The increasing difficulties to which the British army, under the command of General Burgoyne, were at this period exposed, have been so often described, and so largely insisted upon, that they need not here be repeated. Deserted by the Canadians and other Americans, who were discouraged by their perilous situation—in want of necessary provisions, and seeing themselves likely to be surrounded—it was determined that, if the assistance they had been taught to expect from New York did not arrive before the expiration of another fortnight, they must give up all hopes of defence. In the mean time, however, a movement was resolved upon by a chosen body of fifteen hundred men, which brought on a general attack from the Americans, who carried part of the British lines, and night only put an end to the combat, in which a great number of brave men fell, as well English as Germans. Among the slain was Orlando’s respectable friend Fleming, who, though hardly recovered of his former wound, had hurried without orders to 124 defend the lines, and was shot through the lungs as he was leading on his men to repulse a party of the enemy with the bayonet.—Orlando, who was only a few paces from him, saw him fall; and, amid the impetuosity of the action, he ran towards him, exhorting the men to proceed.—Fleming, as he lifted him up, knew him, and, wringing his hand, said—Go, my dear boy! don’t waste a moment upon me—I am killed! but I die contented if those scoundrels are driven off.—If you return to England, be a friend to my poor wife—to my poor little ones! He spoke these last words with extreme difficulty, as the blood choked him. Orlando saw his noble spirit depart, and hastily ordering the black servant (who had belonged to Warwick, and now attended on him) to carry off the body, he plunged with a degree of desperation into the thickest of the battle; which lasted, however, only a few moments longer, because, as it was by that time too dark to distinguish friends from foes, each party found it necessary to retreat. The British passed the rest of the night in the melancholy employment of ascertaining their loss, which was very considerable in killed and prisoners, particularly in officers, of whom some that had been brought off the field were mortally wounded. Orlando, with concern that superseded every thought for himself, made it his first care to visit the body of his gallant friend, in a sort of lingering hope that he might yet live: but this hope was immediately at an end; and Orlando had no other comfort than in recollecting that he died gloriously, and shared an honourable grave with many other brave officers who ended a career of honour in this fatal field. The interval between this action and the removal of the British camp by night, from a situation no longer tenable, was short, but dreadful. Fatigue 125 and famine, great as those evils were, seemed less terrible to the minds of the English, than the certainty that they must very soon surrender to an enemy whom they at once abhorred and contemned. The officers still endeavoured to encourage their men, and keep up the spirits of each other—they recollected other occasions in which armies, in a condition equally desperate, had broken through their enemies, and conquered those who hoped to have destroyed them: but the commander himself knew the fallacy of these hopes, and saw that, unless succours arrived in a very few days, the surrender of his army was inevitable.
They had now, however, a messenger from New York, with information that three thousand men were advancing to their assistance up Hudson’s River; but this expedition had been so delayed, or was, after it was undertaken, so managed, that there appeared not the least probability of their arriving in time to save from the necessity of a surrender the devoted army. The same messenger, however, who had with infinite difficulty made his way to the English camp from New York, brought a few letters to the British officers—and among them, Orlando, with a beating heart, and with hands so tremulous that he could hardly break the seal, opened a packet from his sister Selina. It contained a short letter from her, the comfortless purport of which, in regard to his family, was repeated in what follows from Monimia herself, whose letter Selina had inclosed:
“Rayland Hall, 28th June, 1777.
“Though I know it is yet impossible for me to hear from you, every moment now seems to me an age.—Alas! Orlando, how little satisfactory was the short letter I received from Portsmouth! yet I 126 know you could not write more, hurried as you were. You have now been gone six long—long weeks, and that is only a very small portion of the time you are to be absent, though to me it seems already a thousand years.
“I do not love, Orlando, to say much of myself, unless I could tell you any thing that would make you happy, which Heaven knows I cannot! unless it is merely that I am as well as so unhappy a being can be. It would be some comfort to me, if what I cannot tell you of myself, I could relate of your dear family: but Selina will tell you, if I do not, that your father’s health is still in a very precarious state, and that all your friends have suffered greatly by Isabella’s going from them, and by their not knowing what is become of her; for though she wrote to them from Portsmouth, desiring their forgiveness, and informing them that she had gone off to be married to Captain Warwick, and that her unconquerable aversion to General Tracy was partly the reason of her doing so; yet they have never heard that she was really married, nor have any of Captain Warwick’s friends, of whom your father has made constant inquiries, had any intelligence of him. It is concluded that he is gone with your sister to America; but not knowing it certainly, is a continual source of distress both to Mr. and Mrs. Somerive; sadly aggravated, I fear, by their hearing but too much of your brother, who is known to be living in London in great splendour, which it is said he supports by gaming. Your poor mother went up with Selina about ten days since, in hopes of seeing him, and persuading him to return to his family. Selina described the meeting to me, and half broke my heart by the description. All your mother could obtain was, a sort of half promise that he would come down to 127 West Wolverton in August or September, with which she has endeavoured to console your father; and I find has kept to herself the greatest part of what passed, and has no hope of his changing his conduct.
