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No CXXVII. T Am under promise to resume the history of I my friend Ned Drowly, from which I was obliged to break off in my last volume, No 122. The events, which have since occurred, shall now be related.
The reader will perhaps recollect that the worthy Hebrew, who affumes the name of Abrahams, had just concluded the narrative of his adventures, and that the next morning was appointed for a conciliatory interview between Mrs. Goodison 'and her father. Ned, whose natural indolence had now began to give place ta the most active of all paffions, had been so much agitated by the events of the day, that we had no sooner parted from honest Abrahams, than he began to comment upon the lucky incident of our rencontre with the old gentleman at the comedy; he seemed strongly inclined to deal with destiny for some certain impulses, which he remembered to have felt, when he was so earnest to go to the play; and declared with much gravity, that he went thither fully prepossessed some good fortune would turn up: “ Well, to fo be sure,'' said he, “I ought to rejoice in the
RC happy turn affairs have now taken, and I do
rejoice; but it would have given me infinite 8C delight to have fulfilled the plan I had in de, « fign for Mrs. Goodison's accommodation; fe she will now want no assistance from me; my « little cottage will never have the honour of re« ceiving her; all those schemes are at an end; Şc Constantia too will be a great fortune, she « will have higher views in life, and think no $ more of me; or, if she did, it is not to be $ supposed her grandfather, who so bitterly reşi fented his daughter's match, will suffer her to « fall into the same offence.” I must confess I thought so entirely with my friend Ned in the concluding part of these remarks, that I could only advise him to wait the event of time, and recommend himself in the mean while as well as he could to Mr. Somerville, the grandfather of Constantia. Art and education, it is true, had not contributed much to Ned's accomplishments, but nature had done great things in his favour; to a person admirably, though not finically, formed, she had given a most interesting fet of features, with such a striking character of benevolence and open honesty, that he might be said to carry his heart in his countenance: though there was a kind of laffitude in his deportment,
the effect of habits long indulged, yet his fenfibia bility was ever ready to start forth upon the first call, and on those occasions no one would have regretted that he had not been trained in the school of the graces; there was something then displayed, which they cannot teach, and only nature in her happiest moments can bestow.
The next morning produced a letter from honeft Abrahams, full of joy for the happy reconciliation now established, and inviting us to celebrate the day with Mrs. Somerville and the ladies at his house. This was an anxious crisis for my friend Ned; and I perceived his mind in such a state of agitation, that I thought fit to stay with him for the rest of the forenoon: he began to form a variety of conjectures as to the reception he was likely to meet from the old gentleman, with no less a variety of plans for his own behaviour, and even of speeches with which he was to usher in his first addresses ; sometimes he sunk into melancholy and despair, at other times he would snatch a gleam of hope, and talk himself into transports; he was now, for the first time in his life, studiously contriving how to set off his person to the best advantage; his hair was fashionably drest, and a handsome new suit was tried on, during which he surveyed himself in the
glass glass with some attention, and, as I thought, not entirely without a fecret satisfaction, which, in. deed, I have seen other gentlemen bestow upon their persons in a much greater degree, with much less reason for their excuse. · When he was compleatly equipt, and the time approached for our going, “ Alas !” he cried, “what does all this signify? I am but a « clown in better clothes. Why was my fa«ther fo neglectful of my education, or rather «. why was I so negligent to avail myself of the « little he allowed me? What would I not give « to redeem the time I have thrown away! But « 'tis in vain : I have neither wit to recommend “ myself, nor address to disguise my want of it; “ I have nothing to plead in my favour, but « common honour and honesty; and what cares « that old hard-hearted fellow for qualities, « which could not reconcile him to his own « son-in-law? he will certainly look upon me « with contempt. As for Constantia, gratitude, “ perhaps, might in time have disposed her * heart towards me, and my zealous services «. might have induced her mother to overlook “ my deficiencies, but there is an end of that «'only chance I had for happiness, and I am a Le fool to thrust myself into a fociety, where I
« am fute to heap fresh fuel on my passion, and « fresh misfortunes on my head.” : With these impressions, which I could only footh but not dispel, Ned proceeded to the place of meeting with an aching heart and dejected countenance. We found the whole party afsembled to receive us, and though my friend's embarrassment disabled him from uttering any one of the ready-made speeches he had digested for the purpose, yet I saw nothing in Mr. Somerville's countenance or address, that could augur otherwise than well for honeft Ned; Mrs. Goodison was as gracious as possible, and Conftantia’s smile was benignity itself, Honest Abrahams, who has all the hospitality, as well as virtues of his forefathers the patriarchs, received us with open arms, and a face in whicha wide-mouthed joy grinned most delectably. It was with pleasure I observed Mr. Somerville's grateful attentions towards him and his good dame; they had nothing of oftentation or artis fice in them, but seemed the genuine effusions of his heart; they convinced me he was not a man innately morose, and that the resentment, so long fostered in his bofom, was effectually extirpated. Mrs. Abrahams, in her province, had exerted herself to very good purpose, and spread her board,