“Dear Nancy,

“As I found it impossible to mention to you what, I am afraid, will be no less shocking to you, than it is to me, I have taken this method to inform you, that my father insists upon my immediately paying my addresses to a young lady of fortune, whom he hath provided for my—I need not write the detested word. Your own good understanding will make you sensible, how intirely I am obliged to an obedience, by which I shall be for ever excluded from your dear arms. The fondness of your mother may encourage you to trust her with the unhappy consequence of our love, which may be easily kept a secret from the world, and for which I will take care to provide, as I will for you. I wish you may feel less on this account than I have suffered; but summon all your fortitude to your assistance, and forgive and forget the man, whom nothing but the prospect of certain ruin could have forced to write this letter. I bid you forget me, I mean only as a lover; but the best of friends you shall ever find in your faithful, though unhappy.

“J. N.”

When Jones had read this letter, they both stood silent during a minute, looking at each other; at last he began thus: “I cannot express, madam, how much I am shocked at what I have read; yet let me beg you, in one particular, to take the writer’s advice. Consider the reputation of your daughter.”— “It is gone, it is lost, Mr. Jones,” cryed she, “as well as her innocence. She received the letter in a room full of company, and immediately swooning away upon opening it, the contents were known to every one present. But the loss of her reputation, bad as it is, is not the worst; I shall lose my child; she hath attempted twice to destroy herself already; and though she hath been hitherto prevented, vows she will not outlive it; nor could I myself outlive any accident of that nature.—What then will become of my little Betsy, a helpless infant orphan? and the poor little wretch will, I believe, break her heart at the miseries with which she sees her sister and myself distracted, while she is ignorant of the cause. O ’tis the most sensible, and best-natured little thing! The barbarous, cruel — hath destroyed us all. O my poor children! Is this the reward of all my cares? Is this the fruit of all my prospects? Have I so chearfully undergone all the labours and duties of a mother? Have I been so tender of their infancy, so careful of their education? Have I been toiling so many years, denying myself even the conveniences of life, to provide some little sustenance for them, to lose one or both in such a manner?” “Indeed, madam,” said Jones, with tears in his eyes, “I pity you from my soul.”— “O! Mr. Jones,” answered she, “even you, though I know the goodness of your heart, can have no idea of what I feel. The best, the kindest, the most dutiful of children! O my poor Nancy, the darling of my soul! the delight of my eyes! the pride of my heart! too much, indeed, my pride; for to those foolish, ambitious hopes, arising from her beauty, I owe her ruin, Alas! I saw with pleasure the liking which this young man had for her. I thought it an honourable affection; and flattered my foolish vanity with the thoughts of seeing her married to one so much her superior. And a thousand times in my presence, nay, often in yours, he hath endeavoured to soothe and encourage these hopes by the most generous expressions of disinterested love, which he hath always directed to my poor girl, and which I, as well as she, believed to be real. Could I have believed that these were only snares laid to betray the innocence of my child, and for the ruin of us all?—At these words little Betsy came running into the room, crying, “Dear mamma, for heaven’s sake come to my sister; for she is in another fit, and my cousin can’t hold her.” Mrs. Miller immediately obeyed the summons; but first ordered Betsy to stay with Mr. Jones, and begged him to entertain her a few minutes, saying, in the most pathetic voice, “Good heaven! let me preserve one of my children at least.”

Jones, in compliance wit this request, did all he could to comfort the little girl, though he was, in reality, himself very highly affected with Mrs. Miller’s story. He told her “Her sister would be soon very well again; that by taking on in that manner she would not only make her sister worse, but make her mother ill too.” “Indeed, sir,” says she, “I would not do anything to hurt them for the world. I would burst my heart rather than they should see me cry.—But my poor sister can’t see me cry.—I am afraid she will never be able to see me cry any more. Indeed, I can’t part with her; indeed I can’t.—And then poor mamma too, what will become of her?—She says she will die too, and leave me: but I am resolved I won’t be left behind.” “And are you not afraid to die, my little Betsy?” said Jones. “Yes,” answered she, “I was always

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