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(except my two daughters) to be completely | sides : he asserted that I was heterodox, I repretty. Her youth, health, and innocence, torted the charge; he replied, and I rejoined. were still heightened by a complexion so In the meantime, while the controversy was transparent, and such a happy sensibility of hottest, I was called out by one of my relalook, as even age could not gaze on with in. tions, who, with a face of concern, advised difference. As Mr Wilmot knew that I could me to give up the dispute, at least till my make a very handsome settlement on my son, son's wedding was over. “ How,” cried I, he was not averse to the match ; so both fami- “ relinquish the cause of truth, and let him be lies lived together in all that harmony which a husband already driven to the very, verge generally precedes an expected alliance. Be- of absurdity. You might as well advise me ing convinced by experience that the days of to give up my fortune, as my argument.' courtship are the most happy of our lives, I “ Your fortune,” returned my friend, “ I am was willing enough to lengthen the period; and now sorry to inform you, is almost nothing. the various amusements which the young The merchant in town, in whose hands your couple every day shared in each other's com- money was lodged, has gone off, to avoid a pany, seemed to increase their passion. We statute of bankruptcy, and is thought not to were generally awaked in the morning by have left a shilling in the pound. I was unmusic, and on fine days rode a-bunting. The willing to shock you or the family with the hours between breakfast and dinner the ladies account till after the wedding: but now it devoted to dress and study: they usually read may serve to moderate your warmth in the a page, and then gazed at themselves in the argument; for, I suppose, your own prudence, glass, which even philosophers might own will enforce the necessity of dissembling, at often presented the page of greatest beauty. least, till your son has the young lady's forAt dinner my wife took the lead; for as she tune secure."-" Well,” returned I, “ if what always insisted upon carving every thing her- you tell me be true, and if I am to be a self, it being her mother's way, she gave us beggar, it shall never make me a rascal, or inupon these occasions the history of every dish. duce me to disavow my principles. When we had dined, to prevent the ladies this moment and inform the company of my leaving us, I generally ordered the table to be circumstances: and as for the argument, I removed; and sometimes, with the music- even here retract my former concessions in the master's assistance, the girls would give us a old gentleman's favour, nor will I allow him very agreeable concert. Walking out, drink now to be a husband in any sense of the exing tea, country dances, and forfeits, shortened pression.” the rest of the day, without the assistance of It would be endless to describe the differcards, as I hated all manner of gaming, except ent sensations of both families when I divulgback-gammon, at which my old friend and I ed the news of our misfortune : but what sometimes took a two-penny hit. Nor can I others felt was slight to what the lovers aphere pass over an ominous circumstance that peared to endure. Mr Wilmot, who seemed happened the last time we played together, I before sufficiently inclined to break off the only wanted to fling a quatre, and yet I threw match, was by this blow soon determined ; one deuce ace five times running.
virtue he had in perfection, which was pru. Some months were elapsed in this manner, dence, too often the only one that is left us at till at last it was thought convenient to fix a seventy-two. day for the nuptials of the young couple, who seemed earnestly to desire it. During the preparations for the wedding, I need not describe the busy importance of my wife, nor the
CHAPTER III. sly looks of my daughters : in fact, my attention was fixed on another object, the complet- A ing a tract which I intended shortly to publish in defence of my favourite principle. As I looked upon this as a master-piece, both for argument and style, I could not in the pride of my heart avoid showing it to my old friend The only hope of our family now was, that Mr Wilmot, as I made no doubt of receiving the report of our misfortune might be malihis approbation; but not till too late I discov- cious or premature; but a letter from my ered that he was most violenily attached to the agent in town soon came with a confirmation contrary opinion, and with good reason; for of every particular. The loss of fortune to he was at that time actually courting a fourth myself alone would have been trifling; the wife. This, as may be expected, produced a only uneasiness I felt was for my family, who dispute attended with some
crimony, which were to be humble without an education to threatened to interrupt our intended alliance : render them callous to contempt. but on the day before that appointed for the Near a fortnight had passed before I atceremony, we agreed to discuss the subject at tempted to restrain their affliction ; for prelarge.
mature consolation is but the remembrancer of It was managed with proper spirit on both
During this interval, my thuughts
MIGRATION. THE FORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR LIVES ARE GENERALLY FOUND AT LAST TO BE OF OUR OWN PROCURING.
