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differently treated by her sister-in-law, had her with the same sum annually, for the made use of her freedom some months ago, more comfortable support of the infirmities and gone to town, where she was lodging of old age. with Miss Williams, in expectation of my Having rode all night, I found myself at arrival; and had been pestered with the Canterbury in the morning, where I alighted addresses of Lord Quiverwit, who, finding to procure fresh horses; and, as I walked her heart engaged, had fallen upon a great into the inn, perceived an apothecary's shop many shifts to persuade her that I was dead ; on the other side of the street, with the but finding all his artifices unsuccessful, and name of Morgan over the door. Alarmed despairing of gaining her affection, he had at this discovery, I could not help thinking consoled himself for her indifference by that my old messmate had settled in this marrying another lady some weeks ago, who place; and, upon inquiry, found my conjechad already left him on account of some ture true, and that he was married lately family uneasiness. Besides this interesting to a widow in that city, by whom he had information, she told me, that there was not got three thousand pounds. Rejoiced at a great deal of harmony between Melinda this intelligence, I went to his shop as soon and the squire, who was so much disgusted as it was open, and found my friend be. at the number of gallants who continued to hind the counter, busy in preparing a glyshover about her even after marriage, that he ter. I saluted him at entrance withhad hurried her down into the country much Your servant, Mr Morgan." Upon which against her own inclination, where their mu- he looked at me, and replying,—“ Your tual animosities had arisen to such a height, most humble servant, goot sir," rubbed his that they preserved no decency before com- ingredients in the mortar, without any emopany or servants, but abused one another in tion. “ What !” said I, “ Morgan, have the grossest terms.
you forgot your old messmate ?" At these This good old gentlewoman, to give me a words, he looked up again, and starting, convincing proof of my dear Narcissa's un- cried,
-"As Cot is my—sure it cannot alterable love, gratified me with a sight of yes, by my salfation, I pelieve it is my the last letter she had favoured her with, in dear friend Mr Rantom." He was no which I was mentioned with so much honour, sooner convinced of my identity, than he tenderness and concern, that my soul was threw down the pestle, overset the mor. fired with impatience, and I determined to tar, and, jumping over the board, swept up ride all night, that I might have it the sooner the contents with his clothes, flew about in my power to make her happy. Mrs my neck, hugged me affectionately, and Sagely perceiving my eagerness, and her daubed me all over with turpentine and maternal affection being equally divided be- the yolk of eggs, which he had been mixtween Narcissa and me, begged leave to ing when I came in. Our mutual conremind me of the sentiments with which I gratulations being over, he told me, that went abroad, that would not permit me for he found himself a widower upon his reany selfish gratification to prejudice the for-turn from the West Indies : that he had tune of that amiable young lady, who must got interest to be appointed surgeon of a entirely depend upon me, after having be- man of war, in which capacity he had stowed herself in marriage. I thanked her served some years, until he married an apofor her kind concern, and as briefly as thecary's widow, with whom he now enpossible described my flourishing situation, joyed a pretty good sum of money, peace which afforded this humane person infinite and quiet, and an indifferent good trade. wonder and satisfaction. I told her, that, He was very desirous of hearing my adnow I had an opportunity to manifest my ventures, which I assured him I had not gratitude for the obligations I owed, I would time to relate, but told him in general, my endeavour to make her old age comfortable circumstances were very good, and that I and easy; as a step to which, I proposed sl.e hoped to see him when I should not be
I should come and live with Narcissa and me. in such a hurry as at present. He insistThis venerable gentlewoman was so much ed, however, on my staying breakfast, and affected with my words, that the tears ran introduced me to his wife, who seemed to down her ancient cheeks; she thanked hea- be a decent, sensible woman, pretty well ven that I had not belied the presages she stricken in years. In the course of our had made on her first acquaintance with me; conversation, he showed the sleeve buttons acknowledging my generosity, as she called I had exchanged with him at our parting it, in the most elegant and pathetic express in the West Indies, and was not a little ions ; but declined my proposal, on account proud to see that I had preserved his with of her attachment to the dear melancholy the same care. When I informed him of cottage where she had so peacefully con- Mackshane's condition, he seemed at first sumed her solitary widowhood. Finding her to exult over his distress, but, after a little immovable on this subject, I insisted on her recollection, said,—“well, he has paid for accepting a present of thirty guineas, and his malice; I forgife him, and may Cot fortook my leave, resolving to accommodate I gife him likewise." He expressed great concern for the soul of Captain Oakum, , unutterable rapture possessed us both, while which he believed was now gnashing its we flew into each other's arms! This was teeth ; but it was some time before I could no time for speech,-locked in a mutual convince him of Thomson's being alive, at embrace, we continued some minutes in a whose good fortune, nevertheless, he was silent trance of joy.-When I thus encircled extremely glad.
