MERCER, in Cheapside, LONDON.

The Occurrences herein related, are well worthy the Observation of the READER, and proper to be Regarded, by every Me­chanick in Great Britain.

Written by Mrs. CHARKE, Author of the Life of Henry Dumont, Esq And Miss Charlotte Evelyn, &c. &c.

LONDON, BAILEY, PRINTER (No. 110,) Leadenhall Street.

THE MERCER: OR Fatal Extravagance,

OF all the Follies and Vices incidental to mankind, none can be deem'd more Contemptively Erroneous, than that of Living beyond our Fortunes, and running into expensive Dignities, superior to the Sphere of Life, in which Providence has placed us. The World has been, and daily continue to be convinced of the truth of this assertion, yet so prevalant is this Folly, (I may call it even a Crime,) that either thro' weakness of Judgement, or ill placed Am­bition, [Page 4] very near three parts of the World are guilty of it to their own Prejudice, and those whom they are concern'd with.

The following Sheets, contain a genuine Account of an unhappy instance of this kind, and it's fatal consequences, which give me leave to hope may happily prevent any fu­ture Ills of this Nature. And tho' Histories are so commonly made the Entertainment of the Publick, that Truth and Falsehood are equally regarded, and past by, by the Reader only as Fabulous, but this Narrative, has a Claim to Reflection, as it Unfortunately happen'd in the Reign of King Charles the First,, and was the ruin of two worthy Fa­milies, whose Branches are still in being; one of whom gave me a sufficient Account as give them by Tradition, and are now notwithstanding the length of Time since the dreadful event, unhappy Sufferers, thro' the Indiscretion of their Ancestors.

In the foremention'd Reign there was a Gentleman whose name was Weston, a wor­thy Person of a large Estate near the Ci­ty of Canterbury, who had been Father of many Children, but it pleased Heaven to [Page 5] deprive him of all, except one Daughter his last born, on whom he bestow'd all that a fond Fater could, to make her a perfectly Accomplish'd young Lady: As she was heiress to a very considerable Estate, Mr. Weston was resolv'd to Qualify her in such a manner, as to double the value of her For­tune, by instilling into her Mind, such Prin­ciples as would not only secure her own Happiness, but that of the Person who should be destin'd her Partner for Life.

Her beauty, Merit and Fortune, from fif­teen Years of Age, assembled a numerous train of Admirers, but as her heart was not affected by any of them 'till she was above seventeen, her Father would not insist on a Union with any, 'till she had met with the Man she thought she could be truly happy with; rather preferring his Daughter's Peace of Mind than her interest, as he could make a worthy Husband entirely easy in point of Circumstances, whom gratitude as well as Love, wou'd he conceiv'd, compel him to use his Child well not only by the Possession of a blooming Amiable Creature, but receiv­ing an Advantage of Fortune, the want of which, has too often made way for a Fool, while a Man of Sense, has been deprived of [Page 6] an Opportunity of tenderly making amends for [...] Deficiency.

Among the number of Mr. Weston's ac­quaint [...] he was Visited by one Mr. Dennis [...] of his, a great Goldsmith in Lombard-Street, this Gentleman's Intimacy [...] to take with him to Canterbury, his [...]nly Son, accompany'd with his Daugh­te [...] [...] agreeable young Lady; and a school [...] of Miss Weston's, as he had a very great Friendship for her Father, he heartily wish'd an alliance between the two Families, and as the two Ladies had contracted a very great Esteem for each other, he thought his Daughter might kindly become her Brother's Advocate, but that was entirely needless, for the Moment Miss Weston and young Dennis met they received a Reciprocal Tenderness, tho' each was ignorant of the effect of their Interviews at that time; and secretly Lan­guish'd for each other, 'till Miss Weston in her private Conferrences with Miss Dennis, inno­cently artlesly discover'd the passion she had for her Brother, who had not fail'd before that time to make an open Declaration to his Sister of the fond Regard he conceiv'd at first sight [Page 7] for her agreeable Friend: This did not long remain a Secret in the Family, for Miss Den­nis immediately inform'd her Pappa, who communicated the Affair to Mr Weston, and in short with all due regard to the modest Fears of the Enamour'd young Lady, the old Gentleman contriv'd very speedily to Crown the happy Lover's wishes, by a Publick So­lemnization of their Nuptials at Canterbury Cathedral.

