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majority and his ruin at the same point of time. He now supports himself only by the sufferance of his creditors; they will not ruin him entirely because they know
them, however niggardly we may be in the discharge of our debts of justice; the Colonel, therefore, is well paid, though our tradesmen may dun in vain." "The Colonel seems no favourite of him to have certain expectations yet in. yours," replied I.
store, and till he has pledged them to their full value they will allow him to remain out of prison. In the mean time his title, and the appearance which he is still en
"I think very little of him," resumed my aunt; "I should indeed pity him if I thought him formed for any thing higher or better; but nature seems to have in-abled to maintain, have preserved him his tended him for a butterfly, and with that place in the fashionable world. His equipurpose to have turned him loose into a page is indeed gone, but he still drives garden. I have nothing therefore to ob- that of a friend, and sometimes mounts the ject to him as he follows his nature, and mail coach. I am afraid he will rapidly apparently acts up to the end of his crea- become another pensioner on the fund for tion. There are many such triflers, and broken down men of fashion, but I doubt he is certainly at the head of them; he has that even there he will not have the same another recommendation, he is perfectly success with Colonel Clubstick, because harmless, his folly is the worst part about he is by no means in the same general him." favour. Lord Sam has now another plan, but I begin to doubt its success.”
"Now then," resumed I, "for the picture of another of your friends, Lord Sam Foreclose; what have you to say of him, aunt?"
"That be likewise is a character," continued my aunt, "and, as being at the head of a species, merits a detailed description. Lord Sam, as his name imports, is the younger son of a nobleman; his father died whilst he was at Westminster, and left Lord Sam an estate and money to the amount of seven thousand pounds per annum. Lord Sam, a minor at the time, immediately wrote to his guardians, that as his father had left him such a noble fortune, he flattered himself that they would exhibit an equal liberality in his annual allowance. His guardians, being men of fashion and of immense fortune, were very indifferent as to the disposal of the fortune left in trust to them; they conceived, in fact, that they had but one point of duty, and that this consisted in giving in due accounts; they did not hesitate, therefore, to comply most fully with the demands of Lord Sam, and in answer to his letter immediately settled his school allowance at three hundred pounds per annum. Lord Sam now gave free reins to all his caprices; be kept his horses openly and his women secretly; he became the best driver and the worst scholar in the school; he contrived to spend treble his allowance, and raised the difference from the moneylenders. In this manner he attained his
"And what may that plan be?" said I. Why," resumed my aunt, having ruined himself by horses, he has engaged in the attempt of repairing himself by women. Ile is now all for a matrimonial speculation; he flatters himself that his rank and person may recommend him to some country heiress."
"And has he the vanity," said I, "to select me as a suitable object for such a speculation, for such an exchange?”
"And why not?" said my aunt laughing. "Look at his person, and confess at least that he is of a manly stature; in this quality, indeed, he might suit an Exhibition; if his face be not handsome, if it be coarse and almost vulgar, its character is boldness even to insolence, and the characteristic shillalah would be as appropriate to him as to Colonel Clubstick himself. this, that he speaks loudly, and evidently sets a proper value upon himself; and I really do not know what else you can reasonably require in a man of fashion."
"If such be your men of fashion,” replied I, "I believe that I shall return to the country as I left it. These characters, dear aunt, will not suit Hymenza; even our country breed is preferable to these mongrels."
"Have patience," my dear," resumed my aunt; "time and patience may produce wonders. The beau monde is a garden of great extent, there are flowers of all
qualities, you will be peculiarly unlucky if || you can find none to your taste."
characters with whom I was daily pestered; in a future letter you shall have the dramatis persone in action. Well may it be a maxim in the fashionable world, that people of fashion are only suited to each other. I never suffered so much as during my probationary novitiation; and after a tolerably long intercourse with the beau monde, as it is called, I am still perplexed
"I am not difficult to please," said I, "only let me have a selection amongst reasonable creatures. I do not want the discipline of a cane, and therefore will have nothing to say to Colonel Clubstick; I do not want to become the manageress of a company of private players, and therefore will have nothing to say to Co-with surprise when I reffect that reasonable lonel Bijoux; and as to Lord Sam, I have no inclination to release him from his debts by the gift of my fortune, so that there are none of these whom I should deem worthy of even a thought."
