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ticing her distress, recommended a glass of wine rather than water, and requested the honor of taking some with her; at the sound of his voice she started, trembled, and, after apparently making a violent effort to conquer her feelings, burst into tears, and, accompanied by her friend, quitted the room.

"This," said I, "is very extraordinary; the illness of the lady appeared to be partly occasioned by the sight of you, Sir William : have you ever met before?"-"Never in my life, to my knowledge," said he, "but I do not care how soon we meet again: she is a beautiful creature, and I feel curious to know the occasion of this attack, which, as you say, did seem to be brought on by looking at me."

After sitting the usual time at our wine, we adjourned to the drawing-room, where all the ladies and several of the gentlemen were assembled, and, perceiving our fair invalid and her friend on a sofa together, we approached them and inquired after the health of the former; she thanked us in a musical voice, and with a sweet smile professed herself much better, and, after a little general conversation, I entered into talk with her on the subject of the Lakes, which I told her I had just left, and which she professed her intention of visiting in the course of the following summer. Sir William and the friend were in the meantime deeply engaged in a conversation, the whole of which I was prevented from hearing, by the sound of so many other voices near us, but I could occasionally catch a few words from the lady, such as "a charming woman-variety of offers-but so devoted-can never expect such happiness again-memory-refinement--luxury of grief," &c. &c. &c., to which my friend, Sir William, replied in short sentences, such as "Indeed!-very

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really! very uncommon, indeed!-so little of that feeling in these days," &c. &c. &c.

In the course of the evening I

found an opportunity to ask some of the party who these ladies were, and was informed that the younger was a Mrs. Morton, the widow of an officer, that she was much admired by the gentlemen, but was not at all a favorite with the ladies; that she had been seen a great deal at public places, and had received particular attentions from several gentlemen, but seldom any of a serious nature, which was not wonderful, as my informant added that she appeared to have a great turn for expense, and was supposed to be in possession of only a slender income; her singularity in still continuing to wear the colors and the emblems of woe, while her dress exhibited proofs of the most fantastic vanity, had been much ridiculed, and the reality of her deeply-seated grief for the loss of her husband was much doubted, especially by those of her own sex. The other lady was a Mrs. Sims, her aunt and constant companion everywhere; she was the constant puffer and flatterer also of her fair niece, and they appeared to be well known in all places which were the resort of the gay and the idle.

In the course of the day, however, I noticed that Sir William was a constant attendant on the fair widow, his whimsicalities and his complaints seemed forgotten while he was conversing with her, and, having, before a week was completed, heard him, at her suggestion, gravely propose mounting the coach-box, and driving her himself in his barouche to visit some of the neighboring villages, I became really uneasy, and seizing the opportunity at an hour in which I knew the ladies were otherwise engaged, I invited him to take a walk with me, to which he consented very readily. When we had proceeded a litle way, "Pray," said I, "how is it that you and I are almost strangers? I do not think I have had an hour's conversation with you since the first day that you came here. Have the charms of the beautiful widow entire

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ly fascinated you?"-"Ah, Medley," said he, "I thought I should not escape your observation, but I am really not sorry that you have yourself introduced the subject, as it is always an awkward one for a man to begin himself; but to tell you the truth I am more pleased with Mrs. Morton than I ever was before with any woman. "She is certainly very handsome," said I, "and beauty-" "That is not her attraction in my eyes," said Sir William; "I have gazed on beauty unmoved, and, though it may have excited my admiration, it would never have gained my love. The charm of Mrs. Morton in my eyes is her devoted attachment to the memory of her husband; her aunt has told me such instances of her love for him while living, and her fond remembrance of him now that he his dead, that I venerate and admire her, and could not have thought the female mind capable of cherishing such constant recollection and fidelity." "How, then," said I, "can you encourage yourself in an attachment which, if reciprocal, must deprive her of that meritorious constancy which has made so deep an impression on your mind?" "You shall hear," said he, " and when you have listened to what I have to relate, you will find those feelings not so incompatible as they may now appear to you. You noticed that Mrs. Morton was taken ill on the first day we met her, at dinner, and Mrs. Sims told me that the occasion of it was my wonderful likeness to her late husband, which she said was quite supernatural; my face and my form she thought the exact prototype of his, and when I spoke, the voice was so similar that it produced the effect you witnessed." "Mrs. Morton's husband must then have been much older than herself," said I, significantly; "I understand that he has been dead for several years.' That,' ," replied Sir William, peevishly, "I did not ask, but she herself says that not only do I exactly resemble him in


