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Harmless at length th' unhappy man was found, | Ten years enduring at her board to sit, The spirit settled, but the reason drown'd; He meekly listen'd to her tales and wit; And all the dreadful tempest died away;
He took the meanest office man can take, To the dull stillness of the misty day.
And his aunt's vices for her money's sake : And now his freedom he attain'd-if free, By many a threatening hint she waked his fear, The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be ; And he was pain’d to see a rival near; His friends, or wearied with the charge, or sure Yet all the taunts of her contemptuous pride The harmless wretch was now beyond a cure, He bore, nor found his grovelling spirit tried : Gare him to wander where he pleased, and find Nay, when she wish'd his parents to traduce, His own resources for the eager mind;
Fawning he smiled, and justice call'd th' abuse ; The playful children of the place he meets, “ They taught you nothing ; ure you not, at best," Playful with them he rambles through the streets ; Said the proud dame, “a triser, and a jest? In all they need, his stronger arm he lends, Confess you are a fool!”—he bow'd and he conAnd his lost mind to these approving friends.
fess'd. That gentle maid, whom once the youth had This vex'd him much, but could not always last : loved,
The dame is buried, and the trial past. Is now with mild religious pity moved ;
There was a female, who had courted long Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Her cousin's gifts, and deeply felt the wrong ; Will for a moment fix'd and pensive be;
By a vain boy forbidden to attend And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes The private councils of her wealthy friend, Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs ; She vow'd revenge, nor should that crafty boy Charm'd by her voice, th' harmonious sounds invade In triumph undisturb’d his spoils enjoy ; His clouded mind, and for a time persuade : He heard, he smiled, and when the will was read, Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught Kindly dismiss'd the kindred of the dead; From the maternal glance a gleam of thought; “ The dear deceased," he call'd her, and the crowd He stands enrapt, the half-known voice to heur,
Moved off with curses deep and threatenings loud And starts, half-conscious, at the falling tear.
The youth retired, and, with a mind at ease, Rarely from town, nor then unwatch'd, he gues, Found he was rich, and fancied he must please : In darker mood, as if to hide his woes ;
He might have pleased, and to his comfort found Returning soon, he with impatience seeks The wife he wish’d, if he had sought around ; His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and For there were lasses of his own degree, speaks ;
With no more hatred to the state than he : Speaks a wild speech with action all as wild
But he had courted spleen and age so long, The children's leader, and himself a child ; His heart refused to woo the fair and young ; He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends
So long attended on caprice and whim,
But this the fair, with one accord, denied,
There is a season when to them is due
Worship and awe, and they will claim it too. 'SQUIRE THOMAS; OR, THE PRECIPITATE CHOICE. Fathers,” they cry, “ long hold us in their chain,
Nay, tyrant brothers claim a right to reign;
Uncles and guardians we in turn obey,
And husbands rule with ever-during sway ; Too intrinsicate t unloose
Lear, act I. sc. 2. Short is the time when lovers at the feet
Of beauty kneel, and own the slavery sweet;
And shall we this our triumph, this the aim
And boast of female power, forbear to claim ?
Richard III. act ij. sc. 2. No! we demand that homage, that respect, I do not have pity upon her, I'm a villain; if I do not
Or the proud rebel punish and reject." lose her, I am a Jew.
Our hero, still too indolent, too nice
No less forbore t' address the humbler maid,
Who might have yielded with the price unpaid ;
To count his money, and enjoy his ease. Becomes a woman best ; I'll take it upon me;
It pleased a neighbouring 'squire to recommend Ili prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister.
A faithful youth, as servant to his friend ;
Ductile yet strong, and for the best of hearts
One who might ease him in his small affairs,
With tenants, tradesmen, taxes, and repairs ; 'SQCire Thomas flatter'd long a wealthy aunt, Answer his letters, look to all his dues, Who left him all that she could give or grant: And entertain him with discourse and news. Ten years he tried, with all his craft and skill, The 'squire believed, and found the trusted youth To fix the sovereign lady's varying will ;
A very pattern for his care and truth;
Not for his virtues to be praised alone,
Let us this night, as one of pleasure date, But for a modest mien and humble tone ;
And of surprise : it is an act of fate." Assenting always, but as if he meant
“Go on,” the 'squire in happy temper cried ; Only to strength of reasons to assent :
"I like such blunder! I approve such guide.” For was he stubborn, and retain'd his doubt, They ride, they halt, the farmer comes in haste, Till the more subtle 'squire had forced it out; Then tells his wife how much their house is graced ;
Nay, still was right, but he perceived, that strong They bless the chance, they praise the lucky son And powerful minds could make the right the That caused the error-Nay! it was not one; wrong."