In a short time after, Mr. Dennis Set up his Son in a Silk Mercer's Shop, giving him a Fortune of four thousand Pounds, in ready Cash, besides Two thousand more in Stock.

Tho' this was a genteel Fortune, 'twas un­equal to the young Lady's; whose Father gave her on the Day of Marriage, ten Thou­sand Pounds in Bank Notes, and at his Death left her ten Thousand more.

In a few Weeks after the young couple were married, they open'd a very Grand Shop in the City, and Mr. Dennis placed with his Son as his Foreman one Mr. Arnold an elderly discreet Man, who had serv'd in that [Page] Capacity with young Dennis's master, who having acquired a Competent Fortune, left off Trade and retir'd into the Country.

Mr. Arnold was a worthy Man, who having a very large Family, and meeting with mis­fortunes in Trade, was in his early Days so so unhappily reduc'd, as to be oblig'd to throw up his Business, that without Scandal or reproach he might do Justice to his Credi­tors, tho' he himself suffered greatly, from many to whom he had largely intrusted his Goods, for very considerable sums.

But as he was a Man of almost unprece­dented Principles of honour, he rather chose to lead a life of servitude, than meanly buffet with ill fortune, to support at best a broken Reputation.

Young Dennis receiv'd his instructions in Trade from Mr. Arnold, who tutor'd him in so gentle a Manner, it occasion'd a great Regard and Tenderness on both sides, and gave the good Man such a power over Dennis that he strictly adher'd to what he advised or proposed, and thought himself under a cer­tain [Page 9] obligation to pay him the Respect due to Father, and was as fearful of Offending the Friendship of the one as of disobeying the Commands of the other.

But Alass Time which brings forth all strange and unaccountable things, wrought a fatal change in the disposition of this thought­less young man, who instead of following the worthy examples of his industrious friend, soon after his kind father had settled him in such a manner, as enabled him in a few years to acquire an immense fortune; he grew tired of business, and too fond of every pleasurable expence that could possibly Conspire to effect his ruin, and destroy his fame; the first step towards his destruction was to set up an equi­page, and furnish both his town and country house suitable to the dignity of a man of qua­lity; as the family increased as it did every year by the birth of a child, additional ser­vants were provided, and every needful ex­pence was swell'd into a superfluity.

Among the rest of the follies he run into the encouragement of a set of hangers on, who made him their daily bread, was not the least.

[Page 10] And the only virtue that remained untaint­ed in him, was a tender fondness for his wife and children, which indeed each had an un­doubted claim to; the former for her uncom­mon merit in regard to her husband, and the World in general, the other from their inof­fended innocence.

Mr. Arnold perceiving his master's growing ruin, took upon him to use the Priveledge of friendship, to warn of the dreadful conse­quences of persisting in a continuation of this course of life, but he had the mortification to find him cold and unwilling to hear or regard the tender admonitions he frequently made use of.

At last Mr. Dennis who was ready dress'd for a journey to his country house one morn­ing, rang the bell, at which summons a youth who was a turn-over Apprentice to him instantly appeared and receiv'd an order from his master for Mr. Arnold to send him up a bill or cash, for fifty pounds, instead of the money Mr. Arnold sent his respects, and that he would wait upon him himself in a few momets, which accordingly he did, carrying [Page 11] with him his book of accompts, instead of an­swering the demand made by the apprentice. When Mr. Arnold enter'd the room, Mr. Dennis perceiv'd the marks of real sorrow in his countenance, which shock'd him, but he still endeavour'd to hide it from the other, and demanded the money, upon which Mr. Ar­nold look'd at him very stedfastly, fetch'd a deep figh, desir'd him to look over those ac­compts and judge how much reason he had to suppose, that 'twas possible for him to ex­pect such a draught to be answer'd, and after shewing him the accounts which he knew he would himself inspect, he sat down by him, and with an almost broken heart, insisting on his knowing the shameful misery he had redu­ced himself too, and thus address'd him.

