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Monday, August 28

Memoir of Mary Darby Robinson

Mary Darby Robinson died in 1800 at the tender age of 42. Her memoirs were published posthumously by her daughter in 1802. Click on the above words to find the original text. Click here for Mary's biography.

The following is an excerpt from her memoirs:

"If there could be found a fault in the conduct of my mother towards her children, it was that of a too unlimited indulgence, a too tender care, which but little served to arm their breast against the perpetual arrows of mortal vicissitude.

My father's commercial concerns were crowned with prosperity. His house was opened by hospitality, and his generosity was only equalled by the liberality of fortune: every day augmented his successes; every hour seemed to increase his domestic felicity, till I attained my ninth year, when a change took place as sudden as it was unfortunate, at a moment when every luxury, every happiness, not only brightened the present, but gave promise of future felicity. A scheme was suggested to my father, as wild and romantic as it was perilous to hazard, which was no less than that of establishing a whale fishery on the coast of Labrador, and of civilising the Esquimaux Indians, in order to employ them in the extensive undertaking. During two years this eccentric plan occupied his thoughts by day, his dreams by night: all the smiles of prosperity could not tranquillise the restless spirit, and while he anticipated an acquirement of fame he little considered the perils that would attend his fortune. [Page 13]"

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