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CHAP. XII.

W

Fortune seems resolved to humble the fa

mily of Wakefield. Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.

HEN we were returned home, the

night was dedicated to schemes of future conquest. Deborah exerted much sagacity in conjecturing which of the two girls was likely to have the best place, and most opportunities of seeing good company. The only obstacle to our preferment was in obtaining the 'Squire's recommendation; but he had already shewn us too many instances of his friendship to doubt of it now.

Even in bed my wife kept up the usual theme: "Well, faith, my dear

Charles, between ourselves, I think we * have made an excellent day's work of • it.'--' Pretty well,' cried I, not knowing what to say.--"What only pretty & well! returned the. I think it is very

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well. Suppose the girls should come to

make acquaintances of taste in town! • This I am assured of, that London is

the only place in the world for all man• ner of husbands. Besides, my dear, • stranger things happen every day: and • as ladies of quality are so taken with

my daughters, what will not men of • quality be! Entre nous, I protest I like

my Lady Blarney vastly, so very obliging. However, Miss Carolina Wilelmi

na Skeggs has my warm heart. But yet, • when they came to talk of places in town, you

saw at once how I nailed them. Tell me, my dear, don't you think I did for my children there?'

-- Ay,' returned I, not knowing well what to think of the matter, - heaven grant they may be • both the better for it this day three 6 months ! This was one of those observations I usually made to impress my wife with an opinion of my fagacity; for if the girls succeed, then it was a pious with fulfilled; but if any thing unfortunate ensued, then it might be looked upon as a 5

prophecy. All this conversation, however, was only preparatory to another scheme, and indeed I dreaded as much. This was nothing less than, that as we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, it would be proper to sell the Colt; which was grown old, at a neighbouring fair, and buy us an horse that would carry fingle or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church or upon a visit. This at first I opposed stoutly; but it was as stoutly defended. However, as I weakened, my antagonists gained ftrength, till at last it was resolved to part with him.

« No, my

As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home. dear,' said she, "our fon Moses is a

discreet boy, and can buy and fell to
very good advantage; you know all
our great bargains are of his purchas-
VOL. I.
F

ing

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• ing. He always stands out and higgles, " and actually tires them till he gets a

bargain.'

As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to entrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his fifters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair ; trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the Colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunder and lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of golling green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black ribband. We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, Good luck, good luck, till we could see him no longer.

He

He was scarce gone, when Mr. Thornhill's butler came to congratulate us upon our good fortune, saying that he overheard his young master mention our names with great commendation.

Good fortune seemed resolved not to come alone. Another footman from the same family followed, with a card for my daughters, importing, that the two ladies had received such pleasing accounts from Mr. Thornhill of us all, that after a few previous enquiries, they hoped to be perfectly satisfied. Ay,' cried my wife, I

now see it is no easy matter to get into the families of the great, but when

one once gets in, then, as Moses says, • one may go sleep.' To this piece of humour, for she intended it for wit, my daughters assented with a loud laugh of pleasure. In short, such was her satisfaction at this message, that she actually put her hand in her pocket, and gave the melsenger seven pence halfpenny.

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