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she became able to articulate some short excla- ployed very actively in the progress of his demations of horror and despair ! Camplin threw signs on Miss Annesly, entered the room with himself on his knees before her. He protested a look of the utmost consternation and horror ; the most sincere and disinterested passion, and the nurse beckoned to him to make no noise, that, if she would bless him with the possession signifying, by her gestures, that the lady was of so many amiable qualities as she possessed, asleep ; but the opening of the door had already the uniform endeavour of his life should be to awakened her, and she lay listening, when he promote her happiness." I think not of thee !” told the cause of his emotion. It was the inshe exclaimed;"O Sindall! perfidious, cruel, telligence, which he had just accidentally recei deliberate villain!" Camplin again interrupted ved, of Mr Annesly's death. The effect of this her with protestations of his own affection and shock on his unfortunate daughter may be easily regard. Away!” said she, “and let me hear imagined ; every fatal symptom, which sudden no more! Or, if thou wouldst shew thy friend- terror or surprise causes in women at such a ship, carry me to that father from whom thou season of weakness, was the consequence, and stolest me. You will not-but if I can live so next morning a delirium succeeded them. long, I will crawl to his feet, and expire before She was not, however, without intervals of him."
reason, though these were but intervals of anShe was running towards the door; Camplin guish much more exquisite. Yet she would gently stopped her. “My dearest Miss Annesly, sometimes express a sort of calmness and subsaid he, " recollect yourself but a moment; let mission to the will of Heaven, though it was alme conjure you to think of your own welfare, ways attended with the hopes of a speedy reand of that father's whom you so justly love. lief from the calamities of her existence. For these alone, could Sir Thomas Sindall have In one of these hours of recollection, she was thought of the expedient which he proposes. It asked by her attendants, whose pity was now you will now become the wife of your adoring moved at her condition, if she chose to have any Camplin, the time of the celebration of our mar- friend sent for who might tend to alleviate her riage need not be told to the world. Under the distress ; upon which she had command enough sanction of that holy tie, every circumstance of of herself to dictate a letter to Mrs Wistanly, detraction will be overlooked, and that life may reciting briefly the miseries she had endured, be made long and happy, which your unthink- and asking, with great diffidence howe of ing rashness would cut off from yourself and obtaining, if she could pardon her offences so your
father.” Harriet had listened little to this far, as to come and receive the parting breath speech, but the swelling of her anger had sub- of her once innocent and much-loved Harriet. sided; she threw herself into a chair, and burst This letter was accordingly dispatched, and she again into tears. Camplin drew nearer, and seemed to feel a relief from having accomplishpressed her hand in his; she drew it hastily ed it; but her reason had held out beyond its from him. “ If you have any pity,” she cried, usual limits of exertion, and immediately after, “ I intreat you, for Heaven's sake, to leave me. she relapsed into her former unconnectedness. He bowed respectfully, and retired, desiring the Soon after the birth of her daughter, Camplandlady to attend Miss Annesly, and endea- lin, according to his instructions, had proposed vour to afford her some assistance and consola, sending it away, under the charge of a nurse, tion.
whom the landlady had procured, to a small She had, indeed, more occasion for her assist- hamlet where she resided, at a little distance, ance than he was then aware of, the violent agi- But this the mother opposed with such earnesttation of her spirits having had such an effect on ness, that the purpose had been delayed till now, her, that, though she wanted a month of her when it was given up to the care of this woman, time, she was suddenly seized with the pains accompanied with a considerable sum of money of child-birth, and they were, but just able to to provide every necessary for its use, in the procure a woman who acted as a midwife in the most ample and sumptuous manner. neighbourhood, when she was delivered of a girl. When Mrs Wistanly received the letter we Distracted as her soul was, this new object drew have mentioned above, she was not long in doubt forth its instinctive tenderness; she mingled tears as to complying with its request. Her heart bled with her kisses on its cheeks, and forgot the shame for the distresses of that once amiable friend, attending its birth, in the natural meltings of a whom virtue might now blame, but goodness mother.
could not forsake. She set out therefore imFor about a week after her delivery she reco- mediately in a chaise, which Camplin had provered tolerably well, and indeed those about her vided for her, and reached the house, to which spared no pains or attention to contribute to it conveyed her on the morning of the followwards her recovery; but, at the end of that pe- ing day; her impatience not suffering her to riod, an accident threw her into the most dan, consider either the danger or inconvenience of gerous situation. She was lying in a slumber, travelling all night. From her recital, I took with a nurse watching her, when a servant of down the account contained in the following Sir Thomas Sindall's, whom his master had em- chapter.
her questions were irregular and wild ; but in a
short time she grew so distinct, as to thank me CHAP. XXX.
for having complied with the request of her let
ter : • 'Tis an office of unmerited kindness, Mrs Wistanly's recital. Conclusion of the which,' said she, (and I could observe her let First Part.
