became very drowsy, and, after several dread- pensed by her kind compassion for what I ful yawns, got up, stretched himself, took had undergone, and declared that the future two or three turns across the room, begged happiness of my life depended solely upon we would allow him to take a short nap, and, her. “Sir,” said she, “I should be very having laid a strong injunction on his sister ungrateful, if, after the signal protection you to detain us till his return, went to his repose once afforded me, I should refuse to contriwithout further ceremony. He had not been bute towards your happiness, in any reasongone many minutes, when Freeman, guessing able condescension." Transported at this the situation of my heart, and thinking he acknowledgement, I threw myself at her feet, could not do me a greater favour than to and begged she would regard my passion leave me alone with Narcissa, pretended to with a favourable eye: she was alarmed at recollect himself all of a sudden, and starting my behaviour, entreated me to rise, lest her up, begged the lady's pardon for half an hour, brother should discover me in that posture, for he had luckily remembered an engage and to spare her, for the present, upon a ment of some consequence, that he must subject for which she was altogether unpreperform at that instant ; so saying, he took pared. In consequence of this remonstrance, his leave, promising to come back time I arose, assuring her I would rather die than enough for tea, leaving my mistress and me disobey her; but, in the mean time, begged in great confusion. Now that I enjoyed an her to consider how precious the minutes of opportunity of disclosing the pantings of my this opportunity were, and what restraint I soul, I had not power to use it. I studied put upon my inclination in sacrificing them many pathetic declarations, but when I at. to her desire. She smiled with unspeakable tempted to give them utterance, my tongue sweetness, and said there would be no want denied its office; and she sat silent, with a of opportunities, provided I could maintain downcast look, full of anxious alarm, her the good opinion her brother had conceived bosom heaving with expectation of some of me; and I, enchanted by her charms, great event.

At length" I endeavoured to seized her hand, which I well nigh devoured put an end to this solemn pause, and began with kisses. But she checked my boldness with,--“ It is very surprising, madam,” with a severity of countenance, and desired here the sound dying away, I made a full I would not so far forget myself or her as to stop—while Narcissa, starting, blushed, and, endanger the esteem she had for me: she with a timid accent, answered,"Sir?” reminded me of our being almost strangers Confounded at this note of interrogation, I to each other, and of the necessity there was pronounced, with the most sheepish bashful- for her knowing me better before she could ness,—-" Madam!”—To which she replied,- take any resolution in my favour; and, in “I beg pardon-I thought you had spoken to short, mingled so much good sense and comme.” Another pause ensued— I made another placency in her reproof, that I became as effort; and though my voice faltered very much enamoured of her understanding, as I much at the beginning, made shift to express had been before of her beauty, and asked myself in this manner :-“I say, madam, 'tis pardon for my presumption with the utmost very surprising that love should act so incon- reverence of conviction. She forgave my sistently with itself, as to deprive its votaries offence with her usual affability; and sealed of the use of their faculties when they have my pardon with a look so full of bewitching most need of them. Since the happy occasion tenderness, that for some minutes my senses of being alone with you presented itself, I were lost in ecstasy. I afterwards endeahave made many unsuccessful attempts to voured to regulate my behaviour according to declare my passion for the loveliest of her her desire, and turn the conversation upon a sex—a passion which took possession of my more indifferent subject; but her presence soul, while my cruel fate compelled me to was an insurmountable obstacle to my design. wear a servile disguise so unsuitable to my While I beheld so much excellence, I found birth, sentiments, and, let me add, my deserts: it impossible to call my attention from the yet favourable in one respect, as it furnished contemplation of it. I gazed with unutterame with opportunities of seeing and adoring ble fondness ; I grew mad with admiration.your perfections-yes, madam, it was then “My condition is insupportable !” cried I, “ I your dear idea entered my bosom, where it am distracted with passion; why are you so has lived unimpaired in the midst of number- exquisitely fair? why are you so enchantingly less cares, and animated me against a thou- good? why has nature dignified you with sand dangers and calamities." While I spoke charms so much above the standard of thus, she concealed her face with her fan, women ? and, wretch that I ain, how dares and when I ceased speaking, recovering her. my unworthiness aspire to the enjoyment of self from the most beautiful confusion, told such perfection ?" me, she thought herself very much obliged She was startled at my ravings, reasoned by my favourable opinion of her, and that down my transport, and by her irresistible she was very sorry to hear I had been unfor. eloquence soothed my soul into a state of tunate. Encouraged by this gentle reply, I tranquil felicity; but, lest I might suffer a proceeded, owned myself sufficiently recom- relapse, industriously promoted other sub


