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it is not to be wondered at his soon becoming a proselyte. Thus it was with Mr. Cophagus, who, in a week, discovered that the peace, humility, and good will, upon which the Quaker tenets are founded, were much more congenial to the true spirit of the Christian revelation than the Athanasian Creed, to be sung or said in our Established Churches; and with this conviction, Mr. Cophagus requested admission into the fraternity, and shortly after his admission, it was thought advisable by the Friends that his faith should be confirmed and strengthened by his espousal to Miss Judith Temple, with whom, at her request—and he could refuse her nothing—he had repaired to the town of Reading, in which her relations all resided; and Pheneas Cophagus, of the Society of Friends, declared himself to be as happy as a man could be. Good people, Japhet—um-honest people, Japhet-don't fight-little stiff--spirit moves—and so on,” said Mr. Cophagus, as he concluded his narrative, and then shaking me by the hand, retired to shave and dress.
In half an hour afterwards Ephraim came in with a draught, which I was desired to take by Mr. Cophagus, and then to try and sleep. This was good advice, and I followed it. I awoke after a long, refreshing sleep, and found Mr. and Mrs. Cophagus sitting in the room, she at work and he occupied with a book. When I opened my eyes, and perceived a female, I looked to ascertain if it was the young person whom Ephraim had stated to be Susannah Temple; not that I recollected her features exactly, but I did the contour of her person. Mrs. Cophagus was taller, and I had a fair scrutiny of her person before they perceived that I was awake. Her face was very pleasing, features small and regular. She appeared to be about thirty years of age, and was studiously neat and clean in her person. Her Quaker's dress was not without some little departure from the strict fashion and form, sufficient to assist, without deviating from, its simplicity. If I might use the term, it was a little coquettish, and evinced that the wearer, had she not belonged to that sect, would have shown great taste in the adornment of her person. Mr. Cophagus, although he did not think so himself, as I afterwards found out, was certainly much improved by his change of costume. His spindle-shanks, which, as I have before observed, were peculiarly at variance with his little orbicular, orange-shaped stomach, were now concealed in loose trowsers, which took off from the protuberance of the latter, and added dignity to the former, blending the two together, so that his roundness became fine by degrees, and beautifully less as it descended. Altogether, the Quaker dress added very much to the substantiality of his appearance, and was a manifest improvement, especially when he wore his broad-brimmed hat. Having satisfied my curiosity, I moved the curtains so as to attract their attention, and Cophagus came to my bedside, and felt my pulse. « Good-very good—all right_little broth ---throw in bark-on his legs — well as ever- and so on."
“ I am indeed much better this afternoon,” replied I; " indeed, so well, that I feel as if I could get up."
“ Pooh !—tumble down—never do--lie a bed-get strong-wifeMrs. Cophagus--Japhet-old friend."
Mrs. Cophagus had risen from her chair, and come towards the bed, when her husband introduced her in his own fashion. “ I am afraid that I have been a great trouble, madam,” said I.
“ Japhet Newland, we have done but our duty, even if thou wert not, as it appears that thou art, a friend of my husband. Consider me, therefore, as thy sister, and I will regard thee as a brother; and if thou wouldst wish it, thou shalt sojourn with us, for so hath my husband communicated his wishes unto me.”
I thanked her for her kind expressions, and took the fair hand which was offered in such amity. Cophagus then asked me if I was well enough to inform him of what had passed since our last meeting, and telling me that his wife knew my whole history, and that I might speak before her, he took his seat by the side of the bed, his wife also drew her chair nearer, and I commenced the narrative of what had passed since we parted in Ireland. When I had finished, Mr. Cophagus commenced as usual, “Um—very odd—lose moneybad-grow honest-good-run away from friends—bad- not hung good-brain fever_bad—come here-good-stay with us-quite comfortable—and so on.”
“ Thou hast suffered much, friend Japhet," said Mrs. Cophagus, wiping her eyes; “ and I would almost venture to say, hast been chastised too severely, were it not that those whom he loveth, he chastiseth. Still thou art saved, and now out of danger; peradventure thou wilt now quit a vain world, and be content to live with us; nay, as thou hast the example of thy former master, it may perhaps please the Lord to advise thee to become one of us, and to join us as a Friend. My husband was persuaded to the right path by me,” continued she, looking fondly at him ; “ who knoweth but some of our maidens may also persuade thee to eschew a vain, unrighteous world, and follow thy Redeemer in humility ?"
