With all this beauty, it Cannot be supposed but that Delia was followed by a train of admirers. The celebrated Mr. Prattle, for whom a thousand fair ones cracked their fans and tore their caps, was one of the first to enlist himself among her adorers. Squire Savage, the fox-hunter, who, like Hippolitus of old, chased the wily fox and timid hare, and had never yet acknowledged the empire of beauty, was subdued by the artless sweetness of Delia. Nay, it has been reported, that the incomparable lord Martin, a peer of ten thousand pounds a year, had made advances to her father. It is true, his lordship was scarcely four feet three inches in stature, his belly was prominent, one leg was half a foot shorter, and one shoulder half a foot higher than the other. His temper was as crooked as his shape; the sight of a happy human being would give him the spleen; and no mortal man could long reside under the same roof with him. But in spite of these trifling imperfections, it has been confidently affirmed, that some of the haughtiest beauties of Hampshire would have been proud of his alliance.
Thus assailed with all the temptations that human nature could furnish, it might naturally be supposed, that Delia had long since resigned her heart. But in this conjecture, however natural, the reader will find himself mistaken. She seemed as coy as Daphne, and as cold as Diana. She diverted herself indeed with the insignificant loquaciousness of Mr. Prattle, and the aukward gallantry of the Squire; but she never bestowed upon either a serious thought. And for lord Martin, who was indisputably allowed to be the best match in the county, she could not bear to hear him named with patience, and she always turned pale at the sight of him.
But Delia was not destined always to laugh at the darts of Cupid. Mrs. Bridget her waiting maid, delighted to run over the list of her adorers, and she was much more eloquent and more copious upon the subject than we have been. When her mistress received the mention of each with gay indifference, Mrs. Bridget would close the dialogue, and with a sagacious look, and a shake of her head, would tell the lovely Delia, that the longer it was before her time came, the more surely and the more deeply she would be caught at last. And to say truth, the wisest philosopher might have joined in the verdict of the sage Bridget. There was a softness in the temper of Delia, that seemed particularly formed for the tender passion. The voice of misery never assailed her ear in vain. Her purse was always open to the orphan, the maimed, and the sick. After reading a tender tale of love, the intricacies of the Princess of Cleves, the soft distress of Sophia Western, or the more modern story of the Sorrows of Werter, her gentle breast would heave with sighs, and her eye, suffused with tears, confess a congenial spirit.