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quantity of cordial, from a pocket case of one of the company.
Some faint signs of life at length appearing, encouraged them to persevere in their humane work; they then wrapped her in a great coat, and carried her to the coach, in which, having previously agreed to pay the fare, they were permitted to place her.
As the poor creature recovered, the change of situation was explained to her, when she thanked her deliverers for their kind offices, but, attempting to speak further, fainted away. · The motion of a heavy coach was too much for her weak condition, and the benevolent persons to whom Providence had assigned her, determined to set her down at the first public-house they passed, and to direct that proper care should be taken.
It was not long before they stopped to change horses, and leave some of the passengers. The mistress of the house was called, who readily assisted in rendering every service in her power ; but notwithstanding all their endeavours, they clearly saw that the hand of death was on the unfortunate stranger.
Convinced also by her own feelings of the approach of that awful moment, which we all dread, though so few of us prepare to meet it, she earnestly entreated that a minister of the gospel might be sent for without delay.
The clergyman of the parish soon arrived. After examining the state of her soul, he opened to her the treasures of everlasting life, as contained in the Holy Scriptures, and poured on her wounded spirit the precious balm of comfort and condolence. He joined with her in prayer and supplication, and she received at his hands the restorative sacramental cup, of hope grounded on repentance, and mercy through an interceding Redeemer.. · Though her mind was composed, her strength failed, and the fainting fits returned; but proper medicines being given by an apothecary of the village, after a short repose, she seemed a little better, and was very
anxious to say something to the company collected in the chamber; conscious, that if the present opportunity was lost, her lips, in a short time, would be for ever closed.
Desiring her benefactors to draw nearer the bed, she addressed them in the following words, as well as her weak state permitted, and soon after resigned her breath:
« The kindness I have experienced at your hands it is not in my power, but I hope the Almighty will repay. You must naturally be desirous to know something of a forlorn wretch, in whose behalf you have so warmly interested yourselves, and whom, in the unjustifiable anguish of despair, I was tempted to consider as deserted by God and man; but the worthy minister has convinced me that OURS IS A GOD OF MERCY, and the treatment I have experienced from you also proves that, although this is a wicked world, there are many worthy characters, who imitate their Creator in this glorious attribute.
“I was born of poor but honest parents in a northern county: myself and an elder sister were the whole of their family. My father did not repine at that state of life in which Providence had placed him, when after providing for the wants of the day, by labour, he retired to his fire-side in the evening, and found his wife and children clean and contented.
“ I was caressed from my infancy by a widow lady who lived retired in our parish, on a small income, having seen better days. As I grew up, her regard for me increased: she taught me to read and write, and impressed early on my mind religious principles.
“ Though my understanding was improved, and my ideas enlarged beyond what falls to the lot of most young women of my condition, I cannot help imputing to my acquaintance with this excellent woman the misfortunes of my future life. I spent the greatest part of the day with her, and whilst my sister was assisting my mother in the work of the house, and qualifying herself to perform the duties of a mother and a wife, I was
poring over every book I could borrow, reading to my benefactress, or sitting down to ornamental needlework, but wholly ignorant of, and unable to mend my father's stockings, dress his dinner, or clean the house.
“ I should not do justice to my mother, if I onnitted acknowledging that she saw and reproved my conduct: she insisted that a sedentary genteel life was not proper for a girl with my humble prospects, and that to be fine-fingered, as she used to call it, was not calculated for poor people, particularly those who mean to live honest. I felt the truth of what she said, but had not the resolution to diminish the enjoyments of the present hour, by providing for circumstances in which I hoped never to be placed,
“ When I was sixteen years of age, my valuable friend died; my sister, soon after, was married to a farmer, to whom she makes a good and useful wife, and I had no companions but my father and mother ; for I looked down with secret contempt on the young men and women of the village.
