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´╗┐Title: Charlotte Temple
Author: Rowson, Mrs. Susanna (Haswell), 1762-1824
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charlotte Temple" ***

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CHARLOTTE TEMPLE

By Susanna Haswell Rowson



Contents:

CHAPTER I. A Boarding School.

CHAPTER II. Domestic Concerns.

CHAPTER III. Unexpected Misfortunes.

CHAPTER IV. Change of Fortune.

CHAPTER V. Such Things Are.

CHAPTER VI. An Intriguing Teacher.

CHAPTER VII. Natural Sense of Propriety Inherent in the Female Bosom.

CHAPTER VIII. Domestic Pleasures Planned.

CHAPTER IX. We Know Not What a Day May Bring Forth.

CHAPTER X. When We Have Excited Curiosity, It Is But an Act of
Good Nature to Gratify it.

CHAPTER XI. Conflict of Love and Duty.

CHAPTER XII. Nature's last, best gift: Creature in whom excell'd,
whatever could To sight or thought be nam'd! Holy, divine! good,
amiable, and sweet! How thou art falln'!--

CHAPTER XIII. Cruel Disappointment.

CHAPTER XIV. Maternal Sorrow.

CHAPTER XV. Embarkation.

CHAPTER XVI. Necessary Digression.

CHAPTER XVII. A Wedding.


VOLUME II.

CHAPTER XVIII. Reflections.

CHAPTER XIX. A Mistake Discovered.

CHAPTER XX. Virtue never appears so amiable as when reaching forth her
hand to raise a fallen sister. Chapter of Accidents.

CHAPTER XXI. Teach me to feel another's woe, To hide the fault I see,
That mercy I to others show That mercy show to me. POPE.

CHAPTER XXII. Sorrows of the Heart.

CHAPTER XXIII. A Man May Smile, and Smile, and Be a Villain.

CHAPTER XXIV. Mystery Developed.

CHAPTER XXV. Reception of a Letter.

CHAPTER XXVI. What Might Be Expected.

CHAPTER XXVII. Pensive she mourn'd, and hung her languid head, Like a
fair lily overcharg'd with dew.

CHAPTER XXVIII. A Trifling Retrospect.

CHAPTER XXIX. We Go Forward Again.

CHAPTER XXX. And what is friendship but a name, A charm that lulls to
sleep, A shade that follows wealth and fame, But leaves the wretch to
weep.

CHAPTER XXXI. Subject Continued.

CHAPTER XXXII. Reasons Why and Wherefore.

CHAPTER XXXIII. Which People Void of Feeling Need Not Read.

CHAPTER XXXIV. Retribution.

CHAPTER XXXV. Conclusion.



PREFACE.

FOR the perusal of the young and thoughtless of the fair sex, this Tale
of Truth is designed; and I could wish my fair readers to consider it as
not merely the effusion of Fancy, but as a reality. The circumstances
on which I have founded this novel were related to me some little time
since by an old lady who had personally known Charlotte, though she
concealed the real names of the characters, and likewise the place where
the unfortunate scenes were acted: yet as it was impossible to offer a
relation to the public in such an imperfect state, I have thrown over
the whole a slight veil of fiction, and substituted names and places
according to my own fancy. The principal characters in this little tale
are now consigned to the silent tomb: it can therefore hurt the feelings
of no one; and may, I flatter myself, be of service to some who are so
unfortunate as to have neither friends to advise, or understanding to
direct them, through the various and unexpected evils that attend a
young and unprotected woman in her first entrance into life.

While the tear of compassion still trembled in my eye for the fate of
the unhappy Charlotte, I may have children of my own, said I, to
whom this recital may be of use, and if to your own children, said
Benevolence, why not to the many daughters of Misfortune who, deprived
of natural friends, or spoilt by a mistaken education, are thrown on an
unfeeling world without the least power to defend themselves from the
snares not only of the other sex, but from the more dangerous arts of
the profligate of their own.

Sensible as I am that a novel writer, at a time when such a variety
of works are ushered into the world under that name, stands but a poor
chance for fame in the annals of literature, but conscious that I wrote
with a mind anxious for the happiness of that sex whose morals and
conduct have so powerful an influence on mankind in general; and
convinced that I have not wrote a line that conveys a wrong idea to
the head or a corrupt wish to the heart, I shall rest satisfied in the
purity of my own intentions, and if I merit not applause, I feel that I
dread not censure.

If the following tale should save one hapless fair one from the errors
which ruined poor Charlotte, or rescue from impending misery the heart
of one anxious parent, I shall feel a much higher gratification in
reflecting on this trifling performance, than could possibly result
from the applause which might attend the most elegant finished piece
of literature whose tendency might deprave the heart or mislead the
understanding.



CHARLOTTE TEMPLE,



VOLUME I



CHAPTER I.

A BOARDING SCHOOL.

"ARE you for a walk," said Montraville to his companion, as they arose
from table; "are you for a walk? or shall we order the chaise and
proceed to Portsmouth?" Belcour preferred the former; and they sauntered
out to view the town, and to make remarks on the inhabitants, as they
returned from church.

Montraville was a Lieutenant in the army: Belcour was his brother
officer: they had been to take leave of their friends previous to their
departure for America, and were now returning to Portsmouth, where the
troops waited orders for embarkation. They had stopped at Chichester
to dine; and knowing they had sufficient time to reach the place of
destination before dark, and yet allow them a walk, had resolved, it
being Sunday afternoon, to take a survey of the Chichester ladies as
they returned from their devotions.

They had gratified their curiosity, and were preparing to return to the
inn without honouring any of the belles with particular notice, when
Madame Du Pont, at the head of her school, descended from the church.
Such an assemblage of youth and innocence naturally attracted the young
soldiers: they stopped; and, as the little cavalcade passed, almost
involuntarily pulled off their hats. A tall, elegant girl looked at
Montraville and blushed: he instantly recollected the features of
Charlotte Temple, whom he had once seen and danced with at a ball at
Portsmouth. At that time he thought on her only as a very lovely child,
she being then only thirteen; but the improvement two years had made in
her person, and the blush of recollection which suffused her cheeks as
she passed, awakened in his bosom new and pleasing ideas. Vanity led him
to think that pleasure at again beholding him might have occasioned the
emotion he had witnessed, and the same vanity led him to wish to see her
again.

"She is the sweetest girl in the world," said he, as he entered the inn.
Belcour stared. "Did you not notice her?" continued Montraville: "she
had on a blue bonnet, and with a pair of lovely eyes of the same colour,
has contrived to make me feel devilish odd about the heart."

"Pho," said Belcour, "a musket ball from our friends, the Americans, may
in less than two months make you feel worse."

"I never think of the future," replied Montraville; "but am determined
to make the most of the present, and would willingly compound with any
kind Familiar who would inform me who the girl is, and how I might be
likely to obtain an interview."

But no kind Familiar at that time appearing, and the chaise which they
had ordered, driving up to the door, Montraville and his companion were
obliged to take leave of Chichester and its fair inhabitant, and proceed
on their journey.

But Charlotte had made too great an impression on his mind to be easily
eradicated: having therefore spent three whole days in thinking on her
and in endeavouring to form some plan for seeing her, he determined
to set off for Chichester, and trust to chance either to favour or
frustrate his designs. Arriving at the verge of the town, he dismounted,
and sending the servant forward with the horses, proceeded toward the
place, where, in the midst of an extensive pleasure ground, stood the
mansion which contained the lovely Charlotte Temple. Montraville leaned
on a broken gate, and looked earnestly at the house. The wall which
surrounded it was high, and perhaps the Argus's who guarded the
Hesperian fruit within, were more watchful than those famed of old.

"'Tis a romantic attempt," said he; "and should I even succeed in seeing
and conversing with her, it can be productive of no good: I must of
necessity leave England in a few days, and probably may never return;
why then should I endeavour to engage the affections of this lovely
girl, only to leave her a prey to a thousand inquietudes, of which at
present she has no idea? I will return to Portsmouth and think no more
about her."

The evening now was closed; a serene stillness reigned; and the
chaste Queen of Night with her silver crescent faintly illuminated the
hemisphere. The mind of Montraville was hushed into composure by the
serenity of the surrounding objects. "I will think on her no more," said
he, and turned with an intention to leave the place; but as he turned,
he saw the gate which led to the pleasure grounds open, and two women
come out, who walked arm-in-arm across the field.

"I will at least see who these are," said he. He overtook them, and
giving them the compliments of the evening, begged leave to see them
into the more frequented parts of the town: but how was he delighted,
when, waiting for an answer, he discovered, under the concealment of a
large bonnet, the face of Charlotte Temple.

He soon found means to ingratiate himself with her companion, who was a
French teacher at the school, and, at parting, slipped a letter he had
purposely written, into Charlotte's hand, and five guineas into that of
Mademoiselle, who promised she would endeavour to bring her young charge
into the field again the next evening.



CHAPTER II.

DOMESTIC CONCERNS.

MR. Temple was the youngest son of a nobleman whose fortune was by no
means adequate to the antiquity, grandeur, and I may add, pride of the
family. He saw his elder brother made completely wretched by marrying a
disagreeable woman, whose fortune helped to prop the sinking dignity
of the house; and he beheld his sisters legally prostituted to old,
decrepid men, whose titles gave them consequence in the eyes of the
world, and whose affluence rendered them splendidly miserable. "I will
not sacrifice internal happiness for outward shew," said he: "I will
seek Content; and, if I find her in a cottage, will embrace her with as
much cordiality as I should if seated on a throne."

Mr. Temple possessed a small estate of about five hundred pounds a year;
and with that he resolved to preserve independence, to marry where the
feelings of his heart should direct him, and to confine his expenses
within the limits of his income. He had a heart open to every generous
feeling of humanity, and a hand ready to dispense to those who wanted
part of the blessings he enjoyed himself.

As he was universally known to be the friend of the unfortunate, his
advice and bounty was frequently solicited; nor was it seldom that he
sought out indigent merit, and raised it from obscurity, confining his
own expenses within a very narrow compass.

"You are a benevolent fellow," said a young officer to him one day; "and
I have a great mind to give you a fine subject to exercise the goodness
of your heart upon."

"You cannot oblige me more," said Temple, "than to point out any way by
which I can be serviceable to my fellow creatures."

"Come along then," said the young man, "we will go and visit a man who
is not in so good a lodging as he deserves; and, were it not that he
has an angel with him, who comforts and supports him, he must long since
have sunk under his misfortunes." The young man's heart was too full
to proceed; and Temple, unwilling to irritate his feelings by making
further enquiries, followed him in silence, til they arrived at the
Fleet prison.

The officer enquired for Captain Eldridge: a person led them up several
pair of dirty stairs, and pointing to a door which led to a miserable,
small apartment, said that was the Captain's room, and retired.

The officer, whose name was Blakeney, tapped at the door, and was bid to
enter by a voice melodiously soft. He opened the door, and discovered to
Temple a scene which rivetted him to the spot with astonishment.

The apartment, though small, and bearing strong marks of poverty, was
neat in the extreme. In an arm-chair, his head reclined upon his hand,
his eyes fixed on a book which lay open before him, sat an aged man in
a Lieutenant's uniform, which, though threadbare, would sooner call a
blush of shame into the face of those who could neglect real merit, than
cause the hectic of confusion to glow on the cheeks of him who wore it.

Beside him sat a lovely creature busied in painting a fan mount. She was
fair as the lily, but sorrow had nipped the rose in her cheek before it
was half blown. Her eyes were blue; and her hair, which was light brown,
was slightly confined under a plain muslin cap, tied round with a black
ribbon; a white linen gown and plain lawn handkerchief composed
the remainder of her dress; and in this simple attire, she was more
irresistibly charming to such a heart as Temple's, than she would have
been, if adorned with all the splendor of a courtly belle.

When they entered, the old man arose from his seat, and shaking Blakeney
by the hand with great cordiality, offered Temple his chair; and there
being but three in the room, seated himself on the side of his little
bed with evident composure.

"This is a strange place," said he to Temple, "to receive visitors of
distinction in; but we must fit our feelings to our station. While I am
not ashamed to own the cause which brought me here, why should I blush
at my situation? Our misfortunes are not our faults; and were it not for
that poor girl--"

Here the philosopher was lost in the father. He rose hastily from his
seat, and walking toward the window, wiped off a tear which he was
afraid would tarnish the cheek of a sailor.

Temple cast his eye on Miss Eldridge: a pellucid drop had stolen from
her eyes, and fallen upon a rose she was painting. It blotted and
discoloured the flower. "'Tis emblematic," said he mentally: "the rose
of youth and health soon fades when watered by the tear of affliction."

"My friend Blakeney," said he, addressing the old man, "told me I could
be of service to you: be so kind then, dear Sir, as to point out some
way in which I can relieve the anxiety of your heart and increase the
pleasures of my own."

"My good young man," said Eldridge, "you know not what you offer. While
deprived of my liberty I cannot be free from anxiety on my own account;
but that is a trifling concern; my anxious thoughts extend to one more
dear a thousand times than life: I am a poor weak old man, and must
expect in a few years to sink into silence and oblivion; but when I am
gone, who will protect that fair bud of innocence from the blasts of
adversity, or from the cruel hand of insult and dishonour."

"Oh, my father!" cried Miss Eldridge, tenderly taking his hand, "be not
anxious on that account; for daily are my prayers offered to heaven that
our lives may terminate at the same instant, and one grave receive us
both; for why should I live when deprived of my only friend."

Temple was moved even to tears. "You will both live many years," said
he, "and I hope see much happiness. Cheerly, my friend, cheerly; these
passing clouds of adversity will serve only to make the sunshine of
prosperity more pleasing. But we are losing time: you might ere this
have told me who were your creditors, what were their demands, and other
particulars necessary to your liberation."

"My story is short," said Mr. Eldridge, "but there are some particulars
which will wring my heart barely to remember; yet to one whose offers
of friendship appear so open and disinterested, I will relate every
circumstance that led to my present, painful situation. But my child,"
continued he, addressing his daughter, "let me prevail on you to take
this opportunity, while my friends are with me, to enjoy the benefit of
air and exercise."

"Go, my love; leave me now; to-morrow at your usual hour I will expect
you."

Miss Eldridge impressed on his cheek the kiss of filial affection, and
obeyed.



CHAPTER III.

UNEXPECTED MISFORTUNES.

"MY life," said Mr. Eldridge, "till within these few years was marked by
no particular circumstance deserving notice. I early embraced the life
of a sailor, and have served my King with unremitted ardour for many
years. At the age of twenty-five I married an amiable woman; one son,
and the girl who just now left us, were the fruits of our union. My
boy had genius and spirit. I straitened my little income to give him a
liberal education, but the rapid progress he made in his studies amply
compensated for the inconvenience. At the academy where he received his
education he commenced an acquaintance with a Mr. Lewis, a young man
of affluent fortune: as they grew up their intimacy ripened into
friendship, and they became almost inseparable companions.

"George chose the profession of a soldier. I had neither friends or
money to procure him a commission, and had wished him to embrace a
nautical life: but this was repugnant to his wishes, and I ceased to
urge him on the subject.

"The friendship subsisting between Lewis and my son was of such a nature
as gave him free access to our family; and so specious was his manner
that we hesitated not to state to him all our little difficulties in
regard to George's future views. He listened to us with attention, and
offered to advance any sum necessary for his first setting out.

"I embraced the offer, and gave him my note for the payment of it, but
he would not suffer me to mention any stipulated time, as he said I
might do it whenever most convenient to myself. About this time my dear
Lucy returned from school, and I soon began to imagine Lewis looked at
her with eyes of affection. I gave my child a caution to beware of him,
and to look on her mother as her friend. She was unaffectedly artless;
and when, as I suspected, Lewis made professions of love, she confided
in her parents, and assured us her heart was perfectly unbiassed in his
favour, and she would cheerfully submit to our direction.

"I took an early opportunity of questioning him concerning his
intentions towards my child: he gave an equivocal answer, and I forbade
him the house.

"The next day he sent and demanded payment of his money. It was not in
my power to comply with the demand. I requested three days to endeavour
to raise it, determining in that time to mortgage my half pay, and live
on a small annuity which my wife possessed, rather than be under an
obligation to so worthless a man: but this short time was not allowed
me; for that evening, as I was sitting down to supper, unsuspicious of
danger, an officer entered, and tore me from the embraces of my family.

"My wife had been for some time in a declining state of health: ruin at
once so unexpected and inevitable was a stroke she was not prepared to
bear, and I saw her faint into the arms of our servant, as I left my
own habitation for the comfortless walls of a prison. My poor Lucy,
distracted with her fears for us both, sunk on the floor and endeavoured
to detain me by her feeble efforts, but in vain; they forced open her
arms; she shrieked, and fell prostrate. But pardon me. The horrors of
that night unman me. I cannot proceed."

He rose from his seat, and walked several times across the room: at
length, attaining more composure, he cried--"What a mere infant I am!
Why, Sir, I never felt thus in the day of battle." "No," said Temple;
"but the truly brave soul is tremblingly alive to the feelings of
humanity."

"True," replied the old man, (something like satisfaction darting across
his features) "and painful as these feelings are, I would not exchange
them for that torpor which the stoic mistakes for philosophy. How many
exquisite delights should I have passed by unnoticed, but for these keen
sensations, this quick sense of happiness or misery? Then let us, my
friend, take the cup of life as it is presented to us, tempered by the
hand of a wise Providence; be thankful for the good, be patient under
the evil, and presume not to enquire why the latter predominates."

"This is true philosophy," said Temple.

"'Tis the only way to reconcile ourselves to the cross events of life,"
replied he. "But I forget myself. I will not longer intrude on your
patience, but proceed in my melancholy tale.

"The very evening that I was taken to prison, my son arrived from
Ireland, where he had been some time with his regiment. From the
distracted expressions of his mother and sister, he learnt by whom I
had been arrested; and, late as it was, flew on the wings of wounded
affection, to the house of his false friend, and earnestly enquired the
cause of this cruel conduct. With all the calmness of a cool deliberate
villain, he avowed his passion for Lucy; declared her situation in
life would not permit him to marry her; but offered to release me
immediately, and make any settlement on her, if George would persuade
her to live, as he impiously termed it, a life of honour.

"Fired at the insult offered to a man and a soldier, my boy struck the
villain, and a challenge ensued. He then went to a coffee-house in
the neighbourhood and wrote a long affectionate letter to me, blaming
himself severely for having introduced Lewis into the family, or
permitted him to confer an obligation, which had brought inevitable
ruin on us all. He begged me, whatever might be the event of the ensuing
morning, not to suffer regret or unavailing sorrow for his fate, to
increase the anguish of my heart, which he greatly feared was already
insupportable.

"This letter was delivered to me early in the morning. It would be vain
to attempt describing my feelings on the perusal of it; suffice it to
say, that a merciful Providence interposed, and I was for three weeks
insensible to miseries almost beyond the strength of human nature to
support.

"A fever and strong delirium seized me, and my life was despaired of. At
length, nature, overpowered with fatigue, gave way to the salutary power
of rest, and a quiet slumber of some hours restored me to reason, though
the extreme weakness of my frame prevented my feeling my distress so
acutely as I otherways should.

"The first object that struck me on awaking, was Lucy sitting by my
bedside; her pale countenance and sable dress prevented my enquiries for
poor George: for the letter I had received from him, was the first thing
that occurred to my memory. By degrees the rest returned: I recollected
being arrested, but could no ways account for being in this apartment,
whither they had conveyed me during my illness.

"I was so weak as to be almost unable to speak. I pressed Lucy's hand,
and looked earnestly round the apartment in search of another dear
object.

"Where is your mother?" said I, faintly.

"The poor girl could not answer: she shook her head in expressive
silence; and throwing herself on the bed, folded her arms about me, and
burst into tears.

"What! both gone?" said I.

"Both," she replied, endeavouring to restrain her emotions: "but they
are happy, no doubt."

Here Mr. Eldridge paused: the recollection of the scene was too painful
to permit him to proceed.



CHAPTER IV.

CHANGE OF FORTUNE.

"IT was some days," continued Mr. Eldridge, recovering himself, "before
I could venture to enquire the particulars of what had happened during
my illness: at length I assumed courage to ask my dear girl how long her
mother and brother had been dead: she told me, that the morning after
my arrest, George came home early to enquire after his mother's health,
staid with them but a few minutes, seemed greatly agitated at parting,
but gave them strict charge to keep up their spirits, and hope every
thing would turn out for the best. In about two hours after, as they
were sitting at breakfast, and endeavouring to strike out some plan to
attain my liberty, they heard a loud rap at the door, which Lucy running
to open, she met the bleeding body of her brother, borne in by two men
who had lifted him from a litter, on which they had brought him from
the place where he fought. Her poor mother, weakened by illness and the
struggles of the preceding night, was not able to support this shock;
gasping for breath, her looks wild and haggard, she reached the
apartment where they had carried her dying son. She knelt by the bed
side; and taking his cold hand, 'my poor boy,' said she, 'I will not be
parted from thee: husband! son! both at once lost. Father of mercies,
spare me!' She fell into a strong convulsion, and expired in about two
hours. In the mean time, a surgeon had dressed George's wounds; but they
were in such a situation as to bar the smallest hopes of recovery. He
never was sensible from the time he was brought home, and died that
evening in the arms of his sister.

"Late as it was when this event took place, my affectionate Lucy
insisted on coming to me. 'What must he feel,' said she, 'at our
apparent neglect, and how shall I inform him of the afflictions with
which it has pleased heaven to visit us?'

"She left the care of the dear departed ones to some neighbours who
had kindly come in to comfort and assist her; and on entering the house
where I was confined, found me in the situation I have mentioned.

"How she supported herself in these trying moments, I know not: heaven,
no doubt, was with her; and her anxiety to preserve the life of one
parent in some measure abated her affliction for the loss of the other.

"My circumstances were greatly embarrassed, my acquaintance few,
and those few utterly unable to assist me. When my wife and son were
committed to their kindred earth, my creditors seized my house and
furniture, which not being sufficient to discharge all their demands,
detainers were lodged against me. No friend stepped forward to my
relief; from the grave of her mother, my beloved Lucy followed an almost
dying father to this melancholy place.

