• Introductory Chapter 5
  • Pride subdued by Adversity 8
  • Innocence justified and Art detected 34
  • Filial Ingratitude 65
  • History of Mr. Middleton 70
  • The Amiable Brothers 82
  • The Fruits of Disobedience 106
  • A Cure for Satire 126
  • The Faithful Slave 144



IN a part of Flintshire, nearly contigu­ous to the famous well of St. Winifred, which tradition mentions as endowed with qualities to heal the sick, and reco­ver the diseased, was an ancient cavern, or hermitage, formed out of one of those rocks or mountains with which that coun­try is so abundantly overspread.

Within this humble dwelling resided an aged hermit, whose sanctity of life, and gentleness of manners, insured him both the love and veneration of all who were improved by his advice, or benefitted by his example.

H [...] life was spent between devotional exercises and christian duties; and he seemed to consider that time totally mis­ [...]oyed, which was not passed either in [Page 6]serving his Maker, or rendering himself useful to his fellow creatures. Experience and application had taught him the use of various plants and minerals; in preparing those for the cure of disease and the res­toration of health he generally passed the early parts of the day; and his fame as a physician at length became so great, that he was more frequently applied to for his medicines than for prayers and benedic­tion. Whatever had been Father Cuth­bert's motive for secluding himself from the world, he seemed to possess none of that misanthropy of character which is generallv the occasion of so total a retire­ment; but, on the contrary, he was en­dowed with all those amiable sentiments which render man an ornament to society, and at the same time teach him to enjoy its pleasures.

Although his mind appeared labouring under some severe calamity, yet a placid resignation to the divine will, united to a consciousness of rectitude, enabled him to support his misfortunes with an appearance of cheerfulness; and though he never en­tered into his own affairs, yet his conver­sation was at once both instructed and entertaining. His partiality for the society of children was astonishing: and he [...] [Page 7]sit whole summer evenings amusing them with stories, or listening to their observa­tions.

As it was impossible for the little pea­santry of the neighbouring hamlets to extend their walks to the Hermitage, du­ring the severity of the winter months, the amiable Father Cuthbert used to amuse his leisure hours by writing stories for their entertainment, which he read to them when the summer returned, and they were again able to pay their accus­tomed visits. As the practice of writing these little histories for the children of the lower class of people was productive of so much satisfaction to the worthy old man, he resolved to extend his amusements by forming a collection of tales calculated for those in a higher station, and this little work he had just completed, when he was summoned before his Maker, to receive the reward of his virtues, and to enjoy the fruits of his piety and benevolence.



As Mrs. Cleveland was one Sunday morning going to pay her accustomed visit to a school which had been recently established for the poor inhabitants of the parish in which she resided, an elegant equipage drove briskly past her, and she heard a female voice cry out—"It is my aunt; I am convinced it is her!" and in­stantly the carriage stopped. A servant who was on horseback alighted, and open­ing the door, two young ladies, the one about fifteen, and the other apparently a year younger, sprang out, and, running after Mrs. Cleveland, exclaimed—"Sure­ly, Ma'am, you cannot have forgotten Emma and Eliza!"

"My dearest girls, my beloved nieces!" replied the amiable Mrs. Cleveland, pres­sing them alternately to her heart, "how unexpected is this pleasure, and h [...] de­lightful this unlooked-for meeting! I did not indeed recollect you: for four years has made such an alteration in the little [Page 9]ruddy round-faced girls I parted from, that I should certainly have passed you without claiming a relationship. But where is Mr. Fitzhenry? and why do you travel without his protection?"

"Oh! this letter, aunt," replied Emma Fitzhenry, drawing a large packet from her pocket, "will explain every thing, and will put that affection to the test which you have so often told papa you had transferred from our dearest mother."

"If any thing was wanting to call forth that affection," said Mrs. Cleveland, "the strong resemblance you bear that dear lost angel would certainly be the means of do­ing it; but Mr. Fitzhenry cannot pay me a higher compliment, or give me a higher gratification, than by placing you under my protection; and if the time is proportioned to my wishes, we shall not separate very shortly; but let us return to the vale, my dear girls, for I am sure you must require some refreshment after such a fatiguing journey.

As soon as Mrs. Cleveland had ordered coffee, fruit and cakes, for the accommo­dation of her guests, she retired to her apartments, to peruse the letter, which ex­plained the motive of their visit, and [...] her utter astonishment, discovered [...] [Page 10]Mr. Fitzhenry had accepted the post of governor to one of the East-India islands; and not knowing whether the situation would be advantageous for young women, had resolved to leave them under Mrs. Cleveland's protection, until, from perso­nal observation, he had made the disco­very.

This intelligence both astonished and pained Mrs. Cleveland, who began to ap­prehend that the accounts she had heard of her brother-in-law's extravagance, since the death of his amiable wife, were but too well founded, and imagined he was going abroad to retrieve a fortune which nothing but gaming could have materially injured.

Upon the death of Mrs. Fitzhenry, Mrs. Cleveland was very anxious to have the children under her care, but the father pretended he could not exist without their society. At first, he sent them to Queen's Square, and had them home every Satur­day; but in less than six months he enga­ged a French governess for them, and they resided constantly with their father.

Mrs. Fitzhenry's woman, upon her death, had been promoted to the office of housekeeper; and it was from Mrs. Lang­ford's pen that Mrs. Cleveland was in­formed of the uncommon splendour of [Page 11]Mr. Fitzhenry's establishment. Her nieces wrote sometimes, but it was evident the letters were the composition of the gover­ness, and therefore they afforded her very little satisfaction.

Mrs. Cleveland was so astonished at the intelligence she had received, and so unable to account for it, that she remained longer in her dressing-room than she was aware of, and might have extended her stay, had she not been roused by a tap at the door.

"Well, aunt," said Eliza, as she enter­ed, "what do you think of my father's East-India scheme?"

"I think, my love," replied Mrs. Cleveland, "that I am benefitted by it; and I hope you will not be injured: yet I confess myself astonished that a man with your father's fortune should quit his coun­try and dearest connections for the sake of augmenting it."

"He certainly has a large fortune, Ma'am," said Eliza; "but I am inclined to think he has injured it; and so Madam Lemoine imagined, and she knows more about it than I do." At that moment, Lady Luton's carriage drove up to the door, and Mrs. Cleveland hastened to re­ceive her, and introduce her nieces.

[Page 12]As soon as dinner was ended, Mrs. Cleveland invited the Miss Fitzhenrys to accompany her to the Sunday school, in­forming them that she was going there in the morning, when their arrival had so pleasingly defeated her purpose.

"Sunday school! La, Ma'am!" said Emma, "why I thought you had all been too religious at this distance from town, to work upon a Sunday! But fashion is won­derfully prevalent, and I suppose our card parties in London gave the first idea to the country boors of occupying a day which their forefathers devoted to psalm-singing and praying."

"I hope, Emma," replied Mrs. Cleve­land, looking very grave, "your father thought you too young to be initiated into a vice destructive of principle, piety, and virtue."

"Dear Ma'am!" said Emma, "have you forgot how old I am? for I assure you I have presided at the card tables at least a year and a quarter."

Mrs. Cleveland lifted up her eyes in astonishment, and, after explaining the nature of Sunday schools, again inquired if they were inclined to accompany her.

"You are very polite Ma'am," said Emma, looking rather embarrassed; "but [Page 13]as I cannot suppose we shall derive much entertainment from hearing a parcel of dirty children read and say their cate­chism, we will postpone our visit, if you please, until country air, rural occupa­tions, and your example, have given us a relish for such amusements."

Mrs. Cleveland made no reply to this sarcastic speech; but, ordering the foot­man to have tea ready against her return, she put on her cloak, and walked towards the school house. The slight specimen she had received of her nieces' dispositions was not calculated to impress her with a favourable idea of them; but when she re­flected upon their being the children of one of the most amiable women in the world, she attributed their little failings to an improper mode of education, and was forming a thousand schemes to coun­teract its baneful influence.

She made her visit to the Sunday school as short as possible, and the even­ing was passed in hearing an account of their manner of spending their time in Grosvenor Square. Without appearing to endeavour to find out their natural pro­ [...]ndities. Mrs. Cleveland was at the greatest pains to make the discovery, and soon perceived that a love of grandeur, [Page 14]shew, and distinction, were the leading features in Emma's character; but that Eliza's heart seemed more likely to be at­tracted by interesting than glaring ob­jects, though she appeared to have no objection either to shew or magnificence.

Upon taking leave of his daughters, Mr. Fitzhenry had presented each with a five hundred pound note for clothes and pocket money, with a promise of making them ample remittances, if they were not sent for to India.

Mrs. Cleveland's fortune was a very large one; and though she had hitherto lived materially within it, yet upon the arrival of her nieces she thought it right to alter her plan of oeconomy; an extra-man servant was hired, a new carriage be­spoke, and a farmer's daughter engaged as waiting-maid to the Miss Fitzhenrys.

Mrs. Cleveland was passionately fond of music, and played both with taste and execution upon the piano and harp, and was much disappointed at the tame style in which the young ladies performed upon those instruments, as she knew they had received instruction from the first mas­ters. Some days they refused touching the instrument at all, and at others would not play more than a quarter of an hour at [Page 15]a time. Mrs. Cleveland at first suffered them to indulge in a listless inactivity, but finding their indolent habits rather in­crease than diminish, she informed them that it was her wish that they should de­vote their morning to improvement; and as she was very well versed in history, ge­ography, Italian and French, she would be their instructress in any of those bran­ches, and read such authors with them as she thought most edifying.

"Dear Ma'am," said Emma, with a great deal of pertness in her tone of voice, "I am sure my father never intended to depute you our governess, and indeed we were so thoroughly informed by Madam Lemoine, that there is very little left for us to learn."

"I am very happy to hear it," replied Mrs. Cleveland; "then there is a great deal for you to lose, and that would be terrible, after so much pains have been ta­ken with you: but do, my dear, walk into the library, and fetch the first volume of Metastasio; he is a favourite author of mine, and I wish to hear you read him."

"I hate Italian," said Emma, and Eliza reads it better than I do; so fetch the book, Eliza.

[Page 16]"If you read it ill," replied Mrs. Cleveland, gravely, "there is the greater necessity for you reading it often; besides, my dear Emma, I am always obeyed by every part of my family—and, surely, a girl of fifteen would not think of disputing a rule that's positive."

Emma walked into the library, fetched the book, and began reading; but her tone was so monotonous, her accents so misap­plied, and her pronunciation so improper, that Mrs. Cleveland could not bear to hear her proceed; and, taking the book from her hand, said—"I am much obliged to you, my dear, for attempting to amuse me, and am sorry to say what may appear discouraging; but certainly Madam Le­moine was perfectly ignorant of the Ita­lian language. I happen to be very fond of it, and had one of the first masters; and if you will take the trouble of attending to my pronunciation, you will easily discover the imperfection of your own."

"I am much obliged, Ma'am, by your kind attention," said Emma, "but as I really have no passion for knowledge, and happen to possess so large a fortune as to render it unnecessary for me to take the trouble of attending to those accomplish­ments which girls in less elevated stations [Page 17]are taught to consider necessary, I must beg leave to decline your offered in­struction."

Mrs. Cleveland could hardly credit the evidence of her senses while she listened to her niece's improper manner of reply­ing to her friendly proposal, and before she could express her disapprobation, the footman entered, and delivered into her hands the following letter:


"Tortured by remorse, and over­whelmed by despair, how shall I acquaint you with the dreadful intelligence that sooner or later must reach your know­ledge!

"I cannot with prolixity prepare you for being acquainted with my calamity, but must briefly inform you, that I am ruined! Oh, my children, how will you bear to hear the horrid truth! fostered in luxury, encouraged in expense, how will you be enabled to sustain this fatal blow, which levels you with the needy, the un­fortunate, and the beggar!

"I saw the precipice on which I totter­ed, and yet had not resolution to avoid its brink! My motive for accepting the East-India employment proceeded from a [Page 18]knowledge of my embarassed affairs. I sold my estates with a view of placing their produce in the funds, that in case of my death my girls might receive their for­tunes without trouble or inconvenience, and this morning's sun saw me the master of sixty thousand pounds; a sum which many people would have thought im­mense; but to me, who had squandered three times its value at the gaming table, it appeared little better than poverty. In an evil hour I resorted to the spot from which I had dated my former misfortunes, and there, alas! completed them.

"I have sent in a resignation of my In­dia post, and shall hide my head in some obscure corner of the globe, and end my days in poverty and repentance!

"Do not attempt writing to me, for I am not in a frame of mind to support pity, or submit to censure. Protect my children for their dear mother's sake, and teach them to abhor a practice which has for­ever destroyed the peace of their unhappy father,


The Fitzhenry arms attracted Eliza's attention, and the changes in Mrs. Cleve­land's countenance while she was perusing the letter, called forth her fears.

[Page 19]"Is my father ill, Ma'am?" she ex­claimed; "or what can he have said to oc­casion you to appear so agitated?"

"Your father is quite well, my love," replied Mrs. Cleveland: at the same time, bursting into a flood of tears, she uttered in a low tone of voice—Poor girls! Poor girls!"

Emma and Eliza overheard the expres­sion, and looking at each other with curiosity and astonishment, seemed each afraid of requesting an explanation.

The sentiments which Emma had ex­pressed just before the arrival of the fatal letter, convinced Mrs. Cleveland that the loss of fortune would, in her opinion, be the greatest of all earthly calamities; and the little satisfaction they had both testified in a life of quiet and rationality, at once proved their passion for dissipation, gaiety and expense.

Had there been a probability of their feeling happy in their altered mode of life, Mrs. Cleveland would never have repined at their father's misfortunes, but would rather have rejoiced in being enabled to prove her affection, and convince them of her friendship; but the idea of daily be­holding their dissatisfaction, and hearing them pine after lost pleasures, was an evil [Page 20]she looked forward to with dread and ap­prehension, and she resolved to adopt a plan which at that moment struck her as being likely to reconcile them to their fu­ture residence.

Eliza at length had courage to entreat her aunt to explain the cause of her anx­iety; and if they could not remove it, to let them have the satisfaction of sharing it.

"Share it, indeed, my dear girl!" said Mrs. Cleveland; "would to Heaven I could exempt you from that misfortune! for heavy as it falls upon me, you are still more affected by its weight."

"Gracious Heaven!" exclaimed Em­ma, "what can have happened! I beseech you, aunt, ease me of this suspense! Surely," she continued, in a voice scarcely articulate, "my father has not materially injured his fortune at the gaming table?" —Mrs. Cleveland shook her head without replying. "Oh, dreadful!" she continued: "but, dear madam, the estates!—surely the estates are left for Eliza and myself? —Another shake of Mrs. Cleveland's head convinced her that hope was without foundation; and, unable to sustain the weight of such an unexpected misfortune, she gave a violent scream, and went into a strong hysteric.

[...] [Page 23]less upon outward circumstances than people were apt to imagine.

In less than a fortnight every thing was arranged for their Welsh excursion, and at the request of her nieces, Mrs. Cleve­land consented to take the name of Owen to prevent the possibility of any person discovering the real situation of their affairs.

Just at the time of Mrs. Cleveland's quitting the Vale, a putrid fever broke out amongst Lady Luton's servants; three of them died, and the rest went home for change of air after their recovery. This circumstance induced her friend to entreat she would make use of her's, and Emma and Eliza imagined they were hired by her ladyship. The singularity of travel­ling in a post-chaise seemed likely to cre­ate great surprise to Mrs. Cleveland's neighbours and servants, and, to prevent conjecture, she said she was going to pass six months at one of Mr. Fitzhenry's country seats, and should neither want carriage nor servants.

Nothing material occurred during the journey, and at the expiration of the fourth day they arrived at Barmouth in good health and tolerable spirits.

[Page 24]Mr. Pratt's description of the scenery around, and the simplicity of the manners of its inhabitants, was the inducement for fixing upon that spot, and Mrs. Owen (as she was then to be called) met with a small house close to the sea side, which she immediately hired; and the Miss Fitzhenrys, who had hitherto been accus­tomed to live in a house large enough for a palace, were now inhabitants of a mere cottage, with one maid and a boy to attend them.

The absolute poverty of the peasantry around Barmouth afforded ample scope for the indulgence of Mrs. Owen's bene­volent disposition; and the heartfelt gra­titude which the poor creatures expressed for the slightest donation, proved at once both their worth and want.

Without amusement to occupy their time, or company to engage their atten­tion, Emma and Eliza naturally sought relief from those avocations they had once despised, and reading and drawing be­came favourite amusements. The coun­try round Barmouth was picturesque in the highest degree, and in rambling be­tween the rocks, or climbing up the hills, the Park and Kensington gardens were both forgotten. The winter months at [Page 25]length approached, and Emma expressed her dread of the dreariness and gloom which would attend the tedious evenings; and expressed an earnest desire for a piano forte.

"Well," said Mrs. Owen, "I will ex­amine my purse, and if I can any way contrive it, your inclination shall be gra­tified; but I have this morning promised to take little Sally Burford, the fisherman's child, whom I observed had attracted both your's and Eliza's notice, and she will af­ford you some amusement."

