Aphra Behn-The unfortunate happy lady (read online)

I cannot omit giving the World an account, of the uncommon Villany of a Gentleman of a good Family in England practis’d upon his Sister, which was attested to me by one who liv’d in the Family, and from whom I had the whole Truth of the Story. I shall conceal the unhappy Gentleman’s own, under the borrow’d Names of Sir William Wilding, who succeeded his Father Sir Edward, in an Estate of near 4000l. a Year, inheriting all that belong’d to him, except his Virtues. ’Tis true, he was oblig’d to pay his only Sister a Portion of 6000l. which he might very easily have done out of his Patrimony in a little Time, the Estate being not in the least incumbred. But the Death of his good Father gave a loose to the Extravagancy of his Inclinations, which till then was hardly observable. The first Discovery he made of his Humour, was in the extraordinary rich Equipage he prepar’d for his Journey to London, which was much greater than his fair and plentiful Fortune cou’d maintain, nor were his Expences any way inferior to the Figure he made here in Town; insomuch, that in less than a Twelve-Month, he was forc’d to return to his Seat in the Country, to Mortgage a part of his Estate of a Thousand Pounds a Year, to satisfy the Debts he had already contracted in his profuse Treats, Gaming and Women, which in a few Weeks he effected, to the great Affliction of his Sister Philadelphia, a young Lady of excellent Beauty, Education, and Virtue; who, fore-seeing the utter Ruin of the Estate, 38 if not timely prevented, daily begg’d of him, with Prayers and Tears, that might have mov’d a Scythian or wild Arab, or indeed
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