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whims! and by mere accident he had seen a gentleman at the play, whom I knew very well, with whom he spent the next evening at the tavern, where all the conversation was about me. He has promised to come and see you, continued my father, when we are at home. Indeed he was desirous of visiting you at your aunt's, but I put him off with telling him that you were out upon a visit, lest your aunt or you should have begun about religion, and have sickened him at the outset.
It was not till after we had arrived at home that I was informed who this gentleman was; for I had no inclination to make any inquiry about him. The place where my father met him sufficiently indicated his character. And pray, Madam, who do you think it is ? No other than the only son of Mr. Clifford of Poplar Grange. I dare say you have seen him several times at our house. He has been two or three years upon his travels: and now he is returned, my father tells me it is his determination to marry, and to become a domestic animal for the remainder of his life, since he is weary of the impertinence and knavery of foreigners. When I told him, added he, that I would make him a present of my daughter, he took hold of my hand, and said he would keep me to my word, for Miss Barnwell would be just such a wife as he should wish for.
I replied, that I was fearful Mr. Clifford would not be such a husband as I should wish for.
There are very few ladies in this country, replied my father, who would say No, if they had the offer. He is not only a handsome, well-bred gentleman, but he also possesses the main chance. His uncle, who died lately, has left him a capital mansion, and a good thousand a year, which is independent of what he will have at the death of his father.
All this, Sir, replied I, may be, and I believe is true ; but as I never intend to marry any person without your consent, I hope you will give me the liberty to refuse one that is not agreeable to me. Christianity is with me an indispensable qualification : but Mr. Clifford, if he be like his father, as I suppose, Sir, he is, does not profess to be
Nay, Miranda, said my father, there I know you are mistaken. You think he is no Christian because his father never goes to church: but I know Charles was
christened, for I was at the christening; and if I do not mistake, I was one of his godfathers. But observe, in this I will be obeyed : I have set my heart upon it, and therefore I will not suffer you to dispute my authority : so when he comes I desire you to be cheerful and to receive him as you ought.
I held my peace, for I knew I ought to do that when I was commanded : but I cannot think of marrying an irreligious man, merely because he is rich, handsome, and well-bred. I would much rather live as I am all my days than be a dutchess if my husband were an ungodly, atheistical libertine I believe, therefore, I shall soon let Mr. Clifford know, if he should pay his addresses to me, that I cannot accept his offer.
I have been thinking of the great vanity which there is in every thing the world produces, except wholesome, plain food, clothing proper for the season, and a house just large enough for the family which inhabits it. I pray that my
desires may never be so intemperate as to suffer me to think that I want any real earthly good, so long as my heavenly Father gives me these necessary things. A thousand a year Mr. Clifford has already, and a noble house, and much more in expectation. Some persons would tell me, that such an ample fortune would not only be for my own advantage, but for the benefit of my children. I hope I should have that love for my children, which every parent ought to have : but if their father taught theın, by his example, to be irreligious, or if my heavenly Father should punish me with irreligious children, for daring to accept an ungodly husband merely because he was rich,
handsome, and well-bred, all the wealth in the Indies would not be a compensation either to them or to myself. What comfort could I take in worldly possessions, when I saw my children travelling to everlasting distruction ? Itis true I might have ungodly children if I married a Christian : but the probability of it would be less; for I should suppose that God in general gathers his elect from the posterity of his servants, by blessing their godly examples and instructions, as he usually does every other mean of his own appointment. Besides, if I were conscious that i had done what I ought by marrying only in the Lord, at the worst I could not reproach myself with being instrumental in their perdition by an unrighteous love of wealth and grandeur;
so that it is a fixed point with me; I am determined, with the divine assistance, to give Mr. Clifford no encouragement. He shall be the domestic animal, as he terms it, of somebody else. A smaller house, less money, husband less polite, will do very well for me.
But you little think, my dear aunt, what is the reason that I am to be married in such haste. The minute we arrived at home my father went to Mr. Pink's, and I dare say stayed there an hour. I have no doubt but Miss Pink is to be my mother-in-law; for the footmen told me this morning, in confidence, that his master had sent several letters directly to her while they were in Jamaica. I should be greatly distressed, did I not know that nothing comes to pass by chance, but that all the affairs of the children of men are directed by an unseen hand. Charlotte Pink is but two-and-twenty; for I know she is only two years older than I. She is not only too young to be a suitable wife for my father, but is the last person in the world I would wish to call mother. She has a scornful look, and she and her sisters dress as if they were to have a thousand a year for their fortune ; yet it is well known that Mr. Pink cannot make his fortune maintain him. I should not mention these things did they not so nearly concern me ; for I think the rule to speak evil of no one does not mean, merely, that we ought not to propagate falsehoods to their disadvantage, but that we should keep our mouths as with a bridle where telling the truth would be to their dishonour, except where our silence would be the occasion of their injuring others.
