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cumstance had not occurred till the picture was finished, which now struck us with dismay. It was so very large, that we had no place in the house to fix it. How we all came to disregard so material a point is inconceivable; but certain it is, we had been all greatly remiss. This picture, therefore, instead of gratifying our vanity, as we hoped, leaned in a most mortifying manner against the kitchen wall, where the canvas was stretched and painted, much too large to be got through any of the doors, and the jest of all our neighbours. One compared it to Robinson Crusoe's long-boat, too large to be removed; another thought it more resembled a reel in a bottle; some wondered how it could be got out, but still more were amazed how it ever got in.

But though it excited the ridicule of some, it effectually raised more malicious suggestions in many. The Squire's portrait being found united with ours, was an honour too great to escape envy. Scandalous whispers began to circulate at our expense, and our tranquillity was continually disturbed by persons who came as friends to tell us what was said of us by enemies. These reports were always resented with becoming spirit; but scandal ever improves by opposition.

We once again, therefore, entered into a consultation upon obviating the malice of our enemies, and at last came to a resolution which had too much cunning to give me entire satisfaction. It was this : as our principal object was to discover the honour of Mr. Thornhill's addresses, my wife undertook to sound him, by pretending to ask his advice in the choice of a husband for her eldest daughter. If this was not found sufficient to induce him to a declaration, it was then resolved to terrify him with a rival. To this last step, however, I would by no means give my consent, till Olivia gave me the most solemn assurances that she would marry the person provided to rival him upon this occasion, if he did not prevent it by taking her himself. Such was the scheme laid, which, though I did not strenuously oppose, I did not entirely approve.

The next time, therefore, that Mr. Thornhill came to see us, my girls took care to be out of the way, in order to give their mamma an opportunity of putting her scheme in execution ; but they only retired to the next room, from whence they could overhear the whole conversation. My wife artfully introduced it by observing, that one of the Miss Flamboroughs was like to have a very good match of it in Mr. Spanker. To this the Squire assenting, she proceeded to remark that they who had warm fortunes were always sure of getting good husbands : “ But cry." The sincerity of his looks and words convinces me of his real esteem. A short time, I hope, will discover the generosity of his sentiments, and convince you that my opinion of him has been more just than yours.” “Olivia, my darling," returned I, “every scheme that has been hitherto pursued to compel him to a declaration has been proposed and planned by yourself, nor can you in the least say that I have constrained you. But you must not suppose, my dear, that I will ever be

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heaven help,” continued she, “the girls that have none ! What signifies beauty, Mr. Thornhill ? or what signifies all the virtue and all the qualifications in the world, in this age of self-interest ? It is not, What is she ? but, What has she? is all the

“Madam," returned he, “ I highly approve the justice, as well as the novelty, of your remarks ; and if I were a king, it should be otherwise. It should then, indeed, be fine times for the girls without fortunes ; our two young ladies should be the first for whom I would provide.”

“Ah! sir," returned my wife, "you are pleased to be facetious : but I wish I were a queen, and then I know where my eldest daughter should look for a husband. But now that you have put it into my head, seriously, Mr. Thornhill, can't you recommend me a proper husband for her ? she is now nineteen years old, well grown, and well educated; and, in my humble opinion, does not want for parts.”

Madam,” replied he, “if I were to choose, I would find out a person possessed of every accomplishment that can make an angel happy; one with prudence, fortune, taste, and sincerity : such, madam, would be, in my opinion, the proper husband.” “Ay, sir,” said she, " but do you know of any such person ?" “No, madam,” returned he; “it is impossible to know any person that deserves to be her husband : she's too great a treasure for one man's possession : she's a goddess. Upon my soul, I speak what I think, she's an angel.” “Ah! Mr. Thornhill, you only flatter my poor girl : but we have been thinking of marrying her to one of your tenants, whose mother is lately dead, and who wants a manager ; you know whom I mean, Farmer Williams; a warm man, Mr. Thornhill, able to give her good bread; and who has several times made her proposals” (which was actually the case). “ But, sir,” concluded she, “ I should be glad to have your approbation of our choice.” “How, madam !” replied he, “my approbation! My approbation of such a choice ! Never. What! sacrifice so much beauty, and sense, and goodness, to a creature insensible of the blessing! Excuse me, I can never approve of such a piece of injustice ! And I have my reasons Indeed, sir,” cried Deborah; “if you have your reasons, that's another affair ; but I should be glad to know those reasons.” Excuse me, madam,” returned he; "they lie too deep for discovery” (laying his hand upon his bosom); “ they remain buried, riveted here."

After he was gone, upon a general consultation, we could not tell what to make of these fine sentiments. Olivia considered them as in

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, instrumental in suffering his honest rival to be the dupe of your ill-placed passion. Whatever time you require to bring your fancied admirer to an explanation, shall be granted; but at the expiration of that term, if he is still regardless, I must absolutely insist that honest Mr. Williams shall be rewarded for his fidelity. The character which I have hitherto supported in life demands this from me; and my tenderness as a parent shall never influence my integrity as a man. Name, then, your day; let it be as distant as you think proper, and in the meantime take care to let Mr. Thornhill know the exact time on which I design delivering you up to another. If he really loves you, his own good sense will readily suggest that there is but one method alone to prevent his losing you for ever.” This proposal, which she could not avoid considering as perfectly just, was readily agreed to. She again renewed her most positive promise of marrying Mr. Williams, in case of the other's insensibility; and at the next opportunity, in Mr. Thornhill's presence, that day month was fixed upon for her nuptials with his rival.

Such vigorous proceedings seemed to redouble Mr. Thornhill's anxiety; but what Olivia really felt gave me some uneasiness. In this struggle between prudence and passion, her vivacity quite forsook her, and every opportunity of solitude was sought, and spent in tears. One week passed away; but Mr. Thornhill made no efforts to restrain her nuptials. The succeeding week he was still assiduous, but not more open.

On the third he discontinued his visits entirely; and instead of my daughter testifying any impatience, as I expected, she seemed to retain a pensive tranquillity, which I looked upon as resignation. For my own part, I was now sincerely pleased with thinking that my child was going to be secured in a continuance of competence and peace, and frequently applauded her resolution, in preferring happiness to ostentation. It was within about four days of her intended nuptials, that my

little family at night were gathered round a charming fire, telling stories of the past, and laying schemes for the future ; busied in forming a

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