FROM the period when I fixed my residence in a quiet and retired cottage, where my days glided on in undisturbed tranquillity, I had ceased to remember that I was born the child of misfortune; my troubles had all passed away, and I vainly flattered myself, that in this sweet retirement, adversity would never reach me. Thus happy in my present situation, and elated with the most flattering prospects of futurity, I undertook and completed the task of writing my MEMOIRS. But no sooner had I delivered them into the hands of the Printer, than I had the misfortune to lose my dearest protectress, Miss Margaret Metcalfe. My feelings are too painful to permit my dwelling on the distressing subject. I leave it to the reader to conceive, how severe a task it is to support the affliction felt, when our dearest friend has bidden an eternal farewell to the world. Nor will time itself avail to heal my sorrows; for a loss so great as I have sustained must be contemplated, even to the latest moments of existence, with the deepest grief and regret. One melancholy satisfaction I possess,-- the thought that I was regarded by my lamented benefactress, at the close of her valuable life, as not unworthy of the goodness she had extended to me during so long a period of it, and that I still owe my independence to her bounty. Her sacred memory is now, alas! all that is left of my protectress, and there my gratitude must ever dwell.