« ПретходнаНастави »
disarmed my antagonist, and soon after these awful reflections, I heard a step come had the pleasure of finding, that the lady heavily forward. Ah, this is the great man was only a woman of the town, and the himself! No; it was only a chamberfellow her bully and a sharper. This piece maid. Another foot was heard soon after. of service was repaid with the warmest This must be he! No; it was only the professions of gratitude; but, as my friend great man's valet-de-chambre. At last his was to leave town in a few days, he knew lordship actually made his appearance. no other method of serving me but by re- ‘Are you,' cried he, 'the bearer of this commending me to his uncle, Sir William here letter? I answered with a bow. 'I Thornhill, and another nobleman of great learn by this,' continued he,'as how that, distinction, who enjoyed a post under the - But just at that instanta servant delivered government. When he was gone, my first him a card, and, without taking farther care was to carry his recommendatory let- notice, he went out of the room, and left ter to his uncle, a man whose character for me to digest my own happiness at leisure. every virtue was universal, yet just. I was I saw no more of him, till told by a footreceived by his servants with the most hos- man that his lordship was going to his pitable smiles; for the looks of the domes- coach at the door. Down I immediately tic evertransmit the master's benevolence. followed, and joined my voice to that of Being shown into a grand apartment, where three or four more, who came, like me, to Sir William soon came to me, I delivered petition for favours. His lordship, howmy message and letter, which he read, and, ever, went too fast for us, and was gaining after pausing some minutes, - 'Pray, sir, his chariot door with large strides, when I cried he, 'inform me what you have done hallooed out to know if I was to have any for my kinsman to deserve this warm re- reply. He was, by this time, got in, and commendation? But I suppose, sir, I guess muttered an answer, half of which only I your merits: you have fought for him; heard, the other half was lost in the rattling and so you would expect a reward from of his chariot-wheels. I stood for some me for being the instrument of his vices. time with my neck stretched out, in the I wish-sincerely wish, that my present posture of one that was listening to catch refusal may be some punishment for your the glorious sounds, till, looking round me, guilt; but still more, that it may be some I found myself alone at his lordship’s gate. inducement to your repentance.' The “My patience,” continued my son, severity of this rebuke I bore patiently, be- now quite exhausted : stung with the cause I knew it was just. My whole ex- thousand indignities I had met with, I was pectations now, therefore, lay in my letter willing to cast myself away, and only to the great man. As the doors of the wanted the to receive me. I regarded nobility are almost ever beset with beggars, myself as one of those vile things that all ready to thrust in some sly petition, I Nature designed should be thrown by into found it no easy matter to gain admittance. her lumber-room, there to perish in obHowever, after bribing the servants with scurity. I had still, however, half-a-guinea half my worldly fortune, I was at last shown left, and of that I thought Nature herself into a spacious apartment, my letter being should not deprive me; but in order to be previously sent up for his lordship's in- sure of this, I was resolved to go instantly spection. During this anxious interval, and spend it while I had it, and then trust I had full time to look round me. Every to occurrences for the rest. As I was going thing was grand and of happy contrivance: along with this resolution, it happened the paintings, the furniture, the gildings, that Mr. Crispe's office seemed invitingly petrified me with awe, and raised my idea open to give me a welcome reception. In of the owner. Ah, thought I to myself, this office, Mr. Crispe kindly offers all his how very great must the possessor of all Majesty's subjects a generous promise of these things be, who carries in his head the £30 a year, for which promise all they business of the state, and whose house dis- give in return is their liberty for life, and plays half the wealth of a kingdom ! sure his permission to let him transport them to genius must be unfathomable !-During America as slaves, I was happy at finding
a place where I could lose my fears in the Dutch would be willing to learn English. desperation, and entered this cell (for it He affirmed, with an oath, that they were had the appearance of one) with the de. fond of it to distraction; and upon that votion of a monastic. Here I found a affirmation I agreed with his proposal, and number of poor creatures, all in circum- embarked the next day to teach the Dutch stances like myself, expecting the arrival English in Holland. The wind was fair, of Mr. Crispe, presenting a true epitome our voyage short; and after having paid of English impatience. Each untractable my passage with half my moveables, I soul at variance with Fortune wreaked her found myself, fallen as from the skies, a injuries on their own hearts : but Mr. stranger in one of the principal streets of Crispe at last came down, and all our mur. Amsterdam. In this situation I was unmurs were hushed. He deigned to regard willing to let any time pass unemployed in me with an air of peculiar approbation, and teaching. I addressed myself, therefore, to indeed he was the first man who, for a two or three of those I met whose appearmonth past, had talked to me with smiles. ance seemed most promising ; but it was After a