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Annesly repeated his entreaties, Mrs Eldridge
seconded, Sindall enforced them; and all three CHAP. XX.
urged so many arguments, that Harriet was at
last overcome, and to the play they accordingly An Accident, which may possibly be imagined went. somewhat more than accidental.
Th this was the first entertainment of
the sort at which Harriet had ever been present, Though the thoughts of Annesly's future si- yet the thoughts of her absent brother, in whose tuation could not but be distressful to his sister company all her former amusements had been and him, yet the deliverance from greater evils enjoyed, so much damped the pleasure she which they had experienced, served to enlighten should have felt from this, that as soon as the the prospect of those they feared. His father, play was over, she begged of her conductor to rewhose consolation always attended the calamity turn, much against the desire of Mrs Eldridge, he could neither prevent nor cure, exhorted his who entreated them to indulge her by staying son, (in an answer to the account his sister and the farce. But Harriet seemed so uneasy at the he had transmitted him of the events contained thoughts of a longer absence from her brother, in the preceding chapter,) to have a proper that the other's solicitations were at last overa sense of the mercy of his God and his king, and ruled ; and making shift to get through the to bear what was a mitigation of his punishment, crowd, they left the house, and set out in a with a fortitude and resignation becoming the hackney coach in their return. subject of both. The same letter informed his They had got the length of two or three children, that though he was not well enough streets on their way, when the coachman, who recovered to be able to travel, yet he was gain- indeed had the appearance of being exceedingly ing ground on his distemper, and hoped, as the drunk, drove them against a post, by which acseason advanced, to get the better of it altoge cident one of the wheels was broken to pieces, ther. He sent that blessing to his son, which and the carriage itself immediately overturned. he was prevented from bestowing personally, Sindall had luckily put down the glass on that with a credit for any sum which he might have side but a moment before, to look at some oboccasion for against his approaching departure. ject in the street, so that they escaped any mis
His children received additional comfort from chief which might have ensued from the breaka the good accounts of their father, which this let- ing of it; and, except the ladies being extremeter contained ; and even in Annesly's prison ly frightened, no bad consequences followed. there were some intervals in which they forget This disaster happened just at the door of a tathe fears of parting, and indulged themselves in vern; the mistress of which, seeing the discomtemporary happiness.
posure of the ladies, very politely begged them It was during one of these that Sindall ob- to step into her own room, till they could reserved to Harriet how little she possessed the adjust themselves, and procure another coach curiosity her sex was charged with, who had from a neighbouring stand, for which she pronever once thought of seeing any thing in Lon- mised immediately to despatch one of her serdon, that strangers were most solicitous to see; vants. All this while Sir Thomas was venting and proposed that very night to conduct her to his wrath against the coachman, continuing to the play-house, where the royal family were to cane him most unmercifully, till stopped by the be present, at the representation of a new co- intercession of Harriet and Mrs Eldridge, and medy.
prevailed upon to accompany them into the Harriet turned a melancholy look towards house at the obliging request of its mistress. He her brother, and made answer, " that she could asked pardon for giving way to his passion, not think of any amusement that should subject which apprehension for their safety, he said, him to hours of solitude in a prison.”
had occasioned ; and taking Harriet’s hand with Upon this, Annesly was earnest in pressing a look of the utmost tenderness, inquired if she her to accept Sir Thomas's invitation; he said, felt no hurt from the fall; upon her answering, « she knew how often he chose to be alone, at that, except the fright, she was perfectly well, times when he could most command society; “ Then all is well,” said he, pressing her hand and that he should find an additional pleasure to his bosom, which rose to meet it with a sigh. in theirs, when they returned to him fraught He then called for a bottle of Madeira, of with the intelligence of the play.”
which his companions drank each a glass; but “ But there is something unbecoming in it," upon his presenting another, Mrs Eldridge desaid Harriet, " in the eyes of others.”
clared she never tasted any thing between meals; " That objection,” replied Sindall, “ will be and Harriet said, that her head was already afeasily removed; we shall go, accompanied by fected by the glass she had taken : this, howMrs Eldridge, to the gallery, where even those ever, he attributed to the effects of the overwho have many acquaintances in town, are dress- turn, for which another bumper was an infallied so much in the incognito way, as never to be ble remedy; and, on Mrs Eldridge setting the discovered.”
