• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Introduction
 History of Priscilla, the stolen...
 Louisa, or, the cottage on the...
 The lovers' quarrel
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Priscilla the stolen one, and Theodore, her faithful lover : literally true and authentic : to which is added Louisa, or The cottage on the Moor
Title: Priscilla the stolen one, and Theodore, her faithful lover
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066408/00001
 Material Information
Title: Priscilla the stolen one, and Theodore, her faithful lover literally true and authentic : to which is added Louisa, or The cottage on the Moor
Alternate Title: Louisa, or The cottage on the Moor
Physical Description: 380, 4 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Caseley, Judith
William Nicholson and Sons
S. D. Ewins and Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: William Nicholson and Sons
S.D. Ewins Jr. & Co.
Place of Publication: Halifax
London
Publication Date: [187-?]
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cottages -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Farmers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1875   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- Halifax
England -- London
 Notes
General Note: Date of publication based on binding indicating publication in the 1870's.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066408
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002447157
notis - AMF2411
oclc - 71439494

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Introduction
        Page 5
        Page 6
    History of Priscilla, the stolen one, and the young cottager
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
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        Page 61
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        Page 63
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        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Louisa, or, the cottage on the moor
        Page 166
        Chapter I
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
        Chapter II
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
        Chapter III
            Page 176
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            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
        Chapter IV
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
        Chapter V
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
        Chapter VI
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
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            Page 209
            Page 210
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            Page 213
            Page 214
        Chapter VII
            Page 215
            Page 216
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            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
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            Page 223
            Page 224
        Chapter VIII
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
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            Page 230
            Page 231
        Chapter IX
            Page 232
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        Chapter X
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
        Chapter XI
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
            Page 262
        Chapter XII
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
            Page 273
            Page 274
        Chapter XIII
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
        Chapter XIV
            Page 284
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
        Chapter XV
            Page 290
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
        Chapter XVI
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
        Chapter XVII
            Page 311
            Page 312
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
        Chapter XVIII
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
            Page 325
            Page 326
        Chapter XIX
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
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            Page 335
        Chapter XX
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
        Chapter XXI
            Page 341
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
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            Page 346
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            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
            Page 351
            Page 352
        Chapter XXII
            Page 353
            Page 354
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
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            Page 362
            Page 363
            Page 364
            Page 365
            Page 366
        Chapter XXIII
            Page 367
            Page 368
            Page 369
            Page 370
            Page 371
            Page 372
            Page 373
            Page 374
        Chapter XXIV
            Page 375
            Page 376
            Page 377
    The lovers' quarrel
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
    Advertising
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text











































"MY Nio! r aft' tched- d ;l(. (c.


=-~i;L~i~*F;3~i~B







PRISCIL L A,

THE STOLEN ONE,

AND

THEODORE, HER FAITHFUL LOVER.

Literally True and Authentic.

TO WHICH IS ADDED,

LOUISA,

OR, THE COTTAGE ON THE MOOR.








HALIFAX:
WILLIAM NICHOLSON AND SONS.
LONDON: S. D, EWINS JR. & CO., 22, PATERNOSTER ROW.












INTRODUCTION.



THE Author of the following pages was an old
Sschool-fellow and intimate acquaintance of the
brother of Priscilla; by which means he gained a
complete knowledge of the Moreton family; and
through whose introduction, he afterwards had
frequent discourses with Priscilla herself, touching
the former part of her life; and at whose request
he has undertaken to write the following history
of her life; taken verbatim from her own mouth.
The Author flatters himself that the judicious
reader will find, in the perusal of it, such senti-
ments of the heart and touches of nature, which
never can flow from the pen of a mere novel writer,
or even enter the imagination of those who are
utter strangers to the experimental part.
The following work is written for instruction, as
well as entertainment, in order to convey to the
reader a general knowledge of the world and things.
He must not expect Priscilla's misfortunes to
abound with those surprising incidents which
crowd into the imagination of the Author of a
romance: but may, in the perusal of this work,
enjoy the pleasing satisfaction of a recital of such
circumstances as are literally true and authentic;







6 INTIPODUCTION.

for however entertaining the Novel Writer may
endeavour to render the different scenes and char-
acters he would wish to illustrate, yet the very idea
of their being fictitious, cannot fail of destroying
that true and genuine relish for it, which is ever
to be met where truth appears, clad in her native
attire, and surrounded with every social and shin-
ing virtue.
Some Authors have made it their peculiar study
to deviate from the truth in order to raise the
passions, and agitate the minds of the readers, but
the Author of Priscilla has trod in a different path,
by embellishing only such parts of the history as
might render it both instructive and entertaining;
cultivating throughout the whole, that sound mo-
rality which never fails, more or less, to render the
youth of both sexes amiable and agreeable com-
panions of society,










HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
THE STOLEN ONE,. AND

THE YOUNG COTTAGE



TO inform the reader of the past misfor-
tunes of my life, perhaps may prove
an arduous task, and cost me many a sigh;
the tears, no doubt, will often flow when
I reflect upon the various vicissitudes of
fortune I have undergone. There is not,
perhaps a more useful lesson to mankind,
than a retrospection of past scenes; it
greatly contributes to our future happi-
ness, and, in some measure, appears supe-
rior to. all precept. For by the incontro-
vertible proof of experience, we are taught
to shun those snares we have formerly
been entangled in, by which means, we
are less liable to suffer injuries from the
insidious artifices of a degenerate and cor-
rupt world.
How sweet a satisfaction it is for the
heart to be restored to itself, after a long
course of wandering and disappointment:






8 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
at once settled into a calm, by the happy
enjoyment of what was once the object of
its desire; yet it feels, in part, some of
those tremblings of horror, which leave
the imagination in remembrance of those
perils and dangers it has so lately escaped
from. It is true, it feels them, but only
to congratulate itself on that happiness,
wherewith it is now surrounded. Those
emotions, intermingled with the feelings,
become the most agreeable, as they, in
some measure, contribute towards height-
ening the relish of that tranquillity it at
present enjoys, and fills the expanding
soul with an ampler idea of what it will
hereafter taste.
Such, dear reader, is my present situa-
tion; and such, when contrasted with
your own feelings, will enable you to take
a more ample survey of my past misfor-
tunes; not doubting but you will, in some
measure, peruse the following pages with
pleasure and delight, and receive that
heartfelt satisfaction, which must undoubt-
edly arise in the breast that despises every
ignoble thought or idea, cherished by the
envious and revengeful part of the crea-
tion.
My father and mother were farmers,
near Broomsgrove, in Worcestershire;
who, by frugal industry and economy, had






THE STOLEN ONE.

acquired an ample fortune. I was the only
surviving offspring, except a son my fa-
ther had by a former wife, who was the
greatest object of my mother's esteem; in
short, she donated on him to that excess,
that she was perfectly miserable whenever
he happened to be out of her sight. On
the other hand, I was altogether as detes-
table. I was unable to form any idea for
such difference between a son and an only
daughter; once, indeed, a few words drop-
ped from my mother, not knowing I was
near, wherein she expressed a very great
aversion for female children, adding, that
she had often solemnly protested, both
before and after marriage, she should
either be happy in the birth of a son, or
miserable in that of a daughter.
She used every endeavour to incense my
father against me, and seemed entirely
happy whenever he put on an angry coun-
tenance towards me. But he had too much
good sense to be always chiding, and fre-
quently wished my mother to make no dis-
tinction between her children; for, said
he, they are both branches of the same
root, by the father's side, and I respect
and love them equally alike; but if there
is any partiality on your's, certainly it
ought to lean to Priscilla, who is the fruit
of your own body, and, as being the female,






10 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

ought to merit every indulgence that is in
the power of a tender and affectionate
mother to bestow.
In short, my father was a man greatly
esteemed by all who knew him. His in-
dustry was such as gained him the admi-
ration of those around him, and put it in
his power to live in easy circumstances.
His behaviour and manners were affa-
ble, mild, and condescending to all; the
loving husband, the tender parent, the
generous and faithful friend. Temper-
ance, both in his eating and drinking, was
his chiefest aim; so that the words of the
poet on this subject are truly applicable:
" Know all the good that individuals find,
Or God and nature meant to mere mankind;
Reason's whole pleasures, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence;
But health consists with temperance alone,
And peace, fair virtue, peace is all thy own."
Such are the grand outlines of a char-
acter I shall always reverence and respect;
and could have wished it had been in my
power to have given the same encomiums
on both; but the cruelty of my mother
seemed, in some measure, stretched out
towards me, which prevented my doing
that justice which every dutiful child owes
to them that gave them birth.
My brotherAlfred, for that was his name,






THE STOLEN ONE. 1I

was put to a boarding-school in the city of
Worcester; my father placed me at one
some few miles distant, knowing that my
mother was not fond of seeing me very
often. He gave my teacher to understand,
there was not the greatest harmony in the
world subsisting between me and my mo-
ther; intimating at the same time, that he
should frequently take the opportunity of
seeing me, whenever it suited him.
I seemed now almost in another world,
no ill-natured mother to frown upon me,
no harsh expressions made use of, all was
affability and good-nature around me.
Learning was now my chiefest aim, to at-
tain which I was indefatigable in my pur-
suit; and made no inconsiderable figure
in the school before I left it. I was there
upwards of three years, during which time
I went home but twice, and met with a
very indifferent reception each time.
My brother and I often saw each other,
and always agreed perfectly well. He was
a sweet-tempered youth, and one of the
most refined manners and tenderest feel-
ings. How sweetly did he express him-
self to me one day, as we were conversing
together, concerning my mother's hatred
towards me; "My dearest sister," said
he, "how or in what manner shall I ex-
pri s my fraternal affection for you? it is






12 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

true my mother has wished me almost to
blot you out of my remembrance as a
sister, but natural affection forbids it;
shall I disregard my amiable and dear-
est Priscilla, the tender sister of my bosom,
and one that I value as my own soul, merely
because her mother has taken a dislike to
her, without any just cause for so doing
no, my resolution is to vindicate your cause
to the latest moment of my life; to pro-
tect your honour and virtue whenever I
see it invaded, and count myself happy in
an amiable and loving sister, like yourself,
worthy of every good I can bestow upon
you."
Judge then, reader, what must be my
situation I surrounded, as it was, with love
and brotherly affection, expressed with so
much ardency and love? "My dearest
Alfred," replied I, "it is impossible to ex-
press the joy I feel upon this occasion;
the happiness that flows in upon my sink-
ing spirits, all the thoughts of having for
my friend so amiable and good a brother;
how shall I be able to make any return
suitable to such an obligation, under which
you have now lain me Accept, my dear-
est Alfred, all that is in my power to give;
accept my most sanguine wishes for your
welfare and happiness, that your riches
may be as unbounded as your love, and






THE STOLEN ONE. 13

whenever you approach towards the mar-
riage state, may you meet with that fair
one whose virtues and accomplishments
may shine forth conspicuous as your own,
and render every moment of your life a
prelude to that future happiness which
must be the sure reward of unsullied vir-
tue and shining merit."
After this communication of my bro-
ther's affection towards me, I seemed much
happier than I had heretofore been; I en-
joyed a serenity of mind superior to any
thing I had before experienced, and wish-
ed only for a continuance of that felicity
which at once seemed to present itself to
my view.
Whenever I met with any scornful
treatment from my mother, it was only
unbosoming myself to Alfred, and he soon
alleviated all my woe. He reasoned upon
the absurdity of my mother's conduct to-
wards me, and wished me patiently to bear
the burden laid upon me, assuring me, I
should always find in him a loving brother
and a faithful friend. My dear Priscilla,"
continued he, "strive by all means to
smother your resentment; consider it is a
parent you have to contend with, and al-
though she may be very wrong in her con-
jectures, yet every thing on your part will
be construed into the worst sense imagin-






14 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

able, and cause the bystanders to pro-
nounce that worst of epithets, "There
goes the undutiful Miss Moreton."
These, and such like reasoning, deter-
mined me to bear every indignity put upon
me with patience, especially as I had not
only a loving brother to fly to, but also a
kind and indulgent father, who set the
same value upon my happiness as his own.
My chiefest study was how to please him,
and insure that good-will towards me,
which he always endeavoured to show;
and I found myself not mistaken, for one
day calling upon me at school, as we walk-
ed in the garden together, he took the op-
portunity of informing me, that my mother
was of that turn of mind, which did not
altogether suit his ideas : that she seemed
quite out of charity with her own sex, and
wished him to alter his mode of acting,
even with regard to me; for that I might
be made useful in many respects without
being stuck up at a boarding-school. My
abilities she represented as weak, and not
meriting the expenses I had already in-
curred. But, continued my father, I know
your mother has her faults and her fail-
ings, therefore I shall not acquiesce in her
measures. I am happy to see the progress
you have already made in your education,
and shall continue my benevolence towards






