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rangements for my removal, I perceived that several articles of my dress were missing, to gether with some silver, and my miniature. The sorrowful conviction burst upon me, that Polly, instigated by that human fiend, had robbed me.
Several months elapsed, and all inquiries for the poor child were unavailing. How gladly would I have taken her back to my protection, and showed her the “better part,” for she was
young in sin.
On entering the court-house one day, Edward understood that the suit in which he was engaged would not be brought up immediately, and having some pressing business, he commenced writing. Quite absorbed, he knew not what was occupying the bar, until he heard a lawyer before him exclaim,
“By heavens! it looks like Packard's wife.”
Edward started, and saw a miniature passing from hand to hand among the gentlemen. He rose to join them, and it came to him in turn It was my likeness. I may write, for the sake
of my narrative, what Edward said in his enthusiasm, for my age of vanity, if I ever possessed any, has departed. A brilliant eye, a rose-tinged cheek, and an airy form, speak only to me now of the Great Architect who made them, and who has beauty for us in reversion that will be as the fine gold to dross.
“Clarissa," said my husband, “think what must have been my sensations at that moment, when the low jests of some of my brethren, and the unsubdued admiration of others, ignorant of my connexion with the picture, fell on my ear. I gave one long glance at their lineaments to assure me of their identity. There were your dark flashing eyes looking a sweet defiance on that heartless crowd; there were your ruby lips softening those eyes with smiles; there were these very curls, nature's handiwork, falling over the polished brow; there was this white hand, pledged to me in truth and innocence, and those slight fingers, with their one golden circlet, holding back the clustering locks, and glancing among their
darkness like breaks of the galaxy between parting clouds. I thrust the miniature next my heart, and held my hands crushed over it as a miser holds a rescued treasure. I was recalled to my recollection by an astonished smile from those around me. A few words to the counsel convinced them of my claim on the picture, and my interest in the disclosures to be made."
But Edward soon forgot even me, for stationed at the bar were two female figures familiar to his memory. It was impossible to mistake the vulgar air and face of Mrs. Philipson. As the various testimony was given in, her eyes rolled in uneasy impudence from side to side, her red hands were clenched in anger, , or she gave an hysterical sob, half affectation, half alarm, and raised the corner of her shawl to wipe pretended tears. But a deeper feeling absorbed him when he scrutinized the timid looking figure by her side. Her bonnet, a mixture of sorry finery, scarcely hid her face, but it was closely covered with both her hands.
She looked like one who would gladly have called on the rocks to cover her, and a feeling of shame could be seen in the very bend of her figure as it crouched by the side of the bolder criminal.
Mrs. Philipson had committed a series of thefts on the individual at whose charge she was summoned, and it was proved but too clearly that her young companion was her accomplice. When Polly was requested to uncover her face, she only pressed her hands upon it more closely. The necessity was explained to her, and she complied. It was pale as death, and care-worn as though age had trampled over it. She gave one frightened glance around, but that glance took in the face of Edward, who was leaning forward with harrowing interest. It was too much for poor Polly. A scream of joy and horror burst from her, and extending her arms towards him, she fell senseless. He came forward, and stating his relation to her, begged to be allowed a few moments' conversation with her in presence of counsel. The poor child
soon recovered, and shrinking from the baleful touch of her seducer, met Edward's compassionate eye, who spake soothingly to her, and she gathered courage.
“It was first flattery, then fear, that ruined me,” she said, in a low voice; “but I have never loved wickedness. I would have come back to you if I could, but that wicked woman frightened me, and gave me vile drinks, and then I did her bidding. I never stole for myself. She gave me these clothes,” continued she, earnestly, “they are all I own in the wide world. If it hadn't been for the picture, sir," and she shuddered as she spoke, “I might have been worse. I hid it where she could not find it, and I knelt down and looked at it when I was afraid to pray to God, and it seemed to strengthen me, and make me bolder in the right. They took it from me, or I would give it to you, sir.” Here her voice was very mournful, but looking again terrified, she said, “ Do you think they can hang me for this? I am sure I shall grow good again.”
The trial closed, and Mrs. Philipson was