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BEHOLD now, patient and reflecting reader-for in your eyes it is anxiously desired that this history (however imperfectly given) may find favour the dreadful-the desperate reverse in Mr Aubrey's circumstances. He has suddenly fallen from a very commanding position in society: from that of a high-born English gentleman, possess ed of a fine unencumbered income, and all of luxury and splendour, and of opportunity for gratifying a disposition of noble munificence, that it can secure-and whose qualifications and prospects justified him in aspiring to the highest senatorial distinction :— behold him, I say, with his beloved and helpless family, sunk-lower than into straitened circumstances-beneath even poverty-into debt-and that of a hopeless description! seeing that no one can be so secure, but that all this, or something of the like kind, may one day or other happen to him, 'tis hoped that it will be found neither uninteresting nor uninstructive to watch carefully and close. ly the present condition and conduct of the Aubreys.
Hor. Carm. Lib. iii. 49,
Bound hand and foot-so to speak -as Mr Aubrey felt himself, and entirely at the mercy of Mr Titmouse and his solicitors, Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, what could he but submit to almost any terms on which they chose to insist? It will be recollected that Mr Gammon's proposal* was, that Mr Aubrey should forthwith discharge, without scrutiny, their bill of L.3946, 14s. 6d. ; give sufficient security for the payment of the sum of L.10,000 to Mr Titmouse, within twelve or eighteen months' time, and two promissory notes for the sum of L.5000 each, payable at some future period, as to which he had to rely solely on the sincerity and forbearance of Mr Gammon, and the ratification of his acts by Mr Titmouse. This proposal was duly communicated by the unfortunate Aubrey to Messrs Runnington, who obtained a fortnight's time in which to deliberate upon it; at the end of which period, he was advised by them to accept the proposed terms as unquestionably fair, and, under circumstances, much more lenient than could have
* Ante, No. CCC., p. 454-5. Part XII.
VOL. XLIX. NO.CCCIII.