Containing Strange Revolutions Of Fortune
Booth proceeded thus:
"This loss, perhaps, madam, you will think had made me miserable enough; but
Fortune did not think so; for, on the day when my Nancy was to be buried, a
courier arrived from Dr Harrison, with a letter, in which the doctor acquainted me
that he was just come from Mrs. Harris when he despatched the express, and
earnestly desired me to return the very instant I received his letter, as I valued
my Amelia. 'Though if the daughter,' added he, 'should take after her mother (as
most of them do) it will be, perhaps, wiser in you to stay away.'
"I presently sent for the messenger into my room, and with much difficulty
extorted from him that a great squire in his coach and six was come to Mrs.
Harris's, and that the whole town said he was shortly to be married to Amelia.
"I now soon perceived how much superior my love for Amelia was to every other
passion; poor Nancy's idea disappeared in a moment; I quitted the dear lifeless
corpse, over which I had shed a thousand tears, left the care of her funeral to
others, and posted, I may almost say flew, back to Amelia, and alighted at the
doctor's house, as he had desired me in his letter.
"The good man presently acquainted me with what had happened in my
absence. Mr. Winckworth had, it seems, arrived the very day of my departure,
with a grand equipage, and, without delay, had made formal proposals to Mrs.
Harris, offering to settle any part of his vast estate, in whatever manner she
pleased, on Amelia. These proposals the old lady had, without any deliberation,
accepted, and had insisted, in the most violent manner, on her daughter's
compliance, which Amelia had as peremptorily refused to give; insisting, on her
part, on the consent which her mother had before given to our marriage, in which
she was heartily seconded by the doctor, who declared to her, as he now did to
me, 'that we ought as much to be esteemed man and wife as if the ceremony had
already past between us.'
"These remonstrances, the doctor told me, had worked no effect on Mrs. Harris,
who still persisted in her avowed resolution of marrying her daughter to
Winckworth, whom the doctor had likewise attacked, telling him that he was
paying his addresses to another man's wife; but all to no purpose; the young
gentleman was too much in love to hearken to any dissuasives.
"We now entered into a consultation what means to employ. The doctor earnestly
protested against any violence to be offered to the person of Winckworth, which,