Sidor som bilder

with finery, and lavishing his fortune in procuring me pleasures which I could not taste, and pomp which feemed an insult on my disgrace. In vain did I recollect the arguments which had convinced me of the lawfulness of accepting offered pleasures, and following the dictates of inclination: the light of my understanding was darkened, but the sense of guilt was not loft. My pride and my delicacy, if, criminal as I was, I may dare to call it fo, suffered the most intolerable mortification and disgust, every time I reflected on my

infamous situation. Every eye seemed to upbraid me, even that of my triumphant seducer. O depth of misery! to be conscious of deserving the contempt of him I loved, and for whose fake I was become contemptible: to myself.




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Quisquam igitur leber? Sapiens : fbi qui imperiofus ;
Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula ter

rent :

Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores
Fortis : et in feipfo totus : teres atque rotundus,
Externi ne quid valeat per lave morari.


Who then is free?- The wise, who well maintains.
An empire o'er himself: whom neither chains,
Nor want, nor death, with flavish fear inspire;
Who boldly answers to his warm defire;
Who can ambition's vainest gifts despise ;
Firm in himself who on himself relies;
Polish'd and round, who runs his proper course,
And breaks misfortune with superior force.


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Turs was the state of my, mind during a year which I
passed in Sir George's house. His fondness was una.
bated for eight months of the time, and as I had no
other objects to share my attention, neither friend nor
relation to call off any part of my tenderness, all the
love of a heart naturally affectionate centered in him.;
The first dawnings of unkindness were but too visible to


my watchful eyes. I had now all the torments of jealousy to endure, till a cruel certainty put an end to them. I learned at length, that my false lover was on. the brink of marriage with a lady of great fortune. I immediately resolved to leave him ; but could not do it without first venting my full heart in complaints and reproaches. This provoked his rage, and drew on me insolence, which though I had deserved, I had not learnt to bear. I returned with scorn, which no longer became me, all the wages of my fin, and the trappings of my shame, and left his house in the bitterest anguish of resentment and despair.

I returned to my old lodgings; but unable to bear a scene which recalled

circumstance of


undo. ing, alhamed to look in the face of any creature who had seen me innocent, wretched in myself, and hoping from change of place fome abatement of my misery, I put myself into a post-chaise at two in the morning, with orders to the driver to carry me as far from town as he could before the return of night, leaving it to him to choose the road.

My reason and my senses seemed benumbed and stupified during my journey. I made no reflections on what I was about, ror formed any design for my future life. When night came, my conductor would have stopped at a large town, but I bid him go on to the next village. There I alighted at a paltry inn, and dismisfed my vehicle, without once considering what I was to do with myself, or why I chose that place for my a. bode. To say truth, I can give no account of my thoughts at this period of time: they were all confused and distracted. A short frepzy must have filled up thofe hours, of which my memory retains such imper


fect traces. I remember only, that without having pulled off my clothes, I left the inn as soon as I saw the day, and wandered out of the village.

My unguided feet carried me to a range of willows by a river's side, where, after having walked some time, the freshness of the air revived my senses, and awakened my reason. My reason, my memory, my anguish and despair, returned together! Every circumstance of my past life was present to my mind; but most the idea of my faithless lover and my criminal love tortured' my imagination, and rent my bleeding heart, which, in {pite of all its guilt and all its wrongs, retained the tenderest and most ardent affection for its undoer. This unguarded affection, which was the effe&t of a gentle and kind nature, heightened the anguish of resentment, and completed my misery. In vain did I call off mý thoughts from this gloomy retrospect, and hope to find a gleam of comfort in my future prospects. They were ftill more dreadful: poverty, attended by infamy and want, groaning under the cruel hand of oppreffion and the taunts of infolence, was before my eyes. I, who had once been the darling and the pride of indulgent parents, who had once been beloved, respected, and admired, was now the outcast of huinan nature, despised and avoided by all who had ever loved me, by all whom I had most loved ! hateful to myself, belonging to no one, exposed to wrongs and infults from all!

I tried to find out the cause of this dismal change, and how far I was myself the occasion of it. My conduct with respect to Sir George, though I spontaneously condemned, yet, upon recollection, I thought the arguments which produced it, would justify. But as my principles could not preserve me from vice, neither


I will no

could they sustain me in adversity : conscience was not

be perverted by the fophiftry which had beclouded reason, And if any, by imputing my conduct to

. error, should acquit me of guilt, let them remember, it is yet true, that in this uttermoft diftress, I was neither sustained by the consciousness of innocence, the exul. tation of virtue, nor the hope of reward:, whether I looked backward or forward, all was confusion and anguish, distraction and despair. I accused the Supreme Being of cruelty and injustice, who, though he gave me not sufficient encouragement to refift. desire, yet punished me with the consequences of indulgence. If there is a God, cried I, he must be either tyrannica) and cruel, or regardless of his creatures. longer endure a being which is undefervedly miferable either from chance or design, but fly to that annihilas tion in which all my prospects terminate. Take back, said I, lifting my eyes to Heaven, the hateful gift of existence, and let my dust no more be animated to fuf. fering, and exalted to misery.

So saying, I ran to the brink of the river, and was going to plunge in, when the cry of some person very near me made me turn my eyes to see whencc it came. I was accosted by an elderly clergyman, who, with looks of terror, pity and benevolence, asked what. I was a. bout to do? At first I was fullen, and refused to an fwer him; but by degrees the compassion he shewed, and the tenderness with which he treated me, softened my heart, and


vent to “O! Madam,” said he,“ these are gracious signs, " and unlike those which first drew my attention, and " made me watch you unobserved, fearing some fatal


my tears.


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