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SIX years of uninterrupted happiness had rolled
away, since my brother's marriage. The sound
of war had been heard, but it was at such a dis-
tance as to enhance our enjoyment by affording
objects of comparison. The Indians were repuls-
ed on the one side, and Canada was conquered on
the other. Revolutions and battles, however ca-
lamitous to those who occupied the scene, contri-
buted in some sort to our happiness, by agitating
our minds with curiosity, and furnishing causes of
patriotic exultation. Four children, three of whom
were of an age to compensate, by their personal
and mental progress, the cares of which they had
been, at a more helpless age, the objects, exercised
my brother's tenderness. The fourth was a charm-
ing babe that promised to display the image of her
mother, and enjoyed perfect health. To these
were added a sweet girl fourteen years old, who
was loved by all of us, with an affection more
than parental.

Her mother's story was a mournful one. She
had come hither from England when this child
was an infant, alone, without friends, and without
money. She appeared to have embarked in a hasty
and clandestine manner. She passed three years of
solitude and anguish under my aunt's protection,
and died a martyr to woe; the source of which she
could, by no importunities, be prevailed upon to
unfold. Her education and manners bespoke her
to be of no mean birth. Her last moments were
rendered serene, by the assurances she received from

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my aunt, that her daughter should experience the
same protection that had been extended to herself.

On my brother's marriage, it was agreed that
she should make a part of his family. I cannot
do justice to the attractions of this girl. Perhaps
the tenderness she excited might partly originate
in her personal resemblance to her mother, whose
character and misfortunes were still fresh in our
remembrance. She was habitually pensive, and
this circumstance tended to remind the spectator of
her friendless condition; and yet that epithet was
surely misapplied in this case. This being was
cherished by those with whom she now resided, with
unspeakable fondness. Every exertion was made
to enlarge and improve her mind. Her safety was
the object of a solicitude that almost exceeded the
bounds of discretion. Our affection indeed could
scarcely transcend her merits. She never met my
eye, or occurred to my reflections, without ex-
citing a kind of enthusiasm. Her softness, her in-
telligence, her equanimity, never shall I see sur-
passed. I have often shed tears of pleasure at her
approach, and pressed her to my bosom in an agony
of fondness.

While every day was adding to the charms
of her person, and the stores of her mind, there occurred
an event which threatened to deprive us of her. An
officer of some rank, who had been disabled by a
wound at Quebec, had employed himself, since the
ratification of peace, in travelling through the colo-
nies. He remained a considerable period at Phila-
delphia, but was at last preparing for his departure.
No one had been more frequently honoured with his
visits than Mrs. Baynton, a worthy lady with whom
our family were intimate. He went to her house
with a view to perform a farewell visit, and was on

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the point of taking his leave, when I and my young
friend entered the apartment. It is impossible to
describe the emotions of the stranger, when he fixed
his eyes upon my companion. He was motion-
less with surprise. He was unable to conceal his
feelings, but sat silently gazing at the spectacle be-
fore him. At length he turned to Mrs. Baynton,
and more by his looks and gestures than by words,
besought her for an explanation of the scene. He
seized the hand of the girl, who, in her turn, was
surprised by his behaviour, and drawing her for-
ward, said in an eager and faultering tone, Who is
she? whence does she come? what is her name?

The answers that were given only increased
the confusion of his thoughts. He was successively
told, that she was the daughter of one whose name
was Louisa Conway, who arrived among us at
such a time, who sedulously concealed her parentage,
and the motives of her flight, whose incurable griefs
had finally destroyed her, and who had left this
child under the protection of her friends. Having
heard the tale, he melted into tears, eagerly clasped
the young lady in his arms, and called himself her
father. When the tumults excited in his breast by
this unlooked-for meeting were somewhat subsided,
he gratified our curiosity by relating the following

"Miss Conway was the only daughter of a banker
in London, who discharged towards her every
duty of an affectionate father. He had chanced to
fall into her company, had been subdued by her
attractions, had tendered her his hand, and been
joyfully accepted both by parent and child. His
wife had given him every proof of the fondest at-
tachment. Her father, who possessed immense
wealth, treated him with distinguished respect, libe-

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rally supplied his wants, and had made one condi-
tion of his consent to their union, a resolution to
take up their abode with him.

"They had passed three years of conjugal felicity,
which had been augmented by the birth of this
child; when his professional duty called him into
Germany. It was not without an arduous struggle,
that she was persuaded to relinquish the design of
accompanying him through all the toils and perils
of war. No parting was ever more distressful.
They strove to alleviate, by frequent letters, the evils
of their lot. Those of his wife, breathed nothing
but anxiety for his safety, and impatience of his ab-
sence. At length, a new arrangement was made,
and he was obliged to repair from Westphalia to
Canada. One advantage attended this change. It
afforded him an opportunity of meeting his family.
His wife anticipated this interview, with no less
rapture than himself. He hurried to London, and
the moment he alighted from the stage-coach, ran
with all speed to Mr. Conway's house.

