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A man more civil, sober, and discreet,
His worldly wealth she sought, and quickly More grave and courteous, you could seldom meet : grew Though frugal he, yet sumptuous was his board, Pleased with her search, and happy in the view As if to prove how much he could afford;
Of vessels freighted with abundant stores, For though reserved himself, he loved to see of rooms whose treasures press'd the groaning His table plenteous, and his neighbours free:
A little army, on a public day.
The sum appointed for her widow'd state,
And, never finding, never dealt with art : Each ample tree the tuneful choir defends, In his engagements she had no concern; As this rich merchant cheers his happy friends !" Ho taught her not, nor had she wish to learn:
In the same town it was his chance to meet On him in all occasions she relied, A gentle lady, with a mind discreet;
His word her surety, and his worth her pride. Neither in life's decline, nor bloom of youth, When ship was launch’d, and merchant Paul had One famed for maiden modesty and truth :
share, By nature cool, in pious habits bred,
A bounteons feast became the lady's care;
And robed to grace it in a rich array,
came, At once she fled to her delensive arms;
Proud of th’ event, and stately look’d the dame : Conn'd o'er the tales her maiden aunt had told, The husband met her at his study-doorAnd statue-like, was motionlike and cold ;
“ This way, my love-one moment and no more : From prayer of love, like that Pygmalion pray'd, A trifling business—you will understand, Ere the hard stone became the yielding maid The law requires that you affix your hand ; A different change in this chaste nymph ensued, But first attend, and you shall learn the cause And turn'd to stone the breathing tlesh and blood : Why forms like these have been prescribed by Whatever youth described his wounded heart,
laws." * He came to rob her, and she scorn'd his art; Then from his chair a man in black arose, And who of raptures once presumed to speak, And with much quickness hurried off his prose : Told listening maids he thought them fond and That “ Ellen Paul the wife, and so forth, freed weak:
From all control, her own the act and deed, But should a worthy man his hopes display And forasmuch”-said she, “ I've no distrust, In few plain words, and beg a yes or nay,
For he that asks it is discreet and just; He would deserve an answer just and plain, Our friends are waiting-where am I to sign? Since adulation only moved disdain
There !--Now be ready when we meet to Sir, if my friends object not, come again.”
dine." Hence our brave lover, though he liked the face, This said, she hurried off in great delight, Praised not a feature-dwelt not on a grace ; The ship was launch’d, and joyful was the night. But in the simplest terms declared his state,
Now, says the reader, and in much disdain, * A widow'd man, who wish'd a virtuous male ; This serious merchant was a rogue in grain; Who fear'd neglect, and was compellid to trust A treacherous wretch, an artful, sober knave, Dependants wasteful, idle, or unjust;
And ten times worse for manners cool and grave, Or should they not the trusted stores destroy, And she devoid of sense, to set her hand At best, they could not help him to enjoy,
To scoundrel deeds she could not understand. But with her person and her prudence blest, Alas! 'tis true ; and I in vain had tried His acts would prosper, and his soul have rest : To soften crime, that cannot be denied ; Would she be his !"_" Why that was much to say; And might have labour'd many a tedious verse She would consider : he a while might stay ; The latent cause of mischief to rehearse : She liked his manners, and believed his word; Be it confess'd, that long, with troubled look, He did not flatter, flattery she abhorr’d:
This trader view'd a huge accompting book It was her happy lot in peace to dwell
(Ilis former marriage for a time delay'd Would change make better what was now so well? The dreaded hour, the present lent ils aid ;) Bat she would ponder."— This,” he said, " was But he too clearly saw the evil day, kind,”
And put the terror, by deceit, away; And begg'd to know when she had fix'd her Thus by connecting with his sorrows crime, mind."
He gain'd a portion of uneasy time.Romantic maidens would have scorn'd the air, All this too late the injured lady saw, And the cool prudence of a mind so fair;
What love had given, again she gave to law; Bat well it pleased this wiser maid to find His guilt, her folly—these at once impress'd Her own mild virtues in her lover's mind. Their lasting feelings on her guileless breast.
