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placed upon a different object. The chap- a couple of chairs; and as we were in latti's errand was to inform us, that Mr. want of ladies to make up a set at country Thornhill had provided music and refresh- dances, the two gentlemen went with him ments; and intended that night giving the in quest of a couple of partners. Chairs young ladies a ball by moonlight, on the and partners were soon provided. The grass plat before our door. *** Nor can gentlemen returned with my neighbour I deny," continued he, “but I have an Flamborough's rosy daughters, flaunting interest in being first to deliver this mes with red top-knots; but an unlucky cirSa as I expect for my reward to be cumstance was not adverted to,—though hozzared with Miss Sophia's hand as a the Miss Flamboroughs were reckoned partner.". To this my girl replied, that the very best dancers in the parish, and she should have no objection, if she could understood the jig and roundabout to perdo it with honour; “ But here,” continued fection, yet they were totally unacquainted she, “is a gentleman," looking at Mr. with country dances. This at first disBachell," who has been my companion composed us : however, after a little in the task for the day, and it is fit he should shoving and dragging, they at last went share in its amusements.” Mr. Burchell merrily on. Our music consisted of two resurned her a compliment for her inten- fiddles, with a pipe and tabor. The moon tous, but resigned her up to the chaplain ; shone bright. Mr. Thornhill and my eldest ading, that he was to go that night five daughter led up the ball, to the great as being invited to a harvest supper. delight of the spectators ; for the neighHs refusal appeared to me a little extra- bours, hearing what was going forward, onlinary; nor could I conceive how so came flocking about us. My girl moved kesible a girl as my youngest could thus with so much grace and vivacity, that my prefer a man of broken fortunes to one wife could not avoid discovering the pride abre expectations were much greater. of her heart by assuring me that, though But as men are most capable of distin- the little chit did it so cleverly, all the quishing merit in women, so the ladies steps were stolen from herself. The ladies then form the truest judgments of us.
of the town strove hard to be equally The two sexes seem placed as spies upon easy, but without success. They swam, cach other, and are furnished with different sprawled, languished, and frisked; but als alilities, adapted for mutual inspection. would not do: the gazers indeed owned
that it was fine ; but neighbour FlamCHAPTER IX.
borough observed that Miss Livy's feet 1 Ladies of great Distinction introduced. seemed as pat to the music as its echo. rim Finery ever seems to confer superior After the dance had continued about an
hour, the two ladies, who were apprehenMR. BURCHELL had scarce taken leave, sive of catching cold, moved to break up ml Sophia consented to dance with the the ball. One of them, I thought, exhaplain
, when my little ones came run- pressed her sentiments upon this occasion ons out to tell us, that the Squire was in a very coarse manner, when she obcome with a crowd of company. Upon served, that, “by the living jingo, she was ou retum, we found our landlord, with all of a muck of sweat. Upon our a couple of under gentlemen and two return to the house, we found a very
2 ladies richly dressed, whom he elegant cold supper, which Mr. Thornhill introduced as women of very great dis- had ordered to be brought with him. The tinction and fashion from town. We conversation at this time was more re
not to have chairs enough for served than before. The two ladies threw the whole company; but Mr. Thornhill my girls into the shade ; for they would izmediately proposed, that every gentle talk of nothing but high life, and highmag should sit in a lady's lap. This I lived company ; with other fashionable postively objected to, not withstanding a topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakeizak of disapprobation from my wise speare
, and the musical glasses." "Tis true Moses was therefore dispatched to borrow they once or twice mortified us sensibly
by slipping out an oath; but that appeared my suspicions." As to your present to me as the surest symptom of their dis. hint,” continued he, “I protest nothing tinction (though I am since informed was farther from my heart than such that swearing is perfectly unfashionable). thought. No, by all that's tempting ! the Their finery, however, threw a veil over virtue that will stand a regular siege wa any grossness in their conversation. My never to my taste; for all my amours are daughters seemed to regard their superior carried by a coup-de-main." accomplishments with envy; and what The two ladies, who affected to be appeared amiss, was ascribed to tip-top ignorant of the rest, seemed highly disquality breeding. But the condescension pleased with this last stroke of freedom, of the ladies was still superior to their and began a very discreet and serious accomplishments. One of them observed, dialogue upon virtue : in this, my wife, that had Miss Olivia seen a little more of the chaplain, and I, soon joined; and the the world, it would greatly improve her; Squire himself was at last brought to to which the other added, that a single confess a sense of sorrow for his former winter in town would make her little excesses. We talked of the pleasures of Sophia quite another thing. My wife temperance, and of the sunshine in the warmly assented to both ; adding, that mind unpolluted with guilt. I was so there was nothing she more ardently well pleased, that my little ones were wished than to give her girls a single kept up beyond the usual time to be winter's polishing. To this I could not edified by so much good conversation. help replying, that their breeding was Mr. Thornhill even went beyond me, and already superior to their fortune; and that demanded if I had any objection to giving greater refinement would only serve to prayers. 1 joysully embraced the promake their poverty ridiculous, and give posal; and in this manner the night was them a taste for pleasures they had no passed in the most comfortable way, till right to possess.
