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“ Till, quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride; And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died. “But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay ; I'll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay. “ And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die ; 'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.” “ Forbid it Heaven !" the Hermit cried,
And clasp'd her to his breast : The wondering fair one turn'd to chide
'Twas Edwin's self that press'd ! “ Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Restored to love and thee.
And every care resign:
My life—my all that's mine?
We'll live and love so true,
Shall break thy Edwin's too."
And those who prize the paltry things,
More trifling still than they.
A charm that lulls to sleep;
But leaves the wretch to weep? “And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one's jest ;
To warm the turtle's nest. “ For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,” he said ;
His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Swift mantling to the view;
As bright, as transient too.
Alternate spread alarms :
A maid in all her charms.
A wretch forlorn," she cried ;
Where Heaven and you reside. “But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Companion of her way.
A wealthy lord was he ;
He had but only me.
Unnumber'd suitors came,
And felt, or feign'd, a flame. “Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove ; Amongst the rest, young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love. “In humble, simple habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.
He caroll'd lays of love,
And music to the grove.
The dews of heaven refined, Could nought of purity display
To emulate his mind.
With charms inconstant shine:
Their constancy was mine.
Importunate and vain ; And, while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain :
While this ballad was reading, Sophia seemed to mix an air of tenderness with her approbation. But our tranquillity was soon disturbed by the report of a gun just by us, and, immediately after, a man was seen bursting through the hedge, to take up the game he had killed. This sportsman was the Squire's chaplain, who had shot one of the blackbirds that so agreeably entertained us.
So loud a report, and so near, startled my daughters; and I could perceive that Sophia in the fright had thrown herself into Mr. Bur. chell's arms for protection. The gentleman came up, and asked pardon for having disturbed us, affirming that he was ignorant of our being so near, He therefore sat down by my youngest daughter, and, sportsman-like, offered her what he had killed that morning. She was going to refuse, but a private look from her mother soon induced her to correct the mistake, and accept his present, though with some reluctance. My wife, as usual, discovered her pride in a whisper, observing, that Sophy had made a conquest of the chaplain, as well as her sister had of the Squire.
I suspected, however, with more probability, that her affections were
placed upon a different object. The chap- a couple of chairs ;, and as we were in lain's errand was to inform us, that Mr. want of ladies to make up a set at country Thornhill had provided music and refresh- dances, the two gentlemen went with him ments; and intended that night giving the in quest of a couple of partners. Chairs young ladies a ball by moonlight, on the and partners were soon provided. The grass plat before our door. Nor can gentlemen returned with my neighbour I deny,” continued he, “ but I have an Flamborough's rosy daughters, flaunting interest in being first to deliver this mes with red top-knots; but an unlucky cirsage, as I expect for my reward to be cumstance was not adverted to,—though honoured with Miss Sophia's hand as a the Miss Flamboroughs were reckoned partner. To this my girl replied, that the very best dancers in the parish, and she should have no objection, if she could understood the jig and roundabout to perdo it with honour; “But here,” continued fection, yet they were totally unacquainted she, “is a gentleman,” looking at Mr. with country dances. This at first disBurchell, who has been my companion composed us : however, after a little in the task for the day, and it is fithe should' shoving and dragging, they at last went share in its amusements.” Mr. Burchell merrily on. Our music consisted of two returned her a compliment for her inten- fiddles, with a pipe and tabor. The moon tions, but resigned her up to the chaplain ; shone bright. Mr. Thornhill and my eldest adding, that he was to go that night five daughter led up the ball, to the great miles, being invited to å harvest supper. delight of the spectators ; for the neighHis refusal appeared to me a little extra- bours, hearing what was going forward, ordinary; nor could I conceive how so came flocking about us. My girl moved sensible a girl as my youngest could thus with so much grace and vivacity, that my prefer a man of broken fortunes to one wife could not avoid discovering the pride whose expectations were much greater. of her heart by assuring me that, though But as men are most capable of distin- the little chit did it so cleverly, all the guishing merit in women, so the ladies steps were stolen from herself. The ladies often form the truest judgments of us.