"Here we have been nearly a year and a half. My half-pay I have given
up to satisfy my creditors, and my child supports me by her industry:
sometimes by fine needlework, sometimes by painting. She leaves me
every night, and goes to a lodging near the bridge; but returns in
the morning, to cheer me with her smiles, and bless me by her duteous
affection. A lady once offered her an asylum in her family; but she
would not leave me. 'We are all the world to each other,' said she. 'I
thank God, I have health and spirits to improve the talents with which
nature has endowed me; and I trust if I employ them in the support of a
beloved parent, I shall not be thought an unprofitable servant. While he
lives, I pray for strength to pursue my employment; and when it pleases
heaven to take one of us, may it give the survivor resignation to bear
the separation as we ought: till then I will never leave him.'"

"But where is this inhuman persecutor?" said Temple.

"He has been abroad ever since," replied the old man; "but he has
left orders with his lawyer never to give up the note till the utmost
farthing is paid."

"And how much is the amount of your debts in all?" said Temple.

"Five hundred pounds," he replied.

Temple started: it was more than he expected. "But something must be
done," said he: "that sweet maid must not wear out her life in a prison.
I will see you again to-morrow, my friend," said he, shaking Eldridge's
hand: "keep up your spirits: light and shade are not more happily
blended than are the pleasures and pains of life; and the horrors of the
one serve only to increase the splendor of the other."

"You never lost a wife and son," said Eldridge.

"No," replied he, "but I can feel for those that have." Eldridge pressed
his hand as they went toward the door, and they parted in silence.

When they got without the walls of the prison, Temple thanked his friend
Blakeney for introducing him to so worthy a character; and telling him
he had a particular engagement in the city, wished him a good evening.

"And what is to be done for this distressed man," said Temple, as he
walked up Ludgate Hill. "Would to heaven I had a fortune that would
enable me instantly to discharge his debt: what exquisite transport, to
see the expressive eyes of Lucy beaming at once with pleasure for her
father's deliverance, and gratitude for her deliverer: but is not my
fortune affluence," continued he, "nay superfluous wealth, when compared
to the extreme indigence of Eldridge; and what have I done to deserve
ease and plenty, while a brave worthy officer starves in a prison? Three
hundred a year is surely sufficient for all my wants and wishes: at any
rate Eldridge must be relieved."

When the heart has will, the hands can soon find means to execute a good
action.

Temple was a young man, his feelings warm and impetuous; unacquainted
with the world, his heart had not been rendered callous by being
convinced of its fraud and hypocrisy. He pitied their sufferings,
overlooked their faults, thought every bosom as generous as his own, and
would cheerfully have divided his last guinea with an unfortunate fellow
creature.

No wonder, then, that such a man (without waiting a moment for the
interference of Madam Prudence) should resolve to raise money sufficient
for the relief of Eldridge, by mortgaging part of his fortune.

We will not enquire too minutely into the cause which might actuate
him in this instance: suffice it to say, he immediately put the plan in
execution; and in three days from the time he first saw the unfortunate
Lieutenant, he had the superlative felicity of seeing him at liberty,
and receiving an ample reward in the tearful eye and half articulated
thanks of the grateful Lucy.

"And pray, young man," said his father to him one morning, "what are
your designs in visiting thus constantly that old man and his daughter?"

Temple was at a loss for a reply: he had never asked himself the
question: he hesitated; and his father continued--

"It was not till within these few days that I heard in what manner
your acquaintance first commenced, and cannot suppose any thing but
attachment to the daughter could carry you such imprudent lengths for
the father: it certainly must be her art that drew you in to mortgage
part of your fortune."

"Art, Sir!" cried Temple eagerly. "Lucy Eldridge is as free from art as
she is from every other error: she is--"

"Everything that is amiable and lovely," said his father, interrupting
him ironically: "no doubt in your opinion she is a pattern of excellence
for all her sex to follow; but come, Sir, pray tell me what are your
designs towards this paragon. I hope you do not intend to complete your
folly by marrying her."

"Were my fortune such as would support her according to her merit,
I don't know a woman more formed to insure happiness in the married
state."

"Then prithee, my dear lad," said his father, "since your rank and
fortune are so much beneath what your PRINCESS might expect, be so kind
as to turn your eyes on Miss Weatherby; who, having only an estate of
three thousand a year, is more upon a level with you, and whose father
yesterday solicited the mighty honour of your alliance. I shall leave
you to consider on this offer; and pray remember, that your union with
Miss Weatherby will put it in your power to be more liberally the friend
of Lucy Eldridge."

The old gentleman walked in a stately manner out of the room; and Temple
stood almost petrified with astonishment, contempt, and rage.



CHAPTER V.

SUCH THINGS ARE.

MISS Weatherby was the only child of a wealthy man, almost idolized by
her parents, flattered by her dependants, and never contradicted even
by those who called themselves her friends: I cannot give a better
description than by the following lines.

     The lovely maid whose form and face
     Nature has deck'd with ev'ry grace,
     But in whose breast no virtues glow,
     Whose heart ne'er felt another's woe,
     Whose hand ne'er smooth'd the bed of pain,
     Or eas'd the captive's galling chain;
     But like the tulip caught the eye,
     Born just to be admir'd and die;
     When gone, no one regrets its loss,
     Or scarce remembers that it was.

Such was Miss Weatherby: her form lovely as nature could make it, but
her mind uncultivated, her heart unfeeling, her passions impetuous, and
her brain almost turned with flattery, dissipation, and pleasure; and
such was the girl, whom a partial grandfather left independent mistress
of the fortune before mentioned.

She had seen Temple frequently; and fancying she could never be happy
without him, nor once imagining he could refuse a girl of her beauty and
fortune, she prevailed on her fond father to offer the alliance to the
old Earl of D----, Mr. Temple's father.

The Earl had received the offer courteously: he thought it a great match
for Henry; and was too fashionable a man to suppose a wife could be any
impediment to the friendship he professed for Eldridge and his daughter.

Unfortunately for Temple, he thought quite otherwise: the conversation
he had just had with his father, discovered to him the situation of
his heart; and he found that the most affluent fortune would bring no
increase of happiness unless Lucy Eldridge shared it with him; and the
knowledge of the purity of her sentiments, and the integrity of his own
heart, made him shudder at the idea his father had started, of marrying
a woman for no other reason than because the affluence of her fortune
would enable him to injure her by maintaining in splendor the woman
to whom his heart was devoted: he therefore resolved to refuse Miss
Weatherby, and be the event what it might, offer his heart and hand to
Lucy Eldridge.

Full of this determination, he fought his father, declared his
resolution, and was commanded never more to appear in his presence.
Temple bowed; his heart was too full to permit him to speak; he left the
house precipitately, and hastened to relate the cause of his sorrows to
his good old friend and his amiable daughter.

In the mean time, the Earl, vexed to the soul that such a fortune should
be lost, determined to offer himself a candidate for Miss Weatherby's
favour.

What wonderful changes are wrought by that reigning power, ambition! the
love-sick girl, when first she heard of Temple's refusal, wept, raved,
tore her hair, and vowed to found a protestant nunnery with her fortune;
and by commencing abbess, shut herself up from the sight of cruel
ungrateful man for ever.

Her father was a man of the world: he suffered this first transport to
subside, and then very deliberately unfolded to her the offers of the
old Earl, expatiated on the many benefits arising from an elevated
title, painted in glowing colours the surprise and vexation of Temple
when he should see her figuring as a Countess and his mother-in-law, and
begged her to consider well before she made any rash vows.

The DISTRESSED fair one dried her tears, listened patiently, and at
length declared she believed the surest method to revenge the slight put
on her by the son, would be to accept the father: so said so done, and
in a few days she became the Countess D----.

Temple heard the news with emotion: he had lost his father's favour
by avowing his passion for Lucy, and he saw now there was no hope of
regaining it: "but he shall not make me miserable," said he. "Lucy and I
have no ambitious notions: we can live on three hundred a year for
some little time, till the mortgage is paid off, and then we shall have
sufficient not only for the comforts but many of the little elegancies
of life. We will purchase a little cottage, my Lucy," said he, "and
thither with your reverend father we will retire; we will forget there
are such things as splendor, profusion, and dissipation: we will have
some cows, and you shall be queen of the dairy; in a morning, while I
look after my garden, you shall take a basket on your arm, and sally
forth to feed your poultry; and as they flutter round you in token of
humble gratitude, your father shall smoke his pipe in a woodbine alcove,
and viewing the serenity of your countenance, feel such real pleasure
dilate his own heart, as shall make him forget he had ever been
unhappy."

Lucy smiled; and Temple saw it was a smile of approbation. He sought
and found a cottage suited to his taste; thither, attended by Love and
Hymen, the happy trio retired; where, during many years of uninterrupted
felicity, they cast not a wish beyond the little boundaries of their own
tenement. Plenty, and her handmaid, Prudence, presided at their board,
Hospitality stood at their gate, Peace smiled on each face, Content
reigned in each heart, and Love and Health strewed roses on their
pillows.

Such were the parents of Charlotte Temple, who was the only pledge of
their mutual love, and who, at the earnest entreaty of a particular
friend, was permitted to finish the education her mother had begun,
at Madame Du Pont's school, where we first introduced her to the
acquaintance of the reader.



CHAPTER VI.

AN INTRIGUING TEACHER.

MADAME Du Pont was a woman every way calculated to take the care of
young ladies, had that care entirely devolved on herself; but it was
impossible to attend the education of a numerous school without proper
assistants; and those assistants were not always the kind of people
whose conversation and morals were exactly such as parents of delicacy
and refinement would wish a daughter to copy. Among the teachers
at Madame Du Pont's school, was Mademoiselle La Rue, who added to a
pleasing person and insinuating address, a liberal education and the
manners of a gentlewoman. She was recommended to the school by a lady
whose humanity overstepped the bounds of discretion: for though she
knew Miss La Rue had eloped from a convent with a young officer, and, on
coming to England, had lived with several different men in open defiance
of all moral and religious duties; yet, finding her reduced to the
most abject want, and believing the penitence which she professed to be
sincere, she took her into her own family, and from thence recommended
her to Madame Du Pont, as thinking the situation more suitable for
a woman of her abilities. But Mademoiselle possessed too much of the
spirit of intrigue to remain long without adventures. At church, where
she constantly appeared, her person attracted the attention of a young
man who was upon a visit at a gentleman's seat in the neighbourhood: she
had met him several times clandestinely; and being invited to come out
that evening, and eat some fruit and pastry in a summer-house belonging
to the gentleman he was visiting, and requested to bring some of
the ladies with her, Charlotte being her favourite, was fixed on to
accompany her.

The mind of youth eagerly catches at promised pleasure: pure and
innocent by nature, it thinks not of the dangers lurking beneath
those pleasures, till too late to avoid them: when Mademoiselle asked
Charlotte to go with her, she mentioned the gentleman as a relation,
and spoke in such high terms of the elegance of his gardens, the
sprightliness of his conversation, and the liberality with which he ever
entertained his guests, that Charlotte thought only of the pleasure she
should enjoy in the visit,--not on the imprudence of going without her
governess's knowledge, or of the danger to which she exposed herself in
visiting the house of a gay young man of fashion.

Madame Du Pont was gone out for the evening, and the rest of the ladies
retired to rest, when Charlotte and the teacher stole out at the back
gate, and in crossing the field, were accosted by Montraville, as
mentioned in the first CHAPTER.

Charlotte was disappointed in the pleasure she had promised herself
from this visit. The levity of the gentlemen and the freedom of
their conversation disgusted her. She was astonished at the liberties
Mademoiselle permitted them to take; grew thoughtful and uneasy, and
heartily wished herself at home again in her own chamber.

Perhaps one cause of that wish might be, an earnest desire to see the
contents of the letter which had been put into her hand by Montraville.

Any reader who has the least knowledge of the world, will easily
imagine the letter was made up of encomiums on her beauty, and vows of
everlasting love and constancy; nor will he be surprised that a heart
open to every gentle, generous sentiment, should feel itself warmed by
gratitude for a man who professed to feel so much for her; nor is it
improbable but her mind might revert to the agreeable person and martial
appearance of Montraville.

In affairs of love, a young heart is never in more danger than
when attempted by a handsome young soldier. A man of an indifferent
appearance, will, when arrayed in a military habit, shew to advantage;
but when beauty of person, elegance of manner, and an easy method of
paying compliments, are united to the scarlet coat, smart cockade, and
military sash, ah! well-a-day for the poor girl who gazes on him: she
is in imminent danger; but if she listens to him with pleasure, 'tis all
over with her, and from that moment she has neither eyes nor ears for
any other object.

Now, my dear sober matron, (if a sober matron should deign to turn over
these pages, before she trusts them to the eye of a darling daughter,)
let me intreat you not to put on a grave face, and throw down the book
in a passion and declare 'tis enough to turn the heads of half the girls
in England; I do solemnly protest, my dear madam, I mean no more by
what I have here advanced, than to ridicule those romantic girls, who
foolishly imagine a red coat and silver epaulet constitute the fine
gentleman; and should that fine gentleman make half a dozen fine
speeches to them, they will imagine themselves so much in love as
to fancy it a meritorious action to jump out of a two pair of stairs
window, abandon their friends, and trust entirely to the honour of a
man, who perhaps hardly knows the meaning of the word, and if he does,
will be too much the modern man of refinement, to practice it in their
favour.

Gracious heaven! when I think on the miseries that must rend the heart
of a doating parent, when he sees the darling of his age at first
seduced from his protection, and afterwards abandoned, by the very
wretch whose promises of love decoyed her from the paternal roof--when
he sees her poor and wretched, her bosom tom between remorse for her
crime and love for her vile betrayer--when fancy paints to me the good
old man stooping to raise the weeping penitent, while every tear from
her eye is numbered by drops from his bleeding heart, my bosom glows
with honest indignation, and I wish for power to extirpate those
monsters of seduction from the earth.

Oh my dear girls--for to such only am I writing--listen not to the voice
of love, unless sanctioned by paternal approbation: be assured, it is
now past the days of romance: no woman can be run away with contrary
to her own inclination: then kneel down each morning, and request kind
heaven to keep you free from temptation, or, should it please to suffer
you to be tried, pray for fortitude to resist the impulse of inclination
when it runs counter to the precepts of religion and virtue.



CHAPTER VII.

NATURAL SENSE OF PROPRIETY INHERENT IN THE FEMALE BOSOM.

"I CANNOT think we have done exactly right in going out this evening,
Mademoiselle," said Charlotte, seating herself when she entered her
apartment: "nay, I am sure it was not right; for I expected to be very
happy, but was sadly disappointed."

"It was your own fault, then," replied Mademoiselle: "for I am sure
my cousin omitted nothing that could serve to render the evening
agreeable."

"True," said Charlotte: "but I thought the gentlemen were very free in
their manner: I wonder you would suffer them to behave as they did."

"Prithee, don't be such a foolish little prude," said the artful woman,
affecting anger: "I invited you to go in hopes it would divert you, and
be an agreeable change of scene; however, if your delicacy was hurt by
the behaviour of the gentlemen, you need not go again; so there let it
rest."

"I do not intend to go again," said Charlotte, gravely taking off her
bonnet, and beginning to prepare for bed: "I am sure, if Madame Du Pont
knew we had been out to-night, she would be very angry; and it is ten to
one but she hears of it by some means or other."

"Nay, Miss," said La Rue, "perhaps your mighty sense of propriety may
lead you to tell her yourself: and in order to avoid the censure you
would incur, should she hear of it by accident, throw the blame on
me: but I confess I deserve it: it will be a very kind return for that
partiality which led me to prefer you before any of the rest of the
ladies; but perhaps it will give you pleasure," continued she, letting
fall some hypocritical tears, "to see me deprived of bread, and for an
action which by the most rigid could only be esteemed an inadvertency,
lose my place and character, and be driven again into the world, where I
have already suffered all the evils attendant on poverty."

This was touching Charlotte in the most vulnerable part: she rose from
her seat, and taking Mademoiselle's hand--"You know, my dear La Rue,"
said she, "I love you too well, to do anything that would injure you in
my governess's opinion: I am only sorry we went out this evening."

"I don't believe it, Charlotte," said she, assuming a little vivacity;
"for if you had not gone out, you would not have seen the gentleman who
met us crossing the field; and I rather think you were pleased with his
conversation."

"I had seen him once before," replied Charlotte, "and thought him an
agreeable man; and you know one is always pleased to see a person with
whom one has passed several cheerful hours. But," said she pausing,
and drawing the letter from her pocket, while a gentle suffusion of
vermillion tinged her neck and face, "he gave me this letter; what shall
I do with it?"

"Read it, to be sure," returned Mademoiselle.

"I am afraid I ought not," said Charlotte: "my mother has often told
me, I should never read a letter given me by a young man, without first
giving it to her."

"Lord bless you, my dear girl," cried the teacher smiling, "have you
a mind to be in leading strings all your life time. Prithee open the
letter, read it, and judge for yourself; if you show it your mother, the
consequence will be, you will be taken from school, and a strict guard
kept over you; so you will stand no chance of ever seeing the smart
young officer again."

"I should not like to leave school yet," replied Charlotte, "till I have
attained a greater proficiency in my Italian and music. But you can, if
you please, Mademoiselle, take the letter back to Montraville, and
tell him I wish him well, but cannot, with any propriety, enter into a
clandestine correspondence with him." She laid the letter on the table,
and began to undress herself.

"Well," said La Rue, "I vow you are an unaccountable girl: have you
no curiosity to see the inside now? for my part I could no more let a
letter addressed to me lie unopened so long, than I could work miracles:
he writes a good hand," continued she, turning the letter, to look at
the superscription.

"'Tis well enough," said Charlotte, drawing it towards her.

"He is a genteel young fellow," said La Rue carelessly, folding up her
apron at the same time; "but I think he is marked with the small pox."

"Oh you are greatly mistaken," said Charlotte eagerly; "he has a
remarkable clear skin and fine complexion."

"His eyes, if I could judge by what I saw," said La Rue, "are grey and
want expression."

"By no means," replied Charlotte; "they are the most expressive eyes
I ever saw." "Well, child, whether they are grey or black is of no
consequence: you have determined not to read his letter; so it is likely
you will never either see or hear from him again."

Charlotte took up the letter, and Mademoiselle continued--

"He is most probably going to America; and if ever you should hear any
account of him, it may possibly be that he is killed; and though he
loved you ever so fervently, though his last breath should be spent in
a prayer for your happiness, it can be nothing to you: you can feel
nothing for the fate of the man, whose letters you will not open, and
whose sufferings you will not alleviate, by permitting him to think you
would remember him when absent, and pray for his safety."

Charlotte still held the letter in her hand: her heart swelled at the
conclusion of Mademoiselle's speech, and a tear dropped upon the wafer
that closed it.

"The wafer is not dry yet," said she, "and sure there can be no great
harm--" She hesitated. La Rue was silent. "I may read it, Mademoiselle,
and return it afterwards."

"Certainly," replied Mademoiselle.

"At any rate I am determined not to answer it," continued Charlotte, as
she opened the letter.

Here let me stop to make one remark, and trust me my very heart aches
while I write it; but certain I am, that when once a woman has stifled
the sense of shame in her own bosom, when once she has lost sight of the
basis on which reputation, honour, every thing that should be dear to
the female heart, rests, she grows hardened in guilt, and will spare
no pains to bring down innocence and beauty to the shocking level with
herself: and this proceeds from that diabolical spirit of envy, which
repines at seeing another in the full possession of that respect and
esteem which she can no longer hope to enjoy.

Mademoiselle eyed the unsuspecting Charlotte, as she perused the letter,
with a malignant pleasure. She saw, that the contents had awakened new
emotions in her youthful bosom: she encouraged her hopes, calmed her
fears, and before they parted for the night, it was determined that she
should meet Montraville the ensuing evening.



CHAPTER VIII.

DOMESTIC PLEASURES PLANNED.

"I THINK, my dear," said Mrs. Temple, laying her hand on her husband's
arm as they were walking together in the garden, "I think next Wednesday
is Charlotte's birth day: now I have formed a little scheme in my own
mind, to give her an agreeable surprise; and if you have no objection,
we will send for her home on that day." Temple pressed his wife's hand
in token of approbation, and she proceeded.--"You know the little alcove
at the bottom of the garden, of which Charlotte is so fond? I have an
inclination to deck this out in a fanciful manner, and invite all her
little friends to partake of a collation of fruit, sweetmeats, and other
things suitable to the general taste of young guests; and to make it
more pleasing to Charlotte, she shall be mistress of the feast, and
entertain her visitors in this alcove. I know she will be delighted; and
to complete all, they shall have some music, and finish with a dance."

"A very fine plan, indeed," said Temple, smiling; "and you really
suppose I will wink at your indulging the girl in this manner? You will
quite spoil her, Lucy; indeed you will."

"She is the only child we have," said Mrs. Temple, the whole tenderness
of a mother adding animation to her fine countenance; but it was withal
tempered so sweetly with the meek affection and submissive duty of the
wife, that as she paused expecting her husband's answer, he gazed at her
tenderly, and found he was unable to refuse her request.

"She is a good girl," said Temple.

"She is, indeed," replied the fond mother exultingly, "a grateful,
affectionate girl; and I am sure will never lose sight of the duty she
owes her parents."

"If she does," said he, "she must forget the example set her by the best
of mothers."

Mrs. Temple could not reply; but the delightful sensation that dilated
her heart sparkled in her intelligent eyes and heightened the vermillion
on her cheeks.

Of all the pleasures of which the human mind is sensible, there is
none equal to that which warms and expands the bosom, when listening to
commendations bestowed on us by a beloved object, and are conscious of
having deserved them.

Ye giddy flutterers in the fantastic round of dissipation, who eagerly
seek pleasure in the lofty dome, rich treat, and midnight revel--tell
me, ye thoughtless daughters of folly, have ye ever found the phantom
you have so long sought with such unremitted assiduity? Has she not
always eluded your grasp, and when you have reached your hand to take
the cup she extends to her deluded votaries, have you not found the
long-expected draught strongly tinctured with the bitter dregs of
disappointment? I know you have: I see it in the wan cheek, sunk
eye, and air of chagrin, which ever mark the children of dissipation.
Pleasure is a vain illusion; she draws you on to a thousand follies,
errors, and I may say vices, and then leaves you to deplore your
thoughtless credulity.

