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Title: The Planter's Daughter and her Slave

Date of first publication: 1842

Author: Jane Margaret Strickland (1800-1888)

Date first posted: July 24 2012

Date last updated: July 24 2012

Faded Page eBook #20120732

This eBook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Mary Meehan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

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By Jane Margaret Strickland





"Wilt thou set thine heart upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward Heaven." Proverbs, xxiii. 5.


"Aunt," said Emma Malden, addressing herself to Mrs. Dormer as she came in from her walk, "I have heard sad news to-day, which has quite damped my spirits: the banker, in whose hands Miss Brandon's large fortune was vested, has failed, and, it is said, he will not pay his creditors above a shilling in the pound."

"I am sorry to hear it, my dear niece; for Miss Brandon made an excellent use of her riches; and I am grieved that she has lost the power of doing so much good."

"Ah! she is very unhappy at this moment! dear aunt; doubtless she is," replied the young lady sorrowfully.

"I fancy not," said the aunt. "Miss Brandon has too just a way of thinking, to be unhappy: indeed she has never fixed her mind upon the perishing possessions of this world, but has diligently sought to gain 'that treasure which rust doth not corrupt, neither do thieves break through and steal;' she has always been very temperate in her habits, and moderate in her desires, and even in her dress rather studied an elegant neatness than a fashionable appearance; I doubt not, at this very time in which we are now speaking, she regrets her lost fortune more for the sake of the poor whom she clothed and fed, than for her own."

"You think then, aunt, that Miss Brandon will feel great consolation in her own mind, because she made a good use of her riches when she possessed them? I think so too, for an extravagant person, of course, would feel the change more keenly than one who is like Miss Brandon."

"Undoubtedly, my dear Emma, and I tell you so from the best of all authority, personal experience, for I lost my fortune at an early age, and, from being a great West-Indian heiress, became a portionless girl, without money, and, what was worse, without friends."

"I have heard mamma say, that you were wronged out of a great fortune by your guardian; but, dear aunt, she never told me the particulars," replied Emma, directing an enquiring look at her aunt.

Mrs. Dormer smiled: "Well, my dear, as you are nearly sixteen, an age in which youth needs much counsel and advice, I will relate the history of my early years; because I think my past errors will prove a useful lesson, to warn you from 'setting your heart upon riches, which verily do make themselves wings, and fly away.'

"I was born in Jamaica, and my father was a rich planter of the name of Trevor, (and was, as you know, the elder brother of your grandmother,) and I was his only child, and having lost my mother in my infancy, was regarded by him with the most partial fondness: I was, he said, the sole pledge of his Helen's love; and, as such, should not be contradicted in any thing.

"This injudicious treatment rendered me selfish, violent, and unreasonable; for as the human heart is naturally corrupt, children require controul, and ought to be taught to fear God, and to obey his commandments; indeed, my dear Emma, the sight of so many of my fellow creatures in slavery, tended to weaken every kindly feeling in my bosom, and from witnessing oppression from my very cradle, I easily became tyrannical and unjust."

"My pride and arrogance drove all the young people of my own age from me, and I was almost without any society, except those whites whose poverty obliged them to bear with my caprices. Thus I had a great many dependants, but no friends. I had nearly completed my fifteenth year when my father was attacked with an inflammatory complaint, which, in the course of a few days, brought him to the grave. By his will, my maternal uncle, Mr. Williams, was appointed my sole guardian, with directions to take me to England, for the benefit of education, as mine had been hitherto sadly neglected; and either to consign me to the care of his son's wife, or to my aunt Dormer, a handsome sum being allowed for my board and tuition, to be paid to whichever lady chose to undertake the charge, provided she was agreeable to me."

"My guardian permitted me to take a young negress of the name of Lola to attend upon me during the voyage, and early in the spring we embarked for England. I was very fractious and discontented all the time we were at sea; I saw nothing to admire in the magnificent expanse of water before me, and only viewed it as an object of terror and danger, for I had never been taught

'To look through nature up to nature's God.'

And in fact, although I had been baptised into the Christian church, had as little religion as black Lola herself. I arrived in England in the beginning of a cold and backward April, and my first impressions of this country were very unfavourable. I thought of Jamaica, and her groves of citron, orange, and pimento; her fields of flowering canes; and sighed for the warm breezes of my native isle; disgusted with a land whose trees were bare of leaves, and whose buds were hardly beginning to expand.

Mrs. Williams received me with much politeness and apparent hospitality, but I was not in a humour to be pleased with any thing. I walked to the window, and contemplated the muddy streets with great discontent; for it was very wet weather, and London consequently appeared to great disadvantage. I was greatly fatigued, and retired early to my apartment, but the noise of the carriages would not let me sleep; nor, indeed, for several successive nights, could I obtain the least repose.—I then declared my dislike to a London residence, and wrote to my aunt Dormer to come and take me from Hanover-square immediately, as it was my intention to live with her in the country.

"It happened that my aunt and her family were from home, so that my letter did not reach her till several days after it was written; and before she arrived I became reconciled to the noise, recovered my vivacity, and already had ceased to sigh for the beauties of my native isle and was quite reconciled to a town life.

"I now repented of the rash step I had taken, (for so Mrs. Williams styled it,) and began to dread the arrival of my aunt, for that lady told me that she was a very severe, precise, grave, and unfashionable woman, till I determined to write her a second letter respecting my change of opinion, which I was in the very act of composing when she was unexpectedly announced.

"I rose with some trepidation to receive one the most elegant and intellectual looking women I had ever seen in my life, whose beautiful features resembled those of my lamented father, and who embraced me with an affection I thought almost maternal. Her tone of voice too greatly reminded me of him who was no more; and when she called me 'dear Helen,' I could not restrain my tears.—'You look pale, my dear girl,' remarked my aunt, willing to divert my thoughts from my father to myself: 'but perhaps you have kept late hours in this gay town, so that I hope the country air will soon restore the vanished roses.'

"'I thought, Helen, you had changed your mind, and had determined to remain under my care,' said Mrs. Williams.

"I faltered out an affirmative, and added that, I was certain that I should dislike a country life.

"'You have not yet seen the country, Helen,' and as you seem to form your judgments very hastily, you are liable to make wrong conclusions in consequence,' replied my aunt. 'I certainly do not wish to controul your inclinations; but I do not think my brother's only daughter will refuse me the pleasure of her company during the spring and summer months.'

"This was so reasonable on my aunt's part, that I could not without great rudeness refuse my assent to the arrangement, and I expressed my willingness to accompany her down into the country with a tolerably good grace. She then kissed my cheek, told me she would call upon me the following morning, and then took her leave.

"The next day my aunt came according to promise, and took me a shopping with her. Now I had accompanied Mrs. Williams often on such occasions, and had received much pleasure in seeing the elegant purchases she made. These my aunt made were of a very different description; books, maps, music, and drawing materials; not a riband, or necklace, or toy of any kind! We were passing a bookseller's shop, when she said to me, 'I want a new pocket-bible, for mine is in too small a print for my eyes.—Helen, my love, is your's in repair?'

"'I have not one, aunt,' I replied; 'but I suppose it is of no great consequence, as I am not fond of reading. Indeed, I never had a bible in my life.'

"My aunt regarded me with a mingled look of sorrow and surprise. I felt embarrassed, although I scarcely knew why; yet I thought my being without a bible was the cause of my aunt's gravity. Indeed, my short residence in Hanover-square had convinced me that I was ignorant in many things; and I was in some fear lest I had sinned against what my cousin Williams called 'the etiquettes of society,' and I said to my aunt, 'I hope, madam, I have not offended you, but do you really think I ought to read the bible.'

"'Poor child,' replied my aunt, 'you have been cruelly neglected. Yes, Helen, you ought to study the bible, because it contains the truths of salvation, and teaches us how to serve Him, through whom we live and move and have our being.—You must have heard portions of it read at church, and yet you do not seem sensible of its value.'

"'I believe I have, aunt,' I replied, 'but I paid no attention to what the clergyman said.'

"'Poor child,' said my aunt again, in a tone of deep commiseration; 'but, however, we will talk about these most important things by and bye.' She then took me into the shop and purchased for me a bible and prayer-book, very elegantly bound, and a small selection of authors, which she told me I should find very useful to me. From this place we went to a linen-warehouse, where my aunt bought a bale of coarse blue spotted cotton, a great many yards of flannel; likewise some white neck-handkerchiefs, and many pairs of unbleached hose. I could not help asking my aunt why she made such strange purchases.

"'They are for your cousins,' she replied: 'whenever I come to town, they always commission me to make these purchases for them; indeed they save up their money for that purpose.'

"'Do they really wear these ugly coarse things?' asked I, regarding them at the same time in a very disdainful manner.

"My aunt looked surprised, and then answered with a smile, 'Helen, you will see what they will do with them, by and bye.'

"When I returned home, I consulted Mrs. Williams on this matter; she did not, or could not, throw any light on the subject, merely remarking, 'that my aunt was a very strange woman, and that my cousins dressed like no other young people in their station of life.' I then related the conversation I had had with my aunt about the Bible, and the uneasiness I had suffered on that account. She laughed at my scruples, and assured me 'it was a book she had never opened since she left school;' but added, in a sarcastic tone, 'that she expected to see me return almost as godly as Mrs. Dormer.'

"Oh! Emma, that her sneer had proved true! oh! that my sinful and corrupt heart had learned its danger and known its unworthiness! but, alas! it resembled the 'stony places in which the word becomes unfruitful, and having no depth of earth, perishes as soon as it springs up.'

"The next day, I took leave of my London friends, and accompanied my aunt into Suffolk. The country was like a garden, the fruit trees were in full blossom, and the meadows were enamelled with a thousand flowers, and clothed with the most lovely verdure. I was delighted with my journey, and began to think the country was not quite so disagreeable as I had imagined it to be.