"Oh, a little angel!" said Emma, "did you ever see so complete a beauty, aunt?"

"She is uncommonly lovely, indeed," replied Mrs. Owen;" "but it was not her charms that interested me; there are seven children, and it is with the utmost diffi­culty the poor man is enabled to support them, notwithstanding those who are old enough to do something towards main­taining themselves; yet the poor creatures are so contented with their situation, and so resigned to the decree of Providence, that I felt it a duty to endeavour to relieve them: and as I perceived you were par­tial to little Sally, I preferred taking her to any of the others, though she is so [Page 26]young that I believe you must become nurses."

"Oh, we'll be nurses, and nurse maids too, I assure you, aunt:" said Eliza, "for I am quite delighted at the idea of our having the little cherub; and do you let us go for it directly, that we may begin making it some better clothes."

Sally was immediately sent for, and the two nurses with the assistance of Mrs. Owen, had entirely completed frock, cap, shift, and petticoat, before bed time, and the next morning Emma arose an hour earlier than usual, that she might have the pleasure of dressing her in them.

Just as the gloomy month of November set in, Emma was astonished one morn­ing at perceiving two men bringing a large deal case towards the cottage, and not a little delighted when it was opened at perceiving a very nice looking new piano. Charmed at the sight of what she was once indifferent to, and grateful to her aunt for complying with her wishes, she instantly ran to her apartment to express her thanks: then untying a large bundle of music that accompanied it, she sat down and played a set of Clementi's Sonatas, and upon Mrs. Owen's entrance besought her to forgive her former conduct, and [Page 27]take the trouble of becoming her instruc­tress.

Mrs. Owen tenderly embraced her, ap­plauded the general alteration in her man­ners, and instantly performed the lesson she had just played in a style that proved the superiority of her skill.

Music, reading, drawing, and geogra­phy, alternately occupied their leisure hours; and the engaging prattle of the lit­tle Sally, was at once an antidote against dullness, and a source of entertainment.

Mrs. Owen's kindness was not confined to the Burfords only, and the prevalence of example induced the nieces to become charitable.

Upon the first discovery of Mr. Fitzhenry's ruined situation, Emma and Eliza delivered their five hundred pound notes into their aunt's hands, who placed them in the bank for their future use, promising to allow them thirty pounds a year for pocket-money. Small as that sum then appeared, they found it more than suffi­cient for all their wants; and they were enabled not only to shew their generosity to Sally's father and mother, but to be essentially kind to several other poor fa­milies.

[Page 28]They had resided very near a twelve-month in their little cottage, when Mrs. Owen began to feel a wish to return to a spot which was so dear to her on many accounts; and, convinced that her nieces had entirely conquered their love of plea­sure and dissipation, she began to think it wrong to deprive them of those innocent amusements it was so natural for them to sigh for: she, therefore, determined to make them acquainted with the real situa­tion of her affairs, and explain her motive for having acted with so much duplicity.

Scarcely had Mrs. Owen formed this resolution, when both the young ladies en­tered the room where she was sitting, and, with countenances expressive of the ten­derest sympathy, informed her that poor Burford, in jumping from his boat to the shore, had struck his foot against a stone, and, in endeavouring to save himself from falling, had by some means or other twisted his leg, and displaced his knee-pan:—"And now," said Eliza, "those poor children must absolutely be starved: for it is impossible their mother can earn enough to support them!"

"Oh, we must all contribute our mite," said Mrs. Owen, "and prevent so dread­ful [Page 29]a calamity as you seem to apprehend, my love; but whilst I lament poor Bur­ford's misfortune, I congratulate myself at perceiving that your hearts are susceptible both of tenderness and humanity, and that apathy and indifference are never to be­come inmates of your breast! To de­scribe," continued that amiable woman, "the gratification I experience at behold­ing the pleasing alteration that has taken place both in your sentiments and man­ners, is impossible: and I think your an­gelic mother (had she been in existence) could not have felt more joy and pride in owning you for her daughters, than I do in declaring, that, though I bear not the maternal name, my heart is alive to all its feelings, and that I anticipate the liveliest satisfaction in the prospect of presenting you to the world as my adopted children, and joint heiresses to eighty thousand pounds!"

"Heiresses!" exclaimed Eliza.— "Eighty thousand pounds!" said Emma, "What new change, my dear aunt, has fortune yet in store for us?"

"There is nothing new in this, my dear girl," said Mrs. Cleveland; (for I shall no longer style her by the name of Owen) for soon after I had the misfortune of losing [Page 30]your amiable mother, I made my will, and except a few trifling legacies, left my whole fortune between yourself and sis­ter."—She then explained her reasons for having imposed upon their credulity, and then tenderly embracing them, said, "After having spent a year at Barmouth in solitude and seclusion, I have no reason to apprehend you will complain of the dullness of Cleveland Vale; but had you been stationed there immediately after your removal from Grosvenor Square, I am convinced that the difference of the scene would have created disgust and dis­satisfaction, and, instead of having the gratification of perceiving you were happy in my society, and contented with my mode of life, I should have been rendered miserable by murmurs and complain­ings.

"Your sentiments and ideas have hap­pily now taken a different turn; you have felt adversity, and know how to pity it; you have acquired a habit of amusing yourselves without the aid of variety, or the arts of dissipation; and you will return to the world in a temper of mind calcula­ted to enjoy its pleasures with moderation, and to support its disappointments with reason and resignation."

[Page 31]"Oh, my dearest madam," said Em­ma, "how can we ever deserve your kind­ness, or merit your indulgence! but for your friendship, how unpleasing must have been our conduct, and how despica­ble our characters! You not only instruct­ed us to be amiable, but by your own ex­ample invited us to be so likewise; and if ever upon my return to the gay world, I feel a propensity to be vain, or an inclina­tion to become proud, I will think of Bar­mouth, and again grow humble."

"You are a dear girl," said Mrs. Cleveland, "and I every day have the sa­tisfaction of finding something new to love and admire in you. The imperfections you formerly discovered were solely the effects of bad example and ill advisers; your governess, of whom you had so high an opinion, attended only to superficial accomplishments, whilst the improvement of the heart was wholly unattended to: but come, my dear girls, let us go to the cottage, and see what we can do for poor Burford."

The unfortunate man was in such acute agony that Mrs. Cleveland was fearful the bone was broken; however, the next morn­ing she had the satisfaction of finding that [Page 32]the fomentation she had ordered had aba­ted the swelling, procured ease, and con­vinced Burford that the bone was whole. The poor fellow heard of her intention of quitting Barmouth with the most un­feigned sorrow, which not even the pro­mise of an annual allowance of ten pounds a year was able to controul.

Lady Linton was apprised of her friend's intended return, about a month after her own house was completed▪ and the servants were almost wild with joy at the prospect of again beholding a mistress whom they both loved and venerated.

Although Mrs. Cleveland had deputed Lady Luton the almoner of her bounty during her absence, yet there was some­thing in her manner of bestowing it, that made them sigh for the return of her who augmented kindnesses by her manner of conferring them.

On the day that she was expected, the village bells began to ring before it was light, the charity children were dressed in their Sunday clothes, and an universal ho­liday was proclaimed.

All the peasantry assembled on the lawn before the house, anxiously waiting the arrival of their benefactress, who was [Page 33]so moved by this proof of affection and at­tachment, that she burst into tears, whilst they, with the most respectful expressions of gladness, testified their love, their joy, and their fidelity.



As Mrs. Cavendish and her daughter Matilda were one summer evening stray­ing along the banks of the Thames, in the environs of Kingston, they perceived a fe­male in the Chinese dress, seated on a tuft of grass by its side, attentively watch­ing the fate of a wicker basket, which ap­peared to pass slowly on, actuated by the motion of the ebbing tide.

Curiosity induced Mrs. Cavendish to approach the margin of the stream, and scrutinously examine the basket which seemed so calculated to attract the stran­ger's attention. A sudden gust of wind drove it from the shore, and at once de­feated her wishes, and disappointed her expectation.

The curiosity which had been awakened by the singularity of the circumstance, was increased by the improbability of [Page 35]gratifying it: and whilst Mrs. Cavendish was reflecting on what she had seen, the woman rushed by her, and, with impa­tience and anxiety in her countenance, followed the object that had called forth her solicitude.

A fisherman at that moment passed, and going directly to the water's side, be­gan unfastening a little wherry which was chained to a post that was fixed there for the purpose of securing it.

"My good man," said Mrs. Cavendish, "I am particularly anxious to see the con­tents of a little wicker basket, which by rowing fast you will soon overtake; and if you will bring it to me you shall not go unrewarded for your trouble."

The man instantly jumped into the boat, stripped off his jacket, and in less than five minutes Mrs. Cavendish per­ceived he had obtained the prize, and was returning with it as fast as possible.

As soon as the Chinese had observed this transaction, she quitted the bank of the river, and moved slowly towards London.

The waterman soon reached the spot from which he had embarked, and, throw­ing his chain round the post to secure the boat, saluted Mrs. Cavendish with—"I [Page 36]warrant ye, Madam, this pretty babe be­longs to that there baggage who run'd away as soon as she saw me row up to it."

"Babe!" exclaimed Mrs. Cavendish, (at the same time turning her eyes upon the basket the man still held in his hand) "what supplicating innocence is pour­trayed in its countenance! how interesting is its smile! my heart already compas­sionates its unfortunate situation! but put down the child, my good friend," she continued: "and if possible overtake the abandoned wretch whose heart has been capable of forming so inhuman a design as that of depriving a lovely babe of exist­ence."

The man did as he was directed, and in less than a quarter of an hour returned, dragging with him the object he had been in pursuit of. The moment she beheld the infant in Mrs. Cavendish's arms, she dropped upon her knees, and regardless of the questions that were put to her, continued for some minutes fixed in her devout attitude; at length, upon Mrs. Cavendish pulling her by the vest, and asking if the child did not belong to her: —she replied: "Mine child! mine child!—yes, mine poor baby!"

[Page 37]"Then how," replied Mrs. Cavendish, "could you have cruelty and inhumanity enough to commit so helpless an innocent to the mercy of the waves? you must be a very wicked woman, and deserve that punishment which the law will inflict."

"Me no wicked—me love mine child, but me have no bread, no rice, no noting at all to give it; and me not like to see it starve, so me do as dey do in China; me put it in de water, and some good soul come and pick it up, and den my poor child have all dat it wants, and Ousanque lie down and die, and den go to good place, and never more cry after cruel hus­band again!"

Mrs. Cavendish was much affected by the artless relation of the unhappy woman, and immediately recollected that it was the custom in China for parents to expose their female children to the mercy of the waters, if their own income was insuffi­cient to support them in comfort. Her abhorrence of the act was immediately converted into compassion for the unfor­tunate being who had committed it; she began asking her a variety of questions, and found that her beauty had attracted the affection of one of the sailors who had accompanied Lord Macartney in his em­bassy [Page 38]to China, and who had acquired sufficient knowledge of the language to be enabled to plead his passion, which he did with so much energy, as to induce the credulous Ousanque to alter her dress to that which was worn by the other sex, and request the captain of the ship to in­dulge her with a passage to England. The request was easily obtained, and the unfortunate girl quitted her country, home, and friends, for an ungrateful and aban­doned seducer, who, soon after the ship was paid off, entered on board another bound for the East-Indies, leaving her in a strange country, without money to sup­port or friends to comfort her. The land­lady of the public house at which she lodged at Portsmouth, compassionating her forlorn situation, gave her fifteen shil­lings out of her own pocket, (though she owed near five-and-twenty for the room) and a letter to lord Macartney, describing her situation, and entreating his assistance. With this letter in her pocket, and the child fastened to her back, the poor crea­ture set off for London: but just as she had reached the skirts of Kingston, she was knocked down, robbed of a little bun­dle that contained her purse, wardrobe, and letter, and, in all probability, would then [Page 39]have ended both her misery and her life, but for the humane interference of a stage coachman, who, perceiving something ly­ing on the road, jumped from the box, and observing the insensible state to which she was reduced, lifted her into the coach which happened to be empty, stopped at the first public house he came to, and left her in the care of the mistress, promising to pay all expences when he re­turned the next day. This benevolent design was frustrated by the horses taking fright about ten miles from Kingston, running away with the carriage, and dashing it with violence against a gate­post, by which means the poor fellow was thrown from his box and broke his leg.

The wretched Ousanque, thus reduced to the most abject state of misery, wan­dered round Kingston in a state of mind little inferior to distraction, which was heightened by the constant cries of the infant for that nourishment which nature denied it, and which the unfeeling inhabi­tants refused to bestow. Then it was the idea of committing it to the waves first occurred, and the consequences attending it were no less favourable to Ousanque, than they were to the child.

[Page 40]Whilst Mrs. Cavendish was attentively listening to the poor woman's relation Matilda was amusing herself with admi­ring the beauty of the child; and when she heard her Mamma declare it was her in­tention to take both home with her, the delight she felt was visible in all her fea­tures, and she protested she would nurse it all day long, and never play with her doll again.

The singularity both of the mother's and child's dress attracted her notice, and called forth her astonishment; and when she perceived that the poor little creature was bound up so tight with a swathing band that it could not use any of its limbs, she was absolutely shocked at the sight, and declared it was more cruel than drowning it; "for then, Mamma," said she, "it would have been out of its pain, but now it has a whole life of misery."

Mrs. Cavendish informed her it was a custom with the Chinese to confine the limbs of the children, from an idea that they would grow crooked if they were suffered to twist them about in any one form that inclination dictated; and their feet in particular were subject to confine­ment, as the men of that country were [Page 41]more attracted by the beauty of a small foot, than the charms of a pretty face.

Ousanque's joy and gratitude when Mrs. Cavendish promised to befriend her, and represent her forlorn situation to Lord Macartney, was testified by a thou­sand marks of respect and veneration: she knelt at her feet, kissed the hem of her garment, and seemed to consider her as an absolute deity.

Matilda entreated that the child might be dressed like an European, and that she might have the satisfaction of making it clothes, a circumstance which astonished her mamma, as she was by no mean [...] fond of work.

Mrs. Cavendish fulfilled her [...] of writing to Lord Macartney [...] of the unfortunate Ousanque [...] daily expectation of a [...] poor creature was [...] [...] tremely ill. An [...] sent for [...] thought [...] small-pox. [...] to [...] short [...]

[Page 42]Every kindness that humanity could dictate and feeling pay, the unhappy suf­ferer received from her benevolent bene­factress, and at those lucid intervals which the fever sometimes permitted her to ex­perience, she expressed her gratitude in such terms of genuine feeling, that Mrs. Cavendish was often obliged to leave the apartment to disguise her emotions, and drop a tear to her misfortunes.

From the first appearance of the disor­der, Mr. Longford the apothecary was convinced it would be fatal; he informed Mrs. Cavendish that no art could save her: and the event soon proved the clearness of [...] judgment.

[...] little infant began to sicken on the [...] poor mother died: and as Mrs. [...] then considered it an absolute [...] and support it, she resolved [...] upon it such an educa­ [...] [...] it to earn its own [...] was respecta­ [...] [...]

[...] the death [...] made a [...] Mr. and [...] [...]ticular [...] [...]ming [Page 43]sponsors. Matilda wanted it to be called after herself; but Mrs. Cavendish pointed out the inconvenience that would attend it; and it was at length agreed that Pekin should be the name, by way of reminding it of its unfortunate mother's country.

Although the little Pekin received the infection from such a fatal and dreadful kind, yet it had the complaint in a most favourable manner, and in less than six weeks not a single mark of the disorder was visible upon her skin.

Matilda's affection for the child daily increased, and the little soul soon testified that it was grateful for her kindness. As soon as it could speak she undertook to teach it the alphabet, and by the time it was four years old it could read any of Mrs. Trimmer's little stories as well as its governess, who at that period had en­tered her tenth year.

Mrs. Cavendish's youngest brother had, to the great displeasure of all his family, married the daughter of a country shop­keeper, whose beauty had pleased his eye, and whose art and duplicity had imposed upon his understanding. He was then a young ensign in the forty-second regi­ment, and though of good family, was possessed of a very small fortune, and [Page 44]therefore it was both an impolitic and imprudent measure.

None of his relations except Mrs. Ca­vendish would ever condescend to have any intercourse with him, or the object of his affection; and though she was no less vexed at his marriage than they were, she invited both himself and bride to pass the summer with her at Kingston.

The vulgarity of Mrs, Roper's man­ners, the low cunning of her mind, and the design and artifice which was visible in all her actions, was so obvious to Mrs. Cavendish, that she was astonished that even a youth of nineteen could have been duped by them. The young ensign, how­ever, did not live long enough to repent the folly of his conduct; for a violent cold settled upon his lungs when he had been about five months married, which brought on a rapid decline, and he died whilst on a visit to his affectionate sister, recom­mending his wife and her expected little one to her tenderness and protection.