THE STOLEN ONE. 15

you, that you may not, in any wise, be
wanting in those accomplishments requi-
site to adorn your own sex, and render you
an amiable companion of society.
Sir," replied I, the obligation I owe
to you is tenfold; I know my mother never
loved me, for what reason, it is out of my
power to relate; I have always conducted
myself as a dutiful child towards her; I
have borne every thing she has laid upon
me with patience and resignation, not for-
getting that grand maxim, Children,
honour your parents." Fully convinced,
that undutiful children bring upon them-
selves the wrath of God.-These and such
like thoughts, Sir, crowd into my mind,
and convince me that however small and
diminutive I may appear in the eye of the
world, yet there is a superior Being who
weighs our inmost thoughts, and who, I
trust, will not suffer the guilty to go un-
punished, nor the innocent unrewarded.
I could perceive my father sensibly
touched at my conversation, insomuch that
he could not refrain from tears, though he
wished me not to see it; and therefore,
changing the discourse, asked me when I
saw my brother Alfred ?
Sir," said I, not long ago, and he
certainly is a brother; indeed I have ex-
perienced his brotherly love in many in-






16 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

stances; whenever I speak to him of things
touching the matters we have been dis-
coursing on, he never fails giving me that
instruction necessary to arm me against
every assault, and kindly administering
that healing balm which soon allays my
inward grief and perturbation of the mind,
wishing me patiently to submit to every
indignity put upon me, hoping, at the same
time, that my mother's hatred may, one
day or other, change into love and affec-
tion towards me."
Well," said my father, I am greatly
relieved in my mind; I was afraid she had
incensed your brother against you, and
that you never might live, or converse
sociably together. Alfred is a most pro-
mising youth, and shall not want for that
encouragement necessary to form his mind
for the reception of that extensive know-
ledge, which seems already to shoot forth
her buds.
Continue," said he, "to cement your
affections stronger and stronger together;
assist each other whenever time and op-
portunity offer; be assiduous, be faithful
and doubt not, but that all superintending
Providence, which presides over every
action, will, in due time, recompense and
reward your virtuous deeds : in the mean-
time, my dear child, I must take my leave






THE STOLEN ONE.


of you for the present, and shall pay you
the earliest visit in my power; .and may
then, perhaps, converse with you more
fully, touching some points which time at
present will not permit.'
My father had not long been absent, be-
fore my brother arrived to see me; 1 in-
formed him of our conversation together:
he seemed in raptures at our discourse,
and assured me that nothing should be
wanting on his part to promote that family
concord and harmony necessary to render
every branch thereof happy. "I shall,"
continued he, pay a visit to my mother
shortly, and endeavour to bring about a
reconciliation, if possible, betwixt you;
strive to learn the chief reason, if any, of
her hatred, and to soothe and soften every
grievance."
Alfred waited upon my mother accord-
ingly, and took the opportunity of reason-
ing with her, concerning her behaviour
towards me; and wishing, if possible, to
sink in oblivion, every ungenerous thought
she might entertain in her breast. But
how great was his surprise, when instead
of reasoning, he met with little else than
abuse; she seemed doubly enraged at his
offering to interfere in the matter; and
was sorry he should ever think of enter-
taining such a mean opinion of her, as to






18 HISTORY OF PRISCrLLA,

imagine she was to receive instruction
from her.own child. No, she was fully
convinced that I should never merit the
trouble he had already taken on my ac-
count; and wished him, if he valued his
own happiness, to desist from any farther
proceedings on that head, lest he should
bring upon himself the same hatred he was
now attempting to release me from.
Finding every endeavour useless, he
desisted from the pursuit he had in view,
and took the earliest opportunity of in-
forming me, of what passed betwixt them:
how her hatred seemed rather to increase
than diminish, that there was very little
hopes left of ever coming into her future
favours; nevertheless, he desired me not
to be cast down upon the occasion, as I
had a father who was tenderly fond of me.
But, alas my fond hopes were soon de-
stroyed, for my tender father was sud-
denly taken ill, and died in the space of
twenty-four hours, from the time of his
first illness.
When the unwelcome messenger arrived
with the dismal tidings, I sunk pale and
motionless, upon the ground; every en-
deavour was used to recover me, but in
vain; nature was overwhelmed with grief,
and required a length of time to re-assem-






THT STOLEN ONE.


ble her former powers. I had lost a most
indulgent parent, and had the worst of
consequences to dread from my cruel mo-
ther, who I knew would take every oppor-
tunity to make my life miserable; and so
it happened; for no sooner were my fa-
ther's funeral rites performed, than she
began to display her hatred towards me in
a manner before unequalled.
She soon removed me from school, and
insisted upon my remaining at home in
the capacity of a menial servant. Unable
to conform to these restrictions, it brought
down upon me at once, both her vengeance
and hatred in a tenfold degree.
In this disagreeable situation I remain-
ed some time, unable to form any plan
that might be more conducive to my pre-
sent happiness. At length I was deter-
mined upon sending a letter to my brother,
hoping he might in some measure assist
me in my present disturbed state of mind :
I had no other mode of acquainting him
therewith, for as to a faithful messenger I
had none, for Betty, my mother's maid,
was always my avowed enemy; therefore
I was destitute of any real friend to confide
in. However, having procured pen, ink,
and paper, I sat down and wrote the fol-
lowing lines:






20 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

"DEAR BROTaEK,
Permit an unhappy sister to claim a few
moments of your time, while I relate the
disagreeable situation in which I now
stand:-my mother's unkindness towards
me, is more than I am able to sustain.
Betty is even permitted to ill-treat me,
and often uses such language that I am
almost ashamed to relate. Pray let me
see you, the first opportunity, that I may
consult with you what steps are best to
be taken in my present circumstances.
Adieu, and believe me your affectionate
sister.
PRISCILLA MORETON."
Shortly after the receipt of my letter, he
formed a scheme of coming to see my mo-
ther, at a time she least expected him.
But, indeed, his only reason for so doing
was wholly on my account.
As soon as opportunity permitted, I re-
lated to him the whole particulars of every
thing that had transpired during my resi-
dence at home; informing him, at the same
time, that I had entertained some notion
of quitting my native home, and seeking
that happiness abroad, which my own na-
tive soil seemed to refuse mes
He seemed struck with awe at my dis-
course; but recovering himself a little, ho






THE STOLEN ONE. 21

entered into the following discourse; my
dear sister," said he, your narrative has
rather surprised me; I am almost at a loss
how to advise; but after due consideration
upon the matter, and weighing all things
in a balance together, must confess your
reasons are very just, and for the sake of
your future happiness, cannot wish you to
tarry in a place surrounded as it were with
enemies, whose chiefest aim is that of
magnifying faults to a degree before un-
equalled. I would have you embrace the
first favourable opportunity for putting
your scheme in practice, and may that
divide Providence, that always shields the
virtuous and the innocent, direct your
paths, and raise up friends equal to your
merit. In the mean time, be kind enough
to accept of this purse and this ring,
as a lasting memento of my brotherly love
and affection towards you, and I shall not
forget to offer up my most fervent prayers
for your safety and welfare."
Then clasping me in his bosom he wept;
the scene was extremely affecting and
striking, far beyond the power of my pen
to describe; therefore must leave the
reader to his own imagination for the rest.
The night was now approaching in which
I meant, if possible, to bid a lasting fare-
well to the place wherein I drew my first






22 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
breath. I had prepared what little things
I thought necessary for my intended jour-
ney, and retired to bed at my usual time;
but, alas! sleep was a stranger to me;
my time was spent in thought and prayer
for my future safety. My brother came
secretly to me in the night, and for the last
time, wished me to proceed for London,
having an uncle, by my father's side, resi-
dent therein. He married a wife who
brought him a genteel fortune, by whom
he had one daughter.
My aunt was counted a good sort of a
woman, and worthy of the choice she had
made. There he wished me to fly, as the
only place of refuge. I assured him of
the reality of my intention so to do, and
that he must wait with patience till some
favourable opportunity offered, of inform-
ing him how, and in what manner, my
uncle and aunt received me. After a final
and parting salute, my brother returned
to his room, for fear of discovery, as my
mother slept in one adjoining.
The little time remaining, till daylight
appeared, I spent in thought and reflec-
tion ; "the Lord," said I, has promised,
if our earthly parents forsake us, he will
take us up." These and such like reflec-
tions occurred to my mind, and adminis-
tered comfort in my greatest distress. I






THE STOLEN ONE. E

knew my brother Alfred loved me, and it
was a convincing proof of the situation of
those we are separated from; and where
is the person that can paint the feelings of
friendship, and the painful sensation of a
true, noble, and generous soul, separated
from those she esteems and values ? This
is worthy our esteem and compassion, and
at once convinced me that Alfred possessed
a soul of the most exalted nature. Never-
theless, fears will crowd in upon fears,
and find way into the inmost recesses, and
like hungry vultures feed upon its peace.
As day-light approached, I slipped on
my things, being not equipped with any
more wearing apparel than what was on
my back, except a change of linen which I
put into my pocket, the rest of my things
being locked up, and the key in my mo-
ther's room. My whole stock of money
consisted of two guineas, one dollar, and
two new shillings, that Alfred gave me
the day before along with the ring. I
stole softly down stairs, shut the door
gently after me, and, at all events, took
the way for London.
How, or in what manner, my departure
was afterwards discovered, I know not;
but am certain that every little noise
I heard behind, created more speed in
me; and I dare say, I walked ten miles






24 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
without stopping. At length, through
weariness and fatigue, I sat down by the
side of a little brook, and there I wept
bitterly; being still under fears, on ac-
count of my escape, and dreading the ap-
prehensions of being taken, worse than
death itself. I recollected having a few
cakes in my pocket, which I had procured
the preceding evening, and being tempted
by the crystal stream I partook thereof and
was much refreshed.
Proceeding onward, I had not gone far,
before I was overtaken by an old gentle-
man, who looked earnestly at me in the
face, saying, "Where are you going, my
pretty maid, why look you so melancholy
to-day ?"
I en'deavoured to make some reply, but
could not articulate one syllable, for sev-
eral minutes. My being struck thus with
terror, and in a lone place, is not to be
wondered at, especially considering my
tender years. Perceiving me rather fright-
ened, he strove to convince me that I en-
tertained false fears; that he meant not to
hurt, but to protect me, if I stood in need.
And still walking by my side, and discour-
sing with me, I began to be less timid than
before. After having asked me several
questions, some of which I answered, and
some not, I desired to know his reasons






TIIE STOLEN ONE.


for being so inquisitive, and what satis-
faction he received thereby; "Why you
must know, Miss, I had once a daughter,
the very image of yourself; she was the
darling of my heart, and was stolen away
by a gentleman, to whom I would not give
my consent, and two years are now elapsed
since she left my house; during which
time, I have not heard one syllable con-
cerning her. I have not enjoyed one mo-
ment's peace of mind since that period,
and am greatly afraid she will bring down
my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave."
"I must own I was struck at the first
sight of you, there being something par-
ticularly solid written in your countenance,
which is singular at your age, therefore I
took the liberty of asking a few questions,
and can assure you, that, during the short
conversation we have had together, I have
taken a very great liking to you."
Sir," said I, since you have thought
proper to make me your confidante, may
I go one step further, by inquiring if you
have any more in the family than yourself?"
"Yes," replied he, I have a wife and
one son, besides the daughter you heard
me make mention of."
I thank you, Sir, for your information,
and pity your case in the loss of your
daughter; but hope you will one day have






26 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

the satisfaction of seeing her again, when
she will, no doubt, make you happy in a
tenfold degree, as recompense for all the uri-
easiness she has caused you : But, I think,
Sir, it is impossible to form any idea of the
real cause of her absence, since it may
proceed from various causes; she may be
altogether in as great anxiety of mind as
yourself, yet destitute of any proper chan-
nel whereby to convey to you the least
information."
Ah I Miss," said the good old gentle-
man, "you reason perfectly well upon the
subject; but believe me, (and here he
fetched a deep sigh) could I but see her
once more, then should I die in peace, and
freely forgive her every fault she has com-
mitted. And now, my dear," said he,
" for such I shall make free to call you, as
I condescend to give you some account of
my family, I hope in return, yon will do
me the favour of communicating to me the
same with regard to your's, and in the
mean time I shall be all attention."
Accordingly I related to him my little
history, and he paid the greatest attention
imaginable; the narrative of which I per-
ceived affected him very much.
He gave me a kind invitation to his
house, which he said was about one mile
and a half distant from the great road. It






