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tion of mine, and a worthy man he is. 'Twas a sciousness which they cannot lose ; did they pity you refused the offer of an apartment at know, did they think of this, Mr Harley ! his country-house; my niece, you know, was to their censures are just; but their pity, perhaps, have accompanied you, and you might have might spare the wretches whom their justice fancied yourself at home: a most sweet place it should condemn. is, and but a short mile beyond Hampstead. “ Last night, but for an exertion of benevoWho knows, Miss Emily, what effect such a lence which the infection of our infamy previsit might have had ? if I had half your beauty, vents even in the humane, I had been thrust I should not waste it pining after e'er a worth- out from this miserable place which misfortune less fellow of them all. I felt my heart swell has yet left me; exposed to the brutal insults of at her words ; I would have been angry if I drunkenness, or dragged by that justice which could; but I was in that stupid state which I could not bribe, to the punishment which may is not easily awakened to anger: when I would correct, but, alas! can never amend, the abanhave chid her, the reproof stuck in my throat ; doned objects of its terrors. From that, Mr I could only weep!
Harley, your goodness has relieved me.” “Her want of respect increased, as I had not He beckoned with his hand: he would have spirit to assert it; my work was now rather im- stopped the mention of his favours ; but he posed than offered, and I became a drudge for could not speak, had it been to beg a diadem. the bread I eat: but my dependance and servi- She saw his tears ; her fortitude began to lity grew in proportion, and I was now in a si- fail at the sight, when the voice of some strantuation which could not make any extraordinary ger on the stairs awakened her attention. She exertions to disengage itself from either ; I listened for a moment; then starting up, exfound myself with child.
claimed, “ Merciful God! my father's voice !" “ At last the wretch, who had thus trained She had scarce uttered the word, when the me to destruction, hinted the purpose for which door burst open, and a man entered in the garb those means had been used. I discovered her of an officer. When he discovered his daughter to be an artful procuress for the pleasures of and Harley, he started back a few paces ; his those, who are men of decency to the world in look assumed a furious wildness; he laid his the midst of debauchery.
hand on his sword. The two objects of his “I roused every spark of courage within wrath did not utter a syllable. “ Villain,” he me at the horrid proposal. She treated my cried, “ thou seest a father who had once a passion at first somewhat mildly; but when Í daughter's honour to preserve; blasted as it continued to exert it, she resented it with in- now is, behold him ready to avenge its loss!” sult, and told me plainly, That if I did not Harley had by this time some power of uttersoon comply with her desires, I should pay her ance. Sir,” said he, “ if you will be a moevery farthing I owed, or rct in a jail for life. ment calm— “ Infamous coward !” interruptI trembled at the thought ; still, however, I re- ell the other, “ dost thou preach calmness to sisted her importunities, and she put her threats wrongs like mine?” He drew his sword. “Sir," in execution. I was conveyed to prison, weak said Harley, “ let me tell you”—The blood ran from my condition, weaker from that struggle quicker to his cheek-his pulse beat one-no of grief and misery which for some time I more—and regained the temperament of humahad suffered. A miscarriage was the conse- nity.-"You are deceived, sir," said he, you , quence.
are much deceived ; but I forgive suspicions “ Amidst all the horrors of such a state, sur- which your misfortunes have justified: I would rounded with wretches totally callous, lost alike not wrong you, upon my soul I would not, for to humanity and to shame, think, Mr Harley, the dearest gratification of a thousand worlds ; think what I endured; nor wonder that I at my heart bleeds for you!” last yielded to the solicitations of that miscreant His daughter was now prostrate at his feet. I had seen at her house, and sunk to the pros- Strike," said she, “ strike here a wretch, titution which he tempted. But that was hap- whose misery cannot end but with that death piness compared to what I have suffered since. she deserves.” Her hair had fallen on her He soon abandoned me to the common use of shoulders; her look had the horrid calmness of the town, and I was cast among those misera- out-breathed despair! Her father would have ble beings in whose society I have since remain- spoken; his lip quivered, his cheek grew pale ; ed.
his eyes lost the lightning of their fury! there “ Oh! did the daughters of virtue know our was a reproach in them, but with a mingling of sufferings; did they see our hearts torn with pity! he turned them up to heaven-then on anguish amidst the affectation of gaiety which' his daughter. He laid his left hand on his our faces are obliged to assume; onr bodies heart-the sword dropped from his right-he tortured by disease, our minds with that con- burst into tears.
ley lodged, he was informed that the first floor . .