But their good fortune-Cheerful grew the 'squire, When the 'squire's thoughts on some fair damsel Who found dependants, flattery, wine, and fire ; dwelt,
He heard the jack turn round, the busy dame The faithful friend his apprehensions felt; Produced her damask; and with supper came It would rejoice his faithful heart to find
The daughter, dress'd with care, and full of maidA lady suited to his master's mind ;
en shame. But who deserved that master? who would prove Surprised, our hero saw the air and dress, That hers was pure, uninterested love?
And strove his admiration to express ; Although a servant, he would scorn to take Nay! felt it too—for Harriet was, in truth, A countess, till she suffer'd for his sake;
A tall fair beauty in the bloom of youth; Some tender spirit, humble, faithful, true,
And from the pleasure and surprise, a grace Such, my dear master! must be sought for you. A dorn'd the blooming damsel's form and face;
Six months had pass’d, and not a lady seen Then too, such high respect and duty paid With just this love, 'twixt fifty and fifteen ; By all—such silent reverence in the maid; All seem'd his doctrine or his pride to shun, Venturing with caution, yet with haste, a glance; All would be wooed, before they would be won; Loath to retire, yet trembling to advance, When the chance naming of a race and fair, Appear'd the nymph, and in her gentle guest Our 'squire disposed to take his pleasure there : Stirr'd soft emotions till the hour of rest : The friend profess'd, “ Although he first began Sweet was his sleep, and in the morn again To hint the thing, it seem'd a thoughtless plan : He felt a mixture of delight and pain. The roads, he fear'd, were foul, the days were short, “ How fair, how gentle," said the 'squire,“ how The village far, and yet there might be sport.”
meek, “What! you of roads and starless nights afraid? And yet how sprightly, when disposed to speak! You think to govern! you to be obey'd !". Nature has bless'd her form, and Heaven her mind, Smiling he spoke, the humble friend declared But in her favours Fortune is unkind; His soul's obedience, and to go prepared.
Poor is the maid—nay, poor she cannot prove The place was distant, but with great delight Who is enrich'd with beauty, worth, and love." They saw a race, and hail'd the glorious sight: The 'squire arose, with no precise intent The 'squire exulted, and declared the ride To go or stay, uncertain what he meant : Had amply paid, and he was satisfied.
He moved to part; they begg'd him first to dine ; They gazed, they feasted, and, in happy mood, And who could then escape from love and wine? Homeward return'd, and hastening as they rode ; As came the night, more charming grew the fair For short the day, and sudden was the change And seem'd to watch him with a two-fold care : From light to darkness, and the way was strange; On the third morn, resolving not to stay, Our hero soon grew peevish, then distress'd; Though urged by love, he bravely rode away. He dreaded darkness, and he sigh'd for rest :
Arrived at home, three pensive days he gave Going, they pass'd a village, but, alas !
To feelings fond and meditations grave; Returning, saw no village to repass;
Lovely she was, and, if he did not err,
As fond of him as his fond heart of her ;
Which was the master passion, love or pride :
And then exulted in, the night's mistake; “ The fault was his, 'twas folly to deny;
Had she but fortune, “ Doubtless then,” he cried, And of his master's safety were he sure,
“Some happier man had won the wealthy bride." There was no grievance he would not endure.” While thus he hung in balance, now inclined This made his peace with the relenting 'squire, To change his state, and then to change his mind Whose thoughts yet dwelt on supper and a fire ; That careless George dropp'd idly on the ground When, as they reach'd a long and pleasant green, A letter, which his crafty master found ; Dwellings of men, and next a man were seen. The stupid youth confess’d his fault, and pray'd
“ My friend,” said George, “ to travellers astray The generous 'squire to spare a gentle maid; Point out an inn, and guide us on the way." Of whom her tender mother, full of fears,
The man look'd up; “Surprising! can it be Had written much; “She caught her oft in tears, My master's son ? as I'm alive, 'tis he.”
