Damon met Mr. Moreland in London, and, with that simplicity and candour by which he was distinguished, related to him every circumstance of his story. Mr. Moreland had no predilection in favour of lord Thomas Villiers. His sister, whom he esteemed in all respects an amiable woman, had by no means lived happily with her husband. Avarice and pride of rank were the farthest in the world from being the foibles of Mr. Moreland, and the sensibility of his disposition did not permit him to treat the faults, to which himself was a stranger, with much indulgence. He therefore encouraged Damon to persevere in the pursuit of his inclination, and invited him to return with him into the country. He promised himself to propose the match to Mr. Hartley, and assured his nephew, that he should never feel any narrowness in his circumstances, in case of his father’s displeasure, while it was in his power to render them affluent.
In pursuit of this plan, Damon, Mr. Moreland, and sir William Twyford, whom they found in London, and whose goodness of humour led him heartily to approve of the alteration in the plan of his friend, arrived, almost as soon as our travellers, in the neighbourhood of Southampton. Sir William and Damon, soon waited upon their respective mistresses, and in company so mutually acceptable, time sped with a greater velocity than was usual to him, and days appeared no more than hours.
It was impossible that such a connexion should pass long unnoticed. It must be confessed however that it met with no interruption from lord Martin. Perhaps it might have escaped his notice, though it escaped that of no other person. Perhaps he was satiated with the glory he had acquired, and having conquered one beau, would not, like Alexander, have sighed, if there had remained no other beau to conquer. Perhaps the countenance of Mr. Hartley, of which he considered himself as securer than ever, led him, like a wise general, to reflect, that in staking his life against that of a lover, whose chance of success was almost wholly precluded, he mould make a very unfair and unequal combat.
Be this as it will, Mr. Hartley had no such motives to overlook this new occurrence. Just however as he had begun to take it into his mature consideration, he received the compliments of Mr. Moreland, with an intimation of his design to make him a visit that very afternoon.
At this message Mr. Hartley was a good deal surprised. Mr. Moreland he had never but once seen, and in that visit, he thought he had had reason to be offended with him. If that gentleman treated the company of Mr. Prattle and lord Martin, persons universally admired, as not good enough for him, it seemed unaccountable that he should have recourse to him. He was neither distinguished by the elegance of his accomplishments, nor did he much pride himself in the attainments of literature. After many conjectures, he at length determined with infinite sagacity, to suspend his judgement, till Mr. Moreland mould solve the enigma.