both witty and wise; he envies the other, because he finds that, with all his faults, his company is more coveted than his own; and therefore, as he finds he cannot equal him in wit and entertainment, he fixes on wisdom and discretion, and exults in the superiority he imagines these give him; so that instead of being, like the other, hurried into actions by his own inclinations, he deliberates so long and weighs so nicely every circumstance that may attend whatever is proposed to him, that he puzzles his brain, and bewilders himself in his own wisdom, till he does not know how to act at all; and often, by these methods, loses opportunities of doing what would be very much for his advantage while he is considering whether he should do it or no. And it is not only in things of moment he is thus considerate, but also in the most trifling affairs in life. He will not go even to a party of pleasure till he has confused himself so long, whether it will be discreet or no, that, when he is resolved, he can have no enjoyment in it.

"I remember once, while we were at Paris, this knot of gentlemen, my lady, myself in the character of a toad-eater, and some more ladies, proposed spending a week at Versailles; this gentleman could not find out whether it would give him most pleasure or pain to accompany us, and was so long in deliberating, that at last Monsieur Le Vive (which was the name the gentleman who was so whimsically guided by his passions always went by while he was at Paris) swore he would stay no longer; and we drove away, leaving him at the gate in a thoughtful posture, as if he had been endeavouring to find out the most difficult problem in the mathematics.

"He pretends to a great affection for Le Vive, but I verily believe he hates him in his heart; for, when he is absent from him, his whole discourse turns on his indiscretions, which indeed he expresses great sorrow for; but, in my opinion, he only affects to pity him for an excuse to fix people's minds on his faults, and to make them see his own imagined superiority. I have known several of these friends, who go about lamenting every wrong thing done by the person they falsely pretend a friendship for; but to me they cannot give a stronger proof that they hate and envy them.

"For a man who is really concerned for another's frailties will keep them as much as possible even his own thoughts, as well as endeavour to hide them from the rest of the world. And whenever I hear one of these lamenters cry, 'It is a pity Such-a-one has such failings, for otherwise he would be a charming creature!' and then reckon them all up, without forgetting one circumstance, I cannot forbear telling them that 1 think this would better become an enemy than a friend. This man got the nickname of the Balancer, and was the diversion of all who knew him.

"Many other silly fellows who conversed with Le Vive acted quite contrary to the Balancer, and affected to imitate him. It was a common thing with him to say that people of the greatest understandings had generally the strongest sensations; for which reason, I really knew two men who were naturally of cold, phlegmatic dispositions, throw themselves into continual passions in order to prove their sense. They could not come up to Le Vive in their conversation; and therefore, with great penetration, they found out an easier way to be like him, and were so very humble as to imitate him in his failings.

"I visited the wife of one of them, and was sitting with her one day when the husband came in. She happened to say something he did not like; on which he, in appearance, threw himself into a violent agony, swore and stamped about the room like a madman, and at last catched up a great stick, with which he broke one of the finest sets of china I ever saw. The poor woman, who was really frighted, stood staring, and knew not what to say; but when his passion had continued just as long as he thought necessary to prove his wisdom, he grew calm again, and then asked his wife ten thousand pardons for what he had done; said he was very sorry he was so passionate; but all people acted by their passions, and he could not help his nature; it was a misfortune often attended persons of very good sense; and, as an instance of it, named Le Vive. I saw through the whole thing, and could hardly keep my countenance, but immediately took my leave, that I might have the liberty to make my own reflections without being observed—for nothing is so captious as a man who is acting a part, it being very natural for him to be in a continual fear of being found out.

"Corinna had another lover, who was a Frenchman, in a very high station. His mind was cast much in the same mould with hers. Vanity was the chief motive of all his actions, and the gratification of that vanity was the sole end of all his designs. He delighted in all manner of fine things; that is, he was pleased to call them his own; for the finest picture that ever Michael Angelo drew would have given him no pleasure unless the world had known he was in possession of it. And what is yet more strange, the most beautiful woman was only preferred to the rest by him, that it might be said his charms had made a conquest of the person others sighed for in vain. It was for this reason he followed Corinna; every new lover she got increased his affections; the greater crowd of admirers she had, the better he was pleased, provided she would but show to the world that she only kept them in her train whilst he was permitted to lead her by the hand."

Here Cynthia said she was tired, and would reserve the remainder of her story till the afternoon. They spent the interval, till she thought proper to begin again, in general conversation and remarks on the characters she had given them. As soon as Valentine thought she had rested long enough to make it agreeable to her to tell them the rest of the story, he begged her to go on with it; and she, who never wanted to be asked twice to oblige any of that company, proceeded as will be seen in the next chapter.




"Corinna's manner of dealing with these various characters was really very diverting. For to the man of sense who had the reputation of being an artful man, and who always treated her with very great respect, yet told her his love in a plain unaffected manner (for he had not been much used to gallantry), and always dealt with every one with simplicity, she softened her looks to such a degree as gave him some distant hopes that he might be her choice. And as a coquette was the character he most despised, it would have been impossible to have persuaded him that she had any sort of coquetry in her. She plainly saw how much his real character was mistaken; and that the other gentleman, who was reputed to be perfectly artless, employed his whole time and thoughts in endeavouring to undermine her by his cunning. To him therefore she was more reserved; and, by continually counterplotting him, at last gave him the most consummate opinion of her wisdom: for as he looked on art and sense to be the same thing, he thought a woman who could equal him in the former must be the most extraordinary creature in the world.

"The man whom the world esteemed to be illnatured, only because he was capable of being touched with either the afflictions or behaviour of his friends, she worked backward and forward in such a manner as made him one moment curse her, and the next adore her; by that means keeping his thoughts continually on the stretch, and giving him no time to recollect himself enough to forsake her. The thing in the world he valued in a woman was having the same sensations with himself; therefore, whenever she found she had gone far enough to hurt him thoroughly, she picked up some trifle he had done, and told him it was the suspicion of his slighting her that had made her so uneasy she could not command herself: by this means he was perfectly convinced that she had no fault but what arose from the strength of her good-nature.

"As to the gentleman who was always pleased, she had no great trouble with him, and only danced and sung with him, and he was perfectly satisfied she was the best-humoured woman in the world, which was the quality he most admired.

"The Balancer never told her he liked her in his life; for he did not dare to go so far, lest he should not be able afterwards to disengage himself. He sat whole hours, and looked at her with wonder and admiration, considering with himself whether it would be wise for him to make love to her or no. She saw she had him sure enough, but did not let it appear to him that she understood his looks. She flattered him in his own way, asking his advice about every trifle, pretending she was deliberating about things she never had a serious thought of; he therefore believed her a miracle of discretion.

"Her hardest task was how to manage Le Vive; for the impetuosity of his inclinations would not bear being dallied with; and she found, with all her art, it was impossible to keep him long without consenting to marry him. But as be was always apt to believe whatever his inclinations suggested to him, she contrived to make him think that she had no other reason for not immediately complying with his desire bot delicacy; for that she thought a woman most be a strange creature who did not expect some gallantry from a man before he could obtain her love. And as Le Vive had really a very delicate turn in his own mind, it was what he most admired in a woman; and consequently, he was the more charmed with her for thinking she had so large a share of it. She was obliged to be denied to all the rest whenever he came to see her; for she could not so easily impose on him as on the others, and the least suspicion would have excited him to the highest degree of rage. She durst not play many tricks with him, only she would now and then just tease him enough to make his passion return with the greater violence.

"As to the vain man, he easily believed she preferred him to all mankind; and it is incredible how vast a pleasure he took in reflecting on the joys he should feel in being reputed to have the handsomest wife in all France. The possession of so fine a woman was the least thing in his consideration; for if he had been obliged to have lived a recluse life with her, all her charms would have immediately vanished, and his relish would have been totally lost for them; but whilst his vanity was gratified, he thought her possessed of every accomplishment any woman could be adorned with. Thus mankind go further than Pygmalion in the fable; for he, indeed, fell in love with a statue, but still kept his senses enough only to pray to the gods to give her life and motion; but they, if once a woman's form pleases them, not only wish her possessed of every tiling else, but believe and swear she is so.

