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Eagle's Crag would make me suffer
less consideration than to save its unfortunate master, his amiable wife, or his helpless offspring, from misery and destruction! With such an object in view, or to rejoice in its accomplishment, I would suffer any thing; but, without such a motive, I would rather embrace the rack than look again upon scenes once so delightful now so blasted! Urge me but do you go
perhaps you may be the appointed agent of restoration to the virtues and the blessings that once made that sacred spot their favoured residence. - Nor will you find it such a desolated place as its careless master apprehends. There has been a guardian hand upon it, from the hour when he, with such a prodigal thrift, withdrew his — make yourself mistress of all the details that Roberts and Evans can give you. Be
not afraid to act; your husband, whatever he is besides, is no tyrant; he will bless you for the good which he will not take the trouble to do. He will thank you for having shielded his child from the beggary which he is fast bringing upon him; and which, should it be completed, will break his own heart, if it be not callous, to the core."
“Good Heavens!" said Isabella, “ is Mr. Willoughby in danger of beggary? --and what endless sums have I squandered away
in follies for which I did not care; but which his kindness, his indulgence, seemed never to think sufficient for my gratification.”
“The first restraint from which he freed himself,” said Lady Rachel, “ was the restraint of calculation. When first he became, what is called his own master miserable misnomer as it is! -he knew that he was rich; and he continued to persuade
himself that he was so, when he had taken every means to be poor; but all that was done, or lost, or given, for follies and virtues were strangely mingled was but a trifle for ' a man of his fortune.' So his flatterers told him, so he told himself; and being unrestrained by settlements or entails, he has been longer of finding his mistake than he would otherwise have been. I have reason to think that he has found it - whether too late or not I cannot tell ; be it your care to probe the matter to the bottom. Accept as a favour from Heaven the desire that has been awakened in your heart to visit Eagle's Crag. I do not tell you that happiness awaits you there, but I believe that you and your child would have been undone, if your residence had been confined to Grosvenor Squaré and Beechwood.”
“I entreat you," said Isabella, in an agony,“ to tell me all that
know on this terrific subject. Oh instruct me how to act !- there is nothing that I will not do. I will strip myself of the most indispensable necessaries, if I may, by so doing, preserve my husband and my child!"
“Moderate your feelings,” said Lady Rachel ; "the remedy is not to be found in exaggerated apprehensions ; the reverse of wrong is not right. I am not mistress of any such specific facts as to justify my giving either the absolute certainty, or the extent of the mischief incurred. The property was extremely large—there must be great
I believe the evil to be great; I hope it is not irretrievable ; but, whatever it is, you would but aggravate it, were you to attempt to lessen the expenditure by any violent means, or by any undisguised declaration even of your suspicions that any
thing is wrong- your unhappy husband has the spirit of a'martyr in his follies. Act with caution, and without any sudden or apparent change in your usual manner of proceeding. The few hundred pounds that you can save without the concurrence of your husband would be a trifle to what will be spent by others; and never forget that economy and parsimony are of two houses. I have known those who would quarrel with their housekeeper for the waste of a score of eggs, who would lay out five guineas in a piping bullfinch."
« Oh how unfitted am I, for the task before me," exclaimed Isabella.
Why uņfitted ?" replied Lady Rachel. “God has given you an intellect to comprehend, an integrity to support the difficulties that surround you. With good sense and probity we need not fear but that we shall disco