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and I sat up

brook; and never in my life did I experience such bitterness of heart.

While leaning in this languid and sorrowful guise, and just when my grief was at the height, I heard a rap at the door. It was too gentle and timid to be that of a bailiff or creditor, and therefore I took it to be a (still more unwelcome) messenger of love, or perhaps the dame of the mustachio and malmsey nose herself. I strained my organs of hearing to catch the sounds of her disagreeable voice I heard itthat is, I heard a female voice on the landing-place, and I knew it could be no other; and, though I had pledged myself to lead my life with her, my blood revolted from this one private intervièw,

in my seat half enraged. The servant opened the door in the quick abrupt manner in which these impertinent rascals always do it. “A lady wishes to speak with you, sir.” “ Cannot

you show her in then, and be d-d to you ?” He did 50; and there entered—Oh Heaven! not my disastrous dame, but the most lovely, angelic, and splendid creature I had ever seen, who was leading by the hand a comely boy about seven years of age, dressed like a prince. My eyes were dazzled, and my senses so wholly confounded, that I could not speak a word; but, rising from my seat, I made her a low respectful bow. This she did not deign to return, but, coming slowly up to me, and looking me full in the face, she stretched out her beautiful hand. “ So then I have found you out at last," said she, taking my unresisting hand in hers. It was Clifford Mackay. “My dear Clifford ! My angel, my preserver," said I, “ Is it you?" and taking her in my arms, I placed her on my knees in the easy chair, and kissed her lips, her cheek, and chin, a thousand times in raptures of the most heartfelt delight, till even the little boy, her only son, wept with joy át seeing our happiness. Her husband had died, and left this her only son heir to all his wealth, the interest of which was solely at her disposal as long as her son was a minor, for the

purpose of his education ; and when he became of age she was to have £100 a year as long as she lived. As soon as she found herself in these circumstances, she determined to find me out, and share it with me, to whatever part of the world I had retired, and in whatever condition of life she found me, whether married or unmarried. With this intent, she told the other guardians of her son's property, that she intended going into Scotland, to live for a time with her relations in that country, and to overlook the education of her


whom she was going to place at the seminaries there. They approved highly of the plan, and furnished her with every means of carrying it into execution ; and she having once got a letter from me dated from Edinburgh, as from her brother, she came straight thither, and heard of me at once by applying at the office of the army agent. I told her of my engagement, and of my

determination to break it off, and make her my lawful wife; and she in return acknowledged frankly, that such a connexion was what of all things in the world she most wished, if I could do so with honour; but she added, that were I married a thousand times it could not diminish her interest in me one whit. I assured her there was no fear of getting free of my beloved, and sitting down I wrote a letter to her, stating the impossibility of my fulfilling my engagements with her, as the wife of my youth, whom I had lost among the savages of America more than seven years ago, and had long given up all hopes of ever seeing again, had found her way to this country with my child, to claim her rights, which my conscience would not suffer me to deny; and that she had arrived at my house, and was at that

very time sitting with me at the same table. This intelligence put my gentle bride quite beside herself; for the short days, and long wearisome nights of Christmas had already arrived, and she found that her prospects as well as mine were entirely changed. She wept, raved, tore her

hair, and abused me-threatened me with a prosecution, and then fell into hysterics. She was soon after married to a brave old veteran, who had lost a limb, and seen many misfortunes; a match that was brought about by the indefatigable Mrs Rae, and for any thing that I ever heard turned out well enough.

Clifford and I were regularly married, and have now lived together eighteen years as man and wife, and I have always found her a kind, faithful, and good-natured companion. It is true we have lived rather a dissipated, confused, irregular sort of life, such as might have been expected from the nature of our first connexion ; but this has been wholly owing to my acquired habits, and not to any bias in her disposic tion towards such a life. She never controlled me in any one thing; and her mind was so soft and gentle, that it was like melted wax, and took the impression at once of the company with which it associated. We lived in affluence till the time that her son became of age, but since that period we feel a good deal of privation, although our wants are mostly artificial; and I believe I have loved her better than I could bave loved any other, and as well as my unstaid mind was capable of loving any one.

These last eighteen years of my life have been so regular, or rather so uniformly irregular, that the shortest memorandum of them that I could draw up, would be flat and unprofitable. There has been nothing varied in them-nothing animating; and I am wearing down to the grave, sensible of having spent a long life of insignificance, productive of no rational happiness to myself, nor benefit to my fellow-creatures. From these reflections have I been induced to write out this memoir. The exercise has served to amuse me,

be a source of amusement as well as instruction to others. From the whole of the narrative, these moral axioms may be drawn: That without steadiness in a profession, success in life need not be expected ; and without steadiness of principle, wc forego our happiness both here and hereafter. It

and may


be deemed by some, that I have treated female imprudence with too great a degree of levity, and represented it as producible of consequences that it does not deserve; but in this, I am only blameable in having adhered to the simple truth. Besides, I would gladly combat the ungenerous and cruel belief, that when a female once steps aside from the paths of rectitude, she is lost for ever. Nothing can be more ungracious than this; yet to act conformably with such a sentiment, is common in the manners of this volatile age, as notorious for its laxity of morals as for its false delicacy. Never yet was there a young female seduced from the paths of virtue, who did not grievously repent, and who would not gladly have returned, had an opportunity offered, or had even a possibility been left. How cruel then to shut the only door, on the regaining of which the eternal happiness or misery of a fellow-creature depends. I have known many who were timeously snatched from error, before their minds were corrupted, which is not the work of a day; and who turned out characters more exemplary for virtue and every good quality, than in all likelihood they would have been, had no such misfortune befallen them. “ The rainbow's lovely in the eastern cloud,

The rose is beauteous on the bended thorn
Sweet is the evening ray from purple shroud,

And sweet the orient blushes of the morn;
Sweeter than all the beauties which adorn

The female form in youth and maiden bloom !
Ol! why should passion erer man suborn

To work the sweetest flower of nature's doom,

And cast o'er all her joys a veil of cheerless gloom !
“ Oh fragile flower! that blossoms but to fade !-

One slip recovery or recall defies !
Thou walk’st the dizzy verge with steps unstaid,

Fair as the habitants of yonder skies !

Like them thou fallest never more to rise !

Oh fragile flower ! for thee my heart's in pain !
Haply a world is hid from mortal eyes,

Where thou may'st smile in purity again,
And shine in virgin bloom that ever shall remain.".


This tale, which may be depended on as in every part true, is singular, for the circumstance of its being insolvable either from the facts that have been discovered relating to it, or by reason: for though events sometimes occur among mankind, which at the time seem inexplicable, yet, there being always some individuals acquainted with the primary causes of those events, they seldom fail of being brought to light before all the actors in them, or their confidants, are removed from this state of existence. But the causes which produced the events here related, have never been accounted for in this world

; even 'conjecture is left to wander in a labyrinth, unable to get hold of the thread that leads to the catastrophe,

Mr Bell was a gentleman of Annandale, in Dumfries-shire, in the south of Scotland, the proprietor of a considerable estate in that district, part of which he occupied himself. He lost his father when he was an infant, and his mother dying when he was about 20 years of age, left him the sole proprietor of the estate, besides a large sum of money at interest, for which he was indebted, in a great measure, to his mother's parsimony during his minority. His person was tall, comely, and athletic, and his whole delight was in warlike and violent exercises. He was the best horseman and marksman in the county, and valued himself particularly upon his skill in the broad sword exercise. Of this he often boasted aloud, and

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