In my future letters I shall continue my narrative. I have been able to do little in the present but exhibit some of the
creatures can be content to pass their lives in such an unbroken course of frivolity; surely, Sir, we were born for something better and wiser than to spend the day between Bond-street and the Parks, and to measure the night by a succession of routs.-Yours,
ISLE OF SKY, NORTH BRITAIN.
TO THE LADY SYBILLA MACKEN.
ing to the new plan recommended to me, received the Count with smiles, and with an evident ease and satisfaction which, as I judged from his apparent emotions, seemed equally to surprise and transport him; at the same time, from some intelligent looks which I perceived my mother and the
"MADAM,-I resume my narrative from the point at which I interrupted it in my last. I have mentioned that in answer to my communication to my mother that the Count de la Plaisance was trespassing upon the rights of Constant; that he seized every opportunity to address him-Count to interchange, a suspicion would self to me, and at the same time so shaped his approaches as to elude giving me the opportunity to express my indignation; I have related, I say, that in answer to this communication my mother rallied my apprehensions, considered the addresses of the Count as a matter of course homage to a handsome woman, and advised my receiving them as such, and to content myself with retorting in raillery and indifference. This advice she daily repeated, and I believe it was a remark of a man very well skilled in human nature, that there are few persons who are proof against the combined assaults of bad counsel, and particularly when it appeals to their vanity, and is seconded by their passions: this is the sole excuse I can allege for my subsequent conduct.
sometimes arise that there was something of concert between them, and that they were both acting in a plot of which I was the object, and my fate and fortune the intended catastrophe. These suspicions, however, not being of a very pleasing nature, I anxiously dismissed as soon as they arose, and as nothing is so easy as to deceive one's self on the pleasing side, I soon succeeded in tranquillizing my own mind, and in persuading myself that the Count and my mother had as little of design as myself.
"If I had understood my own mind, indeed, there was enough already passing in it to alarm me; I certainly still loved Constant, and still persuaded myself that in honour, in common faith, I belonged to him and to him only, as much as if the "In pursuance of this advice I dismissed church had already crowned and sanctioned entirely all my former reserve, and accord-"our union; but I could not avoid perceiv
ing that the gh I still loved Constant, I and contrived, without the appearance of did not love him so much as formerly; designing it, to throw myself in the way of before the Count's arrival, I was unhappy my disconsolate lover. He seized my hand and impatient in the absence of Constant; with a kind of transport, and then, with a time passed unperceived in his presence, grace of manners peculiarly his own, exand halted miserably when he was away. cused himself for his abrupt rudeness, from My father was in the habit of rallying me the power of his mingled emotions:- And for being so incessantly at my window, what may be the cause of such emotions, anxiously looking for the return of Con- said 1; I always thought, Count, that stant and himself, when they were out you Frenchmen could do every thing but riding together. I had even some difficulty || think and feel.'-'Then you have most peto conceal my vexation when my father culiarly mistaken the French character, would call Constant to attend him in a ride replied the Count. Alas! madam, I fear or a walk in which I could not accompany that we feel more powerfully than the them. In a word, I had formerly loved English, though we have not the same Constant as fondly and ardently as was con- eloquence, the same powerful means of sistent with an innocent affection. expressing it.'
