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affairs to be kept at a proper distance. All of the empirical politician Ferret, who had these purposes he had answered by retreat- played our hero such a slippery trick after ing softly, without beat of drum, while his the electioneering adventure. sybil was abroad running down prey for his “I perceive," said he, "you are preparing devouring. He had not, however, taken his to expostulate, and upbraid me with having measures so cunningly, but that this old hag given a false information against you to the discovered his new lodgings, and, in revenge, country justice. I look upon mankind to be gave information to the publican. This cre- in a state of nature, a truth which Hobbes hath ditor took out a writ accordingly, and the stumbled upon by accident. I think every bailiff had just secured his person as Captain man has a right to avail himself of his talents, Crowe and Timothy Crabshaw chanced to even at the expense of his fellow-creatures ; pass by the door in their way homewards, just as we see the fish, and other animals through an obscure street near the Seven of the creation, devouring one another. I Dials.
found the justice but one degree removed The conjuror having no subterfuge left, from idiotism, and knowing that he would but a great many particular reasons for avoid-commit some blunder in the execution of his ing an explanation with the justice, like the office, which would lay him at your mercy, man between the devil and the deep sea, of I contrived to make his folly the instrument two evils chose the least; and beckoning to of my escape-I was dismissed without bethe captain, called him by his name. Crowe, ing obliged to sign the information I had thus addressed, replied with a “hilloah !" given; and you took ample vengeance for and looking towards the place from whence his tyranny and impertinence. came to he was hailed, at once recognized the ne. London, where my circumstances obliged
Without further hesitation he me to live in disguise. In the character of sprang across the street, and collaring Albu- a conjuror I was consulted by your follower mazar, exclaimed, “Aha! old boy, is the Crowe, and your squire Crabshaw. I did wind in that corner ?-I thought we should little or nothing but echo back the intelligrapple one day-now will I bring you up gence they brought me, except prognostiby the head, though all the devils in hell cating that Crabshaw would be hanged; a were blowing abaft the beam."
prediction to which I found myself so irreThe bailiff seeing his prisoner so roughly sistibly impelled, that I am persuaded it was handled before, and at the same time assault- the real effect of inspiration. I am now ed behind by Crabshaw, who cried, “Show arrested for a paltry sum of money, and, me a liar, and I'll show you a thief-who is moreover, liable to be sent to Bridewell as to be hanged now?" I say, the bailiff, fear- an imposter—let those answer for my coning he would lose the benefit of his job, be- duct whose cruelty and insolence have drigan to put on his contentious face, and, de- ven me to the necessity of using such subclaring the doctor was his prisoner, swore terfuges—I have been oppressed and persehe could not surrender him without a war- cuted by the government for speaking truth rant from the lord-chief-justice. The whole your omnipotent laws have reconciled con. group adjourning into the parlour, the contradictions. That which is acknowledged juror desired to know of Crowe whether to be truth in fact, is construed falsehood in Sir Launcelot was found. Being answered, law; and great reason we have to boast of a “Ey, ey, safe enough to see you made fast constitution founded on the basis of absurin the bilboes, brother;" he told the captain dity. But, waving these remarks, I own I he had something of consequence to commu- am unwilling to be either imprisoned for nicate for his advantage ; and proposed that debt, or punished for imposture-I know Crowe and Crabshaw should bail the action, how far to depend upon generosity, and what which lay only for a debt of three pounds. is called benevolence: words to amuse the
Crowe stormed and Crabshaw grinned at weak-minded-I build upon a surer bottomthis modest proposal; but when they under. I will bargain for your assistance it is in stood that they could only be bound for his my power to put twelve thousand pounds in appearance, and reflected that they need not the pocket of Samuel Crowe, that there sea. part with him until his body should be sur- ruffian, who by his good will would hang me rendered unto justice, they consented to give to the yard's armbail ; and the bond being executed, conveyed There he was interrupted by the seaman. him directly to the house of our adventurer. “ Damn your rat's eyes! none of your
The boisterous Crowe introduced him to hang thee! fish my topmasts ! if the rope Sir Launcelot with such an abrupt uncon- was fairly reeved, and the tackle sound, d'e nected detail of his offence, as the knight see—" Mr Clarke, who was present, began could not understand without Timothy's an. to stare, while the knight assured Ferret, notations. These were followed by some that, if he was really able and willing to questions put to the conjuror, who, laying serve Captain Crowe in any thing essential, aside his black gown, and plucking off his he should be amply rewarded. In the mean white beard, exhibited, to the astonished time he discharged the debt, and assigned spectators, the very individual countenance | him an apartment in his own house. That same day Crowe, by the advice of Sir Laun- ger in its lapse, till the knight was inflamed celot and his nephew, entered into condi- to the most eager degree of impatience. He tional articles with the cynic, to allow him communicated his distress to Aurelia ; he the interest of fifteen hundred pounds for pressed her with the most pathetic remonlife, provided by his means the captain should strances to abridge the torture of his susobtain possession of the estate of Hobby-hole pense. He interested Mrs Kawdle in his in Yorkshire, which had belonged to his behalf, and at length his importunity sucgrandfather, and of which he was heir of ceeded. The banns of marriage were reg. blood.
