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versal coldness he complained of; and left him ter the room in the morning, though he was in with a promise of returning in a few hours, a confused slumber at the time, and might have when he had finished some visits, which he was mistaken a dream for the reality. Upon Abraunder a necessity of making in the village. ham's informing him, that Mr Rawlinson had
When he returned, he found Mr Annesly been there, that he had left the house but a altered for the worse; the cold, which the late moment before, and that he was to remain in ter felt before, having given place to a burning the village for some time, he expressed the heat. He therefore told Mrs Wistanly, at go- warmest satisfaction at the intelligence ; and ing away, that in the evening he would bring & having made Abraham fetch him a paper which physician, with whom he had an appointment lay in his bureau sealed up in a particular at a gentleman's not very distant, to see Mr An- manner, he dispatched him to the inn where nesly, as his situation appeared to him to be at. his friend was with a message, importing an tended with some alarming circumstances. earnest desire to see him as soon as should be
His fears of danger were justified by the convenient. event. When these gentlemen saw Mr Annesly Rawlinson had already returned to the house, in the evening, his fever was increased. Next and was by this time stealing up stairs, to day, after a restless night, they found every bad watch the bed-side of his friend, for which task symptom confirmed; they tried every method Mrs Wistanly's former unceasing solicitude had which medical skill could suggest for his relief, now rendered her unfit. He was met by Abrabut, during four successive days, their endea- ham with a gleam of joy on his countenance, vours proved ineffectual; and at the expiration from the happy change which he thought he of that time, they told his friend, Mrs Wistan observed in his master; and was conducted to ly, who had enjoyed almost as little sleep as the the side of the bed by that faithful domestic, sick man whom she watched, that unless some who placed him in a chair, which the doctor had favourable crisis should happen soon, the worst just occupied by his patient. consequences were much to be feared.
Annesly stretched out his hands, and squeezed that of Rawlinson between them for some time
without speaking a word. “ I bless God," said CHAP. XXVIII.
he at last, " that he has sent me a comforter,
at a moment when I so much need one. You The arrival of Mr Rawlinson. Annesly's dis- must by this time have heard, my friend, of
course with him. That Gentleman's account of that latest and greatest of my family misfor his Friends illness, and its consequences. tunes, with which Providence has afflicted me."
"You know, my dear sir,” answered RawAt this melancholy period it happened that linson, “ that no one would more sincerely feel Mr Rawlinson arrived, in pursuance of that for your sorrows than 1; but at present it is a promise which Annesly had obtained from him, subject too tender for you."- Do not say at the time of his departure for London. 80,” replied his friend; “it will ease my lae
There needed not that warmth of heart we bouring heart to speak of it to my Rawlinson ; have formerly described in this gentleman, to but, in the first place, I have a little business, feel the accumulated distress to which his wor- which I will now dispatch. Here is a deed, thy friend was reduced. Nor was his astonishe making over all my effects to you, sir ; and at ment at the account which he received of Har your death, to any one you shall name your riet's elopement less, than his pity for the suf executor in that trust for my children if I ferings it had brought upon her father.
have any children remaining !-Into your hands From the present situation of Annesly's fa- I deliver it with a peculiar satisfaction, and I mily, he did not choose to incommode them know there will not need the desire of a dying with any trouble of provision for him. He took friend to add to your zeal for their service. up his quarters, therefore, at the only inn, & Why should that word startle you ? death is to paltry one indeed, which the village afforded, me a messenger of consolation !" He paused.and resolved to remain there till he saw what Rawlinson put up the paper in silence ; for his issue his friend's present illness should have, heart was too full to allow him the use of words and endeavour to administer some comfort, ein for an answer. ther to the last moments of his life, or to that “ When I lost my son," continued Annesly, affliction which his recovery could not remove. “I suffered in silence; and though it preyed