"I now found that I still indeed loved him, but certainly not to the same degree; he was no longer necessary to me, he no longer was the sole object of my thoughts and of my fancy. I began to find that the || company of the Count was an agreeable substitute; though I would still make no hesitation to leave the company of the Count for that of Constant; yet if the Count was with me, I sometimes forgot that Constant was absent. As the day of the union of Constant and myself approached, the Count became evidently melancholy, and, to confess the truth, I did not see the approach of this day with all the satisfaction which became my situation. I know not whether the seeds of coquetry are necessarily implanted in all women by their very nature, and that amongst the number I had my share, or whether the caprice of which I am speaking originated in the peculiar perversion of my own mind; but this I must confess, that considering that my marriage with Constant must necessarily put a period to the addresses of the Count, to his attentions, to his flatteries, I looked with some discontent to this approaching event. I was too much of a woman not to comprehend very well the cause of the visible melancholy of the Count, and I had too much of my sex not to give him an opportunity to explain⠀⠀ himself. I one day saw from my window that the Count was walking on the further extremity of the lawn which immediately fronted the chamber; under the pure impression of feminike vanity I left my room,
"On what do you form your opinions," added I.
"On the different success of the Frencía and English in love as in war; I mean as far as respects England only. Whence is it, madam, that a Frenchman has no chance either with a lady, or in a naval engagement, where an Englishman is present ??
Perhaps they fight under a disadvantage, Sir, which may destroy their natural equality.'
In love, in addresses to ladies, they are indeed under a disadvantage,' said the Count. You have all a prejudice against us, which would render all our hopes the utmost extremity of folly.
"Do you speak from experience, Count said I with a smile.
Yes, madam,' continued he, taking my hand, and assuming a look of the most profound feeling and melancholy; I am very unhappy, very ill at ease, and I am sure you have too much goodness not to feel some sympathy. Will you pardon me if I submit to an invincible necessity, to feelings which I cannot overcome, and ex. plain myself fully.'
"I will pardon you nothing,' said I, endeavouring to assume a tone of pleasantry, if you address me with this inflexible gravity.'
"Alas! madam,' replied the Count, 'whatever I am, I am no hypocrite, nor can I be a hypocrite; it is beyond my power to assume features of pleasantry whilst my heart is sinking under a weight
"If you are so sensible of my engage ments,' replied I, why should you complain that I am about to observe them ?'
I may be allowed to complain of misfortune,' said the Count. You must not refuse me the privilege of complaint. Dearest Alicia, pardon a miserable man, that he ventures to address you so familiarly; I cannot but think, that had a more favourable fortune brought us together in the commencement, Constant would not have been so certain of your favour. What has he which I do not possess, and which you can reasonably require?"
"Honour and honesty,' replied I, not to trespass on the rights of another.'
"This may be good as a sentiment in a comedy,' said I, but will it correspond with truth and nature as a rule of morals.' "Indeed, I know not,' said the Count; all I know is, that here comes the Admiral, and by his apparent deportment, be seems full of something important; I must take my leave, madam, and I do it with a most heavy heart. If any one at this mo ment be so extremely miserable as to be totally without hope, and therefore without any relish or value in life, it is myself. I will not complain of you; I will not complain of Constant; but you must not deny me the privilege of complaining against my own unhappy destiny, which has thrownme into this state of misery and desola. tion.'
"The Admiral now came up, and taking me by the hand, addressed me:- My dear Alicia, a most important event has occurred; your union with Constant was fixed for this day fortnight, something has occurred which, according to the opinion of my wife, must necessarily delay it; but do not suffer this incident to alarmı you, as the interruption will be but temporary, and it is for Constant's good and advance
"You think me very easily alarmed,' said I, smiling: "Have you persuaded yourself, my dear father, that a husband is so necessary to me that I ought to consider the interruption you speak of as an afflict,
"You assume that he is such a stoic, continued the Count, because you have never seen him in circumstances in whichment in life.' he has any temptation to be otherwise. Constant, in a similar situation, might have acted as I have done. There are passions which are too extreme for the cold laws of morality; and yet, to confess the truth, I do believe that Constant would have acteding event?' differently. Constant is a man of a very happy tenperament; he has no violent passions; he is not troubled with that sen-. sibility which hurries a man out of himself. Constant, I should imagine, would be as cold as a rival as he appears to me to be moderate as a lover.'
"Is it generous of you,' said I,' to speak thus of the absent?'
"In the ordinary transactions of the world, madam, I should be as much above backbiting as any man in the world; but there is a very fine comedy in your language, in which the writer has said, with as much justice as brilliancy, that there is no faith in love; that love, like necessity, acknowledges no laws but his own; that his invincible power is an excuse for every thing, and a natural discharge from all the obligations of ordinary morality.'