"Late the following evening we arrived at Beech-cottage, and were received by Rosa and Catharine, my aunt's only surviving children, in the most affectionate manner. 'Helen, my dear,' said my aunt, 'these are all that remain to me of a very large family, but I shall consider you in the same light as my own daughters; indeed, you greatly resemble the one I have lost.'

"'I thought, aunt,' I replied, 'that I had a cousin Edward; I am sure you told me that you had a son.'

"My aunt smiled through her tears: yes, Helen, I call my husband's son by a former wife, by that tender name, for I love Edward Dormer as well as if he were indeed my own child: he is still at school, but you will see him about the middle of June.'

"I did not greatly like my cousins, and felt my own inferiority too much to receive much pleasure in their society. Rosa was about my own age, and Catharine one year older, and they were both very elegant and intellectual girls, for their education had not been confined to external accomplishments, and they were not only extremely well-read, but possessed a fund of information, rarely to be found in young females of their age. Their time appeared to me to be passed in an incessant routine of study and work, and their leisure hours were spent in walking, reading to the sick poor, or working for them, though sometimes they used to sketch the surrounding scenery, and finish the drawing when they returned home.

"My aunt, who had educated them herself, now undertook my tuition, and endeavoured to teach me my moral and religious duties, of which then I scarcely knew the name; she also gave me daily lessons in French, music, and drawing, and tried to create in me a taste for literature, and a zest for knowledge; she made me read a portion of Scripture to her every day, and carefully explained to me every thing that appeared difficult to my comprehension in the sacred volume.

"My aunt and cousins always devoted some portion of their time to the instruction of the poor, and by conversing with Lola, my black maid, soon discovered that she was still in a state of pagan darkness, and immediately began to give her daily instructions in the Christian faith. Now I had heard the conversion of the negro race, treated as an impracticable and unnecessary thing, only tending to make them rebellious and discontented, and I protested against Lola being made a Christian with all my might. My aunt, however, talked to me in a severe manner on the subject, and as I had no reasons to oppose to her arguments, I was obliged to submit to her superior judgement, and Lola was soon enrolled in the number of my cousins' scholars. I soon perceived that Lola loved Rosa and Catharine better than she did me, and I treated her very unkindly when I was in private on that very account.

"Though I studied with my aunt every day, she could not persuade me to do any needle-work, and as for making garments for the poor, or baby linen for their children, I rejected the idea with scorn. I was tired of Beech Cottage, where no one flattered me, and where my faults were carefully pointed out to me, and sighed to return to Mrs. Williams, who used to call me 'pretty Helen,' and to assure me 'I should soon, under her care, become a very fashionable and accomplished girl.'

"June added Edward Dormer to our family party, and I hoped that his residence at Beech Cottage would make us a little gay, especially as my aunt told me she always gave a week's holiday on his arrival. The idea of passing a week in idleness appeared to me to open a prospect of pleasure, and I rose the next morning in high spirits, full of pleasing anticipations.

"I was greatly surprised to find that this holiday was not to be passed by my cousins in doing nothing, for the breakfast things were scarcely removed before the articles my aunt had purchased in London, were laid upon the table, and all the children belonging to her school entered the room to be measured for their new dresses.

"'The mystery is out now, Helen,' said my aunt, smiling, and looking at me in a very significant manner; 'the flannel we shall reserve for the Winter, when our children will find it very warm and serviceable.'

"I am ashamed to say, that I considered in my own mind, my cousins were very silly to spend their money in clothing these poor children, and made no reply to my aunt's speech, but spent the whole of the morning in looking on in a sort of listless manner, and in teasing a monkey that Edward Dormer had seen ill-treated in the streets by a showman, and had purchased and brought home with him; but notwithstanding the tricks of Pug, I was very dull. Just before dinner, Edward came in from a walk over his estates, and proposed a sail in a pleasure-boat a friend of his had lately fitted up, and which he said 'was moored under the plantations which overhung the water.' My aunt immediately consented, and all of us anticipated much pleasure in the excursion, and great was my disappointment when the coming up of a heavy tempest put an end to the projected sail.

"Catharine and Rosa took out their work; Edward employed himself in drawing; my aunt read; and I lolled on the sofa, and bitterly lamented the rain, and complained of being very dull.

"'I do not wonder at that, cousin Helen,' said Edward looking up from his drawing, and directing an arch glance at me, 'for you spend all your time in idleness; Kate and Rosey are happy enough, for they are employed; I think really, if you were to take down a book, or sit down to work, you would feel much more comfortable than you do at present.'

"'I hate reading, and as for work, I never mean to do any, for I think a rich heiress, like me, has no need to employ herself in such a mean pursuit; and as for drawing and music, I am tired of both,' I replied in a very pert tone.

"'Well then, Helen, you must pay that penalty which indolence always exacts from her votaries, and be content to be dull, while others are cheerful and lively,' remarked Edward, in a pointed tone of voice that greatly displeased me.

"I made no reply, but tossed my head in a very disdainful manner, and this happy day passed away most disagreeably, at least to me, and we had scarcely a cessation of wet during the remainder of the week, in which I remained quite inactive on the sofa, excepting occasionally exerting myself to quarrel with Edward or tease his monkey, for the former had a habit of speaking his mind; and the latter, when very much provoked, would bite the offender severely.

"Edward Dormer generally read to us for an hour after dinner, and as the important question of Negro Slavery was expected to be brought forward in the House of Commons, in the course of the ensuing session, by that great champion of humanity, Mr. Wilberforce, he selected Clarkson's celebrated work on the Slave Trade, to read to the family circle; and as I always advocated the cause of oppression, he was in the habit of looking at me wherever he met with any striking and incontrovertable passage, and even sometimes said, 'Helen, what do you think of this? or, what can you say against that?'

"'Oh! it is a silly book,' was my general reply (probably for want of a better,) 'for there is no harm in making the black people slaves.'

"'Unjust and prejudiced Helen,' said he, 'how can you say so? have they not the same right to freedom as the whites?'

"'Oh not at all,' was my reply, 'for they are quite happy as they are; and, besides, the sugar plantations could not be carried on without their assistance, though the planters are obliged to give a great deal of money for them, more indeed than they are worth, and yet they are so ungrateful as to take the advantage of an earthquake or a hurricane, to rise and plunder, and even sometimes to murder their masters.'

"'Helen, can you wonder at that?' answered Edward impressively; 'are they not men, unjustly and unlawfully held in bondage? men too on whom the light of the gospel has never shone, and who have never learned 'to return good for evil,' and who, like all other pagans, count revenge a virtue! Can you then be surprised, that they should take advantage of those terrible convulsions of nature, to assert their rights, and perhaps to avenge their wrongs? If they are restored to their liberty, and placed upon the same level as our own working classes, you will soon see they will then be as faithful servants as they are now mistrusted slaves.'

"'They are very happy in the West-Indian Islands,' said I, obstinately bent on maintaining my own opinion; 'indeed, Edward, they would all tell you, that they are much happier than when they were in their own country.'

"At that moment Edward caught sight of Lola in the garden, and beckoned her forward: 'Now, Helen,' replied he, 'I have often heard that argument used before, and though I confess myself to be a little incredulous on the point in question, I think, it will be only fair to consult Lola on the subject, and she shall decide the difference between us.'

"Before I had time to answer, Lola came up to the window which opened to the ground, and putting her good-tempered face into the room, asked in her comical tone, 'what Massa Edward want with Lola?'

"'Only, my good girl, to ask which you would like best, were you free,—to choose liberty in your own country, or slavery in Jamaica?' replied Edward looking archly at me.

"'Ah, massa! answered Lola, white man steal Lola away from her parents and friends, and from her own home, and put her in ship, and carry her to Jamaica, and sell her to Massa Trevor; but Lola like to be free best; Lola hate to be a slave;' and the poor girl seemed much agitated by the recollection of her native land.

"'Would you like, then, to return to your country?' asked Edward in a tone of pity.

"'Yes! yes! Massa Edward, me wish to see parents and brothers again! me see the hut where me was born, and hear my own tongue's sweet sound again! Me teach them all to love God and his dear Son, and to worship stone gods no more:' and the poor negress wept at the remembrance of her own distant but unforgotten land.'

"'What!' exclaimed Edward, directing a very mischievous look at me, 'what! Lola, would you like to leave Missa Helen?'

"'Me dare not tell,' replied Lola, turning her eyes on me with a half comic, half frightened look; 'for if me tell truth, Missa Helen beat Lola; and Missa Kate and Missa Rosey say, God is angry whenever Lola tell story:' And Lola tripped off, and ran down the garden walk as fast as she could, apparently in a fright lest I should follow and punish her imprudent avowal of my violence.

"'So you beat Lola sometimes, cousin Helen? poor, unsophisticated child of nature, I pity her with all my heart!' said Edward, looking severely at me.

"I felt my cheeks glow, and with difficulty restrained my anger, and perhaps Edward would have been more prudent if he had not ventured such a remark, but prudence then formed no part of your uncle's character; and I did not forget to punish Lola, as soon as a fitting opportunity occurred.

"I have been minute, my dear Emma, in relating these conversations and trifling circumstances, because I wish you to see me as I was in former times, while my heart was yet unchanged, and when I knew not God; and these incidents are still as fresh in my memory as when they first happened to me. What I am now going to relate, will, I dare say, surprise you; and though it gives me pain to relate all my faults and follies; I will not shrink from the task I have imposed upon myself to perform.

"My aunt had been for some time preparing the mind of Lola, my black maid, to receive the truths of Christianity, and this meek creature now earnestly desired to be baptised and admitted into the fold of Christ. My aunt immediately informed the minister of the parish of Lola's wish, and he appointed the next day (which was a Saturday,) to catechise her, previously to receiving her as a member of the Christian church on the ensuing Sabbath.

"Now, several pious ladies in the neighbourhood, together with all my aunt's servants, greatly desired to be present while Mr. Aubrey questioned the convert, but I positively refused to accompany my aunt and my cousins to the school-house, where the meeting was to be held.