For ever thinking on a youth above “How! Robin,” George replied," and are we near Her humble fortune : still she own'd not love ; My father's house ? how strangely things appear! Nor can define, dear girl! the cherish'd pain, Dear sir, though wanderers, we at last are right : But would rejoice to see the cause again : Let us proceed, and glad my father's sight; That neighbouring youth, whom she endured beWe shall at least be fairly lodged and fed,
fore, I can ensure a supper and a bed ;
She now rejects, and will behold no more :
Raised by her passion, she no longer stoops Well, sir, your answer.” Silent stood the 'squire,
Where all he deems is vanish'd in that flame,
Our 'squire stood gaping at his angry wise ;So mild, so good, so gracious, so genteel, His fate, his ruin, where he saw it vain Bat spare your sister, and her love conceal ; To hope for peace, pray, threaten, or complain ; We must the fault forgive, since she the pain must And thus, betwixt his wonder at the ill feel."
And his despair, there stood he gaping still. "Fault!" said the 'squire, " there's coarseness in “ Your answer, sir ;-shall I depart a spot the mind
I thus detest ?"_" (), miserable lot!" That thus conceives of feelings so refined ; Exclaim'd the man. Go, serpent! nor remain Here end my doubts, nor blame yourself, my friend, To sharpen wo by insult and disdain : Fate made you careless ;-here my doubts have A nest of harpies was I doom'd to meet ; end."
What plots, what combinations of deceit! The way is plain before us—there is now I see it now; all plann'd, design'd, contrived ; The lover's visit first, and then the vow
Served by that villain-by this fury wived-
But in short time he saw with much surprise, And thou, deceiver! thou afraid to move,
Unheeding saw the fury in thy face ; * Is there in Harriet's humble mind this fire, And call'd it spirit;-0! I might have found This fierce impatience ?" ask'd the puzzled 'squire : Fraud and imposture-all the kindred round! ** Has marriage changed her ? or the mask she wore A nest of vipers"Has she thrown by, and is herself once more ?"
-"Sir, I'll not admit Hour after hour, when clouds on clouds appear, These wild effusions of your angry wit : Dark and more dark, we know the tempest near; Have you that value, that we all should use And thus the frowning brow, the restless form, Such mighty arts for such important views ? And threatening glance, forerun domestic storm : Are you such prize, and is my state so fair So read ihe husband, and, with troubled mind, 'That they should sell their souls to get me there? Reveal'd his fears ;—" My love, I hope you find Think you that we alone our thoughts disguise ? All here is pleasant; but I must confess
When in pursuit of some contended prize, You seem offended, or in some distress :
Mask we alone the heart, and soothe whom we deErplain the grief you feel, and leave me to redress." spise !
• Leave it to you !" replied the nymph, “ indeed! Speak you of craft and subtle schemes, who know What! to the cause from whence the ills proceed? | That all your wealth you to deception owe; Good heaven! 10 take me from a place, where I Who play'd for ten dull years a scoundrel part, Had every comfort underneath the sky;
To worm yourself into a widow's heart? And then immure me in a gloomy place,
Now, when you guarded, with superior skill, With the grim monsters of your ugly race, That lady's closet, and preserved her will, That from their canvass staring, make me dread Blind in your craft, you saw not one of those Through the dark chambers where they hang to Opposed by you might you in turn oppose ; tread!
Or watch your motions, and hy art obtain No friend nor neighbour comes to give that joy, Share of that wealth you gave your peace to gain? Which all things here must banish or destroy : Did conscience never Where is the promised coach? the pleasant ride ?
—“Cease, tormentor, cease-O! what a fortune has a farmer's bride!
