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« standing; you have nothing to do but to « shake off an indolent habit, and, having youth « at your command, to employ the one and cul
66 tivate the other : the means of doing this it - " would be presumption in me to prescribe, but « as my grandfather is a man well acquainted « with the world and fully qualified to give 6 advice, I should earnestly recommend to you « not to take a hasty departure before you have cs consulted him, and I may venture to promise “ you will never repent of any confidence you 6 may repose in his friendship and discretion.”
Here Constantia put an end to the conference and turned towards the house; Ned stood fixt in deep reflection, his mind sometimes brightening with hope, sometimes relapfing into despair : his final determination, however, was to obey Constantia's advice and seek an interview with Mr. Somerville.
THE next morning, as soon as Ned and Mr. - Somerville met, the old gentleman took him into his library, and when he was seated,
« Sir," said he, “I shall save you some embar“ rassment if I begin our conference by telling
you that I am well apprised of your sentiments " towards my Constantia ; I shall make the same “ haste to put you out of suspense by assuring
you that I am not unfriendly to your wilhes.”
This was an opening of such unexpected joy to Ned, that his spirits had nearly funk under the surprize; he stared wildly without power of utterance, scarce venturing to credit what he had heard ; the blood rushed into his cheeks, and Somerville, seeing his disorder, proceeded : " When I have said this on my own part, un“ derstand, young gentleman, that I only engage “ not to obstruct your success, I do not, nay I
cannot, undertake to ensure it: that must de“pend upon Constantia ; permit me to add, it " must depend upon yourself.” Here Ned, unable to suppress his transports, eagerly demanded what there could be in his power to do, that . might advance him in the good opinion and esteem of Constantia ; such was his gratitude to the old gentleman for his kindness, that he could scarce refrain from throwing himself at his feet, and he implored him instantly to point out the happy means, which he would implicitly embrace, were they every so difficult, ever so dangerous.
u There will be neither hardship nor hazard,” replied Mr. Somerville, “ in what I shall advise. “ Great things may be accomplished in a short “ time, where the disposition is good and the " understanding apt: though your father neg“ lected your education, it is no reason you should u neglect yourself; you must shake off your indo« lcnce; and as the first step necessary towards
your future comfort is to put yourself at ease « in point of fortune, you must make yourself “ master of your own estate ; that I suspcet can “ only be done by extricating your affairs from " the hands they are in; but as this is a business, " that will require the affistance of an honest u and able agent, I shall recommend to you my
own lawyer, on whose integrity you may se« curcly rely; he will soon reduce your affairs " to such a system of regularity, that you will « find it an eafy business, and when you discover “ how many sources of future happiness it opens u to you, you will pursue it as an employment u of no less pleasure than advantage.”
To this good advice Ned promised the fullest and most unreserved obedience; Mr. Somerville resumed his subject and proceeded : “ When s of pleasure: this will consist in furnishing your
you have thus laid the foundation in conomy, what remains to be done will be a talk
u of forth
mind and enlarging your experience, in " short, Sir, rubbing off the ruft of indolence " and the prejudices of a narrow education :
now for this important undertaking I have a “ friend in my eye, whose understanding, tem
per, morals and manners qualify him to ren“ der you most essential services : with this amiuable and instructive companion I should in “ the first place recommend you to take a « tour through the most interesting parts of
your own country, and hereafter, as occasion “ shall serve, you may, or you may not, cxtend
your travels into other countries : this is the “ best counsel I have to give you, and I tender * it with all poffible good wishes for your 6 success."
A plan, proposed with so much.cordiality and holding forth such a reward for the accomplishment of its conditions, could not fail to be embraced with ardour by the late despairing lover of Constantia. The worthy lawyer was prepared for the undertaking, and Ned was all impatience to convince Mr. Șomerville, that indolence was no longer his ruling defect. He gave instant orders for his journey, and then Aew to Conftantia, at whose feet he poured
forth the humble, yet ardent, acknowledgments of a heart overflowing with gratitude and love : it seemed as if love's arrow, like Ithuriel's spear, possessed the magic powers of transformation with a touch : there was a spirit in his eyes, an energy in his motions, an illumination over his whole person, that gave his form and features a new caft: Constantia saw the sudden transformation with surprize, and as it evinced the fiexibility of his nature and the influence of her own charms, she saw it also with delight: “So soon!” was her only reply, when he announced his immediate departure, but those words were uttered with such a cadence and accompanied by such a look, as to the eye and ear of love conveyed more meaning than volumes would contain, unaided by such expresfion_“Yes, adorable Constantia,” he exclaimed, “ I am now setting forth to give the earliest « proof in my power of a ready and alert obedi"ence to the dictates of my best adviser ; these “ few moments, which your condescension in« dulges me with, are the only moments I shall. « not rigidly devote to the immediate duties of “ my task: infpired with the hope of returning « less unworthy of your attention, I chearfully “ submit to banish myself from your fight for a “ time, content to cherish in my heart the lovely