"My aunt remonstrated with me, but I was immoveably obstinate, so she desisted from entreating me, and told me, that when my cousin Edward had arranged some papers and accounts, with which he was then occupied, he should drive me to see some fine ruins near the sea, which I had not yet visited; and directed me to ring for any thing I wanted, as she had sent for a labourer's daughter to take care of the house during her own and her servants' absence.

"I gladly consented to this arrangement, and waited rather impatiently till my cousin Edward would be at liberty to escort me.

"In about an hour after my aunt had left the house, he came in and said, 'My dear cousin, the poney-phæton will be at the door in five minutes' time, so dress as quickly as you can.' I replied, 'that I had only my bonnet and shawl to put on, and would not detain him long,' and I rung the bell, and ordered Mary to bring them to me.

"She did not return so soon as I expected, and when she did make her appearance, I spoke to her in a very sharp and impatient tone, and commanded her to 'pin my shawl and tie my bonnet for me.'

"You smile, Emma, but Creoles are proverbial for their indolence, and I was remarkable for self-indulgence, and had never been accustomed to perform the slightest offices of the toilette for myself. Mary was very awkward, and had never been used to dress ladies; and being flurried by my harsh and hasty manner, in pinning my shawl, inadvertently pricked me with the pin.

"I was so enraged at this trifling accident, that I lost all command of my temper; and forgetting that it was not my own meek Lola who had offended me, I struck Mary several times, calling her at the same time 'an awkward, ignorant, and lazy creature!' The girl was so irritated by this violence, that she lost all respect for me, and returned my blows and ill language, assuring me at the same time, 'that she was not my black slave, and would not be beaten like her.' I raised my hands to strike her again in a state of great exasperation, when they were suddenly seized by my cousin Edward, (who had entered the room at that moment), 'Not so quick with your hands, fair Helen!' cried he in a very satirical tone; 'we have no white slaves in England!'

"'Well!' replied I, sobbing violently, 'she should not have pricked me with the pins. See how my neck is torn through her awkwardness; and because I was provoked by the pain to give her a blow, she had the insolence to strike me again!'

"My cousin looked at me very severely: 'Mary,' said he, addressing the girl, 'you ought not to have struck Miss Trevor in my mother's house, but have complained to your mistress, who would have seen you redressed for the improper treatment you have received! Leave the room, and behave more becomingly in future.'

"The girl quitted the apartment immediately, and I was left alone with my youthful judge, who rebuked me in severe terms for the violence I had committed. 'Helen! cousin Helen!' said he, 'I am truly sorry for you, for this unbridled temper, if not timely checked, will prove the bane and misery of your future life. See what it has done already. Has it not exposed you to the violence and contempt of an ignorant domestic? and, what is worse, to the anger of that great and awful Being, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity? For these things he will surely punish you: beseech him to endue you with a spirit of long suffering and patience, and to subdue your violent and tyrannical temper.'

"I wept much; but, alas! my tears flowed more from anger and mortification than from sorrow; and I retired to my own apartment, not to pray, but to escape from the disgrace I had brought upon myself by my late improper violence. I felt I was humbled in the eyes of Edward; I dreaded his observations on my conduct, which I feared would not stop here; and I sat down and wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, complaining that I was unhappy, and that the servants did not treat me with respect, and concluded my false statement by entreating them to come for me immediately, and remove me from Beech Cottage. I then put on my bonnet and shawl, and committed my epistle to the post, undiscovered by any of the family.

"A severe head-ache, brought on by agitation, kept me on the bed for the next two days; and on the morning of the third, my aunt sent Lola to inform me that Mr. and Mrs. Williams were arrived, and that she wished to speak to me before I saw them.

"I affected surprise on receiving this information, but I greatly dreaded the interview with my aunt, and reluctantly consented to await her coming in my own room, though I hoped I could deceive her into the belief that the visit of my London friends was purely accidental.

"In this idea I was, however, mistaken, and I beheld my aunt enter my apartment with the identical letter I had lately written in her hand, with the utmost dismay; for Mr. Williams was a man of the world, and knowing that, by my father's will, I had the choice of residing with either of my two relatives, he chose to prove to my aunt that it was by my own request he then claimed me, and perhaps he was not sorry to widen the breach between us.

"My aunt saw my confusion, though she did not notice it, and addressing me in a grave, yet kind tone, she said, 'Helen, I do not blame you so much for the step you have taken, as for the very great duplicity you have used towards me. I have always sought your good, for the welfare of my brother's only child is very near my heart; and I grieve that we must part, because I had hoped to impress you with a reverence for the truths of the gospel, and the value and importance of self-government. I do not wish to reproach you, yet, Helen, I cannot but feel hurt and surprised by the tenor of your letter, which contains a direct falsehood; for Helen, if you used that wicked subterfuge from fear lest I should detain you against your inclination, you were mistaken. I forgive you, and I hope God will do the same.'

"I perceived that my aunt was ignorant of the motives that had actuated my conduct, and indeed, some years afterwards, I learnt from Edward that he had given Mary some money to keep that unfortunate affair an inviolable secret; and feeling how despicable and ungrateful my conduct must appear in her eyes, I wept long and bitterly. My aunt was touched by my sorrow, and said, 'Helen, youth is rash: I see you are ashamed of your behaviour, so dry your eyes, and remember, that if you should ever fall into distress or trouble, you may always have a home and a mother here; for though we part, we part as friends.' She then caught me to her bosom, and told me 'to resolve to amend my conduct, and to read the bible, and pray for the teaching of the Holy spirit.' She left me with the promise of sending Kate and Rosa to assist Lola in packing my things, and in an hour afterwards I left Beech Cottage for London, accompanied by Mrs. Williams and the weeping Lola, whose grief would have excited my anger, if the conversation I had had with my aunt had not made some impression on my mind.

"How shall I relate to you, my dear niece, the history of the misspent years that followed my departure from my aunt's roof? years, in which I lived without God! without a thought of an hereafter! How shall I tell you of my cruel treatment of poor Lola, whose uncomplaining meekness and simplicity ought to have softened my heart towards her, and have forbidden me to misuse my power?

"I had long viewed this unfortunate girl with dislike, and considered her as ungrateful, because she preferred my aunt and cousins to me; and the tears in which I frequently found her, instead of inspiring me with pity, only excited my anger, and I often reproached and beat her when we were alone. Yet Lola since her baptism had never even murmured against me, and her patience and forbearance sometimes astonished me—her cruel persecutress!

"About this time the Slave Trade was abolished by act of Parliament, and every champion of humanity rejoiced in the holy triumph of the benevolent and eloquent Wilberforce. My poor Lola was not aware that, from the moment she arrived in England, she could have claimed the rights of a British subject, for my aunt had carefully concealed this circumstance from her knowledge, thinking that the mild example of this young Christian might gradually win upon me to enquire after the truth. Perhaps too she thought that I should possess one friend in Lola in the midst of the worldling's house, with whom I had chosen to dwell; but be it as it may, Lola knew not that she was free. One of the footmen was in the habit of reading the newspapers to his fellow servants, and the debates respecting the abolition of the Slave Trade, excited much interest in his hearers' minds, but especially in the breast of my bond-maid. Her simple artless remarks were answered good-naturedly and kindly by him; and Robert, who piqued himself on his knowledge of the law as well as his judgment on politics, (having lived some years with a justice of peace,) informed the astonished negress that she was not a slave, and that she had the same right to wages as a white servant.

"The unsophisticated child of nature burst into a flood of tears, but they were tears of joy; and, carried away by her feelings, uttered a pious ejaculation of thanksgiving, and rushed into the drawing-room where I was sitting with my cousins, and exclaimed, 'Missa Helen! O Missa Trevor! Lola is free! Lola is not a slave! Lola may go wherever she likes now! O happy day!' and Lola danced about the room in an exstacy of pleasure.

"I gave her a glance of extreme contempt, and then looked at Mr. Williams, as if to ask his advice respecting what punishment I ought to inflict on the thoughtless Lola. 'This is one of the consequences of the late act,' said he, with a gloomy air; 'this is some of the fruits of the interference of fanatics; but, however, Helen, since this ungrateful girl is so eager to quit your service, dismiss her instantly, and let her seek another situation this very night; and do not let her take her clothes, which are your property, along with her, with the exception of those she has now on her back.'

"Oh! Emma, anger and revenge made me a willing instrument in this cruel man's hands. In vain poor Lola wept and prayed, and assured me, 'she did not wish to leave me, and that though her surprise and joy had made her forgetful of the respect she owed me, yet she loved me dearly, and she implored my pardon on her knees, and in that humble posture entreated me to forgive her offence.

"I was in a passion, and hardened my heart against her tears, and Mr. Williams, after commanding her to depart, in his usual stern voice, seized her by the arm, and barbarously expelled her from his house.

"When my anger cooled, my conscience bitterly reproached me for what I had done, and I became so unhappy and uneasy in mind, that I privately dispatched one of the footmen in search of poor Lola; and when he returned in the evening without her, I gave way to an agony of tears; nor did my spirits recover their usual tone till many days afterwards. Mrs. Williams, who saw my dejection, had the address to hire a waiting-maid for me, whose flattery and skill in dressing me, soon made me cease to regret the affectionate and faithful Lola.

"Soon after my cruel abandonment of poor Lola, my guardian died in Jamaica, and my cousin Williams (on whom the charge devolved) sailed for that island, in order to settle his father's affairs, and to sell his estates and my own, and to vest the money in the funds; a measure which he thought would be equally advantageous to us both. At the end of three months he returned in high spirits, and tapping me on the shoulder, told me 'that I should be one of the richest heiresses in England, and might reasonably expect to form a very splendid alliance.' How vain, how presumptuous this information made me, you may easily imagine, my dear Emma. Alas! I was sufficiently arrogant and ambitious before, but now it rendered me still more insolent.