Or reach me poison--let me rest in peace!" Your sordid pride has placed me just above “ Agreed—but hear me-let the truth appear.” Your hired domestics ; and what pays me? love! “ Then state your purpose ; I'll be calm and hear.” A selfish fondness I endure each hour,
“ Know then, this wealth, sole object of your care, And share unwitness'd pomp, unenvied power ; I had some right, without your hand, to share ; I hear your folly, smile at your parade,
My mother's claim was just; but soon she saw
You should divide the fortune, or restore ;
Like Jephthah's daughter, but in different state,
For our revenge ;--but still we have our day;
All that you love you must with others share, And boasts a parent, who deserves to shine
Nor wants he will his station to improve,
Our hero trembling heard-he sat--he rose Still is he poor—and here my father's friend Nor could his motions nor his mind compose ; Deigns for his daughter, as her own, to send; He paced the room—and, stalking to her side, A worthy lady, who it seems has known Gazed on the face of his undaunted bride ; A world of griefs and troubles of her own : And nothing there but scorn and calm aversion I was an infant, when she came, a guest spied.
Beneath my father's humble roof to rest; He would have vengeance, yet he fear’d the law: Her kindred all unfeeling, vast her woes, Her friends would threaten, and their power he saw; Such her complaint, and there she found repose ; “Then let her go :"— but O! a mighty sum Enrich'd by fortune, now she nobly lives, Would that demand, since he had let her come And nobly, from the blest abundance, gives ; Nor from his sorrows could he find redress, The grief, the want of human life, she knows. Save that which led him to a like distress, And comfort there and here relief bestows; And all his ease was in his wife to see
But are they not dependants ?-Foolish pride A wretch as anxious and distress'd as he:
Am I not honour'd by such friend and guide ? Her strongest wish, the fortune to divide
Have I a home,” (here Jessy dropp'd a tear,) And part in peace, his avarice denied;
- Or friend beside ?”—A faithful friend was near. And thus it happen'd, as in all deceit,
Now Colin came, at length resolved to lay The cheater found the evil of the cheat;
His heart before her and to urge her stay ; The husband grieved—nor was the wife at rest; True, his own plough the gentle Colin drove, Him she could vex, and he could her molest ; An humble farmer with aspiring love ; She could his passion into frenzy raise,
Who, urged by passion, never dared till now,
Such fond respect, such tried sincerity.
Nor could she frown on one so good and kind,
Yet fear’d to smile, and was unfix'd in mind;
So lately, too, ihe good old vicar died, Then she plots, then she raminates, then she de. His faithful daughter must not cast aside vises; and what they think in their hearts they may es. The signs of filial grief, and be a ready bride : fect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Merry Wives of Windsor, act ii. sc. 2. The village beauty purposed to retreat;
Thus, led by prudence, to the lady's seat She bath spoken that she should not, I am sure of But as in hard-fought fields the victor knows that ; Heaven knows what she hath known.
What to the vanquish'd he in honour owes,
So in this conquest over powerful love,
Prudence resolved a generous foe to prove; Merchant of Venice, act ii. sc. 3. And Jessy felt a mingled fear and pain And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that surseit In her dismission of a faithful swain, of too much, as they that starve with nothing; it is no Gave her kind thanks, and when she saw his mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean.
wo, Id. act i. sc. 2.
Kindly betray'd that she was loath to go; A vicar died, and left his daughter poor
“But would she promise, if abroad she met It hurt her not, she was not ricb before :
A frowning world, she would remember yet Her humble share of worldly goods she sold, Where dwelt a friend ?”—“That could she not Paid every debt, and then her fortune told;
forget." And found, with youth and beauty, hope and health, and thus they parted ; but each faithful heart Two hundred guineas was her worldly wealth ; Felt the compulsion and refused 10 part. It then remain'd to choose her path in life,
Now by the morning mail the timid maid And first, said Jessy, “ Shall I be a wife ? Was to that kind and wealthy dame convey'd; Colin is mild and civil, kind and just,
Whose invitation, when her father died, I know his love, his temper I can trust;
Jessy as comfort to her heart applied ; But small his farm, it asks perpetual care, She knew the days her generous friend had seenAnd we must wil as well as trouble share : As wife and widow, evil days had been ; True, he was taught in all the gentle arts She married early, and for half her life That raise the soul, and soften human hearts ; Was an insulted and forsaken wise;
JESSY AND COLIN.
