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is not always most readily found where the we are taught to despise. Love, the passion poets have fixed its residence, amidst groves and most natural to the sensibility of youth, has lost plains, and the scenes of pastoral retirement. the plaintive dignity it once possessed, for the The mind may be there unbent from the cares unmeaning simper of a dangling coxcomb; and of the world ; but it will frequently, at the same the only serious concern, that of a cowery, is time, be unnerved from any great exertion : it settled, even amongst the beardless leaders of will feel the languor of indolence, and wander the dancing-school. The Frivolous and the Inwithout effort over the regions of reflection.” terested (might a satirist say) are the character
“ There is at least," said the stranger, “one istical features of the age; they are visible even in advantage in the poetical inclination, that it is the essays of our philosophers. They laugh at an incentive to philanthropy. There is a cer- the pedantry of our fathers, who complained of tain poetic ground, on which a man cannot tread the times in which they lived ; they are at pains without feelings that enlarge the heart: the to persuade us how much those were deceived; causes of human depravity vanish before the they pride themselves in defending things as romantic enthusiasm he professes, and many they find them, and in exploding the barren who are not able to reach the Parnassian heights, sounds which had been reared into motives for may yet approach so near as to be bettered by action. To this their style is suited ; and the the air of the climate.”
manly tone of reason is exchanged for perpetual “ I have always thought so," replied Harley; efforts at sneer and ridicule. This I hold to be “ but this is an argument with the prudent an alarming crisis in the corruption of a state ; against it: they urge the danger of unfitness when not only is virtue declined, and vice prefor the world.”
vailing, but when the praises of virtue are for“ I allow it,” returned the other ; " but I gotten, and the infamy of vice unfelt.” believe it is not always rightfully imputed to They soon after arrived at the next inn upon the bent for poetry: that is only one effect of the route of the stage-coach, when the stranger the common cause.—Jack, says his father, is in- told Harley, that his brother's house, to which deed no scholar; nor could all the drubbings he was returning, lay at no great distance, and from his master ever bring him one step for, he must therefore unwillingly bid him adieu. ward in his accidence or syntax: but I intend “I should like," said Harley, taking his hand, him for a merchant.-Allow the same indul- to have some word to remember so much gence to Tom.—Tom reads Virgil and Horace seeming worth by: my name is Harley."_“I when he should be casting accounts; and but shall remember it," answered the old gentleman, t'other day he pawned his great-coat for an edi- “ in my prayers; mine is Silton.” tion of Shakespeare.-But Tom would have And Silton indeed it was ! Ben Silton him. been as he is, though Virgil and Horace had self! Once more, my honoured friend, farenever been born, though Shakespeare had died well !-Born to be happy without the world, to a link-boy ; for his nurse will tell you, that that peaceful happiness which the world has not when he was a child, he broke his rattle, to dis- to bestow ! Envy never scowled on thy life, nor cover what it was that sounded within it; and hatred smiled on thy grave. burnt the sticks of his go-cart, because he liked to see the sparkling of timber in the fire.—'Tis a sad case; but what is to be done?-Why,
CHAP. XXXIV. Jack shall make a fortune, dine on venison, and drink claret.-Ay, but Tom-Tom shall dine He meets an old Acquaintance. with his brother, when his pride will let him; at other times, he shall bless God over a half- When the stage-coach arrived at the place of pint of ale and a Welsh-rabbit; and both shall its destination, Harley began to consider how go to heaven as they may.-- That's a poor pros- he should proceed the remaining part of his pect for Tom, says the father.—To go to hea- journey. He was very civilly accosted by the ven! I cannot agree with him.”
master of the inn, who offered to accommodate “Perhaps," said Harley," we now-a-days dise him either with a post-chaise or horses, to any courage the romantic turn a little too much. Our distance he had a mind; but as he did things boys are prudent too soon. Mistake me not, I frequently in a way different from what other do not mean to blame them for want of levity or people call natural, he refused these offers, and dissipation; but their pleasures are those of set out immediately a-foot, having first put a hackneyed vice, blunted to every finer emotion spare shirt in his pocket, and given directions by the repetition of debauch; and their desire for the forwarding of his portmanteau. This of pleasure is warped to the desire of wealth, as was a method of travelling which he was acthe means of procuring it. The immense riches customed to take ; it saved the trouble of proacquired by individuals have erected a standard vision for any animal but himself, and left him of ambition, destructive of private inorals, and at liberty to chuse his quarters, either at an inn, of public virtue. The weaknesses of vice are or at the first cottage in which he saw a face he left us ; but the most allowable of our failings liked : nay, when he was not peculiarly attract. ed by the reasonable creation, he would some- supported by a sling, and lay motionless across times consort with a species of inferior rank, his breast. "He had that steady look of sorrow, and lay himself down to sleep by the side of a which indicates that its owner' has gazed upon rock, or on the banks of a rivulet. He did few his griefs till he has forgotten to lament them; things without a motive, but his motives were yet not without those streaks of complacency, rather eccentric: and the useful and expedient which a good mind will sometimes throw into were terms which he held to be very indefinite, the countenance, through all the incumbent and which, therefore, he did not always apply load of its depression. to the sense in which they are commonly under- He had now advanced nearer to Harley, and, stood.
