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person were such as the generality allowed handsome; bnt he had a dignity in his air very rarely to be seen. His temper was of the saturnine complexion, and without the least taint of moroseness. He had wit and humour, with an inclination to satire, which he indulged rather too much.
This gentleman, who had contracted the mo3t violent passion for Leonora, was the last person who perceived the probability of its success. The whole town had made the match for him, before he himself had drawn a confidence from her actions sufficient to mention his passion to her; for it was his opinion (and perhaps he was there in the right), that it is highly impolitic to talk seriously of love to a woman, before you have made such a progress in her affections that she herself expects and desires to hear it.
But whatever diffidence the fears of a lover may create, which are apt to magnify every favour conferred on a rival, and to see the little advances towards themselves through the other end of the perspective; it was impossible that Horatio's passion should so blind his discernments as to prevent his conceiving hopes from the behaviour of Leonora, whose fondness for him was now as visible to an indifferent person in their company, as his for her.
'I never knew any of these forward sluts come to good' (says the lady who refused Joseph's entrance into the coach), 'nor shall I wonder at any thing she doth hi the 'sequel.'
Tho lady proceeded in her story thus: It was in the midst of a gay conversation in the walks one evening, when Horatio whispered Leonora, that he was desirous to take a turn or two with her in private; for that he had something to communicate to her of great consequence. 4 Are you sure it is of consequence?' said she smiling. 'I hope,' answered he, 'you will think so too, since the 'whole future happiness of my life must depend on the 'event.'
Leonora, who very much suspected what was coming, would have deferred it till another time; but Horatio, who had more than half conquered the difficulty of speaking by the first motion, was so very importunate, that she at last yielded, and, leaving the rest of the company, they turned aside into an unfrequented walk.
They had retired far out of the sight of the company,
both maintaining a strict silence. At last Horatio made
a full stop, and taking Leonora, who stood pale and
trembling, gently by the hand, he fetched a deep sigh,
and then, looking on her eyes with all the tenderness
imaginable, he cried out in a faltering accent: ' O
Leonora! it is necessary for me to declare to you
on what the future happiness of my life must be
founded! Must I say, there is something belonging
to you which is a bar to my happiness, and which
unless you will part with, I must be miserable!'—
What can that be?' replied Leonora. 'No wonder,'
said he, 'you are surprised that I should make an
objection to any thing which is yours: yet sure you
may guess, since it is the only one which the riches of
the world if they were mine, should purchase of me.
Oh, it is that which you must part with to bestow all
the rest! Can Leonora, or rather will she, doubt
longer? Let me then whisper it in her , ears—It is
your name, Madam. It is by parting with that, by
your condescension to be for ever mine, which must
at ouce prevent me from being the most miserable,
and will render me the happiest, of mankind.'
Leonora, covered with blushes, and with as angry a
look as she could possibly put on, told him, that had she
suspected what his declaration would have been, he should not have decoyed her from her company; that he had so surprised and frighted her, that she begged him to convey her hack as quick as possible; which he, trembling very near as much as herself, did.
'More fool he,' cried Slipslop: 'it is a sign he knew 'very little of our sect.'—' Truly, Madam,' said Adams, 'I think you are in the right: I should have insisted to 'know a piece of her mind, when I had carried matters 'so far.' But Mrs. Graveairs desired the lady to omit all such fulsome stuff in her story, for that it made her sick.
Well then, Madam, to be as concise as possible, said the lady, many weeks had not passed after this interview, before Horatio and Leonora were what they call on a good footing together. All ceremonies except the last were now over; the writings were now drawn, and every thing was in the utmost forwardness preparative to the putting Horatio in possession of all his wishes. I will, if you please, repeat you a letter from each of them, which I have got by heart, and which will give you no small idea of their passion on both sides.
Mrs. Graveairs objected to hearing these letters; hut being put to the vote, it was carried against her by all the rest in the coach; parson Adams contending for it with the utmost vehemence.
HORATIO TO LEONORA.
'How vain, most adorable creature, is the pursuit of 'pleasure in the absence of an object to which the mind 'is entirely devoted, unless it have some relation to that 'object! I was last night condemned to the society of 'men of wit and learning, which, however agreeable it 'might have formerly been to me, now only gave me a 'suspicion that they imputed my absence in conversation 'to the true cause. For which reason, when your en'gagements forbid me the ecstatic happiness of seeing 'you, I am always desirous to be alone; since my senti
'ments for Leonora are so delicate, that I cannot bear
'the apprehension of another's prying into those delight
'ful endearments with which the warm imagination of a
'lover will sometimes indulge him, and which I suspect
'my eyes then betray. To fear this discovery of our
'thoughts may perhaps appear too ridiculous a nicety to
k minds not susceptible of all the tenderness of this
'delicate passion. And surely we shall suspect there are
'few such, when we consider that it requires every
'human virtue to exert itself in its full extent; since the
'beloved, whose happiness it ultimately respects, may
'give us charming opportunities of being brave in her
'defence, generous to her wants, compassionate to her
'afflictions, grateful to her kindness; and in the same
'manner of exercising every other virtue, which he, who
'would not do to any degree, and that with the utmost
'rapture, can never deserve the name of a lover. It is
'therefore with a view to the delicate modesty of your
'mind that I cultivate it so purely in my own; and it is
'that which will sufficiently suggest to you the uneasiness
'I bear from those liberties, which men, to whom the
'world allow politeness, will sometimes give themselves
'on these occasions.
'Can I tell you with what eagerness I expect the 'arrival of that blest day, when I shall experience the 'falsehood of a common assertion, that the greatest 'human happiness consists in hope? A doctrine which 'no person had ever stronger reasons to believe than 'myself at present, since none ever tasted such bliss 'as fires my bosom with the thoughts of spending my 'future days with such a companion, and that every 'action of my life will have the glorious satisfaction of 'conducing to your happiness.'
LEONORA TO HORATIO.0
'The refinement of your mind has been Bo evidently 'proved by every word and action ever since I had the 'first pleasure of knowing you, that I thought it impos'sible my good opinion of Horatio could have been 'heightened to any additional proof of merit. This very 'thought was my amusement when I received your last 'letter, which, when I opened, I confess I was surprised 'to find the delicate sentiments expressed there so far 'exceeded what I thought could come even from you '(although I know all the generous principles human 'nature is capable of are centred in your breast), that 'words cannot paint what I feel on the reflection, that 'my happiness shall be the ultimate end of all your 'actions.
'Oh, Horatio! what a life must that be, where the 'meanest domestic cares are sweetened by the pleasing 'consideration, that the man on earth, who best deserves, 'and to whom you are most inclined to give your 'affections, is to reap either profit or pleasure from all 'you do! In such a case, toils must be turned into 'diversions, and nothing but the unavoidable incon'veniences of life can make us remember that we are 'mortal.
'If the solitary turn of your thoughts, and the desire 'of keeping them undiscovered, make even the conver'sation of men of wit and learning tedious to you, what 'anxious hours must I spend, who am condemned by 'custom to the conversation of women, whose natural 'curiosity leads them to pry into all my thoughts, and 'whose envy can never suffer Horatio's heart to be pos'sessed by any one, without forcing them into malicious
• This letter was written by a young lady on reading the former.