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those proposals which I had thought so little of, when they were made, now struck me as affording a means of providing for the infant; yet I call Heaven to witness, that at that time I had no thought of imposing it upon you as yours. I had indeed no settled plan; but I was destitute of every means to support myself or the fruit of my indiscretion, and I hastily resolved to accept your lordship's offer.
"When I had done so, I hoped that you would perform your promise of rendering me independant; but you seemed to have forgotten it; and tho you were liberal to excess, I knew not how long your liberality would continue. A hundred times the acknowledgment of my situation was upon my lips, and as often did the coldness, I may say, sternness of your manners repress it. In a short time I saw, or fancied I saw, that you were becoming indifferent to me; want and desertion again stared me in the face, and inspired the
idea of the deception which I so successfully practised; I do not ask your forgiveness, my lord, for I feel that I deserve it not.
"The pleasure that you expressed when you learned my situation; the attentions that you paid me, and your doating fondness for my boy, whom, at your desire, I named after yourself, were bitter stings to my heart; but the die was cast, and to confess the truth could now be attended only with ruin to myself. I endeavoured to make my mind easy, by the reflection that I heard you say, you had no near relations to inherit your fortune, and that a deception which was so materially serviceable to me and my babe, was not an actual injury to any one else. This sophistry had not, however, the effect of quieting my mind; and I can truly say, that I never saw you caress the child without uneasiness.
"But deception, sooner or latter, meets with that punishment which is its.
just reward. You have often noticed Stephano's extreme likeness to me. Oneday that the servant had the child in the Park, a gentleman seemed struck. with his beauty, and enquired the name of his parents. He is Mrs. Dudley's son, sir (was the reply of his maid). Dudley? (repeated he), but it cannot be, and yet I never saw. so strong a likeness. Tell me, does he resemble his mother? The wo man's answer in the affirmative, ap, peared to agitate him very much, and he enquired where I lived, which the servant made no difficulty in informing him of.
"This took place two days before that on which you left town, and the very morning of your departure, as I stood for a moment at the drawing room win dow, I saw Mr. Pembroke on the opposite side of the street, he was walking slowly, and had his eyes fixed upon the window where I stood.. Al-. most doubting the evidence of my sen-
ses, I threw
up the sash; he saw me, and darting across, gained admittance to me in a moment.
"Ellen (exclaimed he), base, faithless, perjured woman! spite of the pains you have taken to avoid me, I have at last an opportunity to upbraid you with your perfidy.' What more he would have added, was prevented by my falling senseless at his feet. When I recovered, an explanation took place, and I learned that we were the victims of a deep laid plot. Lord Robert had intercepted my letter, in which I stated to Percival the reasons why I had left my house. This letter his lordship destroyed, and substituted a forged one in its place; the contents of which astónished Percival; they were, that I was completely tired of the recluse life I led, and as there was no immediate prospect of changing it, without involving him in the most unpleasant circumstances, I had determined to ac¬
cept the offer of a man of immense for tune, and accompany him abroad.
"The hand was so good an imitation of mine, that Pembroke could scarcely doubt of its being my writing, and when he found that I had left my house, he execrated me as the most perfidious of beings. A paragraph that appeared in one of the morning papers, and was pointed out to him by his uncle, was, he thought, a confirmation of my supposed infidelity; it an-. nounced the departure of the Honourable Mr. Danvers, for America, and, mentioned, that he had prevailed upon. a young and lovely woman to accompany him as his chère amie. Pembroke suffered not less than myself from this plan that severed us, and he gladly accepted his uncle's invitation to accompany him to Spain; where, in two years, Lord Robert died. Percival had been some months in England, and he had diligently sought me at every place