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entirely displease me. Your immoderate passion Jenkinson, who brings you a wife; and if the con for wealth is now justly punished. But though the pany restrain their curiosity a few minutes, they young lady can not be rich, she has still a compe- shall see her.” So saying he went off with his tence sufficient to give content. Here you see an usual celerity, and left us all unable to form any honest young soldier, who is willing to take her probable conjecture as to his design. “Ay, let without fortune: they have long loved each other; him go,” cried the 'Squire; "whatever else I may and for the friendship I bear his father, my interest have done, I defy him there. I am too old now to shall not be wanting in his promotion. Leave then be frightened with squibs." that ambition which disappoints you, and for once " I am surprised," said the baronet, " what the admit that happiness which courts your acceptance.” fellow can intend by this. Some low piece of hu
“Sir William,” replied the old gentleman, "be mour, I suppose.”—“Perhaps, sir," replied I, "he assured I never yet forced her inclinations, nor will may have a more serious meaning. For when we I now. If she still continues to love this young reflect on the various schemes this gentleman has gentleman, let her have him with all my heart. laid to seduce innocence, perhaps some one, more There is still, thank Heaven, some fortune left, artful than the rest, has been found able to deceive and your promise will make it something more. him. When we consider what numbers he has Only let my old friend here (meaning me) give me ruined, how many parents now feel with anguish a promise of settling six thousand pounds upon my the infamy and the contamination which he has girl if ever he should come to his fortune, and I am brought into their families, it would not surprise ready this night to be the first to join them toge me if some one of them-Amazement! Do I see ther."
my lost daughter? do I hold her? It is, it is my life, As it now remained with me to make the young my happiness. I thought thee lost, my Olivia, yet couple happy, I readily gave a promise of making still I hold thee-and still thou shalt live to bless the settlement he required, which from one who me.” The warmest transports of the fondest lover had such little expectations as I, was no great fa- were not greater than mine, when I saw him invour. We had now, therefore, the satisfaction of troduce my child, and held my daughter in my seeing them fly into each other's arms in a trans- arms, whose silence only spoke her raptures. port.—"After all my misfortunes,” cried my son " And art thou returned to me, my darling," George, "to be thus rewarded! Sure this is more cried I, “to be my comfort in age!"- -" That she than I could ever have presumed to hope for. To is,” cried Jenkinson, "and make much of her, for be possessed of all that's good, and after such an she is your own honourable child, and as honest a interval of pain! My warntest wishes could never woman as any in the whole room, let the other be rise so high!”
who she will. And as for you, 'Squire, as sure as “Yes, my George,” returned his lovely bride, you stand there, this young lady is your lawful "now let the wretch take my fortune; since you wedded wife. And to convince you that I speak are happy without it, so am I. O what an exchange nothing but truth, here is the license by which you have I made from the basest of men to the dearest, were married together.”—So saying, he put the best!—Let him enjoy our fortune, I now can be license into the baronet's hands, who read it, and happy even in indigence."—" And I promise you,” found it perfect in every respect. “And now, cried the 'Squire, with a malicious grin, “that I gentlemen,” continued he, “I find you are surshall be very happy with what you despise."--prised at all this; but a few words will explain the "Hold, hold, sir,” cried Jenkinson, “there are two difficulty. That there 'Squire of renown, for whom words to that bargain. As for that lady's fortune, I have a great friendship (but that's between our. sir, you shall never touch a single stiver of it. Pray, selves), has often employed me in doing odd little your honour," continued he to Sir William, “can things for him. Among the rest he commissioned the 'Squire have this lady's fortune if he be marri- me to procure him a false license and a false priest, ed to another?”—“How can you make such a in order to deceive this young lady. But as I was simple demand?” replied the baronet: "undoubt- very much his friend, what did I do, but went and edly he can not." _“I am sorry for that,” cried got a true license and a true priest, and married Jenkinson; “ for as this gentleman and I have been them both as fast as the cloth could make them. old fellow-sporters, I have a friendship for him. Perhaps you'll think it was generosity that made But I must declare, well as I love him, that his me do all this : but no; to my shame I confess it, contract is not worth a tobacco-stopper, for he is my only design was to keep the license, and let the married already."_“You lie, like a rascal,” return. "Squire know that I could prove it upon him whened the 'Squire, who seemed roused by this insult; ever I thought proper, and so make him come down "I never was legally married to any woman.” whenever I wanted money." A burst of pleasur
" Indeed, begging your honour's pardon," repli- now seemed to fill the whole apartment; our joy ed the other, " you were; and I hope you will show reached even to the common room, where the pro * proper return of friendship to your own honest Isoners themselves sympathized,
And shook their chains
even our benefactor Jenkinson desired to be ad. In transport and rude harmony.
