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he had not gone such a length as to alarm her his voyage, to the ship destined to transport
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 bis 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 ; & ed; if there are hardships 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 inercies 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
credit enabled him to command. He called in London, till the increasing distance deprived
progress, that, if my tale were fiction, it would
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 den boisterous mirth of a company in the room im. parture 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 gówn, pressed sometimes take advantage of it, virtue can neit 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 goes !”
landlord and Mr Ryland now interposed, and, Harriet begged to know when it would suit with the assistance of Harriet, pacified Sir Thohis 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 Sindall 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 Ryland dined, there occurred an incident, of which, A very daring attack is made upon them, 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 Norhing 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- -“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 VOL. v.
the tedious days which my Harriet's presence added, that if the shot had taken a direction had ceased to brighten."—When she would but half an inch more to the left, it would have have expressed the warmth of her gratitude for shattered the bone to pieces. This last declahis services; “ Speak not of them,” said he ; ration drove the blood again from Harriet's “ I only risked a life in thy defence, which, cheek, and contributed perhaps, more than any without thee, it is nothing to possess."
thing else, to that quickness and tremulation of They now reached that inn to which Sindall pulse, which the surgeon, on applying his fin. had directed them ; where, if they found a gers to her wrist, pronounced to be the case. homely, yet it was a cordial reception. The He ordered his patient to be undrest; which landlady, who had the most obliging and at- was accordingly done, the landlady accommotentive behaviour in the world, having heard of dating her with a bedgown of her own; and the accident which had befallen the lady, pro- then, having mulled a little wine, he mixed in duced some waters, which, she said, were high- it some powders of his own composition, a sely cordial, and begged Miss Annesly to take a cret, he said, of the greatest efficacy in re-adlarge glass of them ; informing her, that they justing any disorders in the nervous system ; of were made after a receipt of her grandmother's, which draught he recommended a large teawho was one of the most notable doctresses in cupful to be taken immediately. Harriet obthe country. Sir Thomas, however, was not jected strongly against these powders, till the satisfied with this prescription alone, but dise surgeon seemed to grow angry at her refusal, patched one of his servants to fetch a neigh- and recapitulated, in a very rapid manner, the bouring surgeon, as Miss Annesly's alarm, he success which their administration had, in many said, might have more serious consequences great families who did him the honour of emthan people, ignorant of such things, could ploying him. Harriet, the gentleness of whose imagine. For this surgeon, indeed, there seemed nature could offend no one living, overcame her more employments than one; the sleeve of Sir reluctance, and swallowed the dose that was of Thomas's shirt was discovered to be all over fered her. blood, owing, as he imagined, to the grazing of The indignation of my soul has, with diffia pistol-ball which had been fired at him. This culty, submitted so long to this cool description himself treated very lightly, but it awakened of a scene of the most exquisite villainy. The the fears and tenderness of Harriet in the live- genuineness of my tale needs not the aid of liest manner.
surprise, to interest the feelings of my readers. The landlady now put a question, which in- It is with horror I tell them, that the various deed might naturally have suggested itself be incidents, which this and the preceding chape fore; to wit, Whom they suspected to be the ter contain, were but the prelude of a design instigators of this outrage? Sir Thomas an- formed by Sindall for the destruction of that swered, that, for his part, he could form no innocence, which was the dowry of Annesly's probable conjecture about the matter ; and, daughter. He had contrived a route the most turning to Miss Annesly, asked her opinion proper for the success of his machinations, on the subject; “ Sure," said he, “ it cannot which the ignorance of Ryland was prevailed have been that ruffian, who was rude to you at on to follow; he had bribed a set of banditti the inn where we dined ?” Harriet answered, to execute that sham rape, which his seeming that she could very well suppose it might; add- valour was to prevent; he had scratched his ing, that though, in the confusion, she did not wrist with a penknife, to make the appearance pretend to have taken very distinct notice of of being wounded in the cause ; he had trained things, yet she thought there was a person his victim to the house of a wretch, whom he standing at the door, near to that drunken gen- had before employed in purposes of a similar tleman, who had some resemblance of the man kind; he had dressed one of his own creatures that sat by her in the chaise.
to personate a surgeon, and that surgeon, by his They were interrupted by the arrival of the directions, had administered certain powders, surgeon, which, from the vigilance of the sere of which the damnable effects were to assist the vant, happened in a much shorter time than execution of his villainy. could have been expected ; and Harriet per- , Beset with toils like these, his helpless prey emptorily insisted, that before he took any was, alas ! too much in his power to have any charge of her, he should examine and dress the chance of escape; and that guilty night comwound on Sir Thomas's arm. To this, there. pleted the ruin of her, whom, but the day before, the Baronet was obliged to consent; and fore, the friend of Sindall, in the anguish of his after having been some time with the operator soul, had recommended to his care and protecin an adjoining chamber, they returned toge- tion. ther ; Sir Thomas's arm being slung in a piece Let me close this chapter on the monstrous of crape, and the surgeon declaring, highly to deed !--That such things are, is a thought disMiss Annesly's satisfaction, that, with proper tressful to humanity- -their detail can gratify care, there was no sort of danger; though, he no mind that deserves to be gratified.
