other woman. How often have I heard you say, that children should be always suffered to chuse for themselves, and that you would let my cousin Harriet do so?” “Why, ay,” replied the old gentleman, “so I would have them; but then I would have them chuse wisely.—Indeed, Jack, you must and shall leave the girl.”— “Indeed, uncle,” cries the other, “I must and will have her.” “You will, young gentleman!” said the uncle; “I did not expect such a word from you. I should not wonder if you had used such language to your father, who hath always treated you like a dog, and kept you at the distance which a tyrant preserves over his subjects; but I, who have lived with you upon an equal footing, might surely expect better usage: but I know how to account for it all: it is all owing to your preposterous education, in which I have had too little share. There is my daughter, now, whom I have brought up as my friend, never doth anything without my advice, nor ever refuses to take it when I give it her.” “You have never yet given her advice in an affair of this kind,” said Nightingale; “for I am greatly mistaken in my cousin, if she would be very ready to obey even your most positive commands in abandoning her inclinations.” “Don’t abuse my girl,” answered the old gentleman with some emotion; “don’t abuse my Harriet. I have brought her up to have no inclinations contrary to my own. By suffering her to do whatever she pleases, I have enured her to a habit of being pleased to do whatever I like.” “Pardon me, sir,” said Nightingale, “I have not the least design to reflect on my cousin, for whom I have the greatest esteem; and indeed I am convinced you will never put her to so severe a tryal, or lay such hard commands on her as you would do on me.—But, dear sir, let us return to the company; for they will begin to be uneasy at our long absence. I must beg one favour of my dear uncle, which is that he would not say anything to shock the poor girl or her mother.” “Oh! you need not fear me,” answered he, “I understand myself too well too affront women; so I will readily grant you that favour; and in return I must expect another of you.” “There are but few of your commands, sir,” said Nightingale, “which I shall not very chearfully obey.” “Nay, sir, I ask nothing,” said the uncle, “but the honour of your company home to my lodging, that I may reason the case a little more fully with you; for I would, if possible, have the satisfaction of preserving my family, notwithstanding the headstrong folly of my brother, who, in his opinion, is the wisest man in the world.”

Nightingale, who well knew his uncle to be as headstrong as his father, submitted to attend him home, and then they both returned back into the room, where the old gentleman promised to carry himself with the same decorum which he had before maintained.

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