were employed on some future means of sup. The leaving a neighbourhood in which we had porting them; and at last a small cure of enjoyed so many hours of tranquillity, was not fifteen pounds a-year was offered me in a without a tear which scarcely fortitude itself distant neighbourhood, where I could still en could supprèss. Besides, a journey of seventy joy my principles without molestation. With miles to a family that had hitherto never been this proposal 'I joyfully closed, having deter- above ten from home, filled us with apprehenmined to increase my salary by managing a sion; and the cries of the poor, who followed us little farm.
for some miles, contributed to increase it. Having taken this resolution, my next care The first day's journey bronght us in safety was to get together the wrecks of my for within thirty miles of our future retreat, and tune : and, all debts collected and paid, out we put up for the night at an obscure inn in a of fourteen thousand pounds we had but four village by the way. When we were shown a hundred remaining. My chief attention, there- room, I desired the landlord, in my usual way, fore, was now to bring down the pride of my to let us have bis company, with which he family to their circumstances; for I well complied, as what he drank would increase the knew that aspiring beggary is wretchedness it- bill next morning.--He knew, however, the self. “ You cannot be ignorant, my children,” whole neighbourhood to which I was removcried I, “ that no prudence of ours could ing, particularly 'Squire THORNHILL, who was have prevented our late misfortune; but pru- to be my landlord, and who lived within a few dence may do much in disappointing its effects. miles of the place. This gentleman he deWe are now poor, my fondlings, and wisdom scribed as one who desired to know little more bids us conform to our humble situation. Let of the world than its pleasures, being particuus then, without repining, give up those larly remarkable for his attachment to the fair splendours with which numbers are wretched, sex. He observed that no virtue was able to and seek in humbler circumstances that resist his arts and assiduity, and that scarcely peace with which all may be happy. The a farmer's daughter within ten miles round, poor live pleasantly without our help, why but what had found him successful and faiththen should not we learn to live without theirs ? less. Though this account gave me some No, my children, let us from this moment pain, it had a very different effect upon my give up all pretensions to gentility ; we have daughters, whose features seemed to brighten still enough left for happiness, if we are wise ; with the expectation of an approaching triand let us draw upon content for the deficien- umph: nor was my wife less pleased and con. cies of fortune."
fident of their allurements and virtue. While As my eldest son was bred a scholar, I de. our thoughts were thus employed, the hostess termined to send him to town, where his entered the room to inform her husband, that abilities might contribute to our support and the strange gentleman, who had been two days his own. The separation of friends and in the house, wanted money, and could not families is, perhaps, one of the most distress- satisfy them for his reckoning.
“ Want ful circumstances attendant on penury. The money!” replied the host, “that must be imday soon arrived on which we were to disperse possible ; for it was no later than yesterday for the first time. My son, after taking leave he paid three guineas to our beadle to spare of his mother and the rest, who mingled their an old broken soldier that was to be whipped tears with their kisses, came to ask a blessing through the town for dog-stealing." The from me, This I gave him from my heart, hostess, however, still persisting in her first and which, added to five guineas, was all the assertion, he was preparing to leave the room, patrimony I had now to bestow. “ You are swearing that be would be satisfied one way going, my boy,” cried I, “to London on foot, or another, when I begged the landlord would in the manner Hooker, your great ancestor, introduce me to a stranger of so much charity travelled there before you.
Take from me as he described. With this he complied, the same horse that was given him by the good showing in a gentleman who seemed to be bishop Jewel, this staff, and this book too, it | about thirty, dressed in clothes that once were will be your comfort on the way: these two laced. His person was well formed, and Iris lines in it are worth a million, I have been face marked with the lines of thinking. He young, and now am old ; yet never saw I the had something short and dry in his address, righteous man forsaken, or his seed begging their and seemed not to understand ceremony, or to bread. Let this be your consolation as you despise it. Upon the landlord's leaving the travel on. Go, my boy; whatever be thy room, I could not avoid expressing my concern fortune, let me see thee once a-year; still to the stranger at seeing a gentleman in such keep a good heart, and farewell." As he was circumstances, and offered him my purse to possessed of integrity and honour, I was under satisfy the present demand. I take it with no apprehensions from throwing him naked in- all my heart, Sir,” replied he, "and am glad to the amphitheatre of life; for I knew he that a late oversight in giving what money I would act a good part whether vanquished or had about me, has shown me that there are victorious.