Mrs. Cavendish was at that time in deep mourning for an amiable husband, and had her sister-in-law been a different kind of woman, her company and society would have been a great acquisition, as Matilda was then only nine months old; [Page 45]but the dissimilarity of their tempers, dis­positions, and manners, was too striking for such a plan to be adopted; and Mrs. Cavendish preferred allowing her sister a hundred a year out of her own income, to letting her remain an inmate of the family, and hoped that she would return to her own connexions, and spend it in what manner she thought proper.

But Mrs. Roper knew her own interest too well to quit the neighbourhood, and under pretence of violent affection, decla­red that all her happiness was centred in being able to trace her dear Edward's fea­tures in the lovely countenance of his amiable sister!

A small first floor was accordingly hired at Kingston, and under the pretence of admiring one thing, and wishing for ano­ther, Mrs. Roper contrived almost to dou­ble her hundred a year.

The little child, which proved to be a girl, was extremely like its deceased fa­ther, and Mrs. Cavendish felt for it almost a maternal tenderness; as there was not more than twelve month's difference in the age of Charlotte (which was the child's name) and her cousin Matilda; they spent a great deal of time together, though [Page 46]the difference of their dispositions occa­sioned frequent disputes between them.

From the moment Mrs. Cavendish adopted the little Pekin, Mrs. Roper be­came restless and dissatisfied, and with much difficulty refrained from expressing her disapprobation even before her sister; but this restraint was amply compensated for, in her absence, and Charlotte was taught to consider Pekin as an absolute obstacle to her happiness and her interest. Mrs. Roper would be continually teazing all her acquaintance with accounts of her own misfortunes, or ill-founded com­plaints of her sister's injustice, in giving away property which ought to belong to her and Charlotte, to a good-for-no­thing, worthless, little vagabond, who she knew would requite all her kindness with scorn, artifice, and ingratitude; every body knows (she would say) what a hor­rid set of creatures the Chinese are; that they live by cheating, plundering, and theft; and that little wretch has already given proofs of its national depravity.

Although this was the general tenor of Mrs. Roper's conversation when she was not in her sister's company, yet when she was, Pekin was the sweetest of all [Page 47]sweet creatures, and Mrs. Cavendish the most amiable of women. Charlotte was not of an age to be an adept in hypocrisy, and therefore she testified her real dislike by a thousand ill-natured, spiteful tricks, which poor little Pekin submitted to in si­lence, without murmur or complaint; for, notwithstanding Mrs. Roper's malignant assertions, it was impossible to find a child more completely agreeable.



As this beautiful, amiable, and inter­esting girl, advanced in years, Mrs. Ro­per had the mortification of perceiving that Mrs. Cavendish's affection increased, and that her own child seemed daily to lose ground in her good opinion. The truth was, Mrs. Cavendish had discovered in her niece's temper an inclination both to jealousy and envy, and a littleness of mind that was capable of stooping to any meanness, which lessened her regard, and decreased her esteem.

It was Mrs. Cavendish's wish to give her little protogee such an education as would enable her to undertake the in­struction of young ladies, and in the capa­city of private governess render herself both useful and respectable; and there­fore, she took lessons from the same mas­ters, and received the same attentions from them, as Matilda and Charlotte did. [Page 49]This circumstance was at once pleasing to Matilda, and painful to Charlotte, whose inveteracy against Pekin was increased by the encomiums which were bestowed upon her, and who, finding herself unable to injure her in Mrs. Cavendish's opinion by ill-natured hints and sly suggestions, was at length resolved upon her ruin by the practice of manoeuvres which were as deeply laid, as they were iniquitously de­signed.

At the back of Mrs. Cavendish's house was an excellent garden, which was abun­dantly stocked with every kind of wall-fruit—this fruit Mrs. Cavendish was par­ticularly choice of, for the pleasure of presenting to such of her friends as were not accommodated with the convenience of a wall.

Charlotte upon perceiving her aunt's desire to preserve the fruit, was resolved to defeat it, and watched her opportunity of going into the garden with such admi­rable nicety, that she contrived to [...]witch three or four peaches and nectarines from the trees every time she entered it, the stone of which she always placed at the bottom of a little box which Pekin kept in her own bed room.

[Page 50]For some days Mrs. Cavendish ima­gined the trees were thinner, without be­ing positive as to the circumstance; at length she resolved to count the fruit without mentioning her suspicion to a single soul. The next morning she walk­ed into the garden and discovered that eleven of the finest peaches were missing —Matilda and Pekin, Mrs. Roper and Charlotte, were all at work in the draw­ing-room when Mrs. Cavendish entered, and expressed her vexation at the cir­cumstance, and her wish to discover the person who had been guilty of such dis­graceful conduct.

"I thought Pekin," said Charlotte, "you could not eat all those peaches and nectarines, which I have seen you gather, without being discovered; and had I not known that my cousin would have called me tell-tale, I would have called my aunt to look at you the first time I saw you take them."

"Saw me take peaches! Miss Roper," said the child, evidently embarassed at the boldness of the charge. "I [...] upon my honour I have never touched a peach this year but what Mrs. Cavendish was so kind as to give me."

[Page 51]"Yes," replied Charlotte, "I saw you take peaches and nectarines too, if that's English: and saw you carry them up stairs in your bed room—what say you to that, Miss Honesty? Can you deny that?"

"Yes, that I can," said Pekin, burst­ing into tears, "and wonder how you can be so wicked as to say such a thing."

"What do you [...]ean, you little pre­sumptuous vagabo [...] ▪ exclaimed Mrs. Roper, "by daring [...] accuse my daugh­ter of uttering an untruth? I thought how my sister would be requited for her gene­rosity, for the whole tribe of your coun­try men are thieves and swindlers."

"My dear Mrs. Roper," said Mrs. Cavendish, "that little girl is under my protection, and I can neither suffer her to be insulted nor oppressed; if she has ta­ken the peaches, she has been guilty of a very great fault, and I am the person to judge of the proper mode of punishing it; but I am inclined to think my niece must be mistaken."

"Oh, indeed aunt, I am not mistaken," replied Charlotte, "for I met her eating one up stairs, and saw the juice quite run down to her fingers' ends."

"Suppose," said Mrs. Roper, "you were to go up stairs, sister: most likely [Page 52]the stones might yet be remaining either in her drawers or boxes."

Mrs. Cavendish followed the advice, and returned in five minutes, with not less than forty stones belonging to peaches and nectarines.

Pekin coloured like scarlet, and, in a tremulous voice, said "You did not find those in my room, [...] am."

"Yes," replied [...]s. Cavendish, "but I did: and I must confess, that I should as soon have expected to have found a dagger there: Indeed, Pekin, this conduct of your's has wounded my peace, de­stroyed my hopes, and sapped the very foundation of my friendship. The taking the fruit I could very easily have forgi­ven; but to assert an untruth with all that calmness of affected innocence, is what I could not have expected, and what I am resolved not to forgive; therefore, go this instant to your apartment, and do not let me see you until my feelings are less ex­asperated, and my anger more subdued."

Fearful of offending, by presuming to plead for mercy, the agitated Pekin left the room, and in an agony of grief retired to her own apartment. Matilda was not suffered to go near her friend; and had not the servants who carried up her food in­formed [Page 53]their mistress that scarcely any part of it was eaten, and that the little prisoner was overwhelmed with grief, her confine­ment would have been protracted much beyond three days; but the apprehension of her making herself ill, induced Mrs. Cavendish to forgive the fault, and Char­lotte had the mortification of seeing her restored to favour.

Mrs. Roper, who had been accessary to the scheme, was heartily vexed at its ill success; yet both Charlotte and herself were resolved to attempt another, which, though more hazardous, was likely to be attended with more certain consequences.

Mrs. Cavendish was particularly par­tial to a small miniature of her late hus­band, which was set as a bracelet, and was kept in a small box that was opened by a spring-lock, and stood upon her dres­sing-table. This box she made a point of never opening in the presence of the ser­vants, but all the children were acquainted with the secret spring; Charlotte, there­fore, resolved to make herself mistress of this valuable treasure, and disclosing her intention to an ignorant girl, who had formerly lived servant with Mrs. Roper, and was then going to London, persuaded her so far to second the design, as to un­dertake [Page 54]the disposal of it; and if any questions were asked, to say she was sent by the little girl who lived at Mrs. Caven­dish's, and that it was a picture she had found as she was walking by the river side.

As Mrs. Cavendish had never lived at Kingston, and the girl was known to have been servant to Mrs. Cavendish's sister-in-law, the jeweller had no reason to doubt the truth of the circumstance she related; he therefore took the picture, paid a guinea down for it, and promised another, if it was not claimed in the course of a month, which he thought likely to happen, as he concluded it belonged to some person in the neighbourhood, and would be advertised.

As Mrs. Cavendish never wore the bracelet but when she was particularly dressed, a fortnight elapsed after it was sold before the loss was discovered, and Charlotte's patience began to be almost exhausted. At length the wished-for day arrived which was to hurl destruction upon the object of her hatred, and give her the delightful satisfaction of beholding the ruin of one towards whom the felt a most unconquerable aversion.

[Page 55]Mrs. Cavendish's astonishment, at opening the box, and not perceiving the valued treasure, was excessive; but con­ceiving the bracelet could not be lost, she imagined she must have put it away with some other part of her dress. Drawers, boxes, and cabinets, were searched in vain; and then her vexation amounted to absolute uneasiness. She perfectly recol­lected having taken it off when she re­turned home from paying her last visit; and the more she reflected upon the sin­gularity of the circumstance, the more she was bewildered in doubt, suspicion, and alarm. Her servants had lived with her thirteen and fourteen years, and their fide­lity had been frequently put to the test. Pekin had never but once deceived her; and of what use could a bracelet be to a child of her tender age? Charlotte she be­lieved to be capable of a thousand sly tricks, but then some interested motive actuated their practice.

Not knowing how to act, and com­pletely mortified at the loss of what she considered so very estimable, Mrs. Ca­vendish at length resolved to have it cried, conceiving she might be mistaken in her opinion of having had it after her [...] from Mr. Fowler's, and that it [Page 56]might have been dropped in the way home.

The jeweller was standing at the shop door as the crier announced the loss, and described the manner in which the picture was painted, and the form in which it was set. Examining the one he had purcha­sed, and perceiving that it exactly corres­ponded with the crier's description, he immediately informed him of the manner in which he had obtained it, and both ex­pressed their suspicion of Pekin's disho­nesty, as they justly observed, she could not have lived ten years in Mrs. Caven­dish's house, without knowing the picture was her property.

The jeweller and the crier agreed to go together, and inform Mrs. Cavendish by what means the picture had come into the possession of the former, and request a reimbursement of the guinea he had paid, in addition to the reward proclaimed by the crier.

Mrs. Cavendish and Matilda were just gone out to pay a morning visit, when the men arrived; but Mrs. Roper and her daughter were sitting in the parlour, and saw them pass the window. "There's the crier and Mr. Martin have both rung at the gate together," exclaimed [...]s. [Page 57]Roper, "and I'll lay my life we shall hear some tidings of the bracelet."

"I hope we shall, I'm sure," said Pe­kin; "for it will make my dear god-mama very happy." And so saying, she was going to run out of the room, to inquire whether their expectations were likely to be realized.

"Stop, you little forward chit," said Mrs. Roper, catching her by the shoulder, and pushing her with violence to the other end of the room, "I believe I am as much interested in your dear god-ma­ma's property as you are, and much more capable of evincing it."—So saying, she bounced out of the room, leaving the child petrified with astonishment and drowned in tears, whilst Charlotte sat maliciously smiling at the success of her invention, and the accomplishment of her scheme.

In less than five minutes Mrs. Roper re-entered, followed by the jeweller and the crier, and in a voice half choaked with rage, exclaimed—"You vile, wick­ed ungrateful hussey! is this the way you requite my poor sister's kindness? What! rob her of the most valuable thing she possessed on earth; and then, with the art and hypocrisy of an old offender, pretend to be going out to inquire after the very [Page 58]thing you knew you had first stolen and then sold! but I see through your tricks, you baggage, I do: you was fearful your countenance would betray your guilt, and you wished to get out of the room to hide it. But where is the guinea you received from Mr. Martin? Give that to me this moment, you abandoned, wicked hussey!"

Whilst Mrs. Roper was uttering this volley of abuse, the unfortunate child had involuntarily dropped upon her knees; and the moment that lady ceased speak­ing, she protested her innocence of the crime that was alleged against her with all the eloquence that conscious rectitude could inspire.

"Come, come, child," said Mr. Martin, "don't add the sin of lying to those you have already committed; but confess what you have done with the money, and like­wise what induced you to commit such a wicked action."

"Aye, aye, come, Pekin, (for I suppose one need not be very nice, and Miss you over) said the crier; be a good girl, and tell the whole truth to Madam, and may­hap that may make her plead for you to Madam Cavendish; for you are but a young thing, God knows: and that makes one feel some sort of mercy for you: but if [Page 59]you once come to be obstinate, and persist in lying, why then you'll have no friend to speak a kind word for you."

"Indeed—indeed," replied poor Pekin, almost suffocated with the violence of her grief, "I know no more about the picture than you do; and as to a guinea, I never had such a thing in my life. Oh pray, dear gentlemen," she continued, "pray don't let my god-mama think so hardly of me. Oh! I shall die, if she thinks I could do such a wicked thing."

"Thinks!" exclaimed Mrs. Roper, "she shall more than think, I assure you, for she shall know it this moment, I pro­mise you;—yes, and your friend Mrs. Fowler, and all the town shall know it." So saying, she turned towards the door with an intent of putting her threats into execution.

Frantic with terror, and agonized with dread, the wretched supplicant caught her by the gown, and in the most moving ac­cents besought her pity. It was with the greatest difficulty that her hands were se­parated from Mrs. Roper's drapery, who, the moment she felt herself at liberty, ran out of the room, desiring the crier to re­main there, and watch the little wretch.

[Page 60]Mrs. Cavendish was just informing Mrs. Fowler of an amiable trait in her god-daughter's conduct, when Mrs. Roper entered, and in a tone of manifest pleasure and exultation, exclaimed—"Well, sister! I believe you'll allow I am a true pro­phetess!—A fine kettle of fish this is! but, however, 'tis only what I have long ex­pected—long expected, I assure you, Mrs. Fowler," said she, turning and addressing herself to that lady: and she then related the whole circumstance with such exagge­rations as she thought most calculated to call forth her sister's indignation.

Mrs. Cavendish listened to the recital with a mixture of pain, regret, and asto­nishment, whilst poor Matilda burst into an agony of tears, and besought her mama not to condemn poor Pekin without al­lowing her an opportunity of endeavour­ing to exculpate herself.

"That she can never do, my beloved girl," replied Mrs. Cavendish; "the cir­cumstances are too strong against her; and I would really spare myself the mortifica­tion of beholding her contrition and re­morse, because an action of this kind proves to me they would not be perma­nent. Poor lost child!" she continued, [Page 61]"I declare I am more distressed at the idea of what a dreadful end she must come to, than I am at my own disappointment. What to do with her I know not; and it will require some time for me to reflect upon the best method to adopt. In my house she must not stay, even until I have resol­ved upon her future destination."

"Let her come to me," said Mrs. Ro­per; "for though the idea of opening my doors to a confirmed thief, is not the plea­santest thing in the world, yet to oblige you, my dearest sister, I would submit to any inconvenience."

"You are very good," replied Mrs. Cavendish; "but I know Charlotte's aversion to the poor child too well to al­low her an opportunity of insulting her; for though she is fallen, she must not be trampled upon."

"I will take her," said Mrs. Fowler; "and Clark shall go for her the back way, and by that means, my dear friend, you will avoid the interview you seem to dread."

When Clark arrived at Mrs. Caven­dish's, she was astonished at the tale that met her ear, yet soon began to think with the rest of the servants, that there was some artifice at the bottom, and that poor [Page 62]little Pekin would be proved innocent at last; they therefore embraced the child with tenderness, and pretending that her god-mama had sent for her to Mrs. Fow­ler's, easily persuaded her to accompany Clark; but had she imagined she was to return no more, not any thing but force would have made her quit the house.

When Mrs. Fowler informed her she was to reside with her until her banefac­tress could think of some plan for her future support, her grief was so excessive, and her expressions of innocence so strong, that Mrs. Fowler began to doubt the truth of the circumstance that had been alleged against her, and her worthy husband went to the jeweller, to inquire particulars.

The man's account increased his suspi­cion, and at all events he was determined to see the girl who had sold the bracelet; with much difficulty he discovered her abode, and by the united aid of threats and promises, soon drew from her the in­telligence he wanted: then sending his servant for a post-chaise, he insisted upon her accompanying him back that evening to Kingston. He ordered the postillion to drive to Mrs. Roper's lodgings; but not finding her at home, they followed her [Page 63]to Mrs. Cavendish's house. As soon as he alighted from the carriage, he took his companion by the arm, and without wait­ing to have his name announced, walked unexpectedly into the drawing room.

"It is rather a late hour, Madam," said he, "to introduce a London visitor; but when suspicion can be removed, and guilt detected, I think we have no right to attend to ceremony." Then darting a fierce look at Mrs. Roper—"As to you, Madam," said he, "introduction is un­necessary, as this young woman is your old acquaintance."

