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and calculated only to restrain our natural passions, which all had a right to indulge as they chose best.
Loveg. And could you give credit to all this abominable and beastly talk?
Chipm. Credit to such talk !-O no, Sir; but infatuated by his enchanting promises, and by the splendour of his appearance in life, my ruin was accomplished. —What could possess me to be so beastly and so vile ? (She weeps excessively.)
Wor. (To Mr. Lovegood.) As this unhappy young woman has told us the substance of her story, it appears to me, that, notwithstanding her indiscretion in an unguarded hour, it is not impracticable to restore her to her former connexions, and to render her future life a comfort to herself.
Chipm. Sir, it is utterly impossible.
Chipm. I shall be eternally ashamed again to enter a town, in which I must live the contempt, the ab, horrence, and the disgrace of all who knew me.
Wor. Yes; but when they see you a humble pe . nitent, the compassions of the people will be excited, and the reproach cast upon your character will, by degrees, wear off.
Chipm. O, Sir, the cruel way in which I treated that worthy man, to whom I was united, after I became connected with Sir Charles, must, for ever, have done away all his former friendship and lore towards me; and then the scandalous manner in which we were, in a measure, driven out of the town, and the disgraceful uproar made throughout the neighbourhood by my vile conduct, shame entirely forbids me to relate. 0, Sir, I am completely ruined, and must for ever be abhorred by all that ever knew me! But if, by taking in needle work, keeping a school, or by going out to any sort of labour, I can but earn myself a morsel of bread, for I was always used to an active life, I shall most thankfully and willingly submit to it.
only two books on divinity, therefore, he ever read or admired, were, Priestley on Necessity, and on Matter and Spirit ; the latter book brought things so nearly to his own mind, that there was no existence but that which is material ; that he found one step further, a denial of the doctrine of the resurrection would bring them to the same point; that “death is an eternal .sleep.” He was highly pleased with the philosophy which taught, that "
virtue and probity in private life is but the habit of actions personally useful;" and he was charmed beyond any thing at the sentiments of Volney, that “personal interest is the only and universal criterion of the merit of human actions ;” and as to all chastity, as it respecte the marriage contract, he would say, that “modesty in the female sex was but refined voluptuousness, and morals have nothing to fear from the generous passion of love.” Such were the adopted sentiments of Sir Charles; no wonder that a man of his vile principles was so vile in every part of his conversation,
Wor. What, then, do you think it would be of no avail, if your father should be written to, informing him, that your connexion with Sir Charles is now at an ead ? and might he not be a successful advocate with your husband, when he is given to understand, how grieved you are at your past conduct towards him?
Chipm. I can have no objection, that my dear father and husband should be informed how much ashamed I am of my most vile and base conduct to. wards them. (To Mr. Lovegood.) But, dear, Sir, if I might, I had rather live on bread and water where I am, than aguin grieve my dear father and husband by my return; or be removed at a distance from your ministry, by which, through the mercy of God, I have been reclaimed from my most abominable Wavs!
IVor. Perhaps it will be an encouragement to our worthy minister, if you tell us how your mind was first impressed when you came to Brookfield church?
Chipm. Sir, I am ashamed to acknowledge, that it was very little more than mere curiosity which
first induced me and Sir Charles to come to church; for, I confess, that public worship had, before then, been too much neglected by me; and entirely so when I became connected with Sir Charles.
Loveg. I am afraid, then, that a neglect of public worship was one of the causes of your present misfortunes.
Chipm. No, Sir, when I lived with my father, and even for some time after our marriage, we attended public worship, if not constantly, yet more regularly than most of our neighbours ; but, with us, public worship had been brought into very general neglect, for we knew nothing of our non-resident rector, but as he came upon the business of his tithes; and as for his curate, he was much more noticed as being the best sportsman and the cleverest dancer, than for the conscientious discharge of the duties of his office.-0, Sir, had we been blessed with such a minister as I have found in you, I humbly trust, I should not have been given over to such a wicked course!
Wor. I confess, as you sat at no great distance from our pew, I saw you considerably affected, while Sir Charles appeared not a little irritated and displeased.
Chipm. 0, Sir, when I first came into Brookfield church, I was immediately struck with solemn surprize.--It appeared to me, 'as though I had never been at church before. With us, going to church was nothing but a matter of form, and the few who attended seemed to have little more to do than to settle the visits for the week ; but, as to real devotion, I confess, I never knew what it meant, until I came into your church. O! Sir, how was I struck to see a country village attended as on a fair day, by people from every quarter, all occupying their accustomed seats, with so much devotion, decency, and order ; and, how was I further struck, when you and your large family, and that dear worthy man of God and his family, followed to coinplete the most devout and serious congregation I ever beheld with my eyes.
Wor. But, during the time of divine service, what part of it proved the most impressive upon your mind ?
Chipm. O, Sir, when that awful sentence from the second lesson was read against me, with so much solemnity, “ Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled ; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge;"_what I then felt I cannot express; and it is impossible to tell with what an indig. nant and contemptuous sneer I was treated by Sir Charles, immediately as he perceived my confusion and remorse.
Wor. No wonder, that a man of his vile character should treat you as he did, under such circumstances. But was there nothing in the sermon that particularly impressed your mind? for, I think, on that Sunday, our minister, though not knowing your character, was most providentially led to the choice of a text which was remarkably striking, as being so immediately applicable to your unhappy situation. I think the words were these, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? yea, she may forget, yet I will not forget thee."
Chipm. Sir, immediately as the text was mentioned, I was so remarkably struck; that, for a while, in the midst of my confusion, all my recollection failed me; and as soon as I was a little recovered, I heard Sir Charles muttering in my ear the most cruel taunts and blasphemous invectives, for my weakness and superstition, as he called it. (To Mr. Lovegood.) But, o Sir, was it possible for me not to feel, hard-hearted wretch as I have been, when you gave such a character of the monster who could forsake her sucking chill, and when that very monster was then before you? (Mrs. Chipman weeps.)
Loveg. We esteem all your tears and sorrows, as a matter of thankfulness before God: we trust, what you are now led to feel of the evil and bitter conscquences of sin, will prove to your eternal good. But, if Sir Charles behaved so cruelly towards you, even when in the church, I should suppose, when you retired home to your lodgings, his conduct must have been more abundantly cruel and severe.
Chipm. O, Sir, it is impossible I could meet with more than I deserved: it was fit that I should reap the fruits of my own misconduct. How could I expect to be served better by him, when I consider how I had served my husband, my babe, my father, and my God! But, after we left the church, horst began more in the way of nattcry than abuse; Wondering that I was not more upon my guard thai to be overcome, as he calleel it, by the cant of a whining and an artful pricst: and that, though i had been exposing hiin and myself, by suffering my passions to be overcome, by my superstitious reverence for religion, yet that he was still inclined to make me a happy woman, provided I would but follow the dictates of reason and nature, which allowed and directed every one to be happy in the way that they liked best. O, Sir, I am ashamed further to tell you with what blasphemous contempt he spoke against the Christian religion; and, with what ridicule your character was treated by him, on account of those faithful admonitions which brought home to my heart a conviction of my evil Ways.
Loveg. But, I suppose, he soon discontinued his fattery, when he perceived that it was of no avail ? VOL. I.