with an uncertain sort of voice, begged to know The sun was now in his decline, and the even- what it was o'clock ; “ I fear,” said he, “ sleep ing remarkably serene, when he entered a hol- has beguiled me of my time, and I shall hardly low part of the road, which winded between the have light enough left to carry me to the end surrounding banks, and seamed the sward in of my journey."_“Father!" said Harley, (wbo different lines, as the choice of travellers had by this time found the romantic enthusiasm directed them to tread it. It seemed to be little rising within him,)," how far do you mean to frequented now, for some of those had partly go?”—“ But a little way, sir,” returned the recovered their former verdure. The scene was other ; “ and indeed it is but a little way I can such as induced Harley to stand and enjoy it: manage now: 'tis just four miles from the height when, turning round, his notice was attracted to the village, whither I am going.”_" I am by an object, which the fixture of his eye on going thither too,” said Harley;
we may the spot he walked had before prevented him make the road shorter to each other. You seein from observing
to have served your country, sir, to have served An old man, who, from his dress, seemed to it hardly too ; 'tis a character I have the highhave been a soldier, lay fast asleep on theground; est esteem for.— I would not be impertinently a knapsack rested on a stone at his right hand, inquisitive ; but there is that in your appearwhile his staff and brass-hilted sword were cross- ance which excites my curiosity to know someed at his left.
thing more of you : in the mean time, suffer • Harley looked on him with the most earnest me to carry that knapsack." attention. He was one of those figures which The old man gazed on him; a tear stood in Salvator would have drawn ; nor was the sur- his eye. “ Young gentleman,” said he, “ you rounding scenery unlike the wildness of that are too good ; may Heaven bless you
for an old painter's back-grounds. The banks on each man's sake, who has nothing but his blessing to side were covered with fantastic shrub-wood; give ! but my knapsack is so familiar to my and at a little distance, on the top of one of shoulders, that I should walk the worse for them, stood a finger-post, to mark the directions wanting it; and it would be troublesome to you, of two roads which diverged from the point who have not been used to its weight.”—" Far where it was placed. A rock, with some dang- from it," answered Harley, “I should tread the ling wild flowers, jutted out above where the lighter; it would be the most honourable badge soldier lay ; on which grew the stump of a large I ever wore.” tree, white with age, and a single twisted branch “ Sir,” said the stranger, who had looked shaded his face as he slept. His face had the earnestly in Harley's face during the last part marks of manly comeliness impaired by time; of his discourse, " is not your name Harley ?" his forehead was not altogether bald, but its —" It is,” replied he; “ I am ashamed to say hairs might have been numbered ; while a few I have forgotten yours. “You may well have white locks behind crossed the brown of his forgotten my face,” said the stranger ; -“ tis a neck with a contrast the most venerable to a long time since you saw it; but possibly you mind like Harley's. “ Thou art old,” said he may remember something of old Edwards.”to himself; “ but age has not brought the rest “ Edwards !” cried Harley, “ oh, Heavens!' for its infirmities: I fear those silver hairs have and sprung to embrace him; “ let me clasp those not found shelter from thy country, though that knees on which I have sat so often : Edwards ! neck has been bronzed in its service. The I shall never forget that fire-side, round which stranger waked. He looked at Harley with the I have been so happy! But where, where have appearance of some confusion : it was a pain the you been? where is Jack? where is your daughlatter knew too well to think of causing in ano- ter? How has it fared with them, when forther; he turned and went on. The old man re- tune, I fear, has been so unkind to you ?”— adjusted his knapsack, and followed in one of “ 'Tis a long tale," replied Edwards ;'“ but I the tracks on the opposite side of the road. will try to tell it you as we walk. :
When Harley heard the tread of his feet be- “ When you were at school in the neighbourhind him, he could not help stealing back a hood, you remember me at South-hill : that glance at his fellow-traveller. He seemed to farm had been possessed by my father, grandbend under the weight of his knapsack; he father, and great-grandfather, which last was a halted in his walk, and one of his arms was younger brother of that very man's ancestor,
who is now lord of the manor. I thought I on giving security for the rent; which I made managed it as they had done, with prudence; shitt to procure. It was a piece of ground which I paid my rent regularly as it became due, and required management to make any thing of; had always as much behind as gave bread to me but it was nearly within the compass of my son's and my children. But my last lease was out labour and my own. We exerted all our insoon after you left that part of the country; dustry to bring it into some heart. We began and the Squire, who had lately got a London to succeed tolerably, and lived contented on its attorney for his steward, would not renew it, produce, when an unlucky accident brought us because, he said, he did not chuse to have any under the displeasure of a neighbouring justice farm under 300l. a-year value on his estate; of the peace, and broke all our family happiness but offered to give me the preference on the again. same terms with another, if I chose to take the My son was a remarkably good shooter ; one he had marked out, of which mine was a he had always kept a pointer on our former part.
