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you proceed: you know your late father was no friend to speculation, and you know too the thousands whom it has ruined.'
"You may depend upon it that I will never be one of them (cried he), since I shall not venture deeply.' He soon took his leave, and I thought no more of our conversation; but, alas! I had soon reason to recollect it. He had obtained money from different people, under the pretence of laying it out to advantage, and he quitted England in a few months, taking with him every shilling that he had thus iniquitously raised.
"This intelligence was to me like a thunder-clap; scarcely could I believe it possible that a man, of whose probity I had always thought so highly, should be so dreadfully depraved. If in a moment of folly he had rashly speculated, and lost, dreadful as the consequence · would have been to me, I could have forgiven him; but this settled plan to
impose upon the confidence of the unwary, proved him to possess the blackest, and the most insensible of hearts.
"It was some time before I was sensible of the extent of my misfortune. I knew indeed that I had lost my fortune, but I knew not, that with it I had also lost my friends. The behaviour of the Misses Cheslyn grew gradually colder; even Harriet, whom I loved with the affection of a sister, and whose regard I had every reason to believe was reciprocal, treated me with a kind of haughty civility, that at once mortified my pride and deeply wounded. my heart.
"I cannot describe to your lordship the variety of trivial slights which for months I was forced to endure in silence, since I had no friends to whom. I could fly for kinder treatment. I was now looked upon, by all the visitors of the family, as the humble companion of the Misses Cheslyn, and I was indeed literally their companion, fore
they never suffered me to be a moment out of their presence. The behaviour of their father was, however, still unchanged; and his friendship, and the politeness with which he treated me, softened in some degree the misery of my situation.
"FROM being of an open and cheerful temper, I gradually became reserved and silent. One day that Miss Cheslyn was rallying me on the change, with more flippancy than wit or good manners, my spirits were so oppressed by a variety of painful recollections, that I hastily quitted the room, and retired to the garden to indulge those tears that I could not suppress.
"I entered a small temple, where I sometimes sat with my work, and supposing myself wholly unobserved, gave a loose to the grief and indigna
tion that swelled my heart almost to
"Absorbed in tears, I did not perceive that any one had entered, till I was roused by the voice of Sir Charles.
"Dearest Miss Dudley (said he), let me beseech you not to suffer the levity of a thoughtless girl thus to affect your spirits.'
"I hastily dried my eyes, and tried to speak, but I could not articulate, and he continued.
"I have long seen, with regret, that your situation in my family is not a happy one; my daughters are not as sensible as I could wish of
your merits; and even if they were, you are not formed for a life of dependance; how happy should I be in inducing you to exchange it for one of freedom and affluence.'
"I gazed at him in silence; for tho his words were equivocal, I was unwilling to understand them in the light of an insult, or to suppose that a man,