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Mrs. Danzy, again wiping away her tears with her handkerchief, "do be comforted; I pray you be comforted. What afflicts
you, my love?” “Do you call me your love?” said Clarissa, lifting up her fine
to her mother, who had risen, the better to support her daughter's drooping bead. “Your voice is that of a tender parent to a beloved child. beloved lady, shall I be your child ? your daughter? your friend?
constant companion?” Mrs. Danzy looked earnestly at her child, and then, in a low whispering voice, said, “ They will not let you stay with me: when they come, they will take you away.”
No,” said Clarissa, “ if you wish me to stay with you, I will never leave you. Only speak the word.”
“I dare not, I dare not,” replied the poor lady, whose quick ear caught at that moment the sound of a step on the stairs.
They will come; they will take you away; and then I shall be made to suffer. Yes," she added, shuddering with terror, “yes, I shall be made to suffer—you do not know what—but I do! I do!”
The sound of the lock of the antechamber door was now heard: on which the poor creature actually shrieked with terror, and was so earnest for Clarissa to run out into the balcony and conceal herself from those that were coming, that the young lady, fearing some dreadful scene would take place if she did not give way, thought it best to yield to the request; and before the persons who were approaching had reached the inner door, she had made good her escape, and was standing in the balcony, behind the centre wall or pillar which divided the glass doors, when Mrs. Burton and her sis-'ter entered the apartment.
In this situation she was compelled to hear a short conversation between her poor mother and her attendants, which confirmed all her suspicions, and gave her courage to proceed with firmness in her determination of rescuing her out of their hands.
“ Lock the doors behind us,” said Mrs. Burton to her sister, as she entered the inner room.
Madam," added she, addressing the poor lady, “give me some account of the shriek I heard but now.
" And now,
thus to disturb the house with these uproars? Compose yourself immediately, and let me see you in a proper state to receive two ladies, whom I shall presently introduce to you.
But you have been in tears, and your pocket-handkerchief, I perceive, is wet with them. What does this mean?” continued the wicked woman.
- Sister Di, she must be left alone no more; she will be liable to see company now, and you or I must always be within hearing.'
“I have said nothing since you have been away,” said poor Mrs. Danzy, in a trembling voice.
“You have said nothing !” proceeded Mrs. Burton, in an enquiring tone: “what do you mean by that?”
“ Nothing, nothing," replied the poor lady. how should I speak, when I have no one to speak to?”
* But,” remarked Mrs. Burton, you will have some persons presently to speak to: and mind this-I shall be within hearing, whether you see me or not; and if you do not say what pleases me, you
understand” “I do, I do,” replied the poor lady.
- But do not be
angry with me now: I will please you in every thing.'
Clarissa heard no more, for the poor lady was led into her inner apartment, in order perhaps that some alteration should be made in her dress; and Clarissa took this opportunity to make her escape from the place of her concealment to the other side of the house. She had scarcely entered the paved passage before mentioned, which led out of the garden into the hall, before she met her dear nurse, who was come at the first notice, accompanied by her husband, to see her beloved child.
Clarissa was so violently agitated by the scene which she had lately witnessed in her mother's room, as to be totally overcome by the sight of her nurse; and, had not the good woman and her husband led her out into the fresh air of the garden, where they set her upon a seat and gave her some water to drink, she would certainly have fainted.
When a little recovered, she opened her whole heart to these her humble friends on her mother's case, enquiring of them what could be done, and whether they were willing to assist her in her endeavours to rescue her unhappy parent from her miserable thraldom.
The nurse and her husband, who had long suspected
and lamented the misery of their poor mistress, entered with warmth into all their dear young lady's feelings; and being at that time in low circumstances, they received with delight a proposal she made them of returning to the places they had once occupied in the family, the one as Clarissa's foo n, and the other as her attendant. And although poor Margaret declared herself unfit to dress a young lady in the present fashion, Clarissa would take no excuse, assuring her that she would be helped by no one if she could not have the assistance of her poor nurse.
Thus the same sense of filial piety which actuated this sweet young lady with respect to her mother, seemed to extend itself to all who had ever shewn her tokens of affection and regard in her infancy, completely adopting that memorable maxim of the wise man - Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not. (Prov. xxvii. 10.)
When this arrangement was made, the nurse having consented to enter into the service of her dear young lady that very night, and her husband as soon as he could dispose of his house and furniture, Clarissa went in search of her sister, to inform her of the agreement she had made with the nurse, and to ask her when she would choose to make her visit to her mother. She found Isabella still sitting with her uncle, making arrangements for her own and her sister's establishment and equipages. • Clarissa,” said Isabella, “ you have been shedding tears. Are they tears of joy or sorrow?”