all that my soul held dear,—while I hung Having renewed our protestations of over her beauties,-beheld her eyes sparkle, friendship, I bade the honest Welchman and and every feature flush with virtuous fondhis spouse farewell, and taking post horses, ness; when I saw her enchanting bosom arrived at London that same night, where heave with undissembled rapture, and knew I found my father in good health, to whom myself the happy cause-Heavens! what I imparted what I had learned of Narcissa. was my situation! I am tempted to commit This indulgent parent approved of my inten- my paper to the flames, and to renounce my tion of marrying her, even without a for- pen for ever, because its most ardent and tune, provided her brother's consent could lucky expression so poorly describes the not be obtained; promised to make over to emotions of my soul. “O adorable Narcisme in a few days a sufficiency to maintain sa !" cried I, ""O miracle of beauty, love, her in a fashionable manner; and expressed and truth! I at last fold thee in my arms! a desire of seeing this amiable creature, who I at last can call thee mine! No jealous had captivated me so much.
brother shall thwart our happiness again; As I had not slept the night before, and fortune hath at length recompensed me for was besides fatigued with my journey, I all my sufferings, and enabled me to do jusfound myself under a necessity of taking tice to my love." The dear creature smiled some repose, and went to bed accordingly; ineffably charming, and, with a look of benext morning, about ten o'clock, I took a witching tenderness, said,—“ And shall we chair, and, according to Mrs Sagely’s direc- never part again ?” “Never!" I replied, tions, went to my charmer's lodgings, and thou wondrous pattern of all earthly perinquired for Miss Williams. I had not waited fection ! never, until death shall divide us ! in the parlour longer than a minute, when By this ambrosial kiss, a thousand times this young woman entered, and no sooner more fragrant than the breeze that sweeps perceived me, than she shrieked and ran the orange grove, I never more will leave backward; but I got between her and the thee." door, and, clasping her in my arms, brought As my first transport abated, my passion her to herself with an embrace. “ Good grew turbulent and unruly. I was giddy heaven!” cried she, “ Mr Random, is it you with standing on the brink of bliss, and all indeed! my mistress will run distracted with my virtue and philosophy were scarce suffi. joy.” I told her, it was from an apprehen- cient to restrain the inordinate sallies of desion that my sudden appearance might have sire. Narcissa perceived the conflict within some bad effect on my dear Narcissa, that I me, and, with her usual dignity of prudence, had desired to see her first, in order to con-called off my imagination from the object in cert some method of acquainting her mis- view, and, with eager expressions of intertress gradually with my arrival. She ested curiosity, desired to know the particuapproved of my conduct, and, after having lars of my voyage. In this I gratified her yielded to the suggestions of her own friend- inclination, bringing my story down to the ship, in asking if my voyage had been suc- present hour. She was infinitely surprised cessful, charged herself with that office, and at the circumstance of my finding my father, left me glowing with desire of seeing and which brought tears into her lovely eyes. embracing the object of my love. In a very She was transported at hearing that he aplittle time I heard somebody coming down proved my flame, discovered a longing desire stairs in haste, and the voice of my angel of being introduced to him, congratulated pronounce, with an eager tone,-"hea- herself and me upon my good fortune, and ven! is it possible! where is he?". How observed that this great and unexpected were my faculties aroused at this well-known stroke of fate seemed to have been brought sound! and how was my soul transported, about by the immediate direction of Proviwhen she broke in upon my view, in all the dence. Having entertained ourselves some bloom of ripened beauty! Grace was in all hours with the genuine effusions of our souls, her steps, heaven in her eye, in every ges- I obtained her consent to complete my hapture dignity, and love !-- You whose souls piness as soon as my father should judge it are susceptible of the most delicate impress- proper, and applying with my own hands a ions, whose tender bosoms have felt the valuable necklace, composed of diamonds affecting vicissitudes of love, who have suf- and amethysts set alternately, which an old fered an absence of eighteen long months Spanish Jady at Paraguay had presented me from the dear object of your hope, and found with, I took my leave, promising to return at your return the melting fair, as kind and in the afternoon with Don Rodrigo. When as constant as your heart could wish, do me I went home, this generous parent inquired justice on this occasion, and conceive what | very affectionately about the health of my
