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door, and coming out to him, in a flood of tears, said, O, Mr. Jones! you are certainly one of the best young men alive. I give you a thousand thanks for your kind offer of your service; but, alas! sir, it is out of your power to preserve my poor girl. O my child! my child! she'is undone, she is ruined for ever!'' I hope, madam,' said Jones, no villain-.' 'O,Mr. Jones!' said she, 'that villain who yesterday left my lodgings, hath betrayed my poor girl; hath destroyed her? I know you are a man of honour. You have a good--a noble heart, Mr. Jones. The actions, to which I have been myself a witness, could proceed from no other. I will tell you all: nay, indeed, it is impossible, after what hath happened, to keep it a secret. That Nightingale, that barbarous villain, hath undone my daughter. She is--she isoh! Mr. Jones, my girl is with child by him; and in that condition he hath deserted her. Here! here, sir, is his cruel letter: read it, Mr. Jones, and tell me if such another monster lives." The letter was as follows:
As I found it impossible to mention to you what, I am afraid, will be no less shocking to you, than it is to me, I have taken this method to inform you, that my father insists upon my immediately paying my addresses to a young lady of fortune, whom he hath provided for my- I need not write the detested word. Your own good understanding will make you sensible, how entirely I am obliged to an obedience, by which I shall for ever be excluded from your dear arms. The fondness of your mother may encourage you to trust her with the unhappy consequence of our love, which may be easily kept a secret from the world, and for which I will take care to provide, as I will for you. I wish you may feel less on this account than I have suf fered; but summon all your fortitude to your assistance, and forgive and forget the man, whom
nothing but the prospect of certain rain could have forced to write this letter. I bid you forget me--I mean only as a lover; but the best of friends you shall ever find in
Your faithful, though unhappy,
When Jones had read this letter, they both stood silent during a minute, looking at each other; at last he began thus: I cannot express, madam, how much I am shocked at what I have read; yet let me beg you, in one particular, to take the writer's advice. Consider the reputation of your daughter.
It is gone, it is lost, Mr. Jones,' cried she, as well as her innocence. She received the letter in a room full of company, and immediately swooning away upon opening it, the contents were known to every one present. But the loss of her reputation, bad as it is, is not the worst: I shall lose my child: she hath attempted twice to destroy herself already : and though she hath been hitherto prevented, vows she will not outlive it; nor could I myself outlive any accident of that nature. What then will become of my little Betsy, a helpless infant orphan! And the poor little wretch will, I believe, break her heart at the miseries with which she sees her sister and my self distracted, while she is ignorant of the cause. O, 'tis the most sensible, and best-natured little thing! the barbarous, cruel-hath destroyed us all. O, my poor children! Is this the reward of all my cares? Is this the fruit of all my prospects? Have I so cheerfully undergone all the labours and duties of a mother? Have I been so tender of their infan cy, so careful of their education? Have I been toil. ing so many years, denying myself even the conve niencies of life, to provide some little sustenance for them, to lose one or both in such a manner?" 'Indeed, madam,' said Jones, with tears in his eyes, I pity you from my soul. O! Mr. Jones,' answered she, even you, though I know the good.
ness of your heart, can have no idea of what I feel. The best, the kindest, the most dutiful of children! O, my poor Nancy, the darling of my soul! the delight of my eyes! the pride of my heart! too much, indeed, my pride; for to those foolish, ambitious. hopes, arising from her beauty, I owe her ruin. Alas! I saw with pleasure the liking which this young man had for her. I thought it an honourable affection; and flattered my foolish vanity with the thoughts of seeing her married to one so much her superior. And a thousand times in my presence, nay, often in yours, he hath endeavoured to sooth and encourage these hopes by the most generous expressions of disinterested love, which he hath always directed to my poor girl, and which I, as well as she, believed to be real. Could I have believed that these were only snares laid to betray the innocence of my child, and for the ruin of us all? At these words, little Betsy came running into the room, crying, Dear mamma, for Heaven's sake come to my sister; for she is in another fit, and my cousin can't hold her.' Mrs. Miller immediately obeyed the summons; but first ordered Betsy to stay with Mr. Jones, and begged him to entertain her a few minutes, saying in the most pathetic voice, Good Heaven! let me preserve one of my children at least.'
Jones, in compliance with this request, did all'he could to comfort the little girl, though he was, in reality, himself very highly affected with Mrs. Miller's story. He told her, Her sister would be soon. very well again; that, by taking on in that manner, she would not only make her sister worse, but make her mother ill too. Indeed, sir,' says she, I would not do any thing to hurt them, for the world. I would burst my heart rather than they should see me cry. But my poor sister can't see me cry. I am afraid she will never be able to see me cry any more. Indeed, I can't part with her! indeed I can't. And then poor mamma too, what will be
come of her? She says, she will die too, and leave me: but I am resolved I won't be left behind.' 'And are you not afraid to die, my little Betsy?' said Jones. Yes,' answered she, I was always afraid to die; because I must have left my mamma, and my sister; but I am not afraid of going any where with those I love.'
Jones was so pleased with this answer, that he eagerly kissed the child; and soon after Mrs. Miller returned, saying, She thanked Heaven, Nancy was now come to herself. And now Betsy,' says she, you may go in; for your sister is better, and longs to see you.' She then returned to Jones, and began to renew her apologies for having disappointed him of his breakfast.
I hope, madam,' said Jones, I shall have a more exquisite repast than any you could have provided for me. This, I assure you, will be the case, if I can do any service to this little family of love. But whatever success may attend my endeavours, I am resolved to attempt it. I am very much deceived in Mr. Nightingale, if, notwithstanding what hath happened, he hath not much goodness of heart at the bottom, as well as a very violent affection for your daughter. If this be the case, I think the picture which I shall lay before him, will affect him. Endeavour, madam, to comfort yourself, and Miss Nancy, as well as you ean. I will go instantly in quest of Mr. Nightingale; and I hope to bring you good news.'
Mrs. Miller fell upon her knees, and invoked all the blessings of Heaven upon Mr. Jones: to which she afterwards added the most passionate expres. sions of gratitude. He then departed to find Mr. Nightingale, and the good woman returned to comfort her daughter, who was somewhat cheered at what her mother told her; and both joined in resounding the praises of Mr. Jones.
HE good or evil we confer on others, very often, I believe, recoils on ourselves. For as men of a benign disposition enjoy their own acts of beneficence equally with those to whom they are done, so there are scarce any natures so entirely diabolical, as to be capable of doing injuries, without paying themselves some pangs for the ruin which they bring on their fellow-creatures.
Mr. Nightingale, at least, was not such a person. On the contrary, Jones found him in his new lodgings, sitting melancholy by the fire, and silently la menting the unhappy situation in which he had placed poor Nancy. He no sooner saw his friend appear, than he arose hastily to meet him; and after much congratulation, said, "Nothing could be more oppor. tune than this kind visit; for I was never more in the spleen in my life.'
I am sorry,' answered Jones, that I bring news very unlikely to relieve you; nay, what I am convinced must, of all other, shock you the most. However, it is necessary you should know it. Without further preface, then, I come to you, Mr. Nightingale, from a worthy family, which you have involved in misery and ruin.' Mr. Nightingale changed colour at these words; but Jones, without regarding it, proceeded in the liveliest manner, to paint the tragical story with which the reader was acquainted in the last chapter.
Nightingale never once interrupted the narration, though he discovered violent emotions at many parts of it. But when it was concluded, after fetching a deep sigh, he said, What you tell me, my friend, affects me in the tenderest manner. Sure there never was so cursed an accident as the poor