In the evening of the day on which he arri, on me in secret, I bore up against the weight of ved, Annesly seemed to feel a sort of relief from my sorrow, that I might not weaken in myself the violence of his disease. He spoke with a that stay which Heaven had provided for my degree of coolness which he had never before Harriet.-She was then my only remaining been able to command ; and after having talked comfort, saved like some precious treasure from some little time with his physician, he told the shipwreck of my family; and I fondly hopAbraham, who seldom quitted his bed-side, ed, that my age might go down smoothly to its that he thought he had seen Mr Rawlinson en rest, amidst the endearments of a father's care. I have now lived to see the last resting-place to get more perfect intelligence; his faithful which my soul could find in this world, laid Abraham met me at the door.- Oh sir,' said waste and desolate !-yet to that Being, whose he, my poor master ! — What is the mat. goodness is infinite, as his ways are inscrutable, ter ?'— I fear, sir, he is not in his perfect let me bend in reverence! I bless his name, that senses ; for he talks more wildly than ever, and he has not yet taken from me that trust in Him, yet he is broad awake.'-He led me into the which to lose is the only irremediable calamity; room, I placed myself directly before him ; but it is now indeed that I feel its efficacy most, his eye, though it was fixed on mine, did not when every ray of human comfort is extinguish- seem to acknowledge its object. There was a ed. As for memy deliverance is at hand; I glazing on it that deadened its look. feel something here at my heart that tells me, “He muttered something in a very low voice I shall not have long to strive with insufferable – How does my friend ?' said I.-He suffer. affliction. My poor deluded daughter- I com- ed me to take his hand, but answered nothing. mit to thee, Father of all ! by whom the wan_ --After listening some time, I could hear the derings of thy unhappy children are seen with name of Harriet. “Do you want any thing, pity, and to whom their return cannot be too my dear sir ?' He moved his lips, but I heard late to be accepted! If my friend should live to not what he said. I repeated my question ; he see her look back with contrition towards that looked up piteously in my face, then turned his path from which she has strayed, I know his eye round as if he missed some object on which goodness will lead her steps to find it.--Shew it meant to rest.-He shivered, and caught hold her her father's grave! yet spare her for his of Abraham's hand, who stood at the side of sake, who cannot then comfort or support her!” the bed opposite me. He looked round again,
The rest of this narration I will give the then uttered, with a feeble and broken voice, reader in Mr Rawlinson's own words, from a "Where is my Harriet ? lay your hand on my letter of his I have now lying before me, of head-this hand is not my Harriet's-she is which I will transcribe the latter part, begin- dead, I know ;-You will not speak-my poor ning its recital at the close of this pathetic ad child is dead ! Yet I dreamed she was alive, and dress of his friend.
had left me ; left me to die alone!-I have seen “ As I had been told,” says this gentleman, her weep at the death of a linnet! poor soul, " that he had not enjoyed one sound sleep since she was not made for this world—we shall meet his daughter went away, I left him now to com- in heaven !-Bless her! bless her !-there! may pose himself to rest, desiring his servant to call you be as virtuous as your mother, and more me instantly if he observed any thing particular fortunate than your father has been My head about his master. He whispered me,' that is strangely confused !-but tell me, when did when he sat up with him the night before, he she die? you should have waked me, that I could overhear him at times talk wildly, and might have prayed by her. Sweet innocence ! mutter to himself like one speaking in one's she had no crimes to confess! I can speak but sleep; that then he would start, sigh deeply, ill, for my tongue sticks to my mouth. Yet and seem again to recollect himself. I went -oh!-most Merciful, strengthen and support" back to his master's bed-side, and begged him —He shivered again into thy hands ! He to endeavour to calm his mind so much as not groaned, and died !” to prevent that repose which he stood so great Sindall! and ye who, like Sindall-but I canly in need of. I have prevailed on my physie not speak !--speak for me their consciences. cian,' answered he, 'to give me an opiate for that purpose, and I think I now feel drowsy from its effects.' I wished him good-night. 'Good-night,'
CHAP. XXIX. said he,-'but give me your hand; it is perhaps the last time I shall ever clasp it ! He lifted up What befel Harriet Annesly on her leaving her his eyes to heaven, holding my hand in his, then
Father. turned away his face, and laid his head upon his pillow.- I could not lay mine to rest. Alas! said I am not in a disposition to stop in the midst I, that such should be the portion of virtue like of this part of my recital, solicitous to embelAnnesly's ! yet to arraign the distribution of Pro- lish, or studious to arrange it. My readers shall vidence, had been to forget that lesson which the receive it simple, as becomes a tale of sorrow; best of men had just been teaching me;—but the and I flatter myself they are at this moment doubtings, the darkness of feeble man, still hung readier to feel than to judge it. about my heart.
They have seen Harriet Annesly, by the arti. “ When I sent in the morning, I was told that fice of Sindall, and the agency of Camplin, tempthe was still asleep, but that his rest was obser- ed to leave the house of her father, in hopes of ved to be frequently disturbed by groans and meeting the man who had betrayed her, and of startings, and that he breathed much thicker receiving that only reparation for her injuries than he had ever done hitherto. I went myself which it was now in his power to make.