dear Narcissa, to whoin that I might be the esteein, which I the more freely receive, bemore agreeable, he put into my hand a deed, cause I already look upon Mr Random's by which I found myself in possession of interest as inseparably connected with mine." fifteen thousand pounds, exclusive of the He was extremely well pleased with her profits of my own merchandise, which frank and ingenuous reply; upon which we amounted to three thousand more. After saluted, and wished her good night. The dinner I accompanied him to the lodging of letter, at my request, was dispatched to Susmy mistress, who, being dressed for the oc- sex by an express, and in the mean time, casion, made a most dazzling appearance. I Don Rodrigo, to grace my nuptials, hired a could perceive him struck with her figure, ready furnished bouse, and set up a very which I really think was the most beautiful handsome equipage. that ever was created under the sun. He Though I passed the greatest part of the embraced her tenderly, and told her, he was day with the darling of my soul, I found lei. proud of having a son who had spirit to at- sure sometimes to be among my former actempt, and qualifications to engage the affec- quaintance, who were astonished at the may. tions of such a fine lady. She blushed at nificence of my appearance. Banter, in this compliment, and with eyes full of the particular, was confounded at the strange softest languishment turned upon me, said, vicissitudes of my fortune, the causes of she should have been unworthy of Mr Ran- which he endeavoured in vain to discover, dom's attention, had she been blind to his until I thought fit to disclose the whole secret extraordinary merit. I made no other an- of my last voyage, partly in consideration swer than a low bow. My father, sighing, of our former intimacy, and partly to prepronounced,—" Such once was my Char- vent unfavourable conjectures, which he and lotte !" while the tear rushed into his eye, others, in all probability, would have made and the tender heart of Narcissa manifested in regard to my circumstances. He proitself in two precious drops of sympathy, fessed great satisfaction at this piece of which, but for his presence, I would have news, and I had no cause to believe him inkissed away. Without repeating the par- sincere, when I considered that he would ticulars of our conversation, I shall only ob- now look upon himself as acquitted of the serve, that Don Rodrigo was as much debt he owed me, and at the same time flatcharmed with her good sense as with her ter himself with hopes of borrowing more. appearance; and she was no less pleased I carried him home to dinner with me, and with his understanding and polite address. my father liked his conversation so much, It was determined that he should write to that, upon hearing his difficulties, he desired the squire, signifying his approbation of my me to accommodate him for the present, passion for his sister, and offering a settle- and inquire if he would accept of a comment which he should have no reason to mission in the army, towards the purchase reject : and that, if he should refuse the pro- of which he would willingly lend him money. posal, we would crown our mutual wishes Accordingly, I gave my friend an opportunity without any farther regard to his will. of being alone with me, when, as I expected,
he told me that he was just on the point of
being reconciled to an old rich uncle, whose CHAPTER LXVIII.
heir he was, but wanted a few pieces for im
mediate expense, which he desired I would My father makes a present to Narcissa, lend him, and take his bond for the whole.
the letter is dispatched to her brother- His demand was limited to ten guineas; and I appear among my acquaintance-Ban- when I put twenty into his hand, he stared ter's behaviour—the squire refuses his at me for some moments; then putting it into consent-my uncle comes to iown-ap- his purse, said,—"Ay, 'tis all one-you proves of my choice-I am married we shall have the whole in a very short time.” meet the squire and his lady at the play When I had taken his note, to save the exour acquaintance is courted.
pense of a bond, I expressed some surprise
that a fellow of his spirit should loiter away After having spent the evening to the satis- his time in idleness, and asked why he did faction of all present, my father addressed not choose to make his fortune in the army. himself thus to Narcissa," Madam, give
- What !” said he, “throw away my money me leave to consider you hereafter as my upon a subaltern's commission, to be under daughter, in which capacity I insist upon the command of a parcel of scoundrels, who your accepting this first instance of my pa- have raised themselves above me by the ternal duty and affection.” With these most infamous practices ! no, I love inde. words he put into her hand a bank-note of pendency too well to sacrifice my life, health, £500, which she no sooner examined, than, and pleasure, for such a pitiful consideration." with a low courtesy she replied,"Dear sir, Finding him averse to this way of life, I though I have not the least occasion for this changed the subject, and returned to Don supply, I have too great a veneration for you Rodrigo, who had just received the following to refuse this proof of your generosity and I epistle from the squire.
