Слике страница

Mer. What a hopeless case! How could you and Mr. Lovely bear such an awful sight?

Loveg. Sir, poor Mr. Lovely was almost overset by it, as well as myself. However, after this we departed, and repeated our visit the next day.

Wor. Did he still continue in the same horrid frame of mind?

Loveg. Not in the smallest degree any better, and worse he could not be. When his nephew asked him if he had had any sleep, he immediately cried,"Sleep! how can I sleep, while I have the cries of Farmer Needy's widow in my ears; when it was almost but the other day, that I stript her of all she had, by enforcing a bond in judgment against her? and what mercy can I expect from God, while I could harden my heart against the widow's cries; and while her poor daughter was upon her knees, with four of her children, and another at her breast, begging for mercy, as it was her father's long illness, and other misfortunes, and by no means their own neglect, that had plunged them into poverty?" and what business had I to cheat Simon Grasper's nephew, of three thousand pounds, by a vile alteration of his will; and thus to rob a poor family of almost all they had a right to expect. He paused and added, yes, I believe I did sleep for about half an hour, and then I thought I was the rich man in Hell, lifting up my eyes in eternal torments, crying for a drop of water to cool the tip of my tongue; and while I thought how grievously I was tormented in that flame, I awoke."-It seemed scarcely possible, that any one could live in a more dreadful state of despair.

Wor. I should suppose these keen and cutting reflections against himself, arose from many other instances of his oppressive conduct, besides that which you have mentioned before.

Loveg. O Sir! he began repeating several of them. One I remember was, that when a man, though but in poor circumstances, left him in his will, five pounds for some law expences, he being

[ocr errors][merged small]


In life he was a Deist, and nearly an Atheist. A contemptible miser, and a universal oppressor; he dealt cruelly with his tenants, and all the poor cursed him."

Mr. Lovegood.-We had sufficient specimens of the horrid state of his mind during the four last days of his life. He appeared almost distracted; the stare of his eyes was most dreadful. He said, "Sir, if there be an eternal world, you see a wretch sinking into eternal woe." Ile then added, "I have been for a long time endeavouring to think there never was such a person as Jesus Christ, or that he was some enthusiastic impostor of the day;" and then added, "How could I be such a fool as to think the Bible was false? I am going, I feel I am going, and I know not where. Oh! that I could but believe what some have said, Death is an eternal sleep."

Just about this time the nurse stirred the fire, and as it began to blaze, he cried, "What would I give if I might but burn in that fire for ten thousand years, so as to escape the eternal damnation of my soul !"

C. Whittingham, College House, Chiswick.

the maker of the will, inserted fifty pounds, instead of five. Thus the man, being too far gone through illness, to attend to his tricks, gave away half as much as he had in the world, from his poor relations. But how terribly he cried out on account of his cruel conduct, against one Isaac Careful, a tenant of his, whom he sent to gaol, because he would not give up a few trifling leaseholds, which were settled upon his wife and children, though he was reduced to poverty by a loss through fire, and was in himself a very industrious


Wor. How could Mr. Lovely bear to hear him relate his horrid tricks?

Loveg. Sir, I never saw a poor youth so agitated in my life. His dreadful cries at intervals, against himself, and concerning the agonies of his conscience, were most tremendous. When I once said, Sir, yet there may be hope; he cried, "O God! (which was his common exclamation,) it is impossible-I am sure it is impossible-and I am as sure to be in Hell, as if I were there already; and the smoke of my torment will be ascending up for ever, and ever." Just about that time the nurse stirred the fire; and as it began to blaze, he cried-" What would I give, if I might but burn on that fire for ten thousand years, so as to escape the eternal damnation of my soul !"

Miss. Wor. Dear Sir! his expressions are so uncommonly dreadful, that I fear I must quit the room if I hear any more of them, it makes me so nervous.

Mer. Why my dear Miss Worthy, we may profit by these alarming lessons, as well as by others which are grateful and pleasing. What a wonderful contrast between the death of poor Mr. Chipman, and that of this old miser!

Wor. Well, for the sake of my daughter, and indeed on account of all our feelings, I shall only ask if he said any thing better in his last moments, before his dissolution.

Loveg. Sir, I was not then in the room, but it seems for the two last days, he was in a measure

senseless: still he groaned horribly, frequently adding that most profane expression, which we so commonly hear " D-n it, that ever I was born!" and when the nurse, who attended him, a little aroused him, by wiping the phlegm from his mouth, which prevented his breathing, he used the same horrible expression, adding, what are you at? Soon afterwards he died; and these it seems, were the last words he ever uttered in life. Oh, what horrid expressions for a dying man! It is enough to chill one's very blood.


Wor. Was Mr. Lovely with him when he died? Loveg. No Sir; his uncle's language was so dreadful, and profane, that he quite swore him out of the room. What he said, was afterwards reported to him by the nurse he sent to attend him.

Mrs. Wor. Had he any desire to see Mrs. Lovely? Loveg. Sir, he asked for her several times, but we always made an excuse for her, saying her nerves were too weak to see him, unless he should get a little better, or should be more composed.

Mer. Well, I am sure we have heard enough of Mr. Greedy; it is high time that we should now hear something of the Lovelys. [Enter servant.]


Servant. Sir, Farmer Till has brought the horse, your honor will chuse to look at him.

Wor. [To Mr. Merryman.] Why Sir, as you are about to take my daughter away with you, I thought I would buy her a horse, that you may have no excuse for not riding over frequently from Sandover, when you are settled there.

Mer. Sir, you are exceeding kind; but we shall generally come over in our one-horse chaise.

Wor. Yes, but exercise on horseback is both pleasant and healthy. I would have my daughter keep on horseback as much as she can. I must request you Mr. Merryman, to come and see how you like the horse; I suppose in your gay days, you used to attend much to the make, and shape of a horse.

Mer. Ah Sir! much more than ever I did to the meaning of my Bible.

« ПретходнаНастави »