example, though with the utmost reluctance, cadilly, I think, asking every body, I met which Harriet was prevailed upon to follow it. was the shortest way to Newgate, where I un
She was seated on a settee at the upper end of derstood your brother was to be found. But I the room, Sindall sat on a chair by her, and Mrs was like to make a marvellous long journey Eldridge, from choice, was walking about the on't; for besides that it is a huge long way, as room: it somehow happened, that, in a few I was told, I hardly met with one person that minutes, the last-mentioned lady left her com- would give a mannerly answer to my questions; panions by themselves.
to be sure they are the most humoursome peoSindall, whose eyes had not been idle before, ple, here in London, that I ever saw in my life; cast them now to the ground with a look of the when I asked the road to Newgate, one told me, most feeling discomposure; and gently lifting I was not likely to be long in finding it; anthem again, “ I know not,” said he,“ most other bade me cut the first throat I met, and it lovely of women, whether I should venture to would shew me; and a deal of such out-of-theexpress the sensations of my heart at this mo- way jokes. At last, while I was looking round ment: that respect, which ever attends a love so for some civil-like body to inquire of, who sincere as mine, has hitherto kept me silent; should I see whip past me in a coach but yourself but the late accident, in which all that I hold with that lady, as I take it; upon which I haldear was endangered, has opened every sluice of looed out to the coachman to stop, but he did tenderness in my soul, and I were more or less not hear me, as I suppose, and drove on as hard than man, did I resist the impulse of declaring as ever. I followed him close at the heels for it.”—“This is no place, sir,” said Harriet, some time, till the street he turned into being trembling and covered with blushes.—“Every much darker than where I saw you first, by place,” cried Sindall, “ is sacred to love, where reason there were none of your torches blazing my Harriet is.” At the same time he threw there, I fell headlong into a rut in the middle himself on his knees before her, and imprinted of it, and lost sight of the carriage before I a thousand burning kisses on her hand. - “ Let could recover myself: however, I ran down a go my hand, Sir Thomas,” she cried, her voice right-hand road, which I guessed you had taken, faltering, and her cheek overspread with a still asking any body I thought would give me an anhigher glow. “Never, thou cruel one,” said swer, if they had seen a coach with a handsome he, (raising himself gently till he had gained a young woman in't, drawn by a pair of dark bays; place on the settee by her side,) “never, till but I was only laught at for my pains, till I fell you listen to the dictates of a passion too violent in by chance with a simple countryman like myto be longer resisted.”—At that instant some sélf, who informed me, that he had seen such a bustle was heard at the door, and presently af- one overturned just before this here large house; ter a voice in a country accent vociferating, “ It and, the door being open, I stept in without is my neighbour's own daughter, and I must see more ado, till I happened to hear this lady her immediately.”—The door burst open, and whispering something to another about Sir Thodiscovered Jack Ryland, Mrs Eldridge follow- mas Sindall, when I guessed that you might be ing him, with a countenance not the most ex- with him, as acquaintances will find one another pressive of good-humour.
out, you know; and so here I am, at your service “ Ryland!” exclaimed the Baronet, “what is and Sir Thomas's." the meaning of this?" advancing towards him This history afforded as little entertainment with an air of fierceness and indignation, which to its hearers as it may have done to the greatthe other returned with a hearty shake by the est part of my readers ; but it gave Sir Thomas hand, saying he was rejoiced to find Miss Har- and Harriet time enough to recover from that riet in so good company
:-“Dear Mr Ryland,” confusion, into which the appearance of Ryland said she, a little confusedly, “I am happy to see had thrown both of them; though with this you ; but it is odd—I cannot conceive-tell us, difference, that Harriet's was free from the guilt as Sir Thomas was just now asking, how you of Sindall's, and did not even proceed from the came to find us out here?”
least suspicion of any thing criminal in the in“Why, you must understand, Miss," return- tentions of that gentleman. ed Jack, “ that I have got a little bit of a le- Sir Thomas pretended great satisfaction in gacy left me by a relation here in London; as having met with his acquaintance Mr Ryland, I was coming up on that business, I thought I and, having obtained another hackney-coach, could do no less than ask your worthy father's they drove together to Newgate, where Jack recommands for you and Mr William. So we ceived a much sincerer welcome from Anuesly, settled matters, that, as our times, I believe, will and they passed the evening with the greatest agree well enough, I should have the pleasure, satisfaction. if you are not otherwise engaged, of conducting Not but there was something unusual in the you home again. I came to town only this day, bosom of Harriet, from the declaration of her and after having eat a mutton-chop at the inn lover, and in his, from the attempt which Prowhere I lighted, and got myself into a little de- vidence had interposed to disappoint; he concent trim, I set out from a place they call Pica soled himself, however, with the reflection, that
he had not gone such a length as to alarm her his voyage, to the ship destined to transport simplicity, and took from the mortification of them. the past, by the hope of more successful villainy Sir Thomas accompanied him a little way
down the river, till, at the earnest desire of his
friend, he was carried ashore in a sculler, which CHAP. XXI.
