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tunate hit ; for that she had known even stranger things than that brought to bear. She hoped again to see the day in which we might hold up our heads with the best of them; and concluded, she protested she could see no reason why the two Miss Wrinklers should marry great fortunes, and her children get none.
As this last argument was directed to me, I protested I could see no reason for it neither, nor why Mr. Simpkins got the ten thoufand pound prize in the lottery, and we fate down with a blank. "I protest, Charles, cried my wife,
wife, this is the way you always damp my girls and me when we are in • spirits. Tell me, Sophy, my dear, what do you think of our new visitor ? Don't you think he seemed to be good-natured?" -----Immensely so, indeed, mamma,' replied she, I think he has a great deal to
say upon every thing, and is never at a • loss; and the more trifling the subject, • the more he has to fay.'-—-- Yes,' cried Olivia, he is well enough for a man; but for my part, I don't much
• like him, he is so extremely impudent
and familiar ; but on the guitar he is • shocking.' These two last speeches I interpreted by contraries. I found by this, that Sophia internally despised, as much as Olivia secretly admired him.-What"ever may be your opinions of him, my children,' cried I, to confess a truth, She has not prepoffest me in his favour. • Disproportioned friendships ever termi
nate in disgust: and I thought, notwith• standing all his ease, that he seemed perfectly sensible of the distance between
Let us keep to companions of our own rank. There is no character more contemptible than a man shat is a fortune-hunter; and I can see no reason
why fortune hunting women should not • be contemptible too. Thus, at best, we • shall be contemptible if his views are ho
nourable ; but if they be otherwise! I « should shudder but to think of that! It • is true, I have no apprehensions from the conduct of my children, but I think C4
there are some from his character.'--I would have proceeded, but for the interruption of a servant from the 'Squire, who, with his compliments, fent us a side of venison, and a promise to dine with us fome days after. This well-timed present pleaded more powerfully in his favour, than any thing I had to say could obviate. I therefore continued filent, fatisfied with just having pointed out danger, and leave ing it to their own discretion to avoid it. That virtue which requires to be ever guarded, is scarce worth the centinel.
C H A P. VI.
The happiness of a country fire-side.
As we carried on the former dispute
with some degree of warmth, in order to accommodate matters, it was universally agreed, that we should have a part of the venison for supper, and the girls undertook the task with alacrity.. I am
sorry,' cried I, that we have no neigh• bour or stranger to take part in this good cheer : feafts of this kind acquire a double relish from hospitality.'-• Bless me,' cried my wife, • here comes • our good friend Mr. Burchell, that saved.
our Sophia, and that run you down fairly in the argument:'-- Confute me in
argument, child !! cried I. You mif• take there, my dear. I believe there are but few that can do that: I never dispute C 5.
your * your abilities at making a goose-pye, ! and I beg you'll leave argument to me. -As I spoke, poor Mr. Burchell entered the house; and was welcomed by the family, who shook him heartily by the hand, while little Dick officiously reached him a chair.
I was pleased with the poor man's friendship for two reasons; because I knew that he wanted mine, and I knew him to be friendly as far as he was able. He was known in our neighbourhood by the character of the poor Gentleman that would do no good when he was young, though he was not yet thirty. He would at intervals talk with great good sense; but in general he was fondest of the company of children, whom he ufed to call harmless little men. He was famous, I found, for finging them ballads, and telling them stories ; and seldom went out without fomething in his pockets for them, a piece of ginger-bread, or an half-penny whistle.