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Her shape was slender, and her features small, Yet is some cause his earnest wish denied,
He begg'd to know it, and he bow'd and sighd.
“ Then is she rich !" he cried, with lively air; Nay, with more candour than the tongue could But whence, so please you, came a lass so fair ?" tell :
“A placeman's child was Anna, one who died Though this fair lass had with the wealthy dwelt, And left a widow by afflictions tried ; Yet like the damsel of the cot she felt;
She to support her infant daughter strove, And, at the distant hint or dark surmise,
But early left the object of her love; The blood into the mantling cheek would rise. Her youth, her beauty, and her orphan state,
Now Anna's station frequent terrors wrought Gave a kind countess interest in her fate ; In one whose looks were with such meaning With her she dwelt, and still might dwelling be, fraught;
When the earl's folly caused the lass to flee ; For on a lady, as an humble friend,
A second friend was she compellid to shun, It was her painful office to attend.
By the rude offers of an uncheck d son ; Her duties here were of the usual kind,
I found her then, and with a mother's love And some the body harass'd, some the mind : Regard the gentle girl whom you approve ; Billets she wrote, and tender stories read,
Yet, e'en with me protection is not peace, To make the lady sleepy in her bed;
Nor man's designs, nor beauty's trial, cease ; She play'd at whist, but with inferior skill, Like sordid boys by costly fruit they feel, And heard the summons as a call to drill;
They will not purchase, but they try to steal." Music was ever pleasant till she play'd
Now this good lady, like a witness true, At a request that no request convey'd ;
Told but the truth, and all the truth she knew ; The lady's tales with anxious looks she heard, And ’tis our duty and our pain to show For she must witness what her friend averr'd : Truth this good lady had not means to know. The lady's taste she must in all approve,
Yes, there was lock'd within the damsel's breast Hate whom she hated, whom she loved must love ; A fact important to be now confessid ; These, with the various duties of her place, Gently, my muse, th' afflicting tale relate, With care she studied, and perform'd with grace; And have some feeling for a sister's fate. She veil'd her troubles in a mask of ease,
Where Anna dwelt, a conquering hero came,And show'd her pleasure was a power to please. An Irish captain, Sedley was his name ;
Such were the damsel's duties; she was poor- And he too had that saine prevailing ari, Above a servant, but with service more :
That gave soft wishes to the virgin's heart: Men on her face with careless freedom gazed, In years they differ'd ; he had thirty seen Nor thought how painful was the glow they raised; When this young beauty counted just fifteen ; A wealthy few to gain her favour tried,
But still they were a lovely, lively pair, But not the favour of a grateful bride :
And trod on earth as if they trod on air. They spoke their purpose with an easy air,
On love, delightful theme! the captain dwelt, That shamed and frightend the dependent fair; With force still growing with the hopes he felt; Past time she view'd, the passing time to cheat, But with some caution and reluctance told, But nothing found to make the present sweet,
He had a father, crafty, harsh, and old ; With pensive soul she read lise's future page, Who, as possessing much, would much expect, And saw dependent, poor, repining age.
Or both, for ever, from his love reject : But who shall dare l'assert what years may bring, Why then offence to one so powerful give, When wonders from the passing hour may spring ? Who (for their comfort) had not long to live? There dwelt a yeoman in the place, whose mind With this poor prospect the deluded maid, Was gentle, generous, cultivated, kind;
In words confiding, was indeed betray'd ; For thirty years he labour'd; fortune then
And, soon as terrors in her bosom rose, Placed the mild rustic with superior men
The hero fled; they hinder'd his repose. A richer Stafford who had lived to save,
Deprived of him, she 10 a parent's breast What he had treasured to the poorer gave; Her secrets trusted, and her pains express'd ; Who with a sober mind that treasure view'd, Let her to town (so prudenco urged) repair, And the slight studies of his youth renewd: To shun disgrace, at least to hide it there ; He not profoundly, but discreetly read,
But ere she went, the luckless damsel pray'd And a fair mind with useful culture fed,
A chosen friend might lend her timely aid : Then thonght of marriage; “ But the great,” said he, Yes ; my soul's sister, my Eliza, come, “I shall not suit, nor will the meaner me." Hear her last sigh, and ease thy Anna's doom." Anna he saw, admired her modest air,
