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and accordingly insconced himself behind her order, when he heard the key turning in the dressing-table; but he could not help sweating lock, and the German swearing that he would with apprehension, and praying fervently to make him food for the beasts of the field and God for his deliverance, when he heard the the fowls of the air. jeweller thundering at the door, and calling to Fathom had come unprepared with weapons his daughter for admittance. Wilhelmina, who of defence, was naturally an economist of his was already undressed, and had purposely ex- person, and saw himself on the brink of fortinguished the light, pretended to be suddenly feiting not only the promised harvest of his waked from her sleep, and starting up, exclaim- double intrigue, but also the reputation of a ed, in a tone of surprise and affright, Jesu, man of honour, upon which all his future hopes Maria ! what is the matter ?”. “ Hussey !" re- depended : his agony was therefore unspeakplied the German in a terrible accent, open able, when the door flew open, and it was not the door this instant, there is a man in your bede till after a considerable pause of recollection, chamber, and, by the lightning and thunder! that he perceived the candle extinguished by I will wash away the stain he has cast upon the motion of the air produced from the Germy honour with the schellum's heart's-blood.” man's sudden irruption. This accident, which
Not at all intimidated by this boisterous disconcerted him so much as to put a full stop threat, she admitted him without hesitation, to his charge, was very favourable to our hero, and, with a shrillness of voice peculiar to her who, summoning all his presence of mind, crept self, began to hold forth upon her own inno- up into the chimney, while the jeweller stood cence and his unjust suspicion, mingling in her at the door waiting for his wife's return with harangue sundry oblique hints against her mo- another light; so that, when the closet was exther-in-law, importing, that some people were amined, there was nothing found to justify the so viciously inclined by their own natures, that report which the step-mother had made, and she did not wonder at their doubting the vir- the father, after having made a slight apology tue of other people; but that these people de to Wilhelmina for his intrusion, retired with spised the insinuations of such people, who his yoke-fellow into their own chamber. ought to be more circumspect in their own con- The young lady, who little thought that her duct, lest they themselves should suffer reprie papa would have taken her at her word, was sals from those people whom they had so mali- overwhelmed with confusion and dismay, when ciously slandered.
she saw him enter the closet; and, had her Having uttered these flowers of rhetoric, lover been discovered, would in all probability which were calculated for the hearing of her have been the loudest in his reproach, and perstep-dame, who stood with a light at her huse haps have accused him of an intention to rob band's back, the young lady assumed an ironi- the house ; but she was altogether astonished cal air, and admonished her father to search when she found he had made shift to elude the every corner of her apartment; she even affect- inquiry of her parents, because she could not ed to assist his inquiry; with her own hands conceive the possibility of his escaping by the pulled out a parcel of small drawers, in which window, which was in the third story, at a proher trinkets were contained ; desired him to digious distance from the ground; and how he look into her needle-case and thimble, and, see- could conceal himself in the apartment, was a ing his examination fruitless, earnestly entreat mystery which she could by no means unfold. ed him to rummage her closet also, saying, with Before her father and mother retired, she lighta sneer, that in all probability the dishonourer ed her lamp, on pretence of being afraid to be would be found in that lurking-place. The in the dark, after the perturbation of spirits she manner in which she pretended to ridicule his had undergone, and her room was no sooner apprehensions made an impression upon the evacuated of such troublesome visitants, than she jeweller, who was very well disposed to retreat secured the doors, and went in quest of her lover. into his own nest, when his wife, with a cere Accordingly, every corner of the closet untain slyness in her countenance, besought him derwent a new search, and she called upon his to comply with his daughter's request, and look name with a soft voice, which she thought no into that same closet, by which means Wilhele other person would overhear: but Ferdinand mina’s virtue would obtain a complete triumph, did not think proper to gratify her impatience,
Our adventurer, who overheard the conver- because he could not judge of the predicament sation, was immediately seized with a palsy of in which he stood by the evidence of all his fear: he trembled at every joint, the sweat senses, and would noi relinquish his post, until trickled down his forehead, his teeth began to he should be better certified that the coast was chatter, his hair to stand on end, and he in his clear. Meanwhile, his dulcinea having performheart bitterly cursed the daughter's petulance, ed her inquiry to no purpose, imagined there the mother's malice, together with his own pre was something preternatural in the circumstance cipitation, by which he was involved in an ade of his vanishing so unaccountably, and began venture so pregnant with danger and disgrace. to cross herself with great devotion. She reIndeed the reader may easily conceive his dise turned to her chamber, fixed the lamp in the
fire-place, and, throwing herself upon the bed, the daughter, While he managed his cona gave way to the suggestions of her superstition, cerns in that quarter with incredible ardour and wbich were reinforced by the silence that pre- application, he was not the less indefatigable in Failed, and the gloomy glimmering of the light. the prosecution of his design upon the motherShe reflected upon the trespass she had already in-law, which he forwarded with all his art committed in her heart, and, in the conjectures during those opportunities he enjoyed in the of her fear, believed that her lover was no other absence of Wilhelmina, who was frequently than the devil himself, who had assumed the called away by the domestic duties of the appearance of Fathom, in order to tempt and house. The passions of the jeweller's wife seduce her virtue.
