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cinated by their numbers; but I thought best carefully to conceal this new source of enjoyment from my father. The library, to which I thus obtained free access, was very extensive: besides the books already named, it contained much to attract a young mind; novels, essays, and histories, by a frequent perusal of which, I was both informed and improved. Thus, in the full enjoyment of sweet serenity, glided on many happy months; my time was divided between the habitation of my father and his friends. I enjoyed the warm regards of every individual of this amiable family, the eldest son excepted, nor was he a malignant foe; he contented himself with making a jest of our devotion, which only served to attach us more closely to each other: but as the affection of the youngest son grew for me, it appeared to diminish for his brother. This fact rendered his parents unhappy, and I myself was seriously afflicted, lest I should be regarded either directly or indirectly, as the source of their inquietude. They, however, did not hesitate to impute to their eldest son's aversion from religion every thing unpleasant between their children, and I had credit for my full share of that rectitude and correct conduct, to which their youngest son was, by nature, so uniformly inclined. It must, however, be confessed, that the first-born was not without causes of irritation: I was evidently the brother of his brother's affection; I was the object of his parents' regard; his eldest sister discovered, on all occasions, a very strong partiality for me, and even the youngest, a child of about six years old, made me the confidant of all her little secrets, often hung about my neck with infantile fondness, while her sweet endearments were precious to my heart. It was not, then, I repeat, very wonderful, if the young gentleman, who felt himself aggrieved, should become very unhappy, and very much my enemy. While I was thus considered as a child of this family, a young lady, a distant relation of Mrs. Little, was introduced as a visitor; she also was a Methodist, and of great piety. My young friend and myself, were in the parlor when she entered, but soon withdrew, when we both agreed, she was the most ordinary young woman we had ever beheld. She was, I presume, more than twenty-five years of age, under the common stature, of a very sallow complexion, large features, and a disagreeable cast in her eye; yet this same young lady had not been more than three weeks under the same roof with us, before we both became violently in love with her. Many days however elapsed, before either became acquainted with the passion of the other; but I could never conceal anything long, especially from this my second self; and on a summer evening, as we pursued our usual walk through a flowery mead, on the margin of a beautiful river, both sadly pensive and sighing, as if our hearts were breaking, my friend mournfully inquired: What, my dear Murray, afflicts you? why are you so sad?" I am ashamed of myself, I cannot tell you the cause of my distress. Not tell me! would you, can you conceal anything from me?' I felt the full force of a question, asked in a tone of endearing sympathy. No, my friend,


you shall be made acquainted with my whole heart; I will have no reserves to you; but you, you also are unhappy, and I am ignorant of the cause! 'Depend on it, I shall not hesitate to give you every mark of confidence, when you shall set the example.' Well, then, my brother, my friend, will you not wonder, (and indeed I am myself astonished) when I assure you, that I have conceived for Miss Dupee the strongest and most tender passion! He started, appeared confused, and for some moments we both continued silent. At length, taking my hand, he said: 'I pity you, from my soul, nor do I blame your attachment; for, however unattractive in person, who that hears Miss Dupee converse, who that has any knowledge of her mind, can avoid loving her, even as you love her; and to prove to you how fully I am qualified to sympathize with you, let me frankly own, that I also love this charming woman.'

