Obrazy na stronie

only of the weakness of the head, but also of tife depravity of the heart.

Mrs. Lov. It is much to be lamented how many stationed in the higher circles of life, are half ruined, even from childhood, by a bad education. I am very glad my kind parents favored me rather with a useful, than what is called a polite education, according to that station of life they knew it was most probable 1 might be called to fill : advantageous knowledge and the improvement of the mind, were what I was directed to seek after; and as this has uot lessened me in my dear Mr. Lovely's esteem, I have nothing to regret on that score. I hope dear Madam, the younger branches of yonr family, will equally prove to your satisfaction, as well as to their own credit through life.

Mrs. Wor. I have many an anxious thought about them, but the younger branches of our family, have not yet finished their schooling, and we had anxiety enongh before we could provide such places of education for them, as are best calculated for the proper improvement of their minds. We feel the education of our children a most solemn charge ; and to begin well with them, is one of the most important steps that can be taken for their future good. Bat all is nothing without the divine blessing on our efforts. If our little ones turn out as well as our two eldest daughters, we shall be the happiest family

Mrs. Lov. I hope Madam, as long as you continue me your guest you will allow me, as far as I have strength, to help the young Ladies in their excellent employment.

Mrs. Wor. Though my daughters are very attentive in this beneficial way for the good of others, yet at times we are not forbidden to do something for ourselves, and for the instruction of our own minds; especially in the winter season. Then some of us work; while others read history, geography and other useful and improving publications.

upon earth.


*M1s. Lov. I suppose sometimes different periodical publications attract your notice.

Mrs. Wor. Indeed but seldom, for most of them are not only avowedly written with a party design, but too frequently in such an angry party spirit, as to irritate and disturb the mind, so that we pay very little attention to them ; Mr. Worthy cannot bear them. But our greatest feast is, when we can get the worthy minister of our parish to pass an evening with us. He is not only a good, but a well educated

And then he gives us delightful lectures in natural and experimental philosophy, but especially in astronomy. Mr. Worthy has lately presented us with those fine paįr of globes, you see in that recess, and an admirable telescope. In short our philosophical apparatus, is now become very considerable. And at times we have many of our more intelligent neighbours, who attend these intellectual feasts. But the best feast is, the excellent improvement we have of it from our pious minister, who displays the glory of the great Creator in such an admirable manner, in all his works.

[Miss Worthy jast then returns with her work.]

Miss Wor. Now Madam we are just ready to hear about the lady you mentioned, viz. Mrs Sharp.

Mrs. Lov. Å deplorable story it truly is. She has experienced a very severe reverse of fortune, by her calamities. She was the only daughter of very creditable parents. Her father I am told, was a captain in the army, who lost his life when she was quite young. The disconsolate widow however lived to educate her in a decent and respectable style, though she was taken off by a fever before she had reached her twentieth year : and it seems her parents left behind, a fortune of nearly seven thousand pounds for her use.

Mrs. Wor. No wonder if at such an age she was oif her guard, and made a mistake in marriage, being so early deprived of the guides of her youth, before her judgment was properly matured.

Mrs. Lov. Why Madam, though she was married so young, and within the year after her mother's death, yet it was the general opinion that no charge of inadvertency could be brought against her. Mr. Sharp by all accounts, was then supposed to be a very desirable young man, and in early life was esteemed by most as of general credit and reputation. He was of considerable practice in the law, and had formed some very respectable connexions, and though he was not more than four and twenty, when they were married, yet, he being then very diligent and clever in his profession ; most people thought that she was a fortunate young woman, and that it would prove a happy match. In short, their prospects upon their marriage, and for some time afterwards, were very promising ; and while their family increased, it seem- ! ed to be an additional happiness to them both.

Mrs. Wor. How many children had they?

Mrs. Lov. They lived together till they had four, and at that time most people envied their mutual felicity with each other,

Mrs. Wor. What could be the cause of the dissolution of such a happy connexion ?