of the town strove hard to be equally The two sexes seem placed as spies upon easy, but without success. They swam, each other, and are furnished with different sprawled, languished, and frisked; but all abilities, adapted for mutual inspection. would not do : the gazers indeed owned
that it was fine; but neighbour FlamCHAPTER IX.
borough observed that Miss Livy's feet Two Ladies of great Distinction introduced. seemed as pat to the music as its echo. Superior Finery ever seems to confer superior After the dance had continued about an Breeding.
hour, the two ladies, who were apprehenMR. BURCHELL had scarce taken leave, sive of catching cold, moved to break up and Sophia consented to dance with the the ball. One of them, I thought, exchaplain, when my little ones came run. pressed her sentiments upon this occasion ning out to tell us, that the Squire was in a very coarse manner, when she obcome with a crowd of company. Upon served, that, “by the living jingo, she was our return, we found our landlord, with all of a muck of sweat. Upon our a couple of under gentlemen and two return to the house, we found a very young ladies richly dressed, whom he elegant cold supper, which Mr. Thornhill introduced as women of very great dis- had ordered to be brought with him. The tinction and fashion from town. We conversation at this time was more rehappened not to have chairs enough for served than before. The two ladies threw the whole company ; but Mr. Thornhill my girls into the shade ; for they would immediately proposed, that every gentle talk of nothing but high life, and highman should sit in a lady's lap. This I lived company ; with other fashionable positively objected to, notwithstanding a topics, such as pictures, taste, Shake. look of disapprobation from my wife. speare, and the musical glasses. ''Tis true Moses was therefore dispatched to borrow they once or twice mortified us sensibly
hy slipping out an oath; but that appeared my suspicions. As to your present to me as the surest symptom of their dis- hint,” continued he, “I protest nothing tinction (though I am since informed was farther from my heart than such a that swearing is perfectly unfashionable). thought. No, by all that's tempting! the Their finery, however, threw a veil over virtue that will stand a regular siege was any grossness in their conversation. My never to my taste; for all my amours are daughters seemed to regard their superior carried by a coup-de-main." accomplishments with envy; and what The two ladies, who affected to be appeared amiss, was ascribed to tip-top ignorant of the rest, seemed highly disquality breeding. But the condescension pleased with this last stroke of freedom, of the ladies was still superior to their and began a very discreet and serious accomplishments. One of them observed, dialogue upon virtue : in this, my wife, that had Miss Olivia seen a little more of the chaplain, and I, soon joined; and the the world, it would greatly improve her; Squire himself was at last brought to to which the other added, that a single confess a sense of sorrow for his former winter in town would make her little
We talked of the pleasures of Sophia quite another thing. My wife temperance, and of the sunshine in the warmly assented to both ; adding, that mind unpolluted with guilt. I was so there was nothing she more ardently well pleased, that my little ones were wished than to give her girls a single kept up beyond the usual time to be winter's polishing. To this I could not edified by so much good conversation. help replying, that their breeding was Mr. Thornhill even went beyond me, and already superior to their fortune; and that demanded if I had any objection to giving greater refinement would only serve to
prayers. I joyfully embraced the promake their poverty ridiculous, and give posal; and in this manner the night was them a taste for pleasures they had no passed in the most comfortable way, till right to possess. And what pleasures," at last the company began to think of cried Mr. Thornhill, “do they not deserve returning. The ladies seemed very unto possess, who have so much in their willing to part with my daughters, for power to bestow? As for my part, whom they had conceived a particular continued he, “my fortune is pretty affection, and joined in a request to have large; love, liberty, and pleasure are my the pleasure of their company home. The maxims ; but curse me, if a settlement of Squire seconded the proposals
, and my half my estate could give my charming wife added her entreaties; the girls, too, Olivia pleasure, it should be hers; and looked upon me as if they wished to go. the only favour I would ask in return In this perplexity, I made two or three would be to add myself to the benefit." excuses, which my daughters as readily I was not such a stranger to the world as removed; so that at last I was obliged to to be ignorant that this was the fashion- give a peremptory refusal, for which we able cant to disguise the insolence of the had nothing but sullen looks and short basest proposal ; but I made an effort to answers the whole day ensuing. suppress my resentment. Sir,” cried I, the family which you now condescend
CHAPTER X. to favour with your company has been The Family endeavour to cope with their Betters. bred with as nice a sense of honour as The Miseries of the Poor, when they attempt you. Any attempts to injure that may
to appear above their Circumstances. be attended with very dangerous conse- I now began to find that all my long quences. Honour, sir, is our only posses and painful lectures upon temperance, sion at present, and of that last treasure simplicity, and contentment were entirely we must be particularly careful. I was disregarded. The distinctions lately paid soon sorry for the warmth with which I us by our betters awakened that pride had spoken this, when the young gentle. which I had laid asleep, but not removed. man, grasping my hand, swore he com- Our windows, again, as formerly, were mended my spirit, though he disapproved filled with washes for the neck and face.
