Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

DIALOGUE XXII.

MR. WORTHY, MR. LOVELY, AND OTHERS,

THE CONTRAST; OR, CONJUGAL HAPPINESS, FOUNDED

ON CHASTITY, FIDELITY, AND AFFECTION.

EDWARD goes to Brookfield-hall on the following morning, after the arrival of his new guests, while the fainily were at breakfast, and begs to speak to Mr. Worthy. Edward is introduced.

Elw. Sir, your honour said that I must call on you if the gentleman and lady, who came to our house yesterday evening, wanted any thing. They want nothing but the liberty to walk in your honour's park; and they are so pleased with the situation, and so well contented with our plain way of accommodating them, that they mean to stop over Sunday; for I made bold to tell them, what a wonderful fine man we have for the Minister of our Parisii, and that it was he who made the verses your honour bad put over the door ; but I should be ashamed to put them in our pew.

Wor. Well Edward, there will be no difficulty on that score, for though we are pretty well crowded with Mr. Considerate's family and our own, yet my daughters can sit with Mrs Lovegood, and then we shall have room for them.

Mrs. Wor. But do you want any thing for their accommodation ?

Edw. Nothing madam, but Mrs. Trusty's receipt,

with your leave, to make some jellies; the lady is in a very poor state of health, and he is so tender of her! They seem to be a most loving pair.—Poor Mrs. Chipman ! the sight of it quite cuts her to the leart; she is always saying she might have been as happy as they are, if it had not been for her own folly,

and the evil consequences of sin.

Mrs. Wor. Trusty shall send some jellies to your house directly. Wor. Perhaps a little fruit also may be acceptable?

. Edw. Why, the Lady was asking if we had apy, and we gathered some cherries and strawberries for thern; but it is not in our way to raise such dainties as your honour has at the Hall.

Wor. I shall tell the gardener to send them a basket of fruit, and I shall call on you to-morrow, and invite them to tea.

Edw. Thank your honour. The dear gentleman, (and I am sure by his kind and good behaviour, he must be some downright gentleman ;) he thinks about nothing but his wife : she is very sickly, and he is sadly afraid he will lose her.

Wor. I hope it is not another Sir Charles and Lady Dash's story.

Edw. O Sir! their behaviour is so different, it cannot be :-l am sure it cannot be.

Wor. Have you learnt the gentleman's name?

Edw. Why Sir, when their servant sạt down to supper with us, I made bold to ask him.-His name is Lovelv. He came from a place called Fairfield, near Grediton. It is amazing what a character the man gives his master and mistress, and what an affecting story he tells about them: I think there have been nothing but affecting stories at our house of late; as how he married against the consent of his rich uncle; and that he is very angry with him : but I cail scarcely tell your honour the rights of it. : [On the next day Mr. Worthy accomplished his hospitable design: the first introductory tea-table conversation being not of sufficient importance to be narrated, shall be omitted. After tea, as the weather proved lowering, Mrs. Lovely continued the guest of Mrs. Worthy, while Mr. Worthy and Mr. Lovely took a short walk about the gardens : and when seated in the green-house, the following conversation took place.]

Wor. I am afraid Sir, you meet with very plain accommodations at the Golden Lion, though I am satisfied the worthy landlord and his wife will, according to the best of their ability, make you as comfortable as they can in their homely way.

Lov. O Sir! nothing can delight us more than our present accommodations. As we passed by we stopt to read the poetry; and it struck us so exceedingly, that we thought we would gratify our curiosity by going into the house. We called for tea, and were so astonishingly pleased with the neat and decent appearance of inatters, that we at once determined to stop short of Mapleton, where we intended to have slept. Besides, we were so struck with the enchanting scenery from the lovely situation of the village, the neighbourhood being so beautifully dressed by the taste you have pisplayed about your own house and pleasure-grounds, that we next determined to continue, at least, a few days in our present quarters.

Wor. Have you a long journey then before you, Sir ?

Lov. Oh no Sir! I am only taking easy journies fronı place to place, by the advice of our physician, to see if any thing can be done for the recovery of the health and spirits of that invaluable creature, who has been my wife for about these six months. We are under peculiar embarrassments, [he hesitates and wipes his eyes, then adds,] my relations, some of whom are very affluent, are exceedingly displeased at the marriage, and I am afraid lest I should lose the best of wives by the affliction.

Wor. I know Sir, how indelicate it is to ask you

questions of this sort, as it seems almost bodering upon impertinence; but may I suppose your only crime has been, that you were captivated by a very amiable young woman, whose birth and education were inferior to your own. Lov. O Sir ! no apology is needed; and our minds

1 have suffered so severely by this event, that it will be a great indulgence to me, especially as I have taken the liberty to inquire so much into your character since I have been here, if you will allow me to be more particular.

Wor. We cannot well leave our present retreat, as it begins to rain ; and whatever you communicate shall be in confidence.

Lov. Oh no Sir! no confidence is necessary. The part my dearest wife and I have acted, may be published in every newspaper throughout the kingdom and it will never put us to the blush.

Wor. Sir, after such a declaration of your honourable conduct, I cannot be less anxious to hear your story, than you are to relate it.

Lov. Sir, before you can fully understand matters I must first give you a short history of our family connexions. My father has a small hereditary estate, which clears him between five and six hundred a year, and that he might increase bis fortune, he engaged with others in a large brewery. He married a Miss Greedy, whose family is very rich, but as it is the scheme of that family, like many others, to hoard up all for the eldest son, her fortune was nothing greater than my father had a right to expect, it being only three thousand pounds. By that marriage my father had five children ; my younger brother died almost an infant. So that our family at present consists of myself and three sisters; two of these are creditably married, and for this they have to thank my father, who being a person of strict integrity, never saw it just to make such

with very

a vast difference between his children: and having thus, by care and attention, portioned off my sisters

decent fortunes, he tells me I have little to expect from him but the family estate.

Wor. Well Sir, I congratulate you in having a father of such integrity and worth. I am surprised that he should have been so displeased at your marriage.

Lov. He displeased at the marriage! no dear Sir, it met with his highest approbation; and he has not a daughter of his own that he can love better than my dearest wife; she was a creditable tradesman's daughter, or rather in the mercantile line; well educated, and brought into the family with her eight hundred pounds on the day of her inarriage. But O Sir! if you did bui know half her excellencies, you would say she was the greatest fortune imaginable in herself, inestimable beyond the value of money. It has been the displeasure of my rich uncle, my mother's brother, which has been the cause of our perplexity.

Wor. What was that to hin, if your marriage was conducted with so much purity, chastity, and propriety, and with the consent of your parents ?

Lov. Sir, it was greediness and family pride. I have tainted the blood of the family by marrying a tradesman's daughter, when I might have enriched it by marrying the daughter of an Earl; and my mother unhappily joined with him in all his objections,

Wor. But you are not of his family after all; and how could you, with your comparatively small fortune and when even that was not to be yours till after your father's death, support the daughter of an Earl, in the extravagant style in which they generally expect to live!

Lov. O Sir! but he meant to make me his heir.

Wor. What then, had your uncle no children of his own?

Lov. Sir he never was taarried for the sake of an offspring, but that he might enlarge bis property. He therefore availed himself of the folly of a rich widow,

Yo IL

[ocr errors]

12

« ÎnapoiContinuați »