And what pleasures,” at last the company began to think of cried Mr. Thornhill, "do they not deserve returning. The ladies seemed very un. to possess, who have so much in their willing to part with my daughters, for power to bestow? As for my part,” whom they had conceived a particular continued he, "my fortune is pretty affection, and joined in a request to have large; love, liberty, and pleasure are my 'the pleasure of their company home. The maxims; but curse me, if a settlement of Squire seconded the proposals, and my half my estate could give my charming wife added her entreaties; the girls, too, Olivia pleasure, it should be hers; and looked upon me as if they wished to go. the only favour I would ask in return In this perplexity, I made two or three would be to add myself to the benefit.” | excuses, which my daughters as readily I was not such a stranger to the world as removed; so that at last I was obliged 10 to be ignorant that this was the fashion give a peremptory refusal, for which we able cant to disguise the insolence of the had nothing but sullen looks and short basest proposal ; but I made an effort to answers the whole day ensuing. suppress my resentment.
“Sir,” cried I, "the family which you now condescend
CHAPTER X. to favour with your company has been The Family erdenvour to cope with their Betters. bred with as nice a sense of honour as The Miseries of the Poor, when they attemp: you. Any attempts to injure that may
to appear above their Circumstances. be attended with very dangerous conse- ' I now began to find that all my long quences. Honour, sir, is our only posses, and painful lectures upon temperance, sion at present, and of that last treasure simplicity, and contentment were entirely we must be particularly careful.” I was disregarded. The distinctions lately paid soon sorry for the warmth with which I us by our betters awakened that pride had spoken this, when the young gentle. which I had laid asleep, but not removed. man, grasping my hand, swore he com- Our windows, again, as formerly, were mended my spirit, though he disapproved filled with washes for the neck and face. The sun was dreaded as an enemy to the This curiosity of theirs, however, was skin without doors, and the fire as a attended with very serious effects : we spoiler of the complexion within. My now began to think ourselves designed by wie observed that rising too early would the stars to something exalted, and already hurt her daughter's eyes, that working anticipated our future grandeur. after dinner would redden their noses; It has been a thousand times observed, and she convinced me that the hands and I must observe it once more, that the Dever looked so white as when they did hours we pass with happy prospects in nothing. Instead therefore of finishing view, are more pleasing than those crowned Coscrge's shirts, we now had them new- with fruition. In the first case, we cook rradelling their old gauzes, or flourishing the dish to our own appetite; in the una caigut. The poor Miss Flambo- latter, Nature cooks it for us. It is miests, their former gay companions, impossible to repeat the train of agreeable were cast off as mean acquaintance, and reveries we called up for our entertainment. the whole conversation ran upon high We looked upon our fortunes as once 14 and high-lived company, with pic. more rising ; and, as the whole parish tures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical asserted that the Squire was in love with glasses.