THE STOLEN ONER. 7

was a little lonely cottage, but most plea-
santly situated, and well adapted for soli-
tude and retirement. I accepted the kind
invitation, and followed the old gentleman
to the rural spot he before described.
Here," said he, we can contemplate
upon the discourse which passed between
us upon the road; it will prove some re-
creation to you likewise, before you pro-
ceed any farther on your intended journey."
After a little more chat together, we
arrived at the Cottage of Content, (for so
it was called:) he presented me to his wife
and son; the good lady received me with
the greatest politeness imaginable, and
seemed as much struck with me as her
husband was, when he saw me upon the
road. "I protest," said she, "I absolutely
thought it had been my daughter; she is
the express image of her, in almost every
degree." The old gentleman informed her
how he first saw me, and also of our con-
versation by the way, &c. Without any
further ceremony she ordered dinner to
be served up, for, continued she, "the
young lady seems faint with walking so
far;" in the mean time she entreated me
to take a glass of wine, and a cake, which
I did. A short time afterwards, dinner
was brought upon the table, of which I
partook with a good appetite, and seemed






28 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
greatly refreshed after my fatigue. Our
entertainment was plain and neat as pos-
sible, accompanied with that simplicity
and good nature which renders society
amiable and happy. After dinner they
begged me to relate my name and family,
which I did, telling them my name was
Priscilla Moreton.
"Pray," says the good lady, was not
your grandfather a cl.. i :., I i, once in the
city of Birstal ?" I answered in the affir-
mative. "Yes," continued she, I knew
him perfectly well, and an exceeding good
kind of a gentleman he was; his charac.
ter bore the strictest scrutiny; he was a
faithful pastor to his parishioners, a true
friend to the poor, and well respected by
all those who had the happiness of his
acquaintance."
I am sorry for you, Miss Moreton, and
can sympathize with you in your present
troubles; for it is a most sad thing to be
obliged to fly from home, immediately
after the death of so good a father; and
all through the ill usage of a mother,
whose chiefest care ought to consist in
providing for a child like yourself; who
appears to me a person worthy of all the
care which is in her power to bestow."
Indeed she reasoned like a mother in every
respect; and had I received the same kind






THE STOL-,N ONE. Y9

and benevolent treatment at home, I might
have lived happy and comfortable, without
being obliged to quit the place of my na-
tivity, or seeking that friendship, amongst
strangers, which was denied me in my
late father's house.
Madam," said I, I never can enter-
tain any idea of going home again; my
heart is too full of grief with the ill usage
I have already received." I would have
proceeded farther, but tears prevented
me; which Mrs. Grenville perceiving, (for
that was her name) dropped the discourse,
and entreated me to take a walk in the
garden, by way of recreation. I accepted
the invitation, and found it a most delight-
ful spot. There was an elegant and ex-
tensive grotto, a beautiful alcove, situate
by the side of a little rivulet, bordering
on a wood, the trees of which, inclining
over the seat, formed at once a most de-
lightful bower. Here we sat down, by
way of a resting-place, and heard the lit-
tle feathered songsters tune forth their
melodious notes; it was an innocent har-
mony, and worthy our attention; I almost
fancied myself in an imaginary paradise;
I was in raptures at the delightful scene.
Our next visit was to the little vineyard,
which was beautiful to the eye, and pleas-
ing to the taste: here likewise, we seated






30 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

ourselves in a beautiful alcove, where
clustering grapes hung pendant over our
heads; around us, sweet banks of roses,
umbrelled over with spreading myrtles;
the scene was beautiful to behold: here
nature seemed to lavish all her stores.
You might view, from the same spot,
the wanton little lambkins skipping and
playing about in the adjacent meadows,
while the tender mother viewed them with
a watchful eye; this was a rural felicity
indeed! and free from any adulteration.
Here were delicious fruits of every kind,
pleasing both to the taste and smell; vege-
tables of all sorts, and in great abundance.
Alas said I to myself, if I may draw the
metaphor, this appears to me something
like the Israelites of old, when quitting
the land of Egypt, and coming into the
land of Promise, a land flowing with milk
and honey. Here all is peace, innocence,
and tranquillity; a most delightful spot
indeed, where all the graces meet, and
pleasure waits upon their steps ; love and
harmony go hand in hand; truth and jus-
tice meet each other, and seem to form at
once one grand and noble structure, where
both the prince and peasant might seem
delighted.
No foreign wars abroad, nor inbred jars
at home to intervene, and annoy their fes-





THE STOLEN ONE. 31

tivity; no envy, no distrust, to disturb
their tranquil breasts in their enjoyment
of these ever-blissful seats; no, all is har-
mony and love, without any alloy what-
ever. The pen of the ready writer is too
faint to describe half the various sweets,
nature has vouchsafed to lavish on this
happy place; which justly may be styled,
The Cottage of Content.
"Alas!" said I, "the hand of Provi-
dence has conducted me to this happy
mansion; and here for ever could I dwell
and sweetly enjoy the fruits thereof; but
my intended journey forbids it, and I must
think of quitting a most delightful rural
spot, for the noise and bustle of the metro-
polis, where corroding cares makes way,
and even enters into the breast of the great
and powerful."
They expressed their kindness to me in
a thousand different ways, beseeching me
to make it my home as long as I thought
proper. I returned my most sincere
thanks, which was all I had in my power
at that time to bestow.
They, however, seemed well pleased
with my company, and when I made men-
tion of my departure, I could perceive a
gloominess upon every countenance around
me, and must confess I never spent my
days more happily: the only thing I dread-






32 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

ed was the shortness of its duration. I
spent my time chiefly in the garden I have
already described. Perceiving my inclina-
tion for those rural walks and shady bow-
ers, they seldom failed to accompany me
therein; and the young gentleman fre-
quently amused us, by reading such books
as seemed most conducive to our present
entertainment.
Thus our time seemed agreeably spent,
and nothing was wanting on their parts,
to render my stay as happy and agreeable
as possible.
One day Mr. Grenville gave me a short
history of his life, which was as follows:
When I arrived at my thirteenth year,
(my father dying,) I was then left to the
care of my mother; and in such circum-
stances, as seemed to preclude and disap-
point all hopes of my future education;
my father was a free liver, and at one time
possessed an estateof eight hundred pounds
per annum, which, by his misconduct in
ife, and the card table together, was re-
duced to one: this had such an effect on
him as proved his death; after which my
mother neither enjoyed health nor happi-
ness, and was under the necessity of quit-
ting an excellent house in Grosvenor-
square, which they had enjoyed for a






THE STOLEN ONE.


course of years, and was obliged to retire to
an apartment she had taken for her future
residence, and likewise to part with her
plate and jewels, and part of her best
furniture, to pay some private debts my
father had contracted. It almost proved
too much for her spirits; yet notwith-
standing this sudden change of affairs, we
did not immediately lose our rank; we
were still visited by some of the polite
world; some indeed gratified their pride,
by assuming an appearance of pity, and
rather insulted than alleviated our dis-
tresses: and by way of comforting us,
drew a comparison of what we were once,
and what we were now; of what we once
possessed, and what we had lost; always
concluding with some sentence or other
very unpleasant and grating to the ear;
others there certainly were that acted a
different part, and were often sending us
some kind present or other, accompanied
with a short but reviving epistle, to com-
fort and alleviate my mother, under her
present troubles; thus, by our frugality
and economy, we were enabled to live de-
cently, and keep company with our supe-
riors, without being reduced to a level
with the lower class of people, which is
often attended with disrespect and insult.
My mother now solicited the favour






34 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

of a French gentleman, of her acquaint-
ance, to take me upon reasonable terms
for the further accomplishment of my edu-
cation, he being accounted an excellent
master of the languages; he immediately
acquiesced, and I was to go to France in
the first ship that sailed; my dear parent
and I could not bear the idea of parting
from each other; indeed she was a most
affectionate mother, and she has often con-
fessed I was a very dutiful son, and wor-
thy of all her care.
"The captain she had agreed with for my
passage sent word he should sail the next
morning, which he accordingly did. The
time at length arrived, when we were to
take a farewellof each other, and an affect-
ing one it was: we intermingled our tears
with each other, and as mutually embrac-
ed ; but alas! little did I think it was the
last time that ever I was to enjoy her bless-
ed conversation in this world. She in-
formed me that she intended shortly to
come and settle at Calais, which discourse
seemed rather a great enlivener to my
drooping spirits, and caused me to under-
take the journey with more alacrity than
I otherwise should have done; but to
make short of my history, we set sail: my
mother watched the ship as far as could be
perceived by the naked eye, and waved






THE STOLEN ONE. 35

her handkerchief in the air, in token of her
best wishes for our safety.
We had a tolerably fair wind, and soon
arrived at Calais, where I was kindly re-
ceived by my tutor who was a person of
great aflability and kindness, and showed
me many marks of it in several respects;
wishing me not to be uneasy on account
of my separation from my native country,
and my dearest friends; for he hoped the
progress I should make in my education,
would fully compensate me for all the dif-
ficulties I had encountered, and that I
might one day have the pleasure of re-
visiting my native clime, greatly improved
in every branch of useful knowledge and
education.
I returned him a thousand thanks for
his care over me, informing him I should
count his instructions my chiefest care,
and strive, if possible, to make that pro-
gress in my learning, he already seemed
anxious for me to obtain.
I now took the earliest opportunity of
writing to my dear parent, whom I knew
was shedding tears ever since my depar-
ture. I informed her how happy I was
situated, and only wanted her near me to
complete the whole.
"She returned me a most affectionate
letter by the first packet that sailed; she






36 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

was exceeding glad to hear how agreeably
I was situated, and concluded with giving
me hopes that I might one day expect to
see her in France; where, if she liked the
country, she should have no objections to
settle in it for a few years until I had ful-
ly completed my education.
We thus continued writing alternately
to each other, for the space of one year
and three weeks, when I received a letter
containing the melancholy news of my
mother's illness, which was of that nature
as to render her life despaired of, that she
desired to see me if possible, before she
died, For which purpose I embraced the
opportunity of coming in the first ship that
sailed for England; but owing to contrary
winds, could not arrive soon enough to
attend her funeral, which gave me great
uneasiness and trouble of mind.
I was informed that she departed this
life very much resigned to the will of Pro-
vidence, often repeating her desire of
wishing to see me once more in this life;
but Almighty wisdom did not acquiesce.
I found she had bequeathed to me her last
blessing, together with all that she pos-
sessed.
"This was a very severe trial to me,
and I could truly say. with her I was be-
reft of every earthly comfort.






THE STOLEN ONE. 37

"There were, indeed, some that pre-
tended to friendship, but it was merely
outside show, destitute of that reality
which constitutes the real friend, as the
poet elsewhere expresses it:-
"When thou art rich, thou many friends wilt find,
"If riches fail-friends soon will prove unkind."
"Of this stamp I had then a cousin,
who was a merchant in the city of London ;
having none else to apply to in my present
situation, I solicited his kind advice what
steps to be taken in my present situation;
had money matters been my request,
I should not have been surprised at re-
ceiving a negative answer; but only
entreated him to favour me with his best
counsel. I was rather startled at the reply
he made me, that he thought by this time
I had been able to judge for myself, and
that I had quite a sufficiency left me, if I
made proper use of it, and did not wish
to spend it like a madman, as my father
had done before me.
"I have remembered the time when he
thought it no disgrace to visit my father
and partake of the dainties of his table;
but as my father was no more, his friend-.
ship withered away also, like the unna-
tural ostrich, forgetting the younger
branches of his family, and like her, leav-






38 HISTORY OF PTISCTLLA,

ing the eggs to be hatched by the heat of
the sun.
But to return to my story: "I hope,"
continued he, "you are not in the borrow-
ing line, for I can assure you business at
present runs counter to my wishes, other-
wise, perhaps, I might not see you in want
of any thing in my power to assist you in."
SSir," replied I, that was not my in-
tention, nevertheless, had you even come
to me upon that score, I do not think I
should have denied your request, so far
as my small stock would have admitted."
"Pray, cousin," said he, "take a glass
of wine with me, and let us be sociable
together, and if I can be in any way service-
able, you may command me." I being
young, and a mere novice in the art of
flattery, began to imagine him sincere in
his professions.
"I have," continued he, "suffered
great losses in trade, and notwithstanding
my extensive line of business, find, if I
could procure a friend to lend me about
five hundred pounds, it would free me from
some difficulties under which I now
labour."-" Sir," replied I, the sum you
mention is not immediately in my power
to produce, but I have a property that will
furnish me with almost double that sum,
therefore shall dispose of it as soon as pos-






