페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

concert.

at themselves in the glass, which, even the controversy was hottest, I was called philosophers might own, often presented out by one of my relations, who, with a the page of greatest beauty. At dinner, face of concern, advised me to give up my wife took the lead; for, as she always the dispute, at least till my son's wedding insisted upon carving everything herself, was over. “How,” cried I, “ relinquish it being her mother's way, she gave us, the cause of truth, and let him be a upon these occasions, the history of every husband, already driven to the very verge dish. When we had dined, to prevent of absurdity? You might as well advise the ladies leaving us, I generally ordered me to give up my fortune as my arguthe table to be removed; and sometimes, ment. _“Your fortune,” returned my with the music-master's assistance, the friend, “I am now sorry to inform you, girls would give us a very agreeable is almost nothing. The merchant in

Walking out, drinking tea, town, in whose hands your money wa country dances, and forfeits, shortened lodged, has gone off, to avoid a statut the rest of the day, without the assistance of bankruptcy, and is thought not to have of cards, as I hated all manner of gaming, left a shilling in the pound. I was unexcept backgammon, at which my old willing to shock you or the family wità friend and sometimes took a twopenny the account till after the wedding : but hit. Nor can I here pass over an omi- now it may serve

to moderate you: nous circumstance that happened, the last warmth in the argument; for, I suppose, time we played together. I only wanted your own prudence will enforce the neto fling a quatre, and yet I threw deuce cessity of dissembling, at least till your ace five times running.

son has the young lady's fortune secure Some months were elapsed in this -"Well," returned 1, "if what you tell manner, till at last it was thought con- me be true, and if I am to be a beggar, venient to fix a day for the nuptials of the it shall never make me a rascal, or induce young couple, who seemed earnestly to me to disavow my principles. I'll go this desire it. During the preparations for moment and inform the company of my the wedding, I need not describe the circumstances : and, as for the argument, busy importance of my wise, nor the 1 even here retract my former concession sly looks of my daughters : in fact, my in the old gentleman's favour, nor wil attention was fixed on another object,- allow him now to be a husband in any the completing a tract, which I intended sense of the expression.” shortly to publish, in defence of my fa- It would be endless to describe the dif. vourite principle. As I looked upon this ferent sensations of both families when I as a masterpiece, both for argument and divulged the news of our misfortune : but style, I could not, in the pride of my' what others felt was slight to what the heart, avoid showing it to my old friend lovers appeared to endure. Mr. Wilmot, Mr. Wilmot, as I made no doubt of who seemed before sufficiently inclined to receiving his approbation : but not till break off the match, was, by this blow, too late I discovered that he was most soon determined: one virtue he had in perviolently attached to the contrary opinion, section, which was prudence, too often the and with good reason ; for he was at only one that is left us at seventy-two. that time actually courting a fourth wise. This, as may be expected, produced a

CHAPTER III. dispute, attended with some acrimony, which threatened to interrupt our in- A Migration. The fortunate Circumstances of tended alliance; but, on the day before

our Lives are generally found at last to be of

our own procuring. that appointed for the ceremony, we agreed to discuss the subject at large. The only hope of our family now wax,

It was managed with proper spirit on that the report of our misfortune might be both sides ; he asserted that I was heter- malicious or premature ; but a letter from odox ; I retorted the charge : he replied, my agent in town soon came, with a conand I rejoined. In the meantime, while firmation of every particular. The loss of

fortune to myself alone would have been mother and the rest, who mingled their triling; the only uneasiness I felt was for tears with their kisses, came to ask a blessmy family, who were to be humbled with ing from me. This I gave him from my out an education to render them callous to heart, and which, added to five guineas, contempt.

was all the patrimony I had now to bestow. Near a fortnight had passed before I “You are going, my boy,” cried I, " to attempted to restrain their affliction; for London on foot, in the manner Hooker, premature consolation is but the remem- your great ancestor, travelled there before brancer of sorrow. During this interval, you. Take from me the same horse that my thoughts were employed on some was given him by the good bishop Jewel, future means of supporting them; and at this staff, and take this book, too, it will as a small cure of fifteen pounds a year be your comfort on the way : these two Fas offered me, in a distant neighbour. lines in it are worth a million, — 'I have bal

