She had advanced, according to the intention she had hinted to her servant, towards the grove, where she had so often wandered with her beloved. She was wrapped up and lost in the contemplation of her approaching felicity. “And is every difficulty surmounted, and shall at last my fate be twined with Damon’s? Sure, it is too much, it cannot be! Fate does not deal so partially with mortals. To bestow so vast a happiness on one, while thousands pine in helpless misery. But let me not be incredulous. Let me not be ungrateful. No, since heaven has thus accumulated its favours on me, my future days shall all be spent in raising the oppressed, and cheering the disconsolate. I will remember that I also have tasted the cup of woe, that I have looked forward to disappointment and despair. Taught by the hand that pities me, I will learn to pity others.”
She was thus musing with herself, she was thus full of piety and virtuous resolution, when, on a sudden, a trampling of horses behind her, roused her from her reverie. Two persons advanced. But before she had time to examine their features, or even to remove out of the path, by which they seemed to be coming, the foremost of them leaping hastily upon the ground, seized her by the waist, arid, in spite of all her struggling, placed her on the front of the saddle, and instantly mounted with the utmost agility. Cries and tears were vain. They were in a solitary path, little beaten by the careful husbandman, or the gay votaries of fashion. She was now hurried along, and generally at full speed, through a thousand bye paths, that seemed capable of puzzling the most assiduous pursuit.
They had scarcely advanced two little miles, ere they arrived at a large and broad highway. Here they found a chariot ready waiting for them, into which Delia was immediately thrust. She now for the first time lifted up her eyes. The first object to which she attended was the faces of her ravishers. Of him who had been the most active, she had not the smallest recollection. The other who was in a livery, she imagined she had seen somewhere, though, in the present confusion of her mind, she could not fix upon the place. She next looked round her with wildness and eagerness, as far as her eye could reach, to see if there were no protector, no deliverance near. But she looked in vain. All was solitude and stilness. The murmurs, the activity of the day were past. And now, the silver moon in radiant majesty shed a solemn serenity ever the whole scene. Serenity, alas! to the heart at ease, but nothing could bring serenity to the troubled breast of Delia.
As her last resource, she appealed to those who by brutal force had carried her away. “Oh, if you have any hearts, any thing human that dwells about you, pity a poor, forlorn, and helpless maid! Alas, in what have I injured you? What would you do to me?” “Oh, pray, Miss, do not be frightened,” said the first ravisher with an accent of familiar vulgarity, “we will do you no harm, we mean nothing but your good. You will make your fortune. You never had such luck in your life. You will have reason to thank us the longest day you can ever know.”