"It was an house of mourning. His father was
overwhelmed with grief, and incapable of answer-
ing his inquiries. The servants, sorrowful and
mute, were equally refractory. He explored the
house, and called on the names of his wife and
daughter, but his summons was fruitless. At length,
this new disaster was explained. Two days before
his arrival, his wife's chamber was found empty.
No search, however diligent and anxious, could
trace her steps. No cause could be assigned for
her disappearance. The mother and child had fled
away together.

"New exertions were made, her chamber and
cabinets were ransacked, but no vestige was found
serving to inform them as to the motives of her

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flight, whether it had been voluntary or otherwise,
and in what corner of the kingdom or of the world
she was concealed. Who shall describe the sorrow
and amazement of the husband? His restlessness, his
vicissitudes of hope and fear, and his ultimate despair?
His duty called him to America. He had been in
this city, and had frequently passed the door of the
house in which his wife, at that moment, resided.
Her father had not remitted his exertions to eluci-
date this painful mystery, but they had failed.
This disappointment hastened his death; in conse-
quence of which, Louisa's father became possessor
of his immense property."

This tale was a copious theme of speculation.
A thousand questions were started and discussed in
our domestic circle, respecting the motives that
influenced Mrs. Stuart to abandon her country.
It did not appear that her proceeding was involun-
tary. We recalled and reviewed every particular
that had fallen under our own observation. By
none of these were we furnished with a clue. Her
conduct, after the most rigorous scrutiny, still re-
mained an impenetrable secret. On a nearer view,
Major Stuart proved himself a man of most
amiable character. His attachment to Louisa ap-
peared hourly to increase. She was no stranger to
the sentiments suitable to her new character. She
could not but readily embrace the scheme which
was proposed to her, to return with her father to
England. This scheme his regard for her in-
duced him, however, to postpone. Some time was
necessary to prepare her for so great a change and
enable her to think without agony of her separa-
tion from us.

I was not without hopes of prevailing on her
father entirely to relinquish this unwelcome design.

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Meanwhile, he pursued his travels through the
southern colonies, and his daughter continued with
us. Louisa and my brother frequently received
letters from him, which indicated a mind of no
common order. They were filled with amusing
details, and profound reflections. While here, he
often partook of our evening conversations at the
temple; and since his departure, his correspond-
ence had frequently supplied us with topics of dis-

One afternoon in May, the blandness of the air,
and brightness of the verdure, induced us to assem-
ble, earlier than usual, in the temple. We females
were busy at the needle, while my brother and
Pleyel were bandying quotations and syllogisms.
The point discussed was the merit of the oration
for Cluentius, as descriptive, first, of the genius of
the speaker; and, secondly, of the manners of the
times. Pleyel laboured to extenuate both these
species of merit, and tasked his ingenuity, to shew
that the orator had embraced a bad cause; or, at
least, a doubtful one. He urged, that to rely on
the exaggerations of an advocate, or to make the
picture of a single family a model from which to
sketch the condition of a nation, was absurd. The
controversy was suddenly diverted into a new chan-
nel, by a misquotation. Pleyel accused his com-
panion of saying "polliciatur" when he should
have said "polliceretur." Nothing would decide
the contest, but an appeal to the volume. My
brother was returning to the house for this purpose,
when a servant met him with a letter from Major
Stuart. He immediately returned to read it in our

Besides affectionate compliments to us, and pa-
ternal benedictions on Louisa, his letter contained

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a description of a waterfall on the Monongahela.
A sudden gust of rain falling, we were compelled
to remove to the house. The storm passed away,
and a radiant moon-light succeeded. There was
no motion to resume our seats in the temple. We
therefore remained where we were, and engaged in
sprightly conversation. The letter lately received
naturally suggested the topic. A parallel was
drawn between the cataract there described, and
one which Pleyel had discovered among the Alps
of Glarus. In the state of the former, some par-
ticular was mentioned, the truth of which was
questionable. To settle the dispute which thence
arose, it was proposed to have recourse to
the letter. My brother searched for it in his
pocket. It was no where to be found. At length,
he remembered to have left it in the temple, and he
determined to go in search of it. His wife, Pleyel,
Louisa, and myself, remained where we were.