, where I could still enjoy my prin- been young, and now am old ; yet never ciples without molestation. With this saw I the righteous man forsaken, or his proposal I joyfully closed, having deter- seed begging their bread.' Let this be inued to increase my salary by managing your consolation as you travel on. Go, a little farm.

my boy ; whatever be thy fortune, let me Having taken this resolution, my next see thee once a year ; still keep a good care was to get together the wrecks of my heart, and farewell.” As he was possessed fortune; and, all debts collected and paid, of integrity and honour, I was under no sint of fourteen thousand pounds we had apprehensions from throwing him naked tar four hundred remaining. My chief into the amphitheatre of life; for I knew acation, therefore, was now to bring he would act a good part whether vandan the pride of my family to their cir- quished or victorious. cumstances; for I well knew that aspiring His departure only prepared the way for bemary is wretchedness itself. “You our own, which arrived a few days aftercannot be ignorant, my children,” cried I, wards. The leaving a neighbourhood in "pizt no prudence of ours could have which we had enjoyed so many hours of presented our late misfortune ; but pru- tranquillity was not without a tear, which dence may do much in disappointing its scarce fortitude itself could suppress. efects

. We are now poor, my fondlings, Besides, a journey of seventy miles, to a und wisdom bids us conform to our humble family that had hitherto never been above Suation. Let us then, without repining, ten from home, filled us with apprehengive up those splendours with which num- sion ; and the cries of the poor, who folbers are wretched, and seek in humbler lowed us for some miles, contributed to arcumstances that peace with which all increase it. The first day's journey may be happy. The poor live pleasantly brought us in safety within thirty miles of *bat our help ; why, then, should not our future retreat, and we put up for the Feleam to live without theirs ? No, my night at an obscure inn in a village by the hul tren, let us from this moment give up way.

When we were shown a room, I al pretensions to gentility: we have still desired the landlord, in my usual way, to emragh left for happiness if we are wise, let us have his company, with which he and let us draw upon content for the defi- complied, as what

he drank would increase

the bill next morning. He knew, however, is ny eldest son was bred a scholar, I the whole neighbourhood to which I was determined to send him to town, where removing, particularly Squire Thornhill, his airlities might contribute to our sup- who was to be my landlord, and who lived

The separation of within a few miles of the place. This friends and families is, perhaps, one of the gentleman he described as one who demost distressful circumstances attendant sired to know little more of the world than

The day soon arrived on its pleasures, being particularly remarkwhich we were to disperse for the first able for his attachment for the fair sex. time. My son, after taking leave of his He observed that no virtue was able to

cencies of fortune.”

port and his own.

im pequry.

scarce

resist his arts and assiduity, and that found passable." I testified the pleasure

a farmer's daughter within ten I should have in his company, and my miles round but what had found him wife and daughters joining in entreaty, te successful and faithless. Though this ac- was prevailed upon to stay supper.

The count gave me some pain, it had a very stranger's conversation, which was at once different effect upon my daughters, whose pleasing and instructive, induced me to features seemed to brighten with the wish for a continuance of it; but it was expectation of an approaching triumph : now high time to retire and take refreshnor was my wise less pleased and confident ment against the fatigues of the following of their allurements and virtue. While day. our thoughts were thus employed, the The next morning we all set forward hostess entered the room to inform her together : my family on horseback, while husband that the strange gentleman, who Mr. Burchell