when we consider its improbability, and like
wise that Jack's persuasive powers were not of CHAP. XXIV.
a sort that easily induces persuasion, even when
not disarranged by the confusion and fright of The situation of Harriet, and the conduct of Sinsuch an adventure.
dall. They proceed homeward. Some incidents His joy at finding Harriet safe in the proin their journey.
tection of Sir Thomas, was equally turbulent
with his former fears for her welfare. After I WOULD describe, if I could, the anguish rewarding his present associates with the greatwhich the recollection of the succeeding day est part of the money in his pocket, he proceedbrought on the mind of Harriet Annesly. But ed, in a manner not the most distinct, to give it is in such passages that the expression of the an account of what befel himself subsequent to writer will do little justice even to his own feel that violence which had torn him from his comings; much must therefore be left to those of panion. The chaise, he said, into which he the reader.
was forced, drove, by several cross roads, about The poignancy of her own distress was dou. three or four miles from the place where they bled by the idea of her father's ; a father's, were first attacked; it then stopping, his atwhose pride, whose comfort, but a few weeks tendant commanded him to get out, and, pointago she had been, to whom she was now to re- ing to a farm-house, which by the light of the turn deprived of that innocence which could moon was discernible at some distance, told never be restored. I should rather say that him, that, if he went thither, he would find achonour; for guilt it could not be called, under commodation for the night, and might pursue the circumstances into which she had been be his journey with safety in the morning. trayed: but the world has little distinction to He now demanded, in his turn, a recital from make; and the fall of her, whom the deepest Harriet of her share of their common calamity, villainy has circumvented, it brands with that which she gave him in the few words the precommon degree of infamy, which, in its justice, sent state of her spirits could afford. When she it always imputes to the side of the less crimi- had ended, Ryland fell on his knees, in gratinal party.
tude to Sir Thomas for her deliverance. HarSindall's pity (for we will do him no injus- riet turned on Sindall a look infinitely exprestice) might be touched ; his passion was but lit- sive, and it was followed by a starting tear. tle abated ; and he employed the language of They now proceeded to the next stage on both to comfort the affliction he had caused their way homeward; Sindall declaring, that, From the violence of what, by the perversion of after what had happened, he would on no acwords, is termed love, he excused the guilt of count leave Miss Annesly, till he had delivered his past conduct, and protested his readiness to her safe into the hands of her father. She wipe it away by the future. He begged that heard this speech with a sigh so deep, that if Harriet would not suffer her delicacy to make Ryland had possessed much penetration, he her unhappy under the sense of their connec- would have made conjectures of something untion; he vowed that he considered her as his common on her mind : but he was guiltless of wife, and that, as soon as particular circum- imputing to others, what his honesty never exstances would allow him, he would make her perienced in himself. Sir Thomas observed it what the world called so, though the sacredness better, and gently chid it by squeezing her hand of his attachment was above being increased by in his. any form whatever.
At the inn where they first stopped, they met There was something in the mind of Harriet with a gentleman, who made the addition of a which allowed her little ease under all these fourth person to their party ; being an officer protestations of regard; but they took off the who was going down to the same part of the edge of her present affliction, and she heard country on recruiting orders, and happened to them, if not with a warmth of hope, at least be a particular acquaintance of Sir Thomas Sinwith an alleviation of despair.
dall: his name was Camplin. They now set out on their return to the peace- He afforded to their society an ingredient, of ful mansion of Annesly. How blissful, in any which at present it seemed to stand pretty much other circumstances, had Harriet imagined the in need ; to wit, a proper share of mirth and sight of a father, whom she now trembled to humour, for which nature seemed, by a profu
sion of animal spirits, to have very well fitted They had not proceeded many miles when him. She had not, perhaps, bestowed on him they were met by Ryland, attended by a num- much sterling wit; but she had given him ber of rustics, whom he had assembled for the abundance of that counterfeit assurance, which purpose of searching after Miss Annesly. It frequently passes more current than the real. was only indeed by the lower class that the ac- In this company, to which chance had associcount he gave had been credited, for which those ated him, he had an additional advantage from who did not believe it cannot much be blamed, the presence of Ryland, whom he very soon