THE STOLEN ONE. 3

sible, and assist you to the utmost of my
power."
"He seemed pleased with my proposal,
and in retaliation for my kindness, pro-
mised to take me into his counting-house,
and instruct me bow to mange my own
affairs, and property in the world, when-
ever it suited me to change my present
situation.
"I seemed well satisfied with his offer,
and immediately disposed of all my effects,
which produced me the sum of nine hun-
dred pounds, five of which I lent my
cousin, and the remaining four I put into
the stocks.
The first two years he behaved toler-
ably well to me, but afterwards treated me
with great disrespect, frequently upbraid-
ing me with my father's misconduct, in
order to create words between us, which
I perceiving, strove by every means to
shun; sometimes, indeed, I was almost
determined of quitting his house, and fix-
ing myself in some other way of business;
but he suddenly changed the manner of his
behaviour towards me, which in some
measure altered my former resolutions;
but I soon perceived from what source his
good nature sprang; it was done with a
view to borrow my remaining four hun-
dred, which I had in the stocks; but upon






40 IHISTOY OF PRISCILLA,

a second consideration, I thought it most
prudent to desist; this irritated him so
much, that I had no peace afterwards,
during the time I stayed with him: indeed,
I took the most prudent step, for about
three years afterwards he became a bank-
rupt, and paid half-a-crown in the pound.
"I entered into partnership with a
gentleman of the same profession, and
my cousin went to live in Southampton, and
I have never heard of him since.
"After being in business about two
years, I fell in love with a most amiable
lady, to whom I paid my addresses, and
being kindly received, we shortly com-
menced matrimony. We lived happily
together for the space of one year, and
about three months, when a most melan-
choly circumstance took place; I happen-
ed to be from home at the time, when the
most sad news was brought to me, that
my wife had suddenly dropped down dead:
I must confess, that the surprise had such
an effect on me, that I stood motionless
for some time, my blood seemed to run
cold within my veins, and bore witness
of my inward grief; as soon as I was able,
I repaired to the fatal spot where the sad
catastrophe happened, to drop a friendly
tear over the remains of that once dearly
beloved partner of my life.






TIE STOLEN ONE.


"I paid every due respect to so amiable
a character, and lived in a very retired
manner for some time afterwards. She
had a handsome fortune settled upon her,
which, for want of issue, devolved upon
me at her death.
"Being tired with my present mode of
life. I was determined upon quitting
business, and the metropolis, and find out
some rural recess, where I might spend
my days in contemplating the vanities of
life; after some time spent in this part of
the country, I had the happiness to become
acquainted with my present partner, and
thinking her possessed of those qualities
sufficient to make the marriage state hap-
py, I made no delay in accomplishing the
grand design. This rural spot you now
see before you, was then upon sale; I had
the good fortune to purchase it; here we
have resided for these twenty-six years
past, and hope never to part from it, till
death shall put a period to my existence.
We have but one son, and one daugh-
ter, as I before observed to you; I am
happy in my son, he is a most promising
youth; I designed him for the clergy,
and gave him a suitable education, but
his inclination prompted him to go to sea;
I coincided in the measures he proposed;
he has been several voyages, the last of






42 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

which was to the East Indies, and as he
seems inclined to tarry at home, I am in
hopes of seeing him married to some
amiable young lady, before I go hence,
and am no more seen. As to my daugh-
ter, as I have before related, she has acted
diametrically opposite to our wishes;
nevertheless, it would be some satisfaction
to hear she was living, but much more so,
would she return a true penitent: then
might we finish our days in peace, and
enjoy that comfort, which, during her ab-
sence, the world cannot give.
"Thus," Miss Moreton, "have I given
you a short sketch of my life, hoping I
have not intruded too much upon your
patience."
Sir, replied I, your narrative has been
very interesting; and I could spend hour
after hour, in listening to the various vi-
cissitudes of fortune you have undergone.
Heaven, you see, Sir, has witnessed your
patience under every trial, and at length,
has fixed you in this happy rural spot,
which is justly called the Cottage of Con-
tent, as a token that she has greater bless-
ings to bestow upon those individuals who
make religion and virtue their principal
study."
Indeed, Miss Moreton, said Mr. Gren-
ville, you are young, but serious, and seem






THI STOLEN ONE. 4.

in some degree fitted for to undergo those
trials with patience, which every part of
the human creation is more or less subject
to.
"You have just now entered upon life
as it were, and the beginning seems rough
and uncouth, but do not be disheartened;
perhaps the latter end may turn out far
better than the beginning. I cannot help
shedding tears, when I think of the ill-
usage you have experienced from your own
mother, and how patiently you have sub-
mitted to every indignity put upon you,
and be assured, that your patient suffer-
ings will one day meet with a suitable re-
ward."
"Indeed, Mr. Grenville's discourse was
always so penetrating and sympathetic as
to draw tears from my eyes, which the
young gentleman perceiving, found means
to change the discourse. He was every
way condescending, and agreeable in his
temper, a pleasing countenance, and ma-
jestic air, polite without affectation; in
short, he was possessed of those incom-
parable abilities, which rendered him the
complete gentleman.
"We drank tea in one of the shady
bowers, after which we proposed taking a
walk through the adjacent wood, where






44 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

the little choristers of the grove seemed to
welcome us with their tuneful notes. We
had a little dog with us, who had by some
means or other, caught a small bird, and
came running with it in his mouth to Mrs.
Grenville; she soon released it, and not
being much hurt, it soon mounted upon a
spray, and in return, for the kind favour
she had done him, sung a most delightful
song, as if to thank us for our care.
During this rural walk I took the occa,-
sion of expressing my warmest gratitude,
for the unbounded favours they had so
liberally bestowed upon me, during my
residence at their rural habitation; inti-
mating a desire of pursuing my intended
journey the next morning, hoping the
favour of corresponding with them by let-
ters might not be disagreeable, whenever
it was in my power to inform them, how,
or in what manner, I was provided for;
and thinking it a duty, as well as a plea-
sure, to communicate to them every oc-
currence that transpired during my resi-
dence in town."
"Yes," said Mrs. Grenville, when-
ever you quit this mansion, be sure to
communicate to us every thing that hap-
pens at your arrival in town; whether
they receive you ::..;1!!: or not; whether
they seem to wish your continuance there;






TIHE STOLEN ONE.


if not take the first opportunity of return-
ing to our little cottage, where you will
be received with open arms. But I have
one more favour to beg of you, that is, to
give us the pleasure of your company one
week longer."
I accepted the invitation, and perceived
that young Mr. Grenville seemed very.
much pleased upon the occasion; however,
we every day took our rural walks as
before, and Mr. and Mrs. Grenville, fre-
quently accompanied us in our excursions,
and were partakers of our mirth. It hap-
pened, however, one day I sat alone in a
shady bower, amusing myself with read-
ing, when I suddenly heard somebody
coming down the back walk, and, upon a
nearer view perceived it was young Gren-
ville; seeing me alone, he addressed me
thus: "Pray, Miss, let me be a partaker
with you of your happiness; if the intru-
sion be not too great, may I beg the favour
of knowing what subject you are now up-
on "Sir," replied I, "it is Young's
Night Thoughts, and being rather seri-
ously inclined, thought it most suitable at
this time." "Miss," returned he, "I am
sorry to interrupt your studies ;" and slip-
ing a letter into my hand, immediately
retired without saying another syllable:
it was as follows:






46 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

"My dear Miss Moreton,
"It is in vain to conceal my passion
any longer; the regard I have always en-
tertained for you, since your arrival at
this little Cot, now breaks forth in spite
of every effort to the contrary.-In short,
to speak in plain terms, my pen is too faint
to declare how much I admire you. I
trust our sentiments are pretty well known
to each other, since I have had the plea-
sure of your acquaintance. I cannot let
slip the favourable opportunity, which now
offers of tendering my warmest wishes for
your happiness: your image is too deeply
impressed on my mind ever to be erased;
the thoughts of your departure hence,
would soon deprive me of existence; I
only wait in anxious expectation of a fa-
vourable answer, and am, with all due
respect, your's, &c.
THEODORE GRENVILLE."
It is almost impossible to conceive the
consternation I was in, upon the receipt
of this unexpected letter; it certainly was
very kind and affectionate, but the sudden
surprise it threw me in, rendered me, for
some short time, very faint and low: at
length, recovering myself a little, I per-
used it a second time, and took the oppor-
tunity to dictate the following answer:






THE STOLEN ONE.


"I acknowledged the receipt of your
kind letter: the compliments you are
pleased to confer on me, far exceed my
merit. The task you impose is of such
magnitude, as to require my most serious
deliberation: I confess, as a friend I en-
tertain a very great esteem for you, and
am persuaded your parents' consent might
be easily obtained; but cannot by any
means approve of a precipitate marriage;
not that I have the least reason to suppose
your behaviour would be such as would
ever cause me to repent.
"Yet upon second consideration, that
might not be your case, especially when
you come to reflect upon my present for-
lorn situation, having no fortune to depend
upon at present, and, perhaps, never may;
and oftentimes unequal marriages end in
uneasiness and discontent: therefore, Sir,
would wish you to reconsider the matter:
probably your thoughts may take a differ-
ent turn, and fix upon some more worthy
object, equal to your rank and fortune.
"I am in duty bound, to acknowledge
the obligations I am under, both to your-
self and family, who have each of you con-
tributed towards my happiness, and hope,






48 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

a proper sense of those kind favours will
never be erased, from the mind of, Sir,
Your most affectionate
And grateful friend,
PRISCILLA MORETON."
I never saw him any more till the family
assembled at tea-time as usual, in one of
the shady bowers: I was amusing myself
with reading, some short time before we
drank tea, and.young Mr. Grenville, per-
ceiving me alone, was advancing towards
me with great speed; but his mother
coming into the garden also, prevented
him from having any private conversation,
concerning our former negotiation. After
tea, we fixed upon an agreeable evening's
walk, with which young Grenville seemed
very well pleased, and was rather impa-
tient with waiting so long over our tea-
table chat.
The old gentleman seemed desirous of
bearing us company, and begged we might
fix upon the most rural walk, where we
might enjoy the pleasure of the cooling
evening's breeze.
Accordingly, we pursued our evening's
recreation, and a most delightful one it
was; the rural walks abounded with every
thing in great abundance, and so laid out
by nature, that one would have imagined
they had been the greatest works of art.





THE STOLEN ONE. 49

Sometimes overlooking the fleecy flocks,
playing in the valleys below; sometimes
walking underneath some shady bower,
where the little songsters entertained us
with their sweet and most melodious notes:
here every thing appeared in that splen-
dour and order, which at once proclaimed
their great Creator's praise. Oh! most
delightful and celestial spot! whither
could I have gone to have found their
equal ? If our first parents had been fa-
voured with half those innocent pleasures
and natural beauties, which now present
themselves to our view; how is it possi-
ble they could have been seduced by that
foul spirit, who appeared in so odious and
serpentine a form.
While thus reflecting and admiring
those beauteous scenes of nature, young
Grenville walked silently by my side; at
length perceiving me wrapped in thought,
as it were, took the opportunity of speak-
ing to me. Mr. and Mrs. Grenville were
at some little distance viewing the ripen-
ing corn, that gently waved with the wes-
tern breeze.
My dear Miss Moreton," said he, "you
have been exceedingly kind in favouring
me with an answer to my letter; but why
should you endeavour to couch it in such
terms as to leave me between hope and






50 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

despair? why not be more explicit and
more satisfactory ? why should you wish
to lessen yourself in the eyes of one that
is unable to form words sufficient to sound
your praise ? I must confess, when I
heard you mention going to London, and
of quitting this rural spot, that sorrow
and grief overwhelmed me. I struggled
with my passion several days, previous to
my sending you those few lines, but found
myself inadequate to the task; the diffi-
culties were too great to be surmounted,
my very soul was on fire, and must have
consumed me to ashes had I not declared
my passion, and addressed myself to the
object, who is able to perform a cure, and
I trust I have not sued in vain. 0 hea-
ven, forbid the thought! No! my dear
Miss Moreton, I will not entertain it, it is
not worthy a place in my bosom. Let
me cast off all distrust at once, throw my-
self at your feet, and crave that pity and
that love, which is out of the power of a
character, like yourself, adorned with hon-
our, virtue, and integrity, to deny.
"Speak then, but speak peace to my
soul; revive my drooping, sinking spirits,
and remember that the greatest ambition
I have in view, is to persuade you to join
hands with me, and become Mrs. Gren-
ville. Ah poor I,:'i-;- ii.- iii title! I wish