person, but that in our manners, as well as our sentiments and opinions, on every subject, there is the same almost miraculous coincidence ; and that there is not another human being in existence to whom she would be prevailed on to give her hand, but that in marrying me she shall feel as if reunited to her beloved husband, and will not consider it as any breach of the vow of fidelity that she pledged herself to observe to his memory."-" It is altogether," said I, "a very extraordinary circumstance; but how very sudden is this resolution of yours! I never thought that, having lived to the age of sixty unmarried, as well as myself, you would have altered your mode of life at so advanced a period of it." "I never," said he, “preferred a life of celibacy; the only circumstance that has kept me single has been the difficulty of making a prudent choice; I saw multitudes of our country women in India, but they came thither purposely to gain establishments, and that of itself was quite sufficient to disgust me." "Ladies in England," said I, interrupting him, "sometimes prefer a journey to Harrowgate, Bath, or Cheltenham." "That," said he, "is nothing to the purpose. I wish you would hear me without interruption; I was going to observe that my feelings are peculiarly delicate, and that I should be entirely wretched if I thought that I was chosen only for the rank and wealth which it is in my power to bestow upon a wife. I am not coxcomb enough to suppose that, at my age, and with my broken constitution and irascible temper, I should be likely to gain the affection of a young and lovely woman: but this is a very peculiar case; and Mrs. Morton, the first moment she saw me, felt an immediate impression on her mind that, from my surprising resemblance to her husband, I was destined to supply his place, and to dry those tears that she had shed without ceasing since his death; and this you will observe must have been on her part

a real and disinterested feeling, for, as I had but just arrived, she could hardly have known even my name, much less whether I was rich or poor." "You forget," said I, "your barouche and four, which remained for nearly half an hour at the door of the hotel, and I cannot quite comprehend, as this lady has shed such oceans of tears, why she should select Harrowgate, Bath, Scarborough, &c. for the scene of these lachrymals, for I am credibly informed that these are the retreats in which she has chosen to pass the melancholy years of her widowhood; but I beg pardon, I forgot that I had promised not to interrupt you, pray proceed."-" Her having been a frequent visiter at these places," said Sir William, "has been entirely against her own wishes or inclination, and merely in compliance with the desire of her aunt, who was really fearful of the effect that solitude might have on her mind in such a state of suffering; but her natural disposition is of the most retired and domestic kind; she would never by choice leave home; she is quite devoted to reading and sedentary amusements, and is so excellent a nurse, and so fond of the duty of attending and watching the sick, that Mrs. Sims says, so far from my infirin state of health being any objection with her niece, she is sure that] she would infinitely prefer it, for she was so much in the habit of devoting herself to the comfort and amusement of her husband, who was always sickly and complaining, that she would not feel herself half so useful, and consequently not half so happy, with a healthy one, and I really think that, as my good fortune has thrown so fine a young woman in my way, with so strong a prepossession in my favor, and with tastes and feelings that would render her so charming a companion for a poor invalid like myself, I should be greatly to blame to let the opportunity escape


She is not rich, but that is of no sort of consequence; I have

money enough for both, and I am sure that you will think so too, and I am therefore glad of this opportunity of asking your advice.". "Which," said I, "will I suppose be valued and followed in the exact proportion in which it may happen to accord with your own opinion, for that, I believe, is the usual criterion in matrimonial consultations; but, pray tell me, have you made your proposals, and is the affair settled past retracting?"-"I have only yet," replied he, "spoken to herself in general terms: all the information that I have been giving you respecting her proceeded from the aunt, who is a most discreet and sensible woman."-"Let me entreat you," said I, "to do nothing rashly; your acquaintance is yet but a few days' standing take time to see and hear a little more, and do not commit yourself by speaking decisively to her for at least a fortnight. Promise me this, I beg of you. "Well," said he, "I can, I think, venture to promise you as much as that, but mind, you only stipulate for a fortnight, for you know I have not much time to lose, though you are mistaken in thinking me sixty; I am only fifty-nine, and perhaps, if I had a comfortable home and somebody to amuse me and to care for me, I might recover my health and spirits and be as well as ever."-"Perhaps so," said I, "but I see a party approaching who will put an end to our conference, so we will resume it at some future time, but remember your promise."

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For a week after this, all went on smoothly; my poor friend was completely in a fool's paradise; he rode on horseback, wore fashionable boots, sent to town for a coat of the most stylish cut, and talked very seriously of sporting a Brutus wig, and I was afraid it was all over with him. The widow was demure, cautious, and sentimental, seldom spoke louder than in a whisper, and assented to all that was said, appearing to have neither will nor opinion of her own, and I perceived that

Sir William was impatient for the expiration of the time which his promise to me bound him to wait before he made his proposals in form. A few days only before this period would have arrived, I happened to be at one of the inns when the London coach arrived, and, among the passengers, I perceived Freeman, who has been for many years my stockbroker, and is a very honest as well as a very wealthy man, though not exactly a gentleman either in appearance or manner, being very short, very fat, and very florid, and having a purple nose, which speaks of the devotion of its master, not to the purple light of love, but to the purple juice of the grape, to the free use of which, added to the usual city indulgences in turtle and venison, he is indebted for sundry humors which show themselves in the form of pimples, to remove some of which was probably the occasion of his visit to Harrowgate. 66 Ah, Mr. Medley," said he "glad to meet you here-left the Bear garden, you see, for a little Yorkshire physic-won't stay longer than I can help though-making money like dirt in London, but no use without health; doctor told me a fortnight at Harrowgate would set me up again; offered him five hundred pounds to cure me without leaving town-should make double the money by staying, but he says it won't do, so left home and lots of invitations to venison dinners, and claret and hock, and am sent down here with orders to eat mutton and drink Harrowgate water. Ha! ha! ha!" The next morning I met him at the well, and joined him in the walk, having just parted from Sir William and the widow, who were proceeding homewards. "Ah," said he, "I see you know Mrs. Morton-a widow still, hey! fine woman though, but old birds, you know, (winking his eye) are not caught with chaff.""The lady," said I, "is still a widow, but not likely long I fancy to remain so the gentleman who is walking with her pays