Unable to support the expected expla­nation, she arose from her seat, and catching Charlotte by the hand, said— "come child, let us quit this hated house, where we have all our lives received in­sult and neglect:" so saying, she bounced out of the room, leaving Mrs. Cavendish petrified with astonishment.

Mr. Fowler then made a brief recital of the circumstances that have been rela­ted, which were corroborated by the girl's testimony; who declared, she would not have taken the picture for twenty half crowns, instead of one, could she have known the wickedness of the plot.

[Page 64]Mr. Fowler could hardly dissuade Mrs. Cavendish from going that night to the rectory, for the purpose of restoring her beloved god-daughter to the place she had formerly held in her affections; and be­fore eight o'clock the next morning she pressed her to her bosom, and expressed her concern for the injustice she had done her, and promised never again to be bias­sed by the insinuations of the artful, or the invention of the interested.

Little Pekin's joy was as violent as her grief, and the tears she shed at being re­stored to her god-mama's favour, were nearly as abundant as those which accom­panied her disgrace. Matilda's happiness was equally sincere; and, to complete their felicity, a letter was delivered to Mrs. Cavendish, informing her that Mrs. Roper had taken a final leave of Kingston, and intended residing with her elder bro­ther, where she expected to receive the payment of her annuity.



ON a tempestuous night, in the dreary month of December Sir George Clif­ford's attention was withdrawn from the fictitious woes of the heroine of a favourite romance, which he was then perusing, by the real tones of supplication and dis­tress.

Sir George's heart was composed of such susceptible materials, that it was im­pressed with pity by the voice of sorrow, and ringing the bell with an effort of vio­lence, he desired the butler would take a lantern and discover whence the sounds proceeded.

The man obeyed, and returned in a few minutes, leading in a venerable looking figure, whose whitened locks seemed to claim respect, and whose extreme distress demanded sympathy; big drops of sor­row rolled copiously down his aged cheeks, [Page 66]and deep groans issued from his labour­ing bosom!

"My venerable friend," said the ami­able Sir George, taking the old man's withered hand, "your misfortune's, I fear, have been of an afflictive kind; but here, be assured, you shall find a shelter from them. Compose your sorrows, re­strain your griefs, and learn to bow sub­missively to the will of Heaven!"

"Generous stranger!" replied the old man, endeavouring to check the rising sigh that burst involuntarily from his tor­tured breast;" "how much am I indebted to your hospitality, and how greatly am I comforted by your compassion! my woes, indeed, are heavy and oppressive; because the hand that wounds, ought to have shielded me from them! but for your be­nevolence, the lamp of life, which nature shortly must extinguish, had been put out by accident; for having wandered out of my path, and not being able to discern my way, I had inevitably walked into the pond, not far distant from the house, had not my dog's sagacity discovered the wa­ter, and his fidelity induced him to snatch me from it by the flap of the coat. Still unable to perceive my danger, yet convin­ced I was surrounded by it, I thought my [Page 67]only method of escaping was to utter those complaints which called forth your com­passion, and have been the means of pro­ving that virtue and humanity are still residents upon earth!"

At the close of this speech the poor creature's strength seemed quite exhaust­ed, and, leaning his head upon his hand, he for some moments appeared absorbed in thought. The butler in that time re­entered with refreshments, which Sir George pressed his guest to partake of, with an urgency of manner that would not suffer a refusal; and whilst the venerable old man satisfied the wants of nature, he expressed his gratitude to his amiable host in terms that proved him of no common race.

A bed was ordered to be immediately prepared: and upon the stranger's expres­sing a wish to begin the relation of his story, Sir George besought him to com­pose his spirits, and leave the painful task to a future period. "You are old, my good sir" said that estimable man, "and I perceive you are unfortunate; you need not, therefore, wish for stronger claims upon my compassion, and I have only to assure you that you may rely upon my friendship."

[Page 68]The old man's tears flowed afresh, though the channel which supplied them had taken a different course; and, after re­peating his acknowledgments, and expa­tiating upon the goodness of Heaven in directing his footsteps to the abode of be­nevolence, he requested permission to retire to his own apartment, promising to impart his history on the following morning.

As it was Sir George's orders that the stranger should not be awakened by any obtrusive civility in the servants, and as nature was perfectly exhausted both by bodily and mental exertions, he slept soundly until past nine o'clock, and did not enter the breakfast parlour until Sir George and his son Edward had just finished their morning repast.

After the usual salutations of the day were over, and Sir George had made some fresh tea for his venerable guest, he desired his son to quit the room, imagin­ing the old man would net choose to enter upon his story in the presence of a boy.

But Mr. Middleton (which was the stranger's name) turning to Sir George, said, "If I may presume to make a re­quest, it is, that your son, Sir George, may hear the story of my misfortunes; [Page 69]and may he," continued he, clasping his hands, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, "be impressed with an abhorrence of those vices which have brought me to my present misery! and, whilst he pities my misfortunes, may his breast glow with filial tenderness, veneration, and esteem!

Edward, who loved a story with a greater degree of fondness than most boys, heard the stranger's request with evident marks of satisfaction, and addres­sing his father in a tone of persuasion, said, "Do, I entreat you, papa, suffer me to stay; I assure you I'll sit quite still, and not interrupt the gentleman."

"If I can give you pleasure, or afford you instruction, my dear boy," replied Sir George Clifford, "I always experience sincere gratification in so doing, and I hope you will attend to what you hear with a resolution of endeavouring to be­nefit by the relation."—Edward promised to fulfil his father's wishes, and as soon as the servant had taken away the breakfast apparatus, Mr. Middleton began his his­tory in the following words:



I am the younger son of an ancient and respectable family in the north of Eng­land; and, as my father wished my elder brother to support the name with that de­gree of consequence which had ever been attached to it, I was sent at an early age to try my fortune in the East-Indies. My mother died at giving me birth, and my father had three daughters by a second wife, who long before my departure from England had so far attracted his affection from the children of the former marriage, that except for Frank, which was his el­dest son's name, he seemed to feel neither tenderness nor anxiety.

[Page 71]Upon my first arrival in the East-Indies, I generally received a few lines by every packet: but instead of breathing the affec­tion of a parent, or the solicitude of a friend, they merely contained a slight ac­count of his health, &c. and a caution to be prudent in the management of my sa­lary; and in less than two years all inter­course between us was suspended; for though I wrote by every packet, I never received a line in the course of five-and-twenty years.

In that period I had not only amassed a comfortable, but a splendid fortune; and resolved to return to England for the purpose of enjoying it. I had, unfortu­nately, remitted vast sums to an eminent banker, and when I arrived in town, I had the mortification of hearing that he had become a bankrupt about six weeks be­fore that period, and that hundreds were involved in the dreadful ruin. Happily I had still property enough remaining in my own hands to enable me to enjoy the com­forts, though not the luxuries of life; but I resolved, before I fixed upon my future resting place, to trace out my family with­out disclosing my real situation. I there­fore [...]rew myself into the York post-coach, left my servant at the inn, and in a [Page 72]short time reached the place of my na­tivity. My father, I heard, had been dead some years, and my brother Frank was in possession of the estate; my other brother was also dead, and my mother-in-law and her three daughters were all married and settled in London.

Middleton-Hall is a large Gothic build­ing, situated in one of the most beautiful, though remote parts of Yorkshire, and about two miles distant from a neighbour­ing town. As I was anxious to make tri [...]l of a relation's disposition whom I had not seen for many years, I dressed myself particularly plain, hired a boy to carry a small leather trunk which contain­ed my wardrobe, and walked anxiously towards the hall. I was received at the well-known gate by an imperious puppy, who, imagining by my appearance that I was some needy dependant, would scarce­ly inform my whether his master was at home: at length, with some difficulty, I obtained the wished-for intelligence, and by begging and intreaty got myself [...] as a person from Indi [...] ▪ who [...] [...]o [...]sequence [...] from [...]." [Page 73]haughty, insolent, and presumptuous.— Our persons were totally forgotten by each other, and therefore I gave a circumstan­tial detail of the banker's failure, and my own misfortunes, without giving him a suspicion of my own identity, and conclu­ded by saying his brother was in London, anxious to fold him to his fraternal bosom, and convinced that he would not only commiserate his misfortunes, but endea­vour to prevent him from suffering by their weight.

I will not, my dear Sir, trespass upon your time, or wound your feelings, by re­lating my cruel brother's reply; suffice it to say, it was inhuman as a relation, and disgraceful as a man;—and induced me to quit his abode, resolving never more to have any intercourse with so bad a cha­racter, though not before I had disclosed my name, and the real situation of my affairs.

On my return to London, I saw a villa in Devonshire advertised to be sold, and pleased with the plan I became its purcha­ser. Soon after my establishment in my new abode, I became acquainted with a neighbouring gentleman whose family consisted of three daughters and four sons; the eldest of the former was at once [Page 74]attractive, amiable, and engaging: and though there was so great a disparity in our years, I soon discovered that I had made an impression on her heart; in short, Sir, we were very soon married; and if perfect happiness is to be met with on earth, I am the man who once enjoyed it!—Cruel reverse! Dreadful vicissitude! —But I will proceed with my narration without digression, or taking a retrospect of my own misfortunes.

In less than a twelvemonth after my marriage, my lovely Emily blest me with a pledge of her affection, and my felicity was unbounded; but, alas! our joys were of short duration, though our miseries are permanent! My loved Emily was snatched from me in the prime of life, at the time our little darling most wanted her mater­nal tenderness. Mr. Cleverly, which was her father's name, soon followed the ob­ject of my affection, and the rest of the family removed to London. The society of my little William was at once a solace for my grief, and an amusement for my mind; and my fondness increased beyond the bounds of prudence. Naturally high-spirited, he required restraint; but my tenderness was so violent, I could not bear to see him unhappy; his resemblance [Page 75]to his beloved mother increased with his years; but, alas! how different were they both in nature and disposition! To send him to school was impossible; I, therefore, engaged a gentleman as his tutor and in­structor. The total unrestraint which had hitherto been put upon his inclinations, made him both daring and untractable, and in less than six months the worthy man requested to decline the office he had engaged in. At length by promises on my part not to interfere between him and his pupil, and the attracting charm of an increased salary, Mr. Pemberton con­sented to remain an inmate in a family, the head of which he must both pity and despise. His friendship for me, how­ever, induced him to stay until my son had reached his fourteenth year, when the arrogance of his behaviour, and the inso­lence of his conduct, absolutely compelled him to resign the post, and leave his un­thinking charge to the practice of his own devices, though not without repeatedly conjuring me to conquer my weakness, and seed my son to school; prophetically pointing out the dreadful consequence of my not doing it.

Upon the departure of his preceptor, William's temper submitted to no con­trol, [Page 76]and too late I felt my error. His person, I before observed, was like his mo­ther's; but to all the sensibility of female softness was united a manly grace that at once attracted and delighted the beholder. Oh! how often have I gazed with parental fondness on the beauteous false deception, until I imagined a form so striking, and a face so manly, could never be capable of an act of baseness!

Amidst the various amusements which my son was fond of as he grew up, dan­cing bore the greatest pre-eminence; and there was not an assembly within twenty miles round that he did not make a point of constantly frequenting. The graces of his person, and the excellence he had at­tained in that accomplishment, rendered him an universal favourite with the la­dies; and, in addition to his other follies, was the means of inspiring him with vanity and conceit.

Within a few miles of our residence lived a Scotch earl, whose pride and po­verty were equally conspicuous; and the eldest daughter of this great personage, forgetful of her noble blood, deaf to her father's strong remonstrances, and lost to a sense of female delicacy, proposed to my son (whom she had frequently danced [Page 77]with at different balls) an elopement to Scotland.

Elated at the spirited proposal, and de­lighted at the prospect of marrying a title, my headstrong, unthinking boy, eagerly grasped the splendid phantom, and ma­king a variety of excuses for requiring a large supply of money, set off in a chaise and four the following morning, without giving me the slightest idea of the de­structive scheme he was going to adopt. The young lady had been more explicit: for a letter left upon her dressing table in­formed her father, that unable to conquer the strength of her attachment, and con­vinced that she should never obtain his concurrence, she had resolved to please her eye, though she might lower her con­sequence.

The old earl, imagining I had been privy to this transaction, sent me a letter full of invectives; upon the receipt of which, I not only explained my total ig­norance of the affair, but promised to make such an establishment for my son, as should enable him to support his wife in perfect gentility. Softened by my conciliating letter, and convinced be was unable to give his daughter any fortune, [Page 78]his Lordship called to apologize for his petulence.

In a few days the young people returned, and Lady Lucy was introduced as the wife of my beloved William. I forgot to mention, that a few years after the death of my Emily, the banker, who had been in possession of so large a share of my property, was, by the death of a distant relation, heir to an estate of a vast amount, and had justice and generosity enough to vest ten thousand pounds in the funds in my name, by way of compen­sation for the losses I had sustained.

This sum I settled immediately upon my son, with permission to consider my house entirely as his own, reserving to myself two separate apartments, and re­taining my old servants, chusing still to be considered as their master.

My daughter-in-law soon proved that she thought me rather an intruder in my own family; and as to my son, I never saw him but at the hour of dining. Plea­sure, gaiety, and dissipation, occupied the time of both; and the little affection he once felt for his father, was converted into neglect, indifference, and scorn.

Several months passed tediously away, whilst grief and age seemed jointly to [Page 79]hasten the approach of that period which was to end my sorrows—when a sudden transition took place in the conduct of my son and daughter; indifference was con­verted into kindness, and neglect into zeal and attention. The satisfaction which their altered mode of conduct conveyed to my mind, produced a visible effect upon my health, and I seemed to have taken a new lease of life.

In one of those confidential conversa­tions which filled my breast with glad­ness, my son expressed a desire of ma­king some alteration in the house, and after a little embarassment, intreated me to let him be considered as the master of it, as it would save me the trouble of looking into the domestic concerns.

Unable to refuse a request of one I lo­ved so tenderly, I put him in possession of what he required, and in an evil hour rendered myself dependant upon him for the means of existence. Whilst the deeds were drawing up for this fatal purpose, both Lady Lucy and himself doubled their attentions; but no sooner were they com­pleted, and they were in full possession of my estate and property, than the mask dropped, and I awoke to wretchedness. The first step of filial authority which my [Page 80]ungrateful son took upon himself, was to discharge my faithful Trincard, a fellow whom I had brought from India, under pretence that he was too old to render me any service, and too bigotted to my inter­est, to wish well to his present master.

To describe the various methods that were adopted to degrade and humble me, is impossible! at length, worn with grief, a prey to misery, and the victim of mis­guided affection, I resolved to quit an abode which was rendered the seat of wretchedness, and endeavour to trace out the connexions of my long-lost Emily. For this purpose I set out on Friday morning, intending, if possible, to walk to London; (for since the unfortunate day that I gave my property out of my own hands, I have never received a sixpence from my worthless son, and half a guinea is the amount of my purse)—I had ima­gined I could reach the neighbouring town, when night overtook me, and Pro­vidence directed me to this hospitable abode.—"And now, young gentleman," said Mr. Middleton, turning to Edward, "you have heard a lesson to caution you against disobedience; and if ever you feel a repugnance to fulfil the injunctions of your amiable parents, think of my misfor­tunes, [Page 81]and the misery I have endured, and check the impulse of disrespect and disobedience. Vice is a plant of a regular and progressive growth, and never rises by sudden transitions—stop it as it first appears, or the pestilential weed corrupts the soil, and totally destroys the tender bud of virtue."—Here his emotions checked his proceeding, and he burst into a flood of tears.

"I have to thank you, my dear Sir," said Sir George, "for a tale which has both roused my indignation, and called forth my compassion; but if the soothings of friendship can in any measure compen­sate for the loss of filial affection, that consolation you may fully claim; my house, my purse, and my servants, are at your command; and here you must spend the residue of your days; consider me as your son, your brother, or your friend, and in all those capacities you will find me ready to prove my sincerity, and evince my esteem.



FORSAKEN by her friends, neglected by her family, and lost to every social enjoy­ment, the Hon. Mrs. Montgomery, at the age of eight-and-twenty, retired from the world with two lovely boys, and became the inhabitants of a solitary tower, which was situated in one of the most romantic parts of Scotland. This tower, which for years had been falling into decay, had often at­tracted her observation and attention, when parties of pleasure had been formed from Lord Macdonald's seat, to view the wonderfull water-fall of Coralin, which, dashing over precipices more than an hun­dred feet high, was at once an object of wonder and sublimity.

