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been called for, but not the rest. I wrote again in a more pressing manner than ever, and in one of them let him know that I must be forced to wait on him myself, representing my circumstances, the rent of lodgings to pay, and the provision for the child wanting, and my own deplorable condition, destitute of subsistence after his most solemn engagement to take care of and provide for me. I took a copy of this letter, and finding it lay at the house near a month, and was not called for, I found means to have the copy of it put into his hands at a coffee-house where I had found he had used to go.

This letter forced an answer from him, by which, though I found I was to be abandoned, yet I found he had sent a letter to me some time before, desiring me to go down to Bath again. Its contents I shall come to presently.

It is true that sick-beds are the times when such correspondences as this are looked on with different countenances, and seen with other

than we saw them with before : my lover had been at the gates of death, and at the very brink of eternity; and, it seems, struck with a due remorse, and with sad reflections upon his past life of gallantry and levity ; and among the rest, his criminal correspondence with me, which was indeed neither more or less than a long-continued life of adultery, had represented itself as it really was, not as it had been formerly thought

eyes

by him to be, and he looked upon it now with a just abhorrence.

I cannot but observe also, and leave it for the direction of my sex in such cases of pleasure, that whenever sincere repentance succeeds such a crime as this, there never fails to attend a hatred of the object; and the more the affection might seem to be before, the hatred will be more in proportion. It will always be so ; indeed it cannot be otherwise ; for there cannot be a true and sincere abhorrence of the offence, and the love to the cause of it remain; there will, with an abhorrence of the sin, be found a detestation of the fellow-sinner; you can expect no other.

I found it so here, though good manners, and justice in this gentleman, kept him from carrying it on to any extreme ; but the short history of his part in this affair was thus; he perceived by my last letter, and by the rest, which he went for after, that I was not gone to Bath, and that his first letter had not come to my hand, upon which he writes me this following:

“Madam, - I am surprised that my letter, dated the 8th of last month, did not come to your hand; I give you my word it was delivered at your lodgings, and to the hands of

your

maid. “I need not acquaint you with what has been my condition for some time past; and how, having been at the edge of the grave, I am, by the unexpected and

undeserved mercy of Heaven, restored again. In the condition I have been in, it cannot be strange to you that our unhappy correspondence has not been the least of the burthens which lay upon my conscience. I need say no more; those things that must be repented of, must also be reformed.

“I wish you would think of going back to Bath. I enclose you here a bill for £50 for clearing yourself at your lodgings, and carrying you down, and hope it will be no surprise to you to add, that on this account only, and not for any offence given me on your side, I can see you no more. I will take due care of the child ; leave him where he is, or take him with you, as you please. I wish you the like reflections, and that they may be to your advantage. — I am, &c.”

I was struck with this letter, as with a thousand wounds ; the reproaches of my own conscience were such as I cannot express, for I was not blind to my own crime ; and I reflected that I might with less offence have continued with my brother, since there was no crime in our marriage on that score, neither of us knowing it.

But I never once reflected that I was all this while a married woman, a wife to Mr. the linendraper, who, though he had left me by the rfecessity of his circumstances, had no power to discharge me from the marriage contract which was between us, or to give me a legal liberty to marry again; so that I had been no less than a whore and an adulteress all this while. I then reproached myself with the liberties I had taken, and how I had been a snare to this gentleman, and that indeed I was principal in the crime; that now he was mercifully snatched out of the gulf by a convincing work upon his mind, but that I was left as if I was abandoned by Heaven to a continuing in my wickedness.

Under these reflections I continued very pensive and sad for near a month, and did not go down to Bath, having no inclination to be with the woman whom I was with before, lest, as I thought, she should prompt me to some wicked course of life again, as she had done; and besides, I was loth she should know I was cast off as above.

And now I was greatly perplexed about my little boy. It was death to me to part with the child, and yet when I considered the danger of being one time or other left with him to keep without being able to support him, I then resolved to leave him ; but then I concluded to be near him myself too, that I might have the satisfaction of seeing him, without the care of providing for him. So I sent my gentleman a short letter that I had obeyed his orders in all things but that of going back to Bath ; that however parting from him was a wound to me that I could never recover, yet that I was fully satisfied his reflections were just, and would be very far from desiring to obstruct his reformation.

Then I represented my own circumstances to him in the most moving terms. I told him that those unhappy distresses which first moved him to a generous friendship for me, would, I hoped, move him to a little concern for me now, though the criminal part of our correspondence, which I believe neither of us intended to fall into at that time, was broken off; that I desired to repent as sincerely as he had done, but entreated him to put me in some condition that I might not be exposed to temptations from the frightful prospect of poverty and distress; and if he had the least apprehensions of my being troublesome to him, I begged he would put me in a posture to go back to my mother in Virginia, from whence he knew I came, and that would put an end to all his fears on that account. I concluded, that if he would send me £50 more to facilitate my going away, I would send him back a general release, and would promise never to disturb him more with any importunities ; unless it were to hear of the well-doing of the child, who, if I found my mother living, and my circumstances able, I would send for, and take him also off his hands.

This was indeed all a cheat thus far, viz., that I had no intention to go to Virginia, as the account of my former affairs there may convince anybody of; but the business was to get this last £50 of him, if possible, knowing well enough it would be the last penny I was ever to expect.

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