Look, my dear friends, at yonder lovely Virgin, arrayed in a white robe
devoid of ornament; behold the meekness of her countenance, the
modesty of her gait; her handmaids are Humility, Filial Piety, Conjugal
Affection, Industry, and Benevolence; her name is CONTENT; she holds
in her hand the cup of true felicity, and when once you have formed an
intimate acquaintance with these her attendants, nay you must admit them
as your bosom friends and chief counsellors, then, whatever may be your
situation in life, the meek eyed Virgin wig immediately take up her
abode with you.

Is poverty your portion?--she will lighten your labours, preside at your
frugal board, and watch your quiet slumbers.

Is your state mediocrity?--she will heighten every blessing you enjoy,
by informing you how grateful you should be to that bountiful Providence
who might have placed you in the most abject situation; and, by teaching
you to weigh your blessings against your deserts, show you how much more
you receive than you have a right to expect.

Are you possessed of affluence?--what an inexhaustible fund of happiness
will she lay before you! To relieve the distressed, redress the injured,
in short, to perform all the good works of peace and mercy.

Content, my dear friends, will blunt even the arrows of adversity, so
that they cannot materially harm you. She will dwell in the humblest
cottage; she will attend you even to a prison. Her parent is Religion;
her sisters, Patience and Hope. She will pass with you through life,
smoothing the rough paths and tread to earth those thorns which every
one must meet with as they journey onward to the appointed goal. She
will soften the pains of sickness, continue with you even in the
cold gloomy hour of death, and, cheating you with the smiles of her
heaven-born sister, Hope, lead you triumphant to a blissful eternity.

I confess I have rambled strangely from my story: but what of that? if
I have been so lucky as to find the road to happiness, why should I be
such a niggard as to omit so good an opportunity of pointing out the way
to others. The very basis of true peace of mind is a benevolent wish to
see all the world as happy as one's Self; and from my soul do I pity the
selfish churl, who, remembering the little bickerings of anger, envy,
and fifty other disagreeables to which frail mortality is subject, would
wish to revenge the affront which pride whispers him he has received.
For my own part, I can safely declare, there is not a human being in
the universe, whose prosperity I should not rejoice in, and to whose
happiness I would not contribute to the utmost limit of my power: and
may my offences be no more remembered in the day of general retribution,
than as from my soul I forgive every offence or injury received from a
fellow creature.

Merciful heaven! who would exchange the rapture of such a reflexion for
all the gaudy tinsel which the world calls pleasure!

But to return.--Content dwelt in Mrs. Temple's bosom, and spread a
charming animation over her countenance, as her husband led her in, to
lay the plan she had formed (for the celebration of Charlotte's birth
day,) before Mr. Eldridge.



CHAPTER IX.

WE KNOW NOT WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH.

VARIOUS were the sensations which agitated the mind of Charlotte, during
the day preceding the evening in which she was to meet Montraville.
Several times did she almost resolve to go to her governess, show her
the letter, and be guided by her advice: but Charlotte had taken one
step in the ways of imprudence; and when that is once done, there are
always innumerable obstacles to prevent the erring person returning to
the path of rectitude: yet these obstacles, however forcible they may
appear in general, exist chiefly in imagination.

Charlotte feared the anger of her governess: she loved her mother,
and the very idea of incurring her displeasure, gave her the greatest
uneasiness: but there was a more forcible reason still remaining: should
she show the letter to Madame Du Pont, she must confess the means by
which it came into her possession; and what would be the consequence?
Mademoiselle would be turned out of doors.

"I must not be ungrateful," said she. "La Rue is very kind to me;
besides I can, when I see Montraville, inform him of the impropriety of
our continuing to see or correspond with each other, and request him to
come no more to Chichester."

However prudent Charlotte might be in these resolutions, she certainly
did not take a proper method to confirm herself in them. Several times
in the course of the day, she indulged herself in reading over the
letter, and each time she read it, the contents sunk deeper in her
heart. As evening drew near, she caught herself frequently consulting
her watch. "I wish this foolish meeting was over," said she, by way of
apology to her own heart, "I wish it was over; for when I have seen him,
and convinced him my resolution is not to be shaken, I shall feel my
mind much easier."

The appointed hour arrived. Charlotte and Mademoiselle eluded the eye of
vigilance; and Montraville, who had waited their coming with impatience,
received them with rapturous and unbounded acknowledgments for their
condescension: he had wisely brought Belcour with him to entertain
Mademoiselle, while he enjoyed an uninterrupted conversation with
Charlotte.

Belcour was a man whose character might be comprised in a few words; and
as he will make some figure in the ensuing pages, I shall here describe
him. He possessed a genteel fortune, and had a liberal education;
dissipated, thoughtless, and capricious, he paid little regard to
the moral duties, and less to religious ones: eager in the pursuit of
pleasure, he minded not the miseries he inflicted on others, provided
his own wishes, however extravagant, were gratified. Self, darling self,
was the idol he worshipped, and to that he would have sacrificed
the interest and happiness of all mankind. Such was the friend of
Montraville: will not the reader be ready to imagine, that the man who
could regard such a character, must be actuated by the same feelings,
follow the same pursuits, and be equally unworthy with the person to
whom he thus gave his confidence?

But Montraville was a different character: generous in his disposition,
liberal in his opinions, and good-natured almost to a fault; yet eager
and impetuous in the pursuit of a favorite object, he staid not to
reflect on the consequence which might follow the attainment of his
wishes; with a mind ever open to conviction, had he been so fortunate
as to possess a friend who would have pointed out the cruelty of
endeavouring to gain the heart of an innocent artless girl, when he
knew it was utterly impossible for him to marry her, and when the
gratification of his passion would be unavoidable infamy and misery to
her, and a cause of never-ceasing remorse to himself: had these dreadful
consequences been placed before him in a proper light, the humanity of
his nature would have urged him to give up the pursuit: but Belcour
was not this friend; he rather encouraged the growing passion of
Montraville; and being pleased with the vivacity of Mademoiselle,
resolved to leave no argument untried, which he thought might prevail on
her to be the companion of their intended voyage; and he made no doubt
but her example, added to the rhetoric of Montraville, would persuade
Charlotte to go with them.

Charlotte had, when she went out to meet Montraville, flattered herself
that her resolution was not to be shaken, and that, conscious of the
impropriety of her conduct in having a clandestine intercourse with a
stranger, she would never repeat the indiscretion.

But alas! poor Charlotte, she knew not the deceitfulness of her own
heart, or she would have avoided the trial of her stability.

Montraville was tender, eloquent, ardent, and yet respectful. "Shall I
not see you once more," said he, "before I leave England? will you not
bless me by an assurance, that when we are divided by a vast expanse of
sea I shall not be forgotten?"

Charlotte sighed.

"Why that sigh, my dear Charlotte? could I flatter myself that a fear
for my safety, or a wish for my welfare occasioned it, how happy would
it make me."

"I shall ever wish you well, Montraville," said she; "but we must meet
no more." "Oh say not so, my lovely girl: reflect, that when I leave my
native land, perhaps a few short weeks may terminate my existence; the
perils of the ocean--the dangers of war--"

"I can hear no more," said Charlotte in a tremulous voice. "I must leave
you."

"Say you will see me once again."

"I dare not," said she.

"Only for one half hour to-morrow evening: 'tis my last request. I shall
never trouble you again, Charlotte."

"I know not what to say," cried Charlotte, struggling to draw her hands
from him: "let me leave you now."

"And you will come to-morrow," said Montraville.

"Perhaps I may," said she.

"Adieu then. I will live upon that hope till we meet again."

He kissed her hand. She sighed an adieu, and catching hold of
Mademoiselle's arm, hastily entered the garden gate.



CHAPTER X.

WHEN WE HAVE EXCITED CURIOSITY, IT IS BUT AN ACT OF GOOD NATURE TO
GRATIFY IT.

MONTRAVILLE was the youngest son of a gentleman of fortune, whose
family being numerous, he was obliged to bring up his sons to genteel
professions, by the exercise of which they might hope to raise
themselves into notice.

"My daughters," said he, "have been educated like gentlewomen; and
should I die before they are settled, they must have some provision
made, to place them above the snares and temptations which vice ever
holds out to the elegant, accomplished female, when oppressed by the
frowns of poverty and the sting of dependance: my boys, with only
moderate incomes, when placed in the church, at the bar, or in the
field, may exert their talents, make themselves friends, and raise their
fortunes on the basis of merit."

When Montraville chose the profession of arms, his father presented him
with a commission, and made him a handsome provision for his private
purse. "Now, my boy," said he, "go! seek glory in the field of battle.
You have received from me all I shall ever have it in my power to
bestow: it is certain I have interest to gain you promotion; but be
assured that interest shall never be exerted, unless by your future
conduct you deserve it. Remember, therefore, your success in life
depends entirely on yourself. There is one thing I think it my duty to
caution you against; the precipitancy with which young men frequently
rush into matrimonial engagements, and by their thoughtlessness draw
many a deserving woman into scenes of poverty and distress. A soldier
has no business to think of a wife till his rank is such as to place him
above the fear of bringing into the world a train of helpless innocents,
heirs only to penury and affliction. If, indeed, a woman, whose fortune
is sufficient to preserve you in that state of independence I would
teach you to prize, should generously bestow herself on a young soldier,
whose chief hope of future prosperity depended on his success in the
field--if such a woman should offer--every barrier is removed, and I
should rejoice in an union which would promise so much felicity. But
mark me, boy, if, on the contrary, you rush into a precipitate union
with a girl of little or no fortune, take the poor creature from a
comfortable home and kind friends, and plunge her into all the evils
a narrow income and increasing family can inflict, I will leave you to
enjoy the blessed fruits of your rashness; for by all that is sacred,
neither my interest or fortune shall ever be exerted in your favour. I
am serious," continued he, "therefore imprint this conversation on your
memory, and let it influence your future conduct. Your happiness will
always be dear to me; and I wish to warn you of a rock on which the
peace of many an honest fellow has been wrecked; for believe me, the
difficulties and dangers of the longest winter campaign are much easier
to be borne, than the pangs that would seize your heart, when you beheld
the woman of your choice, the children of your affection, involved
in penury and distress, and reflected that it was your own folly and
precipitancy had been the prime cause of their sufferings."

As this conversation passed but a few hours before Montraville took
leave of his father, it was deeply impressed on his mind: when,
therefore, Belcour came with him to the place of assignation with
Charlotte, he directed him to enquire of the French woman what were Miss
Temple's expectations in regard to fortune.

Mademoiselle informed him, that though Charlotte's father possessed a
genteel independence, it was by no means probable that he could give his
daughter more than a thousand pounds; and in case she did not marry to
his liking, it was possible he might not give her a single SOUS; nor
did it appear the least likely, that Mr. Temple would agree to her union
with a young man on the point of embarking for the feat of war.

Montraville therefore concluded it was impossible he should ever marry
Charlotte Temple; and what end he proposed to himself by continuing the
acquaintance he had commenced with her, he did not at that moment give
himself time to enquire.



CHAPTER XI.

CONFLICT OF LOVE AND DUTY.

ALMOST a week was now gone, and Charlotte continued every evening to
meet Montraville, and in her heart every meeting was resolved to be the
last; but alas! when Montraville at parting would earnestly intreat one
more interview, that treacherous heart betrayed her; and, forgetful
of its resolution, pleaded the cause of the enemy so powerfully, that
Charlotte was unable to resist. Another and another meeting succeeded;
and so well did Montraville improve each opportunity, that the heedless
girl at length confessed no idea could be so painful to her as that of
never seeing him again.

"Then we will never be parted," said he.

"Ah, Montraville," replied Charlotte, forcing a smile, "how can it be
avoided? My parents would never consent to our union; and even could
they be brought to approve it, how should I bear to be separated from my
kind, my beloved mother?"

"Then you love your parents more than you do me, Charlotte?"

"I hope I do," said she, blushing and looking down, "I hope my affection
for them will ever keep me from infringing the laws of filial duty."

"Well, Charlotte," said Montraville gravely, and letting go her hand,
"since that is the case, I find I have deceived myself with fallacious
hopes. I had flattered my fond heart, that I was dearer to Charlotte
than any thing in the world beside. I thought that you would for my sake
have braved the dangers of the ocean, that you would, by your affection
and smiles, have softened the hardships of war, and, had it been my fate
to fall, that your tenderness would cheer the hour of death, and smooth
my passage to another world. But farewel, Charlotte! I see you never
loved me. I shall now welcome the friendly ball that deprives me of the
sense of my misery."

"Oh stay, unkind Montraville," cried she, catching hold of his arm, as
he pretended to leave her, "stay, and to calm your fears, I will here
protest that was it not for the fear of giving pain to the best of
parents, and returning their kindness with ingratitude, I would follow
you through every danger, and, in studying to promote your happiness,
insure my own. But I cannot break my mother's heart, Montraville; I must
not bring the grey hairs of my doating grand-father with sorrow to the
grave, or make my beloved father perhaps curse the hour that gave me
birth." She covered her face with her hands, and burst into tears.

"All these distressing scenes, my dear Charlotte," cried Montraville,
"are merely the chimeras of a disturbed fancy. Your parents might
perhaps grieve at first; but when they heard from your own hand that you
was with a man of honour, and that it was to insure your felicity by an
union with him, to which you feared they would never have given their
assent, that you left their protection, they will, be assured, forgive
an error which love alone occasioned, and when we return from America,
receive you with open arms and tears of joy."

Belcour and Mademoiselle heard this last speech, and conceiving it
a proper time to throw in their advice and persuasions, approached
Charlotte, and so well seconded the entreaties of Montraville, that
finding Mademoiselle intended going with Belcour, and feeling her own
treacherous heart too much inclined to accompany them, the hapless
Charlotte, in an evil hour, consented that the next evening they should
bring a chaise to the end of the town, and that she would leave her
friends, and throw herself entirely on the protection of Montraville.
"But should you," said she, looking earnestly at him, her eyes full
of tears, "should you, forgetful of your promises, and repenting the
engagements you here voluntarily enter into, forsake and leave me on a
foreign shore--" "Judge not so meanly of me," said he. "The moment we
reach our place of destination, Hymen shall sanctify our love; and when
I shall forget your goodness, may heaven forget me."

"Ah," said Charlotte, leaning on Mademoiselle's arm as they walked up
the garden together, "I have forgot all that I ought to have remembered,
in consenting to this intended elopement."

"You are a strange girl," said Mademoiselle: "you never know your
own mind two minutes at a time. Just now you declared Montraville's
happiness was what you prized most in the world; and now I suppose
you repent having insured that happiness by agreeing to accompany him
abroad."

"Indeed I do repent," replied Charlotte, "from my soul: but while
discretion points out the impropriety of my conduct, inclination urges
me on to ruin."

"Ruin! fiddlestick!" said Mademoiselle; "am I not going with you? and do
I feel any of these qualms?"

"You do not renounce a tender father and mother," said Charlotte.

"But I hazard my dear reputation," replied Mademoiselle, bridling.

"True," replied Charlotte, "but you do not feel what I do." She then
bade her good night: but sleep was a stranger to her eyes, and the tear
of anguish watered her pillow.



CHAPTER XII.

     Nature's last, best gift:
     Creature in whom excell'd, whatever could
     To sight or thought be nam'd!
     Holy, divine! good, amiable, and sweet!
     How thou art fall'n!--

WHEN Charlotte left her restless bed, her languid eye and pale cheek
discovered to Madame Du Pont the little repose she had tasted.

"My dear child," said the affectionate governess, "what is the cause of
the languor so apparent in your frame? Are you not well?"

"Yes, my dear Madam, very well," replied Charlotte, attempting to smile,
"but I know not how it was; I could not sleep last night, and my spirits
are depressed this morning."

"Come cheer up, my love," said the governess; "I believe I have brought
a cordial to revive them. I have just received a letter from your good
mama, and here is one for yourself."

Charlotte hastily took the letter: it contained these words--

"As to-morrow is the anniversary of the happy day that gave my beloved
girl to the anxious wishes of a maternal heart, I have requested your
governess to let you come home and spend it with us; and as I know you
to be a good affectionate child, and make it your study to improve in
those branches of education which you know will give most pleasure to
your delighted parents, as a reward for your diligence and attention
I have prepared an agreeable surprise for your reception. Your
grand-father, eager to embrace the darling of his aged heart, will come
in the chaise for you; so hold yourself in readiness to attend him
by nine o'clock. Your dear father joins in every tender wish for your
health and future felicity, which warms the heart of my dear Charlotte's
affectionate mother, L. TEMPLE."

"Gracious heaven!" cried Charlotte, forgetting where she was, and
raising her streaming eyes as in earnest supplication.

Madame Du Pont was surprised. "Why these tears, my love?" said she.
"Why this seeming agitation? I thought the letter would have rejoiced,
instead of distressing you."

"It does rejoice me," replied Charlotte, endeavouring at composure, "but
I was praying for merit to deserve the unremitted attentions of the best
of parents."

"You do right," said Madame Du Pont, "to ask the assistance of
heaven that you may continue to deserve their love. Continue, my dear
Charlotte, in the course you have ever pursued, and you will insure at
once their happiness and your own."

"Oh!" cried Charlotte, as her governess left her, "I have forfeited both
for ever! Yet let me reflect:--the irrevocable step is not yet taken:
it is not too late to recede from the brink of a precipice, from which I
can only behold the dark abyss of ruin, shame, and remorse!"

She arose from her seat, and flew to the apartment of La Rue. "Oh
Mademoiselle!" said she, "I am snatched by a miracle from destruction!
This letter has saved me: it has opened my eyes to the folly I was
so near committing. I will not go, Mademoiselle; I will not wound the
hearts of those dear parents who make my happiness the whole study of
their lives."

"Well," said Mademoiselle, "do as you please, Miss; but pray understand
that my resolution is taken, and it is not in your power to alter it.
I shall meet the gentlemen at the appointed hour, and shall not be
surprized at any outrage which Montraville may commit, when he finds
himself disappointed. Indeed I should not be astonished, was he to come
immediately here, and reproach you for your instability in the hearing
of the whole school: and what will be the consequence? you will bear
the odium of having formed the resolution of eloping, and every girl
of spirit will laugh at your want of fortitude to put it in execution,
while prudes and fools will load you with reproach and contempt. You
will have lost the confidence of your parents, incurred their anger, and
the scoffs of the world; and what fruit do you expect to reap from this
piece of heroism, (for such no doubt you think it is?) you will have the
pleasure to reflect, that you have deceived the man who adores you,
and whom in your heart you prefer to all other men, and that you are
separated from him for ever."

This eloquent harangue was given with such volubility, that Charlotte
could not find an opportunity to interrupt her, or to offer a single
word till the whole was finished, and then found her ideas so confused,
that she knew not what to say.

At length she determined that she would go with Mademoiselle to the
place of assignation, convince Montraville of the necessity of adhering
to the resolution of remaining behind; assure him of her affection, and
bid him adieu.

Charlotte formed this plan in her mind, and exulted in the certainty of
its success. "How shall I rejoice," said she, "in this triumph of reason
over inclination, and, when in the arms of my affectionate parents, lift
up my soul in gratitude to heaven as I look back on the dangers I have
escaped!"

The hour of assignation arrived: Mademoiselle put what money and
valuables she possessed in her pocket, and advised Charlotte to do
the same; but she refused; "my resolution is fixed," said she; "I will
sacrifice love to duty."

Mademoiselle smiled internally; and they proceeded softly down the back
stairs and out of the garden gate. Montraville and Belcour were ready to
receive them.

"Now," said Montraville, taking Charlotte in his arms, "you are mine for
ever."

"No," said she, withdrawing from his embrace, "I am come to take an
everlasting farewel."

It would be useless to repeat the conversation that here ensued, suffice
it to say, that Montraville used every argument that had formerly been
successful, Charlotte's resolution began to waver, and he drew her
almost imperceptibly towards the chaise.

"I cannot go," said she: "cease, dear Montraville, to persuade. I must
not: religion, duty, forbid."

"Cruel Charlotte," said he, "if you disappoint my ardent hopes, by
all that is sacred, this hand shall put a period to my existence. I
cannot--will not live without you."

"Alas! my torn heart!" said Charlotte, "how shall I act?"

"Let me direct you," said Montraville, lifting her into the chaise.

"Oh! my dear forsaken parents!" cried Charlotte.

The chaise drove off. She shrieked, and fainted into the arms of her
betrayer.



CHAPTER XIII.

CRUEL DISAPPOINTMENT.

"WHAT pleasure," cried Mr. Eldridge, as he stepped into the chaise to go
for his grand-daughter, "what pleasure expands the heart of an old
man when he beholds the progeny of a beloved child growing up in every
virtue that adorned the minds of her parents. I foolishly thought, some
few years since, that every sense of joy was buried in the graves of my
dear partner and my son; but my Lucy, by her filial affection, soothed
my soul to peace, and this dear Charlotte has twined herself round my
heart, and opened such new scenes of delight to my view, that I almost
forget I have ever been unhappy."

When the chaise stopped, he alighted with the alacrity of youth; so much
do the emotions of the soul influence the body.

It was half past eight o'clock; the ladies were assembled in the school
room, and Madame Du Pont was preparing to offer the morning sacrifice
of prayer and praise, when it was discovered, that Mademoiselle and
Charlotte were missing.

"She is busy, no doubt," said the governess, "in preparing Charlotte for
her little excursion; but pleasure should never make us forget our duty
to our Creator. Go, one of you, and bid them both attend prayers."

The lady who went to summon them, soon returned, and informed
the governess, that the room was locked, and that she had knocked
repeatedly, but obtained no answer.