mitted to that honour. Our satisfaction seemed Happiness was expanded upon every face, and scarcely capable of increase. Sir William, whose even Olivia's cheek seemed flushed with pleasure. greatest pleasure was in doing good, now looked To be thus restored to reputation, to friends and round with a countenance open as the sun, and saw fortune at once, was a rapture sufficient to stop the nothing but joy in the looks of all except that of progress of decay, and restore former health and my daughter Sophia, who, for some reasons we vivacity. But perhaps among all there was not could not comprehend, did not seem perfectly satisone who felt sincerer pleasure than I. Still hold-fied. “I think, now,” cried he, with a smile, " that ing the dear loved child in my arms, I asked my all the company except one or two seem perfectly heart if these transports were not delusion. “How happy. There only remains an act of justice for could you," cried I, turning to Mr. Jenkinson, me to do. You are sensible, sir,” continued he, "how could you add to my miseries by the story turning to me, "of the obligations we both owe of her death? But it matters not; my pleasure at Mr. Jenkinson, and it is but just we should both finding her again is more than a recompense for reward him for it. Miss Sophia will, I am sure, the pain.”
make him very happy, and he shall have from me " As to your question," replied Jenkinson, "that five hundred pounds as her fortune; and upon this is easily answered. I thought the only probable I am sure they can live very comfortably together. means of freeing you from prison, was by submit- Come, Miss Sophia, what say you to this match ting to the 'Squire, and consenting to his marriage of my making? Will you have him?”—My poor with the other young lady. But these you had girl seemed almost sinking into her mother's arms vowed never to grant while your daughter was liv. at the hideous proposal.—"Have him, sir!” cried ing; there was therefore no other method to bring she faintly: “No, sir, never.”—“What!” cried he things to bear, but by persuading you that she was again, “not have Mr. Jenkinson, your benefactor, dead. I prevailed on your wife to join in the de- a handsome young fellow, with five hundred ceit, and we have not had a fit opportunity of un- pounds, and good expectations?"_“I beg, sir," deceiving you till now.”
returned she, scarcely able to speak, “ that you'll In the whole assembly there now appeared only desist, and not make me so very wretched.”two faces that did not glow with transport. Mr.“Wasever such obstinacy known?" cried he again, Thornhill's assurance had entirely forsaken him: "to refuse a man whom the family has such inbe now saw the gulf of infamy and want before tinite obligations to, who has preserved your sister, him, and trembled to take the plunge. He there and who has five hundred pounds! What, not have fore fell on his knees before his uncle, and in a him?"- No, sir, never," replied she angrily; Foice of piercing misery implored compassion. Sir" I'd sooner die first.”—“If that be the case, then," William was going to spurn him away, but at my cried he, “if you will not have him-I think I request he raised him, and, after pausing a few mo- must have you myself.” And so saying, he caught ments, " Thy vices, crimes, and ingratitude," cried her to his breast with ardour. “My loveliest, my ae, “deserve no tenderness; yet thou shalt not be most sensible of girls,” cried he, "how could you entirely forsaken—a bare competence shall be sup- ever think your own Burchell could deceive you, or plied to support the wants of life, but not its follies. that Sir William Thornhill could ever cease to adThis young lady, thy wife, shall be put in posses- mire a mistress that loved him for himself alone? I ssion of a third part of that fortune which once was have for some years sought for a woman, who, a thine, and from her tenderness alone thou art to stranger to my fortune, could think that I had expect any extraordinary supplies for the future." merit as a man. After having tried in vain, even He was going to express his gratitude for such amongst the pert and the ugly, how great at last kindness in a set speech; but the baronet prevented must be my rapture to have made a conquest over him, by bidding him not aggravate his meanness, such sense and such heavenly beauty!" Then wluch was already but too apparent. He ordered turning to Jenkinson: “As I can not, sir, part aim at the same time to be gone, and from all his with this young lady myself, for she has taken a ormer domestics to choose one, such as he should fancy to the cut of my face, all the recompense I Link proper, which was all that should be granted can make is to give you her fortune ; and you may to attend him.
