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[261] with a young man to whom she was previously engaged; and that her brain was affected by this secret unhappiness. She was never publicly accused; partly because there was no evidence against her, and partly because it was supposed that if she did commit the crime, it must have been owing to aberation of mind. But she became aware of the whisperings against her, and the consciousness of being an object of suspicion, combined with the mysterious disappearance of her child, cast a heavy cloud over her life, and made her appear more and more unlike her former self. This she confided to her clergyman, in the interview shortly preceding her death; and she likewise told him that the young man, to whom she had been engaged, had never forgiven her for not marrying him.

A few weeks after her decease, this young man confessed that he had stolen the babe. He had followed the mother, unobserved by her, and had seen her lay the sleeping infant on its bed of leaves. As he gazed upon it, a mingled feeling of jealousy and revenge took possession of his soul. In obedience to a sudden impulse, he seized the babe, and carried it off hastily. He subsequently conveyed it to a distant village, and placed it out to nurse, under an assumed name and history. The child was found alive and well, at the place he indicated. Thus the mother's innocence was made clearly manifest to the

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