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silk stockings, which cloathed two legs not exactly cast in the mould of the Belvedere Apollo. He made two or three low reverences as he advanced, so that before Mr. Sparkle could announce him by name, I had set him down for an Israelite, all the world to nothing ; but as soon as I heard the words, Gen. tleman, this is my worthy friend Mr. Abraham Abrahams! I recognized the person of my correspondent, whose humble and ingenious letter i thought fit to publish in No. XXXVII. of this volume, and whom I had once before had a glimpse of, as he walked past my bookseller's door in Cornhill, and was pointed out to me from the shop.

Mr. Abrahams, not being a person to whom na. ture had affixed her passport, saying, Let this man have free ingress and egress upon my authority, made his first approaches with all those civil assiduities, which some people are constrained to practise, who must turn prejudice out of company, before they can sit down in it. In the present case { flatter myself he fared somewhat better for the whisper I gave my friend Ned in his favour, and silence after a short time having taken place in such a manner as seemed to indicate an expectation in the company, that he was the person who was now to break it, he began, not without some hesitation, to deli. ver himself in these words ;

Before I take the liberty of addressing the gentle. man of the house, I wish to know from iny friend Mr. Sparkle, whether he has opened any hint of what has passed between him and me relative to a certain advertisement ; and if he has, I should next be glad to know, whether I have permission of the party concerned to go into the business.

Yes, Sir, cried Ned somewhat eagerly, Mr. Sparkle has told me all that passed, and you have not only my free leave, but my earnest desire to say

every thing you think fit before these friends. Then Sir, said Abrahams, I shall tell you a plain tale without varying a single tittle from the truth.

As I was coming hoine from my club pretty late in the evening about five months ago, in turning the corner of a narrow alley, a young woman came hastily out of the door of a house, and, seizing hold of my hand, eagerly besought me for the love of God to follow her. I was startled, and knew not what to think of such a greeting; I could discern that she was young and beautiful, and I was no ad. venturer in affairs of gallantry ; she scemed indeed to be exceedingly agitated and almost beside herself, but I knew the profligate of that sex can sometimes feign distress for very wicked purposes, and therefore desired to be excused from going into any house with her; if she would however advance a few paces, I would hear what she had to say, and so if it was nothing but my charity she solicited, I was ready to relieve her: we turned the corner of the alley together, and being now in one of the principal streets of the city, I thought I might safely stop and hear the petition she had to make. As we stood together under the caves of a shop, the night being rainy, she told me that the reason she besought me to go into the house with her was in hopes the spec. tacle of distress, which would there present itself to my sight, might, if there was any pity in my heart, call it forth, and prevail with me to stop a deed of cruelty, which was then in execution, by saving a wretched object from being thrust into the streets in a dying condition for a small debt to her landlord, whom no entreaties could pacify. Blessed God! I exclaimed, can there be such human mon. sters ? who is the woman? my mother, replied she, and burst into an agony of tears ; if I would be what I may have appeared to you, but what I never can be even to save the life of my parent, I had not been driven to this extremity, for it is resentment, which actuates the brutal wretch no less than cruelty. Though I confess myself not insensible to fear, being as you see no athletic, I felt such indignation rise within me at these words, that I did not hesitate for another moment about accompanying this un. happy girl to her house, not doubting the truth of what she had been telling me, as well from the man. ner of her relating it, as from my observation of her countenance, which the light of the lamp under which we were standing, discovered to be of a most affecting, modest, and even dignified character

Sir, 1 honour you for your benevolence, cried Ned; pray proceed with your story.

She led ine up two pair of stairs into a back apartment, where a woman was in bed, pleading for mercy to a surly-looking fellow, who was calling out to her to get up and be gone out of his house. I have found a fellow-creature,said my conductress, whose pity will redeem us from the clutches of one, who has none; be comforted, my dear mother, for this gentleman has some christian charity in his heart. I don't know what charity may be in his heart, cried the fellow, but he has so little of the Christian in his countenance, that I'll bet ten to one he is a Jew. Be that as it may, said I, a Jew may have fecling, and therefore say what these poor wo. men are indebted to you, and I will pay down the money, if my pocket can reach it ? if not, I believe my name, though it be a Jew's name, will be good for the sum, let it be what it will. May God reward you, cried the mother, our debt is not great, though it is more than we have present means to pay ; we owe but six and twenty shillings to our hardened creditor ; I believe I am right, Constantia, (turniog to her daughter) but you know what it is correctly. That is the amount of it, replied the lovely Constantia, for such she now appeared to me, as she was in the act of supporting her mother on the bolster with her arm under her neck. Take your money, man, quoth I, receive what is your own, and let these helpless creatures lodge in peace one night beneath your roof; to-morrow I will remove them, if this infirm woman shall be able to endure it. I hope my house is my own, answered the savage, and I don't desire to be troubled with them one night longer, no, nor even one hour.

Is this possible ? exclaimed Ned; are there such distresses in the world? what then have I been doing all this while ? having so said, he sprung nimbly out of his easy chair, took a hasty stride or two across the room, rubbing his forehead as he walked, threw himself into an empty chair, which stood next to that in which Mr. Abrahams was sitting, and begged him once more to proceed with his narrative.

With the help of my apothecary, who lived in the very house, at the door of which I had conversed with Constantia, I removed the invalid and her daughter that very evening in a hackney coach to my own house, which was not far distant; and by the same medical assistance and my wife's care, who is an excellent nurse, I had the satisfaction to see the poor woman regain her health and strength very specdily, for in fact her weakness had been more the effect of misery and want of diet, than any real disease: as for Constantia, her looks kept pace with her mother's recovery, and I must say without flattery, she is altogether the finest creature I ever looked upon.

The mother of Constantia is still a very comely woman, and not above forty years old ; she has a father living, who is a man of great opulence, but he has conceived such irreconcileable displeasure at her



marrying, that he has never since that event taken the least notice either of her or of his grandchild. Then he is an unnatural monster, cried Ned, and will be sent to the devil for his barbarity.

Mr Abrahams proceeded as follows: She is the widow of a Captain Goodison, of whose unhappy story I have at different times collected only a few particulars, but from these I can understand that she went with him to America, and took her daughter with her; that he had a company of foot, and little else to maintain himself and family upon but his pay; that he served there in most of the campaigns with the reputation of a gallant officer, but that the spirit of gaming having been suffered to infect the English army in their winter quarters at New-York, this wretched man, the father and the husband of these helpless women, became a prey to that infernal passion, and being driven to sell his commission to pay his losses at play, put an end to his miserable existence by a bullet.

Here Abrahams paused, whilst Ned gave vent to a groan, in which I can answer for his being seconded by one more heart at least then in company, from which the recollection of that fatal pe. riod never fails to extort a pang.

The series of sufferings, which the unhappy widow and her child endured, (continued Abrahams) from this tragical period, were such as I must leave you to imagine, for I neither wished to be in. formed of them, nor could she expatiate upon them. It may however be proper to inform Mr. Drowsy, that I am convinced there is no room for hope that any future impression can be made upon the unforgiving nature of Constantia's grandfather, and it would be unjust in me to represent her as any other than what she is, destitute of fortune even in ex. pectancy. And what is she the worse for that ?

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