"My cousins, although they occasionally jarred, agreed in the mutual indulgence of every kind of luxury and splendour, and lived in the first style, and saw the first company in town; kept several carriages, and lived beyond their very fine income. Mrs. Williams was very good-natured and thoughtless, and knowing my aversion to study, did not insist on my profiting by the instructions of the masters she procured to teach me the usual accomplishments of the day, though she took some pains to inform me of the etiquettes of society, and to make me a fashionable girl. I led an idle, frivolous life, till I was nearly eighteen, at which time Mrs. Williams had my mother's jewels re-set for me, and introduced me into company; and as I was considered beautiful, and known to be rich, my hand was solicited by more than one noble suitor; but Mr. Williams assured me I might do better, and that I ought not to think of marriage yet. I was tolerably easy on this head, but I wished to be presented at court, and I found my cousin so averse to the idea, that I was compelled to give it up, although not without expressing much displeasure. Indeed, a remarkable change took place about this time in my guardian's temper. He became sullen, morose, irritable, and even rude in his manners; nothing appeared to please him, and he frequently absented himself for many days together from his home. I knew he gamed, and that he often lost large sums of money at play; yet I thought his wealth was too great to admit a doubt that his strange conduct arose from pecuniary difficulties, and indeed I was half inclined to think that it was from latent insanity.

"Things were in this position when we were invited to a grand ball, given by a nobleman on the occasion of his eldest son's coming of age, and I eagerly anticipated the time, because I was engaged to open the ball with the heir on whose account these festivities were made. Mr. and Mrs. Williams declined attending this fete, which was to be celebrated at the family mansion in Kent, a few miles out of town; however they procured me a suitable chaperone, with whom I departed in high spirits and full of vanity, for both my relatives declared I should make a brilliant appearance among these stars of fashion; and as I passed the mirror, I glanced at my superb dress and fine form and face, with infinite satisfaction. Ah! Emma, if I could have beheld the reflection of my errors, and their temporal punishment which was even then about to fall upon me, I should have started from the view in horror.

"The ball at —— castle was conducted on the most magnificent scale, and I was paid the most gratifying attentions by the noble family by whom the entertainment was given, and I did not quit the scene of pleasure till the dawn of day. The lady who had kindly taken care of me, set me down at my own home; but what a scene of confusion I found there! I demanded the occasion of the bustle and noise, and learnt from the servants, that an execution was in the house, and that Mr. and Mrs. Williams were gone they knew not whither.

"I was exceedingly surprised and terrified, and retreated to my own apartment in a state of uncertainty and alarm, and rang the bell for my attendant, when at that moment I perceived a note lying on my dressing-table, directed to me in the hand-writing of Mr. Williams. I tore it open, and these were its contents:

"'Unavoidable circumstances oblige me to leave this country: Helen, I grieve to say, that I have ruined both you and myself.—Your fortune is all gone, but your jewels are valuable; secure them from the creditors, as your ornaments and wearing apparel are the only possessions you can now call your own.'

"I had put my trust in riches! I had no store of religious fortitude to disarm the blow of half its force! I had leaned upon a reed, and it was broken!—I grew giddy, and the jewels with which I was adorned seemed an intolerable weight. I motioned impatiently to my maid to take them off; my sight failed me, and I sunk into a state of insensibility, in which I probably remained some hours before I recovered consciousness. When I came to myself, I found myself lying on the bed, and quite alone. I raised my head on one arm, and slowly recalled the events of the morning, and a flood of tears came to my relief. At length I became more composed, and remembering Mr. Williams's caution respecting my jewels, resolved to secure them. I found they were not about my person, but concluded they had been taken off during my fainting fit by my maid, in obedience to my implied wishes. I rose and searched for the casket, but it was gone, and I rang the bell violently for my maid, to ask what had become of it. No one obeyed my summons. I repeated it, but no one came, and in a state of alarm I walked down stairs, and enquired for my attendant, and was told 'that she had left the house with her boxes three hours before.'

"My jewels were then gone! I was a beggar! and my faithless servant had taken advantage of my indisposition to rob me! I thought of all her flattery, and then the remembrance of my honest and single-hearted Lola came to my mind, and I felt that I deserved all my misfortunes! With a little prudence I might yet have recovered my property; but I was stunned with this fresh blow, and lost all self-possession. I felt oppressed for want of air, and forgetful of every thing, I opened the street-door and rushed out, splendidly drest as I was, without a bonnet or any kind of wrapper, unconscious of what I was doing, or whither I was going.

"The sight of a strange place recalled my wandering senses. I felt all the horror of my situation, and knew that I was homeless and friendless, and again the idea that I had driven Lola out to perish, entered my mind; I stopped, a giddiness came over me, I should have fallen, but some one caught my arm, a voice I knew thrilled on my ears, my eyes lost the light of day, and I swooned in the arms of the person who held me.

"When I received my senses, I found myself in a chemist's shop, surrounded by several strangers; the blood was trickling from my arm, and I was supported by my own black Lola! for it was her who had accosted me in the street, and whose voice had sounded so familiarly in my ears, the moment before I fainted. I was, however, too bewildered to ask any questions, but I comprehended by the few words that passed between the operator and Lola, that he was her master, and that I had swooned near his own door, and had been carried in by himself and bled. Mr. Martin now bound up my arm, and led me into the back parlour, where a lady was sitting at work, and said, 'My dear Anne, this lady was taken ill in the streets, have the goodness to order an apartment to be prepared for her immediately.'

"Mrs. Martin looked at me in evident surprise; I followed the direction of her eyes, and perceived that my splendid dress was torn and soiled, and that my arms and bosom were unshaded by gloves, or handkerchief, and felt how strangely I was situated, till shame and mortification occasioned me to burst into tears.

"'It is Miss Trevor, Anne! It is Lola's former mistress!' said Mr. Martin, regarding his wife with a peculiar expression.

"'Forgive me, my dear madam,' replied the lady, 'if surprise has prevented me from paying you my respects; but I fear you have been rash, and have left your friends under the influence of some little pique; may I ask, if they were aware of your intentions? for the unsuitableness of your dress makes me imagine that they are ignorant of your absence.'

"I scarcely know what I answered, but I suppose the whole truth escaped me, for Lola wept and kissed my hands, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin uttered some exclamations of pity, and begged me to consider their house as my present home, and entreated me to compose myself. These good people then insisted on my taking some refreshment, and kindly left me to the care of Lola, whose caresses and tender expressions of concern, won my heart, and made it bleed at the remembrance of its own unworthiness, while, at the same time, they comforted me by proving that I possessed still a warm friend in this true Christian. Misfortune had already bowed the pride of the haughty heiress, and I laid my head on this meek creature's bosom, and entreated her forgiveness with many tears.

"'Oh, Missa Helen! Lola forgive you with all her heart; she has long forgiven you, for she never bear malice since she made a Christian, because the good book teach her better things. When you turn her away, Lola knew not where to go; she knew where Missa Dormer live, but her home was far away; me wander about the streets, and cry; Lola lose herself, cry more; at last she think of her best friend, and ask him to take pity on her?'

"'What friend, my poor Lola, did you know?' I asked in a tone of surprise.

"'God, Missa Helen, the friend of the poor, whose ear is open to their cry. Lola pray to him to help her, and he hear her prayer, Massa and Missey Martin come by, they hear me cry, they ask why Lola weep, and when she tell them they weep too; they take me home to this house; me live with them ever since, she hope to die with them, she love them as her own life, she pray God to bless them.'

"I sighed deeply, and with shame and contrition contrasted my own conduct with that of the benevolent Martins, and abhored myself. The entrance of Mrs. Martin, who informed me that my apartment was ready, and that she thought I should be better for a little repose, put an end to these painful reflections, for a little while at least; I immediately followed her advice, Lola undressed me, and I wept myself to sleep."

"Probably Mr. Martin had mingled some composing medicine in the wine I had taken, for I did not awake till late the next morning, when I found Lola watching by my bedside. On my affirming myself to be much better, and expressing a wish to rise, Lola produced a white morning wrapper and muslin cap belonging to her mistress, and proceeded to dress me. Before my toilette was completed, Mrs. Martin entered my apartment, and after making many enquiries respecting my health, she proposed taking me in a coach with her and Mr. Martin to my old residence, in order that I might claim my clothes; 'that is, my dear Miss Trevor, if you are well enough after breakfast to make such an exertion; for indeed it is very necessary you should regain your property as soon as possible; or some impediment may arise, through which they may be lost for ever.'

"I declared my willingness to be guided by her judgment, at the same time expressing my gratitude for the kindness and hospitality she had shewn me.

"Soon after breakfast, I accompanied my new friends to Hanover-square, and obtained my clothes, and from thence (by Mr. Martin's advice) went to Bow-street, and gave the sitting magistrate an account of the loss of my jewels, and described them very accurately, as well as the person of my waiting maid. The magistrate promised that every means should be taken to recover them, and I returned to my humble home in tolerable spirits.

"The wicked woman who had robbed me had taken her precautions so well, that I never could procure the slightest intelligence respecting my jewels, and at the end of a month, the good Martins began to talk to me about my future prospects, which were indeed gloomy enough. Indeed, I knew nothing by which I could hope to obtain a livelihood, for my education was too superficial to fit me for a governess, and I had always despised needle-work too much to acquire any skill in that useful art. Mrs. Martin advised me to write to my aunt, or to permit her to do so, but the bare mention of this plan threw me into such a state of agitation as exceedingly alarmed my kind protectress; and I declared, that I could endure any privation rather than submit to so mortifying an expedient; 'no, dear madam, I treated my aunt so ill in my days of prosperity, that I cannot bear to ask her assistance at such a time as this; indeed it would break my heart, if I only thought she knew of my present degradation.' Sad proofs of sinful pride! my Emma, were these declarations; but, my love, I was still an alien from God, and mine was a stubborn and rebellious spirit, and needed still greater chastisement before it could humble itself and submit to his holy will.

"'I have friends, my dear madam,' I said, 'who will gladly receive me; and the situation of a companion would be tolerably easy to me; I will apply to them, and I do not doubt their friendship will anticipate my wishes.'

