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he, therefore, retorted the neglect without expoftulation: and thus all intercourse between the families was at an end.
Eugenio in the mean time was inflexible in his purpose ;
and Amelia, in her next interview with Ventosus, acquainted him that she would see him no more. Ventosus again appealed to her father: but the old gentleman was steady in his principles, notwithstanding his resentment; and told him, that he had exerted all the authority which God and nature had given him in his favour; and that, however provoked, he would never prostitute his child, by compelling her to marry a per-. son who was not the object of her choice.
Ventosus, who was extremely mortified at this difappointment, was very inquisitive about Eugenio, for whom he still supposed he had been rejected: he soon learned his situation and circumstances, and his long intimacy with Amelia ; be reflected upon the confusion which both had expreffed, in the accidental interview at which he was present; and was willing to believe, that his rival, however contemptible, had been too fuccessful to be fupplanted with honour by a husband : this, however, if he did not believe, he was very diligent to propagate; and to remove the disgrace of a refufal, hinted that for this reason he had abruptly difcontinued his addresses, and congratulated himself upon his escape.
It happened that about fix weeks ago, Ventofus, as he was walking in the Mall, with a younger officer of distinction, met Amelia in company of several ladies and a gentleman. He thought fit to bow to Amelia with a fupercilious respect, which had greatly the air of an insult: of this compliment Amelia, though she looked 16
him in the face, took no notice : by this calm disdain he was at once disappointed and confounded; he was ftung by an effort of his own malignity, and his breast swelled with passion which he could not vent. In this agitation of mind he hastily turned back, and determined, for whatever reason, to follow her. After he had advanced about fifty paces, he saw Eugenio coming forward, who the moment he perceived Amelia, turned into another walk. This was observed by Ventosus, whose contempt and indignation had now another object, upon which they might without violence to the laws of honour be gratified: he communicated his purpole to his companion, and hastily followed Eugenio. When they had overtaken him, they burst into a horselaugh, and pushed so rudely by him, that he could scarce recover his step: they did not, however, go on: but stopping fuddenly, turned about as if to apologize for the accident, and affected great surprise at discover. ing to whom it happened. Ventosus bowed very low, and with much contemptuous ceremony begged his pardon ; telling him at the same time, that there was a lady in the next walk who would be very glad of his company. To this infult Eugenio answered, “ That “ he was not willing to suppose that an affront was in" tended, and that if the lady he meant was a woman “ of honour, she ought always to be mentioned with " respect.” Ventosus replied, “ That whether the
lady he meant was a woman of honour, he would not • determine ; but he believed she had been very, very " kind ; and was pleased to see that her favours were not “ forgotten, though they were no longer accepted." Eugenio was not now master of his temper, but turning suddenly upon Ventosus, ftruck him with such violence
that he fell at his feet: he rose, however, in an inftant, and laid his hand upon his sword, but was prevented from drawing it by his companion ; and the crowd beginning to gather about them, they parted with mutual expressions of contempt and rage.
In the morning the officer who had been in company with Ventosus at the quarrel, delivered a challenge to Eugenio, which he answered by the following billet.
“ Your behaviour last night has convinced me that
you are a scoundrel ; and your letter this morning " that you are a fool. - If I should accept your ehal
lenge, I fhould myself be both. I owe a duty to " God and to my country, which I deem it infamous
to violate ; and I am intrusted with a life, which I “ think cannot without folly be staked against yours. “ I believe you have ruined, but you cannot degrade
You may poslibly, while you fneer over this " letter, secretly exult in your own safety ; but remem“ber, that to prevent assassination I have a sword, and
to chastise insolence a cane."
With this letter, the captain returned to Ventosus, who read it with all the extravagancies of rage and disdain : the captain, however, endeavoured to foothe and encourage him; he represented Eugenio as a poltroon and a beggar, whom he ought no otherwise to punish than by removing him from the rank into which he had intruded; and this, he said, would be very easily accomplished. Ventosus at length acquiefced in the sentiments of his friend ; and it was soon industriously
reported, that Eugenio had struck a person of high rank, and refused him the satisfaction of a gentleman which he had condescended to ask. For not accepting a challenge, Eugenio could not be legally punished, because it was made his duty as a soldier by the articles of war; but it drew upon him the contempt of his fu. perior officers, and made them very solicitous to find some pretence to dismiss him. The friends of Ventofus immediately intimated, that the act of violence to which Eugenio had been provoked, was committed within the verge of the court, and was, therefore, a sufficient cause to break him; as for that offence he was liable to be punished with the loss of his hand, by a law which though difused was still in force. This expedient was eagerly adopted, and Eugenio was accordingly deprived of his commiffion.
No. LXVI. Saturday, June 23. 1753.
Nolo virum, facili redimit qui sanguine famam :
Not him I prize who poorly gains
An unpolluted wreath from life. He had concealed his quarrel with Ventolus from his father, who was then at the family-feat about twenty miles from London, because he was not willing to acquaint him with the cause : but the effect was such as could not be hidden; and it was now become necessary that he should anticipate the report of others. He, therefore, set out immediately for the country ; but his father about the same time arrived in London: some imperfect account had been sent him of the ceedings against Eugenio; and though he concluded from his filence that he had been guilty of some indifcretion, yet he did not suspect an imputation of cowardice; and hoped by his interest to support him against private resentment. When he found that he had missed Eugenio in some of the avenues to town, he went immediately to the gentleman who had procured his commission, from whom he learned all the circum