“ Very true-um-very true," observed Cophagus, putting more Quakerism than usual in his style, and drawing out his ums to treble their usual length; “ Happy life—Japhet-um-all at peace—quiet amusements — think about it — um – no hurry — never swear by-and-by, heh!--spirit may move-um-not now—talk about itget well—set up shop-and so on.'
I was tired with talking so much, and having taken some nourishment, again fell asleep. When I awoke in the evening, friend Cophagus and his wife were not in the room ; but Susannah Temple, whom I had first seen, and of whom I had made inquiry of Ephraim, who was Cophagus's servant. She was sitting close to the light and reading, and long did I continue to gaze upon her, fearful of interrupting her.
She was the most beautiful specimen of clear and transparent white that I ever had beheld—her complexion was unrivalledher eyes were large, but I could not ascertain their colour, as they were cast down upon her book, and hid by her long fringed eyelashes—her eyebrows arched and regular, as if drawn by a pair
of compasses, and their soft hair in beautiful contrast with her snowy forehead-her hair was auburn, but mostly concealed within her cap-her nose was very straight but not very large, and her mouth was perfection. She appeared to be between seventeen and eighteen years old, and as far
as I could ascertain, her figure was symmetrically perfect. Dressed as she was in the modest, simple garb worn by the females of the Society of Friends, she gave an idea of neatness, cleanliness, and propriety, upon which I could have gazed for ever. She was, indeed, most beautiful. I felt her beauty, her purity, and I could have worshipped her as an angel. While I still had my eyes fixed upon her exquisite features, she closed her book, and rising from her chair, came to the side of the bed. That she might not be startled at the idea of my having been watching her, I closed my eyes, and pretended to slumber. She resumed her seat, and then I changed my position and spoke, “ Is any one there?”
“ Yes, friend Newland, what is it that thou requirest ?" said she, advancing. “Wouldst thou see Cophagus or Ephraim ? I will summon them."
“O no,” replied I; “why should I disturb them from their amusements or employments? I have slept a long while, and I would like to read a little I think, if my eyes are not too weak.”
“ Thou must not read, but I may read unto thee,” replied Susannah. “ Tell me, what is it that thou wouldest have me read? I have no vain books ; but surely thou thinkest not of them, after thy escape from death."
“ I care not what is read, provided that you read to me," replied I.
“ Nay, but thou shouldest care; and be not wroth if I say to thee, that there is but one book to which thou shouldest now listen. Thou hast been saved from deadly peril—thou hast been rescued from the jaws of death. Art thou not thankful ? And to whom is gratitude most due, but to thy heavenly Father, who hath been pleased to spare thee ?”
“ You are right,” replied I; “then I pray you to read to me from the Bible.”
Susannah made no reply, but resumed her seat, and selecting those chapters most appropriate to my situation, read them in a beautiful and impressive tone.
If the reader will recall my narrative to his recollection, he must observe, that religion had had but hitherto little of my thoughts. I had lived the life of most who live in this world, perhaps not quite so correct in morals as many people, for my code of morality was suited to circumstances; as to religion, I had none. I had lived in the world, and for the world. I had certainly been well instructed in the tenets of our faith when I was at the Asylum, but there, as in most other schools, it is made irksome, as a task, and is looked upon with almost a feeling of aversion. No proper religious feelings are, or can be, inculcated to a large number of scholars; it is the parent alone who can instil, by precept and example, that true sense of religion, which may serve as a guide through life. I had not read the Bible from the time that I quitted the Foundling Hospital. It was new to me, and when I now heard read, by that beautiful creature, passages equally beautiful, and so applicable to my situation, weakened with disease, and humbled in adversity, I was moved even unto tears.
