Next morning the ship was crowded with gentlemen, who came to receive my father, and conduct us on shore. As soon as we were dressed, we went into the barge that waited for us, and were quickly rowed to land; where we found the governor's coach, ready to carry us to the lodgings he had appointed for us. It was some days before my mother was sufficiently recovered from the fatigue of so long a voyage, so as to be able to see company; but, as soon as we were settled, all the principal ladies of R---- came to visit us; among whom were the governor's lady and daughters, and the two lovely sisters of Dumont. I did not fail to examine the whole person of Mrs. B----, with the utmost attention; and found it so infinitely charming, that I could not help reproaching Dumont, in my own thoughts, for being able to like any one after her. The ladies, to whom Dumont had represented me as a miracle of wit, lavished the most endearing caresses upon me; and Mrs. B----, little suspecting her lover's revolt, was one of the most forward in publishing my praises. Our stay in this city was made so agreeable, by the balls and entertainments that were continually made for us, that it was with great regret we were obliged to leave it. My father had determined to fix his residence at a A----, city near two hundred miles distant from ----, where he was to command in chief. The day before we went, I was at the governor's, with my mother and sisters. Lady Belmein, who was extremely fond of me, told the governor, smiling, "That she could not help being apprehensive for her son's heart. The captain, continued she, will carry so much beauty into ----, that it will be a miracle if poor Belmein continues unhurt; and this little charmer (pressing my hand, which she held between hers) has received so many advantages from nature, that, if he escapes the charms of her eldest sister, he'll certainly fall into hers." These instances of gallantry were so common in N----, that I was not at all disconcerted at this extraordinary compliment: but, as I had heard very advantageous accounts of the young gentleman she mentioned, I found something very soothing to my vanity in her prediction. My mother, who had not abandoned her design of marrying me to Maynard, gave him an invitation to visit us at A----, as soon as we were settled. I was present when she granted him this favor; and the alteration that it caused in my countenance, sufficiently betrayed the uneasiness it gave me. A great deal of company attended us to the sloop, which was fitted up in a very elegant manner for our little voyage. Dumont found means to lead me to the water-side, not withstanding Maynard's endeavors to prevent him: however, he walked close enough to us to prevent any particular discourse; and Dumont could no otherways acquaint me with his concern at this separation, than by his frequent sighs, and the tender melancholy in his eyes, which I could not behold without some sensibility. We had a favorable wind, and reached A---- in two days, infinitely delighted with the prospect of several fine country-seats on each side of the river. My father was received with much respect by the inhabitants of A----, who had impatiently expected us. We were saluted by all the ships in the harbor, who had their flags and streamers out; and the mayor, with the principal persons of the city, waited our landing, and conducted us to the fort, in which was a very fine house, where the commanding officer always resided. I longed impatiently for a sight of captain Belmein; but he was not then in town. The next day, however, he came up to the fort: I happened to be in my mother's apartment when my father introduced him, and was not a little pleased to find I had fixed his looks immediately. He seemed to be about four and twenty, tall, and finely shaped: his features had a remarkable regularity in them; and such an air of grandeur was diffused over his whole person, as commanded respect from all who beheld him. I could not help examining his person with a particular attention; but observing his eyes constantly fixed on me, with a look more soft and expressive than can be well imagined, I hastily turned away my face, to conceal the confusion I was not able to suppress. My father made him an offer of an apartment in the fort, which he accepted with great pleasure; and, being soon settled in the same house with us, he had frequent opportunities of seeing and conversing with me: for my father would not allow him to keep a separate table. My mother, from the first sight of captain Belmein, had entertained hopes that he would like my sister. She watched his glances continually; and, finding them always directed to me, conceived so much spite and resentment at the disappointment, as made me often suffer severely. Thus, for very inconsiderable faults, I was frequently confined to my room a whole day; and some presence or other was always found out, to prevent my dining at table. I bore this restraint with much impatience; and, entering into