"I once visited Corinna when all her lovers happened to be there together. I suppose Le Vive was let in by some accident she could not avoid. The grave man of sense appeared diffident of himself, and seemed afraid to speak to her. The artful man sat silent, and seemed to be laying some very deep plot. The man who was so apt to be hurt by the behaviour of others could hardly forbear breaking out in reproaches. The gay, good-humoured spark capered and sung, and was never better pleased in his life. The Balancer attempted to speak several times, but broke off with half a sentence, as not having considered enough whether he was going to speak wisely or no. Le Vive had no patience, and could hardly be civil to her; but perfectly stormed at her, and left the room in a violent passion. But the vain man was all joy and rapture; for, on some particular civilities she showed him, he concluded he was the happy man; and, indeed, whether the sympathy there was in their minds (for both their pleasures lay in gratifying their vanity) influenced her, or whether his having a great fortune swayed her, I cannot tell, but she certainly did give him the preference before all her other lovers.

"After this meeting of them all together, as she found it impossible any longer to keep them all as danglers, she began to think seriously of marrying the vain man. She considered that if she led this life much longer, she should get the reputation of a finished coquette, and consequently lose all her power; whereas, by marrying, she might have the liberty of conversing with all her husband's acquaintance without being much censured. Besides, she knew enough of his temper not to be ignorant that he would bring her home all the admirers he could, in order to indulge himself in the thoughts that he had gained the woman so much liked by others. She was very sure she could not be particularly fond of him, nor of any other man; and always laid it down as a maxim that it was too much love on the women's side that was generally the cause of their losing their husbands' affections. In short, these and several other considerations induced her at last to give her hand to the vain man.

"They were married three months before I came from Paris, and were generally esteemed a very fond couple. She coquets it just enough to show him that, if be does not take care of his behaviour, he is in danger of losing her; and he indulges her in everything she can wish, and still keeps up the lover, for fear of the disgrace of her liking anybody else. Sacharissa, with whom I conversed as often as I could get liberty, told me that Corinna often asked her how long she thought she should reign thus absolute in her husband's house, if she made an humble, fond wife, and did not continually show him how much he was obliged to her for choosing him? I will relate to you one scene that passed between them, word for word, as Sacharissa told it me.

"There was a young gentleman dined with them one day, with whom Corinna was more gay and went further in her coquetry than usual; insomuch that at last her husband grew quite out of humour; she perceived it, but did not at all alter her behaviour on that account. There was a great deal of company at the table, and Corinna was in the highest raptures to see the joy which sparkled in the eyes of the man she took most notice of; the envious, uneasy looks of all the others, and her husband's discontent. This might be called the wantonness of power, and she was resolved to indulge herself in the full enjoyment of it. When the company were gone her husband sat sullen and out of humour, and would not speak one word. It was her usual method, whenever he thought proper to be in this temper, to let him come to himself again as he pleased; for she never said anything to him to endeavour to bring him out of it. I cannot say I much pitied him, as all his uneasiness arose from vanity; but had the greatest tenderness for her been the cause of it, she would have acted just in the same manner; for it was one of her political maxims, that whatever woman troubled her head whether her husband was pleased or no, would find employment enough to keep him in temper; but if she could have so strong a resolution as to hold out, if he either loved her or a quiet life, he would certainly submit in the end; and the difficulty he found in being reconciled to her would make him afraid of offending her.

"However, this passed on three or four days, and neither of them spoke. Corinna dressed and went abroad with as much cheerfulness as usual; till he held out so long that she began to be frighted lest he should be meditating some design of parting with her, and by that means bring a disgrace upon her. Her pride would not suffer her to think of a submission; besides, she knew that method would be totally ineffectual with a man of her husband's temper.

"Sacharissa, although she could not approve her behaviour, had so much good-nature, she would willingly have assisted her in bringing about a reconciliation; but her mind was so perfectly free from all art, and every word she spoke—nay, her very looks—so plainly showed her thoughts, that it was impossible for her to hit on any scheme for her sister's advantage. Corinna, after much deliberation, as her last effort, engaged a lady of her acquaintance to invite her and her husband to dinner; where, as by accident, they were to meet the gentleman who was the first occasion of their quarrel; who, the moment he saw Corinna, began to behave to her with all the assurance of a man who fancies himself the object of admiration can be inspired with. But she had now another scheme in view; and as she had before indulged her own vanity at the expense of her husband's, she thought it necessary, in order to bring about her present designs, to turn the man into ridicule, who, from her own behaviour, had fed himself with the hopes of obtaining her favour; and while she played him off with all the liveliness and wit she was mistress of, by the whole company's plainly perceiving the great preference she gave her husband he was by degrees worked into raptures he never felt for her before, and when they came home was visibly more her slave than ever.

"Thus, by following the maxim she had laid down from her youth, of never showing too much love to the man she had a mind to govern, she so far succeeded in all her schemes that if ever any dispute arose between them, after this scene, it was not without the most servile submissions on her husband's side, and her exerting all the most haughty airs she could think on, that he could ever obtain a reconciliation with her: nor did she think herself at all to blame for such a conduct; but often asserted that, notwithstanding all the complaints of women's levity and coquetry, yet that she thought the man who gives up all his ease and sacrifices all his time to the satisfying a restless ambition and the grasping of power, was just on the same footing with the woman who makes it her study to display and set off her charms in order to gain a general admiration: that the same love of power was the motive of both their actions; and, consequently, that she could not see, if there is so much folly as is said to be in the one, how the other could be exempted from the same imputation.

"But here I will leave her, and go back to Sacharissa. Her taste was too good, although she had a great softness in her temper, for her easily to fix her affections; but the man of sense, whom I have already mentioned to you as a lover of Corinna's, touched her heart. She took care to conceal it, because she well knew Corinna would be uneasy at parting with one admirer, although her dislike to him was ever so great. But when Corinna was married, and this gentleman compared her usage of all her lovers with Sacharissa's modest and good-natured behaviour, he fixed his love on the woman who now appeared so much the most deserving. The courtship did not last long; for as she had made it a rule never to conceal her affections from the man she loved longer than she doubted of his, decency was the only thing considered by her; and they were married about a month before I left Paris. I never saw a greater prospect of happiness in my life; for their love was reciprocal, and they highly esteemed each other."

Cynthia had the thanks of the whole company for her relation; particularly Valentine's, who expressed the greatest admiration at her manner of telling it. They spent the rest of the evening in remarks on Cynthia's story; and David said he did not think there could have been such a character as Corinna's in the world; that he began to be in great anxiety to see a woman painted in such a light; but Sacharissa's tenderness and good-nature had revived his spirits, in showing him the blessing a man possessed when he could gain the affections of a person whose heart was faithful and whose mind was replete with goodness. In saying this, he fixed his eyes stead-fastly on Camilla, till he saw her blush and seem out of countenance, which made him immediately turn the discourse: and when they separated to go to bed, Valentine followed his sister into her room, and seemed almost choked for want of power to utter his thoughts.

Camilla was not ignorant what subject he wanted to talk on, and immediately began a discourse on Cynthia. At last she brought him to say, "Oh! Camilla, how happy must that man be who can touch the heart of Cynthia! There is no hope for your unfortunate brother; for even if she could condescend to look on me, my circumstances are such, I dare not own my love to her. Mr. Simple's generosity and goodness to us makes it utterly impossible I should ever think of loading him with more burdens: no; I must for ever banish from my thoughts the only woman who is capable of raising my love and esteem. You may remember in our very youthful days, when I hardly knew why I liked her, how fond I was of being with Cynthia; and notwithstanding our separation, I have never thought of any other woman with any great affection." He then went on with ecstasies on Cynthia's wit and charms.