, our new companion, walked had been two days in the house, wanted along the footpath by the road-side, obmoney, and could not satisfy them for his serving with a smile that, as we were ill reckoning. “Want money!” replied the mounted, he would be too generous to host," that must be impossible; for it was attempt leaving us behind. As the floods no later than yesterday he paid three were not yet subsided, we were obliged to guineas to our beadle to spare an old bro- hire a guide, who trotted on before, Mr. ken soldier that was to be whipped through Burchell and I bringing up the rear. We the town for dog-stealing.' The hostess, lightened the fatigues of the vad with however, still persisting in her first asser- philosophical disputes, which he seemed tion, he was preparing to leave the room, to understand perfectly. But what surswearing that he would be satisfied one prised me most was, that though he was a way or another, when I begged the land- money borrower, he defended his opinions lord would introduce me to a stranger of with as much obstinacy as if he had been so much charity as he described. With my patron. Ile now and then also inthis he complied, showing in a gentleman formed me to whom the different seats who seemed to be about thirty, dressed in belonged that lay in our view as we clothes that once were laced. His person travelled the road. “That," cried he, was well formed, and his face marked with pointing to a very magnificent house which the lines of thinking. He had something stood at some distance, “ belongs to Mr. short and dry in his address, and seemed Thornhill, a young gentleman who enjoys not to understand ceremony, or to despise a large fortune, though entirely dependent it. Upon the landlord's leaving the room, on the will of his uncle, Sir William I could not avoid expressing my concern Thornhill, a gentleman who, content with to the stranger at seeing a gentleman in a little himself, permits his nephew to such circumstances, and offered him my enjoy the rest, and chiefly resides in purse to satisfy the present demand. "Í town.”—“What!” cried I, "is my young take it with all my heart, sir," replied he, landlord then the nephew of a man, whose "and am glad that a late oversight in virtues, generosity, and singularities are giving what money I had about me has so universally known? I have heard Sir shown me there are still some men like William Thornhill represented as one of you. I must, however, previously entreat the most generous yet whimsical men in being informed of the name and residence the kingdom; a man of consummate beneof my benefactor, in order to repay him as volence."- Something, perhaps, 100 soon as possible.” In this I satisfied him much so," replied Mr. Burchell ; • at least fully, not only mentioning my name and he carried benevolence to an excess when late misfortunes, but the place to which I young; for his passions were then strong, was going to remove. “This,” cried he, and as they were all upon the side of virtue “happens still more luckily than I hoped they led it up to a romantic extreme. Hle for, as I am going the same way myself, early began to aim at the qualifications of having been detained here two days by the the soldier and the scholar : was soon floods, which I hope by to-morrow will be distinguished in the army, and had some

66

[ocr errors]

repctation among men of learning. Adu- \ —that, I forget what I was going to obis gerer follows the ambitious; for such serve: in short, sir, he resolved to respect alune receive most pleasure from flattery. himself, and laid down a plan of restoring Hle ris surrounded with crowds, who his falling fortune.

For this purpose, in sbored him only one side of their cha- his own whimsical manner, he travelled reter; so that he began to lose a regard through Europe on foot; and now, though u private interest in universal sympathy. he has scarce attained the age of thirty, He loved all mankind; for fortune pre- ' his circumstances are more affluent than sented him from knowing that there were ever. At present, his bounties are more tals. Physicians tell us of a disorder, rational and moderate than before ; but 3 which the whole body is so exquisitely still he preserves the character of an husas.ble that the slightest touch gives morist, and finds most pleasure in eccen. pan: what some have thus suffered in tric virtues." inei persons, this gentleman felt in his My attention was so much taken up by emad: the slightest distress, whether real | Mr. 'Burchell's account, that I scarce !? fictitious, touched him to the quick, and looked forward as he went along, till we Es soul laboured under a sickly sensibility were alarmed by the cries of my family; of the miseries of others. Thus disposed when, turning, I perceived my youngest in relieve, it will be easily conjectured he daughter in the midst of a rapid stream, mundo"-hers disposed to solicit; his pro- ; thrown from her horse, and struggling with zons dezan to impair his fortune, but not the torrent. She had sunk twice, nor was is good-nature-that, indeed, was seen to it in my power to disengage myself in time Increase as the other seemed to decay: he to bring her relief. My sensations were Tew improvident as he grew poor; and, even too violent to permit my attempttragh he talked like a man of sense, his ing her rescue : she must have certainly asions were those of a fool. Still, how- perished had not my companion, perceivescr, being surrounded with importunity, .ing her danger, instantly plunged in to her and no longer able to satisfy every request relief, and, with some difficulty, brought that was made him, instead of money he her in safety to the opposite shore. By pre promises. They were all he had to 'taking the current little farther up, the hostow, and he had not resolution enough rest of the family got safely over, where to give any man pain by a denial. By this we had an opportunity of joining our acte drew round him crowds of dependants, knowledgments to hers. Her gratitude whom he was sure to disappoint, yet wished may be more readily imagined than de. o relieve. These hung upon him for a : scribed : she thanked her deliverer more tme, and left him with merited reproaches with looks than with words, and continued and contempt. But, in proportion as he to lean upon his arm, as if still willing to became contemptible to others, he became receive assistance. My wife also hoped Jespricable to himself. His mind had one day to have the pleasure of returning laned upon their adulation, and, that sup- his kindness at her own house. Thus, after port taken away, he could find no pleasure we were refreshed at the next inn, and had in the applause of his heart, which he had dined together, as Mr. Burchell was going Dever learnt to reverence. The world now to a different part of the country, he took began to wear a different aspect : the flat- leave, and we pursued our journey ; my lery of his friends began to dwindle into wife observing, as he went, that she liked simple approbation ; approbation soon him extremely, and protesting, that if he took the more friendly form of advice ; had birth and fortune to entitle him to and advice, when rejected, produced their match into such a family as ours, she knew reproaches. He now therefore found that no man she would sooner fix upon. I such friends as benefits had gathered round could not but smile to hear her talk in this hien, were little estimable : he now found lofty strain ; but I was never much disthat a man's own heart must be ever given pleased with those harmless delusions that to gain that of another. I now found that tend to make us more happy.

