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describe the full force of her prejudice, the lover still retained hopes of surmounting the difficulty.
After much conversation, it was agreed that Lewellin should write to her; disclosing his passion, but hinting, that he was not ignorant of her objection to his country; and assuring her that if he should be so happy as to merit her affection he would never desire her to visit Wales; but would live with her either in London, or any other place which she might chuse as a residence. The brother himself was the bearer of this epistle, and once more exerted his interest with his sister in behalf of the truly devoted Lewellin.
But all his efforts were ineffectual, and so far was he from inducing her to read it, that in the midst of their conversation she snatched it from his hand, tore it in pieces, and trampled it under foot. A second quarrel was the consequence; and he left her with a resolution never more to repeat his visit. Her other relations still pressed her in favour of Lewellin, though with no better effect than to give her new opportunities of displaying her obstinacy and prejudice.
Meanwhile Lewellin, though now apprised of the whole truth, could not be persuaded to desist; and as there was no possibility of inducing
her to receive another visit, pursued her to church, watched her wherever she went, and laboured in vain to soften her by his persevering and respectful attentions. At length tired out with the persecution she received on all sides, she went privately into the country, acquainting
no one with the place of her retirement.
Her brother and her friends were much troubled with her flight; but the passionate Lewellin was inconsolable. So truly did his faithful heart feel her disdain, that he fell into a dangerous fever, from which he recovered with difficulty.
Great inquiries were made for the fair fugitive; but she had taken such precautions as to frustrate all, till her friends received intelligence from her which at first filled them with sorrow, and soon afterwards with grief.
Sabina, to amuse herself in her retirement, had frequented all the diversions which the place of her residence afforded. At one of these rural entertainments, she fell into the company of a young gentleman, who informed her that he had made a temporary excursion from London, to shun the solicitations of his friends, who pressed him to marry a person for whom he had no inclination. This parity, as she thought, of circumstances inspired her with good will towards him; and when he addressed her, as he soon did, on
a more tender subject, it grew up into affection. She candidly owned that her visit to the country was occasioned by the same motive as his own, and acquainted him with her name and family, which she had till then disguised.
Whether he at first intended this as a serious affair, or only to divert himself, is uncertain; but after he knew who she was, he left nothing unsaid, or undone, that he thought might engage her affection. She was not indeed, as she has since owned, in love with him; but where she was, she saw no one whom she could deen a fit companion except himself. He affected the warmest passion, and declared that he had an estate superior to what her fortune entitled her to expect.
This, joined to the hope of silencing the importunities of her friends, and all further overtures from Lewellin, or any other person whom she might happen to dislike, prevailed on her to listen favourably to the proposals of her new lover, and finally to intrust him with her person and fortune. She married him without consulting one of her friends, without inquiring into his circumstances; and without any settlement or provision. In a few days she returned a bride to London, to the surprise of all her acquaintance.
As her husband's circumstances were not immediately discovered, the disinterested part of her acquaintance paid their compliments of congratulation; but her kindred and intimate friends, especially her brother, could not approve her precipitate step, and were fearful of the event.
Not to prolong the narrative, the unhappy Sabina had not been married above a month before she found her whole fortune was appropriated for the payment of her husband's debts. That fear of his creditors, and not of a disagreeable match as he had pretended, had driven him to that part of the country where it was her ill fortune to become his prey. That he was neither the possessor nor heir of a single foot of land; but had led a loose idle life, and in fact was no other than a common sharper.
Difficult would it be for me to represent the miseries of her condition, which were rendered yet more severe from the consciousness of having merited them by a folly for which she could now find no excuse. After living about half a year with a husband for whom she had lost all regard, vexed with his ill usage, and experiencing all the mortifications derived from reproaches abroad and want at home, she was at length relieved from his presence. He quitted her and went to
France, in quest it is supposed of new ad
This once gay, obstinate, lady, is now glad to accept the contributions of her friends for her support, visited by few, respected by yet fewer, and caressed by none. She has leisure to reflect upon, and lament, the unhappy prepossession which made her so industriously fly the good offered by Heaven, in a wealthy, generous, and accomplished man, to throw herself into the arms of an abandoned villain and shameless impostor.