Puslapio vaizdai

pectation of her first confinement; and the utter impoffibility of taking fuch a long journey alone prevented her from exerting her perfonal fervices to footh her Lucy's forrows. She wrote to her in the tendereft ftrain of affectionate condolence. "My tears," faid fhe, "fhall ever mingle with yours over the "facred remains of my monitrefs, my "fofter-mother, my first and most va"luable friend! Every good action I "perform, every evil I efcape, every " commendable fentiment that rifes in 66 my heart, is owing to her. Her in"valuable precepts, fanctioned by experience, now acquire refiftless efficacy from the painful reflection that "her lips can repeat them no more. I "brood over them in my memory as a "facred treasure. Come to me, my "dearest Lucy; my prefent fituation, "which excludes ftrangers, demands your

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"tender foothings, and will fuit the privacy of your modeft grief. Come, and "tell me, while it is fresh in your me" mory, all that the dying faint faid, all "that she looked; and arm my fortitude "for the trials which await me, by re


peating how he endured months of " mifery."

"It was the folemn injunction of my "now bleffed mother," faid Mifs Evans, in her reply," that I fhould devote my "felf to the pious office of foothing the "forrows of my poor father, till time,

uniting with religious refignation, "fhould foften his griefs, divert his "thoughts from one painful object, and "enable him to occupy his leisure hours, "once fo happily filled, with other "amusements; and fhe enjoined this duty as the nobleft method of proving my affectionate regard for her memory. "She even added, that the hoped her

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"difembodied spirit might be permitted "to witness my perfeverance in a mode "of conduct, the knowledge of which "would perfect her beatitude.

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"Is this the only way by which I can

now prove my filial reverence to the

beft of mothers, and fhall I fhrink "from the important charge? Even "your claims upon me, my dearest Ge"raldine, are annihilated by this fuperior "obligation. You will rejoice to hear that "I am fuccessful. My poor father was

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furprifed into an agony of grief laft "Sunday. We atttended divine service,

though he could not attempt to per "form the duty. The fight of my "mother's prayer-book lying upon her "vacant feat overpowered him. His "ftifled fobs were heard by feveral of "the congregation; I knelt by his fide, "I preffed his revered hand to my lips; "I seemed at that moment to have a


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'perfect control over my own feelings; "I whispered, that his only remaining Lucy would endeavour to fupply the place of her whom Providence had " removed to a better world.

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My fa

"ther viewed me with ferene delight, "and, as we walked home, he told me "that I was indeed his comforter, and "worthy of my excellent mother.

"His praise is a cordial to my heart. "While fhe lived, I thought my con"duct as a daughter not blameable; but "now that fhe is beyond the reach of (6 my attention, I find infinite occafion "for felf-reproach. The thought that "we have paid the laft offices to a be"loved object is inconceivably painful. "It turns the mind to a retrospective "view of its paft fentiments; and the "remembrance of cafual neglects and "inadvertent expreffions is torture. "thou, my mother! couldft arife from



"thy earthy bed, how would thy Lucy "feek to endear thy renewed existence

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by redoubled attentions and more «fteady virtues! Pardon, thou dear "faint my imperfect duty; I must ❝ enjoy the thought that thou art pre«fent, and conscious of those fighs and "tears which I generally conceal from "every other eye.

"Do not think, my dear Geraldine, "that I fhall ever forget the particulars "of her dying moments. The awful "remembrance is engraven upon my

mind, and no fubfequent events can "obliterate the impreffion. I will de"fcribe it all to you when we meet; at "that time, I truft, both the hearer and "the relater will be more equal to the defcription.

"The exprefs which has juft arrived "at the manor-houfe relieves my heart "from many anxieties. You are in


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