Page images
PDF

DER

back-while the mouth mantles with a dimpled smile, | admiration with which she listened to appear but too and teeth of ivory beam through lips of roses. There plainly upon her expressive countenance. Her head are many people who will say, that I have described a | was slightly inclined backward-her eyes wer keenly red-haired, freckled tomboy; but it is not for such bent upon Sir Edward's face-and her lips were slightly persons that I write, and those for whom I do, will parted with that expression which bespeaks the most understand exactly what poor, poor Fanny was in the intense attention. As Vernon let fall a generous sendays of her lovely youth.

timent, her eye flashed responsively, and an approving Often and often did I reflect how thoroughly I must smile irradiated her face. When he ceased, her gaze have been right, in supposing my days of love passed continued fixed on him for some time, as though to for ever, that I did not fall in love with Fanny Capel. scan further a character, of which her first knowledge But I did not-and, consequently, we were the greatest pleased her so much-and, as at last she turned away, friends in the world. There was only the length of a I could perceive (which I dare say she did not) a gentle lane between her mother's house and mine-and I can sigh escape her. That was the first he caused her to see her now, as she used to come bounding along it, breathe-would to God it had been the last also ! with a straw hat flung loosely on the back of her head, On that evening Vernon was not introduced to her ; and sometimes without even that, and her hair blown in but he was too good a judge, and too great an admirer, fifty directions by the wind, as she cut through it like of beauty, not to be struck with her appearance, and to a new Atalanta. And, then with her face beaming question me concerning her. I confess I was made like the morning, she would run into my study to borrow somewhat uneasy by what I had observed - for, much as a volume of Racine or to beg me to construe a passage Vernon was calculated to win the affections of an in Tasso, aye, or of Guicciardini. For, strange to say, amiable woman, he was eminently little likely to repay young lady though she was, she did not consider the them. Bred in the latitude of continental ideas upon object of the acquisition of a language attained in the these subjects, he had manifestly been an enfant acquisition itself, but regarded it as opening to her a | gâté des dames all his life-and was, of all men, the storehouse of original literature; and her taste led least likely to become seriously attached to a wild and equally to history as to poetry-she liked to know, as rustic beauty such as Fanny. For the rest, he had a well as to enjoy. She was, indeed, a being whose mind good heart, when he allowed it fair play-and I did not was attuned to fine issues—all depended upon how they fear his taking advantage of so guileless and unguarded would be called forth. It was evident that for her there a creature. was no medium-her history could not be a tame one ; And I am convinced I did him no more than justice : she must be either most happy or most miserable; and he had no intention of tampering with her affections I often, as I gazed upon her beaming and beautiful face, do verily believe ;—but his curiosity was awakened by did my anxiety become almost painful for the result. the singularity of her manner--which, to him who had

The time approached when her fate was to be fixed been so long accustomed to the factitious characters of for ever; and I was, unconsciously, in some degree a court, seemed doubly so—and he began by merely its means. I was staying a few days at the house seeking to draw her out, and to analyze her real dis. of a gentleman, who lived about four miles from me, position. How dangerous such an occupation must be when I met an old college friend, whom I had not seen come, it needs very little experience to judge; and, for six or seven years, and whom I was delighted again acordingly, the interest which Sir Edward took in it to meet. I asked him to return home with me--and soon began to assume a very suspicious complexion. he came.