courteous behaviour, and insisted upon giving Concerning a letter which I received, her away at the ceremony, swearing that he subscribed R. Random, this is the answer. loved her as well as if she was his own child, As for you, I know nothing of you. Your and that he would give two thousand guison, or pretended son, I have seen ;- neas to the first fruit of our love as soon as it if he marries my sister, at his peril be it; I could squeak. Every thing being prepared do declare that he shall not have one far- for the solemnization of our nuptials, which thing of her fortune, which becomes my pro were to be performed privately at my father's perty, if she takes a husband without my house, the auspicious hour arrived, when consent. Your settlement I do believe is all Don Rodrigo and my uncle went in the coach a sham, and yourself no better than you to fetch the bride and Miss Williams; leavshould be; but if you had all the wealth of ing me with a parson, Banter, and Strap, the Indies, your son shall never match in our neither of whom had as yet seen my charmfamily with the consent of
ing mistress. My faithful valet, who was on • Orson TOPEHALL." the rack of impatience to behold a lady of My father was not much surprised at this whom he had heard so much, no sooner polite letter, after having heard the charac- understood that the coach was returned, ter of the author; and as for me, I was even than he placed himself at a window to have pleased at his refusal, because I now had an a peep at her as she alighted; and when he opportunity of showing my disinterested saw her, clapped his hands together, turned love. By his permission I waited on my up the white of his eyes, and, with his mouth charmer; and, having imparted the contents wide open, remained in sort of ecstasy, of her brother's letter, at which she wept which broke out into,—"O dea certe! quabitterly, in spite of all my consolation and lis in Eurote ripis, aut per juga Cynthi caresses, the time of our marriage was fixed exercet Diana chorus !” The doctor and at the distance of two days. During this Banter were surprised to hear my man speak interval, in which my soul was wound up Latin ; but when my father led Narcissa into to the last stretch of rapturous expectation, the room, the object of their admiration was Narcissa endeavoured to reconcile some of soon changed, as appeared in the counte. her relations in town to her marriage with nances of both. Indeed, they must have been me; but, finding them all deaf to her remon- the most insensible of beings, could they have strances, either out of envy or prejudice, she beheld, without emotion, the divine creature told me, with the most enchanting sweet- that approached. She was dressed in a sack ness, while the tears bedewed her lovely of white satin, embroidered on the breast cheeks,—“sure the world will no longer with gold; the crown of her head was covered question your generosity, when you take a with a small French cap, from whence depoor forlorn beggar to your arms. Affected scended her beautiful hair in ringlets that with her sorrow, I pressed the fair mourner waved upon her snowy neck, which dignified to my breast, and swore that she was more the necklace I bad given her; her looks dear and welcome on that account, because glowed with modesty and love; and her boshe had sacrificed her friends and fortune to som, through the veil of gauze that shaded her love for me. My uncle, for whose cha- it, afforded a prospect of Elysium. I reracter she ha a great veneration, being by ceived this inestimable gist of Providence as this time come to town, I introduced him to became me; and in a little time the clergymy bride; and although he was not very man did his office, my uncle, at his own earmuch subject to refined sensations, he was nest request, acting the part of a father to struck dumb with admiration at her beauty. my dear Narcissa, who trembled very much, After having kissed and gazed at her for some and had scarce spirits sufficient to support time, he turned to me, saying,—“Odds bobs, her under this great change of situation. Rory! here's a notable prize indeed, finely Soon as she was mine by the laws of heaven built and gloriously rigged, i'faith! if she and earth, I printed a burning kiss upon her an't well manned when you have the com- lips, my father embraced her tenderly, my mand of her, sirrah, you deserve to go to sea uncle hugged hér with great affection, and I in a cockle shell. No offence, I hope, niece; presented her to my friend Banter, who sayou must not mind what I say, being (as the Inted her in a very polite manner; Miss saying is) a plain seafaring man, thot' mayhap Williams hung round her neck and wept I have as much regard for you as another.” plentifully ; while Strap fell upon his knees, She received him with great civility, told and begged to kiss his lady's band, which him she had longed a great while to see a she presented with great affability. I shall person to whom she was so much indebted not pretend to describe my own feelings at for his generosity to Mr Random ; that she this juncture ; let it suffice to say, that, after looked upon him as her uncle, by which name having supped and entertained ourselves till she begged leave to call him for the future; ten o'clock, I cautioned my Narcissa against and that she was very sure he could say exposing her health by sitting up too late, and nothing that would give her the least offence. she was prevailed upon to withdraw with her The honest captain was transported at her I maid to an apartment destined for us. When