SMOLLETT'S SELECT WORKS. jects to entertain my imagination. She chid spending the evening at his house with such ine for having omitted to inquire about her obstinacy of affection, that we were obliged aunt, who (she assured me), in the midst of to comply. For my own part, I should have all her absence of temper, and detachment been glad of the invitation, by which in all from common affairs, often talked of me with likelihood) I should be blessed with more of uncoinmon warmth. I professed my venera- his sister's company, had I not been afraid tion for the good lady, excused my omission, of risking her esteem by entering into a deby imputing it to the violence of my love, bauch of drinking with him—which, from the which engrossed my whole soul, and desired knowledge of his character, I foresaw would to know the situation of her health: upon happen : but there was no remedy. I was which the amiable Narcissa repeated what I forced to rely upon the strength of my conhad heard before of her marriage, with all stitution, which I hoped would resist intoxithe tenderness for her reputation that the cation longer than the squire's—and to trust subject would admit of; told me she lived to the good nature and discretion of my miswith her husband hard by, and was so much tress for the rest. afflicted with the dropsy and wasted by a Our entertainer, resolving to begin by consumption, that she had sınall hopes of times, ordered the table to be furnished with her recovery. Having expressed my sorrow liquor and glasses immediately after tea; but for her distemper, I questioned her about my we absolutely refused to set in for drinking good friend Mrs Sagely, who I learned (to so soon, and prevailed upon him to pass away my great satisfaction) was still in good | an hour or two at whist, which we engaged health, and who had, by the encomiums she as soon as Narcissa returned. The savage bestowed upon me after I was gone, con- and I happened to be partners at first; and firmed the favourable impressions my beha- as my thoughts were wholly employed in a viour at parting had made on Narcissa's heart. more interesting game, I played so ill, that The circumstance introduced an inquiry into he lost all patience, swore bitterly, and the conduct of Sir Timothy Thicket, who threatened to call for wine if they would not (she informed me) had found means to in- grant him another associate. This desire cense her brother so much against me, that was gratified, and Narcissa and I were of a she found it impossible to undeceive him; side; he won for the same reason that made hut, on the contrary, suffered very much in him lose before : I was satisfied, my lovely her own character by his scandalous insinu. partner did not repine, and the time slipped ations: that the whole parish was alarıned, away very agreeably, until we were told that and actually in pursuit of me; so that she supper was served in another room. had been in the utmost consternation upon The squire was enraged to find the evenmy account, well knowing how little my own ing so unprofitably spent, and wreaked his innocence and her testimony would have vengeance on the cards, which he tore, and weighed with the ignorance, prejudice, and committed to the flames with many execrabrutality, of those who must have judged me, tions, threatening to make us redeem our had I been apprehended; that Sir Timothy, loss with a large glass and quick circulation; having been seized with a fit of apoplexy, and indeed we had no sooner supped, and from which with great difficulty he was re- my charmer withdrawn, than he began to covered, began to be apprehensive of death, put his threats in execution. Three bottles and to prepare himself accordingly for that of port (for he drank no other sort of wine) great event; as a step to which he sent for were placed before us, with as many waterher brother, owned with great contrition the glasses, which were immediately filled to the brutal design he had upon her, and of conse- brim, after his example, by each out of his quence acquitted me of the assault, robbery, respective allowance, and emptied in a trice, and correspondence with her, which he laid to the best in Christendom. Though I to my charge; after which confession he swallowed this and the next as fast as the lived about a month in a languishing con- glass could be replenished, without hesitation dition, and was carried off by a second assault. or show of reluctance. I perceived that my

Every word that this dear creature spoke brain would not be able to bear many bumpriveted the chains with which she held me ers of this sort ; and, dreading the perseve. enslaved: my mischievous fancy began to rance of a champion who began with such wopk, and the tempest of my passion to wake vigour, I determined to make up for the again, when the return of Freeman destroyed deficiency of my strength by a stratagem, the tempting opportunity, and enabled me which I actually put in practice when the to quell the rising tumult. A little while af- second course of bottles was called for. The ter the squire staggered into the room rubbing wine being strong and heady, I was already his eyes,—and called for his tea, which he a good deal discomposed by the dispatch we drank out of a small bowl, qualified with had made, Freeman's eyes began to reel, brandy, while we took it in the usual way. and Bruin himself was elevated into a song, Narcissa left us in order to visit her aunt ; which he uttered with great vociferation. and when Freeman and I proposed to take When I therefore saw the second round our leave, the fox-hunter insisted on our trought in, I assumed a gay air, entertained