“The poor old General has never recovered the shock and mortification of Isabella’s defection. He left West Wolverton as soon afterwards as the gout allowed him to move; and, it is said, has disinherited Captain Warwick, and given his whole fortune to his brother’s son, whose title I cannot recollect—However, he does not seem to resent Isabella’s desertion of him towards the rest of your family; for I understand that it was by his means your mother procured an interview with your brother; and that he was very obliging to her and Selina while they were in London. I have, though with a heavy heart, Heaven knows! rallied my dear Selina upon this; and told her, that perhaps the gallant General, who always admired her, may have an intention of transferring his affections to her; but she assures me, and I easily believe it, that were he emperor of the world she would not accept them.
“And now, Orlando, must I talk to you of your poor Monimia—Ah! it is reluctantly I do it; for I can tell you nothing but what will make you unhappy. Mrs. Rayland seems to regret your absence very much; she speaks of you every day, and appears to me to be very sorry she ever suffered you to depart. Judge, dear Orlando! whether I do not execute the little offices about her, which now she will suffer no other person to do, with redoubled pleasure, when I hear her thus speaking of you like a tender mother! I wonder how I ever disliked her and thought her severe. Ah! I wish Mrs. Lennard had half as much kindness; 128 yet has her lady had much to disturb her lately, and my aunt reason to be in good humour. Mr. Harbourne, the gentleman who has so long managed the business of the Rayland estate, is dead; and within these last ten days my aunt has prevailed upon Mrs. Rayland to replace him with a Mr. Roker, who she tells me is a relation of hers, and a relation of mine, which may be; but of all the disagreeable men I ever beheld, he is to me the most disagreeable—He has, however, got every thing into his hands through the influence of my aunt; and his nephew, a creature as odious as himself, is put into the house at North Park End; where Mr. Harbourne used to be for a month or two; which is fitting up quite in an elegant style, as to new papering, painting, &c. I hope when it is done he will be less at this house than he is now; for, at present, he passes every day here, and very often the night; though I never could observe that his hateful cringing manners pleased Mrs. Rayland, who does not know, I believe, that he has taken possession of your room.—Oh! how different a possessor from what it ought to have! I meant, Orlando, to have said as little of this disagreeable change as I could; but my unconquerable aversion to these two men has betrayed me into saying more about them than I intended; yet I find from Selina, that your father is uneasy at their introduction to the management of the Rayland estate, and says that Roker is a man of the worst character of any attorney in the country.
“Perhaps you will impatiently exclaim, Why does Monimia talk to me about these attorneys when she began with saying she would mention herself! It is, Orlando, because they have had more influence already in injuring my peace than you would suppose likely. This Roker (the nephew), 129 were he not young enough almost to be her grandson, I should really fancy was a lover of my aunt Lennard’s. He is a great raw-boned fright of a man, I think, with two eyes that look I know not how, but particularly horrible to me—a wide mouth, full of great teeth, that are only the more hideous for being white, because his face is so red that, when he grins, the contrast makes him seem ready to devour one; then he has a red beard, and a great bushy head of carrotty hair: but all this my aunt says is handsome; and that this giant-looking monster, who is not, I think, above eight and twenty, is a fine manly figure. The man returns, or rather earns, this her good opinion of him, by flattery so fulsome that really I blush for my aunt when I hear it; which, however, she takes care I shall do as little as possible, for she is almost always out of humour with me on some pretence or other when he comes into the room where I am, and generally contrives some excuse to send me away; and before her the disagreeable monster affects not to notice me: but if ever I meet him by accident in the house, which I avoid as much as I can, he speaks to me so impertinently that I have often been provoked to tears; indeed I am convinced he would be more insolent if I did not threaten that I would acquaint my aunt.