Susannah closed the book and came to the bedside. I thanked her: she perceived my emotion, and when I held out my hand she did not refuse hers. I kissed it, and it was immediately withdrawn, and she left the room. Shortly afterwards Ephraim made his appearance. Cophagus and his wife also came that evening, but I saw no more of Susannah Temple until the following day, when I again requested her to read to me. I will not detain the reader by an account of my recovery. In three weeks I was able to leave the room ; during that time, I had become very intimate with the whole family, and was treated as if I belonged to it. During my illness I had certainly shown more sense of religion than I had ever done before, but I do not mean to say that I was really religious. I liked to hear the Bible read by Susannah, and I liked to talk with her upon religious subjects; but had Susannah been an ugly old woman, I very much doubt if I should have been so attentive. It was her extreme beauty_her modesty and fervour, which so became her, which enchanted me. I felt the beauty of religion, but it was through an earthly object; it was beautiful in her. She looked an angel, and
listened to her precepts as delivered by one. Still, whatever
may be the cause by which a person's attention can be directed to so important a subject, so generally neglected, whether by fear of death, or by love towards an earthly object, the advantages are the same; and although very far from what I ought to have been, I certainly was, through my admiration of her, a better man. Moreover, I was not a little in love. As soon as I was on the sofa, wrapped up in one of the dressing-gowns of Mr. Cophagus, he told me that the clothes in which I had been picked up were all in tatters, and asked me whether I would like to have others made according to the usual fashion, or like those with whom I should, he trusted, in future reside. I had already debated this matter in my mind. Return to the world I had resolved not to do ; to follow up the object of my search appeared to me only to involve me in difficulties ; and what were the intentions of Cophagus with regard to me, I knew not. I was hesitating, for I knew not what answer to give, when I perceived the pensive, deep blue eye of Susannah fixed upon me, watching attentively, if not eagerly, for my response.
It decided the point. “ If,' replied I, “you do not think that I shall disgrace you, I should wish to wear the dress of the Society of Friends, although not yet one of your body."
“ But soon to be, I trust,” replied Mrs. Cophagus.
“ Alas !” replied I, “ I am an outcast ;” and I looked at Susannah Temple.
“ Not so, Japhet Newland," replied she, mildly; “I am pleased that thou hast of thy own accord rejected vain attire. I trust that thou wilt not find that thou art without friends."
“ While I am with you,” replied I, addressing myself to them all, “ I consider it my duty to conform to your manners in every way, but by-and-by, when I resume my search
“ And why shouldst thou resume a search which must prove unavailing, and but leads thee into error and misfortune ? I am but young, Japhet Newland, and not perhaps so able to advise, yet doth it appear to me, that the search can only be availing when made by those who left thee. When they wish for you they will seek thee, but thy seeking them is vain and fruitless."
“ But,” replied I, “ recollect that inquiries have already been made at the Foundling, and those who inquired have been sent away disappointed—they will inquire no more.'
“ And is a parent's love so trifling, that one disappointment will drive him from the seeking of his child? No, no, Japhet; if thou art yearned for, thou wilt be found, and fresh inquiries will be made ; but thy search is unavailing, and already hast thou lost much time."
“ True, Susannah, thy advice is good,” replied Mrs. Cophagus ; “in following a shadow Japhet hath much neglected the substance; it is time that thou shouldst settle thyself, and earn thy livelihood.”
“ And do thy duty in that path of life to which it hath pleased God to call thee," continued Susannah, who with Mrs. Cophagus walked out of the room.
Cophagus then took up the conversation, and pointing out the uselessness of my roving about, and the propriety of my settling in life, proposed that I should take an apothecary's shop, for which he would furnish the means, and that he could ensure me the custom of the whole Society of Friends in Reading, which was very large, as there was not one of the sect in that line of business. « Become one of us, Japhet--good business-marry by-and-bye—happy life-little children—and so on.” I thought of Susannah, and was silent. Cophagus then said, I had better reflect upon his offer, and make up my determination. If that did not suit me, he would still give me all the assistance in his power.
I did reflect long before I could make up my mind. I was still worldlily inclined; still my fancy would revel in the idea of finding out my father in high life, and of once more appearing as a star of fashion, of returning with interest the contumely I had lately received, and re-assuming as a right that position in society which I had held under false colours.
I could not bear the idea of sinking at once into a tradesman, and probably ending my days in obscurity. Pride was still my ruling passion. Such were my first impulses, and then I looked upon the other side of the picture. I was without the means necessary to support myself; I could not return to high life without I discovered my parents in the first place, and in the second, found them to be such as my warm imagination had depicted. I had no chance of finding them. I had already been long seeking in vain. I had been twice taken up to Bow-street-nearly lost my life in Ireland-had been sentenced to death -- had been insane, and recovered by a miracle, and all in prosecuting this useless search. All this had much contributed to cure me of the monomania. I agreed with Susannah that the search must be made by the other parties, and not by me. called the treatment I had received from the world—the contempt with which I had been treated—the heartlessness of high life, and the little chance of my ever again being admitted into society.
I placed all this in juxtaposition with the kindness of those with whom I now resided—what they had done already for me, and what they now offered, which was to make me independent by my own