ularly published, and the ceremony was perThis bond being executed, Mr Ferret dis- formed in the parish church, in the presence covered that he himself was the lawful hus- of Dr Kawdle and his lady, Captain Crowe, band of Bridget Maple, aunt to Samuel Lawyer Clarke, and Mrs Dolly Cowslip. Crowe, by a clandestine marriage; which, The bride, instead of being disguised in however, he convinced them he could prove tawdry stuffs of gold or silver, and sweating by undeniable evidence. This being the case, under a harness of diamonds, according to she, the said Bridget Maple, alias Ferret, the elegant taste of the times, appeared in a was a covert femme, consequently could negligee of plain blue satin, without any not transact any deed of alienation without other jewels than her eyes, which far outhis concurrence; ergo, the docking of the shone all that ever was produced by the entail of the estate of Hobby-hole was illegal mines of Golconda. Her hair had no other and of none effect. This was a very agree- extraneous ornament than a small sprig of able declaration to the whole company, who artificial roses ; but the dignity of her air, did not fail to congratulate Captain Crowe the elegance of her shape, the sweetness and on the prospect of his being restored to his sensibility of her countenance, added to such inheritance. Tom Clarke in particular pro- warmth of colouring, and such exquisite lested, with tears in his eyes, that it gave symmetry of features as could not be exhim unspeakable joy; and his tears trickled celled by human nature, attracted the eyes the faster, when Crowe, with an arch look, and excited the admiration of all the signified that now he was pretty well vic- beholders. The effect they produced in tualled for life, he had some thoughts of em- the heart of Sir Launcelot, was such a barking on the voyage of matrimony, rapture as we cannot pretend to describe.
But that point of happiness to which, as He made his appearance on this occasion in the north pole, the course of these adven- a white coat and blue satin vest, both emtures had been invariably directed, was still broidered with silver; and all who saw him unattained ; we mean, the indissoluble union could not but own that he alone seemed worof the accomplished Sir Launcelot Greaves thy to possess the lady whom Heaven had and the enchanting Miss Darnel. Our hero destined for his consort. Captain Crowe now discovered in his mistress a thousand had taken off a blue suit of clothes strongly charms, which hitherto he had no opportu- guarded with bars of broad gold lace, in ornity to contemplate. He found her beauty der to honour the nuptials of his friend: he excelled by her good sense, and her virtue wore upon his head a bag-wig a la pigeon, superior to both. He found her untainted by made by an old acquaintance in Wapping; that giddiness, vanity, and affectation, which and to his side he had girded a huge plate-hiltdistinguish the fashionable females of the ed sword, which he had bought of a recruiting present age ; he found her uninfected by the serjeant. Mr Clarke was dressed in pomrage for diversion and dissipation; for noise, padour, with gold buttons; and his lovely tumult, gewgaws, glitter and extravagance: Dolly in a smart checked lustring, a present he found her not only raised by understand. from her mistress. ing and taste far above the amusement of The whole company dined, by invitation, little vulgar minds, but even exalted by un- at the house of Dr Kawdle; and here it was common genius and refined reflection, so as that the most deserving lovers on the face to relish the more sublime enjoyments of ra- of the earth attained to the consummation tional pleasure ; he found her possessed of of all earthly felicity. The captain and his that vigour of mind which constitutes true nephew had a hint to retire in due time. fortitude, and vindicates the empire of reason; Mrs Kawdle conducted the amiable Aurelia, he found her heart incapable of disguise or trembling, to the marriage bed; our hero, dissimulation; frank, generous, and open ; glowing with a bridegroom's ardour, claimed susceptible of the most tender impressions; the husband's privilege. Hymen lighted up glowing with a keen sense of honour, and his brightest torch at Virtue's lamp, and melting with humanity. A youth of his every star shed its happiest influence on sensibility could not fail of being deeply af- their heaven-directed union. fected by such attractions. The nearer he Instructions had been already dispatched approached the centre of happiness, the to prepare Greavesbury-hall for the recepmore did the velocity of his passion increase. tion of its new mistress ; and for that place Her uncle still remained insensible as it were the new-married couple set out next mornin the arms of death. Time seemed to lin- ling, according to the plan which had been
