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mutual. Oh! I was mistaken; she was not sincere; at least she was not proof against the solicitations of another. By permission of my father, whom I had made acquainted with the whole matter, I'went one day to visit her. At my arrival I found the family in the utmost dis. order; Maria was missing. She had gone the day before on a visit to a lady, who resided at a little distance, and had not from tbat time been heard of. I was so surprised with this intelligence. tbat I remained for some time in a manner insensible; I soon, however, recollected myself, concluding she must have been forced away ;, I resolved not to lose a moment in attempting her recovery. I dispatched a short note to my father, and one to my friend, briefly acquainting bim with what had happened, direct ing him tů take a different route from that wbicb I intended, and appointed a place where we should meet. This done I took leave of the family.
* Having spent the day in fruitless inquiries, I arrived late at night at the place of rendezvous. Mr. Williams was not come; I waited with impatience till next morning. • Have vou heard any thing of Maria ? cried I, as soon as he appeared. "I have.'- Where is she?'—* At Mr. Os. borne's. I stretched forth my arms to embrace him. • Repress your joy, my Edmund,' said be; • this only adds to your misfortunes.'- What do you mean? - She is there by her own choice.'— Impossible!—That will but too well convince you of its reality,' said he, putting a letter into my band, which he said he received from herself. I tore it open. Its contents informed me that sbe had particular reasons for discontinuing her correspondence with me, and at the same time advising me to think no more of her. The letter dropped from my hand, I stood for some time motionless with surprise. I had, it is true, never before seen any of her hand-writing, but I had the utmost confidence in my friend. Come, Mr. Williams,' said I, I must see the faithless Maria once more; I shall at least have the pleasure of punishing ber seducer.'- Take care,' said he, that instead of chasten
g your rival you do not receive from him an additional injury. You know he is a professed libertine. A man who can commit a crime like this will not hesitate to crown it with another, perhaps of a worse nature.' I remained firm to my purpose. Having found I was deter. mined, he agreed to accompany me. When we were come near to Mr. Osborn's my friend told me that it was through one of the domestics of the family, with whom he had a sligbt acquaintance, he bad got access to Maria, and if I pleased, he would go a little before and endeavour to procure me an interview by the same method. I approved of bis proposal. He was hardly out of sight when several men rushed suddenly from a concealment, one of them seized my horse by the bridle, while I struck at him with the butt end of my whip I received a blow on the head, which brought me senseless to the ground. When I recuvered I found myself in a paltry looking apartment, surrounded by a number of fellows, whose countenances told me I had no good to expect from them. I asked them the meaning of all this, and was apswered, I should know that in proper time, I was immediately forced into a carriage, one of the fellows placed on each side of me, carried to Portsmouth and put on board a transport, which sailed next day with troops for Germany.
Time will not permit me to relate particularly the vari. ous circumstances which happened during the different campaigos in which I have served. As a reward for my sobriety and attention to duty,I was soon raised to the rank of serjeant. At the battle of Ramalies my behaviour was esteemed brave, and was mentioned in very high terms to the Duke of Marlborough, who soon after presented me with an eusigu's commission. In this new sphere I formed an intimacy with a number of the officers ; particularly a young gentleman of the name of Douglass, a native of Scotland, whose life I had the happiness to preserve from the sword of a base assassin. From that mo. ment we were united in the indissoluble ties of friendship. At the attack of the French lines of Malplaquet, I had uny left arın shot away, besides a ball lodged in one of my thighs. Surrounded by the enemy, I should certainly have fallen a victim to their ferocity, had uot Mr. Douglass wbo perceived my situation, come to my relief. The victory was glorious; it was decisive; but I lost my friend : be was either killed, or taken prisoner; for from tbat day I could never learn what became of him. The loss of so much blood, and a long aud tedious recovery, made a return to my native country necessary, in order to recruit my debilitated constitution. In the bosom of a pa. rent; in the company of my friend, Mr. Williams, I now expect to find a solace to my affliction. This remaining happiness, how is it embittered by the recollection of Maria, ouce the sum of my felicity, and source of my
misery; now, as I was long since, but too well informed, hid in the shades of death for ever from my view,
"I see,' said Mr. Townshend, ' you expect the highest pleasure from the enjoyment of your friend.'- I do indeed. Oh, how sweet at this moment is the recollection of our past endearments. How pleasing the hope of their revival. '_ How vain is such a hope. Him you call your friend is the blackest villain.'—What do you say?' said Edmund, with a look of astonishment and indignation; • you certainly do not know him.'- I should indeed be ashamed of such an acquaintanee; you may, however, be assured of what I tell you, that he is the basest of villains, and the worst enemy you ever had.'-'My enemy,' exclaimed Edmund; what do you mean? Sure I can read sincerity and benevolence in your countenance, you would pot impose on me, nor willingly make me wretched. Oh, for heaven's sake explain yourself.'— Know then, Williams betrayed you in the affair of Maria. Excited by a guilty passion, and finding her proof against every delu, sive ari, he found means to carry her off by force. The letter he brought you was a base forgery. In case you should be inclined to examine niore fully into the matter, as be apprehended you would, he bired those ruffians who carried you away in the manner you have yourself related. I need say no more; this is the truth. Edmund trembled and turned pale, a thousand minute circumstances now rushed on his memory, which tended to shake in some degree the confidence he had placed in his friend. Mr. Townshend perceived his distress, and attempted to sooth the agitation of bis mind..