him with a French catch on the subject of after she had retired the night before from drinking, which, though he did not under our company. I could scarce believe her stand it, delighted him highly; and, telling information, when she recounted her expresshim that your choice spirits at Paris never ions in my favour, so much more warin and troubled themselves with glasses, asked if passionate were they than my most sanguine he had not a bowl or cup in the house that hopes had presaged; and was particularly would contain a whole quart of wine? pleased to hear that she approved of my “ Odds niggers !” cried he, “ I have a silver behaviour to her brother after she withdrew. caudle cup that holds just the quantity, for Transported at the news of my happiness, I all the world-fetch'it hither, Numps." presented my ring to the messenger, as a The vessel being produced I made him de- testimony of my gratitude and satisfaction ; cant his bottle into it, which he having done, but she was above such mercenary consideI nodded in a very deliberate manner, and rations, and refused my compliment with said," Pledge you.” He stared at me for some resentment, saying she was not a little some time, and crying,—" What ! all at one mortified to see my opinion of her so low pull, Measter Randan!" I answered,—“At and contemptible. I did myself a piece of one pull, sir,---you are no milk-sop—we justice by explaining my behaviour on this shall do you justice.”. "Shall you,” said head, and, to convince her of my esteem, he, shaking me by the hand,“ odd then I'll promised to be ruled by her directions in the see it out, an 't were a mile to the bottom. prosecution of the whole affair, which I had Here's to our better acquaintance, Measter so much at heart, that the repose

of my

life Randan.” So saying, he applied it to his depended upon the consequence. lips, and emptied it in a breath. I knew As I fervently wished for another interthe effect of it would be almost instantaneous; view, where I might pour out the effusions therefore, taking the cup, began to discharge of my love without danger of being intermy bottle into it, telling him he was now rupted, and perhaps reap some endearing qualified to drink with the cham of Tartary. return from the queen of my desires, I imI had no sooner pronounced these words, plored her advice and assistance in promoting than he took umbrage at them, and, after this event; but she gave me to understand, several attempts to spit, made shift to stutter that Narcissa would make no precipitate out,—“Af-t for your chams of T–Tartary! compliances of this kind, and that I would a am a f-f-free-born Englishman, worth do well to cultivate her brother's acquaintth-three thousand a-year, and v-value no ance, in the course of which I should not man, damme !" Then dropping bis jaw, want opportunities of removing that reserve and fixing his eyes, he hiccuped aloud, and which my mistress thought herself obliged fell upon the floor, as mute as a flounder. to maintain during the infancy of our corresMr Freeman, heartily glad at his defeat, as- pondence. In the mean time she promised sisted me in carrying him to bed, where we to tell her lady, that I had endeavoured, by left him to the care of his servants, and went presents and persuasions, to prevail upon home to our respective habitations, congratu- her (Miss Williams) to deliver a letter from lating each other on our good fortune. me, which she had refused to charge herself

with until she should know Narcissa's senti.

ments of the matter; and said, by these CHAPTER LVII.

means she did not doubt of being able to

open a literary communication between us, Miss Williams informs me of Narcissa's which could not fail of introducing more

approbation of my flame- 1 appease the intimate connexions. squire-write to my mistress, am blessed I approved of her counsel, and our appointwith an answerbeg leave of her brother ment being renewed for next day, left her to dance with her at a bali ; obtain his with an intent of falling upon some method consent and hers-enjoy a private con. of being reconciled to the squire, who, I "versation with her-am perplexed with supposed, would be offended with the trick reflectionshave the honour of appearing we had put upon him. With this view, I her partner at a ballwe are compliment consulted Freeman, who, from his know. ed by a certain noblemanhe discovers ledge of the fox-hunter's disposition, assured some symptoms of a passion for Narcissa me there was no other method of pacifying -I am stung with jealousy-Narcissa, him, than that of sacrificing ourselves for alarmed, retiresI observe Melinda in one night to an equal match with him in the companythe squire is captivated by drinking. This expedient I found myself her beauty.

necessitated to comply with for the interest

of my passion, aud therefore deterniined to I was met next morning, at the usual place, commit the debauch at my own lodgings, by Miss Williams, who gave me joy of the that I might run no risk of being discovered progress I had made in the affection of her by Narcissa in a state of brutal degeneracy. mistress, and blessed me with an account of Mr Freeman, who was to be of the party, that dear creature's conversation with her, went at my desire, to the squire, in order to

