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good sense and integrity, though conscience, the sense of what she owes somewhat clouded by thoughtfulness. to":
“ How odious this long mourning “ It is extremely hard,” said the will be !" said the lady.
lady, interrupting him, and rising The gentleman made no reply. with an air of resentment; " it is ex
“ However," resumed she,' «there tremely hard, Sir William, that you will be a coronation. It will be de- should presume to find fault with my lightful to walk at a coronation.” conduct, considering the fortune and The gentleman was still silent. consequence you have acquired by
At length, after several equally fri- marrying me. volous observations from the lady on
“ It will be well, Madam, for us the solemn and affecting subject of her both,” said Sir William, with a tone Monarch's death, the gentleman broke of great solemnity, "if I acquire no silence, and, drawing his chair nearer disgrace. It is my duty, though a to her, said, “ You will oblige me, duty I should be gladly spared, to adLady Mary, by laying aside the pa- monish you of your 'errors ; and no per, and giving me an opportunity of consideration upon earth shall ever speaking to you."
make me forego what I believe to be She tossed me down, with no win- my duty.” ning grace, saying,—“ Well, Sir Wil Saying this, he left the room, and liam, I am ready to hear what you Lady Mary, retiring also, and taking have to say."
me with her, threw herself on a sofa “What I have to say, Madam,” in an adjoining apartment. She atreplied he, “ will not please you—but tempted to read, but I saw she could I should be most unjust to you and not comprehend a word. I saw risto myself if I did not say it.
ing in her mind regret and dissatis" The old story, I suppose,” said faction with herself, and an increased Lady Mary, seeming to case-harden respect for her husband. I thought herself with a look of callous indiffer- again of the lovely picture of what
she had once been, and what she “You very well know," resumed might be again—and my heart palpi. Sir William, "" that I have long dis- tated, (for I have said before that I approved of your allowing that foolish had a heart,) and, by an almost $uyoung Guardsman to accompany you pernatural effect, I contrived to upeverywhere. Do not suppose that I fold to ber view one of my columns, am jealous of him. I would not think in which, in giving a picture of the so ill of you, nor so ill of myself, as to deceased King's character, were dissuffer that baleful passion to harbour played the happiness and the dignity in my breast; but to see you loved, of a virtuous married life; and gladlý and honoured, and respected by others, did I receive a tear of regret and comby the wise and good, as you are by punction on the page. me, is the wish nearest my heart; and At that moment a lady entered, how can you be so, while your con- whom I perceived, by her tone of serduct in public is both childish and in- vility, to be a sort of satellite. discreet?"
“In tears, my sweetest Lady Mary! I saw she was touched, but pride what can be the matter?" little, contemptible, female pride “O, nothing !” said her Ladyship. kept down the more worthy emotion; “ But something must be the matand, with the tone of a person highly ter-I never before saw the radiance affronted, she retorted,
of those brilliant eyes so dim,” said "Well, Sir, and am I not respecte the other. ed? What woman of quality can be “Well, then,” said Lady Mary, more noticed and admired than my- “ if you must know, Sir William has self?"
been plaguing me again about Colo“ Your rank,” replied he, “ gives nel B and wants me to forbid you place, your elegance and beauty his attending me in public.” gain you admiration ; but is there not My dearest Lady Mary,". ex something more than this which a claimed the satellite, I never heard wise and virtuous woman would de- anything so intolerable ; but I hope sire ? Is not the respect of all good you did not make any concessions." people, the approbation of her own “ No, indeed,” replied Lady Mary;
"I can assure you I kept up my own feeling excessively hurt. I had indignity admirably.”
tended not to have mentioned it to « That was quite right, my sweet any body-however, I will to you, creature," said the other ; " it is most and to you only. I have received an unreasonable in any husband to dic- anonymous letter, telling me that that tate to his wife on the choice of her poor unhappy woman is now with her acquaintance; but, depend upon it, wretched seducer in the most abject they are all alike. If you once begin poverty. For two years after her diyielding and submitting, there's no vorce, they subsisted on the money end of it. If you will take my ad- and jewels she took with her when vice, you will invite Colonel B she eloped from this house, and abanhere to-day, to show Sir William you doned every”won't submit to be a slave to his ridi Here bis voice became so indistinct, culous whims.”
