페이지 이미지

inquiring what part of the kingdom he had left; that he would immediately procure him a pair of colours in the regiment he was about to join; and as he doubted not but his conduct would juftify his recommendation, he would from time to time affift in his promotion as opportunity offered, and his merit demanded.

Penetrated with gratitude at an offer which led to the gratification of every with of his heart, he attempted to unburden his overflowing foul, and to pay the tribute of thanks to his kind, his be nevolent benefactor; but he was only eloquent in tears, and his endeavours were exhausted in the broken and incoHerent expreffions of "Father!-Friend! --and Meffenger of Heaven !"-A language more delightful to the ears of the brave and generous Harcourt, than all the powers of oratory, aided by the utmoft graces of elocution.

He accordingly embarked with his protector, who liberally fupplied him with every neceffary for his voyage; and joining the British forces on the continent of America, he continued to ferve there for two years, with unblemished reputation; his public conduct recommending him to the notice of his fuperior officers, and his private character procuring him univerfal regard and ef teem. At the expiration of this time, general Harcourt, preparing to return to England, on account of his health, which had been impaired by a dangerous wound, which bad never been compleatly cured, he obtained leave of ablence for Mr Mandeville; who was become fo dear to him, that he could not bear to be deprived of his company, at a time when his fpirits, which always appeared to labour under fome particular weight, were peculiarly depreffed from bodily in firmity, and the chearful and enlivening converfation of his youthful and lefs at fected brother in adverfity, an-1 his gråteful and affectionate perfonal care, were 15 neceflary to alleviate the diftreffes of his mind, and the pains of indifpofition, In the courfe of the voyage to England, after a night of unufual restleffnefs, during which he had been attended with the moft watchful folicitude by his young companion and friend, general Harcourt took an opportunity of mingling with the tendereft expreffions of approbation, fome hints of the caufes of his own men tal uneafinefs; and finding Mr Mande ville eagerly though diffidently anxious for a more explicit communication, he

gave him the following fhort sketch of his hiftory:

That he was the only fon of a private gentleman of large fortune, whose fondnefs had prevented his parting with him, even for the purposes of education, which he received from a private tutor in his father's houfe, till he was of a proper age to be fent to the univerfity--that he there contracted an intimacy withthe fon of a clergyman; and vifiting with him at his father's, he fell in love with his friend's only fifter; and, after offering her marriage privately, and engaging himself to her by the most folema ties, fhe, in a moment of tendernefs, furrendered to him that virtue which he was bound to protecthat his amour was very foon difcovered by his father, who compelled him to accept a commiffion in a regiment then embarking for the Eafi-Indies, where he had remained but little more than three years before he was informed that his wife (for fo he had ever efteemed her) had paid the debt of nature, together with an infant fon, who had been born a few months after his departure that the letters which conveyed this intelligence contained alfo an invitation to him to return, and he accordingly procured leave of abfence from his regiment; but, on his arrival in England, found that his father had been dead fome months; and having now no attachment, he determined to purfue a military life; and purchafing superior rank in a regiment ftationed in America, he took his paffage for that continent in a veffel which carried feveral other paffengers, and among them a young woman with whom he formed a connection, and who had brought him a daughter; but as he had great reafon to difapprove the conduct of the mother, they had parted, and he had fince married; tho' he had charged himfelf with the care of the child, who was now about seventeen, beautiful in her perfon, and of dif pofition truly amiable. -that he had never got over the impreffion of his firft love, nor found it poffible to fupprefs an idea that the fruit of that unhappy affection had furvived it's unfortunate mother that he had, however, in vain, fought to difcover his exiftence; and was now returning to England with a defign to retire to the feat of his ances tors; and to spend the remainder of a life, which, from a combination of mental and corporeal injuries, feemed draw ing to a period, in the enjoyment of those comforts which he might derive from


the conversation of his darling daughter, and in providing for her fuch an eftablifhment as might extend his care of her happiness even beyond the period of his diffolution, that on his arrival in England, he fhould spend some months in the metropolis, for the neceffary purposes of arrangements, as to paft and future coneerns; and fhould immediately fend for his Annabella, who had never yet known the name fhe was in future to bear, and whose education he had entrusted to a worthy and excellent woman at Northampton.