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engage him, while I took care to furnish | and asked if I intended to dance with her at myself for his reception. My invitation was the next assembly. I was a good deal con. accepted, my guests honoured me with their cerned to find myself become the town-talk company in the evening, when Bruin gave on this subject, lést the squire, having notice me to understand that he had drank many of my inclinations, should disapprove of tuns of wine in his life, but was never served them, and, by breaking off all corresponde such a trick as I had played upon him the ence with me, deprive me of the ortuni. night before. I promised to atone for my ties I now enjoyed. But I resolved to use trespass, and having ordered to every man the interest I had with him while it lasted ; his bottle, began the contest with a bumper and that very night, meeting him occasionto the health of Narcissa. The toasts circu- ally, asked his permission to solicit her lated with great devotion, the liquor began company at the ball, which he very readily to operate, our mirth grew noisy, and as granted, to my inexpressible satisfaction. Freeman and I had the advantage of drinking Having been kept awake the greatest part small French claret, the savage was effectu- of the night by a thousand delightful reveries ally tamed before our senses were in the that took possession of my fancy; I got up least affected, and carried home in an apo- by times, and, flying to the place of rendezplexy of drunkenness.

vous, had in a little time the pleasure of I was next morning, as usual, favoured seeing Miss Williams approach with a smile with a visit from my kind and punctual con- on her countenance, which I interpreted into fidante, who telling me she was permitted to a good omen. Neither was I mistaken in receive my letters for her mistress, I took up my presage; she presented me with a letter my pen immediately, and following the first from the idol of my soul, which, after having dictates of my passion, wrote as follows:- kissed it devoutly, I opened with the utmost “ DEAR MADAM,

eagerness, and was blessed with her appro“ Were it possible for the powers of utter- bation in these terms :ance to reveal the soft emotions of my soul, the fond anxiety, the glowing hopes, the * To say I look upon you with indifference, chilling fears, that rule my breast by turns, would be a piece of dissimulation, which I I should need no other witness than this think no decorum requires, and no custom paper to evince the purity and ardour of that can justify. As my heart never felt an imflame your charms have kindled in my pression that my tongue was ashamed to heart. But, alas! expression wrongs my declare, I will not scruple to own myself love! I am inspired with conceptions that pleased with your passion, confident of your no language can convey! Your beauty fills integrity, and so well convinced of my own me with wonder, your understanding with discretion, that I should not hesitate in ravishment, and your goodness with adora- granting you the interview you desire, were tion! I am transported with desire, dis- I not overawed by the prying curiosity of a tracted with doubts, and tortured with impa- malicious world, the censure of which might tience! Suffer me, then, lovely arbitress of be fatally prejudicial to the reputation of your my fate, to approach you in person, to

NARCISSA." breathe in soft murmurs my passion to No anchorite in the ecstasy of devotion your ear, to offer the sacrifice of a heart ever adored a relique with more fervour than overflowing with the most genuine and dis- that with which I kissed this inimitable interested love, to gaze with ecstasy on the proof of my charmer's candour, generosity, divine object of my wishes, to hear the music and affection. I read it over a hundred of her enchanting tongue, and to rejoice in times; was ravished with her confession in her smiles of approbation, which will banish the beginning; but the subscription of your the most intolerable suspense from the bosom | Narcissa yielded me such delight as I had of your enraptured

never felt before. My happiness was still R

increased by Miss Williams, who blessed me Having finished this effusion, I committed with a repetition of her lady's tender exit to the care of my faithful friend, with an pressions in my favour, when she received injunction to second my entreaty with all and read my leiter. In short, I had all the her eloquence and influence; and, in the reason in the world to believe that this genmean time, went to dress, with an intention tle creature's bosom was possessed by a of visiting Mrs Snapper and Miss, whom I passion for me, as warm, though perhaps not had utterly neglected, and indeed almost so impetuous, as mine for her. furgot, since my dear Narcissa had resumed I informed my friend of the squire's conthe empire of my soul. The old gentlewo- sent to my dancing with Narcissa at the ball, man received me very kindly, and miss and desired her to tell her mistress, that I affected a frankness and gaiety, which, how- would do myself the honour of visiting her ever, I could easily perceive were forced and in the afternoon, in consequence of his perdissembled; among other things, she pre- mission, when I hoped to find her as indul. tended to joke me upon my passion for gent as her brother had been complaisant in Narcissa, which she averred was no secret, I that particular. Miss Williams expressed a