her particular attention, and, I believe, is likely to succeed." "What!" said Freeman, "forgot the dear departed, hey!"—" Not altogether," said I, "for though I understood that many others have failed, yet this gentleman will owe his success, and his admission into her good graces, entirely to his astonishing resemblance to her late husband, which affected her most alarmingly the first day she saw him in this place." Here the little stockbroker burst out into so violent a shock of laughter, that every eye was turned on him, and, having in his convulsion dropped his glass of water on the ground, in order to prevent himself from following it he caught hold of the shawl of a young lady, who stood near him, and who, with looks of extreme terror, left it in his hand and made her escape, probably thinking that he was seized with hydrophobia. I had enough to do to apologize and restore order, but it was not till after a second burst of laughter, and sundry chuckles and contortions of mirth, that he could compose himself sufficiently to explain to me the cause of the uproar.

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Do you really," said he, mean to say that the widow has placed her affections on that tall, thin, gentlemanly-looking man, on whose arm she was leaning when she left the walk, and that it is in consequence of his resemblance to her late husband?"-" Exactly so,' said I. "Why," resumed he, after another convulsion of laughter, "I was once very near being taken in by this very Mrs. Morton myself; I met her two years ago at Margate, and she was struck at the sight of me in the same manner: I was the express image of her departed love, I spoke like him, laughed like him, and had exactly his free and joyous temper, and she told me that though he had been something too much of a bon-vivant, he was one of the bestnatured fellows on earth, and always the life of the company, just as I was. Well, all this made some im

pression on me; not that I should have cared a pin for it, if I had heard it in London, where I am always busy from morning till night; but when one leaves business and comes to a watering-place, one is always somewhat disposed to fall in love, from having nothing on earth else to do and then the women all look so pretty, and are so well dressed, and make themselves so agreeable, that I have more than once felt disposed to make a fool of myself, and this time I really had a narrow escape, for I thought such a handsome and loving wife as she would be likely to make, I might not meet with again in a hurry; but, by the greatest chance in the world, I met one of my customers or clients, as our agents call them, who had formerly been in the army, and, as he had come into a good sum of money by the death of a relation, I had transacted a great deal of business for him in our line. He immediately recollected Mrs. Morton, whose husband had been a lieutenant in the same regiment with him, and he told me that he was a little, mean-looking, broken-spirited, contemptible fellow, despised by most of the officers, but by no one so much as by his wife, whose insolence to him was noticed by everybody. They lived the life of a cat and dog, and her shameful neglect of him in the illness which terminated his life had exposed her to the severest reprehension. She was the daughter of a country shopkeeper, had not sixpence of fortune, but had every disposition to spend a large one. This account was quite enough for me; I took French leave, set off by the steam-packet, and got to town in time for a sixo'clock dinner, and I ate my roast ed duck, and drank my bottle of port wine, with double relish, from the thought that I was still my own man."" You will," said I, "have no objection to repeat to Sir William what you have just now said to -"Not in the least," replied he, "I will readily do a good turn


for him, as my friend at Margate did for me, and really this trick of resemblance is too barefaced, and will soon be as common as ring or money-dropping."

On our return to the hotel, I communicated to Sir William all that I had heard, and introduced to him the little stockbroker, who confirmed it. Sir William's eyes were opened; he thanked us both with great sincerity, and the next morning the barouche and four was at the door at an early hour, and, while we were at breakfast, it was announced by some of the company that Sir William Etherington had taken his departure from Harrowgate without any intention of returning to it the present season.

A few days afterwards, I fell in with General Lumley, who is, like myself, a frequent visiter to this place. I was relating the above anecdote to him, and we were making ourselves very merry with this and similar stories, of which we could, each of us, recollect more than one. "Medley," said he at length, "I do not think it quite fair that we should be so universal in our satire: there are good and bad of all sorts; there are many hundreds of artful scheming women, like the one of whom we have been speaking; but there are also many whose virtues and retiring excellencies shed a lustre on their own characters, and would redeem the faults and follies of their sex but women of this estimable character are comparatively but little known; they do not exhibit themselves to the public view, but it is in retirement, in the bosoms of their families, that we must seek them. I can introduce you to a widow whose constancy has been unshaken, and whose affection has survived the object of it through the changes of half a century of widowhood. "Well," said I, laughing," if that is the case, I may visit her without danger; but when you first spoke I was fearful you were going to expose me to the temptation of some

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