I was persuaded, or rather commanded, by my father, to go to church yesterday with him. Mr. Law, our rector, preached from these words of Peter, Add to your faith virtue, 2 Pet. i. 3. We had a florid discourse, which lasted about fifteen minutes, in which he endeavoured to show, that a virtuous life is its own reward in the present world, by preventing a thousand evils which are entailed upon vice, and by recommending us to the esteem, not only of good men, but even of the wicked, who are never so abandoned as not to reverence a virtuous character, however they may be hurried on by the impetuosity of their passions to act contrary to their judgment. He also observa ed, that a virtuous life ensures the divine favour; and that every benevolent and worthy action will be a jewel in that
crown which the virtuous will wear hereafter.-Charity does not oblige me to call this an evangelical discourse; for, instead of excluding boasting, which is the design of the gospel, it admitted and encouraged it, and was contrary to the word of God, which informs us, that by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified.
There is a Mr. Lowe, a Baptist minister, who preaches here. I must endeavour to go and hear him ; for I shall not be willing to counter.ance by my presence another gospel than that of the apostles. If preachers of a mere heathen morality be under the curse of God, their abettors cannot be guiltless, especially if they know better.
I expect to see our dear friend here soon, as I have sent her word that I am at home. I hope, my dear aunt, that you bear your loss with becoming fortitude. It is appointed by our heavenly Father that we should enter his kingdom through much affliction ; and we ought to be willing that our trials should be what and when he pleases.
From Miss Miranda Barnwell to Mrs. Worthington.
MY DEAR AUNT,
I KNOW you have been in expectation of hearing whether I have had a suitor, and what has been the result. Yes, Madam, Mr. Clifford has been here, and has received such an answer as a person of his importance would little expect. My father is very angry that I refused him, notwithstanding he acknowledged himself to be a deist. It was happy for me that my dear Eusebia was here, or I do not know what would have been the consequence.
I repeatedly told Mr. Clifford, that I wished, both for his own sake and mine, that he would not continue his addresses, since I should not consent to be his wife.
What, was I already engaged?
Had any person traduced his character, or spoken any thing to his disadvantage? I ought to tell him, that he might have an opportunity of doing himself justice.
I replied, that that was no part of my reason for refusing him; and I begged him to cease inquiry, since I might have objections which it would be improper for him to know. I further said, that as I was obliged to him for his good opinion of me, it would give me pain to offend him.
He paused, laying his hand upon his forehead. You surprise me, Madam, cried he'; the cause of your refusal originates in me, otherwise your telling me could not offend me. If iny person is not to your liking, or you think my fortune less than you have a right to expect, I beg you to tell me ingenuously, and I promise not to be offended.
Forbear, Sir, replied I, to ask me, I beseech you. However, I ought to tell you, that neither of the reasons you have mentioned is in any measure the ground of my objection.
Indeed, Miss Barnwell, cried he, I am not so much of an dipus as to find out your riddle. Then, holding up his fingers, he said, My finger-nails are not turned into the fangs of a wilu beast, and yet, Madam, you seem to take me for one of the shaggy savages of the desert.
Indeed, Sir, I replied, I view you in the best light I am able. There are many of my sex whom you may make happy; but I am not of that number.
You alarm mc, Madam, cried he ; for I perceive by a tear, that you are very much in earnest. I humbly en. treat, I beg as a friend, that you will make me acquainted with the reason of your rejecting me; and I promise, on my part, if there be any weight in it, I will acquiesce, whatever pain it may give me.
The real case then, Sir, is this; I found you, as I had too much reason to expect, destitute, unhappily for yourself, of the fear of God. And, as I reverence that Divine Being who gave me the life which I enjoy, and who, I trust, will give me eternal life, I am not wiiling to have a husband who would retard me in my Christian course.
All this may be very well, replied he, blushing, and, as I thought, a little angry; but who made you a judge? I suppose it is God only who knows the heart.
True, Sir, answered 1, the heart is known to God only, until mouth manifest what is in it, and then it is known