Camilla heard him out, and then told him she would do anything in her power to serve him; but advised him, if possible, to try to conquer his passion. At these words he turned pale, and looked in the utmost agonies; which his sister perceiving, she told him, if his love was so fixed that he could not enjoy himself without Cynthia, she hoped, and did not at all doubt, but he might gain her affections; for that, before she went abroad, she had observed much more than a common complaisance in her behaviour towards him, which she found was rather increased than abated since this last meetings; and he must wait with patience till time, perhaps, might put it in his power to be as happy as he could wish.

Valentine was vastly comforted in the thoughts of Cynthia's approving his love, and for that moment quite forgot all the consequences that might attend indulging his passion. He begged his sister to observe all Cynthia's words and actions, and then retired to rest. Poor Camilla could have sighed as well as her brother; but I don't know how it was, she could not so easily unfold griefs of that kind to Valentine as he could do her.




Poor David had no person to tell his griefs to; he loved Camilla so sincerely, that whatever resolutions he made to declare it to her, the great awe with which he was seized whenever he approached her took from him the power of speaking. And he was afraid to mention it to her brother first, lest she should be offended, and think he was mean enough to expect a compliance from them both on account of the obligations they owed him.

Sometimes his imagination would indulge him with the thoughts of the happiness he should enjoy if he could be beloved by and lead his life with Camilla. He was sure she had every good quality human nature is capable of possessing. He ran over every virtue in his own mind, and gave her them all, without any exception. Then he reflected on every vice, and exulted in the thought that she was quite free from them. Sometimes he was in despair of ever engaging her to return his love, and then in a moment succeeded hopes and raptures; and all this without any intervening action of hers to give him the least reason to believe either one way or the other.

In short, both David and Valentine were afraid of explaining themselves too far, lest they should disoblige Camilla and Cynthia; and they, on the other hand, had no fear but that their lovers meant no more than they expressed. Miss Johnson's behaviour, in spite of himself, would often force itself on David's memory; for that is one of the curses which attend the having ever been disappointed in our opinion of a person we have esteemed: it is an alloy to all our future pleasures; we cannot help remembering, while we are indulging ourselves in any new engagement, that once thought as well of another who with the same seeming indifference deceived us, and we dread the same thing may happen over again. But these thoughts only took place in Camilla's absence; the moment she appeared, all disagreeable ideas vanished, and the most pleasing ones imaginable succeeded.

Valentine and Camilla often sighed at the remembrance of their father's usage; but they cautiously hid from their generous benefactor that any uneasy thoughts ever intruded on their minds: he fancied them entirely happy, and that their happiness was owing to him. None but minds like David's can imagine the pleasure this consideration gave him. Cynthia saw through Valentine's behaviour; and yet sometimes she could not help fearing that this thoughtfulness might arise from some other cause than what she would have it; and her great anxiety concerning it naturally produced suspicion.

As this little company were sitting and comparing their present situation with what they had formerly been in, they heard so violent a rap at the next door, they could not help having curiosity enough to run to the window, and saw it was occasioned by the arrival of a gilt chariot, in which was a person in whose looks was plainly to be perceived that he was perfectly satisfied with himself and conscious that he made a good figure; that is, he was very well dressed, and his equipage such as no nobleman would have had any reason to have been ashamed of. While the door was opening, he happened to cast his eyes on Camilla, and fixed them with such attention that as he was entering the house his foot slipped, and he fell down. David, who was always ready to give assistance where it was wanted, ran downstairs, to see if he could be of any service to him. The gentleman had struck his face against an iron at the side of the door, and felt a good deal of pain; but the moment he saw David, he begged he would be so good as to carry him into the house where he had seen him at a window with a young lady whom he was very desirious of speaking to, because he had something to tell her which he believed would prove to her advantage. That consideration was enough for David; and, without any further hesitation, he introduced him into the room to Camilla. The moment she saw him, it was visible by her countenance he was not a perfect stranger to her; for she alternately blushed, turned pale, and seemed to be in the greatest agitation of spirits imaginable. The gentleman begged the liberty of being one half-hour alone with her, as what he had to communicate concerned only her, and was of such a nature that it required the utmost privacy.

Camilla, who did indeed know him to be my Lord ———, an intimate acquaintance of her father's, fancied he had something to say to her from him; and that thought made her so solicitous to know what it was, that, without thinking of any further consequence, she begged the rest of the company to retire a little, while she heard what my lord had to say; which, as they none of them ever refused her anything she desired, was immediately complied with.

Valentine was a stranger to this noble lord, as he was gone abroad before he came from his studies to live with his father; however, he thought the alteration of Camilla's countenance, at the sight of him, was owing to the shame of seeing a person she knew whilst she lived in reputation with her father, now that she was certain he must have heard an infamous story of her. But David could not help fearing she felt something more at the sight of him than merely shame. Miss Johnson forced herself again on his memory; and when he considered the fine equipage and the title of a lord, he was in the utmost consternation what would be the event of this affair.

This lord was one of those men who lay it down as a maxim, that a woman who has lost her virtue from fondness to one man, is ever afterwards to be purchased by the best bidder. He had always liked Camilla; but as she lived in a station that he could not think of her on any other terms than marriage, and he knew her father could not give her as much fortune as was necessary to pay off a mortgage which was on his estate, he had never said any tiling to her farther than common gallantry; but when he heard that she was run away in such an infamous manner with her brother, he concluded money would be so acceptable to her, that he could not fail obtaining her by that means. He had often enquired privately after her, but always in vain, till he accidentally saw her at that window.

The moment they were alone, Camilla inquired with great eagerness if he had any thing to say to her from her father, or could tell her any news of him. On which he replied, that all he knew of her father was, that he and his wife lived on in the same house in which she had left them; but his business was of another kind, in which he himself was only concerned. Then, with a heap of those fulsome compliments which only prove the strongest contempt for the person they are made to, he modestly proposed her living with him as mistress; said, she should command his fortune; that he would get her brother a commission in the army to go abroad, and her father should never know by whose interest he had obtained it.

Camilla, whose virtue was not of that outrageous kind which breaks out in a noise like thunder on such occasions, very calmly answered him as follows—"My lord, notwithstanding what you have heard of me, I am as innocent now as when you first knew me; and though malice has contrived to make me infamous, it never shall make me guilty; nor is it in the power of all your fortune to bribe me to do a criminal or mean action: and if your lordship has no other business with me, I must beg leave to desire my brother, and the man on earth I most esteem, to walk in again." He had too much confidence in his own charms to take an immediate denial; and as to her talking of the man she esteemed, he fancied she was grown weary of her brother, and had acquired a new gallant, which he thought looked well on his side. He used the most pressing arguments he could think on to make her comply, but all in vain: he imagined her not calling to her brother was an encouragement to him to proceed; but she was really afraid to let him know anything of the matter, dreading what might be the consequence. At last, when my lord found all his promises and fine speeches made no impression on her, he took his leave.

The moment he was gone, David, Valentine, and Cynthia flew into the room, and found Camilla in the utmost confusion: she knew not which way to act; had not an instant to consider; and could not resolve whether it was best for her to inform them of what had passed or no. Valentine hastily inquired if she had heard anything from their father; for he said he supposed she must know that lord while she lived at home. She replied. No, she had heard nothing, but that he lived in the same place where they left him. She stammered, and seemed to wish they would ask no more questions; but this put David on the rack, and he could not forbear being so inquisitive, that at last she was forced to tell them the whole truth, with the reserve only of the lord's title.