my daughter, she was actually so with Eat we could have borne all this, had him; for they persuaded her into the not a fortune-telling gipsy come to raise passion. In this agreeable interval my wife
into perfect sublimity. The tawny sibyl had the most lucky dreams in the world, 30 sooner appeared, than my girls came which she took care to tell us every morning running to me for a shilling a-piece to with great solemnity and exactness. It cross her hand with silver. To say the was one night a coffin and cross-bones, the truth, I was tired of being always wise, and sign of an approaching, wedding; at could not help gratifying their request, another time she imagined her daughters' beczase I loved to see them happy. I pockets filled with farthings, a certain sign gave each of them a shilling; though for of their being shortly stuffed with gold. Le honour of the family it must be ob- The girls themselves had their omens. krved, that they never went without money They felt strange kisses on their lips; they Lemselves, as my wife always generously' saw rings in the candle; purses bounced Let them have a guinea each, to keep in their from the fire, and true love-knots lurked pockets
, but with strict injunctions never in the bottom of every teacup. 5 change it. After they had been closeted Towards the end of the week we repp with the fortune teller for some time, ceived a card from the two ladies, in which, I hjew by their looks, upon their return with their compliments, they hoped to ing, that they had been promised some. see all our family at church the Sunday thing great. “Well, my girls, how have following. All Saturday morning I could To sped? Tell me, Livy, has the fortune perceive, in consequence of this, my wife teler given thee a pennyworth ?”—“I and daughters in close conference together, potest, papa," says the girl, “I believe and now and then glancing at me with se deals with somebody that's not right; looks that betrayed å latent plot. To be for she positively declared, that I am to sincere, I had strong suspicions that some be married to a Squire in less than a absurd proposal was preparing for appeartweisemonth!”—“Well, now, Sophy, ing with splendour the next day. In the my child," said I, “and what sort of a evening they began their operations in a Leshand are you to have ?” –“Sir,” very regular manner, and my wife under. replied she, “I am to have a Lord soon took to conduct the siege. After tea, after my sister has married the Squire.' when I seemed in spirits, she began thus : | -“Hon;" cried I, “is that all you are —“I fancy, Charles, my dear, we shall to have for your two shillings? 'Only a have a great deal of good company at Lord and a Squire for two shillings? You our church to-morrow.”—“ Perhaps we 1735, I could have promised you à Prince may, my dear,” returned I, “though you and a Nabob for half the money." need be under no uneasiness about that
shall have a sermon whether there be finding them come as I expected, I wa or not."
“ That is what I expect, obliged to begin, and went through the returned she ; " but I think, my dear, we service, not without some uneasiness a ought to appear there as decently as pos- finding them absent. This was increased sible, for who knows what may happen?" when all was finished, and no appearance -“Your precautions," replied I," "are of the family. I therefore walked back by highly commendable. A decent behaviour the horse-way, which was five miles round. and appearance in church is what charms though the footway was but two, and, when
We should be devout and humble, got about half-way home, perceived the cheerful and serene.”—“Yes," cried she, procession marching slowly forward to "I know that; but I mean we should go wards the church; my son, my wife, and there in as proper a manner as possible; the two little ones exalted on one horse, not altogether like the scrubs about us." and my two daughters upon the other. “You are quite right, my dear,” returned demanded the cause of their delay; but I, “and I was going to make the very I soon found by their looks they had met: same proposal. The proper manner of with a thousand misfortunes on the road. going is to go there as early as possible, The horses had at first refused to move to have time for meditation before the from the door, till Mr. Burchell was kind service begins.”—“Phoo, Charles,” inter- enough to beat them forward for about rupted she, “all that is very true; but two hundred yards with his cudgel. Next, not what I would be at: I mean, we the straps of my wife's pillion broke down, should go there genteelly. You know the and they were obliged to stop to repair church is two miles off
, and I protest I them before they could proceed. After don't like to see my daughters trudging that, one of the horses took it into his up to their pew all blowzed and red with head to stand still, and neither blow's nor walking, and looking for all the world as entreaties could prevail with him to proif they had been winners at a smock race. ceed. He was just recovering from this Now, my dear, my proposal is this: there dismal situation when I found them; but are our two plough horses, the colt that perceiving everything safe, I own their has been in our family these nine years, present mortification did not much disand his companion Blackberry, that has please me, as it would give me many op: scarcely done an earthly thing for this portunities of future triumph, and teach month past. They are both grown fat and my daughters more humility. lazy. Why should not they do something as well as we? And let me tell
the would be twenty times more genteel than next day, we were invited to burn nuts such a paltry conveyance, as Blackberry and play tricks at neighbour Flambo : was wall-eyed, and the colt wanted a tail; rough's. Our late mortifications had that they had never been broke to the humbled us a little, or it is probable we rein, but had a hundred vicious tricks; and might have rejected such an invitation with that we had but one saddle and pillion in contempt: however, we suffered ourselves the whole house. All these objections, to be happy. Our honest neighbour's however, were overruled; so that I was goose and dumplings were fine, and the , obliged to comply. The next morning I lamb's-wool, even in the opinion of my perceived them not a little busy in col. wise, who was a connoisseur, was excellent., lecting such materials as might be necessary It is true, his manner of telling stories was for the expedition; but, as I found it would not quite so well. They were very long, be a business of time, I walked on to the and very dull, and all about himself, and, church before, and they promised speedily we had laughed at them ten times before : to follow. I waited near an hour' in the however, we were kind enough to laugh!
