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misfortune. And I now most severely felt the truth of the adage, 66 That we never know the “ value of what we possess, till we are made fen“ fible of it by its loss.”
As the landlord of the house in which ther resided had promised never to raise the rent whilft she or myself chose to continue his tenant; and it was greatly under-let, 1 determined to keep it. Every thing my parent died possessed of having originated from me, I thought I had an undoubted right to whatever that might be; and my brother having resigned all pretensions to her property, I thought it needless to take out letters of adininiftration.
I had invited a lady and her two daughters to be with me during my mother's illness; and the was so kind as to continue her visit, in order to keep me from the melancholy with which a mind so susceptible as mine must naturally be oppressed. As my mother had always lived in the style of a gentlewoman, I had her buried as such. Those about me endeavoured to persuade me not to go to her funeral, but their remonstrances were in vain. As I had paid her every possible attention while living, I was determined, cost what pangs it would, to pay the last tribute of duty by attending her remains to the grave.
I must here observe, that I cannot help thinking, but that persons who pretend to such overnice feelings, as to be prevented thereby from paying thefe last respectful offices to a deceased relation or friend, shew an unnatural and false delicacy. I consider them as an indispensible duty, and a debt of nature; and will venture to call an omiffion of them unpardonable affectation. Elle, why should those of the lower ranks be deprived of that extreme susceptibility. Dame Nature being their guide, she conducts them, with decent sorrow, to the grave of those they loved whilft living.
Now prepare yourself to hear another of those unexpected and ill-natured strokes of fortune, with which she has frequently belaboured me.
So quick is generally the transition, that she might be said to give with one hand, and immediately to rob me of the newly-poffeffed gift with the other. As if the fickle Goddess had determined that I should never retain the possession of any property, let it be thrown into my lap by her from whatever quarter it would.
My visitor, Mrs. Butler, and myself, were fita ting together in conversation one evening, foon after the death of my mother, when a loud and
at the door alarmed us. - As such an incident was unusual, I ordered the servant not to open the door, but to enquire what occafioned it from the area. Upon her going out for that purpoie, she was informed, that if she did not immediately open the door, it would be broke open, as they had got the broad-seal. Not knowing what was meant by having the broad seal, I demanded from the window their business. To this they answered, that I should be informed when they were let in; and if that was not done presently, they had ruchority to break open the door.
Fine: :, chere was no probability of preventing their cence, I ordered the door to be opened ; who live or fix fellows rushed in, and took porjci: s, in the name of that honour to his honoui'e profession, my Cousin Crawford.
That worthy and conscientious man no sooner heard of my mother's death, and found that I had been fo imprudent as not to make any legal claim to her property, than he took out letters of administration, by swearing himself her legitimate heir. Fearless of the iniquity of the measure, or the consequence of it, my honest kinsman thought if he could but appropriate her effects to his own use, he would set at defiance a future reckoning. He accordingly adopted this mode with success.
I immediately apply'd to the late Sir John Fielding, hoping he would point out some mode of redress; and notwithstanding, I had not seen him for
many years, his retentive faculties were fo nearly in their full force, that the moment I spoke, he called me by my name, and was sorry it was out of his lige to assist me upon the occasion.
As it happened not to be term time, I had no resource but patience; for I found it to no manner of purpose to endeavour to bring the savages by which I was surrounded, to reafon. A fruitless altercation indeed took place, but they persisted in my quitting the premises that night. It was by this time past eleven o'clock; Mrs. Butler's children were in bed; and where to get a lodging at that late hour I knew not. At last I thought of sending to Mr. Woodward, who had taken a large house in Leicester-street, in order to let part of it. That gentleman consented, with great chearfulness, to accommodate us till I could provide myself, though he was obliged to get out of his bud to receive us.
The next day I sent to inform Mr. Gordon, the undertaker that had deposited the remains of my much-loved mother, of what had happened, and desired hiin to look to the administrator for B 5
the expences of the funeral.
of the funeral. He sent for anfwer, that as I had ordered the funeral, he should expect
for it; that it was a very genteel one ; and he defied any one of the trade to furnish one niore elegant for fifty guineas, though he should only charge me forty-two. As Mr. Gordon was a neighbour, and my mother was so greatly respected that numbers attended her manes without invitation, I was in hopes he would have been my friend upon the occasion, and have endeavoured to ease me of that load; but no! he chose to be his own friend, and to fix the debt upon me, without giving himself any trouble.
What made this event more vexatious was, that the seven hundred pounds, owing by the Widow Lack to my mother, as already mentioned, was to have been paid the Wednesday following. In the confusion and fright I was in when I left the house, I forgot the papers relative to this debt. As they were placed in a china closet in the parlour, that they might be ready when wanted, the wretches who had taken pofseflion, probably thought them of no value, and had thrown thein by as waste paper. So that all I got by the death of my dear mother, was a poor girl she recommended to my charge, and who became an