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This I could not perfectly understand in the terms of art, which Mr. Sparkle made use of, and therefore desired he would express himself in plain language. My father means to say, cries Billy, there are three girls want husbands, and but one man that wishes to be married. Hold your tongue, puppy, said old Sparkle, and proceeded. You shall know, Sir, that to accommodate Mr. Drowsy in the article of a wife and fave him the trouble of looking out for himself, we some time ago put an advertisement in the papers ; I believe I have a copy of it about me; Aye, here it is!
« W AN T E D “ A young, healthy, unmarried woman, of a « discreet character, as wife to a gentleman of “ fortune, who loves his ease and does not care us to take upon himself the trouble of courtship: « she must be of a placid domestic turn, and « not one that likes to hear herself talk. Any 56 qualified person, whom this may suit, by ap
plying to Mr. Sparkle auctioneer, may be in
formed of particulars. A short trial will be 66 expected,
« N. B. Maids of Honor need not apply, as 5 none fuch will be treated with."
I told Mr. Sparkle I thought his advertise. ment a very good one, and properly guarded and I wished to know the result of it: He said that very many applicants had presented themselves, but for want of full credentials he had dismiffed all but three, whom I will again describe, added he, not only for your information, but in hopes Mr. Drowfy will give fome attention to the catalogue, which I am sorry to say has not yet been the cafe.
He then drew a paper of minutes from his pocket-book and read as follows
“ Katherine Cumming, spinster, aged twen“ ty-five, lodges at Gravesend in the house of « Mr. Duffer, a reputable flop-seller of that “ place, can have an undeniable character from “ two gentlemen of credit, now absent, but soon « expected in the next arrivals from China : « Her fortune, which she ingenuously gwns is “ not capital, is for the present invested in cer“ tain commodities, which she has put into the “ hands of the gentlemen above-mentioned, and
for which she expects profitable returns on « their arrival. This young lady appeared with
a fiorid blooming complexion, fine long ring« lets of dark hair in the fashionable dishevel, “ eyes uncommonly sparkling, is tall of ftature, * ftrait and in good case. She wore a locket of
« plaited hair flung in a gold chain round her “ neck, and was remarkably neat and elegant « about the feet and ancles: Is impatient for a “ speedy answer, as she has thoughts of going « out in the next ships to India.”
Let her go! cried Ned, I'll have nothing to fay to Kitty Cumming.--I'll bet a wager she is one of us, exclaimed the city beau, for which his father gave him a look of rebuke and proceeded to the next.
Agnes de Crapeau, daughter of a French « protestant clergyman in the Ife of Jersey, a “ comely young woman, but of a pensive air - and downcast look; lived as a dependant
upon a certain rich trader's wife, with whom « her situation was very unpleasant; Aattered “ herself fhe was well practifed in fubmiffion « and obedience, should conform to any hu« mours which the advertiser might have, and, « should he do her the honour to accept her as « his wife, she would do her posible to please « him with all humble duty, gratitude and dea “ votion.”
Ned Drowsy now turned himself in his chair, and with a figh whispered me in the ear, Poor thing! I pity her, but she won't do: Go on to the last. The lady I am next to describe, faid Sparkle, is one of whom I can only speak by report, for as yet I have not set eyes on her person, nor is she acquainted with a fyllable of these proceedings, being represented to me as a young woman, whofe delicacy would not submit to be the candidate of an advertisement. The account I have had of her is from a friend, who, though a man of a particular way of thinking, is a very honest honourable person, and one whose word will pass for thousands : He called at my office one day, when this advertisement was lying on my desk, and casting his eye upon the paper asked me, if that filly jest was of my inventing ; I assured him it was no jest, but a serious advertisement; that the party was a man of property and honor, a gentleman by birth and principle, and one every way qualified to make the married state happy. Hath he lost his understanding, said my friend, that he takes this method of convening all the prostitutes about the town, or doth he consult his ease so much, as not trouble himself whether his wife be a modest woman or not? Humph! cried Ned, what signifies what he said? go on with your story. To make short of it then, resumed Sparkle, my friend grew serious upon the matter, and after a confi, dering time addressed himself to me as follows; If I were satisfied your principal iş a man, as
you describe him, qualified by temper and disposition to make an amiable and virtuous girl happy, I would say something to you on the subject; but as he chụses to be concealed, and as I cannot think of blindly facrificing my fair charge to any man, whom she does not know and
ap: prove, there is an end of the matter. fo? exclaimed Ned with more energy than I had ever obferved in him; I should be glad to fee the gentleman and lady both; I fhould be glad to see them.
At this inftant a servant entered the room and announced the arrival of a stranger, who wished to speak with the elder Mr. Sparkle.