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through policy than the attraction of her charms, I should certainly withdraw my devoirs from Miss Tawdry, at Viscount Sheeptrotter's, and bestow them on yourself.”
“ The triumph would be glorious for me,” said Mrs. Secondhand, with an affected courtesy ; “but, pray, may I not know what policy prevents me from enjoying such a distinguished honour?"
“I have nettled her," said Tom to himself; "and shall now set her a-prating till I get every thing out of her. - Why, Madam, it may not always be convenient to bestow the hand where the heart is already placed.
" Oh, Sir, I suppose, Miss Tawdry is a fortune then : - pray what may it amount to, and is it in landed or funded property?"
My dear Mrs. Secondhand, you are rather severe. - Miss Tawdry, I am certain, has not half your beauty, nor have I reason to believe she has half your purse: but then, she possesses the confidence of the Viscountess, and my mas. ter owes all his political consequence to her, that is, to me, for I have the power of extract
ing from her all she knows. Now, this confidence, if my master should ever get on the right side — the ministerial one, - will secure us a little fortune by post, pension, or somehow, or other. If this were not the case, my heart would follow its own dictates, and leap out at
66 I can't say ;
“ Oh, Sir! you flatter me prodigiously ; but do you really imagine, that Miss Tawdry's influence over lier lady is as great as what I
possess over mine; or, supposing that to be the case, can you suppose that Viscount Sheeptrotter is equal to the Duke of Cowheel?”
all I know is, that I am to see Miss Tawdry this night, by my master's orders : and I'll lay my modesty against any thing of equal consequence, that I learn all that passed in the Cabinet Council to-day.”
66 You offer a vast stake, to be sare; but suppose now, that you could be informed of all this without taking so much trouble?"
" Why really, Mrs. Secondhand, I am not fond of trouble, either necessary or sary. To play the hypocrite and feign love
to one where the heart is engaged to, - doatingly fond of another." [Here Tom ogled Mrs. Secondhand, and heaved some breath from the bottom of his lungs, in imitation of a sigh, like Old Dorcas in the farce, when straining to draw up her son Hob out of the well.]
We need only to add, that the lever of Tom's flattery was so powerful, that he extracted me from Mrs. Secondhand, whom he only addressed in pursuance of his master's commands; and after having got rid of her, and communicated ME to his master, he flew to Miss Tawdry, his real inamorata, (for he had rung the changes upon Mrs. Secondhand,) and, to gain her confidence, honoured her with his. - Miss Tawdry carried me to another valet whom she preferred to Tom; and by means of this kind of amorous intercourse, I travelled, before bedtime, through most of the fashionable families on the west side of Temple-Bar.-In the morning, I was picked up by a Jew clothesman, from one of the footmen, together with a lot of his master's clothes, which were little the worse for wear : but he had to give a treat to his
mistress that evening, and he had no other mode of raising the ways and means than at the expence of his master's wardrobe.--The Jew carried me to the Stock-Exchange, where I was eagerly caught up by a French emigrant.--The latter person, under pretence of having friends in his own country, who afforded him secret intelligence of what was doing here, was in the pay of the British ministry for communicating it to them ; but, in reality, he was a spy upon their actions. He managed this double-dealing very dextrously in the following manner :- A boat was permitted to land his dispatches from France, which were all made up by the French government, to dupe the British; and he never failed to send back to the former, by the same conveyance, a faithful account of what he could pick up here. — He had no sooner gotten possession of me, than he hastened off to Hythe, where he received a packet of feigned intelligence, and sent me off in exchange. When I reached the hands of the French government, proper steps were immediately taken to frustrate the affair to which I related, which was an affair of consequence, as all Cabinet affairs