Some circumstance or other constantly drew him to Sir Edward Vernon-that was his name—was, at Mrs. Capel's cottage. He was an admirable musician, the time of which I speak, in the very prime of youthful and he had with him all the scarcest, music of Germany manhood; aud his great advantages of person were and Italy, and this he was to lend to Fanny, and then enhanced by an air of cultivation and intelligence, which he had to teach her perfectly to master it. She drew is the true cestus to male beauty. His father had not beautifully, and he had antiques, and prints of costame, long been dead; and, previonsly, Vernon had passed to lend her to copy. She was in the constant habit of some years abroad, as an attaché to one of our embassies.

riding-and, by the strangest accident, Sir Edward This had given to his manners the finish of the best generally chanced to meet her two days out of three. breeding, without that conventional mannerism which Oh! those halcyon days of dawning love! Poor Fanny! is so often taught in the clique of exclusive society in - they were probably the most exquisitely lrappy she London. For the rest, he had none of the coldness of ever knew! With the whole ardoor of her ardent soul a diplomate about him; his feelings were keen, and his did she give herself up to this new and evthralling manner was warm and eloquent. His education had passion;-here was a man equally capable of exciting tempered, not destroyed, that ardour of disposition for

admiration and love-handsome in person, gifted in which he had been remarkable at Oxford. Such was mind, accomplished in manner--and what probably was the man who was destined to win the inestimable heart equal to all three, who had had experience and success of Fanny Capel.

among women. Her attachment to him was so rapid, The first time they met was at my house, when there -naturally so, under all the circumstances of her powere a good many people present. The conversation sition and his, but still unlooked for by him—that I chanced to turn upon some continental subject, and believe he was startled by finding himself the object of Vernon was appealed to. The topic was one on which a strong and ardent passion, while he had merely he felt considerable interest; and he spoke with much thought he had excited the interest of a favoured, but animation and energy. It happened, that, whilst he recent, acqnaintance. That he had had no further was speaking, my eye fell upon Fanny. Little ac design originally, I again repeat, I believe; but he customed to the restraints of society, she allowed the | himself became entangled, and hurried onward by the force of her feelings. Who, indeed, could find himself | the subject. By this time Fanny had recovered herself, beloved by a being such as Fanny--so young, so ex- and welcomed me with her usual warmth and cordiality quisitely lovely, so gifted, so fresh and new in heart—the of manner. But its usual ease and freedom were gone. very rapidity and intensity of her affection proving its She had tasted of the forbidden fruit, and she was unconsciousness and purity-who could, I say, know ashamed. himself to be beloved by a creature like this, without I sat some time, and shewed Sir Edward I was dehis whole soul taking fire at the bare knowledge that so termined not to leave him behind me. Finding he it was? -Certainly, Sir Edward was not such a man. could not outstay me, he rang for his horse, seeming to

But of this progress of their attachment I was not be as determined not to have a tête-a-tête with me as I conscious at the time ; my knowledge is derived from went home, as I was that he should not have a second what I gathered afterwards. It had, I fear, arrived at with Fanny. He mounted his horse, and, saying I this pitch of maturity, when I thought it only in the should see him in a day or two, cantered off.-I asked germ. Alarmed at the frequency of Sir Edward's visits for Mrs. Capel, and found that she was gone to the to the cottage, I determined to stop them altogether ; neighbouring town, and had been absent all the mornand I consequently gladly availed myself of some busi- ing. This I liked least of all---for I could not but ness which called me to London, to put a period to suspect that the interview which I had interrupted was Vernon's visite We went to town together; I was pre-arranged. I was at a loss how to act. On inti. detained there considerably longer than I expected, and mate terms of friendship as I had always been with afterwards went into a distant part of the country, be- Fanny and her mother, still this was too delicate a subfore I returned home.