‘"'Tis now Sir, the seventh year of your marriage, Six of which you have cruelly spent in the Perpretation of your ruin; your wife's fortune and your own, with your stock in trade inclusive, is lavishly wasted in Extrava­gances, far beyond your right to run into had you been possess'd of double the sum; and give me leave to add, that the figure you have [Page 12] made in life, has given such offence to peo­ple of superior fortunes, it has lost you three parts of your customers; and farther let me inform you sir, those Persons who can afford to lay out large sums in your shop, will na­turally think it a high piece of presumption in you, to put yourself upon a footing with them, who are kind enough to lay out that with you for a support, which you basely and luxuriously waste in needless and unwarrant­able pleasures, and unnecessary grandeur; 'tis true Sir, the character of a Gentleman can never be degraded by being a worthy trades­man, but then the tradesman has no right to run into those excesses which even a man of Quality must blush at if he exceeds the limi­tation of his fortune: Pardon me Sir, for this painful friendly liberty, but the concern I feel for yourself and family, enforces me to tell you in the plainest terms, you are abso­lutely undone.’

Mr. Dennis was too sensible of the means he had used to prove the truth of his friend's assertion, and conservently remained silent for some time, at last conscious of his error, he [Page 13] broke through his confusion, intreating Mr. Arnold to conceal the dreadful situation of his affairs from Mrs Dennis, who was entirely innocent and ignorant of them: The fortune (said he) which she brought me obliged me in honour to regard it as a more than suffici­ent competence to support her without expo­sing her to the care and fatigue of my business and tho' I have thro' a mistaken pride, and ridiculous ambition, to set myself above my­self, undone my family, she poor soul, never was the least incentive to the ruin in which I have inconsiderately involv'd myself: What shall I do? the coach now waits at the door to carry her with my Sster to Woodford where we propose to remain 'till after Christmas, but the concern I justly labour under renders me incapable of pursuing my intent, or ma­king any reasonable excuse to her for not go­ing with her.

Mr. Arnold, overjoy'd to find he had wrought such an effect on his mind, promi­sed to use his utmost endeavour to soften the rigour of his fortune, and find an excuse to Mrs, Dennis, that should appear so plausible she should go to her country house without her [Page 14] Spouse or the least suspicion of the cause that detain'd him.

He had scarce told his master his design, than Mrs. Dennis enter'd the room, and with her usual sweetness of temper, fondly smiling on her husband, tenderly accused him of delay; informing him the coach had wait­ed a considerable time and the little Pratlers waited with impatience for Papa to mount and set forward to Woodford.

Mr Arnold who was ever a sincere and valuable friend, to prevent his friend's confu­sion, directly told her, he was fearful his ma­ster must follow her, for he had receiv'd a let­ter to inform him Mr. Edgeworth who was a Merchant, and betroth'd to Miss Dennis, was arriv'd from the Indies, at Gravesend, and lay there dangerously ill, and intreated Mr. Dennis to come forthwith, to settle some affairs between them, in regard to himself and his Sister, but intreated a concealment of the danger he was in to Miss Dennis, (whom he lov'd more than life) till either Death or a Recovery should make it necessary for her to know it

[Page 15] Mrs. Dennis, easily credited the report, and testified a sincere concern for the news, faith­fully promising to keep the secret from her Sister, and earnestly injoining her Husband to follow her with the utmost Expedition.