'Tis a fool's wish," the angry father cried, He thought her virtuous, and he knew her fair; But, lost in troubles of his own, complied : Love raised his pity for her humble state,
And dear Eliza to her friend was sent, And prompted wishes for her happier fate ; T' indulge that wish, and be her punishment: No pride in money would his feelings wound, The time arrived, and brought a tensold dread ; Nor vulgar manners hurt him and confound : The time was past, and all the terror fled ; He then the lady at the hall address'd,
The infant died; the face resumed each charm, Sought her consent, and his regard express'd ; And reason now brought irouble and alarm :
“ Should her Eliza-no! she was too just,
“I must," she judged, “ these cruel lines expose, Too good and kind—but ah! too young to trust." Or fears, or worse than fears, my crime disclose.” Anna return’d, her former place resumed,
The letter shown, he said, with sober smile, And faded beauty with new grace rebloom'd ; · Anna, your friend has not a friendly style : And if some whispers of the past were heard, Say, where could you with this fair lady dwell, They died innoxious, as no cause appear'd; Who boasts of secrets that she scorns to tell ?” But other cares on Anna's bosom press'd,
"At school," she answer'd: he “At school!" replied ; She saw her father gloomy and distress'd ; • Nay, then I know the secrets you would hide : He died o'erwhelm'd with debt, and soon was Some longings these, without dispute, shed
Some youthful gaspings for forbidden fruit : The filial sorrow o'er a mother dead :
Why so disorder'd, love? are such the crimes She sought Eliza's arms, that faithful friend was That give us sorrow in our graver times? wed;
Come, take a present for your friend, and rest
That her Eliza would a sister spare :
If she again—but was there cause ?-should send, Bless'd by her joy, and happy in her sight; Let her direct-and then she named a friend : He saw with pride in every friend and guest A sad expedient untried friends to trust, High admiration and regard express'd :
And still to fear the tried may be unjust : With greater pride, and with superior joy, Such is his pain, who, by his debt oppress’d, He look'd exulting on his first-born boy ;
Seeks by new bonds a temporary rest. To her fond breast the wife her infant strain'd, Few were her peaceful days till Anna read Some feelings utter'd, some were not explain'd; The words she dreaded, and had cause to dread And she enraptured with her treasure grew,
“ Did she believe, did she, unkind, suppose The sight familiar, but the pleasure new.
That thus Eliza's friendship was to close ? Yet there appear'd within that tranquil state No! thongh she tried, and her desire was plain, Some threatening prospect of uncertain fate; To break the friendly bond, she strove in vain : Between the married when a secret lies,
Ask'd she for silence? why so loud the call,
Poor as I am, I shall be proud to show
Have many a noble house in ruins laid :
Anna, I trust, although with wrongs beset, And all my safety is thy generous heart." And urged by want, I shall be faithful yet ; Mix'd with these fears—but light and transient But what temptation may from these arise, these
To take a slighted woman by surprise, Fled years of peace, prosperity, and ease : Becomes a subject for your serious careSo tranquil all, that scarce a gloomy day
For who offends, must for offence prepare." For days of gloom unmix'd prepared the way; Perplex’d, dismay'd, the wife foresaw her dooin ; One ese, the wife, still happy in her state, A day deferr'd was yet a day to come; Sang gayly, thoughtless of approaching fate: But still, though painful her suspended state, Then came a letter, that (received in dread, She dreaded more the crisis of her fate; Not unobserved) she in confusion read ;
Better to die than Stafford's scorn to meet, The substance this ; " Her friend rejoiced to find And her strange friend perhaps would be discreet : That she had riches with a grateful mind; Presents she sent, and made a strong appeal While poor Eliza had from place to place
To woman's feelings, begging her to feel ; Been lured by hope to labour for disgrace; With too much force she wrote of jealous men, That every scheme her wandering husband tried, And her tears falling spoke beyond the pen; Pain'd while he lived, and perish'd when he died.” Eliza's silence she again implored, She then of want in angry style complain’d, And promised all that prudence could afford. Her child a burden to her life remain'd,
For looks composed and careless Anna tried ; Her kindred shunn'd her prayers, no friend her She seem'd in trouble, and unconscious sigh’d : soul sustain'd.