ject for me to trench upon with the former. The diffeUpwards of two months had elapsed since I left it. 1 rence between our ages was not sufficiently great to It was now the beginning of June, and the summer render such a proceeding proper, or even allowable. was early and luxuriant. I arrived at home about Hints and inuendoes only irritate, and do no manner of three o'clock, and determined to walk down to the good ; so, after sitting a short time longer, I took my cottage to see my friends there, before dinner. Mrs. | leave-resolving to have a full explanation with Vernon Capel's cottage deserved its name, being of moderate on the subject the very first opportunity. : . size, and thatched ; but nothing could be more charm That opportunity never arrived. The next morning ing than it was at this time of the year. The walls I was sent for hy Mrs. Capel-and upon reaching the were covered with jessamines, and flowering creepers of cottage heard, to my utter astonishment and dismay, every description ; and the smoothly shaven turf was that Fanny had eloped with Sir Edward Vernon. interspersed with the most abundant profusion of roses. . For this step I was wholly at a loss to account. The room in which they ordinarily sat-full of books | Sir Edward was in every way his own master; and if and music, and cabinet pictures, and those innumerable his attachment to Fanny was of the nature which this et ceteras, whose names, if they have any, are unknown step would seem to pronounce it, there was no sort of to me, which bespeak habitation, and habitation by reason why he should not make her his wife. Her women-opened down to the ground, and was entered birth was good---and, though her fortune was but mo, directly from the garden : by this way I came. Using derate, bis was very large, and he was the farthest rethe privilege of an old friend, I had lifted the latch of moved in the world from being a mercenary man. In the garden-gate, and went straight to the drawing-room, every way he was likely to prove an acceptable son-inwithout being announced. As I entered the room, I | law to Mrs. Capel. If, therefore, it was his purpose started with the most extreme surprise : Fanny was to marry her, why elope ? ---And yet, that it was his seated on the end of the sofa, with her harp before her, | purpose to marry her, I was fully convinced. In the as if she had been playing on it, though it was now first place, even supposing, which I scarcely could, untouched. By her side was Sir Edward Vernon ! that Fanny would consent to become his mistress inOne of her hands was held in his ; he was speaking stead of his wife, I did not think Vernon capable of animatedly and rapidly, though in a low tone, while so black an action as such conduct would suppose him her head was dropped upon her breast, and her hair to be: and again, setting all questions of principle hung over her brow and eyes so as to hide from me and good feeling aside, I considered him too sensible their expression. On her cheek, however, I thought I a person, with too true a knowledge of society and the discerned the trace of a half-dried tear. Such was the | world, to enter into an entanglement of such a nature group which met iny astonished eyes, as I entered Mrs. l as the seduction of a young person of condition must Capel's cottage. I believe I expressed my astonish- | involve. ment audibly, for they both started up; and their Mrs. Capel sent for me, both as the friend of Sir surprise was mingled with great confusion. Sir Edward | Edward Vernon and her own--in the one capacity as was the first to recover himself; and, without taking being more likely to form some opinion of his motives, any notice of the situution in which I had found him, in the other as being certain to support and assist her he auswered readily to my exclamation of wonder at in every possible contingency. Of Mrs. Capel I have seeing him, that he was passing a short time at scarcely hitherto spoken ; not on account of her being Dr.- 's (the gentleman at whose house we had an ordinary person, for she was very far from it. She met,) who had pressed him exceedingly to come down was considerably advanced in life, but her countenance to an archery meeting, which was shortly to take place, bore strong marks of intelligence, and the remains of

“ Humph !” said I, “ I did not know you were an a severe style of beauty. This severity did not, howamateur of archery.".

ever, in the least degree extend to her disposition--“ Nor am 1,” he answered" but made it a for her mildness and the kindness of her heart were point with me to come."

eminently remarkable. She had lived much in the · I gave him a reproachful look--but did not press world, Colonel Capel having been an officer of high

[ocr errors]

distinction in the service ; and she was at the sainel present pain, I have destroyed her for ever."---Her time a person of peculiarly cultivated tastes and habits. emotion here choked her utterance---and she wept conIn a word, she was one of the truest specimens I ever vulsively. I strove to comfort her, pointing out the met of that most charming character---an amiable extreme improbability of the fears she seemed to en. English gentlewoman, in the decline of life. When tertain being realized. She shook her head mournfully. such a person is aimable, there is soarcely any one who I asked her if she had seen the letter her daughter was possesses such extensive and such beneficial influence reading. She said she had purposely abstained from in society, or who adorns and sweetens it so much. doing so, but had requested Lucy to burn it in her

