Imágenes de página
PDF

— „N6, Sir," replied fhe, „1 have been deceived, bafely deceived, elfe nothing could have ever made me unjuft to my promife. You Know my friendfhip, you have long Known it; but forget what "I have done, and as von 6nce h.'id my warmeft vows of confiancy, you Chall now have them repeated; and be affiired that if your Arabella cannot be yours, X-be Chall n^ver be another's." — ,,'And no other's you fhafj be," cried Sir William, ,,if "I have any Influence with your father."

This hint was fufficient for my fon Mofes, who immediately flew to the Inn where the old gentleman was, to inform him of everv clrcnmftance that had happened. But in the mean time the 'Squire perceiving that he was Mi every fide und6ne, and finding that no hopes were left from flattery or diflimulatiori. concluded that his wifeft way would bo to turn and face his purfuers. Tims laying' afide all fhame, he appeared the open hardy villain. „I Find then," cried he, „that "I ain to expect no juftice here; but "I am refolved it fhall be done me." „You fhall know, Sir,' turning to Sir William, am no lunger a poor dependant upon your favours. VI fcorn them. ^Nothing can Keep MIfs Wllmol's fortune from rrie, which, 'I thank her father's affidirity, Is pretty large. The articles, and a bond for her fortune, are figned, and fafe in mv' poffeffion. 'It was her fortune, n6t her Ton, that indtfeed me| to wlfh for this match.; and. poffeffed 6f the one, let who will take the other."

This was an alarming blow: Sir William was fenfible of the juftice of his claims, fur he had been inftrumentai In drawing tip the mariage articles himfelf. Mifs Wilmot therefore icrceiving that her fortune wis irretrievably 6ft, turning to my Ton, fhe ifked if the lofs jf fortune could leffen her value to him. ,Tb6ugh fortune," fiid fhe, „Is /6ut 6f m$r )uwer, it leaft 1 have my hand to give.''

,,'And that, Madam," cried her real lover, ,-wis indeed all that you ever hid to give; at teaft all that 'I ever thought worth the acceptance 'And 'I now proteft, my Arabella, b^r all thit's hippy, your want of fortune this moment encreafes my pleafure, as it ferves to convince ray fweet girl 6f my fincerity."

M'r. Wilmot n6w entering, he feemed not a little plcafed it the dinger his daughter hid juft efcaped, ind readily confented to a diffulution of the match. But finding thit her fortune, which was fecured to M'r. Th6rnhill by bond, would not be given tip, nothing could exceed his difappointment. He now fiw tliit his money miift, all go to enrich one who hid no fortune of his own. He could bear his being a rifcal, but to want in equivalent to his daughter's fortune was wormwood. He fit therefore for time minutes employed in the rnoft mortifying fpeculitions, till Sir William attempted to leffen his anxiety. — „1 muft confefs, Sir," cried he, „thit your prefent tlifappointment does not entirely difpleafe inc. Your immoderate piffion for wealth is now juitly piinifhed. But though the young lady cannot be rich, fhe his ftill i eompentence fufFicient to give content. Here you fee in honeft young foldier, who is willing to tike her without fortune; they have 16ug loved each other, ind for the friendfhip 1 bear his filher, my intereft fhil^ndt be wanting in bis promo

tkm. Leave then that ambition which, diffap"points yon , and for once admit that happine£s which courts your acceptance."

„Sir William," replied the old gentleman, „be affured 1 never yet forced her inclinations, Bor will 'I now. 'If fhe ftill continues to love this young gentleman, let her have him with ill ttif heart. There is ftill, thank heaver, fonie fortune left, and your promife will miks it fomething more. "Only let old friend

here (meaning me) give me a promife of fettling fix thoufand pounds upon my girl, if ever he fhould come to his f6rtune, and 'I am ready this night to be the firft to join them together."

