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flow in the parched desert. Such sovereign goodness and mercy did the solitary Antoinette experience this day; and, though she saw before her only a group of old black timbered houses across the green and muddy waters of the Somme, which seemed, from their antiquity, to have been coeval with Richard Ceur-de-Lion, and the heroes of the Crusades; and although no sound reached her ears but the voices of the little neglected children playing on the banks of the river, and the bells of many churches calling the inhabitants of the city to mass; yet such pleasing reflections occupied her mind, and so enwrapt was she in heavenly desires and glorious prospects, that she started with surprise when she heard the voices of Monsieur and her mother below, who, being returned from mass, were calling aloud for dinner.
Antoinette felt such peace and satisfaction of mind, that it was without effort she appeared cheerful at dinner; and when the repast was finished, she arose, and fetching her Bible, proposed reading to her mother, according to her former custom. But Madame had now other pleasures and other notions in her head: she accordingly did not receive this proposal so cordially as she had formerly done; but, extending herself on a sofa, and closing her eyes, she said, “Read
I shall hear;" and presently fell into a deep sleep. Not, however, before she had heard several impressive sentiments, which recurred to her mind when she awoke, as appeared from her remarking, as she called for coffee, “ Antoinette, you did not begin where we left off the last time you read; but, perhaps, instead of going straight forwards, you selected something you thought more suitable to my case. Well, however, you are a good girl; and you did not leave me even while I slept. I love these becoming attentions."
“I delight in pleasing you, my dear mother,” said Antoinette; "and, although there are some things on which we do not exactly agree, yet there is one essential particular in which we do, so that I trust we shall coincide in every thing by and by. We both unite in the love of one Saviour, and in placing our whole trust and confidence in him for our salvation; and we both revere
the Bible, and I hope we shall, in future, take it increasingly for the guide of our actions."
'I hope so," returned Madame, rising from her sofa: " but hasten the coffee, my child; I am going to walk."
When Madame had taken her coffee, Antoinette contrived to escape out of the room, lest she should be asked to accompany her abroad. But before she had reached her room-door, she heard strong expressions passing between her mother and her sister, on the occasion of Madame's requesting her to join her in her evening airing.
“To-day is Sunday,” returned Eleanore to her mother: “I cannot go out on a Sunday.”
“Et pourquoi ?" said Madame; were you not always from home les Dimanches en Angleterre
ខ្ញុំ) Eleanore then entered into a long discussion on the difference of going abroad on a Sunday in England, where every thing she saw confirmed and strengthened her in her faith, and in going out in France, where the habits and customs of the country were so diametrically opposite to it: but Antoinette heard no more, for she closed her door, and returned to her devotional exercises and serious reading.
It was seven o'clock in the evening when Antoinette opened her door again. She found the house perfectly still. She went down into the hall and kitchen, but saw
The yard was small and paved, being enclosed with high walls, excepting towards the river ; but a few flowering shrubs grew in one corner of the enclosure. She stepped out to enjoy the fresh air, and to gather a
No one interrupted her. She heard, indeed, the voices in the street, and the bells continually ringing for vespers; but saw no one.
At length she approached the gate which opened into the street, and saw the old wife of the concierge sitting at her door, in the small house which she occupied by the gate. The old woman accosted her; she returned the salutation, and said, “How long has my mother been
“Il y-a deux heures,” replied the old woman; Monsieur is also gone, and the two servants. Madame is gone to the public gardens, and the servants to the VOL. VII.
gone out ?!
guinguette. Wherefore does Mademoiselle remain at home ?"
After this little adventure, Antoinette returned to her apartment, and remained there till the family returned.
Thus passed the first Lord's day in France, and much in the same manner passed the next and the next. In the mean time Madame's acquaintance in Abbeville continued to increase; and she was often from home, and oftener received visiters at home; not by regular invitation, indeed, but as might happen of those who came to chat and to take coffee.
