페이지 이미지

the year before, by a long and dangerous illness; and the closeness and anxiety with which his daughter had attended him during that period, had brought on a slow fever that soon threw her into a decline.

When Melmoth came to the gate, he felt himself but ill qualified to act the part of a comforter, and he took a turn in the garden in order to compose himself. But Julia had not left the shades which she had rendered so dear to him. They were all full of her. He saw her in every object, he felt her at every step at every instant he heard her well-known voice,

"Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains.”

In every wood-scene her gentle figure appeared at a distance among the trees; she sat on every bench, and stood listening beside every waterfall. He took a path that soon brought him to the edge of a small pool hung round with willows. It was a scene in unison with his feelings, and he threw himself on a seat, to indulge the melancholy which had taken possession of his soul. He looked back on the past, and every sensation within him accused him of folly in his conduct to the Hartops. To have delayed an alliance, even for a moment, with such virtue, would have shown him unworthy of it; but to go abroad, to linger so long in a foreign country-to seek the society of strangers, while Julia was alive this betrayed such insensibility that he could never forgive himself. He was rising in an agony of vexation and despair, when, happening to turn his eye towards the tree round which the seat was fixed, he observed his own name cut on the bark of it. His heart instantly told him who had done it. Julia did not forget him, though he deserted Julia. The idea of his having wronged her was more than he could bear; every better feeling revolted at it. He took out his pen-knife, and wiping away the tear that dimmed his eye, he cut "Julia Hartop" close under his own name. "The tree," said he, "shall not bear such a memorial of her affection, and none of mine." By the time he had finished, he had acquired some degree of composure, and he ventured to return to the house.

When he reached the door, he found it open, and he stepped into the hall. He waited a few moments for the servant to introduce him, but none happening to come, and after a little hesitation, he walked softly into the parlour. The first object that met his eye, was the venerable figure of his friend, sitting by a table, and leaning on his hand, with his eyes cast down in the attitude of meditation. The sight of the room in which they had last met, gave him back the sensations he then felt when he looked round on the furniture, and saw every chair and table, every flower-piece and drawing, just in the places he had left them, Julia entered his bosom, and, touched at a thousand points he trembled, and would have given the world to go back. He made an effort to speak, but the voice he would have uttered was lost. Mr Hartop lifted his eyes from the ground. At the sight of Melmoth he started from his seat he took his hand-he looked him full in the face -the tears came at last. "You are come, sir," said he, "to a house of mourning; but I hope you will not repent of your visit; the obligation it confers is deeply felt. I have suffered severely in my family

since I saw you last-I have lost a daughter,—and such a daughter:" -he paused. "I have had the distress to see her die by inches before my face and with such angel meekness did she bear it all :"-he paused again-nature melted within him at the thought it revived the images of tenderness in his memory, and all the father rushed into his eyes. He could not "but remember such things were, and were most dear to him."

"But I am not without consolation," he added, pointing with a triumphant action of the finger, to a Bible that lay on the table,“ I am not without hope. That book assures me we shall meet again— meet in a better and happier world, never, never more to be parted.'


He cast a look upwards as he said this. A silence of a few moments followed. He stepped up to the mantle-piece, and taking down a portrait-the portrait of Julia-he presented it to Melmoth. "I was charged," said he, "to deliver this to you, sir, as soon as the original was no more. She drew it herself a little before she died; and in her last moments she entrusted it with me, as her legacy to one, with whom she had once wished to be united."

Melmoth gazed upon the miniature with a kind of weeping rapture that wants a name. He dwelt on every feature till imagination gave it life. He saw again, that face, with all its touching sweetness of expression, which his heart had just told him he should see no more; and he forgot, for a moment, that he held only the semblance in his hand. Mr Hartop felt himself overcome. Every nerve that he had was shaken; and he walked up to the window to conceal his emotion: a robin at that instant flew down to pick some crumbs that had been thrown on the grass-plat. He burst into tears.

The good old man did not long survive his daughter. A shock so severe, soon broke a constitution which time had already shattered ;— and when he died he left his little all to Melmoth. He was buried, as he had desired, in the same grave with his wife and daughter; and one plain stone, with as plain an inscription, marks the spot.

Melmoth returned into the active scenes of life. A natural gaiety of temper, and a fine flow of spirits, served to dispel the gloom which hung over his mind; but the loss he had sustained was never forgotten; and, often in his brightest moments, when the image of Julia crossed his mind, he would step aside into the shade, to dwell on her virtues, and feel the melancholy luxury of tears.

O Lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros
Ducentium ortus ex animo: quater
Felix! in imo qui scatentem
Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit.





By Herbert Knowles.

"It is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles? one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias."-Matt. xvii. 4.

METHINKS it is good to be here;

If thou wilt, let us build-but for whom?
Nor Elias nor Moses appear,

But the shadows of eve that encompass the gloom,
The abode of the dead, and the place of the tomb.

Shall we build to Ambition ? oh, no!

Affrighted he shrinketh away;

For see! they would fix him below,

In a small narrow cave, and begirt with cold clay,
To the meanest of reptiles a peer and a prey!

To Beauty? ah no!-she forgets
The charms which she wielded before-

Nor knows the foul worm that he frets

The skin which but yesterday fools could adore,
For the smoothness it held, or the tint which it wore.

Shall we build to the purple of Pride

The trappings which dizen the proud ?