"'Do not be too sanguine, my dear young friend, in your expectations,' said Mrs. Martin; 'you know very little of the world; but however,' continued she, checking herself, 'I am wrong to judge your friends, and perhaps I may be mistaken.'

"Alas! she was only too correct in her judgment, founded, no doubt, on her knowledge of the worthlessness of my own character; none of the people who had flattered and caressed me in the time of my prosperity, would notice me in my adversity! The greater part were denied to me; some, indeed, admitted me, but gave me at the same time a chilling reception, that was in reality more mortifying than a denial, and all seemed determined to cut my acquaintance, now I could be of no farther service to themselves!"

"How shameful!" exclaimed Emma Malden interrupting her aunt in this part of her history; "why should the loss of a little money make such a difference in these people's regard for you?"

"My dear niece," replied Mrs. Dormer, "here it made every difference, for their regard had been paid to my wealth, and when I lost it, of course Helen Trevor was nothing more to them than an intrusive girl, who imagined she had a claim upon them. This is the world, my Emma; but then, remember, it is that 'world,' which in our baptismal vow, we promise 'to renounce.' I had not strength to give it up, but fortunately it gave up me: but to return to my tale.

"When I returned to my humble home, and recounted the treatment I had received from my former acquaintance, I wept bitterly and lamented my misfortunes afresh; for, unused to any slight or deprivation, without fortitude, without religion, this last blow fell heavily on one who had put all her trust in the world!

"Mrs. Martin suffered my grief and disappointment to subside, and then said, 'My dear Miss Trevor, these people are not worth a thought, rather rejoice that you know their characters, and try to fix your mind on him who has said, that he 'will never desert those who put their trust in him.' Seek him early, and remember, 'that it is good for you to be thus afflicted. To-morrow I will communicate a plan to you respecting your future life.'

"Mrs. Martin did not forget her promise; she told me, that an old friend of hers, a milliner, in Piccadilly, would take me without a premium, out of consideration to my misfortunes, and would give me every facility in acquiring her business. 'Now, my dear Miss Trevor, if you still persist in the determination you have formed, not to apply to your aunt in the country, I would really advise you to accept my friend's offer.'

"I hesitated a few moments, and then I remembered that I ought not to become a burden to these good people, when I had an opportunity of learning to get my own livelihood, and I thanked her, and agreed to follow her advice; 'But,' continued I, 'my dear friend, I can hardly hold a needle at present.'

"'You shall remain another month or two with me,' replied this benevolent female, 'and I will give you daily instruction, and I do not doubt of your becoming, by that time, an accomplished workwoman.'

"Mrs. Martin was as good as her word, and I was diligent and persevering by necessity; nevertheless, I bathed my pillow nightly with my tears, for my unsubdued pride revolted at the idea of my being seen and recognised by any of my former friends in such a humble capacity as a milliner's apprentice!

"This trial I was not destined to meet, for, soon after this, I sickened with the small pox, (which disorder I had never been secured from,) and, even in the early stages of the disease, it assumed a very formidable character. I was in blindness and in agony, and the fear of death tore my guilty soul with apprehension: I beheld my sins with horror, and shuddered on the brink of the grave. Mrs. Martin was a good Christian, and she pointed out a Saviour and a mediator whose blood, she said, could cleanse me from all earthly stains.

"I believed, but I was sore troubled, and I turned to this intercessor in trembling hope, and was comforted. Ah! what was the world and all its vanities now to me! No earthly power would cool my burning brow, or restore sight to my darkened eyes! Yet I felt that my sins were forgiven, and I was able to pardon those of my erring cousins towards me. I turned to the spot where my weeping Lola stood, directed by her sobs, and blessed her for all the love she had shown to me, and I called Mr. and Mrs. Martin to me, and besought them 'to write to my aunt and cousins, and to tell them how I did, and how earnestly I desired to see and ask their forgiveness: 'For you, my dear friends,' said I, 'who took me in, and gave me a home, and who have brought me to the knowledge of a Saviour, I know not how to express my gratitude and my love; but God will, I hope, reward you both. 'I think,' continued I, after a long pause, 'I think my aunt, when she learns how much I have suffered, will forgive me.'"

"She does!" exclaimed a dear and well-known voice; "she has been near you all this morning, though you knew it not!"

"Sense and recollection failed me, and those about me thought my last hour was come; but it pleased God to restore me again. The crisis turned favourably, and I recovered, though as altered in person as I was changed in mind.

"Indeed few could have recognised, in my scarred features and emaciated form, the once beautiful and admired Helen Trevor, and I remember still how I started back when I first viewed my own reflection in the mirror.—Still I had much, very much to be thankful for; I gratefully remembered that I was not given over unto death, and that my eyesight was spared me, and sinking on my knees, I blessed his name, 'who had delivered my soul from hell.'

"My aunt could not prevail upon the excellent Martins to accept of the slightest recompence, but I hope and trust that they have both received their reward. Indeed the conduct of these good Samaritans deserves the highest praise, because my barbarous treatment of Lola must have made them despise me at the very time they were behaving so kindly and tenderly towards me: but then they were Christians!—Lola, who had attended on me with the greatest affection during my illness, could not part with me without regret, and indeed I shed many tears when I parted with this dear creature and the worthy Martins.

"As soon as I was well enough to bear the journey, I accompanied my aunt to Beech Cottage, whose inmates received me as if I had been a long absent sister!

"I now applied myself to the cultivation of my mind, and the improvement of my character, and was soon able to join my cousins in all their intellectual and benevolent pursuits, and Kate and Rosa treated me in the most generous and affectionate manner; Edward seemed to forget that we had ever differed, and it was the good fortune of the plain and dowerless Helen Trevor to win the affections of a man whose heart would have been cold to the beautiful and wealthy heiress!

"In less than three years, I became the wife of my cousin, and my first guests were the worthy Martins and black Lola; whom, though you do not know by that name, you will doubtless remember by her baptismal one of Mary."

"What, dear aunt, do you mean your nurse, whom I used to love so much when I was quite a little girl," asked Emma, "and whose tombstone I always look at whenever I cross the church-yard?"

A tear stole into Mrs. Dormer's eyes as she replied, "The same, my dear niece; she came to live with me after the death of her mistress, whom she never would leave, and how good, how painful she was, only those who knew her as you did can tell; but the Christian has entered into her rest, and I will not regret it, since she died in the Lord. I have reared a large family, and have had the pleasure of seeing them 'walk in the way in which they should go,' for I laboured to correct their errors by telling them betimes of those that disfigured my early youth. They are all married, and settled at a distance from me, but I feel the same maternal solicitude for you, and I beseech you, my dear Emma, to be meek in prosperity as one 'that feared the Lord,' not setting your heart upon riches, which, as the proverb says, 'maketh unto themselves wings, and fly away as an eagle towards heaven.'"

Emma Malden thanked her aunt for her useful and instructive history, and she was beginning to express her opinion respecting some part of it, when the entrance of Mr. Dormer diverted her thoughts with the pleasing intelligence that the banker, whose failure had grieved her so much, had stopped payment for a few days only, and that consequently Miss Brandon's large property was safe; and she profited so well by her aunt's example, that, from being a little vain of her person and expectations, she became a model of affability and feminine sweetness.




Industry is always useful and commendable, and the knowledge of any art or science is a more valuable and certain possession than rank or riches. In the late memorable French Revolution, this observation was practically felt; many of the nobility of France were driven to a state of extreme distress; yet some of them were enabled to live comfortably by the fruits of their own exertions, while others suffered the utmost extremity of poverty and misery.

Some years before these troubles broke out in France, the sons of the Counts Valcour and Grammont were united in the strictest bonds of friendship, although they were of very different dispositions.

Louis Grammont was only a few months older than his friend, yet he always appeared to be his senior, for he was of a very sedate temper, and had a just way of thinking far beyond his age. He was cautious, but his caution arose from prudence, and a fear of acting precipitately, which he knew often rendered people unjust. He never followed any sudden or violent impulse; all his actions were regulated by reflection, and this guiding principle was derived from religion.

Victor Valcour was of a very opposite character. He was exceedingly volatile and impetuous in his disposition, and was apt to follow first impressions of things, and to decide upon them, without giving himself the trouble of examining them. Consequently he was often wrong in his conclusions, and even sometimes unjust. Yet with all these shades and defects, Victor was upright, generous, and candid, and owned his faults with an ingenuousness that half atoned for them in the eyes of his friends.

The proximity of their father's estates in the country had occasioned a slight acquaintance between those youths; but, perhaps, Louis would never have attached himself to the volatile and thoughtless Victor, if an accident had not given him a strong claim on his esteem and admiration.

The little son of a poor woman in Paris, who gained her livelihood by washing, followed his mother to the river side, and in playing too near the margin of the stream, fell into the water, and would have perished there, if Victor Valcour, who heard the mother's frantic cries for help, had not leaped in and restored the drowning infant to her arms! It chanced that Louis Grammont arrived on the spot at the moment when the parent was weeping over her rescued boy, and sobbing out her thanks to Victor, who stood near her shivering with cold and dripping with water.

Louis could not help shedding tears as he witnessed this affecting sight; he knew young Valcour was an indifferent swimmer, and had incurred no little danger in following the dictates of his humanity, and therefore fully appreciated this generous and noble action, and from that moment became his sincere friend.

It must, however, be confessed that Louis was often surprised and annoyed by the capriciousness of his new friend, who laughed at his gravity, and incessantly ridiculed the manner in which he spent his leisure hours.

Louis's tutor had carefully impressed his pupil with the value of time; he had constantly reminded him, "that in all labour there is profit," and "that idleness is the root of all evil," and had early taught him to combine amusement and knowledge together. Louis was of a docile disposition, and suffered himself to be guided by the experience of his preceptor, so that he became a professor in several little arts, which were a source of pleasure to himself and his friends; he was well acquainted with the nature and properties of plants, and even assisted in their cultivation; was a good turner, and could carve and inlay toys very tolerably, and could handle the carpenter's tools with great dexterity.