my mother's views, which were only to keep me out of Belmein's sight, I begged her permission to make a visit to Mrs. Villars, who lived in a village about twenty miles distant from A----. As I foresaw, she readily granted my request; and, ordering Mrs. Blandon to get every thing ready for my journey next day, as soon as I was told the chaise waited for me, I went into my father's apartment, to take my leave of him, and found captain Belmein there, who, till that moment, had heard nothing of my intended journey. He looked uneasy, when he understood I should not return in less than a month; but, immediately recollecting himself, begged my father's permission to wait on me to Mrs. Villars'; which, after some apology for the trouble it would give him, was granted. Captain Belmein, who flattered himself he should take the place designed for Mrs. Blandon in the chaise, was greatly mortified to find my mother would not allow me to go without her. He expostulated with her about it; but it was in vain to contest a point, which, for particular reasons, she had already resolved on. He was obliged to mount his horse, which he did with a visible dissatisfaction in his countenance; and, only attended by his servant, and one of my father's, we took our way towards S---- He rode by the chaise some time without speaking; at last he came close up to us, and, after inquiring how I did, galloped away so fast that we soon lost sight of him. I expressed some surprise at his sudden disappearing; but Mrs. Blandon telling me, she imagined we should meet him at the half-way house, which his servant informed us was near, we continued our journey, without being in any apprehensions about him. In about half an hour we came to the house, and captain Belmein, who was waiting for us at the door, advanced to hand me out of the chaise. He had ordered a very genteel entertainment for us; but appeared so melancholy and indisposed, that Mrs. Blandon asked him the occasion of it. He told her, he had had the misfortune to fall off his horse, and found himself a little uneasy by a blow he had received on his head; but he hoped to be able to attend us again in a little time. Mrs. Blandon, who was extremely good-natured, desired him to accept of her place in the chaise with me; alleging, that it was very improper for him to ride his horse in that condition. He accepted this offer, after much importunity; and she took a place in the caravan, which was just then setting out for the village we were going to. When we had gone a few paces, I inquired after his health: "Never better in my life, he replied." "How, cried I, is your head-ache gone already?" "What a question that is! said he, (laughing) Gone! why it was only a presence to be near you." "Oh! mighty well, sir, interrupted I; since you are capable of sitting your horse, I'll send and let Mrs. Blandon know you are better, that she may take her place again." As I finished these words, I looked out, as if I intended to call one of the servants; but Belmein, with a countenance quite altered, prevented me. "Is it possible, miss, said he, you can be offended with me, for having, by this innocent stratagem, procured the pleasure of entertaining you alone? I have long languished for an opportunity of telling you, I love you with a sincere and ardent passion. My flame is not more violent than it is respectful: I adored you from the first moment I saw you; and if I make this declaration first to you, it is because I would not use a father's authority, to gain a blessing I would rather owe to your inclination than his command. I am sensible, he would not think my birth and fortune unworthy of you; but, if I am so unfortunate as to be disagreeable to you, these advantages shall be of no use to me: I would suffer a thousand deaths rather than cause you the least uneasiness." He paused here, expecting my reply; but my confusion was so great, at this frank declaration from a man, whose rank and fortune entitled him to my respect, and whose agreeable person had already began to make some impression on my heart, that I was unable, for several moments, to return him any answer. "Good God, resumed he, (looking fixedly upon me) what am I to think of this silence! speak, I conjure you, and let me know my fate." "I know not what to say to you, replied I, (blushing excessively:) I am so little used to such discourse, that I am at a loss to know whether I ought to believe you, or not. My youth, I think, might secure me from this kind of raillery; but, if you are really sincere, I am obliged to you for your good opinion. Yet you ought to consider, I am not at liberty to listen to such professions, much less engage my inclinations, without my father's consent." "I am charmed with your discretion, returned he, my little enchanting angel! you are, indeed, a miracle. So much wit, such a depth of thought, in one so young! Suffer me to indulge the dear hope, that I am not disagreeable to you; and that, if your father should authorize my vows, you will not hear me with aversion."
