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partce with a laugh, in which he was himself the only performer.-It is high time now, says the at. torney, directing his discourse to me, to make you acquaioted with the business we are upon, and how we came to fall upon this topic of beauty. Your friend Mr. Drowsy does not like the trouble of talking, and therefore with his leave I shall open the case to you, as I know he wishes to take your opinion upon it.-Here the attorney seeming to pause for his cue, Drowsy nodded his head and bade him go on. We are in consultation, rejoined he, upon a matter of no less moment than the choice of a wife for the gentleman in that easy chair.-And if he is easy in it, demanded I, what need he wish for more ?-Alackaday! he has no heir, and tilk that event takes place, he is only tenant for life subject to impeachment of waste ; he cannot be called master of his own estate ; only think of that, Sir. That was for him to do, I replied ; how does Mr. Drowsy himself think of it? I don't think much about it, answered Ned. And how stapds your mind towards matrimony?-No answer.-There's trouble in it, added I. There is so, replied he with a sigh ; but Driver says I want an heir. There's trouble in that too, quoth I; have you any parti. cular lady in your eye? That is the very point we are now upon, cried Mr. Sparkle senior; there are three lots up for Mr. Drowsy or his friends to chuse from, and I only wait his signal for knocking down the lot that he likes best. This I could not per: fectly understand, in the terms of art which Mr. Sparkle made use of, and therefore desired he would express himself in plain language. My father means to say, cries Billy, there are three girls want husbands, and but one man that wishes to be married. · Hold your tongue, puppy, said old Sparkle, and proceeded. You shall know, Sir, that to accommodate Mr. Drowsy in the article of a wife, and save him the trouble of looking out for himself, we some time ago put an advertisement in the papers ; I believe I have a copy of it about me : aye, here it is!
"WANTED A young, healthy, unmarried woman, of a dis. creet character, as wife to a gentleman of fortune, who loves his case and does not care to take upon himself the trouble of courtship; she must be of a placid domestic turn, and not one that likes to hear herself talk. Any qualified person, whom this may suit, by applying to Mr. Sparklc, auctioneer, may be informed of particulars. A short trial will be expected.
N. B. Maids of Honour need not apply, as none such will be treated with.
I told Mr. Sparkle I thought his advertisement a very good one, and properly guarded, and I wished to know the result of it; he said that very many applicants had presented themselves, but for want of full credentials he had dismissed all but three, whom I will again describe, added he, not only for your information, but in hopes Mr. Drowsy will give some attention to the catalogue, which I am sorry to say has not yet been the case. "
He then drew a paper of minutes from his pocketbook and read as follows
6 Catherine Cumming, spinster, aged twenty-five, lodges at Gravesend in the house of Mr. Dutter, a reputable slopseller of that place, can have an un. deniable character from two gentlemen of credit, now absent, but soon expected in the next arrivals from China : her fortune, which she ingenuously owns is not capital, is for the present invested in certain commodities, which she has put into the hands of the gentlemen above-mentioned, and for
which she expects profitable returns on their arrival. This young lady appeared with a florid blooming complexion, finc long ringlets of dark hair in the fashionable dishevel, eyes uncommonly sparkling, is tall of stature,straight and in good case. She wore a locket of plaited hair slung in a gold chain round her neck, and was remarkably neat and elegant about the feet and ancles: is impatient for a speedy answer, as she has thoughts of going out in the next ships to India.''
Let her go! cried Ned, I'll have nothing to say to Kitty Cumming.-I'll bet a wager she is one of us, exclaimed the city beau, for which his father gave him a look of rebuke, and proceeded to the next.'
6 Agnes de Crapeau, daughter of a French pro. testant clergyman in the isle of Jersey, a comely young woman, but of a pensive air and downcast look ; lived as a dependant upon a certain rich trader's wife, with whom her situation was very unpleasant; flattered herself she was well practised in submission and obedience, should conform to any humours which the advertiser might have, and should he do her the honour to accept her as his wife, she would do her possible to please him with all humble duty, gratitude, and devotion,
Ned Drowsy now turned himself in his chair, and with a sigh whispered me in the ear, poor thing! I pity her, but she won't do: go on to the last.
The lady I am next to describe, said Sparkle, is one of whom I can only speak by report, for as yet I have not set eyes on her person, nor is she ac. quainted with a syllable of these proceedings, being represented to me as a young woman whose deli. cacy would not submit to be the candidate of an advertisement. The account I have had of her is from a friend, who, though a man of a particular way of thinking, is a very honest honourable person, and one whose word will pass for thousands : he called at my office one day, when this advertisement was lying on my desk, and casting his eye upon the paper, asked me, if that silly jest was of my inventing? I assured him it was no jest, but a serious advertisement ; that the party was a man of property and honour, a gentleman by birth and principle, and one every way qualified to make the married state happy. Hath he lost his understanding, said my friend, that he takes this method of convening all the prostitutes about the town, or doth he consult his ease so much, as not to trouble himself whether his wife be a modest woman or not? Humph! cried Ned, what signifies what he said ? go on with your story. To make short of it then, resumed Sparkle, my friend grew serious upon the matter, and after a short considering time addressed himself to me as follows: If I were satisfied your principal is a man, as you describe him, qualified by temper and disposition to make an amiable and vir. tuous girl happy, I would say something to you on the subject; but as he chuses to be concealed, and as I cannot think of blindly sacrificing my fair charge to any man, whom she does not know and approve, there is an end of the matter. And why so ? exclaimed Ned, with more energy than I had ever observed in him ; I should be glad to see the gentleman and lady both : I should be glad to see them.
At this instant a servant entered the room, and announced the arrival of a stranger, who wished to speak with the elder Mr. Sparkle.
My friend Ned Drowsy is a man, who hath indeed neglected nature's gifts, but not abused them: he is as void of vicc, as he is of industry, his tem per is serene, and his manners harmless and inoffensive; he is avaricious of nothing but of his ease, and certainly possesses benevolence, though too indolent to put it into action : he is as sparing of his teeth as he is of his tongue, and whether it be that he is naturally temperate, or that eating and drinking are too troublesome, so it is that he is very abstemious in both particulars, and having received the bles. sings of a good constitution and a comely person from the hand of Providence, he has not squandered his talent, though he has not put it out to use.
Accordingly when I perceived him interested in the manner I have related upon Mr. Sparkle's dis. course, and heard him give orders to his servant to shew the gentleman into the room, which he did, in a quicker and more spirited tone than is usual with him, I began to think that nature was about to struggle for her privileges, and suspecting that th's stranger might perhaps have some connection with Sparkle's incognita, I grew impatient for his appearance.
After a while the servant returned, and intro. duced a little swarthy old man with short grey hair and whimsically dressed ; having on a dark brown coat with a tarnished gold edging, black figured velvet waistcoat, and breeches of scarlet cloth with long gold knee-bands, dangling down a pair of black