Imagens das páginas

stroy what they extol. A fresh face
is their centre of attraction; and she
who lends a willing ear to their airy
nothings, their subtile adulations,
stands on a precipice of sinking sand.
The appearance of my inexperienced
Mary will excite their attention.
Young, blooming, and sprightly as
she is, they will not doubt that she
is actuated by a large share of va-
nity. Form no acquaintance with-
out the full approbation of Gordon;
in the choice of your friends trust
wholly to his judgment, and fear
more to slight the councils or
the heart of your husband than to
be thought obsolete, or called un
fashionable by the world. Be at-
tentive to his wishes: he merits all


ed to receive a fortune with the hand of his wife, he possesses an inestimable treasure in her; for the price of a good woman is far above rubies, the heart of her husband shall trust in her: her children shall call her blessed, her own works shall praise her, and she shall rejoice in time to come."

Mary assured her mother that she would treasure in her memory all she had said, and affectionately kissing her cheek, led her to the house, where they found Gordon, with whom Mrs. Gayton requested a few moments.conversation, and leading him to the liburnam where he had first beheld Mary, and looking on him with tenderness, she said

your tenderness and obedience. Re-May this spot, my son, be ever remember, in your highest enjoyments, membered by you with pleasure; that you owe all to his love and ge- may no after events give you reason nerosity. Be moderate in your ex- to regret the hour which introduced pences, and bear constantly in mind my daughter to your knowledge! that the purest, the most exquisite Your election of a wile has been free: terrestrial enjoyment is the approba- you have chosen a child of nature, tion of a self-approving conscience, from among the daughters of simarising from the reflection of having plicity; in more brilliant circles be performed our duty, of having cheer- not ashamed of your choice. The ed the heart of the desolate, and of young rustic cannot be expected to having directed the steps of the shine in polished society; her ignowanderer from the paths of error rance of polite manners may someand vice to those of virtue and re- times tinge your cheek with a blush, ligion. These will be acts of your but never, I trust, will you blush for life on which you will look back the depravity of her heart. I feel: with satisfaction when the agonics of a presentiment that we are parting death shake your frame to dissolu- to meet no more in this world: if it tion, and on which the pure spirits should prove true, consider this con-in heaven look down with joyful versation as my dying words. Be kind to my Mary when her mother's approbation. eyes are closed in death. Excuse the trifling petulances of a heart at ease; pardon small errors; be the patient guide of her youth, the affectionate mentor, the faithful friend; view her failings with an indulgent eye, remembering that you removed her


the humble duties of

Gaming is a vice so odious and of so destructive a nature, that I hope I need not caution you against it. You carry not a single shilling to your husband's fortune; you add no splendid connections to his family; but take with you a docile

ch! may you be able ten or twenty years hence to repair to this spot and say, "My mother, I have fulfilled your injunctions: I have endeavoured to render your Mary happy in this life; I have endeavoured to prepare her for a better world." As you act by her, the blessing of the dying, the benediction of the happy, be upon you; for be assured, it would add to my felicity in a future state to be allowed to watch over and be the guardian angel of you and Mary.'

Gordon was melted to tears by the solemnity of Mrs. Gayton's manner, the expression of her fine countenance, and the probability her form would be mouldering in the cold tomb ere the following spring, when he had promised to bring Mary down. She had hinted this herself; and while he gazed on her fragile app arance, he trembled at the too probable conjecture. He therefore earnestly and solemnly assured her, that his endeavours to render her Mary's folicity permanent should be unremitting. 'Her happiness,' added he, shall not be dearer to the anxious heart of her mother than to mine; and I hope that beloved mother doubts not my honour-my tenderness-my'


O no, my son: pardon the too ardent affection of her whose only treasures are her children, and who knows not which she loves most, her son or her daughter."

Gordon kissed her hand, kneeling. • May the son you honour with your love,' said he,never do any thing to forfeit your good opinion!'

He arose, and withe raceful.


she silently invoked the blessing of that Heaven on her children. She presented Mary's hand to Gordon, and emphatically said Remember-She then hastened from them, and retired to her chamber, which she did not quit the remainder of the day.

