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Skeggs; "for he seldom leaves anything
"Your Ladyship should except," says the other, "your own things in the Lady's Magazine. I hope you'll say there's nothing low-lived there? But we are to have no more from that quarter?"-"Fudge!
own a truth, I was of opinion, that two
Why, my dear," says the lady, "you know my reader and companion has left me, to be married to Captain Roach, and as my poor eyes won't suffer me to write myself, I have been for some time looking out for another. A proper person is no easy matter to find; and, to be sure, thirty pounds a year is a small stipend for a well bred girl of character, that can read, write, and behave in company: as for the chits about town, there is no bearing them about one."-" Fudge!"
"That I know," cried Miss Skeggs, "by experience. For of the three companions I had this last half year, one of them refused to do plain work an hour in the day; another thought twenty-five guineas a year too small a salary; and I was obliged to send away the third, because I suspected an intrigue with the chaplain. Virtue, my dear Lady Blarney, virtue is worth any price; but where Fudge!" is that to be found?"My wife had been, for a long time, all attention to this discourse, but was particularly struck with the latter part of it. Thirty pounds and twenty-five guineas a year, made fifty-six pounds five shillings English money, all which was in a manner going a begging, and might easily be secured in the family. She for a moment studied my looks for approbation; and, to
When she had delivered this pretty piece of eloquence, the two ladies looked at each other a few minutes in silence, with an air of doubt and importance. At last Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs condescended to observe, that the young ladies, from the opinion she could form of them from so slight an acquaintance, seemed very fit for such employments. thing of this kind, madam," cried she, addressing my spouse, "requires a thorough examination into characters, and a more perfect knowledge of each other. Not, madam," continued she, "that I in the least suspect the young ladies' virtue, prudence, and discretion; but there is a form in these things, madam-there is a form."
My wife approved her suspicions very much, observing that she was very apt to be suspicious herself, but referred her to all the neighbours for a character; but this our Peeress declined as unnecessary, alleging that our cousin Thornhill's recom mendation would be sufficient; and upon this we rested our petition.
Fortune seems resolved to humble the Family of Wakefield, Mortifications are often more
painful than real Calamities.
that would carry a single or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church, or upon a visit. This at first I opposed stoutly; but it was stoutly defended. However, as I weakened, my antagonist gained strength, till at last it was resolved to part with him.
WHEN we were returned home, the might was dedicated to schemes of future conquest. Deborah exerted much sagacity in conjecturing which of the two girls was bely to have the best place, and most opportunities of seeing good company. The only obstacle to our preferment was m obtaining the Squire's recommendation; fat he had already shown us too many instances of his friendship to doubt of it Bow. Even in bed, my wife kept up the Esal theme: "Well, faith, my dear Charles, between ourselves, I think we have made an excellent day's work of it." -"Pretty well!" cried I, not knowing what to say. "What, only pretty well! returned she: "I think it is very well. Suppose the girls should come to make acquaintances of taste in town! This I am assured of, that London is the only place in the world for all manner of husbands. Besides, my dear, stranger things happen every day: and as ladies of quality are so taken with my daughters, what will not men of quality be? Entre nous, I protest I like my Lady Blarney vastly -so very obliging. However, Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs has my warm heart. But yet, when they came to talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them. Tell me, my dear, don't you think I did for my children there?" "Ay," returned I, not knowing well what to think of the matter; "Heaven grant they may be both the better for it this day three months!" This was one of those observations I usually made to impress my wife with an opinion of my sagacity: for if the girls succeeded, then it was a pious wish fulfilled; but if any thing unfortunate ensued, then it might be looked upon as a prophecy. All this conversation, however, was only preparatory to another scheme; and indeed I dreaded as much. This was nothing less than that, as we were now to hold up our heads a Ettle higher in the world, it would be proper to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a neighbouring fair, and buy us a horse
As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home. “No, my dear," said she, "our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to a very good advantage: you know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a bargain."