THE STOLEN ONE. 51

I had far greater to bestow; but since it
cannot be otherwise, condescend, out of
pure pity and love, to accept a generous
and faithful heart, a heart that always
glows at the very sound of its dear Pris-
cilla. Oh! then, despise not my petition,
lend for once an attentive ear, restore me
to myself, forgive my boldness, nay, sign
at once a general pardon, receive me into
your favour, and say, live my, Grenville."
During the foregoing conversation, we
met a gentleman and lady, who, like our-
selves, came out by way of an evening's
walk, and seeing Mr. and Mrs. Grenville,
a long conversation took place between
them. It- was at length agreed to re-
turn back to the Cottage of content. But
probably, said Mr. Grenville, these young
people may choose to pursue their even-
ing's walk a little farther: and as they
have plenty of time upon their hands, they
may use their own pleasure in so doing."
Theodore was desirous of prolonging
our excursion, upon which we separated
for the present; after which he took the
opportunity of renewing our former dis-
course, and seemed rather impatient for a
reply; therefore, with some little hesita-
tion, I began as follows :
Sir, the encomiums you have already
bestowed upon me, far exceed the bounds






52 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

prescribed by reason and truth. My ac-
complishments are but small and contract-
ed, nevertheless, when reason takes the
helm, the smallest spark of economy re-
flects a bright and shining light. Without
flattery, I may say, there is not that per-
son living to whom I would give my hand
sooner than yourself; but I trust, Sir, in
the circle of your acquaintance, there are
many to be found whose shining qualities
would soon eclipse those which are cast in
an inferior mould; therefore, Sir, I could
wish you to reconsider every word, and
every thought; and, perhaps, after mature
deliberation, you may repent of your hasty
proposal, and say to yourself, Ah! Theo-
dore, thou hadst once almost forgot thy-
self by precipitately entering upon the
marriage state, with a person of inferior
fortune and abilities, but finding thyself
now more capable of judging in matters
of such moment, shall endeavour to look
out for one whose accomplishments are far
superior to Miss Moreton's.
"Likewise, Sir, by taking the step you
have now proposed, might be the cause
of your worthy parents hatred towards
me, and one animosity begets another, till
such time that they, who are now the best
friends, might soon become the greatest
enemies.






THE STOLEN ONE. 5B

Pardon me, Sir, if I have exaggerated;
I meant not to offend : I only reason su-
perficially, perhaps; and sometimes wo-
mens' reasons will not bear so nice an
investigation: I wish it was in my power
to make you happy, but am fearful that
my finite abilities are incompetent to the
task, and could wish the amiable Mr.
Grenville a partner far superior to myself,
and better calculated for that purpose, as
my intention is bent upon visiting the me-
tropolis shortly. I hope, Sir, you will
think no more of what has already passed,
and then your honoured parents shall
never be acquainted with one single sylla-
ble that has transpired."
After this declaration of my sentiments,
he looked pensive and sad; his counten-
ance seemed to change, and I began to be
rather alarmed, fearing he might faint
away, and none but myself near him; I
procured a little water from a purling
brook, which he drank of, and recovering
himself a little, spoke in the following
manner:
My dear Priscilla, forbear to treat me
any longer as a person whose affections
are every moment upon the change, and
whose inward feelings are not to be re-
garded; but rather look upon me as your
admirer, as one whose life and happiness






54 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

depend either upon your smiles or your
frowns. In your power, at this time, are
the issues of life and death; only say, I
love you, and will condescend to make you
happy, I shall live ;' or, on the other hand,
'I hate and despise you,' then shall I die,
and soon be forgotten."
I must confess I was exceedingly re-
joiced at his recovery, but totally at a loss
how to answer in so precipitate a manner.
as the foregoing words seem to require;
at length, after some little pause and a few
words had intervened, on his part, to has-
ten my speedy answer, I addressed myself
te him as follows :
Sir, I am by no means insensible of
the high reward you entertain for me,
wishing it was in my power to make a
suitable return; in the mean time, please
to accept of that little I have to give, and
must freely confess, the great esteem I
entertain for you is almost beyond descrip-
tion, but shall now throw off the disguise,
and acknowledge myself your ever faithful
and loving Priscilla Moreton; it is my
heart, as well as my hand, you wish for,
and they are both at your service; was it
in my power to add all the riches of Peru
and Mexico, I would gladly make a sacri-
fice of all; and, with your honoured pa-
rents' consent, I give you myself and all






THE STOLEN ONE 55

my affections, and can assure you, I should
never make the like sacrifice to any per-
son, of what rank soever he may be, as I
have to my dear and affectionate Theodore
Grenville.
I shall leave the remaining part of the
business for you to manage, and make
known to your parents, whenever you see
a convenient opportunity, and shall be
miserable should it meet with their disap-
probation, their kind behaviour towards
me being far superior to all description.
To proceed far, in such weighty concerns,
without their knowledge and consent,
would be a base return, on my part, for
all their past favours; but my dear Gren-
ville only gain their approbation, mine is
sure and certain."
My dear Priscilla," returned he, "you
have this night saved the life of your faith-
ful Theodore; I shall not hesitate to in-
form my mother with the whole particu-
lars, by this time to-morrow: leaving it
in her power to make what use she pleases
of it with my father, and am certain, from
the encomiums they have bestowed upon
you, that neither of them will have the
least objection. In the mean time, it will
be prudent to return and spend the even-
ing with the gentleman and lady, that ac-
companed them home, taking no notice of






56 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

what has transpired, till I see an oppor-
tnnity of acquainting my mother there-
with."
We excused ourselves for having stop-
ped so long, signifying that the length of
the journey had been almost too much for
me. "Yes," replied Mr. Grenville, "Theo-
dore is so fond of your good company, that
I almost wonder you are returned so soon,
and indeed I am not at all surprised at it
Miss Moreton, for you are a sensible and
agreeable companion, worthy of a far bet-
ter person's care, and attention, than Theo-
dore Grenville's.
I thanked him very kindly for his good
opinion of me, assuring him I wished no
better protection than his son's. We pass-
ed the remainder of the evening in mirth
and good humour, and then retired each
to our separate apartments. I must con-
fess I slept but little, therefore took the
opportunity of rising early in the morning
to amuse myself by walking in the garden.
Having walked about in the pleasant walks
and shady bowers, for some length of time,
I perceived Mrs. Grenville at some dis-
tance, which rather surprised me, know-
ing it was before her time of rising. She
'drew towards me, and with a smiling
countenance said, Miss, I saw you from
my window some time ago, and having






THI STOLEN ONE. 57

something of consequence to communicate
thought it a proper opportunity. Ma-
dam," said I, I am exceedingly glad of
your company, and shall be all attention."
Why, my dear Miss Moreton," said
she, I understand that Theodore has a
very great affection for you, insomuch,
that he scarce knows what to do, or how
to act: his mind seems very much dis-
turbed at the thoughts of you quitting
this rural cottage; and in going to Lon-
don, is fearful some misfortune may hap-
pen to you by the way, and that he should
be for ever robbed of his dear Priscilla
Moreton. He has strongly solicited my
consent, and begs me to make intercession
for him with his father. I can assure you,
Miss, that my consent is already obtained,
and I dare say Mr. Grenville's is not far
off. I shall acquaint him with the whole
affair this morning, and make no doubt he
will acquiesce. I entertain a very high
opinion of you, and am well satisfied with
my son's choice; if you think it no dis-
grace to form so near an alliance with the
Grenville family, I shall be happy in the
choice of you for a daughter."
"Madam," said I, "the obligations I
am already under, are superlatively great,
but this surpasses all; the honour you do
me, by far exceeds my merit; neverthe-






5S HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
less I shall use every endeavour on my
part to render my admirer happy; no task
can be too hard, when sanctioned by such
worthy parents as yourself and Mr. Gren-
ville.
"I must confess that Theodore is the
person of my choice, and one with whom
I could be for ever happy; yet would I
sooner die a thousand deaths than to wed
without your joint consent. I have been
fostered by your generous hand, and
though a stranger, treated like a familiar
friend; and shallingratitude, that blackest
of all crimes, so far predominate over me,
as to be the cause of my taking any one
single step, in a matter of such import-
ance, without the consent of my benefac-
tors?-No, Heaven forbids the thought;
if Mr. and Mrs. Grenville are both con-
senting, Priscilla Moreton will be happy
in the choice of her affectionate Theodore;
if not, she is in duty bound to relinquish
a prize, which, of all others, to heris most
valuable."
Mrs. Grenville seemed very much affect-
ed with my discourse; she gently squeezed
me by the hand, promising to acquaint
Mr. Grenville with the particulars the first
opportunity.
Accordingly, after dinner, Mr. Grenville
entered upon the business, saying, "I un-






THE STOLEN ONE. 59

derstand, Miss, that my son has a very great
esteem for you, and as you are both here
present, I must inform you, that you have
my free consent, and I am entirely happy
in his choice. Miss Moreton's character
and behaviour are such, as render her the
admiration of all that have the honour of
her acquaintance; her affability and kind-
ness are such as constitute her a person
every way capable of making the marriage
state happy; in a word, she is amiable,
she is wise, she is virtuous, and such a
person as I could wish to recommend as
a partner for life to my worthy son Theo-
dore Grenville.
And now, my dear Miss Moreton, it
may not be amiss, since my son seems in-
clinable for matrimony, to whisper a few
words in his ear; for notwithstanding he
has received a liberal education, and like-
wise travelled over a great part of the
East, yet some things may have escaped
his attention; therefore a short lesson or
two may not be amiss.
"You are to understand Theodore that
upon a minute survey of my own estate, I
find myself, at this time, possessed of a
clear income of about one thousand a year,
and in case you commence matrimony with
Miss Moreton, I shall settle four hundred
per annum upon you immediately, which






60 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA

I hope, together with your own acquire-
ments while abroad, will, in some measure,
be sufficient to keep the wolf from the
door; ifI thought otherwise, I would soon
add another hundred, and settle it upon
my daughter, by way of pin money, as we
may expect the production of a rising off-
spring. I shall yet have remaining ano-
ther five hundred per annum (when I and
Mrs. Grenville have no more occasion for
it) which will, in some measure, help to
train up the little ones in the way they
should go.
"Remember, likewise, that amongst all
your youthful pleasures and amusements,
you do not lose sight of religion, and
then, I am certain, you will not forget the
poor and needy. Religion and virtue are
co-partners together, and where the one
flourishes and thrives, the other cannot
possibly decay.
I could wish you to use economy ; but
not to imitate the miser, who according
to sound reasoning and true philosophy,
must be a most miserable being.
"Always make a reserve of something
to help a friend in adversity, and should
he prove ungrateful, you will not lose your
reward.
Let your lights so shine before men,






THE STOLEN ONE. i6

that they may see your good works, and
be not ashamed to follow your example.
I have many more things to say, when
time and opportunity permit. In the mean
time, strive to make yourselves happy and
agreeable together; enjoy each other's
company with freedom and innocence;
and as Miss Moreton wishes to see her
friends in London, and take their sense
upon the matter, contrive to be as expedi-
tious as possible, that, at her return, all
things may be settled without delay.
But now the grand point will be to
part, I suppose, though for so short a
time; but Theodore, you must collect all
your powers, you must summon the whole
man, and try for once, if there is not a
possibility of parting for a few weeks,
without launching out into a multiplicity
of grief and sorrow, as if you remained
without hope of ever seeing each other
again; and I hope Miss Moreton will like-
wise act a very steady part, and not like
Theodore, weep at parting. But I can-
not blame her so much, she is the weaker
vessel, and every due respect ought to
be paid her."
"'Now," said Mrs. Grenville, "you have
been talking some time, Sir, if I were to
put in a few words it might not be amiss.
If Miss Moreton is bent upon going, I






62 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

dare say she would wish Theodore's com-
pany at least part of the way, which will
be some consolation to both parties, neither
shall we be witness of their sorrow: I
was once young myself; and remember
the time when I would have given the
whole world to have been alone, that no
other person might have been witness of
my weakness. The cause is a natural one
Mr. Grenville, and all the reasoning and
philosophy made use of, both in the an-
cient and modern world, is insufficient to
turn aside the cause; you might, by the
same rule, as well suppose there was a
possibility of removing the city of Rome
from its present situation, and placing it
upon the cupola of St. Paul's."
"Well," replied Mr. Grenville, "we
must sometimes yield to the fair sex; it
is far better than animosity and domestic
broils, which only serve other people as a
gew-gaw to play with, while the contending
parties are eagerly seeking each other's ruin.
Had not Mrs. Grenville and myself strictly
adhered to this maxim, we never should
have inhabited this rural spot, for almost
thirty years, neither could it possibly have
been styled the Cottage of Content.
"Domestic happiness brings down upon
us blessings from above, without which all
human endeavours are of little value.





