« السابقةمتابعة »
plied the Lady, “and will write to Henry: if he remains an hour at Crowbery, after he has receiv'd my letter, he is not the man I take him for.”
These measures being so agreed, Mr. Claypole’s next business was to seek his friend Sir Roger, whom he very opportunely met, taking a solitary walk in the grove. Claypole's thoughts were ready arranged, and it was without difficulty he found words for them, and proper address to make his proposal of removing Fanny acceptable to his friend Sir Roger; nay, he was so explicit in stating particulars, and fo little sparing of his niece's reputation, in the account he gave of her nightly interview with our hero in the gallery, that the worthy Baronet drew exactly those conclusions which Claypole wished to lead him to, saw and acknowledged the propriety of removing Fanny out of the house, and expressed himself much indebted to his candid friend for the delicacy of the measure. At the fame time he was not wanting in all due sensibility on behalf of that friend, and just refentment against Henry for his share in the transaction. If he did not inveigh against him quite so bitterly on this occasion, as his conduct might seem to merit, it
was because he did not see it in the light of an absolute seduction, having been a witness to Fanny's flippant behaviour towards our hero, and being conscious moreover, that he had something to accuse himself of for the conversation he had held with Henry in the chaise, which possibly might have inspired him with the first idea of affailing a virtue, that, according to his own report of it, had no right to be greatly respected, much less to be considered as absolutely impregnable..
These reflections, which in some degree caus’d his anger to abate, did not however prevent him from considering Henry's conduct in its true light, and resenting it as a breach of that decorum, which he had a right to expect from a young man admitted into his family under such circumstances. He still found himself called upon, by all the laws of friendship and hospitality, to co-operate in every measure that Claypole could propose for obtaining reparation for the indignity, and when he understood that marriage was the point in view, he declared himself determined to enforce justice, if it became necessary, by resorting to his niece Lady Crowbery, and employing her authority over Henry, in aid of his own, for that purpose.
This Mr. Claypole begged might be suspended for a while, and at the same time took occasion to open his scheme of going over to Crowbery the next morning, in search of the young man.-“And so you shall,” cried the good man, “ and my chaise shall be at your service, with every thing else that you can say on my part, to .convince him of the sense I entertain of his conduct, and to further your appeal for justice to your niece. If he has still the hardiness to withstand you, and shall attempt to run out to sea with my nephew Cary, I warrant I have that influence with Jack as will not suffer him to escape us by that channel at least.”-“I don't pretend to justify my niece in all particulars," faid Claypole; “ but a lady's honour is not to be sported with, and he has certainly made her, a firm promise of marriage ; but then, I must observe, it was a promise made upon the spur of passion, and (which is more alarming) made when her fortune was a greater object to him than it has now eventually become."-" In that particular,” cried Sir Roger, “ I do not agree with you. Henry, amongst all his failings, is not a mercenary lover; and I must believe that Miss Claypole's fortune is neither more nor less in his thoughts, for any thing that has ... 8
happen'd to him; and if I am not greatly mistaken in his character, he is an honourable lad, and will not go back from any promise he has given. If Miss Claypole makes a true report, and he has pass’d his word to her, I think the marriage is secure ; if it is not a case of honour, but of choice, I hold it to be doubtful.”
Here the dialogue ended, and the friends separated, Sir Roger to prolong his walk, Claypole to resurne his meditations.
who, though degraded in character, is in strain to be so advanced in fortune's favour, that he has one claim at least upon my attention, which does not pass for nothing with the world cat large.
The chaise, in which he was conveyed with -bis friend Cary from those once happy, scenes, now forfeited and forsaken, made such rapid progress, that he foon found himself within sight of Crowbery Castle, proudly towering over its
dependant village, which fpread itself along the vale. Here, in a narrow lane, our travellers were encountered by a gentleman on horseback, who had a fowling-piece in his hand, and was followed by a brace of pointers. The pass was so ftrait that civility required the gentlemen in the carriage to stop their drivers. Whilft Cary was giving these orders, he discovered the person of Captain Crowbery, and instantly addressed him by his name. Henry had recognized him at the fame instant, and determined to let him know he was informed of his designs, eagerly cried out,* When you are at leisure, Captain Crowbery, I shall be glad to have a word with you."
The chaise had stopt opposite to a gate, which led to a field, and made a recess in the lane, where Crowbery had taken post for the convenience of passing. He knew the person of our hero, and this abrupt falutation was anfwered by a demand upon Henry to explain himself; this explanation was immediately given in terms that required no further illustration, and with a degree of heat that Cary vainly attempted to moderate. Want of spirit was not amongst Crowbery's defects; and in the hearing of the Captain, to whom all the particulars