A1r

The Inquisitor;

Or Invisible Rambler

A1v A2r

The Inquisitor;

Or,
Invisible Rambler

In Three Volumes

By Mrs. Rowson, Author of Victoria.

Second American Edition.

Volume I.

Philadelphia:
Printed for Mathew Carey, Bookseller, South Market
Street
, near Fourth. 1794—1794—

A2v A3r

To
Lady Cockburne,

The following pages are
most humbly inscribed,
as a small mark of the gratitude which
will ever glow undiminished
(while life remains)
in the Breast of

her Ladyship’s
Much Honoured,
Obliged Humble Servant,

Susan Rowson.

A3v A4r

The Preface.

“I can’t for my life see the necessity of it,”
said I; “there are numbers of books published
without prefaces.”

“But you do not consider,” said my friend, “that
this book absolutely requires a preface—it is the
adventures of a gentleman who possessed a magic
ring: and seemingly those adventures are written
by himself, but you give no account how they
came into your hands?”

“Why they came into my hands through my
brain, friend,”
said I.—“These adventures are
merely the children of Fancy. I must own
that the best part of them originated in facts.”

“But why do you make your Inquisitor a man?”
said he.

“For a very obvious reason,” I replied. “A man
may be with propriety brought forward in many
scenes, where it would be the height of improbability A4v viii
to introduce a woman.”
“—I might, to be sure,”
continued I, “have introduced the following pages
by saying I had found them in a hackney-coach;
or met with part of them by accident at a pastry-
cook’s or cheese-monger’s, and being interested
by the narrative, I sent back for the remainder;
or they might have been left in a lodging by some
eccentric old gentleman, who had lived there for
many years; and thinking the world would be
greatly obliged to me for suffering such a valuable
manuscript to be printed, I was prevailed on
by the earnest entreaties of my friends, to commit
it to the hands of the bookseller.”

“I know, Sir, this is the usual method of ushering
these kind of publications into the world—
but, for my own part, I will honestly confess that
this work was written solely for my amusement.
As to the motives that induced me to publish it,
they can be of no consequence for the reader to be
informed of, therefore they shall remain a secret.”

“But sure,” said my friend, “you will make some
apology for attempting to write in the style of the
inimitable Sterne?”

A5r ix

“Is the person required to make an apology who
copies a portrait painted by an eminent master,”

said I; “or should he fail of retaining, in his copy,
the fine strokes, the beautiful and striking expression
in the features of the faultless original; is he
to tear his picture, or commit it to the flames, because
he has not the genius of the artist whose
work he copied? Or, suppose a man admired his
Sovereign’s exalted virtues, and with a laudable
ambition strove to imitate them; is he, because
he is conscious of not having the abilities to shine
in the most eminent degree, not to endeavour to
imitate them at all; or to hide from the world the
progress he makes?”

“No, certainly,” said my friend; “but have you
the vanity to suppose that your writings are the
least tinctured with that spirit and fire, which are
so conspicuous in the works of your bright original?”

“By no means,” said I; “but I think, as the stars
shine brightest when neither the sun nor moon are
in the firmament, so, perhaps, when the works
of Sterne are not at hand, the Inquisitor may be
read with some small degree of attention, and afford
the reader a little amusement; but should A5v x
Maria or Le Fevre make their appearance, its
weak rays will be extinguished by the tear of sensibility,
which the love-lorn virgin and dying soldier
would excite.”

“Then you do not intend to write a preface?” said
my friend.

“Upon my word,” I replied, “I have begun several,
but I never could write one to please me; so I
have at last determined to publish it without, and
leave it to the readers to form what conjecture
they pleased concerning how I came possessed of
the papers which contained the adventures.”

“That will never do,” said he, shaking his head.

“Then prithee, my good friend,” said I, “do write
a preface for me; for here I have been hammering
my pericranium and biting my nails these two
hours, without being able to beat out a single sentence,
either introductory or prefatory.”

“Suppose,” said he, “you present your readers
with our conversation; it will be better than no
preface at all.”

It was a lucky thought, and I instantly set about
it.

A6r xi

Gentle Reader, I here commit to your kind patronage
this offspring of Fancy; my characters
are not pointed at particular persons, except one
or two, where gratitude involuntarily guided my
pen; it was then I delineated the characters of a
Lady Allworth, and the family of the amiable
sisters at H-m—rs—th.

As to those characters which appear in an unamiable
light, I neither wish or mean for any person
to say that this is meant for Mr. or Mrs. such
a one; but I would wish every person who may
think the character was designed for themselves,
to remember that the likeness was accidentally
taken, and it is conscience only that makes it appear
so striking to their imagination.

A6v B1r

The
Inquisitor, &c.

The Petition.

“Ishould like to know the certainty of it,” said I,
putting the petition into my pocket.—It contained
an account of an unfortunate tradesman reduced to
want, with a wife and three small children.—He
asked not charity for himself, but them. “—I should
like to know the certainty of it,”
said I “— there are
so many feigned tales of distress, and the world is
so full of duplicity, that in following the dictates of
humanity, we often encourage idleness. —Could I but
be satisfied of the authenticity of this man’s story, I
would do something for him.”

“Will your honour please to send an answer?”said
the child, that brought the petition.

I had forgot her—by the unaffected innocence of
her countenance, she could scarcely have seen nine
years.—Meekness smiled in her sweet eyes—“what a
lovely flower,”
said I—“’tis a pity the chilling breath
of sorrow should visit thee too rudely”
—I gave her
half a guinea, and bid her tell her father to come to
me the next morning.

B B1v 14

The Wish.

How happy should I be, if some good fairy, as in
days of yore, would give me the power of visiting,
unseen, the receptacles of the miserable, and the habitations
of vice and luxury.—What a satisfaction I
should feel in rewarding and supporting merit; or
withdrawing the veil, and discovering the hideous
aspect of hyposcrisy. “Besides,” says self-love, “I should
then have an opportunity of discovering the sentiments
of the world concerning myself. I should
find my real friends, and detect my enemies. —If
half my fortune could procure such a power, I would
freely give it.”

“Search your heart,” replies a soft voice, and
see if it is not an unwarrantable curiosity, rather
than a real wish to do good, that now
inspires you.”

“It is strange,” said I; “I hear a voice, but see no
person near me; surely I do not dream!”

“Be not surprised,” continued my invisible companion,
“I am your guardian genius, and have it in my
power to comply with your wishes, provided they
are corrected by reason.—Look on that table, and
you will see a ring, which, when on your finger,
will render you invisible; and, as long as humanity,
honor, or friendship, leads you to use it; it will contribute
to your happiness; but whenever you endeavour
to make it subservient to any unworthy
purpose, it will lead you into innumerable difficulties.”

B2r 15

I thanked the kind genius, instantly seized the
treasure, put it on my finger, and, eager to try the
experiment, walked out.

The Street.

“I’ll bet you ten to one,” said a noted gambler to
another; “—they were walking arm in arm—I’ll bet
you ten to one I am married before this day fortnight.”
“—You are a lucky dog, Cogdie,” replied his
companion, “to obtain so lovely a woman as Melissa,
and twenty thousand pounds into the bargain.”

“D—n the woman,” said the wretch, “it is the money I
want: by Heavens I have not five guineas left in the
world, and am twice as many hundred in debt. If
I do not succeed in this matrimonial scheme, I shall
go to limbo.—There’s an old prying cat of a maid,
ean aunt stands devilishly in the way, or I could easily
dupe the old dad.—As to Melissa herself, she’s such
a mere simpleton in the ways of the world, that it
requires but a small share of art to make her believe
almost any thing.”

By this time they had reached the house of the
intended victim, when finding my ring had the desired
effect, I entered the house with her betrayer.
His companion wished him good morning, and I,
without hesitation, followed him up stairs.

The Drawing Room.

A venerable old man was sitting on a sopha;
the hoary ornaments of his head inspired the mind B2v 16
with awe, while the benignity of his countenance
encouraged and invited friendship.—Beside him,
reading Thomson’s Seasons, sat his daughter, lovely
and blooming as Aurora, when with rosy fingers,
on a sweet May morn, she unbars the gates of light.
—As Cogdie approached, her features were enlivened
with a glow that plainly told me her heart was
not her own; and the cordiality with which her father
received him, evinced the integrity of his own
heart, as he suspected not the integrity of another.
After the usual compliments, the little party being
seated, Cogdie informed the old gentleman that he
had been prevented the honor or dining with him
that day by a tradesman, to whom he owed about
thirty pounds, which, as he had not lately received
remittances from his father, he found it inconvenient
just then to pay; that the man would take no
denial, but had threatened to arrest him. “I must be
obliged to borrow this paltry sum,”
continued he, till
“I can write again to my father.”“You shall not be
distressed for such a trifle,”
said the old gentleman, “I
will lend it to you.”

He left the room to get the money, when the unfeeling
Cogdie made use of that opportunity to persuade
the heedless unsuspecting Melissa to elope.

“Thou art worse than a midnight ruffian,” said I—
“thou art stealing the peace of a man who is at this
moment contributing to thine.”
They had just time
to appoint the day, hour, and place of rendezvous,
when Melissa’s father returned with the money.—
I had heard enough, and quitted the room as the old
gentleman entered.

B3r 17

The Reflection.

That a man who has a wife and numerous family
of children, and sees them plunged the deepest
distress, should rob to keep them from starving,
is not a matter of surprise—and while stern Justice
holds the balance, angel-like pity gently turns the
scale. But that a man in full health and vigour, with
strength and abilities to support himself, who has
no weeping wife or famished children to urge him
to the deed, should cozen and defraud his best friend,
debauch the morals of an innocent girl, and plunge
her into ruin, only to obtain a larger share of sordid
ore, is to me unaccountable. It is an act that makes
humanity shrink back aghast: Justice, with frowns,
unsheaths her sword, and pity weeps but for the offender’s
crimes.

“I will rescue Melissa,” said I—she may hereafter
thank me.”
The thought filled my mind with unusual
complacency.—I enjoyed in idea the satisfaction
and gratitude of her father, when he beheld his
darling rescued from the jaws of destruction.

It was a fine evening in the month of June; so
removing the ring from my finger, I stepped into a
fruiterer’s, purchased a bottle of strawberries, walked
into the Park, and seated myself in one of the
chairs.—My mind was at that moment a sort of vacuum,
my thoughts unemployed, when casting my
eyes upon the paper that covered the strawberries,
I perceived it was part of a fairy tale, but wrote in
an uncommon poetic style.

B2 B3v 18

The Fragment.

Fair Cynthia now, bright Empress of the night,

Mounted her azure thone, with diamonds studded;

Her modest face, veil’d in a fleecy cloud,

Which, as it partly hid, heighten’d her beauties.

When fair Alzada, weary and forlorn,

Pensive sat down beside a murm’ring stream,

With nought to shield her from nocturnal dews,

Saving an ancient oak, whose sturdy boughs

Had brav’d the storms of many a winter past.

Her lovely head reclin’d upon her hand;

Her eyes were rais’d with fervour toward Heav’n.

In those bright orbs started a pearly drop,

Which, as it fell, another took its place,

And that, too, fell and kiss’d its pleasing way

In quick succession down her ruby cheeks.

“Ah! me,” she cried, “how wretched is my fate,

Forc’d from my royal parents, and my home;

What hospitable roof will now receive me,

Or where shall poor Azalda lay her head.

In this lone wild I see no trace of mortals;

No lowing herds bespeaks a mansion near:

No bleating flock breaks this most solemn silence;

And ere another heavy hour is past,

Perhaps some savage monster, fierce for prey,

On me may satisfy his craving hunger.

The genius Abradan beheld her sorrows;

In a plain rustic form conceal’d his own,

And thus address’d the sadly weeping fair:

Fair daughter of affliction, follow me;

I come to lead you to a festive board,

B4v 19

Where social mirth and innocence preside,

And where the smiling host shall bid you welcome.

The trembling princess left her mossy seat,

And without speaking, followed her kind guide.

When sudden clouds obscur’d the face of Heav’n;

The thunders roll’d, the forked lightnings flash’d,

And all around was horror and amazement;

Alzada sunk in terror to the ground.

A death-like swoon seal’d up each active sense.

The tempest ceas’d. she rais’d her fearful eyes,

And saw before her a fair lofty palace:

The gates were solid brass; and the supporters

Marble, twin’d round with vine leaves wrought in

gold.

She enter’d, and was instantly surrounded

By seven young virgins, clad in azure blue,

With alabaster vases in their hands,

Who paid the homage to a princess due.

They shed around her numberless perfumes,

And o’er her threw a robe, of spotless white,

Then led her to a room within the palace,

Where, on a throne of amethyst and gold,

There sat a monarch of majestic port;

Who, rising, welcom’d the admiring princess,

And plac’d her on a shining throne beside him.

They brought her baskets of the choicest fruits,

And water from the purest limpid stream.

Alzada, being refresh’d, rose from her seat,

And thus address’d the master of the feast:

Whoe’er thou art, great king, whose magic pow’r

Has brought me to this place, where farthest Ind’

Seems to have empti’d her exhaustless store

To add to its magnificence:

B4v 20

Say, can you guide a helpless wand’ring maid,

To find the home where late she was so blest;

From whence the sorceress Zeluba forc’d her,

And left her parents to bewail her loss.

To which the monarch, with a smile, reply’d,

Lovely Azalda, fairest of thy sex,

Whose charms triumphant rule this royal heart,

Dry up thy tears. By this right hand I swear,

Ere Phoebus harnesses his fiery steeds,

And leaves his sea-green couch to visit mortals,

I will conduct you to your father’s court,

And guard you from the vile Zelubia’s pow’r.

Slaves bring my chariot. Bid the virgins wait,

And strew fresh flow’rs where’er Azalda treads.”

The chariot was of curious workmanship,

Ivory, gold, coral, and precious stones;

Around it hover’d little laughing loves;

And on each side were rang’d fair village maids,

With lutes and harps, tabors and shepherds’ pipes,

Singing and playing soft harmonious airs.

Eight milk-white steeds,

I turned the paper, but there was no more—
There are times when the mind is affected by mere
trifles; such now was my case—I was vexed at not
finding the conclusion of the story, and determined
to go back to the fruiterer’s, and inquire if they had
the remainder.—A few moments brought me to the
place.

The Fruiterer’s.

A crowd was assembled before the door. Forgetting
what I came for, “friend,” said I—addressing B5r 21
myself to the master of the shop, “can you tell me the
cause of this bustle?”
“It is a very extraordinary one,
Sir,”
he replied.— “A boy about ten years old, going
to a shop hard by to purchase something for his mother,
was recollected by a tradesman to whom his
father owed a considerable sum of money, and who
had just before employed a bailiff to arrest him.—
The man inquired of the child where his father lived,
and upon his refusing to tell, offered him money,
and promised him a great many fine things; but
finding that plan equally ineffectual, he proceeded
to threats. Upon which, the boy burst into tears,
and seating himself upon some steps opposite, declared
he would stay there all night, rather than give them
an opportunity of sending his father to jail.”

“The boy has the spirit of a Roman,” said I.—“Now
many a man will feel the blush of conscious guilt
upon his cheek, when he shall be told of this; for,
Oh! shame to humanity and manhood, how many
would sell their country through avarice, or betray
it through fear.—While this magnanimous boy refuses
a bribe, though poverty might induce him to
take it, and dares brave the threats of an inhuman
wretch, rather than betray his father, though his
childhood might excuse even cowardice.—I will go
and speak to the creditor,”
said I—“perhaps I may
persuade him to rob his design of arresting the poor
man, and then I will follow the boy home.”

B5v 22

The Creditor.

“Pray, Sir, how much does this boy’s father owe
you?”

“Eighteen pounds,” replied the man.

“And are you really distressed for the money?”

“No; thank my prudence for that; I have taken
care of the main chance, and not like Heartfree,
loved others more than myself.”

“I fear you have not loved them so well, my friend.”

“Why no, to be sure! I follow the first law of nature,
self-preservation.”

“And why not follow the first rule of Christianity,
to do as you would be done by?”

“Why look ye, Sir; I always pay my debts punctually,
and I expect others should pay me as punctually.”

“Certainly.—But suppose a man who has an honest
heart, should, by unavoidable misfortunes, be rendered
unable to discharge his debts; is it not better
to trust to his honor, rather than by confining him,
put it entirely out of his power to pay you at all?”

“Trust to his honor—eh! you know but little of
this world, to talk at that rate: why this very Heartfree
was ruined by trusting to a person’s honor. An
old officer lodged in his house for many years, borrowed
money of him, run in his debt for linen for
his whole family, and when I have talked to Heartfree
about the impropriety of his conduct in not asking
for payment, he would answer—‘I am sure he
will pay me whenever he has it in his power,’
—but
before it was in his power, he died, leaving four
children without the least support. The eldest was B6r 23
about twenty; a fine young girl to be sure, but she
had been brought up in idleness. she could embroider,
draw, dance, sing, and play upon the spinnet;
but that would not keep her; so I advised
Heartfree to try and get her a place to wait on a lady.
To put the two young girls out apprentice,
and take the boy to go of errands, clean shoes,
knives, &c. in his own kitchen; but he, forsooth,
said no; the children of a man who had spent his
days in the service of his country, should never want
an asylum while he had a house; nor the innocent
orphans want a friend, while he lived: so he married
the eldest, and put her sisters to school, where,
luckily, they both died.—The boy he sent to the
East-Indies about seven years ago, after spending an
enormous sum on his education.—His wife bred very
fast, and was quite the fine lady; so what with extravagance,
and a few losses, from being one of the
first linen-drapers in the city, he has become bankrupt,
and, as I suppose, has not bread to eat.”

“And for his humanity,” said I—“you would reward
him with a prison; rob his wife and children of their
only comfort, the presence of their father and their
friend—and of what use will it be to you?”

“I don’t know that it will be of much use to me” he
replied; “but it will teach Heartfree to remember
himself before others, another time.”

“The remembrance of what he has done for others,”
said I, so far from sitting painful on his mind, will
smooth the thorny pillow of distress, and make even
a prison pleasant; he shall sleep soundly on a bed of
straw, and dream of those whose sorrows he has
lightened, while you shall feel scorpions on a bed of B6v 24
down: nor shall the sweet restorer of tired nature
visit you, unless it be to fright you with some dreadful
vision of prisons and starving wretches.”

I turned from him with honest indignation, and
calling to the fruiterer, gave him the money to discharge
the debt.—I would not trust myself to speak
to the man again, who could so shamefully trample
on the laws of humanity.— The poor boy was weeping,
his face hid with his hands. “Go home, child,”
said I—“your father’s debt is paid.” He staid not to
thank me; but the pleasure that sparkled in his eye,
the agility with which he sprang from his seat, and
flew towards his home, conveyed a greater pleasure
to my heart, than the most eloquent effusions of gratitue.
—I was willing to be a witness of his relating
the story to his parents, so putting on my ring, I
followed him unseen.

The Family.

As I ascended a narrow winding stair-case, I perceived
in a small room, the door of which was partly
open, an elegantly-formed woman, sitting on the
side of a wretched bed, on which lay a man, the
picture of famine. On her knee sat a lovely infant,
who with her little hand was wiping off the tears
that trickled down her mother’s cheeks.—The little
boy, breathless with impatience, rushed into the
room—“Papa—Mamma—’tis paid—you shall not go
to prison—I would not tell where you lived; indeed
he was very angry; but that good gentleman
—”

C1r 25

“My dear boy,” cried the fond mother, “why do you
talk so incoherently? Who has frightened my child?
What is the matter with you?”

He endeavoured to tell his story with propriety.—
It was in vain, joy had entirely unconnected his
ideas; but he made himself understood.

Oh! thou sensualist, couldst thou but in imagination
taste the luxury of my feelings at this moment,
thou wouldst henceforth forego the gratification of
thy grosser appetites, to feast thy mind with the
highest of human pleasures.

I saw the honest fruiterer enter with some supplies
which I had judged might be necessary for people
in their condition. He repeated every circumstance,
only concealing my name.

I was preparing to leave the room, when a child
entered, whom I instantly knew to be my little petitioner
“I will see thee again tomorrow,” said I—
“but now will seek my lovely Emma, and engage her
in thy behalf.”

The Resolution.

“It was more than I could conveniently afford,” said
I—when I found how much money I had expended.
Twenty pounds is a good sum, but it will cost me
much more before I have placed Heartfree in a situation
more suitable to his merit—but no matter, I
will discharge one of my servants: why should I
keep two footmen, when a man of greater worth is
in want of even the common necessaries of life?— C C1v 26
my dear Emma will, I am sure, agree to this proposal.
—My phaeton and horses, too, I will dispose of;
one carriage is enough; what business have I with
superfluities? the money this requires will be much
better employed in relieving the unfortunate. I
will be generous, but I will not be imprudent—my
Emma, and her dear little Harriet, shall not suffer
for my benevolence.

I had reached my own mansion; a smile of chearfulness,
that ever graced my Emma’s face, bade me
welcome.

I communicated my proposal, and relocated Heartfree’s
case.—she smiled assent, and the smile was
rendered doubly enchanting, accompanied by the
tear of sensibility.

Retiring, I passed through my Harriet’s chamber
sweet are the slumbers of the innocent. I feasted
my eyes upon her infant beauties, and retired to
rest with a mind so serene, that I envied not the
greatest monarch, and forgave even my bitterest
enemies.

The Morning Ramble.

Who will pretend to say that early rising does
not afford us many pleasures, and contribute to our
health?—how charming to see the beauteous orb of
day, rising supremely bright, to enliven nature, and
tinge with gold the lofty mountains’ tops.—The
country is the place to enjoy these beauties; but even
near London we may find pleasant walks.—I had
ascended a hill—how charming was the prospect— C2r 27
fields crowned with rising plenty; the peasants
blithly singing as they labour.—These people seem
happy, but they are not to be envied; they work
hard for their bread, and if their rude, unpolished
minds are callous and unfeeling in distress, they are
likewise insensible to many of the pleasures that
await them; the works of nature afford them no
satisfaction, because they cannot contemplate their
beauties; yet their minds are suited to their station;
refinement would be no blessing to them, and the
best security the peasant has for happiness, is ignorance.

These were my reflections, as I rambled towards
Hampstead.

“Give me a draught of milk, my dear,” said I, to
a rosy damsel.—She blushed, curtsied aukwardly,
and complied—she trembled as she presented it.

“Were you ever in love?” said I, as I took the milk.
“Never but once, and please your honor.”


“And are you not in love now?”
“No.”


“No! and how happens that?”
“I am going to be married to-morrow.”


“And you don’t think love necessary in matrimony?”

“Father says I shall love my husband as soon as I
am married.”


“And pray who was you in love with?”
“Colin; his cottage was close to ours; we were
born on the same day, and when we were children
we used to play together. If Colin had some fruit
he would save a part for me; and when strange gentlemen
or ladies gave him half-pence, he shared them C2v 28
with me: when we grew older, he would tend my
sheep, watch my young lambs, and bring home my
cows; and if I’d had a brother, your honor, he
could not have been kinder, nor, I am sure, I could
not have loved him better; so he axed father to let
us be married; but Colin was a shepherd’s boy,
and I was father’s only child, so he said he could
give me fifty pounds, and I might have a match better
than Colinso we kissed and parted— and tomorrow
I am to be married to farmer Willson, who
is old and lame, but he says I shall have a mort of
fine things —tho’, to tell the truth, I had rather
wear my own linsey jacket, and be married to
Colin.”

“And so you shall, my sweet simple rustic,” said I—
Her father was one of my tenants—I took out my
pocket-book, wrote a line or two on my tablet, and
bade her give it to her father.

“What a curse this pride is,” said I, as I directed
my steps towards London“but that this haughty
dame should stoop to inhabit a cottage, is wondrous
strange—Why a peer of the realm could but have
made his daughter miserable, to preserve the dignity
of his house, but in the name of common sense,
what has a peasant to do with pride of family?”

The Inn Yard.

“My dear friend, you are heartily welcome to town,”
said a spruce-dressed citizen, as he helped his country
friend to alight from the Norfolk stage. “Pray
come home with me; I expect you will make my C3r 29
house your own while you stay in town; there is
nothing in my power I will not do to make it agreeable
to you. I have depended upon your company;
my whole house is at your service.”

This over-acted complaisance made me suspect
his sincerity, or that he had some sinister point in
view; so putting my ring on my finger, I followed
them home.

The Discovery.

“I am greatly obliged to you,” said the country gentleman,
as he sat down to the breakfast table; “the
invitation you have given me is very acceptable; I
have lost the estate I have been so long at law about,
for want of sufficient evidence; and after I have
paid the costs, I shall not have more than two hundred
pounds left, with which I mean to purchase an
annuity; therefore I shall make your house my home,
till I can settle my affairs.”

“It may be some time before you can settle your business
to your satisfaction,”
replied the citizen, his
features contracting into cold civility; “and I expect
a gentleman to take my first floor in about a week;
I am very sorry I cannot accomodate you longer.”

“My dear Mr. Woollet,” cried the wife, hastily entering,
“I am vastly glad to see you.”

“Mr. Woollet has lost his lawsuit, my dear,” said
the husband.

The smile of welcome was instantly changed into
a look of amazement—She had advanced to give him C2 C3v 30
her hand, but on his attempting to salute her, she
withdrew her cheek, exclaiming, “I am sorry for his
disappointment”
—and began to make the tea.

He drank two dishes of tea, and then asked his
friend to lend him two guineas.— He had it not in
the house.— Trade was very precarious—again mentioned
his expected lodger, and recommended a
mean room to his friend, at half a crown per week,
in an obscure lane in the city.

Oh! self-interest, how dost thou deaden every virtue;
lead to hypocrisy and vice, and make us what
we should be ashamed to own, mean, avaricious,
and unfeeling.—Would I change the feeling heart
for all the interested views this world affords? Oh,
no! give me sensibility to feel another’s woe, and
I shall then feel, as I ought, my own happiness.

The Surprise.

“It is vexatious,” said Mr. Woollet, as he arose
from breakfast, “that I cannot stay here, as I have no
ready money to procure a lodging.”
—No answer
was made.

“Can’t I have a room on your second floor, Mrs. Saveall?”

“Really, Sir, they are all occupied.”

“I do not know what to do; I must beg you to lend me
half a guinea till next week.”

“I cannot, upon my word, Sir.”

Mr. Woollet summoned up a look of expressive
anger and contempt, and fixing his eyes on his false
friend, cried, “He who can refuse half a guinea to C4r 31
my necessities, shall never share my prosperity.—
Know, selfish man, I have gained my cause, and
am, at this moment, master of two thousand pounds
per annum.”
Then turning from them, hastily left
the house.

I stood for a moment to view their confusion;
they spoke not a word, but giving each other the
keenest looks of reproach, separated in sullen silence.

At that instant, Heartfree shot across my mind,
I quitted the house, and removing the ring from
my finger, walked home.

The Breakfast.

She was listening with attention to Heartfree,
who was relating the story of last night. She knew
it before, but still it was pleasing, for it was in
praise of the man she loved.—Harriet had made an
acquaintance with my little petitioner; was displaying
her toys, and teaching her to dress her
doll.

“I have made you wait, my Emma,” said I—Heartfree
rose from his seat, bowed, and cast down his
eyes, while his cheeks were dyed with crimson—it
was a blush neither expressive of guilt nor shame—
it was a blush occasioned only by the pain a noble
heart feels when in a state of despondence. I took
no notice of it, but began a conversation on indifferent
subjects—his confusion gradually decreased,
and in less than half an hour was quite dissipated, C4v 32
I settled a plan for his future subsistence—he left
me in haste to carry the joyful tidings to his wife—
he was beyond expression happy, nor was I a jot
behind him in that particular.— My Harriet could
not part with her little play-fellow.—“She shall live
with you, Harriet,”
said I;—so she shall, papa, and
ride in my coach, and wear my fine things—won’t
you, Lucy?”

She looked up at me with a countenance I shall
never forget. “And shall I never see mamma, then? and must
she still live in that dark room?”

I was willing to try her.— “You shall stay here,
Lucy, said I, but you must not see your mamma,
nor can I help her living in that little dark room.”

She surveyed the apartment she was in, as though
making a comparison.

“It is a fine place,” said she; “but if my mamma
cannot take a part of these fine things, I had rather
go home again.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Emma, “who can say that Heartfree
is poor; fate has indeed robbed him of his
wealth, but heaven in return has given him an invaluable
treasure in his children.”

The Lesson.

It was about two years after, when my Emma,
Harriet, Lucy, and myself, were on a visit to Heartfree.
—His brother had returned from India with a
fortune equal to their most sanguine wishes.—In
rural retirement, about twenty miles from London, C5r 33
they lived in complete happiness, having been taught
the value of present blessings, by past scenes of sorrow.

It was a night when the contending elements
seemed to threaten the earth with dissolution; the
forked lightening rived the sturdy oaks; the bursting
and almost incessant pearls of thunder made all
nature tremble. The whirlwind raged, the gleaming
meteors shewed the distant foaming sea, its
proud unsettled waves that seemed to wage war
with the black impending sky.—It was a night of
horror. It was a night to make a man remember
on what a slender thread his life depends. The
vast universe is but an atom that with one blast from
the Creative Power might vanish into air, and leave
no trace of planets, earth, or sea, but all again be
universal chaos.

It ceased. The moon broke from behind a jetty
cloud, tinged round with silver—the wind passed
gently over the trees and herbage, whose leaves had
caught the late descending shower, and glittered in
the moon beams.

“The tempest was dreadful,” said I, “but it has cleared
the air of all noxious vapours; and how beautiful
appears the face of nature, heightened by the
remembrance of the late scene of horror!—Just so
it is with life; none can enjoy the pleasures of prosperity
so well as those who have felt the pangs of
adversity.”

Our ears were invaded by a groan; it came from
the road; we followed the sound, and found a man
lying on the ground, bleeding, and almost naked.— C5v 34 We bore him to the house, his wounds were dressed,
and it was judged rest would be his best restorer.

In the morning he was unable to rise. I proposed
to Heartfree to visit him; we entered the
room, put back the curtains, and discovered the
features of the inhuman Creditor.—We paused.—
He endeavored to turn his face from us, and waving
his hand for us to leave him, cried emphatically,
“Heartfree! thou art revenged.”

“I should like to know,” said Heartfree, when his
wounded guest was able to leave his apartment, “by
what accident you came in that dangerous situation.”

“I will inform you,” he replied:— “About three
weeks since, my house was consumed by fire, and
with it all my property—my wife and children were
saved, but they were saved from the flames to perish
by famine.”