"Good heaven!" cried Madame Du Pont, "this is very strange:" and turning
pale with terror, she went hastily to the door, and ordered it to be
forced open. The apartment instantly discovered, that no person had been
in it the preceding night, the beds appearing as though just made.
The house was instantly a scene of confusion: the garden, the pleasure
grounds were searched to no purpose, every apartment rang with the names
of Miss Temple and Mademoiselle; but they were too distant to hear; and
every face wore the marks of disappointment.

Mr. Eldridge was sitting in the parlour, eagerly expecting his
grand-daughter to descend, ready equipped for her journey: he heard
the confusion that reigned in the house; he heard the name of Charlotte
frequently repeated. "What can be the matter?" said he, rising and
opening the door: "I fear some accident has befallen my dear girl."

The governess entered. The visible agitation of her countenance
discovered that something extraordinary had happened.

"Where is Charlotte?" said he, "Why does not my child come to welcome
her doating parent?"

"Be composed, my dear Sir," said Madame Du Pont, "do not frighten
yourself unnecessarily. She is not in the house at present; but as
Mademoiselle is undoubtedly with her, she will speedily return
in safety; and I hope they will both be able to account for this
unseasonable absence in such a manner as shall remove our present
uneasiness."

"Madam," cried the old man, with an angry look, "has my child been
accustomed to go out without leave, with no other company or protector
than that French woman. Pardon me, Madam, I mean no reflections on your
country, but I never did like Mademoiselle La Rue; I think she was a
very improper person to be entrusted with the care of such a girl
as Charlotte Temple, or to be suffered to take her from under your
immediate protection."

"You wrong me, Mr. Eldridge," replied she, "if you suppose I have ever
permitted your grand-daughter to go out unless with the other ladies.
I would to heaven I could form any probable conjecture concerning her
absence this morning, but it is a mystery which her return can alone
unravel." Servants were now dispatched to every place where there was
the least hope of hearing any tidings of the fugitives, but in vain.
Dreadful were the hours of horrid suspense which Mr. Eldridge passed
till twelve o'clock, when that suspense was reduced to a shocking
certainty, and every spark of hope which till then they had indulged,
was in a moment extinguished.

Mr. Eldridge was preparing, with a heavy heart, to return to his
anxiously-expecting children, when Madame Du Pont received the following
note without either name or date.

"Miss Temple is well, and wishes to relieve the anxiety of her
parents, by letting them know she has voluntarily put herself under
the protection of a man whose future study shall be to make her happy.
Pursuit is needless; the measures taken to avoid discovery are too
effectual to be eluded. When she thinks her friends are reconciled to
this precipitate step, they may perhaps be informed of her place of
residence. Mademoiselle is with her."

As Madame Du Pont read these cruel lines, she turned pale as ashes, her
limbs trembled, and she was forced to call for a glass of water. She
loved Charlotte truly; and when she reflected on the innocence and
gentleness of her disposition, she concluded that it must have been
the advice and machinations of La Rue, which led her to this imprudent
action; she recollected her agitation at the receipt of her mother's
letter, and saw in it the conflict of her mind.

"Does that letter relate to Charlotte?" said Mr. Eldridge, having waited
some time in expectation of Madame Du Pont's speaking.

"It does," said she. "Charlotte is well, but cannot return today."

"Not return, Madam? where is she? who will detain her from her fond,
expecting parents?"

"You distract me with these questions, Mr. Eldridge. Indeed I know not
where she is, or who has seduced her from her duty."

The whole truth now rushed at once upon Mr. Eldridge's mind. "She has
eloped then," said he. "My child is betrayed; the darling, the comfort
of my aged heart, is lost. Oh would to heaven I had died but yesterday."

A violent gush of grief in some measure relieved him, and, after several
vain attempts, he at length assumed sufficient composure to read the
note.

"And how shall I return to my children?" said he: "how approach that
mansion, so late the habitation of peace? Alas! my dear Lucy, how will
you support these heart-rending tidings? or how shall I be enabled to
console you, who need so much consolation myself?"

The old man returned to the chaise, but the light step and cheerful
countenance were no more; sorrow filled his heart, and guided his
motions; he seated himself in the chaise, his venerable head reclined
upon his bosom, his hands were folded, his eye fixed on vacancy, and
the large drops of sorrow rolled silently down his cheeks. There was a
mixture of anguish and resignation depicted in his countenance, as if he
would say, henceforth who shall dare to boast his happiness, or even
in idea contemplate his treasure, lest, in the very moment his heart is
exulting in its own felicity, the object which constitutes that felicity
should be torn from him.



CHAPTER XIV.

MATERNAL SORROW.

SLOW and heavy passed the time while the carriage was conveying Mr.
Eldridge home; and yet when he came in sight of the house, he wished a
longer reprieve from the dreadful task of informing Mr. and Mrs. Temple
of their daughter's elopement.

It is easy to judge the anxiety of these affectionate parents, when they
found the return of their father delayed so much beyond the expected
time. They were now met in the dining parlour, and several of the young
people who had been invited were already arrived. Each different part of
the company was employed in the same manner, looking out at the windows
which faced the road. At length the long-expected chaise appeared. Mrs.
Temple ran out to receive and welcome her darling: her young companions
flocked round the door, each one eager to give her joy on the return
of her birth-day. The door of the chaise was opened: Charlotte was not
there. "Where is my child?" cried Mrs. Temple, in breathless agitation.

Mr. Eldridge could not answer: he took hold of his daughter's hand and
led her into the house; and sinking on the first chair he came to, burst
into tears, and sobbed aloud.

"She is dead," cried Mrs. Temple. "Oh my dear Charlotte!" and clasping
her hands in an agony of distress, fell into strong hysterics.

Mr. Temple, who had stood speechless with surprize and fear, now
ventured to enquire if indeed his Charlotte was no more. Mr. Eldridge
led him into another apartment; and putting the fatal note into
his hand, cried--"Bear it like a Christian," and turned from him,
endeavouring to suppress his own too visible emotions.

It would be vain to attempt describing what Mr. Temple felt whilst he
hastily ran over the dreadful lines: when he had finished, the paper
dropt from his unnerved hand. "Gracious heaven!" said he, "could
Charlotte act thus?" Neither tear nor sigh escaped him; and he sat
the image of mute sorrow, till roused from his stupor by the repeated
shrieks of Mrs. Temple. He rose hastily, and rushing into the apartment
where she was, folded his arms about her, and saying--"Let us be
patient, my dear Lucy," nature relieved his almost bursting heart by a
friendly gush of tears.

Should any one, presuming on his own philosophic temper, look with an
eye of contempt on the man who could indulge a woman's weakness, let him
remember that man was a father, and he will then pity the misery which
wrung those drops from a noble, generous heart.

Mrs. Temple beginning to be a little more composed, but still imagining
her child was dead, her husband, gently taking her hand, cried--"You are
mistaken, my love. Charlotte is not dead."

"Then she is very ill, else why did she not come? But I will go to her:
the chaise is still at the door: let me go instantly to the dear girl.
If I was ill, she would fly to attend me, to alleviate my sufferings,
and cheer me with her love."

"Be calm, my dearest Lucy, and I will tell you all," said Mr. Temple.
"You must not go, indeed you must not; it will be of no use."

"Temple," said she, assuming a look of firmness and composure, "tell
me the truth I beseech you. I cannot bear this dreadful suspense. What
misfortune has befallen my child? Let me know the worst, and I will
endeavour to bear it as I ought."

"Lucy," replied Mr. Temple, "imagine your daughter alive, and in no
danger of death: what misfortune would you then dread?"

"There is one misfortune which is worse than death. But I know my child
too well to suspect--"

"Be not too confident, Lucy."

"Oh heavens!" said she, "what horrid images do you start: is it possible
she should forget--"

"She has forgot us all, my love; she has preferred the love of a
stranger to the affectionate protection of her friends.

"Not eloped?" cried she eagerly.

Mr. Temple was silent.

"You cannot contradict it," said she. "I see my fate in those tearful
eyes. Oh Charlotte! Charlotte! how ill have you requited our tenderness!
But, Father of Mercies," continued she, sinking on her knees, and
raising her streaming eyes and clasped hands to heaven, "this once
vouchsafe to hear a fond, a distracted mother's prayer. Oh let thy
bounteous Providence watch over and protect the dear thoughtless girl,
save her from the miseries which I fear will be her portion, and oh!
of thine infinite mercy, make her not a mother, lest she should one day
feel what I now suffer."

The last words faultered on her tongue, and she fell fainting into the
arms of her husband, who had involuntarily dropped on his knees beside
her.

A mother's anguish, when disappointed in her tenderest hopes, none but
a mother can conceive. Yet, my dear young readers, I would have you read
this scene with attention, and reflect that you may yourselves one day
be mothers. Oh my friends, as you value your eternal happiness, wound
not, by thoughtless ingratitude, the peace of the mother who bore you:
remember the tenderness, the care, the unremitting anxiety with which
she has attended to all your wants and wishes from earliest infancy to
the present day; behold the mild ray of affectionate applause that beams
from her eye on the performance of your duty: listen to her reproofs
with silent attention; they proceed from a heart anxious for your future
felicity: you must love her; nature, all-powerful nature, has planted
the seeds of filial affection in your bosoms.

Then once more read over the sorrows of poor Mrs. Temple, and remember,
the mother whom you so dearly love and venerate will feel the same, when
you, forgetful of the respect due to your maker and yourself, forsake
the paths of virtue for those of vice and folly.



CHAPTER XV.

EMBARKATION.

IT was with the utmost difficulty that the united efforts of
Mademoiselle and Montraville could support Charlotte's spirits during
their short ride from Chichester to Portsmouth, where a boat waited to
take them immediately on board the ship in which they were to embark for
America.

As soon as she became tolerably composed, she entreated pen and ink
to write to her parents. This she did in the most affecting, artless
manner, entreating their pardon and blessing, and describing
the dreadful situation of her mind, the conflict she suffered in
endeavouring to conquer this unfortunate attachment, and concluded
with saying, her only hope of future comfort consisted in the (perhaps
delusive) idea she indulged, of being once more folded in their
protecting arms, and hearing the words of peace and pardon from their
lips.

The tears streamed incessantly while she was writing, and she was
frequently obliged to lay down her pen: but when the task was completed,
and she had committed the letter to the care of Montraville to be sent
to the post office, she became more calm, and indulging the delightful
hope of soon receiving an answer that would seal her pardon, she in some
measure assumed her usual cheerfulness.

But Montraville knew too well the consequences that must unavoidably
ensue, should this letter reach Mr. Temple: he therefore wisely resolved
to walk on the deck, tear it in pieces, and commit the fragments to the
care of Neptune, who might or might not, as it suited his convenience,
convey them on shore.

All Charlotte's hopes and wishes were now concentred in one, namely that
the fleet might be detained at Spithead till she could receive a letter
from her friends: but in this she was disappointed, for the second
morning after she went on board, the signal was made, the fleet weighed
anchor, and in a few hours (the wind being favourable) they bid adieu to
the white cliffs of Al-bion.

In the mean time every enquiry that could be thought of was made by Mr.
and Mrs. Temple; for many days did they indulge the fond hope that she
was merely gone off to be married, and that when the indissoluble knot
was once tied, she would return with the partner she had chosen, and
entreat their blessing and forgiveness.

"And shall we not forgive her?" said Mr. Temple.

"Forgive her!" exclaimed the mother. "Oh yes, whatever be our errors,
is she not our child? and though bowed to the earth even with shame
and remorse, is it not our duty to raise the poor penitent, and whisper
peace and comfort to her desponding soul? would she but return, with
rapture would I fold her to my heart, and bury every remembrance of her
faults in the dear embrace."

But still day after day passed on, and Charlotte did not appear,
nor were any tidings to be heard of her: yet each rising morning was
welcomed by some new hope--the evening brought with it disappointment.
At length hope was no more; despair usurped her place; and the mansion
which was once the mansion of peace, became the habitation of pale,
dejected melancholy.

The cheerful smile that was wont to adorn the face of Mrs. Temple was
fled, and had it not been for the support of unaffected piety, and a
consciousness of having ever set before her child the fairest example,
she must have sunk under this heavy affliction.

"Since," said she, "the severest scrutiny cannot charge me with any
breach of duty to have deserved this severe chastisement, I will bow
before the power who inflicts it with humble resignation to his will;
nor shall the duty of a wife be totally absorbed in the feelings of the
mother; I will endeavour to appear more cheerful, and by appearing in
some measure to have conquered my own sorrow, alleviate the sufferings
of my husband, and rouse him from that torpor into which this misfortune
has plunged him. My father too demands my care and attention: I must
not, by a selfish indulgence of my own grief, forget the interest those
two dear objects take in my happiness or misery: I will wear a smile on
my face, though the thorn rankles in my heart; and if by so doing, I in
the smallest degree contribute to restore their peace of mind, I shall
be amply rewarded for the pain the concealment of my own feelings may
occasion."

Thus argued this excellent woman: and in the execution of so laudable
a resolution we shall leave her, to follow the fortunes of the hapless
victim of imprudence and evil counsellors.



CHAPTER XVI.

NECESSARY DIGRESSION.

ON board of the ship in which Charlotte and Mademoiselle were embarked,
was an officer of large unincumbered fortune and elevated rank, and whom
I shall call Crayton.

He was one of those men, who, having travelled in their youth, pretend
to have contracted a peculiar fondness for every thing foreign, and to
hold in contempt the productions of their own country; and this affected
partiality extended even to the women.

With him therefore the blushing modesty and unaffected simplicity of
Charlotte passed unnoticed; but the forward pertness of La Rue, the
freedom of her conversation, the elegance of her person, mixed with a
certain engaging JE NE SAIS QUOI, perfectly enchanted him.

The reader no doubt has already developed the character of La Rue:
designing, artful, and selfish, she had accepted the devoirs of Belcour
because she was heartily weary of the retired life she led at the
school, wished to be released from what she deemed a slavery, and to
return to that vortex of folly and dissipation which had once plunged
her into the deepest misery; but her plan she flattered herself was now
better formed: she resolved to put herself under the protection of no
man till she had first secured a settlement; but the clandestine manner
in which she left Madame Du Pont's prevented her putting this plan
in execution, though Belcour solemnly protested he would make her a
handsome settlement the moment they arrived at Portsmouth. This he
afterwards contrived to evade by a pretended hurry of business; La Rue
readily conceiving he never meant to fulfil his promise, determined to
change her battery, and attack the heart of Colonel Crayton. She soon
discovered the partiality he entertained for her nation; and having
imposed on him a feigned tale of distress, representing Belcour as a
villain who had seduced her from her friends under promise of marriage,
and afterwards betrayed her, pretending great remorse for the errors she
had committed, and declaring whatever her affection for Belcour might
have been, it was now entirely extinguished, and she wished for nothing
more than an opportunity to leave a course of life which her soul
abhorred; but she had no friends to apply to, they had all renounced
her, and guilt and misery would undoubtedly be her future portion
through life.

Crayton was possessed of many amiable qualities, though the peculiar
trait in his character, which we have already mentioned, in a great
measure threw a shade over them. He was beloved for his humanity and
benevolence by all who knew him, but he was easy and unsuspicious
himself, and became a dupe to the artifice of others.

He was, when very young, united to an amiable Parisian lady, and perhaps
it was his affection for her that laid the foundation for the partiality
he ever retained for the whole nation. He had by her one daughter, who
entered into the world but a few hours before her mother left it. This
lady was universally beloved and admired, being endowed with all the
virtues of her mother, without the weakness of the father: she was
married to Major Beauchamp, and was at this time in the same fleet with
her father, attending her husband to New-York.

Crayton was melted by the affected contrition and distress of La Rue:
he would converse with her for hours, read to her, play cards with her,
listen to all her complaints, and promise to protect her to the utmost
of his power. La Rue easily saw his character; her sole aim was to
awaken a passion in his bosom that might turn out to her advantage,
and in this aim she was but too successful, for before the voyage was
finished, the infatuated Colonel gave her from under his hand a promise
of marriage on their arrival at New-York, under forfeiture of five
thousand pounds.

And how did our poor Charlotte pass her time during a tedious and
tempestuous passage? naturally delicate, the fatigue and sickness which
she endured rendered her so weak as to be almost entirely confined to
her bed: yet the kindness and attention of Montraville in some measure
contributed to alleviate her sufferings, and the hope of hearing from
her friends soon after her arrival, kept up her spirits, and cheered
many a gloomy hour.

But during the voyage a great revolution took place not only in the
fortune of La Rue but in the bosom of Belcour: whilst in pursuit of
his amour with Mademoiselle, he had attended little to the interesting,
inobtrusive charms of Charlotte, but when, cloyed by possession,
and disgusted with the art and dissimulation of one, he beheld the
simplicity and gentleness of the other, the contrast became too striking
not to fill him at once with surprise and admiration. He frequently
conversed with Charlotte; he found her sensible, well informed, but
diffident and unassuming. The languor which the fatigue of her body and
perturbation of her mind spread over her delicate features, served only
in his opinion to render her more lovely: he knew that Montraville did
not design to marry her, and he formed a resolution to endeavour to gain
her himself whenever Montraville should leave her.

Let not the reader imagine Belcour's designs were honourable. Alas! when
once a woman has forgot the respect due to herself, by yielding to the
solicitations of illicit love, they lose all their consequence, even in
the eyes of the man whose art has betrayed them, and for whose sake they
have sacrificed every valuable consideration.

     The heedless Fair, who stoops to guilty joys,
     A man may pity--but he must despise.

Nay, every libertine will think he has a right to insult her with his
licentious passion; and should the unhappy creature shrink from the
insolent overture, he will sneeringly taunt her with pretence of
modesty.



CHAPTER XVII.

A WEDDING.

ON the day before their arrival at New-York, after dinner, Crayton arose
from his seat, and placing himself by Mademoiselle, thus addressed the
company--

"As we are now nearly arrived at our destined port, I think it but my
duty to inform you, my friends, that this lady," (taking her hand,) "has
placed herself under my protection. I have seen and severely felt the
anguish of her heart, and through every shade which cruelty or malice
may throw over her, can discover the most amiable qualities. I thought
it but necessary to mention my esteem for her before our disembarkation,
as it is my fixed resolution, the morning after we land, to give her
an undoubted title to my favour and protection by honourably uniting my
fate to hers. I would wish every gentleman here therefore to remember
that her honour henceforth is mine, and," continued he, looking at
Belcour, "should any man presume to speak in the least disrespectfully
of her, I shall not hesitate to pronounce him a scoundrel."

Belcour cast at him a smile of contempt, and bowing profoundly low,
wished Mademoiselle much joy in the proposed union; and assuring
the Colonel that he need not be in the least apprehensive of any one
throwing the least odium on the character of his lady, shook him by the
hand with ridiculous gravity, and left the cabin.

The truth was, he was glad to be rid of La Rue, and so he was but freed
from her, he cared not who fell a victim to her infamous arts.

The inexperienced Charlotte was astonished at what she heard. She
thought La Rue had, like herself, only been urged by the force of her
attachment to Belcour, to quit her friends, and follow him to the feat
of war: how wonderful then, that she should resolve to marry another
man. It was certainly extremely wrong. It was indelicate. She mentioned
her thoughts to Montraville. He laughed at her simplicity, called her a
little idiot, and patting her on the cheek, said she knew nothing of
the world. "If the world sanctifies such things, 'tis a very bad world I
think," said Charlotte. "Why I always understood they were to have been
married when they arrived at New-York. I am sure Mademoiselle told me
Belcour promised to marry her."

"Well, and suppose he did?"

"Why, he should be obliged to keep his word I think."

"Well, but I suppose he has changed his mind," said Montraville, "and
then you know the case is altered."

Charlotte looked at him attentively for a moment. A full sense of her
own situation rushed upon her mind. She burst into tears, and remained
silent. Montraville too well understood the cause of her tears. He
kissed her cheek, and bidding her not make herself uneasy, unable to
bear the silent but keen remonstrance, hastily left her.

The next morning by sun-rise they found themselves at anchor before
the city of New-York. A boat was ordered to convey the ladies on shore.
Crayton accompanied them; and they were shewn to a house of public
entertainment. Scarcely were they seated when the door opened, and the
Colonel found himself in the arms of his daughter, who had landed a few
minutes before him. The first transport of meeting subsided, Crayton
introduced his daughter to Mademoiselle La Rue, as an old friend of her
mother's, (for the artful French woman had really made it appear to the
credulous Colonel that she was in the same convent with his first wife,
and, though much younger, had received many tokens of her esteem and
regard.)

"If, Mademoiselle," said Mrs. Beauchamp, "you were the friend of
my mother, you must be worthy the esteem of all good hearts."
"Mademoiselle will soon honour our family," said Crayton, "by supplying
the place that valuable woman filled: and as you are married, my dear, I
think you will not blame--"

"Hush, my dear Sir," replied Mrs. Beauchamp: "I know my duty too well to
scrutinize your conduct. Be assured, my dear father, your happiness
is mine. I shall rejoice in it, and sincerely love the person who
contributes to it. But tell me," continued she, turning to Charlotte,
"who is this lovely girl? Is she your sister, Mademoiselle?"

A blush, deep as the glow of the carnation, suffused the cheeks of
Charlotte.

"It is a young lady," replied the Colonel, "who came in the same vessel
with us from England.' He then drew his daughter aside, and told her in
a whisper, Charlotte was the mistress of Montraville.

"What a pity!" said Mrs. Beauchamp softly, (casting a most compassionate
glance at her.) "But surely her mind is not depraved. The goodness of
her heart is depicted in her ingenuous countenance."

Charlotte caught the word pity. "And am I already fallen so low?" said
she. A sigh escaped her, and a tear was ready to start, but Montraville
appeared, and she checked the rising emotion. Mademoiselle went with the
Colonel and his daughter to another apartment. Charlotte remained with
Montraville and Belcour. The next morning the Colonel performed his
promise, and La Rue became in due form Mrs. Crayton, exulted in her
own good fortune, and dared to look with an eye of contempt on the
unfortunate but far less guilty Charlotte.



VOLUME II



CHAPTER XVIII.

REFLECTIONS.