were in such a state of exaltation as exempted While her imagination teemed with those our hero from the repulses and fatigue attendhorrible ideas, our adventurer, concluding from ing a long siege. the general stillness, that the jeweller and his We have already observed how cunningly he wite were at last happily asleep, ventured to catered for the gratification of her ruling appe=' come forth from his hiding-place, and stood tite, and have exhibited pregnant proofs of his before his mistress all begrimed with soot. ability in gaining upon the human heart; the Wilhelmina, lifting up her eyes, and seeing reader will not therefore be surprised at the rathis sable apparition, which she mistook for pidity of his conquest over the affections of a Satan in propria persona, instantly screamed, lady whose complexion was perfectly amorous, and began to repeat her paternoster with an au- and whose vanity laid her open to all the ato dible voice: upon which Ferdinand, foreseeing tempts of adulation. In a word, matters were that her parents would be again alarmed, would quickly brought to such a mutual understandnot stay to undeceive her and explain himself, ing, that one evening, while they amused thembut, unlocking the door with great expedition, selves at lansquenet, Fathom conjured her to ran down stairs, and luckily accomplished his give him the rendezvous next day at the house escape. This was undoubtedly the wisest mea- of any third person of her own sex, in whose sure he could have taken: for, he had not discretion she could confide; and after a few performed one half of his descent towards the affected scruples on her side, which he well street, when the German was at his daughter's knew how to surmount, she complied with his bed-side, demanding to know the cause of her request, and the circumstances of the appointexelamation: she then gave him an account of ment were settled accordingly. After this what she had seen, with all the exaggerations treaty, their satisfaction rose to such a warmth, of her own fancy, and, after having weighed and the conversation became so reciprocally en« the circumstances of her story, he interpreted dearing, that our gallant expressed his impathe apparition into a thief, who had found tience of waiting so long for the accomplishmeans to open the door that communicated ment of his wishes, and with the most eager with the stair, but having been scared by Wil transport, begged she would, if possible, curhelmina's shriek, had been obliged to retreat tail the term of his expectation, that his brain before he could execute his purpose.
might not suffer by his standing so many teOur hero's spirits were so woefully disturbed dious hours on the giddy verge of rapture. by this adventure, that for a whole week he The dame, who was naturally compassionate, felt no inclination to visit his inamorata, and sympathized with his condition, and, unable to was not without apprehension that the affair resist his pathetic supplications, gave him to had terminated in an explanation very little to understand that his desire could not be granted, his advantage. He was, however, delivered without subjecting them both to some hazard, from this disagreeable suspense, by an accidental but that she was disposed to run any risk in meeting with the jeweller himself, who kindly behalf of his happiness and peace. After this chid him for his long absence, and entertained affectionate preamble, she told him that her him in the street with an account of the alarm husband was then engaged in a quarterly meetwhich his family had sustained, by a thief who ing of the jewellers, from whence he never broke into Wilhelmina's apartment. Glad to failed to return quite overwhelmed with wine, find his apprehension mistaken, he renewed his tobacco, and the phlegm of his own constitucorrespondence with the family, and in a little tion; so that he would fall fast asleep as soon time found reason to console himself for the as his head should touch the pillow, and she jeopardy and panic he had undergone.
be at liberty to entertain the lover without in
terruption, provided he could find means to deCHAP. XIV.