few questions, he found I was fit impossible to make ourselves mutually unfor everything in the world. He paused derstood. It was not till this very moment a while upon the properest means of pro- I recollected, that in order to teach the viding for me : and slapping his forehead Dutchmen English, it was necessary that as if he had found it, assured me that there they should first teach me Dutch. How was at that time an embassy talked of from I came to overlook so obvious an objection the synod of Pennsylvania to the Chickasaw is to me amazing : but certain it is I over. Indians, and that he would use his interest looked it. to get me made secretary. I knew in my “ This scheme thus blown up, I had own heart that the fellow lied, and yet his some thoughts of fairly shipping back to promise gave me pleasure, there was some England again, but falling into company thing so magnificent in the sound. I fairly with an Irish student, who was returning therefore divided my half-guinea, one half from Louvain, our conversation turning of which went to be added to his thirty upon topics of literature, (for, by the way, thousand pounds, and with the other half it may be observed that I always forgot I resolved to go to the next tavern, to be the meanness of my circumstances when I there more happy than he.
could converse upon such subjects,) from “As I was going out with that resolution, him I learned that there were not two men I was met at the door by the captain of a in his whole university who understood ship with whom I had formerly some little Greek. This amazed me. I instantly reacquaintance, and he agreed to be my solved to travel to Louvain, and there live companion over a bowl of punch. As I by teaching Greek : and in this design I never chose to make a secret of my cir- was heartened by my brother student, who cumstances, he assured me that I was upon threw out some hints that a fortune might the very point of ruin, in listening to the be got by it. office-keeper's promises; for that he only I set boldly forward the next morning. designed to sell me to the plantations. Every day lessened the burden of my move*But,' continued he, 'I fancy you might, ables, like Æsop and his basket of bread; by a much shorter voyage, be very easily for I paid them for my lodgings to the put into a genteel way of bread. Take Dutch, as I travelled on. When I came my advice. My ship sails to-morrow for to Louvain, I was resolved not to go sneakAmsterdam : what if you go in her as a ing to the lower professors, but openly tenpassenger? The moment you land, all dered my talents to the Principal himself. you have to do is to teach the Dutchmen I went, had admittance, and offered him English, and I'll warrant you'll get pupils my service as a master of the Greek lanand money enough. I suppose you under- guage, which I had been told was a desi. stand English,' added he, by this time, deratum in his university. The Principal or the deuce is in it.' I confidently assured seemed at first to doubt of my abilities; but him of that ; but expressed a doubt whether of these I offered to convince him, by turn
ing a part of any Greek author he should | Paris, and informed me of his own business fix
upon into Latin. Finding me perfectly there, which was to collect pictures, medals, earnest in my proposal, he addressed me intaglios, and antiques of all kinds, for a thus: You see me, young man; I never gentleman in London who had just stepped learned Greek, and I don't find that I have into taste and a large fortune. I was the ever missed it. I have had a Doctor's cap more surprised at seeing our cousin pitched and gown without Greek; I have ten upon for this office, as he himself had often thousand forins a year without Greek; I assured me he knew nothing of the matter. eat heartily without Greek; and, in short,' Upon asking how he had been taught the continued he, “as I don't know Greek, I art of a cognoscento so very suddenly, he do not believe there is any good in it.' assured me that nothing was more easy.
“I was now too far from home to think The whole secret consisted in a strict ad. of returning; so I resolved to go forward. herence to two rules: the one, always to I had some knowledge of music, with a observe the picture might have been better tolerable voice, and now turned what was if the painter had taken more pains; and my amusement into a present means of sub- the other, to praise the works of Pietro sistence. I passed among the harmless Perugino. “But,' says he, “as I once taught peasants of Flanders, and among such of you how to be an author in London, I'll the French as were poor enough to be very now undertake to instruct you in the art of merry; for I ever found them sprightly in picture-buying at Paris.' proportion to their wants. Whenever I ap- || “ With this proposal I very readily proached a peasant's house towards night. 'closed, as it was a living, and now all my fall, I played one of my most merry tunes, ambition was to live. I went therefore to and that procured me not only a lodging, his lodgings, improved my dress by his but subsistence for the next day. I once assistance; and, after some time, accomor twice attempted to play for people of panied him to auctions of pictures, where fashion, but they always thought my per- the English gentry were expected to be purformance odious, and never rewarded me chasers. I was not a little surprised at his even with a trifle. This was to me the intimacy with people of the best of fashion, more extraordinary, as, whenever I used, who referred themselves to his judgment in better days, to play for company, when upon every picture or medal, as to an unplaying was my amusement, my music erring standard of taste.
