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prospect of obtaining my wishes, I think that I was more uneasy than I ever was before in my life. I had a kind of horror upon my mind which I could not easily express, and which I thank God I have never since felt, and am assured that I shall never feel again; for he is faithful who has called me, and will not suffer me to fall. No, I trust that he will henceforth uphold me: for I know whom I have believed, and um persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.against that day. (2 Tim. i. 12.)
“ It was an exceedingly hot and oppressive day, and the anxiety of my mind was considerably increased by an evident uneasiness and restlessness which plainly appeared in the countenances of those who were to be my companions in the evening exploit. I had also two other sources of solicitude, independent of that usual dissatisfaction which is felt by all guilty persons, however seemingly prosperous they for a time may be: 'opé of which was, lest my aunt should really send or call for me; and the other, lest the promised invitation, which Gabrielle had undertaken to provide, should not arrive.
“At tiffin we heard it mentioned that Miss Atkins and Miss Chatterton were going to Mr: Jackson's, and would not be at home till late, as a party was expected there; and it was also said that Gabrielle was to accompany them. I also saw these three very busily employed in the verandah with the sundook-wallas, as I passed through the outer hall with Amelia, to go to our own room, after she had given me and little Flora our music lessons. When I had reached our room, my anxiety became still greater.
Sometimes I wished that I had never had any thing to do with the proposed scheme, and sometimes I felt exceedingly uneasy lest I should, after all, be disappointed.
“In order to conceal my restlessness, I lay down on my bed, taking my book in my hand, and I now well remember the peculiar feelings which I had as I lay contemplating the sweet and peaceful countenances of Amelia and little Flora, the one sitting writing at hier table, and the other placed on a mora at her feet, employed in making a frock for her doll. 'Happy little Flora,' I more than once said to myself, what would I give to be like little Flora!'
“ It was after five o'clock, as I perceived by the shadows on the verandah, when Miss Crawford came to the outer door and said, Make haste, Clara Lushington, your aunt has sent for you to meet some friends; the beurers are waiting below: come, come, get up. Where are your clothes? on with them in a minute !'
“I jumped from the bed; and my first question was, • Are you quite sure? is it indeed my aunt who has sent for me?'
“Why, who else should it be?' she said; who else ever sends for you?'
« This remark reminded me that I must be more guarded in my enquiries; I therefore began to dress, trembling, however, so violently that Amelia said,
Clara, don't agitate yourself so; the bearers can wait a little.'
“ It was in vain to tell me to be composed, I was too unpractised in such awful guilt as this to go through it without evident agitation. I therefore continued to tremble till my dress was put on and my hair properly arranged, and then, hastening down, I threw myself into the palunquin, (which was a hired one, though attended, as I saw, by one or two persons looking like gentlemen's servants,) and, having drawn the blinds, was hurried away I knew not whither; neither did I know whether Gabrielle, or Miss Atkins, or Miss Chatterton were already gone out, or were left behind me at school. The motion of the palanquin continued for some time, but which way I went I did not know, as I dared not to look out for fear of meeting with some acquaintance. It was nearly dusk when the palanquin stopped, and I found myself at the door of a house, looking rather mean, though evidently a European dwelling, and in a part of Calcutta with which I was but very imperfectly acquainted.
Being set down, I drew back the blinds, and was handed out by a very young man, who, without speaking, led me through a hall into a back room, where it afforded me some relief to find Miss Atkins, Miss Chatterton, and Gabrielle, with a number of other young people, chiefly men, who were laughing and talking with extreme volubility. All the doors and windows in the back of this room were wide open, and beyond I could
distinctly discern the Hoogley, from which there was blowing into the rooin a fresh and cool breeze, not altogether unmixed with the unsavoury odours of pitch and tar. O, Miss Chatterton,' I said, without regarding the rest of the company, 'how glad I am to see you here!'
Why, you little fool,' was her uncourteous answer, • I'll be bound you thought yourself lost.'
“ We waited in this room as long as ten minutes, the whole party continuing to talk and laugh without any regard to prudence, (for indeed it must be allowed, that prudence, amidst such circumstances, would have been altogether out of her place,) till some one coming in gave notice that the boat was ready, upon which the party, taking the way at the back of the house, descended certain stairs leading to the river, each lady being attended by one or more gentlemen, till, on having reached the boat, we went on board, and were rowed towards the Ariadne, which, as she was lyiny low in the water, owing to her having received her cargo, admitted of our being hoisted on board with little difficulty. And now what a scene of vanity followed! my heart sickens even at its recollection.