THE STOLEN ONE. 63

4' No, my dear children, (for such I shall
now call you,) always endeavour to pursue
that regular line of tranquillity, which
cannot fail to render you amiable, com-
fortable and happy."
Mrs. Grenville seemed to acquiesce in
every syllable that was spoken, and, as a
farther strengthener of the cause, said,
"Yes, without a mutual interest, there is
not, nor can be any real satisfaction; and
I must now speak to the praise of Gren-
ville, by saying, that experience soon con-
vinced me he was the loving husband, the
tender father, and the generous friend.
What adequate return could I make for
such unequalled merit, and unexampled
generosity, and by adding my joint endea-
vours likewise? And when thus cemented
together, they form that noble structure,
which is most properly called domestic
happiness; and herein consists your fu-
ture felicity, which of all others is the
most durable. You frequently observe
how unequally some are yoked together;
-and what is the end thereof, but ruin and
disgrace.
I hope the discourse has not proved
any ways disagreeable to Miss Moreton,
but knowing her serious turn of mind, was
my chief reason for introducing it."
Indeed, Madam," said I, you have





61 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

done me infinite pleasure in condescend-
ing to give us such an instructive les-
son: it is most certainly a proof of those
shining abilities, for which you are so emi-
nently conspicuous.
The felicity I have enjoyed since my
arrival at this blessed mansion, is unpar-
alleled; it is adorned with every thing
beautiful both within and without. The
main edifice is supported by religion and
virtue, whose foundation is not to be
shaken by envy, hatred, and malice; and
those beauties are not to be obliterated by
devouring time.
I am exceedingly sorry to quit this
friendly spot, even for a moment, were it
not for the promise I once made to my
brother Alfred, of my intention to visit
my aunt in London; and who might, for
aught I can tell, already have sent to know
if I was safely arrived.
"He was a most loving and indulgent
brother, and merits my warmest praise.
He was both my protector and counsellor,
since the death of my honoured father;
and has often proved the happy instru-
ment of sheltering me from the vindictive
hatred of a cruel and angry mother.
But here I shall draw a curtain be-
fore the scene for the present; and, as
my intended journey is fixed for to-mor-





THE STOLEN ONE. 65

row, let me crave the favour of Mr. Gren-
ville and yourself to accompany me as far
as the main road ; leaving you for a short
time, though with sorrow and regret,
hoping soon to return, and fully accom-
plish that happy and lasting union of
which the foundation is already laid be-
tween me and your worthy, your most
excellent son, Theodore, whose shining
abilities have taken such deep root in my
heart, that loudly call forth all my affections
in his favour, from whence nothing but
death can possibly separate them."
"Alas! my dear Miss Moreton," said
she, the favour you solicit is but a small
one; indeed, how ungrateful would it
seem to deny your request, and upon such
easy terms. Had they extended to a
greater length, we should willingly have
acquiesced, though loath to part from such
a character as your's, whose entertaining
company beguiles the dull hours, and
causes time imperceptible to pass away."
I returned her a thousand thanks for
past favours, hoping the day was not far
off, when it might be in my power to ren-
der a more ample recompence.
"Yes," returned she, "Miss Moreton,
I am truly sensible of your gratitude and
good sense, even to entertain the least
doubt to the contrary. Your accomplish-
E






66 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

months are such, as loudly call forth my
warmest praise; neither am I in the least
surprised that Theodore should fix his eyes
upon so amiable a person, replete with
every thing necessary to adorn the fair
sex, and to captivate the heart of your ad-
mirer, fully convincing me, that the fol-
lowing lines of Swift are truly applicable:
0 decency, celestial maid,
Descended from heaven to beauty's aid;
Tho' beauty may beget desire,
'Tis thou must fan the lover's fire ;
STo hold him in delusion still,
And make him fancy what you will."
"And now my dear Miss Moreton,"
continued she, "you are going a long
journey as it were, and to leave us for
some length of time; and as I have never
inquired into your little stock (and per-
haps never shall take that liberty while
you are Miss Moreton) yet, nevertheless,
be so obliging as to accept this little part-
ing gift (slipping ten guineas into my
hand) by way of travelling expenses,
hoping ere long, to witness your safe re-
turn to the Cottage of Content."
I was about to heap a thousand enco-
miums on her, but she prevented me, by
gently squeezing my hand, wishing me to
prepare myself for my intended journey,
by taking the benefit of a good night's re-






THE STOLEN ONE. 67

pose; assuring me, I might depend on
their accompanying me half of the way,
where the stage would be ready at a cer-
tain hour to convey me to London, and she
knew that Theodore would go with me
fifteen or twenty miles further.
I thanked her kindly at parting, and re-
tired to my room, meditating upon the
friendship I had already experienced, and
was quite at a loss how to account for it,
knowing it far exceeded my real merit;
yet most certainly I enjoyed that flow of
happiness, in this rural Cottage, and with
these few, but generous and noble friends,
that, it at once drew to my mind the fol-
lowing soliloquy :
True happiness is of a retired nature,
and an enemy to pomp and noise it arises,
in the first place, from an enjoyment of
one's self, and in the next, from the friend-
ship and conversation of a few select com-
panions. It loves shade and solitude, and
naturally haunts groves and fountains,
fields and meadows ; in short, it feels every
thing it wants within itself, and receives
no addition from multitudes of witnesses
and spectators.
I retired to rest, but the thoughts of
quitting this earthly paradise broke in
upon me, and prevented my repose. My
thoughts were wandering; sometimesreso-






68 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

nation prompted me to pursue my journey;
at others, my whole frame seemed motion-
less and stupid at the thoughts of quitting
my blessed abode, when on a sudden, the
maid-servant came up to inform me break-
fast was ready. I instantly obeyed the call,
and found Mr. and Mrs. Grenville convers-
ing together: Theodore was taking a seri-
ous walk in the garden, but being inform-
ed I was come down stairs, he soon came
to make one of the company, and seemed
exceedingly sorry at the thoughts of our
approaching separation.
When breakfast was over and all things
prepared for our journey, I parted very
reluctantly from this rural habitation, not
forgetting frequently to turn back, like
our first parents, and take another fare-
well view of this earthly paradise; which
Mr. Grenville perceiving, took the occa-
sion of being ratherjocular upon; hoping
the time might not be long before I re-
newed my visit, and enter into that last-
ing friendship and near alliance with the
Grenville family, that might still render
the Cottage of Content more pleasant and
agreeable to me, than it possibly now
could be.
By this time we arrived at the inn, when,
after waiting about half an hour, the stage
came that was to convey me to London;






THE STOLEN ONE. O.

there were two ladies and one gentleman,
inside passengers, beside myself and
Theodore, who intended to see me at least
fifteen or twenty miles farther.
I took leave of Mr. and Mrs. Grenville,
but not without tears on both sides, for I
believe their friendship for me was un-
bounded: we passed the time away agree-
ably together, and it seemed to glide away
too fast. We soon arrived at the spot
where Theodore and I must part; our
stay at the inn was about half an hour,
which was spent in taking leave of each
other, and still cementing our friendship
stronger together: tears flowed copiously
on both sides, and prevented farther utter-
ance; adieu, adieu, was all at last we had
to say; Theodore returned home in a post-
chaise, and I pursued my journey towards
London, where I arrived about four in the
afternoon.
Upon quitting the stage, I called a hack-
ney-coach, which soon conveyed me to my
uncle's, in the city. They were not so
much surprised at seeing me as I expected,
having received several letters from my
mother, since my departure from home,
acquainting them with the manner of my
elopement, and wishing to gain some in-
telhgence concerning me, which my aunt






70 HiSTonY OF PRISCILLA,

had promised, in case I ever came in their
way.
She seemed to treat me very kindly at
first, and begged I would inform her of
my reason for not coming sooner, when
several weeks had now elapsed, since I
quitted my mother's house.
I gave her a brief history of all that
transpired during the interval; likewise
the kind treatment I received at the Cot-
tage; and threw out hints concerning
young Grenville's paying his addresses to
me; at the latter part of which she seem-
ed rather displeased, intimating that my
mother had not spoken many things in my
praise, and she feared it had some truth
in it, for certainly, no person of conse-
quence would ever think it worth their
while, to pay any attention to such a coun-
trified girl as myself; and she was very
sure the family I so much boasted of were
far below the account I gave of them. She
imagined it might be some country youth,
whom I spoke of, that was not only desti-
tute of wealth, but likewise of manners
and good breeding; and being so far dis-
tant from the metropolis, must be almost
a mere natural, like myself.
But, however, as I was now come to
London, she should endeavour to follow
my mother's advice, and give me such in-






THE STOLEN ONE. /1

struction as seemed most likely to refine
my manners, and polish my understand-
ing; for," continued she, child, I have
a daughter far superior to yourself in every
shape; she was bred up at one of the
first schools in this part of the world, and
understands things perfectly well; she
will read a play or romance extremely
well, and is fit for any company whatever,
let their situation in life be what it may;
she is no stranger to the polite part of the
world, and is acquainted with those of the
first rank and character, and such as I
shall, by degrees, introduce you to, when
you have had a few more instructive les-
soils."
I was really thunderstruck at her dis-
course, delivered with so much gravity, and
such an air of consequence, as seemed at
once to argue a great deal of self-conceit,
totally unconnected with true knowledge
and understanding, such as ought to ren-
der the female character both amiable and
conversable. I was totally at a loss how
to answer, for fear of offending, and to
acquiesce in such a jargon of incoherent
sounds, would, in plain terms, be styling
herself almost an idiot; however, I took
the opportunity of replying in a manner
least liable of giving any offence.
Madam," (said I,) most certainly you






72 HISTORY OF PIISCILLA,

are situated in the most polite part of the
kingdom, surrounded with men of learn-
ing, and the most refined manners, there-
fore it is not to be wondered at, if my
cousin, the Miss Moreton, possesses all
those accomplishments you have before
described, and I am exceedingly happy in
having the opportunity of edifying myself
by the example of such brilliant and shin-
ing characters.
As to my small stock of education, I
shall say but little about, my honoured
father dying before I had completed it;
and my mother treated me in a manner
which I shall forbear to mention ; yet, not-
withstanding the small talent committed
to my care, I have used every endeavour
in my power to improve; and although I
may not be so conversant in plays, novels,
or romances, yet I have read sufficient to
inform me, That the practice of virtue is
so much our own interest, that we should
never look upon it as a hardship, but as
the foundation of honour, peace, and hap-
piness."
The Grenville family, Madam, if I
may be permitted to speak, are worthy
of every encomium in my power to bestow,
and although their situation at this time
is far distant from London, yet, in their
juvenile days it was the spot fixed upon






THE STOLEN ONE. 73

for gaiety and amusement: but an over-
flow of pleasure soon satiates the posses-
sor. It was then they thoughtof retiring
into the country, to enjoy that happiness
and tranquillity which is not to be met
with in the grandest cities of Europe; it
is a lovely spot, and far surpasses all de-
scription. The inhabitants are happy in
themselves, and wish to make their visit-
ors so likewise ; and if ever there was an
earthly paradise, it must be in the rural
Cottage I have been speaking of, notwith-
standing, Madam, you have represented
them as awkward and uncouth beings."
By this time, my uncle had lent an at-
tentive ear to our discourse, and after some
short pause, said, I think, Mrs. More-
ton, that my niece is not altogether desti-
tute of knowledge; and, however her
mother may form to herself a different
opinion, yet, I can certainly perceive some
traces of sound learning, interwoven, as it
were, with a good natural genius, which
bid fair to produce a sensible and amiable
woman; I shall endeavour to lend her
every assistance in my power, and, if pos-
sible, strive to bring a reconciliation be-
tween her and her mother. I am greatly
afraid she accuses her wrongfully, and
has taken some antipathy against her,
without any real cause. She appears to






74 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

me a dutiful and affectionate child, worthy
of far better treatment than she has re-
ceived, and shall endeavour to sift the mat-
ter to the bottom, lest too much severity
should prove the ruin of so amiable and
promising a character."
My aunt seemed very much disgusted
at his discourse; she by no means relished
the ideas he seemed to entertain for me;
the letters my mother had sent previous
to my arrival, had poisoned her mind, and
she seemed determined, in her own breast,
that my life should not be much easier in
town, than it had been in my native coun-
try. Indeed, it resembled so much my
former situation in that respect, that some-
times I almost began to imagine it was a
contagion that was very catching: for,
however she might bring him a good
fortune, yet nevertheless she seems of an
arbitrary, overbearing temper, seldom at
peace with those around her. My cousin,
indeed, whom she had so highly praised,
seemed something meeker, but fell far
short of those encomiums she had so lav-
ishly bestowed upon her. I could by no
means trace, throughout her conversation,
that she had received those necessary in-
structions, sufficient to constitute her a
most agreeable and amiable companion;
no, though she was not quite so overbear-






THE STOLEN ONE. 7

ing as her mother in some respects, yet
she was proud and insolent in others;
ignorant with regard to books of morality
and sound learning, and not quite sufficient
to read a play or a romance properly, I
almost began to imagine myself more than
I really was.
My uncle one day took me aside, and in-
formed me that my brother Alfred had
sent a letter of inquiry after me, wherein
he seemed to express the greatest regard
for my welfare and happiness; intimat-
ing, at the same time, that he could wish
no notice might be taken to my mother,
concerning his inquiries afterme. "Your
aunt," continued he, "is not altogether of
my opinion, in many points, and, for the
sake of peace and quietness, I sometimes
seem to acquiesce: but, during your stay
in London, I shall be of every service in
my power to you; and though your aunt
may seem a little refractory, yet I would
wish you to seem as if you heard it not."
I thanked him very kindly for his care
over me, assuring him, that nothing should
be wanting on my part to oblige my aunt
and cousin, notwithstanding my mother
had taken so much pains to render me
despicable in their eyes. My aunt at that
time was advancing towards us, which in-
duced me'to drop the discourse.