was then vacant, and that the gentleman and his CHAP. XXIX.
daughter might be accommodated there. While
he was upon this inquiry, Miss Atkins informed The Distresses of a Father.
her father more particularly what she owed to
his benevolence. When he returned into the HARLEY kneeled also at the side of the unfor- room where they were, Atkins ran and embratunate daughter. “ Allow me, sir,” said he, ced him, begged him again to forgive the of “to entreat your pardon for one whose offences fence he had given him, and made the warmest have been already so signally punished. I know, protestations of gratitude for his favours. We I feel, that those tears, wrung from the heart of would attempt to describe the joy which Harley a father, are more dreadful to her than all the felt on this occasion, did it not occur to us that punishments your sword could have inflicted. one half of the world could not understand it, Accept the contrition of a child whom Heaven though we did ; and the other half will, by this has restored to you.”—“ Is she not lost,” an- time, have understood it without any description swered he, “ irrecoverably lost? Damnation ! at all. a common prostitute to the meanest ruffian !"- Miss Atkins now retired to her chamber to “ Calmly, my dear sir," said Harley ; “ did take some rest from the violence of the emotions you know by what complicated misfortunes she she had suffered. When she was gone, her fahas fallen to that miserable state in which you ther, addressing himself to Harley, said, “You now behold her, I should have no need of words have a right, sir, to be informed of the present to excite your compassion. Think, sir, of what situation of one who owes so much to your comonce she was! Would you abandon her to the passion for his misfortunes. My daughter, I insults of an unfeeling world, deny her oppor- find, has informed you what that was at the fatunity for penitence, and cut off the little com- tal juncture when they began. Her distresses fort that still remains for your afflictions and you have heard, you have pitied as they deserher own!”—“Speak," said he, addressing him- ved ; with mine, perhaps, I cannot so easily self to his daughter ;“ speak, I will hear thee.” make you acquainted. You have a feeling heart, The desperation that supported her was lost; Mr Harley ; Ì bless it that it has saved my child she fell to the ground, and bathed his feet with -- but you never were a father, a father torn by her tears !
that most dreadful of calamities—the dishonour Harley undertook her cause. He related the of a child he doated on! You have been already treacheries to which she had fallen a sacrifice, informed of some of the circumstances of her and again solicited the forgiveness of her father. elopement. I was then from home, called by Ile looked on her for some time in silence; the the death of a relation, who, though he would pride of a soldier's honour checked, for a while, never advance me a shilling, on the utmost exithe yearnings of his heart ; but nature at last gency, in his lifetime, left me all the gleanings prevailed, he fell on her neck, and mingled his of his frugality at his death. I would not write tears with hers.
this intelligence to my daughter, because I inHarley, who discovered from the dress of the tended to be the bearer myself ; and, as soon as stranger that he was just arrived from a journey, my business would allow me, I set out on my begged that they would both remove to his lod- return, winged with all the haste of paternal afgings till he could procure others for them. At- fection. I fondly built those schemes of future kins looked at him with some marks of surprise. happiness which present prosperity is ever busy His daughter now first recovered the power of to suggest : My Emily was concerned in them speech :-"Wretch as I am,” said she, “yet all. As I approached our little dwelling, my there is some gratitude due to the preserver of heart throbbed with the anticipation of joy and your child. See him now before you. To him welcome. Iimagined the cheering fire, the blissI owe my life, or at least the comfort of implo- ful contentment of a frugal meal, made luxu. ring your forgiveness before I die."-"Pardon rious by a daughter's smile. I painted to myme, young gentleman,” said Atkins, “ I fear self her surprise at the tidings of our new-acmy passion wronged you.”—“ Never, never, quired riches, our fond disputes about the dissir,” said Harley ; “ if it had, your reconcilia- posal of them. tion to your daughter were an atonement a “ The road was shortened by the dreams of thousandfold.” He then repeated his request, happiness I enjoyed, and it began to be dark as that he might be allowed to conduct them to I reached the house; I alighted from my horse, his lodgings, to which Mr Atkins at last con- and walked softly up stairs to the room we comsented. He took his daughter's arm. “Come, monly sat in. I was somewhat disappointed at my Emily,” said he, “ we can never, never re- not finding my daughter there. I rung the bell ; cover that happiness we have lost! But time her maid appeared, and shewed no small signs may teach us to remember our misfortunes with of wonder at the summons. She blessed herself, patience."