* Shume I can bear,” she cried, " and want sus Assured that law, with spell secure and tight, tain,
Had fix'd it as her own peculiar right. But will not see this guilty wretch again;"
Now to her ancient residence removed, For all was lost, and he, with many a tear, She lived as widow, well endow'd and loved, Confess'd the fault,she turning scorn'd to hear. Decent her table was, and to her door To legal claim he yielded all his worth,
Came daily welcomed the neglected poor : But small the portion, and the wrong'd were wroth, The absent sick were soothed by her relief, Nor to their debtor would a part allow;
As her free bounty sought the haunts of grief; And where to live he knew noi-knew not how. A plain and homely charity had she,
The wife a collage found, and thither went And loved the objects of her alms to see ; The suppliant man, but she would not relent: With her own hands she dress’d the savoury meat, Thenceforth she utier'd with indignant tone, With her own fingers wrote the choice receipt ; " I feel the misery, and will feel alone."
She heard all tales that injured wives relate, He would turn servant for her sake, would keep And took a double interest in their fate ; The poorest school; the very streets would sweep, But of all husbands not a wretch was known To show his love." It was already shown:
So vile, so mean, so cruel as her own. And her affliction should be all her owni.
This bounteous lady kepi an active spy, His wants and weakness might have touch'd her To search th' abodes of want, and to supply ; heart,
The gentle Susan served the liberal dameBut from his meanness she resolved to part." Unlike their notions, yet their deeds the same : In a small alley was she lodged, beside
No practised villain could a victim find Its humblest poor, and at the view she cried, Than this stern lady more completely blind ;
Welcome-yes ! let me welcome, if I can, Nor (if detected in his fraud) could meet The fortune dealt me by this cruel man ;
One less disposed to pardon a deceit; Welcome this low thatch'd roof, this shatter'd The wrong she treasured, and on no pretence door,
Received th' offender, or forgot th' offence : These walls of clay, this miserable floor;
But the kind servant, to the thrice-proved knave Welcome, my envied neighbours; this, to you, A fourth time listen'd, and the past forgave. Is all familiar-all to me is new;
First in her youth, when she was blithe and gay, You have no hatred to the loathsome meal ; Came a smooth rogue, and stole her love away ; Your firmer nerves no trembling terrors feel, Then to another and another flew, Nor, what you must expose, desire you to conceal; To boast the wanton mischief he could do : What your coarse feelings bear without offence, Yet she forgave him, though so great her pain, Disgusts my taste, and poisons every sense: That she was never blithe or gay again. Daily shall I your sad relations hear,
Then came a spoiler, who, with villain art, Of wanton women, and of men severe ;
Implored her hand, and agonized her heart; There will dire curses, dreadful oaths abound, He seized her purse, in idle waste to spend And vile expressions shock me and confound ; With a vile wanton, whom she call'd her friend; Noise of dull wheels, and songs with horrid words, Five years she suffer'd-he had revelld fiveWill be the music that this lane affords ;
Then came to show her he was just alive; Mirth that disgusts, and quarrels that degrade Alone he came, his vile companion dead; The human mind, must my retreat invade : And he, a wandering pauper, wanting bread ; Hard is my fate! yet easier to sustain
His body wasted, wither'd life and limb, Than to abide with guilt and fraud again ;
When this kind soul became a slave to him : A grave impostor! who expects to meet,
Nay, she was sure that, should he now survive, In such gray locks and gravity, deceit?
No better husband would be left alive ; Where the sea rages, and the billows roar, For him she mourn'd, and then, alone and poor, Men know the danger, and they quit the shore ; Sought and found comfort at her lady's door: But, be there nothing in the way descried, Ten years she served, and, mercy her employ, When o'er the rocks smooth runs the wicked tide, Her tasks were pleasure, and her duty joy. Sinking unwarn'd, they execrate the shock,
Thus lived the mistress and the maid, design'd And the dread peril of the sunken rock."
