Imágenes de páginas

desire of flattery increased, so every hour, being bermaid. Another foot was heard soon after. better acquainted with his defects, I became This must be he! No, it was only the great more unwilling to give it.-Thus I was once man's valet-de-chambre. At last his lordship more fairly going to give up the field to the cap- actually made his appearance. ' Are you,' cried tain, when my friend found occasion for my as- he, 'the bearer of this here letter ?' I answered sistance. This was nothing less than to fight a with a bow. I learn by this,' continued he, duel for him with a gentleman, whose sister it as how that— But just at that instant a serwas pretended he had used ill. I readily com- vant delivered him a card ; and, without taking plied with his request, and though I see you farther notice, he went out of the room, and arc displeased at my conduct, yet as it was a left me to digest my own happiness at leisure. debt indispensably due to friendship, I could I saw no more of him, till told by a footman not refuse. I undertook the affair, disarmed my that his lordship was going to his coach at the antagonist, and soon after had the pleasure of door. Down I immediately followed, and joinfinding that the lady was only a woman of the ed my voice to that of three or four more, who town, and the fellow her bully and a sharper. came like me to petition for favours. His lordThis piece of service was repaid with the warm- ship, however, went too fast for us, and was est professions of gratitude ; but as my friend gaining his chariot-door with large strides, when was to leave town in a few days, he knew no I hallooed out to know if I was to have any reother method of serving me but by recommend- ply. He was by this time got in, and muttering me to his uncle, Sir William Thornhill

, and ed an answer, half of which I only heard, the another nobleman of great distinction, who en- other half was lost in the rattling of his chariotjoyed a post under government. When he was wheels. I stood for some time with my neck gone, my first care was to carry his recommen- stretched out, in the posture of one that was datory letter to his uncle, a man whose charac- listening to catch the glorious sounds, till, lookter for every virtue was universal, yet just. 1 ing round me, I found myself alone at his lordwas received by his servants with the most hos- ship’s gate. pitable smiles ; for the looks of the domestics My patience,” continued my son, was ever transmit their master's benevolence. Being now quite exhausted. Stung with the thousand shewn into a grand apartment, where Sir Wil- indignities I had met with, I was willing to liam soon came to me, I delivered my message cast myself away, and only wanted the gulph to and letter, which he read, and after pausing receive me. I regarded myself as one of those vile some minutes— Pray, sir;' cried he, inform things that Nature designed should be thrown me what you have done for my kinsman, to de- by into her lumber-room, there to perish in observe' this warın recommendation ? But I sup- scurity. I had still, however, half-a-guinea left, pose, sir, I guess your merits; you have fought and of that I thought Fortune herself should not for him ; and so you would expect a reward deprive me; but, in order to be sure of this, I from me for being the instrument of his vices. was resolved to go instantly and spend it while I wish, sincerely wish, that my present refusal I had it, and then trust to occurrences for the may be some punishment for your guilt ; but rest. As I was going along with this resolution, still more that it may be some inducement to it happened that Mr Crispe's office seemed inyour repentance. The severity of this rebuke I vitingly open to give me a welcome reception. bore patiently, because I knew it was just. My In this office Mr Crispe kindly offers all his whole expectations now, therefore, lay in my majesty's subjects a generous promise of 301. aletter to the great man. As the doors of the year, for which promise all they give in return nobility are almost ever beset with beggars, all is their liberty for life, and permission to let ready to thrust in some sly petition, I found it him transport them to America as slaves. I was no easy matter to gain admittance. However, happy at finding a place where I could lose my after bribing the servants with half my worldly fears in desperation, and entered this cell, for it fortune, I was at last shewn into a spacious had the appearance of one, with the devotion of apartment, my letter being previously sent up for a monastic. Here I found a number of poor his lordship’s inspection. During this anxious creatures, all in circumstances like myself, exinterval, i had full time to look around me. pecting the arrival of Mr Crispe, presenting a Every thing was grand and of happy, contri- true epitome of English impatience. Each unvance; the paintings, the furniture, the gild- tractable soul at variance with fortune, wreaked ings, petrified me with awe, and raised my idea her injuries on their own hearts; but Mr Crispe of the owner. Ah! thought I to myself, how at last came down, and all our murmurs were very great must the possessor of all these things hushed. He deigned to regard me with an air be, who carries in his head the business of the of peculiar approbation, and indeed he was the state, and whose house displays half the wealth first man, who for a month past had talked to me of a kingdom ; sure his genius must be unfa. with smiles. After a few questions, he found I thomable ! During these awful reflections, I was fit for every thing in the world. He paused heard a step come heavily forward. Ah, this is a while upon the properest means of providing the great man himself! No, it was only a cham- for me, and slapping his forehead, as if he had found it, assured me, that there was at that time to Louvain, and there live by teaching Greek; an embassy talked of from the synod of Penn- and in this design I was heartened by my brosylvania to the Chickasaw Indians, and that he ther-student, who threw out some hints that a would use his interest to get me made secretary. fortune might be got by it. I knew in my own heart the fellow lied, and yet " I set boldly forward the next morning. his promise gave me pleasure, there was some- Every day lessened the burthen of my movething so magnificent in the sound. I fairly, ables, like Æsop and his basket of bread; for therefore, divided my half-guinea, one half of I paid them for my lodging to the Dutch as which went to be added to his thirty thousand I travelled on. When I came to Louvain, I pounds, and with the other half I resolved to go was resolved not to go sneaking to the lower to the next tavern to be there more happy than professors, but openly tendered my talents to he.