He led her to the Coach, and took leave, when she was gone, Mr. Arnold assured him, 'twas highly proper for him to abscond, plain­ly proving to him, his person was in danger if he remain'd at home a day longer: adding that he had from time to time put off his Creditors, partly with distributing money, and partly by fair promises, but that the de­mands were so great, the cash was exhausted and their patience tired out; therefore Sir, (said he) let me advise you, as your horses are now ready, leave the Servants at home who were ready to attend you, and take Mr. William with you (meaning the Apprentice) you know he is an honest youth, and loves you too well to betray any trust you repose in him; and tho' I have endeavour'd to conceal your unhappy mismanagement from him as much as possible, yet his constant assiduity in his business, has laid open to him as much as painfully convinces him, that all is not right [Page 16] tho' he modestly conceals by even the most distant hints even to me, that he knows any thing of the matter, but his grateful heart, hourly obliges him to remember your kindly preventing him from being turn'd over to Mr. Oswald, who would have made his life hate­ful to him, as to his other apprentices; and thinks he can never sufficiently repay the o­bligation you confer'd on him, by your kind acceptation of him, to serve the remaining part of his time with you.

Now Sir, added Mr. Arnold, wherever you please to go, or whatever you think proper to transact, you may safely trust him with, and i'm certain he will with the utmost fide­lity communicate it to me, who will make it my immediate busienss, to summon all your Creditors and if possible gain time enough by prudent conduct to retrieve all yet.

Mr. Dennis thankfully received Mr. Ar­nold's friendly advice, and set out with his young apprentice undetermin'd what course to steer, but in the end, he happen'd to stop at a lone genteel Inn, upon Blackheath, where after they had refresh'd themselves, as it was [Page 17] near town for-expedition's sake, Mr. Dennis concluded to make that house his repository, till he heard what progress Mr. Arnold had made in his affairs in London; accordingly William was dispatch'd home to inform Mr. Arnold where his master resided, and conti­nued for three days before he heard from his faithful friend, who made the best use of his time, to bring the creditors to a Composition but in vain; the extravagant course of Life Mr. Dennis had led, and bearing himself with a losty pride. by scarcely bargaining but referring it to Servants, had so exaspera­ted them, they were resolved to put the Law in force against him to the utmost extremity; and accordingly one morning the Shop had not been open above half an hour, before there enter'd an execution against Body and Goods.

All that Mr. Arnold could do in this ex­tremity was to send poor afflicted William, with the following Letter.


I Need not apologize for my silence these three Days past, as I have been carefully employ'd with the strictest diligence to accommodate your affair; which was the only motive for my keep­ing you in suspence, as I could not part from poor William, whose business it was to keep at home, while I was encountering a set of inexo­rable wretches, who notwithstanding their good opinion of me, was deaf to all I propos'd: But alas! how shall I express the Grief of heart I sustain in being oblig'd to excite the same di­stress in you? By informing you, your effects were this day fiez'd on, and your person equally liable, had not you taken my advice by your present concealment, which is the only consola­tion I can possibly receive in this dreadful exi­gence: I am under such confusion and concern I can only injoin you to send back the melancho­ly Messenger with utmost haste, to

Your truly Afflicted and Obedient Servant, Samuel Arnold
[Page 19]

P.S. my mistress sent the Groom to know the reason of your absence, but I fram'd such an excuse in it she can't in the least sus­pect the occasion, and I am inform'd your Father is going down to morrow on particu­lar Business to you, but what it is I am yet to learn

Mr. Dennis for some few moments re­main'd unable to express his grief but by his looks, and the poor faithful Boy, who brought the unwelcome News, was equally incapable of uttering his concern; till a flood of tears the dictates of his honest heart issued from his eyes, and tenderly convinc'd Mr. Dennis of the anguish of Soul, the generous Youth en­dur'd for the wreck'd fortune of his unhappy master.

Mr. Dennis could not collect himself suffi­ciently to write, and only sent the lad back a­gain to Mr. Arnold with his thanks for his care and concern, assuring him that his only hope was death for his relief; with this odd disjointed message the youth return'd to Lon­don.

[Page 20] Mr. Arnold was concern'd but not much surpriz'd, as he considered the dreadful Agita­tion or Mind, this ungreatful Man must na­turally feel, from the result of his ungoverna­ble Folly.

