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going forward; but on my journey down my resolutions were changed by meeting an old acquaintance, who I found belonged to a company of comedians that were going to make a summer campaign in the country. The company seemed not much to disapprove of me for an associate. They all, however, apprised me of the importance of the task at which I aimed; that the public was a many-headed monster, and that only such as had very good heads could please it; that acting was not to be learnt in a day; and that without some traditional shrugs which had been on the stage, and only on the stage, these hundred I could never pretend to please. The next difficulty was in fitting me with parts, as almost every character was in keeping. I was driven for some time from one character to another, till at last Horatio was fixed upon, which the presence of the present company has happily hindered me from acting.”

years,

CHAPTER XXI.

THE SHORT CONTINUANCE OF FRIENDSHIP AMONG THE VICIOUS, WHICH IS COEVAL ONLY

WITH MUTUAL SATISFACTION,

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Y son's account was too long to be delivered at once ; the first part of it was begun that night, and he was concluding the rest after dinner the next day, when

the appearance of Mr. Thornhill's equipage at the door seemed to make a pause in the general satisfaction.

The butler, who was now become my friend in the

family, informed me, in a whisper, that the Squire had already made some overtures to Miss Wilmot, and that her aunt and uncle seemed highly to approve the match. Upon Mr. Thornhill's entering, he seemed, at seeing my son and me, to start back; but I readily imputed that to surprise, and not displeasure. However, upon our advancing to salute him, he returned our greeting with the most apparent candour; and after a short time his presence served only to increase the general good humour.

After tea, he called me aside, to inquire after my daughter; but upon my informing him that my inquiry was unsuccessful, he seemed greatly surprised; adding that he had been since frequently at my house,

in order to comfort the rest of my family, whom he left perfectly well. He then asked if I had communicated her misfortune to Miss Wilmot, or my son; and upon my replying that I had not told them as yet, he greatly approved my prudence and precaution, desiring me by all means to keep it a secret ; "for at best,” cried he, “it is but divulging one's own infamy; and perhaps Miss Livy may not be so guilty as we all imagine." We were here interrupted by a servant, who came to ask the Squire in to stand up at country-dances; so that he left me quite pleased with the interest he seemed to take in my concerns. His addresses, however, to Miss Wilmot were too obvious to be mistaken ; and yet she seemed not perfectly pleased, but bore them rather in compliance to the will of her aunt, than from real inclination. I had even the satisfaction to see her lavish some kind looks upon my unfortunate son, which the other could neither extort by his fortune nor assiduity. Mr. Thornhill's seeming composure, however, not a little surprised me : we had now continued here a week, at the pressing instances of Mr. Arnold; but each day the more tenderness Miss Wilmot showed my son, Mr. Thornhill's friendship seemed proportionably to increase for him.

He had formerly made us the most kind assurances of using his interest to serve the family; but now his generosity was not confined to promises alone. The morning I'designed for my departure Mr. Thornhill came to me, with looks of real pleasure, to inform me of a piece of service he had done for his friend George.

This was nothing less than his having procured him an ensign's commission in one of the regiments that were going to the West Indies, for which he had promised but one hundred pounds, his interest having been sufficient to get an abatement of the other two : “ As for this trilling piece of service,” continued the young gentleman, “I desire no other reward but the pleasure of having served my friend; and as for the hundred pounds to be paid, if you are unable to raise it yourselves, I will advance it, and you shall repay me at your leisure.” This was a favour we wanted words to express our sense of : I readily, therefore, gave my bond for the money, and testified as much gratitude as if I never intended to pay.

George was to depart for town the next day to secure his commission, in pursuance of his generous patron's directions, who judged it highly expedient to use dispatch, lest in the meantime another should step in with more advantageous proposals. The next morning, . therefore, our young soldier was early prepared for his departure, and seemed the only person among us that was not affected by it. Neither the fatigues and dangers he was going to encounter, nor the friends and mistress (for Miss Wilmot actually loved him, he was leaving behind, any way damped his spirits. After he had taken leave of the rest of the company; I gave him all I had—my blessing : “And now, my boy,” cried I, “thou art going to fight for thy country, remember how thy brave grandfather fought for his sacred king, when loyalty among Britons was a virtue. Go, my boy, and imitate him in all but his misfortunes ; if it was a misfortune to die with Lord Falkland. Go, my boy, and if you fall, though distant, exposed and unwept by those that love you, the most precious tears are those with which Heaven bedews the unburied head of a soldier."

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The next morning I took leave of the good family that had been kind enough to entertain me so long, not without several expressions of gratitude to Mr. Thornhill for his late bounty. I left them in the enjoyment of all that happiness which affluence and good breeding procure, and returned towards home, despairing of ever finding my

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daughter more, but sending a sigh to Heaven to spare and to forgive her. I was now come within about twenty miles of home, having hired a horse to carry me, as I was yet but weak, and comforted myself with the hopes of soon seeing all I held dearest upon earth. But the night coming on, I put up at a little public-house by the road-side, and asked for the landlord's company over a pint of wine. We sat beside his kitchen fire, which was the best room in the house, and chatted on politics and the news of the country. We happened,

. among other topics, to talk of young squire Thornhill

, who, the host assured me, was hated as much as his uncle, Sir William, who sometimes came down to the country, was loved. He went on to observe, that he made it his whole study to betray the daughters of such as received him to their houses, and after a fortnight or three weeks' possession turned them out unrewarded and abandoned to the world. As we continued our discourse in this manner, his wife, who had been out to get change, returned, and perceiving that her husband was enjoying a pleasure in which she was not a sharer, she asked him, in an angry tone, what he did there, to which he only replied, in an ironical way, by drinking her health. “Mr. Symonds,” cried she, “you use me very ill, and I'll bear it no longer. Here, three-parts of the business is left for me to do, and the fourth left unfinished, while you do nothing but soak with the guests all day long; whereas, if a spoonful of liquor were to cure me of a fever, I never touch a drop." I now found what she would be at, and immediately poured her out a glass, which she received with a curtsey, and drinking towards my good health, “Sir,” resumed she, “it is not so much for the value of the liquor I am angry, but one cannot help it when the house is going out of the windows. If the customers or guests are to be dunned, all the burden lies upon my back : he'd as lief eat that glass as budge after them himself. There now above stairs we have a young woman who has come to take up her lodgings here, and I don't believe she has got any money, by her over-civility. I am certain she

I is very slow of payment, and I wish she were put in mind of it."

What signifies minding her?” cried the host ; “if she be slow she's sure." · I don't know that,” replied the wife; “but I know that I am sure she has been here a fortnight, and we have not yet seen the cross of her money.” “I suppose, my dear,” cried he, “ we shall have it all in a lump." “ In a lump !" cried the other; “ I hope we may get it

any way; and that I am resolved we will this very night, or out she tramps,

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