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fince they came home, he did not observe that the others were not exactly like them. As this was the only positive proof alledged against Mary, the farmer now promised to give her no farther trouble; though he still knew she had entertained the robbers the day before ; on this account he would by no means take her again into his house, but paid her the little wages due to her, and dismissed her from his service. Mr. Heartwell, who was pleased to find her account so far true, tried to persuade the Bouchers to let her stay with them a little while at least, as a jus, tification of her character; but they were so difgufted with her having kept up the acquaintance with these bad people, in defiance of their orders and her own promises, that they could not think themselves safe with such a servant in the house. And Mr. Heartwell, with all the compassion he felt for her, could not veniure to press them, nor to answer for her future conduct. However, he promifed that if she kept her present resolutions, he would befriend her as much as he could. He put fome proper books into her hands and took her to her mother, whom they found almost distracted by the news which had reached her, of her daughter having been taken up for a robbery; the poor woman every day grew worse after this shock, and some weeks after, her wretched daughter received her dying forgiveness, but could never forgive herself for the anguish she had caused her mother, which she was persuaded had hastened her end.
Poor Mary had another forrow. In the vil. lage where she had lived with farmer Boucher, was a creditable baker, his son Thomas was bred up to the business, and was a very honeft, fober, agreeable young man.
He had often bestowed kind looks and kind words on Mary, but had not ventured to make her an offer, as he thought his father would never consent to his marrying so poor a girl. She, on her side, liked ! him weil enough to wish he would speak out. A little before the unfortunate affair at Boucher's the old baker died, his son'succeeded to his i shop and all his property, and was well esteemed. Whilst poor Mary was nursing her dying mother, this young man lad occasion to call at Mr. Heartwell's, who overheard him in talk with his maid Bridget about Mary, and lament the sad disgrace that had befallen her, he added, " I am sure it has been a great concern to me, for I own I liked the young woman ; and now that I am my own maiter should have tried to obtain her for my wife, had fhe preserved a better character." Bridget put in a good word for her and assured him that her master believed her entirely innocent of the robbery; to this he replied, " whether she had any knowledge of the wicked intentions of those vile servants nobody can know, but thus much has been clearly proved, that she denied the truth of their having been with her, and had broke her solemn promises to her mistress, by keeping them company for some time, therefore she is no wife for me.
I could not be happy unless I could make a friend of my wife, and depend on her truth and faithfulness. Her pretty face and good humor would be nothing to me, without truth and honesty. Next to a good conscience, the best thing is a good character. I bless God I have never forfeited my own; nor will I ever marry a woman that has lost her's,” Mr. Heartweil was much pleased with the young baker's way of thinking, and very sorry that Mary had lost such a husband. As his chief concern was to complete the poor young creatures reformation, he thought nothing would make so deep an impression on her mind as this mortifying consequence of her ill behavior: he resolved on telling her all that the young man had said. He did so; and she took it so much to heart that she never after held up her head. Her mother's death, which happened soon after, left her with.. out any earthly comfort. What before was liking, was now changed into a strong affection; she saw what a happy lot would have been her's had she been as true and honest as the man she liked. She lost all her spirits, and her mind was always full of bitter remorse and shame, She thought she deserved all the misery she felt, and only prayed that God would accept her forrow for her fin. She made no complaints; but her looks shewed that health, as well as peace of mind, had forsaken her.
Her mother's death obliged her to quit the almlhouse, and she then told Mr. Heartwell
that she was unable to bear the disgrace she had brought upon herself in that neighborhood, and was resolved to go and get bread in some distant country, where she was not known. The good man, who felt like a father for every one of his flock when in distress, tried to footh her and to persude her to stay where she was, and to look to her heavenly friend, but he could not prevail. She could not bear the thoughts of living near Thomas, whom she had loft for ever. So the vicar gave her what he could spare to pay her journey, and maintain her 'till she could get an employment; he then gave her a letter to a clergyman who lived about fifty miles off, begging him to get her into some honest service. She took leave of him with an almost broken heart, and grew so ill and weak on her journey, that when the carried her letter to the clergyman, he told her she appeared too ill for fervice. In a few days she grew a little better, told i him she thought she could now get her bread if he would have the goodness to recommend her: that she cared not how low the place or the wages were if she could but be maintained, and would do all in her power to give satisfaction. He foon got her into a service, hard labor foon hastened on a decline which her sorrows had begun, and she soon became so ill that nothing better could be done for her than to place her in an hospital.
Whilst she was there, a letter from Mr. Heartwell informed her that her vile seducers were
taken, tried, and executed. The spoons were claimed by Elizabeth Bearcroft, Mr. Banks's housekeeper. Sarah Fisher had found them · locked up in a cupboard after the rest of the ftolen plate was packed up. She put them into her pocket as she was going to farmer Boucher's on the Sunday, but recollecting that perhaps the marks upon them might lead to her detection, in case of misfortune, she suddenly took it into her head, as she was going away, to leave them with Mary, as before related. Mr. Heartwell had taken the pains to visit these people in prifon after their condemnation, and had got from the woman a confirmation of the poor girl's account. Mary languished several weeks in the hospital, and meekly applied her whole mind to obtain the forgiveness of God, through the merits of a Saviour
The good clergyman aslifted her in the great work of repentance, and pointed out to her the only true grounds on which she could hope to obtain it.
Thus death, brought on by grief and shame at eighteen years of age, was the consequence of bad company, false promises, and FALSE EXCUSES.---May all who read this story, learn to walk in the straight paths of truth. The way of duty is the way of safety. But “ the wicked fleeth when no man pursueth, while the righteous is bold as a lion."