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for her life; and expressed her regret, though with submission to the Divine will, that it was not practicable for them to remove from a country which had been so fatal to her children. Upon the whole, Euphemia's letters were of an extremely melancholy kind; though there was an air of piety diffused over these short epistles which diminished their gloom, and, even to my unsanctified imagination, seemed to suggest, that all would work together for good in the end for the humble and patient writer of them.
“It was soon after receiving one of these letters from Euphemia, that new fuel was added to my vanity, by a circumstance which I would now mention, and which is only worthy of notice from the effect it had on my mind. A king's regiment was, we heard, passing up the river in boats to the higher provinces; the colonel of this regiment had formerly been known to Mr. Milbourne, and my husband, on this occasion, resolved to entertain the officers and ladies, for two or three days, if he could persuade them to remain so long in our neighbourhood. We accordingly sent down an invitation to meet them by the
way; and our invitation being accepted, and the whole fleet coming to anchor at the foot of the hill on which our house stood, we spent three of the gayest and most dissipated days I had ever experienced. We gave three public breakfasts, three dinners, and three balls, not allowing our entertainments of any kind to be abridged by the Sunday which intervened between our first and last day; and at the end of the period I, for once, was really glad of a cessation of display, gaiety, and compliments. The flatteries, however, which I received at this time, not only from our male visiters, but from the officers, ladies who were of our party, quite completed my own good opinion of myself, and of the various elegances and distinctions of my situation; and, from that time, if possible, I became more determinately vain than ever.
“When my beloved boy. was about a year old, I had a daughter, whom I called Lucy; and, as soon afterwards as possible, another daughter, to whom we gave the name of Amelia.
"I never was so unseeling and hardened as not to love my children, although they were all nursed by blac!
women; but there was, I fear, much of pride and vanity mingled with my more tender feelings, and I was more anxious respecting their external appearance than the qualities of their minds, or their spiritual welfare.
“And now I am come to that crisis in which my earthly paradise was at its highest bloom, and shed its sweetest fragrance. I had yet to learn the perishable nature
of all enjoyments which depend on the creature; and I was soon to be made to feel those thorns which so frequently lie concealed beneath the sweetest flowers. Yet a little while, however, the storm was withheld, and I was suffered to live even without apprehension.
My Amelia was only a few months old when I received a letter from Mr. Fairlie, informing me of the death of his little Lucy; and very shortly afterwards I had another communication from the same quarter, informing me that Euphemia had another daughter, that it was a fine child, and that the poor mother received this gift from Heaven as a token of comfort. A third letter, which arrived the next day from the same quarter, in the handwriting of Mr. Fairlie, however, surprised and alarmed me; and I opened it with the expectation of bad news; but I found, with pleasure, that it contained very desirable information.
“Mr. Fairlie, it seems, by the death of an uncle, had become the possessor of a handsome property, and resolved to return immediately to Europe, with his wife and child. This letter also informed me, that Euphemia intended to visit me, with her baby, before she left India; and it contained a kind offer from this excellent woman, to undertake the charge of one or all of my children, to convey them to England.
“Mr. Milbourne would gladly have accepted this offer for Mary Anne and Henry, but I would not hear of it; while I expressed the greatest pleasure in the prospect of seeing Euphemia before her departure.
"Euphemia and Mr. Fairlie, with their baby, accordingly came to us, and showed us much affection : but whether I was changed, or Euphemia, or both of us; whether my high and self-satisfied condition of mind might be particularly ill suited to her feelings, which were considerably depressed; or whether she was become
more heavenly minded and I much more the reverse than formerly, I know not: but certain it was, that we never seemed less congenial to each other; and though I was somewhat affected when she left us, yet I was not sorry to get rid of her.
"I can, however, never forget that I had the cruelty at that time, notwithstanding her recent loss, to bring my children often before her; and to speak with pride in her presence of their healthy state, their beauty, and the delight I had in seeing them all before me. There was no tenderness in this display; it was pride, and only pride, which led me to make it. Euphemia, however, at length left me, and I saw her no more in India.
“A few months after her departure, my old friend Mr. Arnot, who was going up the country, called upon us, and staid a few days. We took this occasion to have our four children baptized; and the good man gave them his benediction. On the day which succeeded that of the baptism, I took occasion to show Mr. Arnot my garden ; and while we were walking among its agreeable shades, I had a conversation with him which I never shall forget.