In this manner he entertained me, during the remainder of our journey; but, though my heart spoke greatly in his favor, I behaved with so much reserve, that it was impossible for him to form either hopes or fears from my replies. When the chaise stopped at the house of my friend, she, who had espied me from a window, flew immediately to the door, and clasped me fast in her arms, in such a transport of joy, that I was convinced absence had rather heightened than diminished her friendship. Mrs. Blandon arrived an hour after us: she seemed quite pleased to find captain Belmein so well recovered, and he made her many compliments for the favor she had allowed him. Belmein had promised to return to A---- the next day; but when Mrs. Blandon set out, he charged her with some compliments of excuse to my father, resolving to stay a few days at Mr. Villars' house, who was not a little proud of the honor he did him. This time was spent in the most agreeable manner imaginable. We made several little excursions up the country; and went so far as to visit one of the Indian nations, who had a castle, as they called it, near S----y. One of my father's lieutenants commanded a fort which was erected there to keep the Indians in awe. He took great pleasure in making me acquainted with the manners and customs of this people; who, notwithstanding they were converted to the Christian religion, had an air so savage and frightful, that I could not look on them without trembling. I visited the houses of their chiefs, who paid me a great many honors; and, when we departed, loaded me with presents of toys and trinkets of their own making: for they are extremely ingenious, and fond of learning the European arts.
Captain Belmein had spent a fortnight with us, and, during that time, his tender and respectful behavior had gained so far upon my inclinations, that I could not see him prepare for returning to A---- without pain. However, I had insisted upon his going; and was proof to all the solicitations he made me, to allow him to stay and conduct me home. When he was gone, an unusual disquiet seized me; I was restless and uneasy, sauntered from place to place, without knowing what I sought, and was incapable of mixing in any discourse, if Belmein was not the subject. I sighed involuntarily, was become passionately fond of solitude, and found no other entertainment but what my own thoughts afforded me, which were continually taken up with the idea of this gentleman. Such an alteration in my temper, which used to be all gay and sprightly, drew a great many railleries from Mrs. Villars and her husband, who were not ignorant of captain Belmein's passion for me. They had some difficulty to persuade me to stay with them the time allotted by my mother. I saw, with transport, the hour approach that was fixed for my return; and was but little moved with the reproaches my friend made me, on my eagerness to leave her. Mr. Villars took the care of conducting me home: but I was seized with some touches of a fever on the road; and Mr. Villars, judging it highly improper I should proceed, endeavored to prevail upon me to return. I insisted upon going forward; and the fatigue of traveling had so increased my disorder, that, when the chaise stopped at the gate, I fainted away in Mr. Villars' arms, as he was endeavoring to help me out. When I recovered my senses, I found myself in bed, with the room darkened, and my mother and sisters busy in administering remedies to me. "Alas, where am I! said I, (sighing, and looking round me with surprise)." "O heavens! she lives, cried captain Belmein, (advancing in a thoughtless transport to the bedside)." I raised my eyes at these words, and fixing them upon his face, observed it all bathed in tears. This sight caused so strong an emotion in me, that I was very near relapsing into my swoon. My mother, who observed it, desired captain Belmein to withdraw, in so peevish a tone, that he obeyed immediately. The physician that moment entering, after feeling my pulse, pronounced me in a high fever. I was soon after seized with a delirium that held me several days, in which my life was despaired of. My father, who was extremely fond of me, never stirred from my bed-side. My mother and sisters were also much afflicted, particularly Fanny, who wept by me continually. My youth, however, and the strength of my constitution, conquered the disease. In three weeks I was perfectly recovered from the fever; but still so weak, that I was obliged to keep my bed. As captain Belmein was not permitted to make me a visit in that situation, he contented himself with sending, almost every hour, to inquire after my health. One day, observing none but Fanny near me, I ventured to ask her some news of Belmein: she told me, that his grief, during my illness, had been so excessive, that no one in the family was any longer ignorant of his passion for me; that my mother had appeared much chagrined at it, and had endeavored to persuade my father