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CHAP. XX.

A Visit fram a Stranger.- Frank and Patty

meet with a Relation.

The ensuing morning being clear and frosty, Mr. Richardson had promised his young people a long ramble, and they were just ready to depart, when the servant announced a gentleman, whose name Mr. Richardson did not immediately recollect.

The party being thus broken upon was by no means pleasing to Mary: but checking her discontent, she whispered to Charles, " I wish we had been gone; however, I « hope we shall not long be detained.”

The stranger entered. He was about the middle age, of a pleasing countenance, though apparently much sun-burnt. “I “ am sorry, Sir," said he, addressing Mr. Richardson, “ for the trouble I occasion “ you, but hope, from the goodness you e have sliewn the little runaways, Francis

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*s and Martha, that you will excuse it. 66 My name is Williams, and I have scarce. 56 ly any doubt, from every circumstance, " that they are my brother's children; for " since your obliging letter, I have traced “ them to several places on my journey." - Mr. Richardson welcomed liim cordially, replying, that he hoped he would sheet no disappointment. “The young people," added he, « are at my house at Acton; I “ am disengaged to-day, and if you will “ favour us—the coach is at the door-we “ will immediately go thither. I promised “ my children some recreation this morn66 ing, and I know this event will give them a great pleasure.”.

Few words were lost in compliments; and entering the carriage, Mr. Richardson gave orders to drive to Acton. In the way thither, .Mr. Richardson easily discovered that Mr. Williams was a man of understanding, and the satisfaction he expressed in the hope of hereafter protecting his brother's children, with his gratitude to their benefactor, gave evident proofs of the goodness of his heart. . S

They

They had no sooner alighted than Mr. Richardson inquired for the young folks, when the person who officiated as housekeeper there, and who was mentioned before as so speedily dressing Patty, replied, “ They are both at school, Sir, as you “ ordered, until your farther pleasure con“ cerning them was known. I expect them “ home in half an hour, but must tell you, “ in their absence, that your bounty was 6 never better bestowed; for the boy is « active and industrious when at home--"s and for the girl, she is so modest and 66 obliging, that you cannot do better than *6 continue her in the house.".

Mr. Williams appeared greatly pleased with this intelligence; and Mr. Richardson, judging that he must be anxious to see and be ascertained respecting them, ordered his servant to fetch them home immediately.

On their arrival, they were sent into the the parlour, where having paid their compliments, Mr. Richardson desired the stranger to ask what questions he thought necessary. Frank regarded Mr. Williams with no

pleasant

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pleasant aspect, for, as he confessed after-';
wards, he dreaded that he was come to
remove him from his present happy situa-
tion; and Patty, who shared his fears,
drawing nearer to Mary, said, in a tremu-
lous whisper, “ Dear Miss ! do not let us
“ be taken away from you !"

Mary could only answer by pressing her hand; for Mr. Williams, fixing his eyes on

Frank, said, " Of what country was your , -". father, young man ?*

“My father, Sir," answered he, “ was "" born at Exeter ; but marrying my mo" ther, who was of Warwickshire, he seto tled in her countty, as she had then an “ aged mother, and he had no parents " surviving."

“ But had your father no relations ?" said Mr. Williams.

“ None, Sir, living. He had a brother, “ who went abroad, above twenty years “ ago, with a gentleman who brought him

“ up; but they were both in battle, and : “ never heard of afterwards." .

"Your father, then, concluded he was 4.6. dead?" said Mr. Williams. S2

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“Ah, Sir! he was dead, sure enough !" answered Frank. “ I have heard my poor « father talk of him till the tears would s run down his cheeks---for they were “ twins--and I believe there was nothing

in the world he valued so much as a s prayer-book and a little flagelet which « he preserved for his sake. The book he

gave to the care of my mother, and the “ pipe he always carried about him, and “ when our goods were sold, those were all rs that were preserved." : Mr. Richardson desired them to be shewn to the stranger, who had no sooner examined them than he exclaimed, " It is “ enough--- I have no longer any doubts. 6. My own initials are on the pipe, and in “ the book I recognize my brother's hand66 writing.”

A word from Mr. Richardson to his children, made them také Frank and Patty by the hand, and leading them to their uncle, Mr. Richardson said, “ Pay your duty to “ your nearest relation, and endeavour to < merit his kindness by your good be-.

.: 56 haviour;

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