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pose I may have to stay there?"—« Till you make so much money, Ned, that you cannot spend it without coming to England: keep that in mind, boy so make haste in your calling."—" Well but, sir, that may not be accomplished as long as I live."—"Oh yes, Ned, I don't think thee hast a great stomach for wealth."-" But, sir, you wished my questions to be short; will you make the answers so? May I be five, or six, or seven, or ten years at St. George's Key?" "Yes, perhaps you may; not less than five or six years, certainly." "Then, my dear uncle, I should not like to live there a bachelor, and perhaps get into immoral connections, that would degrade me in my own eyes, and in the opinion of those I love."The old gentleman laughed immoderately, stood up, held his sides, and laughed and coughed, exclaiming at intervals, "Ned, you will be the death of me!" I knew not what to think of this; but my aunt made him sit down, saying, " Mr. Seaward, our nephew is right; I like his sentiments.""He is an ass, and you are a fool!" he replied, looking morosely at her; "I don't want any of your prudery and nonsense; I will talk to him." The old lady walked out, and left us together. My heart sunk within me. In imagination I had already beheld my dear Eliza living with me in ease and affluence, enjoying the bright sunshine of my prosperity, under the patronage of my uncle. A cloud now hung over me, which I expected to burst with a thunder-storm, the minute my aunt quitted the room. But my uncle was a wag in his way he began to laugh immoderately again; then
recovering himself, said, "It's better to marry than burn; eh, Ned?" and continued his laughing fit. He was then able to resume: "That's it, Ned, eh? but where is the wife to be had at so short a notice? We can't give an order for her- Bale, No. 1, marked E. S., Ned, eh?" He then took another hearty laugh to himself, and became quiet. I was now at ease, being convinced there was no surly humour on his part, but the contrary, and thought this was my auspicious moment. I at once told him the whole affair of my engagement to Eliza Goldsmith. He heard me out, in a business-like manner; and after some pause said, "Well, Ned, it's your affair, not mine; and if you are bent on it, I'll do my part. How the speculation will turn out, thee don't know, and I can't tell thee: these sort of articles, that we take for better for worse, not being allowed to try the sample, don't always answer expectation; but thee may'st be more fortunate, than some other people; and, as there is no time to lose, get thy business done; and, if thee likes, we will put her and thee in the manifest." He finished by shaking me by the hand, kindly and warmly, saying, "Ned! married or single, I will always be as a father to thee, boy." I hope I thanked him as I ought: I am sure if I thanked him as I wished, I did thank him as I ought. He desired me to return the next day to Awbury, and finish my business.
On the morning of the next day, on wishing me a prosperous journey, he put a little parcel into my hand for my bride, which I had the happiness to deliver before night; it was a hundred-pound bank
note, a very acceptable wedding present. Time pressed hard; there was no leisure for calling in church; I must return to Bristol, to employ a proctor to procure a licence. My uncle, on seeing me, and learning the cause of my being back so soon, was rather testy about loss of time; it being of great importance to get the brig off, as the month of October was advancing. I could not obtain the licence under ten days; but, that we might make the most of the interval, I requested my dear uncle and aunt, to invite my sister Maria and Eliza Goldsmith to Bristol, to have the opportunity of seeing their niece and my intended; and, moreover, Iconsidered that the two young gentlewomen, in paying this visit, would be enabled to make a good use of my uncle's kind present for Eliza's outfit. My request was instantly complied with, and the invitation joyously accepted.
My uncle was equally delighted with his niece and with her friend; but Eliza was evidently my aunt's favourite: she went with her everywhere, chose every thing, bought every thing; while the dear girl received with thankfulness the attentions of the old lady.
The important paper was at length obtained; and my worthy uncle, with his spouse, proposed to accompany us to Awbury. We set off, a happy party. Mr. Goldsmith received us with his usual kindness: the wedding followed; my uncle was in high spirits, which often burst forth in boisterous joy. He brought some "Bristol man's milk" with him, as he called it-old sherry wine, bought of Mr. Sheriff Glisson-and with this he made merry,
and plied my good father-in-law beyond what he could well carry; but it was a wedding merrymaking; and he gave a hogshead of beer to the villagers, and made it a happy day. On the morrow we took an affectionate leave of our dear friends: our feelings were deep and various; there was little said at parting, but much expressed by that natural language, which the overflowing heart never fails to manifest. My aunt and uncle first stepped into the coach that was to convey us; I then handed in my dear Eliza; she had scarcely taken her seat, when an unexpected volunteer sprung in after her. "Who are you?" cried my uncle. "Ah, poor Fidele," said Eliza, "I had overlooked you in taking leave of my friends." She patted him kindly, and was handing him out to the servant, when the dog (a beautiful little spaniel of King Charles's breed) turned back his head, to look once more on his favourite mistress, and whined so piteously, that my uncle, who observed it, exclaimed, "No, no!" and stretching himself forward, so as to be heard by the group without, "let the little fellow go with her; he has a warm heart towards her, and a good one too. Dogs never change, though men sometimes do: no allusion to you, Ned."—" Take him, Eliza,” they all said, and I more emphatically than all the rest. I was affected in witnessing the attachment of this dumb creature, to the one to whom I myself was so devotedly attached. My sister Maria and I then got into the carriage; and, with many adieus from the windows, we set forward; and, after a pleasing journey of a few hours, arrived at the door of my uncle.
Next day we went soberly and diligently to work, to prepare for our departure. However, there was yet much to do. I had frequent conferences with my uncle at the counting-house; and at length he gave me my instructions in writing, with letters to Mr. Dickinson at Kingston, and letters for my cousin at Honduras.