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that I will not fulfil at the hazard of my life ?' * Then, my dear girl, though I could wish you to have no concealments from Henry, but let an ingenuous candor shine in every action; for without mutual confidence happiness is impossible; yet, in pity to him and compassion for my peace, let your suspicions of Mr. Rivers, for I know you must suspect him, be, hid in silence. We have no proofs, nothing but suspicions, which, if discovered, would make an everlasting breach between the uncle and nephew: besides, if his intentions were as bad as our fears, he thinks you ignorant of them; then, my dear girl, let them remain in our own breasts. If you survive Mr. Rivers and myself, you are at liberty, and may plead for excuse a promise to me, to whom your honor is dear as my own,'
“ She ceased, and I promised what she desired. After some time Henry joined us, and the evening passed with as much tranquillity as could be expected: fear, however, that my betrayers might even come before their time, for the date of the note appointed the following night, agitated me so much, that I discovered it to Mrs. Rivers :-'Fear not, my Maria,' said Henry, 'I purpose not to sleep, for my fears equal yours. My benefactress, however, thought it best for me to pretend an inclination to read, and so dismiss my servant, and afterwards to return, and pass the night in
her chamber. It was so settled and executed; myself rising early, returned to my own room, where the servant, when she came to call me, found me already dressed.
“I now wished for my dear Mary, who would have made my flight far more pleasing; but she was settled in London with her husband. I had taken a change of linen in my pocket; my riding dress making every thing else unnecessary.
We met as usual at breakfast; when the servants were withdrawn, Mrs. Rivers addressed herself to Henry :-'I need not commend, my dear nephew, Maria to your care; of your prudence having no doubt.' 'When I forfeit your good opinion,' said he, 'may I become the outcast of all mankind.' 'I' know you will not,' said she : "one thing more; when you return from Scotland, write to me, but in a manner I may show to Mr. Rivers; as I would not have him think I act in open opposition to his commands.
“ After some little time, she rung to order the horses : 'I must hasten you, I see,' affecting to be cheerful: -'Fear not, Maria; we have, I doubt not, many happy hours. to pass together. When I receive your letter, I will immediately answer it, by desiring you to go to my house in Kent, where I will soon see you. For me, my · feelings at this parting were neither relieved by words nor tears, and I embraced her with agony unutterable. She now retired to her chamber, to conceal sentiments similar to my own.
“ Henry, though pained at our parting, could scarcely conceal his satisfaction; which I reproved. • Can it be otherwise ?' said he; 'am I not going to be united to you by the tenderest ties, which only death can break? Can you blame my raptures? for which I almost thank the letter that brought about this blest event.'
“ The servant entered to say the horses were ready.--Henry assisted me to mount. Raising my eyes, to take my farewell of the mansion, I perceived its amiable mistress at one of the windows, who, forcing a smile, and kissing her hand, looked an adieu.
« We now rode off; at the end of three miles, Henry stopped his horse, and called the groom, telling him to return, and say to Mrs. Rivers, we should ride to Sir Thomas Thornton's, as I had never seen his gardens, and probably should not return to dinner. The man obeyed, and we reached Mansfield by twelve o'clock. A chaise was immediately prepared, and we travelled the remainder of the day, all night, and the day following; in short, we arrived safe at the place of our destination, which was a small village at the entrance of Scotland. We were no sooner united, and proper certificates taken, than we
returned to Penrith; at which place my Henry determined to wait an answer to a letter he immediately wrote to Mrs. Rivers. We remained. at Penrith several days; which time we spent in seeing the country. In one of these excursions, we rode over part of this moor; we were both pleased with it, and returned for three days, visiting different parts of it, a servant from the inn attending to carry cold provisions. My Henry was particularly charmed with this spot, on which we sat two days to dine. In this place, where my cottage now stands, my much-loved husband caught me in his arms:
'Here, my love, should the world forsake us,' said he, 'part of our little fortune might build a cot, the rest support a life of rapture, which the greatest might envy! possessed of thee, Maria, I ask no more.'
“ Pardon me, Louisa, I must leave off, for the present; recollection is painful, and though religion has, in some degree, made me composed under my misfortunes, yet cannot I forget past happiness :
-no, my beloved husband! thy idea is never absent." Louisa's tears flowed fast as Mrs. Rivers's.-" Alas!" said she, “that I should be the occasion of your reciting woes, which make every wound time's lenient band had almost closed, bleed afresh.” “ Believe me, no, my love," said Mrs. Rivers; “ did not tears daily
relieve my full heart, I must long since have bid adieu to a world, which to me has been a draught of bitterness : but come, Louisa, I will not infect you with my melancholy; reach a book, and read for half an hour.” She obeyed, and read Pope's Messiah, in a manner that divested her auditor of every other sentiment but the divine subject.
Mary made her appearance, bearing their evening repast, which placing on the table, would have withdrawn. “Stay," said her mistress, “take your usual seat; I will no longer suffer ceremony to deprive me of my companion; Louisa will be equally pleased with your company as myself.” Louisa, whose soul was affability itself, immediately rose. " If the pain you make me feel by this misplaced complaisance, I am sure you would not do it; it is I, that am so lately an intruder, that should give place.” Mary could not resist her solicitations, as she by this time had placed ber a chair. They now sat down to their vegetable supper, with a thankfulness and peace that I fear are not always the companions of more sumptuous entertainments; and then retired to rest, with minds so free from guile, that had they waked in eternity, neither envy, malice, nor any other discordant passion, would have prevented their everlasting welfare.