“I pass almost every moment of the time that Mrs. Rayland does not want me, in my own room: and you know how little I should regret never leaving it, if I could there possess quiet, and read the books you left me directions to go through. But even these comforts are denied your poor girl; and while my very soul sickens to tell you how, because you will in one respect fancy yourself the cause of it, it is necessary that I adhere to my promise, Orlando, and conceal nothing from you.130
“You recollect, my dear friend, the pain we both endured, and the risk you incurred (of which I cannot now think without trembling), in consequence of that unlucky meeting with Sir John Belgrave.—This person, you know, left the country soon after, and went into Scotland with your brother, and I remember your telling me afterwards, that he was gone abroad for his health—Would to Heaven he had staid there, that I might never have heard again a name I could never hear without terror!
“It is to-day a week since, Mrs. Rayland being extremely well, which she had not been for some days before, my aunt desired leave to go out to dinner with Mr. Roker’s family, who were on a visit at Great Wolverton, at farmer Stepney’s.—She accordingly had the coach, and set out in great form, leaving me strict orders not to quit her mistress. After tea the evening was so warm, and Mrs. Rayland felt herself so well, that she had an inclination to get into the park chair; and for Pattenson to lead the old poney in it round the park slowly, that she might see the alterations and repairs which she had been persuaded to order for the accommodation of the nephew and deputy of her new steward at North Park; and after she was seated by the footman safely in this low carriage, which you know she has not been in for almost two years, she said she found it very pleasant, and was sure she could bear to go quite up to the lodge, but, lest she should be faint, she ordered me to walk by the side of the chair with her drops. Pattenson did all he could to persuade her that the distance would be too much for her; but she spoke to him more sharply than ever I heard her do before—saying, that she was the best judge of that: and we set out, the carriage being drawn only a 131 foot pace, so that I found no difficulty in keeping up with it. As we went along, we saw your horse lying under the chesnut trees in the long walk; for it was a very hot evening, and he had gone there for shade. Mrs. Rayland called to me, and pointed him out to me—Poor creature! said she, he looks melancholy; as if he missed his master; and he is quite solitary too in the park. Then speaking to Pattenson, she asked if he was well taken care of?—While I, with a sigh, could have answered her remark, by saying—Ah, Madam! there are other beings who miss Orlando yet more than that beloved animal, and who are more solitary and undone than he is.—But I affected to be at ease; and I hope my countenance did not betray how much my heart was otherwise. Indeed there was the less danger of this, because Pattenson’s answer, which was very surly, and signified that she had better ask about your horse of Jacob, with whom it was left in charge, if she had any doubts about it, diverted Mrs. Rayland’s attention from me, and fixed it upon Pattenson, towards whom she expressed her displeasure. Indeed he has seemed to me for some time to be losing ground in her favour. At length we reached the north lodge; and as the workmen were putting up a new door, which you know is next the high road from Carloraine Castle to Wolverton and other villages, and putting on a new coat of stucco on that side, Mrs. Rayland ordered Pattenson to lead the chaise round thither, and stopped some moments there, while she talked to the carpenter and plaisterer, who were just going from their work. She kindly said to me—If you are tired, Mary, sit down at my feet and rest yourself.—I assured her I was not; but she bade me get her a glass of water out of the house, and give her a few drops, lest she should find the ride 132 too much before she got home. There was not a glass in the house; so I ran across the way to James Carter’s cottage, which is, you know, about fifty yards beyond the lodge, on the opposite side. His wife went out with the water, and I followed her; when a gentleman, attended by two servants, rode up so very fast, that his horse almost trampled on me before I could cross the road. He checked it, however, when he saw me, and exclaiming with a great oath—My lovely little wood-nymph! By all that’s sacred she shall not now escape me! He then alighted from his horse, and (as I conclude, not seeing Mrs. Rayland and her servants, who were concealed partly by the projection of the lodge on that side, and partly by the slight turning in the road) rudely seized me—I shrieked aloud; and the woman, who was but a few paces before me, began to remonstrate with him—I hardly knew, so great was my terror and confusion, what either of them said; but upon Pattenson’s advancing with Robert, who had also accompanied the chaise, he let me go, saying, You are still at the Hall then; I shall see you again, for I find your gallant defender has resigned his post. He said this as