to give him a refusal, in case he discovered his inclinations to him. "Well, but, dear Fanny, interrupted I, (all alarmed) what does my father say to it?" "If I can judge, said she, by his behavior to captain Belmein, he is far from being displeased at his regard for you; and, I am persuaded, he will not refuse his consent when the captain demands it." This flattering assurance had so great an effect on my countenance, that Fanny, being convinced my affections were really engaged, congratulated me upon my good fortune in being beloved by so fine a gentleman. "My mother, continued she, will be greatly disappointed if captain Belmein marries you; for I am sensible, she has omitted nothing in her power to engage him to love my sister." In a few days after this conversation, being quite recovered, there was no longer any presence for hindering Belmein to see me. He was so fortunate as to find only my father in the room with me, when he came to pay his first visit. After expressing the pleasure my recovery gave him, with a countenance and accent wholly composed of transport, "Sir, said he, (turning to my father, with a respectful action) you are, no doubt, surprised at my behavior during your daughter's illness: you cannot be ignorant that I love her; but you know not yet with what violence I do so. I shall be the most miserable man in the world, if you refuse me your consent. Dear, dear sir, continued he, (eagerly pressing his hand) if you do not think my rank and fortune unworthy your alliance, suffer me to hope you will make me your son. If I have no other merit to entitle me to this honor, I have at least this, that I esteem and reverence you equal to my own father." My father, while my lover was speaking, kept his eyes fixed on the ground. What he had said made a deep impression on him: he was truly sensible of the advantages of such an offer; but, at the same time, foresaw obstacles that would not be easily surmounted. Possessed with this thought, he looked earnestly upon captain Belmein: "Have you considered, sir, said he, the consequence of the proposal you make me? Do you reflect, that this child has no fortune; and though heaven should please to spare my life for some years, yet all that I could save for her would be greatly below what you might expect? Will the governor, think you, approve your choice? She is scarce past a child, and in nothing, but her birth, a proper wife for you." "Ah sir! replied Belmein, why do you mention the want of fortune! I passionately love your daughter. I have sufficient to maintain her genteelly: more is not necessary to our happiness. I am persuaded my father will not oppose our union, when he knows how deeply my affections are engaged. Do not, then, I conjure you, sir, raise any more objections." "You may be assured, interrupted my father, that I will do all in my power to promote your happiness. Harriot is yours, provided your father consents to it, and she is not averse; for not, even to have the honor of your alliance, would I, in the least, constrain her inclinations." My lover, who had no reason to believe I would oppose my father's commands in this particular, was so transported at his success, that he would have thrown himself at his feet, to thank him for his goodness, if he would have suffered it. As for me, I was in the utmost confusion: I had naturally a respectful awe upon me in my father's presence. This discourse covered me with blushes; and not being able to meet the looks of either my father or Belmein, I kept my eyes fastened on the ground. "What do you say, Harriot, said my father, are you willing to follow my advice in this affair?" "Sir, replied I, since you are so good to give me the liberty of declaring my sentiments; I will confess, that since Capt. Belmein is your choice, I shall find no difficulty in obeying your commands."
My lover thanked me, with an excess of rapture: but my mother coming in, relieved me from the confusion of a reply, when Capt. Belmein retired; and my father acquainted her with all that had passed. "I think, said she, this match is very precipitately concluded upon: there is no probability that the governor, who has the character of being one of the most avaricious men in the world, will give his consent to it. A refusal must be a very sensible mortification to you, and this affair may probably cause animosities no way favorable to your interest." My mother would not have reasoned in this manner, if Belmein had addressed my sister; this was the height of her wishes; besides, she had in view her engagements to Maynard: however, my father's resolution was fixed; and, for this time, broke all her measures. My sister being soon after married to a gentleman of a very considerable estate in that country, my mother remitted some part of her resentment against me; and suffered me, without any appearance of displeasure, to listen to the addresses of Belmein. My lover had wrote to the governor for his consent to our union, which he endeavored to gain, by the most