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the impression was still warm. She had soon an opportunity for executing her plan.
Mr. Spencer, who had always kept up an intercourse of strict friendship with her, came to pay her a visit. It was contrived that Maria's child, one of the loveliest children ever beheld, should carelessly enter the room , and play about among the company. It soon caught the eye of Mr. Spencer, who was always extremely fond of children, and he asked the lady to whom the charming boy belonged. « To a friend » of mine, » she slightly answered, and turned the discourse to some other subject. The child attracted more and more of Mr. Spencer's notice. He called it to him, set it on his knee , and by several acts of endearment rendered it familiar with him. The boy, pleased with the notice taken of him, exerted all his little powers of engaging, and at length entirely won the heart of his unknown grandfather.
The lady of the house, who had been an attentive though silent observer of this
progress of affection, now came up, took the little one in her arms, and kissing it, cried, « Heaven help thee, sweet boy! thou hasta >> troublesome world to struggle through !
» This little child, continued she, address» ing herself to Mr. Spencer, has already » lost his father and its mother a most >> amiable creature, is left almost destitute >> of support. » Mr. Spencer was touched to the soul. He took the child from the lady, and embracing it with tears in his eyes. — « Heaven help thee, indeed! says he—but if » thou art destitute of all other friends, I » will be a friend to thee! Pray, Madam, » will it not be impertinent to enquire more
particularly into the circumstances of the » lady's situation? She is now in my house, » Sir, says she, and will inform you her» self. » On this, she rung a bell, when Maria , dressed in deep mourning, entered , and rushing across the room, threw herself at her father's feet. With a voice choaked in tears she could only say, « Forgive me, » Sir, forgive me. » He remained a while in suspense , looking first at his daughter, then at the child -- at length the tears began to flow; and catching Maria in his arms I » do forgive thee, my poor child ! says he , » from my soul I do; all that is past shall » be forgot -- this little angel makes amends » for all. » This sudden stroke of felicity was too
much for Maria, who fainted in her father's arms. A scene of tender confusion ensued, which however soon terminated in transports of affection and gratitude; and the lady whose benevolent ingenuity had brought about the happy event, received the most heart-felt satisfaction from her success.
An eastern tale.
A Dervise , venerable by his age, fell ill in the house of a woman who had been long a widow, and lived in extreme poverty in the suburbs of Balsora. He was so touched with the care and zeal with which she had assisted him, that at his departure be said to her : I have remarked that you have wherewith to subsist alone , but that you
have not substance enough to share it with your only son, the young Abdallah. If you will trust him to my care, I will endeavour to acknowledge, in his person, the obligations, I have to you for the care
you have taken of me. The good woman received this proposal with joy; and the Dervise departed with the young man , advertising her, that they must perform a journey which would last near two years. As they travelled, he kept him in affluence , gave him excellent instructions and took the same care of him as if he had been his own son. Abdallah a hundred times testified his gratitude to him for all his bounties; but the old man always answered , « My » son, it is by actions that gratitude is prov» ed; we shall see in proper time and » place, whether you are so grateful as you
One day, as they continued their travels, they found themselves in a solitary place, and the Dervise said to Abdallah , « My son, » we are now at the end of our journey ; I » shall employ my prayers to obtain from » heaven, that the earth may open and » make an entrance wide enough to permit » you to descend into a place where you » will find one of the greatest treasures that » the earth incloses in her bowels. Have » you courage to descend into this subterra» neous vault? » continued he. Abdallah swore to him, he might depend upon his
obedience and zeal. Then the Dervise lighted a small fire , into which he cast a perfume; he read and prayed for some moments, after which the earth opened, and the Dervise said to him, - « You may now » enter, my dear Abdallah ; remember that » it is in your power to do me a great ser» vice and that this is, perhaps, the only » opportunity you can ever have of testify» ing to me that you are not ungrateful. » Do not let yourself be dazzled by all the » riches you will find there; think only of » seizing upon an iron candlestick with » twelve branches, which you will find >> close to a door ; that is absolutely neces» sary to me, »
Abdallah promised every thing, and descended boldly into the vault. But, forgetting what had been expressly recommended to him, whilst he was filling his vest and his bosom with gold and jewels, which this subterraneous vault inclosed in prodigious heaps, the opening by which he entered closed of itself. He had , however, presence of mind enough to seize upon the iron candlestick, which the Dervise had so strongly recommended to him; and though the situation he was in was very terrible he did not abandon himself to despair; and