The sun was dreaded as an enemy to the This curiosity of theirs, however, was skin without doors, and the fire as a attended with very serious effects : we spoiler of the complexion within. My now began to think ourselves designed by wife observed that rising too early would the stars to something exalted, and already hurt her daughter's eyes, that working anticipated our future grandeur. after dinner would redden their noses; It has been a thousand times observed, and she convinced me that the hands and I must observe it once more, that the never looked so white as when they did hours we pass with happy prospects in nothing. Instead therefore of finishing view, are more pleasing than those crowned George's shirts, we now had them new with fruition. In the first case, we cook modelling their old gauzes, or flourishing the dish to our own appetite; in the upon catgut. The poor Miss Flambo- latter, Nature cooks it for us. It is roughs, their former gay companions, impossible to repeat the train of agreeable were cast off as mean acquaintance, and reveries we called up for our entertainment. the whole conversation ran upon high We looked upon our fortunes as once life, and high-lived company, with pic more rising ; and, as the whole parish tures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical asserted that the Squire was in love with glasses.
my daughter, she was actually so with But we could have borne all this, had him; for they persuaded her into the not a fortune-telling gipsy come to raise passion. In this agreeable interval my wife us into perfect sublimity. The tawny sibyl had the most lucky dreams in the world, no sooner appeared, than my girls came which she took care to tell us every morning running to me for a shilling a-piece to with great solemnity and exactness. It cross her hand with silver. To say the was one night a coffin and cross-bones, the truth, I was tired of being always wise, and sign of an approaching wedding; at could not help gratifying their request, another time she imagined her daughters' because I loved to see them happy. i pockets filled with farthings, a certain sign gave each of them a shilling; though for of their being shortly stuffed with gold. the honour of the family it must be ob- The girls themselves had their omens. served, that they never went without money They felt strange kisses on their lips ; they themselves, as my wife always generously saw rings in the candle ; purses bounced let them have a guinea each, to keep in their from the fire, and true love-knots lurked pockets, but with strict injunctions never in the bottom of every teacup. to change it. After they had been closeted Towards the end of the week we reup with the fortune-teller for some time, ceived a card from the two ladies, in which, I knew by their looks, upon their return with their compliments, they hoped to ing, that they had been promised some- see all our family at church the Sunday thing great. Well, my girls, how have following. All Saturday morning I could you sped? Tell me, Livy, has the fortune- perceive, in consequence of this, my wife teller given thee a pennyworth ?”-“I and daughters in close conference together, protest, papa,” says the girl, “I believe and now and then glancing at me with she deals with somebody that's not right; looks that betrayed a latent plot. To be for she positively declared, that I am to sincere, I had strong suspicions that some be married to a Squire in less than a absurd proposal was preparing for appear. twelvemonth !"-"Well, now, Sophy, ing with splendour the next day. In the my child,” said I, “and what sort of a evening they began their operations in a husband are you to have ?”- Sir,” very regular manner, and my wife underreplied she, “I am to have a Lord soon took to conduct the siege.