the principal himself. I went, had admittance, As I was going out with that resolution, I and offered him my service as a master of the was met at the door by the captain of a ship, Greek language, which I had been told was a with whom I had formerly some little acquaint- desideratum in his university. The principal ance, and he agreed to be my companion over a seemed, at first, to doubt of my abilities; but bowl of punch. As I never chose to make a se- of these I offered to convince him, by turning cret of my circumstances, he assured me that I a part of any Greek author he should fix upon was on the very point of ruin, in listening to into Latin. Finding me perfectly earnest in my the office-keeper's promises ; for that he only proposal, he addressed me thus: “ You see me, designed to sell me to the plantations. ." But, young man: I never learned Greek, and I don't continued he, “ I fancy you might by a much find that I have ever missed it. I have had a shorter voyage be very easily put into a genteel doctor's cap and gown without Greek ; I have way of bread. Take my advice, my ship sails ten thousand florins a-year without Greek; I to-morrow for Amsterdam ; what if you go in eat heartily without Greek; and, in short," her as a passenger? The moment you land, all continued he, “ as I don't know Greek, I do you have to do is to teach the Dutchmen Eng- not believe there is any good in it.” Iish, and I warrant you'll get pupils and money, “I was now too far from home to think of enough. I suppose you understand English, returning, so I resolved to go forward. I had added he,“ by this time, or the deuce is in it." some knowledge of music, with a tolerable voice; I confidently assured him of that; but express- I now turned what was once my amusement in. ed a doubt whether the Dutch would be willing to a present means of subsistence. I passed to learn English. He affirmed with an oath, among the harmless peasants of Flanders, and that they were fond of it to distraction; and among such of the French as were poor enough upon that affirmation I agreed with his propo- to be very merry; for I ever found them sprightsal, and embarked the next day to teach the ly in proportion to their wants. Whenever Dutch English in Holland. The wind was fair, I approached a peasant's house towards nightour voyage short, and after having paid my pas- fall, I played one of my most merry tunes, and sage with half my moveables, I found myself that procured me not only a lodging, but subfallen as from the skies, a stranger in one of sistence for the next day. I once or twice atthe principal streets of Amsterdam. In this si- tempted to play for people of fashion; but they tuation I was unwilling to let any time pass always thought my performance odious, and unemployed in teaching. I addressed myself, never rewarded me even with a trifle. This was therefore, to two or three of those I met, whose to me the more extraordinary, as whenever I appearance seemed most promising ; but it was used in better days to play for company,

when impossible to make ourselves mutually under- playing was my amusement, my music never stood. It was not till this very moment I re- failed to throw them into raptures, and the lacollected, that in order to teach Dutchmen Eng- dies especially; but, as it was now my only lish, it was necessary that they should first means, it was received with contempt,-a proof teach me Dutch. How I came to overlook so how ready the world is to under-rate those taobvious an objection, is to me amazing; but lents by which a man is supported. certain it is, I overlooked it.

“ In this manner I proceeded to Paris, with “ This scheme thus blown up, I had some no design but just to look about me, and then thoughts of fairly shipping back to England to go forward. The people of Paris are much again ; but dropping into company with an Irish fonder of strangers that have money than of student, who was returning from Louvain, our those that have wit. As I could not boast much conversation turning upon topics of literature, of either, I was no great favourite. After walk(for by the way, it may be observed, that I al- ing about the town four or five days, and seeways forgot the meanness of my circumstances ing the outsides of the best houses, I was prewhen I could converse on such subjects ;) from paring to leave this retreat of venal hospitality; him I learned, that there were not two men in when passing through one of the principal streets, his whole university who understood Greek. whom should I meet-but our cousin, to whom This amazed me; I instantly resolved to travel you first recommended me. This meeting was

