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« So man his fellow-man should cheer,
Whate'er the clime that gave him birth,
Sprung from one common parent-earth." It was on one of the finest summer mornings that are known in the island of Newfoundland, and in the month of June, that Rose Douglas, her brother, and sister Jane, were busily engaged in constructing a bower. They had fixed on a pleasant opening, where a great number VOL. I.
of trees had been felled. It fronted the sea, and was surrounded with groves of the spruce fir, and intermingled with creeping plants and wild shrubs. Ponto, their faithful dog, lay stretched at his ease near them, and was of that fine and noble species peculiar to this island.
General Douglas, their father, had embarked, with his wife and family, from Quebec, in a sloop of war. A very ill state of health obliged the general to resign a lucrative situation he held in North America; he hoped, therefore, for the sake of those dearer to him than himself, to receive benefit when he arrived in England, from the mild salubrious air of Devonshire. A residence of several years in the West Indies, and in different climates, had injured a constitution naturally strong, and a soft air was more beneficial for his health than the severity of a winter at Quebec. The cheapness of provisions in the west of England was likewise another recom
mendation, mendation, as it would be an advantage, from the contracted state of his present finances.
In a retired valley, embosomed in a wood of many years' growth, and five miles distant from any town in Devonshire, was an ancient solitary mansion, surrounded with a few acres of ground appertaining to it, though formerly a very large estate belonged to the house. This was now the property of the general, in right of Mrs. Douglas, his wife; and to this place he intended to retire on his landing in England.
General Douglas was descended from one of the first families in Scotland, and began the world with a good fortune, besides his commission; but a generous unsuspecting nature made him too easily a prey to the artful, cold-hearted, and designing. Thus, when he married the honourable Miss Treharne, who was as poor as himself, he found he had little more than his sword to depend on. But,
courageous in the cause of love as he was brave in the field, he loved too well to despair, and by bis judicious conduct, his cool and steady courage, he gained the admiration of his brother-officers. His superiors esteemed him, and his advance in the army was rapid; yet, with all this success, he found it diffi. cult to support the rank of a general officer, as he had little more remaining than his pay. A numerous family, of whom three only were now living, was a heavy expence, but, by strict economy, the general and Mrs. Douglas succeeded in maintaining a good appearance; and being universally respected, the truest harmony, the most unbounded confidence, subsisted between them, and they never regretted, in any scene or situation, however trying, that they had risked friends, fortune, every thing, from their attachment to each other.
The general had a brother, residing in a remote part of Scotland--a bachelor,