Слике страница
PDF
ePub

monds in her stomacher and hair. Her two little ones were to be as Cupids by her fide, while I, in my gown and band, was to present her with my books on the Whistonian controversy. Olivia would be drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank of flowers, drest in a green Joseph, richly laced with gold, and a whip in her hand. Sophia was to be a shepherdess, with as many sheep as the painter could put in for nothing; and Mofes was to be drest out with an hat and white feather. Our taste so much plealed the 'Squire, that he insisted on being put in as one of the family in the character of Alexander the Great, at Olivia's feet, This was considered by ús all as an indication of his desire to be introduced into the family, nor could we refuse his request, The painter was therefore set to work, and as he wrought with assiduity and expedition, in less than four days the whole was compleated. The piece was large, and it must be owned he did not spare his colours; for which my wife gave him great encomiums. We were all perfectly satisVol. I.

H

fie.]

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

fied with his performance; but an unfortunate circumstance had not occurred till the picture was finished, which now struck us with dismay. It was so very large that we had no place in the house to fix it. How we all came to disregard so material a point is inconceivable ; but certain it is, we had been all greatly remiss. The picture, therefore, instead of gratifying our vanity, as we hoped, leaned in a most mortifying manner, against the kitchen wall, where the canvas was stretched and painted, much too large to be got through any

of the doors, and the jest of all our neighbours. One compared it to Robinfon Crusoe's long boat, too large to be removed; another thought it more resembled a reel in a bottle ; fome wondered how it could be got out, but still more were amazed how it ever got in.

But though it excited the ridicule of fome, it effectually raised more malicious suggestions in many. The 'Squire's portrait being found united with ours, was an

honour

honour too great to escape envy. Scandalous whispers began to circulate at our expence, and our tranquillity was continually disturbed by persons who came as friends to' tell us what was said of us by enemies. These reports we always resented with becoming spirit; but scandal ever improves by opposition.

We once again therefore entered into a consultation upon obviating the malice of our enemies, and at last came to a resolution which had too much cunning to give me entire satisfaction. It was this: as our principal cbject was to discover the honour of Mr. Thornhill's addreffes, my wife undertook to found him, by pretending to ask his advice in the choice of a husband for her eldest daughter. If this was not found sufficient to induce him to a declaration, it was then resolved to terrify him with a rival. To this lást step, however, I would by no means give my consent, till Olivia gave me the most folemn assurances that she would marry the person provided

to rival him upon this occasion, if he did not prevent it, by taking her himself, Such was the scheme laid, which though I did not strenuously oppose, I did not entirely approve.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The next time, therefore, that Mr. Thornhill came to see us, my girls took care to be out of the way, in order to give their mama. an opportunity of putting her scheme in execution ; but they only retired to the next room, from whence they could over-hear the whole conversation: My wife artfully introduced it, by observing, that one of the Miss Flamboroughs was like to have a very good match of it in Mr. Spanker. To this the 'Squire afsenting, the proceeded to remark, that they who had warm fortunes were always sure of getting good husbands; < But • heaven help,' continued she, “the girls " that have none. What signifies beauty, • Mr. Thornhill? or what signifies all the « virtue, and all the qualifications in the

world, in this age of self-interest? It is

• not,

I not, what is she? but what has she? is « all the cry.'

• Madam,' returned he, • I highly approve the justice, as well as the novelty, • of your remarks, and if I were a king, < it should be otherwise. It should then, • indeed, be fine times with the girls without . fortunes : our two young ladies should • be the first for whom I would provide.'

Ah, Sir! returned my wife, you are pleased to be facetious: but I wish ' I were a queen, and then I know where

my eldest daughter should look for an • husband. But now, that you have put

it into my head, seriously, Mr. Thorn• hill, can't you recommend me a proper 6 husband for her? she is now nineteen

years old, well grown and well educated, • and, in my humble opinion, does not • want for parts.'

• Madam,' replied he, • if I were to chuse, I would find out a person possessed

of every accomplishment that can make : an angel happy. One with prudence,

fortune,

H 3

« ПретходнаНастави »