Alas! they are all laid aside;

And here's neither dress nor adornment allow'd,
But the long winding-sheet and the fringe of the shroud!

To Riches? alas! 'tis in vain ;

Who hid, in their turns have been hid;
The treasures are squander'd again;

And here in the grave are all metals forbid,

But the tinsel that shone on the dark coffin lid.

To the pleasures which Mirth can afford

The revel, the laugh, and the jeer?

Ah! here is a plentiful board!

But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer,
And none but the worm is a reveller here.

Shall we build to Affection and Love?
Ah, no! they have wither'd and died,

Or fled with the spirit above;

Friends, brothers, and sisters, are laid side by side,
Yet none have saluted, and none have replied.

Unto Sorrow?-The dead cannot grieve;
Not a sob nor a sigh meets mine ear,

Which compassion itself could relieve!

Ah! sweetly they slumber, nor hope, love, nor fear-
Peace, peace is the watchword, the only one here!

Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow ?
Ah, no! for his empire is known,

And here there are trophies enow!

Beneath, the cold dead, and around, the dark stone,
Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown!

The first tabernacle to Hope we will build,

And look for the sleepers around us to rise :

The second to Fuith which ensures it fulfill'd;

And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice,

Who bequeath'd us them both when he rose to the skies !* Richmond, Oct. 7, 1816.


AS Ortogrul of Basra was one day wandering along the streets of Bagdat, musing on the varieties of merchandise which the shops offered to his view, and observing the different occupations which busied the multitudes on every side, he was awakened from the tranquillity of medita

tion by a crowd that obstructed his passage. He raised his eyes, and

saw the chief vizier, who, having returned from the divan, was entering his palace.

Ortogrul mingled with the attendants, and being supposed to have some petition to the vizier, was permitted to enter. He surveyed the spaciousness of the apartments, admired the walls hung with golden tapestry, and the floors covered with silken carpets, and despised the simple neatness of his own little habitation.

"Surely," said he to himself, "this palace is the seat of happiness, where pleasure succeeds to pleasure, and discontent and sorrow can have no admission. Whatever nature has provided for the delight of sense, is here spread forth to be enjoyed. What can mortals hope or imagine, which the master of this palace has not obtained? The dishes of luxury cover his table, the voice of harmony lulls him in his bowers; he breathes the fragrance of the groves of Java, and sleeps

*The author of these exquisite verses died in his nineteenth year.

upon the down of the cygnets of Ganges. He speaks, and his mandate is obeyed; he wishes, and his wish is gratified; all whom he sees, obey him; and all whom he hears flatter him. How different, Ortogrul, is thy condition, who art doomed to the perpetual torments of unsatisfied desire, and who has no amusement in thy power that can withhold thee from thy own reflections! They tell thee that thou art wise; but what does wisdom avail with poverty? None will flatter the poor, and the wise have very little power of flattering themselves. That man is surely the most wretched of the sons of wretchedness, who lives with his own faults and follies continually before him, who has none to reconcile him to himself by praise and veneration. I have long sought content, and have not found it: I will from this moment endeavour to be rich." Full of his new resolution, he shut himself in his chamber for six months, to deliberate how he should grow rich; he sometimes proposed to offer himself as a counsellor to one of the kings of India, and sometimes resolved to dig for diamonds in the mines of Golconda. One day, after some hours passed in violent fluctuation of opinion, sleep insensibly seized him in his chair; he dreamed that he was ranging a desert country in search of some one that might teach him to grow rich; and as he stood on the top of a hill shaded with cypress, in doubt whither to direct his steps, his father appeared on a sudden standing before him. "Ortogrul," said the old man," I know thy perplexity; listen to thy father, turn thine eye on the opposite mountain." Ortogrul looked, and saw a torrent tumbling down the rocks, roaring with the noise of thunder, and scattering its foam on the impending woods. "Now," said his father, "behold the valley that lies between the hills." Ortogrul looked, and espied a little well, out of which issued a small rivulet. "Tell me now," said his father, "dost thou wish for sudden affluence, that may pour upon thee like the mountain torrent, or for a slow and gradual increase, resembling the rill gliding from the well ?" "Let me be quickly rich," said Ortogrul; "Let the golden stream be quick and violent." "Look round thee," said his father, "once again.' Ortogrul looked, and perceived the channel of the torrent dry and dusty; but following the rivulet from the well, he traced it to a wide lake, which the supply, slow and constant, kept always full. He waked, and determined to grow rich, by silent profit, and persevering industry.

Having sold his patrimony, he engaged in merchandise, and in twenty years purchased lands, on which he raised a house, equal in sumptuousness to that of the vizier, to which he invited all the ministers of pleasure, expecting to enjoy all the felicity which he had imagined riches able to afford. Leisure soon made him weary of himself, and he longed to be persuaded that he was great and happy. He was courteous and liberal, he gave all that approached him hopes of pleasing him, and all who should please him, hopes of being rewarded. Every art of praise was tried, and every source of adulatory fiction was exhausted. Ortogrul heard his flatterers without delight, because he found himself unable to believe them; his own heart told him its frailties, his own understanding reproached him with its faults. "How long," said he with a deep sigh, have I been labouring in vain to amass wealth, which at last is useless! Let no man hereafter wish to be rich, who is already too wise to be flattered." JOHNSON.

« 이전계속 »