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« rigidly exact, and all these you possess ; there « are indeed other, many other, incidental ar“ ticles, which you may, or you may not, superadd " to the account; but I am contented to strike < hands with you on the spot, though you shall “ never have set foot upon foreign foil.What “ says iny daughter to this ?

" When I cast my eyes upon the countenance .66 of the most benevolent of women, and saw it « turned expressively upon me, smiling through « tears, joy palpitated at my heart, whilst she de« livered herself as follows:- I were of all beings « most insensible, could I withhold my testimony “ to this gentleman's merits, or my entire assent 6 to his alliance with my daughter ; but as I have « ever reposed perfect confidence in her, and, as 6 far as I was enabled, always consulted her “ wishes, I should be glad this question might be « fairly and candidly referred to her unbiassed S: judgment for decision : she is very young; our “ friend here is neither old in years nor expe« rience; both parties have time before them; “ should she be willing to hold off from the " married state for a while, should the forefee 6c advantages ir. our friend's undertaking a 4 second tour with the same instructive asso« ciate, (whether into foreign countries or nearer “ home) let her be the judge of what is most

“ likely likely to conduce to her future happiness in a “ husband, and as I am persuaded our friend « here will practise no unfair measures for biassing « her judgment, let him consult Conftantia's « wilhes on the case, and as she determines fo 6 let him act, and fo let us agree.

“ With these instructions, which Mr Somer« ville seconded, I hastened to Conftantia, and « without hesitation or disguise related to her “ what had passed and requested her decision. « Judge (if it be possible to judge) of my tran« sports, when that ingenuous, that angelic, « creature gave me a reply, that left no room to « doubt that I was blest in the posseffion of her « heart, and that she could not endure a second “ feparation.

“I flew to Mr. Somerville; I fell at the feet o of Mrs. Goodison ; I interceded, implored " and was accepted. Nothing ever equalled the “ generosity of their behaviour. I am now to “ change my name to Somerville, at that wor“ thy gentleman's express desire, and measures “ are already in train® for that purpose. The “ fanie abilities, which I am indebted to for the

good condition of my affairs, are employed in “ perfecting the marriage settlement, and the “ period now between me and happiness would

« by


" by any other person but myself be 'termed a

very short one,

“ Thus am I on the very eve of being blest « with the loveliest, the divinest object upon “ earth, and thus have I by the good counsel of

my friends (in which number I shall ever rec“ kon you) broke the shackles of that unmanly « indolence, under which I was sinking apace « into irretrievable languor and insignificance. « Henceforward I entreat you to regard me as a new man, and believe that with


name I “ have put off my infirmity. We are in daily “ expectation of our friendly Abrahams, who is

an Israelite indeed: your company would u round our circle and complete the happiness

6 of

" Your ever affc&tionate




Facilitas Animi ad partem ftultitiæ rapit.


TO THE OBSERVER. Sir, THE antient family of the Saplings, whereof

1 your humble servant is, the unworthy representative, has been for many generations distinguished for a certain pliability of temper, which with some people paffes for good, humour, and by others is called weakness; but however the world may differ in describing it, there seems a general agreement in the manner of making use of it.

Our family estate, though far from contemptible, is considerably reduced from its antient fpendor, not only by an unlucky tumble that my 'grandfather Sir Paul got in the famous Missisippi fcheme, but also by various losses, bad debts and incautious fecurities, which have fallen heavy upon the purses of my predecessors at different times; but as every man inust pay for his good character, I dare say they did not repent of their purchase, and for my part it is a reflection that never gives me any disturbance. This aforesaid grandfather of mine was supposed to have furnished Congreve with the hint for his character of Sir Paul Pliant, at least it hath been so whispered to me very frequently by my aunt Jemima, who was a great collector of family anecdotes, and, to speak the truth, I am not totally without suspicion, that a certain ingenious author, lately deceased, had an eye towards my

insignificant self in the dramatic pourtrait of his . Good-natured Man.

Though I scorn the notion of setting myself off to the public and you by panegyrics of my own penning, (as the manner of some is) yet I may truly fay without boasting, that I had the character at school of being the very best fag that ever came into it; and this I believe every gentleman, who was my contemporary at Weftminster, will do me the justice to acknowledge: it was a reputation I confess that I did not earn for nothing, for whilft I worked the clothes off my back and the skin off my bones in scouting upon every body's errands, I was pummeled to ä mummy by the boys, Jewed up by the ushers, flead alive by the masters and reported for an incorrigible dunce at my book; a report, which under correction I must think had some degree


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