very agreeable to me, and I believe not displea- which was the least expensive course of travel-
sing to him. He inquired into the nature of ling; whether any thing could be bought that
my journey to Paris, and informed me of his would turn to account when disposed of again
own business there, which was to collect pic- in London. Such curiosities on the way as
tures, medals, intaglios, and antiques of all kinds, could be seen for nothing, he was ready enough
for a gentleman in London, who had just stept to look at; but if the sight of them was to be
into taste and a large fortune. I was the more paid for, he usually asserted that he had been
surprised at seeing our cousin pitched upon for told that they were not worth seeing. He ne-
this office, as he himself had often assured me ver paid a bill that he would not observe, how
he knew nothing of the matter. Upon asking amazingly expensive travelling was! and all
how he had been taught the art of a cognoscento this, though he was not yet twenty-one. When
so very suddenly, he assured me that nothing arrived at Leghorn, as we took a walk to look
was more easy. The whole secret consisted in at the port and shipping, he inquired the ex-
a strict adherence to two rules; the one, always pence of the passage by sea home to England.
to observe, that the picture might have been This he was informed was but a trifle, compa-
better if the painter had taken more pains; and red to his returning by land: he was therefore
the other, to praise the works of Pietro Peru- 'unable to withstand the temptation ; so paying
gino. “ But,” says he," as I once taught you me the small part of my salary that was due,
how to be an author in London, I'll now un- he took leave and embarked with only one at
dertake to instruct you in the art of picture- tendant for London.
buying in Paris."

“ I now therefore was left once more upon « With this proposal I very readily closed, the world at large ; but then it was a thing I as it was living; and now all my ambition was was used to. However, my skill in music could to live. I went therefore to his lodgings, im- avail me nothing in a country where every peaproving my dress by his assistance; and, after sant was a better musician than I ; but by this some time, accompanied him to auctions of pic time I had acquired another talent which antures, where the English gentry were expected swered my purpose as well, and this was a skill to be purchasers. I was not a little surprised in disputation. In all the foreign universities with his intimacy with people of the best fa- and convents, there are, upon certain days, phie shion, who referred themselves to his judgment

theses maintained against every adupon every picture or medal, as an unerring ventitious disputant; for which, if the chamstandard of taste. He made very good use of pion opposes with any dexterity, he can claim my assistance upon these occasions; for when a gratuity in money, a dinner, and a bed for asked his opinion, he would gravely take me one night. In this manner, therefore, I fought aside and ask mine, shrug, look wise, return, my way towards England; walked along from and assure the company that he could give nó city to city; examined mankind more nearly; opinion upon an affair of so much importance. and, if I may so express it, saw both sides of Yet there was sometimes an occasion for a more the picture. My remarks, however, are but supported assurance. I remember to have seen few; I found that monarchy was the best gohim, after giving his opinion that the colouring vernment for the poor to live in, and commonof a picture was not mellow enough, very deli- wealths for the rich. I found that riches in berately take a brush with brown varnish that general were in every country another name for was accidentally by, and rub it over the piece freedom ; and that no man is so fond of liberty with great composure before the whole company, himself, as not to be desirous of subjecting the and then ask if he had not improved the tints. will of some individuals in society to his own.

" When he had finished his commission in “ Upon my arrival in England, I resolved to Paris, he left me strongly recommended to se- pay my respects first to you, and then to enlist veral men of distinction, as a person very pro- as a volunteer in the first expedition that was per for a travelling tutor; and, after some time, going forward; but on my journey down, my I was employed in that capacity by a gentleman resolutions were changed by meeting an old acwho brought his ward to Paris, in order to set quaintance, who I found belonged to a comhim forward on his tour through Europe. I pany of comedians that were going to make was to be the young gentleman's governor, but a summer campaign in the country. The com- , with a proviso that he should always govern pany seemed not much to disapprove of me for himself. My pupil, in fact, understood the art an associate. They all, however, apprized me of guiding in money concerns much better than of the importance of the task at which I aim1. He was heir to a fortune of about two hun- ed; that the public was a many-headed mondred thousand pounds, left him by an uncle in ster, and that only such as had very good heads the West Indies; and his guardians, to qualify could please it; that acting was not to be learnt him for the management of it, had bound him in a day; and that without some traditional apprentice to an attorney. Thus avarice was shrugs, which had been on the stage, and only his prevailing passion : all his questions on the on the stage, these hundred years, I could never road were, how much money might be saved; pretend to please. The next difficulty was in

[ocr errors]

shall re

fitting me with parts, as almost every character Mr Thornhill's friendship seemed proportion-
was in keeping. I was driven for some time ably to increase for him.
from one character to another, till at last Ho- He had formerly made us the most kind as-
ratio was fixed upon, which the presence of the surances of using his interest to serve the fa-
present company has happily hindered me from mily, but now his generosity was not confined

to promises alone. The morning I designed for
my departure, Mr Thornhill came to me with

looks of real pleasure, to inform me of a piece

of service he had done for his friend George.