they happened to meet on their way. When
they parted, Annesly wrung his hand, and dropAn account of Annesly's departure. ping a tear on it, which hitherto he had never al
lowed himself to shed, “ To my faithful SinIt was not long before the time arrived in dall,” said he, “ I leave a trust more precious which Annesly was to bid adieu to his native to this bosom than every other earthly good. Be country for the term which the mercy of his the friend of my father, as you have been that sovereign had allotted for his punishment. He of his undeserving son, and protect my Harriet's behaved, at this juncture, with a determined youth, who has lost that protection a brother sort of coolness, not easily expected from one of should have afforded her. If the prayers of a his warmth of feelings, at the time of life when wretched exile in a foreign land can be heard of these are in their fullest vigour. His sister, heaven, the name of his friend shall rise with whose gentle heart began to droop under the those of a parent and a sister in his hourly bethoughts of their separation, he employed every nedictions; and if at any time you shall bestow argument to comfort. He bade her remember, a thought upon him, remember the only comthat it had been determined he should be ab- fort of which adversity has not deprived him,sent for some years before this necessity of his the confidence of his Sindall's kindness to those absence had arisen. Suppose me on my tra- whom he has left weeping behind him.” vels,” said he, “my Harriet, but for a longer Such was the charge which Annesly gave, and term, and the sum of this calamity is exhaust- Sindall received. He received it with a tear ; a ed; if there are harılships awaiting me, think tear, which the better part of his nature had yet how I should otherwise expiate my follies and reserved from the ruins of principle, of justice, my crimes : the punishments of Heaven, our of humanity. It fell involuntarily at the time, father has often told us, are mercies to its chil- and he thought of it afterwards with a blushdren: mine, I hope, will have a double effect; Such was the system of self-applause which the to wipe away my former offences, and prevent refinements of vice had taught him, and such is my offending for the future.”
the honour she has reared for the worship of her He was actuated by the same steadiness of votaries ! spirit, in the disposal of what money his father's Annesly kept his eyes fixed on the lights of credit enabled him to command. He called in London, till the increasing distance deprived an exact account of his debts, those to Sindall them of their object. Nor did his imagination not excepted, and discharged them in full, much fail him in the picture, after that help was taagainst the inclination of Sir Thomas, who in- ken from her. The form of the weeping Harsisted, as much as in decency he could, on can- riet, lovely in her grief, still swam before his celling every obligation of that sort to himself. sight ; on the back-ground stood a venerable But Annesly was positive in his resolution; figure, turning his eyes to heaven, while a tear and after having cleared these incumbrances, he that swelled in each dropped for the sacrifice of embarked with only a few shillings in his his sorrow, and a bending angel accepted it as pocket, saying, that he would never pinch his incense. father's age to mitigate the punishment which Thus, by a series of dissipation, so easy in its his son had more than deserved.
progress, that, if my tale were fiction, it would There was another account to settle, which be thought too simple, was this unfortunate he found a more difficult task. The parting young man lost to himself, his friends, and his with his sister he knew not how to accomplish, country. Take but a few incidents away, and it without such a pang as her tender frame could is the history of thousands. Let not those, who very ill support. At length he resolved to take have escaped the punishment of Annesly, look at least from its solemnity, if he could not alle- with indifference on the participation of his guilt, viate its anguish. Having sat, therefore, with nor suffer the present undisturbed enjoyment of Harriet till past midnight, on the eve of his de- their criminal pleasures, to blot from their minds parture, which he employed in renewing his ar- the idea of future retribution. guments of consolation, and earnestly recommending to her to keep up those spirits which should support her father and herself, he pre
CHAP. XXII. tended a desire to sleep, appointed an hour for breakfasting with her in the morning; and so Harriet is informed of her Brother's departure soon as he could prevail on her to leave him, - She leaves London on her return home. he went on board the boat, which waited to carry him, and some unfortunate companions of SINDALL took upon himself the charge of communicating the intelligence of Annesly's de- boisterous mirth of a company in the room imparture to his sister. 'She received it with an mediately adjoining. This, one of the waiters entrancement of sorrow, which deprived her informed them, proceeded from a gentleman, of its expression ; and when at last her tears who, he believed, was travelling from London found their way to utter it, “ Is he gone!" said down into the country, and, having no compashe, “ and shall I never see him more? cruel nion, had associated with the landlord over a Billy! Oh! Sir Thomas, I had a thousand bottle of claret, which, according to the waitthings to say! and has he left me without a er's account, his honour had made so free with, single adieu?”—“ It was in kindness to you, as to be in a merrier, or, as that word may geMiss Annesly,” answered the Baronet, “ that nerally be translated, a more noise-making he did so."-" I believe you,” said she, “I mood than usual. As Sindall was handing know it was; and yet, methinks, he should Harriet into the post-chaise, they observed a have bid me farewell—I could have stood it, gentleman, whom they concluded to be the indeed I could-I am not so weak as you think same whose voice they had so often heard at me; yet, heaven knows, I have need of strength” dinner, standing in the passage that led to the - and she burst into tears again.