ceive the jealous vigilance of Wilhelmina, and
conceal himself in some corner of the house, He is reduced to a dreadful dilemma, in conse- unsuspected and unperceived. quence of an assignation with the Wife. Our lover, remembering his adventure with
the daughter, would have willingly dispensed Nos was his whole care and attention en- with this expedient, and began to repent of the grossed by the execution of this scheme upon eagerness with which he had preferred his soli
citation; but, seeing there was now no oppor- bread; and, unfortunately recollecting the ate tunity of retracting with honour, he affected to tempt of the supposed thief, started up from enter heartily into the conversation, and, after his chair, swearing by God's mother, that he much canvassing, it was determined, that, while would forth with arm himself with a brace of Wilhelmina was employed in the kitchen, the pistols, and search every, apartment of the mother should conduct our adventurer to the house. “ That press (said he, with great vooutward door, where he should pay the com- ciferation) may, for aught I know, be the repliment of parting, so as to be overheard by the ceptacle of some ruffian.”. young lady; but, in the mean time, glide soft- So saying, he approached the ark in which ly into the jeweller's bed-chamber, which was Fathom was embarked, and exclaiming, “ Come a place they imagined least liable to the effects forth, Satan,” applied his foot to the door of it of a daughter's prying disposition, and conceal with such violence as threw him from the cenhimself in a large press or wardrobe, that stood tre of gravity, and laid him sprawling on his in one corner of the apartment. The scene was back. This address made such an impression immediately acted with great success, and our on our adventurer, that he had well nigh obeye hero cooped up in his cage, where he waited so ed the summons, and burst from his conceallong, that his desires began to subside, and his ment, in a desperate effort to escape, without imagination to aggravate the danger of his sin being recognized by the intoxicated German ; tuation.
and indeed, had the application been repeated, “Suppose (said he to himself) this brutal he in all likelihood would have tried the expeGerman, instead of being stupified with wine, riment, for by this time his terrors had waxed should come home inflamed with brandy, to the too strong to be much longer suppressed: from use of which he is sometimes addicted, far from this hazardous enterprize he was however exfeeling any inclination to sleep, he will labour empted by a lucky accident that happened to under the most fretful anxiety of watching, his disturber, whose head chancing to pitch upevery irascible particle in his disposition will on the corner of a chair in his fall, he was imbe exasperated ; he will be offended with every mediately lulled into a trance, during which object that may present itself to his view; and, the considerate lady, guessing the disorder of if there is the least ingredient of jealousy in his her gallant, and dreading further interruption, temper, it will manifest itself in riot and ragevery prudently released him from bis confineWhat if his frenzy should prompt him to search ment, after she had put out the light, and in his wife's chamber for gallants? this would the dark conveyed him to the door, where he certainly be the first place to which he would was comforted with the promise that she would direct his inquiry; or, granting this supposi- punctually remember the rendezvous of next tion chimerical, I may be seized with an irreday. sistible inclination to cough, before he is op- She then invoked the assistance of the ser pressed with sleep: he may be waked by the vants, who, being waked for the purpose, lifted noise I shall make in disengaging myself from up their master, and tumbled him into bed, this embarrassed situation ; and finally, I may while Ferdinand hied him home in an univerfind it impracticable to retire unseen and un- sal sweat, blessing himself from any future heard, after every thing else shall have succeed- achievement of that sort in an house where he ed to my wish.”
had been twice in such imminent danger of These suggestions did not at all contribute to life and reputation. Nevertheless, he did not the quiet of our adventurer, who, having wait- fail to honour the assignation, and avail himself ed three whole hours in the most uncomfort of the disposition his mistress manifested, to able suspense, heard the jeweller brought into make him all the recompense in her power for the room in that very condition which his fears the disappointment and chagrin which he had had prognosticated. He had, it seems, quare undergone. relled over his cups with another tradesman, and received a salutation on the forehead with a candlestick, which not only left an ignomie
CHAP. XV. nious and painful mark upon his countenance, but even disordered his brain to a very danger- But at length succeeds in his attempts upon both. ous degree of delirium : so that, instead of allowing
himself quietly to beundressed and put to Having thus gained a complete victory over bed by his wife, he answered all her gentle admo- the affections of these two ladies, he began to nitions and caresses with the most opprobrious convert his good fortune to the purposes of that invectives and obstreperous behaviour ; and, principle, from which his view was never, no though he did not tax her with infidelity to his not for a moment, detached. In other words, bed, he virulently accused her of extravagance he used them as ministers and purveyors to his and want of economy; observed, her expensive avarice and fraud. As for the mother-in-law, way of living would bring him to a morsel of she was of herself so liberal as to anticipate the
