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CHAP. IV.

LAUDABLE CURIOSITY.

ARRIVAL IN LONDON.

MR. RICHARDSON proceeded no further that night than his little villa at Acton, where, the ensuing morning early, Charles and Mary had the satisfaction of seeing their new dependants arrive ; and in a few hours, by the skill of the good old housekeeper, so metamorphosed, that they were scarcely to be recognised. - Charles could not cease observing, that he should never have thought his old coat could have been altered to fit Frank so well; and Mary was never weary of admiring Patty; who, dressed in a neat brown gown, straw hat, and white tippet, charmed her so highly, that she jumped round her in rapture, exclaiming, “ Mind Patty, you are my own, own girl! What a good father is mine, to let me have

you! Ah, I hope I shall never offend him as long as I live!"

If the pleasure of Charles and Mary was great, yet it may be judged that it was more than equalled by the satisfaction of Frank and Patty, who having experienced wretchedness, cold, and hunger, were fully sensible of the comforts of a good fire, food, and cloathing, - blessings that many ungrateful beings enjoy without thankfulness, or considering that all benefits are the gift of God, and that as He has power to bestow, so has He also power to deprive us of them.

Mr. Richardson, whose mercantile concerns seldom suffered him to be long absent from London, left Acton the next afternoon, and returned to his town-house in Finsbury square. During the way thither he pointed out to his children whatever he thought could amuse or instruct them, giving them an account of any thing remarkable that had happened in the places they passed through.

My dear Sir," said Charles, “I

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have often wished to see whatever was curious in the metropolis, and to learn the rise of some of the most remarkable buildings; if it be not intruding too much on your goodness, perhaps some time you may gratify us so far.”

Willingly,” returned Mr. Richardson ; “it is a laudable curiosity, and we will devote our leisure hours to that purpose

this winter; and the ensuing summer,

if all goes well, we will extend our rambles into the country.”

At this moment they passed the turnpike, and entered Piccadilly, which, Charles observed, was a very wide and populous street; his father replied, “ It is indeed so now, Charles, but some years back it was little better than waste land, and first built upon by one Higgins, a taylor, who had accumulated a good fortune by making stiff collars, then much in fashion, and called Piccadillas; from which he named the street."

As the night drew on, few comments more passed during the way home, where

Mary found, on her arrival, a discreet sensible woman engaged as her governess; and Charles, proper masters to come daily to instruct him.

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EARLY the next morning the children attended their father at breakfast, after which they found every hour, until dinner, devoted to study; a circumstance that was not very pleasing to either ; but particularly to Mary, who having led a life of idleness during the last twelve months, found all restraint extremely irksome. Both, however, performed their lessons with great good humour, and a favourable account being given to Mr. Richardson, he declared, that as he was unemployed

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