affecting arguments his love could suggest. While we were in expectation of an answer, my father received an account that my brother was come to N----, and preparing for his journey to A----. No words can describe the excess of my transport at this news. I counted the days with an eager impatience; and labored, by displaying the merits of this dear brother, and the obligations I owed him, to inspire my lover with an esteem and friendship for him. At length he arrived, and was welcomed by my father and mother, with the greatest expressions of tenderness the dear, engaging Fanny melted into tears of joy; and as for me, my transports were as unbounded as the affection I had for him. Capt. Belmein, after paying his compliments to my brother, retired to his own apartment, with a young gentleman, who, just then, arrived from N----, and who was charged with some commands from the governor to him. My brother embraced this opportunity, to inquire into my affairs, having heard some slight reports of Belmein's affection for me. I took an infinite pleasure in relating to him my little adventures, and dwelt with a lover's fondness upon every particular concerning Belmein. I did not fail to represent, in the most advantageous light, his generous and disinterested passion for me: but I had the mortification to find my brother not near so sensible of his merits as I expected. "I am sorry, Harriot, (said he) to find, by the emotion with which you speak of Belmein, that your heart has received a much deeper impression than is consistent with your future peace. I heard, while I staid at N----, some reports of Capt. Belmein's affection for you; and the interest I take in every thing that concerns you, made me inquire, very minutely, into his character; which, I found, labored under some imputations that render him unworthy the tenderness you feel." "Alas! my dear brother, replied I, (trembling) what do you mean?" "You are too much discomposed, said he, (smiling) to hear me now." "For heaven's sake, resumed I, don't trifle with my anxiety: my esteem, for Capt. Belmein was founded upon the delicacy of his sentiments, and the sincere and honorable passion he profess for me. If he has imposed upon my credulity, I know how to despise and hate him, as much as ever I loved him." "Dear Harriot, said my brother, (embracing me) how this becoming spirit charms me. I am shocked, continued he, at my father's acting so íprecipitately in this affair; by which he has drawn upon himself the mortification of meeting with a refusal from the governor. Capt. Belmein has already made his addresses to several young ladies, successively; and his father's opposition was always a sufficient excuse for his forsaking them. His infidelity is become almost a proverb in N---- and I am concerned you have added one to the number of those, who have been deceived by him." This discourse was far from producing the effect my brother expected. My uneasiness insensibly vanished. Few women are concerned at the former infidelities of their lovers: we always fancy our own charms a sufficient security for their constancy, and a little self love and vanity came to my aid upon this occasion, and placed my own merits in such advantageous lights, as fully persuaded me I had, absolutely, the heart of Belmein in my possession. My father coming into the room, prevented me from making any reply to my brother, who seemed impatiently to expect it. He was followed by the same young gentleman, whom I observed had withdrawn with Belmein; and who was surgeon to the troops under my father's command. When I recollected that he had told Belmein he had some commands to deliver to him from the governor, I eagerly examined his countenance, to discover, if possible, whether or not his commission had been favorable to me: his looks, which were often directed to me, had something so reserved and serious in them, that I drew from thence no good omen to my wishes; and not able to conceal the agitation I was in, I left the parlor, and retired to my own room, expecting (with the utmost anxiety) a visit from Belmein. I sat alone near two hours without his appearing, involved in the deepest uneasiness; at last, the dinner bell rung: I went down stairs, fully determined to express some resentment at his neglect; but what was my surprise, when his servant coming into the room, a moment after me, delivered an apology for his master's not appearing at table. My brother, at this message, cast a satirical smile at me: I blushed, and held down my eyes; my heart beat, as if it would force a passage through my breast: what pain did I suffer, by endeavoring to conceal my uneasiness! the observing doctor was at table, and seemed to watch every motion. Dinner was just over, when Belmein's servant came in, a second time, and whispered to my father, who immediately left the room. I seized this opportunity, and retired again to my own room, where I gave free vent to my tears. Alas! I had but too much cause for grief. My father (some time