as she entered the room ; I smiled at her surWhen they arrived at the house where Har- prise. Where is Miss Emily, sir ?' said she. —
'Emily ! — Yes, sir ; she has been gone hence formation or comfort, but, against the united some days, upon receipt of those letters you sent remonstrances of Sir George and my friend, set her.'-'Letters !' said I.— Yes, sir, so she told out instantly for London, with a frantic uncerme, and went off in all haste that very night.' tainty of purpose; but there all manner of
“ I stood aghast as she spoke ; but was able search was in vain. I could trace neither of them so far to recollect myself, as to put on the affec- any farther than the inn where they first put tation of calmness, and telling her there was up on their arrival; and, after some days' fruitcertainly some mistake in the affair, desired her less inquiry, returned home, destitute of every to leave me.
little hope that had hitherto supported me. The “ When she was gone, I threw myself into journeys I had made, the restless nights I had a chair, in that state of uncertainty which is of spent, above all, the perturbation of my mind, all others the most dreadful. The gay visions, had the effect which naturally might be expectwith which I had delighted myself, vanished in ed: a very dangerous fever was the consequence. an instant; I was tortured with tracing back from this, however, contrary to the expectation the same circle of doubt and disappointment. of my physicians, I recovered. It was now that My head grew dizzy, as I thought. I called the I first felt something like calmness of mind ; servant again, and asked her a hundred ques- probably from being reduced to a state which tions, to 110 purpose; there was not room even could not produce the exertions of anguish or for conjecture.
despair. A stupid melancholy settled on my “Something at last arose in my mind, which soul: I could endure to live with an apathy of we call hope, without knowing what it is. I life: at times, I forgot my resentment, and wept wished myself deluded by it; but it could not at the remembrance of my child. prevail over my returning fears. I arose, and “ Such has been the tenor of my days since walked through the room. My Emily's spinnet that fatal moment when these misfortunes bestood, at the end of it, open, with a book of gan, till yesterday, that I received a letter from music, folded down at some of my favourite a friend in town, acquainting me of her present lessons. I touched the keys; there was a vi- situation. Could such tales as mine, Mr Harbration in the sound that froze my blood. I ley, be sometimes suggested to the daughters of looked around, and methought the family-pic- levity ; did they but know with what anxiety tures on the walls gazed on me with compassion the heart of a parent flutters round the child he in their faces. I sat down again, with an at- loves ; they would be less apt to construe into tempt at more composure ; I started at every harshness that delicate concern for their concreaking of the door, and my ears rung with duct, which they often complain of as layimaginary noises !
ing restraint upon things, to the young, the “I had not remained long in this situation, gay, and the thoughtless, seemingly harmless when the arrival of a friend, who had accidentally and indifferent. Alas! I fondly imagined, that heard of my return, put an end to my doubts, I needed not even these common cautions! my by the recital of my daughter's dishonour. He Emily was the joy of my age, and the pride of told me he had his information from a young my soul!—Those things are now no more! gentleman, to whom Winbrooke had boasted of they are lost for ever! Her death I could have having seduced her.
borne ; but the death of her honour has added “ I started from my seat, with broken curses obloquy and shame to that sorrow which bends on my lips, and, without knowing whither I my gray hairs to the dust!” should pursue them, ordered my servant to load As he spoke these last words, his voice tremmy pistols, and saddle my horses. My friend, bled in his throat ; it was now lost in his tears ! however, with great difficulty, persuaded me to He sat with his face half-turned from Harley, compose myself for that night, promising to ac- as if he would have hid the sorrow which he felt. company me on the morrow to Sir George Win- Harley was in the same attitude himself; he brooke's in quest of his son.
durst not meet Atkins' eye with a tear ; but “ The morrow came, after a night spent in a gathering his stifled breath, “Let me entreat state little distant from madness. We went as you, sir,” said he, “to hope better things. The early as decency would allow to Sir George's. world is ever tyrannical ; it warps our sorrows He received me with politeness, and indeed com- to edge them with keener affliction : let us not passion ; protested his abhorrence of his son's be slaves to the names it affixes to motive or to conduct, and told me, that he had set out some action. I know an ingenuous mind cannot help days before for London, on which place he had feeling when they sting: but there are consiprocured a draft for a large sum, on pretence of derations by which it may be overcome: its finishing his travels ; but that he had not heard fantastic ideas vanish as they rise ; they teach from him since his departure.
us to look beyond it.” " I did uot wait for any more, either of in
A plague on all rogues ! says honest Sam
Wrightson: I shall but just drink damnation to A FRAGMENT.
