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“Good Heaven! that one so jealous, envious, Proud, and yet envious, she disgusted sees base,
All who are happy, and who look at ease. Should be the mistress of so sweet a place ; Let friendship bind us, I will quickly show She, who so long herself was low and poor, Some favourites near us, you'll be bless'd to know; Now broods suspicious on her useless store ; My aunt forbids it, but can she expect, She loves to see us abject, loves to deal
To soothe her spleen, we shall ourselves neglect ! Her insult round, and then pretends to feel : Jane and the widow were to watch and stay Prepare to cast all dignity aside,
My free-born feet; I watch'd as well as they ; For know your talents will be quickly tried ; Lo! what is this? this simple key explores Nor think, from favours past, a friend to gain, The dark recess that holds the spinster's stores; 'Tis but by duties we our posts maintain :
And, led by her ill star, I chanced to see
Used in the hours of anger and alarm,
Thus bless'd with secrets both would choose to And, when for her this meanness I display,
hide, She cries, • I heed not what I throw away ;' Their fears now grant me what their scorn denied. Of secret bargains I endure the shame,
“My freedom thus by their assent secured, And stake my credit for our fish and game ; Bad as it is, the place may be endured ; Oft has she smiled to hear her generous soul And bad it is ; but her estates, you know, Would gladly give, but stoops to my control.' And her beloved hoards she must bestow; Nay!
! I have heard her, when she chanced to come So we can slyly our amusements take, Where I contended for a petty sum,
And friends of demons, if they help us, make." Affirm 'twas painful to behold such care,
“Strange creatures these,” thought Jessy, balf * But Issop's nature is to pinch and spare.'
inclined Thus all the meanness of the house is mine, To smile at one malicious and yet kind; And my reward, to scorn her, and to dine. Frank and yet cunning, with a heart to love
“See next that giddy thing, with neither pride And malice prompt—the serpent and the dove. To keep her safe, nor principle to guide ; Here could she dwell ? or could she yet depart? Poor, idle, simple flirt ! as sure as fate
Could she be artful ? could she bear with art? Her maiden fame will have an early date : This splendid mansion gave the cottage grace, Of her beware ; for all who live below
She thought a dungeon was a happier place; Have faults they wish not all the world to know; And Colin pleading, when he pleaded best, And she is fond of listening, full of doubt, Wrought not such sudden change in Jessy's breast. And stoops to guilt to find an error out.
The wondering maiden, who had only read “And now once more observe the artful maid, Of such vile beings, saw them now with dread; A lying, prying, jilting, thievish jade ;
Safe in themselves, for nature has design'd
But all beside who in the haunts are found
Eager to go, still Jessy was not gone; And seems with every look to sympathize ; Her time in trifling or in tears she spent, No mirror can a mortal's grief express
She never gave, she never felt content : With more precision, or can feel it less ;
The lady wonder'd that her humble guest That proud, mean spirit, she by fawning courts, Strove not to please, would neither lie nor jest ; By vulgar flattery, and by vile reports ;
She sought no news, no scandal would convey, And, by that proof she every instant gives, But walk'd for health, and was at church to pray ; To one so mean, that yet a meaner lives.
All this displeased, and soon the widow cried, “Come, I have drawn the curtain, and you see “Let me be frank ; I am not satisfied ; Your fellow actors, all our company ;
You know my wishes, I your judgment trust ; Should you incline to throw reserve aside, You can be useful, Jessy, and you must. And in my judgment and my love confide, Let me be plainer, child ; I want an ear I could some prospects open to your view, When I am deaf, instead of mine to hear, That ask attention ; and, till then, adieu." When mine is sleeping, let your eye awake ;
" Farewell !" said Jessy, hastening to her room, When I observe not, observation take; Where all she saw within, without, was gloom : Alas! I rest not on my pillow laid, Confused, perplex'd, she pass'd a dreary hour, Then threatening whispers make my soul afraid ; Before her reason could exert its power;
The tread of strangers to my ear ascends, To her all seem'd mysterious, all allied
Fed at my cost, the minions of my friends ; To avarice, meanness, folly, craft, and pride; While you, without a care, a wish to please, Wearied with thought, she breathed the garden's Eat the vile bread of idleness and ease.” air,
Th’indignant girl, astonish'd, answer'd, “ Nay! Then came the laughing lass, and join'd her there. This instant, madam, let me haste away;
“My sweetest friend has dwelt with us a week, Thus speaks my father's, thus an orphan's friend? And does she love us? be sincere and speak; This instant, lady, let your bounty end." My aunt you cannot-Lord! how I should hate The lady frown'd indignant : “What!" she cried, To be like her, all misery and state ;
"A vicar's daughter with a princess' pride!
