than herself. Here she passed through the most pleasant part of her history; free from care, and from sorrow-a stranger to the temptations and the vices of the world-improving her taste, and enriching her mind by a course of intellectual studies, which were conducted under the superintendence of her intelligent parent. But in the garden of her bliss, there was a sepulchre, and there she saw entombed, by a premature dispensation of the Almighty, all her earthly felicity-Her mother, who had survived the convulsive anguish, occasioned by the decease of Mr. Hutchinson, and who devoted the whole energy of her superior mind, to the improvement and happiness of her children, retired to rest one evening in her usual state of health, but early in the morning the family was disturbed by her groans. On entering the room, they saw her in the agonies of death; and before the medical gentleman arrived she breathed her last. This calamity came upon her with such an overpowering force, that it broke down her spirits, and left her paralyzed with mental agony. She sunk into a morbid melancholy, from which, not even the cries, nor the importunities of her brother could rouse her; and though on the day of the funeral she consented to put on the emblems of mourning, it was evident that her intense grief had either benumbed, or impaired her mental faculties. In this state she continued, till she was enabled to give vent to her feelings, by a flood of tears, but this relief, which restored her to herself, made her still more sensible of the irreparable loss she and her brother had sustained. "What shall we now do, sister," said little Henry, when she pressed him, for the first time to her bosom after she had recovered from the shock of death, "( now our mother is dead ?"

"Ah! what my brother: I will be a mother to you!"



"Then I won't cry much shall we still live here?"

"Perhaps we may, my dear, but that depends on your uncle."

"I am glad of that, because I am sure uncle will let us live here."

On no point is the happiness and prosperity of a bereaved family, more dependant than on the se lection of wise and faithful men, who become legally vested with the guardianship of their persons and the control of their affairs. If men of wisdom and of sterling integrity be chosen for this purposemen, who unite in their character the kindness of a genuine friendship, with its constancy and disinterestedness-who will attend to the more important duties of their station, without overlooking or neglecting the more minute and trivial-and who feel a profound regard for their own honour, the affliction which is brought on the surviving members of a family by the decease of a parent, is considerably alleviated, as they have, in the person of such a trustee or executor, a friend who not only administers the soothing consolations of a tender sympathy, but watches over their interest with a parental fidelity and care. But if men of an opposite charac ter be nominated to this important trust; men of an indolent and a selfish disposition--who are naturally irascible, and petulent; who accept the appointment from the mere love of power, or for the trifling legacy which usually accompanies it ;-and who feel no more respect for the unimpeachable integrity of their moral reputation, than they do for the comfort and well being of the miserable victims who are placed under their jurisdiction, the death

of a parent is usually followed by a series of afflictive calamities, which wring the heart of the sufferers with the most torturous anxieties, and not unfrequently reduce them, if not to absolute, to comparative poverty-leaving them no redress of which they have a capacity to avail themselves. Hence arises the necessity on the part of parents, when they are making a final disposition of their property, to fix on persons whom they entrust with its management, after their decease, who are known to possess the necessary qualifications for doing it, in conformity with the letter and spirit of their will, as the happiness and prosperity of their children is so deeply involved in it.

The nearest relatives of the testator are usually selected for this office-a brother, or an elder, or a favourite son; and though I would not condemn every of such selection, yet, as a general maxim of prudence, it will be found more conducive to the peace and comfort of a large family, to appoint some friends, who have no personal interest in the estate. The reason of this must be obvious to every person, who has had much practical experience in the affairs of human life. A near relative, being vested with legal authority over the property, if not over the persons of his relations, even when he is acting on the most honourable principles, and when governed by the most conscientious motives does not, in general, deem it necessary to give all that information, which they would like to receive, and which they think themselves entitled to receive; and they often hesitate to ask for an explanation, lest they should be suspected of impeaching his honour and integrity. They are silent, except amongst themselves, and though all cause of uneasiness or dissatisfaction might be removed by a

simple and frank statement, yet this being withheld more often from inconsideration than design, their dissatisfaction increases, till they begin to impeach honour which has never betrayed its trust, and throw out dark insinuations against their real, if not their best friend.

But why not ask for information on points in which their mutual interest is involved? and thus have the cloud of mystery dispersed as soon as it appears; and so they would, if it were not for that barrier which the ties of consanguinity throw in their way, and which appears to them so formidable, that they cannot venture to pass it, till, by reiterated irritations produced by the workings of their own surmises and passions, they are prepared by some sudden storm or rush to break through it, to alledge unfounded charges, and utter unmerited reproaches. The consequences which result from such a line of conduct, often entail misery, and sometimes disgrace, on both parties; as the attack of passion is often repulsed by passion, and that satisfactory information, which would have been given to respectful solicitation, is refused to noisy clamour and infuriated anger,—and no alternative awaits the dissatisfied, but an appeal to the law, which is found to transform an imaginary source of family wretchedness, into a real one.

But it too often happens that a near relative, when appointed as a trustee or an executor under the will of a testator, will pass the boundary line of strict and impartial justice, and make the interests of others subservient to his own. Being vested with power, he employs it, not as the guardian angel of an ever watchful and disinterested vigilance, but as the waster and destroyer, who, with fair speeches and oft repeated promises, con

trives either to lay suspicion asleep, or to counteract its manœuveres, till he has, by spoliation, plunder, or misuse, enriched himself by impoverishing others. Thus, like the author of all sin, having gained admission into the Eden of domestic confidence, under the disguise of a fictitious character, he employs his knowledge of good and of evil, to accomplish his own base purposes,-turning it into the local habitation of misery and wo, and compelling the children of an affluent and indulgent parent, to go forth into the world to gain a scanty subsistence by the sweat of their brow. If we ever feel indignant against vice, and are tempted to trespass against the law of a cautious moderation of speech, it is when we see it practising its nefarious tricks, and committing its cruel deeds on the persons and on the property of those whom it is sworn to protect and befriend; but our acquaintance with the affairs of human life has taught us, that no oath, however sacred, can bind the demon of injustice-who having renounced allegiance to heaven, sets at nought the solemn obligations of earth, and feels an unhallowed indifference, when looking round on the miseries which he has occasioned.

During the life-time of Mrs. Hutchinson, the temporal affairs of the family were conducted under her own prudent superintendence, as she was an executrix, and the property which her husband had bequeathed to his children was gradually augmented; but at her decease, the entire management devolved on the uncle, who was the only near relative they possessed. He was a man of acknowledged integrity, though not a man of wealth, and professed a friendship and an attachment for the orphans, which every one supposed to be genuine

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