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good deal of joy at hearing I was so much to my embraces, while I, encircling all that in favour with the fox-hunter, and ventured I held dear within my arms, tasted in advance to assure me, that my visit would be very the joys of that paradise I hoped in a little agreeable to my mistress, the rather because time wholly to possess. We spent the afterBruin was engaged to dine abroad. This noon in all the ecstasy of hope, that the most was a circumstance which I scarce need say fervent love, exchanged by mutual vows, pleased me. I went immediately to the could inspire; and Miss Williams was so long-room, where I found him, and, affecting much affected with our chaste caresses, which to know nothing of his engagement, told recalled the sad remembrance of what she him, I would do myself the pleasure to wait was, that her eyes were filled with tears. upon him in the afternoon, and present his The evening being pretty far advanced, I sister with a ticket for the ball. He shook forced myself from the dear object of my me by the hand, according to custom, and, flame, who indulged me in a tender embrace giving me to understand that he was to dine at parting; and, repairing to my lodgings, abroad, desired me to go and drink tea with communicated to my friend Strap every cirNarcissa notwithstanding, and promised to cumstance of my happiness, which filled him prepare her for my visit in the mean time. with so much pleasure, that it ran over at his

Every thing succeeding thus to my wish, eyes; and he prayed heartily, that no envious I waited with incredible impatience for the devil might, as formerly, dash the cup of time, which no sooner arrived than I has- blessing from my lip. When I reflected on tened to the scene, which my fancy had what had happened, and especially on the pre-occupied long before. I was introduced unreserved protestations of Narcissa's love, accordingly to the dear enchantress, whom I could not help being amazed at her omii. I found accompanied by Miss Williams, who, ting to inquire into the particular circumon pretence of ordering tea, retired at my stances of the life and fortune of one whom approach. This favourable accident, which she had favoured with her affection; and I alarmed my whole soul, disordered her also. began to be a little anxious about the situI found myself actuated by an irresistible ation of her finances, well knowing that I impulse; I advanced to her with eagerness should do an irreparable injury to the person and awe, and, profiting by the confusion that my soul held most dear, if I should espouse prevailed over her, clasped the fair angel in her, without being able to support her in the my arms and imprinted a glowing kiss upon rank which was certainly her due. I had her lips, more soft and fragrant than the heard, indeed, while I served her aunt, that dewy rose-bud just bursting from the stem. her father had left her a considerable sum, Her face was in an instant covered with and that every body believed she would inblushes her eyes sparkled with resentment herit the greatest part of her kinswoman's -I threw myself at her feet, and implored dowry ; but I did not know how far she might hier pardon. Her love became an advocate be restricted by the old gentleman's will in in my cause ; her look softened into forgive the enjoyment of what he left her; and I was ness; she raised me up, and chid me with so too well informed of the virtuoso's late con. much sweetness of displeasure, that I should duct, to think my mistress could have any have been tempted to repeat the offence, had expectations from that quarter. I confided, not the coming in of a servant with the tea. however, in the good sense and policy of my board prevented my presumption. While charmer, who, I was sure, would not consent we were subject to be interrupted or over to unite her fate with mine, before she had heard, we conversed about the approaching fully considered and provided for the conball, at which she promised to grace me as a sequence. partner; but when the equipage was removed, The ball-night being arrived, I dressed and we were left alone, I resumed the more myself in a suit I had reserved for somne interesting theme, and expressed myself with grand occasion; and, having drank tea with such transport and agitation, that my mis- Narcissa and her brother, conducted my tress, fearing I would commit some extrava- angel to the scene, where she in a moment gance, rung the bell for her maid, whom she eclipsed all her female competitors for beauty, detained in the room as a check upon my and attracted the admiration of the whole vivacity. I was not sorry for this precaution, assembly. My heart dilated with pride on because I could unbosom myself without re- this occasion, and my triumph rejected all serve before Miss Williams, who was the bounds, when, after we had danced together, confidante of us both. I therefore gave a a certain nobleman, remarkable for his figure loose to the inspirations of my passion, which and influence in the beau monde, came up, operated so successfully upon the tender and, in the hearing of all present, honoured affections of Narcissa, that she laid aside the us with a very particular compliinent upon constraint she had hitherto worn, and blessed our accomplishments and appearance; but me with the most melting declaration of her this transport was soon checked, when I mutual flame. It was impossible for me to perceived his lordship attach himself with forbear taking the advantage of this endear. great assiduity to my mistress, and say some ing condescension. She now gently yielded / warm things, which I thought savoured too

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