previously concerted. Sir Launcelot and world must approve, you can boast of virtue, Lady Greaves, accompanied by Mrs Kaw. fidelity, and friendship. Your attachment to dle, and attended by Dolly, travelled in their Lady Greaves neither she nor I shall ever own coach, drawn by six dappled horses. forget. If you are willing to unite your fate Dr Kawdle, with Captain Crowe, occupied with Mr Clarke, your mistress gives me the doctor's post-chariot, provided with four leave to assure you she will stock your farm bays; Mr Clarke had the honour to bestride at her own expense, and we will celebrate the loins of Bronzomarte ; Mr Ferret was the wedding at Greavesbury-hall.” mounted upon an old hunter; Crabshaw By this time the hearts of these grateful stuck close to his friend Gilbert ; and two lovers had overflowed. Dolly was sitting other horsemen completed the retinue. on her knees, bathing her lady's hand with There was not an aching heart in the whole her tears; and Mr Clarke appeared in the cavalcade, except that of the young lawyer, same attitude by Sir Launcelot. The uncle, which was by turns invaded with hot desires almost as much affected as the nephew by and chilling scruples. Though he was fond the generosity of our adventurer, cried aloud, of Dolly to distraction, his regard to worldly —" I pray God that you and your glorious reputation, and his attention to worldly in- consort may have smooth seas and gentle terest, were continually raising up bars to gales whithersoever you are bound-as for a legal gratification of his love. His pride my kinsman Tom, I'll give him a thousand was startled at the thought of marrying the pounds to set him fairly afloat; and if he daughter of a poor country publican; and he prove not a faithful tender to you his benemoreover dreaded the resentment of his factor, I hope he will founder in this world, uncle Crowe, should he take any step of this and be damned in that which is to come.” nature without his concurrence. Many a Nothing now was wanting to the completion wishful look did he cast at Dolly, the tears of their happiness but the consent of Dolly's standing in his eyes, and many a woful sigh mother at the Black Lion, who they did not did he utter.
suppose could have any objection to such an Lady Greaves immediately perceived the advantageous match for her daughter; but situation of his heart, and, by questioning in this particular they were mistaken. Mrs Cowslip, discovered a mutual passion In the mean time they arrived at the vil. between these lovers. She consulted her dear lage where the knight had exercised the duknight on the subject, and he catechised the ties of chivalry, and there he received the lawyer, who pleaded guilty. The captain gratulation of Mr Fillet and the attorney being sounded as co his opinion, declared he who had offered to bail him before Justice would be steered in that, as well as every Gobble. Mutual civilities having passed, other course of life, by Sir Launcelot and they gave him to understand that Gobble and his lady, whom he verily revered as beings his wife were turned methodists. All the of an order superior to the ordinary race of rest of the prisoners whom he had delivered mankind. This favourable response being came to testify their gratitude, and were obtained from the sailor, our hero took an hospitably entertained. Next day they halt. opportunity on the road, one day after din- ed at the Black Lion, where the good woman ner, in presence of the whole company, to was overjoyed to see Dolly so happily preaccost the lawyer in these words : My ferred: but when Sir Launcelot unfolded the good friend Clarke, I have your happiness proposed marriage, she interrupted him with very much at heart—your father was an a scream—“Christ Jesus forbid-marry and honest man, to whom my family had mani. amen !-match with her own brother!" fold obligations. I have had these many At this exclamation Dolly fainted : ber years a personal regard for yourself, derived lover stood with his ears erect, and his from your own integrity of heart and good mouth wide open; Crowe stared, while the ness of disposition-I see you are affected, knight and his lady expressed equal surprise and shall be brief.—Besides this regard, I and concern. When Sir Launcelot entreated am indebted to your friendship for the liberty Mrs Cowslip to explain this mystery, she -what shall I say?