door. When the lady passed him, he trod, Sir Thomas did not want for expressions of either accidentally, or on purpose, on the skirt comfort or of kindness, nor did he fail, amidst of her gown behind; and as she turned about the assurances of his friendship, to suggest those to get rid of the stop, having now got sight of tender sensations which his bosom felt on ac- her face, he exclaimed, with an oath, that she count of Miss Annesly. She gave him a warmth was an angel ; and, seizing the hand with of gratitude in return, which, though vice may which she was disengaging her gown, pressed sometimes take advantage of it, virtue can ne- it to his lips in so rude a manner, that even ver blame.
his drunkenness could not excuse it ; at least His protestations were interrupted by the ar- it could not to Sindall, who, stepping between rival of Ryland, who had accidentally heard of him and Miss Annesly, laid hold of his collar, Annesly's embarkment. Jack had but few and shaking him violently, demanded how he words to communicate his feelings by; but his dared to affront the lady; and insisted on his eyes helped them out with an honest tear. immediately asking her pardon. “ Dammee," “ Your brother, I hear, is gone, Miss Harriet,” said he, hiccuping, “ not on compulsion, damsaid he; “ well, Heaven bless him wherever he mee, for you nor any man, dammee." The
landlord and Mr Ryland now interposed, and, Harriet begged to know when it would suit with the assistance of Harriet, pacified Sir Thom his convenience to leave London, saying, that mas, from the consideration of the gentleman's every day she stayed there now, would re- being in a temporary state of insanity ; Sindall proach her absence from her father. Jack accordingly let go his hold, and went on with made answer, that he could be ready to attend Harriet to the chaise, while the other, re-adjusther at an hour's warning ; for that his business ing his neckcloth, swore that he would have in London was finished, and as for pleasure he another peep at the girl notwithstanding. could find none in it. It was agreed, therefore, When Harriet was seated in the chaise, Sincontrary to the zealous advice of Sir Thomas dall took notice of the flutter into which this acand Mrs Eldridge, that Harriet should set off, cident had thrown her: she confessed that she accompanied by Mr Ryland, the very next had been a good deal alarmed, lest there should morning.
have been a quarrel on her account, and begged Their resolution was accomplished, and they Sir Thomas, if he had any regard for her ease set out by the break of day. Sindall accom- of mind, to think no more of any vengeance panied them on horseback several stages, and against the other gentleman. “ Fear not, my they dined together about forty miles from adorable Harriet,” whispered Sir Thomas; “ if London. Here having settled their route ac- I thought there were one kind remembrance of cording to a plan of Sir Thomas's, who seemed Sindalì in that heavenly bosom”- the chaise to be perfectly versant in the geography of the drove on—she blushed a reply to this unfinishcountry through which they were to pass, he ed speech, and bowed, smiling, to its author. was prevailed on, by the earnest entreaty of Harriet, to return to London, and leave her to perform the rest of the journey under the pro
CHAP. XXIII. tection of Mr Ryland.