he mounted his horse, and as I, almost senseless, was led by Carter’s wife towards Mrs. Rayland, who, hearing from her how the gentleman had behaved, expressed great indignation, and as he was by this time past her, she ordered Pattenson to follow him, and let him know that she desired to speak to him. I would have prevented this if I had retained breath or recollection enough to speak; but I sat down on the foot-stool of the chaise, unable to utter a word to prevent Pattenson’s waddling away after Sir John, to whom, as there were no hopes of his overtaking him, he hallooed—Sir John stopped his horse, and Pattenson, 133 puffing and blowing with hurry and anger, delivered, and I suppose in no very complaisant terms, his lady’s message—I did not hear it, but I distinguished Sir John’s answer, which was—
“Come to your lady, good fellow? No; she will excuse me—my business is with young ladies; I have too much respect for the old ones to intrude upon them. My service to the ancient gentlewoman of the Hall, good Mr. favourite butler, and tell her, if she has any commands for me, she must employ one of her pretty handmaids (that I saw just now, if she pleases); and she will not fail to find for her embassy a more favourable reception than I think it necessary to give your worship. Sir John then laughing aloud at his own wit, in which his two servants accompanied him, put his horse into a gallop, and was out of sight in an instant; long before Pattenson, whom rage and indignation did not render more active, had reached Mrs. Rayland, and repeated this message, not without some additions of his own, to his lady. I think I never saw Mrs. Rayland so much disturbed as at the general brutality of this rude stranger. I however soon recovered of my alarm, when I found that this very disagreeable scene had ended without bringing on any conversation as to what had formerly passed; and I hoped and believed I should hear no more of Sir John Belgrave. Mrs. Rayland, from the agitation of spirits this insult had thrown her into, was quite ill when she got back to the Hall; but the next day, after she had given vent to her displeasure, by talking about it to my aunt Lennard, and every one who approached her, she seemed to recover; and the bustle that this ridiculous man had occasioned gradually died away. It happened on Friday, and on the following Sunday I had promised to meet Selina, whom I had never 134 had an opportunity of seeing after her return from London till now. We were equally eager to meet each other; and as I have now no difficulty in obtaining leave to walk in the park when my aunt is with her lady, I got her permission to go out on this evening, and passed with our dearest Selina an hour, the most delightful and yet the most melancholy that I have known since your departure. Selina was afraid of being missed, as she told me her father was never easy when she was out of his sight; and now only stole out while he was asleep after dinner. She left me therefore sooner than either of us wished; but after she was gone I sat some time weeping where she had left me. It was the bench, Orlando, in the fir-grove, by the boat-house, where we sat all together when you made us promise to meet there, and talk of you when you should be gone. All your sister had told me of what passed in London between your mother and your brother, and of your father’s dejected spirits and declining health, had affected me more than I can describe; but after I had indulged my tears some time, I recollected your charge to me to keep up my spirits, and I endeavoured to conquer this depression. The sun was nearly set, and I went over the pond-head by the great cascade, in order to go home the nearest way. I had just passed through the high plantation, and was entering the park, when I saw this hateful Sir John Belgrave approaching me.—Had I met him in the path of the plantation, it would have been impossible for me to have escaped him; but now, as the park was open before me, I ran the instant I observed him the opposite way. He pursued me for some time, intreating me to stop, and assuring me that he meant only to beg my pardon for his behaviour two days before, with a great deal of other nonsense; which I did not, however, 135 hear much of, for I was almost in a moment within sight of the house, and I saw him turn back. I arrived quite out of breath, and sadly terrified, but I dared not complain. After I recovered myself, my greatest concern was to think that I could never meet Selina without fearing a repetition of this disagreeable adventure; but I had now nobody to listen to my complaints, or to relieve me from my sorrows. I thought the sermon of that evening the most tedious and uninteresting I had ever read; and both the old ladies were certainly particularly ill humoured, my aunt more especially, who was snappish and peevish to such a degree that she almost quarrelled with Mrs. Rayland; but, as she could not vent all her spleen on her, it fell upon me; and I went to bed in more than usual wretchedness, and for the first time wished that the younger Roker might return to the Hall—for to his having been two days absent I imputed the irritability of my poor aunt’s temper.