His heart was full.—Heartfree passed his hand across
his eyes.— The man continued,— “Some charitable
people made a collection of near fifty pounds,
and advised me to go into the country, and purchase
a little place, where my wife and children might
be supported by industry.—To save expences I travelled
on foot, and in a late tempest stopt at an ale
house till it should be over. On coming away, two
men offered to accompany me; but before I had
proceeded far, they stopped and demanded my money;
seeing they had no fire-arms, I endeavoured
to defend myself, but they were too powerful; I
received a wound in my side, and soon grew insensible;
the rest you know.—I return you many thanks C6r 35
for the unmerited favours I have received; but I
must now go back to my poor family, and either
starve in obscurity, or go to the parish.”

“You shall do neither,” exclaimed Heartfree, looking
at his own children as he spoke.

Heartfree was a husband and a father in the just
sense of the words.—He was troubled with a short
memory, and had entirely forgot that he had ever
been harshly treated by the person before him.

“You shall do neither,” said he, taking out his pocket
book, and endeavouring to disperse the drops of
humanity that started in his eye: “here,” giving him
a note, “here is a trifle; I do not at present want;
when you can spare it, repay me; till then you are
welcome.”

The man could not take it—astonishment had rendered
him motionless.

Heartfree put it on the table, and calling to a
servant to get a horse ready for his guest to return
to town, wished him a pleasant ride, and left the
room.

The Elopement.

“I fear this step will greatly distress my poor father,”
said Melissa to her woman, as they entered
the Park.

They had left the carriage at Spring Gardens,
with orders if they did not return in two hours, to
go home.

C6v 36

Mrs. Tiffany was artful; she knew her lady’s
partiality for Cogdie, and she painted the matrimonial
state, founded on love, in the most glowing
colours.

Melissa for a moment forgot her father, but the
idea soon returned.

“I hope he will not be very wretched”, said she.


“You will soon return,” answered Mrs. Tiffany.


“But I marry without consulting him.”

“And is not your fortune your own, Madam; and
in a case of this nature, young ladies can certainly
tell what will contribute to their own happiness,
better than their old fathers can judge for them.”

“But he will be very angry, Tiffany —I will not
go—I will return, fall at his feet, and confess my
error—I am sure he will refuse me nothing that is
really necessary to my happiness.”

“Dear madam, how can you talk so—what will
poor Mr. Cogdie think? he will cetainly go distracted.”

Melissa stopped.


“And then your aunt Sarah, she will never let you
have Mr. Cogdie, if she can prevent it.”

“No matter; I will not go.”


“Well, Madam, just as you please; Mr. Cogdie
will think you meant to make a fool of him, and
will marry Miss sparkle, who is so fond of him.”


Melissa sighed—and went forward.

A chaise and four was waiting for her at Hyde
Park
corner; I had a horse there ready also.—By
means of my ring I had followed
them through the D1r 37
Park unseen—I now took it off, and mounting my
horse, followed the chaise full speed, in which were
Cogdie, Melissa, and her woman.

Gretna Green.

“I have often heard of this place,” said I, “but I
never thought I should be one that took a trip to it
on an hymeneal expedition;—but I must not lose
sight of Melissa; so putting on my ring, I followed them into the house.”

The Inn.

“How happy your condescension makes me,” said
Cogdie, as he seated himself by Melissa“but I shall
not be entirely devoid of fear till I can call you
mine: and as the parson is not in the way, suppose,
my dear girl, you sign this paper, to certify that
you came with me voluntarily, in case I should be
called to an account for running away with an
Heiress.”

“May I not read the paper,” said Melissa.


“It is of no great consequence, my love, whether
you sign it or not, only in such cases there are sometimes
difficulties ensue after the ceremony is over.
I may be tried and cast.”

“Give me the paper, I will sign it.”

D D1v 38

I trembled with anxiety.—She had taken up the
pen to sign the conveyance of her whole fortune into
his hands.

“I will see him—” exclaimed a voice, not the gentlest
in the world—“I have a warrant to apprehend
him.”

Cogdie turned pale as ashes.— The pen dropped
from Melissa’s hand.—
An officer of justice entered.

“Mr. Cogdie,” said he, “you must go with me. I
arrest you for a fraud committed five years ago.”

“And who has employed you? who forged this tale
to injure me in the opinion of this lady?”

I had taken off my ring, and stepping forward at
that moment, cried, “’tis I, you villain. Is it not
enough that you have ruined an innocent girl who
was under my protection; left her and her helpless
infant to shame and want, and by base and fraudulent
methods taken from me near a thousand pounds,
but you must add to the catalogue of your crimes
the ruin of this amiable lady, and break the heart
of her worthy father.”

Melissa shrieked, and fainted; I caught her as she
fell, and bore her in my arms to another apartment.
Cogdie departed with the officers of justice,
muttering curses as he went.

“O! where am I,” cried Melissa, as she opened her
eyes, “and where is my dear father?” “Safe, I hope,”
replied I; “and when you choose, I will order a
chaise, and we will return to him.”

D2r 39

“When you please, Sir; but I fear he will never
see me, never forgive me; I dare not go to him.”
“I will make your peace with him,” said I.—Melissa
burst into tears, and was silent.

“We cannot depart without some refreshment,”
thought I; so going into the kitchen to order something,
I met Mrs. Tiffany on the stairs. “Woman,”
said I, “what wages does your lady owe you?”

“Six months, Sir; but I hope my lady will not
part with me in this strange place.”

“You had no business to advise her to come to this
strange place—there is your money, and three guineas
to pay your expenses to town, your lady never
desires to see you again.”
—Now by the astonishment
of her countenance, and a sort of leer that she gave
as she tripped down stairs, I guessed I had paid her
more than was her due.

Honesty.

“This woman has certainly got more than she
had a right to,”
said I, standing with my right hand
on the top of the lower balustrade, and holding my
purse, which I had not yet tied up, in my left—
“The world talks much about honesty, but I cannot
comprehend where it is to be found.—The trader
will stand behind his counter, and ask you three
shillings per yard for cloth more than it is worth,
and if you are inexperienced, as it frequently happens
in such cases, you pay him without hesitation
—he knows he has imposed upon you, yet he will D2v 40
lay his hand upon his heart, and declare he is an
honest man.—The Courtier!—Oh! quoth reflection,
pray don’t mention a courtier and honesty in the
same breath.—The women—how can you talk of
their honesty, when you have so flagrant a proof to
the contrary before you.—The Clergy—worse and
worse; does not the beneficed clergyman, quietly
pocket his hundreds, or thousands, while the poor
curate is starving on thirty pounds per annum, and
will not the rector preach you an eloquent sermon
on charity, and the curate spend his breath in recommending
abstinence.—Is this honesty?”

“It may be called so,” said I.


“The lawyer and physician—Oh, there is no honesty
there, I assure you; the one steals your fortune,
and the other your life—but this is all in the
way of business.”

“Then, pray where may we find this said honesty?”


It was a sort of question I knew not how to answer
—at that instant faithful Caesar came and licked
my hand.— “You are right,” said I, patting his head.
“If any thing like honesty or fidelity is to be found
in the world, it is in your species.”

“Shall we go, Sir,” said Melissa, as she came down
stairs.

“With all my heart,” said I, putting up my purse,
and offering her my hand.—The chaise was at the
door, and I was actually stepping into it, without
once recollecting that I had not spent a single halfpenny
for the good of the house.

D3r 41

The Recital.

“It is all like a dream,” said Melissa, as the chaise
drove off; “a sort of confused, disagreeable dream,
from which I shall be glad to awake—but pray, Sir,
if it be not troublesome, will you tell me the meaning
of some words which you dropped concerning
Cogdie? what woman has he ruined, and whom
has he defrauded?”

“I will tell you, Madam,” said I—she was all attention.

“Five years since, a friend of mine died, and left
a lovely orphan daughter to my care.—Olivia was
young and inexperienced in the ways of the world.
—I was gay and fond of company—the house of a
young gentleman of fortune is not a fit sanctuary for
innocence and beauty. I loved Olivia like a sister—
I would have revenged an insult offered her at the
expense of my life, but she required the tender solicitude
of a mother, the sedate mature advice of a
father. —Her heart was the seat of sensibility, she
was formed for domestic love and felicity—having
no paternal ties, no filial affection to warm her gentle
breast—there was an aching void in her heart,
which only love could fill.—Cogdie visited at my
house—he was much older than Olivia, she was only
sixteen.—He was attentive to her childish pleasures;
her favorite dog was caressed—he would
feed her goldfinch, talk to her parrot, and bring
her nosegays.—I was not of a suspicious temper D2 D3v 42
but placed an implicit confidence in Cogdie, who,
by a thousand arts, had ingratiated himself into my
favour. It was not long before I observed Olivia
grew pale and thin; she had lost her chearfulness,
and I frequently found her in tears. Imagining she
might be solitary for want of a female companion,
I proposed her going into the country to an old lady,
a friend of mine, who had a daughter but three
years older than herself—she consented, and two
days after was appointed for her departure. When
the appointed morning came, she was not to be
found. I sent to all her acquaintance in vain.—I
cannot describe my distress—I told my affliction to
Cogdie; he consoled me; and flattered me with
hopes I might yet find her—I was happy to think I
had such a friend. Three weeks passed on, and I
never heard of my Olivia.—Cogdie had frequently
mentioned his being sometimes employed by a capital
merchant at Hamburgh, with whom I was acquainted
when abroad —He came to me one morning,
and shewed a letter, in which he was desired
to send the merchant a ring, the most valuable
that could be procured.—‘I wonder,’ said Cogdie,
‘why he has not sent me the money to purchase this
ring; he knows my circumstances are not the most
affluent.’
He seemed distressed at not being able to
get so valuable a ring on credit.—I sent him to my
jeweller; the ring was ordered, and it came to near
eight hundred and fifty pounds—he took it away
in haste one morning, as he said, to send it to Hamburgh;
and I never saw him again, till a few days D4r 43
since, when I was informed he was one of the most
noted gamblers about town. I had given up all
thoughts of ever finding Olivia, when going out one
evening——”

The Traveller.

“The roads are very heavy indeed,” said I, breaking
the thread of my story, and fixing my eyes on
an old man, who was travelling through the dirt—
There had just fallen a heavy shower of rain, and
the sun was now shining with scorching rays upon
his head; he was dressed in a gray coat, and a bundle
hung to the end of a stick that was across his
shoulder.—My heart is always interested by the
present object.—“This man,” said I, “is no more able
to walk than I am; and four horses can certainly
drag three people”
—I bade the postilion stop.— “And
what are you about to do?”
said Prudence—“Offer
that poor man a seat in the chaise,”
said Benevolence
“ah! but you know nothing of him; he may be a
thief,”
cried Suspicion—“or a very poor mechanic,
and by no means fit to ride in a chaise with a gentleman,”
urged Pride— “but he is a fellow-creature,
and seems very weary,”
said Humanity.—I staid not
another moment for consideration.

“And have you never heard of Olivia since?” said
Melissa, when we were settled in our seats.—I
know not how it was, but I could not proceed with
my story—there was something in the appearance D4v 44
of the old man, that awakened my curiosity—he
was a figure not striking; but examine it minutely,
and you would find it interesting. A few gray hairs
were scattered over his forehead; his face seemed
to have some traces of sorrow and disappointment;
his features were grave, but withal tempered with
such meek resignation and composure, that I contemplated
them till I had forgot Olivia, Melissa,
and almost myself.

The Conjecture.

There is such a natural curiosity implanted in
the mind of man, that we cannot be half an hour in
company with a stranger, before in our own imagination
we form many conjectures concerning his
situation in life—what sort of disposition he has—
whether he is married or single—and fifty such particulars,
which are of no real consequence to us.—I
had not been seated with this old man above ten
minutes, when I had settled in my own mind that
he was a parson, that he had lost his wife, and that
he was going to town in order to look out for some
employment to settle his children in.—“Thou hast
lost thy partner,”
thought I, looking at him with
compassion, she who has heightened the pleasure of
thy youth, shared with thee the sweets and bitters
of life, and was thy companion in old age.—
The bower that she planted so many years since;
the woodbines that she trimmed and guided with D5r 45
her hands, now shoot wild and neglected, and that
bower which to thee was once a paradise, is now
desolate and gloomy, deprived of her presence.—”

“What a saucy baggage is this Madam Fancy,” said I,
recollecting myself; she has given me a pain at my
heart by telling me a tale which, perhaps, has no
foundation.”

“Do not complain of Fancy,” said my fellow-traveller,
“for how many a heavy hour she often helps
to dissipate, when she soars upon the pinions of
hope, and builds fine airy fabrics, extricates us out
of difficulties, and leads us to the summit of our
wishes; and we are for the moment as happy as
tho’ in the real possession of them; and what tho’
she sometimes does forsake us, and all the prospects
vanish into air, yet soon she returns again, and again
is welcomed—we listen to her siren tale with
pleasure, and so wear life away. How often in
fancy have I rushed into battle, and with this arm
sent hundreds to eternity—how often has fancy led
me to my sovereign’s feet, to receive the reward of
my past services.”

“You are a soldier, then,” said I,—every feature
was animated with the remembrance of former campaigns,
as he replied in the affirmative.

“Then by my soul,” said I, “Madam Fancy is an arrant
cheat, for she had represented you as a parson.”

D5v 46

The soldier.

“I have spent the best part of my life,” said the old
man, “in the service of my country.—At fifty years
of age I retired, with no other fortune than a lieutenant’s
half-pay—it was but scanty, it was but
sufficient for the wants of Narcissa, my wife, and
self.—I would tell you that my child was lovely,
Sir; but I am old, and a father; both those particulars
would lead you to doubt my veracity. Our
mansion was small, but it was the mansion of content.
Last summer an old lady came to lodge in
our neighbourhood; she took great notice of Narcissa
during her residence in the country, and at her
departure, requested me to let my child come the
ensuing spring to pass a few weeks in town; with
reluctance I consented, for I thought the fair blossom
of innocence would be subject to contamination
if I entrusted her in the metropolis without a proper
protector.”

“You was right,” said I—at that instant recollecting
poor Olivia, and fearing I might again lose the
thread of my story, I instantly gratified Melissa’s curiosity,
by relating the remainder.

The Recital continued.

“Going out one evening, I heard a voice which I
thought I knew, imploring charity. I sent my servant
to bring her to me; she came weeping and sobbing D6r 47
aloud.—She just entered the door, and sunk insensible
at my feet.—It was poor Olivia—I raised
her, I pressed her in my arms, and by the tenderest
caresses called her back to life. When she found
herself in my arms, she could hardly trust her senses,
but sliding from my embrace upon her knees, took
both my hands in hers, and cried ‘will you forgive
me.’
——I assured her she was pardoned; soothed
her, and begged to know why she had left my protection
she unfolded a tale of horror—Cogdie had
ruined her. she found herself pregnant, and pressed
him to marry her; he said I would not consent to
their union, and when out of tenderness I wished to
remove her into the country, she thought it was
only to take her from him.——Conscious of her
own unhappy situation, she flew to her betrayer—
he for a while behaved with a tolerable degree of
tenderness; but he soon threw off the disguise, and
turned her out of doors, at the same time informing
her that I had taken an oath never to see or assist
her.”

“Heavens! what barbarity,” exclaimed Melissa.—
Melissa pitied Olivia, but she felt for herself——it
might have been her situation. —She desired me to
proceed.

“I took the fair mourner,” said I, “into the country,
where, in about six weeks, she was delivered of a
boy.—I told her unfortunate tale to Mrs. Sidley and
her daughter; they pitied her, they determined she
should not be lost. I visited Olivia in her retreat;
my visits were long and frequent; when I was absent D6v 48
from Sidley Cot, I was pensive and unhappy;
my former pleasures lost the power of amusing—in
short, I at last discovered that the lovely Emma Sidley
had taken possession of my heart; I sought her
hand—I gained it, and brought my charming prize
triumphant up to town.”

“Olivia has spent these last five years in superintending
the care of her boy; she passes for a widow,
and her charms have gained her many admirers, but
she declines them all; and declares she looks upon
herself as the wife of Cogdie. Chance discovered to
me his vile design on you. Pardon me, dear lady,
if I thought the method I have made use of, the only
one that I could impress your mind with terror, at
the precipice you have escaped, and guard you in
future against forming clandestine connections with
our sex.”

The Omission.

“And what have you done with the old lieutenant?”
said my Emma, when I had given her an account of
our journey.

“I set him down somewhere in the Strand,” said I.


“I hope you found some opportunity to increase his
little store without hurting his feelings,”
said she.


I was ashamed to own my omission; “and yet
where is the shame?”
said I, as I sat with my hand
upon my Emma’s knee, reading the sweet lines written
by benevolence on her lovely countenance.——
Where is the shame that I was guilty of an omission E1r 49
through forgetfulness? it was not a wilful sin against
charity—“I will go seek him,” said I, “and repair
my fault.”

“You will first go to my father, I hope,” said Melissa.

I took my hat, and stood full two minutes undetermined
which to do first—they were both actions
of benevolence.

“Had it been thy case, bright pattern of humanity,”
said I, opening a volume of Sterne, that lay on the
table before me, just at the corporal’s relating the
story of Le Fevre to Captain Shandy——“had it been
thy case, thou wouldst have given the preference to
the old soldier; but I am a father, and will act as
my feelings direct.”

The Reconciliation.

“It is of no purpose,” said I to the servant, “to deny
your master; I am sure he is at home, and I
will see him—pray tell him I have particular business
with him.”
—I had left Melissa at my house—
after waiting half an hour, I was admitted up stairs
Melissa’s father was sitting in a pensive posture, his
looks dejected, and his dress disordered.—On the
other side of the room sat a woman, the picture of
envy and ill-nature.

“You will pardon me, Sir, for this intrusion—I
came from —”

E E1v 50

“My daughter,” eagerly exclaimed the old gentleman
“and where is she, Sir?—will she come home
again? Oh, lead me to her, that I may lock her in
my arms, and with tears of joy wash away the remembrance
of her error.”

“I suppose Miss is married,” cried Mrs. Sarah.—
“She did not make such an excursion, and with such
company, for nothing.”

“Really, Madam”, said I, she is not married; she
has taken a little excursion, it is true, but she is now
at my house, impatiently waiting for a summons to
throw herself at her father’s feet, and implore his
forgiveness”
.——The old gentleman called for his
hat.

“Why surely you will not forgive her, brother?”
said the churlish aunt.

“Not forgive her!” exclaimed the father—“I tell you,
sister, she shall be forgiven, taken again to my bosom,
again share my confidence; nor be driven by
my unkindness, and the cold contempt of her own
sex, to that vice which I know her soul would shrink
from as from death.”

Mrs. Sarah muttered something about virtue and
propriety, and left the room.

There were three reasons why Mrs. Sarah was so
inveterate against her niece; the first was, she was
old, very sallow, rather inclined to be crooked,
and had a voice something resembling the cawing of
a rook; it was therefore a great mortification to
have a niece so young and lovely.

E2r 51

In the second place, she had formed some design
on Cogdie’s heart herself—no woman can bear a
rival in love or dress.

The third, and most potent reason was, she had
never been a parent, therefore could not tell the
pangs, the yearnings, the fond solicitudes that by
turns agitated the heart of Melissa’s father.

“Come, let us go, my friend,” said he, “let us go and
bring the dear fugitive home.”

As we were going, I gave him an account of our
expedition.

“I cannot bear to see him,” exclaimed Melissa, hiding
her face as we entered—He would not suffer her to
kneel, but embracing her cordially, cried, “come
home, my child, come home, and let us forget all
that is past, I never will reproach you.”

He was right in making this promise, for nothing
is so liable to drive a woman to a second error, as
her being subject to continual reproach for the
first.

“I wonder,” thought I, as they departed, “if there
is a greater blessing on this side eternity, than the
power of conferring benefits.—The man who has it
in his power to make others happy, has a large
share of happiness allotted to himself.—I would not
part with my ring,”
said I, for half the universe:
without it, I had been unable to deliver this charming
girl from the hands of her betrayer.

E2v 52

The Printing Office.

“And can that young creature be an author?”
said I—she was standing at the door of the printing
office, waiting for admission.—I had rambled out
that morning in search of adventures—my ring was
on, I entered the office with the young author.

“I have brought you my manuscript, Mr. C——ke,”
said she; “the story is founded on fact, and, I hope,
will be so lucky as to please those who shall hereafter
peruse it.”

“Is it original, Miss?”
“Entirely so.”
“Lord bless me! that was quite unnecessary.”
“Why, Sir, how could I think of offering to the
public a story which has appeared in print before?”

“Nothing more common, I assure you.”

He was a thin, pale looking man, dressed in a
shabby green coat—he never looked in her face the
whole time he was speaking; but standing half sideways
towards her, fixed his eyes askance upon the
ground.—I never like a man that is ashamed to look
me in the face, it argues a consciousness of not having
always acted with integrity.

“Nothing can be more common, Miss,” continued
he, “than for an author to get a quantity of old magazines,
the older the better, and having picked
and culled those stories the most adapted for his purpose,
he places them in a little regular order, writes
a line here and there, and so offers them to the public
as an entire new work.”

E3r 53

“See here, now, I have published this work on my
own account; these few first pages are original, but
I assure you the scissars did the rest. I have entitled
it The Moralist, and sell these two volumes at seven
shillings and six pence.”

“I should rather call that compiling,” said the young
author.

“Why so it is, in fact—but I assure you there are
few people who have genius sufficient to write a
book, or, even if they had, would take the trouble
to do it.—A sentimental novel will hardly pay you
for time and paper.—A story full of intrigue, wrote
with levity, and tending to convey loose ideas,
would sell very well.”

“It is a subject unfit for a female pen,” said the
young lady.

“Why you need not put your name to it.”

“It is a subject unfit for any pen,” retorted she, a
deep vermilion dying her cheeks, and fire flashing
from her eyes—she stopped, and checked her rising
passion—“I think, Sir,” she continued, with more
composure, “the person who would write a book that
might tend to corrupt the morals of youth, and fill
their docile minds with ideas pernicious and destructive
to their happiness, deserves a greater punishment
than the robber who steals your purse, or the
murderer that takes your life.”

Mr. C—ke stared—it was a vacant stare——he
wondered, no doubt, how an author could study any
thing but her own emolument—I was pleased with
her sentiments—“if your writings are equal to what
E2 E3v 54
you have just uttered,”
said I, “they will be worth perusing;
but some can talk better than they write;
perhaps it is her case. Her works never fell in my
way, so I cannot judge.—”

“You mean to publish by subscription,” said Mr.
C—ke
—She replied in the affirmative—

“And how do you mean to get subscribers?”

“—By shewing my proposals, and simply requesting
them to encourage my undertaking.”

“Oh! God bless me,” he replied, still looking askance,
for he never changed his position, or raised
his eyes from the ground, except it was to look at
his elbow, and contemplate his thread-bare sleeve—
“It will never do to go that way to work—you must
have a tale of distress to tell, or you will never procure
one subscriber—”

“I am not very much distressed,” said she; “and if I
was, why should I blazon it to the world?”

“It is no matter whether you are really distressed
or not,”
said C—ke; “but you must tell a tale to excite
pity, or you will never gain a single shilling
towards printing your books—I have sold eight
hundred copies of The Moralist by these means—nobody
gives themselves the trouble to enquire whether
my story be false or true; it excites pity for
the moment——they send me a subscription—my purpose is answered, and ’tis a question whether
they ever think of me or my story again——”

She seemed tired of the conversation—so laying
down her manuscript, and desiring him to put it in
hand immediately, she bade him good morning—

E4r 55

“What impositions there are in the world!” said I,
as I went out of the office: “This very account will
make me always refuse to subscribe to a book that
is recommended by a tale of distress.”

The Funeral.

Two coaches with white plumes; in the first
was the coffin of an infant, at the door of an elegant
house stood several domestics weeping.—A young woman
who had stood at a distance, watched the coaches
till they were out of sight, and then burst into
tears—

I removed my ring from my finger, and inquired
the cause of her grief.

“He is gone, Sir,” said she, pointing to the road
the coaches had taken; “he is gone, and I shall never
see him again; he was the sweetest child—I once
lived with him, I loved him with unspeakable tenderness,
listened with pleasure to his prattle, and
when he was ill, attended him with anxious, unremitting
care; he was the delight of his parents, he
was the joy of my heart.”

“You do wrong to lament,” said I; “he is gone to a
more happy place; he is taken away before he had
offended his Maker, to share in pleasures unspeakable
and unceasing; then why should you make yourself
wretched? It is like regretting that he was not
suffered to remain in a world subject to all sorts of
disappointments and misfortunes; he is now an angel
in the mansions of the blessed; why should you
then mourn his absence from you?”

E4v 56

“Have you children, Sir?” said she, with unaffected
simplicity—The question struck me forcibly. I
thus asked my own heart—had Harriet been taken
from me; could I have reasoned thus calmly; the
very supposition gave me an unspeakable pang; it
told me that reason had little power over the heart
torn by the loss of what it prized more than life.—
I turned to the young woman—she was gone a few
paces from me—she sighed, profoundly pronounced
the name of Henry, wiped off her tears, raised her
swollen eyes to Heaven, and cried—“Thy will be
done.”

I was ashamed of my former reasoning; that one
sentence convinced me, that Christianity was a better
comforter in affliction than the most boasted rules
of philosophy.

The Happy Pair.

It was a neat little house, by the side of the fields
—a pretty looking woman, drest by simplicity, Nature’s
handmaid, was laying the table cloth, and
trimming up her little parlour; her looks were
chearful and serene, and with a voice pleasing,
though wild and untutored, she sung the following
little stanzas:

Here, beneath my humble cot,

Tranquil peace and pleasure dwell,

If contented with our lot,

Smiling joy can grace a cell.

E5r 57

Nature’s wants are all supply’d

Food and raiment, house and fire:

Let others swell the courts of pride,

This is all that I require.

Just as she had finished, a genteel young man entered
the gate; she ran eagerly to meet him.—

“My dear Charles,” she cried, “you are late tonight.”

It was near ten o’clock—I had taken the advantage
of my ring, and followed them into the
house.—

“I am weary, Betsey, said he, leaning his head
upon her shoulder.”

“—I am sorry for it, my love; but come, eat your
supper, and you shall then repose on my bosom, and
hush all your cares to rest—”

Their frugal meal was sallad and bread and
butter.

“If to be content is to be happy, my dear,” said she,
“how superlatively happy am I—I have no wish beyond
what our little income will afford me; my
home is to me a palace, thy love my estate. I envy
not the rich dames who shine in costly array; I
please my Charles in my plain, simple attire; I wish
to please no other.—”

“Thou dear reward of all my toils!” cried Charles,
embracing her, “how can I have a wish ungratified,
while possessed of thee—I never desired wealth, but
for thy sake, and thy chearful, contented disposition
makes even wealth unnecessary.”

E5v 58

“It is by no means necessary to happiness,” said I,
as I left the house—“Charles and Betsey seem perfectly
happy and content with only a bare competence
‘I ask but a competence,’ cries the luxurious
or avaricious wretch; the very exclamation
convinces us, that a trifle is adequate to the wants
of the humble, frugal mind, while thousands cannot
supply the inordinate desires of the prodigal, or
satisfy the grasping disposition of the miser.”

The Drunkard.

It was a confused noise of singing, swearing, and
a crash of breaking glasses.—“Perhaps,” said I, “this is
a private mad house; for surely I am not near Bedlam.”
The moon shone bright, I cast my eyes up
towards the house, and perceived the sign of the
Angel—“Good Heavens!” thought I, “this is a public
house; and how ridiculous to place an angel at the
door of the habitation of drunkenness and debauchery”

Of all the crimes to which human nature is addicted,
drunkenness is the most pernicious; it is the
master key that leads to all other vice.—Behold that
young man; he is an apprentice—in a fit of intoxication
he commenced an acquaintance with a lewd
woman;—he has not money to answer her extravagencies
—he robs his master—he is detected—his
distracted parents pay the sum he has taken—they
exhort him with streaming eyes, to avoid such excesses
in future—He leaves them with a promise E6r 59
of amendment—Returning to his master’s house,
he again is entrapped in his darling vice, and again
returns to his abandoned companion—behold him
now just entering her mansion—he has taken a considerable
sum from his master’s till—the officers of
justice are close behind—he intreats her to secrete
him—she refuses—she delivers him up; denies her
acquaintance with him—he is dragged to prison.—
See him now, loaded with irons, in a dismal dungeon;
he has received the sentence of death—His
parents enter; they are speechless with sorrow—he
remembers their former kindness—he sees their present
anguish; his folly, his guilt appear in their
proper colours—he would comfort them, but is unable
—the messenger of death calls—another moment,
he asks but one moment, and that is denied
—his mother—

But stop; the scene grows too deep; I must draw
a veil before it.

The Bucks.

And these men call themselves rational beings—
they had interrupted my meditations by breaking
the lamps and beating the watchmen who had endeavoured
to prevent them. Among them was a
young man of quality. “—Oh, shame,” said I, “that those
whose exalted station makes their actions conspicuous
in the eyes of the world, should set examples so
very detrimental to society.”

E6v 60

“D—n me,” says he, “let us go and get drunk, and
then roar catches through the street, and disturb the
sober, sleeping drones, in spite of all the watchmen
and constables in the kingdom—Come along, my
boys; and if we do go to the round-house, let us go
jovially.”

How very humiliating it is to human nature to
see mankind so far degrade themselves, and commit
such follies as render them scarcely a degree superior
to the brute creation—nay, I do not know but
the poor ass, who carries the loaded panier, or the
ox who drags the plough, are more useful to society
than such a man: these poor animals render their
owners all the service in their power, in return for
their food, while the buck spends his nights in riot
and debauchery; his days in sleep; and, in return
for the vast blessings showered around him, instead
of making himself serviceable to the community of
which he is a member, he breaks the laws, disturbs
the peace, squanders his substance on the infamous
and profligate, and dies without having performed
one action that might make his loss regretted.

“You thoughtless, dissipated rakes, that haunt this
town, behold this comparison, and if you are men,
blush at your own inferiority.”

The Midnight Hour.

The clock struck twelve.—

“This is the hour,” said I, “when Morpheus, with
his drowsing poppies, has sealed the eyes of the innocent
and happy— but Morpheus is a courtier; he F F1r 61
never visits the couch of affliction, or listens to the
request of the unhappy.—Now the lover, true to
the appointed hour, to elude the guardian’s watchful
eye, steals softly to the window of his fair enslaver,
who anxiously had counted the lazy, lagging
minutes, and listened to the passing breeze that
moved the flowers or whispered through the wood:
caught at each sound, and thought it was her love.
Now the fair mourner seeks her widowed bed, and
hangs over her sleeping infant, till busy fancy recalls
to her mind the father’s features—the tear of regret
which trickles from her eye, falls on the infant’s
cheek—He wakes, he smiles, and charms away her
sorrows.—So, from the lowering sky, when the
soft shower gently descends on the half blown rose,
its fragrance is increased, its leaves expanded, and
all its beauties are revealed to view.”