after) sent me word to come into his apartment; I found my mother and brother there, and observed in their countenances all the marks of a violent displeasure. My father, who was walking across the room, (with much discomposure) took my hand, when I entered, and related (in a few words) the whole of my misfortune. Capt. Belmein, it seems, had been imprudent enough to show him the letter he had received from the governor, in which, he refused his consent to our marriage, in very disrespectful terms. My father, in whom the pride of birth inspired noble and generous sentiments, could not read the governor's haughty letter without disdain: he expressed his dissatisfaction at it to my lover, though in very gentle terms; and concluded with telling him, that his father's refusal having disengaged him from his word, he must not be surprised, if he obliged me to change my behavior: my father condescended to add, that Belmein had thrown himself at his feet, and conjured him, in the most affecting language, to consent to a private marriage between us, which he had positively refused; and that it was to acquaint me with this resolution, that he had sent for me. "Alas! sir, said I, (bursting into tears) pardon me, if I do not receive this cruel news with all the indifference that is expected from me. I cannot teach my heart immediately to forget Capt. Belmein. Give some allowance, I conjure you, to my weakness; and be not offended, if I lament the inevitable bar, which the governor's avarice, and your (perhaps) too rigid honor has put between us." "Degenerate girl, (interrupted my brother, in a rage) are you not ashamed to own so much tenderness for a man who has deceived you? by heaven, 'tis all artifice in Belmein, continued he: secure of his father's opposition whenever he solicited his consent, he has all this time diverted himself with your weakness; and, according to his custom, made you the dupe of a personated passion." My father, observing this language affected me with the deepest concern, gently reproved my brother; protesting, at the same time, that he believed Capt. Belmein's professions had always been very sincere. Then turning to me, with a look full of the softest benevolence, he explained to me the reasons, which obliged him to a conduct I seemed to think so severe; and endeavored to make me comprehend the fatal consequences that would follow a marriage with Belmein, while the governor continued so averse; the severe reflections which would be justly made on him if he countenanced a clandestine marriage; and the uneasiness the governor's inveterate malice, which was well known, might give him, by thwarting him in all his affairs: he represented all this in such strong colors, that though I was sorry to be convinced, yet I found myself so. "Oh! sir, replied I, (all in tears) you are too good, to justify your conduct thus to me; I have not deserved this condescension. I wish I could as easily conquer my weakness, in favor of Belmein, as I can submit to your reasons." "Poor child, said my father, (moved at my grief) I pity you: your heart is too tender: I did not imagine it had received so deep an impression. However, there is a necessity for your bearing this disappointment with moderation, your reputation requires it: as a friend I give you this advice, and as a father I enforce it, with all the authority I have over you." My father concluded these words with so stern an accent, that I did not dare to reply. My brother, during his short stay at N----, had contracted an intimacy with Maynard: he acquainted him with his passion for me, and my strange aversion for him. As he was then in very genteel circumstances, and in daily expectation of being preferred to the command of a man of war, my brother looked upon his proposal as very advantageous for me, and promised to mention it to my father: the present situation of my affairs facilitated his proposal. He represented to my father, that he ought to embrace this opportunity of marrying me to Mr. Maynard, and convince the governor he was not ambitious of his alliance. My father (extremely piqued against the governor) listened to this advice. "I wish, (said he to him) your sister could be persuaded to lay aside her unreasonable aversion to this gentleman. Nothing would give me more pleasure, than to see her happily married at this time." My mother, who l; saw her favorite scheme again on the carpet, renewed her solicitations for Maynard, with so much vehemence, that not able (in the present state of my mind) to listen with any composure, I begged leave to retire. In my way to my apartment, I met Capt. Belmein; who was to leave the fort that night, by the governor's orders, and resume his former lodgings in the town. He begged, in the most submissive manner, for a moment's audience; I permitted him to follow me into my room, not without expressing some fears, lest he should be seen. "Alas! my dear angel, said he, (in a moving tone) is it come to this at last? and is it only by stealth then