As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to entrust him with this commission: and the next morning I perceived his sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunderand-lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black riband. We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, "Good luck! good luck!" till we could see him no longer.
He was scarce gone, when Mr. Thornhill's butler came to congratulate us upon our good fortune, saying that he overheard his young master mention our names with great commendation.
Good fortune seemed resolved not to come alone. Another footman from the same family followed, with a card for my daughters, importing that the two ladies had received such pleasing accounts from Mr. Thornhill of us all, that after a few previous inquiries they hoped to be perfectly satisfied. 'Ay," cried my wife, "I now see it is no easy matter to get into the families of the great; but when one once gets in, then, as Moses says, one may go
ignorance, talked with ease, and could expatiate upon the common topics of conversation with fluency. It is not surprising then, that such talents should win the affections of a girl who by education was taught to value an appearance in herself, and consequently to set a value upon it in another.
Upon his departure, we again entered into a debate upon the merits of our young landlord. As he directed his looks and conversation to Olivia, it was no longer doubted but that she was the object that induced him to be our visitor. Nor did she seem to be much displeased at the innocent raillery of her brother and sister upon this occasion. Even Deborah herself seemed to share the glory of the day, and exulted in her daughter's victory as if it were her own. "And now, my dear," cried she to me, "I'll fairly own, that it was I that instructed my girls to encourage our landlord's addresses. I had always some ambition, and you now see that I was right; for who knows how this may end?"-"Ay, who knows that indeed!" answered I, with a groan: "for my part, I don't much like it; and I could have been better pleased with one that was poor and honest, than this fine gentleman with his fortune and infidelity; for depend on't, if he be what I suspect him, no freethinker shall ever have a child of mine." "Sure, father," cried Moses, you are too severe in this; for Heaven will never arraign him for what he thinks, but for what he does. Every man has a thousand vicious thoughts, which arise without his power to suppress. Thinking freely of religion may be involuntary with this gentleman; so that, allowing his sentiments to be wrong, yet, as he is purely passive in his assent, he is no more to be blamed for his errors than the governor of a city without walls for the shelter he is obliged to afford an invading enemy.'
"True, my son, cried I; "but if the governor invites the enemy there, he is justly culpable. And such is always the case with those who embrace error. The vice does not lie in assenting to the proofs they see; but being blind to many of the proofs that offer. So that, though our erroneous opinions be involuntary when formed, yet as we have been wilfully cor
rupt, or very negligent in forming them. we deserve punishment for our vice, or contempt for our folly."
My wife now kept up the conversation, though not the argument; she observed that several very prudent men of our act quaintance were freethinkers, and made very good husbands; and she knew some sensible girls that had skill enough to make converts of their spouses. And who knows, my dear," continued she,' "what Olivia may be able to do: the girl has a great deal to say upon every subject, and, to my knowledge, is very well skilled in controversy."
Why, my dear, what controversy can she have read?" cried I. "It does not occur to me that I ever put such books into her hands: you certainly overrate her merit."—"Indeed, papa," replied Olivia, "she does not; I have read a great deal of controversy. I have read the disputes between Thwackum and Square; the controversy between Robinson Crusoe and Friday, the savage; and I am now employed in reading the controversy in Religious Courtship."-"Very well," cried I, "that's a good girl; I find you are perfectly qualified for making converts, and so go help your mother to make the gooseberry pie.'
An Amour, which promises little good Fortune, yet may be productive of much.
THE next morning we were again visited by Mr. Burchell, though I began, for certain reasons, to be displeased with the frequency of his return; but I could not refuse him my company and fireside. It is true, his labour more than requited his entertainment; for he wrought among us with vigour, and, either in the meadow or at the hay-rick, put himself foremost. Besides, he had always something amusing to say that lessened our toil, and was at once so out of the way, and yet so sensible, that I loved, laughed at, and pitied him. My only dislike arose from an attachment he discovered to my daughter. He would, in a jesting manner, call her his little mistress, and when he bought each of the girls a set of ribands, hers was the finest. I knew not how, but he every day seemed
to become more amiable, his wit to im(prove, and his simplicity to assume the superior airs of wisdom.
