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night when Constantia and her maid entered the coach, in which two gentlemen were already seated; and, to the consternation of Constantia, she soon saw, as they passed near a lamp, that her vis-à-vis was Overton! He recognised her at the same moment; and instantly began in the French language, to express his joy at meeting her and to profess the faithfulness of his fervent affection. In vain did she try to force conversation with the other passenger, who seemed willing to talk, and who, though evidently not a gentleman, was much preferable, in her opinion, to the new Sir Richard. He would not allow her to attend to any conver sation but his own; and, as it was with difficulty that she could keep her hand from his rude grasp, she tried to change seats with her maid; but Overton forcibly withheld her; and she thought it was better to endure the evil patiently, than violently resist it. When the mail stopped, that the passengers might sup, Constantia hoped Overton would, at least, leave her for a time; but, though the other passenger got out, he kept his seat, and was so persevering, and was so much more disagreeable when the restraint imposed on him by the presence of others was removed, that she was glad when the coach was again full, and the mail drove off.

Overton, however, became so increasingly of fensive to her, that, at length, she assured him, in language the most solemn and decided, that nothing should ever induce her to be his wife; and that, were she penny less, service would be more desirable to her than union with him.

This roused his anger even to frenzy: and, still speaking French, a language which he was sure the illiterate man in the corner could not under


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stand, he told her that she refused him only because she loved Sir Edward Vandeleur; "but," said he, "you have no chance of obtaining him. I have taken care to prevent that. I gave him such a character of you as frightened him away from you, and . . . . "Base-minded man!" cried Constantia ; "what did you, what could you say against my character ?"" Oh! I said nothing against your morals. I only told him you were an atheist, and a vixen, that is all :-and, you know, you are the latter, though not the form. er; but are more like a methodist than an atheist !"-" And you told him these horrible falsehoods! And if you had not, would he have did he then? ..... but I know not what I say; and I am miserable! Cruel, wicked man! how could you thus dare to injure and misrepresent an unprotected orphan! and the child of your friend! and to calumniate me to him too! to Sir Edward Vandeleur ! Oh it was cruel indeed!"-"What! then you wished to please him, did you? answer me he vociferated, seizing both her hands in his; "Are you attached to Sir Edward Vandeleur ?" But, before Constantia could answer no, and, while faintly screaming with apprehension and pain, she vainly tried to free herself from Overton's nervous grasp, a powerful hand rescued her from the ruffian gripe. Then, while the dawn shone brightly upon her face, Constantia and Overton at the same moment recognised, in her rescuer, Sir Edward Vandeleur himself!

He was just returned from France; and was on his way to the neighbourhood of being now, as he believed, able to see Constantia with entire indifference, when as one of his horses became ill,

he resolved to take that place in the mail which the other passenger had quitted for the box; and had thus the pleasure of hearing all suspicions, all imputations, against the character of Constantia cleared off, and removed, at once, and for ever! Constantia's joy was little inferior to his own; but it was soon lost in terror at the probable result of the angry emotions of Sir Edward and Overton. Her fear, however, vanished, when the former assured the latter, that the man who could injure an innocent woman, by a lie of FIRST-RATE MALIGNITY, was beneath even the resentment of an honourable man.

I shall only add, that Overton left the mail at the next stage, baffled, disgraced, and miserable; that Constantia found her friend recovering; and that the next time she travelled along that road, it was as the bride of Sir Edward Vandeleur.



I HAVE observed, in the foregoing chapter, that LIES OF FIRST-RATE MALIGNITY are not frequent, because the arm of the law defends reputations ;but, against lies of second-rate malignity, the law holds out no protection; nor is there a tribunal of sufficient power either to deter any one from uttering them, or to punish the utterer. The lies in

question spring from the spirit of detraction; a spirit more widely diffused in society than any. other; and it gives birth to satire, ridicule, mim

icry, quizzing, and lies of second-rate malignity, as certainly as a wet season brings snails.

I shall now explain what I consider as lies of SECOND-RATE MALIGNITY;-namely, tempting persons, by dint of flattery, to do what they are incapable of doing well, from the mean, malicious wish of leading them to expose themselves, in order that their tempter may enjoy a hearty laugh at their expense. Persuading a man to drink more than his head can bear, by assurances that the wine is not strong, and that he has not drunk as much as he thinks he has, in order to make him intoxicated, and that his persuaders may enjoy the cruel delight of witnessing his drunken silliness, his vain-glorious boastings, and those physical contortions, or mental weaknesses, which intoxication is always sure to produce. Complimenting either man or woman on qualities which they do not possess, in hopes of imposing on their credulity; praising a lady's work, or dress, to her face; and then, as soon as she is no longer present, not only abusing both her work and her dress, but laughing at her weakness, in believing the praise sincere. Lavishing encomiums on a man's abilities and learning in his presence; and then, as soon as he is out of hearing, expressing contempt for his credulous belief in the sincerity of the praises bestowed; and wonder that he should be so blind and conceited as not to know that he was in learning only a smatterer, and in understanding just not a fool. All these are lies of second-rate malignity, which cannot be exceeded in base and petty treachery.

The following story will, I trust, explain fully what, in the common intercourse of society, I consider as LIES OF SECOND-RATE MALIGNITY.




NOTHING Shows the force of habit more than the tenaciousness with which those adhere to econom⚫ ical usages who, by their own industry and unexpected good fortune, are become rich in the decline of life.

A gentleman, whom I shall call Dr. Albany, had, early in life, taken his degree at Cambridge, as a doctor of physick, and had settled in London as a physician; but had worn away the best part of his existence in vain expectation of practice, when an old bachelor, a college friend, whom he had greatly served, died, and left him the whole of his large fortune.

Dr. Albany had indeed deserved this bequest; for he had rendered his friend the greatest of all services. He had rescued him, by his friendly advice and enlightened arguments, from scepticism, apparently the most hopeless; and, both by precept and example, had allured him along the way that leads to salvation.

But, as wealth came to Dr. Albany too late in life for him to think of marrying, and as he had no relations who needed all his fortune, he resolved to leave the greatest part of it to those friends who wanted it the most.

Hitherto, he had scarcely ever left London; as he had thought it right to wait at home to receive business, even though business never came; but now he was resolved to renew the neglected ac

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