and determined to die by starvation.
The kindhearted Friend immediately went to her assistance.
He found her lying on the floor of her cell, with her face buried in her hands, sobbing as if her heart would break.
He tried to comfort her, but could obtain no answer.
‘Leave us alone,’ said he to the keeper.
‘Perhaps she will speak to me, if there is no one to hear.’
When they were alone together, he put back the hair from her temples, laid his hand kindly on her beautiful head, and said in soothing tones, ‘My child, consider me as thy father.
Tell me all thou hast done.
If thou hast taken this silk, let me know all about it. I will do for thee as I would for my own daughter; and I doubt not that I can help thee out of this difficulty.’
After a long time spent in affectionate entreaty, she leaned her young head on his friendly shoulder, and sobbed out, ‘Oh, I wish I was dead.
What will my poor mother say when she knows of my disgrace?’
‘Perhaps we can manage that she never shall know it,’ replied he. Alluring her by this hope, he gradually obtained from her the whole story of her acquaintance with the nobleman.
He bade her be comforted, and take nourishment; for he would see that the silk was paid for, and the prosecution withdrawn.