Mrs. Capel had always idolized her daughter; her presence, which she had done. I then inquired if she animated manners, strongly contrasted as they were had left any letter behind her on her departure. -she with her own mildness, probably delighted her the put into my hand a scrap of paper containing only these more for the very contrast. She had been her only words, “ I cannot write--I am leaving you for ever-campanion for ten years.--she had watched eyery quality pity and pardon your poor lost child." of mind, heart, and person, expand from the beautiful I was totally at a loss. To pursue Sir Edward and bud, and keep, in its ripening, the promise of its early his victim, or his bride, (which ?) seemed to me to be bloom. Fanny, too, regarded her mother as almost equally hopeless and vain. She had eloped with him--something more than of this earth --and powerful in the evil was done---it lay in his breast to remedy it, and deed must have been that passion which could have there alone. With bitter anxiety did we expect letters ; induced her thus to leave that mother. But alas! ---with trembling eagerness we searched the newspapers, when such passion does supervene---all the milder affec day after day, to see if their marriage was announced. tions of Auld lang syne' become pale before its fere Weeks passed, and all was still suspense--and Mrs. vent heat and radiance.

Capel's health began to sink under her trials. At Mrs Capel informed me that Sir Edward Vernon length the mystery was solved---I received a letter from had returned into the country abont a month before, Vernon dated Lausanne---it was as follows:--and renewed his visits at the cottage. His attentions “ You must think me a villain---and I am so---but I to her daughter had lately become very marked, and am not one wantonly, as I trust to prove to you, if you she perceived he had acquired an extreme influence will read this through patiently. It will explain all over Fanny's mind. She had not spoken to her on the that has happened...I will not spare myself---) have subject, trusting every day that Sir Edward---whom acted shamefully---but who could have withstood the she had believed to be a man of high honour---would temptation under which I fell? But I will not anticideclare himself openly. The night but one before, pate. You must have seen---indeed, I am sure you did however, she had been alarmed and shocked by the see---how much I was struck with her beauty when I discovery that Fanny was engaged in a clandestine first saw her ; her wild freshness of manner and of correspondence with him. On that night, after they spirit next impressed me with an admiration in which had separated to retire to rest, Mrs. Capel recollected | surprise and curiosity strongly mingled. I met her something she wished in particular to say to her frequently, and was prompted by those feelings to daughter, and, throwing a shawl over her shoulders, search more deeply into her nature. It was something she had gone to her room. Fanny was seated on the totally new and unknown---I thought my feelings were bed reading a letter with such enthralled attention completely under my controul while I indulged my that she did not hear her mother enter. When she curiosity, and I strove in no degree to excite in her approached her, Fanny hurriedly closed it, and endea any sentiments of affection towards myself. But I was voured to hide it behind her. “ This,' continued Mrs. self-deceived in both instances. Such constant colliCapel, “ was the first mark of dissimulation I had ever son could not continue with impunity. Towards one seen in my daughter--and it shocked me proportionately. SO fascinating, it was impossible that my manners I spoke to her, I trust without unnecessary harshness should not assume, even unconsciously, a degree of or severity, yet in the tone of reproof. I was, in truth, tenderness which spoke far more than I had ever meant more in sorrow than in anger---and she seemed touched to do,.--and, on the other hand, the continual interto the soul. I adjured her to abstain from everything course with one like her, every day developing some clandestine---it was unworthy of her in every shape-- new powers of mind, or qualities of heart, could not it was degrading---it was nearly allied to falsehood. but ripen my interest into affection of the strongest She threw herself into my arms, and sobbed upon my and keenest kind, before I knew where I was. In a bosom---and promised all clandestine intercourse should word, before I had bestowed a thought upon the folly cease. But I feel now the real meaning of tones and and wickedness of what I was doing, we both passionlooks, which then I attributed only to penitence and ately loved ---we had both confessed it to each other. agitation. I am convinced that her resolve was then “ It was at this time that you took me to town; taken---that I spoke too late. She exclaimed . Oh | I saw you suspected my conduct, and this opened my mother” as she was withdrawing herself from my arms, eyes to its atrocity. I left the country without taking and again sinking upon my neck, wept as though her any leave at the cottage, and determined to see her no heart would break”---and the old lady's own tears began more. I wrote to her a last (I then truly meant it to course each other down her cheeks as she spoke--- should be), a last farewell. She answered my letter os I am convinced that she then took her mental fare with all her characteristic frankness, her whole heart well of me---she knew that that was her last embrace. was laid bare before me. I could not adhere to the Oh God!" she continued in a tone of the bitterest self resolution I had formed,.--I wrote again: letter fole reproach---" if I had but spoken to her sooner, my lowed letter. At last, I went to the country a second child might have been saved : it was mistaken forbear time. It was then that my passions had wholly asance on my part-to spare myself and ber a slight sumed the mastery over reason and principle---it was