Each other's aid-one cautious, and both kind : A frowning world had now the man to dread, Oft at their window, working, they would sigh Taught in no arts, to no profession bred ;
To see the aged and the sick go by ; Pining in grief, beset with constant care,
Like wounded bees, that at their home arrive, Wandering he went, to rest he knew not where. Slowly and weak, but labouring for the hive.
Meantime the wife-but she abjured the name The busy people of a mason's yard Endured her lot, and struggled with the shame ; The curious lady view'd with much regard ; When lo! an uncle on the mother's side,
With steady motion she perceived them draw In nature something, as in blood allied,
Through blocks of stone the slowly-working saw ; Admired her firmness, his protection gave, It gave her pleasure and surprise to see And show'd a kindness she disdain’d to crave. Among these men the signs of revelry :
Frugal and rich the man, and frugal grew Cold was the season, and confined their view, The sister mind, without a selfish view;
Tedious their tasks, but merry were the crew; And further still; the temperate pair agreed There she beheld an aged pauper wait, With what they saved the patient poor to feed : Patient and still, to take an humble freight; His whole estate, when to the grave consign’d, Within the panniers on an ass he laid Left the good kinsman to the kindred mind; The ponderous grit, and for the portion paid ;
This he resold, and, with each trilling gift,
'Tis weakness, child, for grieving guilt to feel.”Made shift to live, and wretched was the shift. Yes, but he never sees a wholesome meal ; Nor will it be by every reader told
Through his bare dress appears his shrivell'd Who was this humble trader, poor and old.
skin, In vain an author would a name suppress,
And ill he fares without, and worse within ! From the least hint a reader learns to guess ; With that weak body, lame, diseased, and slow, Of children lost our novels sometimes treat, What cold, pain, peril, must the sufferer know!"We never care-assured again to meet :
* Think on his crime.”'_“Yes, sure, 'twas
very In vain the writer for concealment tries,
wrong; We trace his purpose under all disguise ;
But look, (God bless him!) how he gropes along."Nay, though he tells us they are dead and gone, Brought me to shame.”—“0! yes, I know it Of whom we wot—they will appear anon; Our favourites fight, are wounded, hopeless lie, What cutting blast! and he can scarcely crawl; Survive they cannot--nay, they cannot die; He freezes as he moves; he dies! if he should fall. Now, as these tricks and stratagems are known, With cruel fierceness drives this icy sleet, 'Tis best, at once, the simple truth to own. And must a Christian perish in the street,
This was the husband ; in an humble shed In sight of Christians ?- There ! at last, he lies ;He nightly slept, and daily sought his bread: Nor unsupported can he ever rise : Once for relief the weary man applied ;
He cannot live."_" But is he fit to die ?" * Your wife is rich," the angry vestry cried : Here Susan softly mutter'd a reply, Alas! he dared not to his wife complain,
Look'd round the room, said something of its Feeling her wrongs, and fearing her disdain :
state, By various methods he had tried to live,
Dives the rich, and Lazarus at his gate ;
The man affrighten'd, weeping, trembling, cold : Made him less able than the weaker boys ; 0! how those flakes of snow their entrance win On messages he went, till he in vain
Through the poor rags, and keep the frost within ; Sirove names, or words, or meanings to retain ; His very heart seems frozen as he goes, Each small employment in each neighbouring town Leading that starved companion of his woes : By turn he took, to lay as quickly down :
He tried to pray-his lips, I saw them move, For, such his fate, he fail'd in all he plannid, And he so turn'd his piteous looks above; And nothing prosper'd in his luckless hand. But the fierce wind the willing heart opposed,
At his old home, his motive half suppressid, And, ere he spoke, the lips in misery closed : He sought no more for riches, but for rest : Poor suffering object! yes, for ease you pray'd, There lived the bounteous wife, and at her gate And God will hear-he only, I'm afraid." He saw in cheerful groups the needy wait ;
Peace! Susan, peace! Pain ever follows sin." ** Had he a right with bolder hope l’apply ?” —“Ah! then," thought Susan, “ when will ours He ask'd, was answer'd, and went groaning by :
begin ? For some remains of spirit, temper, pride,
When reach'd his home, to what a cheerless fire Forbade a prayer he knew would be denied. And chilling bed will those cold limbs retire!