[Page 83]Lord Macdonald was one of those rigid fathers who falsely imagine that to obtain respect they must practise austerity, and who, self-conceited of his own supremacy, would not suffer any part of his family to dispute it. The unfortunate Lady Mac­donald had too often felt the inutility of attempting to oppose his will, to persevere in a mode of conduct which was always attended with heartfelt misery, and at length patiently submitted to her Lord's caprices, without presuming either to re­pine at their injustice, or murmur at their severity. In the society of her loved Louisa, she found an antidote for her dis­tresses, and a balm for her sorrows; and when encircling her lovely form within her maternal arms, would totally forget her own misfortunes. Beauty, which ought always to be considered a secondary charm, Louisa possessed in an eminent degree; but the perfections of her mind infinitely transcended those of her person; for she was gentle, humane, liberal, and benevolent. The accomplishments she had acquired were equal to the virtues she possessed, and Glasgow resounded with the praises of her perfections. Lady Mac­donald, proud of possessing a daughter so deservedly admired, anticipated the hope [Page 84]of seeing her united to a man who would value her for her merits, and love her for her virtues.

Far different were the hopes and ex­pectations of her Lord, who, disappointed in not having an heir to his estate, resolved to marry his daughtet to some man of high birth, and remote pedigree; that if he could not perpetuate his name, he might exalt his nobility; and the Marquis of Clyde, a nobleman of immense posses­sions and high honours, was the man des­tined to become the husband of his beau­teous daughter.

Had the marquis possessed one virtue, or acquired one accomplishment, the gentle Louisa might not have shrunk with such an excess of horror from her father's proposal; but when she compared the dis­gusting manners of her future husband, with the insinuating elegance of her cou­sin Montgomery, her heart sickened at the comparison, and she, who had never, in the slightest instance, presumed to dis­pute her father's authority, ventured to inform him that she could never become Marchioness of Clyde.

At this intelligence his rage and indig­nation were unbounded; and Lady Mac­donald, perceiving that it could never be [Page 85]appeased but by her daughter's sacrificing her present and future happiness, by an union with a man she despised, at length gave her consent to a private marriage with the object of her affection, with whom she immediately left the kingdom, and embarked for America, where he flattered himself he could live much cheaper than in England.

Ten years of perfect bliss flew rapidly away, in which time the amiable Mrs. Montgomery became the mother of two lovely boys, and was indulging the hope of returning to England and obtaining the pardon of her enraged father, when she was destined to sustain the most heart-rending misfortune; for the object of her increasing tenderness was suddenly snatched from her by the violence of an epidemic disease; and it was with the ut­most difficulty the lives of her children were prevented falling a sacrifice to the same fatal disorder.

As soon as Mrs. Montgomery had dis­posed of her effects at Charlestown, her­self, two children, and a female servant, embarked in the first ship that was bound for Scotland, where she arrived without the occurrence of any particular circum­stance during the voyage. All her endea­vours [Page 86]to trace her father's residence, or find out his abode, were fruitless; her mind, naturally inclined to the pensive cast, became habitually melancholy; and the very cool reception she met with from those persons who had once been proud of her acquaintance, at length induced her to fix her abode in the romantic situation I have before described.

Mrs. Montgomery was too tenderly attached to her children to support the idea of a separation: yet she was convin­ced that they required more instruction than she was capable of affording them, (as Malcolm had just entered his eighth, and Duncan his seventh year) and she, therefore, engaged a young man, who had been usher in a capital school, as pre­ceptor to them, and had the gratification of perceiving that both their minds and manners were improved by his talents.

As Mr. Maclean's father and mother resided within twelve miles of the Tower, he always passed Saturday and Sunday in their society, and returned to his pupils on the Monday morning; and during his absence Malcolm and his brother used to amuse shemselves by fishing in the [...]de, and in visiting the little hovels of the Scotch peasantry within the vicinity of [Page 87]their mother's dwelling, to distribute to each some proof of her liberality, and some mark of her benevolence.

Although nothing could be more oppo­site than the dispositions of the boys, yet there never were two brothers who lived in greater harmony, or more readily sa­crificed their own inclinations for the sake of promoting each other's happiness. Malcolm was grave, studious, and fond of solitude; whilst Duncan was volatile, inattentive, and delighted in variety; yet as both possessed an uncommon share of good nature, they had more satisfaction in promoting each other's pleasures than in the gratification of their own. Duncan would frequently lament the retired life his mother had made choice of, and anti­cipate the happiness he should enjoy when old enough to be sent to the university of Glasgow, of which his tutor informed him he was intended to become a member— whilst Malcolm would declare he had no greater idea of happiness than what he derived from the society of two persons so tenderly beloved, in relieving the dis­tresses his fellow creatures, and in ad­miring the stupendous works of nature, which were so wonderfully displayed around their dwelling.

[Page 88]It was Mrs. Montgomery's constant practice to enumerate the qualities of her lamented husband in the presence of the children, and to inspire them with a wish of emulating his virtues; but their grand­father's name was never mentioned, nei­ther had they an idea of his exalted rank. They were early taught to despise that greatness which could only boast of here­ditary distinction, and to consider superi­ority of birth as only entitled to respect when it was attended with superior merit "The benefit of society," she would often say, "demanded the introduction of sub­ordination; but the human mind, feeling the influence of its own independence, spurned the bondage of oppressive great­ness—it may easily he led to bend to power, my beloved boys," said that intel­ligent woman; "but it rebels at the bare idea of compulsion. If you would be loved and respected by your dependants, let your conduct prove to them that you deserve it; and instead of forcing them to the performance of their duty, convince them that you are sensible of the services they do you, and in return endeavour to promote their happiness; by that mode of behaviour you will find their zeal strength­en, [Page 89]their affection increase, and their res­pect amount nearly to veneration."

These precepts of kindness and bene­volence were made doubly impressive by the force of example: and nothing but a naturally corrupted mind could have ren­dered the two Montgomerys unamiable. Every thing they saw—every thing they heard, was ultimately calculated to pro­mote the love of virtue; and though their mother thought it necessary to convince them that there was such a thing as vice in the world, yet they would listen to her accounts of its practice, with an incredu­lity of countenance that seemed abso­lutely to indicate a doubt of its existence.

As his pupils advanced in years, Mr. Maclean saw the necessity of introducing them into that world of which they must shortly become members, and pointed out to Mrs. Montgomery the hazard they would run in being placed at college be­fore they had acquired some knowledge of mankind. "There is as much differ­ence between books and men, my dear madam," he would say, "as there is be­tween the inhabitants of one country, and those of another; and it is absolutely ne­cessary that your sons should become acquainted with both."

[Page 90]Convinced of the propriety of these sentiments, Mrs. Montgomery was resol­ved to be guided by them, and taking a small house near the cathedral in Glas­gow, removed thither on the day Malcolm entered his fourteenth year.

Although the boys had accompanied their tutor to Glasgow in two or three visits which he had paid his brother, (who was one of the canons of that ancient cathedral) yet their time was so short, that they were unable to gratify their cu­riosity by a survey of a place that appear­ed to abound with wonders; every thing, therefore, was new; every thing was asto­nishing; and the variety of questions which were put to their mother and tutor, proved at once the simplicity of their minds, and that thirst for information which nature has implanted for the wisest purpose.

Although it was contrary to Mr. Mac­lean's interest that his pupils should be sent to school, yet he strenuously advised Mrs. Montgomery to that mode of con­duct; and at length it was agreed that they should pass their mornings with Mr. Macnamara, who kept an eminent acade­my, and the afternoons should be devoted to receiving the private instruction of [Page 91]Mr. Maclean, whom Mrs. Montgomery persuaded to remain as part of her family.

Upon entering the school, where not less than ninety boys were assembled, Malcolm at first felt rather embarassed; but the natural freedom of Duncan's man­ners made him perfectly easy upon the oc­casion. They were soon called up to be examined by Mr. Macnamara, that he might judge in what class they ought to be placed; and the perfect ease with which they answered his interrogations, and their very great forwardness both in the Greek and Latin languages, procured them not only an eminent situation, but immediate attention from many boys much bigger than themselves. The fa­cility with which they performed exer­cises, and the ease with which they learned their tasks, frequently induced the other boys to apply to their assistance, and the Montgomerys became universal favou­rites.

The first thing that called forth Mal­colm's astonishment, and roused his in­dignation, was the seeing a boy go to his schoolfellow's desk, and scribble an exer­cise all over, which he had just completed, whilst he went to the other end of the [Page 92]school to deliver a message Mr. Macna­mara had sent to one of the ushers.

"Why have you done that?" said Mal­colm to the boy, whose name was Camp­bell; "for surely it is a very ill-natured trick."—"He deserves ten times worse," replied the boy; "for he's what we call a larum, and is hated by the whole school."

"A larum!" said Malcolm, "I don't understand the meaning of the word: but if he has done you an injury, why don't you resent it openly? surely, that would be more manly."

"More manly, perhaps;" replied the boy, "but less prudent; for he would cer­tainly tell the ushers of me, and is too great a coward to fight his own battles— and larum's a nick-name for tell-tale, and he's the greatest in the school."

The truth of this account was instantly authenticated by the boy's returning to the desk, perceiving the mischief that had been done during his absence, and taking the paper up to his favourite champion the usher, who blustered violently about the school, and declared he would punish every boy in it, rather than not discover the author of so malicious a contrivance.

As soon as school was ended, the boys always retired to the play-ground, and [Page 93]the Montgomerys generally accompanied them; and one morning, after they had been about ten days members of the so­ciety, they were invited by Campbell, to join him in a scheme of robbing the hot-house of their next door neighbour, who, though it was only the latter end of spring they were informed had plenty of ripe fruit.

"Rob his hot-house!" exclaimed Mal­colm, scarcely crediting what he heard.— "What! steal the fruit!" said Duncan, in equal amazement; "why do you know you run the hazard of being hanged; and be­sides, that it is breaking the eighth com­mandment."

"Breaking the eighth fiddlestick," re­plied Campbell; "I tell ye what, when you have known old Sanderson as long as I have, you'll not think of the eighth or the ninth commandment either; for he's al­ways telling our master some tale about the boys, and has had five or six severely flogged; it is not that we want the fruit, only we know the old dog prides himself upon it, and has saved it all for a grand feast which he is going to give the heads of the college to-morrow—so come, and be enlisted, and make one of our party,"

[Page 94]'Twas in vain for Malcolm or Duncan to remonstrate; for the plan was arranged in spite of all the arguments that either their fears or their principles suggested, and they went home to dinner, shocked at such an instance of early depravity. Mal­colm was peculiarly grave, and Duncan seemed to have lost his wonted spirits. Pained at observing this sudden change, Mrs. Montgomery tenderly inquired into the cause, but could not obtain any satis­factory reply: at length being earnestly pressed by their indulgent mother, they revealed it, declaring they could never be happy at school if the boys were in the ha­bit of acting with so little principle.

Mrs. Montgomery applauded their sentiments, but gave them to understand, that the wanton pranks of an unthinking boy deserved not the severe epithet of want of principle: and at the same time told them, that retaliation ought to be a school-boy's motto, for that they made it a rule never to suffer an injury without re­turning it with four-fold interest.

"But pray, mamma," said Duncan, "is not that very wicked?"—"I should, for their sakes, my love," replied Mrs. Montgomery, "hope it is not very wicked, [Page 95]though it certainly must be allowed to be very wrong; but a school-boy's vices gene­rally proceed from want of reflection, and are therefore much more excusable than a premeditated crime."

The boys had arranged their plan with so much method, and executed it with so much skill, that the whole hot-house was stripped of its contents, and two of the finest apricots were the next day presented to the Montgomerys, who strenuously re­fused the offer, alleging, that as they were not sharers in the danger, they had no rea­son to be partakers of its reward—though in fact their real reason was, that they considered them as stolen goods, and were resolved not to share them.

Just as school was ended, and the boys had entered the play-ground, Mr. Macna­mara's servant passed, "Well! what's the best news with you, Thomas?" said one of them.—"I know of none that's good," replied the fellow.—"Do you know of any that's bad?" said the same boy.— "Yes, bad enough, Sir; for poor Ben, Dr. Sanderson's gardener, has been taken up, on suspicion of having robbed his master's hot-house, and sold the fruit."

Campbell, who had just joined them as this intelligence was communicated, turned [Page 96]as pale as death, and catching Malcolm by the arm, led him away to another part of the play-ground, and asked his advice how he ought to act. Thomas's intelligence soon spread, and before Malcolm could give his opinion, the three other boys who had been concerned in the theft, joined Campbell in equal trepidation.

One was for sending by a porter a suf­ficient sum of money to pay for the fruit, with a letter to the old doctor, assuring him of his servant's innocence. Another was for soliciting a friend to go to the jus­tice who had committed the gardner, and get him on their side; and a third was of opinion that his father would take the man to live with him as soon as he was out of confinement, and that they might easily make up money enough between them for the purpose of supporting him comfortably whilst he was in prison—but all these plans Malcolm disapproved, and advised them to wait upon the old man, acknowledge the crime, and intreat the poor gardner might immediately be libe­rated. This was at first opposed, and all declared they would as soon face a tyger.

At length it was agreed that Mr. Mac­namara should be made acquainted with the whole affair, and Malcolm was in­treated [Page 97]to undertake the office. Every thing that could be said in mitigation of the crime he thought of saying, and Mr. Macnamara heard him with much more calmness than had been expected. He or­dered the boys into close confinement, and then waited immediately upon his crab­bed neighbour, who insisted that all the boys that had been concerned in the theft, should immediately be expelled. That demand Mr. Macnamara informed him could not be complied with, but he promi­sed they should all be severely punished. —Upon finding he could not have the sa­tisfaction he demanded, the old man began abusing the school-master, declaring he was an incendiary, and had actually been at the bottom of the plan.

This unmerited impertinence provoked Mr. Macnamara so completely, that he protested he would not punish a single boy in the school, and, returning home, gave them immediate liberty; but desired them all to assemble in the school. He there entered into a long dissertation, first upon the crime, and next upon the mean­ness of robbing gardens and orchards; and after expatiating near half an hour upon the subject, he promised to forgive the re­cent outrage that had been committed, on [Page 98]condition that every boy in the school would make a solemn promise never to be guilty of such a thing again.

"I promise!—I promise!—I promise!" —was vociferated from every part of the room, and three cheers were given to the liberal-minded superior as he rose to quit it.

Time rolled rapidly away, and each day Mrs. Montgomery had the happiness of observing that her sons acquired fresh knowledge. They had been at the school upwards of a twelvemonth, when their mother determined to pass the summer vacation in her favourite Tower, as she had left some furniture in it, and an old woman whom her benevolence supported, to take care of it.

The boys were delighted to retrace the haunts of their early days, and even Mr. Maclean was pleased at the new arrange­ment. He still adopted his former plan of spending Saturday with his parents; and as Saturday was fixed for Mrs. Montgo­mery's departure from Glasgow, it was determined that he should follow on the Monday morning.

When Mrs. Montgomery first returned from America, her liberal mind endured several severe mortifications from the cool [Page 99]indifference with which she was received by the very people who courted her ac­quaintance when she appeared as the heir­ess of a nobleman of distinction; but when that nobleman had publicly declared his intention of leaving every sixpence of his fortune to a distant relation, who was to inherit his title, his daughter was then considered as a weak, infatuated young woman, who had justly exasperated her father by an alliance every way degrading to a girl of high rank; and the reception they gave her at once proved their disap­probation of her conduct, and their wish of dropping all further acquaintance. This illiberal mode of behaviour was Mrs. Montgomery's first inducement to make choice of a solitude where she would nei­ther be subject to the coldness of the inte­rested, or the impertinence of the arro­gant; and though she had never visited any of the families during the twelve months she had resided at Glasgow, yet she returned to her favourite spot with sensations of joy, pleasure, and tranquil­lity.

Lord Macdonald, who, after the death of his amiable wife, found the family mansion gloomy, dreary, and uncom­fortable, resolved to endeavour amusing [Page 100]his mind by variety of scenes, and change of place: but, still preserving an inveterate hatred against his daughter, resolved to keep his intention secret from every crea­ture except his banker, who, true to the trust reposed in him, protested ignorance of his lordship's motions whenever he was applied to by his anxious and still af­fectionate daughter.

This banker, upon Lord Macdonald's return, informed him of the inquiries which had been made, and also of Mrs. Montgomery's present abode, and said every thing in his power to promote a re­conciliation, though without effect.

As there was a great quantity of timber upon his Lordship's estate which he wished to dispose of, it was necessary for him personally to give directions; and to prevent the possibility of his daughter's knowing he was in that part of the world, he resolved to travel unattended in a hired carriage, and quit Scotland us soon as he had given the necessary orders. This resolution he put in practice a few days before Mrs. Montgomery removed to her favourite Tower: and as the two boys had rambled a great distance from it, and were climbing a barren rock for the pur­pose of beholding distant objects, they [Page 101]plainly discovered, by the help of a teles­cope, (which they always carried in their pocket) a post-chaise lying broken in the high road, from which they were about a mile distant.

Curiosity, or perhaps a better motive, induced them immediately to descend, and make the best of their way to the spot where the accident had happened; but no person was remaining near it to give them the information they were so anxious to obtain. A quantity of blood was lying in the road, and by that they traced the un­fortunate person who had met with the accident to a miserable hovel about two hundred yards distant.

As soon as they entered this wretched hut, which was merely composed of stones and dirt, they beheld a venerable looking man, about sixty, supported in the arms of a forlorn female, whilst the blood was fast issuing from a wound he had received in the temple.