Valentine flew into a violent passion; vowed he would find out who he was, and let him know no station should screen a man from his resentment who durst affront his sister. Poor Cynthia was quite frighted, and urged all the reasons she could think on to make him change his purpose; and Camilla told him he should consider that her unhappy circumstances, and her being infamous, had thrown her so low, that a man might be more excusable for talking to her in that strain than to any other woman. What she said to pacify Valentine made David almost mad, and threw him so off his guard, he could not help saying, he thought she pleaded very well in the defence of her lover. On which he left the room and retired to his own chamber. When he was gone, Cynthia employed all her thoughts in endeavouring to calm Valentine.

Poor Camilla knew not which way to act: she saw David's uneasiness; it was not her pride which prevented her following him, and endeavouring to make him easy. But as he had never seriously declared more than a great friendship for her, she knew not which way to treat so delicate a passion as jealousy, whilst she must not own she saw it. She sat some time silent; but at last found the agitation of her mind was so great, it would be impossible for her to conceal her thoughts; and therefore, on the pretence of indisposition, retired to her own chamber, where she spent the whole night in greater anxiety than I can express. She did not feel one pleasing sensation from the idea that the man who loved her was in torment on her account; but, on the contrary, was melted into tenderness and grief at the thoughts of every pang be felt; and nothing but the most invincible regard to decency could have prevented her flying to him, and telling him the whole truth, in order to ease him of his pain.

As to David, the thoughts of Camilla's having ever liked another quite overcame him; he knew not whether he was awake or in a dream. But notwithstanding all the raging passions which warred in his mind, he could not but reflect that he had nothing to accuse Camilla of, for that she was under no sort of engagement to him, and at full liberty to like whom she pleased; yet, when he fancied any other man was the object of her love, he could not help thinking she had not half those virtues he before thought her possessed of. For an instant he felt a passion which he had before never conceived for her, nor indeed for any other; and which I should not scruple to call hatred, had it not been one of those abortive thoughts which are the first sallies of our passions, and which immediately vanish on reflection; for as it was impossible for him to hate a creature who had never injured him, that consideration absolutely removed what seemed alone to promise him comfort; and he saw Camilla in the same amiable light in which he had ever beheld her, with the addition only of a despair, which at once heightened all her beauties, and made them fatal to his repose.

Valentine and Cynthia, from seeing their distress had both endeavoured to bring them together in the evening; but they pleaded ill health, and begged to stay in their separate apartments. The next morning they found such misery in not seeing each other that they both came to breakfast with their companions: they entered the room at different doors at the same instant; the wanness of their looks (for it is incredible how much one night's perturbation of mind will alter people who have strong and delicate sensations) and the faltering of their voices, more strongly pointed out their thoughts than the most laboured eloquence could possibly have done. Neither of them could bring themselves to speak first; for as David had never made any actual addresses to Camilla, it was impossible for him to charge her with any crime, I or even to mention the affair to her which gave him so much uneasiness. She, on the other hand (though her mind had been totally void of pride, of which she had very little; or of modesty, of which she was the most exact pattern), could not have begun to excuse a crime of which she was entirely innocent to a man who neither did nor had any right to censure her. As for Valentine, he was in a dilemma no less perplexing; for though he was sensible of David's jealousy, and confident of his Camilla's innocence, yet, in their present situation, he could by no means persuade himself to say anything which might have been construed as a direct offer of his sister to a man to whom they both were so greatly obliged, and who at that time appeared in the sight of fortune (the only light by which some people's eyes can see) so highly their superior.

As for Cynthia, she knew too much of the world, and was too well bred, to intermeddle officiously in so delicate an affair.

Under these circumstances were this little company, when by lucky accident, rather than good design, did the author of all this mischief unravel the perplexity he had occasioned, by means of a letter which a servant now delivered to Camilla. She opened it hastily, wondering what corner of the earth could produce a correspondent for her at this time, David watched her looks; and observing she blushed and changed colour, was in the utmost anxiety, in which she left him no longer than while she read the letter; when she sent the servant out of the room, and gave it into his hand, saying, she thought every one in that company had a right to know all that concerned her, as she was convinced they were her sincere friends. David read it aloud to Valentine and Cynthia; but how much were they surprised when they found the contents were as follows—


I am really ashamed of my conduct towards you yesterday; my inclination for you makes it an easy matter for me to be convinced of your innocence, but I would have you also clear in the eyes of the world; and if you will come home again to your father's, I will make it my whole study to justify you, and find out the author of this vile report. As soon as that can be done, if you will consent to it, I will receive you of your father as my wife. I am. Madam, your most obedient, humble servant, etc."

They all sat for a moment staring at each other, as in amazement. Camilla first broke silence; and looking at David, said, if they pleased, either Valentine or he should dictate an answer to this letter. David, instead of being pleased at this, turned pale: he remembered he had overheard Miss Johnson say she was in hopes he would be too much afraid of making her unhappy to press her to refuse a good offer for him; and he now began to fear Camilla had the same way of thinking and only said this to pique his generosity, to desire her to accept of such a match: he therefore told her he thought she was the best judge what to answer; for as the happiness of a reasonable creature did by no means depend on grandeur, he did not think himself obliged to persuade her to consent to my Lord ———'s proposal. When Camilla found which way he took what she had said, she pitied him, because she saw he was uneasy; imputed it to the delicacy of his love for her; and acted quite contrary to what some good-natured women do, who, when they see a man vexed on their account, take that opportunity of teasing him. She told him he had perfectly mistaken her meaning, as she would immediately convince him; on which called for pen and ink, and wrote the following letter—

"My Lord,

"I now think myself as much obliged to you as I thought the contrary yesterday: I have some very strong reasons, which make it impossible for me to accept the honour you intend me; and as to my returning to my father's house, the usage I have already met with there has determined me never to subject myself to the like again; which I am certain must always be the case whilst Livia is mistress of it. I am, my lord, with the most grateful sense of the favour you designed me, your lordship's most obliged, obedient humble servant,


It is utterly impossible to describe the agitations of David's mind while she was writing, or his raptures when he heard what she had written. Valentine highly approved of her proceedings; for as she had kept her word in informing him of everything that passed between her and David, he was not ignorant how much he would have suffered had she accepted of my lord. And Cynthia admired her resolution and greatness of mind to such a degree that she could not forbear expressing to her friend with what an additional esteem that one action had inspired her.

They were all surprised what could have altered my Lord ——— so much in one day; but his lordship, when he left Camilla, could not believe he was awake; so impossible it appeared to him that any woman could resist both his person and fortune; his pride was piqued at it; and, besides, his inclination was heightened by the difficulty he found in the gratifying it.

He now began to believe all the stories he had heard of Camilla were false, for he was very certain the woman who could withstand him must be virtuous. In short, he found himself so uneasy without her that he thought, if there could be any method found of regaining her reputation, he could be contented to marry her: a strong proof of the strange inconsistency of the human mind! For whilst there was no other objection but her want of fortune, and he might have received her with honour at her father's hands, he could command his passion; but when there was the addition of many other objections to prevent his indulging it, he was willing to overcome them all. The truth was, while she lived with her father, he had never given himself leave to have the smallest hopes of her in one way; and as he thought it imprudent to think on her in the other, his desires were curbed by the apparent impossibility of gratifying them. But when he thought her both infamous and poor, he had made himself so certain of obtaining her, he could not bear the disappointment of being refused; and perplexed himself so long about it, that at last, like Heartfree in the play of the "Old Bachelor," "He ran into the danger to avoid the apprehension;" and wrote the foregoing letter.

David now was perfectly easy, and there was a general cheerfulness throughout the whole company for the evening; and when they retired to rest, it with that calmness which is always the companion of innocence and health. The adventures of the next day shall be reserved for another chapter.




In the morning they all met with the utmost good humour; and it being Sunday, David proposed the going to Church; for he said he had great reason to thank his Creator for giving him so much happiness as he had found in that company. The other three heartily consented to it; and said they were sure the meeting with him, and the being delivered from their afflictions and distress, was so signal a mark of Divine Providence, that they could never be thankful enough for it. This naturally led Cynthia to give some account of the conversation she met with in her journey to town. She had mentioned it slightly before, but now she told them all the ridiculous arguments the atheist had made use of to prove there was no Deity.