still some men like you. I must, however, His departure only prepared the way for previously entreat being informed of the name our own, which arrived a few days afterwards, and residence of my benefactor, in order to
repay him as soon as possible.” In this I | slightest touch gives pain : what some have satisfied him fully, not only mentioning my thus suffered in their persons, this gentleman name and late misfortunes, but the place to felt in his mind. The slightest distress, whewhich I was going to remove. “ This,” cried ther real or fictitious, touched him .to the he, “ happens still more luckily than I hoped quick, and his soul laboured under a sickly for, as I am going the same way myself, hav- sensibility of the miseries of others. Thus ing been detained here two days by the floods, disposed to relieve, it will be easily conjecwhich I hope by to-morrow will be found pass- tured he found numbers disposed to solicit; able.” I testified the pleasure A should have his profusions began to impair his fortune, in his company, and my wife and daughters but not bis good-nature; that, indeed, was joining in entreaty, he was prevailed upon to seen to increase as the other seemed to decay; stay supper. The stranger's conversation, which he grew provident as he grew poor; and was at once pleasing and instructive, induced though he talked like a man of senise, his acme to wish for a continuance of it; but it tions were those of a fool. Still, however, was now bigh time to retire and take refresh- being surrounded with importunity, and no ment against the fatigues of the following day. longer able to satisfy every request that was
The next morning we all set forward toge- made him, instead of money he gave promises. ther : my family on horseback, while Mr BUR- They were all he had to bestow, and he had CHELL, our new companion, walked along the not resolution enough to give any man pain by foot-path by the road-side, observing with a a denial. By this he drew round him crowds smile, that as we were ill mounted, he would of dependents, whom he was sure to disappoint be too generous to attempt leaving us behind. yet wished to relieve. These hung upon him As the floods were not yet subsided, we were for a time, and left him with merited reobliged to hire a guide, who trotted on before, proaches and contempt. But in proportion as Mr Burchell and I bringing up the rear. We he became contemptible to others, he became lightened the fatigues of the road with philo. despicable to himself. His mind had leaned sophical disputes, which he seemed to under- upon their adulation, and that support taken stand perfectly. But what surprised me most away, he could find no pleasure in the applause was, that though he was a money-borrower, of his heart, which he had never learnt to revhe defended his opinions with as much obsti- erence. The world now began to wear a niacy as if he had been my patron. He now different aspect; the flattery of his friends beand then also informed me to whom the diffe- gan to dwindle into simple approbation. Aprent seats belonged that lay in our view as we probation soon took the more friendly form of travelled the road. That,” cried he, point- advice, and advice when rejected produced ing to a very magnificent house which stood their reproaches. He now therefore found, at some distance, " belongs to Mr Thornhill
, that such friends as benefits bad gathered a young gentleman who enjoys a large fortune, round him, were little estimable; he now though entirely dependent on the will of his found that a man's own heart must be ever uncle, Sir William Thornbill, a gentleman, given to gain that of another. I now found, who, content with a little himself, permits his that-that-I forget what I was going to obnephew to enjoy the rest, and chiefly resides serve : in short, Sir, he resolved to respect in town." “What !" cried I, “is my young himself, and laid down a plan of restoring his landlord then the nephew of a man, whose falling fortune. For this purpose, in his own virtues, generosity, and singularities are so whimsical manner, he travelled through Euuniversally known? I have heard Sir William rope on foot, and now, though he has scarcely Thornbill represented as one of the most gen. attained the age of thirty, bis circumstances erous yet whimsical men in the kingdom ; a are more affluent than ever.
At present, his man of consummate benevolence.” Some-bounties are more rational and moderate than thing, perhaps, too much so," replied Mr Bur- before ; but still be preserves the character of chell; “at least he carried benevolence to an a humourist, and finds most pleasure in ecexcess when young; for his passions were then centric virtues.” strong, and as they were all upon the side of My attention was so much taken up by Mr virtue, they led it up to a romantic extreme. Burchell's account, that I scarcely looked He early began to aim at the qualifications of forward as he went along, till we were alarmed the soldier and scholar ; was soon distinguish. by the cries of my family, when turning, I pered in the army, and had some reputation among ceived my youngest daughter in the midst of men of learning. Adulation ever follows the a rapid stream, thrown from her horse, and ambitious; for such alone receive most plea- struggling with the torrent. She bad sunk sure from flattery. He was surrounded with twice, nor was it in my power to disengage crowds, who showed him only one side of their myself in time to bring her relief. My selcharacter; so that he began to lose a regard sations were even too violent to permit my for private interest in universal sympathy: attempting her rescue: she must have certainHe loved all mankind; for fortune prevented ly perished had not my companion, perceiving him from knowing that there were rascais. her danger, instantly plunged in to her relief, Physicians tell us of a disorder, in which the and, with some difficulty, brought her in safety whole body is so exquisitely sensible that the to the opposite shore. By taking the current
ON CIRCUMSTANCES BUT CONSTITUTION.
