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doing all this while ? having so said, he sprung nimbly out of his chair, took a hasty stride or two across the room, rubbing his forehead as he walked, threw himself into an empty chair, which stood next to that in which Mr. Abrahams was sitting, and begged him once more to proceed with his narrative.
With the help of my apothecary, who lived in the very house, at the door of which I had conversed with Constantia, I removed the invalid and her daughter that very evening in a hackney-coach to my own house, which was not far distant; and by the same medical assistance and my wife's care, who is an excellent nurse, I had the satisfaction to see the poor woman regain her health and strength very speedily, for in fact her weakness had been more the effect of misery and want of diet, than any real disease: as for Constantia, her looks kept pace with her mother's recovery, and I must say without flattery, she is altogether the finest creature I ever looked upon.
• The mother of Constantia is still a very comely woman, and not above forty years old; she has a father living, who is a man of great opulence, but he has conceived such irreconcilable displeasure at her marrying, that he has never since that event taken the least notice either of her or of his grandchild.'-: · Then he is an unnatural monster,' cried Ned, and will be sent to the devil for his barbarity.'
Mr. Abrahams proceeded as follows: She is the widow of a Captain Goodison, of whose unhappy story I have at different times collected only a few particulars, but from these I can understand that she went with him to America, and took her daughter with her; that he had a company of foot, and little else to maintain himself and family upon but his pay; that he served there in most of the campaigns with the reputation of a gallant officer, but that the spirit
of gaming having been suffered to infect the English army in their winter-quarters at New York, this wretched man, the father and the husband of these helpless women, became a prey to that infernal passion, and being driven to sell his commission to pay his losses at play, put an end to his miserable existence by a bullet.' Here Abrahams paused, whilst Ned
gave vent to a groan, in which I can answer for his being seconded by one more h-art at least then in company, from which the recollection of that fatal period never fails
to extort a pang:
• The series of sufferings, which the unhappy widow and her child endured,' continued Abrahams, • from this tragical period, were such as I must leave you to imagine, for I neither wished to be informed of them, nor could she expatiate upon them. It may however be proper to inform Mr. Drowsy, that I am convinced there is no room for hope that
future impression can be made upon the unforgiving nature of Constantia's grandfather, and it would be unjust in me to represent her as any other than what she is, destitute of fortune even in expectancy:'
And what is she the worse for that ? cried Ned; amongst the articles I stipulate for in the advertisement, which Mr. Sparkle has been reading, I believe
will not find that money is put down
Upon this Mr. Abrahams inade a proper compliment to my friend, and addressing himself to the company, began to apologize for having taken up so much of our attention by his long discourse ; this naturally produced a return of acknowledgments on our parts, with many and just commendations of his benevolence. The honest man's features brightened with joy upon receiving this welcome testimony, which he so well deserved, and I remarked with pleasure that our reverend friend, the curate, now began
to regard Abrahams with an eye of complacency, and having set himself in order, like one who was about to harangue an audience with a prepared oration, he turned a gracious countenance upon the humble adversary of his faith, and delivered himself as follows
Charity, Mr. Abrahams, is by our church esteemed the first of Christian virtues, and as we are commanded to pray even for our enemies, in obedience to that blessed mandate I devoutly pray, that in
avail to cover and blot out the multitude of sins. Your reaching forth the hand of mercy to these poor Christians in their pitiable distress, proves you to be a man superior to those shameful prejudices, which make a false plea of religion for shutting up the heart against all, but those of its own faith and persuasion. I have listened to your narrative with attention, and it is but justice to you to confess, that
your forbearing to retort upon the scurrilous fellow in the lodging-house, who insulted
national physiognomy, is a circumstance very highly to your credit, and what would have done honour to any one of the professors of that religion, which teaches us, when we are reviled, to revile not again. I also remarked the modest manner of your speaking, when you unavoidably reported of your own good deeds : you sounded no trumpet before you, and thereby convinced me you are not of that pharisaical leaven, whịch seeketh the praise of men; and let me tell you, Sir, it is the very test of true charity, that it vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Humility, Mr. Abrahams, in a peculiar degree, is expected of you, as of one of the children of wrath, scattered over the face of the earth without an abiding place, which you may call your own: charity also is in you a duty of more than ordinary obligation, for you and
you on the
yours subsist no otherwise than on the charity of the nations who give you shelter : the alms of others may be termed a free gift of love, but your
alms are in fact a legal tribute for protection. To concludeI exhort you to take in good part what I have now been saying; you are the first of your nation I ever communed with, and if hereafter in the execution of my duty I am led to speak with rigour of your stiff-necked generation, I shall make a mental exception in your favour, and recommend you in my prayers for all Jews, Turks, infidels and heretics, by a separate ejaculation in your behalf.'
Whether Abrahams in his heart thanked the honest curate for his zeal is hard to say, but there was nothing to be observed in his countenance, which bespoke any other emotions than those of benevolence and good-nature. My friend Drowsy was not quite so placid at certain periods of the discourse, and when he found that the humble Israelite made no other return, but by a civil inclination of the head to the speaker at the conclusion of the harangue, he said to Abrahams, in a qualifying tone of voice, Mr. Beetle, Sir, means well;' to which the other instantly replied, that he did not doubt it, and then with a design, as it should seem, to turn the discourse, informed Ned, that he had taken the liberty of going in person to the father of Mrs. Goodison in hopes he would have allowed him to speak of the situation, in which he had found his daughter and her child : • but alas!' added he, 'I had no sooner began to open the business upon which I came, than he instantly stopped my mouth by demanding, if I came into his house to affront him that he was astonished at my assurance for daring to name his daughter in his hearing, and in the same breath, in a very haughty tone, cried out, “ Harkye, Sir! are not you a Jew ?” to which I had no sooner replied in the affirmative,
than ringing his bell very violently, he called out to his footman, to put that Jew out of his doors.'
Here Abrahams paused: Ned started up from his chair, drank a glass of wine, shook the Jew by the hand, flounced down upon his seat again, whistled part of a tune, and turning to me said in a half-whisper,
• What a world is this we live in!'
After the conversation related in the preceding chapter, Drowsy and his guests passed a social evening, and honest Abrahams was prevailed upon to take a bed at Poppy-hall. The next morning early, as I was walking in the garden, I was much surprised to find Ned there before me: 'I dare say you wonder,' said he, what could provoke my laziness to quit my pillow thus early, but I am resolved to shake off a slothful habit, which till our discourse last night I never considered as criminal. I have been thinking over all that Mr. Abrahams told us about the distressed widow and her daughter, and I must own to you I have a longing desire to obtain a sight of this Constantia, whom he describes to be so charming in mind and person. Now I don't know with what face I can invite her hither; besides, I consider, though I might prevail upon Mr. Abrahams to bring her, yet I should be confoundedly hampered how to get handsomely off, if upon acquaintance it did not suit me to propose for her.'
* You judge rightly,' said I, “your dilemma would be embarrassing.'
Well then,' quoth he, “there is no alternative but for me to go to her, and though I am aware of the