« EelmineJätka »
progress in his heart. He made no farther disclosure of it that night, but early the next morning visited the brother of his adorable; and, after a very short prelude, acquainted him that his business was love, and that though he had seen his sister but once he felt for her all the passion a man could be possessed of. That his life would thence forward be a burthen to him, if he was not blessed with the hope of passing it with her; and he concluded with conjuring him by all their mutual friendship to introduce him to her if her heart was not already engaged, and to favour his pretensions with all the interest which he derived from his near relationship.
The brother, highly gratified with a proposal so advantageous to Sabina, told him with the same frankness, that nothing could afford him so perfect a joy as the union of two persons so dear to him. He also assured him, that he had several times talked to his sister on the subject of marriage, and she had always answered him in such a manner, as knowing her candour and the confidence she reposed in him, he was perfectly convinced that she had not yet entertained the slightest partiality for any other admirer. To this he added that he would go directly to her lodgings, and prepare her for the honour of a visit from him that very afternoon.
Lewellin embraced and thanked him in terms which shewed the fervency of his passion, and after having, according to the custom of lovers, a thousand times renewed his entreaties that he would be zealous in his cause, and appointed a place for a new meeting, he took his leave with the most flattering ideas of speedy success.
The brother of Sabina, on the other hand, had never undertaken a more pleasing office. Not doubting that the affair would be easily accomplished, as there was not the least exception, either to the family, fortune, character, or personal accomplishments of Lewellin, he was no solicitous to furnish himself previously with arguments to convince his sister, of what he imagined she would have sense enough to distinguish without the assistance of persuasion. In this opinion he went to her apartment. Finding her at breakfast in a loose dishabille, " I am glad,” said he, "I am come before you are dressed; " for I expect you will equip yourself in the most becoming manner, to rivet more strongly those "chains you have already thrown over a heart "which I venture to recommend to your accept"ance."
She looked earnestly at him as he finished these words, and observing a mixture of gaiety and seriousness in his countenance, knew not
well how to comprehend his meaning, or in what manner to answer. But after a short pause, "You are either in a very merry humour this "morning," she replied, " and talk after this "fashion merely to divert yourself, or else you "want to prove that vanity in me, of which last
night you accused our whole sex. If it be the "former, I shall be ready to join in any thing "that gives you pleasure; but if the latter, I assure you, I shall never think that heart worthy "of my acceptance that is to be gained or pre"served by outward shew." Perfectly well "judged, indeed, my dear sister," he replied, " but I expected no less from you, and spoke as "I did, only to give you an opportunity of tes"tifying that good sense, which can never fail "both of engaging and making happy whoever 66 you desire to make so. I hope, also," continued he growing more grave,
"it will so direct your choice, as to establish a lasting felicity "for yourself."
After she had answered this compliment in suitable terms, he told her, he thought it was now time to think of marriage, and that the person he should introduce that afternoon had all the qualifications which a woman could wish to find in a partner for life. He proceeded to inform her that he had commenced an acquain
tance with him in Italy, and that they had lived in the greatest intimacy ever since. "Not a' "secret in either of our hearts," said he, "but "what each communicated to the other; I "must therefore be allowed to be a competent "judge of his principles, honour, fortune, and every thing that belongs to him, and can ven"ture to assure you that his good qualities "merit the love and esteem of all who have the pleasure of knowing him.
Such a character, from the mouth of one incapable of deceiving her, induced her to receive the proposal seriously; and she displayed as much satisfaction as was becoming a young lady of her strict modesty.
Finally, the brother had reason to believe his negotiation would be crowned with success, and that he had inspired with her a prepossession in favour of this new lover, which wanted nothing but the sight of him to be ripened into passion. It is probable indeed, that his conjectures would not have deceived him, had he not unhappily destroyed all the work by mentioning the name and country of the person he so earnestly recommended; an error of which he was unconscious, as he was wholly ignorant of the only weakness which could be imputed to his sister.
That aunt with whom she had been educated VOL. II.
from her most tender years, had, I know not on what account, a strong hatred to every one belonging to Wales; and she incessantly spoke of that whole people in contemptible and opprobrious terms.
Thus Sabina imbibed such a prejudice against them, as induced her to imagine that no Welshman could possess the slightest merit. And she no sooner heard her brother say he was of that country, than all her sweetness was converted into sourness and disdain, and she cried out in a tone full of scorn and derision, "Heavens? Is it a Welshman of whom you have been saying all "these fine things."
The brother was justly surprised at so sudden and incompreliensible a turn; but she soon unraveled the mystery, by railing in the same terms as her aunt had been accustomed to do, against the country and its natives. vain he represented to her the injustice of such a prejudice; in vain he recited examples of great and worthy persons born in climates where their virtues or qualifications could have been least expected; in vain he urged that Wales could boast of many advantages beyond any other part of the British dominions. The prejudice was fixed and rooted in her heart; and all his representations failed in producing the slightest change in her sentiments.