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heaven's blessings, appeared to be rapidly declining in health ; his heart was agonized with the fear of parting with a treasure, compared to which, the mines of Golconda, were unworthy a single thought; and he indulged a hope, that the voyage, which was to re-establish his affairs, would restore to him, what was still more important to his happiness, the health of his beloved Justina. They were preparing for their departure : their two children, the care of whom he feared might retard the recovery of their mother, were to be left with her sister, Mrs. Ranmore, who loved them as her own, and who was solicitous for the charge. She was a widow without children, and possessed an income, which, though moderate, was adequate to the sober life she loved best to lead. "Dismiss from your heart, my dear Justina, I beseech you,” said she to her sister,
every anxious care for your children; let not a thought of them interrupt your peace, or your health ; be assured that while God spares my life they shall be to me as my own.” “I know! I know!" replied she, “my dear sister, your goodness, and your affection for them and me; it is no distrust of your care that makes me weep; it is the belief that I shall never see any of you more.” “I conjure you, Justina, do not carry with you such a foreboding,” said Mrs. Ranmore carnestly; "it will injure you more than your voyage will do you good.”
* Well, my sister, said she, I will endeavour to do as you advise ;-Oh! if you knew how I have prayed to be able to resign all my earthly affections ; yet it is only for a time; it is only for a few brief years, which will soon pass away, and our reunion will be everlasting in it is kingdom, with whom a thousand years are but an evening gone. I wish not to distress you; and yet ought I not to prepare you for what must soon be ? I feel,” cried she, putting her hand to her breast, “ I feel that I shall not be with any of you long.” Justina was a true prophetess : before the ship was ready to convey them to a far distant shore, shc found a grave in her native land; and as her husband beheld it close over her, he felt that this earth had not one joy to give him, nor one hope 10 cheer him. The manly mourner shut up his grief in his own breast, which his Justina's image never left, and determined, for the sake of the two dear girls she left behind, to pursue his plan of going to England, and endeavouring, by industry and rectitude, to retrieve his affairs, and exonerate his character. The ship was to sail in a few hours. Mr. Melross, as he entered Mrs. Rapmore's room, endeavoured to rally all bis fortitude to take a farewell of his little girls and their affectionate aunt. He found them together. Justina was six years old ; she was seated by her aunt, reading her lesson, while her more playful sister, Augusta, who was two years younger, was dancing her doll round the room. They both quitted their employments, and ran to meet their father, who sitting down, and taking one on each knee, embraced them alternately. As he gazed on his little Augusta's lovely face, and parted her clustering curls of brightest auburn, the tear filled his eye at the thought of losing the endearments of her infant sweetness, and the enchantment of her unceasing gayety ; but as he turned his gaze on Justina, a deeper sorrow wrung his heart: her sost, interesting countenance, beamed with a resemblance, so tender, so touching, so sacred, that he felt it almost impossible to part with her. “ Augusta," said he to Mrs. Ranmore, “ what a trust do I repose in you!" “ Faithful will I be to it," replied she ; ** when do you sail ?" "Ir a few hours; but I must not stay here any longer, my fortitude is failing; I will write to you the first opportunity; God bless you, my beloved children! God bless you, my sister; O teach them to remember and love their father, who can never forget them.” Strong emotion choked his utterance; his children gazed at him with wonder; Justina clung to him as he stood -- Where are you going, dear papa ? you are not going to leave your Justina, are you ?” “Yes, my child! | must leave you for awhile; but do not cry so, you will have your dear little sister, anil
your kind aunt with you, and God will take care of you all.”—“Oh, don't leave me, dear papa! don't leave me, cried she," grasping him as firmly as her little strength would allow, while her deep sobs expressed the anguish of her heart; “mamma has left us, but she was sick, and God took her to heaven, but why do you have us, dear papa P” “Oh! spare me my darling,” cried the melting father; 5 let me go while I can; I must leave you now indeed, my child, but I trust I shall come back to you again, and then I will bring you and Augusta a great many pretty things.” Justina still held him with all her pow'r; her sobs increased, " oh! take me with you, dear papa! take me with you." " ii ould you leave your little sister? would you leave your aunt?”. “Oh take me with you, dear påpa ! take me with you!” “My child, I am going to a far country, I am going across a great ocean, I cannot take you with me, you are too young; you will stay with your aunt and sister, who love you so much; I will come back to you, my love,” said he, raising her and pressing her to his heart, “and then I will quit you no more.” “ Oh dear papa, take your own little Justina with you”-as she spoke, she fixed her blue eyes upon his face; they pleaded with an eloquence his heart could not resist; “yes, I will,” said he, “ take my own little Justina with me; that image
can never plead in vain.” “You are not in earnest surely, brother," said Mrs. Ranmore.---- Yes, I am ; collect her little wardrobe, while I go for a carriage.” Mrs. Ranmore expostulated without effect, to take her with him had now become the father's wish as well as his child's. They embarked together, and after a short and pleasant voyage, arrived in London.
On entering London, Melross went with his little daughter to the house of one of his correspondents, until he could find lodgings that suited him; in this he was successful the next day. He was recommended to apply to Mr. and Mrs. Selwin, who lived in Clarges-street; their house was small, but as they had no other boarders, they were able to let him have two rooms, a commodious one for himself, and a smaller one for his child, near Mrs. Selwin's, who also undertook the care of her. Mr. and Mrs. Selwin were religious, respectable people, and Mr. Melross was much pleased with their appearance and manners; but his satisfaction respecting his abode was entire, when he found, that his little girl was directly taken with the motherly, friendly aspect of Mrs. Selwin, who also seemed charmed with the sweet countenance of his darling. His domestic arrangements being formed, he proceeded with a firm yet aching heart to the examination of the concerns that brought him from his native land. He