Victor passed his leisure hours in a very different manner, cards and dancing formed his chief amusements in Paris, and he generally spent his time with some gay companions, whose tastes and pursuits were similar to his own.

The Spring and Summer months, however, always brought the two friends together again, and Victor then derived all his pleasures from his sedate friend, whose society half atoned for the dulness of the country, even in his eyes.

The dulness of the country! Surely it is only the indolent and dissipated who can feel weary of green fields and groves, and turn from the beauties of nature with disgust, and sigh for the bustle of the city. The very day after his return to the chateau, Louis Grammont visited his garden and resumed its cultivation with more than usual industry. He was soon interrupted, however, in this innocent and pleasing employment, by his giddy friend, who entreated him to leave off gardening and to accompany him in a walk.

"Have the goodness to wait for me, dear Victor, while I finish transplanting these flowers," said Louis, in answer to his friend's request. "Cannot Pierre do it for you?" replied Victor; "surely gardening is a strange employment for the only son of Count Grammont; indeed, Louis, you ought to leave such servile occupations to the peasantry, and seek amusements befitting your rank."

"In all labour there is profit," rejoined Louis, "and gardening affords me good exercise, and much harmless recreation; besides, in studying the nature and properties of plants, I am led to adore the wisdom of the great Creator, and to recognize his almighty hand in these his beautiful and useful works."

"It is a pity you were not born a gardener," replied Victor pettishly, "since you take delight in such servile labours. What a strange fellow you are, you dislike hunting, and yet take pleasure in cultivating the soil!"

"I think it is very cruel to chace the weaker animals, although I have frequently hunted the wolf without any scruple, because I consider the destruction of one of these ferocious and ravenous wild beasts as a general benefit to the country; however, my friend, I never will pursue the poor timorous hare, whose very feebleness ought to secure her from the attacks of man!"

"I never entertain such singular ideas," said Victor, "and I love the animated chace. There is nothing tame and insipid in it, for the very danger enhances the pleasure of the hunter; the risk one runs of breaking one's neck, too, has in it something infinitely agreeable!"

"Oh! certainly," replied Louis laughing, "I forgot that, which, I confess, appears to me to be one of its disadvantages, but then I am no hunter."

"No, you prefer the occupations of a gardener, a turner, a carpenter, to the nobler sports of the field!" exclaimed Victor, brandishing the cane he held in his hand in the heat of the argument, unconscious of the injury he was doing to his friend's parterre. "Ah! spare my lovely flowers!" cried Louis; "see, dear Victor, what mischief you have done! the bells of my beautiful hyacinths and the beads of my jonquils are strewing the ground!"

"I am a sad, careless fellow," replied his companion blushing, and stooping to gather up the fallen blossoms; "but see, it rains, and we must bid adieu to our delightful promenade, which I think is the most unlucky misfortune of the two!"

"The shower will do good," said Louis rather drily, "but your mischief will take another spring to repair! Come, let us go in, for the rain seems likely to continue," and Louis gave his arm to his friend, and they proceeded to the chateau; and, after Louis had washed his hands, he conducted Victor to his mother's boudoir.

His sister Antoinette was alone, much afflicted, she said, with ennui, and she welcomed her brother and his friend with great apparent pleasure.

"Antoinette, we must find something to amuse this unfortunate youth," said Louis, "for it rains, and he is dull and disappointed in consequence."

"I am sorry for him," replied the giddy Antoinette, "for I feel so myself; but I will shew him that beautiful set of chessmen my uncle intends as a present to the Queen."

"Do, my dear sister, for Victor is fond of such trifles, and I am sure he must admire the exquisite workmanship of those pieces."

Antoinette took the elegant set from the drawer of a cabinet, and displayed them to the admiring Victor. "See," said she, "they are intended to represent two armies, and I like the Asiatic troop the best: only observe their costume!"

"The carving is excellent," replied Victor; "I suppose they came from the East Indies, for France cannot produce any thing to equal them."

"You are mistaken, my friend," said Louis, "for they are the work of a Frenchman; indeed, I feel inclined to say that France may rival the whole world in her fancy works: and human skill and ingenuity is much the same everywhere, if properly exerted. These beautiful men were made by a sickly youth about my own age, who gets his living by carving ivory fans, which little art he learnt at Rouen, (of which city he is a native.) My uncle lately purchased an estate in Normandy, near the village where young Bowrelle resides, and by accident saw these chessmen, which he immediately purchased, in the hope of obtaining the patronage of Her Majesty for the unfortunate and ingenious artisan."

"I think he will be quite successful," replied Victor; "I really should like to play with this elegant set myself."

"And so should I," said Antoinette, "but Louis is so unkind as to forbid me that pleasure."

"Dear Antoinette," replied her brother, "I know you are a careless girl, and indeed I am fearful that they will receive some injury."

"Saucy brother, you called me careless Antoinette before my uncle, and that was the cause of his prohibiting my playing with these pretty men," said Antoinette pouting; "but though you refused my challenge, Victor is too polite, I am sure, to decline my offer of battle."

"I shall be most happy," rejoined Victor bowing, and drawing the chess-table forward; "which army will you choose?"

"Oh! the Turks, to be sure, for I like to see their long beards and turbans, and they cut such a droll figure on the board!"

"Indeed you must not play with those men," replied Louis; "here is another set; and you know, my dear friends, that it does not really signify what kind of pieces you make use of in this ingenious game; I can play as well with wooden men as with ivory ones!"

"Impossible, Louis!" said his giddy sister, "and indeed I must play with these men, and with none but these!"

"Indeed you must not play with this costly set, for my uncle gave them into my own care; and if they should be broken, he will be much displeased; and the poor afflicted youth will receive an injury."

"That prohibition was your doing, unkind Louis!" rejoined his sister angrily, "and I will not be controlled," and she immediately opened the game; but observing that her brother seemed hurt by her petulance, she laid her hand on his arm in a caressing manner, and said, "you are not going to leave me, Louis, for I want your assistance to beat Victor."

"No! Antoinette, I am displeased by your obstinate perseverance in disobedience; I shall go to my work-shop and finish a box I am turning for my uncle."

"Well, mademoiselle, let him go and pursue his dull mechanical labours while we enjoy our game," replied Victor, looking archly at Antoinette, who felt a little ashamed of her behaviour.

The contest was quickly decided, for Antoinette was no match for her skilful opponent, and she inadvertently laid herself open to the checkmate of her adversary. She would not, however, allow herself to be vanquished, but, in violation of all the laws of the game, attempted to revoke her move, and in the little struggle that ensued swept one of the pieces off the board, which, unfortunately, was broken in the fall!

"Ah! dear Antoinette, see what you have done!" said Victor, showing the castle which was made to represent an elephant with a turret on its back, such as is used in eastern warfare, "behold! it is a ruined castle now!"

"It was a pretty elephant!" replied Louis, who had entered the room unobserved by them both, and had overheard the whole dialogue. "Thoughtless Antoinette! unkind sister! I do not wish to mortify you: but indeed I hope you will tell my uncle the whole truth without attempting to screen yourself behind Victor."

"I dare not, dear Louis, for he is so stern, and never overlooks disobedience; and papa will reprove me; and I cannot bear to face their anger."

"Let me see if I can mend it," said Louis, examining the pieces very carefully; "no! that I see is impossible: but I really believe that I can make a new one."

"I fear that is beyond your skill," replied Victor.

"I will try, at least," said Louis, as he left the room with the broken pieces in his hand.

Before Louis commenced this difficult task, he made a confidant of his tutor, who was pleased with this new proof of his pupil's goodness of heart, and immediately granted him a respite from all his studies for the next two days, and even promised to give him all the advice and assistance in his power. Many were the trials Louis made; he actually completed four bungling pieces, before he could at all promise himself a chance of success; but Louis was very persevering, at all times, and he was actuated by the double motive of screening his sister from anger, and benefiting his artificer; and, perhaps, by a wish of rivalling his exquisite workmanship.

As Louis was a good carver and turner, and as he bent his whole mind to attain the desired end, he at length accomplished his purpose, and sending for his sister and Victor, put the new piece into Antoinette's hand, with a sweet smile, that greatly enhanced the obligation.

Antoinette flung her arms round her brother's neck, and tenderly embraced him: "And I have called you unkind and cross, my most kind Louis."

"Say no more, my giddy, unjust, but always most dear sister," replied the fond brother regarding her with great affection, and playfully pulling one of the long fair ringlets that hung on her shoulders.

"Is it possible, that you could make this;" said Victor, taking the castle out of Mademoiselle Grammont's hand; "it is really a wonderful performance."

"In all labour there is profit," replied Louis, with some archness in his manner; "and I am happy that my little employments and agreeable toils have proved useful to my friends: I think, my dear companions, I can give you both a lesson in perseverance; especially to you, Antoinette; I can assure you that I had made four unsuccessful attempts before I could produce any thing at all like an elephant with a turret on its back:" and Louis took from his pocket the several rude designs, which he placed in his sister's hands.

"Oh! what droll looking things," said she, laughing; "why these are not at all like elephants."

"Look at this," replied her brother, offering another finished piece for her examination.

"Well, dear Louis, this is very like the real one; only the tusks are too short, and the head too large; but this last," continued she, "is so like the original, that I am sure the difference will never be observed; indeed I will take pattern by your industry, and will always endeavour to finish what I begin; and I will complete that piece of embroidery as you wished me, although I am really tired of it."

"Then I am overpaid," replied he, taking her hand, "for my Antoinette is a careless, idle girl sometimes; and I want to see her industrious and careful."

Victor then took leave of them, and the brother and sister returned to their several occupations.

Antoinette was too generous and affectionate to conceal a circumstance that did her brother honour, and when the whole family were assembled in the saloon, she made the accident, and Louis's ingenuity in repairing it, known to them all, displaying both pieces, as a proof of her carelessness, and her brother's kindness and skill.