Mrs. Lov. 0 Madam! a French Gentleman and Lady, were driven over into this country by the troubles in France, and settled in our neighbourhood. He

gave himself out as being one of the French nobles, but was only known by the name of Mr. Dapee. Who, or what they were, no one could tell ; and whether they were, or were not married, was equally uncertain. He was certainly a very vain weak man; and she a most artful and intriguing woman ; not only possessed of a strong and powerful understanding, but deeply tutored in all those pernicious principles, which have proved so destructive to the peace of mankind, and especially in the country from whence they came.

Mrs. Wor. No wonder, that any connexion with such sort of people, should bring ruin with them wherever they are admitted. But

how came Mr Sharp to be acquainted with them ?

Mrs. Lov. It was Madam Dupee, who seemed to be the cause of all the trouble ; she was the manager of every thing; for he being troubled with epilepsy, and at the best of a weak understanding, he paid but very

little atter.tion to his own concerns, so that not long after their arrival, she was in the habit of sending for Mr. Sharp to assist her in settling their affairs, for he certainly was a man of some property; and at times, was fond of making a little shew.

Mrs. Wor. But if Mrs. Sharp was of an amiable and domestic disposition, he must have been a very vile man, to have been ensnared by such an artful stranger.

Mrs. Lov. O Madam! Mrs. Sharp had many an aching heart about him, soon after their acquaintance commenced; but she kept her sorrows to herself, although even the children, could discover a difference of conduct towards her, and at times would say, I wonder why Papa does not love Mamma as much as he used to do.Their innocent prattle freqaently drew many a tear from her eyes.

Mrs. Wor. No wonder if after this, when his affections were in a measure withdrawn, if matters soon went from bad to worse. His undue intimacy with such an intriguing woman, must have given Mrs. Sharp a deal of trouble. [To Mrs. Lovely.] What should you and I feel, if we had such husbands?

Mrs. Lov. O dear Madam ! a little of such sort of treatment from my dear George, would soon be the death of me. I have had a deal of trouble for him, but it seems almost impossible that I should ever have any trouble from him, though perhaps Mrs. Sharp once thought the same, but all this was but the beginning of much deeper sorrows; and the sudden death of Mr. Dupee, completely moved every obstacle out of the way of their further designs.

Mrs. Wor. How came that about?

Mrs. Lov. 0 Madam! though his epileptic fits were at times very violent, yet from one of them he never recovered, and this was attended with some such circumstances as rendered it very doubtful, whether there was not some contrivance between them both, that he never should recover, though nothing could positively be proved against them.

Mrs. Wor. What is it supposed that Mr. Sharp assisted in the murder of the poor man?

Mrs. Lov. It is too generally suspected, that some very improper treatment during his last fit, was the cause of his dissclution, for no person was permitted to come near his corpse, while he lay dead in the house, and this preys upon Mrs. Sharp's mind so severely, that she is almost distracted.

Mrs. Wor. If she had the most distant suspicion, that he could be accessary to such an abominable crime, in addition to his unfaithfulness and unkindness; how could she bear such a monster of a man? no wonder that it caused a complete separation between them.

Mrs. Lov. And now it began to appear most evidently to have been his design to accomplish such a separation. Though the woman put on the appearance of one of the most inconsolable widows that ever lived, for being, if any thing, a Roman Catholic, she sent to all the popish chapels far and wide, for their masses, to pray his soul out of purgatory, yet more of the company of Mr. Sharp was evidently all she wanted; for she not only contrived to sweep all her husband's property into her own pocket, they not having any children ; though several nephews and nieces; and these were all forgotten, that she might get the whole into her absolute possession. And it seems his will was the entire fabrication of Mr. Sharp, while he and she were the only joint executors of the whole concern, and this furnished him with a pretext to give almost the whole of his company to this vile woman : while his broken-hearted wife, and neglected children, were almost entirely forsaken by him. In

« PoprzedniaDalej »