"AND am I indeed fallen so low," said Charlotte, "as to be only pitied?
Will the voice of approbation no more meet my ear? and shall I never
again possess a friend, whose face will wear a smile of joy whenever I
approach? Alas! how thoughtless, how dreadfully imprudent have I been! I
know not which is most painful to endure, the sneer of contempt, or the
glance of compassion, which is depicted in the various countenances
of my own sex: they are both equally humiliating. Ah! my dear parents,
could you now see the child of your affections, the daughter whom you so
dearly loved, a poor solitary being, without society, here wearing out
her heavy hours in deep regret and anguish of heart, no kind friend of
her own sex to whom she can unbosom her griefs, no beloved mother, no
woman of character will appear in my company, and low as your Charlotte
is fallen, she cannot associate with infamy."

These were the painful reflections which occupied the mind of Charlotte.
Montraville had placed her in a small house a few miles from New-York:
he gave her one female attendant, and supplied her with what money she
wanted; but business and pleasure so entirely occupied his time, that
he had little to devote to the woman, whom he had brought from all her
connections, and robbed of innocence. Sometimes, indeed, he would steal
out at the close of evening, and pass a few hours with her; and then so
much was she attached to him, that all her sorrows were forgotten while
blest with his society: she would enjoy a walk by moonlight, or sit
by him in a little arbour at the bottom of the garden, and play on the
harp, accompanying it with her plaintive, harmonious voice. But often,
very often, did he promise to renew his visits, and, forgetful of his
promise, leave her to mourn her disappointment. What painful hours
of expectation would she pass! She would sit at a window which looked
toward a field he used to cross, counting the minutes, and straining her
eyes to catch the first glimpse of his person, till blinded with tears
of disappointment, she would lean her head on her hands, and give free
vent to her sorrows: then catching at some new hope, she would again
renew her watchful position, till the shades of evening enveloped every
object in a dusky cloud: she would then renew her complaints, and, with
a heart bursting with disappointed love and wounded sensibility, retire
to a bed which remorse had strewed with thorns, and court in vain that
comforter of weary nature (who seldom visits the unhappy) to come and
steep her senses in oblivion.

Who can form an adequate idea of the sorrow that preyed upon the mind of
Charlotte? The wife, whose breast glows with affection to her husband,
and who in return meets only indifference, can but faintly conceive her
anguish. Dreadfully painful is the situation of such a woman, but she
has many comforts of which our poor Charlotte was deprived. The duteous,
faithful wife, though treated with indifference, has one solid pleasure
within her own bosom, she can reflect that she has not deserved
neglect--that she has ever fulfilled the duties of her station with the
strictest exactness; she may hope, by constant assiduity and unremitted
attention, to recall her wanderer, and be doubly happy in his returning
affection; she knows he cannot leave her to unite himself to another: he
cannot cast her out to poverty and contempt; she looks around her,
and sees the smile of friendly welcome, or the tear of affectionate
consolation, on the face of every person whom she favours with her
esteem; and from all these circumstances she gathers comfort: but the
poor girl by thoughtless passion led astray, who, in parting with
her honour, has forfeited the esteem of the very man to whom she has
sacrificed every thing dear and valuable in life, feels his indifference
in the fruit of her own folly, and laments her want of power to recall
his lost affection; she knows there is no tie but honour, and that, in
a man who has been guilty of seduction, is but very feeble: he may leave
her in a moment to shame and want; he may marry and forsake her for
ever; and should he, she has no redress, no friendly, soothing companion
to pour into her wounded mind the balm of consolation, no benevolent
hand to lead her back to the path of rectitude; she has disgraced her
friends, forfeited the good opinion of the world, and undone herself;
she feels herself a poor solitary being in the midst of surrounding
multitudes; shame bows her to the earth, remorse tears her distracted
mind, and guilt, poverty, and disease close the dreadful scene: she
sinks unnoticed to oblivion. The finger of contempt may point out to
some passing daughter of youthful mirth, the humble bed where lies this
frail sister of mortality; and will she, in the unbounded gaiety of her
heart, exult in her own unblemished fame, and triumph over the silent
ashes of the dead? Oh no! has she a heart of sensibility, she will stop,
and thus address the unhappy victim of folly--

"Thou had'st thy faults, but sure thy sufferings have expiated them:
thy errors brought thee to an early grave; but thou wert a
fellow-creature--thou hast been unhappy--then be those errors forgotten."

Then, as she stoops to pluck the noxious weed from off the sod, a tear
will fall, and consecrate the spot to Charity.

For ever honoured be the sacred drop of humanity; the angel of mercy
shall record its source, and the soul from whence it sprang shall be
immortal.

My dear Madam, contract not your brow into a frown of disapprobation. I
mean not to extenuate the faults of those unhappy women who fall victims
to guilt and folly; but surely, when we reflect how many errors we are
ourselves subject to, how many secret faults lie hid in the recesses of
our hearts, which we should blush to have brought into open day (and yet
those faults require the lenity and pity of a benevolent judge, or
awful would be our prospect of futurity) I say, my dear Madam, when we
consider this, we surely may pity the faults of others.

Believe me, many an unfortunate female, who has once strayed into the
thorny paths of vice, would gladly return to virtue, was any generous
friend to endeavour to raise and re-assure her; but alas! it cannot be,
you say; the world would deride and scoff. Then let me tell you, Madam,
'tis a very unfeeling world, and does not deserve half the blessings
which a bountiful Providence showers upon it.

Oh, thou benevolent giver of all good! how shall we erring mortals
dare to look up to thy mercy in the great day of retribution, if we now
uncharitably refuse to overlook the errors, or alleviate the miseries,
of our fellow-creatures.



CHAPTER XIX.

A MISTAKE DISCOVERED.

JULIA Franklin was the only child of a man of large property, who, at
the age of eighteen, left her independent mistress of an unincumbered
income of seven hundred a year; she was a girl of a lively disposition,
and humane, susceptible heart: she resided in New-York with an uncle,
who loved her too well, and had too high an opinion of her prudence, to
scrutinize her actions so much as would have been necessary with many
young ladies, who were not blest with her discretion: she was, at the
time Montraville arrived at New-York, the life of society, and the
universal toast. Montraville was introduced to her by the following
accident.

One night when he was upon guard, a dreadful fire broke out near Mr.
Franklin's house, which, in a few hours, reduced that and several others
to ashes; fortunately no lives were lost, and, by the assiduity of the
soldiers, much valuable property was saved from the flames. In the midst
of the confusion an old gentleman came up to Montraville, and, putting
a small box into his hands, cried--"Keep it, my good Sir, till I come
to you again;" and then rushing again into the thickest of the
crowd, Montraville saw him no more. He waited till the fire was quite
extinguished and the mob dispersed; but in vain: the old gentleman did
not appear to claim his property; and Montraville, fearing to make any
enquiry, lest he should meet with impostors who might lay claim, without
any legal right, to the box, carried it to his lodgings, and locked it
up: he naturally imagined, that the person who committed it to his care
knew him, and would, in a day or two, reclaim it; but several weeks
passed on, and no enquiry being made, he began to be uneasy, and
resolved to examine the contents of the box, and if they were, as he
supposed, valuable, to spare no pains to discover, and restore them
to the owner. Upon opening it, he found it contained jewels to a large
amount, about two hundred pounds in money, and a miniature picture set
for a bracelet. On examining the picture, he thought he had somewhere
seen features very like it, but could not recollect where. A few
days after, being at a public assembly, he saw Miss Franklin, and the
likeness was too evident to be mistaken: he enquired among his brother
officers if any of them knew her, and found one who was upon terms of
intimacy in the family: "then introduce me to her immediately," said
he, "for I am certain I can inform her of something which will give her
peculiar pleasure."

He was immediately introduced, found she was the owner of the jewels,
and was invited to breakfast the next morning in order to their
restoration. This whole evening Montraville was honoured with Julia's
hand; the lively sallies of her wit, the elegance of her manner,
powerfully charmed him: he forgot Charlotte, and indulged himself in
saying every thing that was polite and tender to Julia. But on retiring,
recollection returned. "What am I about?" said he: "though I cannot
marry Charlotte, I cannot be villain enough to forsake her, nor must
I dare to trifle with the heart of Julia Franklin. I will return this
box," said he, "which has been the source of so much uneasiness already,
and in the evening pay a visit to my poor melancholy Charlotte, and
endeavour to forget this fascinating Julia."

He arose, dressed himself, and taking the picture out, "I will reserve
this from the rest," said he, "and by presenting it to her when she
thinks it is lost, enhance the value of the obligation." He repaired to
Mr. Franklin's, and found Julia in the breakfast parlour alone.

"How happy am I, Madam," said he, "that being the fortunate instrument
of saving these jewels has been the means of procuring me the
acquaintance of so amiable a lady. There are the jewels and money all
safe."

"But where is the picture, Sir?" said Julia.

"Here, Madam. I would not willingly part with it."

"It is the portrait of my mother," said she, taking it from him: "'tis
all that remains." She pressed it to her lips, and a tear trembled in
her eyes. Montraville glanced his eye on her grey night gown and black
ribbon, and his own feelings prevented a reply.

Julia Franklin was the very reverse of Charlotte Temple: she was tall,
elegantly shaped, and possessed much of the air and manner of a woman
of fashion; her complexion was a clear brown, enlivened with the glow of
health, her eyes, full, black, and sparkling, darted their intelligent
glances through long silken lashes; her hair was shining brown, and her
features regular and striking; there was an air of innocent gaiety that
played about her countenance, where good humour sat triumphant.

"I have been mistaken," said Montraville. "I imagined I loved Charlotte:
but alas! I am now too late convinced my attachment to her was merely
the impulse of the moment. I fear I have not only entailed lasting
misery on that poor girl, but also thrown a barrier in the way of my own
happiness, which it will be impossible to surmount. I feel I love Julia
Franklin with ardour and sincerity; yet, when in her presence, I am
sensible of my own inability to offer a heart worthy her acceptance, and
remain silent." Full of these painful thoughts, Montraville walked out
to see Charlotte: she saw him approach, and ran out to meet him: she
banished from her countenance the air of discontent which ever appeared
when he was absent, and met him with a smile of joy.

"I thought you had forgot me, Montraville," said she, "and was very
unhappy."

"I shall never forget you, Charlotte," he replied, pressing her hand.

The uncommon gravity of his countenance, and the brevity of his reply,
alarmed her.

"You are not well," said she; "your hand is hot; your eyes are heavy;
you are very ill."

"I am a villain," said he mentally, as he turned from her to hide his
emotions.

"But come," continued she tenderly, "you shall go to bed, and I will sit
by, and watch you; you will be better when you have slept."

Montraville was glad to retire, and by pretending sleep, hide the
agitation of his mind from her penetrating eye. Charlotte watched by him
till a late hour, and then, lying softly down by his side, sunk into a
profound sleep, from whence she awoke not till late the next morning.



CHAPTER XX.

     Virtue never appears so amiable as when reaching forth
     her hand to raise a fallen sister.

CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS.

WHEN Charlotte awoke, she missed Montraville; but thinking he might have
arisen early to enjoy the beauties of the morning, she was preparing
to follow him, when casting her eye on the table, she saw a note, and
opening it hastily, found these words--

"My dear Charlotte must not be surprised, if she does not see me again
for some time: unavoidable business will prevent me that pleasure: be
assured I am quite well this morning; and what your fond imagination
magnified into illness, was nothing more than fatigue, which a few hours
rest has entirely removed. Make yourself happy, and be certain of the
unalterable friendship of

"MONTRAVILLE."


"FRIENDSHIP!" said Charlotte emphatically, as she finished the note, "is
it come to this at last? Alas! poor, forsaken Charlotte, thy doom is now
but too apparent. Montraville is no longer interested in thy happiness;
and shame, remorse, and disappointed love will henceforth be thy only
attendants."

Though these were the ideas that involuntarily rushed upon the mind
of Charlotte as she perused the fatal note, yet after a few hours had
elapsed, the syren Hope again took possession of her bosom, and she
flattered herself she could, on a second perusal, discover an air of
tenderness in the few lines he had left, which at first had escaped her
notice.

"He certainly cannot be so base as to leave me," said she, "and in
styling himself my friend does he not promise to protect me. I will not
torment myself with these causeless fears; I will place a confidence in
his honour; and sure he will not be so unjust as to abuse it."

Just as she had by this manner of reasoning brought her mind to some
tolerable degree of composure, she was surprised by a visit from
Belcour. The dejection visible in Charlotte's countenance, her swoln
eyes and neglected attire, at once told him she was unhappy: he made no
doubt but Montraville had, by his coldness, alarmed her suspicions,
and was resolved, if possible, to rouse her to jealousy, urge her to
reproach him, and by that means occasion a breach between them. "If I
can once convince her that she has a rival," said he, "she will listen
to my passion if it is only to revenge his slights." Belcour knew but
little of the female heart; and what he did know was only of those of
loose and dissolute lives. He had no idea that a woman might fall a
victim to imprudence, and yet retain so strong a sense of honour, as to
reject with horror and contempt every solicitation to a second fault.
He never imagined that a gentle, generous female heart, once tenderly
attached, when treated with unkindness might break, but would never
harbour a thought of revenge.

His visit was not long, but before he went he fixed a scorpion in the
heart of Charlotte, whose venom embittered every future hour of her
life.

We will now return for a moment to Colonel Crayton. He had been three
months married, and in that little time had discovered that the
conduct of his lady was not so prudent as it ought to have been: but
remonstrance was vain; her temper was violent; and to the Colonel's
great misfortune he had conceived a sincere affection for her: she saw
her own power, and, with the art of a Circe, made every action appear
to him in what light she pleased: his acquaintance laughed at his
blindness, his friends pitied his infatuation, his amiable daughter,
Mrs. Beauchamp, in secret deplored the loss of her father's affection,
and grieved that he should be so entirely swayed by an artful, and, she
much feared, infamous woman.

Mrs. Beauchamp was mild and engaging; she loved not the hurry and bustle
of a city, and had prevailed on her husband to take a house a few
miles from New-York. Chance led her into the same neighbourhood with
Charlotte; their houses stood within a short space of each other, and
their gardens joined: she had not been long in her new habitation before
the figure of Charlotte struck her; she recollected her interesting
features; she saw the melancholy so conspicuous in her countenance,
and her heart bled at the reflection, that perhaps deprived of honour,
friends, all that was valuable in life, she was doomed to linger out a
wretched existence in a strange land, and sink broken-hearted into
an untimely grave. "Would to heaven I could snatch her from so hard
a fate," said she; "but the merciless world has barred the doors of
compassion against a poor weak girl, who, perhaps, had she one kind
friend to raise and reassure her, would gladly return to peace and
virtue; nay, even the woman who dares to pity, and endeavour to recall
a wandering sister, incurs the sneer of contempt and ridicule, for an
action in which even angels are said to rejoice."

The longer Mrs. Beauchamp was a witness to the solitary life Charlotte
led, the more she wished to speak to her, and often as she saw her
cheeks wet with the tears of anguish, she would say--"Dear sufferer, how
gladly would I pour into your heart the balm of consolation, were it not
for the fear of derision."

But an accident soon happened which made her resolve to brave even the
scoffs of the world, rather than not enjoy the heavenly satisfaction of
comforting a desponding fellow-creature.

Mrs. Beauchamp was an early riser. She was one morning walking in the
garden, leaning on her husband's arm, when the sound of a harp attracted
their notice: they listened attentively, and heard a soft melodious
voice distinctly sing the following stanzas:

                    Thou glorious orb, supremely bright,
                        Just rising from the sea,
                    To cheer all nature with thy light,
                        What are thy beams to me?
                    In vain thy glories bid me rise,
                        To hail the new-born day,
                    Alas! my morning sacrifice
                        Is still to weep and pray.
                    For what are nature's charms combin'd,
                        To one, whose weary breast
                    Can neither peace nor comfort find,
                        Nor friend whereon to rest?
                    Oh! never! never! whilst I live
                        Can my heart's anguish cease:
                    Come, friendly death, thy mandate give,
                        And let me be at peace.

"'Tis poor Charlotte!" said Mrs. Beauchamp, the pellucid drop of
humanity stealing down her cheek.

Captain Beauchamp was alarmed at her emotion. "What Charlotte?" said he;
"do you know her?"

In the accent of a pitying angel did she disclose to her husband
Charlotte's unhappy situation, and the frequent wish she had formed of
being serviceable to her. "I fear," continued she, "the poor girl has
been basely betrayed; and if I thought you would not blame me, I would
pay her a visit, offer her my friendship, and endeavour to restore
to her heart that peace she seems to have lost, and so pathetically
laments. Who knows, my dear," laying her hand affectionately on his arm,
"who knows but she has left some kind, affectionate parents to lament
her errors, and would she return, they might with rapture receive the
poor penitent, and wash away her faults in tears of joy. Oh! what a
glorious reflexion would it be for me could I be the happy instrument of
restoring her. Her heart may not be depraved, Beauchamp."

"Exalted woman!" cried Beauchamp, embracing her, "how dost thou rise
every moment in my esteem. Follow the impulse of thy generous heart,
my Emily. Let prudes and fools censure if they dare, and blame a
sensibility they never felt; I will exultingly tell them that the heart
that is truly virtuous is ever inclined to pity and forgive the errors
of its fellow-creatures."

A beam of exulting joy played round the animated countenance of Mrs.
Beauchamp, at these encomiums bestowed on her by a beloved husband, the
most delightful sensations pervaded her heart, and, having breakfasted,
she prepared to visit Charlotte.



CHAPTER XXI.

                      Teach me to feel another's woe,
                         To hide the fault I see,
                      That mercy I to others show,
                         That mercy show to me.       POPE.

WHEN Mrs. Beauchamp was dressed, she began to feel embarrassed at the
thought of beginning an acquaintance with Charlotte, and was distressed
how to make the first visit. "I cannot go without some introduction,"
said she, "it will look so like impertinent curiosity." At length
recollecting herself, she stepped into the garden, and gathering a few
fine cucumbers, took them in her hand by way of apology for her visit.

A glow of conscious shame vermillioned Charlotte's face as Mrs.
Beauchamp entered.

"You will pardon me, Madam," said she, "for not having before paid my
respects to so amiable a neighbour; but we English people always keep up
that reserve which is the characteristic of our nation wherever we go. I
have taken the liberty to bring you a few cucumbers, for I observed you
had none in your garden."

Charlotte, though naturally polite and well-bred, was so confused she
could hardly speak. Her kind visitor endeavoured to relieve her by
not noticing her embarrassment. "I am come, Madam," continued she, "to
request you will spend the day with me. I shall be alone; and, as we are
both strangers in this country, we may hereafter be extremely happy in
each other's friendship."

"Your friendship, Madam," said Charlotte blushing, "is an honour to
all who are favoured with it. Little as I have seen of this part of the
world, I am no stranger to Mrs. Beauchamp's goodness of heart and known
humanity: but my friendship--" She paused, glanced her eye upon her own
visible situation, and, spite of her endeavours to suppress them, burst
into tears.

Mrs. Beauchamp guessed the source from whence those tears flowed.
"You seem unhappy, Madam," said she: "shall I be thought worthy your
confidence? will you entrust me with the cause of your sorrow, and
rest on my assurances to exert my utmost power to serve you." Charlotte
returned a look of gratitude, but could not speak, and Mrs. Beauchamp
continued--"My heart was interested in your behalf the first moment I
saw you, and I only lament I had not made earlier overtures towards an
acquaintance; but I flatter myself you will henceforth consider me as
your friend."

"Oh Madam!" cried Charlotte, "I have forfeited the good opinion of all
my friends; I have forsaken them, and undone myself."

"Come, come, my dear," said Mrs. Beauchamp, "you must not indulge
these gloomy thoughts: you are not I hope so miserable as you imagine
yourself: endeavour to be composed, and let me be favoured with your
company at dinner, when, if you can bring yourself to think me your
friend, and repose a confidence in me, I am ready to convince you it
shall not be abused." She then arose, and bade her good morning.

At the dining hour Charlotte repaired to Mrs. Beauchamp's, and during
dinner assumed as composed an aspect as possible; but when the cloth
was removed, she summoned all her resolution and determined to make Mrs.
Beauchamp acquainted with every circumstance preceding her unfortunate
elopement, and the earnest desire she had to quit a way of life so
repugnant to her feelings.

With the benignant aspect of an angel of mercy did Mrs. Beauchamp listen
to the artless tale: she was shocked to the soul to find how large a
share La Rue had in the seduction of this amiable girl, and a tear fell,
when she reflected so vile a woman was now the wife of her father.
When Charlotte had finished, she gave her a little time to collect her
scattered spirits, and then asked her if she had never written to her
friends.

"Oh yes, Madam," said she, "frequently: but I have broke their hearts:
they are either dead or have cast me off for ever, for I have never
received a single line from them."

"I rather suspect," said Mrs. Beauchamp, "they have never had your
letters: but suppose you were to hear from them, and they were willing
to receive you, would you then leave this cruel Montraville, and return
to them?"

"Would I!" said Charlotte, clasping her hands; "would not the poor
sailor, tost on a tempestuous ocean, threatened every moment with
death, gladly return to the shore he had left to trust to its deceitful
calmness? Oh, my dear Madam, I would return, though to do it I were
obliged to walk barefoot over a burning desert, and beg a scanty
pittance of each traveller to support my existence. I would endure it
all cheerfully, could I but once more see my dear, blessed mother, hear
her pronounce my pardon, and bless me before I died; but alas! I shall
never see her more; she has blotted the ungrateful Charlotte from her
remembrance, and I shall sink to the grave loaded with her's and my
father's curse."

Mrs. Beauchamp endeavoured to sooth her. "You shall write to them
again," said she, "and I will see that the letter is sent by the first
packet that sails for England; in the mean time keep up your spirits,
and hope every thing, by daring to deserve it."

She then turned the conversation, and Charlotte having taken a cup of
tea, wished her benevolent friend a good evening.



CHAPTER XXII.

SORROWS OF THE HEART.