eve,

CHAPTER IV.

There were three other apartments; one A Proof that even the humblest Fortune may

for my wife and me, another for our two grant Happiness, which depends, not on Cir. daughters within our own, and the third, cumstances, but Constitution,

with two beds, for the rest of the children. The place of our retreat was in a little The little republic to which I gave laws, neighbourhood, consisting of farmers, who was regulated in the following manner : tilled their own grounds, and were equal By sunrise we all assembled in our comstrangers to opulence and poverty. As

mon apartment, the fire being previously they had almost all the conveniences of kindled by the servant. After we had life within themselves, they seldom visited saluted each other with proper ceremony towns or cities in search of superfluity. -for I always thought fit to keep up some Remote from the polite, they still retained mechanical forms of good breeding, with the priineval simplicity of manners; and, out which freedom ever destroys friendfrugal by habit, they scarce knew that ship--we all bent in gratitude to that Being temperance was a virtue. They wrought who gave us another day. This duty being with cheerfulness on days of labour ; but performed, my son and I went to pursue observed festivals as intervals of idleness our usual industry abroad, while my wife and pleasure. They kept up the Christ- and daughters employed themselves in mas carol, sent true love knots on Valen- providing breakfast, which was always tine morning, ate pancakes on Shrovetide, ready at a certain time. I allowed half an showed their wit on the first of April, and hour for this meal, and an hour for dinner; religiously cracked nuts on Michaelmas which time was taken up in innocent mirth

Being apprised of our approach, the between my wife and daughters, and in whole neighbourhood came out to meet philosophical arguments between my son their minister, dressed in their finest and me. clothes, and preceded by a pipe and As we rose with the sun, so we never tabor. A feast also was provided for our pursued our labours after it was gone reception, at which we sat cheerfully down, but returned home to the expecting down; and what the conversation wanted family, where smiling looks, a neat hearth, in wit was made up in laughter.

and pleasant fire, were prepared for our Our little habitation was situated at the reception. Nor were we without guests : foot of a sloping hill, sheltered with a sometimes farmer Flamborough, our talk. beautiful underwood behind, and a prat. ative neighbour, and often the blind piper, tling river before ; on one side a meadow, would pay us a visit, and taste our goose." on the other a green. My farm consisted berry wine, for the making of which we of about twenty acres of excellent land, had lost neither the receipt nor the reputa. having given an hundred pounds for my tion. These harmless people had several predecessor's good-will. Nothing could ways of being good company; while one exceed the neatness of my little enclosures, played, the other would sing some soothing the elms and hedge-rows appearing with ballad, - Johnny Armstrong's Last Goodinexpressible beauty. My house consisted Night, or the Cruelty of Barbara Allen. of but one story, and was covered with The night was concluded in the manner thatch, which gave it an air of great snug- we began the morning, my youngest boys' ness ; the walls, on the inside, were nicely being appointed to read the lessons of the whitewashed, and my daughters under day; and he that read loudest, distinctest, took to adorn them with pictures of their and best, was to have a halfpenny on own designing. Though the same room Sunday to put into the poor's box. served us for parlour and kitchen, that When Sunday came, it was indeed a only made it the warmer. Besides, as it day of finery, which all my sumptuary was kept with the utmost neatness, the 'edicts could not restrain. How well sodishes, plates, and coppers being well ever I fancied my lectures against pride scoured, and all disposed in bright rows had conquered the vanity of my daughters, on the shelves, the eye was agreeably re- yet I still found them secretly attached to lieved, and did not want richer surniture. all their former finery: they still loved

« 이전계속 »