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had so solemnly devoted me. Time instead of softening my husband's character, only served to strengthen its worst features. He had become harsh and severe, and had contracted habits of gambling, and shameless dissipation. Frequently was I subjected to the indignity and dishonor of a collision with the impure objects of his capricious and transitory attachments: and, as the very means of subsistence gradually disappeared beneath his reckless prodigality, his temper proportionably increased in petulance, and fierceness. The progress of the alienation of his affections from me, was slow, but, certain: mine, for a considerable period struggled pertinaciously against the destructive influence of his ceaseless misconduct, and aggressions; gradually, however, even they were utterly undermined, and at length we stood in the relative positions of a couple eternally estranged. In the inmost hearts of both existed that fatal feeling which long years of mutual experience can alone engender, an inevitable and indelible conviction that no earthly power could ever reunite us.

I have condensed into a small space, events which were the results of seeming ages of misery. But, there is in the slow, and paltry dissensions of married life, something so common, so ignoble, so utterly humiliating to our best feelings, that any minute recapitulation of them can only be either uninteresting, or offensive. I have, therefore, avoided all detail of the different stages of our disunion, but purposely confined myself to the briefest possible narrative of the events which conduced to it.

Cursorily, however, I must now recur to other circumstances which befel during this period. In proportion as

my affections were alienated from my husband, they became concentred on my child. I have already alluded to the extent in which I was capable of entertaining maternal passions; but, again I feel that no words can accurately express them. I loved my offspring with an unlimited devotion, a fondness, an admiration, which amounted almost to insanity. That it was foolish, selfish, and guilty, the ceaseless course of pernicious indulgence which I permitted to him, will only too plainly prove Whatever his faults, I could not rebuke him; whatever might be the ultimate gain, I felt that within me existed not the power of wilfully occasioning him one single instant of unhappiness. His insensible father, wholly engrossed in the gratification of his vices, and in the pursuit of his own guilty objects, never even addressed a thought to him; and his equally culpable, and perhaps more selfish mother, though frequently penitently conscious of the necessity of occasional restraint and discipline, eternally sacrificed her sense of right, to her criminal reluctance to wound her own feelings, by occasioning a temporary chagrin to her boy's. Whether, therefore nature had originally implanted in him any qualities which a judicious cultivation might have elicited and fostered into a permanent existence, who now can determine? for, like a very weed was the poor child permitted

to grow.

Heaven alone can tell with what intolerable shame and remorse I retrace these worst features of my selfish character! Yet, in making even this bitterly painful recurrence, I experience one slight mitigation; and that, exists in the hope that, if any mother, or instructor of my own

sex, who may read these lines, be pursuing a similar course, she will listen to my solemn denunciation of its danger, and its guilt. Let her not attempt to fortify herself in her culpable conduct, by the fatal fallacy, that, in yielding to the dictates of her natural gentleness, and to her indisposition to excite even a momentary pain, it is impossible she can be committing any moral harm: there are sins of omission which are as destructive in their results, as the wilful perpetration of even the worst of crimes.

Quick and easy is the culprit's descent from bad to worse. From one evil to another, my husband pursued his guilty course, until he was mortally wounded in a duel with a brother gambler. Shortly afterwards he died; and left me and my son dependent upon my exertions for a subsistence.

During his boyhood, many were the errors which my child exhibited; I saw them, I felt them; but, I made not one efficient attempt to correct or even to mitigate them. It is true, that occasionally I sought to persuade him into the adoption of a better course; but, the boy inherited much of the imperiousness and vehemence of his mother's temper, and required a strong hand, and firm and judicious conduct, to have thoroughly subjugated and disciplined him.

As his years advanced, the manifestations of his headstrong disposition increased in frequency, and in violence. Still, my insane affection was all-enduring: repeatedly, my tenderest and fondest devotion was only repaid by ingratitude and disobedience, yet, I never dreamt of desisting from my guilty and fatal indulgence of his errors, and my own selfish feelings. His violence I only met by

patient submission; and when the transport of his turbulence had passed, attempted to bribe him into a better conduct, by increased kindness. The natural result of the continuation of this course was, that the boy gradually grew conscious of his unlimited power: and, at last, became so firmly established in the exercise of it, that a strong minded parent might now have failed to subdue him; while, one so weak as his unfortunate mother, was henceforth compelled to bear in silent concession whatever injuries he might please to inflict upon her.

From this period, the most anxious object of my existence, and the chief occupation of my time, and energies, was the prevention of the discovery of his various offences against all laws both human and divine. My life was one continued suspense; hour after hour, and day after day, I passed in ceaseless apprehension: never did a fated sinner so atone for her faults, never was a hapless wretch more terribly punished! My child had obtained the mastery of me; I was but his slave; I adored him, and he repaid me as a tyrant. Oh, father! if ever such crimes as I committed against you, can be expiated by suffering in this world, I am an absolved penitent!

And now, I must reveal all the fearful tale: more than one of my unhappy boy's transgressions were of that nature that death would be the consequence of the detection of the perpetrator.

Why after this dread avowal should I any longer entertain a repugnance to the disclosure of the hideous catastrophe? My son was at length seized by the ministers of justice; was tried; was convicted; and was condemned to die!

The night previously to the morn destined to witness his execution, I was admitted into his cell, to commune for the last time with the sole object of my fatal affections. In that moment, I became conscious that I was the real cause of his doom; and, as I gazed upon him pinioned in that dreary dungeon, my remorse arose to a state of insanity. I threw myself at his feet, and passionately kissing them, implored him to forgive his guilty mother. But, he evidently felt as keenly as I that I was the source of his ruin; for, he would return me no reply. In vain, I inculpated, and humiliated myself; and conjured him by every plea I could suggest, by the sacred ties of blood, by his recollections of the past, by the life I had devoted to him, and the wild affection I bore him, to mingle his tears with mine, and to declare that he granted me his forgiveness. But, the sense of injury was too strong upon him: inexorable to my frantic intreaties he stood regarding me with an expression which at length froze the blood in my veins; and I was conveyed from his presence, in a state of insensibility.

Oh, what a night of madness did I then endure! Yet, the morn only too soon arrived: and now, my brain reels beneath a dark and misty recollection of a crowd, and a priest, and a scaffold, and the armed ministers of vengeance, and all the fell pageantry which attends the legalized butchery of a fellow-being. Still, in the midst of this bewildering and atrocious scene, one thought alone occupied me; the determination to force my way into the presence of my son, and to obtain his forgiveness.

Every energy solely bent upon this object, at a propitious moment, with a sudden exertion, such as despair

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