Dolly, a born coquette, is the daughter of Gabriel Varden, a prosperous locksmith. She scoffs at the devotion of Joe Willets, and flouts and rebuffs him in favor of other less worthy men. The day after he rescues Dolly from Hugh, a drunken hostler, Joe Willets takes courage and proposes to Dolly. For the benefit of Simon, her father's assistant, Dolly cruelly plays with Joe's feelings, finally refusing him flatly. Broken-hearted, Joe enlists in the royal army and goes to the wars. On his return, five years later, he has gained distinction on account of his heroic conduct and has lost his left arm in the service of his country. The Lord George Gordon riots are in full progress in London. Simon, a power among the rioters, delivers Gabriel Varden over to his companions. They drag the old man to Newgate Prison, to persuade him to make a key to open the gate. Finding him obdurate, their entreaties and promises give place to curses and threats, and finally to blows. Joe Willets, in the ...
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