He made very never failed to throw them into raptures, good use of my assistance upon these occaand the ladies especially; but as it was now sions; for, when asked his opinion, he my only means, it was received with con- would gravely take me aside and ask mine, tempt-a prouf how ready the world is to shrug, look wise, return, and assure the underrate those talents by which a man is company that he could give no opinion supported.
upon an affair of so much importance. In this manner I proceeded to Paris, Yet there was sometimes an occasion for a with no design but just to look about me, more important assurance. I remember to and then to go forward. The people of have seen him, after giving his opinion that Paris are much fonder of strangers that the colouring of a picture was not mellow have money, than those that have wit. As enough, very deliberately take a brush with I could not boast much of either, I was no brown varnish, that was accidentally lying great favourite. After walking about the by, and rub it over the piece with great town four or five days, and seeing the out- composure before all the company, and sides of the best houses, I was preparing then ask if he had not improved the tints. to leave this retreat of venal hospitality, “When he had finished his commission when passing through one of the principal in Paris, he left me strongly recommended streets, whom should I meet but our cousin, to several men of distinction, as a person to whom you first recommended me. This very proper for a travelling tutor; and after meeting was very agreeable to me, and I some time, I was employed in that capacity believe not displeasing to him. He in- by a gentleman who brought his ward to quired into the nature of my journey to Paris, in order to set him forward on his tour through Europe. I was to be the picture. My remarks, however, are but young gentleman's governor; but with a few : I found that monarchy was the best proviso, that he should always be permitted government for the poor to live in, and to govern himself. My pupil, in fact, commonwealths for the rich. I found that understood the art of guiding in money riches in general were in every country concerns much better than I. He was heir another name for freedom; and that no to a fortune of about two hundred thousand man is so fond of liberty himself, as not to pounds, left him by an uncle in the West be desirous of subjecting the will of some İndies; and his guardians, to qualify him individuals in society to his own. for the management of it, had bound him “Upon my arrival in England, I resolved apprentice to an attorney. Thus avarice to pay my respects first to you, and then to was his prevailing passion: all his questions enlist as a volunteer in the first expedition on the road were, how money might be that was going forward ; but on my journey saved; which was the least expensive down, my resolutions were changed by course of travel; whether anything could meeting an old acquaintance, who I found be bought that would turn to account belonged to a company of comedians that when disposed of again in London? Such were going to make a summer campaign in curiosities on the way as could be seen for the country. The company seemed not nothing, he was ready enough to look at; much to disapprove of me for an associate. but if the sight of them was to be paid for, They all, however, apprised me of the imhe usually asserted that he had been told portance of the task at which I aimed ; that they were not worth seeing. He never the public was a many-headed monster, paid a bill that he would not observe how and that only such as had very good heads amazingly expensive travelling was! and could please it: that acting was not to be all this though he was not yet twenty-one. learned in a day; and that without some When arrived at Leghorn, as we took a traditional shrugs, which had been on the walk to look at the port and shipping, he stage, and only on the stage, these hundred inquired the expense of the passage by sea years, I could never pretend to please. The home to England. This he was informed next difficulty was in fitting me with parts, was but a trifle compared to his returning as almost every character was in keeping. by land; he was therefore unable to with I was driven for some time from one chastand the temptation; so paying me the racter to another, till at last Horatio was small part of my salary that was due, he fixed upon, which the presence of the took leave, and embarked with only one present company has happily hindered me attendant for London.