call upon my steward to-morrow for five hundred As soon as he left us, Sir William very politely pounds." Thus, we had all our compliments to stepped up to his new niece with a smile, and repeat, and Lady Thornhill underwent the same wished her joy. His example was followed by round of ceremony that her sister had done before. Miss Wilmot and her father. My wife too kissed in the meantime, Sir William's gentleman appear. her daughter with much affection; as, to use her ed to tell us that the equipages were ready to carry own expression, she was now made an honest wo us to the inn, where every thing was prepared for män of. Sophia and Moses followed in turn, and our reception. My wife and I led the van, and
left those gloomy mansions of sorrow. The gener, which I led the way, all gravity had quite forsaken ous baronet ordered forty pounds to be distributed them, and I was often tempted to turn back in inamong the prisoners, and Mr. Wilmot, induced by dignation. In church a new dilemma arose, which his example, gave half that sum. We were re- promised no easy solution. This was, which couple ceived below by the shouts of the villagers, and I should be married first. My son's bride warmly saw and shook by the hand two or three of my insisted that Lady Thornhill (that was to be) honest parishioners, who were among the number. should take the lead: but this the other refused They attended us to our inn, where a sumptuous with equal ardour, protesting she would not be entertainment was provided, and coarser provisions guilty of such rudeness for the world. The arguwere distributed in great quantities among the ment was supported for some time between both populace.
with equal obstipacy and good-breeding. But as After supper, as my spirits were exhausted by I stood all this time with my book ready, I was at the alternation of pleasure and pain which they had last quite tired of the contest; and shutting it, "I sustained during the day, I asked permission to perceive,” cried I, “that none of you have a mind withdraw; and leaving the company in the midst to be married, and I think we had as good go back of their mirth, as soon as I found myself alone, I again; for I suppose there will be no business dono poured out my heart in gratitude to the Giver of joy here to-day.”—This at once reluced them to reaas well as of sorrow, and then slept undisturbed till son. The baronet and his lady were first married, morning.
and then my son and his lovely partner.
I had previously that morning given orders that
Flamborough and his family; by which means,
upon our return to the inn, we had the pleasure of
finding the two Miss Flamboroughs alighted be
fore us. Mr. Jenkinson gave his hand to the eldThe next morning as soon as I awaked, I found est and my son Moses led up the other (and I my eldest son sitting by my bed-side, who came to have since found that he has taken a real liking to increase my joy with another turn of fortune in my the girl, and my consent and bounty he shall have, favour. First having released me from the settle- whenever he thinks proper to demand them.) W. ment that I had made the day before in his favour, were no sooner returned to the inn, but numbers he let me know that my merchant who had failed of my parishioners, hearing of my success, came to in town was arrested at Antwerp, and there had congratulate me: but among the rest were those given up effects to a much greater amount than who rose to rescue me, and whom I formerly rewhat was due to his creditors. My boy's generosi- buked with such sharpness. I told the story to ty pleased me almost as much as this unlooked-for Sir William, my son-in-law, who went out and regood fortune; but I had some doubts whether I proved them with great severity; but finding them ought in justice to accept his offer. While I was quite disheartened by his harsh reproof, he gave pondering uport this, Sir William entered the room, them half a guinea a-piece to drink his bealth, and to whom I communicated my doubts. His opinion raise their dejected spirits. was, that as my son was already possessed of a very Soon after this we were called to a very genteel affluent fortune by his marriage, I might accept his cntertainment, which was dressed by Mr. Thoruoffer without any hesitation. His business, how- hill's cook. And it may not be improper to observe, ever, was to inform me, that as he had the night with respect to that gentleman, that he now resides, before sent for the licenses, and expected them in quality of companion, at a relation's house, beevery hour, he hoped that I would not refuse my ing very well liked, and seldom sitting at the sideassistance in making all the company happy that table, except when there is no room at the other; morning. A footman entered while we were speak- for they make no stranger of him. His time is ing, to tell us that the messenger was returned; &nd pretty much taken up in keeping his relation, who as I was by this time ready, I went down, where I is a little melancholy, in spirits, and in learning to found the whole company as merry as affluence blow the French horn. My eldest daughter, how. and innocence could make them. However, as ever, still remembers him with regret ; and she has they were now preparing for a very solemn cere- even told me, though I make a secret of it, that mony, their laughtor entirely displeased me. I told when he reforms she may be brought to relent.them of the grave, becoming, and sublime deport-But to return, for I am not apt to digress thus; ment they should assume upon this mystical occa- when we were to sit down to dinner our cereinosiun, and read them two homilies, and a thesis of nies were going to be renewed. The question was my own composing, in order to prepare them. Yet whether my eldest daughter, as being a matron, they still seemed perfectly refractory and ungovern- should not sit above the two young brides; but iho ahlá Even as we were going along to church, to Idebate was cut short by my son George who pre