At this lonely hour the ruffian takes his knife,
and rushes on the unguarded victim of his barbarity.

“Thou foolish wretch, think not the fable curtain
of night can hide thy actions from the eye of
justice”

This is the hour when the guilty mortal, though
in a lofty room, stretched on a bed of down, and
covered by a gilded canopy, though, perhaps, on
India’s distant shore he perpetrated the horrid deed;
imbrued his hands in innocent blood to grasp a glittering
toy, starts frantic from his pillow—he sees
the murdered Indian, his gaping wounds, his mangled
carcase; he hears his wife and children calling aloud F1v 62
for vengeance on the murderer; the cold sweat
bedews his limbs, his joints tremble, his faculties
are lost, he groans, and in his thoughts, curses the
day when he was first taught the use of gold or the
advantages of power.

This is the hour—

“In which,” cries reflection, “your Emma is wondering
why you tarry so long from her; and, anxious
for your safety, paints to her sickening imagination
a thousand dangers which exist not but in her ideas.”

—I quickened my pace
—She met me at the door
—I caught her in my arms.

A tear had fallen upon her cheek, another stood
glittering in her eye—the first was a tear of suspense,
the last of joy. I kissed them both away, and was
angry with myself for having given her gentle bosom
a moment’s pain.

The Lounger.

“Heigho!” cried he, stretching and yawning; “how
shall I pass this day?”

It was nine o’clock; he was just up, and had repaired
to the coffee-house for his breakfast. He took
the news paper, read two or three advertisements;
but soon threw it aside, and seemed wholly occupied
in picking his nails and whistling. “I will follow
you through this day,”
said I, and immediately put
on my ring. He left the coffee-house, and sauntered
an hour in the Park, then strolled from one acquaintance’s F2r 63
house to another, till he received an
invitation to dinner—That universal topic, the weather,
being discussed, and the play for the night
mentioned, he had not another word to say, but sat
stupidly silent, unless, indeed, he ventured to say
yes or no to any question asked by the lady of the
house.

He once complained of the heaviness of time—
she recommended drawing—that required too much
study—reading—he could not bear a book, it stupified
him—music—he should never have patience to
learn; he liked nothing but the flute, and that would
throw him into a consumption—

“I am surprised,” said the lady, “you like none of
these; give me leave to recommend you a few books
that I am sure will help to wear away the time—
Bridon’s Tour you will find instructive and amusing
Goldsmith’s Animated Nature is the same—Sterne
is a pleasing author; and there is a vast fund of amusement
in—”

“You have mentioned books enow already,” said he
(interrupting her) “to last me my life. I never read
any thing except it be a ballad, or the last dying
speech of people that were hanged.”

“Very entertaining and instructive subjects,” cried
the lady.

He dined, and then sauntered to a public house,
drank a pint of rum and water, went to the play
when it was half over, and came away again without
understanding a single sentence he had heard—
went out again to the public house, squandered away
two or three shillings more in drinking, only because F2v 64
he had nothing else to do, and went to bed as
he arose, with a mind entirely vacant, unoccupied
by thought or reflection. “This is the life of a lounger,”
said I—“If the lives of mortals are recorded in
the book of fate, what a blank will this man’s life
appear!—Yet I am certain he goes to bed every jot
as weary as the poor labourer who toils for his daily
bread—Is it the fault of education or disposition?”

said I.

Reason answered, “it must be native indolence, or
he would otherwise engage in some pleasing study,
that might at once employ and amuse him—”

It is a matter of doubt with me, whether such a
man deserves most our pity or contempt.

A Tale of Scandal.

“And so you are writing—and do you intend to
publish your works?”

“Perhaps I may,” said I—

“What is your subject, pray?”
“Rambles, excursions, characters, and tales.”
“And do you think the world will attend to your
rambles, excursions, characters, and tales?”

“I will write sentimental rambles, juvenile excursions,
original characters, and tales of scandal, and
then my books will be universally read.”

“The last article may make them rise into some repute,”
said he.

“Dost thou know the origin of scandal?” said I.
“No—”
“Then I will tell thee— F3r 65
She is of spurious birth; begot of envy on that
blear-eyed monster, Mistrust; she was nursed by
Self-love, and tutored by Hypocrisy—She is hideously
deformed, has a thousand ears, and lists to every
tale—Her eyes magnify the smallest objects into
mountains; and as her tongue has not the power to
vent her malicious tales so fast as her vile heart conceives
them, she makes up the rest in nods, winks,
shrugs of the shoulders, lifting the eyes, and shaking
the head—She in general wears a mask, and dresses
in a pleasing garb, which makes her so well received
in all companies.”

“Why this is a tale of scandal indeed,” said he.
“And the only one I shall ever write,” said I—“for
if in this vast globe full of interesting scenes to excite
our wonder, and engage our attention, if, I
say, in such a place, a man cannot use his pen without
stabbing the character of his neighbour, he
must have had a very narrow education, be possessed
of a bad heart, and blessed with little or no
understanding.”

The Village Wedding.

I never see the simple inhabitants of a village
engaged in a scene of mirth, but I long to mingle
with them—I wish to see, feel, and taste, every
thing with the same sensations they do.

They were seated round a large table, under the
shade of some spreading oaks—“I will partake of their F2 F3v 66
diversions,”
said I, “without disturbing them;” so I
put on my ring, and mixed among the groupe.

A nut-brown maid, dressed in pure white, the emblem
of her own innocence, presided at the head of
the board—I looked at her with scrutinizing eye,
and perceived it was my pretty milk-maid—She
had that day given her hand to Colin, and the
chearful company had assembled to keep the wedding.

Their repast finished, a lad with a pipe and tabor,
and another with a fiddle, struck up a lively
air, when Colin and his Rose led off the dance, with
step so light, a countenance so serene, and an air so
blythe, that I wished myself a humble villager, and
my Emma a nut-brown maid.

And why cannot all the world live thus? What
need of titles, equipage, state, pomp, and nonsense?
Nature never designed it so.

Nor did Nature design us to wear cloaths—

The idea was ludicrous—it irritated my risible
muscles—what aukward beings would these tight
country damsels appear, if they were dancing about
in a state of nature!—“A petticoat is a pretty
ornament,”
said I—“and so is an apron—” The dancers
had tucked their aprons up on one side—it gave
them a look of ease and negligence.

“It is strange,” said I, “that among all the caprices
of fashion, the apron has never been totally abolished,
but has continued to be worn by all ranks
and degrees of women, from our grandmother Eve,
down to these dancing damsels.”

F4r 67

It had never struck me before that the apron was
an ornament of such antiquity.

They danced till silver Cynthia lighted up the
horizon, and then all with one consent sat down to
supper.

That past, the jocund tale, the song, the laugh,
went round, and all was gay festivity and mirth.

In the course of the evening, Colin had twined a
branch of myrtle with woodbine, and placed it on
his Rose’s bosom—He could not have judged better;
the woodbine was an emblem of her sweetness, the
myrtle of her love and constancy.

Farewel, blest pair! may your portion of life be
pure, and unmixed with gall; may your happiness
be as permanent as your innocence and truth are
conspicuous.

The Rescue.

I had been at the play.
A young creature, in the box adjoining that I
sat in, had attracted my notice the whole evening;
her fixed attention during the performance,
shewed she was almost a stranger to those kind of
diversions.

The various passions that agitated her features at
the interesting parts of the drama, seemed the workings
of pure nature—I did not like her companions;
they were by no means suitable guardians for her
youth and charms.

F4v 68

The one was a young man of fortune, a professed
libertine.

The other an old, fat woman, whose looks and
gestures bespoke her employment.

I thought I could read in the open countenance
of the young lady, an unconsciousness of guilt, and
a full confidence in the company and protection of
her companions—I was determined to be convinced
whether my conjectures were well founded.

When they left the play-house, I put on my ring,
and followed them; they were set down at the door
of an elegant house; the rooms within were superb,
the furniture grand, and the servants numerous—
Supper was served up—they urged the young lady
to drink several glasses of wine—

She complied with reluctance.
“I will go and order the coach,” said the old woman,
and left the room.

The libertine took the opportunity, which was
intentionally given, and had nearly executed his
horrid purpose, when taking off my ring, and snatching
up a knife that lay on the table—“Villain,” said
I, “forbear your attempts, or this instant puts a period
to your life—Heaven is too watchful over the
virtuous, to suffer it to fall a prey to such lust and
barbarity.”

If I was clever at designing, I would give you a
sketch of this scene.

The libertine, at the sound of my voice, relinquished
his prey, and fixing his eyes on me in silent F5r 69
astonishment, while every feature expressed terror
and dismay.

Half starting from his seat, he exclaimed, in a
voice scarcely articulate,


“Who are you?”

The poor girl sat leaning her head against the
elbow of the sopha, pale and ready to sink—like a
timid hart, who for a moment having outstretched
the speed of the fleet hounds, trembling looks around,
and stops and pants for breath—again her
pursuers appear in sight—again she would fly, but
fear deprives her of the power; tears of anguish
chase each other down her cheeks, and she sits in
an agony of despair, awaiting the approaching ruin
which she is unable to escape.

I took her by the hand, bid her fear nothing, and
led her triumphant from the house of infamy.

The Actress.

“I will take a peep behind the scenes,” said I, one
evening, as I passed the Hay-market Theatre; so,
putting on my ring, I entered.

“You surprise me, Madam—not come into the house
about his business the nights that you perform?”
(said
a man, addressing himself to Miss—) “pray, in what
has he molested you?”

“He met me on the stairs, Sir, and it is very distressing
to be jostled by such low creatures. I will
have the house cleared of such people.”

F5v 70

“It is a very extraordinary demand, Madam—he
is full as necessary in his station as you are in yours
—I fancy, the heroine of a comedy would make
but a poor appearance with her hair uncurled and
unpowdered; nor would you much admire an hero
with a beard of ten or twelve days growth.”

“I don’t understand this insolence,” replied she; “it
is what I am not used to”

“Pray, what is all this fuss about?” cried a lame
gentleman—

“Nothing in the world, Sir, but Miss— and the
barber.”

“It is very ridiculous,” said I, talking of the circumstance
a few days after, that a woman, whose
bread depends on the smiles of the public, and
who, every night that she performs, exerts her talents
to please taylors, hair-dressers, tinners, nay,
even chimney-sweepers, when they can raise a shilling
to purchase a seat among the Gods. It is the
height of folly for such a woman to complain of her
feelings being hurt by meeting a barber on her
dressing-room stairs.

“Call it by its right name,” said a person that stood
by me, “it is pride.”

“Pride was not made for man, nor woman neither,
I’ll be sworn; it spoils the finest set of features in
the world, and is more pernicious to a pretty face
than paint to a lovely complexion;—it fits but
aukwardly on a dutchess—and the Queen never
uses it.”

“What Queen?” said he— F6r 71
“Why the British Queen, to be sure,” said I—
“But then you make no distinction,” said he, “between
the conscious dignity of a queen, and the
pert supercilious airs of a favourite actress: if the
world were guided by the bright example set from
the British throne, pride would be entirely abolished.”

“That would be a heavenly thing,” said I; “for the
annihilation of pride is like the dissolution of the
body, it unfetters the soul, and leaves it free and
unconfined to soar above the stars.”

“I have frequently been engaged in disputes concerning
women of this profession—it puts me beyond
all patience to hear people advance an opinion
so very contracted and illiberal, as that of supposing
no woman can be virtuous who is on the stage—I
know many at this time who are ornaments not only
to their profession, but to the sex in general:
even the lady I have just mentioned, is generous,
humane and prudent, pride is her only fault—
‘Charming woman!’ I have often said, when I was
enchanted with her performance of some amiable
character—conquer but that one foible, and our admiration
will rise into veneration.—I am confident
a woman may, if she is so inclined, be as virtuous
as Lucrece behind the scenes of a theatre. Virtue
begets respect wherever she appears; on the contrary,
a woman of loose inclination, though she is
immured in a convent, will find opportunities of
doing evil.—It is a great pity so many women belonging
to the stage are thus inclined; but why F6v 72
should we, on account of those that are bad, condemn
a Siddons, Brunton, Kemble, or Pope?—Why
should a woman, if she is a good wife, daughter,
or mother, be less respected because she has genius
to contribute to our amusement, by bringing before
our eyes heroines we have so often read of,
and exhibiting characters we so greatly admire?—
for my part, I never judge of a person from their
profession or situation in life; it is from their actions
I form an idea of their disposition; and as I think
genius and merit derive as much esteem when we
meet with them in an humble mansion as when
they inherit palaces, so are virtue and prudence
as valuable an acquisition in an actress, as in the
daughter of a peer, and alike to be esteemed and
respected.”

The Rencounter.

It is astonishing to me, how people can complain
for want of amusement. I am never a moment
without something to amuse, instruct, or interest
me—I never walk abroad, but I am attentive to
every little incident that happens: a solitary, slow
pace, the folded arms, or down-cast eye, will excite
my compassion, and a joyous serene aspect will
exhilirate my spirits—even in a wilderness, where
never human step marked the green turf, or swept
the dew drops from the waving grass, even there
I would find company, conversation, and amusement.

G1r 73

To a thinking mind, the book of nature is ever
open for our perusal; and a soul warmed by sensibility
and gratitude, reads the divine pages with
pleasure, and contemplates the great source of all
with wonder, reverence, and love.

As I wandered along, encouraging these pleasing
reflections, I saw an old man buying some stale
bread and meat at the window of a mean eating-
house; he stood with his back towards me; his coat
was dirty and torn; his whole appearance was expressive
of the most abject poverty.—“Friend,” said I,
going up to him, “perhaps this trifle may procure
you a better meal,”
putting half a guinea into his
hand.

It always gives my heart a pang, when I see age
and distress combined—age, of itself, always brings
anguish enough.—How very insupportable, then,
must it be, when there are no comforts, no little
indulgencies, to compensate for those days of unavoidable
pain.

As I presented my little donation, I looked in the
old man’s face—I thought I had seen the features,
but could not recollect where.

“Humanity is not entirely banished from the world,”
said he, turning part from me to conceal his emotion.

I immediately knew his voice—it was the old
lieutenant.—“Good God!” said I, stopping him as he
was going from me, “what has reduced you to this
distressed situation?”

G G1v 74

“Misfortune,” said he.
“And did not you know where I lived?”
“I was ashamed to beg,” said he—a sudden glow
passing over his languid features—“and I thought,
Sir, you would be ashamed to own an acquaintance
with poverty.”

“You shall go home with me,” said I, calling an
hackney-coach—“let those take shame to themselves
who deny a part of their wealth to merit in distress.
I am proud to acknowledge myself the friend of a
man of worth, though he should be in the lowest
situation. And why,”
said I, as we drove towards
home, “why should a man be ashamed of his misfortunes?
why should poverty call a blush upon the
cheek of merit; we did not mark out our own fortunes.”

“But then the world, the world, Sir, will always
scoff and spurn the man humbled by the griping hand
of penury: nor is there an object that in general
meets with more contempt from the rich and powerful,
than those who have seen better days, but are
reduced by unavoidable misfortunes to a dependence
on their smiles.”

“Strange infatuation! to set themselves, in the pride
of their hearts, above their fellow creatures; and
for what, truly? because a little more yellow dirt
has fallen to their share. I believe there are but
few who know the true value of riches, and fewer
still reflect that they are only stewards of the wealth
which the bounty of their flawed-reproduction13 words G2r 75
an account of our stewardship, the man who from
a truly compassionate nature has wiped the tear
from the eyes of orphans, softened the fetters of
the captive, or cheared the widow, will receive a
greater reward than the ostentatious wretch, who,
having spent his whole life in amassing treasure, on
his death-bed, when he can no longer enjoy it,
leaves it for the endowment of an hospital. such
a man is not charitable from his feelings for others,
but an inordinate desire he has to have his own memory
held in veneration.”

The Reproof.

“And do you think there are such characters in
the world,”
said the old lieutenant?

“I fear there are too many, friend,” said I.


“I know not how it was,” said he, “but I never suspected
mankind of half the vices and follies I have
found in this short month that I have been in London;
and even now I do not think their errors proceed
half so much from the badness of their hearts
as their heads. I own,”
continued he, “it is our duty
to render every service in our power to our fellow
creatures, but why should one, because he has a
just sense of his duty, and discharges it faithfully,
despise another because he has not the same feelings.”
I felt a consciousness of having, in commending
benevolence, sounded my own praise—it was
my turn to be ashamed.—I felt abashed, and shrunk, G2v 76
as it were, into nothing. —Oh man! what a poor
weak creature thou art, when even in the moment
of discharging thy duty, thy own heart, easily
led astray, will vaunt and boast its own superiority.
—The most benevolent action in the world loses
its intrinsic merit, when the man who performs
it says to himself, “I am better than my neighbour;
I am not hard hearted, nor proud, nor avaricious.”

No, cries humility, but you are vain-glorious.

I was quite disconcerted, and could not forgive
myself.

The Meeting.

I had ordered my servant to supply Mr. Nelson
(for that was the name of the old lieutenant) with
every thing necessary to appear in at dinner,
and then went to seek my Emma. —I found
her in the garden—the young lady I had rescued
last night, was busy in platting a little lock of hair,
and placing it in a fanciful manner to the bottom
of a picture which hung round her neck. When
she had finished, she glanced her eye towards us,
and thinking she was not observed, pressed it several
times to her lips. I thought I saw a tear in her
eye, but the chaste look, the religious fervour with
which she gazed upon the portrait, convinced me
it was a tear whose source might be acknowledged
without a blush.

G3r 77

She had dropped the picture, and, resting one
arm upon a pedestal, seemed attentively watching
Harriet and Lucy, who had dressed a little favourite
dog in their dolls cloaths, and was teaching it to
dance a minuet.—The scene was picturesque; and I
know not how long I might have contemplated it
with silent satisfaction, had I not observed Mr.
Nelson
coming towards me with eager step and
anxious eye.

“Tell me, who is that?” said he, pointing to the
young lady—but that I think ’tis impossible, I should
say ’tis my Narcissa.

At the sound of his voice the young lady looked
up, and advancing a few steps, stood in an attitude
of wonder and astonishment, till he pronounced the
name of Narcissa; when springing like lightning to
him, she threw her arms round his neck, and cried,
“Yes, yes, I am your child.”

It would be doing injustice to the rest of the
scene, were I to attempt to describe it—words
could not speak the feelings of their hearts—It was
a meeting between a fond father and an affectionate
child—and I leave it to such to judge of their
happiness.

The Request.

When we had dined, and the cloth was removed
“Tell me, my dear Sir,” said Narcissa, “by what G2 G3v 78
lucky accident you came acquainted with this gentleman,
and what brought you at this time to London?”

“How can you ask me that, my child?” replied the
old man; “did you think your mother and myself
could sit quietly down when you had been absent
from us near a month, and we had never had a
single line from you?”

“I wrote twice a week,” said Narcissa, wiping her
eyes—she could not bear to hear her mother had
been distressed.

The old man continued—


“I was too much interested in the safety of my dear
girl to be at ease under such disagreeable appearances;
so leaving your mother what money I could
spare, I sat out to walk to London, but was prevented
by this gentleman.—On my arrival in town
I went to the place where the old lady resided, and
was told by her servant that you were gone out of
town to pass a few weeks—I walked to the place
whither I was directed, but could find no such person
—My little stock was almost exhausted—I went
again to the lady’s house, and was treated by her
servant with insolence.”

Narcissa laid her hand on his shoulder, and gave
him a look that I am sure would have healed every
wound the servant’s insolence had given his heart,
though they had been a thousand.

Oh! filial love, fair daughter of gratitude, sister
to piety, thou first favourite of Heaven, to whom
long life and prosperous days are promised, how G4r 79
doth thy angel’s face and soothing hand make the
paternal evening of life clear and unclouded!—But
I am wandering from my story.

“I was now,” continued Mr. Nelson, “reduced to
my last shilling, and being a week in arrears for
my lodging, was forced to sell my coat, and be
content with an old ragged surtout—I wrote to the
lady two days since, but received no answer, and
was almost driven to despair—when chance again
threw me in the way of this gentleman—But how
am I to account for your being here, my child?—
what was the cause of your neglect and silence?—
I think, Narcissa, if you had known my anxiety,
you would have relieved it by either coming or
writing to me.”

Narcissa.

“The person to whose care you entrusted me,” said
Narcissa, “was a vile woman; and it is only by a
miracle I can have escaped her snare—I never
knew you was in town—I have been whirled about
from one folly to another, and have been witness
to such scenes of shame as made me shudder; but
I was told it was usual for people of quality to
lead a life of riot, which my vile preceptress termed
pleasure.—A young nobleman paid me particular
attention, talked much of love and settlements,
and grandeur, but never mentioned marriage—I
was ever on my guard; nor, indeed, was my heart G4v 80
prepossessed in his favour—His person was not unpleasing,
but his manner was disgusting, his morals
corrupt, and his conversation unchaste—I
had frequently entreated leave to return to the
country; frequently wrote to you, my dear father,
desiring to be commanded home—But last night,
last night—”

She then proceeded to give him an account of
what has been already related to the reader.—When
she mentioned the villain’s attempt upon her honor,
her father looked down to the side where his sword
used to hang—then at his hand—then at his child
—then at his hand again—

“It is not so withered,” said he, “but it might send
a sword to his heart—It is not so much unnerved,”

said he, rising, and placing himself in an attitude of
defence, “but it might make a villain tremble.”

“He is beneath your anger,” said Narcissa, taking
his hand and kissing it—“this hand,” said she, “that so
often has fought for the honor of your country, shall
never be sullied with the blood of a coward; for
who but a coward would ruin a poor, defenceless
woman.”

Woman.

“Who but a coward indeed,” cried I, “for who can
look at a woman in all her native loveliness, helpless,
unarmed, and devoid of the least defence against
the numerous dangers that await her; who that G5r 81
sees her sweet looks, that seem to speak in nature’s
pure language—‘behold I am at your mercy, you
are my protector, I am weak and defenceless, it is
you must guard me’
—who but a barbarian after
having seen woman in this light, would attempt to
injure or insult her? Yet do I blush while I confess
it, instead of remembering our duty towards the
lovely sex, man, who was designed by Heaven as
their friend, is become their seducer; and the
fairer the flower, the more eager are they to blast
it—like the scaley snake, who tries to draw to its
devouring jaws the harmless bird that thoughtless
hops from spray to spray; he twines about, shews
all his gilded scales, basks in the sun, rears up his
crested head, and courts the little songster to his
snare—It ventures first to gaze at a distance on him,
then, by degrees, draws nearer to admire, till, fascinated
by his subtile arts, it drops into his jaws,
and meets destruction.”

“Oh! how my heart has often bled to see so many
lovely women, who were intended by nature to be
the pleasing bond of society, the source of virtuous
pleasures, reduced to the sad alternative of perishing
for want, or living on the wages of prostitution.
—But oh! woman, when thou canst so far forget
what is due to thy own sex, as to be accessary to
the ruin of the innocent, my heart swells with
indigation—thou art then like the fallen angel,
who, when in heaven, was the first among the
bright ethereal bodies, but falling, becomes the
lowest; and envious of those joys which he can never G5v 82
taste, exerts his arts, his malice, and deceit,
to draw down others to the same dark abyss which
he himself is plunged in.”

The East-Indian.

He had frequently begged of me—and when I
relieved him, returned a look of gratitude—I
always feel myself interested for those poor creatures
who are brought from their native country,
and exposed to all the horrors of famine in a place
with whose customs and language they are entirely
unacquainted—I say, within myself, “what a
poor miserable wretch should I be, if I were left
in their country, without money or friends”
—We
can never feel, properly, the woes of another, unless
we place ourselves, for a few moments, in their
situation.

This man was generally near my habitation, and
I often felt something like curiosity to know his his
tory—He appeared to me superior to the common
rank of beggars—“I will ask him”, said I, one day;
“perhaps it may lie in my power to make his life a
little more tolerable”
—I sent for him to my study,
and having proffered my service, inquired into
his former fortunes—“Christian,” said he, “I am a
man who hold your race in utter abhorrence—
I have been injured, vilely injured, by them, in
return for kindness and friendship—I have my history G6r 83
by me, written in my own language; if you
can translate it, I will bring it you; and you will
then see how little I ought to depend on the word
or promise of a Christian.”

End of the first volume.

G6v H1r

The
Inquisitor;

Or,
Invisible Rambler.

In Three Volumes.

By Mrs. Rowson, Author of Victoria.

Second American Edition.

Volume II.

Philadelphia: Printed for Mathew Carey, Bookseller, South Market
Street
, near Fourth.
1794—1794—

H1v H2r

The
Inquisitor,&c.

East Indiancontinued.

“Poor fellow!” said I, looking at him with an
eye of compassion as he went out of the apartment.
“Poor fellow! thou hast been hardly used by one
man who called himself a Christian, and it makes
thee suspect the whole race—But, surely,”
said I, “it
is not a man’s barely professing Christianity, that
makes him worthy that character; a man must
behave with humanity, not only to his fellow-creatures,
but to the animal creation, before he can be
ranked with propriety among that exalted class of
mortals.”

“The man who with unmerciful hand scourges his
slave, does he then remember that the person he is
chastising is endowed with the same sense of feeling
as himself, and is as sensible of pain, hunger, thirst,
cold, aye, and all the social blessings of life? has
filial, conjugal, and paternal affection?—then why,
because he is a slave, should you bestow on him
painful stripes, when yourss self would shrink to receive
but the smallest of them?—Does the name of
Slave,— H2v 88
Slave!”
said I, rising as I spoke, while the sanguine
tide that plays about my heart, rushed unbidden
to my cheeks—

Why did I blush, why did I tremble, as I pronounced
the word slave? —It was because I was
ashamed of the appellation—It is a word that should
never be used between man and man—The negro
on the burning sands of Africa, was born as free as
him who draws his first breath in Britain—and shall
a Christian, a man whose mind is enlightened by
education and religion, for a little sordid pelf, sell
the freedom of this poor negro, only because he
differs from him in complexion?—What right
has an European to sell an African? do they leave
their native land, and seek our coast, by arts entice
our countrymen away, and make them slaves?—

The Slave.

I walked out, and endeavoured to dissipate the
disagreeable reflection; but the idea of slavery pursued
me still.

“Unhappy man”, said I, as busy fancy drew out the
sad scene.

She held up to my mind’s eye, a man born to a
good inheritance, and surrounded with all the
comforts, all the blessings, he desired—but he was
a negro.

He was sitting in his little hut, his jetty companion
by his side; one infant at her breast, two others H3r 89
prattling at her knee; she looked, she felt
happy. Her husband, her children, were with her;
serenity played on every countenance; content had
fixed her habitation in their dwelling—Some Europeans
enter—they deck his beloved children with
baubles—they tie beads round the arms of his wife
—and ornament her jetty locks with glittering toys
—He is charmed with their courtesy—He walks
with them to the sea side, and takes his boy, his
eldest darling, with him—they invite them on board
the vessel—Poor soul! unsuspecting their treachery,
he goes, and bids adieu to liberty for ever—His
wife, taking advantage of his absence, trims up
their hut—lays her dear babes to sleep—and then
prepares a supper for her love, composed of wholesome
roots and fruit—She wonders why he stays—
She leaves her home, and walks towards the sea;
she sees him embark—her child goes too—the sailors
spread the sails—the vessel moves—she shrieks—
but there my heart was wrung so keenly, I could
go no farther.

I left the wife, and followed the poor negro—he
had no comfort but the idea that he should be with
his child; that he should have it in his power to
ease him if heavy talks were imposed, to guard
him from dangers, and teach him to be resigned
and contented.—They arrive at Barbadoes
they are exposed to sale, and allotted to different
masters.

Alas! poor man, tears and intreaties are vain;
you are in the hands of the sons of Mammon.

H2 H3v 90

Fancy still led me forward—I saw him when age
and infirmities came on without one comfort, without
one friend, on a miserable bed, sickness and sad
remembrance his only companions—he is weary of
life—he offers up a prayer for his still dear companion,
for his children, his hapless enslaved child—
He dies—and is thrown into the grave without a
prayer to consecrate the ground, without one tear
of affection or regret being shed upon his bier.

Had not that poor negro a soul?

Yes—and in futurity it shall appear white and
spotless at the throne of Grace, to confound the man
who called himself a Christian, and yet betrayed a
fellow-creature into bondage.

“It would give me a great deal of pleasure,” said I,
“to have the history of the East Indian—but when I
have got it, how shall I translate it?—I know nothing
of the language; but, perhaps I may be able
to procure a person to translate it for me.”

“How do you do? my good friend,” said a man,
rather shabbily dressed.—Now I make it a rule never
to turn my back on a man because he had rather
wear a thread-bare coat, than run in debt with his
taylor; so I turned about to present my hand to
the person who addressed me with such cordiality,
and perceived in him the features of an old schoolfellow.

H4r 91

The Clergyman.

“I fear,” said I, as we went forward— “I fear you
have not been successful in gaining any permanent
settlement—pray how have you disposed of yourself
these last seven years?”

“I have,” he replied, “been strangely tossed about,
beheld various scenes, tried many different plans,
and been unsuccessful in them all.”

“When I left Oxford, I was recommended by a
friend of my father’s to be preceptor to the only son
of a man of large fortune—he was a sprightly, sensible
lad, but extremely capricious in his humour,
which was owing to his parent’s never allowing
him to be contradicted. For a month or six weeks
we went on very well; my young getleman was
fond of learning, took every thing with surprising
facility, and gave me little or no trouble in obliging
him to attend his book—but the unbounded applause
he received from his parents, the caresses
and indulgencies they were continually heaping on
him, and the praise every casual guest was obliged
to bestow on this darling of the family, soon made
him think he was as learned as any of the seven
wise men of Greece, and therefore had no farther
need of a preceptor.”

“When I found he grew careless and neglectful,
I thought a little correction might be necessary
but, on trying the experiment, was called by the
over-fond mother, an inhuman monster; and the H4v 92
father thought his boy had a genius too bright to
require such rough methods of proceeding. In
short, Sir, having no power over the child, he
soon lost what little learning he had at first attained;
and I was dismissed with the character of having
ruined the boy’s genious by ill-timed and unmerciful
correction.”

“As I had taken orders, I lived for some time by
occasionally reading prayers, or preaching for a
vicar who was very old and infirm, but having a
large family, could not well afford to pay a constant
curate.—In the course of this time I became
acquainted with a young lady, possessed of every
virtue that might render her a desirable companion;
add to this, she had two hundred pounds in
her own possession, and lived with an uncle, who,
besides an affluent fortune, had an excellent living
in his gift—the old incumbent of which was in a
very declining state of health—had Maria been poor
I should have loved her; but I should never have
thought of marrying her in the circumstances I then
was, as I knew it must involve us both in misery.
She was all gentleness; and while she thought the
sentiment she felt for me was only pity for my precarious,
disagreeable situation, it by degrees ripened
into a tender and lasting affection.—Her
uncle had ever studied her happiness, and thinking it
would soon be in his power to settle us both in an
easy, desirable living, he encouraged my pretensions,
and in a few months made me the husband of
Maria.”