Our family dined in the field, and we sat, or rather reclined, round a temperate repast, our cloth spread upon the hay, wrile Mr. Burchell gave cheerfulness to the feast. To heighten our satisfaction, two blackbirds answered each other from opposite hedges, the familiar redbreast Cane and pecked the crumbs from our hars, and every sound seemed but the eco of tranquillity. "I never sit thus," says Sophia, "but I think of the two lovers So sweetly described by Mr. Gay, who were struck dead in each other's arms. There smething so pathetic in the description, that I have read it an hundred times with new rapture.”—“In my opinion," cried By son, the finest strokes in that deription are much below those in the Acis ani Galatea of Ovid. The Roman poet anderstands the use of contrast better; and upon that figure, artfully managed, all Strength in the pathetic depends."- -"It is remarkable," cried Mr. Burchell, "that both the poets you mention have equally
tributed to introduce a false taste into their respective countries, by loading all eir lines with epithet. Men of little
as found them most easily imitated in their defects; and English poetry, like Eat in the latter empire of Rome, is nohing at present but a combination of luxriant images, without plot or connexion - string of epithets that improve the snd without carrying on the sense. But perhaps, madam, while I thus reprehend chers, you'll think it just that I should gve them an opportunity to retaliate; and, deed, I have made this remark only to Fave an opportunity of introducing to the
pany a ballad, which, whatever be its ther defects. is, I think, at least free from Cause I have mentioned."
"Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries, "To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies To lure thee to thy doom. "Here to the houseless child of want My door is open still;
And, though my portion is but scant, I give it with good will.
"Then turn to-night, and freely share
"But from the mountain's grassy side A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied, And water from the spring.
"Then, pilgrim, turn; thy cares forego;
Soft as the dew from heaven descends
Far in a wilderness obscure
No stores beneath its humble thatch
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest, The hermit trimm'd his little fire, And cheer'd his pensive guest: And spread his vegetable store, And gaily press'd, and smiled; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguiled. Around, in sympathetic mirth,
Its tricks the kitten tries, The cricket chirrups on the hearth, The crackling fagot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart To soothe the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart, And tears began to flow.
His rising cares the Hermit spied,
"From better habitations spurn'd, Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd, Or unregarded love?
"Alas! the joys that fortune brings Are trifling, and decay;
"Till, quite dejected with my scorn,
"But mine the sorrow, mine the fault, And well my life shall pay; I'll seek the solitude he sought, And stretch me where he lay. "And there, forlorn, despairing, hid, I'll lay me down and die; 'Twas so for me that Edwin did, And so for him will I."
"Forbid it Heaven !" the Hermit cried, And clasp'd her to his breast: The wondering fair one turn'd to chide'Twas Edwin's self that press'd!
"Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
"Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
"No, never from this hour to part, We'll live and love so true,
The sigh that rends thy constant heart Shall break thy Edwin's too.
While this ballad was reading, Sophia seemed to mix an air of tenderness with
her approbation. But our tranquillity was soon disturbed by the report of a gun just by us, and, immediately after, a man was seen bursting through the hedge, to take up the game he had killed. This sportsman was the Squire's chaplain, who had shot one of the blackbirds that so agreeably entertained us. So loud a report, and so near, startled my daughters; and I could perceive that Sophia in the fright had thrown herself into Mr. Bur chell's arms for protection. The gentleman came up, and asked pardon for having disturbed us, affirming that he was ignorant of our being so near. He therefore sat down by my youngest daugh ter, and, sportsman-like, offered her what he had killed that morning. She was going to refuse, but a private look from her mother soon induced her to correct the mistake, and accept his present, though with some reluctance. My wife, as usual, discovered her pride in a whisper, observ ing, that Sophy had made a conquest of the chaplain, as well as her sister had of the Squire. I suspected, however, with more probability, that her affections were