As the General advanced in his recital, the mind of Mandeville underwent the most agonizing fenfations of curiofity and apprehenfion; but the conclufion of it removed all his doubts, and excited all his fears: to have found in the perfon of his beloved, the daughter and intended heirels of his benefactor, to afpire to whofe hand would be equally abfurd and ungrateful; yet, at the fame time, to have found an additional reafon for the increase, if poflible, of an affection which could only be heightened by fuch difcoveries, were circumftances fo diftressful, that an involuntary exclamation of "Good God!" efcaped him the moment General Harcourt had finished his tale; who, turning his eyes to his young friend, was aftonished to find him bathed in tears, and discovering the most violent emotions, though his attention only had appeared to be engaged during the former part of the recital.

It was impoffible for him to avoid inquiring into the occafion of this very extraordinary appearance; and the General had no fooner asked Mr Mandeville what particular part of his ftory had proved To extremely affecting to him, than he threw himself at the feet of his patron, and with anguish which wrung the heart of the humane veteran; befought him to abandon the moft unfortunate of men; who was not only deftined to feel the harpeft pange of mifery himself; but, like a contagious difeafe, to communicate his wretchedness to thofe whofe tendernefs deferved from him fuch returns only as fhould be productive of pleafure and fatisfaction. But though you abandon me, Sir," continued the unhap py_Mandeville, “ condemn me not: my offence has been involuntary; nor when I loved the all-perfect Annabella, did 1 know that the ought to have added to that name the additional one of Har


However this discovery might affe

the General with furprize, it by no means excited his anger; à paffion of another kind was predominant in his mind. He paufed for a few moments; and having then foothed the anguish of the afflicted Mandeville, by the tendereft affurances of unabated friendship, and undiminished efteem, he raised him from the floor, and befought him to leave him, that he might endeavour to calm the perturbation of his mind, and collect fortitude enough to reveal to him another secret, no lefs interefting to both than that which had juft eicaped his bofom.

But he did not keep the tortured Mandeville long in fufpence; he foon fummoned him to return to the cabin, and defired him to prepare for a communication, which would do violence to his love, but afford him an opportunity of contributing to the happiness of the object of his affection, by the perfor mance of his duty in a very different capacity.

"My dear Mandeville," fays the General, you may remember my hinting to you my fufpicion, that the offspring of my unfortunate connection, with my firft and indeed only love, had furvived his unhappy mother. Though all my endeavours to afcertain this fact had proved fruitless, the moment I first faw you at Petersfield, a refemblauce of my adored Charlotte ftruck me fo forcibly, that it has been impoffible for me to diveft myself of the idea that you (tremble not my beloved Mandeville) are the fon of whom I have to long been in fearch. Your manners, your difpofition, ftrengthen the likenefs; for, like her, you are mild, gentle, and inoffenfive. Yet one difficuity remains, which I am unable to get over-that fon, if alive, would be now twenty-fix; and, according to your account of your age, it does not exceed twenty-two. Befides, you have mentioned an uncle on the fide of your father

can you lend any affiftance to unravel this myfterious and important business?

If the firft difcovery had agonized the gentle mind of Mandeville, this laft had almoft deprived him of his fenfes. He had probably exchanged a protector for a father; but he had loft what the dearest relationship could never replace: he had efcaped from a crime, at the bare recol-' lection of which he fhuddered with horror; but he felt that the ties of confanguinity, and the affection of a fifter, could never equal that ardency of love which had been infpired by the fair An nabella, unknown to him by any other $ 2



ame, and claiming from him only refpect and admiration.

As foon as he could recover the powers of fpeech, which were fufpended by fo violent a shock, he repeated to the General the ftory he had often related; to which he declared he could only add, that he had been informed his father was in the army; and that from every account which he had received, both from his uncle and aunt, and from his own recollection of his progrefs to manhood, he was well affured that he had not mifreprefented his age, which he could very confidently affert was no more than twenty-two.

As it feemed impoffible to folve this palpable incongruity, they were both under the neceffity of remaining in fufpenfe till the completion of the voyage, which now drew towards a conclufion. In a very few days they made the land; and arriving happily at Portmouth, they proceeded immediately to the metropolis.