This unexpected avowal greatly afflicted me: I trembled, lest so strong a passion for the same object should eventually prove fatal to our friendship. I expressed to this dear, amiable youth my apprehensions, when he caught my hand, and with glistening eyes, exclaimed; Never, my brother, no never shall anything separate between thee and me. By first communicating your sentiments, you have acquired a prior right, which I will not, dare not invade. No one else shall hear of my infant love; I will not allow myself to see her, but when seated by your side ; and although I love her more than any body I ever have, or, as I believe, ever shall see, I never will be the cause of your unhappiness.' This generosity was truly affecting. I caught him to my bosom; I wept, I even sobbed as I held him to my heart; and, unable to bear his superiority, I exclamed: No, my noble-hearted friend, never will I accept such a sacrifice: we are yet to learn for which of us her heavenly Father has designed this treasure. Let us both, as occasion may occur, indulge ourselves in her society, and should the event prove that you are the highly favored mortal, I hope, and believe, I shall willingly resign her and content myself with listening to her heavenly accents. And, truth to say, she possessed a most enchanting voice; a most fascinating manner, admirably calculated to gain hearts, especially young hearts, simple, and softened by religion; and, what was above all bewitching, she sang the most divine of Mr. Wesley's hymns in a most divinely impressive manner. While, however, we were mutually acceding to this wise plan for the disposal of Miss Dupee, it never once entered into our heads, that she very possibly was not designed for either of us. Perhaps few youthful bosoms have ever endured a greater conflict between love and friendship: we experienced both in no common degree, but friendship in both our hearts become triumphant. The amiable woman continued, for some time, decidedly the object of our deliberate election; but I had, however, reason to believe my attachment the strongest, for it deprived me of both rest and appetite. For the first time, I began to tag rhymes: I have sat by the hour together upon an eminence, whence I could behold her habitation, poetizing, and sigh

ing as if my heart would break; I had some reason to believe she had discovered, and was diverted with my passion; indeed she must have laughed at me, if she had not despised me. After a long struggle between my hopes, and my fears, I ventured to address a letter to Miss Dupee, filled with the warmest professions of eternal affection, and conjuring her at least to grant me leave to hope. I dared not entrust a domestic with this letter, lest it should be discovered by my father ; for the dread of meeting a refusal from my mistress was not more terrible to my imagination, than that my father should obtain knowledge of my temerity. One night, therefore, returning (from the society, with fear and trembling, I put my letter into her hand, humbly requesting she would honor it with a secret perusal. She took it, and, gypsey as she was, absolutely pressed my hand, which pressure almost suffocated me with transport. I parted from her at the door, and from that moment neither slept, nor ate, till I was cured, radically cured.

It was upon a Wednesday night, I delivered my letter; what did I not suffer from the torture of suspense, until Friday evening; nothing could I hear or from her; I was afraid to go to Mr. Little's; I feared every thing, but the thing I had most reason to fear-the contempt and indignation of my own father. It never once entered my thoughts, that she would communicate my letter to any one, and least of all, that she would expose me to my father; but instead of writing me an answer, such an answer as my fond, foolish heart sometimes ventured to expect, she enclosed my very first love-letter to the very last person in the world to whom I should have chosen to confide it! I was at this time debilitated by the want of rest and food, which, for the preceding fortnight, I had rarely taken; and upon this Friday evening, as I entered the presence of my father, an unusual dread pervaded my spirits. It is too true, I never appeared before him without apprehension; but, upon this occasion, I was unusually agitated: but how were my terrors augmented, when my father, with a countenance of the most solemn indignation, ordered me to approach. The season of castigation had gone by; indeed my father was too feeble to administer corporeal chastisement; but, like the Prince of Denmark although he did not use daggers, he could speak them-he could look them. I cannot now remember who, or rather how many, were present; my mother, and my brothers and sisters, of course. My poor mother, I am confident, felt keenly for me, although she dared not interfere. Come hither, sir,' said my father; approach, I say.' I drew near, with fear and trembling, but yet I knew not why: when, fixing his piercing, penetrating eyes upon me, with a look of such sovereign contempt, as almost struck me blind, he began very deliberately to search his pockets; after a pause, which seemed interminable, out came a letter. I was instantaneously covered with a most profuse perspiration; I trembled and became so faint, that I was obliged to catch at a chair for support. But my father continued slowly opening the killing letter, and looking

