He found some difficulty to obtain admission. But this was quickly removed, as, from the dignity of his appearance, it was not probable that he was a person, from whom Mr. Godfrey had any thing to apprehend. He found him in a wretched apartment, his hair dishevelled and his dress threadbare and neglected. Mr. Godfrey was unspeakably surprised at his appearance. And it was with much difficulty that Damon prevailed upon him to accept of an assistance, that he assured him should be but temporary, if it were in the power of him, or any of his connections, to render him respectable and independent, in such a situation as himself should chuse.
Disappointment and misfortune are calculated to inspire asperity into the gentlest heart. Mr. Godfrey inveighed with warmth, and sometimes with partiality, against the coldness and narrowness of the age. He said, “that men of genius, in conspicuous stations, had no feeling for those whom nature had made their brothers; and that those who had risen from obscurity themselves, forgot the mortifications of their earlier life, and did not imitate the generous justice which had enabled them to fulfil the destination of nature.” But though misfortune had taught him asperity upon certain subjects, it had not corrupted his manners, debauched his integrity, or narrowed his heart. He had still the same warmth in the cause of virtue, as in days of the most unexperienced simplicity. He still dreaded an oath, and reverenced the divinity of innocence. He still believed in a God, and was sincerely attached to his honour, though he had often been told, that this was a prejudice, unworthy of his comprehension of thinking upon all other subjects.
Such was the story, in its most essential circumstances, that Mr. Godfrey related. Delia was exceedingly interested in the gaiety of his imagination, the cruelty of his disappointments, and the acuteness, and goodness of heart that appeared in his reflections. Miss Fletcher listened to the whole with gaping wonder. But as soon as he was gone, she began with her usual observations. “Well,” said she, “I never saw an author before. I could not have thought that he could have looked like a gentleman. Why, I vow, I could sometimes have taken him for a beau. Ay, but then he talked for all the world as if it had been written in a book. Well, by my troth, it was a mighty pretty story. But I should have liked it better, if there had been a sighing nymph, or a duel or two in it. But do you think it was all of his own making?”
We will not trouble the reader to accompany our ladies from stage to stage during the remainder of their journey. Nothing more remarkable happened, and in ten days they arrived again at Southampton.