And pauper's lot! but pitying, I forgive ;
Grateful for this, that when I think of you,
I little fear what poverty can do."
Summon'd in haste to soothe the fierce disdain. With cheerful mind th' allotted duties take,
“ A vile, detested wretch !" the lady cried, And recollect I have a will to make.”
“ Yet shall she be, by many an effort, tried, Jessy, who felt as liberal natures feel,
And, clogg'd with debt and fear, against her will When thus the baser their designs reveal,
abide ; Replied, “ Those duties were to her unfit,
And, once secured, she never shall depart Nor would her spirit to her tasks submit."
Till I have proved the firmness of her heart; In silent scorn the lady sat a while,
Then when she dares not, would not, cannot go, And then replied with stern contemptuous I'll make her feel what 'tis to use me so." smile,
The pensive Colin in his garden stray'd, “ 'Think you, fair madam, that you came to But felt not then the beauties it display'd ; share
There many a pleasant object met his view, Fortunes like mine without a thought or care ?
A rising wood of oaks behind it grew; A guest, indeed! from every trouble free, A stream ran by it, and the village green Dress'd by my help, with not a care for me ; And public road were from the gardens seen; When I a visit to your father made,
Save where the pine and larch the boundary I for the poor assistance largely paid ;
made, To his domestics I their tasks assign'd,
And on the rose-beds threw a softening shade. I fixd the portion for his hungry hind;
The mother sat beside the garden door, And had your father (simple man !) obey'd
Dress'd as in times ere she and hers were poor; My good advice, and watch'd as well as The broad-laced cap was known in ancient pray'd,
days, He might have left you something with his When madam's dress compellid the village prayers,
praise; And lent some colour for these lofty airs.
And still she look'd as in the times of old, * In tears, my love! O, then, my sosten'd Ere his last farm the erring husband sold; heart
While yet the mansion stood in decent state, Cannot resist ; we never more will part;
And paupers waited at the well-known gate. I need your friendship, I will be your friend, “Alas! my son !" the mother cried, " and why And thus determined, to my will attend.”
That silent grief and oft-repeated sigh? Jessy went forth, but with determined soul True, we are poor, but thou hast never felt To fly such love, to break from such control ; Pangs to thy father for his error dealt; *" I hear enongh,” the trembling damsel cried; Pangs from strong hopes of visionary gain, “ Flight be my care, and Providence my guide : For ever raised, and ever found in vain. Ere yet a prisoner, I escape will make;
He rose unhappy! from his fruitless schemes, Will, thus display'd, th' insidious arts forsake, As guilty wretches from their blissful dreams; And, as the rattle sounds, will fly the fatal But thou wert then, my son, a playful child, snake."
Wondering at grief, gay, innocent, and wild, Jessy her thanks upon the morrow paid, Listening at times to thy poor mother's sighs, Prepared to go, determined, though afraid. With curious looks and innocent surprise ;
“ ['ngrateful creature," said the lady, “ this Thy father dying, thou, my virtuous boy, Could I imagine ?-are you frantic, miss ?
My comfort always, waked my soul to joy ; What! leave your friend, your prospects—is it With the poor remnant of our fortune left, true ?"
Thou hast our station of its gloom berest: This Jessy answer'd by a mild “Adieu !"
Thy lively temper, and thy cheerful air, The dame replied, “ Then houseless may you Have cast a smile on sadness and despair : rove,
Thy active hand has dealt to this poor space The starving victim to a guilty love;
The bliss of plenty and the charm of grace; Branded with shame, in sickness doom'd to nurse And all around us wonder when they find An ill-form'd cub, your scandal and your curse ; Such taste and strength, such skill and power Spurn'd by its scoundrel father, and ill fed
combined ; By surly rustics with the parish bread !
There is no mother, Colin, no, not one Relent you not ?-speak-yet I can forgive; But envies me so kind, so good a son ; Sull live with me.” – “With you,” said Jessy, By thee supported on this failing side, *live?
