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No. 123 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I should have told my Reader, that whilst Florio lived at the House of his Foster-father, he was always an acceptable Guest in the Family of Eudoxus, where he became acquainted with Leonilla from her Infancy. His Acquaintance with her by degrees grew into Love, which in a Mind trained up in all the Sentiments of Honour and Virtue became a very uneasy Passion. He despaired of gaining an Heiress of so great a Fortune, and would rather have died than attempted it by any indirect Methods. Leonilla, who was a Woman of the greatest Beauty joined with the greatest Modesty, entertained at the same time a secret Passion for Florio, but conducted her self with so much Prudence that she never gave him the least Intimation of it. Florio was now engaged in all those Arts and Improvements that are proper to raise a Man’s private Fortune, and give him a Figure in his Country, but secretly tormented with that Passion which burns with the greatest Fury in a virtuous and noble Heart, when he received a sudden Summons from Leontine to repair to him into the Country the next Day. For it seems Eudoxus was so filled with the Report of his Son’s Reputation, that he could no longer withhold making himself known to him. The Morning after his Arrival at the House of his supposed Father, Leontine told him that Eudoxus had something of great Importance to communicate to him; upon which the good Man embraced him, and wept. Florio was no sooner arrived at the great House that stood in his Neighbourhood, but Eudoxus took him by the Hand, after the first Salutes were over, and conducted him into his Closet. He there opened to him the whole Secret of his Parentage and Education, concluding after this manner: I have no other way left of acknowledging my Gratitude to Leontine, than by marrying you to his Daughter. He shall not lose the Pleasure of being your Father by the Discovery I have made to you. Leonilla too shall be still my Daughter; her filial Piety, though misplaced, has been so exemplary that it deserves the greatest Reward I can confer upon it. You shall have the Pleasure of seeing a great Estate fall to you, which you would have lost the Relish of had you known your self born to it. Continue only to deserve it in the same manner you did before you were possessed of it. I have left your Mother in the next Room. Her Heart yearns towards you. She is making the same Discoveries to Leonilla which I have made to your self. Florio was so overwhelmed with this Profusion of Happiness, that he was not able to make a Reply, but threw himself down at his Father’s Feet, and amidst a Flood of Tears, Kissed and embraced his Knees, asking his Blessing, and expressing in dumb Show those Sentiments of Love, Duty, and Gratitude that were too big for Utterance. To conclude, the happy Pair were married, and half Eudoxus’s Estate settled upon them. Leontine and Eudoxus passed the remainder of their Lives together; and received in the dutiful and affectionate Behaviour of Florio and Leonilla the just Recompence, as well as the natural Effects of that Care which they had bestowed upon them in their Education.


[Footnote 1: Essay ‘On the Danger of Procrastination:’

‘There’s no fooling with Life when it is once turn’d beyond Forty.’]