The faithful husband, who devoutly loved " Yet why neglected ? Dearest Anna knew His silent partner, with concern reproved : Her worth once tried, her friendship ever true ; What secret sorrows on my Anna press, She hoped, she trusted, though by wants oppress’d, That love may not partake, nor care redress ?" To lock the treasured secret in her breast;
• None, none," she answer'd, with a look so Yei, ver'd by trouble, must apply to one,
kind, For kindness due to her for kindness done." That the fond man determined to be blind. In Anna's mind was tumult, in her face
A few succeeding weeks of brief repose, Flashings of drend had momentary place:
In Anna's cheek revived the faded rose ;
A hue like this the western sky displays,
Not long they lasted—this determined foe That glows a while, and withers as we gaze. Knew all her claims, and nothing would forego;
Again the friend's tormenting letter came Again her letter came, where Anna read, “The wants she suffer'd were affection's shame; My child, one cause of my distress, is dead : She with her child a life of terrors led,
Heaven has my infant.”—“Heartless wretch"" she Unhappy fruit! but of a lawful bed :
cried, Her friend was lasting every bliss in life,
Is this thy joy?"-"I am no longer tied : The joyful mother, and the wealthy wife ;
Now will I, hastening to my friend, partake While she was placed in doubt, in fear, in want, Her cares and comforts, and no more forsake; To starve on trifles that the happy grant;
Now shall we both in equal station move, Poorly for all her faithful silence paid,
Save that my friend enjoys a husband's love." And tantalized by ineflectual aid :
Complaint and threats so strong the wife amazed, She could not thus a beggar's lot endure;
Who wildly on her collage neighbour gazed ; She wanted something permanent and sure : Her tones, her trembling, first betray'd her grief; If they were friends, then equal be their lot, When floods of tears gave anguish its relief. And she was free to speak if they were not.'
She feard that Stafford would refuse assent, Despair and terror seized the w le, to find And knew her selfish friend would not relent; The artful workings of a vulgar mind;
She must petition, yet delay'd the task, Money she had not, but the hint of dress :
Ashamed, afraid, and yet compellid to ask ; Taught her new bribes, new terrors to redress : Unknown to him some object fill'd her mind, She with such feeling then described her woes, And, once suspicious, he became unkind : That envy's self might on the view repose; They sate one evening, each absorb'd in gloom, Then to a mother's pains she made appeal, When, hark! a noise, and, rushing to the room, And painted grief like one compelled to feel. The friend tripp'd lightly in, and laughing said, “ I Yes! so she felt, that in her air, her face,
come." In every purpose, and in every place ;
Anna received her with an anxious mind, In her slow motion, in her languid mien,
And meeting whisper'd, “ Is Eliza kind ?"
Of some mysterious ill the husband sure, The depth and force of this mysterious love.
To naught that pass'd between the stranger friend
Bui, anxious, listen'd to the lightest word Love, loath to wound, endured conjecture long, That might some knowledge of his guest afford; Till fear would speak, and spoke in language And learn the reason one to him so dear strong
Should feel such fondness, yet betray such fear. “All I must know, my Anna-truly know Soon he perceived this uninviied guest, Whence these emotions, terrors, troubles flow; Unwelcome too, a sovereign power possess'd ; Give me thy grief, and I will fairly prove
Lofty she was and careless, while the meek Mine is no selfish, no ungenerous love."
And humbled Anna was afraid to speak: Now Anna's soul the seat of strife became, As mute she listen'd with a painful smile, Fear with respect contended, love with shame; Her friend sate laughing and at ease the while, But sear prevailing was the ruling guide,
Telling her idle tales with all the glee Prescribing what to show and what to hide. Or careless and unfeeling levity.
“it is my friend," she said—But why disclose With calm good sense he knew his wife endued. A woman's weakness struggling with her woes? And now with wounded pride her conduct view'd; Yes, she has grieved me by her fond complaints, Her speech was low, her every look convey'd-The wrongs she suffers, the distress she paints: "I am a slave subservient and afraid.” Something we do—but she afflicts me still,
All trace of comfort vanish'd if she spoke, And says, with power to help, I want the will ; The noisy friend upon her purpose broke ; This plaintive style I pity and excuse,
To her remarks with insolence replied, llelp when I can, and grieve when I refuse ; And her assertions doubled or denied ; But here my useless sorrows I resign,
While the meek Anna like an infant shook, And will be happy in a love like thine.
Wo-struck and trembling at the serpent's look. The husband doubled ; he was kind but cool: “ There is,” said Stafford, “yes, there is a cause• 'Tis a strong friendship to arise at school; This creature frights her, overpowers, and awes.” Once more then, love, once more the sufferer Six weeks had pass'd—“In truth, my love, this aid,
friend I too can pity, but I must upbraid ;
Has liberal notions; what does she intend ? Of these vain feelings then thy bosom free, Without a hint she came, and will she stay Nor be o'erwhelm’d by useless sympathy." Till she receives the hint to go away?"