H5r 93

“It would be needless to mention the happiness I
enjoyed for eight months with this amiable woman;
suffice it to say, I envied not the wealthiest
or most opulent man in Europe. But our happiness
was too great to be permanent—her uncle had ever
been a man of sound constitution, and though then
in the sixtieth year of his age, gave no signs of infirmity
or decay: but, alas! who can depend on
so frail a thing as life? —One morning, having
waited breakfast till near ten o’clock, surprised at
the old gentleman’s lying so long, as he was in
general an early riser, I tapped at his chamber
door, but received no answer. I opened it, and
went in, and found he had taken his final leave of
this world. I felt myself extremely shocked; but
fearing for Maria, who, at that time was pregnant,
I composed myself, and going down, told her that
her uncle being rather indisposed, desired not to be
disturbed.”

“On pretense of going for an apothecary, I went
and informed an intimate friend of Maria’s with
the melancholy affair. We determined she should
call and take Maria out, and by various methods
keep her from home all day; when in the evening
we would, by degrees, acquaint her with the sad
tidings—But all these precautions were vain.—
During my absence, one of the servants had entered
the room, which, in my agitated state of
mind, I had forgot to lock, and instantly alarmed
her mistress. At my return, I found my poor
Maria in an agony of grief, which, however, was H5v 94
happily of no ill consequence to herself or the infant.”

“When my uncle was buried, we examined his
papers, and no will being found, a distant male
relation took possession of the whole estate. I removed
with my wife from the house; still flattering
myself, when the old incumbent died, I should
have the living, but I was mistaken. In a few
months the old man paid the debt of nature, and
the living was disposed of to another person.”

“Our disappointment was very great—but the two
hundred pounds Maria possessed, hindered us from
being immediately exposed to want, but that sum
was gradually decreasing—beside a child, which
was born soon after my uncle’s decease, Maria
promised to make me father of another. At any
other time, this would have given me great pleasure
—but the unsettled state of my affairs, made
me regret that this poor little infant was coming
into a world to inherit nothing but penury.”

“About this time I was recommended to Lord
Ernoff
, whose eldest son was going abroad, and
wanted a governor; however painful it might be
to part with Maria, yet the promise of a handsome
salary led me to accept the proposal.”

“I left the dear woman, and set out to make
the tour of Europe with my young Lord.—I
had been absent from my native country three
years, and found myself highly in favour with
the young gentleman abroad; and his father at
home—who, to recompense my fidelity to his H6r 95
son, was continually heaping favours on Maria and
the children.”

“We were at Madrid, when my Lord commenced
an intrigue with a woman of rank and reputation.
—It was in vain I represented to him the dangerous
consequences that might ensue from such an
illicit amour.—The more I remonstrated, the more
obstinate he appeared; and unfortunately soon succeeded
in ruining the object of his dishonourabele
pursuit.”

“Having obtained every favour from the easy,
thoughtless Leonilla, he was preparing to leave
Madrid.—She was informed of his design (and the
revenge of a Spanish woman, when injured, being
always adequate to the love they once bore their
seducer) she hired bravoes to dispatch this young
nobleman the night preceding that appointed for
our departure.”

“We had dined out—and the evening being fine,
preferred walking home, rather than going in a
carriage.”

“I perceived two men watch and follow us through
every street, till coming to one that was dark and
unfrequented, one of the men came up and attempted
to stab my Lord.—I drew my sword, and aiming
at the villain’s heart, threw myself before the
young nobleman, and received the poignard of the
second assassin in my own bosom.”

“This little scuffle having made some noise, people
soon gathered round, when the ruffians finding
themselves disappointed in their arms, made off.—
My Lord, thinking a longer stay at Madrid would H6v 96
be dangerous, left me to the care of a surgeon and
nurse, and departed next morning for Paris, from
whence he proposed returning to England.”

The Mourner.

My friend was proceeding in his narrative, when
our attention was engaged by the appearance of a
woman habited like a pilgrim, but in deep mourning
such appearance being uncommon in England,
it naturally excited our curiosity.

We were in Kensington Gardens.—
The mourner’s stature was above the lower size,
and there was a certain dignity about her which
spoke her of no common rank—her features had
once been lovely; and even now, though pale and
marked with grief, there was a something in them
that engaged the affections, and insensibly drew the
heart towards her.—She seated herself upon the
ground, and resting her elbow on the root of a tree
—her head reclining pensively on her hand—she
plucked up some wild daisies that grew round her
—it amused her for the moment, but recollecting
herself, she cried—
“They will soon die, and I have killed them.”

The thought seemed to give her exquisite pain.—
She dropped the daisies on the ground, and burst
into tears.

“I will not look at them,” said she, rising, and
bending her steps another way.

I1r 97

“Alas! poor soul”, said I, “it is not these flowers
you would fly from, it is yourself and your own
painful reflections.”

“That is very true,” said she (turning towards me,
and laying her hand on my arm) “I would fain forget
that I was the murderer of an innocent man—I
am trying to expiate my fault by fasting and hard
penance. I have come a pilgrimage of many hundred
miles on foot, nor rested my weary limbs, but
when necessity obliged me to cross the sea.—If I
could find the woman I have made a widow, and
the children I have rendered orphans, I would
do something to make their lives happy, and then
return home, and devote myself to the Blessed
Virgin
.”

“Alas,” continued she, still resting on my arm, and
laying her other hand on her heart— “alas, you
know not what a sad thing it is to be an orphan.
I once had a father—had he lived—but, poor man,
he had been to the wars; and when he returned,
he met my mother’s corpse just going to the grave.
—He wept not—he never once complained, but
following in silence, saw her interred—then laid
himself down on the cold turf that covered her, and
never rose again.”

Here she seemed quite lost— and leaving me abruptly,
walked to a retired part of the garden.

I never felt my pity so strongly excited as at this
moment.—The whole tenor of the mourner’s discourse
and actions discovered the disorder of her I I1v 98
mind. she seemed to have experienced a variety of
misfortunes which had banished fair reason from her
throne. “Poor girl,” said I, “how severely must your
heart have been wrung before you were drove to
this miserable situation!”

“But come,” said I, turning to my friend, “finish
your recital.”
—He attempted to speak, but was
forced to stop—something rose in his throat—
I felt the same in mine—but what that was, I will
leobscured1-3 letters to the imagination of every reader of sensibility.

The Courtier.

“My Lord’s departing from Madrid without me”,
continued my friend, “occasioned a report to be
spread that I had died of my wounds, and indeed
never was a man nearer the confines of the grave
than I was—but by the care and attention of the
people that were about me, I was in six weeks able
to go into the country, where I remained above
two months in a languid, weak state, during which
time I received not one line from my Lord—as
soon as I found myself able to bear the fatigue of
travelling, I set forward for England, where I arrived
about ten months since, and found my dear
Maria in a situation truly deplorable—The old Earl
was dead, and the son daily expected from Paris,
where he had made a longer stay than he at first intended
Maria had been six months without receiving I2r 99
any money on my account, as my Lord had
wrote to his father’s steward, informing him that
I chose to be left at Madrid—I endeavoured to get
employ; and, after many fruitless attempts, at last
got a curacy of thirty pounds a year, which is but
trifling to support a wife and two children—I have
frequently wrote to my Lord, who has been at his
seat in Essex ever since his arrival in England; but
either has been prevented from answering any letters
by a multiplicity of business, or he does not
choose to be troubled with an indigent friend—Yet
I cannot bring myself to think it possible for a human
being to be so ungrateful as to turn a deaf ear
to the complaint of a man who once saved his life,
at the hazard of his own—He arrived in town
three days since; and this day, at two o’clock,
I propose waiting on him, and requesting his assistance.”

“We will take an hackney-coach, and I will set
you down at his door,”
said I.

When we arrived within ten yards of the house,
I stopped the coach, and getting out, wished my
friend a good morning, and turned down a street,
only to put on my ring—when quickening my
pace, I was at the Earl’s door as soon as he was.

A servant appeared, whose insolent carriage bespoke
the character of his Lord.

You may always judge of a man’s general demeanor
and disposition by the behaviour of his servant,
the lower class of mankind always aping the
manners of their superiors.

I2v 100

After some hesitation, and a few leering, saucy
looks at the rusty garb of my friend, he left him
standing in the hall, and went up to my Lord.

Having waited a full quarter of an hour he
again made his appearance at the top of the stairs,
and reaching his body partly over the ballustrades,
called out, “You may come up.”

I followed him into the chamber of the young
Earl—He was sitting in an easy chair, dressed in a
long robe de chambre, a dish of chocolate in one
hand and the news-paper in the other;—his back
was partly toward the door;—and on my friend’s
being announced, he neither turned his head nor
raised his eyes from the paper—

“I have taken the earliest opportunity to wait on
your Lordship,”
said my friend, bowing.

“Oh, Mr. Teachum,” said my Lord, “I am glad to
see you—Set Mr. Teachum a chair”
said he to the
servant—“and when did you arrive in England, Mr.
Teachum
?”

“I had the honour of informing your Lordship by
letter”
, he replied, “about six months since, and of
the mistake that was made concerning my salary,
which was stopped from the time your Lordship
left Madrid.”

“Why, Teachum,” said my Lord, lifting up his
eyes, for the first time, from the paper, and looking
at my friend with a sort of surprise, “I thought
from that time you was free from my service.”

“Very true, my Lord; but the wound I received
in your Lordship’s service confined me to my apartment I3r 101
for a long time; and the attendance I received
was very expensive—I had nothing to depend on but
your Lordship’s bounty.”

“Well, I will see and recompense you for your salary’s
being stopped—
Pray, how have you lived since your return to
England?”

“But poorly, my Lord; I have but thirty pounds
a year.”

My Lord again looked up; but it was a look of
disbelief.
“And how many children have you?”
“Two, my Lord; a boy and a girl.”

“Well, I will see and do something for the boy—
and let me think—yes, there’s the living at Wiltham,
about three hundred a year—that will just
suit you—call on me again in a day or two; I shall
always be glad to see you.”

So saying, he got up, and without farther ceremony,
walked into the next room—my friend departed,
and I followed my Lord—He pulled the
bell—“John,” said he to the servant that entered, “I
desire you will tell the porter never to admit that
shabby parson again; I don’t like to be teazed with
visits from such mean-looking people.”

“Mr. Bauble waits below”, said the servant.


“Desire Mr. Bauble to walk up—and when Miss
L’Estrange
comes, let me know.”

The jeweller entered, and in a few moments after,
Miss L’Estrange, whose levity of carriage, studiedI2 I3v 102
negligence, and confident stare, at once spoke
her profession.

A number of jewels were displayed; and this
Lord, who had not a guinea to spare for the poor
man who saved his life, lavished four hundred
pounds on jewels for an infamous strumpet.

“And is such a man,” said I, as I left the house, “is
such a man as this a peer of the realm? can he, who
ought to ornament the nation, thus shamefully disgrace
it!—Of all the crimes a man can commit, ingratitude
is the blackest: It argues a depravity of
heart, a mind stupid and insensible; it sets a man
below the brute creation—the animal world in general
are grateful, affectionate and faithful—But
man—man, whose boasted reason makes him lord
over those who act merely from instinct, loses his
superiority by folly and ingratitute—I am certain
that the man who is unmindful of a benefit conferred
on him by a brother mortal, is totally destitute of
gratitude toward the great source of his life, health
and prosperity.”

The Visit.

“I will go and see Teachum,” said I, one day,
after having recounted his story to my Emma—She
would accompany me—

Their habitation was small, but every thing about
was neat to excess; there was nothing to be
seen that spoke distress; the children were clean;
Maria herself, though her attire was plain, appeared I4r 103
the model of elegance—she was hearing
her children their lesson; they stood before her,
reading each alternately a verse from the sacred
writings.

Teachum was leaning over the back of her chair,
gazing at his children, with eyes expressive of as
much pleasure, and far more serenity, than the miser
who contemplates his hoarded treasure—

“We are come to spend an hour with you,” said I,
leading my Emma into the room.

Maria was embarrassed; but she was too polite to
make unnecessary excuses concerning her dress or
apartment—I always think such apologies are a sort
of reproof for an untimely visit.

“Have you seen my Lord lately?” said I.


“He is never at home,” replied Teachum.
“I am sorry for it,” said I; “and believe me, my
friend, I think your attendance on him is entirely
unnecessary, and your hopes from that quarter fruitless
—I have taken the liberty of calling, to offer you
any service that is in my power, and to beg you
will look upon me as your friend. I shall hope to
see you often at my house.”

“And I hope”, said Emma, “that Mrs. Teachum
and my little friends here will always accompany
you”
.

“I have been sadly perplexed for these few days,”
said I, changing the conversation—“I have got a manuscript
in my possession written in the Eastern language;
I am certain it contains some extraordinary
incidents, but cannot get at the particulars, being I4v 104
almost entirely unacquainted with the characters it
is wrote in.”

“It is lucky”, said Teachum, “that you have mentioned
it to me; I ever took great pleasure in studying
the Eastern languages; and am a great admirer
of their style; it is simple and elegant, and
though we may translate it with tolerable correctness,
we can never entirely preserve its native purity
—If you will put the manuscript into my hands
I will use my endeavours to translate it. I have
many leisure hours, in which I amuse myself with
my pen.”

I was highly pleased with the idea of having the
adventures of the poor Indian in my native language,
and desired Teachum to call on me next day;
when, fearful of paining them by a longer visit, we
reluctantly took our leave.

Emma, at parting, put something into the hand
of the girl; and seeing I observed her, she took my
hand when we were seated in the carriage—“it was
but a trifle, my love,”
said she; “and I had saved it
from my own private expences.”

Had she just been giving away half my fortune,
the look, the manner in which she pronounced
these words, would have instantly obtained forgiveness.

The Methodist.

Emma intended to call on several of her acquaintance.
—I hate visits of ceremony—so alighting from
the carriage; I strolled into the fields.

I5r 105

An itinerant preacher was mounted above a listening
multitude, bawling out the virtues and excellencies
of charity, and strongly recommending
brotherly love among the elect—all his cry was
faith and charity; at the same time he declared
every one to be in a state of perdition that differed
from his sect in their opinion concerning religious
matters. I never was partial to people of this persuasion;
not that I condemn the whole class—no,
far be it from me to censure a large body of people,
because some of the members are hypocrites.—I
have known many people, who profess Methodism,
humane, charitable, and just; but they were people
of enlarged ideas, and liberal education—the
solemn gait—sanctified air—upcast eyes—and tongue
ever ready with scripture phrases and quotations,
are by no means the signs of genuine piety.—A
cheerful, contented disposition—a heart grateful for
every blessing, and resigned to the all-wise dispensations
of Providence—and a hand ready to bestow
on others part of the blessings we enjoy ourselves;
—these are the results of pure religion— these
are the acceptable sacrifices in the sight of our
Creator.

When the preacher had finished his oration, he
descended from the tub on which he had stood;
and with his hat in his hand, walked round to his
numerous congregation, every one warm with the
impression made by his discourse, readily contributed
something towards the support of a man who
was so eloquent in recommending them to seek the
right way to eternal happiness.

I5v 106

The collection that was made must have amply
repaid him for the time and breath he had spent in
exhorting them to charity.

“I should like to know,” said I, “whether this man
practises the virtue himself, he so strongly recommends
to others.”


I put on my ring, and followed him home.

His habitation was at Chelsea—at his door he
was met by a woman decently dressed, but dejected
in her countenance—her eyes were swollen with
tears.

“Well,” said the man, pushing rudely by her, “is he
gone?”


“He is gone”, she replied—“gone for ever.”


“What, is he dead?”


“Yes.”


“And in my house—why was he not removed to
the work house?”


“Alas, Sir,” replied the woman, “the parish officers
came to take him away; and the exertions he made
to rise and dress himself, being too much for his
weak frame, he expired as they were putting him
into the chair.”

“And who will pay for the funeral?”


“The parish will.”


“And do you think he shall go out of this house till
I am paid my rent?—No, no, as he has died here,
he shall stay till every farthing owing me is discharged.
—Have you got any money now?”


“Not one halfpenny, or a morsel of bread for my
poor children—But I will sell my bed—it is the last I6r 107
thing I have left, and we will henceforth sleep on
straw.”

“You shall sell nothing—touch nothing till I am
paid.—What, do you think I am to lose a whole
year’s rent?”

“Have you no compassion on a poor widow and six
fatherless children?”
said the woman.

“I do not know what business such poor folks have
to get children,”
he replied. “Go, go along woman;
I am going to dinner, and cannot be troubled with
your whining and complaints.”

I took off my ring, and following the poor woman
up stairs, gave her something to quiet the apprehensions
her inhuman landlord’s discourse had inspired.

As I passed from the staircase to the street door,
I heard this teacher of charity pouring forth a long
grace over his meat.

“Hypocritical wretch!” said I, dost thou think this
lip service is acceptable to God?—Mistaken man,
thou art mocking the Lord of the universe.—Go,
divide your meal with the widow and the fatherless
—it is the best way of shewing your gratitude to
him who gave it to you.

“Such men as this,” said I, as I left the house, “are
a great deal more prejudicial to society than the
professed libertine. When we see a man neglect all
religious duties—break through all ties, moral and
divine, we naturally turn from him with horror and
detestation.—But, when a man, under the cloak of
piety and virtue, who professes a just sense of religion, I6r 108
is discovered to be hard-hearted—oppressive—
avaricious—selfish—in short, living in the private
practice of every vice he publicly declaims against;
is it not enough to make the generality of the
world conclude that religion is no more than a specious
mask put on to deceive mankind?”

“Religion, in her own native simplicity, is truly
lovely—she attracts admiration—charms the soul
by her precepts—and passing with us through life,
blunts the points of those arrows of affliction which
it is the lot of every mortal to experience.”

“But, hypocrisy too often puts on her pleasing
garb; and, when discovered, leads mankind to
think the angel-face of piety hides the foul fiend
beneath.”

The Study.

Mr. Teachum was in my study full half an hour
before I came down.— “Well, my friend,” said I, as
I entered, “don’t you think I have got a fine parcel
of writings?—Here in this drawer,”
pointing to
one that was partly open, “I keep all my heroic poetry
—here is another for plays—another for odes,
sonnets, pastorals,&c.—What a charming prize
these would be to some garreted author; he might
sell all this waste paper for at least two-pence a
pound—it would then turn to some account, for
it might serve to wrap penny-worths of tobacco—
light pipes, fires, &c. or, in short, be applied to K1r 109
any other use the possessor might want waste paper
for.”

“What an humiliating idea!” said my friend, smiling.

“Not at all,” said I; “in following the dictates of
imagination, and employing my pen, I please, I amuse
myself—but if my writings are not so lucky
as to please and amuse others, why should I be mortified?
—Every man has a peculiar taste; and between
you and I, my friend, every man has a peculiar
hobby-horse, on which he frequently mounts,
and rides away post haste, without once considering
who he may discompose, overturn, or offend
in the wild career.”

“I know one man, who, though possessed of a very
moderate fortune, and who has had but a confined
education, is so fond of aping the insolent carriage
of a lord, that he is continually distressing his companions
by affected grimaces, and studies gestures
—then he speaks in such a pompous style, and assumes
such an air of consequence, that while he
thinks he is received with admiration, every man
of sense must laugh at his folly.”

“Another is fond of displaying his profound learning
in the different sciences—at one time he is a
professor of music—at another time he studies logic
and when by chance you mention either of
those sciences, he will run on at least two hours
without either taking breath, or giving you an opportunity
to edge in a single word.”

K K1v 110

These are their hobby-horses—writing is mine.
I would not give up the pleasure of writing for
any pecuniary gratification that could be offered.

“That is,” said my friend, “because you stand in
need of no pecuniary favours; but ask the poor author,
who, in an airy apartment three stories from
the ground, sits invoking the coy muses to assist him
in writing something to gain him a few guineas
that might serve to satisfy his butcher, baker, &c.,
—ask him, my good friend, if he will give up the
pleasure of writing, to enjoy a settled salary of sixty
pounds a year.”

“He might readily promise to do so,” said I, “but
take my word for it, the very first time pen, ink,
paper, and an opportunity fell in his way, he would
write an eulogium on the man who had thus generously
raised him from distress.”

“Oh, ye sweet tuneful sisters, may ye never forsake
my mansion; but when on the wing to visit
your favourites—Burney, Moore and Inchbald
stop for a moment, and dart a single ray of your
sacred fire upon the humblest of your votaries—in a
sad hour it will enliven me—in a lonely hour amuse
—and when happiness deigns to be my companion,
it will increase every pleasure.”

“But come,” said I to Teachum, “here is the story I
wish you to translate—I am going out for a few
hours, and shall hope to see it in fair English characters
when I come back.—”
“You shall see part of
it at least,”
said he. so I left him; and mounting K2r 111
my horse, which was at the door, rode into Hyde
Park
.

The Fracas.

On my entering the Park, I saw at a distance, a
multiplicity of people, some running one way,
some another, and all in the utmost confusion.—I
rode up to the place, and the first thing that presented
itself to my view, was Miss L’Estrange in a
fit, and a few paces from her, a young man laying
on the ground, bleeding. By his side knelt the fair
mourner whom I had seen in Kensington Gardens
she was endeavouring to staunch the blood that issued
from his side, with her handkerchief—it seemed
a scene of confusion, for no one was paying the
least attention to this wounded man, but this unhappy
woman.

I called my servant, and giving him my horse,
raised the young man from the ground, and presently
perceived it was Lord Ernoff, whom Teachum
had attended abroad.

I assisted the fair mourner to bind up his wound
with our handkerchiefs, and a servant at that moment
arriving with a surgeon and a litter, we lifted
him on it, and proceeded to the nearest house—the
surgeon thinking the sooner his wound was dressed
the better.

The mourner followed pensively—often crossing
herself, sighing, and weeping bitterly—no one attempted K2v 112
to obstruct her entrance into the house
with us.

The wound was dressed, and the surgeon pronounced
it not dangerous, provided a fever could
be prevented.

Lord Ernoff had fainted through loss of blood;
and during the time of his wound being dressed, remained
in a state of insensibility.

It was judged proper that he should be immediately
put to bed; but, when the servant attempted
to move him, the mourner came to me, and entreated
that she might not be separated from him
—for, “indeed Sir,” said she, “I heartily forgive him
—I do not wish his death now, though I once sought
to have assassinated him; but I have since been
taught that we should forgive those who injured us.
Alas! if it were not for the reflection that I am not
at enmity with any mortal breathing, how should
I have hope to obtain pardon of my Creator for the
heinous crime I have committed whilst in pursuit of
my revenge?”

I thought from the few words that this hapless
mourner could be no other than poor Leonilla.—
I entreated the people of the house to let her remain
with the wounded nobleman; and attended
her up to his chamber, where he was in bed, and
just recovering his senses.

She approached the bed, and sitting down on the
side, took one of his hands—kissed it, and pressed
it to her bosom.

K3r 113

He lifted his languid eyes, and fixed them on her
face—at first they spoke amazement and terror—
but at last grief.

“Where am I?” said he—“am I passing the bounds
of mortality; and art thou, blest shade, suffered to
conduct me through the gloomy vale?—I know
why you look so mournful—you died of a broken
heart—but I shall be punished for my crimes.”

“Compose yourself, my Lord”, said the mourner—
“you are in no danger, I hope you may yet live many
years, and be happy.”

“Do you talk of happiness,” said he; “and do you
wish me happy?”

“I do! I do! so Heaven hear my prayers.”

“But, tell me,” said he, “how came you here?—am
I not in England?”

She was going to answer—when I interposed and
begged they would both be silent, and consider of
what dangerous consequences a violent exertion of
spirits might be to the young gentleman. she promised
obedience, drew the curtains round the bed,
and sat down in an easy chair that stood at the
head. A nurse entering; I took that opportunity
to go and enquire what had been the cause of this
unhappy affair.

The servant who attended Miss L’Estrange and
his Lordship in their ride that morning, gave me
the following account:

“That a strange gentleman rode up to Miss L’Estrange,
and accosting her in a very haughty manner,
inquired why she had left him at Paris, and K2 K3v 114
what she had done with a miniature picture which
she had taken from his cabinet the morning before
she left him; the lady pretended not to know him,
and complained to my lord that she was insulted;
upon which, high words ensued between the stranger
and Lord Ernoff, when the former, having a
pair of pistols ready in his pocket, offered one to
my Lord, who being naturally of a warm disposition,
took it, and before any interposition could
be made, they both fired; my Lord’s pistol took
no effect, but the stranger’s wounded him in the
manner you have seen. At the discharge of the
pistols, Miss L’Estrange fainted; but I believe it
was more for fear of the life of the gentleman,
than my Lord’s. I ran as fast as I could for a surgeon.
—”

The servant was proceeding in his story, when
he was called away.

Having gained this intelligence, I determined to
go immediately to Miss L’Estrange, who was now
an inmate of Lord Ernoff’s house, and see
in what manner she behaved, and whether the servant’s
suspicions were well founded.

I repaired immediately to his Lordship’s house—
inquired for the lady, but was denied admittance—
a chariot and four was at the door—I feared some
foul play; and thinking there was no time to be
lost, I watched my opportunity, and putting on
my ring, went into the house, and up to the lady’s
apartment. I found her sitting on a sopha, with
a large quantity of jewels, &c. on a table before
her; she was busied in packing them up, but often K4r 115
turned, and addressed some endearing expressions
to an officer who sat beside her, entreating him never
to forsake her again, and telling him what
riches she had heaped together since she had lived
with Lord Ernoff.

I examined the features of the pretended officer,
and in spite of a large black patch which he had
over one eye, and his eye-brows and complexion
being stained, I soon discovered it to be the villain
Cogdie, who had escaped from the officers of justice
as they were conveying him from Gretna Green to
London.

I learned from the conversation that passed between
Cogdie and Miss L’Estrange, that she was
in reality his lawful wife; but being of a loose disposition,
had broken the matrimonial bonds some
years since, and visited most of the capitals of Europe
with a young nobleman, whose fortune she had
ruined, and finding him no longer able to support
her extravagance, she had left Paris with Lord
Ernoff
, with whom she had lived for this twelvemonth
past.

I found, also, that chance had thrown Cogdie in
her way; and that he, seeing her in so prosperous
a situation, and being himself at a very low ebb of
fortune, had persuaded her that his passion for her
was stronger than ever, and endeavoured to prevail
with her to rob the Earl, and decamp with him.—
But L’Estrange was a woman whose avarice was
not so easily gratified: she, by feigning the most
passionate tenderness for the Earl, had worked upon
his temper till she persuaded him to make a will K4v 116
greatly in her favour; and then the insult, &c.
which happened in the Park, was planned and executed
by Cogdie. He had marked the pistols; the
one he gave to Lord Ernoff was charged only with
powder, but that which he retained himself was
loaded with ball.

I was greatly at a loss how to act, as I feared
to leave the house to procure proper persons
to secure Cogdie, lest in the mean time he should
escape.

L’Estrange told him he ought to prepare for
flight; and giving him several bank notes, some
jewels, and other valuables, stepped into another
room and brought out a gown, petticoats, &c. for
him to put on.—I was quite undetermined in what
manner to prevent his departure, when L’Estrange
recollected there was some more money in a bureau
in Lord Ernoff’s apartment, which was in a
distant part of the house; I followed, and seeing
her safe in the closet, in which there was no bell,
and only a small high window, and that secured
with bars: I pulled to the door, locked and
bolted it; I then returned in haste to the apartment
where Cogdie was, and seeing him totally
absorbed in the pleasure of contemplating his
treasure, fastened both the doors, without being
observed.

Having succeeded thus far, I left the house with
precipitation, and procured proper people to apprehend
them; I returned within half an hour, and demanded
entrance. Though I had been absent so K5r 117
short a time, five minutes longer had been too late;
Cogdie and L’Estrange had by their cries alarmed
the servant; for each fearing the other intended information
against themselves, were in the utmost
consternation; and violent were their cries for liberty
—the servants had burst open the doors, and
Cogdie was on the stairs in order to depart when I
entered.

I committed them both to the charge of the constable;
having first eased them of the weighty concern
of having so much money and jewels to take
off. I waited on them to the house of a neighbouring
justice, made my accusation in proper
form, and being certain that apartments in a
strong, well-built mansion would be prepared for
their reception till further enquiry should be made
concerning the affair, I left them, and returned
to the wounded Nobleman; and, from thence,
home.

The Reparation.

“I thought you were lost, my love,” said Emma,
as I entered the parlour about eleven o’clock,
and found her seated at supper with Teachum and
his Maria. —In my hurry and confusion in the
morning, though I had sent my servant home, I
had not sent any message by him: I was therefore
not surprised at my Emma’s exclamation. The
adventures of the day had so entirely taken up my K5v 118
mind, that the East-Indian had not once intruded;
and even when my friend metioned having almost
completed the translation, I felt no sort of curiosity
to see it.—“We will take a walk to-morrow,”
said I to Teachum; I have seen Lord Ernoff today,
and, if you like, I will take you to visit him
early.

We were at the house where he was before ten
o’clock.

As we entered the room without noise, we saw
the fair Leonilla in the highest act of devotion; his
Lordship was sitting in the bed, supported by pillows,
his eyes fixed with a mixture of love and veneration
on her face, we were unwilling to disturb
them, so drew back behind the curtains. When
she had finished her morning orisons—“Oh my
dear Lord,”
said she, “what a relief do you give my
almost bursting heart, by informing me that your
governor is not dead. How severe has the reflection
always been, that my rashness had sent a deserving
man out of the world; a man who had honour,
courage, affection, sufficient to make him value
his own life as nothing when the life of his lord
was in danger. It is that cruel idea, and the remembrance
of my dear father and mother, that at
times deprives me of my reason; but I will be
thankful to that good Providence that has taken
this mighty load off my heart.”

“I hope you have provided for Mr. Teachum”, said
she, after a little pause.

K6r 119

“It is a shame to own I have not,” said my
Lord; “but I will endeavour to repair all my errors.”

“Mr. Teachum is come to see you, my Lord,” said
I, stepping forward.

Ernoff stretched out his hand, and taking hold of
Teachum’s, cried, “this wound, my good Dr. Teachum,
is an excellent thing.”

“Indeed, my Lord,” replied Teachum, “I do not believe
any body but yourself thinks so, all your friends
regret it.”

“I rejoice in it,” said his Lordship, “it makes me
feelingly remember my own ingratitude.”