wishes of any moderate adventurer, and present- mistress no sooner found out the source of his ed him with sundry valuable jewels, as memo. inquietude, than she promised to dry it up, asrials of her esteem; nor was the daughter back- suring him, that next day, at the same hour, ward in such expressions of regard ; she already she would enable him to discharge the debt; considered his interest as her own, and took so that he might set his heart at ease, and refrequent opportunities of secreting, for his be- collect that gaiety which was the soul of her nefit, certain stray trinkets that she happened enjoyment. to pick up in her excursions within doors. He expressed the utmost astonishment at
All these gratifications he received with de- this generous proffer, which, however, he de. monstrations of infinite constraint and reluctance, clined, with an affected earnestness of refusal, and, in the midst of his rapacious extortion, protesting, that he should be extremely mortiacted so cunningly as to impose himself upon fied, if he thought she looked upon him as one both for a miracle of disinterested integrity.-- of those mercenary gallants who could make Yet, not contented with what he thus could such a sordid use of a lady's affection. No, earn, and despairing of being able to steer the madam, (cried our politician, in a pathetic bark of his fortune for any length of time de strain), whatever happens, I shall never part tween two such dangerous quicksands, he re- with that internal consolation that conscious solved to profit by the occasion while it lasted, honour never fails to yield in the deepest scenes and strike some considerable stroke at once. Á of solitary distress : the attachment i have the plan was formed in consequence of this deter. honour to profess for your amiable person is not mination, and, at an appointment with the mo« founded on such inglorious motives, but is the ther in the house of their female friend, our genuine result of that generous passion which adventurer appeared with an air of dejection, none but the noble-minded feel, and the only which he veiled with a thin cover of forced circumstance of this misfortune that I dread to pleasantry, that his mistress might suppose he encounter, is the necessity of withdrawing myendeavoured to conceal some mortal chagrin that self for ever from the presence of her whose preyed upon his heart.
genial smiles could animate my soul against all The stratagem succeeded to his wish: she the persecution of adverse fortune." observed his countenance between whiles over
This declamation, accompanied with a procast, took notice of the involuntary sighs he found sigh, served only to inflame her desire of heaved ; and, with the most tender expressions extricating him from the difficulty in which he of sympathy, conjured him to make her ac- was involved. She exhausted all her eloquence quainted with the cause of his affliction: In, in attempting to persuade him that his refusal stead of gratifying her request immediately, he was an outrage against her affection: he preevaded her questions with a respectful reserve, tended to refute her arguments, and remained implying, that his love would not suffer him unshaken by all the power of her solicitations, to make ber a partner in his sorrow; and this until she had recourse to the most passionate delicacy on his part whetted her impatience and remonstrances of love, and fell at his feet in the concern to such a degree, that, rather than keep posture of a forlorn shepherdess. What he reher in such an agony of doubt and apprehen- fused to her reason, he granted to her tears, besion, he was prevailed upon to tell her, that he cause his heart was melted by her affliction, had been, the preceding night, engaged with a and next day condescended to accept of her company of his fellow-students, where he had money, out of pure regard to her happiness and made too free with the champaigne, so that his peace. caution forsook him, and he had been decoyed Encouraged by the success of this achieveinto play by a Tyroleze gamester, who stripped ment, he resolved to practise the same experihim of all his ready money, and obtained from ment upon Wilhelmina, in hope of extracting him an obligation of two hundred florins, which an equal share of profit from her simplicity and he could not possibly pay, without having re- attachment, and, at their very next nocturnal course to his relation the Count de Melvil, who rendezvous in her chamber, reacted the farce would have just cause to be incensed at his ex- already rehearsed, with a small variation, which travagance.
he thought necessary to stimulate the young This information he concluded, by declaring, lady in his behalf. He rightly concluded, that that, cost what it would, he was resolved to she was by no means mistress of such a consimake a candid confession of the truth, and throw derable sum as he had already extorted from himself entirely upon the generosity of his pa- her mother, and therefore thought proper to tron, who could inflict no other punishment represent himself in the most urgent predicathan that of discarding him from his favour and ment, that her apprehension, on his account, protection,-a misfortune which, how grievous might be so alarmed as to engage her in some soever it might be, he should be able to sustain enterprise for his advantage, which otherwise with fortitude, could he fall upon some method she would never have dreamed of undertaking. o satisfying the Tyroleze, who was very im- With this view, after having described his portunate and savage in his demand. His kind own calamitous situation, in consequence of her
pressing entreaties, which he affected to evade, a memorial of his particular affection. Upon he gave her to understand, that there was no whom can I more properly bestow it, than him person upon earth to whom he would have re- who is already master of my heart ! Receive it, course in this emergency; for which reason he therefore, from the bearer of this billet, and was determined to rid himself of all his cares convert it without scruple to that use which at once, upon the friendly point of his own shall be most conducive to your ease and satisfaithful sword.
