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CH A P. XIII.
The Beggar-woman's Story.—The Disad
vantages of a bad Character.
Mr. Richardson being employed the ensuing morning with his mercantile concerns, the children walked with Mrs. Beaumont until dinner; after which they amused themselves during the afternoon until sent for by their father.
In the mean time the poor woman they had seen in the Park the day before called as desired; and being admitted, Mr. Richardson questioned her respecting her former life, and finding that though erroneous, there was nothing to injure the morals of his children, he sent for them to be present at the relation.
6 My children,” said he, “ I wished 6 you to hear the relation of this poor .66 woman's misfortunes; from them may “ you learn wisdom, and avoid those errors
« that have wrought her ruin.”---Then turning to her, he added, “ Fear not to “ speak the truth; it shall not injure you “ with me, for falshood is a crime of all « others I detest.”
The poor woman answered, “ Alas, ! « Sir! falshood, vanity, and arrogance,
6 have been the bane of my life, and left 6 me destitute as you see; therefore, with 6 God's assistance, were I ever to be placed “ in comfort, as I have been, I have ab. “ jured them for ever; I have read that " the wages of Gin is death, and I am sure “ the reward of falsehood, vanity, and « unbridled passion, is shame and sorrow; 66 therefore, well or ill befall me, I am re" solved to make truth my invariable rule “ in every transaction.”
“ You will do well,” replied Mr. Richardson; "truth may procure us blame, “ but cannot be disgraced; therefore, I ! again desire you to speak without fear.”
The woman obeyed, and began as follows: M2
The The Disadvantage of a bad CharaEler.
“ My name is Charlotte Glover ; my 66 parents died when I was very young, " and I was sent to reside with my grand“ mother, who lived on an annuity left “ her by her husband. My father was a “ jeweller, but his affairs had not been “ prosperous ; therefore I had no provision “ but what depended on the bounty of my “ grandmother, whose income, though suf“ ficient to support us in credit, would " allow of no superfluities. I was but “ two years old when I went to her, and
was soon so great a favourite, that I “ might be truly said to act as I pleased ; “ for, on the least contradiction I threw “ myself into such frenzies of passion as “ frightened them, and in consequence was “ sure to gain my point. Evil habits “ strengthened with time, and one vice is “ ever sure to engender another ; thus, as “ I grew older, I became artful, and a “ liar; so that whenever I was refused any
thing I wished, either by our friends or “ servant, I was sure to represent it in “ so false a light that she regarded them " as the aggressors. Thus, by the time I " was eight years old, we were continually. s changing our maid, and trades-people, « and my pride was perpetually wounded “ by the dislike I could not but observe “ every one. bore me, and that they were « barely civil on account of my grand“ mother. With such a disposition I was “ every one's enemy, and every one was. " mine.; for Ii neither loved any person, so nor was. beloved, except by my grand« mother, who, poor woman, bore with 66 all. my caprices ;, whereas had. Me crushed “ them in the bud, she would have spared is herself many an hour of bitter remorse, “ and me for appearing before you in this « humiliating situation..
“ I had frequently heard people say, as “ I passed along the street, that I was a 66 fine girl, a circumitance I treasured in “ my memory; and that gave rise to ano: 66 ther vice, which was vanity, and made:
“ me regard all I thought plainer than “ myself with disdain; but the girls in the “ neighbourhood, who had no right to 66 bear with such insolence, instead of “ treating me with the respect they would “ otherwise have done from the credit in “ which we lived, behaved very rudely, “ sneering in my face, and calling me Miss 6. Beauty, or any contemptuous epithet “ they could devise; and which, as I was
sure to return with acrimony, I some« times have had even dire thrown at me. .6. In these cases I used to go crying home « to my grandmother, who, not inquiring “ into the truth of the story, was sure to “ blame the girls, and frequently sent to w complain of them.
“ Not to tire you with a repetition of “ follies, I shall pass over the time until I « attained my twelfth year, when my inso" lence arose to such a height, that I used «s to choose what school I pleased, to diss charge the servant, or change the trades. “ people; for my grandmother's weakness. 66. increased my power: I likewise impo-,