Teachum walked to the other end of the room—
he was too much of a Christian to rejoice in the
pain of a fellow mortal, though it might be productive
of good to himself. After our noble patient’s
wound was again dressed, he requested
Leonilla to inform him why she had left her native
country.

She said, that when she found by the rumour
then prevailing at Madrid that Mr. Teachum was
killed in defending his Lordship, it lay very heavy
at her heart, and she grew melancholy and sickly
“I never went to sleep,” said she, “but I fancied
the shade of the innocent man my rashness had
murdered, was reproaching me. I thought my
mind would be easier after confession, and went
to my holy father, confessed my first deviation from
duty, my grief, anger, revenge, and all its fatal
consequences.—The good father rebuked the spirit
of revenge that still was harboured in my bosom; K6v 120
and taught me that penitence, fasting, and tears,
were the only methods to gain the pardon of the
Creator for my heinous offences—but, alas! Sir,
I could not pray—my mind was in a state of horror,
not to be described—remorse, love, and
rage, by turns tormented my soul; but Heaven,
offended at my obstinacy and folly, visited me with
a dreadful judgment.—I had a favourite dog which
you had given me; on this poor inoffensive animal
did I vent the various changes of my temper, one
moment caressing it, the next using it with the
utmost barbarity. My dear mother had never suspected
my dishonour; she wondered at the alteration
so visible in my health and disposition; and
frequently chid me for my unkindness to this poor
little animal. I fear I used it very ill; but, indeed
I hardly know what I did, my mind was so disordered.”

“My dog ran mad, and bit my dear mother; all
medical assistance was tried without effect—she expired
in the greatest agony. My father who was
on a campaign against the Turks at the time this
happened, unfortunately returned the day before
my mother was buried—he was unprepared for the
stroke he saw my mother’s corpse—he saw me deprived
of my senses.”

“In my delirium I told him how I had dishonored
his house—It was too much; he was not equal to
the mighty load of sorrow, but sunk under it.”

“Since that, I have wandered about, over barren
hills and desert plains, seeking content, but she L1r 121
fled from me as I pursued her. I thought she might
dwell with charity; so I divided my portion with
the fatherless and the widow; but alas! I could
never find her—she is buried in the grave with my
dear parents!”

I saw that the recital of her misfortunes had occasioned
a return of her unhappy malady; so taking
her by her hand, I led her into another apartment,
and persuaded her to take some repose.

About six weeks after, I had the pleasure of bestowing
her in marriage on the repentant Lord Ernolff.
Teachum performed the ceremony; and his
Lord gave him as a marriage portion, the promised
living of Wiltham.

Leonilla never after relapsed into her former disordered
state of mind. she entreated that Cogdie
and his companions might be forgiven. Her
Lord complied with her request; and she gave
them a sum of money, to prevent poverty being
an incentive to future vice. But they were too
far immerged in all manner of deceit to think of
amendment, and soon returned to their old practices.

I cannot help here relating a circumstance that
happened many years after.—The son which Olivia
brought into the world, the fruit of her unfortunate
attachment to Cogdie, as he advanced in years,
shewed no signs of any of his father’s vices in his
disposition, except a propensity to gaming.—This
propensity he once indulged at a public gaming L L1v 122
house, where an old man having won from him a
considerable sum of money, which the young spark
imagining was not won by fair play; high words
arose, and a challenge was given.

They met, fired, and the old man was wounded.
—The son of Olivia, though hasty in his temper,
was generous, humane, and forgiving; he wished
not to take the life even of the man who had wronged
him.

He had him carried to his lodgings; and finding
him in a poor situation, he sent for a surgeon, and
supplied him with all the necessaries and comforts
of life at his own expence.

A servant in the family who observed the frequent
visits of Olivia’s son to this mean, obscure
lodging, told it as a secret to Olivia’s maid, who
directly told it to her mistress.

Olivia was then at my house; she had often wished
an union might take place between her son and
Lucy Heartfree, my fair petitioner. The idea of a
secret mistress immediately alarmed her.—She desired
me to go with her to the place the servant had
mentioned.

I complied.

When we entered the room, the first object that
struck our sight was her son helping a woman to
lift an infirm, sickly old man from a chair to the
bed; he was, to all appearance, near his end.

The old man no sooner saw us than he breathed
a dreadful groan, and fell back in his chair. Olivia
was greatly agitated—she applied her salts to L2r 123
his nose.—He recovered—he gazed feebly on her.
“It is Olivia,” said he.—She started.—“Do you not
know me, Olivia? have you forgot the wretched
Cogdie?”

“Gracious Heaven!” cried Olivia, catching hold
of her son’s hand, “it is your father.”

“My father!” said the youth; “then I am a parricide.”

“Not so, my son,” answered Cogdie; “you have only
revenged your mother’s injuries.—But, will you
forgive me.”

“May heaven forgive you as freely,” said Olivia.

Her son knelt, and craved forgiveness of his dying
father.

“It is enough” said Cogdie. “I forgive, and I hope
to be forgiven.”
— His head sunk on Olivia’s shoulder
—he groaned and expired.

The Children.

“I think you have never read Mr. Teachum’s
translation,”
said Emma, one evening, as I was sitting
by her, listening to the innocent prattle of
Harriet and her little companion—I had some
months before committed them to the care of Mrs.
, of Hammersmith.

Though I had always heard the highest character
of this lady and her school, yet my dear Harriet,
who at this time was at home for the holidays, L2v 124
raised it in my opinion—“Lucy, said she,” “let us play
at school—you shall be Mrs. —, and I will be a
scholar.”

You may always judge by the play of children
what company, regulations, and conversation, they
are used to.

“Come here, Miss Harriet,” said Lucy; “I hope
you are very well this morning, and quite prepared
to say your task; you know I shall take no
excuse.”

“Come, Ladies, it is eight o’clock, and not all
dressed yet!—Oh fye! Miss, your face and hands are
not washed!— how indelicate that is!—well, now
we are all ready—so you must kneel down and say
your prayers.”

“Do you always say your prayers at school,” Harriet?
said I.

“Oh, yes, Papa; Mrs. — not only makes us
say our prayers, but she says her own prayers with
us.”

“Do you love Mrs. —, my dear?”

“Yes, indeed, Papa—I don’t know any body but
what does love her, she is so good to us all.”

I was so pleased with the account the children
gave of this amiable woman, that by means of my
ring I frequently visited her unseen—there was always
the same decent regularity observed through
the whole house.

She had a relation lived with her—I would mention
some acts of humanity which I have seen this
relation perform, but I fear to hurt her delicacy—

L3r 125

Yet there is one which will never be erased from
my mind. It was the kindness she shewed to a
poor young woman who was distressed, calumniated,
and beset with dangers—Yet she knew not the
full force of her benevolence; but I, who visited,
unseen, the object of her humanity, know, that
she drew her from an horrid precipice, from
whence she must have soon plunged into the gulf of
infamy.

Oh! thou gentle pattern of benevolence and
piety, judge not the poor young woman from
appearances—could’st thou but see her heart, thou
would’st there read gratitude to thee, written
in indelible characters—and when she prays
for thee whose bounty she has received, she humbly
asks of Heaven the power to return it.—
But I am always running from the subject I begin
with.

My Emma had requested me to read Teachum’s
translation of the Eastern tale; so dismissing
the children to the nursery, and stirring up
the fire, for it was a cold evening in December,
I stepped into my study and brought out the manuscript.

Sadiand Zelia.

Sadi, the son of Mahadan, the rich possessor of a
fertile valley, watered by a beautiful river—who
had slaves at his command, and was called by the L2 L3v 126
sons of the East; Sadi the Happy.—Ah! what avails
possessions and treasure?—and what is the terrestial happiness
to man?—It vanisheth like a dream—it departeth
like the mist of the morning before the
beams of the sun.

Sadi, the once rich and happy, is a slave, and
wretched.—Go tell this to the daughters of joy—
sound it in the ears of the sons of pleasure; for
prosperity has hardened their hearts, and made
them callous to the feelings of humanity.

Zelia was the fairest among the daughters of Arabia;
she was tall, and straight as the pine tree;
stately as the young cedar; her skin was like the
ripe olive; her eyes, bright stars; her locks were
like the polished ebony; and her teeth, fair rows of
pearl; her lips were the colour of the ruby; and
her breath like the breezes blowing from the spicy
islands.

I built a bower for my Zelia; I adorned it with
beautiful flowers, and planted sweet smelling shrubs
around it.

With lofty trees, I fenced out the sun beams;
and the birds dwelt in their branches.—In the recess
was a silver stream; the osiers and wild flowers
hung upon its banks, and the swans sported on its
bosom.

I sought my love among the daughters of the plain
—I wooed her in the shady places—I brought her
to the bower I had planted—I culled for her the
choicest fruits—I brought her silks from the looms
of Persia—I platted her hair with fresh flowers—I L4r 127
put costly jewels in her ears—and with pearls made
bracelets for her arms.

We were the happiest among the happy; in the
morning we arose together, and worshipped the
bright lumiary of day.—We strayed over the fertile
valleys—we sported with the young fawns;
or retired from the heat, and reposed in the thick
shade.

If I was in pain, she would sooth me.—I listened
to her angel voice all day; and at night I reposed
on her bosom.

The curtain of night had fallen over us—the stars
shot their beams through the Heavens—the voice
of distress met our ears—the plaints of sorrow invaded
our dwelling—we went forth from the bower
—we saw a Christian overpowered by his adversary.
The blood issued from his bosom—his face was the
picture of terror.

We bore him to our peaceful bower—we poured
oil upon his wounds, and Zelia bound them up
with her hands.—She watched him with the care
of a sister—she gave him a part of our fruits, and
brought him milk from the young camels.—He
was grateful for the kindness we shewed—he
swore by his God it should not be forgotten.—But,
the word of a man is like unto the wind; it maketh
a sound, passeth, and is no more remembered.

He left our bower once at early dawn—he tarried
till the close of evening.

L4v 128

Zelia had retired to rest—the moon beams played
upon her face—I contemplated her sleeping
beauties.

The Christian I had saved, entered the bower—
he brought with him a band of ruthless ruffians.—
He seized upon my lovely Zelia—he listened not
unto her cries—he put a chain upon her feet,
and bound the hands which had healed his
wounds.

They took our costly ornaments and pearls
—they bound me with an heavy iron chain, and
led us like two slaves towards the sea.—They
put us on board a ship he had prepared—they
spread the sails—the wind blew from the shore,
and in the morn we saw the main before us.

They took the chains from off my hands and
feet—they gave me food, but parted me from Zelia.

I heard her lift up a voice of terror—I heard her
call on Sadi for assistance—I rushed into the room
where they confined her—I saw her in the embraces
of a villain—I snatched a poniard from his side—I
bade him instantly forego his prey.

Zelia like lightning darted from his arms—she
cried, “Now, Sadi!—Sadi, follow me!”—then, from
the window sprang into the ocean.

I sent the poniard to the traitor’s heart.—I felt
its warm blood gush upon my hand; then hastily
obeyed my charming Zelia.—I called her as I
plunged into the sea—I sought my Zelia in the
world of waters; but the spirits of blessed saints
had seen her virtue—they caught the lovely victim L5r 129
as she fell, and bore her on their wings to
paradise.—I called for death to take a wretched
life—I sought the friend of misery, but he fled from
me.

Some other Christians saved me from the sea;
they gave me food, and treated me with kindness
—but the kindness of a Christian is like the song
of the syren, it soothes the senses, gains upon the
heart; then, unsuspected leads to destruction.—
They took me with them to the Western world—
they sold the wretched Sadi for a slave.

My haughty spirit was not used to bondage.—
I heard that England was the land of freedom—I
hid myself on board an English ship, and sailed unseen
into the boundless main.—I left my hiding
place, and sought the captain, and bowed my face
toward the deck, before him.

He told me, I no more should be a slave—he
brought me with him to this land of freedom.

But, here I found I also was deceived; for, here
mankind are slaves to vice, to avarice, to luxury,
and to folly.—The man who brought me from
the Western world, demanded payment for my
passage over. Alas! I had been rifled by the
Christians.—I had nought to give but grateful
thanks and prayers.—He who had said I should not
be a slave, confined me in a loathsome prison house
—this was my welcome to the land of freedom.

For seven long years I never felt the air, nor
even saw the cheerful face of Heaven—but the angel
of death that visits all the earth, then stopped the
breath of my hard persecutor. I then was freed L5v 130
from out the loathsome prison, and for a moment I
rejoiced in liberty; but soon I felt the gnawing
pangs of hungaer. I had no friend whose pity might
relieve me—the spacious city was to me a desert,
and I was starving in the land of plenty.—But, who
can bear the griping hand of famine; who can sink
under it and not complain? I laid me down upon
the damp, cold ground—I groaned aloud, and tore
my hair through anguish; but many passed by, nor
once regarded me; and others scoffed and called
me an imposter. I thought the end of all my woes
was come—I ceased to groan, and waited death’s
approach; but pity had not wholly fled the world;
she dwells within the hearts of Christian women—
one brought me something to allay my hunger;
another put some money in my hand—One seeming
almost as wretched as myself, looked at me,
shook her head, and dropt some tears. I felt her
kindness more than those before—the tear of pity
healed my bleeding heart.

But, the woes of Sadi soon will have an end;
soon shall I sleep, and be at rest for ever, for the
sorrows of my heart overpower me, and pain and
sickness bow me to the earth.—The lamp of life is
very near exhausted; and when each night I lay
me down to rest, I think not to behold another
morning.

And what, alas! has wretched Sadi done, and
who reduced him to this state of misery? Go tell
the tale to all the Eastern world—Go warn them to
beware of trusting Christians; for Sadi saved one L6r 131
from the jaws of death, and thus was his humanity
rewarded.

The Conversation.

“This is a strange world,” said I, laying down the
manuscript, and addressing my dear Emma

“The world, my love,” she replied, laying one hand
on my shoulder, and with the other wiping away a
drop which poor Sadi’s story had excited—“The
world, my love, in itself, is a charming place—it
is the people in it that makes it uncomfortable.
Let us view it at first coming from the hands of the
Creator; what beauty, what regularity and order!
but no sooner was man created, than pride—
avarice—envy—revenge—and a long train of evils
—”

“Not forgetting female vanity and curiosity,” said
I, looking archly at her.—

“Nay, my dear,” said she, “don’t attribute all your
evils to our sex; for I am certain, that had not Adam
had a little curiosity in his own composition, he never
could have been prevailed on to stray from his
duty—but we are running from the subject,”
continued
she.

My remark was, that it is the vile disposition
of many people in the world, not the world itself,
that is so disagreeable to those who are possessed of
humanity and feeling. “What a delightful place
it would be,”
said I, “if harmony, peace, and love,
universally reigned around us; if there was no ingratitude, L6v 132
no revenge, no rapine, murder, theft, or
perjury.”

“It would,” said she; “but it is not for us to say
why are things thus? let us, my love, endeavour
to perform our duty, and, as far as example
will go, lead others to do the same; and let us
be thankful that the world is not so full of allurements,
as to prevent our preparing and hoping
for a better: For my own part,”
continuted she,
passing her arm round my neck, while her lovely
countenance beamed with gratitude and love, “my
cup overflows with blessings; I feel no sorrows,
except it is when I reflect on the vices or sorrow
of my fellow creatures; yet, I must not expect
to pass this life exempt from woe.—Poor Sadi
has had a life of misery, it is true, but shall we
arraign the Power Omnipotent, and say, why was
it so?”

“My dear Emma,” said I, “I did not mean to complain
of the dispensations of Providence, when I said
it is a strange world; but does it not seem wonderful,
that a man can so far forget a benefit, as to
treat his benefactor with cruelty?”

“It is unaccountable,” said she; “and yet we hear of
it in more instances than one—what a striking proof
of ingratitude is related in Addison’s pathetic story
of Inkle and Yarico—”

“Oh, a propos,” said I, “you never gave me your
opinion of the opera taken from that story—”

“I was greatly pleased with it,” she replied; “I think
the author shews great judgment in the management
of his plot; for after having excited in our M1r 133
imagination a proper horror for the avarice and ingratitude
of Incle, by contrasting it with the blunt
honesty of Trudge, he makes his hero repent,
and, by unexpectedly bringing him to act with
honour and humanity towards his kind preserver,
leaves no impression on the mind of the audience,
but an entire love and admiration of
virtue.”

“I think the remark extremely just,” said I, “which
Incle makes in the conclusion of the piece—that, his
contracting ideas, and grasping disposition, was
chiefly owing to his education.—”

“There is nothing,” replied my Emma, “which, in
my opinion, should be so carefully inculcated in
the mind of a child as humanity—there are many
parents who, out of a mistaken fondness for their
children, will suffer them, by way of amusement,
to rob birds nests, catch butterflies,&c. and transfix
them with pins, and a thousand other whims
and fancies which are the height of cruelty; these
things by degrees harden their hearts, and they
can afterwards practise cruelty on their fellow
creatures without repugnance.—I would always
teach my children to be tender even to the smallest
insect that has life; if, indeed, they are obnoxious
or poisonous, and self-preservation leads us to
destroy them, let them be dispatched quick and
with as little pain as possible.”
—Then opening a
volume of our inimitable Shakespeare, she read
the following passage in Measure for Measure:

M M1v 134

“The poor blind beetle which we tread upon,

In corporeal suff’rance feels as much

As when a giant falls.”

Hail, humanity! fair daughter of Heaven, it is
thou, bright angel, that can smooth the bed of
pain, and blunt the sharpest arrow of distress:
come, thou celestial guest! and dwell with me,
and with thee bring the sweet companion gratitude.

“Almighty Power! creator of the universe,” said I,
“teach me to shew my gratitude to thee by practising
humanity towards my fellow creatures.”

The Register Office.

“I hope you will not disappoint me Madam,” said
a young woman to an old fat dame, who kept a
Register Office for hiring of servants—I had entered
the house by means of my ring.

The young woman was something below the middle
size, her countenance was dejected, and she
appeared not to be used to servitude.

“You had better sit down and rest yourself, my
dear,”
said the old woman.

“I will, if you please,” replied the other; “for it is
a long walk from Lambeth.”

She entered a little parlour, and sat down; when
I learnt from their conversation that the young woman,
whom I shall henceforth call Mariana, was
applying for a place as governess to one or two
young ladies, and was promised by the woman M2r 135
who kept the office, that she should be recommended
to Lady Allworth, who wanted a governess for her
two daughters.

“It is now six weeks,” said Mariana, since I was
first proposed to Lady Allworth, and I should be
glad to know whether she will have me or no, for
my circumstances are such as render it absolutely
necessary that I should have some place in a short
time—To—morrow, Mrs. L—y, I hope you will go
with me.

The old woman promised faithfully to attend her,
and at ten o’clock the next morning was appointed
for her to call.

“Then to—morrow I will see thee again, poor, gentle
Mariana, said I.”

I was by no means pleased with the woman
who stept the office; for while Mariana was resting
herself, two young men of fashion came into the
room.

I blush to think, that their being young men of
fashion, rendered me uneasy on the poor girl’s account.

There were some very intelligent looks passed between
them and the old woman; and immediately
on their leaving the room, Mariana was invited to
dine the ensuing day.

At ten the next day, Mariana again repaired to
the office, and was again disappointed of waiting on
Lady Allworth.

“I know not what to do,” said she, as she left the
house; and a tear stole down her cheek—She had
refused the invitation to dinner, and was proceeding M2v 136
with melancholy steps towards her home—I followed
her.

When she entered the house, she was wet, cold,
and hungry; but there was neither fire nor refreshment.

She sat down at the end of a long table, and leaned
her head upon her hands, the tears flowed plenteously
down her pale face—she looked the picture
of dumb despair.

I was thinking of some method to relieve her,
when a short, fat old gentleman entered the room.

“I read in your face, Mariana,” said he, “that you
have had no success to—day.”

She shook her head, and asked his advice how to
proceed.

“I would advise you to go to Lady Allworth yourself
—write a letter, send it up, and wait for an answer
from her Ladyship.”

Mariana wiped her eyes, wrote a letter, and then
proceeded to measure back the weary steps she had
trod before.

“Poor girl!” said I, as I followed her, “I should like
to know how you were reduced to this situation;
but I will not leave you, till I see you are likely
to get some settlement—Youth and innocence without
friends or money, in such a place as London,
must have a hard struggle to keep free from vice;
and will find it impossible to keep free from censure.”

I wish Lady Allworth may be as much prepossessed
in your favour as I am —but perhaps she will not
see you; and should she not, you shall not be lost for
want of a friend.

M3r 137

I do verily believe, that during our walk from
Lambeth to St. James’s street, I was almost as much
agitated as Mariana herself.

She tapped modestly at the door; but I could see
it was humiliating to her.

A servant appeared, and she was instantly admitted

“Will you deliver this to Lady Allworth?” said she,
presenting the letter.

The servant looked at her with compassion—I
thus translated his looks: this poor girl is come to
entreat a favour of my Lady; I will not be the
means of her not obtaining it; I wish she may meet
with success.

“Sir James Allworth,” said I, “is a benevolent man;
he never suffers a petitioner to be treated with rudeness
or disrespect: I can read his humanity in the
countenance of his domestic.”

I had hardly time for the reflection before Mariana
was desired to walk up stairs—I perceived that
she trembled as she ascended; but had her fears been
ever so great, they must all have vanished at the sight
of Lady Allworth.

The Dressing Room.

She was an elegant woman, though, arrived
to an age when the bloom and sprightliness of
youth is past; yet her face had a benignity about
it that diffused itself over all her features, and seemedM2 M3v 138
enlivened by a ray of celestial light; her fine
black eyes were of that sort that would pierce the
inmost recesses of a guilty soul, but withal, tempered
with so much benevolence, that to the innocent
they seemed to beam only with humanity and compassion.
—Her form was majestic, and in her manner
was a mixture of dignity, ease, and sweetness.

Mariana’s countenance brightened up when she
saw this lovely woman—she curtsied, and a faint
blush tinged her cheeks—

“You are the person who wrote this letter?” asked
her Ladyship.

“Yes, Madam.”

“Pray, who was it that pretended to recommend
you to me?”

Mariana informed her.

“Good God!” cried Lady Allworth; I know nothing
of the woman; I never applied to her for a
servant in my life; and should never have thought
of applying to an office for a governess.

Mariana turned pale, and with difficulty restrained
her tears.

“But pray,” continued her Ladyship, “pray, Ma’am,
inform me how you came to apply to an office:—
have you no friends?”

“But one, Madam, and she is not in a line to recommend
me.”

“Poor girl!” said Lady Allworth, softly—she
thought the exclamation of pity too humiliating to
be addressed to Mariana herself: it was an involuntary M4r 139
motion of the lips dictated by a feeling
heart.

“Pray, sit down, Madam” continued her Ladyship,
“and, if it is not disagreeable, inform me how you
came into such a place as London without friends:
I feel myself interested in your behalf, and if it is
in my power I will serve you.”

Mariana sat down, and with a voice of timidity,
accompanied with a look of gratitude, in a few
words, acquainted Lady Allworth with her story.

“My father, Madam, is an officer in the army;
my mother dying while I was yet an infant, my
father married a lady in America, who brought
him an ample fortune—he took me over to America
when only eight years old, and we remained
there in the utmost harmony till the unhappy
breach between Great Britain and her Colonies.
My father refusing to join the Americans, his property
was confiscated, and he returned with his
family to England in a distressed situation.—We
have been in England seven years; the family has
been sickly and expensive—my poor father was
involved in debt—I could not bear the idea of
adding to his expences I left my home, which is in
the country, and came to town to a distant relation,
in hopes, by industry, to obtain a living; this
relation I have undesignedly offended, as also some
who were nearer allied—my efforts to live by industry
have failed, and I find myself under the necessity
of seeking a service—I had flattered myself
with the hopes of being engaged in your Ladyship’s M4v 140
family; but alas! I am disappointed in all my undertakings.”

“Has the woman who pretended to recommend,
got any money from you?”
said her Ladyship.

“Indeed, Madam, she has got all I had.”

Lady Allworth drew forth her purse—Mariana
arose to take her leave.

“Stop a moment,” said Lady Allworthsit down
again—you must want some refreshment.

A glass of wine and a biscuit was ordered.

“Call on me again in a day or two,” said her Ladyship;
“I will try to do something for you; in the
mean time accept of this trifle.”

I could not see what she put into her hand; but
I am sure it was the manner of the giver, not the
gift itself, that sunk so deep into Mariana’s heart:
it was that which made her exclaim as she left the
house—“Dear Lady, when I forget my obligations
to thee, may I cease to live.”

Lady Allworth kept her word, and recommended
Mariana to a Lady in whose family she remained
till ill health obliged her to quit it.

Ye fair daughters of Britain, whose charms are
the theme of every tongue, the admiration of every
eye, and whose praise is sounded to the most distant
kingdoms, learn from the amiable behaviour of a
Lady Allworth, how to attain those charms which
neither time nor accident can diminish—the beauties
of that Lady’s person might have rendered her
universally admired; but it is the goodness of her M5r 141
heart alone that could create universal love and veneration.

The Fashionable Friend.

As I passed a house in the close of the evening,
the window shutters being open, I saw a woman
sitting by a table, her cheek resting upon her left
hand, and a pen in her right—she wrote—then
paused—then wrote: it seemed to be a subject that
required reflection. A genteel young woman
knocked at the door—I had time on my hands,
so being rather curious to be present at a female
tete-a-tete, I put on my ring, and when the door
was opened I entered with the visitor.

She was hardly seated, before, observing the
writing apparatus, she says, “So my dear Ellen, you
are exercising your fertile genius—you are certainly
a charming girl!—what would I not give to possess
such a talent—pray, may I see your performance,
or will you be so obliging as to read it to
me?”

Ellen took up the paper, threw it on the window,
and said, it was only a sonnet not worth looking
at—

“Oh, you sad girl? how can you mortify me so?
I am sure if the sonnet is the production of your
own genius it must be delightful—pray do let me
see it.”

“If it will give you any pleasure,” said Ellen, “I
will read it to you; —but, I assure you, it is but
a trifle—she took it up and read—”

M5v 142

From the day of my birth until now,

I’ve still been accustom’d to grief;

My mother she nurs’d me in woe,

Her sorrows admit no relief;

She lull’d me to sleep with her sighs,

Tears mix’d with the milk of her breast;

For oft would they start in her eyes,

At the sight of an object distress’d

To feel for another man’s woes,

Is a blessing to British hearts giv’n;

A blessing which pity bestows;

And pity’s the daughter of heaven.

All nature rejoic’d at her birth;

Humanity foster’d the child;

And when she appear’d upon earth,

Each virtue approvingly smil’d.

“Oh, ’tis divine!” exclaimed the visitor, whose
name I found was Greenham;— “pray, my dear Ellen,
favour me with a copy of it.”

Ellen promised to comply with her request.

“I wonder,” said Mrs. Greenham, “why you don’t
publish your works; it is a thousand pities such
charming poems as you in general write, should be
buried in oblivion.”

“I sometimes,” said Ellen, “think I will lay some of
my little productions before the impartial public;
but I am quite terrified at the idea of exposing myself
to the ridicule of my own sex, or the satire of
the other.—”

M6r 143

“You are too humble, my sweet friend,” cries Mrs.
Greenham
, “there is not the least occasion for your
fears—I am certain your works would be universally
read and admired; and it will be injustice both
to yourself and the world, to deprive them of the
gratification of perusing them, and yourself of the
fame you would certainly acquire, and undoubtedly
deserve.”

It is rather surprising, thought I, that one woman
should be so liberal in the praises of another.
—I looked intently at Mrs. Greenham’s face;
and methought I read dissimulation in every feature
—I took an attentive view of Ellen, and plainly
discovered that she saw through the thin veil of
her visitor’s flattery; and though she could not but
listen to her with silent civility, she, in her heart,
despised her envy and ill-nature much less than the
specious arts with which she endeavoured to cover
them.

When Mrs. Greenham took her leave, I followed
her, determined to hear in what manner she
spoke of Ellen when absent from her. she went
immediately home, and entertained her husband
and several visitors at the expence of the inoffensive
Ellen.

“I found her,” said she, scribbling as usual; I
praised her extravagantly, and advised her to publish
her works—she said she had some thoughts of
it. I wish she would to my heart, for I should
like to see her heartily laughed at—I am sure women
have no business with pens in their hands, they M6v 144
had better mend their cloaths, and look after their
family.”

“And pray; why not, Madam,” said an old gentleman,
who had listened attentively to this loquacious
harangue, “why may not a woman, if she
has leisure and genius, take up her pen to gratify
both herself and friends. I am not ashamed to
acknowledge that I have perused the productions
of some of our female pens, with the highest satisfaction;
and am happy when I find any woman
has so large a fund of amusement in her own
mind. I never heard a woman, who was fond of
her pen, complain of the tediousness of time; nor,
did I never know such a woman extravagantly fond
of dress, public amusements, or expensive gaiety;
yet, I have seen many women of genius prove
themselves excellent mothers, wives, and daughters.”

“But, Sir,” replied Mrs. Greenham, “the Lady
in question only fancies herself possessed of genius;
her writings are the most insipid things in nature.”

“If I could see some of them,” said the old gentleman,
“I should be a better judge.”

“Then you shall presently, for I expect she will
come and spend an hour or two with me this evening,
when I can easily prevail with her to shew you
some of her pretty scrawls.”

Ellen soon after made her appearance.—Mrs.
Greenham
received her with a vast shew of affection,
and soon began a conversation which led to literary
productions.

N1r 145

“I know of nobody so clever in this way,” said she,
“as my little friend Ellen here—do, my dear, oblige
the company by reciting some of your poems; or,
perhaps, you may have some in your pocket—I
know you always have a treasure there.”

“Indeed Madam,” said Ellen, “I only write for amusement;
nor can it be supposed my performances
have any merit worthy the attention of this company.”

“Oh, you are always so diffident—”
“It is a sure sign of merit,” said the old gentleman,
“But, pray Madam,” addressing himself to Ellen,
“do you devote much of your time to your pen?”

“I am so situated, Sir,” she replied, “that I am unavoidably
obliged to pass many hours entirely by
myself—In the former part of my life I have been
engaged in many scenes, the remembrance of
which, in these solitary hours, would be extremely
painful, were it not for the relaxation and amusement
I find in the exercise of my pen—I have
but few acquaintance,”
she continued, “and even
those few might, by too frequent visits, grow tired
of my company. I seldom go out but I meet with
some object to engage my attention; and often
when reflecting on the various scenes around me, I
fall into a train of ideas which I feel a sort of pleasure
in committing to paper; and in general they
serve to occupy the next leisure or solitary
hour.”

N N1v 146

“And an excellent way of spending time too,” replied
the old gentleman.—“I am certain, Madam,
you are never less alone than when by yourself.”