Thus was the grieving man, with burden'd ass, Yet ragged, wretched as it is, that bed Seen day by day along the street to pass :
Takes half the space of his contracted shed ; * Who is he, Susan ? who the poor old man? I saw the thorns beside the narrow grate, He never calls; do make him, if you can." With straw collected in a putrid state : The conscious damsel still delay'd to speak, There will he, kneeling, strive the fire to raise, She stopp'd confused, and had her words to seek; And that will warm him, rather than the blaze; From Susan's fears the fact her mistress knew, The sullen, smoky blaze, that cannot last And cried—“ The wretch! what scheme has he One moment after his attempt is past : in view ?
And I so warmly and so purely laid, Is this his lot ?-but let him, let him feel
To sink to rest-indeed, I am afraid."Who wants the courage, not the will to steal.” “ Know you his conduct ?”—“ Yes, indeed, I A dreadfol winter came, each day severe,
know-Misty when mild, and icy cold when clear; And how he wanders in the wind and snow: And still the humble dealer took his load,
Safe in our rooms the threatening storm we hear, Returning slow, and shivering on the road : But he feels strongly what we faintly fear."The lady, still relentless, saw him come,
“ Wilful was rich, and he the storm defied, And said, “I wonder, has the wretch a home ?"- Wilful is poor, and must the storm abide ;"
A hut! a hovel !"_“ Then his fate appears Said the stern lady—“ 'Tis in vain 10 feel;
But while her soft and ever-yielding heart
To feel so wrathful and resent so long. He that doth evil, evil shall he dread.”_
“ No more the wretch would she receive * The snow," qnoth Susan, “ falls upon his bed
ngain, It blows beside the thatch-it melts upon his head.” | No more behold him-but she would sustain ;
Great his oílence, and evil was his mind,--
THE WAGER. within A fair acquittal from so foul a sin;
'Tis thought your deer doth hold you at a bay. Yet she too err'd, and must of Heaven expect
Tuming of the Shrew, act v. sc. 2: To be rejected, him should she reject."
I choose her for myself: Susan was summond ; “ I'm about to do
If she and I are pleased, what's that to you A foolish act, in part seduced by you ;
Ibil. Go to the creature, say that I intend,
Let's send each one to his wife, Foe to his sins, lo be his sorrow's friend ;
And he whose wife is most obedient Take, for his present comforts, food and wine,
Shall win the wager.
Lid. And mark his feelings at this act of mine : Observe if shame be o'er his features spread,
Now by the world it is a lusty wench, By his own victim to be soothed and sed ;
I love her ten times more than e'er I did.
ib. act. ii. sc. I. But, this inform him, that it is not love That prompts my heart, that duties only move : Counter and CLUBB were men in trade, whose Say, that no merits in his favour plead,
pains, But miseries only, and his abject need;
Credit, and prudence, brought them constant gains ; Nor bring me grovelling thanks, nor high-flown Partners and punctual, every friend agreed praise ;
Counter and Clubb were men who must succeed. I would his spirits, not his fancy raise ;
When they had fix'd some little time in life, Give him no hope that I shall ever more
Each thought of taking to himself a wise ; A man so vile to my esteem restore ;
As men in trade alike, as men in love But warn him rather, that, in time of rest,
They seem'd with no according views to move; His crimes be all remember'd and confess'd : As certain ores in outward view the same, I know not all that form the sinner's debt, They show'd their difference when the magnet But there is one that he must not forget." The mind of Susan prompted her with speed
Counter was vain : with spirit strong and high, To act her part in every courteous deed :
'Twas not in him like suppliant swain to sigh: All that was kind she was prepared to say,
His wife might o'er his men and maids preside, And keep the lecture for a future day ;
And in her province be a judge and guide ; When he had all life's comforts by his side, But what he thought, or did, or wish'd to do, Piiy might sleep, and good advice be tried. She must not know, or censure if she knew;
This done, the mistress felt disposed to look, At home, abroad, by day, by night, if he As self-approving, on a pious book :
On auglit determined, so it was to be : Yet, to her native bias still inclined,
How is a man," he ask'd, “ for business fit, She felt her act 100 merciful and kind;
Who to a female can his will submit? But when, long musing on the chilling scene
Absent a while, let no inquiring eye So lately pasi-the frost and sleet so keen Or plainer speech presume to question why, The man's whole misery in a single view— But all be silent; and, when seen again, Yes! she could think some pity was his due. Let all be cheerful ;-shall a wife complain?