David could not forbear crying out, "Good God! is it possible there can be a creature in the world so much an enemy to himself and to all mankind as to endeavour to take from men's minds the greatest comfort they can possibly enjoy?" They all admired the clergyman's behaviour; and David said he heartily wished he was acquainted with him. Now it happened by great accident that this very clergyman preached at the church they went to; and as soon as Cynthia saw him, she informed her company who he was. They were all rejoiced at it; and David was charmed with his discourse, and meditated some method, by Cynthia's means, of introducing himself to him. When church was done it rained so violently that, no coach being to be had, they were forced to stay; and in the meantime the clergyman brought about David's wish, without any trouble of bls, for he presently came and spoke to Cynthia; she told him that gentleman longed for his acquaintance, David begged the favour of him to dine with them; he civilly accepted the invitation, and they all went home together.

Cynthia, as soon as she had an opportunity, asked him if he had ever heard anything of the atheist; to which the clergyman replied that, having some business that way, he called at the apothecary's to inquire what was become of him, and heard he was dead; for he would drink hard in spite of any persuasions to the contrary; which, with the pain, threw him into a fever that killed him. "But," continued this good man, "I was moved with compassion (though not with a mixture of pleasure) when I heard that as soon as he found he must die, all his fancied infidelity vanished into nothing, and in its room succeeded horrors impossible to be described. He begged the apothecary to send to a neighbouring clergyman, and before them both dictated the ensuing account of the life he had led, which they writ down, and, at my request, gave me a copy of it.

"'When I was a young fellow I took a delight in reading all those sort of books which best suited my own inclinations, by endeavouring to prove that all pleasure lay in vice; and that the wisest thing a man could do was to give a loose to all his passions and take hold of the present moment for pleasure, without depending on uncertain futurity. As I had but little money, I got in with a set of sharpers; and, by consenting to play all the game with them, was admitted to share some part of the booty. Whenever I had any success that way, I immediately spent it on wine and women. As to the latter, I had never any sort of affection for them, further than for their persons, and consequently was never much disappointed by any refusal from them, for I went from one to another; and as I was always certain of succeeding with some of them, I was very well satisfied. Promises cost me nothing; for I was full as liberal of them as I was sparing in the performance; and whenever I had by any means gained woman, as soon as I grew tired of her I made no manner of scruple of leaving her to infamy and poverty, without any consideration what became of her.

"'As soon as I had spent all my money, I generally returned to the gaming-table. But at last my companions, whom I only trusted because I could not avoid it, on finding out one evening that I had defrauded them of their share, all combined to disgrace me; and the next time I came, watched narrowly till they saw me slip some false dice out of my pocket, and discovered me to the whole table. It was in vain for me to protest my innocence and complain of the others, for I could not be heard; and the gentleman whom I had endeavoured to cheat held me till I was stripped of all I had about me, which I had won that night, and then kicked me out of the room. Besides the loss, I had pride enough to be hurt to the quick by such usage, and yet I had not courage enough to resent it. Thus this scheme proved abortive, and I was obliged to have done with it.

"'I had an acquaintance who, when I was in the utmost distress, used to relieve me; but then that was only enough perhaps to pay some debt, just to keep me from gaol, but was nothing to what I wanted to squander in extravagance.

"'The next scheme I took into my head was to follow women for their money instead of their persons; and it was a rule with me generally to go amongst those who had but small fortunes; for as to those who had great ones, I thought I should have my mercenary designs found out if I pursued them. But, by following such as had but a small matter, they easily concluded I could have no views upon their money, and that therefore my professions must be sincere; by which means I got away every farthing they were worth, and then left them to bemoan their folly, hugging myself in my own ingenuity. My method was, when first I got acquainted with any one, to pretend that all fortune was equal between us; and if ever they wanted money, I lent it them (that is, when I had it). Thus I passed upon them for the most generous creature in the world, till I had got from them what I wanted. But at last I was catched in my own snare; for I met with a woman who was cunning enough to penetrate my scheme; and when she had got from me all the money I had, she would never see me more. Another woman, from whom I had got £500 in this treacherous manner, happened to have a brother, who loved her so sincerely that she was never afraid to let him know even her own indiscretions. He pulled me by the nose in a public coffee-house; and swore till I had returned his sister every farthing I owed her he would use me in that manner whereever he met with me. As it was impossible for me to raise the money, I was forced to lurk about in corners, that I might avoid him. These two disappointments made me weary of this project.

"'The next scheme I formed was to go canting amongst the men of the value of real friendship, to try if by that means I could draw any person into my net, in order to make a prey of them. Here, too, I followed my old maxim of frequenting those companies where fortune had not been lavish of her favours; for I always found that those people who had but little were most ready to part with their money. Here I flourished for a small time; but as I took care always to leave the persons I had fleeced, and converse no longer with them than I could gain by them, I soon became very scandalous; and as I happened to meet with some gentlemen who did not at all relish such treatment, I got two or three good beatings, and could show my head no longer in that neighbourhood.

"'Thus was I both poor and infamous; and yet I was so bewitched with the fancy of my own wisdom, that even these miseries did not open my eyes enough to make me engage in an honester way of life.

"'I took another lodging, with a design of laying some new plot to get money by; and the next scheme I pursued was to talk very religiously, and try what that sort of hypocrisy would do. Now I chiefly frequented old women, as I thought keeping company with the young ones would be an injury to the character I then affected. I got some small matter, which was given me by people who were really charitable, to dispose of to poor families, which I made up dismal stories of, and this money I put in my own pocket. But this did not last long; for my propensity to all manner of vice was so strong, it broke out on all occasions; and as I could not forbear my bottle, which sometimes brought out truth in spite of me, I was soon found out; and then there was so general an outcry set up against me, I was obliged to fly from the clamour.

"'The next character I appeared in was that of a moralist; that is, I cried down all religion, calling it superstition, in order to set up morality. By this means I imposed on several ignorant people, who were so glad to catch hold on anything that they thought could give them any reputation of sense that they were quite happy in this distinction. There was a set of us used to meet every night at a tavern, where, when we were half drunk, we all displayed our parts on the great beauties of morality, and in contempt of the clergy; for we were sure we could be very good without any of their teaching. And then we raked together all the stories which reflected scandal on their order. My conversation turned chiefly on the great meanness of treachery, and that all men should have that honour in their dealings towards each other that their words should be as good as their bonds. By this means there was not one of the company whose purse was not entirely at my command; and, had their money lasted, I should not have been found out a great while; but when I had drained them all as much as I could, their seeing me spend what I had got from them in my own extravagance, whilst I would not return them one farthing, even though they really wanted it, opened their eyes, and they discovered whence arose all my boasted morality. They had taken no security of me, and had no way to redress themselves; but one of them happened accidentally to be acquainted with a tradesman (in whose debt I was to the value of £50) to whom he told the story; and, just as all I had tricked the others of was spent, he arrested me.

"'Now I knew not what to do. I thought the person I mentioned to you, who used sometimes to supply me with money in my last necessities, would grow weary of doing it; and yet I had no other refuge but to send to him. He said he would pay the money if I would promise to go into the country, and live upon a small income he paid me quarterly; otherwise he would let me go to gaol, and never take any further notice of me. Hard as these terms appeared, I was obliged to consent to them; on which the gentleman freed me from my confinement, gave me money enough to go into the country, and paid me as usual to maintain me there.