“It is true, Sir,” said she, “I do find a great deal
of entertainment from this method of employing
myself; but it is no reason for me to suppose, because
I am amused in writing, another person
should be amused in reading what I have written.”

“But, I do assure you,” said Mrs. Greenham, it
will give us all a great deal of satisfaction to hear
a little of your performance.—Now do, Ellen,
oblige us.

Ellen was of a temper that could not bear entreaties
she had not power to refuse a request
made with any tolerable degree of sincerity and
earnestness. I am always in pain for people of this
disposition; they often do things absolutely disagreeable
to themselves, because they have not
strength of mind to refuse peremptorily, but do
it so faintly, and with such evident marks of
pain, that a second or third request always conquers.

I know a young man of this disposition who is
intoxicated two or three times a week, though he
is not naturally addicted to inebriety, and in general
suffers exceedingly after it, merely because
he cannot resist the earnest importunities of his
friends.

I know a woman too, who, whenever she goes
into a shop, lays out twice as much money as she N2r 147
intended, because the shop-keeper intreats her to
have this, and that is so vastly pretty, or amazingly
cheap—and she imperceptibly launches into
extravagancies which she afterwards heartily repents.
—Now, though such a pliability of temper
may be extremely pleasing and agreeable in domestic
life, it exposes a person to a thousand inconveniences,
improprietites, and irregularities. I would
have a man or woman maintain an opinion of their
own; and when resolved to refuse a request which
they may judge imprudent or improper to grant,
refuse it with such steadiness and dignity as may
at once prevent their being teazed into an action
which their reason revolts against.

But, this is by way of digression, so I beg pardon,
and return.

Ellen, urged by the united requests of the company,
and a little female vanity which dwelt in
her own bosom, at length complied, and recited in
a graceful manner, a short, pathetic tale, written
in the elegiac style, and greatly in the manner of
Shenstone.

The old gentleman bestowed no praises on it,
but he honored the recital with a tear, and soon
after left the company—when the inoffensive Ellen
became a butt for the satire, ridicule, envy, and
ill-nature of those that remained, and whose tongues
had only been restrained by his presence. Yet Mrs.
Greenham
professed an unbounded friendship for
her, and declared there was nothing but what she N2v 148
would freely do to serve her—but she was a fashionable
friend.

Friendship is a word universally used, but little
understood; there are a number of people who stile
themselves friends, who never knew what it was
to have an anxious thought for the person for
whom they pretend this violent friendship, in the
female world in particular. I make no doubt but
there are numbers of women who, should they be
informed whilst at cards, of the greatest misfortune
having befallen one of their most intimate
friends, would cry, “Poor thing, I am vastly sorry
—I had a great regard for her—”
and then inquire
“what is trumps?” or “how gows the game?” I can
divide the world into five distinct classes of friends,
for there is hardly any one person breathing but
boasts of feeling that exalted attachment for some
one or other of their fellow mortals.—Among
the men, is the professing friend and insidious
friend; among the women, the ostentatious, and
the envious friend; and a small parcel may be
culled of both sexes and set under the denomination
of real friends.

The Professing Friend.

“I will try him, however,” said Lavinia, wiping
her eyes, “for I have often heard him say he valued
my dear Ferdinand above all other men—and sure
he will not let him languish in a prison for the want N3r 149
of such a trifle, and which we can so soon repay.”

It was a day or two after I was in possession
of my ring.—I had stepped into a shop to buy
a pair of gloves, when a young woman behind
the counter addressed these words to her companion.

“You may try him, Lavinia,” said her companion,
“but I do not think you will succeed; beside, my dear,
your circumstances are not so bad as to lead you to
fear your husband’s confinement.”

“They are worse than you imagine, Eliza,” said
she; “we have, besides this bill, several more to pay,
which we are equally unable to provide for.—Mr.
Woudbe
has professed the warmest friendship for
my husband, I think he will be glad of the opportunity
to convince him it was not merely professional.”

I had by this time purchased my gloves; and being
anxious to know how Lavinia would succeed in
her undertaking, I just left the shop, put on my
ring, and returned.

Lavinia had left the shop, and was in the parlour.
A person came in, who, from his appearance,
I should have supposed a man of fashion;
yet, I knew him to be a mechanic—his affected
air and gait spoke him a finished coxcomb—it was
the identical Mr. Woudbe; he asked for her husband;
he was not at home—he sat down, fell
into conversation, frequently intimated his ferventN2 N3v 150
wishes for their prosperity, and declared
he desired nothing more than an opportunity
to convince his worthy friend Ferdinand how
much he had his interest and happiness at heart.

Lavinia’s eyes beamed pleasure and gratitude;
she thought it a favourable, golden opportunity—
she told him her husband’s circumstances were
embarrassed, but the loan of eighty or an hundred
pounds would set them quite at ease; and they
should by industry and œconomy soon be enabled to
repay it.

She pleaded with the most persuasive eloquence;
love animated her countenance; an anxious tear
glittered in her eye—but the professing Mr. Woudbe
had none of the finer feelings which dignify the
man; he loved ostentation, show and grandeur;
but had no idea of any pleasure in life superior
to that he felt when dressed in a finer coat than his
neighbour.—Two guineas was not too much for a
ticket for a ball, but a shilling was extravagantly
thrown away in relieving the wants of a distressed
fellow creature.

To such a man, the tearful eye, the anxious
countenance, alternately red and pale, the trembling
frame, and struggling sigh of Lavinia,
pleaded in vain; he heard her with indifference;
he consoled her in language in which was an
equal mixture of pity and contempt; and I
was informed, by a person who knew him, that
it was the last visit he ever paid his friend Ferdinand.

N4r 151

This is a sort of friend which the world swarms
with —professions cost nothing—give me the man,
whose heart, alive to every dictate of humanity,
stays not till he is asked to do a favour, but eagerly
seeks out opporunities to render service to mankind.

Anxious for the fate of Lavinia, a short time after,
I made another invisible visit—when I entered
the house, every thing was in confusion; and Lavinia
herself looked like Melancholy musing on a
scene of woe. I was casting in my own mind, fifty
different plans to find out the real cause of her
distress, and, if possible, relieve it, without hurting
her feelings, by letting her know that her
necessities were discovered by a stranger, when a
little man entered the house, whose features, however
plain, and, to the generality of the world,
uninteresting, immediately prepossessed me in his
favour.

“Lavinia,” said he, “I hear you are moving, and am
come to see if I can be of any service to you—
where is your husband?”

A gush of tears was all she could answer.

“Dear girl, do not weep,” said he—“is it pecuniary
matters that distress you? speak, Lavinia;
will twenty or thirty guineas be of any service to
you?”

She hesitated; but at last confessed that they
were greatly distressed for money; and that her
husband was obliged to keep out of the way of his
creditors.

N4v 152

“I will be with you again in a few moments,” said
he, darting out of the house.

I waited his return.

In less than half an hour he came back, and put a
sum of money into Lavinia’s hand, which entirely
calmed her fears.

“Oh! Sir,” said she, “how shall I ever return this
obligation?”

“By never mentioning it,” he replied: “let me beg
it may be buried in oblivion—I shall be offended
if ever I hear it talked of—it gives me pleasure
that I had it in my power to serve so worthy a
man as your husband, and restore tranquility to two
hearts which were formed for love and domestic
happiness.”

He shook her hand cordially, and left her.

“How does thy humility exalt thee, my generous
friend,”
said Lavinia, when he was gone;
“but actions like thine cannot be hid; it would
be an injury to mankind, to conceal them—yet
it is not an action to be blazoned from the trump
of common fame; but gratitude shall snatch a
gentler clarion, and tell they virtues to the listening
few, who know how to admire and imitate
them.”

I left her with a heart at ease.

It was the close of the evening—passing through
a public street, I heard the sound of music, and saw
a room, in a house of entertainment, elegantly
illuminated—I took advantage of my ring, N5r 153
and went in.—It was an entertainment given at
the expence of Mr. Woudbe—the kind, the friendly,
Mr. Woudbe, was lavishing in folly and dissipation,
a sum, which might have lightened the
hearts of the miserable, and dried the tear of despondency
—But he could not shew his taste in giving
or lending money—he could display his elegant fancy
by spending it on trifles, or, in reality, throwing
it away.

The Attorney.

“You must not lose a moment, Sir,” said a footman,
addressing a man in the coffee room, whom
I knew to be an attorney—“You must make all
possible haste, for my master cannot live three
hours.”

The attorney was a tall, meagre man; had a
great deal of servile politeness and outward sanctity
in his manner; yet there was an under designing
cast with his eyes, which made me suspect the integrity
of his heart.

“He is going to make a will,” said I—“perhaps some
rich, old miser is at the point of death, and is willing
to dispose of his hoards in the best manner he
can—I will accompany the attorney.”

We were sat down at the door of an handsome
house, and I followed Mr. Vellum unseen into the
chamber of the sick man.

He appeared to be between the age of forty and
fifty; his looks were venerable, but his features N5v 154
were marked by the hand of death—behind his
pillow, supporting his head, sat a lovely girl about
fourteen years old, who while she, with her hand,
wiped away the sweat which stood upon the forehead
of the dying man, bedewed it again with her
tears—At the foot of the bed stood a youth something
older than the girl; he leaned against the
supporter of the bed; the curtain partly hid his
face, but the part which was exposed to view, spoke
filial love, anxiety and sorrow.

“My good friend, Mr. Vellum,” said the sick man,
feebly stretching out his hand, “I am glad you are
come: I feel the springs of life almost worn out,
and I wish to settle my worldly affairs, that my
dear Julietta and Horace may have no trouble from
my relations.”

“You know, Mr. Vellum, I married their mother
contrary to the inclination of my father, and, on
that account, at his decease found myself possessed
of but a small patrimony: willing to provide, not
only for the present moment, but also for futurity,
I entered into partnership with an eminent merchant,
and my success being beyond my hopes, I
not only lived in affluence, but am enabled to leave
my beloved children sufficient to place them above
temptation, and give them the exalted pleasure of
administering to the necessities of their fellow creatures
—I have experienced so much malignity and
envy from my own relations, that I think them by
no means fit guardians for my children. My wife
was poor, and an orphan; she had many relations, N6r 155
but no friends. Those who will not befriend a desolate
orphan, are not proper people to be entrusted
with the care and management of young, volatile
minds—You, my friend, have a son about the
age of Horace; and a daughter some years older
than Julietta; they will be fit companions for each
other. I do not think my children can be happier
than under your guardianship and protection—I
have in the funds thirty thousand pounds—I desire
you will divide it equally between my children;
and, in case of their dying without issue, it shall
devolve to you and yours—I shall leave you other
testimonies of my regard, and a few legacies to my
servants—pray be quick, I am hastening toward my
end—”

Mr. Vellum wrote the will, the old gentleman
signed it, and two of the servants witnessed it.

Mr. Vellum seemed greatly affected, professed
much esteem for the lovely children, and declared
the whole study of his life should be to make them
happy—he embraced, and pretended to weep over
his friend, but methought there was more of joy
than sorrow in his tears—The will in his possession
gave him greater satisfaction, than the death of
his friend gave him pain.

The Departure.

The old gentleman desired to be left to himself
a few moments, the attorney and the children N6v 156
withdrew—he offered up some pious ejaculations,
requesting the blessings so abundently shower’d on
himself might be continued to his children; his
heart overflowed with gratitude for the many mercies
he had enjoyed; he petitioned health and prosperity,
for his friends, penitence and pardon, for
his enemies, and finished his prayer by fervently recommending
his soul to the mercy of that Being who
had guided and supported him through life. This
essential duty finished, he again called for his children.

“My dear Horace and Julietta,” said he, “I am summoned
from you; early, my children, you are bereft
of the love, attention, and advice of a parent,
who had no other regard for life than as it contributed
to your happiness—I have but one precept I
wish to inculcate and impress upon your minds:
deal by all mankind as you wish and expect them
to deal by you; let nothing, my children, alienate
your affections from each other; and remember
to respect your brother and sister mortals, not according
to the homage which the mistaken world
may think due to wealth and grandeur, but according
to their own intrinsic worth and merit.”

“Horace, respect virtue wherever you find it; nor
dare on any account use the wealth of which Heaven
has appointed you steward, to corrupt integrity,
or pervert innocence; shun the society of
the licentious, though dignified with titles; regard
not the scoffs of the libertine, but preserve
unshaken your integrity to God and man.”

O1r 157

“Julietta, my beloved girl, fly from the voice of
adulation; beware of insidious villains, who spread
their spacious snares for youth and innocence;
guard with unceasing vigilance your honor and
your fame; yet, my dear girl, exult not in the
pride of your own virtue, nor triumph over the
wretched fallen of your sex; be uniformly good;
be innocent yourself but pity and lament the misery
of those who have forfeited that inestimable
jewel; pour the balm of comfort into their bleeding
hearts, and learn from their errors to rectify
your own.”

“Oh, I am going—one more embrace—Almighty
Father bless—bless my—”
Children, he would have
said, but the ghastly monarch sealed up his lips for
ever.

“Oh! take me with you, dear saint,” cried Julietta,
wildly clasping her hands—she threw herself on the
bed and fainted.

The grief of Horace was manly but expressive—
the tears rolled down his cheeks—he walked about
the room in silent agony—till seeing his sister’s situation,
he forgot his own sorrows, and endeavoured
to revive and comfort her.

The Orphans.

“Lovely children,” said I, as I left the house, “you
are now launched into a world full of temptations
to vice, which will approach you under the fascinatingO O1v 158
form of pleasure.—May you avoid the rocks
and quick sands on which so many youths of both
sexes are wrecked.”

“I do not like Mr. Vellum, said I, making a quick
transition from the orphans to the guardian.—I
wish he may discharge his trust faithfully.”

“Hang this suspicion,” continued I, “it is an uncharitable,
unchristian-like thing that has crept into
my mind under the shape of anxiety for the welfare
of these poor orphans.—There’s another
foolish idea now; how is it possible a person can
be poor who has fifty thousand pounds to their
fortune; it may seem an inexplicable riddle to the
narrow minded race of mortals who place the
summum bonum of sublunary happiness in an ostentatious
display of wealth and grandeur: but I can
assure them a person possessed of fifty times that
sum, may be poor, and so poor as to be miserable.”

“Impossible,” exclaims pretty Miss Biddy, the
tradesman’s daughter, who just returned from boarding
school, is informed by mamma that she is to
have five thousand pounds for her fortune.

Impossible, had I ten more added to that five, I
should be the happiest mortal breathing—and it is
quite out of the question to think of ever being poor
again.

“A well-a-day,” said I, “’tis a strange thing; but,
to me, poverty of ideas and meanness of spirit are
greater afflictions than poverty of purse and meanness
of birth.”

O2r 159

When a man is alone, and in a thinking mood,
his imagination insensibly runs from one thing to
another, till he entirely wanders from the subject
that first engaged his attention.

Now, this being my case, I had got into such a
train of thought on the various kinds of poverty
with which the world is infested, that it was with
difficulty I brought my mind back to Horace and
Julietta; and, when I did, that devilish suspicion of
their guardian’s integrity would creep along with
them.

“Pshaw,” said I, “what business have I to suspect a
man of baseness, to which, perhaps, he may be an
entire stranger. I declare, weekweak mortal as I am, I
find sufficient employ in correcting my own errors,
without searching out the errors of others.”

I endeavoured to give my thoughts another turn,
but in vain, they involuntarily turned back to the
orphans, and I wandered on, musing on the uncertainty
of their future happiness.

The Girl of the Town.

“For ever cursed be that detested place,” said a
wretched daughter of folly, as she passed a tavern
in Holborn; and for ever execrated be that night,
on which I first entered it.

She caught my hand as I passed her.

“Give me a glass of wine,” said she.

The watch had just gone ten.

O2v 160

I looked in her face—she was pretty; and I
thought her features were not of the sort which
never express shame; her eyes were cast down
—I thought I saw a tear steal from them——I
touched her cheek, it was wet, yet she forced
a smile—I took hold of her hand, it was cold, it
trembled.

My compassion was strongly excited—by an
involuntary motion, I drew her hand under my
arm, and walked on in silence till we came to another
house of entertainment.—I then gave her something
to procure refreshment, and bade her good
night.

“Then you will not go in with me,” said she, in
tremulous accents.

“I must not,” said I, “I have a wife.”

“Go then,” said she, letting go my arm. “Yet, I
thought I had found a friend, and would have told
you such a tale—but, no matter—I am wretched—
I have made others so—I will not sin against conviction.
While this lasts,”
said she, “I will live unpolluted
—when it is gone, I must either starve or
sin again.”

Now let the icy sons of philosophy say what
they please. I could no more have left this poor
girl, after such a declaration, than I could travel
bare-foot over the burning deserts of Arabia.
——So, without once asking the advice of Madam
Prudence
, or suffering suspicion to hint,
that her affliction might be assumed—I again
took hold of her hand, and we entered the house
together.

O3r 161

“And now for your tale, my poor afflicted,” said I,
after she had eaten an hearty supper of cold veal
and sallad.

“To engage your friendship, Sir,” said she, “I
must be open and candid, and often condemn
myself—I know I stand convicted before the
world; but the world sees not the heart.—Credulity
was my fault; a vile platonic system, my
ruin.”

“Yet, had I been ruined alone, it were but little
consequence; but, alas! I have involved others
in misery—I have sown thorns on the conjugal
pillow of a worthy woman—I have torn the heart
of a parent with all the dreadful pangs an injured
wife, a doating mother, can feel, who sees
the husband of her affections, the father of her
children, eagerly pursuing, and encouraged in a
guilty passion.”

“Gracious God,” cried she, clasping her hands,
“let my sorrows, my miseries, my unfeigned penitence,
expiate this fault, and for the rest, thy will
be done.”

I know not how it was; but though she so
strongly accused herself, and of such heinous offences,
for my soul I could not but pity her; and
so did my Emma too, when I told her the tale; so
I bade her be comforted, and I would serve her in
every thing that lay in my power——
But, to the tale——

O2 O3v 162

You shall have it directly, good ladies—I know
you love a little private history.

“Mercy on me!” cried Miss Autumn, “what sort of a
story are we to have now? the history of a filthy
creature, who lived with another woman’s husband,
and then turned street-walker?”

“Even so, dear Madam; and if your immaculate
modesty will be too much shocked at the recital in
public, double down the page, take it up in your
chamber, and read it when you are alone; it will
save you the trouble of a blush——”

“And do you think, Mr. Inquisitor, that your works
will be proper for the perusal of youth?”

“I hope so, Madam; Heaven forbid that I should
ever write a page, whose tendency might make me
blush to own it, or in my latest hour, wish to blot
it out—my narrative is calculated to inspire at once
pity and horror——”

“Pity! good Lord—I never heard the like—pity
for an abandoned hussey, who merits the most flagrant
punishment?”

“You’ll pardon me, Madam, If I differ from you
in opinion—I would have every woman to feel a
proper horror and detestation of the crimes this
unhappy girl has committed; but, at the same
time, pity the weakness that led into them, and
the miseries the commission of them has entailed
upon her.”

“I have no patience, Sir; I insist upon it, that the
breach of chastity in woman deserves the most rigorous
punishment.”

O4r 163

“Unfeeling woman! if thou art really virtuous
thyself, boast not thy superiority over thy afflicted,
fallen sisters; but retire to thy closet, and thank
thy Creator, that he gave thee not a form that
might lead thee into temptations, or endued thee
with fortitude to withstand them——”

But now for Annie’s story.——

End of the second volume.

O4v O5r

The
Inquisitor;

Or,
Invisible Rambler.

In Three Volumes.

By Mrs. Rowson, Author of Victoria.

Second American Edition

Volume III.

Philadelphia: Printed for Mathew Carey, Bookseller, South Market
Street
, near Fourth.
1794—1794

O5v O6r

The
Inquisitor, &c.

Annie’s Story.

It was on a fine evening, the latter end of May,
when tired with the fatigues of the day, for she was
a milliner’s apprentice, Annie obtained leave of her
mistress to walk out for a little air.—Her mistress
had a shop which she occupied, and frequently visited
during the summer season, situated on the
banks of the Thames.

Annie strayed toward the water side. Some venerable
trees grew on the banks, forming a covert
from the sun at noon; and, by their interwoven
branches, inspired a sort of pleasing melancholy in
the gray twilight of the evening.

Annie was a sentimental girl—she loved solitude,
poetry, and music.—With a mind softened by the
remembrance of some former occurrences of her life,
and spirits calmed, but not depressed, by the solemn
silence and serenity of every thing around her,
she wandered on, meditating on the happy state of
those who were in a situation to enjoy unmolested O6v 168
the darling pleasures of reading, meditation, and
friendship.

Whether love had any share in her thoughts at
that moment, I never could get her to confess
but, whether a sentimental young woman, wandering
in a solitary walk, and contemplating the
works of nature, might not naturally enough wish
for a bosom friend to participate in her pleasures,
and join in an innocent conversation, I leave to my
fair readers to determine—to be sure, she might
wish for a female companion; very likely she did;
but it is a point I never could determine.

In this shady walk Annie was accosted by Mr.
Winlove
.

Mr. Winlove was a gentleman of fortune, to
whose family Annie had been recommended by a
particular friend as an innocent, well-disposed girl.
—She had frequently visited Mrs. Winloveshe had received
numberless civilities from her husband——
there could be no harm in walking two or three
turns with a married man—she accepted his proferred
arm, and they proceeded together.

“I had been wishing for an agreeable companion
in this walk, Annie,”
said he.

“Why did you not bring Mrs. Winlove with you?”

“’Tis a natural question; Annie, but a wife is not
always the most agreeable companion. I am much
better pleased with your company than I should be
with hers.”

Annie had been brought up in the strictest principles
of virtue; she had likewise imbibed some P1r 169
strange, obsolete notions concerning honor, piety,
integrity, and the like. she, therefore, thought
it strange that a man should prefer the company
of an indifferent person, to that of the woman
to whom he had vowed eternal love and constancy.

“How can you talk so inconsistently, Mr. Winlove?”
said she; surely my company cannot be preferable
to that of the woman of your choice.”

“Do people never marry from any other motives
than inclination?”

“I have heard, indeed,” said Annie, “of marriages
of interest, where avarice, not love, lighted the
hymeneal torch; but I have too good an opinion of
Mr. Winlove to think he could be biassed by so
sordid a motive”

“How I am delighted to find that you entertain so
high an opinion of me, my dear creature; and yet
it pains me.”

“Oh, why am I denied the power of bestowing
myself and fortune on a woman every way so amiable.”

Annie was going to interrupt him, but he stopped
her, and proceeded.——

“Be not offended, my sweet angel, you have no
idea of the miseries of my situation; drawn into a
cursed connection with a woman who has neither
beauty, merit, nor accomplishments to render her
a desirable companion—a woman for whom I have P P1v 170
not the least tenderness, and whom I married from
a mistaken point of honor—unhappy wretch that I
am, I must now daily see you, charming Annie,
lovely, amiable, accomplished, yet obliged to earn
a subsistence, when nature formed you to move in a
sphere more exalted, more suited to your gentle
disposition.—These hands, dear girl, were not
formed for labour—”
he took one hand and pressed
it tenderly to his lips

Now, however Annie might be inclined to reprove
Mr. Winlove in the beginning of this address,
the latter part of it was so prettily mixed with
praises of herself, that she could not well determine
whether to be pleased or offended——she
therefore continued silent.

Annie was the daughter of a merchant; had been
well educated; and being supposed to have a large
fortune, was early introduced into the school of
gallantry, and her ears invaded by the voice of
adulation—she was pretty—how could she avoid
knowing it? she had heard an hundred different
men swear it; her glass confirmed their oaths.—
She was naturally sensible; but she was vain, and
a little inclined to coquetry.—Her father died insolvent
she was taken from a scene of grandeur,
and apprenticed to a milliner.—She was good natured;
every body loved her—she submitted to her
fate without repining, and endeavoured to render
herself useful in her new occupation. But, alas! poor
Annie, she loved the soft numbers of a Dryden or
a Pope, much better than the study of the fashions; P2r 171
and would prefer spending an hour at her pen, before
the formation of the most elegant ornament for
the person.

It is not to be wondered at, that she was delighted
by the voice of flattery, since she had
seldom, from her cradle, been accustomed to any
other.

Mr. Winlove was artful; he easily discovered the
method by which he might gain the good will of
this simple girl; and imperceptibly changed the
subject, from admiring the beauties of her person,
to commend the graces of her mind.—He then inquired
into the nature of her studies; commendeded
her taste in the selection of authors; ventured
gently to laugh at her ideas of religion; called
them superstitious; said she was a novice in the
ways of the world, and openly avowed a passion
for her.

At first her looks plainly indicated her horror
and amazement—She trembled—shrunk from him,
and telling him she was shocked to find the person
she had supposed her friend, was her bitterest enemy,
burst into tears.

Had Annie acted with propriety, she would have
instantly left him; but he attempted to palliate his
offence—she staid to hear him.

“How can you call me your enemy, dear Annie,”
said he—“though I doat on you almost to madness,
I would not injure you to obtain an empire. I will
curb my passion; it shall be pure, exalted friendship
that warms our bosoms; we may be friends, my P2v 172
sweet girl; you cannot refuse me that token of
your esteem.”

“Let your actions teach me to esteem you, Mr.
Winlove
—I will be the friend of no man who pretends
to laugh at all obligations, moral and religious.”

Mr. Winlove, by degrees, led her into a dispute
Annie was not a match in argument with
this insidious friend; he was a sophist; he preferred
the laws of nature; called religion priestcraft;
brought innumerable proofs to convince
her that her opinion was fallacious, and that she
was entirely ignorant of the road to happiness, if
she supposed it was to be found by strictly adhering
to the musty rules prescribed by the aged and
captious, who, unable any longer to enjoy the
pleasures of youth, would deprive others of their
share.

“Take example, dear Annie,” said he, “from the
excellent Eloise, of Rousseau.”

She had never read it.

He recommended it very strongly for her perusal.

As she returned home, passing a library, Mr. Winlove
purchased the pernicious novel, and gave it to
Annie.

She took it home—she read it—her judgment
was perverted—she believed in the reality of a platonic
passion——she thought she had the virtue of
an Eloise, and Mr. Winlove the honour of a St.
Preux
.

P3r 173

Churchill was the next author that was recommended.

She read—she listened to the soft language of
love, and imbibed pernicious poison from every
page she read, and every word she heard.

Trusting to her own strength and virtue, she
made a private assignation—met him—confessed she
loved him—and was lost.

But little now remains to be told.

A few months convinced her, that when honour
is forfeited, love cannot exist.

Mr. Winlove forsook her.

Her reputation stained—without friends—without
peace—despised and insulted by her own sex,
pitied by the other, and renounced by her uncle,
who had bound her apprentice, she became the
associate of the abandoned and profligate; and reduced
to chuse the dreadful alternative of death or
infamy, became a partner in vices which once she
would have shuddered but to think on.

Love.

And this man pleaded love as an incitement to
the ruin of the poor, simple Annie.

What is love?

It is a question which would be answered different
ways, according to the age and situation of the
person to whom it is addressed—“Love!” cries the P2 P3v 174
lovely girl, whose imagination is warmed by the
perusal of a sentimental novel—“love is the cordial
drop Heaven has thrown in, to sweeten the bitter
draught of life—without love we can only exist—
sweet soother of our cares! that can strew roses on
the coarsest bed, and make the most homely fair
delicious.—Give me love and Strephon, an humble
cottage shaded with woodbine; for love will render
the retreat delightful!”

Charmed with the enchanting scene her busy fancy
draws, she imagines happiness exists only in a
cottage; and that for the love of her dear Strephon,
she could easily, and without regret, forego
all the indulgencies of her father’s house; all the
advantages of wealth, and solace herself with a
brown crust and a pitcher of milk. But then her
Strephon will always be near her, ever whispering
his love, and studying to promote her felicity: fired
with these romantic ideas, she takes the first opportunity
of quitting her home; and without a
moment’s deliberation, throws herself upon the honor
of a man, who perhaps, had no further regard
for her than the hope of sharing her fortune might
excite.

Ask this same woman, some few months after,
when poverty has visited her dwelling, and unmasking
the real designs of her husband, ask her then what
love is—her answer will be, it is a foolish headstrong
passion, whose pleasures exist merely in imagination;
a blind hood-winked deity, who leads
on his votaries by promises of everlasting felicity; P4r 175
and when two late for retreat, discovers his real
aspect, and plunges them into inevitable misery.—
Yet this woman’s ideas of love were both erroneous
—the reason of which was, she had never really felt
the effects of that exalted passion.

Ask the libertine what is love?

Innocence trembles at his answer; religion and
virtue replies, it is ruin, infamy and shame.

The old, avaricious, captious wretch will tell
you, there is no such thing as love; that it never
existed but in romances, plays, and novels.

Then pray, Mr. Inquisitor, what is your opinion
of love?

The Answer.

Real love was born of beauty, nursed by Innocence,
and its life prolonged by good sense, affability
and prudence—it consists of a strict union of
soul and parity of sentiment between two persons
of different sexes—its constant attendants are honor,
integrity, candour, humility, good nature, and
cheerfulness.

A passion of this kind elevates the soul, and inspires
it with fortitude to bear the various vicissitudes
of life without complaining—from such a
passion proceeds all the endearing ties of nature
—Father, brother, husband, wife, mother, daughter;
names, the very sound of which will make
every fibre of the heart vibrate with pleasure.

P4v 176

What noble, praise-worthy actions have men
performed when animated by the esteem and love
of a deserving object; even women have forgot
the weakness of their sex, and suffered hardships,
combated perils, and braved even the threats of
war, for the sake of a beloved husband.—It opens
the heart to all the gentle virtues which ornament
society—the heart susceptible of love is never callous
to the feelings of humanity; he never beholds
a distressed object but he immediately wishes to
relieve it, not that he feels so much for the person’s
suffering as for those who may suffer with or for
their distress, such as a wife, husband, or parent.
—It is a passion which, when inspired by virtue,
and guieded by religion and reason, dignifies mankind
——a passion which ornaments the highest
station, and adds new lustre even to the British
diadem.

Illustrious pair! whose every action tends to
point the way to real happiness; long, long may
you reign the pride and blessing of your people——
May your bright example spread throughout the
kingdom, till Hymen, led by Love and Honor,
shall reign triumphant o’er the British nation.

It is very extraordinary, but I never can finish
with the subject I begin upon—I began a definition
of Love, and I ramble immediately to the King
and Queen; and how was it possible I could do
otherwise when love and harmony was the theme.