This was nothing less than his having procured The short continuance of Friendship among the him an ensign's commission in one of the regi

Vicious, which is coeval only with mutual satis- ments that were going to the West Indies, for faction.

which he had promised but one hundred pounds,

his interest being sufficient to get an abatement My son's account was too long to be deliver- of the other two. “ As for this trifling piece of ed at once; the first part of it was begun that service," continued the young gentleman, “I night, and he was concluding the rest after dine desire no other reward but the pleasure of haner the next day, when the appearance of Mr ving served my friend; and as for the hundred Thornhill's equipage at the door seemed to make pounds to be paid, if you are unable to raise it a pause in the general satisfaction. The butler, yourselves, I will advance it, and you who was now become my friend in the family, pay me at your leisure.” This was a favour we informed me, with a whisper, that the Squire wanted words to express our sense of : I readily, had already made some overtures to Miss Wil, therefore, gave my bond for the money, and tesmot, and that her aunt and uncle seemed highly tified as much gratitude as if I never intended to approve the match. Upon Mr Thornhill's to pay. entering, he seemed, at seeing my son and me, George was to depart for town the next day, to start back; but I readily imputed that to sur- to secure his commission, in pursuance of his prise, and not displeasure. However, upon our generous patron’s directions, who judged it highadvancing to salute him, he returned our greet- ly expedient to use dispatch, lest in the meaning with the most apparent candour; and after time another should step in with more advantaa short time his presence seemed only to increase geous proposals. The next morning, therefore, the general good humour.

our young soldier was early prepared for his deAfter tea he called me aside, to inquire after my parture, and seemed the only person among us daughter ; but upon my informing him that my that was not affected by it. Neither the fatigues inquiry was unsuccessful, he seemed greatly sure and dangers he was going

to encounter, nor the prised; adding, that he had been since frequent- friends and mistress (for Miss Wilmot actually ly at my house, in order to comfort the rest of loved him,) he was leaving behind, any way the family, whom he left perfectly well. He damped his spirits. After he had taken leave then asked if I had communicated her misfor- of the rest of the company, I gave him all that tune to Miss Wilmot, or my son ; and upon my I had-my blessing. ~ And now, my boy," replying, that I had not told them as yet, he cried I, “ thou art going to fight for thy coungreatly approved my prudence and precaution, try,

remember how thy brave grandfather fought desiring me by all means to keep it a secret. for his sacred king, when loyalty among Britons “ For at best, cried he, “it is but divulging was a virtue. Go, my boy, and imitate him in one's own infamy; and perhaps Miss Livy may all but his misfortunes ; if it was a misfortune not be so guilty as we all imagine.” We were to die with Lord Falkland. Go, my boy, and here interrupted by a servant, who came to ask if you fall, though distant, exposed, and unwept the Squire in to stand up at country-dances ; so by those that love you, the most precious tears that he left me quite pleased with the interest are those with which Heaven bedews the unbuhe seemed to take in my concerns. His addresses, ried head of a soldier." however, to Miss Wilmot, were too obvious to The next morning I took leave of the good be mistaken; and yet she seemed not perfectly family, that had been kind enough to entertain pleased, but bore them rather in compliance to me so long, not without several expressions of the will of her aunt, than from real inclination. gratitude to Mr Thornbill for his late bounty. I had even the satisfaction to see her lavish I left them in the enjoyment of all that happisome kind looks upon my unfortunate son, ness which affluence and good-breeding procure, which the other could neither extort by his for- and returned towards bome, despairing of ever tune nor assiduity. Mr Thornhill's seeming finding my daughter more, but sending a sigh composure, however, not a little surprised me; to heaven to spare and forgive her. I was now we had now continued here a week at the press- come within about twenty miles of home, baing instances of Mr Arnold ; but each day the ving hired a horse to carry me, as I was yet but more tenderness Miss Wilmot shewed my son, weak, and comforted myself with the hopes of say."