Her uncle was too much pleased with her candid acknowledgement of the truth, to reprove her disobedience with any severity, although he certainly gave her a slight reprimand, and recommended her to be more careful and considerate in future, at the same time bestowing great praise on Louis. "I can, however, perceive some difference between the two pieces: for the inlay of Bourelle's is much blacker than that you have made use of for your work," said he, turning to his nephew.

"His was ebony, and, unfortunately, I had none by me, and was obliged to substitute some stained pear-tree in its place," replied Louis.

"Well, it will do as it is," said his uncle; "and I will not forget to bring you a stock of ebony and ivory from Paris, when I take the Chateau Grammont, on my return home. Antoinette, I mean to employ you to pack the chessmen neatly, in the pretty box your brother has made for them; and pray be careful, for once in your life, at least!"

Antoinette blushed, and obeyed him; and, a few minutes after, Monsieur, the count, commenced his journey to Paris.

The Queen was much pleased with the elegant chessmen, and felt interested in the sufferings of the artificer; she promised to give him her patronage, and provided the count with a sum of money to defray his protegèe's expenses to Paris.

The count then made Her Majesty observe the difference between the two castles, and related the anecdote respecting that little blemish.

The Queen was touched by this little proof of brotherly love; "Call it not a blemish, Monsieur le Conte," replied that amiable princess, with her accustomed affability and goodness; "I feel much interested in its history: I assure the young Grammont that I shall always observe it with pleasure, and that I think it does honour to his taste, and yet more to his heart."

Time passed on, and Victor and Louis were fast approaching to manhood, and were still inseparable companions, when the horrors of the revolution burst out, and the rage of party divided them from each other.

The counts Grammont and Valcour espoused different sides: Valcour attached himself to the cause of the people, Grammont to that of the king, and all intercourse was forbidden between their sons, that intercourse which had been such a source of delight to both. Each was devotedly and enthusiastically attached to the party their friends had chosen; and though they loved one another, still, their affections were greatly weakened by their adverse opinions; for Louis considered the friend of his bosom as a rebel; and Victor, on his part, thought him an abettor of despotism and tyranny.

The danger of his once dear Louis, who, together with his father, uncle, and sister, were doomed to die according to the decrees of a revolutionary tribunal, kindled again the decaying love of Victor, who exerted all his energies of mind, all his powerful interest, to save his friend, and his devoted family from destruction. His eloquence, and his influence with his own party, wrung from them a reluctant pardon, in behalf of Louis and his sister; but with regard to the other condemned and loyal Grammonts, they remained completely inexorable.

Victor forgot all difference of party, all jarring and divided interests, as he unbound the chains from Louis Grammont's limbs, and beheld the passionate grief of Antoinette for the loss of her father and uncle, (who had been executed that morning,) and who refused to be comforted.

Victor embraced Louis with great affection, for misfortune had endeared him to his generous heart; and he tried to soothe the sorrow of Antoinette; for he knew that neither he nor her brother would be safe while they remained in France, much less in Paris; and he besought them to enter his carriage, and to travel to Calais with all speed, and embark from thence for England.

Louis accepted his friend's offer with lively gratitude. Victor led Antoinette to the coach, and said, in a sorrowful tone, "Adieu! mademoiselle; I wish you all happiness: we shall, probably, never behold each other again; but, believe me, that if the sacrifice of my life could have preserved those so dear to you, I would cheerfully have made it, to spare your tears."

Antoinette would have answered, but he was gone; and she wept, as she reflected on the past, and thought on the gloomy prospects which lay before her.

The fugitives found relays of horses at every stage; and as Victor had provided them with passports, they reached Calais in safety; and the following morning embarked for England, in which happy land they hoped to find a home and country.

Louis was still the same in adversity as he had been in prosperity. His fortune and rank were gone, but he possessed the true riches, that nobility of heart, which is far above the adventitious claims of birth. He knew that, though he was poor, his heavenly Father cared for him; and in the bosom of Omnipotence his soul reposed in perfect peace, unruffled by any earthly storm; and while his sister lamented their misfortunes continually, he combated his with firmness and success.

Now the little arts he had acquired in his early years, promised to become useful to him; but as he could not afford to purchase tools and materials, he resolved, for the present, to procure employment as a gardener, in a nursery-ground near Chelsea, as he was well skilled in the management of shrubs and flowers; for he was determined to gain a livelihood for himself and Antoinette by the labour of his own hands, rather than become burdensome to the public.

He was successful in his application, and he took a cheap lodging for himself and his sister, and changed his embroidered coat for a fustian one, and a green apron; and worked as cheerfully as if he had been born and bred a gardener's son.

Nor did Antoinette long continue to eat the bread of idleness: she laid out a part of Louis's earnings in the purchase of materials for embroidering, and having worked an elegant group of flowers, carried it to a fancy shop in Piccadilly, and easily obtained employment in that branch of needle-work; and she and Louis not only gained a comfortable livelihood, through their united exertions, but were enabled to assist their unfortunate countrymen, many of whom were not so well prepared to cope with adversity as themselves.

Victor Valcour was soon doomed to experience the same sad reverse of fortune as his friend Louis. His own imprudence partly paved the road to ruin: he had united himself with a set of men, whose characters and habits were widely dissimilar to his, and whose public conduct did not agree with their professions; but Victor had been misled by false notions of liberty, and the equal rights of mankind; and he had consulted ancient history as a guide for his conduct, and had long rejected the bible; yet, as far as unassisted principle could go, Victor was a young man of strict integrity; but his own vivid imagination had given a false colouring to persons and things, and he was so much deceived by this self-delusion, that he did not awake from the dream, till the ambitious and selfish men who composed his party, spoke too plainly to be mistaken, any longer, for patriots. Victor then saw the error of which he had been guilty; and being of an open and ardent temper, he imprudently reproached the members of his party, and refused (with every expression of scorn and detestation,) to aid them in their plans of aggrandisement at the expence of the public welfare.

The consequence of his refusal was, that, a few hours after, the family of Valcour were seized, and carried before a revolutionary tribunal, and there accused of having aided and abetted the escape of those enemies of the people, Louis and Antoinette Grammont; and as Victor could not deny the charge, they were condemned to die that very morning; and to make the blow the severer to the feelings of Victor, he was cruelly respited till the following day.

The miserable family were confined in a church, which had been converted into a prison, during this frightful period; and here Madam Valcour's two lovely little girls were brought, to take leave of her, by a faithful servant. We will pass over the parting scene, which could only give my readers pain; sufficient it is to say, that the parents shed many tears over these unfortunate little creatures, and anxiety for their future welfare embittered their last tears.

The cries of these children echoed along the spacious aisles, as the folding-doors were closed, and the beloved forms of their parents disappeared from their sight. Victor strained them tenderly to his bosom, and bedewed their innocent faces with tears. "Go," he said to their attendant, "I cannot take leave of them now, it would break my heart; but bring them again, to-morrow."

With the departure, however, of little Blanche and Nina, all the softer feelings of Victor's heart vanished; and he spent the remainder of this dismal day, in a state of the most violent resentment and indignation.

Towards evening, these warring passions gradually subsided; deep silence reigned throughout the city, and every thing was so still, within and without the church, that the prisoner could almost have heard the beatings of his own sad heart. The last ray of light at length withdrew, and Victor was left in utter darkness.

Jonah scarcely felt more discontented with the withering away of the gourd, than this misguided youth did at the departure of the light. A sort of gloomy despair and utter loneliness came over his mind, and he remembered that he had shut out of his heart a greater and more glorious brightness, even a belief in Him who had made all worlds. He tried to drive away the idea, but it presented itself to him, in spite of his utmost endeavours to the contrary, and the sweet and holy recollections of childhood revived in all their force; he remembered the consolation he had received once, when, weeping over the grave of a beloved brother, he was told that Henri was an angel in heaven: Should he, indeed, behold him and his murdered parents no more? human affection rejected the idea, as false; he felt assured that they would live for ever. A sudden light seemed to dawn upon his soul, the belief of his early years returned, and, with it, too, the doctrines of future punishments and rewards; and Victor only believed in God, when he had every reason to dread being shut out from his presence for ever; and he now wrung his hands in an agony of conviction and despair. The courage, the indifference with which he had lately looked upon death, deserted him; and he shrunk from the idea of meeting the vengeance of a justly-offended Deity. Life now appeared to him to be the greatest of all earthly blessings; yet he dared not pray for it; and he murmured out, "I have sinned, and I submit to thy judgements, O Lord!" Scarcely had he uttered the words, before the moon broke from the dense clouds that environed her, and presented a lively emblem of immortality to the awakened and agitated sinner.

His ideas now became so dreadful, so appalling, that they overwhelmed him with despair; till, at length, his frame was completely exhausted by emotion; he laid himself down, and wept himself to sleep, like an infant.

A soft step, a whispered voice, soon dispelled his slumbers; and the unhappy prisoner started up, and beheld a female with a dark lantern in her hand, standing at his side.

He would have spoken, but the woman put her finger on her lip, and motioned him to follow her steps.

Victor immediately obeyed her signs, though greatly surprised, and followed his mysterious guide to the door of the sacristy, which she carefully locked after them, and conducted him to another, which opened from thence into the street, which she also secured; and after putting the keys into her pocket, took the astonished prisoner by the arm, and led him through a great many alleys and lanes, till they reached a mean-looking house in the Fauxbourg, where the female stopped, and tapped at a door, which was immediately opened by a very beautiful and intelligent-looking boy, apparently, about ten years of age.

"Antoine," said the woman, "I have brought home our benefactor; and God be praised for his merciful assistance and guidance this night!"

The boy seized Victor's hand, and kissed it with great affection; and his mother, addressing Victor, said, "Monsieur, I perceive you have forgotten me; do you not remember plunging into the Seine to save an infant, who had fallen into that river, and who was drowning in the sight of its distracted mother? that boy, that mother, now stand before you! and we are most happy in being able to testify our deep and sincere gratitude by saving you from to-morrow's doom."