"I am happy to see that you do not take it so much to heart as I had anticipated,' replied my father; though, on the other hand, I should be equally grieved, if I thought you wanted that proper regard for Constant, and that proper sensibility, not to feel his disappointment as your own. Next to yourself, Alicia, Constant stands nearest to my heart; it would truly grieve me to discover that he did not possess a similar place in yours.'
"My dearest father,' replied I, * you entirely mistake the matter; your kindness, your paternal tenderness, makes me so happy, and so contented, that I find that! have nothing to wish. The company Constant is likewise dear to me, and however I may appear to you, I should very sensibly feel the loss of it. These are my actual sentiments."
"I am very glad that they are so,' replied my father; Constant is a good lad, and if you are a daughter of mine, you will treat him honourably. But what I now have to say is, that his Majesty has been pleased to appoint a vessel to go upon a voyage of discovery, and that the Lords of the Admiralty, in compliment to me, have appointed Constant to the command of it. I have received letters this morning, by which I am given to understand that Constant mást immediately attend the Lords Commissioners to receive their instructions, and that the vessel is ordered to sail with the first fair wind. I have informed your mother of these circumstances, and it is her opinion that the marriage of Constant and yourself should be deferred till Constant's return.'
departure appeared to me a relief. I demanded of my own mind whence this important change; I could give no other answer, than that I did not wish to alter my state, and therefore that the prescut escape from it was an actual deliverance. This reflection at length had silenced my scruples, when my father entered my chamber.'
"Well, my dearest Alicia, your mother and myself have seen Constant, and after an infinite trouble have persuaded him to submit. We had trouble enough, however, to reconcile him to leaving you, but your mother has by some means effected it.. Constant is now in yonder walk on the lawn, and expects you; the horses are ordered, and he leaves us for London this very day.'
"So soon,' said I.
"Yes,' replied my father, but he returns again before he takes his final depar
"How long may he be absent?' said I. "I am afraid not less than fourteen or fifteen months. He is to visit Otaheite and the Friendly Islands; and make what allow-ture. I served the King for a long series ance we will for favourable winds and for his own eagerness, he cannot possibly perform so long a course in a less period.' "Two years,' said I, smiling, is a long time, my dear father.'
"I am almost angry,' replied the Admiral, that by your manner you seem to think it rather a short time. But perhaps the world is changed since the time when I was young; Heaven bless me, if any one had talked to me of waiting two years when I was upon the point of being married to your mother, I should have thought that they spoke of what was impossible, but you and your mother seem both of one mind; you seem to think it a matter of course. Well, be it so; in one point of view it is certainly very favourable to Constant's professional advancement. I never knew a married man on board a king's vessel worth a straw; he was always thinking of his wife when he should only have thought of his duty. Well, I shall now go to Constant, and I hope he may take it as cooly as your mother and yourself.'
"My father left me in pursuit of Constant, and I returned to my room. When I reviewed in my mind all that had passed, I became almost dissatisfied with myself, and for the first time indulged an apprehension that my sentiments for Constant had suffered some material change; his No. XLV. Vol. VI.
of years, and in all that time I had one invariable rule, from which I never departed. I always obeyed au order in the same moment in which I received it; and the Lords Commissioners, you must know, are the King's deputies. They have requested. the immediate attendance of Constant at
the Board, and I have made it a point of honour with him, that he should instantly obey. It was in this way that I obtained my rapid promotion.'
"You are forgetting all this time, my dear father, that Constant is walking below, on the lawn, expecting me.'
"Yes, yes,' replied my father, I had forgotten it; but now you remind me of it, I must not suffer you to lose a moment. Go to him instantly, and if you can, assume an air of some feeling. Why, Heaven help me, you seem as if nothing had occurred. Whatever you do, do not suffer him to leave England unhappy.'
"I promised to obey my father, and descended to the lawn to meet Constant. He advanced to me as I approached him, and affectionately taking my hand :