then I resolved she should be mine, cost what it for ever---involved her in her final ruin. Her mind had might. And now I must confide to you that which arrived at that “ heated state" of which I have spoken. up to that time had been a secret to all the world and she could no longer reason justly, she only felt I am already married. You will start when I tell you strongly.-- And Vernon, deep and irreparable as were that I was so when you knew me at Oxford. I married the injuries he had inflicted upon both mother and during the first term I kept there, and before I was daughter, I could not but pity him. His guilt had eighteen; I will not enter into the particulars of this not been cold blooded ; true'it had latterly been prehateful subject: suffice it, that the match was of a | meditated, but then the barb of passion was fixed in nature which might be expected from the age at which his heart equally as in her's---whatever length of line it took place. My father was informed of it by the his principles had, at one time, passion, powerful das. parties, and, after finding that it was impossible to | sion, had subdued him at last. break it, the whole affair was hushed up for a certain But if I felt compassion for these guilty sufferers. annual sum; that arrangemeut still continues, and, what must I do for her who was innocent? Alas! up to the time of which I speak, there were only three what a task had I to perform ! Yet, as it was to be persons in the world, besides myself, who knew the | done, the sooner the better. fact. Now, however, I confided it to Fanny, I told! I found, Mrs. Capel sitting with her knitting in her her, as was most true, that I might, if I had chosen hands, but not working---her eyes fixed, and swimming it, have deceived her I might have married her---for in tears. There was a picture, which hung opposite to I was certain that, from motives of interest, my secret | her, of her daughter, when a cherub of five years old, would hare remained safe, But I would not, I could playing with an orange ; and I could see that she was not, act thus. It is ill to trust too fully to the wicked ; | gazing upon the joyous smile of sinless infancy which and it might have happened that, after years of happy the countenance bore, with feelings of a deep, despair. marriage, the whole would have been revealed--she ing sadness, which none but a bereaved mother can would have been dishonoured, and her children bas know. A person of sterner temperament would have tardized. Moreover, my estate is, as you know, en. had this picture removed---but she kept it there, and tailed upon the male heir. How could I, as an honest gazed on it. man, allow an illegitimate son of mine to succeed to it? The moment I entered, she saw I had something to The thought never dwelled upon my mind for a moment. communicate. She saw, also, that it was of an afflictI told Fanny the whole. Of the particulars of the ing nature..." Oh God! tell me''..she exclaimed... succeeding month I will not speak. I will only say, “any thing is better than suspense---tell me the worst that it was but two days before she fled with me that at once." I then informed her that I had received a she consented to do so, and she almost retracted her letter from Sir Edward Vernon---and by degrees made consent the day after it was given. At length, your known to her its whole substance. She seemed heart. surprising us, as you did on your return from town, | stricken hy this confirmation of her worst forebodings. hastened her resolve. We both saw our intercourse “ Forgive her !---aye, indeed, poor, lost, dear, ever could not continue as it had done---we met again that dearest child, I do forgive her---from my heart ! evening; the result you know.