General Harcourt now determined to fet on foot an inquiry after the brother of his Charlotte, who, for obvious reafons, he had hitherto avoided; and ha ́ving learnt that he had long been settled on a parfonage in a diftant part of the kingdom, he addreffed a letter to him, explanatory of his whole hiftory, and earneftly intreating him to give him information concerning the pledge of the facred affection which had fubfifted between him and his excellent fifter, whofe fate he had never ceased to deplore, and was now more than ever anxious to dif cover whether there yet remained a poffibility of beftowing his unabated love on the object which had derived its exift ence from his ill-fated paffion.

The answer to this letter cleared up all the General's doubts. It informed him, that the fame deceit had been practised on him and the partner of his heart: That about a year after his departure, an account of his death had been communicated to her by his father; and that this intelligence was accompanied with the payment of a confiderable fum of money, as a pretended legacy left by his fon-that the infant fell a facrifice to the diftrefs of its mother at the feparation, and died before it faw the lightthat, yielding to the importunities of her friends, he had fome time after given her hand to a captain Mandeville, a worthy officer, who had previously been made acquainted with her ftory, and who treated her with the utmoft tender

nefs; but that her firft impreffion had been too ftrong to yield either to time or the affection of her husband; and that fhe fell into a confumption, and died within two years after her marriage, leaving one fon--that captain Mandeville did not long furvive his wife; and that his relations, who lived in a part of the kingdom very remote from the place of his refidence, having taken upon themfelves the care of the orphan, he was unable to give any other account of him, than that he had heard, a few years be fore, that he was living; and, being grown to manhood, had been placed by his uncle to learn a genteel profeffion at Northampton.

If the General had by this intelligence loft the relation which, from the fimilitude now accounted for, and the other concurrent circumstances, he had suppofed to exist between him and Mandeville, he however fuffered but little by the dif appointment. It was now in his power to make him actually his fon, and to `confer on him, and (by what he could gather from the diftant and diffident hints which had from time to time dropped from him) on his daughter alfo, the most compleat happinef's; he should gain companions for his advancing age, and in all probability fee a progeny rife, which would be intitled to his parental and his friendly care: and he determined to enjoy, without delay, the fupreme fatisfaction of communicating the bleffings which Providence had impowered him to dispense.

· But if fuch were the fenfations of the worthy General, what were the emotions of the rapturous Mandeville, when he disclosed to him the fecret of his birth, and the extent of his own generous intentions! Reafon fcarce maintained her empire at this burft of unexpected happinefs; and all was wonder, gratitude, and thankfulness.

General Harcourt now difpatched the favoured lover to pour out his whole foul to the object of his regard; and gave him, under his own hand, credentials which announced his high approbation. He foon followed himself; and, left any accident fhould happen to dafh the cup of felicity, he gave to the happy Mandeville a treasure of which kings might boast; an accomplished, amiable, beautiful, and affectionate wife.

Reader, the ways of Providence are frequently mysterious, and her paths difficult and obfcure; but thofe who tread them in humble confidence, nor deviate

[blocks in formation]

INTER, in her fable veil,


Riding on the whirlwind's wings, Icy froft, and polish'd hail, From her death-cold fingers flings.

Lifelefs now the village green, Where late charm'd the village dance; While the north wind, cold and keen, Howls amid the wafte expanfe.

Charms no more the fhepherd's lute, Breathing foft a lover's fire;

Mufic's heavenly voice is mute, Save the wild Æolian lyre.

Nor befide the limpid lymph, Tuneful gurgling o'er the rock,

Sits the gay young fhepherd nymph, Sprightly as her little flock.

Phoebus thro' the cloud's dark breast, Feebly darts a palid ray,

And retiring far far weft,
Leaves the tranfient courfe of day.

Chrystal dew-drops hang congeal'd
From the tendril's pliant bough,
Spangling o'er the fnowy field,
As the orient pearls glow.

Icicles how fhooting bright
From the filver-margin'd ftream,
To the eye impart delight,.
By their various-colour'd beam.

Pleasures court the focial hearth, And the fimple ruftics cheer:

Love too is there; for love and mirth Ever bless the rural sphere.

