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Neque lex eft justior ulla Quam necis artifices arte perire suâ.
E have heard so much of the tragical ef
fects, of jealousy, that I was not a little pleased with an account lately given me of ą gentleman, who has been happily cured of his jealousy without any of those melancholy cir. cumstances, which too frequently result from that fatal passion, even when it is groundless : As this gentleman's jealousy was of that descript tion, I am the rather tempted to relate the story (under proper caution as to names and persons) because there is a moral justice in its catastrophe, which is pleasing even in fiction, but more para ticularly so, when we meet it in the real occur. rences of life.
Sir Paul Testy in his forty-eighth year mar, ried the beautiful Louisa in her eighteenth; there are some parents, who seem to think a good settlement can atone for any disparity of age, and Louisa’s were of this fort. Sir Paul had a, mais den lifter several years younger than himself, who had kept his house for some time before his marriage with Louisa, and as this lady, was in
fact an admirable economist and also in possesfion of a very considerable independent fortune, the prudent baronet took his measures for her continuance in his family, where under pretence of affifting the inexperience of his young bride she still maintained her government in as absolute authority as ever : As Miss Rachel would have been better pleased with her brother, had he chosen a wife with less beauty and more fortune than Louisa brought into the family, it may well be doubted if she would have remained with him after his marriage, had she not been pretty far advanced in an affair of the heart with a certain young gentleman, whose attentions, though in fact directed to her purse, she was willing to believe had been honourably addressed to her perfon: This young gentleman, whom I shall call Lionel, was undoubtedly an object well deserving the regards of any lady in Miss Rachel's predicaments with a fine person and engaging address he had the recommendation of high birth, being a younger son of the Lord Mortimer, a venerable old peer, who refided at his family manfion within a few miles of Sir Paul, and lived upon the most friendly terms with him in a fre. quent intercourse of visits : Lionel had given this worthy father great uneafiness from his early
diffipation and extravagance; considerable sums had been paid for him to clear his debts, but the old lord's estate being a moderate one and entailed upon his eldest son, Lionel had been obliged to sell out of the army, and was now living at home upon the bounty of his father on a reduced and slender allowance,
It is not to be wondered at that Lionel, who felt his own embarassments too sensibly to nega lect any fair means of getting rid of them, should be willing to repair his shattered fortunes by an advantageous match; and though Miss Rachel was not exactly the lady he would have chosen, yet he very justly considered that his circuinstances did not entitle him to chuse for him.
he was also strongly urged to the measure by his father, to whose wishes he held himself bound to conform not only on the score of duty but of atonement likewise : At this time the af. fair was in so promising a train, that there is lite tle doubt but it would have been brought to a conclusion between the parties, had not Sir Paul's marriage taken place as it did; but as Miss Rachel for reasons, which are sufficiently explained, determined upon remaining with her brother, the intercourse between the lovers was renewed, as soon as Sir Peter had brought home
his bride, and was fufficiently settled to receive the visits of his friends and neighbours on the eccafron.
Now it was that the unhappy Rachel became a victim to the most tormenting of all human paffions: her fifter-in-law had a thousand charms; and she foon discovered, or fancied fhe difcovered, that Lionel's attentions were directed towards a fairer object than herself: She had now the Atrongest of all motives for keeping a watchful eye' upon Louisa's behaviour, and it is the property of jealousy to magnify and discolour every thing it look's upon ; for some time howa ever she kept herself under prudent restraint ; à hint now and then, cautiously introduced in the way of advice, was all she ventured upon; but these hints were so little attended to by Louisa, whose innocent gayety lent no ear to futh' remonftrances, that they were occasionally rea peated in a graver tone ; as these grew more and more peevish, Louisa began to take a little mira chievous pleasure in teazing; and was 'piqued in to a behaviour, which probably she would never have indulged herself in towards Lionel, had not Rachel's jealoufy provoked her tb it'; ftill it was innocent, but so far imprudent, as it gave à handle to: Rachel's malices who now began to
fow the seeds of discontent in her brother's irri table bosom.
In one of those sparring dialogues, which now frequently passed between the fifters, Ra. chel, after defcanting upon the old topic with some degree of asperity, concluded her lecture with many professions of zeal for Louisa's happiness, and observed to her as an apology for the freedom of her advice, that she had a right to fome little experience of the world more than had yet fallen to the other's lot: To which Louisa replied with some tartness66 True! for
have lived more years in it than I have,”. “ A few perhaps,” answered Rachel." As « few, or as many as you chuse to acknow“ ledge,” added Louisa : “ It is one amongst a
variety of advantages over me, which you are 6 too generous to boast of, and I too humble to “ repine at.”—“ Be that as it may,” said the elder damsel, " you will give me leave to observe • that you have a double call upon you for dif Acretion; you are a married woman.”
“ Perhaps that very circumstance may be a proof of my indiscretion.”
How so, madam! I may venture to say my brother Sir Paul was no unseafonable « mateh for your ladyship; at least I can wit