she left the room, her face was overspread surprised at seeing us. I was pleased at with a blush that set all my blood in a state this opportunity of confronting them; the of fermentation, and made every pulse beat more, because Melinda was robbed of all her with tenfold vigour. She was so cruel as to admirers by my wife, who happened that let me remain in this condition a full half night to outshine her sister both in beauty hour; when, no longer able to restrain my and dress. She was piqued at Narcissa's impatience, I broke from the company, burst victory, tossed her head a thousand different into her chamber, pushed out her confidante, ways, flirted her fan, looked at us with dislocked the door, and found her-O heaven and dain, then whispered to her husband, and earth!-a feast, a thousand times more deli- broke out into an affected giggle ; but all cious than my most sanguine hope presaged! her arts proved ineffectual, either to discom-but let me not profane the chaste mysteries pose Mrs Random, or to conceal her own of Hymen. I was the happiest of men ! inortification, which at length forced her In the morning I was waked by three or away long before the play was done. The
I four drums, which Banter had placed under news of our marriage being spread, with the window; upon which I withdrew the many circumstances to our disadvantage by curtain, and enjoyed the unspeakable satis- the industry of this malignant creature, a faction of contemplating those angelic certain set of persons, fond of scandal, began charms, which were now in my possession! to inquire into the particulars of my fortune, Beauty! which, whether sleeping or awake, which they no sooner understood to be indeshot forth peculiar graces! The light dart- pendent, than the tables were turned, and ing upon my Narcissa's eyes, she awoke also, our acquaintance was courted as much as it and, recollecting her situation, hid her blushes had been despised before. But Narcissa in my bosom. I was distracted with joy. had too much dignity of pride to encourage I could not believe the evidence of my senses, this change of conduct, especially in her reand looked upon all that had happened as lations, whom she could never be prevailed the fictions of a dream. In the meantime upon to see, after the malicious reports they my uncle knocked at the door, and bade me had raised to her prejudice. turn out, for I had had a long spell. I rose accordingly, and sent Miss Williams to her mistress, myself receiving the congratula
CHAPTER LXIX. tions of Captain Bowling, who rallied me in his sea-phrase with great success. In less My father intends to revisit the place of than an hour, Don Rodrigo led my wife in his nativity-we propose to accompany to breakfast, where she received the compli- him--my uncle renews his will in my faments of the company on her looks, which, vour, determining to go to sea again-we they said, if possible, were improved by set out for Scotland-arrive at Edinmatrimony: As her delicate ears were of burgh-purchase our paternal estatefended with none of those indecent ambigui- proceed to it-halt at the town where I ties which are too often spoke on such occa- was educated--take up my bond to Crab sions, she behaved with dignity, unaffected --the behaviour of Potion and his wife, modesty, and ease; and, as a testimony of and one of my female cousins--our recepmy affection and esteem, I presented her, in tion at the estate-Strap marries Miss presence of them all, with a deed, by which Williams, and is settled by my father to | settled the whole fortune I was possessed his own satisfaction—I am more and of on her and her heirs for ever.
more happy. cepted it with a glance of the most tender acknowledgement, observed that she could My father intending to revisit his native not be surprised at any thing of this kind I country, and pay the tribute of a few tears should do, and desired my father to take the at my mother's grave, Narcissa and I retrouble of keeping it, saying,—-"Next to my solved to accompany him in the execution own Mr Random, you are the person in whom of his pious office, and accordingly prepared I ought to have the greatest confidence.” for the journey; in which, however, my Charmed with her prudent and ingenuous uncle would not engage, being resolved to manner of proceeding, he took the paper, and I try his fortune once more at sea. In the assured her that it should not lose its value mean time, he renewed his will in favour of while in his custody,
my wife and me, and deposited it in the As we had not many visits to give and hands of his brother-in-law ; while I (that I receive, the little time we staid in town was might not be wanting to my own interest) spent in going to public diversions, where I summoned the squire to produce his father's have the vanity to think Narcissa seldom will at doctor's commons, and employed a was eclipsed. One night, in particular, we proctor to manage the affair in my absence. had sent our footman to keep one of the Every thing being thus settled, we took stage boxes, which we no sooner entered, leave of all our friends in London, and set than we perceived in the opposite box the out for Scotland, Don Rodrigo, Narcissa, squire and his lady, who seemed not a little Miss Williams and I, in the coach, and