-for the inestimable told him, that about sixteen years ago, Mr happiness I now enjoy, in possessing the Clarke senior had brought Dolly, then an most excellent—but I understand that sig- infant, to her house, when she and her late nificant glance of my Aurelia—I will not husband lived in another part of the counoffend her delicacy-the truth is, my obli- try: and as she had then been lately delivergation is very great, and it is time I should ed of a child which did not live, he hired her evince my gratitude—if the stewardship of as a nurse to the little foundling. He owned my estate is worth your acceptance, you shall she was a love-begotten babe, and from time have it immediately, together with the house to time paid handsomely for the board of and farm of Cockerton in my neighbourhood. Dolly, who he desired might pass for her own I know you have a passion for Mrs Dolly, daughter. In his last illness, he assured her and believe she looks upon you with the eyes he had taken care to provide for the child; of tender prepossession-don't blush Dolly, but since his death she had received no acbesides your agreeable person, which all the count of any such provision. She moreover informed his honour, that Mr Clarke had different kinds, ranged under a great variety deposited in her hands a diamond ring, and of flags and ensigns; and the women, as a sealed paper, never to be opened without well as the men, bedizened with fancy-knots his order, until Dolly should be demanded in and marriage favours. At the end of the marriage by the man she should like, and not avenue, a select bevy of comely virgins arraythen, except in the presence of the clergy- ed in white, and a separate band of choice man of the parish. “Send for the clergyman youths, distinguished by garlands of laurel this instant,” cried our hero, reddening, and and holly interweaved, fell into the process. fixing his eyes on Dolly, “I hope all will ion, and sung in chorus a rustic epithalayet be well."
mium composed by the curate. At the gate The vicar artiving, and being made ac- they were received by the venerable house. quainted with the nature of the case, the keeper, Mrs Oakley, whose features were so landlady produced the paper; which being brightened by the occasion, that with the opened, appeared to be an authentic certifi- first glance she made a conquest of the heart cate, that the person commonly known by of Captain Crowe: and this connection was the name of Dorothy Cowslip, was in fact improved afterwards into a legal conjuncDorothea_Greaves, daughter of Jonathan tion. Greaves, Esq. by a young gentlewoman who Meanwhile the house of Greavesbury-hall had been some years deceased.
and Darnel-hill were set open for the enter“The remaining part of the mystery I tainment of all comers, and both echoed myself can unfold,” exclaimed the knight, with the sounds of festivity. After the cerewhile he ran and embraced the astonished mony of giving and receiving visits had been Dolly as his kinswoman. “ Jonathan Greaves performed by Sir Launcelot Greaves and his was my uncle, and died before he came of lady, Mr Clarke was honoured with the hand age, so that he could make no settlement on of the agreeable Miss Dolly Greaves; and his child, the fruit of a private amour found the captain was put in possession of his ed on a promise of marriage, of which this paternal estate. The perfect and uninterring was a token. Mr Clarke, being his rupted felicity of the knight and his endear. confidant, disposed of the child, and at length ing consort diffused itself through the whole finding his constitution decay, revealed the adjacent country as far as their example and secret to my father, who in his will bequeath- influence could extend. They were admired, ed one hundred pounds a-year to this agree- esteemed, and applauded, by every person of able foundling; but as they both died while taste, sentiment, and benevolence; at the I was abroad, and some of the memoran- same time beloved, revered, and almost ador. dums touching this transaction probably were ed, by the common people, among whom they mislaid, I never till now could discover suffered not the merciless hand of indigence where or how my pretty cousin was situated. or misery to seize one single sacrifice. I shall recompense the good woman for her Ferret at first seemed to enjoy his easy care and fidelity, and take pleasure in bring. circumstances, but the novelty of this situing this affair to a happy issue.
ation soon wore off, and all his misanthropy The lovers were now overwhelmed with returned. He could not bear to see his fel. transports of joy and gratitude, and every low-creatures happy around him; and signicountenance was lighted up with satisfac- fied his disgust to Sir Launcelot, declaring tion. From this place to the habitation of his intention of returning to the metropolis, Sir Launcelot the bells were rung in every where he knew there would be always food parish, and the corporation in their formali- sufficient for the ravenous appetite of his ties congratulated him in every town through spleen. Before he departed, the knight made which he passed. About five miles from him partake of his bounty, though he could Greavesbury-hall he was met by above five not make him taste of his happiness, which thousand persons of both sexes and every soon received a considerable addition in the age, dressed out in their gayest apparel, birth of a son, destined to be the heir and headed by Mr Ralph Mattocks from Darnel representative of two worthy families, whose hill, and the rector from the knight's own mutual animosity the union of his parents parish. They were preceded by music of had so happily extinguished.
END OF SIR LAUNCELOT GREAVES.