“ It was a beautiful moonlight night, clear and serene; the ample surface of the Hoogley being smooth as a mirror, and sparkling with the reflected moonbeams. The town of Calcutta, on one side, presented only a confused. and indistinct mass of buildings, heaped, apparently, one upon another. Beyond us, towards the mouth of the river, innumerable vessels raised their towering masts, and, like a forest, darkened the whole southern horizon; while the banks of Alipoor, on the west, displayed a beautiful scene of still noonlight repose; dark groves here and there obtruding themselves on the eye, with now and then the picturesque aspect of some building, reflecting, from its white porticos and majestic roof, the soft and soothing brightness.
“ The deck of the Ariadne, on board of which we were now arrived, was entirely covered with an awning, raised sufficiently high above the sides of the vessel to admit the air from every quarter. A variety of lamps were placed in different directions, so as to cast a strong light upon the deck; and in the cuddy, or dining-room of the vessel, a handsome collation was laid out. The statecabins, also, were opened and illuminated, and in them we found several young ladies, who were taking tea and other refreshments. Among these we met with Miss Biddy Jackson, of whom you will form no very good opinion when I tell you, that she was in the Ariadne without her father's knowledge. I was much struck with the gay and novel scene which presented itself when first I got on board, but was, at the same time, aware of a strong and oppressive odour, which, however, I attributed to the smell of sea-water, the exhalation from which I had heard was sometimes very disagreeable, and particularly offensive to some persons; I had never before been on board a large vessel, and it was therefore not to be wondered at that I was altogether ignorant that this smell was very different from that which was emitted by the sea-water. The gay and busy scene, however, before me soon diverted my thoughts from this subject. I accompanied my companions into the state-cabin, where much gay conversation (to use no worse an expression) took place between the young ladies and the gentlemen ; and foolish and light as I had previously considered my schoolfellows to be, I found that what I had already seen of them was nothing, in comparison of that which I was now to witness. Instead, however, of being disgusted at this display of folly, I thought that I could do no better than to shew off in the same way. I therefore chattered, laughed, whispered, and gave pert and flippant answers to every one that spoke to me, in a style of which I now cannot think but with horror; and though the men who were at that time about me were, ass
ssuredly, none of the most delicate, yet I shudder to think what an impression my disgusting folly must have left upon them.
“ After we had regaled ourselves with tea, and other refreshments, a band of music on deck having struck up, the gentlemen chose their partners and led us out to
ance, and for two hours or more we continued this exercise with much spirit: at the end of which time I began to feel a sensation for which I could not account, but which I could not help attributing to the unpleasant smell before inentioned. I tried to dance and laugh off this distressing feeling; but I danced and tittered in vain: it gradually stole more and more upon me. From one hour to another I became increasingly uneasy, neither can I well describe the nature of the feeling that oppressed me: it was attended, at first, with a slight sickness of the stomach, and with a head-ache, which was also slight; and these sensations were accompanied with a peculiar horror, which all the gaiety around me had no power to dispel. This horror at length became such, that every thing that I attentively looked at for a few minutes seemed to assume some dubious or portentous form. At length, being wholly unable to appear cheerful any longer, I sat down, complaining of fatigue, and endeavouring to amuse myself with looking at the dancers.
“ It was after twelve before we were called to supper. I was in hopes that a little wine, and perhaps a little food, might make me more easy; I therefore roused myself, endeavoured to eat and drink, and to appear merry, and was, consequently, enabled to carry on the deception in the eyes of my companions till we rose from supper: for I thought that it would be matter of triumph to Miss Chatterton and Miss Atkins to know that I was uncomfortable, as I had volunteered my company. But, after supper, I grew so much worse, that my partner perceiving it, and supposing that I had not been used to sit up so late, and that the present deviation from my usual course was the cause of my illness, proposed to me that I should lie down on the sofa in the cuddy till the party broke up.
“I was never in my life more thankful for any offer than for this, of which immediately availing myself, I found an instant though short relief in Jaying my aching head on the pillow.
“ And now, as I lay in this situation, in the cabin of the Ariadne, many reflections, of a nature very different from any which I had ever before experienced, occupied my mind. My first consideration was about the circumstances amidst which I was then placed, in a ship upon the river, without a friend, for I had sense enough to see that neither Gabrielle, Miss Atkins, nor Miss Chatterton could be called friends, among men to whom I was a total stranger, and in a situation of the greatest indeco
• What would my aunt, what would my father,