alternately at it, and its author, and curling his nose, as if his olfactory nerve had been annoyed by something extremely offensive, he again fixed his eyes upon me, and tauntingly said: 'So, you poor, foolish child, you write love-letters, do you? you want a wife, do you?' and, feigning an attempt to read it, but pretending inability, he extended it to me, saying: "Take it, thou love-sick swain, and let us hear how thou addressest thy Dulcinea.' I burst into tears, but I confess they were tears of wrathful indignation, and at that moment I detested the lady, my father, and myself. Go,' continued my father 'Go, thou idle boy, depart instantly out of my sight:' and out of his sight I accordingly went, almost wishing I might never again appear before him. This night I parted with my passion for Miss Dupee; I sighed for an opportunity of opening my heart to my ever faithful friend; 1 expected consolation from him, and I was not disappointed. Suspecting the business was the subject of conversation in the house of Mr. Little, I determined to go thither no more: with my friend, however, I took my usual walk; he perceived the sadness of my soul, but it was a consolation to me to learn, that he was ignorant of the cause: I poured my grief into his bosom, and his indignation was unbounded; hatred for Miss Dupee grew in his soul; yet, when I knew she had the goodness never to communicate my folly to any one, but my father, and this in a private letter, I could not but esteem her. So here rested the affair, and I wrote no more love-letters, until I addressed the lady whom I married. Though I was not by this torturing business exempted from la belle passion, yet I was prevented by my fears from its manifestation. In fact it was not until I was in a situation to make an election, as I supposed for life, that I was again condemued to struggle with a sentiment so imposing, as that which had occasioned me so much vexation. Many fair faces attracted, and for a time fixed my attention, and I sometimes looked forward to the brightest, purest scenes of domestic felicity, which were however as visionary as could have been conceived in the pericranium of the most confirmed lunatic.

The religious melancholy, so pleasing to my father, again took possession of my mind; once more at early dawn I haunted the churchyard, frequently repeating to myself,

'The man how blest, who, sick of gaudy scenes,
Is led by choice, to take his favorite walk
Beneath death's gloomy, silent cypress shades,
To read his monuments, to weigh his dust,
Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs.'

The intervening hours of public worship, on Sunday, were passed by me at church, in appropriate meditation and prayer: the solemnity of the place aided my aspirations, and rendered me abundantly more gloomy; but the versatility of my disposition still gave me to emerge, and I was then proportionably vivacious. In this zig

zag manner I proceeded, gaining something every day, while I enjoyed a fine state of health, and the happiness of being much beloved by a large circle of respectable connexions. I still continued to cultivate my garden; it was the best in the place, and being seen and admired by many, my pious brethren were apprehensive it would become my idol; but we all have our idols. Mr. Wesley was the idol of the many. One evening at a love-feast, when the whole society were assembled, a pious sister, while narrating her experiences, looking earnestly at Mr. Wesley, vehemently exclaimed: 'O! sir, I consider myself as much indebted to God for you, as for Jesus Christ?' The whole company were greatly surprised, and, as I believe, expected Mr. Wesley would have reproved her for this speech; but it passed, without any then expressed observation. The ensuing day it became the subject of animadversion, when I undertook to defend her, by remarking, that as she never could have had any advantage from Jesus Christ, if she had never heard of, and believed in him; she certainly was as much indebted to Almighty God for sending Mr. Wesley, through whom she obtained this redeeming knowledge, as for the Saviour, in whom she believed!!

My close connexion with my young friend, although very pleasant to my social propensities, subjected me, nevertheless, to some pain. He was indulged with more pocket money, than I could command; and although he considered his stipend never so well employed as when it contributed to my convenience, yet, disliking dependence, I had recourse to methods of obtaining money, which did not always please me; I sometimes, borrowed, and sometimes solicited gifts from my mother, which I did not find it easy to repay. It would have been well if neither my companion, nor myself, had been in the habit of spending money; we derived therefrom no advantage; it introduced us into company, where we were apt to forget ourselves; it is true we were never inebriated, but we were often gay, and, for religious characters, too much off our guard. This dear youth was not, like me, habituated to religion, he was not early disciplined by its most rigid laws; I could with abundantly more facility turn aside with him, than he could pursue with me the narrow path, in which I had generally walked. We became gradually too fond of pleasures, which would not bear examination; yet they were such as the world denominated innocent, although they strongly impelled us to gratifications disallowed by religion. We were now fast advancing in life, and, with all the enthusiasm of youth, we were planning schemes for futurity, when lo! my precious, my early friend, was seized by a malignant fever, which soon deprived him of his reason. I was on the verge of distraction. I entreated permission to tarry constantly by his bedside; the progress of the disease was astonishingly rapid, and in a few days this dear, this amiable youth, whom I loved as my own soul, expired in a strong delirium! Every one regretted the departure of this young man; every one sympathised with his parents, and many extended

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