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" Of moving accidents by flood or field:"
Few years have passed, since it hap
pened that Dr. Winslow, a dig. nified clergyman, who, besides an affluent private fortune, pofseffed very considerable church preferment, together with his wife, the co-heiress of a rich citizen, their only fon, now in his twentieth year, and Mrs. Winslow's niece, Miss Goldthorp, the only daughter of a deceased banker, and poffeffing above fifty · thousand pounds, were induced to pass part of the autumn-at a public place of great resort, about fixty miles from LonVOL. I.
don. Mrs. Winslow was extremely hler: vous, and nothing was so good for that complaint as sea air; the Doctor indeed had three excellent houses, in three dif: ferent counties, but they all happened to be very far inland, and the present state of his lady's nerves demanded the benefit of marine breezes.
Her nerves had received some benefit after a residence of near a month on the coast. It was not certain whether this desirable end had been obtained by: gentle airings on the salubrious hills around her present residence, or by another specific, occasionally applied to by. ladies of a certain age in such cases, that of passing more than half the night at cards. Something was probably due to the latter cause, as Mrs. Winflow. had. been unusually successful; she had befides augmented her acquaintance among people of fashion, which was at: ways an object of her ambition having added five titled friends to her visiting list for the ensuing winter.
His wife now being in a state to bear the journey, the Doctor ventured to propose her accompanying him on a visit he had long meditated, and for which he had received a recent and very pressing invitation. Mrs. Winslow, who was occasionally all sweetness, especially when desired to do any thing she did not diflike, afsented readily.--Young Winflow had just purchased a pair of very fine horses of a man of fashion (whose stablekeeper had hinted, in no very respectful terms, the necessity of his felling them) and their present master was glad of this opportunity “ to try their bottom.”--It was settled that he should conduct his fair cousin in his curricle, while the Doctor and Mrs. Winslow, with her own inaid on a seat before, were to proceed in a poftchaise. The great object of Mrs. Winflow's life had been to be accounted a woman of most elegant taste, and the word elegant was incessantly uttered on. all the opinions the held, and in all the decisions she gave. It would now have
been much more elegant to have had four horses, an equipage with which they generally moved when at any of the Doctor's livings, where he had grass and corn of his own; bụt as he never loft sight of economy, he had now prudently contented himself with a pair ; and though he would not have been forry to have had them on the present occasion,'to make an handsome figure at the house of his old friend, he peevishly resisted his wife's remonftrances, who thought post-horses would be more elegant; and he asserted, that no body but herself would say such a thing—He only desired, that as their journey was to be four and twenty miles, and the days were so much shortened, she would be ready to set out before noon.
To make any exertion, however, was quite out of her way; had the risen an hour before her time, she would have been nervous the whole day. Instead of noon, therefore, it was near two o'clock before Mrs. Dibbins, her woman, who
was as nervous and as elegant as her mistress, had collected and arranged all the elegancies they both thought it necessary to provide ; then, just as they were preparing to depart, the lady's amiable new friends, Lady Stockbury,and her most elegant daughter Lady Theresa, arrived to pay her a morning visit; they had a great deal to tell her of an elopement in high life, of which they had learned the particulars, and to relate all that passed the preceding evening at an affembly they were at, where several persons of the highest rank were collected. Mrs. Winflow delighted to listen to fuch converfation, which to relate at the place she was going to would give her the air of frequenting the most elegant society, quite forgot that the morning was wearing away, and that the poor Doctor was in one of his most restless fits of fretting, waiting for her in another room.
The clock had told three some time before they departed; and they had advanced two or three miles on their road