Weakness itself awakes a parent's pride : No! I would first endure what you describe, I bless the stroke that was my grief before, Rather than breathe with your detested tribe , And feel such joy that 'tis disease no more ; Who long have feign'd, till now their very Shielded by thee, my want becomes my wealth, hearts
And soothed by Colin, sickness smiles at health ; Are firmly fix'd in their accursed parts ;
The old men love thee, they repeat thy praise, Who all profess esteem, and feel disdain,
And say, like thee were youth in earlier days; And all, with justice, of deceit complain; While every village maiden cries, * How gay, Whom I could pity, but that, while I stay, How smart, how brave, how good is Colin My terror drives all kinder thoughts away ;
“ Yet art thou sad ; alas ! my son, I know
THE STRUGGLES OF CONSCIENCE.
I am a villain ; yet I lie, I am not; I
Fool! of thyself speak well:-Fool! do not flatter. When thou hast eased his bosom of its pain,
My Conscience hath a thousand several tongues, 0! I have seen her—she will come again.'
And every tongue brings in a several lale.
Richard III. act v. sc. 3. The matron ceased ; and Colin stood the while Silent, but striving for a grateful smile;
My Conscience is but a kind of hard Conscience.... He then replied, “ Ah! sure, had Jessy stay'd,
The fiend gives the more friendly counsel.
Merchant of Venice, act ii. sc. 2 And shared the comforts of our sylvan shade,
Thou hast it now-and I fear The tenderest duty and the fondest love
Thou play'dst most foully for it. Would not have fail'd that generous heart to
Macbeth, act iii. sc. I. move;
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, A grateful pity would have ruled her breast,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, And my distresses would have made me blest.
Rase out the written troubles of the brain, “ But she is gone, and ever has in view
And with some sweet oblivious antidote Grandeur and taste ; and what will then ensue? Cleanse the foul bosom or that perilous stuff Surprise, and then delight, in scenes so fair and
Which weighs upon the heart ?
16. act v. sc. 3. new :
Soft! I did but dream For many a day, perhaps for many a week,
O! coward Conscience, how dost thou afflict me! Home will have charms, and 10 her bosom speak;
Richard III. act v. Sc. 3. But thoughtless ease, and affluence, and pride, Seen day by day, will draw the heart aside : A SERIOUS toyman in the city dwelt, And she at length, though gentle and sincere, Who much concern for his religion felt; Will think no more of our enjoyment here." Reading, he changed his tenets, read again, Sighing he spake—but hark! he hears the ap- And various questions could with skill maintain; proach
Papist and quaker if we set aside, Of rattling wheels! and lo! the evening coach; He had the road of every traveller tried ; Once more the movement of the horses' feet There walk'd a while, and on a sudden turn'd Makes the fond heart with strong emotion beat; Into some by-way he had just discern'd: Faint were his hopes, but ever had the sight He had a nephew, Fulham-Fulham went Drawn him to gaze beside his gate at night; His uncle's way, with every turn content ; And when with rapid wheels it hurried by, He saw his pious kinsman's watchful care, He grieved his parent with a hopeless sigh; And thought such anxious pains his own might And could the blessing have been bought, what spare,
And he, the truth obtain'd, without the toil, might Had he not offer'd, to have Jessy come!
And smiled to see the constant care he took,
Collaling creed with creed, and book with book.
He call’d a church, 'twas precions and elect;
For few disciples paid the preacher's toil ;
These few disciples at their pastor's feet; Yet long in doubt she stood, and then perforce with these went Fulham, who, discreet and grave, remain'd.
Follow'd the light his worthy uncle gave ;
Some weighty truths, and of unpleasant kind,
No! there is something I perceive at last,
This man alarms me, and I must begin
These sons of zeal have I derided long,
This Fulham tried : who would to him advance But now begin to think the laughers wrong; A pound or crown, he gave in turn a chance Nay, my good uncle, by all teachers moved, For weighty prize ; and should they nothing share, Will be preferr'd to him who none approved ; They had their crown or pound in Fulham's ware; Better to love amiss than nothing to have loved.” Thus the old stores within the shop were sold Such were his thoughts, when Conscience first for that which none refuses, new or old. began
Was this unjust? yet Conscience could not rest, To hold close converse with th' awaken'd man: But made a mighty struggle in the breast • He from that time reserved and cautious grew, And gave th' aspiring man an early proof, And for his duties felt obedience due;
That should they war he would have work enough Pious he was not, but he fear'd the pain
• Suppose,” said she, “ your vended numbers rise Of sins committed, nor would sin again.