Sabina attended her brother and sister to the chaise. At the outer gate stood poor Martha, drowned in tears. Mary kissed her withered cheek. Ah, my dear young lady! said she, may you be as happy as poor old Martha wishes you!-Gordon approached, and putting a tenpound note in her hand, said, 'Take care of your lady and yourself, my good Martha: it shall be my study to render our dear Mary's life happy." He then handed his wife into the chaise, and stepping in himself, it drove off. The white cottage and the weeping Sabina were soon out of sight, as was the cascade, and the enchanting scenes familiar to the eye or Mary, who, as the hills of Creden disappeared and new scenes opened to view, abated her tears, and by the time they entered London had forgotten all her sorrows, and was in high health and spirits.

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time the families came to town for the winter, Mary was no longer ignorant of polite forms. Lady Facwett introduced her to several genteel families, who received her with respect and admiration. Mary remembered her father, and some few spoke of her mother with affection and pity. If Gordon had been pleased with Mary's quick progress in fashionable manners, he was absolutely astonished at the avidity with which she entered into the dissipations of the town. He experienced the tenderest anxiety, as he observed the late hours she kept began to affect her health: her complexion faded, her appetite decreased. Yet the lassitude of the morning was sure to be succeeded by the evening ball, or the midnight masquerade. Gordon looked forward to spring with hope and impatience. He doubted not her fulfilling her promise to her mother, and he fondly hoped in her native shades she would recover her bloom, and cheerfully return to the domestic habits and fascinating simplicity of manners which had won his heart. But when spring did arrive, his fondly cherished hopes were frustrated. Mary had discovered that though the fashionable world did leave London during the summer months, they by no means secluded themselves in solitudes and shades, but passed their hours in as much gaisty, and if possible in a greater crowd than even in the metropolis. She therefore prevailed on her physician to prescribe sea bathing. And what air so salubrious as the air of

experience soon convinced him that
the husband of an acknowledged
beauty, of a celebrated toast, was
not to be envied. In the public
rooms her vivacity was enchanting;
on the public walks her appearance
was fascinating; but, in a tête-à-tête
with her husband she was ever com
plaining of vapours and low spirits. In
vain poor Gordon sighed for quietness
and domestic comfort. As South-
ampton began to thin of company,
Mary discovered the air was too
keen, too piercing for her constitu
tion, and declared nothing but the
Bath waters would do her any good.
Her situation required indulgence,
and Gordon consented to go for a
few weeks. But Mary found the
place so agreeable, and meeting se-
veral of her acquaintance there, she
refused to return to town till her re
turn could no longer be delayed;
for a few days after their arrival in
St. James's-street, she presented
Gordon with a daughter. He re-
ceived the little stranger with tran-
sport, not doubting but its mother
would now become wholly domestic,
and devote herself entirely to the
pleasing, the tender task of nursing
her child:-but, alas! his wishes, as
usual, were too sanguine. On her
convalescence she went into com-
pany more frequent than before, and
seemed by her short confinement to
have acquired a higher relish for dissi-
pation, and to enter into the follies
of the day with superior gusto.

Gordon often endeavoured to con-
vince her of the impropriety of her
conduct as a wife and mother; but

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refused to stay in London a day after her ladyship. Let him please himself,' said she: if he is fond of stu pefying himself in a tavern, and sotting his hours away, I am not. I wish to give and receive pleasure, to see and be seen.'

distant spring up spontaneous in her heart. But when the following spring arrived, and Mary still refused to visit Crediton, pleading an engagement with sir Thomas and lady Ficwett to go to Brighton, he no longer had hopes of comfort from her society, and began to look abroad for that pleasure his own solitary fire-side failed to afford. He still loved his Mary with too much tenderness to think of supplying her place with a mercenary; but his heart was a social one, and he was under the necessity of attaching himself to some person, to some society where its joys and sorrows would be attended to, and where a congruence of sentiment would cement a reciprocal friendship. Unhappily, he fell in with a set of young men of splendid talents, of shining abilities, of sparkling wit, of worthy families, but of profligate manners: fascinated by their conversation, he spent whole nights in their company at a tavern, where they met regularly to spend their evenings. Their wit, their mirth, their songs, their unceasing good-humour, acted with talismanic influence on the heart of Gordon, nor was it till his health was materially affected that he discovered their frequent libations to the jolly god would ruin his constitution if persisted in ; still he wanted resolution to give up their society: he had not the eye of an affectionate wife to observe the change in his countenance, which nevertheless was too obvious. Mary, wholly engaged in her preparation for Brighton, heeded not the alteration. He no longer objected to her departure; and she