My fair country-woman, you whose hearts are
formed by nature open to every gentle, generous
sentiment, beware of Love—there are many deceivers P5r 177
who assume his appearance, and steal unsuspected
into the heart; but of all the various
shapes it assumes, none is so much to be dreaded as
the spacious mask of friendship.—There has been
more women lost through platonic love than any
other; and the reason is, they are thrown entirely
off their guard, and have not the least doubt of the
strength of their own virtue, or their lover’s honor,
till both are forfeited past redemption.

But this is all digressing from Annie’s story.

The Sequel.

When she had finished her relation, I took her
into a hackney-coach, and conveyed her home——
candidly told my dear Emma the circumstance of
our meeting, and asked her advice in what manner
to dispose of the dear girl.

We tried her penitence; found it sincere; and
willing to encourage her in virtue, recommended
her to the service of a lady, whose example confirmed
those sentiments which were newly returning
to be inmates of Annie’s bosom.

I have frequently seen her since, and experience a
thousand times more satisfaction in the reflection
that I have snatched her from infamy, than the man
of pleasure can feel, who raises the object of his
guilty pursuit from the lowest station, to affluence
and grandeur.

That is but a bad comparison neither; the two
actions cannot come in competition with each P5v 178
other, since the first elevates human nature, the
latter debases it.

The Journey.

I have often been surprised to find that persons
who are possessed of elegant villas, and are at liberty
to dispose of their time as they think proper,
should prefer spending it in London. For my own
part, I should hardly pass one month of the twelve
in that seat of commerce and bustle, were it not for
unavoidable obligations.

I find the purest pleasures arise from a walk in a
pleasant meadow, hedged round with hawthorn,
in a sweet May morning, when the lark attunes
her early song, and chaunts forth the praises of
her Creator; to see bright Phoebus leave his watery
bed, and kiss away Aurora’s pearly tears,
which hang upon the opening flowers.

“Drive on,” said I to the postillion, “I long to be at
my journey’s end, and I must positively dine at
Friendly Hall to—day.”

“Pray, your honor, give me some half-pence,” said
a boy that ran out of a cottage as the carriage
passed.

He was an arch-looking boy, with curly hair,
very decently dressed, and ran along by the side of
the carriage with surprising agility.—I threw him
out some half—pence; and looking out of the window
to observe him pick them up, I saw a young man,
who had greatly the appearance of a gentleman, P6r 179
eagerly take the money from the child, and go into
the cottage.

I had scarcely mentioned the circumstance to my
Emma, before the postillion driving carelessly over
a heap of stones, one of the wheels gave way, and
down came the coach.

At another time, I should have undoubtedly have
sworn at the postillion, and thrown myself into a
violent passion, from which I might not have recovered
the whole day.—At present, as there was no
harm done, the accident only coincided with my
wishes, which led me towards the cottage; so
helping my Emma out, and taking Harriet in one
hand and Lucy in the other, we walked into the
humble habitation.

The Cottagers.

The young man was seated by a woman, whose
face had never been remarkable for beauty, but
was irresistibly charming, overshadowed by melancholy,
and adorned by sensibility.—Her fine
auburn hair she had endeavoured to confine under
a small lawn cap, but it had broke from its
bandage, and played in wanton ringlets round her
face.

A child about three months old was at her breast,
and the boy, to whom I had given the half-pence,
was making boats with bits of wood, and swimming
them in a pail of water that stood in a corner
of the room.

P6v 180

As we entered, the young man glanced his eyes
upon his cloaths; his cheeks assumed a sanguine
hue.—They certainly were thread-bare, but what
of that? They had once been new, and from what
remained, we could see they had once been elegant;
perhaps it was that very circumstance which distressed
him.

Whatever circumstances a person is in, you may
always discover by their behaviour, whether they
have been inured to their situation from childhood.
—A person, who has never known any thing but
poverty, shews no other mark of chagrin at the
entrance of a stranger, than what proceeds from an
aukwardness of manner, which they ever betray,
when in the company of their superiors—and raise
that person to the most exalted station, and you will
still perceive the same disgusting aukwardness and
rusticity.—So, place a man of education in ever so
obscure a situation, you will always discover the
manners of the gentleman, though obscured by the
garb of the beggar.

I, therefore, no sooner beheld the young man,
than I discovered that he had not always worn a
thread-bare coat, or lived from his childhood in a
cottage.

The Embarrassment.

“I am hungry, mamma,” said Harriet.

“Could you procure us a little bread and milk,”
said I to the young woman.

Q1r 181

“We have none in the house, Sir,” she replied, visibly
embarrassed; “and it is above two miles to another
cottage.”

The young man turned pale as ashes.

“Give me my money, mother,” said the boy, “and I
will go and buy some.”

She hesitated, and the boy proceeded.
“I think it is time we had some breakfast—I am
sure I am hungry—and so are you—I heard you
say so, or I should not have begged of the gentlefolks.”

“He will discover our poverty,” said the father,
forcing a smile.—The mother turned from us,
and wept.

“Pardon me, Madam,” said Emma, “if I ask the
cause of your tears—it is not curiosity, but a wish
to serve you, occasions the question.”

“Pride and poverty,” replied the young man, struggling
to suppress his emotions.

“Will this relieve you,” said I, offering him a few
guineas.—

“Though I am almost starving,” said he, “I feel
more anguish than satisfaction at the offer; nor
would I accept it, but for my wife and children.”

It is extraordinary that there is such an innate
pride implanted in the mind of some men that they
are ashamed of poverty, though it was entailed
upon them by unavoidable misfortunes, and I am
certain that people of this cast, in receiving favours,Q Q1v 182
though perhaps those favours raise them
from a state of penury to plenty, feel a larger share
of pain than pleasure—the noble mind is always
pained when labouring under the weight of obligations.

Now, shame upon the world for occasioning this
—were it not that there is greater respect paid to
the gilded equipage, glaring liveries, and embroidered
cloaths, than to the poor atom of clay
that is attended by all this pomp, a man would
never blush at poverty when it was attended by
honor and virtue.

I do not mean hereditary honor, I mean a nobleness
of soul, an elevation of sentiment, an integrity
of heart, that would rather bear the laugh of
the world for keeping within the strict rules of
œconomy than suffer a tradesman’s bill to go unpaid,
or a fellow creature to want sustenance.

A man of real honor will not always draw his
sword at every trivial offence; but he ever stands
forth the undaunted champion of innocence and
virtue—he also holds his friend’s wife or daughter
as sacred, regards them with esteem, and treats
them with respect.

The modern man of honor is quite a different
creature; he must have his pleasures whether he
can afford to pay for them or not; he will steal his
friend’s fortune at the gaming table; debauch his
wife, or ensnare his daughter, and then run him
through the body by way of reparation.

Q2r 183

And, what is hereditary honor?—A word of
pompous sound—a toy—a plaything—a pretty bauble
for children of twenty, thirty, aye, up to an
hundred years of age.

I have seen those great babies as pleased with
enumerating the titles of their ancestors, as an infant
has been with a new rattle, or a jack in the
box.

Sir, my forefathers were Earls, or Dukes, or
Princes.—Sir, I have noble blood in my veins, which
has flowed uncontaminated through twenty generations.

Yes, Sir, but your ancestors were cruel, or unjust,
or ambitious, or avaricious, or proud, or revengeful.
—But they were Earls, or Dukes, or Princes.
—That is the convincing argument; and my
Lord sits down perfectly contented with the reflection
that he is right honorable by birth, and
never gives himself the trouble to perform one
honorable action during the whole course of his
life.

And, pray what has this to do with the cottagers.

Faith I don’t know that it has the least connection
with them; but I can never prescribe rules
for my pen, any more than I can confine my
thoughts to one single object.—To write straight
forward, is like an hackney horse that, setting out
from the first stage, continues in the beaten track
till he arrives at the end of his journey—for my
part I hate such insipid travelling; mine is a journey Q2v 184
of pleasure, and I will turn out of the road as
often as I please to take a view of any thing amusing
or entertaining.

The Steward.

The young man went out and procured some
refreshment, of which we partook, and, after the
repast was finished, the wife prepared to give us
her own and husband’s history.—

She laid her infant to sleep, set her apartment in
proper order; and, having set a mug of cyder (which
her husband had brought in) upon the table, sat
down to gratify the curiosity she had so strongly
excited.—

At that instant a fat old man rode up to the door,
dismounted, fastened his horse to a tree, and entered.

I never cast my eye upon a stranger but I immediately
form some idea of his or her dispositions by
the turn of their eyes and cast of their features;
and though my skill in physiognomy is not infallible,
I seldom find myself deceived.

The old man had a sort of haughtiness in his carriage,
which seemed the result of mean pride and
self-sufficiency, his person was coarse, his manner
rude, his language almost insulting.

“I am surprised,” said he to the young man, “that
you have not brought me your last half year’s rent.
—I have repeatedly sent, and will no longer be put Q3r 185
off by your trifling excuses—I am now come for the
money, and will not depart without it.”

“Sir,” said the young man, “we have it not; and to
add to our misfortunes, two days since our cattle
were seized for a small sum which we owed in the
neighbourhood.—”

“Money I want, and money I will have,” said
the man—a large sum is to be made up this week,
and I will not wait any longer—if you do not
send me the rent within two days, I will turn you
out of the cottage, first seizing what stock you
have.

“Confound this money,” said I, “it is the occasion
of more ill will and dissention than any thing else
in the world.”

“Why, pray, young man,” said he, “what would you
do without money?”

I was dressed very plainly—so was Emma and the
children—he had not seen the carriage that was repairing;
or if he had, could never have supposed
it was mine.

He addressed me, therefore, by this familiar
epithet, on account of his supposed superiority;
and as he pronounced the words young man, he
assumed such an air of self-sufficiency, and sat himself
back in the chair with such an insulting assurance,
that I had hardly patience to answer him
calmly.

“If there was no money in the world,” said I,
“there would be no extortion; and, I fancy then, Q2 Q3v 186
you, my good friend, would find but little employment.”

One of my servants then informed me that the
carriage was ready—I enquired of my young host
if this was his landlord, and was informed he
was only steward to Lord M——: I became
answerable for the rent, and determined, on
my return to town, to pay a visit to his Lordship,
and inform him of the necessitous situation of his
tenants.

The Author.

One evening, as I was rambling out, I observed
a man sitting on the trunk of an old tree, with a
paper and pencil in his hand; at first I supposed
him to be drawing, but, on a nearer approach, I
found him to be writing.

“Pray, Sir,” said I, advancing, and paying him
the compliments of the evening, “what may be the
subject which so agreeably engages your attention?
I presume you are sacrificing at the shrine of the
Muses—”
“I am, Sir,” said he, rising and putting the
paper in his pocket—“I have been writing all this
summer, and in the winter I hope to have my works
in print—It is a novel, Sir, entirely calculated to
amuse—”

“In how many volumes?”

“Two.”

“And are you sure of selling them?”

Q4r 187

“I am engaged Sir, to write for a person who,
scarcely ever publishes any thing but novels.”

“What may be the plot or foundation of your
novel?”

“It is called Annabella; or Suffering Innocence——
my heroine is beautiful, accomplished, and rich;
an only child, and surrounded by admirers——she
contracts an attachment for a man, her inferior
in point of birth and fortune; but honourable,
handsome, &c.—She has a female friend, to whom
she relates all that passes in her breast—her hopes,
fears, meetings, partings, &c.—She is treated
hardly by her friends—combats innumerable difficulties
in the sentimental way, but at last overcomes
them all, and is made the bride of the man
of her heart.”

“Pshaw,” said I, “that is stale; there are at this
present day, above two thousand novels in existence,
which begin and end exactly in the same
way——the novel writers have now taken another
road; and, if you will give me leave, I will
just give you a few hints, which may, perhaps,
be of some service to you in writing a novel in
future.”

Sketch of a Modern Novel.

“In the first place, your heroine, must fall violently
in love will an all-accomplished youth at a very
early age—keep her passion concealed from her parents Q4v 188
or guardians; but bind herself in her own
mind to wed no other than this dear, first conqueror
of her heart—ill—natured, proud, ambitious fathers,
are very necessary to be introduced—kind,
affectionate, amiable mothers. The superlative
beauty and accomplishments of your heroine, or
perhaps the splendour of her fortune, must attract
the attention of a man diametrically opposite in
person and disposition to her first lover—the father
must threaten—the mother entreat—and the lover
be very urgent for the completion of his felicity—
remember to mix a sufficient quantity of sighs, tears,
swooning, hysterics, and all the moving expressions
of heart—rending woe—her filial duty must triumph
over inclination; and she must be led like a victim
to the altar.——”

“So much for the first part.”

“The second volume displays her angelic, her exemplary
conduct in the character of a wife—the
husband must be jealous, brutal, fond of gaming,
keep a mistress, lavish all his fortune on sharpers
and lewd women—the wife pious, gentle, obedient
and resigned——”

“Be sure you contrive a duel; and, if convenient,
a suicide might not be amiss—lead your heroine
through wonderful trials—let her have the fortitude
of an anchorite, the patience of an angel—but in
the end, send her first husband to the other world,
and unite her to the first possessor of her heart——
join a few other incidents; such as the history of
her bosom friend, and a confidant—Manage your Q5r 189
plot in such a manner as to have some surprising
discovery made—wind up with two or three marriages,
and the superlative felicity of all the dramatis
personae
.”

“There, Sir,” said I, “there you have the substance
of a narrative which might be spun out to two or
three volumes—there has been many novels introduced
to the public built on as slender a foundation
as that— The Modern Fine Gentleman, Deserted
Bride
, Clara, and —”

The Interruption.

“I have often been surprised”, said the author,
taking the sketch (for I had wrote it down) and
giving me a bow of thanks—“It has often surprised
me,”
said he, “to find that all the distresses of a novel
proceeds from a passion, which is, in general,
supposed to contribute to our chief happiness—All
writers of that sort of production, from the time
of romance and enchanted tales, to the present
tribe of scribblers, could find no other subject to
employ their pens, but love—I wonder that the
novel readers are not tired of reading one story so
many times, with only the variation of its being
told different ways.”

“When I first commenced Author,” continued he,
“I wrote on religion and philosophy; but I found
in the first I could gain no reputation, unless I
wrote in the enthusiastic style of a Methodist; Q5r 190
and the latter was too obtruse a study for the
young and gay, required too much time for the
old, and was totally improper for the ignorant
and illiterate.—My books would not sell—I had
frequently applied to a person eminent for his numerous
publications. He told me if I wished to get
a living, I must write to amuse rather than instruct
the world; and that If I would write him a good
novel in two volumes, he would give me ten guineas
for it.”

“He thought, no doubt, ten guineas was a very
large sum to be put into the hands of a poor
author: to deal candidly, I should have been very
glad at that time, of a fifth part of the sum—
but, to proceed—I was not at all conversant in
that sort of reading; but finding it absolutely
necessary, I borrowed some of the best esteemed
modern novels from a library, and began to peruse
them with great attention, but there was a
sameness in the generality of them that disgusted,
and a looseness in the language of others that
shocked me.”

“It is indeed shocking,” said I, “to see so many
reams of paper expended in ushering to the world
pernicious pages, which tend to vitiate the taste
and corrupt the heart. When the heroine of a novel
is represented as flying in the face of filial duty,
eloping, running into the very lap of danger, braving
the authority of her parents, and forgetting
the decorum and delicacy which ought to be the
characteristic of the female sex, and yet, in the end Q6r 191
meets with every blessing, every comfort, she can
wish; is it not enough to ruin the weak head and
unwary heart, by leading them to think true felicity
is to be found by following the bent of their
own inclinations, though never so wayward and
opposite to the advice of their friends or the dictates
of reason?”

“Nor can I think that the more modern productions
contain a better moral, since the whole merit
of the filial obedience is cancelled by the retaining
an affection for one man after they have vowed
eternal fidelity to another.”

“I would wish the authors of those works to reflect,
that it is the inclinations of the heart that
renders us guilty, as much as the actual commission
of a crime; and a woman who strays from
her husband only in wishes and thoughts, is, in
reality, as culpable as she who actually wounds his
honor.”

“I have very nice notions of conjugal fidelity and
filial duty, and earnestly wish that no writings
might ever be made public which tend to injure
either: they are the foundation on which we may
always raise the temple of happiness; they are a
crown of glory for the head, a cordial and comforter
even to the sorrow—wounded heart.”

These virtues are the brightest ornaments the
female sex can wear, they make the plainest woman
lovely; and, when displayed in an eminent degree,
elevate the human soul, and make it little inferior
to angels.

Q6v 192

The Fair Maniac.

I was proceeding in this manner, when a lovely
young creature darted out of a little cottage,
as we were passing, and seized me by the arm, eagerly
desired I would convey her back to her
friends.

“They say I am mad:” said she; “but I am not, I
have my reason as well as they have; I know I am
miserable, and have been so ever since they took
my brother from me.—Oh! cruel to tear him
from my arms, to break my very heart strings,
and send him away, never, never to return—he
went on the treacherous ocean—Yes, yes, the sea,
the sky, all, all combined with my inhuman guardian
to take him from me—hark! hark! do you
not hear the wind?—See the blue lightning—the
raging waves—the thunder—I hear it—I see the
vessel beat the foaming sea—I see my brother—see
him wave his hand—I cannot come——I cannot
save thee—the vessel parts—she sinks——he’s gone,
he’s gone—Oh! merciless.——”

“Alas my drooping lily,” said I, “you see nothing;
there is no sea near you; this is merely the effect
of fancy; your brother, no doubt, is safe, and will
one day return to make you happy.”

“Oh no!” said she, crossing her hands upon her bosom,
and sitting down upon the ground.——“Oh
no! he will never return to me; he will never R1r 193
more sooth and cheer his unhappy sister—but here
will I sit on this lone bank, and mourn the heavy
hour in which he left me—I’ll build a tomb of sea
shells, weeds, and corals—I’ll plant around it pale
primroses and sickly daffodils, and every day I’ll
wash it with my tears, and count the hours,
and chide dull, lagging Time, till his sharp
scythe shall cut life’s fine drawn thread, and
I may lay me down and sleep with my dear Horace
——”

“Horace!” said I, looking more intently at her
—It was poor Julietta—then Vellum was a villain.

At the name of Vellum, she started from the
ground, appeared terrified, looked wildly round
her, and uttering a feint exclamation, ran hastily
into the cottage.

I bade the author a good night, and followed her
—but an old woman, who I found was her only
attendant, could give me no information concerning
her; only that she had lost her senses ever
since the death of her brother, who was shipwrecked
as he was going abroad to finish his education,
and that she had been sent into the
country, in hopes that the air would be of service
to her.

I found my heart so deeply engaged by the miserable
situation of this lovely orphan, that it was
with difficulty I restrained my tears when I pressed
her cold hand and bade her good night.

R R1v 194

The Mendicant.

Though it was near three years since I had
been a witness to the sorrow of Julietta, on the
death of her father, yet the scene still remained
fresh in my memory—I remembered the
doubts I then entertained of Vellum’s integrity,
and was determined immediately to return to
town, and search into the mystery of Horace’s
death, and the shocking privation of Julietta’s
senses.

When I have once formed a resolution, I am not
long in putting it in execution.

The morning after my arrival in town, I determined
to pay Mr. Vellum an invisible visit.

As I was proceeding through a very public street,
I saw a servant, in livery, feeding a fine dog with
bits of roast meat, which appeared perfectly fresh
and good.—A poor woman, whose tattered garb
spoke extremity of poverty, whose emaciated frame
seemed tottering on the verge of eternity, and
whose head was sprinkled over with hoary frost,
approached the man, and in the humblest manner
entreated him to let her pick up a little of the victuals
which he had thrown to the animal—“only one
bit, Sir,”
said she, “to save me from starving”—The
servant was silent—she took it for consent, and
bent forward to pick up what the dog seemed to
refuse.

The servant, who, unmoved, had heard her request,
no sooner saw her attempt to gather up the R2r 195
broken scraps, than he stepped eagerly to her,
snatched them from her, and with sacrilegious
hand struck the wretched mortal, whose sex, age,
and poverty, should have kept her sacred from insult.

“Good Heavens!” said I, “that a man should so
far forget himself.—What! must the brute creation
enjoy ease and plenty, while an unhappy human
being wanders through the streets perishing
with hunger?—and what must this poor woman
suffer, at seeing herself denied the fragments that
are rejected by a brute?”
for the dog had absolutely
left a large part of the food that had been given
him.

“Who does that dog belong to?” said I to the servant.

“Lord M——”, said he.

“Lord M——”, said I, at that instant recollecting
the unhappy cottagers—then why not pay Lord
M——
a visit now, as well as at any other time;
it will only defer my intended enquiry at Mr. Vellum’s
a few hours longer.

It was no sooner thought on than determined;
and having inquired of the servant in which house
his Lordship resided, I put on my ring, ascended
the steps, and patiently waited the opening of the
door.

R2v 196

The People of Fashion.

I chose to make this visit invisible, that I might
be the better able to judge of the sentiments and
disposition of his Lordship.

Having got admittance into the house, unperceived,
I followed a servant who was going up
stairs with the breakfast apparatus, though it was
then one o’clock.

On entering the room, I saw a woman in an elegant
dishabille, lolling on a sopha, and turning over
an enormous heap of complimentary cards—She
was between forty and fifty—was finely formed,
and had once been handsome, if one might judge
from a regular set of features; but at present her
skin was shriveled and yellow, her eyes sunk and
languid.

“Thomas,” said she to the servant, “is my Lord
stirring?”

“Yes, my Lady.”

“Go with my compliments, and I should be glad
of his company to breakfast.”

In a few moments my Lord entered, threw himself
into an easy chair, yawned, and drawled out
the compliments of the morning.

“Where were you, my Lord, last night? I was
quite surprised at not seeing you at Lady Blackace’s
—all the world was there.”

“It is quite a bore, my Lady, to see a man and his
wife at the same place.”

R3r 197

“Very true, my Lord; but had your Lordship
appeared, I should certainly have been so polite as
to have made my exit.—A propos, my Lord—I wonder
what has become of that fond fool, Charles
Howard
, and how he and Isabella like matrimony
with the sour sauce of poverty—Good God!”
continued
she, “I wonder how any body can think of
swallowing that bitter pill without having it sufficiently
gilded over.”

A servant entered, and anounced Mr. Howard.

“Mr. Howard!” cried my Lady, staring up with
astonishment, surely you mistake; my brother has
been dead above these seven years; and Charles
cannot think of coming.”

“The gentleman certainly sent up the name of
Howard, said the servant.”

He was bid to shew him up.

The Father.

An elegant, elderly gentleman soon entered the
room, dressed in the military habit—he paid his
respects politely to my Lord—advanced to the Lady
with a look of tenderness, and embraced her.

“You are, no doubt, surprised to see me, sister,”
said he, “after having supposed me dead so many
years; but your surprise will be converted into joy
when I inform you during the last seven years of R2 R3v 198
my absence I have accumulated a large fortune,
and am now come to reclaim my son, and return
the kindness and generosity with which you stepped
forward, and offered him your favour and
protection during the time when my duty forced
me to be absent from my native country—You, my
dear Lord and Lady M——, took my poor boy
when he had no inheritance but poverty.”

During the time the old gentleman was delivering
these words Lady M—’s countenance underwent
several changes, and at last settled in a deadly pale
—the fond father instantly saw the change, and
asked in a voice scarcely audible, whether his child
was dead?

“No, Captain Howard,” said my Lord, “he is not
dead, but he has behaved so ill of late, that he has
entirely forfeited my favour; he has voluntarily absented
himself from my house; and to confess the
truth, I have not seen him these six years, nor do I
know where he is.”

“And what has he done?” asked the distracted father.

“He has behaved like a poor, mean spirited
wretch,”
said my Lady—he has degraded the family
mby marrying a low, vulgar creature, in direct opposition
to the advice, nay absolute commands, of
my Lord and myself.

“Upon my honor, Mr. Howard,” said my Lord,
“I had contracted such an esteem for the lad, that I
had positively determined to adopt him; but on R4r 199
his absolutely persisting in his design of marrying
the low creature my Lady mentions, I forbid him
my house;—I had no intention to adopt a beggar’s
brat.”

The conversation was now interrupted by a servant,
who informed my Lady there was company
in the drawing room—she begged leave of her
brother to go and receive them; and my Lord,
having rung for his valet, retired to adjust his
dress.

The Eclaircissement.

Captain Howard had been abruptly informed
that his son had forfeited his uncle’s favour; had
been informed of it in a manner inconsiderate and
unfeeling, and then left to himself to reflect at leisure
on his misfortune.

He sat with one hand resting on the breakfast table,
and the other in his bosom, his brow contracted,
and his eyes fixed on the floor—there was such
a dignity in his person, and yet such an apparent
concern upon his countenance, that my affections
were drawn towards him by an irresistible impulse
—I longed to call him brother and friend—my heart
was wrung with sensibility.

“And what avails it,” said I, “that this man has accumulated
a large fortune?—of what benefit is
wealth to him?—he had looked upon his son as his
greatest treasure—for these many years has his delighted R4v 200
imagination drawn a most perfect picture of
felicity in the idea of beholding this beloved son,
and seeing him enjoying the favour of his uncle,
and perhaps wedded to some amiable woman, who,
to the gifts of birth and fortune, added the gifts of
nature, whose beauty created love, and her virtue
esteem.”

Behold him now in one moment bereaved of this
darling hope, his heart aching with paternal love
and fear—oh! would children but reflect how
greatly the happiness of a parent depends on their
well doing; could they have the least idea of the
mighty pangs which tear the parental bosom when
they stray from their duty, they would surely avoid
every action which might tend to disturb the peace
or wound the minds of their parents; for sure I am,
that not the sharpest torture enthusiastic zeal could
invent, can equal the torments that rend the heart
of a fondly-doating disappointed parent.

My meditations were interrupted by a decent,
elderly woman, who opened the door, and, advancing
to Captain Howard, welcomed him cordially
to England.

“My good Mrs. Watson, said he, taking her by
her hand.”
cCan you tell me where Charles is, and to
whom he has united himself so contrary to the desire
of his uncle and aunt?”

“It was for that purpose,” said Mrs. Watson, “that
I took the liberty of coming into the room to speak
to you—but this room, Sir, is not a proper place
to converse in; I must beg you to come into my R5r 201
apartment, and I will then inform you of some
circumstances which will fill you with astonishment.”

I felt a curiosity which I could not withstand,
and, anxious for the fate of Charles, I followed
Captain Howard and Mrs. Watson into another
apartment. Mrs. Watson I found was Lady M—’s
housekeeper, and had formerly lived in that capacity
with her Ladyship’s mother——When Captain
Howard was seated, she related the following
circumstances:

“You know, Sir,” said she, “just before you left
England, my Lady, at my Lord’s request, had taken
Miss Isabella Beauchamp to be her companion
—you had not been gone many years before Mr.
Beauchamp
died insolvent, and the poor young Lady
had no dependence but on my Lord, who was a
distant relation of her father’s. From the time of
Mr. Beauchamp’s death, Lady M— altered in her
behaviour to Miss Bella; treated her often with
disrespect; and in general, with cold contempt—
My Lord, on the contrary, behaved with the
greatest politeness, assiduity, and attention; made
her elegant presents, insisted on her joining all parties,
public or private, in which Lady M— was included
——young Mr. Howard shewed the attention
of a brother; and, I must own, this conduct
raised both the gentlemen highly in my opinion . It
was with great concern that I noticed a settled melancholy
on Miss Bella’s countenance, and often
would she retire from a crowded assembly to her
own apartment and give a loose to her tears—she R5v 202
had always conducted herself in such a manner as to
gain the love of all the domestics, and she had favoured
me with many singular marks of friendship——I
therefore took the liberty one day to enquire into
the cause of her melancholy; when bursting into a
flood of grief, she cried, ‘oh! Mrs. Watson, what
will become of me? Lord M— pursues me with a
criminal passion—I cannot stay in this family to be
subject to his insults; and if I leave it, how shall I
guard myself from the snares and insults of the unfeeling
part of mankind, who know not how to
pity poverty? or how shall I provided for the necessaries
of life?’
I endeavoured all in my power to
console her, and told her I would certainly look
out for some reputable family where she might be
boarded on moderate terms, and that I would advise
her to sell a few of her jewels to provide for the
present, and trust in providence that her future life
may be more fortunate—she gave me a pair of diamond
earings; which were her mother’s, to dispose
of; but as I was returning to my own apartment I
met Mr. Howard, and knowing he was always
plentifully supplied with money by his aunt, I determined
to make him acquainted with Miss Bella’s
situation, and engage him to assist her—but judge
my surprise, when I had informed him of my Lord’s
designs, to hear him fly into a violent rage, and
swear she should not stay another hour in the house,
called her his wife, his adored Bella, and was hastening
to her apartment, when he was stopped by
his aunt, who had overheard our conversation, and
peremptorily demanded whether he had been so R6r 203
mean spirited as to marry Miss Beauchamp? —he answered
with warmth, he was not married to her;
but since there was no other way to shield her from
the contempt of pride and the insults of libertinism,
he would marry her the next morning.”

Lady M— was greatly irritated, and sent a message
to Miss Beauchamp, commanding her to quit
her house instantly—Charles followed the poor distressed
girl; and before my Lord returned, who
was then in the country, prevailed on her to give
him a lawful right to protect her.

However ill Miss Beauchamp had been treated,
Mr. Howard thought it was his duty to visit his
uncle, and sue for his pardon, for the precipitate
step he had taken.

They made their appearance the morning after
my Lord come to town—It is unnecessary, and
would only be shocking your feelings, to give you
an account of the reception they met with; suffice
it to say, they were spurned by the haughty pair,
and turned with indignity out of the house. Lord
M— swearing by all that was holy he would not
give them a single farthing to keep them from
starving—they left the house, and I never heard
where they were till last summer, when I accidentally
found them in a mean cottage, which they
rented of Lord M—’s steward—they went by an
assumed name, and Mrs. Howard having bred very
fast, and being very weakly, they were reduced to
the most abject state of penury.

“Then these are my poor cottagers,” said I.

R6v 204

Mr. Howard, when he had heard the conclusion
of her relation, arose from his seat and looking
at once joy and indignation, swore he would never
rest till he had found his dear injured Charles.

“I will find him,” said he; “and his lovely Isabella
shall be rewarded for all her love and patient sufferings
—he gave the housekeeper something by way
of gratuity, and immediately departed—when I,
having no farther business there; followed his example.”

Natural Reflection.