Widow'd and poor, her angry father gave, A pleasant humour has the girl : her smile
Again, my Jessy, hear what I advise,
But what of this, I must have company : Sires, sons, and sons of sons, were buried all : She markets for me, and although she makes She then abounded, and had wealth to spare Profit, no doubt, of all she undertakes, For softening grief she once was doom'd to share : Yet she is one I can to all produce, Thus traind in misery's school, and taught to feel, And all her talents are in daily use ; She would rejoice an orphan's woes to heal : Deprived of her, I may another find So Jessy thought, who look'd within her breast, As sly and selfish, with a weaker mind : And thence conceived how bounteous minds are But never trust her, she is full of art, bless'd.
And worms herself into the closet heart ; From her vast mansion looked the lady down Seem then, I pray you, careless in her sight, On humbler buildings of a busy town;
Nor let her know, my love, how we unite. Thence came her friends of either sex, and all “ Do, my good Jessy, cast a view around, With whom she lived on terms reciprocal : And let no wrong within my house be found ; They pass'd the hours with their accustom'd ease, That girl associates with I know not who As guests inclined, but not compellid to please ; Are her companions, nor what ill they do ; But there were others in the mansion found, "Tis then the widow plans, 'tis then she tries For office chosen, and by duties bound ;
Her various arts and schemes for fresh supplies ; Three female rivals, each of power possessid, 'Tis then, if ever, Jane her duty quits, Th' attendant maid, poor friend, and kindred guest. And, whom I know not, favours and admits :
To these came Jessy, as a seaman thrown O! watch their movements all ; for me 'tis hard, By the rude storm upon a coast unknown Indeed is vain, but you may keep a guard ; The view was flattering, civil seem'd the race, And I, when none your watchful glance deceive, But all unknown the dangers of the place. (freed, May make my will, and think what I shall leave.”
Few hours had pass'd, when, from attendants Jessy, with fear, disgust, alarm, surprise, The lady utter'd—“ This is kind indeed ;
Heard of these duties for her ears and eyes ; Believe me, love! that I for one like you
Heard by what service she must gain her bread, Have daily pray'd, a friend discreet and true; And went with scorn and sorrow to her bed. O! wonder not that I on you depend,
Jane was a servant fitted for her place, You are mine own hereditary friend :
Experienced, cunning, fraudful, selfish, base ; Hearken, my Jessy, never can I trust
Skill'd in those mean humiliating arts Beings ungrateful, selfish, and unjust;
That make their way to proud and selfish hearts ; But you are present, and my load of care
By instinct taught, she felt an awe, a fear, Your love will serve to lighten and to share : For Jessy's upright, simple character ; Come near me, Jessy ; let not those below Whom with gross flattery she a while assail'd, Of my reliance on your friendship know;
And then beheld with hatred when it fail'd; Look as they look, be in their freedoms free Yet trying still upon her mind for hold, But all they say do you convey to me.”
She all the secrets of the mansion told ; Here Jessy's thoughts to Colin's cottage flew, And to invite an equal trust, she drew And with such speed she scarce their absence of every mind a bold and rapid view; knew.
But on the widow'd friend with deep disdain, " Jane loves her mistress, and should she depart, And rancorous envy, dwelt the treacherous Jane :I lose her service, and she breaks her heart; In vain such arts; without deceit or pride, My ways and wishes, looks and thoughts she With a just taste and feeling for her guide, knows,
From all contagion Jessy kept a part,
Jessy one morn was thoughtful, and her sigh Will she not wrong me? ah! I fear the wrong:
The widow heard as she was passing by ; Your father loved me ; now, in time of need, And—“Well!" she said, " is that some distant Watch for my good, and to his place succeed.
swain, - Blood doesn't bind-that girl, who every day Or aught with us, that gives your bosom pain? Eats of my bread, would wish my life away ;
Come, we are fellow sufferers, slaves in thrall, I am her dear relation, and she thinks
And tasks and griefs are common to us all ; To make her fortune, an ambitious minx ! Think not my frankness strange : they love to She only courts me for the prospect's sake,
paint Because she knows I have a will to make; Their state with freedom, who endure restraint ; Yes, love! my will delay'd, I know not how And there is something in that speaking eye But you are here, and I will make it now. And sober mien, that prove I may rely :
"That idle creature, keep her in your view, You came a stranger; to my words attend, See what she does, what she desires to do; Accept my offer, and you find a friend ; On her young mind may artful villains prey, It is a labyrinth in which you stray, And to my plate and jewels find a way; Come, hold my clue, and I will lead the way.