ancad little what HIAPA his amnee

Lady Facwett made no reply; but from that day she thought but slightly of Mary's conjugal affection, and would gladly have given up her journey to Brighton, to watch the declining health of her brother, to promote his comfort, to supply to him the loss of his wife's society and to become wholly his nurse, his companion, and adviser; but sir Thomas was a gay man, was fond of company, and would by no means hear of her kind proposal. Gordon was therefore left to himself in London; while Mary, at Brighton, added one more to the thoughtless train, and in every gay circle was the gayest of the gay.

Far different passed the months at the white cottage. The anxious mother, the sorrowing sister, had been surprised at Mary's absence the first spring, which she had so faithfully promised to spend with them; but when the second elapsed and still she came not, they were truly miserable. It had been seldom, very seldom, Mary favoured them with a letter; but for some months they had ceased to receive any. The newspapers were the only vehicle of intelligence of what the great world were doing, and newspapers were a luxury Mrs. Gayton's small income would not afford, especially as, since the death of the worthy Westwood, she had been obliged to

give up her drawing and embroidery.

leisure adding to her melancholy, she was as miserable as a virtuous heart can be in this world. Poor Martha. from age and infirmity, was become helpless; and Sabina was the whole support and comfort of her singularly diserted mother and their faithful domestic.


*Ship-wreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,

No friends, no hope! no kindred weep for


Almost no grave allow'd me! Like the lily, That once was mistress of the field and

flourish'd, J'll hang my head and perish."


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Preparations were accordingly made for the journey. Sabina ac. companied her mother; and poor old Martha remained at home, to keep house in their absence, which was not to exceed six weeks or two months.

deavour to bear with resignation and patience a life which has long been a burthen to me, and of little use to society.'

In the summer of the second year of Mary's marriage, Mrs. Gayton became so alarmingly ill that a physician's advice was necessary. The doctor frankly acknowledged that medicine in her case would be unavailing, but observed that the Bath waters, and composure of mind, would tend materially to the re-establishment of her health. She thanked him for his generous and friendly advice; but declined the Bath journey, as too expensive for finances so low as hers. He shook his head. It is not in the physician's power,' said he, to administer to a mind diseased; but change of scene is so very essential in your case, that I will not be answerable for your life if it is not adopted.

The sands of life are ever running, and no person can add one grain to the amount; but it is every person's duty to endeavour to preserve their course undisturbed, and not by impatience or obstinacy hasten the hour which Heaven has appointed



Mrs. Gayton quitted her beloved cottage with regret, and often turned a tearful eye towards its humble little gate, and repeated her adieu to the faithful Martha, who leaned on it for support as she supplicated Heaven to return her dear mistress well and happy at the promised time.

Mrs. Gayton found the expences of Bath exceed her expectation, but, as she received benefit from the waters, she determined to stay the six weeks, if possible, and took a smaller lodging in the suburbs. But hers was a flattering disorder: scarce. ly had she taken possession of her new apartment ere the most alarming symp toms returned with fresh violence. One morning, the lassitude of her body and the depression of her spirits were so exceedingly severe, that, fearing to alarm Sabina, she sent her out for a walk. During her absence, the landlady brought her up a newspaper to amuse her. Rebecca cast her eye over the contents, and read the following distracting intelligence: -The fascinating Mrs. G, sø well known as the Brighton belle, has at last opened the eyes of her husband and his family to the glaring impropriety of her conduct with captain B; but what could be expected better of a girl educated with pigs and oxen whose mother.

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