Mr Witherington being so unfortunate as to be the first comer, had the pick of the nine ladies by courtesy; his choice was light-haired, blue-eyed, a little freckled, and very tall, by no means bad-looking, and standing on the list in the family Bible, Number Four.
This was precisely the case with Cecilia Witherington, or rather Cecilia Templemore, for she had changed her name the day before. It was also the case with her husband, who always had a good appetite, even during his days of courtship; and the consequence was that the messman's account, for they lived in barracks, was, in a few weeks, rather alarming.
'Confound that fellow! he's always at mischief; you know, Jonathan, I never meant that. 'I thought not, sir, as it is quite contrary to custom, replied Jonathan. 'Well then, tell them so, and let's hear no more about it. Mr. Witherington then entered into a consultation with his butler, and acceded to the arrangements proposed by him.
And why was not Mr Witherington to make himself comfortable? He had good health, a good conscience, and eight thousand a-year.
Mr Witherington advanced the sum required; and, in a few weeks, Mr and Mrs Templemore sailed for New York. Mr Templemore was active and intelligent; their affairs prospered; and, in a few years, they anticipated a return to their native soil with a competence.
Templemore had an honest pride and independence of character which would not permit him to eat the bread of idleness, and after a sojourn of two months in most comfortable quarters, without a messman's bill, he frankly stated his feelings to Mr. Witherington, and requested his assistance to procure for himself an honourable livelihood. Mr.
Lieutenant Templemore had, in consequence, commanded the Enterprise for nearly two years, and without grumbling; for he was of a happy disposition, and passed a very happy sort of life. Mr Witherington was very indulgent to him, and allowed him to draw liberally; he had plenty of money for himself or for a friend who required it, and he had plenty of amusement.
Hartley stepped back on receiving a rebuff in a tone so different from that which General Witherington had used towards him in their previous intercourse, and felt disposed for the first time, to give credit to public report, which assigned to that gentleman, with several good qualities, the character of a very proud and haughty man.
His sister Moggy also remained unmarried; but whether it was from a very unprepossessing squint which deterred suitors, or from the same dislike to matrimony as her brother had imbibed, it is not in our power to say. Mr Witherington was three years younger than his sister; and although he had for some time worn a wig, it was only because he considered it more comfortable.
Now, as Mr Witherington is still in profound thought, and Mr Jonathan will stand as long as a hackney-coach horse, we will just leave them as they are, while we introduce the brief history of the latter to our readers.