that I am permitted to see you?" "Certainly, sir, replied I, you had prepared your self well for an accident like this; and the governor's avaricious temper was too well known to you, to suffer you to hope for his consent." The visible emotion, with which I spoke these words, convinced my lover my heart labored under some suspicions injurious to him: he omitted nothing that the most ardent passion could suggest, to persuade me of his unalterable affection; assuring me his mother, lady Belmein, had promised to solicit the governor in his favor, and endeavor to procure his consent: he then mentioned a distant wish, that I would marry him privately, which I rejected with the utmost disdain; commanding him, if he valued my esteem, never to expect I would do any thing contrary to my duty, and the affection I owed the best of fathers. 'Twas with the utmost difficulty, that I persuaded him to leave me: but after a thousand repeated vows of eternal constancy, he (at last) quitted the room, and the fort soon after. My mother and brother having allowed a few days to the first sallies of my grief for Belmein's departure, again renewed their remonstrances in favor of Maynard; I was given to understand, that my marriage with him was absolutely resolved on, and that he was expected soon in A----. I had no body in this distress to apply to but my father; I depended upon the promises he had given me, never to force my inclinations: though my tears and sighs seemed greatly to affect him, yet he commanded me to endeavor to vanquish my aversion to Maynard, and think of obeying both him and my mother, who wished nothing more earnestly, than to see me well disposed of, at a time, when I had received so mortifying an affront from the governor. Capt. Belmein continued to come frequently to the fort, but as I was not permitted to receive a particular visit from him, he never saw me but in my mother's apartment: the gloomy sorrow that appeared in his eyes, convinced me, this restraint very sensibly afflicted him; and he had the satisfaction to find by my looks, that my heart also was far from being at ease. One day, when I was more than ordinarily affected at my unhappy situation, the doctor, who visited in the family, (with the utmost freedom) approached me, as I sat pensively leaning near a window, and (with the greatest caution) slipped a letter into my hand, which (by the first glance) I knew came from Belmein: I hastily concealed it in my pocket, not without feeling an inconceivable surprise at the doctor's being employed to deliver it, whom I always looked on to be a creature of the governor's, and directed, by him, to watch the actions of Belmein. "I see you are surprised, Miss, said he, (speaking very low, for fear of being heard) at the commission Capt. Belmein has favored me with: I have been obliged to be guilty of a little treachery to the governor, to gratify the Captain's desires. There are few things so difficult, continued he, that I would not undertake to serve you; and by thus conveying to you the sentiments of a happy favored lover, I make you no very inconsiderable sacrifice." I had been too well acquainted with the language of gallantry, not to comprehend the secret meaning of these words; however, I avoided making any other reply than a slight bow with my head, and retired immediately to read my letter.
I will not trouble you, dear Amanda, with a repetition of it; for, though it was very long, it was only filled with tender complaints, and assurances of everlasting fidelity. He added a postscript, which recommended to me an entire confidence in the doctor, conjuring me to return an answer by him; which, however, I did not think it was prudent to comply with, not caring to put in that gentleman's power so undeniable a proof of my correspondence with Belmein, which, if he had an inclination to deceive us, he might either show to the governor, or my father. My new confidant, taking advantage of the frequent messages he brought from Belmein, seized every opportunity that offered, to entertain me apart. As he was master of an infinite deal of wit and humor, his conversation diverted my melancholy: he perceived it, and often forgetting the part he was to act, of confidant to Belmein, would entertain me with the tender sentiments I had inspired him with. These declarations were made in so delicate a manner, as left me the liberty of disguising my knowledge of them: and I must confess, to my confusion, that, notwithstanding the melancholy that then preyed upon my heart, I was sensible to some degree of pleasure, at this new proof of the power of my charms; and the gratifications my vanity was always sure to receive, spread such an air of complaisance over my countenance, whenever the doctor approached me, as gave him but too much reason for indulging hopes, which, soon after, produced such fatal consequences. While I was thus wearing away my hours, in expectation of some favorable change in my affairs, fortune was preparing new miseries for me.