I could not hear his next words; but, I can assure you, gentle reader, I becoming more composed, he resumwould, if I could, have wept tears ed,-" And I find that he has now not of blood, but of ink at this weak been obliged to sell his commission, and wicked advice; but I had no op- and is in momentary expectation of portunity to know if it was taken, for being put in prison for debt, whither Lady Mary had folded me round a she, having no other resource, must small volume, and, ringing the bell, accompany him. I know it is weak, ordered the servant to take the parcel it is wrong to feel as I do; but, when to Mrs Mordant's.
I recollect how much she was the dar
ling of a doating father,-all her early CHAP. III.
self-indulgence, her helplessness, her The distance to Mrs Mordant's delicacy, I cannot picture her reduced house was not great, and I was im- to be the inmate of a common prison, mediately taken into the drawing- of a receptacle for the lowest vice and room, where a lady of a most engag- want, without feeling, great as have ing aspect was sitting, reading. As been her injuries to me, an agony I she continued to proceed with her cannot suppress." book without taking any notice of me, After a short silence on both sides, I had leisure to observe her physiog- Mrs Mordant took the hand of her nomy. At first I thought her ex- husband in both hers, and said, tremely handsome, but, on examina “Let us consider what can, what tion, I found that her chief attraction ought, to be done.” consisted in the expression of her il “ Í know," said Mr Mordant, luminated countenanceman expression “ what ought to be done. She ought fraught with goodness and benignityto suffer the misery she has brought
After some little time, a gentleman upon herself. She has poisoned her entered. There was something very own cup-she ought to drink to the prepossessing in his
appearance, though last drop the bitter dregs of it.” his brow was evidently clouded by “ And has she not,” said the
genchagrin. Mrs Mordant perceived that tle advocate," done that already something had vexed him, and, lay “ No," said the agitated husband, ing aside her book, said, in an affec I have had my share of it; her intionate manner,
nocent, her injured child, she has her “ My dear Mr Mordant, I am a portion yet to come. How must she fraid something has occurred to dis- feel when she comes to know that her tress you—May I not know what it mother forsook her, forsook her for an is ?"
abandoned profligate! The disgrace of “ I own,” said he, “ I have been such a mother will cling to her all her greatly disturbed by a letter I have life. O Selina,” he continued, “ had just received."
I but seen you before I had consigned “I hope nothing very serious— my affections and my honour to one Pray let me know what it is–Perhaps so unworthy of the trust, how uncloud. it may not be so bad as you appre- ed would then have been our lives, hend," said Mrs Mordant, with ear- for not all the happiness I now enjoy nest solicitude.
with you can prevent my life from “ It is nothing, my love, that need being embittered by cruel rememdistress you, and ought not, perhaps, brance !" to distress me. Still I cannot help “ We should then," said the gentle
Selina,“ have been too happy. We back to the shop, and I will call there
“ I think,” said he," it is our du- ing to make a resistance against my ty, for the sake of example, that they destiny,) when I discovered what Mrs should be left to their miserable fate.” Mordant was going to do with me, I
“ As for him," said Selina, “ I a. made myself as stiff and intractable as gree with you, but for her.—You I could, in hopes she would suffer me have owned to me yourself that she is to remain upon her table, and find for weak and helpless. She is also beau- the gloves some more yielding envetiful; may not poverty and want drive lope. her into a state still more horrid to But it was in vain ; and I was, as I think of? O think of that, and if we have already said, hurried off to a shop can but save her.”
in Oxford Street, where, after the Mr Mordant shook his head, and gloves had been given to the mistress said, “ It must not be. I could not of the shop, I was carelessly thrown bear that that wretched man should on the floor of a little dark back parthink that he still continues to make lour, where I was in danger of being a dupe of me. I must not.”
trampled upon every mornent. “ Well, but,” said Mrs Mordant, “ though you cannot, may not I? You
Chap. IV. know you allowed me to call the little I did not continue long in this ne money my god-mother left me my glected situation, for a good-natured own. May not I appropriate some girl picked me up, and threw me on a thing from that source for this poor table that stood near a little window creature-just enough to save her from that looked into the shop. From the peril I dread?-If it does not save hence I could see every thing that her, I promise you to withdraw it.” passed there, and I was exceedingly
Mr Mordant was silent.--She con- amused by the busy scene that was tinued,” If you will allow me to going on : for, on account of the apó mention the subject to my brother, proaching general mourning, the shop he would, I am confident, keep the was crowded by great numbers of peosecret faithfully, and by his means I ple, who came in to buy love ribbands could contrive to have the money sent and black gloves: and I could write quarterly, without its being possible an essay on physiognomy, from the for them to discover where it comes observations I had thus the opporfrom.”