76 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

"Well," said she, "Priscilla, how do
you seem to relish London ? I hope by this
time, you begin to entertain different
thoughts of the country, and the cottager
you so much boasted of.
The world," continued she, "is deceit-
ful above all things, and though the young
gentleman you are speaking of, may make
great professions outwardly, yet it may be
nothing more than a trap, laid to ensure
you and to ruin your virtue; there is
scarcely a possibility of his dealing on
honourable terms, with a girl like your-
self, and I could wish you to think no more
of him."
"Oh! heavens, forbid the thought,"
replied I: "Madam, I couldjust as soon
be persuaded to believe there was neither
God nor devil, as to imagine Mr. Grenville
insincere."
Indeed, the doctrine she advanced was
sufficient to tire the patience of Job. I
was several times thinking of quitting her
company, but recollecting what my uncle
had before spoken to me concerning her,
I was induced to bear every indignity with
patience.
Perceiving me rather displeased with
her discourse, she began in milder terms,
by saying, "You know, my dear Miss
Moreton what I have been saying is meant






THE STOLEN ONE. 77

for your own good, and should you refuse
my counsel, at this time, you may after-
wards repent it as long as you live."
Immediately upon this juncture, some
visitors arrived: I was going to withdraw,
but my aunt insisted upon the contrary,
adding, This is Sir William Douglas, as
excellent a character as the world can pro-
duce."
I was sorry to appear before company in
my dishabille, but she would have no de-
nial; arguments were in vain and useless
to a person of her description. She soon
introduced me to her visitants, at the same
time informing them, I was the daughter
of the late farmer Moreton; that I was but
a country girl it is true, and totally unac-
quainted with life, being bred up in a
small village, far distant from the metro-
polis: but she should endeavour to give
me such instructive lessons, as might be
the means of my future preferment.
"Very good, Madam," replied Sir
William, "and I will warrant she will
make great improvements in a short time,
especially under so good a tutoress as
yourself."
"Sir," replied my uncle, "my niece
seems very much attached to a country
life, therefore, I am fearful that London
may not altogether be so agreeable to her."






78 ITTSTORY OF PTISOILLA,

"Oh! what horrid ideas," replied Miss
Douglas, "I and my sister could not live.
were we not to visit the play-houses and
ball-rooms, partaking of every amusement
consistent with the character of a gentle-
woman."
I am very much of your opinion, Miss,
said my aunt, and, if agreeable we will
make a party to Vauxhall to-morrow even-
ing."
Yes, Madam," replied Sir William, I
and my two daughters shall be exceed-
ingly happy in your company."
I cannot but say, that notwithstanding
they used every endeavour to divert me,
yet my thoughts sometimes wandered as
far as the Cottage of Content. Indeed, my
aunt did not forget to speak to that pur-
pose: "For, continued she, "you look very
pensive, Miss Moreton; I am afraid your
thoughts are employed upon country
business; but when we get you to Vaux-
hall you must banish every melancholy
thought."
The subject now turned upon dress and
fashions, each giving their sentiments
thereon. The two Miss Douglas's seemed
great advocates for the modes of the times,
and wished to embrace every opportunity
of complying with the modern times.
"Well." said Sir William, "I must now





THE STOLEN ONE. 'l

beg the favour of Miss Moreton, to give
us her opinion upon the matter."
"Sir," said I, "if I must absolutely
speak the truth without reserve, I am an
advocate for that dress, which is plain and
neat, nothing tawdry, nor yet formal; and
was I a lady of quality, I am very certain
I should never comply with the mode of
the day, any farther, than by way of com-
pliment to my own sex; but as I have not
a wish for preferment in life, I am regard-
less of any dress but that which is plain
and neat, and most becoming the wearer.
I am of opinion, that the rich and affluent
are less happy than the simple villagers;
it is they alone can command their pas-
sions, and wish for nothing more than
they possess.
"I think, Miss," replied Sir William,
"your ideas are very just: there are but
few like yourself who have learned to
moderate their desires; it is true, those
whom fortune places in an elevated sphere
of life, envy the calm enjoyments, and
tranquil pleasures of the humble; those
who are acquainted with grandeur, only
for the name, sigh incessantly for empty
honours."
"Indeed, Sir, (said I,) should it be my
lot to be fixed in the most humble situa-
tion, and could enjoy the benedictions of






80 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

gratitude, I have learned therewith to be
content, and should count myself much
happier than the monarch who sits upon
his throne, adorned with all his regal or-
naments."
I begged pardon for continuing the dis-
course, hoping it had not been any ways
disagreeable to the ladies.
"No," said Sir William, I think I can
answer for them, as well as myself on that
point; and if I must pay you the compli-
ment, Miss, you are communicative, and
your discourse worthy of attention."
By this time, tea was served up, after
which a walk was proposed; but the two
young ladies and my cousin objected to it,
and seemed rather inclinable for spending
the evening at home, to which we all con-
sented. We danced together some time,
when, shortly before supper came upon
the table, I was taken very ill, and obliged
to retire to my room; they soon departed
home afterwards, and seemed quite sorry
that I was unable to lend them my com-
pany, hoping to find me so far recovered
in the morning as to be able to accompany
them to Vauxhall in the evening.
Sir William sent his servant in the
morning, to inquire after my health. I
begged my aunt to inform him I was some-
thing better than I was the preceding






THE STOLEN ONE. I8

evening, that I could by no means think
of going to Vauxhall, wishing to be ex-
cused till a more convenient opportunity.
I appeared to be very much indisposed,
and confined to my room, during which I
intended writing to the Cottage of Con-
tent.
While I was seriously contemplating on
these things, I heard a loud rap at the
door, which I found was Sir William and
his two daughters, who called to inquire
after my health. My aunt sent up the
maid to know if it was agreeable for the
two young ladies to spend half an hour
with me; I returned for answer, I should
be glad of their company. Theycame up,
when after some stay, finding I could not
attend them in the evening, they took
leave, wishing me much better.
They took an opportunity of informing
me that Sir William would be greatly dis-
appointed in not having my company; in
short, he wished himself ten or twenty
years younger for my sake, he would most
certainly think of becoming a relation of
Mr. Moreton's.
I smiled at their discourse, and dismis-
sed them with my compliments to Sir
William, and was sorry I could not make
one amongst them; though at the same
time I was very glad of their absence.
F






82 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
My aunt soon came afterwards, by way
of asking me how I did; at the same time,
hinting something to me concerning Sir
William; that he spoke highly in my
praise, and wished an interview as soon
as convenient. "Perhaps you may object
to his age," said she, but that is of little
consequence, when considering you will
be a lady both by title and fortune."
I was struck with amazement at her dis-
course, and seemed for some time in a
state of stupefaction; at length recovering
in some measure my wounded spirits, I
addressed her thus :-
Pardon, dear Madam, if I dissent from
you in these particulars; Sir William may
be, and no doubt is, a very worthy char-
acter; nevertheless, were he as rich as
the Great Mogul, he would not be the
object of my choice. How degenerate
should I appear in the eyes of the
world, to give my hand tothat person,
to whom I could not give my heart also ?
Youth and old age form too great a con-
trast to be mutually cofined by the bonds
of matrimony.-Reason and nature forbid
it. No, the Faithful Cottager has gained
possession of my heart, and there would I
bestow my gifts; for where the souls
are not united, there can be no real hap-
piness, according to the poet:-





THE STOLEN ONE.


" A generous friendship, no cold medium knows,
Burns with one love, with one resentment glows;
One should our interests and our passions be,
My friend must hate the man that injures me.
Great souls, by instinct, to each other turn,
Demand alliance and in friendship burn."
My aunt was going to reply, but my
uncle prevented her, by saying, that the
proposals were undoubtedly very great;
nevertheless, as my youthful affections
were fixed upon another object, more wor-
thy of my choice, he would by no means
wish to remove my stability; that would
only be the means of making my life
miserable in the extreme. Had Inot been
pre-engaged, and Sir William had paid
his addresses to me, the matter had been
otherwise; then might she have used every
persuasion in her power to bring about
that union, which he now looked upon as
neither proper nor possible.
My aunt, for once, in some measure, gave
way to my uncle's discourse, and made no
other reply, than by saying, she would
leave me to reflect coolly upon the matter;
hoping, when I had weighed every thing
in the balance of reason, it might be in
my power to recall some promises I might
foolishly have made.
I did not wish to enter into any farther
discourse upon the business, therefore





84 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

made no reply. As soon as they withdrew,
I sat down and dictated the following lines
to my faithful Theodore:-
Sir,
I count it my greatest happiness in em-
bracing the first opportunity of writing
to you, knowing your anxiety would be
greater in not hearing from me sooner.
I was at first very well received, and
hoped to meet with some small comfort,
even in a strange country; but my hopes
were soon blasted; my aunt is the very
representative of my mother, and breathes
the same disagreeable language. Alas!
said I, this is one and the same thing, far
different from that loving treatment I once
received at the Cottage of Content.
My uncle is a worthy character, and
possesses a noble and generous soul. My
aunt would fain persuade me to marry an
old gentleman, turned of sixty ; he came
on a visit to my uncle's yesterday, and
took the opportunity of breaking the mat-
ter open to my aunt first, that she might
communicate the affair to me, which I
rejected in the manner it deserved. He
has two daughters much older than my-
self, and not of the finest polish.
The amusements of the metropolis fall
far short of those in rural life, especially






THE STOLEN ONE.


when divested of your entertaining com-
pany, without which, every thing soon
nauseates and cloys.
My aunt has carried on a correspond-
ence with my mother concerning me, ever
since my departure from home, and I am
fearful she may form some scheme to force
me back again : but if I were certain of it,
I would soon return to your happy Cot-
tage. I am perfectly sure I shall never
meet with that object I shall esteem more
than yourself; therefore you need not fear
any rival.
"Pray for your poor Priscilla, and lay
her affections at the feet of your deservedly
honoured parents, whom I long to see
almost equally as yourself, and believe me,
unalterably your's, &c.
PRIScILLA MORETON."
After finishing this epistle, I hastened
with it to the post, and fearing discovery,
desired the servants not to take the least
notice concerning my going out, which I
believe they faithfully obeyed.
I retired to bed at my usual time,
though sleep was a stranger to my eyes;
my mind being wholly taken up in form-
ing some plan or other, relative to my
quitting my uncle's house, which was







86 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

now become very disagreeable, on several
accounts.
I heard them return home about three
in the morning, but saw none of them be-
fore eleven, about which time they came
to inquire after my health. I informed
them I was something better, having taken
a little rest the preceding night, which, I
hoped, might prove of great utility.
My aunt, as usual, began her encomiums
upon Sir William's affability and obliging
behaviour, wishing me to have made one
in the preceding evening's entertainment,
as she was very certain his generous be-
haviour could not have failed to render
him almost the object of my adoration.
"I am happy," replied I, "you found
every thing agreeable to your wishes, but
am certain Sir William would never have
taken my fancy, had he been fifty times
more humorous than he really was;
nevertheless, to any other person he might
appear otherwise.
Oh !" said my aunt, he is a gentle-
man of great abilities and sound judgment,
and though a little advanced in years, yet
his ample fortune makes sufficient atone-
ment for all; and, in one word, I look upon
him as greatly your superior; therefore it
is very unbecoming, Miss Moreton, for
such a one as you to slight or neglect