"'Now, again, if I had not been utterly abandoned to all the sentiments of humanity, or the true knowledge of my own interest, I had an opportunity of recovering my lost constitution, which I had racked out in such a manner, that though in reality I was but a young man, I had all the infirmities and diseases incident to old age. But instead of reflecting how much I had all my lifetime been a dupe to own mistaken maxims, and deceived myself whilst I fancied I was cheating others, I grew desperate at being obliged to retire into the country, left off all my schemes, and gave myself up so entirely to the bottle, that I was seldom master of even that small share of understanding my worn-out health and strength had left me, and began to curse the Author of my being for all those misfortunes I had brought upon myself; till at last ill humour, and the fear of believing there was a Deity, made me turn atheist; or at least my own desire of being so flattered me into a fixed opinion that I was one. In drink and debauchery I spent my quarter's income in a month, with only a reserve of enough to bring me to town; whither I was returning with a resolution of doing anything ever so desperate, even robbing on the highway, rather than deny myself the indulgence of any vicious passion that was uppermost. I was travelling to London when the misfortune happened to me which I believe will bring me to my end. I cannot say I ever enjoyed any real happiness in my life; for the anxiety about the success of my schemes, the fear of being found out, and the disappointment which always attended me in the end, joined to the envy which continually preyed on my heart at the good fortune of others, has made me, ever since I came into the world, the most wretched of all mortals. To this conduct I owe my ruin.' Here he stopped; and was so tired with having talked so long that he insensibly fell into a sound sleep."




The dinner passed in observations on the atheist's story; but as soon as the company thought the clergyman had recruited his spirits enough to make it agreeable to him to relate what remained, they desired him to proceed, which he immediately complied with.

"The atheist waked very light-headed, and raved on nothing but his brother; talked of his having concealed from them the main part of his story, only from shame. But the apothecary, by applying proper remedies, at last brought him to his senses; and then begged him, if there was anything lay on his conscience which he had not yet disclosed, he would do it. On which he desired him to send for the clergyman again, and as soon as he came, he told him he could not be easy in his mind till he had discovered to them the most wicked part of his life, which, from some small hopes of recovering, he had not yet disclosed. 'But,' continued he 'since I find it is impossible for me to live, I will no longer conceal it from you.

"'Know then, although I was never told it, I am sensible the relief I told you I often received in my greatest distresses was owing to the best of brothers; but I, instead of having my mind overflowing with gratitude for his goodness, in my own thoughts only despised his folly; for when we were young, from a desire of engrossing to myself all my father was worth, I contrived, while he lay on his death-bed, to burn his real will, and forge a new one in my own favour, in order to cheat my fond good brother of his share of his father's patrimony.'"

Whilst the clergyman was repeating this last incident, David, by degrees, was worked up into so great an agony, and so often changed colour, that the whole company fixed their eyes on him; and Valentine begged to know what it was could have caused so sudden an alteration in him. "Alas, Sir!" replied David, with a faltering voice, and trembling all over, "the poor wretch whose story I have just heard, I know, by some circumstances, was my own brother. I once fondly loved him; and, notwithstanding his behaviour, cannot hear of his misery without the greatest affliction. I did, indeed, support him underhand; and was in hopes to have heard, while he was yet living, that he was brought to a sense of his own misconduct; but had I known, at last, that he had repented of his past life, I would have flown to have seen and forgiven him before he died. I cannot forbear paying some tears to his memory." In saying this, he clapped his handkerchief before his eyes.

Camilla, who was charmed with David's goodness to such a brother, and yet torn to pieces by seeing him so affected, had not power to speak; but turned so very pale, that Cynthia desired Valentine to run for a glass of water, for she was afraid his sister would faint away. These words roused David, and he immediately lost all thoughts but for Camilla. His seeming to recover, and the water he gave her, prevented her fainting. Cynthia and Valentine did all they could to comfort David; and the clergyman was very much grieved that he had accidentally been the occasion of all this confusion.

Whilst they were in this situation, a servant came up, and told Camilla there was an old gentleman below who begged to speak with her. She ran downstairs with such precipitation as amazed them all; but they were much more surprised when they heard her scream out, as if some terrible accident had happened to her. They did not lose a moment before they flew to her relief; they met an old gentleman bringing her up in his arms, and crying out, "Oh! give me way! for in finding my child I have for ever lost her; but, dead or alive, I will hold her in my arms, and never part with her more."

Cynthia and Valentine presently knew him to be their father; and what he said convinced David it could be no other. They conducted him into a chamber, where he gently laid Camilla on the bed. Their present thoughts were all taken up in bringing her to herself; but the moment she opened her eyes, she fixed them on her father for some time, without being able to utter her words. At last she burst into a flood of tears, which gave her some relief, and enabled her to say, "Am I then, at last, so happy that my father thinks me worthy his regard? And could you be so good, sir, to come to look for me?"

Valentine took hold of the first opportunity to throw himself at his father's feet, and begged he would condescend to look on him. He tenderly raised him; and embracing him, said, "Oh! my son I nothing but the condition I saw your sister in could have prevented my speaking to you before!" He then flew from him to Camilla, and then back to him again, which he repeated alternately for the space of some minutes. At last, in his ecstasy, he fell on his knees, and said—"My dearest children, if you can forgive me (for guilt has rendered me unworthy of such a son and daughter), every minute of my future life shall be employed to promote your pleasure and happiness." They both, almost by force, got him up from the ground, and assured him, if he would be so good to restore them to his love, having whole worlds at their command could not afford them half the comfort. In short, to describe this scene, and all the grief which the poor old gentleman (who had no fault but that of having been misled by a too violent passion) and his children felt, requires a Shakespeare's pen; therefore I am willing to close it as soon as possible, being quite unequal to the task. David and Cynthia felt all the tenderness and pleasure of their friends; and the clergyman rejoiced in having found a company where so much goodness reigned. He took his leave for the present, thinking at this juncture he might be troublesome, with a promise of returning again in a day or two to see them.

The poor old gentleman was so much overcome by the violent agitation of his spirits that he could hardly bring himself that evening to speak one coherent sentence. All they could get from him was that Livia was dead, and a promise to tell them all another time. But his children's goodness, and the joy of seeing them after so long a separation, was more than lie could bear, and almost deprived him of the power of speech. To say the truth, this good man was so entirely overcome with ecstasy at the sight and behaviour of his children, that he was that night incapable of inquiring what methods they had taken to procure subsistence from the time he had lost them. But, by the little he could gather, his heart was inflamed with the warmest gratitude to David.

Camilla, seeing how much her father was affected, prevailed on him to retire to rest. David was now resolved, as Camilla had found her only surviving parent, that very night to obtain her consent to his asking her father's approbation of his love; and desired the liberty of entertaining her one hour alone.

I shall not dwell minutely on this part of my hero's life, as I have too much regard for my readers to make them third persons to lovers; and shall only inform the curious that Camilla, on the consideration that she had already received such strong proofs of David's sincere affection, thought proper to abate something of the ceremonies prescribed to lovers, before they can find out whether their mistresses like them or no and as she was convinced every word of hers was capable of giving him either the greatest pleasure or the utmost pain, her tenderness and softness prevented her making use of any of that coquetry which is very prevalent in some part of her sex. She was not ashamed to own she loved him; and that, if her father consented, the greatest happiness she could propose in this world was to employ that life he had so generously saved in endeavouring to make blm happy.

And now, reader, if you are inclined to have an adequate idea of David's raptures on that confession, think what pretty miss feels when her parents wisely prefer her, in their applause, to all her brothers and sisters; observe her yet a little older, when she is pinning on her first manteau and petticoat; then follow her to the ball, and view her eyes sparkle, and the convulsive tosses of her person on the first compliment she receives: but don't lose sight of her till you place her in a room full of company, where she hears her rival condemned for indiscretion, and exults in her loss of reputation. No matter whether she rivals her in my Lord ———, or Captain ———, or Squire, etc., etc., for as she is equally desirous of engrossing the admiration of all, her enmity is equal towards the woman who deprives her of such great blessings, whichever she robs her of. Imagine the joys of an ambitious man who has just supplanted his enemy, and is got into his place; imagine what a young lawyer feels the first cause he has gained, or a young officer the first time he mounts guard. But imagine what you will, unless you have experienced what it is to be both a sincere and successful lover, you never can imagine anything equal to what David felt.