In a few minutes he returned. I was somewhat
interested in the dispute, and was therefore impa-
tient for his return; yet, as I heard him ascending
the stairs, I could not but remark, that he had exe-
cuted his intention with remarkable dispatch. My
eyes were fixed upon him on his entrance. Me-
thought he brought with him looks considerably
different from those with which he departed. Won-
der, and a slight portion of anxiety were mingled
in them. His eyes seemed to be in search of some
object. They passed quickly from one person to
another, till they rested on his wife. She was
seated in a careless attitude on the sofa, in the same
spot as before. She had the same muslin in her
hand, by which her attention was chiefly en-

The moment he saw her, his perplexity visibly

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increased. He quietly seated himself, and fixing
his eyes on the floor, appeared to be absorbed in
meditation. These singularities suspended the in-
quiry which I was preparing to make respecting
the letter. In a short time, the company relin-
quished the subject which engaged them, and di-
rected their attention to Wieland. They thought
that he only waited for a pause in the discourse, to
produce the letter. The pause was uninterrupted
by him. At length Pleyel said, "Well, I suppose
you have found the letter."

"No," said he, without any abatement of his
gravity, and looking stedfastly at his wife, "I did
not mount the hill."—"Why not?"—"Catha-
rine, have you not moved from that spot since I
left the room?"—She was affected with the solem-
nity of his manner, and laying down her work, an-
swered in a tone of surprise, "No; Why do you ask
that question?"—His eyes were again fixed upon
the floor, and he did not immediately answer. At
length, he said, looking round upon us, "Is it true
that Catharine did not follow me to the hill? That
she did not just now enter the room?"—We assur-
ed him, with one voice, that she had not been absent
for a moment, and inquired into the motive of his

"Your assurances," said he, "are solemn and
unanimous; and yet I must deny credit to your
assertions, or disbelieve the testimony of my senses,
which informed me, when I was half way up the
hill, that Catharine was at the bottom."

We were confounded at this declaration. Pleyel
rallied him with great levity on his behaviour. He
listened to his friend with calmness, but without
any relaxation of features.

"One thing," said he with emphasis, "is true;

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either I heard my wife's voice at the bottom of the
hill, or I do not hear your voice at present."

"Truly," returned Pleyel, "it is a sad dilemma
to which you have reduced yourself. Certain it is,
if our eyes can give us certainty that your wife
has been sitting in that spot during every moment of
your absence. You have heard her voice, you say,
upon the hill. In general, her voice, like her tem-
per, is all softness. To be heard across the room,
she is obliged to exert herself. While you were
gone, if I mistake not, she did not utter a word.
Clara and I had all the talk to ourselves. Still
it may be that she held a whispering conference
with you on the hill; but tell us the particulars."

"The conference," said he, "was short; and far
from being carried on in a whisper. You know with
what intention I left the house. Half way to the
rock, the moon was for a moment hidden from
us by a cloud. I never knew the air to be more
bland and more calm. In this interval I glanced
at the temple, and thought I saw a glimmering be-
tween the columns. It was so faint, that it would
not perhaps have been visible, if the moon had not
been shrowded. I looked again, but saw nothing.
I never visit this building alone, or at night, without
being reminded of the fate of my father. There
was nothing wonderful in this appearance; yet it
suggested something more than mere solitude and
darkness in the same place would have done.

"I kept on my way. The images that haunted
me were solemn; and I entertained an imperfect
curiosity, but no fear, as to the nature of this ob-
ject. I had ascended the hill little more than half
way, when a voice called me from behind. The
accents were clear, distinct, powerful, and were
uttered, as I fully believed, by my wife. Her voice

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is not commonly so loud. She has seldom occasion
to exert it, but, nevertheless, I have sometimes heard
her call with force and eagerness. If my ear was
not deceived, it was her voice which I heard.

"Stop, go no further. There is danger in your
path." The suddenness and unexpectedness of this
warning, the tone of alarm with which it was
given, and, above all, the persuasion that it was my
wife who spoke, were enough to disconcert and
make me pause. I turned and listened to assure
myself that I was not mistaken. The deepest
silence succeeded. At length, I spoke in my turn.
Who calls? is it you, Catharine? I stopped and
presently received an answer. "Yes, it is I; go
not up; return instantly; you are wanted at the
house." Still the voice was Catharine's, and still
it proceeded from the foot of the stairs.

"What could I do? The warning was myste-
rious. To be uttered by Catharine at a place, and
on an occasion like these, enhanced the mystery.
I could do nothing but obey. Accordingly, I trod
back my steps, expecting that she waited for me at
the bottom of the hill. When I reached the bottom,
no one was visible. The moon-light was once
more universal and brilliant, and yet, as far as I
could see no human or moving figure was discern-
ible. If she had returned to the house, she must
have used wondrous expedition to have passed
already beyond the reach of my eye. I exerted my
voice, but in vain. To my repeated exclamations,
no answer was returned.