WHEN Charlotte got home she endeavoured to collect her thoughts, and
took up a pen in order to address those dear parents, whom, spite of her
errors, she still loved with the utmost tenderness, but vain was every
effort to write with the least coherence; her tears fell so fast
they almost blinded her; and as she proceeded to describe her unhappy
situation, she became so agitated that she was obliged to give over the
attempt and retire to bed, where, overcome with the fatigue her mind had
undergone, she fell into a slumber which greatly refreshed her, and she
arose in the morning with spirits more adequate to the painful task she
had to perform, and, after several attempts, at length concluded the
following letter to her mother--

TO MRS. TEMPLE. NEW-YORK.

"Will my once kind, my ever beloved mother, deign to receive a letter
from her guilty, but repentant child? or has she, justly incensed at my
ingratitude, driven the unhappy Charlotte from her remembrance? Alas!
thou much injured mother! shouldst thou even disown me, I dare not
complain, because I know I have deserved it: but yet, believe me, guilty
as I am, and cruelly as I have disappointed the hopes of the fondest
parents, that ever girl had, even in the moment when, forgetful of my
duty, I fled from you and happiness, even then I loved you most, and my
heart bled at the thought of what you would suffer. Oh! never, never!
whilst I have existence, will the agony of that moment be erased from my
memory. It seemed like the separation of soul and body. What can I plead
in excuse for my conduct? alas! nothing! That I loved my seducer is
but too true! yet powerful as that passion is when operating in a
young heart glowing with sensibility, it never would have conquered my
affection to you, my beloved parents, had I not been encouraged, nay,
urged to take the fatally imprudent step, by one of my own sex, who,
under the mask of friendship, drew me on to ruin. Yet think not your
Charlotte was so lost as to voluntarily rush into a life of infamy; no,
my dear mother, deceived by the specious appearance of my betrayer, and
every suspicion lulled asleep by the most solemn promises of marriage,
I thought not those promises would so easily be forgotten. I never once
reflected that the man who could stoop to seduction, would not hesitate
to forsake the wretched object of his passion, whenever his capricious
heart grew weary of her tenderness. When we arrived at this place, I
vainly expected him to fulfil his engagements, but was at last fatally
convinced he had never intended to make me his wife, or if he had once
thought of it, his mind was now altered. I scorned to claim from his
humanity what I could not obtain from his love: I was conscious of
having forfeited the only gem that could render me respectable in the
eye of the world. I locked my sorrows in my own bosom, and bore my
injuries in silence. But how shall I proceed? This man, this cruel
Montraville, for whom I sacrificed honour, happiness, and the love of my
friends, no longer looks on me with affection, but scorns the credulous
girl whom his art has made miserable. Could you see me, my dear parents,
without society, without friends, stung with remorse, and (I feel the
burning blush of shame die my cheeks while I write it) tortured with the
pangs of disappointed love; cut to the soul by the indifference of him,
who, having deprived me of every other comfort, no longer thinks it
worth his while to sooth the heart where he has planted the thorn of
never-ceasing regret. My daily employment is to think of you and weep,
to pray for your happiness and deplore my own folly: my nights are
scarce more happy, for if by chance I close my weary eyes, and hope
some small forgetfulness of sorrow, some little time to pass in sweet
oblivion, fancy, still waking, wafts me home to you: I see your beloved
forms, I kneel and hear the blessed words of peace and pardon. Extatic
joy pervades my soul; I reach my arms to catch your dear embraces; the
motion chases the illusive dream; I wake to real misery. At other times
I see my father angry and frowning, point to horrid caves, where, on the
cold damp ground, in the agonies of death, I see my dear mother and my
revered grand-father. I strive to raise you; you push me from you, and
shrieking cry--'Charlotte, thou hast murdered me!' Horror and despair
tear every tortured nerve; I start, and leave my restless bed, weary and
unrefreshed.

"Shocking as these reflexions are, I have yet one more dreadful than the
rest. Mother, my dear mother! do not let me quite break your heart when
I tell you, in a few months I shall bring into the world an innocent
witness of my guilt. Oh my bleeding heart, I shall bring a poor little
helpless creature, heir to infamy and shame.

"This alone has urged me once more to address you, to interest you in
behalf of this poor unborn, and beg you to extend your protection to the
child of your lost Charlotte; for my own part I have wrote so often, so
frequently have pleaded for forgiveness, and entreated to be received
once more beneath the paternal roof, that having received no answer, not
even one line, I much fear you have cast me from you for ever.

"But sure you cannot refuse to protect my innocent infant: it partakes
not of its mother's guilt. Oh my father, oh beloved mother, now do I
feel the anguish I inflicted on your hearts recoiling with double force
upon my own.

"If my child should be a girl (which heaven forbid) tell her the unhappy
fate of her mother, and teach her to avoid my errors; if a boy, teach
him to lament my miseries, but tell him not who inflicted them, lest in
wishing to revenge his mother's injuries, he should wound the peace of
his father.

"And now, dear friends of my soul, kind guardians of my infancy,
farewell. I feel I never more must hope to see you; the anguish of my
heart strikes at the strings of life, and in a short time I shall be
at rest. Oh could I but receive your blessing and forgiveness before I
died, it would smooth my passage to the peaceful grave, and be a blessed
foretaste of a happy eternity. I beseech you, curse me not, my adored
parents, but let a tear of pity and pardon fall to the memory of your
lost

"CHARLOTTE."



CHAPTER XXIII.

A MAN MAY SMILE, AND SMILE, AND BE A VILLAIN.

WHILE Charlotte was enjoying some small degree of comfort in the
consoling friendship of Mrs. Beauchamp, Montraville was advancing
rapidly in his affection towards Miss Franklin. Julia was an amiable
girl; she saw only the fair side of his character; she possessed an
independent fortune, and resolved to be happy with the man of her heart,
though his rank and fortune were by no means so exalted as she had a
right to expect; she saw the passion which Montraville struggled to
conceal; she wondered at his timidity, but imagined the distance fortune
had placed between them occasioned his backwardness, and made every
advance which strict prudence and a becoming modesty would permit.
Montraville saw with pleasure he was not indifferent to her, but a
spark of honour which animated his bosom would not suffer him to take
advantage of her partiality. He was well acquainted with Charlotte's
situation, and he thought there would be a double cruelty in forsaking
her at such a time; and to marry Miss Franklin, while honour, humanity,
every sacred law, obliged him still to protect and support Charlotte,
was a baseness which his soul shuddered at.

He communicated his uneasiness to Belcour: it was the very thing this
pretended friend had wished. "And do you really," said he, laughing,
"hesitate at marrying the lovely Julia, and becoming master of her
fortune, because a little foolish, fond girl chose to leave her friends,
and run away with you to America. Dear Montraville, act more like a
man of sense; this whining, pining Charlotte, who occasions you so much
uneasiness, would have eloped with somebody else if she had not with
you."

"Would to heaven," said Montraville, "I had never seen her; my regard
for her was but the momentary passion of desire, but I feel I shall love
and revere Julia Franklin as long as I live; yet to leave poor Charlotte
in her present situation would be cruel beyond description."

"Oh my good sentimental friend," said Belcour, "do you imagine no body
has a right to provide for the brat but yourself."

Montraville started. "Sure," said he, "you cannot mean to insinuate that
Charlotte is false."

"I don't insinuate it," said Belcour, "I know it."

Montraville turned pale as ashes. "Then there is no faith in woman,"
said he.

"While I thought you attached to her," said Belcour with an air of
indifference, "I never wished to make you uneasy by mentioning her
perfidy, but as I know you love and are beloved by Miss Franklin, I was
determined not to let these foolish scruples of honour step between you
and happiness, or your tenderness for the peace of a perfidious girl
prevent your uniting yourself to a woman of honour."

"Good heavens!" said Montraville, "what poignant reflections does a man
endure who sees a lovely woman plunged in infamy, and is conscious he
was her first seducer; but are you certain of what you say, Belcour?"

"So far," replied he, "that I myself have received advances from her
which I would not take advantage of out of regard to you: but hang it,
think no more about her. I dined at Franklin's to-day, and Julia bid
me seek and bring you to tea: so come along, my lad, make good use of
opportunity, and seize the gifts of fortune while they are within your
reach." Montraville was too much agitated to pass a happy evening even
in the company of Julia Franklin: he determined to visit Charlotte early
the next morning, tax her with her falsehood, and take an everlasting
leave of her; but when the morning came, he was commanded on duty, and
for six weeks was prevented from putting his design in execution.
At length he found an hour to spare, and walked out to spend it with
Charlotte: it was near four o'clock in the afternoon when he arrived at
her cottage; she was not in the parlour, and without calling the servant
he walked up stairs, thinking to find her in her bed room. He opened the
door, and the first object that met his eyes was Charlotte asleep on the
bed, and Belcour by her side.

"Death and distraction," said he, stamping, "this is too much. Rise,
villain, and defend yourself." Belcour sprang from the bed. The noise
awoke Charlotte; terrified at the furious appearance of Montraville, and
seeing Belcour with him in the chamber, she caught hold of his arm as he
stood by the bed-side, and eagerly asked what was the matter.

"Treacherous, infamous girl," said he, "can you ask? How came he here?"
pointing to Belcour.

"As heaven is my witness," replied she weeping, "I do not know. I have
not seen him for these three weeks."

"Then you confess he sometimes visits you?"

"He came sometimes by your desire."

"'Tis false; I never desired him to come, and you know I did not: but
mark me, Charlotte, from this instant our connexion is at an end. Let
Belcour, or any other of your favoured lovers, take you and provide for
you; I have done with you for ever."

He was then going to leave her; but starting wildly from the bed, she
threw herself on her knees before him, protesting her innocence and
entreating him not to leave her. "Oh Montraville," said she, "kill me,
for pity's sake kill me, but do not doubt my fidelity. Do not leave me
in this horrid situation; for the sake of your unborn child, oh! spurn
not the wretched mother from you."

"Charlotte," said he, with a firm voice, "I shall take care that neither
you nor your child want any thing in the approaching painful hour; but
we meet no more." He then endeavoured to raise her from the ground;
but in vain; she clung about his knees, entreating him to believe her
innocent, and conjuring Belcour to clear up the dreadful mystery.

Belcour cast on Montraville a smile of contempt: it irritated him almost
to madness; he broke from the feeble arms of the distressed girl; she
shrieked and fell prostrate on the floor.

Montraville instantly left the house and returned hastily to the city.



CHAPTER XXIV.

MYSTERY DEVELOPED.

UNFORTUNATELY for Charlotte, about three weeks before this unhappy
rencontre, Captain Beauchamp, being ordered to Rhode-Island, his lady
had accompanied him, so that Charlotte was deprived of her friendly
advice and consoling society. The afternoon on which Montraville had
visited her she had found herself languid and fatigued, and after making
a very slight dinner had lain down to endeavour to recruit her exhausted
spirits, and, contrary to her expectations, had fallen asleep. She
had not long been lain down, when Belcour arrived, for he took every
opportunity of visiting her, and striving to awaken her resentment
against Montraville. He enquired of the servant where her mistress was,
and being told she was asleep, took up a book to amuse himself: having
sat a few minutes, he by chance cast his eyes towards the road, and saw
Montraville approaching; he instantly conceived the diabolical scheme
of ruining the unhappy Charlotte in his opinion for ever; he therefore
stole softly up stairs, and laying himself by her side with the greatest
precaution, for fear she should awake, was in that situation discovered
by his credulous friend.

When Montraville spurned the weeping Charlotte from him, and left her
almost distracted with terror and despair, Belcour raised her from
the floor, and leading her down stairs, assumed the part of a tender,
consoling friend; she listened to the arguments he advanced with
apparent composure; but this was only the calm of a moment: the
remembrance of Montraville's recent cruelty again rushed upon her mind:
she pushed him from her with some violence, and crying--"Leave me, Sir,
I beseech you leave me, for much I fear you have been the cause of my
fidelity being suspected; go, leave me to the accumulated miseries my
own imprudence has brought upon me."

She then left him with precipitation, and retiring to her own apartment,
threw herself on the bed, and gave vent to an agony of grief which it is
impossible to describe.

It now occurred to Belcour that she might possibly write to Montraville,
and endeavour to convince him of her innocence: he was well aware of her
pathetic remonstrances, and, sensible of the tenderness of Montraville's
heart, resolved to prevent any letters ever reaching him: he therefore
called the servant, and, by the powerful persuasion of a bribe,
prevailed with her to promise whatever letters her mistress might write
should be sent to him. He then left a polite, tender note for Charlotte,
and returned to New-York. His first business was to seek Montraville,
and endeavour to convince him that what had happened would ultimately
tend to his happiness: he found him in his apartment, solitary, pensive,
and wrapped in disagreeable reflexions.

"Why how now, whining, pining lover?" said he, clapping him on the
shoulder. Montraville started; a momentary flush of resentment crossed
his cheek, but instantly gave place to a death-like paleness, occasioned
by painful remembrance remembrance awakened by that monitor, whom,
though we may in vain endeavour, we can never entirely silence.

"Belcour," said he, "you have injured me in a tender point." "Prithee,
Jack," replied Belcour, "do not make a serious matter of it: how could I
refuse the girl's advances? and thank heaven she is not your wife."

"True," said Montraville; "but she was innocent when I first knew her.
It was I seduced her, Belcour. Had it not been for me, she had still
been virtuous and happy in the affection and protection of her family."

"Pshaw," replied Belcour, laughing, "if you had not taken advantage of
her easy nature, some other would, and where is the difference, pray?"

"I wish I had never seen her," cried he passionately, and starting from
his seat. "Oh that cursed French woman," added he with vehemence, "had
it not been for her, I might have been happy--" He paused.

"With Julia Franklin," said Belcour. The name, like a sudden spark
of electric fire, seemed for a moment to suspend his faculties--for a
moment he was transfixed; but recovering, he caught Belcour's hand, and
cried--"Stop! stop! I beseech you, name not the lovely Julia and
the wretched Montraville in the same breath. I am a seducer, a mean,
ungenerous seducer of unsuspecting innocence. I dare not hope that
purity like her's would stoop to unite itself with black, premeditated
guilt: yet by heavens I swear, Belcour, I thought I loved the lost,
abandoned Charlotte till I saw Julia--I thought I never could forsake
her; but the heart is deceitful, and I now can plainly discriminate
between the impulse of a youthful passion, and the pure flame of
disinterested affection."

At that instant Julia Franklin passed the window, leaning on her uncle's
arm. She curtseyed as she passed, and, with the bewitching smile of
modest cheerfulness, cried--"Do you bury yourselves in the house this
fine evening, gents?" There was something in the voice! the manner! the
look! that was altogether irresistible. "Perhaps she wishes my company,"
said Montraville mentally, as he snatched up his hat: "if I thought she
loved me, I would confess my errors, and trust to her generosity to pity
and pardon me." He soon overtook her, and offering her his arm, they
sauntered to pleasant but unfrequented walks. Belcour drew Mr. Franklin
on one side and entered into a political discourse: they walked faster
than the young people, and Belcour by some means contrived entirely to
lose sight of them. It was a fine evening in the beginning of autumn;
the last remains of day-light faintly streaked the western sky, while
the moon, with pale and virgin lustre in the room of gorgeous gold and
purple, ornamented the canopy of heaven with silver, fleecy clouds,
which now and then half hid her lovely face, and, by partly concealing,
heightened every beauty; the zephyrs whispered softly through the trees,
which now began to shed their leafy honours; a solemn silence reigned:
and to a happy mind an evening such as this would give serenity, and
calm, unruffled pleasure; but to Montraville, while it soothed
the turbulence of his passions, it brought increase of melancholy
reflections. Julia was leaning on his arm: he took her hand in his, and
pressing it tenderly, sighed deeply, but continued silent. Julia was
embarrassed; she wished to break a silence so unaccountable, but was
unable; she loved Montraville, she saw he was unhappy, and wished to
know the cause of his uneasiness, but that innate modesty, which nature
has implanted in the female breast, prevented her enquiring. "I am bad
company, Miss Franklin," said he, at last recollecting himself; "but
I have met with something to-day that has greatly distressed me, and I
cannot shake off the disagreeable impression it has made on my mind."

"I am sorry," she replied, "that you have any cause of inquietude. I am
sure if you were as happy as you deserve, and as all your friends wish
you--" She hesitated. "And might I," replied he with some animation,
"presume to rank the amiable Julia in that number?"

"Certainly," said she, "the service you have rendered me, the knowledge
of your worth, all combine to make me esteem you."

"Esteem, my lovely Julia," said he passionately, "is but a poor cold
word. I would if I dared, if I thought I merited your attention--but
no, I must not--honour forbids. I am beneath your notice, Julia, I am
miserable and cannot hope to be otherwise." "Alas!" said Julia, "I pity
you."

"Oh thou condescending charmer," said he, "how that sweet word cheers my
sad heart. Indeed if you knew all, you would pity; but at the same time
I fear you would despise me."

Just then they were again joined by Mr. Franklin and Belcour. It had
interrupted an interesting discourse. They found it impossible to
converse on indifferent subjects, and proceeded home in silence. At
Mr. Franklin's door Montraville again pressed Julia's hand, and faintly
articulating "good night," retired to his lodgings dispirited and
wretched, from a consciousness that he deserved not the affection, with
which he plainly saw he was honoured.



CHAPTER XXV.

RECEPTION OF A LETTER.

"AND where now is our poor Charlotte?" said Mr. Temple one evening, as
the cold blasts of autumn whistled rudely over the heath, and the yellow
appearance of the distant wood, spoke the near approach of winter. In
vain the cheerful fire blazed on the hearth, in vain was he surrounded
by all the comforts of life; the parent was still alive in his heart,
and when he thought that perhaps his once darling child was ere this
exposed to all the miseries of want in a distant land, without a friend
to sooth and comfort her, without the benignant look of compassion to
cheer, or the angelic voice of pity to pour the balm of consolation on
her wounded heart; when he thought of this, his whole soul dissolved in
tenderness; and while he wiped the tear of anguish from the eye of his
patient, uncomplaining Lucy, he struggled to suppress the sympathizing
drop that started in his own.

"Oh, my poor girl," said Mrs. Temple, "how must she be altered, else
surely she would have relieved our agonizing minds by one line to
say she lived--to say she had not quite forgot the parents who almost
idolized her."

"Gracious heaven," said Mr. Temple, starting from his seat, "I, who would
wish to be a father, to experience the agonizing pangs inflicted on a
parent's heart by the ingratitude of a child?" Mrs. Temple wept: her
father took her hand; he would have said, "be comforted my child,"
but the words died on his tongue. The sad silence that ensued was
interrupted by a loud rap at the door. In a moment a servant entered
with a letter in his hand.

Mrs. Temple took it from him: she cast her eyes upon the superscription;
she knew the writing. "'Tis Charlotte," said she, eagerly breaking
the seal, "she has not quite forgot us." But before she had half gone
through the contents, a sudden sickness seized her; she grew cold and
giddy, and puffing it into her husband's hand, she cried--"Read it: I
cannot." Mr. Temple attempted to read it aloud, but frequently paused
to give vent to his tears. "My poor deluded child," said he, when he had
finished.

"Oh, shall we not forgive the dear penitent?" said Mrs. Temple. "We
must, we will, my love; she is willing to return, and 'tis our duty to
receive her."

"Father of mercy," said Mr. Eldridge, raising his clasped hands, "let
me but live once more to see the dear wanderer restored to her afflicted
parents, and take me from this world of sorrow whenever it seemeth best
to thy wisdom."

"Yes, we will receive her," said Mr. Temple; "we will endeavour to heal
her wounded spirit, and speak peace and comfort to her agitated soul. I
will write to her to return immediately.'

"Oh!" said Mrs. Temple, "I would if possible fly to her, support and
cheer the dear sufferer in the approaching hour of distress, and tell
her how nearly penitence is allied to virtue. Cannot we go and conduct
her home, my love?" continued she, laying her hand on his arm. "My
father will surely forgive our absence if we go to bring home his
darling."

"You cannot go, my Lucy," said Mr. Temple: "the delicacy of your frame
would but poorly sustain the fatigue of a long voyage; but I will go and
bring the gentle penitent to your arms: we may still see many years of
happiness."

The struggle in the bosom of Mrs. Temple between maternal and conjugal
tenderness was long and painful. At length the former triumphed, and she
consented that her husband should set forward to New-York by the first
opportunity: she wrote to her Charlotte in the tenderest, most consoling
manner, and looked forward to the happy hour, when she should again
embrace her, with the most animated hope.



CHAPTER XXVI.

WHAT MIGHT BE EXPECTED.

IN the mean time the passion Montraville had conceived for Julia
Franklin daily encreased, and he saw evidently how much he was beloved
by that amiable girl: he was likewise strongly prepossessed with an idea
of Charlotte's perfidy. What wonder then if he gave himself up to the
delightful sensation which pervaded his bosom; and finding no obstacle
arise to oppose his happiness, he solicited and obtained the hand of
Julia. A few days before his marriage he thus addressed Belcour:

"Though Charlotte, by her abandoned conduct, has thrown herself from my
protection, I still hold myself bound to support her till relieved
from her present condition, and also to provide for the child. I do not
intend to see her again, but I will place a sum of money in your hands,
which will amply supply her with every convenience; but should she
require more, let her have it, and I will see it repaid. I wish I could
prevail on the poor deluded girl to return to her friends: she was an
only child, and I make no doubt but that they would joyfully receive
her; it would shock me greatly to see her henceforth leading a life of
infamy, as I should always accuse myself of being the primary cause of
all her errors. If she should chuse to remain under your protection, be
kind to her, Belcour, I conjure you. Let not satiety prompt you to treat
her in such a manner, as may drive her to actions which necessity might
urge her to, while her better reason disapproved them: she shall never
want a friend while I live, but I never more desire to behold her; her
presence would be always painful to me, and a glance from her eye would
call the blush of conscious guilt into my cheek.

"I will write a letter to her, which you may deliver when I am gone, as
I shall go to St. Eustatia the day after my union with Julia, who will
accompany me."

Belcour promised to fulfil the request of his friend, though nothing
was farther from his intentions, than the least design of delivering the
letter, or making Charlotte acquainted with the provision Montraville
had made for her; he was bent on the complete ruin of the unhappy girl,
and supposed, by reducing her to an entire dependance on him, to bring
her by degrees to consent to gratify his ungenerous passion.