posed that the company should sit indiscriminately, the old gentleman, winking upon the rest of the every gentleman by his lady. This was received company, observed, that he was thinking of his with great approbation by all, excepting my wife, mistress: at which jest I thought the two Miss who, I could perceive, was not perfectly satisfied, Flamboroughs would have died with laughing. As as she expected to have had the pleasure of sitting soon as dinner was over, according to my old cusat the head of the table, and carving the meat for tom, I requested that the table might be taken away, all the company. But, notwithstanding this, it is to have the pleasure of seeing all my family assemimpossible to describe our good-humour. I can't bled once more by a cheerful fire-sider My two say whether we had more wit among us now than little ones sat upon each knee, the rest of the comusual; but I am certain we had more laughing, pany by their partners. I had nothing now on this wluch answered the end as well. One jest I par- side of the grave to wish for; all my cares were ticularly remember: old Mr. Wilmot drinking to over; my pleasure was unspeakable. It now only Moses, whose head was turned another way, my remained, that my gratitude in good fortune should con replied, “Madam, I thank you.” Upon which exceed my former submission in adversity.
The Preseut State of Polite Learning.*
Εμοι Φρος φιλοσοφους εστι φιλια προς μεν τοι σοφιστας και γραμματιστας ουσι νυν εστι φιλια μητε υστρων,
Tolcrabile si Ædificia nostra diruerent Ædificandi capaces.
conveys no instruction; all it teaches is, that the
writer dislikes an age by which he is probably disIntrodluction.
regarded. The manner of being useful on the It has been so long the practice to represent lit- subject, would be, to point out the symptoms, to in erature as declining, that every renewal of this vestigate the causes, and direct to the remedies of complaint now comes with diminished influence. the approaching decay. This is a subject hitherto The public has been so often excited by a false unattempted in criticism,- perhaps it is the only alarm, that at present the nearer we approach the subject in which criticism can be useful. Threatened period of decay, the more our security How far the writer is equal to such an underincreases.
taking the reader must determine; yet perhaps his It will now probably be said, that, taking the observations may be just, though his manner of decay of genius for granted, as I do, argues either expressing them should only serve as an example resentment or partiality. The writer possessed of of the errors he undertakes to reprove. fame, it may be asserted, is willing to enjoy it with- Novelty, however, is not permitted to usurp the out a rival, by lessening every competitor; or, if place of reason ; it may attend, but it shall not conunsuccessful, he is desirous to turn upon others the duct the inquiry. But it should be observed, that contempt which is levelled at himself; and being the more original any performance is, the more it convicted at the bar of literary justice, hopes for is liable to deviate; for cautious stupidity is always pardon by accusing every brother of the same pro- in the right. fession.
Sensible of this, I am at a loss where to find an apology for persisting to arraign the merit of the
CHAPTER II. age ; for joining in a cry which the judicious have long since left to be kept up by the vulgar; and for The Causes which contribute to the Decline of Learning. adopting the sentiments of the multitude, in a per
If we consider the revolutions which have hap." formance that at best can please only a few.
pensed in the commonwealth of letters, survey the Complaints of our degeneracy in literature, as
rapid progress of learning in one period of antiquiwell as in morals, I own, have been frequently ex- ty, or its amazing decline in another, we shall be hibited of late, but seem to be enforced more with almost induced to accuse nature of partiality ; as the ardour of devious declamation than the calm- if she had exhausted all her efforts in adorning one ness of deliberate inquiry. The dullest critic, who age, while she left the succeeding entirely neglect strives at a reputation for delicacy, by showing he el. It is not to nature, however, but to ourselves can not be pleased, may pathetically assure us, that alone, that this partiality must be ascribed : the seeds our taste is upon the decline ; may consign every of excellence are sown in every age, and it is whoily modern performance to oblivion, and bequeath no
owing to a wrong direction in the passions or pur. thing to posterity, except the labours of our ances- suits of mankind, that they have not received the tors, or his own. Such general invective, however, proper cultivation. • The first edition of this work appeared in 1759, and the
As, in the best regulated societies, the very laws socond was printed in 1774.
which at first give the government solidity, may in