farm, and thought no harm in doing so now; “What could I do, Mr Harley? I feared the when, one day, having sprung a covey of parundertaking was too great for mc; yet to leave, tridges, in our own ground, the dog, of his own at my age, the house I had lived in from my accord, followed them into the justice's. My cradle ! I could not, Mr Harley, I could not ; son laid down his gun, and went after his dog there was not a tree about it that I did not look to bring him back : the game-keeper, who had on as my father, my brother, or my child : so I marked the birds, came up, and, seeing the even ran the risk, and took the Squire's offer of pointer, shot him, just as my son approached. the whole. But I had soon reason to repent of The creature fell: my son ran up to him: he my bargain ; the steward had taken care that died, with a complaining sort of cry, at his masmy former farm should be the best land of the ter's feet. Jack could bear it no longer, but, division: I was obliged to hire more servants, Aying at the game-keeper, wrenched his gun and I could not have my eye over them all ; out of his hand, and, with the butt-end of it, some unfavourable seasons followed one another, felled him to the ground. and I found my affairs entangling on my hands. “ “ He had scarce got home, when a constable To add to my distress, a considerable corn-face came with a warrant, and dragged him to pritor turned bankrupt with a sum of mine in his son ; there he lay, for the justices would not possession : I failed paying my rent so punc- take bail, till he was tried at the quarter-sestually as I was wont to do, and the same stew- sions for the assault and battery. His fine was ard had my stock taken in execution in a few hard upon us to pay; we contrived, however, days after. So, Mr Harley, there was an end to live the worse for it, and make up the loss by of my prosperity. However, there was as much our frugality. But the justice was not content produced from the sale of my effects as paid my with that punishment, and soon after had an debts and saved me from a jail : I thank God 'Í opportunity of punishing us indeed. wronged no man, and the world could never * An officer, with press-orders, came down charge me with dishonesty.
to our country, and, having met with the jus“ Had you seen us, Mr Harley, when we tices, agreed, that they should pitch on a cerwere turned out of South-hill, I am sure you tain number, who could most easily be spared would have wept at the sight. You remember from the county, of whom he would take care old Trusty, my shag house-dog ; I shall never to clear it: my son's name was in the justice's forget it while I live; the poor creature was list. blind with age, and could scarce crawl after us “ 'Twas on a Christmas eve, and the birthto the door: he went, however, as far as the day, too, of my son's little boy. The night was gooseberry-bush, which you may remember piercing cold, and it blew a storm, with showstood on the left side of the yard; he was wonters of hail and snow. We had made up a cheerto bask in the sun there : when he had reached ing fire in an inner room ; I sat before it in my that spot, he stopped ; we went on: I called wicker-chair, blessing Providence, that had still to him ; he wagged his tail, but did not stir : left a shelter for me and my children. My son's I called again; he lay down: I whistled, and two little ones were holding their gambols around cried Trusty; he gave a short howl, and died ! us; my heart warmed at the sight: I brought -I could have lain down and died too; but a bottle of my best ale, and all our misfortunes God gave me strength to live for my children." were forgotten.