tunity of making. I could write a “ Well,” said Mr Mordant," I whole chapter on the expression of will consider of it, but I believe," ad- one poor girl's countenance, who came ded he tenderly, “ I believe it will to buy a ribband for her bonnet. Her end in your having your wish.” wishes were instantly fixed on a fine
At this moment a servant entered broad one, with a double stripe ; but to say a person was come from the on hearing it was a shilling a yard, glove shop to take Mrs Mordant's di- she heaved a sigh, counted her mom rections about some gloves. Mrs M. ney, shook her head, and bought a looked exceedingly vexed at this un narrow one at sixpence; but turned seasonable interruption, and said has, back once or twice as she left the tily, “ Desire the inan will call again shop, to look at the double stripe. to-morrow.Stay, I have no right to I could write another long chapter trifle with his time, wait a few mo on the sharp visage and eager eye of ments, and I will send the answer.' a little thin old lady, who had eviShe then took some gloves, and, un- dently come on foot to a cheap shop folding the parcel that had been to buy bargains : for I saw, as soon brought from Lady Mary, wrapped as she entered, the people of the shop them up in me, and said to the ser- winked at each other; and when she vant, “ Desire the man to take these asked the price of the before men,
tioned double striped ribband, she of “ my darling, my own darling!" was told it was fifteenpence a yard. had not put it beyond a doubt. She then began bargaining, and bat Mrs Mordant was purchasing some tling, and declaring she could any children's stockings, and, presenting where get a better ribband for half some to the little girl, said, “ Here, the money. The shop-woman also as my dear Isabella, are steadily kept to her point, protesting stockings for you to give to that poor it was prime cost, and she could not child we have just seen.' afford to sell it for less. At last, when “O my dear, dear Mamma,” exboth parties were out of breath, she claimed the little girl," springing into measured the piece, and finding there Mrs Mordant's arms,“ how kind, how were six yards, she said with the air good you are! you are always thinkof an excellent actress :
ing of something to give me plea“ Well, Ma'am, rather than you sure!" should leave the shop dissatisfied, you This seemed too much for the poor shall have it quite a bargain, though unhappy mother to bear; and the I lose by it myself. If you will take force of maternal love that she had the whole remnant, you shall have it stifled, when it might have saved her for seven shillings."
from destruction, now seemed to burst A remnant, and a bargain, was too through every restraint: and, graspgreat a temptation for the old lady, ing me unconsciously in the end of who bought twice as much ribband her shawl, she started up with the as she wanted, and left the shop, ex- evident intention of rushing to emulting in her own dexterity in buying brace her child; but as suddenly rebargains ; while the woman, smiling collecting herself, she stood lingering at her companions, pocketed the odd at the door into the shop, tilí, the shilling as fair gains.
child having strayed away a little disI was going to make many wise re- tance from Mrs Mordant, who was flections on this little incident, when busily engaged, the unhappy mother, a lady entered the shop, who baffled unable any longer to resist the imall the skill I thought I was possessed pulse of nature, caught hold of her. of in physiognomy. The gentility of The child, alarmed at being seized her air was a contradiction to her by a stranger, struggled to disengage dress, which, though faded and soiled, herself, and uttering a cry of terror, was still smart and faunting; and the flew towards Mrs Mordant; and I gaiety of her feathers and her rouge felt the sudden revulsion of the mowas not in unison with the haggard ther's heart as she grasped me in her misery of her countenance. She look- hand, and rushed into the street, ed too tawdry to be a respectable gen- Here Mrs Mordant's carriage, with tlewoman, and yet not bold and au- the door open, and the step let down, dacious enough to be quite what her was in readiness for its mistress ; and appearance in other respects seemed from absence of reason, or perhaps a to bespeak her.
kind of recollection of its having been While she was paying for some tri- once her own, she was prevented from Aling purchase, one of the shop-wo- stepping into it, only by the servant's men said to the other, “ Where are hastily putting up the step, and shut. those gloves ? Here is Mrs Mordaut's ting the door. carriage at the door?"
