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Broadside entitled 'Awful Cruelty; or, the life of Elisabeth Watson'


Awful Cruelty;



An Account of the Life and Death of Miss ELISABETH WATSON, a Gentleman's
Daughter, who was betrayed and seduced by a young Gentleman; she became
pregnant to him?his love soon turned to hatred towards her, and he ordered his
servants to turn her out of doors. She was then reduced to poverty, and obliged
to beg from door to door; and on Monday last, was found in a most deplorable
condition, lying dead in a byre near mid Calder . together with a copy of an inter-
esting Letter, and also a Copy of Verses, which were found in her pocket-book, in
her own hand writing.

Copy of the Letter.

"ONCE the dearest, now cruelest of men, if my exhausted spirits would support
trembling hands, whilst I write a few lines to ease my broken heart, it would be the
last office I should require them to do?then may they leave me? then may I find
in the grave a retreat from the scorn of men. How is my gold become dim, and my
most fine gold become dross ? I do not mean to attempt, by the awful name of virtue
to accuse you of ingratitude; ah, no, the scene is entirely changed?you have rob-
bed me of the brightest gem in the female character, and now I come as an humble
supplicant. Is it possible? am I awake? or did I dream? Ah, poor girl, think not
what you were, but what you are. How can I rest from calling to remembrance these
days of innocence and peace, when, with serene countenance and sincere heart, I
could look up to heaven, and beg the God of purity to be my protector; but ah, how
I am changed?how is my virtue faded-?how such guilt filled my soul, while blushes
cover my face ; sad reflections on my present state makes me meditate on the future
which opens so tremendous a scene to my view.

"Now whither shall I fly to find relief? If I fly to my friends, who were once all
my comfort, they, bathed in tears, cry out,?You have brought our grey hairs with
sorrow to the grave. If to get a moment's ease, I wander into the fields, every flower
I see seems to say, We are pure. Thus is nature armed against me, and on whose
account I seem to be forsaken by heaven and earth on your account, who strove
to gain my affections and become masters of them, and now you triumph over me?
laugh at me for trusting your honour, and puting confidence in your word. O hypo-
cricy how couldst thou wear so shining a form ? Generosity, where art thou fled ?
Honour, hast thou forsaken the human race ? Look on my distress, O, my God !
despise me not. O, my friends pray for me?My distressed parents forgive me,
Then may the cold grave receive me in it's peaceful recesses, where my shame may
be buried in eternal oblivion. May you, in the hour of death, find consolation from
your God and Judge, which you haqe denied to the wretched


A Copy of the Verses.
You females all, both far and near.             Allured by his beguiling tongue,
Attend to what a friend doth say ;                And arrayed in gay and rich atire,
I'll make you weep, my tale to hear,             Not. thinking I was doing wrong,
For all my joy has fled away.                      Elophd with this gallant squire.

I was with education bless'd,                        At length to him with child I proved,
The best my friends could find ;                  He gave me language sharp and keen,
They had me like a princess dress'd,             He hated me, who once he loved,
And nothing then disturb'd my mind.          And never more by me was seen.

I was an only daughter dear,                      His servants turned me to the door,
My father's joy, my mother's pride;             I orlorn, disconsolate and distress'd
And promised fair for many a year,             "T was now I thought upon the poor,
But, oh, alas ! my mother died.                     When I had no place of rest

When she upon her death bed lay,             Along the purling stream I'd walk,
Her looks and words did pierce my heart;    Thro' lonely groves and shady bowers;
Methinks she had much more to say,            No one I'd get with me to talk,
Alas her spirit did depart.                            Or pass away the mourning hours.

My father grieved his heart away,                I hope, young maidens, you will hear,
Six months did close his mortal life ;             And give some thought to what I say,
This was to me a mournful day?                To Pride Destructions very near,
They laid him by his loving wife.                Let Prudence guard your slipp'ry way.

My uncles they my guardians were,             A flattering tongue always despise?
Also another of our friends;                         May Virtue guide your steps aright?
They kept me in great awe and fear,            Then to perfection may you rise?
Untill I gain'd my wicked ends.                  In pleasure spend the day and night.

When sable night had clad us round,          A blooming flower of twenty years
And silent was the midnight hour,               Just in the prime of life should be;
A chance to escape then I found,                  My body tr the grave they'll bear,
And gently closed the mansion door.            And not a tear be sheg for me.

Where a young gentleman did wait?          More I would say, but O, the pain
My youthful heart he did trepan ;                Of death, I feel the mortal dart;
And at my father's garden gate,                   I hope in heaven my soul shall reign,
He had his coach and waiting man.             When death stops this beating heart.

He promised I his bride should be,             She's clos'd her mortal scene below?
And nothing should controul my will            From grief and trouble she is free?-
With every pleasure I could see,                She's gone the road we all must go,
I should enjoy me to my fill.                      From time unto eternity.


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Probable period of publication: 1830-1839   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(187)
Broadside entitled 'Awful Cruelty; or, the life of Elisabeth Watson'
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