In this Intervel of time, Mr. Dennis had sent word to his Daughter, that he should pay her a visit, and bring with him a per­son, whom he said wou'd be no unwelcome Guest to the Family in General, but not mentioning who it was, they could not con­ceive who it should be, however at the time appointed, Mr. Dennis arrived at Woodford, accompanied by his worthy Friend Mr. Edgeworth, who naturally on his arrival paid his first compliments to his intended Father in Law, who inform'd, him his be­loved Harriet was gone to his Brothers Country House to pass the Christmas there, and that if his impatient Desire to see his betroth'd, Spouse could hold out till the day following, he would with pleasure attend him thither: Mr. Edgeworth was oblig'd in Complaisance to Mr. Dennis, to wait a few Hours, which the fond Imagination of seperated Lovers lengthen into Ages: How­ever, away they went next Morning, and [Page 21] to the inexpressible Surprize of Mrs. Den­nis and her Sister, (from various motives,) who should they behold but Mr. Edgeworth Mrs, Dennis did not know whether she should Congratulate him on his Recovery of his Health, as well as his return to England, ae she saw nothing in his Countenance that bore the least Appearance of the violent and dangerous Indisposition describ'd by Mr. Arnold, what to think she know not, but the poor Lady began to grow excessive­ly uneasy, when upon asking her Father in Law, when she saw Mr. Dennis, who replied not for several Days past, but con­cluded to have found him with her; and farther enquiring how long Mr. Edgeworth had been landed, and being inform'd but the day before, she began to be extreamly uneasy, as Mr. Arnold's Letters to her had been still a Confirmation of his being with the very Gentleman who was then present; and so far from stopping at Gravesend, they never quitted the Ship till they got to Deptford, where she then lay: Mrs. Dennis retir'd to write, during which Time Mr. Edgeworth renew'd his Addresses to Miss Harriet, and the Sunday following was fix'd for the Wedding: The Generous Lover [Page 22] made a voyage extraordinary to make himself a more acceptable match for the young Lady and happily succeeded in his design, by bring­ing home in his last adventure, as much as compleated with what he had got before, (A Thirty Thousand Pounder,) Mrs. Dennis dispatch'd a servant to London, with all ima­ginable haste, and tho' full of distracted thoughts on her Husband's account, behaved with infinite good Breeding, and as much seeming chearfulness as her anxious thoughts could possibly admit.

The unhappy Mr. Dennis remain'd in a most disconsolate condition at Blackheath, and reflecting on the sorrow he knew his poor Wife must endure when she should become acquainted with his miserable Circumstances and the pain of separation from her, drove him almost distracted; in the violence of his agony he had been two or three times over­heard by his Landlord to exclaim against himself, and urge the heniousness of his crime in the strongest Terms, and vowing vengeance on himself, for being the cruel Author of those Ills he was too sensible his dear Wife and little Innocents too soon would feel the dreadful effects of.

[Page 23] The Landlord to whom he thought him­self a stranger broke in upon his Grief, and greatly apologizing for his intrusion, begged his permission to endeavour to assuage the ex­tremity of his uneasiness, by unfolding the real cause of his, assuring him to the extent of his Power, he would be of service to him, at the same time giving him to understand he was no stranger to his Person; This alarmed Mr. Dennis as he wished to be concealed, and telling the Landlord as he had the advantage of him, begged to know when and where he became acquainted with him, upon which the other withdrew, and in about ten minutes sent in the following Letter, directed to Mr. Dennis.


AS I am assured tho', you are lately be­come an unfortunate Man, I am con­vinced you are a man of honour, and as I am truly concerned for an injury I did you two years ago by stopping you upon Enfield Chase, I have enclos'd two Bank Notes of a hundred Pounds each, which is the exact sum I enforc'd from you: My Success on [Page 24] the road has enabled to quit it, yet me­thinks I should be sorry Mr Dennis should be distressed, when his natural Courage, and a small share of resolution may repair his For­tune; as it has done that of his obliged and real Friend.