After tea, after my sister has married the Squire." when I seemed in spirits, she began thus :
-"How,” cried I, “is that all you are -“I fancy, Charles, my dear, we shall to have for your two shillings ? 'Only a have a great deal of good company at Lord and a Squire for two shillings? You our church to-morrow. Perhaps we fools, I could have promised you a Prince may, my dear,” returned I, “though you and á Nabob for half the money." need be under no uneasiness about that ;
you shall have a sermon whether there be finding them come as I expected, I was
That is what I expect,” obliged to begin, and went through the returned she ; “but I think, my dear, we service, not without some uneasiness at ought to appear there as decently as pos- finding them absent. This was increased sible, for who knows what may happen?" when all was finished, and no appearance
“Your precautions,” replied I, “are of the family. I therefore walked back by highly commendable. A decent behaviour the horse-way, which was five miles round, and appearance in church is what charms though the footway was but two, and, when
We should be devout and humble, got about half-way home, perceived the cheerful and serene.”—“Yes,” cried she, procession marching slowly forward to"I know that; but I mean we should go wards the church; my son, my wife, and there in as proper a manner as possible; the two little ones exalted on one horse, not altogether like the scrubs about us. and my two daughters upon the other. I “You are quite right, my dear,” returned demanded the cause of their delay; but I, “and I was going to make the very I soon found by their looks they had met same proposal. The proper manner of with a thousand misfortunes on the road. going is to go there as early as possible, The horses had at first refused to move to have time for meditation before the from the door, till Mr. Burchell was kind service begins." * Phoo, Charles,” inter- enough to beat them forward for about rupted she, all that is very true; but two hundred yards with his cudgel. Next, not what I would be at: I mean, we the straps of my wife's pillion broke down, should go there genteelly. You know the and they were obliged to stop to repair church is two miles off
, and I protest I them before they could proceed. After don't like to see my daughters trudging that, one of the horses took it into his up to their pew all blowzed and red with head to stand still, and neither blows nor walking, and looking for all the world as entreaties could prevail with him to proif they had been winners at a smock race. ceed. He was just recovering from this Now, my dear, my proposal is this: there dismal situation when I found them ; but are our two plough horses
, the colt that perceiving everything safe, I own their has been in our family these nine years, present mortification did not much disand his companion Blackberry, that has please me, as it would give me many opscarcely done an earthly thing for this portunities of future triumph, and teach month past. They are both grown fat and my daughters more humility. lazy. Why should not they do something as well as we? And let me tell you, when
CHAPTER XI. Moses has trimmed them a little, they The Family still resolve to hold up their Heads. will cut a very tolerable figure.
To this proposal I objected that walking MICHAELMAS-EVE happening on the would be twenty times more genteel than next day, we were invited to burn nuts such a paltry, conveyance, as Blackberry and play tricks at neighbour Flambowas wall-eyed, and the colt wanted a tail ; yough's. Our late mortifications had that they had never been broke to the humbled us a little, or it is probable we rein, but had a hundred vicious tricks; and might have rejected such an invitation with that we had but one saddle and pillion in contempt: however, we suffered ourselves the whole house. All these objections, to be happy. Our honest neighbour's however, were overruled; so that I was goose and dumplings were fine, and the obliged to comply. The next morning I lamb's-wool, even in the opinion of my perceived them not a little busy in col- wife, who was a connoisseur, was excellent. lecting such materials as might be necessary It is true, his manner of telling stories was for the expedition; but, as I found it would not quite so well. They were very long, be a business of time, I walked on to the and very dull, and all about himself, and church before, and they promised speedily we had laughed at them ten times before: to follow. I waited near an hour in the however, we were kind enough to laugh reading desk for their arrival ; but not at them once more.