them to-night, in a crown's worth of Ashley's,
and leave London to-morrow by sunrise.”-“I Shewing his success with the Baronet. shall leave it too,” said Harley; and so he ac
cordingly did. * * * The card he received was in the politest In passing through Piccadilly, he had obserstyle in which disappointment could be commu- ved, on the window of an inn, a notification of nicated : the Baronet“ was under a necessity of the departure of a stage-coach for a place in his giving up his application for Mr Harley, as he road homewards; in the way back to his lodwas informed, that the lease was engaged for a gings, he took a seat in it for his return. gentleman who had long served his Majesty in another capacity, and whose merit had entitled him to the first lucrative thing that should be
CHAP. XXXIII. vacant.” Even Harley could not murmur at *such a disposal. “ Perhaps,” said he to him- He leaves London.-Characters in a Stageself, some war-worn officer, who, like poor
Coach. Atkins, had been neglected for reasons which merited the highest advancement ; whose ho- The company in the stage-coach consisted of nour could not stoop to solicit the preferment he a grocer and his wife, wbo were going to pay a deserved ; perhaps, with a family, taught the visit to some of their country friends; a young principles of delicacy, without the means of officer, who took this way of marching to quarsupporting it; a wite and children-gracious ters; a middle-aged gentlewoman, who had heaven! whom my wishes would have deprived been hired as housekeeper to some family in the of bread !"
country; and an elderly well-looking man, with He was interrupted in his reverie by some a remarkable old-fashioned periwig. one tapping him on the shoulder; and, on turn- Harley, upon entering, discovered but one ing round, he discovered it to be the very man vacant seat, next the grocer's wife, which, from who had explained to him the condition of his his natural shyness of temper, he made no gay companion at Hydepark-corner. “ I am scruple to occupy, however aware that being glad to see you, sir,” said he; “ I believe we driven backwards always disagreed with himn. are fellows in disappointment." Harley start- Though his inclination to physiognomy had ed, and said, that he was at a loss to under- met with some rubs in the metropolis, he had stanı him. “ Poh! you need not be so shy," not yet lost his attachment to that science: he answered the other; every one for himself is set himself, therefore, to examine, as usual, the but fair, and I had much rather you had got it countenances of his companions. Here, indeed, than the rascally gauger.” Harley still protest- he was not long in doubt, as to the preference; ed his ignorance of what he meant. Why, for, besides that the elderly gentleman, who sat the lease of Bancroft-manor: had not you been opposite to him, had features by nature more applying for it?”—“I confess I was," replied expressive of good dispositions, there was someHarley" but I cannot conceive how you thing in that periwig we mentioned, peculiarly should be interested in the matter."-" Why, attractive of Harley's regard. I was making interest for it myself,” said he, He had not been long employed in these spe
and I think I had some title: I voted for this culations, when he found himself attacked with same Baronet at the last election, and made that faintish sickness, which was the natural some of my friends do so too; though I would consequence of his situation in the coach. The not have you imagine that I sold my vote; no, paleness of his countenance was first observed I scorn it, let me tell you, I scorn it; but I by the housekeeper, who immediately made ofthought as how this man was staunch and true, fer of her smelling-bottle, which Harley, howand I find he's but a double-faced fellow after ever, declined, telling, at the same time, the all, and specchifies in the House for any side he cause of his uneasiness. The gentleman on the hopes to make most by. Oh! how many fine opposite side of the coach now first turned his speeches, and squeezings by the hand, we had eye from the side-direction in which it had been of him on the canvas ! And if ever I shall be fixed, and begged Harley to exchange places so happy as to have an opportunity of serving with him, expressing his regret he had not you;-—a murrain on the smooth-tongued knave! made the proposal before. Harley thanked him, and after all to get it for this pimp of a gauger." and, upon being assured that both seats were -“
- The gauger! there must be some mistake," alike to him, was about to accept his offer, said Harley; "he writes me, that it was enga- when the young gentleman of the sword, putged for one, whose long services—"“Services !” ting on an arch look, laid hold of the other's interrupted the other, “ you shall hear. Ser. arm. “So, my old boy,” said he, “ I find you vices! Yes, his sister arrived in town a few have still some youthful blood about you, but, days ago, and is now sempstress to the Baronet. with your leave, I will do myself the honour of sitting by this lady;" and took his place ac- and calmness together, and was rather less procordingly. The grocer stared him as fall in the fuse of his oaths during the rest of the journey. face as his own short neck would allow; and It is possible the old gentleman had waked his wife, who was a little round-faced woman, time enough to hear the last part of this diswith a great deal of colour in her cheeks, drew course ; at least (whether from that cause, or up at the compliment that was paid her, look, that he too was a physiognomist) he wore a look ing first at the officer, and then at the house- remarkably complacent to Harley, who, on his keeper.