As my story has run to a considerable length, I shall not now repeat this conversation; but shall only observe, that he gave me many earnest cautions against resting in earthly happiness ; intimating that prosperity was not unfrequently productive of moral evil, and that under misfortunes real good was often communicated. Neither did this good man fail to point out to me, that sin was the only evil from which we ought to pray to be delivered ; because,' observed this Christian teacher, he that is delivered from the punishment of sin by faith in Christ, and from the power of sin by the influences of the Holy Spirit, is as sure of true happiness as he is of the dissolution of his body
“I heard and remembered all that Mr. Arnot said to me at that time; but as his reasoning made me uneasy, I did what I could to forget it, and succeeded but too well for a time. I was scarcely less pleased at being relieved from Mr. Arnot's company than I had been by the departure of Euphemia; and was returning to my own mode of self-pleasing when these excellent persons were
gone; but, suddenly I was alarmed by a certain appearance of languor in my little son, who, after a very short but severe illness, expired in my arms, being little more than two years and a half old.
“I was, at first, almost frantic at the loss of this child. I could scarcely believe that my darling son was no more: I could hardly be induced to part with his cold remains; and, indeed, I actually refused so to do, till my kind husband consented that the pavilion in the garden of roses should be his tomb.
“It was very hot weather, the most sultry season I ever remember in India, when my darling died; and soon after his death Mary Anne was taken ill in the same way; and, although she recovered, the complaint left her in such a state of languor, that the medical man feared she would never be well in India ; and he therefore urged us to send her home the next cold season. I was now vain to wish that we had taken Euphemia's offer, orto fancy that our lovely Henry might, perhaps, have been saved, had he been sent some months before from India.
“ We now heard of a lady who was going to Europe, to whom we intrusted our child to avoid the dreadful alternative of her death. She could only, however, undertake to see her safely lodged with her friends in England; and as I had no other choice, I was glad to have such a person as Euphemia with whom she might be placed at her journey's end.
“It was a severe trial to me to part with my little Mary Anne, who was still an infant; but heavier trials awaited me. During the next eighteen months, we lost our two younger daughters by fevers; and thus, within six years, I had become the mother of four children and lost them all—lost to all intents and purposes, as far as I was concerned at that time; for half the globe was between me and my only surviving child, and a gulf, impassable to an infidel mother, (such as I then was,) existed between me and the little redeemed ones I had once called my own.
“When my last baby, my lovely and beloved Amelia, died, it seemed to me as if the house in which I dwelt had been cleared, as to all I loved and cherished, as with the besom of destruction.
“There was now no longer any sound of infant merriment within our halls-no tender voices calling mamma -no little baby to look at when I retired to rest and awoke in the morning—no, all, all was still! all gloomy in the children's rooms! the pavilion in my garden of roses had supplied the burying-place of our three children, and the remembrance of them was piercing to my heart.
“My reader will not wonder to hear that those dreadful gloomy feelings which had seized me after the awful death of Mr. Fitzhenry, again took possession of me after my house had become thus desolate. My grief, which had at first been violent, presently changed into a kind of sullen resentment and rebellion against the divine will; in which state I rejected every suggestion of comfort from religion, and every attempt which my husband made to console me; though, after a time, I returned to iny usual mode of spending my time, saw company as usual, devoted much time to dress, and grew fond of cards, as the means of passing a weary hour.
“My lovely Amelia had been dead several months; when, one morning while we were at breakfast, my good old friend Mr. Arnot, who was going down to the presidency by water, unexpectedly walked into the house. I was much affected at the sight of him, remembering how proudly I had paraded my babes before him, and how I had despised the providence of God. The good man, however, felt with me, and for me; and his silent yet deep commiseration was a solace to my heart.
“Being earnestly pressed by Mr. Milbourne and me, he promised to give us all the time he could spare; and actually remained with us more than a week. During that period he used every means in his power to bring me into a right state of mind; but though I heard and remembered all he said, at least the tendency of it, pride and rebellion, rebellion against the Most High, prevented me from profiting, at that time, by his pious instruction. Mr. Milbourne, however, considered attentively every word that he said ; though I did not, at that period, know what effect this suitable discourse produced on his mind,
"In the evening before this good man's departure, I took him to the tomb of my children, Mr. Milbourne ac