The evening before the day appointed for the nuptials of Montraville and
Julia, the former refired early to his apartment; and ruminating on the
past scenes of his life, suffered the keenest remorse in the remembrance
of Charlotte's seduction. "Poor girl," said he, "I will at least write
and bid her adieu; I will too endeavour to awaken that love of virtue in
her bosom which her unfortunate attachment to me has extinguished." He
took up the pen and began to write, but words were denied him. How could
he address the woman whom he had seduced, and whom, though he thought
unworthy his tenderness, he was about to bid adieu for ever? How should
he tell her that he was going to abjure her, to enter into the most
indissoluble ties with another, and that he could not even own the
infant which she bore as his child? Several letters were begun and
destroyed: at length he completed the following:

TO CHARLOTTE.

"Though I have taken up my pen to address you, my poor injured girl, I
feel I am inadequate to the task; yet, however painful the endeavour, I
could not resolve upon leaving you for ever without one kind line to bid
you adieu, to tell you how my heart bleeds at the remembrance of what
you was, before you saw the hated Montraville. Even now imagination
paints the scene, when, torn by contending passions, when, struggling
between love and duty, you fainted in my arms, and I lifted you into
the chaise: I see the agony of your mind, when, recovering, you found
yourself on the road to Portsmouth: but how, my gentle girl, how could
you, when so justly impressed with the value of virtue, how could you,
when loving as I thought you loved me, yield to the solicitations of
Belcour?

"Oh Charlotte, conscience tells me it was I, villain that I am, who
first taught you the allurements of guilty pleasure; it was I who
dragged you from the calm repose which innocence and virtue ever enjoy;
and can I, dare I tell you, it was not love prompted to the horrid deed?
No, thou dear, fallen angel, believe your repentant Montraville, when
he tells you the man who truly loves will never betray the object of his
affection. Adieu, Charlotte: could you still find charms in a life of
unoffend-ing innocence, return to your parents; you shall never want the
means of support both for yourself and child. Oh! gracious heaven!
may that child be entirely free from the vices of its father and the
weakness of its mother.

"To-morrow--but no, I cannot tell you what to-morrow will produce;
Belcour will inform you: he also has cash for you, which I beg you will
ask for whenever you may want it. Once more adieu: believe me could I
hear you was returned to your friends, and enjoying that tranquillity of
which I have robbed you, I should be as completely happy as even you,
in your fondest hours, could wish me, but till then a gloom will obscure
the brightest prospects of MONTRAVILLE."

After he had sealed this letter he threw himself on the bed, and enjoyed
a few hours repose. Early in the morning Belcour tapped at his door: he
arose hastily, and prepared to meet his Julia at the altar.

"This is the letter to Charlotte," said he, giving it to Belcour: "take
it to her when we are gone to Eustatia; and I conjure you, my dear
friend, not to use any sophistical arguments to prevent her return to
virtue; but should she incline that way, encourage her in the thought,
and assist her to put her design in execution."



CHAPTER XXVII.

     Pensive she mourn'd, and hung her languid head,
     Like a fair lily overcharg'd with dew.

CHARLOTTE had now been left almost three months a prey to her own
melancholy reflexions--sad companions indeed; nor did any one break in
upon her solitude but Belcour, who once or twice called to enquire after
her health, and tell her he had in vain endeavoured to bring Montraville
to hear reason; and once, but only once, was her mind cheered by the
receipt of an affectionate letter from Mrs. Beauchamp. Often had she
wrote to her perfidious seducer, and with the most persuasive eloquence
endeavoured to convince him of her innocence; but these letters were
never suffered to reach the hands of Montraville, or they must, though
on the very eve of marriage, have prevented his deserting the wretched
girl. Real anguish of heart had in a great measure faded her charms, her
cheeks were pale from want of rest, and her eyes, by frequent, indeed
almost continued weeping, were sunk and heavy. Sometimes a gleam of hope
would play about her heart when she thought of her parents--"They cannot
surely," she would say, "refuse to forgive me; or should they deny their
pardon to me, they win not hate my innocent infant on account of its
mother's errors." How often did the poor mourner wish for the consoling
presence of the benevolent Mrs. Beauchamp.

"If she were here," she would cry, "she would certainly comfort me, and
sooth the distraction of my soul."

She was sitting one afternoon, wrapped in these melancholy reflexions,
when she was interrupted by the entrance of Belcour. Great as the
alteration was which incessant sorrow had made on her person, she was
still interesting, still charming; and the unhallowed flame, which had
urged Belcour to plant dissension between her and Montraville, still
raged in his bosom: he was determined, if possible, to make her his
mistress; nay, he had even conceived the diabolical scheme of taking her
to New-York, and making her appear in every public place where it was
likely she should meet Montraville, that he might be a witness to his
unmanly triumph.

When he entered the room where Charlotte was sitting, he assumed
the look of tender, consolatory friendship. "And how does my lovely
Charlotte?" said he, taking her hand: "I fear you are not so well as I
could wish."

"I am not well, Mr. Belcour," said she, "very far from it; but the pains
and infirmities of the body I could easily bear, nay, submit to them
with patience, were they not aggravated by the most insupportable
anguish of my mind."

"You are not happy, Charlotte," said he, with a look of well-dissembled
sorrow.

"Alas!" replied she mournfully, shaking her head, "how can I be happy,
deserted and forsaken as I am, without a friend of my own sex to whom I
can unburthen my full heart, nay, my fidelity suspected by the very man
for whom I have sacrificed every thing valuable in life, for whom I have
made myself a poor despised creature, an outcast from society, an object
only of contempt and pity."

"You think too meanly of yourself, Miss Temple: there is no one who
would dare to treat you with contempt: all who have the pleasure of
knowing you must admire and esteem. You are lonely here, my dear girl;
give me leave to conduct you to New-York, where the agreeable society
of some ladies, to whom I will introduce you, will dispel these sad
thoughts, and I shall again see returning cheerfulness animate those
lovely features."

"Oh never! never!" cried Charlotte, emphatically: "the virtuous part
of my sex will scorn me, and I will never associate with infamy. No,
Belcour, here let me hide my shame and sorrow, here let me spend my
few remaining days in obscurity, unknown and unpitied, here let me die
unlamented, and my name sink to oblivion." Here her tears stopped her
utterance. Belcour was awed to silence: he dared not interrupt her; and
after a moment's pause she proceeded--"I once had conceived the
thought of going to New-York to seek out the still dear, though cruel,
ungenerous Montraville, to throw myself at his feet, and entreat his
compassion; heaven knows, not for myself; if I am no longer beloved,
I will not be indebted to his pity to redress my injuries, but I would
have knelt and entreated him not to forsake my poor unborn--" She could
say no more; a crimson glow rushed over her cheeks, and covering her
face with her hands, she sobbed aloud.

Something like humanity was awakened in Belcour's breast by this
pathetic speech: he arose and walked towards the window; but the selfish
passion which had taken possession of his heart, soon stifled these
finer emotions; and he thought if Charlotte was once convinced she had
no longer any dependance on Montraville, she would more readily throw
herself on his protection. Determined, therefore, to inform her of all
that had happened, he again resumed his seat; and finding she began to
be more composed, enquired if she had ever heard from Montraville since
the unfortunate recontre in her bed chamber.

"Ah no," said she. "I fear I shall never hear from him again."

"I am greatly of your opinion," said Belcour, "for he has been for some
time past greatly attached--"

At the word "attached" a death-like paleness overspread the countenance
of Charlotte, but she applied to some hartshorn which stood beside her,
and Belcour proceeded.

"He has been for some time past greatly attached to one Miss Franklin, a
pleasing lively girl, with a large fortune."

"She may be richer, may be handsomer," cried Charlotte, "but cannot love
him so well. Oh may she beware of his art, and not trust him too far as
I have done."

"He addresses her publicly," said he, "and it was rumoured they were
to be married before he sailed for Eustatia, whither his company is
ordered."

"Belcour," said Charlotte, seizing his hand, and gazing at him
earnestly, while her pale lips trembled with convulsive agony, "tell me,
and tell me truly, I beseech you, do you think he can be such a villain
as to marry another woman, and leave me to die with want and misery in
a strange land: tell me what you think; I can bear it very well; I
will not shrink from this heaviest stroke of fate; I have deserved my
afflictions, and I will endeavour to bear them as I ought."

"I fear," said Belcour, "he can be that villain."

"Perhaps," cried she, eagerly interrupting him, "perhaps he is married
already: come, let me know the worst," continued she with an affected
look of composure: "you need not be afraid, I shall not send the
fortunate lady a bowl of poison."

"Well then, my dear girl," said he, deceived by her appearance,
"they were married on Thursday, and yesterday morning they sailed for
Eustatia."

"Married--gone--say you?" cried she in a distracted accent, "what
without a last farewell, without one thought on my unhappy situation!
Oh Montraville, may God forgive your perfidy." She shrieked, and Belcour
sprang forward just in time to prevent her falling to the floor.

Alarming faintings now succeeded each other, and she was conveyed to
her bed, from whence she earnestly prayed she might never more arise.
Belcour staid with her that night, and in the morning found her in a
high fever. The fits she had been seized with had greatly terrified him;
and confined as she now was to a bed of sickness, she was no longer an
object of desire: it is true for several days he went constantly to see
her, but her pale, emaciated appearance disgusted him: his visits became
less frequent; he forgot the solemn charge given him by Montraville; he
even forgot the money entrusted to his care; and, the burning blush of
indignation and shame tinges my cheek while I write it, this disgrace to
humanity and manhood at length forgot even the injured Charlotte; and,
attracted by the blooming health of a farmer's daughter, whom he had
seen in his frequent excursions to the country, he left the unhappy girl
to sink unnoticed to the grave, a prey to sickness, grief, and penury;
while he, having triumphed over the virtue of the artless cottager,
rioted in all the intemperance of luxury and lawless pleasure.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

A TRIFLING RETROSPECT.

"BLESS my heart," cries my young, volatile reader, "I shall never have
patience to get through these volumes, there are so many ahs! and
ohs! so much fainting, tears, and distress, I am sick to death of the
subject." My dear, cheerful, innocent girl, for innocent I will
suppose you to be, or you would acutely feel the woes of Charlotte,
did conscience say, thus might it have been with me, had not Providence
interposed to snatch me from destruction: therefore, my lively, innocent
girl, I must request your patience: I am writing a tale of truth: I
mean to write it to the heart: but if perchance the heart is rendered
impenetrable by unbounded prosperity, or a continuance in vice, I expect
not my tale to please, nay, I even expect it will be thrown by with
disgust. But softly, gentle fair one; I pray you throw it not aside till
you have perused the whole; mayhap you may find something therein to
repay you for the trouble. Methinks I see a sarcastic smile sit on your
countenance.--"And what," cry you, "does the conceited author suppose
we can glean from these pages, if Charlotte is held up as an object of
terror, to prevent us from falling into guilty errors? does not La Rue
triumph in her shame, and by adding art to guilt, obtain the affection
of a worthy man, and rise to a station where she is beheld with respect,
and cheerfully received into all companies. What then is the moral
you would inculcate? Would you wish us to think that a deviation
from virtue, if covered by art and hypocrisy, is not an object of
detestation, but on the contrary shall raise us to fame and honour?
while the hapless girl who falls a victim to her too great sensibility,
shall be loaded with ignominy and shame?" No, my fair querist, I mean no
such thing. Remember the endeavours of the wicked are often suffered to
prosper, that in the end their fall may be attended with more bitterness
of heart; while the cup of affliction is poured out for wise and
salutary ends, and they who are compelled to drain it even to the bitter
dregs, often find comfort at the bottom; the tear of penitence blots
their offences from the book of fate, and they rise from the heavy,
painful trial, purified and fit for a mansion in the kingdom of
eternity.

Yes, my young friends, the tear of compassion shall fall for the fate of
Charlotte, while the name of La Rue shall be detested and despised. For
Charlotte, the soul melts with sympathy; for La Rue, it feels nothing
but horror and contempt. But perhaps your gay hearts would rather
follow the fortunate Mrs. Crayton through the scenes of pleasure and
dissipation in which she was engaged, than listen to the complaints
and miseries of Charlotte. I will for once oblige you; I will for once
follow her to midnight revels, balls, and scenes of gaiety, for in such
was she constantly engaged.

I have said her person was lovely; let us add that she was surrounded by
splendor and affluence, and he must know but little of the world who can
wonder, (however faulty such a woman's conduct,) at her being followed
by the men, and her company courted by the women: in short Mrs. Crayton
was the universal favourite: she set the fashions, she was toasted by
all the gentlemen, and copied by all the ladies.

Colonel Crayton was a domestic man. Could he be happy with such a woman?
impossible! Remonstrance was vain: he might as well have preached to the
winds, as endeavour to persuade her from any action, however ridiculous,
on which she had set her mind: in short, after a little ineffectual
struggle, he gave up the attempt, and left her to follow the bent of
her own inclinations: what those were, I think the reader must have seen
enough of her character to form a just idea. Among the number who paid
their devotions at her shrine, she singled one, a young Ensign of mean
birth, indifferent education, and weak intellects. How such a man came
into the army, we hardly know to account for, and how he afterwards rose
to posts of honour is likewise strange and wonderful. But fortune is
blind, and so are those too frequently who have the power of dispensing
her favours: else why do we see fools and knaves at the very top of the
wheel, while patient merit sinks to the extreme of the opposite abyss.
But we may form a thousand conjectures on this subject, and yet never
hit on the right. Let us therefore endeavour to deserve her smiles, and
whether we succeed or not, we shall feel more innate satisfaction, than
thousands of those who bask in the sunshine of her favour unworthily.
But to return to Mrs. Crayton: this young man, whom I shall distinguish
by the name of Corydon, was the reigning favourite of her heart. He
escorted her to the play, danced with her at every ball, and when
indisposition prevented her going out, it was he alone who was permitted
to cheer the gloomy solitude to which she was obliged to confine
herself. Did she ever think of poor Charlotte?--if she did, my dear
Miss, it was only to laugh at the poor girl's want of spirit in
consenting to be moped up in the country, while Montraville was enjoying
all the pleasures of a gay, dissipated city. When she heard of his
marriage, she smiling said, so there's an end of Madam Charlotte's
hopes. I wonder who will take her now, or what will become of the little
affected prude?

But as you have lead to the subject, I think we may as well return to
the distressed Charlotte, and not, like the unfeeling Mrs. Crayton, shut
our hearts to the call of humanity.



CHAPTER XXIX.

WE GO FORWARD AGAIN.

THE strength of Charlotte's constitution combatted against her disorder,
and she began slowly to recover, though she still laboured under a
violent depression of spirits: how must that depression be encreased,
when, upon examining her little store, she found herself reduced to
one solitary guinea, and that during her illness the attendance of an
apothecary and nurse, together with many other unavoidable expences,
had involved her in debt, from which she saw no method of extricating
herself. As to the faint hope which she had entertained of hearing from
and being relieved by her parents; it now entirely forsook her, for
it was above four months since her letter was dispatched, and she had
received no answer: she therefore imagined that her conduct had either
entirely alienated their affection from her, or broken their hearts, and
she must never more hope to receive their blessing.

Never did any human being wish for death with greater fervency or
with juster cause; yet she had too just a sense of the duties of the
Christian religion to attempt to put a period to her own existence. "I
have but to be patient a little longer," she would cry, "and nature,
fatigued and fainting, will throw off this heavy load of mortality, and
I shall be released from all my sufferings."

It was one cold stormy day in the latter end of December, as Charlotte
sat by a handful of fire, the low state of her finances not allowing her
to replenish her stock of fuel, and prudence teaching her to be careful
of what she had, when she was surprised by the entrance of a farmer's
wife, who, without much ceremony, seated herself, and began this curious
harangue.

"I'm come to see if as how you can pay your rent, because as how we hear
Captain Montable is gone away, and it's fifty to one if he b'ant killed
afore he comes back again; an then, Miss, or Ma'am, or whatever you may
be, as I was saying to my husband, where are we to look for our money."

This was a stroke altogether unexpected by Charlotte: she knew so little
of the ways of the world that she had never bestowed a thought on the
payment for the rent of the house; she knew indeed that she owed a
good deal, but this was never reckoned among the others: she was
thunder-struck; she hardly knew what answer to make, yet it was
absolutely necessary that she should say something; and judging of the
gentleness of every female disposition by her own, she thought the best
way to interest the woman in her favour would be to tell her candidly to
what a situation she was reduced, and how little probability there was
of her ever paying any body.

Alas poor Charlotte, how confined was her knowledge of human nature, or
she would have been convinced that the only way to insure the friendship
and assistance of your surrounding acquaintance is to convince them you
do not require it, for when once the petrifying aspect of distress and
penury appear, whose qualities, like Medusa's head, can change to stone
all that look upon it; when once this Gorgon claims acquaintance with
us, the phantom of friendship, that before courted our notice, will
vanish into unsubstantial air, and the whole world before us appear a
barren waste. Pardon me, ye dear spirits of benevolence, whose benign
smiles and cheerful-giving hand have strewed sweet flowers on many a
thorny path through which my wayward fate forced me to pass; think not,
that, in condemning the unfeeling texture of the human heart, I forget
the spring from whence flow an the comforts I enjoy: oh no! I look up
to you as to bright constellations, gathering new splendours from the
surrounding darkness; but ah! whilst I adore the benignant rays that
cheered and illumined my heart, I mourn that their influence cannot
extend to all the sons and daughters of affliction.

"Indeed, Madam," said poor Charlotte in a tremulous accent, "I am at a
loss what to do. Montraville placed me here, and promised to defray all
my expenses: but he has forgot his promise, he has forsaken me, and I
have no friend who has either power or will to relieve me. Let me hope,
as you see my unhappy situation, your charity--"

"Charity," cried the woman impatiently interrupting her, "charity
indeed: why, Mistress, charity begins at home, and I have seven children
at home, HONEST, LAWFUL children, and it is my duty to keep them; and do
you think I will give away my property to a nasty, impudent hussey, to
maintain her and her bastard; an I was saying to my husband the other
day what will this world come to; honest women are nothing now-a-days,
while the harlotings are set up for fine ladies, and look upon us no
more nor the dirt they walk upon: but let me tell you, my fine spoken
Ma'am, I must have my money; so seeing as how you can't pay it, why you
must troop, and leave all your fine gimcracks and fal der ralls behind
you. I don't ask for no more nor my right, and nobody shall dare for to
go for to hinder me of it."

"Oh heavens," cried Charlotte, clasping her hands, "what will become of
me?"

"Come on ye!" retorted the unfeeling wretch: "why go to the barracks and
work for a morsel of bread; wash and mend the soldiers cloaths, an cook
their victuals, and not expect to live in idleness on honest people's
means. Oh I wish I could see the day when all such cattle were obliged
to work hard and eat little; it's only what they deserve."

"Father of mercy," cried Charlotte, "I acknowledge thy correction just;
but prepare me, I beseech thee, for the portion of misery thou may'st
please to lay upon me."

"Well," said the woman, "I shall go an tell my husband as how you can't
pay; and so d'ye see, Ma'am, get ready to be packing away this very
night, for you should not stay another night in this house, though I was
sure you would lay in the street."

Charlotte bowed her head in silence; but the anguish of her heart was
too great to permit her to articulate a single word.



CHAPTER XXX.

                    And what is friendship but a name,
                       A charm that lulls to sleep,
                    A shade that follows wealth and fame,
                       But leaves the wretch to weep.
WHEN Charlotte was left to herself, she began to think what course she
must take, or to whom she could apply, to prevent her perishing for
want, or perhaps that very night falling a victim to the inclemency of
the season. After many perplexed thoughts, she at last determined to
set out for New-York, and enquire out Mrs. Crayton, from whom she had no
doubt but she should obtain immediate relief as soon as her distress was
made known; she had no sooner formed this resolution than she resolved
immediately to put it in execution: she therefore wrote the following
little billet to Mrs. Crayton, thinking if she should have company with
her it would be better to send it in than to request to see her.

TO MRS. CRAYTON.

"MADAM,

"When we left our native land, that dear, happy land which now contains
all that is dear to the wretched Charlotte, our prospects were the same;
we both, pardon me, Madam, if I say, we both too easily followed the
impulse of our treacherous hearts, and trusted our happiness on a
tempestuous ocean, where mine has been wrecked and lost for ever;
you have been more fortunate--you are united to a man of honour and
humanity, united by the most sacred ties, respected, esteemed, and
admired, and surrounded by innumerable blessings of which I am bereaved,
enjoying those pleasures which have fled my bosom never to return; alas!
sorrow and deep regret have taken their place. Behold me, Madam, a poor
forsaken wanderer, who has no where to lay her weary head, wherewith to
supply the wants of nature, or to shield her from the inclemency of the
weather. To you I sue, to you I look for pity and relief. I ask not to
be received as an intimate or an equal; only for charity's sweet sake
receive me into your hospitable mansion, allot me the meanest apartment
in it, and let me breath out my soul in prayers for your happiness; I
cannot, I feel I cannot long bear up under the accumulated woes that
pour in upon me; but oh! my dear Madam, for the love of heaven suffer me
not to expire in the street; and when I am at peace, as soon I shall be,
extend your compassion to my helpless offspring, should it please heaven
that it should survive its unhappy mother. A gleam of joy breaks in on
my benighted soul while I reflect that you cannot, will not refuse your
protection to the heart-broken. CHARLOTTE."

When Charlotte had finished this letter, late as it was in the
afternoon, and though the snow began to fall very fast, she tied up a
few necessaries which she had prepared against her expected confinement,
and terrified lest she should be again exposed to the insults of her
barbarous landlady, more dreadful to her wounded spirit than either
storm or darkness, she set forward for New-York.