In this society Eleanore and Antoinette were obliged to mix, more or less: but all was gay under the roof of Madame Northington; and, when her friends were present, she seemed to take little notice whether her children were at home or otherwise. Some of these new connexions were agreeable, and some ingenious; all, however, were sprightly. Madame's spirits arose in this society; and Monsieur told her she was becoming quite sprightly. Antoinette, however, did not attach herself to any of these new associates, though she was polite to all. But Eleanore, after awhile, became fond of several individuals among her own sex; and one young lady, who played the harp delightfully, and made artificial flowers so wonderfully resembling nature, that the bees might almost be deceived by them, at length found means to render herself so agreeable to her, and to obtain such influence over her, that, to the great astonishment of Antoinette, she suddenly ceased to speak of Joanna, Mrs. Montague, and the heavenly-minded Mr. Harwood; and declared her determination to learn to play the harp, and to obtain the art of making artificial flowers: “for,” added she, “Pauline has undertaken to be my instructress, and will receive me at her house every day for the purpose.”
“But Pauline is a Papist,” remarked Antoinette; "and will not your going there so frequently lead to unfavourable impressions ?"
“O !” said Eleanore, “she will not interfere with my religious principles: though she is nominally a Papist, her sentiments are wonderfully pure; she is no bigot; she has great liberality.”
“That is,” said Antoinette, “she has no religion at all, I suppose ?
“How uncharitable!” returned Eleanore.
“Not at all,” returned Antoinette: “France is full of persons who are without religion; and I consider it a special duty of persons in our situation, to avoid such intercourse."
Antoinette," replied Eleanore, “I am really at a loss to know what would please you. My dear Joanna had too much religion for you, and Pauline has too little. The truth of the matter is this, I believe,—that you are of an unsociable temper, and not formed for friendship.”
"Yes, I am,” said Antoinette, “I am formed for friendship; and I earnestly desire to cherish the affection of my natural friend and companion, if she would permit
“Antoinette," said Eleanore, “there is much jealousy in your disposition: you cannot bear a rival.”
“ No," replied Antoinette; “I do not like to find a rival in a stranger who would deprive me of the confidence of my sister: I bore such an affair with patience when I thought it was for your good, and when I considered how much you gained by changing my society for that of Joanna; but I shall not so quietly acquiesce in your forming an intimacy with one who may injure you in your religious interests." Antoinette,”
,” said Eleanore, “you are a compound of contradictions: you seem at one time to carry your toleration of the Roman Catholic religion to a great extent, and the next moment you abhor the very name of a Papist. But on these matters,” she added, “we shall never agree, we had better, therefore, drop this subject."
Madame Northington and her family had been at Abbeville for nearly nine months, and they were now looking forward to the renewal of spring, and the enjoyment of those pleasures the season might bring. During this interval, Madame had possessed a remarkable flow of spirits. Antoinette had been enabled to preserve the same calmness of mind, and integrity of manners, which occasioned her to be so much respected by the
discerning Mr. Harwood. Monsieur still continued to make salads and take snuff; and the Irish maid still found
means to serve Madame in the heterogeneous offices of cook and fille-de-chambre. But an entire revolution had taken place in the pursuits of Eleanore; and some would have thought, also, in her sentiments; but probably this was not altogether the case. She was not become a Papist, but a complete lover of pleasure; being always from home, and intimately associated with young people who were utterly unacquainted with religion.
It is to be supposed that Antoinette sometimes pleaded warmly with her sister on this departure from the right way. She failed not to remind her of the high profession she had once made-of the high reputation she had once held—of the love she had expressed for the Saviour-and of the dreadful condemnation she would bring upon herself, if she still continued to yield to the temptations of pleasure, and to reject the admonitions of truth.
Eleanore generally put off these reproofs by a haughtiness of manner which she well knew how to display ; but her sister observed, with pleasure, that she could not conceal the uneasiness which they excited. With pleasure, I say; because this circumstance led her to hope that there still remained some remains of better feeling in her sister's heart. These expostulations had, however, no further effect on Eleanore than to make her uneasy for a little time; and, while the family continued at Abbeville, she became increasingly connected with worldly persons, and departed still further from the character she had formerly assumed.
But my young and inexperienced reader may perhaps be induced to ask, “Is this a common circumstance? Does it often happen, that persons, after having made a great profession of religion in one situation-after having acquired an accurate knowledge of its doctrines-after having possessed the faculty of being able to speak well upon it-and after having seemed to take a delight, for a length of time, in its ordinances and duties—is it common for many persons wholly to depart from the good way, and to plunge themselves again into the follies of the world ?"
Yes: I fear these instances are common; and hence