On their leaving the inn at which they Harriet proceeds on her journcy with Rylanddined, there occurred an incident, of which, A very daring attack is made upon thema though the reader may have observed me not
The consequences. apt to dwell on trifling circumstances, I cannot help taking notice. While they were at Nothing farther happened worthy of redinner, they were frequently disturbed by the cording, till towards the close of that journey
which Sir Thomas's direction had marked out a mischief for the world,” answered he; “ and for their first day's progress. Ryland had be- if you will be patient for a little time, you shall fore observed, that Sir Thomas's short roads be satisfied that you are in danger of none."had turned out very sorry ones; and when it All this while they forced the post-boy to drive began to be dark, Harriet's fears made her take on full speed; and there was light enough for notice, that they had got upon a large common, Harriet to discover, that the road they took had where, for a great way round, there was not a so little the appearance of a frequented one, house to be seen. Nor was she at all relieved that there was but a very small chance of her by the information of the post-boy, who, upon meeting with any relief. In a short time after, being interrogated by Ryland as to the safety however, when the moon shining out made it of the road, answered, “ To be sure, master, lighter, she found they were cbliged to slacken I've known some highwaymen frequent this their pace, from being met, in a narrow part of common, and there stands a gibbet hard by, the road, by some persons on horseback. The where two of them have hung these three years. thoughts of relief recruited a little her exhaustHe had scarcely uttered this speech, when the ed spirits; and having got down the frontnoise of horsemen was heard behind them ; at glass, she called out as loud as she was able, which Miss Annesly's heart began to palpitate, begging their assistance to rescue a miserable nor was her companion's free from unusual creature from ruffians. One, who attended the agitation. He asked the post-boy, in a low carriage by way of guard, exclaimed, that it voice, if he knew the riders who were coming was only a poor wretch out of her senses, whom up behind; the boy answered in the negative, her friends were conveying to a place of secubut that he needed not be afraid, as he obser- rity; but Harriet, notwithstanding some enved a carriage along with them.
deavours of the man in the chaise to prevent The first of the horsemen now passed the her, cried out with greater vehemence than bechaise in which Ryland and Harriet were, and fore, entreating them, for God's sake, to pity at the distance of a few yards they crossed the and relieve her. By this time one, who had road, and made a halt on the other side of it. been formerly behind, came up to the front of Harriet's fears were now too much alarmed to the party they had met, and overhearing this be quieted by the late assurance of the post- last speech of Harriet's—“ Good God!" said boy: she was not, indeed, long suffered to re- he, “ can it be Miss Annesly?" Upon this her main in a state of suspense; one of those ob- companion in the carriage jumped out with a jects of her terror called to the driver to stop; pistol in his hand, and presently she heard the which the lad had no sooner complied with, report of fire-arms, at which the horses taking than he rode up to the side of the carriage, fright, ran furiously across the fields for a conwhere the lady was seated, and told her, in a siderable way before their driver was able to tone rather peremptory than threatening, that stop them. He had scarcely accomplished that, she must allow that gentleman (meaning Ry, when he was accosted by a servant in livery, land) to accept of a seat in another carriage, who bade him fear nothing, for that his master which was just behind, and do him and his had obliged the villains to make off.—“ Eterfriends the honour of taking one of them for nal blessings on him," cried Harriet, “ and to her companion. He received no answer to this that Providence, whose instrument he is !"demand; she to whom it was made having “ To have been of any service to Miss Annesly,” fainted into the arms of her terrified fellow-tra- replied a gentleman who now appeared, leading veller. In this state of insensibility, Ryland his horse,“ rewards itself.”—It was Sindall! was forced, by the inhuman ruffian and his asso- L“ Gracious powers !” exclaimed the astonishciates, to leave her, and enter a chaise which now ed Harriet, “ can it be you, Sir Thomas !"drew up to receive him ; and one of the gang, “ Compose yourself, my dear Miss Annesly," whose appearance bespoke something of a high- said he, “ lest the surprise of your deliverance er rank than the rest, seated himself by her, should overpower your spirits.”-He had openand was very assiduous in using proper means ed the door of the chaise, and Harriet, by a nafor her recovery. When that was effected, he tural motion, made room for him to sit by her. begged her, in terms of great politeness, not to -He accordingly gave his horse to a servant, make herself in the least uneasy, for that no and stepped into the chaise, directing the driver harm was intended.-- -“ Oh heavens !” she to strike down a particular path, which would cried, " where am I? What would you have? lead him to a small inn, where he sometimes Whither would you carry me? Where is Mr passed the night when a-hunting. Ryland ?”—“ If you mean that gentleman in When he pulled up the glass, “ Tell me, tell whose company you were, Madam, you may be me, Sir Thomas,” said Harriet, “ what guarassured, that nothing ill shall happen to him dian angel directed you so unexpectedly to my any more than to yourself.”—“ Nothing ill ?." relief?”—“ That guardian angel, my fairest, said she ; “ merciful God! What do you in- which I trust will ever direct us to happiness ; tend to do with me?"-" I would not do you my love, my impatient love, that could not bear