Imatges de pÓgina

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loved him, he was leaving behind, any way damped his spirits. After he had taken leave of the rest of the company,

Ι gave him all I had, my blessing. “ And now, my boy,” cried I,“ thou art going to fight for thy country, remember how thy brave grandfather fought for his sacred king, when loyalty among Britons was a virtue. Go, my boy, and imitate him in all but his misfortunes, if it was a misfortune to die with Lord Falkland. Go, my boy, and if though distant, exposed, and unwept by those that love you, the most precious tears are those with which Heaven bedews the unburied head of a soldier."

The next morning I took leave of the good family that had been kind enough to entertain me so long, not without several expressions of gratitude to Mr. Thornhill for his late bounty. I left them in the enjoyment of all that happiness which affluence and good breeding procure, and returned towards home, despairing of ever finding my daughter more, but sending a sigh to Heaven to spare and to forgive her. I was now come within about twenty miles of home, having hired a horse to carry me, as I was yet but weak, and comforted myself with the hopes of soon seeing all I held dearest upon earth. But the night coming on, I

put up at a little public-house by the road-side, and asked for the landlord's company over a pint of wine. We sat beside his kitchen fire, which was the best room in the house, and chatted on politics, and the news of the country. We happened, among other topics, to talk of young Squire Thornhill, who the host assured me was hated as much as his uncle Sir William, who sometimes came down to the country, was loved. He went on to observe, that he

made it his whole study to betray the daughters of such as received him to their houses, and after a fortnight or three weeks possession, turned them out unrewarded and abandoned to the world. As we continued our discourse in this manner, bis wife, who had been out to get change, returned, and perceiving that her husband was enjoying a pleasure in which she was not a sharer, she asked him, in an angry tone, what he did there: to which he only replied in an ironical way, by drinking her health. “Mr. Symonds,” cried she, “ you use me very ill, and I'll bear it no longer. Here three parts of the business is left for me to do, and the fourth left unfinished, while you do nothing but soak with the guests all day long ; whereas, if a spoonful of liquor were to cure me of a fever, I never touch a drop.” I now found what she would be at, and immediately poured her out a glass, which she received with a courtesy, and drinking towards my good health. Sir," resumed she, “it is not so much for the value of the liquor I am angry, but one cannot help it when the house is going out of the windows. If the customers are to be dunned, all the burden lies upon my back, he'd as lief eat that glass as budge after them himself. There now, above stairs we have a young woman who has come to take up her lodgings here, and I don't believe she has got any money, by her over civility. I am certain she is very slow of payment, and I wish she were put in mind of it.”—“What signifies minding her,” cried the host, “ if she be slow, she is sure.” –

-“I don't know that,” replied the wife ; " but I know that I am sure she has been here a fortnight, and we have not yet seen the cross of her money."-"I suppose,

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my dear,” cried he,“we shall have it all in a lump." _“In a lump,” cried the other, “I hope we may get it any way; and that I am resolved we will this very night, or out she tramps, bag and baggage.”—“Consider, my dear,” cried the husband, “ she is a gentlewoman, and deserves more respect.

"As for the matter of that,” returned the hostess, “gentle or simple, out she shall pack with a sassarara. Gentry may be good things where they take; but for my part I never saw much good of them at the sign of the Harrow.” Thus saying, she ran up a narrow flight of stairs that went from the kitchen to a room overhead, and I soon perceived, by the loudness of her voice and the bitterness of her reproaches, that no money was to be had from her lodger. I could hear her remonstrances very distinctly: “Out, I say, pack out this moment! tramp, thou infamous strumpet, or I'll give thee a mark thou won't be the better for these three months. What! you trumpery, to come and take up an honest house without cross or coin to bless yourself with; come along, I say.”—“O dear madam,” cried the stranger,“ pity me, pity a poor abandoned creature for one night, and death will soon do the rest.” I instantly knew the voice of my poor ruined child, Olivia. I flew to her rescue, while the woman was dragging her along by the hair, and I caught the dear forlorn wretch in my arms.

« Welcome, any way welcome, my dearest lost one, my treasure, to your poor old father's bosom. Though the vicious forsake thee, there is yet one in the world that will never forsake thee; though thou hadst ten thousand crimes to answer for, he will forget them all.”—“O my own dear—" for minutes she could say no more-“my own dearest good papa! Could angels be kinder! How do I deserve so much? The villain, I hate him and myself, to be a reproach to such goodness. You can't forgive me; I know you cannot.”—“Yes, my child, from my heart I do forgive thee! Only repent, and we both shall yet be happy. We shall see many pleasant days yet, my Olivia !""Ah! never, sir, never. The rest of my wretched life must be infamy abroad and shame at home. But, alas! papa, you look much paler than you used to do. Could such a thing as I am give you so much uneasiness ? Surely you have too much wisdom to take the miseries of my guilt upon yourself.”—“ Our wisdom, young woman,” replied I. “Ah! why so cold a name, papa ?” cried she. “This is the first time you ever called me by so cold a name.”—“I ask pardon, my darling," returned I; “ but I was going to observe, that wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure


The landlady now returned to know if we did not choose a more genteel apartment; to which assenting, we were shown into a room where we could converse more freely. After we had talked ourselves into some degree of tranquillity, I could not avoid desiring some account of the gradations that led to her present wretched situation. “ That villain, sir," said she, “from the first day of our meeting, made me honourable though private proposals.”

“ Villain indeed,” cried I; “ and yet it in some measure surprises me, how a person of Mr. Burchell's good, sense and seeming honour could be guilty of such deliberate baseness, and thus step into a family to undo it.”

“My dear papa,” returned my daughter, “you labour under a strange mistake: Mr. Burchell never attempted to deceive me. Instead of that, he took every opportunity of privately admonishing me against the artifices of Mr. Thornhill, who I now find was even worse than he represented him."-"Mr. Thornhill,” interrupted I, “can it be?"- Yes, sir," returned she, “it was Mr. Thornhill who seduced me, who employed the two ladies as he called them, but who in fact were abandoned women of the town without breeding or pity, to decoy us up to London. Their artifices, you remember, would have certainly succeeded, but for Mr. Burchell's letter, who directed those reproaches at them which we all applied to ourselves. How he came to have so much influence as to defeat their intentions still remains a secret to me; but I am convinced he was ever our warmest, sincerest friend."

“ You amaze me, my dear,” cried I; “ but now I find my first suspicions of Mr. Thornbill's baseness were too well grounded : but he can triumph in security; for he is rich, and we are poor. But tell me, my child, sure it was no small temptation that could thus obliterate all the impressions of such an education, and so virtuous a disposition, as thine ?"

Indeed, sir,” replied she,“ he owes all his triumph to the desire I had of making him and not myself happy. I knew that the ceremony of our marriage, which was privately performed by a popish priest, was no way binding, and that I had nothing to trust to but his honour.”—“ What," interrupted I,“ and were you indeed married by a priest, and in orders ?" -“ Indeed, sir, we were,” replied she, “ though we were both sworn to conceal his name."


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