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THE

SPECTATOR.

VOL. V.

No 322. Monday, March 10, 1712.

--Ad humum mærore gravi deducit & angit. Hor.

T is often faid, after a Man has heard a Story with extraor dinary Circumftances, it is a very good one if it be true: But as for the following Relation, I fhould be glad were I fure it were falfe. It is told with fuch Simplicity, and there are so many artless Touches of Diftress in it, that I fear it comes too much from the Heart.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

SOME Years ago it happened that I lived in the fame Houfe with a young Gen'tleman of Merit; with whofe good QualiVOL. V.

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ties I was fo much taken, as to make it my Endeavour to fhew as many as I was able in my felf. Familiar Converfe improved general Civilities into an unfeigned Paffion on both Sides. He watched an Opportunity to declare himself to me; and I, who could not expect a Man of fo great an Eftate as his, received his Addreffes in fuch Terms as gave " him no Reason to believe I was displeased with them, tho' I did Nothing to make him think me more eafy than was decent. His Father was a very hard worldly Man, and proud; fo that there was no Reafon to believe he would easily be brought to think, there was any Thing in any Woman's Person or Character that could ballance the Difad vantage of an unequal Fortune. In the mean Time the Son continued his Application to me, and omitted no Occafion of Demonftrating the most difinterefted Paffion imaginable to me; and in plain direct Terms offer'd to marry me privately, and keep it fo 'till he fhould be fo happy as to gain his Father's Approbation, or become poffeffed of his Eftate. I paffionately loved him, and you will believe I did not deny such a one what was my Intereft alfo to grant. How( ever I was not fo young, as not to take the Precaution of carrying with me a faithful Servant, who had been alfo my Mother's Maid, to be prefent at the Ceremony. When that ໄ was over, I demanded a Certificate, figned by the Minifter, my Husband, and the Ser

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vant I just now fpoke of. After our Nuptials we converfed together very familiarly in the fame House; but the Restraints we were generally under, and the Interviews we had being stolen and interrupted, made our Behaviour to each other have rather the impatient Fondness which is vifible in Lovers " than the regular and gratified Affection which is to be observed in Man and Wife. This Obfervation made the Father very anxious for his Son, and prefs him to a Match he had in his Eye for him. To relieve my Husband from this Importunity, and conceal the Secret of our Marriage, which I had Reason to know would not be long in my Power in Town, it was refolved that I fhould retire into a remote Place in the Country, and converse under feigned Names by Letter. We long continued this Way of Commerce; and I with my Needle, a few Books, and Reading over and over my Husband's Letters, paffed my Time in a refigned Expectation of better Days. Be pleafed to take Notice, that within four Months after I left my Husband I was delivered of a Daughter, who died within few Hours after her Birth. This Accident, and the retired Manner of Life I led, gave criminal Hopes to a neighbouring Brute of a Country Gentleman, whofe Folly was the Source of all my Affliction. This Ruftick is one of thofe rich Clowns, who fupply the Want of all Manner of Breeding by the Neg. lect of it, and with noify Mirth, half Un

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derstanding, and ample Fortune, force themfelves upon Perfons and Things without any Senfe of Time and Place. The poor ignorant People where I lay concealed, and now paffed for a Widow, wondered I could be fo fhy and strange, as they called it, to the Squire; and were bribed by him to admit him whenever he thought fit. I happened to be fitting in a little Parlour which belonged 6 to my own Part of the House, and mufing over one of the fondeft of my Husband's Letters, in which I always kept the Certificate of my Marriage, when this rude Fellow came in, and with the naufeous Familiarity of fuch unbred Brutes, fnatched the Papers out of my Hand. I was immediately under fo great a Concern, that I threw my felf at his Feet, and begged of him to return them. C He, with the fame odious Pretence to Freedom and Gayety, fwore he would read them. I grew more importunate, he more curious ; 'till at laft, with an Indignation arifing from a Paffion I then first discovered in him,he threw the Papers into the Fire, fwearing that fince he was not to read them, the Man who writ them should never be so happy as to have me read them over again. It is infignificant to tell you my Tears and Reproaches made the boifterous Calf leave the Room afhamed and out of Countenance, when I had Leisure to ruminate on this Accident with more than ordinary Sorrow: However fuch was then my Confidence in my Husband, that I writ

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to him the Misfortune, and defired another Paper of the fame Kind. He deferred writing two or three Pofts, and at last answered me in general, That he could not then fend 6 me what I asked for, but when he could find a proper Conveyance, I fhould be fure to have it. From this Time his Letters were more < cold every Day than other, and as he grew in'different I grew jealous. This has at laft brought me to Town, where I find both the Witneffes of my Marriage dead, and that my Husband, after three Months Cohabitation, has buried a young Lady whom he married ' in Obedience to his Father. In a Word, he 6 fhuns and difowns me. Should I come to the House and confront him, the Father would join in fupporting him againft me, though he believed my Story; fhould I talk it to the World, what Reparation can I expect for an Injury I cannot make out? I believe he means to bring me, through Neceffity, to refign my Pretenfions to him for ⚫ fome Provifion for my Life; but I will die firft. Pray bid him remember what he faid, and how he was charmed when he laughed at the heedless Discovery I often made of my felf; let him remember how aukward I was in my 'diffembled Indifference towards him before Company; ask him how I, who could never conceal my Love for him, at his own Request can part with him for ever? Oh, Mr. S P E CTATOR, fenfible Spirits know no Indifference in Marriage; what then do you think is my piercing

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