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"ciple. You know that you concealed "the full tendency of thofe principles "from me. You know that I always "started at what I thought feemed to "militate against religion and virtue. "You often affailed me, but I was your "admirer and apologist, not your con
"Thus far I have contributed to my "undoing; and may my ftory be an "awful memento to all who, trusting "in the fuppofed fecurity of their own "virtue, neglect the fuggeftions of prudence; and under the perverted "name of friendship, admit a finifter gueft to difpute the poffeflion of their "affections with the lawful claims of "connubial duty! May it also warn "those wives, who availing themselves "of the indulgence of fashion, permit "the marked attentions of an agree"able man of unknown or fufpicious
"character, however they may think "themselves fanctioned by cuftom, pro"tected by the rules of decorum, or
fecured, as you taught me to think, by "the bond of pre-attachment. I shall "not then die in vain.
"Let me, though fhame and horror "alike agitate my trembling frame, "this once allude to thofe particulars "of my misfortunes which you alone "can illuftrate. You feem to allow, "that it was to your artifices that I "owed the fatal abfence of my friend "and my husband on the day I left "Monteith. You know the arguments
by which you influenced my elope"ment; may your repentance enable "you to escape the terrible malediction "with which you clofed them. You "know how I hoped to overtake my "lord at every stage; but your heart, "rendered callous by guilt, cannot con. ❝ceive
"ceive the agonies of mine when I first fufpect ed your nefarious purpose. My "confused recollection can trace no "more. I only know that returning " reason taught me, that I was a wretch " for ever.
"And can you, who know that your "life is in my hands, who are conscious "that, by telling my fad tale in a court "of justice, I could convist you of a "crime more foul than murder, suppose "me capable of plighting my faith to "a monfter! No! Fitzofborne; en
joy the fecurity which my own feel"ings, and not compaffion for you, "allow you to poffefs; but infult me "no more. Know, that the moment "which revealed your bafenels tore from my heart every veftige of esteem, and taught me, by my deteftation of the "offence, to hate and to defpife the "offender.
"From a wish of roufing in your "breaft the torpid feelings of compunc ❝tion, I honour your letter with a copi"ous reply. The compliments you 66 pay to beauty are ill addreffed to the "faded form which pens this epistle; "and the praife of fuperior talents are "equally inapplicable to her whom you "have proved guilty of the weakest va"nity, and the blindeft credulity.
"I have forfeited the name with " which lord Monteith once honoured "me, and I will not difgrace the un"fullied purity of my father's.
An interefting converfation took place between my Heroine and her friend upon the fubject of these letters. The counters had fhewn them to Miss Evans, and requested her opinion of the tendency
dency of her reply. "yourfelf," was the answer. " But "there is one part," continued Lucy, "which feems to afk for explanation: "Some particulars of your story are "unknown to me, nor do I wish to "hear what it will be agony agony for you to repeat. But why, my dearest! do "you hesitate to do justice to your "wounded fame, perhaps too to pre"ferve fome other victim from medi"tated ruin, by giving up a villain to "that punishment which the offended "laws of his country would inflict upon "his atrocious crimes ?"
"My refolution," faid the countess, "is fixed; but you fhall hear the rea"fons on which it is, founded. You "know the fabricated tale which "drew me from Monteith. My recollection, then not clear, foon grew o 6 66 more