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terms, and including her in his remembrance of other friends, when he wrote to his father and his sister.
When he returned, as his sister's intimacy with Amelia still continued, his opportunities to see her were equally frequent: but the pleasure of those interviews were become yet more tumultuous and confused; and the lovers were both conscious that their sentiments were every moment involuntarily discovered to each other. Amelia had dismissed many suitors, who were not less distinguished by their merit than their rank because she still hoped to enrich Eugenio with her fortune; and Eugenio persisted in a conduct by which this hope was disappointed, because he would not degrade Amelia by an alliance with dependance and poverty. The objections of duty might, indeed, have been removed by obtaining the consent of Agrestis; but those of honour would still have remained; he was not, however, absolutely without hope; for though he had lost his uncle's fortune by obedience to his father, yet as he had greatly recommended himself to his commanding officer, who was of the highest rank, he believed it possible that he might be advanced to a post in the army, which would justify his pretensions to Amelia, and remove all his difficulties at once. Agrestis wondered at the conduct of his daughter, but neither asked nor suspected her motives; for he had always declared, that as he believed she would never marry against his consent, he would never urge her to marry against her own inclination. Amelia, therefore, continued to decline every offer, and Eugenio to see her almost every day, without the least intimation of his love, till the beginning of the last winter, when he lost his sister by the small-pox. His interviews with Amelia were now less frequent, and, therefore, more interesting: he feared, that as he would be seldom in her sight, the assiduities of some fortunate rival might at length exclude him from her remembrance: he did
not, however faulter in his resolution, nor did Amelia change her conduct. It happened that about this time she was addressed by Ventosus, the eldest son of a noble family; who, besides a large estate, had great expectations from his father's influence at court. Ventosus, though he was strongly recommended by Agrestis, and was remarkable for personal accomplishments, was yet received with great coldness by Amelia: he was surprised, mortified, and disappointed; yet he continued his visits and was very diligent to discover what had prevented his success. One evening, just as he was about to take his leave, after much ineffectual entreaty and complaint, Eugenio unexpectedly entered the room. Ventosus instantly remarked the embarrassment both of his mistress and the stranger, whom he therefore supposed to be a rival, and no longer wondered at his own disappointment: these suspicions were every moment confirmed and increased; for his presence produced emotions which could neither be concealed nor mistaken; though by a less penetrating eye than that of jealousy, they might have been overlooked. He was now fired with resentment and indignation; and having left the room somewhat abruptly, he was met upon the stairs by Agrestis, with whom he desired to speak a few words in private. Agrestis turned back into another apartment, and Ventosus told him, with some warmth, that he did not expect to have found his daughter pre-engaged; and that he could not help thinking himself ill treated. Agrestis, with equal warmth, required him to explain his meaning; and after some time had been spent in eager altercation, they parted in better temper; Agrestis persuaded that a clandestine love had been carried on between his daughter and Eugenio, and Ventosus convinced that Agrestis had never encour aged the pretensions of his rival. Agrestis immediately sent for Amelia, and sternly urged her with many questions, which she could only answer with
blushes and tears: her silence and confusion convinc-
A suspicion of ill-will always produces it; but besides this cause of alienation, Agrestis had unjustly imputed a conduct to his friend, which rendered him the object of his contempt and aversion; he therefore, treated him with coldness and reserve, supposing that he well knew the cause, and neglected to return his visits without thinking it necessary to assign any reason. This conduct was at length remarked by Orgilio, who considered it as the caprice of a character which he always despised; he, therefore, retorted the
neglect without expostulation: and thus all intercourse between the families was at an end. Eugenio in the mean time was inflexible in his purpose; and Amelia, in her next interview with Ventosus, acquainted him that she would see him no more. Ventosus again appealed to her father: but the old gentleman was steady in his principles, notwithstanding his resentment; and told him, that he had exerted all the authority which God and nature had given him in his favour; and that, however provoked, he would never prostitute his child, by compelling her to marry a person who was not the object of her choice.
Ventosus, who was extremely mortified at this disappointment, was very inquisitive about Eugenio, for whom he still supposed he had been rejected: he soon learned his situation and circumstances, and his long intimacy with Amelia; he reflected upon the confu sion which both had expressed in the accidental interview at which he was present; and was willing to believe, that his rival, however contemptible, had been too successful to be supplanted with honour by a hus. band: this, however, if he did not believe, he was very diligent to propagate; and to remove the disgrace of a refusal, hinted that for this reason he had abruptly discontinued his addresses, and congratu lated himself upon his escape. It happened that about six weeks ago, Ventosus, as he was walking in the Mall, with a young officer of distinction, met Amelia in company of several ladies and a gentleman. He thought fit to bow to Amelia with a supercilious respect, which had greatly the air of an insult; of this compliment Amelia, though she looked him in the face, took no notice: by this calm disdain he was at once disappointed and confounded; he was stung by an effort of his own malignity, and his breast swelled with passion which he could not vent. In this agitation of mind he hastily turned back, and determined, for whatever reason, to follow her. After he
had advanced about fifty paces, he saw Eugenio coming forward, who the moment he perceived Amelia, turned into another walk. This was observed by Ventosus, whose contempt and indignation had now another object, upon which they might without violence to the laws of honour be gratified; he communicated his purpose to his companion, and hastily followed Eugenio. When they had overtaken him, they burst into a horse laugh, and pushed so rudely by him, that he could scarce recover his step: they did not, however go on; but stopping suddenly, turned about, as if to apologize for the accident, and affected great surprise at discovering to whom it had happened. Ventosus bowed very low, and with much contemptuous ceremony begged his pardon; telling him at the same time, that there was a lady in the next walk who would be very glad of his company. To this insult Eugenio answered, That he was not willing to suppose that an affront was intended, and that if the lady he meant was a woman of honour, she ought al、 ways to be mentioned with respect." Ventosus replied, 'That whether the lady he meant was a wom'an of honour, he would not determine; but he be
lieved she had been very kind; and was pleased to 'see that her favours were not forgotten, though they 'were no longer accepted.' Eugenio was not now master of his temper, but turning suddenly upon Ventosus, struck him with such violence that he fell at his feet: he rose, however in an instant, and laid his hand upon his sword, but was prevented from drawing it by his companion; and the crowd beginning to gather about them, they parted with mutual expressions of contempt and rage.
In the morning the officer who had been in company with Ventosus at the quarrel, delivered a challenge to Eugenio, which he answered by the following billet. 'Sir, Your behaviour last night has convinced me that you are a scoundrel; and your letter this.