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advised with the eldest son, and he used all the arguments in
the world to persuade her to consent; alleging his brother's
passionate love for me, and my generous regard to the family,
in refusing my own advantages upon such a nice point of
honour, and a thousand such things. And as to the father, he
was a man in a hurry of public affairs and getting money,
seldom at home, thoughtful of the main chance, but left all
those things to his wife.

You may easily believe, that when the plot was thus, as they
thought, broke out, and that every one thought they knew how
things were carried, it was not so difficult or so dangerous for
the elder brother, whom nobody suspected of anything, to have
a freer access to me than before; nay, the mother, which was
just as he wished, proposed it to him to talk with Mrs. Betty.
'For it may be, son,' said she, 'you may see farther into the
thing than I, and see if you think she has been so positive as
Robin says she has been, or no.' This was as well as he could
wish, and he, as it were, yielding to talk with me at his mother's
request, she brought me to him into her own chamber, told me
her son had some business with me at her request, and desired
me to be very sincere with him, and then she left us together,
and he went and shut the door after her.

He came back to me and took me in his arms, and kissed me
very tenderly; but told me he had a long discourse to hold
with me, and it was not come to that crisis, that I should make
myself happy or miserable as long as I lived; that the thing
was now gone so far, that if I could not comply with his desire,
we would both be ruined. Then he told the whole story
between Robin, as he called him, and his mother and sisters
and himself, as it is above. 'And now, dear child,' says he,
'consider what it will be to marry a gentleman of a good family,
in good circumstances, and with the consent of the whole house,
and to enjoy all that he world can give you; and what, on the
other hand, to be sunk into the dark circumstances of a woman
that has lost her reputation; and that though I shall be a private
friend to you while I live, yet as I shall be suspected always,
so you will be afraid to see me, and I shall be afraid to own you.'

He gave me no time to reply, but went on with me thus: 'What
has happened between us, child, so long as we both agree to do
so, may be buried and forgotten. I shall always be your sincere
friend, without any inclination to nearer intimacy, when you
become my sister; and we shall have all the honest part of
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