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mediately admitted. Doctor Tattle is one of those male goffips who, in the common opinion, are the most diverting company in the world. The Doctor faw that Mrs. Freeman was low-fpirited, and made feveral efforts to divert her, but without fuccefs: at last he declared with an air of ironical importance, that he could tell her fuch news as would make her look grave for fomething; "The Captain," fays he," has juft "huddled a lady into a chair, at the door of a bagnio "near Spring Gardens." He foon perceived, that this fpeech was received with emotions very different from thofe he intended to produce; and, therefore, added. "that the need not, however, be jealous; for notwith66 ftanding the manner in which he had related the in"cident, the lady was certainly a woman of character, as he inftantly difcovered by her mein and appear"ance:" This particular confirmed the fufpicion it was intended to remove; and the Doctor finding that he was not fo good company as usual, took his leave, but was met at the door by the Captain, who brought him back. His prefence, however infignificant, imposed some restraint upon the rest of the company; and Sir James, with as good an appearance of jocularity as he could affume, afked the Captain, "What he had "done with, his wife." The Captain, with some irrefolution, replied, that "he had left her early in the "morning at her father's; and that having made a "point of waiting on her home, fhe fet down word "that her coufin Meadows was indifpofed, and had "engaged her to breakfast." The Captain, who knew. nothing of the anecdote that had been communicated by the Doctor, judged by appearances that it was prudent thus indirectly to lie, by concealing the truth:
both from Sir James and his wife: he fuppofed, indeed,. that Sir James would immediately inquire after his wife at her father's, and learn that she did not fray there to breakfast; but as it would not follow that they had been together, he left her to account for her abfence as the thought fit, taking for granted that what he had concealed fhe alfo would conceal, for the fame reasons; or, if she did not, as he had affirmed nothing. contrary to truth, he might pretend to have concealed it in jeft. Sir James, as foon as he had received this intelligence, took his leave with fome appearance of fatisfaction, and was followed by the Doctor.
As foon as Mrs. Freeman and the Captain were alone, fhe questioned him with great earneftnefs about the lady whom he had been seen to put into a chair. When he had heard that this incident had been related: in the prefence of Sir James, he was greatly alarmed, least lady Forreft fhould increase his fufpicions, by attempting to conceal that which, by a series of inquiry to which he was now ftimulated, he would probably discover: he condemned his conduct in himself, and, as the most effectual means at once to quiet the mind of his wife and obtain her affiftance, he told her all that had happened, and his apprehenfion of the confequences: he also urged her to go directly to Mifs Meadows, by whom his account would be confirmed, and of whom she might learn farther intelligence of Sir James; and to find some way to acquaint lady For-reft with her danger, and admonish her to conceal nothing.
Mrs. Freeman was convinced of the Captain's fincerity, not only by the advice which he urged her to give to lady Forreft, but by the confiftency of the ftory, and
the manner in which he was affected. Her jealousy was changed into pity for her friend, and apprehenfion for her husband. She haftened to Mifs Meadows, and learnt that Sir James had inquired of the fervant for his lady, and was told that she had been there early with Captain Freeman, but went away foon after him: fhe related to Mifs Meadows all that had happened, and thinking it at least poffible that Sir James might not go directly home, fhe wrote the following letter to his lady :
"MY DEAR LADY FORREST, I AM in the utmost distress for you. Sir James has "fufpicions which truth only can remove, and of which 66 my indifcretion is the caufe. If I had not conceal"ed my defire of the Captain's return, your defign to "difengage yourfelf from him, which I learn from "Mifs Meadows, would have been effected. Sir "James breakfasted with me in the Haymarket; anď "has fince called at your father's, from whence I 66 write: he knows that your stay here was fhort, and "has reafon to believe the Captain put you into a "chair fome hours afterwards at Spring-Gardens. I hope, therefore, my dear lady, that this will reach your hands time enough to prevent your concealing any thing. It would have been better if Sir James "had known nothing, for then you would not have "been fufpected; but now he must know all, or you cannot be juftified. Forgive the freedom with which "I write, and believe me moft affectionately
"P. S. I have ordered the bearer to fay he came "From Mrs Fashion the milliner."
This letter was given to a chairman, and he was ordered to say he brought it from the milliner's; because if it should be known to come from Mrs. Freeman, and should fall by accident into Sir James's hands, his' curiofity might prompt him to read it, and his jealousy to question the lady, without communicating the con
No. LVI. Saturday May 19. 1753.
Multos in fumma pericula mifit
Venturi timor ipfe mali.
How oft the fear of ill to ill betrays!
SIR James being convinced, that his lady and the Captain had paffed the morning at a bagnio, by the anfwer which he received at her father's, went directly home. His lady was just arrived before him, and had not recovered from the confufion and dread which feized her when he heard that Sir James came to town the night before, and at the fame inftant anticipated the confequences of her own indifcretion. She was told he was then at the coffee-house, and in a few minutes was thrown into an univerfal tremor upon hearing him knock at the door. He perceived her distress, not with compaffion but rage, because he believed it to proceed from the confcioufnefs of guilt: he turned