fall a tear,) ' will be the last your unwearied
friendship for me will have to bestow. I an“When I entered the house, and had got swerel, that I hoped not. "Ah! Mrs Wistanupon the stairs leading to the room in which ly,' she replied, “ can you hope so ? you are not Harriet lay, I heard a voice, enchantingly sweet, my friend, if you do." I wished to avoid a subbut low, and sometimes broken, singing snatches ject which her mind was little able to bear, and of songs, varying from the sad to the gay, and therefore made no other return than by kissing from the gay to the sad : it was she herself sit- her hand, which she had stretched out to me as ting up in her bed, fingering her pillow as if it she spoke. had been a harpsichord. It is not easy to con
" At that moment we heard some unusual ceive the horror I felt on seeing her in such a situ- stir below stairs, and, as the floor was thin and ation! She seemed unconscious of my approach, ill laid, the word child was very distinctly audithough her eye was turned towards me as I en- ble from every tongue. Upon this she started tered ; only that she stopt in the midst of a up in her bed, and with a look piteous and wild quick and lively movement she had begun, and, beyond description, exclaimed, • Oh! my God! looking wistfully upon me, breathed such a note what of my child !'She had scarcely uttered of sorrow, and dwelt on it with a cadence so the words, when the landlady entered the room, mournful, that my heart lost all the firmness I and shewed sufficiently, by her countenance, had resolved to preserve, and I flung my arms that she had some dreadful tale to tell. By round her neck, which I washed with my burst- signs I begged her to be silent.-- What is being tears !—The traces which her brain could come of my infant ?' cried Harriet. —No ill, now only recollect, were such as did not admit madam,' answered the woman, faultering, ‘is of any object long ; I had passed over it in the come to it, I hope.'—'Speak,' said she, “I charge moment of my entrance, and it now wandered yon, for I will know the worst : speak, as you from the idea; she paid no regard to my ca- would give peace to my departing soul!' springresses, but pushed me gently from her, gazing ing out
of bed, and grasping the woman's hands stedfastly in an opposite direction towards the with all her force. -It was not easy to resist door of the apartment. A servant entered with so solemn a charge.— Alas!' said the landlady, some medicine he had been sent to procure ; she 'I fear she is drowned ; for the nurse's cloak put it by when I offered it to her, and kept and the child's wrapper have been found in looking earnestly upon him ; she ceased her some ooze which the river had carried down besinging too, and seemed to articulate certain im- low the ford. She let go the woman's hands, perfect sounds. For some time I could not make and wringing her own together, threw up her them out into words, but at last she spoke more eyes to heaven till their sight was lost in the distinctly, and with a firmer tone.
sockets.—We were supporting her, each of us “'You saved my life once, sir, and I could holding one of her arms. She fell on her knees then thank you, because I wished to preserve between us, and dropping her hands for a moit ;-but now—no matter, he is happier than I ment, then raising them again,
uttered with a would have him.— I would have nursed the poor voice that sounded hollow, as if sunk within old man till he had seen some better days! Bless her: his white beard !-look there! I have heard how «« Power omnipotent! who wilt not lay on they grow in the grave ! Poor old man ! thy creatures calamity beyond their strength to
• You weep, my dear sir ; but had you heard bear! if thou hast not yet punished me enough, her speak these words ! I can but coldly repeat continue to pour out the phials of thy wrath them.
upon me, and enable me to support what thou “ All that day she continued in a state of de- inflictest! But if my faults are expiated, suffer lirium and insensibility to every object around me to rest in peace, and graciously blot out the her ; towards evening she seemed exhausted offences which thy judgments have punished with fatigue, and the tossing of her hands, which here !--She continued in the same posture for her frenzy had caused, grew languid as of one a few moments; then leaning on us as if she breathless and worn out: about midnight she meant to rise, bent her head forward, and drawdropped asleep.
ing her breath strongly, expired in our arms.". " I sat with her during the night, and when Such was the conclusion of Mrs Wistanly's she waked in the morning, she gave signs of ha- tale of woe ! ving recovered her senses, by recollecting me, Spirits of gentleness and peace! who look and calling me by my name. At first, indeed, with such pity as angels feel, on the distresses of mortality! often have ye seen me labouring ture with the tears which her misery shed on it! under the afflictions which Providence had laid yet have ye seen me look inward with a smile, upon me. Ye have seen me in a strange land, and overcome them. If such shall ever be my without friend, and without comforter, poor, lot again, so let me alleviate its sorrows; let me sick, and
naked; ye have seen me shivering over creep to my bed of straw in peace, after blessing the last faggot which my last farthing had pur- God that I am not a Man of the World. chased, moistening the crust that supported na
END OF THE FIRST PART.