Page images



N: X

I Norman .

The Descent of the Air Balloon

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Fatal Indifference.

479 To the EDITORS of the Boston rather encouraged, than discounteMAGALINE. nanced the extraordinary


which I set upon my own accomThe following is an Extract plishments, and negleAed the culti

from a British Publication, vation of my mind, though he hourly which if you think worthy, that the knowledge of a language or

sacrificed to my vanity. He fancied pleafe to injert in your two, would necessarily give me good

senre, and believed the turn of my useful Miscellany.

disposition must be right because I A CONSTANT READER .

sung prettily, and made a figure at The Fatal Indifference : Or,

the harpsichord. the interesting History of a

Alas ! how severely has experience

convinced me, that a single scruple of Lady, written by berself. discretion out weighs all the beneWas the only daughter of a gentle

fits to be reaped from the French or I man, who held an employment

Italian ; and how heartily do I wish

that the hours which have been ro under the government, that amounted to sool. a year; yet though this em

prodigally lavished in the attaintment ployment was 'his principal depen.

of mere embellishments, had been dence, and though he was always ur •

wisely employed in the less fashion, der a necessity of appearing rather

able Audies of regulating a family. elegantly in the world, fill no care

Wishes however, will not, to use the was omitted to give his favourite forcible language of a modern writer, Louisa a fnished education. I was therefore inftru&ted at an early period “Roll back the food of never ebbing in French and Italian, was taught all

time," the fashionable needle works that keep young women regularly em- and therefore from useless exclama. ployed, without answering any one tion I shall proceed with a simple nár. purpose of real utility, and made such ration of fads. Notwithstanding my a miftress of the harpsichord before boundless vanity, and not witfanding I attained my fourteenth year, that I the well known tenderness of my faa was con idered by the connoisseurs on ther's circumstances, I had several this inftrument, as a kind of mufical advantageous matches proposed to miracle : and to all those accomplish- me before I reached my eighteenth ments, that I luog with some fafte, year ; but these were in general disdanced with remarkable grace, and regarded, both because no impression poffefsed a person which was the in. had been made upon my heart, and ceffant objeđ of general adulation. because I fancied my wonderful me

In giving this pi&ture of myself, I rits would at any time procure me Thall not be suspected of vanity be- á husband with an affluent fortune : cause at the very period I am speak. At lengih Mr. M- who had acing of, I was much more intitled to quired a prodigious property as a pity than to praise; my education commiffary during the late war, makhad been elegant, but no way useful, ing overtures, my father thought it and it rather served to encrease my prudent to consent; and as I had no pride, than to enlarge my' under. obje&tion whatever to Mr. Meo's Aanding --ipstead of teaching me to person or manners we were married be chearful, humble, and obliging, it in a few weeks, and I found myself rendered me lullen, froward and ca. mistress of a magpificent house in the Foys, and therefore, instead of mo. Deighbourhood of G... square. Be.

deity endeavouring to obtain the ing thụs happily settled, and indulged cheen, of those with whom I con- in every with of my heart by Mr. orled, I laid an infolent claim to M- my pride 'roon broke out their admiration. My poor father, into the utmost extravagance, and I who imagined the world beheld me grew wholly indifferent to every e... in the eyes of his own partiality, joyment but my rage for admiration,

[ocr errors]

'In vaio my husband exerted every Day be evident. Let not his errori argument of tenderness, and every lead you into a&tual crimes, por mad. a& of generoity,to Mew me the follý, ly make a sacrifice of your own hapnay the danger of my pursuit. His piness, and your own character, remonftrances I construed into in through a ridiculous notion of reSolence and imagined he was suffici. taliating your wrouge---you can sulently happy in the possession of so fer no difrers that will equal a fall invaluable a treasure as myself, without to jofamy. The affidion of the inputting a disagreable restraint upon nocent is an Elysium compared to my inclinations. The truth was, he the anguise of the guilty, and the had married me from a priociple of stroke of calamity is always keen n affeaion,and I had given him my hand proportion to the consciousness of entirely from motives of vanily.• He having deserved it. Had I prudentexpected to have his pallion returned ly considered this, while the coolder with transport, and I looked for a ation would have been useful, my continual round of glitter and diffi

bioom of life would not now be chilled pation. He pined to have me more by the blafts of fame. Nor had at home and I lickened for every the form of reproach rooted up all fashionable amusement. The conse- the Aattering prospect of my future quence at last was, that he became felicity. The (un Mine of tranquility gloomy in proportion as I grew in. would have smiled upon my morning, different, and this gloominels appear- and my evening would have been ing, in my conception of thmgs, very wholly vnimbittered with tears. But vngrateful, I deier mined to punith alas ! I must resent where I ought to it as much as possible, by engaging reconcile, and inftead of recovering myself abroad in an endless round of my husband's affe&ion, I not pleasure, and by making little more excite his deteftation. It is 09ihan a Neeping place of his house. necessary to explain myself fartber. In this inander matters continued al. It is needless to tell you, that there most two years, during whicis time are men enough to fatter a womaa we had two children ; but the males. who has a paffable person, especially nal duties were much too vulgar for where the is a have to diffipation. a woman of my fuperior accumplim- This was unhappily my case, and a ments, therefore I did not honour the rafh, the wretched moment of sy home the more on account of this indignation at Mr. M...'s infidelity, increase of my family.

