first noosed: for, you must know, the day is fixed for Liddy’s marriage; and the banns for both couples have been already published in the parish church. The captain earnestly begged that one trouble might serve for all, and Tabitha assented with a vile affectation of reluctance. Her inamorato, who came hither very slenderly equipt, has sent for his baggage to London, which, in all probability, will not arrive in time for the wedding; but it is of no great consequence, as every thing is to be transacted with the utmost privacy. Mean while, directions are given for making out the contracts of marriage, which are very favourable for both females; Liddy will be secured in a good jointure; and her aunt will remain mistress of her own fortune, except one half of the interest, which her husband shall have a right to enjoy for his natural life: I think this is as little in conscience as can be done for a man who yokes with such a partner for life.

These expectants seem to be so happy, that if Mr. Dennison had an agreeable daughter, I believe I should be for making the third couple in this country dance. The humour seems to be infectious; for Clinker, alias Loyd, has a month’s mind to play the fool, in the same fashion, with Mrs. Winifred Jenkins. He has even sounded me on the subject; but I have given him no encouragement to prosecute this scheme. I told him I thought he might do better, as there was no engagement nor promise subsisting; that I did not know what designs my uncle might have formed for his advantage; but I was of opinion, that he should not, at present, run the risque of disobliging him by any premature application of this nature. Honest Humphry protested he would suffer death sooner than do or say any thing that should give offence to the ’squire: but he owned he had a kindness for the young woman, and had reason to think she looked upon him with a favourable eye; that he considered this mutual manifestation of good will, as an engagement understood, which ought to be binding to the conscience of an honest man; and he hoped the ’squire and I would be of the same opinion, when we should be at leisure to bestow any thought about the matter. I believe he is in the right; and we shall find time to take his case into consideration. You see we are fixed for some weeks at least, and as you have had a long respite, I hope you will begin immediately to discharge the arrears due to

Your affectionate

To Miss Laetitia Willis, at Gloucester.

Oct. 14.


NEVER did I sit down to write in such agitation as I now feel. In the course of a few days, we have met with a number of incidents so wonderful and interesting, that all my ideas are thrown into confusion and perplexity. You must not expect either method or coherence in what I am going to relate, my dearest Willis. Since my last, the aspect of affairs is totally changed!—and so changed!—but I would fain give you a regular detail. In passing a river, about eight days ago, our coach was overturned, and some of us narrowly escaped with life. My uncle had well nigh perished. O Heaven, I cannot reflect upon that circumstance without horror. I should have lost my best friend, my father and protector, but for the resolution and activity of his servant Humphry Clinker, whom Providence really seems to have placed near him for the necessity of this occasion. I would not be thought superstitious; but surely he acted from a stronger impulse than common fidelity. Was it not the voice of nature that loudly called upon him to save the life of his own father? for, O Letty, it was discovered that Humphry Clinker was my uncle’s natural son.

Almost at the same instant, a gentleman, who came to offer us his assistance, and invite us to his house, turned out to be a very old friend of Mr. Bramble. His name is Mr. Dennison, one of the worthiest men living; and his lady is a perfect saint upon earth. They have an only son. Who do you think is this only son? O Letty! O gracious heaven! how my heart palpitates, when I tell you that this only son of Mr. Dennison, is that very identical youth who, under the name of Wilson, has made such ravage in my heart! Yes, my dear friend! Wilson and I are now lodged in the same house, and converse together freely. His father approves of his sentiments in my favour; his mother loves me with all the tenderness

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