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ment I will continue, and hasten to the end of this painful narrative.”
“The evening after Mr. Rivers's letter arrived, my mother slept for some hours; near ten she waked, and holding out her hand, said with a smile,-'Maria, the hours of pain are past; methought in this blesť sleep my soul had quitted its earthly tenement, and reached the realms of bliss. The first bright spirit I met was thy father !— Now, Emily,' said he,' grief is changed to joy, we meet to part no more.' - Though I felt inexpressible delight, I could not refrain saying—Alas! Maria is left behind.'-'Fear not
her,' returned he; though various ills surround her, she will go smoothly down the vale of life. He led me on, and I was lost in rapture.' - She ceased, and by the motion of her lips, seemed to pray for about an hour, when pressing my hand, which was inclosed in hers, articulately said, -Clairville, I come!' and without a sigh resigned her soul to the almighty Giver."
“I SHALL pass over what followed; suffice it, the generous Mrs. Rivers fetched me two days after, leaving orders for my mother's funeral, who was removed and laid by my father.
« Mr. Rivers welcomed me with tenderness; and after some time I grew tolerably composed, endeavouring by attention to oblige my only friends: nor was my assiduity unsuccessful ; Mr. Rivers seemed fond of me, and his lady was indeed a second mother.'
“ I had lived near three years at Mr. Rivers's, when a nephew of that gentleman, the son of his only brother, arrived in England: he was about twenty years old; the last six he had passed in the East-Indies with 'his father, who, possessing a younger brother's fortune, sought to improve it in that country; however, at the expiration of that time, his patrimony was only increased from five to eight thousand pounds, which, when dying, he bequeathed to his son, paying the compliment to his brother Rivers, of making hima trustee, till Henry acquired the age of twentyfour. This young gentleman joined to an agreeable figure, a cultivated understanding, and a heart free from vice; he was presumptive heir to Mr. Rivers, who was childless. No wonder that, possessed of such a naind and person, Henry made an impression on my unexperienced heart; an impression, though youthful, that will last till this agonised breast shall cease to heave a sigh to his beloved memory.
5. Our partiality was mutual: on my side, hid in my own breast; on his, shown in a thousand little attentions, which to an indifferent eye might pass for friendship, but to a man possessed of a knowledge of the world, like Mr. Rivers, was easily discovered.
"Young, unexperienced, what was my surprise to find another person acquainted with what was almost unknown to my own heart.
Mrs. Rivers,' ever assiduous to smooth the thorny paths : of life, was, by the call fof soft humanity, a calll she never resisted, obliged to attend an expiring friend, a few miles from London, purposing to pass the night there, and return the following day, I was prevented
accompanying her, by a slight cold, and the order of the physician, who desired me not to venture out.
.“I had dined with Mr. Rivers and Henry; after which the eldest of those gentlemen said to his nephew,— Henry, will you give me your company this evening?' Henry obeyed, and I retired to Mrs. Rivers's dressing room, where taking up a book, I continued reading until a gentle tap at the door disturbed me, which when opened was Mr. Rivers !-Maria,' said he, 'you seem surprised, I want some tea; will you do me the favor to make it!' I bowed, but my eyes were fixed on the door, expecting Henry's appearance; my absence of mind was not lost on Mr. Rivers, who divined the cause. "I have left Henry,' said he, at Mrs. Selby's assembly; he seemed entertained, and not willing to disturb his mirth, I slipped out, as I have some unavoidable business this evening. I felt an unusual glow on my cheeks at his so easily guessing my thoughts.- Do not blush, Maria,' continued he, 'at finding me acquainted with the state of your heart. I have for some time perceived it; for, believe me, the eye of true friendship reads the thoughts of those it esteems. But let me intreat you, my dear girl,' taking my hand, 'not to suffer an idle, childish passion to take root in a breast I so much value. Henry
does not deserve you, he is unacquainted with your worth : he is too young, and, I am sorry to add, too gay to think of marriage. Do not believe, my charming Maria, I have any mercenary views in this advice; no, on my honor, your happiness is my only concern; and so far from thinking your alliance would disgrace my family, I should think you the brightest gem that ever adorned it.' 'Indeed, Sir,' said 1, not daring to lift my eyes, 'never can my heart, where gratitude is predominant, so ill repay the many favors conferred, had even Mr. Rivers a partiality for me, which I am not vain enough to imagine, to consent to what must lessen him in the opinion of his family, and deprive me of the friendship of one I value above my existence. I esteem, I respect Henry's virtues; he, taught by the example of Mrs. Rivers and yourself, may show too much respect to an unfortunate girl, who, spoiled by kindness, sometimes forgets her duty.' 'Nay, now you are too grave,' said he, ' and highly over-rate any little favors you may receive, and which your merit might intitle you to ten-fold: but tell me, my sweet girl, who is the friend you value above your existence ?!
Mrs. Rivers, Sir; and happy shall I think myself if she will accept my endeavours through life to oblige her: I wish no other situation ; a happier I cannot have.' 'So, Maria, then I am quite