"Is it possible," replied Victor, "that you should have remembered that little service so many years?"

The mother turned her eyes on her child with a touching expression of maternal love, and then answered, "Antoine was the only memorial of a beloved husband; and you preserved his life at the risk of your own: could a mother forget this? Ah no! from that day I taught my child to pray for you; and your name has always been united with my morning and evening prayers."

Victor was much affected: "Excellent woman," said he; "I owe my life to you; but I cannot but feel a wish to know by what means you eluded the vigilance of the centinels, and how you obtained the keys of the church, which had become my prison."

"I will explain the circumstance instantly," replied Annette: "as I was returning home with some linen, I met the favourite maid of my lady, your mother, with her two sweet little girls, your sisters, in her hand, weeping bitterly. I enquired the cause of their tears, and learned that their parents had just been guillotined, and that their brother was to suffer the same death, the following day. I remembered what I owed to the family of Valcour, and determined to endeavour to save your life. I enquired the place of your confinement, and when I heard that it was the church of ——, I remembered that one of the priests, who used to officiate there, was concealed in a cellar near my own home, and that, undoubtedly, he still possessed the keys belonging to the sacristy; nor was I wrong in my conjectures; and thus I was easily enabled to open your prison-doors."

Victor took her hand, and said, "You have saved my life, and, perhaps, have preserved my soul from the bitter pangs of everlasting death; for I had cast away from me the truths of salvation, and had listened to the words of wicked men, till I was beguiled by their sophistry into unbelief. Oh! I have, indeed, had a narrow escape."

At his request, Annette now conducted him to a little chamber, and left him to his repose; and as soon as Victor found himself alone, he knelt down, and returned thanks to Almighty God, for his wonderful preservation; and then threw himself on the humble bed, and soon sunk into a profound sleep, which lasted till mid-day.

The sweet voices of infancy softly dispelled the slumbers of Victor; and opening his eyes, he beheld Blanche and Nina, his beloved sisters, watching on either side the bed.

"My darlings!" said he, fondly regarding them, "how came ye hither?" and the manly heart of the brother overflowed with more than fraternal tenderness as he folded them to his bosom, and bedewed their innocent faces with his tears.

"Sofie took care of us, and wiped our eyes, and called us her children; and told us, that when you were gone, Victor, we should have no friend left but God, and her," replied the children. "Annette came this morning, and then Sofie brought us here; and then they told us that you were not to die, and ordered us to sit by your bed, and watch, till you should awake. Oh! we were so glad."

This was another occasion for thanksgiving, and the erring, but repentant Victor, made his infant sisters kneel down with him, and bless God for this happy meeting.

When Victor descended into the little kitchen, he found that Annette and Sofie had already arranged a plan for his escape from Paris, which the latter immediately communicated to him.

"You play well on the guitar, my dear young master," said Sofie, "and can sing delightfully. You might pass yourself on the public for an itinerant musician, and call the dear little ladies your children, and thus quit this wicked city without any risk of detection."

"I fear, no disguise would enable me to elude the vigilance of those who thirst for my blood," replied Victor thoughtfully.

"In the dress of a Savoyard, with a black peruke, and a large patch over one eye," replied Sofie, "I think, Monsieur, your most intimate associates could scarcely recognise your features."

"I think so too, Sofie," said Victor; "and I will immediately adopt your plan; for I am impatient to leave a land which is still reeking with the blood of my parents;" and he turned away to hide his extreme agitation.

Early in the morning, Sofie brought a guitar, and a bundle, containing the articles necessary to complete the disguise. And when Victor was dressed, and came down to observe his little sisters' appearance, Annette and Sofie declared the change was so great in the outward semblance of all three, that no one could possibly recognise them.

Sofie and Annette now took leave of the exiles, with many prayers for their safety and future welfare; while Victor, on his part, could not leave these humble yet true friends without regret; and he dashed away the tears from his eyes; and taking the little ones by the hand, ran, rather than walked, from the lowly roof that had sheltered him; and the last sounds he heard, were the accents of Antoine, beseeching God to bless his preserver.

Victor and his young companions quitted Paris, without detection, and took the road to Calais. They sang and played in every town they passed through, and easily obtained food and shelter from the hospitable inhabitants; and at length reached the coast in perfect health and safety, and embarked for England, without awakening the least suspicion.

As soon as the brig was under weigh, Victor and his sister resumed their own dress and went upon deck to bid a last adieu to France; and notwithstanding his wrongs, tears rushed to the eyes of the young Frenchman as he gazed on her receding shores. The little girls wept they knew not why; and their melancholy brother clasped them by turns to his bosom, and vowed to be a friend and father to the innocent and helpless orphans.

Victor lost no time in hastening to London, where he hoped to obtain a livelihood by giving instruction in French and music. With this view, he took genteel lodgings in the west end of the town, and sent cards to some of the first families in the metropolis, without the slightest success.

Victor was disappointed and miserable, and his fine constitution began to give way beneath the pressure of care. His little stock of money was nearly exhausted; and he was obliged to remove into a mean lodging, in a close and disagreeable situation, where he watched, with feelings of intense pain, the roses gradually withering from the cheeks of little Blanche and Nina, till these darlings of his heart became as pallid and sickly, as they had before been blooming and beautiful. Poor Victor had no assured hope to comfort him, as yet, he only believed and trembled; but religion had not unlocked her many sources of consolation, nor given him the power to extract good from evil.

Victor still possessed a watch, and this he was now obliged to part with for a sum much beneath its real value, although it still realized enough to keep him and his little ones, for some time, from the approaches of want. When that resource was exhausted, he was forced to pledge some of his linen, to procure food for the day.

Since his exile, Victor had often thought of Louis Grammont and his sister; for the latter, he had imbibed a hopeless affection, which neither time nor absence had eradicated from his bosom; while he still retained for Louis the greatest esteem and friendship. The remembrance of these dear companions of his early years, would frequently intrude on his mind, and awaken many conjectures respecting their present lot.

He was now two months in arrear for rent, and his landlord (an unfeeling, avaricious man) became so peremptory in his demand, that his unfortunate lodger was forced to array himself, and Blanche, and Nina, in their Savoyard costume, and earn a daily pittance by singing and playing in the streets. Yet he endured a severe mental conflict before he could bring himself to appear in such a character; but necessity (that stern teacher and corrector of the human heart) subdued his pride, and his first attempt met with tolerable success, and enabled him to satisfy the wants of his little family.

Victor, though writhing under every mental and bodily privation, never failed to frequent a place of worship every Sunday, or to offer up his daily and nightly prayers; and with his difficulties his faith seemed to encrease, so that, famished and homeless as he now was, he could not be called utterly miserable. There was still a home of refuge for him and his little sisters, even the house of God, "where the rich and poor met together," in the presence of Him, "who is the maker of them all." He now led Blanche and Nina to the nearest chapel for Christians of their persuasion; where, absorbed in devotion, he forgot for a while the thorns that beset his earthly path in this vale of tears.

The service was concluded; the lofty hymn of praise no longer thrilled on Victor's ear, and he arose from his knees, and took his little sisters by the hand to depart, he knew not whither, when a sort of stupor came over his senses, (the effect probably of sickness, fasting, and intense care,) and he sunk down on the pavement in a swoon.

When he came to himself, he was reclining in the arms of Louis Grammont; and Antoinette, all in tears, was endeavouring to pacify the sobbing Blanche and Nina. Surprise again deprived him of sensation, and, before consciousness returned, he was safely lodged beneath his friend's humble roof.

This unexpected meeting was entirely accidental, for Louis generally attended another chapel, which happening to be shut up on this day, had led him to enter the one Victor had selected in which to offer up his prayers. Louis was in a different part of the building, and would probably have remained in ignorance of his friend's vicinity, had not the lamentations of Blanche and Nina reached his ears, which were ever open to the claims of humanity. He hastened to their assistance, and in the fainting Savoyard immediately recognized his beloved Victor.

For some days, the joy of Louis and Antoinette was greatly damped by the dangerous state in which their friend remained, and they watched him with the most anxious solicitude; for Victor experienced a return of the complaint from the attacks of which he had already suffered so much, and which now became so violent, that the medical gentleman, whom Louis had called in, entertained but little hopes of his life.

Antoinette, no longer volatile and thoughtless, nursed him with the tenderest care; while Louis prayed with him, and soothed him by every means in his power.

It pleased his merciful Father, "to chasten him sorely, but not to give him over unto death," and Victor lived to praise and love Him more and more.

As soon as Victor's strength would permit him to make any exertion, he besought Louis to instruct him in his different employments; and that kind friend gladly complied with his request. Antoinette undertook the care of Blanche and Nina, whom she instructed in embroidery, and every species of needle-work; and when the toils of the day were over, and Victor and his fellow labourer returned to the cottage, they used to declare, that they felt more truly happy then in the time of their grandeur and prosperity.

Thus was Victor led to praise and acknowledge the Lord, after having forsaken him: thus did he continually bless and glorify his name. All his endeavour now was to conform himself to the laws of the gospel, and to imitate the example of his meek Redeemer. Nor was Antoinette less improved than himself. And these two young people, once so careless and regardless of the truth, became bright patterns of every Christian virtue. Louis had the pleasure of seeing his darling sister the happy wife of the friend of his bosom, and the children of Victor and Antoinette were brought up upon his knees.

Years glided away, and the exiled king of France was reinstated on the throne of his ancestors; and Louis Grammont and Victor Valcour were restored to their country and former rank in society, and again put in possession of every blessing that wealth can bestow. Victor and Antoinette did not, however, forget the important lesson they had received in their exile; and the noble pair would frequently relate their misfortunes to their children and grandchildren, reminding them, "that no situation in this life, however elevated, is secure from reverses," and that, "in all labour there is profit," especially in those which lead young people nearer to the Lord.


Dean and Munday, Printers,

Transcriber's Notes:
page 57, alliance. How vain ==> alliance.' How vain
page 76, holy will.' ==> holy will.