The old man now paused a moment to take “ It had long been our custom to play a game breath. He eyed Harley's face ; it was bathed at blind-man's-buff on that night, and it was with tears: the story was grown familiar to him- not omitted now; so to it we fell, I, and my self; he dropped one tear, and no more. son, and his wife, the daughter of a neighbour
“ Though I was poor," continued be, “I was ing farmer, who happened to be with us at the not altogether without credit. A gentleman in time, the two children, and an old maid-servant, the neighbourhood, who had a small farm un- who had lived with me from a child. The lot occupied at the time, offered to let me have it, fell on my son to be blindfolded. We had con
tinued some time at our game, when he groped this; stay at home, I charge you, and, for my his way into an outer room, in pursuit of some sake, be kind to my children. of us, who, he imagined, had taken shelter there; “ Our parting, Mr Harley, I cannot describe we kept snug in our places, and enjoyed his to you; it was the first time we ever had partmistake. He had not been long there, when ed; the very press-gang could scarce keep from he was suddenly seized from behind; I shall tears ; but the serjeant, who had seemed the have you now,' said he, and turned about.-- softest before, was now the least moved of them 'Shall you so, master ?' answered the ruffian, all. He conducted me to a party of new-raised who had laid hold of him; 'we shall make you recruits, who lay at a village in the neighbourplay at another sort of game by and by.'”-At hood ; and we soon after joined the regiment. these words, Harley started with a convulsive I had not been long with it, when we were orsort of motion, and, grasping Edwards' sword, dered to the East-Indies, where I was soon drew it half out of the scabbard, with a look of made a serjeant, and might have picked up some the most frantic wildness. Edwards gently re- money, if my heart had been as hard as some placed it in its sheath, and went on with his re- others were ; but my nature was never of that lation.
kind, that could think of getting rich at the “ On hearing these words in a strange voice, expence of my conscience. we all rushed out to discover the cause; the Amongst our prisoners was an old Indian, room, by this time, was almost full of the gang. whom some of our officers supposed to have a My daughter-in-law fainted at the sight; the treasure hidden somewhere ; which is no unmaid and I ran to assist her, while my poor son common practice in that country. They pressed remained motionless, gazing by turns on his him to discover it. He declared he had none; children and their mother. We soon recovered but that would not satisfy them; so they orderher to life, and begged her to retire, and waited him to be tied to a stake, and suffer fifty the issue of the affair ; but she flew to her hus- lashes every morning, till he should learn to band, and clung round him in an agony of ter- speak out, as they said. Oh! Mr Harley, had ror and grief.
you seen him as I did, with his hands bound “ In the gang was one of a smoother aspect, behind him, suffering in silence, while the big whom, by his dress, we discovered to be a ser- drops trickled down his shrivelled cheeks, and jeant of foot; he came up to me, and told me, wet his grey beard, which some of the inhuman that my son had his choice of the sea or land soldiers plucked in scorn! I could not bear it, service; whispering, at the same time, that if I could not, for my soul; and one morning, he chose the land, he might get off on procuring when the rest of the guard were out of the way, him another man, and paying a certain sum for I found means to let him escape. I was tried his freedom. The money we could just muster by a court-martial for negligence on my post, up in the house, by the assistance of the maid, and ordered, in compassion of my age, and hawho produced, in a green bag, all the little sa- ving got this wound in my arm, and that in my vings of her service; but the man we could not leg, in the service, only to suffer three hundred expect to find. My daughter-in-law gazed up- lashes, and be turned out of the regiment; but on her children, with a look of the wildest de- my sentence was mitigated as to the lashes, and spair. My poor infants !' said she, 'your fa- I had only two hundred. When I had suffered ther is forced from you; who shall now labour these, I was turned out of the camp, and had for your bread? or must your mother beg for betwixt three and four hundred miles to travel herself and you?' I prayed her to be patient; before I could reach a sea-port, without guide but comfort I had none to give her. "At last, to conduct me, or money to buy me provisions calling the serjeant aside, I asked him, if I was by the way. I set out, however, resolved to too old to be accepted in place of my son.- walk as far as I could, and then to lay myself Why, I don't know,' said he ; you are ra- down and die. But I had scarce gone a mile ther old, to be sure, but yet the money may do when I was met by the Indian whom I had-demuch. I put the money in his hand; and co- livered. He pressed me in his arms, and kissed ming back to my children, ‘Jack,' said I, you the marks of the lashes on my back a thousand are free ; live to give your wife and these little times; he led me to a little hut, where some ones bread; I will go, my child, in your stead: friend of his dwelt; and, after I was recovered I have but little life to lose, and if I staid, I of my wounds, conducted me so far on my jourshould add one to the wretches you left be- ney himself, and sent another Indian to guide hind.'—No,' replied my son, 'I am not that me through the rest. When we parted, he coward you imagine me; Heaven forbid, that pulled out a purse with two hundred pieces of my father's grey hairs should be so exposed, gold in it:- Take this,' said he, my dear while I sat idle at home; I am young, and able preserver, it is all I have been able to procure.? to endure much, and God will take care of you i begged him not to bring himself to poverty and my family.'—Jack,' said I, ‘I will put an for my sake, who should probably have no need end to this matter : you have never hitherto of it long; but he insisted on my accepting it. disobeyed me; I will not be contradicted in He embraced me. “You are an Englishman,' said he,' but the Great Spirit has given you an spread our banquet of apples before us, and been Indian heart; may he bear up the weight of more blest-Oh! Edwards ! infinitely more blest your old age, and blunt the arrow that brings than ever I shall be again.” it rest!' We parted, and not long after I made Just then a woman passed them on the road, shift to get my passage to England. 'Tis but and discovered some signs of wonder at the at about a week since I landed, and I am going to titude of Harley, who stood, with his hands end my days in the arms of my son. This sum folded together, looking with a moistened eye may be of use to him and his children; 'tis all on the fallen pillars of the hut. He was too the value I put upon it. I thank Heaven, I never much entranced in thought to observe her at was covetous of wealth ; I never had much, but all; but Edwards civilly accosting her, desired was always so happy as to be content with my to know if that had not been the school-house, little."