faction ; nor seek, from a too romantic notion Such a dreadful resolution could not fail to of honour, which I know you entertain, to exoperate upon the tender passions of his dulci- cuse yourself from accepting this testimony of nea ; she was instantly seized with an agony of my affection: for I have already sworn before fear and distraction : her grief manifested it. an image of our blessed lady, that I will no self in a flood of tears, while she hung round longer own you as the sovereign of my heart, his neck, conjuring him, in the most melting nor even indulge you with another interview, if terns, by their mutual love, in which they had you reject this mark of tenderness and concern been so happy, to lay aside that fatal determi- from your ever faithful WILHELMINA." nation, which would infallibly involve her in the same fate; for she took Heaven to witness, The heart of our adventurer began to bound that she would not one moment survive the with joy when he surveyed the contents of this knowledge of his death.
letter; and his eyes sparkled with transport at He was not deficient in expressions of reci- sight of the chain, which he immediately perprocal regard : he extolled her love and tender- ceived to be worth twice the sum she had menness with a most extravagant eulogium, and tioned. Nevertheless, he would not avail seemed wrung with mortal anguish at the pro- himself, without further question, of her gespect of parting for ever from his lovely Wil- nerosity; but, that same night, repairing to her helmina ; but his honour was a stern and rigid apartment at the usual hour of meeting, he creditor, that could not be appeased, except prostrated himself before ber, and, counterfeitwith his blood ; and all the boon she could ob- ing extreme agitation of spirit, begged, in the tain, by dint of the most woeful supplication, most urgent terms, not even unaccompanied was a promise to defer the execution of his bale with tears, that she should take back the preful purpose for the space of four and twenty sent, which he tendered for her acceptance, and hours, during which she hoped Heaven would spare him the most insufferable mortification compassionate her sufferings, and inspire her of thinking himself exposed to the imputawith some contrivance for their mutual relief. tion of being mercenary in his love. Such, Thus he yielded to her fervent request, rather he said, was the delicacy of his passion, that he with a view to calm the present transports of could not possibly exist under the apprehension her sorrow, than with any expectation of seeing of incurring a censure so unworthy of his senhimself redeemed from his fate by her interpo- timents; and he would a thousand times sooner sition ; such at least were his professions when undergo the persecution of his rancorous credihe took his leave, assuring her, that he would tor, than bear the thought of being in the smallnot quit his being before he should have de- est consideration lessened in her esteem ; nay, voted a few hours to another interview with the so far did he carry his pretensions to punctilio, dear object of his love.
as to protest, that, should she refuse to quiet Having thus kindled the train, he did not the scruples of his honour on this score, her doubt that the mine of his craft would take ef- unyielding beneficence would serve only to fect, and repaired to his own lodging, in full hasten the execution of his determined purpose, persuasion of seeing his aim accomplished, be to withdraw himself at once from a life of vanifore the time fixed for their last assignation. ty and misfortune. His prognostic was next morning verified by The more pathetically he pleaded for her the arrival of a messenger, who brought to him compliance, the more strenuously did she resist a small parcel, to which was cemented with his remonstrances. She advanced all the argusealing-wax the following epistle :
ments her reason, love, and terror, could sug
gest, reminded him of her oath, from which he “ Jewel OF MY SOUL!
could not suppose she would recede, whatever “ Scarce had you, last night, quitted my dise the consequences might be; and in conclusion consolate arms, when I happily recollected that vowed to Heaven, with great solemnity and dethere was in my possession à gold chain, of votion, that she would not survive the news of value more than sufficient to answer the exi- his death. Thus the alternative she offered gence of your present occasions : it was pledged was either to retain the chain and be happy in to my grandfather for two hundred crowns by her affection, or forfeit all title to her love, and a knight of Malta, who soon after perished in a die in the conviction of having brought his insea engagement with the enemies of our faith, nocent mistress to an untimely grave. so that it became the property of our house, and His fortitude was not proof against this last was bequeathed to me by the old gentleman, as consideration : “My savage honour,” said he,