“Ah! Orlando, how dreary now seemed my own room, to which, when you were here, I used to retire with so much delight from all the discomforts of my lot! It was a lovely moon-light night, and yet early when I went to the turret. From the window I looked into the park, with sensations how different from those I used to feel when I expected to see you cross it! I was restless and wretched, and knew I could not sleep if I went to bed; or, if I did, I feared I should dream of Sir John Belgrave’s pursuing me. I wished for some book I never had read, for you have often told me that nothing so soon quieted the mind, and led the troubled spirit away from its own sad reflections, as some amusing or instructive author; but I had none in my room but those books of your own that you gave me, which I had read over and over again; and since this Mr. 136 Roker has occasionally been in possession of your apartment next the study, and I once met him as I was going thither, I have never had the courage to venture down after the books as I used to do. Some of the poems, however, Orlando, that you gave me, I am never, never weary of reading, though I can say them almost by heart; and, therefore, when I was tired of looking at the moon, I took up that little volume of Gray, and read that beautiful Ode to Adversity which you have so often bade me admire; and indeed I thought, Orlando, that we, though suffering under its “iron scourge and torturing hour,” were yet in a situation more really happy than the prosperous worthless Sir John Belgrave, who was able to enjoy every luxury of life, while you were wandering about the world in danger and in sorrow. Alas! these thoughts, however consoling at first, brought on a train of others, and fears, the most terrible fears for your precious life assailed me. My fancy conjured up a thousand horrid visions, and dwelt on a thousand terrible possibilities, till at length I found myself unable to bear the wretchedness I had thus created for myself, and I determined to attempt at least to lose it in sleep; and was, from mere fatigue of spirits, beginning to doze, when I was startled by a rap at the door at the back of the bed. I believed it to be a dream, too well recollecting that you were not there. When I listened a moment, and the noise was repeated, never, among all the terrors I have suffered, did I feel any alarm like this—I had not courage to speak, nor to move: my first idea was to run into my aunt’s room, but then I must have discovered to her what we have so anxiously concealed; and of which, I believe, she never had the least notion; for whatever might be her suspicions of our meeting, she never seemed to guess how. While I deliberated in the most fearful 137 agitation what it would be best to do, the noise was made a third time, louder than before; and a voice called, in a half whisper, Miss! Miss!
“For God’s sake, who is there? cried I, hastening to dress myself. You cannot have any business there, whoever you are, and I will call my aunt and the servants.
“No, no, Miss! cried a man’s voice aloud! don’t do that, for you will only betray yourself; I mean you no harm, but, on the contrary, good.—Lord, Miss, ’tis only me: and I would not have frightened you so at this time o’night if I could have met you by day. I have got a letter for you.
“I now knew, by the voice, that it was Jacob, the under game-keeper; and though I trembled still with fear, it was mixed with a sensation of joy, for I hoped the letter was from you. A letter! said I: Oh, pray give it me instantly. Yet I recollected as instantly, that it was foolish to open the door. The man said eagerly, But make haste then, Miss, and take it. No, answered I: leave it at the door, or put it under it; I cannot open the door, for it is nailed up. Ah! Miss, Miss! cried the man; it did not used to be nailed up when I know who was here. This speech, though I know not why, increased again the terror which had a little subsided; and his manner of speaking of you gave me a confused idea that the letter was not from you. Where did you get the letter, Jacob? said I; and who is it from? Never mind that, replied he, it is a letter that will please you, I can tell you. I will not receive it, answered I, unless I know whom it is from. Pooh, pooh! what a to-do is here? said the man, in a very impertinent manner—Well, then, if you are so squeamish all of a sudden, I’ll leave the letter, and will come to-morrow up the stairs the same way for an answer.138
“Jacob then seemed to go down; and I thought I heard him shut the door of the lower turret room after him; but, for the world, I could not have opened that of my room. Oh, Orlando! consider what I must have suffered, from supposing there might be a letter lying without it; and that only a few pieces of half-decayed board were between me and the first intelligence I had received of you! Yet it was also possible that it might be from some other person, though I could not conjecture who should write to me: but there was something of impertinent assurance in the manner of the game-keeper that shocked me; and I well recollected that you once thought of our corresponding through his means, yet afterwards determined not to hazard it, and seemed sorry that you had entrusted him so far. I will not attempt to describe the state of mind in which I passed the night. It was not, luckily for me, very long; but the sun had risen some time before I could acquire courage enough to open the door, and even then I trembled. But my hopes vanished, or rather were exchanged for the most alarming fears, the moment I saw that, if the letter contained any news of you, it was not from yourself. I know not how I opened it, for I expected now nothing but tidings of despair; when, casting my eyes on the name that concluded it, for I could not read the contents at that moment, I saw that of Sir John Berkely Belgrave; and though I instantly comprehended the insult it contained, I was relieved to find that it was not written by some friend of yours, to tell me what you were unable to write yourself.