The wife again despatch'd the useless bribe, Confused the wife replied, in spite of truth, Again essay'd her terrors to describe ;
“ I love the dear companion of my youth.” Again with kindest words entreated peace, " "Tis well,” said Stafford ;“ then your loves renew; And begg'd her offerings for a time might cease. Trust me, your rivals, Anna, will be few.” A calm succeeded, but too like the one
Though playful this, she felt loo much distress'd That causes terror ere the storm comes on :
T admit the consolation of a jest; A secret sorrow lived in Anna's heart,
Ill she reposed, and in her dreams would sigh, In Stafford's mind a secret fear of art;
And, murmuring forth her anguish, bez to die ;
With sunken eye, slow pace, and pallid cheek, History or tale--all heard him with delight,
All this the friend beheld, for, quick of sight, The listening friend bestow'd a flattering smile;
And ere she fondly bore him to his bed, The lasting comforts she had hope to gain : On his fair face the tear of anguish shed. She now perceived, to win her post for life, And now his task resumed, “ My tale,” said he, She must infuse fresh terrors in the wife;
“ Is short and sad, short may our sadness be !" Must bid to friendship’s feebler ties adieu,
The Caliph Harun,* as historians tell, And boldly claim the object in her view : Ruled, for a tyrant, admirably well ; She saw the husband's love, and knew the power Where his own pleasures were not touch’d, to men Her friend might use in some propitious hour. He was humane, and sometimes even then;
Meantime the anxious wife, from pure distress Harun was fond of fruits, and gardens fair, Assuming courage, said, " I will confess ;" And wo to all whom he found poaching there! Bat with her children felt a parent's pride, Among his pages was a lively boy, And sought once more the hated truth to hide. Eager in search of every trifling joy ;
Offended, grieved, impatient, Stafford bore His feelings vivid, and his fancy strong, The odious change till he could bear no more ; He sigh'd for pleasure while he shrank from wrong ; A friend to truth, in speech and action plain, When by the caliph in the garden placed He held all fraud and cunning in disdain ;
He saw the treasures which he long'd to taste; But, fraud to find, and falsehood to detect,
And oft alone he ventured to behold For once he fled to measures indirect.
Rich hanging fruits with rind of glowing gold; One day the friends were seated in that room Too long he stayed forbidden bliss to view, The guest with care adorn'd, and named her home : His virtue failing, as his longings grew; To please the eye, there curious prints were Athirst and wearied with the noontide heat, placed,
Fate to the garden led his luckless feet; And some light volumes to amuse the taste; With eager eyes and open mouth he stood, Letters and music, on a table laid,
Smelt the sweet breath, and touch'd the fragrant The favourite studies of the fair betray'd; Beneath the window was the toilet spread, The tempting beauty sparkling in the sun And the fire gleam'd upon a crimson bed.
Charm’d his young sense—he ate, and was undone : In Anna's looks and falling tears were seen When the fond glutton paused, his eyes around How interesting had their subjects been:
He turn'd, and eyes upon him turning found; “O! then,“ resumed the friend, “I plainly find Pleased he beheld the
page, That you and Stafford know each other's mind ; A friend allied in office and in age; I must depart, must on the world be thrown, Who promised much that secret he would be, Like one discarded, worthless, and unknown; But high the price he fix'd on secrecy. But shall I carry, and to please a foe,
“« Were you suspected, my unhappy friend,' A painful secret in my bosom? No!
Began the boy, where would your sorrows end? Think not your friend a reptile you may tread In all the palace there is not a page Beneath your feet, and say, the worm is dead ; The caliph would not torture in his rage : I have some feeling, and will not be made
I think I see thee now impaled alive, The scorn of her whom love cannot persuade : Writhing in pangs—but come, my friend! revive; Would not your word, your slightest wish, effect Had some beheld you, all your purse contains All that I hope, petition, or expect?
Could not have saved you from terrific pains ; The power you have, but you the use decline I scorn such meanness; and, if not in debt, Proof that you feel not, or you fear not mine. Would not an asper on your folly set.' There was a time, when I, a tender maid,
The hint was strong ; young Osmyn search'd Flew at a call, and your desires obey’d;
his store A very mother to the child became,
For bribes, and found he soon could bribe no more ; Consoled your sorrow, and conceald your shame; That time arrived, for Osmyn's stock was small, Bat now, grown rich and happy, from the door And the young tyrant now possess'd it all ; You thrust a bosom friend, despised and poor ; The cruel youth, with his companions near, That child alive, its mother might have known Gave the broad hint that raised the sudden sear; The hard ungrateful spirit she has shown.” Th’ungenerous insult now was daily shown, Here paused the guest, and Anna cried at And Osmyn's peace and honest pride were flown; length
Then came augmenting woes, and fancy strong - You try me, cruel friend! beyond my strength ; Drew forms of suffering, a tormenting throng ; Would I had been beside my infant laid,
He felt degraded, and the struggling mind Where none would vex me, threaten, or upbraid." Dared not be free, and could not be resign'd ;
In Anna's looks the friend beheld despair; And all his pains and servent prayers obtain'd ler speech she soften d, and composed her air ; Was truce from insult, while the fears remain'd. Yet, while prosessing love, she answered still** You can befriend me, but you want the will.” They parted thus, and Anna went her way,