but I cannot see her,” she exclaimed abruptly, “ I can. “ Such is, as succinctly as possible, the narrative not see her while she lives in infamy—that I can't do of our conduct. That I have wronged Fanny grievous - tell her, Sir, I forgive her from my heart-or bring ly, my conscience but too severely reminds me every me your letter, and I will write just those words at the moment that I live; but, by my future conduct, I trust bottom of it---and now, Sir, leave me. I must seek conto make her as happy as she can be in our present po. solation, where alone it is to be found.” sition. The chief obstacle to that happiness is her I did not see Mrs. Capel again till the day but one feelings with regard to her mother. The forgiveness afterwards. On the intervening day, I had merely of that mother she must ever be wretched without. It sent to enquire after her health, and to say I should is through you, my dear friend, that we hope this re call on the morrow. When I saw her, I was shocked conciliation may be effected. It is for that purpose at the awful change which those eight-and-forty hours that I have addressed this statement to you. I could had worked upon her ;---despair was seated in her not address her, and Fanny dare not. Make of this sunken eyes, and death, the death of a broken heart, letter what use you deem most conducive to the end in had laid his finger upon her cheek. She asked me if I view. To your friendship for both of us we trust. I had written answered I had..."Give me your paper," need not say with what feverish anxiety we shall await she said.--l placed the sheet before her, with a pen. your answer. We shall remain here till we receive it.” She wrote with a trembling hand, these words..." Ifor

Such was Vernon's letter. I cannot describe the give you, Fanny---God Almighty bless you, my only, tumultuous crowd of feelings with which I read it. my dear child---and may. He bring you back to the paths Poor, poor Fanny, I could trace every step in the pro of virtue!” She laid down the pen, and sunk back gress which led to ber fall-I could

quite exhausted upon her seat.
---
see her all the way,

In concluding my letter to Sir Edward Vernon, I
And every turn that led her wrong,"

did not conceal from him the state of Mrs. Capel's Her eager and ardent disposition, mistrusting nothing, health....“ If any thing can save her," I added, “it is and sensitively alive to all that seemed generous and the restoration of her daughter. Vernon, your heart amiable, had hurried her away till, almost before she used to be tender and compassionate---unless it be knew her feelings were implicated at all, they were ir. changed to very stone, you cannot resist this appeal. recoverably pledged. And, afterwards, her gratitude This unhappy woman is dying---and, gracious God! for her lover's confidence---a confidence which a few from what cause: Hasten, I implore you, as you value weeks before would have made her break from him your future peace of mind for ever, to make the miserable reparation which is yet in your power---bring back | is the usual account of the matter,) as a married woman. Fanny to her mother."

In such cases, it becomes a matter of importance to But Mrs. Capel's malady was beyond the reach of prove either the death or the non-entity of the English help or hope. I could not, without some assurance husband, and the expedients that are resorted to with from Sir Edward, venture to hold out to her any pros. this view are often highly ingenious. About seven pect of her daughter's return ;.-and, as day after day years ago, I solemnized a marriage between a reputable passed, and still the time was distant when I could re young man, a native of the colony, and a female-convict ceive Vernon's answer, I saw that when it did come it who had been transported from Paisley, in the west of must be too late. She declined gradually, but rapidly: Scotland, for some mal-practices in a manufacturing every day she became more and more feeble--she spoke establishment in which she had been employed. The but little--she did not complain---but death had, mani. young man was a carpenter, and it seemed his Scotch festly, fixed upon her his icy grasp---he could not be wife turned out so much to his satisfaction, that his far distant. Accordingly, about three weeks after the brother was induced to think seriously of espousing time when I had communicated to her the contents of another Scotch female-convict who had arrived by the Sir Edward's letter, she died. Her end was calm, and same vessel from the same part of Scotland. The bro. she breathed her last, imploring the mercy of heaven ther's intended was the assigned servant of a respectable upon her daughter !