Thus fix’d, she heard not her attendant glide Friends I invite, and who shall dare t'object, With soft slow step-till, standing by her side, Or look on them with coolness or neglect ? The trembling servant gasp'd for breath, and No! I must ever of my house be head, shed
And, thus obey'd, I condescend to wed.” Relieving lears, then utter'd—“ He is dead!" Clubb heard the speech—“My friend is nice," “ Dead !" said the stariled lady. Yes, he
said he ; fell
“ A wise with less respect will do for me : Close at the door where he was wont to dwell; How is he certain such a prize to gain ? There his sole friend, the ass, was standing by, What he approves, a lass may learn to feign, Half dead himself, to see his master die."
And so affect t' obey, till she begins to reign ; “ Expired he then, good Heaven! for want of A while complying, she may vary then, food ?"
And be as wives of more unwary men ; No! crusts and water in a corner stood ;
Besides, to him who plays such lordly part To have this plenty, and to wait so long,
How shall a tender creature yield her heart ? And to be right too late, is doubly wrong: Should he the promised confidence refuse, Then, every day to see him totter by,
She may another more confiding choose ; And to forbear_0! what a heart had I !"
May show her anger, yet her purpose hide, Blame me not, child ; I tremble at the news." And wake his jealousy, and wound his pride. “ 'Tis my own heart,” said Susan, “ I accuse: In one so humbled, who can trace the friend ? To have this money in my purse—to know I on an equal, not a slave, depend ; What grief was his, and what to grief we owe: If trve, my confidence is wisely placed, To see him often, always to conceive
And being false, she only is disgraced." How he must pine and languish, groan and Clubb, with these notions, cast his eye around, grieve;
And one so easy soon a partner found. And every day in ease and peace to dine,
The lady chosen was of good repute ; And rest in comfort!- what a heart is mine!" Meekness she had noi, and was seldom mute ;
Though quick to anger, still she loved to smile; Thus made suspicious, he observed and saw And would be calm is men would wait a while. His friend each night at early hour withdraw; She knew her duty, and she loved her way,
He sometimes mention'd Juliet's tender nerves, More pleased in iruth to govern than obey ; And what attention such a wile deserves : She heard her priest with reverence, and her spouse
“ In this,” thought Clubb, “ full sure some mystery As one who felt the pressure of her vows;
lies-l'seful and civil, all her friends confess'd,
He laughs at me, yet hc with much complies, Give her her way, and she would choose the best; And all his vaunts of bliss are proud apologies." Though some, indeed, a sly remark would make, With such ideas treasured in his breast, Give it her not, and she would choose to take. He grew composed, and let his anger rest; All this, when Clubb some cheerful months had Till Counter once (when wine so long went round spent,
That friendship and discretion both were drown'd) He saw, confess'd, and said he was content. Began in teasing and triumphant mood
Counter meantime selected, doubted, weigh'd, His evening banter.—" Of all earthly good, And then brought home a young complying maid ; | The best,” he said, “ was an obedient spouse, A tender creature, full of fears as charms, Such as my friend's—that every one allows : A beauteous nursling from its mother's arms ; What if she wishes his designs to know? A soft, sweet blossom, such as men must love, It is because she would her praise bestow ; But to preserve must keep it in the stove : What if she wills that he remains at home? She had a mild, subdued, expiring look