Here the healthful ruftic fwain, Woos the fmiling country-maid; Ardent looks betray his pain, Ardent fires his breaft invade.

Scenes like thefe true pleasures know : Ruftic joy and ruftic fong;

While the fcowling tempefts blow, Lead the jocund hours along.

While fweet love inflames my mind, Winter's cold my heart defies.

Thus when Nature proves unkind, Love her genial warmth supplies.

While I tread the virgin fnows, While I hear the tempefts howl; Love within my bofom glows, Smiling love delights my foul.

Joy of life, and life of joy, Blefsful love be ever mine! Sweetly then my hours fhall fly, And even Winter prove divine.




Mrs Cruickshank of Stracathro.

αριπρεπης μεν εν γυναιξὶ γίγνεται Πάσηςι θέση δ' αμφιδέδρομεν χάρις.


NE mournful lay, Melpomene divine,


Whom piety, nor worth, nor ev'ry grace, That e'er was granted to the female race, Nor all a tender hufband's care could fave From ills unthought-of, and a timeless grave.

Late on the plains beneath the wood-topt hill,

Where gentle Cruick rolls his filver rill, The pride, the glory of the place the fhone, With virtue, beauty, graces all her own; Boaft of the poor, and honour to the great, Nor lefs a pattern of the nuptial-state.

A daughter, folace of her parent's life; A tender mother, fifter, friend, and wife; O! bleft Miranda; by high Heav'n's de

[blocks in formation]

But unrefifted was the ftroke of death, The Pow'r who gave, recall'd thy fragrant breath.

As when no more the gentle zephyr blows On blooming lilies, or the blufhing rofe In fummer, when the fierce meridan ray Of Phoebus pours abroad the blaze of day, They fhrink, they wither, drop their heads, and die;

So was Miranda doom'd in duft to lie.

O! from the church, where reft her lov'd remains,

Be far, whate'er a facred place diftains; There let no baleful yew, no cypress rife, No bird of night with fcreeching rend the fkies,

No raven croak, no bat his pinions wave, Nor feet unhallow'd e'er approach her grave.

But, rural maidens, and ye rural fwains, Cull choiceft garlands from your flow'ry plains;

With myrrh, with myrtles, with fresh laurels come,

And figh, and forrow as ye deck her tomb, Till mimic echoes in like notes deplore, And hills refound, Miranda is no more."

Let moonlight fairies, there reforting,


Her fudden fate, and her untimely urn,
Neglect their revels, ev'ry sportive rite.
And waste in tears the melancholy night;
While dews defcend from the relenting sky,.
And rifing zephyrs breathe an ans'ring figh.
There let the thrush, the tuneful linnet

The twitt'ring swallow build his little home;
And mourn her fate,and still for this receive
The fame protection fhe had wont to give;
While fwans for her from southern climates

And in the streams of Cruick, fing, and die.

But to her tomb, fee! the fad hufband

[blocks in formation]

Think but of mirth, look chearful,fmile and play,

As if no mother had been fnatch'd away, While at the fight their father's griefs increase ;

He weeps, and folds them in a fond embrace.

But 'mid this fcene of woe, behold! on


A fudden radiance far illume the sky; 1 Full in the blaze, Miranda's form appears, And heav'nly mufic breaks upon their ears; A goddess now the feem'd, in light array'd, And in a voice, more fweet than mortalfaid:

"Ye finiling infants, late my darling care, “Theme of my heart, and object of my pray'r,

"Think not that I fo far from you remove, "That you poffefs not ftill maternal love; "Such love, as mortals from blefs'd fpirits ⚫gain,

‚' Is yours, and ever shall with you remain.

"Your mother once, your guardian-an

gel now,

"Will watch, and tend you while you live below,

"Direct your steps in Virtue's paths aright, "And lead you pure, and late, to realms of light;

"Whence fhall Miranda's lofs be fo fupply'd,

"That, you furviving, none will think she dy'd.

"Go, happy infants! Heav'n protect you. ftill,

"Your thoughts, your words, and ways defend from ill;

"Nor let a widow'd husband vainly mourn "For one, who would not from the skies

[blocks in formation]
« 이전계속 »