a little farther up, the rest of the family got with thatch, which gave it an air of great snug. safely over, where we had an opportunity of ness: the walls on the inside were nicely joining our acknowledgments to her's. Her white-washed, and my daughters undertoch to gratitude may be more readily imagined than adorn them with pictures of their own desing. described : she thanked her deliverer more ing. Though the same room served us for with looks than words, and continued to lean parlour and kitchen, that only made it the upon his arm, as if still willing to receive as
Besides, as it was kept with the My wife also hoped one day to have utmost neatness, the dishes, plates, and coppers the pleasure of returning his kindness at ber being well scoured, and all disposed in bright own house. Thus, after we were refreshed at rows on the shelves, the eye was agreeably the next inn, and had dined together, as Mr relieved, and did not want richer furniture. Burchell was going to a different part of the There were three other apartments, one for country, he took leave; and we pursued our my wife and me, another for our two daughjourney, my wife observing as we went, that ters, within our own, and the third, with two she liked him extremely, and protesting, that beds, for the rest of the children. if he had birth and fortune to entitle him to
The little republic to which I gave laws, match into such a family as our's, she knew no was regulated in the following manner; by man she would sooner fix upon. I could not sun-rise we all assembled in our common apartbut smile to hear her talk in this lofty strain; ment; the fire being previously kindled by the but I was never much displeased with those servant. After we had saluted each other harmless delusions that tend to make us more with proper ceremony, for I always thought fit happy.
to keep up some mechanical forms of good breeding, without which freedom ever destroys friendship, we all bent in gratitude to that
Being who gave us another day. This duty CHAPTER IV.
being performed, my son and I went to pursue
our usual industry abroad, while my wife and A PROOF THAT EVEN THE HUMBLEST FORTUNE daughters employed themselves in providing MAY GRANT HAPPINESS, WHICH DEPENDS NOT breakfast, which was always ready at a certain
time. I allowed half an hour for this meal,
and an hour for dinner; which time was taken The place of our retreat was in a little neigh- up in innocent mirth between my wife and bourhood, consisting of farmers, who tilled daughters, and in philosophical arguments betheir own grounds, and were equal strangers tween my son and me. to opulence and poverty. As they had almost As we rose with the sun, so we never purall the conveniences of life within themselves, sued our labours after it was gone down, but they seldom visited towns or cities, in search returned home to the expecting family; where of superfluity. Remote from the polite, they smiling looks, a neat hearth, and pleasant fire, still retained the primeval simplicity of man were prepared for our reception. Nor were ners, and frugal by habit, they scarcely knew that we without guests : sometimes farmer Flamtemperance was a virtue. They wrought with borough, our talkative neighbour, and often cheerfulness on days of labour; but observed the blind piper, would pay us a visit, and taste festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure. our gooseberry wine; for the making of which They kept up the Christmas carol, sent true we had lost neither the receipt nor the reputalove-knots on Valentine morning, eat pan- tion. These harmless people had several ways cakes on Shrove-tide, showed their wit on the of being good company; while one played, the first of April, and religiously cracked nuts on other would sing some soothing ballad, Johnny Michaelmas eve. Being apprized of our ap- | Armstrong's last good night, or the cruelty of proach, the whole neighbourhood came out to Barbary Allen. The night was concluded in meet their minister, dressed in their finest the manner we began the morning, my youngclothes, and preceded by pipe and tabor. A est boys being appointed to read the lessons of feast also was provided for our reception, at the day; and he that read loudest, distinctest, which we sat cheerfully down ; and what the and best, was to have an halfpenny on Sunday conversation wanted in wit, was made up in to put in the poor's box. laughter.
When Sunday came, it was indeed a day of Our little habitation was situated at the foot finery, which all my sumptuary edicts could of a sloping hill, sheltered with a beautiful not restrain. How well soever I fancied my underwood behind, and a prattling river be lectures against pride had conquered the vanity fore: on one side a meadow, on the other a of my daughters; yet I found them still secretly green. My farm consisted of about twenty attached to all their former finery: they still acres of excellent land, having given an bun- loved laces, ribands, bugles, and catgut; my dred pounds for my predecessor's good-will. wife herself retained a passion for her crimson Nothing could exceed the neatness of my little paduasoy, because I formerly happened to say enclosures; the elms and hedge-rows appear it became her. ing with inexpressible beauty. My house The first Sunday in particular their behaviconsisted of but one story, and was covered l our served to mortify me; I had desired my
girls the preceding night to be drest early the seldom it diffused a new joy, the preparations next day; for I always loved to be at church for it being made with no small share of bustle a good while before the rest of the congrega- and ceremony.