It has often surprised me to find that people who
have, with unbounded generosity, educated, cloathed,
and fostered an infant in childhood, indulging
it to an extravagant degree, never suffering it to
be contradicted, but bringing it up in ease and
luxury, shall, when that infant arrives at years of
maturity, when it has attained sense and reason
sufficient to enable it to judge what will most conduce
to its own happiness, for the most trifling
misdemeanor, nay, for only daring to think contrary
to its benefactors, or presuming to choose a
companion for itself, spurn from them, with indignity,
the object they once cherished, and drive
it out, defenceless, to brave those storms of adversity,
which the education they have bestowed on it
renders it totally unable to combat with—It has
often puzzled me to determine whether such people S1r 205
have ever been actuated by true generosity. Pure
philanthropy will lead us rather to study the happiness
of a human being, when it is capable of receiving
real satisfaction from our kindness. so far
from evincing our affection to children by unlimited
indulgencies, we are acting with cruelty toward
them, since we are laying up a fund of discontent
and uneasiness for hereafter. How hard is it for
those darlings of families, whose every desire has
been complied with, who never wished for a toy
or bauble, but it was procured, though at the most
exorbitant price, who was always fed with the
greatest dainties, to find, when arrived at maturity,
that they are journeying through a world,
where they will unavoidably meet with disappointments,
vexation and trouble—for my part, I
would never indulge my children in a wish which
I thought might tend hereafter to render them unhappy;
I would teach them to confine their desires
within the bounds of moderation, not by
morosely opposing all their little fancies, but by
insensibly drawing off their attention to any other
objects.

As they advanced in years, I would, by example,
teach them that forbearance and self-denial, which
precept alone will ever fail to effect. If they have
affluence, let them enjoy every reasonable wish of
their hearts; and no one need inquire what is to
be done with the overplus.

Oh! ye sons and daughters of prosperity, look
around you; see, in yon little mansion lies a mother;S S1v 206
a few hours since made her the parent of her
seventh child; she is in a situation, of all others
the most deserving pity; she has scarcely the means
to support life; she is on a bed of pain and weakness;
pain, my lovely countrywomen, from which
none of you are exempt, and which, no doubt, you
think almost insufferable, though you are surrounded
with all the comforts and blessings of life—that
poor woman has no comfort—her husband is at sea,
labouring, watching, toiling, for a small pittance,
which he hopes to bring home to his wife and
children—she has anguish of mind added to the
sickness of her frame—have you no trifle to spare,
Madam, which might, in some measure, alleviate
that poor creature’s sufferings? Two or three
of those guineas will never be missed by you, and
they will be a treasure to her.—You cannot spare
them—You had rather lay them out in a hobby
horse for master, or a wax baby for miss—if the
dear creatures are disappointed, they will fret and
spoil their pretty faces with crying; and what mother
can refuse her little darlings any thing they
ask for?

Oh! shame on thee, woman; thou hast not one
spark of genuine maternal tenderness in thy composition,
or thou wouldest prefer easing the pangs
of a wretched mother, whose heart is pierced by
the cries of her children wanting bread, rather
than by gratifying the caprice of thy own children
—lead them to set no farther value on the wealth
which Providence has entrusted to their care, than S2r 207
as it may serve to purchase pleasure, dissipation,
and folly.

Your wealth was certainly given you to purchase
pleasure, but pleasures far, very far different from
those you are so eager in the pursuit of—Go wipe
the tear from the eye of affliction; cloathe the poor
naked wretch who, nightly unhoused, in some sad
lonely place, braves storms and tempests, heats
and pinching cold—go release the unfortunate
tradesman, who, through the inattention, folly,
or villainy of others, has lost his property,
and now sighs out his long, long hours in a
prison—Go seek the wretched mortals, who, by
dire misfortune reduced, oppressed by the iron
hand of affliction, sit starving in obscurity, and,
rather than ask the cruel world for assistance, or
blazon forth their heart-felt sorrows, would sink
to the silent grave, victims to famine in the land of
plenty.

I know, Madam, you will say I am very dull,
that I have given you the vapours, that these are
phantoms of my own creating—would to Heaven
they were! but alas! these things have I seen, and
my heart has bled that I had not power to relieve
them.

Oh! I could tell such tales of woe, drag forth
such vile ingratitude to light, that human nature
would disclaim the being who could practise it.

S2v 208

The Ingrate.

Do you see that beautiful woman in that splendid
equipage, surrounded by a train of servants? ’tis
the thoughtless, ungrateful Amelia.

Behold that poor old woman, who toils through
the dirt, unattended by any but her two lovely
daughters, sweet as opening flowers, and innocent
as new-born infants; see on her venerable
countenance, what grief and despondency is imprinted!
see the big tears roll down her furrowed
cheeks! see she enters an obscure apartment, and a
scanty meal is divided between her children and
herself.

She looks at them by turns, with such maternal
tenderness, such anguish of heart, that she seems to
say, what will become of you, my sweet children;
how will you pass through life, when I am
gone?

That poor old woman was Amelia’s benefactress
—but it is fit that I should tell my tale methodically.

Amelia was the daughter of a gentleman of small
fortune, who, besides her, had nine other children:
Mrs. Ellwin was a distant relation of the family;
she was the wife of an opulent merchant, and
their habitation was the habitation of philanthropy.

Amelia had received a tolerable education—she
was pretty in her person, cheerful in her disposition, S3r 209
and had a good share of understanding;
with these accomplishments, Mrs. Ellwin thought
it would be a pity for Amelia to be buried in
obscurity; she gave her an invitation to her
house, cloathed her genteelly, and introduced her
into such company as she thought would be most
conducive to her future advancement in life. It
was not long before Amelia’s charms made a conquest
of a gentleman of large fortune—he loved
her; and her virtues were so kindly brought forward
by Mrs. Ellwin, and her little faults buried
in oblivion, that he overlooked her want of fortune,
made her his wife, and settled upon her five hundred
pounds per annum jointure. Amelia had not
long enjoyed this advancement, before Mr. Ellwin,
having placed too great a dependence on the honor
of a friend, lost a large sum of money; of consequence
his payments were not punctual, and he became
a bankrupt.

He struggled for some time against his adverse
fate, but at length died of a broken heart, and left
his wife and lovely daughters no inheritance but
poverty.

About this time, Amelia became a widow:— but
Amelia was now a fine lady—she had no time
to spend with poor relations, no money to spare to
relieve the distresses of Mrs. Ellwin;
though her wedding cloaths were purchased
by that generous friend, and cost near five
hundred pounds, and that sum had never been
repaid.

S2 S3v 210

Amelia is now just married again, and flying
about in all the gaiety of heart which wealth and
splendour can inspire in a giddy mortal; while
poor Mrs. Ellwin is sinking under a load of anguish,
unpitied and unthought of. Her once blooming,
amiable daughters drooping like frost-nipped blossoms,
and neither Friendship, Humanity, nor Gratitude
will reach forth a hand to cheer, revive, or
save them.

But I am wandering from my intended route.

The Suicides.

As I approached Mr. Vellum’s house, an hearse
and six mourning coaches drove from the door.

“Perhaps,” said I, “the guardian is gone to give
an account of his guardianship—and a very
black account I fear it will be—however I will
go in; perhaps I may learn something concerning
the death of Horace, or gain some intelligence
which may be serviceable to the hapless
Julietta.”

I put on my ring, and a servant opening the door
soon afterwards, I entered unperceived.

I went into several rooms before I found any body
likely to give me any satisfaction by their conversation.
At length I entered a chamber, where,
on an embroidered sopha, lay Mr. Vellum, surrounded
by magnificence——but, good Heavens! S4r 211
how changed from the man he once was—his
face was ghastly pale, his eyes sunk, yet their
motion was so quick and fiery, that they gave him
the appearance of a fiend rather than an human
being.

Opposite to him, in a pensive posture, sat a
young woman in a deep mourning habit; her face
was partly concealed with her handkerchief, but
the part that appeared bore such evident marks of
sorrow, that a savage must have felt his heart
moved with pity at the sight.

“He is gone, gone for ever,” cried Vellum, starting
from the sopha, and catching hold of the young
lady’s hand—he is gone, Hester, and you know not
half the anguish of my soul.

“My dear father,” said she, “why will you give way
to unavailing sorrow? the kind power who lent
him to you, has but recalled his own—it is the
lot of mortality—then why, my father, why will
you offend your Creator by repining at his divine
will?”

“O, Hester, you do not know the dreadful circumstances
of your brother’s death——alas! my
child, he rushed unbidden into the presence of his
Maker, with multitudes of unrepented crimes upon
his head.”

“Did he destroy himself?” cried Hester, the look
of woe changing into that of inexpressible horror.
—Oh! what could tempt him to the dreadful
deed?

S4v 212

“Hester, my beloved daughter, I was his murderer,
I was the cause of the horrid act.”

“Forbid it, gracious God,” she cried, clasping her
hands, and sinking upon her knees—Oh! my father,
recall those shocking words; you was not, could
not be, so inhuman.

“Hester,” said he, with a look of horrid firmness,
“I will unfold to you a tale, which it is proper you
should know; I may not long continue with you.
—I have been guilty of deeds, which will make
your tender heart shudder to acknowledge me as a
parent—Oh! cursed avarice, it was that which
led me to stain my soul with murder, and to ruin
my child, my darling son.—For him and for thee,
I would have gained an empire, though I had waded
to it through oceans of human blood: but to lead
him by vile persuasions to agree to and execute the
accursed plot, and plunge himself, for sordid ore,
to the lowest abyss of hell.—Oh! it is more than I
can bear to think of—my soul is at this moment
suffering all the tortures of the damned—scorpions,
flames, and furies hang about me—Horace, dear
murdered youth, well may you smile to see my tortures.”

“Was Horace murdered! Oh! inhuman wretch,”
cried Hester“then where is my sweet Julietta?
have you murdered her too?”

“I hope she still lives,” said Vellum; “and may your
gentle friendship recall her wandering reason, for
my cruelty has bereaved her of her senses; and if
she is alive, she is a poor, distressed lunatic.”

S5r 213

“Gracious Heaven!” cried Hester, bursting into a
flood of tears, and leaning her head upon the elbow
of the sopha.

“The lovely girl,” continued her father, “is in a miserable
cottage, on one of her own estates, in Wiltshire,
where I have employed an old woman to
watch her, and, by harsh treatment, prevent her
returning to reason.”

“As to Horace he is no more—When I sent him
abroad, as I said, for education, your brother went
with him—we laid the shocking plot before the vessel
failed; and one night as they were walking the
deck together, your brother pushed Horace into the
sea—the vessel was failing before the wind, and he
was lost in a moment.”

“You, my dear Hester, I knew would be an obstacle
to these hellish schemes, and for that reason I
sent you to France.—About three weeks since your
brother had a thousand pounds of me; and in a few
days after, applied for more; it was then I discovered
he had a propensity for gaming—I remonstrated
with him on the folly of such a pursuit, and refused
him a supply—high words ensued—he accused
me of being a murderer; of drawing him into
participate the crime, and then refusing him a
participation of the wealth I had by that means
gained.—It is impossible for you to conceive the terrors
that seized my mind during this conversation;
I actually formed the resolution of giving this darling
of my soul into the hands of justice, and
thereby saving my own wretched life—but before S5v 214
I could execute my intention, I was alarmed by
the discharge of a pistol—I ran to your brother’s
room, and saw him weltering in his blood, a pistol
clenched in his hand.”

“‘Go, leave me,’ said he, as I approached him; ‘add
not, by thy hateful presence, to the horror of this
moment—I thought, by dying, to shut out life and
misery together, to fly from the terrors of a reproaching
conscience; but, alas! my miseries are
but just beginning.’”

“‘Oh! thou detested, wretched old man,’ continued
he, drawing me forcibly towards him, ‘thou art
ignorant what a task thou hast yet to perform: Go,
lose not a moment, but use every method to restore
that injured angel Julietta to her senses—give her
back her fortune—and do thou retire to some desert
—fast, pray, and lay upon the cold ground——
years and years spent in supplication will hardly
gain that pardon you so much need.—There is!
there is! an hereafter—I feel it now rush on my
guilty soul.—You do not know how hard it is to
die, to plunge at once into eternity.—Oh! murder,
murder cannot be forgiven.’”

“At that instant he expired with a groan, so hollow,
that it still vibrates in my ears.”

“I hear thee, Oh! thou guilty shade—I will obey
thee.”

“Hester,” continued Vellum, “I have sent for you
home, that you may administer comfort to Julietta
—here, take this paper, and go prepare for your
journey; when you are seperated from me, open S6r 215
it; you will there find full instructions how to act
—leave me, my child; I am now more composed,
I may perhaps take some rest.”

Hester gladly retired.
I saw from the agitation of her features, though
she could not but pity the distresses of her father’s
mind, it was impossible for her any longer to love
him.

“That talk is over,” said Vellum, as she shut the
door—“now, what remains?—to pray for pardon.—
Pardon for what?—Murder. Ah! that is not all;
my soul is loaded with crimes.—Fraud, perjury,
oppression, are in the horrid catalogue!——the widows,
the fatherless children whom I have oppressed,
will rise up in judgment against me.—Mercy
—Oh! mercy just God!——but wretch that I am,
did I ever shew mercy—will that just Creator then
shew mercy to me?—No—for I must appear at a
tribunal where every one will be rewarded according
to his works.”

“Oh that I was annihilated!—that I had never
lived—for the distraction of my mind is too mighty
to be borne——I will not bear it——I will end my
tortures—my life is in my own power; and it is
but to plunge at once into evils which cannot be
more dreadful than this constant terror.—This is
the instrument,”
said he, taking a pistol from his
pocket.

I stepped forward, in order to prevent his fatal
intention.

S6v 216

“It shall be done quick,” said he——“I will not languish
——”

I caught hold of his arm; but it was too late;
he had pointed the pistol to his temple—it went off,
and he plunged in one moment into a dreadful eternity.

“Oh! save him! save him!” cried Hester, bursting
into the room; “he is not fit to die.”

When she saw the shocking catastrophe, she uttered
a scream of terror, and sunk down upon the
floor—the servants entered, and all was in an instant
a scene of confusion.

I thought I could gain no farther intelligence—
and my spirits being greatly depressed by the occurrences
of the day, I departed, determining in a
few days to pay the gentle, unfortunate Hester another
visit.

The Wife.

“I wish to go to Mrs. Melbourne’s assembly, next
week, if agreeable to you, my dear,”
said a woman,
who was walking through the park with a man
whose appearance spoke him the gentleman.

She was a pretty-looking person; her countenance
was open and engaging, and there was a
mild air of tender melancholy diffused over it.

She led by the hand a beautiful girl, about four
or five years old; and a smiling boy, seemingly a T1r 217
year or two older, was skipping, with steps as light
as his own innocent heart, before them—“that man”,
said I, “must surely be happy.”

I examined his countenance with a scrutinizing
eye, and methought I read in it indifference and inattention;
nay, he even seemed uneasy in the company
of his wife and lovely children.

“—I should like to go to Mrs. Melbourne’s assembly.”
said she, putting her hands under his arm,
and giving him a look of tenderness—it was a look
I know not well how to describe; it was a mixture
of affection and gentle solicitude; it was that kind
of look my Emma ever assumes when she has any
little favour to ask, and it always carries with it
such persuasive eloquence, that for my soul I could
not refuse, though she were to request the half of my
fortune.

“You want new cloaths too, I suppose,” said he,
rather surlily.

“I thought you might make it convenient to let
me have my half-years stipend,”
said she, mildly;
“and you know, my dear, I never exceed it.”

“Very well, Madam, I hear enough of your œconomy,”
said he, withdrawing his arm in anger; “but
I tell you I have no money for myself, and therefore
cannot let you have any.—I do not see
why you should go to Mrs. Melbourne’s; you
may find employment and amusement too in
nursing your brats; home is the fittest place for
women.”

T T1v 218

“I will not go, Mr. Selby, if you desire I should
not.”

“There now, make a merit of staying at home to
oblige me, when you cannot go, because I will not
give you money to lavish in finery. The education
of your children costs me so much, that I intend,
for the future, to reduce your allowance to half
what it used to be.”

“Very well, my dear, you are the best judge of
what you can afford; I shall always have your interest
too much at heart to repine at being deprived
of a few superfluities, which I can easily do without.”

By this time, they were arrived at Spring
Gardens
, where an handsome chariot was waiting.

“I am engaged out this evening,” said he, handing
her into the carriage.

“Shall I see you at supper?” said she, again assuming
the look of solicitude; but it was far more anxious
than the former.

“No——perhaps I shall not return all night,” said
he, and immediately left her without even the common
form of civility.

“Drive on,” said she to the coachman; and as the
carriage moved, I saw her apply her handkerchief
to her eyes.

“Poor woman!” said I; at that instant feeling the
drop of pity start into my own.—“Poor woman!
thou art surrounded with wealth, have a number of T2r 219
servants, and, no doubt, for these advantages, are
the object of envy in the eyes of many; but, alas!
the poor cottager, whose mansion appears the habitation
of poverty, who has just set by her wheel,
and is feeding a number of cherry-cheeked, curly-
pated, ragged children, whose husband, returning
from the labours of the field, accosts her with words
of kindness, kisses all his little prattlers round, and
takes the youngest on his knee to share his homely
supper, that humble cottager is happier far than
you.”

These reflections had passed with such rapidity
through my brain, that Mr. Selby was still in sight.
“I will follow thee,” said I, “and see what has had
power to charm thee from so sweet, so gentle a
companion.”

Having got my ring on, I quickened my pace,
and soon overtook him.

He proceeded to May Fair; when knocking at
the door of a large house, a servant in a showy livery
opened it; when, taking the advantage of
my invisibility, I entered, and followed him
through a magnificent suit of rooms into a drawing
room.

The Mistress.

She was an elegant-formed woman, rather above
the middle size; her features were regular,
and her complexion would have been dazzling, had T2v 220
it not been for an immoderate quanity of rouge,
which she had laid on her face, which, in reality,
required no art to make it lovely; her eyes were
dark, lively, and piercing; and her hair, which
was bright as golden thread, hung in wanton ringlets
round her face and neck; her dress was studiedly
negligent, being only a white muslin robe,
with small silver sprigs; it was fastened round her
slender waist with a velvet zone, ornamented with
pearl; she was seated by a table, on which sat a
little French dog, which she was caressing as we
entered.

“My charming Lassonia,” said he, running to her
with eagerness, “how tedious have the hours passed
that kept me from you!”

“No doubt they have,” said she coldly, evading his
offered embrace, “when you have made it two hours
later than you promised.”

“My dearest love, I could not avoid it,” said he,
“business of importance——”

“Oh you are a very prudent man,” said she, scornfully;
“by all means business should be attended to
before pleasure; but it is very well, Mr. Selby, I
have waited at home to hear your paltry excuse for
breaking your word; but I have made an engagement
which I cannot possibly break; my chair is
waiting:——”

She arose to leave the room.

“My angel, my dear Lassonia,” said he, catching
her hands, “you surely do not mean to leave me; T3r 221
hear me but one word; I should have been here
much sooner, had I not overtaken my wife and
children in the Park, and she began teazing me for
money.”

“And you gave it her?” said she, with precipitation.

“No, my charmer, I have not given it to her, I
have reserved it for you; there is not a wish
my Lassonia can form, but shall be immediately
complied with—Emily had set her heart upon
going to Mrs. Melbourne’s assembly; but I knew
my adored girl intended to be there, and did
not wish to meet her; so I have desired her not to
go.”

“And have you brought me your wife’s diamonds?”
said she.

“No—but you shall have some more valuable than
those—we will go out now, and you shall chuse
them at any price you please.”

“What, I suppose,” said she, with a look of contempt,
“your wife refused to part with them;
and you, a poor, tame-spirited husband, dared
not contradict her; but I will have her jewels or
none, so take your choice, Sir, either bring me the
meek, dutiful Emily’s diamonds, or never see me
more.”

“What a pity it is,” said I, as I stood contemplating
this scene, “what a pity so lovely a form
should conceal so vile a heart; that woman appearsT2 T3v 222
a masterpiece of nature, and yet draw aside
that beauteous veil, and there is such foul deformity
within, that we shrink with horror and disgust
from the very object which at first view filled us
with admiration.”

“I am unwilling to refuse you any thing, my
sweet girl,”
said he; “but indeed I do not know how
to get the jewels; I have no plausible pretext to
ask for them.”

“And is this your boasted love?” said she, “this is the
fidelity, the fervent passion you have so repeatedly
sworn? am I to be denied so trifling a gratification,
because you cannot bear a few tears from
that proud minx your wife? have I not sacrificed
every thing for you? relinquished reputation, honor,
friends; and is this the return? this the gratitude
I am to meet with? you would sooner break
my heart than comply with the smallest of my
wishes.”

During these reproaches, she had vented her passion
by tears.

“Do not thus distress yourself, my dearest creature,”
said Selby; “you cut me to the soul by your reproaches:
come, dry up your tears, and tell me in what can I
oblige you?”

“Go and bring me Emily’s diamonds this evening,”
said she.

“I came to spend the night with you, my love, then
do not send me from you; let us go out and purchase
some other trinkets.”

T4r 223

“I will have nothing but the diamonds!” exclaimed
she, in an agony of passion; which remind me of
Othello, in his jealous fury, raving for the fatal
handkerchief.

At length the infatuated Selby, finding it was in
vain to attempt to sooth her, and being, as he said;
unable to live without her, actually promised to go
home and fetch the jewels for which she expressed
such a desire.

I was determined to go with him, and hastily
stepping down stairs before him, stepped unperceived
into a hackney coach which he had sent for, and
was waiting for him at the door—a short time
brought us to Gower street.

The Reception.

“This is kind indeed, my love,” said Mrs. Selby,
meeting him with a smile as he entered the parlour;
“I was afraid you would not have returned so
soon.”

“Pshaw,” said he, throwing himself into a chair;
“I do not suppose you will be so pleased when I tell
you the business which brought me home.”

“If it is any thing which will make you uneasy,
my dear,”
said she, “I shall certainly regret it; but
if it only concerns myself, I shall regret nothing
which gives me the extatic pleasure of your company.”

T4v 224

“You are a good girl, Emily, said he, taking her
hand—and methought at that instant he repented
the task he had undertaken—but it was a momentary
reflection.”

“I have occasion for a large sum of money,” said he,
“to make up a payment, and I have no possible means
of raising it.”

“Good God!” cried she, turning pale with apprehension,
“are your circumstances really so bad
then?”

“Make no inquiries,” said he, “but consider if you
can form any plan to relieve me.”

“How much do you want, my love?”

“About two thousand pounds.”

“I dare say my father will lend you such a trifle,
rather than you should be distressed.”

“So, Madam,” said he, “you would advise me
to apply to your father, and make my misfortunes
the talk of the town.——You say you love me,
Emily.”

“Heaven knows I do most fervently.”

“Then to prove it, bring me the jewels, they
will procure me the money I want.”

“You cannot raise so large a sum without my
mother’s also; and I should not wish to part with
them.”

“A very pretty declaration indeed, Madam; you
value your mother’s memory more than your husband’s
peace of mind.”

T5r 225

“Oh! do not say so harsh a word,” said she, “I will
bring the jewels—had I the universe at my command,
it would be of no value to me, when put in
competition with your happiness.”

She left the room, and soon returned with the
jewels.

“Here they are,” said she; “would to Heaven every
desire which you form may be as easily obtained.”

He looked them over.

“These are not all,” said he——
A blush of confusion passed over the pale face of
the trembling Emily.

“I have indeed reserved some,” said she; “but do
not be angry, I cannot part with the first tokens
of your love; I cannot part with your picture.”

“I must have all,” said he, impatiently.

The afflicted wife drew from her throbbing bosom
a miniature picture set with diamonds, and a
small, but valuable locket, emblematical of love and
peace; he took them from her—

“Leave me the picture, said she——” take the diamonds,
but, for pity’s sake, take not that dear, first
pledge of your love.—The picture will not enhance
the value to any but me.

“I cannot stay to take it out,” said he, putting
the jewels in his pocket, and giving the poor,
weeping Emily a slight kiss; he snatched up T5v 226
his hat, and instantly returned to the vile Lassonia.

I had been too much disgusted with that woman’s
behaviour to entertain a thought of returning with
him, therefore, taking off my ring when I left the
house, I walked toward home.

The Information.

Being at the play with a friend some months
after, I observed Lassonia in a box opposite to
that in which I sat, adorned with the very jewels
which Selby had obtained from his affectionate
wife.

“Who that sees that woman,” said I to my friend,
“but would think her the loveliest work of creation?”

“I have been admiring her for some time,” said he;
“can you give me any information concerning her?
I have seen her once before, and am quite captivated
with her beauty; if her mind is equal to her
person, I could freely devote my life to such a woman.”

“There is no more comparison between her mind
and her form,”
said an old gentleman in a black coat
and a snug round wig, who sat just behind us——
“there is no more comparison between them,” said
he, “than there is between an angel of Light and a
demon of Hell.”

T6r 227

“Do you know her, Sir,” said my friend, turning
hastily round.

“I do, young man,” said he; “and to guard you
from the effects of her pernicious charms, if you
will sup with me after the play, I will tell you a
tale that shall make you hate her.”

When the play was over, we adjourned to a tavern,
and after supper our new friend gave us the
history of Lassonia.

“Miss Freeman and Miss Eldridge,” said he, “were
the daughters of two opulent tradesmen; their fathers
were united in the closest bonds of amity.
Emily Freeman and Lassonia Eldridge were playmates
in infancy, educated at the same school, and
contracted for each other the affection of sister.—
Emily had just entered her sixteenth year, when
she was called from school to attend an excellent
mother, who was hastily advancing to that ‘bourne
from whence no traveller returns.’
Lassonia would
not be separated from her friend on this trying occasion,
and Mrs. Freeman soon after paying the
debt of nature, she was retained by Mr. Freeman,
as a companion, whose vivacity would prevent
Emily from too frequently musing on her recent
loss.”

“Mr. Selby became acquainted with the lovely
friends before Emily had attained her eighteenth
year—her sense and penetration charmed him; and
her person, having then all the attractions of
blooming youth, he declared himself her lover
—he frequently laughed and romped with Lassonia, T6v 228
but never entertained a thought of love,
as her conduct, in general, was so flighty, and
her conversation so trifling, that though it was
impossible to avoid admiring her beauty, she
had not one requisite calculation to create esteem.”

“About this time Mr. Eldridge was taken ill—
the physicians feared a consumption, and advised
a journey to MontpelierLassonia accompanied
her father, and, during their absence, Emily
gave her hand to Mr. Selby. Mr. Eldridge recovered
his health, and they revisited England;
when, no mention being made of Lassonia’s returning
to Mrs. Selby, she continued with her
father, to superintend his family. Two years
passed on in delightful harmony between Mr. and
Mrs. Selby, in which time she presented him with
a boy and a girl. During that period the father
of Lassonia died insolvent, and she was
reduced to the necessity of going to service, as
there was not the least provision for her future subsistence.”

“It was then the generous, disinterested Emily offered
her an asylum in her house, appointed her an
apartment, a servant to attend her, and supplied
her with cloaths and money from her own private
purse.”

“Lassonia had not long been an inmate in the
house of her friend, before, envious of her felicity,
she determined to imbitter it, by alienating the affection
of Selby from his truly amiable wife—Selby U1r 229
was young, and fond of variety; his passion for
Emily was greatly abated by possession, and though
he almost venerated her for her virtues, the charms
of her faithless friend enflamed his heart, and
he eagerly caught at the frequent opportunities
which she intentionally gave him to plead his passion.”

“Lassonia is a proud woman; her situation was
irksome, though every favour from Emily was conferred
in so delicate a manner, that an indifferent
spectator would have imagined her the person
obliged.”

“She was likewise an artful woman; she soon
gained such an ascendency over Selby, that while
Emily scarcely dared to hint her wishes, Lassonia
demanded with authority, and gained every desire.
Yet of so gentle, unsuspicious a temper, was Mrs.
Selby
, and so great a confidence did she place in
the honour of her friend and her husband, that
though Lassonia remained in the family near a
twelvemonth after her connection with Selby, she
never once thought such a thing could happen.—
She frequently lamented to her treacherous friend
the alteration in her husband’s behaviour, but
she never suspected her as the cause of her uneasiness.”

“But Lassonia now found it necessary to remove
from Mrs. Selby’s, to prevent her shame from
becoming public; she told Emily that she was
distressed at being so great an incumbrance to U U1v 230
her, and that having an opportunity of going
abroad with a lady, who wanted a companion,
she would embrace it, and endeavour to contribute
to her own support. By this conduct, she
laid a plan to prevent returning to the family,
which she predetermined not to do before she
left it.”

“Mrs. Selby loaded her with obligations at parting.
She retired to a small house, about twenty
miles from town, which Selby had provided
for her reception, and where she remained three
years, Selby spending a great part of his time with
her.”

“About six months since she came to town, assumed
the name of Green, took an elegant house, and set
up a carriage. Mrs. Selby hearing of her arrival,
and supposing she was married, requested me, who
at that time was ignorant of the circumstances I
have now related, to go with her and pay Lassonia
a morning visit.”

“We were shewn into the drawing room by a
servant, who informed us his mistress would be
down in a few minutes, but that she was then dressing.”

“‘How agreeably surprised my dear Lassonia will
be,’
said Emily, ‘to find I am the lady who wanted
to speak with her——’
for she had sent up no
name.”

“We were chatting on indifferent subjects, when
a child ran into the room, crying, ‘I will have papa’s
picture; I won’t break it indeed;’
a maid followed U2r 231
him in; he ran to Emily, whose arms were
extended to receive him, and throwing the picture
into her lap, judge her feelings when she saw the
portrait of Mr. Selby, which she had given him
but two days before with the greatest regret, imagining
him in want of money. Her feelings overpowered
her, and she fell lifeless on the floor.
The cries of the servant alarmed the family, and
Lassonia, thinking some misfortune had happened
to her child, rushed into the room, followed by
Selby himself.”

“It is impossible to describe the scene that ensued
on the recovery of EmilyLassonia raved, Mrs.
Selby
wept, and Selby appeared motionless as a
statue.”

“As soon as Emily was able to walk, I took her
hand and led her to the carraige. Upon her return
home, her fainting fits returned; she passed a
night of inconceivable distress, for Selby never came
near her; and in the morning she was in a violent
fever. I then went in pursuit of ther perfidious husband;
but as the suffering saint desired, forbore to
reproach him.”

“I found him, and he returned with me to
her.”

“She beheld him approach with a faint smile—
‘It is kind, my Selby,’ said she, ‘to come and receive
the parting sigh of her who has so long
been a barrier to your happiness; indeed I did
not know, or I never would have visited my happy
rival—I never thought your love was divided, U2v 232
and the certainty of it came so sudden upon
my heart, that, weak and unprepared as it was,
it could not bear the shock——take care of my
children,’
said she; ‘adieu, my love; my heart
may break, but my tongue will never reproach
you.’”

“Her disorder hourly increased; a delirium ensued;
and before the next morning she breathed her last,
invoking blessings on the head of her faithless husband
and treacherous friend.”

The Dissertation.

It is such women as Lassonia, who cast an odium
on the whole sex; and such women are not only
objects of contempt, but dete