soon seeing all I held dearest upon earth. But ceived by the loudness of her voice, and the bite the night coming on, I put up at a little public- terness of her reproaches, that no money was to house by the road-side, and asked for the land- be had from her lodger. I could hear the relord's company over a pint of wine. We sat be- monstrances very distinctly..“ Out, I say, pack side his kitchen fire, which was the best room out this moment! tramp, thou infamous strumin the house, and chatted on politics and the pet, or I'll give thee a mark thou won't be the news of the country. We happened, among better for these three months. What! you trumother topics, to talk of young Squire Thornhill, pery, to come and take up an honest house, who, the host assured me, was hated as much as without cross or coin to bless yourself with! his uncle, Sir William, who sometimes came come along, Is '_“O dear madam," cried down into the country, was loved. He went on the stranger, “ pity me, pity a poor abandoned to observe, that he made it his whole study to creature, for one night, and death will soon do betray the daughters of such as received him to the rest.” I instantly knew the voice of my poor their houses, and after a fortnight or three weeks' ruined child Olivia. I flew to her rescue, while possession turned themoutunrewarded and aban- the woman was dragging her along by the hair, doned to the world. As we continued our dis- and I caught the dear forlorn wretch in my arms. course in this manner, his wife, who bad been .“ Welcome, any way welcome, my dearest out to get change, returned, and perceiving that lost one, my treasure, to your poor old father's her husband was enjoying a pleasure in which bosom. Though the vicious forsake thee, there she was not a sharer, she asked him, in an an- is yet one in the world that will never forsake gry tone, what he did there ? to which he only thee; though thou hast ten thousand crimes to replied in an ironical way, by drinking her answer for, he will forgive them all.”—“O my health. “Mr Symonds,” cried she, you use own dear”—for minutes she could say no more, me very ill, and I'll bear it no longer. Here —“ my own dearest good papa ! Could angels three parts of the business is left for me to do, be kinder? How do I deserve so much? The and the fourth left unfinished, while you do villain! I hate him, and myself, to be a reproach nothing but soak with the guests all day long; to so much goodness. You can't forgive me; I whereas, if a spoonful of liquor were to cure me know you cannot.”—“Yes, my child, from my of a fever, I never touch a drop.” I now found heart I do forgive thee: only repent, and we what she would be at, and immediately poured both shall yet be happy. We shall see many out a glass, which she received with a curtesy, pleasant days yet, my Olivia."— Ah! never, and drinking towards my good health, “ Sir," sir, never. The rest of my wretched life must resumed she, “it is not so much for the value be infamy abroad, and shame at home. But, of the liquor I am angry, but one cannot help alas! papa, you look much paler than you used it when the house is going out of the windows. to do. Could such a thing as I am give you so If the customers or guests are to be dunned, all much uneasiness ? surely you have too much the burden lies upon my back; he'd as lief eat wisdom to take the miseries of my guilt upon that glass as budge after them himself. There yourself?"-"Our wisdom, young woman," renow above stairs, we have a young woman who plied I- “Ah, why so cold a name, papa ?" has come to take up her lodgings here, and I cried she. “ This is the first time you ever don't believe she has got any money, by her called me by so cold a name.”—“I ask pardon, over-civility. I am certain she is very slow of my darling,” returned I; “ but I was going to payment, and I wish she were put in mind of observe, that wisdom makes but a slow defence it." _“ What signifies minding her?” cried the against trouble, though at last a sure one." host ; " if she be slow, she is sure."_“I don't The landlady now returned, to know if we know that,” replied the wife, “ but I know that did not choose a more genteel apartment; to I am sure she has been here a fortnight, and we which assenting, we were shewn to a room where have not yet seen the cross of her money.”—“I we could converse more freely. After we had suppose, my dear,” cried he, we shall have it talked ourselves into some degree of tranquillity, all in a lump."-" In a lump !" cried the other, I could not avoid desiring some account of the “I hope we may get it any way; and that I gradations that led to her present wretched siam resolved we will this very night, or out she tuation. “. That villain, sir,” said she, “ from tramps, bag and baggage.' “Consider, my the first day of our meeting, made me honourdear," cried the husband," she is a gentlewo- able, though private, proposals

. ” man, and deserves more respect.”.

-"As for the “ Villain, indeed !” cried I ; " and yet it in matter of that,” returned the hostess, “gentle some measure surprises me, how a person of Mr or simple, out she shall pack with a sassarara. Burchell's good sense and seeming honour could Gentry may be good things where they take; be guilty of such deliberate baseness, and thus but for my part I never saw much good of them step into a family to undo it." at the sign of the Harrow.” Thus saying, she My dear papa,” returned my daughter, ran up a narrow flight of stairs that went from “you labour under a strange mistake. Mr Burthe kitchen to a room over-head, and I soon per- chell never attempted to deceive me. Instead

« AnteriorContinuar »