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himself in the hopes of her speedy return, when one day, having been invited by one of the ladies of that neighbourhood, to a noble treatment at Sion garden, which a courtier, that was her servant, had made for her, and whom she would bring, Mr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Apsley, and Mr. Coleman's daughter were of the party, and having spent the day in several pleasant divertisements, at erening they were at supper, when a messenger came to tell Mrs. Apsley, her niother was come. She would immediately bave gone, but Mr.Hutchinson, pretending civility to conduct her home, made her stay till the supper was ended, of which he eat no more, now only longing for that sight, which he had with such perplexity expected. This at length he obtained; but his heart being prepossessed with his own fancy, was not free to discern how little there was in her to answer so great an expectation.
“She was not ugly; in a careless riding-habit, she had a melancholy negligence both of herself and others, as if she nciher affected to please others, nor took notice of any thing before her; yet spite of all her indifferency, she was surprised with some unusual liking in her soul, when she saw this gentleman, who had hair, eyes, shape, and countenance enough to beget love in any one at the first, and these set off with a graceful and generous mien, which promised an extraordinary person; he was at that time, and indeed always, very nearly habited, for he wore good and rich clothes, and had variety of them, and had them well suited and every way ansiverable, in that little thing, shewing both good judgment and great generosity, he equally becoming them and they him, which he wore with such
unaffectedness and such neatness as do not often meet in one.
Although he had but an evening sight of her he had so long desired, and that at disadvantage enough for her, yet the prevailing sympathy of his soul, made him think all his pains well paid; and this first did whet his desire to a second sight, which he had by accident the next day, and to his joy found she was wholly disengaged from that treaty, which he so much feared had been accomplished; he found withal, that though she was modest, she was accostable and willing to entertain his acquaintance.
“This soon past into a mutual friendship between them, and though she innocently thought nothing of love, yet she was glad to have acquired such a friend, who had wisdom and virtue enough to be trusted with her counsels, for she was then much perplext in mind; her mother and friends had a great desire she should marry, and were displeased that she refused many offers which they thought advantageons enough; she was obedient, loath to displease them, but more herself, in marrying such as she had no inclination to. The troublesome pretensions of some of the courtiers, had made her willing to try whether she could bring her heart to her mother's desire, but being by a secret working, which she then understood not, averted, she was troubled to return, lest some might believe it was a secret liking of them which had caused her dislike of others, and being a little disturbed with these things and melancholy, Mr. Hutchinson, appearing, as he was, a person of virtue and honour, who might be safely and advantageously converst with, she thought God had sent her a happy relief. “ Mr. Hutchinson on the other side, having been
told, and seeing how she shunned all other men, and how civilly she entertained him, believed that a secret power had wrought a mutual inclination between them, and daily frequented her mother's house, and had the opportunity of conversing with her in those pleasant walks, which, at that sweet season of the Spring invited all the neighbouring inhabitants to seek their joys; where, though they were never alone, yet they had every day opportunity for converse with each other, which the rest shared not in, while every one minded their own delights.
“They had not six weeks enjayed this peace, but the young
saw them allow each other that kindness which they did not afford commonly to others, first began to grow jealous and envious at it, and after to use all the malicious practices they could invent to break the friendship. Among the rest, that gentleman, who at the first had so highly commended her to Mr. Hutchinson, now began to caution him against her, and to disparage her, with such subtile insinuations, as would have ruined any love, less constant and honourable than his. The women, with witty spite, represented all her faults to him, whick chiefly terminated in the negligence of her dress and habit, and all womanish ornaments, giving herself wholly up to study and writing. Mr. Hutchinson, who had a very sharp and pleasant wit, retorted all their malice with such just reproofs of their idleness and vanity, as made them hate her, who, without affecting it, had so engaged such a person in her protection, as they with all their arts could not catch. He in the meanwhile prosecuted his love, with so much discretion, duty, and honour, that at the length, through many difficulties, he accomplished his design.
" I shall
to I shall pass by all the little amorous relations, which if I would lake the pains to relate, would make a true history of a more handsome management of love than the best romances describe: for these are to be forgotten as the vanilies of youth, not worthy mention among the greater transactions of his life. There is this only to be recorded, that never was there a passion more ardent and less idolatrous; he loved her better than his life, with inexpressible tenderness and kindness, had a most high obliging esteem of her, yet still considered honour, religion, and duty, above her, nor ever suffered the intrusion of such a dotage as should blind him from marking her imperfections: these he looked on with such an indulgent eye, as did not abate his love and esteem of her, while it augmented his care to blot out all those spots which might make her appear less worthy of that respect he paid her; and thus indeed he soon made her more equal to him than he found her, for she was a very faithful mirror, reflecting truly, though but dimly, his own glories upon bim, so long as he was present; but she, that was nothing before his inspection gave her a fair figure, when he was removed, was only filled with a dark mist, and never could again take in any delightful object, nor return any shining representation.
“ The greatest excellency she had was the power of apprehending and the virtue of loving his: so as his shadow, she waited on him every where, till he was taken into that region of light, which admits of more, and then she vanisht into nothing. It was not her face he loved, her honour and her virtue were his mistresses, and these (like Pigmalion's) images of his own making, for he polisht and gave form to what he found
with all the roughness of the quarry about it; but meeting with a compliant subject for his own wise government, he found as much satisfaction as he gave, and never had occasion to number his marriage among his infelicities.
“That day that the friends on both sides met to conclude the marriage, she fell sick of the small-pox, which was many ways a severe trial upon him; first her life was almost in desperate hazard, and then the disease, for the present, made her the most deformed person that could be seen, for a great while after she recovered; yet he was nothing troubled at it, but married her as soon as she was able to quit the chamber, when the priest and all that saw her were affrighted to look on her: but God recompenced his justice and constancy, by restoring her, though she was longer than ordinary before she recovered as well as before.
“One thing is very observable, and worthy imitation in him; although he had as strong and violent affections for her, as ever any man had, yet he declared it not to her till he had first acquainted his father, and after never would make any engagement but what his love and honour bound him in, wherein he was more firm and just than all the promissory oaths and ties in the world could have made him, notwithstanding many powerful temptations of wealth and beauty, and other interests, that were laid before him; for his father had concluded another treaty, before he knew his son's inclinations were this way fixt, with a party in many things much more advantageable for his family, and more worthy of his liking: but his father was no less honourably indulgent to his son's affection, than the son was strict in the observance of his duty, and at length to the full content of all, the thing was accom