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lamented that promise, because he imagined that if Sir John were once assured thatthe happiness of his son was at stake, he would waive all considerations of fortune when therefore Mr. Sealand applied to him, he gave the address of Indiana; earnestly hoping, that in this interview some explanation might take place, which would totally put an end to all marriage schemes, between Miss Sealand and his young master, when perforce he would be compelled to seek the consent of his father to a union with the woman he loved, who, Humphrey doubted not, was worthy of him; he of course waited anxiously for the completion of his hopes.
Indiana Danvers was the daughter of a gentloman of good family; but he being a younger son, his fortune was small; and having engaged in some mercantile speculations, by which he had lost considerably, he was compelled to seek a refuge in India, leaving behind him a wife and infant daughter. Providence favoured his endeavours; in four years he was restored to fortune, and immediately sent to England for his family; his wife, eager to fly to the arms of her beloved husband, would not wait for a convoy, but hastened away with her infant daughter, accompanied by her sister, in the first ship that sailed. They were taken by a privateer from Toulon, and thus every hope being cut off, she drooped, and in a few months died; the captain, who was a kind hearted man, considering himself as the cause of Mrs. Danvers' premature death, determined to make all the atonement in his power, by adopting her infant, and protecting her sister. Indiana was brought up in the midst of every indulgent tenderness; but misfortune still seemed to pursue her. In a fight at sea, her benefactor was killed, and having neglected to make any will, his whole property fell into the hands of his brother; a man of libertine principles, and most vicious charac
ter! The lovely Indiana now caught his attention; he assailed her honour, but without success, and at length enraged at her virtue, swore to be avenged on her obstinacy; seizing, as his own inheritance, the little property which had been given to her by his brother, and arresting her for the expense of education, and maintenance, from her childhood.
Indiana, terrified at the coarse manners of the men who came to drag her to prison, shrieked aloud, and called for help: Bevil, then on his travels, and at that moment passing, demanded admittance to the house; and learning that she was an orphan, an English woman, and unprotected, took upon himself the arrangement of her affairs; and having compromised with her brutal persecutor, brought her, with her aunt Isabella, to England. It was his intention to solicit his father's permission to his union; and then to accompany her to Bristol, to make inquiries for her relatives: but all these fairy hopes were speedily put to flight; for immediately on his arrival, his father proposed the match between him and Miss Sealand. Bevil, reluctant to thwart him in an expectation, on which he appeared to have fixed his mind, forbore to declare the state of his affections on the first interview; but, unfortunately every following day involved him in more perplexity, and rendered the task of disclosure more and more difficult!
Indiana, and Isabella, also, were each unhappy, though from different causes. Isabella, whose age and knowledge of the world rendered her suspicious, besides having been deceived and deserted by a selfish lover in her early youth, who sacrificed her affections for a splendid fortune, looked upon all men with an unfavourable eye, and trembled for the happiness of her niece. She plainly perceived her ardent love for Bevil, to whom she owed great obligations; and so exalted were Indiana's sentiments of gratitude, that she felt pride in owning those obliga
tions. Gratitude is a sentiment lattic understood, and less practised-yet why should we shrink from that sensation, which does equal honour to those who feel, and those who inspire it? It is an union of virtue and delight, it is the daughter of sensibility, and the sister of affection! The noble soul shrinks at obligation from little minds-but glories to receive it from its counterpart. Gratitude is a sensation of heaven, and seraphs breathe it through the soul! On the contrary the mistaken pride of meanness disdains to own itself obliged, blushes to confess it has been served, and in prosperity most insolently spurns the patron of its poverty: but the glorious pride of greatness loves to record its fellow-creatures' worth; it swells, expands, and glows to add a virtue to the list of human frailty, and pluck a fragrant blossom from the deformity of human weakness.
Oh! Gratitude-thon softest, sweetest feeling
And shall we be self heralded in shame
Isabella saw the bent of Indiana's mind, and dia not doubt but it was equally perceptible to Bevil; and she feared these perpetual taxes upon her gratitude were but so many artful snares to entrap her virtue. She therefore beset Indiana with perpetual censures on the conduct of her protector, attributing all his liberality to vicious motives, and assuring her she stood upon a precipice, from which nothing less than a miracle could save her. Indiana, open, generous, noble minded, free from all suspicion, and loving the guardian of her honour almost to idolatry, was much afflicted at her aunt's ungenerous apprehensions; the more so, as she had not the power of positively refuting them. Bevil's whole conduct was indeed marked with a degree of delicacy the most admirable; he ever treated his fair charge with respect, but his intentions remained profoundly secret. He was even pointedly silent on all subjects, which could in any way lead to a declaration of designs honourable or dishonourable; and this, was a source of much sorrow, from which Indiana had no remedy but what her own hopes presented: but those hopes were almost annihilated, on the report of his marriage with Miss Sealand; the truth of which she could not learn, as Bevil himself never touched upon the subject, and she in common delicacy could not seem even to hint at it.
While her mind was thus anxious, and unsettled, she was one day surprised by a visit from a stranger, an elderly gentleman; his excuse was the payment of a bill, drawn by Mr. Bevil, which being due the following day, he had himself waited upon her with the money. He then passed some compliments on her beauty, in a manner which rather alarmed her
pride, and hinted at the known partiality of Mr. Bevil towards her; when Indiana, displeased at his freedoin, arose to leave the room; saying she would send a servant to receive the money. The stranger requested her to remain, and assured her he had not any intention of wounding her pride, or offering of fence to her delicacy; but trusted she would pardon the anxiety of a father, who on the point of bestowing his only daughter upon Mr. Bevil, was desirous of knowing the relation in which he stood to her ; upon which disclosure Indiana, though her heart died within her, at this dreadful conviction of her protector's intended marriage, yet commanded her feelings, and begged him to proceed.
Mr. Sealand, struck with the modesty, dignity, and beauty of Indiana, and shocked at the dreadful agitation into which his intelligence had thrown her, -which she strove in vain to conceal,-felt his indignation rise against Bevil, who if not the betrayer of her virtue, appeared at least the seducer of her affections, and the destroyer of her happiness; and he warmly expressed his disapprobation.
Indiana interrupted him; and breaking out into the most ardent vindication of Bevil, declared his whole conduct towards her, in such enthusiastic terms of fervour, that Mr. Sealand was at a loss which to admire most ;-Bevil's generosity, or Indiana's gratitude. He entreated her to be composed, and to look upon him as a friend; he would not, he said, interfere between her and Bevil, and should forbid his future addresses to his daughter.
"Oh, no! no! no!" (exclaimed Indiana vehemently) do not let me interrupt the happiness of your daughter, and repay my obligations to the best of men with ingratitude. Secure your daughter's peace; give her to him; give her to my kind, my noble, generous Bevil; what have I to do but fly from the world, and waste my life in bitterness of