THE STOLEN ONE. 51

his overtures, which must, in the end,
turn out to your advantage. And," con-
tinued she, "I shall insist upon your ac-
companying me, this evening, upon a visit
to Sir William's."
"Alas Madam, said I, "for once let
me entreat you to dispense with my com-
pany, it being a task so very disagreeable
to my present inclination; neither can I
be persuaded to entertain the most dis-
tant idea concerning matrimonial affairs
with such a character as Sir William, not-
withstanding all his boasted rank and for-
tune."
Very well, Miss," said she, "if your
resentment carries you so far, I shall en-
deavour to give you cause for repentance,
and that very soon." Upon which she
quitted the room abruptly.
During her absence, my mind became
greatly agitated, I was persuaded in my-
self, that something fatal would befal me,
for daring to speak the real sentiments of
my mind, in a matter of such importance as
that of matrimony. On the other hand, I
flattered myself with the pleasing idea, of
quitting the town early in the morning,
and flying to the Cottage of Content, in
order to baffle, or disappoint any design or
plot that might be formed against me.
But, alas! my designs were frustrated, for






8S HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

the servant soon afterwards came up, ac-
quainting me dinner was ready, wishing
to know if I intended coming down, or
whether it should be brought up; I made
choice of the latter, and it --,", nhrnrdin71ly
brought me. It was with. I,-ii ,:1, I -
took of a little, for my mind was busied
about other things.
Some time afterwards my aunt came to
my room and spoke in much cooler terms
than before; hoping I would make it agree-
able to go with her in the evening to Sir
William's, she having pledged herself to
bring me; and it would seem very odd to
forfeit her word and honour in such a case.
Yes, madam," replied I, "I shall obey
you; and if under no restraint it will be
the more agreeable."
"Very well," said she, "then I shall
send the hair-dresser to you in time, that
we may be as expeditious as possible.'
Soon afterwards she sent the maid to me
with a new cap, made in the highest pitch
of the fashion, hoping I would accept it
as a small present.
I almost began to think I was coming
into favour again, and my spirits seemed
something revived. The coach came at the
time appointed to convey us to Sir Wil-
liam's who lived in the Kensington Road.
They expressed much happiness upon our






THE STOLEN ONE. 89

arrival, and after the usual compliments
upon such occasions, Sir William proposed
a walk in the garden till tea-time, to which
we readily consented.
Immediately upon entering the garden;
I cast my eyes upon one of the oddest,
drollest figures of a woman that ever pre-
sented itself to my view; and am greatly
afraid the description I am about to give
of her, will fall infinitely short of the
original.
Her face was the exact figure of a har-
vest moon. I was so struck with the ap-
pearance of this blazing comet, that it was
some time before I could sufficiently com-
pose my muscles to pay the small tribute
of compliments due to her, as Sir William's
housekeeper. Her fat person was bediz-
ened in a yellow tabby silk, a cap with
wings, near a quarter of a yard deep, full
trimmed with pink ribbons; a short neck,
adorned with five rows of red beads, the
full size of a middling bird's egg, and tied
with a large bunch of ribbon of the same
flaming colour; a deep scarlet coloured
petticoat, with a short gauze apron; add
to these pretty ornaments, a pair of enor-
mous white wax ear-rings, and a pair of
laced shoes. Ier name was Clutterbuck.
Sir William begged of her to turn back






90 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
and accompany the ladies, which she
seemed very fond of.
In the first place she entertained us with
an account of all her imaginary ailments,
and counted it almost next to a miracle
that a person in her debilitated state
should be able to walk so well as she did.
We could scarcely refrain laughing, but
at the same time informed her that nothing
could be more conducive to her health, than
air and exercise.
This young lady," said my aunt, "is
just come out of the country, and informs
me she has walked ten miles at a stretch
without stopping to rest by the way. Our
young ladies in town would think them-
selves extremely fatigued in being obliged
to walk one."
"Indeed," replied Mrs. Clutterbuck,
she has the appearance of health in her
countenance; I am afraid the Miss Dou-
glass's will never take pattern by her,
and as for myself, good lack-a-day, I shall
never be able to waddle half a mile. Oh !
dear, my spirits will not permit me to talk
any more, till I have rested myself in this
alcove; my breath is almost gone.
I believe it was upwards of ten minutes
before she was able to utter another syl-
lable. At length, having somewhat re-
covered her fatigue, she began begging






TIHE STOLEN ONE. 91

our pardons for being so silent: and by
way of making amends, would inform us
of the chief news that was now going in
the neighbourhood.
"My master, Sir William Douglas, I
am informed, makes suit to a Worcester-
shire young lady, of unblemished charac-
ter; and although there is a disparity of
age between them, yet no doubt but they
will make a very happy couple.
She declared that Sir William was pos-
sessed of every thing that could possibly
make a woman happy, and hoped no young
lady would so far stand in her own light
as to refuse him her hand and her heart.
Sir William thanked her very kindly for
her good opinion of him, but wondered
where she had been to gain her informa-
tion, from declaring he had not the least
knowledge of any young lady from Wor-
cestershire, except the young lady present,
and she has, I am informed, fixed her af-
fections upon a young gentleman in the
country, which I am very sorry for. But
pray Mrs. Clutterbuck, since you are al-
most incapable of walking, how comes it
to pass that you have made shift to waddle
up and down the neighbourhood, and be-
come acquainted with those secrets, to
which I myself am an utter stranger?
Indeed, Sir," returned she, "it is the






92 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

chief discourse going; and a person you
little think of, assured me of it, as a mat-
ter of fact, but begged I would not divulge
the secret, as they, by no means, wished to
have their name brought in question."
"Yes," said Sir William, "a pretty
kind of a secret indeed to be the talk of
the wholeparish too. ButifyoupleaseMrs.
Housekeeper, I should now esteem it a
favour of you to make tea for the young
ladies ; for by this time, I should imagine,
they need some refreshment."
As soon as she was gone, Sir William
said, "if it were agreeable for me to take
a walk down the garden, he had something
of importance to communicate." I begged
to be excused: Sir, said I, as my aunt
is the only friend I have here, I should
wish her to be present upon every occa-
sion."
It seems, Miss," replied the knight,
looking archly at me,, "you are afraid to
trust yourself with me alone; but I com-
mend your prudence, and as there are
none but friends present, shall take the
opportunity of communicating my senti-
ments before them."
The two Miss Douglass's begged leave
to retire into the house, leaving only Sir
William, my aunt and myself together;





THE STOLEN ONE.


when he took the opportunity of address-
ing me in the following terms:
My dear Miss Moreton," said he, since
I first had the happiness of seeing you, the
idea of you has never been absent from my
thoughts. The beauties of your mind are
more powerful than those of your person.
I perfectly adore you, and only waited a
fair opportunity to make a full declaration
of my passion. I have an ample fortune
of six thousand per annum to lay at your
feet, and was it as many millions I should
with equal pleasure devote it to your ser-
vice; only consent to make me happy, and
crown my fondest wishes with some small
ray of hope, that may convince me, you
have not the least objection to become Lady
Douglas."
I am far from being insensible both of
your merit and generosity, replied I, and
wish it was in my power to make a suit-
able return for such unmerited favors.
The consequence is, Sir, I am already pre-
engaged; my mind is unalterably fixed
upon the object of my esteem, from which
neither riches nor honours can make me
swerve. If you think me worthy of your
friendship, I shall think myself highly
honoured by that declaration, and number
you amongst my most valuable friends.
His eyes plainly showed he was sensi-






91 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,
bly affected. If this is the case," (said
he, in an angry tone of voice) '"I cannot
but lament that ever I was so unfortunate
as to see you ; but still, let me hope you
are too generous to trifle with my peace,
merely for the sake of amusing yourself.
Oh! foolish girl, added my aunt, can
you in reality put a negative upon so ami-
able a gentleman, and prefer a country lad,
who, in all probability, aims at nothing
less than your ruin and destruction; when,
on the other hand, with so noble a char-
acter as Sir William, you cannot fail of
meeting with unspeakable happiness.-
Therefore, let me beseech you to forget
there ever was such a person as the Cot-
tager you have so often mentioned in all
your discourses."
"Madam," (replied I,) "it is impossi-
ble to forget him who is most dear to me;
and, if you valued my peace, you would
desist from persuading me contrary to my
inclination."
The generous knight said he was under
the greatest anxiety of mind tpon con-
sideration that he was unworthy of my
choice. Fortune, I own, is a mere trifle,
if weighed against your real merit; but
if you can be generous enough to force
your soul to pity me, and suffer a wretch
to live, his fortune, his life, his every





THE STOLEN ONE. 95

thing, is entirely at your command; and
whose fate you govern, while he has life
to call himself your most faithful and
humble servant."
I must confess, I shed tears at his mov-
ing expressions, and was, for some time,
unable to make any reply. At length, I
entreated him to wave the discourse for
the present, and give me a little time for
consideration upon matters of such impor-
tance.
My dearest Miss Moreton," (said he,)
"I grant your request, but allow me to
receive my doom, however horrid it may
be, when next I have the honour to attend
you."
He entreated us to go to tea:-As soon
as we entered the parlour, there sat the
favourite housekeeper, who, with some
difficulty, arose from her chair, by way of
compliment to us; we begged her to be
seated. I could perceive a general smile
around at her unwieldly way of moving.
She seemed in pain to know the reason of
our detention in the garden, and was every
now and then whispering in my aunt's ear,
something relative to the business; but
my aunt could not give her any satisfac-
tory answer thereto.
We had scarcely done tea, when a ser-
vant arrived from my aunt's house in






96 HISTORY OF PRISCILLA,

town, to inform her, that some lady was
just arrived out of the country, wishing to
see her as soon as possible. My aunt
seemed as much surprised as myself; I
began to conjecture it might be my mo-
ther, and so it happened.
She ordered the carriage to the door
immediately, and taking leave of Sir
William and the young ladies, ordered the
coachman to drive home as fast as possible.
It was now I began to tremble, at the
thoughts of seeing a cruel mother, whose
vindictive hatred towards me, had been
the chief cause of my quitting my native
home; and fearing I should meet with
peace and happiness abroad, had now un-
dertaken this journey in order to disturb
my present repose. I was likewise fear-
ful it might in some measure impede my
return to the Cottage of Content, having
fixed upon the returning morn for that
purpose.
We soon arrived at my aunt's, and per-
ceived it was as I had conjectured; they
were overjoyed at the sight of each other,
but took very little notice of me. After a
few congratulatory compliments had pass-
ed, and had taken some refreshment, she
took the opportunity of speaking to me in
the following manner:-
"Well, Priscilla, you see, notwithstaid-





THE STOLEN ONE. 97

ing your sudden elopement, I have taken
the opportunity of finding you out, and
had you behaved yourself in that dutiful
manner you ought to have done, I should
by no means have had this unnecessary
trouble of seeking after you; there are few
people in the country that are acquainted
with your undutiful behaviour. I have
taken every step I am mistress of, both to
polish your manners, and render you an
amiable companion of society, but you
counteract all my designs, and put it en-
tirely out of my power, either to call you
dutiful or obliging." Then, turning to
my aunt, said, "Indeed, sister Moreton,
was I to relate a tenth part of her unduti-
ful behaviour, it would fill a volume; there-
fore, I shall pass the greatest part over in
silence, knowing the stubbornness of her
heart; however, I am now determined
upon using such measures in future, as
shall be a lasting monument how to con-
duct herself toward so tender a parent as
I have always been to her."
I was now going to speak a few words
in my own defence, but my aunt prevented
me, by acquiescing with all that she said,
and declared it was too true, for she had
seen several samples of it herself; par-
ticularly one, which she should take the
opportunity of relating to her secretly, it
G






98 HISTORY OF PRISCIt'LA,
being a matter of great moment, not only
to herself, but to the Moreton family in
general.-I knew she hinted at Sir Wil-
liam.
Here she seemed to pause, and I em-
braced the opportunity of speaking for
myself. Indeed I first made inquiry after
my brother Alfred, but received very in-
different answers. The next thing was
to vindicate my own character, so far as
truth and justice would permit.
"Madam," said I, "I am sensible of
the many obligations I owe to a loving
and tender parent, particularly my hon-
oured father, who is now no more; and
had you paid the same tender regard to
me as he did, I should not have taken
sanctuary in this part of the world. I paid
you every filial duty and respect, but was
always slighted and disregarded; the
meanest servant in your house was allow-
ed to predominate over me; the smallest
fault was magnified to a great degree;
nay, in short, every thing I spoke or did,
was censured in that manner, as rendered
me incapable of acting any way properly.
Finding myself in this disagreeable situa-
tion, I thought it most prudent to seek
that protection abroad which was denied
me at home.
I acknowledge the favours I have re-




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