"Ruminating on these incidents, I returned hither.
There was no room to doubt that I had heard my
wife's voice; attending incidents were not easily ex-
plained; but you now assure me that nothing ex-

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traordinary has happened to urge my return, and
that my wife has not moved from her seat."

Such was my brother's narrative. It was heard
by us with different emotions. Pleyel did not scru-
ple to regard the whole as a deception of the senses.
Perhaps a voice had been heard; but Wieland's ima-
gination had misled him in supposing a resemblance
to that of his wife, and giving such a signification
to the sounds. According to his custom he spoke
what he thought. Sometimes, he made it the theme
of grave discussion, but more frequently treated it
with ridicule. He did not believe that sober reason-
ing would convince his friend, and gaiety, he
thought, was useful to take away the solemnities
which, in a mind like Wieland's, an accident of this
kind was calculated to produce.

Pleyel proposed to go in search of the letter. He
went and speedily returned, bearing it in his hand.
He had found it open on the pedestal; and neither
voice nor visage had risen to impede his design.

Catharine was endowed with an uncommon
portion of good sense; but her mind was accessible,
on this quarter, to wonder and panic. That
her voice should be thus inexplicably and unwar-
rantably assumed, was a source of no small disquie-
tude. She admitted the plausibility of the argu-
ments by which Pleyel endeavoured to prove, that
this was no more than an auricular deception; but
this conviction was sure to be shaken, when she
turned her eyes upon her husband, and perceived
that Pleyel's logic was far from having produced the
same effect upon him.

As to myself, my attention was engaged by
this occurrence. I could not fail to perceive a
shadowy resemblance between it and my father's

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death. On the latter event, I had frequently re-
flected; my reflections never conducted me to
certainty, but the doubts that existed were not
of a tormenting kind. I could not deny that
the event was miraculous, and yet I was invincibly
averse to that method of solution. My wonder
was excited by the inscrutableness of the cause, but
my wonder was unmixed with sorrow or fear. It
begat in me a thrilling, and not unpleasing solem-
nity. Similar to these were the sensations produced
by the recent adventure.

But its effect upon my brother's imagination was
of chief moment. All that was desirable was, that
it should be regarded by him with indifference.
The worst effect that could flow, was not indeed
very formidable. Yet I could not bear to think
that his senses should be the victims of such delu-
sion. It argued a diseased condition of his frame,
which might show itself hereafter in more danger-
ous symptoms. The will is the tool of the under-
standing, which must fashion its conclusions on
the notices of sense. If the senses be depraved, it is
impossible to calculate the evils that may flow from
the consequent deductions of the understanding.

I said, this man is of an ardent and melancholy
character. Those ideas which, in others, are casual
or obscure, which are entertained in moments of
abstraction and solitude, and easily escape when
the scene is changed, have obtained an immoveable
hold upon his mind. The conclusions which long
habit has rendered familiar, and, in some sort, pal-
pable to his intellect, are drawn from the deepest
sources. All his actions and practical sentiments
are linked with long and abstruse deductions from
the system of divine government and the laws of

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our intellectual constitution. He is, in some re-
spects, an enthusiast, but is fortified in his belief
by innumerable arguments and subtilties.

His father's death was always regarded by him
as flowing from a direct and supernatural decree.
It visited his meditations oftener than it did mine.
The traces which it left were more gloomy and
permanent. This new incident had a visible effect
in augmenting his gravity. He was less disposed
than formerly to converse and reading. When we
sifted his thoughts, they were generally found to
have a relation, more or less direct, with this incident.
It was difficult to ascertain the exact species of im-
pression which it made upon him. He never in-
troduced the subject into conversation, and listened
with a silent and half-serious smile to the satirical
effusions of Pleyel.

One evening we chanced to be alone together
in the temple. I seized that opportunity of inves-
tigating the state of his thoughts. After a pause,
which he seemed in no wise inclined to interrupt,
I spoke to him—"How almost palpable is this dark;
yet a ray from above would dispel it." "Ay,"
said Wieland, with fervor, "not only the physical,
but moral night would be dispelled." "But why,"
said I, "must the Divine Will address its precepts
to the eye?" He smiled significantly. "True,"
said he, "the understanding has other avenues."
"You have never," said I, approaching nearer to
the point—"you have never told me in what way
you considered the late extraordinary incident."
"There is no determinate way in which the sub-
ject can be viewed. Here is an effect, but the
cause is utterly inscrutable. To suppose a decep-
tion will not do. Such is possible, but there are

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twenty other suppositions more probable. They
must all be set aside before we reach that
point." "What are these twenty supposi-
tions?" "It is needless to mention them. They
are only less improbable than Pleyel's. Time may
convert one of them into certainty. Till then it is
useless to expatiate on them."

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