ding desk for their arrival ; but not at them once more.
Mr. Burchell, who was of the party, the family received no hurt, they were was always fond of seeing some innocent extremely glad ; but being informed that amusement going forward, and set the we were almost killed by the fright, they boys and girls to blind man's buff. My were vastly sorry; but hearing that wife, too, was persuaded to join in the we had a very good night, they were diversion, and it gave me pleasure to think extremely glad again. Nothing could she was not yet too old. In the meantime, exceed their complaisance to my daugh. my neighbour and I looked or, laughed ters: their professions the last evening aterery feat, and praised our own dexterity were warm, but now they were ardent. when we were young. Hot cockles suc- They protested a desire of having a more ceeded next, questions and commands fol. lasting acquaintance. Lady Blarney was lowed that, and, last of all, they sat down particularly attached to Olivia ; Miss Caroto hunt the slipper. As every person may lina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs (I love to not be acquainted with this primeval pas- give the whole name) took a greater fancy time, it may be necessary to observe, that to her sister. They supported the conthe company in this play plant themselves versation between themselves, while my in a ring upon the ground, all except one, daughters sat silent, admiring their exalted who stands in the middle, whose business breeding. But as every reader, however it is to catch a shoe, which the company beggarly himself, is fond of high-lived shore about under their hams from one to dialogues, with anecdotes of lords, ladies, arother
, something like a weaver's shuttle. and knights of the Garter, I must beg As it is impossible, in this case, for the leave to give him the concluding part of Lady who is up to face all the company at the present conversation. coce, the great beauty of the play lies in “ All that I know of the matter," cried hitting her a thump with the heel of the Miss Skeggs, “is this, that it may be true shoe on that side least capable of making or may not be true ; but this I can assure a defence. It was in this manner that your Ladyship, that the whole rout was my eldest daughter was hemmed in, and in
his Lordship turned all thumped about, all blowzed, in spirits, and manner of colours, my Lady fell into a beveling for "fair play” with a voice that sound, but Sir Tomkyn drawing his sword, might dealen a ballad-singer ; when, con- swore he was hers to the last drop of his fusion on confusion! who should enter blood.” the room but our two great acquaint- “Well," replied our Peeress, “this I ances from town, Lady Blarney and Miss can say, that the Duchess never told me Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs! a syllable of the matter, and I believe her Description would but beggar, therefore Grace would keep nothing a secret from It is unnecessary to describe, this new This you may depend upon as fact, mortification. Death! To be seen by ladies that the next morning my Lord Duke of such high breeding in such vulgar atti- cried out three times to his valet-detades! Nothing better could ensue from chambre, Jernigan ! Jernigan ! Jernigan ! such a vulgar play of Mr. Flamborough's bring me my garters.'
proposing. We seemed stuck to the But previously I should have mentioned ming ground for some time, as if actually the very impolite behaviour of Mr. Bur. petrified with amazement.
chell, who, during this discourse, sat with The two ladies had been at our house his face turned to the fire, and, at the conto see us, and finding us from home, came clusion of every sentence, would cry out
after us hither, as they were uneasy to “Fudge!" an expression which displeased know what accident could have kept us us all, and, in some measure, damped the from church the day before. Olivia rising spirit of the conversation. undertook to be our prolocutor, and de
dear Skeggs,” continued livered the whole in a summary way, only our Peeress, "there is nothing of this in saying, “ We were thrown from our the copy of verses that Dr. Burdock made
borses.' At which account the ladies upon the occasion.”—“ Fudge !". were greatly concerned ; but being told “I am surprised at that,” cried Miss