This brought her to her recollecAt hearing this name the lady start- tion, and she suddenly stopt, and look. ed, and saying she was exceedingly ed at the footman, who seemed to be faint, begged to sit down in the inner a respectable old family servant. I room, and without waiting for an ane saw that they recognized each other. swer darted in, and threw herself in- She leaned against the railing, and I to a chair near the table where I lay. thought would have fainted. Alas! Her eyes were rivetted on a little girl could this poor thoughtless being have of about six years old, who came holde foreseen, before she plunged into the ing by Mrs Mordant's hand into the abyss of vice, that one of the penalties shop, and her agitation at seeing her of her crime would be to stand abashwould have assured me she was the ed before her own servant, might it divorced wife of Mr Mordant, if her not have checked her in her mad cam sobs and her exclamations, in a voice reer? When she was able to speak, which was articulate only to myself, she said, without looking up, “O!
if any body would call me a hackney, woman, sinking into a chair, “but I coach !”
quite forgot them.” Mrs Mordant's servant, without Here a fresh burst of anger and ac speaking, immediately went for one. buse burst from the gentleman,-genHe returned in a few minutes, and tleman shall I call him !but, hapthe poor creature, who seemed to have pily for his wife, spying me in the been summoning courage to speak to folds of her shawl, he stopped short him, asked, when she had got into in his invectives, and snatching me the coach, in & scarcely articulate away, exclaimed, voice, for her father.
To-day's paper, I see; how did Tears started in the man's eyes; you come by it?" and he answered with much emotion: “ I cannot guess," said his wife, “ My poor old master, Ma'am, is to- “ I did not till this instant know I lerably well in health, but he has had it: surely I have not taken any never looked up since you thing else by mistake !"-shaking her While he was hesitating how to finish shawl, and turning as pale as ashes, the sentence, Mrs Mordant appeared as if recollecting that, if she had, she at the shop door, and he turned away had not character enough to vindicate to attend his mistress.
Her companion, who did not seem CHAP. V.
to care for any of her distresses, apWe had a very melancholy journey plied himself immediately to me, and in our rattling dirty vehicle, in which I afforded both him and his wife a my poor companion threw herself short respite from his ill humour ;back, insensible to every thing but her a very short one, for with a tremendespair.
dous oath, that made me absolutely "0! my father, my father! I have start from his hands, he exclaimed, destroyed his happiness, and shall “ I am the most unfortunate fellow in shorten his days. My sweet-my the world! I see there will be a geengaging child ! Shall I never see her neral promotion on the King's death, more? 0! if I could but blot out and if I had not been obliged to sell all the five last years of my life!” my commission, I should now have were the incoherent expressions of her got my majority! But nothing ever anguish, which it seemed to relieve prospered with me!-Nothing ever her bursting heart to utter.
turned out lucky for me. I never had At last we stopped at a forlorn look- any friends,-never could get on as ing house, in a little dull street lead- other men do. But you, Madam, you ing out of Holborn. The miserable have been my ruin : I have not known being dismissed the coach, and after a day's happiness since the hour I first staying a few minutes in the passage saw you." to dry her eyes, and recompose as well " I can say truly,” said his wife, as she could her agitated countenance, lifting up her eyes, in which I hoped went up stairs. Here was sitting in there was more of repentance than of a small comfortless apartment a young resentment, “ I can say truly, we are man, whose sour irritated countenance more than quits : what should I have and forlorn dress, were a picture both been but for you?” of inward and of external wretched What would I have given at that ness.
moment for a voice to have told these “ How could you think of coming guilty creatures, instead of recrimi. home in a hackney-coach, this fine nating on each other, to look honestly day?" was the ungracious welcome he into their own hearts : for in their gave to his wife.
own hearts they would find their true “ Indeed," said she, “ I was too seducers. unwell to be able to walk home.” “0,” said I to myself, “if the
“ Stuff!" said he, “ you were well thoughtless beauty I saw at breakfast enough in the morning; and what is this morning could witness the scene to make you worse now? and how, which is now before me, what a les pray, do you think I am to find mo son would it be to her!" ney to support all your whims and ex While I was engaged in these retravagances? and where are the things flections, an untidy dirty girl brought I told you to get for me?”
in an uninviting repast, and seeing “ I am very sorry," said the poor me on the floor, took me up, and