She knows that mischief may from travel come. Raise but the voice, and this fair creature shook; I, who am free to venture where I please, Leave her alone, she felt a thousand fears Have no such kind preventing checks as these ; Chide, and she melted into floods of tears ; But mine is double duty, first to guide Fondly she pleaded, and would gently sigh, Myself aright, then rule a house beside ; For very pity, or she knew not why;
While this our friend, more happy than the free, One whom to govern none could be afraid Resigns all power, and laughs at liberty." Hold up the finger, this meek thing obey'd ; “By Heaven,” said Clubb, “excuse me if I Her happy husband had the easiest taskSay but his will, no question would she ask; I'll bet a hundred guineas, if he dare, She sought no reasons, no affairs she knew, That uncontrollid I will such freedoms take, Of business spoke not, and had naught to do. That he will fear to equal—there's my stake." Oft he exclaim'd, “ How meek! how mild ! how "A match !” said Counter, much by wine inkind!
flamed ; With her 'twere cruel but to seem unkind ; “But we are friends ; let smaller stake be named : Though ever silent when I take my leave, Wine for our future meeting, that will I It pains my heart to think how hers will grieve; Take, and no more—what peril shall we try ?" Tis heaven on earth with such a wise to dwell, " Let's 10 Newmarket," Clubb replied ; " or choose I am in raptures to have sped so well;
Yourself the place, and what you like to lose ; But let me not, my friend, your envy raise,
And he who first returns, or fears 10 go, No! on my life, your patience has my praise.” Forfeits his cash—” Said Counter, Be it so."
His friend, though silent, felt the scorn implied, The friends around them saw with much delight * What need of patience !" to himself he cried : The social war, and hail'd the pleasını right; Better a woman o'er her house to rule,
Nor would they further hear the cause discuss'd, Than a poor child just hurried from her school; Afraid the recreant heart of Clubb to trust. Who has no care, yet never lives at ease;
Now sober thoughts return'd as each withdrew, Unfit to rule, and indisposed to please ;
And of the subject took a serious view : What if he govern? there his boast should end, " "Twas wrong," thought Counter, “and will No husband's power can make a slave his friend.” grieve my love."
It was the custom of these friends to meet “ 'Twas wrong," thought Clubb, “my wife will With a few neighbours in a neighbouring street;
not approve: Where Counter oft times would occasion seize But friends were present; I must try the thing, To move his silent friend by words like these : Or with my folly half the town will ring." * A man," said he, “ if govern'd by his wife, He sought his lady ; “Madam, I'm to blame, Gires up his rank and dignity in life ;
But was reproach'd, and could not bear the shame; Now better fate befalls my friend and me" Herein my folly—for 'tis best to say He spoke, and look'd th' approving smile to see. The very truth-I've sworn to have my way:
The quiet partner, when he chose to speak, To that Newmarket-(though I hate the place, Desired his friend, “another theme to seek ; And have no taste or talents for a race, When thus they met, he judged that state affairs Yet so it is-well, now prepare to ehide) And such important subjects should be theirs." I laid a wager that I dared to ride ; But still the partner, in his lighter vein,
And I must go : by Heaven, if you resist Would cause in Clubb affliction or disdain ; I shall be scorn'd, and ridiculed, and hiss'd; It made him anxious to detect the cause
Let me with grace before my friends appear, Of all that boasting ; " Wants my friend applause ? You know the truth, and must not be severe ; This plainly proves him not at perfect ease, He too must go, but that he will of course ; For, felt he pleasure, he would wish to please. Do you consent ?-I never think of force." These triumphs here for some regrets atone “You never need," the worthy dame replied : Men who are blest let other mon alone.”
“The husband's honour is the woman's pride;