from acting.” “I now therefore was left once more
CHAPTER XXI. upon the world at large; but then, it was
The short continuance of friendship amongst the a thing I was used to. However, my
vicious, which is coeval only with mutual skill in music c juld avail me nothing in a satisfaction. country where every peasant was a better My son's account was too long to be demusician than I: but by this time I had livered at once; the first part of it was acquired another talent, which answered begun that night, and he was concluding my purpose as well, and this was a skill in the rest after dinner the next day, when the disputation. In all the foreign universities appearance of Mr. Thornhill's equipage at and convents there are, upon certain days, the door seemed to make a pauce in the philosophical theses maintained against general satisfaction. The butler, who was every adventitious disputant; for which, if now become my friend in the family, inthe champion opposes with any dexterity, formed me, with a whisper, that the Squire he can claim a gratuity in money, a dinner, had already made some overtures to Miss and a bed for one night. In this manner, Wilmot, and that her aunt and uncle therefore, I fought my way towards Eng- seemed highly to approve the match. land; walked along from city to city; ex- Upon Mr. Thornhill's entering, he seemed, amined mankind more nearly; and, if I at seeing my son and me, to start back; may so express it, saw both sides of the but I readily imputed that to surprise, and not displeasure. However, upon our ad- to get an abatement of the other two. “As vancing to salute him, he returned our for this trifling piece of service,” continued greeting with the most apparent candour; the young gentleman, “I desire no other and after a short time his presence served reward but the pleasure of having served only to increase the general good humour. my friend; and as for the hundred pounds
After tea he called me aside to inquire to be paid, if you are unable to raise it after my daughter: but upon my informing yourselves, I will advance it, and you him that my inquiry was unsuccessful, he shall repay me at your leisure.” This was seemed greatly surprised; adding that he a favour we wanted words to express our had been since frequently at my house in sense of: I readily, therefore, gave my order to comfort the rest of my family, bond for the money, and testified as much whom he left perfectly well. He then gratitude as if I never intended to pay. asked if I communicated her misfortune to George was to depart for town the next. Miss Wilmot or my son; and upon my re- day, to secure his commission, in purplying that I had not told them as yet, he suance of his generous patron's directions, greatly approved my prudence and precau. who judged it highly expedient to use tion, desiring me by all means to keep it dispatch, lest in the meantime another a secret: “For at best,” cried he, “it is should step in with more advantageous but divulging one's own infamy; and per- proposals. The next morning, therefore, haps Miss Livy may not be so guilty as we our young soldier was early prepared for all imagine.” We were here interrupted his departure, and seemed the only person by a servant who came to ask the Squire in, among us that was not affected by it. to stand up at country-dances : so that he Neither the fatigues and dangers he was Jeft me quite pleased with the interest he going to encounter, nor the friends and seemed to take in my concerns. His ad- mistress—for Miss Wilmot actually loved dresses, however, to Miss Wilmot were him-he was leaving behind, any way too obvious to be mistaken: and yet, she damped his spirits. After he had taken seemed not perfectly pleased, but bore leave of the rest of the company, I gave them rather in compliance to the will of her him all I had, my blessing. “And now, aunt than from real inclination. I had even my boy,” cried I, “thou art going to fight the satisfaction to see her lavish some kind for thy country: remember how thy brave looks upon my unfortunate son, which the grandfather fought for his sacred king, other could neither extort by his fortune when loyalty among Britons was a virtue. nor assiduity. Mr. Thornhill's seeming Go, my boy, and imitate him in all but his composure, however, not a little surprised misfortunes, if it was a misfortune to die me: we had now continued here a week with Lord Falkland. Go, my boy, and at the pressing instances of Mr. Arnold; if you fall, though distant, exposed, and but each day the more tenderness Miss unwept by those that love you, the most Wilmot showed my son, Mr. Thornhill's precious tears are those with which Heaven friendship seemed proportionably to in. bedews the unburied head of a soldier. crease for him.
The next morning I took leave of the He had formerly made us the most kind good family, that had been kind enough assurances of using his interest to serve the to entertain me so long, not without several family; but now his generosity was not expressions of gratitude to Mr. Thornhill confined to promises alone. The morning I for his late bounty. I left them in the designed for my departure, Mr. Thornhill enjoyment of all that happiness which came to me with looks of real pleasure, to aftuence and good breeding procure, and inform me of a piece of service he had done returned towards home, despairing of ever for his friend George. This was nothing finding my daughter more, but sending a less than his having procured liin an en- sigh to Heaven to spare and to forgive her. sign's commission in one of the regimenis I was now come within about twenty that was going to the West Indies, for miles of home, having hired an horse to which he had promised but one hundred carry me, as I was yet but weak, and compounds, his interest having been sufficient | forted myseif with the hopes of soon see