On these occasions our two tion. They punctually obeyed my directions; little ones always read to us, and they were but when we were to assemble in the morning regularly served after we had done. Someat breakfast, down came my wife and daugh- times, to give a variety to our amusements, the ters, drest out in all their former splendour : girls sung to the guitar ; and while they thus their hair plastered up with pomatum, their formed a little concert, my wife and I would faces patched to taste, their trains bundled up stroll down the sloping field, that was embellin a heap behind, and rustling at every motion. ished with blue-bells and centaury, talk of our I could not help smiling at their vanity, parti- children with rapture, and enjoy the breeze cularly that of my wife, from whom I expected that wafted both health and harmony. more discretion. In this exigence, therefore, In this manner we began to find that every my only resource was to order my son, with situation in life might bring its own peculiar an important air, to call our coach. The girls pleasures : every morning awaked us to a repewere amazed at the command; but I repeated tition of toil; but the evening repaid it with it with more solemnity than before.-—" Surely, vacant hilarity. my dear, you jest,” cried my wife, “ we can It was about the beginning of autumn, on a walk it perfectly well: we want no coach to holiday, for I kept such as intervals of relaxacarry us now. “ You mistake, child,” re- tion from labour, that I bad drawn out my. turned I, “ we do want a coach; for if we family to our usual place of amusement, and walk to church in this trim, the very children our young musicians began their usual concert. in the parish will hoot after us.”_" Indeed,” | As we were thus engaged, we saw a stag bound replied my wife, I always imagined that my nimbly by, within about twenty paces of where Charles was fond of seeing his children neat we were sitting and by its panting it seemed and handsome about him.”—“ You may be as prest by the hunters. We had not much time neat as you please,” interrupted I, “and I to reflect upon the poor animal's distress, when shall love you the better for it; but all this is we perceived the dogs and horsemen come not neatness, but frippery. These ruflings, sweeping along at some distance behind, and and pinkings, and patchings, will only make making the very path it had taken. I was in. us hated by all the wives of all our neighbours. stantly for returning in with my family; but “ No, my children,” continued I, more gravely, either curiosity, or surprise, or some more hid" those gowns may be altered into something den motive, held my wife and daughters to their of a plainer cut; for finery is very unbecoming seats: The huntsman, who rode foremost, in us, who want the means of decency. I do past us with great swiftness, followed by four not know whether such flouncing and shred. or five persons more, who seemed in equal ding is becoming even in the rich, if we con haste. At last, a young gentleman of a more sider, upon a moderate calculation, that the genteel appearance than the rest came forward, nakedness of the indigent world might be and for a while regarding us, instead of pursu. clothed from the trimmings of the vain. ing the chase, stopt short, and giving his horse
This remonstrànce had a proper effect; they to a servant who attended, approached us with went with great composure, that very instant, la careless superior air. He seemed to want to change their dress; and the next day I had no introduction, but was going to salute my the satisfaction of finding my daughters, at daughters, as one certain of a kind reception ; their own request, employed in cutting up their but they had early learnt the lesson of looking trains into Sunday waistcoats for Dick and presumption out of countenance. Upon wbich Bill, the two little ones, and what was still he let us know his name was Thornhill, and more satisfactory, the gowns seemed improved that he was owner of the estate that lay for by this curtailing.
some extent round us. He again therefore offered to salute the female part of the family, and such was the power of fortune and fine
clothes, that he found no second repulse. As CHAPTER V.
his address, though contident, was easy, we
soon became more familiar; and perceiving A NEW AND GREAT ACQUAINTANCE INTRODUCED. musical instruments lying near, he begged to be -WHAT WE PLACE MOST HOPES UPON, GENE- favoured with a song. As I did not approve
of such disproportioned acquaintances, I wink
ed upon my daughters in order to prevent their At a small distance from the house, my pre- compliance ; but my hint was counteracted decessor bad made a seat, overshadowed by an by one from their mother ; so that, with a hedge of hawthom and honeysuckle. Here, cheerful air, they gave us a favourite song of when the weather was fine and our labour soon Dryden's. Mr Thornbill seemed highly definished, we usually sat together, to enjoy an lighted with their performance and choice, and extensive landscape in the calm of the evening. then took up the guitar himself. He played Here too we drank tea, which was now become but very indifferently; bowever, my eldest an occasional banquet ; and as we had it but daughter repaid his former applause with in
RALLY PROVES MOST FATAL.