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she came to the end of the third stanza of her wild ditty she stopped; and, taking her bundle of clean white linen from her lap, stared at the fire with a vacant look, heaved a deep sigh, and burst into a flood of tears: “I neglect thee, my little angel!” said she, “thy mother's heart is harder than the snow storm-no one sees thee no one can reproach thee with thy birth! no one call thee-fie! fie! fie!—it is a naughty world! Thou lookest like an angel-an angel thou art!-God is good! he will correct thy father and thy mother for their sins—but he will not punish thee, my little pretty fellow he will make thee a cherub, and one of the fairest seraphims shalt thou be! Come, let thy mother warm thee-the snow storm is past, and she shall sing to thee."
Oh! how shall I paint my feelings, my horror, my surprise, when I saw her take the clothes of her dead child, so wrapped up as, at first sight, to appear like a living infant, and place them on her knee! She printed a thousand impassioned, agonizing kisses upon this figure; talked, wept, warmed, and sung to it, as if it had been a living baby! · On a sudden, as if she heard some noise, she wrapped the figure up again, and continued crying bitterly, and talking to herself.
“Hush, they are coming! my father and mother are behind us; but they shall not find us out, Edmund; we will hide us in the bushes! Never heed the snow, my darling! thou canst not be colder than thou art, and thy mother shall warm thee in her bosom. It is thy grandmother, boy, and we must fly, or she will kill thee.Oh! oh! it was all her doing she first
showed thy father to me! she bade me love him and then !"
Here she muttered some few incoherent words, and, fell weeping and hugging her little burthen with more
violence than ever. _ I knew from the first glancé who and what she was;
I advanced towards her with an air of respect, and gently said, “ Comfort yourself, afflicted Martina, it is a friend who speaks to you."
She lifted up her eyes, rolled them wildly around, then shrieked out, “ He knows me! oh, God! he knows me! and fell senseless on the ground.”
When she awoke from her trance, she revived to Teason, but revived to misery. The past rushed on her memory, and a scene ensued too dreadful for me to paint; what then would it be for a father to hear?
When she left your house, she wandered, she knew not whither: her ideas are still vague: all she can recollect is, that she was taken into the house of a cottager, where she was attended with every care, till she was delivered of the fruit of her error.
The people did all they could to discover who and what she was, but her sense of guilt and shame enabled her to keep a guard upon her tongue; and, in her wildest ravings, not one word escaped her which could give the most distant clue to lead to a knowledge of her name, or her connections. These worthy people maintained her for a long time; the exact period she cannot semember, as her disorder had entirely defaced all her powers of computation. She had reason enough, however, in her madness, to see that she was a heavy tax upon these good creatures, who were humane enough
to deprive their own children of a portion of their harde earned bread to give it to her. She was hurt at this, t. and made an attempt to escape from them: they twice detected her in this undertaking, and, for a long time, watched her more strictly than ever. She was bent, however, upon quitting them, and made her escape with her little boy in her arms. From that time, to the hour when I was so fortunate as to meet her, all appears like a dream to the poor wretch. She remembers nothing but walking in a constant round, from morning till night, with her baby in her arms, and resting at the several inns whenever the call of hunger demanded her stay. She had found very great humanity from every one, but had taken care not to render herself burthensome, by never taking up her lodging in the same house above once a month.
She remembers being obliged to lie, all one snowy, stormy night, under an oak tree. When she awoke in the morning, she found her baby cold and stiff: the poor child had perished through the inclemency of the weather. She would never believe that the child was dead.
Once at an inn, the master and mistress of the house proposed to bury it: shocked at the idea, she refused to consent. The people executed their purpose while she was asleep. She rose early the next morning, and disappeared with the child's clothes, carefully wrapped up in her apron, resolving never more to approach the spot where she thought they wished to bury her baby-alive, and to keep it concealed from every eye in future.
• This,” said Hayward, “is all her shattered memory would allow her to unfold; and this account, imperfect
as it is, she related with great difficulty, and at many different intervals. What remains' is easily told. I ordered her to be kept, with every care, at the inn, which we are approaching, and sent for an able physician from Oxford to attend her. I came to London to see how your heart was disposed towards her. If I had not found some reason to imagine that sorrow had softened it, trust me, my good Sir, I had never sought you out. I candidly confess that your fornier life, , your ardour in the pursuit of money, had so disgusted me, that nothing but your misfortunes could ever have interested me in your behalf. You have had many solemn lessons. It would be a barbarity in me to add to them by unavailing regrets or fruitless admonitions*."
Here Hayward concluded. The rest of the journey was passed in a melancholy manner. When they arrived at the inn where Martina lay confined, the waiter informed Hayward that the lady had been attended according to his directions, that she was now much worse than when he left her, and that the doctor was at present with her. When the physician came down stairs the tears were in his eyes: he declared he had never been more truly interested for a patient in the whole course of his practice; that if ever there was a true penitent in the world,
* Dives, a year after his daughter had quitted him, had ex. perienced sad reverses of fortune : his business had fallen into decline, one of his agents had run away many thousands in ar. rear, his name had appeared in the Gazette, and several of his creditors obstinately refusing to sign his certificate, he had lived many months in all the apprehensions of a gaol.
she was one, but that he feared he had paid his last visit; she was speechless, though still sensible: within an hour, said he, and pain and suffering will be to her no more.
“ Thank God!” fervently ejaculated the mournful father; then I shall yet bless her before she dies. The goodness of the Almighty is infinite! He is merciful even in his chastisements. This is more than I de serve.”
He then implored that he might be led to the chamber of Martina. Hayward vehemently opposed this proposition, but the physician declared that he could do no harm, and that it would be an act of mercy to the dying girl, who had reconciled herself to her heavenly father, to know that she had made her peace with her earthly parent also.
He conducted the mournful Dives to an apartment, and made him wait at the door till he had communicated the tidings to his patient, who, though in great pain, still was sensible of all that was passing around her. She kissed the doctor's extended hand, when she learned the good tidings he had brought her; tranquil tears rolled down her woe-wan cheek, and she looked towards the door with a placid, yet an anxious expec. tation. The physician came to Dives, and, after giving him many cautions to repress the vehemence of his feelings, bid him enter. He approached the bed, drew aside the curtains—there was Martina; but so altered ! the beauty which had charmed him was fled; her eye was hollow, her cheek was pale; still it was his child; and while the angel of death had altered her features, those features to him were lovely yet. He let fall a