But Sir Thomas never entertained the most sion to do so. Accordingly, in little more than distant thought of that marriage, with the hopes an hour, during which the speed of their proof which he had deluded her. Yet, though he gress was nowise abated, they halted at the door was not subject to the internal principles of of a house, which Harriet, upon coming out of honour or morality, he was man of the world the chaise, immediately recollected to be that enough to know their value in the estimation of fatal one to which Sindall had before conveyed others. The virtues of Annesly had so much ene her. She felt, on entering it, a degree of hordeared him to every one within their reach, that ror, which the remembrance of that guilty night this outrage of Sindall's against him, under the she had before passed under its roof, could not disguise of sacred friendship and regard, would fail to suggest, and it was with difficulty she have given the interest and character of Sir dragged her trembling steps to a room above Thomas such a blow, as he could not easily stairs, whither the landlady, with a profusion of have recovered, nor conveniently borne. It is civility, conducted her. not therefore to be wondered at, that he wished “Where is Sir Thomas Sindall ?" said she, for some expedient to conceal it from the eyes looking about with terror on the well-rememof the public.
bered objects around her. Camplin, shutting For this purpose he had formed a scheme, the door of the chamber, told her, with a look which all the knowledge he had of the delicacy of the utmost tenderness and respect, that Sir of Harriet's affection for him, did not prevent Thomas was not then in the house, but had dehis thinking practicable, (for the female who sired him to deliver her a letter, which he now once falls from innocence, is held to be sunk put into her hands for her perusal. It containinto perpetual debasement ;) and that was, to ed what follows: provide a husband for her in the person of another. And for that husband he pitched on “ It is with inexpressible anguish I inform Camplin, with whose character he was too well my ever-dearest Harriet, of my inability to peracquainted, to doubt the bringing him over to form engagements, of which I acknowledge the any baseness which danger did not attend, and solemnity, and which necessity alone has power a liberal reward was to follow. Camplin, who to cancel. The cruelty of my grandfather is deaf at this time was in great want of money, and to all the remonstrances of my love ; and having had always an appetite for those pleasures which accidentally discovered my attachment for you, money alone can purchase, agreed to his propo- he insists upon my immediately setting out on sals; they settled the dowry of his future wife, my travels, a command, which, in my present and the scheme which he undertook to procure situation, I find myself obliged to comply with. her. Part of its execution I have already rela- I feel, with the most poignant sorrow and reted; I proceed to relate the rest.
morse, for that condition to which our ill-fated When they had been driven with all the fury love bas reduced the loveliest of her sex. I which Camplin had enjoined the postillions, for would therefore endeavour, if possible, to conabout eight or nine miles, they stopt at an inn, ceal the shame which the world arbitrarily af where they changed horses.' Harriet expressed fixes to it. With this view I have laid aside all her surprise at their not having already reached selfish considerations so much, as to yield to the place where Sir Thomas waited them ; on the suit of Mr Camplin that hand, which I which Camplin told her, that it was not a great had once the happiness of expecting for myself. way off, but that the roads were very bad, and This step the exigency of your present circumthat he observed the horses to be exceedingly stances renders highly eligible, if your affecjaded.
tions can bend themselves to a man, of whose After having proceeded some miles farther, honour and good qualities I have had the strongon a road still more wild and less frequented, est proofs, and who has generosity enough to she repeated her wonder at the length of the impute no crime to that ardency of the noblest way; on which Camplin, entreating her pardon passion of the mind, which has subjected you to for being concerned in any how deceiving her, the obloquy of the undiscerning multitude. As confessed that Sir Thomas was at a place much Mrs Camplin, you will possess the love and affarther from her father's than he had made her fection of that worthiest of my friends, together believe ; which deceit he had begged of him with the warmest esteem and regard of your un(Camplin) to practise, that she might not be fortunate, but ever devoted, humble servant, alarmed at the distance, which was necessary,
THOMAS SINDALL." he said, for that plan of secrecy Sir Thomas had formed for his marriage. Her fears were suffi- Camplin was about to offer his commentary ciently roused at this intelligence, but it was upon this letter ; but Harriet, whose spirits had now too late to retreat, however terrible it might just supported her to the end of it, lay now lifebe to go on.