"Ye hae cam in guid time, my bonny lads," cried the woman; "for my heart seekens at the sight of blude, and Sandy's gane to fetch the doctor." So saying, she laid the apparently dying man upon the earth floor, and walked into the air to recover her sickness.

[Page 102]Malcolm took the handkerchief out of his pocket, and bound it tight round the stranger's head, whilst Duncan snatched up a wooden bowl, and drew some water from a neighbouring well, with which they plentifully sprinkled the poor man's face, who in a few moments opened his eyes, and in a tone of faintness and asto­nishment exclaimed—"Where am I? What has been the matter? And why am I reduced to this forlorn situation?"— The two boys soon explained every thing, and expressed a desire that he could be removed to their mamma's abode.

"Removed!" said the stranger, "Oh that I never shall be! I feel—I feel," he continued, "that this will be my death stroke; but I deserve it. Oh, my child! could you know the situation of your wretched father, you would think him punished for all his severity!"

"Child:" repeated Malcolm: "Oh, Sir! do tell us where to find any of your connexions, and I'd run twenty miles to bring them to you." "We had better run home and tell mamma," said Dun­can: "for you know she always keeps medicines by her for the poor people, and I dare say she can do the gentleman a great deal of good."

[Page 103]"Do something, for heaven's sake!" replied the unfortunate man, "or I shall die; for I am incapable of moving any part of my body, and believe every bone in my skin is broken." Duncan did not require twice telling, but flew out of the house directly, leaving his brother to watch by the stranger's side. As his sen­ses returned, his agony increased, and his groans and complainings drew tears of sympathy from his humane companion.

In less than an hour Duncan returned, followed by Mrs. Montgomery, and a fe­male attendant laden with cordials, medi­cines, and embrocations.

The suffering stranger was still lying upon the floor, with his head raised by a bundle of coarse rags, when Mrs. Mont­gomery entered, and caught a glance of his pallid countenance. "My father!" she exclaimed, "my beloved father! and is it thus we meet?"

Roused by the sound of her well-known voice, he faintly articulated, "Oh my child!"—At this interesting moment the doctor appeared, whom Jenny's husband had been to fetch, and examining his pa­tient, said the shoulder was dislocated, and two ribs broken; but that when those were set, he might safely be removed to [Page 104]Mrs. Montgomery's dwelling; a litter was accordingly prepared, and his Lordship placed carefully upon it, and in about three hours the cavalcade arrived at the Tower. The excess of agony was so great, that a violent fever was the consequence, and his Lordship's life was absolutely des­paired of.

During that period, his daughter watch­ed him with unwearied attention and filial tenderness, and never left his bedside for a moment but to obtain that repose which wearied nature absolutely required.

Lord Macdonald, at length sensible of his daughter's merits, and shocked at re­flecting upon his own severity, sent for an attorney, and made every reparation in his power by leaving her heiress to his im­mense property, imagining it impossible he could ever recover. In that, however, he was mistaken; for his fever suddenly abated, the wound on his temple healed, and the dissevered bones perfectly united.

As soon as his Lordship was able to bear company, his grandsons were intro­duced into his presence; and whilst he bestowed upon them the fondest caresses, he could not help regretting his inability to give them his name and title.

[Page 105]At the moment when his feelings were softened by disease, and his mind subdued by tenderness, intelligence arrived of the death of that relation who must have inhe­rited the estate and title, and he resolved to solicit his sovereign to permit it to de­scend to his eldest grand-son.

The boon was immediately granted, and a patent rapidly made out for Mal­colm Montgomery, to take the name of Macdonald.

That amiable and deserving boy, in­stead of being elated by this prospect of future greatness, thought himself called upon to set a pattern of virtue, and was ten times more circumspect in his conduct than when he thought himself a mere pri­vate gentleman.

His attentions were equally divided be­tween his mother and grandfather, who resided together at the family seat. Once a year they constantly revisited the Tower, and wandered over scenes which recollec­tion made dear to them. The neighbouring poor were cherished and supported, and the gratification the boys experienced in being enabled to extend their charity, was of that heart-cheering kind which is only to be conceived by the truly bene­volent.



IN a beautiful villa, on the banks of the Medway, resided a gentleman whose name was Darnley, who had, during the early part of life, filled a post of some importance about the court, and even in its decline, preserved that elegance of manner which so peculiarly marks a finished gentleman. The loss of a be­loved wife had given a pensive cast to his features, and a seriousness to his deportment, which many people ima­gined proceeded from a haughtiness of disposition; yet nothing could be farther from Mr. Darnley's character; for he was affable, gentle, benevolent, and hu­mane.

[Page 107]His family consisted of an only sister, who, like himself, had lost the object of her tenderest affection; but who, in divi­ding her attention between her brother and his amiable children, endeavoured to forget her own misfortunes.

Mr. Darnley's fortune was sufficiently great to have enabled him to place his daughters in the first school in London, but he preferred having them under his immediate instruction; and as Mrs. Collier offered to assist him in their edu­cation, he resolved for some years not to engage a governess, as Nurse Chapman was one of those worthy creatures to whose care he could securely trust them.

An old friend of Mr. Darnley's had [...] bought a house at Rochester, [...] gentleman and his sister were [...] pass a few days there: and as [...] rather too big for the nurse's [...] Mrs. Collier resolved to [...] party, leaving Sophia, [...], under that good [...].

It [...] wish that the young [...] rise early, and take a long [...] morning before break­fast; [...] strictly ordered never [Page 108]to go beyond their own grounds, unless their aunt or father accompanied them. This order they had frequently endea­noured to persdade Nurse Chapman to disregard; but faithful to the trust repo­sed in her, she always resisted their ur­gent entreaties.

The morning after Mr. Darnley went to Rochester, the poor woman found herself thoroughly indisposed, and whol­ly incapable of rising at the accustomed hour. The children, however, were dressed for walking, and the nurse-maid charged not to beyond the shrubbery, and they all sallied out in high good hu­mour.

"Now, Susan," said Sophia (as soon as they entered the garden) "this is the only opportunity you may ever have [...] obliging us; do let us walk the villag [...] [...] then you know you can call and [...] father and mother."

"Law, Miss!" replied [...] you know 'tis as much [...] is worth if Nurse Chapm [...] [...] it out."

"Find it out, indeed [...]; "how do you think sh [...] [...] out? Come do let us go, the [...], good creature,"—"Yes, dea [...] [...], do [Page 109]let us go," said Eliza, (skipping on before them) "and I'll shew you the way: for I walked there last summer with papa."

Whether it was the wish of obliging the young ladies, or the desire of seeing her parents, I cannot pretend to say; but in a luckless hour Susan yielded, and the party soon reached the village.

Susan's mother was delighted at seeing her, and highly honoured by the young ladies' presence. "Oh sweet, dear crea­tures!" said the old woman, "I must get something for them to eat after their long walk, and my oven's quite hot, and I can bake them a little cake in a quarter of an hour, and I'll milk Jenny in ten minutes." —The temptation of hot cake and new milk was not to be withstood; and Susan began taking down some smart china cups, which were arranged in form upon the mantle-piece, and carefully dusted them for the young ladies' use.

Eliza followed the old woman into the cow-house, and began asking a thousand questions, when her attention was sud­denly attracted by the appearance of a ta [...]e lamb, who went bleating up to its [...]stress, with a view of asking it's accus­tomed breakfast.

[Page 110]"You must wait a little, Billy," said the woman, "and let your better's be sar­ved before you—don't you see that we have got gentlefolks to breakfast with us this morning?"

Eliza was so delighted with the beauty of the little animal, that she wanted to kiss it, and attempted to restrain it for that purpose, whilst Billy, ungrateful for her intended kindness, gave a sudden spring and frisked away. Eliva followed, in hopes of being able to catch him, but he ran baaing along into the high road.

A woman, whose appearance was de­scriptive of poverty, but whose smiling countenance indicated good nature, at that moment happened to pass, and ac­costing Eliza in a tone of familiarity, said, "That's not half such a pretty lamb, Miss, as I have got at home, and not a quarter so tame; for if you did but say Bob, he'd follow you from one end of the town to the other; and then he'll fetch and carry like a dog, stand up on his hind legs, when my husband says up for the thing, and play more tricks than a young kitt [...]"

"Oh, the pretty creaturel" rep [...] Eliza, "how I should like to see it!"

"Well, come along with me, Mi [...] said the woman, "for I only lives [...] [Page 111]across the next field; but you must run as hard as you can, because my husband is going to work, and he generally takes Bob with him."

"Well, make haste then," said Eliza; "for I must not stay half a minute."— "Give me your hand, Miss," replied the woman; "for we can run faster together; but there goes my husband, I declare: and there's Bob as usual skipping on be­fore."

"Where? where?" exclaimed Eliza, stretching out her little neck as far as she possibly could, to see if she could discern the lamb. "You are not tall enough," said the artful creature; "but let me lift you up, Miss, and then I dare say you'll see them; and instantly catching her up, she cried out, "look directly towards the steeple, Miss; but I'll run with you in my arms, and I'll warrant we'll soon overtake them."

Eliza looked, but looked in vain; and perceiving the woman had soon carried her out of sight of the cottage, begged she would set her down, as she dare not go any farther.

The vile creature was absolutely inca­bable of replying, for her breath was [...]early exhausted by the rapidity of the [Page 112]motion, and Eliza continued entreating her to stop, and struggled violently to elude her grasp. At length, after a quar­ter of an hour's exertion, the woman found herself incapable of proceeding, and stop­ped suddenly, sat down on a bank, keeping tight hold of Eliza's arm, who cried dreadfully, and besought her to let her go.

"Let you go!" she replied; "what, after all the plague I've had to knab you? No, no, you don't catch me at that, I pro­mise you; but be a good girl, and don't cry, and then you may see Bob by and by, perhaps."

"Oh, my sister's! my sister's! let me go to my sister's!" cried the child.—

"I'll find plenty of sister's for you, in a few days," said the vile creature; "but they won't know you in them there fine clothes, so let's pull them off in a minute, and then we'll have another race after Bob." So saying, she stripped off the white frock, hat, and tippet; the rest of the things shared the same fate, and she was compelled to put on some old rags, which the inhuman creature took out of a bag she carried under her petticoat: then taking a bottle of liquid from the same place, she instantly began washing poor [Page 113]Eliza's face with it, and notwithstanding all her remonstrances, cut her beautiful hair close to her head. Thus metamor­phosed, it would have been impossible even for Mr. Darnley to have known his child, and they proceeded onwards until her little legs would carry her no farther.

At this period they were overtaken by the Canterbury waggon, and for a mere trifle the driver consented to let them ride to London. Eliza's tears continued to flow, but she dare not utter a complaint, as her inhuman companion protested she would break every bone in her skin, if she ventured to make the least noise.

When they arrived in town she was dragged (for walk she was unable) to a mi­serable hole down several steps, where they gave her some bread and butter to eat, and then desired her to go to bed. The bed, if such it might be called, was little else than a bundle of rags thrown into a corner of the room with a dirty blanket spread across it, and there she was left by her inhuman seducer to mourn her mis­fortune, and lament having disregarded her papa's injunctions. The next morn­ing she was forced to rise the moment it was light, and to walk as far as her little legs would carry her before they stopped [Page 114]any where to take any refreshment. The next night was passed in a barn, and about five o'clock the third afternoon they knocked at the door of a neat looking cot­tage, where nine or ten children were sitting in a little room making lace.

"Why, Peggy," said the woman, as she opened the door, "I thought you never would have comed again! however, I see you have got me a hand at last, and God knows I'm enough in want of her; for two of my brats have thought proper to fall sick, and I've more to do than ever I had in my life."—On the following day Eliza's filthy rags were all taken off, and she was dressed in a tidy brown stuff gown, a nice clean round-eared cap, and a little coloured bib and apron; and she was ordered, if any person asked her name, to say it was Biddy Bullen, and that she was niece to the woman who employed her. The severity with which all this wretch's commands were enforced, wholly prevented any of the helpless vic­tims who were under her protection from daring to disobey them; and though most of them were placed under her care by the same vile agent who had decoyed Eliza, yet they all were tutored to relate similar untruths.

[Page 115]But I now think it is high time to carry my little readers back to the cottage scene, where Susan was arranging things in order for breakfast, and Sophia and her sister were anxiously watching the moment when the cake was pronounced completely ready.

The old woman soon returned with the milk pail on her arm, and Susan eagerly demanded, "Where's Miss Eliza?"— "Oh, the pretty creature," replied her mother, "she'll be here in a minute, I warrant her; but she's gone skipping after our Billy, and two sweet innocents they are together."—She then went to the oven, produced the cake, and began but­tering it with all expedition, whilst Sophia joyously ran to the door of the cow-house, and began loudly calling her sister Eliza. No answer being returned, Susan began to feel alarmed, but the young ladies told her not to be frightened, as they knew it was only one of Eliza's pranks. But, alas! too soon were they convinced it was no joke, but that some dreadful misfortune must have happened.

"Miss Eliza! Miss Eliza!" was vo­ciferated through the village, not only by Susan and her mother, but by all the neighbours who had heard of the calamity, [Page 116]whilst her sisters ran about frantic with grief, crying, "Eliza, my love! my dar­ling! Oh! if you are hid, for pity's sake speak!"

Nurse Chapman got up about half past nine, and hearing the children were not returned from their walk, sent the house­maid directly after them.

The garden, the shrubbery, and the lawn, were all searched without success; and just as Betty was returning to inform the nurse they were not to be found, she perceived Susan and the two children enter a little green gate at the bottom of the shrubbery.

"Where's Miss Eliza?" called Betty, in a voice as loud as she could articulate.

"God knows! God knows!" replied the careless girl, sobbing so loud she could scarcely speak. "How! Where! When!" said the other—"Why poor nurse will go quite stark, staring mad!" By that time the poor woman had quitted her room, and walked into the garden to see what had become of her little charges; and not directly missing Eliza from the group which were then fast approaching towards the house, she called out, "Come, my dear children, come along; for I thought you would never have returned [Page 117]again;"—and observing Eliza was not with them, she continued; "But, Susan, what's become of my sweet bird? Where's my little darling, Miss Eliza?"

"Oh, nurse! nurse!" said Sophia, "my sister's lost! indeed she's lost!"

"Lost!" exclaimed the poor old wo­man; "lost! what do you tell me? What do I hear? Oh, my master! my dear mas­ter! never shall I bear to see his face again!"

Susan then repeated every circum­stance just as has been related, and with sighs and tears bewailed her own folly, in suffering herself to be over-persuaded. And the children declared they dare not encounter their papa's displeasure!

The men servants were instantly sum­moned and sent on horseback different ways. That she had been stolen, admitted of no doubt, as there was no water near the cottage, and had any accident happened, they must have found her, as they had searched every part of the village before they ventured to return home.

One servant was sent to Rochester, another towards London, and a third and fourth across the country roads; but no intelligence could be obtained, or the slightest information gathered, by which [Page 118]the unfortunate child could be found, or her wicked decoyer's footsteps traced.

When Mr. Darnley was apprised of the calamitous event, the agitation of his mind may be easily conceived, but can never be described. Hand-bills were instantly cir­culated all over the country, the child's person described, and a reward of five hundred guineas offered for her resto­ration.

Sophia and Amanda were inconsolable, and Susan was ordered to be discharged before Mr. Darnley returned home, which he did not do for more than a month after the melancholy circumstance happened, as he was not satisfied with sending messengers in pursuit of his lost treasure, but went himself to all those wretched parts of London where poverty and vice are known to dwell, in the hope of meeting the object of his solicitude; and at length gave up the interesting pur­suit because he found his health rendered him incapable of continuing it.

Nine tedious months passed away with­out any intelligence of the lost Eliza; and time, which is a general remedy for all misfortunes, had not softened the severity of their affliction. Mrs. Collier had en­gaged a lady to be governess to her [Page 119]nieces, as her attention had been wholly devoted to her unfortunate brother, whose agitated state of mind had produced a bodily complaint, which demanded her unremitting care and tenderness.

Although Emily loved Eliza with the fondest affection, yet her grief was much less poignant than either of her sisters, as she could not accuse herself of being ac­cessary to her loss. "Never, never shall I forgive myself," Sophia would often say, "for having deviated from my dear papa's commands! Oh, so good and in­dulgent is he to us, how wicked it was to transgress his will. I was the eldest, and ought to have known better, and the poor Eliza is the sufferer for my crime!" Thus would she bewail her folly and impru­dence, until, agonized by the torture of her own reflections, she would sink down in a chair quite exhausted, and burst into a flood of tears.

While the family at Darnley-hall were thus a prey to unavailing sorrow, the lovely little girl, who had occasioned it, was beginning to grow more reconciled to the cruelty of her destiny, and to support her different mode of life with resignation and composure. She had acquired such a degree of skill in the art of lace-making, [Page 120](which was the business her employer fol­lowed) as generally to be able to perform the tasks which were allotted her, and if it so happened she was incapable of doing it, Sally Butchell, a child about two years older than herself, of whom she was very fond, was always kind enough to complete it for her.

