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if not elegantly, yet abundantly: Abrahams, on his part; kept his wine and his tongue going with inceffant gaiety and good-humour, and whilft he took every opportunity of drawing forth Ned's honest heart and natural manners to the best advantage, I was happy in discovering that they did not escape the intuition of Somerville, and that he made faster progress towards his good opinion, than if he had exhibited bettet breeding and less fincerity of character.

In the course of the evening the old gentleman told us he had determined upon taking his daughter and Constantia into the country with him, where he flattered himself Mrs. Goodison would recover her health and spirits sooner than in town, and at the same time gave us all irá turn a pressing invitation to his house, Abrahams and his wife excused themselves on the score of business ; but Ned, who had no such plea to make, nor any disposition to invent one, thankfully accepted the proposal.

The day succeeding, and some few others; were passed by Mrs. Goodison and Constantia at Mr. Somerville's in the necessary preparations and arrangements previous to their leaving London; during this time Ned's diffidence and their occupations did not admit of any interview, and 8


their departure was only announced to him by a note from the old gentleman, reminding him of his engagement: his spirits were by this time fo much lowered from their late elevation, that he even doubted if he fhould accept the invitation: love however took care to settle this point in his own favour, and Ned arrived at the place of his destination rather as a victim under the power of a hopeless paflion, than as a modern fine gentleman with the assuming airs of a conqueror. The charms of the beautiful Constantia, which had drawn her indolent admirer so much out of his character and so far from his home, now heightened by the happy reverse of her situation, and set off with all the aids of dress, dazzled him with their luftre; and though her change of for: tune and appearance was not calculated to dimin nish his paffion, it seemed to forbid his hopes : in sorrow, poverty and dependance she had in. spired him with the generous ambition of rescuing her from a situation so ill proportioned to her merits, and, though he had not actually made, he had very seriously meditated a proposal of marriage: He saw her now in a far different point of view, and comparing her with himself, her beauty, fortune and accomplishments with his own conscious deficiencies, he funk into despair.

This was not unobserved by Constantia, neither did she want the penetration to difcern the cause of it. When he had dragged on this wretched existence for fome days, he found the pain of it no longer supportable, and, ashamed of wearing a face of woe in the house of happiness, he took the hardy resolution of bidding farewell to Cons ftantia and his hopes for ever.

Whilst he was meditating upon this painful subject one evening during a solitary walk, hg was surprized to hear himself accosted by the very person, from whose chains he had determined to break loose; Constantia was unattended, the place was retired, the hour was folemn and her looks were soft and full of compassion. What cannot love effect? it inspired him with resolu-, tion to speak; it did more, it supplied him with eloquence to express his feelings.

Constantia in few words gave him to understand that the rightly guessed the situation of his mind;

this at once drew from him a confession of his love and his despair—of the former he fpoke little and with no display; he neither fought to recommend his passion, or excite her pity; of his own defects he spoke more at large, and dwelt much upon his want of education; he reproached himself for the habitual indolence of

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his disposition, and then, for the first time, rail. ing his eyes from the ground, he turned them on Constantia, and after a pause exclaimed, “ Thank « Heaven! you are restored to a condition; " which no longer subjects you to the possible « sacrifice I had once the audacity to hint at. a Conscious as I am of my own unworthiness « at all times to aspire to such a proposal, let me « do myself the justice to declare that my heart “ was open to you in the purest lense; that to “ have tendered an asylum to your beloved mo« ther, without ensnaring your heart by the ob« ligation, would fill have been the pride of my

life, and I as truly abhorred to exact, as you e could disdain to grant, an interested surrender « of your hand : and now, lovely Constantia, « when I am about to leave you in the bosom of “ prosperity, if I do not seem to part from you « with all that unmixt felicity, which your good « fortune ought to inspire; do not reproach me " for my unhappy weakness ; but recollect for “ once in your life, that your charms are irresisti« ble, and my soul only too fusceptible of their

power and too far plunged into despair, to « admit of any happiness hereafter."

At the conclusion of this speech Ned again fixt his eyes on the ground; after a short filence,

". I perceive,

" I perceive," replied Constantia, “ that my “ observations of late were rightly formed, and

you have been torturing your mind with re« Alections very flattering to me, but not very

just towards yourself: believe me, Sir, your « opinion is as much too exalted in one case, as cs it is too humble in the other. As for me,

hay“ ing as yet seen little of the world but its mia series, and being indebted to the benevolence « of human nature for supporting me under « them, I shall ever look to that principle as a

greater recommendation in the character of a " companion for life, than the most brilliant ta“ lents or most elegant accomplishments : in " the quiet walks of life I shall expect to find " my enjoyments.” Here Ned started from his reverie, a gleam of joy rushed upon his heart, by an involuntary motion he had grasped one of her hands; fhe perceived the tumult her words had created, and extricating her hand from hiso Permit me,” said she, “ to qualify my respect « for a benevolent disposition by remarkir.g to you,

that without activity there can be no virtue: I will explain myself more particularly 3 “ I will speak to you with the fincerity of a «friend You are blest with excellent natural « endowments, a good heart and a good underVol. V


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