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manner beyond description, fine and natural: every syllable has its charm, and the whole, is a feast for the fancy and the heart. Let us select a few passages from each. story ; and first from that of Rebekah.
"And it came to pass, before he had "done speaking, that behold Rebekah "came out with her pitcher upon her "Ihoulder ; and the damsel was very fair to "look upon, and a virgin; and she went "down to the well and filled her pitcher, «* and came up'; and the servant of Abrau ham ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I "pray thee, drink a little water of thy "pitcher."
Could any incident be possibly introduced with more simplicity? or could any be more favourable to begin the conversation? As if the servant, on seeing her approach, had said to himself, Before I enter upon a more important subject, before I touch upon the point in which my master and his son are so tenderly interested, I will
begin to try her disposition, by slighter circumstances; and being a traveller, and a stranger, I will examine her hospitality: Let me, I pray thee, fair damsel, refresh myself amidst the fatigue of a long journey, by a cool draught of the water which thou hast just drawn from the well. ■What can be more courteous than her answer, "Drink, "my lord!" There is an elegance in the brevity of this reply. An ordinary writer would have made her stand curtesying and complimenting for many an idle minute, with the pitcher in her hand, and at last made many excuses that she had no cup ready to present it more politely. Such is the abominable parade of literary refinement •! But with equal frankness and prettiness Rebekah only said, "Drink, my "lord." And then instead of entering into prolix civilities, she hasted, i. e. she set down her pitcher as expeditiously as possible, and gave him drink: and when he had done, (but not till then) she said: Now will I draw water for thy camels also, i\\\tbey have done drinking. The urbanity of a
court court could not have exceeded this; nor could any character more sweetly explain itself. Having had sufficient evidence of her kind temper and gentle heart, the servant now ventured to enquire after her family : And whose fair daughter art thou, obliging damsel ? tell me, I pray thee, for thy goodness has made me not a little solicitous about thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge? Her answer to this does her fresh honour; for, persisting in her amiable humour, she told him she was the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, and that she had both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in: and the damsel ran (how the spirit of the character is preserved !) to tell those of her mother's house the request of the traveller, speaking, no doubt, as favourably of him as she could. Her intelligence soon brought forth her brother, who had been informed by his sister that he was the servant of the celebrated Abraham: and the brother, whose name was Laban, invited him in with the most friendly cordiality, diaVity, and pressed him much to eat such delicacies as were most speedily provided. But the servant, willing to take advantage of so fair an opportunity, and improve the moment of benevolence, declared his resolution to refuse food till he had told his errand. This message is delivered with the utmost perspicuity, honesty, and exactness. After he had finished, he requested an immediate answer: And now, said he, 1 beseech thee, deal kindly and truly with my master. Then the brothers of the damsel answer in a remarkable, but very affectionate manner: The thing proceedeth from the Lord, we cannot answer thee bad or good; i. e. it appears to be a predetermined matter of the Deity : to refuse thee, therefore, might seem presumptuous; and yet, as brothers, having no authority over the affections of the maid, whose happiness is dear to us, how shall we speak absolutely in thy master's favour? Perhaps, however, Abraham could not possibly have dispatched a more trusty messenger 3 for, having received this ambiguous
reply, reply, by which nothing was determined, he tries, in the next place, a stroke of policy worthy to be recorded. As soon as he had bowed himself in grateful acknowledgement to Heaven, for/c much good fortune, he very judiciously turns his efforts towards obtaining the consent of the virgin: and he first begins his attack upon her vanity, from which, with all her courtesy, one cannot suppose her to have been totally exempt: he brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and rayment, and gave them to Rebekah. The man discovered no small knowledge of human nature (ever operating, in many cases, alike) in this. conduct; and still more, when, desirous to cret all the family on his side, he gave precious things to the brother and mother. Surely an amour by proxy, was never better, or more skilfully carried on, from the beginning to the end. When he had made the presents, he did not improperly press for a direct reward, nor, indeed, so much as mention the matter farther at that time; but leaving the damsel to meditate upon