The same with those which gain each real prize, Whene'er he stray'd, he found his Conscience (Such your proposal,) can you ruin shun?”— Tose,
"A hundred thousand,” he replied, “ to one."Like one determined what was ill t’ oppose, Sull it may happen."-" I the sum must pay."What wrong t'accuse, what secret to disclose : You know you cannot.”—“I can run away." To drag forth every latent act to light,
That is dishonest."-" Nay, but you must wink And fix them fully in the actor's sight:
At a chance hit; it cannot be, I think.
The uncle died, and when the nephew read Fail I at meeting ? am I sleepy there?
Or drink at club beyond a certain pitch ?
Which are your charges ? Conscience, tell me Desire of profit, idle habits check'd,
which ?" (For Fulham's virtue was to be correct ;)
""Tis well,” said she, “ but—" " Nay, I pray, He and his Conscience had their compact made have done : * Urge me with truth, and you will soon persuade ; Trust me, I will not into danger run." Bat not," he cried, “ for mere ideal things
The lottery drawn, not one demand was made ; Give me to feel those terror-breeding stings." Fulham gain'd profit and increase of trade. * Let not such thoughts," she said, “ your mind "See now," said he—for Conscience yet aroseconfound;
How foolish 'tis such measures to oppose : Trifles may wake me, but they never wound; Have I not blameless thus my state advanced ?"In them indeed there is a wrong and right,
Still,” mutter'd Conscience, still it might have But you will find me pliant and polite ;
chanced."Not like a Conscience of the doiard kind,
Might!” said our hero, “ who is so exact Awake to dreams, to dire offences blind :
As to inquire what might have been a fact ?" Let all within be pure, in all beside
Now Fulham's shop contain'd a curious viow Be your own master, governor, and guide; Of costly triflos elegant and new : Alive io danger, in temptation strong,
The papers told where kind mammas might buy And I shall sleep our whole existence long." The gayest toys to charm an infant's eye ; - Sweet be thy sleep," said Fulham ; strong
Where generous beaux might gentle damsels plense, must be
And travellers call who cross the land or seas, The tempting ill that gains access to me:
And find the curious art, the neat device Nerer will I to evil deed consent,
Of precious value and of trifling price. Or, if surprised, O! how will I repent!
Here Conscience rested, she was find pleased to find, Should gain be doubtsul, soon would I restore No less an active than an honest mind; The dangerous good, or give it to the poor, But when he named his price, and when he swore, Repose for them my growing wealth shall buy His conscience check'd him, that he ask'd no more, Or build-who knows ?-an hospital like Guy ? When half he sought had been a large increase Yet why such means to soothe the smart within, On fair demand, she could not rest in peace : While firmly purposed to renounce the sin ?" (Beside th' affront to call th' adviser in,
Thus our young Trader and his Conscience dwelt Who would prevent, to justify the sin ?) In mutual love, and great the joy they felt; She therefore told him, that “he vainly tried Bat yet in small concerns, in trivial things, To soothe her anger, conscious that he liod; “She was,” he said, “ too ready with the stings ;" If thus he grasp'd at such usurious gains, And he too apt, in search of growing gains, He must deserve, and should expect her pains." To lose the fear of penalties and pains :
The charge was strong; he would in part conYet these were trifling bickerings, petty jars,
fess Domestic strifes, preliminary wars ;
Offence there was: but who offended less ? He ventured little, little she express'd
“What! is a mere assertion callid a lie ? Of indignation, and they both had rest.
And if it be, are men compellid to buy? Thus was he fix'd to walk the worthy way, "Twas strange that Conscience on such points When profit orged him to a bold essay :
should dwell, A time was that when all at pleasure gamed While he was acting (he would call it) well : In lottery chances, yet of law unblamed;
He bought as others buy, he sold as others sell
There was no fraud, and he demanded cause Thus will he ever bark," in peevish tone, Why he was troubled, when he kept the laws ?” An elder cried ; " the cur must have a bone." “My laws ?" said Conscience : What,” said he, They then began to hint, and to begin are thine ?
Was all they needed—it was felt within ; “Oral or written, human or divine ?
In terms less veil'd an offer then was made, Show me the chapter, let me see the text ; Though distant still, it fail'd not to persuade ; By laws uncertain subjects are perplex'd : More plainly then was every point proposed, Let me my finger on the statute lay,
Approved, accepted, and the bargain closed. And I shall feel it duty to obey."