“My parents saw with concern that I was not qualified to go through the drudgery of a cottage. I lost my appetite and spirits; they frequently found me in tears; it was the struggle of pride and vanity rebelling against the duties imposed on me by Providence. .." After consulting with a distant relation, a shopkeeper in a neighbouring town, who was for every body's trying their luck in London, his opinion prevailed, and I was conveyed to town in a road waggon, resolving to better myself, as it is called, and if possible get an easy genteel place, with little 'work and high wages. Thus pride and laziness were my ruin. .
“I soon got into a creditable family in the city, where I had an opportunity of qualifying myself for a better place, as my mistress was kind and indulgent; but the constant toil of a house, where only myself and a shop-boy were kept, did not suit a person used to an indolent life. I contrasted the dark back-kitchen, and dirty drudgery of my present situation, with my pleasant walks, my books, my plain work, and easy life in
the country. Awkwardness increased my difficulties, and I was severely mortified by the mother of my mise tress, who sometimes visited her : she wondered how a girl at my age could have spent her time, not to know the common work of a house..
“Having occasion for a few common articles of dress, I was directed to one of those gossiping shopkeepers who infest most neighbourhoods, the confidants of servants, and diffusers of scandal, who attend to and know more of other people's business than their own. She listened to my complaints, and enticed me to spend my money. After hearing much of charming places at the other end of the town, I left her, resolved to take the first opportunity of leaving my mistress, as the work was too much, and the situation in a vulgar part of the town.
“I soon received a message from my officious new acquaintance, that she had procured an excellent situation for me, but that I must go without delay; and as to a character, if I would make her a present, she would give me one herself. Her reason for prevailing on me to go away without giving warning will soon be known; but I have been sufficiently punished for this breach of agreement.
“I took an opportunity of retreating with my things the following evening, and was introduced to a finedressed lady, with a carriage waiting at the door. After the general questions we agreed, and I was conveyed, with my box, to a large house in the neighbourhood of St. James's.
“The splendour of her equipage, and the tawdry finery of the furniture, dazzled my eyes. I was told that my chief business would be to wait on my mistress in her own room, and work at my needle. I remember that the pride and haughtiness of my heart were highly gratified, when I was informed that I need not wear a coloured apron, must always appear neatly dressed, and that, if I did not stand in my own light, her place would be profitable as well as pleasant to me.
“ My happy days were of short continuance: I did
not discover, till it was too late, that I was taken in a snare, that I was in a house of the most infamous description, a reproach to the nobility and gentry, who suffer many of them almost to elbow them in their magnificent abodes. . The woman who engaged me under false pretences, but for the most abominable purposes, is a wretch well known in the parish of St. James's, remarkable for staring eyes, a thundering voice, and face of brass; the seducer and ruiner of hundreds of her sex, whom she afterwards turns loose on the town, polluted and pennyless. I hope God Almighty will give her grace to repent of her monstrous crimes, or dreadful must be her punishment hereafter.
“ Had I been at all acquainted with town manners, I must have perceived the odious nature of my mistress's employ, from the lateness of her hours, and the company she kept; in bed the greatest part of the day, and the house in an uproar during the whole of the night: but London was a new world to me, and I had heard that it was common for ladies and gentlemen to turn night into day.
« The first alarm I received was from certain unwarrantable liberties taken with me by an hoary veteran, a constant visitor of my mistress, a well-known character, remarkable for his fondness of a new face. I left deep marks of my resentment on his countenance, which confined him to his room several weeks, under a pretence of the St. Anthony's fire. On mentioning the circumstance to my mistress, she smiled and told me, I must not be ill-natured, for that it would spoil my fortune. I replied firmly that I would not submit to such treatment, and that I would quit her house the moment daylight appeared, for it was already midnight.
“But she took effectual means to prevent the execution of my purpose. Watching an opportunity, she sent me up stairs on some trifling errand whilst I was taking a little refreshment, and conveyed certain drops into what I was going to drink. I swallowed them without