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Printed by John Hill, Blackfriars ; FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS' COURT,

AND AVE MARIA LANE.

VISIT TO THE VILLA.

or With me retire, and leave the pomp of courts,

For hamble cottages and rural sports.”

AFTER a very long and severe illness, which interrupted the regular discharge of my ministerial labours, and threatened the extinction of life, I accepted an invitation from my friend, Mr. Stevens, who lived in the romantic village of

to pay him a visit. I travelled by easy stages; and, within three days after I left my own peaceful home, I became an inmate in his hospitable villa. This villa was' situated on the summit of a hill, which gave him a commanding view of an extensive and most picturesque scenery.

At the base flowed a meandering river, which sometimes concealed itself under the luxuriant foliage of the willow and the hazel; and then suddenly emerging from its retreat, widened its stream, which was enlivencd by the stately swan.

In the meadow, which ran alongside of its banks, the cow and the ox were feeding together, and from a greater distance, the bleating of the sheep-fold, which was distinctly visible, feli softly on the ear. On the right, a small parish church, displaying the gothic arch, and the rising spire, peeped through a small inclosure of trees; and on the left, near the public road, stood a few neat cottages, with small gardens in front. The extreme line of vision stretched beyond the power of the eye to discriminate the distant objects ; but with the aid

of a good telescope we could see the reapers of another county whetting their scythes, and the children of very remote hamlets gambling on the lawn.

Having, from early impression and association, a passion for the country, I felt relieved from the hurry and pressure of my ordinary avocations amidst these rural objects; and though attached to friends who dwell in cities, I felt a superior delight in the society of solitude. “ There is, indeed, scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his readers with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets; nor any man, eminent for extent of capacity, or greatness of exploits, that has not left behind him some memorials of lonely wisdom, and silent dignity.”

Mr. Stevens, with whom I was now engaged to pass away a small portion of my fleeting time, was a very intelligent and pious man. In early life, like many others, he had imbibed the sceptical notions of the age, but, as they were invested with no power to

s. Minister to a mind diseased,”

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he renounced them when the terrors of death fell upon him, and sought consolation at the cross of Christ. From that hour, he became a decided Christian, choosing rather to suffer the reproach, which is too often cast on genuine piety, than endure the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season.

Soon after this transition from da iness to light, from the power of Satan to God, he was introduced to the amiable and pious Miss B

with whom he formed that sacred union, which has been a source of mutual felicity. The first few years after their marriage, they were extremely anxious for an heir; but as Providence denied ihem this blessing, they were disposed to acquiesce in his decision, and reduce to’a practical operation the prayer which they had been accustomed to repeat from earliest infancy ;-" Thy will be done in earth, even as it is in heaven.” Being exempted from the charge and the expense of a family, they

were more at liberty to promote the welfare of others ; and rarely a day elapsed which did not bear testimony to their benevolent exertions.

The morning after my arrival, Mrs. Stevens asked me if I would accompany hér to a cottage, which we could just perceive from the parlour window in which we were sitting; and, lest the distance should be anobjection, she told me that she had given orders for the chaise to be ready exactly at half-past ten. She said, As you, Sir, are more fond of tracing the operations of divine grace in the renovation of the human soul, than exploring the wonders of the material universe, and feel a higher and a purer emotion of delight, on seeing a repenting sinner, than in gazing on this enchanting scenery to which you have made such frequent allusions, I think I can gratify you.” I readily consented to go; and, as we were passing along the road, she gave me the following statement.

“ In that cottage, Sir, reside a poor man and his wife, who have had a large family, but all died in a state of infancy, except a most beautiful daughter, When she was only sixteen, she entered the family of a very respectable farmer, who lives in the adjoining parish, where she continued four years, and would, in all human probability, have continued there to the present time, had it not been for a dashing London servant, who, when on a visit to her father, got acquainted with her; and by telling her of the high wages, and the little work, which town servants have, made her dissatisfied with her place, and, contrary to the advice of all her friends, she gave notice, and actually went to London to try her fortune. When she arrived there, she called on her friend, who had promised to procure a situation for her; but she was informed that no good place had yet offered itself. She was recommended to take a lodging, for which she would have to pay only two shillings per week, and no doubt, if she made proper inquiry, she would hear of something that would be for her advantage, Thus thrown on the wide world, without a home, and without a friend, she would have fallen a victim to her

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foHy; had not Providence interposed to protect her. As she was passing down the Strand, with her bundle under her arm, a lady, who had once seen her at my house, recognized ber, and asked her where she was going. The poor, girl related her tale of woe, and implored pity. This lady took her to her own home, but, as she was not in want of a servant, she could not retain her, þut procured for her the best situation in her

power. But, instead of high wages, she had not so much as when in the country ; and her work was much more laborious. Thus disappointed, and having too high a spirit to return, she gave herself to grief; and taking a severe cold, which she neglected, her strength soon wasted away, and she was obliged to throw up her situation, and went into lodgings for the recovery of her health. But disease had made too great a progress to be arrested ; and after having parted with nearly all her clothes to defray the expenses which she had incurred, she was reduced to the alternative of dying for want, or returning home. She sent the following letter to her father :• My dear father;

• I am still living, but do not expect to live long. If you will permit me to come home, and die in the room which gave me birth, you will be kind enough to let me know as soon as possible.

* Your's, H.'

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“ As soon as the old man received this letter, he hastened to our house, but never did I witness such a burst of feeling. Oh, madam, my dear Harriet is very ill ; she has sent us this

; and wants to come home to die in the room where she was born !' He wept aloud, like the old patriarch, when he saw, the bloody coat instead of his darling son.

“ I endeavoured to console him; and immediately made an arrangement for her return; and, in the course of the next week, the grief-worn parents had the melancholy gratification of embracing their child. I saw her the day after her arrival, and received

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