part, shewed a particular observance of him : This incident was productive of some dis- indeed they had soon a better opportunity of course ; for before, though there was sometimes making their acquaintance, as the coach arrived a cough or a hem from the grocer, and the offi- that night at the town where the officer's regicer now and then hummed a few notes of a song, ment lay, and the places of destination of their there had not a single word passed the lips of other fellow-travellers, it seems, were at no any of the company.
great distance; for next morning the old genMrs Grocer observed, how ill-convenient it tleman and Harley were the only passengers was for people, who could not bear to ride back- remaining. wards, to travel in a stage. This brought on a When they left the inn in the morning, Hardissertation on stage-coaches in general, and the ley, pulling out a little pocket-book, began to pleasure of keeping a chay of one's own ; which examine the contents, and make some correcsed to another, on the great riches of Mr De- tions with a pencil. This,” said he, turning puty Bearskin, who, according to her, had once to his companion, “ is an amusement with been of that industrious order of youths who which I sometimes pass idle hours at an inn: sweep the crossings of the streets for the conve- these are quotations from these humble poets, niency of passengers, but, by various fortunate who trust their fame to the brittle tenure of accidents, had now acquired an immense for- windows and drinking glasses.”—“From our ture, and kept his coach and a dozen livery-ser- inns," returned the gentleman, a stranger vants. All this afforded ample fund for conver- might imagine that we were a nation of poets ; sation, if conversation it might be called, that machines at least containing poetry, which the was carried on solely by the before-mentioned motion of a journey emptied of their contents : lady, nobody offering to interrupt her, except is it from the vanity of being thought geniuses, that the officer sometimes signified his approba- or a mere mechanical imitation of the custom of tion by a variety of oaths, a sort of phraseology others, that we are tempted to scrawl rhyme in which he seemed extremely conversant. She upon such places ?" appealed indeed frequently to her husband for “Whether vanity is the cause of our becothe authenticity of certain facts, of which the ming rhymesters or not," answered Harley, “it good man as often protested his total ignorance; is a pretty certain effect of it: An old man of but as he was always called fool, or something my acquaintance, who dealt in apophthegms, very like it, for his pains, he at last contrived to used to say, That he had known few men withsupport the credit of his wife without prejudice out envy, few wits without ill nature, and no to his conscience, and signified his assent by a poet without vanity; and I believe his remark noise not unlike the grunting of that animal is a pretty just one : vanity has been immemowhich in shape and fatness he somewhat resem- rially the charter of poets. In this the ancients bled.
were more honest than we are: the old poets The housekeeper, and the old gentleman frequently make boastful predictions of the imwho sat next to Harley, were now observed to mortality their works will obtain for them; be fast asleep; at which the lady, who had ours, in their dedications and prefatory disbeen at such pains to entertain them, muttered courses, employ much eloquence to praise their some words of displeasure, and, upon the officer's patrons, and much seeming honesty to condemn whispering to smoke the old put, both she and themselves, or at least to apologize for their proher husband pursed up their mouths into a con- ductions to the world: but this, in my opinion, temptuous smile. Harley looked sternly on the is the more assuming mammer of the two; for grocer : “ You are come, sir,” said he,“ to of all the garbs I ever saw Pride put on, that of those years when you might have learned her humility is to me the most disgusting.". some reverence for age: as for this young man, “ It is natural enough for a poet to be vain," who has so lately escaped from the nursery, he said the stranger: “ the little worlds which he may be allowed to divert himself.”—“ Damme, raises, the inspiration which he claims, may sir," said the officer, “ do you call me young?" easily be productive of self-importance ; though striking up the front of his hat, and stretching that inspiration is fabulous, it brings on egotism, forward on his seat, till his face almost touched which is always the parent of vanity.” Harley's. It is probable, however, that he dis- " It may be supposed,” answered Harley, covered something there which tended to paci- “ that inspiration of old was an article of relify him ; for on the lady's entreating them not gious faith; in modern times it may be transto quarrel, he very soon resumed his posture lated, a propensity to compose ; and I believe it