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In Which Miss Matthews Concludes Her Relation
Before I had recovered my senses I had sufficiently betrayed myself to the best
of men, who, instead of upbraiding me, or exerting any anger, endeavoured to
comfort me all he could with assurances that all should yet be well. This
goodness of his affected me with inexpressible sensations; I prostrated myself
before him, embraced and kissed his knees, and almost dissolved in tears, and a
degree of tenderness hardly to be conceived---But I am running into too minute
"Hebbers, seeing me in a fit, had left me, and sent one of the servants to take
care of me. He then ran away like a thief from the house, without taking his leave
of my father, or once thanking him for all his civilities. He did not stop at his
quarters, but made directly to London, apprehensive, I believe, either of my
father or brother's resentment; for I am convinced he is a coward. Indeed his fear
of my brother was utterly groundless; for I believe he would rather have thanked
any man who had destroyed me; and I am sure I am not in the least behindhand
with him in good wishes.
"All his inveteracy to me had, however, no effect on my father, at least at that
time; for, though the good man took sufficient occasions to reprimand me for my
past offence, he could not be brought to abandon me. A treaty of marriage was
now set on foot, in which my father himself offered me to Hebbers, with a fortune
superior to that which had been given with my sister; nor could all my brother's
remonstrances against it, as an act of the highest injustice, avail.
"Hebbers entered into the treaty, though not with much warmth. He had even the
assurance to make additional demands on my father, which being complied with,
everything was concluded, and the villain once more received into the house. He
soon found means to obtain my forgiveness of his former behaviour; indeed, he
convinced me, so foolishly blind is female love, that he had never been to blame.
"When everything was ready for our nuptials, and the day of the ceremony was to
be appointed, in the midst of my happiness I received a letter from an unknown
hand, acquainting me (guess, Mr. Booth, how I was shocked at receiving it) that
Mr. Hebbers was already married to a woman in a distant part of the kingdom.
"I will not tire you with all that past at our next interview. I communicated the letter
to Hebbers, who, after some little hesitation, owned the fact, and not only owned
it, but had the address to improve it to his own advantage, to make it the means
of satisfying me concerning all his former delays; which, to say the truth, I was
not so much displeased at imputing to any degree of villany, as I should have