and how it came into the condition in which When Edwards had ended his relation, Har- they now saw it. “ Alack-a-day!" said she, ley stood a while looking at him in silence; at “ iť was the school-house indeed; but, to be last he pressed him in his arms, and when he sure, sir, the Squire has pulled it down, because had given vent to the fulness of his heart by a it stood in the way of his prospects.”—“What! shower of tears, “ Edwards,” said he, “ let ine how! prospects!'pulled down!” cried Harley. hold thee to my bosom ; let me imprint the vir- -“ Yes, to be sure, sir; and the green, where tue of thy sufferings on my soul. Come, my the children used to play, he has ploughied up, honoured veteran ! let me endeavour to soften because, he said, they hurt his fence on the other the last days of a life, worn out in the service side of it."-"Curses on his narrow heart," of humanity ; call me also thy son, and let me cried Harley, “ that could violate a right so sacherish thee as a father.” Edwards, from whom cred! Heaven blast the wretch ! the recollection of his own sufferings had scarce forced a tear, now blubbered like a boy; he And from his derogate body never spring could not speak his gratitude, but by some short
A babe to honour him ! exclamations of blessings upon Harley.
But I need not, Edwards, I need not,” recover
ing himself a little ; " he is cursed enough alCHAP. XXXV.
ready ; to him the noblest source of happiness
is denied ; and the cares of his sordid soul shall He misses an old Acquaintance.–An Adventure gnaw it, while thou sittest over a brown crust, conscquent upon it.
smiling on those mangled limbs that have saved
thy son and his children !"-" If you want any When they had arrived within a little way thing with the school-mistress, sir," said the of the village they journeyed to, Harley stopped woman, “I can shew you the way to her house." short, and looked stedfastly on the mouldering He followed her, without knowing whither he walls of a ruined house that stood on the road went." side. “Oh, heavens !” he cried, “ what do I They stopped at the door of a snug habitation, see ! silent, unroofed, and desolate! Are all the where sat an elderly woman with a boy and a girl gay tenants gone? Do I hear their hum no before her, each of whom held a supper of bread more?-Edwards, look there, look there! the and milk in their hands. There, sir, is the scene of my infant joys, my earliest friendships, school-mistress.”—“Madam,” said Harley, laid waste and ruinous ! That was the very “was not an old venerable-looking man schoolschool where I was boarded when you were at master here some time ago?"_“Yes, sir, he was, South-bill; 'tis but a twelvemonth since I saw -poor man! the loss of his former school-house, it standing, and its benches filled with little I believe, broke his heart, for he died soon after cherubs ; that opposite side of the road was the it was taken down ; and as another has not yet green on which they sported ; see it now plough- been found, I have that charge in the meaned up! I would have given fifty times iis value time.”—“ And this boy and girl, I presume, are to have saved it from the sacrilege of that your pupils?”—“Ay, sir, they are poor orphans, plough."
put under my care by the parish ; and more pro“ Dear sir,” replied Edwards,“ perhaps they mising children I never saw.”—“ Orphans !" have left it from choice, and may have got an- said Harley.--"Yes, sir, of honest, creditable other spot as good.”—“They cannot,” said parents as any in the parish ; and it is a shame Harley, “ they cannot; I shall never see the for some folks to forget their relations, at a time sward covered with its daisies, nor pressed by when they have most need to remember them." the dance of the dear innocents; I shall never -“Madam,” said Harley, let us never forsee that stump decked with the garlands which get that we are all relations.” He kissed the their little hands had gathered. These two long children. stones, which now lie at the foot of it, were once “ Their father,” sir, continued she, “was a the supports of a hut I myself assisted to rear; farmer here in the neighbourhood, and a sober I have sat on the sods within it, when we had industrious man he was; but nobody can help