• Th' exulting paupers hail'd their friend's suc· Reflect,” said Conscience, “'twas your own desire
And bade adieu to murmurs and distress." That I should warn you-does the compact tire ? Alas! their friend had now superior light, Repent you this ? then bid me not advise,
And, view'd by that, he found that all was right; And rather hear your passions as they rise ; · There were no errors, the disbursements small; So you may counsel and remonstrance shun, This was the truth, and truth was due to all.” But then remember it is war begun;
And rested Conscience ? No! she would not And you may judge from some attacks, my friend, rest, What serious conflicts will on war attend.”
Yet was content with making a protest: Nay, but," at length the thoughtful man replied, Some acts she now with less resistance bore, •I say not that; I wish you for my guide ; Nor took alarm so quickly as before : Wish for your checks and your reproofsbut then Like those in towns besieged, who every ball Be like a Conscience of my fellow-men;
At first with terror view, and dread them all; Worthy I mean, and men of good report,
But, grown familiar with the scenes, they fear And not the wretches who with Conscience sport: The danger less, as it approaches near; There's Bice, my friend, who passes off his grease So Conscience, more familiar with the view of pigs for bears', in pots a crown apiece ; Of growing evils, less attentive grew : His Conscience never checks him when he swears Yet he who felt some pain, and dreaded more, The fat he sells is honest fat of bears ;
Gave a peace-offering to the angry poor. And so it is, for he contrives to give
Thus had he quiet; but the time was brief, A drachm to each—'tis thus that tradesmen live : From his new triumph sprang a cause of grief; Now why should you and I be overnice?
In office join'd, and acting with the rest, What man is held in more repute than Bice ?" He must admit the sacramental test:
Ilere ended the dispute ; but yet 'twas plain Now, as a sectary, who had all his life, The parties both expected strife again :
As he supposed, been with the church at strife, Their friendship cool'd, he look'd about and saw (No rules of hers, no laws had he perused, Numbers who seem'd unshackled by his awe; Nor knew the tenets he by rote abused ;) While like a schoolboy he was threaten'd still, Yet Conscience here arose more fierce and strong, Now for the deed, now only for the will ;
Than when she told of robbery and wrong; Here Conscience answer’d, “ To thy neighbour's Change his religion ! No! he must be sure guide
That was a blow no Conscience could endure." Thy neighbour leave, and in thine own confide." Though friend 10 virtue, yet she oft abides
Such were each day the charges and replies, In early notions, fix'd by erring guides; When a new object caught the trader's eyes; And is more stariled by a call from those, A vestry patriot, could he gain the name,
Than when the foulest crimes her rest oppose ; Would famous make him, and would pay the fame : By error taught, by prejudice misled, He knew full well the sums bequeath'd in charge She yields her rights, and fancy rules instead ; For schools, for alms-men, for the poor, were large; When Conscience all her stings and terror deals, Report had told, and he could seel it true,
Not as truth dictates, but as fancy feels : That most unfairly dealt the trusted few;
And thus within our hero's troubled breast, No partners would they in their office take, Crime was less torture than the odious test. Nor clear accounts at annual meetings make ; New forms, new measures, he must now embrace, Aloud our hero in the vestry spoke
With sad conviction that they warr'd with grace; Of hidden deeds, and vow'd to draw the cloak; To his new church no former friend would come, It was the poor man's cause, and he, for one, They scarce preferr'd her to the church of Rome : Was quite determined to see justice done : But thinking much, and weighing guilt and gain, His foes affected laughter, then disdain,
Conscience and he commuted for her pain; They too were loud and threatening, but in vain; Then promised Fulham to retain his creed, The pauper's friend, their foe, arose and spoke again: And their peculiar paupers still to feed; Fiercely he cried, “ Your garbled statements show Their attic room (in secret) 10 attend, That you determine we shall nothing know; And not forget he was the preacher's friend ; But we shall bring your hidden crimes to light, Thus he proposed, and Conscience, troubled, tried, Crve you to shame, and to the poor their right.” And wanting peace, reluctantly complied.
Virtue like this might some approval ask, Now care subdued, and apprehensions gone, But Conscience sternly said, “ You wear a mask !" In peace our hero went aspiring on; “ At least," said Fulham, “ if I have a view But short the period ;—soon a quarrel rose, To serve myself, I serve the public too."
Fierce in the birth, and fatal in the close ; Fulham, though check’d, retain’d his former zenl, With times of truce between, which rather proved And this the cautious rogues began to feel ; That both were weary, than that either loved