# The sovereign here meant is the Haroun Alraschid, To shed her secret sorrows, and to pray.
or Harun al Rashid, who died early in the ninth century ; Stafford, amused with books, and fond of home, he is often the hearer, and sometimes the hero, of a tale By reading oft dispell’d the evening gloom ; in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
spy, a brother
“ One day it chanced that this degraded boy Quick she retired, and all the dismal night And tyrant friend were fix'd at their employ ; Thought of her guilt, her folly, and her flight; Who now had thrown restraint and form aside, Then sought unseen her miserable home, And for his bribe in plainer speech applied : To think of comforts lost, and brood on wants to • Long have I waited, and the last supply
come. Was but a pittance, yet how patient I! But give me now what thy first terrors gave, My speech shall praise thee, and my silence save.'
TALE XVII. "Osmyn had found, in many a dreadful day, The tyrant fiercer when he seem'd in play :
RESENTMENT. lle begg'd forbearance; ‘I have not to give; Spare me a while, although 'tis pain to live :
She hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day for melting charity ; 0! had that stolen fruit the power possess’d
Yet, notwithstanding, being incensed, is flintTo war with life, I now had been at rest.'
Her temper, therefore, must be well observ'd. “. So fond of death,' replied the boy, ' 'tis plain
Henry IV. Part. i. act iv. sc. 4. Thou hast no certain notion of the pain;
Three or four wenches where I stood cried But to the caliph were a secret shown,
“Alas! good soul!" and forgave him with all their Death has no pain that would be then unknown.' hearts : but there is no heed to be taken of them; if “Now, says the story, in a closet near,
Cæsar had stabb'd their mothers, they would have done The monarch, seated, chanced the boys to hear; no less. There oft he came, when wearied on his throne,
Julius Casar, act i. sc. 2. To read, sleep, listen, pray, or be alone.
How dost? Art cold ? The tale proceeds, when first the caliph
I'm cold myself-Where is the straw, my fellow
The art of our necessities is strange, found
That can make vile things precious. That he was robb’d, although alone, he frown'd:
King Lear, act iii. sc. 2
FEMALES there are of unsuspicious mind,
Relenting thoughts then painted Osmyn young, Will hear th' offender and forgive the crime : Ilis passion urgent, and temptation strong ;
And there are others whom like these to cheat, And that he suffer'd from that villain spy
Asks but the humblest effort of deceit ;
And, seldom pardoning, never trust again;
Urged by religion, they forgive—but yet To Reason, Pity lent her generous aid,
Guard the warm heart, and never more forget : For one so tempted, troubled, and betray'd; Those are like war-apply them to the fire, And a free pardon the glad boy restored
Melting, they take th' impressions you desire; To the kind presence of a gentle lord ;
Easy to mould, and fashion as you please, Who from his office and his country drove And again moulded with an equal ease :That traitor friend, whom pains nor prayers could Like smelted iron these the forms retain, move;
But once impress'd will never melt again. Who raised the fears no mortal could endure, A busy port a serious merchant made And then with cruel avarice sold the cure. His chosen place to recommence his trade ; My tale is ended ; but, to be applied,
And brought his lady, who, their children dead, I must describe the place where caliphs hide.” Their native seat of recent sorrow fed : Here both the females look'd alarm’d, dis- The husband duly on the quay was seen, tress'd,
The wife at home became at length serene; With hurried passions hard to be express'd. There in short time the social couple grew “ It was a closet by a chamber placed,
With all acquainted, friendly with a few : Where slept a lady of no vulgar laste ;
When the good lady, by disease assail'd, Her friend attended in that chosen room
In vain resisted-hope and science failid : That she had honour'd and proclaim'd her home : Then spake the female friends, by pity led, To please the eye were chosen pictures placed, “ Poor merchant Paul! what think ye? will he And some light volumes to amuse the taste ;
wed ? Letters and music on a table laid,
A quiet, easy, kind, religious man,
He too, as grief subsided in his mind,
Gave place to notions of congenial kind :
His years were forty-he might pass for more ; Frankness and love appear’d in Stafford's face, Composed his features were, his stature low, And all her trouble to delight give place.
His air important, and his motion slow; Twice made the guest an effort to sustain His dress became him, it was neat and plain, Her feelings, twice resumed her seat in vain, The colour purple, and without a stain ; Nor could suppress her shame, nor could support | His words were few, and special was his care her pain :
In simplest terms his purpose to declare ;