It may be asked by those, who, in a work of this kind, love to cavil at
every trifling omission, whether Charlotte did not possess any valuable
of which she could have disposed, and by that means have supported
herself till Mrs. Beauchamp's return, when she would have been certain
of receiving every tender attention which compassion and friendship
could dictate: but let me entreat these wise, penetrating gentlemen to
reflect, that when Charlotte left England, it was in such haste that
there was no time to purchase any thing more than what was wanted
for immediate use on the voyage, and after her arrival at New-York,
Montraville's affection soon began to decline, so that her whole
wardrobe consisted of only necessaries, and as to baubles, with which
fond lovers often load their mistresses, she possessed not one, except a
plain gold locket of small value, which contained a lock of her mother's
hair, and which the greatest extremity of want could not have forced her
to part with.

I hope, Sir, your prejudices are now removed in regard to the
probability of my story? Oh they are. Well then, with your leave, I will
proceed.

The distance from the house which our suffering heroine occupied, to
New-York, was not very great, yet the snow fen so fast, and the cold so
intense, that, being unable from her situation to walk quick, she found
herself almost sinking with cold and fatigue before she reached the
town; her garments, which were merely suitable to the summer season,
being an undress robe of plain white muslin, were wet through, and
a thin black cloak and bonnet, very improper habiliments for such a
climate, but poorly defended her from the cold. In this situation she
reached the city, and enquired of a foot soldier whom she met, the way
to Colonel Crayton's.

"Bless you, my sweet lady," said the soldier with a voice and look of
compassion, "I will shew you the way with all my heart; but if you are
going to make a petition to Madam Crayton it is all to no purpose I
assure you: if you please I will conduct you to Mr. Franklin's; though
Miss Julia is married and gone now, yet the old gentleman is very good."

"Julia Franklin," said Charlotte; "is she not married to Montraville?"

"Yes," replied the soldier, "and may God bless them, for a better
officer never lived, he is so good to us all; and as to Miss Julia, all
the poor folk almost worshipped her."

"Gracious heaven," cried Charlotte, "is Montraville unjust then to none
but me."

The soldier now shewed her Colonel Crayton's door, and, with a beating
heart, she knocked for admission.



CHAPTER XXXI.

SUBJECT CONTINUED.

WHEN the door was opened, Charlotte, in a voice rendered scarcely
articulate, through cold and the extreme agitation of her mind, demanded
whether Mrs. Crayton was at home. The servant hesitated: he knew that
his lady was engaged at a game of picquet with her dear Corydon,
nor could he think she would like to be disturbed by a person whose
appearance spoke her of so little consequence as Charlotte; yet there
was something in her countenance that rather interested him in her
favour, and he said his lady was engaged, but if she had any particular
message he would deliver it.

"Take up this letter," said Charlotte: "tell her the unhappy writer of
it waits in her hall for an answer." The tremulous accent, the tearful
eye, must have moved any heart not composed of adamant. The man took the
letter from the poor suppliant, and hastily ascended the stair case.

"A letter, Madam," said he, presenting it to his lady: "an immediate
answer is required."

Mrs. Crayton glanced her eye carelessly over the contents. "What stuff
is this;" cried she haughtily; "have not I told you a thousand times
that I will not be plagued with beggars, and petitions from people one
knows nothing about? Go tell the woman I can't do any thing in it. I'm
sorry, but one can't relieve every body."

The servant bowed, and heavily returned with this chilling message to
Charlotte.

"Surely," said she, "Mrs. Crayton has not read my letter. Go, my
good friend, pray go back to her; tell her it is Charlotte Temple who
requests beneath her hospitable roof to find shelter from the inclemency
of the season."

"Prithee, don't plague me, man," cried Mrs. Crayton impatiently, as the
servant advanced something in behalf of the unhappy girl. "I tell you I
don't know her."

"Not know me," cried Charlotte, rushing into the room, (for she had
followed the man up stairs) "not know me, not remember the ruined
Charlotte Temple, who, but for you, perhaps might still have been
innocent, still have been happy. Oh! La Rue, this is beyond every thing
I could have believed possible."

"Upon my honour, Miss," replied the unfeeling woman with the utmost
effrontery, "this is a most unaccountable address: it is beyond my
comprehension. John," continued she, turning to the servant, "the
young woman is certainly out of her senses: do pray take her away, she
terrifies me to death."

"Oh God," cried Charlotte, clasping her hands in an agony, "this is too
much; what will become of me? but I will not leave you; they shall
not tear me from you; here on my knees I conjure you to save me from
perishing in the streets; if you really have forgot me, oh for charity's
sweet sake this night let me be sheltered from the winter's piercing
cold." The kneeling figure of Charlotte in her affecting situation might
have moved the heart of a stoic to compassion; but Mrs. Crayton remained
inflexible. In vain did Charlotte recount the time they had known each
other at Chichester, in vain mention their being in the same ship, in
vain were the names of Montraville and Belcour mentioned. Mrs. Crayton
could only say she was sorry for her imprudence, but could not think of
having her own reputation endangered by encouraging a woman of that kind
in her own house, besides she did not know what trouble and expense
she might bring upon her husband by giving shelter to a woman in her
situation.

"I can at least die here," said Charlotte, "I feel I cannot long
survive this dreadful conflict. Father of mercy, here let me finish
my existence." Her agonizing sensations overpowered her, and she fell
senseless on the floor.

"Take her away," said Mrs. Crayton, "she will really frighten me into
hysterics; take her away I say this instant."

"And where must I take the poor creature?" said the servant with a voice
and look of compassion.

"Any where," cried she hastily, "only don't let me ever see her again. I
declare she has flurried me so I shan't be myself again this fortnight."

John, assisted by his fellow-servant, raised and carried her down
stairs. "Poor soul," said he, "you shall not lay in the street this
night. I have a bed and a poor little hovel, where my wife and her
little ones rest them, but they shall watch to night, and you shall be
sheltered from danger." They placed her in a chair; and the benevolent
man, assisted by one of his comrades, carried her to the place where his
wife and children lived. A surgeon was sent for: he bled her, she gave
signs of returning life, and before the dawn gave birth to a female
infant. After this event she lay for some hours in a kind of stupor; and
if at any time she spoke, it was with a quickness and incoherence that
plainly evinced the total deprivation of her reason.



CHAPTER XXXII.

REASONS WHY AND WHEREFORE.

THE reader of sensibility may perhaps be astonished to find Mrs. Crayton
could so positively deny any knowledge of Charlotte; it is therefore but
just that her conduct should in some measure be accounted for. She had
ever been fully sensible of the superiority of Charlotte's sense and
virtue; she was conscious that she had never swerved from rectitude, had
it not been for her bad precepts and worse example. These were things as
yet unknown to her husband, and she wished not to have that part of her
conduct exposed to him, as she had great reason to fear she had already
lost considerable part of that power she once maintained over him. She
trembled whilst Charlotte was in the house, lest the Colonel should
return; she perfectly well remembered how much he seemed interested in
her favour whilst on their passage from England, and made no doubt, but,
should he see her in her present distress, he would offer her an asylum,
and protect her to the utmost of his power. In that case she feared the
unguarded nature of Charlotte might discover to the Colonel the part
she had taken in the unhappy girl's elopement, and she well knew the
contrast between her own and Charlotte's conduct would make the former
appear in no very respectable light. Had she reflected properly, she
would have afforded the poor girl protection; and by enjoining her
silence, ensured it by acts of repeated kindness; but vice in general
blinds its votaries, and they discover their real characters to the
world when they are most studious to preserve appearances.

Just so it happened with Mrs. Crayton: her servants made no scruple of
mentioning the cruel conduct of their lady to a poor distressed
lunatic who claimed her protection; every one joined in reprobating her
inhumanity; nay even Corydon thought she might at least have ordered her
to be taken care of, but he dare not even hint it to her, for he lived
but in her smiles, and drew from her lavish fondness large sums to
support an extravagance to which the state of his own finances was very
inadequate; it cannot therefore be supposed that he wished Mrs. Crayton
to be very liberal in her bounty to the afflicted suppliant; yet vice
had not so entirely seared over his heart, but the sorrows of Charlotte
could find a vulnerable part.

Charlotte had now been three days with her humane preservers, but
she was totally insensible of every thing: she raved incessantly for
Montraville and her father: she was not conscious of being a mother, nor
took the least notice of her child except to ask whose it was, and why
it was not carried to its parents.

"Oh," said she one day, starting up on hearing the infant cry, "why, why
will you keep that child here; I am sure you would not if you knew
how hard it was for a mother to be parted from her infant: it is like
tearing the cords of life asunder. Oh could you see the horrid sight
which I now behold--there there stands my dear mother, her poor bosom
bleeding at every vein, her gentle, affectionate heart torn in a
thousand pieces, and all for the loss of a ruined, ungrateful child.
Save me save me--from her frown. I dare not--indeed I dare not speak to
her."

Such were the dreadful images that haunted her distracted mind, and
nature was sinking fast under the dreadful malady which medicine had
no power to remove. The surgeon who attended her was a humane man; he
exerted his utmost abilities to save her, but he saw she was in want of
many necessaries and comforts, which the poverty of her hospitable host
rendered him unable to provide: he therefore determined to make her
situation known to some of the officers' ladies, and endeavour to make a
collection for her relief.

When he returned home, after making this resolution, he found a message
from Mrs. Beauchamp, who had just arrived from Rhode-Island, requesting
he would call and see one of her children, who was very unwell. "I do
not know," said he, as he was hastening to obey the summons, "I do not
know a woman to whom I could apply with more hope of success than Mrs.
Beauchamp. I will endeavour to interest her in this poor girl's behalf,
she wants the soothing balm of friendly consolation: we may perhaps save
her; we will try at least."

"And where is she," cried Mrs. Beauchamp when he had prescribed
something for the child, and told his little pathetic tale, "where is
she, Sir? we will go to her immediately. Heaven forbid that I should
be deaf to the calls of humanity. Come we will go this instant." Then
seizing the doctor's arm, they sought the habitation that contained the
dying Charlotte.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

WHICH PEOPLE VOID OF FEELING NEED NOT READ.

WHEN Mrs. Beauchamp entered the apartment of the poor sufferer, she
started back with horror. On a wretched bed, without hangings and but
poorly supplied with covering, lay the emaciated figure of what still
retained the semblance of a lovely woman, though sickness had so altered
her features that Mrs. Beauchamp had not the least recollection of her
person. In one corner of the room stood a woman washing, and, shivering
over a small fire, two healthy but half naked children; the infant
was asleep beside its mother, and, on a chair by the bed side, stood
a porrenger and wooden spoon, containing a little gruel, and a tea-cup
with about two spoonfulls of wine in it. Mrs. Beauchamp had never
before beheld such a scene of poverty; she shuddered involuntarily, and
exclaiming--"heaven preserve us!" leaned on the back of a chair ready to
sink to the earth. The doctor repented having so precipitately brought
her into this affecting scene; but there was no time for apologies:
Charlotte caught the sound of her voice, and starting almost out of bed,
exclaimed--"Angel of peace and mercy, art thou come to deliver me? Oh,
I know you are, for whenever you was near me I felt eased of half my
sorrows; but you don't know me, nor can I, with all the recollection I
am mistress of, remember your name just now, but I know that benevolent
countenance, and the softness of that voice which has so often comforted
the wretched Charlotte."

Mrs. Beauchamp had, during the time Charlotte was speaking, seated
herself on the bed and taken one of her hands; she looked at her
attentively, and at the name of Charlotte she perfectly conceived
the whole shocking affair. A faint sickness came over her. "Gracious
heaven," said she, "is this possible?" and bursting into tears, she
reclined the burning head of Charlotte on her own bosom; and folding her
arms about her, wept over her in silence. "Oh," said Charlotte, "you are
very good to weep thus for me: it is a long time since I shed a tear for
myself: my head and heart are both on fire, but these tears of your's
seem to cool and refresh it. Oh now I remember you said you would send
a letter to my poor father: do you think he ever received it? or perhaps
you have brought me an answer: why don't you speak, Madam? Does he say I
may go home? Well he is very good; I shall soon be ready."

She then made an effort to get out of bed; but being prevented, her
frenzy again returned, and she raved with the greatest wildness and
incoherence. Mrs. Beauchamp, finding it was impossible for her to be
removed, contented herself with ordering the apartment to be made more
comfortable, and procuring a proper nurse for both mother and child; and
having learnt the particulars of Charlotte's fruitless application
to Mrs. Crayton from honest John, she amply rewarded him for his
benevolence, and returned home with a heart oppressed with many
painful sensations, but yet rendered easy by the reflexion that she had
performed her duty towards a distressed fellow-creature.

Early the next morning she again visited Charlotte, and found her
tolerably composed; she called her by name, thanked her for her
goodness, and when her child was brought to her, pressed it in her
arms, wept over it, and called it the offspring of disobedience. Mrs.
Beauchamp was delighted to see her so much amended, and began to hope
she might recover, and, spite of her former errors, become an useful and
respectable member of society; but the arrival of the doctor put an end
to these delusive hopes: he said nature was making her last effort, and
a few hours would most probably consign the unhappy girl to her kindred
dust.

Being asked how she found herself, she replied--"Why better, much
better, doctor. I hope now I have but little more to suffer. I had last
night a few hours sleep, and when I awoke recovered the full power of
recollection. I am quite sensible of my weakness; I feel I have but
little longer to combat with the shafts of affliction. I have an humble
confidence in the mercy of him who died to save the world, and trust
that my sufferings in this state of mortality, joined to my unfeigned
repentance, through his mercy, have blotted my offences from the sight
of my offended maker. I have but one care--my poor infant! Father of
mercy," continued she, raising her eyes, "of thy infinite goodness,
grant that the sins of the parent be not visited on the unoffending
child. May those who taught me to despise thy laws be forgiven; lay not
my offences to their charge, I beseech thee; and oh! shower the choicest
of thy blessings on those whose pity has soothed the afflicted heart,
and made easy even the bed of pain and sickness."

She was exhausted by this fervent address to the throne of mercy, and
though her lips still moved her voice became inarticulate: she lay for
some time as it were in a doze, and then recovering, faintly pressed
Mrs. Beauchamp's hand, and requested that a clergyman might be sent for.

On his arrival she joined fervently in the pious office, frequently
mentioning her ingratitude to her parents as what lay most heavy at her
heart. When she had performed the last solemn duty, and was preparing to
lie down, a little bustle on the outside door occasioned Mrs. Beauchamp
to open it, and enquire the cause. A man in appearance about forty,
presented himself, and asked for Mrs. Beauchamp.

"That is my name, Sir," said she.

"Oh then, my dear Madam," cried he, "tell me where I may find my poor,
ruined, but repentant child."

Mrs. Beauchamp was surprised and affected; she knew not what to say; she
foresaw the agony this interview would occasion Mr. Temple, who had just
arrived in search of his Charlotte, and yet was sensible that the pardon
and blessing of her father would soften even the agonies of death to the
daughter.

She hesitated. "Tell me, Madam," cried he wildly, "tell me, I beseech
thee, does she live? shall I see my darling once again? Perhaps she is
in this house. Lead, lead me to her, that I may bless her, and then lie
down and die."

The ardent manner in which he uttered these words occasioned him to
raise his voice. It caught the ear of Charlotte: she knew the beloved
sound: and uttering a loud shriek, she sprang forward as Mr. Temple
entered the room. "My adored father." "My long lost child." Nature
could support no more, and they both sunk lifeless into the arms of the
attendants.

Charlotte was again put into bed, and a few moments restored Mr. Temple:
but to describe the agony of his sufferings is past the power of
any one, who, though they may readily conceive, cannot delineate the
dreadful scene. Every eye gave testimony of what each heart felt--but
all were silent.

When Charlotte recovered, she found herself supported in her father's
arms. She cast on him a most expressive look, but was unable to speak.
A reviving cordial was administered. She then asked in a low voice,
for her child: it was brought to her: she put it in her father's arms.
"Protect her," said she, "and bless your dying--"

Unable to finish the sentence, she sunk back on her pillow: her
countenance was serenely composed; she regarded her father as he pressed
the infant to his breast with a steadfast look; a sudden beam of joy
passed across her languid features, she raised her eyes to heaven--and
then closed them for ever.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

RETRIBUTION.

IN the mean time Montraville having received orders to return to
New-York, arrived, and having still some remains of compassionate
tenderness for the woman whom he regarded as brought to shame by
himself, he went out in search of Belcour, to enquire whether she was
safe, and whether the child lived. He found him immersed in dissipation,
and could gain no other intelligence than that Charlotte had left him,
and that he knew not what was become of her.

"I cannot believe it possible," said Montraville, "that a mind once so
pure as Charlotte Temple's, should so suddenly become the mansion of
vice. Beware, Belcour," continued he, "beware if you have dared to
behave either unjust or dishonourably to that poor girl, your life shall
pay the forfeit:--I will revenge her cause."

He immediately went into the country, to the house where he had left
Charlotte. It was desolate. After much enquiry he at length found the
servant girl who had lived with her. From her he learnt the misery
Charlotte had endured from the complicated evils of illness, poverty,
and a broken heart, and that she had set out on foot for New-York, on a
cold winter's evening; but she could inform him no further.

Tortured almost to madness by this shocking account, he returned to the
city, but, before he reached it, the evening was drawing to a close.
In entering the town he was obliged to pass several little huts, the
residence of poor women who supported themselves by washing the cloaths
of the officers and soldiers. It was nearly dark: he heard from a
neighbouring steeple a solemn toll that seemed to say some poor mortal
was going to their last mansion: the sound struck on the heart of
Montraville, and he involuntarily stopped, when, from one of the houses,
he saw the appearance of a funeral. Almost unknowing what he did, he
followed at a small distance; and as they let the coffin into the grave,
he enquired of a soldier who stood by, and had just brushed off a tear
that did honour to his heart, who it was that was just buried. "An
please your honour," said the man, "'tis a poor girl that was brought
from her friends by a cruel man, who left her when she was big with
child, and married another." Montraville stood motionless, and the man
proceeded--"I met her myself not a fortnight since one night all wet and
cold in the streets; she went to Madam Crayton's, but she would not take
her in, and so the poor thing went raving mad." Montraville could bear
no more; he struck his hands against his forehead with violence; and
exclaiming "poor murdered Charlotte!" ran with precipitation towards the
place where they were heaping the earth on her remains. "Hold, hold, one
moment," said he. "Close not the grave of the injured Charlotte Temple
till I have taken vengeance on her murderer."

"Rash young man," said Mr. Temple, "who art thou that thus disturbest
the last mournful rites of the dead, and rudely breakest in upon the
grief of an afflicted father."

"If thou art the father of Charlotte Temple," said he, gazing at
him with mingled horror and amazement--"if thou art her father--I am
Montraville." Then falling on his knees, he continued--"Here is my
bosom. I bare it to receive the stroke I merit. Strike--strike now, and
save me from the misery of reflexion."

"Alas!" said Mr. Temple, "if thou wert the seducer of my child, thy own
reflexions be thy punishment. I wrest not the power from the hand of
omnipotence. Look on that little heap of earth, there hast thou buried
the only joy of a fond father. Look at it often; and may thy heart feel
such true sorrow as shall merit the mercy of heaven." He turned from
him; and Montraville starting up from the ground, where he had thrown
himself, and at that instant remembering the perfidy of Belcour, flew
like lightning to his lodgings. Belcour was intoxicated; Montraville
impetuous: they fought, and the sword of the latter entered the heart
of his adversary. He fell, and expired almost instantly. Montraville had
received a slight wound; and overcome with the agitation of his mind and
loss of blood, was carried in a state of insensibility to his distracted
wife. A dangerous illness and obstinate delirium ensued, during which
he raved incessantly for Charlotte: but a strong constitution, and
the tender assiduities of Julia, in time overcame the disorder. He
recovered; but to the end of his life was subject to severe fits of
melancholy, and while he remained at New-York frequently retired to the
church-yard, where he would weep over the grave, and regret the untimely
fate of the lovely Charlotte Temple.



CHAPTER XXXV.

CONCLUSION.

SHORTLY after the interment of his daughter, Mr. Temple, with his
dear little charge and her nurse, set forward for England. It would be
impossible to do justice to the meeting scene between him, his Lucy, and
her aged father. Every heart of sensibility can easily conceive their
feelings. After the first tumult of grief was subsided, Mrs. Temple
gave up the chief of her time to her grand-child, and as she grew up and
improved, began to almost fancy she again possessed her Charlotte.

It was about ten years after these painful events, that Mr. and Mrs.
Temple, having buried their father, were obliged to come to London on
particular business, and brought the little Lucy with them. They had
been walking one evening, when on their return they found a poor
wretch sitting on the steps of the door. She attempted to rise as they
approached, but from extreme weakness was unable, and after several
fruitless efforts fell back in a fit. Mr. Temple was not one of those
men who stand to consider whether by assisting an object in distress
they shall not inconvenience themselves, but instigated by the impulse
of a noble feeling heart, immediately ordered her to be carried into the
house, and proper restoratives applied.

She soon recovered; and fixing her eyes on Mrs. Temple, cried--"You know
not, Madam, what you do; you know not whom you are relieving, or you
would curse me in the bitterness of your heart. Come not near me, Madam,
I shall contaminate you. I am the viper that stung your peace. I am the
woman who turned the poor Charlotte out to perish in the street. Heaven
have mercy! I see her now," continued she looking at Lucy; "such, such
was the fair bud of innocence that my vile arts blasted ere it was half
blown."

It was in vain that Mr. and Mrs. Temple intreated her to be composed and
to take some refreshment. She only drank half a glass of wine; and then
told them that she had been separated from her husband seven years,
the chief of which she had passed in riot, dissipation, and vice, till,
overtaken by poverty and sickness, she had been reduced to part with
every valuable, and thought only of ending her life in a prison; when a
benevolent friend paid her debts and released her; but that her illness
increasing, she had no possible means of supporting herself, and her
friends were weary of relieving her. "I have fasted," said she, "two
days, and last night lay my aching head on the cold pavement: indeed it
was but just that I should experience those miseries myself which I had
unfeelingly inflicted on others."

Greatly as Mr. Temple had reason to detest Mrs. Crayton, he could not
behold her in this distress without some emotions of pity. He gave her
shelter that night beneath his hospitable roof, and the next day got her
admission into an hospital; where having lingered a few weeks, she died,
a striking example that vice, however prosperous in the beginning, in
the end leads only to misery and shame.





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