P.S. After this Confession of my Crime and kind commiseration of your Di­stress I need not Sir, enjoin you to Secrecy, or fear the consequences that might possi­bly arise from being in the power of one who is not possess'd of an equal share of ho­nour with yourself.

On Perusal of the Letter, Mr. Dennis was struck into astonishment, and could not resolve within himself what Answer he should make to his Landlord's advice in order to repair his fortune, for notwithstanding he had run thro' various Indiscretions; he could not easily be subborned to part with his Honesty, and purchase Wealth at the ex­pence of Fame; or the hazard of an Igno­minious Death; He was too sensible of the Sorrows he had drawn upon himself and Family, without heaping more wretched­ness upon them by an everduring Infamy, therefore resolved not to listen to such a [Page 25] flagrant piece of advice, so called for the Landlord and thanked him for his concern, assuring him the Secret should be for ever bu­ried in his Bosom, but desired him never more to urge the Subject, and that he would not be thought guilty of compounding with Fe­lony; insisted on returning the Notes, which the Landlord begged he would not, but the other insisted upon it, upon which the Land­lord as streniously insisted that he would make his House his own, and as freely Command all that was in it; Mr. Dennis thankfully in­formed him that he was obliged to him for his offer, but that he was under no necessity at that time to accept on it; while they were conversing poor William arrived with the se­cond shocking Account, that the Creditors had sent their emissaries to Woodford, and that they had even taken the Watch from Mrs. Dennis's side, so the sad Catastrophe was no longer a Secret to the whole Family.

Old Mr. Dennis was so violently exaspera­ted, he refused the least Assistance towards his Son's Redemption, yet pitied his unhappy Daughter in Law, and behaved very tender towards her and her Children as a fond Fa­ther [Page 26] possibly could, intreating her to go home with him and strongly urged her though 'twas his own Child to endeavour to forget him; but her fondness was too powerful to listen to his Advice, which in the mood the old Gentleman was in, he order'd his Coach and went away highly displeased at his Daughter's refusal of his offer, Mr. Edgeworth, who had a sincere regard for young Dennis, which was greatly strengthened by the inviolate fondness he had for his Sister, kindly and generously resolved to repair his Fortune, by bringing his Creditors to a Composition, or if that fail­ed he resolved to pay his Debts, and give him a Term of Years to make him an Acknow­ledgment.

Miss Harriet took this as the highest proof of his Regard to her, tho' she was sorty he should hazard any part of his Fortune to serve her Relation, and that she wanted no such severe proofs of his Passion for her, for such she term'd it, as it was doubtful whether it would ever be in her Brother's power to make him a suitable return; but these fears did not prevent his generous design, which he put in­to immediate Execution the moment he got [Page 27] to Town, and with Mr. Arnold's assistance, every Creditor was paid to the full extent, the amount of which came to upwards of Fourteen Thousand Pounds.

Mr. Dennis upon receiving the News of Woodstock being surrounded with his Credit­ors, he grew desperate and madly and resol­ved to take the Advice of his Landlord, who directly furnished him with Arms and a Horse that had been trained up to that Business, and having dispatched William to Mr. Arnold, he set out and was not heard of for two or three Days, in which time, Mrs. Dennis, Mr. Edge­worth, Mr. Arnold, and Miss Harriet, went down to bring him, but to their great mor­tification he was gone before their Arrival, which distracted his poor Wife, who had plu­med herself up with the hopes of being re­stored to her much lov'd Husband, the Land­lord told them it was possible he might return in a Day or two, befori which he did not ex­pect him, but where he was gone he was en­tirely Ignorant.