Notwith- some dæmon rendered a profefied adstanding my continual engagements mirer of mine fo very impor!unatt, abroad, however, I was about this that I listened to him from motives of time informed of a circumilance which revenge, and yielding to his solicitaextremely mortified my vaniry; and tions on purpose to punish my hufthis was Mr. M. anti my worran, band, was utterly undone. Tbe who was a very likely girl, had fre. inconsiderate, the uopardonable ftep quent meetings at a muliners in one I had taken was not long concealed, of the bye ilreets of our neighbour- oor did it ever Brike me, till it was

lood. Tlough I never seit any ten. publithed that, without making my :dernes for Mr. M-- , this intelli infamy universally known, I could

gence gave my pride a very sensible enjoy no triumph over poor Mr. M. mortification : however indifferent I It was however no sooner known, might be about him, there was no which was in a few days, through the lupporting the idea of bis infidelity vanity of my paramoor, than I was lo me; I could bear to see him mise. overwhelmed, not only with disgrace, rable hy my negligence, but it was but with remorse, and discovered that intolerable to think of his being at. my resentment against my unfortuLached so any body else. It was a tunate husband was as uo ju Aly foundfreason again the majeliyofny merit, ed, as the fatal indifference which ori. and I determined, in a laral houé, to gially gave birth to my crime. Mr. be amply leveriged on the criminale M... Judeed, had frequent meetings Oye daughters of reputation, beware with my woman at the milliner's I of exerting a false refentment, even have mentioned, but these meetings where the perfidy of your bufoind were perieatly innocent, nay they


[blocks in formation]

were perfeAly landable ; the round of to deserve this? Was it not enough to amusements in which I was conftant. destroy my repore, without murdering ly engaged, and the avidity with my reputation ; or if you had no rewhich I liftened to every coxcomb, gard for my honour, why were you that offered up incense at ihe Ohrine of Joit 10 all pity for your helpless innomy vanity, had for a long time flied cents ? They have never offended, him with doubts of my honour, and though I may have unhappily air. he naturally enough imagined, that pleafed, and they were en:itled to Me, who disdained to prelerve the apo fume titrie compaffion, though no pity pearance of, reputation, would enter. whatsoever might be due to me.... But tain but little regard for the reality, inadam, continued he, raising his voice Aduated by a belief of this nature, into a fierceness that petrified me, and suppofing that my woman murt: though you have made me wretched, necessarily be 'my confident, in case you all not make me contemptible.... of any illicit correspondence, he had. This moment you muft quit my house, frequent appointments with her at the nor mall you enter my habitation milliners, not chusing, for fear of more ; the unhappy little ones will be Suspicion, to converse with her prin carefully attended to, but they shall vately in his own house. Thus the be taught to forget every trace of á very measures he took to save me mother who has covered them with froń ruin, became material causes of infamy, and planted daggers in the my deftruction ; aod thus by the pre

bofom of their unfortunate father."... pofterous pride of a wretch, who was Saying this he hurried out, while ! wholly unworthy of him, the hap. fainted in the arms of my woman, and piness of his family was eternally remained fo, wholly senseless, for seblafted, while he earnestly laboured veral hours, that my recovery was for its reloration.

entirely despaired of. On recovering Had the unhappy consequences, the use of my senses,... what a milhowever, terminated here, I think it fortune is the power of recolle&tion to would have been possible for a life of the wretched ! I was removed, in obepenitence to give me some distant idea dience to Mr. M's pofitive order, to of comfort, and the disgrace to which my father's.---Here, in ftead of receivI am jusly cast out, might be conlider. ing consolation, I was to look for the ed as a kind of expiation for my crime. keenest of all repruach; but, contrary But alas ! the guilt of infidelity was to to my expe&ations, the voice that he attended with blood, and Mr. M. hailed me was the voice of pity, and was not only to be ruined in his peace, the venerable author of my being was but my father! On fir, the recolledi- almoft in the agonies of death, as they on, the bare recollection of the miseries led me trembling to his apartment... which my infamy has produced, al. He had been, for a long time, confined most drives me into madness ; and I by the gout, and this unlooked for caam astonished the laws do not cut off' lámity throwing it intantly into his such monfters as myself from the face ftomach beyond the power of mediof society. Mighty God, look down cine, he lay patiently waiting for the apon me with an eye of compassion ; moment of dissolution.... On my en- these are not ite tears of disappoint- trance he was raised up in his bed, ed pride, nor are there tresses now where he held forth his trembling torn from my miserable head, becaule hands, and with some difficulty artimy vanity is no longer to be indulged. culated, “O Louisa, forgive your dy, No, the anguish of my soul is now the ing father..-it was my mistaken man genuine result of contrition, and I will ner of education that has ruined my hope for pardo: in a future world, unhappy child ! though I neither can look for tranqui- He could utter no more, his pangs lity or forgiveness in this.... But to go came on bim too fast, and he expired:

The infant that my perfidy before they could convey me from the Jeached Mr. M's ears, he few to me dreadful scene to another room.--. (I was then in my dressing room) and, Here I was seized with a violenc fever, in a tone of the utmott despair, ex- and lay delirious several days. Whea claimed, “ Louisa! what have I done the violence of my disorder had comes


« PreviousContinue »