The conversation between him and Camilla was of the delicatest, tenderest kind; and he told her with the greatest joy that she had delivered him from the utmost despair of ever meeting with any happiness in this world; for that, when he had the good fortune to meet with her, his condition was so unhappy that he began seriously to think of getting into some corner of the earth where he might never see the face of a human creature; for to be always in the midst of people who, by their behaviour, forced him to despise them, was to him the greatest of all curses. "To you, therefore, madam," said he, "I owe that delicate pleasure of having my taste approved by my judgment. You know I made an offer to Cynthia, for I never desired to conceal anything from you. I thought, indeed, that in her I had met with what I was in search of, a woman I could esteem. This made me admire her; but you alone truly touched my heart."

Camilla exulted as much in having gained so generous, so good a man as David, and had now no further thoughts of his love for Cynthia; but the mentioning her put her in mind of Valentine; and as she was not amongst that number of people who can be very happy themselves, though their friends be at the same time ever so miserable, she could not help sighing at the reflection how difficult it would be for Valentine to bring about a marriage with Cynthia.

David immediately guessed the cause of her suddenly growing melancholy; and told her he should not deserve the good opinion she had expressed of him if he could enjoy any one pleasure in life while her brother was unhappy; that the death of the poor creature whose story the clergyman had related added something to his income, and he thought he had enough to make her and her family easy in a private retired way of life; and, as to his part, that was all he desired. Camilla was every minute more and more charmed with his goodness; and as she was certain he delighted in no other expense but assisting his friends, and that she herself could be contented in any way of life, provided every one she lived with was easy; she thought it more greatness of mind to let David fully satisfy his darling passion of doing good, and to live lower herself in order to serve her brother than to refuse her lover's offer under the pretence of thinking she ought not to burden him only that she might have more opportunities of indulging herself.

They went together to see for Valentine and Cynthia, and found them both sitting in the most pensive manner, as if they were quite uneasy; and, upon inquiry, found that Cynthia had fixed a resolution (on Valentine's begging her leave, now he had found his father, to ask his consent to marry her) of leaving them the next day; for she insisted on it that she would not come into a family to be any disadvantage to it. She owned, if she had a fortune, she should think herself happy in giving it to Valentine, for that from her youth he was the only man she had ever thought on; but in her present circumstances she could have no other prospect but to be a burden to him as long as she lived; and was resolved she would suffer anything rather than that should ever be the case.

David begged her to consider that in Valentine's happiness she would increase, instead of diminish, that of the whole family: in short, they all used so many arguments with her, that at last she found her resolution began to stagger; and therefore got up and insisted on going to bed, saying she would consider further of it. Valentine could not but approve of Cynthia's conduct, and the very method she took took to prevail on him to get the better of his inclination only increased it so much the more. David and Camilla sat up with him some time, for he was so uneasy he could not presently compose himself to rest. His passion for Cynthia had got so much the better of him, that it was not in his power to command it; and yet he could not help condemning the thoughts of indulging himself at the expense of so great and good a friend as David.

The next morning, as soon as Valentine and Camilla heard their father was awake, they went to pay their duty to him. Excessive was the joy they felt at thus having an opportunity of again renewing what had been their greatest pleasure from their infancy. The poor old gentleman, even the day he was married to his beloved Livia, never experienced half the raptures the sight of his long-lost children gave him. As soon as he was up, and they had all breakfasted together, Camilla begged her father, if it would not be troublesome to him, to relate how Livia died, and what had happened since their unfortunate separation; saying, he might speak anything before all that company, for that Cynthia was no stranger to him, and she was sure the man who by his goodness had saved both hers and her brother's life, and been their only support, would be always esteemed by him as his friend. Her father, who was now restored again to his former self, followed his usual method of not delaying a moment before he complied with what she desired, and began as follows—

"I must take shame to myself, that at my age, and having two such children to be my comfort, I suffered an unreasonable passion to overcome me to their disadvantage. Which way shall I be able to thank the man who has preserved them to bless me again with their sight? From the time you left me, and I was persuaded of your infamy, I was every day more and more taken up with my admiration of Livia. She turned and wound me just according to her own inclination; my thoughts were almost all swallowed up in the contemplation of her charms, and my desires wholly centred in her happiness; and yet, in spite of all my fondness, a sigh would sometimes steal from my breast when the idea of my children forced itself on my fancy. I made no scruple of disclosing whatever I felt to Livia; but whenever I spoke of you, she constantly grew melancholy, took care to drop expressions (and they appeared to flow from the height of her love) as if no behaviour of hers could fix my whole affections; but that she found even undutifulness to me, and the most abandoned actions, could not erase from my mind the persons I loved so much better than her. In short, it is impossible to describe half the arts she made use of that I might never mention or think of you. Fits, tears, and good humour were played upon me, each in their turn, till I was almost out of my senses; but if ever her behaviour provoked me to be the least suspicious of her, the next moment her smiles threw my soul into raptures, and every other thought gave way to the delight and joy she inspired me with.

"All the money I could get she spent in her extravagance; till at last I found I could support it no longer, and was obliged to keep in my own house for fear of my creditors. I durst not so much as mention you, for fear of shocking Livia; and all this I was blind enough to impute to her great tenderness for me. But poverty, the continual fear of seeing her miserable, and the horrible thought which sometimes forced itself upon me of what could become of my children, had such an effect on me that it threw me into violent disorders and made me quite unhealthy. I was in the utmost despair how to support her or myself.

"Whilst I was in this unhappy situation Livia's brother died; and as he had before lost his wife and children, and Livia was his nearest relation, in consideration of my kindness to her, and knowing her extravagant temper, he left me in full possession of all his fortune, which amounted to twenty thousand pounds. This was a very seasonable relief to me; but yet it was some time before I could in the least recover my constitution; during which time she nursed me with all the assiduity of the most tender wife in the world, in hopes of getting this new fortune from me. She sat up with me whole nights; and as she was always with me, her flattery at last got such an ascendant over me, that I was besotted to her love, and forgot I had ever been a father. Thus getting rid of my most painful thought, and in possession of a plentiful fortune, I soon grew well and strong again. But Livia's dissimulation cost her her life, for the delicacy of her frame could not support the fatigue she had undergone during my illness, and she fell into a nervous fever, of which she died.

"That distemper naturally inclines people to all manner of horrible thoughts; and as her crimes were such as greatly heightened all the terrors of it, she was at last, by the perturbation of her own mind, forced to confess to me all the arts she had used to make me have an ill opinion of you while you lived with me; and that she had afterwards falsely accused you of a crime she had no reason to suspect you of, in order to prevent any means of a reconciliation between us.

"Imagine now, my dear children, what I felt when the consideration of this woman's perfidiousness brought back to my memory all your goodness; and when 1 considered what miseries you must have been exposed to in being abandoned to the wide world without any support, I thought I should have gone distracted. I asked her what could have tempted her thus to ruin the man who doted on her, and whose every wish was centred in her happiness. All the reason I could get from her was that she thought her interest and yours was incompatible, for the more I did for you, the less she could have for herself; that she soon perceived your discontent at the alteration of my behaviour to you; and as she was your enemy, she concluded you must be hers. This, she said, made her go greater lengths than she at first intended. Soon after this confession she died, and left me in a condition impossible to express. And as I am now convinced of your love and tenderness for me, I will not shock you with the repetition of it.

"The next day, while I was revolving in my mind what method I should take to find you again, my Lord ——— came to see me. At first my servant denied me, and said I saw no company; he insisted on coming up, saying he had something of the greatest consequence to impart to me. The moment he entered the room he informed me that by accident he had met with you and Valentine. This sudden transport of joy almost deprived me of my senses. I asked him a thousand questions before I gave him time to answer one: at last as soon as he could speak, he told me he was convinced by your behaviour you was entirely innocent; and if I would send for you home, and clear up your reputation, he should be very glad to receive you as his wife. I was quite astonished at this discourse; but, however, would not stay with him a minute longer than to thank him for his good news and kind offer, took a direction where to find you. and flew once more to have the happiness of anbracing my dear children.