less at his feet. After several successive faintSome time after, they stopt to breakfast, and ings, from which Camplin, the landlady, and changed horses again, Camplin informing her other assistants, with difficulty recovered her, a that it was the last time they should have occa- shower of tears came at last to her relief, and
she became able to articulate some short excla. ployed very actively in the progress of his demations of horror and despair ! Camplin threw signs on Miss Annesly, entered the room with himself on his knees before her. He protested a look of the utmost consternation and horror : the most sincere and disinterested passion, and the nurse beckoned to him to make no noise, that, if she would bless him with the possession signifying, by her gestures, that the lady was of so many amiable qualities as she possessed, asleep; but the opening of the door had already the uniform endeavour of his life should be to awakened her, and she lay listening, when he promote her happiness.-" I think not of thee!” told the cause of his emotion. It was the inshe exclaimed; “O Sindall! perfidious, cruel, telligence, which he had just accidentally recei. deliberate villain !" Camplin again interrupted ved, of Mr Annesly's death. The effect of this her with protestations of his own affection and shock on his unfortunate daughter may be easily regard. « Away !” said she, “ and let me hear imagined ; every fatal symptom, which sudden no more! Or, if thou wouldst shew thy friend, terror or surprise causes in women at such a ship, carry me to that father from whom thou season of weakness, was the consequence, and stolest me. You will not—but if I can live so next morning a delirium succeeded them. long, I will crawl to his feet, and expire before She was not, however, without intervals of him."
reason, though these were but intervals of anShe was running towards the door ; Camplin guish much more exquisite. Yet she would gently stopped her. “My dearest Miss Annesly, sometimes express a sort of calmness and subsaid he, « recollect yourself but a moment; let mission to the will of Heaven, though it was alme conjure you to think of your own welfare, ways attended with the hopes of a speedy reand of that father's whom you so justly love. lief from the calamities of her existence. For these alone, could Sir Thomas Sindall have In one of these hours of recollection, she was thought of the expedient which he proposes. It asked by her attendants, whose pity was now you will now become the wife of your adoring moved at her condition, if she chose to have any Camplin, the time of the celebration of our mar- friend sent for who might tend to alleviate her riage need not be told to the world. Under the distress ; upon which she had command enough sanction of that holy tie, every circumstance of of herself to dictate a letter to Mrs Wistanly, detraction will be overlooked, and that life may reciting briefly the miseries she had endured, be made long and happy, which your unthink- and asking, with great diffidence however of ing rashness would cut off from yourself and obtaining, if she could pardon her offeuces so your father.” Harriet had listened little to this far, as to come and receive the parting breath speech, but the swelling of her anger had sub- of her once innocent and much-loved Harriet. sided; she threw herself into a chair, and burst This letter was accordingly dispatched, and she again into tears. Camplin drew nearer, and seemed to feel a relief from having accomplishpressed her hand in his; she drew it hastily ed it; but her reason had held out beyond its from him. “ If you have any pity," she cried, usual limits of exertion, and immediately after, “ I intreat you, for Heaven's sake, to leave me." she relapsed into her former unconnecteuiness. He bowed respectfully, and retired, desiring the Soon after the birth of her daughter, Camplandlady to attend Miss Annesly, and endea, lin, according to his instructions, had proposed vour to afford her some assistance and consola, sending it away, under the charge of a nurse, tion.
whom the landlady had procured, to a small She had, indeed, more occasion for her assist- hamlet where she resided, at a little distance. ance than he was then aware of, the violent agi- But this the mother opposed with such earnesttation of her spirits having had such an effect on ness, that the purpose had been delayed till now, her, that, though she wanted a month of her when it was given up to the care of this woman, time, she was suddenly seized with the pains accompanied with a considerable sum of money of child-birth, and they were but just able to to provide every necessary for its use, in the procure a woman who acted as a midwife in the most ample and sumptuous manner. neighbourhood, when she was delivered of a girl. When Mrs Wistanly received the letter we Distracted as her soul was, this new object drew have mentioned above, she was not long in doubt forth its instinctive tenderness; she mingled tears as to complying with its request. Her heart bled with her kisses on its cheeks, and forgot the shame, for the distresses of that once amiable friend, attending its birth, in the natural meltings of a whom virtue might now blame, but goodness mother.
could not forsake. She set out therefore imFor about a week after her delivery she reco- mediately in a chaise, which Camplin had pro vered tolerably well, and indeed those about her vided for her, and reached the house, to which spared no pains or attention to contribute to- it conveyed her on the morning of the followwards her recovery; but, at the end of that pe- ing day; her impatience not suffering her to riod, an accident threw her into the most dan- consider either the danger or inconvenience of gerous situation. She was lying in a slumber, travelling all night. From her recital, I took with a nurse watching her, when a servant of down the account contained in the following Sir Thomas Sindall's, whom his master had em- chapter.