Scotch family residing near Sydney, and was naturally I attended her funeral to the grave. Her circle of enough desirous of being on her own hands, as the wife friends in the country had been very limited---and every of a free mechanic who could earn from thirty shillings circumstance rendered it fitting that the ceremony to two pounds stirling a-week ; but she had a husband should be as private as possible. There were, as in Paisley, and how to get him disposed of was the diffimourners, only her medical attendant, her favourite culty, for she had duly informed the government of her maid (who had been Fanny's nurse), and myself. The being a married woman on her arrival in the colony. church-yard stands at the extremity of the lane in which The difficulty, however, was not too great to be surMrs. Capel's cottage is situated. The little procession mounted—at least the parties thought so—and a letter was just turning in at the gate when the rattling of was accordingly written, purporting to have come from wheels was heard behind us,---and we saw a carriage some relative of the female's in Paisley, and commuand four driving furiously up the lane. The truth nicating the distressing intelligence of the Scotch flashed across me in a moment. I trembled all over, husband's death. The letter was brought me for my but I said nothing--I might be mistaken.

perusal by the two brothers, with a view to my soliciI was not :---as the procession, arrived at the grave, ting permission from government (which must uniformly the carriage reached the churchyard gate---the door was be obtained in the first instance by some clergyman of flung open, and a female figure, which we all knew in a | the territory, in the case of either party being a convict moment, rushed up the pathway and threw herself, with for the publication of banns). I observed to the young an agonizing scream, upon the coffin. We hastened men, before reading the letter, that it had no postto raise her up; she was senseless. Alas! poor Fanny, mark; but they readily explained that circumstance, by she has never recovered those senses since !

informing me that it had been brought out by the Scocth carpenter of a convict-ship lately arrived, who knew

the parties ; and, indeed, the exterior of it bore the FEMALE CONVICTS.

appearance of its having been for months in a carpenter's tool-chest, or in some situation it which it would have

been equally soiled. The letter was dated sufficiently When a female convict-ship arrives in the harbaur, the far back for the accomplishment of a voyage to New circumstance is duly announced in the Government | South Wales in the interval, and was written with great Gazette, and families requiring female servants are in ingenuity. It communicated a variety of particulars vited to make application according to a prescribed relative to persons and events in the town of Paisley, form. The applications are generally more numerous which in any ordinary case would have given it the inthan the government can meet, and the females are as diputable character of a genuine letter. There were signed only to reputable families, according to the even a few incidental notices respecting one of the best judgment of the board appointed for the purpose.

ministers of Paisley, wich were exceedingly well conMany of them make good servants, and in due time ceived for the purpose of practising on clerical gullibiget well married-chiefly to emancipated convicts, living lity. Unfortuately, however, in lamenting, towards either as agriculturalists in the country or in one or the close of the letter, that the female-convict to whom other of the various capacities in which the lower it was addressed was destined to spend the remainder classes are employed in towns, ; the colonial govern of her days in so distant a part of the earth, the letterment being always willing to grant permission for the writer had written the word earth in the cockney style marriage of a female convict; provided she is either a ---hearth. It immediately struck me that this peculiarly spinster or a widow, and provided the intended husband | English species of bad-spelling could not have occurred is a freeman and able to maintain a family.

so far north as the town of Paisley, where the vowelIt sometimes unfortunately happens, however, that sound commencing a word is never aspirated ; and I, the female-convict, who has an opportunity of forming therefore, returned the letter to the young men, telling an eligible connection in this way, and thereby acquir.

them that I was persuaded that it had been written in the ing her immediate liberty, has a husband alive in England, | colony, and that no such marriage as they contemplated or has been imprudent enough to declare herself would be allowed by the government. A few weeks married on her arrival in the colony, under the idea thereafter, the woman absconded from her master's that she will be more respected, forsooth, (for that | service, and was married to the currency-lad, by an

« PreviousContinue »