The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1801 The Father and Daughter
European Magazine, 40 (September 1801): 194.


The Father and Daughter: A Tale in Prose. By Mrs. Opie. 12mo 4s.6d. Longman and Rees.

A very affecting moral story. The incidents, which are of a domestic nature (as, indeed, the title imports), occur naturally, and 'come home to the business and bosoms' of every class of readers. The scenes of distress in which Agnes and Fitzhenry are involved, Mrs Opie has depicted with great force and effect; and the lessons that she inculcates do credit to her head and heart.

Of the general tendency of the work, we cannot convey a more clear idea, perhaps, than may be formed from a perusal of the following lines, with which the fair Author has concluded it.

Peace to the memory of Agnes Fitzhenry! - And may the woman who, like her, has been the victim of artifice, self-confidence, and temptation, like her endeavour to regain the esteem of the world by patient suffering and virtuous exertion, and look forward to the attainment of it with confidence! But may she whose innocence is yet secure, and whose virtues still boast the stamp of chastity, which can alone make them current in the world, tremble with horror at the idea of listening to the voice of the seducer, lest the image of a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, or some other fellow-being, whose peace of mind has been injured by her deviation from virtue, should haunt her path through life; and she who might, perhaps, have contemplated with fortitude the wreck of her own happiness, be doomed to pine with fruitless remorse at the consciousness of having destroyed that of another. - For, where is the mortal who can venture to pronounce that his actions are of importance to no one, and that the consequences of his virtues or his vices will be confined to himself alone?


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