The cottage in which the vile Mrs. Bullen resided, was situated about a quarter of a mile from High Wycombe; and whenever she was obliged to go to that place either to purchase necessaries, or to dispose of her goods, she always went either before her family were up, or after they had retired to rest, locking the door constantly after her, and putting the key in her pocket; so that the poor little souls had no opportunity of telling their misfortunes to any human creature.

One intense hot afternoon, in the month of August, as the children were sitting hard at work with the door open for the sake of air, an elderly lady and gentleman came up to it, and begged to be accommo­dated with a seat, informing Mrs. Bullen their carriage had broke down about a mile distant, and they had been obliged to walk in the heat of the sun.

[Page 121]The appearance of so many children, all industriously employed, was a sight peculiarly pleasing to the liberal minded Mrs. Montague, and she immediately be­gan asking the woman several questions about them; but there was something of confusion in her manner of replying, that called forth Mrs. Montague's surprise and astonishment.

"They really are lovely children, my dear," said she, "turning to Mr. Monta­gue, who had stood at the door watching the approach of the carriage, which he perceived coming forward: "and as to that little creature, with the mole under it's left eye, I declare I think it a perfect beauty." Mr. Montague turned his head, and regarded Eliza with a look that at once proved that his sentiments corres­ponded with those of his lady.

"What is your name, my love?" said he, in a tone of kindness which poor Eliza had long been a stranger to. The child coloured like scarlet, and looked imme­diately at her inhuman employer, who catching the contagion, replied with evi­dent marks of confusion. "Her name is Biddy Bullen, Sir: she's my niece: but 'tis a poor, timid, little fool, and is always in fright when gentlefolks happen to speak [Page 122]to her: go, Biddy," she continued, "go up into my bed-room, and wind that thread which you'll find upon the reel."

"You should try to conquer that timi­dity," said Mr. Montague, "by making her answer every stranger who speaks to her: but by taking that office upon your­self, you absolutely encourage the shyness you complain of. Come hither, my little girl," continued he, observing she was re­tiring up stairs, "and tell me boldly what your name is."

Encouraged by the kindness of Mr. Montague's address, the agitated child obeyed the summons, although Mrs. Bullen attempted to frown her into re­sistance. "Well," continued the old gen­tleman, patting her on the cheek, "and where did you get that pretty mole?"

"My mamma gave it me, Sir," replied the blushing child; "but I did not see her do it, because Nurse Chapman told me she went to heaven as soon as I was born."

"Your mamma! and what was your mamma's name? said Mr. Montague.

"Darnley, Sir," said the child, and suddenly recollecting the lesson that had been taught her, "but my name is Biddy Bullen, and that is my aunt."

[Page 123]"Darnley!" exclaimed Mrs. Monta­gue: "the very child that has been for these twelve months past advertised in all the papers:" then turning to convince her­self of the fact, "and the very mole con­firms it!"

Mr. Montague immediately attempted to secure the woman, but her activity eluded his grasp, and darting out at the back door, she was out of sight in a few moments.

"Is she really gone? Is she really gone?" all the little voices at once de­manded—and upon Mr. Montague assu­ring them she was really gone forever, their joy broke out in a thousand different ways—some cried—some laughed—and others jumped. In short, there never was a scene more completely calculated to interest the feelings of a benevolent heart.

Mr. Montague's carriage at this period arrived, and the footman was desired to fetch a magistrate from Wycombe, whilst the worthy clergyman resolved to remain there until his arrival, and began ques­tioning all the children. Two had been there from so early a period, that they could give no account of their name or origin; but all the rest was so clear in their [Page 124]description, that the benevolent Mr. Mon­tague had no doubt of being able to re­store them to their afflicted parents.

The magistrate soon arrived, attended by the worthy rector of the place, who hearing from Mr. Montague's servant that a child had been stolen, came with an intent of offering his services. All but Eliza were immediately put under his protection, but Mrs. Montague was so anxious she should be their earliest care, that she begged her husband to order a post-chaise directly, and set off immedi­ately for town. This request was wil­lingly complied with, and by three o'clock the next afternoon the party arrived at Darnley-hall.

Mrs. Collier was standing at the win­dow when the carriage stopped, and looking earnestly at her niece, suddenly exclaimed, in a tone of rapture, "My child! My child! My lost Eliza!"

Mr. Darnley, who was reading, sprang from his seat, and flew to the door in an extacy of joy; in less than a minute he returned, folding his Eliza to his throb­bing heart!—The joyful intelligence ran through the house, and the other children impatiently flew to this scene of transport. To describe their feelings, or express [Page 125]their felicity, would require the aid of the most descriptive pen, and even then would be but faintly told; and therefore had much better be passed over.

From that moment the children all unanimously agreed strictly to attend to their father's orders, and never in the slightest instance act in opposition to his will.

Mr. and Mrs. Montague were laden with caresses, and earnestly entreated to remain Mr. Darnley's guests. The hos­pitable invitation would have been gladly accepted, had not the thoughts of the poor children, who were still at Wycombe, seemed to claim his immediate attention; and so great was the philanthropy of Mr. Montague's character, that he could never rest satisfied if a single duty remained unfulfilled.



PERCY PRIORY, the seat of a worthy baronet of that name, was situated at a short distance from Bath, and from its vicinity to that scene of dissipation, was ge­nerally crowded with a variety of guests, who were either attracted thither by the ties of friendship, or the force of hospi­tality; for as there were no children to inherit an ample fortune, Sir Edward thought himself at liberty to dispose of it in a manner best suited to his disposition and inclination.

Although he was not a brilliant, he was a most amiable character, and the [Page 127]practice of virtue more than compensated for the want of greatness. His fondness for children was excessive, and his disap­pointment at not becoming a father was at first rather severe; but after having la­mented the circumstance five and twenty years, he was unexpectedly gratified by the birth of a little girl, whose peculiar beauty was so extremely striking, that it was impossible to behold it without admi­ration.

The happiness which had for so many years subsisted between Sir Edward and Lady Percy, seemed so perfect, that no­thing could increase it; but the appear­ance of the little stranger soon convinced them it was capable of being augmented. A circumstance which gave Sir Edward so much joy, he was resolved should not pass uncommemorated; and as soon as her ladyship was recovered, an universal invitation was sent to all the peasantry round the Priory, to partake of a rural fete champetre, prepared solely for themselves, where they were regaled with an excellent dinner, a supper, and a dance, and at their departure each was presented with a new half guinea.

During the period of Amanda's in­fancy, Lady Percy confined herself wholly [Page 128]to her mansion, which, as Sir Edward was fond of society, was crowded with a suc­cession of fresh company, to all of whom the doating father presented his little treasure, under the fictitious name of his Euphrosyne.*

The beauty of the child was of that striking nature, that it was impossible to behold it without admiration; but the too partial fondness of its worthy parents threatened destruction to its future peace; for they were alike incapable of correcting or controlling, and the most extravagant of her wishes were immediately complied with. The servants were taught to obey her mandates with an alacrity never wish­ed for by themselves; and a tear or a sigh from her absolutely seemed to agonize their hearts.

Her understanding was quick, and her ideas were correct; but she had a natural propensity for ridicule, which her too doating parents always encouraged rather than reproved; for her liveliness pleased, her wit charmed, and her father perfectly delighted in them.

Mrs. Ann Mordant, the only sister of Lady Percy, arrived at the Priory on the [Page 129]day her niece attained her fourth year, and was absolutely captivated with her per­sonal charms; but a few short hours soon wearied out her fondness, and she totally forgot the child was handsome. She easily perceived she was ruined by indul­gence, and was grieved that a temper na­turally sweet, frank and open, should be­come fretful, turbulent, and untoward.

Mrs. Mordant, lamenting the error of her sister's conduct, besought her ear­nestly to change it, and Lady Percy be­ginning to feel the effect, of her own im­prudence, promised to be guided by her sister's counsel, and begin a reformation on the following day.

At an early hour the next morning, Mrs. Mordant was roused by a most un­pleasant and unusual noise, and ringing her bell to inquire the occasion of it, was informed, as the morning was rainy, Miss Percy had chosen to have her little chaise driven up and down the gallery, and that the noise proceeded from the footman's running with it.

"Tell my sister," says Mrs. Mordant, "I beg the child may be immediately ta­ken out, or I shall absolutely be unnerved for a week. Did ever mortal hear of such indulgence?"

[Page 130]The servant carried the message, con­vinced in her own mind it would not be attended to, as she had known much more extravagant things than that, not only per­mitted, but applauded, and was extremely astonished at seeing her lady slip on her dressing gown and go to the child.

"That noise, my dear Amanda," said her mother, "affects your aunt's head this morning; if you'll come out, my love, for half an hour, you shall ride again as soon as she is up."

"No, no," replied the child: "I must ride now; drive away, Thomas, drive away; I'm going to Bath, mamma, to buy some pretty things."

"You shall buy them presently, my angel," continued Lady Percy, attempt­ing to take her gently from the chaise; but a violent scream soon checked the sudden impulse, and brought the frightened father to the scene.

"What are they doing to my little angel?" he exclaimed, in a voice that proved his fears and apprehension.

"Mamma won't let me ride," said she, pouting her lip and putting on her frown. —Lady Percy was then under the neces­sity not only of repeating her sister's mes­sage, but explaining the conversation [Page 131]which had passed the preceding evening, the justness of which Sir Edward could not but allow, though he found himself unable to be guided by her counsel.

As there was no possibility of getting the child ont of the carriage without her screams being much more likely to dis­turb, than the noise of it. Lady Percy ordered the servants to strip the beds im­mediately of their blankets, and spread them thick along the gallery; and as the novelty of the circumstance happened to recommend it, Amanda consented to the adoption of the plan, and she had enjoyed her ride about a quarter of an hour, when the door opened, and Mrs. Mordant entered.

Both Sir Edward and Lady Percy were completely embarassed at the proof she saw of their too partial folly, and stam­mering out some aukward excuse, they declared their child too timid for sub­jection.

Mrs. Mordant, who had plainly per­ceived that timidity made no part of her niece's character, expostulated with them upon the error of their plan, and conjured them to permit her to try her ascendancy upon the occasion, and without waiting [Page 132]their reply, desired the servant to stop the carriage; when going up to the child, she took her tenderly by the hand, and inqui­red if she would accompany her into her dressing-room.

"No," replied Amanda, "I can't go with you, because I'm driving to Bath to buy some pretty things for the new doll you bought me."—"But you should al­ways do what you are asked," said Mrs. Mordant, "or you will find, when you request a favour, no one will be inclined to gratify it; and I would never love a disobliging child."

"Papa and mamma will always love me though, and that is best, and so I shall not care; but drive on, Thomas, or we shall not be back to breakfast."—Mrs. Mordant desired the servant to desist, and taking her forcibly from out the chaise, carried her into her own room, notwith­standing her kicks, screams, and violence.

Restriction of any kind was so entirely new, that it was not likely she would re­ceive it with composure; but as soon as she was quiet enough to listen to conver­sation, her aunt informed her she would tell her a little story, if she would kiss her, and acknowledge she had been [Page 133]wrong; and the child instantly wiped her eyes, put up her little mouth, and owned she had been a very naughty girl.

The liveliness of Mrs. Mordant's ima­gination easily supplied her with a proper subject, and she worked up a little affect­ing tale, calculated to make an impression on her niece's heart, the heroine of which was introduced of the same age with her­self, who from being indulged in all the little caprices she required, became both turbulent and proud, and made her pa­rents so completely wretched, that they were unable to support the weight of their afflictions, and both fell victims to her violence, at a time of life when she most wanted their protection and support.

The wonderful effect which the little tale instantaneously made upon Amanda's feelings, convinced her aunt that she would become as amiable as she was lovely, under any tuition but her parents; and entreated them immediately to let her have a governess; but notwithstanding they had both a very high opinion of Mrs. Mordant's judgment, they could not bear the idea of their child being subject to control at an age they thought too early to receive it, and by that mistaken proof of fondness, they suffered those habits, which [Page 134]might then have easily been conquered, to obtain an ascendancy which at a future period it was very difficult to surmount.

During the month Mrs. Mordant re­mained at the Priory, she had several quarrels with her little niece; but a story applicable to the subject which had occa­sioned it, always produced a harmony be­tween them; and though she was the only person who opposed her inclination, yet the child became really attached to her.

Soon after Amanda had entered her ninth year, Sir Edward Percy was taken extremely ill, and even his daughter's cheerfulness became fatiguing; and as Lady Percy spent a great deal of time in her husband's apartment, it was at length determined to send the child to school, as the widow of an officer, a most accom­plished woman, had just opened a semi­nary for young ladies at Bath.

The few restrictions which Amanda had met with, for some time rendered the discipline of a school extremely irksome; but as Mrs. Dawson's manners were both soft and gentle, she soon became com­pletely reconciled, and improved daily both in mind and manners.

Amongst the number of boarders in Mrs. Dawson's school was a young lady [Page 135]of the name of Blisset, whose father hav­ing amassed a large fortune by the slop trade in London, retired to Bath to forget his own insignificance, and by making an ostentatious display of the greatness of his wealth, acquire the title of a gentleman. This girl, who happened to be about two years older than Amanda, possessed all her failings without any of her virtues; for to liveliness and wit, were united cunning and duplicity, and to a tolerably good tem­per, a very bad heart.

It has been before observed, that from her earliest childhood, Amanda testified a turn for ridicule; and as Miss Blisset was a professed mimic, she required no other recommendation to her favour; and in less than six months they were profes­sed friends. Mrs. Dawson, the teach­ers, the masters, and the scholars, by turns afforded them amusement; and to strength­en the force of their satirical productions, they were generally accompanied with a caricature, and the different subjects of their art were handed about for the amuse­ment of their companions.

As Sir Edward's health was visibly on the decline, Lady Percy's confinement gradually increased, and instead of visit­ing Bath twice a week, she at length [Page 136]omitted going there at all, but sent for her daughter and her friend to the Priory, re­gularly every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon.

About four years after Amanda had been under the care of Mrs. Dawson, her friend, in one of their visits to the Priory, made a caricature sketch of Sir Edward wheeling himself round the room in one of Merlin's chairs, and preserved the like­ness so distinctly, that it was absolutely impossible not to know it.

This picture, upon her return, was in­discriminately shewn to all the scholars, who naturally despised a girl that could be capable of ridiculing the father of her friend, when sickness made him an object of compassion; and those who were not partial to Amanda, imagined she was privy to the scheme, and longed to name it to their governess: but as every tale was totally prohibited, Mrs. Dawson ne­ver heard it; and Amanda was removed from school in less than three months after it happened, in consequence of the death of her worthy father, whose loss was universally deplored.

Lady Percy's distress was of the most poignant nature, and Amanda for a while was lost to gaiety; but time, the sovereign [Page 137]antidote to care, at length softened their afflictions, and her Ladyship was persua­ded to mix again in general society.

As Amanda's beauty had improved with her years, and her manners had ac­quired a peculiar degree of gracefulness, Lady Percy was both mortified and as­tonished at observing her attract so little attention; yet flattered herself it proceed­ed from envy and ill-nature, as she could not imagine it had been occasioned by any display of an unamiable disposition.

About twelve months after the death of Sir Edward Percy, Mrs. Mordant re­turned from the south of France, where she had resided several years for the re­covery of her health, and was highly de­lighted with the appearance of her niece, who was at her arrival making prepara­tions for a ball at Lord Darwin's, in ho­nour of his son's birth-day.

As Lady Percy was engaged to ac­company her daughter, she persuaded her sister to join the party; and as Mrs. Mordant had only travelled twenty miles that morning, she was easily prevailed upon to accompany them.

When they arrived at Darwin Hall, the greater part of the company were already assembled, and every eye was directed [Page 138]towards Amanda the moment she entered the scene of gaiety, and her fond mother's heart beat high with exultation, when she beheld the admiration that was involun­tarily paid her.

As the entertainment was entirely in­tended for young people, the band struck up soon after their arrival; and when the gentlemen got up to select their partners, Amanda and her friend were totally neg­lected.

This circumstance, so unexpected and so astonishing, mortified her pride and tortured her feelings; and, unable to sup­port the affront she had received, she con­jured her mother to return home.

Mrs. Mordant, who had beheld the ap­plause with which she had been gazed at upon her first appearance at the assembly, could not possibly account for the mortify­ing treatment: but resolving to discover the real cause, she joined a lady, who seemed remarkably loquacious, but whose back was towards her when she entered.

After some usual observations upon the performance they were viewing, she care­lessly inquired the name of the two young ladies who were unemployed, and ex­pressed her astonishment at the blindness of the beaux in suffering the most beau­tiful [Page 139]girl in the room to be without a partner.

"She is certainly most uncommonly beautiful," replied Mrs. Winter; "but I believe the boys are all afraid of her, for she has such a wond'rous talent for the ridiculous, that even her father, during his fatal illness, became the object of her satire; and one of her schoolfellows, en­vious of her beauty, has circulated the story round the room; and though it cer­tainly proved a corrupted heart, I cannot help pitying the poor girl's mortification."