her questions were irregular and wild ; but in a
short time she grew so distinct, as to thank me CHAP. XXX.
for having complied with the request of her let
ter: "'Tis an office of unmerited kindness, Mrs Wistanly's recital. Conclusion of the which,' said she, (and I could observe her let First Part.
fall a tear,) 'will be the last your unwearied
friendship for me will have to bestow. I an“ When I entered the house, and had got swered, that I hoped not. "Ah! Mrs Wistanupon the stairs leading to the room in which ly,' she replied, can you hope so ? you are not Harriet lay, I heard a voice, enchantingly sweet, my friend, if you do. I wished to avoid a subbut low, and sometimes broken, singing snatches ject which her mind was little able to bear, and of songs, varying from the sad to the gay, and therefore made no other return than by kissing from the gay to the sad : it was she herself site her hand, which she had stretched out to me as ting up in her bed, fingering her pillow as if it she spoke. had been a harpsichord. It is not easy to con- “At that moment we heard some unusual ceive the horror I felt on seeing her in such a situ- stir below stairs, and, as the floor was thin and ation ! She seemed unconscious of my approach, ill laid, the word child was very distinctly audithough her eye was turned towards me as I en- ble from every tongue. Upon this she started tered ; only that she stopt in the midst of a up in her bed, and with a look piteous and wild quick and lively movement she had begun, and, beyond description, exclaimed, Oh! my God! looking wistfully upon me, breathed such a note what of my child !--She had scarcely uttered of sorrow, and dwelt on it with a cadence so the words, when the landlady entered the room, mournful, that my heart lost all the firmness I and shewed sufficiently, by her countenance, had resolved to preserve, and I flung my arms that she had some dreadful tale to tell. By round her neck, which I washed with my burstsigns I begged her to be silent. What is being tears !—The traces which her brain could come of my infant ?' cried Harriet.-No ill, now only recollect, were such as did not admit madam,' answered the woman, faultering, 'is of any object long; I had passed over it in the come to it, I hope.'-'Speak,' said she, 'I charge moment of my entrance, and it now wandered you, for I will know the worst : speak, as you from the idea; she paid no regard to my ca- would give peace to my departing soul !' springresses, but pushed me gently from her, gazing ing out of bed, and grasping the woman's hands stedfastly in an opposite direction towards the with all her force. It was not easy to resist door of the apartment. A servant entered with so solemn a charge.-- Alas !' said the landlady, some medicine he had been sent to procure ; she 'I fear she is drowned ; for the nurse's cloak put it by when I offered it to her, and kept and the child's wrapper have been found in looking earnestly upon him ; she ceased her some ooze which the river had carried down besinging too, and seemed to articulate certain im- low the ford. She let go the woman's hands, perfect sounds. For some time I could not make and wringing her own together, threw up her them out into words, but at last she spoke more eyes to heaven till their sight was lost in the distinctly, and with a firmer tone.
sockets.—We were supporting her, each of us "" You saved my life once, sir, and I could holding one of her arms. She fell on her knees then thank you, because I wished to preserve between us, and dropping her hands for a moit ;-but now-no matter, he is happier than I ment, then raising them again, uttered with a would have him.— I would have nursed the poor voice that sounded hollow, as if sunk within old man till he had seen some better days! Bless her: his white beard !-look there! I have heard how «r Power omnipotent! who wilt not lay on they grow in the grave !-Poor old man !'— thy creatures calamity beyond their strength to
• You weep, my dear sir ; but had you heard bear! if thou hast not yet punished me enough, her speak these words! I can but coldly repeat continue to pour out the phials of thy wrath them.
upon me, and enable me to support what thou “ All that day she continued in a state of de inflictest! But if my faults are expiated, suffer lirium and insensibility to every object around me to rest in peace, and graciously blot out the her ; towards evening she seemed exhausted offences which thy judgments have punished with fatigue, and the tossing of her hands, which here!-She continued in the same posture for her frenzy had caused, grew languid as of one a few moments; then leaning on us as if she breathless and worn out: about midnight she meant to rise, bent her head forward, and drawdropped asleep.
ing her breath strongly, expired in our arms.” « I sat with her during the night, and when Such was the conclusion of Mrs Wistanly's she waked in the morning, she gave signs of ha. tale of woe! ving recovered her senses, by recollecting me, Spirits of gentleness and peace! who look and calling me by my name. At first, indeed, with such pity as angels feel, on the distresses