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left my dear babe behind me; and all through the pride and wickedness of my own heart, in suffering myself to be seduced by the worst of men.
Loveg. But if you are not somewhat more particular in relating your calamities, I feel it will scarcely be in our power to assist you with our advice.
Chipm. Sir, my father, whose name is Reader, was the best of husbands to my mother, the kindest of parents to his children; and a man of strict integrity among his neighbours. He was, by profession, a school-master in a small town called Locksbury in the West of England; and, being well-informed himself, gave me a good education. But his family afilictions have been very severe: for my eldest brother was born an ideot, my next brother took a very wild turn indeed, and my father does not know whether he is dead or alive, as he went abroad and has not been heard of these four years, and I was the next, and oh, what a wretch have I been!
[She is again too much overcome to continue her story ; after she recovers, she is addressed by]
Mr. Worthy. Mrs. Chipman, you may depend upon it, you are conversing with your real friends and best advisers. (Mr. Lovegood adjoins) — Yes ; and with such friends also as rejoice over you in the depth of all your sorrows; trusting in God, that you are now blessed with repentance unto life.-But continue your story.
Chipm. After my birth, it was near seven years before my mother had another living child; but her constitution having been broken, by different miscar. riages, she did not long survive the birth of my sister. Before I was seduced, by that man who has left me to curse my folly, it was my greatest consolation to alleviate my father's sorrows, and to be my husband's joy. And, when but a child, I could, in those days, with the greatest tenderness, wait on my dear mo. ther till I closed her eyes in death ; and, if all the world had told me, that I should have been such a monster of iniquity I couid not have believed them !
Loveg. Yes; but then you did not know the deceitfulness and wickedness of your sinful heart: you had nothing proposed to you, which was calculated to draw forth its evil propensities into action.
Chipm. No; nor for some time afterwards could I have believed that I should have turned out so vile a creature. Though so young as I then was, I cannot tell how much I was affected at my mother's death; and how I wept while I followed her to the grave; and afterwards how glad I was to wait on my dear father, who would never marry again because his family was already too large ; and what diligence did I then show, though so young, to my poor brother and my sickly sister!
Wor. And what became of your sickly sister?
Chipm. Sir, from her birth she continued in an ill state of health; grew quite deformed; and, when she was about thirteen years of age, died of a decline. I followed her to the grave, and saw her laid upon my mother's coffin, who had been buried about twelve years before.-Surely I am the most abominable wretch that ever lived upon the earth.
Wor. But we wait to hear more of your story; especially that part of it whereby you were led into your present unhappy situation of distress.
Chipm. Oh, Sir, the nearer I come to that part of my most vile conduct, the more I feel myself ashamed to relate it.
Loveg. But the more you are ashamed of your conduct, the better we shall be inclined to assist and relieve you. Tell us the whole without reserve.
Chipm. Sir, there lived a young man in our town, whose name was Chipman, he was an early scholar of my father, and from his attention and disposi..
tion, he much esteenied him. He was by occupation a carpenter and joiner, and having an opportunity to do some, business for himself, he again returned to my father for some further instructions in drawing and arithmetic. It was from that time a connexion was formed between us. After he was somewhat established in business, he mentioned to my father his attachments and inclinations towards me; and I also was happy to confess my real affection towards him.-0, how it cuts my heart to tell, how my dear father acted on this occasior! He called me his dearest right hand; I was his dear Jemima, the name he gave me; his only earthly comforter, after all his most severe family afflictions; but, however ill he could spare me from his family, yet, as he had no fortune to give me, he would not prevent so good an offer for my future settlement in life; as Mr. Chipman was a very sober and industrious man, and advancing in a good line of business. Soon afterwards we were married. [She again weeps and then adds,] and I shall never, never forget when my dear father gave me away at the church, after the service, how he embraced and kissed me; then, how he embraced me and my husband both together, intreating him to be tender and affectionate to the best of daughters, and me to be obedient and loving to the very worthy man that was now become my husband ! Wor. By what you have hitherto related, if some
have been highly culpable, yet we rather feel for you as an object of commiseration than of contempt. But when you have given us a further narration of those circumstances, which have brought you into this present state of embarrassment, we shall be better able to give you our advice.
Chipm. O, Sir, there never lived a happier pair
than Mr. Chipman and I were. For above eighteen months after our marriage, it seemed to be cur whole study to please and oblige each other, and when I became pregnant he was doubly attentive to make me the happiest woman upon earth; and how have I rewarded him by my brutal conduct! I have done enough to send the best of husbands with a broken heart to the grave. [.Again her grief is excessive.]
Loveg. Let not these exclamations against yourself interrupt your story; we serve the God of patience, and with much patience and forbearance we wish to hear you further.
Chipm. About a year and a half after our marriage, that artful vile man, Sir Charles Dash, who has an estate in our parts, though he seldom lives there, began to lay his plans for my ruin. In the midst of his filthy and frothy conversation, I too. often gave him a smile when I should have treated him with disgunt; though for a while I treated all other familiarities with the abhorrence they deserved. Mr. Chipman, my husband, now began to get into a considerable way of business in the building line; and was frequently called, at a distance from home, to undertake the alterations and repairs of gentlemen's houses in the neighbourhood; and, for a while, I could count the hours with anxiety until his return; until I had the folly to suffer that vile wretch to entangle me in his affections, who took the opportunity to accomplish my ruin, through my husband's necessary long absence from home.
Wor. But this accidental circumstance must be considered as an alleviation of your crime. .
Chipm. O no, Sir, for I should have been disgusted at every word he said ; and, while I continued for a season, to resist his vile designs, he would laugh at my prudish formality, and ask me, how I could confine myself to be the drudge of a carpenter, when I had suficient charms to manage the person and fortune of the first man of pleasure in the land? / To Mr. Lovegood.) 0, Sir, had I been possessed of the real influence of that religion, which, since then, I have heard you preach, the empty flattery of this vile seducer would never have been my ruin.
Loveg. Had you, then, no religious impressions to guard your he:ut ag iinst the horrid purposes of this artful man?
Chipm. O, Sir, I am sorry to say, they were so faint, that I knew not how, either to answer his arguments or resist his importunities; while on every occasion he would treat the religion of the Bible, with the utmost ridicule and contempt.
Loveg. Then, to the eternal reproach of infidelity, it seems, he ever declared himself to be one of that stamp; and knew that he could never accomplish his više designs to ruin you and the peace of your faniily, until he could persuade you that the pure holy religion of the Bible was not worth your minding*.
Chipm. Sir, he was ever telling me, that the injunctions of a strict adherence to the marriage contract, was nothing but an artful design of the priests,
* The reading of Sir Charles was entirely limited to the writings of the modern infidels of the day; from them he had collected the following passages, which he would quote with an air of impious triumph: “ The God of the philosophers, of the Jews, and the Christians, is nothing more than a chimera and a phantom.' He was fool enough to conceive, from another Atheist, that “ the wonders of nature are far from proclaiming a God, and that they are but the necessary effec's of matter prodigiously diversified ;" so that according to these fools, there is infinite wisdom, contrirance, and order in dead matter. In the midst of all his wickedness he would say, “there is no means of knowing, whether there be a God or not? whether rhere be any difference between good and evil?" and, if God be the author of evil according to Dr. Priestley, Sir Charles's notions are nearly righ; and a Socinian and an Atheist are no very distant relations. And Sir Charles was so near a brute, he could not bear the thoughts of life without his body ; he would therefore say, that “the immortality of the soul was a dogma of barbarians, gloomy and disheartening.” The