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will not eat the bread of shame ; and therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the snare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pitying us : it is not so bad as you have perhaps been told. All things will yet be well, and I shall write my child better news.
I have been interrupted. I know not how I was moved to say things would mend. As I was going on, I was startled by the noise of one that knocked at the door, and hath brought us an unexpected supply of a debt which had long been owing. O! I will now tell thee all. It is some days I have lived almost without support, having conveyed what little money I could raise to your poor father. Thou wilt weep to think where he is, yet be assured he will soon be set at liberty. That cruel letter would have broken his heart, but I have concealed it from him. I have no companion at present, besides little Fanny, who stands watching my looks as I write, and is crying for her sister : she says she is sure you are not well, having discovered that my present trouble is about you. But do not think I would thus repeat my sorrows to grieve thee: no, it is to entreat thee not to make them insupportable, by adding what would be worse than all. Let us bear cheerfully an affliction which we have not brought on ourselves, and remember there is a power who can deliver us of it, without the loss of thy innocence. Heaven preserve my dear child.
Thy affectionate mother,
The messenger, rotwithstanding he promised to deliver this letter to Amanda, carried it first to his master, who, he imagined, would be glad to have an opportunity of giving it into her hands himself. His master was impa. tient to know the success of his proposal, and therefore broke open the letter privately to see the contents. He was not a little moved at so true a picture of virtue in distress; but at the same time was infinitely surprised to
find his offers rejected. However, he resolved not to suppress the letter, but carefully sealed it up again, and carried it to Amanda. All his endeavours to see her were in vain, till she was assured he brought a letter from her mother. He would not part with it but upon condition that she should read it without leaving the room. While she was perusing it, he fixed his eyes on her face with the deepest attention : her concern gave a new softness to her beauty, and when she burst into tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in her sorrow, and telling her that he too had read the letter, and was resolved to make reparation for having been the occasion of it. My readers will not be displeased to see the second epistle which he now wrote to Amanda's mother.
MADAM, I am full of shame, and will never forgive myself, if I have not your pardon for what I lately wrote. It was far from
my intention to add trouble to the afflicted ; nor could any thing, but my being a stranger to you, have betrayed me into a fault, for which, if I live, I shall endeavour to make you amends. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your daughter ; nor shall be, if any thing can prevent it which is in the power of, madam,
Your most obedient,
This letter he sent by his steward, and soon after went up to town himself, to complete the generous act he had now resolved on. By his friendship and assistance Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double satisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their former prosperity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues,
CAUTION TO YOUNG LADIES, ESPECIALLY YOUNG HEIRESSES :
OR, TAB ILL EFFECTS OF FORMING IMPRUDENT CONNEXIONS,
EXEMPLIFIED IN THE STORY OF HARRIET DARNLY.
Those awful words,“ till death do part!"
Dr. Cottor's Vision.
Of all the ensnaring passions to which our hearts are apt to give way, the passion of love is one of the most dangerous, and therefore ought to be carefully guarded against ; as on the prudent choice we make, depends the happiness or misery of our future lives. To form an engagement at a very early age, is to run a very great hazard of meeting a disappointment. To carry on a clandestine acquaintance with any one, however superior in birth or fortune, is to degrade our character, and to render our virtue suspected. If any man makes professions of love to a young woman, and endeavours to prevail upon her to conceal it from her parents, she may depend upon his professions not being sincere, and that he has some bad design, which he fears the eye of experience will discover, and, by so doing, defeat his dishonourable purpose. If the inclinations are mutual, and situations equal, secrecy cannot be necessary ; if, on the contrary, any impediments to a union appear, sufficient to prevent its being brought about with the mutual consent of friends, it can answer no other purpose than to entail misery on the youthful parties, by continuing a connexion which must end in disappointment and wretchedness. Never, then, my fair readers, listen to the secret tale : attend not to the delusive flatterer, who would by this insinuating address pre. vail upon you to sacrifice your duty to the gratification of his love, vanity, or designs : and be assured, the man who would wish you to be a disobedient daughter, has not the proper value for you which he pretends. And what reason has such a one to suppose that the woman, who would give up her first of moral duties, would not as easily be prevailed upon to depart from every other ? At least he would have just reason to suspect that an undutiful and ungrateful daughter would never make an obedient and faithful wife.
To see the ill effects of forming imprudent connexions, we need not look far into the world: and it is not to be doubted, but many unhappy marriages owe their greatest miseries to the unguarded conduct of the parties previous to their being united. For, however the lover may flatter, and pretend to admire the frankness and generosity of his mistress, for complying with any improper requests ; however grateful he may appear for her running the hazard of disobliging her parents or friends, she may depend on being afterwards reproached by the husband, for the very conduct which was praised by the lover. Too often the source of matrimonial discord originates from this cause. Then will their own hearts, in the utmost bitterness of anguish, more keenly feel these reproaches; because their conscience will inform them they are but too justly deserved.
Until you, my fair readers, know a little of the world, dare not to listen to the tongue of the flatterer. Be not de.
sirous of being thought to have made captives, lest you yourselves become the slave; guard your heart with cau. tion against the delusive voice of love ; nor suffer your af. fections to be engaged, till you are convinced the object of your choice is worthy to possess the undivided heart of a prudent and virtuous young woman. If you should by chance meet with an agreeable youth, who you think will captivate your heart, in spite of your utmust endeavours to detain the unguarded fugitive; if you are not well convinced, by the honour of his conduct, you have been as arrant a thief as your lover, banish him for ever from your misguided imagination. It is easy to conquer a disease in its begin. ning; but if we permit it to gain strength, before we attempt its cure, the best advice and most powerful remedies may fail to effect its removal.
It is an unfortunate and a mistaken notion, which many young people cherish, that if they marry the first object of their tender affection, they must be happy. Alas! happi. ness depends on so many concurrent circumstances, that, believe me, the utmost prudence will not at all times secure the prize. The passion of love must be reciprocal, or it cannot produce happiness; and, even then, modesty, good sense, sensibility, and judgment, are requisite on both sides, to insure it for any length of time. Friends must give their unreluctant consent, and circumstances must be easy, to render the married life a scene of harmony and content. ment : for, however the ridiculous and romantic notions, to be found in many of our modern novels, may serve to mis. lead the mind, and involve it in a labyrinth of error, be assured, love and poverty seldom agree ; nor are scenes of fashionable dissipation more congenial to love.
A compe. tence is as necessary to our happiness as virtue and pru. dence to our peace of mind, when we retire into ourselves, in order to examine our own hearts. How often have we known the fond lover, who fled with such eagerness to Gretna Green to secure the prize he pretended to