Mr. Edgeworth prevailed on Mrs. Dennis, [...] go to Town again, faithfully promissing [Page 28] her to go every Day in search till he found him, which he did, and in about four Days time Mr. Dennis return'd to his Landlord's a­gain, and having met with great success in his new fatal Expedition, he set out towards London, and met a Gentleman on the Road within two miles of his Lodging, and without any hesitation clap'd on his Mask, and bid him Deliver, which the Gentleman refusing, he immediately shot him thro' the Head, and robbed him of a considerable Booty, among which was a Letter Case all which he rode hastily off with, leaving the Deceas'd welter­ing in his Blood upon the Road; the Body was soon found and carried into the first house to be owned, and the Horse who stood by his dead Master, was also convey'd thither.

As soon as Mr. Dennis got to the Inn where he had lodged from the time he went from his own house, he directly sat down to count [...] Booty, which in Cash was upwards of Twenty Guineas, but on perusing the Let­ter Case, and finding in it Receipts for his own Debts, pay'd by his worthy friend and intended Brother in Law, his Distraction con­sequently arose by an inexpressible height▪ [Page 29] there was no more room left for deliberate Reflection in so desperate a Case, and Mad­ness raging, he directly snap'd a Pistol at his head, which miss'd Fire, and the Landlord coming that Instant into the Room, he was prevented making a second attempt, but within an hour was taken by some of the Peo­ple, who were sent out in search of the Mur­derer, and the house which he was in, being greatly suspected to be a Receptacle for high­waymen, that was the first they routed; nor had they much trouble in quest of their Man, for he directly own'd the Robery and Murder quietly surrendering himself to the rigour of the Law, the Penalties of which he thought too little for his Crime.

As he had attempted his Life, proper care was taken to prevent his destroying himself, and as soon as he was committed to Newgate, a sufficient Guard was set over him on that Account.

Miss Harriet was directly seized with a violent Fever for the loss of an honourable Lover, barbarously depriv'd of Life by the hand of her unhappy Brother, whose shame­ful [Page 30] End anticipitated the Decrees of Heaven in regard to both, and in a few days gave a fatal Period to that young Lady, who ex­pir'd in the height of Madness.

Mrs. Denais had not so happy a Relief, for she lingered in Anguish and Despair, till the Morning her hapless Spouse was to be execu­ted, during whose Confinement she constant­ly attended him, contrary to the Commands of his and her own Father, who took the Children down into the Country, that they might not be pointed at as the unhappy Of­springs of their unfortunate Father; what ad­ded to the immoderate Grief of this Inconso­lable Creature, was the knowledge of her Husband being Coddemned to be hung in Chains on Account of the Murder.

The Night before his Execution she per­sisted in staying in the Press-Yard, on the outside of the Cell, where her destin'd Hus­band lay; as soon as he was brought forth in the Morning in order to receive his Fate, with speechless Grief she fell into his Arms, with the tenderest Marks of deep and silent Sor­row; [Page 31] in this conflict of Despair and Love, expired.

This shocking scene drew Tears from each Spectator, and sent the Dying Husband quite delirious to his shameful End. Mr. Arnold, who at his request attended his last Moments, soon after died with Grief: And poor Mr. William the Apprentice who had many Obli­gations to Mr. Dennis, grew into a settled Melancholly which he never overcame, the Parents of this unhappy Couple lived but few Years after this dreadful Catastrophe, one re­tire from Business, and the other languish'd out a miserable Life at his country seat, where he denied himself the benefit of Light, from the fatal Hour of his Daughters Death.

This Story is too True to be distrusted, or Disregarded by the Reader, or those who may hear it told; and as every Person who breaths may be liable to the same dreadful Misfortune; 'tis not to be deem'd an Offence to relate the sad consequences arising from Ill-plac'd pride, and unreasonable Ambition. The strongest Motive that could possibly induce me to pub­lish this Melancholly, was an Observation I [Page 32] have made for many Years of the presumpt­iae Vanity daily increasing and prompting many Persons in Trade to live up to the State of those, whose Birth and Fortune might just­ifie the running into such Expences, as must naturally terminate in the Ruin of Trading Families, and be the unhappy cause of Multi­plying the numerous Indigent, who but for this failing in Parents might live comfortably to themselves and be generally beneficial to the World.


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