or take her wholly to your own surprizing discretion, and then I here, before Mr. Supple, evacuate the garrison, and renounce you and your family for ever.”

“I pray you let me be a mediator,” cries the parson, “let me supplicate you.”

“Why, there lies the key on the table,” cries the squire. “She may take un up, if she pleases: who hinders her?”

“No, brother,” answered the lady, “I insist on the formality of its being delivered me, with a full ratification of all the concessions stipulated.”

“Why then I will deliver it to you.—There ’tis,” cries the squire. “I am sure, sister, you can’t accuse me of ever denying to trust my daughter to you. She hath a-lived wi’ you a whole year and muore to a time, without my ever zeeing her.”

“And it would have been happy for her,” answered the lady, “if she had always lived with me. Nothing of this kind would have happened under my eye.”

“Ay, certainly,” cries he, “I only am to blame.”

“Why, you are to blame, brother,” answered she. “I have been often obliged to tell you so, and shall always be obliged to tell you so. However, I hope you will now amend, and gather so much experience from past errors, as not to defeat my wisest machinations by your blunders. Indeed, brother, you are not qualified for these negociations. All your whole scheme of politics is wrong. I once more, therefore, insist, that you do not intermeddle. Remember only what is past.”—

“Z—ds and bl—d, sister,” cries the squire, “what would you have me say? You are enough to provoke the devil.”

“There, now,” said she, “just according to the old custom. I see, brother, there is no talking to you. I will appeal to Mr. Supple, who is a man of sense, if I said anything which could put any human creature into a passion; but you are so wrongheaded every way.”

“Let me beg you, madam,” said the parson, “not to irritate his worship.”

“Irritate him?” said the lady; “sure, you are as great a fool as himself. Well, brother, since you have promised not to nterfere, I will once more undertake the management of my niece. Lord have mercy upon all affairs which are under the directions of men! The head of one woman is worth a thousand of yours.” And now having summoned a servant to show her to Sophia, she departed, bearing the key with her.

She was no sooner gone, than the squire (having first shut the door) ejaculated twenty bitches, and as many hearty curses against her, not sparing himself for having ever thought of her estate; but added, “Now one hath been a slave so long, it would be pity to lose it at last, for want of holding out a little longer. The bitch can’t live for ever, and I know I am down for it upon the will.”

The parson greatly commended this resolution: and now the squire having ordered in another bottle, which was his usual method when anything either pleased or vexed him, did, by drinking plentifully of this medicinal julap, so totally wash away his choler, that his temper was become perfectly placid and serene, when Mrs. Western returned with Sophia into the room. The young lady had on her hat and capuchin, and the aunt acquainted Mr. Western, “that she intended to take her niece with her to her own lodgings; for, indeed, brother,” says she, “these rooms are not fit to receive a Christian soul in.”

“Very well, madam,” quoth Western, “whatever you please. The girl can never be in better hands than yours; and the parson here can do me the justice to say, that I have said fifty times behind your back, that you was one of the most sensible women in the world.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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