"Do you know the lady," replied Mrs. Mordant, "who has been illiberal enough to spread a report so completely detri­mental? for I really cannot help doubting its veracity, and, like yourself, participate in the embarassment I perceive she feels."

Mrs. Winter immediately pointed her out, and Mrs. Mordant waited until she reached the bottom of the set, and then requested a few moments audience.

Miss Collet was not much delighted with the idea of being drawn from an amusement of which she was passionately fond; but when Mrs. Mordant requested her to explain her motive for prejudicing the party against her niece, her confusion was so great, it was with difficulty she [Page 140]could reply; but as she was rather encou­raged than repressed, by the gentleness of Mrs. Mordant's manner, she candidly owned that, in consequence of Miss Per­cy's having ridiculed and caricatured her during the time she was at school, she had always felt an unconquerable aversion to her, which had been greatly increased by having heard that she had made a jest of her papa's infirmities.

"That you should be exasperated against Miss Percy," said Mrs. Mor­dant, "for indulging her vein for ridicule at your expense, Miss Collet, I can really forgive; but that you should adopt this paltry method of shewing your resentment, I most heartily despise, and am inclined to think there is more of ill-nature than truth in the report you have fabricated."

"I did not fabricate it, Ma'am," said she, colouring with resentment; "for Miss Blisset, who is her particular friend, has the caricature by her, which she drew, and I am certain Miss Percy assisted in the performance."

"Well," continued Mrs. Mordant,"as it is necessary to investigate the matter, you will do me a favour by accompanying me across the room to Miss Blisset; and if my niece is a stranger to the circum­stance, [Page 141]you will certainly do her the jus­tice to contradict a report, so much to her discredit."

Miss Blisset was much less wounded by the mortification she had received, than the young lady, who much less deserved it, and had actually proposed that they should dance together; but when Mrs. Mordant taxed her with having carica­tured the father of her friend, her em­barassment became completely distress­ing, and bursting into tears, she acknow­ledged her culpability.

"What!" said Amanda, testifying the utmost astonishment, "could you think of ridiculing my dear papa, who always was so good and kind to you? Eliza, surely you never could be so ungrateful?"

"You perceive, Miss Collet," said Mrs. Mordant, "my niece is not so des­picable as you imagined: and though she might, in the height of girlish folly, have amused herself by satirizing your little imperfeetions, she would have shuddered at the idea of exposing her father's infir­mities; and I must insist upon your pub­licly acknowledging the injury you have done,"

"O my dear aunt," replied Amanda, "spare me the mortification, I beseech [Page 142]you, of becoming an object of general observation; we have already attracted the attention of the party, and I entreat you to suffer me to leave the room." Lady Percy, whose attention had for some time been occupied by the sight of an old friend, at this moment joined the party, and perceiving her daughter bathed in tears, whilst her sister's countenance was glowing with resentment, anxiously inquired into the cause, and finding Amanda's agitation had rendered her conspicuous, she led her to a different apartment, and tried to sooth her into more composure.

Mrs. Mordant was so extremely hurt at the malignity of Mrs. Collet's conduct, that she resolved to explain the circum­stance to Lady Darwin, who had observed with astonishment the pointed incivility Amanda had received, and had been ex­tremely displeased with her son in con­sequence of it. Her indignation was, if possible, superior to Mrs. Mordant's, and she insisted upon all the young gen­tlemen's offering an apology; and intreat­ed Amanda to return again to the ball­room: but the mortification she had received was too painful for her to be capable of such an exertion, and she [Page 143]requested her mamma immediately to return.

As soon as they were all seated in the carriage, Mrs. Mordant took her niece tenderly by the hand, and conjured her to let the incidents of the night make an indelible impression upon her mind. "Miss Collet," said she, "has certainly acted mort despicably, but you provoked it by unjust severity; we can most of us bear to be told of our failings, but few of us can submit to having them ridiculed, and satire is certainly the most dangerous of weapons."

Amanda felt the truth of the observa­tion, and promised to subdue the unami­able propensity; and whenever, at a future period, she felt inclined to be severe, the recollection of Lady Darwin's ball com­pletely checked her.



"PAPA," said Julius Godfrey, ad­dressing himself to his father, "I wish you would buy a little boy for me whom I saw begging in the street this morn­ing; for he says he has neither father nor mother in this country, and that he is fearful of being starved to death."

"Buy you a little boy! Julius," said Mr. Godfrey; "if you had asked me to have bought you a little dog, I should not have beed astonished; but boys are neither to be bought nor sold in this happy spot of earth."

[Page 145]"O indeed, papa, they are," replied Julius: "for Charles Henley's father bought him one, and he has such fun with him, you cannot imagine. Some­times he makes a horse of him, and sometimes a harlequin, for his sisters have made him a very pretty jacket; and then if he won't jump over the places Charles wants him, he whips the wooden sword from his side, and straps him till he flies over like a race-horse. Oh, it is such fun, papa, you cannot conceive!"

"And so," said Mr. Godfrey sternly, "your only motive for wishing me to save the boy from starving, was, that you might have the gratification of killing him with cruelty, and purchase pleasure at the expense of the poor creature's pain."

"No, papa," replied Julius, "I would not hurt any body for the world: but you know black people have no feeling; for Charles Henley says, their skins are as thick as a lobster's shell, and if they were to be boiled, they would be as red,"

"Then Charles Henley is as weak as he is wicked, and deserves boiling him­self," said Mr. Godfrey. "But where did you see the unfortunate child, whose situation you have given me reason to [Page 146]imagine is so peculiarly distressing, and so very miserable."

Before Julius had time to reply to the interrogation, a servant entered, and in­formed Mr. Godfrey, a little negro was at the door, who requested to speak with master Julius; and who was crying and moaning in a most piteous manner; "And really, sir," said the man, "the poor boy seems almost starved."

"Give him something to eat then," said the benevolent man, "and then send him into my study; for I flatter myself I shall have the power of relieving his wants more completely than my son."

As soon as the little fellow had sup­plied the pressing calls of hunger, the servant conducted him into his master's study, where he related such an artless tale of sorrow, as instantly made an im­pression upon Mr. Godfrey's feeling heart. He told him he had been purcha­sed by a lieutenant in the navy, who had treated him both with affection and kind­ness; but that upon his arrival in Eng­land, his master had been seized with a putrid fever, and had died in a few days; and that his mother, who was a widow, was scarcely able to support herself, and therefore could not be at the expense of [Page 147]keeping a servant. The simple manner in which he described his forlorn situa­tion, and the sympathetic one, in which he lamented the death of the young man he served, convinced Mr. Godfrey that his natural disposition was generous and amiable: and he resolved immedi­ately to become his friend; but without replying to the account which had so completely interested his humanity, he opened the door, and calling to his son, addressed him in the following language:

"As you know, my dear Julius, I have a real gratification in complying with your desires, when they spring from be­nevolence, or are founded upon prudence, you will not be surprised at hearing that I intend taking this little fellow into my service, and placing him entirely about your person, on condition, that you pro­mise to treat him with the good nature of a companion, not the sternness of a mas­ter, and always recollect that there is something so peculiarly attractive in kindness and affection, that the heart which is insensible to its effects, must either be cased in coldness, corrupted by vice, or dead to the finest feelings of na­ture. But as this unfortunate child has [Page 148]proved that he is capable both of fidelity and attachment, it will be your duty to strengthen the growth of both, and by uniform civility, and uninterrupted good nature, cherish those sensations he is in­clined to feel.

"The impression you seem to have received from your friend Henley, are an affront to your understanding, and a disgrace to your heart; for can you for a moment suppose, that the colour of a skin canalter the acuteness of its feel­ing; or that by being born in a fervid climate, the natural sensations can be­come condensed? If any race of people have a peculiar claim upon the compas­sion of their fellow creatures, it is those who are born in a state of slavery and subjection; who, torn from those con­nexions which made that state support­able, are doomed to drag on a miserable existence in a distant country, where the tender sound of father, son, or brother, can never reach their afflicted hearts."

"Oh mine father—mine poor dear fa­ther!" sobbed out the agitated child, "no Yanko never see de more!"—"You shall find in me a father," said Mr. God­frey, taking the little African by the hand, [Page 149]"and in my son a brother; so dry your eyes, my little man, and try to merit our regard."

"Yes, massa," said the grateful child, "me try to be good boy—me vill love you all day long—and me vill die for you ven you be sick!—O Yanko vill be very best of all de boys."

Mr. Godfrey then informed his son, that though it was to be Yanko's business to brush his clothes, clean his shoes, attend him when he went a fishing, and become the partner of his general sports, yet he was also to become his daily pupil, and be taught the rudiments both of reading and writing; "for though," said that benevo­lent man, "the intellectual and moral powers of those unfortunate people are generally totally uncultivated, nature has been as bounteous to them as to any other of her children, and they are equally ca­pable of becoming great, noble, and disin­terested."

Julius promised to obey his father's precepts; and instead of indulging the idea of making Yanko subservient to his plea­sures, he only thought of promoting his happiness; and reflected upon Charles Henley's conduct with a mixture of dis­gust, pain, and sympathy.

[Page 150]"The ease and composure of Yanko's mind soon produced a wonderful effect upon his person; and those features which had been sunk by famine and dejected by misfortune, acquired so great a degree of liveliness and animation, that it was im­possible to look at him without pleasure; and whilst Julius received the highest gratification in instructing him, Yanko's rapid improvement under his tutelage, proved the quickness of his understand­ing, and the acuteness of his perception.

As Mr. Godfrey was one day crossing the yard, unperceived by Yanko, (who was beating one of his young master's coats) his attention was called forth by the harmonious sound of his voice, and his mode of beating time upon the coat to the tune he was singing; and drawing near, without being discovered, he distinctly heard the following words, which at once proved the simplicity of his taste, and the happiness of his feelings.

Yanko happy—Yanko bright,
Like de stars dat gild de night;
Yanko's bosom ever seem
Like de Niger's silver stream.
[Page 151]Ever flowing, ever free,
Ever full of joy and glee,
Yanko love his massa dear,
Love, because he can no fear,
When no cat-o-nine tails' near.

Julius, who from a window had per­ceived his father attentively listening to what was going forward, immediately joined him, and was highly amused at the specimen he heard of his pupil's talents for poetry, and eagerly inquired of his father, if he did not think it very pretty?

"I think it very gratifying," said Mr. Godfrey, "and seldom felt a sensation of pleasure more delightful, than I expe­rienced in hearing him repeat it; for what my dear fellow," said that amiable man, looking at his son with an eye of tender­ness, "can afford the mind so refined a satisfaction, as the knowing we have res­cued a fellow-creature from distress, and filled his breast with joy and gladness? and how different must our feelings have been, had we heard the poor fellow la­menting his misfortunes, and execrating our severity!"

"O papa," replied Julius, "how I wish Charles Henley could have heard him! it is very unlucky he has been in the country ever since Yanko came; or perhaps, when [Page 152]he had seen how kindly he was treated, he might have behaved differently to little Peter: for I am sure he does not think he hurts him, or he would not use him so unkindly; and his papa is never angry with him for it."

"His papa," said Mr. Godfrey, "is much more blameable than himself. But people in general, who have been brought up in the West-Indies, acquire an arro­gance of mind, and a hardness of heart, that renders them dead to the feelings of humanity; and are apt to consider those unhappy beings, whom slavery has put within their power, as created merely for their pleasures and convenience."

Mr. Godfrey was prevented from con­tinuing the subject, by the entrance of the very boy of whom they had just been speaking, who after shaking Julius cor­dially by the hand, said, "So I see your papa has bought little Mungo for you— he looks rather different to what he did the morning that he solicited our cha­rity."

"Yes," replied Julius, with animated warmth, "he may well look different, poor unhappy fellow! for I believe he then was almost starving, and had not a friend [Page 153]in the world to help him; and now he feels the comfort of kind treatment."

"Is he full of tricks?" said Charles, "or are you forced to flog him into fun? I long to have some sport with him; for Pe­ter's been so ill since we have been gone, that he has never once played harlequin; and now my father's going to send him to the hospital, for he will not be any longer plagued with him; he goes moping about the house like a hen turkey in a snowy day."

Though this conversation was spoken in a half whisper, Mr. Godfrey had been so attentive to it, that he retained the greatest part, and turning to Charles, he said, "I am extremely sorry, young gen­tleman, to hear you mention the illness of a fellow-creature, with so little sympathy, and such unfeeling indifference. If you were to be suddenly indisposed, the an­guish of pain would be softened by the tenderness of your friends, and the atten­tion of your servants; yet though they might administer to your comforts, they could not assuage your feelings, and you would still suffer from the acuteness of disease. But if you had no one to pity your anguish, administer to your wants, or sooth your affliction, how much more [Page 154]lamentable would your situation be; and how do you conceive you could support such an accumulation of misery?"

"Support it, Sir!" replied Charles; "why, I am never likely to support it, for I have a father who loves, and a mother who doats upon me, and who never leaves me one moment, if I have but a little head-ache."

"And poor Peter," said Mr. Godfrey, in a tone of tenderness, "was once, per­haps, in that enviable situation; blest in the affection of a father, and cherished by the fondness of a mother: and yet how dreadful now the alteration! This world, my dear Charles, is a scene of changes and vicissitudes: the morning sun is sud­denly overshadowed by clouds of dark­ness, and these clouds as rapidly illumined by a cheerful sky. If, therefore, your heart is so completely adamantine, that you cannot feel from nature, endeavour to do so from prudence; and remember, that no one in this life can be exempted from misfortune, or shielded from transitions. You are too young to become callous; and I hope the unfeeling indifference with which you named the unfortunate child, whose situation is so very pitiable, pro­ceeded rather from want of thought, than [Page 155]want of humanity; and that, when you go home, you will give proofs of that com­passion which ought to inhabit every hu­man breast." So saying, Mr. Godfrey left the room, whilst Charles appeared not much flattered by the preceding con­versation.

"What an odd man your father is, Julius!" he exclaimed; "and yet there was a great deal of truth in what he said about me and Peter; for, to be sure, if he ever had a father and mother as fond of him as my parents are of me, he must be very unhappy now he has no one to take notice of him."

Julius repeated to his friend all the ex­cellent principles his father had taken such pains to inculcate; and after entreating him to consider negroes as fellow-crea­tures, subject to the same passions, and endowed with the same feelings as them­selves, he concluded his oration by saying, that he never felt half so much pleasure when they amused themselves by making Peter perform harlequin, as he had done in hearing Yanko sing an artless ditty of his own composing, expressive of his own happiness, and his attachment to himself.

Although Mr. Godfrey was so amiable a character, and delighted in promoting [Page 156]both the interest and happiness of his de­pendents, yet amongst the number of them was one, whose depravity of heart was artfully concealed by a specious ap­pearance, and whilst he appeared warmly attached to his master's interest, was in­sidiously planning his future destruction.

This man, whose name was Robert, the faithful Yanko had long regarded with a suspicious eye, in consequence of having accidentally overheard a few words that passed between him and a pretended bro­ther, who spent the greatest part of his time in Mr. Godfrey's kitchen, and who, when they retired to their country seat, also followed them into Hampshire.

A large party was assembled at the Grange, which was the name of the res­pectable mansion Mr. Godfrey inhabited, and amongst the number, an East-India family, just arrived from Bengal, laden with the treasure of that rich soil; and Yanko, as he was watering some flowers at the extremity of the shrubbery, provi­dentially heard Robert and his companion arranging their plan, not only for robbing the strangers of their prize, but murdering them and his generous master, if they at­tempted to make the least resistance.

[Page 157]Shocked at the atrocity of the inhuman design, and eager to frustrate its execu­tion, it was with the utmost difficulty he could restrain himself from breaking in upon their conversation, and proving at once he was acquainted with their vil­lainy; but a few moments reflection checked his impetuosity, and he concealed himself behind a tree until the intended assassins had departed. At that moment, Mr. Godfrey, Julius, and two of their friends, drew near the spot of his conceal­ment when the agitated boy stepped for­ward, and throwing himself on his knees before Julius burst into a flood of tears, exclaiming, "Oh, de vicked Robert would kill mine own dear massa! de vicked man, de vicked man! but no, Yanko die for massa! Yanko die for massa!"

Mr. Godfrey's astonishment may be ea­sily imagined, and after raising the faithful Yanko from the ground, and thanking him for his attachment, he desired him to ex­plain the cause of his suspicions; and after hearing a circumstantial detail of the whole affair, he immediarely sent for the officers of justice, who arrived at the Grange before the abandoned men had any idea of their being suspected; and finding they had only to rely upon their [Page 158]master's clemency, they made a full con­fession of their intended crimes, and ear­nestly besought that compassion they so ill deserved.

Whilst Mr. Godfrey was painting the heinousness of their guilt in the most glowing colours, Julius and his friends were loading the faithful Yanko with ap­plause; and Mr. Blussat, who considered him as the saviour both of his life and property, testified his gratitude by pre­senting him with a purse containing fifty guineas, which he strenuously refused, saying, "No, massa; me want no money —me want no clothes—and me no like paying when me do what's right."


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