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-"His daughter was at once his nurse, his cook, his consoler, and might truly be said to make his bed in his sickness. She wanted not the world to teach her the filial duties. Her cwn pure heart supplied them all, and her own gentle hands administered them.”
ci JULY, 1813. ;" (Vol. I. s
DUTIFUL DAUGHTER ;
OR: ?*:. The Father's Prop in Adversity. i As a counterpart to The EXEMPLARY Sons in our last Number, we now present our readers with a picture of youthful female excellence, from the writings of one who coöld well depict the human character*, and who had the happiness to be personally acquainted with one of the heroes of the storyegoriin! .
. A merchant of considerable eminence in London was reduced to the situation of poor Bassanio, and from precisely the same rün of ill-lack in his sea-adventures : : :
to these i miscarriages abroad were : added similar calamities åt home. Several great houses broke in his debt; Vol.
: BB ..si :: and
'* Mr Pratt in his “Gleanings through Wales."
and with the wrecks of his fortune gathered together, he left the metropolis, and took refuge in the mountains of Montgomeryshire. A little girl, then but nine years of age, his only surviviņg child, was the sole companion of his retreat, and smiled away his misfortunes.
It is not easy to be wretched in the constant society of perfect innocence. The company of a beautiful child, wholly unpolluted by the world, affords one the idea of angelic association. Its harmlessness appears to guarantee us from harm : we reflect, nay we see and hear almost every moment it is climbing our knees, playing at our side, engaging our attentions, or reposing in our arms, the words and acts of an unspotted being; and-one can scarcely be persuaded any real ill can befal us while-a companion so like a guardian cherub is near. When the babe is our own—say, ye parents, how the sensation is then exalted !-Which of you, having at your option the loss of the amplest fortune, or of the feeblest infant, would not cleave to the last and resign the former ? or, if any of you balanced a moment would not one lisping word, one casual look, turn the scale in favour of nature, and make you feel it a crime to have hesitated :
Such were the sentiments of the merchant, and under their cheering influence he lived many years ; during which, á few mountain-peasants, an old relict of his better days, as a servant, who had been nurse to the young lady, his daughter, were the only objects with whom he conversed.
At length he fell sick. His daughter was then in her eighteenth year. The disorder was of a gradual kind, that threatened to continue life after one has ceased to love it and to close in death. He lingered eleven weeks, and the old domestic being now superannuated and almost blind, his daughter was at once his nurse, his cook, his consoler, and might truly be said to make his bed in his sickness. She wanted not the world to teach her the filial duties. Her own pure heart supplied them all; and her own gentle
hands administered them. But now, for the first time in lier existence, she added to her father's anguish. “It almost kills me to look on you, my only love," said he, with an enphasis of sorrow, and bursting into tears. “I am sure,' replied she, falling on her knees at his bedside, “it has almost killed me to hear you say so, and if it would make my dearest father better, I would kill myself this moment, and trust in GOD's mercy to forgive me.” “Al! my child, you mistake the cause and motive of my regrets,” resumed the parent—the thoughts of leaving you without protectionthere is the bitterness”---"I am not going to be left," said she, rising hastily, “I have a presage you will be well soon, and I am a great prophetess, my beloved father. Be in good spirits, for I am sure you will recover: I have sent to Montgomery and Welsh-Pool, and to-morrow I am to have the two best doctors in Wales.”
*Your goodness is always a comfort, my darling,” replied the desponding merchant, “but two thousand Welsh doctors could not set me again on my legs.-If, indeed, I were in: a condition to procure—but that's impossible!"
“ Procure what? whom ?-nothing is impossible,” an-, swered his daughter with the most eager haste.
I have an idle and romantic faith in the only man in the world that knows my constitution, and he is as far beyond my reach as if he were out of existence.”
- “You' mean Dr. ******,” exclaimed the daughter. I have heard you often speak of his having twice before saved your precious life, for which I have had him in my nightly prayers ever since, and shall go on blessing him to the hour of my death. O that I were a man to fetch him!”
The father pressed her tenderly in his feeble arms, in acknowledgment of her affection; but told her, that, from a multiplicity of other claims, it would be as impossible for the Doctor to get down to Wales, as for himself to go out
of his sick, bed to London. Do not, therefore, let us think of it, my child,” continued the father, "since it is only the aggravation of a vain wish to know that it must end in disappointment I am resigned.?? Ca r i ij : intha
Notwithstanding this declaration, the merchant receiving no manner of benefit from the Welsh-doctors, and being únable, indeed, to pay for their continued attendance, with out an injury to that scanty fund, out of which he had to draw all the necessaries of life, he often sighed out in a voice of pining, as it were, involuntarilý, the name of ****** The sound of that voice, languishing for that which might possibly change its tone to gladness, penetrat ed the soul of his daughter, who needed not so pathetic a memento of her father's wishes to make her bitterly regret her inability to gratify them. The poor gentlenian grek worse, and expressing a desire for something which he imagined miglit afford a momentary relief, his AMELIA, (so tas the young lady named,) took the first opportunity of his being composed, to go into the neighbourhood, in search of a person to fetch it from Montgomery. A little road-side public house, about a mile from her father's cottage, appeared the most likely place to find a messenger:. Thither she repaired, and arrived just in time to take shelter from a sudden storm that fell with great violence. At the mo ment of her entrance, there were none but the old host and hostess in the alehouse, but in a very few minutes after it filled with labourers and passengers, who, like herself, sought protection from the hurricane : during the fury of which, however, she had too much compassion to mention her wishes, for she was amongst those whose nature would not suffer her to turn an enemy's dog out of door at such a'season.” This necessary delay; nevertheless, greatly en creased her uneasiness, and she kept watching the rain, and the hoped return of fine weather, at the window. See
ervation bely, the tremo, and thankely face was
ing no prospect of its clearing, she determined to do that herself, at allhazards, which she could not ask another to perform, and to be herself the messenger; to which end she desired to know, whether the road she saw from the window was the nearest and most direct to Montgomery, or to any other town where there was an apothecary's shop, and what might be the distance to any such place.
The affecting voice in which these questions were demanded, and the prevailing appearance of the speaker, gained her an interest in every hearer and beholder, several of whom knew and acknowledged her for a neighbour; mingling their expressions of good-will, with numberless kind enquiries after her sick father, for whose languishing. situation, they unanimously declared their pity and regard, and whose death, if it should please God to snatch him away, they should long lament..
This last observation bringing to mind the image of her father's danger more closely, the trembling AMELIA lost all thought of herself, or of the weather, and thanking every body around her for their civility, while her lovely face was covered with her tears, she had got the latch of the door in her hand, and was preparing to hurry out on her commission, according to the instructions she had received, when a traveller who had not opened his lips during the conversation of the peasants, but sat drying himself at the fire, rose up suddenly and begged permission to speak to her. She went with surprise and tottering steps into an adjoining room where he used to her these very words:
“ One of your neighbours, young ladý, has told me you . have been for many years the best daughter in the world, to the best father, who has been once the richest, though now the poorest man in Wales, considering you and he are to be supported as gentlefolks. It is plain to see there is a great deal of distress upon your mind, and it is natural