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vast difference between his children: and having thus, by care and attention, portioned off my sisters with very 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 marriage. But o Sir! if you did but 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 him, 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 iive!
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 married for the sake of an offspring, but that he might enlarge his property. He therefore availed himself of the folly of a rich widow,
who was fifteen years older than hiunself; and whon he had possessed himself of her fortune, be treated her most cruelly. However, he had plenty of children, as is supposed, by other women; for he is a most debauched character, and at the same time a most extortionate miser, though he was still fond of making a family show; and till lately he meant to make a son he had, by a married woman in that neighbourhood, his heir; as she was, and as they call it, better bred than most of the low women with whom he had been connected ; and the children he had by these, being ashamed to own them, he would have packed off to nurse, at the cheapest rate possible ; and nothing rejoices him so much, as when he hears of the death of any of them.
Wor. How came he to alter his mind, and not make the son you mention his heir ?
Lov. Sir, he educated him for that purpose, but in so mean a way, and introduced him among such a terrible set of low associates, that he turned out quite a blackguard : and being educated under such Jarge expectations, he became also very extravagant: and as his father was too covetous to give him remittances equal to his extravagance, he got himself connected with a set of swindlers ; and that he might be able to pay some gaming-debts, he committed such crimes, that he was obliged to leave the country, or be sent to gaol; my uncle therefore gave him fifty pounds, and sent him to America, and it is reported, that he died there of the yellow fever.
Wor. What lorrid evils are connected with such a life of debauchery, that a man should be such a detestable brute* thereby, as to be ashamed of his own offspring, even so as to wish them dead! How different the happy state of those children, whose existence is their parents' boast and joy; how I hate the low libidinous tricks of the present evil, adulterous generations !
* In this respect, man, by his debauchery, is even BENEATH
Lou. Sir, I am sure it is impossible to detest them 'worse than they deserve. However my uncle, after the death of this, his profligate bastard, as I was his beir-at-law, began to think of adopting me as such.My father could never bear the name of him; yet when he was frequently sending for me, he advised me by no means to insult him by personal incivilities, as his property, according to legitimate right, would next be mine. As my uncle ordered me I therefore, went to his house; when the more I knew of him, the more I was disgusted at him.
Wor. Were you obliged to live pretty constantly with him then?
Lov. Not entirely so : for I was always striving to make an excuse of absence; and the argument, which best succeeded with him, was about the brewery ; that as my father farmed a good deal of his own estate, he would be a considerable loser in the brewery, unless I kept the accounts; for my uncle never had but two objects in view,-by every means, however base some of those means might be, to enrich the family, and to gratify his impure desires.
Wor. Well Sir, this proved a just and providential excuse, to be as little as possible with such a family.
Lov. But Sir, it was by this favorable turn towards me, that a chain of events was produced, which have proved the most perplexing and distressful to myself and my dearest Ann.
Wor. Really Sir, your history becomes so interesting, that I am quite anxious to hear the result of it.
Lov. Sir, before my uncle's determination had been made known to me, of adopting me as the heir to his estates, a design of marriage had, in a great measure been settled between myself and my
dearest wife ; and not less to the satisfaction of our parents, than myself. All that he ever said, was, “ please yourself, and you will please me ; money is no object; happiness in the marriage state consists in something better than money:" But when my uncle was determined to make me his hoir, I was immediately to be
married to some woman with money, or blood, as it. 18 called. One of Lord Gambleton's daughters was therefore immediately thought of, and though his Lordship had considerably reduced his fortune by his extravagance, yet as for want of a male issue they were co-heiresses, it was judged an excellent match on my behalf; but a more worthless right abominable never existed among the right honorables : and thins between his Lordship's blood, and my uncle's money, at all events I must be united to this noble. family.
Wor. O this noble blood, and this love of money! what mischief they create! But how did you get over the difficulty?
Lov. Why Sir, I knew that it would not be in my power to deal with my uncle, but by gentle means. When he proposed the match, I told him the connexion I had in a measure formed with Miss Commerce; before he had mentioned his kind design of making me his heir. He started and said, “who the devil is Miss Commerce ?” When I told him she was a respectable tradesman's daughter, he immediately began swearing, after the mode of his general conversation : “ that he would never allow
of his family to be united to such a set of d-d blackguards;" calling me a low fellow, and saying, if I would not see Lord Gambleton's daughter, he would adopt another heir, and that he would have nothing more to do with me: and that he expected I should first see how I liked the eldest, as that might prove the greatest advantage to myself and the family.
Wor. Really Sir, you had a difficulty before you, not easily to be surmounted.
Lov. Sir, I told him I could have no objection against seeing any of Lord Gambleton's daughters, but that I hoped he would put no restraint upon my affections, as that might prove a source of misery to me through life; and so matters were waved for the present, till I had time to consult my parents.
Wor. Well Sir, and I should hope your parents
did not advise you to sacrifice our affections, for the sake of money or blood.
Lov. O Sir! my father behaved like a father, but it grieves me to say, my mother was just the reverse. She was at once struck with the proposal ; observed, what a fine thing it would be to have her son, the acknowledged heir of the family to which she originally belonged, and to be united to such noble blood; and that my present engagement with Miss Commerce, was not so far gone, but that I might break it off. -O Sir! what a hard task was this to myself, and the dear creature to whom I am now so happily united!
Wor. It must have been a hard task indeed.-But how did you succeed in evading the difficulties of this perplexing dilemma ?
Lov. You must suppose Sir, I was under the necessity of meeting with Lord Gambleton's family, who came on purpose to visit my uncle ; and Lady Georgiana, being the eldest, was the first I was ordered to notice, and who was introduced to me accordingly; and of course, I was obliged to be very complaisant to her in return ; while, as I suppose, she was directed to be more than complaisant to me. I cannot express myself how much I Fes disgusted, even at first sight, at the silly airs, the fulsome forwardness, of this paltry mess of noble blood, when brought into competition with the excellent understanding, undisguised modesty, and unaffected simplicity, of me dearest Ann.
Wor. Sir, I confess you would have made a sacrifice much to your discredit, had you, contrary to every just and generous feeling, given up for such motives, an object so worthy of your affections.
Lov. Sir, if I had not taken the liberty to enquire into your character, I should not have been so happy in your approbation of my conduct; I am satisfied it wiŬ therefore still meet with your approbation, when you hear the result of these events.
Wor. Dear Sir, I have now no doubt of it.