'As it now remained with me to make tie young couple happy, 'I readily gave a. promife of making, the1 fettlernent he required, which, to one who had ftich little expectations as '/, Was ri6 great favour. We had now therefore the fatisfaction 6f feeing them fly into each other's arms in a tranfport. „'After all my misfortunes," cried mf fon George, „to be thus rewarded! Sure this is more than 'I could ever have prefttmed to hope for. T6 be poffeffed of all that's good, and after, filch an interval of pain! My warmeft wifhes could never rife fo high!" — i,Yes, my George," returned his lovely bride, „n6w let the wretch take my fortune, fince you are happy without fo am 1. "0 what an exchange have "I made from the bafeft of men to the deareft beft ! —- Let him enjo^r our fortune, 'I now can be happy even in indigence." — „'And %1 promife you," cried the 'Squire, with a malicious grin,' „that 'I fhall be very happy with what you defpife." — „H6ld, hold, Sir," cried Jenkitifon,

„there

,there are two words to that bargain. 'As or that lady's fortune, Sir, you fhall never ouch a fi'ngle ftiver of it." „Pray your h6nour," jontlnued he to Sir William, „can the 'Squire! lave this lady's fortune If he be married to mother?" — „H6w can you make fuch a hnple demand?" replied the Baronet, „undoubedly he cannot." — „'I am forry for that," iried Jenkinfon; ,,for as this gentleman and I hae been old fellow fporters, 'I have a riendfhip for him. But *l muft declare, well is 1 16ve him, thit his contract Is not worth 1 tobacco ftopper, f6r he Is married already." — „You lie, like a rafcal," returned he 'Squire, who feemed rouzed b$ this Inult; „'I never was legally married to any voman." — „Indeed, begging your honour's >ardon," repTied the other, „yoii were; and lI aope you will fhow a" proper return 6f friendr lip to your own boneft Jenkinfon, who brings rou a wife, knd If the company reftrains their :uri6fity a few minutes, they fhall fee her." — >o faying he went off with his ufual celerity, ind left lis ill unable to form any probable :onjecture as to his defign. — ,,'Ay let him ;6," cried the 'Squire; „ whatever elfe 'I may lave done 'I defy him there. 'I km too old low to be frightened with fqulbs."

„'I km furprifed," faid the Baronet, „what ae fellow can intend bf this. Some low piece f husttor, 1 fuppofe!" — „Pcrhaps, Sir," ;plied 'I, „he may have a more ferious leaning. For when we reflect 6n the various :hemes this gentleman has laid to feduce Inocence, perhaps fome 6ne more artful than ie reftt has been found able to deceive him. •"lien we confider what numbers he his ruined, how many parents now feel with anguith the Infamy and the contamination which hi has br6ught Into their families, It would not furprife me If fome one of them. — Amazement! do I fee mf loft daughter! D6 'I hold her! (It Is, It Is nry life, my happinefs. 1 thought thee 16ft, my Olivia; yet full 1 hold thee — and ft 111 thou fhalt live to blefs me." The warmeft trinfports 6f the f6ndeft lover were .not greater than mine when I law bun introduce xnf child, and held my- daughter in mf arms, whofe filence only fpoke hex raptures. ,,'And art thou returned to me, darling.4' „cried "I, tA be my c6mfort In age!" — „That The Is," cued Jenkinfon,' ,,and make much 6f her, f6r fhe Is your 6wn honourable child, and as honeft a woman as any a the whole room, let the 6ther be who fhe wE 'And as for you 'Squire, as fure as you ftini there, this young lady Is your lawful wedded wife. 'And to convince you that 'I fpeak L nothing but truth, here Is the licence by' which you were married together." — So faing, hi put the licence into the Baronet's hands, who read it, and found It perfect In every refpeA „'And now, gentleman," continued he, „'I find "you are furpnfed at all this; but a few words will explain the difficulty. That there 'Squire of renown, for whom "I have a great friendfhip, but that's between ourfelves, has 6tten employed me In doing odd little things fir him. Among the reft, he commlfiioned me to procure him a falfe licence and a falfe prieft; in order to deceive this young lady. But as 'I was very much his friend, what did 'I do but went and g6t a true licence and a true prieft, arid, married them both 4s £aft is tfec

« AnteriorContinuar »