“I will not, Orlando, copy this ridiculous billet; but as I was determined neither to answer it, nor to give the officious Jacob any excuse to come up the stairs to my room, I thought, after some consideration, that the best thing I could do would be to 139 speak to this letter-carrier, though nothing could be more disagreeable to me, unless it was his coming for an answer. As soon as breakfast was over, I summoned all the courage I could, and went out to the stable yard, where I knew it was most likely I should meet him. As soon as he saw me, he came eagerly towards me; and none of the other men being within hearing, he said, I hope you have got an answer for Sir John, to give me, Miss?
“No, I answered; I neither have an answer, nor ever intend to give one to so impertinent a letter; and I beg you, Mr. Jacob, not to disturb me any more with messages so very improper; for if you do, it will oblige me to complain to Mrs. Lennard.
“The fellow had the impertinence to say, that if I would not give him an answer, Sir John would come for one himself; but I hope and believe I shall hear no more of it, as it is now Thursday, and I have had no more visits. I have fastened the door as well as I am able, and would secure that below if I knew how, but it is not possible for me to do it myself; and were I to ask any other person, it would put whoever it was in possession of the secret which we have so much reason to regret was ever divulged.
“But, do not, ever dear Orlando, be uneasy—I am persuaded Sir John is satisfied with his frolic, and that I shall hear no more of it; indeed I believe he has left the country; but I own I am uncomfortable at being so much in the power of such a man as this game-keeper—However, I now leave half open the door into the passage that leads to my aunt’s room; and, upon the least alarm, I would fly to her, and rather own the truth, than subject myself to a repetition of such visits, either from this worthless servant or his employer. Do not, therefore, I again entreat you, my dear friend, be uneasy.
“What a letter have I written, Orlando! and how 140 little pleasure will any one sentence in it give to you. I, who would die to procure you the smallest satisfaction, am destined to be the cause of your unhappiness. Sometimes I am so wretched when I think of this, that I wish we had never met, or resisted, in its beginning, an attachment likely to make all your days uneasy; yet I feel, that were I without this tender affection my life would be a blank, and my existence not worth having.
“I will not conjure you to remember your poor Monimia! I must indeed end a letter which I have made so very long, that I am afraid Selina will not be able to send it in her packet. Oh! how hard it is to say adieu! yet my tears fall so fast that it is quite time—God bless you, my dear, dear friend!”
Orlando, during the perusal of this letter, was so entirely occupied by it, that he forgot where he was. The Hall and all its inhabitants were present to him; and he started up to demand instant satisfaction of Sir John Belgrave, and to chastise the mercenary and insolent servant, when he found himself, by the distance of many thousand miles, deprived of all power of protecting his Monimia, under marching orders to remove he knew not whither, and cut off from all communication with her. He stamped about the tent in a turbulence of mind little short of phrensy—cursed with ineffectual vengeance the objects of his indignation, whom he could not reach; and was awakened from this dreadful state, only by a message from his colonel that he must that moment attend him.—Hardly knowing what he did or said, he followed the serjeant who brought these orders; and was directed, instead of preparing to go with the camp, to make himself ready, with another officer, the negro Perseus, and three rank and file, for an expedition to New York, where it was hoped 141 so small a party might arrive unobserved; and as the men were chosen who were the fittest for so perilous an exploit, Orlando was named, from the experience his commanding officer had in his first march of his patience, prudence, and resolution. Orlando cared not whither he went or what became of him—he obeyed, as soon as possible, the orders he had received; and that night, at eleven o’clock, began his excursion with his five companions, and crossed Hudson’s River.
the black servant (who had belonged to Warwick, and now attended on [Orlando])
[Ouch. I don’t think the author actually meant “belonged to” in that sense; it’s a standard usage for servants or employees of any color.]
your brother . . . living in London in great splendour, which it is said he supports by gaming
[Well, that’s all right then. At least he’s no longer a drain on the family’s precarious financial resources.]
I am persuaded Sir John is satisfied with his frolic, and that I shall hear no more of it
[Since Monimia has never done anything but moan about the miseries of her situation, we have to assume she is not making light of facts just to set Orlando’s mind at rest.]
By the medical skill of the surgeon of the regiment
The small party dispatched on this hazardous adventure
The Old Manor House:
Introduction and Contents
The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.