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“ round London, and so, as fast as Patty “ could walk, resolved to go there; be“ fide, another thing made me wish it: I “ was told, by the servant of a gentlewo“ man that once relieved us, that there " was a number of ladies near town, who " had established schools for poor chil“ dren, and had them clothed, fed, and “ taught; nay, that they did not even “ scorn to look to their improvement them“ selves ;---so I thought that God night “ lead us to some of these, who would even “ condescend to help my poor fifter; for 66 my heart bleeds for her when I think of “ the long winter before us."
“ It is true,” replied Mr. Richardson, " that such women have lately stepped “ forth, to the honour of their fex; mi“ nistering, like beings of a superior order, « to the wants of helpless childhood ; but “ to these, some recommendation, or ac« count of your past conduct, would be " necessary."
“ Ah, Sir," returned the boy, sorrowfully, “ I did not consider my deserving; " I only thought of their goodness.”
D 3 “Well,
« Well, we will speak more of this pre“ sently; but tell me, Patty, have you “ preserved your mother's prayer-book ?"
“ Yes, an't please you,” dropping a short curtsey; and drawing it out of her pocket, wrapped first in a bit of white rag, and then in a paper ; “ here it is, Sir."
Mr. Richardson, took the book, and opening it, found written, in a decent hand, the date of their parents marriage; likewise the time of the children's birth and their names ---Francis and Martha Wilo, liams.
" Whose writing is this?” said he.
« My father's, Sir," returned the boy ; “ I can write a little myself; I learned be« fore his death ; but perhaps I may al« most have forgotten it, for I have had “ no pens or paper since.”
“ Well, Patty, said Mr. Richardson, re. turning the book, “you have acted pro“ perly in taking care of your mother's “ legacy ;---for the present go down and « fit by the kitchen-fire ; I will order you some dinner, and if your dog Shock is:
6 still with you, pray let him be of the « party.”
" Thank-you, thank you, Sir," cried both, with great pleasure ; “ Shock is sure “ enough with us, and now waiting at the “ door.”
« Well, call him in, and let him be fed," said Mr. Richardson ;---“ I will see you “ again after dinner.” He then rang the bell, and gave them to the care of the waiter,
CHAP. CHA P. III. .
The Satisfa&tion attending various Artions.
On the departure of the children, both Charles and Mary expected their father to speak; but he remained silent, until Mary, whose heart, as well as eyes, was full, at length said, “ Poor things; what will be6 come of them! I wonder they have not 6 died of hunger before this, and the wea6 ther now is growing very cold.”
“ Why, I really, Mary,” replied Mr. Richardson, “ I don't think them impostors, " though they certainly acted very wrong “ in running away, and unbecoming the “ religious education they appear to have " received from their parents, which ought “ to have taught them to depend more on 66 the goodnefs of God. However, as you
proposed, I would have you give them « half a crown; it will support them, with « care, for a few days : to be sure we may "expect the weather to be very severe
'« shortly, for the air is frosty, and the next « month, November, is usually very tems pestuous; in which case I know. not “ what will become of them, for barns and “ sheds afford bur poor shelter against the “ inclemency of the weather.”
“ Oh dear!” cried Mary, “ half a crown ** won't do much service; for when that is :“ gone, they must perish.”
" I wish we had not so foolishly spent 66 our Michaelmas quarter's allowance," replied Charles ; " mine all went for bars, " balls, kites, and tops ; yours to see rarée“ shows, dancing-dogs, wax-work, and “ monkeys; things that can do neither “ of us the least good; whereas, if we had “ it now, it would support these poor o children through all the bad weather.”
" I wish the man had not brought such “ foolish things to Reading,” replied Mary, “or that Mrs. Bennet had refused “ to let me go to see them; but 'tis of no
use to wish now; if I knew where to find " these poor things at Christmas, I would s send them every farthing.”