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opened, a splendid dress cap, accompanied by a polite note from Lady Parkins, requesting the favour of her acceptance of it, was discovered. Mrs. C-saw instantly the invincible determination of her ladyship, that she should accept the invitation, and felt as if good manners would not permit her longer to oppose. Still she felt a measure of regret beyond what she could even account for: and notwithstanding the affectionate raillery of Mr. C— upon the subject, a sleepless night and an uneasy day preceded the dreaded visit.

The appointed morning arrived, and on reachthe hall, Mr. and Mrs. C—were introduced to a large and fashionable company, many of whom, having heard of the accomplishments of Mrs. C-, were anxious to meet her. The

young

and the aged lavished alike upon her all the attentions which even envy of superior attractions, either of person or parts, will not sometimes fail to produce.

It was upwards of two years and a half since she had mixed in a polite circle; yet the charms of elegant manners, and the attractions of occasional intellectual converse, won upon her insensibly, and with a degree of unconsciousness she became one of the party, or felt as if she breathed in her own atmosphere. Her conversational powers were of a superior order; and now the employment of them was courted. Her opinion was constantly requested, and her decisions listened to with well-bred deference. The occasional, and indeed frequent pleasantry of Sir Thomas and his amiable lady, enlivened the party, and Mrs. Cfelt a portion of gratification.

Many circumstances frequently unite to produce results which were not previously contemplated. So it was on the present occasion; and these tended greatly to produce the ease which Mrs. C-enjoyed. Her high sense of courtesy, and attention to polite behaviour, made her feel, that as a guest of Sir Thomas', it would be a breach of good manners to be reserved and unaffable at his table. In addition to this, she had taken her seat at dinner (for their visit was an early one,) by the side of a most fascinating and well-informed gentleman, a captain in the East India service. Blended with the usual frankness of a British sailor, and the attractions of a handsome person, he possessed a winning address, a voice whose tones he knew well how to modulate so as to produce effect, and a disposition highly tinctured with gallantry. Like Desdemona, listening to the Moor's narrative of hardships by “flood and field,” she attended to his touching or sprightly accounts of the service and scenes through which he had passed.

Earlier than the usual hour in the evening, the company moved to a spacious and superbly-lighted ball-room. Thither the captain escorted Mrs.

- The music struck up in “soul-subduing sounds." The polite son of Neptune requested and obtained the hand of Mrs. C—as his partner, and immediately, with this accomplished lady, led off the dance! Scarcely had Mrs. Creached the bottom of the room, before an overwhelming conviction, amounting almost to distraction, seized her mind, in reference to the impropriety of her conduct. The struggle now was short: she no longer meditated what course to take: she attended no longer to the sophistry of fallen human nature, but instantly, scarcely knowing what she did, left the apartment, and hurried towards her quiet dwelling. The moon shone brightly as she quitted the hall, and with a mind agonized, and yet prayersul, she passed on alone, nor halted until she found the doors of her own welcome recluse shut upon her.

The departure of Mrs. Cwas not immediately discovered, but when it was, an alarming sensation spread through the party. Inquiries were instantly set on foot concerning her. No one had seen her leave the room; and even the captain, at the moment of her exit, having turned to exchange a word with a gentleman near him, could neither give information of, nor account for her sudden departure. Information, however, from a servant, soon produced order. Mrs. Chad met her as she hurried from the hall, and complained of a sudden indisposition; and intimating her fear of disturbing the company, she had conceived it most proper to return home; but at the same time objected to the tendered services of the servant. The dance was resumed, with all the spirit which the devotees of so unintellectual an employ could display; while Mr. C- hasted home to join his beloved Georgiana. Here an understanding soon took place; while the positive determination of Mrs. C- was made, never again, on any pretence, to mingle with the fashionable world.

A few years after this, Sir Thomas Parkins was rather suddenly summoned to the world of spirits, and his widow, who had ever cherished the most affectionate regard towards Mrs. C-, feeling the loneliness of her situation, determined to break up

her establishment, and, if possible, more fully to enjoy her highly estimated society. In order to accomplish this, she made a proposal of the most handsome kind, that she might reside with her friends at the rectory. This was a new trial for the amiable woman. She knew the spirit and habits of Lady Parkins, and trembled lest such a connexion might have an unfavourable influence over her own mind. After considerable deliberation, and prayer for direction, arrangements were made for the proposed change in their establisment; and her ladyship became a resident beneath their humble roof.

The influence of practical piety soon displayed itself in the conduct of Lady Parkins. The spirit of the pious Mrs. C- was caught by her; light was followed by conviction; and conviction led to the diligent search after, and speedy possession of that grace which renews the heart and sanctifies the soul. Humility and devotedness to the interests of religion, and not of party, were now the principal characteristics of Lady Parkins. Not only by proxy, but in person, she strove to do good; and hence she became herself a SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHER, in a village some distance from Bunny; and in order to devote all her time to this "work of faith and labour of love," not unfrequently did she eat her dinner in the school-room, and then resume her instructions to the children of the poor.

The inhabitants of the rectory were a happy, useful trio. They copied the example, and emulated the spirit of Him, who “went about doing good.” Often did Mrs. C— admiringly survey the mysterious workings of the providence of God; and while with her beloved husband and Lady Parkins, she contemplated the wonderful results which had flowed from the premature death of her lamented Beauclerk, subscribe to the sublime aphorism of the psalmist,“ Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the habitations of his throne;"—while with Cowper each of the party sang,

“ Long unaffected, undismay'd,
In pleasure's flow'ry path I stray'd :
Thou mad'st me feel thy chast’ning rod,
And straight I turn'd unto my God.
What though it pierc'd my fainting heart,
I bless'd the hand that caus'd the smart :
He taught my tears awhile to flow,
But say'd me from eternal woe.”

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