"I have but ten thousand pounds left: divide it between you; and, for the rest of my life, all I desire is to see you both happy." And then addressing himself to David, he said, "Are there any words, sir, capable of expressing the gratitude I owe you for your supporting so generously these two young creatures?"

David, who had trembled from the time he had mentioned my Lord ———, now thought he had an opportunity to speak; and immediately replied, "If, sir, you think you have any obligations to me, which I assure you I do not, as I am fully paid by having served persons of such worth as Valentine and Camilla, it is in your power to give me all my soul holds dear. Consent to my having a title to call you father, by being joined for ever to Camilla, and the world cannot produce a man so happy as myself." Camilla added that it was what she wished, and related in what manner she had already refused my Lord ———. On which the old gentleman immediately joined their hands, assuring David he had rather see his daughter married to the man whose actions had so strongly proved his real love for her than to any estate or title in Europe.

Camilla saw Valentine was afraid to speak, as Cynthia had not yet given him permission; and therefore undertook it herself, as she was resolved to make her own happiness complete by adding that of her brother to it. She told her father that, to complete the general joy, there was yet wanting his consent to her brother's taking Cynthia for a wife. On this Valentine fell on his knees, and said his sister had asked the only thing which could make him happy. His desires were no sooner known than complied with by his now once more father.

Cynthia, on hearing that he might be able to with her in a decent though plain way, thought she had now no longer any reason to refuse him happiness of being her support and protector, and inwardly enjoyed the thought of the pleasure a man of his temper must have in finding it in his power to be so. David insisted that what fortune was amongst them might be shared in common; and they all joined in intreating the good old gentleman to spend the rest of his days with them, assuring him his will should be a law to them all. And now I believe it is impossible for the most lively imagination to form an idea of greater happiness than was enjoyed by this whole company. That very evening the clergyman before mentioned came to see them; and although he really liked Cynthia, yet had he so little selfishness in him, he heartily congratulated them all on their happiness; and the next morning was appointed, by the consent of all parties, for the performing the ceremony.




The next morning, as soon as Camilla rose, she went into Cynthia's chamber, where they mutually congratulated each other on the happiness they had now so near a prospect of enjoying for the rest of their lives (after all the scenes of misery they had gone through) in being for ever joined to the only men they could really like or esteem. Camilla with a smile related to her friend what pain she had suffered from an apprehension of David's former kindness for Cynthia; who, according to her usual obliging manner, replied that David, indeed, did her the honour of his esteem; and she believed the condition in which he first found her raised compassion enough in a heart like his to make him imagine he loved her. "But," continued she, "with joy I perceive that you, my Camilla, whom for the future I am to have the pleasure of calling sister, are the only person who could truly touch his heart." Camilla blushed, and felt at that moment (if possible) more tenderness for Cynthia than ever. But before she had time to make any answer, a message was brought from her father that he desired them both to walk into another apartment, where David, Valentine, and the clergyman waited for them. From thence they proceeded to the church, where the ceremony was performed. To attempt to describe David's and Valentine's raptures is utterly impossible; Camilla and Cynthia, without reluctance, gave their hands where their hearts were already united with so much sincerity.

The old gentleman wept for joy that all Livia's deceit and cunning, and his own extravagant passion for her, could not prevent his enjoying the excessive happiness of thus blessing his children, and having such a prospect of their prosperity. And the clergyman's real goodness made him partake of all their pleasures.

Perhaps it may be here expected I should give some description of the persons of my favourite characters; but as the writers of novels and romances have already exhausted all the beauties of nature to adorn their heroes and heroines, I shall leave it to my reader's imagination to form them just as they like best. It is their minds I have taken most pains to bring them acquainted with, and from that acquaintance it will be easy to judge what scheme of life was followed by this whole company.

David's travels were now at an end; and he thought himself overpaid, in Camilla's goodness, for all his troubles and disappointments. On the other side, her happiness was complete in having it in her power to give David pleasure; in seeing her brother, instead of the miserable condition he was once in, now in the possession of all he desired; in having her friend for her companion, and in her father's returning and growing fondness.

Valentine and Cynthia had not a wish beyond what they enjoyed; and the father had all the comfort his age would admit of, in the dutiful and affectionate behaviour of all his children towards him.

Every little incident in life was fumed into some delicate pleasure to the whole company, by each of them endeavouring to make everything contribute to the happiness of the others. The very infirmities which it is impossible for human nature to escape, such as pain, sickness, etc., were by their contrivance not only made supportable, but fully compensated in the fresh opportunities they gave each individual of testifying their tenderness and care for the whole. In short, it is impossible for the most lively imagination to form an idea more pleasing than what this little society enjoyed in the true proofs of each other's love; and, as strong a picture as this is of real happiness, it is in the power of every community to attain it, if every member of it would perform the part allotted him by nature or his station in life, with a sincere regard to the interest and pleasure of the whole. Let every man, instead of bursting with rage and envy at the advantages of nature or station another has over him, extend his views far enough to consider thet, if he acts his part well, he deserves as much applause and is as useful a member of society as any other man whatever; for in every machine the smallest parts conduce as much to the keeping it together, and to regulate its motions, as the greatest. That the stage is a picture of life has been observed by almost everybody, especially since Shakespeare's time; and nothing can make the metaphor more strong than the observing any theatrical performance spoiled by the great desire each performer shows of playing the top part. In the animal and vegetable world there would be full as much confusion as there is in human life, war not everything kept in its proper place—

Where order in variety we see.
And where, though all things differ, all agree.

The lowly hedge and humble shrub contribute to the varying, and consequently beautifying, the prospect, as well as the stately oak and lofty pine. Were all mankind contented to exert their own faculties for the common good, neither envying those who in any respect have a superiority over them, nor despising such as they think their inferiors, real happiness would be attainable, notwithstanding all that has been said on that subject; and the various humours and the different understandings with which human nature is supplied, would, instead of discord, produce such a harmony as would infallibly make the whole species happy.

If every man who is possessed of a greater share of wit than is common, instead of insulting and satirizing others, would make use of his talents for the advantage and pleasure of the society to which he happens more particularly to belong; and they, instead of hating him for his superior parts, would, in return for the entertainment he affords them, exert all the abilities nature has given them for his use in common with themselves; what happiness would mankind enjoy, and who could complain of being miserable ? It was this care, tenderness, and benevolence to each other which made David and his amiable company happy; who, quite contrary to the rest of the world, for every trifling frailty blamed themselves, whilst it was the business of all the rest to lessen instead of aggravating their faults. In short, it is this tenderness and benevolence which alone can give any real pleasure, and which I most sincerely wish to all my readers.


Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works. Frome, and London.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This posthumous work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright terms of posthumous works are 99 years or less since posthumous publication, rather than based on how many years after author's death.


    plays at quoils well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off candles ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild mare with the boys, and jumps upon joint-stools, and swears with a good grace, and wears his boot very smooth like unto the sign of the leg, and breeds no bait with telling discreet stories; and such other gambol faculties he hath, that's how a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admires him; for the prince himself is such another, the weight of an hair will turn the scale between their Avoirdupois."

  1. Whether these sentiments of Miss Betty's arose from her really having more constancy than her friend, or were more easy for her to express, as the temptation was not her own, is a secret; but I have heard from hints given of a third reason; which was, a desire of having the old rich man herself.
  2. That the reader may not have the trouble to turn to Shakespeare, to see what these strong ties of affection are which Falstaff speaks of, I have here set down the passage.
    "Dol.—Why doth the prince love Poins so, then?
    "Fal.—Because their legs are both of a bigness, and he