“ They are the effect of both," answered Clarissa. “ But I wish to tell you that I have hired my dear nurse again to wait upon me, and her husband is to be my footman.”
“Upon my word, Clarissa," said Miss Isabella, “your household will be capitally appointed.”
“At least," said the other, “my household will be respectable and faithful, and I shall not live in constant dread of being wronged and deceived; especially,” added she, smiling, “ if my kind uncle will still condescend to keep his situation as manager
of my purse." The old gentleman took a pinch of snuff on the occasion: then smiling, and drawing himself up with a kind of satisfied air, “Cousin Clarissa," he said, “I do trust
and hope that you will never have any reason to repent the confidence you place in me.
I have executed your poor father's will according to the very letter of it; and I think and trust that every item of it has been properly attended to: so that your sister will find, when I deliver over to her the moiety of her property, that it has greatly grown and increased during her minority. But no more of this at present. I now have to thank
your good opinion of me, as well as for the kindness you have shewn me this day; and I beg leave, in return, to assure you, I shall make it my business, Miss Clarissa, to pray for your welfare, and for that of all who belong to you.
Mr. Barnet was a mere matter of fact man, as I have before said. His words were few, his compliments and professions fewer; and therefore his acquaintance always knew how to appreciate his civil speeches, which might generally be received without deduction. Clarissa received her uncle's compliment with a gracious smile; and then turning to her sister, she remarked, that, as she conceived it to be her duty, so she should count it her greatest delight, to devote the greater part of her time to her dear parent. “For two years to come, Isabella,” she said, “I shall have little business, being a minor; and as I do not wish to go out, or to see company, I mean to give up my time entirely to attendance on my mother.”
Isabella reddened violently on hearing this declaration, and said, with suppressed emotion, “Your resolution is good, Clarissa, and the world will admire you: and if I do not do the same, it will probably blame me.
Clarissa might have answered, “If your God and your conscience do not condemn you, you may defy the censures of the world.” But she thought it best at this moment to be silent; so, rising, she said, “ Come, sister, let us now go and see our dear parent. Nurse is in the hall, waiting to accompany us. She will perhaps assist our mother in bringing us to her recollection.
“Nurse!” repeated Isabella. “Upon my word, Clarissa, you make yourself very ridiculous; a young woman at your age crying after her mamma and her nurse
do! I suppose nurse is to follow you now, as she did ten years ago, all over the house, and to be pre
sent at all our conversations. By and by, I shall expect to see her come in and feed you at dinner.”
Sister,” replied Clarissa, good-humouredly, “ I love to see you laugh, be the subject what it may; and, from henceforward, I give you full liberty to laugh at me and my nurse: only, let me entreat you to indulge me in having my own way with our poor mother.”
“I suppose you will have it, sister," said Isabella, " whether I allow it or not."
Come, come, young ladies,” said the old gentleman, « let us have no more of this: let each of you please herself, and follow her own fancy. Why should you interfere with each other?”
“Uncle," replied Isabella, “ you do not see through Clarissa; you are not aware what she is about, though to me it is as clear as the noon-day. She wants to get my good Burton and her sister out of
room, and to establish her dear nurse in their place.”
“And why so? why so, Miss Clarissa ?” asked the uncle. • Was not Mrs. Burton the person appointed by your poor father to take care of his afflicted lady? And I always understood that it was the desire of the whole family that Mrs. Burton should retain her office.”
But if she does not make my mother happy, uncle,” said Clarissa, “ought we not to remove her?
• To be sure, to be sure, cousin; there can be no doubt of that,” returned the old gentleman. “But what reason have you to think the poor lady is ill used ?”
“What reason, indeed!” said Isabella: “it is a mere fancy of my sister's; and if she listens to old nurse's tales, there will be no end of her fancies of this kind.”
“My ideas on this subject,” answered Clarissa, "are neither taken from my nurse, nor from any
person, but from my own observations."
“ And you have had much time and opportunity, assuredly, to make these observations," said Isabella.
“More opportunity than time," answered Clarissa.
Isabella gave Clarissa a searching look; and Mr. Barnet said, "My dear cousin, I wish to make one observation, which I recommend to your attention. Persons who are afflicted in the manner your ther is, must be placed under some control; and it is certain, that the afflicted person will always fear and