May I be allowed,' said Edmund, 'to ask you by wbat means you became acquainted with these circumstances.' • You behold in me the father of the unfortunate Maria.' "The father of Maria,' cried Edmund, in the utmost astonishment, and can you behold with such a placid countenance the wretch who has, though unintentionally, been the occasion of her misfortunes ?'- You were deceived, you were cruelly disabled from discovering the deception. The lady with whom Maria resided,' continued Mr. Townshend, is my sister; she wrote me concerning your visits, and her apprehensions of the consequences. The day after receiving her letter, I set out to see my daughter; I had not got half way when I was alarmed with her cries from a carriage w.hich drove past. Fortunately I had brought a servant along with me, by whose assistance I rescued her. We returned home; I questioned Maria concerning your correspondence with her. She gave me a circumstantial detail of the matter, concluding with an account of her being seized and carried off by two men whom she had never seen before, not a quarter of a mile from her aunt's house. I was inclined to think this to be a contrivance of your's, and not hearing any more of you confirmed me in that opinion. It was but very lately I was undeceived ; a severe illness produced a confession from the wretch whom you call your friend.'-' Oh, how.am I disappointed!' exclaimed Edmund, betrayed by one whom I esteemed my bosom friend, Maria losť for ever! - Distracting thought! What now remains for me! Oh, heavenly friendship, soul of happiness, where shall I now find thee, who shall now lead me to thy abode.' - Young man,' said Mr. Townshend, ' you need not go far to find her. She dwells beneath this humble roof. You have yet a friend.' Edmund stretched out his band to the old gentleman; his feelings were too big for utterance, the tear started in his eye. Look on me as your father,' continued Mr. Townshend, 'I have yet a daughter; perhaps in her you may find some traces of Maria. Edmund remained silent, except the sigh wbicb burst from his agitated bosom. Mr. Townshend retired, but soon returned, leading in a female. "Hea. vens, wbat do I see!' exclaimed Edmund, the moment he ser his eyes on her. My Maria! Sure I cannot be mis. taken!' - You are not,' said Mr. Townshend, it is she herself, though brought indeed by sorrow to the brink of the grave; Heaven was pleased to restore her to her aged parent; to preserve her as a blessing to her Edmund, as the reward of his virtues, as the compensation of his sufferings.' . Sweet was the embrace of love, beyond the power of words to express. The charming Maria bid her modest face in her Edmund's bosom, while the tears of sensibility flowed plentifully from her eyes. He appeared not now the sprightly youth she had once beheld him. The bloom of health glowed not on his cheeks. Care had silvered o'er his flaxen locks, and grief had sadly marked his manly countenance.
A messenger was sent to Mr. Roberts, who arrived next day lo witness and partake of a scene which displayed in the strongest, the tenderest manner, the power of parental and filial affection. A gentleman, a stranger, had accompanied Mr. Roberts, whose appearance so powerfullyimpressed Edmund, that he left the embraces of his fa. ther to rush, with all the ardour of pure friendship, into the arms of Mr. Douglass. He had been taken prisoner at Malplaquet, but on his parole had returned, and called on Mr. Roberts on his way home to Scotland. Edmund was united to his Maria; her father removed along with them to Mr. Roberts', where they were long blessed with every domestic felicity, and social endearment. Heavenly peace dwelt in the bosom of Edmund, joy ever sparkled in Maria's eyes, happiness increased with their increasing years, and diffused the richest sweets through their rural habitation.
Amidst my garden's sweet retreat,
With its first soft reviving heat: .
I cast my scarcely waken'd eve.
In all the bloom of beauty vie.
I saw expanding to the sun,
'Till all the tender task was done.
Their cruder buds; and some there were
Intrust them to the early air.
And fell to earth a vernal show'r:
In the brief limits of an hour.
All strewn abroad they met mine eyes,
How youth departs, and beauty Aies !